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.
➼ Congratulations to Malia Sedgewick Johnson ’56 (NUR) on becoming chair of the South Maui Learning Ohana and one of the founders of Kihei Charter School in Maui, Hawaii. She’s a patient advocate who serves as a Maui member on the Advisory Council of Kaiser Permanente.
➼ George Wedberg ’64 (CLAS), ’66 MS is carving out a new hobby for himself since he retired from a career in information technology and project management — he has taken up abstract wood sculpture. Wedberg would love to hear from the New Haven Hall gang of the early ’60s and can be reached via his sculpture website at georgewedberg.com.
➼ In other retirement news, John Copeland ’68 (CLAS), head men’s track coach at the University of Rhode Island, has made it to the finish line. After 39 years on the job, he is retiring. During the span of his career, his track teams won 25 Atlantic 10 Conference track titles and 16 team titles in the New England Championships. Here’s to a good run.
➼ Fairfield, Connecticut, author Arno B. Zimmer ’68 (CLAS) recently published his sixth novel, a murder mystery titled “Reservoir Man: The Disappearance of Tommy Dwyer.”
➼ James J. Coffey ’69 MBA, lawyer and professor emeritus of accounting, was appointed to the SUNY Plattsburgh College Council. Coffey currently serves as attorney to the towns of Plattsburg and Ellenburg, New York.
➼ For the 28th consecutive year, Edward Nusbaum ’70 (CLAS), a Westport, Connecticut–based family lawyer, was recognized in The Best Lawyers in America for 2022. Congrats!
➼ Harold J. Pantely ’72 (SFA) and Susan P. Pantely ’72 (SFA), ’73 MFA, who met in 1971 as undergrads when Harold photographed Susan for a show, sent a life update. They live in a house they built together in Torrington, Connecticut, and are both retired after long careers as co-founders of the Clockwork Repertory Theatre in Watertown, Connecticut. He was a producer as well as director, playwright, set designer, stage carpenter, and actor in more than 250 productions. He also wrote and produced 17 plays and was an adjunct drama instructor at UConn Hartford and Storrs. Susan, meanwhile, was the theater’s artistic director as well as costumer, set designer, actress, box office manager, and even puppeteer, putting her experience with former professor Frank Ballard to good use.
➼ When Bruce Berger ’72 (CLAS) was an undergraduate at UConn, he wrote his final exam for analytical chemistry in the form of a short story. Some might have taken that as a sign that they should become a writer. But Berger decided a career as a trial attorney might be a little more stable.
“It was only when I started thinking about retirement and what did I want to do after my law practice when it occurred to me that I wanted to pursue the writing that had been at the back of my mind for 40 years,” he says.
He enrolled in an MFA program in creative writing at American University. Now, at 71, he has published his second novel, “The Music Stalker.” Set in mid-1970s New York City, the story is about a child piano prodigy who fears being stalked by a murderous fan. “The Music Stalker” is the prequel to his first published novel, “The Flight of the Veil,” a story touching on the Holocaust in Greece.
Berger has already started writing his third novel and is pulling together a book of poems he has published over the years in various literary magazines. In addition to writing, he plays in a senior baseball league, spends time with his wife, Laurie, at their Silver Spring, Maryland, home, takes care of his two grandchildren, and teaches creative writing as an adjunct professor at American University.
“When you retire, you need to fill up your day somehow,” he says. “I didn’t want to be a retiree and just sit around doing nothing.”
Mission accomplished. — GRACE MARRITT
➼ Larry Livernois ’73 (CLAS) reports that classmates had a lot of fun trying to recognize each other at a 50th reunion of students who spent their junior year abroad in France in 1971 — especially since the men back then all had beards and long hair. They shared lots of laughs, memories, and photos at a reunion dinner held last October in Southbridge, Massachusetts, at The Metro Bistrot (sic), a French restaurant owned by Larry’s brother and fellow Husky Jay Livernois ’79 (CLAS), ’89 MA.
Joining Larry at the restaurant were Joe Marlowe ’73 (CLAS); Ann (Belter) Torrey ’73 (ED); Phil Kenney ’73 (CLAS); Margaret (Meg Gilbert) Cook ’73 (ED); Karen (Day) Girondel ’73 (ED); David Cunningham ’73 (ED); Susan (Silverstein) Millner ’73 (ED); Courtney Shea ’73 (CLAS), ’76 JD; Leslie (Yorke) Casanova ’73 (CLAS); Jimena Vignola ’72 (CLAS), ’76 MBA; Connie (Lainas) Carrington ’73 (CLAS); Carolyn (Farr) Cimino ’70 MA; Karen Sayers ’74 (CLAS); and Crisanne Colgan ’72 (CLAS), ’81 6th year, ’84 Ed.D. Meanwhile, Donna (Bass) Cohen ’73 (CLAS); Judy Kahn ’72 (CLAS); Jay (Ron Drybread) MacIntyre ’73 (SFA), ’74 (CLAS), and Mary Stober ’74 (CLAS) took part via Zoom.
