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.
Bellamarie is the Executive Director of the ACRES Project, a growing community designed by adults with autism for adults with autism. The ACRES Project (Adults Creating Residential and Employment Solutions) is a non-profit organization located in the heart of Central Pennsylvania. This unique team consists of people with autism, educators, parents, and community members working together to meet the social, vocational, and residential needs of adults with autism. ACRES provides a nurturing environment to help individuals build a foundation for a productive, independent life.
By fostering social, vocational, and self-advocacy skills, ACRES helps individuals optimize their potential to develop practical life skills, increase social capacity, and transition to work and independence. Bellamarie welcomes the opportunity to speak with students about the role that writing plays in the ACRES curriculum and how it empowers members to find and express their unique voices, as well as about the importance of considering accessibility and accommodations in writing.
Leslie is Associate Director of Farm and Food Systems at Penn State. This role requires her to coordinate the cross-college planning process aimed at creating a sustainable food systems minor and a student-centered experiential learning farm at Penn State. She works with diverse stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, community members, and alumni to envision and develop this new initiative. She received her MS in Rural Sociology from Penn State in December 2013. Prior to graduate school, Leslie managed a beginning farmer training program and incubator farm at a non-profit in Lincoln, Nebraska. There, she developed farm production and business curricula for beginning farmers, managed a multi-farmer CSA, oversaw farm site development and maintenance, and grew the program through community partnerships and financial development.
The Penn State Student Farm was established in 2016 and aims to help students learn about where food comes from and give them an opportunity to apply their unique skills and experiences to a farm setting. The Farm is truly a collaborative endeavor; students studying topics from communications, to marketing, to architecture, and more can find exciting ways to contribute to the Farm.
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).
Rick is a Professor of Horticulture in the Department of Plant Sciences at Penn State. His research is interested in the profitability and competitiveness of the nursery and Christmas tree industry in Pennsylvania. Additionally, Rick is the principal investigator for the Women in Ag Network (WAgN) Cambodia: Gender and Ecologically Sensitive Agriculture, a project that is working to empower women and improve nutrition by promoting women’s participation in the value chains for horticulture crops produced via sustainable intensification practices. As a researcher for this international program, Rick engages is a number of various writing genres, including but not limited to proposal writing, technical writing, collaborative writing with social scientists and technical scientists, and rhetorical writing for his colleagues in Cambodia who will translate his research findings and sustainability guidelines into the local Cambodian language for the poor women farmers.
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.
Eileen has held the position of Senior Principle Multi-Discipline Engineer at Raytheon since 1982. She graduated from Penn State with her Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in 1981 and with her Master of Science in Electrical Engineering in 1987. Before joining Raytheon, she worked as a COOP student at Burroughs Corporation for 6 months per year from 1977-1980 and as an Engineer at Texas Instruments from 1981-1982.
Throughout her time at Raytheon, Eileen has had a number of duties related to writing and communication; some of them include: Digital Circuit Design, Proposal Input, Systems Design, and various Personnel-related tasks. She has reviewed many resumes for prospective employees, conducted in-plant interviews, written hire/no hire recommendations based on the results of the interviews, and has provided annual performance appraisal inputs on all of the employees working under her.
In his lengthy career, Chet has gained expertise in a variety of technical writing genres, including reports, performance appraisals, business correspondence, and conference proceedings. Persuasive writing challenges he has faced include developing project proposals, writing performance evaluations and salary and promotion recommendations, preparing patent proposals, and even preparing responses to proposed regulatory rulings under consideration by the Federal Communications Commission. He continues his persuasive writing in advocating for environment, social, and political causes, and occasionally writes letters of recommendation for students and colleagues.
Chet has served as President of the Penn State Electrical Engineering Alumni Society and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Alumni Society of the Penn State School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (PSEECS). In that capacity, he co-chaired an annual conference which brought together the Penn State EE/CS community (students, faculty, alumni, and industry partners) to discuss latest trends in in the field. He currently mentors undergraduate electrical engineering students and serves as an Alumni Admissions Volunteer, representing Penn State at college fairs in the Atlanta area, where he and his wife reside.
Upon graduating from Penn State, Chet was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Navy. After his military service as a nuclear project officer, he launched his engineering career, spending many years leading telecommunications network and service R&D (Research and Development) teams at AT&T, AT&T Labs, Bell South, and Bell Labs. After retiring from corporate life in 2008, Chet maintained a part-time consulting business.
Chet’s consulting activities included serving as external technical advisor for a European Union Project, “Second Generation Locator for Urban Search and Rescue,” whose purpose was to employ the latest technology in locating victims of natural disasters. That work required persuasively documenting potential improvements in designs and plans prepared by a consortium of European corporations and academic institutions which developed a prototype system.
Chet earned his BS in Electrical Engineering at Penn State, an MS in Electrical Engineering at Stanford, and an MS in Management from Pace University. He is a member of Eta Kappa Nu (EE), Tau Beta Pi (Engineering), Phi Kappa Phi (academic), and Quarterdeck (NROTC) honor societies and is inventor or co-inventor of 45 patents. More information is available in his LinkedIn profile.
Andrew currently works for Parsons. He has held a number of roles in engineering and EPCM consulting companies over the last 30+ years; he credits clear and effective communication as the catalysts for his mobility, both horizontally and vertically. He has held both technical and business management roles, domestically and internationally, in the areas of engineering, contracts, finance, accounting, HR, safety, and quality.
As a guest speaker, Andrew is most interested in focusing on career communication topics related to job search, reading and interpreting position requests, resumes, cover letters, interview tips, and working in global teams. He is open to answering any questions from students and wandering in any of the directions toward which they are interested in steering the conversation. Because Andrew lives in South Carolina and works in North Carolina, he joins classes remotely via video conferencing.
Amy is the Executive Director of the Mid-State Literacy Council, a non-profit organization that provides adult education instruction in basic literacy, ESL, and family literacy in the Centre County community.
Amy’s 35-year career in the field of literacy has included 10 years with Mid-State, where she is in charge of the nonprofit’s curriculum design; developing resources and funding for its programs; volunteer recruitment and training; and strategic planning to expand literacy services that meet the evolving needs of the community.
Amy was named the 2017 Outstanding Adult Educator for Pennsylvania by the Pennsylvania Association of Adult and Continuing Education, and was given the 2018 Spirit Award from Soroptimists International of Centre County.