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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.
➼ John Natale ’59 (CLAS) and Barbara Gustafson Natale ’59 (CLAS) wrote to say that they recently celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary at home in East Orleans, Massachusetts. The English majors met at UConn Hartford, transferred to Storrs, and after graduating, were married at Saint Thomas Aquinas Church on campus. They now have three children, nine grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. John worked for the City of Hartford after being employed by Combustion Engineering and retired as a senior project manager in the Hartford Redevelopment Authority. Barbara, who went on to earn a master’s in library science from Southern Connecticut State University, retired as library director at Manchester Community College. They say they look back fondly on their UConn experience and all their many friendships.
➼ It’s 4 a.m. Do you know where David Pear ’66 (PHAR) is?
If it happens to be the first Monday after Ash Wednesday, chances are you’ll find the retired pharmacist drumming his way through the medieval heart of Basel, Switzerland, as a performer in Fasnacht, one of Europe’s largest and most colorful carnival celebrations.
Fondly known as “die drey scheenschte Dääg” – the three most beautiful days – Basel Fasnacht dates to the Middle Ages and features nonstop parading by elaborately costumed piccolo and drum cliques, brass bands, satirical singers, and treat-throwing float riders. David, 78, joined the party some forty years ago, when his lifelong involvement with Connecticut Ancient Fife and Drum Corps led to an invitation to march with a Basel clique.
Festivities begin at precisely 4 a.m. on Monday and continue until the stroke of 4 a.m. on Thursday. (“The Swiss are very organized,” David observes.) In the moments before kickoff, a hush falls over a throng of 100,000 people packed into the city center. Then the streetlights are cut, plunging the old quarter into darkness. Massed pipers and drummers launch into the Morgestraich, the carnival’s traditional opening march, and flow through the city behind huge, glowing parade lanterns. “It’s just very beautiful,” says David. “All the piccolos playing the same arrangement, all the drummers playing the same arrangement. It’s like being in a different world.”
Although many rules are suspended during the festival’s dream-like 3-day run, the cliques maintain one absolute taboo: musicians must never play in public without their masks. All well and good for harlequins, but not so easy when your group adopts an insect theme, as David’s did one year. “The only problem with the dragonfly costume,” David says, “is that when you go into a restaurant, the wings tend to topple drinks. But no one minds. It’s Fasnacht!”
➼ Bob Bowen ’70 MBA published his third novel about America’s favorite pastime. Bowen says “Stingray Field” tells the story of two helicopter pilots who carve a baseball diamond in the Vietnam jungle and their difficult transition back to civilian life. Finally back home in Connecticut, warrant officer Billy O’Hara, playing for a shot back to the College World Series, experiences an epiphany when he comes to realize you can leave Vietnam, but the ’Nam doesn’t necessarily leave you.
➼ Edwin Slade ’70 CLAS is making moves. He has completed his residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery at UConn Health and was named board chair of the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.
➼ Thom Perkins ’71 (SFA), whose work is in the permanent collection at the Wadsworth Atheneum, shared this write-up from a recent exhibit of his sculpture: “Perkins’ sculptures reflect his reference to shapes, with an emphasis on drawn edges and the space between objects. Early figurative pieces evolve into later conceptual constructivist shapes using intuitive imagery that seems to be part of the human genetic code without relying on duplicating nature. Several study drawings and two constructivist photographs from 1976 show the evolution of the work. For decades, he put his sculptural talent to use in the design and construction of Jackson, New Hampshire’s cross-country ski trail system. To Perkins trails are just large earth sculptures. Now these recent pieces are a return to earlier concepts, which remained dormant in the intervening years. Perkins lives and works in Center Conway, New Hampshire. He enjoys summer on his sailboat on the coast of Maine and winter skiing in the mountains in New England.”
➼ Congratulations to Gerry DeRoche ’72 (BUS), ’80 MBA, who was named chair of the board of trustees of Lasell University in Newton, Massachusetts. DeRoche, who had served as vice chair for five years, had a long and successful career in commercial and retail banking, holding several senior executive positions. He currently serves as CEO of NEADS, a nonprofit that provides service dogs to individuals with disabilities.
➼Susan Carroll ’73 (CLAS), ’75 MA, ’81 Ph.D. writes that she and her husband, David ’74 (CLAS), ’77 MSW, who hold an impressive five UConn degrees between them, have written a new book called “Statistics Made Simple for School Leaders.” Together, Susan, a former faculty member in UConn’s School of Allied Health, and David run Words & Numbers Research, a research and evaluation firm that provides strategic information to educational institutions.