Benedicte Naudin ’08 MA, the daughter of the late trip director Marie Naudin, also joined the party. Larry says they all agreed that their study abroad experience had significantly changed their lives, noting that seven went on to become French teachers and several others married French spouses. The group also decided to set up a new scholarship to help UConn students studying abroad in France with out-of-pocket expenses. Find more on the French Junior Year Abroad ’71-’72 Experiential Scholarship.
➼ “The Saga of Marathon” by Nick Checker ’77 (SFA) tackles the tale of legendary Greek foot courier, Pheidippides, who ran the very first marathon in 490 B.C. Checker’s novel won an endorsement from 1968 Boston Marathon winner Amby Burfoot. Checker told us that, being of Greek heritage and a past marathon runner himself, he was the right person to compose this work about Pheidippides. The young courier raced 26 grueling, perilous miles from the Battlefield of Marathon to the ancient city-state of Athens on a mission to save the future of democracy from a temperamental tyrant. That stunning achievement was commemorated in the revival of the Olympics in 1896 in Athens, which in turn gave rise to the first Boston Marathon in 1897.
➼ Amy Errett ’79 (CLAS) reports that she has joined the board of directors of home insurance group Hippo. She is founder and CEO of the Madison Reed beauty brand, a partner at True Ventures, and a 2021 Forbes “50 over 50” lister.
➼ Kudos to David Samuels ’83 (BUS) who received the H. Goldman Humanitarian Award at the annual meeting of the Charles E. Smith Life Communities, a provider of eldercare services. He has served on its board of governors and as a trustee for nearly two decades.
➼ Barbara (Solomon) Josselsohn ’83 MA published her newest novel, “The Lily Garden,” about a mother and daughter on a college road trip.
➼ Gretchen Ginnerty ’84 (CLAS) is helping children on two continents in a unique way. Ginnerty, an architect and interior designer in Pipersville, Pennsylvania, helps vulnerable children in South Africa and the United States through The Love Quilt Project, a charity she founded. Raising funds to provide better access to education for South African children who were orphaned or live in foster care, the charity also gives these children quilts made with messages handwritten by American children on fabric squares. In turn, the South African students write messages on quilt squares that are sewn together and given to U.S. children affected by HIV/AIDS.
➼ Business consultant Michael Caprio ’84 (BUS) was appointed to the board of directors of Elios Therapeutics, an immuno-oncology company. Caprio, a certified public accountant, was an audit partner with KPMG for 32 years.
➼ Jill Fitzgerald ’86 (PHAR) made a major contribution to Connecticut’s fight against Covid-19. She is collaborating with the Connecticut Department of Public Health to develop a training and certification program to expand the number of Covid-19 immunizers in Connecticut. As a result, more than 800 additional auxiliary health care workers have been certified as Covid-19 immunizers and 45 student pharmacists have been doing contact tracing. She was honored for her efforts in September with the 2021 Bowl of Hygeia award at the Connecticut Pharmacists Association’s annual banquet.
➼ Congrats to Martha Poulter ’88 (ENG), who was named vice president and chief information officer for Royal Caribbean Group.
➼ Best wishes to Jill Silos ’90 (ED) and Thomas Kincaid, who tied the knot last summer in Edgartown, Massachusetts. She’s a professor of history and political science at MassBay Community College and Emerson College in Boston who recently was named editor of the newest edition of “A People and a Nation,” a U.S. history textbook. The newlyweds live in Bradford, Massachusetts.
➼ Dat T. Tran ’90 (BUS), ’93 MBA, ’94 JD was named president of PowerSecure. Tran has more than 27 years of legal and business experience in the energy, utilities, and transportation sectors.
➼ Larry Davis ’90 MA, ’01 Ph.D. reports that he was reappointed to a three-year term as center associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University.
➼ Joseph Azary ’91 (CLAS) has launched a new business, Aztech Regulatory & Quality LLC, providing consulting services for the medical device industry.
➼ Career and life coach Mark Danaher ’90 (CLAS), ’94 MA is making career moves of his own. He was awarded the National Career Development Association’s Fellows Award, one of its highest honors, in recognition of his service as president, trustee, and training and education council member.
