Our Faculty & Staff
For more than 30 years, Dr. Paula Boyum has served in administrative positions in higher education. Most recently, she served as vice president of economic and workforce development at Bellevue College, where she provided vision, leadership, and overall management for the college’s workforce programs in technology, the health sciences, and business. Boyum’s previous experience encompasses numerous higher education leadership roles, including dean of continuing education and workforce development for the Milwaukee Area Technical College and faculty development specialist at the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. She holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. in education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as a bachelor’s in radiologic sciences from the University of Health Sciences/Chicago Medical School.
Business Development Officer
Mary Trimarco cultivates partnerships with corporations to provide a talent pipeline within companies. Trimarco works closely with faculty and staff in Boston, as well as Northeastern’s campuses in Silicon Valley and Charlotte, to identify workforce trends in high-demand fields and discover where Northeastern can support employers’ needs. Trimarco brings more than 25 years of experience to her role. She most recently managed the international trade and business recruitment teams at the State of Washington’s Department of Commerce. This role included marketing the state across the globe and managing incentive funds to attract and retain businesses, as well as overseeing a business loan program. Trimarco has served on various local boards, including the China Relations Council, Impact Washington, and the Washington Economic Development Finance Authority. She is originally from Illinois and has a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Illinois.
Director of Student Affairs
Gina Copping acts as an initial point of contact for current Seattle students, assisting them with all aspects of their graduate program through to commencement. Her previous career experiences revolved around early childhood education and teaching English abroad. She holds a bachelor’s in psychology from Santa Clara University and a master’s in comparative education from University College London’s Institute of Education. She is currently pursuing her Doctor of Education through Northeastern.
Associate Director of Admissions
Bryan Fouquet develops strategies and initiatives to find new students as well as helps prospective students through the admissions process. Bryan thoroughly enjoys exploring the possibilities of higher education with prospective students. Recently, Bryan taught English overseas in Asia, Europe, and South America. Before that, he worked in various sales roles. Bryan graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in history. Currently, Bryan is a student in the Master of Science in Global Studies and International Relations program at Northeastern University—Seattle.
Caroline Li manages all marketing and PR campaigns and initiatives at Northeastern Seattle campus. She enjoys strategic planning and implementing fully integrated marketing and communication plans. She has held marketing roles in corporate companies and startups and helped start a multicultural marketing agency in Seattle. She is also a former journalist and has lived abroad in Asia. Caroline graduated from the University of Washington in Seattle with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science. Over the years she has been on the board of directors for the Asian American Journalists Association in Seattle and SafeFutures Youth Center, which services at-risk youth in the West and South Seattle areas.
Anne Maria Jacobson
Administrative Operations Manager
Anne Maria Jacobson works closely with the Seattle team to assist in fulfilling their objectives and keeps the campus running seamlessly. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Connecticut and a bachelor’s from Southern Utah University. Prior to joining Northeastern University—Seattle, Jacobson was the board administrator and special projects manager for the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. She has also had the good fortune to work for the 2002 Winter Olympics and Jim Henson Productions.
Assistant Director, Office of Global Services
Laura Iwane supports Northeastern international students by advising about F-1 student status, including on how to obtain and maintain F-1, work authorization, and travel. Born and raised in Maine, she moved to New York where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees and began her career in education, and is very happy to now call Seattle home.
Ana Korsmo serves as the assistant to the dean, working closely with the administrative operations manager. She can usually be found at the main entrance of the campus, ready to welcome students and visitors to Northeastern University—Seattle. Korsmo holds a bachelor’s degree in English and printing and publishing from Pacific Lutheran University. Prior to joining Northeastern, she worked with South Seattle College for seven years.
Gulbin Yasar works closely with the administrative operations manager and her main responsibility is assuring the campus runs smoothly during the day. She provides general support to students and professors, manages room and equipment set up, and assists with campus events. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Ege University, Turkey, and a certificate of completion from the Eramus Student Exchange Program from Metropolitan University of Prague, Czech Republic. She recently moved to Seattle from her home country, Turkey. Gulbin is currently a student in the MS in Global Studies and International Relations program at Northeastern University—Seattle.
