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Boom and Bust Symposium: Speaker Biographies

Heather Feldhaus, Ph.D.
Bloomsburg University

Dr. Heather Feldhaus is a sociologist currently serving at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania as Assistant Dean in the College of Liberal Arts and as Director of the Center for Community Research and Consulting. Her research focuses on rural communities, local culture, community health, and the social construction of social problems. Most recently she has been working on studies of the community impact of Marcellus Shale development and a study of how services providers approach solutions to rural homelessness. She is also heavily involved in research collaboration with community groups and the use of applied research as a teaching tool for undergraduate education. Her recent work in this area includes work on blighted housing, the economic impact assessment of a regional arts events, and an assessment of resident perceptions of diversity in a small rural town.

 

Byron Kohut, Ed. D.
Westmorland County Community College

Byron Kohut, Ed.D., is currently the director of Marcellus ShaleNET for Westmoreland County Community College (WCCC), Pennsylvania. He has been director of Marcellus ShaleNET since its inception in 2010. This program has helped thousands of individuals find employment in the booming natural gas industry in New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. In addition to managing ShaleNET, Dr. Kohut recently wrote and received a grant for ShaleNET US, an award in the amount of $15 million. The objective of ShaleNET US is to design and implement community college associate degree programs in petroleum technology. Prior to his two years as director of the ShaleNET program at WCCC, Dr. Kohut spent one year at the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) designing a successful grant application focused in energy located at the CCAC West Hills Center. Dr. Kohut is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a Doctorate in Education.

 

Jill Kriesky, Ph.D.
University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Jill Kriesky joined the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh in August 2011. Her responsibilities include both research and community outreach on Marcellus Shale drilling for the Graduate School and senior project coordinator responsibilities for the Center for Healthy Environments and Communities (CHEC) in the Environmental and Occupational Health Department. Prior to this, Kriesky directed the Appalachian Institute and Service for Social Action Center at Wheeling Jesuit University where she developed service projects and experiential learning, research, and outreach opportunities on economic, environmental, and health issues. She also served as the director of West Virginia University's Service Learning and as the director of West Virginia Campus Compact. She holds a bachelor's degree in economics and political science from Grinnell College (IA), a master's degree in economics (WI), and a Ph.D. in economics (NH).

Carl Milofsky, Ph.D.
Bucknell University

Carl Milofsky is Professor of Sociology at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. He was one of the original members of the Program on Nonprofit Organizations at Yale University, where he specialized in community-based organizations. He edited the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly from 1990-1996m he edited Community Organizations. Studies in Resource Mobilization and Exchange published (Oxford 1988), and with Ram Cnaan he edited The Handbook of Community Movements and Local Organizations (Springer 2006). He and Albert Hunter co-authored Pragmatic Liberalism. Constructing a Civil Society (Palgrave 2007) and in 2008 he authored Smallville. Institutionalizing Community in Small Town America (University Press of New England).

 

Kent Moors, Ph.D.
Duquesne University

Kent Moors is Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Graduate Center for Social and Public Policy at Duquesne University, where he is also Scholar in Residence at the Institute for Energy and the Environment.

An internationally recognized expert in oil/gas policy, finance and risk assessment, Dr. Moors has advised seventeen world governments and has been a consultant to private companies, financial institutions, civic movements/organizations and law firms in 28 countries. He currently serves on the U.S. Department of State (DOS) task force providing oil policy advisories to developing nations worldwide and the DOS Global Shale Gas Initiative, providing advisory services on the policy implications from unconventional gas development.

His over 950 professional/market publications and over 350 private/public sector presentations and workshops have appeared in 44 countries. John Wiley & Sons released his The Vega Factor: Oil Volatility and the Next Global Crisis, in May 2011. He has recently completed his next volume - Crude Pressure: Oil, Sanctions, and the Crisis with Iran.

Barbara SattlerBarbara Sattler, Ph.D.
University of San Francisco

Dr. Barbara Sattler is a Professor at the University of San Francisco and a Board member of the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments. (She recently left the University of Maryland after 23 years of service.) She is on the Environmental Health Committee of the American Association of Colleges of Nurses and a member of the Environmental Health Expert Panel for the American Academy of Nurses. Dr. Sattler has engaged in NIH, HUD, and EPA research grants where community-based participation was a critical element. She has worked extensively with communities that have been challenged by environmental problems, including communities with Superfund and Brownfield sites, gas and oil spills, and other extensive soil-based exposures. She has served on Institute of Medicine committees regarding environmental health information, co-authored the text Environmental Health and Nursing, and published a host of journal articles. She has a Doctorate in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nurses.

In the context of "fracking", Dr. Sattler is an active member of the Fracking Committee of the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments (ANHE). She co-authored the new Energy Resolution passed by the American Nurses Association that calls for a nation-wide moratorium on all new fracking permits and encourages nurses' engagement in energy policy discourse and advocacy. The Fracking Committee has been educating nurses from around the country about the perils of fracking to critical community-based infrastructures (health, housing, education, social services, safety, transportation) and the human and ecological health impacts.

Kai A. Schafft, Ph.D.
Penn State University

Kai A. Schafft is an associate professor of education in the Department of Education Policy Studies at Penn State University. Trained as a rural sociologist, his work focuses on the relationship between rural school and community well-being, as well as rural poverty and social inequality. He directs the Center on Rural Education and Communities where he also edits the Journal of Research in Rural Education. His book, Rural People & Communities: Resilience and Transformation, co-authored with David Brown, was published by Polity Press in 2011. The volume Rural Education for the Twenty-first Century: Identity, Place, and Community in a Globalizing World, co-edited with Alecia Jackson, was published by Penn State Press in 2010. He is currently taking part in research funded through the Center for Rural Pennsylvania that examines the multiple community impacts of Marcellus development in Bradford, Lycoming, Washington and Greene Counties in Pennsylvania.

 

Joel A. Tarr, Ph.D.
Carnegie Mellon University

Joel A. Tarr is the Richard S. Caliguiri University Professor of History and Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. He received his B.S. and M.A. degrees from Rutgers University (1956, 1957) and his Ph.D. in American History at Northwestern University (1963). He has been a member of the Carnegie Mellon University faculty since 1967. He is the recipient of Carnegie Mellon University's 1992 Robert Doherty Prize for "substantial and sustained contributions to excellence in education." In 2008, the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) awarded him its Leonardo da Vinci Medal for contributions to the field of the history of Technology. His main interests are in urban infrastructure and the history of the urban environment. He has published extensively in these areas including: The Impact of Transportation Innovation on Changing Spatial Patterns: Pittsburgh, 1850-1934 (1978); Technology and the Rise of the Networked City in Europe and America (co-editor, with Gabriel Dupuy, 1988); The Search for the Ultimate Sink: Urban Pollution in Historical Perspective (1996); Devastation and Renewal: An Environmental History of Pittsburgh and Its Region (editor, 2003); and, The Horse in the City: Living Machines in the 19th Century (co-author, with Clay McShane, 2007). His articles have appeared in many collections and journals, He has been the recipient of fellowships and grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Park Service, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. He has been a member of National Research Council and Office of Technology Assessment committees concerned with urban infrastructure and environmental pollution issues. His current research is focusing on the history and impacts of natural gas development in South Western Pennsylvania.

Diana Irey Vaughan, Commissioner
Washington County Board of Commissioners

Diana Irey Vaughan, elected in 1995, is the only woman to have ever been elected as a Washington County Commissioner. She is now serving her fifth term of office.

Among her accomplishments as a County Commissioner, Diana balanced seven consecutive budgets with no tax increase; said no to cable TV for inmates; and put non-violent inmates to work in the community, resulting in more than 210,000 hours of community service.

Diana is a leader in economic development in southwestern Pennsylvania. Washington County was recently ranked third in the nation for job growth by the U.S. Department of Labor. Diana created a public-private partnership with the Washington County Chamber of Commerce to develop a "one-stop shop" creating a unified delivery system for economic development efforts, and she played a key role in the development of Southpointe I and II, Starpointe, California Technology Park, and Skypointe (aviation-related) Industrial Park. Through her insistence on long-range planning, a low tax rate, and cooperation with the Workforce Investment Board, Diana fostered an environment that brought 6,000 new jobs to Washington County.
Diana has served on numerous economic and community boards, including Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, Southwestern Pennsylvania Growth Alliance, and Port of Pittsburgh Commission. She was twice co-chair of Washington County's Heart Walk and the walk for March of Dimes, a past board member for the American Cancer Society in Washington County, and past president of the Mon Valley United Way. Diana currently sits on the board of directors for the Washington County United Way.
Diana was named one of the top "60 Pittsburghers of the Year" by Pittsburgh Magazine, is a member of the NRA, and is consistently endorsed by People Concerned for the Unborn Child and Firearms Owners Against Crime. She is a past distinguished ethics speaker for the Beard Institute at Duquesne University.
Diana is a proud mother of three children: Victoria (22), Frank (21), and Alexandra (18). She is married to LTC Robert Vaughan who is just returned home from serving in Afghanistan, which was his 5th mobilization with the US Army.

Ken Zapinski
Allegheny Conference on Community DevelopmentKen

Zapinski manages the Allegheny Conference's energy initiatives as well as its Transportation & Infrastructure program. He helps manage the Energy Alliance of Greater Pittsburgh, a partnership of corporations, universities, nonprofit organizations, and others with the mission of increasing the scale of the region's energy industry while continuing to advance Greater Pittsburgh's global leadership in improving the environment.

He joined the Conference in 2001 after a brief stint in the tech industry. Prior to that, he spent 15 years as writer, editor, and web site producer for newspapers including the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (where he covered Pennsylvania's natural gas and electricity deregulation efforts), The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, the St. Petersburg Times, and The New York Times, covering areas including transportation, economic development, land-use planning, and technology. He has a journalism degree from the University of Illinois and a master's degree in public administration from the University of Pittsburgh.