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Elliot Lasson, Ph.D. | Program Director

UMBC Faculty Elliot LassonDr. Elliot Lasson is Professor of the Practice and Graduate Program Director of the Master's of I/O Psychology at UMBC, where he has been teaching since 2009. He has over two decades of overall experience in teaching and mentoring aspiring I/O and HR professionals. Some of his research and applied interests are generational cohort differences in the workplace, the recruitment-selection process, and performance management. At UMBC, he has taught several courses including Job Analysis. Methods of Assessment, and Seminar in Applied Social Psychology. Dr. Lasson is often called upon by his students for career guidance and the facilitation of internship and employment opportunities. He has also given popular workshops on behalf of the Universities at Shady Grove Career & Internship Services Center on topics such as workplace professionalism and preparing for job interviews.

Dr. Lasson is a Human Resources professional with considerable experience in designing, validating, and implementing recruitment and staffing solutions. Elliot has led various organizational development, training, and change management initiatives and combines solution-oriented approach with a strategic “big picture” approach.

Elliot is also an advisor to organizations with Lasson Talent Solutions. In this capacity, he supports for-profit, nonprofit, and public sector organizations around the world. Previously, he served as Executive Director of HR for Joblink of Maryland, a nonprofit organization supporting the employment objectives of members of the Baltimore Jewish community. His blog on workplace and career topics Elliot@Work has a wide readership nationally and he has been invited locally on WBAL Radio and Fox 45 to chat about the job market.

Dr. Lasson’s specialties and interests include talent management, staffing, assessment workforce planning, measurement, training, assessment, coaching, leadership development, performance management, organizational development, employment law, and interviewing.

Dr. Lasson received his B.A. from UMBC in Psychology with a certificate in Personnel Administration and went on to earn his M.A. and Ph.D. in I/O Psychology from Wayne State University in Michigan. He also holds a Bachelor’s in Talmudic Law from Ner Israel College in Baltimore. Elliot is a two-term past President of the Mid-Atlantic Personnel Assessment Consortium. In 2009, he was appointed to the by Governor Martin O’Malley to Maryland’s Workforce Investment Board and served for two terms in that capacity. He is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources by HRCI and SCP by SHRM.

Elissa Abod, Ph.D. | Lecturer and Assistant Program Director

UMBC Faculty Elissa AbodDr. Elissa Abod is a full-time lecturer in the Master’s of I/O Psychology Program at UMBC. She has over 15 years of applied research experience in the Washington, DC area. Clients include the US Army, the FBI, the FAA, and state law enforcement agencies. At Defense Logistics Agency, Dr. Abod provided organizational development support to senior leadership.

Dr. Abod’s primary areas of expertise are in the areas of job analysis, test development and validation, leadership development, organizational climate, survey research and design, and training and curriculum development. Her human resources background has focused on recruitment, onboarding, and training. Dr. Abod has a special interest in conflict resolution.

In addition to her expertise in I/O psychology, Dr. Abod has been teaching undergraduate psychology courses at local Maryland colleges since 2009. She has also taught graduate online courses in human resources management.

Dr. Abod earned her B.A. in Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University. She received an M.A. in Industrial Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, NJ. Once she settled in Maryland, she obtained a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from George Mason University. She was also a fellow at the Army Research Institute.

Dr. Abod is a member of the American Psychological Association, Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and Society for the Teaching of Psychology. She holds a certificate in conflict resolution and mediation from Montgomery College.

Rana Balci-Sinha, Ph.D. | Adjunct Instructor

Rana Balci-SinhaRana Balci-Sinha began teaching at UMBC at Shady Grove in 2011. She is currently an Engineering Psychologist for the U.S. Consumer Safety Commission, where she has conducted safety assessments for over 120 products, works with federal agencies and testing laboratories on industry standards, and performs surveys and evaluations to analyze her products. Previously, she has worked as a human factors engineer for Delphi Corporation.

Dr. Balci-Sinha has a Ph.D. in Engineering Science from Louisiana State University, a M.S. in Management from Istanbul University, a M.S. in Industrial Engineering from Marmara University, and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Yildiz Technical University. She was the chair of the Human Factors Committee for the SAE World Congress from 2002-2009. Dr. Balci-Sinha also holds a Six Sigma Green Belt Certification.

