Who Serves on the Institutional Review Board?

The Institutional Review Board members serve on a volunteer basis and are profiled below.

The minimum composition of the board is established by institutional policy. The chair is a faculty member elected from within the board. The policy regarding board membership is described in the IRB Guidebook.


Jennifer Roberts, PhD (University of Nebraska), professor, Department of Criminology

Roberts has served as the chair of the IRB since 2014 and was the expedited review coordinator before that. Within the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, she teaches a variety of courses across the undergraduate and graduate levels. Her research interests include the study of violence and the use of the survey methodology with criminological samples. She may be contacted by email at jroberts@iup.edu or by phone at 724-357-5610.


Kristy Chunta, PhD, RN, ACNS (West Virginia University), associate professor, Department of Nursing and Allied Health

Chunta is a licensed registered nurse (Pennsylvania) and holds certification as a clinical specialist in medical-surgical nursing. She earned her diploma in nursing from the Conemaugh School of Nursing; bachelor of science in nursing and school nurse certification from the University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown; and master of science in nursing with role preparation in education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Chunta teaches undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral courses. She is vice president of the board of trustees for the Lucas Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides support to families who have lost a newborn. Her research interests include recovery of open-heart surgery patients, transition to clinical practice, and simulation. Chunta is a reviewer for clinical, research, and nursing education-based journals, including the American Journal of Nursing, Heart & Lung, and Nurse Education Today. She can be reached by email at kchunta@iup.edu or by phone at 724-357-2408.

Sharon K. Deckert, PhD (University of Arizona), professor, Department of English

Deckert received a bachelor of science degree with honors (University of Utah), a master of arts degree in linguistics (University of Utah), and a PhD in a multidisciplinary program in second language acquisition and teaching (University of Arizona). She has served IUP as the director of graduate studies in the Composition and Applied Linguistics program. As an applied linguist, her research interest addresses questions of how individuals construct identities that function for particular purposes. Her research interests also include language use in legal and medical systems, the use of narratives for identity construction, issues of power in identity construction, power and sociolinguistics, corpus linguistics, oral and textual discourse analysis, and ethical considerations in academic research. She can be reached by email at sdeckert@iup.edu.

Hayden Gerhart, PhD (Kent State University), assistant professor, Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Sport Science

Gerhart is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He currently serves on the State Advisory Board of the NSCA in Pennsylvania and is an active member of the regional ACSM chapter. He holds certification through the NSCA as a certified strength and conditioning specialist and a tactical strength and conditioning facilitator. He is also a certified exercise physiologist through the ACSM and a certified Level 1 CrossFit instructor. Gerhart instructs courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level within the Sport Studies, Exercise Physiology program. His scholarly interests include strength and conditioning and environmental physiology and he specializes in recognizing both acute and chronic effects of exercise in diseased populations, recreational exercisers, and tactical/special operations personnel. Gerhart can be reached by email at hgerhart@iup.edu or by phone at 724-357-4035.

Sera-Leigh Ghouralal, Applied Research Lab Research associate, School of Graduate Studies and Research

Ghouralal has a bachelor of arts degree in psychology and spanish from Westminster College (Fulton, MO) and a master of science in mental health psychology from the University of Liverpool (Liverpool, UK). She is currently an international student (from Trinidad and Tobago) in the Administration and Leadership Studies doctoral program (IUP). Ghouralal has taught Sociology of Native Americans and was a guest lecturer in Disability in Society within the Sociology Department at IUP. As an IUP-ARL research associate, she provides research design and statistical analysis consulting services to students, faculty, and staff throughout the IUP community. Her research interests are driven by feminist theory and includes evaluating the experiences of women who are mothers in leadership positions with higher education, how policy and decision making in leadership administration is influenced by gender inequity, and the push towards the empowerment of women in leadership. She may be contacted by email at htcz@iup.edu.

Bethany Jackson (Dean's Designee)Director of Research Services and Compliance, School of Graduate Studies and Research

Jackson has a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Grove City College and has earned the designation of certified research administrator (RACC). She manages research policies and ethical compliance for the university, manages the IRB Manager system, and oversees the operations of the IRB Office. Jackson can be reached at bjackson@iup.edu.

Steve Kleinman, PhD (Ohio State University), Assistant Director of the Department of Communications Media

Luz Marin, ScD (University of Massachusetts Lowell), Assistant Professor of the Department of Safety Sciences

Richard Neff, MD (Drexel University College of Medicine), Chief Medical Officer, Indiana Regional Medical Center.

Neff trained in family medicine at the University of Pennsylvania's Family Medicine and Community Health Residency in Philadelphia. Before medical school at MCP Hahnemann School of Medicine/Drexel University, he received a bachelors of arts degree in music with college honors from Earlham College, completed the course work for a master’s in music history and theory at Penn State University, and is currently working on an MBA at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Most recently, he hails from Flagstaff, Arizona, where he worked for Northern Arizona Healthcare, working in a number of positions, including as chief medical officer for Flagstaff Medical Center, serving as NAH IRB member, then its chair, as well as serving as a community member on Northern Arizona University's IRB. As part to his role supervising research, he worked to facilitate research collaborations between the university and the health system. Richard can be reached via email at rneff@indianarmc.org or by phone at 724-357-7178.

Kelli R. Paquette, EdD (Wilmington University), professor and chairperson, Department of Professional Studies in Education

Paquette is an IUP alumnus, earning her undergraduate degree in elementary education. She is a former Delaware elementary school teacher certified in grades K-6 (Pennsylvania) and grades 1-8 (Delaware), and she is also certified as an elementary school principal, reading specialist, and program specialist ESL. Paquette teaches undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral courses in her department. Her research interests include literacy development and research-based best instructional practices. She is a reviewer for Early Childhood Education Journal and presents at various international, national, and regional conferences. She can be reached by email at kpaquett@iup.edu. or by phone at 724-357-2400.

Margaret Reardon, PhD (Florida International University), associate professor, Department of Psychology

Reardon received her BA in psychology from State University of New York College at Geneseo, and her master's and doctoral degrees in psychology from Florida International University with a focus on legal psychology. She teaches courses in statistics and research methods at both the undergraduate and graduate level, along with undergraduate courses in her area of specialty such as Forensic Psychology and Actual Innocence. Reardon's current scholarly interests include juror evaluations of forensic evidence, perceptions of police use of force, and beliefs in justice. Reardon is a member of the American Psychology-Law Society and the Association for Psychological Science and regularly consults on legal cases involving eyewitness evidence.

Timothy Runge, PhD, NCSP (Pennsylvania State University), associate professor, Department of Educational and School Psychology

Runge teaches courses in behavioral interventions, assessment of student learning, and theories of learning applied to academic instruction. Additionally, he supervises interns, practicum students, and student clinicians working with children and families referred to IUP's Child Study Center. Runge's research interests include behavior support at the individual, classroom, and school-wide level; literacy assessment and instruction; and curriculum-based assessment. Runge and fellow co-principal investigator Mark Staszkiewicz have conducted annual large-scale program evaluations of Pennsylvania's School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports initiative since 2008. Results of his research have been presented at state and national conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals. Runge serves on the Executive Board of the Association of School Psychologists of Pennsylvania and is a member of the PA State Leadership Team for Positive Behavior Support.

Mark Sloniger, PhD (University of Georgia), Professor, Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Sport Science

Mark Sloniger holds the position of professor of Exercise Science. He completed his doctorate at the University of Georgia and a post-doctoral NIH Research Training Fellowship at Duke University Medical Center. Sloniger has been recognized as an American College of Sports Medicine Fellow as a result of his research accomplishments and service to the college. He is a past president of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Chapter of ACSM and maintains memberships within ACSM and the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He is certified by the NSCA as a strength and conditioning specialist. Sloniger serves the Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Sport Science through his work on various committees, which includes chairperson of the departmental Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects. Additionally, he is director of the Human Performance Laboratory housed within the department. Sloniger can be reached by email at sloniger@iup.edu or by phone at 724-357-5508.

Melissa Swauger, PhD (University of Pittsburgh), Associate Professor, Sociology

Swauger has a bachelor of arts degree in sociology (IUP) and a master of arts in social and public policy (Duquesne University). Swauger teaches courses that enhance awareness and understanding of diverse groups and cultures. She has served as a research associate for the Mid-Atlantic Research and Training Institute (MARTI) and as instructor of record for the MARTI Summer Institute. Her current scholarly interests include service learning, gender, race, and social class inequalities; feminist qualitative research methods; and ethical research with vulnerable populations. She can be reached by email at mswauger@iup.edu or by phone at 724-357-0158.