Wilkes University


Wilkes University Promotes Faculty and Awards Tenure

Wilkes-Barre, Pa. (July 15, 2016)- Wilkes University recently awarded tenure and promotions to eight faculty members. The faculty receiving promotions and tenure are:

holly frederick headshot

Holly Frederick was awarded tenure and promoted to the rank of associate professor of environmental engineering. She received her bachelor of science in environmental engineering from Wilkes University and her master’s and doctorate in environmental engineering from Pennsylvania State University. She joined Wilkes in 1999 as an adjunct faculty member and became a visiting professor in 2008. During that time she worked as project coordinator for the Northeast Office of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council. She joined Wilkes as a full-time faculty member in 2013. She also maintains her license as a registered professional engineer and has served as a principal investigator for a grant from the Pennsylvania Water Resources Research Center. Frederick’s expertise is in water and soil quality.


kathleen hirthler headshotKathleen Hirthler was awarded tenure and promoted to the rank of associate professor of nursing. She received her bachelor’s degree in nursing and her master’s degree in nursing specializing in family nurse practitioner from Misericordia University. She earned her doctorate in nursing practice from Chatham University and a post-graduate certificate in nursing informatics. Prior to her full-time position at Wilkes, Hirthler worked as a nurse practitioner with Geisinger Medical Group and served as education coordinator for Mercy Health Partners. She maintains three professional licenses that include continued clinical practice through Volunteers in Medicine (VIM).  She also acquired a grant of $185,000 in 2013 from the Pennsylvania Department of Health to integrate electronic health records into the Volunteers In Medicine clinic which benefitted patients as well as provided nursing students with experience using electronic records. The Commission for College Nursing Education selected Hirthler as a clinical evaluator of nursing programs at various institutions. Hirthler’s expertise is in public health nursing.

judith kristeller headshotJudith Kristeller was promoted to the rank of full professor of pharmacy practice. She received her bachelor of science in pharmacy and a doctorate in pharmacy from the University of Kentucky. She completed a critical care residency at Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas. After working as a clinical pharmacy specialist in critical care at Rochester General Hospital for four years she joined the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy at Wilkes as an assistant professor of pharmacy practice in 2002. Kristeller was awarded tenure and promotion to associate professor in 2008. Kristeller works with introductory and advanced students in pharmacy practice courses in acute care and clinical research at Moses Taylor Hospital. She has also authored 11 peer-reviewed journal publications since 2004 with seven of the publications being co-authored with students. She has received two research grants totaling $130,000.

dana manning headshot

Dana Manning was awarded tenure and promoted to the rank of associate professor of pharmacy practice. She received her bachelor’s degree in nutrition from Cornell University and completed her dietetic internship at Geisinger Medical Center as well as obtaining her doctor of pharmacy degree from Wilkes University. In addition to being a registered pharmacist, Manning is also a licensed dietitian and nutritionist in Pennsylvania. From 2008-2010 she served as an instructor in pharmacy practice while supervising clinical rotations at Allied Services Skilled Nursing Center. Manning joined Wilkes in 2010 as a full-time faculty member. Within the past three years she has co-authored a textbook: Connections: Food, Nutrition, Health and Wellness. She also authored a book chapter on lymphoma and secured a $10,000 research grant from the American Council of Pharmacy Education.  She works with pharmacy students as an internal medicine clinical pharmacist preceptor as well as on clinical research at the Regional Hospital of Scranton since 2010. Since 2011, she has maintained her clinical nutrition practice at the Volunteers in Medicine Clinic in Wilkes-Barre.

eric ruggiero headshotEric Ruggiero was awarded tenure. He received his bachelor of fine arts in computer graphics from Syracuse University and his master of fine arts in computer art from Savannah College of Art and Design. Ruggiero joined Wilkes in 2005 as the founding director of the integrative media program. Ruggiero earlier was promoted to associate professor. Prior to his position at Wilkes, he was a partner with Reflex/IO Inc. and also worked at firms, including Eastman Kodak and General Electric, working in visual effects, computer animation and administration. Ruggiero holds a national leadership role in PromaxBDA, an international organization of marketers and creatives in the media and entertainment industry, where he has served on the board of governors and was awards committee chair. He was the recipient of a fellowship to study and work for a summer at SONY Imageworks in California. He is a also a member of the Special Interest Group of Computer Graphics (SIGRAPH) and of the Pennsylvania Consortium on Video Games.

steven thomas headshotSteven Thomas was promoted to the rank of full professor of music. He received his bachelor of arts in music from Harvard University. He obtained his master of music, master of musical arts in choral conducting and his doctorate of musical arts in choral conducting from Yale University. Thomas joined the Wilkes faculty in 1999 and was awarded tenure and promotion to associate professor of music in 2007. Thomas has directed and conducted between nine and 15 performances annually. He researches, rehearses and conducts 30-40 musical works for performances each semester. He maintains professional membership in the American Choral Directors Association where he served as the chair of the university repertoire and standards committee and The National Association for Music Education. Thomas serves as the director of the University Chorus and Chamber Singers. He is also the musical director of the Arcadia Chorale. Since 2007 he has served as a chair in the division of performing arts.

marleen troy headshotMarleen Troy was promoted to the rank of full professor of environmental engineering. She received her bachelor of science in biological science from Drexel University and her master of science in microbiology from the University of Rhode Island as well as a master of science and doctorate in civil engineering from Drexel University. Troy is a registered professional engineer in Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Wilkes in 1997 she worked as a senior environmental engineer in hazardous waste remediation, contracting and consulting for eight years. She was promoted to associate professor in 2002 and awarded tenure in 2003. In reaching across academic disciplines, Troy developed and has taught a course where students from business, environmental engineering and environmental science work together on consulting projects for local small businesses. The course, team-taught with Ruth Hughes, a faculty member in the Sidhu School of Business and Leadership, received the Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence in Education and Outreach as well as the Wilkes University Interdisciplinary Teaching Award.  She is also the Director of the Sustainability Management Certificate Program.  Troy served as the department chair from 2005-2010 and has been active in community-campus outreach activities including Women Empowered by Science, Passport to Science and Earth Day. 

brian whitman headshotBrian Whitman was promoted to the rank of full professor of environmental engineering. He received his bachelor of science in environmental engineering, master of science in civil engineering and his doctorate in environmental engineering all from Michigan Technical University. Whitman completed the Academic Leadership Academy at Pennsylvania State University. He was awarded tenure and promoted to associate professor in 2003. Whitman is a scholar of hydrology. He co-authored or contributed to chapters in four books, authored or co-authored nine articles in leading peer-reviewed journals, and regularly presents at national conferences. Active in the community, he serves on the Anthony Borzell Memorial Scholarship Committee and served as a judge for the NEPA Regional and Pennsylvania State Odyssey of the Mind competitions. He is also the vice president of the Wilkes-Barre Rotary Club.