➼Talk about a prolific author: Jeff Davidson ’73 (BUS), ’75 MBA has just published his 68th book, “Simpler Living: 1,500 Ways to Declutter, Organize, Streamline, and Reclaim Your Space and Your Time!” So where does he store all those books?
UConn Rugby circa 1973
UConn Rugby at a reunion in November 2021
➼ More than 200 UConn rugby alumni and current players representing six decades gathered last November at the Tunxis Country Club in Farmington, Connecticut, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the UConn Rugby Football Club. Alumni ruggers from around the nation and as far away as Israel and Kenya came to reminisce and enjoy the camaraderie of friends and teammates from their playing days. The night of dinner and live music was topped off with toasts and speeches from Alumni Board president Dave Cormier ’86 (CLAS) and UConn Men’s Rugby coach Bob Merola ’75 (BUS). Since its founding in 1971, the club has boasted a number of All-Americans, some of whom, including Tom Brewer ’86 (CLAS), went on to play for the U.S. National Team.
The event was hosted by the UConn Rugby Football Club Alumni Association, which can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
➼ Robert “Bob” Krakovich ’73 (BUS) shares a life update. He has spent the past 20 years as chief financial officer for the Bridgeport Insulated Wire Company and lives in Oronoque Village, a 55-plus community in Stratford, Connecticut, where he serves on the board of directors. Krakovich, who is divorced, enjoys spending time with his two grandchildren. He also volunteers at a local Boy Scout camp, sings and produces local variety shows, cruises in the Caribbean, and is active in his church.
➼ Gary Levi ’74 (CLAS) reports that his story, “Dora’s Deathbed: First Movement,” was published in a recent issue of The Write Launch online literary magazine.
➼ Donald Tremblay ’74 (BUS), managing principal in the San Diego law firm of Tremblay Beck Law, APC, writes to say he’s been a trial attorney for 40-plus years handling mostly complex business litigation both nationally and internationally. In addition to managing his law firm where his eldest daughter, Katharine Tremblay Beck, is a principal and trial attorney, he is chief legal counsel, executive vp, and board member for the biopharmaceutical research company Intratus, of which he is a founding part owner. Intratus holds patents for ophthalmic therapy technology in more than 50 countries.
➼ David Fetterman ’76 (CLAS) celebrated his award for Anthropologist of the Decade and Lifetime Achievement from the International Association of Top Professionals in Times Square, New York City, with his family.
➼ William Fowler, who attended UConn from 1974 to 1976, has a life update. After graduating from Monmouth University, he interned for U.S. Senator William Proxmire of Wisconsin, then held several positions over the years, including spending seven years as a management consultant. Fowler, who has four children and seven grandchildren, lives in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, where he works part time as a sales associate with Red Wing Shoes. He published his first book of poetry, “I Am America,” in 2018 and is now working on his second, “Lieutenant Dan.
➼ Tom Morganti ’76 (CAHNR), a veterinarian for 40 years in Avon, Connecticut, recently published two works of science fiction, “The Ziyarat Heresy” and “Night Sky.” He is married and has two children, two wonderful grandkids, and a dog named Slick.
➼ Bob Lorentson ’77 MS recently published his first book, “Hold the Apocalypse — Pass Me a Scientist Please,” a collection of humorous, science-themed essay
➼ Mark A. DeMaio ’77 (CLAS) is rockin’ it. DeMaio, who performs as Mark Anthony, signed with Iron Gate Records in Nashville as one of their newest recording artists. His first single, “Running Away,” was released on more than 80 platforms worldwide in October
➼ Congratulations to dentist-turned-educator Maureen (McSparran) Ruby ’77 (CLAS), ’78 MS, ’82 DMD, ’07 Ph.D. She was just named the first endowed chair at Sacred Heart University, where she will help prepare educational leaders as the new Isabelle Farrington endowed chair of social, emotional, and academic leadership. This is just the latest highlight in Ruby’s exceptional career, which includes being named teacher of the year for North Branford Public Schools, serving as program coordinator of the graduate reading program at Eastern Connecticut State University, and becoming assistant superintendent of the Brookfield Public Schools.
➼ Congratulations to Vicki (Wollkind) Tesoro ’77 (CLAS) who was overwhelmingly re-elected to her third term as First Selectman of Trumbull, Connecticut.
