Faculty Involvement

 Faculty Involvement

The Department of Residential Life sees the value of the interaction between students and faculty and thus has created multiple opportunities for out of classroom experiences that bring both together. “The more students interact with faculty in a variety of formal and informal settings, the greater the degree of students will be committed to the institution,” (Pascarella, 1980).

Not only does this type of involvement improve the experiences of students, but research has shown that faculty also have a lot to gain from these interactions. “Faculty tend to have a greater understanding of students’ needs, expectations, strengths and challenges to help guide faculty in the classroom when teaching and meeting with students about their academic expectations and challenges they may face,” (Pascarella, 1975).

There are a number of opportunities for faculty to become more involved with students’ academic and personal experiences.

 FACULTY in Residence

Mission Statement

The Faculty in Residence Program seeks to create an integrative and transformative Northeastern student experience by cultivating opportunities for enjoyment and learning.


To set the standard for engaging the residential student with faculty beyond the classroom to catalyze personal and professional development.


  • Welcoming Community: The Faculty in Residence Program will foster an environment of comfort, care, and sense of belonging for students.
  • Respect and Acceptance: The Faculty in Residence Program will promote a culture of awareness, inclusion, and comfort with difference.
  • Learning and Inquiry: The Faculty in Residence Program will help students to gain perspective, develop curiosity, and critically question their values and beliefs.
  • Life Skills: The Faculty in Residence Program will create collaborative opportunities and skill-based programs for personal and professional development.
  • Engaged Citizen: The Faculty in Residence Program will encourage students to model ethical behavior and help them to become effective communicators for positive change.

Meet our Faculty in Residence... 

professor Michael hoppmann, phd

Department of Communications Studies
221 Holmes Hall
email: m.hoppmann@northeastern.edu

A little bit about Michael's background…

Originally from the Harz mountains in Northern Germany, Michael spent most of his adult life in Tübingen, where he studied Philosophy and Rhetoric, and did more competitive debating than is good for any single person. In 2008 Michael came to Northeastern for a one-year PostDoc in the Communication Studies department – and never left again. Currently Michael is an Assistant Teaching Professor and serves as the Public Speaking Director at Northeastern.

Michael has two core academic interests: 1) understanding what it takes to communicate reasonably and 2) train people to communicate effectively. Sometimes the two overlap, sometimes they don’t. The first area is usually referred to as “Argumentation Theory”, the study of norms and felicity conditions of reasonable communication, or – more figuratively speaking – formal logic’s, younger, prettier and more approachable twin sister. The second area is Public Speaking Pedagogy and Rhetoric at large – which is why the Director of Public Speaking is his dream job.

A little bit about Michael's interests…

Too many to list, but some of the active hobbies that stand out are: climbing (only indoor so far, but with credible plans to take it outdoor as soon as the time allows), skiing (growing up in the German mountains does that to a child), live music (and loving what Boston has to offer in that regard) and travelling (yet another wonderful fit for an active academic).

Professor Marilyn Minus, PHd

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering 
334H Snell Engineering Center
email: m.minus@northeastern.edu

A little bit about Marilyn's background…

Professor Marilyn Minus, in an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. She received her Ph.D. in August of 2008 at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Polymer Engineering. In addition to being a faculty member, mentor, and research advisor – Prof. Minus is the director of the Macromolecular Innovation in Nano-materials Utilizing Systems Laboratory (MINUS) research lab. Her current research interests involve understanding the process-structure-property relationships in nano-composite materials.  Her work also focuses in the area of fabrication and characterization of advanced high-performance polymer-based nano-composites, where she looks at the interfacial interaction of these polymers with carbon nano-materials to understand morphological behavior in high-performance composites. In addition to her scientific research, Prof. Minus is also committed to teaching and thinking about diversifying the ways in which undergraduate engineering education content is delivered to the student in terms of its relevance to everyday life as well as its place in the larger scheme of a particular scientific field. In doing so, it may be possible to help students become lifelong learners as well as ambassadors in their fields.

Prof. Minus is a member of the Society of Plastic Engineers, American Chemical Society, and Materials Research Society. Prior to joining the faculty at Northeastern she was a Research Scientist at Georgia Institute of Technology in the School of Polymer, Textile, and Fiber Engineering.

As a Faculty in Residence (FiR), Prof. Minus is committed to becoming an integral part of the diverse residential community. She is interested in helping students find and develop a work/life balance to maximize enjoyment of all their college experiences both inside and outside of the classroom. Her interests beyond research involve cooking, art, movies, sports, games, gardening, and math. Prof. Minus is looking to make the most of all of her interests to connect with many students through a variety of FiR programs.

A little bit about Marilyn's interests…

Marilyn is very keen on trying to live a balanced life. To this end, she is very interested in weaving together both her life and work interests. Her interests and hobbies include, solving puzzles, cooking, all sports, art (drawing and painting), watching documentaries, and just taking out time help others. Marilyn also loves the ocean, having grown up in the Bahamas the water is a big part of her peace and calm.


