News & Updates

On the COVID-19 Front Lines With 3 Allegheny Alumni

As a front-line physician working in a hospital’s emergency room in Tennessee, Colleen Tran is focused on preserving the health and welfare of her patients, some of them very sick and facing a fight for their lives. The same is true for Lauren Moore, an emergency medicine resident in a Columbus, Ohio, hospital.

Jessica Schindelar is concerned with protecting and ensuring the safety of health-care workers like Moore and Tran. Schindelar is a member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) COVID-19 Health Systems and Worker Safety Task Force.

All three health-care professionals are Allegheny College graduates. Their missions are similar during the current global health pandemic — to defeat the scourge of the novel coronavirus.

“I can truly say that I, probably like most of us, never expected to be in the throws of a pandemic let alone have my hands on the people infected with it every day,” said Moore. “It has absolutely brought a new admiration and appreciation for my colleagues and to all of the nurses, sanitation workers, respiratory therapists, medical techs, grocery store employees, and veterinarians, who, despite the risk, still willingly expose themselves to a deadly virus every day.”

These three dedicated health-care professionals took time from their hectic schedules recently to discuss their roles during the COVID-19 crisis.

Colleen Zink Tran ’07, Emergency Room Physician

Tran is an emergency room physician at TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center in Smyrna, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville. She also serves as the assistant medical director for the emergency department. Every day since early March, her main duties have been the same.

“We are monitoring the positive cases and deaths daily,” Tran said. “We are testing symptomatic and asymptomatic patients in an effort to identify positive cases and quarantine to prevent spread. In preparation for a possible surge of patients, our hospital had set up tents outside where we would be able to rapidly evaluate patients that have symptoms concerning for COVID-19.”

Dr. Colleen Tran works in an emergency room in suburban Nashville, Tennessee.
Allegheny graduate Dr. Colleen Tran works in an emergency room in suburban Nashville, Tennessee.

The past two months have been a new learning experience for Tran, who graduated from Allegheny with a major in biochemistry and a minor in Spanish in 2007. “Life at work is very different from our usual. Normally, I would arrive at work in personal scrubs, log onto the computer, and start seeing patients. With this virus being so contagious, I now have many more steps to complete before starting my shift,” said Tran.

First, she gets her temperature checked upon entering the facility. If someone has a fever, they are sent home immediately and put on quarantine, she said. Tran then changes into hospital scrubs that are left at the hospital after her previous shift so it reduces the chance that she will bring the virus home on her clothing.

She picks up her masks — which include a simple mask for droplet protection and an N95 mask that is used during procedures such as intubation (putting a breathing tube down a patient’s throat) — and a face shield for the day. She scrubs her hands and arms up to her elbows with soap and water for 20 seconds to ensure that is not bringing in any of the virus. Lastly, she uses an antiviral/antibacterial wipe to clean off her computer, desk, chair, and anything else she may touch during her shift. Finally, she can log onto her computer and start seeing patients. At the end of her shift, the process is reversed, she said.

“In regards to the pathology I am seeing, there is definitely an increase in acuity or how sick patients are,” Tran said. “We are seeing many severely ill patients with difficulty breathing or with significantly low oxygen levels. These patients seem to get worse very fast and often end up on a ventilator. We have to take many precautions to not catch the virus while seeing these patients and especially while doing procedures on them, as this is when the virus can become airborne. For every patient who has symptoms of COVID-19, we have to wear a mask, goggles, a face shield, hair cover, gown, and gloves. This is very time consuming, so every patient I am seeing takes much more time than usual.”

Colleen Tran with her family staying at home.
Colleen Tran with her family staying at home.

Tran said her Allegheny education plays an integral role in her duties as an emergency room physician. “My time at Allegheny taught me critical thinking, time management, and how to be a leader. As an emergency physician, I have to be able to react quickly and often have to make hard decisions with minimal information. In the most stressful cases I have to be a leader for the staff and communicate my thought process,” she said.

Tran is married to a physician and has two children at home. Lately, when she gets home, she has been self isolating. “I try very hard not to touch my face and wash my hands often, even when at home,” Tran said. “I am taking daily zinc and vitamin C supplements as well. I am also focusing on my mental health and happiness in order to decrease stress. I try to separate my work life from my home life in order to avoid burnout, which is a common problem for emergency physicians.”

According to Tran, who earned her medical degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, the toughest aspect of the COVID-19 outbreak has been to manage the anxiety, fear, and misunderstanding of the disease.

“It is frustrating to hear others minimize the virus, when I am risking my life by potentially exposing myself,” she said. “As the assistant medical director, it was initially very hard to calm my staff and the other physicians. Everyone was panicked that we may run out of masks or gowns. When this all started, there was a very steep learning curve as to how to protect yourself and we were getting conflicting advice daily. That was incredibly frustrating because we still wanted and needed to take care of our patients, but we wanted to protect ourselves as well.”

