For over one hundred years, Blackstone has been widely recognized as a leader in distance education. Our success revolves around our students’ eagerness to learn, and the dedicated faculty and staff who support them. Faculty members are leaders in their field of expertise, and the Blackstone staff has many years of experience in distance education. Our faculty includes instructors with years of practice in teaching and developing distance education programs. Their educational and professional backgrounds, as well as memberships in professional organizations, give them access to the most up-to-date training and changes in the field.
They work closely with our administration and staff to provide timely answers to students’ questions. Blackstone’s support and development team assists in writing and editing our educational materials, as well as updating and reviewing them for accuracy, and helps maintain our electronic databases and the Online Student Center. All of the staff, instructors, and support and development members work under the guidance of a skilled administration that has student satisfaction and course quality as its primary goals.
Kevin J. McCloskey
Kevin J. McCloskey is president of Direct Learning Systems, Inc. (DLS), a Lehigh Valley, PA, based distance education publishing company, which he founded in 1999. DLS is licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education as a private licensed school and provides an Internet-based distance learning curriculum through Blackstone Career Institute. Blackstone is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council, Washington, D.C.
Kevin’s previous experience includes over 15 years in senior management. He was Vice Chairman and managing partner of NLKK, Inc. the operator of Keystone National High School, a nationally accredited Internet-based secondary school with an enrollment of over 15,000 students. In 2000, he orchestrated the sale of NLKK, Inc. to KinderCare Learning Centers, Inc., a publicly traded firm. Prior to that time, he held various senior management positions in the medical equipment field. Kevin was primarily responsible for marketing, sales, business development and strategic planning throughout this period. He holds a BA degree from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.
Professionally, Kevin is active within the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), served on the Business Standards Committee (Vice Chairman), and was Chairman of the International Marketing Workshop of the DETC in 2000. Additionally, he has served on the long-range planning and membership committees of Brookside Country Club. Other professional affiliations include the Pennsylvania Restaurant Association, the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association, and the Pennsylvania Association of Private School Administrators. He also serves on the school board of St. Thomas More School as fundraising chairman.
Paul Grumbein graduated from Salem College with a bachelor of science in secondary education, earning a dual major in physical education and art with a minor in health sciences and safety education. Upon graduation, Paul was employed as a high school teacher for several years, and was active in the school’s scholastic sports programs, theatrical productions and other extracurricular activities. During this time he continued his education by enrolling in a master’s program at Millersville College, where he pursued a degree in school guidance. His career took a turn into the business world, where he elevated himself through the sales ranks to the position of district sales manager in a career spanning twenty-four years. Along the way he continued his education, enrolling in Albright College, where he took business-related courses. With the opportunity to merge his educational background and management abilities, Paul joined the staff of Direct Learning Systems, Inc. where he is responsible for the school’s operations.
Valerie L. Behrle
Director of Education
Valerie L. Behrle holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. She has over 20 years’ experience in education and has worked with students of all ages, including K-12 and post-graduate. She is currently the director of education at Blackstone Career Institute, where she supervises the evaluation staff for our distance-education schools. In addition, she writes and edits new programs for Blackstone. She has edited or written more than ten distance education courses over the past five years.
Financial Administrator/Human Resource Coordinator
Darlene earned her Human Resource Certification at Penn State University. She is a member of the Society of Human Resources. Darlene is also a Certified QuickBooks user. Her professional experience and educational background in bookkeeping/human resources enable her to coordinate the financial needs and human resources development at Direct Learning Systems, Inc.
Technical Content Writer
Moira graduated from Drexel University with a Bachelor’s of Arts and Sciences. She arrived at Direct Learning Systems in 2012 as a writer/editor and soon took on much more responsibility. She works with the other members of the development team to construct and revise various educational, marketing and web-based material. In addition to generating content Moira assists in the formation and maintenance of Direct Learning System’s digital resources.
