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Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship

Faculty Fellows

Each year the Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship funds four fellowships for Pace University faculty to grow our diverse portfolio of research projects with a focus on the identification and analysis of issues facing nonprofits and social enterprises. Fellows are selected by the Faculty Steering Committee in a double-blind review based on the strength of the submitted project. During their fellowship year, each faculty member works on a specific case study or academic research project that actively engages current Pace students. These fellows participate in the Wilson Center Faculty Steering Committee for a 3-year term and present their work in at least one Pace research showcase. Full application details for the program are available.

Current Faculty Fellows

2019-2020 Fellows

Jessica Magaldi, JD , Lubin School of Business, Associate Professor, Legal Studies and Taxation

Jessica Magaldi, JD , Lubin School of Business, Associate Professor, Legal Studies and Taxation

"Exploring A Social Entrepreneurship Solution to Close the “Justice Gap” "

Professor Magaldi's research will explore a social entrepreneurship solution to providing affordable and effective legal services to low- and moderate-income individuals who are caught in the “justice gap.”  Researchers calculate that 80 percent of the civil legal needs of those living in poverty and 40 to 60 percent of the civil legal needs of moderate-income Americans are unmet because they lack access to affordable representation.  These populations have incomes too high to qualify for public legal assistance and too low to afford private sector legal representation. Professor Magaldi’s interest is in exploring an approach that aligns the interests of lawyers and clients, where lawyers get fair compensation for the value they provide to their clients and clients get much-needed assistance at a price they can afford.  Her project will promote social change through entrepreneurship by documenting, evaluating, and analyzing a social entrepreneurship approach whereby a not-for-profit legal incubator assists early-stage attorneys to become individual for-profit entrepreneurs to offer legal services to low- and moderate-income populations.  The not-for-profit legal incubator helps the entrepreneurs to build sustainable small firms, with a network of referrals and a commitment to meet the needs of low- and moderate-income clients.  Professor Magaldi’s research seeks to validate whether this cutting-edge approach to the justice issue is a potentially viable alternative to the traditional not-for-profit legal services model where a not-for-profit entity runs a legal services office for qualifying individuals

Michael Rubbo, Ph.D., Dyson College of Arts & Sciences, Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies and Science

Michael Rubbo, Ph.D., Dyson College of Arts & Sciences, Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies and Science

"Quantifying the effectiveness of nonprofits with conservation-based missions in the Hudson River Estuary"

The importance of nonprofits to environmental conservation cannot be understated.  Nonprofits with conservation-based missions are one of the fastest growing nonprofit sectors in the nation.  A large number of diverse organizations are currently addressing issues such as: climate change, biodiversity loss, water and air quality, environmental justice, and habitat destruction.  Despite the importance of these groups to conservation little is known of their effectiveness.  This study will characterize the structure and effectiveness of conservation-based nonprofits in the Hudson River Estuary watershed.  The first step in this analysis will be a detailed review of the non-profit organizations including organizational structure, budget, program areas, staff, facilities, revenue sources, etc.  Conservation priorities for these organizations will be identified and an assessment of how effectively these organizations are meeting these priorities will be conducted.  This analysis will be followed by an in-depth survey that will identify any issues that these organizations are facing that limit their ability to address their conservation priorities.  The data collected during the identification phase will also be used to design an analysis that will identify commonalities among the organizations, and group them into classes based on structural characteristics.  These classes may be based on factors such as operating budget, staff size or other attributes and will be used to determine if there are relationships between the various types of nonprofits and the issues that limit their effectiveness. 

Ibraiz Tarique, Ph.D., Lubin School of Business, Professor and Chair, Department of Management & Management ScienceIbraiz Tarique, Ph.D., Lubin School of Business, Professor and Chair, Department of Management & Management Science

"Conceptualizing Talent Management in Nonprofit Organizations"

Most organizations large or small, public or private, and global or domestic face several challenges including those related to Talent Management (TM), which is generally defined as the management of employees with high levels of human capital (aka Stars, High-potentials, ‘A’ players, High performers). This project researches TM in non-profit organizations, asking how it is conceptualized and enacted across the industry. The project will use a systematic literature review methodology to focus on scholarly studies on nonprofit organizations published in academic journals between 2010 and 2019. The project will also include findings from interviews with TM professionals working in selected non-profit organizations. The goal of the project is to identify in terms of TM, what nonprofit organizations are doing to attract, retain, develop and mobilize talent. In addition, the project will identify major trends emerging in this arena and what the big TM trends would be in 2021-22. Hopefully the findings from this project may guide further academic research on TM in non-profit organizations and might also inform the work of TM professionals.

