University of Rochester

Rochester Review
May–June 2011
Vol. 73, No. 5

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Class Notes

River Campus Undergraduate


Mario Sparagana ’55M (MD) writes that he has published a murder mystery, Terror in a Troubled Land (Peppertree Press, 2010), set in Italy. He’s a retired professor of medicine at Loyola University’s Stritch School of Medicine.


Chesley Kahmann has released a new CD, The Curio Shop (Orbiting Clef Productions). The collection of 15 songs is the seventh volume in the CD series the Kahmann Touch. . . . Norman Neureiter received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star decoration, among the most prestigious honors bestowed by the Japanese government, at a ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo last November. Norman worked for many years to improve U.S.–Japan trade relations in his roles as an executive at Texas Instruments and later as cochair of a high-level U.S.–Japan trade dispute panel. He’s also played a key role in American science and technology policy as the first science and technology advisor to the secretary of state, a position to which he was appointed in 2000 and held until 2003, and as a senior advisor for the Center for Science Diplomacy and the Center for Science, Technology, and Security Policy, positions he continues to hold. Norman began his career in international science and technology policy in 1963, when he joined the National Science Foundation’s Office of International Affairs, becoming the first permanent U.S. program director for the U.S.–Japan Cooperative Science Program initiated by then president John F. Kennedy.


Eleanor Troxell Johnson was recognized by the professional membership organization Cambridge Who’s Who for excellence in secondary education. Eleanor is a retired American history teacher who taught at Jamesville–DeWitt High School near Syracuse.


Kay Hatton Ryder writes that she, Barbara Keady Booth, and Mary Lou Myers Grevatt ’68W (MA) gathered in Shelburne, Vt., for a minireunion. “We toured Shelburne Farms and attended its annual art show. We drove around Mount Mansfield, through Stowe, and on to the Trapp Family Lodge.” Pictured (on page 51, left to right) are Barb, Kay, and Mary Lou.


David Atwood has published a book, Nonviolent People (Peace Center Books, 2010), in which he explores the lives of nine figures whose nonviolent teachings and actions have inspired him. David is the coordinator of Pax Christi Houston and the founder of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. . . . Last fall, Karen Schermerhorn completed 35 years as copresident of the Faculty and Staff Federation of the Community College of Philadelphia, a local affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers. The federation held a dinner in her honor and she received two awards. “I received a leadership award from the American Federation of Teachers in July 2010 and a distinguished service award from the Pennsylvania state affiliate in October 2010,” she writes. She adds that the local is recognized for “actions in support of part-time and temporary full-time faculty, including the negotiation of a full-time/part-time faculty ratio to ensure the continued hiring of tenure-track faculty.”


Karen Rosenstein Alkalay-Gut ’75 (PhD) conducted the civil marriage ceremony last August of Ariel Sarig and Yael Jacobs, daughter of Rebecca Schecter Jacobs and the late Eric Jacobs ’68. “The small wedding was held in the Jacobs’ garden in Metulla, Israel, and was accompanied by the calls to prayer by the muezzin in nearby Lebanon,” Karen writes. She adds: “I am a professor of English literature at Tel Aviv University and a well-known poet. Eric was a farmer and an English teacher. Rebecca has retired from the Ministry of Education and tutors English language students privately.” The Alkalay-Guts have four children and the Jacobs have three children. The two families meet frequently, particularly at the yearly Metulla Poetry Festival. . . . Julian Hartzell, a writer based in San Francisco, has published a book, I Take Off My Hat: Respectful Yet Pertinent End-of-the-Age Essays (Dorrance Publishing, 2010).


Bob Baxter sends an update. He’s the CEO and general manager of the Dryden Mutual Insurance Co., in Dryden, N.Y., and a member of the board of the Tompkins County History Center. He produced an award-winning book, Great Possibilities: 150 Verne Morton Photographs (Six Mile Creek Press, 2010), to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Dryden Mutual Insurance. The book features digital reproductions of 150 glass plate negatives taken in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by the late Verne Morton, a Tompkins County photographer who took thousands of pictures of ordinary Dryden residents at home, at work, and about town. Bob writes that the book has won multiple awards, including the Eric Hoffer Book Award for excellence in independent publishing, best pictorial work at the New England Book Show, and a gold medal for best regional nonfiction work in the annual Independent Publisher Book Awards competition. . . . Henry Fader, a Philadelphia attorney who heads the health care practice at the law firm Pepper Hamilton, had been appointed to the advisory council of Clarke Pennsylvania School. The school is one of four Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech, serving children who are deaf or hard of hearing, nationwide. . . . Eric Jacobs (see ’66). . . . Ed Wetschler writes that he’s been named chair of the northeast chapter of the Society of American Travel Writers. Ed is the executive editor of Tripatini, a social media site for travel, and a freelance journalist.