Jessica Schindelar ’02, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 Health Systems and Worker Safety Task Force Communication Lead

Schindelar, the associate director for communication in the CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, is currently serving as the communication lead for the Health Systems and Worker Safety Task Force within the CDC’s COVID-19 response. She has been in this role since late March 2020 but has been working on the response since the end of January. She leads a team of 15 communicators from across the agency to translate the work of the task force through various communications channels to disseminate accurate, consistent, and clear COVID-19 information to key audiences and stakeholders, such as the nation’s health care workers.

“Allegheny also armed me with the critical thinking and problem-solving skills I need to be successful in this kind of role – skills I am using every day when decisions have to be made in a split-second, sometimes with very limited information,
“Allegheny also armed me with the critical thinking and problem-solving skills I need to be successful in this kind of role – skills I am using every day when decisions have to be made in a split-second, sometimes with very limited information,” says Jessica Schindelar, an Allegheny graduate who works at the CDC in Atlanta.

Some of the important work of the task force is developing evidence-based guidance, recommendations, resources, and tools to protect healthcare workers and minimize the impacts of COVID-19 on the U.S. healthcare system. Some of the key issues she is working on are healthcare worker safety and infection control practices in healthcare settings, personal protective equipment, healthcare facility preparedness, and system-wide impacts.

“Our task force also provides technical assistance — both by deploying teams of experts to provide on-site assistance and providing remote assistance to healthcare facilities throughout the country, including nursing homes and long-term care facilities, which we are finding to be particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 outbreaks,” said Schindelar, who is a 2002 Allegheny graduate who majored in neuroscience and minored in art history.

Schindelar’s team is developing communication strategies and crafting important messages, creating fact sheets and toolkits, fielding interview requests from media, scripting and editing videos, and managing 60-plus web pages with critical and continually changing information for healthcare providers and facilities. The group is also writing social media, responding to questions from the public and professional audiences, hosting webinars and regular calls with clinical audiences and healthcare sector partners, and ensuring that the guidance and resources being developed by the task force are getting into the hands of the people that need them.

“I always felt like my neuroscience and art history combination was a bit of an odd one, but working as a public health communicator on healthcare safety issues has been a really lovely marriage of my interests in science and the arts,” said Schindelar. “I am forever grateful for my Allegheny education because it made me a better writer — this work requires that I’m clear and direct in my communications. I’m able to translate the scientific, technical information and guidance that is being developed by our task force into actionable messages and communication products that are easy to understand and use.

“Allegheny also armed me with the critical thinking and problem-solving skills I need to be successful in this kind of role — skills I am using every day when decisions have to be made in a split-second, sometimes with very limited information. Outside of my education, my Allegheny experience as a whole made me a stronger, more confident leader,” she said.

Schindelar said she has been following her own CDC guidance to protect herself: Staying home as much as possible, frequent handwashing, practicing social distancing, and wearing a face covering to protect others when she goes out to run essential errands — which is mostly just grocery store runs, she said. Generally, she tries to get enough sleep, eat healthy, and take walks in her neighborhood to get in exercise to counterbalance the hours she works.

“There are two things I am finding particularly tough during this crisis,” said Schindelar. “First, is hearing from friends, former classmates, and other healthcare workers who are on the front lines about the challenges they are experiencing. It’s difficult to hear the realities about what is happening on the ground, and I am so grateful for everything they are doing. I am trying to do my part to help them — as are the more than 4,000 CDC staff working around the clock on this response to protect the public’s health. Seeing the dedication and commitment of the 300-plus people within my own task force who I’m working with every day to protect healthcare workers and facilities makes me really proud to be part of this historic response, even on the hardest days.”

The second challenge is that the CDC staff is mostly running this response from their homes, she said. “There is a skeleton crew at CDC right now. Before we moved to remote work in March, our emergency response operations happened out of two buildings on CDC’s campus — we were all working out of our task force ‘war’ rooms. That is all happening virtually now, and while I feel very fortunate that I can do this work from the safety of my own home, many of my colleagues are now juggling this response with childcare and school as well. It’s an added layer of difficulty we’ve never encountered in any response I’ve been involved with in my 12 years at the agency. But in the end, it’s rewarding work despite the long hours and I go to bed every night really proud of the work we have done and are doing.”

Lauren Moore ’14, Emergency Medicine Resident

Moore is a postgraduate year two emergency medicine resident at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. She is nearing the end of her second of three years of post-medical school training. “We see everyone — the deathly sick, the not so sick, and all those in between, regardless of whether or not they have signs or symptoms of COVID-19,” Moore said.

