Dr. Peg Crowley-Nowick ‘86 often finds herself running from one meeting to another, as busy as anyone except that her business involves being both a scientist on the one hand and running a medical affairs company on the other.
Dr. Crowley-Nowick has long been fascinated by both business and science, though she started her formal studies in science. Now years later, she’s a successful business owner, a respected researcher, and a well-loved advisor and donor to the UMass Amherst iCons Program.
“I’ve always believed that business application is important to the practice of science,” says Crowley-Nowick. “To tackle the big challenges we face in the world, we need practical ways to bring science-based solutions to the people that need them most. Business and science go hand in hand.”
Crowley-Nowick wasn’t always so sure how to make business and science fit together in her career. A third-generation UMass Amherst student, she graduated from UMass with a bachelor’s degree in microbiology, and then after receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Alabama School of Medicine, she worked as an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School. But she really wanted to learn more about how business principles can strengthen her science work, so she applied to business school and earned an MBA.
Although Crowley-Nowick credits this winding path for bringing her to where she is today, she also wishes that the UMass iCons Program – an interdisciplinary program that exposes students to curricula informed by science, business, and other disciplines – had existed when she attended university.
“I was really interested in studying at the intersection of different fields in a place that brought a variety of disciplines together,” remembers Crowley-Nowick. “iCons would have been a dream for me.”
In 2008, Crowley-Nowick launched her own consulting business, Zipher Medical Affairs. The company has steadily grown in reputation and size and was recently purchased by Lumanity, a healthcare company.
Now as an employer, Crowley-Nowick routinely looks to hire from the UMass iCons Program because iCons grads possess strong STEM backgrounds, plus a combination of business acumen and exceptional communication skills. She’s already hired two iCons graduates and regularly brings in summer interns from iCons.
“iCons graduates deeply understand the science behind their work, plus they make clear presentations to clients and know how to run an efficient meeting,” she says. “They make top-notch employees with all the skills needed in 21st-century jobs.”
Crowley-Nowick has high hopes for the iCons Program and has herself invested in the program. She hopes to trigger more investment in iCons students’ success through generous funding.
“Most UMass students don’t come from wealthy families and they need a program like iCons to help them make the connections they need to succeed after college,” says Crowley-Nowick. “Companies like mine that invest in iCons benefit in so many ways, including getting access to top-notch talent and making a tremendous difference in the lives of these students. This is why I support iCons – knowing that every bit counts in the lives of these students.”
Crowley-Nowick is running to another meeting to interview a scientist applying to join her company. Yes, doing both science and business keeps her as busy as ever, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.