Welcome to New Faculty Members

This fall Penn State Great Valley welcomes Pam Vercellone-Smith, Ph.D., assistant professor, software engineering, and Shamsnaz S. Virani, Ph.D., industrial and systems engineering, to its full-time faculty.

/uploadedImages/PSGV_WEB/News_and_Events/PamV-S.jpgEmployed as a research associate in the School’s engineering division since June 2004, and as an instructor for the online graduate systems engineering program since January 2009, Vercellone-Smith has taught creativity and problem-solving courses. This past spring she received the School’s Teaching Excellence Award for part-time faculty. Having received her master’s degree in software engineering from Penn State Great Valley and her doctorate from the University of Delaware, Vercellone-Smith’s current research projects include studying the impact of cognitive diversity in science and engineering, social network analysis, software visualization, and software evolution in open-source software systems. Prior to joining Penn State Great Valley, she worked as a biodefense project scientist at the U.S. Army Aberdeen Proving Ground and as a visiting assistant professor at Franklin and Marshall College. She is delighted to continue her association with Penn State Great Valley and its “bright and highly motivated graduate students.”

/uploadedImages/PSGV_WEB/News_and_Events/Shams.jpgVirani attended The University of Alabama in Huntsville and designed and developed three graduate systems engineering courses: systems engineering fundamentals; integration, verification, and validation; and systems modeling. In collaboration with high school educators, Virani also developed a four-year engineering curriculum focused on systems engineering. Her work with a research group included an artificial, intelligence-based technique to develop shared team, mental models in order to better understand team mental model convergence. Virani will be teaching decision and risk analysis and software systems architecture.