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Ombuds Program

Ombudspeople

The Eberly ombuds assist faculty, staff, and graduate students in conflict resolution and solutions-oriented support. This includes facilitating communication among conflicting parties and referring people to resources for further assistance. Although each department has at least two Eberly ombuds, faculty, staff, and graduate students within Eberly can choose to meet with any ombuds across the College.

Eberly Ombudspeople

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Julia Kregenow

Julia Kregenow
Astronomy and Astrophysics
jmk50@psu.edu

Julia is an Associate Teaching Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics, where she works to improve how science is taught to non-science majors. She loves sharing science and math with the world by bringing the wonder of the universe down to Earth. She is part of a community of passionate educators at Penn State who share ideas to continually improve their teaching. As an ombudsperson she hopes to spread empathy, transparency, and sincerity, and tap into the infinite power of human connection to open ever more doors for communication. As Bill Nye likes to say, we are all in this together folks.

 

 

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John Nousek

John Nousek
Astronomy and Astrophysics
jan2@psu.edu

John Nousek is a Professor in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, serving on the faculty since 1981. John is the Mission Director for the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory, operating this satellite for NASA since its launch in 2004. Swift is designed to react in seconds to new events that occur in the sky, especially Gamma-ray Bursts, supernovae and gravitational wave and neutrino source discoveries. John spends his spare time playing board games such as Gloomhaven, and on-line video games. He believes the role of an ombudsperson is to listen with an empathetic ear to issues which are bothering people, and to allow them to phrase the problem in a way that looks at solutions to the problem.

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Jean-Paul Armache

Jean-Paul Armache
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
jza449@psu.edu

Jean-Paul Armache is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He earned his M.Sc. at the Technical University of Lodz, Poland in ... Computer Science, and then, naturally, followed that up with a Ph.D. in Chemistry and Pharmacy, at the University of Munich Germany. Jean-Paul is very passionate about music and science, having himself tried to learn to play the guitar three times and failing every single time. That doesn't stop him from pursuing the world's saddest music though! He is also passionate about traveling, hiking, eating, and sleeping. He might be the world's foremost expert at snoozing! Jean-Paul hasn't been at PSU for a very long time, but since the beginning, he has been very passionate about helping undergraduate and graduate students and postdocs - having had been one at some point, he feels that there are a lot of hurdles and ups and downs one experiences during a time at the university.

 

 

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Maria Krasilnikova

Maria Krasilnikova
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
muk19@psu.edu

Maria Krasilnikova is an Associate Research Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She is teaching several undergraduate level classes and performing research in instability of DNA repeats. Maria is also a certified yoga instructor and enjoys teaching yoga classes to her students and friends. As is an ombudsperson, she encourages people to initiate conversations to promote positive change.

 

 

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Lorraine Santi

Lorraine Santy
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
lcs13@psu.edu

Lorraine Santy is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, whose research focuses on understanding the signaling and trafficking processes that promote migration of epithelial cells. Epithelial migration plays important roles in tissue repair after injury and in cancer metastasis. She currently teaches a Cancer Biology course and a graduate Cell Biology course, and she has previously taught introductory Cell and Molecular Biology. She enjoys cooking, hiking and has a teenage daughter. Dr. Santy served as the BMMB Graduate Student Liaison Officer before becoming one of the BMB department’s ombudsperson. She serves as an ombudsperson because she believes it is important for students to have a place to go for support when experiencing difficulties that impact their academic progression.

 

 

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Ola Sodeinde

Ola Sodeinde
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
oas1@psu.edu

Ola Sodeinde is a Teaching Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. His interests include homebrewing, watching Formula 1, playing guitar and road cycling around the stunningly beautiful scenery of Centre County. He earned his PhD in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and did his postdoctoral fellowship in the Plant Science Center at Cornell University. He is an ombudsperson because of his belief in justice and fair play.

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Charles Anderson

Charles T. Anderson
Biology
cta3@psu.edu

Charles T. Anderson is an Associate Professor of Biology and the Sustainability Chair for the Eberly College of Science. He teaches plant and cell biology and studies the dynamics of plant cell walls, with the goal of informing efforts to produce sustainable food, materials, and bioenergy from plants. After growing up in Lancaster, PA, he completed an undergraduate degree at UNC Chapel Hill where he imaged fruit flies with cool microscopes, sang a capella, and learned to love college basketball. He then traveled to California where he earned his PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology from Stanford University, then completed postdoctoral work at UC Berkeley before joining Penn State in 2011. Outside of the classroom and lab, he enjoys running, doing triathlons, playing disc golf, singing, learning guitar, and spending time outside with his family. As an ombudsperson, he aims to support the inclusion, well-being, and success of everyone at Penn State.

