Home To The Heights

Alumni Speaker Series

The Le Moyne College Home to the Heights program is a series of presentations by prominent Arts and Sciences alumni designed to educate, enlighten and inspire.  An outstanding liberal arts education teaches students how to think, not what to think. We want our students to look at current ideas critically in light of history and creatively with an eye to the future. Bringing excellent speakers on a wide variety of topics to campus is one very valuable factor of education at Le Moyne.

Spring 2016


Wednesday, March 30th & Thursday, March 31st

Janet is a Biotechnology & Organic Chemistry Primary Examiner at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office in Alexandria, VA. The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office is an agency in the U.S. Department of Commerce that issues patents to inventors and businesses for their inventions, and trademark registration for product and intellectual property identification.

She graduated from Le Moyne in 1992 with a Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry and a minor in Biology. She received a Master's Degree in Biochemistry from the University of Maryland in 1994 and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Maryland in 1998.


Tuesday, April 19th & Wednesday, April 20th

30 Trillion Cells Inspire Countless Questions

If there is one thing that Russell Tracy '71 has learned throughout his career as a scientist, researcher and teacher, it is this: When one question is answered (particularly in his field - medicine) it often raises multiple new ones. There is always something to be explored, understood and explained. For Tracy, though, that uncertainty is not frustrating. It's inspiring. After all, he says, "We have made immense progress in human health. That is a fact. However, it is also true that there is much more that we can do."

Tracy is the director of the Laboratory for Clinical Biochemistry Research (LCBR) at the University of Vermont, where he leads a team of biochemists, pathologists, medical doctors and graduate students in unraveling the mysteries of the human body and its more than 30 trillion cells. These individuals are currently investigating whether the immune system weakens as people age, making them more susceptible to chronic illnesses such as heart disease, dementia, and arthritis and, if so, what can be done to intervene. This work is critical in an era in which human beings who "are genetically designed to live short lives and die fast" are, in actuality, "living longer and dying slower," Tracy said.

A Bronx, N.Y., native, Tracy majored in biology at Le Moyne. He arrived on the Heights with the intention of going to medical school. However, the numerous philosophy and theology classes he took ignited in him a love of learning for its own sake and offered him outstanding training in critical thinking. In an interview with Vermont Medicine Magazine, Tracy recalled dropping a genetics course during his senior year at the College in order to focus on the French philosopher Teilhard de Chardin. "I remember taking a week off from classes to work on decision making," he told the publication. "Who does that?"

Following his graduation from Le Moyne, Tracy earned a doctorate in biochemistry from Syracuse University and completed postdoctoral fellowship in clinical chemistry from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. His passion for discovery and analysis remains central to his work today. Tracy is involved in a number of molecular and genetic epidemiological studies, including the Cardiovascular Health Study, the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's (NHLBI) Heart Failure Network. He and his team recently contributed to the NHLBI's Exome Sequencing Project, which sought to uncover novel genes and mechanisms contributing to heart, lung and blood disorders and to share those findings with the scientific community to aid in diagnosing, managing and treating those illnesses. In addition, Tracy has written or edited more than 600 scientific publications.

"I think people who aren't in science think of it as more exact and complete in its understanding than it is," he said. "For instance, with respect to dietary advice, one week we may hear that fiber is good for us, and the next week we may hear that is not. What scientists say usually reflects their findings accurately, but it also reflects the complexity and uncertainty of our world."


Tuesday, May 3rd & Wednesday, May 4th

Dr. Michael Magee was last reported as President and Chief Executive Officer for Positive Medicine, Inc. located in Woodbury, CT. Positive Medicine is a strategic health communications firm that is focused on assisting clients in managing and leveraging change to assure short and long-term success. Dr. Magee also currently serves as Executive Director the Rocking Chair Project, which he founded with his wife, Trish, an Early Childhood Development educator and advocate. The Rocking Chair Project is a national non-profit home health visitation program for economically disadvantaged mothers of newborns, in partnership with the Early Childhood Development Center at Yale University, Zero to Three, and the American Academy of Family Physicians. The Rocking Chair Project now has 36 sites in 30 states.

Dr. Magee also currently serves as Editor of HealthCommentary.org, a health blog featuring medical commentary, as well as a variety of guest bloggers and forums for various contributors. Dr. Magee launched "Health Commentary" in 2007 after several years as host of the popular multimedia program "Health Politics with Dr. Mike Magee," which included a weekly video examining megatrends and "hidden stories" in health care. The award-winning program produced more than 180 videos on topics ranging from obesity to global warming for an audience of more than 200,000 subscribers. Dr. Magee is currently a member of the National Commission for Quality Long Term Care, chaired by former U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Dr. Magee has also served since 2007 as a Senior Fellow in Health Policy at the Center for Aging Services Technologies in Washington, DC. Since 2009, he has been a member of the Coalition To Transform Advanced Care in Washington, DC.

