During his earlier stints in the corporate world, David Wise ’75 helped turn around faltering businesses near the end of their life cycles. Now he’s enjoying his own turnaround — after “retiring” in 2014, he’s funding startups across Baltimore and serves as chief executive officer for a company developing a vaccine for Zika and other tropical viruses.
Last December, Wise joined Pharos Biologicals, LLC, a startup founded by a Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine professor to develop a Zika vaccine. Pharos has also earned exclusive worldwide licenses for a patented Lysosome-Associated Membrane Protein (LAMP) DNA vaccine technology to fight influenza and flaviviruses, a genus of yellow fever-related viruses such as Zika, dengue and West Nile. Phase 1 clinical trials for the Zika vaccine are scheduled this fall.
While he works to raise money for Pharos, Wise also serves as a venture adviser for The Abell Foundation, an organization that helps new businesses secure funding to build what the group calls an “innovation ecosystem” in Baltimore.
“Most of the companies we’re creating don’t even have revenue yet,” Wise says. “It’s exciting to conceive of possibilities and what could happen.”
At UD, Wise majored at UD in political science and was active in national politics, campaigning for delegate spots at the 1972 and 1976 Democratic National Conventions. A short time in law school shifted Wise away from a legal career, and he decided to explore the intersection of policy and business by earning a master’s of arts in law and diplomacy from Tufts University in 1982.
Wise’s post-retirement career has provided him with the ideal opportunities to put that philosophy into action, as he sees his work with Pharos and Abell as more than just raising and awarding funds to get organizations running.
“We’re not just trying to make companies work, we’re trying to make Baltimore work,” Wise says.1 Comment
The city of Philadelphia is the birthplace of the nation, where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were written, debated and signed at Independence Hall. All the major U.S. professional sports are represented, including their own Flyers. “You can’t just say ‘I went to UD,’ or people might be confused with the other UD in the area, University of Delaware,” said alumni community leader Kris McCarthy McNicholas ’86.
Having schools in the area that are part of the A-10 conference brings fellow UD Flyers to the region often, with gamewatches being the most well-attended events this chapter holds. There are more than 25 universities in the geographic region, but clearly this chapter has its favorite.
How do you show your UD love in the city of brotherly love?
“I love UD, and I show my love by watching the UD games and wearing my Dayton Flyer attire to work on game days. I also attend events for prospective students and tell them my experiences and give them advice on what to expect.” —Aidan Curran ’13
“Not many people in the Philly area are familiar with UD, so I show my love for the Flyers by spreading the word. I do this in little ways like having a UD license plate border on my car, bringing a UD water bottle to work, and having UD stickers on my computer. Sometimes, these little things make great conversation starters. Even if they don’t, I find myself referencing my experiences at UD quite often in conversation.” —Christine Cirillo ’14
By the Numbers
Total Alumni: 1,692
Flyer fusions: 259
Most: 1980s with 528
Arts & Sciences 726
Education & Health Sciences 244
Law 123No Comments
As we sat on the couch sounding out a new word from her reading textbook, my foster daughter looked up at me and crinkled her nose. My brain hurts, she moaned.
Ah, the joys of a new school year.
As an adult, I have conveniently forgotten all those times when as a child I struggled and wriggled before understanding gave way to exuberance. This year’s new student convocation at RecPlex also reminded me of how certain I was of my major when I started at UD so many years ago, only to have my sail buffeted by every new professor. Become instead a geologist hammering fossils in an ancient sea bed? Why not. A sociologist researching the human connection to place? I’m there.
And I’m not alone. Maggie Schaller, a senior political science and human rights major, told the incoming class during her convocation address that she changed her major four times, dropped classes and quit clubs all on her way to excelling at the most important homework assignment: experiencing as much as she could.
“Above all, don’t be scared to learn,” she told the sea of students in their pastel shirts and Sunday dresses. “This includes in your classes, outside of them and, most importantly, about yourself.”
