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.
Employed 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.”
Virani 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.