Philanthropy Makes It Possible

Atanas Angelov ’16 (right) and Daniel Sabatino, assistant professor of  chemical engineering

Atanas Angelov ’16 (right) and Daniel Sabatino, assistant professor of chemical engineering

A wealth of learning experiences for Atanas Angelov ’16 were forged through connections with professors, alumni, and others, including Scott Reamer ’93, Asst. Prof. Daniel Sabatino, and Assoc. Prof. Joshua Smith.

But the most important connection for Angelov, who came to the College from Bulgaria, was with the late Walter Oechsle ’57, benefactor of a scholarship fund supporting international students.
“Without aid, I wouldn’t have been able to come here,” Angelov says. “I’m grateful beyond words.”

A mechanical engineering major who graduated summa cum laude, Angelov recently accepted a job with Markit, a global financial information services company. Sabatino and Smith, of the mechanical engineering department, engaged Angelov in their research as an EXCEL Scholar.

Sabatino also connected Angelov with the topic of his senior honors thesis, a problem in jet engine efficiency, and with a former colleague, Tom Praisner of Pratt & Whitney, manufacturer of aircraft engines. Angelov conducted experiments in the Acopian Engineering Center’s water channel for turbulence research and designed computer simulations in collaboration with fellow ME major Todd Koehler ’16. Praisner met with them weekly.

During Angelov’s sophomore year, Oechsle hosted him and other students benefiting from his scholarship fund at his home in Florida for Thanksgiving.

“The reason he provided the scholarship, he told us, is that when he came here [from Germany], he was also on scholarship,” says Angelov, who has accepted a position with Markit, a global financial information services company. “It’s the only reason he was able to come to this country and become a success. It inspires me to do the same thing.”

The College mourns the passing of Walter Oechsle, who died June 30. See page 13.

Kofi Boateng ’16 and Gracedale resident Jeff Loch

Kofi Boateng ’16 and Gracedale resident Jeff Loch

The Preminger Gerontology Scholars program came to the rescue for Kofi Boateng ’16, providing funding that enabled him to undertake a service-learning project for the capstone course in his minor, Aging Studies.

Boateng built close relationships with residents of Gracedale, Northampton County’s nursing home, in Nazareth, Pa., as he sought an understanding of the challenges faced by residents and caregivers in nursing homes. His course included making recommendations for improving the quality of care.

The gerontology scholars program was established through a gift to the Live Connected, Lead Change campaign from Lynne and Marc Preminger ’71, former chief financial officer and senior vice president at CIGNA Health Corp. It supports service-learning and research projects, visiting speakers, and other initiatives. The Premingers hope the program will bring about more understanding of unhappiness among the aged and new ways of making life more enjoyable for them through technology, collaborative support, and other approaches.

Boateng, who created his own interdisciplinary major in global health studies, plans to teach chemistry and physics in Guinea as a Peace Corps volunteer and then apply to medical school. His experience at Gracedale sharpened his focus on a variety of issues related to gerontology, a field that incorporates contributions from disciplines such as psychology, biology, neuroscience, economics, sociology, and medicine.

“As a future physician, I think it’s critical to understand people different from myself, with different life experiences, and to develop an appreciation for their uniqueness, because it will make giving care more personable,” he says. “And I now understand the meaningful impact that showing compassion can have, especially on older adults. Making someone feel happy, like they are being heard and like they matter, is essential to providing quality care.”