Board of Directors
Courtney H. Thornton, Ph.D. (-2018)
Associate Vice Provost for Academic Personnel and Policy
Dr. Thornton’s research on higher education engagement and student civic responsibility appears in the Journal of Higher Education, Research in Higher Education, and the Journal of College Student Development. She co-edited the 2009 New Directions in Higher Education volume on community engagement.
Scott Herness, Ph.D. (-2018)
Scott received his BS degree from the University of California, Irvine and the Ph.D. from the Florida State University. Prior to his arrival at The Ohio State University, he was Assistant Professor at the Rockefeller University in New York City and Associate Professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine on the Muncie campus.
His research interests are in the field of sensory neuroscience where he pursued a NIH- and NSF-funded investigation into the cellular and molecular biology of the peripheral gustatory system. He served as President of the Association for Chemoreception Sciences, the international society dedicated to the scientific study of the chemical senses, and received the Anjinomoto Junior Faculty Research Award (1999) and the International Flavors and Fragrances Award for Outstanding Research on the Molecular Basis of Taste (2011). He has served on numerous review panels for the NIH and NSF.
Tim Born, Ph.D. (-2019)
PSM Program Coordinator
Tim Born began his academic career as a Biochemistry faculty member in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at George Mason University. He spent his first 10 years conducting basic biochemistry research, publishing nine peer-reviewed papers, submitting multiple grants, and involving both undergraduate and graduate students in my research projects. His research interests included the study of enzymes in secondary metabolism, identification of novel targets for antibacterial compounds, and using mass spectrometry to examine protein acetylation patterns in cell signaling. Bioscience research is, by necessity, a very collaborative field and he worked closely with faculty in bioinformatics, microbiology, biodefense, and a variety of medical fields.
Dr. Born Found that his greatest joy as a faculty member occurred when he was working with students, and that led him to spend eight years as the graduate coordinator for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. His responsibilities in this position included recruiting new students to the programs, responding to general inquiries from current and potential students, advising current students on their progress, and making sure the proper courses were scheduled each semester.
He was the only biochemist when he joined the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (then just the Department of Chemistry), and he was asked to update the biochemistry curriculum. Working on this project sparked his interest in courses and curriculum. He chaired the curriculum committee for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry as they adapted to the new American Chemical Society guidelines, and he was chair of the College of Science Curriculum Committee for four years. His involvement in curriculum design increased when he joined the College of Science Dean’s office as the assistant (and then associate) Dean for student and academic affairs.
After 13 years at Mason, he decided to return the Midwest and took his current position as Professional Science Master’s Programs Coordinator at Grand Valley State University (GVSU).
Interim Finance Officer
Joaquin Carbonara, Ph.D. (NPSMA Member)
Professor of Mathematics
SUNY Buffalo State
Joaquin Carbonara was promoted to Professor of mathematics at SUNY Buffalo State in 2010. He was the financial treasurer at NPSMA 2013-2016 and is the director of the SUNY PSM Consortium since Fall 2015. In his institution, he led the creation of a PSM in Professional Applied and Computational Mathematics (PACM) and was the PI of a large grant from the National Science Foundation (Science Master’s Program) to support PACM. He has chaired two very successful NPSMA workshops in Niagara Falls, NY, and one national NPSMA conference in the DC area.
Associate Vice President
Ray Hoobler, Ph.D. (-2019)
Ray Hoobler joined the PMST program as Director at the beginning of January 2016 where he is responsible for strategic and financial management of the PMST program as well as admissions, recruiting, and marketing. He brings 15 years of industry experience to the University of Utah’s Professional Master of Science and Technology program. Dr. Hoobler held positions in both science and management; most recently spending five years in product marketing and product management for KLA-Tencor, a leading capital equipment supplier based in Silicon Valley, where he was responsible for the thin film optical metrology product line and U.S. west coast logic and memory manufacturers. Dr. Hoobler previously worked as the Senior Scientist for the venture capital backed startup Purfresh, focused on food and water safety, food storage, and solar crop protectants.
