Monday, July 15th, 2024
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Faculty Staff Activities

News from Dr. Amber Nicole Pfannenstiel, Dr. Carrie Lee Smith, Dr. Christopher Stieha, Dr. Daniel Albert, Dr. Dennis Downey, Dr. Jim Delle, Dr. Micheal Houlahan, Dr. Miriam Witmer, Dr. Nanette Marcum-Dietrich, Dr. Philip Tacka, Dr. Stacey Irwin and Paul Hill.

Millersville University’s faculty and staff had a busy spring. Here are a few of their accomplishments, awards, books, etc.

Dr. James Delle

Dr. Jim Delle, associate provost for Academic Administration and dean of the College of Graduate Studies & Adult Learning will give a talk on “The Archaeology of Northern Slavery,” on Thursday, June 15. It’s part of LancasterHistory’s Regional History Colloquium. Delle will review and contextualize key archaeological sites whose excavations have deepened our understanding of African American history and the relationship between slavery and freedom above the Mason-Dixon Line. More information is available here –

Dr. Dennis Downey

Dr. Dennis B. Downey, professor emeritus and the Pennsylvania Historical Association (publisher), received the PA Museums Institutional Award of Merit as part of the statewide organization’s 2023 Special Achievement Awards.  The award was given for the special issue “Exploring Disability History in Pennsylvania” (summer 2022), which Downey guest-edited.

Paul Hill

Paul Hill, director of Environmental Health and Safety, attended “Campus and Community-Scale Climate Change Solutions,” co-hosted by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the University of Washington. The event was held in March in Washington, D.C.

The forum included a series of speakers and panel discussions to showcase how innovative ideas and actions can support climate change efforts on college campuses while benefiting the surrounding communities and beyond.

Photo of Dr. Stacey Irwin
Dr. Stacey Irwin

Dr. Stacey O. Irwin, professor of Media Arts Production in Communication & Theatre, recently won top director award at the 30th edition of the Vesuvius International Film Festival for “Raising Faith: Stories about Dyslexia.” In addition, the film also received the top documentary short award from that same festival.

You can read more of Irwin’s work here and find out more about the awards here.

Dr. Nanette Marcum-Dietrich
Dr. Nanette Marcum-Dietrich

Dr. Nanette Marcum-Dietrich, professor of Educational Foundations, has worked extensively with Penn Manor’s Hambright Elementary School through their involvement in MU’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association grant. The school was recently announced as a winner of the 2022 PA Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience Award.  In 2021, Penn Manor teachers Katie Harnish and Brad Showalter implemented the first Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience in the Shared Waters grant led by Millersville University and Virginia Wesleyan University. This collaborative project geographically spans the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Dr. Micheál Houlahan, professor and chair of music and Dr. Philip Tacka, professor of music.

Dr. Micheál Houlahan, professor and chair of music and Dr. Philip Tacka, professor of music, recently published two books. “Choral Artistry” and “Choral Sight Singing: A Kodály Perspective for Middle School to College Level Choirs” were published by Oxford University Press. The two volumes are the authors’ tenth and eleventh books published by Oxford. All 11 volumes have been written and published during their tenure at Millersville University. To date, the two have co-authored 16 books.

Dr. Amber Nicole Pfannenstiel

Dr. Amber Nicole Pfannenstiel, associate professor/coordinator, Center for Academic Excellence, Dr. Daniel Albert, associate professor and chair of chemistry; and Dr. Christopher Stieha, associate professor of biology, have written online textbooks. The textbooks were made possible through the Pennsylvania Alliance for Design of Open Textbooks grant awarded to several PASSHE schools, which allows students to have access to free books. Pfannenstiel’s book is “Web Writing,” and Albert’s is “Chemistry Techniques and Explorations: An Introductory Chemistry Laboratory Manual.” There is more information at

Photo of Dr. Carrie Smith
Dr. Carrie Smith

Dr. Carrie Lee Smith, associate professor/coordinator Center for Public Scholarship & Social Change, was selected for the Faculty Leaders Program at Pardee RAND Graduate School with a fellowship to cover the full cost of tuition. The program will take place during June and July and will help faculty members strengthen their skills as teachers, mentors, researchers and advocates of effective public policy and policy analysis.

“I am so excited to have this great opportunity to hone my public policy analysis knowledge and skills,” says Smith. “As part of my application, my two main goals are to develop a “Race, Gender and Public Policy” course and to also host a community engagement event focusing on the impact of public policy (or really, lack thereof) on children whose parents are incarcerated.”

Photo of Dr. Miriam Witmer
Dr. Miriam Witmer

Dr. Miriam Marguerita Gomez Witmer, assistant professor of Educational Foundations and Chair of the President’s Commission on Cultural Diversity, recently received a William Penn Foundation grant. The grant for $2,500 is for Witmer to conduct a landscape assessment of the teacher preparation programs’ readiness to implement culturally relevant and sustaining education competencies.

Witmer says that she is “pleased to represent the university in this important work and looks forward to working with colleagues to nurture a campus dedicated to culturally relevant and sustaining practices to promote an even more equitable campus community.

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