Center for Rural Pennsylvania: Center for Rural Pennsylvania Board of Directors Appoints Kyle C. Kopko Director

On behalf of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania Board of Directors, Center Chairman Senator Gene Yaw announced that Kyle C. Kopko, Ph.D. has been appointed as the Center’s new director. Dr. Kopko succeeds Barry L. Denk, who is retiring from the Center at the end of July after 28 years of service.

“The board is delighted to welcome Dr. Kopko to the Center,” Sen. Yaw said. “The board knew immediately that Dr. Kopko’s strong research and analytical background and his focused leadership capabilities would continue to drive the Center forward in its mission to promote and sustain the vitality of Pennsylvania’s rural and small communities.”

Dr. Kopko most recently served as Associate Dean of Institutional Effectiveness, Research, and Planning, and Associate Professor of Political Science at Elizabethtown College. He earned his Ph.D. in political science from The Ohio State University in 2010. Dr. Kopko has authored or co-authored more than 30 scholarly publications, including two university press books, and he regularly speaks on a wide range of policy and political topics. His research has also received national and international media attention in numerous outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and Fox News Channel.

Dr. Kopko said: “I am honored to join the Center for Rural Pennsylvania. The Center’s outstanding reputation is the result of the hard work of the Center’s Board of Directors and staff. I am especially grateful for Barry Denk’s years of service to the Center. Under Barry’s leadership, the Center established itself as the preeminent source of information and data on rural communities in Pennsylvania. I look forward to working with the Center’s board and staff, and serving the millions of people who live and work in rural Pennsylvania.”

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania is a bipartisan, bicameral legislative agency that serves as a resource for rural policy within the Pennsylvania General Assembly. The Center works with the legislature, educators, state and federal executive branch agencies, and national, statewide, regional and local organizations to maximize resources and strategies that can better serve Pennsylvania’s nearly 3.4 million rural residents.

Contact: Christine Caldara Piatos, 717-787-9555,