Archive for the ‘Faculty and Staff’ Category

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College recently promoted and granted tenure to select faculty members who have, over time, demonstrated a commitment to excellence in teaching, advising, professional development, and service to the College and the community. Their work with students is exemplary and serves as an inspiration to students and colleagues alike.

Eligible faculty members go through a rigorous application and review process that assesses their effectiveness in full-time teaching/advising as well as service to the College, the community, and professional development.

Advancement in Rank was determined during the Board of Trustees April meeting. Tenure was determined during the Board of Trustees June meeting.

Faculty Earning Advancement In Rank:

  • Dr. Robert Clark from Assistant to Associate Professor, Criminal Justice and Social Sciences. Dr. Clark holds a Ph.D. in Administration and Leadership Studies, an M.A. in the Sociology of Human Services, and a B.A. in Applied Sociology all from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Clark is active in a number of local and national criminal justice and sociological organizations and holds leadership positions in several. He has presented sessions on victim precipitation and offender responsibility at international and national conferences.  Prior to his full-time appointment at the College, Dr. Clark worked in child welfare and victim services as well as the juvenile and criminal court systems in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia.
  • Ms. Jeannine McDevitt from Associate Professor to Professor, English. Employed by the College since 2002, Ms. McDevitt holds the M.A. in English Literature from Purdue University and a B.A. in English from Seton Hill University. As Department Chair for English, Ms. McDevitt conducts departmental meetings, coordinates assessment, provides departmental professional development, conducts peer observations, and otherwise provides a full range of support to adjunct instructors. Ms. McDevitt also provided leadership in online teaching that advanced the College’s capacity in this important delivery mode. She has presented sessions on assessment, adjunct faculty collaboration, and connecting effectively with students at national conferences as well as locally.
  • Ms. Jill Mitchell from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor, Biological Sciences.  Ms. Mitchell began her employment as a full-time faculty member in 2010. She holds a B.A. in Biology from IUP, a B.S. in Biology Education from IUP, and an M.A. in Science Education from Western Governor’s University. Ms. Mitchell served as Lab Manager and Program Coordinator of Biological Science. Her work in course development includes Genetics, Forensic Biology, a fully on-line Biology lecture/lab, and a new Academic and Career Planning course for first-year students. Ms. Mitchell participated in several national conferences, presented locally at an American Association of University Women’s STEM event, conducted a CSI workshop for Girl Scouts. Ms. Mitchell is active with St. David’s Lutheran Church and Conemaugh Twp. School activities.
  • Ms. Tammy Calpin from Instructor to Assistant Professor, Medical Assisting Technology. Ms. Calpin began her career with Pennsylvania Highlands as a full-time faculty member in August 2014. She holds an M.S. in Nursing Education from IUP, a B.S. in Nursing from the University of Pittsburgh, and Nursing and Paramedic Diplomas from Conemaugh School of Nursing. Ms. Calpin was instrumental in preparing the College’s Medical Assisting Technology program for a highly successful national accreditation visit by MAERB/CAAHEP in 2016. She contributed to the text, “Introduction to Health Professions 7th Edition” and reviewed chapters in a forthcoming Anatomy and Physiology text (Goodheart-Wilcox).  Locally, Ms. Calpin assisted in the preparation of three successful Lee Initiatives grants to advance the MAT program, volunteers with the Johnstown Free Medical Clinic and the East Taylor Township Fire Department (EMS) and Scuba and Water Rescue.
  • Ms. Michelle Myers-Claypole from Instructor to Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences.  Ms. Myers-Claypole began her career with Pennsylvania Highlands as a full-time faculty member in August 2014.  She co-published “Seasonal Activity, Density, and Collection Efficiency of the Blacklegged Tick in Mid-Western PA” in the Journal of Medical Entomology. She and students have participated in an on-going study with the United States Department of Agriculture.  She is the founding faculty advisor for the Rotaract Club and served as a judge for the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS) Regional Competition. Prior to her full-time employment with the College, she was a Veterinary Technician Instructor at the Indiana County Technology Center and held several other biology/veterinary related positions. She holds a B.S. in Pre-Veterinary Biology from Juniata and an M.S. in Biology from IUP.
  • Ms. Robin Hughes from Instructor to Assistant Professor, Mathematics.  Ms. Hughes began her career with Pennsylvania Highlands as a full-time faculty member in January 2014.  Ms. Hughes holds a B.S. in Mathematics from UPJ, an MBA from St. Francis, and a M.Ed. in Math Education from Kent State.  Her service to the community includes participation in the “MATHCOUNTS” program and the Technology Student Association Leadership Conference.  She maintains memberships in the American Mathematical Association of Two Year Colleges (AMATYC), the Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of Mathematics (PCTM), and the Pennsylvania State Mathematics Association of Two Year Colleges (PSMATYC).

