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faculty Leadership Development Program
Meet the Inaugural Cohort (2017-18)
Allison Abbott (Ph.D. Tufts University in Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology) is an associate professor in the Department of Biology. Her research lab uses the roundworm C. elegans to study the functions of small regulatory RNAs known as microRNAs. Many of these microRNAs are conserved from worms to humans. The functions of microRNAs are of great interest because many are found to be misregulated in human cancers. Because of this connection to human health, her lab has been funded by the National Institutes of Health since 2008. In addition to her research, Dr. Abbott has served on the Department of Biological Sciences Strategic Planning committee, worked on curriculum reform in her department’s undergraduate committee and currently serves as the chair of the University Board of Graduate Studies. Allison’s husband, Ben (Kemp), is a full-time instructor at Marquette, teaching hundreds of freshmen in the introductory Biology courses. She and Ben have two kids, Adelaide (13) and Silas (11) and two dogs, Gus and Lou. Allison loves to run and is currently rallying the motivation to train for a spring half marathon.
Dr. Arena, who joined Marquette University in 2006, earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry from the University of Torino in Italy, his MBA from Iowa State University, and his Ph.D. in finance from the University of Missouri. Previously, Dr. Arena worked for Procter & Gamble as an environmental consultant, and during his MBA studies he worked at Ames Laboratory, Iowa State University, to develop a method to analyze drinking water on the International Space Station, which is still used by NASA astronauts. Dr. Arena’s research in corporate finance has been widely published in leading finance journals such as the Review of Financial Studies and the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, among others, and his work has been featured in national media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and NPR Marketplace. Currently, Dr. Arena is examining issues in corporate debt, international corporate finance, corporate governance, and litigation risk.
Kati Tusinski Berg
Dr. Kati Tusinski Berg (Ph.D. University of Oregon) is an associate professor of strategic communication in the Diederich College of Communication. Primarily teaching courses in public relations, her research focuses on public relations advocacy, ethics, social media, and corporate social responsibility. Her professional experience includes work in nonprofit and agency public relations. In addition to her responsibilities in the college, Kati also serves on Marquette’s Higher Learning Commission Leadership Team, the University Board of Graduate Studies, and the University Faculty Council. She lives in Cedarburg with her husband and three children.
John Borg, Ph.D. received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Memphis in 1990, a Masters in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1992 and a doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1996. He was awarded an NSF International Postdoctoral Fellowship to Cambridge University from 1996 to 1997. From 1997 to 2002, he was a Lead Scientist for the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, Virginia. He came to Marquette as an Associate Professor in 2002 and was promoted to Professor in 2016. His research area has focused on understanding the behavior of materials undergoing extreme deformation, such as those involved in high-speed impact and explosions. John Borg is a proud husband and father of two girls, Rachael (11) and Evelyn (5).
Ronald A. Coutu, Jr. is a professor and the V. Clayton Lafferty Endowed Chair in Electrical Engineering. He received a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1993, a M.S. in electrical engineering from the California Polytechnic State University (CalPoly) in San Luis Obispo in 1995, and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) in 2004. In 2009, he retired from active duty Air Force after serving for 25 years. From 2008 to 2016, he was an AFIT assistant and associate professor and also the AFIT cleanroom director. He is a California registered Professional Engineer in electrical engineering and a Senior Member of the IEEE and SPIE. He is also a Life Member of the Tau Beta Pi and Eta Kappa Nu honor societies. His current research interests include microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), smart sensors, device fabrication, micro-electrical contacts and phase-change materials.
Dr. Lisa M. Edwards is an associate professor in the department of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology. She received masters and doctoral degrees in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kansas, and was a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame. In her current position, Dr. Edwards is the Director of Counselor Education and teaches courses in multicultural counseling, assessment, and counseling internship. She directs the Culture and Well-Being Research Lab and is a licensed psychologist in the state of Wisconsin. Dr. Edwards’ research and professional interests include Latina/o psychology, maternal mental health and the intersection of multiculturalism and positive psychology.
Leah Flack is an associate professor of English who specializes in twentieth-century literature. She has a B.A. from SUNY at Buffalo Honors College in English and Russian, an M.A. from the University of Chicago in Comparative Literature, and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University in Comparative Literary Studies, with an emphasis in English, Russian, and Classics. Cambridge University Press published her first book, Modernism and Homer, in 2015. She is currently working on a new book, James Joyce and Classical Modernism, which is under advance contract with Bloomsbury Press. She enjoys teaching a range of classes in, among other things, the Western literary tradition, twentieth-century literature, Irish literature, and Russian literature.
