Meet Our Faculty

Mary Jane Treacy
Diane Grossman

Average class size: 18

Megan Lambert
LaDonna Christian
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Margaret Costello
Kathleen Millstein

215

Full-time faculty members,
70% of whom are women.

Amitabh Dashottar
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Student-to-faculty
ratio of 10:1

Abbie Frost
Josephine Atinaja-Faller
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“The faculty are extremely accessible. There’s the sense that we’re here for common goals.”

Kara Mellonakos '15HCMBA

Carole Biewener
Susan Duty
Suzanne Leonard
Dolores Pelaez
Mary Jane Treacy

Mary Jane Treacy

I am a Professor of Spanish Language and Literatures as well as Director of the Honors Program. I wrote a doctoral dissertation on drama, the emergence of comedy, in 16th-century Spain with an emphasis on the comedia of Lope de Vega. Soon after this, I turned to the other face of Spanish theatre: the famous wife-murder plays of Lope de Vega and Pedro Calderón de la Barca and from there to violence (state violence as well as violence against women) in Latin American and Spanish literature.

Violence took me directly to Latin American experiences of the 60s - 90s to see how literature and film attempted to make sense of political upheaval and state violations of human rights. I also examined how personal writings—autobiography, essays, interviews—by members of guerrilla movements explained and framed their participation and use of violence to bring about social change. My particular interest was, and remains, in how women joined these forces and how they explain their experiences as gendered (or not).

Interest in social movements took me from Latin American guerrilla organizations to U.S. social movements. I was given the opportunity to teach Roots of Feminism in the WGST program. Soon after, I joined Reacting to the Past, a group of historians and political scientists centered at Barnard College who design role-playing games for college courses in a variety of fields. I saw that their approach was one that would ideally suit the Roots course, except that I was going to have to write it myself. So I did. Greenwich Village 1913: Suffrage, Labor and the New Woman has now been featured at many national conferences and is played in universities throughout the United States.

Diane Grossman

Diane Grossman

Diane Grossman received her Ph.D. in Philosophy from New York University, where she was an Ida Parker Bowne Scholar. She is a Professor of Women's and Gender Studies and Philosophy and Chair of the Women’s and Gender Studies Department. Grossman has served Simmons as Chair...

Megan Lambert

Megan Lambert

Megan Dowd Lambert holds an MA in Children's Literature from Simmons University (2002) and received her BA from Smith College (1996), double majoring in Government and African American Studies. She is a full-time Senior Lecturer in Children's Literature at Simmons, teaching the undergraduate Survey of Children's and YA Literature as well as courses in the graduate programs in Boston and at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. She also coordinates mentorships for MFA students in the program. She has also served as a Visiting Lecturer in the English Department at Mt. Holyoke College, the School of Education at Boston University, and at several other schools throughout the northeast.

For nearly ten years Megan worked in the Education Department at The Carle. This work began in the fall of 2001, a year before The Carle opened, when Megan earned the final four credits of her MA in Children's Literature at Simmons by conducting an Independent Study that was the genesis of her development of the Whole Book Approach and A Book in Hand, two interactive story time models designed to engage children with picture book art and design. This work evolved into professional development programs and outreach work with schools and libraries in which Megan reached over 25,000 participants during her tenure at The Carle. In 2009 she was named a Massachusetts Literacy Champion by the Mass Literacy in recognition of this work.

Megan is a frequent speaker at conferences and provides professional development training for teachers, librarians, and others who work with children and books. A guest reviewer and regular contributor to The Horn Book Magazine's "Books in the Home" column, Megan is also a reviewer for Kirkus Reviews, and her writing has appeared in numerous other journals including Children & Libraries, Bookbird Magazine, Riverbank Review, CREArTA, The Five Owls, Children's Literature, and The Children's Literature Quarterly. She served on the 2009 Geisel Committee, the 2011 Caldecott Committee, and the 2012 Boston Globe Horn Book Award Committee. Her first picturebook, A Crow of His Own, will be published by Charlesbridge Publishing in 2015 with illustrations by David Hyde Costello, and Charlesbridge will also publish her forthcoming professional title, Storytime Stories: The Whole Book Approach to Reading Picture Books with Children that year. A third title, Real Sisters Pretend, is under contract as a picture book with Tilbury House Publishers.

