WCU Spotlight

Creating a Shared Vision at WCU

Creating a Shared Vision at WCU

We—the faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends of West Chester University—are proud that WCU is among the top regional comprehensive public universities in the country. Now our academic community is collaborating to move WCU to its next level. Creating our university’s shared vision for the future will be a multifaceted, multiyear process involving us all.

Since taking office in March 2009, I have been meeting on campus and in the community with a great many of you to learn about your interests, concerns, achievements, and goals for West Chester University. At these meetings, in other formal and informal discussions, and through our electronic idea box—WCU Ideas Online—you have shared your dreams and suggestions for WCU's future. I have been finding significant consensus among your views and have also learned that my own observations, beliefs, and interests are well aligned with yours.

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Shared Vision Website

Joe Wendle, ’12

Joe Wendle

West Chester University second baseman Joe Wendle (Lincoln University, Pa./Avon Grove) was taken by the Cleveland Indians in the sixth round with the 203rd overall pick of the 2012 MLB Entry Draft Tuesday.

“I’m excited for this opportunity,” Wendle said when reached by phone shortly after watching his name scroll across the draft tracker. “It was a little earlier than I had expected. But, I’m just excited to have the chance to play at the next level.”

Wendle is the highest drafted West Chester baseball player since John Mabry was taken in the sixth round by the St. Louis Cardinals with the 155th overall pick in the 1991 draft. Wendle, who received his bachelor’s degree in Pre-Physical Therapy on May 12, capped a very busy week with his selection in the MLB draft. Wendle helped the Golden Rams capture the school’s first national championship on Saturday night with a 9-0 victory over Delta State (Miss).

“Surreal is really the only word I can think of to describe it,” Wendle commented. “I was fishing at the time. I guess you could say I was a little nervous just because I didn’t know where or when I was going to go.”

Wendle is the third West Chester player to be drafted in the last six years. Left-handed pitcher Frank Gailey was a 23rd-round pick by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2007, and Wendle’s former teammate Bob Stumpo, was taken in the 33rd round by the Philadelphia Phillies.

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Eric Broadbent, ’08

Eric Broadbent

Former West Chester University track & field All-American Eric Broadbent was selected to represent the United States in the Pan-American Combined Events Cup during the Memorial Day weekend.

Hosted in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, the first-ever meet brought together athletes from 10 countries to compete in the heptathlon and decathlon events.

In his first international competition, Broadbent placed second overall with a score of 7,498 points in the decathlon, falling just short of his personal best of 7,750 set at the Mt. SAC Relays decathlon in California in April. Competing against athletes from the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Cuba, Broadbent won three events on the first day (long jump, high jump, 400m) and placed second in another (100m) to lead the competition at the end of day one of the decathlon.

Broadbent, in his first competition wearing a USA jersey, was the top American in the competition. Next up for the 2008 West Chester University graduate will be the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, on June 22-23.

He will be the second former Golden Rams All-American to earn a trip to the U.S. Olympic Trials. Former swimming national champion Jackie Borkowski will also be vying for a spot on the 2012 U.S. national team at the swimming trials to be held later this month.

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Caitlin Mahon, ’10

Caitlin Mahon

Caitlin Mahon, a class of 2010 communication studies alumna and a graduate student in higher educational counseling, is the first runner-up in the Miss Philadelphia pageant, held in April.

She is the graduate assistant for student staffing at Sykes Student Union. As an undergraduate, she was a sister of Alpha Phi Sorority, a leadership consultant, an orientation leader, and was involved in many other campus organizations.

"West Chester has given me so much in terms of personal development and growth. The faculty and staff are extremely invested in seeing the students here succeed. I had an amazing four years as an undergrad at West Chester and loved it so much I decided to come back for grad school! Because of West Chester, I've learned to embrace new opportunities with excitement and confidence. Choosing West Chester has been the best decision I've ever made!"

