Faculty & Staff

The Global School's faculty and staff are dedicated to collaboration, community-based action, and ethical engagement across the globe to prepare the next generation of leaders. In the classroom or in the field, they bring  diverse expertise and unwavering commitment to mitigate the impact of global challenges.  

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Faculty Highlights

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Kent Rismiller Lauds Project-based Learning

In an Inside HigherEd Academic Minute interview, Kent Rissmiller discusses how project-based learning helps students throughout their lives and long after they graduate.

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Sarah Stanlick in WPI's Journal

As the new director of the Great Problems Seminar, Sarah Stanlick, assistant professor in the Department of Integrative and Global Studies, shares some of the items in her office that are especially meaningful to her.

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Faculty

Marja Bakermans
Associate Teaching Professor, The Global School

I possess a strong commitment to student education, and a goal of mine is to stimulate students' critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. Recently, students and I have been on a journey to open classroom content and discussions in an interdisciplinary and inclusive way. Students are challenged to rethink their role as active knowledge producers beyond the class as students become co-authors of open educational resources. For example, students are co-authors of multiple texts, like Extinction Stories, Climate Lessons, and Current Challenges in Biodiversity and Conservation. More ...

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Melissa Belz
Associate Teaching Professor, The Global School

I am a geographer with a focus on the cultural landscape, meaning landscapes that are shaped by people. I am interested in development, how and why places change, and why certain traditions endure. I study this mainly through vernacular architecture (traditional regional design). My research was based in the Indian Himalaya and explores what connections forest policy and cash crop markets have with the decline in architectural woodcarving and vernacular design. I hope to better understand how modernization and preservation can be balanced to sustain culturally distinct landscapes. Previous to ...

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Grant Burrier
Associate Professor of Teaching, The Global School

Grant completed his Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of New Mexico with sub-field specializations in Comparative Politics and International Relations. His dissertation analyzed infrastructure investments and sustainable development in Brazil, focusing on the policymaking process in Brazil’s developmental state and the socio-environmental impacts of hydroelectric dams in the Amazon. His principal research interests include political economy, the environment, renewable energy, social welfare, democratic institutions, and populism. Currently, he is working on two manuscripts: a ...

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Melissa Butler
Instructor, The Global School

Prior to coming to WPI, I taught Sociology at Clark University (2006-2021) and supervised honors theses, directed studies and independent research projects. Throughout my career, my research interests have centered on examining theological questions of "worth" for professional workers in capitalist societies. In recent years, I have also become interested in how universities might apply principles guiding the slow movement to create more balanced work environments and contribute to individual and collective health and well-being.  I began working part-time at WPI in 2016 teaching ...

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Fabio Carrera
Teaching Professor, The Global School

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x6059

Fabio is the director of the Venice and Santa Fe Project Centers, as well as the founder and director of City Lab, an interdisciplinary research laboratory dedicated to Urban Technology and Information Systems. In addition to a number of scientific papers, his work has been repeatedly featured in National Geographic magazine (most recently in the August 2009 issue), MIT’s Technology Review magazine, the Smithsonian magazine, Wired, New Scientist and Science. He was also featured on BBC Radio and in a National Geographic video completely dedicated to his work in his hometown of Venice, ...

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John-Michael Davis
Assistant Professor of Teaching, The Global School

John-Michael holds a diverse academic background with degrees in psychology, water management, environmental studies, and geography – which rightly embodies the interdisciplinary approach to research cultivated in the DIGS. His work follows a common theme that values community-driven and action oriented research to address complex development challenges related to sustainable livelihoods, informal economies, waste management, environmental contamination, community representation, and INGO legitimacy. Involving communities and local stakeholders within all phases of the research process is ...

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Corey Dehner
Associate Professor of Teaching, The Global School

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x4959

A public interest lawyer in my previous life, I was drawn to academia by its capacity to help facilitate attitudinal changes, foster dialogue, and inspire students to be ethically minded leaders. I thrive on the energy of students, particularly when I see them develop a newfound confidence and excitement for learning.Drawing on my environmental policy knowledge, and awareness of the mental health aftermath of the COVID-19 induced shutdown, in 2022, I explored creation of a program that could facilitate student project work and increase student connections with nature. According to the American ...

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Zoe Eddy
Assistant Professor of Teaching, The Global School

Zoë Antoinette Eddy (she/her/hers) is a researcher, educator, and advocate dedicated to re-imagining learning. She received her joint-PhD in social anthropology and archaeology from Harvard University (GSAS Class of 2019). She has taught in a range of disciplines, including gender studies, environmental studies, history of science, literature, and critical media studies. She is the elected Vice Chair of the Board for RedRover. In the past, she has also served as board member for The Society of Ethnobiology. Research and Teaching Interests: anthropology, critical media studies, Indigenous ...

