Alumni News

Kevin Aniskovich ND ’90 From Politics to Health Care

Kevin Aniskovich ’90 matriculated at the Catholic University of America as a Political Science major and began his career in survey research and public opinion polling. By 1998, his focus shifted to health care where he identified a need for health information that was accessible and actionable.  Since that time, he has founded three companies, and today, he is the President and CEO of Jumo Health, supporting the top pharmaceutical companies across the globe in their clinical trials.
 
Aniskovich’s initial interest in Political Science grew out of an experience in his American Government class at ND involving volunteering for a political campaign. “I clearly remember Mr. Marcucci’s class and the perspective I gained from learning beyond the book. I then had the opportunity to support my brother Bill’s (’81) run for state office, which piqued my interest in going to college in our nation’s capital to study Political Science.” 
 
Two formative experiences later prompted Aniskovich’s change of direction. In 1991, he secured an internship with Congresswoman Nancy Johnson (R-CT-6th District) where he was assigned to her health care team.  There, he was exposed to disparities in health equity and ways in which policy can affect people’s lives. Several years later, his mother was diagnosed with a rare disease for which there was no cure, and experienced firsthand how difficult it can be to obtain health information that can be easily understood.  He decided then to dedicate his professional career to medical communications and adherence. 
 
Before joining Jumo Health, Aniskovich founded two other health companies which used innovative techniques to bridge the gap between complex medical terminology and an informed patient. In 1998, Aniskovich co-founded HealthInfo Corporation to produce condition-specific videos to educate patients and caregivers upon diagnosis. In 2005, he formed Intelecare Compliance Solutions where he developed a medical management platform to increase adherence through personal notifications and the home delivery of medications.
 
Jumo Health is his most ambitious undertaking thus far as it tackles health literacy. Jumo Health develops multicultural resources that support clinical trials in more than 75 countries with disease education solutions covering more than 125 health topics. Headquartered in the United States, Jumo Health has offices in London and New Zealand. 
 
As with many health care services companies, the COVID-19 pandemic provided unprecedented opportunities and challenges for Jumo Health.  Most critically, it shined a spotlight on cultural disparities in care and the need for transparent and reliable information. “The collective response to develop vaccines and therapeutics required us to coordinate our resources among disparate trials across the globe. Our resources were used in more than 35 clinical trials to eliminate educational and historical bias as a means to accelerate enrollment.” 
 
Aniskovich’s reflection on his time at Notre Dame is a testament to what we mean when we say we educate minds and hearts.  “Looking back, I recognize the impact Notre Dame had on my personal journey and how the words of the Notre Dame Code ultimately found meaning. Notre Dame provided a place to learn, grow and build lifelong friendships which all contributed to becoming our best selves.”
 

Dylan Penna ‘15 Fulfills Career Goals and His Concern for Planet Earth

 

In January 2022, Dylan Penna ‘15 was hired by the Amsterdam-based Louis Dreyfus Company as a Carbon Originator.  Dreyfus’s trading of carbon credits is a new initiative for the company, and he is the first United States-based employee of its Carbon Solutions Platform for Decarbonization Efforts. 

Penna has benefitted from 16 years of Catholic Education going from St. Rita School, Hamden, to ND, to Villanova where he majored in Economics.  “I was well prepared for each stage of my education.  From St. Rita School, I was placed in Notre Dame’s Moreau Honors Program, and I took AP classes in my junior and senior years.  In my junior year, coach Jason Shea’s Economics course got me thinking about majoring in Economics.  While I found my classes at Villanova challenging, the study skills, habits, and techniques that I learned at ND proved most useful and gave me an edge over many of my classmates. Another take-away from my ND experience was Mr. Izzo’s strong recommendation to be more than an 8:10 to 2:30 student. My high school community engagement experiences carried over to college.  I realized the value of community engagement when I discussed my resume with potential employers.”

A summer internship helped solidify his career track.  At BNP Paribas, an international banking group, his experience in sales and trading helped him decide where he wanted to focus his attention and find a job.  He had this advice for any college student who lands an internship, “It’s all about what you can learn; not about what you know.  In hindsight, my internship was an ego trip because I thought I already knew it all. When I got my first job as a junior trader, I realized I did know a lot, but I had much more to learn.” 

Structuring, signing, and executing deals for Dreyfus is now Penna’s full-time job.  A September 2021 press release from Dreyfus headquarters in Amsterdam announced the carbon solutions initiative:

Louis Dreyfus Company B.V. (LDC) announced today the creation of a dedicated Carbon Solutions team and platform (business line) to lead its decarbonization efforts. This new development accelerates the Group’s trajectory toward its global goals and targets, in line with its commitment to sustainable business.

This new addition to LDC’s portfolio of activities is the next step in our efforts to drive emissions reductions and carbon removal enhancements in food and agricultural supply chains, helping to meet the ambitious climate targets set by the international community,” said the Group’s Chairperson, Margarita Louis-Dreyfus. “I am confident that this step will facilitate and accelerate our transition to a low-carbon future while generating sustainable business opportunities.”

