Meet Our Faculty

beal
Carole Biewener

Average class size: 18

Amitabh Dashottar
Lisa Brown
Richard Wollman
LaDonna Christian
Joel Blanco-Rivera

215

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

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Student-to-faculty
ratio of 10:1

Shelly Strowman
Susan Duty
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“The faculty are extremely accessible. There’s the sense that we’re here for common goals.”

Kara Mellonakos '15HCMBA

Kimberly O'Brien
Martha Mahard
Stephen Berry
Naresh Agarwal
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Judy Beal

I have had many leadership roles in my 43 years as a nurse. I currently serve as Professor and Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Simmons College. Prior to coming to Simmons in 1983, I taught at Boston University and Skidmore College.

At Simmons, I have been instrumental in building early innovative models of academic practice partnerships locally and then globally. In Boston, the unique model of "hospital as client” with the hospital financing the academic progression of employees in RN-BSN and RN-MSN programs grew from one partnership five years ago to eight partnerships. With foundation funding, she partnered with the University of Cairo to replicate an accelerated second degree BSN program for unemployed university graduates. This effort significantly advanced workforce capacity and elevated the level of professional nursing practice in Egypt. With academic and practice partners in Saudi Arabia and with philanthropists in Bangladesh and Israel, I am further replicating these programs.

As a RWJ Executive Nurse Fellow from 2008-2011, I created a national forum on academic-practice partnership by successfully engaging a national association to identify this issue as a strategic priority. I developed and co-led the AACN-AONE Task Force on Academic-Practice Partnerships. This group has significantly elevated the conversation on and strategy for developing academic-practice partnerships.

I have served as president, secretary, director and chair in many organizations including: Sigma Theta Tau International, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the Massachusetts Association of Colleges of Nursing (MACN), Massachusetts Association of Registered Nurses (MARN), and Yale University Alumni Association. Most recently, I have served as a two term, elected board member and the secretary of AACN, secretary and vice president of MACN, chair of the MARN Nominations Committee, and co-lead of the RWJF Massachusetts Action Coalition.

I am widely published with more than 120 peer reviewed articles. I am on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing as well as a peer reviewer for the Journal of Pediatric Nursing, the Journal of Professional Nursing, and Research in Nursing and Health. 

I received my BSN from Skidmore College, MSN from Yale, and DNSc from Boston University. I am a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and the National Academies of Practice.

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 College.

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

Amitabh Dashottar

Amitabh Dashottar

Dr. Dashottar joined the faculty at Simmons College 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.

Lisa Brown

Lisa Brown, PhD, RD, LDN

Dr. Brown is an Associate Professor of Nutrition who teaches general education courses, introductory nutrition, and the community nutrition track. In 2015, Dr. Brown became the director of the Simmons Dietetic Internship after serving as the internship coordinator from 2009-2015.

After earning her bachelor’s degree in developmental psychology and American government from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, Dr. Brown earned her master’s degree in Nutrition and Health Promotion from Simmons, and her doctorate in Medical Nutrition Sciences from Boston University School of Medicine. She completed her DPD certificate and dietetic internship at Simmons concurrent with her master’s training.

Dr. Brown specializes in both pediatric and geriatric nutrition and has held a variety of professional positions in dietetics including Senior Nutritionist of a local WIC Program, consultant dietitian in multiple long term care facilities, clinical dietitian for a small community hospital, and consultant dietitian for the development of a military food service management system. Dr. Brown continues to counsel clients and do group nutrition education at the MetroWest YMCA in Framingham, Massachusetts, and provides regular vacation relief coverage in a long term care/transitional care facility in Boston. She was appointed to the Massachusetts Licensure Board for Dietitians and Nutritionists in 2014 and continues to serve on the board. 

Dr. Brown won the Nutrition and Dietetic Educator’s and Preceptors Practice Group (NDEP): Area 7 Outstanding Educator of the Year, for a Dietetic Internship, in 2016. Dr. Brown’s dissertation research looked at dietary patterns and premature cardiovascular disease in women enrolled in the Framingham Heart Study. She continues to look at dietary patterns and a variety of health outcomes including cancer.

Dr. Brown currently focuses on a variety of topics that impact delivery of nutrition interventions in both community and clinical settings. 

