Dean’s Office Staff

College of Social Sciences and Humanities
Office of the Dean
420 Renaissance Park,
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

Front Desk 617.373.5173

617.373.xxxx (for extensions listed below)

Dean's Office Staff

Ellen Cushman

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Diversity and Inclusion

Ellen Cushman, associate dean of academic affairs, diversity and inclusion and a Cherokee Nation citizen, is Dean’s Professor of Civic Sustainability and a professor of English. She works with colleagues throughout the college on key initiatives in hiring, mentoring and supporting our faculty. She also provides leadership to the college's faculty, students, and staff in the development of initiatives to promote and sustain a diverse, inclusive and civil campus. Cushman’s research explores institutional and community-based meaning making practices using activist qualitative methods. Her book, The Cherokee Syllabary: Writing the People’s Perseverance (Oklahoma UP, 2011), is based on six years of ethnohistorical research with her tribe and explores the evolution and importance of the Cherokee writing system. Her teaching and service includes public engagement courses in composition and rhetoric as well outreach-based workshops, initiatives, and programs. Cushman earned her PhD from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in rhetoric and communication. She previously worked at Michigan State University where she served as director of the Center for Applied and Inclusive Teaching and Learning in Arts and Humanities and was a professor of writing and rhetoric.

Natasha Frost

Associate Dean of Graduate Studies / ext: 4076

Natasha Frost, associate dean of graduate studies, is also associate professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. As associate dean of graduate studies, she works with colleagues to foster excellence in the college’s graduate programs and to enhance their alignment with our mission in the Experiential Liberal Arts. Frost’s scholarship focuses on mass incarceration and its effects on individuals, families, and communities. Her current research projects focus on correctional officer safety and well-being and she maintains a strong record of externally funded research, involving undergraduate and graduate students in research teams. Frost holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Northeastern University and a PhD in criminal justice from the City University of New York's Graduate School and University Center.

Chris Gallagher

Associate Dean of Teaching, Learning, and Experiential Education / ext: 2193

Chris Gallagher, associate dean of teaching, learning, and experiential education and a professor of English, works with colleagues throughout the college on researching and supporting the undergraduate learning experience; fostering excellence and innovation in teaching; designing and refining curricula and assessment; and strengthening the connections between cutting-edge classroom work and experiential learning. Gallagher’s scholarly expertise is in teaching, learning, and educational reform with a specialization in the teaching and assessment of writing. His is author or co-author of four books and many articles in writing studies and education journals. Gallagher holds a PhD in writing, teaching, and criticism from the State University of New York at Albany and an MA in English from the University of New Hampshire. Before joining the Dean’s Office in July 2014, he was Writing Program director at Northeastern and, before that, a professor of English and composition coordinator at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Jack McDevitt

Associate Dean of Research / ext: 3482

Jack McDevitt, associate dean of research, oversees research in the college, including proposal development, administration of all externally funded research, and identification of external funding opportunities. McDevitt received both his PhD in law, policy and society and his MA in public administration from Northeastern University, and his BA in political science from Stonehill College. McDevitt also directs Northeastern’s Institute on Race and Justice where he conducts research on hate crimes, racial profiling, gun violence, and human trafficking. He has co-authored three books and dozens of articles and has received over $4 million in support for his research. Previously McDevitt served as the associate dean for research and graduate studies in Northeastern’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Matthew Tobin

Associate Dean of Administration and Finance / ext: 8882

Matthew Tobin, associate dean of administration and finance, oversees the college’s administrative operations including finance, human resources, space, and information technology. In his leadership role, Tobin is also responsible for helping set and implement strategy for CSSH. He arrived to Northeastern in 2015 with over 13 years of experience at Harvard University spanning all parts of the institution including academic departments, research centers and central administration. Most recently, he worked in Harvard's Office of Financial Strategy and Planning managing a portfolio of schools with a combined annual budget of $1.9 billion and acting as a close adviser to the university's leadership. Tobin holds a MBA from Boston College and a BS from Babson College.

