Personnel File

WILSON Wilkes 

Personnel File



Three agents recently received special awards recognizing their 2019 achievements at the agency's annual travel agent meeting.

Stephanie Mennella from the Stroudsburg office was recognized as the top sales agent for the fourth year in a row. She has worked at the agency for more than 13 years. Mennella focuses on building relationships with her members and helping them to identify the perfect vacation year after year with her attention to detail.

Cindy Welshans from the South Williamsport office has been consistently in the top three for many years. She has been with the agency for 47 years. She started her career in domestic travel by marking maps and designing trip tiks for the motoring members. She moved into the travel agency in the mid-1990s.

Brenda Frystak from the Tunkhannock office was honored with the third-place sales award. She is a well-rounded travel agent with 25 years in the travel industry, 19 of which are with the agency. Frystak is well known throughout Susquehanna and Wyoming counties and has made thousands of travel reservations for families, couples and individuals over the years.



The health system announced Erin Pilch, RN, CRRN, as the new assistant director of nursing at Allied Services Rehab Hospital in Scranton. A graduate of the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing, Pilch has been a nurse with the health system for more than 21 years. Prior to becoming the assistant director of nursing, she was a nursing supervisor and clinical nurse manager at Heinz Rehab Hospital in Wilkes-Barre and an admissions liaison with the health system's Scranton-based rehab hospital.

The health system announced Melissa Posluszny, MS, OTR/L, as the new executive director of rehab services for the Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Scranton. Posluszny received a Bachelor of Arts from King's College, followed by a Master in Occupational Therapy from Misericordia University. She possesses more than 22 years of experience in health care ranging from being a clinical therapist and consultant to a multistate operations director and business owner.


Christopher Vernon of Scranton is a newly certified personal life coach/motivational speaker. He received training through New Skills Academy Online, Chicago-based continuing education company.

He will cover a broad range of topics and specialize with clients who suffer from low self-esteem, weight-loss struggles and the inability to kick impulsive habits.

Vernon also recently released his debut self-help memoir, called "Dancing In A Hurricane."


The board of directors has announced the retirement of R. Chadwick Paul Jr. as president and chief executive officer. Paul, of Allentown, has served since 2002 and will retire effective July 1. During Paul's 18-year tenure as president and CEO, the company's network has been internationally recognized as an effective technology-based economic development engine, and the northeastern center has been a consistent statewide standout in job creation and retention.


The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys has recognized the exceptional performance of family law attorney Ronnie Fischer as 2019-10 Best Family Law Attorney for Client Satisfaction.

The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys is a third-party attorney rating organization that publishes an annual list of the Top 10 family law attorneys in each state. Attorneys who are selected to the "10 Best" list must pass AIOFLA's rigorous selection process, which is based on client and/or peer nominations, thorough research and AIOFLA's independent evaluation. AIOFLA's annual list was created to be used as a resource for clients during the attorney selection process.


Michael Karwaski was recently promoted to associate financial consultant at the company's independent branch in Dickson City. The Dickson City branch opened in April and serves clients throughout Northeast Pennsylvania. Karwaski started his career in the financial services industry in 2015 with an internship at Scottrade. His professional experience includes additional roles in banking and retirement at PNC Bank and Prudential. With his diverse experience and skills, he is able to advise clients on a wide variety of financial needs.


The bank announced the recent addition of William "Bill" Johnson as a mortgage specialist to its loan production team in Clarks Summit. He joins with 30 years in the mortgage banking industry, with previous employment at Colonial Mortgage Service Co., Norwest Mortgage, First Keystone Mortgage, Guaranteed Rate and most recently Benchmark Mortgage.

A native of Scranton, he is a Vietnam era veteran and was honorably discharged as an Army sergeant before graduating from the University of Scranton.


The American Institute of Real Estate Agents has recognized the exceptional performance of real estate agent Heather Kishel as one of its 2019 10 Best Real Estate Agents for Client Satisfaction.

