Faculty — P

Open All | Close All


    Pacha, Melinda

    Melinda Pacha

    Associate Professor and Chair of Theatre, teaches introduction to theatre and scenic design. She is also scenic and costume designer for UDM’s Theatre Company where she works actively with students in various aspects of production. Pacha also works with many professional theatres in the area. Her work in both academic and professional theatre has received recognition from both The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press. Pacha holds a B.A. degree from the University of Northern Iowa where she received a Presidential Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre Arts. She holds a M.F.A. degree from Wayne State University. She joined the University in 1981.



    Pacini, Christine M.

    Christine M. Pacini

    Dean and Professor, College of Health Professions, McAuley School of Nursing Dr. Pacini has served as the Clinical Director of Professional Development, Research and Innovation for Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania Health System in Philadelphia and has worked in a similar capacity at the University of Michigan Health System, at Indiana University Health System and at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. She began her academic career at Mercy College of Detroit as an Instructor in 1979. Dr. Pacini progressed to the role of tenured Associate Professor and received her PhD in Nursing and Neuroscience from the University of Michigan; her MSN from Wayne State University in Detroit; and her BSN from Mercy College of Detroit. Upon completing her PhD, she returned to UDM and progressed from a tenured faculty position to that of Associate Dean. Prior to becoming a nurse, Dr. Pacini was a certified secondary teacher in history and political science. Dr. Pacini has consulted and presented in the area of educational redesign, clinical advancement and shared governance. Her recent publications address the utilization and application of conceptual models, most notable the Synergy Model, as frameworks for professional development, leadership development, educational redesign and clinical transformation.



    Palanci, John G.

    John G. Palanci

    Clinical Assistant Professor, Division of Clinical Dentistry, Division of Clinical Essentials and Simulation, Director, Accelerated Dentistry Program, is the coordinator for the faculty in-service program and co-director of “Strategies for the Prevention of Oral Diseases.“ In addition to his academic and clinical commitments he is a faculty research mentor assisting students with original research accepted at IADR,AADR and ADEA. Dr. Palanci has provided student and continuing education instruction in geriatric dentistry. He is a Fellow in the Academy of Dentistry International. Dr. Palanci graduated from the University of Detroit in 1972 with a degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery. He served two years in the U.S. Army as a Dental Officer and had a general dental practice in Jackson, Michigan until joining the faculty full time in 2009.



    Palmer, Kathleen

    Kathleen Palmer

    Assistant Professor. Kathleen Palmer teaches counseling theories, research methods and counseling and development. She has more than 18 years of experience working in the mental health field and specializes in late life transitions and adjustments, resilience and self-empowerment and spiritual counseling. Palmer teaches courses in counseling theories, research methods and counseling skills. Prior to joining the University of Detroit Mercy in 2015, she taught counselor education and educational psychology courses at the University of South Florida. Her research is focused on college students’ use of Internet-based mental health interventions, the role of generational differences in mental health counseling and spiritually modified cognitive behavioral therapy. Palmer received her Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision at the University of South Florida and her Master of Science in Clinical Psychology from Madonna University. She is a Limited License-Master’s Psychologist (LLP) in Michigan and a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in Florida. She has presented at both the state and national level on topics that include undergraduate college students’ attitudes about online versus face-to-face counseling, college students’ attitudes about Internet-based mental health interventions and college students’ use of mental health-related cell phone apps. She is a member of the American Counseling Association, Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, International Society for Mental Health Online, American College Counseling Association and the Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling. Palmer has also served as both a board member and state advisory committee member with the Foster Care Review Board in Michigan.



    Papa, Andrew M.

    Andrew M. Papa

    Assistant Professor of Theatre, teaches fundamentals of acting, acting II, introduction to theatre and voice and movement. He received his B.F.A. in Broadcast and Cinematic Arts at Central Michigan University, and his M.F.A. in Acting at Wayne State University. He also holds a Certificate in Advanced Theatre Training from The Moscow Art Theatre School. Papa is a Certified Assistant Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework®.  In addition to teaching, Papa has been working professionally in the theatre and film industry for several years. He has performed as an actor with the Jewish Ensemble Theatre, the Water Works Theatre Company, and the Matrix Theatre Company, among several others, and appears in the 2015 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) film, Beyond the Mask. He also works as a dialect/speech coach, having worked at the Tipping Point Theatre and Wayne State University’s Hilberry Theatre and Bonstelle Theatre. He joined the University in 2014.



