Education for a Lifetime W&J Profiles in Success, Vol. 2
Authors’ Foreword As recent graduates, we have been given the opportunity to gain perspective on our time at Washington & Jefferson College. It is bittersweet to look back on previous years’ experiences, including countless exams and papers, nights packed with club meetings, exhilarating sporting events, and enriching volunteer activities. We remember both the good times and the not-so-good times with our closest friends, most of whom we have met on this campus. More than this, though, we appreciate the relationships we’ve built with our professors, the discussions that challenged us to think, and the opportunities we’ve had to lead. With these memories rushing in, it is interesting to consider how we’ve been shaped, in a uniquely holistic way, by this institution we’ve come to call home. It only takes a brief glance at the ranks of our alumni for W&J’s mark to become clear. The College has graduated influential civic leaders, world-renowned scientists, and innovative business men and women. Yet personal success is not the only thing that makes these graduates special; in addition, it is their uncommon integrity and lifelong commitment to learning that makes them stand out as professionals and as individuals. As you will see, our alumni continue to serve as positive agents of change off campus— both in their own communities and across the globe. The liberal arts tradition at W&J helped to nurture the crafts and characters of these outstanding alumni. For us, W&J granted the freedom to take risks and expand our intellectual horizons. This freedom promotes stringent debate, deep reflection, and critical thought. This freedom also gives students the direction, opportunity, and responsibility to enhance the quality of their overall education; and this freedom fosters a love for learning that empowers graduates to tackle important challenges in their ensuing careers. Our conversations with the alumni compiled in this book certainly have inspired us. Indeed, their lives illustrate the realization of true potential. It is an honor to know that, as part of the newest class of W&J alumni, we are now among this inspiring group. We have no idea what awaits us, but we are leaving W&J prepared to contribute in meaningful ways. Whichi Coax! Bill Smearcheck ’10 Jourdin Barber ’10
Table of Contents Authors’ Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . i Captains of Industry Donn B. Atkins ’74 Senior Partner, Paramount Global Partners. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Barbara R. DeWitt ’74 First Vice President, Bank of New York Mellon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 H. Frank Doroff ’70 Vice Chairman and Executive Vice President, Bloomingdale’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Keith T. Ghezzi, M.D. ’77 Managing Director, Alvarez & Marsal. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Janet Gresh ’87 Leading Real Estate Agent, Keller Williams Realty. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Christopher Thomas Hogan ’84 Managing Director, Noble Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Dennis A. Kovalsky ’73 Vice President of Automotive Coatings, PPG Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Paul P. Medvedo Jr. ’77 Chief Operating Officer, Joll Development. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Joseph H. Menendez ’72 Chief Executive Officer, Vita Group. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Amy S. Mercante ’91 National Sales Manager, PPG Industries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Charles “Tuck” Nason ’68 Chief Executive Officer, The Acacia Group. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Michael Vincent Novinski ’78 Chief Executive Officer, Emisphere Technologies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Samuel J. Paisley ’72 Business Consultant and Investor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Peter C. Sullivan ’79 General Manager, University of Phoenix Stadium. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Leaders in the Arts Jerrell L. Angell ’66 Architect, TRO Jung/Brannen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Robert Paul Luc ’03 Singer and Songwriter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Jeffrey Siger ’66 Best-Selling Author. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Thomas Squitieri ’75 Award-Winning Journalist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Hollis Zemany-McLachlan ’06 Actress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Scientists and Thinkers James R. Durig, Ph.D. ’58 Spectroscopy Researcher and Educator. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Jerold S. Goldberg, Ph.D. ’67 Dean, School of Dental Medicine, Case Western Reserve University . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Stanley L. Handelman, D.M.D. ’50 Chair, Eastman Dental Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Amy L. Hartman, Ph.D. ’98 Research Manager, Center for Vaccine Research, University of Pittsburgh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Patrick McCormick, Ph.D. ’62 Research Scientist, NASA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Joyce O’Neal ’74 Chief Operations Manager, Ocean Mammal Institute . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 James L. Phillips, M.D. ’54 Dean, Baylor College of Medicine. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Larry W. Sumney ’62 Chief Executive Officer, Semiconductor Research Corporation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
Pioneers in Public Service David Beveridge ’82 Partner, Shearman & Sterling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Kenyon R. Bonner ’94 Director of Student Life, University of Pittsburgh. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 James J. Christiana III ’06 State Representative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
Jeffrey Conn, Esq. ’86 Managing Partner, Thorp Reed & Armstrong . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Louise Bell Devanny ’80 Personal Secretary for Former First Lady Nancy Reagan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 Rebecca L. Madvay ’83 Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 Col. J. Thomas McCandless ’62 Division Chief, Defense Intelligence Agency. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Scott Petri ’82 State Representative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Maj. Gen. Patrick Sculley, D.D.S. ’69 U.S. Army Deputy Surgeon General. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Kurt H. Teil ’51 Department of State. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 Honorable Christine A. Ward ’79 Judge, Common Pleas Court. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83 Jesse White, Esq. ’00 State Representative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
Entrepreneurs and Innovators William W. Booth ’77 Senior Vice President of Retail Development, Coinstar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 Richard Crosbie ’65 Chief Chemist, Nike . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 Charles P. Eaton ’64 Investment Manager, C.P. Eaton Partners LLC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 Juliann Fritz-Brigham ’92 Public Relations Director, U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 E. Miles Prentice III, Esq. ’64 Attorney and Minor League Sports Team Owner. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 David C. Smydo ’97 Chief Executive Officer, Sokolin LLC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 David A. Steinberg ’91 Chief Executive Officer, CAIVIS Acquisition Corporation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101 Richard Joel Ulevitch, Ph.D. ’66 Immunology Researcher and Biomedical Investor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
Captains of Industry
The variety of people, activities, and curricula at W&J caused me to better understand the spectrum of issues and thoughts in the world.
Donn Atkins ’74 Senior Partner, Paramount Global Partners
For Donn Atkins, the economic downturn of 2009 was eerily similar to the situation he faced as a graduate student from the University of Pittsburgh looking for work in the 1970s. “Half of my MBA class did not have a job,” he recalls. Despite the gloomy prospects, Atkins acquired a sales position with a large insurance company in the Pittsburgh area. Thankful for the position, yet yearning for more, Atkins was excited at the chance to interview with IBM for a sales job in St. Louis. The interview must have gone well, because 30 years and many promotions later, Atkins retired from IBM as general manager of the global business partners program. Though he embarked on a career in business, Atkins’ intention during his early years at Washington & Jefferson College was to attend medical school. However, his economics classes convinced him to go in a different direction. While he was defining his career path, Atkins also took time to appreciate the diversity of ideas and interests that the College offered its students. “The variety of people, activities, and curricula at W&J caused me to better understand the spectrum of issues and thoughts in the world,” he reminisces. “This also prepared me to appreciate the different cultures and people I would work with throughout my career.” Atkins’ career at IBM culminated in an executive position that gave him responsibility for the global partners program, doing business with 90,000 partners around the world and driving about a third of the company’s revenue. Today, Atkins applies the experiences he gained at IBM in his new role as founder and senior partner of Paramount Global Partners. With this consulting business, he helps young technology companies plan for growth and develop partnerships. Though his career has taken him around the world, Atkins remains close to his W&J roots, staying updated on the changes occurring on campus. “Tradition is important, but so is progress,” he stresses. “I am happy to see W&J evolving with the times.”
Students are at W&J to learn to think, speak, analyze, and write. Anything else can be learned on the job.
Barbara R. DeWitt ’74 First Vice President, Bank of New York Mellon
Barbara DeWitt is a very busy woman. As first vice president at the Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon), her time is precious, especially in light of the financial crisis in 2009. “I try to look at this crisis as a challenge,” she says. “Things are difficult for a lot of people, but my job is to promote foundations and charitable donations, and I’m optimistic that everyone in need will be assisted.” This optimism was essential to DeWitt during her time at Washington & Jefferson College as a member of the first co-ed class. Being one of the first women at W&J was difficult—when she arrived, she saw “co-eds go home” signs in some dormitory windows. DeWitt remembers, “They gave us a dean and a dormitory, but beyond that, W&J was pretty unprepared to greet its new female students. They just didn’t know what to expect.” But like most of the other women, DeWitt soon felt at home. She became a resident assistant, held a job as a student worker, and even performed in several plays with the W&J Student Theatre Company. DeWitt fondly remembers the cooking classes offered to female seniors. “Those classes were not academic, of course, but they were one of the few things that brought us women together as students,” she says. After graduation, DeWitt moved to Pittsburgh and became a trainee with BNY Mellon, then Mellon Bank. She acquired a position with the bank’s investment research group learning to analyze stocks, but quickly realized that she preferred a position that involved interaction with clients from non-profit organizations. DeWitt landed her dream job when BNY Mellon created a small non-profit account. Thirty years later, DeWitt was the managing director of more than 150 accounts and $3.5 billion invested in non-profit organizations. DeWitt encourages students to make the most of their W&J experience and to learn as much as they can. “Technical information is important,” she says. “But students are at W&J to learn to think, speak, analyze, and write. Anything else can be learned on the job.”
I discovered that my education at W&J gave me the confidence and knowledge to contend with some of the best intellectuals in the world.
H. Frank Doroff ’70 Vice Chairman and Executive Vice President, Bloomingdale’s
Frank Doroff attended Washington & Jefferson College during one of the most tumultuous times in both the College’s and nation’s history. The late 60s and early 70s brought with them the entrance of women to W&J and the Vietnam War to the United States. Doroff recalls the campus being divided on both fronts. “The entire College had strong opinions on both issues, although most people were anti-war and pro-integration,” he says. For Doroff, however, the most pressing issue was the war. “I was number 302 in the draft lottery and my roommate was number 16,” he says. “And though I ultimately was not drafted, it was a sobering experience.” Outside the stresses of the draft, Doroff ’s time at W&J was full of opportunities and great memories. He majored in economics and English, joined Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, and won the Presidents’ Athletic Conference tennis championship during his freshman year. “Being at W&J was my first time away from home,” he says. “It gave me a chance to try new things and grow up.” In his senior year at W&J, Doroff was accepted into the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business. Though he initially was intimidated by some of his Ivy League counterparts, Doroff quickly found that W&J had prepared him well to compete. “I discovered that my education at W&J gave me the confidence and knowledge to contend with some of the best intellectuals in the world,” he says. Upon his graduation from Wharton, Doroff began work at Macy’s as an executive trainee before eventually becoming the chairman of Federated and Allied Merchandising Services at Bullock’s Wilshire department store in 1988. In 1991, Doroff left Bullock’s and began work at Bloomingdale’s. Eighteen years later, he hasn’t looked back. As vice chairman and executive vice president, Doroff is responsible for 33 apparel stores, company buyers, and the corporation’s Internet business. “It is a very exciting job,” he says. “Every day is like receiving a grade and there is no better feeling than getting feedback and making a difference.”
You need to force yourself out of your comfort zone and take the risks that allow you to grow.
