Class Notes

Share your news with UConn Nation!

Your classmates want to know about — and see — the milestones in your life. Send us news about weddings, births, new jobs, new publications, and more — along with hi-res photos — to: Alumni News & Notes, UConn Foundation, 2384 Alumni Drive, Unit 3053, Storrs, CT 06269.

Submissions may be edited for clarity or length.


arrow dingbat Dan Mannheim ’54 (CLAS) reports that he retired in 1990 after 35 years with Sprague Electric. He has been living in Casselberry, Florida, since 1976 and says he keeps in touch with a few fraternity brothers from the former PSD chapter at UConn.


arrow dingbat Lenny Carlson ’62 (ED), ’63 MS has been named a professional basketball talent scout for Interperformances, a premier sports and entertainment agency in Europe.

arrow dingbat The Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants recently honored Daniel S. Firestone ’63 (BUS) of West Hartford, Connecticut, with a 50-Year Award recognizing his years in the association. Daniel owns the public accounting firm of Daniel S. Firestone, CPA, in West Hartford. He is active in the community as a member of the West Hartford Pedestrian and Bicycle Commission, a founder of the Cycling Without Age Program, and current chair of the Democratic Town Committee. He also collects and restores antique automobiles, primarily Hudsons.

arrow dingbat Dean F. Paul ’66 (CLAS) has retired from the private practice of law and is living in Fort Worth, Texas. His recent book, Second Thessalonians 2:1-12 Unlocked: The Key to the Timing of the Rapture, is an expositional study of one of the most important prophetic passages in the New Testament.

arrow dingbat Judy Strom ’67 (CLAS) and her husband Rob are grandparents to Emory Joseph Strom, who was born to Tammy Strom, of Redding, Connecticut, in August at Danbury Hospital. The baby also has an aunt, Jessica Strom, in Ridgefield, Connecticut, and an uncle, David Strom, and cousin, Juliet Strom, both in Centerville, Virginia.


arrow dingbat Bobbie Ann Mason ’72 Ph.D., ’02 H released a new book with The University Press of Kentucky entitled Patchwork: A Bobbie Ann Mason Reader, a selection by the author of excerpts from her novels and memoirs, short stories, essays, interviews, and an introduction by bestselling author George Saunders.

arrow dingbat George Jacobi ’72 (CLAS) is working as a guest curator with the Archives and Special Collections team at the Dodd Center at UConn on an exhibit titled “Dayglo and Napalm — UConn from 1967–1971” that will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the dramatic student unrest period with an exhibition running from Aug. 5, 2019, to Oct. 25, 2019. As part of the display, he and the team are requesting one-page essays from students and faculty present in those years, from all points of view, explaining their thoughts and convictions then and now. Says George: The focus will be on cultural as well as political elements. Letters will be displayed next to photographs from that time in which the author is seen (if possible and acceptable to him or her), with the hope of giving current students a look at an era in which UConn people helped move the needle of human rights and world affairs. We want active participants, and will do our best to include all opinions. If you have anything to contribute, please email George at

arrow dingbat Joe Wocoski ’73 (CLAS) reports that he recently published his first novel, Andy Anders and the Rebel Spies, under the pen name Allen Alright. The novel for teens and young adults is set at the start of the Civil War in the fictional town of Mercyville, Connecticut.

arrow dingbat Barbara Entman Synnott ’76 (CLAS) was honored with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest accolade from Who’s Who in America. As a student on the Storrs campus, Barbara served as publicity director and radio producer at WHUS-FM and was in Photopool. Upon graduating, Barbara became a professional radio broadcaster, a career that lasted nearly 20 years. She is currently a customer service professional at PSEG Long Island.

arrow dingbat Gloria Jean Berry ’78 (6th Year), of Windsor Locks, Connecticut, a former Hartford public school teacher, has teamed up with Createspace-Amazon to publish a combination book and journal titled Crossroads: The Discovery Journal: Reflecting and Reaching Out. Although the publication targets late teens and young adults in the area of enhancing decision-making skills, she says it has something to offer other readers as well.

arrow dingbat Tom Vaughan ’79 (CLAS) was elected National President of UNICO National, the largest Italian-American service organization in the country. UNICO National raises and donates about $5 million a year for local and national charities and scholarships. UNICO’s 5,000-plus volunteer members in 110 local chapters also work to preserve Italian-American heritage.


arrow dingbat Mark Vergnano ’80 (ENG), president and CEO of The Chemours Co., has won this year’s Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 award for the Greater Philadelphia region.

arrow dingbat Dr. Paul Tortland ’81 (CLAS), ’84 MA, a specialist in sports medicine, non-surgical orthopedics, and regenerative medicine and orthobiologics for more than 22 years, opened the New England Stem Cell Institute in April in Glastonbury, Connecticut. He is a leader in the field of regenerative medicine treatments, including stem cell and platelet-rich plasma injections.

