As 2022 Closes Out…

…I’m so very proud of the students I’ve taught, the grads I’ve seen graduate, and the way the DLP/LP.D program has matured.  It seems like the education I took in during the program, and the theory we learned are tools I use almost every working day.  The program changed how I think about policy issues, and how we shape policy out in the world.

Still Waiting on a Teaching/Supervising Opportunity

Here we are in February in Year 3 of our Covid. I’m writing this on SuperBowl Sunday.

The world continues to rotate;

Doctoral Students continue towards becoming Doctoral Candidates;

Doctors minted in the DLP program continue to make a difference in the real world.

Whatever your higher education goals, keep reaching.


It’s been a while…

…since I last posted to I am currently waiting for a new teaching assignment in DLP or CPS.

Some news: Dr. Kim Larson has moved on from the program, and Meredith Haverty (nee, Stillmann) has returned to DLP in a major leadership role: Associate Director. Meredith is known to many DLPers as a very supportive member of the DLP program. I expect she’ll continue to drive the DLP program forward with new ideas, and expansions on proven program directions.

Welcome back, Meredith!


Mentoring Doctor of Law and Policy (DLP) students is one of my joys

I’ve taken a moment to step back and recall/relish the people I have spoken with who have been interested in the Doctor of Law and Policy program at Northeastern. I’m directly responsible for 6 people entering the program. I’ve mentored several of them from before they entered the program through their graduations. I’ve informally mentored more students at various points along their path to achieving DLP/LP.D status.

In each and every case mentoring has brought me nothing but joy.

Dr. Jonathan (LP.D ’16)

PS: Teaching, as I do at Northeastern University, in the DLP and Food Safety programs comes in a close second! jlk

Nominee: 2021 Excellence in Teaching Award

I get a tremendous amount of pleasure and satisfaction teaching/supervising my masters level and doctoral students/candidates at Northeastern University.  Today I received an email that can only be called ‘icing on the cake’:

Dear Jonathan,

On behalf of the college, it is my pleasure to congratulate you for receiving a student nomination for the 2021 Excellence in Teaching Award! The recipients of the award will be announced before the spring graduation.

Teaching excellence encompasses high intellectual standards in course content, rigor and integration of scholarship and new knowledge. It is also defined by interactions of faculty with their students that empower learners to achieve their goals.

I applaud your commitment to guiding and inspiring our students and thank you for your dedication .  



Mary Ludden, PhD, MBA, PMP, CFE, CSM
Interim Dean CPS & Vice Chancellor

Here’s to the joy of teaching!



Dr. Opeoluwa Sotonwa, LL.M., LP.D. Takes on Massachusetts!

Once more, my friend and mentee in the DLP/LP.D program, Dr. Opeoluwa Sotonwa has made news.

When I met Ope before he even applied to the Doctor of Law and Policy Program, he was the Executive Director of the Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.  He held that position throughout his studies at #NEU in the DLP program.  He leveraged his learning in the #DLP program to draft and promote legislation to educate Missouri police as to the special needs of the deaf and hard of hearing that was approved by Missouri Legislature and signed into law by its governor.  I flew to Boston just to attend his hooding.

In January 2021, Ope was appointed Commissioner for the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.  Ope’s appointment commences on March 1, 2021.  I have linked the state announcement below.

You’ll notice that the official photo of Ope to the left has him wearing a button on his lapel.  A close examination of the photo will show that he’s proudly wearing a #NEU button

There are few things in my life that make me happier than to see quality people, like Ope, rise to take on an overcome new challenges benefiting the public who are unlikely to know of their existence.  Ope is not a public servant. Rather, he is a true public hero and public protector.

Here is the link to the formal announcement in text, voiced, and in ASL:

My hat is off to my friend, Dr. Opeoluwa Sotonwa, a true representative of Northeastern University’s Doctor of Law and Policy program.


PS:  I’m really proud of the kid, in case you couldn’t tell!

Congratulations to Dr. Laura Singletary

I am particularly pleased to congratulate the newly-minted Doctor of Law and Policy, Dr. Laura Singletary on the successful defense of her thesis!

Like a proud parent, I have had the privilege of watching Laura grow from forming the idea of her thesis, to defending the thesis proposal, to changing the course of the thesis during its production, to its final defense. Dr. Ron Leatherbarrow, the second reader, was of critical help at all the key steps along the way, and I profusely thank him for helping to make Laura the Doctor she is today.



DLP Program Now Part of NEU Graduate School of Education

The Doctor of Law and Policy Program is now a part of the CPS Graduate School of Education.

What does this mean?

The DLP program has, until now, been stand-alone within the College of Professional Studies. That independence has offered certain advantages over the years. They key advantage has been program autonomy from other CPS programs.

Yet, with advantages come some downsides. One of the key downsides, in my view, has been that the DLP program hasn’t been able to access the greater resources assigned to larger doctoral programs in CPS, in this case the Graduate School of Education. Additionally, doctoral programs in the same college, but isolated from others in the same college may have varying standards.

I am a DLP graduate of the program during its standalone days. I’ve also been a DLP program instructor under the standalone model and now under the GSE model. I’m happy to report that…so far…operating as a program of the GSE has proven to be a good move. With greater access to seasoned GSE teaching and administrative professionals, along with the legacy DLP leadership which is now a part of GSE, the DLP program is now better-supported than before, and better-poised to grow.


Long Overdue Update

It’s been a while since I updated this blog.  Bad me.  Bad, bad, bad me.

So what’s new?

I’ve been teaching in the College of Professional Studies over the last three quarters.

Masters level teaching…

I’ve been teaching in the College of Professional Studies for the last three quarters.  I’ve spent two quarters teaching in the Food Safety program (Masters level).  My focus, not surprisingly, has been on law and policy issues related to food safety, and mostly what happens when food safety is not the first priority.

Doctoral level teaching…

I’m in the middle(ish) of teaching Constitutional Law and Policy in the Doctor of Law and Policy program.  I’m teaching the Seattle Cohort 2 of the very same program from where I earned my own doctorate back in 2016.  I have to thank JD LaRock for making my job so much easier by allowing me to adopt his syllabus…really his prior program framework…giving me a big leg up.    My students are great, and as usual, I learn from them as they learn from me.

I’ll be teaching in the Seattle section of the DLP program next quarter.  Then I’ll be teaching advance legal reasoning concepts to Seattle Cohort 1.  Are they in for fun or what?!  (Or what!)

Doctoral Thesis Supervision

I’m delighted to report that I’ve been appointed as chair of Laura Singletary’s thesis committee.  That means that I am her direct supervisor as she goes through the toughest part of the DLP program…her thesis.  I’m extremely lucky to have Dr. Ron Leatherbarrow as Laur’a Second Reader (and my First Advisor) as we jointly support Laura through her forest of research and writing.

That’s the update!