I/O Psychology Faculty

Elliot Lasson, Ph.D. | Professor of the Practice and Graduate Program Director

Ph.D., Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Wayne State University
M.A., Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Wayne State University
B.A., Psychology, UMBC

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Dr. Elliot Lasson is Professor of the Practice and Graduate Program Director of the Master’s of I/O Psychology at UMBC, where he has been teaching since 2009. He has over two decades of overall experience in teaching and mentoring aspiring I/O and HR professionals. Some of his research and applied interests are generational cohort differences in the workplace, the recruitment-selection process, and performance management. At UMBC, he has taught several courses including Job Analysis, Methods of Assessment, and Seminar in Applied Social Psychology. Dr. Lasson is often called upon by his students for career guidance and the facilitation of internship and employment opportunities. He has also given popular workshops on behalf of the Universities at Shady Grove Career & Internship Services Center on topics such as workplace professionalism and preparing for job interviews.

Dr. Lasson is a Human Resources professional with considerable experience in designing, validating, and implementing recruitment and staffing solutions. Elliot has led various organizational development, training, and change management initiatives and combines solution-oriented approach with a strategic “big picture” approach.

Elliot is also an advisor to organizations with Lasson Talent Solutions. In this capacity, he supports for-profit, nonprofit, and public sector organizations around the world. Previously, he served as Executive Director of HR for Joblink of Maryland, a nonprofit organization supporting the employment objectives of members of the Baltimore Jewish community. His blog on workplace and career topics Elliot@Work has a wide readership nationally and he has been invited locally on WBAL Radio and Fox 45 to chat about the job market.

Dr. Lasson’s specialties and interests include talent management, staffing, assessment workforce planning, measurement, training, assessment, coaching, leadership development, performance management, organizational development, employment law, and interviewing.

Dr. Lasson received his B.A. from UMBC in Psychology with a certificate in Personnel Administration and went on to earn his M.A. and Ph.D. in I/O Psychology from Wayne State University in Michigan. He also holds a Bachelor’s in Talmudic Law from Ner Israel College in Baltimore. Elliot is a two-term past President of the Mid-Atlantic Personnel Assessment Consortium. In 2009, he was appointed to the by Governor Martin O’Malley to Maryland’s Workforce Investment Board and served for two terms in that capacity. He is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources by HRCI and SCP by SHRM. In addition, he is certified in Critical Incident Stress Management by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation.

Elissa Abod, Ph.D. | Lecturer and Assistant Program Director

Ph.D., Industrial/Organizational Psychology, George Mason University
M.A., Industrial Psychology, Fairleigh Dickinson University
B.A., Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University

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Dr. Elissa Abod is a full-time lecturer in the Master’s of I/O Psychology Program at UMBC. She has over 15 years of applied research experience in the Washington, DC area. Clients include the US Army, the FBI, the FAA, and state law enforcement agencies. At Defense Logistics Agency, Dr. Abod provided organizational development support to senior leadership.

Dr. Abod’s primary areas of expertise are in the areas of job analysis, test development and validation, leadership development, organizational climate, survey research and design, and training and curriculum development. Her human resources background has focused on recruitment, onboarding, and training. Dr. Abod has a special interest in conflict resolution.

In addition to her expertise in I/O psychology, Dr. Abod has been teaching undergraduate psychology courses at local Maryland colleges since 2009. She has also taught graduate online courses in human resources management.

Dr. Abod earned her B.A. in Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University. She received an M.A. in Industrial Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, NJ. Once she settled in Maryland, she obtained a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from George Mason University. She was also a fellow at the Army Research Institute.

Dr. Abod is a member of the American Psychological Association, Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and Society for the Teaching of Psychology. She holds a certificate in conflict resolution and mediation from Montgomery College.

April Davis

April Davis, M.S.A. (ABD) | Adjunct Instructor

M.S.A., Human Resource Management, Trinity University
B.A., Human Relations, Trinity University

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April Davis is a human capital expert with more than twenty years of experience in the public and private sectors. Currently at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), as the Director of the Classification and Assessment Policy, she manages Governmentwide policy in the areas of position classification, qualifications, competency modeling, personnel assessment and non-pay FLSA policy. She leads governmentwide policy for designing, developing, and promulgating merit-based employment policies, and programs that Federal agencies use to recruit, assess, hire, train, and develop high quality employees from diverse backgrounds. At OPM she serves as a human capital and industrial/organizational technical expert and authority for government wide human capital management utilizing subject matter expertise to advise HR professionals and executive leadership government-wide on laws, regulations, policies, standards, and procedures. This includes interpretation of Federal regulations, laws, statues, and other mandates, as well as leading the implementation of legislative proposals, executive orders, and governmentwide initiatives.

