Behind great causes are great people
Lead Faculty Dennis Shaughnessy
Founder & Executive Director
Dennis Shaughnessy founded the Social Enterprise Institute, an academic unit within the D’Amore-McKim School of Business, and is its first and only Executive Director. Professor Shaughnessy provided the seed capital to start SEI in 2007, and remains its principal donor. Professor Shaughnessy created the undergraduate curriculum for social enterprise studies at NU in 2008, which now lead to either a business major within the entrepreneurship concentration or an interdisciplinary minor. He also introduced social enterprise to the MBA program at NU. His courses range from an introduction to global social enterprise and economic development, to impact investing and microfinance, as well as field research programs in the Dominican Republic (Haiti), South Africa and Nicaragua. These unique field programs and on campus courses and seminars have led to NU’s social enterprise program being one of the largest and most diverse among undergraduate institutions worldwide, with nearly 500 students from NU and partner institutions engaged in social enterprise research, learning and service each year. He also created and teaches seminars in social enterprise in NU’s Honors Program, including impact investing programs in which students invest capital from outside donors in organizations providing enterprise solutions to global poverty. Professor Shaughnessy is also the faculty advisor to the SEI Student Association, the SEI Newsletter and the SE Review, and has won numerous awards for his teaching. In addition to his role as Executive Professor at NU, Professor Shaughnessy is also a Distinguished Visiting Professor at TSiBA of Cape Town, South Africa (a free university for disadvantaged students) and INTEC of Santo Domingo, DR, where he teaches courses in social enterprise. Professor Shaughnessy is an investor and a philanthropist as well, supporting social enterprises that bring innovative and high impact solutions to global poverty. In addition to his work at NU and SEI, Professor Shaughnessy has more than 25 years of experience as a business executive, corporate director, lawyer and public servant. His advanced degrees include a doctorate in law (Univ. Maryland), and masters degrees in business (NU) and social policy (Univ. Michigan).
Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship & Innovation
Gordon Adomdza, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Prior to joining the DMSB faculty at Northeastern University, Professor Adomdza was a lecturer at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada and Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He also worked with Continuum Innovation, in Boston, on projects towards the development of design-innovation curriculum; with the Canadian Innovation Centre, in Ontario, on market analyses for new ventures; and with General Leasing & Finance Co. Ltd., in Ghana, as a financial analyst.
Gordon’s research interests are in the areas of micro-level entrepreneurship and corporate entrepreneurship, with a developing interest in innovation & design for the base of the pyramid, as well as sustainable business models for social entrepreneurship. He teaches courses in the areas of innovation and entrepreneurship to undergrads and grads at Northeastern. The innovation course identifies ideas through design strategy and was co-developed with Continuum Innovation. Gordon also teaches a course utilizing human centered design and innovation concepts for emerging markets and the base of the pyramid.
Gordon graduated from University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, in 2008 with a Ph.D in Management of Technology, an MASc in Management Science and an MA in Applied Economics. He also got a BA in Economics from University of Ghana, West Africa.
Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship & Innovation
Sophie Bacq, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the College of Business Administration. Professor Bacq received her PhD in Economic and Management Sciences from the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium. Her research interests include social entrepreneurship, governance and management issues in hybrid organizations, and international new ventures. She has published book chapters and articles in international peer-reviewed journals and is the author and editor of several forthcoming books. Professor Bacq’s teaching experience covers entrepreneurship, corporate strategy, social entrepreneurship, as well as field trip experience in India, among others.
Prior to joining Northeastern University, Professor Bacq was a Visiting Scholar at New York University Stern School of Business. She holds a Master’s degree and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Engineering from the Université Catholique de Louvain and studied a semester at the National University of Singapore in 2005.
Assistant Director of Programs
Esther Chou currently works at the Social Enterprise Institute as the Assistant Director of Programs. She graduated from Northeastern University with a Bachelors of Arts in International Affairs & Economics and is pursuing a Masters of Business Administration. As an undergraduate, Esther interned for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Meheba Refugee Camp in rural Zambia by helping to resettle refugees from Rwanda, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan. She also worked for a refugee relief organization as the Project Manager for their micro-finance services, helping to create income opportunities for rural farmers and small business entrepreneurs. She has spent three years working in the international development field in central and southern Africa.
