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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.  

Faculty Highlights

headshot of Kent Rissmiller wearing a suitcoat and a red tie

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.

Headshot of Sarah Stanlick in a black sweater

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.

Faculty

Marja Bakermans

Marja Bakermans

Associate Teaching Professor
Office: Goddard Hall, 100 Institute RD
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 and Climate Lessons . ... View Profile
Melissa Belz

Melissa Malouf Belz

Associate Teaching Professor-Interdisciplinary
Phone: +1 (508) 3736211
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. ... View Profile

Grant Alan Burrier

Visiting Associate Professor
Fabio Carrera

Fabio Carrera

Teaching Professor-Interdisciplinary
Office: Salisbury Labs 113
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, Italy. ... View Profile

James A. Chiarelli

Instructor/Lecturer-Interdisciplinary
Office: 100 Institute RD

Jason Davis

Adjunct Assistant Teaching Professor
Office: 100 Institute Road
John-Michael Davis

John-Michael Davis

Assistant Professor of Teaching
Office: 100 Institute Road
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. ... View Profile
Corey Dehner

Corey Dehner

Associate Teaching Professor-Interdisciplinary
Office: Project Center 210B
Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x4959
Corey Denenberg Dehner is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Interdisciplinary Global Studies Division. She is Director of the Worcester Community Project Center and founder and Co-Director of the Massachusetts Water Resource Outreach Center. At WPI, Corey serves on the Sustainability Board; is a member of the WPI Project Inclusion Rubric Steering Committee; and Co-Chair of the Project Inclusion Faculty Subcommittee. A public interest lawyer in her previous life, Corey was drawn to academia by its capacity to help facilitate attitudinal changes both on campus and off. ... View Profile
Leslie Dodson

Leslie Lynn Dodson

Assistant Teaching Professor-Interdisciplinary
Office: 100 Institute RD

Joseph Doiron

Assistant Teaching Professor-Interdisciplinary
Office: 100 Institute Road
I am an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Global School, Co-Director of the Global Lab, and Co-Director of the Namibia Project Center. I'm a strategic, multilingual, relationship-builder and global experiential learning expert with hands-on experience creating, launching, leading, and evaluating education projects, digital learning products, education programs, and educational institutions in North America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.  View Profile
Zoe Eddy

Zoe Eddy

Assistant Teaching Professor
Laureen Elgert

Laureen Elgert

Department Head
Office: Project Center 201
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. ... View Profile
Katherine Foo

Katherine Foo

Assistant Professor of Teaching
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 ... View Profile
Dominic Golding

Dominic Golding

Teaching Professor-Interdisciplinary
Office: Project Center 214B
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. ... View Profile
Robert Hersh

Robert Hersh

Instructor/Lecturer-Interdisciplinary
Office: Project Center 211b
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 ... View Profile
Lorraine Higgins

Lorraine D. Higgins

Teaching Professor
Office: SL 020
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. ... View Profile
Courtney Kurlanska

Courtney Brooke Kurlanska

Assistant Professor of Teaching
Office: 231 Innovation Studio
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. ... View Profile
Stephen McCauley

Stephen M. McCauley

Associate Professor of Teaching
Office: Global Lab, Innovation Studio 225
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. ... View Profile
Geoffrey Pfeifer

Geoffrey Pfeifer

Associate Professor of Teaching
Office: SL 327b
Phone: +1 (508) 8314931
Professor Pfeifer’s research focus in philosophy is on contemporary continental philosophy, social and political philosophy, global justice, and development ethics. He teaches philosophy courses, international studies courses, and for the Great Problems Seminars program. In addition to a number of chapters in edited collections, Professor Pfeifer's work can be found in journals such as Human Studies, The European Legacy, Crisis and Critique, Continental Thought and Theory, and Current Perspectives in Social Theory. ... View Profile
Kent Rissmiller

Kent J. Rissmiller

Associate Dean, Global School
Office: 240 Foise Innovation Studio
Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5019
Kent Rissmiller completed studies in political science at Muhlenberg College (AB) and Syracuse University (PhD). Along the way, he also completed a JD at the University of New Hampshire Law School, where he worked in the Energy Law Institute. Professor Rissmiller also worked for three years as an attorney for the Public Service Commission of Nevada, where he was involved in setting rates and policies for electric and water utilities. At WPI, Professor Rissmiller teaches government, law, and public policy. He also directs the Pre-Law program and oversees the Law and Technology minor. ... View Profile
Laura Roberts

Laura Roberts

Assistant Teaching Professor
Office: Project Center 212
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. ... View Profile
Derren Rosbach

Derren Rosbach

Associate Professor of Teaching
Office: 100 Institute RD
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. ... View Profile
William San Martín

