Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications
Social Sciences & Humanities Faculty

William J. Astore
Professor, History

William J. Astore

Bill Astore is professor of history at the Pennsylvania College of Technology. Before this, he was the associate provost and dean of students at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California (2002-05). He also served as the Director of International History at the U.S. Air Force Academy (1998-2002). He served in the Air Force from 1985 to 2005, retiring as a lieutenant colonel.

Professor Astore taught History at the Air Force Academy for six years, and taught for one semester at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey. He earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering (with Distinction) from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1985; an MA in the History of Science and Technology from The Johns Hopkins University in 1990; and a D.Phil. in Modern History from the University of Oxford in 1996.

Prof. Astore is the author or co-author of three books: Observing God: Thomas Dick, Evangelicalism, and Popular Science in Victorian Britain and America (Ashgate, 2001); Hindenburg: Icon of German Militarism (Potomac Press, 2005); and Soldiers' Lives Through History: The Early Modern World (Greenwood Press, 2007).

His academic interests include military history and the history of science, religion, and technology. He has been teaching at Penn. College since 2005.

Vinay Bahl
Associate Professor, Sociology

Vinay Bahl

Bahl has taught sociology at Penn College since 1996. She earned her doctorate from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1991. In 2002-2003 she was invited as a visiting scholar to the College De France, Paris. She was a visiting scholar at Amsterdam's International Institute of Asian Studies in 2004. Bahl has published three books (one co-edited), five book chapters and numerous articles (in various international journals) on subjects that include industrialization, the working class, Subaltern Studies (also translated for a journal in Germany), the caste system, the women's movement, music, South Asian women's clothes and Third World Women.

Debra Bechtel
Program Specialist Human Services

Billie A. Coffman
Associate Professor, Early Childhood Education

Billie A. Coffman
  • Education
    • M.Ed., The Pennsylvania State University
    • B.S., Lock Haven University

Billie Coffman, Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education, was hired in 1989 as the first full-time faculty to teach the early childhood courses. She earned her Master's degree in 1988 from the Pennsylvania State University. She has completed an additional 36 credits beyond her Master's at Penn State in Child and Family Studies working toward her Ph.D. program. Since 1993, she has served as a trainer, coordinator, and developer for professional development for child care workers in the PA Central Key, an 8-county region. She is co-founder of the Central Susquehanna Association for the Education of Young Children (CSAEYC), an affiliate group of the national organization. She has presented early childhood workshops at local, regional and national conferences since 1989. In April 2001, she was presented the "Early Childhood Educator of the Year" award at the CSAEYC conference. She is a member of many professional affiliations and serves on local and regional advisory boards.

Rob Cooley
Assistant Professor, Anthropology/Environmental Science

Rob Cooley

Rob Cooley is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Environmental Science in the School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications. Rob holds a doctorate in Ecological Anthropology from the University of Georgia and a bachelor's degree in Biology from Bucknell University. Rob teaches classes ranging from environmental science to cultural anthropology and is interested in topics that center on the dynamic interaction between humans and their environment. He has been with Penn College since 2003.

Roy P. Fontaine
Professor, Psychology

Roy Fontaine has taught psychology, anthropology, and other courses in the Social Sciences and Humanities department at Penn College since 1980. He received his Ph.D. in 1985 from the University of Georgia in biological psychology with an emphasis on primatology (the behavior and evolution of the non-human primates). Fontaine has done field studies in Panama, Peru, Guatemala, and southern Florida on New World monkeys. These field studies have resulted in several journal articles and book chapters. In recent years Dr. Fontaine has been an active participant in the National Science Foundation (NSF) Chautauqua program and the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (CTNS) summer seminar series at Oxford University.