Keith T. Ghezzi, M.D. ’77 Managing Director, Alvarez & Marsal
Keith Ghezzi, M.D., is an emergency medicine physician turned management consultant who is passionate about his profession. “Being a physician allows you to touch hearts and minds in a unique way,” he says. “The links you create are something you never forget.” Ghezzi, the first person in his family to attend college, took full advantage of his experience at Washington & Jefferson College. One of his most inspiring mentors was Dr. Dennis Trelka, professor of biology, who taught Ghezzi that the greatest lesson a doctor can learn is respect for the dignity of all patients. “He was tough on us,” he recalls. “But Trelka also taught us to do our very best.” Ghezzi’s friendships, his brothers in Alpha Tau Omega, and his mentors made an indelible mark on his life. Upon graduation from W&J, Ghezzi obtained a medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine, completed residencies at Georgetown and George Washington Universities, and spent two years in rural West Virginia offering his services to underserved populations in the public health service. Later, he returned to George Washington’s emergency department as a faculty member. Intrigued by the business of medicine, Ghezzi went on to earn a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School. Combining this degree with his impressive knowledge of medicine, Ghezzi became a managing director at Alvarez & Marsal, a restructuring and performance improvement firm. In this role, Ghezzi essentially is a “doctor for hospitals.” His job is to examine institutions’ challenges and then to help create more efficient operations by saving failing hospitals and systems, assisting groups of physicians, and guiding mergers within the healthcare industry. Having succeeded in both medicine and business, Ghezzi still strives to gain new and enriching life experiences. One of his proudest personal accomplishments was when he served as a trip physician and helped lead 25 people on a trek up to base camp on Mt. Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world. “You need to force yourself out of your comfort zone and take the risks that allow you to grow,” he advises.
A liberal arts education prepares you for anything.
Janet Gresh ’87 Leading Real Estate Agent, Keller Williams Realty
At Washington & Jefferson College, Janet Gresh displayed the kind of determination and perseverance that has made her one of the top realtors in the country. Each morning, she arrived at her local YMCA at 6 a.m. to work as a lifeguard, even while completing a rigorous load of coursework. Gresh says that W&J was perfect for her because she didn’t know what she wanted to do when she arrived. “A liberal arts education prepares you for anything,” she says. “You just have to keep trying things. You can explore, you make mistakes. And, if you fail, you just pick yourself up and do something else.” Gresh’s career is a testimony to her own advice. When she came to W&J, she originally thought she wanted to follow a pre-medical curriculum, but soon shifted her sights to business administration and political science. After graduation, Gresh decided to expand her horizons by applying for a master’s degree in software engineering. When she was told that she did not have the right undergraduate coursework to enter the program, she put her liberal arts education into action by completing every master’s-level software engineering course available. She showed she was capable of the work and successfully finished the program. While pursuing her software engineering degree, Gresh exercised her entrepreneurial talents by starting, managing, and later selling, three privately owned jewelry businesses. By the time she was 30 years old, she had earned an advanced degree, programed flight simulators for the Federal Aviation Administration, and toured Europe. When she returned to the United States, Gresh’s love of working with people inspired her to take a realtor’s license test, and not surprisingly, she passed it with no difficulty. Today, through Keller Williams Realty, Gresh serves the areas of Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Montgomery County, Maryland. Her knowledge of real estate sales and online marketing has placed her in the top 1 percent of realtors nationwide.
Success was not based on what material possessions you had, but on how hard you could work.
Christopher Thomas Hogan ’84 Managing Director, Noble Group
As managing director for Noble Group, overseeing the petrochemical and polymers division of the international company, Christopher Hogan is truly a global citizen. He is equally at home in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Mumbai, Moscow, Johannesburg, or Dubai. From the day he graduated from Washington & Jefferson College, Hogan has travelled the world, working first in England and Jamaica, and then worldwide. Noble Group, a Fortune 500 company with more than 100 offices in 40 countries, is responsible for moving products like soybeans, iron ore, ethanol, and sugar around the globe, buying products in low-cost producing countries and selling to customers in countries with growing economies. In this way, through Noble Group, Hogan helps to power economies on an international level. As a student at W&J, Hogan valued the sense of community that permeated the campus. “W&J was a community of more than just academics, and the small class sizes made it feel like home, even though the workload was heavy,” he remembers. “Success was not based on what material possessions you had, but on how hard you could work.” Hogan also emphasizes that his liberal arts education gave him the ability to communicate well. He credits English professor Richard Easton for teaching him not only how to write professionally, but how to communicate his ideas effectively. Hogan was very active outside the classroom in his fraternity and as a varsity athlete. As a swimmer and baseball player, Hogan was the first person at W&J to be ranked as an All-American in two sports. At W&J, Hogan says he learned that there are “no free rides” and that every action, right or wrong, has consequences. These beliefs have helped him to succeed in the corporate world. “The workload was significant,” Hogan remembers. “Though you still had plenty of autonomy, there were still consequences to irresponsible actions.” Hogan believes that this attitude of “no free rides” helped him to succeed in the corporate world. “W&J got me started,” Hogan says. “Now I know the possibilities are endless.”
Dr. Homer Porter taught me more about writing a correct sentence than any other person in my life.
Dennis A. Kovalsky ’73 Vice President of Automotive Coatings (Retired), PPG Industries, Inc.
Arriving at Washington & Jefferson College for the first time as a freshman in 1969, Dennis Kovalsky was struck by a strange sense of awakening. “I was sheltered in my Western Pennsylvania upbringing. But at W&J, I met people from across the country,” he recalls. “People were different and styles were changing. It was the first time I had seen guys with long hair!” Once he was past his culture shock, Kovalsky found his footing at W&J as a double major in biology and chemistry. Though he spent most of his time in laboratories, Kovalsky is quick to point out that the science faculty at W&J taught him other essential skills as well. “Dr. Homer Porter taught me more about writing a correct sentence than any other person in my life,” he says. “I still feel his influence when I write.” Immediately following his graduation in 1973, Kovalsky began working at Koppers, a leading integrated producer of chemicals, carbon compounds, and treated wood products. Four years later, he joined PPG, where he would remain for the rest of his career. During his 32 years with the internationally recognized paint and coatings company, Kovalsky lived and worked across North America, Europe, and Asia. Expanding his language skills, he learned German during his two years as a plant manager at a PPG factory in Germany, and later picked up some Japanese. Of all his positions at PPG, Kovalsky counts his time as vice president of automotive original equipment manufacturer coatings as his most rewarding. “To run the automotive business was an honor because it is the largest business at PPG,” he says. Despite his love for his work and commitment to PPG, Kovalsky made the difficult decision to retire in 2008. Though he continues to contribute to the company in any way possible, Kovalsky is eager to pursue challenging new business opportunities. Reflecting on a career that gave him the opportunity to grow and develop into a successful leader within his company, he advises students, “Be open and honest, patient and persistent in all of your endeavors.”
My degree from W&J always has been and still is recognized as a personal asset within the business community.
Paul P. Medvedo Jr. ’77 Business Consultant and Chief Operating Officer, Joll Development
Paul Medvedo is an entrepreneur who helped launch the franchise concept for Quaker Steak & Lube, one of the earliest sports-themed pub chains in the country. But he does not stop with developing exciting restaurants. Today, Medvedo spends most of his time as a business consultant working with companies like Westinghouse, where he advises on matters of supply chain management for their nuclear power initiatives. From a first-generation college student in his family to a successful business executive, Paul Medvedo believes Washington & Jefferson College provided him with personal growth opportunities and intellectual challenges to build a solid foundation for a bright future. “My experience at W&J greatly improved my ability to see issues from new perspectives, ask better questions, and make better judgments,” he recalls. Medvedo also appreciated that the College’s convenient location outside Pittsburgh allowed him to “get away”—but not too far away—from friends and family, encouraging him to develop lifelong friendships on campus. It was in his economics courses at W&J where Medvedo realized his calling in the business world. “After Econ 101, I was hooked,” he remembers. After earning a master’s in business administration, he was recruited by Westinghouse as a construction buyer, eventually earning a promotion to director for global sourcing and logistics, the top corporate purchasing job at the company. Medvedo continued his purchasing career as an executive director at Consolidated Natural Gas, which merged with Dominion Resources. There, as vice president of supply chain management, he developed, implemented, and managed a supply chain with more than 1,000 employees and $2.5 billion in annual expenditures. Looking back on his career, Medvedo maintains that his W&J education has played, and continues to play, a valuable role in his success. “My degree from W&J always has been and still is recognized as a personal asset within the business community,” he says. He advises students to “absorb the entire college experience” at W&J and urges, “Don’t miss the opportunity to develop as a person—your person.”
I love to travel. Itâ€™s a continuation of the personal discovery process that I began at W&J.
Joseph H. Menendez ’72 Chief Executive Officer, Vita Group
“Washington & Jefferson College exposed me to new things,” recalls Joseph Menendez. “I remember being introduced to art, comparative religions, and various required courses for the ‘uncommon man.’ While I must admit that these courses were taken with begrudging skepticism, they instilled in me a hunger to learn.” Motivated by this hunger to learn, Menendez immersed himself in the sciences at W&J, pursuing a major in chemistry. When he was not busy studying Avogadro’s number and chemical bonds, Menendez found a welcome outlet in volunteer work, intramural sports, and his fraternity, Kappa Sigma. After graduating from W&J, Menendez complemented his chemistry background with a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Pittsburgh and began work at Corning Inc., an American manufacturer of glass and ceramics. He progressed through a variety of front-line production management positions before participating in a leveraged buyout of his Corning business, which eventually was sold to Saint-Gobain, a French multinational manufacturer. Menendez continued his career with Saint-Gobain for 20 years, moving to Paris and eventually becoming president of Saint-Gobain Abrasives. In this role, he directed the operations of 75 plants in 35 countries. Menendez left Saint-Gobain in 2008 to take the next step in his career as chief executive officer of the Vita Group, based in London. The company produces a wide variety of polymer-based materials serving the bedding, furniture, transportation, and construction markets. The scope of his responsibility at the Vita Group is vast, as he oversees $2 billion in sales, 5,000 employees, and 83 factories in 22 countries. With no immediate plans to retire, Menendez finds a new opportunity to discover and learn at each stage of his career and life. “I love to travel,” he says. “It’s a continuation of the personal discovery process that I began at W&J.” He encourages students to be open to that discovery process as well. “Cross new frontiers,” he advises. “Take subjects that are unusual. Look for new experiences, and travel outside the U.S. to understand other cultures, meet people with different points of view, and see our world from a different perspective.”
W&Jâ€™s rigor and liberal arts atmosphere gave me versatility to succeed in an industry I knew virtually nothing about.
Amy S. Mercante ’91 National Sales Manager, PPG Industries, Inc.