Words of advice to prospective students
"Number one, come here! It's seriously such an amazing place and has everything you need to have an incredible college experience. Number two, get involved! It was through my involvement in college that I was able to form lasting friendships with not only my peers, but with faculty and staff. College really is what you make of it. I encourage all of you to challenge yourselves to take risks, join different clubs and organizations, and create memories that you will look back on forever. Four years goes fast… so cram in as much as you can!"

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Counselor Education

Leonard B. Altieri III, Senior

Leonard B. Altieri III

West Chester senior Leonard B. Altieri III considers one of his major accomplishments to be "having the honor and privilege to take part in the interviews for the positions of presidents at Lock Haven, IUP, East Stroudsburg and Slippery Rock Universities."

He participated in those interviews as the student representative on the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education's Board of Governors, a position he held since July 2010 and for which he was recently recognized. Led by Chair Guido M. Pichini, the Board unanimously adopted a resolution honoring Altieri at their April meeting. The resolution noted that the political science major from Newtown Square, Pa., "has been an outstanding ambassador for the State System in a variety of settings, including during two appearances before the state Senate Appropriations Committee."

Altieri was also the first student in the almost 30-year history of the State System to serve on the PASSHE Finance, Administration and Facilities Committee that is responsible for writing the overall $1.5 billion dollar budget for the system.

Elected as a sophomore to serve as Student Government Association president in his junior year, he was also a student senator and played a key role on West Chester's Middle-States Re-Accreditation Self Study and Strategic Planning committees.

Altieri is currently working part time as the Chester County campaign coordinator for state Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi. He will take the position full time after graduating, working for Council of Trustees member Christine Costello '05.

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PASSHE Website

Angela T. Clarke, Psychology

Angela T. Clarke

Dr. Clarke, an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Pennsylvania licensed psychologist, joined the West Chester University faculty in 2007. In 2008, she was awarded a National Institute of Mental Health grant (NIMH K23) totaling nearly $600,000 for a project entitled, Application of Action Research to Develop an After-school Preventive Intervention. This highly competitive 5-year grant is the first NIMH K23 ever awarded to a WCU faculty member. Dr. Clarke's research focuses on the use of community partnership approaches for developing sustainable, community-based interventions to prevent mental health disorders among youth living in multiple-risk neighborhoods. Her current NIMH project involves adapting an evidence-based depression prevention program for African American adolescents exposed to the chronic stress of urban poverty and evaluating its effectiveness when delivered in the novel setting of a neighborhood after-school program.

Dr. Clarke is a member of the editorial advisory board for the journal School Psychology Review, and she is an ad hoc reviewer for several other research journals. Also, she has co-authored numerous peer-reviewed articles and conference presentations, including several with West Chester University students and collaborators from the surrounding region, such as colleagues from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the community-based health promotion agency, To Our Children's Future With Health. Dr. Clarke's research and teaching is consistently guided by a desire to train students to be prepared to work with individuals experiencing a range of stressful life events.

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Department of Psychology

Monica Zimmerman, Management

Monica Zimmerman

Monica Zimmerman, PhD, CPA teaches entrepreneurship, business policy/strategic management at the graduate and undergraduate levels. She has published and presented many studies addressing the management teams, legitimacy, and initial public offerings (IPOs) of early stage companies. Her research has been published in top academic journals including the Academy of Management Review, Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of Small Business Management, and Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. Dr. Zimmerman also serves as the Director of the Dr. Edwin Cottrell Entrepreneurial Leadership Center at West Chester University. The Cottrell Center promotes entrepreneurship literacy and provides experiential learning opportunities for West Chester University students by assisting Pennsylvania based early stage and small companies.

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Department of Management

Jeff Sommers, English

Jeff Sommers

The National Two-Year College English Association (TYCA) was pleased to announce the winner of the 2012 Nell Ann Pickett Service Award, Jeff Sommers, West Chester University, Pennsylvania, for his outstanding dedication, service, and leadership. This award was presented at the Conference on College Composition and Communication Annual Convention in St. Louis on March 23, 2012.

Sommers is currently the editor of the TYCA journal, Teaching English in the Two-Year College, and has published books on portfolio assessment and reading and writing across the diverse contexts. He has also authored numerous articles for English teachers at the two-year college level. Much of his work has a national reach and speaks to his inclusive vision as a teacher and scholar. He has been an active committee member serving on the Two-Year College English Association and the Conference on College Composition and Communication Executive Committees, NCTE's College Section Steering Committee, served as chair of the Richard Ohmann Award Committee (2000-02), and the TYCA Scholarship in the Two-Year College Committee (2009-10). While at Miami University he received the Knox Teaching Award (2004-05) and also the College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Educator Award (1993).

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Department of English

Michael Richards, Junior

Sandra Fowkes Godek

There are only five college fraternity and sorority students in the United States who are being recognized this year by HazingPrevention.Org for taking a stand against hazing. One is West Chester University junior Michael Richards.

A political science major and member of Sigma Pi fraternity, Richards was honored with the Hank Nuwer Anti-Hazing Hero Award for challenging hazing by questioning the pledge-education process. "Even though I am receiving this prestigious award, I do not see myself as a hero. I see myself as a fraternity man who is called to follow my chapter's ritual," he said.

This is not Richards' first honor: He was named the 2010 Outstanding New Member of the Year for the WCU Greek Community, and was just notified in March that he will serve as a summer student leader intern at the North-American Interfraternity Conferences 2012 Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute. He also was selected to be a mentor for their "Future Quests" national program, a position he was invited to seek by NAIC organizers, which took place over winter break.

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Sandra Fowkes Godek, Health Sciences

Sandra Fowkes Godek

Dr. Sandra Fowkes Godek, the director of the HEAT Institute, is a professor of sports medicine at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Her research on thermoregulation, hydration and electrolyte replacement in football players has attracted national attention. After the heat stroke death of Minnesota Vikings player Cory Stringer, Dr. Fowkes Godek appeared on MSNBC as an expert on heat illness in football players and was interviewed by Brian Williams. CBS news correspondent Byron Pitts visited the West Chester University campus to film a story about the silicone-encased internal body temperature sensors that members of the HEAT Institute use in field research. When Byron Pitts asked Philadelphia Eagles lineman Hollis Thomas how significant he thought the sensors were for football players like him, the lineman answered, “Keep us from dying.”

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HEAT Institute

Dan DePalma, Class of ’11

Dan DePalma

Former West Chester University football player, Dan DePalma ('11), wins Super Bowl title with the NFL New York Giants. The former All-PSAC wide receiver for the Golden Rams, signed on with the New York Giants practice squad back in September. DePalma spent the season with the Giants practice squad and once playoff time came he was able to play a crucial role with the team. On February 5, 2012 DePalma was a part of something that few professional football players have the honor of experiencing, a Super Bowl championship. The Giants defeated the New England Patriots 21-17 in Super Bowl XLVI. DePalma is the third West Chester University alumni football player to win a Super Bowl ring.

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Kevin Mann, Junior

Kevin Mann

Kevin Mann of West Chester is working for the state Senate Democratic Research Office as part of a 15-week internship sponsored by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE).

Mann is a junior international relations major and peace and conflict studies minor at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. He is one of 14 students participating in The Harrisburg Internship Semester (THIS) program, which provides students the opportunity to work in all areas of state government while earning a full semester's worth of credits. THIS invites students from each of the 14 PASSHE universities to participate.

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Jeffrey Osgood, Political Science

Jeffrey Osgood

Jeffrey L. Osgood Jr., a WCU political scientist with expertise in public administration, policy analysis and program evaluation is included among an elite group of scholars in the Fulbright Specialists Roster, a national program which places leaders from higher education and industry in global collaborations that strengthen the positions of U.S. institutions.

As a Fulbright Specialists Roster candidate, assistant professor Jeffery L. Osgood Jr. is eligible for consideration and selection for two- to six-week grant opportunities through the Specialists Program. For up to five years, he will remain a candidate until he is matched with a request from an overseas host institution.

