INTEGRATED HEALTH SYSTEM
Jim Brogna was named vice president for strategic partnership development. Brogna has served as vice president for corporate advancement and communication since 2015. The new role was created in response to the need for advanced leadership in the rapidly changing health care market. Brogna will work with senior management to strengthen medical and business partnerships that support the nonprofit health system’s mission. During his more than 20-year career, Brogna has earned responsibilities in marketing, fundraising, physician relations and management of the dePaul School for Children with Dyslexia.
Two people joined the real estate firm.
John Kirrane was raised on Long Island, N.Y., and relocated to Pennsylvania in 2014. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s in education administration from Fordham University in New York. Kirrane has a diverse background of leadership in teaching, administration, publishing, restaurant management and photography. He chose to join the company because of its reputation and having experienced it as a buyer.
Katrina Mackey is a lifelong resident of Northeast Pennsylvania — raised in Taylor and a current resident of West Scranton. She attended Lackawanna College and Penn State University and holds an associate degree in business administration. She received her real estate training online through the CE Shop. She said she joined the firm to become a trusted real estate adviser for her clients.
The cooperative’s members elected one new director and returned two incumbents to the board of directors at the 2019 annual meeting, held July 9 at the Elk Lake School District campus in Springville.
Anthony J. “Tony” Ventello of Towanda was elected to a three-year term representing Zone 9 on the cooperative board.
Ventello, executive director of the Progress Authority of Bradford and Susquehanna counties, defeated Frank Bertrand of Towanda in a two-way race for the board seat.
Incumbent Directors Charles R. Bullock of Meshoppen and Charles R. McNamara of Friendsville were unanimously re-elected to represent Zones 7 and 8, respectively.
Claverack seats three of its nine board positions annually. Directors are elected to three-year terms.
Claverack Rural Electric Cooperative, with headquarters in Wysox, provides electricity to more than 16,000 members in Bradford, Susquehanna, Wyoming, Tioga, Lycoming, Sullivan, Lackawanna and Luzerne counties.
Leah Habersham, M.D., obstetrician and gynecologist, has joined the Physician Network and is a medical staff member of Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.
Habersham is 2012 graduate from the Saba University School of Medicine, Netherlands-Antilles. She completed an obstetrics/gynecology residency as chief resident at the Brooklyn Hospital Center, Brooklyn, New York. She comes to Wilkes-Barre from St. Francis Hospital, Maryville, Missouri, where she formerly practiced as an attending physician in the department of obstetrics and gynecology since 2016.
WBRE-TV, WYOU-TV, Eyewitness News and Pahomepage.com announced Keith St. Peter has been named news director for their award-winning broadcast and digital platforms. St. Peter will report to Stephen Daniloff, vice president and general manager of WBRE-TV.
St. Peter most recently served as managing editor at WHIO-TV in Dayton, Ohio, the No. 1-rated CBS station in the country. Before that, he was the executive producer for both the morning and evening newscasts at WFOX-TV and WJAX-TV in Jacksonville, Florida. His experience in leading and coordinating local news and severe weather coverage on television, digital, radio and print platforms has won him numerous awards, including a Regional Edward R. Murrow, an Ohio AP award and Regional Emmy.
FOLEY, COMERFORD & CUMMINS
Daniel E. Cummins of the Scranton law firm recently presented a Civil Litigation Update CLE at the Pennsylvania Defense Institute’s annual meeting at the Bedford Springs Resort. The institute is a group of hundreds of insurance professionals and attorneys from all around Pennsylvania. Cummins provided the attendees with an update on important decisions and legal trends in Pennsylvania over the past year. Cummins, who has handled automobile accident cases for more than 20 years, also recently published an article in the Pennsylvania Law Weekly on safety tips for driving titled “Driving Tips From Someone Who Has Seen it All.”
Heart-rhythm specialist Pugazhendhi Vijayaraman, M.D., was presented the Innovator of the Year award by the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce during the recent EPIC Awards ceremony at Wyoming Seminary’s Kirby Center for the Creative Arts.
