Alumni E-news

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Join us on June 3, for the Founders Gala during which Mr. Frank M. Henry, Chairman Emeritus of Martz Group, will be honored with the prestigious President's Medal. Sponsorship and advertising opportunities and ticket information are now available. For more information, please click here or contact Jennifer Ciarimboli at (570)408-4953 or

Homecoming 2017 will be held October 6-8 and it's less than 6 months away! Reunion groups include classes ending in 2s & 7s. We'll have a variety of academic reunions, as well. View additional Homecoming details, such as hotel information by clicking here.

Alumni Association Elects New Leaders
In March 2017, the Alumni Association Board of Directors elected new leadership and five new directors. The new leadership is as follows: Ellen Hall ’71, President; Matthew Berger ’02, Vice President; Tom Ralston ’80, Past President; and Cindy Charnetski ’97, Historian. The new directors are: Kathy Kautter ’72Brian Palmiter ’13Fred Pierantoni ’80Alyssa Stencavage ’15 and Kate Thomas ’15. These individuals will begin their terms in June 2017. Read more here.

Spring Commencement Ceremony – May 20
Are you attending the spring commencement ceremony for a friend or family member? The alumni office will be in the Marts Gym on Sat., May 20, to sell fresh bouquets of flowers and other Wilkes merchandise during both the graduate & undergraduate ceremonies. Learn about the spring commencement ceremonies here.

Wilkes in the News

Some different Wilkes initiatives have been making headlines lately. Here are some recent articles featuring things happening at Wilkes:
SHINE Program at Wilkes - A group of local college students is hoping to encourage the next generation to pursue career fields in science.
Kicking off Squirrel Week with a look at how these furry creatures lie - Dr. Michael A. Steele was featured in this article for his extensive research. 
Wilkes Students Help Bicyclist Hurt in Crash - Wilkes nursing students, Peter Sidari and Amber Ankudovich, came upon an accident at Market and River Streets.

Read the Next Issue of the Wilkes Magazine
Watch your mailbox for the spring/summer issue of the Wilkes magazine! This issue's cover story features Dr. Daniel Klem, Jr. '68 and his career studying birds. Other alumni featured are Allison Roth '11Henry Bisco ’95, and Tammy Cyprich Bisco ’97. Read this issue online

Return to Campus for the Rosenn Lecture
On Sunday, April 30, Anna Deavere Smith will deliver her lecture "Snapshots: Portraits of a World in Transition." As a playwright, actor, and professor, Smith uses her singular brand of theatre to highlight issues of community, character, and diversity in America. The MacArthur Foundation honored Smith with the “Genius” Fellowship for creating “a new form of theatre — a blend of theatrical art, social commentary, journalism, and intimate reverie.” Best known for crafting one-woman shows based on conversations with real people from all walks of life, Smith turns her interviews into scripts, transforming herself into an astonishing number of characters. The lecture is free and open to the public at the Dorothy Dickson Darte Center at 7:00 p.m. Learn more.

Spotlight on SHINE
SHINE, which stands for Schools and Homes in Education, is an innovative afterschool program serving elementary and middle school students in Luzerne County. This program, which is based out of Wilkes University, has 8 afterschool locations, serving 5 Luzerne County school districts, with 15 schools that send students. Currently, there are more than 420 students enrolled in the program. The program provides Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) project based activities designed to stimulate and engage students who will become the workforce of tomorrow. In addition to the afterschool program, SHINE also has a team of Home Visitors, who provide early education to preschool and kindergarten students from five sending elementary schools.

An ongoing endeavor of the SHINE program is collaborating with Wilkes University’s Student Government to organize a book drive. The project began as a way to ensure that students enrolled in the program have reading material in their homes - which Home Visitors found to be lacking. The hope is to encourage students to continue reading throughout the summer. If you would like to donate books to the SHINE program, contact Director Carol Nicholas by email at or by phone at (570) 408-5578. To learn more, follow the SHINE Facebook page, or view the program’s annual report.

Online Nursing Degree Programs Available 
Did you know that Wilkes offers online degree programs to help nursing graduates advance their career while working full-time? Wilkes is here with support and dedication to your success. Scholarships are available for courses beginning on April 24. Contact us today so we can help you get started on the next step in your career! Learn more about our programs.

Alumni to be Featured at Tom Bigler Journalism Conference
Communication studies alumni will return to campus on Fri., April 28, to share their experiences with students at the 17th Annual Tom Bigler Journalism Conference. Alumni presenters include Donna Sedor '85, development director, Wyoming Valley Children’s Association; Kristen Rock '06, station manager for WCLH, 90.7; and Andy Mehalshick ’83, lead investigative reporter of the Eyewitness News I-Team, WBRE/WYOU. To learn more about the conference, click here.