Desiree Gualandri has been working in some form of IT for about the last decade, starting as a student work study at a law school and ended up making it a career. She likes the constant challenge IT provides and really enjoys working in a higher education environment. Midwestern by birth and education, Desiree as a B.A. in History from the University of Illinois.
David Van der Linden
Student Services Representative
David Van der Linden provides information to prospective students regarding available degree programs and guides them through the process of applying. He also supports current students with course registration, understanding their accounts, and providing general information on the resources and services available to them as students at Northeastern. David serves the entire Northeastern community, but has a special focus on the Seattle student population. David joined Northeastern with over a decade of client services experience in a variety of industries. A recent transplant to the Pacific Northwest, and holder of a bachelor’s degree in art history, he is looking forward to enjoying Seattle’s world-class cultural institutions and vibrant art scene.
Program Advisor – NU Global
Jeremy Walter serves as Program Advisor for the NU Global Program at Northeastern University-Seattle. He has over a decade of experience teaching English as a Second Language overseas and in the United States. Jeremy holds a master’s degree in applied linguistics and TESOL and a bachelor’s degree in English studies. In addition to teaching, advising, and tutoring international students at Northeastern, Jeremy also organizes a variety of cultural activities for faculty, staff, and students. It’s Jeremy’s priority to support all international students so that they may transition into their graduate school programs smoothly and successfully. In his free time, Jeremy enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest and all it has to offer. He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education at Northeastern University.
Assistant Director, Admissions Recruitment
Rick Turner is ecstatic to help students find their paths to attain their educational goals and follow their passion in life. Born and raised in Houston, Rick has lived in many states on the west side of the country. He worked in IT for several years before switching fields. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at University of Oregon before moving to the Seattle area and starting the Master of Education in Higher Education Administration at Northeastern University. Ricky was part of the Seattle campus’ second graduating class in Spring 2016.
College of Computer and Information Science
Dr. Ian Gorton*
Director of Computer Science
Dr. Ian Gorton brings 25 years of experience to Northeastern, working in the software industry, academia, and government research and development labs, both in the U.S. and Australia. His research and development expertise lies in software architectures and technologies for scalable, big data systems in various scientific, engineering, and health-related domains. He was previously a senior member of the technical staff at the Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute. Prior to Carnegie Mellon, he served as a laboratory fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Lab. He has published more than 150 research papers in refereed journals and is a senior member of the IEEE Computer Society.
Francisco Paco Mesch*
Faculty Cooperative Education Coordinator, CCIS
Francisco—or “Paco,” as he prefers to be called—Mesch is a co-op faculty member for the College of Computer and Information Science. Mesch assists students in preparing for co-op using his background in experiential learning and career services. He teaches the CCIS Graduate Co-op Seminar and works with students throughout the process, as well as lends a hand to employer outreach. Prior to working at Northeastern, Mesch worked at Bellevue College as a career and employment specialist focused on internships and work-study. Mesch grew up in the Philippines, but has lived in Seattle now for the past 12 years.Faculty
Computer Science, ALIGN
Joe Buck earned his Ph.D. from the University of California – Santa Cruz and a bachelors from Bethel University in St. Paul, MN. His doctoral research focused on applying recent advances in Big Data to scientific computing while his professional experience has involved working on storage and distributed computing, in addition to big data-related projects. He’s excited to be a part of the ALIGN program and to play a part in helping motivated students as they transition into the world of computer science.
Bruce Chhay works on Google BigQuery, which is the interactive big data service for Google Cloud. He previously worked at Microsoft, working on large-scale data analytics for Windows. He also spent time as co-founder of a startup. Chhay holds a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering and an MBA from the University of Washington. Chhay is a Seattle-area native, and enjoys spending time on his motor vehicles.
Jim Miller holds a PhD in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In his over 30 years in the computer science field, he’s worked on a wide variety of projects, including source code debuggers, operating systems, electronic mail, parallel processing, programming language design and implementation, and big data processing. He has worked in academia—at MIT, Brandeis University, and Northeastern—and industry, at companies including Digital Equipment Corporation, Microsoft, and Google. In his spare time, Miller enjoys bicycling and hiking, and was once a professional opera singer. He still enjoys singing, especially with the Seattle Gilbert and Sullivan Society.
Vinayak been a software engineer in the Seattle area for 13 years working for a variety of companies. Currently, he is an engineer with Salesforce working on a software security team. In the past, he has worked in fraud, payments, and retail software. He spends his free time with his family, tutoring at a local Seattle tutoring center, or playing tennis.