A Geisinger provider since 2005, he served as the region’s first fellowship-trained cardiac electrophysiology specialist and has positively affected thousands of lives with his clinical skills and compassionate care, Geisinger said. Vijayaraman is the director of cardiac electrophysiology for Geisinger Northeast and the Geisinger Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology Fellowship Program.
SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
Joe Evanick, director of instructional design and distance learning at the School of Graduate Education, recently delivered a presentation at “OLC Innovate 2019,” a conference for online learning professionals that provided networking and opportunities to learn about the latest advances and challenges in online higher education.
“Innovating in Medical Education Through Microlearning,” described GCSOM’s application of microlearning techniques in online courses. Microlearning is a way of teaching and delivering content to learners in small, very specific bursts in a digital environment, allowing learners to control what and when they learn.
The medical school also announced three appointments in medical education, nurse education and library services.
William Jeffries, Ph.D., was named vice dean for medical education and vice president for academic affairs. He is responsible for overseeing medical education at the medical school, including curriculum renewal, assessment of student outcomes and enhancing the alignment of medical school learning with the skills and competencies outlined by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. He will also oversee medical student recruitment and admissions.
He served since 2009 as senior associate dean for medical education at the University of Vermont, responsible for its offices of curriculum, academic affairs, student affairs and admissions.
Rebecca Stoudt, DNP, Ph.D., CRNA, has been named associate dean for nursing student education effective June 9. Working closely with Geisinger nursing leadership, Stoudt will be responsible for the coordination, oversight and management of the experiences within the Geisinger system of Geisinger nursing students, as well as undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in degree programs at other educational institutions. Stoudt continues to serve as director of CRNA services.
Amy Allison, MPH, will assume the role of associate dean and library director in September. In that position, she will create, in concert with Geisinger administration and library staff, one health sciences library system that will serve all Geisinger facilities, including all hospitals and the School of Medicine. She will report to the chief academic officer.
Allison has worked for 11 years at Emory University’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library, first as a clinical informationist, then as head of Clinical Informationist Services and finally as associate director of the entire library, where she oversaw all public service points for Woodruff.
Noah Levinson has been named executive director. He is dedicated to the fight for single-payer health care and Medicare For All in Pa.
Levinson, born and raised near Scranton, started his career in media and technology. He published a thesis on internet culture and memes at the University of Pittsburgh before advising global organizations on digital influence, communications and rapid response.
HONESDALE NATIONAL BANK
Laurie Harrington was recently promoted to assistant vice president, commercial loan officer.
Harrington began her career at the bank in 2004 as a teller and was promoted to customer service representative and then administrative assistant, transferring to the loan department in 2005. She received experience as a portfolio loan processor, management trainee, loan review officer, loan officer and mortgage adviser before her promotion.
She will be responsible for developing and managing commercial loan relationships, collecting and analyzing financial information, and negotiating terms for small-business and other commercial loan applicants.
KEN POLLOCK ENTERPRISES
Gary Peters was named executive vice president of the Automotive Sector, where he will oversee all of the auto group’s operations.
Peters has been a member of the company since 2005 and has advanced progressively through various managerial positions, including his success as the general manager of Ken Pollock Nissan, Wilkes-Barre. In 2009, Ken Pollock Nissan was one of two dealers to receive the prestigious Nissan Sales and Service Way Award, and is consistently an acclaimed Award of Excellence and top-performing store in the Nissan Region.
With more than 20 years of automotive experience, he has played a key role in the expansion of the auto group and will be critical for its future development and growth, the company said.
Frances Langan, Ed.D., was named vice president for institutional advancement and strategic initiatives.
Langan has been a faculty member since 1985 and has been affiliated with the college since 1980. She has served as the chair of the Division of Social Sciences, the Division of Education and most recently, as dean of the School of Professional Studies.
Knowledgeable about local, state and national funding opportunities, Langan is also experienced in cultivating private foundation opportunities specifically targeting program innovation. She is a member of numerous local, state and national boards and commissions.
