Debbie Potter, Heller MA’00, PhD’07, associate professor of sociology at the University of Louisville, was recognized by undergraduates as a Student Champion for the support she offered during the pandemic. She was also nominated as a 2021 Faculty Favorite. In other news, a manuscript she wrote was published in the September issue of Sociological Forum. And during the 2022-23 academic year, she will be a fellow at the Commonwealth Center for the Humanities and Society, working on a project that examines collective traumas among people experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic amid local struggles for racial justice. Amara Saeed, Heller MA’02, is monitoring and evaluation specialist at the University of Utah’s Higher Education System Strengthening Activity project. HESSA is a partnership between USAID and the government of Pakistan that seeks to address key challenges in Pakistan’s higher-education sector. Leandre Waldo, Heller MBA’02, is chief of staff for the president of Saint Michael’s College, in Colchester, Vermont. Previously, she was director of communications and engagement at Home Health & Hospice, part of the University of Vermont Health Network. Anish Ghosh, GSAS MA’03, PhD’06, professor of mathematics at Mumbai’s Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, received the 2021 Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize, in the area of mathematical sciences. The award is given by India’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research in recognition of outstanding applied or fundamental research. Anish specializes in ergodic theory. Amanda Kiessel, Heller MA’03, earned a 2021 Outstanding Alumni Award from Northwestern Michigan College. During her master’s studies in sustainable development at Brandeis, she became involved with the Sevalanka Foundation, which focused on war-relief efforts in Sri Lanka. For a time, Amanda served as program director of that organization, driving emergency relief in the wake of the 2004 tsunami and overseeing growth from 300 staff members to 1,200. She is also the co-creator of Good Market, a marketplace commons that makes it easier to connect with social enterprises, civic organizations and businesses working to create a better world. Medani Bhandari, Heller MA’04, is a professor and adviser to the chancellor at Gandaki University, in Pokhara, Nepal; professor in the Department of Finance, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Sumy State University, in Ukraine; and vice president of academic affairs at Akamai University, in Hawaii. Jessica Lang, GSAS PhD’04, has been named dean of Baruch College’s Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, after serving as interim dean. Jessica, who joined Baruch in 2004, was formerly chair of and professor in the college’s English department. Shahbaz Sheikh, IBS PhD’04, is a professor of finance in the DAN Department of Management and Organizational Studies at the University of Western Ontario. Michael Ames, Heller MA’06, PhD’15, is president and CEO of Robert F. Kennedy Community Alliance, a Lancaster, Massachusetts-based human-service organization. He is also board president of the Massachusetts Association of Approved Special Education Schools. Bernie McCann, Heller MA’07, PhD’11, is employee assistance program manager for the Montgomery County public schools, the largest school system in Maryland. Stephen Radcliffe, GSAS MFA’08, PhD’14, is director of orchestral activities at the University of Missouri. Robert Serrell, GSAS MFA’08, is executive director of the Barrow Group, an off-Broadway theater company. In April, it opened a $4 million performing-arts center on Manhattan’s Eighth Ave. Stephen Monroe Tomczak, Heller PhD’08, is a professor of social work at Southern Connecticut State University, where he teaches courses in social welfare policy and community organization. He earned the university’s award for academic service and presents regularly at the Council on Social Work Education’s annual meeting. Samuel Abdulazeez, IBS MBA’09, writes, “My studies at IBS helped me establish a school in Nigeria. We started with 18 students and four staff members in 2010. Now there are more than 500 students and 70 staff.”
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