We would like for you to get to know our students better. You will find information on current students and recent alumni on their research interests. If you would like any further information from the students, please feel free to contact them.
Graduated students, we strongly encourage you to become an alumni member. For more information visit the Alumni page.
Student and Alumni Profiles
Rola is passionate about using education, community participation, and social innovation in creating more equitable communities, and improving social mobility and agency for those who are underserved and marginalized. She works in the design and implementation of civic education and youth empowerment projects, mainly targeting youth and families in underprivileged communities, public higher education institutions, and refugee communities. She has experience working across several thematic topics like civic engagement, education reform, teacher professional development, social integration for refugees, and community-based learning. Her current research interests are civic education, education in emergencies, community-based learning, Education equity, Teacher professional development, multicultural and social justice education.
Junghyun Kim holds dual bachelor’s degrees in Education and Social Studies Education from the Korea National University of Education and a master’s degree in Lifelong education from Seoul National University. In graduate school, she worked with the local government to coordinate an adult education program for community leaders. She was involved in developing the curriculum and evaluation indicator for the 50-64 age group. After earning her Masters, she worked as a research assistant in a career exploration learning center in KRIVET (Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education & Training). Her current research interest involves learning and education in environmental movements and grassroots attempts to innovate education.
Paola Alejandra Galindo
Paola Alejandra Galindo, MA, is a philosopher in rural development and activist. She developed her work mainly in southwestern Colombia, in the Cauca region. Paola worked with the Institute for Intercultural Studies in Cali, where she conducted studies on the transformations of rural property tenure in the Cauca region. She was a spokesperson for the Mesa Amplia Nacional Estudiantil-MANE from 2011 to 2013. While implementing the Peace Agreement in the Congress of the Republic in 2017, she and her colleagues led the construction of the Agrarian Table that pursued normative instruments for implementing the Integral Rural Reform-RRI with national agrarian organizations and some NGOs. More recently, she has supported Senator and indigenous leader Feliciano Valencia in his legislative work. Her research interests are rural sociology, land distribution, rural social movements, and the peace process.
Kamil M. Gerónimo-López
Kamil Gerónimo has an interdisciplinary academic background that includes a bachelor’s degree in Cooperatives and Geography at the University of Puerto Rico and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the Graduate School of Social Work, Beatriz Lassalle in the University of Puerto Rico. The right to housing, community organizing, and social movements has piqued her intellectual curiosity and guided her research agenda in different countries. Kamil has contributed to social justice movements as a popular educator, accompanying organizing processes of communities, cooperatives, social and political organizations. She has been a member of the Popular Education Council of Latin America and the Caribbean since 2008. In 2017, she founded Pueblo Crítico, a non-profit led by social workers focused on designing popular education experiences, methodologies, board games, and planning tools. Kamil is passionate about the political freedom of Puerto Rico, critical thinking, embodied learning, and game-based learning.
Jafar Iqbal is a second-year doctoral student of Lifelong Learning and Adult Education (LLAED), pursuing a dual-title degree in workers education and comparative international education. His study emphasizes on politics of 'social justice in the global supply chain and the pedagogy of labor resistance in the global south. Before this, he did a master's in labor and global workers' rights in the global economy at Penn State. His capstone research focused on labor resistance to the pandemic that led to workers' repression at Bangladesh's garment supply chain. Jafar is the founder of the online labor education platform "Fighting for Labor Justice'. In terms of research Jafar is interested in the decoloniality of 'social justice regime' in the apparel supply chain, pedagogy of the labor movement, theories of resistance to the repression of class, gender, race, ethnicity in the global supply chain.
Hansen, C., Sahai, R., Bansal, V., Iyer, M., Iqbal, J., Parpiani, M., ... & Kysia, K. (2021). Ripped at the Seams: RMG Sector Workers During a Global Pandemic. Journal of Modern Slavery. https://slavefreetoday.org/journal_of_modern_slavery/v6i2_COVID19andMODERNSLAVERY.pdf
Isaiah Zukowski is a second-year doctoral student of Lifelong Learning and Adult Education. In collaboration with the Goodling Institute for Research in Family Literacy and the Restorative Justice Initiative, he coordinates GED tutoring and college pathway programs for students within and outside prisons. Isaiah received his Bachelors in Peace Studies and International Relations from Goucher College in 2017. In 2018, he taught as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Tunja, Colombia. He then returned to his hometown to serve as Adult Supportive Services Coordinator at Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center. Last spring, Isaiah conducted collective autoethnography with Philadelphia NGO teachers, pulling from his own experiences as a GED teacher at Congreso de Latinos Unidos in Philadelphia. Outside of work, he enjoys spoiling his cat Juana, fiddling on the guitar, and exploring the outdoors. His research interests include NGO-ization, High School Equivalency, carceral education.
