Committee Member Information
Project Founder and President: Nathan Stull (Junior)
Nathan Stull is a junior at Hollidaysburg Area High School and the Founder/President of the planetarium project. He is an honors student. Focusing on STEM(Science Technology Engineering Math) courses in high school, he plans to explore Cosmochemistry as his career (a chemist that studies stars looking for evidence for the Big Bang).
He is in many extracurricular activities including History Club, Model UN(chair), Latin Club, Orchestra, and Chorus. He also participates in three sports: cross country, swimming, and the newly formed triathlon team. Nathan wanted to start the planetarium project to allow the next generations of students to experience this amazing piece of technology. He believes through seeing the star shows it will fascinate and inspire them to also study STEM. Nathan feels very passionate that with the continued effort of his committee, the community, and generous individuals the planetarium projection system can be replaced and restored as a
Nathan wanted to start the planetarium project to allow the next generations of students to experience this amazing piece of technology. He believes through seeing the star shows it will fascinate and inspire them to also study STEM. Nathan feels very passionate that with the continued effort of his committee, the community, and generous individuals the planetarium projection system can be replaced and restored as a
Nathan feels very passionate that with the continued effort of his committee, the community, and generous individuals the planetarium projection system can be replaced and restored as a community-wide resource.
Project Vice President: Jacob Miller (Senior)
Jake Miller is a senior at Hollidaysburg Area Senior High School and the Vice-President of the planetarium project. An honors student, Jake proudly has received the “H-Pin” award 6 years in a row while completing an honors-level program including classes like AP Chemistry and AP Physics 1 and 2.
He was also heavily involved with the Sea, Land, and Air (SEAL) challenge team, a program that challenges students to build a fully functioning ROV and the robot in competition. The team placed second out of seven teams, an impressive accomplishment.
Jake is also involved Jazz Band, Symphonic Band, Scholastic Quiz Team, History Club, and Flag Restoration Project. Starting in the fall of 2016, Jake will be attending the Pennsylvania State University where he plans to study to obtain his bachelor’s degree in Physics and intends on doing graduate work in pursuit of a doctorate.
High school teacher: Rick Imler-Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry
Rick Imler’s educational background starts with an elementary education during the original space race period and graduation from Hollidaysburg Area High School in 1970 (the year before the installation of the high school planetarium). From there he received a BS in Biology at Penn State University and a MEd in Education from St. Francis University. He did two summers of research fellowships in Molecular Biology at Juniata College under the direction of Dr. Jill Kenney and is presently doing coursework leading to a graduate degree at Penn State.
Rick’s professional experience includes a background in both education and business. He has experience teaching high school, college, adult students, and elementary outreach. His teaching responsibilities have included courses in astronomy, biology, chemistry, earth science, and physical science areas. At the Hollidaysburg Area High School he teaches astronomy, biology, and chemistry. These teaching experiences have been in various settings including public schools, a public university, a private college, summer science camps, and business training sessions.
Rick’s recent awards include the 2005-2006 Siemens Corp./ College Board Advanced Placement science or math teacher of the year for the state of Pennsylvania, the 2005-2006 Hollidaysburg Area School District teacher of the year, and the 2009 Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh, Keivin Burns Outstanding High School Science Teacher Award. Rick can be reached at email@example.com and his high school webpage is at Mr. Rick Imler
High school teacher: Lynette Luke-Chemistry
Lynette, a Lancaster County native, graduated from Ephrata High School in 2001. She went on to pursue a BS in Chemistry and Chemistry Education at Juniata College (2005) and a M.eD. in Curriculum and Instruction from Gannon University (2009). In 2008, Lynette was one of four teachers chosen to participate in The Research Experience for Teachers at The Center for Nanoscale Science (Penn State University).
Lynette Luke has been teaching AP Chemistry, College in High School Chemistry (University of Pittsburgh), Honors Chemistry II, and Honors Chemistry I at the Hollidaysburg Area High School since 2005. Students in her classes have participated in the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science, Chemistry Olympiad, and Chemistry Olympics. In addition to teaching, she has served as a National Honor Society advisor, boys and girls cross country coach, and boys’ track and field assistant coach. Outside of Hollidaysburg, she has spoken at the Juniata College Chemistry Seminar, taught at the Saint Francis Upward Bound Program, and participates in the POGIL Project through Franklin and Marshall College.
