University Communications

Speakers Bureau

Saint Peter’s University is made up of a stellar faculty who are leaders in their field and are committed to our students’ success. These dedicated individuals provide the combination of in-depth professional experience and the passion for teaching, learning and research.

If you are interested in speaking with any of the following faculty members or if you are researching a topic that is not listed on this page, please contact Angeline Boyer, manager of media relations, at (201) 761-6238 or Saint Peter’s University has a variety of experts in an array of fields that can provide insights on countless subjects.

  • StephanieBryan

    Stephanie Bryan, Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor

    Specialty topics include, but not limited to:

    • Lifestyle diseases (heart disease, diabetes, obesity, etc.)
    • Meditation & yoga
    • Exercise science & nutrition
    • Racial health inequalities
    • Health & wellness



    Stephanie Bryan, Ph.D. came to Saint Peter’s with a diverse background in health and wellness. She owned and operated the Heart and Soul Fitness Yoga Studio in Gillette, N.J. for ten years while teaching as a professor and working to advance her studies in the field. She obtained her Ph.D. in health and medical science from Seton Hall University. She also attended Kean University where she obtained her master’s degree in exercise science and her bachelor’s degree in adult fitness.

    Dr. Bryan has published an array of peer-reviewed articles and has conducted a number of research studies related to yoga, mindful eating, weight management, nutrition and more. She enjoys gardening, yoga, meditation and playing the piano. She is a state-certified foster parent and serves as a mentor for Children’s Aid and Family Services.

  • Lori_Buza

    Lori Ann Buza, J.D.

    Professor of Business Law

    Specialty topics include, but not limited to:

    • Commercial and residential real estate law
    • Education law
    • Employment law and sexual harassment
    • Contracts, torts and constitutional law
    • Intellectual property law
    • Disability and food allergy law



    Lori Ann Buza began practicing law in 1995 with the law firm of Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, PA, in Woodbridge, NJ. At Wilentz, she gained extensive experience as both general and special construction counsel to several boards of education. In her function as a school board attorney, she developed broad experience in school policy development and implementation, employment negotiations and contracts, public hearings and meetings, construction matters, special education, tenure matters, disciplinary hearings and litigation.

    Buza also developed a specialty in both residential and complex commercial real estate cases including the representation of many lending institutions, private entrepreneurs, small businesses and corporations. She was the loan review and closing attorney for several banks and has handled numerous residential and commercial real estate negotiations, contracts and closings.

    Since 2000, Buza has been instructing business law courses at Saint Peter’s University including: General Survey of the Law & Contracts; Business Organizations & Agency; the Uniform Commercial Code; Legal Contemporary Issues; and, Real & Personal Property. As an experienced public speaker, Buza also enjoys volunteering in the community by lecturing on women’s issues and self defense, and she is a member of both the National Women Lawyers and the New Jersey Women’s Law Association. Further, Buza has published numerous articles on real estate law, school law, employment law, disability and food allergy law, and the healthcare reform act.

    Buza earned her bachelor of arts in psychology from Rutgers College and her J.D. from Rutgers Law School – Camden in 1995. While attending Rutgers Law School, Buza interned for The Honorable John Gerry, Chief Judge, Federal District Court, N.J.; and, while at Rutgers College, she interned with the SI District Attorney’s Office – Sex Crimes Unit, and the United States Attorney’s Office – Narcotics Department in Washington, DC. Lori Ann Buza currently works Of Counsel for the Law Office of Kirsten Scheurer-Branigan, P.C., with a focus on employment negotiations, contracts and litigation matters, sexual harassment, workplace investigations, policies and training.

  • Kevin_Callahan

    Kevin Callahan, J.D. ’69

    Lecturer of Criminal Justice

    Specialty topics include, but not limited to:

    • Drug court
    • Violent crimes and victims’ rights
    • Courtroom proceedings



    Retired Hudson County Superior Court Judge Kevin Callahan, J.D., presided over more than 25,000 criminal felony cases and tried more than 600 felony cases, including more than 200 homicide cases. He recently retired as the senior criminal judge in New Jersey with 25 years of service in the division.

    Callahan has written more than 1,000 decisions regarding felony crimes within the New Jersey court system and has taught State and local judges and attorneys for the past 25 years in New Jersey and at various universities and institutions.

