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School of Arts and Sciences

Arts and Sciences Alumni Success Stories

Meet our School of Arts and Sciences Alumni

In the profiles featured below, meet alumni from Point Park University's undergraduate programs in the Departments of Criminal Justice and Intelligence Studies, Education, Humanities and Human Sciences and Natural Sciences and Engineering Technology. These School of Arts and Sciences alums discuss why they chose Point Park and talk about their experiences with course work, class sizes, faculty and student interaction, campus life and how their bachelor's degree has helped them reach success in their career fields.

Pictured is Justin Morgan, a secondary education alumnus and English teacher at Central Catholic High School. | Photo by Chris Rolinson

Justin Morgan

B.A. in Secondary Education/English, 2010
English Teacher, Central Catholic High School

"The rigorous education program and the individual attention from the faculty at Point Park truly helped me achieve my education goals. The professors are very motivational and are able to individualize their support and instruction to the needs of the students."

Pictured is Jonathan MacDonald, Point Park secondary education alumnus and English teacher at Oakland Catholic High School. | Photo by Chris Rolinson

Jonathan MacDonald

B.A. in Secondary Education/English, 2008
English Teacher and Forensics Coach, Oakland Catholic High School

"I liked the environment of the campus. As a commuter student, I felt that the campus was easy to get to and offered a wide variety of opportunities and activities for all students. Additionally, the class sizes were just the right size — I liked being able to establish relationships with my fellow classmates and the feeling of camaraderie we shared within our classes with our professors."

Pictured is Daniel Pomposelli, Point Park education alumnus and middle school business and math teacher for North Allegheny School District. | Photo by Chris Rolinson

Daniel Pomposelli

B.A. in Elementary Education, 2007
Business and Math Teacher, Carson Middle School, North Allegheny School District

"Whether I was playing baseball or learning in the classroom, I will never forget the awesome personal relationships I formed at Point Park. The faculty treated you like a real person and always had your back. I’m not sure I would have had that kind of experience at a bigger school."


Pictured is Kayla Holjencin, 2009 secondary education alumna and English Teacher at Pittsburgh Taylor Allderdice High School. | Photo by Chris Rolinson

Kayla Holjencin

B.S. in Secondary Education English, 2009
English Teacher, Pittsburgh Taylor Allderdice High School

"I wanted to find an urban campus that offered access to successful professionals from the education field. When I visited Point Park for an open house, I fell in love with it because it is in the center of the city. My parents said, 'We can see you here.'"


Pictured is Phylicia Joy, a Point Park secondary education alumna and high school math teacher. | Photo by Jim Judkis

Phylicia Joy

B.S. in Secondary Education Mathematics, 2012
Mathematics Teacher, Crestview High School

"Point Park offered small classes and opportunity. After receiving the Presidential Scholarship, it was clear that I was meant to be at Point Park. If I could do it all over again, I would still attend Point Park for my undergraduate degree. Point Park gave me the tools I needed to be successful in my chosen career field."


Pictured is Alexa Tokarski, an English teacher at Pittsburgh Perry High School and a Point Park secondary education alumna and educational administration graduate student. | Photo by Jim Judkis

Alexa Tokarski

B.A. in Secondary Education English, 2010
Pursuing M.A. in Educational Administration
English Teacher, Pittsburgh Perry High School

"I really enjoyed earning my bachelor’s degree at Point Park. Plus, I heard the University offered great master’s programs so I figured it made sense to continue on here. I passed my principal boards this past spring and feel that Point Park really prepared me for the test. 'The Principalship' class I took was especially helpful. It went over everything you need to be an effective leader in a school."


Pictured is 2013 biotechnology alumnus and chemical laboratory technician for Ashland Inc. | Photo by Chris Rolinson

Leroy Headen

B.S. in Biotechnology, 2013
Chemical Laboratory Technician, Ashland Inc.


