The Medical Humanities Conference is Canceled
Event Title: The Call for Success: Recess!
Presenters: Michele Figlar; Matt Masiello.
Time: 6:30 pm
Location: Murtha Center
Sponsor: Education Division
Event: Faculty Teaching Showcase
Event Title: Faculty Teaching Showcase
Time: 5:30 pm
Location: Heritage Hall, Living Learning Center (LLC)
Who: Reserved Only for Faculty of Pitt-Johnstown
Wednesday, April 1
Display Title: Toward Healing: A Journey to Wellness through the Visual Arts
Location: Throughout Living Learning Center (LLC)
Sponsors: Peer Empowerment Network (P.E.N.), Johnstown; H.O.P.E. Drop-In Center, Altoona; Laurel View Village, Davidsville; Richland Woods Assisted Living, Johnstown; Garvey Manor Assisted Living, Hollidaysburg; Mental Health Resources of Central PA, Ebensburg.
Event: Art Displays (ongoing)
Display Title: Arts for Healing
Location: Art Gallery of the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center (PPAC)
Sponsors: Arts for Healing (Conemaugh Hospital) and Southern Allegheny Museum of the Arts
Artists Reception: 4:00 – 6:00 pm (PPAC)
Event: Poster Display (ongoing)
Event Title: Posters on Creativity in the Medical Humanities
Location: Heritage A
Time of Ongoing Poster Display: 9:00 am—:400 pm
Time of Poster Presentations with Authors: 2:00—4:00 pm
Events: Panel Presentations, Public Discussions, Workshops
Location: Heritage B & C
Title: Emerging Infectious Diseases and Human Society
Participants: Jill D. Henning; Jennifer Manges; Patty Wharton-Michael; Matthew Masiello; UPJ Student Representatives
Abstract: This panel presentation is designed to help gain a better understanding of how infectious diseases, and the microbes that are responsible for them, invade our communities. The goal of this program is to attempt to provide a deeper understanding of biological, environmental, and human behavior factors that affect the spread of infectious diseases. The need is to understand how these factors are linked and the sociocultural processes that underlie them in order to better protect ourselves with a cohesive understanding of the complete problem.
Location: University Room
Title: Humanities Can Heal: Real World Applications of the Arts and Humanities
Format: Panel Presentation and Discussion
Participant(s): Donald Talbot; Nathan Magee; Sue Clark; Alexis Hicks; Barbara Duryea
Location: Campus Room
Title: Going to the Doctors when Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Format: Panel Discussion
Participants: Kevin Carter Jr.; Joyce Gallagher; Victoria Kante; Benjamin (Ben) Moonan
Location: Scholars Room
Title: New Age: A Blend of Science and Mindfulness Philosophy
Format: Information Session and Experiential Learning
Participant: Tresa L. McVicker; Emily Korns
Location: College Room
Title: Creative Assessment: Increasing Students’ Opportunities to Develop Emotional Quotient (EQ) Through the use of Experiential Assignments and Technology in the Classroom.
Format: Informative Panel
Participants: Missy Casses; Jerry Zahorchak
Location: Heritage B & C
Title: Applied Workshop on Emerging Infectious Diseases and Human Society
Format: Workshop (Attendance at Panel Presentation not Required)
Participants: Jill D. Henning; Jennifer Manges; Patty Wharton-Michael; Matthew Masiello; UPJ Student Representatives
Abstract: This workshop is designed to help gain a better understanding of how infectious diseases, and the microbes that are responsible for them, invade our communities. The goal is to experience activities that provide a deeper understanding of biological, environmental, and human behavior factors that affect the spread of infectious diseases. The need is to understand how these factors are linked and the sociocultural processes that underlie them in order to better protect ourselves with a cohesive understanding of the complete problem.
Location: University Room
Title: Visual Life Mapping Art Workshop
Participants: Donald Talbot; Alexis Hicks
Abstract: This hands-on art workshop enables participants to contemplate their past, examine their present, and envisage their future by creating a visual life map using images and words. Please note that although participation in the “Humanities Can Heal: Real World Applications of the Arts and Humanities” panel is recommended, no previous art experience or educational background is needed to participate in this event.
Location: Campus Room
Title: Sign Language in Medical Settings
Participants: Kevin Carter Jr.; Joyce Gallagher; Victoria Kante; Benjamin (Ben) Moonan
Location: Scholars Room
Title: Violence Prevention and Community Education
Format: Panel Discussion
Participants: Alexandria Crawford; Ava Genovese; Shayna Blackford; Laura Pucci
Location: College Room
Title: Addiction Doesn’t Discriminate So Why Does Recovery?
Format: Panel Presentation
Participants: Natalie Moldofsky; Jason Rilogio; Stefan Keiser; Bryant Shue; Heather Weeks
Abstract: This panel will discuss the experience of recovering individuals from different pathways of recovery and the stigma they have encountered within their chosen pathway. Speakers will briefly discuss their experience, which will be followed by an opportunity for Q & A from attendees. Literature will also be provided by the Cambria County Drug Coalition and a brief explanation of the Our Lives Matter Quilt Project in memory of those lost to the disease of addiction.
Location: Board Room
Title: So You Think You Want to be a Physician?
Format: Panel Presentation
Participants: William Fritz, MD
Abstract: This presentation discusses recommendations for MCAT preparation and for specific interviewing techniques for improving pre-medical students’ readiness for the competitive market of Medical School. Mentoring and advice for individuals hoping to become a physician will be presented with open discussion, scenarios, and practice examples.
Location: Heritage B & C
Title: The Role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Medical Diagnosis and Prescription
Format: Panel Presentation
Participants: Derek Leben; Michael Barber; Brian Ahlstrom
Abstract: As AI tools become more sophisticated, their performance at medical diagnosis and prescription may soon become “better than human” in many domains (e.g., identifying melanoma). Once this occurs, it’s incumbent to ask: what role should AI systems play in medical practice? Is it ethically permissible, or even required, for practitioners to use AI as a “second opinion” tool, especially once the performance of a tool becomes sufficiently accurate?
Location: University Room
High School Student Lunches Provided (open 11:00 am—1:00 pm)
Location: Campus Room
Title: Let’s Talk About Health Literacy: A Public Discussion
Format: Public Discussion
Participants: Alyce Palko; Hillary Holes; Bonnie Mazurak-Riga; Nicole McGrogan; Emily Korns; Beth Dietrick; Heather Lane; Jennifer Shoup
Abstract: The Institute of Medicine defines health literacy as "the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions." For individuals, health literacy skills include the ability to calculate dosages, communicate with providers, and understand health information. These skills are crucial to navigating health care systems. Individual and systemic factors affect health literacy, and low health literacy is associated with poor health outcomes. Health care organizations can develop and implement health literacy strategies and programs, which are key to building health literacy. This public discussion will bring together professionals and audience members for a discussion on health literacy. We will explore ways that health professionals and organizations can incorporate creative health literacy strategies to better serve patients. The goal of this discussion is to raise awareness of health literacy and open up discussion on this important health topic.
Location: Scholars Room
Title: Trauma Sensitive Yoga: Embodied Practices of Mindful Movement and Music.
Format: Presentation Workshop
Participant Leader: Rachel Allen
Abstract: Participants will learn about the efficacy of Trauma Sensitive Yoga as a tool for supporting the healthy regulation of the central nervous system that is impacted by trauma. Participants will engage in a gentle, seated and standing practice rooted in mindfulness and sensory awareness. All levels of ability are welcomed. The practice will include breath awareness, sound healing, gentle movement with options and choices, and meditation.
Location: College Room
Title: Time, Money, and People: How Constraints Drove Us to be Creative
Format: Panel Presentation
Participants: Eunice Yang; Daniel Warfield
Abstract: SmartRR Solutions, LLC is a medical device manufacturer solving unmet clinical needs using artificial intelligence. With falls being the number one cause of accidental death and injuries among older adults, this product, OK2StandUP, is a fall prevention medical device that informs frontline care providers of fall risks long before their patients’ feet ever touch the floor. The company received its first funding in 2018 and now has private equity investors. With the objective of a quick and successful market entry, they operate under multiple constraints pushing them to be creative and ingenious in the way problems are solved.
Location: Heritage B & C
Title: Cure Violence in a Rural Community: A Medical Approach to Reducing Gun Violence in Johnstown
Format: Panel Presentation and Public Discussion
Participants: Ross Kleinstuber; Yvette Madison, Richard Lobb, Stephanie Jimenez; Jermaine Taylor; Quan Britt; Sylvia Carr
Abstract: Cure Violence is an innovative approach to addressing the problem of violent crime. The model treats violent crime as an infectious disease that spreads as norms and values supporting violence (i.e., a “code of the street”) proliferate throughout the community. By seeing violence as a disease, Cure Violence attempts to cure the disease using a medical approach. Specifically, Cure Violence seeks to disrupt the transmission of violence by using “violence interrupters,” who are people who have credibility among at-risk youth (often former criminals who have been reformed) to encourage youth to resolve disputes non-violently and to instill non-violent norms and values to counteract the violent values of the street. Cure Violence has been implemented and evaluated in numerous locations previously, but these areas have been exclusively large urban metropolises. In an attempt to replicate the successes of Cure Violence in a rural community, several members of the Johnstown community, Pitt-Johnstown, and Penn Highlands Community College have begun to implement and assess Cure Violence in Johnstown. This presentation will summarize the goals, procedures, and methods of Cure Violence along with discussing the efforts that are currently under way to evaluate the program’s efficacy. Community members will be invited to participate and to assist in making Cure Violence a success.
Location: University Room
Secondary School Student Lunches Provided (open 11:00 am—1:00 pm)
Location: Campus Room
Title: Health Literacy Writing Workshop
Participant: Alyce Palko
Abstract: Easy-to-read health information is a key component of health literate communication. During this workshop, participants will learn how to write and revise patient education and instruction materials using plain language, design, and health literacy strategies. Attendees of “Let’s Talk About Health Literacy: A Public Discussion” are encouraged to attend this workshop, but all are welcome.
Location: Scholars Room
Title: Health & Poetry: Mental, Physical, Cultural, and Spiritual Wellness
Format: Poetry Readings and Discussion
Participants: Eric Schwerer, Asa Ana, Catharine Berret-Fornoff, Hannah Brown, Kelsey Chabal, and Hillary Takyi.
Abstract: Writers, healthcare workers, healers, book lovers, and students, we invite you to arrive at our discussion with a poem in hand (maybe one you wrote; maybe a poem by a famous author or a friend). We hope you’ll read that poem aloud, but you are free to just listen and be inspired! We will talk about poetry's relationship to health. Recently, Johnstown residents submitted poems to www.poetjohnstown.com, each hoping to become our city’s first Poet Laureate. Contestants were asked to send a poem that was “on fire, full of color, cuts to the bone, or sets us free." Does this request suggest a kinship between poetry and health? And what if you were hosting a poetry contest—what would you ask of your contestants? Why? What thoughts do you have about creative writing and the influence of words on health?
Location: College Room
Title: Creating YourSelf: Identity Exploration as a Path to Well-Being
Participants: Kate Stahl Kinsinger; Kimberly “Liz” Penaloza; Kayla Lesofsky
Abstract: George Bernard Shaw said, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” Individuals who have made identity commitments and who possess a “coherent sense of who they are” tend to have better mental health and psychological well-being (Hardy et al., 2012). Pitt-Johnstown students will share personal narratives to illustrate dynamics of personal and social identity as well as the powerful process of identity exploration. Participants will discuss the challenges to well-being that can arise when one’s identity is in conflict with a specific environment, such as school, college, and the workplace. Participants will engage in an interactive activity to explore aspects of their actual and ideal identities, and they will discuss the notion of social capital as a conduit to facilitate a sense of belonging and well-being.
Location: Heritage B & C
Title: Intoxication: Justifiable Consent or Victim Blaming?
Format: Panel Discussion
Participants: Julie Wagner; Erika Brosig; Maribeth Schaffer; Greg Neugbauer; Cory Adams
Abstract: The audience will be presented with a case study containing a true description of an alcohol related incident that occurred on a university campus several years ago. Also presented will be the perception of the victim as well as the perception of the offender. The panel will evaluate the situation based upon their areas of expertise and discuss what actions would be taken on behalf of both victim and offender. The audience will be invited to ask questions; the current Criminal Justice Ethics class members will also have questions prepared for the panel members.
Location: University Room
Title: Transformative Power of Patient Stories
Format: Patient Narrative Dialogue
Participants: Michael Kiel; Barbara Duryea
Abstract: Historically healthcare providers have not encouraged or valued narrative health stories of patients. Research now supports that patient stories can in fact be healing and transformative. This open dialogue between a healthcare provider and a patient will highlight his personal story of survival from a life-threatening catastrophic injury. It will touch on a wide array of topics ranging from healing through humor, the power of support systems and alternate methods of coping to breaking down stereotypes and dispelling myths associated with disability and the evolution of assistive technology
Location: Campus Room
Title: Preventing the Extinction of Frogs and Toads for a Healthier Ecosystem
Format: Panel Presentation
Participants: Aaron Capouellez; Luis A. Bonachea; Malcolm Crittenden
Abstract: Frogs and toads are facing a climate crisis that could potentially wipe them out entirely and in turn cause potential harm to the entire ecosystem. Climate change, pollution, deforestation, disease, and many other variables are challenging frogs and toads. Social media is a platform that can be used to incite a public call to action by educating and inspiring the public. to take on our call to action. To work towards saving our frogs and toads from mass extinction, this panel discussion features experts from different backgrounds to discuss this problem through using social media to propose a solution. A video from Capouellez’s YouTube channel, Facebook, and website showcases a real example of using various social media as a platform. The panel discussion ends with advice for the audience on how to save or help the frogs and toads of Pennsylvania.