Timur Maskayev of Wilkes-Barre has transitioned from adjunct to full-time faculty. Maskayev served as an adjunct instructor since 2018 in U.S. history and effective speaking at the college. He received a Master of Arts degree in media studies and production, along with a teaching in higher education certificate from Temple University in 2015. Maskayev also holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science and mass communications and media from King’s College (2007).
Tod Kania of Mountain Top has been announced as an IT application support specialist. Kania previously worked as a computer technician at Computer Care Solutions. He received his Bachelor of Science in information technology from Pennsylvania State University.
MATERNAL AND FAMILY HEALTH SERVICES
Shannon Hayward has been promoted to vice president of service delivery operations of the health system. In this position, she will oversee the WIC and Nurse Family Partnership programs, where she will focus on program evaluation, service integration and growth strategies for programing.
Hayward brings more than 15 years of experience across marketing, program management and strategic leadership. She most recently served as director of the WIC program. Hayward is a graduate of LaSalle University, as well as the first cohort of the Nonprofit Leadership Program at the University of Scranton.
Erica Bozentka has recently been promoted to senior manager of the WIC Nutrition Program. In this role, she will oversee WIC service delivery in over 30 locations in 16 counties, as well as the operation of the health system’s call center. Her focus will be on supporting the operations of the WIC program, with a focused commitment on providing a high quality of care for participants in the program.
A 17-year employee, she has held roles including WIC nutritionist, senior operations manager, and most recently, regional manager of the WIC Nutrition Program. Erica received a degree in applied nutrition from Penn State University.
Tony Connell has joined the bank as branch manager for the Wilkes-Barre Boulevard Office.
Connell has 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. Most recently, he was a branch manager with Citizens Bank. Connell graduated from GAR Memorial High School.
Branch managers Laura Rowe and Laura Schultz have been promoted to assistant vice presidents.
Rowe has more than 35 years of experience in the financial services industry. She joined the bank in 2016 as the branch manager for the Hamlin Corners Office. She formerly worked with Provident Bank and PNC Bank.
Rowe successfully completed the Management Development and Training Program at Mercer Community College and holds continuing education certificates from the American Bankers Association.
Schultz has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry. She joined the bank in 1988 and gained experience in loan operations and mortgage origination before joining the branch banking team. Since 2000, she has managed the bank’s Milford Office. Schultz has earned several certificates from the American Bankers Association.
The organization announced the election of new members of the board of directors for fiscal year 2019-20.
Carl R. Beardsley Jr., a resident of Jefferson Twp., serves as the executive director of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport and has extensive senior-level commercial service airport management experience with a thorough understanding of operations in the northeastern portion of the United States.
He is involved with the American Association of Airport Executives, where he serves on the Northeast Chapter’s board of directors. He has also been involved in the New York Aviation Management Association, Aviation Council of Pennsylvania, Airport Councils International and a member of the Governor’s Aviation Advisory Committee.
Ida L. Castro, a resident of Scranton, serves as founding executive of the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine in Scranton, where she serves as vice president for community engagement and chief diversity officer. She also heads the Center of Excellence, supported by a $3.4 million grant funded by HRSA, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Castro currently serves on the Scranton Area Foundation board and chairs its scholarship committee. She is a co-founder of Women in Philanthropy. She also serves on the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce and Leadership Wilkes-Barre boards.
Stephen Daniloff, a resident of Wilkes-Barre, serves as the vice president/general manager for WBRE-WYOU-TV, with more than 25 years of broadcast experience in local and national sales management, new business development and strategic planning across multiple media platforms. He is a current member of the Wilkes-Barre and Scranton Chambers of Commerce.
Cynthia DeFebo, a resident of Shohola, is the director of the Pike County Workforce Development Agency in Shohola. PCWDA is part of a four-county consortium, Pocono Counties Workforce Development Area and is overseen by the Pike County commissioners and the Pocono Counties Workforce Development Board. She started as a career counselor more than 20 years ago. In August 1999, the Pike County commissioners appointed DeFebo as director.