Nancy Heller Cohen ’70N sends an update. She writes: “I’ve been working on various mystery and romance projects. My Shear Murder edits are done, so I’m waiting for the next stage in the publishing process. This 10th Bad Hair Day mystery is due out in January 2012 from Five Star. To keep busy, I’ve written the synopsis for the third book in my paranormal romance trilogy. Silver Serenade, my latest sci-fi romance, continues to do well and is available in print and digital formats. Now I’m ready to turn my attention to one of my proposed new mystery series. Meanwhile, my husband and I had a great cruise to the southern Caribbean in December and we look forward to travelling around Florida in the coming months.” . . . Robert Tegart writes: “I have written a chapter in the newly published work entitled With Courage and Honor: Oneida County’s Role in the Civil War (Utica College Ethnic Heritage Studies Center, 2010). It is a study of the 26th New York Volunteer regiment, which came from central New York. I am an independent researcher and writer living in Clinton, N.Y.”


Dan Kirschenbaum is the vice president of clinical services at Wellspring, a nonprofit provider of weight loss support, and author of The Wellspring Weight Loss Plan (BenBella Books, 2011). Dan is also a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and director of the Center for Behavioral Medicine and Sport Psychology at Northwestern University Medical School. . . . Harry Melkonian has published a book, Defamation, Libel Tourism, and the SPEECH Act of 2010: The First Amendment Colliding with the Common Law (Cambria Press, 2010). Harry practices law in Sydney, Australia, and is a senior lecturer at the University of Sydney’s United States Studies Centre. . . . Randolph Rakoczynski has joined the environmental group at Barton & Loguidice as a senior project engineer. Barton & Loguidice is an engineering, planning, environmental, and landscape architecture firm with offices in western and central New York as well as Pennsylvania. Randolph will market the company’s environmental services in western New York.


Peter Bernstein writes: “In July 2010, I retired from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals R&D after 31 years of service as a medicinal chemist. In October, I was awarded the Distinguished Lectureship in Chemistry at the 2010 AstraZeneca Excellence in Chemistry Award Symposium. I’m still active professionally, giving lectures, writing articles, consulting part time, and enjoying my ‘retirement.’” . . . Jeffrey Schwartz has coauthored You Are Not Your Brain: The 4-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taking Control of Your Life (Avery, 2011). Jeffrey is a research psychiatrist at the University of California at Los Angeles and an expert on neuroplasticity.


Brooks LaPlante has joined Thompson Thrift Development, an Indiana-based real estate development, architecture, and construction company, as vice president for systems and strategic initiatives.


Rick Kremer, an attorney on Long Island, N.Y., has published a novel, Smart Time (iUniverse, 2011). It’s the story of a developmentally disabled man, Paulie Weston, who overcomes his limited ability to speak and is able to communicate fully for the first time.


Paul Oestreicher has published a book, Camelot, Inc.: Leadership and Management Insights from King Arthur and the Round Table (ABC-CLIO/Praeger). “It’s filled with quotes from a variety of Arthurian legends and relates them to examples drawn from today’s business pages,” Paul writes.


Dennis Kraus ’85M (MD), an otolaryngologist and head and neck cancer surgeon at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, has been elected president of the North American Skull Base Society. The society is a professional organization of clinicians and researchers in the field of skull base surgery.


Iain Currie sends a photo and an update. He writes: “Recently, Navy Admirals David Duryea ’83 and Gretchen Specht Herbert ’84 found themselves attending Capstone training with me at U.S. Southern Command in Miami. Capstone is a lengthy, travel-heavy training program for newly promoted flag officers from all branches of the military. David is the deputy commander for undersea warfare at the Pentagon and Gretchen is the director of net-centric capabilities for the Navy’s Center for Information Dominance. I’ve lived in South Florida for 22 years, working both as an airline pilot, starting with Pan Am and now with United, while also drilling as an active reservist. My Naval duty has sent me to such places as the Far East, Hawaii, Brazil, Italy, Iceland, and Iraq.” . . . Stephen Evangelisti ’86M (MD), ’92M (Res) (see ’97).


