College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Board
Executive Vice President at Sennheiser
Greg is the Executive Vice President at Sennheiser. He started off as an Application Engineer close to three decades ago. Greg has performed greatly in the professional division, designing wireless systems for large productions and theaters. He also became a Product Manager for microphones, from the technical aspects to sales and spearheading the Group’s artist relations program.
As an authority in the pro audio space, he also sits on the Board of Directors for the Professional Audio Manufacturers Alliance (PAMA), an industry trade group with 13 pro audio manufacturer members.
Carolyn Brehm is founder and CEO of Brehm Global Ventures LLC, a consulting firm that advises private-sector businesses and other entities on global government relations and public policy strategy.
Carolyn Brehm is a corporate executive and lecturer with more than 40 years of experience in global government relations, public policy and international business. She worked at two Fortune 100 companies and several non-profits and business associations over the course of her career in Washington, DC and Asia. She is the Founder and CEO of consulting firm Brehm Global Ventures LLC and lectures on commercial diplomacy, government affairs and political risk. Ms. Brehm retired in 2017 from The Procter & Gamble Company as Vice President for Global Government Relations and Public Policy where she created and led P&G’s team of sixty government relations practitioners based in key markets across the globe. She was responsible for public policy and legislative advocacy to protect and grow P&G’s business, advising four company Chairmen and CEOs over her seventeen years there. During a 13-year stint with General Motors Corporation, Ms. Brehm served as chief international lobbyist in Washington as well as in business expansion roles in Shanghai and Hong Kong. She led Asia operations in Hong Kong for ORBIS International, a global NGO working to eliminate avoidable blindness. Ms. Brehm has taught as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and University of Michigan and is a regular lecturer for the Washington Campus.
Gail Brekke '11 Hon.
Gail Brekke ‘11 Hon. is Director of Business Development for Vlock Family Realty, Inc. Previously a top television executive in some of the nation’s largest markets, Ms. Brekke has built a reputation as a consummate professional serving in the highest ranks of corporate media. A former Vice President with LIN Television based in New Haven, CT and nationally headquartered in Providence, RI, Ms. Brekke also served as Vice President and General Manager of KXAN NBC 36 in Austin, TX, KITN-TV Fox 29 in Minneapolis/Saint Paul, WGBO-TV in Chicago, IL, WNOL-TV in New Orleans and KRBK-TV in Sacramento. She was also the President and Owner of Black Diamond Communications, Inc. in Minneapolis.
Currently, she serves a board member of the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven. At the University of New Haven, Ms. Brekke serves as a member of the Emeritus Board of Governors, the Arts & Sciences Advisory Board, the Academic and Student Affairs Committee, and the Compensation Committee. She received an Honorary Degree from the University in 2011. Ms. Brekke earned her bachelor of arts degree from the University of North Dakota and her MBA in Marketing & Sales from Webster University. She is married to Jim Vlock, retired Chairman and CEO of Fox Steel Co. of Orange and President of Vlock Family Realty Inc.
James Cassella '76
James Cassella ‘76 serves as Chief Development Officer of Concert Pharmaceuticals and as a board member of Trevi Therapeutics, Inc., both clinical-stage biopharmaceutical companies. Dr. Cassella has over 30 years of drug development experience working with emerging growth biopharmaceutical companies. Previously, he held senior executive and leadership roles with Alexza Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Neurogen Corporation. Before joining the biopharmaceutical industry, Dr. Cassella was Assistant Professor of Neurosciences at Oberlin College. Dr. Cassella received his Ph.D. in Physiological Psychology from Dartmouth College, completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine, and received a BA in Psychology from the University of New Haven. At the University of New Haven, he serves on the Arts & Sciences Advisory Board.
Chief Human Resources and Communications Officer, Staples, Inc.
Janice Deskus is the Chief Human Resources and Communications Officer of Staples, Inc., responsible for creating and leading a diverse, results-oriented, and customer-focused team. She oversees all aspects of human resources and communications for Staples employees, including organizational structure and change management, talent management, Total Rewards, HR systems and employee relations as well as internal and external communications.
Before joining Staples, Janice served as Vice President of Global Human Resources at Medtronic, where she led the HR function for the $10b Minimally Invasive Therapies Group. Additionally, she led the HR transformation and strategic planning process for Medtronic HR. Her previous career experience includes Vice President, Global and Corporate HR at Aetna, Vice President, HR, for CIGNA Healthcare's sales, marketing and national accounts, and positions of increasing responsibility at United Technologies Corporation and Danaher Corporation.
Janice earned a Bachelor's degree from Eastern Connecticut State University as well as a Master's degree in Industrial & Organizational Psychology from the University of New Haven. She resides in Willington, Connecticut.
Daniel F. Gourash ‘80
Daniel F. Gourash ‘80 is a partner in the law firm Seeley, Savidge, Ebert & Gourash Co., LPA located in Westlake, Ohio. He is Director of the SSEG Tort Defense, Product Liability and Complex Litigation Division. In this capacity, he leads various trial and appellate teams in the efficient resolution of complex civil litigation spanning a variety of subject areas, including insurance coverage, toxic/mass torts, products liability, class action defense, business and personal defamation claims, and commercial and intellectual property disputes. Mr. Gourash also advises companies regarding a variety of business strategies involving contracts, warranties, warnings and risk management in a wide array of areas, including the nascent cannabis and hemp industries.
