Behind great causes are great people

Dennis Shaughnessy

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).


Gordon Adomdza

Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Gordon Adomdza, PhD, is an Executive 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.


Sophie Bacq

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. 

Sara Minard

Sara Minard

Executive Professor, Assistant Academic Specialist

Dr. C. Sara Minard is a socio-economist, lecturer, writer, development practitioner and policy analyst with 15 years of experience working in the areas of economic development policy, market-based approaches to development, design methods for development practice, social entrepreneurship, social finance, and program design, monitoring and evaluation. Before joining Northeastern, Dr. Minard taught for five years in the Economic and Political Development concentration at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) where she launched the school’s first courses in social entrepreneurship for development and social enterprise in India, and taught the core courses in methods for development practice.

Prior to Columbia, Dr. Minard’s economic policy research expertise includes five years at the OECD (Paris) leading research and policy dialogues on private sector development, informal economy and policy coherence for development in 18 countries in West Africa, and consultancies with the World Bank, IFC and UN agencies where she has designed strategies on socially responsible investing and banking, as well as policy strategies for creating enabling environments for social enterprise, including the tools for social impact assessment and reporting. She serves as the Chair of Columbia University’s Advisory Education Sub-Committee on Socially Responsible Investing and sits on several social enterprise boards.

Dr. Minard earned her PhD in Economics from Sciences Po in Paris (highest honors) and a dual-degree Masters in International and Public Affairs from Columbia/SIPA and Sciences Po. She is fluent in French, Spanish and Wolof, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal.

Ali Matalon

Ali Matalon

Co- Project Manager


Ali Matalon is an honors student at Northeastern University and has worked with SEI since her Freshman year. She is a Political Science and Business major with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and minors in Global Social Entrepreneurship and International Affairs. Ali has served with us as an honors scholar, teaching assistant and program coordinator for a trip to Jamaica this past year. Ali now serves as the SEI Project Manager alongside Samantha Odreman, planning and executing local events, international trips and acting as Teaching Assistants for Professor Shaughnessy’s ENTR2206 classes. In the past, Ali took part in the SEI field study to the Dominican Republic in 2013. As a Jamaican student, Ali is eager to see positive and lasting change not only in her country but around the world. Holding the Co– Project Manager position, she hopes to use this opportunity to develop relationships and explore possibilities with local and international advocates in the field of social development. 



Samantha Odreman

Co- Project Manager


Samantha Odreman is an Honors student with an International Affairs major and minors in Business Global Social Entrepreneurship. Having been born and raised in Venezuela, she has always been interested in the challenges of poverty and how to overcome them. After taking Professor Shaughnessy’s Social Entrepreneurship class in her Freshman year Samantha participated in the Field Study Program to the Dominican Republic in 2013. Alongside 30 other students, she was able to put into practice what she has learned, working with Esperanza International, a company that works to create social change. 

Since then, she has worked worked with SEI as an Honors Scholar, a Teaching Assistant, a Program Assistant and now holds the Co– Project Manager position. She has always been impressed by the way in which people come together to help those in need and hopes to facilitate the development of impactful relationships in her new position. This summer 2015, she will join Professor Shaughnessy and 44 other students in a Field Study Program in South Africa. 


Gail Batutis

SEI Global Fellow, India Program

Gail is a fourth-year Political Science and Business Administration dual major with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Gail also has a minor in International Affairs. She began her career at Northeastern with the freshman Honors seminar on social enterprise, then went on to be chosen as one of two Honors Program Scholars, and was a Teacher’s Assistant for the freshman class the following year. Gail attended the Dominican Republic and Cuba field study in 2012, has been a contributor and Senior Editor to the Social Enterprise Review, has served on the Executive Board of the SEI Student Association, and has tutored local eighth graders in the Citizens Schools Writing Scholars program. This past spring, she spent her second co-op in India as the inaugural SEI Global Fellow. She worked for Aakar Innovations, a start-up social enterprise creating micro-enterprises where women make sanitary pads for themselves and their surrounding communities, bringing education, livelihoods, and health solutions to the rural poor. She is currently working to develop their operations-based impact measurement tool. She has also studied at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Gail looks forward very much to the continuation of her work with social enterprise at SEI and in the world.

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Daniel Russotto

Honors Scholar

Daniel Russotto is a Computer Science major in the University Scholars Program who became introduced to the world of social entrepreneurship through Professor Shaughnessy’s Voices of Development seminar. This introduction has inspired him to commit to the fight against extreme poverty in the developing world. To this end, he took an active role on the executive board of Northeastern’s chapter of Room to Read during its inaugural year. Daniel will work as an Honors Scholar and Teaching Assistant for the Fall 2014 semester of Voices of Development. He looks forward to helping the Northeastern chapter of Room to Read expand in its second year, recruit new members and help them become involved in social entrepreneurship. Daniel is eager to discover innovative and new ways to assist in alleviating extreme global poverty.  



