Partners in Progress

Promoting and supporting sustainable community development in rural Haiti

Meet our Staff

Dr. Richard Gosser - Executive Director

A founding board member of Partners in Progress, Dr. Richard A. Gosser has provided strong leadership to the organization since it began in 1999. After 30 years as an associate professor of Mathematics at St. Vincent College he left his tenured faculty position in 2006 to become PIP’s executive director. Upon his retirement St. Vincent college elevated him to the rank of Emeritus Professor of Mathematics. 

Dr. Gosser studied mathematics and philosophy at St. Vincent College (Latrobe, PA) and Durham University (Durham, England) and did graduate studies in theology at Franciscan University (Steubenville, OH). His master’s and doctoral degrees (in mathematics) are from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA. In addition to a 30 year career teaching math at St. Vincent College, he has taught mathematics and theology in a university pilot project in San Pedro Sula, Honduras and regular seminars on Catholic Social Teaching at the Presentation Ministries Summer Bible Institute at Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH.

In 1994 Dr. Gosser received the St. Vincent College Alumnus of Distinction Award for his humanitarian and justice work in Haiti, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic. In 2011 St. Vincent College awarded him an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree for his more than 20 years of working for human rights, social justice and sustainable development. Together with his wife, Daneen, a certified psychiatric home health nurse, he has coordinated more than thirty delegations and “reverse mission pilgrimages” to Haiti. He has worked as a translator for Intercultural Nursing health care teams in the Dominican Republic. With help from the Pittsburgh Regional Haiti Solidarity Committee, he has overseen the shipping of more than 12,000 pounds of medicines, medical supplies and school supplies to Haiti since 1993. 

Dr. Gosser has been an accredited election observer in seven national elections in Haiti. He has trained independent, international election observers for Haiti in techniques and standards of election monitoring and is a former board officer of the Washington Office on Haiti. He and his wife Daneen are co-founders of the Rich in Mercy Mission Institute, the “faith based” division of Partners in Progress that promotes “global solidarity” through education for justice, by linking people to people and communities to communities, and by providing opportunities and inspiring initiatives to meet the material and spiritual needs of the poorest populations of the Americas.

Dr. Gosser frequently makes presentations on Haiti and on Catholic Social Teaching at churches, schools, civic organizations, and other groups and is a member of the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation committee of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), a missionary religious congregation of the Catholic church. He and Daneen reside in Ligonier, PA where they are active members in Holy Trinity Parish as members of the folk choir, catechists on the parish RCIA (faith formation) team. They are “co-workers” in Presentation Ministries and have lay Spiritan Associates for 5 years. Both Rich and Daneen are avid backyard gardeners and novice “permaculture” practitioners. They have two children and five grandchildren

Becky Newlin - Administrative Assistant

Becky is a retired teacher, who worked in the teaching field for over forty years. She taught at various grade schools for thirteen years and spent the remaining years teaching religious studies in the area of Catholic social justice at Pittsburgh diocesan high schools. In 2004, Becky, under the inspiration of the Pittsburgh Haiti Solidarity Committee, hosted Sheila Douyon, a Fonkoze employee, who was studying at Duquesne University. In the summer of 2005 Becky went on a reverse mission trip to Haiti with Rich Gosser and returned to Haiti to work in the Fondwa Community as an English teacher at St. Antoine School in 2006-07. She served as a board member of PIP for a short time and was then hired for a part-time position in PIP’s office in Ligonier.