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T he ma g a z ine f o r the C o l l e g e o f P r o f essi o na l S tu d ies a l umni an d f r ien d s

Educating the Educators Educator of the Year recipient Ilsa Bruer, BA/MAT’06 — lessons learned

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[september10] Scholarship Awards Reception September 1 Cabral Center ALUMNI CELEBRATION @ the Zoo! September 11 Franklin Park Zoo Conversations at Northeastern: Cape Cod Alumni Campus Tour & Luncheon September 14 Alumni Center Career Series: Advanced Resume Building for the Seasoned Professional September 22 Raytheon Amphitheater

[october10] Conversations with an Admissions Officer: Preparing for College October 2 Northeastern University Welcome Center College of Professional Studies Graduation Ceremonies October 16 Boston Sheraton Hotel

For more information or to register for College of Professional Studies alumni events please visit:

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2 Passing the Baton: Former Vice President and Dean Christopher Hopey, PhD and Interim Dean John LaBrie, EdD

4 Teaching, Learning, Growing, and Loving It Alumna Ilsa Bruer, BA/MAT’06: Boston Public Schools’ “Educator of the Year”

10 Recent Events

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12 From Courtroom to Classroom Dr. Tim Howard on turning his lawsuits with Toyota and BP into lessons in Law and Policy

14 Going the Distance: Peacekeeper in Sudan Pursues Her Associate Degree Online Grassroots humanitarian Imelda Tjahaja brings her experiences to a virtual classroom

18 Assignment: Department of Education A fresh outlook for Northeastern’s Education program in its new home at the College of Professional Studies

22 Faculty Profile Dr. Alan Stoskopf brings practitioner wisdom to the new Doctor of Education program

24 Of Note

Interim Dean, the College of Professional Studies: John G. LaBrie, EdD Editor: Paula Vogel Editorial Contributor: Carla Kindt Contributor: Eileen Pacheco Contributor: Peggy Wyllie Design: Pangaro Beer Design Photography: Rick Friedman, Heratch Ekmekjian Encore Magazine is published by the College of Professional Studies, Northeastern University, 50 Nightingale Hall, 360 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02115-5000. Phone 877-668-7727. Encore Magazine is published for the alumni of the College of Professional Studies, the School of Professional and Continuing Studies, University College, the Lowell Institute School, the Boston Evening School, and the School of Education.

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Send editorial contributions to: Paula Vogel, Encore Magazine, College of Professional Studies, Northeastern University, 50 Nightingale Hall, 360 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02115-5000 or via email to Encore Magazine accepts no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, artwork, or photography. Materials will not be returned unless accompanied by a stamped, selfaddressed envelope. Copyright ©2010 Northeastern University. All rights reserved.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Encore welcomes your letters and reserves the right to edit them for space and clarity. Letters for publication should be no longer than 150 words, must refer to an article and include the writer’s name, address and phone number. If sending via email, please do not send attachments. Send letters to: Letters to the Editor, Encore Magazine, College of Professional Studies, Northeastern University, 50 Nightingale Hall, 360 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02115-5000 or via email to:

The views expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the views of the College of Professional Studies or Northeastern University.

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Interim Dean John G. LaBrie, EdD and former Vice President and Dean Christopher E. Hopey, PhD


It is with great pleasure that I welcome Dr. John LaBrie as the interim dean of the College of Professional Studies. His understanding and passion for our access mission make him the right choice to continue to move the College forward. Please join me in extending John a warm welcome. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Todd Leach, senior associate dean and chief academic officer, College of Professional Studies, for his 14 years of service to Northeastern. Todd has been an integral force in the development of our graduate programs and our overall success in recent years. Please join me in wishing him well in his new position as president of Granite State College in New Hampshire. During my past six years as vice president and dean, it has been gratifying to see the College rise to national prominence in the areas of undergraduate and graduate education for working professionals and international students. We introduced the College’s first graduate degrees and now have over 20 graduate and doctoral programs. The U.S. Department of Education now ranks the College and Northeastern as second in enrollments in the country for part-time undergraduate programs and fifth in the nation for part-time graduate programs among leading research universities.

I am immensely proud of all that we’ve accomplished during my time here, and that you were part of that success. We have worked to provide more programs and services for alumni and also listened to you as to how we can offer the best programs and resources to our students. Your input and participation at events has been invaluable and I hope that will continue for years to come. While it is difficult to leave, as a “double husky”, I will always be a part of Northeastern, and it will forever be a part of me. What’s more, I leave knowing that the College is in the hands of one of the best teams in higher education, and I have full confidence in their leadership and know they will ensure that the College continues to thrive. I thank you for allowing me to serve as your vice president and dean, and I wish you the best for the future. Sincerely,

Christopher E. Hopey, PhD


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Meet Dean LaBrie John LaBrie, EdD, the new interim dean of the College of Professional Studies, comes to this role after serving as a faculty member in the College’s Doctor of Education program. Previously, he was Dean of Continuing Studies at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. He holds an EdD from the University of Pennsylvania, a MSA in Management from Saint Michael’s College and a bachelor’s from the University of Maine at Fort Kent. Encore recently had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. LaBrie to discuss his background, his views on education and his goals for the College. Encore: Tell us about how you became focused on adult and continuing education. Dr. LaBrie: I came to education through the back door. As an undergraduate, I was the dreaded retention problem—part-time, full-time, starting at one institution and then moving to another. I was lucky to have had great mentors along the way, including one who pointed me toward a great program at Saint Michael’s College in Vermont. It became a real turning

point for me. It was a program focused exclusively for working adults and I felt like I found a real educational home. I overcame a psychological barrier, and realized I had a right to a place at the table. The reason I’m passionate about access, is because I see people being held back from higher education because, like me, they don’t see a place for themselves in traditional programs and environments. Encore: What is the biggest challenge you see in your new role? Dr. LaBrie: A traditional college at an institution like Northeastern University is structured based on a discipline; Engineering, Computer Science, Health Sciences, etc. What’s unique and challenging about the College of Professional Studies, is the focus is on the student population and access, rather than discipline. The curriculum is driven by what we need to bring to the table to serve the student population. The format changes dramatically to accommodate the population, creating a range of complexities. That’s the exciting challenge.

tion. For some deans, their colleges feel like, or are often perceived as, a stepchild of the university—an afterthought. Here at Northeastern, the College of Professional Studies is amongst equals at the table in discussions around enrollment management and curriculum development. For me, that has been the biggest and most pleasant surprise in my discovery of the College. Encore: What role do you see alumni playing in the College’s future? Dr. LaBrie: A college’s reputation is its alumni. In higher education, our product is defined by our consumers. Our alumni are our identity. They define us, and therefore they are critically important to advancing the College.

Encore: What has been most surprising? Dr. LaBrie: Typically, adult and continuing education colleges work with populations that are not the central focus of the institu-


I wish to thank all of you who have welcomed me as interim dean of the College of Professional Studies. I am excited and privileged to lead this truly unique institution into the next generation model for adult and continuing education.

tremendous opportunity for the College of Professional Studies to define, in an international context, the role of the scholarpractitioner. For school systems to get better, they need to “think” and “do” concurrently.

Stepping into this role, with its staff and in its current state of development, is energizing on many levels. I am working with intelligent and innovative people who have built the College’s full-spectrum academic portfolio almost from scratch. Through innovation and execution, the College has become a respected leader in higher education, both within the University and across the international academic marketplace.

Our programming is built around an embedded scholar-practitioner model, in which educators are working in the field of education and thinking about how to advance the field simultaneously. Consider this concept as you read through the fascinating alumni, faculty and student profiles featured in this issue.

My job is to move the College forward into its next phase of development. As members of our academy and stewards of our heritage, you, our alumni, have an interest in making sure the College continues to advance. I look forward to meeting you, hearing from you and working with you in this effort. Education is the theme of this issue of Encore. As a recent faculty member in the College’s Doctor of Education program, this is certainly a subject that is close to my heart. I believe there is a


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Meanwhile, I look forward to serving as your dean and to meeting many of you in the months ahead. Sincerely,

John G. LaBrie, EdD Interim Dean


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Teaching, Learnin Growing, and Loving It Ilsa Bruer, BA/MAT’06, Boston Public Schools, Educator of the Year, 2010


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As a first-grader in a rural elementary school in Oregon, Ilsa Bruer already was planning her life as a teacher. Never wavering from that path, she pursued her passion through Northeastern’s College of Professional Studies and a position as a high school English teacher at the Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers in Boston. In April 2010, just four years into her teaching career, Bruer was honored with a Boston Public Schools Educator of the Year award in recognition of her enthusiasm, dedication and commitment to her students. Shortly after the awards ceremony in June, she left with a group of Boston students for six weeks of travel and learning in Nicaragua as part of the Global Potential program. An early calling as an educator

rning, It

Ilsa Bruer grew up with her parents and sister in rural Oregon, attending a very small elementary school. She recalls that she was around six years old when she decided that teaching was for her.“I loved school, and so I was always playing school,” she says. “ I would ask the teachers for extra materials, and then come home and teach my younger sister with the things they gave me.” Bruer moved on to a much larger high school in Eugene, where her excitement for teaching was nurtured by innovative and inspiring teachers. “Most of what shaped my teaching career was my high school experience. I had really smart teachers who infused their classrooms with diversity in terms of materials and their style,” she says. “That is what really inspired me.” Heading east to Northeastern Upon graduating high school, Bruer enrolled in Northeastern’s combined Bachelor’s/Master of Arts in Teaching program, arriving in the fall of 2001. She was particularly taken by one of her first classes—Introduction to Education—through which students volunteered two days a week at a community site. “The volunteer assignment was only for the fall, but I ended up staying for the whole year. It was just such a dynamic experience. Also, I felt that I had made a commitment, and I didn’t want to leave in December.”


