Seton Hall University

Annual Faculty Convocation 2021  

Amidst pomp, regalia and the University bagpipers, Seton Hall held its Annual Faculty Convocation, a special event in which the University welcomes new faculty and recognizes faculty being honored for promotions and tenure.

Held virtually in 2020 because of the pandemic, the 2021 Faculty Convocation marked a return to campus and was held in Jubilee Hall.  

Albert B. Hakim Faculty Service Award

Honoring the life and legacy of Professor Albert Hakim, who passed away at the age of 101 last month, the Faculty Senate chose Professor Jonathan Farina for this year’s Albert B. Hakim Faculty Service Award, which was presented by Faculty Senate Chair, Professor Mary Balkun.  

The award “expresses the University's grateful appreciation and high regard for members of the Seton Hall community who have served beyond measure with selfless dedication and high distinction. The medal bears the honored name of Albert B. Hakim to commemorate his exemplary and extraordinary sixty-two years of dedication and service to Seton Hall University as a professor, dean, colleague and friend.”  

Farina is Associate Professor of English and Special Advisor to the Provost for Strategy Implementation, in which capacity he is responsible for realizing key aspects of the University’s Strategic Plan. Farina also co-chairs the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee with Dr. Monica Burnette and served on the Faculty Senate from 2014 to 2021, with two consecutive stints as Executive Secretary and then three consecutive terms as Senate Chair, representing the faculty on numerous strategic planning and pandemic contingency committees.

Remarks from President Nyre

President Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D., addressed the audience, expressing his “heartfelt gratitude and admiration” for the Faculty of Seton Hall for its cooperation, flexibility and dedication to the students of Seton Hall during the course of the pandemic. 

“Your cooperation and flexibility were key to executing a successful pandemic year. You informed and supported efforts to adjust the academic calendar. You adapted to HyFlex with speed and skill. You are animating Harvest Our Treasures as it leads us to new levels of distinction. Most importantly, you continue to show our students that Seton Hall cares for them as whole and unique individuals — not merely as academic learners.” 

Reiterating the extraordinary accomplishment of faculty and administrators “serving as full partners in leading Seton Hall to the academic year we have only begun to create,” President Nyre noted that this year the University “welcomed one of the largest, most qualified and most diverse freshman cohorts in history.”

Academic and Institutional Vision 

Traditionally, the Faculty Convocation serves as a platform for the president to express again the academic and institutional vision of the University. President Nyre adhered to the tradition and shared key components of the University’s strategy to “ensure Seton Hall takes its rightful place as a foremost Catholic university.” Stressing the need to further invest in the academy and ensure its continued health through shared governance and “continued improvement in instructional investments,” President Nyre listed a number of strategic initiatives slated for launch this year that will “allow us to fully realize the academic vision so carefully and thoughtfully crafted by you, our faculty.”

President Nyre said,

This year we will:

  1. Begin the processes to conduct a comprehensive compensation study.
  2. Deploy support for grant attainment and research.
  3. Advance interdisciplinarity, investments in instruction and research.
  4. Further new and compelling academic programs and academies.
  5. Diversify our faculty and administration and advance our University-wide diversity, equity and inclusion agenda.
  6. Deploy the bolstered University advising model developed last year while enhancing the roles of career advisors to increase retention, graduation and career outcomes.
  7. Deliver on our Catholic educational mission and college affordability agenda.
  8. Continue building our campuses for the future.
  9. Raise needed resources to support our plans. 
  10. And God willing, win more than one Big East championship, and bring an NCAA title home to South Orange.

