Berkshire Hathaway Homes

Services Preferred Properties



Fifteen-year realtor Kathy Casarin has joined the company. Casarin is a multimillion-dollar top-producing agent, helping residential and commercial clients. She is a recent recipient of the Top 25 Women in Business in NEPA award. During her first year as a realtor, she won a national award as one of the Top 50 Realtors on the Rise by RISMedia. She holds the Certified Negotiation Expert designation and National Association of Realtors’ C2EX Excellence award and the LRED designation, signifying she is an expert in social media and marketing.

Casarin serves on the board of directors for the Greater Scranton Board of Realtors.

Citizens Savings Bank





Walter Belasky has been promoted to the position of assistant vice president/collections manager in the collections department at the bank.

Belasky began his career with the bank in January 2020 as a full-time collector and was then promoted in January 2021 to the role of collections manager. In this new position, he will continue to be responsible for supervising, organizing, planning and directing the institution’s loan collection activities in accordance with the institution’s policies and participate in special assignments as directed by senior management or the board of directors.

Belasky resides in Moscow.

Keleena McNichols has been promoted to the position of assistant vice president/loan operations manager of the loan operations department at the bank.

McNichols earned her degree in English from Marywood University in 2008 and has held several roles at the bank throughout her career. McNichols began her 14-year career as a customer service representative/teller in the South Scranton branch. She was elevated to customer service specialist in 2010 and then became a collector in 2015. In 2019, she became assistant loan operations manager and then was elevated to loan operations manager in 2021.

McNichols resides in Scranton.


Susan Parisi, M.D., has been named the health system’s first chief wellness officer.

In this role, Parisi will champion and guide the implementation of a systemwide strategy to improve the mental health, professional fulfillment and overall well-being of the health system family. She’ll also oversee advocacy programs and initiatives aimed at enhancing shared decision making, professional satisfaction, autonomy and a culture of professionalism and respect.

Parisi brings three decades of experience in health care, spending the earlier part of her career caring for patients in obstetrics and gynecology. She’s held leadership roles in several organizations, most recently serving as the director of well-being for Nuvance Healthcare.

Lackawanna College





The college appointed new center directors in Tunkhannock and Towanda.

Brad Reid, formerly director of the Towanda Center, was appointed director for the Tunkhannock Center. Kelly White has been appointed new director of the Towanda Center.

Centers offer the communities they serve targeted programs that can help businesses and employees succeed.

Reid earned his associate degree in business administration and bachelor’s degree in business and management from Lackawanna College. He also is planning to start a Master’s of Business Administration in the fall.

White also has a background in education and community service, having worked and volunteered for several educational and nonprofit organizations. Before joining Lackawanna, White served as the executive director of the Greater Wyalusing Chamber of Commerce.

White studied creative writing and communications at the University of Pittsburgh.

Misericordia University



Soumendra Nath Banerjee, Ph.D., associate professor in business, is the recipient of the Sywassink Award for best research paper in Economics on Exporting and pollution abatement expenditure: Evidence from firm-level data. The research paper was published in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

The Sywassink Research Award is given out by the College of Business at Appalachian State University and was recognizing sustainability-related research. Appalachian State University honors those in teaching, research, and service as well as the spirit of the Walker College of Business.

The work of Banerjee and his co-authors, Dr. Jayjit Roy and Dr. Mahmut Yasar, speaks for itself since JEEM is the gold standard in its field to have a publication.

Munley Law



Law firm partner Marion Munley was elected as the parliamentarian for the American Association for Justice at its annual convention in Seattle, Washington.

The American Association for Justice is a 20,000-member organization of plaintiff attorneys dedicated to protecting the rights of trial by jury.

A champion of victims’ rights and the civil justice system for more than 25 years, Munley is known for her compassionate approach to representing the catastrophically injured and her tireless devotion to her clients and their families. Triple Board Certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy in Civil Trial, Civil Practice, and Truck Law, Munley has earned an AV-Preeminent designation from Martindale-Hubbell, the industry’s highest ethical and client satisfaction rating.

A graduate of Temple University School of Law, Munley received her undergraduate degree from the University of Scranton.

Myers Brier & Kelly LLP

The Pennsylvania-based boutique law firm representing some of the commonwealth’s most prominent companies and organizations announced the opening of a suburban Philadelphia office. The new office will be MBK’s third location, following Harrisburg and Scranton, driven by the firm’s continued growth. Stephen C. Baker, a nationally respected lawyer and authority in the insurance and financial services industries with four decades of experience, will lead the new office.

