Faculty and Staff

Honors College Director

Dr. Susan Dinan

Honors College Director 

Dr. Susan Dinan was appointed as Director of the new Honors College at William Paterson University in 2005. She received a Ph.D. in History from the University of Wisconsin in 1996. She specializes in early modern France and completed her dissertation research in Paris. Dr. Dinan serves as a faculty member in the History Department at William Paterson and recently published a book “Women and Poor Relief in Seventeenth-Century France: The Early History of the Daughters of Charity.” (Raubinger Hall 154B, (973) 720-3685, dinans@wpunj.edu)

Honors College Assistant Director

Jan Pinkston

Honors College Assistant Director

Jan Pinkston was appointed to the Honors College at William Paterson University in January, 2000. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Springfield and an M.A. in English from William Paterson University. Jan currently serves as a member of the Executive Board of AFT Local 1796. (Raubinger Hall 154A, (973) 720-3776, pinkstonj@wpunj.edu)

 Dr. Joseph Spagna

Dr. Joseph Spagna 


Dr. Joseph Spagna is the director of the Biology Track and associate professor of Biology. His research interests include systematics, evolution and biomechanics of arthropods. Students in Dr. Spagna's lab use high-speed video, movement analysis, genetics, and computer modeling to figure out how spiders and ants have evolved to move the ways they do. 

Biopsychology Track Director

Dr. Robert Benno


Dr. Robert Benno is a Professor of Biology, and his area of professional interest is developmental neurobiology, with a focus on the use of mouse models to study autism. He is also a dedicated jazz pianist. (Science Hall East 4047, (973) 720-3440, bennor@wpunj.edu)

Business Track Director

Dr. Bela Florenthal


Dr. Florenthal graduated from Smeal College of Business Administration, Pennsylvania State University with a Ph.D. in Marketing. Her professional areas of interest include-tailing/retailing, social media, culture-based shopping behavior, green (eco-friendly) marketing. Her teaching experience is in Marketing, Management, Consumer Behavior, Introduction to Marketing, and Marketing Research. (Valley Road Room 3058, (973) 720-3679, florenthalb@wpunj.edu)

Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology Track

Dr. Bruce Diamond

Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology

Dr. Diamond is a licensed Neuropsychologist (NJ) specializing in clinical neuropsychological assessment and neurorehabilitation. His research focuses on the neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience of memory, executive function, attention/concentration, information processing and mood/anxiety using standardized, computer-based and brain imaging/autonomic measures in healthy and in clinical populations. A practicing clinician, he has published extensively and presented at numerous national and international conferences. (Science Hall East 2062B, (973) 720-3400, diamond@wpunj.edu)    

Cognitive Science Director

Dr. Amy Learmonth

Cognitive Science

Dr. Learmonth is a developmental psychologist with a research focus on the development of memory and spatial ability. Most of her research is with young children and uses techniques such as deferred imitation and search tasks (both real world and virtual) to examine the changes in memory and spatial ability over the first six years. Her specific research is currently on the use of landmarks and geometric features in spatial memory and navigation. She is also currently working on a project that will look at early spatial competence and memory binding as a window into infantile amnesia. Recent publications by Dr. Learmonth have appeared in Developmental Science, Psychological Science, Memory and Cognition and the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. (Science Hall East 2054, (973) 720-2765, learmontha@wpunj.edu)

Humanities Director

Dr. John Peterman


Dr. John Peterman got his Ph.D. in 1980 from the Pennsylvania State University. He is interested in ancient Greek philosophy (particularly Plato), American pragmatism (particularly Dewey). He teaches courses in Ancient Philosophy, Plato, Aristotle, Environmental Ethics, and Life Science Ethics. He coordinates the Humanities Honors track. He is also an avid hiker and has successfully completed the New York City Marathon three times (best time: 4:15). (Atrium 107, (973) 720-3030, petermanj@wpunj.edu)

Music Director

Dr. Jeffrey Kresky


Dr. Jeffrey Kresky holds a B.A. from Columbia, and a Ph.D. from Princeton. He is a music theorist, with an emphasis in analysis and criticism; a composer, keyboardist and conductor; and author of Tonal Music: 12 Analytic Studies (Indiana), a Reader’s Guide to the Chopin Preludes (Greenwood), and articles and reviews in Perspectives of New Music, Gettysburg Review, and The Music Review. He was appointed to William Paterson University in 1973 and has served as the coordinator of the Music track since its inception. (Shea Auditorium 171, (973) 720-3470, kreskyj@wpunj.edu)

Nursing Track Director

Dr. Jill Nocella 


Dr. Nocella received her master’s degree in nursing science from the Pennsylvania State University in 2002 and her PhD in Nursing Research and Theory Development from New York University in 2013. She is a clinical nurse specialist in community health as well as a board certified complex case manager.  Her area of practice has been in the managed care environment as well as the home care setting. Her research is focused on quality of care as well as self-management of chronic conditions.  (Hunziker Wing 207, (973)720-3483, nocellaj1@wpunj.edu)

Performing and Literary Arts Director

Dr. Philip Cioffari

Performing and Literary Arts

Philip Cioffari is the author of three books of fiction: the mystery/thriller, CATHOLIC BOYS; the short story collection, A HISTORY OF THINGS LOST OR BROKEN, which won the Tartt Fiction Prize, and the D.H. Lawrence award for fiction; and, most recently, JESUSVILLE. His short stories have been published widely in commercial and literary magazines and anthologies, including North American Review, Playboy, Michigan Quarterly Review, Northwest Review, Florida Fiction, and Southern Humanities Review. He has written and directed for Off an Off-Off Broadway. His Indie feature film, which he wrote and directed, LOVE IN THE AGE OF DION, has won numerous awards, including Best Feature Film at the Long Island International Film Expo, and Best Director at the NY Independent Film & Video Festival. He is a Professor of English, and director of the Performing and Literary Arts Honors track, at William Paterson University. (Atrium 224A, (973) 720-3053, cioffarip@wpunj.edu)

Social Sciences Director

Dr.Neil Kressel

Social Sciences

Professor Neil Kressel holds a Ph.D. in social psychology from Harvard University and an M.A. in comparative history from Brandeis University. A recipient of William Paterson’s award for excellence in research and scholarship and –recently-a Visiting Fellow at Yale University, his books include: Bad Faith: The Danger of Religious Extremism (Prometheus, 2007), Mass Hate: The Global Rise of Genocide and Terror Plenum, 1996; rev, ed., Perseus/Westview Press/Basic Books, 2002); Stack and Sway: The New Science of Jury Consulting (Perseus/Basic Books, 2002; paperback, 2004), and Political Psychology (Paragon House, 1993), and “The Sons of Pigs and Apes” (selected as 2012 Book of the Year by the Journal for the Study of Antisemitism). He enjoys supervising undergraduate student theses. (Science Hall East 2039, (973) 720-3389, kresseln@wpunj.edu)

Student Assistant

Student Assistant

Kelly Ginart (Raubinger Hall 154, (973) 720-3657, honors@wpunj.edu)


Student Assistant

Student Assistant

Michelle Ginart (Raubinger Hall 154, (973) 720-3657, honors@wpunj.edu