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The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of Delaware Valley College

The Life Sciences at Delaware Valley College


students, faculty and alumni are helping people live


Students Tatiana Tway ’16 interned at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, assisting with HIV research at just 18 years old.

Fa c u lt y Dr. Ed Sambriski is publishing research, which will help the medical community better understand the type of liquid crystal used in a film that can detect breast cancer. His research may help with understanding how long the tool can be used reliably. Dr. Yun Li, a chemistry faculty member, is using computer simulation to shed some light on how to turn off undesirable genes.



• Merck • H3 Biomedicine (a cancer drug discovery enterprise) • Johnson & Johnson

• Registered dietitian • Food safety inspector with the USDA • Residential advisor at Foundations Bethlehem



What are the


Students are learning how to improve the world...


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Moving toward university status AN UPDATE ON NAME CHANGE

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A Delaware Valley College alumnus is caring for three new lion cubs Page 16


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Message from the Alumni Director

Lynn Carroll EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Laurie Ward

Dear Alumni, This spring marks my first year as alumni director. I have learned so much from the alumni, students, faculty, and staff of Delaware Valley College. My assumptions about what a small college can offer were challenged again and again, opening my eyes to the amazing community that is DelVal. As you’ll read in this issue, DelVal is at the leading edge in the life sciences, tackling the most important issues of our time—issues that our alumni continue to explore after they graduate. DelVal is the first college in the world to give students training access to the Zoological Information Management System, a program used by zoos and aquariums around the world to keep records on animals. While the theme of this issue is the life sciences, The School of Life and Physical Sciences is just one part of this College. All of our schools, including: The School of Business and Humanities, The School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, and The School of Graduate and Professional Studies are full of talented students and faculty doing innovative work. Just this past semester, we brought together some of the best young writers in the area to highlight their work. Our agribusiness students visited dairy farms as part of a national competition and made suggestions to help keep those farms profitable. A DelVal secondary education student is working to get a campaign to fight stereotypes into classrooms across the country. At the Precarious Alliance, graduate policy studies students presented work related to climate change and heard an inspiring speech from Bill McKibben about creating change. Now it’s your turn: I’d like you to challenge another assumption about small colleges. Are DelVal alumni too small in number and too busy with their lives to make an impact? Are there enough passionate, creative, ambitious alumni to take us to the next level? Help our small school take on the most important issues of our time. Mentor a student through our LinkedIn group so that he or she can make a difference in the world. Come back to visit us in October for Homecoming to see where your talents could be utilized. Offer to speak to a class or host a field trip. In large or small ways, you can make an impact on this special place, at this critical moment. As Dr. Josh Feldstein said to an alumni gathering recently, if alumni share their time and talent with DelVal, there is nothing we can’t accomplish.

With appreciation for all that is DelVal,


CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Emily Goense ’98 Matt Levy Lanny Morgnanesi


DESIGN Tricia Kessler

PHOTOGRAPHY Allure West Studios Tricia Kessler Matt Levy

SEND CLASS NOTES TO Delaware Valley College Office of Marketing and Communications 700 East Butler Avenue Doylestown, PA 18901 Ph: 215.489.6367

POSTMASTER ADDRESS CHANGES TO Delaware Valley College Office of Institutional Advancement 700 East Butler Avenue Doylestown, PA 18901 ________ Horizons is published two times a year for Delaware Valley College alumni, friends, parents, students, faculty, and staff by the Office of Marketing and Communications. Copyright ©2014 Delaware Valley College. Periodicals postage paid at Southeastern, PA and at additional mailing offices.

Lynn Carroll Director of Alumni Engagement

HORIZONS MAGAZINE MISSION STATEMENT The primary purpose of Horizons is to present accurate, balanced stories that will interest our readers, elevate perceptions and awareness of the institution and create a greater sense of community.

As one channel for the institution’s marketing and communications, the magazine breaks down silos and allows for the various departments on campus to learn more about each other.

The magazine will share news and accomplishments to keep alumni connected to the institution, extending the College’s reach to wherever people live.

The publication reflects the College’s core values: respect all people; value the world of ideas and differences; pursue excellence; live each day with integrity; teach, learn and serve with passion and commitment; and act as one learning community with one purpose.

Horizons shares and highlights news related to the College and its alumni, students, faculty and staff. The intent of sharing these stories is to make people more aware of the great work that is happening because of the College, which will indirectly cultivate alumni engagement, campus visits, financial gifts and favorable coverage of the College.

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The final decision on whether a story gets included is always based two factors: • Is it an interesting topic that will engage our readers? • Does the story help to elevate people’s perceptions of the institution or, foster a greater sense of community among our audience?


We want to hear from you We welcome letters in response to Horizons stories. Letters are subject to editing for space, style, clarity and civility. To submit letters to the editor, email, or mail a letter to: Managing Editor Horizons Office of Marketing and Communications Delaware Valley College 700 East Butler Avenue Doylestown, PA 18901

What are the

LIFE SCIENCES? At Delaware Valley College, we don’t just educate students so that they can get jobs, we teach our students so that they can improve our world and help the people who live in it. Students and alumni from a variety of our programs are using the knowledge and experience they gained at DelVal to tackle some of the most important issues of our time.

For this issue of Horizons, we spoke with alumni and faculty in the life sciences, who are doing amazing work that is making a real impact in the lives of others and in our world. The life sciences are the areas of science that deal with living organisms. Some examples of these sciences are: biology, botany, zoology, microbiology and biochemistry. Delaware Valley College students, faculty and alumni are engaged in studying, observing and asking questions about

various living organisms around us every day. By applying their knowledge and experience, they’re helping to create positive change. 
In this issue, you will meet people such as Jennifer Lowry ’08, who is applying her conservation and wildlife management degree in Mexico where she’s working with wild bird populations, and Dr. Yun Li, a DelVal chemistry faculty member who used computer simulation to shed some light on DNA. Dr. Li coauthored research published in The Journal of Physical Chemistry, which is a step in the direction toward understanding how to silence genes that are connected to health problems. We will also update you on the new and improved resources available to our students. The College’s $15 million Life Sciences Building opened its doors for the first time for the spring 2014 semester, adding new classroom and lab space to our campus. While the laboratories will be used predominantly by students from the life sciences, the building as a whole will provide an improved experience for students from all majors. For what’s in the building and to hear from our students about how it will impact their experiences see page 6. We put together some resources for our alumni as well. For those looking to go into the life sciences or, for those already working in those fields, we sat down with College Trustee S P R I N G 2 0 1 4 | HORIZONS 5

Bill Mullin, who had a 37-year career with Merck, to discuss industry trends and career advice (see pages 8-9). 
This is just a small look at the positive impact education can have on our world. That desire to make an impact is what makes our alumni special.

“I was always impressed by how people treated one another at DelVal–students, administration, faculty. We were (and are) on the same team.  It’s a team that chooses to make a difference, to build community, and encourages each and every member to follow his or her passion.”

Jamie Haddon ’95, a business alumnus and the president and CEO of the United Way of Bucks County, put it this way.

If you are using your DelVal education to make a positive difference in the world, we would love to hear from you. Let us know at

Celebrating THE LIFE SCIENCES BUILDING The first new academic building in 40 years was dedicated Feb. 20 at Delaware Valley College. The $15-million Life Sciences Building, clearly visible from Butler Avenue and New Britain Road in Doylestown Township, was lit up for the evening celebration. Participants included faculty, staff and students, plus friends and donors of the College, government officials and people from the community. Dr. Joseph S. Brosnan, college president, said the new building “is one of the most significant elements of the implementation of our strategic plan,” which calls for growth of graduate and undergraduate programs and the attainment of university status in 2014. “What a great place to learn, and for our faculty, what a great place to teach,” Dr. Benjamin Rusiloski, dean of the School of Life and Physical Sciences, said of the building. Dr. James Trainer ’82, chair of the Board of Trustees, told the gathering, “This building will launch us into the future. We are arriving.” Much of the financing for the building came through the college’s $50 million “Realizing The Vision” campaign. During the dedication, donors who provided leadership gifts were recognized and thanked. They included: the George I. Alden Trust; Dr. James Diamond ‘61 and Elizabeth Diamond of Ottsville; Betsy Gemmill and The Warwick Foundation, William and Laurie Schutt of Doylestown; and the late Joseph Umosella ’63 of Fort Lauderdale.

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Part of the dedication included the naming of the Dr. James E. ’61 and Elizabeth R. Diamond Wing; the Joseph F. Umosella ’63 Atrium; and the George I. Alden Trust Study Area. Dr. Diamond is a former dean of agriculture and environmental sciences at DelVal. Dr. Brosnan also thanked state officials, including State Sen. Charles McIlhinney and State Rep. Marguerite Quinn, for providing the project with state grants of $5.7 million. “The new anatomy lab has bio students swooning,” said Emily Kraft ’14, a biology major who spoke at the event. The building houses classrooms, labs, conference rooms, study areas and a 450-seat theater. Performing in the theater after the speeches was the Doylestownbased Delaware Valley Saxophone Quartet.

“While it’s modern, it still fits with DelVal. I think the addition to the campus will be a great use of space for students, especially with all the seating and lounge space.” —Regina Luczyszyn ’14
 Food Science 

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Q&A about working in the life sciences The “life sciences” encompass companies in fields such as: biotechnology pharmaceuticals, biomedical technologies, life systems technologies, nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals, food processing, environmental, biomedical devices, and organizations and institutions that devote the majority of their efforts in the various stages of research, development, technology transfer and commercialization.

biology. Today, the distinctions are less clear and favor a more interdependent approach. While there remain “classical” life sciences, this very broad and exciting field demands thoughtful reasoning and knowledge mastery across all of the physical and life sciences. For example, to try to master a life science without a detailed knowledge and understanding of the relevant analytical and instrumentation skills, in my opinion, is not possible. That is why a career in the life sciences is more interesting than ever! Horizons: What has changed most significantly in your field since you started?

Mullin: When I was younger, it appeared more emphasis was placed on the individual, including his Editor-in-Chief Laurie Ward sits down with College Trustee or her specific talents Bill Mullin to discuss working in the life sciences. Mullin had a and skill sets. Certainly, 37-year career with Merck. “mastery” is a critical core requirement Bill Mullin recently retired after a 37-year across many disciplines and remains quite career at Merck and is a member of the important. However, what has changed College’s Board of Trustees. Mullin, who the most for me is seeing the “criticality” has a bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutiof being able to work through and direct cal sciences from St. John’s University teams. Now more than ever before, in and a master’s degree in organizational my opinion, great “work and outcomes”, behavior from the University of Pennsyl- only come through efficient and effective vania, offered insight on working in the teams. Take a hospital today, for example. life sciences. The best hospitals are ones that have the Horizons: How do you define the best “integrated,” allied health teams all life sciences? geared and focused on improved patient outcomes! How mastery is integrated Mullin: This is a great question! When in the dynamics of a team may indeed I was growing up, there were more define and determine whether the next clear distinctions between the physigreat “idea” is left on the lab bench or gets cal sciences and the life science, such as employed successfully in the “field.”

