Current Institutional Review Board Members
Rebecca Hays, Ph.D. (Chair)
Dr. Hays is an Assistant Professor in the Biology Department at Eastern University. Becky earned a Master’s degree in Marine Science and a Ph.D. in Oceanography from the University of Delaware. She teaches courses in zoology, earth science, marine biology, and environmental science. Previous research interests include nutrient chemistry in wetland and aquatic systems, using remote sensing and GIS to examine vegetation patterns, and examining the relationships between organisms and their hydrological and geochemical environments. Her current research with undergraduates focuses on using GIS to examine suburbanization trends and the loss of natural areas in Delaware County.
Joe Giammarco, Ph.D.
Joe is a Professor in the Astronomy and Physics Department at Eastern University. He got his Ph.D. in Particle Physics Theory from Temple University. His specialties include computational physics, binary stars, and optical tomography. Dr. Giammarco has been at Eastern since 2007.
Cathy Kunsch, Ph.D.
Cathy is an Assistant Professor of the Counseling Psychology department at Eastern University. Cathy earned her Ph.D. in School Psychology from Lehigh University, where has been employed as a research scientist in the study of Autism Spectrum Disorders (primarily with adolescents) for the past five years. She is also a certified school psychologist in Pennsylvania and nationally certified school psychologist (NCSP). She worked for the Devereux Foundation and maintains those professional connections. Cathy is the Co-Coordinator of the School Psychology program at Eastern and her professional and research interests include autism, positive behavior support, and self-management.
Meg Laakso, Ph.D.
Dr. Laakso is an Associate Professor in the Biology Department at Eastern University. Meg earned a Master's degree in Genetics from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, and a Ph.D. in Molecular Virology from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Previous research interests include the use of HIV as a gene therapy vector, and the molecular basis of drug resistance in HIV patients. Current investigations focus on two economically important plant viruses in an effort to understand how they are transmitted. She teaches Biotechnology, Virology and Molecular Biology, and a Genetics course that includes collaborative student research projects.
Kirk Mensch, Ph.D.
Dr. Mensch is an Associate Professor at Eastern University where he teaches courses ranging from the philosophy and psychology of leadership to advanced quantitative methods in the PhD in Organizational Leadership program. Kirk spent over 20 years in public service working primarily within the U.S. Intelligence Community and began his academic career as an Assistant Professor at the College of William & Mary in 2004. He holds a B.S. in Economics, a M.B.A. and two Ph.D.'s. His research centers in moral psychology and his current project is focused on understanding religiously and theologically oriented antecedents of moral disengagement in hopes of reducing propensities for self-destructive behaviors.
Stephanie Pérez-Jarmul, M.S.W.
Stephanie has been a full time faculty member in the Social Work department at Eastern since 2013. Stephanie holds a Master of Social Work degree from Temple University where her concentration was Social Work in the Community and Policy arenas. She has over a decade of practice experience in working with Latino Communities of Philadelphia in the areas of Maternal and Child Health. Stephanie spends most of her time at the Esperanza College campus where she serves as site coordinator for the Bachelor of Social Work program. Her research interests include modern marianismo, parenting and fatherhood.
Cheryl Sparks, Ph.D.
Cheryl is an Assistant Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy at Eastern University. She is interested in attachment theory and the integration of theology and psychology. Dr. Sparks maintains a private therapy practice near campus and is on the Philadelphia Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy, an empirically validated approach for healing couple relationships.
Tamarah Smith, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Psychology, Cabrini College
IRB external representative