Theo holds a PhD in computer science from Northeastern. Before joining Northeastern as a lecturer, Skotiniotis worked at Amazon on multiple areas including Amazon Retail, Amazon Android Appstore, and Builder Tools. Skotiniotis’s main areas of interest cover software engineering and programming languages.
Zhifeng Sun received his PhD from Northeastern in 2012, specializing in approximation algorithms, algorithmic game theory, and distributed computing. After graduation, he spent a few months with Microsoft, building online advertising systems. He is now working full-time at Google, designing statistical forecasting systems. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, traveling to different national parks, and playing basketball.
Everaldo Aguiar received his PhD from the University of Notre Dame, where he was affiliated with the Interdisciplinary Center for Network Science & Applications. His research focused on the development, deployment and evaluation of machine learning models to detect, ahead of time, students that may be at risk of underachieving their academic goals. He was a fellow at the Eric & Wendy Schmidt Data Science for Social Good Fellowship, and a visiting researcher at the Center for Data Science and Public Policy at the University of Chicago, where through partnerships with large school districts, he was able to incorporate his predictive models to early warning systems that continuously monitor hundreds of thousands of students, informing educators when individual attention may be needed.
He now works as a Data Scientist at Concur Technologies applying his research to highly complex and extremely large datasets. On his spare time Everaldo enjoys to travel, college football (go Irish), playing old strategy games and a few other random hobbies.
Maria Zontak earned her B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Physics and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. Finally, she earned her Ph.D in Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel under a supervision of Prof. Michal Irani. Her thesis focused on exploring statistics of natural images, required for deriving effective image priors for low-level computer vision applications. Recently, as a post-doc at the UW Bioengineering department, Maria worked on medical image analysis for automatic assessment of cardiovascular risk.
Maria is excited to introduce students to Computer Vision area – one of the current hottest areas in the high-tech industries and academic research. You can find computer vision applications everywhere – starting from your smart-phone camera, surveillance and security, Google maps, medical diagnosis, autonomous cars and so much more. While a strong Computer Vision developer must posses a solid knowledge in math and theoretical computer science, the core to a successful algorithm lies in a good programming. That’s why Maria also enjoys teaching Computer Programming.
Assistant Director of Graduate Advising & Student Services
Stephanie is responsible for managing all aspects of student services for the MSCS ALIGN and MSCS students, and providing support to the program director.
Her background is in secondary education, teaching English in several states and abroad. Most recently she has worked in student services at the University of Washington.
Stephanie’s undergraduate degree is in Secondary Education-English from Arizona State University. She earned her MEd from the University of Washington Bothell focusing on first generation students and digital storytelling. As a first generation student herself, she served on the leadership and development team to create a mobile digital storytelling lab, First Generation Students: Telling Our Stories: http://firstinourfamilies.org.
Tamara received her PhD from the University of Washington in 2015, specializing in security and privacy of emerging biomedical technologies. Since graduation, she has been a part of pre-public local Seattle startup, focusing on biometric methods. She also teaches a variety of security and privacy courses at Northeastern University and at the University of Washington. Tamara feels very strongly about diversity in engineering, and about bringing women to and retaining them in STEM. In her free time, Tamara enjoys going to playgrounds and running.
Marlin is currently teaching discrete math for NEU’s align students in Seattle. He worked at Microsoft from DOS 1.0 to Windows 95 and was one of the lead designers for Windows 1.0 He left to form an internet startup, which he ran until the internet bubble burst and took everything down in flames. Most recently he has worked for the University of Washington in the Language Learning Center, building tools for language teaching and assessment. His research interests at this point are primarily in computer based education and User interface design. He got his undergraduate degree in Physics at Whitman College and his graduate degree in Mathematics from the University of Washington. When he is not writing code for fun he plays guitar and too many computer games.
David has over 25 years of experience in the software engineering field working at Microsoft as well as several start-ups. His research and development expertise lies in diagnostic tooling for developers including debuggers, profilers and crash-dump diagnostics. He has also contributed to the fields of video compression, musical notation, e-commerce and music referral systems. His current interests lie in computer-assisted learning systems, especially as applied to adult learning. When not in front of a computer, David enjoys ballroom dancing and other partner dancing, Science Fiction, Kung Fu and Yoga. He recently spent a year volunteering for the TEALS program where he taught Introduction to Computer Science to high school students and helped build the curriculum for that program. David holds a B.S. in Applied Math/Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University.
