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Women's Leadership Cohort 2022-2023
Carrie Grogan Abbott is a director of New Student and Family Programs. In this role, Carrie directs the work of University units associated with welcoming, orienting and supporting first-year and transfer students from entry into the University and throughout their first year. Carrie has over 20 years’ experience in higher education, with a focus in new student orientation, first-year experience, student transition, and large-scale operational logistics. During her tenure at Syracuse University, Carrie has also served roles in Study Abroad, Student Activities, Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, and Facilities Management. Originally from Bedford, NH, Carrie holds a master’s degree in higher education from Syracuse University, a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Ithaca College, and in July will receive a certificate in change management from Cornell University.
Christine Ashby, Ph.D. is Professor of Inclusive Special Education and Disability Studies at Syracuse University. She teaches across all levels of the program from undergraduate to doctoral, and coordinates the undergraduate Inclusive Elementary and Special Education Program and the Childhood Education Masters’ Program. She is also the Director of the Center on Disability and Inclusion, a disability-related research center that works to develop and implement initiatives promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of school and society—both locally and globally.
Professor Ashby's teaching and research focus on inclusive education broadly, with specific emphasis on supports for students with labels of autism and other developmental disabilities, communicative diversity, disability studies, and inclusive teacher preparation. Her work seeks to disrupt dominant notions of disability as deficiency and underscores the importance of considering the lived experiences of individuals with disabilities and creating contexts for competence in inclusive schools and communities. She has been awarded over 19 million dollars in external funding to support work related to improving outcomes for students with disabilities at all levels, communication and academic access, and teacher and scholar development. Ashby’s work has been published in journals including the Disability and Society, Intellectual and Developmental Disability, International Journal of Inclusive Education, Equity and Excellence in Education, and Teacher Education and Special Education. Her co-edited book, Enacting Change from Within: Disability Studies Meets Teaching and Teacher Education explores how disability studies can inform the practical work of teachers. She is also the co-editor of Excelsior: Leadership in Teaching and Learning.
Nadine Austin is the Budget Analyst in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost. She earned her M.B.A., with a concentration in Accounting and Finance, from Southern New Hampshire University and her B.A. from Russell Sage College. She holds a Project Management certification from Syracuse University, Whitman School of Management. Prior to joining the Office of the Provost, Nadine served as Associate Director for CLASS (Center for Learning & Student Success), responsible for the day-to-day operations of the center. Nadine was the Director of Administration with the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families. Outside the office, when she’s not cheering on the SU Orange Men’s Basketball team, Nadine can be found spending time with her grandson, Maverick, and traveling with her family to warmer climates!
Sarah Azria serves as the Director of Benefits Strategy in the Office of Human Resources where she leads a team responsible for the strategic planning, communications, and administration of the University’s benefits program. Additionally, Sarah serves on the Executive Committee of the Preferred University Rx Purchasing Coalition, a 40+ university coalition for which Syracuse University is a member school. Prior to her current role, Sarah served as Assistant Director in the Office of Budget and Planning, collaborating with various units and responsibility centers to strategically plan and manage budgets in support of the University’s strategic initiatives and fiscal priorities. Before SU, Sarah worked in various benefits finance and administrative roles for John Hancock Financial Services and Fidelity Investments in Massachusetts. Sarah earned a Bachelor of Science from Syracuse University with a dual major in Finance and Advertising from the Whitman and Newhouse Schools, respectively. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Business Analytics from the Whitman School.
Urvashi Bhattacharya is director for strategic initiatives and project management for the Division of Business, Finance and Administrative Services (BFAS) at Syracuse University. Born and raised in India, Bhattacharya earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Delhi University and a master’s in international economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She then went on to earn an MBA from the Xavier’s Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar.
Bhattacharya began her career in Rochester, NY as a market research analyst and has held roles in areas ranging from strategy, sales operations and business process design and improvement. Her love for data and numbers was foundational to her success in these roles and led her down the path of getting certified as a black belt in Lean Six Sigma while at Xerox Corp.
