Charlotte Faculty + Staff
Cheryl L. Richards, Ph.D.
CEO and Regional Dean
As CEO & Founding Regional Dean of Northeastern University-Charlotte, Dr. Richards was the first regional executive for Northeastern University’s Global Network that now boasts campuses in Ft. Bragg, Seattle, Silicon Valley and Toronto. In it’s 5 years of operation, the Charlotte campus has grown to offer more than 40 master’s and doctoral degrees, accelerated bachelors, numerous graduate level certificates and non-credit programs and serves students across the Southeast Region including North and South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
Dr. Richards is a recognized community leader serving three terms on the Charlotte Chamber’s Executive Committee where she is currently Chair of Talent Development. She also is currently on the boards of Apparo, Charlotte Regional Partnership, Charlotte Chamber, Smart Start of Mecklenburg County, United Way’s Women United Cabinet and serves as as mentor to a WINGS scholar. She recently completed consecutive board terms with MeckEd and Women Executives where she held multiple leadership posts including president.
Dr. Richards has been honored in Smart CEO’s inaugural class of Charlotte’s top female CEOs, twice by the Mecklenburg Times as one of Charlotte’s 50 Most Influential Women and was named 2014 Woman of the Year. The Charlotte Business Journal has recognized her as a 40 Under Forty leader and a Top 25 Women in Business. A frequent presenter and speaker, she has also served as guest host for Carolina Business Review.
Dr. Richards holds a bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication, a master’s degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education, and Ph.D. in Leadership for Higher Education. She and her husband of 22 years are proud parents of two children.
Margaret “Peg” Bernhard, DPA
Associate Dean, Campus Administration
Dr. Margaret “Peg” Bernhard is responsible for the delivery of academic programs; campus and operational planning; and licensure, compliance and accreditation processes. Prior to joining Northeastern University, she served in a variety of administrative roles at Western Michigan University and Marquette University including Director of Academic Programming and Outreach, Interim Vice Provost for Extended University Programs, Research Officer, Director of the Employee Assistance Academic Program and Director of External Relations for the College of Business Administration.
Dr. Bernhard was assistant professor for the School of Community Health Services at Western Michigan University and an adjunct instructor for the College of Professional Studies at Marquette University.
Dr. Bernhard has a doctorate in public administration, master’s degree in educational leadership, and bachelor’s degree in political science and organizational communication all from Western Michigan University. She has also completed a master’s degree in dispute resolution at Marquette University.
Director of Student Affairs and Faculty Services
As director of student affairs and faculty services, Carlie Houchins serves as an ambassador to prospective and current students, members of the community, business leaders, visiting faculty and other university administrators. She supports students through academic advising, registration and policy guidance, while maintaining a safe and effective environment for students.
Houchins has extensive academic experience as an adjunct professor at various universities and colleges in the Charlotte area. Her teaching focus has been largely in marketing and public relations, which stems from her professional background in business.
Houchins received an MBA in marketing management from the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Conn.; and a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. She is currently completing an Ed.D. in educational leadership at the University of North Carolina Charlotte, where she was awarded the Graduate Assistantship and a full-tuition scholarship. For her outstanding merit, she was invited to be a member of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society.
Campus Operations Manager
Roxanne Ward serves as the campus operations manager. She is the primary point of contact for campus administration, communications management, finance, ITS, HR, and business operations.
With a professional background in higher education, Ward is attuned to what engages and inspires students, parents, alumni and donors. Prior to joining Northeastern University, she managed the administrative functions for the president’s office at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, N.C. Ward also supported the president’s office at The Nature Conservancy, an international environmental conservation organization headquartered in Arlington, Va.
Ward received a master’s degree in corporate & organizational communication from Northeastern University and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Maryland University College. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Tau Delta.
Tamara “Tammy” McNish
Assistant Director of Admissions and Community Engagement
As the assistant director of admissions and community engagement, Tammy McNish acts as the primary contact for associations, organizations and community events related to the recruitment and enrollment in the region’s social sector including education, nonprofit, government, sports and tourism organizations.
McNish has several years experience in higher education. Most recently, she was an admissions counselor at Queens University in Charlotte, N.C., where she recruited adult students and promoted the university’s programs. Prior to Queens, McNish managed alumni relations, special events and communications at her alma mater, Hood College. There, she was also the assistant editor for Hood Magazine, the college’s alumni publication.
McNish received a master’s degree in sports leadership from Northeastern University–Charlotte and a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from Hood College in Maryland, where she graduated with departmental honors.
Assistant Director of Admissions and Industry Engagement
As the assistant director of admissions and industry engagement, Avalos serves as a liaison for the industrial sector of energy, engineering, construction, manufacturing, logistics and distribution as well as aerospace and defense. She works to build alliances with local companies, helping them to leverage Northeastern’s resources for workforce development, corporate education, co-op and research opportunities.
