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.
Caitlin is a senior Communication Studies student concentrating in Public Advocacy and Rhetoric with minors in Global Social Entrepreneurship and International Affairs. Through her first co-op at Root Cause, participation in the South Africa Field Study, and various service activities, she has become increasingly dedicated to social enterprise and the positive effects that it can have. Her subsequent co-ops led her to six months in India working for the Deshpande Foundation to train young professionals in social entrepreneurship and business skills and then back to Boston to work for the Office of the Provost in assessing their first-year programs. Caitlin recently returned from a Critical Language Scholarship with the U.S. Department of State and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs where she studied Hindi in-country for three months. Originally from Colorado, Caitlin enjoys hiking, snowboarding, and anything outdoors.
Kelly is a senior Honors student pursuing a major in International Affairs and a minor in Social Entrepreneurship and Psychology. Since working for SEI her freshman year, Kelly has a vested interest in micro-finance and impact investing and hopes to earn an MBA after graduation. Kelly participated in a Dialogue of Civilizations program in Indonesia where she researched how to increase personal finance management skills among young orphaned adults preparing to enter the job market. She also participated in an Arabic immersion Dialogue in Jordan. Outside of SEI, Kelly has volunteered for local non-profits including Citizen Schools and Horizons for Homeless Children. Kelly has co-op for the Grameen Bank researching micro-finance in Bangladesh as well as for PrimatesPeru researching tamarin monkeys in the Peruvian Amazon.
Writer in Residence
Monica is a fourth year International Affairs and Environmental Studies dual-degree major with a minor in Social Entrepreneurship. In the summer of 2011, Monica participated in the South Africa Field Study Program. She has cooped at Oxfam America, an international relief and development organization that creates lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and injustice. Her second coop was at the Corrymeela Centre, a peace and reconciliation center in Northern Ireland. She is currently interning at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and is working on their Toxics Use Reduction Program. Monica is interested in pursuing a career in environmental policy and sustainable development. Monica hopes to use her experiences and knowledge of social entrepreneurship to help foster and support innovative solutions to environmental issues, both domestically and globally.
Web & Knowledge Manager
Nate Bessa is a junior at Northeastern University, 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.
Teaching Assistant, Capstone
Sarah is a senior International Affairs major with minors in Global Social Entrepreneurship and Mandarin. She completed a 5-month co-op at the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh in 2011 researching their micro-credit delivery model and financial product development, and a second co-op with a start-up company in Shenzhen, China in the Spring of 2012. With an increasing interest in sustainable enterprises that promote income development for smallholder farmers, Sarah recently created a 4-month independent study in Kenya this past fall and engaged with innovative enterprises in the country’s IT and agricultural sector. With plans for a future career in SE strategy development, she will be returning to Kenya after graduation to work in business development for mSurvey—a telecommunications social venture that develops M&E systems for companies working in emerging markets.
Sarah has joyfully worked with the Social Enterprise Institute since her arrival at Northeastern. Through exposure to consulting with social enterprises and entrepreneurs in the Institute’s field studies in the Dominican Republic, Belize and South Africa, Sarah has been energized by the potential of the private sector to generate lasting economic development. After garnering interest in conflict resolution in the Balkans this past summer, Sarah someday hopes to build environments of entrepreneurship into the reconstruction of post-conflict states.
Urban Engagement Coordinator
Melissa is a third year 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 first year by volunteering with the Citizen Schools program. She is now the Urban Engagement Coordinator for SEI, organizing service learning events and the Citizen Schools Writing Coach program. She participated in the 2011 South Africa Field Study Program in Cape Town and is also 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. She is excited to continue her studies around Social Entrepreneurship and integrate it in her upcoming Spring co-op.
Michael Behan is a fifth year business student at Northeastern University concentrating in social entrepreneurship and finance. He is a Public Relations Associate at the Social Enterprise Institute and founder of a start-up social business, Njabini Apparel. Michael recently participated in the South Africa Field Study this past summer after completing an international co-op working for Flying Kites Global in Kenya.
Olivia is a third year 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. She was formerly the President of Northeastern’s Net Impact chapter. Olivia completed her first-co-op at City Year, a non-profit working to bridge the achievement gap in under-performing schools, an experience that grew her interest in urban education inequity in the US. Olivia is currently on co-op at Root Cause, a non-profit consulting organization based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Rob is a fifth year International Affairs and Economics student with a minor in Social Entrepreneurship graduating this May. In 2007, Rob traveled to Swaziland with the U.S Funds for UNICEF and Key Club International to visit several UNICEF project sites in order to return to the states, raise funds, create marketing material and advocate on behalf of the programs at various community service conventions. This experience, in addition to Professor Shaughnessy’s Social Entrepreneurship class and the South Africa Field Study Program, inspired his involvement with the Social Enterprise Institute. His experiences with TechnoServe Guatemala and a cross-cultural consulting firm in Boston have inspired Rob’s interest in not only in the efficiency, sustainability, and impact of social enterprises, but that of all types of enterprises around the globe.