In March 2019 Bhattacharya joined Syracuse University to manage critical projects and initiatives within BFAS to help advance short- and long-term goals for the Division. She was assigned to the University’s COVID project management office (PMO) for the 2020 -2022 academic years. Her primary areas of focus were data management and reporting, and the compliance program for surveillance testing. As part of the COVID PMO, Bhattacharya received the 2021-22 Chancellor’s Citation of Excellence Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Student Experience and University Initiatives.
Bhattacharya lives in Fayetteville, NY with her husband Sid and two children, Shreya (15) and Dhruv (10). When not answering the question ‘why’ for the bajillionth time, she loves getting a healthy dose of shinrin-yoku in Green Lakes State Park, indulging her love for all-things-NPR, and binge-watching Stranger Things.
Dr. Lynn Brann serves as the Chair of the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies and the Department of Exercise Science. Her research interests include the examination of dietary intake and diet quality of children related to growth, development, and health, as well as mindful eating to improve food acceptance and self-regulation in children. Dr. Brann received the Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty Recognition Award in 2021. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and is a past chair and advisor to the Pediatric Nutrition Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Mansi Brat is a Clinical Therapist and Group Therapy Coordinator at the Barnes Center at The Arch. Prior to coming to Syracuse University, Brat worked extensively with children, adolescents, middle-aged women, and families. She has a background in working at a university counseling center and a community mental health organization centered on providing mental health and advocacy services for individuals representative of historically marginalized groups.
Brat has led a variety of therapy groups in the past. She facilitates the mindfulness groups at the Barnes Center at The Arch. Brat teaches Mindfulness-based courses at both undergraduate and graduate level. Brat has published across interdisciplinary journals and is extremely passionate about furthering her research while highlighting the many layers of implicit bias that remain critical in dismantling racism and oppression.
Brat received her doctorate in Counselor Education from the University of Toledo with a research emphasis in mindfulness and self-compassion as wellness modalities while studying the biomechanisms of stress. Brat works closely with the clinical trainees at the Barnes Center at The Arch, supporting and mentoring them in their development as future mental health counselors.
Julia L. Carboni, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs Department of Public Administration and International Affairs. She also chairs the Citizenship and Civic Engagement program and serves as the Collaborative Governance Research Director for the Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration (PARCC). She conducts research on organizational collaboration and collaborative philanthropy with an emphasis on veteran serving networks, food systems, and community development. She teaches courses on collaboration, nonprofit management, and community development. She was a co-Convener of Minnowbrook at 50, a watershed event in public administration that occurs once a generation. She serves or has served on national committees for multiple professional associations including the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA); the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA); the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA); and the University Network on Collaborative Governance (UNCG). She also serves on the boards for the Food Bank of Central New York and the Syracuse Onondaga Food System Alliance (SOFSA) and was a co-Founder of the Indy Food Council, a food policy council for the 9th largest US city.
Heather Coleman is an Associate Professor of Biology at Syracuse University. She received her Ph.D. from University of British Columbia and was a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellow at Queensland University of Technology. Heather is currently Associate Chair and Director of Undergraduate Studies for Biology and Chair of the Senate Instruction Committee. She serves as Coordinator for the International Union of Forest Research Organization’s Working Group on Molecular Biology of Forest Trees, and is a member of the Scientific and Industrial Advisory Board for the Department of Energy funded Center for Bioenergy Innovation and an editor for Tree Physiology.
Research in the Coleman Lab focuses on understanding how plant cell walls are formed and the various internal and external factors which influence their characteristics. Current projects in the lab include mapping the transcriptional regulation network of hemicellulose production, understanding subfunctionalization of gene duplicates in poplar, and determining the impact of mycorrhizal fungi on poplar growth, physiology and cell wall development.
