Dean's Cabinet

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences' Dean's Cabinet aims to support the Dean, help build bridges between alums and current students, and partner with GSAS to build support and recognition of GSAS within its alum community and the larger Brandeis community. The cabinet of alums launched in February 2022. 

Ari Bader-Natal
Ari Bader-Natal '08, PhD Computer Science

Ari Bader-Natal's LinkedIn

Ari holds a BA, MA, and PhD in Computer Science from Brandeis. Ari Bader-Natal designs, builds, and operates digital learning venues that help people access new opportunities and create new futures. Ari is the co-founder and CTO of Sparkwise, where he is developing an online platform that automates group learning simulations for teams. Prior to Sparkwise, he helped build and launch two new institutions — Calbright College (in the California Community Colleges system) and Minerva University — serving as the CTO at Calbright and the Chief Learning Scientist at Minerva. Ari is the first inventor on seven U.S. patents and a contributing author of “Building the Intentional University” (MIT Press, 2017).

David Barker
David Barker '69, PhD Biochemistry

Dr. Barker has participated in the development of DNA sequencing and other genomic analysis instrumentation for the past 30 years. He is currently Board Member and Chairman at Bionano Genomics and serves on the Boards of Directors of AmideBio and Singular Genomics Systems. He was Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at Illumina, Inc., from 2000 to 2007, and on the Illumina scientific advisory board through 2015. He was previously on the Boards of several other biotech companies, including Aspen Neuroscience, which is conducting clinical trials to treat Parkinson disease by replacing lost dopamine neurons with cells derived from the patient’s own induced pluripotent stem cells. Aspen Neuroscience was co-founded by Dr. Barker’s wife, Dr. Jeanne Loring.

In his academic career, Dr. Barker conducted interdisciplinary research in neurobiology as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School, Assistant Professor at the University of Oregon, and Associate Professor at Oregon State University. Dr. Barker holds a BS with honors in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology and a PhD in Biochemistry from Brandeis University.

Ralph Cohen
Ralph Cohen '78, PhD Mathematics

Ralph Cohen's LinkedIn

Ralph Cohen received his PhD in Mathematics from Brandeis in 1978. He has spent most of his career at Stanford University where he is now Emeritus Barbara Kimball Browning Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences. Ralph has published many research papers on algebraic and differential topology and received the International research award and the Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation. He has also served as Director of the Mathematics Research Center at Stanford, and as Senior Associate Dean for the Natural Sciences, School of Humanities and Sciences.

Alan Dittrich
Alan Dittrich '77, PhD English and American Literature

Alan Dittrich's LinkedIn

Alan completed his thesis on the foundations of the American short story while teaching English and mathematics at an independent secondary school. He left teaching two years later, after ten years in the field, and has subsequently had an unplanned but varied and interesting career that included writing training materials for a computer company, editing an engineering magazine, creating marketing programs and managing marketing communications for a variety of products and services, and leading an advertising agency, before switching to full-time non-profit work and eventually retiring as President of the Massachusetts Society for Medical Research. In service to education, Alan currently is completing a three-year term on the Executive Committee of the Williams College Society of Alumni and is the author of several book chapters/case studies on donor stewardship. Alan’s BA in Mathematics and English from Williams was followed by the MA and PhD from Brandeis.

Paul Fennelly
Paul Fennelly '72, PhD Chemistry

Paul Fennelly's LinkedIn

Dr. Paul Fennelly was Senior Vice President, Global Director of Sales and Marketing for AECOM’s Global Environment Business Line, which during his tenure had $ 1 Billion in revenue and had more than 4,500 staff operating from 150 offices across North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Australia.  At AECOM, Dr. Fennelly oversaw strategic planning, sales, marketing, client relations and business development serving clients in many worldwide industrial market sectors. Paul retired from AECOM in 2016 and transitioned into a role consulting on business strategy for companies in the Environmental and Clean Energy industries. The author of 50 scientific articles and presentations, Dr. Fennelly holds a PhD in Chemistry from Brandeis University and a BS in Chemistry from Villanova University. In 2020, Paul received the very prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Environment Business Journal for his extensive and wide ranging contributions and accomplishments in the Environmental Consulting and Engineering Business world.

