The Educational Equity Volunteer Advisory Board

Our Mission

To foster diversity and support educational access for targeted groups of low-income, potential first-generation college students both here at Penn State and at sites throughout the state by collaborating with the Vice Provost for Educational Equity, his leadership team, faculty, and staff in the acquisition of resources and knowledge to support local, statewide or national Educational Equity activities.
Troy Thornton

Troy Thornton

Board Chair

Troy is head of the Investment Consulting Group (ICG) and head of Key Accounts within Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM). Prior to assuming his current role, he was national sales manager of ICG. Before that, Troy held various management positions in Third Party Distribution and US Institutional Distribution, serving as co-head of the Platform Development team and co-head of the Public Funds Group. He also was a divisional sales manager for ICG and head of Registered Investment Advisor Distribution. Troy joined Goldman Sachs in Third Party Distribution within GSAM in 1997 as a regional sales director. He was named managing director in 2008.

Prior to joining the firm, Troy spent five years in asset management distribution for Federated Investors and Bankers Trust Global Investors.

He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Money Management Institute, a member of the Distribution Council of the Mutual Fund Education Alliance and a member of the Sales and Marketing Committee of the Investment Company Institute. Troy also chairs the advisory board of the Penn State Educational Equity Program.

Troy earned a BA in Political Science from The Pennsylvania State University.

Mark Alden

Mark Alden

Vice President and Chief Infrastructure Officer at Exelon Utilities

As the Vice President and Chief Infrastructure Officer, Mr. Alden is responsible for overseeing the development and execution of a fleet-wide infrastructure strategy that ensures top quartile performance across all functional areas of the Exelon family of utilities (BGE, PECO, ComEd, and Pepco Holdings). Responsible for driving best practice application across the utilities (both electric and gas), and managing/executing large multi-opco projects that span across the utilities. Responsible for managing the integration of utility mergers/acquisitions into the Exelon family of utilities and developing a replicable integration structure/strategy for future mergers and acquisitions.

Exelon is the largest electric and natural gas distribution company in the nation. The four utilities deliver electricity to approximately 6.6 million customers in Maryland, Washington D.C., northern Illinois and southeastern Pennsylvania, and natural gas to approximately 1.5 million customers in central Maryland, Northern Delaware, and the Philadelphia area.

Prior to his current position, Mr. Alden served as Vice President, Customer Operations, responsible for field operations, billing, payment processing, credit and collections, low income programs, market research, customer relations and the customer care center for PECO.

Mr. Alden spent 2008 – 2010 as VP, PECO Gas, responsible for gas distribution system operations and maintenance, and gas supply acquisition and transportation at PECO.

Before his recent roles at PECO, Mr. Alden served as VP Engineering and Services for Exelon Energy Delivery (EED). From 2002 to 2006 he served as VP Projects and Support Services, responsible for managing all of EED’s large construction projects and outsourced services at both PECO and ComEd.

Mr. Alden worked for nearly 14 years in Exelon’s Nuclear Group in a variety of roles, including Manager of Contract Services, and Manager of Mechanical Installations at the Limerick Generating Station.

In addition to service on the Educational Equity Advisory Board, Mr. Alden serves as the Board President for Family & Community Services of Delaware County Board of Directors. He also serves on the Center for Business Analytics Advisory Council at Villanova University School of Business and The Still Strong Foundation Board of Directors.

Mr. Alden holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Penn State University and an MBA from St. Joseph’s University. Mr. Alden and his wife, Adrianne, live in Rose Valley, PA, and have two children Sarah and Brian.

Harold Cheatham

Harold Cheatham

Former Higher Education Professional

Harold E. Cheatham received a bachelor of science degree in Psychology from Pennsylvania State University in 1961, a master of arts degree from Colgate University in 1969, and the doctor of philosophy degree from Case Western Reserve University (1973).

Cheatham’s professional appointments include Director of University Counseling, Case Western Reserve University; professor of psychology, US. Coast Guard Academy; professor and head, department of counselor education and counseling psychology, Pennsylvania State University; and professor and dean of Clemson University College of Health, Education, and Human Development. He has served as education leader and as a student of mental health service delivery in the Soviet Union and China, and as medical missionary to Zambia, Ghana, Viet Nam, and Haiti.

