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Faculty Spotlight: Strategic Analytics

Faculty: Travis Dawry

Program: Strategic Analytics MS

Course: RSAN 150 Data Quality and Governance

Education: Brandeis University, M.S.

Bio: Travis earned a B.A. in Political Science with a focus on International Relations and Comparative Politics from the University of Central Florida in 2009. Since then he has worked in a variety of government organizations, most recently as a Library Specialist for Broward County, located in in South Florida. His language of choice for analytics, and everything else, is R. Travis earned a Master of Science in Strategic Analytics from Brandeis University in the Spring of 2016 and is now an instructor at the Brandeis Rabb School. He currently splits his time between South Florida and Christiansburg, Virginia, where he lives with a veterinarian and a bunch of cats.

About the course-

In RSAN 150 Data Quality and Governance we focus on understanding what data is, how it is used, what it represents, and how it is managed in organizations. This is one of my favorite courses to teach because students from diverse backgrounds each bring a different perspective on the challenges and opportunities presented by the underlying topics. Agnostic of industry, if someone works with data, we explore how their role works within a larger strategy.

 

For more information on the Strategic Analytics MS or other online master’s degrees available at GPS, please visit brandeis.edu/gps.

Q&A with Aline Yurik Program Chair for Software Engineering

Dr. Aline Yurik serves as the Program Chair of the Software Engineering degree program at Brandeis GPS!

In addition to her role as Program Chair, Aline works as the Director of Software Engineering at Blue Cross Blue Shield Massachusetts. Aline holds a PhD in Computer Science, Master of Arts in Computer Science, Master of Science in Information Technology and Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science, all from Brandeis University – Go Judges!

Read on to learn about Aline’s career path, her excitement about Internet-of-Things (IoT) and how to leverage course projects for your software industry job search:

Q: Can you tell us about your career path and what led you to the professional position that you are in today?
A: After completing my PhD in Computer Science from Brandeis University, I pursued a career in the software and IT industry, as I wanted to apply what I had learned to real-life software systems. Starting out as a software engineer, I enjoyed the process of creating software to address the needs of people and organizations. I became interested in software design and architecture, as a way to create software systems that scale well and are adaptable to new capabilities. Over time, I have had solution architect roles, as well as progressive technical management roles.

On the management track, I started out as a technical team leader, and progressed to a development manager and currently an IT director role, leading a software implementation and quality assurance team.

In parallel with my software industry work, I have pursued my passion for teaching as an adjunct faculty member at Brandeis GPS. I have taught a variety of software engineering courses since the start of the Master of Software Engineering (MSE) in 1997. In my role as Program Chair, I work on program curriculum, ensuring that the MSE courses reflect the latest best practices and technology achievements in the software industry and prepare MSE graduates for a successful career in the software engineering field.

Q: What is an emerging trend in the software engineering field that is exciting you?
A: Internet-of-Things (IoT) is bringing a new revolution to everyday devices and objects in our world. It is powering the concept of smart cities, with technology optimizing traffic and helping manage infrastructure and buildings. IoT will be changing how we live in our homes with smart appliances, smart security systems, and virtual reality/augmented reality-enabled entertainment, gaming and educational options.

IoT is opening new opportunities for medical, healthcare and fitness fields, with new medical devices that can help people better manage chronic diseases, get rehabilitation support and improve their overall fitness. There are a lot of exciting things that IoT will be bringing to our lives!

Q: Do you have any advice for students who are planning a job search in the software engineering space?
A: I recommend to use the software projects you have worked on in your courses as your portfolio that you can showcase with the potential employers. Think about design, architecture, technology and process decisions you have made in these projects and create an overview that highlights important decisions and lessons learned from these software projects. Also, be open-minded about applying to a variety of roles, as there are many opportunities in the software field that span all phases of a software development lifecycle. You may discover that your prior experiences and interests make you a perfect fit for a role you may not have considered!