Taro Fujimori
Taro Fujimori '92, PhD Biophysics

Taro Fujimori's LinkedIn

Taro Fujimori received his PhD in Biophysics from Brandeis in 1992. He is a Director of Regulatory Affairs at AbbVie. Taro has worked in pharmaceutical research, development, and operations bringing novel therapeutics to clinical trials and to market, including Humira and Skyrizi.

P. Jane Gale
P. Jane Gale '76, PhD Chemistry

P. Jane Gale's LinkedIn

Physical chemist P. Jane Gale (Brandeis PhD, 1976) has been involved with scientific instrumentation, in particular mass spectrometry, throughout her career, focusing primarily on materials characterization and quantitative analysis in the electronics and pharmaceutical industries. In addition to contributions to peer-reviewed literature in both fields, she co-authored The Principles of Quantitative Mass Spectrometry and co-edited Volume 9 “Historical Perspectives” of the Encyclopedia of Mass Spectrometry. Using Lean Six Sigma Black Belt experience gained in Pharma, she later made increased efficiency through process improvement primary goals during stints at two scientific instrument companies. Jane currently serves as Archivist/Historian for the American Society for Mass Spectrometry (ASMS), a professional organization she joined while still a Brandeis student. The investment strategy she implemented as that society’s treasurer in the ‘90s has enabled funding of multiple educational and career development programs for ASMS members.

Daniel Guhr
Daniel Guhr '93, MA Political Science

Daniel Guhr's LinkedIn

Dr. Guhr has served as Illuminate Consulting Group’s Managing Director since 2002. Previously, he worked as a consultant with BCG and as a Director of Business Development with SAP. He holds a PhD in Education and a M.Sc. in Educational Research Methodology from Oxford, as well as a MA in Political Science from Brandeis. He also served as a research specialist at UC Berkeley and conducted research at a Max-Planck-Institute. Dr. Guhr has authored more than 40 reports, papers, and studies. He has contributed to more than 100 conference sessions, seminars, and workshops worldwide.

Helene Hill
Helene Hill '64, PhD Molecular/Cellular Biology

Helene Hill's LinkedIn

Helene came to Brandeis six years after graduating from Smith College and bearing the brunt of a failing marriage and two small children. The wonderful and supportive faculty members in the Biology Department encouraged her to believe in herself again and spurred her on to the next phases in her life. Being a woman in science in the 1960s was more than challenging, but Helene managed to struggle through. She was met with plenty of roadblocks on the way but she was always spurred on by the Brandeis motto that graces the heading of her website: "Truth even unto its inner most parts."

Janet Schulte
Janet Schulte '94, PhD American History

Janet Schulte's LinkedIn

Janet E. Schulte has served as an administrator and executive in higher education, non-profit organizations, and municipal government. Her academic appointments included Lesley University, Bradford College, the University of New Hampshire and Harvard University where she held positions ranging from Assistant to the President, Academic Dean, Vice President for Strategic Planning, and Interim Provost. She currently serves as a Strategic Planning Advisor to the Nantucket Town Manager and Nantucket Select Board and has previously served in administrative roles with the Maria Mitchell Association and Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce. She holds the PhD in the History of American Civilization from Brandeis University (1994), the M.T.S. in Religion and Culture from Harvard Divinity School (1986), and the A.B., cum laude, in Economics from Smith College (1980). She has published and presented on a range of topics including educational philosophy and academic assessment, the creation of summer vacation communities, the American home front in World War II, the history of immigration to the United States, collaboration among non-profit organizations, and fostering economic development opportunities for small businesses during COVID-19.

Susan Singer
Susan Olshansky Singer '78, MA Jewish Community Service

Susan Olshansky Singer's LinkedIn

Susan Olshansky Singer is the founder & owner of Closet Curator, a personal shopping and wardrobe consulting service. She is also a Stylist with CABI, a direct-to-consumer women's clothing company. She’s been an entrepreneur and in business for the past 14 years, working with her clients to help them define their everyday style. Susan has been in the fashion industry for over 25 years. Prior to that, she had a 15 year career in the not-for-profit realm where she worked in the community organization, leadership development and fundraising departments for the Jewish Federations in several communities. She got her professional training at Brandeis, having graduated from the Hornstein Program in 1978. Susan's other passion and preoccupation is in the area of political action. She co-leads the ReSisters, a group of committed activists out of Fairfield County, CT where she lives. The group strategically focuses effort in campaigns and issues on which they can impact the result. It's a 24/7, fulfilling, essential endeavor in this era when American democracy is experiencing a serious stress test. 
Chari Smith
Chari Smith '88, PhD Biochemistry

