Kelsey Pieper and Aidsa I. Santiago Román to Lead the PROTECT RETCC

Oct 11, 2022 | PROTECT Team, Training Core

This Research Experience and Training Coordination Core (RETCC) transitioned to new leadership this summer. Tom Sheahan and Kristin Hicks will pass their leadership roles to Dr. Kelsey Pieper and Dr. Aidsa I. Santiago Román. We are thankful to Tom Sheahan, now serving as the Executive Vice Provost of Northeastern University, and Kristin Hicks, Director of Operations of Northeastern’s CenSISS, who have guided students, impacted their training, and transformed the core for over 12 years.

Over the last decade, Tom’s and Kristin’s leadership of the RETCC established the PROTECT program as a place for the next generation of researchers to grow to their full potential. Their dedication helped lead trainees to careers in academia and industry, and gave them a better understanding of what it means to be a multidisciplinary researcher. Their impact on the center will remain for years to come.

As Tom and Kristin transition out of the core, Northeastern Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Dr. Kelsey Pieper has been named the new leader of the RETCC. University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez Campus (UPRM) Professor of Engineering Dr. Aidsa I. Santiago Román will join Kelsey as the RETCC co-lead.

Kelsey has been a PROTECT collaborator with Project 3 for several years, testing Puerto Rico water samples for different harmful metals to better understand drinking water quality and infrastructure. As a professor at Northeastern, Kelsey has provided her students with opportunities for research, professional development, and general support when needed. These experiences will play a leading role in her work to support trainees as they work on their individual development plans (IDPs), apply for national research grants and awards, and become well-versed in multidisciplinary research.

New RETCC Leader Dr. Kelsey Pieper

New RETCC Co-lead Dr. Aidsa I. Santiago Román

Aidsa has been with PROTECT and the RETCC since 2010 and has played a key role in maintaining a strong connection between students in Puerto Rico and the RETCC. Her research areas include course and curriculum design, faculty development, and the development of institutional interventions to improve student’s success, especially for those from underrepresented populations. Also, as the former chair of the Department of Engineering Sciences and Materials at UPRM, Aidsa’s leadership has led students to succeed academically, professionally, and personally. She and Kelsey hope their partnership will make the RETCC an accessible and bilingual core that all PROTECT students, from Puerto Rico to Michigan to Boston, can feel comfortable turning to.

Please join PROTECT in thanking Tom and Kristin for their years of dedication to the PROTECT trainees and welcoming Kelsey and Aidsa as the new RETCC leaders!