Billo, E., & Zukowski, I. (2015, November 2). Criminals or Citizens? Mining and Citizen Protest in Correa’s Ecuador. nacla.org. Retrieved September 21, 2021, from nacla.org.
Zukowski, I., Parker, Z., Shetterly, D., & Valle, K. (2021). Public health crises compounded: A high school equivalency context in the time of a pandemic. International Review of Education, 67(1-2), 31–52.
Sharmistha is pursuing a dual-title doctoral degree in Lifelong Learning and Adult Education and Comparative and International Education. She obtained her master’s degree in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Counseling from the University of North Texas. Most of her current research work is focused on Penn State’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. She aspires to teach and conduct research in the adult and international education fields. Her research interests encompass grass-roots governance models, Indigenous Peoples, strategic educational partnerships, higher education, workers' education, and social justice issues.
Bekele, T. A., Cossa, J., & Barat, S. (2021). Toward Building Strategic International University-Society Partnerships for Africa. Modern Africa: Politics, History, and Society.
Brenton is a native of Town Creek, Alabama. He attained a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Business Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He continued to perfect his craft at Wichita State University, earning a science master’s degree in Public Administration, Certification in City/County Management, and Certification in Finance. He is now pursuing his doctoral degree at Pennsylvania State University. During his time at Penn State, he has served as an MLK Scholar and Bunton-Waller Scholar. He is currently the Social Service Director with Saber Health and Rehabilitation Center facility in Duncannon, Pennsylvania. He is passionate about equity and the uplift of marginalized communities. He has played a critical role in equity issues in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and hosts many forums centering on equity and uplift. His research interests combine Adult Education and Gerontology.
Michelle Casalinuovo Wiley
Michelle Wiley is in her first official year as a Doctor of Education student in the Lifelong Learning and Adult Education program. She works at The Pennsylvania State University – World Campus as an Assistant Director for Development Services, managing the Academic Support Center. In her ninth year at Penn State, she oversees the development and coordination of academic support programming for more than 20,000 online learners. She orchestrates the resources of multiple departments to deliver multi-modal online supports for students. She holds a Master’s in Special Education from Buffalo State College and worked in Middle-Level Cross-Categorical Education for thirteen years. In her free time, she likes to play golf, work in the yard, and be outside whenever possible, except in the winter! Her research interests are Adult students, distance education, adult literacy, academic development, student support.
Astrid Magnhild Høgmo
Get to know our students! Astrid Hoegmo is dedicated to educational theories in practice. She has been an entrepreneur in Norwegian adult education for 20 years and is now diving into research where practice and theory will be connected. The energy from rural Arctic Norway is fundamental for Astrid, and her heart beats for humans living their lives outside the box. Astrid is a Master of Education in International Comparative Education from Stockholm University and a Master of Education in Montessori Integrative Learning from TIES Endicott College. How do you lead and organize a learning organization based on self-organized learning? This is the research Astrid is entering in the Ph.D. program. Her research interests are Transactional Distance Theory, Montessori Integrative Learning, Self-Organized Learning, Organic Leadership in Education.
Mai is a writer and educator. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing & International Business from the Arab Academy for Science and technology in Cairo, Egypt, and seven years of experience working with youth and adults in formal and informal contexts. Before moving to the U.S., she designed and implemented development and capacity-building training in student organizations, NGOs, and corporations. Mai also holds a Certificate in mental health first aid. Her areas of expertise involve research in fieldwork, data collection, curriculum development, and facilitation. Mai’s areas of interest involve social movement learning, youth and young adult development, resilience in times of conflict, culture, identity, and evidence-based interventions for youth. After a semester at the University of Rochester, Mai is currently a Ph.D. student and graduate assistant at Pennsylvania State University.
Eric J. Hunting
Eric is a poet and essayist, using these forms to discuss culture and identity. He holds dual degrees in Sociology and Psychology from Grand Valley State University and an M.S. in Counseling, Adult, and Higher Education from Northern Illinois University. Before arriving at Penn State, he worked at Cornell University as a Student Affairs professional within residence life. Most notably, Eric ran Cornell’s only residence hall dedicated to music and using music as a pedagogy for community building. He works as a graduate assistant with the Sokolov-Miller Family Financial & Life Skills Center. His research interests look at social protest music and embodied learning. He is particularly interested in looking at punk music and the role of the body as sites of resistance and developing critical consciousness.
Sophie Kandler is a Ph.D. student in Adult and Continuing Education with a minor in Women’s Studies. She holds both Bachelor’s (Secondary Education, 1989) and Masters (Instructional Design, 2007) in Education from Penn State. Sophie has worked in various jobs over her life: from sewage plant worker to bartender, sales trainer to instructional designer. She is an activist and has organized and attended peaceful protests and spoke about Transgender issues in schools, universities, and companies internationally. She also performs volunteer work, including being a former volunteer paramedic on a local rescue squad. Sophie is a writer and has been published in international magazines and the New York Times. She also writes an award-winning blog, as well as several online columns. Her Ph.D. research focuses on Cisgender/Transgender relations.
