We Change Lives
The notable McDaniel alumni below have pursued very different career paths, but they all share the same conviction that their years on the Hill helped them to discover their direction and who they wanted to be.
Q: What do you call the youngest person ever to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court? And a person about whom a best-selling book was written?
A: Victor McTeer '69 (pictured above), at age 25, was the first black Mississippi lawyer since the Reconstruction period to argue a case before the United States Supreme Court. An African-American female honors graduate was denied employment by a school district on the grounds of immorality because she had given birth to a child out of wedlock while a teenager. McTeer won the case. In the years that followed, McTeer would successfully pursue civil rights claims for plaintiffs and civil rights activists across the state of Mississippi and the U.S.
Q: What do you call an endowed professor at Harvard's Divinity School?
A: David Carrasco '67 is world-renowned scholar of Mesoamerican religions and with a wide range of interests in the contemporary and historical study of religions, ranging from Aztec Religions to contemporary issues in Latino studies. He currently holds joint appointments in Harvard University’s department of anthropology and the Harvard Divinity School and is the director of the Moses Mesoamerican Archive and Research Project and editor in chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures.
Q: What do you call a cutting-edge biomedical researcher?
A: Sam Hopkins '80 is a proven scholar and scientist, as well as an entrepreneur, who has developed drugs to successfully treat some of the world’s most pernicious infections including HIV-1, Hepatitis-C and cystic fibrosis, and raised the dollars to bring new drug therapies to market. Hopkins holds Ph.D. in biochemistry and biophysics from the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond.
A2: Known as "The Gene Team" and "The Dynamic Duo," Joan Bailey-Wilson '75 and Alexander Wilson '75 enjoy a highly successful partnership on both professional and personal levels. Since 2006, husband and wife have been co-chiefs of the Inherited Disease Research Branch of National Institutes of Health's National Human Genome Research Institute.
Q: What do you call a high-ranking executive of a Fortune 500 corporation?
A: Kevin Wueste '86, former General Manager of Microsoft’s new business strategies including the development of the Microsoft Partner Program from inception to launch of version 1.0 and 2.0. Kevin retired in 2005 and is currently studying figure drawing and painting. He has studied two years at the Academy of Art in San Francisco and at the Guild Atelier in Brooklyn, NY.
Q: What do you call a director of a national arts festival?
A: Walt Michael ’68 is a recording artist, founder and executive director of Common Ground on the Hill, a non-profit arts and music center that presents courses, concerts and conversations geared to finding peaceful solutions to cultural and inner conflicts through shared artistic traditions. The seeds of Common Ground were planted in the 1960s when Walt joined the College’s Student Opportunities Service to participate in community action work in Appalachia and to take part in voter registration campaigns in the deep South.
Q: What do you call a winner of an Emmy?
A: Jonathan Slade ’88 is five-time Emmy winner, most recently for Maryland Public TV documentary "Eatin' Crabs: Chesapeake Style" in 2008. Slade earned his MFA in Cinema from the University of Southern California and teaches at McDaniel. He has written and directed two self-distributed independent feature films—"Forest for the Trees" (1998) and "Cinder" (2010).
Q: What do you call a Pulitzer Prize winner?
A: Wendy Ruderman '91, winner with Philadelphia Daily News colleague Barbara Laker of journalism's top award—the Pulitzer Prize—for a courageous feat of investigative journalism that exposed a rogue police narcotics squad. The "Tainted Justice" series resulted in an FBI probe, led to the suspension of four officers and forced the review of hundreds of criminal cases that were compromised by the scandal. Ruderman earned master's degree from the Columbia University School of Journalism and now works for the New York Times.
Q: What do you call a world-renowned wildlife conservationist & advocate?
A: Alan Rabinowitz '74, aka the "Indiana Jones" of zoologists, earned his reputation as the world’s foremost authority on jaguars and other big cats during nearly three decades spent mostly in the field, studying jaguars, clouded leopards, Asiatic leopards, tigers, Sumatran rhinos, bears, leopard cats, raccoons, and civets. He has persuaded governments – some of them dictatorships – around the globe to set aside vast areas of land to help save these endangered species. Rabinowitz also holds a master’s degree in zoology and a Ph.D. in wildlife ecology from the University of Tennessee.