Meet the Dean’s Office Staff
Pratima Prasad, Interim Dean
A teacher-scholar and an academic administrator, Pratima Prasad joined the university in 2002 as a faculty member in the Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (MLLC) Department. In this capacity, she taught a wide range of French courses, from introductory offerings to advanced electives in her area of expertise, nineteenth-century French literature and culture. Pratima guided the MLLC Department as Chairperson from 2011 to 2013, and was Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) for several years before assuming her current position as Interim Dean of the college.
Pratima has served in many leadership roles over the course of her career at UMass Boston. She chaired the Pre-Law Committee (a collaboration between CLA and the Office of Career Services and Interships), directed CLA’s Undergraduate Research Portfolio, co-chaired the Junior Faculty Mentoring Taskforce, and sat on the Provost’s Academic Policy Group. She has brought her passion for student success and faculty development to each of these roles. Her noteworthy service record earned her the UMass Boston Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Service in 2022. She elaborates upon her vision for faculty service and academic citizenship in this short speech (time stamp 40:11). Pratima is also very active in her discipline. Currently, Pratima is the Vice President of the George Sand Association. She participated for a number of years on the Editorial Board of the Nineteenth-Century French Studies journal and the Executive Board of the Eastern Massachusetts Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of French. She sees her Deanship as an extension of her service to the university and to the broader profession. As a strategic advocate for the liberal arts, she continues to be committed to initiatives that are aimed at supporting faculty in the Humanities, the Social Sciences, the Arts, and at enriching the academic experience of liberal arts students on our campus.
As a faculty member, Pratima is involved with curricular programming and teaching within her home department of MLLC. A critical literary scholar, Pratima is a specialist of colonialisim, Romanticism, and the history of European slavery in the nineteenth-cetury. She is currently finishing up a book that studies how nineteenth-century francophone literary texts engaged with slavery in the the colonial Indian Ocean. You can check out her scholarly profile and publications here.
David Pantalone, Associate Dean
David joined the UMB Psychology Department in 2012. Prior to becoming Associate Dean, he was Director of the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program (2015-20) and served in a number of other roles across campus, including faculty advisor to the Queer Student Center and as an elected member of Faculty Council. David’s teaching has primarily been in undergraduate human sexuality, undergraduate and graduate-level psychopathology, and in providing clinical supervision to the doctoral students in their first clinical placements in the UMB Counseling Center. David's academic training is as a clinical health psychologist. His research expertise lies in behavioral aspects of the HIV epidemic, especially in the creation, testing, and dissemination of behavioral interventions to improve mental health symptoms and HIV-related health behaviors—and more generally in physical and mental health disparities affecting sexual and gender minority individuals. David has served in a variety of professional service roles, including service as an editorial board member for multiple scientific journals, a grant reviewer for U.S. and international scientific agencies, and a leader of various divisions and committees within the American Psychological Association and the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. As Associate Dean, David functions as the Dean’s Office liaison for faculty personnel matters, research and funding issues (including administering the Dean’s Research Fund), interdisciplinary and inter-college collaborations, and university-level awards. He serves as the first-line Dean’s Office contact for half of the college’s academic departments and shares responsibility for supporting the college’s graduate programs. David also works to address student academic concerns, contributes to budget planning and fundraising, and represents the office on a variety of university-level committees. You can check out his faculty bio here: https://www.umb.edu/academics/cla/faculty/david_pantalone.
Jennifer Gregg, Associate Dean
Jennifer Gregg joined the faculty at UMass Boston in January 2015as chair for the Communication Department. She served as department chair in Communication until joining the dean’s office staff as interim associate dean for 2022-23. She has served in a number of other important roles on campus, including twice as an elected member of the Faculty Council, the Academic Programs Committee of the university’s Strategic Planning Taskforce, and most recently as a member of the General Education Taskforce.Jennifer earned her PhD at Michigan State University, with specific emphasis on telecommunications. Her research focuses on the effects of technology, particularly in disadvantaged populations, and the use of technology in health care. She teaches courses in research methods, science communication, communication and technology, and media effects. She has served in a variety of professional service roles, including as a reviewer for multiple scientific journals, a grant reviewer for U.S. scientific agencies, and as a member of the Public Interest Communications national working group. As Associate Dean, Jennifer serves as the Dean’s Office liaison for graduate programs and research, interacting directly with Graduate Program Directors on programmatic administration, and with Department Chairs on research and funding issues. She oversees the course scheduling process, contributes to personnel reviews, works with departments to assign large-enrollment course TAs, addresses student academic concerns, and contributes to budget planning. Jennifer serves as the Dean’s Office liaison to departmental administrators. You can check out her faculty bio here:https://www.umb.edu/academics/cla/faculty/jennifer_l_gregg.
Kim Ho, Assistant Dean
Kim joined the UMass Boston staff in 2005 as the accountant and grant administrator for the Institute of Community Inclusion. Kim also served as the Business Manager for the College of Liberal Arts before assuming her current position as the college’s Assistant Dean for Finance. She is responsible for the oversight and management of the unit budget, the management of fiscal functions related to budgeting, as well as needs assessment, allocation and analysis of resource use for the college.