Amy Mercante always envisioned herself working in a lab wearing a “white lab coat surrounded by test tubes and Bunsen burners.” However, things didn’t go quite as planned, as she found herself working for PPG, developing and formulating automotive paints. “When I was a senior at W&J, I got an offer from PPG and although it was not what I had envisioned, the job was too good to pass up,” she explains. “My experiences at PPG in chemistry, sales, and marketing have kept me continually challenged and I find my work quite satisfying.” As a national sales manager at PPG, Mercante has grown with the company and repeatedly shown her capabilities as a leader. Mercante made PPG history in 2004 when she became the first woman promoted to sales manager for the industrial coatings division’s west zone. During her three-year tenure in that position, Mercante was responsible for 19 states and more than $100 million in sales. Her most fulfilling endeavor, however, has been her work with PPG’s Women’s Leadership Council, where she served as chairperson for the council’s events for two successive years. “It was the first time in PPG’s history that 150 women have been in the same room at the same time,” she says. “The ability to work and share ideas with other women leaders is very satisfying.” For Mercante, the education she received at W&J has been of vital significance to her success at PPG. “W&J’s rigor and liberal arts atmosphere gave me versatility to succeed in an industry I knew virtually nothing about,” Mercante says. “PPG has a positive history hiring W&J students, so they trusted me to be able to learn on the job.” Despite her busy schedule and frequent travels, Mercante has remained dedicated to W&J, visiting as frequently as possible and attending local alumni events. “I came back for my 15-year reunion in 2006,” she recalls. “Reconnecting was quite exciting and brought back some wonderful memories. I’m really glad I was able to see how the school has grown.”
The College was a major catalyst in my maturation both from an intellectual perspective as well as a personal perspective.
Charles “Tuck” Nason ’68 Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (Retired), The Acacia Group
At Washington & Jefferson College, Charles “Tuck” Nason learned to work hard in order to pursue his goals. He says, “The College was a major catalyst in my maturation both from an intellectual perspective as well as a personal perspective.” He adds that the critical-thinking skills and the work ethic that he developed at W&J have been keys to his success. When Nason went on to earn his master’s degree in business administration at the University of Pittsburgh, his psychology major from W&J proved to be beneficial. “I believe that an understanding of human personal interaction is extremely beneficial in the business world,” he says. After a two-year tour of duty in Korea as a first lieutenant with the U.S. Defense Artillery, Nason put his business skills and his knowledge of human behavior to work—first at Metropolitan Life and then at Acacia Life Insurance Company. At Acacia, Nason’s leadership skills propelled him rapidly through the ranks, and he became chief executive officer in 1988, a position he held until his retirement in 2003. With Nason at its helm, the Acacia Group’s managed assets quadrupled in size to more than $15 billion. Today, Nason continues to apply his business acumen and experience by serving on various boards for organizations, including the Washington Real Estate Investment Trust, Medstar Inc., and Greenspring Financial Ltd. During his time at Acacia, he also was active as chairman of the Greater Washington D.C. Board of Trade and the Insurance Marketplace Standards Association, and as a board member of the American Council of Life Insurers, Federal City Council, and Greater Washington Boys and Girls Clubs. Enjoying his retirement, Nason says, “I find this current phase of my life most rewarding, balancing leisure and relaxation with the intellectual stimulation of my current business activities.” A member of the College’s board of trustees for 19 years, Nason completed a threeyear term as chair, demonstrating his commitment to the College and its values. “I always have been willing to serve,” he says. “I enjoy being of assistance to one of the leading liberal arts colleges in America.”
W&J taught me the language of learning. I can now carry on a conversation about anything and interpret various situations because of my liberal arts education.
Michael Vincent Novinski ’78 President and Chief Executive Officer, Emisphere Technologies
Michael Novinski almost did not attend Washington & Jefferson College. He initially pursued schools located in more urban environments like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. However, the feeling of home he experienced at W&J won him over in the end. “I chose W&J because I really appreciated its small-town atmosphere and strong community values,” he recalls. Novinski’s appreciation for the College and its close-knit community showed in his dedication to local volunteer work. As a student, he participated in community service projects through his fraternity, Alpha Tau Omega. “I always will be proud of our brotherhood’s commitment to the College and surrounding community,” he says. In addition to his fraternity involvement, Novinski played for the W&J basketball team before devoting his full attention to the College’s biology and pre-medical programs. Upon graduation from W&J, Novinski studied for a year with a fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh’s medical school in the microbiology department. He then acquired a job with a pharmaceutical company, Organon, beginning what would become a 30-year career in healthcare and drug delivery. Novinski held several senior executive positions within the company before becoming president of Organon USA in 2003. During his tenure as president, he helped secure approval from the Federal Drug Administration for a number of pharmaceutical products in the areas of women’s healthcare, fertility, neuroscience, and anesthesia. In 2007, Novinski left Organon to take the next step in his career as president and chief executive officer of Emisphere Technologies, Inc., a leading biopharmaceutical company that is pioneering the oral delivery of drugs that are traditionally injected. Today, the successful pharmaceutical executive remains grateful to his alma mater, praising the value of a W&J education. “W&J gave me a strong foundation,” he says. “W&J taught me the language of learning. I can now carry on a conversation about anything and interpret various situations because of my liberal arts education.”
The student body always was changing but always was close-knit.
Samuel J. Paisley ’72 Business Consultant and Investor
Samuel Paisley was attracted to Washington & Jefferson College because of the “uncommon bond” that links the members of the campus community. Paisley describes how he was surrounded by fascinating people at W&J who were “very different in their abilities, former education, and confidence. The student body always was changing but always was close-knit.” It was in this environment that Paisley learned to rely on his instincts and tackle the complexity of a changing landscape, both in his academic career and in the workplace. He still follows the advice of former W&J professor Dr. Eugene Klaber who said, “If you aren’t feeling passion for what you’re doing, make a change.” After graduating from W&J, Paisley attended the University of Pittsburgh, where he received a master’s degree in business administration. Soon after, he began the first major chapter in his career as a certified public accountant at KPMG, an audit, tax, and advisory firm. For the majority of his time with the firm, Paisley was a full partner and spent ten years working in Silicon Valley with budding technology companies. Following his time at KPMG, Paisley became a driving force in the online marketing company ValueClick. He held various leadership positions at the company, including chief administrative officer, chief financial officer, and chief operating officer. He also was instrumental in orchestrating the company’s 14 acquisitions, substantially contributing to its growth. During his tenure, the company’s revenue increased from $44 million to more than $600 million. Today, Paisley is an investor and executive in high-growth companies. His most recent role was chief financial officer for Razorgator, Inc., a leader in online premium ticket exchanges and ticket management technology platforms for Fortune 100 companies. With 36 years of experience in business, Paisley could easily take a well-deserved retirement. Instead, he continues to bring his market prowess to the corporate world. The ability to adapt to a quickly changing environment, a skill he learned at W&J, clearly has served him well.
It seemed as if I only had time to eat, practice, and study. That was the beauty of W&J. I always was busy, but still found time to do what I wanted to do.
Peter C. Sullivan ’79 General Manager, University of Phoenix Stadium
To say that Peter Sullivan loves his job is an understatement. In fact, he doesn’t even think of it as a job. Sullivan, general manager of the University of Phoenix Stadium, simply feels fortunate that he was able to achieve his childhood dream. “From a very early age, I knew that I wanted to work in sports management,” he explains. “There was an arena built near my house where the New York Islanders used to play and I would sneak in and think, ‘Wow! What a great place to work!’” Growing up in Long Island, New York, Sullivan knew of universities with sports management programs, but none had the welcoming atmosphere that Washington & Jefferson College provided. Once at W&J, Sullivan was delighted to discover that other students were interested in similar careers. “I was having lunch with the soccer coach,” he recalls. “I told him that I was interested in sports management and he paused, arched his eyebrows, and told me that there was a senior on the swim team who wanted to go to graduate school for sports management. That inspired me.” While attending W&J, Sullivan was a member of the swimming and soccer teams, an active brother in Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, and an economics major. “It seemed as if I only had time to eat, practice, and study,” he said. “That was the beauty of W&J. I always was busy, but still found time to do what I wanted to do.” After graduation, Sullivan worked as assistant director of admissions at W&J for two years before earning his master’s degree in sports management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Today, as general manager of the only facility in North America with a fully retractable natural-grass playing field, Sullivan is responsible for a wide variety of events. Whether he is hosting National Football League games for the Arizona Cardinals or securing entertainment acts, no two days are the same for Sullivan, which is something that he relishes.
Leaders in the Arts
W&J got me excited about education. From that, I found the drive to do what I always have wanted to do and succeed at it.
Jerrell L. Angell ’66 Architect and Partner, TRO Jung/Brannen
Jerrell Angell’s career has taken him around the world, designing and developing exciting new hospitals, hotels, universities, and even cities throughout the United States and Asia. As a partner for 27 years at the internationally renowned architecture firm TRO Jung/Brannen, Angell is extremely proud of his work and is grateful to Washington & Jefferson College for playing a key role in his success. “W&J got me excited about education,” he says. “From that, I found the drive to do what I always have wanted to do and succeed at it.” Angell attended W&J in the mid 1960s and remembers the campus community as a “family of 800 men,” in which his closest friends were his Phi Gamma Delta brothers. In addition to his fraternity involvement, Angell was active in athletics, participating in intramural sports and becoming a four-year letterman on the varsity football team. After graduating from W&J in 1966, Angell attended The Ohio State University and received his master’s degree in city planning before entering the Naval Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. Angell served as a line officer aboard two Newport-based destroyers during the Vietnam War and was discharged as a Lieutenant in 1971. Returning to civilian life, Angell entered the University of Pennsylvania for graduate studies in architecture before launching what became a very successful career in the field. Angell joined TRO Jung/Brannen in 1981 and quickly worked his way up the ranks before becoming partner in 1985. Since then, he has designed and managed projects in Turkey, Morocco, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. “I value the opportunity to travel overseas and learn about different cultures, to work with the local people, experience their different ways of life, and study their traditions and languages,” he says. “I also am proud that I can point to some of these projects—be it a high-rise in Dubai or a new town in Turkey—and tell my children and family that I played a small part in the creation of these remarkable places.”
At W&J, the subjects I studied ran the gamut from art to econometrics. Because I did not limit myself, I gained a broader view of life and an understanding of how disciplines are interconnected.
Robert Paul Luc ’03 Singer and Songwriter Manager of Medicare Brokerage Sales, UPMC Health Plan
Paul Luc is a man who leads two distinct careers. Exemplifying the liberal arts college graduate, he is both a manager of Medicare brokerage sales and a singer/songwriter who is beginning to emerge on the national music scene. Drawn to Washington & Jefferson College because of its rich history, he applied for early acceptance and began what would become a very colorful college career. Luc remembers entering Upperclass Hall as a freshman and initially being intimidated. But, after he settled in, he relaxed. “I started meeting all sorts of random and remarkable people, some of whom became the best friends I have to this day,” he recalls. Luc also encountered several remarkable professors who shaped his time at W&J. He counts professors Gregor, Pelizzon, Scott, and Shaughnessy as instructors who took a special interest in him and his talents. But Luc is especially grateful to Pelizzon, who taught him creative writing. “Dr. Pelizzon was one of the most brilliant people I have ever met,” he recalls. After graduating with a degree in economics, Luc pursued his music interests and spent the next two years writing music, working part-time jobs, and performing in small clubs. To pay the bills, however, Luc called upon his background in economics and applied for a temporary position with UPMC Health Plan. Within two short years, he was promoted to a manager. Luc also continues to perform with his band, which recently released its first album, “The Shelly Street Anthems.” Only five years after his graduation, Luc is aware of the impact that W&J had on his life. “The ideology of liberal arts is pervasive in my life,” he says. “My interests and pursuits are completely varied. At W&J, the subjects I studied ran the gamut from art to econometrics. Because I did not limit myself, I gained a broader view of life and an understanding of how disciplines are interconnected.”
