(EDITOR’S NOTE: Please be advised, this page is under construction, but experts can still be reached through the Office of Public Relations, 814-824-2552. Thank you for your patience.)
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.
Graduate Special Education
Phillip Belfiore, Ph.D.
Director, Graduate Special Education and Applied Disability Studies
- Applied Behavior Analysis
- Urban Education and Teacher Preparation
- Vocational Training and Intellectual Disabilities
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
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)
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
Gary Cardot, MFA
Assistant Professor of Art
- Photography & Its Role in the Media
- Architecture & Preservation of Local Interest
- History of Photography
Jodi Staniunas Hopper, M.F.A.
Chair, Art Department
Assistant Professor, Graphic Design
- Publication Design
- Graphic Design History
- Semiotics in Design
Chair, Mercyhurst Dance Department
- Dance/Emphasis on Ballet
- Arts Administration
- Grant Writing
- MFA credentials
C. Noelle Partusch, MFA
Associate Professor of Dance
- Liturgical/Sacred Dance
- Selecting a Dance School for your Child
- Dance in Higher Education
Sarah K. Howorth, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Special Education
- Special Education & Digital Technology for Instruction
- Teacher Education and Virtual Simulation
- Autism Spectrum/ Asperger's Syndrome
- Applied Behavior Analysis
- Literacy and Students with disabilities
Susan Johnson, M.S. Ed.
Instructor of Special Education; Director, Mercyhurst Honors Program
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Special Education Law
- Inclusion of Students with Disabilities
- Emotional/Behavioral Disorders of Children & Youth
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
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)
Averill Earls, Ph.D.
Visiting Assistant Professor of History
- Gender and Sexuality Studies
- Digital Humanities
- Modern European History
Randall Howarth, Ph.D.
Professor of History
- Biblical Studies
- Creation of the Bible and its History of Interpretation
Chris Magoc, Ph.D.
Professor of History
- 20th Century American History
- U.S. Foreign Policy History
- U.S. Environmental History, Environmental Sustainability and Environmentalism
- American Memory and Public History
John Olszowka, Ph.D.
Chair, History Department
Associate Professor of History
- Labor History & Labor Relations
- Civil Rights Movement
- Immigration and Ethnic History
- The Great Depression
Benjamin G. Scharff, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of History
D'Angelo Department of Music
Nathan Hess, D.M.A
Chair, D'Angelo Department of Music, Assistant Professor, Piano
Jonathan R. Moser
Orchestra Director, D'Angelo Department of Music
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
Rob Hoff, M.A.
Professor of Psychology
- The Psychology of Gratitude
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
Religious Studies Department
Thomas Forsthoefel, Ph.D.
Professor of Religious Studies
Poet Laureate of Erie County, 2010-2012
- Poetry of the Sacred
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)
World Languages and Culture Department
Douglas Boudreau, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of French
- 16th Century French Literature
- French-Canadian Literature and Culture
- Francophone Literature of North Africa
Alice Edwards, Ph.D.
Professor of Spanish
- Language Education in a Changing World
- Latin American Literature in the 20th and 21st centuries
- Childbirth and Women's Empowerment
- Women and Leadership in Higher Education
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.)
Graduate Applied Intelligence
Linda Bremmer, M.Ed.
Director of Online and Offsite Graduate Programs/Intelligence Studies
- Online Learning: When Working Professionals are Students
- GOnline Learning: Issues with Instructors
- Developing Online Courses
- Online Learning: Working with Traditional Campus Services
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
Graduate Data Science
Charles Redmond, Ph.D.
Professor of Mathematics and Computer Systems
Applied Forensic Sciences Department
Dennis Dirkmaat, Ph.D., D-ABFA
Chair, Department of Applied Forensic Sciences
Board Certified Forensic Anthropologist (#50) | Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences
- Forensic Archaeology and Forensic Anthropology
- Forensic Taphonomy
- Mass Disaster Scene Recovery
- Human Evolution and Charles Darwin
Brian Sheridan, M.A.
Chair; Communication Instructor
- Broadcast Journalism
- Political Communication
- Martial Arts and Hong Kong Cinema
- Film, Television and Old-Time Radio
Kinnane Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Tina Fryling M.S., J.D.
