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Experts Guide

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 dmorton@mercyhurst.edu.

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.

MERCYHURST UNIVERSITY
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.

 

THE WALKER SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

Robert D. Cullen, MBA, CFP
Program Director, Assistant Professor of Finance

  • Investing
  • Personal Financial Planning

 

 

parikhRaj Parikh, Ph.D., CFA, CMA, CFM
Dean, Business School

  • Corporate Finance – Mergers & Acquisitions, Leveraged Buyouts (LBOs), Spinoffs
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Leadership & Governance
  • Financial Planning & Analysis  

 

sheldonBeth 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

 

zacherlKimberly Zacherl, M.B.A.

Assistant Professor of Business

  • Genealogy: Manual recordkeeping or Internet Research

 

 

 

THE HAFENMAIER SCHOOL OF EDUCATION

AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES

belfiorePhillip Belfiore, Ph.D.
Vice President for Academic Affairs/Professor-Special Education

  • Urban Education and Teacher Preparation
  • Mental Retardation
  • Special Education
  • Applied Behavior Analysis

 

bukowskiKathleen Bukowski, Ph.D.
Dean, Associate Professor of Education 

  • Trends in Education
  • Elementary Education
  • Special Education

 

 

hoffRob Hoff, M.A.
Professor of Psychology 

  • The Psychology of Gratitude

 

 

 

johnsonSusan 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

 

kitchenThomas Kitchen, MS, BCBA
Director, Applied Behavior Analysis Program

  • Autism & Evidence-Based Practice
  • Behavioral & Educational Challenges for Children with Autism
  • General Behavioral Programming in Schools

 

 

weaverMatthew 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

 

 

THE SCHOOL OF ARTS AND HUMANITIES

boudreauDouglas Boudreau, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of French

  • 16th Century French Literature
  • French-Canadian Literature and Culture
  • Francophone Literature of North Africa

 

 

cardotGary Cardot, MFA
Assistant Professor of Art

  • Photography & Its Role in the Media
  • Architecture & Preservation of Local Interest
  • History of Photography

 

 

edwardsAlice 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

 

ForsthoefelThomas Forsthoefel, Ph.D.
Professor of Religious Studies
Poet Laureate of Erie County, 2010-2012

  • Hinduism/Buddhism/Mysticism/Islam
  • Spirituality
  • Poetry of the Sacred

 

Staniunas HopperJodi 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

 

hunterTauna Hunter
Chair, Mercyhurst Dance Department

  • Dance/Emphasis on Ballet
  • Arts Administration
  • Grant Writing

 

 

johnDeborah 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

 

 

mcfeeDaniel 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

 

millerKeiko 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

 

partuschC. Noelle Partusch, MFA
Associate Professor of Dance

  • Liturgical/Sacred Dance
  • Selecting a Dance School for your Child
  • Dance in Higher Education

 

 

riegerChristy 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

 

roessnerJeffrey Roessner, Ph.D.
Dean, Professor of English

  • Contemporary Literature
  • Film Studies
  • Popular Music & Culture
  • Creative Writing

 

roessnerCraig 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

 

sullivanKevin 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

 

 

 

msullivanMarnie 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)

 

thadenRobert 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)

 

wangDaliang Wang, Ed.D.

Associate Professor of Chinese

  • Chinese Language & Literature
  • Asian Cultures

 

 

WeidenboernerKathy Weidenboerner, M.Ed.
Assistant Professor of Interior Design 

  • Interior Design
  • Feng Shui

 

 

kwilliamsKaren 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.)

 

 

THE ZURN SCHOOL OF NATURAL SCIENCES

adovasioJames M. Adovasio, Ph.D.
Dean, Director of Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute

  • North American Prehistory
  • Primitive Technology (Perishable Artifacts)
  • Near Eastern Prehistory
  • Field & Laboratory Methods

 

danowitzAmy Danowitz, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry

  • Advancements in New Applications of Chemistry
  • Autism and Mood Disorders
  • Community Mental Health & the Incarcerated

 

 

dirkmaatDennis 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

 

 

jacobsonBradley Jacobson, M.A., A.T.C.
Chair, Sportsmedicine 

  • Sportsmedicine
  • Health and Nutrition
  • Strength Training and Fitness

 

 

rjolieRuth 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)

 

jonesClint Jones, Ph.D.
Chair, Associate Professor of Chemistry

  • General Astronomy
  • Chemical Sensors
  • Nanoscience

 

 

mckenzieScott McKenzie
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

 

owocMary 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

 

persicoLyman Parker Persico, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Geology

  • Impact of Climate Change (Global Warming) on Landscapes
  • River Restoration
  • Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology

 

 

symesSteven Symes, Ph.D., D-ABFA
Associate Professor of Anthropology & Applied Forensic Sciences

  • Forensic Anthropology with Emphasis on Bone Trauma, Mutilation and Dismemberment

 

 

THE SCHOOL OF SOCIAL SCIENCES

Michael Federici, Ph.D. federici
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. fryling
Associate Professor of Criminal Justice

  • Sexual Harassment and the Court System
  • Criminal Law

 

 

Frank Hagan, Ph.D. hagan
Professor of Criminal Justice

  • Spies
  • White Collar/Organized/Political Crime
  • International Corruption and Extortion

 

 

Randall Howarth, Ph.D. howarth
Professor of History

  • Ancient Rome
  • Ancient Greece
  • The Middle Ages

 

 

Chris Magoc, Ph.D. magoc
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. morris
Director, Mercyhurst Center for Applied Politics (MCAP)/Associate Professor of Political Science

  • Elections
  • Voter Behavior
  • Recent MCAP Public Opinion Polls

 

 

John OlszowkaOlszowka, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of History

  • Labor & Labor Relations
  • American History (20th Century, 1930s & WII)
  • Civil Rights Movement

 

 

Bora Pajo, Ph.D. pajo
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. ripley
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. rodriguez
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. Surzhko-Harned
Assistant Professor of Political Science

  • Ukrainian Politics/Russian Politics/European Politics (The EU and Member States)
  • Political Behavior
  • Ethnic Conflict
  • Nationalism

 

THE TOM RIDGE SCHOOL OF INTELLIGENCE STUDIES

& INFORMATION SCIENCE

James Breckenridge, Ph.D. breckenridge
Dean

  • Leadership and the Role of Intelligence
  • Strategy and the Role of Intelligence
  • Modern Middle Eastern History

 

 

David Grabelski Grabelski
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. Pokhrel
Assistant Professor of Statistics

  • Time Series Forecasting
  • Survival/Reliability Analysis
  • Analysis of Rare Data

 

 

Charles Redmond, Ph.D. redmond
Professor of Mathematics and Computer Systems

  • Computing Education

 

 

 

Brian Sheridan, M.A. sheridan
Communication Instructor

  • Broadcast Journalism
  • Political Communication
  • Martial Arts and Hong Kong Cinema
  • Film, Television and Old-Time Radio

 

Kristan Wheaton, M.A., J.D wheaton
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

 

THE SCHOOL OF HEALTH PROFESSIONS & PUBLIC HEALTH

Thomas B. Cook, M.P.H., Ph.D. cook
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 dausey
Dean, Professor of Public Health

  • Health and Wellness
  • Health Care Reform
  • Bioterrorism
  • Infectious and Chronic Diseases

 

James Teufel, M.P.H., Ph.D. teufel
Assistant Professor of Public Health

  • Medical-Legal Partnerships
  • Social Inequities and Health
  • Health Promotion Theory
  • Scaling and Sustaining Health Programs

 

NORTH EAST CAMPUS

Amy Chardeen, MSN, RN
Instructor of Nursing in ASN Program

  • Medical/Surgical Nursing
  • Maternity
  • 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

  • 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

 

SPECIAL PROGRAMS

Arthur Amann, Ed.D.
Director, Mercyhurst Public Safety Institute

  • Regional Police Academy
  • Regional Corrections Academy
  • Driving Under the Influence and Drug/Alcohol Abuse
  • Probation/Parole/Prison

Greg Baker, M.A.
Director of Campus Ministry

  • Youth & Young Adult Ministry
  • Technology & Religious Faith
  • Ecumenism
  • Spirituality

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

 

THE SCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES

Jonathan W. Ivy, Ph.D. ivy
Director, Applied Behavior Analysis Master’s Program

  • Functions of Human Behavior
  • Problem Behaviors
  • Childhood Disabilities

 

 

Gilbert Jacobs, Ph.D. jacobs
Director, Organizational Leadership Graduate Program

  • Organizational Leadership & Behavior
  • Financial Operations & Analysis

 

 

ATHLETICS

Rick Gotkin
Head Coach, Men's Hockey

  • Leadership: Building a Winning Culture
  • The Value of Role Models in Our Society

Marty Schaetzle
Head Coach, Football

  • Teamwork, Goal Setting, and Determination

Mike Sisti
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