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“Teaching is one of the most rewarding careers... One of the t I get to start over. In how many professions do you have that Originally expecting to major in history, Bruer decided to switch to English following an epiphany experienced in a literature class. “I was sitting in class completely enthralled by Beowulf, realizing all these things about this writing that I never thought about before,” she says. “The realization I had was this moment of ‘Wow! I want to be able to inspire others like this, to generate interest and passion, to open up doors to new ways of thinking.” Bruer focused on her new major and the on-the-ground training so critical to aspiring teachers. She lauds Northeastern’s co-op program for the ability to gain experience in the field while learning theory in the classroom. In addition to teaching fourth grade for six months in the Brookline, MA school system, the fourth year of her degree program was spent student teaching high school English at the Edward M. Kennedy school in Boston, an assignment that paved the way for her future teaching career.

Adapting, growing and defining an identity as a teacher That first year was one of adjusting to the reality of a teaching career and its demands on time and resources. In particular, Bruer notes that juggling the challenges associated with teaching, managing a classroom, lesson planning and administration was a wake-up call that could at once inspire and exhaust. “I think I had these romantic notions of grading things. It’s not ‘romantic,’ let me tell you. I think there was so much I didn’t know about being a teacher, because as a student, you only see one side of it,” she says. “Sometimes, people have preconceived notions about the schedule and life of a teacher. I probably do schoolwork six days a week. On average, I work about 10 hours a day. I think that, for young teachers, that can be kind of a shock.”

Forging a new confidence

While at times a difficult transition, Bruer’s nascent teaching career also provided moments of profound enjoyment and fulfillment as she evolved her approach and engaged her students.

The demanding schedule of school, student teaching and work during that busy time wasn’t easy, but successfully completing the program provided a boost in confidence and resolve for confronting future challenges.

“I love teaching high school. I love the students’ candor and honesty. They’re not afraid to tell it like it is,” she says. “The group of students I’m totally fortunate to work for—even the challenging ones with whom I struggle—have insight and wisdom that some adults don’t have.”

“My student teaching wasn’t paid, so I had a part-time job,” Bruer explains. “Life then was a lot of early mornings and late nights. Not a lot of down time. You’re learning how to lesson plan. You have a blank page, thinking ‘How do I plan for four hours of class I have to teach tomorrow?’... I look back on that and sometimes I wonder how I got through it. I felt like, if I could do that, I could do anything.” Shortly after completing her BA/MAT degree at Northeastern, an opportunity opened at the Kennedy school, and Bruer was hired to teach 11th grade English.

Lessons given, lessons learned In her early months as a teacher, Bruer learned much about building successful relationships with students and fostering a classroom climate where learning could take place. The most significant insights from those early days were on classroom management. “You can’t teach effectively if you don’t have some kind of management in the classroom. So, much effort is spent on learning—often the hard way—how to gain respect from your students, how to earn their trust, how to communicate with them,” Bruer explains. “You know, I was 20 years old, teaching kids who were 17. There’s not a lot of difference there, so how do you get them to respect you on that level?”


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e of the things I love is that you get a new start every year. Every September, have that opportunity?” A pivotal moment occurred when she realized a key to breaking down the barriers to respect that can arise between teacher and student. “There was a student in my first year of teaching who was prone to making disrespectful comments. What I learned was that I didn’t have to pretend to know everything, and that by being honest and exposing my own vulnerabilities, the student came to see me as a person and not as a teacher who was standing there trying to push herself on them.” Despite the divergence from her childhood dream of teaching elementary school , Bruer has thrived in a high school environment and welcomes the challenge of maintaining both structure and variety. Recognizing a need to spur awareness of what’s going on in the world beyond the students’ local lives, Bruer coordinated her coverage of contemporary world literature to the areas of the globe being covered by the students’ history teacher. For example, while the students were studying the Iranian revolution, they also were reading and discussing Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, an autobiographical graphic novel of a young Iranian girl’s life at that time. “Literature is replete with historical allusions, so it’s great that students are able to pull some of those out. It gives them a different analytical perspective... They can talk about the historical accuracy of a story.” “Probably the greatest honor any teacher could ask for” In the spring of 2010, four years into her teaching career at the Edward Kennedy school, Bruer was nominated for, and subsequently awarded, recognition as an Educator of the Year by the Boston Public School system.


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“The school asked students to write letters on behalf of teachers they felt were deserving of the award,” she explains. “It was a complete shock when I heard I had won it. It’s surreal - I never expected it. It’s probably the greatest honor any teacher could ask for.” Bruer also collects more personal mementos to remind her of the rewards of teaching in what she terms her “Why do I do this?” box. She recounts a story of one student, with whom she had been struggling for the better part of the school year, who came to the classroom after school for help. “I worked with her, and then I had to leave the room for a bit. When I returned, she was gone, but had left a note on a little, torn piece of paper. It said, ‘I like you. See you tomorrow.’ Those three words represent a huge accomplishment for me; they mean more to me than anything else.” A summer of learning exploration As the school year wound down, Bruer was hard at work preparing a group of Boston students for a unique summer travel abroad program through Global Potential (, an organization dedicated to providing urban students the opportunity to grow, learn of new cultures and become change agents via social ventures in their own communities. Bruer signed on to accompany and supervise the students to a rural village in Nicaragua. “The idea behind the program is to prepare and inspire students to pursue social change in their own communities. They identify areas of change in their own community, and we guide them on how to accomplish it when they get back, after having experienced living in another country, where needs and challenges are very different.” “So often, we’re surrounded by the negative and the bad. We sometimes fail to realize how much goodness there is in the world. We always hear what these kids are not doing. As a result, we miss the fact that they’re incredible human beings, and you don’t often hear those great stories... These reminders are pretty powerful.” M 7

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Making a Switch to Make a

The daughter of educators, Emily Workman was raised in a variety of locales before alighting in New York City to begin her corporate career. Five years into it, she left her job, driven by a desire to make a difference in others’ lives, and made the decision to enroll in the accelerated one-year Master of Arts in Teaching program at the College of Professional Studies. Scheduled to complete the program in July 2010, Workman spent the winter term student teaching at the prestigious Boston Latin School, sharing her highs and lows along the way on the CPS student blogger web site (

A Nomadic Lifestyle Centered on the Value of Education During her childhood, Workman lived in Alaska, Oregon and Utah as her parents, both college professors, relocated for new teaching jobs. The value of higher education was instilled in her from a young age. “I’m really lucky that I have parents who are so focused on education and value it so highly. They’ve been so supportive through my educational pursuits.”

Based on her familiarity with education, she knew a teaching career could provide what she was looking for, including autonomy and a feeling of true accomplishment. “With teaching, you’re also making a difference every day in people’s lives. This is something that I really feel will keep me coming back for more, in a way that none of the jobs I’ve done before could do.” Workman left her job and pursued a Master’s in English Literature full-time at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York (CUNY). With her sights set on a teaching career, she began researching education programs while working on her master’s. The Northeastern Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program best met her needs given the ability to complete it in one year. “I felt a sense of urgency to finish my training and get going with my actual teaching career,” she explains. “The difference between Northeastern and other programs is that you can actually complete it in a year.”

Workman earned a Bachelor’s in English from Westminster College in Utah and then headed east to New York City, where she worked for three years in financial services and advertising.

An added benefit, particularly when interviewing for teaching positions, is the technological knowledge that MAT students gain through the hybrid courses they participate in online.

As she progressed through industries and positions, Workman grew disenchanted with her career and felt the need to make a change.

“Despite my personal style of learning, I know a lot more about how to use technology in the classroom because of the hybrid classes. So, in interviews, when I was asked how I would use a wiki or other technology in my classroom, I was able to speak to that in a way that other people couldn’t,” Workman says.

“I was making enough money and making lots of friends. I could do the work they asked me to do, and in the beginning, it was fun. But after a while, I found that, for me, work in an office becomes really repetitive,” she says. “I didn’t feel as passionately about what I was doing as I wanted to. I want to feel like I’m making a difference.”


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Emily Workman, MAT’10

ke a Difference

“With teaching, you feel like you’re making a difference everyday in people’s lives. This is something that I really feel will keep me coming back for more, in a way that none of the jobs that I’ve done before could do.”

Sharing experiences along the learning curve Workman credits her student teaching experience with learning to be herself in the classroom. “I always thought that, once you get up in front of a classroom, you take on this new persona, and you are automatically supposed to be this incredibly professional person. It never dawned on me that a lot of your personality would be a part of what you’d be doing in the classroom.”