Avalos received a bachelor’s degree in human relations from High Point University, where she also served as a senior admissions counselor. She is currently enrolled in the Master of Education program at Northeastern University–Charlotte.
Marjorie Belizaire serves as the first line of contact for visitors and students on campus and provides administrative support to CEO and Regional Dean Cheryl Richards. Additionally, she provides campus and event support.
MASTER OF EDUCATION
Corliss Brown Thompson, Ph.D.
Assistant Teaching Professor
Corliss Brown Thompson is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Graduate Education programs. Her research interests include teacher education; culture, diversity, and multicultural education; social foundations of education; and program evaluation. Dr. Thompson is the coauthor of the article “Unpacking the CRT in Negotiating White Science,” which appeared in the Cultural Studies of Science Education. She is a member of the American Educational Research Association and the American Education Studies Association. Previously, Dr. Thompson was a teaching instructor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and at East Carolina University, as well as a program evaluation specialist for the Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools and at Evaluation, Assessment, and Policy Connections in the School of Education at UNC Chapel Hill. Dr. Thompson earned both a Ph.D. and master’s in education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Associate Teaching Professor
Leslie Hitch specializes in curriculum development and teaching in the Higher Education Administration program and the Higher Education Administration and Adult and Organizational Learning masters and certificate programs. She is a visiting lecturer for the Swinburne University of Technology–Northeastern University Global Leadership Program in Melbourne, Australia. She has held faculty and administrative positions at Babson and Simmons colleges in Boston. Dr. Hitch earned a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Massachusetts Boston, and MBA and bachelor’s degrees from Simmons College.
Gail Matthews-DeNatale, Ph.D.
Assistant Teaching Professor
Gail Matthews-DeNatale is an assistant academic specialist in the Graduate School of Education, developing and teaching blended and fully online courses on topics like emerging educational trends and adult learning. Dr. Matthews-DeNatale also leads the ePortfolio Initiative and serves as co-principal investigator for the Connect to Learning grant work for the US Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE). Prior to joining, Dr. Matthews-DeNatale was a faculty member at a number of prestigious institutions—including George Mason University, Simmons College and Indiana University—and a consultant to the Educause Learning Initiative, National Endowment for the Arts and Yale University Summer Programs. She is a founding member of the Board of Trustees for the Association for Authentic, Experiential, and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL); and is a former member of the NERCOMP Board of Trustees. She earned her doctorate from Indiana University-Bloomington and bachelor’s degree from Kenyon College.
Lydia R.L. Young
Director of Master of Education Program
Associate Teaching Professor
Lydia Young is a faculty member in the Graduate Education programs, where she collaborates with Master in Education teams to review the current course curriculum and practices. Dr. Young creates innovative programs and opportunities that support teacher development, designs writing curriculum and resources for graduate students, and develops online tools for teacher candidates and university supervisors to network and access resources. From 2008 to 2011, she also served as the director of Field Placement for the MAT program. Dr. Young teaches Language, Culture, and Literacy in the Middle and High Schools; Teaching in the Disciplines: English; Student Teaching Practicum; Research Design in Education; Facilitation and Instruction; and Sociocultural Contexts. Dr. Young is a member of the American Educational Research Association and the National Council of Teachers of English. She was nominated for a Northeastern University Excellence in Teaching Award in 2011.
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN COMPUTER SCIENCE
Tiffani L. Williams, Ph.D.
Professor of Practice and Director of CS Programs, College of Computer & Information Science
Tiffani L. Williams is the Director of Computer Science Programs and Professor of the Practice at Northeastern University’s College of Computer and Information Science in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she will lead the Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS) and ALIGN MSCS programs. Before joining Northeastern, Dr. Williams was a member of the faculty at Texas A&M University, most recently as an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and as an affiliated faculty member in the Interdisciplinary Research Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.
Dr. Williams earned her BS in Computer Science from Marquette University and PhD in Computer Science from the University of Central Florida. Afterward, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of New Mexico. Her honors include a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, and a McKnight Doctoral Fellowship. In 2011, she received the Denice Denton Emerging Leader ABIE award. She was recognized for teaching excellence at Texas A&M in 2016 and 2014 with the Distinguished Award in Teaching by the Association of Former Students and the Undergraduate Faculty Teaching Excellence award, respectively. Dr. Williams was General Co-Chair (2014) and Program Co-Chair (2013) of the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, the largest gathering of women technologists. She is active in mentoring and supervising a diverse group of students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN FINANCE
Harlan Platt, Ph.D.