Jaeung has B.A. and M.A. in Education from Seoul National University, South Korea. He has studied educational phenomena based on perspective for lifelong learning and critical theory. He wrote a master’s thesis about citizenship education. He worked at national institutions for adult education, such as National Institute for Lifelong Education(NILE) and Korea National Open University (KNOU). His research interest is the relationship between education and social change, focusing on civil movement and collective learning. Currently, Jaeung is a first-year student in Ph.D.program in Lifelong Learning and Adult Education.
Rich earned a B.A. degree in Communications from the University of Pittsburgh, an M.A. degree in Liberal and Professional Studies from Towson University, an M.Ed. in Adult Education from Penn State, and a graduate certificate in Academic Advising from Kansas State University. Currently, Rich is a student academic adviser at Penn State World Campus, where he specializes in working with adult learners who are pursuing their undergraduate degrees. He is currently enrolled in the D.Ed. Lifelong Learning and Adult Education degree program. His research interests include online distance education, and adult learners enrolled in higher education degree programs.
Kate attended Minsk State Linguistic University in Minsk, Belarus, and has a B.A. in English with a Minor in German from Temple University. She earned her Ed.M. in Higher Education Administration from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Kate has taught Russian at Temple University, and English at the Nationalities Service Center in Philadelphia and consulted on the education-related issues in the graduate medical education field. Kate’s research interest centers around teaching and adult learners in higher education. She is particularly interested in international teaching comparisons, and the ways faculty conceptualize teaching and engage in teaching improvement initiatives.
Meredith has a B.A. in Mathematics from Duke University and a Master’s degree in Math Education from Teachers College Columbia University. Her educational experiences include Peace Corps Education Volunteer (2010-2012 in Mali), English Teacher (2013-2015) Turkey, Central America, and Southern Africa), New York City Public School Teacher (High School for recent immigrants and refugees 2015-2016), OECD (intern and consultant – 2018). Her dissertation examines the career pathways of teachers with a background of forced migration in Europe. Meredith’s primary research interests are Refugee Education, Teacher Education, International Education, Comparative Education, Adult Education. Secondary research interests: Primary and Secondary Education, Inclusive Education, Post-Conflict Education, Sociology of Migration.
Cerna, L., Andersson, H., Bannon, M., & Borgonovi, F. (2019). Strength through diversity: Spotlight Report for Sweden
Neda, F., Cerna, L., & Bannon, M. (2019). The lives of teachers in diverse classrooms.
Aziz has an M.S. in Adult Education Program at North Carolina A&T State University and has worked as an elementary and high school teacher in Saudi Arabia. The research topic Aziz is interested in is the impact of technology on self-directed learning in the non-formal adult education setting. He hopes to develop a theory related to self-directed learning in modern technical practices and increase technology integration into adult learning in today’s world.
Alexis has a B.A. in international politics and Spanish from Penn State and an M.A. in applied linguistics / TESOL certification for higher education from the University of Pittsburgh. Before arriving at Penn State, she taught English to speakers of other languages (ESOL) in higher education and adult education in West Africa, Europe, and the United States. She worked in teacher training and developed a curriculum for ESOL in K-12, higher education, and adult education. Her area of research is literacy and language education for adults. More specifically, Alexis is interested in adult theories of learning, teacher education, and policy analysis within these areas of study.
Renee has a B.S. in Social Psychology from Park University and a Masters in Social Work from Radford University. Before Penn State, Renee worked with adults and children with intellectual disabilities as a Behavioral Consultant and Therapist. Currently, she is the Associate Director of the Office of Veterans Programs and Penn State University Park. Her research interest is examining the role of narrative, or story, in veterans’ transitions from the military to higher education.
Hye-Su has a B.A. in English Language Education and an M.A. in Lifelong Education from Seoul National University, South Korea. Hye-Su has experience in citizenship education and teaching English in middle schools in Korea. Her research interests span from learning theories, particularly in experiential learning, to social movement learning. She is currently interested in education for democratic participation in South Korea and educational institutions' roles in mediating civil society and the state. Currently, she is pursuing a dual-title degree in Comparative and International Education.
Kuk, H. S., & Holst, J. D. (2018). A dissection of experiential learning theory: Alternative approaches to reflection. Adult Learning, 29(4), doi: 10.1177/1045159518779138
Kuk, H. S. (2018). The transformation of experiential learning from the practices of lifelong educators in Korea (평생교육사의 현장경험에서 나타나는 평생교육 이론과 실제의 타협 양상). Korean Journal of Lifelong Education (KCI enlisted), 24(2), 83-113.