Melinda Dermody is the Interim Associate Dean for Academic Success at Syracuse University Libraries. She has over 25 years of academic library experience, serving in leadership roles for the majority of that time. In her current role, Melinda leads the areas of Access & Resource Sharing, Information Literacy, and Learning and Academic Engagement. These units support the success of students and faculty in many ways, including instruction and information literacy, research assistance in person and virtually, and provision of access to collections, study spaces and technology items and support. In her previous role, Melinda served as Department Head of Access & Resource Sharing at the Libraries. Prior to joining Syracuse University, Melinda held positions leading library service areas at several other universities and colleges. Melinda holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in English from The Ohio State University and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Texas at Austin. She is also President of the Board of Trustees of the Community Library of DeWitt and Jamesville.
Amanda Eubanks Winkler
Amanda Eubanks Winkler is a Professor of Music History and Cultures, and Chair of the Department of Art and Music Histories. She received her Ph.D. in Musicology from University of Michigan.
Prof. Eubanks Winkler's research focuses on English music of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and twentieth centuries. She was a long-term fellow at the Folger Shakespeare Library (2001–2002) and served as the Co-Investigator on Performing Restoration Shakespeare, a project funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, UK (2017-2020). She has published on a broad range of topics, including the relationship among musical, spiritual, and bodily disorder; performance and pedagogy; musical depictions of the goddess Venus; the gendering of musical spirits; music and Shakespeare; and the intersection of music and politics. She has also engaged with performance studies and practice-based research, including workshops that staged excerpts of Davenant's Macbeth and Gildon's Measure for Measure (Folger Theatre, Washington DC) and Middleton's The Witch (Blackfriars Conference, Staunton, VA). As part of the Performing Restoration Shakespeare project, she served as music director for a workshop of the Restoration-era Tempest (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare's Globe, London) and more recently she co-led a workshop for scholars and served as a consultant for a full professional production of Davenant’s Macbeth, staged at the Folger Theatre, Washington DC. She is a General Editor for The Collected Works of John Eccles (A-R Editions) and has published two volumes of Restoration theatre music. Her two most recent books are Music, Dance, and Drama in Early Modern English Schools (Cambridge University Press, 2020), which was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Diana McVeagh Book Prize competition by the North American British Music Studies Association, and Shakespeare in the Theatre: Sir William Davenant and the Duke's Company, co-authored with Richard Schoch (Arden Shakespeare/Bloomsbury, 2021). Her next project is a book which situates Andrew Lloyd Webber's musicals from the 70s and 80s within a social and political context.
Heidi Hehnly’s laboratory addresses the cellular mechanisms connecting cilia formation, polarity formation, membrane traffic, and the centrosome, in the context of a developing tissue. As a postdoc with Dr. Stephen Doxsey (UMASS Med, 2010-2014) and a collaborative postdoc with Dr. John Scott (HHMI, UW, 2014-2015), Dr. Hehnly developed an innovative means to study centrosome biology and its role in cell polarity and primary cilia formation. Using biochemical and microscopic approaches, she found that Rab11, best known for its role in the control of endosomes, is localized to mother centriole appendages, a structure that functionally defines the “older” centriole of the centriole pair (Hehnly et al. Current Bio 2012). She went on to identify the molecular linkage that connects these two organelles in vitro (Hehnly et al. Current Bio 2012, Hehnly & Doxsey, Dev Cell 2014). In Dr. Hehnly’s lab her and her team investigate the nature of this interaction in vivo using the model organism Danio rerio (Rathbun L et al. Nature Comm. 2020, Curr Bio 2020, Krishnan N et al. LSA 2022). In addition, her group is identifying mechanisms for the centrosome proteins gamma-tubulin, Gravin, cenexin, ninein, Cep215, and/or pericentrin in polarity formation, embryogenesis, and cardiovascular development (Chen, Hehnly et al. Current Bio. 2014, Hehnly et al. eLife 2015, Colicino et al. MBoC 2018 and 2019, Rathbun et al. Nature Comm 2020, Curr Bio 2020, Aljiboury et al. MBoC 2022). She has successfully managed projects funded by the NIH, and the Department of Defense. Two Ph.D.s and one masters student have graduated from her lab and moved on to postdoctoral positions (Ph.D.s) or a position at Invitrogen (Masters), and she is currently mentoring four graduate students, multiple undergraduate students, two technicians at different stages of their careers, two postdoctoral fellows, and directs the Microscopy Core at SU called the Blatt BioImaging Center. Dr. Hehnly has helped to enrich the academic and social environment at SU by co-founding with Dr. Boryana Rossa the Syracuse Bio-ART mixer.