Dr. Magee is a member of the American College of Surgeons, the American Medical Association, the American College of Health Care Executives, the American College of Physician Executives, the American Urologic Association, and the National Association of Physician Broadcasters. He has been a member of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the Massachusetts Medical Society, the Northeastern Urologic Association, the New England Urologic Association (Treasurer, 1988 to 1989), the New York Medical Society, the Ohio State University Graduate Alumni Association, the Pennsylvania Medical Society, the Philadelphia County Medical Society, and the Womack Surgical Society at the University of North Carolina.

Well known for his unique perspective on health care and for the championing of patient rights, principled leadership, access to scientific discoveries and a populist vision for health system reform in the United States, Dr. Magee is a highly recognized contributor on the national Health Policy scene. Areas of research concentration include Social Capital and the Patient-Physician Relationship, Empathy Levels in Health Professionals, Virtual Health Networking, Lifespan Health Planning, Home-Centered Health Care, and Aging Services Technologies.


Dr. George Hay was last reported as the Charles Frank Reavis Sr. Professor of Law and Professor of Economics at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. He holds a joint appointment in the Law School and the Department of Economics at Cornell. Dr. Hay is one of the foremost antitrust authorities in the United States. He became a Professor of Law and a Professor of Economics at Cornell University in 1979, and was named to the Edward Cornell Chair in the Law School in 1992. He was named Charles Frank Reavis Sr. Professor of Law and Professor of Economics in 2014.

Dr. Hay teaches a variety of law and law-related courses in both the Law School and the College of Arts and Sciences, and lectures on antitrust throughout the United States and the rest of the world. He has been a visiting professor at The University of Sydney Law School, The University of Melbourne Law School, The University of New South Wales Law School and The University of Virginia, and was a Fulbright Scholar at Oxford University. In addition to his work at Cornell, Dr. Hay is a Senior Consultant for Charles River Associates, a global consulting firm that offers economic, financial, and strategic expertise to major law firms, corporations, accounting firms, and governments around the world. Dr. Hay has also consulted to the Federal Trade Commission, the Antitrust Division, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission and the New Zealand Commerce Commission. He has appeared as an expert witness in many antitrust cases in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Prior to joining Cornell, Dr. Hay was employed with the United States Department of Justice, where he served as Director of the Economic Policy Office for the Antitrust Division from 1973 to 1979, receiving a Special Commendation in 1975 and an award for Dedication to the Enforcement of the Antitrust Laws in 1979. From 1967 to 1972, Dr. Hay taught Economics at Yale University. Dr. Hay is a member of the American Economic Association and the Antitrust Section of the American Bar Association. He has served as Vice Chair of the Economics Committee of the Antitrust Section and Chair of the Antitrust Section of the Association of American Law Schools. Additionally, he has served on the Advisory Boards of the American Antitrust Institute, The Sedona Conference and the Law and Economics Centre of Australia, and on the Editorial Board of the Competition & Consumer Law Journal.

Dr. Hay attended Regis High School in NYC before graduating from Le Moyne with a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics in 1963. He received a Master's Degree in Economics from Northwestern University in 1967 and his Ph.D. in Economics from Northwestern in 1969.


Maureen Byrnes serves as a Lead Research Scientist in the Department of Health Policy in the School of Public Health and Health Services at George Washington University. Her work at George Washington focuses on a range of public health and health care policy issues including implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Ms. Byrnes also currently serves as Senior Policy Advisor at PolicyLab in Philadelphia, PA. PolicyLab is a Center of Emphasis within The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Research Institute, one of the largest pediatric research institutes in the country. The mission of PolicyLab is to achieve optimal child health and well-being by informing program and policy changes through interdisciplinary research. In this role, Ms. Byrnes works with PolicyLab faculty and staff to design and implement strategies that ensure PolicyLab research is used to inform policies and programs that improve health outcomes for children and families.

Ms. Byrnes previously served as Executive Director of Human Rights First in New York, NY. Human Rights First, formerly known as the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, works on a host of domestic and international rights from a legal perspective, and focuses pointedly on issues related to detainees.

Ms. Byrnes is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Board of Directors of the Jeannette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund. She formerly served on the Board of Advocates for Youth. Ms. Byrnes is a recipient of the Eugene Fitzmartin Medal in English, the AIDS Action Foundation Appreciation Award and the Congressional Staff Recognition Award from the National Association of Community Health Centers.

Prior to her time on Capitol Hill, Ms. Byrnes served as Executive Director of Hassle House, a crisis intervention center in Durham, NC. Ms. Byrnes graduated magna cum laude from Le Moyne College in 1978. She holds a master's degree in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Ms. Byrnes served on the Board of Trustees at Le Moyne from 2002 to 2004. She was a recipient of the Ignatian Award in 2003 and received an Honorary Degree from Le Moyne in 2007. In 2007, Ms. Byrnes also served as the commencement speaker at Le Moyne.