She earned various certifications in Human Resources Management including the Professional Human Resources Certification and the Human Resources Management Generalist Certification from the Society of Human Resources Management, the Human Resources Generalist Certification from George Mason University, and the Leadership for a Democratic Society (LDS) program at the Federal Executive Institute/OPM. Her experience also includes the development and facilitation of workplace training for human capital practitioners/leadership, industrial/organizational psychologists, hiring officials, employees, and other key stakeholder groups. She used her expertise to lead the first Federal Government-wide Hiring Event for Individuals with Disabilities. She is dedicated to improving the workplace through innovative and creative policy initiatives that promote human capital management needs and leverages diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.

In addition to her Federal experience, she taught at Trinity University in Washington, D.C. and the Prince George’s Community College. She is a member of several professional associations including the Society for Human Resource Management, the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychologists, and the American Psychological Association. She earned her B.A. from Trinity University in Human Relations with a minor in Business Administration. She also earned her M.S.A. in Human Resources Management from Trinity University and is completing her doctoral dissertation at Walden University.

William Farmer

William L. Farmer, Ph.D. | Adjunct Faculty

Ph.D., Quantitative Psychology/Psychometrics, University of Oklahoma
M.S., Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Western Illinois University
B.S., Biology, McKendree College

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Dr. William ‘Bill’ Farmer has a rich background in both internal and external consulting, and conducting and directing personnel research for military, public, and private sector organizations for 30 years. He currently for serves as the Director of Testing, Measurement, Certification, and Program Analysis for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Office of Regulatory Affairs. In this role he is responsible developing the Office’s measurement strategy and aligning with the organization’s mission. With a team of industrial psychologists, certification professionals, and project management personnel, he leads FDA’s personnel certification programs and learning evaluation initiatives.

Prior to joining the FDA he served as the Navy’s technical representative to the Department of Defense for enlisted entrance and classification testing and within the Navy as technical adviser on the enlisted advancement examination process. Additionally he served as the program manager for the Navy’s non-cognitive testing initiative and Chair of the Institutional Review Board for the Bureau of Naval Personnel.

Between two tours with the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Bill was an external consultant whose clients included companies in the service, manufacturing, and retail industries. Prior to this he worked as an internal consultant, led the development, administration, and maintenance efforts of the talent management process and system for the largest operating unit of FedEx. While at FedEx he also ran the entry testing program for line airline pilots. He worked for the Federal Aviation Administration (air traffic controller and airway facilities selection) and United Van Lines, the leading household goods relocation transportation company. Though his experience touches on areas as diverse as leader development (including executive coaching), training, and performance management, his primary focus has been in the areas of selection and psychometrics.

He has served as adjunct graduate faculty, teaching courses in industrial psychology, employee selection, compensation, research, statistics, and advanced psychometrics, as well as committee work on doctoral and master’s theses. He is a member of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), and the Personnel Testing Council of Metropolitan Washington (PTC-MW). He served as the founding chair, 2012-2016, of SIOP’s Committee on Local I-O Group Relations; and founding charter member of Memphis Industrial-Organizational Psychologists (MIOP). He received his PhD in Quantitative Psychology/Psychometrics from the University of Oklahoma.

Robin Jaffe Goebel

Robin Jaffe Goebel, M.S., GPHR | Adjunct Instructor

M.S., Organizational Development, Johns Hopkins University
B.A., Speech Communications, The Pennsylvania State University

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Robin Goebel is currently Vice President of Human Resources and Administration at Dexis Consulting Group, an international professional services company which promote stability, resilience, and prosperity through social and peacekeeping programs across agriculture and economic growth, stabilization, and security sector assistance committed to helping develop the best talent while building a culture of engagement, agility, and innovation. Before joining Dexis, Robin served as Human Resources Director for Chemonics International, where she implemented a performance management system and company-wide professional development plans. She has extensive experience leading organizational transformations and has managed the unique staffing, legal, and operational demands of global international development organizations, including AMIDEAST and CHF International. 

