Faculty Research

Faculty Research

The world-class faculty members at Penn State Lehigh Valley conduct cutting-edge research in a variety of fields and disciplines. Often times, Penn State Lehigh Valley students have the opportunity to work closely with these faculty members to conduct undergraduate research.


Dr. Jacqueline S. McLaughlin
Associate Professor of Biology
2017/2018 Jefferson Science Fellow

Whether working as a cell and developmental biologist on cancer cell lines in her PSLV biology lab or as a conservation scientist studying the effects of global climate change in the fields of Africa, Australia, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Panama, and Peru, Dr. McLaughlin's overall mission is to create learning environments wherein students, at any level, are inspired and effectively learn science by engaging in real-world research. As such, she is Founding Director of CHANCE, Penn State's award-winning, international environmental engaged-scholarship program, and plays an active voice in our nation's NSF/AAAS Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education movement through her research in developing effective Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs). Dr. McLaughlin has been a visiting professor at Jiangnan University, Wuxi, China, for nearly a decade, researching the pollution of the Chang Jiang (Yangtze River) and the eutrophication of Tai Hu (Lake Tai) with her Chinese students and colleagues. She is an appointed 2017/18 National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Jefferson Science Fellow, serving as a  science advisor on foreign policy/international development issues within the U.S. State Department.

For more information, visit Dr. McLaughlin's website >>

Dr. Julie Ealy
Associate Professor of Biology

In 2008 Julie B. Ealy began research with undergraduates to computationally examine the hydrogen bond interactions of small molecules in the active site of HIV-1 integrase. Computation on 41 molecules resulted in a poster presentation, “Relationship of Hydrogen Bond Interactions of Inhibitors in the Active Site of HIV-1 Integrase and Lipinski's Rule of Five for Drug-like Properties,” at the Retroviruses Meeting, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, 2010. Nicole Zekind and Peter Khoury contributed to the research. Hydrogen bond research on 159 small molecules was completed in 2012, and a poster was presented at the American Chemical Society meeting in Philadelphia in August, 2012 by three undergraduate research students: Sarah Israel, Robert Huff, and Talia Katz. In August 2013, Dr. Ealy represented her undergraduate research students – Sarah Israel, Robert Huff, Talia Katz, and Paolo Flauta – in Wuhan, China, where she presented at an international conference. Undergraduate students continue to do research with Dr. Ealy with the research being repeated on the prototype foamy virus (PFV) intasome.


Dr. Roger Egolf
Associate Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Roger Egolf has chemical training in drug design and the synthesis of biologically active compounds. His current research is in the general field of the history of chemistry. His historical focus is currently the development of graduate and undergraduate chemical education in the United States during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Corporate Communication

Dr. Kasey Clawson Hudak
Assistant Professor of Corporate Communication

Dr. Hudak is currently working on scholarship that explores the marketing of a city’s image in relation to Ricoeur’s narrative theory. This research considers how a city's historical and cultural stories can be integrated into an advertising narrative that can successfully promote the city as an educational, cultural, and industrial hot spot. Dr. Hudak also utilizes Ricoeur's narrative theory in her analysis of dead celebrities featured in modern advertising contexts. This work investigates how a deeper phenomenological understanding of mediated relationships can direct the function and use of technologically-enhanced images of dead celebrities. The body of her scholarly research centers on media, advertising, and public relation’s roles in shaping and preserving our culture.


Dr. Xenia Hadjioannou
Associate Professor of Language and Literacy Education

Dr. Hadjioannou's research focuses on observing, describing, understanding, and supporting practices that nurture literacy development. Much of her work involves the study of language-in-use: examinations of individuals and groups as they are interacting within and outside classroom settings. Another significant aspect of her research concerns the educational and social implications of specific linguistic choices made in the context of diverse interactions. Within this research strand falls her examination of non-standard dialect use in educational settings and her study of authentic classroom discussions. She has also conducted studies on context-sensitive implementations of exemplary instructional practices.

Dr. Mary Hutchinson
Associate Professor of ESL Education

As a civically-engaged scholar, Dr. Hutchinson examines the impact of pedagogical processes in a variety of community-based settings. This “scholarship of engagement” is grounded in the theoretical notion that generation of new knowledge occurs when people come together to solve societal problems.

One strand of Dr. Hutchinson’s research investigates preparing pre-service and in-service teachers to work with English language learners (ELLs) in multicultural, multilingual classrooms. Sociocultural diversity in teacher education, in particular, focuses on what Arnesan and Trasberg (2009) call “the nitty gritty pedagogical work” whose very foundation is “based on principles and values such as human rights, equality, inclusion, and recognition of diversity and the complexity of classroom practice.” The other strand of her research examines the impact of engagement on different constituents. The primary focus is on service-learning, which combines academic course content with meaningful community service designed to address pressing social problems. In addition, she has researched the challenges of public scholarship for faculty as well as for the communities served.

For more information, visit Dr. Hutchinson's website >>


Dr. Barbara Cantalupo
Professor of English

Dr. Cantalupo's research interests are two-told: women writers and 19th-century American authors, especially Edgar Allan Poe. She is founding and current editor of The Edgar Allan Poe Review (now published by Penn State University Press) and author of three edited books on American literature: Emma Wolf's Short Stories in The Smart Set (AMS Press, 2009), Other Things Being Equal by Emma Wolf (Wayne State University Press, 2002), and with Richard Kopley, Prospects for the Study of American Literature, Vol. 2 (AMS Press, 2009). Her monograph, Poe and the Visual Arts, will be published by The Pennsylvania State University Press in 2014. She has published articles on 19th-century American authors Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, Emma Wolf, Thomas Holley Chivers, Mordecai Noah as well as articles on 20th-century American authors and artists including Tillie Olsen, Ray Federman, Karen Finley, and Yvonne Rainer. She is currently working on a critical biography of Emma Wolf (1865-1932).

