Alumni E-news

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You can now register to celebrate with your Wilkes family at Homecoming 2017: October 6-8. View the full schedule. Weekend highlights include an expanded Pints with Professors and on-campus kick-off to the Twist & Stout Downtown Bar Tour. Purchase your tickets now so you don’t miss any Homecoming fun this fall.

It’s time to vote for your favorite Homecoming t-shirt design! Choose between design 1, which is a 70s retro style and design 2, which is a traditional collegiate style. Both shirts will be heathered gray and are made of soft, vintage-style material that will be the perfect addition to your Wilkes wardrobe: select your favorite. We’ll announce the winning design in the August issue of the alumni e-newsletter. Purchase one of these limited edition tees for $12 on the Homecoming registration form and also during the weekend of Homecoming. Quantities are limited, so get yours now and we'll include it with your welcome bag at the first event for which you've registered.

Start making plans to come back to campus by booking your hotel room. A number of hotels near campus are offering special rates for Homecoming attendees, with some providing shuttle service to and from campus...more

University Dedicates the Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing
Wilkes University has received significant financial support to benefit its graduate creative writing program. Given by local businessman and philanthropist Richard Maslow, of Dallas, Pa., and Naples, Fla., the gift will be used to enhance the creative writing program through innovative classes and workshops, student scholarships, faculty development, and expanded programming for the community at large...more

Wilkes in the News
Here are some recent articles featuring things happening at Wilkes:
SHINE Program at Wilkes - Two local newspapers covered the SHINE program's 'College for a Day.' Read the articles from the Times Leader and the Citizen's Voice
Back to the Dorm - Wilkes dorms were featured in a segment on how to convert a dorm from drab to fab.

Introduce a young person to Wilkes University
Have a relative, neighbor or friend starting the college search process? Introduce him or her to your alma mater. Wilkes University will host an open house for undergraduate students on Friday, July 21. You or the student can learn more here. Can’t come in July? Encourage your student to attend one of our fall open houses, which will take place on Saturday, Sept. 23, and Saturday, Nov. 18. You can always schedule a personal tour by calling (800) WILKES-U Ext. 4400 or clicking here. Make sure to mention that you’re an alumnus/a!

Environmental Science Day Camp for High School Students
The Department of Environmental Engineering and Earth Science will host an Environmental Science summer day camp for high school students. The camp will be July 31 to Aug. 2. Students will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end each day at 4:30 p.m. at the Lawrence and Sally Cohen Science Center, 84 W. South St., Wilkes-Barre. Registration is first-come, first-served with a final registration deadline of July 25. The $100 fee includes lunches, snacks, a water bottle and t-shirt. Students can register at

Take the Colonel on Vacation!
For the past several years, the Colonel has traveled the world with alumni, visiting places both near and far. If you would like to bring the Colonel on your vacation, contact the alumni office at or (570)408-7787 and we’ll send him to you. We’ll share your photos on our Facebook page.

Deanna Drako '11, MBA '13 is one of Wilkes' biggest fans. She came to Wilkes in 2007 to pursue a degree in environmental engineering, and never left. Today, she is the assistant director of middle school centers for the SHINE Program, which is an after school program for Luzerne County elementary and middle school-aged children. Wilkes adopted the SHINE program in 2014.

Even though Deanna is fairly new into her career, she has learned to fuse two seemingly different industries into a successful vocation. 

She's proof that you can combine any number of disciplines when you attend Wilkes University. She graduated as an environmental engineering major, with a minor in physics and had an internship at the Small Business Development Center. During her internship, she realized that she loved working there to educate people on how to run their own business. 

"Eventually, I decided I wanted to get my MBA," says Deanna. "I had a graduate assistantship with the SBDC, and three months after I graduated, they asked me to work full-time."

After two years with the SBDC, the SHINE partnership with Wilkes University was just developing. After learning more about the after school, STEM-based program, Deanna thought she would be a perfect fit in the program.

"It was always my dream to help students that don't have the best curriculum or resources," she says. "I want to help them to be prepared to go to college or enter the workforce."

When Deanna began at Wilkes in 2007, she was one of those students who was unprepared for her rigorous course schedule. "I always wanted to find a way to give back to these students and beef up their curriculum in some way or expose them to more science and engineering subjects."

From the outside looking in, one would think that engineering and business may not go hand-in-hand. However, Deanna found a way to put the two together at SHINE. She plans all the projects for the students, which corresponds with her engineering degree, and also has to manage 30 teachers, and more than 200 middle school students, where her MBA degree has become a resource. 

"I also do a project with the middle school students on entrepreneurship," says Deanna. "So we open a business, and we learn about how to write a business plan, how to do financial projections, and how to accomplish successful marketing. That's directly related to what I did at the SBDC."

For students who are struggling, don't have the best home life, or need a little extra help, Deanna reminds them to take advantage of some of the free services that are out there. "Don't ever give up and take advantage of programs like SHINE. You can find a mentor, too. For me, I had a great high school teacher that helped me to navigate college."

Outside of her career, she loves antiquing and she's a big collector of jewelry. Deanna also just purchased her first home in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. 

Do you have expertise in a specific subject or industry? Do you know a fellow Wilkes grad who does? Let us know and it could be featured in a future newsletter! 

Did you get married, have a baby or receive a promotion? Maybe you moved and forgot to tell us! Update your contact information with our office. 


First-Year Orientation 2017

Progress Around Campus: Summer 2017

View our Homecoming 2017 Photo Galleries on Facebook! Throughout the summer, we will be adding photo galleries for all of our class reunions. We've already posted photo galleries from 1967, 1972 and 1977. Make sure to tag yourselves and share with your classmates. Follow our page to stay updated!

Pennsylvania Writers Conference
July 30-August 5

Homecoming 2017
October 6-8

Wilkes University is an equal opportunity institution. For information on the University’s Policy on Non-Discrimination, visit

Visit for the latest athletics news!

Wilkes Places Five on 2017 Spring Academic All-MAC Teams

An inside look at Wilkes Athletic Programs
Men's Lacrosse
Men's Basketball

We want to know what you've been up to!  Share your news with your fellow alumni by emailing information to Jacki Lukas at and it will appear in the next e-newsletter.

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