Robin is a former Adjunct Professor at Trinity University where she taught classes in human resources and organizational development.  She received her MS from Johns Hopkins University in Organizational Development and her BA from The Pennsylvania State University in Speech Communications. 

Dr. Rache; Grice

Rachel Grice, Ph.D. | Adjunct Instructor

Ph.D., Human-Centered Computing, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
M.S., Human-Centered Computing, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
B.S., Psychology, Minor in Neuroscience, University of Maryland, College Park

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Rachel Grice is an Engineering Psychologist at the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), where she manages a range of programs and research activities to improve railroad safety.  She is interested in applying human factors engineering principles to transportation technologies.  Specifically, her research seeks to better understand how human cognitive, visual, and auditory capabilities impact interaction with machine interfaces in rail.  Her dissertation research, which has been accepted for publication, sought to understand how head-up displays and text-to-speech technologies could reduce cognitive and visual distraction in locomotive engineers. Prior to joining FRA, Dr. Grice was a clinical research associate for the Preventive Cardiology Research Program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. 

Dr. Grice holds a Ph.D. and an M.S. in Human-Centered Computing from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience from the University of Maryland, College Park. She has written, co-authored and published several reports on her railroad research efforts, and serves on numerous federal scientific advisory boards.  She is also a member of various psychology-related professional associations, including the American Psychological Association and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

View Dr. Grice’s public LinkedIn profile. 

Rick Guzzo

Rick Guzzo, Ph.D. | Adjunct Instructor

Ph.D., Administrative Sciences, Yale University
M.A., Administrative Sciences, Yale University
B.S., Psychology, The Ohio State University

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Dr. Guzzo has extensive experience as an I/O psychologist in both academic and private settings. He was a full-time faculty member of the I/O programs in the Psychology departments of New York University and the University of Maryland. After 18 years in academe, including teaching in China for part of one year, he transitioned to Mercer, a global HR consulting company, where he engaged in research-based advisory work with client organizations on a variety of issues including performance, retention, talent development, inclusive workplaces, and workforce strategies. He helped establish and grow Mercer’s Workforce Strategy and Analytics business.

Rick has published extensively in professional research journals, including Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and Industrial Organizational Psychology. He also has published articles for general audiences in outlets such as Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, and Human Resource Management. A contributor of chapters to numerous books, he has authored or edited four books with a fifth in progress. Publication awards include the Ulrich & Lake Prize for Excellence in HRM Scholarship and the Academy of Management’s Organizational Behavior Division Award for Outstanding Practitioner Publication. He also has provided testimony to Congress on workforce issues and served as a technical advisor to the World Economic Forum.

Rick is a co-founder of the Workforce Sciences Institute, a research organization, and he engages in consulting work as a solo practitioner. He is a fellow of SIOP (Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology).

Darrell L. Harvey

Darrell L. Harvey, Ph.D.  | Adjunct Faculty

Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University
M.S., Pennsylvania State University 
B.A., Hampton University 

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Dr. Darrell Harvey is an industrial-organizational psychologist with over 30 years of experience as an organizational consultant, executive coach, and leadership/team development facilitator. He leads the Ascendant Leadership and Change Group, a consulting firm that provides organizational consulting and training services. His work has included leadership development/executive coaching, organizational assessment and change, team improvement, conflict management, strategic planning, diversity-equity-inclusion, and the design and validation of personnel decision systems.

Dr. Harvey’s career includes serving as a past Senior Fellow at the Center for Excellence in Public Leadership (CELP) at George Washington University for approximately twenty years. At CELP, he was a core faculty member in multiple executive development programs, using action learning and other techniques to strengthen the capabilities of high-potential managers (e.g., leadership, policy analysis, strategic change, etc.) Before starting his independent consulting practice, Dr. Harvey spent over eight years providing internal consulting and human resources research services at leading private sector companies (Merrill Lynch, Prudential). In this capacity, he developed and evaluated personnel decision systems and helped lead large-scale employee survey efforts. He also has over ten years of experience advising partnerships between small/emerging firms and large government contracting companies (NCR, IBM, EDS, Dyncorp-International).