Dr. Cheatham is an emeritus member of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) which he served as president (1995-1996), a distinguished member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and a member of Skull and Bones Society, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. Cheatham is a life member of Phi Kappa Phi, and the Fulbright Scholars Association. He has served on the editorial boards of the Career Development Quarterly, Western Journal of Black Studies, Journal of Black Psychology, Journal of College Student Development, and as editor of the ACPA Media Board.

His writing and research address multicultural counseling theory and practice, cultural pluralism, and psychosocial development of African Americans in US higher education. Senior Fulbright Scholar to India, Cheatham is author of numerous professional papers. He edited a special issue of the Journal of College Student Personnel titled “Blacks in US Higher Education,” co-edited (with J.B. Stewart) of Black Families: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, Transaction Press, Rutgers University; edited Cultural Pluralism on Campus, co-edited (with J.S. Mio et al.) of Keywords in Multicultural Interventions, A Dictionary, Greenwood Press, and (with R.P. Green) co-edited The American Civil Rights Movement: A Documentary History, Manchester University Press (UK).

Dr. Cheatham was recognized as a pioneer in multicultural counseling and development in the American Psychological Association, Division 17, journal The Counseling Psychologist. ACPA honored Cheatham with the Contribution to Knowledge Award and with induction as a Senior Scholar. Dr. Cheatham received also the ACPA’s Esther Lloyd Jones Professional Service Award and recognition as a Diamond Anniversary Honoree for distinguished contributions to higher education. A three time recipient of the Clemson University Board of Trustees annual Award for Faculty Excellence, he also received the Grazella Shepherd Award for Excellence in Education) from Case Western Reserve University Alumni Society and Educators Forum. He chaired the City of Clemson Planning Commission, and served on the advisory boards of AnMed Foundation and Wachovia Bank, and the South Carolina Mental Health Commission. Cheatham is a founding director of Clemson University Institute for National Parks, a member of the advisory board of Emeritus College of Clemson University. Cheatham is dean and professor emeritus of counseling and education leadership, Clemson University; and professor emeritus, and distinguished alumnus at Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Gary Gentzler

Dr. Gary Gentzler

Gentzler Associates

Dr. Gary L. Gentzler graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in 1960 with a B.S. in Engineering Science and in 1970 with a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. In 1988, he received an M.B.A. degree from Xavier University. His published papers have appeared in the Journal of Food Sciences and the Transactions of ASAE. A Paper Award for exceptional merit was received for his research in the “Effect of Bound Water in the Freeze-Drying Process.” He served on the Industrial and Professional Advisory Council of the College of Engineering for The Pennsylvania State University from 1984 through 1986.

Dr. Gentzler has over 40 years of experience in engineering and business consulting with professional engineer registrations in several states. He served as President and Director of St. Onge, Ruff and Associates, Inc., a consulting engineering firm specializing in industrial refrigeration and low temperature facilities and processes; Vice President and Project Manager for A.M. Kinney, Inc., a national consulting firm with a focus on facility and process design for the food, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries; Founding Partner and Director of Camargo Associates, a design firm providing architectural and engineering services to industrial clientele; Vice President and Project Sponsor for Jacobs Engineering Group of Ohio, a publicly traded engineering, procurement, and construction company with national and international operations; Partner and Managing Director of Process Plus, which also serves industrial clients; and Founder and President of Gentzler Associates, an engineering and business consulting organization.

In retirement, Dr. Gentzler serves on the Board of Directors of the  Mount Nittany Conservancy, performs construction work for Habitat for Humanity, tutors students, fly fishes, plays golf, and travels. He has been married to Ralphine for over 49 years and their two children, Jodi Berkebile and Bradford Gentzler, are also graduates of The Pennsylvania State University.

Ralphine Gentzler

Ralphine Gentzler

Gentzler Associates

Mrs. Ralphine Gentzler was born and raised in York County, PA. She graduated with a B.S. degree in Education from Shippensburg University. Mrs. Gentzler was then a stay at home mom after her daughter, Jodi and son, Brad were born and then returned to a career in education.  She then retired after 25 years of service in the Sycamore Community Schools in Montgomery, Ohio.