Dr. Balci-Sinha has been published frequently and has presented on a variety of matters at domestic and international conferences. She is certified by The Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics and received the Society of Automotive Engineers Forest R. McFarland Award in 2003.

Sharrón Dean, CCP, MOM, PHR | Adjunct Instructor

Sharrón Dean is a human resources professional with proven experience in human resources leadership development, diversity and inclusion training, developing and leading high performance teams, succession planning, and coaching in the areas of strategy implementation, and leadership. Currently as the Director of Human Resources at Communities in Schools, Ms. Dean directs all aspects of human resource generalist activities, programs and office administration. Prior to this role, she was the Director of Human Resources at a variety of organizations, including Wal*Mart, SuperValu, and HMSHost.

Ms. Dean possesses a Master of Arts in Organizational Management from Antioch University and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Illinois State University. She is a graduate of the Georgetown University Certified Coaching Program, and is a Certified Birkman Consultant, Certified MBTI facilitator, as well as holds the national certification of Professional in Human Resources. Ms. Dean is also an adjunct instructor for Catholic University of America, Washington, DC.

You can view Ms. Dean’s public LinkedIn profile here.

Thomas J. Ettinger, MBA | Adjunct Instructor

Tom EttingerTom Ettinger has more than thirty years of experience in general management, human resources and consulting. His expertise is in the design of total rewards programs, organization development and in creating human resource management systems that support the operating and strategic needs of organizations. Tom’s consulting firm, has provided support to numerous organizations in both the private, public and nonprofit sectors.

As Vice President, Human Resources for the Martin Marietta Corporation he was accountable for the human resources and security functions for a vertically integrated international producer of advanced commercial and government communication and information systems. He directed the HR planning to support the sector’s strategic and operating objectives and was responsible for the effective implementation of staffing, compensation, benefits, employee and labor relations, OD/HRD, internal and external training, communications, safety, health and diversity programs.

Tom’s prior business experience includes senior human resource positions at Johns Hopkins Medical Institution and AIL Systems. He taught at the high school level after graduating from college.

Tom has taught at George Washington University as well as lecturing at the University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins and Marymount University.

He obtained his BA from Adelphi University and MBA from Hofstra University. Tom has served on a number of boards and is active in community and professional organizations.

Shari Metzger (Jurik), Ph.D. | Adjunct Instructor

Shari Metzger (Jurik), M.A.Dr. Shari R. Metzger (Jurik), an adjunct instructor here at UMBC-Shady Grove since 2017, earned her Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Psychology at UMBC-main campus. Her dissertation focused on children’s math utility conceptions (how useful children think math is outside of the school context) and how those conceptions relate to their parents’ conceptions and their math achievement. More generally, Dr. Metzger’s research interests include schooling and educational development, children’s conceptions of mathematics and how those conceptions relate to motivation, home experiences, and achievement, and program evaluation.

In addition to her research, Dr. Metzger serves as a Research Analyst for Prince George's Community College and consults with the Career Center at UMBC, primarily with their graduating student first destination data.

You can view Dr. Metzger’s public LinkedIn profile here. Dr. Metzger can be reached at

John Milatzo, Ph.D. | Adjunct Instructor

John MilatzoDr. John Milatzo has been teaching in the I/O Psychology program since 2008. Currently, he is a Human Capital Analyst and Statistician at NASA where he conducts research and analysis in support of human capital programs. Previously, he has worked at Monster Government Solutions, the U.S. Postal Service and the National Security Agency.

Dr. Milatzo holds a Ph. D. in Educational Research and Evaluation from Virginia Tech, his M.A. in I/O Psychology from GWU, and a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin. He has held teaching positions at numerous institutions including American University School of Public Affairs, GWU’s MBA program, Johns Hopkins University, and the National Cryptologic School. Dr. Milatzo is a member of several professional associations including APA, SIOP, and the Society for Human Resource Management. Recent specializations and interests include candidate assessment via automated recruiting and applicant tracking systems. Interests include recruitment, assessment, selection; change management; program evaluation and survey research.

You can view Dr. Milatzo's public LinkedIn profile here.

Lesley Perkins, Ph.D. | Adjunct Instructor

Lesley PerkinsDr. Lesley A. Perkins is a human capital consultant with more than 12 years of advising, consulting and coaching experience with organizations. She is currently the Founder of Perkins Consulting which provides strategic and programmatic advice to human resource and business leaders in identifying, selecting and developing employees. Her interest in studying and understanding patterns of human behavior and motivation in the workplace led her to focus on talent management, training design and evaluation, assessment and selection, diversity and inclusion and strategic human capital measurement.

