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Penn State Beaver
Faculty Experts and Resources

(1) Topics are listed alphabetically. Under each topic is a list of faculty members who are qualified and able to address the topic and related issues.

(2) At the end of the topics section, please find detailed information about each faculty member's academic and/or professional degrees as well as areas of research and/or special interest(s).

To obtain information from or about a faculty member, please contact Amy M. Krebs, director of campus and community relations, 724-773-3815. 


Administration of Justice
Dr. Mari Pierce

African Diaspora
Dr. Juliette Storr

Dr. Robin Bower
Dr. Carol Schafer

Dr. Cassandra Miller-Butterworth

Business / Marketing / Management
Ms. Karen C. Barr 
Dr. Talha Harcar 
Mr. Fred Kellinger
Mr. Dan Smith

Caribbean Media
Dr. Juliette Storr

Dr. Michael Hay

Communications Studies / Speech Communications
Ms. Teresa Baumgardner
Dr. John Chapin 
Dr. Juliette Storr

Computers / Information Sciences and Technology 
Ms. Neelam Dwivedi
Dr. Kay Wijekumar

Conservation (Wildlife) Genetics
Dr. Cassandra Miller-Butterworth

Dr. Mari Pierce

Cross-Gender Communication
Dr. JoAnn Chirico

Earth and Environmental Sciences
Dr. Matthew Grunstra

Mr. James Hendrickson, P.E.

Dr. Kristen L. Olson  

Mr. Fred Kellinger

Ms. Karen Barr

Dr. JoAnn Chirico

History (Soviet Era, Holocaust, Cold War, World War II, Diplomatic History, Modern Eastern Europe)
Dr. Robert Szymczak 

International and Intercultural Communication
Dr. Juliette Storr

Language and Linguistics
Dr. Kristen Olson

Literature and Poetry
Dr. Kristen Olson

Dr. Zhongyuan Che 
Dr. Angela Fishman
Dr. Chris Wu

Medieval History, Culture, Art, and Architecture
Dr. Robin Bower

Multicultural and Diversity Issues
Dr. Irene A. Wolf 

Dr. Irene A. Wolf 

Mr. Leo Takahashi

Mr. Kevin L. Bennett

Public Relations
Dr. Juliette Storr

Religious Issues / Religions of the World
Dr. Robin Bower

Dr. Kristen Olson

Sociology / Sociology Issues and Problems
Dr. JoAnn Chirico

Dr. Robin Bower 

Dr. Carol Schafer

Women's Studies
Dr. JoAnn Chirico
Dr. Carol Schafer
Dr. Irene A. Wolf 

Women's Issues and Concerns
Dr. JoAnn Chirico
Dr. Irene A. Wolf


Academic and Professional Titles / Areas of Research and Interest

Ms. Karen Barr
Senior Instructor in Business

Master's degree in business administration, California State University
Bachelor's degree in nursing, Ohio State University 
• Finance and taxes
• Teaching at Penn State

Ms. Teresa Baumgardner
Instructor in Communications, Arts, and Sciences

Post-graduate work in English literature, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Master's degree in general speech / ancient and political rhetoric; minor in English, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Bachelor’s degree in English education, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
• Speech organization and research
• Speechwriting and delivery
• Interpersonal communication
• Communication theory (interpersonal, group/organizational, public, and mass levels)
• Rhetoric (visual rhetoric, including film; political rhetoric, including recent issues and themes)
• Journalistic style (AP conventions, grammar, and punctuation)

Mr. Kevin L. Bennett
Senior Instructor in Psychology

Master’s degree in psychology, University of New Mexico
Bachelor’s degree in psychology, University of Michigan
• Jealousy
• Guilt
• Male-Female Friendships

Dr. Robin Bower
Associate Professor of Spanish
Ph.D. in Medieval Iberian and comparative literature, Columbia University
Master’s degree in Latin American literature, Columbia University
Master’s degree in Medieval and Golden Age, Columbia University
Bachelor’s degree in foreign languages and comparative literature, West Chester University
• Church / religious history
• Spanish and Latin American history, politics, and culture
• Identity construction / identity politics
• Popular religion / devotional forms
• Medieval history, culture, art, and architecture
• History of religious conflict in Medieval Europe
• Medieval interactions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam

Dr. Cassandra Miller-Butterworth
Assistant Professor of Biology
Post-doctoral research, Laboratory of Genomic Diversity, National Cancer Institute, Maryland
Post-doctoral research, Department of Human Genetics, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh
Ph.D. and bachelor's degree in zoology, University of Cape Town, South Africa
• Biology
• Conservation (Wildlife) Genetics

Dr. John Chapin
Professor of Communications
Ph.D. in communication, information and library studies, Rutgers University
Master’s degree in communication studies and mass media, Shippensburg University
Bachelor’s degree in education, Bloomsburg University
• Mass communication (radio, television, film, journalism, etc.)
• Research in health communication, safe sex campaigns
• Domestic violence prevention education
• Violence and sex in television, film, video games

Dr. Zhongyuan Che
Associate Professor of Mathematics

Ph.D. in mathematics, Wesleyan University
Master’s degree in computer science, Wesleyan University
Master’s degree in mathematics, Shandong University, China
Bachelor’s degree in mathematics, Shandong University, China
• Graph theory and combinatorics
• Probabilistic method

Dr. JoAnn Chirico
Senior Instructor in Sociology

Ph.D. in sociology and education, University of Pittsburgh
Master’s degree in elementary education, University of Pittsburgh
Bachelor’s degree in English / biology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
• Social problems
• Globalization, political struggles, intrasocietal violent conflict
• Irregular warfare
• Global and domestic inequality
• General culture and lifestyle issues
• Cross gender communication

