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.
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Elsie Blumenthal Fetterman ’49 (ED), ’60 MS, ’64 MA, ’66 Ph.D. wrote to fill us in on what she’s been up to all these years. Most recently Fetterman, who is 93 and lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, has been assisting on a new documentary about her synagogue, Temple Beth Israel, in Danielson, Connecticut. She wrote a successful grant proposal to the Massachusetts Humanities Council to win funding to distribute the documentary in schools. Produced by Amherst Media, “A House Built by Hope: A Story of Compassion, Resilience, and Religious Freedom” tells the heartwarming story of how the Danielson community welcomed Holocaust survivors and gave them support, compassion, and hope. She is now helping to write a curriculum guide for it. Fetterman was on UConn’s faculty from 1966 to 1979 as the consumer education specialist for the Cooperative Extension Service. She also served on intergovernmental assignment in 1976 to open a national office of consumer education through U.S. Health and Human Services. More recently, she was the director of Cooperative Extension at the University of Massachusetts from 1979 until she retired in 1992.
Congratulations to Lois Greene Stone ’55 (ED), who celebrated her 64th wedding anniversary to Dr. Gerald E. Stone in June. Artifacts from that wedding are being preserved in museums around the country. She reports that her wedding album is in the American Jewish Historical Society, her wedding gown is in The Strong Museum, and the gown’s lace gloves are in the Smithsonian’s Division of Costume. The writer and poet has 15 grandchildren and “so far” eight great-grandchildren.
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) named Arved Plaks ’56 (ENG) an emeritus member. Plaks lives in Houston, retired from Boeing in 1995, and was named an AIAA associate fellow for his work on wind turbines and the International Space Station.
Congratulations to Bruce R. Brown ’69 (CLAS) and Margaret J. L’Estrange Brown ’70 (CLAS) of Leland, North Carolina, on their 50th wedding anniversary!
Patrick Moore’s ’70 (CLAS) podcast “Stand Up Citizen” provides a citizenship refresher for the 2020 election. He is an adjunct professor of political science and history in northeastern Ohio.
Kudos to Edward Nusbaum ’70 (CLAS), a Westport-based family law attorney, who was named to the top 1% of attorneys in 2020 by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel.
Bill McGee ’71 ED, ’76 JD reports that he is enjoying (semi) retirement in beautiful San Diego County, where he still arbitrates commercial and investment matters and was elected to the board of directors of the Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation, where he is a nature center host on Thursdays. He invites anyone in the area to come walk or jog the lagoon’s scenic trails with him and enjoy the serenity and occasional wildlife that he and his late daughter, Emily, came to cherish during their many trips to the Del Mar races every summer years ago. McGee says that during the 1980s, he became the first director of adjudications in the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and spent the next 28 years in the Washington, D.C., area in his arbitration practice. He also managed a Thoroughbred racing and breeding partnership for more than 25 years. He and his wife Sandy, another ex-snowbird originally from Minnesota, enjoy their new citrus “orchard” and nearly perfect climate. He says he eagerly awaits next summer’s return of the Mets to Petco Park and the day a progeny of his beloved mare, Quick Shift, wins the Derby. He would love to hear from friends.
Steve Fournier ’73 (CLAS), ’78 JD celebrated 50 years as a civilian this spring. This fall, he and Ruth Tomasko Fournier ’72 (CLAS) will celebrate the 50 years since they met in the back row of Professor Blackwell’s “Black Writers” course. They live in Hartford and welcomed their seventh grandchild in August.
William R. Kinlock ’73 (CLAS) retired after a long career practicing law and set up a website based on his lifelong study of the American Civil War. The virtual tour at draftriotwalkingtour.com focuses on four important sites of the 1863 New York City Draft Riots. He and his wife, Barbara, live in Cheshire, Connecticut.
Colleen Palmer ’75 (ED), ’07 Ph.D. was selected head of school for the Mountain School at Winhall in Winhall, Vermont.
Jeff Duffany ’77 (ENG) writes that after 43 years away, he visited UConn to see his mentor and advisor, electrical engineering professor Faquir Jain, and to get an ice cream at the Dairy Bar. “I could not even find the Electrical Engineering building. Things have changed so much,” he wrote. Jain wasn’t there, so he left him a note. “The very next morning I received an email from him! That is dedication!” Duffany worked for Bell Laboratories in New Jersey and received an MSEE from Columbia University and a Ph.D. from Stevens Institute in Hoboken, New Jersey. In 2003 he joined the faculty for electrical and computer engineering at Ana G. Mendez University in Gurabo, Puerto Rico. Since then he has been a visiting scientist and faculty member at several government and military research labs, including Sandia National Labs Center for CyberDefense, Navy SPAWAR Research, and the University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute. He received the Albert N. Marquis lifetime achievement award in 2019 for his teaching and research in A.I. and cybersecurity.