Location: Scholars Room
Title: Writing the Body: Pain, Trauma, Illness, Addiction, and Beyond
Format: Informative Panel with Creative Readings
Participants: Marissa Landrigan; Sonya Huber; Melissa Firman; and Peter Trachtenberg
Abstract: This panel of creative writers from a variety of genres will share their ideas and experiences using creative writing to tell stories of health, medicine, and the body. Each panelist will briefly discuss and read from their own creative work, and offer their advice to those interested in writing their own stories of physical and mental health. The panel will include a moderate Q&A, and audience members will have the chance to ask questions of the panelists directly.
Location: College Room
Title: “I Don’t Have Time” to Go to This Panel
Format: Presentation Workshop
Participants: Bethany McConnell; Morgan Cronauer; Kaitlyn Allison; Bridget Heh
Abstract: Are you spending your time productively? Do you often feel stressed and turn down the activities you like to do because you “do not have the time?” All too often professionals must think about the additional practices that consume their time and cause added work and limit time for activities that limit stress and promote healthy living. Do I need to complete healthier habits (i.e., eating, exercise, sleep, etc.) which will contribute to my overall happiness? We can think about the spring as a time to strengthen our routines and make good use of time and resources. What habits or behaviors work best for you? As educators/ medical professionals we know we must collect data to measure progress. So, it only makes sense to collect data on our own daily behaviors/habits for self-improvements. In this session we will discuss strategies and tips on living the “Better” life and taking control over how to create quality time. By learning more about yourself and what motivates you to maintain desired behaviors, you can shape your good habits to avoid burnout in the workplace.
2:00 - 2:50
Location: Board Room
Title: Frivolous Lawsuits & Tort Reform - A Trial Lawyer's Perspective
Participant: Bradly Holuta
Location: Heritage B & C
Title: Utilizing Community Health Workers to Enhance Care Coordination for Vulnerable Populations in Cambria and Somerset Counties
Format: Informational Session with Public Discussion
Participant(s): Jeannine McMillan; Leanna Bird
Abstract: As of January 2020, community health workers (CHWs) are a newly certifiable workforce in Pennsylvania. A CHW is a trusted individual who contributes to improved health outcomes in the community by serving as an intermediary between health/social services and individuals at risk. CHWs serve the communities in which they reside or communities with which they may share ethnicity, language, socioeconomic status, or life experiences. The 1889 Jefferson Center for Population Health, which is a partnership between the 1889 Foundation and the Jefferson College of Population Health, will introduce a new community-based care coordination initiative with CHWs to Cambria and Somerset Counties in 2020. The Center is working with the greater community to implement the Community Care HUB (HUB) initiative in the region, which will help to address the socioeconomic factors that influence a person’s health – barriers such as food security, transportation, employment, access to health care - otherwise known as the “social determinants of health.” The HUB partners with local agencies to employ Community Health Workers (CHWs) who will find those most at risk for poor health outcomes and connect them to the services they need. CHWs will work with individuals towards the completion of what are called “pathways” that address identified risk factors to positive health outcomes. A value-based payment structure is used to sustain the model. According to the County Health Rankings, Cambria County ranked 65th out of 67 counties in the Commonwealth of PA for health outcomes in 2019, and Somerset County ranked 31st.
Location: University Room
Title: Transforming from Negativity to Positivity by Following a Healthy Lifestyle
Format: Narrative Presentation and Discussion
Participant: Alan Teich; Joshua Horner
Abstract: No matter ones socio-economic, educational, or spiritual/religious background, everyone faces challenges at any given point in one’s life. This presentation focuses on the power of resiliency through exercise, discipline, meditation, and commitment towards a healthier lifestyle. Sensitive topics will be discussed including drug abuse, suicide, depression, and homelessness. However, the message remains the same for all walks of life: Resilience, focus, and hard work can become a norm when one properly focuses on health.
Location: Campus Room
Title: Advancing Our Health through Precision Medicine
Format: Lecture and Informational Session
Participants: Mylynda Massart; CTIS Research Team
Abstract: This presentation explains the importance of Precision Medicine in healthcare today. It explores various ways of participating in and advancing precision medicine research in the state of Pennsylvania. This featured lecture lead by Dr. Massart, Co-Investigator of both the All of Us Pennsylvania Research Program and the Pitt + Me Discovery Biobank, utilizes research assistants/engagement team members from the University of Pittsburgh’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) to demonstrate, discuss, and provide informational resources on how the audience members might get involved in the All of Us research.
Location: Scholars Room
Title: Therapeutic Music, Sound Healing and Expressive Music: Applications in Clinical and Trauma Sensitive Settings
Format: Presentation Workshop
Participant Leader: Rachel Allen
Abstract: This interactive workshop with live music will share evidenced based practices of applying music as a tool for healing for patients in various conditions of health with voice and Celtic Harp. This workshop will also include how music is used as a tool for empowerment for survivors of trauma. Live music will be demonstrated in this session and there is opportunity for active participation from attendees.
Location: College Room
Title: Information Systems for Victim Services
Format: Informative Panel
Participants: Travis Stouffer; Erika Brosig; Rebecca Reppert; Gregory Walters; Jaymie Harclerode
Abstract: Having quick access to the latest policies, procedures, and checklists is essential for first responders, who provide the first wave of help to a victim in an extremely delicate situation. To maximize the effectiveness of these first responders, Pitt-Johnstown Information Systems students are working to build a responsive design mobile web app that will bring the necessary resources to their fingertips.
Location: Heritage B & C
Title: Cambria County Drug Coalition
Format: Panel Presentation
Participants: Ronna Yablonski; Kristi Freoni; Jeannine McMillan; Tracey Selak; Amy Bradley; Jerry Zahorchak
Abstract: Ronna Yablonski will introduce and moderate the panel discussion and brief question and answer dialogue. Each of the 5 Steering Committees of the CCDC will present on the work of their individual steering committees and be available to answer questions on a wide array of topics regarding matters linked to substance use. Areas include Law Enforcement, Healthcare, Drug Treatment and Recovery, Community Education and Prevention Education. Participants will highlight the collaborative work of the Coalition over the past three years and share upcoming initiatives that their members are working on for 2020.
Location: University Room
Title: Affirmative Pedagogy & LGBTQ Non-Verbal Modeling: Creating Safe Spaces
Format: Panel Presentation
Participants: Catherine S. Cox; Kristen Majocha
Abstract: Colleges in the US have, in recent years, implemented LGBTQ focused “safe space” initiatives, designed to offer interested students an opportunity to seek support from recognized faculty volunteers. In the absence of such a program – the “Safe Zone” program at Pitt-Johnstown was discontinued without replacement, for example – how might faculty communicate to potentially interested students that they are available and amenable, without compromising students’ privacy or diluting their own pedagogical authority? We propose that faculty use non-verbal modeling as a means of creating and communicating faculty-specific LGBTQ safe spaces. We begin with an overview of formal “safe space” programs – design, oversight, cost, dissolution – focusing on their utility in addressing student need. We then consider Affirmative Pedagogy, how the theoretical foundation of its queer-friendly classroom and curriculum can become the basis of our extra-curricular affirmative model. Next we advocate non-verbal and contingent verbal coding, bringing together Communication Accommodation Theory and Code Switching, and provide examples of this conjunction. We then delineate the hypothetical pros and cons regarding the efficacy of our proposed approach, and we conclude by considering how we might test and assess the utility of our proposed model.
Location: Scholars Room
Title: Prayer, Healing, & Medicine
Format: Informative Panel
Participants: Josiah Smith; Todd Brenneman; Jeremy Barkley
Abstract: This program will be an informative panel focused on the role of prayer and healing in the medical world. The presenters will share personal stories of prayer and healing as well as the theology of healing from a Biblical worldview. While some view spirituality and medicine as being opposed to one another, this program contends that faith & medicine often go hand in hand. Doctors need not neglect the practice of prayer and people of faith (or non-faith) need not neglect the scientific breakthroughs of the medical field. Faith can indeed be an integral aspect of one’s healing. All faiths & beliefs are welcome. Following the presentation will be a time of Q&A as well as instructional activation.
Location: Campus Room
Title: Acting as a Teaching Tool in Medical Professions
Format: Informative Panel
Participants: Jarod Shark; John Teacher; Dawn Drahnak; Caitlyn Vrabel; James Andrews; Terri Price
Abstract: This project analyzes how standardized patients can be used as a learning tool for teaching effective medical interviewing skills and empathy for healthcare professionals, namely physicians, nurses, and social workers. With the use of extended case studies, actors can be trained as standardized patients in a simulated environment in order to facilitate healthcare students to practice their diagnostic assessment skills. This process is especially beneficial in the mental health field due to the unique challenges presented by patients in this setting. Simulation of these patient-practitioner interactions can also help to alleviate some of the stigma associated with mental illness. Overall, actors can provide an excellent resource for the training of healthcare professionals.
Location: Campus Room
Title: The Thinking Box: The Importance of Approaching Biomedical Design Problems with an Interdisciplinary Approach
Participant(s): Brian Moyer; George (Skip) Glenn; Paul Lucas
Abstract: Problems are best approached with teams of individuals with a variety of diverse perspectives leading to as large a pool of domain expertise as possible. Engineering students are often presented with template-like patterns to follow for certain types of expected outcomes; however, design is seldom straightforward. The plan for this talk is to present small groups of attendees with a few real-world design problems to identify possible solutions that could be worthy of further exploration. Facilitated brainstorming will borrow tools from marketing and entrepreneurship to generate a large set of initial ideas (no idea should ever be rejected in this first phase). Concepts of design constraints and customer-focused outcome scoring will be briefly discussed to better understand how the engineering design process zeros in on potential solutions. Given those metrics, brainstorming results may be refined (time permitting) to seed further discussions. Some of the presented problems have been “solved” in the real-world and the current solutions will be compared to the ideas generated during the session.
Event: Poster Presentations:
Time: 2:00—4:00 pm
Location: Heritage Hall A
Format: Individual Presentations
Title 1: Medical Interview: Struggles, Resiliency, and Language Barriers”
Presenter: Kimberly (Liz) Penaloza
Abstract: This project summarizes a medical interview performed with narrators, Anita Lopez and Norma Lopez, in the hopes of finding out more information on language barriers in the medical field. Following Oral History methodology, the story follows a chronological pattern beginning with her life before the stroke, her life during the stroke, and finally her life in recovery. Analysis of the findings reveal that barriers do inhibit the flow and accuracy of information shared between patients, caregivers, and practitioners. It is recommended that translation options should be provided by healthcare facilities for all those in need of this service.
Title 2: Bringing Care Management to Lower Stress at Home
Presenter: MacKenzie Keiper
Abstract: This study examines Parkinson’s disease and patients with mood disorders in an effort to create an app that would give patients an easier way to communicate with doctors. It consists of a series of tests that the patient would take. The results would then be electronically sent to the individual patient’s doctor. Results hope to reveal that doctors could adjust medications without patients having to return to the doctor’s office to have multiple visits. Adjustments instead could be made through the app.
Title 3: Doctor Patient Communication when the Patient is Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Presenter: Kevin Carter
Abstract: This research will use a panel discussion to determine the pitfalls of communication between doctors and patients when the patient is deaf or hard of hearing. Another question which emerged is, how can medical practices create a better repour between doctors and patients when the patient is deaf or hard of hearing? Medical practices are required by law to provide effective means of communication for patients, family members, and hospital visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing. (US Department Justice, 2019). The panel discussion will use personal stories, trends of the deaf community of Johnstown, and an understanding of disability law to determine; in rural areas are the needs of the deaf community neglected. However, few universities provide sign language as a course and even less have it as a required course for medical students. (Kieran, 2013). Therefore, is the problem in educating future doctors rather than the availability of resources. This panel will discuss if the issue lies more with availability of resources in rural areas or in the training of future doctors and medical staff. This research will lead to better doctor and hard at hearing patient communication, or awareness of the problem
Title 4: Rebranding Mindfulness: The Tranquility Gardens
Presenter: Emily Sohee Stewart
Abstract: This project examines how nonprofit organizations dedicated to wellness and mindfulness rebrand their missions through the analysis of an applied project. The Tranquility Gardens was created with a past mission focus on the mental wellness of at-risk youth. The Gardens have come to the conclusion that the benefits the Gardens offer should be put into educational curriculum and programming for those of all ages, at any level of mental health. Several products have been produced to be of assistance for the rebranding of the Tranquility Gardens as a nonprofit organization dedicated to education and wellness initiatives: A short video was created as a means to gain public interest, and a new website was designed to house the organization. It was found that prior to launching any rebranding effort, clear communication on desired outcomes and detailed implementation steps must be agreed upon by all parties involved (Chapleo, 2015; Keller, 2009; Miller, Merrilees, & Yakimova, 2014; Lee & Bourne, 2017). Future research will examine the communication between organizations and outside parties during the consulting process, prior to beginning rebranding efforts, as well as the complexities of branding nonprofit organizations dedicated to wellness (Abela, 2014).
Title 5: Seeking Answers
Presenter: Nadia Khan
Abstract: Watching a loved one suffer through an illness is heartbreaking. When more difficulties like distance and poor communication are inserted, the experience becomes even more horrible. My mother, Munawar Khan told me the story of my grandmother, Safia Yusuff’s illness and her journey as a caretaker and taught me a valuable lesson about the importance of communication in the healthcare field and the differences that still exist between India and America in physician/patient relationships. While living halfway across the world, my mother cared for her ill mother who lived in India and learned about the difficulties poor communication pose in healthcare. The findings from this paper prompt further studies in health communication and end of life care in developing countries like India.