    A lifelong resident of Jersey City, Callahan has given his time and support to a number of local organizations including: Lincoln Park Little League, College Little League and the Jersey City Boys and Girls Club. Callahan is also a member of the Knights of Columbus and Paulus Hook Council.

    Callahan holds a bachelor of arts in history with a minor in cursu classico from, at the time, Saint Peter’s College and earned his juris doctorate from Seton Hall University Law.

  • Nicholas

    Nicholas Chiaravalloti, J.D.

    Professor of Public Administration

    Specialty topics include, but not limited to:

    • Public policy on the local and state level
    • Pension reforms
    • Obamacare



    Nicholas Chiaravalloti, J.D., founded and served as president of his own consulting firm, Chiaravalloti, LLC, and most recently was a partner in Magis Strategies, LLC. In these positions, he provided assistance to clients working with government regulation and policy actions at the local, county, state and federal levels. From 2002-2007, Chiaravalloti served as the state director for the office of United States Senator Robert Menendez ’76. In this role, he oversaw operations to provide constituent services to citizens, businesses, industries, educational and healthcare institutions, and non-profit organizations throughout the State of New Jersey.

    In addition, Chiaravalloti has worked with federal regional officials, the Office of the Governor of New Jersey, state agencies and members of the New Jersey congressional delegation on legislative, policy and program matters affecting the state of New Jersey. Locally, he worked for the City of Bayonne as director of policy and planning and for the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority as executive director. Chiaravalloti has served on the Board of Trustees for Holy Family Academy in Bayonne, Saint Peter’s Prep and Hudson Cradle.

    He received a bachelor of arts in history from the Catholic University of America, attended the Center for Law and Policy at Oxford University/University of Santa Clara and earned his juris doctorate from Rutgers-Newark School of Law. Chiaravalloti became a member of the New Jersey Bar Association in 1998 and participated in a program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government – Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University. He began his career in public service and federal public policy through an internship with Congressman Frank Guarini H ’94 in his Washington, D.C. office.

  • Rocco Danzi

    Rev. Rocco C. Danzi, S.J.

    Director of Campus Ministry

    Specialty topics include, but not limited to:

    • Ignatian spirituality, Vatican II and the Roman Catholic Church
    • Young adult ministry
    • Ministry to Latino and West Indian communities
    • Pope Francis and his perspectives on mercy, tolerance and climate control
    • Interreligious dialogue



    Rev. Rocco Danzi, S.J., first encountered the Jesuits when he was studying for his bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in theology from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. He went on to complete a master’s degree in education at Iona College before he joined the associates program of the New York Province of the Society of Jesus. He was accepted into the Jesuit Novitiate of St. Andrew Hall in Syracuse, N.Y. where he developed a passion for pastoral work with urban youth.

    Fr. Danzi went on to obtain a master’s degree in philosophy from Fordham University and a Master of Divinity from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He served as pastor and superior at the St. Ignatius Roman Catholic Church in Crown Heights, Brooklyn before he joined the New York Province vocations team and traveled to different dioceses in the New York Province.
    He came to Saint Peter’s in 2010 and currently serves as the director of campus ministry.

    Fr. Danzi has studied languages and cultures in the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Haiti and has also traveled extensively through the West Indies. He has been involved in young adult ministry and retreats. He received The Medgar Edgars College Award for Ecumenical Outreach to the Community in 2009 and The Brooklyn Prep Alumni Association Honorary Alumnus Award in 2015.

    Click here to view Fr. Danzi’s recent interview on NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams in which he discusses Pope Francis’ visit to the United States.

  • Fr. DeStephano

    Rev. Mark DeStephano, S.J.

    Chairman and Professor in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages
    Director of the Asian Studies Program

    Specialty topics include, but not limited to:

    • Hispanic and Latino affairs
    • Asian history and politics
    • Romance languages and literature
    • Catholicism, Pope Francis and the Jesuits



    Rev. Mark DeStephano, S.J., has served the Saint Peter’s community for nearly two decades in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. He also serves as the director of the Asian Studies Program. Fr. DeStephano is fluent in 15 languages including Arabic, English, French, German, Attic and Koine Greek, Biblical Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish and Tagalog. He regularly presents at academic conferences across the globe in places such as China, Puerto Rico, Italy, Canada, Thailand, South Korea and beyond.

