Race to a Photo Finish

March 9, 2012

When Stacey Watts Ambuehl graduated in 2005, she gave her mentor and professor a gift—a model Porsche. So, when we were arranging a photo shoot with her and Robert Pond, Ph.D., associate dean of natural sciences, we thought we would ask Pond to bring the model car.

After all, it would be fun to showcase this pair’s shared interest in fine automotive engineering in our upcoming feature on professors who have made a difference in the lives of alumni.

Pond had a different idea. He offered to try to find a sports car. He talked with one of his engineering students, Renia Zervos, ’13, who asked her father, Demetrios, to bring his Viper to campus for the shoot. Then Jim invited a friend and fellow Viper owner, Brian H. Schmincke, to come along.

By the time freelance photographer Cory Donovan arrived on campus with his camera, he found not only the reunited professor and graduate—visiting from her Ph.D. program in analytical chemistry at University of Maryland Baltimore County—but also two pristine, shining, red-and-white Dodge Vipers.

It was a perfect day with nearly cloudless skies, and the sleek sports cars gleamed in the sun. The cars’ owners—with the help of the photographer—didn’t just give us a terrific photo for the April issue. They also made the day for Pond and Ambuehl. The professor and his former student had plenty to catch up on, but the main topic of the day was cars.

And before dad and daughter drove off, both Pond and Ambuehl took a good look under the Viper’s hood.

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