Phi Who Provides a Great Opportunity for Responsibility and Leadership

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Thank you to John Cardellina '68 for participating in this Q&A...

What song(s) best defines your college experience?
Motown: Soul Man, Hold On, My Girl, This Old Heart of Mine (we were a dancing fraternity!).

How did Phi Kap help make you into the man you are today?
A combination of learning to live with guys from different backgrounds and points of view, and the opportunity for responsibility and leadership; in my case serving as house manager and later president.

Tell us about a brother who served as a role model.
My big brother John Valovich, who was quiet, focused and unflappable; and Mike Lennon '68 (one of the guys responsible for the bunny on the chimney) and my little brother Rick Thorne '69, both of whom enjoyed college far more than I did with their devil-may-care attitudes, but accompanied by big hearts.

What role does leadership play in a man's life?
In my case, what I learned about developing consensus in a group and leading my peers as a fraternity president was reinforced by my military experience and gave me an enormous advantage in all my endeavors in science. Scientists are trained to do research, not to lead or manage; thus, I have always been better than many of my colleagues in developing, staffing and managing research teams and projects. As the father of two daughters, I should note that leadership skills are important for men and women in today's world, as most young women now have professional careers of their own. I've certainly emphasized this point to my daughters.

What's new in your life today?
After a long career in chemical research, I may have finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up. In January 2012, I took a new position as Distinguished Scientist at McCormick & Co., the spice/flavor giant. Since my graduation (1968, BS Chemistry, BA Russian), I have served in the Navy and seen much of the world, worked in industry (Johnson & Johnson, McCormick), academia (Montana State University, University of Maryland Center of Marine Biotechnology) the government (National Cancer Institute, Office of Dietary Supplements, US Army Research Institute of Infectious Diseases), and a trade association (Council for Responsible Nutrition). I've lived in Virginia, Florida, Maine, Hawaii, Pennsylvania (where I met my wife of 37 years), Hawaii again (why not?), New York, Montana, and Maryland.

Brothers can reconnect with John at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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