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New Faculty Bring Experience, Passion to Campus

September 14, 2022
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Provost Dr. Reamer Bushardt speaks to new faculty members at a recent introductory luncheon.

By John Shaw 
Office of Strategic Communications 

Fourteen new faculty members have joined the ranks of the MGH Institute for the 2022-2023 academic year, spanning disciplines from nursing, audiology, health administration, occupational therapy, and physical therapy, to communication sciences and disorders.

“The energy at the MGH Institute is amazing,” said Provost Dr. Reamer L. Bushardt at a recent introductory luncheon for new faculty. “We are shaping future generations of health professionals, tackling critical issues in research, and building a campus that helps care for its community.” Speaking to the new faculty, Bushardt added, “My hope is that your experiences as a faculty member will bring you as much joy as I have enjoyed in my faculty career.” 

Dr. Lucy Leclerc is certainly hoping so. An instructor in the new Master of Health Administration program in the School of Healthcare Leadership, she is passionate about educating the next generation of healthcare leaders.

“Because of the pandemic, we have a whole different landscape in which to create leaders who can lead in these times,” said Leclerc, who was initially a guest lecturer in a Doctor of Nursing Practice course before joining the Institute faculty. “The opportunity to teach in a school that has an interprofessional nature, which is what the IHP is all about, and to create healthcare leaders for the future, is very exciting.”

Leclerc, an assistant professor, has extensive research experience focusing on healthcare leadership in practice and in academia. A nurse practitioner who serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Nursing Education, she was the chief learning officer at uLeadership, a nationally recognized company that provides contemporary leadership education, coaching, research, and consulting to healthcare organizations nationwide.

Bushardt, who is also is his first semester at the Institute, explained to the faculty at the luncheon how he sees his role as provost and vice president for academic affairs.  “My most important job is to invest in you and our students, and that includes removing barriers out of the way so your talents come to light,” he said. “That’s my primary responsibility and I’m going to work very hard to deliver on that and support a culture at the Institute where everyone feels valued. When you shine, our programs will flourish, our students will have great educational experiences, and the community will benefit.”

While faculty regularly echoed Leclerc’s assessment of the school’s interprofessional focus as a primary reason for coming on board, they all have their own rationale for joining its ranks. For Dr. Mirza Lugo-Meris, an assistant professor in the Doctor of Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) program, it means teaching research methods, defining problems, and conducting literature reviews. 

“I want to be able to impact current SLP students who can implement changes in their workplace,” said Lugo-Meris, who will be co-teaching courses with Dr. Bridget Perry, the program’s director.

The school’s Office of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion – and being able to focus on SLPs from underrepresented backgrounds stood out to Dr. Laura Wolford, who also is an assistant professor teaching in the SLPD program.

“The SLP profession is not always great at inclusion – we’re a field that is 92% white and has a lot of barriers for graduate students becoming speech pathologists,” she said. “Clinical mentorship and clinical supervision have a large role to play in helping our students of color feel more at home and welcomed and feel prepared to be an SLP.”

Alex Wolf, an assistant professor in the School of Nursing who will be teaching courses in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, brings extensive knowledge of palliative care to the IHP. He said he was impressed by the Institute after School of Nursing Dean Dr. Ken White invited him to apply. 

“When I had my interview, there were no egos,” Dr. Wolf said. “Everybody wanted to know who I was, everyone had a sense of curiosity and friendliness. It was immediate in my interview that this is where I wanted to be.”

Complete List of New Faculty for 2022-2023 Academic Year

Jenna Comeau, PA-C
Director of Clinical Education, Instructor, Physician Assistant Studies

Gwen Larsen, DPT
Instructor, Physical Therapy

Lucy Leclerc, PhD, RN, NPD-BC
Assistant Professor, MHA Program

Mirza J. Lugo-Neris, PhD, CCC-SLP
Assistant Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders (SLPD)

Tara Mansour, OTD, MS, OTR/L 
Assistant Professor & Academic Fieldwork Coordinator, Occupational Therapy

Mary O'Donnell, OTD, MS, OTR/L
Instructor, Occupational Therapy

Andrea Pittman, PhD, CCC-A
Professor, Doctor of Audiology (AuD) Program Director

Serena Fasano Rosa, DNP, WHNP-BC, MPH, CLC 
Assistant Professor, Nursing

Jessica Spissinger, LICSW, PA-C, CAQ-Psychiatry
Instructor, Physician Assistant Studies

Annie Temple, MS, CCC-SLP
Instructor and Clinical Supervisor, Communication Sciences and Disorders

Bradley P. White, PhD, MSN, RN
Assistant Professor, Nursing

Sunny R. Winstead, EdD, OTR/L
Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy

Alex Wolf, DNP, APRN, ACHPN
Assistant Professor, Nursing

Laura Wolford, PhD, MS CCC-SLP, CSE
Assistant Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders