Meet the Team
Jennifer L. Kraschnewski, M.D., M.P.H.
Jennifer serves as executive director for Penn State PRO Wellness. Her responsibilities include leading PRO Wellness; engaging agencies, organizations, schools and community groups; managing staff and maintaining a team-focused climate which attracts, keeps and motivates a staff of high quality individuals; and ensuring that funds are available to further our important work.
Jennifer joined Penn State as an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Public Health Sciences in 2009. She is a clinician-investigator with a focus on public health research and passion for learning how to help people live healthier lives. Her research has received funding through the NIH as well as the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. She has over 40 peer-reviewed publications and her research has been presented and awarded at both the regional and national levels.
Donna Kephart, MHA
Director of Outreach
Donna serves as director of outreach for PRO Wellness, after serving as executive director for six years. Her responsibilities include forging relationships with prospective funders and partners, developing and proposing projects, promoting the Center’s accomplishments through presentations and publications, maintaining relationships with Advisory Council members and funders. She also helps all Center partners meet their goals and objectives through the Center’s work or connecting them with others who can.
Employed by Penn State College of Medicine at Hershey Medical Center for 24 years, Donna has a passion for wellness, health promotion and disease prevention. She has managed several NIH-sponsored clinical trials in behavioral intervention topics such as asthma, hypertension and obesity. A two-time graduate of The Pennsylvania State University, Donna holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in health policy and administration.
Daniel Bahret, BH
Marketing Communications Specialist
Daniel serves as Marketing Communications Specialist for PRO Wellness. His responsibilities include assisting the implementation of a marketing strategy as well as working with our advertising and social media. He is also responsible for the creation and design of promotional communications that include print, electronic, new media, and other collateral.
Daniel holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Penn State University. He enjoys spending time with family and friends as well as traveling.
Jordan Buckley, BS
Jordan serves as research assistant for PRO Wellness. She utilizes her background in health education and public health research to analyze data, develop, and implement resources and outreach for various grants.
Jordan holds a Bachelor of Science in public health with a concentration in health promotion and is dually a summer 2016 degree candidate for Master of Public Health from West Chester University of PA. In her spare time, Jordan enjoys traveling, backpacking, and spending time with her family and friends.
Erica Francis, MS
Erica serves as a project manager for the 1305 grant program, a collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Health to create supportive nutrition environments and increase opportunities for physical activity in school districts across the Commonwealth. She utilizes her background in public health research and her passion for health promotion to assist school districts in planning, implementing, and evaluating outcomes for the 1305 grant.
Erica holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Biomedical Engineering from University of Maryland. In her spare time, Erica enjoys traveling with her husband and three children.
Elizabeth Hivner, BS, CHES
Elizabeth serves as a project coordinator for PRO Wellness. She utilizes her education and background in public health to assist school districts in the planning, implementing and evaluating of Highmark Foundation’s Creating a Healthy School Environment Grant Program. She also assists in implementing the Building Healthy Schools grant program, a collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Health to create supportive nutrition environments and increase opportunities for physical activity in schools across the state of Pennsylvania.
Elizabeth holds a Bachelor’s Degree in health sciences with a concentration in public health education and dance minor from James Madison University. She also is a Certified Health Education Specialist who is passionate about helping others reach and maintain good health.
She enjoys spending time at the beach, running and is a lifelong dancer.
Ellie Hogentogler, BS
Marketing Communications Manager
Ellie serves as Marketing Communications Manager for PRO Wellness. Her responsibilities include the development and implementation of our marketing plan as well as overseeing brand consistency throughout our advertising, social media and public relations activities. She also coordinates our outreach efforts and other special events. Ellie is responsible for overseeing all marketing projects including web design and maintenance, logo designs, newsletters, advertisements, collateral material, and other projects.
Ellie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Speech Communications from Millersville University. She enjoys playing Texas Hold ’em Poker and spending time with her husband and daughter.
