Agenda Committee of the Faculty Senate

                                                              Agenda Committee for 2022-2023


Matthew MacManes, Chair
Vidya Sundar, Vice Chair
James Connell, Member-at-Large
Jeffrey Halpern, Member-at-Large
Andrew Seal, Member-at-Large
Kevin Healey, past Chair, Ex-Officio Member                                                   

Matt MacManes
 is an associate professor of genome-enabled biology in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Biomedical Sciences in COLSA. He has been at UNH since 2013. Matt received an AAS in Nursing in 1999, a BS in Natural Resources at The University of Michigan (Go Blue!) in 2005, and a PhD in Integrative Biology from The University of California at Berkeley in 2011. Matt’s research program involves understanding how desert mammals survive despite the intense heat and profound lack of water by combining studies of physiology with genomics.  Matt teaches courses in genetics, genomics, and bioinformatics, which bridge the fields of biology and computer sciences. Matt has had the privilege of serving on numerous Departmental, College, and University Committees including the Data Analytics Steering committee, the College P&T committee, and several faculty search committees. Matt is passionate about DEI, open access/science, and science communication. In his free time, Matt enjoys a hoppy IPA, his Great Dane, and being outdoors. 

Vidya Sundar is an associate professor of occupational therapy (OT) at the University of New Hampshire. She received her undergraduate degree in occupational therapy from Dr. MGR Medical University, India, and her PhD in Rehabilitation Science from University of Buffalo. At UNH, Dr. Sundar teaches inter-disciplinary coursework related to inclusive workplace practices, worker rehabilitation, and research methods and statistics. She was the recipient of the CHHS Outstanding New Investigator Award in 2018 and the Excellence in Collaboration Award in 2017. Dr. Sundar has over 13 years’ experience in conducting disability and employment research. Her current scholarship focuses on intervention programs for career development and advancement of individuals with disabilities. Her research has been funded by federal agencies and private foundations such as the Administration on Community Living, Administration on Aging, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, Social Security Administration, and Kessler Foundation. Dr. Sundar has served in several departmental and college committees at UNH and is a member of the faculty senate since 2019.

James J. Connell (Jim) is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy with a joint appointment in the Space Science Center. He received his Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis. From graduate school he went to the Enrico Fermi Institute at the University of Chicago as academic research staff. His main work involved the High Energy Telescope (HET) on the Ulysses deep-space mission. In 2002 he moved to the University of New Hampshire as an associate professor. Since coming to UNH, Professor Connell has taught a variety of graduate and undergraduate Physics courses. He developed and taught an interdisciplinary Inquiry Course, PHYS-444, "Myths and Misconceptions about Nuclear Science," which addresses nuclear physics, technology, policy and society. This course was in the first group of 444 courses ever taught. At UNH, he has continued his research on high-energy space radiation and instrumentation. He developed a new technique known as ADIS (Angle Detecting Inclined Sensors) which is the basis of the Energetic Heavy Ion Sensor (EHIS) for the GOES-R series of weather satellites. The first of four EHIS instruments was launched on 19 November 2016 on GOES-16 (nee GOES-R), and the second launched on 1 March 2018 on GOES-17 (nee GOES-S), with the third currently scheduled for December 2021. Professor Connell has served on a range of departmental and university committees and became a faculty senator in 2011. He has served on the Agenda Committee since AY2012-13 and acted as Parliamentarian since AY2013-14.

Jeffrey M. Halpern (he/him/his) is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering. In 2012, he was awarded a Fulbright Senior Scholarship and joined UNH in 2014. Halpern currently runs the Surface Enhanced Electrochemical Diagnostic Sensors (SEEDS) Laboratory, and is the PI of BIO-SENS (Bio-Inspired On-demand Strategies to Engineer Nanostructured Sensors) [an NSF EPSCoR funded group #2119237]. His current research is highly interdisciplinary which integrates surface chemistry, electrochemistry, material science, and biosensor design by focusing on surface polymer modifications towards the recruitment of biomolecules for enhanced sensitivity, reproducibility, and reusability. Halpern currently serves as the Past Chair of the Sensors Topical at American Institute of Chemical Engineers, which awarded him the 2022 Herb Epstein Award for Technical Program. Halpern is also currently serving as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Organic and Biological Electrochemistry Division of the Electrochemical Society. Since 2018, Halpern has taught 9 different courses within Chemical Engineering, with a wide range of topics. In addition, Halpern is a proud mentor, winning LEAP for Education Educator’s Award in 2019, and he is heavily involved with different teaching and mentoring pedagogies adapted for neurodiverse students.

Andrew Seal (he/him) is a Lecturer in the Paul School of Business and Economics and has been the Faculty Senate representative for the Economics Department since 2018. He has served on the Academic Programs Committee and the Finance and Administration Committee, and he chaired the Academic Affairs Committee this past academic year. His research and teaching is strongly interdisciplinary, drawing from his doctoral training in American Studies (Yale, 2017). His writing has appeared in both scholarly journals (such as the American Historical Review and the Journal of American Studies) and more popular outlets (e.g., n+1, The Chronicle of Higher Education Review, and the Los Angeles Review of Books). He is a Red Sox fan and a victim of the Everton Football Club.

Kevin Healey is an Associate Professor of Communication at the University of New Hampshire. He received his undergraduate degree from Drew University, his Masters in Media Studies from The New School, and his Ph.D. in Communication and Media from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Kevin writes and teaches about ethics, religion, and digital culture. His essays appear in numerous academic books and journals, as well as in popular forums like Salon and Huffington Post. He has received two teaching awards, one from UNH and another from the National Communication Association. His most recent book, Ethics and Religion in the Age of Social Media: Digital Proverbs for Responsible Citizens, received the 2020 Book of the Year Award from the Religious Communication Association. This book and his other ongoing research projects are supported by his participation in a three-year Public Theologies of Technology and Presence grant program sponsored by the Institute of Buddhist Studies and the Henry Luce Foundation.

Agenda Committee Membership 2021-2022

  • Chair: Kevin Healey, Communications, COLA
  • Vice Chair: Matthew MacManes, MCBS, COLSA
  • James Connell, Physics, CEPS
  • Vidya Sundar, Occupational Therapy, CHHS
  • Harriet Fertik, Classics, Humanities, and Italian Studies, COLA (Fall 2021)
  • Kathrine Aydelotte, Library (Spring 2022)

Agenda Committee Membership 2020-2021

  • Chair:  Erin Sharp, Human Development & Family Studies, CHHS
  • Vice Chair:  Kevin Healey, Communication, COLA, Vice  Chair (elected on 11/2/20)

  • Past Chair:  David Bachrach, History, COLA 

  • Ann Bartow, UNH Law
  • James Connell, Physics, CEPS
  • Allison Wilder, Recreation Management and Policy, CHHS (elected on 11/2/20)

Note: Rosemarie Came, Earth Sciences, CEPS, served as Vice  Chair from 05/04/20 - 11/2/20

Learn about members of the Agenda Committee