FYS Peer Mentor Profiles
Dr. Dan Blanchard, Physical Sciences
Teaching: My name is Dan Blanchard and I have been a faculty member at Kutztown University for more than 20 years. I teach organic chemistry. I’ve gotten interested in the science of cooking and have both a first-year seminar based on this topic as well as a general education course (which has not yet been offered). This fall will be the third time I’ve taught FYS.
Research: My research has included how certain organic reactions occur, what holds proteins together, and the organic chemistry that takes place in everyday processes.
Service: I have served on the University Promotion Committee, Rep Council and am a long-standing member of the Laboratory Safety Committee.
Personal: I am married, have two adopted sons, four dogs, and a plethora of cats.
Times when I can meet: This semester I’m available to meet on Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 9 to 10 and 11 to noon, Wednesday and Friday after 2 PM.
Dr. Stephen Stoeffler, Social Work
Teaching: I teach across the sequences (policy, practice, research, human behavior and the social environment, and field) and programs (BSW, MSW, and DSW) in the Department of Social Work. My teaching style is both professional and congenial through engaging students with enthusiastic delivery of complex concepts.
Research: My scholarship focuses on poverty alleviation and community empowerment. I enjoy working with students and colleagues on peer-reviewed presentations and publications.
Service: My service reflects my commitment to the betterment of the University, College, and Department, as well as the community and my profession. I view my service as congruent with my teaching and scholarship. The majority of the service I have undertaken has a social justice bent, whether improving conditions for those experiencing poverty in the local community, supporting macro social work practice at the national level, advising a student organization that focuses on advocacy, chairing an annual conference on suicide prevention, or serving on University Commissions concentrating on marginalized populations.
Personal: : I enjoy spending time with my family that consists of my wife, children (biological, adopted, and foster), and two cats.
Times when I can meet: TBA
Dr. Duane Crider, Sport Management & Leadership Studies
Teaching: I have been teaching Risk Management, Personal Fitness Training, and assorted Health, Activity, and Sport Management courses since 1996.
Research: My research projects have included Emergency Care and Bystander Response, Tai Chi as an Adaptive Activity, Distance Learning Effectiveness, as well as Fitness and assorted topics.
Service: I currently serve on the University Safety and Security Council as the Chair as well as the University Tenure Committee. I have been involved in the Sport Management accreditation since its origins at KU. I’m the Advisor to the Frisbee Club.
Personal: I am an avid recreation and fitness person. I enjoy outdoor sport and exercise. I have owned 11 Jeeps most of them Wranglers and enjoy off road activities.
Times I can meet: I should have hours on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Dr. Mary Eicholtz, Communication Studies
Teaching: I teach in the communication Studies Department and focus my teaching and research in the areas of workplace and leadership communication.
Research: My research is in the areas of workplace and leadership communication. Additionally, I have done Research in assessment.
Service: Currently, I am the chair of the Communication Studies department, but most recently my service was devoted to the General Education Redesign, Gen Ed assessment, and the development of FYS.
Personal: I spend my time doing counted cross stitch, spending time with my 88-year-old mom (who I live with), and enjoying some British TV.
Times I can meet: I can meet most times. I teach from MWF 9-11.
Dr. Dina Hayduk, Sport Management & Leadership Studies
Teaching: I am a student centered teacher who focuses on student success. I believe in holding students accountable for work by giving them the tools to succeed.
Research: My research and national presentations have all been on pedagogy in higher education
Personal: I live in Kutztown and walk everywhere so I will often see students on campus and in town.
Dr. Loriann Irving, Student Support Services Prgm
Teaching: I'm the director of the TRIO Student Support Services Program at Kutztown and have been teaching an FYS-like course for first-generation, low-income students since 2007.
Service: As a program, we've co-coordinated the First-Gen Initiative on campus and worked diligently to keep our student retention rates as high as 89%.
Personal: Outside of KU, I'm the President-Elect of PA TRIO, a Cub Scout den leader, and love music.
Times I can meet: TBA
Dr. Lynn Kutch, Modern Languages
Teaching: I teach all levels of German language and also teach German culture and film classes in English, including German Culture Through Film and German Horror Stories. I have also been teaching FYS for several semesters and will begin teaching CMP 201 with the history department in fall 2020.