I was expanding my horizons. My experience at W&J did so much to open my eyes.
Jeffrey Siger ’66 Best-Selling Author
Jeffrey Siger ’66 chose to attend Washington & Jefferson College because he had no doubt he would be a doctor. However, a strong grounding in the liberal arts combined with a lifelong affection for writing can change even the best-laid plans. A Pittsburgh native, Siger was a biology major until a political science class changed his life. Turning his attention to law, he graduated from W&J with a double major in political science and biology. “I thought I knew what I was going to do,” he recalls. “But things can change if you’re open to it. The key was that W&J transitioned me from being a kid in Pittsburgh to one who found himself in a fully integrated fraternity. I was expanding my horizons. My experience at W&J did so much to open my eyes.” Siger continued his education at Boston College Law School and began practicing law at a major Wall Street firm. He later helped establish a firm in New York City as one of its name partners. But it was in his adopted home of Mykonos, the most famous of the Greek islands, that Siger found the inspiration he needed to embrace his longstanding desire to be a writer. Immersing himself in the Greek culture, Siger penned his first novel, Murder in Mykonos. That mystery thriller created Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis and received widespread international acclaim, becoming the best-selling English-language novel in Greece. His second book in the series, Assassins of Athens, followed suit as a top-ten international best seller. “My books are mysteries that explore issues confronting modern Greek society in a way that just happens to touch upon its ancient roots,” Siger says. With his third book in the series now complete and a fourth underway, Siger reflects on his decision to change careers with gratitude. “I walked away from my law practice and never looked back. Can you imagine how lucky I feel being able to do exactly what I always wanted?” W&J gave him the skills necessary to find success in a number of disciplines—from law to literature. Siger says, “I wanted to go to a college that would help me transition into the modern world. W&J did that for me.”
My political science major provided me with an important foundation to begin a career in journalism.
Thomas Squitieri ’75 Award-Winning Journalist, Founder and Principal, TS Navigations LLC
Thomas Squitieri’s four years at Washington & Jefferson College were some of the most memorable and enjoyable years of his life. In fact, the College had such an impact on Squitieri, that he returns to his beloved alma mater every January to teach an Intersession course on his experience as a war-zone reporter. “I love the new level of involvement that I have with the College,” he says. As a student, Squitieri reveled in the variety of student groups and organizations on campus. He played tennis for two years, served on student government, and dabbled in the student-run radio station, WNJR. Academically, Squitieri’s interests led him to declare a political science major with a pre-law concentration. “I considered becoming a lawyer,” he recalls. “But, I fell in love with reporting. My political science major provided me with an important foundation to begin a career in journalism.” Upon his graduation from W&J, Squitieri worked full time at the Valley News Dispatch, a news publication located near Pittsburgh. Four years later, he moved to Washington, D.C., to merge his writing with another of his passions—politics. He worked with three news organizations before landing a job at USA Today in 1989. During his 16 years with the publication, Squitieri covered issues ranging from foreign politics and the war in Iraq to the Clinton scandals. His reporting abroad garnered him several awards from the Overseas Press Club and White House Correspondents Association. In 2005, he left USA Today to join Dittus Communications as a senior media advisor before launching TS Navigations LLC. Under Squitieri’s leadership, this group of professionals specializes in writing, research and investigations, media training, and crisis communications, in offices both domestic and abroad. Though Squitieri’s work has taken him to every continent in the world and to every state in the country, he remains loyal to his Western Pennsylvania roots. His respect for the area and its history of developing hard and honest workers led him to help fund the coal miner statue that sits in front of the Technology Center at W&J. He explains, “To me, the statue represents hard work and epitomizes the desire to educate oneself and one’s family.”
Without my professors, it’s likely I wouldn’t have as much confidence and drive as I do today.
Hollis Zemany-McLachlan ’06 Actress
For Hollis Zemany-McLachlan, attending Washington & Jefferson College initially seemed like an unattainable dream. Growing up in nearby Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, Zemany-McLachlan was familiar with the College’s atmosphere and prestige. However, her “less than perfect grades” dissuaded her from applying. It wasn’t until her junior and senior years of high school that her grades improved and W&J became a viable option. Excited about the opportunity to begin honing her acting skills, Zemany-McLachlan arrived on campus in the fall of 2002 and was struck by the “unspoken connection” among the members of the freshman class. “Everybody was on the same page,” she remembers. “We all were inspired to study and become whatever we wanted to become.” Along with the bonds she made with fellow students, Zemany-McLachlan also established strong relationships with professors—connections she continues to cherish. She credits professors DeBerry, McEvoy, and Cameron with encouraging her to follow her passions of theatre and writing. “Without my professors, it’s likely I wouldn’t have as much confidence and drive as I do today,” she recalls. After graduating in 2006, Zemany-McLachlan’s self-assurance prompted her to take a big leap and move to Hollywood, California, where she pursued a career in acting, writing, and filmmaking. Since then, she has held several roles in television and film, including “Big Love” and “The Weathered Underground.” She also is in the process of producing her own parody-driven, autobiographical screenplay, “Pie Head: A Kinda’ True Story.” Her first produced and directed documentary, “Homeless in Hollywood,” was honored with an award at the 2009 Great Lakes Film Festival. In addition, her monologue book for children, which she began to write as a senior at W&J, is being considered for publication by Applause Books. In true W&J form, Zemany-McLachlan has also managed to combine her love of theatre, writing, and filmmaking with service. She is active in the Hollywood Arts Society, an organization that provides a creative outlet for disabled and autistic children. “It’s not groundbreaking work,” she says. “But to be able to help these kids break out of their shells is an amazing and infinitely rewarding experience.”
Scientists and Thinkers
It was the people at W&J who made the difference.
James R. Durig, Ph.D. ’58 Former Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Curator’s Professor of Chemistry, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Starting off from humble beginnings, James Durig, Ph.D., has risen to become one of the most distinguished chemists in the global scientific community. In his 48 years of teaching, he has supervised more than 100 doctoral students and authored over 1,000 academic refereed journal articles on the subject of vibrational and rotational spectroscopy. Durig also participates in conferences and gives lectures on his scientific expertise in places like China, India, Poland, and Australia. After high school, Durig worked on the railroad replacing steel bridges but decided that he preferred to go to college. With the recommendation of Washington & Jefferson College basketball coach Adam Sanders, he gained admission to W&J. To honor Sanders, Durig and his wife have established a scholarship in his name. As a student, Durig loved history and hoped to teach the subject. However, his advisor, Fred Frank, suggested science or mathematics would be more appropriate because of the teacher shortage in those disciplines. As a sophomore, he discovered his lifelong passion. “Dr. McDuffie taught me about spectroscopy, and so I chose this area in graduate school,” he recalls. Dr. Waldeland, chairman of the chemistry department, nominated Durig for the prestigious Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, which supports doctoral education for students planning to teach in college. After an interview at Princeton University, Durig was awarded the Fellowship and went on to earn his doctorate in physical chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “It was the people at W&J who made the difference,” he says. “I knew my professors’ families—I even knew McDuffie’s dog, Wags.” In addition to his research, Durig has served 20 years as dean of the College of Science and Mathematics at the University of South Carolina and seven years as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at University of Missouri-Kansas City. His title, “Curator’s Professor,” is reserved for “the best of the best.” No wonder he still sleeps only about five hours a night.
W&J encouraged me to appreciate life.
Jerold S. Goldberg, D.D.S. ’67 Dean, School of Dental Medicine, Case Western Reserve University Professor, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
A doctor, teacher, and good Samaritan—Jerold Goldberg, D.D.S., is a gifted oral surgeon whose compassion and foresight as an educator ensure that his vital work will be sustained through future generations of doctors. In addition to running his private practice, Goldberg served as both chair of oral surgery and dean at Case Western Dental School. As chair, Goldberg developed the country’s sole five-year dentistry and doctor of medicine program. Once named dean, he created a new curriculum unique among dental programs, leading Case Western Dental School to stand out among its peers. He proclaims that his work on these programs has been the greatest accomplishment of his career. Goldberg attributes much of his success to the experiences he had at W&J. He believes that W&J’s curriculum and professors encourage students to think before acting. This technique encourages critical thinking among students and prepares them for a rapidly changing world. In addition to building a foundation for professional success, Goldberg says, “W&J encouraged me to appreciate life.” His liberal arts education, for example, cultivated a broader range of interests beyond medicine. In fact, Goldberg credits his love of the symphony to the open-minded attitude he developed at W&J. Humanitarian and pro-bono work also have been defining components of Goldberg’s life. Since 1985, he has spent about one month each year performing vital oral surgery, such as cleft lip procedures, in developing countries around the world. In addition to personal missionary trips to Ecuador, Nepal, and Mexico, Goldberg has created schools worldwide that support and carry out his work. In Lithuania, he progressed from performing surgeries to teaching others his craft. Today, that work has enabled his students to become self-sufficient health-care providers capable of healing others. Despite the politically sensitive issues involved, he even was able to develop an Israeli dental school that operates with both Palestinians and Israelis. Goldberg intends to continue his work healing, restructuring, and teaching for the foreseeable future.
W&J made me work hard. That work paid off in the long run.
Stanley L. Handelman, D.M.D. ’50 Professor Emeritus, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry Former Chair, Department of General Dentistry, Eastman Dental Center
Often touted as the father of postdoctoral general dentistry education, Stanley Handelman, D.M.D., is a respected and accomplished scientist, educator, and mentor with an international reputation. He has practiced dentistry for 50 years and published nearly 100 research and educational papers. In honor of Handelman’s success as an educator and researcher, the annual Handelman Conference and Handelman Scholarship Fund were established at the University of Rochester’s School of Medicine and Dentistry. Handelman’s academic reputation was firmly established when he received a major grant from the federal government to conduct national workshops and write a manual on the development of residency programs in the general practice of dentistry. He also has worked to ensure that students of diverse backgrounds are afforded equal opportunities to practice dentistry. In 2004, he secured a grant from the American Dental Education Association to assist students from underrepresented minorities in realizing their academic careers. His mentorship is exemplified by many of his former students who have achieved academic distinction by becoming deans, associate deans, chairs of departments, and directors of dental research institutions. One of his students was named vice chancellor of a major university. Handelman’s passion for education was strengthened during his time as a student at Washington & Jefferson College. Intrigued by the College’s intimate atmosphere and diverse educational possibilities, he participated in intramural sports and various extracurricular activities. However, the majority of his time was devoted to studying and working toward his pre-health degree. “I had a number of distinguished dentists in my family and I followed those positive models,” he explains. Nearly 60 years after graduating from W&J, Handelman reflects on his college experience with gratitude. He credits the professors who guided him academically and the courses that challenged him mentally with preparing him for an illustrious career in dentistry. “W&J made me work hard,” he recalls. “That work paid off in the long run.”