Megan Lambert's Curriculum Vitae

LaDonna Christian

LaDonna Christian

LaDonna L. Christian, PhD, MSN, APHN-BC, joined the department of nursing at Simmons University eight years ago as faculty in the Dotson Bridge and Mentoring Program and a year later she was named the program Director. She recently completed her doctorate degree in Health Professions Education at Simmons University. She received her undergraduate degree from the University Of Michigan School Of Nursing and her Masters Degree from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in Community Health Nursing. She also completed her Advance Practice Certification in Community Health Nursing and a Certificate of Advance Graduate Studies (CAGS) in Health Professions Education. Her background and clinical expertise is in Public Health Nursing and Environmental Health with a focus on policy and the underserved and minority population. In 2007, LaDonna traveled to Honduras on a one-week medical missions trip to work with the Sisters of Notre Dame to meet the medical needs of the families in Guaimaca. LaDonna also spent 17 years in public health working with HIV, STI, and TB patients. LaDonna began teaching at Brockton Hospital School of Nursing, but has also taught at South Shore Regional Technical High School, and Coppin State University School of Nursing in Baltimore MD. In her present position she works with underrepresented and underprivileged multicultural nursing students, where she has assisted over 130 scholars to reach their goal of becoming a bachelors prepared registered nurse and leaders in their communities. LaDonna is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International and is the Vice President of Theta at Large Chapter at Simmons University. She also belongs to The Mary Mahoney Nursing Honor Society, American Nurses Association, the Massachusetts Nurses Association, Chi Eta Phi Black Nurses Association, The National Black Nurses Association and the New England Regional Black Nurses Association. At Simmons, LaDonna serves as the faculty advisor to the ALANA nursing Liaison, co-facilitator of the Seeking Education Equity and Diversity (SEED) program for faculty, staff, and students, a co-facilitator of the Diversity and Inclusion committee in the School of Nursing and Health Sciences, and a member of the college wide Diversity and Inclusion Action Committee.

Download Ladonna L. Christian's CV.

Margaret Costello

Margaret Costello

Dr. Costello PhD, RN has taught several courses in the undergraduate program over the years including Simmons 201, Simmons 301, Medical Surgical Nursing 1 and 2, Leadership and Management, Nursing Research, Synthesis & Clinical Decision Making and Caring at the End of Life. Dr. Costello serves as an advisor for first year students and in the First-Generation Faculty Student Mentor Program. 

Dr. Costello currently practices part-time as a registered nurse on the Inpatient Oncology and Hospice and Palliative Care Unit at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr Costello is a certified Reiki practitioner. She also maintains certification in Hospice and palliative Care Nursing (CHPN). She has trained with Jean Watson PhD, RN and is a Caritas Coach®.

Dr. Costello has a Master’s degree in Health Care Administration from Simmons University, a Master’s degree in Cross Cultural Family Nursing and has trained as a family nurse practitioner. She received her PhD in Health Professions Education from Simmons University. Her area of expertise is in adult medical surgical nursing, interprofessional care, oncology, palliative and end of life care, and spirituality. She has been published in Nurse Educator, Journal of Holistic Nursing, Nursing Management, American Journal of Nursing, Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, Teaching and Learning in Nursing, International Journal of Caring Sciences, Journal of Interprofessional Care, and Pain Management Nursing. Dr. Costello has presented her research both locally and nationally.

Amitabh Dashottar

Amitabh Dashottar

Dr. Dashottar joined the faculty at Simmons University in January 2013. Before Joining Simmons, Dr. Dashottar did Postdoctoral research at the Laboratory of Investigative Imaging and his doctoral research at the Human Performance Laboratory at the Ohio State University.

Josephine Atinaja-Faller

Josephine Atinaja-Faller

I joined the nursing faculty full-time in 2004 after having taught clinically for Simmons for more than 10 years. I maintain an active clinical practice at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the Center for Women and Newborns in postpartum and the newborn nursery. 

I spearhead the Nursing Simulation Program at Simmons and played an instrumental role in integrating simulation throughout the nursing curriculum and creating the Simulation Lab. I am also the Director of the Dotson Nursing Clinical Simulation and Learning Lab and teach pediatrics/OB.

Carole Biewener

Carole Biewener

With a background in Economic Development and Political Economy and a joint appointment in Economics and Women’s and Gender Studies, Professor Biewener’s most current research interests address the political economy of food – a fabulous way of combining her love of gardening and food with her keen interest in community economies.

