The Charger Blog

Passion for Pinball Helps Power Couple Power Down

University of New Haven professors Summer and Glenn McGee turn to the classic arcade game of pinball to decompress and recharge from their teaching, research, and service to the University.

March 22, 2018

By Dave Cranshaw, Office of Marketing & Communications

Summer and Glenn McGee compete at a pinball tournament.

By day, University of New Haven professors Glenn and Summer McGee are international scholars in the ever-changing field of healthcare.

A noted bioethicist, Glenn’s work took center stage once he collaborated with the scientist who cloned Dolly the sheep to explore the ethical implications of human cloning.

In the more than 20 years since, McGee has discussed his research on such prominent programs as The Oprah Winfrey Show, 60 Minutes, and NPR’s Fresh Air. He’s written three books and dozens of articles, served as editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Bioethics, and spent nearly a decade as a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center of Bioethics, before joining the University of New Haven in 2014.

Summer, an expert in health policy who has been recognized as a "Woman of Innovation," developed the University’s new interdisciplinary program in health sciences, a program she now directs in addition to the University’s master’s degree program in healthcare administration.

"There wasn’t an easy way for faculty and students in health programs to collaborate across colleges, so we created a department that would allow us to do just that," says Summer. "The University needed a program and courses that are cutting-edge and interdisciplinary focused on human health. So we built one."

Their research, teaching, and service to the University doesn’t leave much leave much time to relax. It was this desire to decompress that lead them to find another shared passion: pinball.

In between their busy schedules, the "pinball couple" makes time every Monday might to head to The Sanctum in Meriden to play the more than 45 classic pinball machines. They also have traveled nationwide to compete in tournaments.

"It really started because we talk about work all the time," said Summer in an "audio postcard" on WNPR.

"I thought it would be fun if we had something to do after work that wasn’t talking more about work. So, I said let’s find a hobby." Summer McGee

It turns out, says Glenn, that Connecticut is a hotbed for pinball players. "Connecticut is really good at pinball," he said. "Five or 10 of the top pinball players in the world are here. I enjoy the fact that it is so competitive and so specialized."