Fiona O'Connor, Assistant Dean
Fiona joined the Dean’s office in 2017, and is an alumna of the College of Liberal Arts. Prior to her CLA Dean’s office role, she was the Business Services Coordinator for Academic Support Services and Undergraduate Studies. In the Dean’s office, Fiona is responsible for assisting the Dean and Associate Deans with personnel and hiring procedures for staff, tenure-track, tenured and non-tenure track faculty. She serves as the Dean’s office liaison to the Provost’s office and Human Resources for paperwork related to hiring and personnel. She is available to advise departments on personnel and hiring issues pertaining to faculty, as well as professional and classified staff.
Diann Simmons, Assistant Dean
Diann’s storied history at UMass Boston began in the Gerontology Department, from which she moved on to Institutional Research as an analyst. Since then, Diann has earned a PhD within the College of Education and Human Development. Diann is currently putting this broad knowledge of the university to work as the Assistant Dean responsible for course scheduling and events.
Eddie Sze, Business Manager
Eddie Sze joined the UMass Boston staff in 2009 as an accountant for the Institute for Community Inclusion, by way of State Street Bank’s Mutual Fund Department. Originally from Hong Kong, Eddie is a UMass Boston graduate and currently serves as the Business Manager for the Dean’s Office, College of Liberal Arts. Eddie is the contact for reimbursements and purchasing in the college.
Ana Frega, Director of CLA Advising
As the Director of CLA Advising Ana works to ensure that all declared majors in the College of Liberal Arts benefit from professional academic advisors, as well as faculty advisors and mentors. Ana is a member of the National Academic Advising Association. She serves on their regional steering and conference planning committees, and has also been recognized as an “Emerging Leader” by NACADA. Ana is happy to help connect students to advisors, as well as field questions about advising.
Elena Simaku, Executive Assistant to the Dean
As the Dean’s Executive Assistant, Elena serves as the direct primary contact, liaison and source of information of the Dean’s and Dean’s Office policy and procedures to the Department Chairs, CLA Faculty and Students, Chancellor's Office, Academic Affairs, Administration and Finance, Human Resources, the Provost’s Office, the University President's Office as well as to external collaborators of CLA. She provides support and works closely with the Associate Deans and the Assistant Deans and serves as college liaison for CLA Senate. Under the direction of the Dean, Elena performs complex, varied and confidential administrative functions supporting the College’s strategic priorities and provides advanced executive administrative support to the Dean and Dean’s Office regarding communication, correspondence, scheduling and agenda managing, general office procedures and projects related to the work of CLA.
Elena joined the CLA Dean’s office team in December 2022. Prior to that, she was an International Relations Officer for the Sector of International Relations, Research and Projects of Fan S. Noli University (Albania). She has a Bachelor’s in English Language and Philology and a Master’s in English Language Teaching with a Minor in Arts.
Rachel Puopolo, Director of CLA First!
In her role as Director of CLA First! and Early Support, Rachel oversees the learning communities within the College of Liberal Arts: CLA First! and CLA SophoMORE. In addition, she is delighted to work on initiatives and programming for all new students in the College of Liberal Arts, including welcoming students to CLA on their very first day at orientation. Rachel has worked at the University since 2005, and earned her MEd in School Counseling at the University. She first joined the College of Liberal Arts in 2011 as an Academic Advisor.
Rachel was nominated for and received the 2023 Provost's Award for Excellence in Advising and Mentoring.
Louise Putnam, Assistant to the CLA Dean's Office
Louise came to UMass Boston from the University of Virginia in 2010 as the Visual Resources Manager in the Art Department where she worked for 7 years before joining the Dean’s Office staff. As the Assistant to the Dean's Office, she provides support to the Associate and Assistant Deans and assists the Business Manager with faculty and staff training on reimbursement procedures. She is also a contact point for CLA Department administrators and chairs for procedures and training on matters of HRDirect TimeKeeping & Approving and is CLA’s staff support for Curriculog.
Barbara Matteau, CLA Grants Administrator
Barbara Matteau joined the CLA Dean’s office in an inaugural position as the CLA Grants Administrator. A longstanding member of the National Council of University Research Administration, she has been active in Sponsored Research Administration for nearly 20 years. Prior to her position at UMass Boston, she worked for over 25 years at Harvard University in various roles but predominantly in Sponsored Research Administration. Her expertise spans both Pre-Award and Post Award Research Administration. In her role at CLA, she is available to meet both entire departments as well as with individuals to provide assistance in both identifying and applying for a variety of grants. Her experience runs the gamut of Federal grant applications to such entities as the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH) to Foundations such as the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Boston Foundation. She will work with you on all aspects of a proposal submission including budget and budget justification, narrative review, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) internal documents and the mechanics of navigating grant websites. She will also help facilitating award management including the paying of vendors and creation of contracts if an award is issued. She also regularly posts grant ideas and support on Twitter: @CLA_GRANTS