Faculty and Staff
Edward Bak is program manager and adjunct instructor in the Emergency Medical Technician program at Tri-C.
During his 25 years of service with the North Olmsted Fire Department, Bak obtained firefighter-paramedic certification and held various positions including lieutenant, captain and chief. He was also a part-time firefighter with the Olmsted Falls Fire Department for 29 years.
Bak obtained EMT instructor certification with the State of Ohio and began his career at Tri-C as an adjunct instructor in the EMT program at the Western Campus. He has also taught at Lorain County Community College, Cuyahoga Valley JVS and Lorain County JVS and has served as an EMT basic instructor for the Northeast Ohio Fire Chiefs Association.
In February 2015, Bak was appointed to the position of College-wide EMT program manager. With the assistance of his staff and the Fire Academy, he was able to develop and obtain approval for a new Associate of Applied Science degree in Fire-Emergency Medical Services.
Bak earned a bachelor’s degree in math from Cleveland State University and an associate degree in fire science from Lorain County Community College. He became a certified Ohio Fire Executive in 2003.
Assistant Professor Kevin Barnard is lead instructor for the Emergency Medical Technician program at Tri-C, where he teaches theory and practical application of prehospital emergency medicine to students at all levels.
Barnard continues to work in the prehospital setting as a captain/EMS coordinator for the Columbia Township Fire Department, where he started his EMS career in 1994. He also served as a critical care flight paramedic for seven years, during which he was deployed to New Orleans to assist with medical relief during severe hurricane seasons.
Barnard earned a master’s degree in education from Capella University and is certified as a paramedic, firefighter, hazmat technician and rescue dive supervisor. He is also certified in critical care. Barnard’s field experiences enhance his ability to explain topics with applied theory and discussion in the classroom.
Kolleen Barnes is an assistant professor in the Captioning and Court Reporting Program at Cuyahoga Community College. Prof. Barnes received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Development from Empire State College, an Associate of Applied Business degree in Court Reporting from the Academy of Court Reporting, and a Master’s Degree in Education from Grand Canyon University. Prof. Barnes was self-employed as a freelance court reporter for over ten years before joining the full-time faculty at Tri-C. She teaches both online and on the campus and serves as the faculty advisor for the Captioning and Court Reporting club.
Prof. Barnes holds the Certified Reporting Instructor and Certified Program Evaluator certifications from the National Court Reporters Association and currently serves on the National Membership Committee for the National Verbatim Reporters Association. Prof. Barnes has been recognized for her contributions to the field with numerous awards: Educator of the Year for the National Court Reporters Association, Outstanding Associate Member of the Year for the Ohio Court Reporters Association, Online Course of the Year from the Instructional Technology Council, and the Sloan Consortium Effective Practice Award for the design and implementation of educational activities to help students retain their skills during semester breaks.
Criminal Justice Professor Michael Boyko is a proud graduate of Tri-C’s Law Enforcement program. After graduating from Tri-C, he continued his education at the University of Akron, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal justice technical education as well as a Juris Doctor.
Boyko began his professional career at the Stark County Prosecutor’s Office in Canton, where he represented adults and juveniles in various court proceedings. A licensed social worker, he has also served as executive director of a children’s residential center serving adolescent girls victimized by abuse and neglect.
Boyko began teaching at Tri-C as an adjunct faculty member in 1983. He also served as coordinator for the North Coast Tech Prep Consortium. Prior to beginning his current full-time faculty position, Boyko served as assistant dean for business, math and technology at the College.
Assistant Professor Mardy Chaplin teaches various courses in the Paralegal Studies program, specializing in civil procedure, law office technology, and business transactions. Mr. Chaplin has presented at the American Association for Paralegal Education national conference, at the Ohio Association of Two Year Colleges and various faculty professional development seminars. Prior to joining the faculty of Cuyahoga Community College, Professor Chaplin served as the Program Manager of the Court Reporting and Captioning Program and Paralegal Studies Program. He has been a private practice attorney, admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1997, specializing in contract law, business organizations, labor and employment law, probate and estate planning, and elder law.
Mr. Chaplin served as an associate attorney for the law firm of Brennan, Manna, and Diamond from 2001 through 2005. He graduated in the top 15 percent of his class at the University of Akron’s School of Law; earned his Masters of Public Administration from The Ohio State University, receiving Student of the Year designation; and he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Malone University, receiving Mana Cum Laude distinction.
Assistant Professor Joe Fell has taught a wide variety of paralegal studies courses at Tri-C since 2012. He is the faculty advisor for the Paralegal Professionals Organization and has served as co-chair of the Western Campus Faculty Senate Library Committee.
