Dean’s Advisory Board
Donna Joan Astion, MD, MPH (Sargent ‘82)
Dr. Donna Joan Astion is a graduate of the Sargent College class of 1982, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and Columbia University where she earned a master’s in public health. She completed her orthopaedic residency at University Hospitals of Cleveland at Case Medical Center and foot and ankle fellowship at the Hospital for Special Surgery and Roosevelt Hospital. She specializes in conservative treatment of the foot and ankle and serves on the Board of Trustees of a New York hospital.
Gayle Berg, PhD (Sargent ‘74)
Gayle R. Berg, PhD, is a psychologist in Roslyn Heights, NY where she has been practicing for the past 30 years. She received her doctorate in counseling psychology from New York University in 1983. While earning this degree, Berg worked full-time at Mt. Sinai Hospital as the assistant clinical director of the Day Treatment Center. There, she helped to design and implement an innovative recovery-based treatment program for individuals experiencing major mental health problems. She became a certified clinical hypnotherapist in 1993 and a diplomate in clinical hypnotherapy in 2000.
Berg’s commitment to the recovery movement and to improving access to quality mental health care nationwide includes decades of state and national legislative advocacy. She was chair of the New York State PAC for psychology for 14 years and has advocated tirelessly for the passage of the mental health parity laws at the state and national level. In addition, she has held several governance positions within the New York State Psychological Association, is a former president of the Nassau County Psychological Association, and a former president of the L.I. Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. She currently serves on the board of directors at the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care and UJA Fed NY Board of Directors and is a member UJA Executive Committee and Advisory Board.
She received the New York State Psychological Association, Allen V Williams, Jr. Memorial Award in 2008 and in 2009, received the American Psychological Association’s Karl F. Heiser Presidential Award for Advocacy. In August 2017, she was the UJA Federation NY Robert S Boaz Award recipient.
Andrea Capachietti, PhD (CGS ’75, Sargent ‘77)
Dr. Andrea Capachietti is a humanitarian aid consultant and university lecturer on global health and refugee resettlement issues, focusing on women’s rights and child protection. Her area of concentration is in public policy and health inequalities. Her work as a lecturer and consultant to non-governmental organizations requires the constant monitoring of important geopolitical, global health, and policy issues. In the field, Dr. Capachietti has performed needs assessments for medical facilities requesting humanitarian aid and relief assistance, which has taken her to countries in conflict. She has also assisted with medical evacuations and with tracing programs for family reunification. She continues to provide training and support to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable and underserved populations.
Dr. Capachietti advocates on behalf of victims of human rights abuses, particularly women and children, and has created a university lecture series to help students better comprehend the complex forces affecting health outcomes worldwide. This series concentrates on the legal principles guiding humanitarian assistance, the need for building strategic partnerships, the impact of climate change, migration, urbanization, and the importance of understanding geopolitical trends in doing effective relief work.
In addition to the Sargent College Dean’s Advisory Board, she is on the board of directors at the Southeastern European Film Festival and Community Partners of Los Angeles. Dr. Capachietti also serves as a member of the advisory committee for the Center for Public Health and Human Rights at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a member of Direct Relief’s Council of Advisors.
Dr. Capachietti received her Bachelor of Science from Boston University, her Master of Science and doctoral degrees from the University of Southern California. She is a graduate of the Oxford University post-doctoral program in Refugee Studies, the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma’s Global Mental Health: Trauma and Recovery training program, as well as a participant in the Women and Power: Leadership in a New World executive education program at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
Cynthia Cohan (Sargent ‘91)
Cindy Cohan is a pediatric physical therapist with a bachelor’s from Boston University. While attending BU, she worked in the Boston University Children’s Center earning Preschool Teacher Certification. Between her undergraduate degree and recent doctor of physical therapy degree from Rocky Mountain University of Health Profession, Cohan has worked in a variety of settings, including early intervention facilities, schools – private and public, adult day programs, aquatics, and acute care settings (chronic ventilator unit, cardiac coronary intensive care unit, and intensive care unit, inpatient orthopedics, inpatient rehabilitation.)
Cohan has worked with children with a variety of diagnoses including but not limited to developmental delay, Down syndrome, hypotonia, spina bifida, a variety of seizure disorders, torticollis, cerebral palsy, autism, and many congenital syndromes. She also has extensive experience working with children with visual and hearing impairments.
Anne DiGiovanni (Parent, Sargent ’21, CAS ’21)
Anne DiGiovanni is the parent of a student currently in the joint Health Studies and Doctor of Physical Therapy program offered by Sargent and the College of Arts and Sciences. Anne is a writer, editor and educator. She holds degrees in English Literature from College of the Holy Cross, Irish Literature from Boston College, and Creative Writing from Emerson College. She is also a former double division 1 college athlete. She serves on the Board of Directors and as Chair of Development for the Akilah Institute, Rwanda’s only women’s college. She also serves on the Board of the Atrium School in Watertown, Massachusetts.
Patricia K. Donahoe (Sargent ’58)
Born and raised in Boston, Mass., Dr. Patricia K. Donahoe completed her undergraduate degree at Boston University, an MD at Columbia College of Physicians & Surgeons, and her surgical residency at Tufts New England Medical Center. Following Chief Residency, she did research in the laboratory of Dr. Judah Folkman at Boston Children’s Hospital and a clinical fellowship with Dr. Hardy Hendren at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), before completing Registrar and Senior Registrar posts at Adler Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool under Professors Peter Rickham and Herbert Johnston.
Dr. Donahoe was then invited to join the Department of Surgery at MGH in 1973, and 13 clinical and research years later, became the Marshall K. Bartlett Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. She served as Chief of the Pediatric Surgical Services from 1984 to 2003 and has continuously served as director of the Pediatric Surgical Research Laboratories from 1973 to the present. Dr. has been Donahoe elected to fellowships in the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has served as president of the Boston Surgical Society, New England Surgical Society, and the American Pediatric Surgical Association.
