NEXT Faculty Mentors

NEXT Mentors are select experienced faculty and community business partners responsible for providing field-specific content expertise and mentoring for NEXT Fellows consulting projects.

Dr. Melinda Costello, Professor in Management Department, (518) 782-6543

Dr. Melinda Costello holds a B.A. in Literature from SUNY Cortland, a M.S. in Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation from Syracuse University, and a Ph.D. in Business Administration also from Syracuse University. She is a full professor in the Department of Management and teaches courses in communications and organizational behavior. Before joining Siena College, she worked in sales, production management, and training and development at General Electric. Dr. Costello's research interests relate to power and change in a variety of settings. She has authored papers on the bully behavior at work and power relationships in the undergraduate classroom.

Deborah Kelly, J.D., Chair, Management Department, Associate Prof. of Management, (518) 782-6866

Ms. Kelly holds a B.S. in Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a J.D. in Law from Albany Law School of Union University.  She started teaching fulltime at Siena College in 2004 and has been Chair of the Management Department since 2011. Ms. Kelly has taught various courses at Siena, including Human Resource Management, Government & Business, International Business, Global Connections, and Management Principles. She has earned certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), is a Special Counsel to the firm of Albany Office of Hodgson Russ LLP, and served as Vice President on the Board of Trustees for Catholic Charities.

Eric Lewis, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Accounting, (518) 782-6976

Associate Professor of Accounting with teaching interests including Mergers and Acquisitions, Advanced Financial Accounting, Auditing and Managerial Accounting. Research interests include Accounting measures of risk, business valuation, and capital market analysis. Previously served on the faculties of Skidmore College, Ithaca College and Cornell University. Served as Dean of the School of Business at Union Graduate College. Principal and Founder of The Elliott Group, a boutique consultancy specializing in Litigation Support, Business Valuation, and Strategic Support for new business ventures. Member of the Board of Trustees of The Albany Academies.


David Liebschutz, Visiting Professor of Economics

David Liebschutz is a visiting professor of economics at Siena, where he teaches principles of microeconomics and macroeconomics and a seminar in law in economics. He also is a public service professor at the University at Albany’s Rockefeller College of Public Affairs, where he teaches a graduate seminar in law and public policy. He formerly served as Director of Strategic Planning and Analysis at the Center for Governmental Research (CGR) and oversaw the organization’s former Albany office. Mr. Liebschutz earned his undergraduate degree in economics from Yale University and holds law and policy degrees from Duke University.

Elizabeth Marcuccio, J.D., Associate Professor of Business Law, (518) 782-6589

Teaching interests include Business Law, Accounting and Business Ethics. Research interests include the following issues: Estate planning and the interrelationship between Estate/Gift Taxation and Income Taxation. Professional activities include: Of Counsel to the law firm of King, Adang, Arpey & Marcuccio. Member of the NYS Bar Association and the following sections of the Bar: Trusts & Estates, Business Law, Elder Law. FULL BIO

Aaron Pacitti, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Economics, (518) 782-6892

Teaches Macroeconomics, Political Economy, Labor Economics, U.S. Economic History, History of Economic Thought. Research/professional activities include Macroeconomics, Political Economy, U.S. Economic History, Labor Economics, History of Economic Thought, Economic Methodology. FULL BIO

Michael Pepe, D.B.A., Assistant Professor of Marketing, (518) 782-6811

Michael Pepe, DBA, is an assistant professor of marketing in the School of Business. Dr. Pepe's teaching interests pertain to marketing strategy, retailing, marketing metrics, and international marketing. An integral component of Dr. Pepe's teaching methodology is application of all concepts presented to students that were developed during his 19 years of professional marketing experience. FULL BIO

Jenny Zhao, D.B.A., Associate Professor of Finance, (518) 782-6895

Teaches Corporate Finance, Investments, Banking, and Financial Markets & Institutions. Research/professional activities include Corporate Finance, Investments, Banking, Financial Planning, and Financial Markets & Institutions. FULL BIO