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New Year, New Faculty

September 06, 2019

Lasell University welcomes three new full-time faculty members and a visiting professor to its community this semester.

Leanna Farnam, assistant professor of forensic science, will serve as chair of the Applied Forensic Science program. Farnam earned her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Simmons University and her Master of Science in Forensic Science from Boston University. She has worked as a DNA analyst, criminalist, and crime scene investigator for the Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab; a researcher with the United States Department of Defense to develop rapid forensic DNA technology; and as head of the genetics laboratory at Brigham and Women's Hospital. She is currently a volunteer consultant for the New England Innocence Project.

Kellie Wallace, assistant professor of criminal justice, received her PhD in criminal justice and criminology from UMass Lowell. Her doctoral studies focused on the criminalization of mental illness and the intersection of the criminal justice and mental health systems. She has worked as a clinical therapist in the Greater Boston area and is also a veterinary technician. Wallace's current research focuses on the experiences of adult defendants with intellectual disabilities, police crisis intervention training, substance use and addiction, and veterinary forensic science and animal cruelty.

Nickki Pearce Dawes joined the Lasell University community in July as Director of the Center for Community-Based Learning and Internship Programs, as well as an associate professor of psychology. Pearce Dawes earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Jackson State University, and her MA and PhD in Clinical-Community Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Pearce Dawes arrived at Lasell from a recent appointment at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, where she was a senior research fellow in the Center for Social Development and Education, as well as an assistant professor of psychology.

Julia Khodor is a visiting instructor of biology who recently taught at Bridgewater State University. Khodor received bachelor's degrees in biology and math with computer science from MIT. Her PhD is from the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, with a focus on work in both theoretical and laboratory aspects of biological computing. She engaged in postdoctoral work in science education, and is currently focused on incorporating insights from cognitive science into course design to improve student outcomes.