Ƶapp University Experts' Guide

The Ƶapp University Experts Guide is a compilation of selected faculty who are available to provide information on a wide variety of subjects. This directory may be an informative resource for members of the news media but it is not a complete list of university experts.

All media contact with university personnel goes through the director of public relations, Debbie Morton. She can be reached at dmorton@mercyhurst.eduǰ 814-824-2552.

Cyber Security

Chris Mansour’s expertise lies in the expansive field of cyber security, spanning information security, cyber threats and attacks, computer networks, and the Internet of Things.

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Politics, Elections, & Public Opinion

Joe Morris specializes in American government and politics including elections and public opinion. As director of the Ƶapp Center for Applied Politics, he has conducted many public opinion polls since 2010.

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Competitive Intelligence & Corporate Strategy

Lindy Smart is the former director of competitive intelligence for Fortune 500 Target and has more than a decade of experience in building business cases for new corporate functions, developing new teams, and enterprise strategic planning.

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Modern American History & Democracy

Chris Magoc teaches modern American history and culture, environmental history, and public history and museums. His books include an early history of Yellowstone National Park and a post-1945 study of American democracy.

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Ethics, LBGTQ+ Diversity, & Pop Culture

Rich McCarty’s research interests lie in religious, Christian, and sexual ethics; LBGTQ+ diversity, paranormal beliefs, and popular culture.

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Civil Rights & Immigration

John Olszowka specializes in labor relations, civil rights, immigration, the Civil War, the Great Depression, and America (1850-1950).

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Intelligence & Innovation

Brian Fuller coordinates hands-on opportunities with government and the private sector for Ƶapp work in intelligence analysis and assorted innovative projects.

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Concert Dance Performance

Jennifer McNamara is a former professional ballerina and certified Pilates instructor who teaches Euro- western concert dance performance and training and healthy dancer practices.

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Branding & Corporate Identity

Jodi Staniunas Hopper teaches courses in graphic design history, computer design, vector illustration, corporate identity, and branding. She is also an author and fine artist.

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Maritime History & Flagship Niagara

Ben Scharff specializes in colonial America, the Founding Fathers, and maritime history with a special emphasis on the Flagship Niagara, where he has led numerous Ƶapp immersion experiences.

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Death & Dying

Rob von Thaden specializes in death and dying, apocalyptic/end times religion, sacred texts, history of Christianity, and American religion.

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Business Analytics

Rajkamal Kesharwani focuses his work on supply chain management, business analytics, and operations management.

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Corporate Strategy & Leadership

Kris Gossett concentrates his research in the fields of corporate strategy, general business and management, organizational behavior, and leadership.

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Sports Injuries

Robert Chetlin is engaged in sports science and research, including pitching injuries and concussion effects, exercise testing, and biohazards management with CDC training certification.

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Religion & Globalization

Verna Ehret teaches globalized religion, religion and violence, religion and the environment, Islam, and the philosophy of religion. She is specifically focused on how understanding religion affects how people promote cooperative and just societies.

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Hospitality Industry

Pete Zohos is experienced in hospitality operations, including lodging, sales, and food and beverage, having worked for industry leaders like Marriott and Hyatt as well as international organizations in the hospitality sector. He also teaches events management and food supply chain.

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Image Forensics

Larry Downey’s expertise lies in image forensics, or analyzing digital images for forgeries, signal processing, and functional analysis.

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Biomechanics & Gait Analysis

Derek Beeler focuses on gait analysis, biomechanics, 3-D motion capture, and athletic training concepts.

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Volcanoes, Earthquakes & Space Exploration

Geologist Nick Lang is on leave from Ƶapp to work for NASA’s Planetary Science Division. He is an expert in natural disasters, volcanoes, earthquakes, space exploration, and science education.

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Mental Health & Mental Illness

Gerry Tobin’s mental health interests are in the areas of counseling psychology and insight-oriented practices that can assist college-aged Ƶapps in being their best selves.

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Impact of Climate Change on Forests

Chris Dolanc specializes in environmental science, focusing on trees, plants, forest ecology, field botany, and tree-ring biology, with particular attention to how forest communities respond to climate change.

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From the Golden Age of Hollywood to the First Amendment

Former television news journalist Brian Sheridan focuses on movies, television, the Golden Age of Hollywood, social media, James Bond, pop culture, and the First Amendment. He also has a passion for mindfulness and meditation tied to internal and external communication.

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Contemporary Russia

Katie Duda’s work centers on Russian history and Soviet culture, contemporary times in Russia, the Czech Republic, and Jews in central Europe.

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Popular Music & Literature

Jeff Roessner teaches popular music and literature, film, 1960s culture, rock music, and contemporary fiction. He particularly enjoys introducing Ƶapps to ways masterful songwriters craft their lyrics. His publications include essays on the Beatles, The Velvet Underground, and protest music in the wake of 9/11.

