Faculty Promotions Announced at Holy Cross

February 28th, 2012 by Cristal Steuer


From left: Melissa Boyle, Debra O'Connor, Mary Doyle Roche, and Gregory DiGirolamo. Not pictured: Sarah Petty. Image by Matthew Atanian

Five faculty members at the College of the Holy Cross have been promoted to the rank of associate professor with tenure.

Melissa A. Boyle ’00, of the department of economics, earned her Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her A.B. from the College of the Holy Cross. A member of the Holy Cross faculty since 2005, her research interests include the economics of aging, health economics, cultural economics and public economics. The recipient of numerous grants and awards she has earned three Social Security Administration research grants, a Batchelor (Ford) Summer Faculty Fellowship and a Hewlett Mellon Grant.  She has been published in numerous scholarly journals including the “Journal of Public Economics,” “Economics Letters,” and the “Journal of Cultural Economics.”  On campus she is a member of the Presidential Colloquium on Jesuit Liberal Arts at Holy Cross, the president of the Holy Cross chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, and a member of the Health Professions Advisory Committee. She is also on the Board of Directors at St. Mary Health Care Center in Worcester. Boyle resides in Worcester.

Gregory J. DiGirolamo, of the psychology department, earned his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon. A member of the Holy Cross faculty since 2007, he is also an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he runs a research group in the Division of Addiction investigating breakdowns of control in addiction. He is co-director of cognitive neuroscience at the Edith Nourse Rogers Veteran’s Hospital in Bedford, Mass., where he oversees a research team investigating issues of addiction, psychiatric disorders and homelessness in returning veterans. He is the recipient of grants from the National Institute of Health (NIH), The McDonnell Foundation and The Templeton Foundation, and is editor of “Higher Level Brain Function: The Scientific World” and “Cognition: The Scientific World.” DiGirolamo lives in Holden.

Debra J. O’Connor, of the economics department, earned her Ph.D. and B.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and her M.S. in taxation from Bentley College. A member of the Holy Cross faculty since 2005, she serves as the accounting coordinator and the study abroad coordinator for accounting. The recipient of a Hewlett-Mellon Grant, her research interests include supply chain management and mixed-integer linear programming. She is a certified public accountant. O’Connor resides in Petersham, Mass.

Sarah A. Petty, of the chemistry department, received her Ph.D. and M.S. in chemistry from the University of Liverpool (UK). A member of the Holy Cross faculty since 2006, she has written numerous articles concerning her research on peptides associated with diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which have been published in journals including the “Journal of the American Chemical Society,” and “Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.” She has received numerous grants to support her research including two Charles and Rosanna Batchelor (Ford) Foundations grants and a Research and Publications grant from Holy Cross. She resides in Spencer, Mass.

Mary Doyle Roche ’90, of the religious studies department, has been a member of the Holy Cross faculty since 2005. She earned her Ph.D. in theological ethics from Boston College, her M.A. in theological studies at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, and her A.B. in religious studies from Holy Cross. Her research interests include Catholic moral theology and social teaching, Christian ethics, virtue ethics, bioethics, and feminist ethics. She is the author of “Children, Consumerism, and the Common Good” (Lexington Books, 2009), co-editor of “Calling for Justice throughout the World: Catholic Women Theologians on the HIV/AIDS Pandemic” (Continuum, 2009) and is the co-author of a forthcoming book titled “Pursuing Health: An Introduction to Health Care Ethics through Catholic Social Teaching.” She lives in Westborough with her husband Dennis and two children, Emma and Declan.

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