    Parent, Jeffery L.

    Jeffery L. Parent

    Clinical Associate Professor, Division of Practice Essentials and Interprofessional Education, Director of Admissions, works with the DS3 and DS4 dental students overseeing patient care. He is also a Group Leader and a course director for the Practice Management course. Dr. Parent is actively involved in the dental admissions process and is currently the Chair of the Dental Admission Committee. He enjoys being involved in community programs such as the Summer Enrichment Program. Dr. Parent regularly authors articles on Practice Management for the MDA Journal. He received the Charles Cooper Award from the graduating class of 2014. Dr. Parent is a 1983 graduate of the University of Detroit School of Dentistry and joined the University in 2001.



    Parise, Mary

    Mary H. Parise

    Clinical Associate Professor, Division of Graduate Education, Director, Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD), is Program Director for the AEGD residency program which is a one year, optional two year program. Dr. Parise presents basic lectures to the first year dental students covering requirements for progress notes. Advanced record keeping and legal requirement lectures are presented to the AEGD residents along with seminars on Dental Management of the Compromised Patient. She is a presenter in continuing education courses on cased based learning of care of patients living with HIV. Dr. Parise is currently a fellow in the ADEA Leadership Institute with graduation planned March 2016. In addition, Dr. Parise supervises and manages after hour emergency call system covered by the residents. Dr. Parise practices as a general dentist one day a week in the faculty practice clinic. Dr. Parise earned her DDS from the University of Michigan and completed a General Practice Residency at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Allen Park, Michigan. Prior to dental school, Dr. Parise received her BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) from Mercy College of Detroit and worked for the Visiting Nurse Association in the Detroit Central office.



    Paruch, Deborah

    Deborah Paruch

    Professor of Law, received her B.A. in Psychology, an M.B.A., and a J.D. (summa cum laude), from the University of Detroit. She teaches Applied Legal Theory and Analysis, Evidence, Children and the Law, and a Seminar in Family Law. She has authored several articles and presented nationally on topics concerning Family Law, Children and the Law, Evidence and Legal Writing. She joined the University in 2000.



    Parvini, Yasha

    Yasha Parvini

    Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, teaches courses in the areas of dynamic systems and control as well as thermofluids. His research interests are in modeling, estimation, and control of advanced energy systems and in particular electrical energy storages such as batteries and supercapacitors. The application includes modern automotive systems and renewable electricity generation. Dr. Parvini holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University, and received his M.Sc. and B.Sc. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology and the University of Tabriz, respectively. He joined the University of Detroit Mercy in 2016.



    Paszek, Joseph

    Joseph Paszek

    Assistant Professor, Director of the Writing Program, Director of the Writing Center. Joseph Paszek, Ph.D., received his doctorate in rhetoric and composition from Wayne State University in 2016 for his project that investigated student values and perceptions of core curriculum writing courses. While directing both the Writing Program and the Writing Center, he also teaches sections of academic writing (ENL 1310), as well as college writing (ENL 1300), and advanced writing and rhetoric courses. Paszek has co-authored several forthcoming chapters and articles that present mixed-methods findings on various factors related to student writing development and transfer including: metacognition, genre awareness, dispositions and prior knowledge. He has presented at CCCC, NCTE, MLA, WPA, and IWAC, and continues to investigate issues related to disciplinary writing development and curricular change.



    Paulik, Mark J.

    Mark J. Paulik

    Professor and Chair of Electrical Engineering, teaches design, digital logic, controls, and digital signal processing. His area of expertise is in digital image processing, where his extensive publications have focused on industrial and military object identification, and handwritten signature analysis. He is currently doing research on the combined use of genetic algorithms and wavelet modeling. He holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Detroit, a Science Master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. degree from Oakland University. He joined the University in 1984.



    Patel, Ashish G.

    Ashish G. Patel

    Clinical Assistant Professor, Division of Clinical Dentistry, Clinic Lead, teaches cariology, Essentials of Clinical Dentistry and Introduction to Operative Dentistry as well as restorative dentistry to 3rd and 4th year dental students. He is also the Director of the Accelerated Dental Program. His interests focus on clinical teaching and Restorative dentistry. Dr. Patel holds a BDS from Rajiv Gandhi University, a Master of Science degree from Indiana University and a DDS degree from the University of Detroit. He joined the University of Detroit Mercy in 2012.



