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In a typical academic year, Lycoming College students often benefit from alumni returning to campus to share their knowledge and experience gained since graduating. These opportunities enhance classroom learning and provide a glimpse at potential careers and industries as current students plan for their own futures.
Like most aspects of a typical year, the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the opportunity for alumni to physically return to campus and engage with current students. However, collaboration between the Center for Enhanced Academic Experiences (CEAE) and College Advancement has made these opportunities possible in a virtual setting.
“Lycoming is committed to fostering opportunities for our students like virtual alumni panels, especially during these challenging times as a result of the pandemic. Ensuring that our students have access to experts in the field of their studies of interest provides them with an insider’s perspective and the means to ask questions about their future paths,” commented Lori Patterson, director of career and professional development and career advisor for the social science cluster at Lycoming.
This past fall, Lycoming was pleased to welcome several alumni in a variety of virtual panels presented to its students. In October, Lisa Hoffman ’05, emergency room physician at Geisinger Health System, and Pamela Tipler ’05, associate professor of medicine/academic hospitalist at Augusta University Medical Center, spoke to the Pre-Health Society at the College.
In November, a panel focusing on women in policing consisted of Jennifer Capaccio ’15, Philadelphia Police, Anna Summers ’16, U.S. Secret Service, Laura Miller ’14, Williamsport Bureau of Police, and Nicole Calella ’17, U.S. Supreme Court Police. That same month, Pre-Law Society students had the opportunity to hear Jacob Quasius ’18, George Mason University School of Law, and Olivia Mendler ’17, Widener University Delaware Law School, speak about navigating law school and their first years of post-Lycoming life.
These successful virtual alumni panels continued into the start of the Spring 2021 semester. In February, Terrance Lynn ’13, a pathologist at Geisinger, Joe Andrie ’12, a resident physician at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and Jordan Krebs ’13, an M.D./Ph.D. candidate at the Penn State College of Medicine, addressed Lycoming’s Pre-Health Society. Alfonce Mutuku ’17, a cyber security engineer with the Internal Revenue Service, spoke with students studying criminal justice.
Two pre-law panels are schedule in March. The first will feature attorneys William Carlucci ’76 and Jordan Hollander ’10, and the other will include attorneys Cara Boyanowski-Fickes ’90 and Jacob Kiessling ’12.
John Maina ’12, a licensed banker at Santander and the founder and executive director of C.R.A.S.H., a community movement that connects leaders, nonprofits, and grassroots movements in Lancaster County to help its most vulnerable population find alternative care for their needs, will share his expertise in a criminal justice class in April. Additional panels are in the works for the remainder of the semester, including one that will partner with the psychology department.
“Current students benefit from these panel discussions by networking, learning tips on navigating the landscape for their specific field of interest, or perhaps sparking interest in a new field of study,” said Patterson. “We are thankful for our alumni and their willingness to engage with our promising students.”