Emily’s blogs include: Excuses, excuses! Highs and lows

In fact, she discovered that showing her students who she is and what she’s interested in has proven to garner more respect and attention for her teaching efforts.

A lesson in the benefits of the unexpected

As she student taught, Workman shared her experiences, feelings and questions via posts on the College of Professional Studies student blog site. What started out as a job turned into the opportunity to create a memento of her first teaching experiences, as well as a platform to share common concerns and questions that her student teaching colleagues were experiencing as well.

A novice teacher in hot water

“I’ve always been interested in reading first-person accounts of being a teacher. When given the opportunity to blog for Northeastern, I jumped at the chance, thinking how great would it be to record this experience... I’m pretty critical of myself, and it’s good for other student teachers to know that they’re not alone.” Workman completed her Master of Arts in Teaching degree in July 2010, and recently accepted a position teaching English to tenth and eleventh grade honors classes at Norwood High School for the 2010-11 academic year. M


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Vacation? What vacation? Testing, testing...1,2,3! I’m not a comedian, but I play one at school Emily – student & teacher To read these and other College of Professional Studies’ student blogs visit


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On April 28, the College of Professional Studies celebrated the graduation of nearly 300 students at the Sheraton Boston Hotel. College alumnus Ernie Anastos,’78 (left) distinguished Emmy-award winning news anchor with Fox News provided the morning undergraduate speech, and Beth Lindstrom, MBA’98 (right) was the keynote speaker for the afternoon graduate ceremony.

In May, 68 graduates were initiated into Sigma Epsilon Rho, honor society for the College of Professional Studies.


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The College Alumni Relations office has held of number of recent professional development, lifelong learning and social events, including the Career Series: Negotiating your Career (left) and Conversations with a Wine Specialist (right).

Members of the Fast-Track Alumni Group reunited at Kimball Farm for the 3rd Annual Reunion

On May 5 the first cohort from the Lahey Clinic received their Master of Science in Leadership, with specialization in Health Management. The customized program enables Lahey employees to study on site, and directly apply their studies to their daily work.


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“Most people take this world for granted and don’t understand how it works,” says Howard. “Most students bring unique perspective from their world. By the end of the program they can deconstruct and reconstruct theoretical perspectives, philosophical, libertarian viewpoints, classic liberal, modern liberal, conservative – they can analyze from any frame. This allows them to tease out more truth than just a pure academic.”


courtroom to classroom


Tim Howard Turns Toyota and BP Cases into Lessons in Law and Policy

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To say that 2010 has been a busy year for Tim Howard, PhD, would be a monumental understatement. From leading the Attorneys Toyota Action Consortium (ATAC) in the lawsuits resulting from Toyota Motor Corp.’s massive recall, to representing the interests of hundreds of fishermen and rental property owners in the Gulf Coast region affected by the BP oil spill through his Gulf Action Spill Plaintiffs (GASP), to directing the Doctorate in Law & Policy (LPD) program at the College of Professional Studies, to creating his new justice Web site at, Howard is a champion multi-tasker. When asked how he is able to balance his time between these highprofile cases and his teaching he says, “They’re seamless activities. Advancing knowledge and justice. It’s intense. You get less sleep. I’m looking at doctoral theses at all hours. I’ll give feedback at 1 AM or 4 AM. It’s all fluid.” Howard believes it is this sort of vigorous professional experience that Northeastern faculty bring to the classroom that enriches the learning experience and produces highly qualified graduates. “We bring in real-world applications, not just textbook concepts,” he explains. “That’s what Northeastern is known for—praxis education, combining the best of scholarship and application. We say our students are not just strong, not just smart, they’re strong and smart.” Importance of Civil Trial Lawyers As a group, trial lawyers are the core of our community civil justice system. Yet, they have been much maligned over the years. As Howard explains, it is these same trial lawyers who influence companies to advance consumer protection policies faster than the government can through the slow legislative or captured regulatory processes. “The public policy that develops through civil litigation is what ensures that companies like Toyota and BP don’t focus so much on profits that they forget the public’s interest,” he explains. “When you go to an extreme free market in which profits are placed above human worth and the cost of parts are reduced—the Wal-Mart approach—when you do this, quality goes down, safety goes down. When a company like Toyota applies the same cost reduction principles and there’s a car failure, you have no way to protect people when something goes wrong, there’s no fail safe system to stop the car or record the electronic error.” Bottom line, Howard says our American and community civil trial lawyers are the ones who help effect change in the marketplace to protect consumers. To influence change, they must participate in all three formal branches of the government—executive, legislative, judicial, and in the unofficial fourth branch, the media. Howard testifies at congressional hearings, files documents with the judicial branch and leverages the media to increase public awareness. For the LPD program to be effective, faculty must bring this breadth of experience to the classroom.


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“Our professors need to be successful practitioners in all four branches,” he explains. “Our students are drawn by adults that know how to integrate practice and academics. We need to have the academic skills and apply them in the real world. We look for faculty that can have that resonance and application in academics.” Looking at Issues from All Angles The College of Professional Studies Law and Policy doctoral program, the LPD is an accelerated, intensive program designed for working professionals with demanding careers in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. The program emphasizes the need for those in law and policy to be able to see and understand issues from a range of viewpoints. “Every policy decision redistributes wealth,” explains Howard. “Someone wins and someone loses. You need to be able to navigate these issues.” According to Howard, it’s a two-way street in the classroom. Students offer insights that can trigger discussions and learning. “A student will have a Toyota and say they have never had a problem with it,” he explains. “This leads to a discussion of problem definition—if it’s not defined as a problem, even if people are being killed, it fades from consciousness. Take BP, the nation’s worst environmental disaster in history was based on greed and negligence. If consciousness is not being placed there through media, the courts, the legislative and executive branches, people will not see it as a problem.” To strengthen multi-perspective abilities, Howard not only leverages his own expertise, he brings guest speakers into the classroom with other viewpoints to stretch the learning even further. Guests include politicians, economists and philosophers. As an example, hours after former Florida U.S. Senator Bob Graham was named by President Barack Obama as co-chair of an independent commission investigating the BP oil spill, Graham was in Howard’s LPD classroom being interviewed by national media, while the doctoral students watched live. Immediately afterwards, former U.S. Senator Graham, the reporter, and Professor Howard deconstructed the experience so the students could understand the phenomenon from the various law, policy and media perspectives. “Most people take this world for granted and don’t understand how it works,” says Howard. “Most students bring unique perspective from their world. By the end of the program they can deconstruct and reconstruct theoretical perspectives, philosophical, libertarian viewpoints, classic liberal, modern liberal, conservative – they can analyze from any frame. This allows them to tease out more truth than just a pure academic.” LPD — A Doctoral Model for the 21st Century The LPD program is structured so coursework and the doctoral thesis are completed in two years. Students come from across the U.S. and around the world, including China, Israel, Albania, Nigeria, Ghana, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, India, Pakistan and Canada. The average age of LPD students is 43.


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“This is the type of program you would expect from Northeastern— access to your doctorate to make a mark,” says Howard. “It’s Northeastern’s roots taken to a doctoral level.”According to Howard, the LPD is one of the most successful doctoral programs anywhere. Its success is due to its unique, accelerated approach. “With the LPD, you learn how to create knowledge, lead institutions, and earn your doctorate without giving up professional growth,” says Howard. “Previously you had to give up seven years of your life to the academy. Successful professionals have the focus, maturity, and intelligence, but are shackled so they can’t maximize their experiential capacity due to unnecessary limitations. The traditional model was developed during the middle ages. The LPD is truly a twentyfirst century method to maximize human capital. This is where higher education will continue to evolve towards. There’s no need to stop knowledge creation and experiential skills development.” The key ingredients to the LPD program’s success are technology and the cohort model, in which the same group of students go through the program together, from orientation to graduation. “The cohort model and technology make it work,” explains Howard. “The Internet and access to online education tools are transforming education and human capital worldwide. The same students go through the program together from day one all the way through. There’s a communal bond—we start together, we’re going to finish together. In traditional models, by the time you are on your dissertation, you are completely alone. Quite often doctoral candidates don’t even show up for graduation. In the LPD model, you learn together, see each other evolve together, eat meals together and travel together along with faculty. You’re really building a life momentum and an empowered identity. You transform your identity—create your own voice, and have the credentials to validate your commitment to knowledge creation and noble, experienced and skilled leadership through the doctoral process.” Traditional PhD programs graduate approximately 50 percent of students. In the first LPD cohort, 34 of 35 students completed the program within 30 months, with 28 of them completing the program within 24 months. One student is still working towards completion.

Imelda Tjahja is an Indonesian communications professional who has dedicated herself to peacekeeping and humanitarian works. She currently serves as a Public Information Officer to the United Nations Mission In Sudan (UNMIS). At the same time, she is pursuing her associate degree from the College of Professional Studies with the goal of learning and perfecting her English. Encore recently caught up with Imelda via e-mail to learn more about how the interplay between her work and her studies enables her to apply and advance her language skills. She also shares her experiences as a distance learning student who often travels to remote areas with limited resources and unreliable Internet access.