 

 

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Carla Hass

Carla Hass
Biology
cah19@psu.edu

Carla Hass is a Teaching Professor and Associate Head for Undergraduate Curriculum in the Department of Biology, where she has been for over 25 years. She teaches Biology 220W and Biology 433, as well as pedagogy courses for learning assistants and graduate students and is committed to enhancing the undergraduate experience in Biology by fostering a sense of community in all aspects of the major. Outside of work, she can be found walking her dogs, working in her garden, reading a good book or just enjoying time with friends and family. She earned her Ph.D. in the Zoology Department at the University of Maryland, College Park; her research focused on molecular systematics and Caribbean biogeography. In the role of ombudsperson, she finds it rewarding to help colleagues explore solutions to a variety of issues.

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Lasse Jensen

Lasse Jensen
Chemistry
lxj18@psu.edu

Lasse Jensen is Professor of Chemistry and has been at Penn State since 2007. His research interest lies in electronic structure methods as applied to computational spectroscopy, especially molecules interacting with metal nanoparticles. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family. He is an ombudsperson because of opportunities to improve the climate in the college.

 

 

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Kenneth Kappenberger

Kenneth Kappenberger
Chemistry
klk260@psu.edu

Ken Knappenberger is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry. His research interests include laser spectroscopy and photonic materials. He advises a group of graduate and undergraduate student and postdoctoral researchers. He is an avid runner. When he is not working, he can often be found running with friends or hiking local trials with his family. He earned his PhD in Chemistry from Penn State, and was subsequently a postodoctoral research fellow at University of California, Berkeley, and a faculty member at Florida State University. He returned to Penn State as a member of the faculty in 2017. He is an ombudsperson because he believes in the Penn State community and helping people develop positive, productive working environments.

 

 

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Kate Masters

Kate Masters
Chemistry
kmm14@psu.edu

Kate Masters is a Teaching Professor and Assistant Head for Student Engagement in the Department of Chemistry. She has a strong passion for creating innovative teaching methods and learning experiences for her lecture and lab courses. Her life passions are her family and faith. She has an amazing chef for a husband and two beautiful children. She's a lover of cooking, fitness, home improvements, and music. She earned her Ph.D. from Penn State's Chemistry Department where she studied synthetic organic chemistry in the areas of materials and natural products. She is an ombudsperson because she desires to listen and to guide people to resolve challenges.

 

 

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Crista Spratt

Crista Spratt
Chemistry
cus1246@psu.edu

Crista Spratt is the Graduate Program Coordinator for the Chemistry department and organizes the department's Admissions, Open House and Orientation events, as well as, monitoring all of the graduate students' academic progress to ensure that they meet the requirements and deadlines to earn their PhD in Chemistry at Penn State. When she is not in a meeting with a student or faculty member, she is walking her two energetic dogs, Anna and Kona through their neighborhood. Her hobbies include traveling with her husband, cooking, crocheting and watching her children in their many activities. As an ombudsperson, she hopes to provide a safe place where people can express themselves and be enabled to develop new strategies that benefit everyone in the situation.

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Jim Hager

Jim Hager
Mathematics
jah14@psu.edu

Jim Hager is a Teaching Professor and Assistant Director of Undergraduate Education in the Department of Mathematics. He coordinates many of the department’s first and second year course offerings and is active in undergraduate student research. Outside of his departmental responsibilities, he enjoys traveling, hiking, gardening, fly-fishing, and oil/acrylic painting. He earned his PhD from Stanford University while working as a senior scientist at Stanford Research Incorporated. His primary research areas are focused on signal processing, Natural Language Processing, and Automatic Theorem Proving. He is an ombudsperson because it represents the university’s commitment to being fair, to promoting a constructive and user-friendly approach to conflict resolution, and to helping identify policy weaknesses and gaps in the system.

 

 

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Nestor Handzy

Nestor Handzy
Mathematics
nzh100@psu.edu

Nestor Handzy is a Teaching Professor in the Department of Mathematics focused on undergraduate education as well as training graduate students to prepare lectures and teach mathematics. His lectures and discussions with students center around applications of math to anything from nuclear particles to the human brain. He enjoys a good game of chess and spends most of his time with his family. He is an ombudsperson because he thinks everyone should feel respected and comfortable in the workplace, and there should be a resource for people who experience harassment or other unprofessional conduct.

