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Annual expo features Mercyhurst education alumni

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

For the first time in eight years, Mercyhurst University’s Teaching and Learning Expo will feature presenters who all share something in common — they are Mercyhurst University education alumni.

The annual Teaching and Learning Expo, sponsored by Kappa Delta Pi, the education department’s honor society, provides undergraduate and graduate education students additional resources to expand their knowledge of the field.

The expo is Saturday, Nov. 8, from 8 a.m. to noon in the Audrey Hirt Academic Center. The registration deadline is Friday, Oct. 31. It is open to Mercyhurst University and Gannon University undergraduate education majors and graduate students.

Headlining the event are keynote speakers Shana Brown, Jenna Gannon and Tawny Johnson, graduates of the Class of 2013, who each spent 10 months overseas teaching the English language to preschool children in an afterschool program in one of China’s oldest cities, Ningbo. They will speak about their cultural experiences as well as their first year as certified educators.

Their presentation, “Challenge Accepted: Teaching in China,” speaks well to this year’s theme, “Empower,” which reinforces the education department’s success in graduating well-rounded teachers who secure jobs quickly as is evidenced by the department’s near-perfect placement rates over the last few years.

“The theme ‘Empower’ promises to offer our future teachers critical ideas on how to engage their students in the teaching and learning process,” said Kathleen Bukowski, dean of the Hafenmaier School of Education and Behavioral Sciences and advisor of Kappa Delta Pi. “Hopefully they will also be inspired by alumni who were trained in our education programs and are living the education department’s tagline — Teach. Anyone. Anywhere. — in a very meaningful way.”

Each of the expo’s presenters has taught in the field for less than five years. The hope is that current education students who attend the expo can relate to the presenters’ experiences as novice teachers, said Bukowski.

To register for the expo or to get more information, contact Jessica Pepe at There is a $10 registration fee, which covers a continental breakfast for attendees.

Teaching and Learning Expo Presenters:

Kelly Karns – Elementary and Special Education Teacher

"What Would the Teacher Do?"

Matt Hubert – 10th Grade English Teacher (PICTURED)

"Empower: Leveraging Technology to Engage Students and Establish a Collaborative Learning Environment"

Kelsey Trosch – 3-5th Grade Emotional Support Teacher

“Empower: Interview Tips from a Special Educator"

Brittany Peterson – 4th Grade Teacher

“Engage, Discover, Learn”

Heather Mills – 2nd Grade Teacher

“Lessening the Load of Your First Year Teaching”

Samuel Hvezda – 6th Grade Teacher

“Empower Yourself as a Teaching Candidate”

Christina Borelli – 6th-12th Grade Learning Support and Emotional Support Teacher

“Paperwork, Planning, and Performing: A Look into Your First Few Months as a Special Education Teacher”

Kortnie Cotter & Jenna Conrad – Autistic Support Teachers

“Empower: Surviving Your First Years of Special Education”

Megan Macko – 7th Grade Science Teacher

“First Year Teacher Survival Guide”

Denise Ford – Behavior Specialist Consultant

“Building a Relationship with the Behavior Specialist”

David Gerard – High School Psychology, World Cultures, Safety Education Teacher

“Empower: Making Education Fun, Relevant, and Rigorous”

Elizabeth Eidnier – 4th Grade Teacher

“Building Relationships with Students”

Renee Pagel – Middle School Math/Gifted Education Teacher

“Empower: How Do I Leave An Impression?”

Peter Glumac – 6th Grade Learning Support Teacher

“How to Further Your Classroom: A New Teacher's Guide to the Classroom, Parents and Instruction”

Julie Kruszewski – Art Teacher

“Teaching Creatively: Teaching Tips and Strategies from an Art Educator“

Laura Wisinski – Emotional Support/Social Skills Special Education Teacher

“Empower: Implementing Positive Social Skills in the Classroom”