Title 6: Classroom in the Community, Building Creative Opportunities Together: A City-University Collaborative
Presenters: Christine Dahlin; Dawn Drahnak; Bethany McConnell; Susan M. Wieczorek
Abstract: The Greater Johnstown School District (GJSD) is Johnstown’s urban public school and is the 3rd poorest in PA. Hope 4 Johnstown identified that accessible after school programs for children is one of the priorities needs for the community. Children in these housing communities generally engage in unstructured, unsupervised activities during afterschool hours. For these reasons, our team has piloted a new program we call “Communi-TEAMS”, with the name encompassing Community, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math, Science, and of course, teamwork. We have successfully piloted this program for two semesters (6 events) in the Solomon Homes housing community and have engaged community members, students and a broad spectrum of faculty. Our programs have multiple purposes; 1) provide a safe space where youth can be engaged and mentored to make healthy choices, directly within their community, and 2) improve cultural competency in college student mentors, through interactions with diverse groups of youth. College students engage in experiential learning while interacting with youth. Our programs so far have successfully attracted an average of 60 attendees per night, and college student mentors are very positive in their reviews of their mentorship experiences.
Title 7: The Importance of Communication in the Veterinary Field and its Effect on Client Understanding and Patient Health
Presenter: Mathew D. Senft
Abstract: Although communication education is currently on the rise in the field of medicine (Hiram, 2019), the same is not true in the field of veterinary medicine as the importance has not been recognized yet. For this project I explore why increased communication skills would be beneficial to the veterinary field through the use of oral history and journal research. I conducted an oral history on Dr Fayez Assad DVM, a local veterinarian to the Johnstown area, to determine how much communication is actually taught, and the importance of why we need more communication education in schools. I also looked at things such as the use of medical jargon in office calls and how it takes away from client understanding, and how it can be beneficial to have good communication between the veterinary team in the hospitals. Overall the findings showed an increase in communication can increase client understanding, patient’s health and outcome, and the overall effectiveness of the veterinary team.
Title 8: Acting as a Teaching Tool in Medical Professions
Presenter: Jarod Shark
Abstract: This project analyzes how standardized patients can be used as a learning tool for teaching effective medical interviewing skills and empathy for healthcare professionals, namely physicians, nurses, and social workers. With the use of extended case studies, actors can be trained as standardized patients in a simulated environment in order to facilitate healthcare students to practice their diagnostic assessment skills. This process is especially beneficial in the mental health field due to the unique challenges presented by patients in this setting. Simulation of these patient-practitioner interactions can also help to alleviate some of the stigma associated with mental illness. Overall, actors provide an excellent resource for the training of healthcare professionals.
Title 9: Addiction doesn’t discriminate so why does recovery?
Presenter: Natalie Moldofsky
Abstract: This poster provides the experience of recovering individuals from different pathways of recovery and the stigma they have encountered within their chosen pathway. Speakers will briefly discuss their experience, which will be followed by an opportunity for Q & A from attendees. Literature will also be provided by the Cambria County Drug Coalition and a brief explanation of the Our Lives Matter Quilt Project in memory of those lost to the disease of addiction.
Title 10: Utilizing Student Nurses for Peer to Peer Training in Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) Assessments
Presenters: Madison Flaugh; Rachael Genesi; Shayna Lundberg; Alyssa Figueiredo; Jaidyn Fronzaglio; Elizabeth Kerr; Jennifer Cacciotti
Abstract: Over the past 15 years, infants being born in the United States with opioid addiction has tripled. Treatment is expensive so early identification and intervention of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is essential. Nurses can recognize early signs and symptoms of withdrawal in the newborn after receiving NAS training. This offers a unique opportunity for Pitt-Johnstown faculty to address the health impact of opioid addiction by engaging nursing students through education and training of this epidemic. Although information is provided about NAS, such as causes of NAS and signs and symptoms, in undergraduate nursing programs, there is limited focus on teaching the skills in assessing newborns for withdrawal symptoms. And it has been well documented that peer training among nursing students can improve
communication skills, self-efficacy, and improved knowledge attainment in both the student trainers and the trainees. However, currently there is no research that provides evidence-based teaching strategies specifically using peer training in NAS assessments among nursing students. Hence, the main purpose of this study is to evaluate if this educational strategy for nursing students through peer to peer training in caring for the NAS infant will provide the same benefits. Therefore, the junior nursing students (n=34) will be educated on NAS assessments using a NAS DVD (provides instructional NAS assessments and practice assessment exams), return demonstration, and 6 senior nursing student peer trainers during the semester’s simulation lab. Scoring will be collected and compared by using the Finnegan NAS Scoring tool. The NAS training manual recommends 90% or higher to achieve optimal interrater reliability (IRR) between the nursing students and peer trainers. Additional data will be collected from the junior nursing students’ completion of a pre/posttest on NAS, a peer evaluation survey, and during their NICU rotation, scoring a NAS baby with their clinical instructor to compare IRR.
Title 11: Preventing the Extinction of Frogs and Toads for a Healthier Ecosystem
Presenter: Aaron Capouellez
Abstract: Frogs and toads are facing a climate crisis that could potentially wipe them out entirely and in turn cause potential harm to the entire ecosystem. Climate change, pollution, deforestation, disease, and many other variables are challenging frogs and toads. Social media is a platform that can be used to incite a public call to action by educating and inspiring the public. to take on our call to action. To save our frogs and toads from mass extinction. A panel discussion was held that featured experts from different backgrounds to discuss this problem through using social media to figure out a solution. A fifty-minute question and answer session was presented to a public audience and was recorded for use on my social media to use as the example, and to further my personal interest in saving the frogs and toads. I showed a video from my YouTube channel, and displayed my Facebook and website in order to showcase a real example of using various social media as a platform. The panel discussion ended with advice for the audience on how to save or help the frogs and toads of Pennsylvania.
Title 12: MIND - Meditative Individualized Nursing-student De-stress
Presenters: Elizabeth Katrancha; Dawn Drahnak; Mallory Ferguson
Abstract: Americans regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress (American
Psychological Association [APA], 2017). College and university counseling centers
revealed a 30% increase in the number of students seeking counseling appointments
between academic years 2009-2010 and 2014-2015 (Winerman, 2017). The challenge at the UPJ campus is similar to most rural communities, a lack of community resources in which to refer students (Williams, 2017).
Titles 13- 15: Creativity for the Global Communities of Womenfour posters
Presenters: Women and Literature class lead by Dr. Tuangtip Klinbubpa-Neff
Abstract: This poster series of three poster boards are created by students who attend Dr. Klinbubpa-Neff’s Women and Literature class in the spring 2020. The posters provide insightful information on different international non-profit organizations employ art, creative projects, and crafts to improve the quality of life of women from global communities who experienced trauma, violence, poverty, and illnesses.
15 Student Participants: Amundson,Rachel J, Christofes,Marcus, Coleman,Alyssa, Dabbs,Joshua, Day,Jordan, Flowers,Alyssa, Luciew,Brianna, McNulty,Tyler, Mendicino,Taylor M, Podrasky, Nicole, Rouse,Elizabeth, Slater,Aiyana, Stull,Brittanie, Vidic,Josephine, Way,Julie
Title 16: Peer-led Simulation in Pre-licensure Baccalaureate Nursing Program
Presenter: Dawn Dawn Drahnak
Abstract: Clinical placements for student nurses are a challenge with competition from other undergraduate and practical nurse programs also requiring clinical hours for program completion. This problem may be minimized through use of simulation.
Substantial evidence up to 50% simulation can be effectively substituted for traditional clinical experience in all prelicensure core nursing courses under conditions comparable to those described in the study. This peer led simulation teaching strategy was designed and implemented to increase the amount of simulation used in the program with minimal increase in faculty workload with the addition of student instruction. This course equips final year students with knowledge and skills to enable facilitation of teaching and learning in practice. The senior level students gained knowledge and experience with designing simulation scenarios and instructing and debriefing junior level med-surg nursing students. Peer learning may affect nursing students' self-efficacy to a greater degree than traditional supervision.
Titles 17 – 20: The Importance of French Translators in American Hospitals”
General Abstract: French students at Pitt-Johnstown recognize the value and importance of the need for translators in the medical world in the US. In this poster series, they will be looking at the roles of translators in hospitals and clinics from various regions where a French translator is valuable, such as the states bordering Quebec and any cities where many Francophone people live. The students will pay particular attention to African countries and Haiti.
Title 17: Haiti: Liberty's Oldest Travelling Companion”
Presenters: Alex Snyder and Bryce Fultz
Title 18: How to Turn Haiti from Zero to Hero
Presenters: Courtney Claycomb, Alyssa Coleman and Kyleigh Way
Title 19: Languages Without Borders: The Need for More French Translators in American Hospitals
Presenters: Brianna Facciani; Triston Law; Josh Opalko; Robbie Bambino
Title 20: The Impact of Language and It's Journey through Cultures
Presenters: Dede Koudodji; Sydney Haridasheti
Titles 21 – 25: Cambria County Drug Coalition Steering Committees
Presenters: Kaitlyn Paod; Natalie Kauffman; Ronna Yablonski
Featured Evening Events
Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center (PPAC)
Event: Arts for Healing Display with Artists in PPAC Lobby
Time: 4:00—6:00 pm
Participants: Artists and their Works
Reception: All Invited
Event: Plenary Speakers in PPAC Auditorium
Title: Climate Change: Values vs. Science
Time: 4:00 pm
Participant: Matthew Masiello, MD, MPH (World Health Organization)
Format: Featured Presentation
Abstract: Even those who are dismissive to the human factor in the causation of climate change believe that global warming exists. The consensus or belief by most Americans is that we humans, do indeed, have a role in global warming. This is supported by the 97% of climatologists who now, very clearly, with longstanding validated climate models, describe our human or anthropogenic role in climate change. So why are we not rapidly and globally responding to the catastrophic wildfires in Australia and California, flooding in our Midwest, or the slow disappearance of landmark cities such as Venice in Italy or Jakarta, Indonesia? Why do the political leaders speak derogatorily of a 16-year-old Swedish adolescent who uses her autism to speak for the millions of other children worldwide? This presentation will review the science of climate change as well as the need to emphasize the important issue of our values as it relates to climate change. We will also look at history in the attempt to understand our humanity as it relates to this new and significant challenge before us.
Dr. Masiello presently serves as a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Massachusetts Memorial Children's Medical Center, Worcester, Massachusetts; Chief, Pediatric Hospital Medicine and Chair of Pediatrics at Health Alliance Hospital , Leominster, Massachusetts. In his role as a Climate Change Adaptation Practitioner
Graduate, from the Yale University School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut he is presently developing a study and coordinating an initiative to further educatate health care providers on climate change from a values perspective.
Dr. Masiello is recognized as a leading authority in the area of childhood and adolescent bullying prevention. He served as the physician program director for the largest, evidence based bullying prevention initiative in the U.S. The American Public Health Association has published and the CDC and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have endorsed, The Public Health Approach to Bullying Prevention. Along with Dr. Diana Schroeder, Dr. Masiello serves as co-editor of the text. In this role as a public health scientist he has served on a National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine committee to address the biological and psychological effects of peer victimization. The report, Preventing Bullying: Through Science, Policy and Practice, was recently published as the latest evidence based comment in addressing the public health epidemic of child and adolescent bullying.
As a former critical care physician, general practitioner, hospital based clinical leader, and public health research scientist he has been afforded the opportunity to lead clinical and public health teams in the support, development and implementation of a multitude of evidence based, clinical/health promotion initiatives, both nationally and internationally. They include numerous school, hospital and community based projects such as clinical health promotion initiatives for the pediatric asthma population; medical home development; worksite wellness programs, community need assessments, program evaluation services, coordinated school health council development; childhood obesity and injury prevention initiatives. Many of these efforts were reviewed in the manuscript, A Health Promoting Hospital: A Strategy in the Re-Design of the U.S. Health Care System. Commonwealth: A Journal of Political Science. Special Policy Issue on Public Health. Vol. 14, No.1. Dec. 2008.
His work in population health has also been at an international level. He served as a U.S. Network Coordinator for the International Health Promoting Hospital Network (HPH), a World Health Organization supported Collaborative Centre. From 2010 to 2012 he served on the Governance Board of HPH.
He has had the opportunity to present his work nationally and internationally through peer review journals, reports and national presentations. In 2012, he was awarded the Pennsylvania Public Health Association Keystone Award for Distinguished Service in Public
Health. Other awards of note have been the SAFE KIDS 1996 Physician of the Year, Allegheny County Safe Kids Coalition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; the Champion Award, Hospital Council of Western Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the American Trauma Society, Pennsylvania Division.
Dr. Masiello has taught at the undergraduate and graduate level. He has served as a consultant to school systems, colleges, universities, health systems and clinical sites in such areas as developing undergraduate public health curriculum; becoming a WHO recognized health promoting hospital and developing medical home activities within pediatric clinical practices. From an international research perspective he has collaborated with colleagues at Spedali Civili, the third largest health care system in Italy and the University of Brescia, Italy by serving as co-director on a child asthma, clinical health promotion initiative.
In addition to Dr. Masiello’s international medical degree his pediatric medical training took place at Bridgeport Hospital and Yale University followed by a pediatric critical care fellowship at Harvard University, Boston Children’s Hospital. He received his MPH at The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.
Title: The Healing Power of Music: Health and Wellness through Sound
Time: 5:00 pm
Participant: James Blachly
Format: Featured Presentation
Abstract: James Blachly, Director of the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, presents his perspective on how orchestral music, and music more broadly, is a healing force unlike any other. Drawing on research by Oliver Sacks and others, publications, and personal experience, this talk will incorporate live and recorded sound in an immersive and engaging presentation.
James Blachly is a conductor dedicated to artistic excellence and broader accessibility. He currently serves as Music Director of the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Experiential Orchestra, and Music Director of Geneva Light Opera. Dedicated to finding new ways of empowering audiences, he is also in demand as a speaker on Listening as Leadership, bringing his expertise as a conductor and passion for music to Fortune 500 companies, schools, and other organizations.
