Providing opportunities for the University Scholars to find their way through Northeastern is a big job and everyone at the university is committed to the success of our Scholars. While everyone is working hard on the Scholars behalf, there are three people who work most closely with the Scholars to ensure that these students get the most out of their time at Northeastern.
Dr. Jonna Iacono | Director, University Scholars Program
The Director of the University Scholars Program is Dr. Jonna Iacono. Dr. Iacono arrived at Northeastern by way of Brown University, where she earned her Ph.D. in Early American Literature and Cultures. She graduated with honors from Princeton University. Currently, she is at work on a book manuscript about the evolution of the nineteenth-century American novel's theoretical concerns and aesthetic practices. In addition to working with students in the classroom, Dr. Iacono has guided students through the process of applying for and winning nationally competitive fellowships, such as the Rhodes, Marshall, and Fulbright.
Dr. Paola Cesarini | Associate Director, University Scholars Program
A native of Italy, Dr. Cesarini earned her Laurea in Political Science from the Libera Universita' degli Studi Sociali in Rome. Next, she was awarded a Fulbright to study at Columbia University, where she completed a Master of International Affairs and a Ph.D in Political Science. She worked at the World Bank, the United Nations and Columbia University, and taught for a decade at various institutions of higher education. Dr. Cesarini has written extensively about human rights, transitional justice and democratization in comparative perspective (with particular attention to Southern Europe and Latin America). She is fluent in six languages.
Professor of Physics Darien Wood | Faculty Fellow, University Scholars Program
Professor Wood works in the field of Experimental Particle Physics, focusing in particular upon high energy collisions of protons and antiprotons. Professor Wood’s collaborations with scientists at both the Fermilab in Illinois and CERN in Switzerland have been instrumental in determining the masses of both the W and Z bosons and more recently, in producing the best evidence yet of the existence of the Higgs boson. These discoveries represent significant verifications of what is known as the Standard Model, physicists’ most fully fleshed theory to date of how the universe works.
Distinguished Professor of History William M. Fowler Jr.| Faculty Fellow, University Scholars Program
Professor Fowler has worked at Northeastern for over 40 years in a variety of research, teaching, and administrative capacities. During this time, Fowler has written and edited ten books and produced over 50 scholarly articles. His work has primarily focused on Early American history, particularly maritime history and the history of Boston, from the period of European colonialism up through the founding of the Republic. A public intellectual, Fowler writes extensively for the popular press and has served on the boards of organizations throughout New England; he serves or has served as the Director of the Massachusetts Historical Society, the President of the New England Quarterly, the Chair of the Old North Church Foundation, and the Chair of the WGBH Community Advisory Board, to name but a few of his community commitments.
Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Carey Rappaport | Faculty Fellow, University Scholars Program
Professor Rappaport joined the Faculty Fellows in 2013. He serves as an Associate Director of the Bernard M. Gordon Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems. Rappaport has been a professor at Northeastern University since 1987, mentoring scores of undergraduate researchers along the way. He received dual SBs, SM, and Eng from MIT in 1982 and the Ph.D. from MIT in 1987. Rappaport's research has focused upon developing and integrating electromagnetic, acoustic, and optical sensing technologies to detect hidden objects and to use those technologies to meet real world subsurface challenges ranging from humanitarian demining to noninvasive breast cancer detection.
Professor of Biology Erin Cram | Faculty Fellow, University Scholars Program
Professor Cram, who has been a tremendous supporter of the Scholars Program, joined the Faculty Fellows in the Fall of 2013. In her research, she uses the nematode C. elegans to investigate the role that the interactions between cells and their extracellular environments have in controlling tissue architecture, cell survival, and cell migration. Such processes are important for normal animal development and are disrupted in many human diseases. In collaboration with Dr. Carolyn Lee-Parsons of chemical engineering, Cram is also working to improve production of drug compounds by the medicinal plant Catharanthus roseus. Cram was the recipient of the 2011-2012 Excellence in Teaching Award. Cram earned her B.S. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley.