Notes From the Provost's Desk

Lauren Bowen, Ph.D.

Fall 2023

Welcome to the inaugural edition of Notes from the Provost's Desk! With the launch of All In: The Strategic Plan for Juniata College, we are excited for the promise it holds for the future of the College. This moment inspired us to provide more regular updates about the great work by our faculty and academic life.

In this first issue, we profile the phenomenal experiential education opportunities being provided by Juniata. The adage to “think globally and act locally” is especially apt at Juniata given our requirement that every student have both global and local engagement experiences in order to graduate.

I've been struck this semester by the intellectual vibrancy demonstrated by the rich array of opportunities happening outside the classroom. A list of the various lectures and presentations sponsored by academic affairs is included to illustrate the ways in which students are engaged in meaningful connection with the world around them.

That spirit of intellectual engagement is cultivated by our exceptionally dedicated faculty. It is no surprise that they were ranked sixth in the nation for their availability to students by the Princeton Review. I am continually impressed by the breadth and depth of their teaching and scholarship. You will find a comprehensive list of their accomplishments in the past few months included as well.

Every day at Juniata provides an opportunity to be invigorated by the work of our faculty and students. May this newsletter serve as a catalyst for you to learn more about academic life at Juniata.

Experiential Education

"We will be a leader in higher education for experiential and personalized education. We will be an exemplar in fostering global education and connections and we will lead in ensuring a prospective expression of global education."

- All In: The Strategic Plan for Juniata College

Mentored Research

Mentored research provides benefits to both the student and the faculty mentor. In summer 2023, 32 students participated in summer research with a Juniata faculty mentor, which also included weekly lunch seminars, evening campfires at the field station, and road tennis. Jill Keeney, professor of biology, is the coordinator for undergraduate research and organized Juniata’s participation in the summer research symposium of the Landmark conference schools. In July 2023, 45 students and faculty traveled to Susquehanna University to represent Juniata at the symposium. There were 24 oral and poster presentations, the most of any of the Landmark schools. The symposium is a fantastic opportunity for students to gain experience in presenting their research and to learn other student research. We look forward to hosting the 2024 symposium next July! The application for summer research funding for students can be found HERE.

"Guiding students through mentored undergraduate research at Juniata College not only empowers their academic journey but also cultivates critical thinking, resilience, and a deep passion for discovery. The impact of mentorship in undergraduate research extends far beyond experiments in the laboratory; it shapes our future leaders and innovators poised to tackle the world's most complex and interdisciplinary challenges. Mentored undergraduate research is the test tube where theory ignites with practice, laying the foundation for impactful careers that transcend boundaries, driven by curiosity, and fueled by the pursuit of meaningful change." - Gina Lamendella, George '75 and Cynthia '76 Valko Professor of Biological Sciences

"One of our approaches to mentored student research is to match natural resource management agency needs with student experiences. Our students may work on projects with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, The Army Corps of Engineers or the Huntingdon County Conservation District. The students not only get important research experience, but they also make valuable professional connections and provide a public service at the same time." - Chuck Yohn, director of the Raystown Field Station and assistant professor of environmental science and studies

Community Engaged Learning

Juniata College's general education requirements include a local engagement course, ensuring that every student undergoes at least one community-engaged learning opportunity before graduation. Contrary to being limited to Huntingdon, local engagement signifies a deeply contextualized, place-based learning experience grounded in mutually beneficial partnerships with communities, guided by values such as reciprocity and asset-based thinking.

This semester, our students and faculty collaborated with various community partners, including local school districts, medical centers, the Huntingdon Community Center, and the Borough of Huntingdon. One notable initiative, the Empty Bowls course, raised over $6,000 for local organizations addressing food security.

