Penn State Shenango honors employee achievements

Penn State Shenango brick sign with yellow, green, and red trees in background

Penn State Shenango employees have created and collaborated on projects that span publications, presentations, awards, grants and by completing professional development opportunities throughout the 2021-22 academic year. 

Credit: Penn State

SHARON, Pa. — During the 2021-22 academic year, Penn State Shenango employees have been celebrated within their disciplines, at the campus and throughout the University. These accomplishments span awards, certifications, promotions, presentations, large-scale projects, grants, publications and service to the community and Penn State.

Awards and grants

  • Roxanne Atterholt, assistant teaching professor

    • Awarded $2,950 from Penn State Shenango’s William P. McDowell Memorial Grant to further engaged learning opportunities for students.
    • Received a $386 Teaching Communities grant from the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence at Penn State in support the Shenango teaching community to advance teaching and learning through community building.
  • Amanda Howett, athletic director
    • Named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 in the sports category for supporting the rapid development of athletic programming at Penn State Shenango.  
  • Kathy Shaffer, associate teaching professor
    • Awarded funds from Penn State Shenango’s William P. McDowell Memorial Grant in the amount of $4,000 to purchase organic chemistry equipment to expand course offerings.

Degrees and program completions

  • Roxanne Atterholt

    • Became a certified instructor for Adult Mental Health First Aid.
  • Amy Deuink, head librarian
    • Received a masters of arts in applied anthropology from Humboldt State University.
    • Completed the Creative Commons Certificate program.
  • Brooke Doerfler, strategic communications and marketing coordinator
    • Earned a masters of marketing in marketing analytics and insights from Penn State.
    • Completed Penn State’s marketing analytics graduate certificate program.


  • Lauren Altenburger, assistant professor

    • Two presentations were shared at the National Council on Family Relations titled “Resident and Non-Resident Father Involvement and the Development of Young Children's Self-Regulation in a Context of Poverty” and “Associations between Parents' Depressive Symptoms and Child Impulsivity: The Role of Psychological Aggression.”
    • "It Takes a Village: Why co-parenting matters for child development" at Penn State Shenango’s Lecture Series.
  • Elaine Andrews, associate teaching professor and assistant director of academic affairs
    • The paper titled "Revisiting the Legacy of Sadakichi Hartmann, the Japanese-German-American 'King of Bohemia’” was presented at the Annual College English Association Conference.
  • Roxanne Atterholt
    • Co-presented “Academic Witnessing within Communities of Practice” at Australian Social Learning Leaders Meeting at the University of Southern Queensland in Australia.
    • Co-presented “Leveraging Resources and Expertise: Seeking CFLE Approved Program Status Collaboratively” at the National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference.
    • “Fostering teaching, learning, and scholarship through virtual communities of practice” at the national Lilly Conference.
    • Co-presented “Shock Waves: Academic Witnessing as Resiliency Practice” at the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Commons Conference.
    • “Restorative Practices in Higher Education” at the International Institute for Restorative Practices World Conference.
    • Co-presented “Connected and Collaborating: Fostering teaching, learning and scholarship” at the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Summit.
  • Gizelle Dean, associate teaching professor
    • "Predictors of Physical Therapist Assistant Education Program Completion and NPTE-PTA Success” at the American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting. The presentation was made in collaboration with three physical therapist assistant program coordinators from Penn State.
  • Matthew DeMaria, lecturer
    • "The power of digital footprint" at Penn State Shenango’s Lecture Series.
  • Brooke Doerfler
    • Co-presented “Photography for Marketing and Web” at Penn State’s WebPros Conference with Cathy Benscoter of Penn State Beaver and Becca Dietrich of Penn State New Kensington.
  • Jennifer Jewell, associate teaching professor
    • "Habit or Thoughtful Choice?: Clinical Performance Assessment of PTA Students" with colleagues from Penn State Fayette, Mount Wachusett Community College, Clarkson College and Houston Community College.
    • Co-presented several sessions at the American Physical Therapy Combined Sections Meeting including “Teaching and Networking Communities: An Incubator To Enhance Professional Connections and Social Capital,” “Perceptions of PTA Students on the Preferred Length and Degree of Entry-Level PTA Educational Programs” and “Clinical Education Student Performance Assessment Tools: A Comparison to Ignite Change in PTA Clinical Education.” The latter was presented with student Brooke Brown.
    • Co-presented "From the Ground Up: Creating a Culture of Simulated Patient Experiences" at the Lilly Conference.
    • "Student Perceptions Related to Preparation and Completion of Clinical Education During a Global Pandemic” with Pamela Pologruto of Penn State Fayette.
  • Tiffany Petricini, assistant teaching professor
    • "Friendship in the Digital Age: Togetherness in lonely times" at Penn State Shenango’s Lecture Series.
  • Iffath Syed, assistant professor
    • "A Tale of Two Cities: The impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations in Toronto, Canada, and London, England" at Penn State Shenango’s Lecture Series.

