Archive for the ‘Faculty and Staff’ Category

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.

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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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Dr. Kevin Slonka, Assistant Proessor of Computer Science

Dr. Kevin Slonka, Assistant Professor of Computer Science

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College would like to congratulate Dr. Kevin Slonka, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, for his work on the research paper entitled Phishing Our Clients: A Step Toward Improving Training via Social Engineering. The paper was selected as the Best Research Paper at the 2016 International Association for Computer Information Systems (IACIS) Conference.

Dr. Slonka, who also works as a Senior Systems Engineer at Precision Business Solutions, collaborated on this research paper with Brian Shrift, President of Precision Business Solutions. Their research paper was chosen using a double blind process from a poll of more than 130 research papers.

The IACIS 2016 Conference provides a showcase for the latest research in practice and pedagogical topics that focus on how information systems are used to support organizations or enhance the educational process. To highlight that small businesses are susceptible to security threats, the researchers conducted a study where their clients were phished.

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