Ms. Neelam Dwivedi
Instructor in Information Sciences and Technology
Master's degree in information technology, Carnegie Mellon University
Master's degree in engineering (computer science), Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India
Bachelor's degree in technology (computer science), Institute of Engineering and Technology, Lucknow, India
• Information Technology Project/Program Management
• Information Technology Services
• Information Technology Global Sourcing
• Enterprise Information Technology Applications Management

Dr. Matthew Grunstra
Assistant Professor of Earth and Mineral Sciences
Ph.D. in environmental science and engineering, University of Texas at San Antonio
Master's degree in environmental science, University of Texas at San Antonio
Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, Grove City College
- Air
- Water
- Climate
- Energy
- Geology
- Ecology 

Dr. Angela Fishman
Instructor in Mathematics
Ph.D. in engineering, Wichita State University
Master’s degree, Wichita State University
Bachelor’s degree, Wichita State University
• Data Envelopment Analysis
• Site location problems
• Reliability

Dr. Talha Harcar
Associate Professor of Business
Ph.D. in business administration, Istanbul University, Turkey
Master’s degree in marketing research, Istanbul University, Turkey
M.B.A., University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Bachelor’s degree in marketing, Istanbul University, Turkey
• Marketing Research
• Database Marketing
• International Business
• Any topics on Turkey, Turkish culture and life

Dr. Michael Hay
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Ph.D. in chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Master’s degree in chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Bachelor’s degree in chemistry, Bowling Green State University
• Chemical spills
• Environmental issues
• Chemistry or biochemistry in the news

Mr. James Hendrickson, P.E.
Instructor in Engineering
Post-master's studies, University of Pittsburgh
Master’s degree in mechanical engineering, University of Pittsburgh
Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, Penn State University

Mr. Fred Kellinger
Lecturer in Business

Master’s degree in business administration, University of Pittsburgh
Bachelor’s degree in chemistry, Princeton University
• Assistive technology
• Cognitive rehabilitation
• Starting / owning a small business
• Start-up business
• Entrepreneurship

Dr. Kristen Olson
Associate Professor of English

Ph.D. in English and American Literature and language, Case Western Reserve University
Master's degree in English and American literature and language, Harvard University
Master’s degree in English and American Literature and language, Case Western Reserve University
Bachelor’s degree in English, Colby College
• Shakespeare
• English literature
• Poetry
• Children’s literature
• Fiction
• Literary / Critical Theory
• 16th and 17th century history and culture of England
• Anglo-Saxon and Medieval through modern British history
• Anglo-Saxon folklore
• Queen Elizabeth I (research specialty)
• Classical or modern theatre
• Language and linguistics
• Cultural linguistics
• Cognitive science pertaining to language
• Relation of language and the visual arts

Dr. Mari Pierce
Assistant Professor of Administration of Justice
Ph.D. in criminology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Master's degree in criminal justice, New Mexico State University
Bachelor's degree in sociology, Whitman College

Dr. Carol Schafer
Associate Professor of Theatre, Integrative Arts, and Women’s Studies
Ph.D. in aesthetic studies, University of Texas at Dallas
Master’s degree in theatre, University of South Carolina
Bachelor’s degree in theatre, Western Carolina University
• Contemporary American theatre
• Women and art

Mr. Dan Smith
Instructor in Business
Master’s degree in management and policy analysis, Carnegie Mellon University
Bachelor’s degree in public policy and management and German, Carnegie Mellon University

Dr. Juliette Storr
Associate Professor of Communications

Ph.D. in mass communication, Ohio University
Certification, Contemporary History, Contemporary History Institute, Ohio University
Master’s degree in radio-television-film production, Wayne State University
Bachelor’s degree in mass communication, University of Windsor, Canada
• International communication
• Intercultural communication
• Caribbean media systems (broadcasting, journalism, media structures and policies)
• African Diaspora relationships
• Public relations
• Corporate communication

Dr. Robert Szymczak
Associate Professor of History

Doctorate of Arts in history, Carnegie Mellon University
Master’s degree in history, West Virginia University
Master’s degree in liberal studies, Duquesne University
Certificate of Study, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
Bachelor’s degree in history / education, West Virginia University
• Modern Eastern Europe
• United States ethnic history
• United States diplomatic history
• World War II
• Cold War
• Holocaust
• Soviet Era

Mr. Leo Takahashi
Assistant Professor of Physics
Master’s degree in physics, Southern Illinois University
Bachelor’s degree in physics, William Jewell College
• Teaching science
• Physics education

Dr. Kausalai (Kay) Wijekumar
Associate Professor of Information Sciences and Technology

Ph.D. in instructional systems, Penn State University
Master’s degree in computer science, University of Pittsburgh
Bachelor’s degree in electronics engineering, Franklin University
• Computer programming
• Intelligent Tutoring System

Dr. Irene A. Wolf
Senior Instructor in Philosophy
Ph.D. in philosophy, Duquesne University
Master’s degree in philosophy, Duquesne University
Bachelor’s degree in philosophy and psychology, College of St. Benedict
• Diversity, culture, and advocacy
• Importance of altruism
• The art of happiness in life
• The good life and tolerance and patience in life
• Women’s issues
• Value of reflection and meditation in life

Dr. Chuntao (Chris) Wu
Professor of Mathematics

Ph.D. in applied mathematics, University of Arizona
Master’s degree in mathematical sciences, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu, China
Bachelor’s degree in mathematics, Guizhou University, China
• Mathematics