Art Amann, Ed.D., director of the Public Safety Institute, holds a doctorate in higher education leadership and a master's degree in criminal justice. He is the former warden and chief adult probation/parole officer for Erie County. In addition to his work with thePSI, Dr. Amann is a faculty member in the Mercyhurst University criminal justice program.
Phone: (814) 725-6230
Bill Hale, director of the Municipal Police Academy and manager of Law Enforcement Training, holds a master's degree in administration of justice from Mercyhurst University and a master's of business administration from the University of Phoenix. A retired Millcreek Township police officer, Hale has also worked as a consultant in the area of intelligence analysis and policy assessment for various federal, state and local criminal justice agencies. He is a member of the International Association of Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association. His responsibilities with PSI include operations related to the Police Academy and providing technical support and training to area law enforcement agencies.
Phone: (814) 725-6137
David Rockwell, manager, Northwest PA Emergency Response Group. David received his BS in Education from Slippery Rock University and Master's Degree from Gannon University. He has also served as an adjunct instructor at Mercyhurst and Gannon. He is the former chief adult probation officer for Erie County, the first Megan's Law director in Pennsylvania, and a former administrator with the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole.
Phone: (814) 725-6382
John Villa, physical training instructor and defensive tactics instructor for municipal police academy and training manager for Emergency Services for the PSI, is a retired United States Navy cryptologist and an active member of Neighborhood Watch. His responsibilities include scheduling and facilitating all activities generated through PSIand the Center, as well as fiscal/budgetary reports.
Phone: (814) 725-6240
Christine Swartwood, administrative assistant for the Public Safety Institute, has an associate degree in office management and a bachelor's degree in business administration, both from Mercyhurst University. She handles administrative duties in all areas of the Police Academy and Police Update class and assists when and where needed in other areas of the PSI.
Phone: (814) 725-6121
MNE Criminal Justice Faculty
Ray Sobina, is an instructor of both criminal justice and sociology at MNE. He earned his B.A. in criminal justice from Gannon University and an M.S. in corrections administration/treatment from Youngstown State University. After 32 years of service, he retired from the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. Previously, he served as superintendent at three of the largest men's prisons in the commonwealth; SCISomerset, SCI Forest and SCI Albion. During his stay in Somerset, Mr. Sobina served on the foundation board for Allegany College of Maryland/Somerset Campus and was an adjunct instructor in criminal justice for eight years.
Phone: (814) 725-6315
Steve Szwejbka, director of the Mercyhurst North East criminal justice program, and assistant professor of criminal justice at MNE, received his master's degree from Mercyhurst University and his bachelor's degree from Buffalo State. Steve is currently a doctoral student. He worked as a police officer for 21 years before joining Mercyhurst.
Phone: (814) 725-6122
Dr. Peter A. Yaksick most recently earned a Master of Science and dual Certificates of Advanced Study at Johns Hopkins University in Neuroeducation and Adult Learning. As part of his Johns Hopkins studies, he completed a post-doctoral internship at Colgate University. At Colgate he lectured in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. He completed his Doctoral Internship also at Johns Hopkins in the late 1980’s. His Doctorate in Urban Educational Planning and Social Policy was awarded from Morgan State University. His B.A. and M.A. in Political Science were earned at Edinboro University.
Prior to joining Mercyhurst, Dr. Yaksick worked as a broadcast journalist, primarily covering crime and investigative stories at various television network affiliates in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Connecticut. During his thirteen year stint in Television News, he earned awards for covering educational issues in Pittsburgh and West Virginia. He has also presented at conferences on the topic of "Crime and the Media".
Currently he is engaged in research on Fear, Frustration, Anxiety and Threat Appraisals in relation to Perceptions of Instructional Communication. In addition, he's developed a learning ownership plan titled "A Developmental, Cognitive and Socio-Emotional Approach to Learning Awareness". Also referred to as the ASAP Initiative (All Students Academically Primed), it attempts to educate at-risk college students as to how they can take control of their academic pursuits by gaining reference points or a perspective of where they stand developmentally in the life span. It also provides a cursory review of how learning takes place neurologically (neuroplasticity, axon-dendrite connectivity, proximal and distal goal setting, etc.), and how this is all vastly emotionally and experientially driven. Also "social bonding" implications are covered as to how commitment, involvement, belief and attachment to mainstream / conventional values are seen as the conduit to later life success.
Dr. Yaksick served six years as President of the Mercyhurst North East Faculty Senate. He holds membership to the American Criminology Society, Society for Social Neuroscience and the Pennsylvania Criminal Justice Educators Association. He is an active member of the Johns Hopkins Neuro-Education Initiative, and is a Lifetime member of the Johns Hopkins Alumni Association.
An avid sports fan and former athlete at Edinboro, Pete was a four year member and letter winner as an offensive lineman for the Fighting Scots between 1981 and 1985. He was the starting nose guard for the Edinboro team that played internationally in Helsinki, Finland in the Spring of 1985. The Pittsburgh Steelers, Pirates and Penguins are a big part of Pete's social life, as is "March Madness NCAA Basketball" and Mercyhurst, Penn State, Notre Dame and Colgate football.
Phone: (814) 725-6397