Mr. Blachly’s innovative programming aims to increase audience engagement and empower audiences. With the Johnstown Symphony, he has conducted the orchestra in three former or active mills. The first such concert, in 2017, was featured on Katie Couric’s America Inside Out, and in three seasons the orchestra has increased season ticket sales by 43% and expanded audience involvement as a part of his initiative to “bring the symphony to the city.” With the Experiential Orchestra, he has invited audiences to dance to Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, sit within the orchestra at Lincoln Center, and engage with Symphonie fantastique and Petrouchka with circus choreography in an ongoing collaboration with The Muse in Brooklyn. He has been featured in the New York Times, Symphony Magazine, TimeOutNY, and the Washington Post.
A strong supporter of composers of our time, Mr. Blachly has commissioned and premiered more than 40 works from composers such as Jessie Montgomery, Courtney Bryan, Kate Copeland Ettinger, Patrick Castillo, Viet Cuong, Brad and Doug Balliett, and many others. In recent seasons, he has collaborated with soloists Julia Bullock, Andrés Cárdenes, Michael Chioldi, Karen Kim, Andrew Yee, Owen Dalby, Janna Baty, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, and more.
Recent guest conducting engagements include the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra, Lima Symphony Orchestra, Spokane Symphony, Danbury Symphony, Odyssey Opera (Boston), Trinity Church Wall Street (New York City), and performances at Roulette, National Sawdust, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.
As a part of a broader effort to encourage an expanded orchestral repertoire, he is proud to be named as editor for the Schirmer/MusicSales edition of Dame Ethel Smyth’s career-culminating masterpiece, The Prison, which he recorded with the Experiential Orchestra, set for worldwide release in August 2020 as a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.
Also active as a composer, he studied at Mannes with Robert Cuckson and privately with Charles Wuorinen and John Corigliano. His compositions have been celebrated as “vigorous and assured” by Chamber Music America, and a “splendidly crafted…tour de force” by the Miami Herald Tribune, and have been performed at The Stone, Zankel Hall, in Europe and across the US, in an audience for the Pope, and broadcast live on the CBC.
Dedicated to music education, he regularly conducts workshops and clinics for the New York Philharmonic, and served as Ensemble Director for the Baltimore Symphony’s OrchKids program. From 2010 to 2015, he performed benefit concerts of Mahler symphonies with New York freelancers to launch what is now Make Music NOLA, a thriving El Sistema-Inspired program in New Orleans.
He trained with Donald Schleicher, Larry Rachleff, Marin Alsop, and Gustav Meier, and traces his first inspiration to conduct to Claudio Abbado.
Title: Burnout to Wellness: The Secret to a Balanced Life
Time: 6:00 pm
Participant: Joseph Maroon, MD, FACS
Format: Event Keynote Speaker
Abstract: Over worked, overwhelmed, over committed, over anxious, and over extended. More and more Americans report these symptoms of burnout. It affects both male and female of any age and all professions. In a recent Gallup Poll, 40% of American workers were so stressed they felt no borders between work and life outside of their job. Essentially, many of us live to work! A lack of balance can have both physical and mental health consequences. Career burnout is often associated with symptoms of depression, anxiety, sleep problems, substance abuse and even suicidal ideation. It is also a commonly cited cause for heart disease, overeating, obesity and even diabetes.
Whether one has work-related or lifestyle-related stress, or both, distress arises, in part, from a lack of work/life balance or homeostasis. The aim of this lecture is to provide the most efficient tools to recognize the mental and physical signs of stress and to provide proven methods to manage and to reduce it. As part of the lecture, strategies will be provided to increase overall health, wellness and even longevity. It is open to all and will provide the most current information to assist anyone suffering from excessive stress and an unbalanced life.
Joseph C. Maroon, MD, FACS is clinical professor and vice chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery and Heindl Scholar in Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In addition to being a renowned neurosurgeon, he is a sports medicine expert, health and nutrition expert and Ironman triathlete.
Dr. Maroon is regarded as a premiere specialist in the surgical treatment of injuries and diseases of the brain and spine, specializing in minimally invasive procedures. Consistently listed in America’s Best Doctors for the past 20 years, he has an international referral base, including numerous professional athletes and celebrities.
Dr. Maroon obtained his medical and neurosurgical training at Indiana University, Georgetown University, Oxford University in England and the University of Vermont. He conducted extensive research into neurotrauma, brain tumors and diseases of the spine, which has led to many innovative techniques for diagnosing and treating these disorders. His research efforts garnered him numerous awards from various national and international neurological societies.
Dr. Maroon is the author of six books, and (co-)author of 40 book chapters and over 270 published scientific papers. He has given more than 150 presentations at national and
international conferences and is often invited as visiting professor and key-note speaker. He has served on the editorial boards of eight medical and neurological journals and is currently associate editor of Surgical Neurology, and editorial board member of Neurological Research and The Physician and Sports Medicine journals. He also is past-President of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the largest society of Neurosurgeons in the world.
Dr. Maroon has been the team neurosurgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers since 1981 and is Medical Director of the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). He has successfully performed surgery on numerous professional football players and other elite athletes with potentially career-ending neck and spine injuries. Notably, he safely returned most to their high level of athletic performance.
Dr. Maroon is highly invested in the prevention and treatment of concussions in high school, college and professional sports, specifically football. While working with the Steelers in the early 1990’s, the lack of an objective, reliable instrument to evaluate concussion symptoms became very apparent to Dr. Maroon. To fill this void, he and Dr. Mark Lovell developed ImPACT™ (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing), an easy-to-administer, 20 minute long test to assess presence and severity of concussion symptoms.
ImPACT™ has become the world-wide standard tool to assess sports-related concussions and has been used in over 4.5 million athletes. In 1994, Dr. Maroon joined the National Football League’s Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee as concussion expert. This committee, which in 2007 was renamed National Football League’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee, is still in place.
For his expertise on sports medicine and concussions, Dr. Maroon is frequently interviewed and quoted by the media, including the New York Times, USA Today, Associated Press, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and ABC News Nightline.
Dr. Joseph Maroon has a major interest in regenerative medicine and is senior Vice-President of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine.
Dr. Maroon developed research interests in the use of omega-3 fatty acids as a safe and natural alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in treating neck and low-back pain in patients with disc and arthritic causes. He wrote the book, Fish Oil: The Natural Anti-Inflammatory, which highlights many of the benefits of fish oil, not just for back-pain, but also for general good health.
His recent research interests involve the dietary supplement resveratrol, found in red grape skins, which has been shown to activate genes for improved health. To make his research findings available to the public, he authored the book, The Longevity Factor: How Resveratrol and Red Wine Activate Genes for a longer and Healthier Life. In 2012, this book was made into a PBS special and featured in TV stations throughout the country.
Through his intensive athletic involvement, Dr. Maroon has a personal interest in healthy living and healthy nutrition. He is much invested in keeping his expertise up to date as he “practices what he preaches.”
He received an athletic scholarship to Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana whereas an undergraduate, he was named a Scholastic All-American in football. Dr. Maroon has successfully maintained his personal athletic interests through participation in 9 marathons and more than 72 Olympic-distance triathlon events. However, his greatest athletic accomplishment is his participation in 8 Ironman triathlons (Hawaii – 1993, 2003, 2008, 2010, 2013; Canada – 1995; New Zealand – 1997; Germany – 2000), where he usually finishes in the top 10 of his age group. Recently, in July 2012 and 2013, he finished second and third, respectively, in his age group in the Muncie, Indiana half Ironman triathlon. In October 2013 he completed his 5th World Championship Ironman in Kona, Hawaii.
As a result of his athletic dedication and performance, Dr. Maroon (along with NFL’s great Joe Montana and NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) was inducted into the Lou Holtz Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame for his athletic accomplishments and contributions to sports medicine on June 27, 1999. Eleven years later, on March 14, 2010 he was inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame in Chicago. Other inductees include Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger; Jack LaLanne; and Kenneth Cooper, founder of the Aerobic Movement.
For all his accomplishments, Dr. Maroon was in 2011 selected as a “Distinguished Alumnus” of Indiana University—one of 5 selected annually from 500,000 alumni from the university.
Faculty and Professional Biographies
Cory Adams is the Detective Sergeant for the City of Johnstown Police Department where he has been a police officer since February of 2014 when he was hired by the Johnstown Police fresh out of the academy. He spent three years working patrol during the midnight shift before being transferred to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (2017) where he started as the Juvenile Detective primarily working cases that involved children as victims. Due to staffing issues, he also handled the majority of sexual assault cases as well as helped on all major incidents such as homicides and shootings. In 2018 he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and took over as the Detective Sergeant, overseeing all major criminal investigations in the city. Although his family is from the Nanty-Glo and Portage areas, he was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in Northern Virginia. Following the 911 attacks and the D.C. Sniper incident, his family decided to move to Johnstown where both sides of his extended family resided.
Brian P. Ahlstrom, MD is a pediatric neurologist in Johnstown, Pennsylvania and is affiliated with Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center. Graduated from Yale with a Bachelors os Science degree in math and physics from Yale University (1971). He received his MD with “avec grande distinction Universite’ Libre de Bruxelles” in 1978. He did his Pediatric residency at Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City (1978-1982) and his Neurology residence at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (1981-1984. He was Assistant Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at the University of Maryland Hospital in Baltimore, MD (1984-1987) and was in private practice in neurology in Johnstown, PA from 1987 to 2015.
Rachel Allen of Johnstown is a Healing Arts Practitioner, Certified Music Practitioner, Sound Healer, Yoga Teacher, and Reiki Practitioner. She has over a decade and a half of experience in the healing and expressive arts and is active in facilitating chant, drumming and movement to support healing and empowerment at yoga studios, retreats, conferences and other gatherings regionally and nationally. She has facilitated experiences at national events including American Holistic Nurse’s Association Annual Conferences in Carlisle, PA and The Music for Healing and Transition Program’s Biannual Conferences throughout the US and annually at the sold-out Rhythm Renewal Retreat in Loretto, PA led by Jim Donovan. Rachel is a theme-based yoga teacher and workshop facilitator and uses live music, breath, movement and yoga to delve into themes that encourage and support self-acceptance and self-reflection grounded in compassion and truth. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science/Sociology, is a Certified Music Practitioner, Sound Healer, Reiki Master, and an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher with a trauma informed/social justice framework. She also teaches Creative Movement as Adjunct Faculty at Saint Francis University in Loretto, PA. and serves as faculty on Jim Donovan’s Rhythm Renewal and Revival Retreats.
Asa Ana is an interdisciplinary artist who creates interventions into public life that reimagines group, individual, and community behavior. He has exhibited and curated artspace 101, 103, and 202, a series of popup gallery spaces in Homestead, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. Ana curated interventions in Pittsburgh and Johnstown, Pennsylvania, USA and completed work at Villa Flores, working with in Porto Alegre, Brazil, to build artistic and creative interventions to make the Fourth District neighborhood safer. Ana exhibited in Wicker Park, Chicago, Il., U.S.A., at Gallery 13, and has a permanent public art sculpture on the grounds of the Homestead Library in Homestead, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. He has been awarded by the Thomas Merton Center, New Person Award, selected to activist artists who use art to address political and social change, Selected as one of Pittsburgh’s “40 under 40” for the arts by Pittsburgh Magazine and Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project. He has been recognized in the United States House of Representatives and the Pennsylvania State Senate for his artistic programming work in the Monongahela Valley in Pennsylvania, U.S.A. Ana is a PhD student at Point Park University, located within the inner-city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. studying how art and creativity activates social change.
James Andrews is a clinical and forensic social worker who has been in practice for over thirty years as a clinical social worker, therapist, administrator, risk manager, consultant and educator. He is a state and federal recognized expert witness and provides forensic social work, legal, and clinical consultation. He has adjunct faculty appointments at universities in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Massachusetts.
Michael Barber is a Manager at the Highmark Healthcare Analytics Department.
Rev. Jeremy Barkely is the associate pastor at Oakland Church in Johnstown, PA. He recently completed a Masters of Divinity degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. Prior to becoming a pastor Jeremy worked with a degree in social work. Jeremy and his wife, Heather, have a daughter and two sons. Jeremy founded UNITED youth ministry, a growing organization having connected with thousands of area students over the past seven years.
Catherine Berret-Fornoff studied Creative Writing, English Literature, and History at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. She is a writer, copy editor, library lurker, archaeology nerd, and lifelong student of poetry. She currently works with found poetry and zine making to explore the ties between creativity and mental health
Leanna Bird is a project manager at the 1889 Jefferson Center for Population Health. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Cambria County Library System and as a member of the Recreation Economy Committee (REC) through the Cambria Regional Chamber. She holds a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) and a Master’s of Public Policy and Management (MPPM in April 2020) from the University of Pittsburgh.
James Blachly is a conductor dedicated to artistic excellence and broader accessibility. He currently serves as Music Director of the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Experiential Orchestra, and Music Director of Geneva Light Opera. His innovative programming aims to increase audience engagement and empower audiences. With the Johnstown Symphony, he was featured on Katie Couric’s America Inside Out for his effort to bring the orchestra to new and innovative venues as a part of his initiative to “bring the symphony to the city,” and in three seasons the orchestra has increased season ticket sales by 43% and expanded audience engagement. With the Experiential Orchestra, he has invited audiences to dance to Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, sit within the orchestra at Lincoln Center, and engage with Symphonie fantastique and Petrouchka with circus choreography. He has been featured in the New York Times, Symphony Magazine, TimeOutNY, and the Washington Post. A strong supporter of composers of our time, Mr. Blachly has commissioned and premiered works from more than 40 composers. Also active as a composer, his music has been celebrated as “vigorous and assured” by Chamber Music America, and a “splendidly crafted…tour de force” by the Miami Herald Tribune. Dedicated to music education, he regularly conducts workshops and clinics for the New York Philharmonic. From 2010 to 2015, he performed benefit concerts of Mahler symphonies with New York freelancers to launch what is now Make Music NOLA, a thriving El Sistema-Inspired program in New Orleans.