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Laureen Elgert
Professor & Department Head, The Global School

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5452

I joined WPI in 2011 as a scholar and teacher with training in public health, environmental policy, and international development studies. My research and teaching interests focused on the environment-development nexus, where tensions between sustainability and livelihoods often lead to contentious policy debates. My work on soy production and land inequality, expert roundtables and certification, and sustainability rating systems for cities, advanced ideas around how global discourses about sustainable agriculture and sustainability indicators take shape, are mobilized, and have influence at ...

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Katherine Foo
Assistant Professor of Teaching, The Global School

Katherine Foo, PhD MLA, is co-director of the Berlin Project Center and an assistant teaching professor in the Department of Integrated and Global Studies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Her research focuses on urban environmental governance and landscape visualization for social and environmental justice. She is passionate about fostering institutional change to empower community groups by building academic-civic partnerships.  Through engaged, inclusive practices like participatory mapping, scenario development, and design-build ...

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Dominic Golding
Teaching Professor-Interdisciplinary, The Global School

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x6463

For twenty years I conducted research at Clark University on the social aspects of environmental risks, with a focus on the topics of risk communication, public trust, and vulnerability. After a brief sojourn at the EcoTarium (a museum of science and nature located in Worcester), I began teaching at WPI in 2006. I have taught more than 600 students in ID2050 and advised more than 100 IQPs in the UK (London and Worcester), US (Nantucket, Washington, DC, and Worcester), Australia, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, and Switzerland. As center director, I am responsible for identifying project topics and ...

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Robert Hersh
Instructor, The Global School

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5522

Before coming to WPI in 2004,  Bob worked for a number of years as a Fellow at Resources for the Future, a non-profit organization in Washington, DC that conducts research and policy analysis on environmental quality and natural resources,  and as the Brownfields Director at the Center for Public Environmental Oversight (CPEO).  His broad substantive interests include regional food systems, contaminated site cleanup and revitalization, community participation in environmental decision-making, ethnographic filmmaking, and more recently, development projects in squatter settlements in Southern ...

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Lorraine Higgins
Teaching Professor, The Global School

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5503

My field is rhetoric, and I teach writing as a form of inquiry and problem solving. One challenge in my teaching is to get students to see writing that way. It is not simply window dressing for ideas they already have; writing is a way to create and test ideas, to engage in a dialogue with a community of readers who need to know what they have to say and will likely have something to say back. Some students approach their first college writing assignment as an exercise in demonstrating they can quote from expert sources, organize paragraphs, and punctuate sentences. They are surprised (and in ...

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Courtney Kurlanska
Assistant Professor of Teaching, The Global School

I am an economic anthropologist who conducts both interdisciplinary and applied research. I study global issues from an ethnographic perspective examining local phenomena and placing it within their global context. My work has covered a variety of topics from spirituality and health to remittance strategies of Peruvian migrants. My dissertation research, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, examined the use of microfinance loans on rural livelihoods in Nicaragua. My current work is on the social and solidarity economy and its intersection with sustainable development.I truly ...

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Tsitsi Masvawure
Assistant Professor, The Global School

I am a medical anthropologist, global health researcher and feminist scholar, whose research focuses on issues of gender, sexuality and health. I am primarily interested in the HIV pandemic and have conducted research on HIV prevention and treatment in various countries in Africa. I have held teaching positions at the College of the Holy Cross (MA), where I taught undergraduate courses on global health (e.g., Intro to Global Health, Health and Development, Mixed-Methods in Health Research, HIV/AIDS in Global Perspective) and coordinated the health studies program. At Clark University (MA), ...

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Stephen McCauley
Associate Professor of Teaching, The Global School

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x6164

Stephen McCauley is a geographer whose work focuses on exploring how cities change and how urban futures can be inclusive, green and resilient. His broad substantive interests include climate change preparedness, urban resilience, energy system innovation, community participation in environmental decision-making, citizen science, and GI Science for urban planning. His current work addresses urban heat island dynamics and green infrastructure and other planning interventions that can mitigate the vulnerabilities associated with extreme heat in cities. At WPI, Stephen co-directs (with Lorraine ...

