Students will learn from a range of faculty who are experts in their content area, including Biology, English, Fine Arts, History, Philosophy, Psychology, Religious Studies, and Social Work, and who are dedicated to upholding the mission of the university through service to others and fostering intellectual curiosity. Students receive individualized attention and mentoring from the faculty who also serve as academic advisors.
Amanda Caleb, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of English
Program Director, Medical and Health Humanities
Office: Mercy Hall 308
Amanda Caleb received her PhD in English and MA in Nineteenth-Century Studies from the University of Sheffield and her BA in English with a Gender Studies concentration from Davidson College. She specializes in nineteenth- and twentieth-century intersections of literature, medicine, and science, with a special focus on narrative. Dr. Caleb is particularly interested in the ways that individual accounts of illness can influence health care practices and policies, focusing on underrepresented or unheard voices. She has published a number of articles on topics ranging from accounts of illness in the Victorian period, to British eugenics, to dementia and the role of narrative medicine, and on the works of H.G. Wells, Arthur Machen, and Robert Louis Stevenson. She is the editor of (Re)creating Science in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007) and Teleny (Valancourt, 2010), an anonymous novel associated with Oscar Wilde. She is currently working on a monograph studying the rise of phobias tied to London and the public health response in the late nineteenth century. Dr. Caleb received Misericordia's Pauly and Sidney Friedman Excellence in Service Award in 2015, and received a three-year (2018-21) grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to revise the Medical and Health Humanities program.
Dr. Caleb teaches MHH 201: Introduction to Medical and Health Humanities; MHH 310: Health Disparities; MHH 316: Race, Gender, and Health; MHH 334: Modern Epidemics and Pandemics; and ENG 305: Literature and Medicine.
Thomas Hajkowski, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of History
Phone: 570 674-8083
Office: Mercy Hall 303
B.A., Seton Hall University
M.A., Villanova University
Ph.D., Northwestern University
Thomas Hajkowski is an historian of twentieth-century Britain. He received a PhD from Northwestern University, an MA from Villanova University, and a BA from Seton Hall University. Dr. Hajkowski has a broad range of teaching and research interests, including the history of mass media, the history of medicine, nationalism, and British imperialism.
Dr. Hajkowski has taught over a dozen different courses, including classes on the History of Human Rights, The Holocaust, Nazism, and British history. He prioritizes active learning and student engagement with primary source materials. In addition to knowing what happened, Dr. Hajkowski tries to instill in his students an understanding of what historians do and why history matters.
His book, The BBC and National Identity in Britain (Manchester University Press) argues that before the loss of its monopoly in 1954, the British Broadcasting Corporation provided the central arena in British society where regional cultures interacted with a normative English culture, helping to create the hybrid dual identities of contemporary Britain.
Dr. Hajkowski teaches MHH 312: Health and Human Rights; MHH 332: Medical Geography; MHH 334: Modern Epidemics and Pandemics; and HIS 342: History of Medicine and Health.
Susan McDonald, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor and Chair of Social Work
Dr. McDonald begins her appointment with Misericordia's Social Work Program in August 2013 as Director of Field Education. She has a BA degree in Criminal Justice from Wilkes University, an MSW from Marywood University and a Ph.D. from Fordham University. She comes to us with extensive background in social work education and clinical work. She has served Alvernia, Temple, Marywood, Kutztown and DeSales University. Her work experience has been in the area of bereavement with children and hospice care. She also has a private practice where she sees children, individuals and families.
Dr. McDonald teaches MHH 301: Narrative Medicine and MHH 310: Health Disparities.
Kriszta Sajber, Ph.D.
Visiting Assistant Professor
Kriszta Sajber received her PhD from Stony Brook University (SUNY) and her BA from Reed College with a concentration in political philosophy. She specializes in 20th century German and French philosophical traditions, most especially phenomenology, existentialism and post-structuralism. Her work in the philosophy of mental illness studies the structural disorganization of self-consciousness in delusional or hallucinated states of psychosis. Her work seeks to understand the contribution of pre-reflective modes of knowing - habituated bodily practices, implicit body schema processes as well as intersubjectivity - to the lived experience of the world and the conceptualization of these experiences in human forms of knowledge. Dr. Sajber’s research draws on interdisciplinary engagements with psychiatry, psychology, neurology as well as language and speech therapy; her publications provide philosophical assessment of schizophrenia, autism, aphasia, and virtual technologies.