Hosung is currently working as a software engineer in Microsoft’s Azure cloud business. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was a tenured associate professor of computer science at University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. He received his Ph.D. in computer science and engineering from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His B.S. and M.S. degrees are in electrical engineering from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. Before coming to US for his doctoral degree, he worked at Samsung SDS as a systems engineer. His experiences in both academia and industry and also in both computer science and non-CS major gave him some unique insights about how one should develop their career in this field. He started teaching part-time recently, after missing the joy of learning and sharing for some while, and enjoys it very much.
Fei received her PhD in second language studies from Michigan State University. Her research interests include computer-assisted second language learning and teaching, second language reading, writing and vocabulary acquisition, and task-based language teaching. Previously, Fei was an instructor in the Department of English at the University of Indianapolis where she taught the psycholinguistics course at the TESOL master program. She also taught writing and ESL courses at various levels in China and in the U.S. A life learner of foreign languages, Fei is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and English, and intermediate in German.
BenJamin Visscher Hole IV
Ben is a recent PhD (2016) who teaches and studies in areas of ethical theory, ancient philosophy, and philosophy of mind (psych/cog/neuro). His dissertation, “Virtuous Activity is Sufficient for Happiness and Minimally Favorable Circumstances Are Necessary for Virtuous Activity,” lies at the intersection of his research interests. In 2012-13, he served as Coordinator of Teaching & Learning and the Director of the Writing Center for the Department of Philosophy and developed a secondary research interest in the scholarship of teaching and learning.
College of Engineering
College of Engineering
“Yahav is a Technical Program Manager at Microsoft in the Azure Compute team. He is also a Ph.D. candidate at the Colorado State University in the Department of System Engineering. He helps develop the Microsoft’s ultra compute service, the public and private clouds. He has been a practitioner of software engineering for over a decade, with experiences at BMC Software, Mobilitec (startup), Lucent Technologies, and Microsoft. He received his B.A. in Computer Science from the Open University of Israel in 2005 and a Master in Information Systems from the University of Phoenix in 2014. His primary focus is optimization and scheduling problems in cloud-based distributed systems. His research interests include utility computing and distributed software engineering.”
Dr. Andrei Guschin is a lecturer in management at the University of Washington, and has taught at the leading universities in Eastern Europe and Canada. He served as chair of the Venture Lab, a division of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Enterprise Forum of the Northwest, from 2010 to 2012. Guschin also co-founded two technology companies, including Bionavitas, Inc. He was a postdoctoral associate at MIT, and holds a PhD from the Russian Academy of Sciences, as well as a master’s degree from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. He has also studied at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan.
College of Engineering
Siva Dosapati teaches Application Engineering and Development. He has been working in the software industry in various roles for more than 18 years, and currently works as the Senior Director of software engineering for CDK Global. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electronics and communications engineering from JNTU Hyderabad, India. Dosapati has architected, designed, and developed highly scalable platforms, products, and solutions in automotive, manufacturing, banking, human resources, and payroll domains. He enjoys networking with different people and playing poker in his free time.
College of Professional Studies
Commerce and Economic Development
Robert Scott Gassler holds an MA in economics from the University of Washington and a PhD in economics from the University of Colorado. Scott has published in journals in economics, political science, education, library-information science, nonprofit organizations, planning, environmental science, and systems science. His works have been translated into Dutch, Italian, Persian, and Russian. He has taught courses in virtually every field of economics, plus some in political science, management, mathematics, and statistics. Scott recently retired as Professor of Economics at Vesalius College of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium. Before moving to Everett, WA, Scott spent a year with his wife as volunteer teachers in a secondary school in North-East India. He is a science-fiction and fantasy fan.
Commerce and Economic Development
Samir received his PhD candidate in Economics from the University of Washington. His main research interests lie within the fields of International and Monetary Economics, though his research questions have heavy economic growth and economic development themes. Some of the topics he has studied include informality, optimal scal and monetary policy, sudden stops,economic growth, exchange rate volatility, labor mobility and currency unions. Samir grew up in Ouagadougou, Burkina-Faso and attended the University of Oregon for his undergraduate studies. He loves to dance and occasionally teaches dance classes in Seattle and around the United States.