Dr. Lee was a wonderful mentor. She guided me through the decision of what to do after college and pointed me down the path of scientific research.
Amy L. Hartman, Ph.D. ’98 Research Manager, Center for Vaccine Research, University of Pittsburgh
While most people fear highly infectious diseases, Amy Hartman, Ph.D., chooses to face them head on. As research manager of the Regional Biocontainment Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Vaccine Research, Hartman coordinates research efforts that are designed to eradicate deadly diseases such as avian influenza, tuberculosis, tularemia, Rift Valley Fever, and other infectious agents that are considered serious biohazards or terrorist threats. Hartman first tackled serious biology research in 1994 as a freshman at Washington & Jefferson College. Aware of the College’s strong emphasis on a liberal arts education, Hartman pursued a unique dual major in biology and Spanish. “I really enjoyed learning the language,” she explains. “And not just Spanish—biology is its own language, too.” Outside the classroom, Hartman enjoyed her time with Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and the W&J swim team, earning the title of Presidents’ Athletic Conference Swimmer of the Year in 1998. Hartman regards Dr. Alice Lee, professor of biology, as the professor who had the most impact on her life during and after college. “Dr. Lee was a wonderful mentor,” Hartman recalls. “She guided me through the decision of what to do after college and pointed me down the path of scientific research.” Unlike most biology majors at W&J, Hartman was not interested in attending medical school. Instead, after graduating in 1998, she enrolled in the doctoral program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine where she earned her degree in molecular virology. During her post-doctoral fellowship in the Special Pathogens Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, Hartman studied Ebola Zaire and Rift Valley Fever viruses, two extremely deadly pathogens that require researchers to have highly specialized training and to use a “space suit” for protection. Hartman also traveled to Africa as part of a CDC-led outbreak response team in Angola. After four years in Atlanta, Hartman returned to the University of Pittsburgh in 2007 and began the work she continues today. In her short career, she is already on her way to becoming a leader in infectious disease research.
Work hard, be prepared, and watch as good things happen.
Patrick McCormick, Ph.D. ’62 Research Scientist, NASA Langley Research Center (Retired) Professor of Physics and Co-Director of Center for Atmospheric Sciences, Hampton University
Patrick McCormick, Ph.D., loves the sciences—it is a passion he began to cultivate during his time at Washington & Jefferson College. McCormick put that passion to good use for more than 30 years as a NASA scientist and now passes on that knowledge through his teaching at Hampton University. McCormick has published more than 430 papers, journal articles, NASA publications, and books, including 270 refereed journal publications that have earned him international recognition. McCormick found his niche at W&J in the physics department, where Drs. Bell and Hill encouraged and challenged him and taught him professional research methods. At W&J, McCormick also found fulfillment on the wrestling mat. “The student body support for my wrestling was incredible, as was the support from my coaches and the athletic department,” he recalls. Upon his graduation from W&J, McCormick sought to make an impact on the world— literally. He received both master’s and doctorate degrees in physics from the College of William & Mary, where he was introduced to atmospheric research. When NASA came calling shortly thereafter, McCormick spent 30 years with the space agency researching the development and application of sensors for measurement in the Earth’s atmosphere, as well as leading a number of successful satellite experiments. Following his retirement from NASA in 1996, McCormick began his work with the Center for Atmospheric Sciences, where he mentors graduate students, teaches, and conducts research using ground-based and satellite-borne remote sensors. In his spare time, McCormick turns his attention to wrestling, which still remains an integral part of his life, 40 years after participating on the wrestling team at W&J. Today, he works for the National Collegiate Athletic Association as a national officiating coordinator for wrestling, training referees throughout the country and acting as their supervisor at championship meets. To attain professional success and find personal fulfillment in one’s career, McCormick’s words of advice are simple, yet significant. “Work hard, be prepared, and watch as good things happen.”
I learned that with hard work and determination, I can achieve anything I want.
Joyce O’Neal ’74 Chief Operations Manager, Ocean Mammal Institute
Above all, Joyce O’Neal believes in the power of individuals to change the world. It is a belief that began to grow during her time at Washington & Jefferson College. “I initially was very shy in high school,” she recalls. “However, at W&J, I made the conscious decision to be more outgoing, and in return, the College presented me with the opportunity to become the best version of myself.” O’Neal’s decision to break out of her shell served her well at W&J, especially as one of the College’s first female students in 1970. Considering it a time of great change in her life, O’Neal views her college experience as challenging, yet extremely rewarding. “I learned that with hard work and determination, I can achieve anything I want,” she says. As she navigated her way through W&J’s liberal arts curriculum, O’Neal decided to double major in psychology and sociology because “it just clicked.” When she approached graduation, O’Neal found her calling in the U.S. Army, where she served for 20 years before retiring as a Major in the military police. Determined to use her time after the military to make a difference in the world, O’Neal did not take long to embark on a new journey in her career. Reaching back to the science roots she established at W&J, O’Neal combined her knowledge of psychology and sociology with her passion for the water in a job with the Ocean Mammal Institute. The small non-profit organization has programs that aim to help individuals understand their connection to nature while improving protective laws for humpback whales and dolphins. “This is an organization that examines man’s behavior and attempts to change our negative impact on the environment so that we can share the world with animals that have been here far longer than we have,” she explains. Today, the Ocean Mammal Institute is working hard to achieve its goals by engaging in discussions with the European Union and the United Nations to look for better ways to protect dolphins and whales. For her part, O’Neal has never been more proud of her work.
Always study in teams. Teamwork and dedication will ensure a successful career, especially in medicine.
James L. Phillips, M.D. ’54 Senior Associate Dean and Professor of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine
James L. Phillips, M.D., is a trailblazer. While at Washington & Jefferson College, he challenged fraternity dominance in intramurals and was elected the unofficial president of the “independents” (those students not involved in Greek organizations). In medical school at Case Western Reserve, he was the first African-American intern at University Hospitals of Cleveland; at W&J, he became one of two African American emeritus trustees; and as an advocate of the underprivileged, he established programs to prepare underrepresented minorities for medical school. When he entered W&J on an athletic and academic scholarship, Phillips realized that his career opportunities were limited. “As an African American in the 1950s, I felt I only had three choices—I could be a minister, a lawyer, or a doctor,” he says. However, he quickly found that medicine was his passion and, with Dr. Dieter’s guidance, he entered the pre-medical program and was accepted into medical school by his junior year. Phillips finished a residency in pediatrics at the Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Ohio before being drafted to serve in the U.S. Navy. “Being a physician in the Navy was one of the best experiences of my life,” he says. “I practiced my craft and encountered truly interesting people.” Returning to life as a civilian, Phillips began work as a pediatrician and eventually became the chief of staff at Kaiser-Permanente Medical Center. Today, Phillips is senior associate dean and professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. Recruited primarily to improve cultural diversity, Phillips has been instrumental in helping Baylor to achieve premier status with regard to recruiting students underrepresented in medicine. His many awards include a proclamation of February 28, as Dr. James L. Phillips Day by the mayor of the city of Houston. As a man continually concerned with helping people succeed, Phillips never hesitates to share the knowledge he learned while at W&J. “Always study in teams,” he says. “Teamwork and dedication will ensure a successful career, especially in medicine.”
Students tend to think that they have to plan their careers from beginning to end. But the key is to do what you enjoy, look for promising opportunities, and your career will evolve from there.
Larry W. Sumney ’62 President and Chief Executive Officer, Semiconductor Research Corporation
Larry Sumney remembers when cell phones were the “size of a shoebox and the electronics that accompanied them were the size of an automobile.” Fascinated by this technology, in 1982, he helped create the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), which he has managed for nearly 30 years. As its president and chief executive officer, Sumney has led research resulting in tremendous advances in integrated circuit technology. SRC has played a significant role in the creation of the complex technology that enables the improvement of products from cell phones and iPods to an array of sophisticated, more efficient military defense systems. For these achievements, President George W. Bush awarded SRC with the National Medal of Technology, an award that previously has been given to Xerox, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs. Sumney always was drawn to the sciences in a quest to understand how the world works. As a student at Washington & Jefferson College, he majored in and excelled at physics, even though his favorite professor was Dr. Mitchell in the history department. He spent most of his time studying or working at the local supermarket, but Sumney also found time to join Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and the W&J band, playing the clarinet. After graduating from W&J in 1962, Sumney began a 20-year career in the federal government, starting as a research physicist at the Naval Research Laboratory. While there, he was selected as an Edison scholar and went on to attend George Washington University, earning a master’s degree in engineering administration and completing doctoral course work in systems engineering and applied mathematics. His last major assignment was at the Pentagon, where he helped create and manage the multi-million dollar very-high-speed integrated circuit (VHSIC) program. Sumney advises students just starting their careers in the sciences to follow their interests. “Students tend to think that they have to plan their careers from beginning to end,” he says. “But the key is to do what you enjoy, look for promising opportunities, and your career will evolve from there.” For those not engaged in technology, Sumney encourages them to be curious about how things work. He explains, “That curiosity could be rewarded with fascinating results.” 59
Pioneers in Public Service
Looking back, I remember W&J fondly, particularly Richard Easton, my advisor, who was a valuable sounding board who inspired me to investigate the world and its opportunities.
David Beveridge ’82 Partner, Shearman & Sterling
A native of Erie, Pennsylvania, David Beveridge arrived on the campus of Washington & Jefferson College in 1978 well aware of the strong reputation of its pre-law program. The education Beveridge received at W&J prepared him for the rigors of his law school education at the University of Texas at Austin, where he was an editor of the Texas Law Review. Today, as a partner with Shearman & Sterling in New York City and head of the firm’s capital markets group in North America, he has indeed made his mark. “Looking back, I remember W&J fondly, particularly Richard Easton, my advisor, a valuable sounding board who inspired me to investigate the world and its opportunities,” Beveridge recalls. He also appreciates the assistance he received from Joseph DiSarro, professor and chair of the political science department. “It was Dr. DiSarro who suggested I attend law school at the University of Texas,” he explains. Today, Beveridge is cited as a leading practitioner for capital markets in the 2009 edition of the Guide to the World’s Leading Capital Markets Lawyers, as selected by other senior practitioners and in-house counsel. He serves on the firm’s nine-member global policy committee, representing both issuers and underwriters in the full spectrum of debt, equity, and hybrid security offerings. He also has extensive experience with cross-border private equity, acquisition financing, and debt restructuring transactions. Prior to assuming his role as partner, Beveridge practiced law for more than a decade in Shearman & Sterling’s London office, where he was head of the firm’s capital markets groups in Europe and Asia. He regularly was cited as a leading lawyer for capital markets with particular strength in high yield offerings by prominent U.K. and global legal directories such as Chambers and IFLR 1000.
Higher education has been the best experience of my life. Working with college students allows me to constantly engage with the best and brightest young minds.
