GALILEO-W: Conference 2020: Collaboration Among Change-makers; How to Tackle Issues Across Disciplines

Video of Panel April 17-May 1, 2020 Live Session May 2nd

Professional/Alumni Panel "The Surprising Places to Find Partnerships"

Moderator: Rebecca E. Kohn, Ph.D. Vice Provost, Academic Planning and Faculty Affairs; Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

This panel will highlight where professionals in the field and our alumni have found valuable and maybe surprising places of collaboration within and outside of their discipline and the lessons we can take from these partnerships.

Meet our Panelist:

Dr. Zarah Adams, Doctor of Education, Educational Leadership
Stephanie Blake, Master of Business Administration
Christa Lane Hooper, Dual Degree Master of Public Health, Master of International Peace and Conflict Resolution
Dr. Jeff Rutenbeck, Doctorate of Communication, Master of Journalism;
Katie Whitman, Master of International Peace and Conflict Resolution
Amanda Zimmerman, Master of Arts in Counseling; Concentration in Mental Health

Dr. Zarah Adams, Doctor of Education, Educational Leadership
Education Professional Germantown Friends School
*Arcadia University Alumna; AEL 2019

Zarah Adams earned a doctorate in Arcadia’s program in Educational Leadership. Her diligent studies also earned her an annual place on the Dean’s Distinguished Honors list. In 2018, Zarah was inducted as a member of Alpha Epsilon Lambda, an honor society dedicated to the leadership and accomplishments of graduate students.

Zarah’s dissertation focused on the impact of affinity groups for students of color who attend predominantly white schools. Since that time, Zarah has focused on planning and implementing an anti-bias curriculum and affinity groups for students in grades kindergarten through five.

Zarah believes in instilling in her students the importance of community service. In her current role, this has been through food drives, purchasing toys for children living in shelters, and getting out in the community to meet and know your neighbors.

Zarah has been educating youth for over 20 years in public and independent school settings. Zarah has also educated master’s level students at LaSalle, Drexel, and Arcadia Universities by sharing her classroom experience as an education practicum supervisor, mentor for student teachers, and an adjunct literacy professor.

Zarah dedicates her gifts and talents by supporting the needs of the community as an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, a public service sorority. Zarah also volunteers with the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania, is a Sunday school teacher, and a member of the caring ministry at her church as a Deacon.

Zarah resides in Glenside with LaMonte, her husband of 20 years, and their two teenage children, James and Mia.

Stephanie Blake, Master of Business Administration, Early Childhood Specialist, Head Start Region lll Training/Technical Assistance Network in partnership with the Office of Head Start.
*Arcadia University Alumna

Stephanie Blake has over 14 years of experience in the Early Childhood field. She has worked across various childcare settings, gaining experience in consulting, technical assistance, and training. Stephanie has experience working with both state and federal funded preschool programs. Most recently, she was an Early Childhood Specialist working in the Head Start Region lll Training/Technical Assistance Network in partnership with the Office of Head Start.

Stephanie attended Arcadia University where she earned a BA in Business Administration with a minor in Early Childhood Education and her MBA. She also completed a MA in Education with a Specialization in Early Childhood at Gratz College. Currently, Stephanie is a doctoral student at Gratz College studying Educational Leadership with a concentration in Higher Education. She is a Pennsylvania certified instructor, Act 48 Provider, and a Pre-k Class Observer.

Recently, Stephanie launched her own company, Educate to Elevate Consulting, to support early childhood professionals in the field. Her company provides professional development, training, and program support for early childhood programs in the Philadelphia region. In her free time, Stephanie enjoys spending time at home with her fiancée and hanging out with friends. She also volunteers at Arcadia University being in involved with both the Alumni Steering Committee and the Leadership Council.

Katie Whitman, Master of International Peace and Conflict Resolution; Director of Educational Programming, The Peace Center
*Arcadia University Alumna; AEL 2019

Kate Whitman is the Director of Educational Programming at The Peace Center, a Bucks County non-profit that specializes in conflict resolution. In her role, Kate collaborates with school districts, area non-profits, places of worship, and public officials to further the goal of peace and well-being for young people. She holds an MA in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from Arcadia University as well as a BA in English and her teacher’s certification. Kate is a certified mediator, and is trained in restorative practices, Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities (a trauma healing program), and Alternatives to Violence Project. She has studied issues of youth and peacebuilding in Northern Ireland and Sierra Leone in west Africa. Her passion is understanding how education can be used to strengthen peacebuilding and inclusive societies both locally and globally.