Financial Assistant/Sr. Student Services Representative
Tammy has over 20 years of experience in customer service and began at Direct Learning Systems in the fall of 2001. As a Sr. Student Service Representative Tammy serves as a mentor to the staff. Her responsibilities include assisting students with their financial accounts and assuring each student has their appropriate course resources. Tammy enrolls new students and assists the General Manager and Financial administrator in matters that concern the school and students accounts. In her spare time she enjoys reading, spending time with her family and with her pets.
Student Services Representative
A graduate of Kutztown University with a BS in telecommunications, Stacy has many years of experience as an administrative assistant and customer service manager. Her responsibilities include responding to student queries, providing educational assistance to students, handling requests for program information, and processing Veterans’ Administration forms. She also assists in the editing of course material.
Student Services Representative
Cheri attended Kutztown University were she majored in art. She has over 10 years experience in the Education Department and Student Services. Her responsibilities include, student correspondence, grading exams and assignments, providing educational assistance to student and the processing of student graduation documents.
John is currently enrolled at De Sales University as a Junior. He is completing his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. John joined Direct Learning Systems in January 2013, and has had the task of taking on multiple projects to advance the software and database used at DLS. John has also expanded his knowledge by working with international programmers, developing a database management system.
Technical Writer and Content Researcher
Yana graduated from Arcadia University with a BA in English and Honors and has several years experience as a professional writer. As a writer/editor, she assists the staff in creating and modifying content for our customers. Her background includes creating and managing content for the social media and web tech space.
Casey graduated from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania with a both of his degrees in Education. He came to Direct Learning System to be a part of the operations team, working as a Student Service Representative. Casey’s professional background includes teaching at the high school level and working in student support services in Higher Education.”
Ryanne Pagliaro is currently a sophomore at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania and majors in Early Education. She currently works in student services where she handles various projects, student correspondence, and the grading of exams.
Jeffrey Hauck, JD, CPO, CII, LPI
Chief Operations Officer- Hauck Risk Management
As COO Mr. Hauck oversees the functions that support all cases and programs at Hauck Risk Management (HRM), a solution consulting firm where organizations are guided to turn risk and compliance efforts into opportunities to drive sustainable business value. HRM clients have included the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, PA, and the Wal-Mart Corporation.
Mr. Hauck holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree (J.D.) from Widener University School of Law where he graduated from the Law and Government Institute with a concentration in Constitutional and Administrative Law. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree (B.A.) in Criminal Justice from DeSales University. Mr. Hauck is a retired Municipal Police Supervisor and is a Licensed Private Detective. In addition to his position as COO Mr. Hauck holds a Commission as an Officer in the U.S. Army and is the Company Commander for a USAR CBRN Unit. Through HRM Mr. Hauck has consulted with hundreds of clients providing competent paralegal/legal-assistant services either by working with contracted counsel or in-house counsel necessary to the achievement of their individual planned success. Mr. Hauck understands that the law affects nearly every decision and action businesses and individuals pursue on a daily basis. As such he knows that a skilled paralegal professional can make the difference between success and failure in the legal and/or corporate environment.
Mr. Hauck has been certified as a police academy instructor and as a law enforcement trainer. He has been a Professor of Criminal Justice since 2005. In addition Mr. Hauck has been recognized as a qualified expert witness in the Pennsylvania State Court System. He is an author and has been published several times in the Administrative Law Journal of the PA Bar Association (among others). Mr. Hauck is certified in many law enforcement disciplines such as police firearms training, close quarters combat, and defensive and control tactics. He holds Shodan rank in Karate and is proponent of self-defense and situational awareness.
Mr. Hauck maintains or has held membership in numerous professional organizations such as the American Bar Association, Police Executive Research Forum, American Society for Law Enforcement Trainers, Council of International Investigators, American Society of Industrial Security, and others.
Mr. Hauck is an active volunteer in his community counseling various veterans organizations. He donates time and resources to the Child Rescue Network in Orlando, FL. His leisure activities include spending time with his wife and family, chauffeuring kids to sports and functions, attempting to cook in the kitchen and on the grill, reading multiple books at one time, and generally pursing balance in a hectic modern world.