Baker is a trusted legal and business adviser to dozens of insurers, reinsurers, brokers, risk managers, intermediaries, financial service institutions and insurance industry trade associations. He is also well known as a civil litigator and trial lawyer, having represented clients in nearly every state with trials or court appearances in 16 different states.

Before joining the firm, Baker was with Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, now Faegre Drinker, for more than 16 years.

Northeast Regional Cancer Institute



Michele Frigoletto has been named chair for the cancer institute’s 30th Annual Cancer Survivors Day — Honoring, Remembering, Sharing.

Frigoletto is a fourth-generation barber and owner of Mick’s Barbershop on Main Street in Honesdale. Using her professional skills, she created a fundraiser in 2011 to benefit NRCI called Buzz Off Cancer. Attendees get their hair, beards, mustaches and undercuts buzzed for a donation. Since inception, Buzz Off Cancer has raised over $30,000. Mick is also a five-year breast cancer survivor.

Frigoletto lives in Cherry Ridge Twp.

Cancer Survivors Day is a dual-location event that took place Sept. 17 at McDade Park in Scranton and Sept. 24 at Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre.

Pennsylvania Bar Foundation

The Pennsylvania Bar Foundation has named 22 lawyers and judges from across the commonwealth to assume 2022-23 leadership roles as officers, directors and members. They include Melinda C. Ghilardi of Munley Law, Scranton, who was named a designated director of the association and will be serving a one-year term. She is a co-vice chair of the PBA Federal Practice Committee and past co-vice chair of the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Team. She is a member of the PBA House of Delegates, Elder Law Section, Executive Council of the Civil Litigation Section and the Health Care Law Committee. Ghilardi is also a member of the Commission on Women in the Profession and serves on its Annual Conference Committee, Awards Subcommittee, Executive Council and Report Card Subcommittee.

Pennsylvania Builders Association



Dean Hilliard, president of AC&R Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Services in Sugarloaf, has been awarded the Associate of the Year Award by the statewide association. The award recognizes an associate member who has demonstrated professionalism business ethics and distinguished service to their local, state and national associations.

Hilliard is a member of the Central Susquehanna Builders Association, where he serves on the board of directors and has been a past president. In addition, he has served several terms as the PBA regional vice president and regional legislative officer. He is the PBA’s associate vice president.

PNC Bank



Nicole Costanzo, commercial banking relationship manager, has been promoted to senior vice president.

Costanzo is a graduate of the University of Scranton where she earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and a Master of Business Administration in finance management. She is a member of the board of directors of Johnson College and Discovery MI Preschool, and serves on the United Way of Lackawanna County’s capital campaign. Costanzo resides in Glenburn Twp.

Rosenn Jenkins & Greenwald LLP





The Business Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association recently published articles by business attorneys Lee S. Piatt and Paul T. Rushton of the law firm.

The section’s summer and fall bulletin featured Piatt’s article entitled “Owner Agreements Post-Pandemic: After the ‘Great Resignation,’ Are We Short on Glue?”

Piatt’s article discussed the difficulties closely held businesses now have in light of the flexibility prospective business partners expect and offered potential solutions for addressing those issues through the use of owner agreements.

Nicholas J. Marinelli, commercial counsel for the global business consulting firm Vialto Partners, co-authored Rushton’s article.

Entitled “One ‘Size’ Does Not Fit All: Recent Labor and Legal Developments Suggest More Judicious Use of Non-Competition and Other Restrictive Covenants,” their article guides attorneys on how to make sure clients use noncompete and similar agreements with their employees wisely in a workforce environment reshaped by the pandemic and recent federal and state initiatives aimed at curbing the use of “unfair” restrictive covenants.

Both Piatt and Rushton serve as council members for the bar’s Business Law Section and are active on its closely held business and Title 15/business association committees. Rushton also serves as secretary of the section.

Telespond Senior Services





The board of directors of the organization, with offices in Scranton and Kingston, announced the appointment of Donna O’Toole Sedor as president/CEO. Sedor replaces Joseph J. Grilli, MPA, DPA, who recently retired. Sedor holds extensive experience in communications, fundraising and program development. A dedicated community leader, Sedor also served as a chamber of commerce vice president for nearly 25 years.

As president and CEO, Sedor will oversee day-to-day operations, community awareness campaigns and fundraising. Since 1974, the nonprofit organization has provided on-site adult day care services, in-home personal care and a robust, volunteer-led senior companionship program to the residents of Lackawanna County and surrounding communities.

University of Scranton







Sarah Kenehan, Ph.D., a University of Scranton alumna and former professor of philosophy at Marywood University, was named executive director of the Gail and Francis Slattery Center for Ignatian Humanities, effective July 5.