Dr. Sajber teaches PHL 310: Medical Ethics and PHL 315: Philosophy of Medicine
Anthony Serino, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology
Dr. Serino received his BS in Biology and his MS in Biochemistry from the University of Scranton in 1984 and 1987, respectively. In 1991, he earned his Ph.D. in Physiology from The Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Serino was a National Institutes of Aging Fellow where he received extensive training in the physiology of aging.
Dr. Serino is the Director of the Clinical Laboratory Science (Medical Technology) Program at MU, and maintains affiliation agreements with several Clinical Laboratory Science centers throughout Pennsylvania and serves as the Pre-medicine Director for the University. In addition, Dr. Serino received a Strategic Initiative Grant in 2002 to found and direct the Science Education Enhancement Program (SEEP). This active outreach program provides elementary and secondary teachers with demonstrations and hands-on activities at their schools or as field trips to MU laboratories to encourage and promote active learning of basic science. The SEEP program interacts with more than 1000 young students a year at more than 10 school districts in NE Pennsylvania.
Dr. Serino's teaching responsibilities include anatomy and physiology, general physiology, comparative anatomy, histology, gross anatomy and general biology. In addition, he has been elected more than ten times to the Who's Who of American College Professors. He received the Judge Max and Tillie Rosenn Endowed Excellence in Teaching Award at Misericordia University in 2005.
Dr. Serino’s research projects always include undergraduate students at MU and are diverse. Some of the most recent projects include studies on mouse population changes induced by forest fragmentation effects associated with Marcellus Shale mining activities. He has also had students run correlation studies on cadaver atherosclerotic plaques incidence and severity associated with fat pad thickness.
Dr. Serino teaches BIO 211: Anatomy and Physiology I and BIO 212: Anatomy and Physiology II.
Ryan Weber, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Fine Arts
Office: Mercy Hall 318
Ryan Weber, Ph.D. is a musicologist specializing in 19th and 20th-century Europe and America. He earned the Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Connecticut and a MA and BA from Queens College, The City University of New York. His wide-ranging research interests include music and disability, the sociology of music, music and literature, Scandinavian studies, and late 19th-century cosmopolitanism. Dr. Weber has presented research at institutions throughout the United States, including UC-Santa Barbara, Yale, Harvard, and Columbia University; and Europe, including the University der Kunst (Berlin), Oxford University, Stockholm University, Edinburgh University, University of the Arts (Helsinki, Finland), Institute of Musical Research (London), The Royal Conservatory of the Hague (Netherlands), and the European University Institute (Florence). He has published articles in journals in the United States, Europe, and Australia.
Dr. Weber teaches MHH 316: Race, Gender, and Health and MHH 330: Global Health Populations.
Joseph Cipriani, Ed.D., OTR/L
Professor of Occupational Therapy
Phone: (570) 674-6412
Dr. Cipriani earned his B.A. degree from Wilkes College, a B.S. degree from Misericordia University, M.A. degree from Wichita State University, and his Ed.D. from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Cipriani has presented 13 papers at national or international conferences in occupational therapy, often in conjunction with student research groups. He has presented in venues as diverse as the American Occupational Therapy Association National Conferences; World Federation of Occupational Therapists Congress (Montreal, Canada; Stockholm, Sweden), the World Congress of Rehabilitation International (Oslo, Norway), and the International Federation of Aging World Conference in Prague, Czech Republic.
He has also co-authored 11 articles in professional journals, and written two book chapters. Dr. Cipriani has published in well known journals such as Physical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics; The Australian Journal of Occupational Therapy; The World Federation of Occupational Therapists Bulletin; Arthritis Care and Research; and the British Journal of Occupational Therapy. Most of his published research has been in the practice area of geriatrics and has been co-authored by students within the occupational therapy program. He has recently been appointed to the Editorial Review Board for the journal Physical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics. Dr. Cipriani was honored with the 1995 Misericordia University Teaching Excellence Award and in 2007, the Lewis & Barbara Alesi Excellence in Scholarship Award. He had maintained his clinical practice as a per diem therapist a regional medical center in acute care (including intensive care unit, cardiac services unit, and trauma care), rehabilitation, and outpatient services for over 20 years. Dr. Cipriani has also had the privilege of being a chaperone on multiple student service trips through Campus Ministry at Misericordia, including western Jamaica, and City Mission homeless shelter in Schenectady, New York.