arrow dingbat James Hupp ’82 MD was recently appointed professor of surgery and vice dean for academic, student and faculty affairs at the new Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine at Washington State University in Spokane, Washington. He will also oversee development of the college’s planned medical residency programs. Most recently, he was founding dean of the School of Dental Medicine at East Carolina University.

arrow dingbat Attorneys James P. Ray ’84 (ENG), ’92 MBA, ’92 JD and Robert S. Melvin ’81 (ENG), ’91 JD are among 68 lawyers elected a 2018 Fellow of the Connecticut Bar Foundation’s James W. Cooper Fellows Program, which recognizes distinguished service to the legal system. Both men are partners at the Robinson+Cole law firm in Hartford. Robert was previously an environmental engineer and inspector with the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. He lives with his wife and two sons in Simsbury. James, who serves on many Connecticut Bar Association committees, also served as a Connecticut and Western Massachusetts board member for the National Conference for Community and Justice and as a member of Connecticut Science Center’s Programming Committee.

arrow dingbat The Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants recently elected Brian P. Reilly ’85 (BUS), of Kensington, to serve as a member-at-large of its board of directors for its 2018–2019 activity year. He is senior vice president and chief auditor of The Travelers, Hartford.

arrow dingbat Mark Boxer ’87 MBA was awarded a doctorate in Health Administration from the Medical University of South Carolina. His dissertation was titled “Improving Underserved Population Health: Attitudes on Medicaid Financial Incentives for Medication Adherence in Asthmatic Children.” Boxer is executive vice president and global CIO at Cigna and serves on the UConn Board of Trustees.

arrow dingbat Joan Ostaszewski Geronimo ’88 (BGS) retired as a certified energy manager from Northeast Utilities (now Eversource) in June 2008 after 36 years. She is currently a substitute teacher in Flagler County, Florida, and her favorite classes to teach are at Matanzas High School. She also enjoys being the on-air DJ for the “Ladies of Jazz” every Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. on Flagler College Radio WFCF 88.5 FM, an iHeartRadio station.


arrow dingbat Larry Davis ’90 MA, ’01 Ph.D. was recently appointed as a Center Associate at the Davis Center at Harvard University. The Center supports research and teaching in Russian and Eurasian Studies. Larry is a professor of history at North Shore Community College in Danvers, Mass.

arrow dingbat Elizabeth M. Johnson ’91 (CLAS) is founder and owner of Spark Equity, a boutique consulting and training firm based in Durham, North Carolina. The firm specializes in helping healthcare providers understand how patient trauma impacts quality of care, as well as their own quality of life.

arrow dingbat Grant W. Westerson ’92 (BGS), of Old Saybrook, Connecticut, reports that he has worked as a professional in the recreational marine industry in Connecticut since 1963. He is a marine surveyor by trade and captains a cruise ship for the Valley Railroad. He has served on many state, local, and national committees, and was recently appointed a director of the Connecticut Port Authority.

arrow dingbat Jonathan Andersen ’92 (CLAS), ’12 MA, an English professor at Quinebaug Valley Community College in Danielson and Willimantic, Connecticut, was awarded the 2017 David Martinson — Meadowhawk Prize by Red Dragonfly Press for his second full-length collection of poems, Augur.

arrow dingbat Tara (Curtis) Mead ’94 (CLAS) is now account director, public relations, for Gavin Advertising, a digitally minded public relations and marketing agency in York, Pennsylvania. She lives in suburban Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has three children, Cameron, Cassandra, and David, and is married to Bill Mead, news director for WHP580-AM.

arrow dingbat Jeffrey Andriesse ’96 (CLAS) married Nicole Miezejeski ’95 (CLAS) in April in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Florida. While Jeff and Nicole were one year apart at UConn with the same major, they did not meet until matched completely randomly through an online dating service in August 2015 in Fort Lauderdale, where Jeff works as a graphic designer and Nicole as a speech-language pathologist.

arrow dingbat Stacie Boeninger Collier ’97 JD was recognized as a Leading Lawyer in Labor and Employment in Rhode Island by Chambers and Partners in its 2018 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.

arrow dingbat Courtney Clay ’98 (ENG) is working in Paris with her company, Seppic. She moved with her two children to work as a product manager of natural skin care polymers for the cosmetic industry.

arrow dingbat Jason Jakubowski ’99 (CLAS), MPA ’01 was recently named president and CEO of Foodshare, the regional food bank serving Hartford and Tolland counties, including UConn and the town of Mansfield, Connecticut. Jason was a former two-term editor-in-chief of The Daily Campus, where he met his wife, Sarah (Treat) Jakubowski ’98 (CLAS). They live in West Hartford, Connecticut, with their five children.