Kenyon R. Bonner ’94 Director of Student Life, University of Pittsburgh
Kenyon Bonner is a man of great ambition. This ambition helped propel him from associate director of residence life at the University of Pittsburgh to director of student life in less than one year. For Bonner, the transition meant a heavier workload, but more importantly, it meant more extensive involvement with the student body. “Higher education has been the best experience of my life,” he says. “Working with college students allows me to constantly engage with the best and brightest young minds.” During his own college days at Washington & Jefferson, Bonner was undoubtedly one of W&J’s “best and brightest.” While juggling dual majors of psychology and philosophy, Bonner played basketball and served as the first president of the Black Student Union. In addition to creating a lasting legacy for African-American students at W&J, Bonner is especially proud of the historic moments he experienced as a member of the W&J basketball team. “Our team won the PAC championship three years in a row,” he recalls. “We overcame a lot of obstacles and received an invitation to the NCAA tournament, where we advanced to the elite eight.” Bonner’s next obstacle did not present itself on the basketball court, but rather at the outset of his promising career. As graduation approached, Bonner toyed with ideas ranging from joining the Secret Service to entering pharmaceutical sales, but Drs. Crabtree and Schrader, along with his parents, eventually convinced him to enroll in graduate school. Following their advice, Bonner earned his master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling at Kent State University. There he also began his career in higher education as a graduate assistant. W&J remains a large part of Bonner’s life. He often drives through Washington, Pennsylvania, and takes impromptu walks around campus to become reacquainted with his alma mater. However, Bonner hopes that he will one day return to W&J in a more formal capacity. “My ultimate goal is to return to W&J and become president,” he says. “Maybe when I get gray hair.”
Balancing academics, work, extracurricular activities, and a social life is something that W&J actively encourages you to do.
James J. Christiana III ’06 Pennsylvania State Representative, 15th District
Pennsylvania State Representative Jim Christiana credits Washington & Jefferson College with helping him develop the skills needed to become an effective leader and a well-rounded individual. He especially acknowledges the work ethic he gained as a result of W&J’s vigorous academic standards. “Balancing academics, work, extracurricular activities, and a social life is something that W&J actively encourages you to do,” he says. Christiana also notes that the liberal arts experience at W&J gave him a broad knowledge of areas like economics, biology, and political science that has helped him to weigh and interpret proposed legislation. During Christiana’s four years at W&J, he gained valuable leadership experience both on and off campus. He became active in the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity and eventually became president. Christiana’s interest in politics led him to build the foundation for his political career as a student at W&J. During the fall semester of his senior year, Christiana decided to run for the Beaver Borough Council. As he prepared for the election, he received encouragement from many W&J faculty members. In particular, he remembers the support he received from political science professors Joseph DiSarro and Buba Misawa. In 2005, Christiana, at age 22, succeeded in his election to the Beaver Borough Council, becoming the youngest councilman in Beaver Borough history. Christiana continued to work in public service following his graduation from W&J. In 2008, Christiana was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the 15th Legislative District—becoming the youngest current member to hold the position. Once in the House, Christiana focused on ensuring transparency in government communications and introducing several key pieces of legislation. In 2010, at age 26, Christiana has achieved more than many accomplish by age 65. But he has no intention of slowing down, and he remains grateful for the remarkable dedication of his W&J mentors.
My goal was to attend the college that would best prepare me for law school and at the same time, allow me to play basketball for a solid program that was very competitive. I felt that W&J gave me the best opportunity to meet both of these goals.
Jeffrey Conn ’86 Managing Partner, Thorp Reed & Armstrong
What attracted Jeffrey Conn to Washington & Jefferson College was not just its sterling reputation as a pre-law school, but also its ability to provide him with the best of both worlds in academics and athletics. “My goal was to attend the college that would best prepare me for law school and at the same time, allow me to play basketball for a solid program that was very competitive,” he explains. “I felt that W&J gave me the best opportunity to meet both of these goals.” Upon graduation from W&J, Conn began to set even loftier goals. In 1986, he enrolled in law school at the University of Pittsburgh and quickly procured a position as a summer associate for Thorp Reed & Armstrong. Ten years later, Conn’s dedication and exceptional work were rewarded when he became partner. As head of the financial and real estate transactions department, Conn easily navigates through the complexities of commercial finance, mergers and acquisitions, corporate counseling, strategic planning, and real estate work. Named one of “The Best Lawyers in America,” Conn works to build strong relationships with his clients. In 2007, Conn was named managing partner of Thorp Reed & Armstrong, becoming one of the youngest people to hold that position in the firm. In addition to excelling in the field of law, Conn finds balance in his busy career by engrossing himself in his favorite pastime—basketball. “At W&J, I enjoyed the competition, hard work, and dedication necessary to have success on the basketball court,” he recalls. To share those fond memories with others, he gives back to his community by directing and coaching basketball, baseball, and football youth programs. More than 20 years after receiving his degree from W&J, Conn credits the College with fostering an environment where students are given both excellent academic and social opportunities. “Enjoy your time at W&J, and take advantage of the opportunities to experience everything that the College offers,” he advises. “It will prepare you well for life after graduation.”
W&J professors didnâ€™t just stand in front of the room and recite Shakespeare. They all were excellent teachers. They inspired you to work hard.
Louise Bell Devanny ’80 Fundraising Consultant, L&S Enterprises Personal Secretary for Former First Lady Nancy Reagan
After graduating from Washington & Jefferson College, Louise Bell Devanny landed the opportunity of a lifetime in the White House—sorting mail. Although it seemed like an unusual route, it was not long before Devanny became the personal secretary for former First Lady Nancy Reagan. For five and a half years, Devanny worked with Mrs. Reagan, traveling the world, implementing official protocol, and promoting important political and social issues. Her connection with the Reagan family remains strong today. When President Reagan died, Devanny assisted with the funeral arrangements, and she still regularly sees the First Lady. Devanny’s father, a 1945 alumnus of W&J, was the one who encouraged her to attend the College. But, of course, the College had changed a good bit since he was a student. When Devanny arrived, W&J was still adjusting to the arrival of women, and there were few social opportunities for them. To remedy this situation, Devanny became one of the founders of the Delta Gamma sorority. She also worked on the yearbook and played field hockey. In the classroom, she appreciated the guidance of professors like Dr. Nicholas Cavoti, who was devoted to students and guided them in understanding how psychology shapes human behavior. “W&J professors didn’t just stand in front of the room and recite Shakespeare,” she says. “They all were excellent teachers. They inspired you to work hard.” Returning to W&J for alumni events, Devanny is glad to see that the strong sense of community has remained unchanged. Today, Devanny remains active in the political arena. She spends much of her time consulting and planning conferences and events for various organizations. She also is involved with many boards and organizations in the D.C. metropolitan area, offering her support to the Annapolis Womenade program, Daughters of the American Revolution, the Annapolis Symphony, and Historic Homes. Much of Devanny’s success results from following her personal philosophy to “work hard and play hard,” a lesson that she says she first learned as a student at W&J.
My sociology background has been vital to my accomplishments as an FBI agent.
Rebecca L. Madvay ’83 Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Rebecca Madvay always knew that she wanted to attend Washington & Jefferson College—what she did not know was what she wanted to do after graduation. She initially was drawn to W&J because of her family’s history with the College and its convenient location in her hometown. However, when she became a student, W&J offered her much more than she expected—a support system during an influential time in her life. “I always was impressed by the great encouragement from the faculty and staff,” Madvay recalls. Professor Pat Maloney especially impacted her college career when she encouraged her to enter an intercollegiate art competition. Not an art major, Madvay was thrilled to win an award for her pottery. Though art was of great interest to Madvay, she chose to major in sociology. “I always enjoyed examining interactions among people,” she explains. “Dr. Miller and Dr. Greb of the sociology department played vital roles in providing me with a solid foundation for understanding and dealing with people, which I employ daily.” In addition to her studies, Madvay was a member of Delta Gamma sorority and a little sister of Kappa Sigma fraternity. The friendships she formed through these activities helped shape her personality and taught her confidence and determination. After Madvay graduated in 1983, she accepted a job as a parole officer for the Washington County Courts, giving her the opportunity to put her sociology degree to work immediately. This introduction to the field of law enforcement soon led Madvay to follow in her father’s footsteps by applying for a job with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. She graduated from the FBI academy in 1987, beginning a 22-year career as an FBI agent in the criminal division. Madvay credits her success to the education and support she received from W&J. “My sociology background has been vital to my accomplishments as an FBI agent,” she says. But, in true liberal arts fashion, Madvay also continues to work on her art and hopes to open her own art studio after she retires.
W&J prepared me to adapt in an ever-changing world.
Col. J. Thomas McCandless ’62 Division Chief (Retired), Defense Intelligence Agency
As a retired division chief for the Defense Intelligence Agency, Col. J. Thomas McCandless has led an extraordinary career—a career that was shaped at Washington & Jefferson College. Before college, he envisioned himself as a pre-medical student and was certain of becoming a doctor. However, a successful ROTC career and an impossible zoology class turned his sights to a life in the military. Following graduation from W&J, McCandless was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army and spent time in Korea and Kentucky as an artillery officer. Looking for more rigorous work, he challenged himself to master the Pershing missile system, a long-range nuclear missile, and eventually took over the command of a battery in Germany. After serving in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division, McCandless established a U.S. Army Foreign Area Officer training program, which specialized in training officers to become experts on various parts of the world. After completing language training and a master’s program, McCandless was sent to live in Nicaragua and travel throughout Latin America. While his time there was exciting, one of his most salient memories is a somber one. “After an earthquake destroyed the capital city of Managua, I was assigned to work with the United States relief effort,” he says. “I can honestly say that I’ve never been more proud of my country and being a member of the U.S. Army than during those 30 days.” When his time in Nicaragua ended, McCandless was assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency as an analyst for Latin America. He eventually left the intelligence business and active duty when he helped establish the Unitech Corporation in Miami, Florida, which manufactured and sold repair parts for the bottling and brewing industry in Latin America. After four years with the company, he returned to his intelligence roots, quickly resuming his work with the Defense Intelligence Agency as a civilian. Retired since 2004, McCandless remains dedicated to his career and credits W&J for preparing him ‘to adapt in an ever-changing world.”
Be flexibleâ€”your ideas about what you want to do in life will change during college. Look around and you will find something that will not only support you financially but also fulfill your passion.
Scott Petri ’82 Pennsylvania State Representative, 178th District
Scott Petri wanted to play basketball in college, but he did not want to go to college just to play basketball. He wanted a rigorous education more than anything else. So, when Coach Eunice from Washington & Jefferson College called and asked him to visit campus, he almost did not accept the invitation. But, when they met, the coach spent one and a half hours talking to Petri without once mentioning basketball. He just showed Petri the campus and talked about the outstanding academics and dedicated faculty at W&J. When Petri talked with students, they were warm and friendly and they, too, talked about their favorite faculty. Petri was impressed and he decided, “This is the place I want to go.” W&J was a logical choice for Petri, since he had always wanted to be a lawyer. Even when he was a child, his grandfather called him “grosse Schnauze” (big mouth) and said he would be a lawyer or a politician one day because he loved to talk. At W&J, he pursued a double major in two very verbal fields, English and political science, and he almost completed a third major in economics. Although his primary occupation now is serving in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, he continues to practice law, fulfilling both halves of his grandfather’s prediction. In the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Petri chairs several important committees, including the House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Economic Impact and Infrastructure, the Pennsylvania Winery Caucus, and the Life Science Caucus. As a lawyer in private practice, he focuses on real estate, banking, wills, estates, and municipal law. He advises students, “Be flexible—your ideas about what you want to do in life will change during college. Look around and you will find something that will not only support you financially but also fulfill your passion.” The most important lesson he learned during college, Petri says, was how to take criticism and grow from it, a skill that is especially important in his political life.
