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The Pa. Institute of Certified Public Accountants recognized John Dean, CPA, of Scranton, a senior accountant with All-One Health in Wilkes-Barre, with a 2017 Young Leader Award. He received this distinction for demonstrating leadership skills that will propel his success in a profession committed to protecting the public interest. Dean is an active member of PICPA’s Northeastern Chapter Emerging CPAs Committee.

PICPA’s Young Leader Awards program recognizes members under the age of 40 who demonstrate a commitment to the CPA profession through active PICPA or community volunteer leadership.

The group was honored Sept. 18 at PICPA’s annual Leadership Conference in Harrisburg.


Julie Speicher, M.D., and the Physicians Health Alliance internal medicine clinic, Ash Street, Dunmore, were recognized with HealthStream’s Excellence through Insight award in the Clinician Group - Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems category.

The HealthStream Awards of Excellence acknowledge exceptional patient satisfaction performance achieved by health care organizations and providers. Providers are selected across the nation among HealthStream clients for their outstanding patient satisfaction ratings and are awarded this high honor for their commitment to excellence in patient care.

Speicher is board-certified in internal medicine and is a graduate of Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia. She completed a residency in the Scranton Temple Residency Program, now the Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education.


Kevin P. Foley of the Scranton-based firm has been selected by Best Lawyers in America for his high caliber of work in the practice areas of litigation: insurance, medical malpractice law — plaintiffs; and personal injury litigation — plaintiffs.

Foley graduated from the University of Scranton and completed his law studies at the Dickinson School of Law, earning his J.D. He then served as a law clerk to the Honorable James T. McDermott, Justice, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. He has achieved multiple settlements and awards in excess of $1 million as part of the firm, including the largest settlement in a trucking collision case in Lackawanna County ($14.75 million).

He has served on the board of governors of the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association and was also elected to the board’s executive committee. He has been a member of the Judicial Relations, Legislature Network, Education and Membership Committees. Foley had also served as a member of the Lackawanna County Civil Rules Committee. He is a member of the Pennsylvania and American bar associations, the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association for Justice. Foley is a member of the Champions of Justice of the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, the Obstetrics Malpractice Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. In addition, Foley is an advocate of the National College of Advocacy. Since 2005, he has been named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer every year by Philadelphia magazine. Previously, Foley was also selected by his peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America in the fields of Litigation and Medical Malpractice Law.

Attorney Michael Foley of the firm spoke to the Western Trial Lawyers Association in Maui, Hawaii, June 10-14, on the topic “Don’t Let Bankruptcy Filing Estop Your Client’s Lawsuit.” Foley, of Scranton, is the past president to the Pennsylvania Association for Justice (2008-2009) and was selected by the publication, “Best Lawyers in America,” for Lawyer of the Year in Medical Malpractice in the Allentown/Northeast Pennsylvania region for 2017. He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America since 2009. Foley has been selected as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer since 2004, a member of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice since 1991, and a member of the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice (2009-2017). He served as a board member of Lackawanna Pro-Bono from 2000-2004.


Pulmonologist and critical care physician Navitha Ramesh, M.D., joined the medical center.

As a critical care specialist, Ramesh treats patients in the hospital’s intensive care unit. She also treats patients with pulmonary issues including various forms of lung disease, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary embolisms and lung cancer. She will also perform diagnostic and therapeutic lung procedures.

Board certified in internal medicine and pulmonary medicine, Ramesh earned her medical degree from the Tamilnadu MGR Medical University, India. She then completed a residency in internal medicine at Rochester Regional Health System, New York, and a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Icahn School of Medicine, New York.

Ramesh is a member of the American College of Physicians, American College of Chest Physicians, Society of Hospital Medicine and Society of General Internal Medicine.

Emergency medicine physicians John P. Bernett, M.D., Morganne Phillips, M.D., and Afghani Roshan, M.D., have joined the medical staff at the hospital’s emergency department.

Bernett received his medical degree from George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C. He then completed an emergency medicine residency at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville. He is also a certified Life Flight physician.

Phillips earned her medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina. She then completed an emergency medicine residency at Christiana Care Health System, Delaware, where she served as chief resident.

Roshan earned her medical degree from Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, Scranton, and completed an emergency medicine residency at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville.


Numan Fateh, M.D., has joined GCMC’s Cancer Center as a hematologist/oncologist.

Fellowship trained in hematology/oncology to diagnose and treat a variety of cancers, Fateh sees patients with tumors including bladder, breast, brain, colorectal, lung, pancreatic and kidneys, leukemia, lymphoma, iron deficiency anemia, hemochromatosis, myelodysplastic syndrome and multiple myeloma, along with other hematology and oncology diseases.

He earned his medical degree from New York Institute of Technology’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, Old Westbury. He then completed an internship at Nassau University Medical Center, East Meadow, New York, followed by an internal medicine residency at Southampton Hospital, Southampton, New York. Fateh then completed a three-year fellowship in hematology/oncology at Nova Southeastern University’s Larkin Community Hospital, South Miami, where he was elected chief fellow.

Board certified in internal medicine, Fateh is a member of the American Society of Hematology, American Society of Clinical Oncology and American Osteopathic Association.



