Penn State Hazleton faculty reflect on careers following promotions

Three headshots of faculty members; the first is a brown haired woman in orange floral shirt; the second is a man in a blue polo shirt and glasses and the third is a long, blond haired woman wearing a blue sweater and blue necklace

Effective July 1, Lori Reno (first from left) will be promoted to associate teaching professor of business, Shannon Richie (center) will be promoted to librarian and Megan Schall (right) will be promoted to associate professor of biology. 

Credit: Penn State

HAZLETON, Pa. — Three faculty members at Penn State Hazleton received promotions in their academic ranks, effective July 1. 

Lori Reno was promoted to associate teaching professor of business, Shannon Richie was promoted to librarian and Megan Schall was promoted to associate professor of biology. 

"Penn State Hazleton takes great pride in the educational experience provided by our faculty,” Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Elizabeth J. Wright said. “These promotions earned by Lori, Shannon and Megan reflect their commitment to our students, to learning and to their disciplines. We congratulate each of them on this well-deserved honor.” 

Lori Reno

Reno’s teaching career at Penn State has spanned many years and multiple campuses, primarily focusing on marketing and management courses. She has served as an instructor and assistant teaching professor at Penn State Brandywine (2011-19), Penn State World Campus (2013-present) and Penn State Hazleton (2019-present) and was an adjunct faculty at Penn State Wilkes-Barre from 1995 to 2015.  

Since transitioning to higher education from a successful corporate career in communications and marketing, Reno has leveraged that experience as a teaching tool, she said.  

“I bring everything I learn into the classroom: my research, speakers and community ‘clients,’ new technology and insights gleaned from service experience and travel, just to mention a few,” Reno said. “These experiences make the learning real, more memorable and more usable in the workforce.” 

Before joining Penn State, Reno held roles as a business consultant, owner of her own strategic planning and consulting company and numerous upper-management level positions at advertising, insurance and pharmaceutical companies. 

For her impact on students, she has been recognized with numerous awards and accolades at Penn State Hazleton, including the Outstanding Faculty Award, Organization Adviser Award and Student Organization of the Year Award for her oversight of the campus Business Club. 

“I love working with students and watching them grow into themselves,” she said. “It is always inspiring to see their ‘ah-ha moments,’ and watch them achieve what they perhaps thought they could not.” 

In 2023, Reno moved into a dual role as assistant director of academic affairs, where she worked with other campus stakeholders to create a student-focused course schedule and update marketing materials. 

Reno is an active member of the American Marketing Association and Marketing Management Association, and a past member of the Marketing Education Association and National Education Association. She has also lent her expertise to numerous professional publications and presentations throughout her career. 

She holds an MBA and a bachelor’s degree in English, both from Wilkes University. 

Shannon Richie 

Richie, who will mark 25 years with the University this fall, has been a member of the Mary M. and Bertil E. Lofstrom Library at Penn State Hazleton since 1999, where he began his career as an assistant librarian. He was promoted to associate librarian in 2016. 

“Throughout my career, I've really tried to not lose sight of the fact that my position is anchored around the idea of reference and instruction support for our local students and faculty, and beyond that, to the Penn State community as a whole,” Richie said. “Reaching this last level of promotion does give me a sense of validation that the work that I've completed to this point has been worth it, and that I should continue at that same level of commitment in the future (and with an increased sense of confidence that I can do so successfully).” 

During his career, Richie has provided reference, instructional and circulation services to the campus community while developing materials to support faculty in their teaching. Additionally, Richie worked closely with Head Librarian Valerie Lynn in the planning and development of collections and services, including input on what works to add to the library’s materials. 

An active member and contributor to several campus committees, Richie serves as the library’s liaison to the Hazleton Campus Faculty Senate’s Research Committee, where he has helped lead the implementation of the Libraries’ Undergraduate Research Awards. The awards are presented during the campus’ Undergraduate Research Symposium to a student or team of students who make valuable use of the library’s resources in completing their research projects. Richie serves as a judge for the award. 

Additionally, in his role as the Libraries’ Open Access/Open Educational Resources liaison, he promotes open access to no-cost educational resources for students and shares opportunities which such materials can be incorporated into current curriculum at Penn State Hazleton. 

University wide, Richie assists students through Penn State Libraries’ "Ask a Librarian" reference service, a feature through its website that instantly connects users to a Penn State librarian via live chat for assistance with locating books and documents, uncovering and accessing online information that may require a subscription, untangling complex questions, and connecting researchers with a Penn State information specialist who can best address a specific question. 

Outside of Penn State, Richie is an active member of numerous national library organizations, including the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries and the Reference and User Services Association, all since 2007. 

Richie received a bachelor’s degree in history and religion from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, and a master’s degree in library science from the University of Pittsburgh. 

Megan Schall 

Since arriving at Penn State Hazleton in 2018, Schall has prided herself on merging her love for research with her teaching, she said.  

To that end, in addition to her efforts mentoring students during class and labs, Schall regularly invites students to gain valuable industry experience by inviting them to work with her on undergraduate research projects related to topics like molecular genetics, stable isotope analysis and acid mine drainage remediation and biological recovery. 

“At Penn State Hazleton, we have a unique opportunity to give our students experiences earlier on their academic careers that might be more difficult elsewhere, including being active in research in their first and second year of schooling,” Schall said. “I find it truly inspiring to watch my research students develop as young scientists alongside me while being able to carry out research that is timely and important for the community and Penn State’s land-grant mission.” 

One of her primary research focuses has been on Flathead Catfish and the invasive species’ potential ecological impact on the Susquehanna River Basin, for which her research has been featured in numerous publications and been the topic of presentations held throughout the country.  

She was the 2023-24 recipient of the Penn State Hazleton Council Teaching Excellence Award and the 2019-20 Penn State Hazleton Student Government Association Faculty Member of the Year. She is a member of the Pennsylvania American Fisheries Society Chapter, the American Fisheries Society – Fish Health Section. 

Schall said that while she is honored to be recognized for her work with her promotion to associate professor, Schall still has much she wants to accomplish at Penn State Hazleton. 

“I am never completely satisfied with where I am at and I have a hunger and passion for what is next in my academic career,” she said. “I am fueled by science and have several projects in process and/or just starting that excite me. I am looking forward to what is next for my research program and teaching at Penn State Hazleton.” 

Schall holds a doctorate in ecology and a master’s degree in wildlife and fisheries science from Penn State, and bachelor’s degrees in cellular and organismal biology and environmental and ecology biology from Lock Haven University.