At W&J, I learned how to think, look over the horizon, and adapt to whatever comes my way.
Maj. Gen. Patrick Sculley, D.D.S. ’69 U.S. Army Deputy Surgeon General (Retired) Senior Vice President, Uniformed Services, University of the Health Sciences
Maj. Gen. Patrick Sculley has a natural drive for success that Washington & Jefferson College helped to accelerate. He began an illustrious military career through the ROTC program on campus and developed valuable critical-thinking skills in the classroom. On the football field, with the support of Coach Chuck Ream, he built his confidence and self-esteem. These opportunities prepared Sculley well for a successful future after W&J. He says, “At W&J, I learned how to think, look over the horizon, and adapt to whatever comes my way.” Sculley completed a doctor of dental surgery program at the State University of New York at Buffalo before entering the U.S. Army in 1973. He quickly ascended through the ranks to serve as Commander of the 576th Medical Detachment in Bad Kreuznach, Germany. In 1994, Sculley made history by becoming the first commander of the U.S. Army’s Dental Command. Creating this position was an important step forward in improving dental care for soldiers. Sculley also was Commander of the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine. His knowledge of health and medicine led to his promotion to Major General and designation as Army Deputy Surgeon General. He also served as Chief of the Army Dental Corps and Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Medical Command. Sculley was selected as the 2001 Federal Health Care Administrator of the Year by the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States. After 29 years of service, Sculley retired from the U.S. Army, but not from his career. He began working in the private sector through Sigma Xi, a society that promotes and honors scientific achievement. As executive director, Sculley created the Sigma Xi Center, implemented key strategic planning, and reorganized administrative processes to better support the society’s goals. Sculley later returned to his military background by becoming deeply involved with the work of the U.S. Army Medical Department Museum Foundation, where he is now chairman of the board. Through this role, he is advancing the legacy to which he passionately dedicated his career.
W&JÂ taught me to think critically with confidence and without fear of holding unpopular views. It is a practice that has served me well.
Kurt H. Teil ’51 Department of State (Retired), Agency for International Development
When Kurt Teil arrived in the U.S. in 1940 after fleeing Nazi persecution in Germany, he never could have predicted that an education at Washington & Jefferson College was in his future. The 16-year old and his family arrived in Pittsburgh virtually penniless and with only a moderate knowledge of American language and customs. Despite these drawbacks, Teil quickly embraced and adapted to his new country, even joining the U.S. Army Air Force in 1943 to participate in the liberation of Germany from the Nazis. When Teil entered W&J in 1947, he was happy to find himself in the company of fellow World War II veterans studying under the G.I. Bill. “We had something very much in common,” he recalls. “We were perhaps somewhat less inclined to look for fun and games, but were nevertheless respected and welcomed as war veterans.” The personal experiences of his youth in Germany led him to especially appreciate W&J’s early efforts for a more racially diversified student body. Upon graduation, Teil attended the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University where he received his master’s degree in international law and relations. He went on to work briefly for the Pentagon before accepting a job with the Department of State, Agency for International Development. After 31 years of dedication to international development and foreign assistance, Teil retired in 1987 and shifted his attention from the issues of international importance to the individual struggles of human beings. Ill-suited for a leisure retirement, Teil moved back to Germany and began to work as a volunteer with the German Society for Dying in Dignity, an organization that strives to optimize the rights of people suffering from chronic incurable illness and pain. Specifically, the organization provides guidance on living wills and end-of-life issues. This work fulfills his continuing desire to “make a contribution.” Today, Teil is grateful to W&J for giving him the tools to pursue such demanding careers and causes. “W&J taught me to think critically with confidence and without fear of holding unpopular views,” he says. “It is a practice that has served me well.”
The progress that has been made to the physical structure of the campus since I attended W&J is astounding.
Honorable Christine A. Ward ’79 Judge, Common Pleas Court
The Honorable Christine Ward entered Washington & Jefferson College at an interesting crossroads in the College’s history. “The matriculation of women had just reached the level that the assigned female dorm, Marshall Hall, was filled,” she explains. “So my class of freshman women was housed on the third floor of Alexander Hall above two floors of upper-class, independent men. Needless to say, it such was a combustible combination that by mid-term, it had produced a record number of academic insufficiency notices among the group of freshman women. We did have fun.” Insufficiency notes aside, Ward proved to be an exceptional scholar and athlete. She double-majored in economics and political science and eventually was chosen as a finalist for a coveted Rhodes scholarship. Ward was also a member of the debate team, which finished fifth nationally during her time at W&J. Some of Ward’s best memories, however, involved the camaraderie she experienced while playing basketball on the first women’s team fielded by W&J. “I always loved riding the bus home from away basketball games with my teammates,” she recalls. “It was a great time to laugh and joke —to bond.” Ward’s bond with her teammates and the W&J community remained strong even after she received her law degree from the University of Pittsburgh and went on to practice law for 20 years. Her talent led Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell to appoint her to an interim seat on the Court of Common Pleas, where she eventually was elected to a 10-year term. In the midst of her success, Ward frequently returns to W&J to serve on various panels during Homecoming weekend and sometimes even trades in her judge’s robe for a pair of sneakers to cheer on her classmates in the alumni basketball game. Ward’s close ties to W&J have kept her up-to-date with changes the College has undergone throughout the years. “Change is difficult,” she says. “But the progress that has been made to the physical structure of campus since I attended W&J is astounding.”
Without question, W&J is where I started to learn how the world really works, and what kind of person I need to be in order to be effective.
Jesse White, Esq. ’00 Pennsylvania State Representative, 46th District
Jesse White, who drove past Washington & Jefferson College countless times as a boy growing up in Washington County, never could have fathomed the impact the College would one day have on his life and career. Today, as an ambitious young politician and lawyer, he has no doubt that W&J is the driving force behind his success. “Without question, W&J is where I started to learn how the world really works, and what kind of person I need to be in order to be effective,” he says. As a student at W&J, White was deeply involved with the college radio station when it was, as he remembers, “nothing more than some barely functioning equipment in the basement of the Old Gym.” He sketched the design for what is now the WNJR studio on a piece of notebook paper, working with the College to revive a state-of-the-art radio facility. White also appreciated the opportunity to serve as president of Delta Tau Delta fraternity, where he got his “first real-life taste of keeping a constituency happy and navigating the political waters” of an organization. It was during his final year of law school at Duquesne University when White found his calling in government service. Appointed as a supervisor in his hometown of Cecil Township, his career path became clear. “Those feelings of uncertainty about my future quickly changed to excitement when I thought about what I could accomplish in government if I worked hard enough,” he recalls. White epitomizes the value of hard work as a state representative, taking his role as “a voice for the people” to heart. Whether that means standing up to a local municipal authority, bringing public water to homes with antiquated wells, or advocating for new jobs in the region, he never forgets his responsibility to his voters. White, who also runs his own private law practice, advises students seeking a career in politics to become active in a campaign or government office. “Most importantly, don’t let temporary failure stand in the way of long-term success,” he adds. “I lost my first campaign in 2004 before I won in 2006, and I learned much more from that defeat than I have from all of my victories combined.”
Entrepreneurs and Innovators
We played hard and we worked hard. And it paid off because we became successful in our endeavors.
William W. Booth ’77 Senior Vice President of Retail Development (Retired), Coinstar
When Bill Booth arrived at Washington & Jefferson College, he aimed for the American dream. He hoped to build an academic foundation for professional success. Booth fondly remembers his time at W&J as both an academic challenge and a four-year bonding experience with his Beta Theta Pi fraternity brothers. “We played hard and we worked hard,” he recalls. “And it paid off because we became successful in our endeavors.” With a major in economics, Booth first worked with Firestone and then spent five years installing customized enterprise management computer systems for automotive dealerships. He was forced to consider other job possibilities, however, when a recession in the early 1980s jeopardized the economy. “I asked myself, ‘What industry is not affected by recession?’ My answer was the supermarket industry—people have to eat, even during economic bad times.” So, Booth applied his computer skills to the supermarket industry, installing scanning systems that would revolutionize the point-of-sale (POS) market place. Soon he was selling POS scanning systems to top grocery retailers across the country. The relationships Booth developed through the years allowed him to move into the loyalty marketing arena, participating in the development of the first U.S. ‘frequent-shopper’ program introduced by Citicorp POS and expanding the premier syndicated targeted-marketing network for in-store promotions, offered by Catalina Marketing Corporation. In 1995, Booth joined Coinstar, which places self-service coin-counting machines in supermarkets. “When I started, only 20 Coinstar machines were installed in the U.S.” As senior vice president of retail development, Booth logged more than one million air miles over nine years, increasing the number of installed units to more than 11,000 worldwide. Coinstar went public in 1997 and flourished, largely due to Booth’s business savvy, industry relations, and drive. Booth quips that he literally “made a living counting pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters.” Booth officially retired in 2004, but he makes time to visit W&J regularly and admires the changes taking place on campus. “It’s progress,” he says. “As long as Beta Theta Pi remains, everything is fine.”
Keep your mind open. Donâ€™t let yourself be limited by tunnel vision, because you never know what possibilities may open up out there on the periphery.
Richard Crosbie ’65 Chief Chemist (Retired), Nike
Richard “Dick” Crosbie proves that life’s journey is not always straightforward. Indeed, his diverse interests have led him in many directions during his career. Crosbie came to Washington & Jefferson College as an aspiring doctor. However, he found his true calling in philosophy and chemistry, and eventually made his mark as a globe-trotting chemist in the athletic footwear industry. As a philosophy major, Crosbie vividly recalls Dr. Thoms, head of the philosophy department, who continually challenged him in his studies. Crosbie remembers fiercely defending a paper in front of the class for nearly an hour after tirelessly writing a proof of the existence of God. The active encouragement and obvious concern of the professors at W&J is what Crosbie values most to this day. After graduating from W&J, Crosbie entered the army and fought in the Vietnam War. Setting himself apart as a leader, he became an army officer. When Crosbie returned home from Vietnam, he embarked upon another path. Turning to the knowledge of chemistry he gained at W&J, he became a chemist in the consumer products division at Uniroyal. The experience he gained at Uniroyal eventually led him to work for Nike, where he was named chief chemist during the company’s early days. He remained a valued employee at Nike for 21 years, 14 of which were spent overseas. He put his wide-ranging abilities to use around the world, especially in South Korea, where he spent five years learning the language and adapting to the local culture. During this time, Crosbie worked diligently to improve Nike’s quality assurance and environmental record for its manufacturing processes. Even in retirement, Crosbie contributes to the shoe industry through his consulting firm. Today, he is one of most internationally respected experts in the chemistry of running shoes and a leader in “green” shoe manufacturing. “Keep your mind open,” says Crosbie. “Don’t let yourself be limited by tunnel vision, because you never know what possibilities may open up out there on the periphery.”
