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 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.


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 Volu nteer in Senegal.


Emily Turner

Associate Director of Programs


Emily is respon­si­ble for the pro­gram man­age­ment, devel­op­ment, and advance­ment of the Social Enter­prise Insti­tute (SEI) at North­east­ern University’s D’Amore McKim School of Busi­ness. She man­ages both on cam­pus and inter­na­tional field research pro­grams, as well as leads efforts to raise the exter­nal pro­file of SEI and dri­ves phil­an­thropy fundrais­ing in sup­port of SEI’s pro­gram. Prior to join­ing North­east­ern Uni­ver­sity, she was an asso­ciate in com­mu­ni­ca­tions and investor rela­tions at Root Cap­i­tal, a non­profit social invest­ment fund. She also worked at Har­vard University’s Pro­gram on Intrastate Con­flict as a research assis­tant for the “2010 Index of African Gov­er­nance” and as a micro enter­prise project coor­di­na­tor for Warm Heart World­wide in rural Thai­land.  Emily grad­u­ated from North­east­ern Uni­ver­sity with a Bach­e­lors of Arts in Inter­na­tional Affairs & Polit­i­cal Science.

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 French, Psy­chol­ogy, and 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. 


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.  



Bio Picture

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

Miranda Beggin

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.

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.