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Horizons: What advances are you surprised haven’t been made yet? Or didn’t stick? Mullin: I have spent a career in manufacturing medicines and vaccines all over the world, this is not even possible without a significant focus on “process management.” Process management, in a simplified version, looks at the required key inputs, how work or value is added and the desired outcomes including metrics. When I started as a pharmacist primarily in a hospital setting nearly 42 years ago, I was always frustrated that data in patient charts was not trended or managed as part of a continuum. With the advent of electronic data capture, it still remains a field that is in its very early infancy. For example, as a clinical pharmacist giving advice for blood pressure management to a patient 40 years ago, how could I expect them to better manage their blood pressure, regardless of which medicine their physician prescribed, unless they tracked and trended their own blood pressure results over time? Horizons: What should students going into the life sciences know? Mullin: First it is a fascinating field, that will provide a lifetime of rewards and satisfaction. Horizons: What insight can you offer them? Mullin: No matter what life science discipline you pursue, be “fanatically passionate” about your studies and work. Just like viruses and bacteria can “infect” a human or animal host, I have witnessed passionate people focused on what they do, literally, “infecting” in a positive way other team members and patients with their enthusiasm.

What are the students saying about the new Life Sciences Building?

“There is a lot of space for students to work and get things done, both in and out of the classroom.”

“The building is really pretty when it lights up. It is beautiful at night. There is wonderful technology that we can use for all mediums.” — Savannah Gibson ’14 Biology

—Greg Stelmach ’14
 Business Administration 

“I think it’s a sign of the College’s continued success into the future. Also, there are a lot of windows which I think will promote learning.” —Zach Page ’14,
Zoo Science

Horizons: Why did you want to work in the life sciences? Mullin: My story is interesting; in elementary and high school I was convinced I would only pursue the physical sciences or engineering. I served as a cadet in the local First Aid and Rescue Squad in my hometown in New Jersey from age 16 to 18. My town was within commuting distance of New York and many professionals were not around during the days, requiring a different volunteer work-force. My volunteer experience and a fabulous mentor who happened to be a registered pharmacist from Columbia University, helped me decide to switch my major from chemistry to pharmacy. Horizons: What do you love about this area? Mullin: Taking science, which I love, and using it to help people. So much so that I

“No matter what life science discipline you pursue, be ‘fanatically passionate’ about your studies and work.”

left the clinical setting of a hospital to work as an intern for the U.S. Public Health Service and joined a global medicine and vaccine manufacturer. My career allowed me to be a part of making medicines and vaccines for tens of millions of patients around the world, I retired from Merck as a vice president for quality.

Horizons: What is the most inspiring or positive experience you’ve had working in the life sciences? 
Mullin: In 2006, I was part of a manufacturing team that launched four new and innovative vaccine products. These products led to very significant improvements in public health by radically reducing the risk for cervical cancer, shingles, chicken pox and rotavirus, where an estimated 500,000 babies die each year from rotavirus and medical care is not readily available. In the 1980s, I was a production supervisor making an innovative antibiotic. My youngest sister, who had cystic fibrosis, ended up using the new antibiotic when other antibiotics failed in treating her infections. Whether it is one person you are able to help, or millions of people through vaccination campaigns, I could not imagine a more enriching career.

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FORMER MERCK EXECUTIVE URGES STUDENTS to stand out through Dr. Jean Pierre Gagnon, a retired Merck executive, told Delaware Valley College students it will be their actions, not their words, that will help them stand out as young professionals. Dr. Gagnon spoke at the College Thursday, Nov. 21, as part of the Watson Executive-In-Residence series, which brings top executives to campus to share candid advice and stories from their careers with current students. The events give students a chance to network and learn from the successes and failures of others.


“I asked for the toughest assignments,” said Dr. Gagnon. “I took the territory that was in trouble and turned it around and I became known for that.”

the impact of your family. They can be your best supporters or cause you a lot of pain. You’re not an island and you can’t succeed alone.”

He warned students not to minimize the impact of their personal support systems. He said that his family’s willingness to

He left students with six key suggestions to keep in mind for success:
 1 Be the best at what you do and remain calm.
 2 C  ommunicate with others in a simple and clear way.
 3 Innovate-Don’t just look for problems, because anyone can see problems; offer solutions.

When Dr. Gagnon was young he had no idea what he wanted to do. He considered being a rock star and a motorcycle rider before deciding he wanted to travel the world and run a business. Before getting a first job, he told students to write a wish list about what they want from their first “If you inspire positions. “Be bold about what you would like to do, but be realistic about what you can do,” said Dr. Gagnon, who quickly found playing guitar wasn’t on his “can do” list.

individuals on your team to do more and become more, you will be on the team that wins.”

He started at Merck as a pharmaceutical sales representative and stayed with the company for more than 30 years. He worked his way up to holding high-level positions such as vice president of brand marketing for the U.S., and most recently CLO & global vice president for Global Human Health Learning & Development.
In his most recent position with Merck, Dr. Gagnon ran aspects of learning, development and performance for more than 40,000 employees working in 136 countries.
He stood out by always delivering on his commitments and taking on challenging territories.
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4  Make it happen. Always deliver on or exceed promises. Be careful not to promise more than you can deliver.
 5 Build trust and respect.

support him, cheer him on, and move so that he could take positions, made a big difference for him.
 “I’ve seen people who could have had great futures fail because they couldn’t manage personal relationships,” said Dr. Gagnon. “Don’t minimize

6  Help others. Improve the lives of the people around you and work to energize them. If you inspire individuals on your team to do more and become more, you will be on the team that wins.

Thomas W. Watson ’57 created the speaker series in 2004. Watson is a co-founder and vice chairman emeritus of Omnicom Group Inc., one of the largest advertising firms in the world. Dr. Gagnon was the 20th Watson Executive-InResidence speaker.

DR. PETE HOFFMAN ’63 stumbled into


Careers, like many aspects of life, end up surprising people. Sometimes people picture themselves in one type of job and end up somewhere different, doing something they love. Dr. Pete Hoffman ’63 grew up on a small farm in Berks County and was always interested in returning home to raise hogs and cattle. His advisor at Delaware Valley College suggested graduate school. When he started as an animal science graduate student at Iowa State University he still had it in his mind that he would return to Berks County to farm. He immediately started helping with research. While he was in school, he met his wife, a microbiology graduate student. The university offered him a position when he completed his program and he ended up staying. “I got there in the fall of 1963 and started to help with research as a student and have continued through the present with feedlot cattle research,” said Dr. Hoffman, who officially retired in January 2013. The university allows him to continue to do research on a volunteer basis and work with students. He studied the different kinds of housing conditions for feedlot cattle and researched different types of feeding programs, such as substitutes for corn, and ways of storing corn. He’s looked at pasture-fed cattle to see if the practice makes a difference in the composition of the animal and what the practice means for profitability and economics.

“If they start them off on pasture and halfway through the program put them on corn grain diets, we didn’t find much of a difference in carcass composition or eating quality (tenderness, flavor),” said Dr. Hoffman.

“When you add chemicals to a feeding program, this usually causes concern and fear from consumers.”

In a recent study, Dr. Hoffman looked at functional oils, which can be derived from natural products such as cashews. The team looked at what happens when you use them as an additive in feed to help the animals with digestion. “We found that the meat has a high eating quality as evaluated by a human sensory taste panel,” said Dr. Hoffman.

He said natural additives have been just as good as chemical additives from preliminary research and may even be improving the composition of the meat a little bit. “These oils are quite possibly going to be a cheaper alternative that is just as productive,” said Dr. Hoffman. “They’re also very consumer friendly, since they have health benefits when consumed directly by humans.” From an economic standpoint, the natural additives could also help farmers. “European communities have refused to accept meat that has been fed with chemical additives,” said Dr. Hoffman. “When you add chemicals to a feeding program, this usually causes concern and fear from consumers.”

The benefits these natural additives may have for the industry is just one small change. Dr. Hoffman, who said he’s a “glass half full kind of guy” expects to see many more improvements driven by science. “There is no doubt in my mind that the way we produce food will evolve,” said Dr. Hoffman. “I enjoy research because it’s the opportunity to learn and share with people. It’s an ongoing challenge. We’re trying to learn as much as we can about the animal body and how we can have an impact on the functioning of that body. This is going help us provide a better product.” He said that the more researchers learn, the more they find out how much they don’t know yet. Dr. Hoffman remains very involved with the College. As a student, he was part of the livestock judging team, played baseball, and was president of his class. Today, he organizes class reunions, stays in constant contact with classmates, and serves on the Alumni Executive Committee. He is currently class president.

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Liquid Crystals

New research sheds light on the stability of breast cancer detection film, as well as other devices Liquid crystals can be used to detect breast cancer. Cancerous cells are warmer than normal cells, and doctors can hold a film containing liquid crystals over the skin to detect cancer cells. This is because the film responds differently to temperature. It is only recently that this technology was made portable. A chemistry faculty member from Delaware Valley College, Dr. Edward Sambriski, recently published research that sheds light on how liquid crystals move and for how long they can support certain patterns in devices that use them. Looking at how molecules in a liquid crystal move in time helps with understanding the exciting technology that these materials can offer. What’s new here is the type of information that comes from the computational studies that follow how these molecules move in space and time.

sure and light have an impact on how these molecules organize in the liquid. Many people have encountered these materials before in a liquid crystal display, or LCD. Dr. Sambriski studied discotic liquid crystals, which are made from disc-shaped molecules. Discotic liquid crystals have the ability to form columns under certain conditions, and the research team he was part of wanted to find out how these materials organize on a molecular scale. Many flexible screens and photovoltaic devices, such as solar panels, make use of discotic liquid crystals. Recently, curved television screens have been developed with discotic liquid crystals to overcome screen glare and to remove distortion from any viewing angle. Their applications go on, so understanding how discotic liquid crystals behave can shed light on new developments and improvements. Since many liquid crystal systems are carbon-based, devices produced from them tend to be cheaper to manufacture (because carbon is readily available) and can overcome some of the environmental impact associated with their inorganic (metal-based) counterparts. The discotic liquid crystal can organize in a hexagonal pattern at high temperatures and high pressures, or in a rectangular pattern at low temperatures and low pressures. The rectangular arrangement forms into columns, making it less mobile and useful in applications that require transfer of electrical current. As soon as a column of liquid crystals forms, limited motion dominates in the sample, but molecules can occasionally swap spots from one column of liquid to another. Rattling motion is quite common in columns, but there is also a net drift of the liquid along the column. Molecules can undergo string-like motion when they move together, leading to a “breathing” motion in the sample.

