Wilkes

The Online Edition


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Influencer

Frank Passalacqua ’15 has 1.28 million YouTube Followers

By James Jaskolka ’16

Frank Passalacqua ’15 has built his YouTube channel, RandomFrankP, into a successful business.
ALL PHOTOS BY DAN Z. JOHNSON

Frank Passalacqua ’15 still isn’t used to meeting his fans.

“It’s such a bizarre experience,” he says. “I’ve probably met 20 or so people, just randomly, who recognized me from my videos.”

Passalacqua has gained massive popularity with his YouTube channel, RandomFrankP, where he uploads tech reviews and how-to videos and guides fans on room tours of impressive video gaming setups. His channel currently has 1.28 million subscribers. Producing its content is his full-time job.

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Campers to Colonels

Women Empowered By Science Camp Launches Science Careers

By Sarah Bedford ’17, MA ’19

WEBS campers Persayis Horvath and Jevahnie Hernandez share a laugh with their four-legged lab instructor.
PHOTO BY SARAH BEDFORD ’17 MA ’19

Squeals and giggles erupt from room 219 of the Cohen Science Center. Inside the “You Be the Vet” lab, Wilkes senior Morgan Tarnalicki lifts her two furry lab assistants, white rats Fish and Chips, from their cage.

Tarnalicki and Wilkes senior Bridget Regan, both biology majors, are running the veterinary lab, hoping to inspire the attendees at the Women Empowered by Science Camp to share their interest in veterinary science. Using the long-tailed critters and two pups named Bo and Derby is working: The elementary aged girls can’t don their stethoscopes fast enough.

Commonly referred to as WEBS, the program gives female students entering seventh and eighth grades the opportunity to investigate many areas of science through hands-on laboratories and activities. Now, in its eighteenth year, the program has expanded to offer opportunities for high school girls.

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Woman of the World

Wagiha Taylor Reigns As Wilkes’ Longest Serving Faculty Member   

By Andrew Seder

Sidhu School Professor Wagha Taylor teaches international business and is known for taking students on her annual spring break trip to Europe.
ALL PHOTOS BY KNOT JUST ANY DAY

Wagiha Taylor, Ph.D., Wilkes University’s longest serving full-time faculty member, marked her golden anniversary this year and shows no signs of slowing down. She bristles when someone dares mention the dreaded “R Word.”

“I will never retire,” Taylor says. “I could never survive sitting around.”

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Saving History

Wilkes Alumni Build Careers Preserving The Past

By Rachel Luann Strayer MFA ’12

If Natalie Baur ’06 and Nicholas Zmijewski ’07 have one thing in common, it’s that history is a part of their past.

“I was always into old stuff,” says Baur, recounting trips to estate sales and antique shops with her mother growing up. She even did Civil War reenactments, though the authentic clothing held more interest for her than the battles themselves. “I liked looking at history in a creative and artistic way.”

Zmijewski also got his introduction to antiquities through a parent. “My father was an amateur photographer,” he says, “so I got drug around to coal mines, steel mills, railroad yards.” This led to Zmijewski’s own involvement in photography, and through it, his fascination with old photographs. “It’s a large part of what drew me to become an archivist.”

Both Baur and Zmijewski are proud of their roles in preserving history for future generations. Here’s a glimpse at the lives of two Wilkes graduates who turned their fascination with the past into careers for the future.

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Looking Back, Looking Forward

Wilkes President Patrick F. Leahy Reflects On Seven Years Leading the University

By Vicki Mayk MFA ’13

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Ask Wilkes President Patrick F. Leahy how he would like to be remembered at the University and a wry smile crosses his face.

“It’s a humbling to think that people would remember me at all,” Leahy quips.

His self-effacing comment doesn’t accurately reflect the many accomplishments during his seven-year tenure as president. When Leahy announced that he will leave Wilkes at the end of July 2019 to become president of Monmouth University, a private University on the north Jersey shore, it offered a chance for faculty, staff and alumni to note the many milestones at Wilkes under his leadership.

The timeline on these pages highlights, year by year, achievements reached during the Leahy presidency. They include more than $100 million in campus improvements, the establishment of an honors program, the introduction of 25 new academic majors, the launch of a $1 million faculty research and scholarship fund and the start of Wilkes’ first Ph.D. program in the Passan School of Nursing, Wilkes’ fifth terminal degree. Perhaps the most significant moment came in January 2019, when Wilkes achieved doctoral university status, placing it among the nation’s most prestigious institutions.

Wilkes magazine sat down with Leahy to reflect on his years leading Wilkes.  In the following question-and-answer session, he talks about his fondest memories.

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#24atWilkes

Campus Life Captured on Social Media for 24 Hours at Wilkes

24hr_Intro_Grid.jpg

In the Ballroom of the Henry Student Center, students gather to play bingo – a prelude to Casino Night, one of the year’s biggest campus events taking place the next day. Upstairs at Henry’s Food Court, others grab food at Late Night, so named in students’ unique shorthand to refer to the time from 7:30 to 11 p.m. when they can get a snack to fuel a midnight study session.

Crossing West South Street in front of the student center, a pair of students enters the Fenner Quadrangle. Crossing in front of the John Wilkes statue, one of them turns, raises her phone and snaps a picture of the statue silhouetted against the night sky. Over its shoulder, the brightly lit student center sends out welcoming light through the eyes of all of its windows. The picture becomes one of dozens that students, faculty and staff snap in a 24-hour period and post to social media, capturing campus life.

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