Q: What is a fun fact about you that students may not already know?
A: I started tap dancing several years ago, and have been enjoying it tremendously! Tapping is both a fun physical activity and also a mental challenge as we are making rhythm and sound with our feet. Learning and practicing a new dance choreography is something I look forward to every week!

For more information on the Software Engineering MS or other online master’s degrees available at GPS, please visit brandeis.edu/gps.

Faculty Spotlight: Elizabeth Rosenzweig

Faculty: Elizabeth Rosenzweig

Program: User-Centered Design

Course: RUCD 190 Capstone

Awards: Usability Professionals Association: Lifetime Achievement Award 2009

Education: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, SM and Goddard College, B.A.

Bio: Elizabeth Rosenzweig is a design researcher whose mission is to use technology to make the world a better place. She believes that the best design comes from good research. This all starts with a user-centered design. From volunteer events, design challenges, and research projects. Elizabeth has been able to push the bounds of the current status quo and innovate. Examples include founding running World Usability Day, producing 4 Patents on intelligent design for image management and organizations, long-term impact on Medicare.gov, yearlong study on body-worn cameras, and other projects. Rosenzweig’s work can be seen at designresearchforgood.org

Why is this course important or valuable to a UCD student?

The Capstone course brings together all the skills and knowledge the UCD student has obtained from the UCD program. The Capstone allows them to apply these skills to a project of their choosing, perhaps one they have been thinking of for a while, or a brand new idea. This class is a wonderful opportunity to create a strong portfolio piece that they can use when they interview for a job.

Why do you enjoy teaching this course?

 I enjoy engaging with the students as they give birth, grow and refine their ideas. Since this is often one of the last classes, the UCD students come into the class with strong skills. The journey from the inception of their idea to a fully designed clickable prototype in one term is amazing.

Anything else you would like to share with a prospective student?

The final presentation is the best part because it provides the student with experience of presenting their original project to the UCD Advisory Board, who then provides support, mentorship, and invaluable feedback on the work.  The Advisory Board is a strong network of seasoned UCD professionals that helps build a strong network for the UCD student.

For more information on the User-Centered Design MS or other online master’s degrees available at GPS, please visit brandeis.edu/gps.

Faculty Spotlight: Sean Milligan

Faculty: Sean Milligan

Program: Project and Program Management

Course: RPJM 119 The Human Side of Project Leadership

Awards: 2019 Outstanding Teacher Award, RABB School of Continuing Studies

Education: Brandeis University, M.S.

Bio: Sean J. Milligan, MS, has over twenty-five years of experience in managing enterprise projects and resources in a number of industries. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and a member of the South Florida chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI) He is currently the Global Director of Professional Services for a company specializing in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions for for the food and beverage manufacturing industry, and resides in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Sean received his M.S. in Project and Program Management from Brandeis in November of 2014, and is also a certified Myers-Briggs Practitioner.

Sean specializes in leadership throughout the personal, team, and organizational layers of Project Management and service delivery, as well as the human dynamics inherent in a collaborative approach to meeting demands of stakeholders and organizations. While Project Management has evolved from a scientifically driven approach to a people-focused mindset as a result of a shift in human factors, Sean’s focus on these factors brings a more holistic approach to leading teams and projects.

Why is this course important or valuable to a PPM student?

Project Management has evolved over the years and requires much more than the science of project plans, risks, issues, etc. Project Managers must now become people leaders and incorporate the art of leading without a direct line of authority.  The Human Side of Project Leadership course gives students valuable insight into the human and team dynamics that make for successful projects and happy stakeholders.  Adding this layer of insight enables Project Managers to achieve the valuable balance between project objectives and people objectives.

Why do you enjoy teaching this course?

I enjoy teaching the Human Side of Project Leadership course because of the fantastic “a-ha” moments that I get to witness throughout the course.  The course strikes a balance between individual introspection and observance of others in specific scenarios that create a valuable awareness of how individuals and teams operate, and because students are participating in team assignments, they get to see these real-life scenarios play out before them.  Students learn so much about themselves as leaders that it easily translates into how they view and lead others, which is fun to see.