Mrs. Gentzler’s hobbies and special interests include: gardening, travel, reading, knitting, attending OLLI classes and Penn State sporting events, music and fly fishing with her husband, Gary.  Her volunteering activities include: singing in the church choir, gardening at the Penn State Arboretum, and participating in other volunteer activities in the community.

Carlton Langley

Carlton Langley

Industry Principal for Professional Services SAP America

Carlton graduated from Penn State’s Smeal College of Business with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing.  He began his career as a management consultant focused on financial systems. His expertise is in ERP systems with a focus on Finance, Accounting, and Logistics has helped many large multi-national companies advance their transformation initiatives.

Carlton has over 17 years of experience in consulting, presales, product development, and business development prior to joining SAP’s Professional Services industry practice in North America.  Carlton has held global roles for SAP and its customers / partners in industries such Automotive, Consumer Products, Public Services and Professional Services.  Companies Carlton has worked for and engaged with include: SAP, Delphi Automotive, Owens Corning, Deloitte Consulting, and IBM with his most recent role as an Industry Principal for Professional Services at SAP America.

Married to his college sweetheart Dania, they have two beautiful kids and future Penn Staters, Trey & Aidan.  Carlton enjoys mentoring high school and college students and giving back to the community in any way possible.

Eric Pratt

Eric Pratt

Head of Credit Risk as Mizuho Americas

Eric Pratt is the Head of Credit Risk for Mizuho Americas, a Japanese commercial bank and one of the largest global banks in the world. He is responsible for setting the strategic direction for Credit Risk as well as establishing risk management controls, a regional governance framework, and developing the credit portfolio management function for Mizuho’s U.S. Operations.

Prior to joining Mizuho, Mr. Pratt held a number of senior roles in Credit Risk at Deutsche Bank, a leading German commercial bank, including Americas Head of Portfolio Management, Americas Head of Project Finance Credit, and Team Head in Leveraged Finance Credit. In additional to the aforementioned positions, Mr. Pratt has also worked at JPMorgan Chase and Procter & Gamble Co. during his professional career.

Mr. Pratt has served on the Board of Directors for multiple not-for-profit entities focusing on social service, education, religious activities and financial services. Mr. Pratt currently serves on the Board for the International Association of Credit Portfolio Managers (“IACPM”), an industry association established to further the practice of credit exposure management, and he also sits on an Alumni Advisory Board for the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity at the Pennsylvania State University.

Mr. Pratt is committed to creating financial opportunities for students in underrepresented groups to attend high school and college as noted by the establishment of multiple scholarships and other gifts. Recent scholarship awards include the Eric Pratt & Family Scholarship at the Marion P. Thomas Charter School in Newark, NJ and the Eric H. Pratt Family Scholarship in Educational Equity at the Pennsylvania State University.

In his personal life, Mr. Pratt has been married for over 15 years and is the father of two young children who aspire to become future Nittany Lions.

Steven Singh

Steven Singh

Director of Electric Operations at PECO

As the Director of Electric Operations at PECO, Steven is responsible for ensuring the safety and reliability of the electric distribution systems in the Bucks-Mont Region. He has direct oversight and responsibility for 500,000 customers, 180 employees, and a $55 million budget. In this capacity, Steven leads the Engineering, Construction and Maintenance, Work Management, and New Business organizations for his Region. Steven is the primary point of contact for all of his customers and external stakeholders. He has led many town hall style meetings with his customers and governing political officials to improve reliability and communications with the communities he serves. As a result, Steven developed and implemented PECO’s first ever CEMI program. This innovative program targeted reliability pockets and improved reliability and customer and stakeholder relationships.

Previously, Steven served as the Manager of Gas Engineering and Asset Management. In this role, he was directly responsible for all the central engineering activities for the entire PECO natural gas system. He had direct oversight and responsibility for a $120 million budget to ensure the safety and reliability of the natural gas systems. Steven led the redesign of PECOs Asset Management Strategy by developing PECOs first ever Distribution Integrity Management Plan (DIMP). The DIMP plan enabled PECO to better identify system risks and develop mitigation plans such as PECOs accelerated gas infrastructure modernization plan. This plan reduced PECOs risk exposure by more than half, bringing the previous 80-year replacement program down to 30 years.

