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Bird Watcher


Dan Klem ’68 holds a merlin, a bird of prey that is a smaller version of the peregrine falcon. He also holds a sample of glass with a dotted pattern applied as ceramic bonded to glass. It has been used successfully to decrease bird deaths from glass collisions. All photos by Dan Z. Johnson

Daniel Klem ’68 Has Devoted a Career to Studying and Saving Birds

by Krista Weidner

If Daniel Klem ’68 had a mantra, it might very well be “I’m not giving up.”

Klem, who is the Sarkis Acopian Professor of Ornithology and Conservation Biology at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa., is one of the world’s foremost authorities on the problem of bird deaths and injuries caused by collisions with building glass. Since earning a doctorate in zoology at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Klem has been researching the bird/window issue and working tirelessly to raise awareness, both within the scientific community and among the general public. Continue reading

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Australian Adventure

Allison Roth ’11 Left Her Job to Spend a Year Exploring the Land Down Under


A spectacular view in Noosa, Queensland, Australia, which was one of the many coastal areas visited by Allison Roth ’11 on her year-long adventure.



Roth snorkels to explore Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

It started with a casual conversation with a family friend at a party. Allison Roth ’11 was chatting with an Australian woman who had backpacked across the United States in her 20s.


“She asked me why I didn’t do the same thing – in Australia,” Roth recalls. “I remember saying, ‘I can’t because I’m saving for retirement.’ As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I realized how ridiculous that sounded. And I couldn’t stop thinking about what she’d said.” Continue reading

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A Fine Madness


Alumni Couple Henry and Tammy Bisco Find Success With MadGirl Designs

By Geoff Gehman

Teachers at a New York university pluck books from aluminum shelves framed by a wall of glass. Bartenders in a North Carolina restaurant pull bottles of liquor from illuminated acrylic shelves resembling glowing cocktails. Workers at a New Jersey company use lockers with wavy doors painted eye-popping green and orange.

These work stations were developed by Henry Bisco ’95 and Tammy Cyprich Bisco ’97, the passionate proprietors of MadGirl Designs, a firm specializing in designing and outfitting commercial interiors. They launched it two years ago after working a dozen years for a custom shelving-and-storing firm. The couple specializes in providing educational and medical institutions with sleek, snappy space solutions featuring everything from reception desks to coffee nooks, sage-tinted acoustical panels to espresso-hued countertops. Continue reading

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Winners Circle

Members of the 24th Athletics Hall of Fame Class Reflect on Lessons Learned in Sports

During their years at Wilkes, these Colonels represented the University on the mats, courts and playing fields. When they graduated, what did they take with them besides their degrees and memories? This year’s inductees to the Athletics Hall of Fame reflect on the lessons they took with them from the playing fields. Continue reading

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A Dose of Success


By Patty Pologruto


Daniel Longyhore, associate professor of pharmacy practice, standing center, works with students in the CVS Pharmacy Care Lab. The Care Lab, an integral part of education in the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy, was renovated and rededicated to marks the school’s 20th anniversary. Photos by Earl and Sedor Photographic.

You won’t find the drugs produced by Lanier Evans PharmD ’04 in your local pharmacy. That’s because they include low doses of radioactivity used by hospitals for high-tech scans that help diagnose a variety of medical conditions, from cancer to heart problems.

It’s a career Evans never dreamed of when he first entered Wilkes’ Nesbitt School of Pharmacy in 2000. He learned about being a nuclear pharmacist from Bernard Graham, founding dean of the Nesbitt School, who had once worked in the field himself.

“If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” says Evans, who is manager of a nuclear pharmacy in Atlanta, Ga., for PETNET Solutions, a division of Siemens Medical Solutions Inc. “He introduced this world to me.”

At the time, only two pharmacy schools in the United States offered classes leading to nuclear certification. Because Graham and other faculty tailored classes to help prepare Evans for his field of interest, he didn’t need to invest more time and money after graduation. “When I came out of school, I had all of the requirements for the nuclear medicine certification. I was offered a position with PETNET, the company I’m still with,” Evans says.

Evans’ experience in the pharmacy school reflects its strengths: close relationships with faculty, a personal approach to pharmacy education and – perhaps most importantly – a school that continues to adapt its curriculum to meet the rapidly changing field of pharmacy. As Nesbitt celebrates the 20th anniversary of its first entering class, it continues to evolve. Continue reading

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Head of the Class


By Kelly Clisham MFA ’16


Melanie Wiscount works in a new high school in Washington, D.C. Photos by Stephen Barrett.

One glance at Melanie Wiscount EdD ’15’s résumé and you understand why she won a Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics and Science. She’s snagged major honors ever since she switched careers to teach computer science at the middle- and high-school levels. During her 13-year teaching career, Microsoft selected her as a Partners in Learning US and Global Educator. Siemens honored Wiscount as a STEM Institute fellow. Now there’s the presidential honor, a national prize that comes with $10,000 from the National Science Foundation.

Still, when Wiscount talks about her work with the District of Columbia Public Schools, she doesn’t highlight her expertise or honors. She brags about her students, who team up to develop award-winning mobile apps and land prestigious internships with the likes of Microsoft, Lockheed-Martin, Accenture, World Bank and NASA. Continue reading

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By Geoff Gehman


Bonnie Culver, director of Wilkes graduate creative writing program, prepares to recognize Anna Arnett as the University’s oldest graduate.  Photos by Linh Lam.

Kathleen “Kat” Ethington issued a gentle ultimatum in December 2013 to her then-89-year-old mother, Anna Arnett M.A. ’16.  It was high time, she told her mom, to write a book about her late Mormon parents, a pair of potato-farming school principals with a pioneer zest. She needed to preserve her tales on paper for her seven children, 28 grandchildren and 49 great-grandchildren.

That day Arnett at her Mormon church in Chandler, Ariz., she learned about the Wilkes Weekender Program in creative writing at the nearby Mesa Center for Higher Education. For once, Arnett – who describes herself as a “procrastinator from the word go” — defied her tendency to dillydally, driving that same day to the center. Learning that her late husband’s military benefits would pay for the degree, she enrolled. Two years and many written pages later, she became the oldest graduate in Wilkes history, earning her master’s degree in creative writing at 92. In the process she completed a memoir of her parents’ early lives called Forever Endeavor. Continue reading