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Curry College's Newest Faculty Memebers pose for a group shot
August 26, 2019


Academics | Faculty Accomplishments

The Curry College community welcomes our new faculty members to campus for the 2019-2020 academic year. They are enthusiastic and ready to empower our students to excel, dedicating themselves to success inside and outside the classroom.

Curry's award-winning faculty challenges our students to explore, discover, grow, and expand their capacity for self-directed, lifelong learning.  These latest additions to our ranks will continue that tradition.

Michelle BrimecombeDr. Michelle Brimecombe joins Curry College by way of Newbury College to build the Sport and Recreation Management Program and teach in the Business Department. Michelle specializes in sport with an emphasis on organizational behavior.  Dr. Brimecombe received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; her Master’s degree from Georgia Southern University; and her Ph.D. from Florida State University.

Johanna BurgessJohanna Burgess, Assistant Professor in the Levin Library, was born and raised on the West Coast, spending most of her life in San Diego and the most recent decade in Portland, Oregon. She moved to Boston in 2016 to attend Simmons University, where she received her Masters degree in Library and Information Science with a concentration in Archival Management. She attended Reed College for undergraduate, and received her B.A. in Classics. A lifetime learner, Johanna decided very early on that she wanted to work in a Library/Archives/Museum setting, and has spent most of her life doing just that. Academic institutions have always been a comfortable space for her, and she is looking forward to working with students of all ages and interests. In addition to her experience working in the LIS field, Johanna has spent time teaching music and dance, training others in wilderness survival and tall ship sailing, and herself learning all sorts of fiber crafts. She is a proud Hufflepuff, enjoys animation and video games, and her favorite book genres are pop science, historical fiction, biographies, and gothic horror.

Doreen CallaghanDoreen Callaghan joins the Curry College School of Nursing as an Assistant Professor, Simulation Educator.  She is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Nursing Education at Southern Connecticut State University. She earned her MSN from the University of Phoenix and her BSN from Northeastern University. She comes to Curry College with over twenty-five years of diverse nursing experience with the last decade focused on nursing informatics and simulation.  She obtained a certificate of achievement in Clinical Simulation from the University of Southern Indiana and a Healthcare Simulation Educator certificate from Saint Anselm College. She is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning, and the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. Her dissertation focus is in the exploration of simulation and barriers to its adoption in selected practice settings.

Dr. Jeffrey L. CarsonDr. Jeffrey L. Carson, Assistant Professor, Sociology/Criminal Justice, serves as an Assistant Professor at West Point Military Academy and has worked for the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Defense. In 2006, 1st Lieutenant Carson served in Mosul, Iraq during the surge led by General Petraeus. In 2008, Captain Carson was embedded with the Afghan National Army (ANA) at an outpost in Baghlan Providence and trained the ANA's intelligence and reconnaissance platoon. Dr. Carson joined the U.S. Department of State in 2010 as a researcher and served at embassies in Baghdad, Iraq and Kabul, Afghanistan. In both posts, Dr. Carson worked in the Consular Affairs section and assisted in the adjudication of Special Immigrant Visas. Dr. Carson graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and a Doctorate in Law and Policy from Northeastern University. Dr. Carson is married and the proud father of Stella and Roman. In 2016, the Carson family founded Mi-Amore ( The project is a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to recovering food, destined for disposal but completely edible, and reallocating to those in need. The project recovered, in fair market value, $16,500 in 2017 and $17,800 in 2018.

Amy ClemensAmy Clemens, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, is a Registered Nurse who received her ASN from Laboure Jr. College, her BSN from UMass Amherst, her MSN as Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist from the University of Pennsylvania and recently her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from Walden University. She is certified as an advanced practice nurse in critical care (CCNS) and as a nursing simulation educator (CHSE). Other than maintaining critical care bedside expertise, she has taught in associate and baccalaureate level nursing programs and most recently has been focusing on her newest passion in simulation training. She will be full time faculty for the nursing simulation lab here at Curry. Amy’s 'spare time" interests are spending time with her family of seven children and more grandchildren and even a great-grandchild, immersing herself in history and trying to re-organize her home now that her children have primarily moved away and her doctorate education is completed.