Brianna Hoglen, BS
Brianna serves as a project coordinator for the PROWellness Center. She utilizes her background in research, community outreach, and behavioral health to develop physical activity interventions, patient engagement and training modules.
Brianna holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology/Neuroscience from Pennsylvania State University and is currently a full time second year student in the Master of Public Health program at Penn State Hershey College of Medicine. In her free time, Brianna enjoys working out, painting, and travelling with friends and family.
Alicia Hoke, MPH, CHES
Senior Project Manager
Alicia serves as senior project manager for our school-based grants, which create supportive nutrition environments and increase opportunities for physical activity in school districts across the Commonwealth. She utilizes her background in health education to develop educational materials and informational webinars on various school health topics.
Alicia holds a Bachelor’s Degree in biology from Lycoming College and a Master of Public Health from Penn State University. She is also a Certified Health Education Specialist. In her spare time, Alicia enjoys boating and skiing with family and friends.
Jennifer M. Poger, M.Ed.
Jennifer has worked at Penn State in various research roles and across disciplines including Neurology, Pediatrics, Medicine and Public Health Sciences over the past 11 years. She has most recently managed NIH funded behavioral interventions and clinical trials related to weight management, hypertension, diabetes, and asthma. Additionally, Jennifer has utilized her graduate training in adult education to train new faculty, staff, and students to research as well as develop and deliver training programs to participants of research. Jennifer is currently responsible for engaging patient partners and stakeholders in a large Patient-Centered Outcomes Research project through several training and community engagement endeavors.
Jennifer holds a Masters of Education degree in Training and Development from the Pennsylvania State University. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the world with her husband and two children, practicing yoga, doing crafts, and cooking/baking.
Kara Shifler, RD, LDN
Kara is a Registered Dietitian who serves as a project coordinator for the PRO Wellness Center. She utilizes her background in counseling and community nutrition for health promotion to assist in planning, implementing, and evaluating outcomes related to childhood obesity. She is working specifically with Boy Scouts of America to implement an obesity prevention program, which aims to create a supportive nutrition environment and increase opportunities for physical activity within the Boy Scouts organization.
Kara holds a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from Messiah College and obtained her RD status through the Sodexo Allentown program. In her spare time, Kara enjoys cooking, working out, and relaxing with her husband and two cats, Yoda and Vader.
Alison Lipsett Simpson, BS
Alison serves as the education specialist for PRO Wellness. She is responsible for providing educational and professional development opportunities on wellness topics across a variety of audiences, including students, teachers, nurses, and community based organizations. Her duties include producing informational webinars, resource materials, and hosting professional development programming. In addition, she provides joint use agreement technical assistance to 1305 grant recipients.
Alison holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communications from Penn State University. She loves the beach and spending time with her husband and two sons.
Kim F. Spangler
Administrative Support Coordinator
Kim serves as Administrative Support Coordinator for PRO Wellness. She performs, coordinates and oversees office administrative duties while providing an extensive level of support to the Executive Director. Using her technical abilities and complex administrative skills, Kim is able to provide valuable support for PRO Wellness.
Kim brings over 30 years of experience in the administrative and academic arenas, and has been with the institution since 2001.
In her spare time she likes to spend time with family and friends, enjoy boating and spending time at the beach.
Pamela serves as a project coordinator for PRO Wellness. She is tasked with working with schools and community groups to help meet project deliverables such as completing school health screenings, communicating to parents about various health topics, and implementing programs to improve school wellness.
Prior to joining Penn State, Pamela served as administrative director for the senior pastor and several ministries at a large multicultural church. Pamela is passionate about health and wellness promotion and seeing people realize a healthy lifestyle. Pamela earned an Associate Degree in Business, Phi Theta Kappa, from Harrisburg Area Community College. She is an administrative and accounting professional with more than 20 years of experience with work as a senior accountant in the insurance industry.
Pamela enjoys spending time with family and friends, music, and is an avid reader.