Additionally, Juniata currently serves as the host site for two AmeriCorps VISTA projects in collaboration with the Broad Top Area Medical Center and Huntingdon County Business and Industry, contributing to the establishment of enduring connections within the Huntingdon community and expanding opportunities for our students. The Center for Community Engagement and our Community Health Working Group jointly organized the fourth annual Social Safety Net Simulation, with participation from over 50 students and collaboration with community partners.

Students are actively engaged in faculty-led, grant-funded projects, including a research and prevention campaign on tick-borne illnesses and a Huntingdon County COVID memorial project, through the Community Health Working Group. These endeavors underscore Juniata's commitment to meaningful community involvement, fostering experiential learning, and addressing pertinent issues in collaboration with our local partners.

Study Abroad

Dean Jamie Weaver and the staff of the Center for International Education, lead Juniata College's diverse array of study abroad programs. Aligned closely with the College's commitment to a liberal arts education, these programs offer students a rich variety of options. Juniata College students can choose from an extensive range of study abroad opportunities, reflecting the institution's mission. These options span academic year or semester programs hosted by our exchange or partner institutions, as well as short-term experiences led by our esteemed faculty members. In the upcoming 2023-2024 academic year, we anticipate that 131 students will engage in study abroad experiences, with 43 opting for academic year or semester programs and 88 participating in short-term study abroad initiatives. The following list highlights the diverse programs in which our students have or will take part, showcasing the College's commitment to providing enriching global learning opportunities.

Summer 2023

Language and Culture in Orizaba in Mexico

Travel Writing in Iceland

Fashion Marketing in France

Eyewitnesses to Migration in Mexico

Culture, Challenges & Natural Resources in Kenya

Shih Chien University in Taiwan

KAPITO Sprachashule in Germany

Russian as a Second Language in KYRGYZSTAN

Fall 2023

IES (Institute for the International Education of Students) Abroad in Madrid, Spain

CzechMates at Masaryk University in the Czech Republic

Institute for Field Education (IFE) Internship Program in Spain

University of Newcastle in Australia

Srinakharinwirot University in Thailand

The Pachaysana Institute: Rehearsing Change in Ecuador

Upcoming Winter 2024 Opportunities

The Way of Wellbeing in Costa Rica

Fall Academic Events


August 24, 2023 - Opening Convocation marked the commencement of the fall semester, extending a warm welcome to the Class of 2027 on campus. The gathering at Memorial Gymnasium featured addresses from Provost Lauren Bowen; Paul Leech, student body president; and the keynote speaker Li Shen, associate professor of marketing. Their insightful words resonated with the newest members of the Juniatian community, setting a promising tone for the academic journey ahead.


September 13, 2023 - "Soul Shots Portrait Project," an exhibit at the Juniata College Museum of Art

September 13, 2023 - "Finding Purpose in Finding Battlefields: The Veterans Archaeology Program at Fort Ligonier," a Bookend Seminar by Jonathan Burns, instructor of history and art history and instructor of international studies

September 18, 2023 - “Affirmative (Re)Action: Discussing the Implications of the Harvard Admissions Case,” in observance of Constitution Day. Provost Lauren Bowen provided framing remarks to open the discussion with panelists, Dave Andrews ’74, general counsel and Juniata College Mock Trial coach; Jack Barlow, Charles A. Dana Professor of Politics; Derek A. James, dean of equity, diversity, and inclusion; Jason Moran, vice president for enrollment; and moderator Paul Leech ’24.

September 20, 2023 -"Sweet Christmases and Misty (K)nights: Representing Blackness in American Superhero Comics," sponsored by the Office of EDI and the History Department

September 21, 2023 - Leyla McCalla, Juniata Presents Performing Artist Series

September 27, 2023 - "Trans Athletes are Athletes: The Struggle for Inclusion," a lecture presented by Aaren Pastor and organized by Emil Nagengast, professor of politics and international studies


October 4 and 5, 2023 - “The New Cold War? Strategic Competition and the Future World Order," an International Symposium hosted by The Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies. The symposium drew a standing-room-only crowd who heard from panelists Adeye Adeto, current commissioner for the Ethiopian National Dialogue Commission; Leoni Cuelenaere, a former ambassador with over 20 years of service in the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Chris Dolan, expert member of the White House Transition Project; Ibrahim Fraihat, associate professor at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies and international consultant on conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction in the Arab world; Kenji Isezaki, emeritus professor at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies and former director of the United Nations-supported disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) effort in Afghanistan; and Emily Welty, director of Peace and Justice Studies at Pace University and was part of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). 

