Presenter Biographies

  • Following is information about the speakers at the 2012 Women’s Conference. Learn more about the workshops they are presenting.

    Jody Adams

    Jody Adams is a certified professional organizer and owner of In Its Place, a business that assists people with clutter control and organizing challenges at home and at work. Holding a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in industrial and labor relations, she has worked as a child care worker, career counselor, case manager, program coordinator, and business manager. She obtained her CPO certification in 2008 and graduated from the Coach Approach for Organizers foundation training program in 2011. 

    Roger Briscoe

    Roger Briscoe is the director of Wellness and site coordinator for KidShape at the Indiana County YMCA. He has been with the YMCA since August 2010, having started as a personal trainer, strength and conditioning coach, group exercise instructor, site coordinator, and physical activity instructor for KidShape. He became director of Wellness at the beginning of February.

    Briscoe is originally from Michigan but grew up in Indiana. He has a love for sports and fitness and strives to help motivate people and make them be the best they can be. He is a proud alumnus of IUP, where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and earned a master’s degree in Sport Administration.

    He and his wife, Marcia, a commercial loan servicer at Indiana First Bank, recently had a son, Giovanni.

    James D. Carmella

    James D. Carmella has practiced law in Indiana County for more than 30 years. As the founding member of the Carmella Law Office, he has extensive experience in a variety of legal areas, including family law, real estate, estates and trusts, and corporate and natural resources. He has also represented many public organizations.

    Carmella has served or continues to serve as the solicitor for Indiana County (16 years), Indiana County Industrial Development Authority (18 years), Indiana County Airport Authority (25 years), Indiana County Solid Waste Authority (20 years), Highridge Water Authority (15 years), and several other municipalities or agencies in the county. Early in his legal career, he served as assistant district attorney for four years in Indiana County.

    Carmella has also acted as legal counsel for the following nonprofit organizations: Birthright of Indiana County, Head Start of Indiana County, St. Bernard of Clairvaux Church, Camp Sunrise, Meals on Wheels of Indiana County, Indiana Optimist Club, and Indiana Little League Baseball and Softball.

    He received his Juris Doctorate from Ohio Northern University and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Pennsylvania State University. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Indiana County Bar Association, of which he is a former president.

    William J. Carmella

    Jay Carmella graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in May 2011. While in law school, he served as senior editor of the school’s award-winning legal news website, JURIST. He attended Pennsylvania State University and IUP as an undergraduate, earning degrees in political science and accounting.

    Before law school, Carmella worked as a consultant for Ryan Inc, specializing in economic development opportunities and statutory incentives. He also negotiated incentive packages for various Fortune 1000 companies on a nationwide basis. Carmella worked with state and local government officials in more than a dozen states, including state Senator Don White in Indiana.

    He is a member of the Indiana County Bar Association and the Pennsylvania Bar Association and currently serves as an assistant district attorney in Indiana County.

    Malinda Cowles

    Malinda Cowles is the executive director of the Center for Health and Well-Being and associate dean of students for Health and Wellness at IUP. She has an interest in women’s health issues and has given presentations locally and nationally on women’s health. She is a member of the IUP President’s Commission on the Status of Women and the PASSHE Women’s Consortium.

    Barbara Croce

    Barbara Croce was born and raised in Belgium and came to live in Indiana in 1982. Personal trainer, nutritionist, life coach, and writer, she is passionate about helping people reach their wellness goals. She has created the NEWAY Healthy Lifestyle Management System and teaches it from her home gym, where she also trains people and teaches a variety of group exercise classes. In everything she does, she seeks to inspire, invigorate, and empower people to be their very best.

    Caleb Finegan

    Originally from Galveston, Texas, Caleb Finegan earned his Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Master of Arts in Latin American studies at Vanderbilt University and his Ph.D. in history, specializing in colonial Latin America, from the University of Florida. After living in the U.S., Spain, and Bolivia for extended periods of time, he came to IUP in the fall of 2000. He is currently an associate professor of history and the founder and faculty advisor of the Alternative Spring Break student service organization at IUP.