Cancer cells are hotter than normal “By mapping out how these materials relax or become Dr. Sambriski coauthored cells, and doctors can hold a film stable, we can understand and predict how they behave over time,” said Dr. Sambriski. “The lifetime and stability “Phase equicontaining these crystals over the skin of devices that use liquid crystals are issues that must be libria, fluid to detect the cancer cells. considered in their development.” structure, and diffusivity of a Calculations used in the study are costly because systems discotic liquid crystals” in Soft Matter, a scientific journal published have to be monitored on a large scale, to get accurate results. by the Royal Society of Chemistry. He collaborated with two physi- “The dynamics differ depending on the conditions you have, and cists from the Autonomous Metropolitan University (Iztapalapa) in certain features can only be observed when you wait long enough, Mexico City on the project. or probe the material on a sufficiently large spatial scale” said Dr. Liquid crystals flow like a normal liquid, but unlike a normal liquid, they can flow with structural order. Factors like temperature, pres12 H O R I Z O N S | S P R I N G 2 0 1 4

Sambriski. “Computer simulations allow you to map out how liquid crystals evolve with time.” Continued on page 13

The Power of Placenta Emily Goense ’98’s horse, Gabe, was bad-

Dr. Nancy Buonpane remembered treating

The amnion was applied directly to his

ly injured and a scar reopened years later

a horse’s leg “that looked like a hamburger”

wound. About every five days the skin around

and would not heal. After weeks with no

with equine placenta and reported that the

the open wound would grow. The tissue was

progress, she got a second opinion and

therapy was outstanding.

extremely healthy and Gabe’s leg showed

turned to a rather interesting therapy—

The placental membrane supports fetal life

virtually no signs of swelling or discomfort.

equine placenta. Here is an excerpt from her story about the process:

We were now faced with treating a huge,

while in the womb. A local breeder, Mo Swanson of Rolling Stone Farm, agreed to supply us with a placenta from one of her breedings.

As the skin grew, the dark pigment of Gabe’s leg followed and the new baby skin and hair began to grow. The amnion tissue has skin-like characteristics

open, drippy wound the size of a human fist.

and tremendous healing ability. Using this

After fighting with a wound that was not

form of treatment requires patience to

healing for 10 weeks, we opted for a second

perform properly. For us, it was truly a


miracle treatment. Gabe is now healthy and doing well. — Emily Goense ’98

“After weeks with no progress, she got a second opinion and turned to a rather interesting therapyequine placenta.”

Liquid Crystals

The wound was completely healed after treatment in June


The team used supercomputers to carry out the research. The computer simulations allow the team to change experimental conditions at will and better understand how liquid crystals behave over time, at different temperatures and pressures.

The wound on Gabe’s hock was the size of a fist in April.

“In a way, computer simulations provide the individual frames that, when put together, make a movie showcasing what molecules do… something that is still not possible to see in detail with instruments,” said Dr. Sambriski. S P R I N G 2 0 1 4 | H O R I Z O N S 13

JENNIFER LOWRY ’08 took a one-way flight to Mexico to save the military macaw from extinction Like a tornado of bright green feathers, groups of as many as 81 military macaws will come flying out of Sótano del Barro, a cave-like sinkhole in Mexico, and into the open air. “You can hear the echoes when they’re screaming,” said Jennifer Lowry ’08. “There’s no other place like this.” Lowry has been coming to Mexico for conservation work since 2009 and in 2012, she moved there with no plans to come back. “Mexico is our neighbor to the U.S. and has so much biodiversity,” said Lowry. “We should really be taking more action in conservation there.” She is using her Delaware Valley College degree in conservation and wildlife management to make a difference. Lowry founded United Corridors, which became a legally registered nonprofit in 2013, to help keep the military macaw from becoming extinct. Rapid development and deforestation are threatening its survival and the species is listed as endangered. The total population is unclear, but the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service believes the number is substantially less than 10,000 individuals. Patches of forest in Mexico and South America where the birds live are being broken up by development leading to what Lowry calls “habitat islands.”

Crossing deforested areas to reach another habitat is so dangerous for the birds that Lowry compares it to a human swimming from Hawaii to California. When crossing these large stretches to reach another forest the birds deal with challenges such as: water shortages, lack of shelter from weather, vehicles if they’re crossing roads, predators, poachers and potential food shortages. Species forced to navigate “habitat islands” are much more likely to be totally wiped out. When the birds can’t travel safely there is increased competition for resources, interference with breeding and sometimes, inbreeding, which leads to deformed offspring, increased disease and reduced genetic fitness. Lowry is working to create corridors, which are long, thin channels of forest, like hallways that connect the habitat islands. Corridors allow for safer travel, improve migration and increase genetic diversity. Her nonprofit collects data on worldwide corridor projects, advocates for project funding, builds partnerships and provides education and public outreach. “If we can better understand animal migration, we can better conserve habitats and nesting areas,” said Lowry. “This could be crucial to the survival of these birds. With human development and climate change, it is really going to be conservation corridors that make sure these species survive.” Sometimes people will tell her that there isn’t a place for environmental conservation in areas where people are starving, but she feels that it should always be part of the equation. “There’s always a place for conservation, we just have to find that sweet spot for it where it makes economic sense for the local communities by giving people more options and opportunities and, engaging them in the work,” said Lowry.

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Mexico is just one of the amazing places her conservation work has taken her. She has experienced some of the most remote parts of the Amazon and helped with conservation work in Hawaii. She was also part of a project to protect sea turtles in Texas. DelVal helped her gain knowledge and experience that she’s using every day. The small classes and close relationships with peers and faculty really helped her with understanding material. “I love the medical aspect of science,” said Lowry. “If you’re bird banding sometimes you need to get a genetic sample. All the skill sets I gained at DelVal, from performing a small surgery to drawing blood, can be applied in so many settings and have wider implications in a conservation setting.” She said Reg Hoyt, assistant professor and department co-chair for the animal biotechnology and conservation department, became her mentor. “He was phenomenal and really helped shape my wildlife conservation career,” said Lowry. “He was one of the people who coached me and helped me go through the process to start United Corridors.” In addition to her B.S. from DelVal, Lowry has a master’s in conservation leadership from Colorado State University. To learn more visit: or

DELVAL ZOO SCIENCE MAJORS get access to the field’s leading animal records management solution Delaware Valley College was the first college in the world to purchase access to an educational version of the software platform that zoos and aquariums worldwide use to record, manage and share vital animal information. Zoo science majors got access to the system for the first time during the fall 2013 semester. ZIMS is the world-standard animal inventory software used by more than 800 institutions in 80 countries.  Students get a chance to practice using the training version of ZIMS before they graduate, which will give them an edge when applying for zoo and aquarium positions. With an educational membership, DelVal students learn concepts of managing animals in human care, including tracking data on: age, identification methods, sex and life-stages, pedigree, studbook management, management of endangered animals, animal enrichment, behavioral training, medical data management, enclosure design and maintenance, and life support system design and maintenance. Students access the system both on and off campus. The College, in partnership with ZIMS-provider, International Species Information System (ISIS), trains students on use of the system and prepares them to effectively use the software platform at zoos and aquariums when they enter the field. In the College’s Animal Record-Keeping course, which was offered for zoo science juniors and seniors fall 2013, students recorded data for a virtual zoo using the practice version of ZIMS.

Sam Cohen ’14

In the course, students run a virtual zoo, designing exhibits, entering inventory for the zoo, and learning about how record-keeping enhances care of animals, aids international conservation efforts and more. “Accurate record-keeping and sharing of information with institutions worldwide is absolutely necessary for this field,” said Maggie Liguori, a DelVal faculty member. “We’re tracking animals from birth to death; we have to track genetics for generations.”

“Accurate record-keeping and sharing of information with institutions worldwide is absolutely necessary for this field. We’re tracking animals from birth to death; we have to track genetics for generations.”

She said the access combines nicely with the College’s focus on experiential learning and gives students a resource they wouldn’t otherwise have until they were in the field. “I think it will have a huge impact on our students’ job searches,” said Liguori. “The person reading the resume is going to stop and look at it twice during the interview and ask. Applicants who bring this type of experience at such a young age are rare.” Sam Cohen ’14 was pleased to get access to the program.

Lauren Del Grosso ’09

“I am very excited to have access to ZIMS, as we are the first school to have it integrated into our curriculum,” said Cohen. “DelVal students will have an advantage over other job applicants and even people already working in the zoo field.” S P R I N G 2 0 1 4 | H O R I Z O N S 15

A DELAWARE VALLEY COLLEGE ALUMNUS IS CARING FOR THREE NEW LION CUBS Three lion cubs were born at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, N.J. this year and a Delaware Valley College alumnus is part of the team making sure they grow up healthy. Dr. Ken Keiffer ’04, an animal science alumnus, has been a veterinarian at Six Flags since 2008. He’s sharing his experiences there with current DelVal students. On Feb. 22, he gave DelVal’s Pre-Vet Club a behind-the-scenes park tour. “It was such a great experience to go see the Safari facilities,” said pre-vet student Lauren Dunn ’17, who is planning to major in conservation and wildlife management. “I’d driven through before with my family, but as an aspiring vet I was always curious as to what was behind the scenes. To actually go and see that was amazing, and only made me more certain that becoming a vet is exactly what I want to do. It was such a great honor, and I can’t thank Dr. Keiffer enough!” Jason Doll ’16, Pre-Vet Club president, said seeing and meeting the lions was an opportunity he won’t forget. “It was amazing to not only get the opportunity to have a glimpse into the world of zoo medicine (the field in which I want to have a career), but also to realize that like most young ones, these cubs are something extraordinary,” said Doll, a zoo science major and also a pre-vet student. “They are a breeding program success story that will positively impact their species’ conservation status.” Two cubs were born Jan. 10 and one was born in early February to a different mother. 16 H O R I Z O N S | S P R I N G 2 0 1 4

All three were pulled because the mothers weren’t properly caring for them.