Xiaoying comes from China. She has a B.A. from Hebei Normal University, China, a Master of Social Science degree from Aalborg University, Denmark, and a Master of Law degree from the University of International Relations, China. Xiaoying’s professional experiences include working as an International Student Program Manager at Tsinghua University, China, and Teaching Consultant at XuetangX MOOC Corporation, China. Her research interests include international aid to education, lifelong learning policy, and distance learning.
Allison has a B.S. in Education and M.S. in Teaching and Curriculum from Penn State and an M.Ed. in Literacy from Walden University. Allison has been a Reading Specialist and teacher for 22 years and a part-time English Adjunct at HACC for 3 years. Alison’s research interests are testing and student motivation in continuing higher education.
M. Nadhir Ibn Muntaka
M. Nadhir Ibn Muntaka is a Ghanaian and an IT Specialist at Penn State. He is a dual-title Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Learning and Performance Systems and Comparative International Education. He focuses on Lifelong Learning and Adults/Distance Education and improving learning in developing regions with minimal access to modern technology. His research focuses on understanding and managing NonCommunicable Chronic Diseases (NCDs) such as cancers, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, stroke, and pulmonary heart diseases, and how people can learn and control NCDs through modern technology. Nadhir’s research interests are Learning and Management of Noncommunicable Diseases, Distance/eLearning, Mobile/Computer-assisted Learning
Jennifer Blackburn Miller
Jennifer has a B.A. in Philosophy and Religious Studies with Minors in Music and International Studies from Radford University and an MA in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) from Penn State University. Jennifer is interested in contemplative inquiry and holistic education and conflict transformation, trauma healing, and peacebuilding through the arts. Her dissertation research is about a social justice theatre program in Philadelphia, PA, and Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Her preliminary research on this program has been published in the Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education in the article titled The Transformative and Healing Power of Theatre of Witness.
Robin Black Stetter
Robin earned a B.S. from Penn State University in Secondary Education with a concentration in English and Speech Communication, and an M.Ed. from Penn State University in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Language and Literacy. Currently, Robin is a full-time teaching faculty member at Pennsylvania College of Technology while pursuing a D.Ed. in Lifelong Learning and Adult Education. Her research interests are Empathy, transformative praxis, civic engagement.
Tulare has a B.S. in Administration of Justice with a minor in Sociology from Penn State and a Master of Social Work fromTemple University. Currently, Tulare is a faculty instructor and Director of the Office of Disability Services at Lock Haven University with professional experiences including college instructor, academic advisor, and social work/mental health practitioner in college, community, and correctional facility settings. Tulare’s primary research interest is adult learners' emotional and relational experiences, particularly students with disabilities in higher education/online education. Tulare has co-presented at AAACE and AERC regarding the experiences of advanced-career doctoral students and the experiences of mothers of children with disabilities.
Heh Youn Shin
Heh Youn Shin has a B. A. in English Language and Literature and an M. A. in HRD & Adult Continuing Education from Korea University, South Korea. Her work experience includes working as a program coordinator at the Korea University Institute for Continuing Education and a government-sponsored intern at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France. Her research interests include vocational education and training, social and labor market integration, and lifelong learning policies relevant to adult migrants, particularly women immigrants in Korea. Currently, she is pursuing a dual-title degree in Comparative and International Education.
Xu Zhang is a Ph.D. who is interested in quantitative research methods and educational psychology among adult learners. Before her doctoral studies, Xu used to work in a consulting firm in the financial district in New York City. After moving to State College, Xu has been exploring more interests in education and cross-cultural studies.
Tammy Shannon is the Academic Advising Coordinator and a Course Instructor for the Environmental Resource Management Program at Penn State. Tammy received her Bachelor of Arts degree, with a certificate in Communication from the University of Pittsburgh, her Master of Education at Lock Haven University. She is currently a doctoral candidate in the Lifelong Learning and Adult Education program at Penn State. Tammy has just completed writing a Sustainability in Education Abroad book chapter as part of the Standards in Action publication series with the Forum on Education Abroad and her co-authors. Her research interests include first-generation college students’ sense of belonging in higher education. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking, biking, canoeing, and traveling. Tammy and her husband are Adirondack 46ers, having hiked all the 46 hike peaks in the Adirondack mountains. Currently, they are section hiking the entire Appalachian Trail.
