Our Faculty

  • Melissa Boback, MS - Assistant Professor, Accounting

    Ms. Boback began her career with Pennsylvania Highlands in January of 2017. Prior to that, she was employed as an Accounting Instructor at Cambria-Rowe Business College and a bookkeeper/accountant. She teaches Accounting courses. Ms. Boback has an M.S. in Accounting from University of Phoenix, a B.S. in Accounting from Mount Aloysius College, and an A.S.B. in Accounting and Microcomputer Applications from Cambria-Rowe Business College.

    Office Hours

    Richland, C203
    Mondays: 9:45 – 10:45am

    Blair
    Tuesdays: 10:45 – 11:45am

    Ebensburg
    Mondays & Wednesdays: 1:30 – 3pm

    Contact Information

    814.262.6471
    mboback@pennhighlands.edu

  • Richard Bukoski, MA - Assistant Professor, Communication and Media Studies

    Mr. Bukoski began his career with Pennsylvania Highlands as a full-time faculty member in August 2013. He was previously employed as News Director and Copywriter at Forever Broadcasting in Johnstown. He teaches courses in Communication Studies and Media Production. Mr. Bukoski holds a B.A. in Communications from Edinboro University, an M.A. in Adult Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Communications Media and Instructional Technology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

    Rick Bukoski
    Office Hours

    Richland, C219A
    Mondays: 8 – 9am
    Wednesdays: 8 – 9am, 12:30-1:30pm
    Thursdays: 8 – 9am, 2 – 3pm

    Contact Information

    814.262.6493
    rbukoski@pennhighlands.edu

  • Robert M. Clark, PhD - Associate Professor, Criminal Justice and Social Sciences

    Dr. Clark began his full-time career with Pennsylvania Highlands in August of 2011. He is a tenured Associate Professor of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences and is the Lead Faculty for the Criminal Justice program. He holds several positions and titles including: ACT 120 Certified Pennsylvania Municipal Police Officer (MPOETC); Certified Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Officer; Certified Diplomate Child Forensic Interviewer through the National Association of Child Forensic Interviewers, Chair of the Critical Criminal Justice section for the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and is member of the Cambria County and Somerset County Child Death Review Teams. Prior to his current position at Penn Highlands, he taught for St. Francis University and Washington & Jefferson College. Currently, he teaches graduate courses in criminal justice for California University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Clark earned his Ph.D. in Administration and Leadership Studies from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Prior to teaching full-time, he worked in the child welfare system, victim services, and the juvenile and criminal court systems in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia.

    Robert Clark

    Office Hours

    Richland, C200
    Thursdays: 8am – 12pm on 9/12, 10/10, 11/14, and 12/12 only

    Somerset
    Mondays & Wednesdays: 4:30 – 5pm
    Thursdays: 8am – 12pm (unavailable on 9/12, 10/10, 11/14, and 12/12)

    Contact Information

    814.262.6409
    rclark@pennhighlands.edu

  • Daniella Cope, MA - Associate Professor, Human Services

    Ms. Cope began her career with Pennsylvania Highlands in August of 2007. Prior to that, she was employed by the Alternative Community Resource Program. She teaches courses in Psychology. Ms. Cope has a M.A. in Community Counseling from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A. in Psychology from St. Vincent College.

    Daniella Errett

    Office Hours

    Richland, C207A
    Mondays: 7:45 – 9:25am
    Tuesdays: 9:15 – 10:50am
    Wednesdays: 7:40 – 9:25am

    Contact Information

    814.262.6489
    dcope@pennhighlands.edu

  • Susan Donald, BS - Lecturer, Health Care Professions/Medical Assisting Practicum Coordinator

    Office Hours

    Richland, C227
    Mondays: 3 – 4:30pm
    Wednesdays: 8:30am – 12pm

    Contact Information

    814.262.6492
    sdonald@pennhighlands.edu

  • Morgan Dugan, MEd - Associate Professor, Human Services

    Ms. Dugan began her career with Pennsylvania Highlands in August of 2018. Prior to that, she was employed at Greater Johnstown School District as an elementary teacher. She teaches courses in Early Childhood Education. She has a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and M.Ed. from Saint Francis University.

    Office Hours

    Richland, C217A
    Mondays & Wednesdays: 10:45 – 11:45am

    Ebensburg, Office #6
    Mondays & Wednesdays: 1:30 – 3pm

    Contact Information

    814.262.6417
    mdugan@pennhighlands.edu

  • Laura Gaunt, BS - Instructor, Health Care Professions/Patient Care Technician Program Coordinator

    Ms. Gaunt began her full-time career with Pennsylvania Highlands in August of 2019. Prior to that, she worked as a staff nurse for 18 years and in nursing administration for 2 years. She teaches courses in Health Sciences. Ms. Gaunt is a graduate of the Conemaugh School of Nursing program and has a B.S. in Nursing from the University of Pittsburgh.