The American Institute of Real Estate Agents is a third-party rating organization that publishes an annual list of the Top 10 Real Estate Agents in each state. Agents who are selected to the "10 Best" list must pass AIOREP's rigorous selection process, which is based on client and/or peer nominations, thorough research, and AIOREP's independent evaluation. AIOREP's annual list was created to be used as a resource for clients during the selection process.


Carol Paglianite, a resident of Pittston Twp., has joined the bank as branch supervisor of its Kingston location.

Paglianite has more than 32 years of experience in the banking industry. She formerly worked at FNCB Bank, where she most recently served as personal banker.

Eileen Gallup, a resident of Shavertown, was promoted to branch manager of the Shavertown location.

Gallup brings to the position 17 years of experience in the financial industry and has been with the bank since June 2002, when the bank merged with Grange National Bank. She's served a variety of positions throughout her career, including teller, head teller, customer service representative and retail branch assistant. Gallup most recently was retail branch assistant at the Back Mountain branch.

In their new roles, they will oversee daily operations. They will manage the effective delivery of the sales and service activities, including personal and small-business loans. In addition, they will ensure the operational efficiency and integrity through adherence to policies and procedures.


Brennan Morell has joined as the new advocate coordinator. She began her career as a behavioral health worker for elementary-age children through the Children's Service Center.

Morell joined the staff in October. As part of her day-to-day duties, she supervises 22 advocates as they seek to make a positive change in the lives of abused and neglected foster children in Luzerne County.

In addition to her role as an advocate coordinator, Morell recently completed CASA's advocate training class and was sworn in alongside 16 other volunteers in December.


William R. Boyle of Vandling has been promoted to senior vice president, chief lending officer.

Boyle has 35 years of experience in community banking and has been with the bank since 2011. Boyle is a member of the senior management team, leading the institution toward growth. In his new role, Boyle is responsible for the strategic direction of the entire lending function of the bank, including the policies followed by the commercial loan division, the consumer lending area and the residential mortgage department. He manages the bank's team of loan officers while also actively supporting the growth of the institution by originating commercial loans and introducing new loan products to round out the portfolio.

Ferdinand Feola joined the bank as vice president, chief information officer. In this capacity, Feola will lead a strategic, integrated bankwide technology program to deliver security and convenient access to accounts for customers and efficiency for employees through the optimal use of data, information and digital technology platforms. Feola joins with more than 25 years of diverse technology leadership, including information technology development, data management, customer service, disaster recovery and high availability of critical systems, desktop management, complex wide area and local networks, telecommunications, integration and expansion.


Attorney Michael J. Foley has received Platinum Client Champion status from Martindale-Hubbell in recognition of his commitment to exceptional client service.

Foley has been reviewed highly by his clients in the areas of workers' compensation, civil litigation, personal injury and medical malpractice. Attorneys may qualify for three levels of awards based on reviews from their clients, with Platinum being the highest.

The law firm serves personal injury clients throughout Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania with offices in Scranton and Stroudsburg.


The health system recently honored 170 caregivers for earning high marks from their patients, according to national surveys.

Providers — including physicians, physician assistants and certified registered nurse practitioners — were recognized for ranking in the top 10% in patient experience nationally at the health system's annual Top Patient Experience Clinicians Awards Dinner. Scores were based on Press Ganey survey results, which gives patients an opportunity to grade the service and care they received from a provider.

Among the 170 clinicians honored, three were spotlighted for exemplary work, receiving the health system's awards for going above and beyond when it comes to compassionate patient care.

Michael Kovalick, D.O., family medicine physician at Geisinger Dallas clinic, and Timothy J. Farrell, M.D., general surgeon at Geisinger Community Medical Center, received the Victor J. Marks Award for best Primary Care and Outpatient Specialty physician, respectively. The award was established in 2002 to honor Dr. Victor Marks, who served as Geisinger's interim CEO from 2000 to 2001, and his commitment to making patients the primary focus of the health system. Melissa Laporte, CRNP, endocrinology at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Outpatient Specialty Center in Wilkes-Barre, received the Christina Appleman Award. The award is named in honor of Christina Appleman, certified registered nurse practitioner, and is given to the advanced practitioner for achieving the highest overall care provider section score for the system.