➼ Tom Rizzi ’92 (BUS) was named president and CEO for OTR International in the Greater Atlanta, Georgia, area, having previously served as EVP and COO for JSJ Corporation.
➼ Thomas Carroll ’92 (CLAS), ’00 JD is moving up. He was promoted to principal counsel in ESPN’s legal department.
➼ Ryan King ’93 (CLAS) was hired as director of human resources at Northeast Delta Dental, bringing nearly two decades of experience with him in the same role at both the McLane Middleton Professional Association in Manchester, New Hampshire, and Pioneer Behavioral Health in Peabody, Massachusetts.
➼ Kudos to Nicole Hughey ’93 (BUS), vice president of diversity and inclusion at SiriusXM, who was recognized by the National Diversity Council as one of the Top 50 Leaders in Entertainment.
➼ Also on the move is Jean Homere ’93 (ENG). He was appointed as an administrative patent judge at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, where he hears appeals pertaining to adverse decisions of patent examiners on patent applications in electrical, computing, and business methods.
➼ Chris Liberti ’94 (CLAS) was promoted to vice president of operations at Eagle Environmental in Terryville, Connecticut. He started at the company 22 years ago as an entry-level technician, performing hazardous building materials inspections and asbestos abatement monitoring and has been promoted over the years as the company tripled in size. He lives in Southington, Connecticut, with his wife of 22 years, Lori Lesko ’95 (CLAS), ’97 MA, and daughter, Olivia.
➼ Michael D. Horan ’95 MBA joined Worcester Polytechnic Institute as executive vice president and chief financial officer.
➼ Tracey Scraba ’95 (BUS), ’04 MPH, JD joined Signify Health as senior vice president and deputy general counsel. Previously, she was chief privacy officer at CVS Health, worked for Aetna for 23 years, and served as an adjunct professor at the UConn School of Business.
➼ Gary F. Borla ’97 MPH, a retired Eversource executive, spent the summer of 2020 volunteering for the U.S. Census Bureau, assisting in census efforts in Connecticut and several other states.
➼ Sofia Samuels ’97 MBA is making moves. She recently joined Ruan, a family-owned transportation management company based in Des Moines, Iowa, as vice president of marketing and communications.
➼ Patricia Buxton ’97 6th Year was named executive director of the Lutz Children’s Museum in Manchester, Connecticut. She most recently served as an assistant professor of education at the University of Bridgeport and is a member of Vernon Public Schools’ Board of Education.
➼ Robert “Bob” Quinn ’98 (CLAS), ’20 MA was hired as a senior consultant for the Cleveland Browns professional football team. Previously, he served as the general manager for the Detroit Lions.
➼ Brian M. Annino ’99 (CLAS), ’03 JD is general counsel of the Georgia Student Finance Commission, which administers the state’s HOPE Scholarship Program and student loan programs.
➼ It’s a long way from Mansfield, Connecticut, to Mansfield, Texas. That’s where Steven T. Rogers ’99 MBA was appointed vice president of business development for Gamma Aerospace.
➼ Daniel Raboin ’00 (PHAR), ’02 Pharm.D. was promoted to lieutenant colonel and assumed duties as chief of anesthesia for the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research Burn Center in May. Previously, he served as vice chair for logistics in the department of anesthesia at the Brooke Army Medical Center and commander of the NATO Role Two Medical Treatment Facility at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan.
➼ Meghan Wilkosz ’01 (PHR), ’03 Pharm.D. won the 2021 Daniel C. Leone Pharmacist of the Year Award at the Connecticut Pharmacists Association’s annual banquet in September.
➼ Adam Laudati ’01 (BUS), along with his wife and two sons, has written and self-published a short memoir called “Itchy Brain” about their journey as a family with ADHD. “We did this in hopes of shedding light on what parents go through and how we, as a family, have dealt with ADHD and persevered,” he says. “We took a negative stigma, embraced it, and turned it into a positive experience for all.”
➼ Speaking of family projects, psychotherapist Marsha Polanco ’02 (CLAS), along with her husband, William Polanco ’02 (BUS), and their daughter, Millenia Polanco, a senior in UConn’s School of Engineering, published a wellness journal, “Sparkle Wellness: A Journal to Practice Gratitude, Reflection & Self Love.”
➼ Christina (Nikki) Kupec ’03 (ED), ’04 MA, an educator at Martin Elementary in Manchester, Connecticut, was named Teacher of the Year for Manchester Public Schools.
➼ Matthew Necci ’03 (CLAS), a partner at Halloran Sage, was named to the Best Lawyers in America 2022 list.
