Category: Summer 2017

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A Toast to Tastemakers: Presidents deliver diverse beverage experiences to patrons across the nation

July 23, 2017
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W&J alumni around the country are taking part in the rise of craft breweries, wineries, and distilleries over the last few decades. Some Presidents have spent their careers in the industry, while others are just starting out. They are committed to using their knowledge, whether it be scientific or entrepreneurial, to create quality products and …  

A Toast to Tastemakers: Yianni Barakos

July 22, 2017
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When Yianni Barakos ’08 graduated from W&J with a degree in business administration, he envisioned a long and successful career for himself in construction project management, after which he would start a distillery as a working retirement project. But life had other plans. A car crash sidelined Barakos in 2012, leaving him in a state …  

A Toast to Tastemakers: Ed Belfoure '67

July 21, 2017
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When Ed Belfoure ’67 retired as a chemistry instructor at the Naval Academy, he and his wife planned to spend their time traveling. But after visits with their children out-of-state and a lengthy vacation abroad, Belfoure realized he needed something else to fill his days. With his wife’s support, he started a distillery in downtown …  

A Toast to Tastemakers: Joel McCloskey '00

July 20, 2017
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Joel McClosky ’00 and his business partner had the unusual distinction of opening the first brewery in a city that has only allowed alcohol sales since 2008. McClosky’s search for a teaching job led him to Asheboro, North Carolina, where he met Andrew Deming, the husband of a co-worker. When McClosky learned that Deming was …  

A Toast to Tastemakers: Craig Boyd '82

July 19, 2017
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During an early midlife crisis, Craig Boyd ’82 thought making wine sounded like a fun job. He knew very little about wine and almost nothing about what being a winemaker entailed, but he took the leap and has now spent almost three decades in the wine business. Boyd majored in chemistry at W&J and started …  

A Toast to Tastemakers: Gia Nigro '15

July 18, 2017
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Gia Nigro ’15 is still adjusting to how quickly her future has taken shape since her junior year at W&J. The chemistry major who had planned to go to medical school is now working for a large Scottish brewing company in Ohio. Nigro first became interested in beer while taking brewing-related chemistry classes with Professor …  

A Toast to Tastemakers: Students get a first draft in brewing with on-campus opportunities

July 17, 2017
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W&J students with an interest in brewing can start learning the tricks of the trade in the chemistry lab. As part of Professor of Chemistry Robbie Iuliucci’s Chemical Measurements (CHM 385) course, students perform sensory analysis and lab experiments to test basic beer characteristics. “I wanted to have science fun with my hobby of brewing …  

A Toast to Tastemakers: Other alumni in the industry

July 16, 2017
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Glenn Rice ’78 owns Quantum Limit Vineyards (pictured above) in Napa Valley. After decades of living in the Bay Area and visiting wine country when friends and fellow alumni came to visit, he decided to make the leap and become a vineyard owner. Quantum primarily sells its grapes to another vineyard for production but makes around …  

A Graduate's Reflection: Devon Dobbs '17

July 15, 2017
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I remember move-in day as if it were yesterday. I moved in early because I was selected to participate in a pre-orientation program called the Leadership and Service Institute. I got up at 7 a.m. with three cars packed and ready to go (yes, I really brought three cars worth of stuff; I’ve learned to …  

Wrestling & Rising: Sonnieboy Blanco '17 prepared to make his mark on the world

July 14, 2017
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Sonnieboy Blanco ’17 proudly represented Washington & Jefferson College, along with Head Coach Thomas Prairie and Assistant Coach Jeff Breese, during the introduction of competitors at the 2017 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships. Sonnieboy Blanco ’17 doesn’t have the background one might expect from the winningest wrestler in W&J history. He was born in a country …