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BTN LiveBIG: Indiana grad pursues passion for helping others

Inspired by their experiences in college and elsewhere, these Pathfinders are passing by the typical, well-trod career paths and blazing their own trails. We’ll explore the unconventional approaches these Big Ten alums and faculty are taking to work. At one point or another in their careers, most people can relate to the sentiment captured so memorably by country singer Johnny Paycheck: “Take this job and shove it.” Very few of them, though, are the bosses of successful companies that they’ve built up themselves. Yet that’s precisely the situation Indiana University alumnus Stuart Nitzkin found himself in back in 2009. He’d

BTN LiveBIG: Penn State professor explores disease-fighting diets through ancient and modern medicine

Inspired by their experiences in college and elsewhere, these Pathfinders are passing by the typical, well-trod career paths and blazing their own trails. We’ll explore the unconventional approaches these Big Ten alums are taking to work. Penn State professor Jairam KP Vanamala grew up in a place where there was no 9-1-1 and very little in the way of emergency services. His village in southern India, while idyllic, was so remote that the nearest health facility was more than 40 miles away. If you got sick or injured, you had to cross a river and go over a mountain. But

BTN LiveBIG: Rutgers alum sets a course for adventure

Inspired by their experiences in college and elsewhere, these Pathfinders are passing by the typical, well-trod career paths and blazing their own trails. We’ll explore the unconventional approaches these Big Ten alums are taking to work. A conventional — if also comfortable — career seemed to be in the cards for Milosz “Milo” Pierwola. The Rutgers alum had put in three years as an attorney, spending most of his time at a desk, and everyone around him believed he was doing quite well for himself. There was just one problem: He was completely miserable at work. So, he quit in

BTN LiveBIG: Purdue student aims to be the 'Neil Armstrong' of Mars

Inspired by their experiences in college and elsewhere, these Pathfinders are passing by the typical, well-trod career paths and blazing their own trails. We’ll explore the unconventional approaches these Big Ten alums are taking to work. Most of us dreamed of fantastic, far-fetched careers when we were kids. Cowboy. Pop star. Professional athlete. Astronaut. That last one captured the imagination of Max Fagin as a boy. But unlike the majority of us, who alter our dream career many times based on changing interests and perceptions of what’s “realistic,” this Purdue aerospace engineering graduate student has spent his life trying to

BTN LiveBIG: Ohio State scientist studies the largest explosions in the universe

Inspired by their experiences in college and elsewhere, these Pathfinders are passing by the typical, well-trod career paths and blazing their own trails. We’ll explore the unconventional approaches these Big Ten alums and faculty are taking to work. It’s nature’s greatest fireworks display: the supernova death of a bright, rare supergiant Wolf-Rayet star — already several hundred times larger in diameter than our own sun — which sends white-hot astroparticles flying millions of miles in multiple directions at close to the speed of light. For Mauricio Bustamante, a postdoctoral fellow at Ohio State’s Center for Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics (CCAPP),

BTN LiveBIG: Former Michigan State b-ball standout finds second life in autism advocacy

Inspired by their experiences in college and elsewhere, these Pathfinders are passing by the typical, well-trod career paths and blazing their own trails. We’ll explore the unconventional approaches these Big Ten alums are taking to work. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDGkUUYFPJM&w=560&h=315%5D Athlete. Husband. Father. Inspiration. Spartan. Former Michigan State basketball player Anthony Ianni is all of these things and more. Ianni’s journey hasn’t been easy or typical, but it’s certainly been inspirational. At the age of four, he was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), which is on the autism spectrum. It can make regular social interactions challenging, as PDD affects how a

BTN LiveBIG: Michigan graduates find fertile soil for urban farming in Detroit

Inspired by their experiences in college and elsewhere, these Pathfinders are passing by the typical, well-trod career paths and blazing their own trails. We’ll explore the unconventional approaches these Big Ten alums are taking to work. One majored in social sciences and Middle Eastern/North African studies. The other graduated with a degree in English. But when University of Michigan alums Noah Link and Alex Bryan went “out there” to find their future, they took an unexpected path. “‘Let’s start a farm,’” Link recalled saying. “I think I’m the one who said it first, but it seemed like a natural idea.”

BTN LiveBIG: Maryland professor abuzz about honeybees

Inspired by their experiences in college and elsewhere, these Pathfinders are passing by the typical, well-trod career paths and blazing their own trails. We’ll explore the unconventional approaches these Big Ten alums are taking to work. Three things almost everyone knows about bees: They make honey, they live in hives, and they can ruin a summer picnic. Not as many people are aware of the crucial role that honeybees play in maintaining agriculture. But Dennis vanEngelsdorp, professor of entomology at the University of Maryland and director of its Honey Bee Lab, is doing what he can to highlight their relationship

BTN LiveBIG: Iowa research dietitian digs into nutrition for the ill

Inspired by their experiences in college and elsewhere, these Pathfinders are passing by the typical, well-trod career paths and blazing their own trails. We’ll explore the unconventional approaches these Big Ten alums are taking to work. Cathy Chenard’s love of food and nutrition is homegrown. From a young age, the freelance registered and licensed dietitian and Iowa alumna (M.S., 1989) found herself wanting to learn more about food, an interest she said was passed down from her grandmother. “I had an interest in cooking and things like that, so she got to be the teacher and I was the pupil,”

BTN LiveBIG: Penn State alum Steve Garguilo’s excellent adventures

Inspired by their experiences in college and elsewhere, these Pathfinders are passing by the typical, well-trod career paths and blazing their own trails. We’ll explore the unconventional approaches these Big Ten alums are taking to work. By day, Steve Garguilo, 2009 graduate of Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology, is a senior manager at Johnson & Johnson who spends much of his time on engaging and developing thousands of the corporation’s employees. But when he’s out of the office, he takes on some very unique side projects. Like racing across the steppes of Central Asia in a vehicle that’s