“We work on empowering our students instead of limiting our students,” explains Howard. “Most doctoral programs spend so much time drilling down, they don’t spend enough time getting the big picture right. Many young doctoral students don’t have the experience or confidence to get the right perspective. We teach how to get the big picture right and how to drill down on quantitative pieces. We also make sure there’s leadership, negotiating, public communication training and simulations as part of the program. We’re building institutional leaders—they need all these skills, applied skills.” M Learn more online: Professor Howard and His Work on the Toyota and BP Cases Doctorate in Law & Policy


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Going the


Peacekeeper in Sudan Pursues Her Associate Degree Online

ENCORE: Tell us about where you grew up and how you ended up at Northeastern’s College of Professional Studies. IMELDA: I’m an Indonesian. I was born in the second biggest city in Indonesia called Surabaya. It’s the capital of East Java province. I spent my childhood in this town but then my mom took me to move out to several towns in Central Java due to her work’s requirements. I moved back to Surabaya when I was in tenth grade. As an Indonesian, my mother tongue is Indonesian and I don’t have any second language. I started to learn English in seventh grade but it was only limited to four hours a week. I decided to take English course outside school hours when I was in tenth grade because I liked to learn more. However, the English course was only twice a week and each meeting was two hours so total I got to learn English only eight hours a week. For Indonesians, it is very difficult to mastering our English unless we study abroad then we would be forced to speak and write English. In 2003 I was accepted to be a United Nations Volunteer (UNV) and sent to Afghanistan. Before that, I was a journalist for a local English-Indonesian newspaper in East Timor called “East Timor Sun.” This was when I started to force myself to use the limited English that I had learned since seventh grade. With the UN mission in Afghanistan I was assigned as Public Information Officer therefore I had to know how to write in English. I knew how to write, read, and communicate in English already but because English is not even my second language I was very nervous to do so especially in a multicultural environment. I was not confident at all. I realized that my English is not as good as others. As a Public Information Officer for the UN I must have good English, at least I can write English clearly and everybody will understand what I write about.


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This encouraged me to go back to school again. I searched online to find a university in Boston that would provide me the flexibility to study while working full-time, and after speaking with an advisor I decided to enroll at the College of Professional Studies with my main focus in learning how to write English. ENCORE: What degree program are you pursuing? IMELDA: I’m currently an undergraduate student of Liberal Arts. I was accepted as an English major but then I decided to change because I want to concentrate more in English writings than literature. I plan to complete my Associate of Science in Liberal Arts degree no later than spring 2012. The sooner the better but it depends on my work load. ENCORE: What led you to an online education program? IMELDA: As much as I want to be studying as a full-time student on the Northeastern campus in Boston, unfortunately I have to be happy to pursue my studies online because I’m supporting myself financially. I have to work in order to be able to pay my tuition. ENCORE: Tell us about your current position as the Public Information Officer to the United Nations Mission In Sudan (UNMIS)? IMELDA: I’m based in the UNMIS sector office in Malakal, the capital of Upper Nile State in Southern Sudan. I have been in Sudan since January 2007. My main responsibility as Public Information Officer is to disseminate peace message to the people of Sudan, to communicate with the outside world through the media about the needs of Sudan in order to achieve peace and what the UN and humanitarian organizations have done to help Sudan both its people and government.

ENCORE: How does your work and study schedule impact your life/family commitments? IMELDA: So far I have never had problem between the schedule of my work and study and my life/family commitments. I’m still single and also in here (Malakal) I live by myself, so I have liberty to fully focus on my work during the day and my studies in the evening. ENCORE: What are your career goals, and how do you believe the College of Professional Studies is helping you achieve them? IMELDA: I have been dedicating myself into communication and humanitarian works so I’m hoping that I will be able to harmonize them as my future career. I have a dream to work as a professional in communication/ public information area with the UN one day and I believe I will be able to achieve it once I get my degrees. Through the College of Professional Studies I will be able to improve my skills and have a good and competitive education background at the same time. ENCORE: What would you say are the keys to being a successful online student? IMELDA: The key of being a successful online student is only one actually, selfdiscipline! As a student, I have to strongly encourage myself to dedicate my time after working hours to do all my weekly assignments including readings, responding to discussion board, and writing papers. If I don’t have a strong self-discipline I would never be able to keep up with all the assignments and I would have failed a long time ago. ENCORE: What are the major challenges you face in working and studying? IMELDA: Both work and studies are priorities. If I don’t keep up with my work then I won’t get paid therefore I won’t be able to


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pay my tuition. If I don’t study hard I won’t be able to learn anything and in the end I will be failed and unable to improve my future career. So what I have been doing so far is I’m trying to separate between working hours and studying hours. As much as I can I won’t use my working hours to study but I have to commit my non-working hours as my studying time. My work often requires me to go to rural areas where there’s no internet connection. Every time I went to rural areas I would spend at least three days or even 1–2 weeks therefore it’s difficult for me to keep up with the weekly assignment deadline. If this happens I will try as best as I can to inform my professors about my situation and ask for their permission to submit my assignment later. ENCORE: What advice would you give a prospective online student? IMELDA: To be an online student is not as hard as people imagine. Sometimes it can be fun and challenging because we have to learn independently and often to try to solve our problems by ourselves although our professors are always happy to assist us at anytime. You will run into several difficulties, mostly about time and technical difficulties especially internet connection because Internet plays important role in online studying. You will have problem to keep up with the deadlines if your boss suddenly asks you to work overtime or sends you to some areas where there’s no internet connection at all.

However, you don’t have to worry about it because we can always talk about it with our professors and they will understand our situation and give us special arrangement on it. We have to be ready to dedicate some of our non-working hours to study but I can tell you that I’m studying mostly 21 to 28 hours a week, no more than that, so we still have time for our social life. Also, in working and studying, we can practice whatever we have learned from our course directly into the workplace and we will see the impact straight away. I have been practicing what I have learned in my workplace now especially in English writings and my editors said that my writing skills have been improved a lot. This gives me confidence to learn more and to write more at work. ENCORE: What happens next for you? More studies? A bachelor’s degree? Master’s? IMELDA: I plan to continue my studies in Bachelor of Science in Leadership and then go to Master of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communication. Both programs are with the College of Professional Studies. ENCORE: Tell us about your blog. IMELDA: My personal blog is called “The Window,” and you can find it at I created this blog to practice my English writing skills as well as to keep record of what I have been doing with the UN, my professional writings and my travel experience.

ENCORE: We have heard that you are a fan of the Boston-based singing group, New Kids On The Block. Can you tell us a little bit about that? IMELDA: Yeah, I have been a huge fan of New Kids On The Block (NKOTB) since 1990. NKOTB was actually one of main reasons why I wanted to learn English so much when I was in high school because I wanted to understand every single word they sang! NKOTB was also one of main reasons I wanted to study in Boston. As a high school student it was very difficult for me to attend their concert when they came to Indonesia in 1992. At that time I was still in high school and I had no money. When I knew that they reunited in 2008 I was very excited and at that time I was already an adult and earned my own money. I was finally able to make my teenage dream came true 20 years later. I attended seven NKOTB live concerts and the NKOTB cruise to the Bahamas on 14–17 May 2010! But most of all, I was finally able to study in Boston, at Northeastern’s College of Professional Studies, that was quite an achievement for a dreamer! I’m very lucky to be able to make my teenage dreams come true and I realized that not many people can do that therefore I’m very grateful for my life. M


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tips to Leverage your Alumni Network! 1 | attend Events • Your College holds over 25 social, professional development and lifelong learning events each year • For more information visit

2 | connect with Other Professionals The College currently has six alumni groups, creating opportunities for you to connect with alumni in your industry or career path, connect with them today on LinkedIn: • Communications Alumni Network

• Regulatory Affairs Network

• Fast-Track Alumni Group

• Sigma Epsilon Rho Honor Society

• Global Leadership Network

• Sports Leadership Network

3 | Utilize career services • For advice, career counseling, workshops, and a searchable job database • Visit or call 617-373-2430

4 | recruit talent • College of Professional Studies students and alumni are hardworking, driven and skilled professionals • Post a job through Career Services, or hire a co-op student from the College for a short-term assignment. For more information contact Ellen Stoddard at

5 | advance yor career • Attend one of our Career Series events for networking and professional development • Contact a fellow alumnus through alumni groups or the online alumni directory, HuskyNet, to set up an informational interview

For more information on all your College and University-wide benefits and resources visit: or call our Alumni Relations office at 617-373-4112


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Department of Education New Home in the College of Professional Studies Offers Fresh Outlook for Northeastern’s Education Programs In recent years, the education marketplace has experienced

and Organizational Learning, Distance Learning, Higher

a shift in teacher credentialing toward graduate education.