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Intelligence Studies & Intelligence for Business

Peter Correa is a retired Lt. Col. In the U.S. Army with expertise in Intelligence Studies, Business Intelligence, Leadership, Management, and Organizational Behavior.

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Intel, Disinformation& Strategic Deception

Fred Hoffman spent three decades as a human intelligence officer and military attaché in over 30 countries. He has expertise in Intelligence, Information Operations, Disinformation, and Strategic Deception.

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Data & Algorithms

Anuj Bajaj is a data scientist whose research focuses on convex optimization, variational analysis, algorithms, and computational optimization.

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Volcanoes, Earthquakes & Space Exploration

Geologist Nick Lang is on leave from Ƶapp to work for NASA’s Planetary Science Division. He is an expert in natural disasters, volcanoes, earthquakes, space exploration, and science education.

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The Brain & Human Behavior

Derek McKayspecializes in neuropsychology, which is the study of the brain and human behavior. He focuses on the assessment process, cognitive disorders such as dementia, mental health diagnoses, and the complex nature among them.

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Urban Education, Autism, Intellectual Disabilities

Phillip Belfiore's research focuses on the role of applied behavior analysis and single-case analysis in general and special education. His expertise includes urban education, autism, and low-incidence disabilities. He also consults on post-secondary education for Ƶapps with intellectual disabilities.

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A Welcoming Culture

Alice Edwards is a professor of Hispanic Language and Cultures. She is active in the Erie community, participating in anti-racism initiatives and efforts to welcome New American and refugee communities. She and her Ƶapps also take language and culture activities into area K-12 schools.

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Teaching in Prison

Maria Garase’s research interests include higher education programs in prisons, where she has taught criminal justice to incarcerated Ƶapps. She’s also involved in pardon and commutation processes, therapeutic arts and juvenile justice, restorative justice practices, and criminal justice reform.

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Connection Between Impulsive Behavior & Addiction

Matthew Weaver’s expertise is in addiction and impulsivity. His research focuses on the relationship between them, which when understood can help avoid relapse, handle stress, avoid anxiety and more.His work requires a thorough understanding of neurobiological, behavioral, and societal issues.

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Reducing Political Polarization

Melissa Heerboth is a social psychologist whose research involves identifying effective strategies for reducing political polarization, conflict, and prejudice. She can also speak to effective communication and relationship processes outside of political contexts.

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Interior Design & Our Built Environment

Kelly Spewock combines her interior design expertise and teaching abilities to help others understand how our built environment can help us live, work, and play more effectively. She emphasizes collaborative learning opportunities in the classroom and with the community.

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Shifting Social Inequalities & Injustices

A sociologist, Heather Gifford teaches topics that people are sometimes too shy to talk about like gender identities, sexuality, and racial relations. Her aim is to address such subjects in an objective and supportive way that helps to shift social inequalities and injustices.

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Chemistry, Tea, and Me

Clint Jones takes his passion for chemistry and relates it to everyday life. Besides being a chemist, he’s a musician, songwriter, photographer, and chef. He’s also a tea sommelier; he even applies chemistry principles to studying the makeup of this satisfying brew, something that fascinates today’s health-conscious generation.

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Pitching Mechanics

With expertise in exercise science and sports medicine, Robert Chetlin’s research focuses on validity of the professional baseball "pitch count," analysis of baseball pitching technique, and risk factors for "Tommy John" surgery in professional baseball pitchers.

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Bilingual Children of Immigrant Families

Seyma Inan investigates how immigrant parents raise bilingual children in the US context and strategies parents use while preserving their heritage language. Herresearch also includes parent-child relationships, academic achievement, and acculturation (the adjustment process between two different cultures).

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Athletic Training Guide for Active People

From ballroom and ballet dancers to military construction workers to recreational and professional athletes, Josh Long works with physically active populations as an expert in athletic training, sports medicine, and injury prevention. He also has clinical experience with traumatic and chronic injury management and rehabilitation.

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Leveling the Playing Field in Childhood Education

Susan Johnsonspecializes in the treatment of autism and emotional and behavior disorders in children and young adults. Her research and grant-funded programming center around educational equity, particularly in rural, disadvantaged areas and with children and families in poverty.

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Evidence-Based Programming for Children with Disabilities

Kortnie Fisher synthesizes expert knowledge in public education, behavior health, special education law, and educational leadership to support children with disabilities through the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).

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Careers in Fashion Ƶapp

In the dynamic field of fashion merchandising,Amy Weavercombines her love of apparel with a business-oriented mindset, centering herexpertise on buying, planning, and allocations, as well as sustainable practices in apparel production, and intellectual property laws pertaining to the fashion industry.

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Contact Us

Debbie Morton
Director of Public Relations
Phone: 814-824-2552
Email:dmorton@mercyhurst.edu