What a PhD in Human Development did for

Dr. Brenda Pavill

Position: Associate Professor of Nursing at Misericordia University, Dallas, PA

"The focus of my doctoral degree provided me with a more global picture of academia as well as made me cognizant of how much can be accomplished by respecting and being open to the expertise and wisdom of our interdisciplinary partners. My advanced degree at Marywood was truly instrumental in my academic success."

  • BS in Nursing, Wilkes University
  • MS in Nursing, College Misericordia
  • Ph.D. in Human Development with a Concentration in Instructional Leadership, Marywood University

Dr. Pavill teaches across the undergraduate and graduate curriculum. She is certified as an Educator and Family Nurse Practitioner and maintains the practice of volunteering at a free health clinic. She has held an array of nursing positions from staff nurse to administrator in Maternal Child Nursing. Her research interests focus on issues related to innovative teaching-learning strategies, nursing through the lens of literature, variables contributing to student success and the aesthetic side of nursing. She is passionate in having nurses share their moments by telling their nursing stories and looks for avenues in supporting nurses to do so. Dr. Pavill is a member of several professional organizations such as Sigma Theta Tau, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and The Society of Pediatric Nurses. She has been the recipient of several teaching awards. Dr. Pavill is also author of an inspirational book, Nursing Shoes, is based on her nursing career and many nurse-patient experiences. There is also a paperback version of Nursing Shoes plus an ebook. The ebook is available through Amazon and in their Kindle Select (Kdp) program. My A SIN: is B007V65BV0

Sample Employment Settings of Alumni

  • Kristine Bewick, Ph.D. - Wilkes University (faculty)
  • Trudy Coleman, Ph.D. - Northeast Regional Cancer Institute (epidemiologist)
  • Pat Dunleavy, Ph.D. - Marywood University (Human Resources)
  • Debra Fetherman, Ph.D. - University of Scranton (Director of Community Health Education)
  • Rodeen Lechleitner, Ph.D. -University of Scranton (Faculty Specialist in Community Health Education)
  • Sonji Lee, Ph.D. - Keystone College (faculty)
  • Jeff Leitzel, Ph.D. - Bloomsburg University (faculty)
  • Elizabeth McGill, Ph.D. - The Commonwealth Medical College (Asst. Professor, Family Medicine, & Regional Education Specialist)
  • Jill Murray, Ph.D. - Lackawanna College (Academic Vice President)
  • Stephen Pugliese, Ph.D. - Immaculata University (Vice President for Student Development and Engagement)
  • Lia Richards-Palmiter, Ph.D. - Marywood University (Diversity Office)
  • Thomas Quinn, Ph.D. - Abington Heights School District (Assistant Superintendent)
  • Cherie Roberts, Ph.D. - Bloomsburg University (faculty)
  • Heather Shanks-McElroy, Ph.D. - Keystone College (faculty)
  • Ann Way, Ph.D. - Tunkhannock Area School District (Assistant Superintendent)
  • Francis Battisti, Ph.D., SUNY Broome Community College (Executive Vice President)
  • Janine Becker, Ph.D., Dean of Enrollment Management, York College
  • Sara Rothenberger, Ph.D., Connecticut College, New London (Director of Residential Education and Living)
  • Lisa Jean Schumacher, Ph.D., Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit (Assistant Director of Special Programs & Services)
  • Judith Rex, Ph.D., Northampton Community College (Interim Dean of Allied Health and Sciences)
  • Elizabeth Sechler, Ph.D., Shepherd University (Director of Residence Life, campus Interpersonal Violence Investigator)


Awards and Acknowledgements

Stanley Kania, graduate admissions counselor, was named president of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals, beginning his three-year term this month. As president, he will focus on developing best practices of graduate enrollment management, providing professional development opportunities for scholars and professionals and representing Pennsylvania as the chapter leader to the National Association board. Mr. Kania has been working in graduate enrollment management for the past five years as a graduate admissions counselor. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and his master’s degree in business management from Marywood University. Presently, Mr. Kania is pursuing his Ph.D. in human development, with a concentration in organizational leadership, from Marywood.

Judith Rex, PH.D., RN, BC, Interim Dean, Allied Health and Sciences, Northampton Community College, Bethlehem, PA., recently had an article published in Lehigh Valley Business. Her topic was the cross-generational workfoce and patient-centered treatment.