Providers were identified for the honor by results of patient satisfaction surveys. Clinicians were compared to more than 89,000 providers throughout the country that use Press Ganey surveys.

Locally, the 90th percentile Geisinger winners are:

Mouhammed Abuattieh, M.D., Ph.D., ophthalmology; Paul Arkless, M.D., critical care and pulmonary medicine; Nicole Balchune, D.O., family medicine; Joseph Bannon, M.D., surgery, general; Barry Bernstein, D.P.M., podiatry; Pranjal Boruah, M.D., cardiovascular disease; James Brady, M.D., hematology; Laurie Campfield, D.O., pediatrics; Karen Carbaugh, C.N.M., maternal and fetal medicine; Fernando Carlos, M.D., pediatrics; Brooke Casey, PA-C, surgery, plastic; Jose Castillo, M.D., oncology, medical; Aliasgar Chittalia, M.D., internal medicine; Stacy Conway, O.D., ophthalmology; Lia Crispell, CRNP, Careworks; Karla Dalious, PA-C, Careworks; Kelly Dalton, O.D., optometry; Timothy Farrell, M.D., surgery, general; Jennifer Gell, M.D., reproductive endo/infertility; Megan Harris, PA-C, dermatology; Christopher Holtz, D.O., pediatrics; Nicholas Ierovante, D.O., cardiology/interventional; Kimberly Kaminsky, PA-C, Careworks; Katrina Kincel, PA-C, general surgery; Michael Kovalick, D.O., family medicine; Matthew Kozma, D.O., family medicine; Gerald Lacey, PA-C, cardiovascular disease; Melissa Laporte, CRNP, endocrinology; Salvatore Lawrence, M.D., internal medicine; Gary Lawrence, M.D., pediatrics; Paul Long, M.D., dermatology; Karen Lurito, M.D., pediatric cardiology; Jessica Manzolillo, PA-C, Careworks; Richard Martin, M.D., family medicine; Vernon Mascarenhas, M.D., cardiovascular disease; Sandeep Mehrok, M.D., family medicine; Angela Munley, CRNP, Careworks; Ryan Ness, M.D., anesthesiology, pain management; Hans Olsen, M.D., orthopedic surgery, sports medicine; Charlea Pedro, CRNP, Careworks; Sandra Pensieri, D.P.M., podiatry; Joanne Petro, PA-C, Careworks; John Prater, M.D., family medicine; Guillermo Rodriguez, M.D., family medicine; Christopher Sanders, M.D., surgery, plastic; Alessandro Smeraldi, M.D., surgery, vascular; Meghan Susek, D.P.M., podiatry; Justin Tunis, M.D., orthopedic surgery, sports medicine; Daniel Upton, M.D., ophthalmology; Gregory Weiner, M.D., surgery, neurological; Mary Wolf, PA-C, oncology, medical; Jason Woloski, M.D., family medicine; and Sarah Worsnick, PA-C, cardiovascular disease.

Four physicians recently joined the health system, expanding resources and access to care for patients in Northeast Pennsylvania:

Iqbal Khan, M.D.; Nicole Branning, D.P.M., a doctor of podiatric medicine; and Mohammed Faraz Majeed, M.D.; have begun practicing at Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton, while Jui Pandya, M.D., has begun caring for patients in the Wilkes-Barre area, practicing out of the Geisinger Wyoming Valley Outpatient Specialty Center at 675 Baltimore Drive.

Khan is a board-certified neurologist specializing in adult neurology. He earned his medical degree from the Dow Medical College in Karachi, Pakistan, and he took an internship at Coney Island Hospital in New York City. Khan completed his residency in adult neurology at the Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where he also received fellowship training in sleep medicine. In addition, he was fellowship-trained in neurophysiology at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.