Alicia Madden has been with Syracuse University since February 2021 as Director of Finance and Administration for the School of Information Studies. In July, Alicia will transition to the Maxwell School to serve as Senior Director of Budget and Administration. Prior to joining the University, Alicia spent six years at the City of Syracuse as Director of Financial Operations where she oversaw the centralization of city finances and creation of a new department. She previously worked as a Budget Analyst for the New York State Division of Budget, as well as for the State Senate and Assembly. Alicia earned her Masters of Public Administration from the Maxwell School in 2010 and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Political Science from Marist College. She lives in the Strathmore neighborhood of Syracuse with her husband, Kyle, and her two little girls – Eleanor and Florence.
Dr. Katherine (Katie) McDonald is a Professor of Public Health and the Associate Dean of Research in the Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics at Syracuse University. Dr. McDonald received her B.S. with Distinction in Human Development and Family Studies with a minor in French from Cornell University and her Ph.D. in Community and Prevention Research Psychology with a minor in Statistics, Methods and Measurements from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. McDonald’s scholarship uses socioecological theory and action research to understand and promote the inclusion of individuals with disabilities. Her current research encompasses two core areas of inquiry: ethical, legal, and social issues in research with adults with intellectual disability and community-engaged research on disability disparities.
Dr. McDonald is a Fellow of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Chair of Syracuse University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB), and a Deputy Editor for Autism in Adulthood. Dr. McDonald previously lived in community with individuals with and without intellectual disability.
As Executive Director, Alumni Engagement, Pam leads the New York City based alumni engagement team and provides the strategic direction for alumni engagement programming, communications, and partnerships in the New York metro area, Syracuse University’s largest alumni base. Pam collaborates with event, advancement, and academic unit teams in creating and implementing effective vehicles for engaging Syracuse University’s alumni, donors, parents, friends, current students, and prospective students and establishing lifelong relationships with them. Pam also manages a portfolio of alumni donors and prospects.
Pam earned dual bachelor’s degree from the Newhouse School in TRF Management and the Maxwell School in Political Science. She earned a Master of Arts degree in Corporate & Public Communications from Seton Hall University and a Juris Doctor from Seton Hall Law School. Before returning to SU, Pam practiced law for ten years and worked in direct marketing and fundraising with many of the most well-known non-profit organizations, theatre groups, and publishers in the country.
Pam currently co-leads the Alumni Relations Campus Council, serves as Vice President of the AEA Diversity Council Executive Committee, leads the NYC National Campaign Council’s Engagement and Participation Committee, serves as staff liaison to the SU Alumni Association Board of Trustees Philanthropy Committee, and sits on the AEAC Corporate Engagement Committee and the Faculty/Staff Giving Committee.
Pam believes strongly in volunteerism and has served the Syracuse University community as an alumni volunteer for many years as an Admissions Representative, Alumni Club Leader, and as Vice President of the Syracuse University Alumni Association Board of Directors. Pam continues her volunteer leadership in the community as a foundation trustee.
Shikha Nangia is an associate professor and director of the Bioengineering Graduate Program in the Biomedical and Chemical Engineering department at Syracuse University.
Nangia’s research group focuses on studying blood-brain barrier using theoretical and computational techniques. The goal is to enable the transport of drug molecules across the blood-brain barrier, which has been the biggest impediment for finding a cure for brain related ailments such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. This project was funded through the NSF-CAREER award.