Dr. Amanda CrabbDr. Amanda Crabb joins the Criminal Justice and Sociology department as an Assistant Professor. Amanda first came to Curry in 2011, working in an administrative capacity, and has held a special appointment for the past two years in the Soc/CJ department. She received her PhD from Northeastern University where her dissertation focused on two immigration social movement organizations that pushed for legislative reform. Her research is focused on immigration, particularly unauthorized immigrants and Irish immigration, social movement organizations, and formal support immigrant organizations.

Nina HofmanNina Hofman, Assistant Professor, Communication (one semester special appointment), began working at Curry College in the Spring of 2008, teaching a variety of courses under the Communication umbrella. Prior to Curry, Nina worked in Corporate America for six years as a Senior Editor for, at the time the biggest online portal serving the Hispanic Americans in the U.S. Nina holds an MS in Communication from Cornell University, along with a BS in Journalism with a minor in Sociology from Seville University, Spain.

Dr. Karen Hussar, Assistant Professor, Psychology (one-semester special appointment), graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education with her doctorate in Human Development and Psychology. She has been teaching online courses for Curry College since 2014. During the 2017-18 academic year, Karen started teaching developmental psychology courses on Curry’s Milton campus. Her research interests focus on children’s moral development, with a particular interest in children's treatment towards animals and the environment.

Dr. Dan KatzDr. Dan Katz, Assistant Professor, Science and Mathematics, conducts theoretical research in gravitation and cosmology. His main focus has been on testing non-standard (i.e. non General Relativity) theories of gravity against cosmological observations to assess their validity. Recently, his research has become centered on violations of the equivalence principle of General Relativity in quantum systems and its restoration in the classical limits of those systems. This analysis is facilitated by a new scheme for quantizing the proper time an object experiences as it moves. He is also interested in the challenge of effectively teaching physics and astronomy to non-science majors. In particular, he helps students get past the all too common mindset of “I can’t do math or science.” He received both his BS and MS degrees in physics from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Dr. Rebecca Cudmore KendallDr. Rebecca Cudmore Kendall joins the Criminal Justice & Sociology Department as an Assistant Professor. She graduated in May of 2017 with her PhD in Criminology and Justice Studies from Northeastern University. Before that, Dr. Kendall received her MA in Forensic and Counseling Psychology. Her primary policy and research interests are in the area of violence and victimization, with a specific focus on sexual offending, intimate partner violence, and human trafficking. Her recent publications include manuscripts in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence and Criminal Justice Policy Review. In addition, Dr. Kendall has clinical experience doing mental health treatment and assessment with incarcerated male offenders in two Massachusetts state prisons.

Dr. Kathy McDonough, Assistant Professor, joins the Education Department at Curry College from Wheelock College where she taught both graduate and undergraduate classes for elementary and special education preservice teachers. Her teaching and scholarship focuses on supporting the development of teachers’ sociopolitical consciousness, and developing racial literacy among educators and racial equity in schools.  Dr. McDonough’s recent experience includes designing and teaching diversity and equity professional development courses for teachers in Boston and Cambridge schools, and facilitating theatre talk backs with Arts Emerson and the American Repertory Theater.  Dr. McDonough looks forward to learning about and participating in collaborative and interdisciplinary opportunities at Curry.