Branning is a board-certified podiatrist specializing in foot and ankle surgery. She earned her medical degree from Temple University's School of Podiatric Medicine in Philadelphia and completed her residency in podiatric medicine and surgery at Geisinger Community Medical Center.

Among Branning's clinical interests are diagnosing foot conditions, treating diabetic foot wounds and performing podiatric surgeries. She treats patients of all ages and will treat any podiatry-related issues below the knee.

Majeed is a neurologist specializing in adult neurology. He earned his medical degree from the Dow Medical College in Karachi, Pakistan, and completed fellowship training in clinical neurophysiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.

Majeed's clinical interests are neuromuscular disease, electromyography, general neurology and neurologic education. He primarily sees adults with neuromuscular and general health conditions, and he speaks English, Sindhi and Urdu.

Pandya is a board-certified ophthalmologist specializing in oculoplastics. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in biological engineering at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and her medical degree at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. She completed a residency program in ophthalmology at Temple University Health System in Philadelphia and fellowship training in oculoplastics at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Karen Murphy, Ph.D., chief innovation officer and founding director of the Steele Institute for Health Innovation, has been named a 2020 "Woman to Watch" in health information technology by Becker's Hospital Review.

In her role at the Steele Institute, Murphy leads the health system's commitment to innovation, developing leading-edge solutions that slow rising costs, improve quality and increase access to health care.

She formerly served as Pennsylvania's secretary of health, addressing the most significant health issues facing the state, including the opioid epidemic.

Gerald Maloney, D.O., chief medical officer for Geisinger hospitals, was appointed associate dean for clinical affairs for the medical college. Maloney will retain his chief medical officer role. As associate dean for clinical affairs, he is responsible for advising the dean and senior leadership regarding the integration of education functions with the clinical enterprise. Such education functions include both undergraduate and graduate medical education programs, as well as nursing and programs in other areas of the health profession. In addition to his new role, Maloney is chief medical officer for Geisinger Hospitals, Danville, a position he assumed in 2017.


Lacey Churmblo was recently promoted to assistant vice president, accounting officer.

Churmblo began her career at the bank in August 2016 as accounting administrator and was promoted to accounting officer in 2017. She had 11 years of bank accounting experience before joining HNB.

Churmblo graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in accounting from Marywood University. She has received various training from schools and seminars, including the Pa. Bankers School of Banking.


Dr. Eric Pugliese, D.M.D., has joined the dental practice. He will be seeing patients in the Stroudsburg office.

Pugliese is a Lehigh Valley native, where he was born and raised in Mount Bethel. He received his bachelor's degree in biology from West Chester University and completed dental school at Temple University's Kornberg School of Dentistry, where he received his Doctor of Dental Medicine. He formerly worked in a busy general dental practice in the Lehigh Valley. Pugliese is an active member of the American Dental Association and the Pennsylvania Dental Association.


MHDS Advisory Board recognized employees for milestone years of service at its December board meeting. Department managers/directors presented the awards along with advisory board Chairman Tom O'Neill; Wyoming County Commissioner Chairman Thomas Henry, Luzerne County Council Chairman Tim McGinley and Luzerne County Office of Human Services Program Director John Alunni.

Honorees included Lori Holdredge, Trucksville, five years; Amy Tomkoski, Plains Twp., 10 years; Mary Jean Baird-Stanislow, Plymouth, 15 years; Luke Reynolds, West Pittston, 15 years; Joan Kaminski, Mountain Top, 30 years; Lindsay Price, Scranton, five years; and Laura Davis, Tunkhannock, 10 years.


The law firm announced that two attorneys in its Moosic office have been named shareholders.

Michael Connolly, formerly associate, is now shareholder in the firm's Casualty Department. He primarily handles matters involving premises liability, automobile and general liability. He has defended a number of industrial workplace accident cases and regularly deals with matters involving the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Mine Safety and Health Administration. He also litigates wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases pertaining to surface mining accidents, motor vehicle, product liability and UIM claims.

