Joined USJ: 2007
USJ's graduate programs have a solid reputation in their respective fields, attracting students and revealing new career paths. Dan Nussbaum builds on that track-record as a lead incubator at USJ – guiding the development of new, responsive, cutting-edge academic programs in close consultation with colleagues. "What do professionals need? Where do we have experts? How can we galvanize that?" The answers to those questions have been the impetus in widely acclaimed academic initiatives launched in recent years, attracting a growing student population.
"We have a strong student-oriented mission, a multi-disciplinary approach, and a core mission to serve the community – it all comes together in a desire to "create innovative curriculum to meet changing needs in the service professions." Perhaps the best example is a series of certificates, advanced degree programs, and a new institute focusing on autism and applied behavior analysis. All were developed specifically after hearing from teachers already in the classroom who were looking for specific knowledge to improve their effectiveness – and all are flourishing.
Even as USJ grows – reflecting Nussbaum's work and the clear vision of university leadership – he is certain that the individual attention and mentoring that is emblematic of USJ will remain strong. In fact, that is what attracted Nussbaum in the first place, after a career that alternated between academia and nonprofit leadership. His expertise in social policy and nonprofit administration was evident during nearly a half-decade as Director of National Leadership Development for the YMCA, responsible for establishing best practices for professional development, including training programs, multi-cultural and leadership development. That background has recently attracted him to reSET, an initiative in the Hartford region to encourage and nurture social entrepreneurship. He recently joined the organization's Education Action Team.
Nussbaum, an ordained rabbi with an enduring interest in social policy, says that organizations (or institutions) and societies can be judged on how they allocate resources. Those decisions, he says, reflect "who you are, your core beliefs, your ethical commitments." At USJ, his background and values come together, and he relishes the chance to bring even greater opportunities to students by extending academic offerings as the transition from college to university continues.
Ph.D., Social Welfare; Brandeis University
M.S., Management; Hartford Graduate Center
M.A., Biblical and Hebrew Studies; University of Pennsylvania
B.S., History; Swarthmore College