Shannon, T.M. 2019. A Grounded Theory Study on First Generation College Student Persistence: Habits of Successful Students (Presentation at the 15th International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, May 2019; Participation level: author)
Shannon, T.M. and R. D. Shannon. 2017. Framework for successful academic advising NACTA Journal, Vol. 61 Supplement 1, p.69. (Presentation at 63rd North American College Teachers of Agriculture Conference, Purdue University, June 2017; Participation level: co-author)
Bennett, T.M. and R. D. Shannon. 2016. Can Engaged Scholarship Experiences Improve Student Learning? NACTA Journal, Vol. 58 Supplement 1, p.69. (Presentation at 62nd North American College Teachers of Agriculture Conference, Ohau, HI, June 2016; Participation level: Co-author)
Bennett, T.M. and R. D. Shannon. 2016. International course development at the program level: Collaboration and Student Interest. NACTA Journal, Vol. 58 Supplement 1, p.69. (Presentation at 62nd North American College Teachers of Agriculture Conference, Ohau, HI, June 2016; Participation level: Co-author)
Shannon, R. D. and T. M. Bennett. 2015. Orienting the First-Year Student: Mapping the Future. NACTA Journal, Vol. 59 Supplement 1, p.89. (Presentation at 61st North American College Teachers of Agriculture Conference, Athens, GA, June 2015; Participation level: Co-author )
Shannon, R. D. and T. M. Bennett. 2015. Engaged Scholarship: An Environmental Major Encircled in Learning. 2015. NACTA Journal, Vol. 59 Supplement 1, p.91. (Presentation at 61st North American College Teachers of Agriculture Conference, Athens, GA, June 2015; Participation level: Co-author)
Bennett, T.M. and R. D. Shannon. 2014. Engaged in scholarship integration strategies for an international course to Costa Rica. NACTA Journal, Vol. 58 Supplement 1, p.69. (Presentation at 60th North American College Teachers of Agriculture Conference, Bozeman, MT, June 2014; Participation level: Co-author)
Shannon, R. D. and T. M. Bennett. 2014. Comparison of large- and small-scale biodigesters as an international learning tool. 2014., NACTA Journal, Vol. 58 Supplement 1, p.16. (Presentation at 60th North American College Teachers of Agriculture Conference, Bozeman, MT, June 2014; Participation level: Co-author)
Bennett, T.M. and Lauren Rishe. 2013. Using Mobile Media Pilot Projects to Enhance Student Learning. NACTA Journal, Vol. 58 Supplement 1, p.69. (Presentation at 59th North American College Teachers of Agriculture Conference, Blacksburg, VA, June 2014; Participation level: Co-author)
Invited Panel Presenter Penn State Media Commons. 2013. Using Technology in International Programs & Study Abroad Courses. Faculty Panel Discussion. Branching Out Conference, University Park, PA, October 2013.
April Bailey (2009) D.Ed.
April is an Associate Professor in the John L. Grove College of Business at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania (Shippensburg, PA) where she currently works with incoming first-year business students. Her research interests are nontraditional students and understanding more about students' transition to college.
Lisa Bailey (2009) M.Ed.
Lisa is a distance education teacher for adults with Tuscarora Intermediate Unit 11 for the state of Pennsylvania. This project helps adult learners achieve their GED and improve their work skills via distance learning.
Tom Buckmiller (2009) Ph.D.
Tom, originally from Winner, South Dakota, has a B.A. in elementary education from Mount Marty College, and a M.A. in Educational Administration from Iowa State University. His work experience includes: Fifth grade teacher; and elementary and middle school principal. His research interest is Native American adult learners. Tom is currently an Assistant Professor at Drake University in Des Moines, IA in the Educational Leadership Department.
David Eichler (2009) D.Ed.
[email protected]; [email protected]
Dave has a B.S. in Health and Physical Education, as well as a minor in Recreation and Outdoor Pursuits from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. He has a M.Ed. in Health Education and a D.Ed. in Adult Education from The Pennsylvania State University. His master's thesis - "Implementing an Outdoor Experiential Education Program in a High School Setting," and his doctoral dissertation - "The Experience of Reflective Journaling in an Outward Bound Course" are available trough the Penn State Library system. His current work experience includes teaching secondary physical and outdoor experiential education at Donegal High School, Mount Joy, PA, adjunct instructor teaching high and low ropes facilitation in the Wellness and Sport Sciences Dept., Millersville University of Pennsylvania, as well as serving as a Deputy Waterways Conservation Officer with the PA Fish & Boat Commission.
Michelle Covert (2016) Ph.D.
Michelle has a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from Penn State University and an M.S. in Higher Education from Drexel University. Additionally, she earned a Certificate in Distance Education from Penn State University. Michelle is currently pursuing a PhD in Adult Education. She has worked as a counselor for women and children in both educational and shelter environments, was formerly a co-owner of an art/antique/gift store, and has held internship positions in higher education focused on student affairs, student engagement, retention, and program development. Her research interests include understanding the work/life balance of student-mothers, rural adult students' experiences in higher education, adult student retention in higher education, distance education, and lifelong learning.
Edith Gnanadass (2016) Ph.D.