Julie MartiniJulie Martini, Assistant Professor, Fine and Applied Arts, is a visual artist based in Boston, MA. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art at Carleton College and her MFA in 2D Fine Arts at the Massachusetts College of Art & Design. She works in drawing, painting, and installation. Her art explores the relationship between science, nature, and the sacred. Julie is represented by Uprise Art in New York. Increasingly, her practice has included work in the public and community art realms. She recently worked with over 200 children to create a collaborative large-scale installation called “Building with Light” that explored light through the lenses of science and art. The installation was exhibited at The Museum of Fine Arts from May - October 2017. Martini has also shown her work at Gallery 263 in Cambridge, the Massachusetts College of Art, and the Mills Gallery at the Boston Center for the Arts. In 2014, she was a Finalist for a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship. She has received residencies at I-Park, the Petrified National Forest, the Women’s Studio Workshop, and the Vermont Studio Center.  She began teaching at Curry College on a part-time basis in 2014. She has also taught at Endicott College and the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. In addition to teaching, she has dedicated her career to bringing visual art to underserved segments of the Boston community at the Pine Street Inn for the Homeless, Barbara McInnis House, and Artistic Noise.

Dr. Nicole ParsonsDr. Nicole Parsons joins the Program for Advancement of Learning (PAL) as an Assistant Professor having ten years of experience working with adolescents who learn differently in the Lawrence and Beverly Public Schools. She holds dual Massachusetts Teacher Licensures in Mild to Moderate Disabilities Grades 5-12 and English grades 9-12.  Nicole has worked in a variety of settings including resource room, co-teaching, and sheltered English immersion programs. In addition to her public school experience, Nicole taught Foundations of Empowerment in a partnership initiative between Endicott College and the Jeremiah Program as one of the first certified Jeremiah educators in Massachusetts. Through this program, she facilitated workshops in emotional regulation, positive identity, communication skills, and personal responsibility to postsecondary students with learning differences.  Nicole earned her Master of Special Education degree from Salem State University and her Doctoral Degree from Endicott College.  Nicole’s doctoral research takes a fresh and intimately revealing view from the inside of Two-Generation Programs.  Her research defines the challenges teen mothers faced in simultaneously maturing in their roles as scholars and mothers.   Her research identifies how students' racial and class backgrounds influence their approach to college life, academic readiness, and motherhood.  She chose an area where little research has been done and illuminated issues and made recommendations to address problems that will inform policy and program decisions.  In a way, Nicole’s research can be called pioneering in this soon-to-be more visible arena of Higher Education.  What makes her research and her entire educational experience poignant is that Nicole was a teen mother herself.  Her commitment to learning, improving, and growing is demonstrable.

Michael PaulDr. Michael Paul, Assistant Professor, Science and Mathematics, is a chemist and from the UK.  He grew up in Liverpool and did his undergraduate degree in chemistry at the University of Bath in the southwest of England.  After graduating, he studied for a master’s and Ph.D. at the nearby University of Bristol.  His graduate work involved investigating the catalytic behavior of graphite surfaces.  Following a year of postdoctoral research, he trained as a high school teacher and taught science in public schools in the UK for 5 years.  Next, he returned to the academic world and completed a second master’s degree, followed by a second PhD this time in quantum chemistry at University College London.  In 2008, he moved across the pond to Virginia where he did a postdoc at the University of Virginia.  He returned to high school teaching and taught at a school in Fort Lauderdale for 3 years before taking up a post as an assistant chemistry professor at Gordon College in Wenham, MA.  His research interest is the use of computer simulations to study chemical interactions.  In particular, he works in the field of computer aided drug design (CADD).  The work involves modeling how small molecules form chemical bonds to proteins.  From a knowledge of the chemical bonds that form new chemicals can be found which can be developed into new medicinal therapies.  Most recently, he has been working on finding drug like molecules to regulate the migration of calcium ions through cell membranes, which is part of the chemical process that controls cell death.

Dr. Robert PolewanDr. Robert Polewan, Assistant Professor, Psychology, graduated with a doctorate in Neuroscience & Behavior from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he studied associative learning employing behavioral, physiological, and computational techniques. Courses taught include General Psychology, Learning & Conditioning, Biopsychology, Neuroscience of Memory & Cognition,  Psychopharmacology, Statistics, Research Design, History & Systems of Psychology, Psychology and the Paranormal, and Cognitive Psychology. Prior to joining the faculty at Curry College, Dr. Polewan was an Assistant Professor at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX. In addition, he was a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Behavioral Neuropharmacology Lab at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he investigated the conditioned stimulus effects of nicotine and demonstrated nicotine’s ability to serve as a conditioned stimulus in female rats and whether the drug varenicline shares stimulus effects with nicotine. Dr. Polewan has also taught as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Assumption College (Worcester, MA) and Mount Holyoke College (South Hadley, MA).