Richard Wollman

Richard Wollman

Richard Wollman is Professor of Creative Writing, Shakespeare, and 17th Century Literature. He is both a poet and a sculptor whose work may be viewed on his website

Professor Wollman is on the Advisory Board for the Mass Poetry Outreach Program at UMass Lowell as well as the Massachusetts Cultural Council in Newburyport. He is on the Executive Committee of the Powow River Poets and is a member of both the Newburyport Art Association and the John Donne Society.

LaDonna Christian

LaDonna Christian

LaDonna L. Christian, PhD, MSN, APHN-BC, joined the department of nursing at Simmons College 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 College. 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 College. 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.

Joel Blanco-Rivera

Joel Blanco-Rivera

Joel A. Blanco-Rivera earned his doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences. His research interests are the study of the relation between archives and transitional justice in Latin America, government accountability, and the documentation of the Puerto Rican diaspora in the United States. He has an MSI with specialization in archive and records management from the School of Information at the University of Michigan. From 2004 to 2005, he was a lecturer at the University of Puerto Rico's Graduate School of Information Sciences and Technologies, where he taught courses for the certificate in archives and records management. His dissertation research is a case study of the work of the National Security Archive in the context of transitional justice in Latin America. It focuses on the efforts of this organization to obtain U.S. declassified records for investigations about past human rights violations in Latin America. He has been teaching in the archives area at Simmons since the spring of 2012.

Joel Blanco-Rivera's Curriculum Vitae

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Kyong Eun Oh

Kyong Eun Oh joined the Simmons SLIS faculty in the fall of 2013. She earned her Ph.D. at Rutgers University, School of Communication & Information. She received her M.A. in Library & Information Science from Yonsei University, and her B.A. in English Language & Literature as well as Library & Information Science from Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea.

Oh's research interests include categorization, information organizing behavior, and personal information management (PIM). In her dissertation research, she explored the process of organizing personal information from a cognitive sociological perspective, and developed a model that explains the process. Her dissertation, The Process of Organizing Personal Information, won the 2015 ALISE/Eugene Garfield Dissertation Award. She has been involved in a number of funded research projects including those funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Hewlett-Packard (HP) technology, the Center for Executive Leadership in Government (CELG), and the Korea Research Foundation (KRF).

Oh has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in information organization, metadata, research methods, and information technology. She is currently on the governing board of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) and serves as a section editor of Open Information Science. Oh also served as a co-chair of the 2016 ALISE/Jean Tague-Sutcliffe Doctoral Student Poster Competition, the publicity chair of the 2015 International Conference on Asia-Pacific Digital Libraries (ICADL), and a program committee member of 2016 iConference. 

Kyong Eun Oh's Curriculum Vitae

Shelly Strowman

Shelley Strowman

Dr. Strowman teaches Biostatistics and Capstone Seminar III in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.  She also provides statistical consultation on Capstone projects and Master's theses in the Nursing and Nutrition departments.  Dr. Strowman joined the School of Nursing and Health Sciences faculty in 2008 after working for several years in the Academic Technology Department as a Statistical Software Consultant.

Professor Strowman has supervised several DNP Capstone projects including:

  • Teleneurology in Long Term Care: Value of a Joint Nurse Practitioner-Neurologist Videoconferencing Clinic
  • Early Integration of Palliative Care in Patients with Pancreatic Cancer: A Quality Improvement Project
  • Survivorship Care Plans: Exploring Lymphoma Patients' Knowledge of their Disease and Follow-Up
  • Improving Exercise Prescribing in a Rural New England Free Clinic: A Quality Improvement Project Implementing Exercise Prescribing Guidelines

Dr. Strowman brings to the classroom over 20 years of experience in research, including several years as a consultant in public health.  She has provided statistical and survey consultation in a variety of areas including cardiovascular health promotion, tobacco control, the relation between stress and hospitalization, and health risk behavior.  Dr. Strowman's professional experience is integrated into her teaching through an emphasis on real-world examples and applications.

Professor Strowman has also taught Statistics and provided consultation in the Schools of Social Work, Management, and Library and Information Science.

Susan Duty

Susan Duty

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 College. 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 College 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 College 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.