She also worked for Alpha Publishing Inc., where she helped to develop educational kits and books for preschool-age children and served as operations manager.
Vincent A. Galko is senior vice president for Mercury. He has more than 20 years of experience working on national, state and local campaigns and issues. Galko also served as regional administrator for the U.S. Department of Education under President George W. Bush.
He is a former commissioner on the Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission. He is a member of Scranton Preparatory School’s board of trustees. He has served as a part-time faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government. Galko was also a public member on the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing.
Arthur Keith, a resident of East Stroudsburg, is an award-winning hospitality executive with more than 30 years of experience in the strategic planning and execution of operational initiatives and sales and marketing campaigns that drive customer satisfaction and revenue while building employee engagement. He serves as the general manager at Kalahari Resorts in the Poconos.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in hotel and restaurant management from Cornell University. He is also a leadership coach with certification from the International Coaching Federation Coach University.
Marlyn Kissner, a resident of Franklin Twp., leads the strategic positioning and partnership efforts for the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce to ensure local chamber empowerment, member retention and growth, leadership development and succession planning. She oversees the chamber’s Northern Region and serves as the executive director of the Carbon Chamber and Economic Development Corp. She also serves as the executive director for the Pocono Chamber.
Kissner serves as a board member of the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau and the Lehigh Carbon Community College Career Development Advisory Committee.
Theodore B. Wampole Jr., of Wilkes-Barre, serves as executive director of the Luzerne County Convention & Visitors Bureau. He previously was employed by the city of Wilkes-Barre and Liberty Mutual Insurance Group. He has served as chairman for the city of Wilkes-Barre Fire Department Civil Service Commission for more than 10 years and also served as vice chairman for the Wilkes-Barre Redevelopment Authority and Diamond City Partnership. His other past affiliations include the Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Association, Riverfront Parks Committee, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton BPO Elks Lodge 109 and the American Heart Association.
NOBEL LEARNING COMMUNITIES
Thomas Vargas, Royersford, was recently hired with the human resource department at the West Chester location.
A graduate of Valley View High School, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in human resource management from Cabrini College and a Master of Business Administration degree from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He is currently working to attain a second master’s degree in business law from Nova Southeastern.
County District Attorney Raymond J. Tonkin was elected president of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association.
Tonkin was first elected district attorney 11 years ago after serving eight years as an assistant district attorney in the office. He gained national attention when he prosecuted Eric Frein, who was convicted of killing Pennsylvania State Trooper Cpl. Bryon Dickson and wounding state Trooper Alex Douglass at the Pennsylvania State Police Barracks in Blooming Grove.
Tonkin currently serves on the State Victim Services Advisory Committee, a position he has held through the appointment of two governors. Before becoming a prosecutor, Tonkin was a local police officer for seven years.
SWEET, STEVENS, KATZ & WILLIAMS
Managing partner attorney John G. Audi was a featured presenter at the 2019 School Board Secretaries Conference on July 31 at Kalahari Resorts and Conventions. This annual conference is designed to provide the latest policy and legal updates, extend networking opportunities and help attendees refresh skills in preparation for the back-to-school season.
Audi brings more than 30 years of experience in public sector labor and employment law. He served for nine years as in-house regional counsel for the Pennsylvania State Education Association and for 11 years as an administrative law judge for the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board.
THE UNIVERSITY OF SCRANTON
Eleven university faculty members were honored recently with Provost Faculty Enhancement awards for excellence in teaching, scholarship or service. The Office of the Provost and the Provost Advisory Group selected the recipients from a pool of candidates nominated by academic deans and department chairs.
Michael Allison, Ph.D., received the Excellence in Integrating Mission and Justice into the Curriculum Award. The award honors a faculty member whose special efforts ensure that students have a keen understanding and appreciation of the realities of the world, including pressing justice issues in a local, national and global context. Allison, professor and chair of the Department of Political Science, joined the faculty at Scranton in 2006. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Fairfield University and his master’s degree and doctorate from Florida State University.
