Alumnus Keeps Aquinas Connections Strong at Amway

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By: Miranda Burel '17

A community constantly changes as people move and grow. A vital part of Aquinas’ values, community is about reaching out, working together, and creating something meaningful.

Science has always been a group effort for Adam Liberacki ‘12. As a child, he would turn up at science fairs toting wild experiments created with the help of his parents, both scientists themselves.

“Inevitably we would showcase some kind of gooey green goop, a functional diorama of the solar system, or in one case a very smelly botany experiment gone wrong,” he said.

It is no wonder that Liberacki found Aquinas. Drawn in by the abundant trees on campus, small class sizes and the Dominican pillars, Liberacki knew he would soon call AQ home.

As a freshman, he filled his schedule with as many science classes as possible. Within his biology major, he gravitated to ecology, zoology and botany, and spent two years as the botany lab’s teaching assistant. When he wasn’t doing schoolwork, his time was riddled with extracurriculars. Liberacki participated in classic science clubs like Tri-Beta (National Biology Honors Society) and the American Chemical Society. But he deems himself “a rogue biology major,” having held leadership positions in the AQ Programming Board (AQPB), serving as a barista in the Moose Cafe and welcoming new students as an orientation leader.

Often working with others on projects, Aquinas helped Liberacki cultivate his cooperative personality. “The small class sizes encourage students and professors to work closely together. Everyone gets to know each other on a personal level,” he said. “This collaborative spirit is what’s helped me to build connections in my career and helped me to succeed.”

Liberacki graduated in May 2012 and by July had joined the extensive community of AQ alumni at Amway. Working as a microbiology quality assurance lab technician, Liberacki spent his first year getting the lab and manufacturing facility up and running. Now he is an associate scientist, working to deliver safe, quality products free from any packaging, chemical or microbial defects. His current project is evaluating rapid allergen detection technology for Amway’s manufacturing lines. The lab tests for contaminants like E. coli or salmonella in all the raw materials and equipment used, as well as the finished product.

“My job is used to keep people safe in their everyday lives,” Liberacki says. “When you are in the store and see something like a gluten-free label, that means that someone like me has confirmed the absence of wheat in that product. We’ve already put it through rigorous testing to ensure its safety.”

Liberacki also participated in Take a Saint to Work Day, organized through the AQAdvantage Center, during which current students job shadow throughout the community.

“I wanted to show students that quality assurance was a good option for the future,” he said. “I was also able to tap into the network of AQ alumni who work at Amway to provide a greater experience for the student and showcase various career paths during their visit. It’s because of this type of community and willingness to serve others that I love working at Amway and I loved being at Aquinas.”

Success is possible when communities support their members. Adam Liberacki found this to be true and continues to nourish a strong community foundation in order to establish connections and create long-lasting change.