Meet the Faculty and Staff
Barbara Behrens, Physical Therapy Assistant Coordinator
Professor Behrens is the founding program coordinator of the PTA program at Mercer and she has been recognized nationally for her teaching expertise and was the recipient of the FA Davis Award for Outstanding Physical Therapist Assistant Educator. She is actively involved in the profession of physical therapy as an instructor, presenter, former state representative to the National Assembly of Physical Therapist Assistants of the American Physical Therapy Association and author. Her books, Physical Agents: Theory & Practice 2nd ed. and Laboratory Manual for Physical Agents 2nd edition both published in 2006 have received widespread acceptance among the majority of Physical Therapist Assistant Programs across the United States and have been translated into several other languages. The third edition was published in 2014 with Holly Beinert as her co-author.
Ms. Behrens started her career in physical therapy by earning her Associate in Applied Science Degree as a Physical Therapist Assistant from Union County College, Cranford NJ. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Care Education from Rutgers University, New Brunswick NJ and her Master of Science degree in Adult Education from Capella University in Minneapolis, MN.
Holly Beinert, Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education:
Physical Therapist Assistant Program
Holly Beinert earned her Master's Degree in Physical Therapy from Quinnipiac University in Hamden Connecticut in 2004. After graduation, Holly spent two years as a travelling physical therapist, moving every 13 weeks to a new location and a different type of physical therapy setting. She started in Baltimore, made her way out to the west coast (Oregon and California) and then headed back home to New Jersey, where she managed an outpatient physical therapy facility for a large company. She remained an outpatient physical therapist until 2009, when she started teaching full time in the PTA program. She has worked in almost every physical therapy setting (outpatient, skilled nursing, acute rehab, and hospitals) and has done aquatic therapy, wound care, neurologic and orthopedic physical therapy. She has been teaching full time in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program since 2009 and coordinating the clinical education component of the curriculum. Holly earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from the University of St. Augustine (Florida) in December of 2014, so she is well aware of the time and stress management that it takes to be a student, while also balancing work and family.
Annette Conklin, Nursing Department
Professor Annette Conklin has been teaching nursing at both the community college and baccalaureate levels since 2005 joined Mercer in January, 2015. She has a BA from Thomas Edison State College, an MSN from University of Phoenix and a MS in Organizational Dynamics from the University Of Pennsylvania. Most recently, her doctoral dissertation was approved for graduation from Capella University. She facilitates students' ability to apply theoretical concepts to provide holistic, caring and competent care to patients, communities and populations. Her current interests in nursing include chronic disease management, population based cancer control strategies, and technology in health care education. She is currently the course coordinator for NRS110-Fundamental Concepts of Nursing and teaches NRS121 lab.
Lisa Dunn, Nursing Department
Professor Lisa Dunn joined Mercer County Community College in 2007. She has been a registered nurse since 1992 and received her diploma in nursing from Saint Francis Medical Center. Professor Dunn has a BSN from Thomas Edison State College, an MSN with a minor in education from University of Phoenix, and she is currently an EdD candidate from Rowan University. She has her CCRN certification from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, and she has her CNE certification through the National League for Nurses. Additionally, she is ACLS, PALS, BLS, and stroke certified through the American Heart Association. Professor Dunn is the course coordinator for NRS 230- Alterations in Health V.
Office: MS 149
John Kalinowski, Exercise Science Program Coordinator
John is the Exercise Science Coordinator, and the Strength & Conditioning Coordinator at Mercer County Community College. He is the Founder and Head Coach of the Kalinowski Performance Academy with 19 yrs. of experience as an Athletic Performance Coach, Consultant & Personal Trainer in corporate, private, elementary-high school, collegiate - professional settings. John has earned a MS degree in Kinesiology from Georgia Southern University and is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist from the National Strength & Conditioning Association. In addition, John has lectured for the American College of Sports Medicine, NJ Special Operations Group, NJDOC, and at other collegiate settings on performance assessment, performance nutrition, weight management, optimizing athletic performance and minimizing injury, training the female athlete, and introducing non-traditional approaches to resistance and power development. This includes presenting "Alternative Training" to the Shanghai Sports Institute at TCNJ the summer of 2014. He has also peer-reviewed several textbooks and NSCA journal articles. John has earned the distinction of being an Underground Strength Coach (USC) certified coach, an ISC Master's Level Coach and Master Instructor, and a Kettlebell Athletics Level I coach.
Most recently, John has been contracted to be the strength coach for the Trenton Freedom (PIFL) and to develop and deliver group training programs nationally for Impact Fitness. In 2009, Coach Kalinowski joined Coach John McKenna (Notre Dame HS Director of Performance and Founder/Director of the Irish Strength Club), as well as several other area leaders in coaching, research, and education to make up the core of the Irish Strength Club (ISC) coaching/master instructor staff. In 2006, John started the MCCC Youth Athletic Performance Summer Camps program to benefit the scholarship opportunities for MCCC Athletes.
Cindy Matyas - Student Advocate
Cindy Matyas started teaching psychology and sociology courses at Mercer in 2000. Since 2008, she teaches only communication (CMN111). She is also the part-time student advocate for the Math, Science and Health Professions Division. Prior to that, she was the student advocate in the former Arts & Communications Division for nine years. Cindy has also had the responsibility of being the CMN Department Adjunct Liaison (2008-2014), which included the hiring, mentoring and scheduling of 20-25 CMN adjuncts. Other past responsibilities at Mercer included being the English schedule coordinator and a member of the original adjunct support team. Of her various roles at Mercer, she enjoys teaching the most, and helping students as a student advocate/counselor. Cindy has a BA in Psychology from LaSalle University; and an M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology from Temple University.
Office: MS 146
Phone: (609) 570-3596
Barbara Pieslak - Executive Assistant to the Dean
Barb Pieslak is the Executive Assistant for the Division of Math, Science and Health Professions. She has been at MCCC since 1996 and really enjoys assisting the students, Faculty and staff!
Adena Romeo-Ratliff, Department of Nursing
Professor Adena Romeo-Ratliff has had a life-long passion for nursing and has been teaching nursing since 2007. Prior to joining Mercer as full-time faculty in 2014, Professor Ratliff taught nursing for both Seton Hall University and The College of New Jersey. Professor Ratliff began her career in nursing after graduating from the MCCC cooperative program with St. Francis Medical Center eventually going on to earn both her Master's and PhD in Nursing from Seton Hall University. She is excited about working on the community college level and helping her students reach their dreams!