Faculty Earning Tenure:

  • Ms. Sherri Slavick, Assistant Professor, Physical Sciences.  Ms. Slavick began her career as a full-time faculty member in January 2012.  Ms. Slavick holds a B.S. in Secondary Education from University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, and a M.S. in Education from Lebanon Valley College. She served as a Pennsylvania Department of Education Major Program Reviewer for graduate and undergraduate programs. She also holds a Certificate of Completion from Quality Matters in “Applying the QM Rubric (APPQMR)”. She maintains memberships in the Pennsylvania Science Teacher Association, American Association of University Women, and Cambria/Somerset County Safety Consortium, and Pennsylvania State Math Association of Two Year Colleges.
  • Mr. Dennis Miller, Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice.  Mr. Miller began her career as a full-time faculty member in August 2012.  Mr. Miller holds a B.A. in Criminology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and a M.A. in Criminology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  He holds memberships in the Community Relations Board at the Federal Correctional Institution located in Loretto, PA., the Academy of Criminal Justice Science, and the American Correction Association. Prior to his employment at the College, his professional experience included serving as a police officer, correctional treatment specialist, and hostage negotiator.

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Pennsylvania Highlands Community College is pleased to announce that 100% of the eligible individuals connected to the College’s Medical Assisting Technology program, past and present, that took the National Certified Medical Assistant exam in 2016 (NCMA) passed.

College President, Dr. Walter Asonevich, offered his congratulations on this outstanding achievement to the 13 medical assistant professionals that passed and the College’s faculty leaders in our Medical Assisting Technology program: Gaynelle Schmieder, Associate Professor of Health Care Professions, and Tammy Calpin, Instructor of Medical Assisting Technology.

Many of the individuals that took the exam in 2016 will be the first to graduate under the program’s new national accreditation by the Commission on the Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

Currently, graduates of the College’s Medical Assisting Technology program are eligible to sit for a number of National Certification exams. Eligibility is based on a number of quality factors that include national program accreditation, faculty credentials, curriculum quality, and student success in academics and employment.

Eligible National Certifications for graduates moving forward include:

  • National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA)
  • Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
  • National Certified Medical Office Assistant (NCMOA)
  • National Certified ECG Technician (NCET)
  • National Certified Phlebotomy Assistant (NCPT)

In addition to graduates earning certification testing eligibility, the College is now an official National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) test site. As a result, most of the listed exams are administered on-site at the College’s Richland Campus.

As a testing site, the College may better serve allied health students and employers in the Southern Alleghenies. These national certifications help further validate student professional preparation and commitment to the medical profession. Increasingly, healthcare employers are seeking employees who hold certifications as a means of documenting professional preparation and proficiency in specialized fields.

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Pennsylvania Highlands Community College is happy to congratulate Dr. Kevin J. Slonka, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, for having recently published a new textbook through Prospect Press entitled Assembly Programming and Computer Architecture for Software Engineers. Dr. Slonka recently published this book with his colleague, Dr. Brian R. Hall of Champlain College in Vermont.

Current Assembly/architecture textbooks cater to electrical engineers and teach Assembly on uncommon architectures. Dr. Slonka’s text caters to the computer scientist by teaching Assembly on current Intel platforms using the three mainstream assemblers (GAS, MASM, and NASM). Every computer science program has an Assembly/architecture course as a major requirement. Now, professors no longer have to choose a text that does not meet their needs simply because nothing better is available.

Dr. Slonka began his career at Pennsylvania Highlands as a full-time faculty member in January of 2013. He teaches Computer Science and Information Technology, and currently serves as Department Chair for Technology and President of Faculty Senate. Dr. Slonka holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from Mount Aloysius College, dual Master’s Degrees in Information Security and Assurance and Information Technology Project Management from Robert Morris University, and a Doctor of Science in Information Systems and Communications from Robert Morris.

Dr. Kevin Slonka holding his recently published textbook in his office.

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Pennsylvania Highlands Community College recently hosted the Laurel Highlands Region Crisis Intervention Team as they provided their annual Crisis Intervention Training during the final week of March to officers and others in the field.

This weeklong (40-hour) training program teaches individuals various techniques on how to engage with people in crises, including those who are mentally ill. Participants were able to hone their verbal de-escalation skills with the goal of creating nonviolent intervention through voluntary compliance.

Additional training topics dealt with handling the mentally ill, juveniles, and people with personality disorders, suicide prevention, and substance abuse. This program is currently in its 10th year.

Twenty-one police and corrections officers from multiple counties attended the program, including the College’s own Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences, Dr. Robert Clark. After completion, all received a certificate during a graduation ceremony

To learn more about workforce training opportunities or the Criminal Justice program, please contact Penn Highlands Community College at 1.888.385.PEAK.