Mark Kozlowski, formerly associate, is now shareholder in the firm's Professional Liability Department. He focuses his practice on civil rights, constitutional law and municipal liability. He is a graduate of Kutztown University and Michigan State University College of Law, and is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and Maryland.


Michael Milewski Jr. from the Scranton business received the American Towman Trust Award in Atlantic City on Dec. 6 at the American Towman Exposition. A towing company that receives the award is nominated by a third-party organization in the towing trade that has a working relationship with that towing company. The towing company also scored high on online customer reviews. The Trust Award is presented by American Towman Magazine, the towing industry's premier trade publication.

The business received the American Towman Trust Pin at the Trusted Towers ceremony held in the Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center Hotel.


Misericordia University recently appointed Linda Thomas-Hemak, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.A.P., chief executive officer of the Wright Center for Community Health and president of the Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education of Scranton, and William C. Reed, Ph.D., F.C.H.I.M.E., L.F.H.I.M.S.S., executive vice president, partner and director of the Huntzinger Management Group of Moosic, to its Health Care Advisory Council.

The advisory council, composed of regional leaders in health care education, administration and practice, presents the annual Health Care Symposium to address timely issues involving access and delivery of high-quality health care across the country.

An Archbald native and Jermyn resident, Thomas-Hemak is a triple board-certified internal medicine, pediatrics and addiction medicine primary care physician and medical educator who practices and teaches medicine, concurrent with her responsibilities as an executive. She returned to Northeast Pennsylvania in 1998 to practice primary care and joined the Wright Center in 2000. She became program director for the Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education's internal medicine residency in 2007 and president in 2012. In 2007, she also became president of the Wright Center Medical Group, now doing business as the Wright Center for Community Health.

As a partner of the Huntzinger Management Group, Reed, of Moosic, helps direct a strategic and management consulting company that specializes in health care information management. Reed has more than 40 years of professional health care experience with providers, payers and pharmaceutical companies in for-profit and nonprofit settings. An author and frequent presenter on various health care issues, he has operated in business settings ranging from chief information officer for various-sized provider and payer organizations, to chief operating officer for a billion-dollar, multisite organization, to president and chief executive officer of a national health and wellness start-up company.


The National Board of Trial Advocacy announced Daniel Munley of the law firm has successfully achieved recertification as a civil trial advocate.

The elaborate screening of credentials that all NBTA board-certified attorneys must successfully complete includes demonstration of substantial trial experience, submission of judicial and peer references to attest to their competency, attendance of continuing legal education courses and proof of good standing.

Board certification is the highest, most stringent and most reliable honor an attorney can achieve. Board certifications are the only distinctions awarded by nonprofit organizations.


Lauren E. Allen was recently named chairwoman for the cancer institute's 17th annual CASUAL (Colon Cancer Awareness Saves Unlimited Adult Lives) Day.

Allen is a vice president and client and community relations director for PNC Bank. She oversees the bank's local philanthropy, sponsorships, client entertainment, event management and employee recognition initiatives. Allen is on the board of directors of Maternal and Family Health Services, Scranton Counseling Center, the Luzerne Foundation and the Pennsylvania Head Start Association, as well as the board of directors of the United Way of Wyoming Valley, where she also is a member of its Steering Committee, Education Investment Committee and Success by Six Committee.

CASUAL Day, set for March 26, is a dress-down day to raise awareness for colorectal cancer in Northeast Pennsylvania. On this day, participants dress casually while wearing a specially designed pin, silicone wristband and/or T-shirt.


The practice announced that Kaitlyn Connors, D.C., is now treating patients in the Scranton Chiropractic Center. Her Doctor of Chiropractic degree was earned at New York Chiropractic College, where she completed advanced training in nutritional counseling, women's health issues and kinesiotaping therapy, as well as multiple manual and instrument-assisted soft tissue techniques. Her focus is a holistic approach. She uses individualized treatment plans specific to each of her patients. She holds a certification in whole foods nutrition from Standard Process and is certified by the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration as a certified DOT medical examiner.


