Northeastern Illinois University’s new tenure-track faculty members were introduced at the Board of Trustees meeting on Sept. 19. Here are the 18 new members of the faculty for the Fall 2019 semester.
Dr. Garo Agopian, Management and Marketing
Dr. Agopian earned a Ph.D. in Marketing from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His research interests revolve around digital consumer behavior, entertainment marketing and design. Agopian has Armenian heritage and is fluent in four languages. Previously, he worked as a U.S. Embassy translator for the International Catholic Migration Commission, applying his linguistic skills to overcome the language barrier between refugees and immigration officers.
Dr. Ariana Bancu, Linguistics
Dr. Bancu earned a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Her research focuses broadly on the relationship between language and society, and more narrowly on multilingual societies, language change, language maintenance, and language documentation. Her teaching interests include topics in sociolinguistics, language contact and bilingualism, and field research methods.
Mr. Geoff Brown, Library
Mr. Brown earned his master's in Library and Information Sciences from the University of Washington and his master's in Geography and Environmental Studies from Northeastern Illinois University. His research interests include scientific data curation, human geography, paranormal studies and collection development.
Dr. Maura Cherney, Communication, Media and Theatre
Dr. Cherney earned her Ph.D. in Communication and graduate certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her research interests include mediated communication with a focus on interpersonal communication and the impression formation process through new communication technologies. She previously served on the faculty at Eureka College.
Dr. Tung Cu, Accounting, Business, Law and Finance
Dr. Cu earned a Ph.D. in Information Systems & Decision Sciences from Louisiana State University. His research interests are adoption and diffusion of digital products, innovation of breakthrough technologies and social media analytics. He is working on a start-up project that applies IoT and AI to improve the lives and livelihood of farmers by transforming experience-based to information-driven farming. He is currently a member of ACM, AIS, INFORMS and PMI.
Dr. Cigdem Gonul Kochan, Management and Marketing
Dr. Gonul Kochan earned a Ph.D. in Logistics and Supply Chain Management from the University of North Texas. Her research focusses on the intersection of supply chain resilience, supply chain management technology trends, and healthcare supply chains. She has taught supply chain management, supply chain modeling and simulation, operations management, and model-based decision-making courses. Prior to joining the Ph.D. program, she worked in the manufacturing industry. She is a certified SAP ERP solution architect. She previously served as an Assistant Professor of Operations Research at Ohio Northern University.
Dr. Wendy Gonzales, Special Education
Dr. Gonzales earned a Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has 11 years of experience as a bilingual special education teacher and has worked in a variety of districts in the Chicago area. Her research interests are in the area of bilingual education, reading development, and learning disabilities.
Dr. Senyung Lee, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Dr. Lee earned a Ph.D. in Second Language Studies from Indiana University. She is an applied linguist specializing in language assessment. Her research interests include the acquisition and assessment of second language (L2) vocabulary knowledge, assessment of L2 writing, and assessment of L2 listening. She has extensive experience in developing English tests and years of experience in teaching English in the U.S. and South Korea.
Ms. Lauren Meranda, Art
Ms. Meranda is a multidisciplinary designer, working on projects for cultural institutions, social activism, civic engagement, and public memory through experimental media, collaborative storytelling, and interactive design for physical spaces. She is currently on the board of the Chicago Design Archive, developing pop-up exhibits and design education materials using the archive collection. She served as education chair for AIGA Chicago, where she worked with student groups and built a partnership with AIGA designers and Chicago Public Schools.
Dr. Manar Mohaisen, Computer Science
Dr. Mohaisen earned a Ph.D. in Telecommunications Engineering from Inha University, South Korea. His research interests are in wireless communications, computer security, and educational networks analysis and restructuring. He has taught a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses, including machine learning for cybersecurity, game theory, social network analysis, mining the social web, advanced engineering mathematics, and C, C++, Python, and Matlab programming languages.
Dr. Olubunmi Oyewuwo-Gassikia, Social Work
Dr. Oyewuwo-Gassikia earned her Ph.D. in Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is passionate about approaching her research and teaching from an intersectional perspective, one that connects individual experience to the various systems of privilege and oppression that operate in society. Her research interests include an examination of the domestic violence experiences of American Muslims with particular focus on Black Muslim women, and human trafficking. She previously served as faculty at Binghamton University.
Dr. Noreen Powers, Literacy, Leadership and Development
Dr. Powers earned an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from DePaul University. She has worked in the field of education and educational leadership for more than 20 years in a variety of settings including K-12, higher education and district level. Her research interests include school leadership, instructional leadership, coaching and mentoring new leaders and school improvement.
Dr. Beth Reinke, Biology
Dr. Reinke earned a Ph.D in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Dartmouth College and completed postdoctoral work at Texas A&M University and Pennsylvania State University. Her research focus is the evolution and physiology of animal coloration, which she studies using a combination of field studies, museum collections, macroevolutionary analyses, image analysis and visual modeling. She runs and maintains a long-term study of painted turtles in northern Wisconsin that just completed its 10th year.
Mr. Edward Remus, Library
Mr. Remus earned a Master of Science in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Arts in History from Northeastern Illinois University. Previously, he worked as an Adult Services Librarian for the Chicago Public Library. His research interests include information literacy instruction, events and programs, podcasting, and intellectual freedom.
Dr. Jody Siker, Special Education
Dr. Siker earned a B.S. in Biological Aspects of Conservation and Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, M.S. in Exceptional Education from UW-Milwaukee, and Ph.D. through the Joint Doctoral Program in Special Education from the University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco State University. Her teaching focuses on special education, math education, culturally responsive pedagogy, disability history and action research. Her research interests include co-teaching, including pre-service teacher preparation and measuring openness to co-teaching; lesson study in mathematics; mathematics knowledge for teaching; color and power evasion; and equity.
Mr. Christopher Straughn, Library
Mr. Straughn earned a master’s in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Chicago. His library work focuses on serials and metadata. He is also interested in linguistic typology, the languages of Central and North Asia, and database design.
Dr. Jia-Rung Wu, Counselor Education
Dr. Wu earned a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She holds CACREP-approved master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling and a bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy. She is a certified rehabilitation counselor, a licensed professional counselor and licensed occupational therapist. Her research interest areas include psychiatric rehabilitation, vocational rehabilitation, health promotion, the International Classification of Functionality, Disability and Health (ICF) model, demand-side employment, evidence-based practice, testing and assessment, and research methodologies.
Dr. Andrew Young, Psychology
Dr. Young earned a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He conducts research on learning, collaboration, and scientific reasoning in childhood. He has taught courses on topics in developmental psychology, cognitive science, statistics and research methods at UW-Madison and Occidental College.