Zhan Zhang, Ph.D.,  Seidenberg School of Computer Sciences & Information Systems, Assistant ProfessorZhan Zhang, Ph.D.,  Seidenberg School of Computer Sciences & Information Systems, Assistant Professor, Information Technology

"Older Adults’ Engagement with Community-Based Telehealth Wellness Programs: A Mixed-Method Study"

The rise in the aging population of the United States has led to an increase focus on older adults’ health and wellbeing. Telehealth technology has been leveraged to help older adults monitor wellness parameters (e.g., vital signs and cognitive capabilities) and identify deteriorating health conditions early. In particular, community-based telehealth wellness programs are increasingly being deployed nowadays as part of efforts to promote community-based self-management, which is expected to reduce the burden of health and social care services. While telehealth wellness programs now provide unprecedented opportunities for older adults to play an active role in health-related decision making, lack of user engagement with those programs became an increasingly salient issue as it could lead to unsuccessful implementation and adoption of telehealth programs. It is therefore critical to examine the influencing factors that encourage or discourage older adults to stay actively engaged with community-based telehealth wellness programs. In this study, I will use an established community-based, non-for-profit telehealth project—Telehealth Intervention Programs for Seniors (TIPS)—to investigate the issues associated with older adults’ engagement with telehealth programs. I will conduct a mixed-method study, using both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Results of this research will help us gain a holistic understanding about older adults’ perceptions of telehealth programs, their unmet needs, barriers to engagement with telehealth interventions, and aspects that need to be improved. The results will then be used to inform the design and development of new telehealth technology features and healthcare services that better meet older adults’ needs.

Past Faculty Fellows

2018-2019 Fellows

James Lawler, D.P.S., Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, Professor, Disability Studies and Information Technology

James Lawler, D.P.S.

"A Case Study for Enabling a Non-Profit Organization to Help Adult Artsists with Cognitive Disabilities through a Mutisensory Environment"

Professor Lawler’s case study will assess the functionality of a technology that provides a multisensory environment for adult artists with cognitive disabilities at a local non-profit organization in the city.  The organization supports people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities in building full lives. The project will work closely with adult artists with cognitive disabilities, in particular individuals with sensory processing disorders, where a multisensory environment of a virtual reality system provides them with the opportunity to be increasingly independent of non-profit organizations in artistic expressions of their inherent skills, through promotions of their senses through the technology. Students will partner with the adult artists to evaluate the technology through the use of various applications of virtual reality. The evaluations of the technology are expected to be done in the perceptions of the adult artists, non-profit organizational staff, and the students working with them through Likert-like observational questions. The project will concurrently engage non-profit managerial staff so that they too may be helped by the increasing independence of the adult artists as they might become less reliant on the occupational therapists. This might allow as feasible the occupational therapists to be re-allocated to lower-functioning individuals with disabilities. The outcomes of the study are expected to empower disadvantaged individuals with disabilities and to be particularly impactful for the non-profit organization in identifying entrepreneurial methods of integrating this technology into its societal setting.

Tobias Pret, Ph.D., Lubin School of Business, Assistant Professor, Department of Management and Management Sciences

Tobias Pret, Ph.D." Embeddedness in Context: The real-life experiences of social entrepreneurs in NYC"

Professor Pret’s research aims to shed much needed light upon the real-life issues impacting social entrepreneurs by investigating how and why embeddedness in various social contexts affects social entrepreneurial practices. Professor Pret will recruit student research assistants to aid in the analysis of the large amounts of data that will result from this study, providing students with the opportunity to develop and strengthen their research skills as they observe social entrepreneurship in action. Set within the local NYC social entrepreneurship ecosystem, this exploratory study will investigate the experiences of nascent social entrepreneurs who are members of Impact Hub NYC. This membership-based community space connects social entrepreneurs, activists and drivers of social innovation to resources that can help catalyze their impact. Impact Hub NYC offers ready access to a diverse pool of research participants with an equally diverse set of socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. Additionally, its members are immersed within multiple interrelated contexts which facilitates an exploration of the influence of contextual embeddedness on social entrepreneurial practices. Through his research, Professor Pret expects to clarify the roles, relationships, norms, and constraints inherent within this ecosystem, explicate how these interact and potentially conflict with those of other contexts in which social entrepreneurs are embedded, and illuminate the process through which these myriad elements inform and are challenged by social entrepreneurs’ practices. As a result, this study will be able to advance understanding of the real-life issues facing social entrepreneurs and provide practical advice based on participants’ lived experiences.