All rise for Justice Richard Palmer ’77 JD, who retired from the Connecticut Supreme Court after 27 years. He was involved in several high-profile decisions, including cases that legalized same-sex marriage and effectively ended the death penalty in Connecticut. He plans to continue working as a judge trial referee on Connecticut’s superior and appellate courts.
Congratulations Henry A. Carpenter II ’80 (BUS). The founder of Bucks County Elder Law earned the 2020 Excellence in Elder Law award from the Pennsylvania Bar Association. A member of the Elder Law Section’s leadership group, the Elder Law Council, for more than 10 years, Carpenter has been named one of the top 3% of Elder Law attorneys in the U.S. by Super Lawyers, a Top Elder Law Attorney by Philadelphia Magazine, and a Super Lawyer. He is a frequently published author, a sought-after speaker, and hosts the radio show “Senior Legal Strategies” on WBCB, 1490 AM.
Rosanne M. Shea ’80 (SFA) was appointed chair of the visual arts department at Holy Cross High School in Waterbury, Connecticut. She has taught there since 1996, the year she received her MFA from Vermont College. She also has been an adjunct professor of studio art at Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury since 1991. She lives in Waterbury with her husband Wayne Levandoski and her son Wyatt, a student at Naugatuck Valley Community College. She recently became a grandmother to Jaxson, her son Matthew’s first child
Pamela Bukowski- Klapproth ’85 (BUS) was named CEO and executive director of Kendal on Hudson in Sleepy Hollow, New York. She has spent more than 20 years as an executive senior living professional.
Mark L. Boxer ’87 MBA, executive vice president of Cigna, was named one of the Hartford Business Journal’s Power 50.
Andy Goldstrom ’87 (BUS), ’90 MBA, a two-time Inc. 500 business owner and professor of entrepreneurship at Georgia State University, published a book titled “Grow Like A Pro.”
Kudos to Judy Hartling ’89 (CLAS), who has been named to the board of directors for the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy. She has been at Cigna for 19 years and is a lead analyst in civic affairs.
William H. Steinberg ’91 (BUS) joined The Hartford as head of wholesale property for the Navigators brand. He leads the strategic direction and underwriting for wholesale property products.
Kristin Connors ’92 JD joined Stockman O’Connor PLLC as a named partner, changing the firm’s name to Stockman O’Connor Connors. She specializes in defending medical malpractice claims and representing health care providers and facilities before government agencies.
Tracey Lenox ’93 JD was named the top public defender in the newly created Prince William County Public Defenders’ Office in Virginia.
Congratulations to Jen Palancia Shipp ’93 (CLAS), who was recently appointed to the board of directors of the Legacy of Life Foundation in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where she lives with her husband and four children. She earned her master’s in higher education administration from North Carolina State and a law degree from Campbell University and holds a license to practice law in North Carolina.
Jill (Chmieleski) Sharif ’93 (CLAS) was elected 2019–20 president of CREW Boston, which promotes the advancement of women in the commercial real estate industry.
Ismael García-Colón ’94 MA, ’02 Ph.D., associate professor of anthropology at CUNY in Staten Island, published “Colonial Migrants at the Heart of Empire: Puerto Rican Workers on U.S. Farms,” an in-depth look at the experiences of Puerto Rican migrant workers in continental U.S. agriculture in the 20th century.
G. Duncan Harris ’94 (CLAS) was named CEO of Capital Community College. Harris lives in Windsor, Connecticut, and has worked for the state’s community college system for 24 years, leading its strategic reorganization, fundraising, and enrollment management. His extensive civic and community leadership includes serving on the boards of the Urban League of Greater Hartford, Foodshare, Capital Workforce Partners, and Windsor Federal Savings. He is founding director of the Connecticut State Colleges and University’s Student Success Center.
Jennifer (Toelke) Bourret, CFA ’94 (BUS) has transitioned to the role of investment strategist with the Global Portfolio Strategies team at Prudential Retirement. Bourret has been with the company since 2013.
Westfield State University has appointed Maggie Balch ’94 MA as Dean of Students. She will oversee student activities and leadership, student conduct, residential engagement, and the career center. Balch served in a similar position for the past five years at Rhode Island School of Design. Prior to that, she held progressively advancing positions in student life at Brandeis University for 12 years. She earned a B.S. in elementary education from Penn State and also has held positions in residence life at Washington University in St. Louis, Indiana University, and UMass Dartmouth.
