Campus welcomes new faculty, advisory board members

Chancellor Charles Davis has announced the addition of new faculty and campus advisory board members to Penn State Wilkes-Barre for the 2016-17 academic year.

Rick Dierenfeldt joins the Administration of Justice program at Penn State Wilkes-Barre as assistant professor after having earned his doctorate in criminal justice from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in May 2016. Prior to earning his doctorate, Dierenfeldt served more than 10 years as a police officer and corrections intelligence investigator in the state of Missouri. His research interests include the relationships between community characteristics, race, and crime, as well as policy evaluation in the fields of corrections and policing. His most recent works have been published in Deviant Behavior, American Journal of Criminal Justice, Criminal Justice Policy Review, International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, and Security Journal. In addition to teaching, Dierenfeldt maintains an active interest in developing student-faculty research collaborations and projects that integrate the campus, community and criminal justice agencies.

Jonathan Pineno joins Penn State Wilkes-Barre as an instructor of arts and music. He will also be managing the on campus Friedman Art Gallery. Pineno earned his bachelor of science degree in music education from Mansfield University. He studied for four years with Anthony Gigliotti, first chair clarinetist of the Philadelphia Orchestra and in 1979, he earned a master’s degree in clarinet performance from Temple University. Pineno taught music classes for 34 years in the Lake-Lehman School District. He devoted 20 years in elementary general, vocal and instrumental music; 14 years in junior and senior high chorus and general music classes; was the assistant high school band director for six years; directed six elementary musicals; and produced 14 high school plays and musicals. Pineno has been an adjunct faculty member at Misericordia University teaching private clarinet lessons; has taught instrumental methods classes; has facilitated music and art history classes on campus; has created and taught jazz/popular music courses; and was a leading faculty member to begin teaching online arts courses.

Getinet Gawo joins Penn State Wilkes-Barre as an instructor of mathematics. He will also be a tutor for the Learning Center and Student Support Services. Gawo received his bachelor of science degree in mathematics from Mekelle University and his master of science in mathematics from Addis Adaba University, both in Ethiopia, his native country. In 2012, he was awarded a research scholarship from Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) to work as a research scholar at Anna University, India where he studied various numerical methods to solve problems from dynamical systems and fluid dynamics that involve linear and nonlinear partial differential equations. Prior to coming to Penn State Wilkes-Barre, Gawo was an adjunct faculty of mathematics at Howard Community College, Maryland, and Prince George's Community College, Maryland.

Joseph Boylan, vice president of Economic Development for the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce, joins the Campus Advisory Board this fall. Boylan is a graduate of Penn State, earning a bachelor of science in business with a concentration in marketing and management. Prior to his role at the chamber, Boylan served as the director for government services for Ashburn Advisors and as chief of staff for State Representative John Yudichak. In addition to the Campus Advisory Board, Boylan serves on the boards for the Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce, PEDA Advocacy Committee, MetroAction Inc, and the Wyoming Valley Challenger League. In addition, Boylan was named “Top 20 Under 40” by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Business Journal in 2015.

Robert Katulka begins his term on the Campus Advisory Board this fall. Katulka is a Penn State University graduate, earning his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. He then went on to earn his Master of Science in Business Administration from Wilkes University. As the Director of Production Engineering for Tobyhanna Army Depot, Katulka serves as a senior leader responsible for management of approximately 350 engineers and technicians. He is actively involved with local Wyoming Valley academia including King’s College, Wilkes University and the Penn State Commonwealth Campuses. Currently, three of Katulka’s four children are either Penn State alumni or current students. The fourth has plans to attend Penn State.

Megan Millo, business development manager at Ken Pollock Auto Group, joins the Campus Advisory Board. A graduate of Penn State Wilkes-Barre, Millo earned her bachelor of science in business administration with a focus in marketing and management. Prior to her current position with Ken Pollock, Millo held other positions within the organization as well as a position with iGourmet. Millo serves on several community boards and committees.

Amanda Yakus will begin her term on the Campus Advisory Board this fall. Yakus currently serves as the director of sales for the Fairfield Inn & Suites. She is a Penn State graduate with a bachelor of science in hotel, restaurant, and institutional management and a member of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce Women’s Network Council. Yakus previously served on the board for the Northeast PA Chapter of Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International, is a leadership council member for the American Red Cross Northeast PA Chapter, and a volunteer for both Junior Achievement of NEPA and the American Cancer Society.

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