October 18, 2023 - “US-Mexico Security & Migration: That’s a Game that Two Can Play,” a Bookend Seminar by distinguished visiting professor of politics and Fulbright-García-Robles Mexico Studies Chair Dr. Héctor Ramón Ramírez Partida


November 8, 2023 - "Who are the people in your numerical range?," a Bookend Seminar by Dr. Kristin Camenga, associate professor of mathematics

November 14, 2023 - "Israel/Palestine Conflict: Roads to System Transformation, hosted by the Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies. This engaging session was led by two distinguished experts in peace and conflict studies: Lisa Schirch, chair in peace studies at the University of Notre Dame, and Richard Rubenstein, professor emeritus of conflict resolution and public affairs at George Mason University.

November 16, 2023 - "Oil Extraction & Kichwa Indigenous Futurities in the Amazon Rainforest: Experience of the Sani," presented in Spanish by Kichwa leader, Geovanni Siquihua, with simultaneous translation by Dr. Belén Noroña of Penn State University

November 30, 2023 - Kaki King: SEI, Juniata Presents Performing Artist Series

New Academic Programs

Exercise Science & Kinesiology

The Exercise Science & Kinesiology program of emphasis (POE) draws upon the expertise of several academic departments and prepares students to excel in a variety of professional programs and health-related careers.

Civil Engineering

The Civil Engineering program of emphasis (POE) will emphasize sustainable infrastructure and hands-on experiential learning. With an eye toward addressing global challenges, the goal of the program is to train the next generation of civil engineers.

Legal Studies

The Legal Studies program of emphasis (POE) is an interdisciplinary approach for those students who may have an interest in pursuing law school subsequent to graduation.  

Master of Applied Ecology and Natural Resource Management

This graduate program is designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to understand and address the complex environmental issues facing our planet.

Faculty Accomplishments

Amr Abdalla, the Baker Institute Scholar in Residence, published "Resolving Conflicts Wisely - A Scholarly Dialogue with Emeritus Professor in Peace and Conflict Studies." Malaysian Journal of Syariah and Law.  VOL. 11 NO. 1 (2023): MJSL. Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia.  Malaysia.

Kushal Adhikari, assistant professor of environmental engineering, was invited and participated in a panel discussion on "Nature-Based Solutions for Restoring Our Earth" at the European Commission's Stockholm Climate Week, 2023. He was also appointed as an Early Career Editorial Board Member for the journal "Resources, Environment and Sustainability," and invited to run a special issue for the “Hydrology” journal and is currently leading an issue titled "Green Infrastructure and Advances in Urban Hydrology."  He presented research on natural treatment systems and groundwater monitoring at the ASCE-EWRI (American Society of Civil Engineers – Environmental & Water Resources Institute) annual congress meeting. He also attended and moderated the session for Landmark symposium, 2023 along with presentations from summer research students titled “Lab-scale design for Pond-In-Pond: An alternative wastewater treatment system for reuse,” with Meghan Ward; and “Water Quality Assessment of Muddy Run, Pennsylvania, USA,” with Bryson Osborne.

Peter Baran, professor of chemistry, published “Chiral ligand-induced geometrical type of isomerism in Schiff-base copper (II) complexes with urease inhibitory activities” in Inorganica Chimica Acta (558, 2023, 121707, doi: 10.1016/j.ica.2023.121707).

