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Fourteen Leading Scholars Join the Iona College Faculty


NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – As Iona College continues in its commitment to attract and retain talented scholars and leaders in their fields, the School of Arts & Science dean, Joseph Stabile, Ph.D., and the LaPenta School of Business interim dean, Richard Highfield, Ph.D., announced new full-time faculty joining the College this fall for the 2019-2020 academic year. Fourteen professors will be joining the ranks across the two schools.

Christiana I. Awosan, Ph.D.
Tenure Track Assistant Professor, Marriage and Family Therapy

Ph.D., Drexel University

Christiana I. Awosan Christiana I. Awosan, Ph.D., is a licensed marriage/couple and family therapist, educator and researcher. Awosan graduated from Drexel University with a Ph.D. in couple and family therapy. She is an associate faculty of the Eikenberg Academy for Social Justice in New York City. She was formerly at Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J., as an assistant professor in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program.

Awosan is an American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy clinical fellow and approved supervisor. She serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Family Psychotherapy. Awosan has published articles in several peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of Marital and Family Therapy and several book chapters in books such as Revisioning Family Therapy: Addressing Diversity in Clinical Practice.

Ernest Billings (Billy) Brewster, Ph.D.
Lecturer, Religious Studies

Ph.D., Harvard University

Billy BrewsterErnest Billings (Billy) Brewster, Ph.D., received his doctorate from the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University in 2018 for a dissertation treating the history of medieval Chinese Buddhist doctrinal conceptualizations of death and dying. These doctrinal conceptualizations provide the theoretical underpinnings for end-of-life rituals meant to attenuate suffering in the dying individual. Before coming to Iona, Brewster was Sheng Yen Education Foundation postdoctoral fellow at the Asian Studies Department at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. As a researcher, he combines philology with a doctrinal-historical approach to key ideological developments in early medieval Chinese Buddhism. As a teacher, his main goal is to train students to think more critically about the persisting religiosity of our supposedly “secular world.”

Dorothy Brophy, MA
Instructor, English

MA, Iona College

Dorothy BrophyDorothy Brophy, MA, received a Bachelor of Arts degree from The College of New Rochelle and a Master of Arts degree in English from Iona College. Her thesis considered the plays of Eugene O’Neill in relation to his exploration of the concept of God. She has taught at Iona for the English Department since the fall of 1999, both in regular semesters and special sessions. While focusing on the writing and literature courses in the core, Brophy has also taught major courses in drama and a learning community course. In 2006, she was appointed full-time for the 2006-2007 academic year. Brophy has served on the Faculty Senate as the adjunct representative for a total of 16 years and served for four years as the secretary of the Senate and College Council. Brophy received the Senate Award for Adjunct Faculty 2010 and was promoted from adjunct instructor to adjunct professor rank in June of 2014.

Melba Butler, Ph.D., LCSW
Visiting Professor, Social Work

Ph.D., Graduate Center of City University of New York

Melba ButlerMelba Butler, Ph.D., has a wealth of experience in executive-level nonprofit management, policy, program development and coalition building. For over 16 years, she led Harlem Dowling-West Side Center for Children and Family Services, the oldest child welfare institution serving African American children, and the subject of her dissertation, “There is Home: A Case Study of the Colored Orphan Asylum in New York City.”

Butler also served as the first director of resident engagement at the New York City Housing Authority, where she spearheaded an innovative approach to enhancing the civic engagement of the city’s 400,000 public housing residents as part of a strategic plan to preserve public housing. In 2006, she launched Butler Consulting, specializing in capacity building, leadership development and project management for not-for-profit and governmental organizations.

Butler received her Ph.D. in social welfare from the Graduate Center of City University of New York and her Master of Science from Columbia University. She is a licensed clinical social worker in New York State. Butler has served as an adjunct assistant professor at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College and Stony Brook School of Social Work and a lecturer at York and Brooklyn Colleges.