During the 2015-2016 school year she was selected along with Edward Zovinka (senior Chemist) by the American Chemical Society to participate in the Chemistry Team program. She has been awarded a grant by the Blair County Chapter of PA School Retirees; was recognized by Frostburg’s Phi Eta Sigma for “Academic Excellence and Leadership;” and was identified by the Saint Vincent College’s Great Teacher Recognition Program. Lynette can be reached at Lynette_Luke@tigerwires.com and her high school webpage is at Lynette Luke.
Director of Science Outreach Center at Saint Francis University: Lanika Ruzhitskaya-Astronomy
Lanika Ruzhitskaya graduated from the Rostov State University (Russian Federation) with a B.A. in Philology/Journalism. She went on to attain her M. A. in Advertising Management, Ed.S. in Network Learning, and Ph.D. in Information Science and Learning Technologies (with an emphasis in Astrophysics) from the University of Missouri. She has published two books, “Astronomy! A Conceptual Introduction from the Big Bang to that Asteroid Heading Right for Us” and “A Physics Primer for Students Forced to take Astronomy.”
Ruzhitskaya is the director of the Science Outreach Center at Saint Francis University, Pennsylvania. She played an integral role in establishing a science outreach program and performed astronomy education research in the department of Physics and Astronomy. Prior to her arrival at Saint Francis University in 2014, Lanika has been taking the lead in efforts by Laws Observatory (Columbia, Missouri) to reach out to the general public. As a doctoral candidate and a postdoctoral fellow at MU, Lanika has taught introductory astronomy courses to over one thousand undergraduate students.
Currently, she is working on building an astronomy program at Saint Francis University and she has and is developing outreach programs to connect the research at her University with the students and citizens of Central Pennsylvania: she organizes science and engineering academies as well as camps for children, astronomy events for families, and public talks.
More information on Lanika and her accomplishments can be found at her Saint Francis University webpage at Lanika Ruzhitskaya
Professor from Saint Francis University: Dr. Edward Zovinka-Inorganic Chemistry
Edward P. Zovinka graduated from Roanoke College with a B. S. in chemistry and earned his Ph.D. from the University of California at Davis. As an inorganic chemist at Saint Francis University he has published on a range of projects including the breakdown of red blood cells, the use of vanadium in biological systems, b-Lactamase resistance, the expansion of green chemistry in the inorganic laboratory, to studying water quality in Central Pennsylvania, and the use of metal nanoparticles as catalysts for biodiesel synthesis.
Since coming to SFU in 1994, he has advised over 30 undergraduate students leading to over 40 presentations at local, regional, and national scientific meetings. Edward and his students have authored 31 publications spanning journals from the Journal of the American Chemical Society to The Chemical Educator. Many of his students have gone on to earn their Ph.D., MD, PharmD, DO, Doctor of Optometry, as well as careers in industry and education. During his career at Saint Francis University, he has been the Principal Investigator (PI) or co-PI on successful proposals totaling over $1.3 million dollars used for research, equipment, and community outreach programs.
Edward’s awards include being named a Pennsylvania Professor the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and the J. Kevin Scanlon Award for the Promotion of Science by the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh. He was honored by the Carnegie Science Center Awards for Excellence in the University/Postsecondary Educator category and named the Saint Francis University Student Government Association Outstanding Educator Award. Edward can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and his SFU webpage is Dr. Edward Zovinka.
Community Member: Jill Stull, Flight Nurse
Jill Dillman-Stull is the mother of Nathan Stull. She graduated from Shepherd College with an AD in Nursing and obtained her BSN from University of Pittsburgh. She has over 30 years of Emergency Nursing with a focus on Prehospital Nursing, working as a Flight Nurse for Conemaugh MedSTAR for the majority of her career. Both of Nathans parents are medical professionals, who know the importance of STEM technologies and careers in our community. Her role in the committee is to serve as parent involvement and support community outreach.
Assistant Professor from Saint Francis University: Shlomit Flaisher-Grinberg-Behavioral Neuroscience
High School Committee Member: Eddie Zovinka (Junior)
Assistant Vice President of Government Relations, Grants, and Foundations at Saint Francis University: Rob Young
Website Rob Young
Principal of the Hollidaysburg Area High School: Dr. Maureen Letcher
Hollidaysburg Area School District Chief Information Officer: Robin Smith
Superintendent of the Hollidaysburg Area School District: Dr. Robert Gildea