Additionally, her group focuses on computational multiscale modeling of nanomaterials, including nanomedicine, drug delivery nanocarriers, and nano-bio interactions. The goal of this research is to design efficient nanosized drug delivery carriers to target cancer tumor cells that hold the key to a new era of cancer treatment. To achieve their research goals they are developing quantitative approaches for characterizing interaction of nanoscale entities with living matter (serum, cell-membranes, cells). The group’s computational approaches are directed to analyze these complex nano-bio interactions in an effort to design safe and smart drug delivery nanocarriers.
Jane Read is an associate professor in the Department of Geography and the Environment and director of the Maxwell School’s Environment, Sustainability and Policy Integrated Learning Major at Syracuse University. Read served as president of the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science in 2021-2022 and remains on the executive committee through 2023. She holds degrees from the University of London (B.S. environmental science 1987; M.S. surveying 1990) and a Ph.D. in geography (1999) from Louisiana State University. She has served on the faculty at Syracuse University since 1999.
Read specializes in geographic information systems, remote sensing, land use and land cover, and human-environment interactions. Much of her research has focused in the neotropics, including Costa Rica, Brazil and Guyana, although she has also studied historical land changes in the Adirondacks of New York state.
Read has published on applications of GIS and remote sensing to land-use and land-cover changes, selective logging operations, indigenous hunting patterns and uses of traditional knowledge in vegetation mapping using remote sensing imagery and identification of multiple-use tree species in Guyana.
Read teaches courses in introductory and advanced GIS/GIScience, remote sensing, global environmental change, tropical environments and spatial storytelling, and advises graduate students within her realm of expertise. She is interested in strategies to support faculty, and improve curriculum, student engagement, and diversity in STEM/geospatial sciences.
Carol J. Ruffin oversees academic advising, career development, and student success services for undergraduate and graduate students within the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
Before joining the College of Visual and Performing Arts, Dr. Ruffin served in a variety of leadership roles in the public, private/non-profit, and the proprietary sectors of higher education. Her decades long higher education career includes progressive responsibilities in the areas of academic advising, student services, continuing education, student and family engagement, and enrollment management. Dr. Ruffin has shared her expertise with other institutions while serving as a peer evaluator for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). She has successfully completed three MSCHE institutional site visits in the past three years.
Dr. Ruffin believes that it is her responsibility as a leader to ensure that those that she impacts have a fair opportunity to utilize their talents, resources, skills and/or abilities to benefit the institution they are connected to; focusing on students but also supporting other constituents and key stakeholders. Her ultimate goal is to positively affect the greater good and/or those she works with and works for which include; her students, faculty, staff and the administration as well as the interconnected global community at large.
Dr. Ruffin earned a bachelor of science in marketing and a master of science in education from St. John’s University and a doctor of education in executive leadership from St. John Fisher College.
Stephanie Salanger began as director of communications at Syracuse University’s D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) and Office of Veteran and Military Affairs (OVMA) in 2017, bringing with her more than 30 years of experience in marketing communications agency and corporate communications roles, covering strategic communications, public relations, media relations, and corporate social responsibility in a variety of business industries.
Salanger is responsible for driving the national strategy of both the IVMF and OVMA as well as enhancing the reputation of the Syracuse University brand with regards to its imperative of supporting military-connected audiences. She spearheads the communications and design team to deliver impactful messaging and reputation management for the 13 national training programs within the entrepreneurship, community engagement, education and research pillars of the IVMF and the student veteran strategy and experience on campus for the OVMA.
Salanger previously held senior-level communications roles at Eric Mower and Associates, Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications. She managed the development and execution of Time Warner Cable’s national Connect a Million Minds STEM Initiative in the Northeast – a national program challenging parents, mentors, students and employers to increase involvement in after-school STEM-related activities. Her STEM in Sports initiative and STEM Regional Science Festival received telecommunications industry Beacon Awards in 2014 and 2015 and she was awarded several Public Relations Society of America and American Advertising Federation awards for her community engagement and public relations efforts on behalf of a variety of former clients.
Yutaka Sho’s research and practice investigate the roles of architecture in the global development industry and in post-atrocity reconciliation and rebuilding processes. Sho has practiced, researched, and taught in the US, Rwanda, and Japan.
