Our dedicated faculty and staff offer our students the knowledge and skills to thrive both in and out of the classroom.

Faculty and Staff

Dean College was ranked #5 in Best Undergraduate Teaching in the 2022 U.S. News & World Report Best Regional Colleges, North category. 

U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges Badge

Below is a list of faculty and staff members from the School of Liberal Arts. Click on the drop-down menu below for more information. 

Dean of the School of Liberal Arts

 Dr. Brad Hastings

bhastings@dean.edu | 508-541-1653

Brad is a Professor of Psychology and Dean of the School of Liberal Arts. He received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Kansas State University.  Brad enjoys teaching a variety of psychology courses and especially appreciates interdisciplinary courses. He was the Founding Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Humanities at Mount Ida College where he led successful initiatives related to retention, curricular development and design, assessment, development of travel courses, and increasing student success. He previously served as Chair of the Social Science Department at Mount Aloysius College and as an Assistant Professor at Adams State University. He is the author of Twist of Fate: The Moirae in Everyday Psychology.  He has also published scholarly articles on a wide array of topics including authoritarianism, political behavior, philosophical psychology, and theoretical developments in personality theory. 

B.A., Indiana University of Pennsylvania

M.S., Kansas State University

Ph.D., Kansas State University

Program Coordinator for Humanities, Professor of History

ddennis@dean.edu| 508-541-1728

Dr. Dennis studies European and German history using global and transnational approaches. His specific areas of focus include gender history, maritime history, and the history of science.  He received his Ph.D. in Modern European History from The Ohio State University in 2011.  Since coming to Dean College the same year, he has taught courses in German, European, and World history, as well as the history of gender and sexuality and the history of science.  He also has served as an associate editor for the New England Journal of History since 2014. 

The quality of his scholarship has been recognized with external support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Program, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and the German Historical Institute, among other awards.  His publications have appeared in venues such as the Oxford journal German History and Blackwell’s Companion to German Cinema.  His current book project, Empire’s Prodigal Sons: Maritime Manhood, Citizenship, and Globalization in Wilhelmine Germany, investigates how German society navigated the pressures of increasing cross-border labor flows around 1900 by looking at merchant sailors, the world’s first globalized workforce, and the ways in which new ideas about masculinity sought to tie them to the German imperialist project.  

Dr. Dennis has led Dean College’s Humanities Program since 2016.  His vision for the Program rests on the belief that the humanities—revitalized and reoriented for the 21st century—are essential for student learning.  In a diverse world, where memes and ideas flow readily across borders and a bewildering array of information and cultures are just a click away, the humanities offer the tools to think creatively and critically about how culture happens.  Such tools help prepare students for the promise and challenges of a connected world in careers ranging from marketing and government to education and the arts.     

B.A., Texas Tech University  

M.A., Ph.D., The Ohio State University 

Program Coordinator of Early Childhood Education, Assistant Professor

Joanne Hogan

jhogan3@dean.edu |508-541-1525

Joanne Hogan has been in the field of early childhood education since 1989.  She is licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Pre-k-grade 2, and has a Director 2 certificate from the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care. She has served as a cooperating practitioner at three campus lab schools for numerous college students who hope to be future early childhood educators.

Joanne is the Program Coordinator for ECE and since joining the Dean faculty in 2016, contributed to the development of a baccalaureate degree in early childhood education. She is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Council of Child Development Lab Administrators. Joanne is currently serving on Tri-County Regional High School’s Program Advisory Committee where she serves as an advisor to the early childhood program. She is passionate about the field of early childhood education and believes in the importance of providing high quality developmentally appropriate learning experiences for young children.