Robert Daniel Irwin ’95 (CLAS), a singer, songwriter, and guitarist, just released a debut album, “Nature vs. Nurture,” an acoustic blend of vocals, guitars, violin, and piano with rock, folk, country, and blues influences. He teaches high school English in Meriden, Connecticut, and previously worked as a book publicist and editor. He lives with his wife, Shelby Z. Irwin ’95 (CLAS), and their two daughters in Hamden.
Felice Gray-Kemp ’96 JD was named senior vice president and global general counsel at Cyient. She will provide legal and strategic guidance on corporate transactions and oversee corporate governance, compliance,
and employee matters.
Leinani Walter ’96 JD has been appointed assistant deputy director for service access and equity at the California Department of Developmental Services. Walter was director of program operations for the Association of Regional Center Agencies and client’s rights advocate for Disability Rights California.
Art Salvadori ’97 (BUS) was promoted to partner of audit services at Crowe, a public accounting, consulting, and technology firm. Based in Hartford, he specializes in financial and insurance audit services.
Vincent Pace ’98 JD, ’08 ML received his doctorate in juridical science after completing a dissertation comparing renewable energy law in Germany and the U.S. He’s an assistant general counsel for Eversource and resides in Berlin, Connecticut, with his wife and two children.
Julie Rancourt ’98 (CLAS) is the new communications manager for the Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies in Rocky Hill. She and her husband David have four children. She loves reading and writing and is working toward the goal of running a road race in each of the state’s 169 towns.
Rebecca M. Allen ’98 MSW has joined the volunteer board of directors of CASA of Southern Connecticut, an organization that recruits, trains, and supports volunteers to advocate for the best interests of children who have experienced abuse or neglect. Allen is senior program officer at the Melville Charitable Trust based in New Haven. She has more than 25 years of leadership experience in the nonprofit and public sectors with a focus on homelessness and behavioral health. She is a foster parent, living in New Haven with her husband and their two young adult children.
Kudos to Rodney A. Butler ’99 (BUS), chairman and CEO of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, who was named to the Power 50 list by Hartford Business Journal.
Marja S. (Cutter) Barr ’00 (BUS) was promoted to associate director in the contracts department of UnitedHealthcare in Hartford.
D. Matthew Olsen ’00 MBA was named chief underwriting officer for surety at Sompo International.
Danielle McGrath Braun ’01 (CLAS), ’05 JD was promoted to counsel at Shipman and Goodwin LLP in the firm’s Hartford office. Braun practices public finance and municipal law and serves as bond counsel and underwriter’s counsel in tax-exempt and taxable financings and represents borrowers under the State of Connecticut Clean Water Fund Program.
Thumbs up to Carolyn N. Kinder ’03 Ph.D., who has joined the volunteer board of directors of CASA of Southern Connecticut, which recruits, trains, and supports volunteers to advocate for the best interests of children who have experienced abuse or neglect. Kinder retired after 35 years as a teacher and administrator in the New Haven public schools, receiving an Elm Award. She has long been active in her church’s community outreach and as a leader in the New Haven club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs. She is a mother of two and grandmother of two and lives in New Haven with her husband.
Tapping his experience as an educator and school resource officer, James O’Leary ’04 BGS wrote his first young adult novel, “Sanhinga.” He works for the Sarasota (Florida) County Schools Police Department.
Joy Wright ’04 6th Year, principal of King Philip Middle School in West Hartford, was named 2020 Connecticut Middle School Principal of the Year by the Connecticut Association of Superintendents.
Cara Marie Brown ’04 (CLAS) is now teaching in the Waterbury School System.
Jodie Comer Oshana ’05 MA, ’17 Ph.D., a visiting assistant professor in HDFS, has joined the volunteer board of directors of CASA of Southern Connecticut, which advocates for the best interests of children who have experienced abuse or neglect. She was formerly an attorney at the Children’s Law Center of Connecticut and at the law firm of Brown, Paindiris, & Scott, LLP. She lives in Westbrook, Connecticut, with her husband and their three children.
Congrats to Ajay Madkekar ’06 (BUS) and Diana Flynn Madkekar ’06 (BUS, CLAS), who welcomed their first child in April in New York City. They’re both thankful for the healthcare heroes who safeguarded Reya Pearl Madkekar’s arrival from being negatively impacted by the pandemic. Reya is excited to join the next generation of Huskies!
Peter Vaughn ’05 MBA was promoted to director of insurance operations by Third Coast Underwriters.
