At Pennsylvania Highlands, we provide students with affordable opportunities to gain the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in their work, in their day-to-day lives, and in their pursuit of life-long learning.
Serving six counties and nestled in the beautiful Allegheny mountains, Penn Highlands is a vibrant collection of educators who care for, support, and mentor students as they pursue their educational goals. We believe in collaboration and regularly create new community partnerships that not only strengthen the College, but creates additional educational opportunities for the diverse citizens of the communities we serve. Please stop in and see us.President's Greeting
Dr. Steve Nunez, President
Steve began his 20-plus year career in higher education at Sauk Valley Community College where he spent 16 years serving students as a faculty member in the Department of Biology, 14 years as the advisor of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and two years as President of the Faculty Union. He spent his last eight years at Sauk Valley as a senior administrator supervising various departments. In his last role as vice president, Steve provided leadership over all for-credit and non-credit academic programs, student services, the Small Business Development Center, adult education (G.E.D./E.S.L.), and student recruitment. While at the College, Steve also served as a Higher Learning Commission peer reviewer where he participated in over ten accreditation reviews of community colleges.
In 2020, Steve was hired at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College as their fifth President. He currently serves as a Board Member for the Cambria Regional Chamber of Commerce, Somerset County Chamber of Commerce, and the Southern Alleghenies Workforce Development Board. He is also a member of the Greater Johnstown Regional Partnership, the Ebensburg Rotary Club, and the Blair County Chamber of Commerce Executive Roundtable.
He earned an associate degree from Southwest Virginia Community College, both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in biology from Virginia Tech, and a doctorate in community college leadership (Ed.D.) from Ferris State University.
Gary Boast joined Pennsylvania Highlands in 2014 and currently leads our Institutional Effectiveness activities, which include external reporting, research and planning, and supporting college improvement efforts through data-based decision making. He is tasked with demonstrating how well the College succeeds in accomplishing its mission via development and assessment of improvement initiatives that ensure the success of our students. He has expertise in quantitative methods and technical knowledge of statistical programming and data visualization.
Prior to Penn Highlands, Gary was the CIO for a publicly traded company where he oversaw a national IT infrastructure and was a member of the executive leadership team. He has held both management and leadership roles in his 30-year career in the computer science and IT fields within the education, finance, healthcare, defense, and manufacturing industries.
Gary is a veteran of the United States Air Force and a graduate of Millersville University and Mount Aloysius College majoring in computer science and business. He currently chairs the PA Commission for Community Colleges Institutional Research Director affinity group, is active in a veteran service organization, and participates in local church and community-led service organizations.
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Trish Corle began her career with Pennsylvania Highlands Community College in April 2010 as the Executive Director of External Affairs and eventually was named Associate Vice President of External Affairs. Her duties included directing the College’s Marketing Department, leading the Pennsylvania Highlands Community College Foundation, and serving as the government and community relations communications officer.
Since May 2016, she has served as the Vice President of Student Services. In this capacity, she works within all facets of student services including admissions, registration, student success, and student activities and athletics. She also supervises the directors of the five regional centers and serves as the Title IX Coordinator and Right to Know Officer.
Trish spent the first 23 years of her career in human services, serving as the CEO of two different nonprofit organizations.
She has a Bachelor of Science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and an MS in Health and Human Service Administration from Mount Aloysius College. She is also the President and CEO of Corle Consulting LLC, providing affordable consultative services to local non-profit and human service organizations.
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Lorraine Donahue has over 17 years of higher education experience at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College. She was hired in 2003 as the Vice President of Finance and Administration. She is the chief financial and administrative officer responsible for the College’s financial affairs, information technology, facilities, human resources, security, and auxiliary services. She represents the College on financial and capital issues at the State level. Prior to working at Penn Highlands, Lorraine was a Program Manager at Lockheed Martin and a Data Analyst at Capital One.
She serves on the Cambria County Conservation and Recreation Authority as a Board member, Learning Lamp Board of Directors as Treasurer, and the Pennsylvania Commission for Community College’s Capital Workgroup.
Lorraine earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in Organization and Management, Business from Capella University.
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Robert Farinelli has over 30 years of experience in higher education. Prior to Penn Highlands, he was most recently the Dean of Academic Affairs and Student Services at Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, CT. He also held the positions of Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, STEM Director, and Division Chair (Mathematics, Physics, and Engineering) at the College of Southern Maryland. He was also a Professor of Mathematics at the Community College of Allegheny County, in Pittsburgh, PA.
Mr. Farinelli holds an M.S. in Education from Capella University, an M.A. in Mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh, and a B.S. in Mathematics from Penn State University.
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Beth Freedline began her career with Pennsylvania Highlands Community College in September 2021 as the Executive Assistant to the President. Prior to joining the College, Beth spent the last 9 years of her career with the Conemaugh Health System as the Assistant to the President and Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer/Market President. Formerly, she worked as a vocational counselor and in newspaper and television media. Beth is also a published author.
Ms. Freedline’s duties include assisting the President, the Executive Director of Institutional Advancement, and the Pennsylvania Highlands Community College Foundation Board of Directors.
She has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. She currently resides near Boswell with her husband and son.
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Kathy Morrell has worked in media marketing for over 20 years. She began her career at Western Initiative Media in Scottsdale Arizona where she purchased direct response media for large clients such as Jenny Craig, MGM Grand Resorts & Casinos, University of Phoenix, and Kaiser Permanente Healthcare to name a few. She moved back to the east coast in 2000 and secured a position as media director at the Barash Group Advertising Agency out of Altoona, PA. While at the Barash Group, Kathy was in charge of media plan development and implementation for Altoona Regional Hospital (currently UPMC Altoona), Home Nursing Agency, and Reliance Bank. Working with local clients and helping them develop and meet their sales goals was extremely rewarding.
After the closure of The Barash Group in 2007, Kathy moved on to a Media Director position at the Gatesman Agency in Pittsburgh, PA. She was the head media strategist for UPMC Healthcare, UPMC Health Plan, Shop ‘n Save, and Gabriel Brothers. Planning, purchasing, and stewarding accounts of this caliber was extremely challenging. After working in this arena for over ten years, she decided the Pittsburgh commute was too much while raising a family, she began searching for a career in the Johnstown area that could use her 20+ years of advertising knowledge.
In 2019, Kathy was hired as Executive Director of Institutional Advancement and Public Relations at Penn Highlands Community College. She currently directs the College Foundation, supports and nurtures the College’s relationships with local, county, state, and federally elected officials, and oversees the Marketing and Communications department.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism degree from West Virginia University. She serves on the Saint Vincent De Paul Family Kitchen Fundraising Committee, and she currently resides in Westmont with her husband and two children.
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Dr. Barb Zaborowski has been a librarian for over 30 years, during which time she has served in school, public, and academic libraries. Currently, she serves as Dean of Library Services and Special Projects. Starting at the College in 1995, she has been instrumental in building the library and promoting library services to students and faculty. She also serves as the College’s Middle States Accreditation Liaison Officer.
She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Writing and Secondary Education, a Master’s degree in Library Science, and a Doctorate in Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh.
In 2010, the Johnstown Area Heritage Association presented her with its Heritage Preservation Award for her efforts in digitizing and preserving the history of Johnstown and for her original research on the Underground Railroad in central Pennsylvania. In 2012, she received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh.
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