Elizabeth Bucar

Dean's Leadership Fellow

Elizabeth (Liz) Bucar, dean’s leadership fellow and associate professor of philosophy and religion, works with colleagues throughout the college to foster faculty fellowship and grant activity in the humanities. A religious ethicist, she studies gender and moral transformation within Islamic and Christian traditions and communities. Bucar, author of several books, has been awarded four humanities fellowships and her current research is supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, via The Enhancing Life Project. She has served as an external proposal reviewer for a number of research funding organizations and was one of CSSH’s participants in the university-wide Research Leadership Development Initiative (ReDI) in 2014-15. Bucar received her PhD in religious ethics from the University of Chicago Divinity School in 2006. Prior to coming to Northeastern in 2012, Liz was an assistant professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Erika Koss

Assistant Dean for Strategic Partnerships and Outreach / ext: 6812

Erika Koss, assistant dean for strategic partnerships and outreach, works to develop strategic initiatives for CSSH to support its mission in the Experiential Liberal Arts. She creates and develops partnerships with private and public sector organizations with a focus on graduate admissions. She is a liaison with NU graduate campuses and the Global Network and serves as program manager for the Security and Resilience Studies master’s degree. In addition, she develops and executes strategic events or conferences and provides executive management of the Center for International Affairs and World Cultures. A native Californian, she received her BS from The Master’s College and an MA from San Diego State University. From 2005-2010, she worked at the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, DC, where she was a founding member of the creative teams for The Big Read and Poetry Out Loud. She has taught literature and writing at several colleges and universities in California and Maryland, and in Northeastern's Writing Program.

Mary Mello

Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs / ext: 4369

Mary Mello, assistant dean for undergraduate academic affairs, primarily works with academic advising, admission yield efforts, retention, and cooperative education. She received her MA in English at Northeastern University. Before working as an assistant dean, she held several different positions at Northeastern including director of academic student services for the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, and previously the College of Arts and Sciences.

Amy Killeen

Director of Graduate Student Services / ext: 4366

Amy Killeen, director of graduate student services, specializes in graduate admissions, recruitment, commencement, academic policy, new degree and course proposals, monitoring student progress, and fulfilling data requests. She received her MEd in college student development and counseling from Northeastern University and her BA in communications from The University of Connecticut. She also volunteers her time at the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Massachusetts. In 2010, She was awarded the Unsung Heroine Award from the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women, and has been a past recipient of the President’s Aspiration Award from Northeastern.

Gayle Mackay

Director of Personnel Administration / ext: 4361

Gayle Mackay, director of personnel administration, oversees all personnel functions for the college, including job postings and hiring; the annual merit process; performance management; personnel training; the tenure, promotion and sabbatical processes; and other personnel activities. She received both a BS in business administration and an MBA from Northeastern University. She previously oversaw personnel in the College of Arts and Sciences following appointments in Human Resources Management and the College of Computer Science.

Leslie Casey

Communications and Digital Strategy Manager / ext: 5427

Leslie Casey, communications and digital strategy manager, oversees internal and external communication strategy at the Dean’s Office, including coordinating with the Northeastern news team to identify feature news stories and faculty experts for media inquiries and pitches. She is also responsible for the college’s online presence, website development, and new media initiatives. She has a BS in communication from Boston University, a graduate certificate in business administration from Northeastern University, and is currently pursuing her MBA at Northeastern. She has held similar communication roles at the America East Conference and the Boston College Athletics Department.

Allison Cooper

Budget/Administrative Coordinator / ext: 3165

Allison Cooper, budget/administrative coordinator, is responsible for all daily accounting transactions including journal vouchers, reimbursements, budget transfers, and invoices. She also assists with tracking the Dean's Office financial commitments, space management, and the computer replacement cycle. She holds a BS in accounting from Elon University. She joined the Dean's Office in January 2016 and most recently managed accounting and human resources administrative functions at Falcon's Treehouse, a digital media design company based in Orlando, Florida.

Lauren Kiley

Personnel Coordinator / ext: 5201

Lauren Kiley, personnel coordinator, is responsible for part-time hires, visiting appointments, and extra compensation forms. She also assists the director of personnel administration on hiring and other personnel tasks. She has a bachelors degree in economics from the University of Massachusetts and is pursuing a graduate certificate in human resources management at Northeastern. Before coming to CSSH, she worked within the HR Operations group in Northeastern's Human Resources Management.

Andrew Lawrence

Senior Grants Administrator / ext: 8561

Andrew Lawrence, senior grants administrator, is responsible for working with the college's faculty members to submit grant proposals and manage grant finances. He helps with all pre-award project management, and post-award needs such as proposal document review, financial compliance, budget development, budget reconciliations and financial projection guidance. He has a bachelor’s degree in business management from John Carroll University and an MBA in international business from Baldwin Wallace University. Before coming to CSSH, Andrew worked for the College of Engineering's Office of the Dean as the senior grants administrator, team lead.