M.Ed., Bridgewater State University

B.A., Assumption College

Program Coordinator of Social Sciences, Professor of Sociology

kholster@dean.edu| 508-541-1749

Professor Holster received her Ph.D. in sociology from Boston University in 2004.  Since joining the Dean faculty in 2005, she has developed both the associate and baccalaureate degrees in sociology and has taught the full range of courses offered in those degree programs.  Dr. Holster has also created many new courses to enhance each degree. Professor Holster’s current research interest focuses on the sociology of teaching and learning.  Specifically, her research explores the most effective teaching methods for ensuring that students are simultaneously learning discipline content and preparing to graduate from college fully equipped for their next steps in life. 

Professor Holster is the coordinator for the social sciences and also advises two of Dean’s honor societies,  Phi Theta Kappa and Golden Key.  She believes strongly that the social sciences are an integral part of a liberal arts education. The social sciences focus on human behavior and social organizations and how social, economic, political, cultural, and environmental forces explain the connection between our individual experiences and the larger society.  In addition, the social sciences teach many vital skills that are applicable to any occupation.  These include teamwork and diversity skills, quantitative reasoning, evidence-based analysis, and writing.

B.A., Wheaton College 

Ph.D., Boston University

Program Coordinator of Oral Communication, Dean of Academic Administration, Associate Professor of Communication

amatten@dean.edu | 508-541-1621

Amy holds a Ph.D. in interpersonal communication from the University of Minnesota, an M.Ed. from The Pennsylvania State University and a B.S. from Boston University. She has taught courses in public speaking, interpersonal communication, listening, small group communication, persuasion and communication theory. While she loves teaching and learning about all forms of communication, her particular passions focus on how we use communication to develop and maintain relationships. She is a member of the National Communication Association, the Eastern Communication Association, the International Listening Association and the AAUW. Prior to working at Dean College, she worked and taught at a number of institutions around the country, including the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Bristol Community College (Fall River, MA), University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Boston University and The Pennsylvania State University.

Program Coordinator for Mathematics and Science, Associate Professor of Biology and Mathematics

jpisano@DEAN.edu |508-541-1757

Dr. Pisano earned a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Brandeis University in 2000 exploring how cells of the peripheral nervous system become restricted to a single lineage during embryonic development. While a cellular perspective continues to frame her approach to Biology, Dr. Pisano has expanded her area of interest to include STEM-learning and how to inspire students to engage with scientific concepts and learn to apply these tools to their academic studies and daily lives. Dr. Pisano has been recognized for her student engagement with the National Society of Leadership and Success Excellence in Teaching Award for 2015.  

Since coming to Dean College Dr. Pisano has taught courses ranging from traditional Cell Biology to The Mathematics of Art and Music; Human Biology to Water Wars and continues to expand deeper into authentic project-based, discovery learning. In 2017, Dr. Pisano received a Mass Life Science Center grant to update lab equipment; this equipment enables students to dig deeper into current questions in cellular and molecular biology and provides students the opportunity to work with the tools and techniques central to biotechnology and the life sciences. As well, Dr. Pisano is the Co-Director of an NEH-funded grant entitled “Making the Humanities Matter: Enhancing Distribution Requirements for Students Pursuing Associate Degrees at Dean College." This project has led to the creation of two courses that will include history lectures and hands-on labs. 

Dr. Pisano has led Dean College’s Mathematics and Science Program since 2016. This program embraces the traditional majors of Mathematics and Sciences and the applied General Health Studies and Pre-Nursing majors; all these majors are rooted in a common foundation of critical thinking, knowledge acquisition and application. This core set of tools and information helps students prepare for future careers in STEM-using fields such as biotechnology and STEM-related fields such as medical sales. Regardless of majors or careers, our 21st century is one where facts matter, scientific understanding and quantitative thinking are essential for informed decision making.

Coordinator of Exercise Science and Professor of Exercise Science

ethomas@dean.edu |508-541-1783

Professor Thomas holds a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology from the University of Pittsburgh, and both her M.S. and B.S. degrees from the University of Rhode Island.  While working on her doctoral degree she assisted obese and overweight adults with weight loss at the Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center.  She is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), serves as the Dean College Faculty Athletic Rep (FAR), and is also a member of Dean’s Center for Business, Entertainment, and Sports Management Work Team.  Professor Thomas has created courses such as sports and media, sports fan behavior, exercise psychology, and numerous fitness and coaching courses within the sports fitness bachelor degree programs.  Her recent research projects have focused on the fitness testing of both athletic teams and dancers.

