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Four biology graduates returned to campus this fall to discuss their respective disciplines and provide insight for students considering a career in the field. Sponsored by Career Services, the event began with a kick-off dinner. The panel was comprised of Rick Gontarek ’89, Jim England ’64, Michael Pressman ‘91, and Al Ulrich ’99.

“It was a great experience to talk with people from different career paths and see the insider view on some of the jobs out there,” says biology major Maureen Auro ’03. “It was comforting to know the different paths one can take with a biology degree, whether it be medical, biomedical, sales representative, or environmental, to name a few. What was most valuable was the panelists’ sharing how they ended up pursuing their line of work, and the crossroads that led them there. One panelist said, ‘I love my job.’ I think we all thought for a second how we want to be able to say that once we get out into the work force.”

Gontarek has been employed by GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals in Collegeville, Pa., for six years. As a senior investigator, he is involved with research and development of medication that treats infectious disease. Gontarek earned a Ph.D. in biology from Johns Hopkins University and served as a postdoctoral research fellow at National Cancer Institute.

England has chaired the department of pathology and laboratory medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine for 14 years. His primary duties include providing high-quality patient care, educating medical and graduate students and residents, and building a biomedical research program. Previously, he played key roles at University of Pennsylvania and Wistar Institute.

Ulrich works as a technical sales representative for Mallinckrodt Baker, Inc., a division of TycoHealthcare in Phillipsburg, N.J. He is responsible for sales of pharmaceutical raw materials and general laboratory chemicals to pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, and biotech companies; colleges and universities; and environmental and industrial labs. He held medical and technical sales positions at Factory Authorized Medical Scope Repair and Macherey-Nagel.

Pressman works to preserve biological diversity as a field representative for The Nature Conservancy in Long Pond, Pa. He earned a master’s in regional planning from University of Pennsylvania in 1993 and previously worked for 1,000 Friends of Minnesota, an environmental protection organization, and 4Everland Conservation Associates.

Categorized in: Alumni