New Faculty at Seton Hall

Arts & Sciences 

  • Shajina Anand, Ph.D.
    Mathematics & Computer Science
    Dr. Shajina Anand is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science who specializes in Authentication in Cloud Computing. 
  • Maureen Coyle, Ph.D.
    Dr. Maureen Coyle’s research focuses on how computer-mediated communication affects impression formation and relationship development.
  • Mario DeFranco, Ph.D.
    Mathematics & Computer Science
  • Felipe Lopez, Ph.D.
    Political Science
    Dr. Felipe H. Lopez is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Affairs and the Program in Latin American and Latino/a Studies.
  • Mitchell Sitnick, Ph.D.
    Dr. Mitchell Sitnick teaches courses centered on molecular biology and physiology. His research looks at the changes in molecular pathways during aging, obesity and exercise.
  • Marylynn Snyder, Ph.D.|
    An Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology, Dr. Marylynn Snyder’s research has focused on eukaryotic DNA replication as well as breast cancer metastasis and molecular mechanisms that contribute to malaria pathogenesis and liver infection.
  • Kristen Stives, Ph.D.
    Sociology Anthropology & Social Work
    Dr. Kristen Stives joins the faculty in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology,
    Social Work and Criminal Justice. Her research and teaching interests focus on criminology, deviance, bullying, and corrections.

Education and Human Services

  • Manuel Gonzalez, Ph.D.
    Trained as an industrial-organizational psychologist, Dr. Gonzalez is an Assistant Professor. His research interests include how emotions influence various social and organizational processes, organizational justice, applicant reactions, and distraction in the workplace.
  • M. Cristina Cruza-Guet, Ph.D. 
    A former lecturer at the Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Cruza-Guet is a new Assistant Professor in the Professional Counseling and Family Therapy Programs, where she has been teaching as adjunct faculty since Fall 2019. 
  • Paul Garton, Ph.D.
    Dr. Paul Garton is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Quantitative Methods in the
    Educational Leadership, Management and Policy department. His research focuses on higher education and economic development.


  • Nora Roan, DNP, RN, APN
    Graduate Programs
    An Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurse with a clinical practice in acute care behavioral health, Roan has more than 40 years of experience and returns to Seton Hall as an Assistant Professor after having served as an adjunct. 

Health and Medical Sciences

  • Jessica Dunn, PT, DPT, GCS
    Physical Therapy
    Dr. Jessica Dunn is a physical therapist with 21 years of experience in the post-acute environment. Since 2009 she has been a leader and advocate for the Genesis Rehab Services student program, where she has worked closely with SHMS students and faculty facilitating clinical education placements.
  • Julia M. Guzmán, Ed.D, OTD, OTR/L
    Occupational Therapy
    Dr. Julia M. Guzmán, Dr. Guzmán holds a Doctor of Education (Ed.D) degree in Movement Science and Occupational Therapy from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Guzmán uses quantitative methods including classical test theory and Rasch methods to explore emergent areas of occupational therapy practice.

Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology

  • Father Pawel Tomczyk, Ph.D.
    Ordained as a priest in 2015, Father Tomczyk serves on the academic faculty and the formation faculty of Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology, and assists in the work of evangelization at St. Paul Inside the Walls.

Law School

  • Sara Gras, J.D., M.L.I.S.
    Law School
    Professor Gras is an Associate Professor and Executive Director of the Peter W. Rodino, Jr. Law
    Library Center for Information & Technology. She teaches Technology for Evolving Legal Practice, and lectures on a variety of legal research topics.
  • Eugene D. Mazo, J.D., Ph.D.
    Law School
    Eugene D. Mazo is a nationally recognized scholar of election law. Professor Mazo’s research focuses on voting rights, redistricting, campaign finance, and the regulation of democracy, both in the United States and around the world. 
  • Michael Granne, J.D.
    Law School
    Professor Granne specializes in international litigation and arbitration and international business law. He has taught various international law and litigation-related courses, including Civil Procedure, International Business Transactions, International Law and International Litigation and Arbitration.

University Libraries

  • Matthew Bolin, MIS
    University Library
    Matthew Bolin is the new Acquisitions and Metadata Librarian for Seton Hall Libraries. Prior to Seton Hall, for more than a decade Bolin was the Assistant Director for Acquisitions at the Research Library of the American Museum of Natural History.

Military Science

  • Lt. Col. Thomas Darrow
    Lt. Col. Darrow comes to Seton Hall from the 2nd Battalion, 315th Brigade Engineer Battalion at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.

Categories: Campus Life

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