Jennifer Smith, Acting Secretary
Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs
Ms. Smith began her career as an accountant in Pennsylvania’s Office of the Budget shortly after college graduation in 2004. Through 2009, she served in a variety of accountant positions in the Office of the Budget, eventually taking the role of Project Manager. Ms. Smith became the Director for Strategic Planning and Communications within the Office of the Budget in 2009. Three years later, she was promoted to the Bureau Director for Planning and Management. In November of 2015, Ms. Smith accepted the position of Deputy Secretary for the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs. Ms. Smith currently serves as Acting Secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.
Jennifer Gibbs, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Criminal Justice
Tara Reis, Senior in Criminal Justice
Penn State Harrisburg
Jennifer C. Gibbs joined the faculty at Penn State Harrisburg in 2013 as an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice in the School of Public Affairs. After finishing a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Keuka College and a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Niagara University, Dr. Gibbs earned her Ph.D. in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland, College Park, where she completed her dissertation focusing on the influence of police and state legitimacy on terrorist attacks targeting police in 82 countries – research that won the Homicide Research Working Group 2012 Richard Block Outstanding Dissertation Award.
Dr. Gibbs’ research interests include policing, terrorism, violence and victimization and the scholarship of teaching and learning, and her research has been published in journals such as Crime, Law and Social Change; Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management; Police Practice and Research: An International Journal; Violence Against Women; and Journal of Active Learning in Higher Education. Notably, her research, “Race and attitudes toward police: the mediating effect of social distance”, published in Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management was selected as a highly commended paper in the 2016 Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence. Dr. Gibbs is a member of the American Society of Criminology and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.
Tara Reis is a student in her senior year at Penn State Harrisburg. Ms. Reis is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice through the School of Public Affairs. She is currently President of the Alpha Phi Sigma National Criminal Justice Honor Society.
Conrad Tucker, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Engineering and Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
Affiliate Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering
Penn State University
Michael Johnson, Graduate Student of Applied Demography
Dr. Conrad Tucker holds a joint appointment as Associate Professor in Engineering Design and Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University. He is also affiliate faculty in Computer Science and Engineering. Dr. Tucker is the director of the Design Analysis Technology Advancement (D.A.T.A) Laboratory. His research focuses on the design and optimization of systems through the acquisition, integration and mining of large scale, disparate data.
Dr. Tucker has served as PI/Co-PI on several federally funded grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Office of Naval Research (ONR). He is currently serving as PI and Site Director of the NSF Center for Health Organization Transformation (CHOT), an NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center at Penn State. He received his Ph.D., M.S. (Industrial Engineering), and MBA degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Dr. Tucker is part of the inaugural class of the Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) program, funded by a $1 billion grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Penn State University
Mike Johnson is a first-year graduate student in the Applied Demography Masters program at Penn State University. He is also the Data Director at the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, a federation of labor unions that represent 800,000 workers across the Commonwealth. His professional and academic interests revolve around political demography, redistricting, workforce statistics, and public policy. Mike lives in Harrisburg with his wife Kate, his son Alex, and their two dogs, Casio and Duffy.
Michael Ghen, Data Science Program Manager
Benefits Data Trust
Michael Ghen is a Pennsylvania State University Computer Engineer (BS ’14) working on data science projects in the healthcare space. Prior to joining Benefits Data Trust’s Data Science team, Michael worked as a platform engineer for a healthcare logistics startup and consultant with pharmaceutical and health insurance startups. He earned his Master of Science in Strategic Analytics from Brandeis University and has been an avid computer programmer since 2005.
Paul Turcotte, Research Associate
Drexel University & Bureau of Autism Services
Paul Turcotte is the Data Director for the ASERT Collaborative Eastern Region at the AJ Drexel Autism Institute. Paul has experience in examining healthcare use, primarily in Medicaid claims data, and has done other program evaluation in conjunction with the PA Department of Human Services. Paul has a master’s degree in Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from Drexel University.
Jaclyn L. W. Butler, Research Associate in Office of Planning and Assessment
Penn State University
Phillip Burrell, Director of Research and Data Analytics
Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania
Phillip M. Burrell is the director, research and data analytics for the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania. In this role, Mr. Burrell leads the health care research trends and data analysis efforts for more than 75 health issues and policy initiatives.
Mr. Burrell is experienced in hospital management and health care delivery systems, with extensive experience in health care consulting and market research. Mr. Burrell brings these skills into health policy impact and advocacy efforts. He is currently in the Ph.D. program Population Health Sciences, health policy.
Mr. Burrell received his undergraduate degree from Trinity University. He completed his first master’s degree in healthcare administration from Texas State University and his second master’s degree in healthcare systems engineering from Lehigh University. Mr. Burrell also serves on the board for the Industry Advisory Council at Lehigh University.
Ben Gruswitz, Senior Planner
Ben Gruswitz, AICP, is a Senior Planner in the Office of Long-Range Planning at the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission—the MPO for the Greater Philadelphia Region. A former travel demand modeler at the agency, he now forecasts population and employment, develops regional indicators, and performs various analyses on travel patterns and demographics, in support of DVRPC’s long-range plan. Ben is a member of the Oversight Board for the Census Transportation Planning Products (CTPP) Program. He began his career at Montgomery County Planning Department in Maryland and has a Masters in City and Regional Planning from Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland.
Kim Korejko, Manager of Data Coordination
Kim Korejko is the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s (DVRPC) Manager of Data Coordination. Kim is responsible for establishing and implementing planning data policies, standards, organization, and innovation of data at the enterprise level. Her work also involves researching and improving the way DVRPC discovers and shares planning data between departments, member agencies, and the public. Prior to this role, Kim worked in DVRPC’s GIS department, where she contributed to numerous plans and studies, including Equity Through Access, DVRPC’s Long-Range Plans, and the Greater Philadelphia Food System Plan and Study. Kimberly’s work in the Greater Philadelphia Food System Plan was featured in Volume 26 of the Esri Map Book. Kim graduated summa cum laude from Rowan University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography and a specialization in GIS.
Soshana Akins, Public Participation Planner
Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission
Shoshana Akins works at the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) as a Public Participation Planner and holds a master’s degree in public health. Her work centers around equity, environmental justice, civil rights, public participation, and community engagement strategies in DVRPC’s regional planning projects with a focus on systems thinking, policy, and vulnerable populations. She is the manager of DVRPC's Public Participation Task Force and has led many of the agency's equity initiatives, including the update to Indicators of Potential Disadvantage (IPD) and the design and implementation of Equity Through Access (ETA) project. She currently lives in Philadelphia and plans on being a lifelong resident.
Gina Geffrard, Census Administrator
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Gina Geffrard is a census administrator at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Gina is currently the co-lead on the 2017 Census of Agriculture, a complete count of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. Gina has also served as the lead on the 2016 and 2015 Certified Organic Surveys, 2015 Urban Agriculture Pilot Study, and 2014 Organic Survey. Gina obtained her master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her bachelor’s degree in Public Policy from the University at Albany.
Megan Lipke, Agricultural Statistician
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Megan Lipke is an Agricultural Statistician at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Megan is currently a technical lead in the Northeastern Regional Field Office in Harrisburg Pennsylvania. Before coming to the Keystone State, Megan worked in DC with a focus on economics and demographics in both statistics division and the methodology branch. Her career with NASS began in the Minnesota and California field offices. Megan is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Madison.