Training and Talent Development Faculty

Elliot Lasson, Ph.D. | Program Director

Ph.D., I/O Psychology, Wayne State University
M.A., I/O 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 I/O Psychology master’s program 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.

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.

Zane Berge, Ph.D. | Professor of Education

Ph.D., Michigan State University
B.S., Rochester Institute of Technology
Certification in Distance Education, Pennsylvania State University

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Dr. Berge has been affiliated with the LAPT (previously known as ISD) program since 1995. He served as the director for the Training Systems Graduate Programs through 2001. Previously, he directed the Center for Teaching and Technology at Georgetown University, where he also worked as the Assistant Director for the Academic Computer Center. Dr. Berge’s chief research interests are related to distance education and online learning. He is a prolific and widely published author of books and journal articles on these topics. Recent publications include Virtual schools: Planning for success. (2005); Sustaining distance training: Integrating learning technologies into the fabric of the enterprise (2001); Wired Together: Computer-Mediated Communication in K-12, Volumes 1-4 (1998); and Distance Training: How Innovative Organizations are Using Technology to Maximize Learning and Meet Business Objectives (1998).

In 1999, Dr. Berge was honored with the Charles A. Wedemeyer Award for Distinguished Scholarship and Publication by the University Continuing Education Association.

Phone: 410-455-2306
Web site:

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, 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.

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. 

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