Chari Smith's LinkedIn

Chari Smith is currently a Senior Program Leader for Kriya Therapeutics, developing gene therapies for Type 1 Diabetes and rare metabolic disorders. Dr. Smith is the founder and principal consultant for PharmTeam Consulting, providing consulting services for preclinical drug discovery programs with a focus on projects emerging from academic environments. She recently served as the VP of Nonclinical Research at Metavant Sciences, a diabetes and metabolic disease-focused company. Prior to Metavant, Dr. Smith spent 23 years in R&D at GSK, where she contributed to the development of therapies for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, HIV, preterm labor, HBV, and HSV. Dr. Smith completed her postdoctoral fellowship in the department of Physiology at the UCLA Medical Center and holds a PhD in Biochemistry from Brandeis University and a BA in Biology from Cornell University. She represents GSAS on the Brandeis Alumni Association's Board of Directors. 

Helen Stewart
Helen Stewart '80, PhD Sociology

Helen Stewart's LinkedIn

Helen Stewart has served as teaching faculty, academic administrator, and traditional and intuitive management consultant to many individuals and companies in the United States and abroad; arbitrator and mediator, community organizer, and interpreter in French for the US Department of State; rural sociologist for the United Nations Development Program in West Africa; public speaker in the U.S., Europe, the Caribbean and South America; and radio personality in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She taught full time in the AAAS Department at Brandeis for five years. She is currently the Admissions Office liaison in her current position on the Brandeis Alumni Board. Helen holds a PhD in sociology from Brandeis and was a post-doctoral scholar at Harvard University. She published a book about Seven Second Decision Making and is currently working on a book of essays entitled Grits and Granola, her take on current events as a black woman in America and as a “Third Culture Kid.”

Vipin Suri
Vipin Suri '00, PhD Biochemistry

Vipin Suri's LinkedIn

Vipin Suri earned a PhD in biochemistry from Brandeis in 2000, where he spent five years in the Rosbash lab. He has since worked in pharmaceuticals at companies including Wyeth, GlaxoSmithKline, Raze Therapeutics, and Obsidian Therapeutics and is currently Chief Scientific Officer at Catamaran Bio. Vipin has an MBA from the Yale School of Management. 

Peter Taylor
Peter Taylor '00, PhD English

Dr. Peter L. Taylor is Executive Associate Dean for Academic and External Affairs in the Patel College of Health Care Sciences, providing academic leadership to more than 3000 students and 300 faculty in thirty-two degree programs across six campus locations. He completed his undergraduate degree in English Language & Literature at the University of Maryland, College Park. Taylor earned a master’s degree in English at Georgetown University; he went on to earn his doctoral degree at Brandeis University. Prior, he worked with deans and faculty at the University of California San Francisco’s professional schools to craft proposals, raising more than $12.2 million in support of academic programs from the National Institutes of Health and private foundations.

Paul M. Wassarman
Paul M. Wassarman '68, PhD Biochemistry

Paul M. Wassarman's LinkedIn

Paul M. Wassarman was a graduate student with N.O. Kaplan in the Graduate Dept of Biochemistry (1963-1967) and received his PhD from Brandeis in 1968. He was then a Helen Hay Whitney postdoctoral fellow with J.C. Kendrew at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England (1967-1970). Since 1996 Wassarman has been Professor of Cell, Developmental, and Regenerative Biology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Prior to this, he was a Rockefeller Foundation Research Fellow and faculty member in the Dept. Biological Chemistry at Harvard Medical School (1972-1986) and Chairman of the Dept. Cell and Molecular Biology at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology (1986-1996). Throughout the past forty years, Wassarman’s laboratory has carried out basic research on mammalian oogenesis and fertilization that has resulted in a deeper understanding of the cellular and molecular basis of these vital processes. In 2020 Oxford University Press published his biography of Sir J.C. Kendrew, titled “A Place in History”.