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Eesha Ramanujam

Honors Scholar

Eesha is a second-year Finance student with minors in Global Social Entrepreneurship and International Affairs. Eesha was intruded to the Social Enterprise Institute through Professor Shaughnessy’s Voices of Development seminar. She became further involved through the class’s Impact Investing Pitch project and the Dominican Republic Microfinance Field Study program. This past year, Eesha had the opportunity to help start Northeastern University’s chapter of Room to Read, a leading literacy and education organization. Apart from her involvement with SEI, Eesha has served as an SAT tutor and college counselor and volunteered with the service organization Circle K. She has also been involved with the Asian Student Union in addition to UTSAV, the South Asian cultural association. This year, Eesha is excited to work as a teaching assistant for the Voices of Development seminar, and to get more involved with SEI’s work in any way possible. Eesha is thankful to have been exposed to SEI and the concept of using business as a tool for poverty alleviation.


Nico Rodriguez

Research Associate

Nico is a Business student with concentrations in Marketing, Management Information Systems, and Entrepreneurship. In the summer of 2011, he participated in the SEI Dominican Republic Field Study program where he was first introduced to social entrepreneurship. In the two years following, he continued pursuing social entrepreneurship courses and joined SEI once again on the capstone spring break trip to Nicaragua where he had the opportunity to study how small coffee farmer cooperatives operate. His capstone project involved designing and implementing a drip irrigation system in Mata Los Indios, Dominican Republic to help the community increase their level of income from the sales of their crops and to provide an increase of job opportunities for the residents. Nico’s past co-ops include working for PBS, General Electric, and this coming year he will be working for Bluewolf. Nico plans to graduate in May 2014 and pursue a career in consulting, hoping one day to be a part of a consulting organization that works with small enterprises and entrepreneurs in the developing world

Aline B.

Aline Beylerian

President, SEI SA

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. 


Miranda Beggin

Treasurer, SEI SA

Miranda is a third-year honors student in the D’Amore-McKim School of Business pursuing a Finance and Political Science dual major with a minor Global Social Entrepreneurship. Miranda is currently a Project Manager for the Social Enterprise Institute, where she co-manages our buildOn chapter, is the Editor-in-Chief of the Social Enterprise Review, works as a Teaching Assistant, and serves on the Executive Board of the SEI Student Association. This past May, Miranda traveled with SEI to the Dominican Republic & Cuba, where she did a Microfinance field study and led a glasses distribution project through VisionSpring. Apart from SEI, Miranda is also involved in the International Relations Council, traveling and competing in Model UN, NATO, and Arab League conferences and IDEA, where she works as an Investment Analyst. Miranda did her first co-op as a Financial Analyst at in Seattle. Miranda looks forward to her next co-op, ideally in impact investing.

Paula Bass Werner

Paula Bass Werner

Program Assistant, Field Research Program

Paula is a senior major­ing in Inter­na­tional Affairs with minors in both Social Global Entre­pre­neur­ship and Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion. She is originally from Bolivia and was introduced to SEI during her sophomore year at Northeastern University. Ever since, Paula has been interested in perusing a career in Social Entrepreneurship. She has traveled to the Dominican Republic SEI on two occasions; as a student in 2010 and as a Program Assistant during the summer of 2013. Paula has also interned at the Cen­ter for Women and Enter­prise, a local non profit that helps female entrepreneurs start and grow their own businesses. Most recently, Paula spent the past spring semester in Panama working closely with two women to assist them in opening their own businesses. She provided support in drafting business plans and raising the seed capital needed in the initial phases for their enterprises. In addition, Paula worked in an initiative to bring clean water to San Miguel, a small town in the outskirts of Panama city. She created partnerships with the local Representante and the Water Committee to open a dialogue about the water situation in the town and possible solutions. Paula is eager to continue working in this field and learning more alongside the SEI team. 


Becky Darling

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 which focuses on collaboration as a way to foster social innovation. Becky has also interned at Invested Development, an impact investing firm for innovative technology startups in emerging markets. Additionally, as a founding member of reweave, an organization that provides resources for social enterprises to facilitate social impact, she developed marketing strategies and helped to curate the online social marketplace. 

In 2013, 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 3 other SEI students

Molly Mohr

Molly Mohr

Communications Associate, SEI SA

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.


Estefania Arenas

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.