Bernard Brommel Hall with the Chicago skyline in the background

Friday, July 21, 2023

Northeastern Illinois University awarded tenure and promotion to associate professor to nine members of the faculty, effective Aug. 16. 2023. The following faculty members were introduced and approved by the Board of Trustees to receive this promotion during the Board’s April 13, 2023 meeting. 

Patricia Aguado
Aguado earned a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work. Aguado’s teaching philosophy builds on the foundational principles of establishing rapport, developing trust and building relationships with students. Her research centers on understanding the sociostructural barriers to linkage and retention in healthcare, particularly for Latino communities; developing and implementing innovative interventions designed to address the barriers to engaging and staying retained in HIV care; and understanding how COVID-19 has impacted the mental health and well-being of young people and Latinx communities. She has received numerous grants, served as co-principal investigator on two federally funded grants, and appeared in several peer-reviewed publications for her research.

Samantha Brown-Xu 
Brown-Xu earned a Ph.D. from Ohio State University. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry. Brown-Xu’s research has been conducted on methods to chemically degrade and recycle plastic waste using inorganic photocatalysts, and she has supervised and mentored 12 undergraduate students on this project over the past five years. In addition to presenting this work with students at various conferences, she presented her work, “Framing Scientific Literacy as a Pathway to Environmental Justice,” at the Biennial Conference on Chemical Education in West Lafayette, Indiana, in August 2022. She uses Universal Design for Learning principles when designing and disseminating course materials, and has created prerecorded lecture videos for Chemistry courses to assist students with learning new material.

Aissetu Barry Ibrahima 
Ibrahima earned a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work. Ibrahima’s research focuses on understanding the impact of international policies, such as Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals, on the health policies of indigenous communities in Sub-Saharan Africa, and promoting indigenous development and health policies and programs. In addition to presenting at conferences and being published in peer-reviewed publications, she received a fellowship in 2018 to teach a Ph.D. course titled “Indigenous Social Work and Multiculturalism in Ethiopia - SWKD 7018” at Gondor University in Ethiopia. She teaches through building genuine relationships with and among students, and creating an environment where everyone in the classroom (including the instructor) is a student participating in the cocreation of knowledge.

Ahmed Khaled 
Khaled earned a Ph.D. from the University of Florida. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science. In addition to working with Honors and McNair Scholars students and overseeing independent studies, Khaled was the primary advisor for 19 graduate students, co-advisor for 17 graduate students and served as a third committee member for three graduate theses/projects. His research interests are the Internet of Things (IoT), and the emerging technologies of cloud computing and distributed systems, mainly in the healthcare area. He has been published in many peer-reviewed journals, most recently in the Journal of Computer and Communications Vol. 10, No. 8 (2022) for his work titled "Internet of Medical Things (IoMT): Overview, Taxonomies, and Classifications." 

Hsiao-Chin Kuo
Kuo earned a Ph.D. from Indiana University. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Literacy, Leadership and Development. Over the years, Kuo’s research and creative activities reflect her commitment to serving marginalized populations and addressing relevant sociocultural issues; multimodal literacy and its wide range of applications; and school-family-community partnerships. She published four articles and conducted nine presentations, which include seven in peer-reviewed conferences and three in professional development events. Her latest manuscript, “Beyond the Professional Me: Constructing Teacher Identities Within ePortfolios Through a Multimodal Approach,” has been submitted to Reading Research Quarterly and is currently under review. Kuo submitted five grant proposals and two were awarded via internal funding. 

Lauren Meranda
Meranda earned an M.F.A. from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art + Design. Throughout the various forms her work takes, the concept of Socially Engaged Design is a thread that ties them all together. In 2018, Meranda founded Studio Brazen, a multidisciplinary, socially engaged design practice specializing in projects for cultural institutions, social activism, civic engagement and public memory through experimental media, collaborative storytelling and interactive design for physical spaces. She has had three Northeastern students as interns with Studio Brazen throughout the years. In addition to other speaking and research projects, Meranda spoke at the 2021 Design Principles & Practices Conference about her research on rethinking monuments and was awarded the Emerging Scholar Award.

Amanda Montes 
Montes earned a Ph.D. from Arizona State University. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Teacher Education. Montes’ research centers on intersecting language education communities — applied linguistics, TESOL, bilingual education and multicultural education — looking at practitioners themselves, to study their pedagogical practices and to understand what makes educators feel inspired to teach language and content through language. She was awarded a Fulbright grant in academic year 2021-2022, and spent the year as a Fulbright Senior Lecturer at Kadir Has University in Istanbul, Turkey. In addition, she has presented at both local and international conferences, and has been published in journals, books and conference proceedings.

Noreen Powers 
Powers earned a Ph.D. from DePaul University. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Literacy, Leadership and Development. Powers’ research activities have focused on advising graduate students, self-directed learning in post-secondary contexts, coaching and mentoring school leaders, and school improvement (PK-12). For students in the M.A. in Educational Leadership program, with the State of Illinois Principal Endorsement, Powers created “Mock Video-Taped Interviews” to prepare students for real-world career situations to build confidence in the interviewing process. She published two peer-reviewed journal articles, secured a signed book contract with Taylor & Francis Group, completed seven presentations, published nine book reviews and published two juried professional proceedings. 

Beth Reinke 
Reinke earned a Ph.D. from Dartmouth College. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology. Reinke’s research focuses on the evolution of biological diversity, using evolutionary and demographic approaches. Most classroom and lab projects focus on the themes of animal coloration and demography with the overarching goal of better understanding phenotypic diversity and variation. Part of her research focuses on science communication by bridging science and art. She uses animal coloration as a topic for practicing science communication and works with students to effectively communicate their work to non-scientists. She has published eight peer-reviewed journal articles, submitted to four external research grant funding sources, collaborated with artists on science-art exhibits, presented at the Purdue University Biology Department and received several internal awards. 

Northeastern also awarded promotions of professor to the following faculty members:

*Effective July 1, 2023