"I love science and a degree in biotechnology offered me an excellent opportunity to pursue my dream of becoming a scientist. This degree has courses in biology, chemistry and genetics. That diverse combination of scientific disciplines qualifies me to work in a wide variety of fields with high earning potential."


Pictured is Melissa Bender, psychology alumna, occupational therapist, yoga instructor and fitness blogger. | Photo by Chris Rolinson

Melissa Bender

B.A. in Psychology, 2007
Occupational Therapist, Masonic Village of Sewickley


"When I graduated from Point Park one of my goals was to utilize my psychology degree to open my own life coaching business. I have since expanded on that idea, as my dream is to create a functional, occupational therapy-based approach to helping others achieve happiness and wellness in their lives. Wherever my path may take me I know that Point Park helped provide many of the skills I am using to carve my way."


Pictured is Emily Petsko, a 2013 journalism and global cultural studies alumna who landed a job as a staff writer at the Observer-Reporter. | Photo by Jim McNutt

Emily Petsko

B.A. in Global Cultural Studies and Journalism, 2013
Staff Writer, Washington Observer-Reporter


"I’ve always wanted to be a writer of sorts, and I also sought a career where I could inspire positive change, so journalism seemed like the best of both worlds. I stumbled into global cultural studies when I took a modern language elective taught by Professor Channa Newman, Ph.D. and immediately loved it. Every class in the program was so thought provoking, and I knew it would help me become a more globally aware reporter."


Pictured is criminal justice alumna Taneka Davis. Davis is working as a adult probation officer in Arizona. | Photo submitted by Davis.

Taneka Davis

B.S. in Criminal Justice, 2010
Adult Probation Officer, The Judicial Branch of Arizona - Maricopa County


"I enjoyed the talented professors at Point Park and how they were willing to help you with projects and took on a true hands-on approach. They were very nurturing so you never felt like you were just a number in a classroom."


Pictured is Dilworth Elementary science teacher and Point Park elementary education alumnus Clifford Perkins. | Photo by Jim Judkis

Clifford Perkins

B.A. in Elementary Education, 2009
Science Teacher, Dilworth Elementary


"Prior to becoming a teacher, I was a paraprofessional in the classroom and always said to myself 'I can lead a classroom. I can do that.' Managing a classroom is not as easy as some people might perceive it but the effort is well worth it. Becoming a teacher was one of the best things that ever happened to me."


Pictured is English alumna and attorney Elizabeth Soucek. | Photo submitted by Elizabeth Soucek.

Elizabeth Soucek, Esquire

B.A. in English, 2007
Attorney, Sergovic, Carmean & Weidman, P.A.


"Point Park gave me a solid foundation to build upon when I went to law school. I learned how to develop a study schedule and stick to it, which was invaluable later on. The rigor of the Honors Program in particular prepared me for law school, and for the commitment to academics necessary to be successful in my field."

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Pictured is intelligence and national security alumnus Jeffrey Gurski.

Jeffrey Gurski

B.S. in intelligence and national security, 2012
Working within the National Intelligence Community


"When I came upon the intelligence and national security program at Point Park and looked at the courses I needed to take, I was sold. It was the only way I would leave the Marines and go to school. I have a deep passion for the field."

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Pictured is elementary education alumna Michelle Graham.Michelle Graham

B.A. in elementary education, 2009
Third Grade ELA Teacher and Clinical Resident Instructor, Pittsburgh King Pre-K through 8th grade


"Point Park’s education professors are skilled, knowledgeable, experienced, amiable and extremely responsive to student needs. They know what skills are necessary for 21st century educators and mold each student individually to ensure they have attained those skills."

Pictured is global cultural studies alumnus Eric Probola.

Eric Probola

B.A. in global cultural studies, 2010
Administrative Assistant to Community Planning, Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

"The staff at the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh liked that I had a degree in global cultural studies since they do a lot of work overseas.  My work-study job with Point Park’s Office of International Student Services also played a role in helping me to land the job."


Pictured is electrical engineering technology alumnus Arthur Chileshe.