Edith has a B.A. in Finance from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a MBA in International Business from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Her work experience includes community development, social services and adult literacy in New York City. Her topic of interest is the racialized experiences of South Asian Americans in the United States of America.
Ramazan Gungor (2016) Ph.D.
Ramazan Gungor, Ph.D. is a post-doctoral scholar in the Adult Education Program and the World Campus at Penn State University, where he is currently investigating the relationship between institutional scholarships and retention for distance education students. He received his B.A. in Foreign Language Education and M.A. in Adult Education from Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey. He completed his Ph.D. with a dual-title in Adult Education and Comparative and International Education non-state actors in both the USA and Turkey, motivational orientations for participation, social support within these programs, and state and federal level policy and curriculum analysis. Dr. Gungor has also studied distance education in different contexts, including its use for adult basic education programs. As a result of this work, he and his co-authors (Esther Prins, Cathy Kassab, and Brendaly Drayton) received the Mildred B. and Charles A. Wedemeyer Award for Outstanding Scholar in Distance Education in 2013. This project also paved the way for his research on distance education.
Patricia "Patty" Holland Webb (2016) Ph.D.
Patty has a B.A. in English from the University of Pittsburgh, a B.S. in Nursing from Ohio State University and a Master’s in Adult and Community Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Her work experience includes: healthcare, professional writing, large animal training for therapeutic animal and corporate leadership programs (involving dogs & horses). Her research interests are: the nature & evolution of reflective consciousness, and its relation to learning, to the development of social networks, to perceptions & expressions of agency, and to transformative social action; discourse theory & analysis, critical theory (particularly related to psychoanalytic thought), theories of language & literacy, and mystical traditions of spirituality in both Western & Eastern religions.
Adelina Hristova (2016) Ph.D.
Adelina has earned her B.AA in Russian Philology and M.A. in Teaching Russian Language and Literature from Sofia University, Bulgaria; her Interim teaching certificate from Lethbridge University, AB, Canada; and her M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) from University of Idaho. Currently she is a TOEFL writing instructor for the State College Area School District Community Education and Adult Education Center. Her research interests include literacy for culturally and linguistically diverse populations, bilingualism and multilingualism in the global context, measurements of success for adult learners, comparative and international education, distance education and web-based learning.
Haijun Kang (2009) Ph.D.
Haijun is an Assistant Professor in the College of Lifelong Learning at Jackson State University in Jackson, MS. In addition, to earning a doctorate in Adult Education he also earned a dual doctorate degree in Comparative and International Education. He currently works with undergraduate and graduate students. His research interests are distance education design and development; quality assurance; comparative and international distance education.
Courtney Karmelita (2016) D.Ed.
Courtney earned a B.S. in French and Francophone Studies from Penn State. She then went on to earn a M.Ed in Secondary Education from Chestnut Hill College while concurrently teaching full time in Philadelphia through Teach for America. After her assignment with Teach for America, Courtney taught at Central Bucks South High School. She is currently in the D.Ed program for Adult Education at Penn State.
Ally Krupar (2017) D.Ed.
Ally Krupar earned her Ph.D. in Adult Education and Comparative and International Education, holds a Bachelors of
Arts in Anthropology from Case Western Reserve University and a Masters of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies focusing on conflict resolution, human rights law and anthropology from American University. She also teaches online at American University (AU) and has taught at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul and worked in distance and e-learning at AU and Marerere University's Infectious Disease Institute In Uganda. She teaches qualitative methods, project monitoring and evaluations, software, digital media, and professional development workshops, emphasizing technology supporting learning with foci on accessibility, synchronous and asynchronous tools, and mobile learning. Her research interests include adult learning, women's education in conflict-affected environments, technology innovations in education (emphasizing online learning and mobile learning in low resource areas or low income populations), ethnography (especially visual ethnography), higher and continuing education planning and programing, and human right advocacy.
Kristine Lalley (2009) D.Ed.
Kristine is the Director of Engineering Initiatives at the Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. In this role she develops various programs for engineering students to have an international education experience, including study abroad, international internships, international research experiences, and international service learning opportunities. Her research interests include assessing how students learn from context in an international program, as well as using qualitative research to understand the learning experiences of students engaging in international education programs.
Keon Mercedes Liberato (2017) Ph.D.
Keon holds a B.A. in Sociology and M.S. in Human Resources and Employment Relations from Penn State University. Keon has a broad range of work experience ranging from union organizer with the United Food and Commercial Workers and Metro Industrial Areas Foundation to railroad maintenance and construction. Keon is a member of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (BMWED-IBT). As an Adult Education Ph.D. candidate he is interested in combining Marxist theory and Cultural Historical Activity Theory to explore the role of learning in Left social movement organizing.
Wendy McDonald (2009) M.Ed.
