HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE
The Mercyhurst University Experts Guide includes faculty and administrators with a broad range of expertise who are available for media interviews as well as to speak to community and professional organizations on subjects spanning business ethics, forensic anthropology, strength training and fitness, spirituality and cross-cultural parenting to name a few.
To talk to an expert or to arrange a speaking engagement, please contact the Mercyhurst University Office of Public Relations, 814-824-2552, and ask for Debbie Morton; or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Requests from media seeking to interview one of our experts will be handled immediately. For speaking engagements, we ask that you allow three to four weeks advance notice and have several choices in case your preferred speaker is unavailable. Your request should specify the name of your organization, a contact person and a phone number, as well as the date, time and location of your meeting, along with the approximate size of your audience.
501 E. 38th St.
Erie, PA 16546; 814-824-2000
Mercyhurst University is a fully accredited, four-year, Catholic comprehensive institution, founded in Erie, Pa., by the Sisters of Mercy in 1926. The Erie campus, located on a picturesque hillside crowning the city, offers more than 100 fields of undergraduate study as well as unique adult programs and nine graduate programs. In addition, it maintains its one- and two-year programs at a campus in scenic North East, just 20 minutes from Erie. Also Mercyhurst maintains a satellite campus in Corry and one at the Booker T. Washington Center in Erie.
A Mercyhurst education combines a rich sense of tradition with a progressive approach to the complexities of modern life. Alumni of Mercyhurst are found in every major profession and in every state in the nation. Current enrollment is approximately 4,000 on its four campuses.
Mercyhurst emphasizes the role of the liberal arts, which provides a basis for sound career preparation and for many other life objectives. With this balance, the university supports a wide range of programs, from dance and art to geology and computer management systems, and also prides itself on its service to students. To this end, it strives constantly to become distinctive in the choice of it academic offerings.
Robert D. Cullen, MBA, CFP
Program Director, Assistant Professor of Finance
- Personal Financial Planning
Raj Parikh, Ph.D., CFA, CMA, CFM
Dean, Business School
- Corporate Finance – Mergers & Acquisitions, Leveraged Buyouts (LBOs), Spinoffs
- Leadership & Governance
- Financial Planning & Analysis
Beth Ann Sheldon, M.Ed., R.D.
Director, Hospitality Management
- Life Cycle Nutrition
- Vitamin/Mineral Supplements
- Healthy Cooking & Recipe Conversion
- Heart Health, Weight Management and Latest Fad Diets
Kimberly Zacherl, M.B.A.
Assistant Professor of Business
- Genealogy: Manual recordkeeping or Internet Research
AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES
Phillip Belfiore, Ph.D.
Vice President for Academic Affairs/Professor-Special Education
- Urban Education and Teacher Preparation
- Mental Retardation
- Special Education
- Applied Behavior Analysis
Kathleen Bukowski, Ph.D.
Dean, Associate Professor of Education
- Trends in Education
- Elementary Education
- Special Education
Rob Hoff, M.A.
Professor of Psychology
- The Psychology of Gratitude
Susan Johnson, M.S. Ed.
Instructor of Special Education
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Special Education Law
- Inclusion of Students with Disabilities
- Emotional/Behavioral Disorders of Children & Youth
Thomas Kitchen, MS, BCBA
Director, Applied Behavior Analysis Program
- Autism & Evidence-Based Practice
- Behavioral & Educational Challenges for Children with Autism
- General Behavioral Programming in Schools
Matthew T. Weaver, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology
- Legal and Illegal Drug Abuse and Addiction
- Risky and Impulsive Behavior
- Neurobiological and Behavioral Issues and Theory
Douglas Boudreau, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of French
- 16th Century French Literature
- French-Canadian Literature and Culture
- Francophone Literature of North Africa
Gary Cardot, MFA
Assistant Professor of Art
- Photography & Its Role in the Media
- Architecture & Preservation of Local Interest
- History of Photography
Alice Edwards, Ph.D.
Associate Dean, Professor of Spanish
- International Education in a Changing World
- Literature and the Nation in Latin America
- Childbirth and Women's Empowerment
- Women and Leadership in Higher Education
Thomas Forsthoefel, Ph.D.
