Social Sciences Faculty
John Lambdin, Ed.D.
Chair, Division of Social Sciences, Professor of Psychology
B.A., Lynchburg College
Ed.D., Boston University
Dr. Lambdin is a licensed psychologist who was in private practice providing psychotherapy for adults and families for more than 38 years. He has taught psychology in graduate and undergraduate schools, and served as a consulting psychologist in public and private elementary and secondary schools. He is interested in the practical application of psychology to all areas of human behavior. He is also interested in the role of humor in learning and mental health, and psychology in the media. Dr. Lambdin has been a professor at the Elms since January 2000.
Mary Brainerd, Ph.D.
Professor of Social Work
B.A., Dominican University
M.S.W., Smith College
Ph.D., Boston College
Dr. Brainerd's social work practice experience is in the areas of mental health and developmental disabilities. Her work includes individual, couples, family and group psychotherapy in private and public settings. She consults with organizations in designing research and new programs, and serves on several boards of community agencies. Her research interests focus on preparing students for culturally competent practice. She is developing curriculum models to teach cultural competency and has recently implemented a model in a local community health center. Dr. Brainerd has a strong interest in international social work and has published in this area. She participated in a faculty exchange and taught and did research in Northern Ireland. She presents at local, national, and international conferences.
Katherine Currier, J.D.
Professor and director of Paralegal and Legal Studies
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B.A., Carleton College
M.A., University of California, Berkeley
J.D., Northeastern School of Law
A nationally known leader in business and paralegal education, and author of three textbooks, including Introduction to Law for Paralegals: A Critical Thinking Approach, Professor Currier is a frequent speaker at national and regional paralegal educator meetings. For eight years she served on the board of directors of the American Association of Paralegal Educators. Professor Currier also served as a member of the American Bar Association Standing Committee's Commission on Paralegals, and for five years served as chair. She has chaired many site visits across the country evaluating paralegal programs seeking initial ABA approval or re-approval. In 2007, she was elected to the executive committee of the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), and in 2008 elected the Northeast regional representative to the IACBE board of directors. She also serves as the president of IACBE Region 1.
Christine Fay, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Sociology
B.A., Simmons College
M.B.A., Western New England College
M.A., Ph.D., University of Connecticut
Dr. Fay advocated for first-time offenders through a pre-trial diversion program before earning a business degree. Her doctoral research focused on the employment relationship, specifically on the impact of nonprofit organizations' social context on employees' evaluation process. For the past 17 years, she has taught management and sociology, coordinated internships, mentored student entrepreneurs, and served as chair of the Division of Business and Law.
Associate Professor of Social Work
B.A., Boston University
M.S.W., West Virginia University
Professor Hartblay's experience includes work in community and program planning, public welfare, community centers, mental health centers, psychiatric hospitals, and school social work. His interests include social work history, genocide studies, issues of oppression and discrimination, civil rights, social
justice issues, government and public policy, and the development of values and ethics in social work students. Professor Hartblay believes in the importance of a strong liberal arts base in the education of social work students. His courses feature literature, art, and film as part of the teaching and learning process. He is interested in international social work, and, in addition to many years of teaching at Elms College, has taught in Poland, Lithuania, and Northern Ireland. Professor Hartblay has presented at international social work conferences, and leads students on educational trips to Ireland and Poland.
Diana Lewis, Ed.D.
Professor of Psychology
B.A., Florida International University
M.S., University of Miami
Ed.D., American International College
Dr. Lewis is an educational psychologist who has been teaching both undergraduate and graduate psychology courses at Elms College for 20 years. She has worked as a reading clinician, and conducted research in the area of language-based learning disorders. Most recently, her interests have been in school bullying and mental health. Dr. Lewis is also a faculty advisor to the Active Minds Club to promote mental health awareness on campus.
Cathy Machak '98
Lecturer in Social Work
B.S.W., Elms College
M.S.W., Springfield College
Cathy Machak practiced social work in mental health settings, and is a consultant on trauma. Her area of interests are in working with non-traditional students, where she encourages students to "reach high, plan for success, and not quit in setting goals because a goal is only a dream if you do not have a plan." Cathy is often a storyteller in the classroom, inspiring students with stories that she believes put flesh and blood on skeletal principles of social work. Her research interests are spirituality and healing, and she has spoken at international conferences on this topic.
Jane Miliotis, J.D.
Lecturer and Director, Paralegal and Legal Studies
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B.A., Brandeis University
J.D., Suffolk University Law School
M.S., Boston University
Prior to becoming the director of the paralegal and legal studies program, Attorney Miliotis served as an adjunct in both the legal studies and business management programs. Before coming to the Elms, she taught legal writing and research at Suffolk University Law School. In addition to teaching, she served as in-house counsel for a cable television company, a grant writer and liaison for an educational consortium, and an associate in a firm concentrating in the areas of personal injury, real estate, corporation, and probate law. Attorney Miliotis also assisted in the handling of complex business and tort litigation.
Caroline Murray, J.D.
Assistant Professor of Paralegal and Legal Studies
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B.A., Elms College
J.D., Barry University School of Law, Orlando, Florida
In addition to being a practicing local attorney and full-time instructor, Professor Murray coordinates the paralegal and legal studies internships, and is the faculty advisor to the student Paralegal Association. She has international training in law as well as a strong background in business management. Professor Murray is active in local government and the community through her association with the St. Thomas More Society, Junior Achievement, the American Bar Association, the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Hampden County Bar Association, the West Springfield Rotary Club, the West Springfield Council on Aging, the West Springfield Community Preservation Committee, Holyoke Community College advisory board, and the Putnam Vocational Technical High School criminal justice advisory board.
Maureen O'Connor Holland '85
Assistant Professor of Social Work
B.S., College of Our Lady of the Elms
M.S.W., Springfield College
Maureen Holland's social work practice experience is in the areas of administration, child welfare, maternal child health, and disabilities. She is interested in making higher education accessible to traditionally underserved communities. She serves in an administrative role at New North Citizens' Council, Inc., a community-based agency in the North End of Springfield. Her research interests center around Hispanic families, maternal child health, and disparities. Maureen is a doctoral student at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work, where she focuses on infant feeding decisions.
Alice Perry, J.D., Ph.D
Assistant Professor and Director, Criminal Justice
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B.A., Western New England College
J.D., Washburn University School of Law
Ph.D., Northeastern University
As a practicing attorney, Dr. Perry worked as a labor lawyer for an international labor union representing the interests of police and correctional officers. Thereafter, she prosecuted major felony cases, including drug trafficking, armed robbery, sexual assault, homicide, arson, and other violent crimes. She worked with state and federal law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Her doctoral work addressed leadership and ethics issues, and police management. Dr. Perry was invited to present her research to the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and she authored an article for that organization's publication. Her current research, presented at the New England Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, focuses on leadership issues within law enforcement.
Jennifer Rivers, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology
B.A., Purdue University Calumet
M.A., Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Ph.D., Saint Louis University
Dr. Rivers is an experimental social psychologist with research interests in basic processes related to self-concept change, social influence (e.g., cognitive dissonance, and reactions to feedback about the self), and prejudice. She has worked for the School of Public Health at Saint Louis University conducting research on public response to emergency health directives related to bioterrorism events. Dr. Rivers teaches courses in research methods, statistics for the behavioral sciences, general psychology, and social psychology. She is also advisor to the Psychology Club.