Everyone likes getting greeting cards, says Adam Donato ’07,
but almost no one likes buying them — it’s tough to pick out
the right sentiment in an aisle of mass-produced messages.
Donato’s solution to this common frustration is Card Isle,
a print-on-demand greeting-card kiosk that compresses a
traditional card shop into the space of an ATM.
Users search for tags (mom, birthday, dogs) to sort
through thousands of card designs created by independent
artists. They can choose one of three inside messages or
enter their own, then pay with a credit card ($4 or less per
card) and print their card on the spot. Soon users will be able
to take photos from the kiosk and design cards on their
smartphones, Donato says.
Donato founded the company in 2013 with two graduate-
school classmates from
Virginia Tech. The company
has already sold more
than 10,000 cards through
12 kiosks and has seven
Donato says it’s a testament that, in this form at
least, print is far from dead.
“Even Millennials still value
greeting cards,” he says. “If
it’s someone’s birthday or
you just want to say hi, a greeting card captures so much
more than a text or Facebook message.” — Matt Hughes
Pursuing an education as a woman in Afghanistan is a constant, uphill and dangerous battle. It’s
a right we have to fight for — risking our
safety and combating cultural norms that
are extremely hostile toward women.
After pursuing my education in my
home country, I arrived at Bucknell in
summer 2006 to acclimate before the
academic year began. I could barely
speak English, so I signed up for a class
to build on the English courses I had
taken in 2003. I was overwhelmed by
this unfamiliar new world, culture and
education system, and I worried nonstop
about the family I’d left in a war zone.
Without the community and support
system Bucknell provided I would have
remained lost. Through the host-family
program for international students,
Bucknell gave me what I needed the
most — an American mom. With my
own mother thousands of miles away, my
Lewisburg mom offered the comforts
of home and cheered me up with
homemade meals and cookies when I
was overwhelmed by my new life. My
professors went above and beyond —
from using simpler words during lectures
to spending many extra hours outside
the classroom helping me understand
course content until my language skills
improved. To help with my adjustment,
the admissions office offered me a job.
My journey was not easy at first,
but within a year I felt at home and
was doing fundraisers for nonprofit
organizations and raising awareness
about Afghanistan’s history through
events and interviews with local news-
papers and radio stations. Today I hold
an MBA from Fordham University and
am a product and marketing manager
in the London office of American
Express. Bucknell believed in me when
I was at the brink of giving up and
empowered me in ways I couldn’t even
dream. I cannot imagine a more ideal
community to call my own.
Palwasha Siddiqi ’ 10 majored in management and was active in the South Asian
Student Association, the Muslim Student
Association and as an Annual Fund volunteer.
She received the H. Boardman Hopper Prize,
awarded to the graduating senior whose
degree is achieved by unusual perseverance.
If you have a WE DO story to share, please
submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winning the Battle
By Palwasha Siddiqi ’ 10
ALUMNI ENTREPRENEUR: ADAM DONATO ’07
“WE DO” — WORDS FROM OUR ALUMNI
Palwasha Siddiqi ’ 10
Adam Donato ’07 (top)
with his partners.
The journey from Afghanistan to Bucknell to a
Fortune 500 company was a lesson in endurance.