Dr. Perkins’ consulting experience has been with private, federal and non-profit sector organizations. Her clients have included: Toyota, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, McGraw-Hill, Family Matters of Greater Washington, Arlington Temple United Methodist Church, Department of Commerce, United States Air Force and Alabama Department of Transportation.

She received a Ph.D. and M.S. in industrial/organizational psychology from the University of Georgia, and a B.S. in psychology from Howard University. She has additional training from The Coaches Institute and in the Skilled Facilitator technique. She is SPHR (Senior Professional Human Resource) certified. Dr. Perkins is a member of the American Psychological Association, Society for Human Resource Management, Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Also, she is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Incorporated.

David G. Poland, M.A. | Adjunct Instructor

Lesley PerkinsDavid Poland has over 40 years of experience in the development and management of counseling, training, employee assistance, occupational and environmental health services in the hospital, community, correctional and transportation industry environments.

Dave has designed and managed employee assistance and critical incident stress management programs; served as the Chairman of the Board for a non-profit residential treatment facility in Maryland; and, managed a transportation employer’s pre-placement, periodic, surveillance, fitness for duty and drug/alcohol testing programs.

Dave is an Adjunct Instructor for Towson University (HRD Graduate Program); University of Maryland/Shady Grove (I/O Graduate Program); and, the Graduate/Professional Studies Program at McDaniel College.

He has been a guest lecturer giving presentations addressing human resource challenges in today’s workplace for undergraduate and graduate programs at the University of Maryland, University of Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University and Marymount University. Dave has also tutored middle school students as part of his employer’s business-school partnership program and served as a mentor for Hartwick College’s professional “shadowing” program for graduating seniors. Dave has critically reviewed the scriptographic Preventing Workplace Violence—What You Can Do at the request of Channing L. Bete Company, Inc., publisher.

Dave received his Masters in Clinical Psychology from Loyola College, completed the “Federal Workplace Mediation” certificate program from the Northern Virginia Mediation Service and been a Certified Employee Assistance Professional.

David Rudd, MEd, CRP, CT/HRDC, CKM, CPT | Adjunct Instructor

David RuddMr. Rudd’s expertise lies in training and performance improvement gained from serving 23 years in the U.S. Navy, in multiple federal agencies and the private sector. He has led and managed employees in developing and implementing training and development programs and performance improvement projects.

While in the Navy, Mr. Rudd spent considerable time as an instructor and developed an adult education program at the Navy’s Boot Camp that trained over 8,000 Sailors. In addition, he has lead an overseas transition assistance program for military members and served as Director of Training & Development in multiple federal agencies. In several agencies, he led performance improvement projects that significantly improved employee performance. Mr. Rudd currently works for the Department of Justice.

Mr. Rudd earned a MEd in Training & Performance Improvement, a MEd in Adult Education and Development, a Masters Certificate in Return on Investment (ROI) methodology and a BS in Business Administration. He also earned the following certifications:

  • Certified Return on Investment Professional (CRP) from the ROI Institute;
  • Certified Trainer/Human Resources Development Consultant (CT/HRDC) from the International Board of Certified Trainers;
  • Certified Knowledge Manager (CKM) from the Knowledge Management Institute; and
  • Certified Performance Technologist (CPT) from the International Society of Performance Improvement (ISPI).

You can view his Linkedin profile here.

Edward Rudow, Ph.D. | Adjunct Instructor

Edward RudowDr. Rudow is the President of BTR inc. a behavioral sciences management consulting and training firm that has been in business since 1987. Spending the majority of his professional time teaching undergraduate and graduate classes in psychology and business at UMBC and Washington Adventist University, Dr. Rudow still is active in consulting and public speaking.

While his consulting experience has spanned many industries, he has extensive involvement in the financial and travel industries having consulted to clients in both, was director of organizational development for two financial institutions and was a principle in a local travel management company. He is an accomplished public speaker having presented at numerous organization and company meetings to audiences as large as two to three thousand. The topics are generally related to business and people management, but often on individual growth, stress management, and successful living.

Dr. Rudow holds a B.A. in Psychology from Rutgers University, Consumer Psychology and a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from Colorado State University. In his early career, he published in professional journals and co-authored and edited the book Crisis Centers a Guide to Beginning and Operating.