“Sometimes, when I’m driving home after a 12-hour shift, the weight of the situation hits me and I have to remind myself to take a deep breath and forge ahead,” says Lauren Moore, who works in an emergency room in Columbus.
“Sometimes, when I’m driving home after a 12-hour shift, the weight of the situation hits me and I have to remind myself to take a deep breath and forge ahead,” says Lauren Moore, who works in an emergency room in Columbus.

Successfully managing the crisis is all about delegating resources, she said. “This means that we have to determine what patients need further management and monitoring in the hospital versus who can safely go home. Aside from life-saving care, we provide public information, resources, and a hand to hold during this uncertain time. I’m honored and privileged to be able to do this as my job,” Moore said.

“From a hospital standpoint, policies change based on new data at a rate of what seems like two to four times a day. We have to keep up with ever-changing COVID-19 testing kits, sanitation practices, who to test and how to keep safe,” said Moore, who is a 2014 Allegheny graduate and a 2018 graduate of the Penn State College of Medicine.

Additionally, she said, the Wexner Medical Center emergency room is seeing a “backlash from the pandemic.” Because so many people are cooped up at home, there has been an increase in the number of child abuse victims, domestic violence assaults and suicides, Moore said.

Also, hearing about colleagues and fellow first-line providers getting sick is disconcerting, Moore said. “Sometimes, when I’m driving home after a 12-hour shift, the weight of the situation hits me and I have to remind myself to take a deep breath and forge ahead,” Moore said. “It’s overwhelming. It’s like walking a tight rope on the sharp edge of a knife. On one side, we want to do right for and be there with our patients despite limited personal protection equipment and increased risk to ourselves. But on the other, we want to protect our families and friends. Either way we fall, in a lot of ways, we get cut.”

Lauren Moore has sent her dog away during the coronavirus outbreak.
Lauren Moore has sent her dog away during the coronavirus outbreak to help protect the dog walkers she relies on.

Earning a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience at Allegheny while taking all the necessary pre-med classes was tough, Moore said, but worth it. “Long hours of studying in Steffee to get into medical school prepared me for the academic workload of staying up to date with the ever-changing guidelines and research regarding best COVID-19 treatment practices. I was also very involved in student government, my sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma, and working at the childcare center, in Alumni Affairs at the Tippie Center, at the Office of Student Involvement, and as a health coach. Having so many commitments in addition to my studies prepared me for extreme multitasking, which is imperative to success in a busy emergency room and intensive care unit.”

While personal protective equipment has been limited during the pandemic, hospital management has done everything it can to make sure physicians and other workers are as protected as possible, Moore said.

“I don’t have a safe place to store my gear at the hospital, so I leave it in my car and have been avoiding using my car unless it is to get to work,” she said. “More importantly, I’m protecting my family and friends by staying away from them. I even sent my dog away for several months to protect the dog walkers who I rely on to help me with her. It may sound silly, but that to me has probably been one of the hardest things to deal with during all of this — not coming home to her company after a long day.”

Lauren Moore wears her personal protective equipment at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Lauren Moore wears her personal protective equipment at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

In an attempt to prevent viral spread and exposure to those whose bodies are already weak, visitation from the public is limited at Wexner Medical Center, as it is at all medical facilities now.

“Because of this, so many people are going through some of the most difficult times of their lives completely alone, and it’s tough to watch that,” Moore said. “Patients are brought in by EMS completely alone, and we put breathing tubes and IVs and catheters in them and they are so sick that they can’t even talk to their families on the phone to tell them what’s going on. When I provide phone updates to families, I find that it is equally as hard for them who want nothing more than to see and be there for their loved ones. All I can do is be there for the patients by holding their hands and reminding them that their families love them.”

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Thinking Differently Empowers Allegheny Student To Discover Strengths, Help Others

Since the first grade, Aliza Legg was told to expect to fail. From the moment she was diagnosed with dyslexia, she was told that her goal in life should not be college or a career, but to hope to be able to shop on her own one day.

When she reached middle school and her classmates started learning foreign languages, Legg was told she wasn’t allowed to — because learning a different language would make her English worse. After her mother disputed the matter for three years with the school, Legg was finally allowed to take a Spanish class.

“And they told [my mother] that this would be her fault when I failed, it’s going to be on you, it’s going to make the rest of my classes worse, and bring my GPA down. All of these things,” says Legg. “But my mom said, ‘Let’s just try.’”

Spanish turned out to be her strength — Legg has earned an A in every Spanish class she’s taken.

“The interesting thing was that the work I had to put into Spanish was way less than any of my other classes,” says Legg. “I kept wondering, ‘why was it taking so much less work and effort, why was it coming so easily to me?’ It was almost like it was giving my brain a break to switch from something else.”