Professor of Religious Studies
Poet Laureate of Erie County, 2010-2012
- Poetry of the Sacred
Jodi Staniunas Hopper, M.F.A.
Chair, Art Department
- Adobe Creative Suite featuring Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign
- Branding You or Your Company
- Graphic Design History Metathemes and Trends in Design
- Brainstorming and Idea Generation for Better Solutions
Chair, Mercyhurst Dance Department
- Dance/Emphasis on Ballet
- Arts Administration
- Grant Writing
Deborah John, Ph.D., ATR-BC
Director of Art Therapy, Assistant Professor of Art
- Art Therapy with Children, Adolescents, Psychiatric Patients, and Clients with PTSD from Childhood Abuse
- Art Therapy Education at Graduate and Undergraduate Levels
- Drawing as Self Expression
Daniel McFee, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Religious Studies; Co-Director, Evelyn Lincoln Institute for Ethics & Society
- Ethics and Emerging Technologies
- Ethics and Society
- Science and Religion
- Religion and Society
Keiko Takioto Miller, M.A.
Director of Asian Cultures Program/Assistant Professor of Japanese, French
- Japanese/Chinese Calligraphy
- Cross-Cultural Parenting and Social Adjustments
- Transculturality and Dynamic Global Communication
- Eco-mythology: Seed, Soil and Spirit
Caesar A. Montevecchio, Ph.D. (ABD)
Instructor of Religious Studies
- Catholic Theology
- Contemporary Catholic Church
- Religion & Film
C. Noelle Partusch, MFA
Associate Professor of Dance
- Liturgical/Sacred Dance
- Selecting a Dance School for your Child
- Dance in Higher Education
Christy Rieger, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of English
- Victorian Literature & Culture
- Gothic Literature & Contemporary Horror Novels/Film
- Literatures of the Middle East (focus on representations of terrorism)
- Academic Reading and Writing in a Digital Age
Jeffrey Roessner, Ph.D.
Dean, Professor of English
- Contemporary Literature
- Film Studies
- Popular Music & Culture
- Creative Writing
Craig Alan Stevens MA, MT-BC, NMT
Director of Music Therapy
- Music Therapy
- Music Therapy in Neurological Rehabilitation
- Music Therapy in Hospital Settings
- Music Therapy for Hospice, End of Life Care
Kevin Sullivan, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Philosophy; Co-Director, Evelyn Lincoln Institute for Ethics & Society
- General Issues in Ethics with Special Focus on Bioethics, Medical Ethics and the Ethics of Public Officials
- Issues in Aesthetics and the Arts
Marnie M. Sullivan, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of English
- Nature Writing, Writing about the Environment, and Ecocriticism (includes science writing and popularizations of science)
- Gender, Race, Class, and Sexuality in American Literature, Film, and Culture
- Literature and Culture in 1930s America
- Critical Thinking and Writing for College Students (includes study skills and introduction to college life)
Robert H. von Thaden, Jr., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Religious Studies
- Biblical Studies
- Creation of the Bible and its History of Interpretation
- Christian History (esp. Antiquity)
- Apocalyptic Groups (i.e., Groups Fixated on the End of the World)
Daliang Wang, Ed.D.
Associate Professor of Chinese
- Chinese Language & Literature
- Asian Cultures
Kathy Weidenboerner, M.Ed.
Assistant Professor of Interior Design
- Interior Design
- Feng Shui
Karen C. Williams, Ph.D.
Professor of Spanish
- Spanish Phonetics & Pronunciation, Spanish Dialects
- Sociolinguistics – specifically that which relates to how various social factors affect our use of language (English dialects, language change, slang, prescriptivism vs. descriptivism, language and ethnicity, language and gender, etc.)
James M. Adovasio, Ph.D.