Dr. Margaret Christian
Associate Professor of English

Dr. Christian’s work on early modern English poetry and religious rhetoric involves thinking about sixteenth-century sermons and liturgy as dramatic texts. She is also interested in how people read the Bible during the early modern period—and what that reveals about how they understood allegorical poetry.

Dr. Christian's articles have appeared in Studies in Philology, Christianity and Literature, Sixteenth Century Studies, and Spenser Studies, among other journals. Her book Spenserian Allegory and Elizabethan Biblical Exegesis is forthcoming from Manchester University Press (2016).


Dr. Mark Gruskin
Assistant Professor of Finance and Accounting

Dr. Gruskin conducts empirical research investigating the evolution of firm choices for external financing. He is currently investigating reverse leveraged buyouts (RLBOs), i.e., firms that go private in a leveraged buyout and later return to being publicly traded. A key issue of this research is assessing what factors determine whether stock returns are positive or negative after the RLBO. These factors include restructuring activities while private and the quality of the underwriter used in the offering. Dr. Gruskin is also investigating the increase in firms that use little or no debt in their capital structure over the last 30 years.


Dr. Douglas R. Hochstetler
Professor of Kinesiology

Dr. Hochstetler's scholarly work focuses on both philosophical and historical aspects of sport and physical activity. Recent philosophical projects examine the transcendental and pragmatic strains of American philosophy (i.e., John Dewey, William James, Henry D. Thoreau, Ralph W. Emerson, and Henry Bugbee) in relation to endurance sport. His research interests in sport history include intercollegiate football in the 1920s-1930s. Recent projects address the development of a fair play ethos at Cornell University through the leadership of Graduate Manager, Romeyn Berry.

His publications appear in numerous outlets – sport disciplinary specific journals (Journal of the Philosophy of Sport), journals focused on interdisciplinary issues in Kinesiology (Quest), and those geared towards practitioners (Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance). In addition to manuscript publications, Dr. Hochstetler has written numerous chapters for edited works. He is a member of the Editorial Board for Quest, a publication of the National Association of Kinesiology and Physical Education in Higher Education and has served as an Executive Committee member of the International Association for the Philosophy of Sport.


Dr.  Denise T. Ogden
Professor of Marketing

Dr. Ogden’s research areas are in retailing and integrated marketing communication (IMC). In retailing her interests are in consumer behavior (retail), including multicultural aspects of consumer behavior. Under IMC, her research is in tactical areas such as public relations and advertising, especially at the retail level. Of particular interest is how companies coordinate and integrate marketing communications that emanate from an organization. In addition to her peer-reviewed publications, she has co-authored two textbooks in marketing/retailing and one in IMC. Dr. Ogden also sits on the board of the Center for Retail Solutions.


Dr. Tai-Yin Huang
Professor of Physics

Dr. Tai-Yin Huang’s research interests include, but not limited to, gravity waves dynamics, energetics and airglow chemistry in the Mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) region, Lightning-Induced Transient Emissions (LITEs) in the airglow layers, global warming and climate change, specializing in analytical approach, numerical simulation, and data analysis. Her research has been primarily funded by the NSF. She is also involved in the R&D of LED lighting and conducting research in harvesting and utilizing electrical energy released by lightning.


Dr. Kevin J. Kelley
Assistant Professor of Psychology

Dr. Kelley is a counseling psychologist licensed for the independent practice of psychology in the state of Pennsylvania. He has published in the areas of cross-cultural variations in adjustment, Internet addiction and health, and empathy education in the Nursing profession. He has recently completed a manuscript for a training manual on Active Listening used to teach undergraduates the beginning skills for effective helping relationships. His research interests are now focused on issues of attachment and psychological trauma. Specifically, Dr. Kelley is examining how college student’s attachment to their primary caregivers (parents) and history of exposure to adverse events (trauma history) affects the student’s ability to manage emotion (otherwise known as Emotion Regulation). Both his past and current research has included work on statistically analyzing the reliability and validity of research questionnaires.

Dr. David Livert
Associate Professor of Psychology

Dr. Livert is a social psychologist whose research broadly examines how individuals are influenced by their social environments. More specifically, his research has focused on how intergroup contact – the interaction between individuals from different groups, perspectives, ethnicities, or cultures – influences attitude change, friendship formation, and team performance. Dr. Livert has investigated these effects in situations ranging from the training of professional chefs to students studying abroad to residents of senior housing. His other main area of research activity involves program evaluation in the areas of professional training, education and aging. Livert has carried out multi-method evaluations for the National Science Foundation GK-12 Project, New York State Department of Education, Office of the California State Librarian, and Allentown Housing Authority, among others.


Dr. Jennifer Parker
Associate Professor of Sociology

Dr. Parker’s research focuses on globalization, immigration, entrepreneurship, business organizations, labor markets, employment relations, and social mobility. She is interested in understanding how individual and group-level opportunity gets shaped by larger global and economic forces. She is currently writing a book on multinational business strategy and global consumption culture in India based on research that started on a Senior Fulbright Fellowship at the Delhi School of Economics. Her work on the immigrant economies of American franchises in the United States has recently appeared in Journal of Asian American Studies. Her book Fast Food Fast Track: Immigrants, Big Business and the American Dream (Westview Press) examines the interactions between global corporations, all-American brands, and immigrant opportunities. Her work has appeared in Wall Street Journal, NPR, BBC, among others.