KGI Welcomes Alumni for 10th Anniversary Celebration
Keck Graduate Institute will welcome all of its alumni back to campus for a 10th anniversary celebration on Saturday, September 17.
"We are so very proud to have 10 graduated classes, and we want to celebrate this achievement," says Merlene Singleton, director of alumni relations.
The casual reunion will serve as an opportunity for alumni to get together and "show off" their families and catch up with classmates, friends and favorite professors, Singleton adds.
Darren Leva, president of the KGI Alumni Board and a 2005 graduate of the Master of Bioscience (MBS) program, is pleased to see that KGI is celebrating its first decades-worth of alums. "This is an impressive feat for the school—to have graduated 10 classes who are successful, happy, and making a difference in the industry," he said. "That says a lot about KGI."
Leva relishes his education from KGI, saying it was a good "fit" for him. "I'm an explorer," he explains, "and the biggest highlight of my experience at KGI was being part of a new institution that is changing the paradigm of education."
After graduating from KGI, Leva had a "roller coaster of a ride" with several start-up biotech companies, before settling into his position in business development for Althea Technologies, a contract manufacturer for biotech pharmaceuticals.
For Kirsti Zitar, a 2002 MBS graduate, the upcoming celebration is an opportunity to reconnect with classmates, professors and fellow KGI alumni. "I am grateful for the education I received and the friendships I made at KGI and am looking forward to seeing how the campus and degree programs have changed in the years since graduation," says Zitar, who is currently the program coordinator for the Berger Institute for Work, Family, & Children.
Class of 2009 alumna Aanchal Kamra hopes to meet up not only with fellow classmates but also with alumni—like Zitar—from KGI's early days. "I want to hear what they're doing now," says Kamra, who recently relocated to Toronto, Canada, after serving as program coordinator for the Prostate Cancer Program at City of Hope Cancer Center. "Hearing about their accomplishments will encourage me that I will achieve the same success."
Kamra's completion of her MBS degree was a "fulfilling moment," she recalls, and she is looking forward to sharing that sense of accomplishment with all the alumni who will be attending the celebration. "We achieved something here," she says, "and that experience bonds us together."
The reunion will take place from 2 pm to 6 pm on the KGI campus lawn. Cost is $10 for adults (children are free). There will be refreshments as well as entertainment for the kids, plus a quiet room for new moms with babies or children in need of a nap.
By Carol Sorgen