Matthew J. Perry of Dunmore has been named partner of the law firm. Since joining in 2013, Perry has focused his concentration on personal injury, nursing home and skilled nursing facility abuse, product liability and property damage.

He is admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar as well as the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and is a member of the Pennsylvania, American and Lackawanna bar associations.

Perry was a recipient of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Pro Bono Award and is a volunteer assistant adviser for the Scranton School District Mock Trial Team, as well as a member of the United Way Advisory Board.


Sean McHale, a resident of Drums, is the new director of business services at the campus, bringing a wealth of experience. He has worked in the Penn State System since 1994 and was recently recognized for his 25 years of service to the university. Before his current appointment, McHale was employed as the manager for Housing and Food Services at the Hazleton campus, a position he held for 25 years.

Cara Green, a resident of West Pittston, was named director of campus development and alumni relations. Most recently, she was director for alumni engagement at Marywood University. Earlier in her career, Green served Penn State as assistant director of admissions/recruitment coordinator for the World Campus and was athletics facilities coordinator for intercollegiate athletics at University Park.



Nora Kern joined the foundation as its new executive assistant to the president and CEO.

Kern has worked in the nonprofit sector since 2009 and, most recently, she worked in the admissions and marketing department at Kendal, a nonprofit continuing care retirement community in Ithaca, New York.

Kern earned a B.A. in English from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh and an M.A. in environmental studies from Brown University.

In her role, she serves as the point person for president and CEO, providing executive support and serving as the main point of contact on all items relating to the president and CEO.

President and CEO Laura Ducceschi has earned the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy professional designation from the Richard D. Irwin Graduate School of the American College of Financial Services. The CAP program provides the knowledge and tools needed by professionals in the nonprofit, philanthropic and financial services fields in order to help individuals and families reach their charitable giving objectives and also meet their estate planning and wealth management goals.

In addition to the CAP designation, Ducceschi has an MBA in organizational management from Drexel University's LeBow College of Business.


Anna Layaou recently joined the marketing and advertising team as director of digital content. Her duties include coordination of digital campaigns for clients, creation and implementation of digital video and static content, graphic design and support. Layaou is gifted at copywriting, concept development and client relations and brings a high level of competency, experience and energy to the agency. She graduated from the University of Scranton with a Bachelor of Science in marketing and sits on the board of the American Advertising Federation of NEPA.

Bailey Simrell has joined his dad, Dan, as a managing partner in the Scranton-based marketing, design, development and production agency. He brings a wealth of expertise in digital marketing, website design and software development to the agency. Simrell is also director of digital marketing, handling the strategy and implementation of effective online advertising campaigns for the agency's clients. His responsibilities include data mining, paid campaign management, client relations, website development and user interface design. He is proficient in multiple front-end web frameworks and has worked with brands including Amazon Web Services, Makerpad and


Former Third Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Thomas I. Vanaskie has joined the firm's Litigation Department, where he will lead the firm's Appellate Practice and Mediation, Neutral Services and Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice.

Vanaskie was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in 2010, where he served with distinction for eight years, participating in and deciding many complex, high-profile cases. Before 2010, he served as a district judge for the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, including seven years as chief judge.

Since 2007, he has served as an adjunct professor of law at the Penn State and Dickinson Schools of Law.


Keystone Premier Settlement Services LLC, an affiliate of the Pennsylvania-based alliance, announced Lorie Lehman will now manage the company's office in Clarks Summit. Lehman adds this new role to her current responsibilities as manager for the company's Stroudsburg office.

Lehman has been with the family of full-service title insurance and escrow agencies since October 2014, having started in the KPSS Pocono office as a single processor/agent. Under her direction, Lehman grew the office from a handful of closings per month to over 90 closings per month in a summer.

Lehman holds a partnership interest within the Monroe County title company.


The University of Scranton awarded faculty development intersession grants for 2020 to seven faculty members.