Wendy has a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Alabama and is a recent graduate of the Masters program in Adult Education rthrough the Penn State World Campus. She is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Business Education at Auburn University. She is an Employment Service Representative for the state of Alabama's Department of Industrial Relations. Her research interests include helping displaced/dislocated workers transition into new employment.
Michele Mont (2009) D.Ed.
Michele continues to work as an owner/consultant for a consulting firm she established in 2000, MAM Education Center. She primarily works with private and public sector firms interested in enhancing their employee development efforts. Occasionally, she works with individuals interested in one-on-one coaching. Her research interests include: art-based learning activities within adult education settings, and multicultural education.
Shelley Moore (2009) M.Ed.
Shelley has a B.A. in Psychology from Lock Haven University and is currently the Assistant Director of Career Services at Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, PA. Her past work experience includes: higher education - career services, and adult basic and literacy education - professional development.
Hyewon Park (2016) Ph.D.
Hyewon Park is a Ph.D. candidate in Adult Education program. Hyewon holds a B.A. in Business and a M.A. in Education focusing on Human Resource Development (HRD). Her work experience includes a lecture on civic education and HRD. She also participated in various researches projects related to the curriculum development for vocational education and lifelong learning at a vocational education and training research institute in Korea. Her research interests are informal learning, sociocultural learning, workplace learning and career development for uneducated/low-skilled adults. She is writing her dissertation about North Korean young adult defectors' learning and identity reconstruction now.
Paul Rutter (2013) D.Ed.
Paul, also a six year Navy Veteran of Nuclear Submarines as a Machinist Mate, and a former banker with a BS degree in finance from Carolina is Regional Director of the University of Mount Olive, in eastern North Carolina where he oversees the administration of five campuses serving adults, from Raleigh/Durham (RTP), to Goldsboro/Seymour Johnson AFB, to the main campus in Mount Olive, NC. Current enrollment includes over 1,500 students who earn undergraduate and graduate degrees. Paul also teaches research methods, ethics, and leadership in the graduate education program and social science research for the business school at UMO. Paul has been with UMO since 2011 beginning as director of a single campus and has expanded his responsibilities in the past eight years.
Steve Seman (2009) M.Ed.
Steve is an Instructor of Meteorology at the Pennsylvania State University Park campus. He works primarily with returning adult students who are seeking a Certificate of Achievement in Weather Forecasting from Penn State's World Campus. In addition, he also performs some weather forecasting and broadcasting duties for the department's daily weather TV show, "Weather World" on WPSU and PCN.
Elizabeth (Beth) Shakespeare
Beth has a B.S. in Communications and Spanish from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and an M.A. in Elementary Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Beth is a dual-title Ph.D. candidate in Adult Education and Comparative & International Education. Beth has experience teaching elementary and adult English language learners in both public and continuing education settings. Beth has additional experience in corporate training and development, and her research interests include adult women’s learning and multicultural notions of success in the global workplace.
Melissa Stocum (2009) M.Ed.
Melissa is the Coordinator of Matriculation and Retention for the School of Natural Resources Management at Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, PA.
Amy Thul-Sigler (2016) D.Ed
Amy has a B.A. in Creative Writing from Susquehanna University and a M.Ed. from Bloomsburg University with a concentration in Student Affairs. She is currently employed with Penn State Alumni Career Services as the Assistant Director and had previously been an adult education and English instructor for numerous years. Amy is currently pursuing her D.Ed. in Adult Education. Her research interests are learning environments, adult career development, and validity of career assessments.
Jacqlyn S. Tricari (2009) D.Ed.
Jacqlyn is a co-owner of the Triscari Group, a media production company located in Camp Hill, PA, where she serves as Senior Vice President and COO. Her research for her doctorate focused on transformations that occur in companies during power shifts. One of her primary interests is the area of collaboration of which she has written numerous articles, spoken at conferences and currently is working on a book.
Ozlem Zabitgil (2010) Ph.D.
[email protected] or [email protected]
Ozlem is working as a translator and interpreter for the Immigrant Services, Guelph (Ontario, Canada). She is also a freelance interpreter for the ABLE translations (Mississauga, Ontario). Özlem has a BA in English Literature and Humanities from the Eastern Mediterranean University (North Cyprus). Her M.A. and Ph.D. are in Applied Linguistics/TESL and Adult Education (Language & Literacy Minor) respectively both from the Pennsylvania State University. During her graduate studies she worked as a writing tutor/consultant at the Penn State University’s Earth and Mineral Sciences. She also taught several ESL, Writing and Adult Literacy classes in Cyprus and the United States.
Amanda C. Neill (2010) D.Ed.
Amanda is Enrollment and Industrial Relations Coordinator in the Engineering Division at Penn State School of Graduate Professional Studies (Malvern, PA) where she works with adult graduate students and performs corporate outreach. She is an adjunct faculty member at Holy Family University. Her research interest include non-formal learning and learning in museums.