When Legg started her first year at Allegheny, she expected to graduate as a chemistry major. All that changed when she took a neuroscience class on a whim and found her curiosities ignited. Neuroscience fit everything she was looking for: studying up-close how people process and react to incoming information.

Now a neuroscience major, Legg is diving back into her past through her senior comprehensive project by researching protocols in place for students with dyslexia learning a foreign language.

“I started to look into the research, and it supports that there’s no deficit with a student or person with dyslexia learning a foreign language,” says Legg. “So I thought where’s the disconnect here? I went to Dr. Aimee Knupsky in the Psychology Department, who specializes in human cognitive processes, and she was so excited that I was so passionate and so excited about doing something that’s so personal to me. She was 100 percent so supportive and is the reason why it was able to happen here.”

Legg’s comp isn’t the only way she’s working to make things better for others with dyslexia. Every summer she works with the Provident Charter School of Pittsburgh and meets with new teachers at orientation to talk about what learning is like as a person with dyslexia, and Legg suggests ways they can support students like her. These efforts and Legg’s scholarly persistence led the Provident Charter School to present her with the Champion Award in October 2019. The award is given to individuals with dyslexia who have been very successful.

“This was the biggest surprise,” says Legg. “I just hope this shows all of those little kids out there that are sitting in tutoring after school, when they’re exhausted and have to do all this extra work and aren’t understanding why they can’t do it like their brother or sister or best friend, that it’s OK.”

Legg is just the third recipient of the Champion Award. Past recipients of the award include Taylor Washington of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and Kevin McClatchy, former owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“Aliza has not let her dyslexia stop her from doing the work she’s always wanted to do,” says Knupsky. “Now, she is working to make foreign language learning equitable and attainable for all students. Her work is not only an individual journey; it is a journey she has undertaken to help others. That’s inspiring.”

After graduating this spring from Allegheny, Legg plans to pursue a career in clinical psychology. She feels her unique perspective will enable her to support those who see things differently and process information in unconventional ways.

“In so many areas of my life that I’ve now learned, thinking differently is what sets me apart and what makes me so advanced,” says Legg. “I was always labeled as a disability, and I think showing people that it’s not a bad thing and they’re special and they have things that other people don’t, focusing on strengths and working on weaknesses, is something I could really help with. Dyslexia is not a life sentence; it’s actually a gift.”

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Want to explore? Get a FREE PASSPORT!

Allegheny College’s next Passport Fair is November 19 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Campus Center lobby. Allegheny College is paying the expenses for students to apply for a new or renewed passport. Students must register here for the Passport Fair by Tuesday, November 12, at noon. Students applying must bring their original birth certificate, drivers license/state ID card, and Allegheny Student ID card. Please contact Lucinda Morgan in International Education with any questions (

Spanish & IS Major Elyse Cinquino Participates in NEW Leadership Pennsylvania Institute

Allegheny senior Elyse Cinquino and Allegheny graduate Dana Brown, Ph.D., executive director of the Pennsylvania Center for Women & Politics at Chatham University

Allegheny College senior Elyse Cinquino participated in the National Education for Women’s (NEW) Leadership Pennsylvania program, a weeklong “leadership and public policy institute designed to educate and empower young women for future political participation and leadership,” in summer 2019. Throughout the week, participants in this non-partisan program discuss the role of women in politics and policymaking in Pennsylvania with the goal of addressing the underrepresentation of women in politics.

The NEW Leadership Pennsylvania institute is hosted by the Pennsylvania Center for Women & Politics at Chatham University. Allegheny graduate Dana Brown, Ph.D., serves as the center’s executive director and an assistant professor of political science at Chatham.

Cinquino is double majoring in International Studies and Spanish with a political science minor. She shares reflections on her NEW Leadership Pennsylvania experience here:

“My experience at the NEW Leadership Program was a memorable one. I was able to interact and get to know many other collegiate Pennsylvania women who were interested in the prospect of being involved in politics. When I originally applied for the program, I was unsure if it would be something I would enjoy or would be applicable to my future career interests. However, I would recommend this program to any woman remotely interested in getting involved in politics or becoming more civically involved. Although I did not see myself running for a major elected office in the future, after completing this program I surely want to become more civically involved in local politics today and in the future. This program emphasizes the importance of women becoming in politics not only in higher-up positions but also locally. It taught me that getting involved in politics does not mean you have to be a U.S president or even a senator.

“One memorable quote I remember from the NEW Leadership Program was a modification to the quote by Shirley Chisholm — “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” At NEW Leadership, we came up with a new quote, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring your own table.” This quote and ideal resonated with me and many of the other women at the conference. In politics, women and especially women of color are underrepresented. As a result, an important demographic, as well as different life experiences and skillsets are left underutilized and not included in important conversations and decisions that affect women and our nation as a whole. I learned that sometimes when there’s no seat at the table for you or no designated place for you to be included in a conversation, you have to make room for yourself because your ideas and opinions matter.