➼ Cool job alert: George Philbrick ’10 (ENG) recently graduated United States Naval Test Pilot School and became a project officer on a team that researches, develops, tests, and evaluates all Navy and Marine Corps unmanned aircraft systems.
➼ Kudos to Brian Hendrickson ’10 6th Year, who was appointed superintendent of Salem Public Schools in Connecticut.
➼ Adam Behling ’12 (ED), ’13 MA, a seventh-grade math teacher at John F. Kennedy Middle School in Enfield, Connecticut, was chosen as Enfield’s Teacher of the Year.
➼ Justin Paluch ’12 (BUS, ED) was hired as coordinator of competitive sports for UConn Recreation. Welcome home!
➼ Congratulations to Alison Burke ’14 (CLAS) and Colin Treanor ’14 (CLAS), who met on the first weekend of college and got married 10 years later in June.
➼ Kelley Huber ’15 (CLAS) and Jonathan Kulakofsky ’15 (CLAS) were married in August on Thompson Island in Boston Harbor. The bride was given away by her parents, including John Huber ’80 (BUS). The couple met at The Daily Campus, where the groom hired the bride to join the photography staff.
➼ John Ewen ’16 (CLAS) was hired as director of athletic communications at Manhattanville College in Harrison, New York, in August.
➼ Colleen McGuire, former executive director of the UConn School of Business, teamed up with Julia Winer ’16 MBA and Christopher Tucker ’18 MBA to found Silver Fern Healthcare in Hartford. The company’s mission is to transform care for people with chronic disease by focusing on whole person care that addresses the biological, psychological, and social issues impacting care management and prevention.
➼ Twins Brent Young Jr. ’16 (CAHNR), pictured far right, and Shaylyn Young ’15 (CLAS), bottom left, are making great career strides just a few years out of college.
Brent is a chiropractor at a Veterans Administration medical center in Jacksonville, Florida. He is the first African American man to hold a chiropractic position in any of the 170 VA centers in the U.S. Sister Shaylyn recently published “Sadie and Jace: Make a Friend, Be a Friend,” a book that teaches communication skills to young children, with a focus on those on the autism spectrum. A behavioral analyst and counselor at a center for children with autism in Vernon, Connecticut, she sees a need for curriculum materials and hopes to expand “Sadie and Jace” into a series, with videos and songs.
The twins attribute their patient-centered focus to being raised in a compassionate, empathetic household. Their parents Shanyelle ’92 (CLAS), pictured front center, a real estate broker, and Brent Sr., back right, an insurance agent, are active community volunteers in South Windsor, Connecticut, where they grew up. Like many twins, they are close and shared a kind of secret language when they were little. “We still communicate nonverbally really well, but I don’t know if I can read her mind just yet,” Brent says with a smile.
The Youngs are a true-blue family. Younger brother, Shane ’21 (BUS), pictured back left, is an investment banking analyst at Goldman Sachs in New York City.
➼ Felicidades to Andrew Almazan ’18 MA, who was given the Emerging Leader in Gifted Education award by the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children. The award is given to an individual in the first 10 years of their career who has impacted teaching, research, and/or advocacy on gifted education in their country and shown outstanding promise for leadership. He works at Centro de Atención al Talento, Mexico.
➼ Kudos to Gabrielle Julia Bachoo ’19 (ED, CLAS), ’20 MA, a fifth-grade teacher at Governor William Pitkin School in East Hartford, Connecticut. She was recognized by the National Council of Teachers of English as a 2021 Early Career Educator of Color.
➼ Gail Lanza ’20 Ed.D. was named executive director and CEO of Ben Bronz Academy in West Hartford, Connecticut.
➼ From left: Hanna Basile ’20 (NUR), Barbara Graf Larson ’56 (CLAS), and Roberta Larson Basile ’87 (NUR) pose for UConn’s 2021 public service TV ad with a photo of the entire class of 1921 at what was then Connecticut Agricultural College. Among all students, faculty, and staff pictured were Barbara’s father, Daniel Graf, and uncle, William Graf, both 1921 Agriculture graduates. The family’s four UConn generations also includes Charles Larson ’85 (ENG), Mark Basile ’87 (ENG), Thomas Basile ’16 (CLAS), and Mark Basile II ’15 (PHAR), ’17 Pharm.D. Daniel Graf spent the rest of his 89 years in Storrs, working as UConn’s Farm Service Manager and as a Mansfield First Selectman. “No doubt, he would be so proud to know that three generations have followed in his footsteps,” says Roberta.
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