Arthur Chileshe

B.S. in electrical engineering technology, 2007
Distribution Designer, Duquesne Light Company

"Funny enough, one of my best experiences during my undergraduate studies was when my classmates and I would be in the labs until 9 or 10 p.m. at night trying to figure out how to solve a problem. We had great relationships with our professors who took the time to explain difficult concepts to us but also made the classes fun."


Pictured is biological sciences alumna Michelle Guaragno.

Michelle Guaragno

B.S. in biological sciences, 2010
Co-founder of Marelle, LLC and M.B.A. Graduate Student at Point Park University

"I loved the science program at Point Park. I couldn’t have asked for better professors. I liked going to a smaller school because I have been able to develop professional relationships with the faculty that I don’t feel I would have been able to do at a larger school. The faculty members have a passion for education and their passion permeated to me."


Pictured is secondary education English alumnus Gary Smith.

Gary Smith

B.A. in English and secondary education, 2001
English Teacher, South Fayette High School


"The education program was excellent; I had a wide array of classes that focused on both the theory and practicality of teaching, and my professors were so diverse that I was able to begin to see my future career from many different angles and consider what it truly meant to be a teacher."


Pictured is psychology alumna Veronika Panagiotou.

Veronika Panagiotou

B.A. in psychology, 2011
Graduate Student in Applied Developmental Psychology, The University of Pittsburgh


“My graduate advisor at Pitt was really impressed with my academic background and the practical experiences I gained at Point Park. Like Point Park, Pitt’s psychology program also teaches qualitative research methods.  Not many college programs teach this more humanistic style of research."


Pictured is mechanical engineering technology alumnus Alan Young.

Alan Young

B.S. in mechanical engineering technology, 2012
Pipeline Integrity Engineer, Det Norske Veritas

"Point Park was integral in helping me land my dream job with a really dynamic company. With the solid mechanical engineering education I received, I was a competitive player in a very tight job market."


Pictured is English alumna Amanda Morris.

Amanda Lynch Morris, Ph.D.

B.A. in English, 1997
Assistant Professor and Director of the University Writing Program, Kutztown University

"I would not have thrived at a huge, four-year research school. There were schedules at Point Park, but the professors and the small class size provided one-on-one attention."


Pictured is mechanical engineering technology alumnus Robert Fausnaught.

Rob Fausnaught

B.S. in mechanical engineering technology, 2011
Automation Engineer, Eaton Corporation


"I knew that Point Park had a reputable engineering program that caters to non-traditional students like myself.  The wide variety of courses available in the evenings, along with the convenient location made the decision pretty easy."


Pictured is elementary education alumna Jasmin Hain.Jasmin Hain

B.A. in elementary education, 2012
Fourth Grade Teacher, West Elementary School in Arcadia, Fla.

"I liked Point Park’s small, intimate classes and the personable professors. I’m glad I stayed because I gained a lot of unique experiences at Point Park."


Pictured is civil engineering technology alumnus Graham Ferry.

Graham Ferry

B.S. in civil engineering technology, 2002
Civil Engineering Project Manager, L.R. Kimball

"I chose Point Park for a number of reasons. I found the class sizes and student-to-faculty ratios to be very attractive. I knew that I would have easy access to my professors and that I would continue to see a lot of familiar faces as I navigated my way towards my degrees."


Pictured is criminal justice alumna Amanda Heinbaugh.

Amanda Heinbaugh

B.S. in criminal justice, 2012
Graduate Student in Public Affairs, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

"I transferred to Point Park because the previous two schools I attended were not for me. I felt Point Park had more to offer in its criminal justice program and I had heard that the faculty did not just teach from the book but openly shared their experiences in the field with students."


Pictured is behavioral sciences alum Anthony Sanchez.

Anthony Sanchez

B.A. in behavioral sciences, 1982
Attorney, Andrews and Price

"The small classes and personal attention from professors were important to me. I first began to see myself as someone that could succeed professionally because of the encouragement of some of my professors.  I also learned a great deal from many friends that attended Point Park."