Donald R. Chaplin, Pharm.D., MBA
Director of Pharmacogenomics- General Health
Pharmacy Technician Consultant
At Generation Health, a genetic testing benefit management company, Don is responsible for creation and oversight of the content of all pharmacogenomic communications. Via telephone and web-based consultation Don guides clinicians in identifying patients who are appropriate candidates for pharmacogenetic testing. He also educates physicians in interpreting the results of genetic tests and their implications for patients’ pharmacotherapy.
In 2007 Don earned his Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences-Worcester. He also holds an M.B.A. and B.S. degree from Lehigh University. Don began his career in Pharmacy as a Hospital Pharmacist at Warren Hospital HealthCare System where he evaluated medication orders for safety, efficacy, and clinical appropriateness. After a short time, he assumed the role of Assistant Director of the Department of Pharmacy Services. As Assistant Director he was responsible for management of all pharmacy programs at Warren Hospital. He controlled the department’s budget and lead clinical pharmaceutical services.
Currently Don also works as a Clinical Pharmacist on a per diem basis at Partners Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts. At Spaulding Don continues to sharpen his skills as a hospital-based pharmacist by interpreting and verifying medication orders. In addition, he dispenses oral medications and compounds intravenous medications for inpatients.
Don is a member of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research.
Yasmine Candis, CPC, CPC-I, PCS, CMBS, CMRS
AHIMA-Approved ICD-10-CM Trainer
Allied Health Consultant
Yasmine Candis has over 16 years of experience in the healthcare industry with an emphasis in Medical Billing and Coding for the past 8 years. Currently she holds credentials as a Certified Professional Coder (CPC) and Certified Professional Coder – Instructor (CPC-I) through the American Academy of Professional Coders, Physician Coding Specialist (PCS) through the American College of Medical Coding Specialists, Certified Medical Billing Specialist (CMBS) through the Medical Association of Billers, Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist (CMRS) through the American Medical Billing Association, and an AHIMA-Approved ICD-10-CM Trainer.
She is an active member of the American Health Information Management Association, the American Academy of Professional Coders, the American College of Medical Coding Specialists, the Medical Association of Billers, the Professional Association of Healthcare Coding Specialists, the International Association for Continuing Education and Training, and the American Medical Billing Association. Yasmine has also earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Information Systems from DeVry Institute of Technology and is currently pursuing a Master of Science Degree in Health Informatics. Her extensive experience in the healthcare industry has proven to be beneficial in accordance with being a Medical Billing and Coding instructor in the learning capacity of online and face-to-face instruction. At this time Yasmine applies her industry-validated experience as an independent contractor performing remote medical coding services.
BA in Accounting, Moravian College
Business and Corporate Training Consultant
Christopher holds a BA in accounting from Moravian College with a minor in Economics. While enrolled at Moravian Christopher has held several leadership positions within business related organizations as well as other campus programs. He was the director of ethics for Moravian’s Accounting Club from 2007 to 2009 and the organizations treasurer from 2009 to 2010. Christopher was the vice chief justice of the Moravian College United Student Government from 2008 to 2010. In addition, he was the treasurer for Moravian’s Ice Hockey team from 2008 until he was elected as the organizations president in 2009. Currently, Christopher is pursuing his MBA at LaSalle University with a focus on management.
Christopher is employed at Lockheed Martin within their Finance Leadership Development Program where he began his career in 2010. As a member of the FLDP program he has held positions in financial systems, global supply chain operations as well as pricing and cost estimating. Christopher has also held internships with Air Products and Chemicals where he supported the corporate audit and contracts divisions, as well as Levin Savchak and Associates where he supported to the firms tax operations.
He enjoys traveling with his family, playing ice hockey, skiing and helping out with his company’s community service initiatives.
Donna S. Lepkoski, CDA. EFDA. FADAA.
Professor, Luzerne County Community College
Dental Office Consultant
Currently and for the past 35 years Donna has been a full-time faculty member in the Dental Health Department at Luzerne County Community College Nanticoke, PA and holds the rank of Professor. Prior to working at the college she worked in private practice as a chairside assistant.