Laura is an Economics and Political Science dual-degree major. She is an alumnus of the SEI’s South Africa Field Study Program 2012 and a former teaching assistant in Boston and Cape Town. First introduced to the topic of social innovation during an internship at the White House Domestic Policy Council, Laura has remained committed to its principles through co-op at the MacArthur Foundation and an independent research project in Costa Rica. As a program co-op at the Executive Office of Administration and Finance for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Laura was a procurement team member for an online social innovation tool to increase ideation among state employees and citizens. Interested in the cross-section between the private and public sectors, Laura looks forward to further developing initiatives between the two.
Web & Knowledge Manager
Nate Bessa is dual majoring in Computer Science and Business. Nate serves as the Web & Knowledge Manager for SEI and he is developing the new Social Enterprise Review website. Nate is also involved in Project Plus One, an organization supporting health care systems in Timor-Leste. Nate helped to co-lead the student steering committee which hosted the Millennium Campus Conference at Northeastern in the Fall of 2012; MCC 2012 engaged over 1,200 students from across the globe to take action on the UN Millennium Development Goals. Nate recently returned to NU after completing his co-op at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital. Nate’s interests lie in health care technology and research.
Urban Engagement Manager
Melissa is a Business student concentrating in Marketing and Social Entrepreneurship and pursuing a minor in Urban Studies. She first became involved with the Social Enterprise Institute during her freshman year by volunteering with the Citizen Schools program. She is now the Urban Engagement Coordinator for SEI, organizing the Citizen Schools Writing Coach program. She participated in the 2011 South Africa Field Study Program in Cape Town and has previously served on the E-Board of Net Impact. She completed her first co-op in Spring 2012 at Oxfam America, working in the Community Engagement Department. Melissa completed her second co-op at the Doorways to Dreams (D2D) Fund where she assisted with marketing and communications along with project work focused on saving at tax time and college readiness and financial access.
Co Editor-in-Chief, SE Review
Olivia is student at Northeastern pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs with minors in Global Social Entrepreneurship and Business Administration. Her involvement with the Social Enterprise Institute, as well as her interest in social entrepreneurship and microfinance stems from her participation in the institute’s Field Study Programs to the Dominican Republic in 2011 and South Africa in 2012. Olivia has completed co-ops at City Year, a non-profit working to bridge the achievement gap in under-performing schools and Root Cause, a nonprofit consulting firm based in Boston, MA.
Co Editor-in-Chief, SE Review
Audrey is an Honors student pursuing a BSBA in Social Entrepreneurship and Finance with minors in Spanish and International Affairs. Audrey has worked closely with the Social Enterprise Institute since 2010 and is currently the Managing Editor of the Social Enterprise Review. In addition to her work with SEI, Audrey serves as an Investment Analyst and Coach at IDEA: Northeastern’s Venture Accelerator. Much of Audrey’s time at IDEA has been dedicated to expanding its social venture portfolio.
Audrey completed her second and final co-op at The Boston Consulting Group, the world’s leading advisor in business strategy. There, she gained exposure to BCG’s Social Impact practice area and their clients within it. Audrey has also co-oped at Root Capital, a social lender that invests in agricultural SMEs in Africa and Latin America. In addition to completing two co-ops, Audrey has interned for Grameen America, a microfinance organization that provides financial services to low-income entrepreneurs in the United States.
Audrey has traveled to the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and South Africa with SEI to consult with social enterprises and micro-entrepreneurs. In July 2013 she traveled to Ghana to conduct her own research surrounding entrepreneurship and innovation in West Africa.
Audrey is looking forward to a career in the social enterprise space in either a consulting or investing capacity. She hopes to gain experience in these fields through continued work, study and travel with the Social Enterprise Institute.