Sandra Hunter, Ph.D. is a professor and director of the Neuromuscular Physiology of Movement laboratory in the Exercise Science Program, Department of Physical Therapy where she started as an assistant professor in 2003. Sandra grew up in Australia where she was a physical education teacher for several years before attending graduate school to complete her doctorate at the University of Sydney in exercise physiology. She came to the USA in 1999 for postdoctoral training at the University of Colorado Boulder (1999-2003). Since arriving at Marquette, Sandra has been awarded grant funding for her research on muscle fatigue in healthy and clinical populations, received several teaching awards and authored over 80 journal and book chapter publications in internationally respected outlets. She has an active laboratory with a research assistant, and currently mentors a postdoctoral research associate, four Ph.D. students, two master’s students and several undergraduate research students. She also serves as an associate editor for several journals in her field and has been a keynote speaker at several international conferences on exercise fatigue in Europe, the United Kingdom and the USA. Sandra is married, and along with her husband Jeffrey and their 10-year old, she loves to cycle, run, swim, hike, and ski and attend Elmbrook Church in Brookfield.
Dr. Allison Hyngstrom, Ph.D. graduated from Augustana College with a bachelor's degree in biology and subsequently went on to receive a master’s degree in physical therapy from Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Following her clinical training, she worked for 3 years at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago where she primarily treated patients with neurological injury such as stroke. She then pursued a Ph.D. in neuroscience at Northwestern University in the laboratory of Dr. C.J. Heckman where she studied sensorimotor integration of spinal motoneurons. Dr. Hyngstrom came to Marquette in 2007 and completed a 1-year post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. She joined the faculty of the Department of Physical Therapy in 2008. Dr. Hyngstrom’s primary area of research is studying mechanisms of motor impairment, specifically muscle fatigue, in the chronic stroke population using a variety of biomechanical measurements. In 2012, Dr. Hyngstrom was honored with the “Eugene Michels Young Investigator Award” by the American Physical Therapy Association. She has received research support from the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health.
Heather James earned a M.S.I.S. Library and Information Services from SUNY Albany; she also holds an M.F.A. Poetry from San Diego State University and a B.A. English with a Chemistry minor from University of IL, Chicago. Heather became the Coordinator for Digital Programs and Collections at Raynor Memorial Libraries in January 2017. Previously, she supported Marquette faculty and students’ as a Research & Instruction Librarian with liaison responsibilities to the departments of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Chemistry, and English. Her work and research has centered on collaborations between faculty and librarians in the classroom as well as faculty perceptions of various aspects of scholarly communication. She has been with Marquette University since July 2012.
Dr. Michelle Mynlieff is professor in the department of Biological Sciences and has been at Marquette University for 23 years. She received a bachelor of arts in neurobiology and behavior from Cornell University (1983) and a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (1988).This was followed by postdoctoral training at Colorado State University prior to joining the faculty at Marquette in 1993.Her area of research is in neurophysiology and she has taught a variety of courses from the large introductory biology lecture to an upper division neurobiology laboratory.While at Marquette she has served on a wide variety of departmental, college and University committees.Currently Dr. Mynlieff is chairing the graduate affairs committee in Biological Sciences and is on the University Academic Senate and the University Board of Undergraduate Studies. For the past year and a half, she has also served as Marquette’s inaugural director of academic integrity overseeing all cases of academic misconduct across all colleges.
Dr. Rich joined Marquette University in 2012 after spending three years at Loyola University Maryland. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Notre Dame, and his doctorate from the University of Oregon. Prior to beginning his doctoral studies, he worked for Ernst & Young LLP in their Business Risk Services Group in Chicago and Boston. His primary research interest involves accounting quality in the municipal sector, with particular attention to the influence of governance factors. Dr. Rich currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Governmental and Nonprofit Accounting, and has published articles in several academic and practitioner journals. He teaches the Accounting Information Systems and Intermediate Accounting courses, and serves as the faculty advisor for the Deloitte Audit Innovation Challenge Competition.
Christine Schindler holds a joint appointment as a clinical assistant professor in the College of Nursing and as an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Medical College of WI. She earned a BSN from Marquette University, a MSN as a primary care pediatric nurse practitioner and post-master's certificate as an acute care pediatric nurse practitioner from Rush University, and a Ph.D. in nursing from Marquette University. She practices as a pediatric nurse practitioner with the Special Needs Complex Care team at Children's Hospital of WI where her clinical practice focuses on children with medical fragility. She is the coordinator of the Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner graduate option and her research is focused on preventing serious skin injuries in hospitalized children. In her free time, she loves to bike and play board games with her daughters, attend concerts with her husband, and work on her fledgling guitar skills.