Ashley Gilbert, Psy.D., has joined the practice and will be providing therapy and psychological assessment to children, adolescents and adults at the Kingston location. She is completing her postdoctoral residency toward licensure.

Gilbert is a graduate of Immaculata University, Malvern, where she earned a doctorate in clinical psychology. Before joining the organization, she completed her doctoral internship at Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, Pocono Center, working with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Gilbert has also completed several other externships working with adults with chronic mental health issues, adolescents in residential treatment, and conducting psychological screening and evaluations for religious and clergy.


Bank Vice President Luke W. Woodmansee has been named as the bank’s chief credit officer. Woodmansee joined the bank in 1989 as a loan officer, was promoted to the position of vice president and senior loan officer in 1991, and at that time also assumed the position of vice president, treasurer and secretary of HONAT Bancorp Inc., the bank’s holding company. Through the years, he has aided in administration of the bank’s loan portfolio, composed of commercial and consumer loans, home mortgages and equity loans, student loans, credit cards and overdraft protection lines of credit. He is a member of the HNB Executive Team and serves on various other committees at the bank.

Woodmansee is a graduate of Hancock High School and attended Broome Community College, SUNY-Binghamton College, now Binghamton University, and the New York State School of Banking at West Point. He has attended various courses, seminars and conferences sponsored by the American Bankers Association and, before joining the bank, served as president of the Delaware County Bankers Association.

Woodmansee serves on the board of directors of the Chamber of the Northern Poconos and the Wayne County Cooperative Extension, of which he is a past president. He is an active volunteer and supporter of the Wayne County Fair and is involved with various area organizations.

A lifelong Wayne County resident, he is the son of Janet Y. Woodmansee and the late H. Lindy Woodmansee of Lake Como. He resides in Starlight.


Gail Dickstein, Natalie Gelb, Alan Glassman, attorney Daniel Haggerty, Kirby Hickey, Robert Kagler and David Noyle have been elected as the newest members of the Keystone College board of trustees.

Dickstein, of Clarks Summit, has been involved in the field of education for the majority of her adult life. She taught elementary school in the Scranton School District for 20 years. Dickstein joined the faculty at Misericordia University, where she taught classroom management skills and supervised the student-teacher program. She later joined Keystone College where she taught in the Education Department and supervised student teachers. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Arcadia College and completed graduate work at Marywood University and College Misericordia.

Gelb, of Clarks Summit, recently retired as executive director of the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority, a position she held since 2004. During her tenure, Gelb was widely recognized for making the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail one of the most beautiful and popular nature trails in Pennsylvania. She previously served as president of Harbor Group Inc., vice president of First Securities Investments, northeast director of marketing for Consulting Group Inc., marketing representative with Omni Health Plan, and agent for Mutual of New York, where she earned designations as a certified life underwriter and long-term care professional. Gelb obtained a bachelor of science degree in English and history from the University of Maryland and pursued graduate studies in accounting and health care economics.

Glassman, of Clarks Summit, is vice president at Riggs Asset Management Co. Inc., where he provides investment and business advice to entrepreneurs, family businesses and family groups throughout the northeastern United States. He graduated from New York University in 1977 with bachelor of science degrees in economics, finance, business management and marketing.

He returned to Scranton for a management position with G&G Sewing Machine Co. Inc. and MUVA Needle Co. In 1978, he became vice president of G&G Sewing Machine Co. and in 1981 he assumed the position of president. In order to assure the continued growth of the corporation, a multiyear acquisition strategy was developed. To that end, Atlas Rapid Racks Inc., Automated Components International, Silverman Machines International, Schreiber and Goldberg Limited, and SAL-BEE Limited were acquired over a period of years. Mr. Glassman sold his business interests in 1997 and joined Riggs Asset Management Co. Inc.

Haggerty, of Scranton, is owner and president of PMJ Group LLC, a business brokerage firm in Clarks Summit. He previously worked for family-owned Times-Shamrock Communications as publisher of The Citizens’ Voice, Wilkes-Barre, and the Standard-Speaker, Hazleton. He joined PMJ as vice president in 2011. He is a graduate of College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., and received his law degree and MBA from Villanova University.

After law school, he served as law clerk for the Hon. Thomas I. Vanaskie, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and current judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Haggerty serves as board chair of the Wilkes University Family Business Alliance and vice president of the Pennsylvania Business Brokers Association. He is a member of the Lackawanna County Bar Association. Haggerty serves on the executive committee of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Lackawanna County.

Hickey, of York, is treasurer and chief financial officer of the World Methodist Council. He graduated from Keystone College in 1965 with an associate degree in business administration, then earned a bachelor’s degree in economics at Moravian College in 1967. He joined a family business founded by his father, the late George Hickey, and eventually became president and CEO of Hickey Toyota. He also was owner, president and CEO of United Sales, a York company that sold office furniture and provided interior design services. Hickey is president of the Stewardship Foundation of the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Before retirement, Kagler, Hudson, Ohio, was a senior regional director at Merck & Co. A former Keystone trustee, he has been recognized with various awards, including the Keystonian of the Year in 2004, the college’s Presidential Medallion in 2000, and was inducted into the Keystone Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008. Kagler also provided the keynote address at commencement in 1996 and at the 2004 Keystone Scholarship Luncheon. He has been an adviser for Hudson Job Search Inc., a board member of the Hudson Public Schools Endowment Fund, and served on the Hudson Planning Commission. Kagler has been a part-time faculty member at the University of Akron Graduate School of Business and a guest lecturer at the College of Charleston. A native of Scranton and an Army veteran, Kagler received an associate degree from Keystone College and a bachelor of science degree from Springfield College. He also pursued studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University Graduate School of Business, University of Southern California School of Pharmacy and Duquesne University.