Sho is a partner and co-founder of nonprofit architecture firm General Architecture Collaborative (GAC) that works with underrepresented communities to build aesthetically engaging spaces while using the construction sites for end-user training. GAC’s work includes self-build homes funded by the 2012 Arnold Brunner Grant which received the 2014 EDRA Great Places Award; the Masoro Health Center which was recognized by AIA Virginia, Dazeen, Architizer, SARA NY and Architecture Masterprize in 2020; and the Masoro Learning and Sports Center in 2021 which has been recognized by SARA NY and Architizer. GAC is currently working on the masterplan and design of 22-acre campus for Kigali International Community School, Rwanda Housing Project to survey and document 370 rural homes with architecture students from University of Rwanda and Syracuse, among others. GAC was the recipient of Best of Practice Award for Architect (Small Firm) in the Northeast by The Architect’s Newspaper in 2021, and was named the Game Changers by the Metropolis Magazine in 2020.
Sho received MArch from Harvard Graduate School of Design and Bachelor of Landscape Architecture and Bachelor of Fine Arts from Rhode Island School of Design. Sho is a current doctoral candidate at the University of Tokyo.
Saba Siddiki is an associate professor of public administration and international affairs and a senior research associate in the Center for Policy Research. Her research focuses on policy design, collaborative policymaking, institutional theory and analysis, and regulatory implementation and compliance. She has studied these topics in the contexts of food and environmental policy.
Her research has been published in leading public affairs journals, including the Policy Studies Journal, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Public Administration Review, Public Administration, among others. She is also the author or editor of multiple books, including “Institutional Grammar: Foundations and Applications for Institutional Analysis.”
Siddiki received a Ph.D. in public affairs from the University of Colorado Denver in 2011. She currently serves as associate editor for Policy Design and Practice.
Danielle Smith is a professor of African American studies in the College of Arts and Sciences and the director of the Renée Crown University Honors Program. Professor Smith teaches coursework focusing on global public health, environmental sustainability and issues of social justice and human rights.
Smith’s core research areas include refugee migration and resettlement, reconciliation and reconstruction in post-conflict societies, and disaster response and management, with particular focus on Africa and its diasporas.
Smith has presented her work nationally and globally. Her research and writings have been published in scholarly journals including the Journal of Health and Social Policy, Global Public Health, Economic Development Quarterly, Development and Society, Journal of Black Studies and Liberian Studies Journal.
Emily Stokes-Rees is Director of the School of Design and the Iris Magidson Endowed Professor of Design Leadership. In addition to a holding a doctorate in Material Anthropology, Emily is a museum professional with close to twenty years of experience in a variety of positions, from exhibition development and interpretation to education and collections management. Her research centers on evolving ideas around cultural citizenship and representation in postcolonial Asia, though more broadly she is interested in how museums and their collections might act as agents for social change. Recent publications include a book on postcolonial museums in Asia (Rowman and Littlefield International, 2019) and a number of journal articles on museums in Japan, Macau, and Canada. Emily is currently Chair of the Senate Agenda Committee, and serves on a number of museum and professional boards. She also recently completed a 2-year term as editor of the journal, Museum Anthropology. Emily has taught courses on cultural heritage preservation, professional practice, curatorship, and interpretation for the Graduate Program in Museum Studies – she loves all the hands-on, creative aspects of what she does, and treasures every moment spent working with collections both in the classroom and the gallery.
Erika Turner is the Assistant Director of the Science, Tech, and Entry Program (STEP) at Syracuse University. She is a native of Syracuse, NY, and a lifelong educator with over twenty years of experience. Her current focus is working with diverse populations in Higher Education. Turner is dedicated to all-inclusive support and development of students while supporting the institutional mission and encouraging self-discovery.
Robin Wade is the executive director of digital at Syracuse University. She has over 30 years of experience in digital and print industries with a background of leadership, communications, marketing, social media, writing, design, and technical expertise in both the public and private sector.