Christine Wydeen, Ph.D., regional director of Community Care Behavioral Health, has been honored for her 30 year career serving those with mental illness as recipient of the Candlelight Award from the Scranton Area Chapter of the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI). The award was presented during the organization's 19th annual candlelight vigil at Lackawanna County Courthouse Square, which is held as part of National Mental Illness Awareness Week, an effort to educate communities about mental illness and to end stigma.

Lori Swanchak, Ph.D., PA-C, DFAAPA, program director and clinical assistant professor of Marywood's physician assistant program, earned national recognition as an American Academy of Physician Assistants Distinguished Fellow. Distinguished fellows receive recognition for their outstanding contributions to patient care and the profession as a physician assistant. They also demonstrate significant dedication and involvement in the community.

William Fred Miller, Ph.D., was selected as 2014 winner of the William G. McGowan Medal for Excellence in Doctoral Studies at Marywood University.

Beverly McNamara, Ph.D., was selected as 2014 winner of the Melvin Medal for Excellence in Scholarly Investigation at Marywood University

Edward P. Syron, Ph.D. has been profiled by the Greater Ohio Healthcare Leaders' Forum.

Christopher W. O'Brien, MS, ATC was selected as the recipient of the Eastern Athletic Trainers' Association (EATA) 2007 Francis J .George Scholarship Award. This award is given to the most outstanding doctoral student who is a member of the EATA.

Patricia Miller, Ph.D. was named the Margaretta Belin Chamberlin Chair Award for Distinguished Faculty Service at Keystone College

Brian Mauro was the recipient of the Grady Roberts Graduate Student Writing Award for an abbreviated version of the paper, Can Social Norming Theory Be Applied to Change Student Behavior?, derived from his Qualifying Paper.

Dr. Francis Battisti was recently promoted to the rank of State University of New York Distinguished Service Professor and inducted into the ranks of the SUNY Distinguished Academy.

Eugene Kelly, Ph.D., was selected as 2015 winner of the Melvin Medal for Excellence in Scholarly Investigation at Marywood University.


Stanley Kania, a member of the 2014 Ph.D. Program cohort,  had his research on" Alumni Engagement in the College Recruiting Process" being picked up for publication by the National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals in an issue of Perspectives, their quarterly publication and it has also been published on Linked In.

Kelly Carroll, a member of the 2013 Ph.D. Program cohort, has collected data as an independent grant reviewer by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council.

Vincent Chesney, MS, FAAIDD, a member of the 2014 Ph.D. Program cohort, was a presenter at the Fall 2015 Conference of the Alzheimer's Association meeting in Pittsburgh, PA. on the topic of Intellectual Disability and Dementia.

2017 Dissertations:

Jeffrey Attick, Bloomsburg, PA

  • Dissertation Title: The Process and Practice of Transformative Learning in an International Education Context
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Joseph Polizzi

Tanya Carrelle, Moscow, PA

  • Dissertation Title: The Hidden Cost of Special Education Due Process
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Patricia Arter

Erin Dunleavy, Dunmore, PA

  • Dissertation Title: Empathy During the Third Year Clerkship: A Crossover Study of a Traditional Block and a Longitudinal Integrative Clerkship Experience
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Brooke Cannon

Sandra Kerstetter, Milton, PA

  • Dissertation Title: Healthcare Excellence and Clinician Characteristics
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Alice Elaine McDonnell

Meagan Mielczarek, Madison Township, PA

  • Dissertation Title: Rape Myth Acceptance in High Education: A Quantitative Study of Faculty, Staff, and Administration at Two Religiously Affiliated Schools Located in Northeast Pennsylvania
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Deborah Hokien

Mark Shaffer, West Milton, PA

  • Dissertation Title: The Experiences of African American Studies at Predominantly White Institutions
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Kerri Tobin

Amanda Silva, East Stoudsburg, PA

  • Dissertation Title: Women Living History: A Case Study Exploring Persona, Transformative Learning, and Social Identity in Group Participation
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Joseph Polizzi

Katherine Stefanelli, Clarks Summit, PA

  • Dissertation Title: The Effect of Guided Meditation on Chronic Stress and Health-Related Quality of Life in Millennial Generation Students
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Tonya Saddler