Jaclyn Martin Kowal

Jaclyn Martin Kowal, Ph.D. | Adjunct Faculty

Ph.D., Industrial/Organizational Psychology, University of South Florida

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Dr. Jaclyn Martin Kowal has been an adjunct instructor at UMBC-Shady Grove since Fall 2023, teaching Research Methods and Statistical Analyses. She is a Senior Consultant and Team Lead at Personnel Decisions Research Institute (PDRI) with experience in talent management and consulting spanning the private sector, government agencies, and military organizations. Her experience includes technical expertise and managing work in job analysis; assessment development and validation; performance measurement; survey design, development, and analysis; assessment center design and administration; training development and evaluation; and game-based assessment design, development, and validation.

She earned her Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at the University of South Florida. Her dissertation focused on the utility of signal detection theory (SDT) for evaluating and understanding human detection of phishing and spear-phishing email scams. More broadly, her research interests include the intersection of technology and I/O psychology. Dr. Martin Kowal has published her research in journals, such as Human Factors and Military Psychology and has presented work at the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) and the Association for Psychological Science (APS). She currently serves as the Chair-in-Training for SIOP’s Professional Practice Committee.

Nanmathi Manian, Ph.D. | Adjunct Instructor

Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, University of Wisconsin
M.S., Developmental Psychology, University of Wisconsin

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Dr. Nanmathi Manian is a Westat Senior Study Director with 15 years of experience in research design and evaluation, focusing on children, youth, and families. She is a psychologist with in-depth knowledge of diverse content areas (child development, maternal and child mental health, and mental health services) as well as expertise in mixed-methods approaches to data collection and analyses. At Westat, she has conducted several national and international evaluations, focusing on topics such as reintegration of children from residential care facilities in Uganda, incorporation of trauma into community programs in rural and urban areas, and socio-emotional learning in classrooms across the US.

In addition, she has been a consultant for various NICHD and NIMH studies, and provided methodological expertise to students for their doctoral dissertations. Dr. Manian has delivered guest lectures at several institutions in the US and India, and has held prior adjunct teaching positions.

She received a Ph.D. and M.S. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and did a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Developmental Science at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Kristen Medley-Proctor, Ph.D. | Adjunct Instructor

Ph.D., Industrial/Organizational Psychology, George Washington University
B.A., Psychology, Hampton University

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Dr. Kristen Medley-Proctor, an adjunct instructor at UMBC Shady Grove since 2019, is currently a member of the Senior Executive Service at the Social Security Administration. Kristen entered the Federal government as an intern in 1993 and spent much of her professional career in the Human Resources/Human Capital departments within various agencies, including the Office of Personnel Management, Department of Labor, and the Department of the Interior. Over the past 20 years, Kristen has served in various capacities in support of Human Capital Management within the Federal government, including Chief Learning Officer, Associate Commissioner, Executive Director, Program Advisor, and Personnel Management Specialist. Kristen has led multiple programs and organizations charged with developing, implementing, and sustaining a robust and relevant talent management strategy. This includes training and workforce development programs, strategic workforce and succession planning programs, and programs to support target populations such as those with disabilities. She has also directed comprehensive personnel management programs, including both policy development and direct delivery of services.

Kristen received a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational psychology from the George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Hampton University. Kristen resides in Columbia, Maryland with her husband and two children.

Shari Metzger (Jurik), Ph.D. | Adjunct Instructor

Ph.D., Applied Developmental Psychology, UMBC

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Dr. Shari R. Metzger (Jurik), an adjunct instructor here at UMBC-Shady Grove since 2017, earned her Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Psychology at UMBC-main campus. Her dissertation focused on children’s math utility conceptions (how useful children think math is outside of the school context) and how those conceptions relate to their parents’ conceptions and their math achievement. More generally, Dr. Metzger’s research interests include schooling and educational development, children’s conceptions of mathematics and how those conceptions relate to motivation, home experiences, and achievement, and program evaluation.

In addition to her research, Dr. Metzger serves as a Research Analyst for Prince George’s Community College and consults with the Career Center at UMBC, primarily with their graduating student first destination data.

You can view Dr. Metzger’s public LinkedIn profile here. Dr. Metzger can be reached at smetz2@umbc.edu.

