Professional & Continuing Studies

Click below to view biographical and contact information for members of the University of Delaware Division of Professional and Continuing Studies leadership team.

George Irvine Photo
George Irvine, Ph.D. Title: Associate Vice Provost, Division of Professional and Continuing Studies
Department: PCS-Associate Provost (07401)
Campus address: 136 501 South College Ave, Newark, DE 19716
Campus phone: 302-831-2795

George has extensive experience building knowledge partnerships between universities and businesses/organizations in order to catalyze organizational and economic development. At the UD Lerner College of Business and Economics, George extended the college’s research-based knowledge to the Delaware and Mid-Atlantic business community via customized and open-enrollment executive education programs. In prior positions at UD, UNC Chapel Hill and IIE, George managed international education and technical assistance projects in partnership with US government agencies (USAID, DOC, USDA, and the State Department) and corporate foundations.

George earned his PhD in Urban Affairs and Public Policy in May 2018 from the University of Delaware. His dissertation focused on the changing public identities of American research universities between 1975 and 2015. His teaching and research interests include research university publicness, international development public policy, corporate social responsibility and environmental policy. He has work and travel experience in twenty five (25) countries on four continents and is proficient in German and French.

Aviva Heyn photo
Aviva Heyn Title(s): Asst Dir, Digital Learning , PCS-Academic Programs
Department: PCS-Academic Programs (07410)
Campus address: 204 UD Online Resource Center, Newark, DE 19716
Campus phone: 302-831-3933

Aviva Heyn serves as Assistant Director of Digital Learning at the University of Delaware’s Division of Professional and Continuing Studies. She leads instructional design, state authorization compliance, and the UD Online Testing Center. She also supports the planning for and management of UD Online programs with campus partners. Prior to joining the University of Delaware, she worked at an educational technology startup in Southern California.

Aviva earned her Doctor of Education (EdD) in Educational Leadership at the University of Delaware. She holds a MA in Social Anthropology from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel. Her undergraduate degree, also from the Hebrew University, is in Art History, Sociology, and Anthropology.

Aviva has experience with teaching and designing instruction for blended and online learning environments, including immersive simulations, serious games, and mobile learning. Her areas of interest include online learning, educational technology, and instructional design.

Steven Kendus photo
Steven M. Kendus, MPA Title(s): Director, Mktg & Communications, Graduate College and PCS-Marketing
Department: PCS-Marketing (07460)
Campus address: 141 501 South College Ave, Newark, DE 19716
Campus phone: 302-831-1178

Steven Kendus is a marketing and communications specialist with more than 20 years of marketing and technical writing experience and more than ten years of executive management experience. Mr. Kendus founded The Writer’s Block in 1993 and in 2000, and he has assisted organizations in enhancing their productivity and identity through marketing, corporate communications, and employee education.

Mr. Kendus is also a professional author, columnist, technical writer, copy writer, and editor, and has had various books and articles published. He wrote Hunting The First State: A Guide to Delaware Hunting, wrote a regular outdoors column for The News Journal, and contributes articles to various outdoors-related magazines. He served as executive director for Electronic Payment Exchange; vice president of marketing for QED Financial Systems; manager of technical education and corporate communications for Integrated Software Solutions, Inc.; director of product communications for eCal Corporation; senior technical writer for EXE Technologies; and training program designer for The Bank of New York (Delaware). He also serves as an adjunct instructor in UD’s Department of English.

Mr. Kendus has a Master of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in English – Business and Technical Writing from the University of Delaware and has completed courses in web design from the Delaware College of Art and Design. He is a member of various professional organizations, including the Society for Technical Communication (STC), the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the Delaware Press Association (DPA), and the Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA).

Jennifer Merrill Photo
Jennifer Merrill, MBA, Ph.D.
Title(s): Manager, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UD
Department: PCS-Prof & Noncredit Programs (07420)
Campus address: Arsht Hall, Wilmington, DE 19806
Campus phone: 302-537-4416

Jennifer Merrill is Manager, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UD in Wilmington. She earned a B.S. in Environmental and Forest Biology from the State University of New York, a Ph.D. in Marine, Estuarine and Environmental Science from the University of Maryland College Park and an MBA in Strategic Leadership from UD’s Lerner College of Business.

Prior to UD PCS, Dr. Merrill worked in the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment with the Delaware Sea Grant Program and the NSF-funded Maryland Delaware Climate Change Education, Assessment, and Research Program. She served as a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Knauss Marine Policy Fellow on Capitol Hill. Dr. Merrill also managed national and international studies for the National Research Council’s Ocean Studies Board on topics ranging from deep sea exploration, to methane hydrates and the impact of ocean noise on marine mammals.

Michelle Parnell Photo
Michelle L. Parnell, M.A., M.Ed.  Title(s): Assistant Director, Student Services, PCS-Academic Programs
Department: PCS-Academic Programs (07410)
Campus address: 208 UD Online Resource Center, Newark, DE 19716
Campus phone: 302-831-8843

Michelle Parnell is the Manager of the Professional & Continuing Studies ACCESS Student Services Center. She is an accomplished student services professional with more than 20 years of career counseling and student advisement experience. Prior to working at the University of Delaware, Michelle was a therapist, specializing in counseling individuals with drug and alcohol and mental health disorders. Much of her early work was with counseling adolescents and young adults.

Michelle has a Master of Arts (M.A.) and a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Counseling Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. While in New York City, Michelle worked in the Office of Counseling & Psychological Services at Baruch College where she counseled students on therapeutic and educational/career issues.

Cynthia Rechsteiner, MBA Title(s): Business Officer, Graduate College and PCS
Department: Graduate and Professional Educ (01501)
Campus address: 140 501 South College Ave, Newark, DE 19716
Campus phone: 302-831-6870

Cindy Rechsteiner serves as the business officer for the University of Delaware Graduate College and Division of Professional and Continuing Studies. She also oversees the human resources and IT functions and groups. 

Cindy has extensive experience in business and project management, creating budgets and projections, financial and cash flow analysis, and performance reporting. She possesses superior analytical, critical thinking, and decision making skills and is skilled in managing complex projects that produce exemplary results. 

Prior to her business officer role, Cindy served as senior business administrator for UD PCS, business administrator for UD’s department of Plant and Soil Sciences, and senior accountant for the Delaware Biotechnology Institute. She also held finance and business management roles with Labrador Mobile and Fleet Bank. 

Cindy has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Boston University Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Science (BS) from the University of Illinois. She also completed UD certificate programs in Women’s Leadership, Management Essentials, and Valuing Diversity and Differences. 

David Vent Title(s): Mgr, Computing Operations, PCS-Marketing
Department: PCS-Marketing (07460)
Campus address: 154 501 South College Ave, Newark, DE 19716
Campus phone: 302-831-3892

David Vent is a proven information technology leader with more than 25 years of experience in diverse, fast-paced environments. Throughout his career, his application of technology to business processes and problems has consistently resulted in higher efficiency, cost reduction and improved customer satisfaction.

As manager of computing operations for the University of Delaware’s Division of Professional and Continuing Studies, David leads a team that is responsible for all UD PCS IT systems. Computing operations also acts as a liaison to the University’s central IT department and supports UD PCS and each of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute locations in Newark, Wilmington, Dover and Lewes.

Prior to his arrival at UD, David served as vice president, corporate information technology and operations for F. Schumacher & Company. He has also held leadership positions with SAP Americas, Comcast Cable Communications, GE Energy and the Produce Marketing Association. He graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor’s degree in computer science.