    Fr. DeStephano attended Harvard University where he obtained his Ph.D. and A.M. in romance languages and literature. He also attended Regis College of the University of Toronto and obtained his master’s in theology and a Master of Divinity degree. He received his bachelor’s degree from Fordham University with a double concentration in Spanish and philosophy. He also studied at Berchmans Kolleg in Munich, Germany; Georgetown University; the University of Seville; the University of Salamanca; and LeMoyne College.

    Fr. DeStephano often speaks about Pope Francis’ impact as the first Jesuit pope. Click here to view his segment on Fox & Friends when Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was named pope. Click here to read an article in The Record regarding Pope Francis’ visit to the United States in September 2015.

  • donnelly

    Robert M. Donnelly, MBA

    Professor of Entrepreneurship & Innovation

    Specialty topics include, but not limited to:

    • Entrepreneurship & innovation
    • Personal branding
    • Marketing/brand building
    • Leadership


    Robert M. Donnelly is an author, educator and brand builder for businesses and individuals. His books: Guidebook to Planning – A Common Sense Approach, and Personal Brand Planning for Life, are available on Amazon. Donnelly is currently developing a new book: The Definitive Guide to Brand Building, which will be published in 2016.

    He has been teaching graduate and undergraduate business courses at Saint Peter’s for over 18 years. He also teaches online graduate business courses for Rushmore University, a global online university. Prior to Saint Peter’s, Donnelly was on the faculty at the Howe School of Technology Management at Stevens Institute of Technology, and the Fordham University Graduate School of Business.

    Donnelly developed executive briefings and seminars for Businessweek and Inc. Magazine. He was featured in USA Today for his work with the Inc. 500.

    In his corporate life he held executive positions with IBM, Pfizer and EXXON, and was the CEO of the U.S. subsidiaries of several foreign multinational firms. He also functions as an interim executive.

    Donnelly holds a bachelor of science from NYU’s Stern School of Business and his master’s degree in business administration from the Silberman Graduate School of Business at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

  • Barna

    Barna Donovan, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor of Communication

    Specialty topics include, but not limited to:

    • Conspiracy theories
    • Media ethics
    • Violence in entertainment
    • Social media, advertising & new media



    Barna Donovan, the acclaimed author of three books on film and audiences, is a graduate of the film school of the University of Miami and he earned his doctorate from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. His book on action-film fandom, Blood, Guns, and Testosterone: Action Films, Audiences, and a Thirst for Violence was called a “fascinating book [that] makes a substantial contribution to our knowledge and understanding of audiences” by Participations: The Journal of Audience and Reception Studies. He is also the author of Conspiracy Films: A Tour of Dark Places in the American Conscious and The Asian Influence on Hollywood Action Films. His commentaries on conspiracy theories, popular culture, and film have been quoted in media like the BBC, The Buddy Cianci Show, Yahoo News,, MSNBC, CBS News, LiveScience and in various publications from Europe to Latin America.

    Dr. Donovan started teaching for Saint Peter’s University in 2002 and served as the director of the communication program. He has been the chair of the communication department since 2005. Among the courses he teaches are the conspiracy theory film, the horror film, the science fiction film, asian films, ethics in communication and media business.

  • Dr. Joseph V. Doria

    Joseph V. Doria Jr., Ed.D.

    Dean of the School of Education

    Specialty topics include, but not limited to:

    • Current issues in K-12 education
    • Higher education trends
    • Local and state government issues



    The Hon. Joseph V. Doria Jr. ’68 is the dean of the School of Education. Doria has a long history with the University, serving as the University’s director of educational services and urban coordinator from 1972 to 1980, and then as director of human resources and personnel from 1980 to 1998. He returned to Saint Peter’s in 2012 after his time in government as the interim director of the School of Education.

    Doria’s experience in education is extensive. His first appointment was as a social studies teacher at Holy Family Academy in Bayonne. Doria was then elected to the Bayonne Board of Education in 1975, and served as board president from 1976 until 1979. He also was president of the Hudson County School Boards Association from 1978 to 1979.

    Doria has a decorated political background. In a time span between in 1980-2009, he served within the government in various capacities, including as commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, former speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly, state senator for the 31st Legislative District, and former mayor of Bayonne. While a state senator, Doria was the vice chairman of the Senate Education Committee and a member of the Joint Committee on the Public Schools, among other appointments.

    He received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Saint Peter’s in 1968, and went on to obtain a Master of Arts in American Studies from Boston College and a Doctor of Education from Columbia University Teacher’s College.