John Milatzo, Ph.D. | Adjunct Instructor

Ph.D., Educational Research and Evaluation, Virginia Tech
M.A., Industrial/Organizational Psychology, George Washington University
B.A., Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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John Milatzo is a human capital consultant in private practice. His specialty areas are data analysis, survey research, program evaluation, human performance improvement, and employee assessment. His professional experience includes full-time positions as a Personnel Research Psychologist at the National Security Agency and U.S. Postal Service; Sr. Research Psychologist with Monster Government Solutions; and Sr. Data Analyst at NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center and the Department of Homeland Security. Prior to joining the UMBC I/O program, he held teaching positions at American University (Methods of Problem Solving), Johns Hopkins School of Professional Studies (Quantitative and Qualitative Methods). He currently teaches Program Evaluation, Survey Design and Development, Human Performance Technology in the UMBC I/O program.

Dr. Milatzo holds a Ph. D. in Educational Research and Evaluation from Virginia Tech, an M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from George Washington University, and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a member of several professional associations including the American Evaluation Association and the International Society for Performance Improvement.

You can view Dr. Milatzo’s public LinkedIn profile here.

Theodore H. (Ted) Rosen, Ph.D. | Founding Graduate Program Director and Adjunct Faculty Emeritus

Ph.D., Industrial/Organizational Psychology, George Washington University
M.S., Experimental Psychology, Temple University

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Dr. Rosen served as the UMBC Psychology Department’s Associate Program Director, and Director of the MPS: Industrial/Organizational Psychology Program from 2008 until 2016. His previous experience includes serving on the faculty of the Management Department, and served as the Director of the Program in Organizational Behavior and Development at The George Washington University School of Business. Dr. Rosen instructed graduate level courses in the MBA, Project Management (distance and classroom formats) Management Information Systems, and the Executive Management Information Systems Programs.

Dr. Rosen holds a doctorate degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and has over 30 years management consulting, contracting and research experience, including service at US Postal Service Headquarters and the US Office of Personnel Management Headquarters. He completed international executive development assignments in Romania, Egypt and Albania and continues to present management development workshops for visiting international executives in Washington, DC. Dr. Rosen also presents lectures and shares research at professional conferences, both in the US and abroad. He continues his work as the Principal Consultant of his own firm. In 2016, Dr. Rosen was recognized for his contributions to the field throughout his career by the Personnel Testing Council of Metropolitan Washington, receiving its Distinguished Service Award.

Edward Rudow, Ph.D. | Adjunct Instructor

Ph.D., Organizational Psychology from Colorado State University
M.S., Consumer Psychology, Colorado State University
B.A., Psychology, Rutgers University

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Dr. Rudow is the President of BTR inc. a behavioral sciences management consulting and training firm that has been in business since 1987. Spending the majority of his professional time teaching undergraduate and graduate classes in psychology and business at UMBC and Washington Adventist University, Dr. Rudow still is active in consulting and public speaking.

While his consulting experience has spanned many industries, he has extensive involvement in the financial and travel industries having consulted to clients in both, was director of organizational development for two financial institutions and was a principle in a local travel management company. He is an accomplished public speaker having presented at numerous organization and company meetings to audiences as large as two to three thousand. The topics are generally related to business and people management, but often on individual growth, stress management, and successful living.

Dr. Rudow holds a B.A. in Psychology from Rutgers University, M.S.in Consumer Psychology and a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from Colorado State University. In his early career, he published in professional journals and co-authored and edited the book Crisis Centers a Guide to Beginning and Operating.

Ethan Sanders, M.S. | Adjunct Instructor

M.S., Applied Behavior Science, Johns Hopkins University

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Mr. Ethan S. Sanders, an adjunct professor here at UMBC-Shady Grove since 2011, is a Fellow in ICF’s Human Capital Services group. In this role, he serves as a thought-leader in the practice of Human Performance Improvement. He has provided human performance consulting services to clients in the public, non-profit, military, and private sectors for nearly 20 years. Prior to joining ICF Mr. Sanders was president and CEO of Sundial Learning Systems and Director of Organizational Development for the US Navy’s Human Performance Center. Prior to these positions, Mr. Sanders was manager of instructional design for the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD). While at ASTD, he led the research and writing of two major competency studies, and redesigned several of ASTD’s courses.

He is the co-author of Handbook for Workplace Learning, Models for Learning Technologies, Models for Workplace Learning and Performance, Performance Intervention Maps: 36 Strategies for Solving Your Organization’s Problems, HPI Essential, ASTD Distance Learning Yearbook, and the ASTD course “Human Performance Improvement in the Workplace.” Mr. Sanders teaches several of ASTD’s courses offered through public and corporate seminars. He holds a master’s degree in applied behavior science from Johns Hopkins University.