Teresa Tulaney, Covington Township, PA

  • Dissertation Title: The Life of a Nurse: An Instrumental Case Study on Lateral Violence in Nursing
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Marie Bonavoglia

2016 Dissertations:

Joanne Bohrman, Tobyhanna, PA

  • Dissertation Title: Transcending Minority Trust Boundaries in a Multicultural School Community: An AutoEthnography
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Joseph Polizzi

Kelly Carroll, Forty Fort, PA

  • Dissertation Title: Self-Efficacy in Behavior Management and Discipline and Psychological Type Among Secondary Education Teachers and Alternative Education Teachers
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Alan Levine

Kimberly Fetter, Ashland, PA

  • Dissertation Title: The Relationship Between Professional Development and Perceived Teacher Efficacy in Practicing School Teachers in Grades Kindergarten Through Twelve
  • Dissertation Chair: Sr. Gail Cabral

James Feuerstein, Pocono Lake, PA

  • Dissertation Title: Predicting Underachievement in Middle School Gifted Students Utilizing the SAAS-R
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Kerri Tobin

Lisa Imbriaco, Clarks Summit, PA

  • Dissertation Title: Factors Impacting College Students in Managing Credit Card Debt
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Arthur Comstock

Margaret Ptakowski,West Grove PA

  • Dissertation Title: The Significance of Professional Development as Perceived, Accessed, and Used by Early Childhood Teachers in Nine Northeastern Pennsylvania Early Childhood Centers
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Christine Fryer

Melissa Heinlein Storti, Sanatoga, PA

  • Dissertation Title: Are Volunteer Resource Managers Experiencing Dimensions of Burnout? An Exploratory Study
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Diane Keller

Helene Strutko, Harvey's Lake, PA

  • Dissertation Title: General Education and Special Education Teachers' Perceptions of the Co-Teaching Experience in a Career and Technology High School in Northeast Pennsylvania
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Tammy Brown

Mark Wade, Stroudsburg, PA

  • Dissertation Title: How Well Do Emotional Intelligence, Discipline, Gender, Race and Socioeconomic Status Predict Academic Achievement of Secondary School Students in Northeast Pennsylvania?
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Maria Montoro Edwards

David Wright, Easton, PA

  • Dissertation Title:  Predictors of Performance on Fourth Grade State Science Assessments in Eastern Pennsylvania: Guided Inquiry-Based Science Instruction and Direct Textbook-Based Science Instruction
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Christine Fryer

2015 Dissertations:

Christina Bracey, Spring Brook, PA

  • Dissertation Title: How Practicing Teachers Identify and Address Ethical Dilemmas
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Joseph Polizzi

Matthew Caputo, Spring Brook, PA

  • Dissertation Title: Factors Influencing Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Uptake Rate Among Undergraduate College Students in Scranton
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Deborah Hokien

April Hortman, Campbell, NY

  • Dissertation Title: Self-Identified Multi-Racial Individuals: A Quantitative Exploration of the Effects of Racial Category Choices on Collective Self-Esteem and Perceived Discrimination
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Lloyd Lyter

Elizabeth McGill, Dunmore, PA

  • Dissertation Title: Predictors of Bullying Victimization on a College Campus
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Francis DeMatteo

Rachel Francis, Olyphant, PA

  • Dissertation Title: The Effect of a Yoga Therapy Program Among Cancer Patients: An Analysis of Personal, Psychological, and Economic Impacts
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Lori Swanchak

Ronald Hollm, Lewisburg, PA

  • Dissertation Title: Predictors of Tobacco Reduction With Non-Treatment Seeking 18 to 24 Year Old Tobacco Users
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Lloyd Lyter

April Hortman, Campbell, NY

  • Dissertation Title: Self-Identified Multi-Racial Individuals: A Quantitative Exploration of the Effects of Racial Category Choices on Collective Self-Esteem and Perceived Discrimination
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Lloyd Lyter

Heather LaBarre, Nazareth, PA

  • Dissertation Title: Understanding the Development of Cultural Competence for BSW Students: An Examination of Social Construction and Classroom Experience
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Lloyd Lyter

Rodeen Lechleitner, Nesquehoning, PA

  • Dissertation Title: A Cross-Sectional Study Assessing Home Health Nurses' Communication From a Therapeutic and Caring Perspective
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Alice McDonnell

