Faculty — P

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    Pacini, Christine M.

    Christine M. Pacini

    Professor, McAuley School of Nursing, College of Health Professions 

    Pacini served as the dean of the College of Health Professions and McAuley School of Nursing from 2010-2017. Prior to that she served as 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, Indiana University Health System, and Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. She began her academic career at Mercy College of Detroit as an instructor in 1979. Pacini progressed to the role of tenured associate professor and received her Ph.D. in Nursing and Neuroscience from the University of Michigan; her M.S.N. from Wayne State University in Detroit; B.S.N. from Mercy College of Detroit; and B.A. from University of Detroit. Upon completing her Ph.D., she returned to University of Detroit Mercy and progressed from a tenured faculty position to that of associate dean. Prior to becoming a nurse, Pacini was a certified secondary teacher of history and political science. She has consulted and presented in the areas of educational redesign, clinical advancement, accreditation, and shared governance. Her publications address issues and practice in the areas of professional development, leadership development, educational redesign, clinical transformation, and the utilization and application of conceptual models as frameworks for practice and curricular redesign. She holds leadership positions for the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and serves on several professional and hospital boards.



    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, teaches courses in counseling theories, research methods and counseling skills. Palmer 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. She teaches courses in counseling theories, research methods and counseling skills. Prior to joining 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 doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision from University of South Florida and her Master of Science in Clinical Psychology from Madonna University. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) 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, Fundamentals of Human Expression, Introduction to the Arts, Voice & Movement, and Voice & Diction, among other courses. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Broadcast & Cinematic Arts at Central Michigan University, a Master of Fine Arts in Acting at Wayne State University, and holds a Certificate in Advanced Theatre Training from The Moscow Art Theatre School in Moscow, Russia. Papa is also a certified teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework®, and has studied at the Stratford Festival in Ontario and The Second City Training Center in Chicago, Ill. In addition to teaching, Papa regularly works as a director and actor with the Detroit Mercy Theatre Company (DMTC). He also continues to remain active professionally in the theatre and voice over industries. Papa joined Detroit Mercy in 2015.



    Parise, Mary

    Mary H. Parise

    Clinical Associate Professor, Division of Graduate Education, teaches first-year dental students and residents, 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. She earned her D.D.S. 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 B.S.N. (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. 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 University of Detroit Mercy in 2016.



    Paszek, Joseph

    Joseph Paszek

    Assistant Professor and Director of the Writing Program, 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. In addition to directing the Writing Program, 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. He previously served as director of The Writing Center at Detroit Mercy.



    Paulik, Mark J.

    Mark J. Paulik

    Professor and Chair of the Electrical & Computer Engineering and Computer Science Department (ECECS), teaches design, embedded systems, digital systems, controls, and digital image and signal processing. His area of expertise is in digital image processing and robotics, where his publications have focused on industrial and military object identification, autonomous vehicles, and signature analysis. He is currently doing research on sensor fusion for visual simultaneous localization and mapping and 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.



    Paurazas, Susan

    Susan Paurazas

    Clinical Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Endodontics -   Dr. Paurazas is a Board Certified endodontist. She teaches Current and Topical Literature, Pulp Biology and Endodontology to graduate Endodontic residents.  Dr. Paurazas is an active member of the American Association of Endodontists, and has served on several AAE committees.  She is also involved in continuing education courses. Additional responsibilities include advising of graduate resident 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.



    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 third and fourth 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 B.D.S. from Rajiv Gandhi University, a Master of Science degree from Indiana University and a D.D.S. degree from the University of Detroit. He joined 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 Master's 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, Oral Surgery



    Peterson, Evan A.

    Evan A. Peterson

    Lecturer in Business Law and Arnold Jarboe Chair of Business Administration, teaches business law and social responsibility. Dr. Peterson obtained his BS, BA, and MBA from the University of Detroit Mercy, his JD from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, and his PhD from Walden University. He serves as director of undergraduate business programs, director of the Center for Practice & Research in Management & Ethics (PRIME Center), and co-director of the University Honors Program. He has published over 20 peer-reviewed articles related to the intersection between law, ethics, and business strategy. Peterson has served as legal counsel to the International Association of Jesuit Business Schools, the International Honor Society in Decision Sciences and Information Systems (Alpha Iota Delta), and the Business Leadership Network of Michigan (MIBLN). He is also currently the editor-in-chief of the Atlantic Law Journal. Prior to joining Detroit Mercy full-time in 2014, Peterson worked as a licensed attorney, representing business clients throughout Michigan. He joined the University full-time in 2014.