Fell earned a Juris Doctor from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, where he was a member of the Global Business Law Review and co-editor-in-chief of student newspaper The Gavel. While in law school, he served as a summer associate at The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland and as a law clerk at ACLU of Ohio.
Prior to attending law school, Fell worked in a variety of instructional and workforce development positions in local high schools and middle schools. He earned bachelor’s degrees in teacher education, history and business management from Case Western Reserve University.A lifelong resident of Northeast Ohio, Fell currently resides in Cleveland with his wife and son. In his spare time, he enjoys running and supporting Cleveland’s sports teams.
Vice President & Dean, Chief Harris leads the integration and operation of Cuyahoga Community College’s public safety programs, which include Environmental Health and Safety, Captioning and Court Reporting, Criminal Justice, Fire Technology, EMS Training, Paralegal Studies, and the Police and Fire Academies and will continue his duties as our Chief of Police.
Harris brings over 30 years of public safety experience and leadership to the Center, including 15 years of service as a firefighter and police officer for the City of East Cleveland, where he created and commanded the city’s first S.W.A.T. team. Harris also worked as a Police Commander for the City of Cleveland, leading the creation of an innovative city-wide community policing plan.
Since 1995, Harris has served as the Chief of Police for Tri-C. As Chief, he is responsible for Tri-C’s State certified campus police department, which includes the patrol division, the administrative division, central dispatch, security services, electronic access/fire safety systems, emergency management and parking operations for all College campuses and locations. Additionally, Harris servers as an adjunct professor in the Public Safety program at the College. Harris has also held a number of leadership positions in local, state and national public safety organizations, including President of the Cleveland Chapter of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, and the City of Cleveland’s Diversity Task Force and Anti-Crime Commission.
Harris is a member of the Ohio Chief of Police Association, The Fraternal Order of Police, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, Vice President of Ohio Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, the National Parking Association, the American Society of Industrial Security, the State of Ohio Amber Alert Steering Committee, Regional Coordinator of the Ohio Child Abduction Response Team, a Board member of the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, and the FBI joint Terrorism Task Force, Chair of the State of Ohio Drone Advisory Committee, and Commissioner for the State of Ohio Training Center.
Harris holds an Associate degree in Law Enforcement from Cuyahoga Community College, a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Ohio University and an Executive Master’s in Business Administration from Baldwin-Wallace College. He is also a graduate of the United States Department of Justice National FBI Academy, and has completed law enforcement certificate programs from the University of Michigan, The Ohio Highway Patrol Academy and The Center for Domestic Preparedness and the United States Emergency Management Institute.
Dr. Jen Krueger
Dr. Krueger teaches in the Captioning and Court Reporting program at Cuyahoga Community College. She has been an active member of the court reporting profession since 1977 maintaining memberships with both the National Court Reporting Association (NCRA) and the Ohio Court Reporters Association (OCRA) along with the National Verbatim Reporters Association (NVRA). Dr. Krueger attained her Registered Merit Reporter, Certified Reporting Instructor, and Certified Program Evaluator certifications from the NCRA.
After working as a freelance court reporter, she joined college as an instructor where she blended her skills in court reporting with her focus in court reporting education, having earned a PhD in instructional design. She has written numerous articles for the Journal of Court Reporting, developed and facilitates the Court Reporting Instructor certification for NCRA, holding positions within the NCRA’s Teachers Community of Interest and the Council on Approved Student Education.
Dr. Krueger has been recognized for her work with several awards including OCRA’s Martin Fincun Award for Outstanding Performance, the Blackboard Exemplary Online Course of the year, the Sloan Consortium Effective Practice Award, and the NCRA CASE award for Excellence, Instructor of the Year.
Rebecca Maleckar is program coordinator and assistant professor in the Criminal Justice program at Tri-C, where she has taught for more than 20 years.
Maleckar teaches all courses within the criminal justice curriculum. Her areas of focus include legal and policy matters surrounding search and seizure, First Amendment interpretation, community re-entry from the criminal justice system and emerging issues in juvenile justice.
Maleckar is also a respected criminal litigator. Prior to joining Tri-C as a full-time faculty member, she served as an Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor for 12 years, including four years prosecuting homicide and rape cases in the Major Trial Unit.
Maleckar earned a Juris Doctor from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and a bachelor’s degree in education with a concentration in mathematics from Cleveland State University. Her broad experience as an educator has included teaching in the Cleveland Municipal School District as well as at Ashland University and Virginia Marti College of Art and Design.