At DelVal, Dr. Keiffer was involved with the Animal Science Society and also took advantage of internship opportunities.

“One looked like it was in distress, and we made the decision to intervene with both cubs in the first set,” said Dr. Keiffer. “Moms will sometimes abandon a single cub because they’d rather raise a litter.”

“I had a great experience at DelVal,” said Dr. Keiffer. “The classes were good, teachers were good and I still have a few friends I’m close with who I met there.”

He said mothers do this because, from an evolutionary standpoint, it makes more sense to raise a group. They decided to intervene with both for their safety and because it’s easier to raise them together and introduce them to the pride as pair. The third cub was born to a first-time mother who wasn’t responding to or caring for it. All three of the cubs will be raised together and by 12-18 months they will join the pride. Dr. Keiffer has also visited the Pre-Vet Club to discuss specific cases students were interested in, answer questions about the field, and give advice about applying to veterinary school and finding jobs.

He interned for Six Flags as a DelVal student. Then, he stayed on as a seasonal employee, went to vet school and stayed in touch with the people he met there. He has remained involved and said a good number of DelVal students have interned with him at Six Flags. Dr. Pamela Reed, a DelVal faculty member, served as a mentor for Dr. Keiffer when he was a student. “Dr. Reed is a great source of advice; not only is she a veterinarian herself, but she’s also seen students go through the application process as an advisor,” said Dr. Keiffer. “So, she’s really able to guide them through it.”

Six Flags hired him right after he graduated from The Ohio State University’s veterinary program. His hard work paid off and he is working in a field he loves. “It’s a great field. I really recommend it to people as long as they’re willing to put in the hard work and time,” said Dr. Keiffer. For more about the cubs visit sixflagsgreatadventure.

“It was amazing to not only get the opportunity to have a have a glimpse into the world of zoo medicine, but also to realize that like most young ones, these cubs are something extraordinary.” -Jason Doll ’16

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THE DEATH OF GENES RESEARCH helps with UNDERSTANDING the death of undesirable GENES DelVal faculty member’s

If you took the ribbon from a cassette tape and compressed it, you wouldn’t be able to hear the music. Similarly, if you soften DNA and wrap it into a compact bundle, you can silence genes, explained Dr. Yun Li, a chemistry faculty member at Delaware Valley College who is researching this process. Working with colleagues from Rutgers University, Dr. Li has been examining a method that softens DNA, which allows it to be compressed like the cassette tape’s ribbon. The softening is created by adding an extra group, called a methyl group, to the fifth place on the ring that makes up cytosine, one of the building blocks of DNA. Understanding how to cause this softening can help scientists with figuring out how to “turn off ” undesirable genes, such as retroviruses like HIV, which have permanently embedded themselves into the host’s genome.

“I’m very proud to have been part of this project,” said Dr. Li. “I think it is something that will be incorporated into textbooks in the future and I’m glad to have my name associated with it.”

“If we want to silence a gene that shouldn’t be expressed we need to make DNA softer.” With drugs to treat cancer and other issues, Dr. Li said the emphasis has traditionally been on drugs that target proteins. “That makes DNA a treasure chest,” said Dr. Li . “Controlled DNA silencing through methylation has great medical potential. It can lead to the development of a different kind of gene therapy. It might even help with tissue regeneration, thus helping people who suffered from spinal cord injuries.” Dr. Yun Li, a DelVal chemistry faculty member, published research in the Journal of Physical Chemistry, which helps with understanding the death of undesirable genes.

In a paper published by The Journal of Physical Chemistry, “5-Methylation of Cytosine in CG:CG Base-Pair Steps: A Physiochemical Mechanism for the Epigenetic Control of DNA Nanomechanics,” the team describes how making a small change to cytosine, one of the building blocks of DNA, leads to this softening and what that means for DNA mechanics. If DNA were a spiral staircase, cytosine would be one-half of a step. It pairs with guanine, in what is called a CG:CG basepair step, which looks like one step on the staircase. Dr. Li worked with two colleagues in his field, Tahir I. Yusufaly and Dr. Wilma K. Olson, to look at what happens when you manipulate one of those half steps. Cytosine is shaped like a ring, with branches coming off it. Using a computer program, the team added a methyl group, three hydrogen atoms bonded to a carbon atom, to the fifth location on that ring that normally just contains a hydrogen atom. They are studying how 5-methylation, altering the cytosine by adding a piece in the fifth place on its ring, alters DNA structure. The work has implications for cancer research and stem cell research. 5-Methylation is a unique mechanism in gene deactivation – the methylation pattern of a cell’s DNA is passed on to its children cells. Thus, methylation patterns are used to prevent a cell from digressing into a less differentiated cell type. If you alter the pattern you can change a cell’s type. If you remove it completely you get a stem cell. “If we can understand more of DNA methylation, we can create drugs that

18 H O R I Z O N S | S P R I N G 2 0 1 4

In the line figure above, point A represents a methyl group, attached to the cytosine through point B; point D represents all other atoms in the base-pair step, attached to the same cytosine through point C. Computer simulation shows that the introduction of a methyl group (enclosed in the red circle) to cytosine significantly increases the oscillation hinged at point C, in other words, cytosine 5-methylation locally softens DNA.

can silence genes in a very specific fashion,” said Dr. Li. “Currently most drugs target proteins. It’s certainly something to think about and as we’re more and more capable of doing so, it will open up a new arena to combat disease.”

structural variations in a set of carefully chosen protein-DNA complexes. Tahir, a Rutgers graduate student, subsequently added the methyl group to the cytosine and studied how these vibration patterns are changed in computer simulations.

He said the work he’s a part of is very theoretical, but it does tell us why the methylation of cytosine could silence genes.

In order to provide the real data, Dr. Li had to look at a large number of DNA binding proteins. This makes the motion used in the simulation real.

DNA naturally resists being packed together, crumpled or tangled. By making the small change to cytosine, introducing the extra group to its ring, it makes DNA softer-more easily squeezed together.

CG pairs are rigid while AT pairs are soft. They found that adding the extra group on the fifth place could soften CG pairs.

“If we want to silence a gene that shouldn’t be expressed we need to make DNA softer,” said Dr. Li, who started working on the project eight years ago as a graduate student at Rutgers.

Methylation of the cytosine makes the DNA sequence more homogenous and makes it easier to condense DNA-which helped the team with better understanding the death of DNA.

He will be continuing the work and will be publishing a follow-up paper on another aspect of DNA.

Dr. Li used a protein database to pull in data and then wrote computer software to sort the data, to make sure it was not biased to one particular protein family.

The research uses computer software, which simulates the changes. Dr. Li provided the DNA vibration patterns for the computer simulation by analyzing the

“It was very much humans and computers working together; the data was handpicked with the help of the computer,” said Dr. Li.

He would like to see more involvement of the undergraduate students at the College in this type of research, but said it can be difficult for students. “Some students could get involved with this type of research, but it’s not easy,” said Dr. Li. “If I see students with interest I would be happy to include them.” He is introducing his advanced students to some of the computer programs he used in the research. “The program that generated this graph is used in Advanced Biochemistry,” said Dr. Li, pointing to DNA graph on Page 5 of his paper. “I show the students how to use the program and interpret results.” He learned computer software design as a graduate student, and would encourage students who want to do similar work to learn as much as they can about it. He said the fight against health issues related to genes is interdisciplinary and that it’s an area where biologists, chemists, computer scientists and mathematicians can come together to solve a problem.

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SISTERS, ALUMNI, SCIENTISTS Three sisters are all DelVal alumni and Ph.D.s working in the life sciences If there aren’t enough women in the sciences, no one can blame the Clementi family. Three sisters from the family, Alicia ’02, Emily ’05 and Cara ’05, majored in the biology at Delaware Valley College and earned Ph.D.s. They grew up in Doylestown and graduated from Central Bucks East. As children, they attended A-Day and were always aware of the school as part of the community. “It was fun going to college together since we’re all so close,” said Emily. “My twin sister, Cara, and I have been together throughout our entire education and we had our big sister, Alicia, with us during our freshman year. She helped with the transition and gave us tips and advice. I’m lucky to have had them both with me.”

Therapeutics (CHET) at the University of Rochester. “I help academic investigators from any discipline translate their bench or bedside discoveries into new therapeutics,” said Alicia. “At CHET, we provide clinical trialsrelated operational infrastructure in an academic setting, which is very unique.” Emily, a microbiology Ph.D., enjoys taking complex scientific ideas and explaining them in a way that anyone can understand. She has loved science since she was in grade school. She fondly remembers projects like watching seeds wrapped in a wet paper towel sprout in a Ziploc bag and learning cloud types.

Alicia said she enjoys having “science nerd” siblings.

She chose DelVal for the strong science programs, small classes and opportunities for one-on-one interactions with faculty.

“I’m very proud of what we have each accomplished and we always have and will continue to support and champion each other in our careers and academic pursuits,” said Alicia.

Emily is now a postdoctoral associate in Product Microbiology at Ethicon, a Johnson & Johnson company, developing antibacterial surgical tools to help reduce infections and save lives.

They all took an anatomy and physiology class in high school that brought students to Doylestown Hospital to go on rotations. The course sparked Alicia’s interest in studying human diseases and she’s been hooked ever since.

Cara is now a postdoctoral fellow in clinical microbiology at the University of Rochester, developing the skills she’ll need to direct a microbiology laboratory.

She is associate director for research in the Center for Human Experimental

Her days include: going to seminars and conferences with pathologists and infectious disease specialists; identifying bacteria, fungi and parasites; and learning about the technology used to help diagnose

infections. She researches interesting patient cases and trends and helps develop and validate diagnostic tests for infection. She works with clinical professionals in industry, government, and several levels of hospital care. As a graduate student, she studied a bacterial pathogen of the human respiratory tract (nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae), and was part of research related to how the bacterium causes disease. While they’re all working on different projects, they share a passion that they want to pass on. With so many careers options in the sciences, Emily believes students, especially girls, should be exposed to the choices at a young age and throughout school, as new options and careers become available. “Our dad is an engineer and our mom is a former medical laboratory scientist and currently a freelance medical writer and editor,” said Emily. “Our mom always shared her science knowledge and interests with us, which definitely contributed to our interest in the field.” Alicia feels career guidance should start when freshmen walk in the door. “Our parents provided a lot of help and guidance, but that is not always the case for young people,” said Alicia. “Students need a structured, supportive and diverse career program to gain focus and motivation.” Working in the sciences has its ups and downs, but the sisters’ bond helps keep them moving toward their goals. “The world of scientific research can be challenging and stressful, with painfully slow progress,” said Cara. “Through the personal and professional ‘blood, sweat, and tears,’ Emily and I often remember the Winston Churchill quote, ‘Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.’” All three sisters would love to talk with students seeking advice about entering careers in the sciences. Contact us at to learn how to connect with them.

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A DelVal student

organizes a poster campaign

to fight


Logan Hall ’14 is teaching students to look beyond stereotypes and get to know people for who they really are. Logan Hall ’14 wants to see people stop making quick generalizations and really get to know each other and he wants to challenge students across the country to stand up and join him. Hall is hoping to spread a poster campaign he started on campus, Stop the Stereotypes, to schools across the nation. Hall, an secondary education major, approached the staff at DelVal about creating a College-sponsored poster campaign featuring real DelVal students standing up against different stereotypes. He is passionate about creating social change and making sure all students feel welcome and accepted in their classrooms. The set of five different posters challenges a different stereotype with each image. They are displayed all over campus and available online for students and community members to download and print at The posters take on stereotypes related to: student athletes, sexual orientation, majors, feminism and race. Students who appear in the posters include: Johnathan Alvarez ’14, Alexandra Heigh ’14, Emma Enea ’15, Judy Mohn ’15, Mathew Mohlenhoff ’14, Zachary Page ’15, Sarah Paradiso ’14, Diana Patton ’15, Matthew Miles Williams ’15, Kurt Yasenchak ’15, Harn (Debbie) Young ’14, and Kelsey Zook ’14. Hall also held an event in the campus dining hall to launch the poster campaign and to get students talking about stereotypes. He believes a school is the “perfect environment to build the strongest community of advocates for change.”

Hall is now student teaching and working to bring the campaign to other schools. He has been reaching out through programs like Future Farmers of America and Campus Pride to try to get other schools to do similar work. He also developed a section on the College’s website with templates and tools to help other schools get started.

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ALAN SHERIFF JOINS DELAWARE VALLEY COLLEGE’S BOARD OF TRUSTEES Alan Sheriff, founder and co-executive officer of Solebury Capital Group LLC, has been selected to serve on Delaware Valley College’s Board of Trustees. Sheriff brings more than 30 years of experience in senior positions on Wall Street to the board.

“We’re pleased to welcome Mr. Sheriff to our Board of Trustees. His experience and guidance will be invaluable as we continue putting our strategic plan into action,” said College President Dr. Joseph Brosnan. “At DelVal, we work to give students both the knowledge and

CONGRESSMAN MIKE FITZPATRICK VISITS JANET MANION MILITARY AND VETERANS CENTER On Tuesday, Nov. 12, Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick visited Delaware Valley to meet with military and veteran students. The group met for lunch at the Janet Manion Military and Veterans Center to discuss veteran benefits, education, policy and jobs. Students, as well as staff who work with veterans at the College, had a chance to sit with Congressman Fitzpatrick in a small group setting and ask questions about policies that impact veterans, education benefits, and internship and employment opportunities. Joshua Byrnes ’17, an environmental science major and Navy veteran, was part of the group that met with Fitzpatrick. He moved to Doylestown from the Washington, D.C. area to attend the College because of the programs it offers for veterans. Byrnes is working at the Manion Center, assisting other veterans while taking courses. He would like to go into environmental policy some day and make changes to protect natural resources. Byrnes was really interested to hear about some of the internship opportunities at the event. Fitzpatrick advised the students to make use of the educational benefits available to them. He told students to use their degrees to go out and do work that makes a difference like protecting the environment and starting new businesses that create jobs. He also advised those who plan to start businesses to hire other veterans when they become successful.

Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick visits the Janet Manion Military and Veterans Center. From left: Congressman Fitzpatrick, DelVal MBA student Roberto Brabham, associate registrar Lucy Drenth, and director of military and veterans affairs Tom Kennedy.

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experience to tackle the most important issues of our time. Mr. Sheriff is not only accomplished in the business world, he’s also highly involved in nonprofits that fit in well with what we stand for at DelVal. He gives his time to organizations that help young people live better lives both in the U.S. and around the world.”

 Sheriff founded Solebury Capital Group LLC, a boutique investment bank and the industry’s global leader focused on Equity Capital Markets as well as investor relations, executive search and private equity.

Sheriff is a member of Standard & Poor’s North American Indices Advisory Committee, the co-chairman of the Rosemont-Solebury Co-Invest Fund, and the chairman of the Solebury Second Career Partners. Sheriff is the founder and executive director of Teach2Serve, a nonprofit designed to educate and train select high school students for careers in public policy and nonprofit work. He serves on the board of Hydros Bottle, is a fellow at the Wharton School of Business and served as a delegate for the U.S. State Department’s Global Entrepreneurship Program in Egypt. Sheriff is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Sheriff serves as a trustee at Solebury School, a private day and boarding school for grades 7-12 located in New Hope, where he occasionally teaches courses on genocide and war and children.

He holds a B.A. in political science from the University of Rochester and a master’s degree in public policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He lives in Newtown, Pa., with his wife Karen and three children including Stephen, a current DelVal student majoring in counseling psychology.

Moving toward University Status AN UPDATE ON NAME CHANGE In March, Delaware Valley College President Dr. Joseph S. Brosnan sent out this update to the College community, including alumni, students, faculty and staff: I wanted to update you on the progress we’ve made with the name change process and our application for university status.

Because of the huge disruptions in higher education and the extremely challenging market conditions in which we need to attract students, we have decided to put the name change conversations on hold. 

Which leads me to my next update: last semester, we submitted our formal application to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) for status change to become a university. We had a very successful site visit by members of the PDE evaluation committee on March 5. The next step in the process, will be the committee’s report of their findings to the secretary of education, who in turn will make a recommendation to the governor. We are hopeful of hearing on university status in the near future.

This conclusion has been informed by conversations I’ve had with many of you, and research, including a comprehensive survey in which you were invited to take part.

As has been the intention, status change for the institution does not mean a shift in emphasis on teaching. We will remain the student-centered, teaching focused institution that you are familiar with, dedicated to providing students with small class sizes, student-faculty collaboration, experiential learning and research opportunities. Being a university will have an impact on our brand, however, and will allow us to attract a wider range of undergraduate, graduate and international students. Whether you called this campus the National Farm School, the National Agricultural College or DelVal, it is a special institution with one guiding principle – to teach “science with practice.”

A special committee of alumni, trustees, students, faculty and staff has taken all of this information and studied a potential name change over the past year. And so moving forward, if the Commonwealth awards us university status, we will be called Delaware Valley University in the immediate future and will reevaluate a name change in the next two to three years. In its March 7 meeting, the Board of Trustees approved these decisions.

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Hope of the Harvest receives $99,000

in grant support thanks to the help of two Delaware Valley College alumni When people think of Bucks County, “hunger” is not a term that often comes to mind, but about 10 percent of people in Bucks County experience food insecurity. Every week, the Doylestown Food Pantry alone serves about 100 families who are coming because they have no other choice. One woman was walking an hour each way to the pantry to get food. A young man was taking microwavable food. He didn’t have a way to cook it, but found a 7-Eleven that would let him use a microwave. These are the realities people are facing every day and, they’re the kind of issues that Jamie Haddon ’95 and Tom Wakefield ’72 don’t want to see anyone facing. At the 2014 Hunger Nutrition Coalition of Bucks County’s Hunger Forum “In Our Backyard,” Wakefield and Haddon made major announcements about grants that will support access to fresh, healthy food for people in need. 

Wakefield ’72 who serves on the board of directors for Land O’Lakes, Inc., announced $75,000 in support from the Land O’Lakes Foundation for Hope of the Harvest, which will be distributed over three years. Hope of the Harvest is a partnership between DelVal, The Bucks County Opportunity Council, and Philabundance that uses College land to grow fresh, nutritious food for those who are slipping through the hunger safety net. As of October 2013 the project had produced 51,298 pounds of food for people in need. That’s the equivalent of 39,460 meals. A grant from The Reinvestment Fund

From left: Tom Wakefield ’72 and Jamie Haddon ’95, two Delaware Valley College alumni who helped with getting major grants for the charitable garden. 24 H O R I Z O N S | S P R I N G 2 0 1 4

Tom Wakefield ’72 discusses hunger with Dean of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Russell Redding.

allowed the College to start producing food indoors after the traditional growing season ends. The first harvest of that muchneeded food will be in May. The long-term goal is to reach 100,000 pounds of production per year by 2017. Wakefield said that fighting hunger is “a natural fit” for the company because food is what they do. He also said that Land O’Lakes works to get involved in the communities where its food is produced and that farms in Bucks County are producing for the company.

“It was Tom’s leadership and being able to carry that conversation about hunger into board rooms that helped make the case that the charitable garden is worth investing in.”

“To see Land O’Lakes step up was great,” said Russell Redding, DelVal’s dean of agriculture and environmental sciences. “It was Tom’s leadership and being able to carry that conversation about hunger into board rooms that helped make the case that the charitable garden is worth investing in.”

 When President and CEO of the United Way of Bucks County, Jamie Haddon, a DelVal business alumnus, heard about the charitable garden, he approached the College to ask how he could help. At the forum, Redding announced that Haddon helped the College get a $24,000 commitment from the United Way to support the garden.

To learn more about the charitable garden please visit: delval. edu/about-delval/community-connection/hope-of-the-harvest

Delaware Valley College president selected for Rotary award The Doylestown Rotary Club honored College President Dr. Joseph Brosnan for adhering to high ethical standards in his professional career at its third annual “Four Way Test” Awards Breakfast April 30 at the Doylestown Country Club. Rotary, an organization with about 1.2 million members, brings people from a variety of professions, cultures and countries together to address some of the world’s toughest challenges. Members are passionate about creating lasting change in their communities and around the world. Each year, the Doylestown Rotary Club honors people who live by Rotary’s guiding principles or “Four Way Test,” one of the most widely printed and quoted statements of business ethics.

“I nominated Dr. Brosnan because he is a leader who believes in not only living by high ethical standards, but also in promoting them through his role as college president. He teaches all of his students to live by core values and stresses these values as an important part of education. He’s involved in the community and leads by example, staying honest and fair, building friendships and partnerships with community organizations, and making decisions that will improve the student experience at DelVal.”

which gives undergraduates real world experience and skills that make them more marketable to employers. He is also leading a $50 million capital campaign, which has brought in about $47 million so far. The funding will support initiatives that will enhance all aspects of the student experience and help position DelVal as a leading private university.