Dr. Jeff Rutenbeck, Doctorate of Communication, Master of Journalism; Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Arcadia University.

Dr. Jeff Rutenbeck was appointed Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Arcadia in August of 2019. Since August, Dr. Rutenbeck has been instrumental in leading the Adaptive Strategy Process for Arcadia’s new Strategic Plan, as well as overseeing the Campus Master Plan initiative and working across departments on such projects as University budget governance, academic program strategies, and meaningful inclusion.

Prior to Arcadia, Dr. Rutenbeck served as dean of the School of Communication at American University in Washington, D.C., where he oversees more than 110 full-time faculty and staff, nearly 1000 undergraduates, and 450 graduate students (including doctoral students) in four academic divisions: Journalism, Public Communication, Film and Media Arts, and Communication Studies. The School also includes the Investigative Reporting Workshop (including an embedded PBS Frontline team), the Center for Environmental Filmmaking, the Center for Media and Social Impact, the Internet Governance Lab, and the Game Lab, among other units.

At American, he led the $26 million renovation of the McKinley Building, the School of Communication’s home, and led efforts that raised approximately $25 million in grants and gifts over the past seven years. Dr. Rutenbeck also increased annual giving almost 100 percent over the previous three-year average. He oversaw increases in undergraduate and graduate revenue and expanded funding relationships with several foundations, including the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Wyncote Foundation, and he founded and oversaw a university-wide partnership with Sony, leading to a broad range of university technology projects.

Dr. Rutenbeck contributed to student success and helped build relevant and innovative academic programs at American University. He co-chaired the University Research Systems Innovation Task Force, teamed with senior leadership to launch RiSE (Reinventing the Student Experience Initiative), and launched the School of Communication’s first fully online master’s program, Strategic Communication, which is now the School’s largest master’s program. On the undergraduate side, the School of Communication consistently delivered the highest first-to-second year retention rates, as well as the highest graduation rate, of any school at American University


Prior to joining American University, Dr. Rutenbeck worked at Champlain College in Burlington, Vt., where he was the founding dean of the Division of Communication and Creative Media. He also spent 11 years as the founding director of Digital Media Studies at the University of Denver. Dr. Rutenbeck was a full professor in the School of Communication at American University, a full professor in the Division of Communication and Creative Media at Champlain College, and an associate professor of journalism and mass communications at the University of Denver. Dr. Rutenbeck has published one book and dozens of articles and book chapters on a variety of topics, including digitization, hyper-complexity, and media history. He served as founding president (2003-2005) and long-serving chair (2005-2010) of the Board of the International Digital Media and Arts Association, and he is an alum of the distinguished Academy for Innovation in Higher Education Leadership run by Arizona State University and Georgetown University.

Dr. Rutenbeck earned a doctorate in communication from the University of Washington, a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Colorado College.

Christa Lane Hooper, Dual Degree Master of Public Health, Master of International Peace and Conflict Resolution, Senior Associate, Geneva Global
*Arcadia University Alumna

“Currently, Christa advances the advocacy portfolio of grants for the Capital for Good Advocacy Initiative that are shifting the landscape of health and development issues around the world. Additionally, Christa advises on advocacy, media, and communication strategies—most recently applied to building the profile of a funder collaborative and private donor in Asia who are committed to improving health outcomes in the region.

Prior to Geneva Global, Christa applied her skills in research and analysis, evaluating the effectiveness of early childhood development interventions and assessing the financial and operational capabilities of nonprofits. She taught graduate level courses about multi-faceted local and national conflicts from Pennsylvania to Costa Rica, Serbia and Kosovo, and Northern Cyprus. Christa partnered with large international organizations while furthering human rights advocacy campaigns at Amnesty International, and community based projects while co-leading a health and development internship program in Ghana.

Christa received a dual Master’s degree in Public Health and International Peace and Conflict Resolution from Arcadia University, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from St. Joseph’s University. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees at Arcadia University.”

Amanda Zimmerman, Master of Arts in Counseling; Concentration in Mental Health; Program Manager
The College of Global Studies, Arcadia University
*Arcadia University Alumna

Amanda Zimmerman has managed study abroad programs in numerous countries for Arcadia since 2005. While obtaining her BA in Communication with a specialization in Public Relations from Rowan University, she spent a semester studying abroad at Macquarie University in Australia. After graduation, she taught English in the small town of Hidaka, Japan for two years with The Japan Exchange and Teaching Program. Living in Japan enabled her to travel extensively throughout Asia and experience cultures very different from her own. Amanda attained her MA in Counseling, Mental Health in 2016 from Arcadia University.