Spotlight on Phi Kappa Phi Members
By Beth Rogowsky, Spring 2021
Zach Porreca graduated in May 2020 with a B.A. in Economics and a minor in Business. He was the 2020 recipient of the competitive Phi Kappa Phi fellowship which earned him a $8500 award.
Zach came to Bloomsburg as a non-traditional transfer student, having previously taken courses at University of Hawaii and distance education courses from Ohio University. While at Bloomsburg University, his life really revolved around work and school. There was little time for extracurricular, but he did manage to squeeze in time to play a season of Club Rugby and participate in Club Boxing.
While at school, he commuted back home to Bridgeport, PA (in the Philadelphia region) to work at a law firm, AMS Law. While working in law was definitely exciting and a great experience for him, it was not his ideal career path. His goal was to work in a research capacity, ideally in the field of environmental resource economics. Zach is fascinated by the intersection of environmental sustainability and economic growth, and is on a path to have his work inform policy that exists in this realm.
To move his career towards environmental sustainability and increase his civic involvement, he served for nearly 2 years as an appointee on the Borough of Bridgeport’s Sustainability Advisory Committee, where he worked with borough council to create more than one environmentally sound policies. This role lead to a special appointment by the mayor of Bridgeport. Zach became the town’s Lead Environmental Advisor. In this capacity, he worked hand-in-hand with the county’s Sierra Club and their “Ready for 100” initiative towards a 100% renewable energy future. He assisted with data analysis on projects ranging from municipal building energy use estimates to alternative lifetime cost comparisons for hybrid police vehicles. This work provided him with experience in applying economic analysis to real world scenarios.
Zach credits numerous professors for the impact they had on his career path. First and foremost, he recognizes Dr. Brown, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. He can’t imagine where his life would be had he not met Dean Brown’s acquaintance. Having been a part of Bloomsburg’s inaugural Second Chance Pell Grant program, Dr. Brown quite literally was the steward in Zach’s life transformation. Additionally, he credits the professors from the Second Chance Pell Grant program for their help in his success. Two, now retired, professors from BU had huge impacts on his development as well: Dr. Saleem Khan and Dr. Carl Smith, both from the Economics Department. His conversations with both Khan and Smith helped him sort out his interests and develop a research focus. Other professors, Dr. Arian Moghadam, Dr. Aberra Senbeta, Dr. Mehdi Ragazzi, and Dr. Sukhwinder Bagi, were also a huge help in fostering the trajectory of his career.
After graduation, Zach moved to Morgantown, West Virginia where he began his PhD in Natural Resource Economics at West Virginia University. He has been offered full funding and a research assistant position where he is focusing on problems of water scarcity and valuation. Needless to say, we are excited to see the direction the future takes Zach.
By Beth Rogowsky, Summer 2020
Jonathan Kollars B.S., CSCS, CELC, a 2019 graduate of Exercise Science, learned of Phi Kappa Phi from a classmate while he was at Bloomsburg University. Once he joined, he took the time to read up on Phi Kappa Phi and stumbled upon the Love of Learning scholarship. He was fortunate enough to have an academic advisor at Bloomsburg who encouraged him to apply for the scholarship. In his application, he shared his research from his time at Bloomsburg that looked at the Relative Age Effects in Olympic Weightlifting.
The Love of Learning scholarship he received from Phi Kappa Phi allowed him to present his research at the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s National Conference in Washington DC over the summer of 2019. Phi Kappa Phi supported his attendance at this National Conference and Jonathan was able to form many connections at that conference that are helping him advance in his field today.
He would like to give a shout out to two professors: Dr. Beyer and Dr. Andreacci in the Exercise Science department. Dr. Andreacci allowed him to get his first exposure in a laboratory setting which helped fuel his love for learning and research. Dr. Beyer then took him under his wing and mentored him not only in the lab, but also in his future career goals. It is thanks to them that he got to spend +1,600 hours in a research setting, present at Regional and National level conferences, have his name on several studies, receive the Love of Learning scholarship from Phi Kappa Phi, receive the URSCA award and a PEG Grant from Bloomsburg University, and was able to truly leave an impact at Bloomsburg University.
Jonathan is currently a graduate student at New York Chiropractic College pursuing his DC. He will graduate from the program in November of 2022. Upon completion of his DC, he plans to move out to Colorado Springs, CO to start his own practice targeting a clientele that is centered around maximizing human performance. Bloomsburg University helped prepare him for this next step, and helped set a solid foundation for him as he entered graduate school. Phi Kappa Phi is proud to put the Spotlight on Jonathan!
By Beth Rogowsky, Spring 2020
Megan Burns (2019) was the Student Vice President of Phi Kappa Phi for two years. She got involved early on, helping promote the visibility of the honor society on campus through induction ceremonies and charitable events such as a book drive.
For students who want to be involved, Phi Kappa Phi offers far-reaching experiences. Megan represented the chapter nationally at the Student Vice President Leadership Summits in Denver, Colorado (2017) and Charlotte, North Carolina (2019), and the Biennial Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota (2018). In 2018 she was chosen to serve on the National Council of Students, a two-year term in which she worked with students across the country to improve the operations of the honor society.
Currently, Megan is in her second semester of the Master of Science program for Communicative Sciences and Disorders at NYU where she is taking classes relevant to treating communication disorders or relevant to professionalism in the field. This semester she is taking Adult Language Disorders, Voice Disorders, Speech Sound Disorders, and Multicultural Issues in CSD. She became a student clinician in her first clinical rotation in the audiology booth at the university’s Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic. She is on the fast track to graduate in the summer of 2021, followed by a semester-long externship.
BU prepared her for graduate school in a number of ways. She learned how to manage her time when she needed to study and complete assignments. Likewise, being involved in many extracurriculars at BU required her to plan out and prioritize her time to get the most work done possible, which is a skill she maintains in graduate school.
Most importantly, she learned a lot about APA by sitting in on Dr. Rogowsky’s graduate research and writing class and working on an independent research project with Dr. Rogowsky. Both experiences at BU helped her tremendously at NYU as she took a course about evaluating research last fall and felt that she started off with an advantage. Having experience in research at BU also helped her get accepted into a prestigious research lab at NYU - the Psycholinguistics, Aphasia, and Neuromodulation (PLAN) Lab led by Dr. Buchwald.