Pictured is elementary education alumna Kelly Cortazzo.

Kelly Cortazzo

B.A. in elementary education, 2012
Kindergarten Teacher, West Elementary School in Arcadia, Fla.


"Nothing can prepare you for the 'real world' completely but Point Park did a great job of giving me an educational background that made me feel confident about my level of knowledge and experience when I entered my career. The level of field experience I gained at Point Park gave me an excellent view on how various educational systems operate."


Pictured is psychology alumnus Dr. Nick Williams.

Nick Williams, Ph.D.

B.A. in psychology, 1998
Program Director, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic


“The humanistic perspective taught me that psychology is at the heart of all inquiry, whether it’s in the natural sciences, computer science, social sciences and so on. Being at Point Park was great. I got exactly the kind of exposure to psychology that I needed to get."


Pictured is civil engineering technology alumnus Chas Ainsworth.

Chas Ainsworth

B.S. in civil engineering technology, 2006
Facility Project Management Engineer, FedEx Ground

"My parents always pushed education as a key to success. I chose to study civil engineering technology at Point Park based on its diverse student population, transfer credit acceptance, flexible class schedule and student-to-instructor ratio."


Pictured is global cultural studies alumna Julia Franzen.

Julia Franzen

B.A. in global cultural studies, 2011
Logistics Coordinator, Back to the Roots


“I was so blessed at Point Park to have such stellar professors. They taught me to see the world through many different lenses and fostered in me a hunger for knowledge and truth. GCS opens a lot of doors. My educational background has given me a bigger vision for life than I could have ever imagined.  The global cultural studies degree has equipped me not just for my job, but for life."


Pictured is electrical engineering technology alumnus Joseph Reutzal.

Joseph Reutzal

B.S. in electrical engineering technology, 2005
Product Safety Engineer, Anasaldo STS

“I chose Point Park because of the smaller class size and because they offered me scholarships.  Also, they had a transfer agreement that ensured that all the course work I took at community college would apply to my degree. I really loved Point Park. The hands-on training I got was very impressive."


Pictured is psychology alumna Dr. Marcia Sturdivant.

Marcia Sturdivant, Ph.D.

B.A. in psychology and behavioral sciences, 1978
Deputy Director, Allegheny County Department of Human Services, Office of Children, Youth and Families

"I liked that Point Park offered small class sizes where you can get one-on-one attention.  Also, there was just something about the atmosphere at Point Park that intrigued me. It was such an inviting, friendly environment and had a real 'family feel' to it."


Pictured is electrical engineering technology alumnus Vasilii Savtchouk.

Vasilii Savtchouk

B.S. in electrical engineering technology, 2011
Electrical Engineer, Westinghouse Electric Company

"My veteran benefits allowed me to go to any school of my choice as long as I completed a degree within 48 months. The small class sizes at Point Park really appealed to me.  I was impressed with the faculty-to-student ratio and how 12 is the maximum number of students in an engineering technology class.  I wanted to get the most out of my education and know what I needed to know."


Pictured is elementary education alumna Elisabeth Jensen.

Elisabeth Jensen

B.A. in elementary education, 2012
Third Grade Teacher, West Elementary School in Arcadia, Fla.

"I am so thankful to professors like Dr. Suzanne Miller and Dr. Christal Chaney. They both gave me a practical look into education and allowed for first-hand experiences in their classes. Their knowledge was irreplaceable and they were both great inspirations. Another fantastic component of my education was my student teaching experience."


Pictured is civil engineering technology alumna Nicole Perry.

Nicole Perry

B.S. in civil engineering technology, 2008
Civil Engineer Supervisor, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

"Point Park has prepared me for my career in many ways. One way is that Point Park taught me the basic fundamentals in the field of civil engineering. Attending college while working full time taught me useful time management skills. Without these skills, I would not survive in the fast-paced industry of civil engineering."