William San Martín

Assistant Professor-Interdisciplinary
Office: Laurie A. Leshin Global Project Center 106C
Phone: +1 (508) 8315442
William San Martín (He/Him/El) 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 South; socio-environmental (in)justices; and science, technology & the human environment. He is currently a Research Fellow at the Earth Systems Governance Project . ... View Profile
Mimi Sheller

Mimi Sheller

Dean of Global School
Office: Innovation Studio 240A
Dr. Mimi Sheller is the Dean of The Global School. 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. ... View Profile
Ingrid Shockey

Ingrid K. Shockey

Associate Teaching Professor-Interdisciplinary
Office: Project Center, 209
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. ... View Profile

Jefferson Alex Sphar

Assistant Teaching Professor
Office: 100 Institute RD
Sarah Stanlick

Sarah Eliza Stanlick

Assistant Professor
Office: 100 Institute Road
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. ... View Profile
Carol Lee Stimmel

Carol Lee Stimmel

Assistant Teaching Professor
Dr. Stimmel is an adjunct lecturer in The Global School at WPI. She holds a master's in International Development and an interdisciplinary doctorate in Technology and Social Change from Clark University. Since 1999, she has been published across professional, scholarly, popular, and syndicated research markets, with special expertise in critical infrastructure, smart cities, and social change theory and applications.   With a rich and varied career as practitioner, executive leader, and policy advisor, Dr. ... View Profile
Elisabeth Stoddard

Elisabeth Anne Stoddard

Associate Professor of Teaching
Office: Salisbury Laboratories, 310F
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. ... View Profile
Sarah Strauss

Sarah Strauss

Professor
Office: 214A Project Center
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. ... View Profile
Robert Traver

Robert W. Traver

Teaching Professor-Interdisciplinary
Office: 329 Salisbury Labs
Two overarching questions direct Dr. Traver’s career: What is the nature of teaching? What is the teaching of nature? The majority of Dr. Traver’s sixteen years at WPI deals with the development and administration of education programs that involve science and engineering content and related teaching and training of teachers. Currently he focuses on project-based undergraduate engineering education with emphasis on related instruction and on project design and delivery for sustainable development. ... View Profile
Seth Tuler

Seth Tuler

Associate Professor-Interdisciplinary
Office: Project Center 211A
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. ... View Profile
Rick Vaz

Rick Vaz

Professor
Office: Center for Project-Based Learning, 157 West Street, 1st floor
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. ... View Profile
Kristin Wobbe

Kristin K. Wobbe

Director, Center for Project Based Learning
Office: 157 West St. 1st floor
Phone: +1 (617) 6975267
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! View Profile

Staff

Rosemarie Alicea

Rosemarie Adelaide Alicea

Administrative Assistant VI
Office: Bartlett Center
Rosie joined our team in March of 2014. She oversees a portion of the incoming first-year students and transfer students; and, is part of the Financial Literacy Outreach Program. She is responsible for the Gilbert Grant and Corporate and National Merit Scholarship Program. Fluent in three languages she values opportunities to travel with family and friends. On her spare time from WPI, you can find her biking along the Cape Cod Rail Trail or coaching soccer in her local community. ... View Profile
Dawn Farmer

Dawn Fusaro Farmer

Operations Manager
Phone: +1 (508) 8315547
Nancy Fay

Nancy Anne Fay

Operations Manager
Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x6365
Deborah Fusaro

Deborah Fusaro

Program Coordinator, Global Experience Office
Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x6941
As Program Coordinator, Global Experience Office,  Deb is the student contact for IQP, MQP, ISRP, and Humanities Projects in the Americas, Africa and the Pacific regions and is responsible for preparing students for off-campus projects, and collecting and maintaining student and faculty travel information and documentation. She works with the Assistant Director of the Global Experience Office in coordinating the IQP application process. Deb earned a BS in Business Management from Boston College. ... View Profile
Ruth McKeogh

Ruth McKeogh

Director, Human Subjects Research and Academic Programs
Office: LLGPC 217
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.  View Profile

Krista Miller

Program Coordinator, Global Experience Office
Anne Ogilvie

Anne Ogilvie

Director for Team Learning
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. ... View Profile
Candace Ruta-Burdette

Candace Ruta-Burdette

Assistant Director, Global Experience Office
Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x6209

Colin Watters

Director Global Risk Management

Retired Faculty

Scott Jiusto

Scott Jiusto

Professor Emeritus - Cape Town Project Center Co-Director
Office: Project Center 205
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. ... View Profile
R. Creighton Peet

R. Creighton Peet

Adjunct Teaching Professor
Office: Salisbury Labs 331
Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x6730
After spending many years working in international development and humanitarian assistance, as well as in international social and environmental education, and anthropological field research, Creighton Peet joined WPI in 2000 as part of its Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division. He loves teaching at WPI and sharing what he has learned over the years through its project-based curriculum. This style of teaching is a way of learning for him, directly and indirectly, and it satisfies his own research interests in the sustainable management of natural resources, especially water. ... View Profile