New Faculty Bring Diverse Experience to Penn College Classrooms

Published 12.07.2005

Faculty & Staff

Over the past two years, new faculty joining the teaching staff at Pennsylvania College of Technology have brought diverse backgrounds many with fascinating experience to the classroom and the community.

The faculty members' collective experience in the industries they now teach is a valuable component of learning for Penn College students.

With 14 additions for the 2004-05 academic year and 23 new faces for 2005-06 some new positions due to increasing enrollment and some the result of retirements or resignations full-time faculty at Penn College now number 293.

Steven R. Parker joined the faculty in the School of Natural Resources in Fall 2004 as an instructor of environmental technology. Before coming to Penn College, he was an environmental manager for American Indian tribes. Through the Indian Country Environmental Hazard Assessment Project, he continues to visit American Indian tribes during the summer to help them assess and resolve environmental problems. He was appointed to ICEHAP, which is sponsored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the federal Environmental Protection Agency and Harvard School of Public Health.

Parker holds master's and bachelor's degrees in nuclear engineering from the University of Arizona and completed all the requirements but the dissertation for a doctorate in environmental science education at Arizona State University. He is a former faculty member at Central Arizona College.

Kenneth P. Dytrt became an instructor of automotive technology in the School of Transportation Technology in Fall 2004. Dytrt spent 20 years working for Ford Motor Co and taught at Southwest Tennessee Community College. He is Automotive Service Excellence-certified as are all of Penn College's automotive faculty and is a National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation evaluator.

Dytrt worked as a mechanic while earning a bachelor's degree in geology from Memphis State University in Tennessee, then earned two master's degrees from Webster University in St. Louis.

William J. Astore, an associate professor of history who joined the faculty this fall, will use Penn College's technology focus to combine his doctorate in modern history with a master's degree in the history of science and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. He has taught at the Air Force Academy and, most recently, was associate provost and dean of students at the Defense Language Institute, Foreign Language Center, but he was eager to return to the classroom.

Astore holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford, a master's degree from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor's degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Also returning from administrative roles to full-time teaching is Gerri F. Luke, assistant professor of management/marketing in the School of Business and Computer Technologies. Luke held the position of dean at Franklin Pierce College and Daniel Webster College, both in New Hampshire, and at Curry College in Massachusetts before coming to Penn College in Fall 2004.

Luke holds a doctorate in leadership in higher education administration from the University of Massachusetts/Boston.

Charles Duvel, assistant professor of building construction management in the School of Construction and Design Technologies, came to Penn College for the Fall 2005 semester from a full-time teaching position at Southern Illinois University. He holds a doctorate in architecture from the University of Florida and worked as a project manager for several Florida firms before founding his own company.

The new faculty members also include a crop of accomplished Penn College graduates. Among them is Brady L. Breon, an instructor in the paramedic technology major. Breon was named Pennsylvania's Paramedic of the Year for 2005 by the state Emergency Health Services Council. He also earned degrees from the University of St. Francis. He has more than 20 years' experience in pre-hospital services and has trained paramedic students and emergency-service providers.

In the School of Hospitality, alumnus Charles R. Niedermyer came on board this fall to share with students his experience as an assistant pastry chef at the Ritz-Carlton Tyson's Corner luxury hotel in Virginia, as well as at other fine restaurants. He is an instructor of baking and pastry arts.

Three more alumni, Garret L. Graff, Stephen D. Manbeck and Todd S. Woodling, have joined the faculty in the School of Construction and Design Technologies. Both Manbeck and Graff continued their education at The Pennsylvania State University, spent time in industry, and then became secondary-school teachers before taking teaching positions at Penn College in Fall 2005. Graff is an instructor of building construction technology; Manbeck is an instructor of HVAC technology.

Woodling followed his degree from Williamsport Area Community College, a Penn College predecessor, with an engineering bachelor's degree from the College of New Jersey. He spent 18 years working in industry as an engineer and is following the footsteps of his parents, both educators. His father retired from Penn College as a professor of mathematics. Woodling is pursuing a master's degree in education from Wilkes University. He became an instructor of building automation technology in Fall 2004.

Penn College graduate Paul P. Nasados is a new instructor of civil engineering technology. He continued his education at Penn State to earn professional engineer credentials and has worked primarily as a bridge/structural engineer in private firms, as well as for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Also joining the civil engineering faculty in Fall 2005 is David J. Slavish, an instructor of civil engineering technology and a Penn State graduate. A certified professional engineer, Slavish's specialty is surveying. Before joining the faculty, he was transportation engineer for the Maryland State Highway Administration.

For more information about Penn College and its academic programs, call toll-free (800) 367-9222, send e-mail or visit online .