Shayna Blackford is a Middle/High School Violence Prevention Educator at the Women’s Help Center.
Luis A. Bonachea, PhD is a physiological ecologist and Assistant Professor with the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. He received his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin with a dissertation on the reproductive behavior and physiology of a Panamanian frog called the tungara frog, Engystomops pustulosus. His current work centers on questions of fish and amphibian responses to acid mine drainage, climate change, and other ecological risks.
Amy Bradley is the President and CEO of the Cambria Regional Chamber and the Steering Chair of the Community Education Chair. She is also on adjunct faculty at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown teaching Public Relations within the Journalism Department and Organizational Communication within the Communication Department. She has a Bachelors of Arts degree from Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Arts degree (2015) from Saint Vincent College.
Todd Brenneman is the founding pastor of The Gathering Church in Jerome, PA. Todd and his wife, Chelsea, have a daughter and two sons. Todd has spoken overseas, as a guest speaker for conferences, as well as weekly at his own church in Jerome. He has seen many miracles firsthand and believes in the power of praying in the name of Jesus to see physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional healing.
Quan Britt is a community member working together with Dr. Ross Kleinstuber on the Johnstown Cure Violence program. He is a Greater Johnstown graduate who was an athlete at Mount Aloysius College.
Erika Brosig, LSW is the Clinical Director at Victim Services, Inc. in Cambria and Somerset Counties. She’s been with the agency since 2003 and is proud to be an advocate in the fight against sexual violence. Erika earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master's degree in Psychology from Mt. Aloysius College and a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh. Erika studied Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) under Dr. Ricky Greenwald at the Trauma Institute/Child Trauma Institute and is an EMDR Certified Therapist and a Certified Trauma Treatment Specialist. She is also a Diplomate with the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. Erika is a survivor of sexual abuse by former pediatrician Johnnie Barto and has channeled her own trauma into advocacy and endless passion for helping others find their way to healing. She is a strong believer in the integration of traditional therapy with cutting edge and holistic healing techniques to provide healing for the mind, body, and spirit.
Jennifer Cacciotti, PhD, MEd, RN is an associate professor in Nursing at UPJ. She has her BSN from Indiana University of Pennsylvania , MEd from St. Francis University, her MSN from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and her PhD (2015) from the University of Pittsburgh. Her research emphasis is in the area of women’s health and diabetes, focusing on risk-taking behaviors, contraceptive use, and sexually transmitted infections. She has been published in the Research Journal of Women’s Health, Diabetes, Diabetes Care and The Diabetes Educator. Dr Cacciotti currently teaches junior level nursing students in NUR 1050 (Nursing Care of Mothers, Newborns and Families), sophomore level nursing students in NUR 0067 Nursing Research and freshman level nursing students in NUR 0051 Introduction to Professional Nursing & NUR 0001 Freshman Seminar.
Sylvia Carr is (Ross Kleinstuber participant) the Treasurer of Hope 4 Johnstown and a Cure Violence interrupter from the Johnstown Community.
Missy Casses, EdD holds her Doctoral Degree in Education and is a 20+ year Special Educator, working with the Part C system for infants and toddlers with developmental delays and disabilities, FL Public School System, private Relationship Development Intervention consultation, and Applied Behavior Analysis using Discrete Trial Training.
Sue Clark is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Mount Aloysius College. Clark obtained her ADN from Mount Aloysius College in 1992, her BSN from Penn State University, and her MA in Nursing Education from Walden University in 2013. Clark has been a Registered Nurse for twenty-one years and has worked at Altoona Hospital since graduating from Mount Aloysius College. She has been working in Surgical Progressive Care for several years. Clark holds certifications in Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), Advanced Trauma Nurse (ATCN), and NIH stroke scale certification.
Catherine S Cox, PhD is Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh’s Johnstown campus, where she teaches biblical, medieval, and contemporary literature and culture as well as gender studies and critical theory. She has two published books on gender, religion, and culture, plus numerous articles including "(Dis)Covered Bridges: Public Articulation and the College Classroom," in Intertexts (coauthored with Kristen Majocha), on conjunctions of Queer Theory and Pedagogy, and a study of Alison Bechdel’s refiguring of classical tropes in Fun Home, “Queering the Siren’s Call” in Exemplaria. She is a longtime public advocate and activist for LGBTQ civil rights and social justice.
Malcolm Crittenden has been a Coal Surface-Mine Inspector for the State of Pennsylvania for two decades. He inspected surface mines to assure proper water treatment and the timely reclamation of disturbed areas. After which two decades were spent as a Watershed Manager in the role of treating acid mine drainage coming from abandoned mine sites. This watershed work included stream monitoring in the form of water sampling, macro-invertebrate netting, and fish surveys. The mine drainage treatment work included the design, construction, and operation of treatment facilities to treat water and restore streams in Pennsylvania. Mr. Crittenden became familiar with the ecology of watershed systems through his career in watershed restoration.
Christine Dahlin, PhD joined Pitt-Johnstown in 2011 and has been promoted to Associate Professor. The bulk of her research focuses on the field of animal behavior, but in recent years her work has shifted to include studies on diversity, inclusion, and community. She has an established track record of acquiring and fulfilling the responsibilities of her grants and publishing in her field. She typically mentors 5-7 undergraduate students per semester on various research projects. Dr. Dahlin has been awarded internal grants in the form of CRDF, CRC and SEED grants, and external grants by the Environmental Protection Agency and the World Parrot Trust. She is PI on a SEED grant that has resulted in the establishment of a Cure Violence Model program, has supported STEM programs at Greater Johnstown Elementary School, and has piloted community programs.
Beth Dietrick is from Tyrone Regional Health Network. She has particular expertise in the area of health literacy.
Dawn Drahnak, DNP, CCNS, RN, CCRN, CHSE is an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in the nursing program. She is a licensed and certified clinical nurse specialist. She is also a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE) and Certified Critical-Care Registered Nurse (CCRN). Dr. Drahnak has been awarded a grant from the Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence –Innovation in Education Award 2017: “Teaching Workplace Interprofessional Communication Effectively –Strategies to Improve Professional Communication in the Workplace.” She also has been awarded funds for the White Coat Ceremony for Nursing Grant through Gold-AACN.
Barbara Duryea, RN serves as the Clinical Support Manager at Duke Lifepoint Conemaugh Health System in Johnstown. In this role she develops and administers programs that focus on chronic disease management. She received her undergraduate nursing degree from the University of Pittsburgh and her graduate nursing degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She holds a national certification in healthcare quality. In collaboration with the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art Barbara developed Conemaugh’s Arts for Healing program. Over the past 17 years this expressive arts program has hosted numerous art residencies and exhibitions for individuals with chronic conditions and their caregivers. The program has received numerous grant awards including support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pennsylvania Rural Arts Alliance. Arts for Healing has been featured by the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat newspaper, Johnstown Magazine, Our Town newspaper, Kaleidoscope the Series and WQED public broadcasting TV. Barbara values the numerous collaborative relationships the program has with other medical humanities and art stakeholders.
John W. Farabaug, DC, MS, FACFN, DACNB has been practicing in the Johnstown and Greensburg area for over 12 years specializing in complex neurological disorders from dizziness and vertigo syndromes, post-concussion syndromes, and childhood developmental disorders. Dr. Farabaugh also serves as a sports physician with the Greater Johnstown School District and is the founder of Cortex Cares, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to providing neurological rehabilitation services to veterans and low-income individuals.
Michelle Figlar is the vice president of Learning at The Heinz Endowments. Before joining the foundation in August 2016, Michelle served as deputy secretary of the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning. She also has been executive director of the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children (PAEYC) and has held various professional positions in the field of education. Throughout her career in government, the nonprofit sector and the classroom, Michelle has been a strong advocate for young children, their families and the caring adults in their lives. She served as co-chair of Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Early Childhood Education, and as a board member for the Birmingham Foundation, the Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC), and Jeremiah’s Place, western Pennsylvania’s first crisis nursery. She also was a member of the advisory council for Remake Learning and early education organizations such as the Pennsylvania Early Learning Council and the Early Learning PA Campaign. Michelle is a native of Pittsburgh’s Hazelwood neighborhood and lives in the city with her husband Greg Quinlan and their children Grady and Tilly.
Melissa Firman is a writer of blog posts, creative nonfiction, short stories, and a novel-in-progress. She works as a grant writer for a Pittsburgh nonprofit and is a freelance book reviewer for Shelf Awareness. In spring 2016, she read her work onstage as part of the cast of Pittsburgh’s Listen to Your Mother. Born and raised in suburban Philadelphia, she currently lives with her husband and teenaged twins in Pittsburgh.
Kristy Freoni has been working in law enforcement for almost 13 years. She was a patrol officer up until she was offered the position as Chief County Detective in January 2019. During her career, she has been involved in numerous investigations involving all aspects of law enforcement. Kristy recently became certified as a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) and is Class “A” Certified for the use of Electronic Surveillance. She is certified through Child First training regarding the process of interviewing child victims. She also currently serves as the Steering Chair for the Law Enforcement Sector of the Cambria County Drug Coalition.
William Fritz, MD is an anesthesiologist at Conemaugh Medical Center. He also heads the pre-medical internship program at the hospital for students interested in getting into medical school. Dr Fritz graduated from Hahnemann University Medical School, Philadelphia, PA; did a fellowship at Saint Christophers Childrens Hospital, Philadelphia, PA; and was a resident at Cooper Hospital, Camden, NJ.
Joyce Gallaher is the only child of Deaf parents. American Sign Language was her first language as she acted as interpreter for her parents from an early age. This early connection to Deaf society enables her not only to connect with the Deaf community on a theoretical and academic level, but to share and intimately understand Deaf culture. She is one of a handful of interpreters in our area to have certification in IC/TC Interpretation and Transliteration (1986), CI certification of Interpretation, CT certification of Transliteration (2000), and Pennsylvania State Court certification (2008). Joyce and the other Interpreters of Sign Language Specialists of Western Pennsylvania have over 50 combined years of experience serving Deaf consumers in the areas of secondary, post-secondary, vocational/technical, and college level education. They are also familiar with area hospitals including the emergency departments, critical care, hospice, occupational and physical therapy, as well as doctors’ and dental offices. They have also worked with a variety of state and federal agencies including Social Security Administration, Department of Public Welfare, Children and Youth Services, Early Childhood Intervention, and Local and District Courts.
Ava Genovese is a Community Education Specialist/ Volunteer-Intern Coordinator for the Women’s Help Center of Johnstown. She holds a master’s degree in Education in School Counseling.
George (Skip) Glenn teaches in the Management Department at Pitt-Johnstown. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia and his Master of Science degree (2006), from Baruch College, Zicklin School of Business.
Jill D. Henning, PhD is an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown Campus. She has a broad background in immunology, infectious diseases, and cancer biology. In general, her research examines how infectious disease affect humans and animals—a concept referred to as “One Health.” She has divided her research into two specific categories: viral influences on immune function associated with cancer and zoonotic infectious diseases and their vectors. She completed her Ph.D. in Infectious Diseases Microbiology from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health in 2008. She was a post-doctoral fellow in biobehavioral medicine for a year and joined the faculty here at Pitt-Johnstown in 2009. She teaches Immunology, Microbiology, Ecology of Infectious Diseases, Medical Microbiology, Anatomy and Physiology and Life Sciences.
Hillary Holes joined Healthcare Council of Wester PA in June 2017 after working as an Intern and Performance Improvement Coordinator for the Primary Health Network. She is responsible for collaborating with professionals in medical and social services organizations in the community to assess and identify pressing health and safety needs. Hillary works with the Healthcare Improvement Foundation to develop strategies that will improve health literacy and wellness. Her work includes grant writing, developing educational literature, and facilitating the formation of community work groups and forums. She serves on the Young Leaders Council of Adagio Health, Thrive of Literacy Pittsburgh and is active with organizations that address food insecurity issues in the region. Hillary earned a Bachelor of Science in public health with a minor in psychology from Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania.
Josh Horner is a motivational speaker, personal trainer, and body builder who has spent much of his professional life discussing his life story involving suicide, depression, and healthy living. He studied Sociology at Pitt-Johnstown and continues to be an active guest speaker on Medical Narratives and Oral History Research.
Bradley Holuta is an attorney with the personal injury firm of Marcus & Mack. In 2012, he graduated cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, with advanced certification in civil litigation. During law school, he served as a Managing Editor for the Law Review, participated in the School’s Elder Law Clinic, was a semifinalist in the moot court competition, and worked as a law clerk at a Pittsburgh personal injury firm. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, where he teaches “Legal Aspects of Healthcare”. He served as a Ruling Elder and Chair of the Human Resources Committee at Calvary Presbyterian Church, a member of the Board of Directors of Indiana County Head Start, Children & Youth Services, the YMCA Endowment Committee, and the Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Organization. Bradley has been a member of the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra since 2004. He is a member of the Board of Trustees and the Players’ Committee. He has served as a coach to the Johnstown Symphony Youth Orchestra, and with the Community Strings and “Share the Music” Programs. He received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Honors College at Cleveland State University in 2009, summa cum laude, where he was a member of the University Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, New Music Ensemble, University Chorus, and served as the Orchestra’s program note author. His cello teachers have included Jane VanSteenkist (Principal Cellist of the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra from 1975-1995), and Bryan Dumm and Alan Harrell (both of The Cleveland Orchestra).