“I am currently involved in Allegheny Student Government as vice president, and I believe the skills I was able to develop at NEW Leadership will assist me in this position as well as my other position on an executive board in my sorority. This program was also advantageous for networking as we had networking opportunities, and I even was able to meet Justice Cynthia A. Baldwin, who did a Fulbright in Zimbabwe that relates to what I’m interested in doing after graduation. This networking practice was very helpful, and we also had a networking and public speaking training to prepare us for our networking sessions.

“During the NEW Leadership Program, we visited Harrisburg, and it was very cool to see where and how state-level politics take place. The panels and general conduct and setup of NEW Leadership was diverse and non-partisan with different women, representatives and political leaders from different parties and backgrounds. This was great so many of the collegiate women had people they could relate to and receive advice from. Overall, the NEW Leadership Program would be something I would recommend and am proud to call myself an alumna of!”

Allegheny Welcomes New Faculty

From a native of Italy who speaks five languages to a motocross enthusiast, Allegheny’s new faculty members bring many unique backgrounds and qualities to the campus classrooms in the fall of 2019. Let’s meet each of them briefly:

Kathryn BenderKathryn Bender
Assistant Professor of Economics

Kathryn Bender joins the Economics Department this fall and is helping students discover the economics of natural resources. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Centre College and her master’s and doctorate from the Ohio State University.

“I’m excited to start at Allegheny this fall,” says Bender. “I’m involved in several projects on consumer food-waste behavior and hope to find new avenues to explore at Allegheny around this topic.”

Her dissertation, “Date Labels and Food Waste: A study of the effect of label characteristics on food waste in the United States,” studies the confluence of environmental science, economics, and marketing in the food distribution ecosystem in the United States. She is also interested in exploring the effect of feminine hygiene programs in developing countries on the environment along with women’s empowerment, health, and education.

In her free time, Bender enjoys playing soccer, riding horses, and hanging out with her two dogs, Huck and Nala.

Bradley Burroughs '02Bradley Burroughs ’02
Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies

After graduating from Allegheny in 2002, Bradley Burroughs earned his master’s degree from Duke University Divinity School and his Ph.D. from Emory University. His first teaching job was at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. After resigning that position to attend to family needs, he taught for four years at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. “But I am thrilled to be back in Meadville and reconnecting to the Allegheny community,” he says.

His academic interests span a variety of theological and ethical thought. His most recent work has been in two areas. The first is Christian political ethics, which led to his first book, Christianity, Politics, and the Predicament of Evil: A Constructive Theological Ethic of Soulcraft and Statecraft. It has also led to other published pieces that assess practices of contemporary warfare. The second area of his recent work has been in how Christian thinkers have understood the concept of evil, which is the subject of his next book project.

Burroughs enjoys mountain biking, hiking, backpacking, and being outdoors generally, “or at least as much as I can do now with two kids in tow. Although not entirely unusual, one of my more surprising talents is juggling, which I learned from a hallmate in Baldwin during my first year at Allegheny.”

He also is proud that he was the first in his family to graduate from college.

Moira FlanaganMoira Flanagan
Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Moira Flanagan is a lifelong morris dancer, a form of traditional English folk/pub dancing. She is also the newest chemistry professor at Allegheny.

She has a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City and a Ph.D. in biophysical sciences from the University of Chicago. Most recently, she was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Chemistry Department at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. Currently, her research combines biochemistry and physical chemistry techniques to understand the physical and photoprotective properties of heterogeneous biological pigments like melanin.

“My interest in the chemistry of biological systems also shapes how I teach,” Flanagan says. “I get excited to bring biological contexts into other fields of chemistry (as often as I can), but also emphasize the physical chemistry concepts (like entropy) in biochemistry topics.

“My teaching is based on the idea that everyone can learn science if they want to and I am here to help. I reject the idea that some people ‘get’ science and math and some people don’t,” Flanagan says. “One doesn’t need to be an expert in chemistry to critically analyze and problem-solve in a new context.”

Besides her affinity for chemistry, teaching and morris dancing, Flanagan enjoys cooking, especially fish and fresh pasta. “I also won a coloring contest in my local paper when I was 4, and actually still consider myself an amateur artist in drawing and cartooning.

Jessica Harris
Visiting Assistant Professor of History

Jessica Harris received her bachelor’s in history, master’s in Afro-American Studies, master’s in history, and Ph.D. in history, all from UCLA. She also held a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto in the Department of Italian Studies. She taught at Santa Monica College as well as at the University of Toronto during her fellowship.

Her research focus is on the history of the 20th century United States and the World, Modern Italy, and Black Europe, “and I am particularly interested in gender and race, their intersection with material culture, and the subsequent effect on group identities,” Harris says.