Noyle, of East Norriton, serves as senior director, telesales, for Colonial Penn Life Insurance Co., Philadelphia. Prior to joining Colonial Penn in 2007, Noyle was an account manager for Verizon in Exton. He has also served as senior account manager and managing director of client services with Telespectrum in King of Prussia and Berwyn. Noyle has also been director of account management and served in other management positions at RMH in several Pennsylvania cities, including Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. He has been an adjunct professor of business administration at Keystone College.

Noyle graduated from Keystone College with an associate degree in business administration and obtained a bachelor of science in business administration and an MBA from Wilkes University. He serves as a member of the board of the Keystone’s National Alumni Association and is a member of the scholarship, awards and board nomination committees.


Allison Samanas of Dallas has been appointed manager of financial planning and analysis. She will be primarily responsible for developing and implementing the long-range planning and forecasting processes, including budgeting and financial management of operations, current and emerging programs, and strategic goals. In addition, she will be taking on responsibility for bank relations and communications along with several process improvement projects at the college.

She was formerly a senior financial analyst for InterMetro Industries Corp. in Wilkes-Barre.

Samanas earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the Pennsylvania State University. She is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration degree at the University of Scranton.

Dr. Christopher O’Brien has been appointed the inaugural dean of health sciences. He will oversee the faculty and curricular affairs of King’s health sciences programs, including physician assistant studies, athletic training, exercise science, and the college’s two newest health sciences programs: the RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program, which begins in spring 2018, and the 1-2-1 Dual Degrees in Nursing Program, a collaboration with Luzerne County Community College, beginning in fall 2018.

O’Brien’s primary responsibilities include academic planning and budgeting, leadership in recruiting, evaluating faculty, developing clinical sites for the college’s programs and developing new health sciences programs.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in health sciences/athletic training from Lock Haven University, master’s degree in athletic training from California University of Pennsylvania, and his doctorate in human development — higher education administration from Marywood University.

O’Brien began his career as an athletic trainer, and he is credentialed to practice in three states. He served as a faculty member at Stony Brook University and Marywood University, where he was the athletic training education program director from 2000 to 2007.

O’Brien was named to the 2014 Irish Education 100 by the “Irish Voice.” This honor is awarded to Irish educators and supporters of education who provide outstanding teaching and advice for generations of students.

Eight new full-time faculty members have joined the college for the 2017-18 academic year.

Dr. Jessica Anderson is an assistant professor of psychology. She previously was a post-doctoral research fellow in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Buffalo-SUNY and a research/teaching assistant in the Department of Psychology at SUNY-Binghamton. She earned her doctorate at Binghamton University and bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Connecticut.

Dr. Christopher Aults is an assistant professor of psychology. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University-Altoona and master’s degree and doctorate from Florida Atlantic University. Prior to coming to the college, he served as a visiting assistant professor at Presbyterian College and adjunct instructor at Cambridge College of Healthcare and Technology.

Dr. Cynthia Mailloux has been appointed chair of the Dual 1-2-1 Bachelor of Nursing Program and a professor of nursing. A licensed registered nurse, Mailloux earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Wilkes, her master’s degree in nursing from Misericordia University, and a doctorate in nursing, with a concentration in education from Penn State University. She also earned a certification in nursing education from the National League of Nursing.

Y. Bora Senyigit, assistant professor of accounting, previously was an assistant professor of accounting at Woosong University Sol International School in Korea and an assistant professor of accounting at Zirve University, School of Economics and Administrative Sciences in Turkey. He earned a master’s of business administration from Ball State University and a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctorate from Istanbul University in Turkey.

Dr. Tabitha Sprau Coulter is an assistant professor of civil engineering. She previously served as an assistant professor in civil engineering technology at Alfred State SUNY College of Technology. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Lafayette College and a master’s degree and doctorate from Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Alex Szatmary, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, was a visiting assistant professor of engineering at Bucknell University and an instructor and summer research mentor at the National Institute of Health. He earned an associate degree from Harford Community College and a bachelor’s degree and doctorate from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Matthew Toniatti, assistant clinical professor in physician assistant studies, previously served as a physician assistant for Pinnacle Health in Mechanicsburg and MedExpress in State College. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Penn State University and master’s degree from Lock Haven University.

Dr. Jordan Rodgers will serve a one-year appointment as a Moreau Postdoctoral Fellow. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky and a doctorate from the University of Notre Dame, where he previously served as an instructor of philosophy. He also has taught at Holy Cross College.


Attorney Lawrence A.J. Spegar was selected as one of the 10 Best Attorneys in Pennsylvania by the American Institute of Legal Counsel, an impartial third party attorney-rating organization that recognizes excellence of attorneys. The rating system helps clients throughout the United States make educated decisions when it comes to choosing their attorney. Selection of attorneys to the AIOLC allows potential clients to save time, energy and effort in choosing the most qualified attorney in their area. Attorneys selected by the American Institute have reached the top of their profession while doing so with client satisfaction being of paramount importance. Spegar has a comprehensive trial attorney practice covering many areas of the law in multiple counties throughout Northeast Pennsylvania, with locations in Jessup and Pocono Summit.