  • Dr. William Gutsch

    William Gutsch, Ph.D.

    Distinguished Professor of the College of Arts & Sciences and Executive Director of the PARSE Institute

    Specialty topics include, but not limited to:

    • Climatology, meteorology and global warming
    • Popular concepts in astronomy, comets and NASA projects
    • Special effects in film
    • Anthropology topics, including astro-archeology, Anasazi culture, pyramids and temples



    William Gutsch, Ph.D., received his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with a concentration in physics from Saint Peter’s and his Master of Science in astronomy (astrophysics) and Ph.D. in science education from the University of Virginia. Dr. Gutsch has worked at the U.S. Naval Observatory and the Kitt Peak National Observatory, as well as under NASA grants doing research in solar, stellar and galactic astronomy and astrophysics. He also writes and produces video documentary projects for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and large screen theaters.

    For many years, Dr. Gutsch served as chairman of the American Museum-Hayden Planetarium in New York, as well as a syndicated columnist for the Gannett newspapers, science editor for WABC-TV in New York and science correspondent for ABC’s Good Morning America and World News This Morning. He also has written, produced, and/or appeared in programs for PBS, NBC, CNN, The Learning Channel, NASA-TV and regional educational television. He was nominated for an Emmy in 1986. In addition, Dr. Gutsch recently served as President of the Board of Directors of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, a position at one time held by Dr. Edwin Hubble for whom the Hubble Space Telescope is named.

    Dr. Gutsch has written for and directed numerous Hollywood legends, including Academy Award winners Gregory Peck, Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Rita Moreno and Charlton Heston, as well as many of the ‘Star Trek” cast members. In addition, he has written, produced and directed projects in New York, London and Hollywood in conjunction with such well-known production companies as Paramount, Lucasfilm Ltd., Broderbund and The Children’s Television Workshop.

    Dr. Gutsch is now a full-time member of the faculty of Saint Peter’s University, where he holds the titles of distinguished professor of the College of Arts & Sciences and executive director of the PARSE Institute, which creates teacher workshops in many areas of science throughout the year. He teaches in four departments: Applied Science, Communication, Sociology and the School of Graduate Education. Dr. Gutsch also plans and leads international lecture tours for Saint Peter’s students and alumni.

    Dr. Gutsch is the author of several books and numerous scripts for television and large format and domed theaters. He has led and lectured on excursions and expeditions to South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Antarctica; given speeches and papers at conferences from Moscow to Tokyo and Buenos Aires to Berlin; and delivered invited lectures at leading institutions of higher learning from New Delhi to Santiago and Shanghai, including Harvard, Oxford and the California Institute of Technology.

  • Jack Hampton

    John (Jack) Hampton

    Professor of Business Specializing in Risk Management

    Specialty topics include, but not limited to:

    • When hackers go phishing, what do they catch?
    • How do friends on Facebook endanger users and their families?
    • What do risk managers know about and fear from the internet?



    In addition to his role as a professor of business specializing in enterprise risk management at Saint Peter’s University, Jack Hampton has served as the executive director of the Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS), dean of the schools of business at Seton Hall and Connecticut State universities, and provost of the College of Insurance and SUNY Maritime College in New York City. He is currently working in the area of cyber security risk management and was recently identified as a “Risk Insider” by Risk and Insurance magazine.

    Dr. Hampton was named a 2011 Innovation Award winner by Business Insurance magazine and a “Risk Innovator” of 2008 by Risk and Insurance magazine. The American Library Association selected his book, the AMA Handbook of Financial Risk Management, as one of three outstanding business reference books of 2012. He is also the author of Fundamentals of Enterprise Risk Management (2nd Edition), 2014.

    He received a doctorate degree and a master’s degree in business administration from The George Washington University and a B.A. from Stetson University.

  • Bill_Luhr

    William Luhr, Ph.D.

    Professor of English

    Specialty topics include, but not limited to:

    • American film industry
    • Hollywood
    • Victorian literature



    William Luhr, Ph.D., began teaching at Saint Peter’s University in 1977 and teaches a number of courses in film and literature including: Fiction and Film, Poetry and Drama, American Film: History and Aesthetics, Film Noir, Victorian Poetry and Prose, Development Writing and more.

