Penn State Lehigh Valley announces new faculty and staff members, promotions

Penn State Lehigh Valley has announced the following new faculty and staff hires: 

New faculty and staff, new positions and promotions 

Marta Da Silva was named interim director of academic advising and career strategy at Penn State Lehigh Valley. Da Silva earned a master of professional studies in human resources and employment relations from Penn State and a bachelor of science in business with a marketing and management concentration from Penn State Lehigh Valley. She previously served as an academic adviser and has worked at Penn State Lehigh Valley since 2004. Da Silva resides in Hellertown, Pennsylvania.  

Kathy Fadigan has joined Penn State Lehigh Valley as an instructor in sustainability and science for the CHANCE Program. Fadigan earned a doctorate of education in curriculum instruction and technology in education with a concentration in science and mathematics education from Temple University, as well as a master of education in secondary science education and a bachelor of science in biology also from Temple University. Fadigan also earned a graduate certificate of completion in women’s students from Temple University. She previously served as an associate teaching professor of science education at Penn State Abington. Fadigan resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  

Kate Ginnard was named interim director of campus development at Penn State Lehigh Valley. Ginnard earned a bachelor of arts in communication and bachelor of arts in Spanish from Truman State University and is currently completing a master of public administration from Penn State. She previously served as assistant director of annual leadership gifts in the Office of Annual Giving at Penn State. Ginnard resides in State College, Pennsylvania.  

Kristen Hark will join Penn State Lehigh Valley as assistant teaching professor of corporate communication effective Aug. 9. Hark earned a doctorate of philosophy in communication and rhetoric from Duquesne University, a master of arts in communication studies from Marshall University and a bachelor of science in organizational communication from Ohio University. She also earned an associate in applied science from Shawnee State University. Hark previously taught as a part-time instructor at Penn State Lehigh Valley and also previously worked in content and editing at Kendall Hunt Publishing and was the department chair and associate professor of strategic communication at Liberty University. Hark currently resides in Forest, Virginia but is planning a move to the Lehigh Valley in the near future. 

Lizbeth Johnson has joined Penn State Lehigh Valley as information and instructional technology director. She earned a master of education in instructional technology from North Carolina State University as well as a bachelor of science in aerospace engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and a bachelor of science in math from Spelman College. Johnson previously served as director of technology at the Professional Children’s School in New York City. She resides in Port Chester, New York but plans to move to Allentown in the near future. 

Maryam Kiani was promoted to assisted teaching professor in mathematics. Kiani earned a doctorate of education in lifelong learning and adult education with a focus in mathematics education from Penn State as well as a master of education in mathematics education from DeSales University. She also earned a master of science and a bachelor of science both in mathematics from University of Tehran. Kiani had been a lecturer of mathematics at Penn State Lehigh Valley previously. Before that Kiani had worked as a lecturer at the University of Tehran. She resides in Allentown, Pennsylvania. 

Alexandra Mindler has joined Penn State Lehigh Valley as a part-time instructor of digital learning media for the Continuing Education department. Mindler earned a doctorate of education in educational leadership from Delaware Valley University as well as a master of education in reading from Bloomsburg University and a bachelor of science in education from Lock Haven University. She also serves as a teacher at Wilson Area School District. Mindler resides in Northampton, Pennsylvania. 

Dale Osenbach has joined Penn State Lehigh Valley as district commander of the Eastern District. Osenbach earned a bachelor of arts in criminal justice from Marywood University. He attended the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety’s School of Police Staff and Command. Osenbach previously served as a patrolman for West Penn Township and Tamaqua Borough before being hired at Penn State Schuylkill as a police services officer. He then transferred to Hazleton campus and was promote to lieutenant. He most recently served as district commander of the Southeast District before being named district commander of the newly formed Eastern District. Osenbach resides in Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania. 

Jody Rennie has joined Penn State Lehigh Valley as a part-time instructor of project management in the Continuing Education department. Rennie earned a master of administrative science from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor of arts in management from Moravian College. She teaches project management at other local institutions and also owns a consulting business: JVR Collaborative Advantage. Rennie resides in Easton, Maryland.  

Scott E. Semerod has joined Penn State Lehigh Valley as coordinator of student aid. Semerod earned a master of science in management and leadership in public administration from East Stroudsburg University and a bachelor of science business management and marketing from Eastern University. He previously served as assistant director of financial aid at East Stroudsburg University. Semerod resides in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.   

Carol Tomaszewski has joined Penn State Lehigh Valley as alumni relations coordinator. Tomaszewski earned a bachelor of science in psychology from DeSales University. She previously served as marketing coordinator at The Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley. Tomaszewski resides in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. 

Aníbal Torres Bernal has joined Penn State Lehigh Valley as director of academic affairs and professor of human development and family studies. Torres earned a doctorate of philosophy and master of arts in marriage and family therapy both from Syracuse University, as well as a bachelor of arts in psychology from Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico Recinto de San German. He previously served as inaugural dean of the School of Liberal Arts, Sciences and Society, and a tenured professor at SUNY Morrisville. Torres is moving to Allentown, Pennsylvania in June. 

Nishil Vachhani has joined Penn State Lehigh Valley as part-time lecturer of information sciences and technology. Vachhani earned a master of science in enterprise architecture from Penn State as well as a bachelor’s degree. He resides in Upper Macungie.