arrow dingbat Celine Petrie, ’00 (CAHNR) lives in The Villages, Florida, and has been chair of the board of the Humane Society/SPCA of Sumter County since 2016.

arrow dingbat The Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants reelected Michael P. Jordan CPA, ’01 (BUS), ’02 MS, of Glastonbury, Connecticut, to serve as Advisory Council chair for the organization’s 2018–2019 activity year. He is managing director at Andersen Tax in Old Greenwich, Connecticut.

arrow dingbat Rob Schumann ’02 (BUS) recently joined Propel Insurance as it expands its senior housing presence to the East Coast. He reports that his wife, Kristina (Peterson) Schumann ’02 (CLAS) recently celebrated the third anniversary of the opening of her private psychology practice, HealthWise Counseling LLC, in Canton, Connecticut.

arrow dingbat Mark Roberts ’05 (CLAS) graduated with a master of public administration from the University of New Haven in May. Roberts, a 12-year trooper with the Connecticut State Police, was also inducted into Pi Alpha Alpha — the global honor fraternity for public administration students — as a result of his academic performance.

arrow dingbat Stephen Napier ’06 (CLAS), ’09 JD was recently elected to partnership at Ivey, Barnum & O’Mara LLC, which has offices in Greenwich and New Canaan, Connecticut, and New York, New York.

arrow dingbat Chuck Buder ’06 (BUS) and his wife, Emma (Emily Buder) Richard ’05 ED, ’07 MA, welcomed a daughter, Iona Sophia Buder, into the world in March. The couple, married in 2016, lives in West Hartford, Connecticut.

arrow dingbat Construction attorney Ryan Scordato ’07 (CLAS) recently joined the Orlando, Florida, law firm of Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed P.A. Ryan, who played lacrosse for four years at UConn, serves as chair of the Orange County Bar Association’s Construction Law Committee and is past president of the Christian Service Center Board of Directors.

arrow dingbat Richard P. Zipoli Jr. ’07 Ph.D. was recently awarded the 2018 Connecticut State Universities Board of Regents’ Systems-wide Teaching Award. He is an associate professor and clinical instructor in the Department of Communication Disorders at Southern Connecticut State University.

arrow dingbat Lisette Turner ’08 (CLAS) of Bristol, Connecticut, joined the Peace Corps and began training as an education volunteer in Cameroon in May. During her first three months, she lived with a host family to become fully immersed in the country’s language and culture. She was then sworn into service and assigned to a community, where she teaches high school–level English and provides professional development for local teachers. She joins 111 Connecticut residents currently serving in the Peace Corps and more than 3,497 Connecticut residents who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961.

arrow dingbat Eric Leknes ’09 (ENG), ’10 MS, a biomedical engineering major, was selected as one of three winners of the Outstanding Employee Award for 2017 at Elbit Systems of America. Chosen from 1,600 employees, he was recognized as a top-performing engineer and commended for his high ethical standards and leadership.


arrow dingbat The Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants recently elected Mitchell R. Insero CPA, ’10 (BUS), of South Glastonbury, Connecticut, as secretary for the 2018–19 activity year.

arrow dingbat Christie D. Jean ’11 (CLAS), ’14 JD, of the Robinson+Cole law firm, was elected to the executive board of the George W. Crawford Black Bar Association, an organization committed to enhancing the role and number of black attorneys in Connecticut.

arrow dingbat Shortly after Keely (Nearpass) Floyd ’14 MA graduated from UConn’s Higher Education and Student Affairs program, she moved back to Indiana to take a position as a career consultant at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). While there, she recommended Michelle Maloney-Mangold ’10 MA, ’15 Ph.D., a fellow Hoosier pursuing her doctorate in English, for a job in the office as a student success advisor. Maloney-Mangold not only got the job, but both former Huskies were recently named winners of the Outstanding Service to Students Award for IUPUI’s University College.

arrow dingbat Eric Weeks ’16 (CLAS) is a producer at NBC Connecticut in West Hartford. You can catch his work in the early morning from 4:30 to 7 a.m.

arrow dingbat Andrew Caponegro ’17 (BUS) recently passed all four sections of the CPA exams and is employed at KPMG in Hartford, Connecticut, as a tax associate.

In Memoriam

For a list of UConn alumni and faculty obituaries, visit

Please share news of alumni deaths and obituaries with UConn Magazine by sending an email to: or writing to Alumni News & Notes, UConn Foundation, 2384 Alumni Drive Unit 3053, Storrs, CT 06269.

Share your news with UConn Nation!

Your classmates want to know about the milestones in your life. Send news about weddings, births, new jobs, new publications, and more to:

Submissions may be edited for clarity or length.


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