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Tufts University

Leadership Team

Under the supervision of the Dean, the leadership at Tufts School of Engineering consists of Associate Deans and Directors, representing their respective areas of responsibility within the schools. These leaders work together as a team to promote and advance best practices of academic administration within the school.

John Barker, Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Students
John Barker, Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Students, has overall responsibility for enhancing the undergraduate and graduate student experience in the School of Arts and Sciences and strengthening the integration of university-wide undergraduate and graduate academic and co-curricular initiatives.

Prior to his arrival at Tufts in 2012, Dean Barker was assistant provost of undergraduate education at the University of Miami in Florida, with the scope of university-wide responsibilities in the areas of undergraduate research, diversity, academic counseling and advocacy, and academic achievement. He was also the founding director of the Office of Academic Enhancement. In addition, Dean Barker served as a faculty master for one of the University of Miami's residential colleges and as an adjunct faculty member in the university's Department of Educational and Psychological Studies, in Miami's School of Education. A graduate of the State University of New York Oswego where he majored in political science and history, Dean Barker holds a doctorate in higher education from the University of Rochester.

Lee Coffin, Dean of Admissions and Enrollment Management
Lee Coffin has served as Tufts' Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Enrollment Management since 2003. Prior to Tufts he was Dean of Admission at Connecticut College from 1995 to 2001, where he also held concurrent appointments as Vice President for Enrollment (1998 to 2001) and Acting Vice President for Public Affairs (2000-01). Dean Coffin held the Millet Chair in Admissions at Milton Academy from 2001-03 and also served administrative appointments in Advancement at Trinity College and freshman advising at Harvard College. In addition to his work in admissions, Dean Coffin also serves as an adjunct lecturer on education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he teaches a seminar entitled "Principles and Policy Issues of College Admissions." He earned a B.A. with honors in history from Trinity College and an Ed.M. in administration, planning and social policy from Harvard University.

Margery Davies, Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs
Margery Davies is the Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs for the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering. In her capacity as Affirmative Action Officer for both schools, she oversees all faculty searches and hires, both full-time and part-time, and is also involved in other faculty affairs activities. In addition, her responsibilities include developing and serving as a resource with respect to AS&E faculty work/life balance policies. She is a Title IX Liaison for the university Office of Equal Opportunity. Davies is a member of the A&S Dean's Council, the Engineering Cabinet, the AS&E Equal Educational Opportunity Committee, the AS&E Faculty Work/Life Committee, the AS&E Diversity Fund Committee, the university-wide Diversity and Inclusion Working Group, and the university-wide Faculty Affairs Working Group.

With a doctorate is in sociology from Brandeis University, Davies has written about women, work, families, and child and family policy in the United States. Her book, "Woman's Place Is at the Typewriter: Office Work and Office Workers, 1870-1930" (Temple University Press, 1982), is an analysis of the feminization of clerical work in the United States. With Professor Francine Jacobs of Tufts University, she edited "More Than Kissing Babies? Current Child and Family Policy in the United States", (Greenwood Publishing Group, 1994).

Jason Rife, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education
Jason Rife is the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education and an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. In this role, he is directly responsible for developing, implementing and assessing academic advising and the administration of the degrees awarded in 13 engineering disciplines. He serves as the School of Engineering's point person on educational policy.

Professor Rife received his doctoral degree from Stanford University in Mechanical Engineering. His research focuses on the navigation and control of autonomous vehicles and mobile robots. His work has been funded by numerous government organizations and corporations, including the FAA, the NSF, NASA, AFRL, DARPA, JNLWP, Draper Laboratory, BMW, and MERL.

Fiorenzo Omenetto Fiorenzo Omenetto, Associate Dean for Research
Fio Omenetto, Associate Dean for Research, is the Frank C. Doble Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. The School of Engineering Office of Research is responsible for creating a supportive environment to enhance research productivity and active scholarship. It initiates, supports and sustains programs and activities to increase faculty participation in research with an emphasis on collaborative and interdisciplinary efforts. The Office of Research is also responsible for working with the remainder of the Dean's Office to effectively communicate both internally and externally the many advances made by faculty and students.

Professor Omenetto received his doctorate at Universita' di Pavia, Italy, in electrical engineering and applied physics. Omenetto's research is heavily focused on interdisciplinary themes that span nonlinear optics, nanostructured materials (such as photonic crystals and photonic crystal fibers), optofluidics and biopolymer based photonics. His Silk Lab has pioneered the use of silk as a material platform for photonics, optoelectronics and high-technology applications and is actively investigating novel applications that rely on this new technology base. He is a fellow of the Optical Society of America. In 2011, he was named a Guggenheim Fellow by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Karen Panetta, Associate Dean for Graduate Education

Karen received a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Boston University, and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University. Her research focuses on developing efficient algorithms for simulation, modeling, signal and image processing for security and biomedical applications. Karen is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and was awarded the 2013 IEEE Award for Distinguished Ethical Practices “for exemplary contributions and leadership in developing ethics and social responsibility in students.” Her volunteer service with the IEEE has brought much collaboration and increased exposure to Tufts University. Her commitment to promoting the interests of the university is also evident in her service on the AS&E Executive Committee and as its liaison to the Trustee University Advancement Committee.