    Throughout his career, Luhr has authored and co-authored more than ten books on film and literature with his most recent book Film Noir (New Approaches to Film Genre), which was released in March 2012. In addition to teaching at Saint Peter’s University, Dr. Luhr has taught graduate level courses at New York University, graduate and undergraduate courses at Hunter College and graduate level courses at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He also currently serves as a co-chair of the Columbia University Seminar on Cinema and Interdisciplinary Interpretation.

    Dr. Luhr earned his bachelor of arts in English from Fordham University and a master of arts degree in English and American literature and a Ph.D. in English and American literature from New York University.

  • Nicole Luongo

    Nicole Luongo, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor of Education
    Director of Distance Learning

    Specialty topics include, but not limited to:

    • Distance learning
    • Digital tools in the classroom
    • Educational technology
    • Changes in learning as a result of technology



    Nicole Luongo, Ph.D., associate professor of education and director of distance learning at Saint Peter’s University, currently teaches a blend of online and face-to-face graduate and undergraduate courses. As director of distance learning, she oversees all distance learning courses and the Distance Learning Committee. She has also developed several online graduate and undergraduate education courses for the School of Education and is currently helping all faculty become Quality Matters (QM) certified.

    Dr. Luongo has served as a member of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) committee, where she helped develop the CETL website. She also serves on the Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Team (SLOAT) committee. Additionally, she acts as academic advisor for graduate students as well as a supervisor for student teachers.

    Additionally, Dr. Luongo has worked as an educational consultant for Vantage Learning and the Center for Education Leadership and Technology (CELT). She has also worked as a technology trainer for the Morris County Educational Technology Training Center (ETTC) in Denville, N.J.

    Dr. Luongo received a B.S. in elementary education from Bucknell University and a M.A.E. in administration and supervision from Seton Hall University. Most recently, she graduated from Nova Southeastern University with an Ed.D. in instructional technology and distance education.

    For more than 10 years, Dr. Luongo taught a variety of subjects as an elementary teacher in Rockaway, N.J. She utilized computers and other forms of technology daily. Dr. Luongo also served as the school’s webmaster as well as the technology lead teacher. She often assisted the district’s teachers with the integration of technology.

  • ed moskal

    Edward Moskal, M.S., M.M.S. ’79

    Chair of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences
    Director of the Master’s Program in Cyber Security

    Specialty topics include, but not limited to:

    • Cyber security
    • Digital forensics
    • Information technology audit
    • Data science
    • Software development



    Edward Moskal, M.S., M.M.S. ’79, has been teaching at Saint Peter’s University for the past 13 years and was recently named director of the master’s program in cyber security in addition to his role as the chair of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences. He recently completed a Fellowship at the University of Notre Dame, where he worked in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering designing a Cyber Security Center and developing and teaching new graduate and undergraduate courses in cyber security and digital forensics. His research interests include cyber security and data science.

    Prior to his role at Saint Peter’s, Moskal worked in the information technology industry for 25 years. His most recent position in the industry was with Ernst & Young, LLP, where he led the New York Office Application Controls and Security Practice. Highlights of his work include the performance of a risk assessment for the New York Stock Exchange, designing and implementing a global security architecture for American Express, and designing the security architecture and computer system controls for the MTA E-ZPass System.

    He earned his M.M.S. in management science from Stevens Institute of Technology, a M.S. in administration with a concentration in finance from the University of Notre Dame and a B.S. in management with a concentration in computer science from Saint Peter’s. He has certificates in computer programming, business systems, management information systems, client/server architectures and security systems.

  • donal malone

    Donal Malone, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor of Sociology

    Specialty topics include, but not limited to:

    • Urban economic development
    • Segregation and integration in urban areas
    • Affordable and mixed income housing
    • Student debt



    Donal Malone, Ph.D., has been teaching at Saint Peter’s for more than 25 years, but his interest and passion for sociology and urban studies extends far beyond the classroom. He currently is involved in a number of research projects, which examine public policy and equitable urban development and the unequal development of Jersey City.

    Malone’s work has been published many times and some of his works include, “Jersey City: Lessons From Unequal Development,” in Shelterforce: Journal of Affordable Housing and Community Buildings; “An Examination of Racial Segregation in Jersey City,” in the Monograph of the Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the National Association of African American Studies; “The Irish Arts Center: A Case Study in Ethnic Revival,” in New York Irish History Volume 4; and “Social Meaning of Second Homes for Urban Dwellers,” in The Apple Sliced: Sociological Studies of New York City, among others.

    He received his B.A. from the City University of New York and his Ph.D. from The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Malone previously taught at Manhattan College, Lehman College and the Fashion Institute of Technology.

  • -1

    Aldo J. Martinez, Esq. ’77

    Professor of Business

    Specialty topics include, but not limited to:

    • Market surveillance detection
    • Regulatory internal audit function
    • Detection and investigation of insider trading and market manipulation



    Aldo Martinez, Esq. ’77, is a well-respected and experienced lawyer and financial regulatory professional. He is skilled in market surveillance detection and investigation of equity and derivative trading regulations. His additional skills include effective executive management, leadership and training programs development and implementation. Martinez has trained law enforcement personnel in the U.S. and abroad, in countries such as Ukraine, Serbia and Australia, in white collar crime investigations with concentration in the workings of the financial industry. He also has experience with coordinating regulatory integration of stock exchanges. He has presented internationally on stock market regulation, leadership development and strategic planning. Martinez is also fluent in Spanish.

    Martinez is the founder of AJM Advisory Services, a consulting firm in financial regulation specializing in market surveillance, procedures, software requirements for detecting insider trading, market manipulation and other trading abuses as well as how to conduct investigations of these trading abuses.

    Martinez has also served on the Board of Directors of Junior Achievement of New York (JANY) and on the Board of Regents at Saint Peter’s University. He teaches courses at the University on derivative markets, corporate finance, investment analysis and business ethics.

  • doctor plotch

    Philip Mark Plotch, Ph.D.

    Director of the Master’s Program in Public Administration and Assistant Professor of Political Science

    Specialty topics include, but not limited to:

    • Transportation
    • Economic development
    • Urban planning issues



    Philip Mark Plotch, Ph.D., came to Saint Peter’s in June 2014 to lead the master’s program in public administration and teach in the political science department. Prior to taking on that role, Dr. Plotch served as the director of World Trade Center redevelopment and special projects at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC), where he helped to lead the nation’s efforts to rebuild Lower Manhattan. He managed a $260 million program to plan, design and build the National 9/11 Memorial and Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center. He also oversaw the design and construction of Lower Manhattan open spaces, administered programs to rebuild structures destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and directed programs to attract new businesses and promote economic development.

    Prior to serving LMDC, Dr. Plotch played a lead role in planning improvements to the New York metropolitan area’s transportation system. As the manager of planning and policy at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), he developed strategic business plans, led planning and communications efforts for the subway system’s expansion, and developed a region-wide plan to integrate new technologies.

    Dr. Plotch taught transportation planning classes for seven years in Hunter College’s Department of Urban Affairs and Planning. He has written academic journal articles as well as op-eds for The Record, Newsday and The Star Ledger. In 2015, Rutgers University Press published his book, Politics Across the Hudson: The Tappan Zee Megaproject.  He was the 2015 winner of the prestigious American Planning Association journalism award for in-depth research, hard hitting analysis and compelling look at the politics behind New York’s first major new bridge in more than 50 years.  His book reveals valuable lessons about overcoming enormous obstacles while also confirming your worst fears about government dysfunction.

    Dr. Plotch earned his B.S. from the State University of New York at Albany, his master’s in urban planning from Hunter College and his Ph.D. from New School’s Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy. He is a regular contributor to Gotham Gazette and is currently writing a book about the Second Avenue Subway, a project that has been talked about for nearly 100 years. He recently discussed the project on CBS This Morning.

    For more information, please see and

  • Rafferty

    Devin T. Rafferty, Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor of Economics and Finance

    Specialty topics include, but not limited to:

    • U.S.-China relationship
    • Economic policies of presidential candidates
    • European debt crisis
    • Global economics
    • Tri-state area and local economics
    • U.S. economy, financial markets and employment policy
    • Development economics



    Devin Rafferty, Ph.D. came to Saint Peter’s in 2013 to teach economics and finance following his teaching roles at Park University and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Trained in a variety of economic traditions, he specializes in Neo-Structuralist/Post-Keynesian approaches to economic development. His current research involves policies for sustainable development financing and regulation of the international financial system.

    He earned an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in economics and social science consortium and a M.A. in economics from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He earned a B.A. in economics and political science from Drew University

  • leila sadeghi

    Leila Sadeghi, Ph.D.