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Jackie Borkowski, Class of ’10

Jackie Borkowski

Former West Chester University standout swimmer, Jackie Borkowski ('10), qualified for the 2012 Olympic Trials during the USA Swimming Austin Grand Prix at the Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center on the campus of University of Texas.

Borkowski, swimming the 50-meter freestyle, turned in a time of 26.32 seconds in the preliminaries and then bettered that in the consolation finals with a 26.29 that placed her 13th overall in a star-studded field. The Olympic Trial cutoff time was 26.39.

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Ann Rizer & Alicia Hahn, Student Health Services

Ann Rizer & Alicia Hahn

This semester, Ann Rizer, Nurse Practitioner, researched, developed, and trained the Student Health Services (SHS) staff in the depression screening program specific for the West Chester University students and the health services setting. The impetus to create this program evolved as a result of the SHS staff’s recognition and desire to enhance their ability to identify students who are depressed and to assist them to obtain the appropriate resources to manage their depression. The new screening program is the result of collaboration between the Student Health Services, the Office of Wellness Education and the Counseling and Psychological Center and many pilot studies.

Also implemented is a Self Care Consult in collaboration with the Office of Wellness Education. The consultation curriculum was developed by Alicia Hahn, Assistant Coordinator of Wellness Education. Alicia works with students to set goals to improve areas of their life like getting more sleep, exercising more, time management, and stress management.

Ann Rizer is a nurse practitioner who provides primary care services within the Student Health Services. Ann earned a Masters in Health Sciences of Administration from Central Michigan University as well as a Masters in Nursing and Nurse Practitioner Certification from the Mississippi University for Women and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Carlow College.

At the Office of Wellness Education, Alicia supervises a group of undergraduate peer educators, develops health promotion programs, manages the Student Health Services social media sites, and writes and edits the Stall Seat Journal. Alicia Hahn earned her MS in Higher Education Counseling and Student Affairs from West Chester University and her BA in Psychology from Lycoming College.

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Student Health Services

Christine Yim, Senior

Christine Yim

Christine Yim is currently a senior from Lancaster, PA. She is majoring in Nutrition and Health Sciences. Christine is a Resident Assistant at the Village and is also a member of the 2011-2012 Student Leadership Challenge. She is planning on pursuing a career in Higher Education and Student Affairs due to the large impact being a Resident Assistant has had on her life. “Being a Resident Assistant and having the opportunity to work with those that I have, really opened my eyes to this field of work. I would be honored to have the chance to make a difference on a college campus every single day as my supervisors, Austin Duckett and Melissa Mullins, have done so far.”

Words for prospective students:
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” -- Mark Twain. Take every opportunity that is given to you, become involved, make your college experience one where you can always look back and say you did everything you could.

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Student Affairs

Jennifer Bunk, Associate Professor

Jennifer Bunk

When workers experience rudeness in the workplace, it can cause decreased job satisfaction, decreased commitment to the organization, and increased turnover. Psychologist Jennifer Bunk should know. She's one of the researchers, nationally, who has documented this phenomenon. But now, Bunk is about to muddy the waters. It turns out that not all incivility is a bad thing.

In November, Bunk, an associate professor at West Chester, and two of her graduate students in the Industrial Organizational Psychology Master’s program– Marc Prine and Brian Klinger – presented their research exploring the positive, as well as the negative, emotions generated by workplace incivility or rudeness at the Work, Stress and Health 2009 conference in Puerto Rico.

“We’ve shown the negative responses to rudeness, like anger and loss of commitment to the organization,” says Bunk. “Those are reactions you'd expect. But we wanted to open this up to explore the range of emotional reactions people might report experiencing, and we actually did find some positive ones.”

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Department of Psychology

Christian Penny, Associate Professor

Christian Penny

Confused by all the apps you could possibly download to your iPad or smart phone? Even some of today’s tech-savvy college students are stymied by the sheer volume of applications for their mobile devices, says Christian Penny, associate professor of educational technology at West Chester University.

Of the sophomores in one of his classes, Penny says, “None are more excited about technology than I am, and some are as apprehensive as my father. Technology can be intimidating to some people,” but, he adds, “I’ve always been interested in what’s next.”

