Ken Pisani’s career has bounced from graphic design to stand-up comedy to television writing, producing, and directing, all before returning to his passion: comic books. 

After more than two decades in the entertainment industry, Pisani turned his efforts to making a comic book and started writing Colonus, a futuristic tale of a dead Earth and colonies on Mars and Venus. The dark sci-fi comic became a hit, winning the 2013 Geekie award for Best Comic Book/Graphic Novel, and will be published by Dark Horse Comics. 

Pamela Ross loves medicine and can’t imagine being anything other than a doctor and a healer. As a board-certified doctor of adult and pediatric emergency medicine, she spent 17 years in the University of Virginia Health System in various roles, from treating patients in the ER to serving as a hospital administrator. 

After serving many years on the front lines of healthcare, Ross realized there was more to be done and not all questions were being answered by Western medical systems. “I wanted to address gaps in the way that current-day medicine treats patients,” she says. 

Jon Gandomi, a 2004 graduate with a degree in international affairs with honors, works at the intersection of war and peace. As a field representative in the U.S. Embassy in Kampala, Uganda, he coordinates with U.S. Special Forces in the region in their efforts to find and arrest warlord Joseph Kony, the head of the Lord’s Resistance Army or LRA. This requires both fortitude and diplomacy, especially considering the gravity of the concern.

Turki Faisal Al Rasheed received his bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering from the University of Arizona in 1981, followed by master’s and doctoral degrees from universities in Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. Today, he is a prominent agribusiness leader, a champion of democratic processes and voting rights in the Middle East, and a proud alumnus of the UA who actively represents the University in the Gulf region. 

Finding yourself portrayed in a major motion picture may seem like a life-changing event, but for Joshua Appel ’05, medical director of adult and trauma services at the University of Arizona Medical Center — University Campus, it pales in comparison to the actual events that launched him as a character in the movie Lone Survivor.

Growing up in Tucson, identical twins Richard  and Reuben Carranza never thought twice about going to college.

The message from their mother, a hairdresser, and father, a sheet metal worker, was clear: work hard in school and go to college.

Their work ethic, combined with outstanding academic and extracurricular experiences at the University of Arizona, has led the brothers to excel in life.


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