Kimberly O'Brien

Kimberly O'Brien

Assistant Professor Kimberly O’Brien, LICSW, PhD, has a joint appointment as Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and holds a per diem clinical position as a psychiatric social worker in the Emergency Department at Boston Children’s Hospital. She recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University. She teaches clinical practice courses at Simmons and focuses her research on the development of interventions for adolescents with suicidal thoughts and behaviors and/or substance abuse problems.


Dr. Kimberly O'Brien's Curriculum Vitae

Martha Mahard

Martha Mahard

Martha Mahard has more than three decades of professional experience with the Harvard University Libraries, including work in photography and visual collections at the Fine Arts Library, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and the Harvard Theatre Collection of The Houghton Library. In addition to her numerous journal articles and presentations in the field of photographic archives, cultural heritage, and digital preservation, she is the co-author with Ross Harvey, of The Preservation Management Handbook: A 21st Century Guide for Libraries, Archives and Museums (published by Rowman and Littlefield in April 2014). With Michele Cloonan she was co-principal investigator for the IMLS (Institute of Library and Museum Services) Laura Bush 21st Century Librarians grant which supported the development and implementation of the Cultural Heritage Informatics concentration. She has served as a consultant on major projects for museums and libraries, including the Worcester Art Museum and the Boston Public Library, and is a current board member at the Northeast Document Conservation Center. Mahard received an M.A. in Theatre History from Tufts University, and her M.S. and D.A. from Simmons SLIS.

Stephen Berry

Stephen Berry

I attended Vanderbilt University where I double majored in History and Fine Arts earning the Bachelor of Arts and later a Masters of Education degrees. I also hold a M.Div. from Reformed Theological Seminary as well as a M.L.I.S. degree from the University of Southern Mississippi. I earned my doctoral degree in the Graduate Program in Religion of Duke University with qualifying exams on colonial America history, the history of religion in America, history of Reformation Europe, and Atlantic World travel literature. My doctoral dissertation, “Seaborne Conversions 1700-1800” examined the role of religion aboard eighteenth-century British sailing vessels crossing the Atlantic.

I have been a member of the History Department at Simmons College in Boston since 2007 where I teach undergraduate and graduate courses in Early American and Atlantic World history. I currently direct the department’s undergraduate program in public history, which means I teach an introductory course on public history that is combined with the history of Boston, a course that focuses on the role of objects in historical understanding, as well as supervising internships at a variety of museums and historic sites in the area. I teach separate graduate and undergraduate courses on the history of the Atlantic World from Columbus to the Haitian Revolution. I normally handle the first half of the American history survey, which covers colonization through reconstruction as well as an African-American history survey course. Finally, I typically teach our department’s core seminar for our undergraduate majors, “Interpreting the Past,” which introduces students to the theory and method of history. As a teacher of the humanities, my two overall goals for students in all of my courses are to be critical thinkers and excellent writers.

My wife Dana and I live in Maynard, Massachusetts with our teenage daughter and son. In my spare time, I enjoy reading and playing board games. In addition to writing about ships, I love sailing, but I know just enough about boats to be a danger to others and myself.

Naresh Agarwal

Naresh Agarwal

Naresh Agarwal, who joined the faculty in Fall 2009, earned his doctorate from the National University of Singapore (NUS)'s Department of Information Systems, School of Computing. His teaching areas are evaluation of information services, technology for information professionals, web development & information architecture, and knowledge management. Agarwal's research area is information behavior and knowledge management – the way people look for information and the contextual factors that impact their choice of information sources. He seeks to understand and synthesize the apparent contradictions in this phenomenon and tries to reconcile multiple perspectives – the user (context, seeking, sense-making, serendipity) versus systems/technology, theoretical and empirical studies, and a variety of contexts - office workers, medical residents, LIS students, faculty, librarians, toddlers, etc. His publications span these areas. Agarwal has held various leadership positions at ASIS&T - the Association for Information Science and Technology. He was a member of the ASIS&T Board of Directors from 2012-2014. Agarwal was awarded the ASIS&T James M. Cretsos Leadership Award in 2012. Prior to entering the doctoral program at NUS, he worked for six years in technology roles in the voice-over-IP, bioInformatics and digital cinema industries. Among other things, Agarwal has been a debater and public speaker and likes to paint in oil and watercolor in his free time. You can learn more about him at http://web.simmons.edu/~agarwal/.

Naresh Agarwal's Curriculum Vitae