Sonya Huber is the author of five books, including the award-winning essay collection on chronic pain, Pain Woman Takes Your Keys and Other Essays from a Nervous System. Her other books include Opa Nobody and Cover Me: A Health Insurance Memoir. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, and other outlets. She teaches at Fairfield University and in the Fairfield low-residency MFA program.
Stephanie T. Jimenez, PhD is Chair and Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. Her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees are from Illinois State University, and her PhD (2013) is from Western Michigan University. Her focus is in the areas of Behavioral Psychology, Choice and Risky Decision-Making, Pro-social behavior, Sports behavior.
Victoria Kante is a mother of a deaf daughter, an ASL interpreter, deaf advocate, and a teacher of ASL in many different settings. She was born and raised in New York State. While living in many different states over the years, one of the jobs she held was a teaching assistant at the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind. Her daughter chose both settings of school over the years, including deaf schools and mainstreaming. She advocates for both types of school depending on the child and his/her needs. She sees a great need for the deaf community here in the United States and believes we need more classes offered in ASL and more understanding of what deaf people are capable of as far as jobs and culture.
Stefan Keiser is a person in recovery for over six years and is a drug and alcohol counselor at Twin Lakes Rehabilitation Center in Somerset. He received his Associate degree in human services and went on to earn his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Stefan plans to begin a Master’s program in the fall.
Michael A. Kiel was born on August 9, 1973 and attended Penn State University for three years, then transferred to Edinboro University where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 1997 and a Master’s degree in Rehab Counseling in 1999. He and a partner, Pete Noel, opened The Underground Health and Fitness Center and operated it for nine years until 2006. He is employed at the Hiram G. Andrews Center in Johnstown through the University of Pittsburgh. Mike was named to the PA State Board of Vocational Rehabilitation by Governor Ed Rendell and continues to serve under Governor Tom Wolf. He is also a Board member of the Portage Area Regional Endowment Fund. His interests include dabbling in the stock market, playing chess, watching movies, and enjoying the company of his two nephews. His memoirs are captured in his book, Challenge the Moment (2019).
Kate Stahl Kinsinger, EdD is the Director of the Academic Success Center at Pitt-Johnstown and has worked in higher education for 27 years. Kate possesses a doctorate in Social and Comparative Analysis in Education. Her research and professional interests center around college access and persistence, and she endeavors to support students with appreciation for the unique experiences and aspirations. She is also well known on campus for her “First Generation College Student” project.
Ross Kleinstuber, PhD is an Associate Professor of Justice Administration & Criminology at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. His research interests include the intersection of law and society, US sentencing policy, and mass incarceration. He also serves as a member of Cambria County’s Transitional Reentry Advisory Committee, which seeks to help offenders returning from prison successfully reenter society and live crime- and drug-free lives. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Rowan University, his Master of Arts from University of Delaware and his PhD (2011) from the University of Delaware.
Tuangtip Klinbubpa-Neff, PhD (“Noon”) is Associate Professor of English Literature at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. Her Bachelor of Arts degree is from Silpakorn University, Thailand; her Master of Arts degree from Chulalongkorn University in English and Linguistics; and her Doctorate is from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in American Literature. Her research interests are in American Literature, World Literature, Multiethnic Literatures, Translation Studies, Vira I. Heinz, Benjamin A. Gilman, and Fulbright Scholarship..
Emily Korns is the Director of Marketing Communications at Conemaugh Health System. She received her master’s degree in business administration and her bachelor’s degree in clinical nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh and is a registered dietitian nutritionist. Prior to her role at Conemaugh, Emily worked in communications and public relations for some of the world’s leading food and nutrition brands. She started her career in public health education, and she is the mother of three young children. She lives in Somerset.
James Lachley is a conductor dedicated to artistic excellence and broader accessibility. He currently serves as Music Director of the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Experiential Orchestra, and Music Director of Geneva Light Opera. His innovative programming aims to increase audience engagement and empower audiences. With the Johnstown Symphony, he was featured on Katie Couric’s America Inside Out for his effort to bring the orchestra to new and innovative venues as a part of his initiative to “bring the symphony to the city,” and in three seasons the orchestra has increased season ticket sales by 43% and expanded audience engagement. With the Experiential Orchestra, he has invited audiences to dance to Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, sit within the orchestra at Lincoln Center, and engage with Symphonie fantastique and Petrouchka with circus choreography. He has been featured in the New York Times, Symphony Magazine, TimeOutNY, and the Washington Post. A strong supporter of composers of our time, he has commissioned and premiered works from more than 40 composers. Also active as a composer, his music has been celebrated as “vigorous and assured” by Chamber Music America, and a “splendidly crafted…tour de force” by the Miami Herald Tribune. Dedicated to music education, he regularly conducts workshops and clinics for the New York Philharmonic. From 2010 to 2015, he performed benefit concerts of Mahler symphonies with New York freelancers to launch what is now Make Music NOLA, a thriving El Sistema-Inspired program in New Orleans.
Marissa Landrigan is the author of The Vegetarian’s Guide to Eating Meat: A Young Woman’s Search for Ethical Food. Her essays have appeared in numerous publications including Orion, Guernica, Creative Nonfiction, The Atlantic, and elsewhere. She is an Associate Professor of Writing at the University of Pittsburgh – Johnstown, where she also co-coordinates the Multimedia and Digital Culture program.
Heather Lane is from Tyrone Regional Health Network and holds a particular interest in health literacy.
Derek Leben, PhD is Associate Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department at the University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California Santa Cruz; and his Master of Arts and PhD (2012) from Johns Hopkins University. His research focuses on the intersection between ethics, cognitive science, and technology. Dr. Leben is also author of the 2018 book, Ethics for Robots: How to Design a Moral Algorithm.
Heather Livingstonis a person in long term recovery who contributes her success to utilizing medication assisted therapy (MAT) and completed treatment in January of this year. Heather has been in recovery since 2016, and, in addition to being an advocate for MAT, is also a certified recovery specialist. Heather looks to change the public’s perception of MAT in the hope that more lives are saved.
Richard Lobb currently works for Good Will Industries and has acted as a successful Grant Writer for the organization on behalf of Johnstown. He is working with Dr. Ross Kleinstuber for the effort on Cure Violence in this program.
Paul Lucas, PhD is an Associate Professor of Communication at Pitt-Johnstown. He teaches Integrated Marketing, Theories of Persuasion, Rhetorical Criticism, Media Criticism, Public Speaking, and Communication Internships. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from East Stroudsburg University, his Master of Arts from West Chester University and his PhD (2012) from Duquesne University.
Yvette Madison is a Hope 4 Johnstown advisory board member who is working along with Dr. Ross Kleinstuber on the Cure Violence initiative.
Nathan Magee is an Associate Professor of Fine Arts and Director of Theatre at Mount Aloysius College. He currently produces and directs the theatre season at Mount Aloysius and is in charge of the theatre curriculum. He is also a professional actor, with numerous credits to his name. He holds a BFA in Theatre from Emporia State University and an MFA in Acting from Wayne State University. He graduated from the Great Lakes Michael Chekhov Consortium and is a certified teacher of the Michael Chekhov acting technique. Mr. Magee lives in Ebensburg with his wife and children.
Kristen Majocha, PhD (Dean of Liberal Arts, California University of Pennsylvania) has researched a range of social justice topics, including "Unpacking the ‘X’ in Latinx," Latinx Symposium, Shippensburg University, 2020; “Embracing Inclusion…Every Student Matters,” PSSHE System Summit on Inclusive Excellence and International Education, 2019; “Shades of Grey: An Interdisciplinary Approach to a Constructive Understanding of Diversity in the Communication Classroom” Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, 16.1, 2015, and "(Dis)Covered Bridges: Public Articulation and the College Classroom" lntertexts, 15.2, 2012. She is also the current Editor of both Qualitative Research Reports in Communication and the Iowa Journal of Communication.
Jennifer Manges is holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a minor in math from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (1996), a Master of Science degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (1999), and a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education Biology with a General Science Certification (2002). At Pitt-Johnstown she teaches Life Science, Medical Microbiology Lecture and Lab, Anatomy and Physiology 1 and 2 lecture and lab, General Biology 1 and 2 lab, and Microbiology Lab. Her past experience includes a Medical Research Technologist position in the Infectious Disease lab at Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh. She also does community outreach in Science (Biology) in area elementary schools, girl scouts, and AAUW STEM presentations for middle school girls.
Joseph C. Maroon, MD, FACS, is Clinical Professor and Vice Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery and the Heindl Scholar in Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA. He trained in medicine and neurosurgery at Indiana University, Georgetown University, Oxford University, and the University of Vermont. Dr. Maroon has written 283 peer reviewed papers, 64 book chapters, and 7 books. In addition to being a noted expert in sports concussions, he is Team Neurosurgeon to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Medical Director of World Wrestling Entertainment. In 1990, he co-developed the ImPACT™ neurocognitive test. ImPACT™ is the only FDA approved test for concussion assessment and is the standard of care in most amateur and professional sports organizations. Dr Maroon has authored numerous health and fitness related books, including his most recent, Square One: A Simple Guide to a Balanced Life. He frequently lectures on alternative medicine and the use of dietary treatments for better health. Dr. Maroon has competed in 8 ironman distance triathlons, five at the annual World Triathlon Championship in Kona, Hawaii. In 2019 he placed first in his age group and was ranked fifth globally in the Ironman 70.3 triathlon.
Mathew Masiello, MD is Dr. Masiello presently serves as a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Massachusetts Memorial Children's Medical Center, Worcester, Massachusetts and as Chief, Pediatric Hospital Medicine and Chair of Pediatrics at Health Alliance Hospital, Leominster, Massachusetts. In his role as a Climate Change Adaptation Practitioner Graduate, from the Yale University School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut he is presently developing a study and coordinating an initiative to further educate health care providers on climate change from a values perspective. His work in population health has also been at an international level. He served as a U.S. Network Coordinator for the International Health Promoting Hospital Network (HPH), a World Health Organization supported Collaborative Centre. From 2010 to 2012 he served on the Governance Board of HPH. In addition to Dr. Masiello’s international medical degree his pediatric medical training took place at Bridgeport Hospital and Yale University followed by a pediatric critical care fellowship at Harvard University, Boston Children’s Hospital. He received his MPH at The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.
Mylinda Massart, MD, PhD is a board-certified Family Medicine physician at UPMC, and assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh. She completed her doctoral degree at the University of Utah in Molecular Biology/Biochemistry and her medical degree from Oregon Health Sciences University. She currently serves as the founder and director of the UPMC Primary Care Precision Medicine Center, Chair of Family Medicine at UPMC Magee Women’s Hospital, and as a co-director for the HUB Core: Integrating Special Populations and Community Partners Core at the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CSTI). Dr. Massart has experience working with diverse populations across the lifespan including obstetrics, pediatrics, adults, and older adults. She has served in the National Health Service Core in Idaho working with a rural population and currently works in an underserved community in Pittsburgh. Her research interests are in developing education in genetics and precision medicine for primary care providers and trainees and to be a research catalyst facilitating the inclusion of underrepresented populations in biomedical research. She teaches residents and medical students in her clinic and at the hospital and serves as medical director for Bethany Hospice. Currently, Dr. Massart is one of the co-Investigators for the All of US Pennsylvania research project working on community education and engagement. In addition, she is working as co-Investigator to create the local Pitt+Me Discovery Biobank at the University of Pittsburgh and developing systems to return precision medicine results to providers and patients. Dr. Massart resides in Pittsburgh with her husband, three children and two cats.
Bonnie Mazurak-Riga, DNP, is a dedicated healthcare professional who has 36 years of combined management and education experience and a reputation of creating and building successful teams in the acute care setting. Dr. Mazurak-Riga graduated with an MBA from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1999 and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree from Chatham University in 2014. She is also an active clinical instructor. After directing medical specialties and the medical service line at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center for over 20 years, Dr. Mazurak-Riga became the Director of the Conemaugh School of Nursing and Allied Health programs in June 2019.
Bethany McConnell, PhD is the coordinator for the special education program at the University of Pittsbugh Johnstown. She coordinates field placements, supervises student teachers, and teaches special education methods courses. As an instructor, Dr. McConnell focuses on classroom management, social-emotional learning, and culturally responsive teaching. More recently, she joined the efforts in the “Hope for Johnstown” initiative through her membership with the Diversity Committee. She has worked with her teacher candidates to design group activities to participate in a “Communi-TEAMS Evening” at Solomon Homes. Dr. McConnell is the study abroad coordinator for student teaching in New Zealand and Bolivia.
Nicole McGrogan, RN, is a registered nurse currently practicing as a Population Health Nurse for the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Nicole is a 2008 graduate of Conemaugh School of Nursing and a 2019 graduate of Chamberlain University with a master’s degree in Executive Nursing Leadership. Nicole’s most current nursing experience includes medical-surgical, emergency room, and correctional nursing. She has been with the Pennsylvania Department of Health since 2016.
Jeannine McMillan serves as the HUB Executive Director at the 1889 Jefferson Center for Population Health. Her community activities include sitting on the boards of directors for the Cambria County Drug Coalition and The Learning Lamp. She is also a founding member of Women United for the United Way of the Laurel Highlands. In addition, she serves on the Health and Wellness Committee of the Johnstown Redevelopment Strategy. She holds an M.Ed. in adult education from Penn State University.
Tresa L. McVicker, Ph.D has used her education in Holistic Science and certification as a Yoga Instructor for educational research and instruction. She is currently the Executive Program Director at Tranquility Gardens, where her background is used in the creation and implementation of customized programming for caregivers in the educational, wellness, veteran, and corporate sectors.
Natalie Moldofsky is currently in her last semester at Pitt Johnstown as a Communication major and is a person in recovery. She received her Associate degree at Penn Highlands and is a Certified Peer Specialist at the Alternative Community Resource Program, with a certification enhancement in forensic peer support. Natalie is also a member of the Cambria County Community Support Program.