At convocation, speakers inspire students to dream and act and not freak out over the enormous changes and choices before them. Father James Fitz, S.M. ’68, offered words from the Book of Sirach. Its writer, he said, reminds us that if you wish, you can become. If you are willing to listen, you will learn. If you see a person of prudence, seek that person out. “Let your feet wear away that person’s doorstep,” he read.
It’s advice appropriate at a University where friendship and welcome invite us all to learn as a community, to embrace the messiness and the challenges not alone but in concert with those who will support and learn with us.
Philosopher John Dewey believed that the best sort of society is one that uses its collective intelligence. V. Denise James, associate professor of philosophy, cited Dewey in her convocation address that also asked students to answer one of her favorite questions: “Why am I here?”
“I know that real education has a way of chipping away at rigidity and certainty,” she said after revealing her own unexpected trajectory toward professor. “Education makes your world larger, multiplies your experiences, deepens your connection to others and lets you see new opportunities that you didn’t even know existed.”
And why are we here? Today’s answer should be different from tomorrow’s, as we ponder and grow. As James told the incoming class, “That’s my favorite compliment, when a student leaves class and says, ‘You made my head hurt.’”
The process may hurt a little, but we should refuse to be scared to learn. That’s wisdom for us all for the new school year and beyond.
A book by John O’Brien Jr. ’88
The luck of the Irish has surrounded John O’Brien his whole life, with his father establishing the Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival in 1982 and O’Brien starting the Ohio Irish American News in 2006. Now O’Brien, a first-generation Irish-American, is deputy director of the festival and has positioned his interest in Irish culture into a fourth book, The Lyrics of Irish Freedom. It celebrates the music of freedom — especially timely with 2016 as the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising, Ireland’s revolution. “We can only know ourselves in the seminal songs and stories of our past,” O’Brien said. Capturing the stories behind the songs sung in Irish pubs and festivals, the book features the background of 80 songs.
All of O’Brien’s books can be found at songsandstories.net.No Comments
A podcast by Rob Walch ’88
What started as a hobby has turned into a hall of fame induction for Rob Walch. Walch is vice president for podcaster relations for Libsyn and is host and producer of several podcasts, including the award-winning “podCast411,” an informative interview session for podcasters, which he started in 2004. In July, Walch was named to the Podcaster Hall of Fame in Chicago. Utilizing the skills he learned in speech class at UD, Walch has spoken about podcasting at more than 100 events. “The professor said the first day of class that it would be the most important class we would take at UD. I didn’t believe him then, but he could not have been more right,” Walch said. Listen to all of Walch’s podcasts at podcast411.libsyn.com/about.No Comments
A book by Richard Flammer ’85
The story of publishing Reality Check is filled with challenges and triumphs, as is the story of B.J. MacPherson, a popular professional hockey player in the ’90s whose career was cut short by a cheap shot in a championship game that would leave him paralyzed. Richard Flammer experimented with marketing plans — including selling the book at the games of the San Diego Gulls, then co-coached by MacPherson. But the franchise folded and the book was put on hold until the Anaheim Ducks reinvigorated the local market for hockey storytelling. While self-publishing wasn’t the original plan, Flammer released the book in October 2015 and hopes to write a screenplay about MacPherson. The true story can be found on Amazon at bit.ly/UDM_realitycheck.No Comments
Father Lawrence Mann, S.M. ’36 (ENG) lives in Cupertino, Calif., at the 1) Marianist community. He turned 2) 100 Aug. 1. He is the younger brother of the late 3) Brother Leonard Mann ’36. Father Mann is the 4) second-oldest living Marianist brother.
1) The Marianist Health Care Community in Cupertino is home to 28 Marianists, including two of Mann’s former students, and is the second largest Marianist community in the Western Hemisphere. Fourteen of the members have ties to the UD community. Mann has called it home for almost 20 years.