Michael Kuntz is a member of the graduate faculty at Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies. He is a mechanical engineer and a recently retired associate technical fellow from the Boeing Company, where he conducted projects in research and development of new materials and manufacturing processes in aerospace applications. Kuntz also has experience in construction and equipment engineering projects. He holds an MBA, with a technology and engineering management specialty, and has had extensive practical experience in leading teams in construction, manufacturing, and research and development projects. Kuntz acquired his Project Management Professional Certification in 2005 and is a registered professional mechanical engineer in Washington. A lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest, Kuntz enjoys skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer.
Yvonne Freitas McGookin is an accomplished organizational development professional with more than 25 years’ experience in the government, higher education, and nonprofit sectors. Her interests have focused on advancing organizational performance through leadership development and talent management. She is also interested in career development, and has conducted career transition courses and workshops. McGookin grew up in Boston, where she received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Emmanuel College and a MEd, with a concentration in organizational development, from Cambridge College. She has been on the faculty of Cambridge College and Bellevue College. In her free time, McGookin enjoys hiking, painting, jazz music, theater, and traveling.
College of Professional Studies – Career and Academic Coach
Sharon Leary is a Northeastern alum, graduating from the Master of Science program in College Student Development and Counseling in 2011. During her time at Northeastern, she took advantage of Northeastern’s experiential learning opportunities, working in career services and academic advising, and is excited to now be integrating those two functional areas in this new role on the Seattle campus. Prior to returning to Northeastern, Sharon spent nearly five years doing career counseling and developing and delivering professional development programming at MIT. Sharon is originally from Philadelphia and got her bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota, where she also spent her time swimming for the Golden Gophers. In her free time, Sharon enjoys traveling, a good workout, watching her favorite sports teams, and exploring the city.
College of Professional Studies – Lecturer
Tiffany earned her Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Washington, Seattle in December 2016. Tiffany’s research and teaching interests are in environmental law and politics, as well as socio-legal studies. While at the University of Washington, Tiffany taught several Geography courses, including one on globalization and another on social science research design. She has also previously taught in the Law, Societies, and Justice Program at University of Washington, engaging alongside her students with such topics as criminal justice, immigration, and environmental regulation. In Seattle, Tiffany enjoys drinking coffee and listening to the radio station KEXP.
College of Social Sciences and Humanities
Security and Resilience Studies
Ann Lesperance has more than 30 years of experience as a researcher and project manager in domestic and international fields including environmental and public health analysis, disaster management, and recovery from natural and man-made events. She is currently the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) Director of the Northwest Regional Technology Center for Homeland Security located in Seattle, Washington. Ann works extensively with federal, state, and local emergency managers and public safety officials on technical and policy issues with an emphasis on terrorist activities, biological events, port security, and critical infrastructure protection. She advocates a bottoms-up approach to public safety and disaster management, focusing first on the local level then linking the state and federal levels to ensure meaningful preparedness, response, recovery, and resilience actions are defined.
Level – Bootcamps
Level – Data Analytics
Dr. Rutu Mulkar-Mehta is the founder of a local Seattle startup called Ticary Solutions, for custom solutions in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning. She received her Ph.D. from University of Southern California in Computer Science, with a specialization in NLP. Rutu loves languages – both Natural Languages and Programming languages. She speaks English, Hindi and Gujarati fluently and bits of Korean and Spanish. Rutu is very passionate about increasing the representation of women in technology. You can often find her speaking at conferences and events sporting her yellow scarf.
Jim has been a CEO of multiple startups such as OZ Communications and Vantrix serving a global customer base. He was also an exec at AT&T Wireless leading technology introduction for messaging, GSM and UMTS. He started in banking software and then immediately followed that with worldwide software development and deployment of wireless software applications at Motorola. His most noteworthy accomplishments include writing software to dispatch taxis in some of the world’s largest cities, leading technology development for American Idol voting at AT&T and growing a messaging startup which was purchased by Nokia. His primary focus at Northeastern is developing the bootcamps in cloud computing program at Level Seattle and conducting custom cloud and analytics training for businesses.