Audrey is a fourth year Honors student pursuing a BSBA in Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation and Finance with minors in Spanish and International Affairs. In addition to her work with the Social Enterprise Institute, Audrey serves as the Investment Officer for IDEA: Northeastern’s Venture Accelerator and is an active member of the Northeastern undergraduate chapter of Net Impact. Audrey volunteers as a “freelance farmer” with The Food Project as often as her busy schedule allows.
Audrey is currently on her second co-op at The Boston Consulting Group, the world’s leading advisor in business strategy. Audrey completed her first co-op at Root Capital, a social lender that invests in agricultural SMEs in Africa and Latin America. She has also 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 the Social Enterprise Institute to consult with social enterprises and micro-entrepreneurs.
Audrey is looking forward to a career in strategy consulting for social enterprises, specifically those in the impact investing space. She hopes to gain experience in these fields through continued work, study and travel with the Social Enterprise Institute.
Rachel is a third year Political Science student pursuing minors in International Affairs, Business Administration, and Social Entrepreneurship. She has volunteered for the Tandana Foundation through the 2010 Alternative Spring Break program in Otavalo, Ecuador, helping construct a water filtration system for a local Ecuadorian community facing health issues. Although she has always been interested in humanitarian issues, the field of social entrepreneurship has especially inspired Rachel. She recently completed her first co-op at Root Cause, a research and consulting firm for nonprofits focused on social impact and cross-sectoral collaboration. At Root Cause, Rachel gained a greater appreciation for the social issues prevalent in the United States, including homelessness, school readiness, and youth violence. This summer she will be participating in the SEI Field Study Program in Cape Town, South Africa.
SEI Student Association Secretary
Gail is a second-year Political Science and International Affairs student in with a minor in Global Social Entrepreneurship. In the past she has been an Honors Program Scholar and a Teaching Assistant for the Freshman Honors Inquiry Seminar, as well as participating in the 2012 Dominican Field Study program. She currently serves as the Secretary of the Social Enterprise Institute Student Association. Inquiries or suggestions related to SEI SA may be directed to SEISA.Secretary@gmail.com.
Teaching Assistant, Field Research Program
Laura is a fourth year Economics and Political Science dual-degree major. She is an alumnus of the SEI’s South Africa Field Study Program 2012. 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. The connections between economics and policy are ubiquitous, and Laura wishes to see further integration of social entrepreneurship and impact investing in decision-making across all sectors. Originally from Germany, and raised in Chicago, she enjoys visiting family where ever they may be, photography, and writing.
Anahi Santoyo Delgado
Program Assistant, Field Study & Research Program
Anahi is a second year International Affairs student pursuing a minor in Social Entrepreneurship. While traveling in her native Mexico and other less developed nations in Central America, Easter Europe and the Middle East she encountered various poverty issues and became interested in finding solutions.
This past summer she participated in the Dialogue of Civilizations to Brazil where she did community work at the favelas. This semester she is a Program Coordinator for the Nicaragua Advance Capstone trip and the Dialogue of Civilizations to Dominican Republic.
Since taking Professor Shaugnessy’s class she has become very enticed with microfinance and has the intention to pursue a career in the social enterprise sector after Northeastern.
Teaching Assistant, Field Research Program
Rebecca Willett is a senior Honors student pursuing a BA in International Affairs and Anthropology with minors in Social Entrepreneurship and Latin@, Latin American, and Caribbean Studies. She has studied human rights and development in Costa Rica, cooped in Honduras as an English teacher and volunteer coordinator at a primary school, and traveled throughout much of Central America, including Panama, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and El Salvador. She has also traveled to the Dominican Republic three times during her career at Northeastern, including with the SEI microfinance field study in 2012. Having recently completed a coop as a Program Assistant at Interise, a Boston-based nonprofit working in small business development nationwide, Rebecca hopes to continue working to improve opportunities for small entrepreneurs and their families in the US and Latin America. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, Latin dance, and spending time with her family and two dogs.
Honors Program Scholar
Ali Matalon is a first year 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.
Teaching Assistant, Honors Program
Catia is a senior studying International Affairs and Environmental Studies with minors in Social Entrepreneurship and Political Science. She currently works for the Massachusetts Executive Office for Administration and Finance, coordinating and implementing reforms that change the way government does business through the Governor’s annual budget. While she is presently focused on development here in Massachusetts, her passion for helping others help themselves has led her on Research and Field Studies to Nicaragua, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Geneva, Saudi Arabia, and Iceland. Catia looks forward to a career in economically and environmentally sustainable development.