Dr. Cipriani teaches MHH 330: Global Health Populations.
Joseph Curran, Ph.D.
Professor of Religious Studies
BA University of Scranton
Ph.D Boston College
Phone: (570) 674-8082
Dr. Curran teaches MHH 312: Health and Human Rights.
Kathleen Devine Gelso, MSN, RN, CNE
2018 D.N.P Chamberlain University
1988 M.S.N. Misericordia University
1981 B.S.N. Villanova University
Mrs. Gelso's experience is in Medical Surgical Nursing. Her teaching responsibilities include clinical and classroom instruction in medical-surgical nursing for the traditional undergraduate program. Mrs. Gelso is a member of the Ethics Committee at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, and the Ethics Institute of Northeast Pennsylvania at Misericordia University. She is a trained POLST Facilitator. She is a member of the Association of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN), the American Nurses Association, the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association, and the National League for Nursing. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, Theta Phi Chapter at Misericordia University.
Mrs. Gelso has coordinated the Pre-College Nursing Career Camp for prospective students for the past 5 years.
Community involvement includes membership in Chapter BR, PEO (Philanthropic Educational Organization), and the Social Justice Committee at St. Therese’s Parish, Shavertown, Pa.
Ms. Gelso was the recipient of the Max and Tillie Rosen Excellence in Teaching Award in 2011.
Dr. Gelso teaches MHH 312: Health and Human Rights.
Marnie Hiester, Ph.D.
Phone: (570) 674-6316
- Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, University of Minnesota, 1993
- B.A., Psychology, Drew University, 1987
- Introduction to Psychology
- Child and Adolescent Psychology
- Advanced Research Methods
- Gender Studies
- Advanced Seminar on Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood
- Research Group
- Association for Psychological Science
- Society for the Teaching of Psychology
- Helicopter parenting, intrusive parenting, and parent-child role disturbances in emerging adulthood
- Parent-child attachment and peer relationships in emerging adulthood
- Gender in emerging adulthood
Dr. Hiester teaches MHH 316: Race, Gender, and Health.
Matthew Nickel, Ph.D.
Office: Mercy Hall 368
Dr. Matthew Nickel has published essays about and presented on numerous American and British writers such as Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, William Faulkner, Robert Penn Warren, Elizabeth Madox Roberts, Richard Aldington, Lawrence Durrell, and J. R. R. Tolkien. He teaches Modernist literature, Southern literature, Christian literature, and Poetry. His critical book, Hemingway's Dark Night: Catholic Influences and Intertextualities in the Work of Ernest Hemingway, examines Hemingway's work in the light of his lifelong devotion to Catholicism. Other recent books include a collection of poems, The Leek Soup Songbook (Des Hymnagistes Press 2015), and a collection of essays co-edited with H. R. Stoneback, Affirming the Gold Thread: Aldington, Hemingway, Pound & Imagism in Torcello and Venice (Florida English Press 2014). Dr. Nickel received his Ph.D. in English from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and his M.A. and B.A. from SUNY-New Paltz.
Dr. Nickel teaches MHH 314: Environmental Health.
Cosima Wiese, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology
Ph.D. - Pennsylvania State University
M.Sc. - Pennsylvania State University
B.A. - Biology & German, Bucknell University
Effects of atmospheric pollution on plant physiology and biochemisty; Investigation of mechanisms of plant
The focus of my research is on the effects of environmental stresses on plants and how plants respond to stress conditions, particularly to those stressors derived from human activities. The current project seeks to evaluate the impacts of acidic conditions on the aquatic plant duckweed (Lemna spp.).
Duckweed grows ubiquitously in freshwater ponds and lakes and is a food source for a variety of organisms in those communities. Even though duckweed has been used extensively as a model organism to investigate effects of water pollution on aquatic ecosystems, there is very little in the scientific literature that evaluates the effects of acidification on metabolic processes in duckweed. Some of the lakes in NE Pennsylvania are very acidic due to acid mine drainage and acidic precipitation, and I want to investigate whether acidic conditions impact growth and reproduction of this plant.
Dr. Wiese teaches MHH 314: Environmental Health.
Glenn R. Willis, M.Div., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
B.A. University of Washington
M.Div Vanderbilt University
Ph.D. Boston College
Phone: (570) 674-6362
Dr. Willis teaches MHH 330: Global Health Populations.