top of page

Get to Know FAME

The members of our Fearless Advocacy for Men's Engagement (FAME) group have devoted their time and energy to becoming agents of change in Westmoreland County. They are at the forefront of the movement to end gender-based violence through culture change.  Want to know more about our members?  Keep reading!

Dr. Tim Holler

Work: Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice University of Pitt-Greensburg

Hobbies: Gaming, bowling, basketball. Anything Pittsburgh sports related.

One interesting fact about you: I once had the pleasure of performing a juggling act for Olympic Gold Medalist, and WWE Superstar, Kurt Angle.

Why you joined FAME: When I got to Pitt-Greensburg, the work already being done on campus by Dr. Sheila Confer really drew me in and made me want to develop my role further. I partnered with the Blackburn Center for research purposes and quickly became a walker in the “Walk-a-Mile in Her Shoes” annual event. Beyond that, my role as a criminal justice professor made FAME a natural fit for me.

One thing you do to help end violence: I like to think the most impactful is the way I teach my classes. In a lot of cases, students just do not understand the true nature of gender-based violence. Whether it is the “Dark Figure of Crime” that sees a vast majority of assault go unreported, or if it is the nature of the cycle of violence, most often this lack of understanding leads to a level of apathy within students. By increasing their awareness, the hope is that they will take that understanding into their career in the Criminal Justice System where they will undoubtedly be dealing with both survivors and perpetrators of this violence.

Rev. Dr. David von Schlichten, D.Min., Ph.D.

Work: Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Coordinator of the Gender and Women’s Studies Program (Seton Hill University); freelance writer; ordained Lutheran (ELCA) pastor; husband, father, and grandfather

Hobbies: going for walks; singing; watching old movies and attending plays; Oscar and Nobel Prize trivia; cat-lover

One interesting fact about you: While I am terrible at sports, I somehow managed to complete the Pittsburgh Marathon on May 2, 2010. It wasn’t pretty, but I got it done!

Why you joined FAME: I find appalling and heartbreaking the pervasive and systemic mistreatment of women and girls. This must stop. Being involved with FAME helps me to work with others on primary prevention, that is, cultural shifts that move us toward gender equity for all, regardless of gender.

One thing you do to help end violence: I teach gender studies courses. I co-advise the Feminist Collective club on campus. I volunteer for Blackburn by serving on the Board of Directors, the Social Transformation Committee, and, of course, FAME. I participate in Walk-a-Mile and Seton Hill’s annual Equal Pay Rally. Most important of all, I strive to treat women and girls with respect as equals, and I challenge other men and boys to do likewise, such as by pointing out to them how our words often demean women and girls and suggesting better alternatives. 

Dr. Dave

Al Thiel

Work: University of Pittsburgh – Greensburg, Director, Student Center Operations & Student Involvement

Westmoreland Diversity Coalition – Board Member

Hobbies: Card games and gaming in general, Following Cleveland sports, Podcasts

One interesting fact about you: I am an ordained minister and preformed both of my brothers’ wedding ceremonies, as well as several for friends and family members.

Why you joined FAME: I had helped with Walk a Mile in Her Shoes and been a member of the Pitt- Greensburg team. As I learned more about that event and took notice of how society shames victims and perpetuates the cycle of violence I felt compelled to do more. The encouragement of Dr. Sheila Confer gave me the confidence to move forward.

One thing you do to help end gender-based violence: I do my best in my personal life and professional life to continue fighting patriarchy and unhealthy societal norms. While I know that I still have a lot to learn it does not mean I can’t help make a difference. Challenging those norms that create situations which promote toxic masculinity and devalue/degrade victims is the first step. I try to make myself visible ally to communities I’m a part of and am willing listener. I educate myself about resources and help refer victims to the most appropriate ones.

Al Thiel.jpg
bottom of page