Transy meets UK in the Rafskeller

by Erica Clark
Campus Life Editor

He’s the second cousin of a convicted New York mobster. He’s studying to one day conduct research in nanotechnology. He’s Nolan Colmore, and he’s the new face this year behind the cash register in the Rafskeller at Transylvania University.

Colmore, a senior from Louisville, Ky., studies chemical engineering at the University of Kentucky. For a little extra money, he decided to pop into the Transy Bubble.

“I didn’t want a job that would cause me too much stress, because I’m always taking hard classes,” said Colmore. “I saw ‘cashier’ and thought, ‘Perfect!’ ”

With a major like chemical engineering, courses on his schedule include thermodynamics, physical chemistry, quantum chemistry and nuclear chemistry, just to name a few.

“I love chemistry,” Colmore said.

This past summer, Colmore was able to use his passion in a cooperative with ExxonMobil in Houston. He helped to harness bio-oils by setting up different environments in which algae could grow. The company wanted to isolate the fastest-growing and most productive algae, which can be used to help reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Nolan Colemore hopes to study a degreee in nanotechnology after receiving a degree from the Uniersity of Kentucky in chemical engineering.

“Hopefully I will go back this upcoming summer and get a job with them,” said Colmore.

In the long run, Colmore hopes to conduct research in nanotechnology, which is “the understanding and control of matter at the nanoscale,” according to

“I’d like to research specifically in medicine,” Colmore said. “Don’t be surprised if within the next 20 years everything from your TVs to the paint on your car, to maybe even your fingernail polish, uses some sort of nanotechnology.”

Despite his affiliation with the University of Kentucky, Colmore feels that he fits in quite well at Transylvania.
Though at first he described the students as “not talking too much,” he says he has gotten to a point where he can sit down and have a good conversation with the majority of them.

“I don’t feel alienated at all,” said Colmore. “The more time I’ve spent here, the more I’ve become part of the Transy community.”

Colmore noted that it might be “weird” for the students to see someone swiping their card the same age as they are.
“But we have more in common than they might know,” Colmore said. “I have hard tests like everyone else, I like to hang out with people like everyone else and I have aspirations like everyone else.”

Colmore also really enjoys his job.

“I’ve worked at places where people are always moaning and groaning, but working here, now that I’ve gotten to know a few people, it’s more like hanging out with friends than working,” said Colmore. “Plus, I need to keep active. Otherwise, my brain is going to fail.”

With a grandfather who had a grocery store and a mother who currently owns an award-winning Italian deli in Louisville called DeVino’s Deli, Colmore has worked in the food industry “as far back as (he) can remember,” he said.

“I worked at the deli before I came to Lexington,” Colmore said. “The location is right across from the new Yum Center, so occasionally we get slammed and I have to help out. Some people have said it’s the best pizza they’ve ever had.”

Colmore’s family is originally from Naples, Italy. His second cousin, Dominick “Skinny Dom” Pizzonia, is a convicted hit man, loan shark and reported captain of the Gambino crime family.

Colmore’s grandfather, a member of the Pizzonia family, moved from Italy to New York, where Colmore was born. Eventually the Colmore family relocated to Kentucky.

“We wanted to get away from the whole mafia scene,” Colmore said.

Colmore doesn’t remember much from New York, but he claims to really like Kentucky.

“I know I don’t have to sleep with one eye open here,” said Colmore.


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