Debra Fetherman, Ph.D., associate professor of exercise science and sport, will receive a grant to research a "Minor in Health Promotion." Fetherman received her bachelor's degree from Ohio University, her master's degree from the University of Central Arkansas and her doctoral degree from Marywood University. She has worked for the university since 2005.

Nathan Lefler, Ph.D., associate professor of theology/religious studies, will receive a grant to study "Can Satan Cast Out Satan? Flannery O'Connor's ‘The Displaced Person.' " Lefler received his bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago, his master's degree from Yale Divinity School and his doctoral degree from Catholic University of America. He has worked for the university since 2008.

Aiala Levy, Ph.D., assistant professor of history, will receive a grant to research "Sao Paulo's Celso Garcia Hall and the Creation of a Laboring Public." Levy received her bachelor's degree from Princeton University and her master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Chicago. She has worked for the university since 2016.

Mohammad Maktoomi, Ph.D., assistant professor of physics/electrical engineering, will receive a grant to research "High Sensitivity Fully Linear Resistive Transducer Bridge Amplifier." Maktoomi received his bachelor's degree from Aligarh Muslim University and his master's and doctoral degrees from Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology. He began working for the university in 2018.

Sufyan Mohammed, Ph.D., associate professor of communication, will receive a grant to study "Crisis Communication 2.0: Evaluating Corporate Crisis Communication Strategies and Media Choices in the Digital Age." Mohammed received his bachelor's degree from Jai Hind College, his master's degrees from Rizvi Institute of Management Studies and Research and Rochester Institute of Technology and his doctorate from Texas Tech University. He has worked for the university since 2008.

Susan Poulson, Ph.D., professor of history, will receive a grant to research "Murder, Gender and the Insanity Defense after the Civil War." Poulson received her bachelor's degree from George Washington University and her master's and doctoral degrees from Georgetown University. She has worked for the university since 1990.

Ana Ugarte, Ph.D., instructor for world languages and cultures, will receive a grant to research "Island Laboratories: Literary Monsters, Disease and Pharmacopeias in the Hispanic Caribbean." Ugarte received her bachelor's degree from Universate Stendhal Grenoble III, bachelor's and master's degrees from Universidad Complutense de Madrid and her doctoral degree from Duke University. She has worked for the university since 2018.

Michelle Gonzalez Maldonado, Ph.D., has been appointed dean of the university's College of Arts and Sciences effective July 1. She formerly worked at the University of Miami.

At Scranton, Maldonado will oversee the university's academic departments in the sciences and mathematics, engineering and computing sciences, humanities, theology and social sciences, as well as the Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program, the Magis Honors Program in STEM and the university's undergraduate Honors Program and the pre-med and pre-law programs.

Accounting professor Douglas M. Boyle, D.B.A., was recently reelected as chair of the Allied Services Foundation board of directors. Boyle has served on the foundation board since 2010 and also serves as chair of its Skilled Nursing Center, personal care and continuing care retirement community boards.

Boyle is chair of the university's accounting department, director of the university's Doctor of Business Administration program and the founder and director of the university's Nonprofit Leadership Certificate program.


Karen R. Gasper, CRMA, CFSA, of Jermyn was promoted to senior vice president.

She joined the bank in February 1999 and currently serves as the BSA/CRA/regulatory compliance officer. She has held several titles during her tenure, including loan operation manager and internal audit manager. Gasper holds a degree in accounting and has more than 35 years of banking experience.


Shelley L. Robinson of Lake Ariel was appointed first assistant district attorney. For the past eight years, she has been a strong advocate for the residents of Wayne County as assistant district attorney. She has successfully prosecuted a wide range of cases involving assaults, thefts, drug offenses, DUIs, domestic violence, appeals and juvenile cases. She is the STOP Domestic Violence grant prosecutor.

Before joining the office, Robinson served as a law clerk for Wayne County Court, and also presided over juvenile matters as the juvenile master for President Judges Robert J. Conway and Raymond L. Hamill.


Hyung Bin Lee, DDS, joined as a full-time dentist at its Pike Dental Center. Lee offers general dentistry for both children and adults at the Lords Valley office located in the Pike County Medical Center. She joins Megan Martino, DMD, at the practice.

