Honors Program Staff


Avery Plaw

Associate Professor of Political Science; Director of the University Honors Program
Ph.D. McGill University

Professor Plaw specializes in political theory and international relations, with a particular focus on strategic studies. Before arriving at the UMass Dartmouth he received a two-year fellowship from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC) to pursue research at New York University. He published a book in 2008 entitled Targeting Terrorists: A License to Kill? in Ashgate’s Ethics and Global Politics series, and he's currently co-editing a collected volume entitled the Metamorphosis of War (Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press). He has also edited a collected volume concerned with managing the challenges of philosophical and cultural pluralism entitled Frontiers of Diversity: Explorations in Contemporary Pluralism (2005).  Prof. Plaw has published 14 peer reviewed articles and chapters, and in 2008 he won the American Political Science Association’s Wilson Carey McWilliams prize. His book Targeting Terrorists was short-listed (with two other books) for Best Book of the Year in International Relations by the Canadian Political Science Association. He was selected for a 2009 Chancellor Award for Research and he has received a Joseph P. Healey Grant, in collaboration with Professor Brian Williams of the History Department, from the University of Massachusetts.

Telephone: 508-999-8840

  image of Dr. Robinson, people page, Honors

Robin Robinson

Associate Professor of Sociology and Crime and Justice Studies ; Associate Director of the University Honors Program

Professor Robinson’s work in the US and UK includes a social history of the transportation and transformation of 5000+ convict women and girls shipped from Britain to the American colonies in the 17th and 18th C, sold as unfree labor, and economic and social legacies of their bondage; this project is in collaboration with Professor Barry Godfrey, University of Liverpool.  At the University of Manchester, Professor David Gadd and she are working within psychoanalytic constructs of annihilation anxiety and crime, and with Dr. Jo Deakin, women’s desistance from crime. Work with Professor Loraine Gelsthorpe at University of Cambridge approaches, psychoanalytically, questions of gendered perceptions of community care for girls in England and Wales, contrasting liberal reforms and concerns about moral dangers of the 1960s/70s with policy about girls and care in the 2000s, compared to concurrent policy changes and political dynamics in the US. She has consulted and lectured in Ireland and the UK on matters of vicarious traumatization amongst anti-violence workers.  Recent studies, publications, conference papers and other work explore relational violence amongst rural adolescents, vicarious traumatization amongst domestic violence workers, a call for policy reforms in state practices concerning marginalized violent girls, and holistic approaches to teaching about trauma. Other work in progress includes literary case studies for critical analysis of gendered human rights discourses, and expectations of girls’ behaviors as they relate to gendered dynamics of virtue and personhood.

In addition to extensive academic service, Professor Robinson is active in many public service roles that include board memberships in health, youth advocacy, and other non-profit agencies and organizations.

Telephone: 508-999-8788


Brian Ayotte

Assistant Professor of Psychology; Communications Director of the University Honors Program

Professor Ayotte is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He is also an adjunct faculty member of Center on Aging at Hebrew SeniorLife, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School. His research focuses primarily on the role of individual characteristics and interpersonal relationships in health and health behaviors throughout the life span. Prof. Ayotte has published over 16 peer reviewed articles and contributed to several book chapters.

Telephone: 508-999-9206


Cindy Pisapia

Administrative Assistant for the University Honors Program

Cindy Pisapia has been at UMass Dartmouth for 25 years. During that time, she has worked for the College of Visual and Performing Arts, the Center for Marine and Science Technology, and for the last 14 years, she has worked for the Honors Program.

Telephone: 508-999-8820, Fax: 508-910-6541


Honors Council Student Directors


Kiley Alpaugh

Student Director








Francis Ndicu

Associate Student Director


 Honors Coordinators


College of Arts and Science


Cristina Mehrtens, Associate Professor, History and Women's & Gender Studies Departments

Office:  Liberal Arts 312

Phone: 508-999-8303



Social Sciences

Elizabeth Richardson, Assistant Professor, Psychology

Office: Liberal Arts 387A

Phone: 508-910-6954



Natural Sciences

Guillermo Paz-y-Mino-C, Assistant Professor, Biology

Office: Science and Engineering, Room: 331 A

Phone: 508-999-8226



Charlton College of Business

David Burke, First Year Coordinator and Full Time Lecturer, Decision and Information Sciences

Charlton College of Business, Room: 321

Phone: 508-999-8844


College of Engineering

Amit Tandon, Professor, Physics

Office: Science and Engineering, Room: 208A

Phone: 508-999-8357


College of Nursing

Kristen Sethares, Associate Professor and PhD Program Director, Adult Nursing

Office: Dion, Room: 308 B

Phone: 508-999-9148


College of Visual and Performing Arts

Deborah Carlson, Professor, Artisanry

Office: Star Store (715 Purchase Street, New Bedford), Room 223

Phone: 508-999-8916