B.S. and M.S., University of Rhode Island 

Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh

Assistant Professor of Exercise Science

cbartletttaylor@dean | 508-541-1727

Assistant to the Dean, School of Liberal Arts

Robin earned her Master of Science in Public Affairs/International Relations from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies.

A.A., Champlain College

B.S, Springfield College

Assistant Professor of Psychology

rbrown@dean.edu| 508-541-1763

Professor Brown received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras Campus in 2016 with a concentration in teaching and research. He teaches courses such as: general psychology, learning and memory, and introduction to liberal arts.

Professor Brown’s current research interests include the exploration of variables within educational psychology that impact educators and student behavior management; such as teacher self-efficacy, resilience and dispositional optimism.

B.A., M.Ed., M.A.:  University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus 

Ph.D.: University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus

Assistant Professor of Biology, Lab Manager

pcrowley@dean.edu |508-541-1573

Patricia Crowley has been an instructor of Biology at Dean since 1998, teaching in both the full-time program and in the School of Continuing Studies.  In addition to teaching such courses as Microbiology, Anatomy & Physiology and General Biology, Patricia has served as a faculty mentor for Peer Tutors and for students doing independent research.

Patricia is a certified school counselor and served as a Guidance Counselor for five years on the high school level.  Both experiences have allowed her to assist students in many areas beyond their coursework.

B.A., M.A.T., Elms College

M.Ed., Bridgewater State University

Assistant Professor of English & Communication

efaber@dean.edu

Liz W Faber is an interdisciplinary media and literature scholar who teaches courses in English and Communication and works primarily with students in the Arch Learning Community. She is passionate about writing across the disciplines, universal design, multimodal communication, social justice through education, and science communication.

Dr. Faber's research focuses primarily on representations of artificial intelligence in science fiction, computer history, and gender/queer studies. She is the author of The Computer's Voice: From Star Trek to Siri (University of Minnesota Press, 2020), which won the Pop Culture Association 2022 Emily Toth Award for Best Single Work in Women’s Studies. She is also currently serving as the Special Issues Editor for Popular Culture Studies Journal.

B.A., M.A., West Virginia University
Ph.D., Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Professor of History, Director of the Honors Program

rlawson@dean.edu| 508-541-1752

Dr. Lawson is a cultural historian whose work focuses on the history of performing arts as well as new ventures in the history of medicine (supported by an NEH grant). He is the author of Jim Crow's Counterculture: The Blues & Black Southerners, 1890-1945 (LSU Press, 2010), which won the Gulf South Historical Association's Thomason Prize for book of the year in 2011. His work has appeared in the prestigious New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, the LSU Museum of Art, and in the journal Southern Cultures.

In 2017, Lawson was granted the Hicks-Kennedy Award for service to the New England History Teachers Association (for his work as Associate Editor of the New England Journal of History) as well as the National Society of Leadership and Success Teaching Excellence Award, the third pedagogical award of his career.

B.A., Louisiana State University

M.A., Ph.D., Vanderbilt University

Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education, Coordinator of Student Teaching

cmaier@dean.edu | 508-541-1695

Director of the Writing Center, Associate Professor of English

dmendoza@dean.edu| 508-541-1756

Associate Professor Mendoza directs the Berenson Writing Center, teaches writing and literature courses, and serves as Dean’s Writing Program Administrator developing curriculum and assessing writing performance. Her literary specialties include US Latino writers and the graphic novel, and she teaches composition at the first year and upper division levels, including honors sections and sections for multilingual writers.  Her work in writing center studies led her to serve a term as the two-year college representative to the International Writing Centers Association.  Professor Mendoza holds a B.A. degree in English from the University of Michigan and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in English from Tufts University.