Douglas Boyle, D.B.A., received the Faculty Senate Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award, which recognizes a faculty member who demonstrates dedication to teaching graduate students in a manner that creates an encouraging and intellectually stimulating environment that promotes critical thinking and learning. Boyle, associate professor and chair of the accounting department, joined the faculty at the university in 2009. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Scranton, his master’s degree from Columbia University and his Doctor of Business Administration from Kennesaw State University.
Marian Farrell, Ph.D., received the Excellence for University Service and Leadership Award, which recognizes faculty members who have contributed service to the university community, particularly those who demonstrate academic leadership by effectively mentoring their junior colleagues. Farrell, professor of nursing, joined the faculty at Scranton in 1990. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from College Misericordia, a second master’s degree from Syracuse University and her doctorate from Adelphia University.
Teresa Grettano, Ph.D., received the Excellence in Advancing Interdisciplinary Study Award, which recognizes a faculty member who demonstrates noteworthy academic leadership in promoting and strengthening cross-disciplinary or interdepartmental teaching and learning endeavors. Grettano, associate professor of English and theater, joined the faculty at Scranton in 2009. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of South Alabama and her doctorate from Illinois State University.
Christie Pugh Karpiak, Ph.D., received the Excellence in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award, presented to faculty members who enhance student learning. Karpiak, professor and chair of the Department of Psychology, joined the faculty at Scranton in 2001. She earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Utah.
Lawrence W. Kennedy, Ph.D., and Yibai Li, Ph.D., received the Excellence in Scholarly Publication Award, presented to faculty members who have attained distinction in scholarship or creative activity. Kennedy, professor of history, joined the faculty at Scranton in 1992. He earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees from Boston College. Li, associate professor of operations and information management, joined the faculty at Scranton in 2013. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Jilin University, his master’s degree from Oklahoma State University and his doctorate from Washington State University.
Oliver Morgan, Ph.D., received the Excellence in Adapting Classic Principles of Jesuit Pedagogy into the Curriculum: Magis Award. Morgan, professor of counseling and human services, joined the faculty at Scranton in 1990. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Fordham University, his master’s degree from Hahnemann Medical University, his Master of Divinity degree from Weston School of Theology, and his doctorate from Boston University.\
Charles Pinches, Ph.D., received the Excellence in Advancing Global Learning Award, presented to faculty members who integrate international issues and perspectives into the curriculum. Pinches, professor of theology/religious studies, joined the faculty at Scranton in 1990. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College and his master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Notre Dame.
El-Habib Zanzana, Ph.D., received the Excellence in Integrating Diversity in Learning Award, which recognizes a faculty member whose efforts to integrate diversity in the curriculum have enriched the students’ learning experiences. Zanzana, associate professor of world languages and cultures, joined the faculty at Scranton in 1995. He earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees from Indiana University.
In addition, Jahan Tabatabaie, adjunct professor in the economics and finance department, was honored with the Part-Time Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching. Tabatabai earned his bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University and his master’s degree from Columbia University.
VICTIMS RESOURCE CENTER
Eryka Vargas, Carbondale, accepted a salaried opportunity at the resource center in Wilkes-Barre, and will be a prevention education specialist.
A graduate of Valley View High School, she also received a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from East Stroudsburg University.
WAYNE MEMORIAL COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS
Board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist Eric Rittenhouse, M.D., FACOG, has joined the staff of the Women’s Health Center. Rittenhouse treats women across their lifespan, from the teen years to maternity care to the post-menopausal phase.
He has spent the majority of his career in private practice at Lehigh Valley Women’s Medical Specialties. Additionally, he served as medical director of Sacred Heart Hospital’s OB/GYN Clinic, as well as chairman for the department of OB/GYN at Sacred Heart Hospital. He was also the section chief of obstetrics at St. Luke’s Hospital in Allentown for three years.
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