08 October 2017
Choosing the Right Path
Carl Luciano is currently a professor at IUP. He grew up all over the place, mostly in West Chester County, New York, and also West Virginia. In school, he wasn’t a very serious student, but managed and was determined to pass. His favorite subjects throughout school were mainly Reading, English, and Biology because he liked learning new material. In high school, his main goal was to get into college. Growing up, Carl didn’t have many skills besides the basics, such as riding a bike, watching television, and reading. He was involved in many clubs during high school like service, academic, and social clubs. He won a history award and English essay award. From being involved in school, academically he learned how to be organized.
He graduated in 1970 and attended college at West Virginia University in his hometown , and majored in chemistry. He did okay, just enough to keep his family happy. There were lots of teachers in his family; he knew it was a family occupation. That’s when he decided it’s only right if he teaches too. Luciano’s most memorable moment he had in college was when he was struggling in a class and had a professor who did everything he could to help him through the school year even when he didn’t need to. In college, his biology and chemistry professor weren’t as good as his biology and genetics professor; he liked how they presented material and interacted with students. That’s what inspired him to go to grad school and major in chemistry. He thought since his professors were good in college, he could be exactly like them or even better. His goal in college was to get into a good graduate school. He chose the path that he did, as far as school, because it gave him the most freedom to take different courses that interested him, which is something he wouldn’t change.
To Carl, being a professor is the right job for him; he made the right decision and feels as though it suits him pretty well. He felt as though the professors in college were all different people; some were good but some weren’t as good as he thought they would be. Some requirements Carl feel as though are needed to become a professor of biology would be having a biology, chemistry, physics, and math background. At the moment, Carl Luciano is most passionate about an interesting project in the Biology Department that he’s currently working on called virus discovery. The students are finding new virus species in the soil, which is a lot of fun for him. He enjoys interacting with students and learning more, but wishes he didn’t have big classes so he could get to know the students better. In addition to being paid money, his career has created value in his life by giving him an identity. The biggest influence in his career would be a retired professor at IUP by the name of Frank Baker because he walked him through what to do as far as school and taught him how to get his act together when he was stressing in college. Another big accomplishment he’s proud of is being able to interact with students, and teach.
When Carl was in graduate school, there were alumni from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He thought they were well trained in biology, so when a job opportunity opened up here at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, he applied for it. He has been teaching at IUP for 32 years and seems to love his job. He faced many challenges to get to where he is now, such as making money, applying, preparing, and actually getting a job, spending time at work which sacrifices personal time for yourself, working in the lab, and raising a family. Finding a job and making money wasn’t an easy process for Carl; it took days after applying until someone got back to him about a position. Spending time at work and in the lab took more of his time, but he found a way to balance work and his personal life. Lastly, being a father is challenging to Carl, but he always wanted the best for his children and wanted to see them succeed, so he was tough on them.
Since Carl has a BA in Chemistry and Ph.D. in Agricultural Biochemistry, he’s been able to travel all over to places outside of the United States, such as Europe and Africa – South Africa, Swaziland, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. Carl’s most memorable travel experience is the yearly South Africa trip with Biology students. He enjoys being around others who are from different cultures, the new experiences in different countries, and the wild animals. This is something he loves and will continue to do all over again. Being able to do the things that he enjoys motivates him. For example, reading about infectious diseases led to what he teaches at Indiana University of Pennsylvania now. Carl Luciano’s definition of happiness is not really that you have what you want, but you have what you need. If you have that, you don’t have to worry too much. Success means happiness to Carl Luciano too! Doing a good job and being at work is important to Carl right now.
He feels as though IUP is a “red-brick” institution because the University was built in the 50-60’s, so there’s a lot of brickwork. For incoming college students deciding to come to Indiana University of Pennsylvania, they should find a university and program that suits them, and IUP could possibly be a college they could take a look at, but ultimately the decision is what’s best for the individual. Sometimes you may not be able to find that out until you feel out different places. Carl Luciano feels as though IUP could be a place for you to go because there are a lot of opportunities. If you were to go anywhere else, it may not be like IUP, so you might not want to miss it once it’s given.