Education Administration and Teaching English to Speakers

To address market demand, Northeastern began migrating

of Other Languages (TESOL).

many of its professional development education programs in 2003 from the College of Arts & Sciences to the College of Professional Studies. The move was intended to enable these programs to compete more effectively on price and programmatically with other schools offering graduate degrees and licensure in education. Within the College of Professional Studies, these education programs flourished, prompting Northeastern to move its Master of Education (MEd) to the College in 2005. And in 2007, the School of Education umbrella and the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) also migrated to the College of Professional Studies. With the successful migration of graduate level programs to the College of Professional Studies under its belt, Northeastern recently determined the College would be the best place for the rest of the University’s education programs. This move now reintegrates graduate and

“We’ve had particular success with our EdD program—over 700 students, making it one of the largest in the country,” according to Todd Leach, PhD, departing senior associate dean and chief academic officer, College of Professional Studies.. “We are really creating an Education portfolio that is among the most comprehensive in New England.” The College’s ability to respond to its growing programs by adding professional faculty to the mix, means students are exposed to a wider range of faculty, a wider array of topics, and a broader range of expertise that faculty bring to the College’s graduate and undergraduate offerings. “Faculty now have a wider array of what they can teach,” explains Dr. Leach. “These broader teaching options enable us to bring more faculty to the growing programs that need them. We added 12 full-time faculty in the past year due to the growth of the graduate programs.”

undergraduate programs under the School of Education

Dr. Leach also believes that a core value and differentiator

within the College of Professional Studies.

of the College’s education offerings has been a focus on urban

The College’s graduate education programs include a Doctor of Education (EdD), the MAT and MEd with six K-12 specializations, as well as specializations in Adult

education. He explains, “We’ve been able to have greater impact on the Boston schools by preparing their leaders and applying our faculty to urban education.”


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Entrepreneurial Agility, Dedicated Resources “The success of these programs has been due to our ability to apply a new lens that is more practice-oriented, more professionally oriented,” explains Dr. Leach. “We realized there was an opportunity and a need, and that the College of Professional Studies could fill the need by applying an entrepreneurial approach.” As an example, in developing the EdD program, the College felt it was important to integrate leadership skills and connect it with applications. According to Dr. Leach, among those attracted to the EdD program are 60 principles and 20 assistant superintendents—professionals seeking skills that are applicable to the more complex problems and environments they are facing today, such as decreased financial resources and teacher layoffs. According to Dr. Leach, another benefit of rejoining the graduate and under-graduate education programs within the College of Professional Studies is that, “We now have a placement office within the College for education. In addition, by expanding the districts we work in, there are more options for practicums and career opportunities when students graduate, due to our further reaching presence as a graduate

Holly Carter, PhD, joined the Northeastern faculty in 1974 as a part-time lecturer in African American Studies, which led to a full-time position, and eventually chair of the Department of African American Studies. Today, Dr. Carter serves as associate dean for faculty affairs and associate professor of Education.

Educating the Educators

and undergraduate unit.”

Dr. Holly Carter, on the Future of Education in the U.S. and Beyond

The College is also well positioned to respond to the changing

“I came to Northeastern because I was concerned with

demands of the education marketplace. In the education field,

access in higher education and I loved teaching.

a credential shift and an emphasis on graduate education

Northeastern was the place for both of those,” says Holly

has taken place. To address this emphasis, the College of

Carter, PhD.

Professional Studies has begun linking undergraduate programs to graduate programs. One example is the PlusOne Program, a Master’s degree which builds on what students studied at the undergraduate level. This approach offers students a more comprehensive array of options as they prepare for a career in education. “The nimbleness of the College and our ability to be marketresponsive gives us an edge in the marketplace, not just in graduate programs, but in under-graduate as well,” explains Dr. Leach. As we look at the growth of MAT and EdD, there’s clearly an unmet demand, a pent up demand for programs matching curriculum, platform and faculty to meet these needs. Our full range of education offerings allows us to be one of the most impactful education schools in the region.”


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Since joining the Northeastern faculty in 1974, one of the biggest changes Dr. Carter has observed at the university level has been the solidi-fication of a focus on urban education and education access. “When I first came to Northeastern, students were being prepared for general licensure,” recalls Dr. Carter. “The bulk of graduates were going to suburban school systems. Through the years, that transitioned. When the school was reconstituted, the focus was brought to urban K-12 education. Through the graduate programs, that focus has expanded out again to look at education in general. Still, the emphasis continues to be urban education and providing opportunities for students who don’t otherwise have access to education through their school system or family resources.” >> 19

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Dr. Carter says the big struggle today centers around public

According to Dr. Carter, there is a critical need to expand

education in general. She explains, “From the larger

competencies in math, science and literacy in order to build

perspective, American students are not as competitive as

the next generation of scientists, mathematicians and writers.

some of the other industrialized nations producing students.”

The need is acute, particularly since undergraduate and

She believes there should be a strong focus on what needs to happen in public education in order to produce competitive students. Dr. Carter allows that while the education reform bill addresses this issue, it continues to be a work in progress. “In education, it is currently a race to the top from a national policy perspective, to answer the question, ‘What do we do differently?’” says Dr. Carter. “There should be a focus on teacher preparation relative to trying to make a difference in terms of learning outcomes for students. Yet, right now the focus is on resources. All school districts are facing decreased budgets and teacher layoffs. So at the very time when education needs a shot in the arm, school districts are having to deal with difficult economic situations.” Preparing the Next Generation of Teachers According to Dr. Carter, one of the things that distinguishes Northeastern from a professional development and licensure point of view, is that it provides convenient, accessible and financially accessible mid-career programs for teachers changing careers. “The work that we’re doing—preparing the next generation of teachers and providing upward mobility through graduate degree accessibility for teachers and administrators in the system—is a major contribution.” Importantly, Northeastern and the College of Professional Studies understand how the education field is evolving. The College has identified opportunities for new programs that address the needs of today’s teachers and administrators.

master’s level professionals in these fields can often earn more money in the private sector than they can in the teaching profession. “The advice that I would give prospective educators is that the children who are in kindergarten or entering kindergarten this year will face a global set of issues that are more complex than anything we have experienced in the human community,” she says. “How those children are prepared to do what they need to do is critical. I would say from a societal point of view, it should receive the attention and focus consistent with any other high-level profession that we deem as important in this society. Teachers and educators’ roles in that are critical. We are training the future. We are teaching the future.” Training Teachers—A Global Obligation Dr. Carter walks the walk with regard to preparing teachers the world over. She has traveled to South Africa, the Sudan, Cuba and other countries around the world to perform teacher training. “Northeastern has been engaged in teacher training for as long as I’ve been here and longer. Just as the University is committed to providing access to education for all, we’ve also been focused on preparing the next generation of teachers and educators as a part of our academic program.” This summer, Dr. Carter went to South Africa to complete a second phase of training in math, science, literacy and principal leadership development in school management. And in Sudan, Dr. Carter and Northeastern are working

“If you look at our numbers, the demand for our doctoral

with schools and the education sector to look at how they,

program in education is beyond what anyone anticipated—

as a country, view education from the most fundamental

students. We’ve been able to fulfill the need—advanced

levels of sustainable development, and as a vehicle for peace

academic credentials for teachers, principals and

and stability. This initiative involves establishing teacher


programs, adult literacy programs and school curricula. M


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Make a Difference for Yourself and Northeastern Make a gift that costs you nothing during your lifetime. A gift through your will or trust is an easy way to support the College of Professional Studies. Through a charitable bequest, you can help shape the educational experiences of future students and establish your legacy—all without affecting your current lifestyle or your family’s security. As we look to the future, bequests are essential to continuing the mission of Northeastern and the proud, pioneering culture of the College of Professional Studies. Your legacy gift will advance the college’s long tradition of offering innovative, flexible education options. How It Works • Include a bequest to the College of Professional Studies or Northeastern in your will or trust • Direct your bequest to unrestricted support or to a specific program • Indicate a specific amount or asset, a percentage of the balance remaining in your estate or trust, or the residuary after all your priorities have been met

Benefits To You • Your assets remain in your control during your lifetime • You can modify your bequest to address changing circumstances • You can direct your bequest to a particular purpose • You create a lasting legacy that inspires others to pursue lifelong learning • Your bequest may provide tax savings for your estate and heirs

For Additional Information Visit Contact us at or 617-373-2030 Bob Carter, ’50


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Alan Stoskopf Brings Practitioner Wisdom to Northeastern’s New Doctor of Education Program

When it comes to education, Alan Stoskopf has literally traveled the world in search of meaning. His rich teaching experience in Africa, Europe and the U.S., combined with a passion for exploring learning through the lens of history, has brought a powerful combination of research and its practical application to the unique design of Northeastern’s new Doctor of Education program. Dr. Alan Stoskopf’s diverse educational career has spanned teaching, administration and research, both domestically and abroad. In 2007, he joined the College of Professional Studies, School of Education and has been instrumental since in the design and very successful launch of the schools’ first Doctor of Education (EdD) program. Introduced in the fall of 2008, the EdD program has taken off, with 700 enrolled students, many of whom have completed their coursework and advanced to the research component of the program. Dr. Stoskopf, the program’s Senior Teaching Fellow and Academic Director, attributes this success to a unique focus on the educational practitioner and a goal of developing practice-based research that can benefit a wide audience of educators and administrators in the field.