David Duryea (see ’82 undergraduate).


Scott Evans writes that he became engaged to Liesl Gaesser in November. . . . Gretchen Specht Herbert (see ’82 undergraduate).


Mark Russo ’87 (MS) recently accepted the position of director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Emergency Operations. The office provides interagency coordination related to FDA–regulated products associated with foodborne illnesses, injuries, product tampering, and manmade and natural disasters. He and his wife, Mary Ellen, live in College Park, Md., with their two sons, Anthony, 15, and Peter, 10.


Ron Adams writes that he appeared on Jay Leno’s web video show, Jay Leno’s Garage, in January. Leno, an avid car collector, had Ron on the show to discuss Ron’s latest book, The Car Lover’s Guide to Southern Germany (Via Corsa).


Ronald Battaglia has been elected to partner at the law firm Hodgson Russ. He represents companies in the sale of debt and equity securities, the purchase and sale of businesses, venture capital financing, and commercial transactions, and he counsels corporations on compliance with securities laws and general corporate issues. He works in the firm’s Buffalo office.


Adam Konowe writes that he has been named vice chair of the National Press Club’s broadcast committee. Adam is vice president of public relations at the communications firm Sullivan Higdon & Sink and a lecturer at American University’s school of communication. . . . Barbara Lawrence sends a photo and an update. She volunteers at a Civil War museum near Buffalo and is a contributing editor to the Buffalo Civil War Round Table newsletter. She also wrote a short story, “Mystery at Bristoe Station,” set during a campaign in Virginia in the fall of 1863, which a local bookstore published as part of a collection of Halloween stories. The photo shows Barbara as a Civil War re-enactor during Amherst Civil War Days last June. She writes: “I’m a woman in disguise as a man: Private Michael John Lawrence of the 36th Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment.” Pvt. Lawrence is standing next to Gen. Robert E. Lee, whom he served as an orderly. Barbara adds: “I have three ancestors who were in the Confederate Army from Virginia.”


Deb Kalafarski LaBudde ’93S (MBA) reports that she and several other Rochester alumni attended the wedding of Natasha Muckova ’95M (MD), ’96M (Res) and Steve Kopp in Laguna Beach, Calif., last September. Alumni at the ceremony included Dave LaBudde ’85S (MBA), Deb, Natasha, Nick Frunzi ’90, and Darren Pulley ’95M (MD), ’98M (Res).


Andrew Bishop, a Naval commander, has taken over as commander of the VR-61 Islanders, a C-9 squadron, based in Washington state. Andrew has been a Naval aviator since 1996 and served three tours of duty in the war in Iraq before becoming the Islanders’ executive officer in October 2009. . . . Bethanie Deeney Murguia writes that she has authored her first children’s book and has two more in progress. “My debut book will be published in May by Tricycle Press/Random House Children’s Books, and I have two more in the works for 2012 with Scholastic and Knopf.” The book is called Buglette the Messy Sleeper, and it tells the story of a ladybug and her family accompanied by watercolor illustrations. Bethanie adds: “I grew up in western New York and my father was on the staff of the Eastman Dental Center for over 30 years. The University of Rochester has been a very big part of my life!” . . . Ross Warner sends a photo of his new son, Aaron, born to Ross and his wife, Samantha, in February.


Karen McCausland Darling has been named partner at the law firm Hamberger & Weiss. She’s been at the firm since 2001 and works in the Buffalo office.


Sarah Hagar Evangelisti and her husband, Paul, welcomed a son, Luke Andrew, in January. She writes: “I survived leukemia, diagnosed in 1999, and wasn’t sure that I would be able to have a child, so he is our little miracle.” Luke’s uncle, Stephen Evangelisti ’82, ’86M (MD), ’92M (Res), is also a Rochester alumnus.


Judith Currano and Peter Allen ’00 welcomed their first child, Edward Reinhard Currano Allen, last November. Judy is the head of the chemistry library at the University of Pennsylvania and Peter is a visiting assistant professor of astronomy at Franklin and Marshall College.


Jason and Emily Aronstam Duga ’00, ’06S (MBA) welcomed a daughter, Sienna Katherine Duga, in July 2010. They live in Webster, N.Y., where Jason is a financial advisor at Research Financial Group and Emily is a financial analyst at Xerox.