Dr. Donahoe’s surgical contributions have been in pediatric urological and tracheoesophageal reconstructions. Her research has primarily focused on sex differentiation, the purification of Mullerian Inhibiting Substance (MIS) protein, the cloning of the MIS gene and its recent modification to produce a bioactive analog, the scale of the MIS analog, and its use in defining the functional role of MIS in development, cancer, prediction of ovarian reserve, and oncoprotection. More recently, she has also focused on congenital birth defects, specifically on the genetics of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia.
Her research has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1976. She has authored more than 300 peer-reviewed publications and has trained and mentored more than 100 fellows in her laboratory.
Tim Foster, MD (CAS ’81, MED ’86)
Dr. Tim Foster is chair of Orthopedics at Newton-Wellesley Hospital and the team physician for Boston College Athletics. Foster graduated from Boston University School of Medicine and received honors from the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. He completed his general surgery residency at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and his orthopedic surgery residency at Boston University Medical Center. Foster went on to complete a fellowship in sports medicine at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital as well as a pediatric sports fellowship at Harvard University and Children’s Hospital. He is board-certified in orthopedic surgery and has a certificate of added qualification in sports medicine. Foster is also an associate professor at Boston University and Tufts medical schools. He has been selected as a “Top Doctor” by Boston Magazine and US News & World Report for 10 consecutive years.
Foster is the author of multiple scientific publications and book chapters and was associate editor of The American Journal of Sports Medicine for more than 20 years. He previously served as the head team physician for Boston University and was also the post-doctoral fellowship director for several years. He earned a master’s degree in health care delivery from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and an MBA from the Sloan School of Management at MIT.
Marla Gilbert (Parent, Sargent ’22)
Marla Gilbert is a parent of a member of the class of 2022 majoring in Human Physiology. Marla’s husband, Larry, is a member of the BU Board of Overseers. Marla and Larry hail from Chicagoland where Marla has made a career as an interior designer. She is active in a parent leadership capacity at Berkshire boarding school, involved in Impact Grants Chicago, a women’s organization that funds grants to Chicago nonprofits, and as a Board member of her local community arts center. Marla is also a volunteer on the BU Parent and Family Programs.
Jeanne Knox (HON ‘14)
Jeanne Knox holds a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Salve Regina University and a Master of Science in nursing from Boston College. As a registered nurse in both Boston and New York City, she focused on perinatal and neonatal care with an emphasis on high-risk mothers and babies. She also raised two children and served as the director of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of Fairfield County in Connecticut. Knox has chaired the Boston University Parents Leadership Council since 2003. Under her leadership, the Parents Program has become a highly visible and engaging outreach effort from the Dean of Students Office. She has also worked with the advisory committee for Trustee Spouse Outreach and the International Advisory Board. Knox’s generosity extends beyond her time and energy. Boston University recognized her substantial contributions to student life with an Honorary Scarlet Key Award. Additionally, in 2017, she was recognized for her overall service to the University with an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters.
Wendy Lustbader (Sargent ‘83, ’84)
Wendy Lustbader is a speech language pathologist specializing in advocacy for children on the autism spectrum. She has more than 26 years experience working with children with a variety of communication disorders. She has assisted in the development of neighborhood inclusion to mainstream developmentally delayed students in regular classes. Wendy is a Boston University Scarlet Key and Sargent College Twinness Award recipient. She also was the president of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association during her senior year at Boston University. She attends BU alumni programs, hosts information sessions for potential incoming students, and served on the BU Alumni Council for 9 years. She currently serves as part of the Boston University Alumni Relations Task Force. She has also volunteered for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Pan-Mass Challenge and Scleroderma Foundation.
Therese Melden (Sargent ‘81)
Therese Melden received her Bachelor of Science from Sargent College and an MBA from Northeastern University. She has worked as a Service Coordinator for the Department of Developmental Services and a training consultant and partner at Innovative Concepts in Worcester. She has served on the boards of Beverly Bootstraps, North Shore Music Theatre, Pingree School, and Shore Country Day School. Melden is a co-founder of We Are America the Beautiful, a non-partisan community initiative focused on engaging citizens to learn about the status of national events, the impact of local action, and the importance of voting thoughtfully.
Sharon Ryan (Sargent ‘70)
Sharon Ryan is a Boston University Trustee and a class of 1970 Sargent College graduate where she earned a degree in occupational therapy. She and her husband, Robert, endowed the Ryan Summer Fellowship in 2017. The fellowship provides three months of summer support for a Sargent College PhD student engaged in research relevant to the mission of the Ryan Center, a part of the Center for Neurorehabilitation at Sargent College.
Michael Silverman, PhD (Sargent ‘91)
Michael Silverman is senior faculty in the Psychiatry Department at The Icahn Medical School at Mount Sinai. He is a dual trained psychologist, having completed his clinical training at Boston University and his cognitive science training at the Graduate Faculty at the New School for Social Research. He completed his post-doctoral training at Harvard University and in a fellowship in cognitive neuroimaging at Weil Medical College of Cornell University. As well as a working as a clinician, Silverman is also an academic researcher. His current research focuses on forwarding the understanding of mood and anxiety disorders. This work includes neuroanatomical, neurobiological (endocrinologic and neuroimmunologic), neurofunctional, psychometrics and epidemiologic perspectives. He is the primary investigator on two NIH studies. His book “Unleash Your Dreams” was published by John Wiley and Sons. Among his publications are the first neuroimaging study of postpartum depression, the first US population-based study of postpartum depression, and the largest population based epidemiological study of postpartum depression to date.