Since joining the faculty at Marywood University in 2009, Kenehan has taught courses in business, environmental and animal ethics, and global, climate and food justice. She served as the chair of Marywood’s Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, director of its Women’s Studies Program and was the co-founder and co-chair of Pacers for Justice and Peace.

Kenehan earned her bachelor’s degree in biology and philosophy from Scranton in 2002 as a member of the Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program.

The university announced Daniel Cosacchi, Ph.D., has been named vice president for mission and ministry, effective July 18. He will also serve as a member of the President’s Cabinet.

In his new role, Cosacchi is responsible for articulating, enhancing and promoting the university’s Catholic and Jesuit identity across all constituencies. He will provide leadership and direction for the departments of Campus Ministries, the Jesuit Center, and the Center for Service and Social Justice, while overseeing mission and ministry initiatives for the University community including students, staff and faculty.

Cosacchi previously served as assistant professor of religious studies at Marywood University.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from Fordham University, his master’s degree from Boston College and his Ph.D. from Loyola University of Chicago.

Nathaniel Frissell, Ph.D., assistant professor of physics and electrical engineering, will lead a $399,211 National Science Foundation grant-supported collaborative research project titled “Measuring Daily Ionospheric Variability and the 2023 and 2024 Solar Eclipse Ionospheric Impacts Using HamSCI HF Doppler Shift Receivers.” As the lead principal investigator, Frissell will work with students at the university, collaborators at Case Western Reserve University, and volunteers across the nation to study how dawn, dusk and solar eclipses affect the electrified portion of the upper atmosphere known as the ionosphere. This will be done using a network of Global Navigation Satellite System stabilized/synchronized high frequency receivers (known as Grapes), which were developed as part of the $1.3 million NSF-funded HamSCI Personal Space Weather Station project he was awarded in 2019.

An annular solar eclipse will take place on Oct. 14, and a total solar eclipse will take place on April 8, 2024.

Eleven faculty members were honored with Faculty Enhancement awards for excellence in teaching, scholarship or service. The Office of the Provost and the Provost Advisory Group selected the recipients from a pool of candidates nominated by academic deans and department chairs.

Darla Germeroth, Ph.D., and Margarete Lieb Zalon, Ph.D., received the Excellence for University Service and Leadership Award, which recognizes faculty members who have contributed service to the university community, particularly those who demonstrate academic leadership by effectively mentoring their junior colleagues. Germeroth, professor of communication and media, joined the faculty in 1989. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Kansas State University and her Ph.D. from the University of Denver. A member of the faculty since 1988, Zalon, professor of nursing and director of the online Master of Science in Health Informatics Program, earned her bachelor’s degree from Duke University and her master’s and Ph.D. degrees from New York University.

Renee Hakim, Ph.D., and Robert McKeage, Ph.D., received the Faculty Senate Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award, which recognizes a faculty member who demonstrates dedication to teaching graduate students in a manner that creates an encouraging and intellectually stimulating environment that promotes critical thinking and learning. Hakim, professor and chair of the Department of Physical Therapy, joined the faculty in 1996. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Scranton, her master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and her Ph.D. from Temple University. McKeage, associate professor of management, marketing and entrepreneurship and director of the Business Leadership Honors Program, joined the faculty in 1974. He earned his bachelor’s and MBA degrees from the University of Scranton, his master’s degree from Lehigh University and his Ph.D. from Temple University.

Jennifer Kaschak, Ph.D., received the Excellence in Advancing Interdisciplinary Study Award, which recognizes a faculty member who demonstrates noteworthy academic leadership in promoting and strengthening cross-disciplinary or interdepartmental teaching and learning endeavors. Kaschak, associate professor of education, joined the faculty in 2010. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Illinois Wesleyan University, her master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin and her Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Bonnie Markowski received the Excellence in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award, presented to faculty members who make extraordinary efforts to enhance student learning and who practice teaching as a form of scholarship. Markowski, a faculty specialist in the English and Theatre Department, joined the faculty in 2007. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and her master’s degree from the University of Scranton.

Jessica Nolan, Ph.D., received the Excellence in Integrating Diversity in Learning Award, which recognizes a faculty member whose efforts to integrate diversity in the curriculum have enriched the students’ learning experiences. Nolan, professor of psychology and director of the environmental studies concentration, joined the faculty in 2008. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, her master’s degree from California State University and her Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas.

Ismail Onat, Ph.D., received the Excellence in Scholarly Publication Award, presented to faculty members who have attained distinction in scholarship or creative activity. Onat, assistant professor of sociology, criminal justice and criminology, joined the faculty in 2016. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the Turkish National Police Academy and his master’s degree and Ph.D. from Rutgers University.

