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Board of Advisors

  • Professor Robert Giles, Director: Since January 2003, Giles has been travelling biannually to Haiti. Immersed in the culture and community dynamics, he has been submitting proposals to foundational funding agencies establishing faculty/student project teams as a University research center.
  • Brian Corr: has been the Executive Director of the Peace Commission – that promotes peace and social justice, and has responsibility for Cambridge’s sister city relationships – since April 2008. Starting in September 2010, he has also served on the Board of Directors of the National Association for the Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE) since 2012, and currently serves as the association’s Vice-President. In his community, Brian is a member of the board of directors of the José Mateo Ballet Theatre and also serves on the board of the DiDomenico Foundation, Until 2013, Brian served on the board of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute while doing education and advocacy work to raise awareness of the causes and consequences of violence on individuals, families, and communities. Nationally, Brian served on the national board of directors and the executive committee of the American Friends Service Committee from 2007 to 2010, and as co-chair of the national board of directors of Peace Action from 2003 through 2007. Brian graduated from the University of Michigan in 1986 with a BA in Russian literature and language. A trained mediator, he is a NACOLE Certified Practitioner of Oversight, and he has completed the Negotiation and Leadership course at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.
  • Professor Wil Ngwa, with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Buea in Cameroon, has a developing country background. He later received his Masters and Doctorate at the University of Leipzig Germany as a Physicist with specialties in Biophysics and Material Science. Serving at Harvard in the field of Medical Physics, Ngwa is a strong advocate for initiatives like UMass Lowell’s Haiti Development Studies Center that can foster science and technology in low-income countries like Haiti. As Abdus Salam, the Nobel Laureate in physics observed, science in developing countries is often treated as a "marginal activity'' and perceived even as an "ornament'.' Although some developing countries are aware of the importance of science and technology as a driver to sustainable development, this awareness does not necessarily make it easy to develop, and popularize science. Factors like inadequate scientific infrastructure, opportunity and mentorship create strong barriers to the path of advancement.
  • Professor Soumitra Satapathi, Ph.D.: Having graduated with a M.S. and Ph.D. degree in Physics from UMass Lowell in 2012, Satapathi started working on biomedical optics at Tufts University, Boston. In 2014, he moved back to India to join as an Assistant Professor in the Physics department of India’s premier research intuition Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee. Satapathi’s research is mainly focused on the development of advanced materials and their use in organic electronics including organic solar cells, LEDs and sensors. For more than 7 years, Satapathi is working on renewable energy sectors emphasizing on development of low cost solar panels for rural applications. He is also interested in technology development for clean and potable water, low cost wearable biomedical devices, nanomaterials based drug delivery systems and on different bio-imaging modalities. Satapathi is a highly adaptable scientist who has published several international journal papers and worked closely with industry.
  • Rachel Paquette is a 2014 University of Massachusetts Lowell graduate of the Honors College with a Bachelors of Science in Biology. Within the context of attending HDSC’s Seminar Course ("Science and Technology in the Impoverished World”) during the Spring of 2013, Ms. Paquette chose to address water purification with a Bio-Sand Filtration Technique using only materials indigenous to Haiti and readily available to the local population. With her proposal focused on education, implementation of Paquette’s filter project was easily scalable and sustainable even in the poorest communities. Fall 2013, Paquette provided the template for executing the prototype units in the city of Les Cayes, Haiti. Visiting Haiti during January 2014 and working with four college preparatory Haitian students at UMass Lowell’s Haiti Development Studies Center, Rachel oversaw the fabrication and setup of these filters, established the water testing procedures and oversaw the collection and organization of the water sample data. By mid-summer, Rachel was then working on simple diagrams and documentation detailing filter construction in the local language, “Kreyol”, for distribution to the community. Ms. Paquette had also completed her Honors thesis, Spring 2014, “Education and Implementation of the Biobubbler in Haiti”, documenting the program.