Karen is the recipient of several NASA and National Science Foundation Research Grants, including the NSF CAREER Award. As the first female electrical engineer to be given tenure in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department, Karen continues to promote the interests of women in her field. She was the worldwide director for IEEE Women in Engineering, the largest international professional organization dedicated to promoting women engineers and scientists, from 2007-2009, and served as editor-in-chief of the IEEE Women in Engineering magazine. She is the faculty adviser to the Tufts student chapters of both the Society of Women Engineers and the IEEE, and is founder of the nationally acclaimed “Nerd Girls” program that promotes the engineering disciplines to young students. She currently advises over 30 undergraduate and graduate students. Karen has been recognized for her commitment to education with awards such as the Madeline and Henry Fischer Best Engineering Teacher Award in 2003, the IEEE Major Educational Innovation Award in 2010, and the Anita Borg Institute Women of Vision Award for Social Impact in 2011. In 2010, she received the American Association of Engineering Societies' Norm Augustine Award for communicating the excitement of engineering through outreach activities that promote careers in science and engineering, and encourage youth to improve the environment and change the lives of individuals and communities. Most notably, in 2011 United States President Barack Obama awarded Karen the Presidential Award for Science and Engineering Education and Mentoring.

Mark Ranalli, Associate Dean and Executive Director of Tufts Gordon Institute
Prior to Tufts, he was Managing Director of RR Donnelly's Digital Solutions Group, where he was responsible for the company's digital business strategy. Ranalli is also the founder of several successful ventures. In 2006, he founded Helium, Inc., a media source that applies a crowdsourcing filtering system to community-generated content that was acquired by RR Donnelly in 2011. Soon after launching Helium, he co-founded and launched OurStage Inc., an independent music discovery platform, based on the same underlying crowdsourcing principals and relative ranking patents that are leveraged by Helium. He grew his first venture, an internet professional services agency called Basessix, Inc., from inception to three offices and more than 70 people with a client portfolio that included AT&T Broadband, Comcast, AOL, ESPN, Starz/Encore, HBO, and National Geographic. Ranalli previously held executive roles at UNIFI Communications, Inc. and Fax international, Inc.

He currently serves as Vice Chairman for the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan, independent nonprofit research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy. He also served as an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Tuck School at Dartmouth for four years where he taught classes on mergers and acquisitions and entrepreneurship.

Ranalli received an M.B.A. from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and a BSEE from Stanford University.

Chris Rogers, Co-Director Center for Engineering Education and Outreach
Chris Rogers is the co-director of the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO) and a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The CEEO is a leading innovator in K-16 engineering education. Members of the CEEO believe all students are budding innovators who will excel by learning through failure, by working in teams, and by solving open-ended problems. Faculty from Tufts' Department of Education and multiple engineering departments work to change K-16 education through educational research, technology development, and outreach to students, educators, and engineering professionals. The CEEO's technologies have been used in thousands of classrooms around the world and its outreach programs reach hundreds of teachers and students each year.

Professor Rogers received all his degrees at Stanford University where earned doctorate (1989) for his thesis looking at particle motion in a boundary layer flow. His research interests are mostly in the area of fluid turbulence, musical instrument design, and robotics. His work has been funded by numerous government organizations and corporations, including the NSF, NASA, Intel, Boeing, Cabot, Steinway, Selmer, National Instruments, Raytheon, Fulbright, and the LEGO Corporation.

Scott G. Sahagian, Executive Associate Dean
Scott Sahagian is the first Executive Associate Dean for the School of Engineering and has been involved in developing all aspects of the administrative infrastructure for the school, directly supervising the areas of finance, space, information technology, and personnel. Prior to joining the School of Engineering, he was the Chief Administrative Officer of the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University from January 2002 until March of 2005. He began at Brandeis in 1995 as the Associate Director of the Schneider Institute for Health Policy where his responsibilities included the management of the university's largest research unit. He was the Administrative Officer at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology from 1991 to 1995. Dean Sahagian worked in numerous positions in the YMCA, serving as Executive Director in several communities before working in academia.

He currently serves on several community and religious boards including the Center for Long Term Health and Aging and the Armenian Church at Hye Pointe. He has several published articles in the area of customer service and management. Dean Sahagian holds a B.S. from Salem State College and a M.B.A with a concentration in finance from Suffolk University.

Chris Swan, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Curriculum Development
Chris Swan, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Curriculum Development, is an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and an adjunct associate professor at Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service. Dean Swan chairs the Curriculum Committee, which works with the school's Curriculum Task Force in guiding future curriculum revision and enhancement, consistent with school's aspirations to educate Tufts engineers as leaders and integrators in technological innovation. Professor Swan also moderates the school's Outcomes & Objectives Assessment Committee which works with the Tufts Office of Institutional Research to coordinate assessment measures in the School of Engineering and to improve our processes of assessment, feedback, and continuous improvements. He has also been an active member of the American Society for Engineering Education currently serving as program chair for the Community Engagement in Engineering Education constituent committee.

Dean Swan received his Doctor of Science (ScD) degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from MIT in 1994 and both Bachelor (BS) and Master (MS) of Science degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1984 and 1986, respectively. Prior to obtaining his ScD., Dean Swan worked for GZA Geoenvironmental, Inc., a national engineering consulting firm specializing in geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering projects.

Dr. Darryl WilliamsDarryl Williams, Associate Dean for Recruitment, Retention, and Community Engagement
Dr. Darryl N. Williams joined Tufts in April 2013 as Associate Dean for Recruitment, Retention, and Community Engagement and Director of the Center for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) Diversity in the School of Engineering.

Dr. Williams came to Tufts from his former position as a program director at the National Science Foundation, focusing on engineering education. He is a chemical engineer by formal training, receiving his doctorate from University of Maryland College Park. He received a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Institutes of Health to conduct research at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

After the conclusion of his fellowship, Dr. Williams focused on creating opportunities in STEM for underrepresented communities in the Philadelphia area. He served as executive director of iPRAXIS, a nonprofit organization that seeks to support minority scientists to take ideas from bench to business.

Since 2009, Dr. Williams had served as an NSF program director overseeing the grants administration in the Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL) for programs such as Discovery Research K-12 (DRK-12), Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST), National Robotics Initiative (NRI), and Advanced Technological Education (ATE).