    Office Hours

    Richland, C225
    Thursdays: 9:30 – 11:30am

    Blair
    Wednesdays: 9am – 12pm

    Contact Information

    814.262.6496
    lgaunt@pennhighlands.edu

  • Robin Hughes, MAT - Assistant Professor, Mathematics

    Ms. Hughes began her career with Pennsylvania Highlands as a full-time faculty member in January of 2014. She has 14 years of experience teaching as an adjunct at Kent State University and University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. She teaches courses in Mathematics and serves as an ACE Faculty Liaison. Ms. Hughes has a B.S. in Actuarial and Applied Mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh, a M.B.A. from St. Francis University, and a M.Ed. from Kent State College. Although she loves all math, her favorite class to teach is College Algebra. Ms. Hughes believes that everyone can enjoy math at some level and strives to reach that goal in her classroom by using technology, handouts, and plenty of examples.

    Robin Hughes

    Office Hours

    Richland, C231
    Mondays: 8:25 – 9:25am, 12:30 – 1:30pm
    Wednesdays: 8:25 – 9:25am, 12:30 – 2:30pm

    Contact Information

    814.262.6412
    rhughes@pennhighlands.edu

  • Christopher Lint, BA - Associate Professor, Basic Communication Skills

    Mr. Lint began his career with Pennsylvania Highlands in January of 1999. Prior to that, he taught at Cambria-Rowe Business College and the Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center. He teaches courses in College Preparatory English. Mr. Lint has a B.A. in Secondary Education/Communication Arts from the University of Pittsburgh.

    Chris Lint

    Office Hours

    Richland, C205A
    Mondays & Wednesdays: 11am – 12pm
    Tuesdays: 8:30 – 11:30am

    Contact Information

    814.262.6424
    clint@pennhighlands.edu

  • Yvette Madison, MSW - Professor, Human Services

    Ms. Madison began her career with Pennsylvania Highlands in August of 2004. Prior to that, she was employed as a clinical social worker and program coordinator. She teaches courses in Human Services. Ms. Madison has a M.S.W. in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh and a B.A. in Psychology from Seton Hill University.

    Yvette Madison

    Office Hours

    Richland, C207A
    Tuesdays: 9am – 12pm
    Wednesdays: 8 – 9am
    Thursdays: 11am – 12pm

    Contact Information

    814.262.6408
    ymadison@pennhighlands.edu

  • Mary Ann McCurdy, MEd - Professor, Mathematics

    Ms. McCurdy began her career with Pennsylvania Highlands in August of 2005. She teaches courses in Mathematics. Ms. McCurdy has a M.Ed. in Secondary Mathematics and a B.A. Secondary Mathematics Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

    Mary Ann McCurdy

    Office Hours

    Richland, C231
    Mondays & Wednesdays: 9:50 – 10:50am, 2:15 – 2:45pm
    Tuesdays: 10am – 12pm

    Contact Information

    814.262.6447
    mmccurdy@pennhighlands.edu

  • Jeannine McDevitt, MA - Professor, English

    Ms. McDevitt began her career with Pennsylvania Highlands as a full-time faculty member in August of 2002. Prior to that, she taught as an adjunct instructor at several institutions. She teaches courses in English. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Seton Hill University and a Master of Arts in English Literature from Purdue University.

    Jeanine McDevitt

    Office Hours

    Richland, C203
    Mondays: 12:05 – 1:50pm, 3:05 – 3:35pm
    Wednesdays: 8:55 – 9:25am, 12:05 – 1:50pm, 3:05 – 3:35pm

    Contact Information

    814.262.6421
    jmcdevit@pennhighlands.edu

  • Dennis Miller, MA - Associate Professor, Criminal Justice

    Mr. Miller began his career with Pennsylvania Highlands as a full-time faculty member in August of 2012. Prior to that, he was employed as a Correctional Treatment Specialist/Discipline Hearing Officer for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Police Officer, Adult Probation/Parole Officer, and adjunct instructor. He teaches courses in Criminal Justice. Mr. Miller has a M.A. and B.A. in Criminology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

    Dennis Miller

    Office Hours

    Ebensburg, Office #9
    Mondays: 8 – 9:15am, 12:15 – 1:15pm
    Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays: 8 – 9:15am

