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Doug Kupas ’86 Speaks to IUP Student Researchers

An emergency medicine physician at Geisinger Health System for 30 years, Doug Kupas ’86 gave the keynote address, “Habits of Highly Successful Lifelong Scholars,” at IUP’s Research Experiences for Summer Scholars closing program in August 2019. (The program was recently renamed Undergraduate Summer Opportunities for Applying Research.)

A 2015 recipient of IUP’s Distinguished Alumni Award, Doug holds a number of other high-profile positions—commonwealth EMS medical director for the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, professor of emergency medicine at Temple University, medical director of Danville’s ambulance service, and director of mobile integrated health care and resuscitation programs at Geisinger.

But rather than discuss his career, he gave the students advice, which included the need to determine their life’s mission. He discovered his mission early—while watching the 1970s television show Emergency. At 16, he began volunteering with the Lower Kiski ambulance service in his hometown of Leechburg. “Basically, that show set the tone for a 40-year EMS career,” he said. He also discussed the influence of his IUP biology and chemistry professors: Frank Liegey, who taught him “luck favors the prepared”; John Wood and Richard Hartline, from whom he learned “meticulous attention to detail”; and Andy Browe, in whose physiology class he developed a “voracious interest in how everything works.”

Photo: Doug Kupas at IUP in August 2019 (Brian Henry) will be available soon.