Secretary, SEI SA
Gail is a Political Science and Business Combined major with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and Innovation and a minor in International Affairs. She has been a Teaching Assistant and Honors Scholar, and went on the Dominican Field Study. She is currently on the executive board of the SEI Student Association and a contributor to the SE Review.
Senior Staff, SE Review
Rachel is a Political Science student pursing minors in International Affairs and Social Entrepreneurship. She has held coop positions as both the Legislative Intern and Interim Manager at the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women, an independent government agency that reviews the status of women throughout the Commonwealth and makes policy recommendations to elected state-wide officials. During the summer of 2012, she participated in the SEI Field Study Program in Cape Town, South Africa. Her first experience in the social enterprise sector was in 2011, when she co-oped at Root Cause, a research and consulting firm for nonprofits in the Greater Boston area. Rachel is particularly interested in domestic issues pertaining to low-income populations as well as cross-sectoral collaboration for the purpose of greater social impact.
Ali Matalon is an honors student at Northeastern University and a Social Enterprise Honors Scholars. Ali has not yet declared a major but is hoping to find a field of study that allows her to pursue her interests in international issues, as well as, issues in her home community. She is currently pursuing both Spanish and Social Global Entrepreneurship minors and will be attending the SEI– led, Dialogue of Civilizations in the Dominican Republic this summer. Ali Matalon is a Jamaican student and has travelled to various parts of Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. Ali enjoys meeting new people, writing spoken word poetry and hopes to continue exploring different parts of the world through service projects and co– op opportunities.
Samantha is an Honors student with an International Affairs major and minors in French, Psychology, and Global Social Entrepreneurship. Having been born and raised in a third world country (Venezuela), she has always been interested in the problem of poverty and how to alleviate it. After taking Professor Shaughnessy’s Social Entrepreneurship class, she realized that there are many alternatives when it comes to doing something for the world and those less fortunate in it.
Once she became aware of the many ways of helping to eradicate poverty (such as social enterprises) Samantha has wanted to participate in the SEI in order to be able to help in any way possible. She applied to the Social Enterprise Honors Scholars Program and was accepted. To further develop her skills, she also applied to the Field Study Program in the Dominican Republic and, with 30 other students, will go this summer to study and put into practice what she will have learned, directly with Esperanza International, a company that works to create social change.
From the time she came to Boston, especially to Northeastern and SEI, Samantha has been impressed by the way in which people come together to help those in need and hopes to be able to collaborate in the future and pay back in some measure for all the amazing opportunities that life has given her.
Communications Associate, SEI SA
Becky Darling is an International Affairs and Human Services dual major, she is also pursuing minors in Social Entrepreneurship and Communications. Her first co-op was with Root Cause, a non-profit consulting firm focused on collaboration as a way to foster social innovation. She is also a founding member of reweave, an organization that provides resources for social enterprises to facilitate social impact, where she curates the online social marketplace. Becky traveled to Nicaragua with SEI’s capstone course and created a business plan for a women’s jewelry cooperative in La Chureca, Managua. This plan was also presented at the Clinton Global Initiative University last spring, with three other SEI students.
Marisa Kallenberger is an honors student from Irvine, California. She is currently undeclared, but is leaning towards majoring in Business with minors in Human Services and Global Social Entrepreneurship. Having taken Professor Shaughnessy’s Social Entrepreneurship class just by chance, it opened up a whole new world for her. Marisa had been hesitant in the past to declare business because she is not the ideal stereotypical businesswoman, but social entrepreneurship gave business a new dimension to her studies. She currently participates in the Citizen Schools Program as a writing coach to an 8th grade student at Orchard Gardens Public School. Marisa loves volunteering and traveling, and hopes to participate in future SEI-led dialogues to South Africa or the Dominican Republic.