Anything else you would like to share with a prospective student?

Get ready to interact with and learn a LOT about your fellow students in this course!

For more information on the Project and Program Management MS or other online master’s degrees available at GPS, please visit brandeis.edu/gps.

 

Faculty Spotlight: Khadijia Khartit

Faculty: Khadija Khartit

Program: Digital Innovation for FinTech

Course: RDFT 130 Launching FinTech Ventures 

Expertise: Banking, Corporate Finance, Credit Cards, Cryptocurrency, Financial Planning, FinTech, General Business, Investing, Personal Finance

Education: Oklahoma State University, MBA and Boston College, MS

Bio: Khadija Khartit has 25 years of experience in management, investment banking, and startup advisory. Her investing and business background includes management in operating multinationals, investment banking, mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt capital raising, and tech startups’ advisory. Khadija worked on the fund-raising process as an advisor, an investor, and an entrepreneur. She worked on deals ranging from $100,000 to $500 million and on company sizes from green-field business plans to companies with $1 billion revenues and $100 million net income. Khadija is currently an executive advisor of KoreFusion, a global strategy consulting firm specialized in FinTech and payments. She is also the head of strategy at Sawi Exchange, a B2B FinTech based in Boston.

Why is this course important or valuable to a Digital Innovation for FinTech student?

In this course we tear down prominent cases in FinTech that are just getting bigger over the years (Stripe, Aunt Group, Bkash…). We link them to other cases rising and the changing landscape. Students learn from the real-world real-time moves of companies and what that means to be an effective worker, manager, intrapreneur, or entrepreneur. 

Why do you enjoy teaching this course? 

I find a safe space to think boldly, research with high vigor elements and arguments to enrich the discussion with students. My students are bright and as much as I inspire them to elevate the bar in their preparation to add to what their peers said, they also inspire me. We all set high standards to serve each other intellectually, and we grow together.

For more information on the Digital Innovation for FinTech or other online master’s degrees available at GPS, please visit brandeis.edu/gps.

 

Faculty Spotlight: Keishalee Shaw

Meet Keishalee Shaw

Program: Strategic Analytics

Spring Course: Business Intelligence, Analytics and Decision Making

Bio: Keishalee Shaw, MS, MSc, MA has over ten years in the healthcare field. Currently, she is a Business Information Architect in the health insurance field working on projects around enterprise Integration strategies, enterprise target state along with focusing on data governance from an initiative perspective. Previously, Keishalee worked for New York State’s Bureau of Medicaid Statistics and Program Analysis and the Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy.

She holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in English and Literature with a minor in Political Science from the University of Maryland College Park; a Master’s of Science in Healthcare Administration Management from the University of Maryland Global Campus; a Masters in International Healthcare Management, Economics and Policy from Bocconi School of Management in Milan, Italy; a Masters in Strategic Analytics from Brandeis University and a Certificate in Public Sector Management from Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations in Albany, New York.

Why is this course important or valuable to a Strategic Analytics student?

When it comes to decision making, data and analytics leaders play a big role in creating the organization’s strategic objectives. Today business leaders must treat data and analytics as a business asset. Through understanding your organization’s data you’re able to accelerate a company’s growth, pivot and change direction that best fits the organization’s needs and build/develop/or partner with 3rd parties that push your organization to deliver consistent business value.

Why do you enjoy teaching this course?

I love teaching this course because I can see the growth in the students’ understanding when it comes to BI and importance in the role they currently hold in their organizations or how they’d like to apply what they are learning to the projects they are working on. It’s amazing to see when things start to click, or when a student is able to identify what they study in class and bring it back to the workplace.

Anything else you would like to share with a prospective student.

The market’s appetite for tools that help companies visualize and interpret data is not slowing down. Teams that have a strong data-driven culture will continue to use business intelligence to integrate artificial intelligence and business analytics. Gartner says, “the analytics and business intelligence platform market is predicted to double in size by 2025 to $33 billion and will experience double-digit growth and a 16% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through that time” (Quinn, 2022). Making sense of your organization’s data to provide insight will always be vital

For more information on the Strategic Analytics program or other online master’s degrees available at GPS, please visit brandeis.edu/gps.