Combining teaching and research to yield a multidimensional understanding of learning In the early years of his career, Dr. Stoskopf taught history and social studies at secondary schools in Nigeria and the UK, followed by eight years as a high school social studies teacher in the Brookline, MA public school system. This experience, he says, was instrumental in informing his view of curriculum and how students learn. “I had a lot of experience as a high school teacher. I taught in Africa, Europe and the United States, and lived in different cultures for several years,” he says. “That marked me; it shaped how I look at curriculum, how I understood learners, and how I understood myself as a teacher.” He also was the Associate Program Director for Professional Development at Facing History and Ourselves, a national nonprofit educational foundation. In his last years at the foundation, his research focused on understanding and assessing how students make meaning of history.


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Currently, Dr. Stoskopf and fellow doctoral program colleague Angela Bermudez have teamed with researchers at Goethe University and the German Institute for International Educational Research in Frankfurt, Germany to begin to develop a new measure for of assessing students’ understanding of history across cultures. This research has the potential to provide educators around the world with new ways to think about what constitutes powerful teaching and learning in history.

“For the SPCs, we take students out of their particular cohort and comingle them in a group of about ten people who share a similar research interest with a faculty person,” He says. “Those in the scholar practitioner community support and work with each other for the remaining years of the program. In effect, the SPCs become the real cohorts. It’s where the students focus on meeting the doctoral benchmark hurdles. They bond together and push each other to think and write their doctoral research projects.”

“I have worn both hats in my career — that of practitioner and that of researcher,” Dr. Stoskopf says. “I think that experience has been very helpful for me and has shaped how I’ve created courses and contributed to the focus and trajectory of the EdD program. The cross-cultural project we’re working on has many implications for understanding how students learn, both on the ground and digitally.”

To further support students, Dr. Stoskopf notes that faculty across the program’s six different domain specialties meet regularly to discuss the common research skill sets that must be practiced across curricula. They also have begun to offer supplementary workshops that deal with students’ particular needs as they progress through the program, and are building these workshops into a digital media resource archive.

Building a unique, practice-based doctorate program During the first few years of the EdD program’s launch, Dr. Stoskopf focused on creating courses, designing doctoral benchmarks and measurements and mentoring faculty. With much of this core work established, Dr. Stoskopf now is turning more attention to his research and to working with students to develop their practicebased research initiatives, a key differentiator for the Northeastern EdD program. “This has been one of the fastest-growing EdD programs in the U.S., if not the world,” he says. “Not that other programs don’t have aspects of practitioner-based research, but the core values of Northeastern’s program emphasize that students’ research will be informed by their practice. The projects they create will have an impact on the work they do in their school districts or in higher ed institutions. We really wanted to honor the difficult work that educators are doing right now, but also wanted them to step outside of themselves, to take that practitioner wisdom and begin to think about the work on a doctoral level.” Another unique aspect of Northeastern’s EdD program is its breadth and depth of digital media, which Dr. Stoskopf says has allowed them to use the latest technology to create thoughtful online teaching and learning experiences for their students. “That’s one of the areas where we feel we’re pushing the envelope,” he says. Supporting the diversity of doctoral students Doctoral students include K-12 educators and administrators, (many who are in the northeast region), higher education administrators and instructional design professionals (both domestic and international), who take courses online and travel to campus for summer residency sessions. Much of Dr. Stoskopf’s work in establishing and evolving the EdD program has focused on creating a culture that embraces the varied experience and knowledge of educational practitioners and supports them in meeting their doctoral benchmark hurdles. A key support mechanism is the scholar practitioner community (SPC), formed after students have completed their coursework and written their doctoral problem statement.


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“We really want to honor the difficult work that educators are doing right now, but also want them to step outside of themselves, to take that practitioner wisdom and begin to think about the work on a doctoral level.” Continuing to meet the practitioner’s needs Particularly with the first group of doctoral students preparing for their research, Dr. Stoskopf is enthusiastic about the possibilities for innovative studies that make a difference in the lives of students across the country and throughout the world. He looks forward to being able to continue to make contributions to an evolving program that meets the needs of practitioners in the field. “When practitioners take the leap and are able to successfully engage in their own research, magic happens. They have those ‘Eureka’ moments, where they really bring the best of the worlds they’re in. They learn to harness their practitioner wisdom and now channel it into doing some interesting research with new skill sets... Students are really seeing the opportunity that has been given to them with this EdD program and understand what makes it so unique, and that is very gratifying.” M 23

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A passion for

Education That Works

Kathleen Kay, elementary school principal and EdD student

Being from a large family, Kathy Kay always had an affinity for children, which set the stage for her career as an elementary teacher both domestically and abroad. Her passion for education has fueled a career evolution into administration and leadership roles. She’s also embracing the challenge of pursuing a terminal degree, with a goal of developing actionable research that can make a difference in her district. Discovering a career as an educator Born and raised as one of six children in on Long Island, Kathy Kay was attending SUNY Cortland when she decided on a teaching career while working a summer job at a community pool. “I was in college, and I worked at a pool concession stand. The parents would drop their children off, and we would talk and play, and we really got along well,” she says. “That got me

thinking. I was going to a really good teacher’s college, why don’t I go into education?” Kay pursued her education degree and was an elementary school substitute teacher for two years upon graduation, followed by two years in a parochial school and ten years teaching second and fourth grade in a public school. “I really liked kids, and we connect,” she says. “There were days when I’d wake up and say ‘Man, I love my job!” Exploring new education experiences After twelve years of teaching in a New York public school system, Kay felt the need for a change and signed up to teach abroad. She spent four years teaching second grade at an international school in Jakarta, Indonesia. While she enjoyed the work, the drive to be closer to home grew stronger, and she returned to the States. Settling in Boston, she took a brief


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break from teaching through work as a pharmaceutical representative, a field that she determined–rather quickly– was not for her. On the advice of a friend, Kay investigated education administration, landing a job as an assistant to the principal at the Memorial Elementary School in Milford, MA. When the principal at Brookside Elementary School left to become the school assistant super-intendent, Kay initially assumed the role of interim principal at Brookside, was hired on permanently the following year, and has been the principal for five and a half years. Meeting the challenge of pursuing a doctorate Kay was familiar with Northeastern as a provider of professional development for the school system. Though she had never planned on pursuing a doctorate, she grew interested in the EdD when School Superintendent Bob Tremblay introduced it as a new cohort program. A key driver in her decision was the fact that her colleagues were in the program as well. “One of the teachers in my school is in the program as well. And, there are a lot of other administrators in the program,” she says. “It’s great that we can discuss our experiences in the courses and share resources.” With a year of coursework under her belt, Kay anticipates completing the courses this winter, and she’s begun the process of identifying her doctoral research interest. A key focus is information communication technology, particularly at the primary school level. “I’ve been feeling for a while that, at least at my level, we’re still preparing our children in much the same way that I did when I first began teaching in the early 80s, and things have changed tremendously since then,” she says. “Technology is changing so quickly, are we really preparing them for what they need to face when they get out? My concern is that we need to at least explore the implications of growing technology, not only for how children learn, but also from the perspective of the teachers incorporating the technology into the curriculum.” Kay lauds Northeastern’s program for its focus on building action-based research projects. “The research I come out with at the end is something that I hope to be able to implement and incorporate at my school.” While Kay admits the inherent challenges associated with working full-time and pursuing a terminal degree, the guidance she receives from the Northeastern faculty helps her through the program without feeling overwhelmed. Other supports includes the newly-formed “critical friends group,” in which students with similar research interests are grouped, so they can share questions, experiences and ideas as they work to define their research projects. Dr. Alan Stoskopf, the program’s Senior Teaching Fellow and Academic Director, has been instrumental as a “calming influence” with his thoughtful prompts as students explore topics. COLLEGE OF PROFESSIONAL STUDIES

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“It is an ambitious undertaking, and sometimes I find myself saying, ‘Why am I doing this?’ But then, when I’m doing the work, I’m really engrossed in it. It’s engaging, challenging, and I’m able to apply and share what I’m learning in my work.” The goal of the Doctor of Education program is to instill in educators and educational administrators the desire and ability to effect transformational change in their practice. The program offers the following specializations: • Curriculum Leadership • Educational Leadership (K-12) • Higher Education Administration • International Higher Education • Jewish Education Leadership • Organizational Leadership and Communication

“Dr. Stoskopf has been a wonderful support as we work through the program,” she says. “He embodies a lot of what the program is designed to do. He takes us to where he wants us to be, we take off, he guides us back again through thoughtful dialogue.” With a goal of completing the program in the next two years, Kay looks forward to developing research that can positively impact how her school and district plan for and implement technology in the classroom. In the meantime, she has consistently shared key readings from her coursework with school colleagues, another way of implementing what she’s learning in the Northeastern EdD program. “I’m passionate about education, because I think we need to go into school each day thinking, ‘What’s one little thing I could do better today? ” M 25

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Joseph Publicover ’58, ’60, ‘70 Joseph retired in 1997 after working 41 years at MIT and Draper Laboratory. He worked as program manager for over 25 years and was involved in the design and development of missile inertial guidance systems. Recently Joseph has pursued an interest in race car aerodynamics and worked with students at the MIT wind tunnel. He and his wife enjoy their 14 grandchildren and are very proud of their oldest granddaughter who was chosen as Valedictorian of her graduating class at Columbia University. John Iacobucci ‘69 John graduated with a Bachelor of Science and went on to receive a Master’s in Education from the University of Massachusetts. John is currently retired from teaching and engineering. William Simpson ’71, ‘74 William is a double husky earning both his Associates and Bachelor’s degree at the College, and went on to receive his MBA in 1980 from Western New England College. William has been retired from MIT Lincoln Lab for 3 years, has been married for 2 years to Marcia Lefavour, welcomed his first grandchild in January and spends his winters in Florida.