Molly is an honors student pursuing an International Affairs major with minors in Spanish and Social Entrepreneurship. She came to Northeastern with a number of goals, including one of learning more about ways in which to combat poverty. With this goal in mind, she took Professor Shaughnessy’s seminar class and has since become very interested in the field of Social Entrepreneurship. She is excited to be learning more about microfinance while participating in the Dominican Republic Field Study Program during the summer of 2013. She volunteers for the Citizen Schools Program as a writing coach for an 8th grader at Orchard Gardens School. In the future, Molly hopes to co-op with social businesses working to fight the vicious cycle of poverty.
Aline Beylerian is an honors student who enjoyed taking Professor Shaughnessy’s Voices of Development Freshman Inquiry class. Aline is majoring in Economics, minoring in Global Social Entrepreneurship, Arabic, and International Affairs. She is also a very active member of the SEI Student Association’s E-Board. She attends Leadership Council meetings for Global Advocacy and Impact Organizations and is the Student Government Association’s Liaison to SEI Student Association. Helping others is a priority of Aline’s as she is the Service Coordinator for SEI where she coordinates monthly volunteer activities for students and was a writing coach for 8th grade students from Orchard Gardens through the Citizen Schools program this past year. At Northeastern, she also enjoys participating in activities including tutoring Arabic for the Peer Tutoring Program and being a part of the Armenian Students Association. Aline hopes to continue to travel the world while helping people through Social Enterprise.
Melissa Furci is an International Affairs and Modern Languages (Spanish) major with a minor in Global Social Entrepreneurship. Sparked by her interest in travelling and humanitarianism, she participated in the South Africa Field Study Program in 2012. After learning more about social enterprises and their power to fight poverty and improve living conditions she has been committed to the cause. After completing her most recent co-op at Esperanza International, a microfinance institution in the Dominican Republic, Melissa hopes to continue her pursuit in social entrepreneurship and work to better the lives of the poor worldwide.
Urban Engagement Coordinator
Matt Turis is a Mechanical Engineering student with interests in energy, climate change, and education. After taking Professor Shaughnessy’s global social entrepreneurship class in 2011, Matt participated in the 2012 South Africa Field Study program to practice class principles in a real life setting and explore a new part of the world. Matt has participated in SEI programs before, such as the 8th Grade Academy at Orchard Gardens, and this is is the first year he will be running BizKids with Citizen Schools. In his free time Matt enjoys outdoors and training for Marathons. Matt plans to pursue a career in the power generation and energy industries.
Marketing & Communications Associate
Susan is a pursuing a BSBA degree with dual concentrations in Marketing and Entrepreneurship & Innovation. She is a volunteer at the Josiah Quincy Elementary School facilitating academic activities and providing homework support to children in an after school enrichment program. Her passion to help people improve, grow, thrive and succeed has been developing through experiences in subject tutoring, teaching English in Boston and abroad, and peer mentoring. Taking this energy and desire to make measurable positive impacts, she participated in the 2013 South Africa Field Study Program to learn more about how social enterprises and entrepreneurs can empower communities to create positive change. Susan aspires to a career in cause-related marketing and advertising.
Social Media Officer, SEI SA
Estefania Arenas is an International Affairs major with minors in African Studies and Global Social Entrepreneurship. Before coming to Northeastern, Estefania was very interested in the work of multi-lateral international organizations and development. During her first year in Boston, she enrolled in a Globalization class where she first learned about social entrepreneurship. Estefania is currently the Social Media guru with the SEI Student Association at Northeastern. She is originally from Venezuela.
Treasurer, SEI SA
Miranda is an honors student pursuing majors in International Business and Finance with minors in Spanish, International Affairs, and Global Social Entrepreneurship. Miranda currently serves as an advocate at LIFT Roxbury, working to help clients with issues of homelessness, unemployment, and education. She also volunteers for ETHOS and 8th Grade Academy as a writing coach. In addition to being involved in the Social Entrepreneurship Institute Student Association, Miranda is an active member of the Northeastern International Relations Council, where she serves on the Board of Directors. She is looking to pursue travel opportunities and co-ops focused on social innovation and financial services in Latin America. Miranda is inspired by the transformative potential of using business for global good and is excited to be one of the many passionate students involved with the Social Enterprise Institute.