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Secrets To His Success

Bill Evanina ’89 Directs Counterintelligence Activities for the United States 

By Andrew M. Seder

Bill Evanina '89 has brought his northeast Pennsylvania work ethic to his role as national counterintelligence executive for the United States. PHOTOS COURTESY THE NATIONAL COUNTERINTELLIGENCE SECURITY CENTER

Bill Evanina ’89 has brought his northeast Pennsylvania work ethic to his role as national counterintelligence executive for the United States.
PHOTOS COURTESY THE NATIONAL COUNTERINTELLIGENCE SECURITY CENTER

A chunk of coal sits on Bill Evanina’s desk at the National Counterintelligence and Security Center in Bethesda, Md. Since he found it in an old coal mine as a youth, the anthracite has travelled with Evanina through each of his life’s phases.

“I had it in Pickering Hall and I still have it,” Evanina ’89 says, recalling his Wilkes residence hall. “It’s a great focal point. It reminds you where you came from; that old coal miner’s work ethic. That value and that trust still are with me today. I’m hoping to hand it down to my son one day.”

The work ethic has gotten him far. Evanina is the national counterintelligence executive, one of the most powerful people in the United States intelligence community, responsible for leading the counterintelligence and security activities of the United States government. His office works with the counterintelligence and security elements of the United States government, the United States intelligence community and the private sector to ensure awareness and mitigate the threats posed by foreign intelligence entities and malicious insiders. Continue reading


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First in the Family

Wilkes Fund Supports First-Generation College Students

By Donna Talarico-Beerman ’00, MFA’10

First in the FamilyA secretary of state. A first lady. A coffee company CEO. The professional achievements of Colin Powell, Michelle Obama and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz illustrate that success stories do indeed arise from being the first in one’s family to attend college.

More than half of the undergraduates attending four-year institutions today are first-generation college students, the term used to classify those whose parents do not hold a degree. That’s according to University Business magazine, which also reported that 24 percent of students are first-generation and low income. Wilkes University’s enrollment is in line with that national statistic.

“More than half of our incoming freshman identify themselves as the first in their family to attend a four-year college,” says President Patrick F. Leahy, adding that since it was founded as Bucknell Junior College in 1933, Wilkes has helped young scholars blaze the education trail for their families. Continue reading


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Path to Greatness

Campus Gateway Opens New Era

The archway for the campus Gateway on South Main Street provides an inviting entrance to Wilkes' campus.

The archway for the campus Gateway on South Main Street provides an inviting entrance to Wilkes’ campus.

Once it was simply a sidewalk between two campus buildings, a well-traveled path from South Main Street to the center of the Wilkes campus. Five months and 47,700 bricks later, it’s become something more.

Joining such campus landmarks as the John Wilkes statue, the Burns Bell Tower and the Fenner Quadrangle, the new campus Gateway promises to be a defining feature on the University landscape.

Supported by a gift from alumnus Clayton Karambelas ’49 and his wife, Theresa, and a $600,000 PennDOT multi-modal grant, the Gateway provides a well-lit entrance and a cohesive centerpiece for Wilkes’ city campus. Continue reading


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Crowned With Hope

Evana Manandhar ’14 Helps Earthquake Recovery As Miss Nepal

by Lori M. Myers MA ’09

Evana Manandhar '14 greets the audience as she learns that she has won the title Miss Nepal World.

Evana Manandhar ’14 greets the audience as she learns that she has won the title Miss Nepal World. PHOTOS BY RAJAN MAHARJAN, LAXMI NARAYAN MAHARJAN, SAROJ PRAJAPATI AND BIBASH MAHARJAN SUWAL

Becoming Miss Nepal World 2015 was never a childhood dream of Evana Manandhar ’14, but on April 18, she won the title, viewing this international platform as a stepping stone to help others. She didn’t have to wait long to realize that goal. One week later, a destructive 7.9 Richter scale earthquake struck her homeland and Manandhar was there to offer assistance to those in need. She credits Wilkes University and her family for developing the strength that enabled her to do this important work.

“Wilkes helped build me to believe in myself,” Manandhar says. “Wilkes made me conquer Miss Nepal World.”

The confidence and strength were important on April 25 while she sat in her sixth-floor residence in Kathmandu, 35 miles from the quake’s epicenter. As the earth shook, she ran to the basement for safety while the tallest tower in her city collapsed. Ironically, it also was Manandhar’s birthday. After several days, she traveled to the devastated areas to see first-hand the results of the quake. More than 8,000 people had died and families were living in tents under harsh conditions. Manandhar went to the local airport and directed foreign relief workers to the hard-hit areas. She distributed maternity kits and sanitary products to women and counseled children in orphanages who were left traumatized by the quake and its strong aftershocks.  Continue reading

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