Sharon Barney, J.D., is a partner at Leech Tishman specializing in immigration and family law. Her work as an attorney requires a variety of communication skills, particularly in the arenas of legal writing/research, presenting arguments in court proceedings, and delivering advice to her clients. She is the current President of the Centre County Bar Association and is actively involved in the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Beyond her professional work, Sharon is also an engaged contributor to the State College community; for example, she spearheaded Centre County’s first Multicultural Unity Fair.
Danielle Yoder began her tenure as the new principal of Easterly Parkway Elementary in 2018. She comes to the State College Area School District from the Penns Valley Area School District (PVASD), where she had been the principal of Penns Valley Elementary and Intermediate School since 2015. Before then, she was the principal of Centre Hall-Potter Elementary School and Miles Township Elementary School for three years.
After graduating from Lebanon Valley College with a bachelor of science degree in elementary education, Yoder earned master of science degrees in educational development and strategies from Wilkes University and in reading and educational leadership from Edinboro University. She is currently working toward a PhD in Educational Leadership here at Penn State.
During her three-decade career, Yoder also has worked as a language arts and math teacher in the Midd-West School District in Middleburg, Pennsylvania. At PVASD, she served as the district’s Title 1 reading, English-language learners (ELL) and assessment coordinator.
Elaine Meder-Wilgus founded Webster’s Bookstore Cafe in 1999; it has since become a State College institution. Webster’s is not only a bookstore and café but also a performance venue, so Elaine does a great deal with event coordination, including such writing tasks as corresponding with participants and writing scripts.
Nena is the Director of Marketing and Communications for Invent Penn State, an initiative started by President Barron intended to drive job creation, economic development, and student career success. In her role she leads brand identity, website development, online technologies, print, media relations and social media strategy and execution for Invent Penn State, LaunchBox, and numerous programs that support student, faculty and community innovators, makers and doers in Penn State campus communities across Pennsylvania. She previously held similar brand, program, product and service building roles for the Sheetz Corporation (convenience restaurant) and AIRWALK International (snowboarding, skateboarding, active casual footwear and apparel).
Molly is the Executive Director for the Centre Foundation and a Board Member of ACRES (Adults Creating Residential and Employment Solutions). The Centre Foundation is an organization devoted to inspiring and facilitating a culture of giving which creates a vibrant community. Beginning in 1981, generous donors have invested in Centre Foundation, giving them over $35 million dollars in Foundation assets today. The Centre Foundation believes that everyone can be a philanthropist; they provide excellent personal service to donors and have a team of people ready to help them achieve their personal philanthropic goals. They pride themselves on a deep understanding of the community’s needs and their ability to provide innovative and traditional giving opportunities that match the passions of their donors with the needs of the community. The Centre Foundation believes in the organizations that are working to create a better future for the Centre County community; they provide services to help those organizations build endowments, to create support through community engagement, to strengthen themselves through training and research, to fund transformative projects, and to convene effective partnerships with stakeholders around community issues. To date, the Centre Foundation has invested over $18 million back into the Centre County community.
As the Executive Director, Molly is responsible for leadership and management of the organizations, as well as working with board of directors to develop and implement strategic plans that will ensure long-term growth and success.
Rick is the Executive Director of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts (CPFA). He joined the paid staff of the CPFA as its Director of Visual Arts in 1999, though his involvement with the Festival dates back to 1984, when he first volunteered on the trash crew. Rick was named Executive Director of the CPFA in 2005.
Rick earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture in 1979. In 1996, he earned a Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter designation, and in 2013, he completed the Pennsylvania Rural-Urban Leadership Program.
In addition to serving as a long-time Festival volunteer, Rick has volunteered for many community organizations. He has served on the board of the Art Alliance of Central PA, the State College Board of Health, the Board of Deacons at State College Presbyterian Church, the Community Advisory Board for Penn State’s Center for Performing Arts, the State College Historic Resources Commission, and the State College Historic and Architectural Review Board. He also runs an active blog site called The Wandering Wahoo.
Ann Donovan is a retired Watershed Specialist for the Centre County Conservation District. The Conservation District implements effective, locally-led conservation programs that include abandoned mine reclamation and acid mine drainage, agricultural assistance, erosion and sediment control, dirt and gravel road maintenance, stream stabilization and restoration, and conservation education.
As the Watershed Specialist, Ann was required to use her English degree on a daily basis as she composed documents ranging from brochures, pamphlets, and booklets to press releases, newsletters, and articles, to grant applications, quarterly reports, and partnership letters, email announcements and general correspondences, to displays and technical reports, and anything in between.
Though Ann has retired from her position as the Watershed Specialist, she remains interested in helping young people develop communication sills that will serve them well as they embark on various career paths. More specifically, she wants to help students learn how to present themselves in a professional environment because she knows how important it is for students to learn how to write correctly and handle themselves well so that they can communicate clearly in even the most intimidating of environments.
Tarun Chawla is a Technical Manager at Remcom Inc. An electrical engineer, Tarun has particular interests in the areas of technology, customer interaction, product ownership, and management. He has experience in engineering applications, leadership, communication, and international business.
Tarun works in the Business Development group where his primary focus is selling simulation software to major tech companies like Apple, Google, and Samsung; his customers include engineers, end users, procurement agents, and managers.
Tarun is required to work with the whole chain of command within various groups in large corporations; thus, collaboration, writing, planning, and technical delivery are all crucial to his success.
Cody is a technical communicator and statistician who wants to help people collect the right data and analyze it to make informed decisions. His specialities include statistics, technical communication, statistical reliability, JMP, SAS, and writing for translation.
Scott is a Technical Account Manager at Intel where he has been employed for 25 years. His major responsibility is working with Intel customers on designs in the evolving Internet of Things (IOT) marketplace as computer technology integrates with our daily activities. He works with engineers designing a variety of solutions, such as artificial intelligence for video conferencing, digital signage and surveillance, enterprise storage solutions, point-of-sale/kiosk terminals, medical imaging equipment (like CT scanners), and autonomous vehicles.
Because he lives in Pittsburgh and works with Intel and customer engineers in Arizona, California, Kansas, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and New York, as well as in Europe and Asia, Scott has experienced first-hand the value of effective writing and communication. His job requires him to communicate verbally and in email or collaborative documents with engineers who often use English as a second language.