Donna is a Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) Certified Dental Assistant and a Pennsylvania Certified Expanded Functions Dental Assistant. She was awarded a Fellowship in the American Dental Assistant Association in 2001 and holds a BS degree in Dental Health Education. Donna teaches in the Dental Assisting Program, Dental Hygiene Program, and the Expanded Functions Dental Assisting Program at LCCC along with being faculty advisor for the dental assisting students and serving on various college committees. She also serves as consultant for the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation and is a member of the Commissions’ Dental Assisting Review Committee. Donna has developed, presented, and published seminars and articles on dental infection control on a state and national level.
She enjoys traveling with her family, discovering new places, and enjoying time with her friends.
5th Grade Teacher
Child Day Care Consultant
Alexandra received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Kindergarten Education from Penn State University. She was selected as the program marshal to represent the Elementary and Kindergarten education program at the Spring 2011 Penn State commencement ceremony, and graduated with highest distinction. Alexandra also acquired a minor in Special Education, which has allowed her to work with students with diverse needs. Alexandra helped co-teach a kindergarten and first grade summer program at World of Imagination Childcare center and has volunteered at Neff’s Union United Church of Christ’s children’s church and vacation bible school programs, working with children aged infant to nine. Currently, Alexandra is a 5th grade teacher in the Parkland School District.
Medical Transcription Consultant
Raenette holds an Associate of Science degree from United Wesleyan College.
She began her career as a medical secretary/medical assistant for a Pulmonary Medicine practice. She worked there for 5 years before starting her family. She then transcribed at home as an independent contractor for a transcription service where she typed for clients in Pulmonology, Cardiology and Internal Medicine. She went on to work at home for a free-standing surgical center, expanding her knowledge in Orthopedics, Plastic Surgery, Ophthalmology, Gynecology and General Surgery. Finally, Raenette went to work for the Transcription Department of a large hospital network. In this setting she gained valuable knowledge about new technology. A voice-recognition system was in place and transcribing skills were used to edit the printed medical record.
She is married, has two teenage children and enjoys spending time with her family.
Dr. Mary Powers
Dr. Mary Powers has over 15 years of experience working for a progressive small animal practice as an associate veterinarian. She has experience in orthopedic and soft tissue surgery, as well as internal medicine, dentistry and radiography. Dr. Powers focuses her practice on small animals, but has worked on many exotic species and large animals as well. She received her doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999 and her B.S. in Biology, Pre-Medicine from Messiah College in 1994.
She is an active member of many professional associations including the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Animal Hospital Association.
Physical Therapist- Robbins Rehabilitation
Physical Therapy Consultant
Megan is a physical therapist at Robbins Rehabilitation specializing in orthopedic conditions. Prior to working in an out-patient private practice, she worked for six years in the out-patient department of a rehabilitation hospital in Baltimore, MD where she split her caseload between orthopedics and spinal cord injury. While in Baltimore, she designed and implemented a continuing education course to promote evidenced based practice and collaboration between the clinicians in the field and the faculty at several area universities.
Megan got her Bachelor and Masters Degrees at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA. She got her doctorate in physical therapy from Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions in Boston, MA where she also earned a certificate of Advanced Study in Orthopedics. She is MDT certified from the McKenzie Institute.
Megan’s other passions include camping and traveling with her family, yoga, and gardening.
Heidi N. Kober BA, RN
Children’s Clinic at LVHN
Medical Office Assistant
As a Registered Nurse in the outpatient setting, Heidi is involved in front office responsibilities as well as planning and implementing patient care. She also provides private consulting services to individuals wanting to meet a health goal.
Heidi holds a B.A. degree from DeSales University as well as an ADN, RN from Lehigh Carbon Community College. Heidi’s career in the healthcare field began in 1995 as a unit clerk on an inpatient unit, progressing to a technical partner/nursing aid with direct patient care, and then finally a Registered Nurse. Heidi has been in the outpatient care setting for two years.
Heidi lives in the Lehigh Valley, PA with her husband and 3 teenage children. She became interested in medicine after her first child was born with multiple challenges. She is active in research, and passionate about health, fitness and wellness; particularly, educating how lifestyle choices can prevent diseases that plague America today. She enjoys watching her children play sports, working out, reading, and helping people take control of their health.