Matthew Reavy, Ph.D., posthumously received the Magis Award for Excellence in Adapting Classic Principles of Jesuit Pedagogy into the Curriculum. This award is intended to recognize a faculty member who makes specific, sustained, and creative efforts to adapt classic principles of Jesuit Pedagogy in his or her own courses. Reavy, associate professor in the Department of Communication and Media, who passed away Feb. 2, joined the faculty in 1998. During his nearly 25-year tenure at Scranton, he served on numerous committees and governance bodies, as department chair and as the faculty adviser to The Aquinas. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Scranton and his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri.

In addition, Barbara Bossi, adjunct professor of health administration, and Eric Hosie, adjunct professor of marketing, management and entrepreneurship, were honored with the Part-Time Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching. Bossi, senior director of network management and development at UPMC Health Plan, has taught as an adjunct professor in the Panuska College of Professional Studies since 2016. A Fellow of American College of Healthcare Executives, she earned her bachelor’s degree from Marywood University and her master’s degree from the University of Scranton. Hosie, a certified financial planner and vice president at M and T Securities Inc., has taught as an adjunct faculty member in the Kania School of Management since 2008. A graduate of the University of Scranton, he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1988 and his MBA in 1993 from Scranton.

Wilkes University

The university has announced the following faculty members who have earned promotions and been awarded tenure:

Joshua Blechle was promoted to associate professor of chemistry and granted tenure. Blechle joined the university in 2017. He received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Truman State University, Kirksville, Missouri, and his Ph.D. in physical/analytical chemistry from Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado. His research explores the behavior of artificial, nonthermal plasmas using a variety of techniques to investigate the gas-surface interface. His current research project focuses on plasmas formed from exhaust gases and their interaction with heterogeneous catalysts in order to promote improved reduction of nitrogen oxide pollutants.

Kimberly Ference was promoted to associate professor of pharmacy practice and granted tenure. Ference also serves as the director of pharmacy care labs, overseeing and coordinating the Objective Structured Clinical Examinations, a large-scale, simulation exam that serves as an authentic and individual competency assessment required to move forward in the curriculum. Ference received her Doctor of Pharmacy from Wilkes in 2003 and completed a primary care residency at Wilkes in 2004 in conjunction with the Wilkes-Barre VA and Wyoming Valley Family Medicine in Kingston. Ference previously served as clinical assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Matthew Finkenbinder was promoted to associate professor of environmental engineering, earth sciences and geology and granted tenure. Finkenbinder earned his bachelor’s degree in geo-environmental studies at Shippensburg University, his master’s degree in geology from West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, his Ph.D. in geology at the University of Pittsburgh. His research focuses on reconstructing past climatic changes on a range of timescales using the sedimentary record from small lakes. His current research includes lake sediment-based projects in the interior of Alaska, the Brooks Range in northwest Alaska, the Northern Rocky Mountains of Montana, the Great Lakes region of southern Ontario, and Bonne Bay in west-central Newfoundland.

Mohsen Ghamari was promoted to associate professor of mechanical engineering and granted tenure. Ghamari received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, and his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in aerospace engineering and propulsion systems from Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic), Tehran, Iran. Ghamari teaches courses in the thermal-fluid area including thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer. His current research is focused on thermophysical characterization of nanofuels and the study of nanofuel droplets, as well as spray and atomization.

Ryan Henry was promoted to associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry and pharmaceutical sciences and granted tenure. Henry received his bachelor’s degree in biophysics from Johns Hopkins University and his master’s degree and Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, New York. Henry’s scholarship involves the study of histones, proteins that interact with DNA to regulate the compaction and accessibility of DNA. Histone modification has been shown to play a role in a number of biologically relevant pathways, with Henry’s work focusing on their role in coordinating DNA damage repair. Better understanding this pathway has direct applications to both the treatment and prevention of cancer. Prior to the university, Henry was a postdoctoral fellow at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.

Woojun Lee was promoted to associate professor of sports management and granted tenure. Lee received his master’s degree and Ph.D. in sport management from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas. Prior to joining the university, Lee worked at William Woods University, Fulton, Missouri, as an assistant professor and director of the sport management program. Lee’s research includes social justice issues in diversity and inclusion in sport organizations, and sport consumer behavior. He has published eight papers and two book chapters and presented his work at several national conferences. Lee was born and raised in South Korea where he was a ski and swimming instructor and operated a scuba diving business before advancing his education and career in sports management.