Jack Barlow, Charles A. Dana Professor of Politics, published “Nationalizing ‘the Curse of Heaven’: Gouverneur Morris on the Constitution and the Slave Power” in The Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy (21: 25-49). It is a revised version of the essay he presented at Georgetown in December 2021. He also gave paper, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Nation: Gouverneur Morris and the Birth of American Constitutionalism,” to the daylong Colloquium honoring Professor William B. Allen, June 24, 2023.

The Health Initiative for Rural Pennsylvania has awarded $31,938 to Juniata’s Community Health working group to develop a COVID Memorial Project for Huntingdon County. This project is led by Bethany Benson Burns, professor of art, with support from Kathy Westcott, Charles A Dana Professor of Psychology, Sarah Worley, professor of communication, Tricia Hunt, Liz Mansberger, assistant professor of biology, Lee Ann DeShong-Cook, assistant professor of social work, Tia Warrick, director of public health & assistant professor of biology, and Kelly O’Brien. This project will engage the Huntingdon community and create experiential learning opportunities for students.

Kathleen Biddle, Martin G. Brumbaugh Professor of Education, presented "Dyslexia and the Reading Brain: Making the Connections" at the PA Higher Education Literacy Summit on May 16, 2023, in Harrisburg, PA.

At the invitation of Italy, Jim Borgardt, William W. Woolford Professor of Physics, gave the talk, "Collaborative Exercises to Build International Nuclear Forensics Capabilities," in Vienna at the 67th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency. He also completed the following:

  • Published invited article, “Ten Years of Galaxy Serpent,” in the International Nuclear Forensics (ITWG) Mar 2023 Newsletter.
  • Named Guest Scientist in the Radiochemistry division of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)
  • Received $298,400 grant from LANL to organize international exercises advancing national nuclear forensics libraries and enhancing nuclear forensics capacity in partner nations.
  • Gave invited talk at the 3rd International Conference on Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, 10 May 2023 in Budapest, Hungary.
  • Gave invited talk at the 26th International Nuclear Forensics Working Group (ITWG) conference, 21 June 2023 in Tbilisi, Georgia

Dr. Borgardt also was granted $297,480 for International Nuclear Forensics Support through Los Alamos National Lab.

Lauren Bowen, provost and professor of politics, was a presenter in sessions entitled “How Provosts and Vice Presidents of Advancement Can Working Together to Generate New Sources of External Funding Revenue” and  “New Program Development, Program Assessment, Efficiency Gains and Prioritization” at the annual Chief Academic Officer Institute of the Council of Independent Colleges, Tampa, FL, November 2023. She also facilitated a session entitled “Self-Change Management for Veteran Provosts at the CIC meeting.

Jonathan Burns, instructor of history and art history and instructor of international studies, was granted $4,585.50 for Friendly Fire Expedition through Fort Ligonier.

John Crum, assistant professor of criminal justice, attended the American Society of Criminology Conference in Philadelphia. He presented his work entitled: "A Social Network Analysis of Campaign Contributions in PA Criminal Justice Elections." 

Additionally, his research assistant, Juniata student Daniela Scipioni, presented a poster that they worked on entitled: "Police Militarization & Drug Policy: The Impact of Marijuana Liberalization Policies on 1033 Program Justifications." 

Dan Dries, associate professor of chemistry, and Territa Poole, associate professor of psychology, had a manuscript titled "Evolution of a Self-Renewing, Participant-Centered Workshop Series in BMB Assessment" accepted for publication in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education.

Katy Johanesen, associate professor of geology, Lily Claiborne (Vanderbilt), and students Gabrielle Brown (Northern Vermont) and Easton Maxey (Vanderbilt) presented a workshop titled "Ungrading for Equity: Developing assessment strategies that support learning for all students" at the Earth Educators Rendezvous in Pasadena, CA on July 13.

