New Director Shelley Finnigan Shares Her Excitement for the MPM Program

Get to know MPM Director Shelley Finnigan and hear why she's excited to be a part of the program's network.

Dear MPM community,  

Shelley FinniganWe are now in the second quarter of Northwestern’s 2022-2023 academic yeara period that also marks my second quarter serving as director of Northwestern Engineering’s Master of Science in Project Management (MPM) and Master of Science in Executive Management for Design and Construction (EMDC) programs.  

Leading MPM and EMDC into the future is an incredible honor. I look forward to enhancing them both by leveraging my industry experience and the professional network I continue to grow. In the immediate term, we will launch several strategic initiatives aimed at broadening our exposure, diversifying our student population, and ensuring we continuously appeal to potential students and the organizations that hire and work with our alumni. 

With respect to the MPM program, the gears are already turning to advance on this forward-looking plan. In the fall quarter, we modified our curriculum by introducing a two-part course that brings more structure to the MPM capstone learning experience and opens the door for us to engage industry partners in our capstone projects as early as the 2023-2024 academic year. We also created our Alumni Ambassador Program, which focuses on establishing links between our alumni and current students and inviting alumni to collaborate with our faculty and staff. 

Finally, we welcomed four new adjunct faculty members to augment an already stellar group and bring new knowledge and teaching approaches to our students. Those new faculty members include: 

  • Kevin Sido, a partner at Hinshaw & Culbertson, where he is a trial lawyer and transactional counsel for design and construction professionals, condominium directors and officers, lawyers, real estate professionals, and school officials  
  • Laura Pigozzi, who teaches in Northwestern's Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and researches the intersection of the rhetoric of health and medicine, technical and professional communication, intercultural communication, and immigrant health 
  • Katherine Brichacek, a postdoctoral fellow in the Cook Family Writing Program at Northwestern, where she teaches writing and speaking in business as well as design thinking and communication 
  • Kaara Kallen, a content consultant and teaches communications in Northwestern's Design Thinking and Communication program. 

Reflecting on this past quarter, I am quick to recall that more than 30 years ago, professor emeritus Ray Krizek laid the foundation for the MPM program through his vision and his will. Subsequently, hundreds of project managers, engineers, and other construction professionals have graduated from the program and found professional success. In December, it was a delight to congratulate 48 graduates from MPM and EMDC, and it has been an honor to meet and get to know the 66 students who started MPM last quarter, as well as the students who were already part of the program. 

We are fortunate to have such a sturdy base, and I am excited to work with our faculty and staff — including MPM deputy director and professor Ahmad Hadavi and MPM associate director Karen Healy Stover — as well as our alumni and industry partners to build our future upon that foundation. 

Enhancing MPM will be no small task, but I have been overwhelmed by the passion, knowledge, and enthusiasm of the MPM community, and I know that together, we can make this vision a reality. I thank everyone whose interest and loyalty has fueled our success so far and whose warm welcome has made it clear that we are working together to shape a fantastic tomorrow.  


Shelley Finnigan 
Master of Science in Project Management (MPM) program 
Master of Science in Executive Management for Design and Construction (EMDC) program 
Northwestern Engineering  

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