Gina Scutelnicu, Ph.D. Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Administration

Gina Scutelnicu, Ph.D."Nonprofit corporations as alternative public service delivery mechanisms in New York"

Professor Scutelnicu’s research will take a closer look at a common trend in American governance, collaborations among public and nonprofit institutions delivering public services that affect local communities. The state of New York enabled the creation of special purpose entities called local development corporations (LDCs) with the purpose of providing services in the area of economic and community development. LDCs are nonprofit corporations, created by local governments of general purpose such as counties, cities, towns and villages, with the aim of serving a public purpose. The assumption of the study is that the delivery of economic development services through LDCs leads to lower costs than if the service were supplied entirely by a local government of general-purpose such as a county, city, town or village. Drawing on public information and data and by employing a number of predictor variables such as such as asset specificity, monitoring revenues, and local market competitiveness this study aims at answering the following research question: “How does the LDC institutional choice influence the performance of economic development service delivery?” In collaboration with a Dyson graduate student, Professor Scutelnicu’s research will also address two immediate issues facing nonprofits: how can nonprofits grow and generate change and how can nonprofits identify/establish new funding sources? This study also makes a significant contribution to the practice of public administration by demonstrating how collaboration between the public and non-profit sectors impact the delivery of public services in the area of economic development.


Anne Toomey, Ph.D., Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Studies and Science

Anne Toomey, Ph.D."Investigating the social ecological dynamics of urban waterfront governance in Coney Island, Brooklyn"

Professor Toomey’s research, in partnership with the Billion Oyster Project, a waterfront based nonprofit organization working to restore the NY Harbor, and the New York Urban Field Station, is currently taking place along the Coney Island creek in Brooklyn. An important location, comprised of more than 5km of sandy beach and tidal estuary ecosystems, the Coney Island creek is also currently the site of an active combined sewer outfall. During rain events, this results in raw sewage and storm water bypassing treatment plants and overflowing directly into the creek. This system can lead to the nutrient loading of waterways and coastal eutrophication, where low oxygen zones limit the abundance and distribution of marine species, and in addition can adversely affect the health of humans who consume fish and other aquatic life caught in these areas. Despite these circumstances, on any given day, hundreds of people can be found fishing, recreating, and bathing along Coney Island’s waterfront. Professor Toomey’s research seeks to identify the uses, values and meanings that local residents hold in relation to their waterfront areas, as well as the extent to which residents are aware of the ecological conditions of their waterways, particularly with regard to how water quality is impacted by sewage outfall. Moreover, her research also aims to better understand how these ecological and social factors influence the engagement of residents in civic stewardship and management of their waterfront spaces.

Past Faculty Fellows

2017-2018 Fellows

Daniel Bender, PhD

Daniel Bender, PhD, Dyson College of Arts & Sciences, Associate Professor, Department of English

"Democracy Entrepreneurs"

Matthew Bolton, PhD

Matthew Bolton, PhD, Dyson College of Arts & Sciences, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science

"The Role of Pacific Island Non-Profits in Advocacy for and Implementation of ‘Positive Obligations’ in the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty"

Brice Particelli, PhDBrice Particelli, PhD, Dyson College of Arts & Sciences, Lecturer and Assistant Chair, Department of English

"Dinosaurs, Dragons, and Unicorns: Genre Systems, Alternative Science, and Education at the Controversial Creation Museum"


Namchul Shin, PhDNamchul Shin, PhD, Seidenberg School of Computer Sciences and Information Systems, Professor, Information Systems

"The Impact of the Web and Social Media on Nonprofits’ Performance"

2016-2017 Fellows

Emily Bent, PhD

Emily Bent, PhD, Dyson College of Arts & Sciences, Assistant Professor, Women and Gender Studies

Critical Assessment of Student-Engaged Learning at the United Nations: Feminist Pedagogy and Social Justice during the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)

Kimberly Collica-Cox, PhD

Kimberly Collica-Cox, PhD, Dyson College of Arts & Sciences, Associate Professor, Criminal Justice and Security

Parenting, Prison and Pups: Forging Partnerships Between Nonprofits, Government Agencies, Students and Institutions of Higher Education to Service Female Federal Offenders

Susanne O' Callaghan, PhD

Susanne O' Callaghan, PhD, Lubin School of Business, Professor, Accounting

Analyzing the Obstacles and Issues facing Food Pantries and similar services in NYC, A Case Study

Christelle Scharff, PhD

Christelle Scharff, PhD, Seidenberg School of Computer Sciences and Information Systems, Professor, Computer Sciences

AppDock: An Education and Outreach Space for Device Literacy

2015-2016 Fellows

Casey Frid, PhDCasey Frie, PhD, Lubin School of Business, Assistant Professor, Management & Mgt. Science

Collective Identity and Social Entrepreneurship: Insights from Rural Brazil.

