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Changing the Standard

Surgeon Asif Ilyas ’97 Champions Reforming Opioid Prescription Guidelines 

By Koren Wetmore


Dr. Asif Ilyas ’97, a hand surgeon with The Rothman Institute in Philadelphia, is working to reduce the number of opioids prescribed after surgery. Photo by Dan Z. Johnson

A disturbing revelation struck Asif Ilyas, M.D. ’97 as he read a recent study about potential addiction among surgical patients. Published in JAMA Surgery, it showed that about 6 percent of those prescribed opioids for post-surgical pain were still taking the pills six months later.

An accomplished surgeon, Ilyas had pursued a medical career because he wanted to help people. Yet the study suggested his profession was contributing to the nation’s opioid crisis.

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Mind Game

Sport Psychologist Megan Cannon ’08 Helps Athletes Develop Competitive Edge

By Gary R. Blockus ’79


Sport psychologist Megan Cannon ’08 has a private practice working with athletes in a variety of settings, such as Syr CrossFit pictured here in Allentown, Pa. Photo by Dan Z. Johnson

When Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors missed four straight three-pointers and walked off the court before halftime of Game Two in the 2016 NBA Finals, sports fans across the country sounded off about another athlete losing his cool.

Megan Cannon ’08 set them straight on ESPN’s SportsCenter.

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Record Setters

Alumni Athletes’ Winning Ways Earn Them Spot In Athletics Hall of Fame

Five men and women who left their mark on Wilkes athletic teams were honored with induction in the 25th Athletics Hall of Fame class. From setting scoring records to earning plaudits in post-season play, these athletes were among the best to hit the mats, take to the court or enter a playing field wearing the blue and gold. The inductees were recognized at half-time of the Jan. 20, 2018, basketball game. A formal induction ceremony followed the game. This year’s inductees reflect on what they learned as Colonels.

Hall of Fame

Members of the 25th Athletics Hall of Fame class were inducted during a ceremony on Jan. 20. They posed at the reception after the ceremony holding the photos of themselves as student athletes that will hang in the Marts Center. Pictured from left are Anthony Serafin ’07, Denise Carson ’92, Laurie Agresti Mirra ’07, Jason Turner ’96 and Barry Gold ’68.

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Colonel Couple



The Kalaritises, who met when they were Wilkes undergraduates, are pictured at their home in Florence, S.C.  (Photo by Seth Johnson Media)

Panos ’77 and Deb (Stephens) ’78 Kalaritis Share Career Success And A Marriage Made at Wilkes

By Vicki Mayk MFA ’13

It wasn’t the most auspicious introduction.

Wilkes freshman Deb Stephens ’78 had joined her Waller Halls roommate, Sherry Meyer, as a score keeper for the men’s soccer team. Milling around with the players before an away game, Deb, clad in dark pants, had taken a seat on the stairs at the Ralston Athletic Complex. Wilkes soccer player Panos Kalaritis ’77, a junior international student from Greece, was there with the rest of the team.

“He was not shy,” Deb says of her first encounter with the man who would become her husband. “And his first words were less than romantic.” Continue reading

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Artistic Vision

Sordoni Art Gallery Opens the Doors to New Home With Warhol Exhibit

By Geoff Gehman


Zigzagging through the opening-night crowd for the opening exhibit of the new Sordoni Art Gallery, people are staring at Andy Warhol’s iconic images of icons — Marilyn Monroe, Jackie O., Brillo. No two people experience Warhol’s art the same way and part of a gallery’s purpose is to provide myriad ways to enter the experience. In its new location with a new director, the Sordoni Art Gallery aims to do that.

The bigger, better Sordoni Art Gallery debuted in October beside the new Karambelas Media and Communications Center on South Main Street. It has 7,000 square feet, nearly double than in its previous home in Stark Learning Center. State-of-the-art climate control and convenient parking also are upgrades. Continue reading

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Collaborative Communicators

New Karambelas Media and Communication Center Launches New Era

By Vicki Mayk MFA ’13 and Sarah Bedford ’17

Karambelas cover

A centralized newsroom with computers and meeting space in the Karambelas Media and Communication Center promotes a collaborative environment for students. (Photos in this section by Earl and Sedor Productions)

Wilkes junior communication studies major J.M. Rey has a window on the world these days – at least the world outside the new Clayton and Theresa Karambelas Media and Communication Center. Rey, production director for campus radio station WCLH, has gone from being on-the-air in cramped quarters in a hard-to-find area of the Dorothy Dickson Darte Center to a spacious- state-of-the art studio that looks out on the street through tall windows at 141 S. Main St. Passersby can hear WCLH’s programming broadcast from speakers placed outside.

“Now people walking by can see you, say hi, and promote the station,” Rey says. “Now when you’re doing a live show they can hear what you’re playing out in the street. It’s just great to hear reactions and see people jamming out and everything; it’s just so cool.”

Rey sums up his first reaction to seeing the new facility in three words: “My jaw dropped.” His reaction is shared by many who visit the new center. Continue reading

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Flying High

From Wilkes Colonel to Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force, Deirdre Gurry ’99 Has Seen The World

By Kelly Clisham MFA ’16


Lt. Col. Deirdre Gurry ’99 stands next to her aircraft–a T-6 Texan 11–which she pilots as the commander of a squadron of T-6 pilots.

Growing up in the small town of Bushkill, Pa., Deirdre Gurry ’99 never imagined she’d become a pilot. “My vision of my future was very limited. I had no idea as a kid what I would be doing with my life,” she says. Today, she has a much higher world view. Gurry is not only a pilot, but a Lieutenant Colonel, squadron commander, teacher and mentor to the next generation of aviators in the United States Air Force. Continue reading