Joining a fraternity added a valuable social dimension to my college experience. I matured with my brothers.
Charles P. Eaton ’64 Investment Manager, C.P. Eaton Partners LLC
Charles P. Eaton was drawn to the strong sense of community at Washington & Jefferson College, but it was the economics program that cemented his lifelong appreciation for the College and launched his successful business career. “The economics department was very strong and I always had an inkling that business would be in my future,” he recalls. Encouragement from his professor, Dr. Saalbach, reinforced Eaton’s academic interests and led him to declare a major in economics. While Eaton was laying the foundation for his future as a professional, he also enjoyed the opportunities the College offered for personal growth. The relationships he developed through the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity evolved into lifelong friendships he cherishes to this day. “Joining a fraternity added a valuable social dimension to my college experience,” he reminisces. “I matured with my brothers.” After graduating from W&J, Eaton enrolled in the military, where he earned the rank of 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Armor branch. Following his discharge in 1967, Eaton was eager to continue his academic pursuits at Columbia University, where he received his master’s degree in business administration. He began his career as an investment research officer at Morgan Guaranty Trust Company and eventually worked his way up Wall Street, becoming a partner at H.C. Wainwright & Company, the top institutional research firm in the country. Armed with the invaluable experience he gained from Wall Street, Eaton decided to establish his own company in 1982—C.P. Eaton Partners, LLC. The company, an independent marketing firm, raises money for investment and private equity partnerships. Under Eaton’s leadership, more than $24 billion has been raised for 50 funds. “The challenge was not in starting a new company, but in finding a worthwhile product to support,” he explains. Eaton has placed his support behind other causes as well, serving in leadership roles for his hometown chapters of United Way and A Better Chance. Today, Eaton enjoys life as an entrepreneur and encourages students to take advantage of the academic and social opportunities provided by W&J. “Embrace your visions and follow them,” he advises.
W&J is the little school that can. It is small in student numbers, but big in opportunity, continuously taking steps to make itself a better institution.
Juliann Fritz-Brigham ’92 Public Relations Director, U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association
“W&J is the little school that can,” says Juliann Fritz-Brigham. “It’s small in student numbers, but big in opportunity, continuously taking steps to make itself a better institution.” Fritz spent her college career challenging herself both in and out of the classroom. She was involved with three sports (field hockey, soccer, and swimming), served as social chair of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, and undertook an art major. “I loved the different challenges that each activity presented and the discipline that each taught me,” she recalls. Fritz particularly remembers Dr. Hugh Taylor’s witty sense of humor, Dr. Joe DiSarro’s lively political science classes, and the guidance she received from professor Richard Easton, Dr. Robert Dodge, and Dr. John Mark Scott. While at W&J, she took advantage of Intersession courses that led her to China and the former Soviet Union, as well as an internship at the Library of Congress. “When we went to the Soviet Union, Gorbachev was in power and the people there were so excited about the new changes,” she says. “That trip and the others made me a better citizen of the world.” Still intrigued by the wonders of the world, Fritz decided to backpack throughout Europe with a friend after graduating from W&J. She traveled to seven different countries, which gave her the opportunity to visit many of the monuments and famous works she had studied in her art classes. “Everything I saw was, for me, a book being brought to life,” she says. After an internship at the White House working in the Office of Public Liaisons, Fritz worked for a non-profit government efficiency group in Washington, D.C., and GCI Group, a public relations agency in Atlanta. She then married her love for sports with her experience in communications as public relations director for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. In this role, she has overseen and facilitated national and international media exposure for the athletes, including photo shoots, appearances, and countless interviews. Her favorite parts of the job, however, are helping America’s best athletes tell their stories and “watching them leave their marks in the history books.”
W&J has professors who are not only good teachers, but also wonderful human beings.
E. Miles Prentice III, Esq. ’64 Attorney, Eaton & Van Winkle Owner, Minor League Sports Teams
Miles Prentice usually wears a baseball cap advertising one of the teams he owns. But he wears many other metaphorical hats as well—as a leading commercial lawyer in New York, as a member of several policy think tanks, and as a business entrepreneur. He is the kind of person who does not see barriers, just opportunities. When Prentice was searching for a college, he wanted a place that would open his mind and prepare him for the road ahead. Washington & Jefferson College did just that. At W&J, Prentice was grateful for the chance to express himself both inside and outside of class, and he valued W&J’s close-knit community. He believes faculty and staff members are the cornerstone of what makes the College extraordinary. “W&J has professors who are not only good teachers, but also wonderful human beings,” Prentice says. He credits the W&J football program for teaching him the important lessons of how to win with humility and lose without giving up. The totality of these experiences left a lasting mark on Prentice and has shaped him throughout his successful career. After graduating from W&J, Prentice entered law school at the University of Michigan and then joined the military, where he eventually became a captain. Shortly after leaving the army, Prentice began his law career, earning partnership at several firms. Today, he is a partner at Eaton & Van Winkle in New York City, where he practices commercial and financial law, with an emphasis on the representation of foreign and domestic corporations, banks, and insurance companies in their U.S.-based and off-shore activities. In addition to practicing law, Prentice owns three baseball teams in the Texas and Southern Leagues. He also owns a hockey team and is in the process of starting a soccer team. Outside of sports, Prentice is working to expand the thriving restaurant chain Five Guys Burgers and Fries. He also is involved with the Center for Security Policy, a national security think tank, and the Hudson Institute, a public policy research organization.
Those who can innovate and are flexible can be successful in any economy.
David C. Smydo ’97 Chief Executive Officer, Sokolin LLC
David Smydo takes to heart the maxim, “The difference between winning and losing is rolling up your sleeves and making it happen.” It all began to happen for Smydo when he was a student at Washington & Jefferson College and he took an unpaid internship with the finance department of a mining and manufacturing company. As a result of pure grit and an unmatched work ethic, he was hired full-time after graduation and within six months, became the top executive in the finance department. Smydo’s rapid rise through corporate ranks continued as he was recruited to a major, Boston-based business consulting firm where he spent his days evaluating and reviewing businesses for a wide variety of industries. Along the way, one company particularly caught his attention. That company was D. Sokolin & Co., one of America’s premier fine and rare wine merchants, founded in 1934 and based in New York. He was asked to join the company as chief operating officer and within two years, he became a principal in the company—all at the young age of 27. When he joined the company 10 years ago, Smydo literally worked around the clock as he infused the business with state-of-the-art infrastructure and technology; grew his staff from seven to more than 45 employees; and spearheaded the company’s expansion to become a global leader in the fine and rare wine business, offering unrivaled selection, availability, low pricing, and customer satisfaction. Smydo attributes much of his success to his family’s support and the solid foundation he built during his time at W&J. The College helped him to get his foot in the door at his first company, which often can be the toughest challenge in the job market. He credits his entrepreneurial studies classes for teaching him the importance of innovation. “Those who can innovate and are flexible can be successful in any economy,” he says. Talking with Smydo for just a few minutes, one immediately senses his determination and drive. He was once told, “If you aren’t failing, you aren’t trying hard enough.” These are words that he lives by every single day.
I wanted to go to a small school because Iâ€™m dyslexic. W&J was perfect because the small class sizes catered to my needs and forced me to take more initiative.
David A. Steinberg ’91 Founder and Chief Executive Officer, CAIVIS Acquisition Corporation
“When I started my first company at 23, I was too dumb to be scared,” says David Steinberg, “but I adapted quickly and eventually produced a multi-million dollar company.” Five companies later, it is apparent that this pioneering spirit has served Steinberg well. From his first wireless phone company, Sterling Cellular, to his current leadership of CAIVIS Acquisition Corporation, this serial entrepreneur has made a career of identifying industries that lack vital services and then working to fulfill those needs. After graduating from Washington & Jefferson College, Steinberg interned for the Senate Judiciary Committee and then sold life insurance door to door. But when he learned that wireless phone marketers were making a large profit selling their wares, he knew that was the business he wanted to pursue. After Sterling Cellular, Steinberg founded InPhonic, which was named the number one company on the Inc. 500 list in the same year it went public, quickly becoming the biggest seller of wireless phones on the Internet. His current enterprises, CAIVIS and XL Education, are Internet marketing vehicles. John Sculley, the former CEO of Apple, has compared the W&J graduate to Bill Gates and Steve Jobs as a leading technology entrepreneur. It was at W&J where Steinberg began to cultivate the knowledge and ideals that would afford him the ability to succeed in so many different fields. “I wanted to go to a small institution because I’m dyslexic,” Steinberg said. “W&J was perfect because the small class sizes catered to my needs and forced me to take more initiative.” Steinberg majored in economics, but the classes in which he truly thrived were those offered by the Entrepreneurial Studies department. “That program really impacted my life and career,” he says. A proud brother of Phi Delta Theta, Steinberg also played varsity tennis. Steinberg was named the Greater Washington Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2002. He continues to support W&J by serving on the Board of Trustees and funding a scholarship for students of entrepreneurship. To Steinberg, the enjoyment from creating exceptional businesses is nearly incomparable. “Work hard and you will get lucky,” he said. “The harder I worked, the luckier I became.”
My W&J liberal arts training has been a critical component of my success.
Richard Joel Ulevitch, Ph.D. ’66 Former Chair, Immunology Department, The Scripps Research Institute Partner, 5AM Ventures
Dr. Richard Ulevitch stands out among health professionals. For more than 35 years, he has worked at the world-renowned Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. He has contributed substantially to the field of immunology through his studies of the molecular mechanisms of the immune response to infection. As a result of his impressive research, Ulevitch was named chairman of the immunology department at the Institute in 1994 and remained in that position until he stepped down in 2008 in order to pursue a new career. Ulevitch has trained dozens of scientists in his laboratory, authored more than 200 scientific articles, and, through these lifelong efforts, broadened our understanding of immune mechanisms. This work is now being translated into potentially innovative drugs to treat untoward consequences of infection such as septic shock and will be used in the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases. In 2008, he transitioned from a consultant to a venture partner with 5AM Ventures, a venture capital firm focused in the life sciences. 5AM Ventures invests in promising start-up companies that will become the leading life-science firms of the future, impacting millions of lives. Unlike many venture capital firms, 5AM Ventures invests in early-stage research, which is the riskiest but also has the most promise for changing treatment of serious human disease. In addition to his contributions to biomedical research, Ulevitch has contributed to the San Diego community as a leader in multiple organizations in the arts and social service sectors. A progressive and well-rounded education always was important to Ulevitch, so he truly enjoyed the benefits of the broad liberal arts education provided at Washington & Jefferson College. Ulevitch completed all requirements for the pre-health program at W&J, but he considered himself more of an English major than a future scientist. Ulevitch says, “My W&J liberal arts training has been a critical component of my success.”
Education For a Lifetime
W&J Profiles in Success Volume 2