    Paurazas, Susan B.

    Susan B. Paurazas

    Clinical Associate Professor, Division of Graduate of Education, Director, Graduate Endodontics Program, teaches Current and Topical Literature, Pulp Biology and Endodontology to graduate Endodontic students. She is also involved in presenting continuing education courses. Additional responsibilities include advising of graduate student research and graduate Endodontic admissions. Her interests focus on evidenced-based endodontics, and regenerative endodontics. Dr. Paurazas holds Masters degrees in Health Services Administration and Endodontics and a D.D.S. degree from the University of Detroit Mercy.



    Perez, Helena

    Helena Perez

    Clinical Associate Professor, Division of Clinical Dentistry



    Peterson, Evan A.

    Evan A. Peterson

    Lecturer in Business Law and Director of Undergraduate Business Programs, teaches business law. Evan Peterson earned his bachelor's degree in business administration, his MBA, and his law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy, before practicing as an attorney in Michigan and Florida. He currently teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in business law, and has published a number of scholarly articles in professional journals, including “Global Strategic Collaboration: Trade Secrets and Firm Value” in the Journal of Management and Sustainability, and “Compliance and Ethics Programs: Competitive Advantage Through the Law” in the Journal of Management and Governance.



    Phillips, Dennis S.

    Dennis S. Phillips

    Clinical Associate Professor, Division of Clinical Dentistry, is a clinical prosthodontist in the 4th year clinic at Corktown. He also provides screenings for new patients. He has received a number of awards from the dental students. Dr. Phillips graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. and DDS. He joined the University in 1974.



    Pickover, Sheri

    Sheri Pickover

    Associate Professor and Counseling Clinic Director, teaches: lifespan development, testing & evaluation, counseling skills, counseling children & families and counseling practicum. She is also the clinic director of the University of Detroit Mercy Counseling Clinic, a no-cost mental health clinic staffed by practicum counselors. The Counseling Clinic provides free individual and group counseling to members of the community and specifically markets to individuals without the ability to pay. All practicum students receive clinical training in the Counseling Clinic and receive intensive clinical supervision while providing needed counseling to individuals without insurance. She joined the University in 2006, and has more than 20 years' experience as a counselor working in the child welfare system. Her clinical expertise includes play therapy, family therapy and providing treatment to disenfranchised populations.



    Pitera, Allegra F.

    Allegra F. Pitera

    Associate Professor and Director, Digital Media Studies, teaches both Architecture and Digital Media courses and is the coordinator of the first-year Architecture Studios. She brings to the University active research, teaching and service in design, art, and technology; fostering student engagement and academic exploration through experimental short videos and a heuristic mode of teaching. Her pedagogy is rooted in teaching students to learn to think by challenging them to solve problems and engage critically through multi-faceted conceptual angles and energetic project processes. In the spirit of student-centered projects, both Media and Architecture students are engaged in doing what they love as a vehicle for reaching their fullest professional potential. Ms. Pitera is Director of the inter-disciplinary Digital Media Studies (DMS) program. DMS is rooted in theory, design, and technology. DMS students create digital media projects (print, video, web) often with a broad outreach focus. Student work has be highlighted in various local venues. Ms. Pitera has won awards for her experimental short videos and has a solid architecture, design, and art foundation with a Master of Fine Arts from the Cranbrook Academy of Art, a Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Kansas as well as a professional Architecture degree from the California College of Arts in San Francisco. She has lectured, taught, and/or reviewed projects locally and around the country. She joined the University in 2001.



    Pitera, Daniel W.