Dr. Hoobler completed his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Penn State University and B.S. in Chemistry from Marshall University. His academic experience includes positions as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at JILA, University of Colorado, Boulder and as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of South Alabama.
Associate Vice President
Carol B. Lynch, Ph.D. (-2019)
Immediate Past President
Marilyn Wells, Ph.D. (-2017)
Prior to PASSHE, Marilyn held faculty appointments at Hampton University, a private, historically black institution in southeastern Virginia; the College of William and Mary; and the University of South Dakota, among others, including community colleges. Marilyn also has experience in the corporate and government sectors. Marilyn is a member of the National Professional Science Master’s Association; a charter member of the PharMerica National Pharmacy and Therapeutics (P&T) Committee; and member-at-large of AAUW (formerly the American Association of University Women).
Ross T. Barnard, BSc(hons), GDipEd, PhD, DSc, FACB, FASM (-2018)
Biotechnology Program Director, and Biotechnology PSM Director
School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre, & Affiliate Professor, Centre for Plant Science
University of Queensland, Australia
Ross Barnard has directed and taught the Biotechnology teaching program at the University of Queensland, Australia, for last 15 years. This Master of Biotechnology program was the first in Australia to gain recognition as a PSM. Australia shares many of the challenges faced by PSM programs in the United States.
Ross has made key contributions to molecular endocrinology and diagnostics, publishing more than 100 papers and book chapters and filing patents in those areas. He has also published in biotechnology education, interdisciplinary education, and technology transfer. He has made submissions to the Australian Law Reform Commission on patenting, human health and protection of genetic information. He has been an invited speaker or chair at numerous national and international conferences (e.g. ASM, FAOBMB, US Endocrine Society, Planet xMap, Europe). Ross has jointly held consecutive Australian government funded competitive research grants and three grants in teaching and learning, including a multi-center grant from the Australian Universities Teaching Committee (now the Office of Learning and Teaching), to review biotechnology teaching in relation to needs of the Australian biotechnology industry. He is an invited member of the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council research translation faculty, and is a member of the Australian Federal Government’s Gene Technology Technical Advisory Committee.
Amber Bloechle, M.S. (-2019)
Amber Bloechle is the GIS Online Director in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of West Florida. In this role, she develops content, instructs, oversees student internships, and administers UWF online GIS course offerings for GIS Certificate and MS in GIS Administration degree programs. Amber initiated and oversaw the development of first PSM program at UWF, the MS in GIS Admin. She participated in the Florida Professional Science Masters Statewide Initiative from 2012-2015 and serves at the go-to regarding NPSMA on the UWF campus. She is a certified quality online instructor and course reviewer based on the Quality Matters Program and has earned the QM seal of approval for several courses. Her primary interests include using GIS and Remote Sensing to make better policy decisions and improve environmental outcomes. She has worked as a GIS professional in both contract and academic capacities. Current projects involve employing geospatial analysis to support healthy food resources both in Northwest Florida and in Mozambique, Africa.
She also serves as the Education Coordinator for Florida Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (FLURISA), volunteers on the Florida Emergency GIS Response Team, and is an active member of several GIS User Groups. Amber holds a M.S. in Environmental Science, a Graduate Certificate in GIS, and a B.S. in Environmental Studies (Policy), all from UWF. She is also an active Geographic Information Science Professional.
Rana Khan, Ph.D. (-2018)
Vice Dean and Chair, Information and Technology Systems Department
University of Maryland, University Campus
Rana Khan is Vice Dean and Chair, Information and Technology Systems Department at UMUC, has worked on strategic initiatives with units across the university that have enhanced the reputation, visibility and size of the degree programs through increased synergy with prospective employers. In her role as Director of the Biotechnology program, one of five online PSM programs at UMUC, she has established partnerships with employers through employer sponsored capstone projects, which provide hands-on experience to students in an online environment, an e-mentoring program where industry professionals serve as mentors and provide career guidance to students, and through program specific webinars by senior executives from industry, academia, government and non-profit. As a PI on two Department of Education grants, she has demonstrated her ability to take ideas and turn them into successful, funded projects.
