Our Faculty & Staff
Dean and CEO
Scott McKinley has an established track record of leading global innovation and corporate entrepreneurship in the education field throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States. He thrives on taking disparate facts, people, markets, and processes and distilling them into unique and unifying models that drive sustainable innovation. Several noteworthy examples: Scott co-founded Neumont University, a bachelor’s degree granting institution, that addresses the growing demand for comprehensively educated, industry-ready, technology professionals in the US. He led strategic and corporate engagement for Cisco’s Internet of Things education program as well as Laureate Education’s entrance into Asia. Scott has lived and worked outside of the US for 20 years across many Asian countries. He speaks Cantonese, Mandarin Chinese and Arabic. He has an MBA in Finance and International Management from New York University and a BA in International Relations from Brigham Young University.
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.
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.
Director of Student Affairs
Gina Takasugi 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 for evening classes and weekend cohorts. 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.
Bhavya Baxi is a current student in the MS in Project Management program at Northeastern University-Seattle, concentrating in Leadership & Information Security Management. He serves the student community and strives to exceed student expectations as the Campus Ambassador and head of the Student Events and Activities Council (SEAC). Bhavya completed a Bachelor’s of Engineering (B.E) in Instrumentation Engineering from Mumbai University. Previously, he worked as a business development manager and a tutor in a startup. Bhavya believes “experience is the best teacher.” and in living each and every moment of your life to its fullest. He is passionate about playing musical instruments including, drums, piano, mouth-organ (harmonica), flute, percussion and more.
Samyukta has a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy and a master’s in pharmaceutical analysis and quality assurance. She worked for a pharmaceutical firm in India before moving to the United States to pursue her MS in Project Management with a concentration in Clinical Trial Design at Northeastern University-Seattle. She works part-time at the university as admin support assistant. In her free time she enjoys quill and drawing. Samyukta loves summers in Seattle and hiking in the Pacific Northwest.
ITS Support Assistant
Tanvi Sohoni is a student in the MS in Engineering Management program at Northeastern University-Seattle. She also works as the IT support assistant, and can be often found on campus for your IT support needs. Tanvi has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, and has extensive industry experience in machine design as well as CAD software technical support and training. She also has a Master of Arts in Indian classical music and is a versatile vocalist.
ITS Support Assistant
Commerce and Economic Development
Samir is currently a PhD candidate in Economics at the University of Washington. His research interests include Macroeconomics, Monetary Economics and International Economics. The main chapter of his dissertation investigates the impact of a large informal sector on the conduct of fiscal and monetary policy in a small developing country. It also attempts to uncover how the informal sector affects the country’s incentive to adopt a fixed exchange rate. 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.
Janée Baugher holds a master’s degree in creative writing from Eastern Washington University and a bachelor’s in applied physiology from Boston University. She is the author of two books, The Body’s Physics and Coördinates of Yes, and her writing has been featured in roughly 100 journals and anthologies. For the last 14 years, Baugher has lectured across Washington, taught writing courses in Michigan and Alaska, and performed at Seattle’s Bumbershoot Arts Festival and the Library of Congress. She’s currently working on her third book—a collection of speculative essays on oceans, lakes, and rivers.
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.
Siva Dosapati teaches Application Engineering and Development. He has been working in the software industry in various roles for more than 16 years, and currently works as the 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
College of Engineering
Himlona Palikhe received her PhD in systems engineering management from Texas Tech University. She holds a master’s degree in industrial engineering from Texas Tech University and bachelor’s in electronics and communication from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. She has worked as a research associate and instructor at Texas Tech University. Her research interests include engineering management, economic modeling, quality, cost of quality, and electric utilities.
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.
Larissa Stanberry, PhD, is a statistician with experience in biomedical research and the healthcare industry. Over the years, she has worked on a wide range of projects, including studies of brain functioning and structure, high-throughput omics studies, outcomes research, shape analysis, high performance computing, clustering, and machine learning. She is presently a biostatistician at the Seattle Children’s Hospital. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, cross-country skiing, hiking, cooking, and traveling.
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.
Jeremy Walter serves as faculty and advisor for the Global Pathways Program at Northeastern University—Seattle. He has 10 years of experience teaching English as a Second Language overseas and in the U.S. Walter holds a master’s degree in Applied Linguistics and TESOL and a bachelor’s degree in English Studies. In addition to teaching and advising international students at Northeastern, Walter also organizes a variety of cultural activities in Seattle for all faculty, staff, and students to participate in. It’s Jeremy’s goal to support the 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.