Carole A. Campobasso ‘79 In January of 2010 Carole retired as a Tenant Investigator. In early 2010 she worked a temporary assignment for the Department of Commerce Regional Office on the 2010 US Census. She currently works as a part-time rental agent in Hampton, New Hampshire. Fred Burbridge ‘84 Fred has been retired for 8 years and is enjoying retirement greatly. Fred and his wife have been updating their residences in Massachusetts and Florida which has kept them very busy. Christine C. Wellington ‘87 Christine graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement and went on to receive her Juris Doctor (JD) from the New England School of Law. She has been working at the New Hampshire Legal Assistance office for the past 10 years and is the managing attorney of the Manchester office. Christine and her husband, Bill Wheeler, enjoy life in southern New Hampshire and spending time with their children and grand-children. John Gould ‘95 John graduated with a Bachelor of Science in History and is currently working as the Dean of Students at Groton-Dunstable Regional High School.

Howard Mintz ’77, ‘79 Howard graduated with an Associate of Science in Liberal Arts and in 1979 received his Bachelor of Science from the College of Criminal Justice. Howard is in his 30th year of working in the criminal justice system and is currently the Captain of the Newton Police Traffic Bureau.

Louise Reilly Sacco ‘97 After graduating in 1997 Louise went on to receive her MBA from Simmons College. A few years ago she retired from a career as a consultant on marketing strategies for small companies in the US, UK, and Ireland.

Robert Hogan ’78, ‘83 Robert graduated with an Associate of Science Degree in Mathematics Physical Technology, in 1983 he received his Bachelor of Engineering Technology in Computer Technology and went on to receive a Master of Science in Computer Systems Engineering from Boston University. Robert is currently the Director of Development at BeyondTrust Software, a company that provides security for computers. Robert has been working in the computer and security areas for several years providing detection, monitoring and prevention of intrusions by devices and people.

She is now keeping busy with part-time and volunteer jobs, all of them fun, including: Fan photographer at Fenway Park; co-host and co-producer of the Frugal Yankee, dedicated to enjoying life and spending less(; and Interim Executive Director of the Museum of Bad Art — Louise was one of the founders in 1994. It’s still going strong with an online museum, and brick-and-mortar galleries in the basement of movie theatres in Dedham and Somerville.  In this capacity, she is co-author of the MOBA book: “Museum of Bad Art: Masterworks” Louise is married to fellow alumnus Dr. Ed Sacco CE’67, MEd’70, with two grown children, Jeremy and Jill.


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Marc DiMattia ‘00 Marc has worked as an EMS Coordinator at Lahey Clinic, as a faculty member at the Children’s Hospital training center and a paramedic at Lawrence General Hospital. Nicole Tomaselli MEd’08 Nicole is the Instructional Tech Specialist for Bedford High School in Bedford, New Hampshire. She is very excited and proud to have recently taken her schools’ journalism students to the ISTE 2010. The student editors have successfully been integrating Twitter, Facebook and the online edition of the school newspaper in the traditional journalism model and showcased their work at the ISTE 2010 in Denver, Colorado. Also, this past school year Nicole started teaching as an adjunct for Rivier College and delivering professional development online using Elluminate for CRSTE. Kim Mann MEd’08 Since receiving her Master of Education in Higher Education Administration, Kim has been working as the Communications Officer for Student Financial Services at MIT. Diana Mayo ’06, MEd’08 Diana graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and went on to receive her Master’s of Education in 2008. Diana has been teaching in the Boston Public School district for 4 years since graduating from Northeastern in 2006. In her four years, she has taught first, second and third grade! She adores the children of Boston and cannot wait to go to work each day. Dolores Williams ‘06 Dolores graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and is interested in pursuing a graduate degree online in Psychology. She is specifically interested in a PhD or PsyD in Clinical Psychology or a master’s with subsequent license to practice psychotherapy.

Judd Shapiro ‘08 Judd graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. On January 1, 2010 he was promoted to the rank of Bank Officer in the Global Treasury Advisory department of the Royal Bank of Scotland. Judd is currently studying towards his MBA. Adam Chiocca MAT’09 Adam’s master’s from Northeastern really helped him to grow as an educator. He knows that he is definitely 200% a teacher, thanks to the husky MAT program for Secondary Education. Adam is currently the ELL Teacher for the high school and middle school in Burlington, Massachusetts. Next will be his 7th year in education and he is glad to say that every year gets better, thanks to Northeastern. Valerie Schiavone ‘09 Valerie graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Health Science. Valerie is planning a graduation gift to herself: a trip to Italy in 2011. She is also enjoying some free time on other pursuits, like playing guitar and contemplating her next scholastic adventure – maybe nursing! She is very grateful for the people that she has met and all she has learned at the College of Professional Studies. Dongyub Lee MS’09 Dongyub graduated with a Master of Science in Leadership and is currently the Manager of Korea Advertising Agencies Association (KAAA). Joseph Leylon MS’09 Joseph graduated with a Master of Science in Technical Communications with a focus in Physics. He is currently employed as AMR Production Manager at Gartner.

James Fitzgerald MS’08 Jim recently opened and revitalized his own business, consulting with companies on organizational development, human capital and human resources. In the fall he will be an adjunct professor at Emmanuel College and Curry College. He will also be taking the Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) exam.


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Barbara Krysiak, CAGs, 1974, Ed.D, 1981

The Northeastern Experience: Accessibility and Personalized Support Dr. Krysiak on her 10-year experience pursuing a Doctorate of Education: With all of my other degrees, I never got as much personal attention and encouragement as I did at Northeastern. The department practices what it preaches. While in the EdD program, we did a lot of role-playing and we got very involved. I absolutely loved it. I thought it was a great place for me, and I grew and grew and grew. That’s the kind of school Northeastern is. It is not just a textbook experience. Most of the students I was with started off as working class kids and worked all the way through. For me, that pushed my mission in the sense that, if you really want it, you can do anything.

Learning from Experience: A Q&A with Dr. Barbara Krysiak

Through her 50-year career in education, Barbara Krysiak, CAGS’74, EdD’81 has filled a number of roles in teaching, administration and leadership. Through it all, her focus on equality and integrity in education has driven an unwavering connection to and advocacy for students. Encore: If you had to define your mission as an educator, what would it be? Dr. Krysiak: My mission as an educator was equity. I grew up in a tenement, and neither my father nor my mother were high school educated. One of my first teaching jobs was in a junior high school fed by two housing projects, where about 40% of students at the end of ninth grade went to work. My mission was to keep them in school, help them graduate from high school and show them how to access higher education, if possible. I knew very early on in my career that, if you lived on the wrong side of the tracks, you didn’t get much support. So, in my entire career, I’ve spent a lot of time making sure that circumstance of birth or where you live won’t interfere with a good education.


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“In my entire career, I’ve spent a lot of time making sure that circumstance of birth or where you live won’t interfere with a good education.” Encore: You’ve had a distinguished career and have filled many roles, from teaching to administration and leadership. What milestones stand out as having the most profound effect on you and your career path? Dr. Krysiak: Going from the classroom to administration was a huge milestone for me. Interestingly enough, however, I didn’t apply for my first two administrative positions; I was asked to do them. My first administration milestone was working in an upward -bound summer humanities program at Connecticut College. After teaching English there for eight weeks, I was asked if I would be the full-time director of the program. I went back to my school system superintendent and asked for a leave of absence, and he refused. I told him that I would never know whether I can do a job unless I do it, so I resigned.

Encore: From the earliest days of your career, the mentoring of children has been a key focus. Tell us about some of these initiatives. Dr. Krysiak: I had done initiatives all the way through my career. My last job before I came to the University of New Hampshire was as the superintendent of schools in Claremont (NH), which is a very poor district. There was a high drop-out rate. We did a mentoring program with women from Dartmouth who worked with high school kids. We also did an assertiveness training program for girls aged nine to thirteen. Interestingly enough, their mothers asked if they could be involved. Claremont had a high domestic abuse rate based on unemployment, and these women were looking for a way to keep themselves going. Our culmin-ating activity that first year was rock climbing, where we had girls bonding with their mothers.

Prior to these administrative positions, I was a very happy and successful English teacher and was not interested in administration. But, after working in administration, I realized that I could be more effective–and a bit more powerful–in getting resources for teachers.

But when I came to the university, I felt extremely isolated; it was a culture shock. All you had to do was come and teach your class and go to meetings, and there was little involvement . While meeting with the young doctoral students, we were talking, and I said ‘I’d like to get out in the schools.’ We sat down and worked out a program that would pair college sophomores, juniors and seniors with middle school children in surrounding communities. The program–Project Mentor–remains very successful.