David W. King, Ph.D. (-2017)
Ramona Mellott, Ph.D. (-2017)
Dean of the Graduate College
Northern Arizona University
Ramona Mellott is Dean of the College of Education at Northern Arizona University since November 2014. She formerly served as the first full-time dean of the Graduate College from 2007-2014. She began her academic career as an Assistant Professor in 1991 and was promoted to the rank of Professor in 2003. She also served as between 2000-2007 as Department Chair before becoming the first full-time Dean of the Graduate College for NAU in 2007. As Graduate Dean, she was elected to a one-year term on the Governing Board of the Council of Graduate Schools in 2012. She served in various capacities on the board for the Western Association of Graduate Schools (WAGS) and ultimately as President of WAGS in 2012-13. Since 2014, she serves as the Convener of the Professional Science Master’s State Systems, Statewide and Regions Network and is also currently a member of the National Professional Science Master’s Steering Committee. She also serves in a governor-appointed position on the Arizona Board of Psychologist Examiners for which she is serving a second term. Professor Mellott holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Psychology and Educational/Counseling Psychology from the University of Bombay (Mumbai) and a second master’s and doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi.
Dr. Mellott’s accomplishments as Graduate Dean included involvement in a statewide effort to increase professional science master’s programs at the three state universities in Arizona and, at NAU, developing accelerated (3+2/4+1) bachelor’s/master’s programs, implementing curricular efficiency measures, securing increased tuition remission/waiver for graduate assistants, guiding the transition to independence for the graduate student organization, establishing a three-minute research presentation competition for graduate students in all disciplines, providing financial education workshops, and assisting with a robust professional development program and awards for graduate assistants and graduate students. She has championed efforts in achieving a “paperless” environment in the Graduate College and has worked to establish a broad graduate recruitment program to expand and diversify graduate enrollment, including the use of social networking tools.
Priyanka Patel, M.S. (-2018)
The PSM program, through its classes and external advisory board members, intrigued her to pursue an industry-focused career. In July 2014, she was offered an associate position at a biopharmaceutical consultancy, Prescient Healthcare Group, in New Jersey where she currently resides. In August 2015, she transitioned to BioClinica, a company providing specialty clinical trials services, where she is currently a Clinical Project Manager.
Barry J. Ries is the Associate Vice President of Research and Dean of Graduate Education at Minnesota State University, Mankato (MSU). He oversees the University’s vibrant graduate programming and research enterprise. With more than 80 master’s degree and graduate certificate programs and five doctoral degree programs to choose from, MSU blends the excitement of learning in the classroom with real-world opportunities.
This past year under Dr. Ries’ leadership, Minnesota State University launched three interdisciplinary professional science master’s degree programs. The three new programs include Geographic Information Sciences, Manufacturing Engineering Technology, and Information Security and Risk Management. Additionally, the University is in the early stages of developing a PSM in Health Informatics. In the first four years that Dr. Ries provided administrative oversight for the Research and Sponsored Program office, revenues doubled from 4.3 Million to 8.8 Million dollars. Ries is currently a professional affiliate of the Council of Graduate Schools, Council of Undergraduate Research, National Council of University Research Administrators and the National Professional Science Master’s Association. He also serves as a member of the inaugural PSMCAS advisory group.
Dr. Ries served as Chair of the Department of Psychology. While chair he supported the development of the Psy.D in school psychology and also contributed significantly to the development of the service abroad initiative in San Pedro, Belize. The Belize initiative became a university wide opportunity for graduate and undergraduate students alike. Before serving as chair, Ries was the Clinical Training Director for the MA in clinical psychology. He holds a B.S. degree from Oklahoma Christian University in Psychology, a M.A. in counseling psychology from the University of Central Oklahoma, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in clinical psychology from Oklahoma State University.
Inge Wefes, Ph.D. (-2017)