SHU Awards Tenure & Promotions to Nine Faculty Members

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Nine faculty members at Sacred Heart University have earned tenure or promotions.


K. Kathy Dhanda of Wilton, professor of management—Previously, Dhanda was a professor in the Driehaus College of Business at DePaul University in Chicago. She also served as a visiting professor at the Dolan School of Business at Fairfield University and as an invited professor at AUT University in New Zealand and the American University in Paris. Her academic scholarship focuses on sustainability issues with a primary emphasis in the areas of environmental modeling, carbon markets, emissions trading and sustainable supply chains. She has been published in over 30 papers including Journal of Business Ethics, Academy of Management Perspectives, Energy Economics, Journal of Public Policy and Marketing Policy WatchOrganization & EnvironmentJournal of Environmental Economics and Management, as well as others. Dhanda is also the co-author of Environmental Networks: A Framework for Economic Decision-Making and Policy Analysis (Edward Elgar) and Sustainability: Essentials for Business (Sage). Her teaching responsibilities at the Jack Welch College of Business & Technology (WCBT) include operations management, supply-chain management and sustainable management.

Jill Douglass of Newtown, associate professor of communications disorders—Douglass’ research focuses on the cognitive and emotional impact stuttering has on individuals and their families, as well as covert stuttering and the process of “coming out of the stuttering closet.” She teaches speech sound disorders, introduction to clinical methods and observation, fluency disorders and clinical practicums for the College of Health Professions. Douglass is certified by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association and is a state-certified speech-language pathologist. She earned tenure and a promotion to associate professor.

D. Cenk Erdil of Trumbull, associate professor of computer science and engineering—Erdil joined Sacred Heart University in the fall of 2017. He directs the state-of-the-art, artificial intelligence lab in the WBCT and co-directs the Code.org Regional Partnership Program. His research includes cloud computing, artificial intelligence, pre-kindergarten-12 coding and health informatics. He is also the co-principal investigator for several external research grants, including Project {FUTURE}, funded by the U. S. Department of Education, and the NOYCE Scholarship Program, funded by the National Science Foundation. Erdil earned tenure and a promotion to associate professor.

Susan Goncalves of Derby, associate professor of nursing—Goncalves’s research focuses on caring and compassionate care, evidence-based nursing practice and nursing leadership. She has been published in the Journal of Nursing Administration, Journal of Nursing Education, Nursing Education Perspectives, American Journal of Critical Care Nurses, International Journal of Christianity and Education, American Nurse Today and other notable publications. She teaches pharmacology and nursing implications, nursing leadership, evidence-based nursing practice and transitions into professional practice (capstone course) for the Dr. Susan L. Davis & Richard J. Henley College of Nursing at Sacred Heart. Her professional passions include faith community nursing, medical-surgical nursing, evidence-based practice, interprofessional education and palliative care. She is active with the Connecticut Nurses Association whose goal is to enhance, strengthen and protect the nursing profession and enhance health care in our communities. She is the recipient of numerous community awards as well as SHU Distinguished Faculty Alumni Award. Goncalves earned tenure and a promotion to associate professor.

Tolga Kaya of New Haven, professor of computer science and engineering—Kaya joined Sacred Heart University in the fall of 2017 as an associate professor and program director of computer engineering at the School of Computer Science and Engineering. He teaches undergraduate engineering and graduate computer science courses, and he oversees the growth of SHU’s engineering program, including installation of the state-of-the-art IDEA Lab. He has a diverse research background and has accomplishments in the areas of electrical, computer and biomedical engineering. His research primarily focuses on wearable devises to monitor athletes’ physiology, as well as Internet of Things devices and 3D printing technology. Kaya earned tenure and a promotion to full professor.

Mahfuja Malik of Sandy Hook, associate professor of accounting—Malik’s research interests lie in the realm of financial accounting. In particular, she is interested in corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, accounting conservatism and financial and nonfinancial disclosures. She has been published in the Journal of Business Ethics, Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Journal of Applied Accounting Research and many other notable publications. She also has presented her research at numerous peer-reviewed conferences. She teaches financial accounting and reporting and advanced accounting. Recently, she received the WCBT’s Outstanding Research Award and a University research/creativity grant. Malik earned tenure and a promotion to associate professor.

Jennifer Trudeau of Stamford, associate professor of economics—Trudeau’s primary research focuses on health economics, specifically infant and maternal health. She has explored the effects of diverse factors that influence individual behaviors and health outcomes, ranging from sun exposure to media depictions of teen pregnancy to insurance mandates contained within health-care reform. She has presented her research at numerous conferences, and her work has been published in several notable journals including the American Journal of Health EconomicsContemporary Economic Policy and Economics & Human Biology. Her research was recognized as runner-up for the Georgescu-Roegen prize and recipient of a University scholarship award. Recently she was selected as a top cited female author to be featured in a Wiley virtual issue celebrating International Women’s Day. She teaches principles of economics courses, managerial economics and health economics at the WCBT and has earned tenure and a promotion to associate professor.

Michelle Wormley of Fairfield, associate professor of physical therapy—Wormley joined Sacred Heart University full-time in 2009 as a clinical physical therapist, with prior experience in acute and subacute rehabilitation settings. Since 2010, her roles in the department have included clinical assistant professor, associate director of clinical education and assistant professor. She is a certified lymphedema therapist and has presented at the state and national levels on neurological physical therapy and the problem-based learning approach. She teaches physical therapy management of patients with medically complex issues and patients with neurological dysfunction. Wormley has earned tenure and a promotion to associate professor.


Michael Zhang, professor of management— Zhang teaches undergraduate and graduate courses related to strategic management, international business and knowledge management at the WCBT. His research focuses on strategic management of information technologies, cross-cultural issues in knowledge management and simulation in management education. His works have been published in management journals such as Journal of Management, Journal of Engineering & Technology Management, Asia Pacific Business Review and International Journal of Knowledge Management. He earned a promotion from associate professor to full professor of management.

PHOTO: Top row, from left: K. Kathy Dhanda, Jill Douglass, D. Cenk Erdil, Susan Goncalves and Tolga Kaya. Bottom row, from left: Mahfuja Malik, Jennifer Trudeau, Michelle Wormley and Michael Zhang.

About Sacred Heart University

As the second-largest independent Catholic university in New England, and one of the fastest-growing in the U.S., Sacred Heart University is a national leader in shaping higher education for the 21st century. SHU offers more than 80 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs on its Fairfield, Conn., campus. Sacred Heart also has satellites in Connecticut, Luxembourg and Ireland and offers online programs. More than 9,000 students attend the University’s nine colleges and schools: Arts & Sciences; Communication, Media & the Arts; Social Work; Computer Science & Engineering; Health Professions; the Isabelle Farrington College of Education; the Jack Welch College of Business & Technology; the Dr. Susan L. Davis & Richard J. Henley College of Nursing; and St. Vincent’s College. Sacred Heart stands out from other Catholic institutions as it was established and led by laity. The contemporary Catholic university is rooted in the rich Catholic intellectual tradition and the liberal arts, and at the same time cultivates students to be forward thinkers who enact change—in their own lives, professions and in their communities. The Princeton Review includes SHU in its Best 385 Colleges–2020 Edition, “Best in the Northeast” and Best 252 Business Schools–2019 Edition. Sacred Heart is home to the award-winning, NPR-affiliated radio station, WSHU, a Division I athletics program and an impressive performing arts program that includes choir, band, dance and theater. www.sacredheart.edu


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