Theodore H. (Ted) Rosen, Ph.D. | Adjunct Faculty

Ten RosenDr. Rosen served as the UMBC Psychology Department’s Associate Program Director, and Director of the MPS: Industrial/Organizational Psychology Program from 2008 until 2016. His previous experience includes serving on the faculty of the Management Department, and served as the Director of the Program in Organizational Behavior and Development at The George Washington University School of Business. Dr. Rosen instructed graduate level courses in the MBA, Project Management (distance and classroom formats) Management Information Systems, and the Executive Management Information Systems Programs.

Dr. Rosen holds a doctorate degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and has over 30 years management consulting, contracting and research experience, including service at US Postal Service Headquarters and the US Office of Personnel Management Headquarters. He completed international executive development assignments in Romania, Egypt and Albania and continues to present management development workshops for visiting international executives in Washington, DC. Dr. Rosen also presents lectures and shares research at professional conferences, both in the US and abroad. He continues his work as the Principal Consultant of his own firm. In 2016, Dr. Rosen was recognized for his contributions to the field throughout his career by the Personnel Testing Council of Metropolitan Washington, receiving its Distinguished Service Award.

Ethan Sanders, M.S. | Adjunct Instructor

Ethan SandersMr. Ethan S. Sanders, an adjunct professor here at UMBC-Shady Grove since 2011, is a Fellow in ICF’s Human Capital Services group. In this role, he serves as a thought-leader in the practice of Human Performance Improvement. He has provided human performance consulting services to clients in the public, non-profit, military, and private sectors for nearly 20 years. Prior to joining ICF Mr. Sanders was president and CEO of Sundial Learning Systems and Director of Organizational Development for the US Navy’s Human Performance Center. Prior to these positions, Mr. Sanders was manager of instructional design for the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD). While at ASTD, he led the research and writing of two major competency studies, and redesigned several of ASTD’s courses.

He is the co-author of Handbook for Workplace Learning, Models for Learning Technologies, Models for Workplace Learning and Performance, Performance Intervention Maps: 36 Strategies for Solving Your Organization’s Problems, HPI Essential, ASTD Distance Learning Yearbook, and the ASTD course “Human Performance Improvement in the Workplace.” Mr. Sanders teaches several of ASTD’s courses offered through public and corporate seminars. He holds a master’s degree in applied behavior science from Johns Hopkins University.

You can view Mr. Sander's public LinkedIn profile here.

Richard Tonowski, Ph.D. | Adjunct Instructor

Richard TonowskiRichard Tonowski has been working as graduate instructor at UMBC since 2014, teaching “Legal, Ethical, and Professional Issues in Industrial-Organizational Psychology.” Starting in 2006, he became the Chief Psychologist of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in Washington, DC.  Richard is an in-house expert witness in support of the EEO enforcement litigations. His areas of expertise in that regard are personnel assessment and statistical analysis.

Previously, Dr. Tonowski held various psychology-related positions for the United States Post Office, D.C Office of Personal, and the New Jersey Department of Civil Services with increasing rank. He also is awaiting the publication of his article entitled “Test Validation Pitfalls” and has given several presentations to professional organizations, including the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Association of Test Publishers, and International Personnel Assessment Council.

He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Manhattan College and went on to obtain his Master’s and Doctorate Degree in Psychology from Rutgers University.

David Wallace, M.S., M.A. | Adjunct Instructor

Richard TonowskiMr. David M. Wallace, an adjunct professor here at UMBC-Shady Grove since 2016, has had a 20-year professional career as an organizational leader in the US Navy. As a naval officer, he has led teams of various size and organizational level from leading a single division on a Navy destroyer to commanding multiple security teams operating on various ships across thousands of miles and in various situations.

As a lifelong student of leadership, he has bolstered this applied experience with academics. He earned an M.S. in information technology management from the Naval Postgraduate School, a course of instruction that included in-depth studies of areas such as decision-making and leading organizational change. In addition, he earned an M.A. in Industrial/Organizational psychology from George Mason University, where he is pursuing his Ph.D. Mr. Wallace’s research interests include leadership, leader development, and the interaction of personality and situations in the workplace.

You can view Mr. Wallace's public LinkedIn profile here. Mr. Wallace can be reached at

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