    Executive Director of the Guarini Institute for Government and Leadership

    Specialty topics include, but not limited to:

    • Education policy
    • Public policy
    • Leadership and management



    Leila Sadeghi, Ph.D. ’05 was appointed to lead the Guarini Institute for Government and Leadership at Saint Peter’s University in August 2015. The Guarini Institute aims to provide a non-partisan forum for discussion of key public policy issues and sponsors lectures and programs throughout the academic year to promote critical thinking, debate and careers in public service. During her short time with the University, Dr. Sadeghi has already developed innovative programs at Saint Peter’s such as the Guarini White Paper Series, the Guarini Speakers Series and is strengthening ties with the Unites Nations.  Since taking the helm, Dr. Sadeghi has focused on three public policy areas, namely healthcare, economic development and education.

    Prior to joining the administration at Saint Peter’s, Dr. Sadeghi served as the chair of the Department of Educational Leadership at Kean University where she oversaw graduate programs in education. She also worked as an assistant professor with the Center for Executive Leadership in Government at Rutgers University. Her areas of teaching included education policy, public policy and research methods.

    Dr. Sadeghi has published numerous articles and most recently a co-authored book titled Educational Leadership in Action: A Casebook for Aspiring Educational Leaders, published by Taylor & Francis. She earned her bachelor’s degree from California State University, a master’s degree in education administration from Saint Peter’s and a doctorate in urban education policy from Rutgers University-Newark.

  • Alain_Sanders

    Alain Sanders, J.D.

    Professor of Political Science

    Specialty topics include, but not limited to:

    • American government, including the Presidency, Congress, and the courts
    • American campaigns and elections
    • Mass media and American politics
    • U.S. Constitutional law



    Alain Sanders, J.D., teaches a wide variety of courses on U.S. politics at Saint Peter’s University including American Government, The American Presidency, Congress, The American Judicial Process, Constitutional Law, Mass Media and American Politics, and Perspectives on Politics. Prior to joining the Saint Peter’s University faculty, Sanders was a journalist for 21 years. Working as a senior reporter for TIME Magazine, he wrote stories for every major news section of the magazine, including the Nation, World and Law sections. He was a member of the original writing team for the pioneering, irreverent, humor-in-the-news Chronicles and Notebook sections. He was also a writer for TIME’s early Internet site.

    During his career in journalism, Sanders appeared on numerous radio and television talk shows to discuss and analyze political developments. He was a weekly radio commentator on American news developments for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Australian radio stations 2KY, 4BC and 2NC. He has published a variety of free-lance articles over the years; he continues to publish newspaper op-ed articles on political and legal affairs.

    Sanders practiced briefly with a New York City law firm early in his career as an attorney. He holds an A.B. degree from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and a J.D. degree from the Columbia University Law School. He was born in Paris, and he is fluent in French.

  • Len_Sciorra

    Leonard Sciorra, Ph.D.

    Professor of Applied Science and Technology

    Specialty topics include, but not limited to:

    • Human genetics
    • Medical genetics
    • Stem cell research



    Leonard Sciorra, Ph.D., has served the Saint Peter’s University community for more than 11 years as the Reverend Joseph E. Schuh S.J. Professor of the Health and Natural Sciences, and as the program director for the Laboratory Sciences, Biochemistry and Biotechnology programs. He is currently the Chairman of the Applied Science and Technology Department and is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Genetics at Rutgers University.

    Dr. Sciorra holds a BA in Biology from Rutgers University, a MS in Biology (Genetics) from Seton Hall University and a Ph.D. in Human Genetics from Hahnemann Medical School, now Drexel University College of Medicine. He is boarded by the American Board of Medical Genetics in Clinical Cytogenetics and is a founding fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics.

  • fatima shaik

    Fatima Shaik

    Assistant Professor of Communication and Media Culture

    Specialty topics include, but not limited to:

    • Children’s literature
    • Print on demand and self-publishing
    • African American literature
    • New media


    Fatima Shaik is a New Orleans native and author of fiction and non-fiction books for adults and children. Her work focuses on the Louisiana Creole and African American experience. She writes in the voices of the local culture which has absorbed music, food, language and spirits from around the world. Her latest book titled, What Went Missing and What Got Found, is a collection of short stories, which was published in August 2015.

    Shaik’s work has appeared in The Southern Review, Callaloo, Essence, Tribes, the Review of Contemporary Fiction and The New York Times. She is included in several anthologies of African American literature including Streetlights: Illuminating Tales of the Urban Black Experience and Breaking Ice: An Anthology of Contemporary African American Fiction.