Dean, Director of Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute
- North American Prehistory
- Primitive Technology (Perishable Artifacts)
- Near Eastern Prehistory
- Field & Laboratory Methods
Amy Danowitz, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
- Advancements in New Applications of Chemistry
- Autism and Mood Disorders
- Community Mental Health & the Incarcerated
Dennis Dirkmaat, Ph.D., D-ABFA
Chair, Applied Forensic Sciences/Professor of Anthropology
- Outdoor Crime Scene Recovery
- Forensic Archaeology and Forensic Anthropology
- Mass Fatality Recovery and Victim Identification
Bradley Jacobson, M.A., A.T.C.
- Health and Nutrition
- Strength Training and Fitness
Ruth Burgett Jolie, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Anthropology/Archaeology
- Class, Status & Gender
- Changing Trends in Family Life
- Ethnographic Field Methods
- Wool Textiles (e.g., Navajo, Medieval Scandinavian)
Clint Jones, Ph.D.
Chair, Associate Professor of Chemistry
- General Astronomy
- Chemical Sensors
Curator, Sincak Collection of Natural History/Assistant Professor of Geology
- Prehistoric Animals (Dinosaurs, Mammals)
- Fossils & Meteorites
Darlene Melchitzky, M.S.
Research Associate/Laboratory Director, Biology
- Neuroscience and Neurological Research
- Neurobiology of Psychiatric and Neurological Disorders
Mary Ann Owoc, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Anthropology/Archaeology
- Erie County's Historic Cemeteries and Gravestones
- Attitudes toward Death and Funerary Practices
- Prehistoric Religion and Ritual
- Neolithic and Bronze Age Societies of the British Isles
Lyman Parker Persico, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Geology
- Impact of Climate Change (Global Warming) on Landscapes
- River Restoration
- Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology
Steven Symes, Ph.D., D-ABFA
Associate Professor of Anthropology & Applied Forensic Sciences
- Forensic Anthropology with Emphasis on Bone Trauma, Mutilation and Dismemberment
Michael Federici, Ph.D.
Professor of Political Science
- American Politics with an Emphasis on Constitutional Questions
- Political Theory of the American Framers
- The Supreme Court
- Alexander Hamilton
Tina Fryling M.S., J.D.
Associate Professor of Criminal Justice
- Sexual Harassment and the Court System
- Criminal Law
Frank Hagan, Ph.D.
Professor of Criminal Justice
- White Collar/Organized/Political Crime
- International Corruption and Extortion
Randall Howarth, Ph.D.
Professor of History
- Ancient Rome
- Ancient Greece
- The Middle Ages
Chris Magoc, Ph.D.
Chair, Professor of History
- Historical Roots of Contemporary Environmental Problems
- Post-1945 Roots of Contemporary American Foreign & Military Policy
- Histories of the 1960s, including Civil Rights, Kennedy Administration, Antiwar Movement and Women’s Movement
- American Memory: How Americans preserve personal memory or history (through oral histories, family photo albums, etc.); how the nation commemorates its history through monuments, museum exhibitions, historic sites, etc.
Joseph Morris, D.A.
Director, Mercyhurst Center for Applied Politics (MCAP)/Associate Professor of Political Science
- Voter Behavior
- Recent MCAP Public Opinion Polls
John Olszowka, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of History
- Labor & Labor Relations
- American History (20th Century, 1930s & WII)
- Civil Rights Movement
Bora Pajo, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Sociology
- ADHD in Children & Supporting Medication for their Behaviors
- Medicating Children with Psychiatric Needs
- Rationale on how Society Decides what is Normal and Abnormal
Brian Ripley, Ph.D.
Professor of Political Science, Director, MCAP Public Affairs Forum
- Current Foreign Policy Issues
- History of the Cold War
- Civic Engagement and Democracy
- The 2012 Presidential Campaign
Frank A. Rodriguez, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
- Immigration Policy
- Juvenile Justice
- Gun Violence
- Domestic & International Terrorism
Benjamin G. Scharff, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of History
- Colonial Pennsylvania/Colonial America
- Early Native America
- Seven Years War
- Atlantic British Empire
Lena Surzhko-Harned, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Political Science
- Ukrainian Politics/Russian Politics/European Politics (The EU and Member States)
- Political Behavior
- Ethnic Conflict
& INFORMATION SCIENCE
James Breckenridge, Ph.D.