Dreyfus’ concentration in the agriculture/food industry puts it in the category of companies that are challenged to set and meet ambitious emissions reduction goals.  Farming activities and the production and transportation of food products result in the emission of carbon and methane. This is where Penna’s concern for planet earth interfaces with his job as a carbon originator. 

Carbon is treated as a commodity like any other product such as soybeans, corn, or oil.  As a carbon originator, Penna goes into the supply side of the carbon market to build relationships with companies whose projects will take carbon out of the atmosphere, resulting in carbon credits.  When a project meets LDC’s high-quality carbon reduction standards, he negotiates financing from Dreyfus in exchange for the project’s carbon credits. Reaching agreement, he structures the purchase, closes the deal, and puts LDC further along in its commitment to a low-carbon future.  A recent example is the purchase of credits from a U.S.-based non-profit organization that manages carbon offset acquisition programs and projects.  The organization’s carbon credits resulted from the purchase of an endangered forest on which it placed an easement and worked to ensure sustainable growth. 

Penna concluded: “I am grateful for my value-centered Catholic education.  It’s satisfying to find a job where my skills are valued, and my values are respected.”

Catholic Schools Week and Our Holy Cross Heritage

In addition to celebrating our Catholic Character and our Holy Cross Heritage, the activities of this annual celebration focus our attention on our citizenship in the Kingdom of God that Jesus preached throughout his ministry.  This year, students had the opportunity to participate in a 5K run to support IRIS, a New Haven-based organization assisting refugees, or to collect non-perishable food for WHEAT, West Haven’s city-wide food pantry.  

On Monday, January 24, we welcomed Father Brogan Ryan, CSC, Director of Campus Ministry at King’s College, a Holy Cross College in Wilkes-Barre, Penn., as our celebrant of the Eucharistic Liturgy.  Fr. Ryan graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2010.  He entered the Congregation of Holy Cross in 2012 and was ordained to the priesthood in 2019.

For many years, Notre Dame students have raised funds for the benefit of Saint Joseph’s Hill Senior Secondary School, Kyembogo, Fort Portal, Uganda, a school sponsored by the Congregation of Holy Cross, District of East Africa.  Students returned to Saint Joseph’s Hill on January 10 after a two-year lockdown, the longest in the world. Brother Joseph Kaganda, CSC, Headmaster, and some students greeted the ND student body via a video posted on the school’s Facebook page.  A dress down was the incentive to contribute to our support of Saint Joseph’s Hill.

The Junior Ring Ceremony is incorporated into Holy Cross Heritage Week as another reminder to the members of the Class of 2023 that they will soon be stepping up to more responsibilities as school leaders.  The rings were blessed at the end of Monday’s liturgy and distributed at a prayer service on Thursday. The ring service complements the Junior Commissioning Ceremony that was inaugurated in October. 

In keeping with another long-standing ND tradition, the last event of the week was the much anticipated faculty-student basketball game. This article was prepared before the game was played. Any bets on who won this year’s contest?

Notre Dame’s Holy Cross Heritage Week events remind us of Blessed Basile Moreau’s counsel: We place education side by side with instruction; the mind will not be cultivated at the expense of the heart. 

Engineering Speaker Series Brings Alumni Experience To Current Students

As the second marking period of the fall semester reached the midpoint, Dr. Yolanda Valencia, Ed.D, decided her students were well enough immersed in the basics to appreciate voices of experience.  Valencia joined the ND faculty in August as an instructor in the Engineering, Technology, and Design Signature Program.  She received her doctoral degree from Johns Hopkins last spring. Her specialization is Technology Integration K – 16. The November series featured Tom Komar ’17, Dave DeCaprio ’90, and Michael Quiello ’70.
 
Tom Komar ’17, graduated from Bentley University in 2020 with a degree in Marketing.  He is currently employed as a Marketing Operations Specialist at Veracode, a Massachusetts company founded in 2006 and specializing in cybersecurity.  His sideline is 3-D printing, and he promotes himself via Tic Tok as The 3-D Printing Guru.  His instructional Tic Tok videos have over 108,000 followers.  Komar presented a workshop on the use of 3-D printing technology for rapid prototyping in industries such as medical, automotive, and aerospace. 
 
Dave DeCaprio ’90, MIT ’93, is the Founder and Chief Technology Officer of ClosedLoop.ai based in Austin, Texas.  With degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, DeCaprio has over 20 years of experience transitioning advanced technology from academic research labs into successful businesses. His experience includes genome research, pharmaceutical development, health insurance, computer vision, sports analytics, speech recognition, transportation logistics, operations research, real-time collaboration, robotics, and financial markets.  DeCaprio presented a workshop on machine learning (AI) in the health field and the importance of grit and persistence to succeed.
 
With the arrival of Houston-based Avelo Airlines in New Haven, Michael Quiello, Vice President for Safety, Security, and Operational Excellence, took advantage of a recent trip to Tweed-New Haven Airport to visit ND. Quiello attended the University of New Haven (Civil Engineering – 1974) and followed that with a year at the United States Navy Flight School.  In 2007, he completed the two-year Aviation Safety and Security Certificate Program at George Washington University. Quiello captivated our young engineering students by sharing his personal story as a pilot, highlighting the qualities they should develop to be successful in any profession.
 