Dr. Johanesen presented a share-a-thon titled "Virtual Reality Spatial Training: Strike and Dip," a demonstration using virtual reality to teach geology concepts at the Earth Educators Rendezvous in Pasadena, CA, on July 11. Abstract:

She also published a commentary article: “Common-sense teaching for the 2020s: Ungrading in response to covid-19 and beyond” with 6 coauthors from across North America in the Journal of Geoscience Education this month. http:// DOI: 10.1080/10899995.2023.2259784

Kathy Jones, professor of education, and Ryan Bennett ’23 attended the Noyce annual Conference in Washington, DC, in June. Kathy also presented a poster coauthored by Jamie White and Leslie Leckvarcik highlighting lessons learned from the first Noyce grant and our expectations for the new grant.

Ryan Kough,⁠ associate professor of integrated media arts⁠; Terresa Moses⁠ assistant professor, Graphic Design and Director of Design Justice⁠ University of Minnesota⁠;⁠ and Christian Dunn⁠ , associate professor of graphic design at Jacksonville State University hosted a virtual event on August 25, 2023, on Alternative Assessment Methods through the AIGA Design Educators Community. 

She has been invited to showcase her artwork at the Woskob Gallery at Penn State. Part of this yearlong process is hosting a series of First Friday workshops where participants are able to make one-of-a-kind prints as a participatory art experience. The prints will become part of the Spring 2024 Solo Gallery Exhibition. Additional information can be found here:

She also has letterpress posters in the annual Kells Type Trail in Meath, Ireland. The annual Kells TypeTrail brings together a wide range of art forms, highlighting our unique heritage of lettering as a form of communication.

Gina Lamendella, George '75 and Cynthia '76 Valko Professor of Biological Sciences, was awarded a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture, “Impacts of Polyphenol-containing Foods on the Human Gut Microbiome,” 2023. $300,000. She also completed three publications this summer (including eight current students/recent alum, and three former Juniata colleagues).

1. Lamendella R, Chan J, Staab T. “The Impact of C. elegans Ceramide Glucosyltransferase Enzymes on the Beneficial Effects of B. subtilis Lifespan.” MicroPubl Biol. 2023 

2. Wright JR*, Ly TT*, Cromwell KB, Brislawn CJ*, Chen See JR*, Anderson SL*, Pellegrino J*, Peachey L*, Walls, CW, and Lamendella R. “Assessment of a Novel Continuous Cleaning Device Using Metatranscriptomics in Diverse Hospital Environments.” Frontiers of Medical Technology. 2023

3. Portolese AC, McMullen BN*, Baker SK, Chen See JR*, Yochum GS, Koltun WA, Lamendella R, Jeganathan NA. “The Microbiome of Complicated Diverticulitis: An Imbalance of Sulfur-metabolizing Bacteria.” Diseases of the Colon & Rectum. 2023 

Dr. Lamendella was also granted $18,100 for Metatranscriptomics Project with Wright Labs through the USDA Research Support Agreement.

John Lash, assistant professor of accounting, business, & economics, completed the following:

  • Appointed to the Board of Directors of F-Star Technology. F-star is a clinical stage biotech developing next generation immunotherapies to transform the lives of patients with cancer. F-star is developing novel, innovative tetravalent bispecific antibodies intended to transform the lives of individuals with cancer and other serious illnesses.
  • Appointed to the Board of Directors of Spring Education Group. Spring Education Group is a multi-brand education network of superior private school institutions spanning infant care through high school. The network, 230+ schools, brings together some of the best private school programs in the country, with proven track records educating children through unique and carefully crafted curricula. 
  • Appointed to the Board of Directors for, a service of The Princeton Review. Tutor works with thousands of educational institutions and education-forward organizations, as well as the U.S. Department of Defense and Coast Guard Mutual Assistance, to deliver nearly two million tutoring, homework help, and test preparation sessions per year.
  • Collaborated with Dr. Milton Mueller and Dr. Karim Farhat of the Georgia Tech School of Public Policy Internet Governance Project to host an annual event at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on November 10, 2023, entitled "What is national security in a globally connected digital economy?"

