(Posted October 8, 2016)

From left, Nancy Hess, former Church of the brethren minister; Carol Pletcher, president of Pletcher Consulting; and Parisha Shah, senior research investigator at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
File photos
From left, Nancy Hess, former Church of the brethren minister; Carol Pletcher, president of Pletcher Consulting; and Parisha Shah, senior research investigator at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
File photos

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The Juniata College board of trustees has added three new members to begin the 2016-2017 academic year. The new trustees appointed to begin their service Sept. 1, 2016 through August 2019 are: Parisha Shah, a senior research investigator at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine, from Philadelphia, Pa., Carol Pletcher, president of Pletcher Consulting, Co, of Solana Beach, Calif., and Nancy Hess, a former minister at the Lancaster Church of the Brethren, from Landisville, Pa.

Parisha Shah, who earned a bachelor’s degree in 2001 from Juniata College, has been a senior research investigator at Penn’s School of Medicine since 2016. Her research focuses on the epigenetics of cell fate and DNA organization. In 2001 she spent a year as a post-baccalaureate research fellow at the National Cancer Institute, in Bethesda, Md.

            Shah, a native of Ebensburg, Pa., began her career at the University of Pennsylvania in 2008 as a postdoctoral fellow. She was hired as a research associate in 2013 before becoming senior investigator in 2016.

After graduating from Juniata, Shah went on to earn a doctoral degree in 2008 in molecular genetics and cell biology in 2008 from the University of Chicago.

She served on the Juniata College Alumni Council from 2006 to 2010. From 2010 to 2013, she served one-year terms as vice president, president and past president of the council.

The new trustees are appointed to begin their service Sept. 1, 2016 through August 2019.

Carol Pletcher, who graduated in 1966 from Juniata College, has led her own consulting firm since 2007 in San Diego, Calif., after working at Cargill, an agribusiness and financial services company based in Minneapolis, Minn., from 1983 to 2006.

            Pletcher Consulting helps companies around the country develop the ability to sustain innovation as a growth strategy. In addition, she has served as entrepreneur in residence at CONNECT -- San Diego since 2015.

In 2009 she co-founded the Global Center for Recognition, which provides consulting policy on using recognition to develop strategic communications, change management, leadership development and performance measurement.

            After graduating from Juniata with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, Pletcher went on to earn a master’s degree in chemistry in 1968 from the University of Michigan  and earned a doctorate in biochemistry in 1979 from the University of Minnesota.

            She started her career at Cargill in 1983 and during her career there she designed, developed and implemented an extensive corporate recognition program and created and implemented an idea management system encompassing the entire Cargill network of companies. Pletcher built and mentored a network of innovation champions throughout the company. She retired as the company’s chief innovation officer in 2006. She was named a Top 25 Innovation Champion by Business Week magazine.

            She has served as vice chairman of the board for Lyngblomsten Care Center , a senior care center in St. Paul, Minn., from 2013 to 2014 and also served as chairman from 2011 to 2013. Previously she served as a board member from 2000 to 2007. She served on the boards of directors at Aeon, a nonprofit real estate developer in Minnesota, from 2013 to 2014, and Fiberstar Inc., a biotechnology company.

            Nancy Hess, who graduate from Juniata College in 1992, is the Brethren Church trustee for Juniata. After leaving Juniata, she went on to earn a master’s of divinity degree in 1997 from Bethany Theological Seminary, in Richmond, Ind.

            Hess started her working career at Juniata, as assistant director of the college’s annual fund from 1992 to 1994. While at Bethany, she also worked on the seminary’s admissions team from 1994 to 1995.

From 1997 to 2002, she served as pastor of nurture at the Lancaster Church of the Brethren, in Lancaster, Pa.

She remains active in her local community, serving as volunteer minister and on the church leadership team at the Mountsville, Pa. Church of the Brethren. She also is a library volunteer at the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society. Hess is a past member of the Church of the Brethren Standing Committee and the church’s Atlantic Northeast District Board.

Contact Gabe Welsch at welschg@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.