New faculty members named

Garrett Huck and Daniel Gutierrez have been appointed as faculty members at Penn State Hazleton, Chancellor Gary M. Lawler announced.

Huck, BS, MS, Ph.D., who will also teach at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, has been named assistant professor of rehabilitation and human services. Gutierrez, BA, MA, MA, has been named instructor in the administration of justice program.

Chancellor Gary Lawler welcomed the new faculty members, saying, "The addition of these two new faculty members to our campus is a real benefit to our students. In addition to their excellent teaching credentials, both have expressed their desire to have students partner with them on research, which will provide an engaging and unique experience."

Director of Academic Affairs Elizabeth Wright said, "Penn State Hazleton offers baccalaureate degrees in both new faculty members' areas of discipline, in addition to seven other four-year degrees. Administration of justice and rehabilitation and human services are two of our newest degree programs and we are adding faculty support as the programs continue to grow."

Huck will teach a variety of classes in rehabilitation and human services at Penn State Hazleton and Penn State Wilkes-Barre, including one course that is taught at Penn State Hazleton and streamed to the Wilkes-Barre campus.

"One of the things that excited me most about Penn State Hazleton and Penn State Wilkes-Barre was that this provides me the opportunity to do both teaching and research. These Penn State campuses are a smaller-knit community, but with access to all the resources of a major university," he said.

Born and raised in Wisconsin, Huck was drawn by northeastern Pennsylvania's natural beauty. He holds a bachelor of science degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, a master of science degree in rehabilitation psychology from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and a doctorate in rehabilitation psychology from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. His dissertation focused on how to encourage people living with severe and persistent mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, to engage in more physical activity.

His research interests include health promotion for those living with severe mental illness and psychiatric rehabilitation and how to improve employment outcomes for that population.

"I'm really excited to have students involved in research with me. I would like to have them engaged in each step of the process and talk with them about my goals, how to develop the measurement tools we might need, data collection and more," Huck said.

He plans to create additional opportunities on campus, including a Rehabilitation and Human Services Club and a Disability Awareness Week.

"I think it's important not only to be involved with the academic part of campus, but also to engage students in other ways as well," he said.

Gutierrez holds a bachelor of arts degree in criminal justice from Saginaw Valley State University, a master of arts degree in criminal justice from Saginaw Valley State University and a master of arts degree in sociological practice from Indiana University. Before coming to Penn State, he taught and developed traditional, hybrid and online courses at several other universities.

He will teach classes in administration of justice and will also work with internship students, including advising students with regard to their experiences and visiting potential internship sites.

Gutierrez' primary research interests include education and the scholarship of teaching as well as violent crimes, particularly homicides.

"Violent crime as it related to Hispanics and Latinos is an area of research that really needs to be explored, as it requires very thorough research because of how statistics are reported," he said.

He looks forward to involving students in his research, as he did with prior students. One of his former students received a grant to present research at a conference and worked with Gutierrez on a study that will be a chapter in Gutierrez' book, titled "Latinos, Crime, Violence, and the Criminal Justice System."

Gutierrez said Penn State Hazleton appealed to him for a variety of reasons.

"I was really attracted to the diversity of the student population and the Hazleton area in general," he said. "And since the administration of justice program is fairly new at the campus, I thought I could make an impact in terms of growing the program and working with the students to build their emotional experience."

"I have a deeply vested interest in students and their college experience. I'm also familiar on a personal level with students who are under-represented and come from challenging backgrounds. I'm the first of eight kids to get a college degree, and I'm proud to say that my mother now has 17 grandchildren who all have a college degree," he said.

Gutierrez grew up as a migrant worker and realized at the age of 21 that to advance, he would need to get an education or get involved in crime. Recognizing the lifelong value of education, he served in the Army for two years and was able to fund his undergraduate college education through the GI Bill.