Janet Mintzer President and CEO, Pearl S. Buck International

Dr. Brosnan earned his bachelor’s degree from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and his master’s and doctorate the State University of New York at Albany. At Harvard University, he completed certificate programs at the New Presidents’ Institute and the Institute for Educational Management.

Since becoming president in 2007, Dr. Brosnan has added both graduate and undergraduate programs; opened a $15 million Life Sciences Building, which is providing new classroom and lab space as well as a new, 450-seat auditorium for students; and has added a robust Experience360 program,

He is involved in a variety of boards and foundations such as: the Bucks County Workforce Investment Board, the Bucks County Economic Development Advisory Board, the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce, the Pearl S. Buck Foundation, the Bucks County Conservation District, and the ACE Commission on Lifelong Learning.

LOOKING FOR A GOOD READ? HERE ARE A FEW BY FELLOW ALUMNI BLUE COLLAR KIDS by Carl Kline ’72 will take you back to the exciting

adventures of your youth. A group of friends will take you along for the ride for their ups and downs and you’ll feel like one of the gang. The boys pick fights, turn a football game into a war zone, help the town drunks get home without falling over, and play Spin the Bottle in this fun trip back to simpler times.


by Bobby Deren ’01 is a behind-the-scenes look at the process college players go through before making it into the NFL. The book follows four young football players as they go through the NFL draft.

GENTLE GRACE, part of Jillian Eaton ’07’s WEDDED WOMEN

QUARTET, is the story of Lady Grace Deringer—in love with a man who disappears without explanation mere weeks before their wedding. Her love interest, Lord Stephen Melbourne, was forced to leave to save someone’s life. He returns to London to win her back, but has to decide if he can trust her with a dangerous secret. Eaton was kind enough to visit campus to talk with current DelVal students about getting into the world of publishing.

Are you a DelVal faculty member or alumnus who recently published a book? Let us know! To submit a book to be considered for the next Bookshelf, email your name, cover art, class year and a brief description of your book to S P R I N G 2 0 1 4 | H O R I Z O N S 25

The Burpee Foundation provides $75,000 in grant support for the Precarious Alliance symposium ‘Energy in Transition’ DelVal’s Precarious Alliance symposia series, which looks at sustainability from a different angle each year, received $75,000 in grant support from The Burpee Foundation. This year’s event, “Energy in Transition,” was the third in the series and focused on energy-related issues and the environment. The event brought in top speakers from the field. One of the speakers, Dr. Woodrow W. Clark II, MA3, was one of the contributing scientists to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UNIPCC), which was the organization awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in December 2007, along with Al Gore. Another keynote speaker, author, environmental activist and founder of, Bill McKibben, has been called “probably the country’s most important environmentalist,” by The Boston Globe. The event also brought Scott Brusaw, president and CEO of Solar Roadways, to campus to talk about some innovative technology. Brusaw wants to replace petroleum-based asphalt roads and surfaces—whether interstate highways, downtown streets, residential lanes, or dirt and gravel roads—with a series of structurally engineered Solar Road Panels that can be driven on. Thanks to The Burpee Foundation’s generosity, the College was able to bring together academics, educators, business leaders, policymakers, environmental advocates, planners, engineers, attorneys and farmers from around the world to discuss solutions to powering our lives in a more sustainable way.

Crop science program boasts high job-placement rate DelVal’s crop science program was featured by American Farm Publications because graduates of the program are in such high demand. Dr. Steve DeBroux, a faculty member from the program, told reporter Sean Clougherty that most of his students know who they will be working for by December of senior year. The College launched a new required summer program of four courses between sophomore and junior years, which give students hands-on experience with field crops, weed science, field scouting and plant breeding. It also gets them ready to graduate early to help meet employer demand. 26 H O R I Z O N S | F A L L 2 0 1 3

Leadership development program works on a mural at a long-term facility Students in DelVal’s Presidential Fellows Program, a selective leadership development program at the College, are getting out into the community to serve others. The Presidential Fellows are helping residents at Neshaminy Manor, a long-term care facility, create a beautiful mural. Students from Alpha Phi Omega and Smile Station, a campus club that visits people in long-term care, are also helping. The mural will be unveiled this spring.

DelVal student interns with Dow Jonah McDevitt ’17, a chemistry major, has been selected for a part-time, yearlong co-op position with Dow Chemical Co. Dow uses chemistry and science to develop new technology and solutions to problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy, conservation and increasing agricultural productivity. McDevitt is working in research and development for the company. He started Jan. 6. and hopes to stay on throughout his undergraduate career.

A $15-million Life Sciences Building sits where there was once vacant ground. Across campus, The Robert A. Lipinski Field now offers multi-sport turf and a jogging track. In Delaware Valley College’s new performing arts theater, the College’s Symphonic Band and Chorale, as well as musical guests, performed a soldout Gala Concert March 1.

The DelVal Golf Classic raised $83,677 in scholarships in October and the “Have a Seat” program has raised $62,000 so far. Campaign funding will support the following goals: • Academic Excellence and University Status

$8 million

• Life Sciences Building

$7 million

These are just a few examples of how support for DelVal’s $50 million “Realizing the Vision” campaign, the largest in College history, is improving campus. The five-year campaign began July 2010 and reached $47 million in March 2014.

• Scholarships

$4 million

• Endowment

$10 million

• Student Life / Athletics

$3.25 million

• Campus Enhancement

$15 million

• Annual Giving

$2.75 million

“We expect it to exceed its goal,” said College President Dr. Joseph S. Brosnan.

This campaign is allowing DelVal to put the strategic plan into action. Much of the plan has already implemented and it will take the College securely into the future, make it a high performance organization and assure it a prominent place in higher education.

More than 5,550 donors including over 1,680 alumni have contributed so far. Work still needs to be done, but the campaign is transforming the campus. Its most acclaimed project, the Life Sciences Building, opened Jan. 13. “When I first heard talk of a new academic building being added to the campus, though excited, I never thought that I would see the vision come to fruition in time to sit in its classrooms and scribble equations on its whiteboards,” said senior Emily Kraft, a biology major. “But, look where we stand now, and look at what stands around us!” At the dedication Feb. 20, the College unveiled signs for the James E. ’61 and Elizabeth R. Diamond Wing; the Joseph F. Umosella ’63 Atrium; and The George I. Alden Trust Study Area. More naming opportunities are available for labs, classrooms, the theater and the building itself. At the first home football game, the College honored Robert A. Lipinski ’80, who provided a seven-figure gift to finance the upgrades at the field. A $30 million gift from Trustee Betsy Gemmill and the Warwick Foundation started the momentum for the campaign. Another important source of funding was the $5.7 million from The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Leadership support was also shown by: The John E. Morgan Foundation, The Burpee Foundation, The Hoopes-Addis Education Trust, The W.W. Smith Charitable Trust, The Salmon Foundation, The Bucks

Photo by

County Foundation, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and an anonymous donor who provided seed money for the new Division III tennis program. Employers such as Merck & Company, Inc., Johnson & Johnson, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., Abbott Laboratories, and ExxonMobil corporations have supplied more than $130,000 by matching employee gifts from our alumni. Donors ranged in age from Dick Kustin ’44 to Joseph Mandara ’13 and Nathan Truitt ’13.

“The campaign has strengthened our facilities, our institution and the experience we provide to our students,” said Joseph Erckert, vice president for Institutional Advancement. “There is still much work to be done as we implement the strategic plan and pursue university status. Thank you to all of our donors who have supported the campaign. I invite and encourage you to participate. Each gift is an investment in our students and in their future.” F A L L 2 0 1 3 | H O R I Z O N S 27



FOOTBALL SEASON RECAP finish with a 7-4 overall record and a berth in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Southeast Bowl. It was the sixth consecutive winning season for the Aggies (a school record). The Rowan contest was the first football game on the new home turf field and despite the absence of all-region tailback Kyle Schuberth ’14, Delaware Valley racked up 436 yards of total offense. Meanwhile, the defense gave up just 20 yards in the critical fourth quarter.

All-region tailback Kyle Schuberth ’14.

For the 2013 Delaware Valley College football team, the opening and final games of the regular season had eerie similarities. They were both against defending conference champions (Rowan University – New Jersey Athletic Conference; Widener University – Middle Atlantic Conference). Both also saw the team struggling on both sides of the ball while trailing by double digits in the second half (down 27-7 to Rowan in the fourth quarter; down 28-17 to Widener in the third quarter). The Aggies then took the game over on both sides of the ball. They scored 28 unanswered points in the fourth to rally past Rowan, 3527. Against Widener, they put up 33 straight points for a 50-28 rout. Those triumphs were the regular season bookends to a season that saw Delaware Valley 28 H O R I Z O N S | S P R I N G 2 0 1 4

The first trip to second-year program Misericordia University saw the Aggies jump out to a 35-3 lead and cruise to a 42-17 victory. Delaware Valley stayed on the road the next week as it visited a veteran and dangerous Albright College team. Schuberth returned from a preseason injury and he didn’t miss a beat as he gained 148 yards on the ground. It came down to the final drive of the game as the Aggies moved into field goal position and Brandon Snyder ’15 kicked a 25-yarder with no time remaining for a 20-17 win, a 3-0 record and the Pretzel Bowl trophy (an annual game at Albright). Homecoming saw a much-improved and undefeated Stevenson University squad come to Doylestown. The Mustangs led 17-7 before the Aggies scored 34 of the game’s final 40 points for the 41-23 triumph and a 4-0 mark. Schuberth netted 214 yards on the ground and tied a school record with four rushing touchdowns. That set up the trip to Lycoming College and the meeting of the last two undefeated teams in MAC play. Delaware Valley was driving toward another memorable comeback, but an interception with 91 seconds left sealed the 19-16 win for the Warriors. After the bye week, the Aggies had a rare Friday night game as they headed to

Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham. Schuberth ran for four scores again as they posted a 45-30 victory. The next two contests both went to overtime and they each ended in home losses. The first was a 21-14 setback to King’s College while the second was a wild, 34-31 defeat to eventual conference champion Lebanon Valley College. The Aggies built a 24-7 lead only to see the Flying Dutchmen come storming back for a 31-24 advantage. Delaware Valley forced overtime on the last play of regulation as quarterback Aaron Wilmer ’15 hit Bobby Marterella ’16 for a 13-yard touchdown. However, Lebanon Valley stopped the Aggies in overtime and kicked the gamewinning field goal. Delaware Valley then found itself down 10 points in the fourth quarter on the road at Wilkes University. The Aggies scored one touchdown and then got another with 1:29 remaining as wide receiver Rasheed Bailey caught a deflected pass in the end zone for a 31-27 win. The MAC title wasn’t on the line against archrival Widener, but the Keystone Cup was. On a day where the team’s 14 seniors were honored, it was one of those fouryear players who led the big comeback as Schuberth rushed for 235 yards (third-highest in school history) and three touchdowns, including 184 yards in the second half alone. The Aggies hosted the ECAC Southeast Bowl the next week and lost to Franklin & Marshall College, but their season was truly capped when they hoisted the Keystone Cup and celebrated another outstanding Senior Class that compiled 36 wins, two MAC titles, two NCAA playoff berths and one ECAC championship. At the time Horizons was going to press, Coach Jim Clements announced his decision to take the head coaching job at Division II Kutztown. Assistant coach Duke Greco ’03 was named as the head football coach. More about Coach Greco in the next issue of Horizons.