 

 

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Diane Henderson

Diane Henderson
Mathematics
dmh9@psu.edu

Diane Henderson is a Professor of Mathematics. She enjoys teaching, especially when she sees a student "get it". Her research involves laboratory experiments on nonlinear water waves in the Department's Bill Pritchard Fluid Mechanics Laboratory. A long-standing hobby is white-water kayaking; more recently she has begun learning to play the fiddle. She recommends starting this hobby at an earlier age. Her PhD is in Physical Oceanography from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. She became an ombudsperson in the hope that she could help all math-folk feel safe, welcome and at home in the department.

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Kirstin Purdy Drew

Kirstin Purdy Drew
Physics
krp15@psu.edu

Kirstin Purdy Drew is an Associate Teaching Professor of Physics. Her favorite courses to teach are physics courses for non-majors and hands-on senior level courses for physics majors. She's also heavily involved in the organization of summer research in the physics department. She has two school-aged boys which consume most of her free-time, but otherwise enjoys being outdoors, gardening, home-repair, and traveling. She is an ombudsperson because she enjoys being a resource for positive change.

 

 

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Jorge Soto

Jorge O. Sofo
Physics
jos13@psu.edu

Jorge Sofo is a Professor of Physics and of Materials Science and Engineering. His research is in the area of theoretical condensed matter physics, with emphasis in transport and non-equilibrium phenomena. His hobbies are physics, mathematics, food, and cocktails. All things he likes to mix with good friends and family. Jorge is originally from Argentina and got his Ph.D. in Physics from the legendary Instituto Balseiro of Bariloche, in the northwest Andean mountains of Patagonia in Argentina. His role as an ombudsperson is the result of a long-life passion for humanism and the well-being of others.

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Matthew Beckman

Matthew Beckman
Statistics
mdb268@psu.edu

Matthew Beckman is Director of Undergraduate Programs and Assistant Research Professor of Statistics. He enjoys teaching a variety of statistics and data science courses from the first-year seminar for incoming statistics students to the senior capstone for statistics majors, and his research interests include undergraduate education in Statistics & Data Science. He's married with three young kids, enjoys just about anything active outdoors, and occasionally fills in on the drums for the band at his church. As an ombudsperson, Matt hopes to be a safe and approachable resource who seeks to come alongside others with kindness and understanding to promote and sustain a healthy community and culture at Penn State.

 

 

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Patricia Buchanan

Patricia Buchanan
Statistics
pqb@psu.edu

Patricia Buchanan is an Associate Teaching Professor of Statistics where she teaches large-enrollment undergraduate statistics courses, along with mentoring graduate students who serve in the role of instructor of record. When she is not preparing for class and holding numerous office hours, she enjoys taking cycling and yoga classes. She earned a M.S. in physiology and a M.A. in statistics from Penn State. She spends a lot time striving to improve teaching by working closely the Center of Excellence in Science Education. In 2017, she was a recipient of the C.I. Noll Award for Excellence in Teaching. She is an ombudsperson because she wants to provide impartial guidance to individuals so that they will have both the skills and confidence to give voice to their concerns.

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Beth Johnson

Beth Johnson
Dean's Office
bai107@psu.edu

Beth Johnson is an academic advisor within the college and works with undergraduate students pursuing the Science and Premedicine majors as well as students recovering from significant academic difficulty to support their return to good standing. When she is not solving student crises, she can usually be found chasing after her preschooler who always seems to be two steps ahead. Her hobbies include cooking, gardening, fishing, and homebrewing. She earned her PhD from Penn State’s Entomology Department where she conducted research in the areas of plant-insect interactions, chemical ecology and plant biology. She is an ombudsperson because she enjoys empowering others to take action toward the goal of positive change.

 

 

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Justin Gruneberg

Justin Gruneberg
Dean's Office
jmg449@psu.edu

Justin Gruneberg is the manager of the Science IT Service Desk which supports the technology needs of faculty, staff, and students. In his 9 years with the College, Justin has continually emphasized positive and empathetic customer service, which lends itself well to his role as an ombudsperson. He enjoys creating art, cats (both in real life and on Instagram!), cycling and tennis, videogames, and quality time with family and friends. Favorite musical acts include Radiohead, Tool, and D'Angelo. In 2018, he earned his Master’s degree in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance from Penn State. As an ombudsperson, Justin's goal is to actively listen to anyone who reaches out and help them find a positive direction, and the right resources, to address their concerns.