B.A., University of Michigan 

M.A., Ph.D., Tufts University 

Director of Berensen Center for Mathematics, Professor of Mathematics

mnaidjate@dean.edu | 508-541-1593

B.S., Algeris Polytechnic Institute

M.S., Ph.D., Boston University

Assistant Professor of Psychology

nparren@dean.edu | 508-541-1878

 

Assistant Professor of Social Sciences, Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs

mread@dean.edu |508-541-1654

Melissa Read is currently the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs at Dean College and is also an assistant professor of social sciences in the School of Liberal Arts.  In her administrative role, she provides leadership on curriculum development initiatives and oversees the College’s student learning outcomes assessment program, including internal program reviews.  She also works closely with the School Deans to facilitate faculty professional development as it pertains to teaching and learning, including New Faculty Orientation, Teaching Resource Guides, and professional development programs for faculty.  Programmatically, Melissa is responsible for supervising the curricular components of the College’s First-Year Experience, Senior Year Experience, and Internship Program, as well as overseeing the International Student FOCUS Program, the Honors Program, and the Children’s Center.  Melissa also serves as the College’s Study Away Program Director, which includes courses with trips, and full-semester study away experiences both in the United States and abroad.  In her faculty role, Melissa has taught a variety of courses, most recently American Government, Foundations of Education, and Senior Seminar.  

Melissa played an active role in many key initiatives at Dean College over her 20-year tenure. Most recently, she was the project director for a recent Davis Educational Foundation grant to revitalize the College’s general education program and its majors, with the comprehensive new curriculum implemented in Fall 2013.  She also served as the project director for a FIPSE-managed federal appropriation to establish the Institute for Students with Disabilities. Since 2000, she has worked closely with the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the faculty on proposals and implementation of the College’s bachelor’s degree programs. She played a key role in program proposals to the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education and to focused and substantive change reports and visits with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.  Melissa also led the development of the centralized Advising Center, the Learning Center, the First-Year Seminar Program, the Internship Program, and the Senior Seminar Program.  

Prior to Dean College, Melissa worked as Director of Advising Services at Nichols College, as the Coordinator of the Office of Certification and Advising at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and as an analyst with the U.S. Government Accountability Office.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, from Middlebury College, a Master of Public Administration from Syracuse University, and a secondary education teaching certification from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  She is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Massachusetts Boston, focusing on curricular and pedagogical designs to enhance learning for students from marginalized and underserved groups who arrive at college still needing to prepare for college-level learning.  

Associate Professor of English

jreid@dean.edu |508-541-1751

Associate Professor Jo-Ann Reid teaches composition, literature and creative writing courses in the School of Liberal Arts. Her areas of focus include social justice, gender, and cross-cultural/multiracial experiences. Professor Reid teaches first-year and upper-level students. She also teaches Honors Colloquium courses. Professor Reid holds a B.A. degree in English from the University of Hartford and an M.F.A. degree from The Pennsylvania State University. Her poetry has appeared in publications such as Barrow Street, New Verse News, Knot Magazine, Literary Mama: Writing About the Many Faces of Motherhood and The Ocean State Review.

B.A., University of Hartford

M.F.A., The Pennsylvania State University

Assistant Professor of Psychology

rreno@dean.edu |508-541-1750

Professor Reno has a lifelong passion for teaching and constructs an interactive learning environment in each of his classes. Since coming to Dean, Dr. Reno has advanced the associate and baccalaureate degrees in psychology by designing new courses, recommending curriculum changes, and offering various courses in the discipline. His professional interests include human development, solution-focused therapy, family therapy, and religion and spirituality.

When asked, his students say he is a well-organized and engaging communicator who uses a variety of teaching methods and promotes active learning and critical thinking. 

B.A., Dallas Baptist University

M.Div., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

D.Min.(Psy), Andover Newton Theological School