Associate Professor of Criminal Justice
- Sexual Harassment and the Court System
- Criminal Law
EmmaLeigh E. Kirchner, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
- Juvenile Delinquency
- Parenting and Delinquency
- Gender Differences in Offending
- Deviant Behavior
Intelligence Studies Department
Orlandrew E. Danzell, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Intelligence Studies
- International and Domestic Terrorism
- Ethnic Conflict
- National Security and American Foreign Policy
- Military Interventions
- African Politics
Charles F. Kuntz
IT Director, Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences
Twenty-three years of Information Technology experience, network support, CompTia A+
- Information Technology
- Network Support
- Cyber Security
Math and Computer Sciences
Angela Berardinelli, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Math
- Database Design - Relational and NoSQL
- Data Science and Analytics, including machine learning
- Algorithmic Problem Solving
- Pure mathematics research involving reflection groups, representation theory, invariant theory
Political Science Department
Joseph Morris, D.A.
Director, Mercyhurst Center for Applied Politics (MCAP)/Associate Professor of Political Science
- Voter Behavior
- Recent MCAP Public Opinion Polls
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
Applied Sociology and Social Work Department
Bora Pajo, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Applied Sociology
- ADHD in Children & Supporting Medication for their Behaviors
- Medicating Children with Psychiatric Needs
- Rationale on how Society Decides what is Normal and Abnormal
Robert D. Cullen, MBA, CFP
Program Director, Assistant Professor of Finance
- Personal Financial Planning
Adrienne E. Foos, Ph.D.
Program Director, Assistant Professor of Marketing
- Consumer Attitudes, Persuasion and Behavior
- Consumer Biases in Information Processing and Memory
- The Impact of the Self-Concept on Consumer Behavior
- Social Media Marketing
- Marketing Research and Analytics
Kimberly Zacherl, M.B.A.
Assistant Professor of Business
- Genealogy: Manual recordkeeping or Internet Research
Interior Architecture and Design
Kathy Weidenboerner, M.Ed.
Chairperson, Assistant Professor of Interior Architecture and Design
- Interior Design
- Feng Shui
Michael Elnitsky, Ph.D.
Dean, Zurn College of Natural and Health Sciences
Associate Professor, Biology
- Climate change
- Polar Exploration
Tim Johnson, MA, M.A.T.
Instructor of Biology
- Molecular Biology
- Cancer Biology
Darlene Melchitzky, M.S.
Research Associate/Laboratory Director, Biology
- Neuroscience and Neurological Research
- Neurobiology of Psychiatric and Neurological Disorders
Amy Danowitz, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
- Advancements in New Applications of Chemistry
- Autism and Mood Disorders
- Community Mental Health & the Incarcerated
Clint Jones, Ph.D.
Chair, Associate Professor of Chemistry
- General Astronomy
- Chemical Sensors
Nick Lang, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Geology
- Planetary Science
- Natural Disasters
Curator, Sincak Collection of Natural History/Assistant Professor of Geology
- Prehistoric Animals (Dinosaurs, Mammals)
- Fossils & Meteorites
Public Health Department
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)
Sports Medicine Department
Bradley Jacobson, M.A., A.T.C.
- Health and Nutrition
- Strength Training and Fitness
Kari Dundore Shrout, M.Ed.
Biology Director, North East Campus
Assistant Professor of Biology
- Anatomy and Physiology
Stephen Szwejbka, M.S.
Director, Associate Criminal Justice Program
- Community Policing
- The Role of Police in Society
- Alternatives to Incarceration
Chef Jessica Law, AS, Pastry Chef certification
- Pastry Chef
- Wedding Cakes
Chef Dennis Dunne
- Classic Culinary Practices
Beth Ann Sheldon, AS, BS, M.Ed.
- Assistant Professor of Hospitality Management
- Nutrition and Food Science
- Changing One's Diet
- Food Allergies
- Menu Consulting
Marion E. Monahan, RN, MAEd
Director, Practical Nursing Program
Occupational Therapy Assistant
Mary Gavacs, 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
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
Colin Hurley, M.S.
Director of Community Engagement
- Volunteerism, Service-Learning (K-12, college/adult)
- Team-Building, Facilitating Group Reflection/Debriefing
Bradley McGarry, M.A.
Director, Autism / Asperger Initiative at Mercyhurst (AIM) and Foundations Program
- Autism in Higher Education
- Program Development
- Autism and Family Advocacy
Michael T. Victor, J.D., LL.D.
Mercyhurst University President
- Trends in Higher Education
- Value of Liberal Arts Education
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