UNH Alumni Around the World
Focus on international alumni
Ellen Pass '07, from Germany, was enrolled from 2005-2007 in the Masters Clinical Nurse leadership program at UNH Durham. She writes that her “experiences at UNH were both socially and professionally fulfilling, and provided experiences that I am able to apply to my work in Berlin, Germany.” Below is her update:
How did it start?
I completed my BA in nursing in Frankfurt, Germany before I continued in the Master’s program at UNH. As a German nursing BA student I had to write a thesis focusing on the differences and commonalities between American and German nurses. I decided to do a master’s degree in nursing to further my professional development and to learn more about this topic. I applied for financial support and was honored to receive a Fulbright scholarship.
I chose UNH because I had lived in NH previously as an intern. My experience was positive, and I really enjoyed New Hampshire and its nature and people. I chose the nursing program to become a leader in the German nursing field. The master’s program in nursing has a broad-based approach which allowed me afterwards to choose a career path that was perfect and catered to my professional needs.
What were my experiences being abroad?
The time I spent on campus was so different in many ways from studying in Germany. UNH provided many resources that my previous university did not have. The support from teachers and professors, other classmates, and the international office was a huge help and a great resource.
Two experiences that were totally different from my German education have stayed in my mind. One experience is when I had to order an article from an African Journal for one of my thesis papers. I was very nervous when I asked the librarian if it would be possible to order it as it was very costly…all she said was: “Don’t worry, you will get what you need.” “That’s our service to you!’ I was amazed because the resources are so readily available to every student.
The other experience was completing open book exams. I had never heard of open book exams before I came to the U.S. to study. Open book exams are a great idea because one can look up the small details found in graphs and you do not have to worry about forgetting the little things that are easily lost in nervousness and worry. German universities and students could definitely profit from open book exams.
What happened when I returned to Germany?
After graduating from UNH, I started a career in clinical research for a global American company that has a German base in Berlin. I am a clinical data manager and my main work is to build up databases being used for clinical studies. I communicate and train doctors and nurses from all over the world that are participating in the studies and are responsible to deliver patient data. The main language that is used is English. My education at UNH gave me a great foundation for developing my English communication skills.
At the moment I am on maternity leave as Germany allows the mother to stay home for the first year after a child’s birth. I have two wonderful children; our daughter Mia is 4 and our son Ben is 7 months. My wife Janine, from New Hampshire, works as a nurse here in Berlin. I enjoy the time with my children; however I am also looking forward to returning to my work as a clinical researcher.
I wish all of you good luck in your future. Use the international office as much as you can. They do great work and are there for you.
Dinesh Thakur ’92 (M.S. Chemical Engineering) founded his second start-up, Medassure Global Compliance in January 2014. He co-founded Sciformix, another startup based in Westborough, MA in 2007, and served as its President & CEO until 2012. In May 2013, his involvement in the prosecution of Ranbaxy Laboratories for selling adulterated medicines in the US became public, when the generic drug manufacturer pleaded guilty to seven felonies and paid $500 million to the US Government in fines and penalties. Dinesh had worked with the US Department of Justice and the Food and Drug Administration for eight years to help prosecute this fraud.
After graduating from UNH, he worked at Genetics Institute (now Pfizer) in Boston, and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, both in Syracuse, NY and Princeton, NJ. He was recognized as a pioneer in Laboratory Robotics in 1997 at the International Symposium of Laboratory Automation and Robotics. He is a thought leader in the area of global public health and works closely with the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry.
Dinesh continues to be active as a UNH alum. He serves as a mentor in the UNH Pathways program. He established two scholarships, one each in Bioengineering at CEPS and in Healthcare Analytics at CHHS, to help deserving students develop specialized skills in the STEM study areas. He has been nominated to serve on the CEPS Advisory Board in 2014.