Steven was honored by the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) in 2014 for his innovative work on PECOs DIMP and Modernization plans for which he received the Junipero Serra Award. SHPE nationally recognizes individuals for their dedication, commitment and selfless efforts to support the growth and advancement of Hispanics in STEM. This nationally recognized award is bestowed upon an individual who has provided unique and outstanding contributions in the fields of engineering and science.

Steven serves as a Director on the Board of Cradles to Crayons, with a lead role on the Nominating Committee. He also serves as an Elder on the Senior Leadership Board of Valley Point Church. Steven also holds a Board position on the PECO-PAC.

Steven received a BS in Chemical Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University and an MBA specializing in Finance from Villanova University.

Carla Roser-Jones

Carla Roser-Jones

Born and raised in rural York County, Pennsylvania, acquiring life-long interests in agriculture and animals, Carla Roser-Jones completed a bachelor’s degree in Social Work with a medical emphasis at Lock Haven University, and a master’s degree at Penn State University in Vocational Rehabilitation. Employment includes thirty years working for the Pa. Department of Labor and Industry in vocational evaluation and vocational rehabilitation.

Carla Roser-Jones has served on numerous committees and organizations having to do with diversity and inclusion, disability rights, women’s rights and animal rights.  Currently, she serves on the Centre County United Way Distribution of Funds Committee, and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission for Centre County.  She is also currently the Democratic Chair for the 48th Precinct of Centre County.

Carla Roser-Jones lives in State College, Pennsylvania, and has three grown children and three grandchildren.

Audrey Dixon Settle

Audrey Dixon Settle

Audrey graduated with a Bachelors degree in Economics from Keuka College, and a M.B.A. from NYU. Throughout her career, she worked in financial services and traveled between the cities of Boston and New York. Eventually, she retired from Phillip Morris as a Director of Manufacturing, Planning and Analysis. 

After settling down in Virginia Beach, Audrey has continued to be involved throughout her community in various ways. She is a Trustee Emeritus for her alma mater, Keuka College and she currently not only does she work with AARP Tax Aide and the Hamptom Roads Community Foundation, she serves on the Board of Directors for the Access College Foundation. 

In her free time, Audrey enjoys playing tennis, viewing art, and traveling with her husband, John. 

Tom Hogan, Ph.D.

Tom Hogan, Ph.D.

Department of Labor Studies and Employment Relations, PSU

Dr. Tom Hogan is a professor of practice in the Department of Labor Studies and Employment Relations at Penn State. His research and teaching interests include global human resources, business ethics, corporate social responsibility, sustainable business development, strategic staffing and training, and global leadership development. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses online and in-residence.

Dr. Hogan has 30 years of experience as a practitioner and has served in leadership and management positions in higher education administration, the corporate sector, and state government. Prior to joining the department, Dr. Hogan held the position of Interim Associate Provost, Office of Faculty Affairs at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC). Prior to working for UMUC, he spent 23 years with AT&T in a variety of assignments including sales, sales support, business development, marketing, and human resources. In his last assignment at AT&T, Dr. Hogan served as Director of Strategic Talent Acquisition and Retention, Workforce Diversity, and EEO/AA. Prior to AT&T, he worked for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Hogan currently serves as a member of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). In this role, he is involved in developing and representing the U.S. position on global HR standards to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). In November 2011, he was elected to represent ANSI as a member of the U.S. Delegation at the first ISO Technical Committee 260 Human Resource Management plenary meeting.

Dr. Hogan holds a doctor of management degree from the University of Maryland University College and two master’s degrees from Penn State, in public administration and regional planning. Dr. Hogan is a faculty adviser for the SHRM PSU student chapter. He holds certifications from the HR Certification Institute as Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR).

Dr. John E. Settle, Jr

Dr. John E. Settle, Jr

Retired Veterinarian

Retired veterinarian Dr. John Settle attended Penn State from 1957-1961, graduating with a degree in Animal Husbandry. His son, John E. Settle III also attended Penn State and graduated in 1990.

Dr. Settle attended veterinary school at Tuskegee University.  After completing his studies, he taught at Tuskegee University and Virginia State University and then went into private practice in Richmond, Virginia. Settle ran his own veterinary practice for more than 30 years and retired in 2005.

Settle now lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia with his wife, Audrey.  Both Settle and his wife currently serve on Penn State’s Educational Equity Advisory Board.