Edwina de Abreu
Edwina de Abreu is a senior business student at Northeastern University concentrating in Entrepreneurship and Marketing. Her first coop was at Diagnostics for All, a nonprofit that is trying to develop affordable, easy to use diagnostic devices for patients in the developing world. Her second co-op was as a marketing assistant at Appneta, a network performance management business. She became involved with the Social Enterprise Institute recently, when she took Professor Shaughnessy’s Social Entrepreneurship class. Now, she is looking forward to the unique and practical experience she will gain by participating in the Spring Break Capstone Trip to Nicaragua and the South Africa Field Study in the summer. Born and raised in Mozambique, Edwina plans on returning home with a wealth of knowledge and experience to help alleviate poverty in her country
Paula Bass Werner
Program Assistant, Field Research Program
Paula is a fourth year student majoring in International Affairs with minors in both Social Global Entrepreneurship as well as Business Administration. During her sophomore year she participated in the capstone program to the Dominican Republic and has since then being very interested in pursuing a career in the social enterprise sector. She has also interned at the Center for Women and Enterprise, a local non profit that provides business training for women. Paula plans to go back to her native Bolivia for coop in the upcoming fall and work with cooperatives that provide basic services such as water and electricity.
Honors Program Scholar
Samantha is a first year 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.
Urban Engagement Coordinator
Michelle is a senior Human Services student with minors in Social Entrepreneurship and International Affairs. She has been studying nonprofit management and spent her most recent co-op as the volunteer manager for an education nonprofit working with international exchange students. Her most recent internship was at Interise, which provides business education programs to entrepreneurs in low-income communities; she hopes to continue working with small businesses in Boston. Michelle participated in SEI’s 2012 Field Study to South Africa and a 2010 Dialogue to Costa Rica. While on campus, she volunteers with The Art Collaborative and Global Pathways. Michelle grew up between Las Vegas, NV and New London, CT and enjoys spending time cooking and reading.
Communications Associate, SEI Student Association Leadership
Becky Darling is a sophomore International Affairs and Human Services dual major, she is also pursuing minors in Social Entrepreneurship and Communications. She will soon be traveling with the Social Entrepreneurship capstone course to Nicaragua to gain first hand knowledge of the struggles of the rural poor, with a particular focus on coffee cooperatives in the country. Becky enjoys traveling and has spent time in Europe, as well as Central and South America. During the remainder of her time at Northeastern, Becky hopes to participate in SEI Dialogues to the Dominican Republic as well as South Africa. She hopes to pursue social entrepreneurship in her future co-op search, as well as a potential career path.
Marisa Kallenberger is a first year 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.
Mika is a junior Human Services major, specializing in children and family services, and minoring in Social Entrepreneurship and Business Administration. Since taking Professor Shaughnessy’s class, she has become very interested in finding sustainable solutions to eradicate poverty. Prior to becoming involved with the Social Enterprise Institute, Mika completed her first co-op at Root Cause as a Social Impact Research Fellow Assistant. There, Mika developed a greater understanding of domestic social issues, such as Youth Development and College Access, as well as the best practices to address these issues. In addition to SEI, Mika serves as Co-President to the student group, Northeastern Students4Giving, a student philanthropy group that makes lasting impact in the community through informed grantmaking. This summer Mika will be participating in the South Africa Field Study Program.
Finance Associate, SEI Student Assocation
Armaan Bhutani is a sophomore pursuing a degree in Business Administration with a dual-concentration in Finance and Entrepreneurship as well as a minor in Economics. After having lived in New Delhi, India for five years, Armaan has a strong interest in ending the vicious cycles of poverty and illiteracy. He is currently working on a start-up involving financial literacy and entrepreneurial education in the prison system, with the use of mentoring and micro financing programs. In the future, Armaan hopes to be involved with many businesses and projects that have impactful social goals.
Ellie is a fifth-year International Affairs student with minors in Social Entrepreneurship, East Asian Studies, and Political Science. Through her involvement with the student group Peace through Play, she completed her first co-op at a small community high school on an island in Belize. The following year, she completed a co-op at Physicians for Human Rights in Cambridge, MA and spent the fall semester studying human rights and development in Latin America at the International Center for Development Studies in San José, Costa Rica. As a member of the FACE AIDS Ride Against AIDS team in 2012, she biked from San Francisco to Boston with seventeen other students to increase public awareness of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the U.S. Her participation in the Ride Against AIDS led to a third and final co-op working for FACE AIDS and Partners in Health in Rwanda. She was introduced to SEI through the South Africa Field Study Program during the summer of 2011 and has been involved ever since.
Molly is a first year 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 circle of poverty.
Aline Beylerian is a first year honors student who enjoyed taking Professor Shaughnessy’s Voices of Development Freshman Inquiry class. Aline is majoring in Economics, minoring in International Affairs, Global Social Entrepreneurship, and Arabic. Helping others is a priority of Aline’s as she is a writing coach for 8th grade students from Orchard Gardens through the Citizen Schools program and is the service coordinator for SEI. At Northeastern she also enjoys participating in activities including, the Armenian Students Association, the Entrepreneurs Club, and the SEI Student Association. In her free time at home in New Jersey, Aline enjoys playing the piano, being active in her church community, and spending time with her family. In Aline’s future she hopes to continue to travel the world while helping people through Social Enterprise.