Mr. Gourash received his BA from the University of New Haven summa cum laude in 1980 and his JD from the Duke University School of Law in 1983. He is licensed in Ohio, has been admitted pro hac vice in 26 states, and is a member of multiple federal district courts, circuit courts of appeal, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He has long been active in the organized bar serving as Chair of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division 1993-94; Chair of the Lawyers Conference of the ABA Judicial Division 2005-05; Member of the ABA Tort and Insurance Practice Section Council 2005-08; A founding Member, Chair, and Immediate Past Chair of the Ohio State Bar Association Committee on Insurance Coverage Specialization from its inception to the present. He currently serves as Vice-Chair of the ABA/TIPS Committee on Cannabis Law and Policy. Mr. Gourash has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Bar Foundation, the Rockwell Springs Trout Club, the Vestry and as Senior Warden of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Lakewood, Ohio and has been active in the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. At the University of New Haven, he serves on the Arts & Sciences Advisory Board.
Associate Professor of Journalism
Rich Hanley is an Associate Professor of Journalism and an Assistant Professor of Medical Sciences for health communications at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. He is also co-director of the university’s Sports Studies program. A graduate of the University of New Haven ’78 and Wesleyan University ‘93, Hanley served as a journalist for local, national and global media for 23 years in print, television and online before joining Quinnipiac as tenured professor in 2001.
He has produced, written and directed several Emmy-nominated documentaries for CPTV and PBS. Hanley oversaw graduate programs in journalism and interactive media for many years in addition to his teaching. He founded the university’s sports journalism graduate program in 2014.
Hanley teaches undergraduate and graduate writing courses and is a specialist in exposing disinformation, teaching an advanced seminar with a focus on how conspiracy theories and false news stories develop and circulate through social media in support of global and national political organizations.
He also teaches a popular undergraduate sports studies course on the history of American football. In 2007, Hanley received the Charter Oak Society Distinguished Faculty Member Award from Quinnipiac, and in 2017 he became the first-ever Frank H. Netter School of Medicine Outstanding Capstone Mentor for his work with a medical student in developing studies and training programs for youth hockey coaches to spot concussion symptoms in their players.
Hanley is frequently interviewed by news media on the intersection of politics and technology, appearing in media outlets ranging from the New York Times to Variety to offer insights into the origins and distribution of disinformation through social media among other topics of vital interest to democracy and the democratic process.
President of PJ Squared Consulting
Peter Johnson retired from Eli Lilly & Company in 2014 where he served as the Vice President of Corporate Strategic Planning from 2001-2014. He joined Lilly in 1986 and during his career held a variety of positions in Finance, Manufacturing Operations and Strategy. From 2011 - 2016 he was an Adjunct Professor at Miami University’s Farmer School of Business where he was named MBA Faculty of the Year four times.
From 2015-2017 he was the Executive in Residence in Strategy at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He was named Teacher of the Year in 2017. Currently he is President of PJ Squared Consulting. In 1986 he earned his MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business and in 1981 was awarded a BA in English from the University of New Haven.
Dennis McGough, '81 M.A., '10 Hon.
Dennis McGough retired in 2009 as vice president of human resources at Olin Corporation, a Fortune 1000 company. Dr. McGough, also served as corporate vice president of human resources and oversaw the company’s benefits administration function as well as its leadership development, executive coaching and incentive compensation programs. Dr. McGough was a professor in the University of New Haven’s master’s degree program in industrial/organizational psychology for more than 25 years.
Dr. McGough joined the University of New Haven Board of Governors in 2014. He is a member of the College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Board at the University of New Haven.
He was a member of the board of directors of the Liberation Meridian Guenster Programs. He is a former chair of the board of Bridgeport Area Youth Ministries, and he is a former member of the board of the Shelter for the Homeless based in Stamford, Conn. He also has served as the chair of the training committee and an active EMT with the Monroe Volunteer Emergency Medical Service.
Dr. McGough earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He is a 1981 graduate of the University of New Haven’s master’s degree program in industrial/organizational psychology, and he has a Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology from Union Institute and University. He received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of New Haven in 2010. Dr. McGough and his wife, Donna, reside in New Oxford, Penn. They have three grown children.
Richard Smith, '80 B.A., '83 JD
Attorney Smith owns and manages SmithLaw, P.C, a boutique firm specializing in real estate transactions, estate law and litigation and is a member of the Connecticut, Federal and United States Supreme Court Bars. Richard also served as a member the Connecticut General Assembly as the State Representative for the 108th General Assembly District from 2010 to 2020 and was appointed as an Assistant Republican Leader and Republican Policy Chairman. Richard received numerous awards from Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) and was named a Community Champion in Connecticut and a Legislative Champion nationally for his advocacy against drunk driving.