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n e w s l e t t e r o f B o y e r S c h o o l o f N at u r a l S c i e n c e s , M at h e m at i c s , a n d C o m p u t i n g


• N o v e mb e r 2 0 0 9

a p u b l i c at i o n o f s a i n t v i n c e n t c o l l e g e

Rendering of the Sis and Herman Dupré Science Pavilion


Message from Br. Norman Hipps Dr. Frank Luparello

A giant in medical education

Senior Natalie Gentile Student has the right stuff


The Herbert W. Boyer School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Computing Advisory Council Members September 2009

Mr. James F. Will, L.H.D., C’60, Chair President Emeritus Saint Vincent College Dr. William E. Amatucci, C’86 Section Head, Space Experiments Section/Plasma Physics Naval Research Laboratory Mr. Thomas Anderson Chief Technology Officer Tower Systems, Inc. Dr. Herbert W. Boyer, C’58 Co-Founder Genentech, Inc. Dr. Umberto A. DeRienzo, C’88 Physician Dr. William A. DiCuccio. C’70 Physician Dr. David A. Dzombak, C’79 Associate Dean for Graduate and Faculty Affairs Carnegie Institute of Technology Dr. Thomas P. Gessner, C’64 Physician Mr. Donald A. Haile, C’63 Venture Partner/Site General Manager Fidelity Investments Ms. Cheryl A. Harper, C’88 Physics and Mathematics Teacher Greensburg Salem High School Mr. Michael L. Keslar, C’80 Executive Vice President The Bank of New York Mellon Mr. Francis A. Marasco, C’64 Former President Eckerd Pharmacy Services Mr. Mark J. Pincus, C’96 Scientist/Biochemistry/Cell Biology Internal Medicine Therapeutic Dept. sanofi-aventis Pharmaceuticals Dr. Fred L. Soisson, Jr., C’51 Former Physician Cambria County Commissioner Dr. Philip E. Stukus, C’64 Former Chair of Biology Denison University Ms. Shelley D. Sturdevant, C’88 Manager, Color Services PPG Industries, Inc. Mr. Stephen P. Yanek, C’68 Program Manager Applied Physics Laboratory The Johns Hopkins University Dr. Daniel J. Yaniro, C’79 Senior Technical Director VolP and TDM Operations Planning AT&T

Dear Fellow Alumni and Friends,


his newsletter begins a periodic communication with alumni and friends interested in the math and science programs at Saint Vincent College. Our school is named after Herbert W. Boyer, C’58, co-founder of Genentech, Inc. Our in-progress science facility bears the name of Sis and Herman Dupré, Herm C’53, inventor of snow making systems and developer of Seven Springs Mountain Resort. While pre-health is featured here, subsequent issues will highlight faculty/student research, interdisciplinary programs, and cooperative projects with other schools and agencies. Each publication will report on the progress of our facility’s expansion and renovation as well as the status of our fund raising efforts. In 1968, I was a young monk taking the required philosophy and theology curriculum, but managed to enroll in Fr. Cecil’s General Physics class where most of the students were premed. Drs. Richard McHugh, Carey McMonagle, and Alan Yeasted were in that class. Of course I knew with great admiration Frs. Edmund, Owen, Max, Joel, Edward, Bertin, Roland and Clement. There was great pride in the pre-med program and extraordinary enthusiasm as we opened a new science center in 1969. For the last five years I have enjoyed serving as Dean for the Boyer School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Computing. With Dr. Jim Barnett as Chair of our Pre-professional Committee Br. Norman W. Ph.D. we have developed an aggressive advising program for students interested inHipps, the health Dean sciences, established a freshman seminar for students hoping to go to medical school, and offered a Princeton Review course for MCAT preparation. We now have students enrolled in medical schools at Commonwealth Medical, Jefferson, Maryland, Pitt, Temple, Uniformed Services, and West Virginia. One of our current students, Natalie Gentile along with her Research Advisor Dr. Mike Rhodes are featured in this newsletter. Interest in the health sciences has broadened. Besides Dental, Optometry, Osteopathy, and Veterinary, students are doing programs in Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, and Physician Assistance. We have a formal partnership with Duquesne for these four allied health programs; this fall ten SVC students are pursuing a PharmD at Duquesne. It has been a pleasure getting to know better and to work with our medical alumni. Dr. Tom Gessner, C’64 and former medical director of Latrobe Area Hospital has chaired our Advisory Council for the first three years and is now working closely with chair Jim Will on our fund raising campaign. Dr. Angelo DeMezza, C’69, former medical director of Westmoreland Hospital, has joined our Pre-professional Committee. Perhaps one of our most revered MD alumni is Dr. Frank Luparello, C’49 and H’87. With the initiative of Dr. Ross DiMarco and the leadership of Dr. DeMezza, we have begun to raise money to establish the Frank Luparello Lecture Hall in the new Science Pavilion. (See accompanying story and architect’s image of the Lecture Hall.) We have already benefited by the medical community and friends of Dr. Bob Mazero. With gifts in his name we will create the Dr. John R. Mazero Science Education Center. I hope you will note the Science Center Update later in this newsletter which reflects our success to date. I will keep you informed of our progress in subsequent issues of the Boyer Bulletin. Thank you for your support.

Br. Norman

FEATURE Honored with science pavilion lecture hall

Dr. Frank Luparello, C’49, ‘one of the giants in medical education’ career. “I read, read, read, read,” Dr. Luparello One of the giants in medical education” is admitted. “I was always a little crazy for the books.” the tribute a former student of Dr. Frank Though he misses teaching, he enjoys watching Luparello, C’49, gives to the physician and educator sports and is an avid Steelers fan. who was responsible for the training and development Dr. Luparello credits his high school basketball of thousands of doctors during an illustrious career coach, John Joy, with insisting that he become a doctor spanning more than 50 years. and he went to Saint Vincent with that intention. He “Dr. Luparello’s work is known all over the United expresses his lifelong admiration for the Benedictine States,” said Dr. Angelo DeMezza, C’69 about his former teachers he had as an undergraduate pre-med professor who was the director of medical education student at Saint Vincent. “Fr. Edward Wenstrup, at Mercy Hospital and one of the first directors of Fr. Max Duman, Fr. Owen medical education in the Roth, Fr. Edmund Cuneo, United States. “I will be Fr. Joel Lieb and so many forever indebted to him others I admired so much,” for making it possible for he recalled. “I adored me to enter a residency these men. Fr. Edward was in internal medicine and really the founder of the enjoy a wonderful career. Biology Department. He had He personally intervened extensive knowledge of the to create an opening for field, an easy going nature, a me in the program he great sense of humor and a directed at Mercy Hospital loving personality.” in Pittsburgh, took me under “Fr. Max was also easy his wing and mentored me going, a wonderful person,” to success. I am anxious to he continued. “He had all the participate in honoring him Dr. Angelo DeMezza, left, and by contributing to the lectureDr. Angelo DeMezza, Mrs. Patricia Luparello, Dr. Frank Luparello, Br. Norman Hipps skills needed to reach and Br. Norman Hipps, O.S.B., right, motivate students. He was hall which will be named for recently visited Dr. Frank Luparello kind to everyone.” him in the Sis and Herman and his wife, Patricia. “Fr. Owen was rough and Dupré Science Pavilion now tough – and kind,” he said. under construction—and “We liked him a lot.” encouraging others who had Dr. Luparello said the education he received at similar experiences to do so as well.” Saint Vincent prepared him to compete with the best Dr. Luparello, who has received numerous in the nation. “We were very competitive in medical accolades for the contributions he made to medical school,” he recalled, “with others who came from education, was honored last October with the Harvard, Yale and Princeton and other Ivy League prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award by the schools. I was proud of that. I came from a working University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “It is the class family and so many of my family were so good to award of which I am most proud,” he said. me. I was also immensely helped by the Benedictine Now 85 and enjoying retirement with Patricia, his priests at Saint Vincent.” wife of 55 years, at their home in Mount Lebanon, A native of North Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, he continues to read the medical who graduated from Jeannette High School, he literature which was so essential throughout his

completed his undergraduate pre-med studies on a scholarship at Saint Vincent in 1949 and served for three and a half years in the military as a medic in the Philippines and Japan during the war. He earned his M.D. at State University of New York College of Medicine and interned at Saint Vincent Hospital/Columbia University in New York before completing a year of residency at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh and two more years of residency at Veterans’ Administration Hospital in the Bronx. Board certification in internal medicine followed in 1961. He was subsequently appointed director of medical education at Mercy Hospital and chair of its Department of Medicine, where he served as a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine for two decades. Many Saint Vincent students did their residency there including Drs. Alan Yeasted, Ross DiMarco, Angelo DeMezza and others. He retired in 1996 but continued to teach part-time. Although he practiced medicine, saw patients in consultation and had his work published 15 times



ur fund raising efforts to date have focused on leadership gifts, and despite these challenging economic times, our donors have very generously given to this vital project. These key investors have committed more than 77 percent of the necessary funding and the College is most grateful to all who have pledged and contributed to date. Construction has begun on the new 45,000 square foot core building that replaces the old commons amphitheater building and completion is scheduled for next fall. Renovation of the remaining buildings will begin in spring 2011. In order to move forward with the renovation phase, we will need the participation of all our alumni to reach our $39 million goal. As we cast a wider net, we hope your gift will be added to our total as well—the success of future generations of Saint Vincent students depends on it!

in national journals, Dr. Luparello found his medical calling as an educator. According to Thomas W. Nasca, M.D., former dean of Jefferson Medical College, “[Dr. Luparello] influenced the care of literally millions…through education of medical students, residents and ongoing education of practicing physicians.” His many awards include Mercy Hospital’s Quality of Mercy Award for his leadership, vision and example in providing health care rooted in the healing ministry of Christ (2003), Man of the Year (1974), and Award of Excellence (1981). He was honored as an Alumnus of Distinction by Saint Vincent in 1985 and with an honorary Doctor of Science degree in 1987. He also received Jeannette High School’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1992. Serving as a coordinator for the American Board of Internal Medicine Oral Examination ranks among his finest professional moments. The Luparellos have a son, Tom, who is married and lives in Bethesda, Maryland, and is the owner of a computer service company.

Funding Status through September 2009 $40,000,000 $35,000,000 $30,000,000

Additional Funds Needed

$25,000,000 $20,000,000 $15,000,000 $10,000,000 $5,000,000

Funds Committed

student spotlight Senior Natalie Gentile has the right stuff By Julia Cavallo


Natalie Gentile works in the lab with Dr. Michael Rhodes.

More about Natalie

• Won first place in the 14th Annual Creative Arts Contest and her poem “Mother’s Day” was published in the July-August 2008 issue of The New Physician. • Is a certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise. • Started a cancer support group at a Pittsburgh area hospital and has volunteered at the Arnold Palmer Cancer Pavilion.

he Herbert W. Boyer School faculty tell their students from the first day of class that it takes dedication and hard work to tackle the rigorous curriculum and earn a degree in the natural sciences. Senior Natalie Gentile’s commitment to excellence and determination to attend medical school has proved time and again that she has the right stuff to excel. Dr. Michael Rhodes, Natalie’s senior research advisor and assistant professor of biology, describes her as a dynamic person. He said, “She just doesn’t dip her toe in to test the water, she dives in head first.” Natalie showed interest in his areas of study which include testing stress responses, nicotine withdrawal and animal models. Usually Boyer School students start their research projects during their junior year, but Natalie took the initiative to start thinking about her senior project during her sophomore year. As a researcher at Allegheny General Hospital, Dr. Rhodes started a project through the help of Pennsylvania Department of Health tobacco funds studying nicotine withdrawal. “Since completing my work with that grant I’ve had a mountain of data that has just been sitting,” he explained. Natalie showed interest in the project and based on her academic achievement and initiative Dr. Rhodes had faith and confidence that she could collaborate with him not only as an undergraduate student, but as a junior colleague. The collaboration has afforded Natalie many opportunities including presenting a poster on this project at the Experimental Biology Conference in New Orleans last year and this October she presented in Chicago at Neuroscience 2009. In addition, the Pittsburgh native is working as the primary author on a manuscript that she hopes to submit to a journal in the coming months. By doing the research, analyzing data, and presenting the findings through presentations and a manuscript, Natalie is getting a total research experience. Natalie plans to attend medical school to be a surgeon in Fall 2010. She has interviewed at Penn State College of Medicine, Pitt and the University of Maryland. Other interviews are scheduled at Georgetown, Drexel and West Virginia, stating that the process is exciting. “I’ve been preparing for this for a long time. Every year I’m one step closer to my goal.” Her dad, alumnus Dr. Anthony Gentile, encouraged her to attend Saint Vincent citing its strong tradition in the sciences and the personalized education she would receive. Natalie agrees with her father in saying, “A good thing about the professors here is that they make you want to succeed. This is an environment that fosters learning and that encouragement really makes a difference to students.” Based on Natalie’s achievements to date, and her aspirations for the future she is a Boyer School student who has the right stuff.

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Architectural rendering of the interior of the Luparello Lecture Hall

Profile for Saint Vincent College

Boyer Bulletin Vol. 1, No. 1  

Newsletter of the Boyer School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Computing

Boyer Bulletin Vol. 1, No. 1  

Newsletter of the Boyer School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Computing