Meet the Team
National Advisory Board
In addition to the staff members listed below, the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel receives input and guidance from a National Advisory Board composed of local and national leaders in humanities education and community engagement. Click here to see the current roster of board members.
Matthew C. Jordan
Dr. Matthew Jordan is Dean and Chair for Humanities at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Humanities Center at Cuyahoga Community College. His role is to provide the leadership and guidance to further develop the Center into a national model for engagement in the humanities. He has served as director of the University Honors Program and as deputy dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Auburn University at Montgomery in Alabama. Prior to his administrative roles at Auburn Montgomery, Dr. Jordan served as a member of the philosophy faculty at the university. He has taught at Quincy University, Capital University, and The Ohio State University. Dr. Jordan is a national leader in honors education, publishing and presenting widely in the discipline as well as in the areas of ethics and philosophy of religion. He has also served as a referee for several philosophy conferences and academic journals. His participation in professional organizations includes work with the National Collegiate Honors Council, the Alabama Philosophical Society, the Southern Regional Honors Council, and the Alabama Articulation and General Studies Committee and Statewide Transfer and Articulation Reporting System. Dr. Jordan holds degrees from Ohio University and Biola University, as well as a Ph.D. in philosophy from The Ohio State University. Dr. Jordan is committed to continuing the crucial work of The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Humanities Center in developing the next generation of leaders.
Mary Hovanec, Associate Professor of History serves as the Faculty Chair of the Scholars Program for the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Scholars Academy. Recognized for her commitment to students, Hovanec was a recipient of Ralph M. Besse Award for Teaching Excellence and currently serves as
Office: EMHC 240E
Herbert F. Mausser - College Wide Director, Honors & Scholars Programs
Herb Mausser is the College Wide Director for Honors & Scholars Programs, including the Mandel Scholars Academy. He came to Tri-C in 1998, first as a manager in WEDD’s Small Business Environmental Assistance Center at the Unified Technology Center and then as the Environmental, Health & Safety Technology program manager at Eastern Campus. In May 2011, Herb was named Tri-C’s college-wide Assistant Dean for Honors and Experiential Learning Programs. He earned Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees in Earth Science from Case Western Reserve University, then spent 10 years in private industry in the geological and environmental technologies fields. In 1993, he fulfilled a life-long desire to teach by becoming the founding director of the Environmental Management Technology program at Kent State University’s Salem Regional Campus. Herb is an appointed member of the Cuyahoga County Local Emergency Planning Committee and an amateur choir director. He and his wife Sonja have enjoyed living in Cleveland’s West Park neighborhood for 30 years.
Office: EMHC 240F
Jensen Hanna - Community Liaison
Jensen Hanna serves
Jensen earned a B.A. in Political Science from Baldwin Wallace University and is currently finishing her certificate of Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C). In fall of 2017, she was elected President of Tri-C’s SOGE (Sexual Orientation Gender Equality) Council. Jensen is also a 2016 alum of Tri-C’s Mandel Leadership Development Program.
Off-campus, Jensen and her partner (Emily) enjoy: playing board games, attending outdoor concerts, hiking in the Cleveland Metroparks, and jumping in the car for a road trip with their rescue dog- Rosie.
Office: EMHC 240B
Ra'Shawn Brown - Coordinator
Office: EMHC 240
Marianna Nesterenko - Coordinator
Office: EMHC 240I
Emily Quayle, M.Ed. - Student Liaison, Mandel Continuing Scholars Program
Emily Quayle received her B.S. in
Office: EMHC 240C
Dr. Brian Johnson - Assistant Professor of Humanities
Dr. Brian Johnson teaches the Mandel HUM 1020 course- The Individual and Society- and leads multiple sections of the Mandel Community Engagement Courses. He serves on several committees devoted to Mandel Scholars Academy curriculum and programming. Dr. Johnson earned his M.A. in English from California State University Chico and his Ph.D. in English from University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He formerly taught at Cleveland State University, Case Western Reserve University, Marlboro College, and Bay Path University. His scholarly interests are in American culture, especially what defines evil within the popular imagination. He is the author of the book The Nazi Card and is the co-editor of the collected volume The Function of Evil Across Disciplinary Contexts.
Office: ESS 2108
Matt Laferty - Assistant Professor of English
Matt Laferty is Assistant Professor of English and Chair of the Faculty Senate at the Western Campus of Tri-C. He holds a Master’s Degree from Radford University. He teaches courses in British and American Literature as well as a breadth of courses in English and Humanities. He is interested in a broad range of literary forms, the history of popular music in the US, and the connections between art and literature. In addition to his work at Tri-C, Professor Laferty runs New Ghosts, which is dedicated to promoting avant-garde jazz and improvised music in Cleveland.