New faculty members hired at Penn State Hazleton

Penn State Hazleton has appointed five new faculty members who will begin teaching in the fall semester, Chancellor Gary Lawler announced.

Nargess Tahmasbi has been named assistant professor of information science and technology; B. Douglas Edmonds has been named assistant professor of physics; Patrick Kodwin has been named assistant teaching professor of chemistry; Victor Owusu-Nantwi has been named assistant teaching professor of economics and finance and Ellen M. Raineri has been named assistant teaching professor of business.

Lawler said, “We welcome our new contingent of faculty members and are confident they will be an outstanding addition to the learned, experienced faculty at Penn State Hazleton.”

Tahmasbi will teach courses in information science and technology, including the topics of networking, hardware management, web development and security risk and analysis.

She has taught and developed undergraduate courses in information technology and computer science at the University of Tampa, University of Nebraska at Omaha and Mazandaran University of Science and Technology. She has mentored students and led numerous individual and group projects that were delivered as undergraduate final theses.

Tahmasbi’s research focuses on social media analytics and the impact of online social media technology on emergent norm formation in crowds. She has also conducted research on data mining, crowdsourcing, network visualization and big data analytics and is the author or coauthor of numerous publications.

She holds a doctorate in information technology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha; a master of science degree in information technology from Tarbiat Modares University in Tehran, Iran; and a bachelor of science degree in software engineering from Amirkabir University of Technology (previously known as Tehran Polytechnic) in Tehran.

Edmonds will teach courses in physics, including the topics of general physics, fluids and thermodynamics.

He most recently served as chair of the physics department at Emory & Henry College, where he developed a pre-engineering program and helped secure funding to renovate the school’s laboratories, among other accomplishments. While chairing the department, he continued to teach as assistant professor of physics.

He has published his research in many refereed journals and proceedings as the author or co-author.

He earned a doctorate in physics from Virginia Tech; master’s degrees in mathematics and physics from Virginia Commonwealth University and bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and physics from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Kodwin will teach courses in chemistry, including general chemistry lecture and laboratory studies.

He has taught chemistry courses through the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education since 2008, including roles as an assistant chemistry professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Bloomsburg University and Shippensburg University, where he taught general chemistry, organic chemistry and biochemistry, and organic chemistry. Previously, he taught introductory general chemistry to students at Warren County Community College.

Kodwin also teaches general chemistry online through Princeton Review to students preparing to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and previously taught general chemistry to undergraduate students through the Art Institute of Pittsburgh online.

He holds a doctorate and master’s degree in chemistry from Brandeis University, a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from University of Cape Coast and an associate’s degree in science education with an emphasis in teaching mathematics and chemistry from University of Cape Coast.

Owusu-Nantwi will teach courses in economics and finance and in support of Penn State Hazleton’s bachelor of science in business degree.

He worked as a teaching instructor and research assistant at New Mexico State University, where he taught courses in economics, including macroeconomics and microeconomics; researched and analyzed economic and demographic issues; collected, analyzed and interpreted fiscal data and performed economic impact analysis.

Owusu-Nantwi also served as an economic development intern for the Las Cruces Downtown Partnership and a policy and economic analyst for the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration.

He holds a doctor of economic development degree and master’s degree in economics from New Mexico State University, a master of business administration degree from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration and a bachelor’s degree in geomatic engineering from the University of Mines and Technology in Ghana. His research has led him to publish several papers regarding various topics in economics.

Raineri will teach courses in business, ethics and management for both Penn State Hazleton and Penn State’s online World Campus and participate in course, curriculum and program development.

She taught at Penn State’s Smeal College of Business as an affiliate adjunct professor; at Wilkes University as an assistant professor and adjunct faculty member; and as an adjunct faculty member for several other universities, including Colorado State University Global Campus, Embry Riddle Worldwide Campus, Keller University and Kaplan University.

Raineri also has more than 15 years of management experience and has provided strategic planning and management consulting services to business leaders. She is a real estate broker and the owner of ARK Commercial Real Estate in Pittston.

She earned a doctorate in organization and management from Capella University, a master of business administration degree in information systems from Marywood University and bachelor’s degrees in computer science and English and education from Wilkes-University.

The new faculty members will all advise Penn State Hazleton students and provide career guidance as they navigate their path through college and internships.

Director of Academic Affairs Elizabeth Wright said, “Our new faculty members have demonstrated excellence in their fields and we are delighted they will be joining us. Their experience in teaching, research and more will be a valuable asset to students at Penn State Hazleton.”

Last Updated August 17, 2017