And Katia (Sutyak) Noll ’05 (CLAS) was promoted to senior director of Global Food Safety & Quality at Subway at the company’s Milford, Connecticut, headquarters.
A husky of a different sort: Kelly (Heffley) Villar ’06 MA, a mother of six who teaches second grade at Southeast Elementary School in Mansfield, Connecticut, was selected last June as the Iditarod’s designated “teacher on the trail,” a year-round role created to extract educational opportunities from the annual 1,000-mile sled dog race. She recently blogged about her time on the trail in Alaska and was featured in the Hartford Courant.
Ricki Ginsberg ’06 (ED), ’07 MA, ’17 Ph.D., an assistant professor at Colorado State University, received the university’s Multicultural Staff and Faculty Network Distinguished Service Award.
Three cheers for Dr. Jason M. Redman ’06 (CLAS), whose clinical trial work in metastatic colon cancer was accepted for oral presentation at the World Congress for Gastrointestinal Cancer. The conference was to take place in Barcelona, Spain, but was held virtually in July. He is an assistant research physician in the Cancer Immunotherapy Program at the National Cancer Institute.
The Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering elected Matt Fleury ’07 MBA, president and CEO of the Connecticut Science Center, as an honorary member of the academy. Fleury, who also chairs the Board of Regents for Higher Education, was recognized for activities that foster science and engineering education of the highest quality and promote interest in science and engineering on the part of the public, especially young people. He helped to launch the science center in his prior role with the Capital Region Development Authority and has held management positions in communications and government affairs in the telecommunications industry after a career in broadcast journalism. He and his wife are the proud parents of twin boys.
Rebecca F. Stath ’07 MS was promoted to vice president of accounting and principal accounting officer by the Kaman Corp. She began her career at KPMG.
Lisa A. Barry ’07 MS was promoted to vice president of financial planning and analysis by the Kaman Corp. She started her career at Hamilton Sundstrand and then United Technologies.
Rob Kreager ’07 (CLAS) was recently promoted to managing director at Aon.
Kudos to Medina K. Jett ’08 MBA, who won the 2020 Women in Business Award from the Hartford Business Journal. Jett was selected because of the significant difference she makes in her organization and the community, demonstrating business savvy, confidence, and a strong record of professional success. She is founder and CEO of Integrated Compliance Solutions Group LLC, the world’s only Black woman-owned compliance company. Her company works to break down the intricacies of securities regulations to help companies put compliance rules and procedures in place.
Kate M. Mackay ’08 MBA was named chief marketing officer at Siren Marine in Newport, Rhode Island. Previously she managed branding and digital marketing at Hasbro Inc.
Benjamin B. Levy ’09 (BUS) joined Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. He is a sports medicine and general orthopedic physician and had been a team physician fellow for NCAA Division 1 sports programs at UConn and Quinnipiac University.
Sean Halbruner ’10 (CLAS) and Katie Halbruner ’10 (CLAS), ’14 MA happily announce the birth of their first child, Annie Elizabeth Halbruner. The proud dad says the future Husky was born in March in Manchester, Connecticut.
James Moriarty ’10 (ENG) won the 2020 Kate Goldstein Emerging Leader award presented by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association.
Karissa (Burgess) Burnett ’11 (CLAS) earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the Fuller Graduate School of Psychology in Pasadena, California.
Amy K. Smith ’12 (CLAS), associate director of employer relations at New York Institute of Technology, loves N.Y. baseball but keeps her UConn spirit alive by proudly displaying her Husky license plate on her new car.
Siavash Samei ’12 MA, ’19 Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow at the UConn Humanities Institute, is happy to report that next year he will be a visiting assistant professor of archaeology at The College of Wooster. “None of my accomplishments would have been possible without the support of the UConn community and specifically the Anthropology Department and UCHI.”
Carla Brigandi ’12 6th Year, ’15 Ph.D. was named a 2019–20 College of Education and Human Services Outstanding Educator by West Virginia University, where she teaches courses in educational psychology, statistics, and special and gifted education.
Dylan Graetz, ’14 MD, ’14 MPH, a pediatric hematology-oncology fellow at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital received a Young Investigator Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Her research in global pediatric medicine focuses on how culture affects communication and how that in turn affects outcomes for children with cancer. She is assessing the communication needs of patients and families in Guatemala at the time of diagnosis.
Sophia Ononye ’13 Ph.D., ’15 MBA launched The Sophia Consulting Firm in Brooklyn, New York. She was recently honored with the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association Spark Award and a Congressional Letter of Recognition for receiving the Face2Face Leadership Award. She also joined the boards of two growth-stage life science companies: BioSortia Pharmaceuticals and BlueCloud by HealthCarePoint.