Penny has fun with today’s technology – and it’s all part of his job. In his role in West Chester’s Professional and Secondary Education department, he has to stay current on new technology that can transform the way students and teachers learn and teach, as well as the way they interact and collaborate.

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College of Education

Josh Bills, Senior

Josh Bills

Most people are surprised to learn that Josh Bills is an employee at the Women's Center at West Chester University. Josh is a Criminal Justice major and President of Sigma Phi Epsilon who first became interested in gender issues after taking a Women's Studies course taught by Dr. Simon Ruchti. In this class, he learned that boys and men are socialized to engage in behaviors that promote a culture of violence. Josh decided that he wanted to promote healthier expressions of masculinity, which made him just the sort of person that Dr. Adale Sholock, director of the Women’s Center, was looking to hire. Josh is working with Sean Martin, another male student employee of the Women’s Center, to develop a men's anti-violence program aimed at preventing sexual assault and rape. This program will provide men with the skills and knowledge needed to play an active role in preventing sexual assault and violence against women. Josh explained that, “In order for positive change to occur, men need to embrace their power to combat stereotypes and behaviors that can harm both male and female students.”

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WCU Women’s Center

Michael Brune, Class of ’93

Michael Brune

Michael Brune, a 1993 graduate of West Chester University and Executive Director of the national Sierra Club, the nation's oldest environmental organization - gave the keynote address at the Third Annual Energy Forum: Strategies for a Sustainable Future on March 16, at West Chester University.

The event was sponsored by the University's Sustainability Advisory Council; Chester County Citizens for Climate Protection and the Chester County Sierra Club. More than 300 people filled two of the ballrooms in the University's Sykes Student Union for the free presentation.

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Mohammed Tamzid Hossain, Senior

Mohammed Tamzid Hossain

Mohammed Tamzid Hossain is a senior from Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is an international student majoring in Cell and Molecular Biology. Tamzid is a Resident Assistant at the Village, Founding Father of Delta Chi Fraternity, Orientation Leader, and a member of the Student Leadership Project Team. He is also currently conducting research with Dr. Xin Fan on mice using Haemophilus influenzae virus mimicking Pneumonia in the human body. Tamzid enjoys being involved on campus, being part of a brotherhood that gives back to the community, being a paraprofessional, and aspires to make a difference in peoples' lives every day.

Words of advice to prospective students:
"All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them." – Walt Disney. Study hard, get involved, make friends, and enjoy yourself. Make sure to your Golden Ram experience is a memorable one. Be relentless and stay on your feet!

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New Student Programs

Swope Music Building LEED Certified

Swope Music Building

In Mid-April, faculty, students and administrators gathered in the Swope Music Building and The Performing Arts Center to celebrate its LEED Silver certification and the subsequent receipt of a commemorative plaque. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized green building certification system.

To earn this prestigious designation, the music building and performing arts center incorporated a number of "green building" features into its construction, including the selection of construction materials that took into account indoor air quality, the use of a high percentage of recycled materials, a high efficiency conventional fuel source for heating and cooling, spectrally selective glazing at all windows facing south, east or west, low-cutoff lighting; and low-flow fixtures in all rest rooms.

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Sustainability at WCU

Michael Jendzurski, Junior

Michael Jendzurski

Michael Jendzurski, a West Chester University junior from Oaks, Pa., has been named one of the inaugural Campus Compact Newman Civic Fellows for his community engagement. Nationwide, only 135 student leaders received this honor.

College and university presidents from 30 states nominated the most promising student leaders who demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country. Through service, research and advocacy, these Newman Civic Fellows are making the most of their college experiences to better understand themselves, the root causes of social issues, and effective mechanisms for creating lasting change.

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Sherita Rooney, Senior

Sherita Rooney

If Sherita Rooney only had to worry about writing papers and acing exams, her college life would be a breeze.