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Pennsylvania Highlands Community College is proud to announce that three full-time faculty members were recently certified as Cybercrime Investigators by the International Fraternity of Cybercrime Investigators (IFCI). Congratulations to:

  • Dr. Robert Clark, Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice and Social Sciences
  • Dr. Kevin Slonka, Assistant Professor, Computer Science
  • Mr. Dennis Miller, Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice

By completing the IFCI-CCI (Certified Cybercrime Investigator) Professional Certification exam, Dr. Slonka, Dr. Clark, and Mr. Miller received in-depth, hands-on technical training from some of the top experts in federal law enforcement, as well as first-class instruction from highly recognized university professors.

The certification process provides training in a myriad of cybercrime topics including – but not limited to – network intrusion, system forensic artifacts, deleted file recovery and file carving, forensic acquisition, memory and malware analysis, and more. Completing the certification program ensures that Dr. Clark, Dr. Slonka, and Mr. Miller have an expertise in all of the previous fields.

Penn Highlands is consistently looking for new and innovate ways to help our region and its population find success in today’s technologically advanced society. These three professors understand the College’s vision and have taken it upon themselves to advance the College’s Criminal Justice and Information Technology degree programs for the success of the students these programs serve.

“Penn Highlands is here to help our community thrive,” stated Trish Corle, Vice President of Student Services. “Our faculty members have a clear understanding of how changes within industry demand a response in the classroom. This represents a forward-thinking approach to higher education that speaks volumes about their commitment to students and their discipline.”

To help better serve our community and our students, Penn Highlands has expanded our Information Technology program into three separate tracks under the leadership of Dr. Slonka: Cyber Security, Network Administration, and Server Administration. All three tracks are designed to prepare students to enter the workforce immediately in any number of entry-level positions.

Our Criminal Justice degrees are built for students to either immediately enter the workforce or to easily transfer to a four-year institution with junior standing. Students have found success in many fields through our program – from the police force to crime statistics analysts and more.

About the International Fraternity of Cybercrime Investigators
The U.S. Department of Justice recognizes cybercrime as one of the biggest threats facing our nation’s security, prosperity and safety — and it’s not a threat that will simply go away. At IFCI, our mission is to equip highly skilled analysts and investigators to combat this threat both in the U.S. and abroad.

mr-20170224-professors-certified-as-cybercrime-investigators

From Left to Right: Mr. Dennis Miller, Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice; Dr. Kevin Slonka, Assistant Professor, Computer Science; Dr. Robert Clark, Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice and Social Sciences.

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Valerie Wojcik, Continuing Education Manager

Valerie Wojcik, Continuing Education Manager

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College would like to congratulate Valerie Wojcik, Continuing Education Manager, on receiving the designation of Certified Professional Programmer, or C2P, by the Learning Resources Network (LERN). LERN is the world’s largest association in continuing education and lifelong learning.

This certification is awarded to practicing professionals in the field who complete the LERN Advanced Programming Institute and pass the certification exam in the area of lifelong learning programming. This will allow the programming professional to use the initials in correspondence and other communication.

“We are pleased to have Ms. Wojcik as a Certified Professional Programmer,” noted William A. Draves, President of LERN. “The professional designation brings greater expertise in serving the community with lifelong learning programs. With lifelong learning an increasingly important factor in both economic prosperity and quality of life, Ms. Wojcik is making a positive contribution to the community and society.”

About Learning Resources Network (LERN)

LERN was founded in 1974 and serves more than 9,000 professionals every year. This association provides practical, how-to information on marketing, finances, management, sales and product development. LERN serves a wide variety of institutions, including state universities, four-year colleges, colleges within universities, private colleges, community colleges, technical colleges, public schools, recreation departments, and other associations. Over 3,000 CPP’s have been awarded throughout the world.

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Andrew Podolak, Workforce & Continuing Education Assistant

Andrew Podolak, Workforce & Continuing Education Assistant

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College would like to congratulate Andrew Podolak, Workforce & Continuing Education Assistant, on receiving the designation of Certified Program Planner, or CPP, by the Learning Resources Network (LERN). LERN is the world’s largest association in continuing education and lifelong learning.

By passing the CPP exam, Mr. Podolak has demonstrated knowledge in the ten key lifelong learning areas of expertise. “The CPP designation is a standard of achievement in the knowledge and understanding of lifelong learning,” noted LERN President William Draves. “By becoming a Certified Program Planner, Mr. Podolak has helped to professionalize the field of educational programming.”

This accomplishment will be recognized at LERN’s Annual Conference in November of 2017.

About Learning Resources Network (LERN)

LERN was founded in 1974 and serves more than 9,000 professionals every year. This association provides practical, how-to information on marketing, finances, management, sales and product development. LERN serves a wide variety of institutions, including state universities, four-year colleges, colleges within universities, private colleges, community colleges, technical colleges, public schools, recreation departments, and other associations. Over 3,000 CPP’s have been awarded throughout the world.

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