Tina L. Finnegan, MBA
Clinical Instructor, Management

MBA, Pace University

Tina L. FinneganTina Finnegan, MBA, teaches courses in management in the undergraduate and graduate programs. Finnegan brings to the classroom many years of corporate work experience encompassing a wide variety of industries. She has trained and facilitates the development of future leaders, and her research interests include reflective leadership practice and its effect on managing in organizations.

Br. Dennis Gunn, Ph.D.
Tenure Track Assistant Professor, Education

Ph.D., Fordham University

Dennis GunnBr. Dennis Gunn, Ph.D., is a member of the Congregation of Christian Brothers. He has served in Catholic education for over twenty-five years, having taught at every level from elementary to graduate school. He holds a master’s degree in religious education from Boston College and a Ph.D. in religious education from Fordham University. Gunn has taught in the Education Department at Iona College as a full-time instructor for the past five years. He also teaches in the Honors Program and the Columba Cornerstone freshman seminar. He was recently hired as an assistant professor in the Education Department at Iona. His research is in the historical and philosophical foundations of education, with an emphasis on religion in American education.

Mahmud Hossain, Ph.D.
Visiting Professor, Accounting

Ph.D., CUNY-Baruch College

Mahmud HossainMahmud Hossain, Ph.D., earned his Ph.D. and master’s degree in accounting from CUNY-Baruch College and the University of Kentucky, respectively. Before that, he worked for Philips Electronics as an accounts officer. Before joining Iona, he taught at the University of Houston-Clear Lake, the University of Memphis, and two universities in the Middle East. He has diverse experience in teaching various courses in financial accounting, managerial accounting, auditing and forensic accounting. His research interests include valuation, audit, privatization, corporate social responsibility and corporate tax avoidance. His research has appeared in the Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Finance, Journal of Business Finance and Accounting, Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, and Journal of Business Research.

Brittany Lynch, LCSW
Clinical Lecturer, Social Work

MA, University of Louisville

Brittany LynchBrittany Lynch, LCSW, comes to the position of clinical lecturer/director of field education in the Social Work Department at Iona with over 10 years of domestic and international human services experience. Lynch has worked with diverse populations in a variety of settings including: teaching English and coordinating programs in a small school in sub-Saharan Africa; providing in-home clinical and case management services to newly arrived refugees in Louisville, Ky.; participating in psychological health research in southern Europe; providing mental health and parent coaching services to chronically homeless veterans and children and families involved with the child welfare system on the south side of Chicago; and serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Middle East/North Africa. Additionally, Lynch has served as a clinical supervisor for non-licensed clinicians and field instructor for BSW and MSW students from over 10 different colleges/universities during their field placements. Lynch received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from George Washington University and master’s degree in social work with a marriage and family therapy specialization from the University of Louisville. Outside of being a proud social worker and social work educator, Lynch is a teacher and avid practitioner of power vinyasa yoga and loves college basketball.

Laura Magliulo, MBA
Clinical Instructor, Marketing

MBA, Iona College

Laura MagliuloLaura Magliulo, MBA, is a marketing and consumer insights leader with over 20 years of experience spanning multiple categories within confectionery/food, health and beauty, and personal care. Magliulo is a trusted advisor to well-known companies where she has led consumer and syndicated research, innovation, and strategy for top brands within their respective categories.

Magliulo enjoys utilizing her career training in coaching and mentoring, enabling her to lead small and large cross-functional teams to accomplish corporate goals. She attributes her exciting and successful career adventure to the strong foundation that she received from Iona College, having received her BBA and MBA in marketing. Magliulo’s academic interests are marketing, consumer behavior, strategy, marketing communications, and new product development.