in program history

When it was announced that the playing surface at the stadium would be renovated from grass to artificial turf thanks to a seven-figure donation from Robert Lipinski ’80, perhaps no one was happier than the Delaware Valley College field hockey team. The sport is predominantly played on turf and having the opportunity to practice and compete on the new surface was going to be a major plus for the team. It was a plus and more as Head Coach Carol Di Girolamo and her Aggies put together the greatest season in program history. The team won a school record 13 games (138), finished as the top seed in the Freedom Conference, hosted a semifinal playoff game for the first time, and was selected for its first Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) The Field hockey team celebrates after winning the season opener in overtime. Mid-Atlantic Region postseason berth, where the team advanced to the semifinals. All of Field hockey was the first sport to An overtime loss at home to Misericordia this after being picked to finish have a regular-season game on the University created a wild, five-way tie for first sixth out of eight teams in the turf as DelVal hosted St. Mary’s in the conference standings, but the Aggies The team won a Freedom Conference preseason College on the late Friday afterbroke free from the pack with back-to-back school record coaches’ poll. noon of Labor Day weekend. One 2-1 wins over Wilkes University and Fairleigh

of 13 games this season.

could not write up a better script for the ending as the Aggies rallied from a 2-0, second-half deficit to force overtime. Five minutes into the extra session, Jessica Summers ’15 scored from about 12 yards out for the game-winner.

DelVal trailed again at home five days later, before scoring twice in a two-minute span for the victory. In fact, the Aggies won their first four home games of the year, with three coming by 3-2 decisions.

All-conference forward Taylor Prichett '16.

Freedom Conference play opened at home for DelVal Sept. 27 and Summers picked up her second hat trick of the year for a 3-1 victory over DeSales University. That improved the team to 7-3 overall and, after a nonconference loss to Wesley, they went on the road to Freedom foe King’s College and registered an impressive 6-2 victory that included a hat trick by Taylor Prichett ’16.

Dickinson University-Florham. Then, on Oct. 26, Kelsey Zook ’15 scored three goals, including the game-winner in overtime, to give DelVal a 5-4 victory at Manhattanville College and a conference playoff berth.

DelVal dropped a 3-1 decision at Eastern University in the regular season finale, but the 5-2 league mark was still good enough for the top spot in the standings and a home semifinal game at the stadium against Misericordia. The largest crowd to watch an Aggie field hockey game came out on Wednesday, Nov. 6 and DelVal fought back twice from one-goal deficits to tie the game. It appeared headed to overtime, but the Cougars scored with just 5:49 remaining for a 3-2 lead. The Aggies had one more chance as they were awarded corner opportunity with no time remaining (the game cannot end on a corner). A blast from the top of the circle just missed the cage and Misericordia escaped with the win. continued on next page

S P R I N G 2 0 1 4 | H O R I Z O N S 29

MEET THE COACHES OF OUR NEW SPORTS In the last edition of Horizons, we announced that Delaware Valley College was adding five NCAA Division III intercollegiate sports, with all five slated to begin play in 2014-15: men’s lacrosse, women’s lacrosse, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and women’s golf. Coaches have been hired for four of those sports. They are:

MEN’S LACROSSE – GARY MERCADANTE Mercadante spent the last four years as a full-time assistant coach at nearby Ursinus College. The team posted winning records in three of those four seasons. He was a four-year letter winner and two-year captain at Dickinson College and graduated from that institution in 2009.

WOMEN’S LACROSSE – RAMONA WALTERS Walters has coached at the Division III level for six years, including a stint as head coach at North Carolina Wesleyan College. She has been an assistant at Ithaca College and her alma mater, St. John Fisher College, where she was an Empire 8 all-conference honoree as a player. She graduated from St. John Fisher College in 2007.

MEN’S AND WOMEN’S TENNIS – DARCY RABENDA Rabenda brings two decades of teaching and coaching experience to DelVal. She has most recently served as the head boy’s and girl’s varsity tennis coach at nearby Pennridge High School. She played at Temple University and was a member of two Atlantic 10 Championship Teams (she still plays competitively). She graduated from Temple in 1998 and received her master’s from Wilkes University in 2008.

fa l l / w i n t e r R E C O R D S



Cross-Country – Men

invitationals only

14th/15 teams

Cross-Country – Women

invitationals only

15th/16 teams

Field Hockey 13-8 5-2 (1st/8 teams) *Freedom Conference Semifinalists; ECAC Mid-Atlantic Region Semifinalists Football 7-4 6-3 (Tied 3rd/10 teams) *ECAC South Atlantic Bowl Participants Soccer – Men

8-10-1 1-6 (8th/8 teams)

Soccer – Women

4-13-2 1-5-1 (Tied 7th/8 teams)


13-14 3-4 (Tied 4th/8 teams)

30 H O R I Z O N S | S P R I N G 2 0 1 4

However, the season was not over for DelVal as, the following Monday, the squad received word that it was selected as the number six seed in the eight-team ECAC Mid-Atlantic Region Championship field. The Aggies headed to Richard Stockton College on a cold November evening and led 3-1 in the second half before the Ospreys scored twice in a 37-second span to tie the contest and force overtime. Just 3:32 into the extra session, Prichett scored her second goal of the game to send DelVal to the semifinals. A 3-1 loss to secondseeded Stevens Institute of Technology ended the Aggies’ season to remember. The postseason accolades came in and Di Girolamo was named the Freedom Conference Coach of the Year. Prichett, who notched 22 goals (second-highest single-season total in school history) and 48 points, was a first-team selection for the first time, as was defender Lydia Spakosky ’15. Zook was a first-team honoree for the second year in a row at midfield. Summers, who set a school-record with 12 assists to go along with 12 goals for 36 points, picked up her first conference award by being named to the honorable mention squad. She was joined there by goalkeeper Sandra Edwards ’14, who was an honoree for the second straight year. Edwards was one of four seniors – Anastasia Bennett, Leah Hawthorn and Maddie Raville were the others – on the team and that quartet will go down as the senior leadership in the record-breaking 2013 DelVal field hockey campaign.



Thomas H. Kruk ’59 lost his wife, Gaile, who had Alzheimer’s disease. Gaile was a secretary in the dean’s office when Kruk was a freshman, and he said, “it was love at first sight.” She died just two weeks before their 56th anniversary.

Joseph Gilbert ’80’s youngest daughter, Lillian, is a freshman studying biology at Delaware Valley College. Dr. John R Siegler ’84 has been appointed as clinical director of Behavioral Health Resources Children’s Programs at Resources for Human Development in Philadelphia, Pa.

1960s Jerry Mulnick ’61 and Linda Mulnick traveled to the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The couple also visited Singapore to ride on the world’s tallest observation wheel. Two Delaware Valley College roommates – Bob DeRosa ’61 and Jim Diamond ’61 – traveled to the Tropic of Capricorn in Kruger National Park, South Africa from Sept. 21 to Oct. 7 to observe and photograph African wild animals and birds in their natural habitats. Their mission was quite successful. DeRosa’s wife, Linda, Diamond’s wife, Betty, and friends Bill and Jeff Lindley of Washington, Pa., were also part of this wildlife expedition.

2000s Joshua Mountz ’02 is a graduate assistant for University Bands at Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pa.  He will graduate in December 2014 with a master’s degree in education.  As a former member of the Concert Band and Chorale at DelVal, he is putting his love of music to good use working with the Saint Francis University Marching Band. Dr. Jim Diamond ’61 has stayed in touch with college roommate Bob DeRosa ’61. The two traveled to South Africa recently to observe wildlife.


Linda and Jerry Mulnick ’61 visit the Taj Mahal.

Linda and Jerry Mulnick ’61 visit the world’s tallest observation wheel.

Louis Hegyes ’70 was promoted to associate dean of enrollment management at Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC) in Schnecksville, Pa. In his new position, he will supervise the admissions, financial aid, dual enrollment and student records offices. Prior his promotion he was director of recruitment and admissions. He’s working with a familiar face there. Former DelVal President, Dr. Thomas Leamer, is now vice president of academic services and student development at LCCC. Before his move to LCCC, he served at the director of admissions at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia for 24 years.

Dr. Jeff Litt ’02 completed a burn surgery and surgical critical care fellowship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Litt also finished a general surgery residency at York Hospital, in York, Pa., in 2012. He has accepted a position as a burn center medical director and trauma and critical care surgeon at The University of Missouri, in Columbia, Mo., and is starting his new position in 2014. continued on next page

Jeff Litt ’02 and his family.

S P R I N G 2 0 1 4 | H O R I Z O N S 31

Aimee Wilson ’03 re-branded her event planning business and re-launched her website

Julia Krout ’04 recently joined Shasta Nelson, author of “Friendships Don’t Just Happen! The Guide to Creating a Meaningful Circle of Girlfriends,” and founder of, and friends on the “Katie Couric Show” to discuss finding meaningful friendships after relocation. Krout was also recently promoted to manager at Memorial Sloan Kettering

Photo by Disney-ABC

From Left: Shasta Nelson, Karen Culp, Channasa Taylor, Katie Couric, Michelle Scott, Julia Krout ’04

Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, N.Y. Krout manages the Gnotobiotics program, oversees all incoming research animals and transfers of research animals, and coordinates equipment storage, maintenance and transportation for the four research animal facilities and two satellite facilities.  She also was Chris Price ’04 attended the Maryland Farm Bureau convention in Ocean appointed as secretary City, Md., with Emily Keggan ’01. Price was elected to serve for one year as for the Metro New York the Maryland Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher’s State Chair. American Association of Laboratory Animal Scitraining at the Downtown Aquarium in ence (AALAS) and attended Leadership Houston, Texas. Academy at the National AALAS ConAndrea Nickoloff ’09 received her ference in Baltimore, Md., in October. M. S. in wildlife and fisheries science Jackie Gear ’05 (B.S.) ’11 (M.S.) has from the Pennsylvania State University accepted the position of alumni relations (PSU) Dec. 21. She was inducted into manager at Bucks County Community two honor societies while at PSU; Phi College.  Jackie began her position in Eta Sigma and Xi Sigma Pi. The topic of September 2013. her thesis was Key and Atlas to the Hair of Terrestrial Pennsylvania Mammals. Katie Lemoncelli ’09 was promoted to She attended DelVal on a Presidential assistant curator of mammals, birds and Scholarship and studied animal biotech-

Jason Williams ’01 and his wife, Kristy, had a second child, Ellie Grace Williams, on Aug. 20, 2013. Melissa Hostrander ’03 and Matthew Hostrander ’02 welcomed a new addition, Tucker Collins Hostrander, to their family on Jan. 3, 2014. He joins older sister Sydney, age 4.

