Six new faculty bring fresh perspectives to New Kensington

Alina Crisan, Joseph Cuiffi, Rachel Moreno, Kristen Pueschel, Adrian Tan and Hailfeng Wang increase diversity of campus

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — With the influx of six new faculty members with national and international ties, Penn State New Kensington is increasing its faculty diversity to provide students with a global experience.

The class of 2021, as well as current upperclassmen, can draw on the campus' faculty heterogeneity. The first-year faculty stand ready to prepare New Kensington students with varying cultural experiences for their journey towards their bachelor’s or associate degrees.

"We are excited to bring so many new faculty to Penn State New Kensington this fall,” said Andrea Adolph, director of academic affairs. “They bring a wealth of experience to their new roles at our campus, and each has a unique professional background that will enhance what we will offer to our students."

Alina Bodea, assistant teaching professor of biobehavioral health; Joseph Cuiffi, assistant teaching professor of electro-mechanical engineering technology; Rachel Moreno, assistant teaching professor of biology; Kristen Pueschel, assistant teaching professor of mathematics; Adrian Tan, assistant professor of project and supply chain management; and Haifeng Wang, assistant professor of electro-mechanical engineering technology, join the full-time campus faculty for the fall 2017 semester.

“It can be challenging to bring in so many new faces at one time, but I see this as a dynamic opportunity to try new things and to grow in new directions, and these excellent new faculty members are very much up to that task,” Adolph said.

Alina Bodea
Bodea joins the biobehavioral health faculty after serving as a research associate at the University of Pittsburgh. She taught graduate and undergraduate courses in multiple public health areas. Her areas of expertise include public and global health programming, and management and qualitative research methodologies. The Pittsburgh resident is a consultant on a variety of health-related projects such as writing literature reviews, analyzing statistical reports, reviewing peer manuscripts for publication, and organizing the Pittsburgh Housing Summit. Bodea holds a doctorate in behavioral and community health sciences from the University of Pittsburgh.

Joseph Cuiffi
A Penn State alumnus, Cuiffi brings engineering industry experience to the EMET program. He joins the faculty after serving as assistant professor of renewable energy for three years at Florida Gulf Coast University. In addition to teaching, Cuiffi was the co-founder and vice president of NanoHorizons Inc., where he supervised engineering and production. After leaving NanoHorizons, he worked as principal investigator for the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory. Cuiffi earned a doctorate in engineering science and mechanics and a bachelor’s degree in engineering science from Penn State.

Rachel Moreno
Moreno has been teaching general and environmental biology courses for 10 years. She comes to the campus after serving as associate professor of biology at Rock Valley College in Illinois. Her research interests include microsatellites, a tract of repetitive DNA in which certain DNA motifs are repeated. Moreno holds a doctoral degree in biological science from Northern Illinois University and a master’s degree in biology from the University of North Carolina.

Kristen Pueschel
After serving as visiting assistant professor at the University of Arkansas and instructor at Cornell University, Pueschel debuts at Penn State. A member of the American Mathematical Society, Pueschel has taught calculus and linear algebra. She received a doctorate in pure mathematics from Cornell and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh.

Adrian Tan
With a combination of international academic and industry experience, Tan joins the campus faculty after three years as assistant professor of business at Kean University in New Jersey, where he taught graduate and undergraduate courses. Before Kean, he was an instructor at Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada, a manager of multilingual global customer service call centers for Siemens Business Services in Singapore and manager of computer services support for Wearnes Computer Services in the United Kingdom. Tan holds a doctorate in operations and supply chain management from Wilfrid Laurier, an MBA from National University of Singapore and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland.

Hailfeng Wang
An electrical engineering researcher and engineer, Wang is involved with all aspects of digital, analog and power electronics circuit design, algorithm simulation, software development, and embedded system research, design and implementation. He joins the EMET faculty with 11 years of international industrial and teaching experience. He was a software engineer for MathWorks in Massachusetts, an electrical engineer for Shandong Computer Science Center in China and a teaching assistant for the University of Massachusetts. Wang earned a doctoral degree in electrical engineering from Massachusetts and a master’s degree in electrical engineering and a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Shandong University in China.