Danielle Mahoney, Ph.D., OTD, OTR/L
Tenure Track Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy

Ph.D., Columbia University

Danielle Mahoney Danielle Mahoney, Ph.D., OTD, OTR/L, is an assistant professor in the Graduate Occupational Therapy Program. Mahoney has worked in fast-paced adult rehabilitation settings, as well as in homecare. The focus of Mahoney’s doctoral work was on developing an assessment tool to address anticipatory awareness in adults with neurological pathologies. Mahoney created the Occupational Therapy Anticipatory Awareness Test (OTAAT) in efforts to improve occupational therapists’ ability to assess and ensure clients’ safety while they perform their desired occupations. Her work related to self-awareness has been published in the Open Journal of Occupational Therapy. Currently, Mahoney is working on establishing the psychometric properties of the OTAAT. She has assisted with teaching an older adult course at Columbia University and looks forward to continuing her role in academia at Iona College. She believes that mentorship is one of the keys to a successful academic experience and professional career.

Melissa Newell, Ph.D.
Tenure Track Assistant Professor, Mathematics/Physics

Ph.D., University of Connecticut

Melissa NewellMelissa Newell, Ph.D., grew up in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire and was inspired by her high school mathematics and physics teachers to attend college. Newell earned her BS in mathematics and physics from Gordon College in Wenham, Mass., where she participated in a research experience for undergraduates at the University of Wisconsin-Stout doing research in algebraic geometry. This experience solidified her interest in attending graduate school for mathematics. She earned her MS in mathematics in 2015 and her Ph.D. in mathematics in 2019 from the University of Connecticut. Her research focus was in undergraduate mathematics education, specifically focusing on quantitative learning centers and the needs of the students who attend. Newell’s dissertation touched on the mathematical needs of the students as well as the successful tutoring strategies used by peer tutors. Her research goals are to continue this avenue of research while also broadening her scope to include undergraduate mathematics education more generally, including pedagogical questions as well as student understanding of mathematical content.

Brandon M. Ring, Ph.D.
Tenure Track Assistant Professor, Psychology

Ph.D., Western Michigan University

Brandon M. RingBrandon M. Ring, Ph.D., is an organizational psychologist with a behavior analytic perspective. He has previously worked with opioid-dependent adults, children with intellectual disabilities, and consulted for both large and small companies. He also has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at three universities prior to joining Iona College. Ring’s research interests include organizational behavior management, applied behavior analysis, behavioral systems analysis, and performance improvement.

Michele (Mike) Volza, MBA
Clinical Instructor, Management

MBA, Syracuse University

Michele (Mike) VolzaMike Volza, MBA, has 25 years of experience as vice president of sales and marketing for a private consumer products manufacturer. He has dealt with large national retailers such as JCPenney, Kohl’s, Target and Macy’s and has traveled extensively through Taiwan, Mainland China and Hong Kong. Volza’s academic interests are in management, international business and marketing. Most recently, he was a lecturer for the SUNY Geneseo School of Business and has taught at SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Utica College and Herkimer College.

Sungjin Yoo, Ph.D.
Tenure Track Assistant Professor, Information Systems

Ph.D., University of Memphis

Sungjin Yoo Sungjin Yoo, Ph.D., teaches courses in the areas of information systems and business analytics. His research interests include cybersecurity, sharing economy, and IT strategy. In particular, Yoo studies the relationships between firms’ IT security strategy, non-security related IT strategy, and cybersecurity breaches, as well as the impact of new IT-enabled business models on the landscape of traditional industries. To implement his research, he mainly uses advanced econometrics, business analytics, and qualitative case study methods. Yoo’s research has been published in MIS Quarterly Executive and Information Technology & People.

Founded in 1940, Iona College is a master's-granting private, Catholic, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers. Iona's 45-acre campus is just 20 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. With a total enrollment of nearly 4,000 students and an alumni base of over 45,000 around the world, Iona is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona is highly accredited, offering undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science, and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs. Iona's LaPenta School of Business is accredited by AACSB International, a prestigious recognition awarded to just five percent of business schools worldwide.