Campus chief engineer details accomplishments

By Janene Gibbons
April 2, 2009

Megan Pellegrino

Working for the motion picture industry in Hollywood, designing rides for Disney Land and Disney World and making it into the “Guinness Book of World Records” are three of many trades, hidden talents and achievements that Bob Iodice, the chief engineer and theater technical director of Cabrini College, has accomplished. Many people in the theatre affectionately call him the “Dumbledore” of Cabrini as he leads by the example he sets.

“Bob knows everything, whether it’s why you shouldn’t touch a light bulb or the history of basically any object you can name and he’s more than willing to tell you about it,” senior chemistry major Erin McCole said.

“Bob is the one person on campus I would go to if I need a problem solved or if I have a question no one else can answer,” Joe Kimpflen, junior political science and history major, said.

Iodice also worked for a company called Ride and Show Engineering that made a lot of rides for Disneyland and Disney World. Some of the rides Iodice has personally worked on and helped build were Disneyland’s monorail and Disney World’s Jaws ride (Universal Studios) and Norway Pavilion (Epcot).

Iodice is a Temple University graduate. He majored in design and technical direction with a minor in engineering. He is also a pilot and knows how to operate hot air balloons.

One of the many careers Iodice has enjoyed thus far was working in the motion picture industry in Hollywood. His movie credentials include “Jurassic Park,” “Bugsy,” Frank Coppola’s “Dracula,” “Hook,” for which he did cloud special effects, “Star Trek: Next Generation,” which he did color consulting for and “Children of the Corn,” for which he built the entire church set.

He muses here and there about different projects and people he’s met, throwing out remarks such as, “Robin Williams is a nut job and a great guy. He is always firing on all cylinders all the time. I can’t figure out how he does it,” Iodice said.

Iodice also made it into the “Guinness Book of World Records,” while he was still in college. In 1979, Iodice was a sophomore going on junior and took a trip to Scotland over the summer. He got a job as a scenic director on a show called “The Warp.” “The Warp” was directed by Ken Campbell and was also being featured at the largest theater festival in the world called the ? Edinburgh Festival.

The show made it into the “Guinness Book of World Records” for having the longest running time of any show ever. It was 22 hours long and done in segments. Iodice remembers actors rotating on and off the stage a lot of them he said were from British comedies.

Iodice also worked his way into Penn Communications and talk radio. At his interview he handed the general manager 52 weeks of programming for a three-hour talk show. He was a guest on another person’s show for one month and then he took it over.

“Life is full of opportunities; you should take all of them,” Iodice said. When asked where Iodice got some of his more random interests, considering his major in college, Iodice talked about his family roots.

“My grandfather was a director of an Italian melodrama and my mother and her siblings had a Saturday afternoon radio drama back in the 1930s,” Iodice said.

Never ceasing to be larger than life, surprising and interesting, Iodice reveals his proudest accomplishment. “My family is my proudest accomplishment and I don’t take full credit for it,” Iodice said.

Iodice met his wife Caroline in 1981 in a scene shop. “She was a painter and I was a master carpenter.”

He followed up his description of their already romantic meeting by complimenting his wife and with a look of complete sincerity in his eyes he said, “my wife is the smartest person I have ever met in my life.” They have two children; Annie, 16, who is the youngest student ever at Cabrini and Robert, 20. Robert has recently received the congressional nomination from Rep. Joe Sestak, D- Pa., to West Point.

When asked what drew Iodice to Cabrini, he explains that it was serendipity and that he didn’t know ahead of time what Cabrini would be like.

He said that at first, “I thought it was like the ‘Stepford Wives’ everybody was so nice I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop.” With time, he realized everybody really is just that nice at Cabrini. He even goes as far as to say that “these are the nicest people you will ever meet.”

Iodice gives some advice for those entering the work field and describes his work ethic.

“Americans are aspirants. We believe that if we work hard we will be able to further ourselves in life,” Iodice believes this American work ethic. “Anything you want to do you can do.”

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Janene Gibbons

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