hen I started at Bucknell, I
was a physics and computer
engineering major, but I
ended up majoring in art.
After some reflection, I realized that it
is not one person but a whole institution
that is responsible for my transformation. It was the Bucknell University
administrative staff, academic staff and
my classmates who are to “blame” for my
First, I took mind-blowing classes
about the philosophy of the mind and
philosophy of art with Professors Jason
Leddington and Sheila Lintott. I also
feel grateful to Professors David Schoepf
(physics), Ludmila Lavine and the late
Slava Yastremski (Russian) and Lisa Per-rone (Italian) for their patience with me.
Two professors from the Art Department, Anna Kell and Rosalyn Richards,
were pivotal mentors.
I also credit the University for allowing me to work in European and Latin
Jose Saavedra ’ 13
American countries during my summer
internships and appreciate that Bucknell
brought to campus the likes of choreographer Twyla Tharp, psychologist
Howard Gardner and Ke$ha (my second
celebrity crush after Lady Gaga).
This exposure to the natural sciences,
mathematics, philosophy, classical lan-
guages and Ke$ha fueled my passion to
explore creativity at the interdisciplinary
intersection of art, science and culture.
During my senior year, Bucknell
provided me a private studio and enough
funding to complete a substantial body
of work for my senior exhibition at the
Samek Art Gallery. I also received the
Bison Award in 2013 for Excellence in
Co-Curricular Activities. By graduation
day, my artistic identity and sense of
purpose had gelled.
I returned to Chile to reconnect with
my culture, but I gave up art because I
could not find opportunities as an emerg-
ing artist. I worked in unrelated fields
By Jose Saavedra ’ 13
“WE DO” — WORDS FROM OUR ALUMNI
If not for his opportunities in Lewisburg,
artist’s work may have languished
ALUMNI ENTREPRENEUR: JEN MELLON ’04
(from prepping chickens for frying to
teaching physics) to make a living, but I
was not living; I just was surviving.
But the Bucknell community did not
let me remain in my metaphorical cave.
Professor Kell emailed about residencies
and MFA programs, and Barbara Martin,
in development & alumni relations,
personally helped pay for my return to
the art scene. Thanks to my connections
with Bucknellians in the states, I am realizing my dream — traveling around the
world painting and selling my works and
meeting amazing people.
Jose Saavedra ’ 13 grew up in Santiago,
Chile. View his art at kdashstore.com.
Since the heyday of Pinkerton detectives,
the private investigation industry has
primarily served Caucasian males and the
1 percent. Trustify, the company founded
by Jen Mellon ’04 and her husband,
Danny Boice, is out to change that image.
“We’ve democratized the space so it’s
something everyone can use,” Mellon
says. “Eighty percent of our consumers
have never used a PI before. About 50
percent are women.”
Trustify is an online marketplace that
connects clients with private investigators
based on the information they’re seeking
and location. Billing is based on actual
services performed, not retainers, with
payments held in escrow until the job is
done. While still serving traditional clients,
such as law firms and HR departments,
Mellon says the company is expanding
into new markets — such as online-
daters looking to vet matches before
meeting in person. “We do a lot of that,
because it’s so affordable,” she says.
Since launching in March 2015,
the company has built a network of
approximately 7,000 affiliated private
investigators and a team of 40 full-time employees at its Arlington, Va.,
Mellon, a serial entrepreneur who
also was an executive for legislative
nonprofits related to child welfare and
adoption, says her company’s democratic mission extends to its work-force: 70 percent of her employees
are women, and 40 percent identify
as a protected-class minority. — Matt