The Center for Developmental Disabilities announced attorney Kelly A. Gaughan, Esq., will serve as president of the board of directors for the 2017-18 school year.

Residing in Milford with her husband and two children, Gaughan is the current vice president of the United Way of Pike County, secretary of Vetstock, secretary for the Pike County Bar Association and sits on the advisory board of GAIT. She is the vice president of the law firm of Levy, Stieh, Gaughan & Baron PC and has been with the firm since 1999. Gaughan has been sitting on the board of directors of CDD for more than seven years and has served as the master of ceremonies for their Chefs Do Dinner fundraising event for the past several years.

Joining Gaughan as officers of the board for the 2017-18 school year will be Mandy Coleville as vice president, Suzanne Wrobleski as treasurer and Tom Duncan as secretary.


Christopher Payne III was named an outside salesman. Payne’s technology sales experience spans multiple industries, including the federal government, health care and Fortune 1000 companies. In previous positions, he has held sales leadership roles and has strong Cisco product knowledge.

An Ole Miss graduate, Payne has received numerous industry awards and holds several Cisco Certifications. He is currently pursuing an additional degree in computer systems and security technology at Luzerne County Community College. Payne is a member of the Mountain Top Small Business Partners and is the incoming president of the Kiwanis Club of Mountain Top.


Nikki Moser, assistant professor of art and area coordinator of 3D studies, was recently awarded second prize for her work, “Springville Fracking Well and Pond,” in the sculpture division of the 2017 Art of the State Awards.

Art of the State is an annual juried exhibition that has been showcasing the work of Pennsylvania’s artists at The State Museum of Pennsylvania since 1968.

Awards were given in painting, photography, sculpture, craft and work on paper. Winners were chosen from 130 works selected from more than 2,200 submissions.

Moser is an artist, mother, teacher and advocate. In 2010, she co-founded Keystone Iron Works, an iron casting program for at-risk high school students, which has been awarded two National Endowment for the Arts awards. She is also the 2016 recipient of the F. Lammot Belin Award for her work with Keystone Iron Works. The NEA awards also led to the founding, in collaboration with the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority, of the Confluence Sculpture Park, which is populating 110 miles of walking and biking trails in the Lackawanna Valley with sculptures and works of art.

Moser earned her bachelor of fine arts degree from Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Arts, New York City, and her master of fine arts degree in studio art from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore. She regularly exhibits her work nationally and has sculptures in many private and public collections.

F. David Romines, D.M.A., assistant associate professor of music education and co-chairman of the music, theater and dance departments, has been invited to be a presenter at the upcoming 2018 Collegiate Band Directors National Association Eastern Division Convention, which will take place at Yale University. A blind panel committee reviewed recordings of the Marywood Wind Symphony along with a redacted description of how the university’s band programs are organized. Romines has been asked to speak on how the program has developed over the past eight years and make repertoire suggestions for collegiate band programs at smaller schools. Recordings of the university’s band will be played for those in attendance.

Romines earned his bachelor and master of music degrees in music education from the University of Tennessee and his doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Joining the university in 2009, Romines directs the wind ensemble. He oversees the departmental operations and serves as artistic director for its wind ensemble. His academic responsibilities include teaching courses in instrumental conducting, instrumental methods and he supervises student teachers. He has served as a guest conductor/clinician in five countries as well as the United States. He also serves as the educational adviser for the United States-China Cultural and Educational Foundation and is a former member of the Music Educators Journal Advisory Board.

Romines is frequently invited to be a guest clinician for high school bands and band camps all over the country. He has adjudicated many band competitions; presented lectures at universities, conferences and conventions; and has written a number of journal articles.

He currently serves as educational adviser and board member for the U.S.-China Cultural and Educational Foundation. In this position, he works with cultural entities in China to bring outstanding musical and dance ensembles from the United States to China for the benefit of the Chinese people. He is also a member of the editorial board of the Music Educators Journal and serves the John Philip Sousa Foundation as a member of the Sudler Committee.

Romines recently assisted with the establishment of the Northeastern Youth Wind Ensemble at the university, which attracts students from throughout the Northeastern United States.


Paula Pate-Schloder, associate professor, was named the chair of the Department of Medical Imaging.

Pate-Schloder has more than 26 years of teaching experiencing in the academic program at the university. During that time, she has taught hundreds of medical imaging students. Before embarking on a career in higher education, she acquired extensive clinical and administrative capabilities.

She holds a master of science in education degree from Misericordia University and a bachelor of science in medical radiography from Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona. Pate-Schloder also earned an associate in risk management designation from the Insurance Society of America. In 2015, she earned a certificate as a medical radiation safety officer.

Certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists in radiography, cardiovascular interventional technology, computed tomography and vascular interventional technology, Pate-Schloder regularly makes scholarly presentations at national, state and local conferences on radiography and medical imaging topics. Her presentations often center on risk management and patient safety, which serve as points of emphasis in her career.