References: Quinn, e. (2022, February 10). Analytics and Business Intelligence Vendors Are Acquiring Augmented Analytics Vendors. Retrieved from Gartner.com: https://www.gartner.com/document/4011253?ref=solrAll&refval=316488282

Faculty Spotlight: Jing Qi

Meet Jing Qi

Program: Learning Experience Design 

Spring Course: RIDT 180 Learning Analytics

Expertise: Text Mining, Data visualization, Statistical analysis, Application development and Evidence-centered design

Education: University of Vermont, Ed.D.

Bio: Jing Qi, Ed.D, is the Learning Analytic Lead and LMS Specialist at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, where she works with the Research ITC team, and applies technologies employed in advanced scientific research and web application development to support the core effort of ‘Learning Data Research.’ Combining her solid knowledge in computer science, extensive experience in data mining, and strong passion in data visualization, she integrates the core elements of data analysis and visualization in the exploration of Learning Analytics.

Learn more about the course-

Why is this course important or valuable to a Learning Experience Design student?

The fundamental principle of Learning Experience Design is learner-centered and goal-oriented to effectively engage students in learning. While Learning Analytics leverages student digital footprints and artifacts to provide insights about student learning processes, which is essential to make informed LED decisions.

Why do you enjoy teaching this course?

This course is designed to give students first-hand experience of applying LA theories into LED practices. For instance, I employed social network analysis and text mining techniques to analyze student online interaction data and the semantics of discussion threads, then provide students with rich timely feedback in the form of visualization. The visualizations help students understand their cognitive behaviors, which in retrospect, enhances the learning experience.

Anything else you would like to share with a prospective student.

The students enrolled in this program are usually highly self-motivated and have a rather diverse professional background, which fosters an enriched learning community.

For more information on the Learning Experience Design program or other online master’s degrees available at GPS, please visit brandeis.edu/gps.

Brandeis GPS Faculty Bring Industry Experience to Fully Online Graduate Programs

There is a diverse range of expertise that Brandeis GPS faculty bring to our fully online master’s programs. To learn more about our faculty, and how they impact the student body, we spoke to Brittany Carr, Director of Faculty Operations.

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us what your role is at GPS?

Hi, everyone! My name is Brittany Carr, and I am the Director of Faculty Operations. Some of my responsibilities include recruiting, hiring, and onboarding new adjunct faculty for the school. I am also the liaison between the GPS faculty and the rest of the Brandeis community. When you are coming into such a large institution, such as Brandeis (especially while remote) it can be a bit tricky to navigate it all. I am here to help make things easier for the faculty.

When you recruit faculty, what are some of the reasons why they choose to teach at GPS?

Instructors are interested in joining the team here at GPS because they understand we value the importance of hiring industry practitioners for the role. Additionally, as part-time adjuncts, they can still focus on the valuable work they are involved in at their full-time job. We also run our fully online programs 100% asynchronous, which means that both students and faculty can be based anywhere in the world.

What makes GPS faculty unique in comparison to faculty at other online graduate schools?  

While we require that every new instructor participates in a 6-week teaching training course, our faculty are not lifelong academics by design. We look for professionals on the forefront of their industry, who have a passion to share their work with our students. We value the real-world experiences they bring into the classroom and can provide that hands-on educational experience to our students.

What is the intersection between students and faculty at GPS? How would you describe the student-faculty relationship?

Here at GPS, we keep the class size smaller to ensure that every student feels connected to their classmates and the instructor. Because our programs are virtual, I have found that our faculty work even harder to foster relationships with their students. In addition to the weekly assignments and facilitation, our faculty host weekly office hours over Zoom. As industry leaders, our instructors have often stepped in as mentors on various students’ projects. 

Brandeis GPS welcomes applications for its adjunct faculty pool on an ongoing basis. To view current open positions, please visit our Current Openings page. If you do not see a position that aligns with your experience, feel free to apply to a program – we will keep your application on file for when a potential matching position arises.