Jim Latten, professor of music, was re-elected in June to a second 2-year term as President of the Board, Nittany Performing Arts Center in State College, the organization working to build a comprehensive community arts and educational high-rise concert and rehearsal facility in downtown State College.

Ryan Mathur, professor of geology, was awarded $114,133 from the Division of Earth Sciences, Petrology, and Geochemistry Program of the National Science Foundation over two years for his collaboration with scholars at the University of Michigan.

Monika Malewska, professor of art, exhibited artwork in the following group exhibitions:

  1. "Maake Summer Group Show "at Maake Projects Gallery, curated by Emily Carol Burns, State College, PA 
  2. "Portals" at Maryland Federation of the Arts, juried by Melissa Oresk, online exhibition, Annapolis, MD 
  3. "Delectable," d’Art Center Main Gallery, juried national exhibition, Norfolk, VA

She is also currently exhibiting one of her paintings in PAINTED-BIENNIUL 2023, an International Competitive Biennial Survey of Contemporary Painting juried exhibition at Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati, OH.

Terita Poole, associate professor of psychology, was selected for the Berkeley Greater Good Science Center's Fellowship on Bridging Differences for supporting and enhancing the work for Summer of Y.O.U.

Matt Powell, professor of geology, published “Relative oversampling of carbonate rocks in the North American marine fossil record” by Diego Balseiro and himself, in the journal Paleobiology.

Susan Prill, professor of religion, published, “Ecotheology in The Sikh World," edited by Pashaura Singh and Arvind-Pal Singh Mandair (Routledge Press). Some of the research for the article was completed during her 2014 sabbatical.

Kim Roth, professor of mathematics, and Erika Ward’s paper “Math and Democracy” has appeared in the Special Issue on Mathematics and Society of the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics. Erika is a 2002 math and physics graduate of Juniata and is an associate professor of the practice in mathematics at Boston College.

Kim Roth also co-organized with Josh Laison and Robert Vallin the 2023 Mathematics of Various Entertaining Subjects (MOVES) conference themed “Threads Through Mathematics” at the Museum of Mathematics (MoMAth) in New York City in early August. She also moderated a panel “Mathemalchemy," where math is transforming” at the conference.

Li Shen, associate professor of marketing, attended the annual conference of AIB (Academy of International Business) and presented two papers. The paper she co-authored with Dr. David Pan, Dr. Alan Pan and Dr. Berna Mutlu won the Best Research Methods Paper Award. She has decided to donate her portion of the prize to Accounting, Business, and Economics students who have financial needs.

Jim Tuten, Charles R. and Shirley A. Knox professor of history, presented “Critical Acts of Commensality and Cultural Capital: How Madeira Wine Served Social Functions Among Anglophone elites (1815 to 2000),” Modernity and Globalization in the Atlantic World: Relationships, Dialogues and Exchanges, Centro de Estudos de Historia do Atlantico, Funchal, Madeira, November 23, 2023.

David Widman, professor of psychology, has work, "Psychophysical measurements during the priming of intrasexual competition," that has been accepted for publication in Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences. Widman, D. R., Brandon, J., Carrol, A., Garner, S., Kim, G., Phares, W. L., & Waite, R. (In Press).

Sarah Worley, professor of communication and director of community-engaged teaching and learning, was awarded the ATHENA Leadership Award by the Huntingdon County Chamber of Commerce in October.

Worley, Dr. John Roth (CEO of Broad Top Area Medical Center) and Gillian Letson (former AmeriCorps VISTA) presented “Leveraging Collaboration to Support Community Engagement & Sustainability” at the annual Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers conference.

Chuck Yohn, director of the Raystown Field Station and assistant professor of environmental science and studies, was an invited speaker to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Training Workshop on Aquatic Invasive Plant Management.   His presentation was titled “The Value of College Partnerships”.