    Contact Information

    814.262.6443
    dmiller3@pennhighlands.edu

  • Jill Mitchell, MA - Associate Professor, Biological Sciences

    Ms. Mitchell began her career with Pennsylvania Highlands as a full-time faculty member in January of 2010. She teaches courses in Biology and is Lead Faculty of Biology. She has also been the advisor of the College’s Biology Club since its inception, and serves as an ACE Faculty liaison and lab manager. Prior to becoming a full time instructor, Ms. Mitchell served as a biology adjunct and Professional Academic Advisor at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College. Jill Mitchell’s favorite area of study is genetics and was fortunate enough to intern in the genetic counseling department at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA under the direction of Dr. Alana Majors, where she conducted research on the correlation between homocysteine levels and heart disease. Ms. Mitchell has a M.A. in Science Education, Biology from Western Governors University, a B.S. in Biology Education and a B.A. in Biology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

    Jill Mitchell

    Office Hours

    Richland, C202
    Mondays: 12 – 2pm
    Tuesdays & Thursdays: 9:15 – 10:45am

    Contact Information

    814.262.6487
    jmitchell@pennhighlands.edu

  • Michelle Myers-Claypole, MS - Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences

    Ms. Myers-Claypole began her career with Pennsylvania Highlands as a full-time faculty member in August of 2014. Prior to that, she was a Veterinary Technician Instructor at Indiana County Technology Center. Ms. Myers-Claypole teaches courses in Biology. She has a B.S. in Biology, with an emphasis in pre-veterinary medicine, from Juniata College, and has a M.S. in Biology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

    Michele Myers-Claypole

    Office Hours

    Richland, C219
    Mondays & Wednesdays: 1:30 – 3:30pm

    Contact Information

    814.262.6494
    mclaypole@pennhighlands.edu

  • Russell Newman, PhD - Associate Professor, English

    Dr. Newman began his career with Pennsylvania Highlands in January 2014. Prior to that, he was employed as a freelance author and editor at Online Indiana and had taught as an adjunct at several universities in the area such as University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, Clarion University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Mount Aloysius College, and Penn State University – Altoona and Dubois. He teaches courses in composition and literature. Dr. Newman has a B.A. and M.A. in English from James Madison University, and a Ph.D. in English from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

    Russell Newman

    Office Hours

    Richland
    Tuesdays & Thursdays: 9:30 – 10:30am

    Ebensburg
    Mondays & Wednesdays: 12:15 – 1:45pm

    Contact Information

    814.262.6419
    rnewman@pennhighlands.edu

  • Joseph O’Brien, MA - Assistant Professor, Physical Sciences

    Office Hours

    Richland, C202
    Tuesdays: 10 – 11:30am, 2:15 – 3:15pm
    Thursdays: 9 – 10:30am, 2:15 – 3:15pm

    Contact Information

    814.262.6479
    jobrien@pennhighlands.edu

  • Marie Polka, MS - Assistant Professor, Mathematics

    Ms. Polka began her full-time career with Pennsylvania Highlands in August of 2015. Prior to that, she was an adjunct at Pennsylvania Highlands and Penn State Altoona. She has also taught at IUP. Mrs. Polka teaches courses in Mathematics. She has a B.S. in Education with a Mathematics Concentration from The Pennsylvania State University, and has an M.S. in Applied Mathematics from IUP.

    Office Hours

    Ebensburg
    Mondays: 9:15 – 10:45am, 1:30 – 3:30pm
    Wednesdays: 9:15 – 10:45am

    Contact Information

    814.471.0015
    mpolka@pennhighlands.edu

  • Gaynelle Schmieder, MEd, RN - Associate Professor, Health Care Professions

    Ms. Schmieder began her career with Pennsylvania Highlands as a full-time faculty member in August of 2007. Prior to that, she was employed as a Clinical Research Coordinator, Director of Clinical Services, Director of Nursing Services, and Staff Nurse. She teaches courses in Health Care Professions. Ms. Schmieder has an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Clarion University and a B.S. in Nursing from St. Francis University.

    Gaynelle Schmieder

    Office Hours

    Richland, C225A
    Mondays: 9am – 12pm
    Wednesdays: 10:45am – 12:15pm, 3 – 3:30pm

    Contact Information

    814.262.6488
    gschmieder@pennhighlands.edu

  • Sandy Schrum, MA - Professor, Business Management

    Ms. Schrum began her career with Pennsylvania Highlands in August of 1995. Prior to that, she was employed as a Human Resource Specialist and Account Executive. She teaches courses in Business. Ms. Schrum has an M.A. in Adult and Community Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, an M.A. in Industrial Relations/Human Resource Management, B.S. in Management/Business Administration, and A.S. in Management/Business Administration from St. Francis University.

