New academic program directors named

Five academic programs will have new leaders at the helm this fall.


Biology, computer information systems and technology, interdisciplinary arts and petroleum technology will have new program directors, while the associate of science in nursing program will have a new coordinator.


Dr. Lauren Yaich, associate professor of biology, is the new director of the biology program. She succeeds Dr. David Merwine, associate professor of biology, who had directed the program since 2010.


Yaich has a doctoral degree in molecular biology from Vanderbilt University and a Bachelor of Arts in biology at Colgate University. Before coming to Pitt-Bradford, she served as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan, where she conducted independent research. She has earned a number of awards, including a National Science Foundation Developmental Neurobiology Fellowship and a grant from the National Institutes of Health.


She has been the recipient of the Pitt-Bradford Chairs' Faculty Teaching Award and the University of Pittsburgh Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award. She has previously served both as chair of the Division of Biological and Health Sciences and the associate dean of academic affairs.


In addition to her work with college-age students, she has regularly promoted science education by teaching at Pitt-Bradford's Science Camp for elementary- and middle-school-age children.


Dr. Y. Ken Wang, associate professor of computer information systems and technology, will be the new director of that program. He takes over from Don Lewicki, associate professor of business management, who launched the program with Wang in 2009.


Wang received his doctorate in business administration from Washington State University. He has taught a variety of information systems courses such as systems analysis and design, electronic commerce, information systems strategy, emerging technologies and innovation, objected-oriented programming, web development, database management system, business intelligence, business computing, project management, etc.


 Wang is an active researcher in information systems and related fields. He is also a member of the Association of Information Systems, Academy of Management, Decision Sciences Institute, and The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.


A native of China, Wang has also developed a program for students from Shanghai University's SILC Business School to visit Pitt-Bradford for three weeks each summer to take an information systems course sponsored by the CIS&T program.


Anna Lemnitzer, assistant professor of art and director of the art program, is the new director of the interdisciplinary arts program.


Interdisciplinary arts students take classes in arts awareness and management, studio art and art history, music, theater and writing.


Lemnitzer joined the Pitt-Bradford faculty in 2013 after teaching in the fine arts department of the University of Western Montana. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in art from the University of Montana and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in art education from the University of Arizona.


At Pitt-Bradford, she has taught drawing, painting, and graphic design classes as well as the Interdisciplinary Arts Capstone, New Genres, Contemporary Portraiture, and Watercolor.


Dr. Ovidiu Frantescu, assistant professor of petroleum technology, is the new director of that program. He succeeds Dr. Matthew Kropf, assistant professor of energy science and technology.


Frantescu earned his Master of Science in geology and doctorate in applied geology at Kent State University.


Currently he teaches Introduction to Geographic Information Systems, Advanced GIS, Well Log Interpretation, Drilling and Completion 2, Hydrogeology, Petro Geology and Geophysics, Enhanced Hydrocarbon Recovery, and Introduction to Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition.


The two-year petroleum technology program prepares students to work in the petroleum industry in capacities ranging from managing drill sites to working at refineries or compression stations to sales.


Finally, Mary Dinger will take over as the new program coordinator for the Associate of Science in Nursing. She takes over from Dr. Jean Truman, who was promoted to assistant dean of academic affairs.


Dinger is a Pitt-Bradford alumna who returned to her alma mater as an adjunct faculty member, then joined the full-time faculty in 2003. She has taught predominantly in the ASN program and has worked in long-term care and hospital-based settings. She maintains her license as a registered nurse, certified registered nurse practitioner and certified family nurse practitioner.


This spring, she received the Chairs' Faculty Teaching Award for excellence in teaching.