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Geoffrey Pfeifer
Associate Professor of Teaching, The Global School

My areas of expertise in philosophy and social theory are in social and political philosophy, Marxism, global justice, development ethics, and also Critical Pedagogies. I teach philosophy courses, global studies courses, and for the Great Problems Seminars program (currently I co-teach the Seeking Sustainability and the Climate Change courses for this program).  In addition to a number of chapters in edited collections, my work can be found in journals such as Human Studies, The European Legacy, Crisis and Critique, Continental Thought and Theory, Current Perspectives in Social Theory, ...

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Laura Roberts
Assistant Teaching Professor, The Global School

Phone: +1 (508) 8316306

Laura Roberts is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Integrative and Global Studies department at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Director of the Worcester Community Project Center (WCPC). The WCPC is one of 50+ WPI project centers around the world, where students engage in hands-on, community-based research projects exploring topics situated at the intersection of society and technology. In this role, Professor Roberts facilitates global learning opportunities with local community organizations where students investigate pressing global issues without stepping on a plane. Prior to ...

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Derren Rosbach
Associate Professor of Teaching, The Global School

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5826

  The overarching goal of my teaching and research is to contribute to an interdisciplinary understanding of environmental governance and policy. More specifically, I focus on the building of individual, organizational and institutional capacities to participate in collaborative efforts to address complex social and environmental sustainability problems through the application of science and technology. My academic and professional background includes experience in molecular biology, microbial ecology, wildlife biology, sustainable forestry and most recently environmental policy and ...

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William San Martín
Assistant Professor, The Global School

William San Martín (He/Him/El) is Assistant Professor of Global Environmental Science, Technology, and Governance in the Department of Integrative and Global Studies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and a Research Fellow at the Earth Systems Governance Project at Utrecht University, The Netherlands.He is an interdisciplinary scholar of earth-systems sciences and global environmental governance trained in history, international politics & relations, and science & technology studies (STS). His work focuses on international development; Latin America & the Global ...

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Mimi Sheller
Dean of Global School, The Global School

Dr. Mimi Sheller is the Dean of The Global School and is an internationally recognized scholar and higher education leader, with fifteen years of executive leadership across academic units, research centers, and professional organizations. Prior to joining WPI, she was tenured Professor of Sociology, Head of the Sociology Department, and founding Director of the Center for Mobilities Research and Policy at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Dr. Sheller was awarded the Doctor Honoris Causa from Roskilde University, Denmark, in 2015, the Drexel Provost’s Award for Outstanding Career Scholarly ...

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Ingrid Shockey
Teaching Professor, The Global School

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x6635

Ingrid Shockey is an environmental sociologist whose work concerns natural literacy and the interplay of human-wilderness relationships. These domains include topics in biodiversity loss, climate change perceptions, and our sense of place and identity with respect to the landscape. Her work has focused most recently on mountain ecologies and economies in the western Himalaya. She manages and curates two undergraduate student Project Centers, serving as co-director for the Wellington Project Center in New Zealand (since 2012) and directing the WPI-IIT Mandi India Project Center at the Indian ...

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Sarah Stanlick
Assistant Professor, The Global School

Sarah Stanlick, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Integrative and Global Studies and the Director of the Great Problems Seminar at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She was the founding director of Lehigh University’s Center for Community Engagement and faculty member in Sociology and Anthropology. She previously taught at Centenary College of New Jersey and was a researcher at Harvard’s Kennedy School, assisting the US Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power. She has published in journals such as The Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, The ...

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Elisabeth Stoddard
Associate Professor of Teaching, The Global School

Prof Stoddard is a human-environment geographer who is interested in the intersection of nature, society, and justice, particularly in the context of climate change. She looks at the ways in which we can design for climate resilience, in terms of infrastructure, location specific practices, and through community resilience. Stoddard also looks at the vulnerability and resilience of food systems to disasters (climate, disease outbreaks, etc.), and the impacts for humans, animals, and ecosystems. She looks at the ways in which technology, policies, and social movements ...

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Sarah Strauss
Professor, The Global School

Phone: +1 (508) 8316883

Sarah Strauss was born and raised on the east coast. During high school and college, she was deeply involved in biomedical research, and expected her career path to lie in this direction. She enjoyed the philosophical traditions, though, and so although she worked in molecular biology laboratories, she also majored in comparative religion. During her final year in college, she discovered medical anthropology, and that changed everything. A career in anthropology would allow her to pursue all of her research interests, from health and human biology to myth and religion. After graduating, she ...