Denise Rill (2010) M.Ed.
Denise has an M.Ed. in Adult Education and a Postbaccalaureate Certificate in Distance Education from Penn State University. Her research interests include student support services in online distance education and program planning and administration. Originally from Maryland, she completed a Bachelor of Science Degree in Corporate Communication from University of Baltimore. She is currently a team member of the newly forming Penn State Solutions, Penn State University Park.
David Ulonska (2010) M.Ed.
David is a senior instructional design manager in the Learning & Development organization of PricewaterhouseCoopers. He is responsible for designing learning interventions across various staff classes and lines of service.
Mark Boccia (2010) M.Ed.
Mark is a global training director for Marriott International's lodging operation division, based in Bethesda, MD. He has a B.S. in Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management from Penn State, and a M.B.A. from Saint Joseph's University. Mark leads a start-up training & development team charged with creating and sustaining all lodging operations training initiatives for Rooms, Food & Beverage, and Engineering disciplines from Marriott's managed and franchise hotel portfolio worldwide. He is also an active member with ISPI and ASTD at the local and national level.
Rita Brooks (2010) M.Ed.
Rita is the Director of Diagnostic Services at Capital Health (Trenton, NJ) where she currently oversees an educational program for non-traditional students in polysomnography and collaborates in a fellowship program for sleep medicine physicians. In addition, she is working with Thomas Edison State College in Trenton, NJ to establish an online associate degree program in polysomnography. Her research interests are focused on nontraditional students entering healthcare as a career change.
Rhonda Schwinabart (2010) M.Ed.
Rhonda has a B.A. in political science from Hood College. She has served as an AmeriCorps member, a university service-learning director, and an AmeriCorps* VISTA project supervisor. She is Director of the Pathways for Success Program at Allegany College of Maryland. Pathways is a TRIO Program funded by the U.S. Department of Education to serve low-income, first-generation college students and/or students with disabilities. Her professional interest is in community education.
Susan Simpson (2010) M.Ed.
Susan has a B.S. in Recreation, Park and Management and a Master’s in Leisure Studies as well as her M.Ed. in Adult Education from Penn State. Susan is an Adult Education Instructor for Employment and Training, Inc., in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania where she currently teaches a postsecondary education transitionary program for adults entering the medical field.
Sue Snider (2010) D.Ed.
Sue is the coordinator for the Southwest Professional Development Center, (located in Pittsburgh, PA). She provides professional development to adult education practitioners in seven counties in the southwestern part of PA who receive state and federal adult education dollars. Her research interests include how the GED® Tests affect adult learners and how professional development is transferred to adult learners in the classroom.
Kristin H. Spiker (2010) M.Ed.
Kristin is the Director of Admissions and International Students for the Community College of Allegheny County (Pittsburgh, PA). Her educational focus surrounds the use of social media in the area of higher education and specifically with international students.
Hyunmin Lim (2010) Ph.D.
Hyunmin is a researcher at the Institute of Educational Research at Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea. Her research interests are old women, social process of aging, educational gerontology, learning theories and CHAT.
William (Will) C. Diehl (2011) Ph.D.
Will has a B.S. is in K-8 education from Penn State and his master's work is in Adult Education at Penn State. He is a former elementary and middle school teacher, web designer, developer and multimedia consultant. He has also consulted as a Subject Matter expert and designer of university faculty development, graduate and undergraduate courses. He is currently the education director for American Poverty.org, the executive director of the International Museum of Distance Education and Technology and the Interviews Editor for The American Journal of Distance Education. Will is a songwriter and has released multiple CDs, and has written and recorded original music for The American Poverty Project, Oxfam American, Alvin Ailey Dance and The Boston's Children's Theatre. His research interests include distance education, educational technology, foundations of adult and distance education, open education and intercultural literacy.
Junghwan Kim (2012) Ph.D.
Junghwan is an Assistant Professor of Adult and Higher Education at the University of Oklahoma, Norman. He has expertise across three fields: (1) Adult and Community Education, (2) Human Resource Development, and (3) Continuing Higher Education. His research interests include adult and informal learning, adult learners in higher education, civic engagement and higher education, community education and social change, international lifelong learning, and workplace learning and organizational change.
Joanna "Josy" Lyons (2013) D.E.d
Josy is an R.N. with a B.S. in Education from St. Josephs College, Maine; an M.Ed. and a D.Ed., both in Adult Education from Penn State. At Penn State she has worked as a Research Project Coordinator, a Research Nurse at the Clinical Research Center, and currently works in Quality Management, including Post-IRB Approval Review activities, at the Office for Research Protections, all at University Park. Her research interest is the experience of volunteers in research.