The Mercyhurst University Experts Guide is a compilation of selected faculty who are available to provide information on a wide variety of subjects. This directory may be an informative resource for members of the news media but it is not a complete list of university experts.

All media contact with university personnel goes through the director of public relations, Debbie Morton. She can be reached at or 814-824-2552.

Cyber Security

Chris Mansour’s expertise lies in the expansive field of cyber security, spanning information security, cyber threats and attacks, computer networks, and the Internet of Things.

Politics, Elections, & Public Opinion

Joe Morris specializes in American government and politics including elections and public opinion. As director of the Mercyhurst Center for Applied Politics, he has conducted many public opinion polls since 2010.

Competitive Intelligence & Corporate Strategy 

Lindy Smart is the former director of competitive intelligence for Fortune 500 Target and has more than a decade of experience in building business cases for new corporate functions, developing new teams, and enterprise strategic planning. 

Modern American History & Democracy

Chris Magoc teaches modern American history and culture, environmental history, and public history and museums. His books include an early history of Yellowstone National Park and a post-1945 study of American democracy. 

Ethics, LBGTQ+ Diversity, & Pop Culture

Rich McCarty’s research interests lie in religious, Christian, and sexual ethics; LBGTQ+ diversity, paranormal beliefs, and popular culture.

Civil Rights & Immigration 

John Olszowka specializes in labor relations, civil rights, immigration, the Civil War, the Great Depression, and America (1850-1950).

Intelligence & Innovation

Brian Fuller coordinates hands-on opportunities with government and the private sector for student work in intelligence analysis and assorted innovative projects.

Concert Dance Performance

Jennifer McNamara is a former professional ballerina and certified Pilates instructor who teaches Euro- western concert dance performance and training and healthy dancer practices.

Branding & Corporate Identity

Jodi Staniunas Hopper teaches courses in graphic design history, computer design, vector illustration, corporate identity, and branding. She is also an author and fine artist.

Maritime History & Flagship Niagara

Ben Scharff specializes in colonial America, the Founding Fathers, and maritime history with a special emphasis on the Flagship Niagara, where he has led numerous student immersion experiences. 

Death & Dying

Rob von Thaden specializes in death and dying, apocalyptic/end times religion, sacred texts, history of Christianity, and American religion.

Business Analytics

Rajkamal Kesharwani focuses his work on supply chain management, business analytics, and operations management.

Corporate Strategy & Leadership

Kris Gossett concentrates his research in the fields of corporate strategy, general business and management, organizational behavior, and leadership.

Sports Injuries

Robert Chetlin is engaged in sports science and research, including pitching injuries and concussion effects, exercise testing, and biohazards management with CDC training certification.

Religion & Globalization

Verna Ehret teaches globalized religion, religion and violence, religion and the environment, Islam, and the philosophy of religion. She is specifically focused on how understanding religion affects how people promote cooperative and just societies.

Hospitality Industry

Pete Zohos is experienced in hospitality operations, including lodging, sales, and food and beverage, having worked for industry leaders like Marriott and Hyatt as well as international organizations in the hospitality sector. He also teaches events management and food supply chain.

Image Forensics

Larry Downey’s expertise lies in image forensics, or analyzing digital images for forgeries, signal processing, and functional analysis.

Biomechanics & Gait Analysis

Derek Beeler focuses on gait analysis, biomechanics, 3-D motion capture, and athletic training concepts. 

Climate Security & Threat Analysis

Leslie Guelcher specializes in the effects of climate change on business and homeland security, cyber threat analysis, anti-money laundering, anti-counterfeiting, anti-fraud, and strategic intelligence.

Mental Health & Mental Illness

Gerry Tobin’s mental health interests are in the areas of counseling psychology and insight-oriented practices that can assist college-aged students in being their best selves. 

Impact of Climate Change on Forests

Chris Dolanc specializes in environmental science, focusing on trees, plants, forest ecology, field botany, and tree-ring biology, with particular attention to how forest communities respond to climate change.

Social Media & The First Amendment

One-time television and print journalist Brian Sheridan focuses on movies, television, the Golden Age of Hollywood, social media, James Bond, pop culture, and the First Amendment.

Contemporary Russia

Katie Duda’s work centers on Russian history and Soviet culture, contemporary times in Russia, the Czech Republic, and Jews in central Europe. 

Popular Music & Literature

Jeff Roessner teaches popular music and literature, 1960s culture, rock music, and contemporary fiction. His publications include essays on the Beatles, The Velvet Underground, and protest music in the wake of 9/11.

Intelligence Studies & Intelligence for Business

Peter Correa is a retired Lt. Col. In the U.S. Army with expertise in Intelligence Studies, Business Intelligence, Leadership, Management, and Organizational Behavior.

Hispanic Linguistics

Sherez Mohamed’s expertise lies in bilingualism, foreign language acquisition, language ideologies and biases, as well as Puerto Rican Spanish/Culture and African American English.

Data & Algorithms

Anuj Bajaj is a data scientist whose research focuses on convex optimization, variational analysis, algorithms, and computational optimization. 

Volcanoes, Earthquakes & Space Exploration

Geologist Nick Lang is on leave from Mercyhurst to work for NASA’s Planetary Science Division. He is an expert in natural disasters, volcanoes, earthquakes, space exploration, and science education.

Information Disorders, Cyber Deception & Tech Policy 

Kevin Matthe Caramancion is an internationally acclaimed author and public speaker on fake news, misinformation, disinformation, information warfare, and cyber deception. 

Intel, Disinformation & Strategic Deception

Fred Hoffman spent three decades as a human intelligence officer and military attaché in over 30 countries. He has expertise in Intelligence, Information Operations, Disinformation, and Strategic Deception.

Contact Us

Debbie Morton
Director of Public Relations
Phone: 814-824-2552