Research: For the last several years, my research has focused on German-language comics studies, which has resulted in several publications and national as well as international recognition.
Personal: Traveling, spending time with family and supporting my daughter in her career as an educator.
Times I can meet: TBA
Dr. Liaoliao Li, Business Administration
Teaching: I teach economics and FYS in the Department of Business Administration.
Research: My research areas include international economics and monetary economics.
Times I can meet: I am available 11-11:30 am on TH.
Dr. Khori Newlander, Anthropology/Sociology
Teaching: In addition to an introductory course in cultural anthropology, I teach most archaeology classes offered at KU, including introductory classes, intensive field and lab classes, and a smattering of electives that allow students to explore the past and understand its relevance to the present.
Research: I am actively engaged in archaeological research on historic and prehistoric sites in eastern Pennsylvania. I specialize in the use of geochemical methods to "source" artifacts, connecting them from the archaeological site back to where they were made. This research allows me to build an understanding of how people and goods moved about the landscape - all while providing ample opportunity for student collaboration.
Service: I serve on the Professional Development Committee and the General Education Committee.
Personal: I live in Fleetwood with my wife, Jess, and two young children, Parker and Marielle, both of whom are delightful - and exhausting! We also have two cats. They, too, are exhausting, though not as delightful.
Times I can meet: During Fall 2021, I will be available on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
Dr. Brenda Muzeta, Secondary Education
Teaching: I enjoy interacting with my students and I find tremendous joy in all the courses that I teach. I teach the First Year Seminar (FYS) Teachers in the Movies, EDU 150 Meeting Instructional Needs of English learners, and other ESL courses,
Research: My research, guided by identity, sociocultural and post-colonial theories focuses on the sociocultural and sociopolitical contexts in which student from linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds develop and grow.
Service: I am on various committees including The ESL Advisory Board, The Honors Council, and I also serve as Faculty advisor for Kappa Delta Pi.
Personal: I enjoy reading, writing, cooking, traveling domestically and internationally, keeping up with current news, experiencing new cultures, learning new languages, and staying in touch with friends.
Dr. Peg Speirs, Art Education
Teaching: I teach Women in the Arts, Studio Thinking, and a course about teaching art to adolescents. I’ve taught FYS since spring 2019.
Research: My research interests include feminist art, theory and pedagogy; issues-based art education; and digital storytelling. Currently I’m screenwriting and editing a documentary on women and tattoo, and have been making videos since 2012.
Service: I served as Interim Associate Dean in VPA for 4.5 years, the last term ending in 2018. I coordinate the Art Ed graduate certification and Intern programs, and serve on several committees.
Personal: I grow vegetable gardens, tend two small orchards and a large berry patch, and make art with my husband at our Farm in Ohio. We named the Farm Random Oaks and are designing a residency program for artists and writers.
Times I can meet: I can usually meet on Tues. before 2:00 and am available other days by phone, email or Zoom.
Dr. Juliana Svistova, Social Work
Teaching: I am a passionate educator across all levels of education who uses active, team-based learning format in her classrooms.
Research: I am a community-engaged scholar, nationally and internationally, currently studying access to mental health services in rural PA and innovative community-based poverty alleviation strategy in rural Haiti.
Service: I am dedicated to providing my service based my on the needs of Department, Campus and communities.
Personal: I am an amateur gardener, avid traveler, and a self-proclaimed global citizen.
Times I can meet: Availability by mutually agreed appointment.
Dr. Sarah Tindall, Physical Sciences (Geology)
Teaching: My teaching style is frenetic and goofy. I try to establish a learning atmosphere in which everyone can be themselves, but with boundaries of mutual respect and trust. Does it always work?
Research: I study geologic processes ranging from the formation of microscopic cracks to the development of entire mountain ranges. I love doing field work.
Service: I choose service obligations that enhance academic and research opportunities for faculty and students (e.g. KU Research Committee, Undergraduate Exceptions Committee).
Personal: My husband, two kids, five cats, two goats, and ~40 chickens require a lot of time and attention. I also enjoy running, hiking, bicycling, cooking and baking, and reading fantasy-adventure junk.
Times I can meet: Tu/Th during the 11:00 meeting hour, if we don't have other meeting conflicts; or W/F at 11.