Staff

Penn State Center Pittsburgh team is your liaison to Penn State resources.

Tom Bartnik, AICP, LEED AP

Director, twb24@psu.edu

Tom Bartnik

As Director of Penn State Center Pittsburgh, Tom oversees strategic relationships as well  as operations of the Center. In connecting Pittsburgh area stakeholders with the rich resources of Penn State, Tom works with leadership at University Park as well as local Commonwealth campuses.  With expertise in urban planning and sustainable community design and development, Tom has a B.A. in Political Science from SUNY Potsdam and a Master of Urban Planning & Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Leanne Dengler

Administrative Support Assistant, lhd11@psu.edu

Leanne Dengler

Leanne coordinates the front desk functions for Penn State Center Pittsburgh, providing day-to-day support for the staff, visitors and internal financial reporting.  As part of the marketing team, Leanne is responsible for social media, assists with event planning and supports program staff with set up for trainings, classes and special workshops.  Leanne is a graduate of Penn State University with a B.S. in Administrative Management.

Mary Ann Farrell

Business Operations Manager, mvf10@psu.edu

Mary Ann Farrell

Mary Ann began her work with Penn State in 2006 and has been with Penn State Center Pittsburgh since its inception. She has responsibility across many areas of operations for the Center, assisting with budgets, grants, contracts, human resources, program support, engaged scholarship, community engagement, facility management and day-to-day operations.  Mary Ann received her B.S. in Labor and Employment Relations from Penn State University.

David Himes, RLA, ASLA

Sustainable Communities Coordinator, dgh5037@psu.edu

David Himes

David works with the Sustainable Communities & Engaged Scholarship Manager to organize and guide the implementation of educational demonstration projects, provide training for local green stormwater infrastructure certification and supporting engaged scholarship and community engagement in sustainable neighborhood place making. David is a registered landscape architect. David received his Bachelor in Landscape Architecture from Penn State.

Naomi Ritter, MA

Program Manager, CITY, ndr8@psu.edu

Naomi Ritter

Naomi conducts program management, planning and implementation for the Penn State Community Innovation Training for Youth (CITY) Program and related youth development initiatives. By incorporating elements of STEAM education, project-based learning and mentorship program, Naomi works with community partners to help Pittsburgh Public high school students to achieve their post-secondary education goals. Naomi received a B.A. in Rhetoric and Political Science and Master of Arts in Social Public Policy from Duquesne University.

Lisa Kunst Vavro, MLA, RLA, ASLA

Sustainable Communities & Engaged Scholarship Manager, lkv10@psu.edu

Lisa Kunst Vavro

Lisa oversees the initiation, design and coordination of educational demonstration projects in support of sustainable communities, particularly green stormwater infrastructure, and connects with engaged scholarship activities across Penn State campuses and institutes. She is core to the annual PSU PGH Landscape Architecture Studio and teaches Urban Sustainability for Study Away Pittsburgh.  Active in ASLA, Lisa has a B.A. in Restoration of the Urban Environment from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

Teireik Williams

Teireik Williams

Program Assistant, CITY, tmw5363@psu.edu

Teireik assists in the planning and implementation of the Penn State Community Innovation Training for Youth (CITY) Program. His responsibilities include engaging students in journalism workshops, serving as a positive role model and mentor, and coordinating educational enrichment experiences for the students.  He is a professional musician who also facilitates art education courses within the City of Pittsburgh.  Teireik received his B.A. in Print and Digital Journalism with an English minor from Penn State.