Dr. Silver-Thorn received a BS in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University, a MS in Chemical, Bio and Materials Engineering from Arizona State University, and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University. She also completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Orthopedic Surgery at Northwestern University. Dr. Silver-Thorn is associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and has been a faculty member at Marquette since 1992. She has been involved in MU’s faculty governance serving on the Committee on Faculty, Academic Senate and Faculty Council, and also the Gender Equity Task Force, Faculty Hearing Committee, Sabbatical Review Committee, and Honors Program Advisory Board. She has served on numerous College of Engineering and Biomedical Engineering Department committees as well, many of which involved curriculum design, revision and/or assessment. From 2005-08, she was Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Engineering, spearheading their 2006 accreditation. Her research area is biomechanics and rehabilitation engineering, particularly with respect to prosthetic and orthotic devices; this work has been supported by the NSF, VA, Whitaker Foundation, and industry.
Jennica Webster is an associate professor in the Department of Management. She received a Ph.D. from Central Michigan University, a M.S. from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, and a B.A. from Bowling Green State University. She has taught a variety of graduate and undergraduate courses in the areas of Human Resource Management and Organizational Behavior. Jennica’s research interests center on occupational health psychology with an emphasis on gender, diversity, and underrepresented groups. Her on-campus service activities include her work on numerous Departmental committees, the College of Business teaching committee, research committee, and curriculum redesign committee, and she currently serves on Marquette University’s Academic Senate. Away from work, Jennica spends her time with her husband, Chris, and their twin sons, Sawyer and Sammy.
Gary Meyer (Ph.D. Michigan State University in Communication Theory) is senior vice provost for faculty affairs at Marquette University. In this role, Dr. Meyer helps prepare faculty for a meaningful and successful tenure at Marquette University across the many roles they will take on as teachers, scholars, and university leaders. Dr. Meyer works closely with the Center for Teaching and Learning, which serves as a catalyst for promoting a culture of pedagogical excellence on campus. In addition to his responsibilities for faculty affairs, Dr. Meyer serves as Marquette’s accreditation liaison officer to the Higher Learning Commission. Dr. Meyer served as vice provost for undergraduate programs and teaching for five years before being named senior vice provost for faculty affairs in 2015. Meyer also previously served as associate dean in the Diederich College of Communication and director of the corporate communication major. Meyer’s scholarship over the years has focused on using communication theory to develop persuasive messages primarily around health promotion and disease prevention. Gary and his wife Anne have two boys, Max and Charlie, both of whom attend Marquette.
Rev. Kent Beausoleil, S.J.
Currently the Special Assistant to the Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs and the Vice President for Student Affairs at Marquette University, Rev. Kent A. Beausoleil, SJ has a Ph.D. in Student Affairs from Miami University in Oxford, OH. Rev. Beausoleil, SJ is passionate about faculty leadership development gaining experience through his doctoral work in educational leadership and international comparative higher education, as well as his on-campus higher education work in the areas of vocational and leadership program development. He possesses Master degrees in Public Administration, Philosophy, and Divinity. His primary responsibilities include university accreditation, faculty leadership, mission integration, and the promotion of Ignatian Values on Marquette’s campus. In addition, Rev. Beausoleil, SJ is a visible presence on campus as chaplain for the Marquette University Police Department and for the Division of Student Affairs. He is active in student life through student organization involvement, a facilitator on Student Retreats and as a main presider at student-centered Masses on campus. He is a co-chair of the 2017 Marquette Homecoming Committee, a co-goal steward for Marquette’s Strategic Plan initiative Beyond Boundaries, and was a member of Marquette’s Master Plan steering committee. He is active in the Milwaukee Catholic community as well as a frequent presider for the Three Holy Women and Our Lady of Divine Providence parish communities.
David Buckholdt earned his doctorate in sociology from Washington University in St. Louis. Since coming to Marquette in 1974 he has served as chair of the Department of Social and Cultural Sciences, Associate Vice President and Vice President of Academic Affairs, founding Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, and co-director of the Burke Scholar’s Program and director of the Trinity Fellows Program. Dr. Buckholdt’s early research focused on the application of social exchange theory to behavioral and learning problems of children and youth. More recently he has worked on issues related to the social construction of decision making in human service settings and on faculty stress. One son is a graduate of the Marquette Physical Therapy Program and another is a graduate of the College of Engineering. Dr. Buckholdt is retired as university professor emeritus.
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