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Seth Tuler
Associate Professor, The Global School

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x6444

  Seth has been part of the Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division since 2002, as teacher, advisor, and co-director of project centers. He is the co-Director of the Boston Project Center and was the co-Director of the Bangkok Project Center from 2011-2018. He enjoys exposing students to contemporary problems in environmental and public health policy making and challenging them to apply insights emerging from research to practical applications. He loves share his curiosity with students about the ways that people are impacted by different technological and natural systems. A ...

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Kristin Wobbe
Director, Center for Project Based Learning, Center for Project Based Learning

Project-based learning is an enormously powerful approach to education. I've been changed by it; I've watched students be changed by it. I've seen faculty develop a renewed sense of joy in teaching from using it. And now, after over a decade of using PBL with students, I'm embarking on a new phase of helping faculty implement PBL through the work of the Center for Project-Based Learning. The good news - working with faculty on PBL is as much fun as working with students!

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Staff

Rosemarie Alicea
Administrative Assistant VI, The Global School

Rosie oversees specialized tasks to facilitate key operational processes within WPl's Global Experience Office and SWEET Center. She serves as the front line for these two offices and proactively addresses daily business by providing customer service to both internal and external audiences. Rosie also supports students and their families within the Global Projects Program (GPP) with a focus on introducing the WPI eProjects landing page as students begin their off-campus IQP application process.  Central to her position is the management and tracking of Global Projects Program rosters and ...

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Deborah Fusaro
Program Coordinator, Global Experience Office, The Global School

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x6941

Deb implements and administers outreach, admissions, review and enrollment processes for the Global Projects Program for the Interactive Qualifying Project, Major Qualifying Project and Humanities and Arts Projects. She is the primary point of contact for student advising and support in project search, application and placement. She leads eProjects database management for the Global Experience Office, and provides support for pre-departure preparation and off-campus travel.

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Kathleen Head
Director Global Experience Office, The Global School

Kathleen serves as Director of the Global Experience Office (GEO) which administers WPI's Global Projects Program (GPP). She, along with the Dean and Associate Dean of the Global School, Chair of the Department of Integrative and Global Studies, and Director of the Great Problems Seminar, form the leadership team for the Global School and the GPP. Kathleen leads a team of five professional staff to manage operations, logistics, and student learning/experience within the GPP. This includes developing, implementing and assessing policies and procedures governing the GEO, GPP, exchange programs ...

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Ruth McKeogh
Director, Human Subjects Research and Academic Programs, Research

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x6699

Ruth's work spans the WPI campus from advisors to researchers to the classroom. Providing guidance to students, faculty and researchers in the community on the ethical conduct of human subjects research and advising IQP's. 

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Krista Miller
Assistant Director, Global Experience Office, The Global School

As an Assistant Director in GEO, Krista is responsible for the administration of the project center arrangements, the management of exchange programs, the development of program budgets and student fees, and the maintenance of program information in eProjects. Krista also acts as liaison to the Office of Accessibility Services to assist students who may need housing accommodations while on project. Prior to WPI, Krista worked in the education abroad offices at both the University of Connecticut and the Pennsylvaina State University. Krista spent a semester in Paris studying at the Sorbonne ...

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Anne Ogilvie
Director for Team Learning, The Global School

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x4944

 Projects are the reason I came to WPI. As a longtime experiential educator and true believer in the transformational power of hands-on learning, I was eager to engage with faculty and students as part of WPI’s project-based curriculum. In my former role leading WPI’s Global Projects Program, I watched teams come together, start projects, learn new things and new ways of working together, travel to our project centers, sometimes have to change their approach, sometimes struggle, and almost always accomplish things they never thought possible at the start of the project.  As the ...

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Retired Faculty

Scott Jiusto
Adjunct Teaching Professor, The Global School

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5393

My teaching, research, and community engagement is integrated through my participation in WPIs Global Projects Program, where I help students prepare for and conduct projects in places such as London, Venice, Puerto Rico, Denmark, Washington and Worcester. Through the WPI Cape Town Project Centre (2007-15), my work was an exercise in Shared Action Learning (SAL), which as described to students and others is a way to think about and engage in partnerships for sustainable community development. SAL emphasizes Sharing among partners of ideas, knowledge, resources, inspiration and compassion; ...

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Rick Vaz
Adjunct Professor, The Global School

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5344

As a Senior Fellow in WPI’s Center for Project-Based Learning, which I established in 2016, I work with colleagues across campus to help advance project-based learning at colleges and universities around the nation and the globe. We also support project-based learning here on the WPI campus. Most of my scholarly and professional activity has centered around experiential and international education. Through my involvement in organizations such as the Association of American Colleges and Universities and the American Society for Engineering Education, I work to promote WPI’s approach to ...

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