Rebecca McDade

Marketing and Communications Manager for Graduate Programs / ext: 3542

Rebecca McDade, marketing and communications manager for graduate programs, develops marketing campaigns and initiatives for CSSH to promote its mission in the experiential liberal arts. She received her BS in communication from Boston University and a certificate degree in graphic and website design from Boston University's Center for Digital Imaging Arts. Before joining CSSH, she was the website manager at the Massachusetts Medical Society, the publishers of the New England Journal of Medicine and the country’s oldest continuously operating state medical society. Rebecca was selected as an emerging female leader for the Boston Chamber of Commerce Women’s Leadership Program for 2015-16.

Melissa Newton

Administrative Assistant / ext: 5173

Melissa Newton, administrative assistant, graduated from Northeastern in 2011 with a BA in cultural anthropology and a minor in East Asian studies. She is currently in a graduate program at Lesley University studying international higher education and international cultural relations. Her varied background includes work at Bloomberg L. P. as a Japanese Finance Research Analyst, a native English teacher at the Amity English Conversion School in Himeji, and an import operations agent for Panalpina.

Dana Ritter

Finance and Administration Manager / ext: 7625

Dana Ritter, finance and administration manager, oversees all departmental and program budgets, and works closely with the associate dean for administration and finance to project revenues and expenses. He joined the college in 2014 from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he most recently served as the chief financial manager for the College of Humanities and Fine Arts overseeing general business operations. He worked closely with department chairs and center directors to build and manage annual operating and capital budgets, partnered with the dean to develop short- and long-term strategic plans, and served on the Chancellor’s Budget Task Force.

Andrew Scott

Information Systems Coordinator / ext: 5278

Andy Scott, information systems coordinator, has worked at Northeastern University for over 25 years. Andy specializes in keeping computers running up to date and installing software, while also maintaining the network database for the Dean’s Office. Prior to working at Northeastern, Andy worked at Dolby Laboratories researching noise reduction equipment.

David Smikle

Dean’s Executive Assistant / ext: 5164

David Smikle, executive assistant to the dean, develops systems to better support the dean’s administrative responsibilities, manages the dean’s calendar, and handles special projects. He received his BA in political science from the College of William and Mary and is currently pursuing an MBA at Northeastern University. Prior to joining Northeastern, he was a paralegal at Iandoli & Desai, P.C., where he worked with a diverse clientele across a wide spectrum of immigration-related matters.

Veena Teli

Senior Grants Administrator / ext: 7498

Veena Teli, senior grants administrator, assists CSSH faculty members with all post-award needs such as reviewing, approving, and processing grant modifications, budget reconciliations, and no-cost extensions; maintaining an archive of college research accounts; providing financial projections; and maintaining overhead and start-up accounts. She has more than 21 years (with seven years in academia) of combined experience in human resources, recruitment, and office management. She has two master’s degrees: one in statistics and one in computer science. Before joining the CSSH Dean’s Office in March, 2014, Veena worked at Northeastern as an administrative coordinator for VOTERS, a NIST grant in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering, since 2011.

CSSH Advancement Team

Carol Giusti-Cahalane

Director of Development / ext: 4792

Carol Giusti-Cahalane, director of development, is responsible for working with alumni who are interested in providing philanthropic support for CSSH. In this role, she helps alumni learn about the many opportunities available at CSSH to make a lasting impact for students, faculty, and programs. She connects potential donors with ideas and projects that match their philanthropic intent. She received her BA in psychology from Connecticut College. Among the schools she has previously represented are Simmons College, Harvard Law School, and Providence College.

Marybeth Savicki

Senior Officer, Corporate and Foundation Advancement / ext: 5464

Marybeth Savicki, senior officer for corporate & foundation advancement, is tasked with identifying, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding private institutional funding sources at the local, national and international level in support of the people and programs of CSSH and interdisciplinary university initiatives. She received a master’s in clinical social work from Simmons College and her BA in American studies from Tufts. Previously, she served as director of corporate relations at Rice University in Houston, and worked as a development officer at both Tufts University and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She was also employed as a social worker serving adolescents and families for ten years and presently maintains her connection to the field as a volunteer.

Peri Onipede

Director of Major Gifts / ext: 5420

Peri Onipede, director of major gifts, fundraises for the various departments and initiatives housed at CSSH from alumni, parents, and friends. She received her MBA from IMD International, Switzerland, and her BS in computer information systems from Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. Previously she worked at Boston University as director of development for the College of General Studies.

Trish McElligott

Development Officer for Individual Giving / ext: 7413

Trish McElligott, development officer, works with the CSSH advancement team to expand the college's alumni outreach and engagement. She joined the Dean's Office in May 2015, but has a long history with Northeastern. Trish spent the previous five years with the University Advancement fundraising team, most recently as the project manager for the Individual Giving team. She is also an alumna and a parent of two current Northeastern students.