John Lichtenwalner, Lyon Station, PA

  • Dissertation Title: Factors That Influence Web 2.0 Usage Among Social Work Faculty: A Quantitative Study
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Diane Keller

Elizabeth McGill, Dunmore, PA

  • Dissertation Title: Predictors of Bullying Victimization on a College Campus
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Francis DeMatteo

Judith Rex, Kunkletown, PA

  • Dissertation Title: Exploring the Factors of Resilience, Health-Promoting Behaviors and Job Satisfaction Predicting Retention Among Pennsylvania Primary Nurse Aide Instructors
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Lee Harrison

Sara Beth Rothenberger, New London, CT

  • Dissertation Title: The Relationships Between Perceptions of Feedback Utility, Procedural Justice and Quality of Teacher and Supervisor Interpersonal Interactions in Teacher Evaluations
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Jennifer Barna

Arianne Scheller, Spring Brook, PA

  • Dissertation Title: Perceived Parenting, Self-Efficacy, and Parental Smoking: Effects on Adolescent Smoking Initiation
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Shamshad Ahmed

Elizabeth Sechler, Ranson, WV

  • Dissertation Title: Social Entrepreneurship in Housing and Residence Life Organizations
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Robert Shaw

Craig Robert Skaluba, Muncy, PA

  • Dissertation Title: Transition Into School Leadership: The Influence of Perceived Interpersonal Communication Competence on Perceived Stress, Perceived Coping Abilities, and Beginning Experiences of the Principalship
  • Dissertation Chair: Sr. Gail Cabral

Renee Gregori Zehel, Scranton, PA

  • Dissertation Title: The Influence of Financial Aid and Student Engagement on Young Alumni Giving
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Alan Levine

2014 Dissertations:

Mark Choman, Wilkes-Barre, PA

  • Dissertation Title: A Grounded Theory Study to Explore World Adoption Concerns and Experiences at Institutions of Higher Education
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Alan Levine

Susan Elczyna, Hunlock Creek, PA

  • Dissertation Title: The Incidence of Postoperative Cognitive Dysfunction in the Elderly Population Receiving General Anesthesia For Short Stay Surgery
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Alice Elaine McDonnell

Meaghan Ruddy Godwin, Hanover Township, PA.

  • Dissertation Title: Transformative Learning in Graduate Medical Education
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Joseph Polizzi

Heather Renee Hall, Waverly, PA

  • Dissertation Title: Spiritual Growth of Students at Baptist Bible Colleges
  • Dissertation Chair: Sr. Mary Salvaterra

Jennifer Hertwig, Emmaus, PA

  • Dissertation Title: Psychological Type & Multiple Intelligence Profiles of Secondary Students in Pennsylvania Approved Alternative Schools
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Alan Levine

Benjamin David Ivey, Hughestown, PA

  • Dissertation Title: Priming for Improved Attention to Auditory Social Stimuli in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Vijay Ramachandra

Eugene R. Kelly, Easton, PA

  • Dissertation Title: Conformity to Masculine Gender Norms as Predictors of Subtle Rape Myth Belief
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. C. Estelle Campenni

Rodeen Leichleitner, Nesquehoning, PA

  • Dissertation Title: A Cross-Sectional Study Assessing Home Health Nurses' Communication from a Therapeutic and Caring Perspective
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Alice Elaine McDonnell

Beth Taylor Mack, Delaware Water Gap, PA

  • Dissertation Title: Health Behaviors of Extreme Commuters: A Phenomenological Study
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Lloyd Lyter

Beverly M. McNamara, Drums, PA

  • Dissertation Title: High Risk Students: Why Do They Persist in Completing Their High School Education?
  • Dissertation Chair: Sr. Kathryn Clauss

William Fred Miller, Scranton, PA

  • Dissertation Title: An Exploration of the Impact of Barriers to Nurse Practitioners Working in Primary Care: A Descriptive Study
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Alice Elaine McDonnell

Erin A. Murray, Kingston, PA

  • Dissertation Title: The Perceptions of Behavioral Health Workers on Co-Occurring Disorders: A Quantitative Analysis
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Lloyd Lyter

Jamie Lynn Valis, Baltimore, MD

  • Dissertation Title: Physical Activity Differences for Individuals With Disabilities in a National Sample of U.S. College Students
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Michelle Gonzalez