Shenango faculty receive promotions

Three Penn State Shenango faculty members have received promotions from the University. Gizelle Dean, physical therapy assistant (PTA) program coordinator, and Lisa Bertin, information sciences and technology program instructor, were both promoted from instructor to senior instructor. Matthew Ciszek, head librarian of the Penn State Shenango Lartz Memorial Library, received tenure in the University Libraries and was promoted to the rank of associate librarian.

Dean was hired at Penn State Shenango as a full-time instructor in August 2003 to teach for the campus’ Physical Therapy Assistant program. In 2010, she was promoted to program coordinator. Because of her outstanding efforts, the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) has renewed the program’s accreditation for the next 10 years. Under her leadership, the PTA program has flourished, its students currently achieving a combined licensure pass rate of 99 percent from 2009 through 2012 on state licensure exams. Furthermore, Dean has worked for two years, in conjunction with PTA Instructor Jennifer Jewell, to design and implement a grid for program assessment, which CAPTE has since recognized nationally as a model of “best practice.”

Dean was nominated for Teacher of the Year for her excellence in teaching in 2010 and 2012, and won the award for Club Advisor of the Year in 2010. She recently was nominated as a candidate for the 2014 Schreyer Teaching Award.

Her career at Shenango has also been distinguished by her strong service record. She works with the admissions office on student recruitment and currently serves as the coordinator of the PTA Program Advisory Board. She has been an active member on several campus committees and has been the faculty advisor for the PTA Club, leading various charitable activities in the community. 

In the community, Dean has been a member of such organizations as the ATHENA International Women’s Leadership. She also currently serves on the boards of both the UPMC Community Health Foundation and UPMC’s Medical Equipment Recycling Program (MERP).

Bertin was hired at the Shenango campus in 2002 to teach courses in the Information Sciences and Technology program; although throughout her career, she has also taught courses in business, the First-Year Experience, and for the World Campus.

Bertin has received numerous accolades for her outstanding teaching and devotion to the campus. In 2006 and 2012, she won the Leonard R. Riforgiato Memorial Teaching Award, and, in 2012 the Outstanding Club Advisor of the Year Award. On the university-level, she was a candidate for the 2013 Schreyer Teaching Award and in 2010 was named the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) Statewide Faculty Member of the Year.

As the lead faculty member in the IST program, Bertin coordinates all internships. In 2008, she initiated collaboration with the Beaver campus to offer a four-year IST degree to Shenango students. Serving as chair of the Business and IST Advisory Board, she has fostered potentially valuable connections with community members.

Bertin’s service to the campus is wide-spread. She coordinates the campus’ annual Technology and Career Expo; is the adviser to both the IST and Business Clubs that host the spring and fall recycling events; and is a member of the Student Activities Fee, Computer Fee and Academic Orientation Planning committees. In 2012, she organized and facilitated a successful conference for all western campus faculty titled "The New Classroom: A Teaching and Technology Event."

In the community, she and her students support various agencies and organizations by redesigning their websites, which include the Sharon Economic Development Commission and the Penn State Shenango Alumni Society. A group of her students also were instrumental in designing a new database for UPMC’s Medical Emergency Recycling Program.

Bertin serves as the Shenango representative and secretary of the University College Council, is on the board of directors for the Technology Council of Northwest Pennsylvania, is a member of the Association of Information and Technology Professionals, and is a volunteer for several local non-profit organizations including the United Way of Mercer County, ATHENA Power Link, and the Lawrence/Mercer ATHENA International chapter.

Ciszek was hired at the Shenango campus in 2007 as its head librarian. He received his bachelor of arts degree in English literature and a master of library science degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

In 2013, Ciszek was honored with the Penn State University Libraries Diversity Award. This award was given to him for his extraordinary commitment and contributions to enhance mutual respect for differing backgrounds.

Ciszek is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Lartz Library and works closely with faculty in developing collections and providing innovative library instruction and services. He is also responsible for building effective relationships with students, faculty, and staff at Penn State, the wider community, and other libraries. He is currently the faculty adviser to the Shenango Campus’ Gay/Straight Student Alliance.

Ciszek’s research focuses on diversity in academic libraries, library services to the LGBT community, and the marketing of academic libraries. He has a number of publications diversity-related issues and has given presentation at national and international conferences. In 2013, Ciszek presented “The Rainbow Connection--Supporting LGBT Students in Higher Ed” as part of the 2012/2013 Penn State Shenango Faculty Lecture Series.

Penn State University’s promotion and tenure takes place only after a rigorous review of a faculty member's scholarship of teaching and learning; research and creative accomplishments; and service to the University, society, and the profession.

Last Updated November 06, 2013