A Lake Winola resident, she is the past president and chair of the board for the Association of Educators in Imaging and Radiologic Sciences. In 2015, AEIRS elevated her to fellow.

Joan Roth Kleinman, M.Ed., has been named director of the university’s Autism Center’s Autism Lifelong Learning Program. Housed in the College of Health Sciences and Education, the program began accepting clients in October.

ALL is one of the programs available through the Autism Center in John J. Passan Hall. It provides prevocational, vocational and community living services to adults who are on the autism spectrum of disorders or dually diagnosed with autism and intellectual disabilities. ALL’s primary objective is to enable adults participating in the program to obtain supportive or competitive employment in a fully integrated setting with at least a minimum wage.

Kleinman most recently served as the instructor for early childhood education at the Jewish Community Center Pre-School in Wilkes-Barre, and as the administrator for youth services at the Boys and Girls Club of America of Wyoming Valley in Wilkes-Barre. She earned her bachelor of science degree in education with a minor in psychology from Wheelock College, Boston, and her master of science in teaching of young children with moderate special needs from Lesley College, Cambridge, Mass.

The Autism Center added the new program because of the region’s shortage of available resources and services for adults on the autism spectrum.

Kleinman and her husband, Keith, live in Dallas. The couple has four children, Kimberly, Sarah, Allison and Ross.

Faculty members in the College of Health Sciences and Education are collaborating to present an academic poster presentation and interactive workshop at the Collaborating Across Borders VI Conference in Banff, Alberta, Canada, this month.

The conference is North America’s premier interprofessional health care education and collaborative practice conference, according to CAB. It links educators, researchers, practitioners, students and patients from Canada and the United States in essential discussions around interprofessional health care education, practice, leadership and policy in North America.

Laurie Brogan, P.T., D.P.T., C.E.E.A.A., G.C.S., assistant professor of physical therapy, and Sheryl E. Goss, M.S., R.T.(R)(S), R.D.M.S., R.D.C.S., R.V.T., F.S.D.M.S., professor and chair of the Department of Sonography, are making the interactive poster presentation, “Development of Interprofessional Education Awareness in a Small Private Catholic University.” The presenters collaborated with colleagues Gina Capitano, M.S., R.T.(R), assistant professor of medical imaging, and Rita Carey, M.S.N., R.N., C.N.E., assistant professor of nursing. The presentation outlines how the college’s faculty collaborated to develop and offer interprofessional educational opportunities for students in the health sciences.

Brogan also is collaborating with Maureen Romanow Pascal, P.T., D.P.T., N.C.S., associate professor of physical therapy, on the interactive workshop, “Does Team Play Enhance Teamwork? Use of a Challenge Course Experience to Enhance Interprofessional Education and Practice.” The workshop outlines how the university’s educators utilized the institution’s on-campus challenge course to develop an activity that reflects real-life issues and creates cohesiveness, teamwork and self-confidence to foster collaboration, cooperation and problem-solving.



President and CEO Jesse Ergott was recently elected president of the National NeighborWorks Association’s board of directors. With more than 200 member organizations and numerous additional partners nationwide, the National NeighborWorks Association unites housing and community development practitioners to advance housing and economic opportunities for individuals, families, communities and neighborhoods across the country.

In this role, Ergott helps to lead the Washington, D.C.-based organization in its mission to advocate for affordable housing and community development programs that revitalize the nation’s distressed communities and working to ensure that federal legislators and decision makers recognize the needs of the nation’s neighborhoods. NNA is also committed to making sure that federal legislation and policies promote housing and community development programs that are undertaken by local, nonprofit community organizations.


Robert Makos was appointed senior vice president and market managing director for PNC Wealth Management. In his new role, Makos is responsible for overseeing the wealth management business in Central and Northeast Pennsylvania. This includes private banking, investment management, trust and estate administration and wealth planning in the Central and Northeast markets. He will oversee more than 85 employees in a territory that encompasses 37 counties in Pennsylvania.

Makos joined PNC Wealth Management in July 2006 as team director for Lehigh Valley. In 2017, he accepted the role of market director for Central and Northeast Pennsylvania.

Makos earned a bachelor of science degree in management and an MBA from Lehigh University.


Peg Wascura has been a professional service agent her whole career. A Realtor since 2001, she has transitioned her exceptional service experience into the real estate arena.

Before working in real estate, she was a successful owner of her own hairstyle salon for 25 years. When it came to changing careers, it was clear that her next step was becoming a real estate agent. She learned the profession through Penn State University and continues to build upon her experience daily. Her focus is to achieve the best possible outcome for her clients’ real estate needs.

A lifelong resident of Lackawanna County, she was born and raised in Dunmore. She now resides in Eynon. In her spare time, she volunteers at St. Francis of Assisi Soup Kitchen.


Donna Pretko has been appointed senior director of operations and finance. Pretko earned a bachelor of science in accounting and a master of business administration from Wilkes University. She has 19 years of finance experience working in both manufacturing and nonprofit environments.

She will oversee all financial activities and reporting for the foundation, including effective accounting policies and controls. She will serve as liaison to the foundation’s auditors, CIO and investment managers, and monitor the foundation’s assets and external foundations managed by SAF, in addition to overseeing other key project areas. She will also work with Scranton Area Foundation Medallion Partners in enhancing the delivery of planned giving services used for charitable gift planning.