Benjamin (Ben) Moonan is a Representative with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ODHH) based in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Ben has been with ODHH since March 2012. Prior to joining the Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Ben has worked over six years with Pressley Ridge School for the Deaf in Pittsburgh, PA as a Teacher/Counselor, Master Teacher/Counselor and a Program Supervisor for their Residential program. Also, Ben is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Americans with Disabilities Act Leadership Network. Before beginning his professional career, he was actively involved in his community as a coach for Youth Winter Soccer league as well as Little League Baseball for several years. Since birth, Ben has been profoundly deaf in both ears. Ben attended public schools as a mainstream student from kindergarten through high school. A graduate of Allegany-Limestone Central in Allegany, New York, Ben obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Sports and Recreation Management from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford campus. While at Pitt-Bradford, he was a 4-year member of the Men’s golf team landing on the 1st-team All-Conference (AMCC) twice. In the fall of 2012, Ben obtained his Masters degree from Robert Morris University in Organizational Leadership.
Brian Moyer, PhD is an Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Pitt-Johnstown and in Bioengineering at Pitt-Oakland. He received his BS from Carnegie Mellon University (1993) and both his MS (Mechanical Engineering, 1997) and his PhD (Bioengineering, 2006) from the University of Pittsburgh. In addition, Dr. Moyer founded and is the Technical Director for Crossroads Consulting, LLC and XRDS Systems.
Greg Neugbauer, Esq., is the District Attorney for Cambria County.
Terri D. Price, BS, RRT-NPS is a Clinical Instructor for the Respiratory Care Program at Pitt-Johnstown. She is certified as a BLS Instructor-Trainer, ACLS Provider, and Member of the American Association of Respiratory Care (AARC). The subjects she teaches include Respiratory Techniques III, Advanced Techniques, EKG/ABG, BLS and Clinical Practicum I, II and III.
Laura Pucci is a Legal Advocate for the Women’s Help Center.
Jason Rilogio is a Peer Recovery Navigator for the Cambria County office of Magellan Behavioral Health. In addition to being in long-term recovery for over nine years, Jason is a Certified Peer Specialist & Certified Recovery Specialist with certification enhancements in forensic peer support and veterans peer support. He is chairman of the recovery workgroup of the Cambria County Drug Coalition & the Cambria County Community Support Program. Jason is also vice president of the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers’ Association.
Maribeth Schaffer, Esq., is the Chief Public Defender for Cambria County.
Eric Schwerer, PhD was raised in Export, PA, and attended Allegheny College and The Iowa Writers' Workshop. After working as a carpenter in Kentucky, Louisiana, and Ohio, he earned a PhD from Ohio University. Eric has taught poetry to at-risk youth as well as adults recovering from mental illness and addiction. Eric is an Associate Professor for the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown, and his teaching interests also extend to study abroad and service-learning--he has instructed students in Tanzania, Ecuador, and central Appalachia. Eric is the author of three poetry books: Cruel Folklore, The Saint of Withdrawal, and Whittling Lessons.
Tracey G. Selak is the Administrator of Behavioral Health/Intellectual Disabilities/Early Intervention Program and is the Steering Chair of the Drug Treatment and Recovery Committee.
Jennifer Shoup, MSN, RN, CCM received her Bachelor of Nursing Practice in 2013 at Chamberlain University and a Dual Master’s of Nursing Practice in Leadership and Education in 2016 at Carlow University. She continues her professional journey at Carlow University to obtain her Doctorate in Nursing Practice. She is the Manager of Care Management of the Clinical Education Team at UPMC Health Plan in Pittsburgh. In 2015 she received her certification in Case Management. In addition to managing the education team, she continues to assist her team in training CPR, Ageless Wisdom, Social Determinants of Health, Health Literacy, Quality, Medication Adherence, and Cultural Competency. She created and conducted a “Teach-Back” break-out session at the 2019 Health Literacy event that was held at Carlow University sponsored by the Healthcare Council of Western PA. Jennifer’s previous experiences include five years in oncology, two years in quality, and four years in case management and training. Jennifer’s Capstone for her master’s focused on creating and providing a training for Nurse Case Managers and Social Workers on a Health Literacy Tool called “Teach-Back,” an evidence-based tool to confirm understanding and to improve outcomes for the population with low health literacy. She is a member of multiple professional organizations and committees including Pennsylvania Organization of Nurse Leaders, American Nurses Association, Case Management Society of America, Pennsylvania State Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau, Professional Practice Council at UPMC, Nurse and Patient Education Committee at UPMC. In 2010 Jennifer Graduated from Shadyside School of Nursing with High Honors. In 2017 she was awarded the Sister Rose Curran Gradate Nursing Leadership Award and in 2018 awarded the Anne DeNardo McGowan D.N.P. Leadership Award. Jennifer’s work on a Social Determinants Series with a Colleague was chosen for the Pennsylvania’s Healthcare Mosaic Conference in 2018. In a collaborative effort, in 2018 her abstract for Promoting Professional Leadership in a Non-Traditional Healthcare Setting was accepted and displayed at UPMC’s 2018 Nurses Week. She has done volunteer work with Caring Hearts Foundation providing assistance to those with Intellectual Disabilities. She has a passion for helping others, dream of health equity and social justice, mentoring, spending time with her family, cooking, baking, music and animals. She feels her efforts within health literacy is a life-long journey in hopes of improving quality outcomes for our population.
Bryant Shue is a person in long term recovery who credits his success to belief in Jesus Christ and involvement in Celebrate Recovery and its leadership team. Bryant is a 2010 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and works as a Certified Recovery Specialist.
Rev. Josiah Smith is the founding pastor of New Hope Community Church in Johnstown, PA. He comes from a rich heritage of ministers and ministry. He grew up near Johnstown, earned a degree in studying the Bible and theology from Central Bible College (now Evangel University) in Springfield, Missouri, and is an ordained minister in the Church of God (Cleveland, TN). He enjoys traveling the world, preaching and teaching and seeing people literally healed, set free, and empowered to follow Jesus.
Travis Stouffer is the Department Chair & Assistant Professor of Information Systems at Pitt-Johnstown, providing non-coding technical skills to his students, who will graduate with an aptitude for Human Centered Design for Mobile & Web Applications along with skills in Agile Project Management. His programs optionally allow learners to dive deeper in areas of data science, cybersecurity or information technology. Mr. Stouffer has a Master of Science degree in Engineering Management from Robert Morris University and also a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a Minor in Mathematics from Pitt-Johnstown. Since attaining his Pitt-Johnstown degree, he has been and continues to consult in the software development industry, fulfilling roles such as a Project Manager, Department Manager, and Software Engineer while leading his software development teams on efforts for Fortune 500 companies and in the government space.
Donald Talbot, MFA, EdD is Professor of Fine Arts at Mount Aloysius College. As the Mount’s Visual Arts Program Coordinator, he created and oversees the Expressive Arts for Healing program. He holds an EdD from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, an MFA from the University of Cincinnati, an MA in English from The Catholic University of America, and a BA in Humanities from St. Mary’s Seminary College. Since 2012, Dr. Talbot and his Mount Aloysius College students have brought expressive arts activities to a number of sites in Western Pennsylvania including: F.C.I. (Loretto), Evolution Counseling Services (Altoona), Arts for Healing (Johnstown), Peer Empowerment Network (Johnstown), H.O.P.E. Drop-in Center (Altoona), Laurel View Village (Davidsville), Richland Woods (Johnstown), and Garvey Manor Assisted Living (Altoona). Dr. Talbot resides in Altoona and maintains a seasonal art studio in Lisbon Falls, Maine. He is on the board of NAMI Blair County, Maine Fiberarts, and the Arts for Healing advisory committee at John P. Murtha Neuroscience and Pain Institute, Johnstown.
Jermaine Taylor is part of the Hope 4 Johnstown and Cure Violence project efforts for the community. She is working with Dr. Ross Kleinstuber on the panel for stopping violence throughout the Johnstown region.
John Teacher holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lock Haven University and a Master of Arts from Virginia Pollytechnic Institute and State University (2007). He is Assistant Professor and Director of Theatre Arts at Pitt-johnstown where he has been working with student actors for the past 9 years.
Alan Teich, PhD is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Pitt-Johnstown as well as a practicing Clinical Psychologist in the Johnstown area. He received a Bachelor of Science from State University of New York-Brockport; a Master of Arts degree from State University of New York-Geneseo; and a PhD from the University of Miami.
Peter Trachtenberg is the author of 7 Tattoos, The Book of Calamities, and Another Insane Devotion, a 2012 New York Times Editors’ Choice. His essays, journalism, and short fiction have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, A Public Space, Bidoun, and The New York Times' travel magazine, among others. His honors include the Whiting Award, the Nelson Algren Award for Short Fiction, a Guggenheim fellowship, and a residency at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center. He is an associate professor in the writing program of the University of Pittsburgh.
Julie Wagner is currently employed part-time, in the Justice Administration and Criminology Department at Pitt Johnstown. She currently is a candidate for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Criminal Justice. She is an expert Child Forensic Interviewer as well an expert in the areas of child abuse and sex crimes. She is retired from the Johnstown Police Department, having served as the city’s Juvenile Detective, School Resource Officer, and as a Patrol Officer. She is also a retired US Army veteran.
Patty Wharton-Michael, PhD is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Communication Department at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. She completed her MA in Media Studies (2002) and her Ph.D. in Mass Communication (2007) at the Pennsylvania State University. While her research topics vary, her primary research focus is on media effects. Her most recent work includes an investigation of parents’ media use — using online search engines and social media—to make health related choices regarding vaccinations. She presented her research, "Understanding the Online Search Process: How Parents Seek and Validate Vaccination Information" at the National Communication Association in Philadelphia. Her 2020 article, "What is in a Google search? A qualitative examination of non-vaxxers' online search practices" is published in Qualitative Research Reports in Communication.
Susan M. Wieczorek, PhD is an Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown where she coordinates the Public Speaking classes and tutorial programs as well as teaches multiple communication courses including Senior Capstone, Nonverbal, Small Group, and Medical Communication. As a recipient of the Pitt Provost Innovations in Teaching Grant, two Extended Diversity in Teaching Fellowships, conference presentation awards, and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation Grant, her student-centered work continues with Communi-TEAMS at Solomon Homes and the Year of Creativity Medical Humanities (Coordinator).
Elaine Wilson, MS, is an Assistant Professor of Special Education at the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown. She holds a B.S. in Elementary Education and an M.Ed. in Special Education and Community Mental Health, both from Duquesne University. Elaine also holds a graduate certificate in Applied Behavior Analyses from the University of Pittsburgh and is a Licensed Behavior Specialist in the state of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation was supervised by Dr. Mary Hansen and titled Special Educators ‘and Related Services Professionals’ Knowledge and Implementation of Behavior Intervention Plans for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities.
Eunice Yang, PhD is the innovator of OK2StandUP; Founder and CEO of SmartRR Solutions and Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Pitt Johnstown where she teaches undergraduate mechanical engineering courses such as but not limited to Statics/Dynamics, Engineering Measurements, Materials Science, Manufacturing Processes, and Physics. She has earned a Master of Mechanical Engineering degree (Fluid Dynamics) from California State University-Long Beach and a Doctor of Mechanical Engineering degree from Penn State University.
Jerry Zahorchak, EdD is the Education Division Chair at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and is the former Secretary of Education. He serves as the board member of the United Way, Cambria County Drug Coalition, Rendell Center for Civics Education and Engagement, Education Policy Leadership Center, Johnstown Rotary Club, and Indiana Co. Challenger. He holds a Bachelor of Science from St. Francis University, a Master of Education degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and a Doctorate in Education from Pennsylvania State University (1993). He’s been selected as a Penn State Fellow and recognized as Distinguished Alumni from IUP and St. Francis.
Kaitlyn Allison is a junior at the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown campus, graduating next April with a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education with a dual certification in Special Education. While at Pitt, Kaitlyn has completed fieldwork at Claysburg Intermediate Unit 08, Greater Johnstown Elementary, and Westmont Elementary. She will be beginning her student teaching experience beginning in August for a whole school year. Kaitlyn is a part of the Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society for her grades and overall grade point average. Kaitlyn also participated as a Mentor for Academic and Personal Success. She taught thirty freshman students that were undeclared and needed additional tutoring. She intends to proceed to further her education in the future for administration or an additional certificate in the Early Childhood or Special Education field. She is working under the direction of Dr. Bethany McConnell.
Robbie Bambino is a senior at Pitt-Johnstown with an Applied Mathematics major and a Spanish minor. He is athletic and loves playing sports. His featured poster, under the direction of Dr. Barbara Petrosky, reflects French translation needs in healthcare.
Hannah Brown is pursuing a major in biology and a minor in chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh--Johnstown. She is graduating this year in April 2020. She is involved in research that studies the hidden breaks in RNA structures with Dr. Laura Ritchey on campus. Hannah wants to pursue a MPH is Global Environmental Health and then continue school to get her PhD in Global Health. She also works with Dr. Eric Schwerer in the area of poetry and health.
Aaron Capouellez is a senior Communication major and biology minor at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. He is currently working with Dr. Susan Wieczorek on his senior Communication Capstone project.
Kevin Carter is currently a senior at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, with a major in communications and a minor in writing. He is active in many clubs on campus including the American Sign Language Club, through this club he gained knowledge and a respect for American Sign Language and those who speak it. He was motivated to create a panel to indicate the problems faced by those in the deaf or hard of hearing community. His idea for this project emerged from his work for his senior Communication Capstone course under the direction of Dr. Susan Wieczorek.