Lijun HeLijun He, PhD, Dyson College of Arts & Sciences, Assistant Professor, Public Administration

Patterns of Foundations' Strategic Change on Impact-Investing: A Comparison of a public foundation and private foundation.

Carol Roye, EdDCarol Roye EdD, College of Health Professions, Associate Dean for Faculty Scholarship and Professor, Lienhard School of Nursing

Promoting Health in Haiti: Developing a Partnership Between an Impoverished Nation and an NGO to Develop Advanced Practice Nursing Education, A Case Study.

Jason Whitesel, PhDJason Whitesel, PhD, Dyson College of Arts & Sciences, Assistant Professor, Women and Gender Studies

Community Capacity-Building Efforts in a Nonprofit Organization for Older Gay Men: A Case Study of the Prime Timers.

2014-2015 Fellows

Claudia Green, PhDClaudia Green, PhD, Lubin School of Business, Associate Professor, Management & Mgt. Science

Case Studies regarding Social Entrepreneurship in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

Eric Kessler, PhDEric Kessler, PhD, Lubin School of Business, Henry George Professor, Management & Mgt. Science

Critical Success Factors for Service Leadership and Service Learning.

Mark WeinstockMark Weinstock, Dyson College of Arts & Sciences, Lecturer, Economics

Marketing Challenges for Museums: The Case of the National Museum of the American Indian.

P.V. Viswanath, PhDP.V. Viswanath, PhD, Lubin School of Business, Professor, Finance and Economics

Microfinance and Microenterprise in Kenya.

2013-2014 Fellows

Matthew Bolton, PhDMatthew Bolton, PhD, Dyson College of Arts & Sciences, Assistant Professor, Political Science

Global Norm Entrepreneurship: Exploring the Role of Non-Profits in Developing Emerging International Law on Weapons.

James Lawler, PhDJames Lawler, PhD, Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, Professor, Information Technology

A Case Study for Empowering a Non-Profit Organization to Better Help Individuals with Disabilities through an e-Health Managed Care Cloud Computing System.

Yvonne Rafferty, PhDYvonne Rafferty, PhD, Dyson College of Arts & Sciences, Professor, Psychology

The Recovery and (Re)Integration of Children Who Have Been Trafficked for Commercial Sexual Exploitation: A Compilation Promising Practices and Policies.

Namchul Shin, PhDNamchul Shin, PhD, Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, Professor, Information Technology

Coping with Challenges for Nonprofit Organizations: Information Technology Coupled with Organizational Innovation.

2012-2013 Fellows

David Caputo, PhDDavid Caputo, PhD, Dyson College of Arts & Sciences, President Emeritus & Professor, Political Science

Expenditure and Tax Decisions Dealing with the National Debt and their Implications for Nonprofits and Social Enterprise.

Jean F. Coppola, BS, MS, MS, PhDJean F. Coppola, BS, MS, MS, PhD, Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, Associate Professor, Information Technology

A gerontechnology study focused on improving cognitive functioning and quality of life for people diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer Disease.

Hillary Knepper, PhDHillary Knepper, PhD, Dyson College of Arts & Sciences, Assistant Professor, Public Administration

Human Capital Investment During Times of Fiscal Austerity: Examining Volunteer Management Effectiveness.

Emily Welty, PhDEmily Welty, PhD, Dyson College of Arts & Sciences, Assistant Professor, Political Science

Beyond Poverty Tourism: analyzing the impacts of short-term volunteer trips in the international non-profit sector.

2011-2012 Fellows

Melissa Cardon, PhDMelissa Cardon, PhD, Lubin School of Business

Case Study of Little Village Playhouse (co-authored with Theresa Lant, PhD).

Michelle Land, J.D.Michelle Land, J.D., Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Sciences, Adjunct Instructor in Dyson College of Arts and Sciences

Case Study of Big Apple Circus

Francis Marchese, PhDFrancis Marchese, PhD, Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems

Extending Art Museum Conservation Practice to Time-based Digital Art

Lixin Tao, PhDLixin Tao, PhD, Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems

Research on Best Information Technologies for Effective Social Entrepreneurship

2010-2011 Fellows

Melissa Cardon, PhDMelissa Cardon, PhD, Lubin School of Business

Entrepreneurial Passion: Sources and Sustenance (co-authored with Michael J. Glauser) Click for full text

Abstract: Entrepreneurial passion helps coordinate cognition and behavior of entrepreneurs, providing the fire that fuels innovation, persistence, and ultimate success. But where does entrepreneurial passion come from? Using a phenomenological approach, we conduct a qualitative study of 80 entrepreneurs and analyze their oral histories to explore the sources of entrepreneurial passion, as experienced by entrepreneurs. Our discovery process in the interviews suggests six major sources of entrepreneurial passion: passion for building/developing the venture, passion for people, passion for the product or service, passion for inventing, passion for competition, and passion for a social cause.