Professor Shan Mohammed MD, MPH

Department of Health Sciences
312C Robinson Hall
email: s.mohammed@northeastern.edu

A little bit about Shan's background…

Shan grew up in the village of Milan, Ohio (birthplace of Thomas Edison, for trivia buffs) and majored in Music History/Musicology at the University of Michigan prior to serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer on the Thai-Laotian border with the Thai Ministry of Public Health. He subsequently earned his master of Public Health degree from Boston University and his MD degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He completed a fellowship in Academic Medicine with a focus on End-of-Life Care at University Hospitals Case Medical Center. Prior to arriving at Northeastern University in 2007 Shan served as a faculty member in the Department of Family Medicine and the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University. He currently directs the Master of Public Health Program in Urban Health in Bouve College of Health Sciences.

"A consistent love of mine is teaching and mentoring. Whether it was when I taught piano and trombone lessons to children, shared iodine supplementation techniques with Thai villagers, or served as an attending physician with interns and resident physicians caring for hospitalized patients I have found the educational process rewarding, even during its most challenging moments. Every time I teach I learn something new and I particularly enjoy the questions, knowledge and experiences that Northeastern students bring to our conversations!"

A little bit about Shan's interests…

Shan is a passionate lifelong learner and focuses on maintaining a healthy work/life balance by carving out time to spend with family and friends, experience nature (hiking, biking, kayaking and Nordic skating), read a good book, sample global cuisines, enjoy the arts (museums, concerts, theater, independent films) and try contemplative practices life yoga and meditation.

"As a physician and public health educator, I try to practice what I teach; living in Boston provides great opportunities to create strong social networks, maintain an active and healthy lifestyle, broaden your perspectives, and create lifelong memories! I look forward to creating many opportunities to learn with and from students as a Faculty in Residence in International Village."



Professor Thomas J. Vicino, mpp, PhD

Department of Political Science and School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs
3410 Renaissance Park
email: t.vicino@northeastern.edu

A little bit about Tom's background…

Originally from Washington, D.C., Tom joined the faculty of Northeastern University in 2009. He holds PhD and MPP degrees in Public Policy from the University of Maryland. Additionally, he holds a BSc, cum laude, with departmental honors in political science, from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. Tom specializes in the political economy of cities and suburbs, focusing on issues of metropolitan development, housing, and demographic analysis. He is the author of numerous publications, including four books on topics in urban affairs. He teaches courses in political science, public policy, and urban studies. In 2014, he was a Fulbright Scholar in Brazil.

A little bit about Tom's interests…

Tom is an enthusiastic global traveler, enjoys reading, playing the trumpet, and photography as well as exploring good Italian food. For many years, he played the trumpet, marching in stadia and parades throughout the country and world, including his time as a member of the Band of the Hour Marching Band at the University of Miami. As an urbanist, Tom enjoys exploring cities - their people, their buildings, their communities - throughout the world.

"As scholar of the metropolis, I am especially excited to join the Faculty in Residence program to integrate the life of the city of Boston into the educational experience for students at Northeastern. My goal is to make Boston an 'urban laboratory' for learning and living."

FiR Programs hosted by Tom

Tom brings a passion and enthusiasm for experiential learning through faculty involvement. Tom seeks to create living learning communities for students in East Village by focusing on contemporary issues in politics, society, and the city. Tom also proudly serves as the faculty advisor to two student organizations at Northeastern University: College Democrats and Huskies for Alternative Transportation. 

"I want to create opportunities for students to learn about the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the world, especially cutting edge areas of health, security, and sustainability - the pillars of scholarly work at Northeastern University. By exposing students to these ideas outside of the classroom, I hope to reach a broader audience and motivate them."


Other Faculty Involvement Opportunities and Commitments

These opportunities and commitments can range from a simple one time in residence hall program to a field trip within the Boston area to a commitment of living in a residence hall as a Faculty in Residence (FiR). Faculty who participate can request to work with first year students only or second years and above. Outlined below are examples and time commitments for out of classroom interactions with faculty and students.

30 Minute Program:
  • Attend a program held in a residence hall
  • Take a coffee break with a resident and Resident Assistant (RA)
  • Hold a 30 minute office hour in one of the college affiliated Living Learning Communities
60 Minute Program:
  • Hold a faculty dinner
  • Facilitate a class review session of supplemental workshop
  • Facilitate a discussion about your research
  • Hold an office hour in one of the college affiliated Living Learning Communities
Over an Hour:
  • Attend a field trip with residents to an event in the Boston Area (Freedom Trail tour; trip to the Museum of Fine Arts; attend a performance at the Symphony)
  • Hold a weekly/bi-weekly book club
  • Become a Faculty in Residence

There will always be a student staff member (Resident Assistant) or professional staff member (Residence Director) to help plan and facilitate programs.

If you’re interested in becoming more involved in the lives of our students outside of the classroom, please contact Christina Alch (c.alch@northeastern.edu), Associate Director for Residential Life.

Example Programs:

Spooky Science w/ Professor Courtney Pfluger

  • Dry ice and liquid nitrogen ice cream. “the interactive elements of our presentation had the students in awe and asking inquisitive questions” – RA, Jake Burrell

Meditation and Quality of Life w/ Professor Carey Nolan (Faculty in Residence ’09-’12)

  • A guided meditation session in the Scared Space

How to Run a Cookie Factory and Other Lessons from Professor Susan Freeman

  • Freeman led an interactive session with students, showing them how to run a cookie sandwich assembly line and creating competition between teams to see who can be the most efficient after a crash course in Industrial Engineering for non-engineers.

A Knice Knitting Class w/ Professor Ben Caras

  • Residents in the Creative Expressions LLC learned how to knit. “Faculty programs are fun!” – Melvin Hall resident