Meet our newest GPS faculty members

The first week of the October session is here and we are excited to introduce the newest Brandeis GPS faculty members. These industry leaders come to Brandeis GPS with expertise and established networks within their fields. We have no doubt that the knowledge and experience they bring will provide for meaningful learning opportunities in the online classroom.

Garrett Gillin – RDMD 110: Principals of Search Engine Marketing

Garret Gillin Headshot

Garrett Gillin, MBA, is a co-founder and Principal at 215 Marketing, a Google Premier Partner agency located in Philadelphia, PA, where he oversees the development and execution of integrated digital marketing initiatives with a concentration on programmatic advertising, marketing automation, and advanced analytics.

Todd Chapin – RUCD 185: Design for Non-screen User Experiences

Todd Chapin HeadshotTodd Chapin is a co-founder and Chief Product Officer at ShopClerk.ai. He has experience in product management and UX, as well as expertise in personal mobility, speech recognition, and e-commerce. He has worked at Zipcar, Audible, and Nuance Communications. He has graduate and undergraduate degrees in Human Factors Engineering from Tufts University.

Ernest Green – RSAN 160: Predictive Analytics

Ernest Green Headshot

Ernest Green MS, MBA, PMP, is Vice President of Data Mining at a large financial institution in Dallas, TX. Prior to this role, he worked as a Data Scientist with General Motors and has 10+ years of diverse analytics experience. He holds multiple college degrees and most recently completed a Master’s in Predictive Analytics from Northwestern University. His research and expertise are in analytics, machine learning, natural language processing and artificial intelligence.

We are so pleased to welcome these new faculty members to Brandeis GPS and look forward to seeing how they bring their expertise to their online classrooms.

Faces of GPS is an occasional series that profiles Brandeis University Graduate Professional Studies students, faculty and staff. Find more Faces of GPS stories here.

Meet the newest GPS faculty

Faces of GPS | Introduction to New Faculty Members

We’re excited to introduce you to some of the newer faces of GPS. These leaders in their field come with years of experience inside the classroom and beyond. Their industry expertise and connections make them ideal mentors for GPS students. Get to know Dr. Patt Steiner, Erin Meredith Bazzell, and Debra Michalides below!

Dr. Patt Steiner: Organizational Leadership and Decision Making

Dr. Patt Steiner - Brandeis GPS Online Education - Brandeis GPS BlogDr. Patt Steiner brings over 20 years of experience to the business community with specializations in leadership, strategic planning, organization and process improvement, and employee advocacy. She has been a guest speaker for many organizations including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), The Small Business Administration, The Honolulu Chamber of Commerce, Boston University, The Society for Software Quality, and Cornell University. Among other accomplishments, Patt holds a degree in Music Performance, and has performed with the Boston Pops, the Florida Symphony, the Oakland (CA) Symphony, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Steiner completed her doctoral work in Leadership at Northeastern University.

Erin Meredith Bazzell: Digital Marketing Strategy

A7070D1BFD1BBCFE268F17651E2EC60970CD928Erin Meredith Bazzell, MBA, is the Global Marketing Communication Leader for Cummins Filtration, a Cummins Inc. business unit. She leads a team in the corporate office in Nashville, TN, as well as teams in seven other countries globally. In her 10+ years in the marketing field, she has honed her skills in the medical, education, retail and manufacturing fields. She is an active member in her local chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) and also teaches undergraduate marketing courses at Southern New Hampshire University. Meredith received a BA in Mass Communications & Marketing from Auburn University and her MBA from Bethel University.

Debra Michalides: Prototyping and Evaluation

Debra Michalides - Brandeis GPS Online Education - Brandeis GPS Blog

We wish our newest faculty a warm welcome and look forward to the experience and dedication they bring to GPS!

Faces of GPS is an occasional series that profiles Brandeis University Graduate Professional Studies students, faculty and staff. Find more Faces of GPS stories here.

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