Loyola University Maryland


Meet the Staff

Douglas B. Harris 
Faculty Co-Director of Messina
Maryland Hall 145

Michael Puma 
Student Development Co-Director of Messina
Maryland Hall 145

Mary Ellen Wade 
Associate Director
Maryland Hall 145

Teresa Heath
Program Coordinator
Flannery O'Connor 227

Patrick Cassidy
Program Coordinator
Flannery O'Connor 227

Messina Main Phone Line: 410-617-2669
Messina Direct E-mail: messina@loyola.edu

Douglas B. Harris, Faculty Co-Director of Messina

The Johns Hopkins University
Ph.D., Political Science

The American University
Bachelor of Arts, Political Science

Doug Harris joined Loyola’s political science department in the Fall of 2002 after having been assistant professor of government, politics, and political economy at the University of Texas at Dallas. Prior to that, he was also a visiting faculty member at Colgate University and Johns Hopkins University. His research on congressional leadership, party and media politics, and American political history has been published in several scholarly journals and edited collections. He is co-author of The Austin-Boston Connection: Fifty Years of House Democratic Leadership (Texas A&M University Press, 2009) and co-editor of Doing Archival Research: A New Mode of Research in Political Science (forthcoming from Cambria Press). Active in his discipline, Harris served as guest editor of a symposium for the journal P.S.: Political Science and Politics and he has been a member of the Program Committee of the Annual Meeting of the Northeastern Political Science Association since 2006 as co-chair of the section on “Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Social Movements.”

At Loyola, Harris teaches courses on Congress, American political parties, media and politics, public policy, and American political development. And, he has taught an introductory American politics course, called “Political Conversations:  Pursuing the Common Good in America,” in Loyola’s Alpha Program for the last eight years. Committed to students, he has directed the Political Science Internship Program, mentored students in numerous independent research projects, and moderated several student organizations including Loyola’s Omicron Mu chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha (the National Political Science Honor Society); under his direction in 2006, Loyola won a “best chapter” award from the national Pi Sigma Alpha organization. Associate professor of political science since 2006, he chaired the department in 2010-2011.

Dedicated to Loyola and its Jesuit mission, Harris has been a member of the Academic Senate, the Honors Executive Board, the Faculty Affairs Committee, and an ex officio member of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and the Center for the Humanities Steering Committee  In 2009, he participated in the “Faculty Seminar on Ignatian Pedagogy and Interdisciplinary Teaching” and, in 2010, he was one of several Loyola faculty members to attend the “Eastern Conversations” conference of faculty from East coast Jesuit institutions to discuss academics, mission, and identity in Jesuit education. He was appointed director of Loyola’s Honors Program in 2010 after having been assistant director since 2008; he left this position (and chair of political science) to become co-director of Messina. Since 2015, Harris has served as the Dean of Undergraduate Studies.

Michael Puma, Student Development Co-Director of Messina

University of Maryland - College Park
Current Doctoral Student, Higher Education Administration

Syracuse University
Master of Science, Higher Education Administration

Fordham University
Bachelor of Science, Psychology and American Studies

Michael Puma was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Puma spent his first nine years at Loyola in the Office of Student Life serving as both an Assistant Director and Associate Director for Living-Learning Initiatives.  As Associate Director, he helped to coordinate Loyola's First-Year Living Learning Communities and the Ad Infinitum Sophomore Community. He also facilitated the professional staff search recruitment, selection, and training as well as the peer education initiatives for Student Life.  In 2011, Puma was named the Student Development Co-Director of Messina.  Prior to joining the Loyola community, he served as a Resident Director at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY.

While at Loyola, Puma has taken part in several retreats and immersion trips including UNITE, Spring Break Outreach to Cumberland, MD, Fries, VA, and New Orleans, LA and the Encuentra El Salvador trip in May 2005. He served as president of Loyola's Phi Beta Kappa chapter from 2009-11 and is a member of OUT Loyola - Loyola's LGBTQ group for faculty, staff and administrators. He also advises Take Back the Night student organization, which strives to educate the Loyola community on issues of sexual assault, gender stereotypes and power-based personal violence.

In June 2005, Puma received the Ignatian Medal for an Outstanding New Professional in Jesuit Student Affairs from JASPA (Jesuit Association of Student Personnel). From 2009 to 2011, he served as Treasurer of the Maryland College Personnel Association. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Higher Education Administration at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Mary Ellen Wade, Associate Director of Messina

Rowan University
Master of Arts, Higher Education Administration

Rowan University
Bachelor of Arts, History with a Secondary Education Certification

In Fall 2013, Mary Ellen Wade joined Messina as Associate Director. In this role, she coordinates the planning, implementation and evaluation of direct assessment initiatives and fosters development of pre-packaged modules for first-year seminar facilitators to utilize in their Messina courses. Mary Ellen also serves as a Messina mentor for two Messina course pairings.

Beyond Messina, Mary Ellen supports the Divison of Student Development as the co-chair of the Research Consultation Group, the Loyola liason to the Jesuit Association of Student Personnel Administrators (JASPA), and as a hearing officer and investigator for student conduct. In Fall 2016, she was awarded the Dedication to Professional Service Award by the Maryland Chapter of the Association of College Personnel Administrators (MCPA). She authored a case study which will appear in the forthcoming volume What Makes the First-Year Seminar High Impact? An Exploration of Effective Educational Practices. In summer 2017, Mary Ellen will be a part of Elon University's Center for Engaged Learning’s 2017-2019 Research Seminar on Residential Learning Communities as a High-Impact Practice.

For five years prior to working with Messina, Mary Ellen was an Assistant Director of Student Life for the Hillside and Gardens Areas at Loyola. During her time in Student Life, she coordinated Resident Assistant Training and Staff Development, Student Staff Selection, and helped to develop the Be a Good Hound campaign. Mary Ellen was also a co-instructor for FE100 and participated in the Encounter El Salvador immersion experience in May 2009.

Prior to Loyola, Mary Ellen previously worked at Georgetown University as a Hall Director.  Her past work experience included working on the Living Learning Community Committee in the Office of Residence Life and serving as the DC Metro Regional Coordinator for MACUHO (Mid Atlantic College and University Housing Organization).  Mary Ellen is originally from Southern New Jersey. Professional interests include fostering connections to institutional mission and values among students and her personal interests include painting, hiking, and road trips.

Teresa Heath, Program Coordinator

Loyola University Maryland
Master of Education, School Counseling

Salisbury University
Bachelor of Arts, Psychology

Teresa is an alumna of Loyola’s graduate program in School Counseling, and is currently taking graduate courses in Psychology. Before joining the Messina office as Program Coordinator in 2015, Teresa worked for nonprofit organizations in Connecticut and Virginia, providing mental health services to adolescents. As a first-generation college student, Teresa is passionate about supporting first-year students in their transition to college and is looking forward to her third year with Messina!

Patrick Cassidy, Program Coordinator

Providence College
Bachelor of Arts, Social Work and Spanish

Pat Cassidy joined the Messina staff as a Program Coordinator in the summer of 2015. Previous to his work at Loyola, Pat worked at the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Baltimore, MD from 2010-2015 where he managed and facilitated volunteer formation and programming in Belize and Tanzania. A Former Jesuit Volunteer himself, Pat served in Punta Gorda, Belize from 2008-2010 directing local student retreats in Mayan Villages and coordinating service immersion trips from the United States. Pat received his 200hr Yoga Alliance Teacher Certification through Charm City Yoga in 2016 and enjoys sharing his passion for yoga with the Loyola community. In his spare time, Pat can be found biking around Baltimore, exploring new restaurants, and traveling to visit family and friends.


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