Pretko will also be overseeing the Scranton Area Foundation’s Women in Philanthropy micro-loan initiative, which enables low- to moderate-income women and women in transition the opportunity to start and build a business. She is a member of Women in Philanthropy.


The manufacturer of paint specialty products announced the recent hiring of David M. Jolie as vice president of manufacturing and operations. Jolie will oversee the company’s four production facilities in Scranton; Jacksonville, Illinois; Dayton, Nevada, and Jackson, Mississippi.

Jolie, an industrial engineer with an MBA, has more than 18 years experience in manufacturing, most recently in the building products segment where he served as director of operations for CPG International, Scranton. Jolie has expertise in lean manufacturing, automation, global sourcing, and profit and loss management.



The university has appointed 15 new full-time faculty members for the 2017-18 academic year.

Bryon C. Applequist, Ph.D., of Henderson, Nevada, was named assistant professor of exercise science and sport. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees, both in kinesiology, from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is completing a doctorate in exercise science from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He was a graduate assistant at both universities and has published papers in a number of scholarly journals. Applequist resides in Clarks Summit.

Kelly M. Banyas, of Mountain Top, was named assistant professor in the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Memorial Library. She previously was a research and teaching fellow at the University of Maryland’s Teaching and Learning Services and has a decade of experience working in various library environments. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history and classical civilization from Boston University and a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Maryland.

Tiffany M. Bordonada of Columbia, South Carolina, was named assistant professor in the counseling and human services department. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Fairmont State University, and earned two master’s degrees from West Virginia University, one in rehabilitation counseling and one in public administration. She completed a doctorate in counselor education and supervision from the University of South Carolina. Bordonada has worked as a clinical therapist in West Virginia and has presented her research at conferences throughout the United States.

Thomas G. Concannon, Ph.D., of Mountain Top, was named visiting assistant professor in the physics and electrical engineering department. He previously worked for 17 years as a software applications consultant and applications engineer instructor for Synopsys Inc. He earned bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and physics from the Pennsylvania State University, a master’s degree in mathematics from Lehigh University, and a doctorate in physics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has also taught math and physics at King’s College, Elon College, Wake Forest University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Francis T. Conserette of Dunmore was named assistant professor in the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Memorial Library. He previously worked as a library metadata specialist at the university, property title analyst, document imaging specialist and curator assistant at the Eisenhower National Historic Site in Gettysburg. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Gettysburg College and a master’s degree in library and information science from Drexel University.

Christopher A.F. Howey, Ph.D., was named assistant professor in the biology department. He was a post-doctoral research scholar at the Pennsylvania State University. Howey earned a bachelor’s degree in wildlife conservation from the University of Delaware and a master’s degree in biology from the University of Central Arkansas. He earned a doctorate in biological sciences from Ohio University, where he also taught for several years. Howey has received numerous grants, including a $500,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to study “Effects of Prescribed Burning in Pennsylvania’s Mixed Oak Forest on Wildlife Taxa of Concern.”

Joel B. Kemp, Ph.D., of Pittsburgh, was named assistant professor of theology. He previously taught at Boston College, where he completed a doctorate in theology. He earned a bachelor’s degree in religion and American history from Harvard College, a juris doctorate from Harvard Law School and a master of divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological School. In addition to teaching theology, Kemp was also a practicing attorney for more than a decade. He is fluent in Biblical Hebrew and can read Greek, Akkadian, Aramaic, German and French.

John Kilker was named assistant professor of communication. He served as a faculty specialist in television and video for the university’s Department of Communication for the 2016-17 academic year. He has worked in the film and television industry for more than 15 years as a producer, director, writer and editor. His work has been nominated or won awards at numerous film festivals, including the Toronto International Film Festival. He has taught screenwriting, sound and directing at several universities. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Scranton, a master’s in industrial and organizational psychology from Fairfield University, and a master of fine arts in film production from the University of Southern California.

Linda C. Mlodzienski of Moosic was named faculty specialist in the accounting department. She earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and an MBA in finance, both from the University of Scranton. She has many years of industry experience, having worked for accounting firms, as director of finance for catholic schools in the Diocese of Scranton, as business manager for the Notre Dame Regional Schools, and as director of operations for the Lackawanna Heritage Valley National and State Heritage Area. She has also previously taught accounting at the university, Wilkes University and East Stroudsburg University.

Anne Royer, Ph.D., of Salem, Oregon, was named assistant professor of biology. She was previously a visiting assistant professor and postdoctoral scholar at Willamette University. Royer earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and German studies from Oberlin College. She received her doctorate in ecology, evolutionary biology and behavior from Michigan State University. Her research focuses on the evolutionary ecology of interspecific interactions, primarily plant-pollinator systems. She has presented her work at conferences around the nation and has been published in several academic journals.

Janette Scardillo, D.P.T., of Whiting, New Jersey, was named faculty specialist in the physical therapy department. Scardillo was previously an assistant professor and co-director of clinical education at Thomas Jefferson University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in health science, as well as master’s and doctoral degrees in physical therapy from the University of Scranton. She worked as a physical therapist in New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Maryland before joining the faculty of Thomas Jefferson University.