Encore: You’ve been described as having a passion for change. What are the most (and least) beneficial changes you’ve noted in education during the course of your career?

Encore: Can you describe some of the Project Mentor features that contribute to its success in addressing drop-out rates and student engagement?

Dr. Krysiak: When I consider my 50 years at the job, I one of the most beneficial changes began with much more emphasis in reviewing the curriculum with regard to gender, and more acceptance for women in the curriculum.

Dr. Krysiak: Students were required to take a class called Mentoring Adolescents, taught by middle school teachers. This gave the mentors a good support network. The mentors met with their mentees weekly, and they would tutor the students if they needed it, or speak with their teachers. But this wasn’t a tutoring program, it was a friendship program, meant to open doors for students.

Within that year, I was called back to the school system. They hired me back with a promotion, and I was the junior high English coordinator when I returned.

Also, the No Child Left Behind Act had aspects that were both most and least beneficial. The least beneficial was its emphasis on testing: not diagnostic testing, but testing to meet the standards. I think it removed a lot of teachers’ ability to be creative. They had to spend so much time getting those test scores up, that some of the creative things they had done before went by the wayside. The No Child Left Behind Act also brought some beneficial change. Through it, the way that the test scores were reported back to the school system disaggregated students; we were able to take a look at all of the students, so that you could focus the improvement efforts on the kids who really needed it. Another benefit was a much stronger emphasis on ensuring that students had qualified teachers.


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Encore: With your wealth of experience in education, what advice would you offer to those beginning their teaching careers? Dr. Krysiak: The first bit of advice is that they must have a passion for learning. Teachers have to be learners first, and if they’re enthusiastic learners, they seem to do much better in the classroom. The word of success for me in all the years I’ve worked is integrity. You keep your integrity and you focus on what’s best for the children, and your own passion really helps students learn and motivates them. M


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Gail Emilsson, UC 1996, emerges from personal loss and fulfills a calling to teach

Building Character and a Career in Education


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Widowed during the final year of her doctoral program, Gail Emilsson (BS, University College, 1996, PhD, Yale University, 2003) endured her personal loss, completed her PhD and ultimately discovered her true calling, leaving a successful career in the pharmaceuticals industry to become a high school science teacher. Following a Nontraditional Path to Success Emilsson first attended Northeastern University full-time fresh out of high school. She admits that she had difficulty adjusting to college and life in the city, and she didn’t know exactly what educational and career path she wanted to pursue. So she withdrew from school and worked for a few years, eventually taking an entry level administrative position in a small pharmaceuticals company. “When I learned they needed help in lab, I was naive and bold enough to apply for the job, even though I wasn’t qualified. I didn’t have a college education,” recalls Emilsson. “They saw something in me and a way to save some money, and let me take on new responsibilities while still doing my administrative role.” Emilsson found the work interesting and took to it well. “Anything they taught me, I understood the mechanics of it, even though I may not have known the theory behind it.” She decided to take advantage of the company’s tuition reimbursement program and went back to Northeastern, this time attending classes at night at University College while working full-time during the day. “Because of open enrollment, I spent several years just taking courses. I was following a track in my mind, taking courses I wanted to take. Eventually I decided I’d better declare a major and lock in my requirements.” After seven years, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in biotechnology. Emilsson remained in the pharmaceu-ticals field and focused on her career. She looked around at her colleagues and realized if she wanted to advance to the executive level that she would need a PhD. She pursued her doctorate at Yale. During that time she got married and had a child. Towards the end of her doctoral program, she lost her husband to cancer. She spent the last year of her doctoral studies grieving this profound loss.


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“That kind of changed my ambitions,” she explains. “At that point I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was just trying to survive and finish my degree.” She completed her PhD in 2003, and remained in her thesis lab, which she explains, is not particularly common in the sciences. “You usually move on to another lab that broadens your experience. Personally, I needed to stay stable for a while, and the work was interesting, so I was happy to continue to stay in this field.” Emilsson remained there for three years. However, increasingly she felt the call to teach. She had been a teaching assistant during her graduate program, and had volunteered as a mentor with the New Haven public schools in their science fair program. “I had such a great experience at University College and had so much respect for my professors who were working and teaching at night, that I got inspired to do the same thing.” Eventually she made the decision to shift gears and pursue a career in education. A single parent at the time, the schedule of a teacher was very appealing to her. Emilsson did some research and discovered that science is a high-need area for education. So she spent that summer immersed in a qualification program to earn the credentials required to become a science teacher. A Successful Formula for Character Development Emilsson is currently teaching at a magnet school in New Haven focused on character development. The Hyde Leadership Interdistrict Magnet School is one of five academies that follow the Hyde model. “It’s a coordinated program of trying to work with students who need character development,” explains Emilsson. “We have an integrated program of academics and dedicated time and activities to promote character growth, with an emphasis on sports.” Emilsson teaches three science courses—biology, chemistry and human anatomy and physiology. “Watching students come into the school either angry or unmotivated or disruptive due to life circumstances, I’ve watched them not only mature, but really reflect on themselves that they’ve made changes and realized that they don’t have to be this way.”


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When Encore spoke with Emilsson, it was the first day of finals at the Hyde Leadership School. She explained that the character program culminates in the last official week of school, when underclassmen stay home, allowing teachers to spend dedicated time with seniors leading up to their graduation. “The final week is filled with discussion time, individual work and pulling the whole thing together.” Committed to Lifelong Learning Emilsson authored an article that recently appeared in ChemMatters, an award-winning chemistry magazine for high school students, published by the American Chemistry Society. The title was “What’s in Sunscreens?” It examined the chemical make-up of sunscreens, the differences between UVB and UVA rays, and how chemistry has progressed to better protect us from the harmful rays of the sun. “I’m trying to do more scientific writing and creative writing,” says Emilsson. “I worked on this article last year. I’m trying to get more opportunities this summer. This was a great experience for me. I used a set of skills I hadn’t used in a while, like research, and applying a narrow focus on a topic and becoming an expert, as opposed to being a generalist like I am in the classroom.”

“What I have learned is to try to remember or keep track of every story, anecdote, bizarre example I can think of—like on those cable shows about things like the most extreme animals— and have a bank of different stories or bizarre facts that aren’t central to the curriculum, but allow me to interest the kids and make them more engaged. It takes time to build up that knowledge. Pay attention and re-gather all these interesting tidbits. Keep your eyes open. I’ve heard some science jokes that are corny but help them remember.” Her move from the pharmaceuticals industry to the classroom appears to have been the right one for Emilsson. She concludes, “I definitely feel education is something I want to stick with. I’d like to get broader exposure. I’d like to see other ways that people teach and learn the best of everything and put it all together.” M

Y i o N p

Gail Emilsson’s first daughter is now 10 years old. Emilsson is remarried and has a second daughter, age three. “What’s in Sunscreens?” was published in the February 2010 issue of ChemMatters. Visit for information on ChemMatters and other publications of the American Chemistry Society.

Emilsson’s advice for aspiring high school teachers is to engage students in the curriculum by drawing on fun and memorable examples and factoids from outside the classroom.

Beyond the Three Rs: It’s Character First at Hyde Schools Founded in the early 1960s in Bath, Maine by Joseph Gauld, Hyde Schools are focused on student attitude, effort and character. Gauld was a highly regarded mathematics teacher who believed the educational system was overly focused on student achievement and not focused enough on student character. Today, Hyde Schools is a network of public and boarding schools and programs known widely for its successful and unique approach to helping students develop character. Parental involvement is a key factor

in why Hyde is lauded as one of the premiere character-building schools in the world. Hyde Leadership Magnet School in New Haven, Connecticut is one of five schools in the Hyde Schools network. The school offers a college preparatory program which includes honors classes, independent study opportunities at area colleges, SAT preparation and college advisement. Hyde works to instill the five values of courage, curiosity, integrity, character and leadership into its students.

Hyde’s innovative approach to discipline holds students responsible for their actions and helps students address nonproductive attitudes and behaviors. Each student participates in a five-part curriculum: college preparatory academics, competitive athletics, performing arts, community service and leadership training. Learn more about Hyde Schools at


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You’re an important part of our history. Now, become a part of our future.

By pursuing your advanced degree through the College of Professional Studies, you can continue to be a part of the campus, faculty and learning philosophy that’s already so much a part of you. • Flexible learning formats. Take classes on campus, or online from anywhere. • Personal support. Get expert guidance from enrollment coaches and world-class instructors. • Double Husky Scholarship. Available to recent graduates or Northeastern seniors. ( • 8 enrollment periods throughout the year.

Learn more by visiting us online at or by calling 1.877.688.7727.

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nonprofit organization u.s. postage paid Northeastern University

Northeastern University College of Professional Studies 360 Huntington Ave, 50 NI Boston, MA 02115 Encore Magazine is published for the alumni of the College of Professional Studies, the School of Professional and Continuing Studies, University College, the Lowell Institute School, the Boston Evening School, and the School of Education.

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Educating the Educators  

Fall 2010 issue of Encore, the magazine for The College of Professional Studies alumni and friends

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