Since she studies Italian culture, “I like to watch Italian films and listen to Italian pop music,” says Harris.

Her five minutes of fame occurred as a teenager, Harris says, “when my club soccer team and I appeared on an episode of Bette Midler’s sitcom ‘Bette’.”

Mahita KadmielMahita Kadmiel
Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology

Mahita Kadmiel has spent most of her life learning about human diseases, and she enjoys teaching students about how the human body works — or fails to work — in the event of a disease.

Kadmiel taught for two years as a visiting assistant professor at Colgate University. She is trained in biomedical sciences, completing postdoctoral training in molecular endocrinology at the National Institutes of Health. In addition, she holds a Ph.D. in cell and molecular physiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a master’s degree in biology from Michigan Technological University, and a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and biochemistry and medical lab technology from Andhra University in India.

“My academic interest has always been in improving our understanding of the molecular basis of human diseases,” Kadmiel says. “Too little or too much of stress hormones (glucocorticoids) and changes in sex hormone levels (estrogen and testosterone) have been linked to vision problems.”

She is investigating the function of these hormones in the cornea and retina using rodent models and cells derived from human eyes. Kadmiel also is interested in studying the role of hormone-mimicking chemicals (more commonly called endocrine-disrupting chemicals) on ocular cells and tissues and how they might influence eye health.

Kadmiel incorporates her interest in various forms of art not only in the biology courses that she teaches, but also in her time outside the classroom and laboratory.

“I enjoy working on art projects and DIY projects along with my two kids,” she says. “This is my trick to get mom-time and hobby time in one shot!”

Douglas LumanDouglas Luman
Assistant Professor of Computer Science

Douglas Luman joins the Computer Science Department from a background in creative writing and composition. He earned a bachelor’s degree in theatre arts from Bradley University and his MFA is from George Mason University, where he studied poetry and was the Heritage Student Fellow in 2017. He taught in the University Writing Program at George Washington University.

“So, suffice to say, I am an interesting fit in computer science. The way I usually explain it is that all of my work is computational, even though it is done in a humanities-leaning context,” he says.

His MFA thesis, “Prodigy House,” was a computational investigation of an early literary algorithm (“Travesty”). His other work is all computationally based. “I essentially ‘write’ aided by software that I write and others (like Google Cloud tools — Translate, Speech to Text) that I use in conjunction with writing. During graduate school, I developed a computational constraint platform that I continue to run at

“One might say that my work is less from an academic background and more out of a discipline or practice,” Luman says.

Luman is also interested in approaches to computational pedagogy: that is, what do the humanities, writ-large, have to say about teaching computer science? “Is there some way that we can use humanities-based concepts/data to teach students what it means to be responsible for their code? I wonder if there’s some distinction here to remind both students and ourselves of the perennial lesson that just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should,” he says.

He and his partner, the poet Jenni B. Baker, also run a book arts press called Container, where they produce other artists’ work in three-dimensional, novel forms, “which is to say as a gem tray of origami paper gems, etched glass bottles, or as cross-stitch kits, for example,” Luman says.

Rebecca OliverRebecca Oliver
Assistant Professor of Political Science

Rebecca Oliver received her bachelor’s degree from the Université de Montréal and her Ph.D. from Northwestern University. She arrives at Allegheny after teaching most recently at Murray State University in Kentucky and, prior to that, the University of Southern California.

Oliver’s research examines the politics of inequality with respect to labor markets and social policy in Europe. Substantive topics of her work include labor union strategies, collective bargaining institutions, public opinion, childcare policy and territorial inequalities in social policy.

She is currently completing revisions for her book, “Negotiating Differences: The Politics of Egalitarian Bargaining Institutions.” The book examines the following question: Why, in the face of common growing pressures toward greater liberalization and pay dispersion, are egalitarian bargaining institutions sustained or reconfigured in some instances and bluntly dismantled in others? Employing the cases of Italy and Sweden, the book studies developments in egalitarian collective bargaining institutions.

Oliver recently adopted a puppy named Griffin. “My interests of hiking, canoe camping, exploring and getting lost in new cities/towns, making cupcakes, skiing, playing tennis, attending live jazz concerts and visiting art galleries are currently taking a back seat to dog training,” she says.

Kelly PearceKelly Pearce
Instructor, Environmental Science & Sustainability

Kelly Pearce is a graduate of Juniata College, where she majored in wildlife conservation and minored in education. She received her master’s degree in applied ecology and conservation biology from Frostburg State University, and earned her Ph.D. in ecology from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Appalachian Laboratory.