But Rooney, a senior at West Chester University in Pennsylvania, has the extra stress of getting her 5-year-old and 14-year-old off to school, picking them up at the end of the day, running to piano and ballet lessons, making sure their homework gets done before they're fed and bathed, and only then can she sneak off to a coffee shop to study until 2 a.m.

Then she gets to do it all over again the next day.

Rooney is one of about 3.9 million student parents working on their undergraduate degrees in the United States. Nearly half those students are single parents and work full-time jobs, according to a 2011 report by the Institute for Women's Policy Research.

While it can be a nightmare to squeeze in class, work and parenting responsibilities in a single day, the students somehow manage their chaotic schedules.

“It’s crazy,” laughs Rooney while describing her daily routine. “You probably wouldn't even believe it.”

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Full Article on CNN.com

Kevin Guskiewicz, Class of '89

Kevin Guskiewicz

Kevin Guskiewicz, a 1989 West Chester graduate with a bachelor's in athletic training, is among this year's MacArthur Fellows. A neuroscientist whose research has focused on the seriousness of long-term effects of sports-related concussions, he was on campus in December to give the mid-year commencement address to undergraduates.

Informally referred to as "the genius grant," the prestigious MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to individuals who meet three criteria for selection: exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work.

Guskiewicz is a researcher and athletic trainer who has made major advances in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of sports-related concussions. Each year, approximately 3.8 million athletes in the United States experience mild traumatic brain injuries, or concussions. The danger of sports-related concussions, particularly among pro-football players, has become a hot topic.

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Department of Sports Medicine

Driana Rai Jones, Multicultural Recruitment

Driana Rai Jones

Driana Rai Jones is a Senior from Philadelphia, PA. She is an Elementary Education major who attended Springfield Township High School. She is a member of the Gospel Choir, Precise Modeling, Black Student Union, and the Multicultural Recruitment Team. She enjoys volunteering, writing, hanging with friends at Goshen Hall and pursuing happiness and success!

Words of advice for prospective students:
“Get involved! Get involved! Get Involved! It's not hard to get out there and join organizations. There are over 200 clubs. It's a great way to make friends, make connections and fill up all that free time college students have. College is more than just classes!”

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Multicultural Recruitment Team Website

Sal Alfano, Master of Social Work

Sal Alfano

Sal Alfano is a graduate of West Chester University’s Graduate Social Work Program, earning his Master of Social Work in 2007. After graduation, he took a position as a Clinical Therapist at St. Gabriel’s Hall, a residential treatment facility in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. While at St. Gabriel’s Hall, Sal completed a post-graduate certificate program in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine under the direction of Dr. Arthur Freeman. Sal also earned his License in Clinical Social Work during his tenure at the Hall.

Sal is the new Clinical Coordinator of Family Based Mental Health Services at Holcomb Behavioral Health Systems. Sal maintains an office in Holcomb’s Kennett Square and Exton, Pennsylvania locations. Sal and his teams of clinicians provide intensive, in-home and in-community individual and family therapy from an ecosystemic perspective to diverse populations throughout Chester County. Sal also sees clients at a private practice in West Chester in order that he might continue to develop his direct practice clinical skills.

Sal maintains that West Chester University was an important part of his professional development and is pleased to again work with Chester County residents. “West Chester truly prepared me for a career in community mental health. The classes were well taught and relevant.”

“Perhaps most importantly, the professors were themselves individuals who had worked in advocacy, community organizing, teaching, research and direct practice. In effect, these are real social workers teaching their craft to future generations of social workers. All of this at an attractive price point makes West Chester a unique value among institutions of higher learning in the Delaware Valley.”

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Graduate Studies Testimonials

Hyoejin Yoon, Faculty Associate for TLA

Hyoejin Yoon

As the Faculty Associate for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment (TLA), Hyoejin Yoon supports student learning outcomes assessment across campus, and manages the TLAC Website, which provides resources for the daily work of teaching, learning, and assessment by faculty and staff. She also provides leadership and support for various faculty committees that focus on related concerns, including the Pedagogy for Engagement Committee, New Faculty Orientation Committee, the University Assessment Advisory Committee, and the Faculty Mentoring Committee.