    Shaik joined the Saint Peter’s faculty more than 20 years ago and teaches a number of courses in subjects such as publishing, magazine writing, editing, new media, public speaking, African American literature and more. She was formerly an assistant editor of McGraw-Hill World News and also served as a reporter for the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

    Shaik received a B.S. in journalism from Boston University and a M.A. in political science and international relations from New York University. Shaik is the recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and the Kittredge Fund. She also serves as co-chair of the Children’s and Young Adult Books committee of PEN, the world’s oldest international literary and human rights organization.

  • Surrey

    David S. Surrey, Ph.D.

    Professor and Chairman of the Sociology and Urban Studies Department

    Director of Africana Studies

    Director of Faculty Research

    Specialty topics include, but not limited to:

    • Immigration
    • Urban history and change
    • Sociology of sports and film
    • Social networking



    David S. Surrey, Ph.D., has formal training in anthropology and sociology, which has allowed him to investigate a variety of related topics. These topics include globalization, desegregation, ethnicity, immigration, housing, urban history, education and the Vietnam era.

    Dr. Surrey has completed research with educators in Alaska, New Zealand tenant organizers in New York City, educators and housing advocates in New Jersey and New York, as well as Vietnam veterans and resisters. He has also traveled extensively throughout Europe, Palestine/Israel, China, Central America and South America as well as the United States.

    Dr. Surrey has served the Saint Peter’s community for more than 30 years in a variety of capacities as director of the adult oriented public policy program, coordinator of the Hudson County College Consortium, interim assistant academic dean, president of the Faculty Senate, president of the A.A.U.P., and director of the Institute for the Advancement of Urban Education, Research and Action. Currently, he is the director of the University’s $2.8 million federal Title V grant and serves as the director of both faculty development and Africana studies. Dr. Surrey has written and administrated over 25 grants.

    Dr. Surrey earned his bachelor of arts in sociology from Ohio Wesleyan University, a master of arts in anthropology and a Ph.D. in urban anthropology, both from New School for Social Research.

  • dr. walker

    Cynthia Walker, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication and Media Culture

    Specialty topics include, but not limited to:

    • Popular culture
    • Public relations, advertising and marketing
    • Media literacy
    • Active audiences, fans and fan practices
    • Social networking and new media



    Dr. Cynthia Walker currently serves as an associate professor and chair of the Department of Communication and Media Culture at Saint Peter’s University where she teaches courses in journalism, public relations, marketing, media literacy, gender and communication, film, broadcast, script writing, popular culture and more. Dr. Walker has also served as a working journalist for more than 40 years and currently covers professional regional theater for The Home News Tribune.

    Long involved in media literacy efforts in New Jersey, Dr. Walker has designed and piloted curriculum for grades 5-8. She has also written entries for the Encyclopedia of Television and several teachers’ guides for Pocket Books and has published several book chapters and articles connected to her interests. Her book, Work/Text: Investigating The Man from U.N.C.L.E,. was recently published by Hampton Press. She also delivers on-screen commentary for The Man from U.N.C.L.E. DVD set, which was distributed by Time/Life.

    She earned her Ph.D. in communication from Rutgers University, a master’s degree in media studies from The New School University and bachelor’s degrees in communication and political science from Douglass College.

    To view Dr. Walker’s website, please visit

  • dan wisneski

    Daniel Wisneski, Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor of Psychology

    Specialty topics include, but not limited to:

    • Moral psychology research
    • Political psychology
    • Social psychology


    Daniel Wisneski, Ph.D., recently became a member of the Saint Peter’s community as an assistant professor of psychology. He came to Saint Peter’s from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he was teaching while working to obtain his Ph.D. He previously obtained his M.A. from the University of Illinois at Chicago and his B.A. from Ohio State University.

    Throughout his career, Dr. Wisneski has investigated the causes and consequences of how people view aspects of their social world through the lens of their core moral beliefs and convictions. His research focuses on three primary issues including: what causes people to view social phenomena as related to their moral beliefs, individual differences in the tendency to moralize the political domain, and how adopting a moral frame of mind can motivate political engagement and activism.

    Dr. Wisneski has completed a number of research studies on topics ranging from the impact of 9/11 to the moral and religious convictions impacting voting. His recent study measured changes in morality throughout the day using text messages and it garnered a great deal of national media coverage.