    Phillips, Dennis S.

    Dennis S. Phillips

    Clinical Associate Professor, Division of Clinical Dentistry, is a clinical prosthodontist. 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 D.D.S. He joined the University in 1974.



    Pitera, Allegra F.

    Allegra F. Pitera

    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. 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. 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

    Dean and Professor of Architecture. Dan Pitera, FAIA is a political and social activist masquerading as an architect. Before being appointed dean of the Detroit Mercy School of Architecture in August 2019, he was the executive director for 20 years at the Detroit Collaborative Design Center (DCDC), 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. Pitera co-led the Civic Engagement process for the Detroit Works Project Long Term Planning in 2010. On January 9, 2013, the Long Term Planning team released its decision-making framework titled: Detroit Future City. DCDC’s engagement process was 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.

    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 bestow to only 3 percent of all American architects. Under his direction since 2000, the Design Center won the 2011 and 2002 Dedalo Minosse International Prize, Italy and was included in the US Pavilion of the 2008 and 2012 Venice Biennale for 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 has also been 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. Pitera is regularly a resource member for Mayor’s Institute for City Design (MICD) and the National League of Cities (NLC). 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 lectured and taught globally. He likes “fallout shelter” yellow…




    Plantenberg, Kirstie A.

    Kirstie A. Plantenberg

    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 Detroit Mercy, 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

    Chair, Associate Professor, Health Services Administration, teaches graduate and undergraduate health economics courses, and oversees undergraduate and graduate HSA programs at the McNichols Campus and Macomb University Center. Platt holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Health Economics degrees from Wayne State University. Her areas of research, publications and presentations focus on exploring the value of health economics education for students in health professions. She is a member of Health Administration Press Editorial Board for Graduate Studies and an active contributor to the American Society of Health Economists (ASHEcon) and International Health Economics Association (IHEA). Platt joined University of Detroit Mercy in 2006.



    Plaza Villegas, Francisco J.

    Francisco Plaza Villegas

    Clinical Assistant Professor, Division of Integrated Biomedical Sciences



    Porcerelli, John

    John Porcerelli

    Professor of Psychology and Director of the Detroit Mercy Psychology Clinic, joined University of Detroit Mercy's Psychology Department faculty in 2016. Prior to Detroit Mercy, Porcerelli 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, Porcerelli 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



    Putman, Kathy

    Kathy Putman

    Assistant Professor, McAuley School of Nursing, teaches undergraduate studies focusing on population health management and wellness. Putman earned a B.A. in Liberal Arts from the University of Mississippi. She earned her B.S.N. from Mississippi University for Women in Columbus Mississippi, M.S.N.in Nursing Education from Clarkson College in Omaha Nebraska and D.N.P. in Nursing Executive Leadership from Union University in Jackson Tennessee.  She joined the University of Detroit Mercy in 2019.



    Presbey, Gail M.

    Gail M. Presbey

    Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Carney Latin American Solidarity Archive, teaches peace and social justice ethics, African philosophy and culture, and other courses related to social and political philosophy. Presbey's 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 Bachelor of Arts from University of Detroit and a Master of Arts and a doctorate from Fordham University. From 1998-2000, she held a two-year J. William Fulbright Senior Scholar position at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, during which she researched 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. In 2018, she received the Purple Ribbon Award for Peace from Pax Christi Michigan.



    Pyatenko, Michael

    Michael Pyatenko

    Clinical Assistant Professor, serves as a Clinical Leader to dental and dental hygiene students. His responsibilities include the management of a team of faculty and staff with a dedicated goal of directing and managing a group of students towards the development of practice ready competent dentists and dental hygienists. He earned a Doctor of Dental Surgery from University of Detroit. He proudly serves as a Forensic Investigator for the Livingston County Sheriff's Department. Prof. Pyatenko joined the university in 2015.