In 2013 she completed a long-term, collaborative research project with Marie-Hélène Bacqué (Professor of Urban Studies, Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre) that traced the genealogy of the term "empowerment" in the fields of gender and development, urban policy and social work. Publications from this research include “Feminism and the Politics of Empowerment in International Development” (forthcoming in Air and Space Power Journal–Africa and Francophonie); L’empowerment, une pratique emancipatrice (Editions La Découverte, 2013; Spanish translation forthcoming in 2015); and “Different manifestations of the concept of empowerment. The politics of urban renewal in the United States and Great Britain” (International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, August 2012).

Prior research and publications have addressed community development and social economy projects in the United States and Canada, debates at the intersection of poststructuralist feminism and postmodern Marxism, and the French Socialist government's financial and industrial policies in the 1980s.

Currently Professor Biewener is an Associate Editor for Signs, Journal of Women in Culture and Society and she has served on the Editorial Board of Rethinking Marxism (1990-2001). In 2009 she co-organized (with Randy Albelda, UMass-Boston) the 18th Annual Conference of the International Association for Feminist Economics, “Engendering Economic Policy,” which was hosted by Simmons University.

Professor Biewener oversees the Economics Department Internship program, and was Coordinator for the interdisciplinary minor in Social Justice from 2004-2013.

Susan Duty

Susan Duty, MSN, ScD, RN, ANP-BC

After obtaining a doctoral degree in occupational epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health in 2002, I joined the nursing faculty in the nursing program at Simmons University. I am a Professor and Faculty Director of the Health Professions Education PhD Program. I teach research methods across the baccalaureate, master's and doctoral curriculums. I am also certified as an Adult Nurse Practitioner with specialization in Occupational Health. In addition to my teaching responsibilities, I work clinically at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, MA as a Nurse Research Scientist helping build the infrastructure for nursing research there.

My research agenda explores environmental exposures to plasticizers including phthalates and bisphenol A and I work collaborative with students and multidisciplinary faculty on studies exploring Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus colonization of people, pets and surfaces. I has many peer reviewed publications and have presented this work regionally, nationally and internationally. In my role as Nurse Research Scientist in the clinical setting, I have extended my scholarly activity into clinical research translation aimed at reducing 30-day readmissions, improving satisfaction with patient care, reducing hospital acquired adverse outcomes and improving the infrastructure for palliative care.

Grant funding has been secured from highly competitive National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety, the National Institute for Environmental Health and Safety, as well as from the Simmons University President's Fund and from private foundations like the Passport Foundation and the New England Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association. I recently completed a 2-year, $250,000 workforce development grant from the Commonwealth Corporation to improve the infrastructure for palliative care at Simmons University and at our practice partner site- South Shore Hospital.

I am a member of the Organization of Nurse Leaders Research Council, the MA Action Coalition - Academic Practice Partnership working group and I am the Treasurer of the Theta-at-large Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International. I serve as a peer reviewer for many top tier journals and have received The Theresa LaPlante Award for Excellence in Administration from Sigma Theta Tau.

Suzanne Leonard

Suzanne Leonard

Suzanne Leonard is Associate Professor of English, co-coordinator of the college's interdisciplinary minor in Cinema and Media Studies, and an affiliate of the Women's and Gender Studies Department.

She is the author of Wife, Inc.: The Business of Marriage in the Twenty-First Century (NYU, 2018); Fatal Attraction (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009); and co-editor, with Yvonne Tasker, of Fifty Hollywood Directors (Routledge, 2014).

She regularly instructs classes on American film and television studies, feminist media studies, women's literature, gender and cultural theory, literary interpretation, and 20th and 21st century American literature. She frequently teaches courses and advises students in the college's Gender and Cultural Studies Master's program. She also teaches graduate classes through the Graduate Consortium in Women’s Studies at MIT.

Professor Leonard is most interested in the intersections between feminism and popular culture, and her recent work has examined topics including: postfeminism and reality television, chic noirs, the treatment of the adultery plot in feminist novels; marriage envy; Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton's epic romance; Lily Tomlin; political spouses and The Good Wife; celebrity culture; and working women in American film and television.

Professor Leonard has been featured in The Boston Globe, The Guardian, USA Today, and a variety of media outlets, including the Strong Opinions, Loosely Held, and the podcast Public Intellectual with Jessa Crispin.

Dolores Pelaez

Maria Dolores Pelaez Benitez

I am a native of Spain and hold a doctoral degree in Hispanic Literature from the Universidad Complutense in Madrid.  After teaching Spanish at Boston University, I joined the faculty of Simmons University in 1992, where I became Associate professor (1999) and Professor of Spanish (2010).