Shenango welcomes new students and faculty for fall semester

Penn State Shenango will begin its 43rd year in the Shenango Valley when it opens its doors to new and returning students on Monday, Aug. 25. In addition to its students, the campus also will welcome three new faculty members.

Brandi L. Baros, assistant professor of biology; Brian R. Patt, instructor in information, sciences and technology; and Timothy R. Brundrett, instructor in sociology, will join the Penn State faculty for the fall semester.

Baros will teach a variety of biology courses at the Shenango campus including anatomy and microbiology. She received her bachelor of science in biology from Allegheny College in 1995 and her doctorate in biological sciences from the University of Pittsburgh in 2002. Her dissertation was on mutational analysis of bacteriophage HK97 capsid structure and assembly.

After receiving her doctorate, Baros taught at Allegheny College for a year as a visiting assistant professor in its Biology Department. Then, in 2003, she was hired as a full-time assistant professor at Allegheny teaching organismal physiology and ecology, biology, microbiology, virology and food microbiology.

Presently, her independent laboratory research work focuses on food microbiology with special interest in the use of bacteriophages to detect and control the growth of unwanted organisms in food.

Baros is a current member of several professional organizations, including the American Chemical Society, the International Association for Food Protection, the Allegheny Branch of the American Society of Microbiology, the American Society for Microbiology, the Council on Undergraduate Research and the Pittsburgh Bacteriophage Institute.

While she was at Allegheny College, Baros was active outside the classroom and in the community, particularly with the Crawford County Hazmat Team. She is enthused about working with Shenango students and getting to know the community. She already has been a guest speaker on WPIC's Ron Errett Show where she discussed food safety, in particular, food-borne diseases and how to choose and handle food safely to avoid diseases.

Brian Patt will teach information, sciences and technology courses this fall. He received his bachelor of science in business administration from Penn State in 1979 and his master of arts degree in educational administration and counseling from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) in 1982. Over the years, Patt has completed numerous Microsoft, Novell and Sumaria networking courses to enhance his professional career.

Upon graduating from IUP, Patt worked for the University of Akron as the director of fraternity and sorority life and as a residence director. Over the years, he has worked for several companies in their technical services department. In 1993, Patt was hired by Pepsi-Cola as its senior technical support analyst where he managed, designed and implemented networked data and voice technology systems for more than 50 field sites in 13 states.

Since 2002, Patt has owned and worked at Brian R. Patt and Associates as a contract technology consultant, telecommunications engineer, project manager and business process improvement consultant. In 2005, in addition to his consulting work, he was hired as a vocational high school teacher to teach information systems technology for the grades 11 and 12 at the Mercer County Career Center.

Tim Brundrett will teach courses in the campus' human development and family studies program. He received his bachelor of science degree in sociology and political science from Central Michigan University. He earned a master of art in political science (economic change) from Miami University and another master in sociology (medical, organizations, applied) from the University of Pittsburgh. Brundrett did his doctoral studies at the University of Pittsburgh before leaving to start his own business consulting company.

Brundrett, who has been on the faculty at several institutions, including the University of Pittsburgh, Miami University, St. Vincent College, the Community College of Allegheny County and Penn State, has taught various sociology courses including organizational development, work and occupation, statistics, research methods, medical sociology, and topics of mental health related to aging, elder care, hospice and ethics.

Over the years, he has presented numerous workshops and seminars, as well has been a keynote speaker at colleges and universities throughout western Pennsylvania. He was the director of operations for a health-care delivery organization serving more than 55,000 patients in Allegheny County. His most recent project includes working with a Fortune 100 company to create and implement programs to assess and improve group performance and productivity.
 
"These new faculty members have had a great deal of experience in their fields, and we feel very fortunate to have them as part of our campus community," said Ira Saltz, director of Academic Affairs at Penn State Shenango. "They will augment our current group of highly qualified professors and instructors at our campus."

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Last Updated March 19, 2009