She is a wildlife ecologist and conservationist with research interests at the intersection of ecological and social science, including the field of human dimensions of wildlife conservation. “I use quantitative and qualitative approaches to study how environmental, social, and policy factors influence wildlife populations and species distributions. I also strive to better understand approaches that mitigate conflict and encourage coexistence between people and wildlife,” she says. Pearce also serves on the Outreach and Conflict Resolution Task Force as a member of the IUCN Otter Specialist Group.

“My research has taken me to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, where I evaluated the ability of the river otter to serve as an aquatic flagship species for the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem,” she says. “I have also been involved in a variety of wildlife ecology projects focused in western Maryland and West Virginia, including a study on eastern spotted skunks, Allegheny woodrats, and a variety of bat species.”

Pearce enjoys live music and spends much of her free time watching and traveling for shows, she says. Pearce also enjoys motorcycle journeys. “I rode my first motorcycle when I was 3 right into the back of the garage. I still love to ride on my parents’ farm in central Pennsylvania, and this past summer I earned three first-place finishes in a vintage cross-country motorcycle race series.”

Gaia RancatiGaia Rancati
Assistant Professor of Marketing and Neuromarketing in Economics

Gaia Rancati joins the Economics Department and will teach Principles of Marketing and Business and Managerial Economics during the fall semester.

Rancati is an experienced trainer and coach in both sales and customer experience specializing in retail, sales, team building, and management. She earned her Ph.D. in marketing and neuroeconomics as well as a bachelor’s degree in marketing from IULM University, and a master’s of leadership and management from Il Sole 24ORE Business School in Milan, Italy. She is a sought-after researcher and speaker in the field of neuromarketing where she applies the science of neuroeconomics for improving customer experience in the retail field with a focus on service encounters, sales transformation and artificial intelligence.

Lauren RudolphLauren Rudolph
Assistant Professor of Biology

Lauren Rudolph joins the Biology Department with undergraduate and graduate degrees as double-majors in neuroscience and psychology. She attended Washington and Lee University for her undergraduate education and Indiana University for her Ph.D. She completed her postdoctoral studies at the University of California, Los Angeles in neurobiology and neuroendocrinology, and then taught neuroscience as a visiting professor at Pomona College.

Rudolph’s research is generally focused on steroid hormones and how they act to drive certain behaviors, such as mammalian reproduction. Her wider interests include neuroendocrinology, hormones, reproduction, sex differences, and physiology.

“I am continually impressed with the ever-expanding range of steroid hormone effects,” says Rudolph, “and how hormones can alter behaviors. I study how hormones act in ‘non-traditional’ ways to change the shape and function of cells, tissues, and organisms.”

When traveling on planes, Rudolph says she tends to get into interesting conversations because she is often working on presentations about reproduction. She sees those discussions as part of her “unofficial outreach”: sharing her research with other people.

During her time at Washington and Lee University, Rudolph played volleyball on a team which won conference champions each year, earning a place in the NCAA tournament during her four years as an undergraduate. Besides volleyball, Rudolph also enjoys the outdoors, cheese, sarcasm, making up forced acronyms, animal fun facts, and March Madness.

“I am also skilled at removing the gonads of rodents (for research!),” she adds.

Rosita ScerboRosita Scerbo
Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish

Rosita Scerbo joins the Department of Modern and Classical Languages as a Spanish instructor. Her research interests include Latin American and Chicanx visual autobiography. This includes photography, cinema, paintings, murals, and digital art. She is also a specialist in Digital Humanities and Hispanic digital pedagogy tools.

Scerbo was born in Italy but has spent most of her life studying and working abroad. “I’m a heritage speaker of Spanish, as I learned Spanish in my community as a child before I dedicated my life to the Hispanic language and culture academically in school and in college.”

She taught Spanish and Italian language, literature, and culture at West Virginia University during her pursuit of a master’s degree and at Arizona State University while earning her doctorate. She also has taught Spanish in Sevilla, Spain, and Buenos Aires, Argentina, during study abroad and Spanish immersion programs. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Calabria in Italy.

“I speak five languages,” says Scerbo. “I went to dance school for many years, and I’m particularly passionate about Latin dances, including salsa, bachata, and merengue. My two daughters’ names — one is human and one is canine — are Sol and Luna, that is Spanish for sun and moon.”

Sarah StangerSarah Stanger
Assistant Professor of Psychology

Sarah Stanger joins Allegheny’s Psychology Department and also plans to provide assessment and treatment services to children and families in Meadville as she works toward clinical licensure. Stanger attended Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She says her time there “ignited my passion for contributing to a learning community like Allegheny.” Stanger then traveled cross-country to attend the University of Vermont, where she taught undergraduate courses and earned a joint Ph.D. in clinical and developmental psychology.

Most recently, Stanger was in Portland, Oregon, completing her predoctoral clinical internship. While there, she provided assessment, consultation, and treatment services for children and families in a hospital-based setting.