Dr. Valencia commented: “I am grateful to have our ND alumni connect with our students. Our students are truly encouraged and motivated when they meet professionals in the fields they are interested in pursuing.  I am excited to continue the engineering speaker series for years to come.”  Valencia is preparing to replicate the guest lecture series in the current semester with different speakers. 
 
The seniors in ND’s T/E/D program are the first cohort to complete the entire three-year curriculum.  Here is a list of their capstone projects:
 
 
Project Name: Prodigy Nautical
Project Description: Submersible vehicle kit made of PVC that students can assemble to learn about underwater robotics.
Jacob Bauer ‘22, Kenneth McGovern ‘22, and Justin Simoncek ‘22
 
Project Name: TraccFlite
Project Description: Hand-held GPS/ADS-B back-up device for pilots in case of equipment failure.
CJ Cicarella ‘22 and Cameron Urice ‘22 
 
Project Name: Automatic Chicken Feeder
Project Description: Chicken feeder (3D-printed prototype) automated by a programmed timer.
David Riccio ‘22 
 
Project Name: The Green Machine
Project Description: Indoor greenhouse for home use, automated by Alexa. 
Anthony Abbott ‘22 and Malachi Blatchley ‘22
 

Major David Houde '05, US Army

Major David Houde ’05 is a Civil Affairs Officer in the United States Army and is currently serving as the Commander of Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He has served as the Commander of this unit since May 26, 2021.  He began his military career upon graduation from Norwich University in 2009.


The Army was something of a natural choice for Major Houde. His father, William Houde Sr., served as an Infantry Officer in the Army National Guard. Upon graduation from Notre Dame, he chose to attend Norwich University because of its outstanding ROTC programs. “Looking for an opportunity to pursue an undergraduate degree, as well as volunteer for service in the Armed Forces, the U.S. Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps at Norwich University provided me with both. The Military College of Vermont is one the nation’s senior military colleges and produces an impressive number of Commissioned Officers.”  At Norwich, Major Houde studied Criminal Justice. If a military career did not continue to appeal to him as he progressed through college, his back-up plan was to return to Connecticut and join a local police force.


The Army won out over a career in law enforcement, and although Major Houde considered assignment within the Military Police Corps, he entered into Active Duty as a Chemical Corps Officer.


Upon completing Basic Officer Leader Course at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and Chemical Basic Officer Leader Course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri in 2010, he was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) at Fort Drum, New York. There, he served as the CBRN Recon Platoon Leader. The mission of the Army Chemical Corps is to protect the force and the nation from Weapons of Mass Destruction and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear threats. During his time at Fort Drum, from 2011 to 2012 he deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as a Security Platoon Leader.


From 2014 to 2019, Major Houde was assigned to the 97th Civil Affairs Battalion (Special Operations) (Airborne) and was deployed on multiple Civil Military Engagement rotations: 2015 Theater Civil Military Support Element for Special Operations Command - Pacific; 2016 team leader for Civil Military Support Element - Cambodia; 2017 at the U.S. Embassy - Phnom Penh as the team leader for PACOM Augmentation team.  


As elite members of Army Special Operations Forces, Civil Affairs Soldiers complete a minimum of 44-74 weeks of training to ensure their small team is equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to support the Joint Force across the spectrum of armed conflict. Over the course of this training, soldiers gain expertise in reconnaissance, combat, intelligence, negotiation, and more. While rigorous, it ensures soldiers can survive in unforgiving landscapes, quickly analyze threats under pressure, and develop solutions to complex problems. Those soldiers who are selected to join Civil Affairs join one of the Army’s most elite teams. 


In 2019, Major Houde attended the Command and General Staff Officer Course at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, followed by National Defense University’s Joint Special Operations Master of Arts program at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.  From the latter institution, he earned a Master’s Degree in Strategic Security Studies.  Major Houde's military education also includes Airborne School, Air Assault School, and SERE-C, a training program in survival skills.
His 2021 appointment as a Company Commander at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School makes Major Houde responsible for training and qualifying Civil Affairs Officers, Noncommissioned Officers, and Sister Service and Allied Nation Officers. He exercises mission command of an 11-week course conducted three times a year, which is part of the overall Civil Affairs Qualification Course. He is also responsible for onboarding and certifying 14 instructors who train, coach, and mentor 300 students every year. 


 “My 13 years of service in the U.S. Army have truly been a personally and professionally rewarding experience. The valor and patriotism of those whom I have had the distinct honor and privilege of serving with is unmatched. I have been entrusted with the autonomy and authority to operate with my small team and on my own in foreign countries, where my nearest supervisor is over 3,000 miles and multiple time zones away. I am grateful for the unique opportunities I have had to serve God and country.”


Just last week Major Houde and his wife welcomed their first child. Notre Dame High School is grateful to Major Houde and the many Notre Dame Alumni who have served our country in the United States Armed Forces. Thank you for your service.