Jong-Hyun Son, Ph.D., of Salt Lake City, Utah, was named assistant professor of biology. He earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Dankook University, South Korea, a master’s degree in biological science from Western Illinois University, and a doctorate in neuroscience and experimental therapeutics from Texas A&M University of the Health Sciences. For the past eight years, he has worked for the University of Utah as a postdoctoral fellow in the department of pharmacology and toxicology, and as a postdoctoral research associate in the School of Medicine.

Leona Sparaco, Ph.D., of Tallahassee, Florida, was named visiting instructor in the mathematics department. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Siena College and a doctorate in mathematics from Florida State University. Since 2012, she has taught a variety of calculus, trigonometry, college algebra and other math classes at Florida State.

Krista Stevens, Ph.D., of Birmingham, Alabama, was named visiting assistant professor of theology. She earned a bachelor’s degree in theology and English from Spring Hill College, a master of divinity degree from Weston Jesuit School of Theology, and a doctorate in theology from Fordham University. She was also a teaching fellow and postdoctoral teaching fellow at Fordham and a visiting assistant professor at Marquette University. Her research has been published in several academic journals.

Laurie B. Valunas was named faculty specialist in the nursing department. Valunas has more than 20 years of experience as a pediatric nurse practitioner. She previously worked for Physicians Health Alliance in Dickson City, Goldsboro Pediatrics and Duke University Medical Center. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Scranton, and a master’s degree in nursing and her pediatric nurse practitioner certification from Duke University.


John “Jack” Dennis has been promoted to the position of executive director of the Wayne Memorial Health Foundation. Dennis replaced G. Richard Garman, who announced his retirement earlier this year. The foundation serves as the fundraising arm and recipient of all charitable contributions benefiting the entities that comprise the health system. Additionally, WMHF oversees the for-profit subsidiary, Wayne Health Services.

Among numerous professional achievements, Dennis is credited with securing over $14 million in grant funds for expansion and sustainability of health care services offered by WMH and WMCHC. These include acquiring the designation for a federally qualified health center, expansion of WMH’s emergency department, radiology PACS system upgrades and the development of the Rural Telehealth Network of NEPA.

Dennis received a master of science degree in organizational management from Misericordia University. He received his bachelor of science degree in engineering management from Fairleigh-Dickinson University’s College of Engineering, Teaneck, New Jersey. He also completed a fellowship in PA RULE – Pennsylvania Rural Leadership Program at Penn State University, University Park. Dennis is a veteran of the Air Force. He resides in Milford. He is married, the father of four children and grandfather to three.


The university has announced faculty promotions and recognized faculty who have been awarded tenure.

The following are faculty who have been promoted to full professor:

John Hepp was promoted to full professor of history. He received his bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Temple University and received his juris doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. After practicing law in Philadelphia, he earned a doctorate in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Hepp specializes in urban history, including the cities of Philadelphia, London and Glasgow, and the history of American foreign policy. His research interests include Victorian middle-class culture and the development of international law. He has published two books, one on the city of Philadelphia and one on Warren G. Harding, three peer-reviewed journal articles and two book chapters in edited volumes, along with numerous encyclopedia entries.

Kyle Kreider was promoted to full professor of political science. He received his bachelor’s degree in political science and philosophy from Millersville University and earned a master’s degree and doctorate in political science from Temple University. Kreider’s research is at the intersection of social science and law. He co-authored two book-length projects with well-respected publishers: “U.S. Election Campaigns: A Reference and Documentary Guide,” published by Greenwood Press in 2001, and a two-volume collection of scholarly essays, “Minority Voting in the United States,” published in 2016 by Praeger. Kreider is the chair of the Divisions of Behavioral and Social Services at Wilkes.

Lawrence Kuhar was promoted to full professor of English. He received his bachelor’s degree in journalism and master’s degree in English from Duquesne University and his doctorate in contemporary American literature and rhetoric from the University of Maryland. In addition to having an original play produced, Kuhar is an active poet who has published his work nationally, including the 2017 publication of three poems in Ars Medica, and presented his work at conferences. Kuhar is a communications consultant to the insurance industry, the health-care industry, banking, technology enterprises and other organizations in northeast Pia. His work in these industries has focused on topics ranging from organizational and leadership communications, culture change initiatives, team building policies and procedures, the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, managed care and internal audit communication practices.

Edward Schicatano was promoted to full professor of psychology. He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Bloomsburg University and his master’s degree and doctorate in neuroscience from Wake Forest University. Schicatano was awarded the Carpenter Award for teaching excellence in 2006, which is Wilkes University’s highest recognition for outstanding teaching. He was also recognized with the Outstanding Adviser Award in 2010. He has published two journal articles in the last year, including a publication in Journal of Neuroscience Education. Schicatano has consistently presented his research on the effects of emotion and cognition on pain perception at conferences. He is the co-director of the NeuroTraining and Research Center at Wilkes and is the coordinator of the psychology degree program, as well as the head of the neuroscience program.

