The first time Sean Gamble ’96 stepped outside the U.S. was as a Bucknell exchange student. He spent a semester studying at the University of Nottingham in England. Since then, he has lived and worked all over the world. “Even though I was an engineering major, I was allowed to study mostly humanities and social sciences while I was abroad,” he says. “My education was exploring the world. It was terrific.”
When he returned to Bucknell, Gamble says, “I realized there was a lot more for me to learn.” He completed two internships, one each in engineering and finance, and tackled his senior engineering design project with a sharper focus. Though he didn’t realize it then, he now calls the experience “enlightening.”
“In hindsight, it blended all the elements of teamwork, business and finance, from budget-setting and seeking funds, all the way through the actual physical engineering process of designing and building a project,” he says. “It touched on a lot of the same types of things you experience in a real-live work setting.”
Gamble has since built a career in finance with General Electric (GE). He started in the company’s financial management program, then moved to its corporate audit staff to work across multiple GE businesses in the U.S. and overseas. He took a job as vice president of financial planning and analysis for GE-owned NBC, and in May 2007 he moved to Florence, Italy, to assume the role of CFO of GE’s oil and gas equipment business. “I was there for about a year and a half when the opportunity presented itself back here at to be CFO of Universal’s film business, which is also owned by GE,” he says.
Gamble’s Bucknell connection has remained strong throughout his career, never more so than in his most recent position. He took the CFO reins from another Bucknell grad, Christy Rupert Shibata ’95, who moved on to become executive vice president for financial analysis for NBC Universal in New York City. “Maybe Bucknell is a path to this position,” he jokes.
His career path has wound its way all over the globe and through many of GE’s business interests, including energy and entertainment — two very different industries. “A lot of the skills I've developed in finance are fairly transferable,” says Gamble. “But the business cultures and the operating models of the organizations are radically different. It’s a matter of taking those skills and applying them to significantly different business settings.” — Heather Peavey Johns
Hank Why ’59 has always loved boating, but his avocation is reaching new levels and audiences. A native of Pennsylvania, he made his way to New Hampshire, where he established a summer home in Wolfeboro. After a successful career as a mechanical engineer in the Philadelphia area, he retired to this sailor’s dream of a location, where ull time life in New Hampshire presented Why and his family with intriguing nautical opportunities. This setting provided a stable launching ground to share his passion with a new crew of diverse boat makers in training.
Beginning this original venture, Why became an active participant in the New Hampshire Boat Museum in 1998. In addition to serving on the museum’s board of trustees, he founded several successful community boatbuilding programs that now serve the needs of specialized groups.
He launched the women’s kayak-building course in 2008, after coordinators from the museum’s family program responded to interest in lessons that could serve this audience’s particular ambitions. “Not being sure of their skills in woodworking, the women were a bit intimidated and preferred an environment where they could support each other,” explains Why. The program quickly filled and reprised its success in 2009. Participants construct their own lightweight crafts, embellishing them with “patterns of paint and varnished bright work,” each a jewel for nearby Lake Wentworth to behold.
Additional special groups have emerged from the museum. Families come together to work as a team to build their own crafts. Teenagers, most of whom are scholarship recipients, have their own program, giving them a chance to “be in charge of their destinies and master the mechanics of wind.” This winter, Why will sponsor the start of an Antique Wooden Boat Restoration course with the goal of “demystifying the complexities of restoring wooden boats.” — Maria Jacketti
What influence has Bucknell University’s meal plan had on the world? Just ask Caryn Hartglass ’80, executive director of EarthSave.org. When she came to Bucknell University as a first-year student, she was welcomed with a vegetarian meal option, a rare sign of enlightenment in days when meat was the unquestioned staple of the American diet. She had become a vegetarian at the age of 15, yet, making such a lifestyle work was not always practical or easy, until the University made it so for her.
While at Bucknell, Hartglass became a chemical engineer; however, her passion for sustainability led her to Earthsave, an organization started by John Robbins, author of Diet for a New America. A pursuit of a plant-based diet culminated in veganism and, ultimately, her taking the helm of the organization. Through EarthSave television and radio (www.earthsave.org), Hartglass hosts a variety of programs exploring many aspects of veganism, which range from gourmet cooking to global warming.
According to Hartglass, demands of our changing planet will lead to “veganism becoming the lifestyle of necessity” during the 21st century. One of her goals is to let the public know that 50 percent of human-generated greenhouse gas emissions — in the form of methane — come from the emissions of animal factory farming. Aside from the by-products of mass agriculture, such as pervasive use of chemicals and agricultural waste that seeps into groundwater, she says, this type of factory farming is accelerating global warming but garnering little press coverage.
During her career as a chemical engineer, Hartglass worried about chemical clean-up not being adequately considered in long-term projects, as if the residues of such activities might vanish magically. She says that mainstream media showedlittle interest in addressing these burgeoning concerns. The question of the long-term outcomes of human commerce still motivates Hartglass’ investigations, as she and her group expose the ramifications of many of modern life’s conveniences, tastes and traditions. — Maria Jacketti
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