    Daniel W. Pitera

    Professor of Architecture and Executive Director, Detroit Collaborative Design Center, Dan Pitera, FAIA is a political and social activist masquerading as an architect. He is the Executive Director of the Detroit Collaborative Design Center (DCDC) at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture, which just received the National AIA’s 2017 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award and was included in the 2017 Curry Stone Design Award’s Social Design Circle. Dan co-led the Civic Engagement process for the Detroit Works Project Long Term Planning initiated by Mayor Bing in 2010. On January 9, 2013, Long Term Planning team released its decision-making framework titled: Detroit Future City. DCDC’s engagement process is currently included in the Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt Design Museum’s exhibition: By The People and the DCDC’s Roaming Table has been added to the Smithsonian Institute’s permanent collection. Mr. Pitera was a 2004-2005 Loeb Fellow at Harvard University and was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 2010, an honor bestowed to only 3% of all American architects. Under his direction since 2000, the Design Center won the 2011 and 2002 Dedalo Minosse International Prize and was included in the US Pavilion of the 2008 and 2012 Venice Biennale in Architecture. The Center was awarded the 2011 SEED Award and the 2009 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Design Excellence for the St. Joseph Rebuild Center in New Orleans. The Design Center was the recipient of the NCARB Prize in 2002 and 2009 and was included in the international exhibit/conference ArchiLab in 2001 and 2004 in Orleans, France. Mr. Pitera is regularly a resource member for Mayor’s Institute for City Design (MICD). He has co-authored the book, Syncopating the Urban Landscape: More People, More Programs, More Geographies and co-edited the book, Activist Architecture: The Philosophy and Practice of the Community Design Center. He likes “fallout shelter” yellow




    Plantenberg, Kirstie A.

    Kirstie A. Plantenberg

    Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Her areas of expertise include tribology, dynamics, vibrations, controls and engineering graphics. Her research interests lie in tribology, specifically the effects of vibrations on friction. She holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Wayne State University. Before joining UDM, she taught for several years at Wayne State University and two years at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She also has worked at General Motors Corporation Inland Division, and was involved in testing the safety and strength of new seat designs and designed new testing fixtures. She joined the University in 2000.



    Platt, Maia A.

    Maia A. Platt

    Associate Professor, Health Services Administration. Dr. Platt has been at UDM since 2006 teaching graduate and undergraduate Health Economics courses. Her research interests are primarily in the area of the scholarship of teaching and learning. The recipient of the SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) research grant “Exploring Deductibles: Substance Abuse Parity Applications” in 2004, she continues her research in behavioral Health Economics as well. Dr. Platt earned her PhD and MA in Health Economics from Wayne State University.



    Plaza Villegas, Francisco J.

    Francisco Plaza Villegas

    Clinical Assistant Professor, Division of Integrated Biomedical Sciences



    Porcerelli, John

    John Porcerelli

    Associate Professor of Psychology. John Porcerelli, Ph.D., ABPP, joined University of Detroit Mercy's Psychology Department faculty in 2016. Prior to Detroit Mercy, he held the rank of Professor and served as Director of Behavioral Medicine (1996-2016) in the residency program in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, Wayne State University School of Medicine. At University of Detroit Mercy, he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses and supervises psychotherapy, second-year research projects, and dissertations. He is board certified in clinical psychology and clinical health psychology, American Board of Professional Psychology, and is a graduate of the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, Michigan Psychological Association, Society for Personality Assessment, American Academy of Clinical Psychology, and American Academy of Clinical Health Psychology.



    Poznick, Nancy

    Nancy Poznick

    Clinical Assistant Professor, Division of Clinical Essentials and Simulation



    Presbey, Gail M.

    Gail M. Presbey

    Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Carney Latin American Solidarity Archive. Gail Presbey teaches peace and social justice, ethics, African philosophy and culture, and other courses related to social and political philosophy. Her interests are in cross-cultural and feminist explorations in philosophy and the philosophy of non-violence. She has edited an introductory philosophy text, The Philosophical Quest: A Cross Cultural Reader (1995, 2000). She is first editor of Thought and Practice in African Philosophy (2002), and editor of Philosophical Perspectives on the 'War on Terrorism' (2007). She has authored many journal articles and book chapters. She holds a B.A. from the University of Detroit and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Fordham University. In 1998-2000 she held a two-year J. William Fulbright Senior Scholar position at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, during which she did research on sage philosophy. In 2005 she had a six-month research Fulbright grant, hosted by World Peace Center at MIT, Pune, India, where she studied Gandhian nonviolence. Presbey came to University of Detroit Mercy in 2000, and received the Faculty Achievement Award in 2003. Presbey received University of Detroit Mercy's Mission Leadership Award in 2006.