Michael A. Lipson ’13 (CLAS) joined Robinson+Cole as an associate in the firm’s Real Estate and Development Group in the Boston office.
Tara Amatrudo ’13 6th Year is the new principal of Marine Science Magnet High School in Groton, Connecticut.
Danielle Taylor ’14 (ED), ’15 MA, a fourth grade teacher in Windsor Public Schools, was named a 2020 Fund for Teachers Fellow. She will spend 2021 in Bali, exploring mindfulness and emotional regulation techniques to improve students’ social and emotional regulation and support those with traumatic backgrounds.
Jordan Orlovsky ’14 MA was appointed to the football coaching staff at the University of Albany.
Byron Bunda ’14 (BUS) was promoted to team lead for the North America West Region at Cloudbeds, a company for independent hosts and hoteliers. He is grateful for UConn’s Professional Sales Leadership Program, led by Bill Ryan, which gave him the tools to succeed in Cloudbeds’ sales organization.
Nisha Vasan ’15 JD was named director of employee relations at WeWork. She previously worked in employee relations at The Walt Disney Co.
Law school classmates Meghan E. Fitzgerald ’15 JD and Ashley A. Noel ’15 JD were named shareholders at Boyle Shaughnessy Law. Fitzgerald is based in Boston and focuses on defending environmental, premises liability, personal injury, and construction defect claims. Noel works in Hartford, concentrating in insurance coverage and extracontractual liability.
East Hartford schoolteacher Tracey Lafayette ’15 (ED, CLAS), ’16 MA reports that with the recent transition to virtual educating, she has been recording herself reading a story every day and shares the link with families.
Rachel Hill ’17 (ED), who plays for the National Women’s Soccer League, was traded from the Orlando Pride to the Chicago Red Stars.
Another teacher, Jessica Stargardter ’16 (ED), ’17 MA, who teaches gifted and talented students at Norwalk Public Schools and was the Neag School of Education’s 2020 Outstanding Early Career Professional, was named a 2020 Fund for Teachers Fellow. She will spend 2021 in London and Prague, examining international storytelling programs and translating their practices into instructional strategies that foster empathy and global competency.
John R. Amendola ’18 MBA married Elizabeth DeSiena in May 2019 at Sacred Heart Church in Castleton-on-Hudson, New York. He is a senior benefits analyst at Montefiore Nyack Hospital. The couple lives in Stamford.
Former Husky Batouly Camara ’19 (ED) was honored for her many off-court achievements with a Billie Jean King Youth Leadership Award at the ESPYs. Camara started the nonprofit Women and Kids Empowerment (WAKE) to empower girls and women around the globe.
Rebecca Aldred ’19 6th Year, a co-assistant principal at Ellington High School, was named the new principal of Windsor Locks High School in Connecticut.
Grace Vallo ’17 (BUS) wrote in July to say “yesterday I quit my corporate job. I’m taking the biggest leap I may ever take. This road is so unknown, and I’m not sure where it will take me. I’ve never felt this scared or excited. I’ve never felt more judged. I’ve never felt more proud. I’ve never felt so liberated. I’ve never felt so ready.” Vallo left her job in the Market Research Department at Travelers for her dream career — food blogger. Find her favorite fall recipes, including Squash, Cider Caramelized Onion & Chorizo Pizza and Whipped Shortbread & Pumpkin Spice Cookie Sandwiches, at tastefullygrace.com.
Crystal Dangerfield ’20 (CLAS) was named the 2020 WNBA Rookie of the Year on Sept. 27. Dangerfield, who was selected 16th overall in the 2020 WNBA draft, is the first second-round pick to earn Rookie of the Year honors. She is the sixth former Husky to earn WNBA Rookie of the Year — joining Diana Taurasi ’05 (CLAS), Tina Charles ’10 (CLAS), Maya Moore ’11 (CLAS), Breanna Stewart ’16 (CLAS), and Napheesa Collier ’19 (CLAS) — and second in a row, after Collier’s 2019 win. Dangerfield received 44 of the 47 votes from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.
Dangerfield ranked 11th in the WNBA in scoring (16.2 ppg, pacing the Lynx) and third in free-throw percentage (92.2), while starting 19 of her 21 regular-season games and logging 30 minutes per contest. Among WNBA rookies, Dangerfield ranked first in free-throw percentage; second in scoring, minutes, and assists (3.6 apg); and tied for fourth in steals (0.86 spg) and fifth in field goal percentage (47.1).
Dangerfield and Collier are teammates on the Minnesota Lynx, and the franchise has won a league-best five Rookie of the Year honors.