Mark Donne ’11 and Jason Maloney ’11 applied their enterprising spirits to the iPhone

Donne said that every teacher he dealt with at Fairfield was influential, but three teachers made an impact on him. “Fr. Jim Mayzik, [director of the Media Center], Fr. Mark Scalese, [associate professor of Visual and Performing Arts], and Dr. Mark Ligas, [an associate professor of marketing]. Each one of these teachers taught me valuable lessons. I spent a lot of time with Fr. Mayzik and Fr. Mark in the Media Center, and without them I honestly would not be the person I am today. When I was looking at Fairfield, Fr. Mayzik gave this speech to me, which he might give to every student. But the gist of it was if you don’t leave Fairfield with a greater desire to learn, then we failed you. I have never been more excited about the desire to grow as an individual, academically and spiritually, since graduating from Fairfield. I honestly can say Fairfield more than succeeded at what this institution is supposed to do.”

Maloney concurred. Two teachers stood out for him, Dr. Rajasree Rajamma, an associate professor of marketing, and Dr. Michael Cavanaugh, an associate professor of management.

“Dr. Rajamma has been so helpful with Diffr3nt, from answering questions that Mark and I have about dealing with distribution channels to introducing us to members of the Fairfield University community that could help Mark and me in our journey. Dr.Cavanaugh taught me to think outside the box, and the lessons that I learned in his unorthodox class has helped me make decisions that hopefully are going to make this company successful.”

Over the next five years the pair hopes to grow Diffr3nt from a two-person company to something much larger, and expand their product line to cover iPads, tech-related bags and perhaps a venture into the tech industry. It goes to show you what can happen when you have a good idea, some supportive and inspirational professors, a nurturing academic atmosphere, and the moxie and work ethic to make it all happen.

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