    Sandy Schrum

    Office Hours

    Richland, C217
    Mondays: 9am – 1pm
    Tuesdays & Thursdays: 8:55 – 9:25am

    Contact Information

    814.262.6416
    sschrum@pennhighlands.edu

  • Wayde Simington, BS - Temporary Lecturer, Mathematics

    Mr. Simington began his full-time career with Pennsylvania Highlands in January of 2019. Prior to that, he served as an adjunct instructor for the College. He teaches courses in Mathematics. Mr. Simington has a B.S. in Applied Mathematics and a B.S. in Secondary Education Mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh. He is currently working on completing a M.S. in Mathematics through Emporia State University.

    Faculty Member Wayde Simington

    Office Hours

    Blair, 233
    Mondays & Wednesdays: 9 – 10:30am

    Huntingdon
    Tuesdays & Thursdays: 2:45 – 3:45pm

    Contact Information

    814.631.9643
    wsimington@pennhighlands.edu

  • Matthew Sisak, DC - Associate Professor, Biological Sciences

    Dr. Sisak began his career as a full-time instructor in January of 2014. He is President of Sisak Chiropractic Clinic, P.C. and has taught as an adjunct at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College and Westmoreland County Community College. He teaches courses in Anatomy and Physiology. Dr. Sisak has a B.S. in Natural Sciences from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

    Matt Sisak

    Office Hours

    Richland, C219A
    N/A

    Contact Information

    814.262.6414
    msisak@pennhighlands.edu

  • Sherri Slavick, MS - Associate Professor, Physical Sciences

    Ms. Slavick began her career with Pennsylvania Highlands in January of 2012. Prior to that, she was employed as a teacher and instructional designer. She teaches courses in Physics, Astronomy, and Education. Ms. Slavick has a M.S. in Science Education from Lebanon Valley College, and a B.S. in Secondary Education from University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.

    Faculty Member Sherri Slavick

    Office Hours

    Richland, C219A
    Mondays & Wednesdays: 8 – 9am, 11am – 1pm

    Contact Information

    814.262.6411
    sslavick@pennhighlands.edu

  • Joseph Slifko, MA - Professor, Business Management

    Mr. Slifko began his career with Pennsylvania Highlands in January of 1998. Prior to that, he was employed by the Cambria-Rowe Business College, McCartney’s Inc., and the Kmart Corporation. He teaches courses in Business. He has an M.A. in Industrial Relations/Human Resource Management from Saint Francis University, and a B.A. in Business Economics/Accounting from the University of Pittsburgh.

    Joe Slifko

    Office Hours

    Richland
    Mondays & Wednesdays: 7:30 – 8am, 9:15 – 10:15am

    Blair
    Tuesdays & Thursdays: 9:50 – 10:50am

    Contact Information

    814.631.9641
    jslifko@pennhighlands.edu

  • Jason Wojcik, MA - Professor, History and Cultural Studies

    Mr. Wojcik is a Professor of History and Cultural Studies at Pennsylvania Highlands, teaching courses in Civilization, History, and Cinema. He began his career with the College in August of 2000. Mr. Wojcik has a B.A. in History and a M.A. in Arts and Teaching – Social Studies Education from the University of Pittsburgh, and a M.A. in History from Duquesne University. His specialties include American cultural history and social history. He is a book reviewer for the Film and History Journal; judge for the Johnstown Film Festival; and a member of the Popular Culture/American Culture Association, the Pennsylvania Historical Association, and the International Association for Media and History. Before joining the College, he was a former independent filmmaker whose work has been shown on local television; a teacher at a child development center; and an intern social studies teacher at a Blue Ribbon high school.

    Jason Wojcik

    Office Hours

    Richland, C207
    Mondays: 10 – 10:45am, 1:30 – 2:45pm
    Tuesdays & Thursdays: 10 – 10:45am
    Wednesdays: 10 – 10:45am, 1:30 – 2:15pm

    Contact Information

    814.262.6413
    jwojcik@pennhighlands.edu

  • Leisa Zuccolotto, BS - Instructor, Computer Information and Communications Technology

    Ms. Zuccolotto began her career with Pennsylvania Highlands in August of 2002. She teaches courses in Networking. Ms. Zuccolotto has a B.S. in IT – Security Emphasis from Western Governors University.

    Leisa Zuccolotto

    Office Hours

    Richland, C215A
    Mondays & Thursdays: 4 – 6pm
    Wednesdays: 5 – 6pm

    Contact Information

    814.262.6482
    lzuccolotto@pennhighlands.edu