University welcomes new faculty members

Lauren Gallagher
Staff Writer

The University started the 2016-2017 school year off with an abundance of new faces to the community. Students, faculty, and staff welcomed 16 new full-time faculty members to The University this academic year.

In a recent press release written by The University’s Director of News and Media Relations Stan Zygmunt, each professor was introduced to the community.

The associate professor of operations and information management position was appointed to Ahmed Gomaa, Ph.D. Gomaa received a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in accounting information systems from the University of Alexandria in Egypt.

He received an MBA and a doctorate in management from Rutgers University. In addition to his academic achievements, Gomaa was the founder of iMediaStreams, LLC and was director of online marketing for Inc.

Vincent J. Rocco was appointed as a faculty specialist in the operations and information management department and manager of the Alperin Center Financial Lab. He received his bachelors degree in Finance from Saint Joseph’s University, and his MBA from Wilkes University. Prior to this position, he was an adjunct instructor in The University’s Kania School of Management. He was also an equity trader on Wall Street.

Wendy Manetti, Ph.D., was named assistant professor of nursing. Manetti received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from The University. She also received a doctorate in nursing from Widener University. Since 2011, Manetti has worked as a faculty specialist in The University’s nursing department. In addition to teaching, she is currently a family nurse practitioner for PrimeMed PC and works as an intensive care unit nurse at Moses Taylor Hospital. In 2014-2015, Manetti was named a National League of Nursing Jonas Scholar.

Julia A. Nastasi, Sc.D., OTD, was appointed assistant professor of occupational therapy. Since 2011, she has served as a faculty specialist in The University’s occupational therapy department. She received a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from

The University, a master’s degree from Tufts University and a Certificate in low vision rehabilitation from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She also holds doctorates from Boston University and Towson University. A registered occupational therapist with certification in low vision, she is a fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association.

John P. Wiercinski was appointed as a faculty specialist in the health administration and human resources department. He received a bachelor’s degree in human resources from The University and a master of health administration degree from Xavier University. He is an Air Force veteran and served as a captain working in administrative management of an Air Force hospital.
John Kilker is a new face in the communication department as a faculty specialist in television and video. He received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from The University, a master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology from Fairfield University, and a master of fine arts in film production from the University of Southern California.

Prior to working at The University, Kilker worked in the film and TV industry for more than 15 years. His work has been recognized and won awards at many film festivals including the Toronto International Film Festival.

E. Springs Steele, Ph.D., was named a faculty specialist in the theology and religious studies department. From the University of Notre Dame, he received a bachelor’s degree in theology, a master’s in biblical studies and a doctorate in biblical studies. Steele worked at The University for 30 years as a professor of theology and religious studies, department chair, director of the Center for Mission Reflection and associate provost.

During his time at The University he received the Provost’s Excellence Award for University Service and Leadership, the John L. Earl III Distinguished Service Award, the first annual Teacher of the Year Award, the Case Professor of the Year for 1997, and the Alpha Sigma Nu Teaching Award in 1983. Prior to returning to The University, he spent eight years at Saint Joseph’s University as a vice president and associate provost.

Steele describes being back at The University as a warm and wonderful experience. He says it is as if he has come home.

“Having been away eight years, I’m struck by how warm the community continues to be, how students still are at the heart of all we do, and how beautiful the campus has become. It’s also wonderful to spend time with old friends, meet new ones and to return to the classroom. It feels like coming home,” Steele said.

In the sciences, Thomas Giardina, Jordan Ruybal, Ph.D., and Natalie Wentz were named lecturers in the biology department, while Melissa McHale was named a faculty specialist in the chemistry department and Andrew C. Venezia, Ph.D., was named assistant professor of exercise science and sport.

In the Kania School of Management, Hamza Adeinat, Ph.D, was named assistant professor of operations and information management, Ashley L. Regan was named a faculty specialist in the accounting department, and John A. Ruddy, A.B.D., was appointed assistant professor of economics and finance.

In the history department, Aiala Levy, Ph.D., was named a visiting instructor.
Full descriptions will be available on The Aquinas’ website.

Dr. Ismail Onat is a new hire in the criminal justice department.

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