An associate professor in the English department, Dr. Yoon has taught a range of undergraduate and graduate courses and has published in the areas of writing, composition studies, theory, Asian American studies, research, and pedagogy. She received her Ph.D. in English from the University of Albany, State University of New York, and her M.A., B.A., and B.S. from Virginia Tech.

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TLAC Website

Chris Franklin, Class of ’87

Chris Franklin

Most of us take the availability of clean drinking water in our homes for granted, but not Chris Franklin ’87, whose company delivers billions of gallons of water every day to three million customers in 14 states.

Franklin is a regional president for Aqua America charged with operating 10 out of the 14 states where the company serves. In that role, he oversees more than $250 million of revenue and is faced with the challenge of balancing the cost of delivering high quality water with the need to make sure this most critical natural resource is clean and affordable.

“We own the infrastructure for the collection, purification, and delivery, but the water is really owned by the people – in the case of Pennsylvania, by the Commonwealth,” notes Franklin. “We are really stewards of the water and the environment.”

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Alumni Resources

Jane Kenney, Professional & Secondary Education

Jane Kenney

Jane was given a Provost Research Initiatives grant to expand the use of a blended or hybrid learning approach in her large-sized, undergraduate, introductory education course. Blended instruction uses a combination of face-to-face, faculty-to-student, interaction and online learning activities. Research is finding that this blended approach to delivering instruction can result in increased student interest, involvement, and performance and make education more interactive and dynamic if used in support of good teaching practices (Lin, 2007; Martyn, 2003).

In 2009 Jane received a WCU Faculty Development Committee grant to receive training on hybrid instruction, and to pilot test a blended instructional approach in one unit of her educational psychology course. Based on the positive outcomes of the pilot test, she is using the Provost Research Initiatives grant to continue training and to expand the hybrid approach into other units of the course. The impact on student learning is being evaluated, and the Jane has been sharing her experiences developing and implementing this instructional method with other interested faculty through mentoring, presentations, and publications.

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College of Education

Mitch Goldfarb, Kinesiology

Mitch Goldfarb

Professor Goldfarb of the WCU’s Kinesiology Department is fascinated by the phrase “Do Less - Achieve More”, one of the backbones of T’ai Chi’s Taoist philosophy. He’s investigated the benefits of practicing an exercise that elevates laziness to an art form. T’ai Chi is a wonderful mind-body exercise of renewal for spirit and energy that has the potential to be life changing.

“If you enjoy Yoga or Pilates,” Professor Goldfarb says, “T’ai Chi will enhance and improve your practice, promoting mental well-being and physical strength. Vitality, relaxation, tranquility, enhanced personal creativity and sense of purpose are just the beginning of the gifts this ancient art has to offer.”

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College of Health Sciences

Chris Hanning, Applied Music

Chris Hanning

In March, Dr. Chris Hanning and seven students from the WCU Percussion Ensemble traveled to Costa Rica to present two concerts. Dr. Hanning also conducted a master class with students from the music conservatory and presented a clinic on drumset techniques. The ensemble was featured in the national newspaper, and Dr. Hanning was interviewed for a San Jose radio station.

This exchange would not have been possible without the generous support of the Provost Research Initiatives grant, President Weisenstein, Dr. Gopal Sankaran and the Office of International Studies, College of Visual and Performing Arts Dean Timothy Blair, the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, and Costa Rica's Centro Nacional de la Música.

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College of Visual & Performing Arts

Stefani Yorges, Psychology

Stefani Yorges

Dr. Yorges received funds to participate in a distance education course on executive coaching. With greater expertise in this popular and growing field, she anticipates being able to offer courses on executive coaching at WCU (online/distance, summer workshops, or regular semester offerings). She expects that students enrolled in both the Industrial/Organizational Master's Program and the MBA Program at WCU will be interested in this type of course. Furthermore, Dr. Yorges anticipate that there will be interested individuals outside the University who would be interested in taking the course through distance education.

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College of Arts & Sciences