PharmFest Alumni Panelists Give Their Time and Talents

MaryLinda Schumann '78 '83 MA; Denise Lusnia '95; Heidi Weiss Pfefferkorn '88; Cheryl Vangeli Maiello '97

There are many ways for alumni to give back to Montclair State – from attending events and recruiting new students to offering scholarships and volunteering their time and talents to serve as mentors, speak in a class, provide internships, and hire fellow Red Hawks. Through all these ways of giving back, alumni stay connected to their alma mater and continue to build the tradition of success for the next generation of Montclair State University graduates.

One way in particular that alumni give their time and talents is to speak on a panel. On April 3, alumnae panelists participated in PharmFest, a multi-purpose day-long event designed to explore the pharmaceutical, health and medical technology industry and to broaden awareness of the current and future state of the industry.  The program was open to anyone interested in the diverse disciplines that encompass the pharmaceutical, health and medical technology industry.

The panel focused on “Pharma Careers in the Coming Decade” and was moderated by Dr. Avinandan Mukherjee, Chair, Department of Marketing, School of Business. The panelists included Cheryl Maiello ’97, Associate Director/U.S. Team Lead Staffing, Global Development, Novartis; Heidi Pfefferkorn ’88, Director, U.S. Process Excellence, Novartis; MaryLinda Schumann ’78 ’83 MA, Internship Program Recruiter, Chemetall; and Denise Lusnia '95, Associate Director, Market Access Training, Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Robert Prezant, Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, was excited to have alumni back on campus at the event. “PharmFest 2014 was an outstanding success and our alumni panel, in particular, offered the many student attendees a powerful view of opportunities in ‘pharma’ and the inroads and impacts our CSAM graduates are making in this health focused industry.”

A networking opportunity followed for PharmFest panelists, business, academic, and alumni attendees. Guests shared their backgrounds and career experiences with Montclair State students. For many students, this was their first opportunity to learn the value of building a network of professional connections in their chosen field; gain insight on the various career opportunities available for college graduates; and discover the skills and credentials necessary for a successful job search after graduation.

For more information on how you can get involved and give back to Montclair State, visit or contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 973-655-4141 or