Alison Poor-DonahueAlison Poor-Donahue, Associate Professor, Fine and Applied Arts, is a highly motivated professor with years of expertise working at academic institutions under assorted positions. Alison also has a vast knowledge of teaching and administrative obligations. A leader in her field, she has led or been a member of teams tasked with curriculum development, strategic planning, fiscal management, resource development, policy setting, and overall administration, providing leadership in developing and creating industry-driven academic curriculum and intentional planning with an emphasis on effectiveness, quality, and student success. She possesses extensive academic development expertise due to participating and leading numerous committees, task forces and boards. She is passionate about developing curriculum in a student success-oriented culture, providing the tools and academic advising necessary for students to succeed and be gainfully employed when they graduate into today’s fast-paced industry. Alison demonstrates a collaborative leadership and management style across all work and functional areas of Higher Education, while supporting and advancing the institution’s mission. She encourages and supports innovation, experimentation, and an entrepreneurial attitude across all phases of the academic initiative.

Julianne A. WalshAssistant Professor Julianne A. Walsh has been teaching at Curry College School of Nursing since 2017. She currently teaches in the RN-BS, ACCEL, and the Traditional Undergraduate programs. Her research focus includes nursing education, reflective learning, and experiential learning. Julianne's fundamental goal in education is to mentor the nursing workforce and guide students through the learning process to become critical thinkers.  During her professional career of 28 years, Julianne has worked at a variety of healthcare settings at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Medical Center, and Brigham Health's Endoscopy Center.

Julianne's most recent accomplishments included successful completion of the Ph.D. Qualifying exam, completion of the Health Care Simulation Educator Certificate Program at Saint Anselm College, this June's recent publication in the Massachusetts Report on Nursing discussing the role of new faculty, first-place poster presentation recipient of the Sister Madeleine Clemence Vaillot Scholarship Day UMass Dartmouth's Graduate Program, and faculty election as student representative for the Ph.D. program at UMass Dartmouth. 

Julianne is an active member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing: Theta at Large Chapter and Theta Kappa Chapter, the Eastern Nursing Research Society, the Massachusetts Rhode Island League for Nursing, the American Nurses Association, National League for Nursing, and the International Nursing Association of Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL).

Dr. Sasha YampolskyDr. Sasha Yampolsky joins the Program for Advancement of Learning as Assistant Professor. She brings to this role two decades of professional practice in the field of literacy, language, and learning. Sasha is a certified speech-language pathologist and literacy specialist. Her expertise lies in the intimate connection between spoken and written language. Sasha has worked in a variety of settings, including Massachusetts General Hospital, Tufts University, and various school systems. For the past decade Sasha ran her own private practice, where she and her staff worked with students with learning disabilities and neurological disorders affecting language and cognition. Sasha has helped many families and schools to maximize their students’ abilities in achieving his or her potential as a learner. During this time, Sasha also consulted and provided professional development workshops to school districts and organizations such as the Special Needs Advocacy Network, Federation for Children with Special Needs, and the International Dyslexia Association. Sasha received her doctoral degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Boston University. Her research focused on the relationship between memory and language. She holds a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology and Reading from Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions. Sasha was a recipient of the American Psychological Association/Institute of Education Sciences Postdoctoral Education Research Training Award. She completed her post-doctoral training in literacy at the Tufts University Center for Reading and Language Research. Sasha was also a Fulbright scholar, researching speech recognition technology. Sasha believes that self-esteem is intimately related to knowing that you have control over your studies. She is passionate about helping young adults achieve a sense of pride as successful learners.