You can view Mr. Sanders‘ public LinkedIn profile here.

John W. Sigmon

John W. Sigmon, M.P.H. | Adjunct Instructor

M.P.H., University of North Carolina
B.A., Western Illinois University

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John is a visionary human resources and business innovation strategist with successes across for profit, not for profit, and public sector organizations. John is the Founder and CEO of Sigmon Leadership Solutions a boutique consulting and executive coaching practice. He previously served as the Chief Human Resources Office at AARP.

John is a frequent contributor and speaker on a variety of topics including, “The Modern HR Environment”, “Employer Branding and HR”, “Workforce Engagement,” and “Driving Business Outcomes Through Analytics.” John is also the author of “The Empowered CHRO” a chapter “HR DIRECTIONS: HR leading lights on what you should know right now about leadership, engagement, technology, and growing your own world class HR career.” A volume featuring cutting edge thought leadership by top CHROs and HR/leadership consultants. With coaching certifications from Marshall Goldsmith and The International Coaching Federation, John has an exceptional reputation as a leader and coach.

John has a B.A. degree from Western Illinois University and a Masters in Health Policy and Administration degree from the University of North Carolina. John is a certified as a Senior Human Resources Professional. He is a Fellow in the American College of Health Care Executives and lives in New York with his wife Danielle.

Follow John on Twitter, on LinkedIn or at www.johnsigmon.com.

Jasmine Snyder, Ph.D. | Adjunct Instructor

Ph.D., Applied Organizational Psychology, Hofstra University

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Dr. Jasmine Snyder is an I/O Psychologist with over 10 years of experience. Her career has included developing, validating, and administering human capital solutions for selection, succession planning, leadership development, organizational effectiveness, and employee engagement. She has served as both an internal and external consultant for Fortune 500 companies and government organizations.

Dr. Snyder enjoys teaching in addition to her full-time work and has taught I/O and HRM courses at universities across the country. Her research interests include exploring the impact of cultural differences and biases in employment practices. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University, a Master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of New Haven and a Ph.D. in Applied Organizational Psychology from Hofstra University. She currently works as a Personnel Research Psychologist for the United States Secret Service

Rebecca Thompson

Rebecca Thompson, Ph.D. | Adjunct Instructor

Ph.D., Industrial Organizational Psychology, Texas A&M

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Rebecca Thompson received her Ph.D in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Texas A&M University in 2013 and has taught at the University of Baltimore, Gettysburg College, and George Mason University. Prior to this, she worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the Center for Work-Family Stress, Safety, and Health. She also taught as an instructor at the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University. She has experience working across disciplines within and outside of psychology including clinical/health, sociology and management. She has worked on multiple grant funded projects including the NSF ADVANCE research team at Texas A&M and the NIH funded Work Family & Health Network which comprises eight institutions across the United States.

Her research interests include: the relationship and facilitation of work and non-work roles, occupational health and well-being, and flexible work arrangements. She also studies personality and individual differences as well as the multiple facets of the mentoring relationship. She is a member of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, the Academy of Management, the Work and Family Researchers Network and the Society for Occupational Health Psychology. 

AJ Thurston.

AJ Thurston, Ph.D. | Adjunct Instructor

Ph.D., Industrial and Organizational Psychology, University of South Florida

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Dr. AJ Thurston is the Principal Research Scientist for military recruiting within the Department of Defense Office of People Analytics.  He manages a portfolio of nationally representative survey research in collaborative support of Service-specific enlisted headquarters recruiting commands, officer recruiting entities, and joint-Services entities as a DoD internal consultant. Dr. Thurston’s research predominantly focuses on the motivators and barriers to young adult’s interest in military service and strategies for addressing declining interest in military careers. He previously worked at Development Dimensions International and Drasgow Consulting Group.

Dr. Thurston earned his Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the University of South Florida with a specialization in quantitative methods.  His research there focused on the application of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) techniques to understand situation awareness and safety performance in the workplace, and his dissertation leveraged a SEM approach in evaluating SEM global fit indices ability to detect the suitability of the circumplex model to fit and summarize simulated vocational interest assessment data.