- Leadership and the Role of Intelligence
- Strategy and the Role of Intelligence
- Modern Middle Eastern History
Chair, Department of Intelligence Studies
- Law Enforcement Intelligence and Crime Analysis
- Violent Crime, Homicides and Gang-Related Crime
- Serial or High-Profile Criminal Investigations
Keshav Pokhrel, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Statistics
- Time Series Forecasting
- Survival/Reliability Analysis
- Analysis of Rare Data
Charles Redmond, Ph.D.
Professor of Mathematics and Computer Systems
Brian Sheridan, M.A.
- Broadcast Journalism
- Political Communication
- Martial Arts and Hong Kong Cinema
- Film, Television and Old-Time Radio
Kristan Wheaton, M.A., J.D
Associate Professor of Intelligence Studies
- International Affairs and International Criminal Law
- Intelligence Analysis and Operations
- Military Analysis and Operations
- Games, Game Design & Game-Based Learning
Thomas B. Cook, M.P.H., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Public Health
- Psychiatric Disorders, Suicide and Interpersonal Violence
- Neurological Disorders and Dementia
- Environmental Health (Biological and Chemical Exposures)
- Unintentional Injury Prevention (Falls, Drug Overdose, Accidents)
David J. Dausey, Ph.D., FACE
Dean, Professor of Public Health
- Health and Wellness
- Health Care Reform
- Infectious and Chronic Diseases
James Teufel, M.P.H., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Public Health
- Medical-Legal Partnerships
- Social Inequities and Health
- Health Promotion Theory
- Scaling and Sustaining Health Programs
Amy Chardeen, MSN, RN
Instructor of Nursing in ASN Program
- Medical/Surgical Nursing
- Drugs & Alcohol
Mary Gravacs, M.Ed., ORT/L
Director, Occupational Therapy Assistant Program
- Occupational Therapy
- Pediatrics in Rehabilitation & OT
- Physical Rehabilitation & OT with Traumatic Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury
Judy Lynch, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of History & Sociology
- Women in Politics
- Tool and Die Industry in Erie and Crawford County
- Politics and Health Care
Catherine Manno, MSN/Ed., RN
Instructor of Nursing
- Emergency Nursing Education
- Distance Education in Nursing
Brenda Snyder, MSN, RNC-OB, ACNS-BC
RN Director, Associate of Science in Nursing Program
- Issues Associated with Labor & Delivery
- Nursing Leadership
- Nursing as a Career Choice
Stephen Szwejbka, M.S.
Director, Associate Criminal Justice Program
- Community Policing
- The Role of Police in Society
- Alternatives to Incarceration
Arthur Amann, Ed.D.
Director, Mercyhurst Public Safety Institute
- Regional Police Academy
- Regional Corrections Academy
- Driving Under the Influence and Drug/Alcohol Abuse
Greg Baker, M.A.
Director of Campus Ministry
- Youth & Young Adult Ministry
- Technology & Religious Faith
Thomas J. Gamble, Ph.D.
Mercyhurst University President
- Trends in Higher Education
- Value of Liberal Arts Education
- Student Debt
Colin Hurley, M.S.
Director of Community Engagement
- Volunteerism, Service-Learning (K-12, college/adult)
- Team-Building, Facilitating Group Reflection/Debriefing
Jonathan W. Ivy, Ph.D.
Director, Applied Behavior Analysis Master’s Program
- Functions of Human Behavior
- Problem Behaviors
- Childhood Disabilities
Gilbert Jacobs, Ph.D.
Director, Organizational Leadership Graduate Program
- Organizational Leadership & Behavior
- Financial Operations & Analysis
Head Coach, Men's Hockey
- Leadership: Building a Winning Culture
- The Value of Role Models in Our Society
Head Coach, Football
- Teamwork, Goal Setting, and Determination
Head Coach, Women's Hockey
- Motivation and Time Management in Athletics
- How to Market Your High School Athlete in Pursuit of the Right College
- Having a Winning Attitude