Joseph Morreale, PhDJoseph Morreale, PhD, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences

The Impact of the “Great Recession” on the Financial Resources of Nonprofit Organizations Click for full text

Abstract: This research paper analyzes the impact of the recent Great Recession on nonprofit organizations. More specifically, it studies the impact of the recession on their ability to raise funds and remain financially viable. The four key research questions discussed are: What has been the overall impact of the Great Recession on nonprofit organizations?; How has the Recession impacted the fundraising capability of nonprofit organizations?; How well have different types of organizations weathered the Great Recession’s impact on their revenue sources?; and What strategies have nonprofit organizations found to be useful in surviving this severe downturn? The study uses the most recent data on nonprofit financing from 2007-2010. The results show that nonprofits as a whole have seen general declines in contributions and funding. But there are clear differences in the impact of the eleven sectors studied. Moreover, the size of the organization matters as does its main source of revenue. The paper concludes with a set of strategies that have been successful at stemming the decline in nonprofit funding. The study provides valuable insight into the ability of nonprofit organizations to survive such difficult economic times and also to reveal the various practices that have been successfully utilized for their survival.

Noushi Rahman, PhDNoushi Rahman, PhD, Lubin School of Business

Back to Square One: An Examination of Social Entrepreneurship Centers and Programs (co-authored with Rebecca Tekula) Click for full text

Abstract: Prominent social entrepreneurship (SE) centers and programs in North America, Europe, and Asia are examined in terms of their position in the institutional structure, initial and additional funding, teaching initiatives, research achievements, and outreach activities. Performance was computed using a transparent coding scheme. Low correlations with institutional endowment and SE center/program performance offer some evidence of discriminant validity of our rankings approach. Performance scores were used to rank-order SE centers and programs. Such an approach to examine SE center/program performance goes beyond the perception-based ranking instruments that popular magazines employ to evaluate subject-specific rankings. We examined data from 28 centers/programs, and in addition to an unweighted approach to rankings, we also computed regression-weighted rankings of these centers/programs. Implications for SE centers/programs, social entrepreneurs, SE scholars, and funders are discussed.

Christelle Scharff, PhDChristelle Scharff, PhD, Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems

Teaching Mobile Solution Development in a Global Context: Comparing Solutions Proposed by Students in the Developed and Developing World (co-authored with J.M. Preira, R. Kay, and S. Hang.) Click for full text

Abstract: This paper presents and reflects on the different approaches of teaching mobile solution development at Pace University in the US and in different universities in Senegal in the last three years. The evolution of the objectives, contents, and targeted mobile technologies of the different courses are described based on our lessons learned and the state-of-the-art technologies and practices used in the industry. Students developed mobile solutions aimed at improving life on campus in the US and in Senegal, sometimes collaboratively. These initiatives permitted us to do a cross-cultural exploration of what students saw themselves as needing and how mobile technology can meet these needs given the nature of the specific and local constraints of their institutions, infrastructures, and cultures. This paper summarizes the findings of this exploration and presents recommendations for faculty interested in teaching mobile solution development in a global context.

2009-2010 Fellows

Bruce Bachenheimer, Lubin School of Business, Pace University: “Pitch Contest.” As a Wilson Center Faculty Fellow, Professor Bachenheimer was able to focus more attention on the Social Venture category of the Pace Pitch Contest.

Dario Carrera, University of Rome Tor Vergata: Social Enterprise Creation: From Social Business Idea to Social Innovation. An Analysis of Best Practices in European Social Enterprise Incubators. Presented Fall 2009 at the International Social Innovation Research Conference at the University of Oxford’s Said Business School.

Gregory Holtz, PhD, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Pace University: Method of Outcome Measurement for Not-for-Profit Organization.

Noushi Rahman, Lubin School of Business, Pace University: Performance Dynamics of Social Entrepreneurs. Presented at the highly competitive Satter Conference at NYU Stern School of Business in Fall 2009.

2008-2009 Fellows

  • Noushi Rahman

2007-2008 Fellows

  • Bruce Bachenheimer
  • Robert Isaak
  • Grant P. Loavenbruck

2006-2007 Fellows

  • Dennis S. Anderson
  • Alan B. Eisner
  • Grant P. Loavenbruck

2005-2006 Fellows

  • James Gabberty
  • Brian J. Nickerson
  • Joseph M. Pastore, Jr.