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Name Research Area(s) Quick Links
Daniel Shapiro, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Humanities
Arnold P. Gold Professor of Medical Humanism

  • Educational techniques and interventions that help young health professionals more fully understand the patient experience.
  • Improving couples’ functioning in the face of challenges.
Medical Students Documentary Films




Current CV

J. O. Ballard, M.D.
Professor of Humanities Medicine and Pathology
Jane W. and Lawrence F. Kienle Chair in Humane Medicine

  • Medical Humanities
  • End-of-life care
  • Medical Student Education
  • Interprofessional education


Medical Humanities



Patient Project


Driskill Lecture


Kienle Drama Group


Current CV

  Joshua S. Crites, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities
Director, Research Ethics Consultation Service
Research Interests:
  • Clarifying the distinction between research and therapy
  • Examining how factors such as personal values, therapeutic misconception, and unrealistic optimism affect the decision-making of potential research participants
  • Improving informed consent for research participants
  • Community engagement with the research process
  • Role(s) of the clinical ethics consultant
  • Autonomy, personal identity, and acute traumatic injury

Ethics Education

  • Improving on current Responsible Conduct of Research training practices for researchers at all career levels
  • Integrating deeper understanding of ethics and moral reasoning into research design and clinical practice
Current  CV






Cheryl Dellasega, Ph.D.
Professor of Medicine and Humanities, Penn State College of Medicine
Professor of Women’s Studies, The Pennsylvania State University
Completed funded research on the following topic:

  • A writing support group for caregivers
  • Arts and healing for adolescents
  • Cognitive impairment in older adults
  • Cognitive capacity for decision making in hospitalized older adults
  • End of life decision making
  • Evaluation of HIV/AIDS programming in Mifflin/Juniata counties
  • Impact of a humanities-based writing program on incarcerated women
  • Medication use in community dwelling older adults
  • Motivational interviewing for at-risk patients with Type 2 DM
  • Nurses and creative writing
  • Social media and stress management for medical students
  • Transitional care for frail older adults
  • Therapeutic writing intervention for persons with Type 2 diabetes

Research in progress:

  • Cyberbullying
  • Development of the RAS (Relational Aggression Scale)
  • Use of EW (expressive writing) via social media for stress relief
  • Relational aggression in nurses and physicians
  • The cadaver as crucible
  • Social fictions

Dr. Dellasega is also a nurse practitioner and the award winning author of seven commercial books on female relationships.  She created Club and Camp Ophelia for girls in 2001 and continues to share her expertise on female relationships in the popular press and real time venues around the world.




Club Ophelia



Current CV

 DannyCasualPortrait3x3 Daniel George, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Medical Humanities

  • Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias
  • Quality of life and dementia
  • Intergenerational relationships
  • Narrative medicine
  • Farmers’ markets and public health interventions
  • Social media in academic medicine
  • Co-author of The Myth of Alzheimer’s: What You Aren’t Being Told About Today’s Most Dreaded Diagnosis (St. Martin’s Press, 2008), which has been translated into German, French, Italian, and Japanese.
Farmers Market



Myth of Alzheimers BLOG






Current CV

  Michael Green, M.D., M.S., F.A.C.P.
Professor of Humanities and Medicine
A physician and bioethicist.
Chair of the Hospital Ethics Committee
Director of the Program in Bioethics

  • Currently Professor in the Departments of Humanities and Internal Medicine, where he cares for patients, teaches medical students and residents, and conducts research in bioethics.
  • Published numerous articles and received many grant awards for his research, which most recently has focused on helping patients make informed decisions.
  • Co-creator of “Making Your Wishes Known,” an interactive computer-based decision aid that helps individuals be better prepared to make medical decisions when they can no longer speak for themselves.
  • Pioneer in the field of “Graphic Medicine,” having co-organized several international conferences on Comics and Medicine. For the past several years has taught a course on the topic to 4th-year medical students at Hershey
  • Co-author of a recent paper published in the BMJ on Comics and Medicine.
Ethics and Professionalism



Advance Directives Research



Graphic Storytelling and Medical Narratives



Current CV

Benjamin H. Levi, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Humanities
Director, Center for the Protection of Children from Abuse
Penn State Children’s Hospital
Penn State College of Medicine
Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Current Teaching:

  • Ethics and Professionalism, course for 2nd-year medical students (Co-Director)
  • Contemporary Issues in Bioethics, month-long seminar for 4th-year medical students
  • Clinical Pediatrics, lectures & informal teaching to residents and med students
  • Pediatric Ethics, quarterly seminar for pediatrics residents
  • Pediatric Ethics, monthly seminar for 3rd-year med students on pediatrics clerkship
  • MICU/SICU Ethics Conference, monthly seminar for Medical and Surgical Intensive Care Unit residents, fellows and attending physicians (Facilitator)
  • Pediatric Critical Care Ethics, twice yearly seminar for critical care nurses (Lecturer)
Look Out for Child Abuse


Center for the Protection of Children


Reasonable Suspicion



Ethics and Professionalism


Current CV

Kimberly R.  Myers, M.A., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Humanities and English
Academic Research Interests

  •             pathography
  •             literature and medicine
  •             medical creative writing
  •             pedagogy in medicine
  •             graphic medicine
  •             narrative competence
  •             cultural competence
  •             chronic illness
Putting it into Words


Graphic Storytelling and Medical Narratives


Selected Publications


Physician Writers Group


Wild Onions

Rebecca Volpe, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities
Co-Director, Clinical Ethics Consultation Service
Director of Course Integration, Department of Humanities
Research Interests
Medical Humanities Education

  • Curriculum development
  • Education outcomes
  • Medical humanities infrastructure

Clinical Ethics Consultation

  •  Best practices in process
  • The limits of respecting autonomy
Current CV

Ethics Committee (internal use only)

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