    Finegan has been meditating formally for more than five years as a practitioner in the Shambhala lineage of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism. Having completed more than 20 meditation instruction programs, including a 28-day mostly silent intensive retreat two summers ago, he has recently become certified as a Shambhala meditation guide and instructor.

    Jill Fiore

    A 2003 graduate of the doctoral program in Literature and Criticism at IUP, Jill Fiore earned her yoga teacher certification on the Big Island of Hawaii in 2004. She began teaching yoga in 2005 and has since earned certificates specializing in Ashtanga yoga, prenatal yoga, and kids’ yoga. With the vision of bringing teachers and students of yoga together to create a yoga community in Indiana, she opened Sunflower Yoga Studio in February 2008. Originally from Pittsburgh, Fiore lives in Indiana and teaches English full-time for American Public University.

    Adrienne Goss

    Adrienne Goss began practicing various styles of yoga and meditation four years ago while studying sociology at IUP. These experiences led her to the path of yoga and then to the Nosara Yoga Institute in Costa Rica, where she recently completed her yoga teacher certification. With this interdisciplinary-style training, she integrates different traditions of yoga and styles of movement that come together in a creative and unique way to offer a peaceful and energizing practice. Goss currently lives with her family in Punxsutawney.

    Jessica Halchak

    Jessica Halchak is IUP’s assistant director for study abroad and a doctoral candidate in IUP’s Administration and Leadership Program. As a busy full-time staff member, graduate student, and mother of two, she uses social media to stay connected to things that are important to her. She believes that, in moderation, technology is a powerful tool.

    Joanne Kuta

    Joanne Kuta has served in various technology roles at IUP for more than 26 years. She has degrees in applied mathematics and computer science. A busy wife, mother, and volunteer, she uses her smartphone for everything from grocery lists to document storage.

    Crystal Machado

    Crystal Machado is an assistant professor in the Professional Studies in Education Department at IUP, where she teaches education courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Before teaching in higher education, she worked as a K-12 teacher, administrator, and middle/high school assistant principal for many years in Pakistan. She has been experimenting with the use of Web 2.0 technology as a professional development tool and has given presentations on this topics at international, national, and regional conferences.

    Patti McCarthy

    Patti McCarthy has worked at IUP for more than 17 years and currently serves as associate vice president for Enrollment Management and director of Financial Aid. She is a doctoral candidate in IUP’s Administration and Leadership Studies program. She is the mother of two teenagers, hence her expertise in the areas of issues and challenges surrounding the use of social media.

    Theresa McDevitt

    Theresa McDevitt is the Governments Outreach librarian at IUP. She teaches classes on finding, evaluating, and ethically using information, including films such as those in IUP’s Films on Demand database.

    Wanda Minnick

    Wanda Minnick is an assistant professor in the Safety Sciences Department. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Safety Sciences from IUP, a master’s degree in Environmental, Safety, and Health Management from Rochester Institute of Technology, and a doctorate in Administration and Leadership Studies from IUP.

    Before joining the IUP faculty, she had 13 years of experience in the safety and environmental field, working for companies such as Xerox and Harley-Davidson. Her areas of specialty include occupational safety, ergonomics, leadership studies, and environmental health and safety management systems.

    Julene Pinto-Dyczewski

    Julene Pinto-Dyczewski has worked at IUP for 22 years and is currently the assistant director of Residence Life for Training and Development. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in communications—training and development and a Master of Arts degree in student personnel services. She has been a certified Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) instructor since 2001 and has taught more than 25 programs related to personal safety.

    David Piper

    Professor David Piper is an IUP alumnus and chair of IUP’s Employment and Labor Relations Department. He also serves on a number of committees and boards on campus. In 2007, he received the Outstanding Teacher award in the College of Health and Human Services. Outside of IUP, Piper serves as arbitrator/mediator for the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor.

    Diane Wagoner

    Diane Wagoner received her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Education and Dietetics and her Master of Science in Food and Nutrition from IUP. As a registered dietitian, she teaches various levels of nutrition classes for the Department of Food and Nutrition. Additionally, she serves as faculty rotation coordinator for the dietetic internships’ nutrition education rotation. She has a special interest in nutrition education and loves to experiment with healthy cooking techniques. Other areas of interest include public health education, distance education, and food safety.