Peter Allen (see ’98). . . . Emily Aronstam Duga ’06S (MBA) (see ’99). . . . Aaron Reichman and his wife, Melissa, celebrated the birth of their daughter, Addison Mae, in August 2010. They live in Perinton, N.Y., where Aaron is an engineer at ITT Geospatial Systems and Melissa is a client consultant at Manning and Napier Advisors.


Susan Klassen writes that she and David Cotter were married last October at the River Campus Interfaith Chapel. Alumni in attendance were Amy Kuenzi, Kelly Wentworth, Kathrine Schultz Kraft, Keith Kraft ’01, ’03 (MS), Rebecca Burns ’02, Ed Bender ’04 (T5), ’09M (MPH), and Rebecca Roberts Cochran. . . . Jason Nordhaus ’08 (PhD) is a postdoctoral research fellow in the theoretical astrophysics group in Princeton University’s Department of Astrophysical Sciences. He’s researching supernovae explosions using three-dimensional computer simulations he helped to develop.


Mary DelBalso ’07M (MPH) writes that she and Jason Salter ’11M (PhD) were married last October at the University’s Memorial Art Gallery. Pictured from left to right are bridesmaids Angela DelBalso and Katherine DelBalso ’06, ’08S (MBA), matron of honor Amanda Shaw Irsch ’05, Mary, Jason, best man Thom Salter, and groomsmen John Gentile ’07M (MS) and Micah Schmidt. Also in attendance were Susan Cho ’05, Graham Brown ’07M (MPH), Andrew Torelli ’08M (PhD), David Stephenson ’08M (MS), and Geoff Lippa ’10M (MS).


Benjamin Gilston married Cheryl Heitzman last November at the South Shore Cultural Center in Chicago. Daniel Karr and Jason Adler served as groomsmen. Other Rochester alumni in attendance included Holly Bender ’06 (MS), Jessica Colbourne, Rachel Frey, Christina Lee, Justin Moore, Wendy Ressmann Moore, Jon Poiarkoff, Keith Rosenberg, Nathan Scott, Michael Sweeney ’06W (MS), Megan Walter Sweeney ’06W (MS), and Rebecca Wolfson. Ben is working toward his doctorate in chemistry at Northwestern University and Cheryl teaches chemistry at Perspectives Charter School in Chicago and is working toward her doctorate in science education at Illinois Institute of Technology. . . . Devin Martin (see ’07 undergraduate).


Lara Abramowitz and John Wilson ’08 (MS) were married last October in Charleston, S.C. Pictured are Kevin Cryderman ’10 (PhD), Cat Prueitt, Michael Kornhauser ’09 (MS), Andy Friedson, Cathy Maliszewski ’09, Blair Bailey ’06, Zach Oshlag ’08, Shoshana Abramowitz ’09 (sister of the bride), Christine Ling, Suz Golisz ’05, Dana Nelson ’09, Ilana Elson, Katelin Erickson, Sasha Bilow, Jessica Fydenkevez, and Efram Slen. . . . Taylor Coon and Devin Martin ’05 were married last July in Easton, Pa. The couple live in Houston, where Taylor is pursuing a doctorate in mathematics at Rice University and Devin is a test engineer at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Taylor writes: “We were fortunate to be able to celebrate with many of our college friends. Pictured from left to right are Ethan Coon ’03 (brother of the bride), Daniel Berdine ’03, ’09 (PhD), Megan Murphy, Sarah Coulter Geisler ’05, Amy Bishop ’08, Jennifer Fasching ’08, ’09W (MS), Aaron Olsen, Richard Geisler ’05, ’07 (MS), Christina Bonvicino, Efram Slen, Mike Craig, Marshall Crumiller ’05, ’06 (T5), Devin, Dan Allan ’08, Crystal Richards Kelly ’05, Josh Felver-Gant ’05, Mike Kelly ’05, Taylor, Katie Lelli ’06, Isaac Ray ’06, Kathryn Hefner ’05, Molly Adair ’06, ’07 (T5), Kali Crandall ’08, Luis Ortiz ’05, ’10M (MD), Jeanette Neri Quinlan ’05, Eric Rivera ’05, Julie Lamb, Maritza St. Vil ’05, and Mike Quinlan ’05, ’07 (MS).