32 H O R I Z O N S | S P R I N G 2 0 1 4

Matthew Hostrander ’02 and Melissa Hostrander ‘03, with their daughter, Sydney, and their newest child Tucker Collins Hostrander.

nology and conservation (conservation and wildlife management). While at DelVal, she was a member of the Animal Science Society, Biology Club, Positive Awareness of Wildlife and Zoos and The Wildlife Society. She is currently serving as a member of the Delaware Valley College Alumni Executive Committee. Lauren Van Sicklin ’12 is working as an agricultural advisor in Madagascar with the Peace Corps. Van Sicklin left the U.S. in February to serve for 27 months. She is currently a graduate student at Western Kentucky University where she is studying biology. During her time as a DelVal student, she served as founder and president of DelVal’s FeelGood chapter, a group on campus that works to fight hunger.

Donna Palmen ’08 got engaged to Jeff Brown Dec. 21.
 Carly Bombolevicz ’11 got engaged to Zack Meck in January on a beach in Costa Maya Mexico. They both work at Blommer Chocolate Company. Bombolevicz is currently a student in Delaware Valley College’s MBA program.

College Community Deaths Jack Alson ’42 passed away Sept. 3 at 93 in Woodmere, N.Y. Alson was a dairy science alumnus. Ervin Bilsky ’42 died May 19 at 93. Bilsky earned his degree in ornamental horticulture from DelVal. He was a resident of Sebring, Fla., and lived in Deptford, N.J. before moving to Florida. Michael Aiello, Jr. ’53 of Upper Montclair, N.J., passed away Jan. 25, 2013 at 82. Aiello served as executive vice president of Hudson County News Company. He proudly served in the United States Army. Robert M. Sauer ’65, passed away Jan. 26 at Doylestown Hospital at age 70. Sauer worked at Delaware Valley College for 44 years, and retired in 2010 as director of financial aid. Many alumni credit him for making it possible, financially, for them to get their degrees. During his time at DelVal, he served as an A-Day advisor, had the yearbook dedicated to him and was honored with an alumni award. Sauer earned his B.S. in dairy science from DelVal and his master’s degree in higher education and administration from Lehigh University. He is survived by two sons, Robert M. Sauer, Jr. ’87 (wife Dina ’89), Bill Sauer (wife Laura), and his brother Richard Sauer. He is also survived by his grandchildren: Ryan, Chris, Tehya and Tom Sauer and by his former wife Kathleen Sauer. James R. Bowersox ’69 passed away March 22, 2013 at age 65. He is survived by Deborah Crist Bowersox, his wife of 37 years. Bowersox was a graduate of the College’s horticulture program. He was a salesman for Chemgro Fertilizer for 37 years. He was also involved in his community where he served as a Scoutmaster and was once an assistant chief of the Brunnerville Fire Company. In his spare time,

In Memory

The first female student to attend DelVal was Charlia M. Ginople ’69. She passed away June 10, 2012, at the age of 83. Ginople went on to become Regional Vice President of P.C.S. Management Corporation. She also owned and operated Charlia’s Kitchen in Phillipsburg, N.J. before that. From 1971 to 1979, she taught science at South Junior High School in Sellersville, Pa. Ginople was born in 1928 in Easton, Pa. She graduated from Easton Catholic High School before coming to the College. She graduated from DelVal not only as the first female student, but as valedictorian as well. After DelVal, she earned her master’s in education at Lehigh University. Her hobbies included bird watching, traveling, especially to France and Greece, and going to the theater.

he enjoyed collecting antique tractors and serving as an announcer for tractor pulls. He also loved being a master BBQ judge.

George T. Burns ’70, age 65, of Ocean Township, N.J., died Dec. 21. After receiving his biology degree from DelVal, he earned his master’s degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He taught earth science and biology at Long Branch High School for 28 years before retiring in 2005. Burns coached the girls varsity basketball team as well as the recreational soccer, basketball and baseball teams. Joseph F. Matejik ’70 of Mechanicsville, Pa., died tragically Oct. 3, in an accident on his farm. He was 64. Joe graduated from New Hope-Solebury High School in 1966. He went on to graduate from DelVal’s agronomy program. He honorably served in the U.S. Army National Guard in the ’70s and volunteered as a board member for the Bucks County Conservation District. continued on next page S P R I N G 2 0 1 4 | H O R I Z O N S 33

Earl M. Weaver ’72, of Long Beach, Calif., died Nov. 19. He was born in Lebanon, Pa., and graduated from the College’s animal husbandry program. Weaver served in Honduras through a faith-based agriculture development project. He lived in Honduras for more than 10 years, where he met his wife, Rosario. He returned to the U.S. and taught school in the Philadelphia area before moving to California with his family. Weaver was a part of Calvary Chapel, Lakewood, Calif., and was pastor of the Spanish congregation there. He was known for traveling to Mexico and Honduras, building churches and encouraging those around him. Donald F. Mellen ’78, of Danby, Vt., passed away on Dec. 30 at age 57. He earned his dairy science degree from Delaware Valley College and married classmate Susan C. (Herhei) Mellen ’78, in 1979. They owned a small family farm in Danby. He enjoyed raising quality livestock and over the years, they produced awardwinning Brown Swiss cattle, dairy goats and most recently, his cherished herd of Suri llamas. He was hardworking and dedicated to his career as an animal nutritionist, working for Agway, Inc. for 25 years and then for Cargill, Inc. for the past 10 years. He loved helping New England farm families and considered himself blessed to be able to work in a field that he was so passionate about. Honest, kind and with a sense of humor, he will be lovingly missed by his wife, Susan and their family. Robert R. Wischhusen ’78, of Norristown, Pa., died Nov. 29 at age 62. He was a graduate of Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School where he played soccer. After high school, he attended DelVal for food science and then became a packaging engineer at Package Automation. He was a member of the Flourtown Country Club and had season tickets to the Philadelphia Eagles for 38 years.

34 H O R I Z O N S | S P R I N G 2 0 1 4

Lisa E. DiStefano ’88, of Doylestown, passed away Jan. 10 with her family by her side at age 47. She was the wife of John DiStefano. Born and raised in Doylestown, she was the daughter of Patricia Foster Kardane and the late Leonard Kardane. She graduated from DelVal’s business program and went on to work as an accountant for 20 years. She owned and operated the Plumsteadville Inn for the next seven years and worked as a bookkeeper at Keenan Motors Mercedes-Benz in Doylestown. She enjoyed helping others, spending time in her garden and sitting on the beach with her family.

He worked with Northeast Nursery where he was responsible for business development. He also taught agricultural science at a middle school in Durham, N.C. and worked as a micro technician. He was very creative, both as an artist and horticultural designer. Wilson ran cross-country as a student, and finished several marathons. In his spare time, he played soccer, fished, biked and enjoyed hiking. He is survived by his wife of 14 years, Miranda (Hufe) Wilson ’96; two sons, Oliver and Kai; his parents, Bob and Eileen (Hulton) Wilson; two brothers and a sister, as well as three nephews and two nieces.

Timothy J. Donnelly ’89, of Yardley, Pa., died on Nov. 12, 2013 at Lehigh Valley Hospice in Allentown, Pa, at age 47. Donnelly was born in Bristol, Pa., and was a resident of Bucks County for a long time. He graduated from Pennsbury High School, in 1985 and earned his degree in agronomy from DelVal. He worked for Ortho McNeil as a sales representative and was employed by Alere Medical Co. for nine years. He was an avid outdoorsman and he was an accomplished mountain biker. He enjoyed skiing, travel and all Philadelphia sports teams.

Sherrill Lynn Nash ’09, died in October at age 30. Nash earned her B.S. from Delaware Valley College in computer information systems management. As a student, she was a member of the Black Student Union, Digital Photography Club and WDVC Radio. A mural in Philadelphia at 68th and Wyncote Avenues in West Oak Lane includes a portrait of Nash at age 7 with her father, Joseph Nash, who was working to get drugs out of the neighborhood. Nash worked to improve the world by fighting issues like drug abuse in communities while fighting her own physical disabilities and never letting them hold her back. She was diagnosed with critical diabetes at age 15, which eventually destroyed her kidneys and pancreas. When she was having health issues before graduation, Nash refused a wheelchair or walker and instead, proudly walked across the stage using her father’s arm for support. She is survived by her parents, Joseph and Shirley Nash.

Scott R. Wilson ’96, beloved husband of Miranda (Hufe) Wilson ’96 of Peabody, Mass., died peacefully in his home Dec. 6 at age 43. He was born in Media, Pa., and was the son of Robert and Eileen (Hulton) Wilson of Pennsylvania. He graduated from Downingtown High School and earned a degree in ornamental horticulture from Delaware Valley College.

Women’s Sports at Delaware Valley College This year, 2014, is the 40th anniversary of women’s sports teams at Delaware Valley College. Today, the College offers women’s basketball, cheerleading, cross country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field and volleyball. There were a lot of firsts recently for women’s sports. In fall 2013, Brittny BuonannoTaylor ’17 became the first female golf competitor in college history. Rebecca Alpuche ’17 also joined the golf program

Do you remember when women’s

this fall and is one of the first female students to

sports first came to DelVal? How has campus

play at the College. In addition to adding women’s

changed for female athletes in your lifetime?

golf, the 2014-15 academic year will be the first year

Send your story to to share

for women’s tennis and lacrosse.

it in the next issue.

Correction: In the last issue, we highlighted the original deed to the Gemmill Farm, which was thought to have been signed by William Penn. After further examination, experts have determined that the signature is actually Penn’s stamp.

S P R I N G 2 0 1 4 | H O R I Z O N S 35

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Horizons - Spring 2014  

The Life Sciences at Delaware Valley College

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