Lee received her Doctor of Dental Science degree in dentistry from the New York University College of Dentistry, New York City. She was employed as a general dentist at Dental Dreams in Philadelphia before accepting her new position.


Luanne Weidner, a certified nurse's aide in the Wound Care unit and a 32-year hospital employee, was honored as Employee of the Year at the hospital's annual holiday party on Dec. 7 at Woodloch Inn. Weidner is a resident of Cherry Ridge.

The Employee of the Year is chosen by employees of the month of the year before. The other 2019 employees of the month were Valerie Martin, housekeeping; Gloria Tuttle, R.N., ICU; Raeda Abdallah, housekeeping; Maryrose Krzemieniecki, R.N.; Tammy Robinson, medical records; Daniela Davis, R.N., home health; Joe Cremona, security; Tina Vergara, R.N., chemotherapy; Jennifer Pepper, registration; Jillian Lisowski, R.Ph., pharmacy; and Beth Chaballa, laboratory services.

Patty Wilcha was named Wayne Woodlands Manor's Employee of the Year 2019. A licensed practical nurse, Wilcha worked as a charge nurse in the early years, but for the past two decades she has been the facility's patient care assessment coordinator, or LPN-RNAC, responsible for the coordination of processes related to a patient's care.

Wayne Woodlands, a 121-bed skilled nursing facility, also offers short-term rehabilitation and respite care.


Owner/CEO Ron Augelli of Blakely was featured in Screenprinting Magazine for being one of seven under the age of 35 nationally in the screen printing industry.

Augelli got started in the screen printing industry after his experience with trying to order shirts for an event for his friends and himself, and he was surprised by how much the shirts cost to order. He thought that printing shirts himself might be less costly and, after some research, learned how to make the shirts out of his college apartment. He was working for himself within two years. After needing to move twice due to his expanding business, Augelli's new location now includes 15-plus employees.


The university's board of trustees elected three new members to seats on the board. The new members, who joined the board at its October meeting, are:

Lisa Isbitski Golden, of Moosic, is a 1990 graduate of the university. Golden is chief operating officer of Geisinger Health Plan and has served in that capacity since September 2016. Golden earned a bachelor's degree in nursing from Wilkes and a master's degree in health administration from King's College. She holds a certification from the American Case Management Association. She is also a certified healthcare insurance executive and an alumnus of the AHIP Executive Leadership program.

William Hanbury, of Skaneateles, New York, is 1972 graduate of the university, and has more than 30 years of nonprofit executive management experience. During his career, he served in CEO roles with the Bermuda Tourism Authority, United Way National Capital Area, Destination DC, Visit Milwaukee and the Hilton Head, South Carolina, Chamber of Commerce. A former chairman of Destinations International, he is a sought-after thought leader on executive management, organizational transition and nonprofit operations. Hanbury earned his bachelor's degree from Wilkes and a Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

Tara Mugford Wilson, of Dallas, is the president of Power Engineering Corp. of Wilkes-Barre. She previously owned and served for 24 years as president of Power Mechanical Corp. She is chairwoman of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Development Corporation Board, and is a current member of the United Way and past co-chairwoman of its annual campaign. Wilson also is a member of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry/Growth Partnership Board as well as the board of the Appleseed Foundation, Geisinger Wilkes-Barre Advisory Board, Circle 200 and the Luzerne Foundation. Wilson is the 2019 recipient of the Athena Award presented by the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce.


Jumee Barooah, M.D., has been named designated institutional official for the center.

A native of India, Barooah attended Gauhati Medical College and Hospital and worked as an internal medicine provider at a tertiary center before relocating to the United States. She completed her internal medicine residency at the Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education in 2013 and served as a provider at the Mid Valley Practice for a year before moving to Washington state. She rejoined the organization in 2016 as physician-faculty, and held the role of medical director of the Jermyn clinic until her appointment as the new DIO.


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