Mark Stine was promoted to full professor of communication studies. He received his bachelor’s degree in English from Moravian College, a master’s degree in education with a concentration in media production from East Stroudsburg University and a doctorate in mass media and communication from Temple University. He is the faculty adviser for the Wilkes Now TV magazine program, for WCLH radio and for the University’s chapter of College Republicans. His teaching at Wilkes has been recognized with the Interdisciplinary Teaching Award, and he received the Outstanding Adviser Award in 2013. He produced and co-produced several documentary films with one of them attaining critical success in England in 2014. His documentary film “True Rarity: The Amazing Story of Irwin Weinberg,” attracted attention from postal history scholars and was publicly screened. Stine also has presented 15 papers at regional, national and international conferences, including the National Communication Association meeting, a top conference in the discipline, and has several publications.

The university also made other personnel moves.

Rafael Garcia was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor of foreign languages. Garcia specializes in Spanish literature with a focus on the Golden Age. Garcia joined the faculty in 2011 after serving at Martin University. He received a licenciatura in Spanish literature and linguistics and a second in Latin and Greek philology, both from the Universidad de Valladolid in Spain. He earned his doctorate from the University of Cincinnati. Garcia is a scholar of 16th and 17th century Spain, in particular the writings of Luis de Granda.

Maria Grandinetti was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor of nursing. Grandinetti earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration in finance from Rider University. After receiving a second bachelor’s degree in nursing from Seton Hall University, she earned a master’s degree in nursing education from Wilkes University. She earned her doctorate in nursing education from Widener University. She is completing a post-doctorate certificate in nursing informatics. Grandinetti holds professional certification as a nurse educator from the National League of Nursing and has been a registered nurse for 24 years. Grandinetti began teaching at the university in 2008. She teaches on both the undergraduate and graduate level, and is the coordinator of the accelerated baccalaureate-nursing program. She has peer-reviewed publications in national and international journals, and has presented numerous podium and poster presentations at regional, national and international professional conferences.

Mary Jane Miskovsky was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor of nursing. Miskovsky received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Misericordia University. She went on to receive her master’s degree in nursing/clinical nurse specialist critical care with a concentration in nursing education and a post-master’s nurse practitioner-adult certificate from Syracuse University. Miskovsky received her doctorate from Carlow University. She is nationally certified as an adult health nurse practitioner and maintains a clinical practice at Volunteers in Medicine, a free clinic for the uninsured. Her research interest ranges from studies on obesity to looking at the use of virtual patient simulation and standardized patients in online nursing education. She has presented at regional and national conferences, including the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, and has served as a reviewer for The Journal for Nurse Practitioners. She is on the advisory board of Shadow Health, a national educational software development company.

Abas Sabouni was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor of electrical engineering. Sabouni joined the university in fall 2013 after a prestigious post-doctoral fellowship at Ecole Polytechnique and Montreal Neurology Institute in Montreal, Canada. Earlier in 2017, he worked as a researcher at Harvard University. In 2014 and 2015, he conducted research at University of California San Diego, as a visiting scholar. In 2014, Sabouni received the Interdisciplinary Teacher Award and in 2016, he received the Outstanding New Faculty Award, both from Wilkes. This year, the university awarded him the Scholarship Award and the Outstanding Advisory Award. He is a recipient of the IEEE AP-S honorable mention award and FQRNT Canada Postdoctoral Fellowship. Sabouni has authored and co-authored over 80 peer-reviewed journals and conference papers presented at international conferences and published in scientific journals. He is the co-author of a technical book, “Microwave Tomography: Global Optimization, Parallelization and Performance Evaluation.” He specializes in microwave tomography for breast cancer detection and magnetic stimulation for brain treatment. Sabouni earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Azad University in Iran and master’s degrees in electrical and computer engineering from K.N. Toosi University of Technology in Iran. Sabouni earned his doctorate in electrical and computer engineering from University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.


Latrese Laporte, Lisa Ambrose and Gus Harlacher were recently hired as Realtors by the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate firm.

Laporte will work from the Business Campus. A graduate of the Weichert Real Estate School in 2014, Laporte and her family of five moved to the Poconos eight years ago.

Ambrose, who also will work from the Business Campus, received her real estate license in March. A lifelong resident of the Poconos, Ambrose will also work with Jennifer Lynn-Amantea, associate broker in the Mount Pocono office.

Harlacher will work from the historic Milford office. Harlacher was born in Bronx, New York, and grew up in Pike County. He graduated from Delaware Valley High School in 2004. He was formerly an independent professional wrestler.


Suzanne M. Fletcher has joined the center’s executive leadership team as the senior vice president of finance. In this new role, Fletcher will oversee center’s finance department. With more than 30 years of experience in finance and more than a decade in the health care industry, Fletcher joins the center from Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania, where she most recently served as the organization’s vice president of finance and administrative services. In addition to more traditional finance responsibilities at Blue Cross, Fletcher led the organization through the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Before her tenure at Blue Cross, Fletcher was a partner with the accounting and consulting firm Parente Randolph, currently known as Baker Tilly.

Fletcher is a certified public accountant and holds the Chartered Global Management Accountant designation. She holds a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Wilkes University.

In addition to her professional experience, Fletcher has also earned various accolades, including being named as one of the Top 25 Women in Business in Northeastern Pennsylvania twice. She is an active member of the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute Board of Directors, the Penn State Wilkes-Barre Advisory Board and the Circle 200 Executive Women’s Forum, as well as other professional organizations.

Fletcher resides in Hanover Twp. with her husband, John, and daughters, Erica and Lauren.