Stanger hopes to observe interactions between families and children in a laboratory setting while at Allegheny. “I am interested in understanding the development of adaptive stress responses — both physiological and behavioral — in children and adolescents,” says Stanger. “This includes examining how parenting and other contextual factors, such as family socioeconomic status, contribute to this development.”

Outside of her professional life, Stanger has competed in horseback riding, enjoys skiing and snowboarding, and has a love for college sports and theater. She anticipates learning to cross-country ski while in Meadville, as well as attending her students’ productions and sporting events.

Asmus TrautschAsmus Trautsch
Writer in Residence

Asmus Trautsch studied philosophy as a major and German literature (modern and medieval) as a minor at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany, and at the University College London in Great Britain. In addition, he studied composition/music theory at the University of the Arts in Berlin. He earned his Ph.D. in philosophy at Humboldt University, spending a term as a visiting scholar at Columbia University in New York City. He has taught philosophy at the University of Dresden and has been a guest lecturer at other universities.

His research interests include contemporary poetry, philosophy of tragedy, philosophy of literature, philosophy of music, ancient Greek philosophy, aesthetics, and ethics.

“My interests lie in the arts, including fine arts, film and dance and in the ways in which the sciences and the arts work together for enabling understanding and new knowledge,” says Trautsch. “Also I’m passionately interested in how philosophy and literature can contribute to educating society and improving politics.”

Trautsch likes to engage in “entertaining dialogues with lots of curious questions,” bake cakes, conduct orchestras and play various musical instruments. He shares a fun fact from his past: “I once won second prize in a competition called ‘Dance Your Ph.D.’ in Dresden.”

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Info Sessions for EL SEMINAR in COLOMBIA – Spring Break 2020

Professors Shannan Mattiace and Wilfredo Hernández will lead an EL Seminar to Colombia over Spring Break 2020.

You will visit the cities of Medellín and Cartagena as you explore “Culture and Politics in Contemporary Colombia.”

Information sessions will held on the following dates in QUIGLEY 123:

Tues., Sept. 17 @ 5:00 pm

Tues., Sept. 24 @ 7:00 pm

Thurs., Sept. 26 @ 5:00 pm

Tues., Oct. 8 @ 6:00 pm

Apply for a Critical Language Scholarship from the U.S. State Dept.

  • An intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for American students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities.
  • Students spend eight to ten weeks abroad studying one of 15 critical languages. The program includes intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains.
  • Most languages offered by the CLS Program (9 of 15) do not require applicants to have any experience studying critical languages.
  • CLS seeks to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering foreign languages that are critical to national security and economic prosperity.
  • CLS plays an important role in preparing students for the 21st century’s globalized workforce and increasing national competitiveness.

The CLS Program offers instruction in the following languages:

















DEADLINE: Tuesday, November 19, 2019 @ 8:00pm EST.


Interested in a 2-credit EL (Experiential Learning) Seminar that occurs over Spring Break (March 13-22, 2020)?

An information session for “A Melting Pot or Unwelcoming Host: Europe in the Age of Globalization and Migration” will take place Tuesday, September 17, from 4 to 5 p.m. in Quigley Hall Room 201.

This EL will include participant-observation of the dynamics of migration in Europe and visits to inter-government institutions in Paris, Barcelona, and Oslo as it explores the political economy of globalization and migration in Europe.

If you are unable to make one of this session, there will be more sessions in the future. This EL is led by Professor Steve Onyeiwu (Economics Department) and Lucinda Morgan (International Education)–please contact them for more information.

Get a FREE PASSPORT at the Passport Fair, Sept. 18!

Allegheny students are invited to apply for or renew their U.S. Passports on Wednesday, September 18, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Campus Center lobby—and Allegheny will cover your fee. We’ll take your photo and provide help in completing the application. Sign up for an appointment by noon on Tuesday, September 10, here. Important: To apply, you will need to bring evidence of U.S. citizenship (such as an original U.S. birth certificate) and identification documents (such as a fully valid driver’s license). Please visit the Department of State U.S. Passports website for more information on the application process and required documents. Can’t make it to the Passport Fair on September 18? Good news, we’ll also be offering more opportunities for students to apply for passports on campus during the 2019–2020 academic year. Questions? Please contact Lucinda Morgan, director of International Education, at

Study Away for Spring 2020 – Application due SEPT. 20!

Students interested in studying away during the spring 2020 semester must apply to the International Education Office by September 20. This deadline is for all international and domestic sponsored and non-sponsored study away programs. Please use this link for more information or contact Lucinda Morgan or Lenee McCandless in the International Education Office. Applicants are highly encouraged to have their resumes reviewed in advance by Career Education. A walk-in opportunity to have your resume reviewed is at Resume Doctor on Thursday, September 12, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Campus Center lobby.