The University of Scranton Announces New Deans

Rev. Joseph Marina, S.J., president of The University of Scranton, announced Victoria Castellanos, Ph.D., will serve as dean of the Panuska College of Professional Studies (PCPS), effective immediately and Mark Higgins, Ph.D., will serve as the Dean of the Kania School of Management beginning July 1.

Dean Castellanos has served as the interim dean of PCPS since January 2022. She served as the associate dean of PCPS since 2012, when she joined The University of Scranton community.

“Her professionalism, dedication and leadership, in addition to her caring insightfulness, have greatly benefited the University and PCPS, and I look forward to continuing to work with her as dean,” said Father Marina in an announcement to the University community.

At Scranton, Dean Castellanos oversaw the PCPS undergraduate and graduate curriculum review process, the T.A.P.E.S.T.R.Y. professional development program and other PCPS projects and programs. She was also the college shepherd for the construction of Edward R. Leahy Jr. Hall. She has served on numerous committees at the University, including the Provost’s Committee on Academic Policy Compliance, the Strategic Enrollment Committee and the Faculty Handbook Committee, among many others. 

Prior to her work at Scranton, Dean Castellanos served in a number of positions at Florida International University (FIU) from 1996 to 2012, including as the associate dean of the University Graduate School, the Ph.D. program director and the undergraduate didactic program director for the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition. She was also an associate professor of dietetics and nutrition at FIU.

Dean Castellanos has published dozens of articles about her research in the area of dietetics and has contributed several academic book chapters, in addition to presenting on her research at numerous conferences. During her career, she was awarded multiple U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services grants totally more than $850,000.

Dean Castellanos’ board memberships include Individual Abilities in Motion, The Arc of North Eastern Pennsylvania and The Arc of NEPA Foundation. Her professional memberships include the Dietitian’s Council on Quality Nursing Home Care, the American Society for Nutrition and the American Dietetic Association.

Dean Castellanos earned her bachelor’s degree from Montana State University and her master’s degree and Ph.D. in nutrition from the University of California. She completed a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellowship at Pennsylvania State University.

“I know from my conversations with him, along with the endorsements of his peers, that Dr. Higgins is deeply committed to our Catholic and Jesuit mission. We are fortunate as well to have someone of his exceptional experience and expertise,” said Father Marina in an announcement to the University community.

Dr. Higgins currently serves as a professor of accounting at St. Louis University (SLU), a sister Jesuit university in Missouri.

From 2015 to 2019, Dr. Higgins served as the Edward Jones Dean and Professor of Accounting at SLU’s Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business. During his tenure at SLU, he has worked with deans and faculty to repurpose facilities into a multipurpose data analytics lab for finance and a behavioral lab space for marketing; and has worked with faculty to revise SLU’s one-year, full-time MBA program to focus on data analytics and ethical leadership. He also helped to revise faculty support models at SLU to encourage publication in top-tier business journals, among other accomplishments. 

Dr. Higgins has extensive experience with AACBS accreditation, widely considered the gold-standard of business school accreditations. The University of Scranton’s Kania School of Management holds AACBS accreditation. In 2016, he chaired SLU’s successful re-affirmation of AACSB accreditation for the undergraduate and graduate business programs and worked with the department chair and the accounting faculty to achieve initial accreditation for undergraduate and graduate accounting programs. He currently serves as chair of the AACSB Accounting Accreditation Policy Committee and is a member of the AACSB Business Accreditation Policy Committee. His professional memberships include the American Accounting Association, the American Taxation Association and the Missouri State Society of CPA’s. He received the American Accounting Association Service Award in 2015 and the American Taxation Association Lifetime Service Award in 2009.

Dr. Higgins earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of South Carolina and his Ph.D. in accounting from the University of Tennessee.

NEPIRC Welcomes Mark Morgis to its Team of Experts

To better assist manufacturers in capitalizing on growth opportunities, addressing workforce challenges and implementing new technologies, NEPIRC gladly welcomes Mark Morgis to its team of professionals as its Mechanical Engineer. 

Mr. Morgis is a lean manufacturing champion and Six Sigma Black Belt who brings with him over 25 years’ experience and an impressive resume, which includes engineering expertise with companies like OSHA, Sealy, Inc., Marathon Boat Group, InterMetro Industries, Wyman-Gordon, RAD Engineered Wood Products, OTEX Specialty Narrow Fabrics and Clarcor Air Filtration Products. Within those companies, Mr. Morgis led plant startups and ongoing operations, drove continuous improvement efforts, and implemented systems, processes, and procedures that increased productivity, efficiency and profitability. Mr. Morgis also has experience in establishing international manufacturing production facilities and has attained several recognition awards in the areas of safety, quality, productivity and efficiency.  

Mr. Morgis’ educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Lehigh University.

Johnson College CTC Students Receive Forklift Operator Certifications

Dr. Katie Leonard, President & CEO of Johnson College, congratulated students from The Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County for receiving certification for completing Johnson College Continuing Education’s Forklift Operator Training Course. 

The forklift operator training is designed to familiarize students with OSHA Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training Requirements (29CFR Standard 1910.178 and ASME B56.1), provide current training requirements under the newly adopted standards, and assist participants in becoming an authorized operator of forklifts through theory and tactile testing. Instructional topic include pre-operational inspection, picking up, traveling, and placing loads, parking procedures, and practical operation.

For additional information on Johnson College, please call 1-800-2-WE-WORK, email, or visit

Howard Gardner MI Charter School Board of Trustees Appointments

Marie Angelella George, Ph.D., CEO, of Howard Gardner Multiple Intelligence Charter School (HGMICS) in Scranton is pleased to announce that Catherine Richmond-Cullen, Ed.D, and Dino J. Galli have been named to the school’s Board of Trustees.

Members of the Board of Trustees oversee educational programs, fiscal affairs and school policies.

Specializing in arts education, Dr. Richmond-Cullen’s distinguished career includes national, state and regional accomplishments. She is the CEO and Founder of The Creative Life Alliance and President of neuroLEARN, where she provides curriculum and professional development services to schools and community organizations.  She also serves as the Director of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Partnership Program at the Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit (NEIU). Her areas of expertise include curriculum development, grants administration and development, budget management, and marketing and public relations.

Dr. Richmond-Cullen holds an A.B. in Elementary Urban Education from Boston College, an M.S. in Counseling from Marywood University and an Ed.D in Educational Administration from Temple University.  She resides in Moosic.

Mr. Galli has enjoyed a distinguished career in the building and construction industry in northeastern Pennsylvania. He is a retired Vice President of Preconstruction and Operations and Lead Estimator at Sordoni Construction Services in Forty Fort. His portfolio encompasses a diverse and impressive project list, including multi-million dollar construction projects. Mr. Galli is skilled in all areas of estimating, including preconstruction budgeting, value engineering, and the development of Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) projects from conception to contract.

He holds a B.S. in Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University, and he is a Green Advantage Certified Practioner, a LEED accredited professional, and a member of the American Society of Professional Estimators.  Mr. Galli resides in Dunmore.

Attorney Neal M. Thatcher Joins Myers, Brier & Kelly, LLP as Partner

Myers, Brier & Kelly, LLP is pleased to announce that Neal Thatcher has joined the law firm as a partner.

Dan Brier, a firm principal, commented that “with his years of experience as lead corporate counsel for energy companies active in the burgeoning Marcellus and Utica Shale regions, Neal is highly qualified to provide sophisticated and practical advice on energy related legal matters including transactional real estate, acquisitions, divestitures and complicated commercial litigation. With opportunities to work with law firms throughout the country, we are thrilled that Neal decided to bring his significant knowledge of the energy sector to Myers, Brier & Kelly. I am confident he will be an invaluable addition to our already accomplished corporate, litigation and energy teams.”

Prior to joining Myers, Brier & Kelly, Thatcher provided counsel to some of the biggest names in the energy field ranging from startups to nationally recognized companies. For over a decade, he served as senior counsel to The Williams Companies, Inc., a Fortune 500 energy infrastructure company that is one of the largest pipeline transportation and midstream businesses in the United States.

While at The Williams Companies, Neal served as primary and lead counsel for various midstream business segments, including those in Northeast Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Eastern Ohio. He has negotiated, structured and drafted commercial agreements and energy transactions with values over $100 million, and has been a key deal team member on major acquisitions and divestitures, including transactions valued in excess of $1 billion. Neal has also successfully managed and provided strategic oversight on complex commercial litigation matters.

Thatcher has earned numerous leadership awards recognizing his individual and team achievements and has served on the boards and committees of several local nonprofits. A Dunmore native, Neal currently resides in Throop with his wife Shannon and their three children, Colin, Brendan and Ryan.

The Wright Center Physician Recognized by ACP

The American College of Physicians (ACP) recently recognized Dr. Jignesh Y. Sheth, chief medical officer for The Wright Center for Community Health and senior vice president of enterprise IT, clinical operations and education integration, during National Mentoring Month for making a positive impact on the internal medicine community through mentorship.

Dually board certified in internal medicine and addiction medicine, Sheth received a certificate of appreciation from ACP in recognition of his commitment to mentoring and the positive impact of his mentorship in the internal medicine community. National Mentoring Month is observed every January.

Sheth received the national honor after Dr. Sandeep Mandal, a postgraduate year-one resident physician in the Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education Internal Medicine Residency, shared with ACP how his mentor has had a positive impact on his life and medical residency.

“Mentors play an important role in the development of their mentees and the greater internal medicine community,” Dr. Darilyn V. Moyer, CEO and executive vice president of ACP, wrote in a letter addressed to Sheth. “We are grateful for ACP members like yourself, who share their experience and expertise through mentorship in order to help their internal medicine colleagues grow and advance personally and professionally.”

In addition, Sheth also sees adult patients for primary care, and internal and addiction medicine at The Wright Center for Community Health Mid Valley Practice, 5 S. Washington Ave., Jermyn. He is accepting new patients.

To make an appointment at the Mid Valley Practice, call 570-230-0019 or go to

The Patch is Ready for Outdoor Dining

The outdoor dining area at The Patch features two patios, cornhole boards, and now takes reservations through their Facebook page. The Patch is located at 110 W. Grove St. in Dunmore. Ask for Jen or Ang about catering and/or private event reservations.

UNC of NEPA South Side Farmers Market

In its 12th year of operation, the South Side Farmers’ Market, run by United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s (UNC) is Scranton’s only year-round farmers’ market. A local source for meats, eggs, breads, produce and more. The Summer Market will be open every Saturday from 10am – 1pm at 529 Cedar Avenue, behind the former South Side Bank & Trust Building.

The South Side Farmers’ Market offers local & organic produce including a variety of unique fresh greens, mushrooms, pasture-raised eggs, and a large variety of farm fresh meats and artisan cheeses at the market all season long. Bread and baked goods, cookies, desserts, roasted coffee beans, plants, natural skin care items, art, pottery, nuts & snacks, jewelry and other natural food products are available at the market. Returning this year is a fan-favorite and award-winning Mexican restaurant selling hot food for customers to treat themselves to while they shop or sit at our brightly coloured café while they enjoy live music. Some featured vendors are Fullers Overlook Farm, Quails-R-Us, Twin Brook Farms, Calkin’s Creamery, Bet’a Bread Bakery, Funny Wine Girl Jeannine, Rylee Jade LLC., KB Pottery, El Buen Amigo, Evil Sweets by Lulu, Christine Coligan Art, Mattsons Mushrooms, NEPA Micro Greens, Local Juice Co., George’s Farm, FlicktheWick Candle Co., Peaches Greens, NEPA Coffee Roasters and more. The market has guest vendors selling items from raw honey, succulents, gifts, and so much more! The market is also hosting a Summer Music Series, where live music will entertain customers. We begin with The South Side Five, sponsored by Notelogy on May 14th.

May 21st will be Big Leaf, followed by June 18th will be Frankie Gervasi of The Poets, sponsored by Kost Tire, with many more throughout the season. In addition to the music days, we will also have weekends scheduled with activities like a petting zoo, face-painting & balloon art, a gaming station and so much more. Watch the market newsletter and social media pages for updates and scheduling!

The South Side Farmers Market is funded through a Neighborhood Partnership Program grant with Peoples Security Bank, PNC Bank and PPL Electric.

For more information, please contact Kelly, South Side Farmers Market Manager at 570-866-2472.

The Scranton Public Library Swingin’ on Vine Block Party

The Scranton Public Library will bring back its annual Swingin’ on Vine block party and fundraiser after a two-year hiatus. The event will take place on Friday, May 27, 2022 from 5-8 p.m.

Admission will include cook-out style light fair, seasonal cocktails, and desserts from Scranton-area businesses. Local band Picture Perfect and the Raging Hormones will get everyone dancing with a variety of songs from Top 40 hits to Latin, and Country. There will also be a door prize and raffle baskets. Guests must be 21 or over to attend.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the Scranton Public Library and its services to the community including free technology help, early-childhood literary programs, classes and lectures, and everything else one would expect from a 21st Century library like books, eBooks, audiobooks, Blu-Rays, video games, and much more.

Swingin’ on Vine will take place, rain or shine, on the 500 block of Vine Street in Scranton, PA. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Tickets are now available online through Eventbrite and in person starting April 18 at any Scranton Library location.

For more information, people can contact Jessica Serrenti at (570) 348-3000 ext. 3050 or