Andreea Maierean was promoted to associate professor of political science and granted tenure. Maierean joined the university in 2014 after receiving her Ph.D. in political science at Boston University. Maierean previously studied in Bucharest, Romania, at the National School of Political Studies and Public Administration; in Trieste, Italy, at the University of Trieste; in Budapest, Hungary, at Central European University; and in Vienna, Austria, at the Institute for Human Sciences. Her research and teaching interests include post-communist transitions to democracy, transitional justice and environmental policy. Her doctoral dissertation is a comparative study of lustration, a process that involved the disqualification of certain categories of former communist officials and secret police collaborators from public positions under the new regime. Maierean’s current research projects examine the impact of corruption on voter turnout and the relationship between shale gas policies and democratic governance.

The following faculty members have been promoted to full professor by the university:

Scott Bolesta has been promoted to professor of pharmacy practice. Bolesta obtained his Doctor of Pharmacy as part of the first graduating class of the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy. He rejoined the university in 2005. In addition to his teaching duties, Bolesta has a clinical practice in critical care at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital where he precepts students and provides care for patients with the ICU team. He teaches several required and elective courses within the Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum, most of which are related to his areas of practice and research, including pharmacotherapeutics of cardiovascular, renal and infectious diseases, introduction to hospital pharmacy practice and pharmacogenomics.

Linda Gutierrez has been promoted to professor of biology and earth systems science. Drawing from her expertise in medicine and human anatomy and physiology, Gutierrez teaches a variety of courses in biology and nursing. In recognition of her teaching and advising efforts, Gutierrez received the Outstanding Advisor Award in 2020 and the Carpenter Award in 2013, the university’s highest academic honor. She is a recipient of two major research grants and received the Scholarship Award from the University faculty in 2019. She has served on a variety of committees including the Institutional Research Board (IRB) and the Council on Diversity Inclusion and Equity (CODIE). Gutierrez has also volunteered for the Child Development Council and other community agencies translating handouts to Spanish.

Lisa Kadlec has been promoted to professor of biology and earth systems science. Kadlec’s research on the genetics and molecular biology of fruit fly development is conducted in collaboration with student mentees, many who have presented their work at conferences around the country. Her participation in the Genomics Education Partnership has provided an opportunity for students to participate in novel genomics research. Kadlec teaches courses to all levels of undergraduate biology students, from freshman labs to the senior capstone, including upper level courses in genetics and developmental biology. For her excellence in teaching and mentoring, Kadlec received the Outstanding Advisor Award in 2019 and the University’s highest academic award, the Carpenter Award, in 2017.

Jeffrey Stratford has been promoted to professor of biology. At the university, Stratford has developed courses that involve travel and hands-on experience in Central and South America, including a tropical ecology course that took students to the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon this summer. Along with political science colleagues, he also co-teaches the popular course, “The Political Economy of Coffee.” For his excellence with teaching and mentoring, Stratford received the university’s highest academic award, the Carpenter Award, in 2016. Stratford recently created a new program called “Homework Helpers” designed to assist school children by connecting them with university faculty and student volunteers in assisting with their homework and other academic learning activities.

The university also recognized long-standing senior faculty members with the title of professor emeritus, an honor bestowed by the university to show respect for a distinguished career:

Robert Bohlander, professor of psychology, retired from the university after 43 years of service. Bohlander taught in the area of clinical psychology, developing a wide range of courses while conducting research in collaboration with students and colleagues. In addition, he is a licensed psychologist with an active practice. Bohlander was instrumental in establishing the university’s NeuroTraining and Research Center, where students have gained valuable experience leading to internships, employment and graduate school placements.

Joseph Dawson, associate professor of theater and associate dean, retired from the university after 29 years of service. As a faculty member, Dawson taught a wide range of courses in theatre history, costuming and directing. He designed and built costumes for over 100 shows at Wilkes and directed over 50 productions. His work in costume design and directing has been recognized for excellence on several occasions by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival organization.

Michael Garr, professor of sociology and criminology, retired from the university after 38 years of service. Garr developed and taught a variety of courses with an area of teaching interest in substance abuse. This led to his appointment to a number of state-wide panels such as the Governor’s Drug Council and a result-oriented research program on social drinking, DUI enforcement and related topics. For 10 years, he helped to operate a public survey center that conducted polls on political and social issues, including an important survey effort on the evacuation of Wilkes-Barre during the flood in 1994.

John Hepp, professor of history, retired from the university after 23 years of service. Hepp developed and taught numerous courses at the university — earning him the university’s highest faculty honor, the Carpenter Award for Outstanding Teaching, in 2003. He has authored two books and numerous publications and conference presentations. Hepp successfully created and then co-chaired the university’s Division of Global Cultures. His retirement plans include finishing a book project on the development of international law and institutions in the 19th and 20th centuries.

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