William A. Carter III

William A. Carter III

Senior Project Executive at Gilbane Building Company

Bill Carter was born in South Philadelphia and raised in North Philadelphia. He attended Philadelphia public schools and graduated from Germantown High School.

Bill received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University in 1974.

Since graduating from college he has held a number of positions in the construction industry. Some notable projects include; The Jersey City Medical center in Jersey City New Jersey, the Dilworth Plaza Renovation at City Hall in Philadelphia, the renovation of the Reading Terminal Market and the Train shed portion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia International Airport Terminal F, Philadelphia International Airport Terminal D / E Expansion, the Microsoft School of the Future in West Philadelphia, and the Temple University Multi-Purpose Health Sciences Building in North Philadelphia. In 2005 he received the Gilbane Regional Builder of the Year award for his work and leadership on the Jersey City Medical Center project.

Bill is currently employed as a Senior Project Executive by the Gilbane Building Company, working out of the center city Philadelphia office, with responsibility for schedule, budget, internal profit and loss, business development, and personnel management on projects ranging in value from 10 to 300 million dollars.

A longtime resident of Cherry Hill, Bill has two adult daughters Tiffany and Teralyn. Bill currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Philadelphia OIC. He is a past member of the Cherry Hill NJ School Board and is currently a member of the Cherry Hill Zoning Board of Adjustment and the Mayor’s Citizen Council in Cherry Hill NJ.

A past recipient of the Temple University Roots award recognizing him for his work in the community, Bill is a member of the Cherry Hill African American Civic Association. As a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity for the past 42 years, Bill served as the treasurer of the Burlington Camden Alumni chapter for six years.

Bill’s volunteer activities have included; Cherry Hill youth softball, Cherry Hill Girl Scouts, guest speaker – Cherry Hill and Philadelphia School Systems, Philadelphia Cares, and the United Negro College Fund mentoring and scholarship committee.

Joyce Shorts

Joyce Shorts

Partner of Shorts and Associates

Joyce Shorts retired as a high school teacher of Business Education and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from Penn State University. To test her business skills that she taught for several years, she entered the financial services industry after being introduced first as a client, then becoming a part-time representative, with aspirations of promoting financial security for other educators.

As Joyce began to witness the fruit of her labor and the benefits that her clients were experiencing, her business continued to grow. She soon became a full-time agent and recruited her youngest son Troy Shorts, Sr., ’92 when they partnered to establish their firm, Shorts and Associates.  Together she and Troy work side by side educating their clients about how wealth truly works!  Clients continue to call and write to share how their lives have been transformed by a new way of thinking about money. Their combined efforts along with those who have joined Shorts and Associates i.e. a Penn State Alum, three retired educators and part-time associates, have lead them to new levels of world-class service. As a result, they continue to successfully teach their clients financial strategies to build wealth beyond their expectations. Their clients are individuals, families, retirees and small business owners.

Heather James

Heather James

Experienced Marketing Executive

Penn State University ’92

Clark Atlanta University ’01

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-Newark

Heather James is a strategic global marketing executive with a record of success building, transforming and promoting brands across the higher education, retail, fashion and luxury, consumer products – beauty/accessories and beverage sectors at Essex County College, PVH, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Walmart, Revlon and The Coca-Cola Company.

Marking the 75th Anniversary, James served as the Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, Advertising Research Foundation, a professional trade association founded by the ANA and 4A’s plus Multicultural Super Council Co-Chair. Before this role, she held consumer marketing roles with Walmart Stores, Inc., Revlon Consumer Products, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company.

She holds a MBA from Clark Atlanta University and a Bachelor’s from Penn State University.  In addition, James completed Rutgers Business School Executive Education in the areas of Supply Chain Management and Digital Marketing.  James is a graduate of Coro Leadership New York.  She is a member of The Network Journal’s 25 Influential Women in Business, Class of 2011.

James serves as the Junior League of Montclair-Newark’s State Public Affairs Committee and represents The League at the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Walk To Washington, a Penn State Undergraduate Admissions Alumni Volunteer.  In addition, James is a past Alumni Volunteer Chair for the Penn State Alumni Association’s Black Alumni Reunion 2012 and long-time member of the Penn State Educational Equity Advisory Board. James resides in Montclair, NJ.

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