Kelsey Chabal is from New Kensington, PA. She majors in Creative Writing and Theatre Arts, minoring in English Literature. She loves backpacking and traveling. She is excited to be part of the spring production of As You Like It here at Pitt-Johnstown. She is also studies poetry under the direction of Dr. Eric Schwerer.
Courtney Claycomb is from Bedford County, PA. She studies Multimedia and Digital Culture at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. She loves hiking and creating digital artwork. She also is working with Dr. Barbara Petrosky in the area of French translation and medical communication in the U.S.
Alyssa Coleman is a junior Journalism major independently studying American Sign Language in hopes of not only becoming a reporter but also an interpreter. She currently is studying French translation issues in medical communication under the direction of Dr. Barbara Petrosky. She lives in Johnstown and enjoys reading, writing, studying sign language and fishing.
Alexandria Crawford is a senior at Pitt-Johnstown majoring in Communication. She is presenting her senior Communication Capstone project under the direction of Dr. Susan Wieczorek.
Morgan Cronauer is a Senior Education Major at Pitt-Johnstown. She is majoring in Early Childhood Education and Special Education. During Morgan’s time at Pitt-Johnstown, she has completed three field practicum experiences at local elementary schools throughout the area. She has spent time in a pre-kindergarten, second, and first grade. In the coming week, Morgan will be completing her year-long student teaching placement in a first-grade classroom at Portage Elementary. As a student teacher, Morgan has had opportunities to substitute throughout the building in grades pre-kindergarten through sixth. Morgan believes that the experiences provided by UPJ and her student teaching placement have fully prepared her for a life as an educator. She is working under the direction of Dr. Bethany McConnell.
Brianna Facciani is a senior English Literature major with minors in Art History and Writing. Originally from Summerhill, PA, Brianna will be moving to Pittsburgh in the fall to attend graduate school at Pitt for Library & Information Science. Together with Dr. Barbara Petrosky she is also studying the importance of French translation in medical settings.
Alyssa Figueiredo is a senior Nursing student who completed NUR 1050 Nursing Care of Mothers, Families and Newborns. She was part of the NAS research team for the 2018-2019 & 2019-2020 academic years. She is interested in pursuing a career in women’s health. In addition to working with her Nursing professor, Dr. Jennifer Cacciotti, on the Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome poster, she has had opportunities to participate in several local and regional presentations and presented at NCUR (National Conference for Undergraduate Research in March.
Madison Flaugh is a senior Nursing student who completed NUR 1050 Nursing Care of Mothers, Families and Newborns. She was part of the NAS research team for the 2018-2019 & 2019-2020 academic years. She is interested in pursuing a career in women’s health. In addition to working with her Nursing professor, Dr. Jennifer Cacciotti, on the Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome poster, she has had opportunities to participate in several local and regional presentations and presented at NCUR (National Conference for Undergraduate Research in March.
Jaidyn Fronzaglio is a senior Nursing student who completed NUR 1050 Nursing Care of Mothers, Families and Newborns. She was part of the NAS research team for the 2018-2019 & 2019-2020 academic years. She is interested in pursuing a career in women’s health. In addition to working with her Nursing professor, Dr. Jennifer Cacciotti, on the Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome poster, she has had opportunities to participate in several local and regional presentations and presented at NCUR (National Conference for Undergraduate Research in March.
Bryce Fultz is a 27-year-old senior who is looking to finish college at Pitt-Johnstown and is majoring in English Literature. He comes from a variety of states across America, most notably being Indiana and Nebraska. His favorite past times are writing fantasy literature, reading, and studying history. He is studying the impact of French translation in the medical arena in the U.S. under Dr. Barbara Petrosky.
Rachael Genesi is a senior Nursing student who completed NUR 1050 Nursing Care of Mothers, Families and Newborns. She was part of the NAS research team for the 2018-2019 & 2019-2020 academic years. She is interested in pursuing a career in women’s health. In addition to working with her Nursing professor, Dr. Jennifer Cacciotti, on the Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome poster, she has had opportunities to participate in several local and regional presentations and presented at NCUR (National Conference for Undergraduate Research in March.
Jaymie Harclerode is a senior Pitt-Johnstown dual major in Information Systems and Accounting. She is currently interning with Lockheed Martin Aeroparts. She is a part of Phi Eta Sigma and Sigma Beta Delta National Honors Societies. Lastly, Jaymie is passionate about helping those in her community and those all over the globe through the various mission trips she is a part of. She is working with Professor Travis Stouffer.
Sydney Haridahesti is from Monroeville, PA. She major sin Surgical Technology at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. Her hobbies include playing the piano and listening to music. She has also found interest in French translation and medicine while being mentored by Dr. Barbara Petrosky.
Bridget Heh is a Junior studying Early Childhood/Special Education at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. She is the president of Best Buddies, historian of concrete canoe, and a member of the track and field team. Bridget works at the Learning Lamp daycare and is a tutor on campus. She continues to volunteer with The Miracle League, Camp PARC, and the NationalDown Syndrome Conference. She is working under the direction of Dr. Bethany McConnell.
Lexi Hicks is a junior at Mount Aloysius College, pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Expressive Arts Therapy and Psychology. Throughout her undergraduate career, Lexi has attained many hours of experience using the Expressive Arts while working with local, diverse groups of clients. She has engaged in the Opening Minds through Art (OMA) process at three long-term care facilities: Laurel View Village, Richland Woods, and Garvey Manor. After graduation, Lexi plans to pursue a career in recreational therapy at an assisted living facility. She is working under the direction of Dr. Donald Talbout.
Mackenzie Keiper is a sophomore marketing student at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. She is working on developing an applied health app with her professor, Skip Glenn in Marketing.
Elizabeth Kerr is a senior Nursing student who completed NUR 1050 Nursing Care of Mothers, Families and Newborns. She was part of the NAS research team for the 2018-2019 & 2019-2020 academic years. She is interested in pursuing a career in women’s health. In addition to working with her Nursing professor, Dr. Jennifer Cacciotti, on the Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome poster, she has had opportunities to participate in several local and regional presentations and presented at NCUR (National Conference for Undergraduate Research in March.
Nadia Khan is a junior Biology major at UPJ. She hopes to attend medical school after graduation. She is a proud member of Johnstown’s only Bollywood dance group and loves to share her culture. Nadia is so proud to share her mother’s story and hopes it brings awareness to others. She is presenting her Medical Communication project with the help of Dr. Susan Wieczorek.
Dede Koudjoji is a senior at Pitt-Johnstown with a Psychology major and a Language major. She is from Togo in West Africa. She loves to study, crochet and learn facts about other countries. She loves to paint and is interested in photography. She is working with Dr. Barbara Petrosky on a project examining French translation issues in medical settings.
Kayla Lesofsky is a sophomore majoring in Psychology with a minor in Biology. She is the President of the FirstGen Club and also a Mentor for Academic and Personal Success on campus. Her goal is become an Occupational Therapist. She is working with Dr. Kate Stahl Kinsinger, Director of the Academic Success Center.
Shayna Lundberg is a senior Nursing student who completed NUR 1050 Nursing Care of Mothers, Families and Newborns. She was part of the NAS research team for the 2018-2019 & 2019-2020 academic years. She is interested in pursuing a career in women’s health. In addition to working with her Nursing professor, Dr. Jennifer Cacciotti, on the Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome poster, she has had opportunities to participate in several local and regional presentations and presented at NCUR (National Conference for Undergraduate Research in March.
Maria Manon is a senior Communication major at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. She is currently working at a nursing home facilitating the activities center. She is presenting a poster associated with this event for the purpose of this conference for her senior Communication Capstone project under the direction of Dr. Susan Wieczorek.
Natalie Moldofsky is currently in her last semester at Pitt Johnstown as a Communication major and is a person in recovery. She received her Associate degree at Penn Highlands and is a Certified Peer Specialist at the Alternative Community Resource Program, with a certification enhancement in forensic peer support. Natalie is also a member of the Cambria County Community Support Program. Natalie is currently working on her senior Communication Capstone project in the field of narratives of addition with the help of Dr. Susan Wieczorek.
Joshua Opalko is from Pittsburgh, PA. He is a Senior Mechanical Engineer at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. He likes to cook, play lacrosse, and be active. He also has found an interest in the area of French translation in medicine while studying under Dr. Barbara Petrosky.
Alyce Palko is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh Oakland campus, graduating this April with a Bachelor of Arts in Public and Professional Writing, minors in Creative Writing and Theater Arts, and a Community Health Assessment Certificate. While at Pitt, Alyce designed and completed an independent study course titled “Writing for Health Literacy,” during which she collaborated with a UPMC dermatology surgeon and a team of Carnegie Mellon Human-Computer Interaction students to develop health literate patient instructions and a post-operative care digital assistant. Alyce was a 2019 Summer Edge Program participant at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, and she is published in Pitt Med magazine.
Kimberly (Liz) Penaloza is a sophomore Psychology major at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. She is also Vice President of the First -Generation Club. She is working with Dr. Susant Wieczorek from her Medical Communication class in Oral History research and with Dr. Kate Stahl Kinsinger, Director of the Academic Success Center, for her work with the First Generation College Program.
Kaitlyn Poad is a Communication Major at the university of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and a former graduate of Westmont Hilltop High School (2018). Kailyn is an active student on campus as a Resident Assistant and a member of both Pitt Players and College Democrats. She is in her second semester as an intern for the Cambria County Drug Coalition and hopes to continue her work in substance abuse and mental health after graduation. Her internship is under the direction of Dr. Paul Lucas.
Rebecca Reppert is a junior Pitt-Johnstown Major in Marketing & Minor in Information Systems. She is originally from Reading, Pennsylvania. She is working under the direction of Professor Travis Stouffer.
Mathew D. Senft is Junior at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown studying for a major in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. After college he hopes to acquire his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. He does Oral History research with Dr. Susan Wieczorek in Medical Communication.
Jarod Shark is a senior Communication major with a related area of Acting at Pitt-Johnstown. He has been in numerous plays under the direction of John Teacher and currently is working on a senior Communication Capstone project dealing with standardized patients under the direction of Dr. Susan Wieczorek.
Alexander Snyder is from South Korea. He enjoys sports, hiking, and trying new foods. He is studying Mechanical Engineering and hopes to complete his service in the Army National Guard. His mentoring professor is French Associate Professor, Dr. Barbara Petrosky.
Emily Sohee Stewart is a senior Communications Major and Writing Minor at the University of Pittsburgh- Johnstown. Emily is currently the Vice President of Lambda Pi Eta, the National Communication Honor Society, as well as Historian of Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honors Society. Emily has previously present researched at the Eastern Communication Association (ECA) Conference as well as the Symposium for the Promotion of Academic and Creative Enquiry (SPACE). She has conducted Oral History research in Medical Communication under the direction of Dr. Susan Wieczorek.
Hillary Takyi is a literature and writing major with a biology minor. She plans to graduate by fall of 2021. After graduation she hopes to pursue a career in journalism. She is also a poetry student working with Dr. Eric Schwerer.
Caitlin Vrabel is a senior nursing student here at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, anticipating graduation in April. Clinically, She is currently completing her final semester at UPMC Altoona in the Cardiothoracic ICU. During her time at UPJ she has been a member of the UPJ Women’s Volleyball Team, including winning the conference championship in 2017, a Nursing Peer Mentor and has assisted in running the Simulation Lab for junior nursing students. During her nursing education, she found a great deal of learning opportunities in the classroom, in clinical, and in the Simulation Lab. In the simulation lab, she acted as the “nurse,” as the standardized patient, and as a senior simulation lead assisting in running the lab for the junior students. She believes simulation was an important aspect of her nursing education as it allowed her to think critically in difficult situations, without the fear of making errors.
Gregory Walters is a senior Pitt-Johnstown major in Information Systems, concentrating in Business and Healthcare Information Systems. From a young age, Greg has always had a passion for technology and helping others. Whether it's inside the classroom or not, he is committed to innovation, design, and problem solving. He is working under the direction of Professor Travis Stouffer.
Daniel Warfield is a senior Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. He will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering with minors in Computer Science and Mathematics. He is a software and hardware developer of OK2StandUP with Dr. Eunice Yang.
Kyleigh Way is from Johnstown and is a double major in Communication and in Multimedia and Digital Culture (MMDC) at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. She also holds a minor in Marketing. She likes to listen to music and play video games. Additionally, she studies the importance of French translation in the medical field under the direction of her professor, Dr. Barbara Petrosky
Convention Program Thanks
To all those who have helped in large and small ways, you are appreciated beyond words! To the faculty, community members, and students, you have given of your time, energy, and resources that are so precious at this busy time of the year. We appreciate and value everyone who has made this possible. Special thanks also goes out to our many sponsors who have generously dedicated their time, energy, grant money, and resources to this endeavor. Many, many thanks to all!
University of Pittsburgh Year of Creativity Matching Grant, Provost Office
UPJ Humanities Department
UPJ Academic Affairs
Janet Grady, Vice President of Academic Affairs
Michael Stoneham, Humanities Division Chair
Therese Grimes, Director of Admissions
Eric Sloss, Communications Director
Kim Miller & Staff of the Living Learning Center
Communication Interns: Maria Manon & Madison Irwin
Lambda Phi Eta Communication Scholars
Barbara Duryea & Artists of Conemaugh Hospital Arts for Healing
Southern Allegheny Museum of the Arts
Michael Bodolosky of the PPAC
Donald Talbout of Mount Aloysius College
Artists from Peer Empowerment Network (P.E.N.), Johnstown
Artists from H.O.P.E. Drop-In Center, Altoona
Artists of Laurel View Village, Davidsville
Artists of Richland Woods Assisted Living, Johnstown
Artists of Garvey Manor Assisted Living, Hollidaysburg
Artists of Mental Health Resources of Central PA, Ebensburg.
Tresa McVicker of Tranquility Gardens
Public Service Announcements Throughout the Region