Register Now for Dr. Jane Elmes-Crahall’s Retirement Party
Dr. Jane Elmes-Crahall, or better known by most as simply "Jane," has inspired decades of students to step out of their comfort zone and challenge themselves. In May, Jane will be retiring after more than 30 years of teaching in the communications department at Wilkes University. Join us for her Farewell Gathering on Saturday, May 13, at 6 p.m. in the Henry Student Center Ballroom. Register here. If you’re interested in contributing to an alumni video or if you have photos or memories of Jane that you’d like to share, please email

Join Your Former Teammates for Softball Alumni Day
Softball alumni and friends are invited to a special event on Sat., April 29! We will recognize all softball alumni in attendance by welcoming the former players onto the field in between the double-header vs. Manhattanville College. During the games, there will be refreshments near the home sideline. RSVP by emailing

Wrestling Reunion & Coach Reese's 90th Birthday Celebration
Wrestling alumni are invited to join Wilkes, former teammates, and Coach John Reese for a reunion to celebrate Coach's 90th birthday on May 6 & 7. The weekend's events include a dinner and party on Saturday evening and a brunch on Sunday morning. Registration is required by Fri., April 21, and guests are welcome. Learn more and register here.

2017 Alumni Scholarship Recipient Selected 
Nicole Cumbo '18 was awarded the Alumni Association Scholarship in March. Nicole's father, Joseph Cumbo '90, MS '01, received two degrees from Wilkes, both in electrical engineering. Nicole is a biology major, with a minor in chemistry. She is an active student on campus through her involvement in the women’s division III softball team, Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society, the dance team, Pre-Professional Society, and the Badminton Club....more

Charlotte Hacker '12 knew that she wanted to go to graduate school after Wilkes helped her to study abroad for several months in Africa. There, she got involved in researching elephant behavior. She began her master's degree at Western Kentucky University in 2013, studying elephants. Due to poaching in Africa, her research of elephants was postponed and she eventually moved to California to complete her research at the San Diego Zoo, researching all kinds of animals. After completing her master's degree, Hacker took a job at the Toledo Zoo, where she was working with many different animals, including big cats. 

Charlotte decided she wanted to continue her education and she is now a PhD. student at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Penn. For her research, elephants were her first choice, but at the time, there wasn't much happening in the elephant world, so she chose to research snow leopards. Through her job at the Toledo Zoo, she worked with many big cats and that's where she first encountered snow leopard research. 

Charlotte is now researching snow leopard genetics. In the wild, snow leopards are extremely hard to find because they are elusive and shy. They also usually inhabit terrain that is not human-friendly. In order to study this species, scientists must travel to Asia to extract DNA.

"If I ever see a snow leopard in the wild, I will be extremely lucky," says Charlotte. "There's still so much we don't know about them as a species." 

Looking back at her undergraduate education, Charlotte enjoyed the opportunities the Wilkes biology department gave her.

"There was such a good diversity of research in that department and that's so important," says Charlotte. "The mentorship of my professors was so important and helpful. I recall talking to Dr. Stratford and telling him that I wanted to study elephants. He was supportive, which is why I ended up researching them."

Through her journey, she has learned that with science, failures and setbacks will happen, but keeping the end goal in mind is very important. She has a lot of research still ahead, and she will finish her PhD. in 4 to 5 years. 

As a hobby, Charlotte loves to run, which she originally began doing when living in California. Charlotte now lives in Pittsburgh, Penn., and she's originally from Delaware. 

Pictured above: Charlotte Hacker '12 in the laboratory at Duquesne University. 

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 or receive a promotion? Maybe you had a baby or bought a new home! Tell us what's going on by updating your contact information today!


On-Campus: Spring Semester 2017

2017 Scholarship Luncheon

Naples, FL Alumni Gathering

The Colonel's Travels

As we approach the end of our fiscal year, we are reminded how important alumni support is to Wilkes. Whether your gift is designated to scholarships, mentoring programs, student activities, or other areas, the Wilkes experience is special and unique, thanks to our donors. Make your gift before May 31 and receive a Wilkes alumni t-shirt (pictured below).

Softball Alumni Day
April 29

Max Rosenn Lecture in Law and Humanities ft. Anna Deavere Smith
April 30

Wrestling Reunion and Coach Reese's 90th Birthday Party
May 6-7

Spring Commencement Ceremony
May 20

Founders Gala 2017
June 3

Homecoming 2017
Save-the-Date: October 6-8

Patrons requesting accommodations or services at Wilkes University or Wilkes University-sponsored events in accordance with The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) Title III: Public Accommodations are asked to contact the University at 1-800-Wilkes-U to request such services/accommodations. It is recommended that requests be made at least 48 hours prior to any event.

Visit for the latest athletics news!

Wingert to become Full-Time Associate Director of Athletics

Planamento Named Assistant Sports Information Director at Wilkes

Baseball’s Nixon, Men’s Tennis’ Nabokin Named MAC Freedom Players of the Week

Rickrode Selected to 51st Annual Hall of Fame Class for the Capital Area Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame

Women’s Golf Falls in Home Tri-Match

Baseball Slugs Way to Series Win over Delaware Valley

Men’s Volleyball Concludes Inaugural Season with 3-1 Loss at PSU Altoona

Wrestling Spring ID Clinic Set for April 22

Men’s Tennis Scores 8-1 Win at Dickinson

Women’s Tennis Still Unbeaten with 6-3 Win at Dickinson

Dupre Named to Hampshire Honor Society

Softball Earns Split with Scranton

Early Deficit Dooms Men’s Lacrosse in 20-10 Loss to Misericordia

Boccio Scores Four Goals in Women's Lacrosse 20-8 Loss at Misericordia

Women’s Soccer Head Coach Sumoski to be inducted into Pitt-Johnstown Hall of Fame

Men’s Soccer Set for Non-Traditional Game Day

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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