Nancy A. Grausam
Assistant Professor, Education/Early Childhood Education

 Nancy A. Grausam
  • Education
    • M.Ed., Rutgers University
    • B.S., Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Michaeleen McNamara
Instructor, Temporary Full-time Faculty

Craig Miller
Assistant Professor, History

My name is Dr. Craig Miller, and I joined the Social Sciences and Humanities department in 2011. I earned my Ph.D. in History from the University at Buffalo, with specialties in Native American History, Atlantic History and Constitutional and Legal History. I teach both History and Political Science courses here at the College. In my history courses, I encourage students to focus on the relationships between human beings and the environment, and the ways in which those relationships have changed (or remained constant) over time. I view the study of History as a conversation; an ongoing dialogue about the past and the ways the past can help us to better understand our present and plan for the future. My goal is to include my students in the conversation in order to expose them not only to the rich diversity of history, but also to explore the processes historians utilize to write and produce history. In my Political Science courses, my goal is to help students understand the structures and processes of federal, state and local government, so that they can more fully participate in the truly unique democratic society the United States has become. I am very excited to be a part of the distinctive academic culture here at Penn College.

Abdul Pathan
Professor, Economics

Abdul Pathan holds a Ph. D. in Economics from University of Houston as well as two Master's degrees, one from Dhaka University and one from Williams College in Massachusetts. His areas of expertise include: international economics, macro and microeconomics, economics education, and development economics. Dr. Pathan has presented numerous papers at various national and international conferences and has been published in various conference proceedings.

Richard Sahn
Instructor, Psychology/Sociology

Richard Sahn

During this past year I've attended meetings of the Pennsylvania Sociological Society and the Association for Humanist Sociology (AHS). At the AHS in Santa Fe last November, I presented a paper on welfare in American society today. In the presentation, I discussed the adverse reaction most middle and working class Americans seem to have towards "welfare mothers," citing my own experience as a case worker in New York City. In the last two years, I presented a paper, also at the AHS, on the "conspiracy theories" related to 9/11. In the summer of 2010, I attended a workshop at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY on shamanism in South America, led by the author of "Confessions of an Economic Hitman," John Perkins. This past summer I attended an Omega workshop led by James Van Prague and others on evidence for life after death through medium contact with spirit guides, presentations that related significantly to my Science and Religion and Death and Dying courses.

Susan R. Slamka
Assistant Professor, Human Services/Psychology

Susan R. Slamka, Psy.D
  • Education
    • Psy. D., Central Michigan University
    • M.A., Central Michigan University
    • B.A., Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

Susan Slamka is assistant professor of psychology and human services at the Pennsylvania College of Technology. She is adviser to the honor society for two-year students, Phi Theta Kappa, and is the social sciences representative on the Transfer and Articulation Oversight Committee. She teaches a range of courses including General Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Abnormal Child Psychology, Behavior Modification, Fundamentals of Counseling, Introduction to Human Services, Theories and Practices of Groups, Human Services Internships I & II, Special Populations in Human Services, and Contemporary Issues in Human Services. Before teaching at Penn College, Professor Slamka was assistant professor of psychology and human services at Lyndon State College in Vermont. She earned a B.A. in Psychology from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and an M.A. and Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from Central Michigan University with special focuses on the treatment of children and women's issues. Her current professional interests include studying parent-child counseling approaches and children's psychological disorders. She has been teaching at Penn College since 2001.

Tom A. Zimmerman
Associate Professor, Psychology

Tom Zimmerman is an associate professor of psychology at the Pennsylvania College of Technology. He teaches a range of courses including General Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Neuropsychology, Theories of Personality and Psychotherapy, and Introduction to Cinema. A licensed psychologist, Tom worked at the Divine Providence Community Mental Health Center for ten years prior to accepting a full-time faculty position at Penn College in 1984. He earned degrees at the Williamsport Area Community College, Lycoming College (B.A., Psychology) and Bucknell University (M.A., Psychology); he has completed graduate coursework at the Pennsylvania State University. Tom enlisted in the United States Navy in 1970 and served on active duty and in Navy Reserve assignments as a clinical psychologist until his retirement from the Naval Reserves in July 2001. His professional interests include family psychology and post traumatic stress disorder.

Ask Me About

  • The Psychology Minor at Penn College
  • Topics in Developmental Psychology
  • Mental Health and Clinical Psychology
  • Psychology in Pre-K 12 Schools
  • Military Psychology/Psychologists
  • Psychology in Film/Movies

Recent Activities

  • During the month of June 2011, Tom attended professional development seminars in Corning, NY (Brief Strategic Treatment of Anxiety Disorders) and Harrisburg, PA (Neuropsychology).

Memberships

  • Eastern Psychological Association
  • Pennsylvania School Boards Association
  • National School Boards Association

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