Within I/O psychology, Dr. Thurston maintains expertise in individual differences and their assessment, personnel decisions to include recruiting and personnel selection, statistical analysis and data visualization methods, and advancement in SEM. He has also published research in collaboration with clinical psychology peers for understanding the effects of combat exposure and high-stress military occupations on servicemembers mental health outcomes.

Most recently, Dr. Thurston served on and helped to fully establish the Military and Veterans Inclusion Committee (MVI) within the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) as the Strategy, Plans, Operations & Topics Subcommittee chair. He previously served on the SIOP Visibility Committee as the Prosocial subcommittee chair. He is also a Marine Corps infantry veteran.

Rachel Venaglia, Ph.D. | Adjunct Instructor

Ph.D., Social Psychology, University of Maryland
M.S., Social Psychology, University of Maryland
B.S., Psychology, Lafayette College

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Rachel Venaglia earned her Ph.D. in Social Psychology at the University of Maryland, College Park in May 2019. She also holds a B.S. in Psychology from Lafayette College and M.S. in Social Psychology from the University of Maryland. Her dissertation examined how people’s unique definitions of love (i.e., their love prototypes) act as a source of positive illusions in their romantic relationships, such that they see their partner’s traits, feelings, and behaviors in a way that is consistent with their definition of love, above and beyond the reality of their partner’s actual traits, feelings, and behaviors. Her research interests broadly involve understanding the ways in which interpersonal relationships and authenticity contribute to wellbeing.

Dr. Venaglia’s interests in wellness extend to her many campus leadership involvements at the University of Maryland. She is a highly active campus advocate for graduate student mental health, having led efforts in collaboration with the Dean’s Office in the Behavioral and Social Sciences College to develop strategies that proactively and reactively address graduate student needs.

Aashna Waiwood

Aashna Waiwood, Ph.D. | Adjunct Instructor

Ph.D., Industrial/Organizational Psychology, University of South Florida

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Dr. Aashna Waiwood is a new adjunct instructor at UMBC-Shady Grove starting in Fall of 2024, teaching I/O Psychology. She is a Personnel Psychologist with the United States Department of Defense, and uses her knowledge of attitudes, careers, occupational health, and statistics in conducting research on military recruiting. Before starting this role, she had prior experience teaching undergrad I/O and OHP courses, as well as some consulting work on the use of personality and cognitive testing in selection and retention.

She earned her Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at the University of South Florida in 2024. Her dissertation focused on women’s work-family identity harmonization in their postpartum return-to-work phase, and the role of remote work in this process. Her research interests more broadly fall into three buckets: (a) occupational health and well-being, (b) the work-family interface, and (c) remote work, and she has a particular interest in maternity-related work experiences. Her research has been cited over 300 times, has been published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, and she has almost two dozen conference presentations to-date. Teaching is her true passion, and she is thrilled to be working with students again!

Jeffrey Weaver, Ph.D. | Adjunct Instructor

Ph.D., Organizational Management, Capella University
M.S., Business Administration, Central Michigan University
B.S., Human Resource Management, Park University

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Dr. Jeffrey S. Weaver is a member of the Center for Human Capital Innovation (CHCI) team as a Senior Executive Consultant, where he advises clients on options and suggests ways to improve the overall agility, learning, and efficiency of the workforce. He has served in both federal agencies and contract companies where he has held the titles such as Senior Advisor to the Army Chief of Staff, Chief Human Capital Officer (CHCO), and Vice President for Human Capital. As an educator, Dr. Weaver currently supports the University of Baltimore, where he teaches both ground and online classes for the Merrick School of Business. Dr. Weaver is the Chair of the Adjunct Faculty Advisory Council, where leads the effort to enhance the support and excellence of the adjunct population. Dr. Weaver has been teaching at the collegiate level since 2007, and educating adults since 1990.

Dr. Weaver’s educational background started in 1996, while he served on Active duty for the U.S. Army, attending Park College, now known as Park University, studying Human Resources Management. He earned his graduate degree, in 2004, after attending Central Michigan University, studying Business Administration. Finally, he earned his doctorate degree in 2008, after attending Capella University, studying Organizational Management, specializing in leadership, his dissertation was entitled, Comparative Study of Leadership Competencies of the top 1% of the U.S. Army Leaders.

Dr. Weaver served 15 years on active duty for the U.S. Army separating in 2003 to pursue his civilian career. He had a few years break in service and retired from the U.S. Army Reserve in July 2016.