Kelly Moranz is program director and adjunct faculty member for Cuyahoga Community College’s Captioning and Court Reporting Program. She has earned Tri-C’s Excellence in Teaching Award, NCRA’s Educator of the Year Award, and a JCR Award for leadership and teambuilding, and she has presented at NCRA conventions numerous times. She has worked in a variety of capacities within the reporting profession for over 30 years.
Courses taught: Introduction to Court Reporting; Introduction to Voice Captioning; Voicewriting I, II and III; Realtime Theory I; Editing Legal Documents; Speedbuilding and Transcription 100, 140, 180, 225; Precision Writing; Legal Terminology; Technical Terminology; Internship
Lisa Novosat-Gradert is program manager for Tri-C’s Environmental Health and Safety Technology (EHST) program. She possesses 30 years of environmental, health and safety-related experience within a wide sector including commercial, construction, chemical, manufacturing and banking.
This diverse background and knowledge gives Novosat-Gradert the unique ability to understand market demands and trends as well as to assess requisite technical skills needed within the field. She remains current with changes within the field through her associated legal and professional memberships and associations.
Prior to joining the College, Novosat-Gradert worked for the Lubrizol Corporation and law firms Brouse McDowell and Amer Cunningham Co., LPA. She began her career serving as legal counsel to Ohio EPA and special counsel to U.S. EPA.
Novosat-Gradert earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Akron and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toledo.
Dr. Ploskonka, associate dean for the Public safety Center of Excellence, received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania – Mansfield: where he has been inducted to the Society of Distinguished Alumni and Educators, his master’s from Boston Conservatory, his doctorate from the University of Kentucky and additional studies at Harvard University, specifically related to leadership in higher education. Ploskonka’s entire career has been dedicated to education and specifically higher education.
At the age of 22 he began his career as an administrator with the State University of New York at Oswego, while also serving as an adjunct professor. During this period he instituted two college fitness centers, served as a judicial hearing officer and was honorary inductee into the International Foreign Language Honor Society. While serving as the associate director of administration at the University of Kentucky, he taught in the College of Education, and served as a research specialist for the graduate school, Jim assumed the duties as Dean of Academic Affairs for Sullivan University in Kentucky and was later promoted to Executive Director; it was during his time that the University became the largest private college in the Commonwealth, a mock trial team for paralegal students instituted and he was inducted as an honoree into the paralegal honor society.
Ploskonka has served on numerous community, state, regional, national boards and organizations in various leadership capacities. These include the Wesley Academy Board of Directors, Past President of the College Personnel Association of Kentucky, Chair of Research for ACUHO - I, State Coordinator for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, Association for the Study of Higher Education, Chair of the Music Commission for the National United Choirs, Former Board member of the Colorado Private School Association, and an evaluator and member of the intermediate review commission for the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. Jim has authored several publications including the Use of Retrospective Data for Institutional Evaluation though Jossey-Bass and has presented numerous topics on higher education to various groups throughout the United States.
Assistant Professor Louis Rifici came to Tri-C in 1999 as an instructor in the Environmental Health and Safety Technology (EHST) program. His years of industry and consulting experience give him a unique perspective that he shares with students in courses such as Intro to Environmental Law and Intro to Environmental Technology.
Rifici also teaches environmental sampling, risk assessment and biology, and the EHST program capstone course, Professional Practice, is modeled after his experience as an environmental health and safety consultant.
Rifici is committed to the College’s efforts to modernize curriculum and standardize outcome assessment across the institution. He was a founding member of the Alliance for Teaching and Learning and is a member of the Governance Committee on Learning Outcomes Assessment.
Rifici also manages the Euclid Creek Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Project, training volunteers, maintaining the monitoring equipment and participating in educational presentations in the watershed.
Candice Storey manages the College’s American Bar Association (ABA)-approved Paralegal Studies Program. She directs the day-to-day operations of the program, including program admissions and recruiting, developing course schedules, partnering with faculty on curriculum development, maintaining and growing the program’s practicum component, developing and scheduling program events, and maintaining the program’s ABA approval. Prior to her arrival at Tri-C, Ms. Storey served in several different administrative capacities at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, including Director of Student Services and Director of Career Counseling. Before entering the profession of higher education administration, Ms. Storey practiced law for two years, focusing on probate and general business law.
Ms. Storey earned her undergraduate degree in criminal justice from Bowling Green State University, and her law degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. She is licensed to practice law in the state of Ohio, and is a certified Title IX investigator through the Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA).