Professional Development Program Area

Faculty of the Professional Development Certificate Program Area

  • Debra Kerr

    Debra Kerr is founder and executive director of YouthMuse, which serves as youth advocate and jumpstarts youth-led, museum-based campaigns for change. She provides consulting in the areas of teen engagement and strategic planning for cultural organizations. During her 17-year career at the world-renowned Shedd Aquarium, she held progressively responsible roles, serving as executive vice president for 11 years. She is a past board member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and past chair and instructor for its Professional Development Committee and management courses. She teaches museum management for Northwestern University, serves on the board for the Merit School of Music and on the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Leaders Council, and is a member of the American Alliance of Museums. She is a frequent guest speaker on issues related to museum relevance, teen empowerment and activating the public for social good.

  • Caroline Goldthorpe

    Born and trained in England, Caroline Goldthorpe began her career as a curator by volunteering in the Department of Textiles and Dress at the Victoria and Albert Museum at the age of 15. She interned during high school and college and then worked there as a curator for four years. She relocated to work as curator of the Willis Local History Museum in Hampshire in addition to keeper of costume and textiles of Hampshire County Museum Service. After three years she became deputy head of the costume department at the Museum of London.

    Moving to New York, she was a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for six years, and curated the exhibition (and wrote the accompanying book) From Queen to Empress; Victorian Dress 1837–1877, seen by over 200,000 people in its four month run.

    Goldthorpe was subsequently curatorial consultant for Ringwood Manor, the summer home of the Cooper-Hewitt family, taught in the MA in Museum Studies program at the Fashion Institute of Technology and was called in by Sotheby’s New York, for “expert testimony” regarding a disputed Mary Cassatt.

    After moving to Chicago, she taught a history of fashion course in the art history department at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

    Goldthorpe is now director of the Museum Studies certificate program at Northwestern University, and received the 2008–09 SCS Distinguished Teaching Award. She teaches museum origins and missions and learning and museums, both online and on campus. She also created and teaches the annual two-day summer symposium The Exhibit: From Concept to Opening and Beyond.

    Goldthorpe also teaches collections management and the house museum in the University of Oklahoma's online MA in Museum Studies, mentors students doing their project semesters and chairs final exam panels, and has acted as professional adviser within the MA in Applied Professional Studies program at DePaul University.

    In addition to lecturing widely, she is a Lifetime Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a member of the American Alliance of Museums, the UK Museums Association, The Museum Education Roundtable, Association of Academic Museums and Galleries, the Costume Society of America and the Textile Society at the Art Institute of Chicago.

  • Daniel J. Carmody

    Daniel J. Carmody, CTP, is the managing director of TreaSolution, a treasury management consulting company headquartered in Chicago. He is a past corporate treasury practitioner and has worked within the treasury departments of Arthur Andersen, Equity Office Properties and AON Corporation.

    In 2002, Carmody started TreaSolution to assist treasury departments in developing secure and efficient treasury management operations. His current responsibilities within TreaSolution are to guide its strategic operations along with treasury technology and treasury best practices consulting.

    An expert on treasury management trends and best practices, Carmody is a sought after public speaker and contributor to treasury management articles. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, CFO Magazine, American Express Inside Edge, Treasury & Risk Management Magazine, AFP Exchange and more. In addition, Carmody has been invited by numerous treasury associations to speak about treasury and corporate finance issues. He is an active member of the Treasury Management Association of Chicago and the Northern Illinois University Department of Finance Board of Executive Advisors.

  • Margaret S. Powers

    Margaret S. Powers

    Margaret S. Powers is a divorce mediator and collaborative practice associate. She specializes and offers expertise as a child specialist, family therapist, and divorce coach. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Advanced Practitioner Mediator, her graduate degrees include psychology and social work. Serving in the mental health system for the past 36 years, she has been a full time conflict resolution professional since 1989. Her diverse experience includes community activist, family therapist, emergency room crisis intervention specialist, hospital social worker, and a divorce mediator for the Domestic Relations Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. She currently teaches family and divorce mediation at Northwestern University. Past faculty experience includes DePaul University's Center for Dispute Resolution. Powers has served on numerous committees and received many awards during her career. She served as a founding board member of both The Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois and The Association of Conflict Resolution, a Washington D.C. based international organization. She developed and founded the Illinois Social Work Mediators Network within the National Association of Social Workers. She served for 16 years as a board member, was past president, and currently serves as advisor to Mediation Council of Illinois. Powers is an advisor to the Board of the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois and board member of the International Academy of Dispute Resolution. She has taught mediation and conflict resolution for Allstate Insurance; the Federal Aviation Administration; the Anchorage, Alaska, Circuit Court and the  National Association of Social Workers. She has offered her skills in South Africa and Germany. Powers is a seasoned and skilled mediator who has been quoted in the Chicago Daily Law BulletinCrain's Chicago BusinessChicago TribuneDaily HeraldPioneer Press and the National Association of Social Workers Networker.


  • Thomas F. Gibbons

    Thomas F. Gibbons is dean of Northwestern University School of Continuing Studies, a senior lecturer with Northwestern's School of Law and also serves as president of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association. Gibbons, a former labor attorney with more than 20 years of experience in negotiations, mediation and arbitration, regularly teaches courses in the field of mediation, arbitration and conflict resolution on the undergraduate and graduate levels at Northwestern University. He has taught mediation training at the School of Continuing Studies for the past 10 years.  Gibbons is a labor arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, Illinois Labor Department and Illinois Public Employees Arbitration Roster. He also serves as an employment mediator for the American Arbitration Association and Illinois Public Employees Mediation Roster, as well as a conciliator for the Archdiocese of Chicago's Office of Conciliation. Gibbons regularly writes on ADR topics, including chapter author for Alternative Dispute Resolution, published by the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, and topic author for Elkouri and Elkouri's How Arbitration Works, published by the American Bar Association and BNA Publishing. He is also the past president of the Chicago Chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution, and a past co-chair of the Chicago Bar Association's Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee. Gibbons holds law degrees from Yale Law School and DePaul University College of Law. He also earned a master's degree from Drew University and his undergraduate degree from Fordham University.


  • Lisa Zulanas

    Lisa Zulanas is the director of learning and development for Levy Restaurants based in Chicago, and is also the founder of Indevor Professional Development, LLC. Zulanas is an experienced human resources, professional development and learning consultant. She is an active mediator, facilitator and trainer specializing in negotiation and mediation skills and conflict management. In her consulting practice, she works with corporate clients on professional skills initiatives including executive leadership programs and management development. Zulanas is also an adjunct professor teaching the Negotiation Workshop at Northwestern University's School of Law. 

    Zulanas is currently the Co-Chair of Programming for the Association for Conflict Resolution, Chicago Chapter and a member of the Strategic Planning Committee for the Center for Conflict Resolution (CCR) in Chicago. She received her mediation certification through CCR and mediates various cases as a volunteer including those with the Cook County Program. Prior to her consulting work, Zulanas worked in corporate human resources and training in Asia for eight years. She received her bachelor's LL.B. degree in law from the University of Wales in the U.K. and her LL.M. master's degree in law from Northwestern University Law School with a specialism in mediation and negotiation.

    Zulanas was recognized in October 2012 with the Distinguished Teaching Award 2012 for the Professional Development and Post-baccalaureate Programs at Northwestern University School of Continuing Studies.