Professor, College of Business Administration
Harlan Platt is a member of the board of directors of Republic Financial Corporation and the chairman of John Hancock Collateral Investment Trust. He has served on the boards of companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange, the Dublin Stock Exchange, and the NASDAQ. Dr. Platt was the faculty dean for the Turnaround Management Association from 1993 to 2003, where he created its certification exam. He earned a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Maine, a master’s degree from the University of Michigan, and a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University.
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN HEALTH INFORMATICS
Clinical Faculty Member
Director of the Graduate Health Informatics Program
College of Computer and Information Science
Daniel Feinberg has overseen the health informatics programs since 2009. He is the founder of the healthcare information technology and medical device company, RetinaCheck. Feinberg served as president of the New England chapter of the Health Informatics Management Systems Society in 2009–2010. He holds an MBA with a healthcare management focus from Boston University.
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN LEADERSHIP
Teresa M. Goode, Ed.D.
Assistant Teaching Professor
Teresa Goode researches, designs, and teaches graduate-level leadership courses, utilizing her expertise in consulting, process improvement, culture change, organization development, and executive coaching. Dr. Goode brings a global perspective to her work as a result of international work in Mexico and Australia and extensive travel throughout Australia, India, and Europe. Before transitioning to academia, Dr. Goode worked in the telecommunications industry in a number of leadership positions, including as a workforce performance manager for Verizon Inc., an international process consultant for Bell Atlantic, and a management trainer for NYNEX. She is a member of the American Society for Training and Development, and is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources. Dr. Goode is the founder of Goode Leadership Development, a consulting firm that specializes in designing and implementing leadership development programs. She earned her Ed.D. and master’s degree from Columbia University, as well as an MBA from Suffolk University.
Julia Ivy, Ph.D.
Assistant Teaching Professor
Julia Ivy’s research interests include stakeholder relationships, social capital, and business management in ethically and structurally challenging business environments in emerging economies. Prior to joining Northeastern, Dr. Ivy served as faculty at the University of Alaska Southeast, the International Institute of Business in Ukraine, and at the Institute of Privatization and Management in Belarus, and the University of New Haven. Dr. Ivy launched and managed an international training and consulting firm in the United States, Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. She is a Ph.D. in Management candidate at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom, but also has earned a Ph.D. in Social and Educational Psychology from Belarusian State P. University.
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Joseph A. Griffin, PMP
Associate Teaching Professor
Joseph Griffin not only teaches and designs courses, but also serves as a mentor to adjunct faculty members and participates in development work to reach out to new students and build key partnerships with business leaders. Having worked in the residential construction industry, he has published numerous articles related to project management, and is the author of the textbook, Residential Construction Management: Managing According to the Project Lifecycle. Mr. Griffin is an active member of the local and international chapters of the Project Management Institute and the U.S. Green Building Council. A certified Project Management Professional (PMP®), he earned his MBA from Lenoir-Rhyne University and MPM from Western Carolina University.
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN TAXATION
Timothy Gagnon, JD
Assistantociate Academic Specialist, College of Business Administration
Timothy Gagnon is a partner at Coleman & Gagnon, a practice covering personal law, corporate, and taxation areas, including estate planning and administration, probate, nonprofit organizations, taxation, corporate governance and entity structuring. Gagnon is a CPA and has worked for several public accounting firms. He is a member of the American, Massachusetts, Boston, and Rhode Island Bar Associations, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He received a JD from Boston College Law School, an MBA from Sacred Heart University, an MS from Bentley University, and a BS from the University of Maine.
Professor and Golemme Administrative Chair in Accounting
College of Business Administration
A member of the editorial board for the journal Advances in Accounting Education, Professor Rupert’s research interests include cognitive and decision-making processes of taxpayers and tax practitioners. His research uses behavioral methodologies to examine the impact of changes in the structure of the tax system on decision-making and fairness perceptions. He holds a Ph.D. in accounting from Pennsylvania State University, a master’s in taxation, and a bachelor’s in accounting from the University of Akron.
MASTER OF SPORTS LEADERSHIP
Robert M. Prior, Ed.D.
Associate Teaching Professor
College of Professional Studies
Robert Prior brings a wealth of experience as a practitioner in the sports industry—having worked at both the professional and collegiate levels—to Northeastern. Dr. Prior is also a Master teacher who oversees the course design and instruction of select courses delivered by the Sports Leadership faculty. Professionally he has worked for the Boston Celtics, Major League Soccer, Atlanta Braves and the Olympic Committee during the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. His experience at higher education institutions includes playing an integral role in transitioning the Nova Southeastern University athletic program into the NCAA Division II and founding the Sports Management master’s program at Lasell College. He is a board member for the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation as well as a member of the group’s Publicity and Promotions Committee. In addition, Dr. Prior is a member of the North American Society for Sport Management and the National Sports Marketing Network. He earned an Ed.D. from Nova Southeastern University and a master’s degree from Saint Thomas University.