2) Mann began his career as a priest teaching high school in Cincinnati. His ministries took him to Marianist schools and parishes in Long Island, N.Y., Alameda, Calif., and Honolulu, where he was an adjunct professor at Chaminade University. He retired from teaching after his last stop at Chaminade Prep in West Hills, Calif. In his 100th year, he’ll also celebrate a Society of Mary milestone: its bicentennial in October 2017.
3) The Mann brothers professed first vows together in 1933. In 1954, Brother Leonard Mann ’36 began teaching in the UD physics department, and he served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1959 to 1985.
4) Mann is the second-oldest living Marianist. Brother John Totten, who lives in the Marianist residence at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, is 102. Brother John Samaha, S.M. ’52, wrote to say the Cupertino community celebrated Mann with a special Mass and party that included several of Mann’s nephews from Ohio and Virginia. “I am grateful for the years of living as a Marianist with wonderful men in the community, living in our marvelous world, beautiful in its smallest and its most vast expanses,” Mann said.
Please note: Father Lawrence Mann, S.M., passed away on 9-1-16, after the publication of the autumn 2016 issue. May perpetual light shine upon him.No Comments
When the Honorable Patricia Henry ’69 lays down her gavel and retires in October, she’ll have a lot to be proud of. While having served both as a lawyer and as a judge in various courts throughout her career, she’ll end her time in the profession working in a court that has changed the lives of thousands of people involved in domestic violence.
From 2005, when she was appointed an acting Supreme Court Judge in Kings Country, New York, until her retirement in 2016, Henry has worked in the Integrated Domestic Violence (IDV) Court. While working as counsel for the deputy chief administrative judge for court operations for the state of New York, Henry helped her boss develop the IDV courts.
“You don’t always get a chance to see things through from vision to program,” says Henry, who studied psychology at UD.
The IDV court was designed to respond to common problems — that people with domestic violence issues may have cases in three, four or even more different courts such as criminal, family, housing and others. Often, people wouldn’t seek assistance because it took too much time. With IDV, though, all their cases are transferred to one judge, who has jurisdiction over all. Specially trained prosecutors knowledgeable about domestic violence cases and a cadre of lawyers working as defense attorneys try their cases in front of Judge Henry.
In the 10 years it’s been in existence, the IDV court in Kings County has seen more than 8,000 families with more than 32,000 cases.
“The cases proceed with fewer adjournments and requirements for the parties to appear, allowing litigants to avoid missing work or school. The prosecutor’s office reports that more victims cooperate with [them], resulting in fewer cases being dismissed,” Henry says.
While she says there is still much work to be done in understanding domestic violence and providing interventions to reduce its impact, Henry says, “I am proud to have been part of this change.”
With recent accolades from Martha Stewart Weddings, Style Me Pretty and the Huffington Post, UD grad Kristen Becker ’03 is living the design life she never imagined.
The visual communication design alumna is owner and designer of Five Dot Design, a boutique design studio in Newport, Kentucky, which specializes in custom wedding invitations, event décor and design installations. “Dot” is the name of Becker’s aunt, who had breast cancer at the time when Becker was toying with the idea of starting her own company, and five is Becker’s lucky number.
Becker is a one-person show.
“In terms of the design and creative portion, it’s just me,” Becker said. “If you’re reaching out to work with me, you will work with me.”
After graduation, she worked in the corporate world and thought she’d remain there.
“It’s been a wild ride,” Becker said.
For business she has traveled as far as Dubrovnik, Croatia, for a seaside wedding. Her chic programs for the bride and groom, friends of hers, were featured in Martha Stewart Weddings. She covered the stylized programs in an iridescent ivory fabric; inside she included a message to the bride’s parents, who were celebrating their 34th wedding anniversary.
Becker said she stands out in her industry because of her passion for bringing new visual aspects to events. This is what “design installations” are all about: going onsite, setting up and putting it together. She compares it to preparing an art exhibit.
She said her husband’s line of work, architecture, keeps her in tune creatively to new physical elements.
“I love paper. But I also love to find different materials to use,” Becker said. “If you can find a way to differentiate and bring in personality, something that helps couples feel like they created something unique, then that’s a creative win for me.”