Projects and service

  • Elaine Andrews

    • Serves as a general education scholar for Penn State’s Penn State Office for General Education to advise and lead high-impact teaching and learning practices across the University.
  • Roxanne Atterholt
    • Partnered with the Northwest Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center to offer a Pennsylvania accredited Community Health Worker training for Penn State students and the public.
  • Matt Caputo, assistant teaching professor
    • Coordinated two Undergraduate Research Fairs during the fall and the spring semesters.
    • Co-coordinating a symposium to be hosted at the Materials Science & Technology Technical Meeting. The symposium is in collaboration with colleagues Daudi Waryoba of Penn State Dubois and Ola Rashwan of Penn State Harrisburg.
  • Taylor Cole, career counselor and academic adviser
    • Created a professional attire closet for students to utilize for professional events like career fairs, interviews, and networking opportunities.
  • Carol Cowan-Crawford, lecturer
    • Co-coordinated an Education Abroad experience to London, England with A. Patricia Aguilera-Hermida of Penn State Harrisburg. The trip focused on adulthood and family topics in the human development and family studies discipline.
  • Chuck Greggs, director of enrollment
    • Co-chaired Penn State’s national Hendrick Best Practices for Adult Learners Conference with Ruth Ann Herstek of Penn State New Kensington.  
  • Billie Jean Horvath, academic adviser
    • Developed meal kits in collaboration with the Nittany Nook Food Pantry for students to utilize when away from campus.
  • Tony Paglia, campus counselor and disability coordinator
    • Coordinator of Penn State Shenango’s annual Stamp Out Stigma mental health awareness program that is free and open to the public.
    • Hosted Fresh Check Day, a mental health fair held at Penn State Shenango. The event featured interactive booths that span mental health, stigma reduction, positive coping and life skills.
  • Tiffany Petricini
    • Guest on CBC Radio One’s broadcast Spark. Petricini discussed friendship and technology.
    • Launched and advised Penn State Shenango’s new chapter of the national communication honor society Lambda Pi Eta, named Alpha Zeta Phi. The national organization notes that the chapters are communities of students
      and faculty that organize a wide variety of philanthropic, academic,
      and social programs.
  • Kathy Shaffer
    • Co-coordinated Penn State’s summer Brite program for girls interested in STEM with Penn State Harrisburg’s Mitch Spear. The program is a national program organized by the National Girls Collaborative Project and The Hello Studios. Student Chelsea Spatara assisted with Brite in partnership with Penn State’s EnvironMentors program.
    • Coordinated and developed a new course offered at Penn State Shenango, CHEM 5 Kitchen Chemistry. The course implemented EDGE programming, engaging students from Vyakta State University in Kirov, Russia, to work together on deserts, vegetarianism and the science of cooking. The class also toured and volunteered with the Community Food Warehouse of Mercer County, supporting the organization’s backpack program.
    • Co-investigator for a National Science Foundation grand awarded to promote earth, oceanic and atmospheric sciences with Penn State’s EnvironMentors program. Penn State Shenango will be one of the University’s participating locations and will work with underrepresented high school students from Sharon, Farrell, and New Castle districts.


  • Lauren Altenburger

    • Completed a book review of “The Bronfenbrenner Primer: A Guide to Develecology” by Lawrence G. Shelton. The article appeared in the Journal of Family Theory & Review and was done in collaboration with student Polina Soldatova.
    • "Resident and Non-Resident Father Involvement, Coparenting, and the Development of Children's Self-Regulation Among Families Facing Economic Hardship" in Frontiers in Psychology.
    • "Similarities and Differences between Coparenting and Parental Gatekeeping: implications for Father Involvement Research" in the Journal of Family Studies
  • Roxanne Atterholt
    • Co-authored “Leveraging Resources and Expertise: Seeking CFLE (Certified Family Life Education) Approved Program Status Collaboratively” for the National Council of Family Relations’ CFLE Network.
  • Tammy Divens, associate teaching professor
    • "Occupational Therapy Assistant Student Perceptions of Multi-site, Single Site, and Simulated Level I Fieldwork" in the Journal of Occupational Therapy Education.
    • An additional publication titled “Occupational Therapy Assistant Student Perceptions of Multi-site, Single Site, and Simulated Level I Fieldwork” has been accepted by the Journal of Occupational Therapy Education.
  • Jennifer Jewell
    • Co-authored "Transformation of the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA):  A Survey of Current Practice and Education" in the Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice.
    • Co-authored "Student perceptions of clinical education in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic" in Journal of Health and Allied Sciences.
  • Tiffany Petricini
    • Petricini’s book "Friendship and Technology:  A Philosophical Approach to Computer Mediated Communication” examines the way that technology shapes relationships with friends, and what has changed in the digital age.