➼ After a long and exciting career in medicine — first in family practice, then in the ER — Rhema Sayers ’77 MD retired and became a writer. Now, 10 years later, she has just published her first novel, “Wind out of Time,” on Amazon.
➼ Louis Liro ’78 (CLAS) reports that he has retired after 41 years in the oil industry. After graduating from UConn, he went on to earn a master’s in geology from the University of Chicago, then spent his career working in research and on exploration and development projects. He taught several courses on petroleum exploration methods, published 20 peer-reviewed papers, and spent his final career years as a global earth science training manager for Chevron. He and his wife, Kathy, live in Woodway, Texas, where both of their daughters are medical professionals. They spend their time now with their five grandchildren and volunteering.
➼ Celebrating her exhibit of travel paintings at the Homer Babbidge Library is Elizabeth Pite ’77 (CLAS) with, left, Lois Hessert Blawie ’75 (SFA) and, right, Rebecca Earl ’69 MA, ’82 Ph.D.
➼ Kudos to Susan Austin ’80 ED, who was named superintendent of schools for Groton, Connecticut
➼ No stranger to politics, Houston Putnam Lowry ’80 MBA was elected to the board of finance for the town of Avon, Connecticut, in November. He previously served on the town’s board of education for 14 years, including as board chair. He is also an adjunct faculty member at UConn School of Law.
➼ Jane Dewey ’81 (SFA) received the 2021 Kentucky Governor’s Award in the Arts in the Education category. Gov. Andy Beshear announced the nine recipients of the commonwealth’s most prestigious arts award in recognition of their dedication to sharing Kentucky’s rich arts history with its citizens.
➼ In January, A. Andra Grava ’81 (CLAS) became president of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors–Texas. Grava, an association member for more than 35 years, owns an insurance agency selling life and disability insurance in Allen, Texas.
➼ Lauren Baratz-Logsted ’83 (CLAS) published her 41st book, “The Great Gatz,” a romantic comedy she co-wrote with her daughter, Jackie Logsted.
➼ Tom Connors ’83 MS, ’86 Ph.D. shares a life update. He was named the 2022 president of the board of education in the Piscataway, New Jersey, Township. After earning his doctorate at UConn, he was named the Harold Spencer Schwenk Postdoctoral Fellow at the Connecticut Department of Health’s laboratory bureau. He and his wife, Abby Connors ’83 MA, then moved to New Jersey, where he accepted a position in the R&D division of Colgate-Palmolive. After a 30-year career, during which he generated 33 scientific publications and 41 patents of various consumer product formulations, he has retired. They live in Piscataway, where they have raised three children, Matt, Steve, and Shannon.
➼ Richard Goodwin Sr. ’83 MBA recently published “Baseball Life Matters,” which celebrates the game of baseball and the historic accomplishments of the 1967 New York State American Legion Baseball Championship team from Rochester, New York.
➼ Donna Pearlman ’84 (CLAS) is starting a new venture. She joined American International Group, Inc. (AIG) as reinsurance operations lead. Her career move comes after running her own business, D.P. Consulting Co., for more than two decades.
➼ Congrats to Joseph Briody ’86 (BUS), ’95 MA, ’96 Ph.D., who was appointed assistant vice president/executive director of UConn’s Division of Student Affairs.
➼ “The Trail” by Ethan Gallogly ’87 (CLAS) recently reached Amazon bestseller status. It explores the 211-mile John Muir Trail in the Sierra Nevada, along with its history and lore. In the novel, the UConn chemistry and biology major, now a professor of physical sciences at Santa Monica College, uses his 30-plus years as a hiker and backpacking leader to demonstrate how nature helps us reconnect with ourselves.
➼ Congrats to Edelyn (Cintron) Bishop ’88 (NUR), who completed her Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program from the University of Tennessee and became board certified last July.
➼ Andrew W. Bray ’88 CLAS, ’91 JD is stepping up. He was elected to the national board of the Green Beret Foundation and now serves as board secretary. The board provides Special Forces soldiers and their families with emergency and ongoing support. He served in the 7th, 11th, and 20th Special Forces groups on active and reserve duty.
➼ The Middlesex United Way honored retired Middletown, Connecticut, School Superintendent Patricia Charles ’90 6th Year with its Community Service Award.
➼ That’s the spirit: Burt Osterweis ’90 (ENG) shares the news that he started a new absinthe company. He says that “knowledge acquired in a very special and unique UConn class, ITAL273 Humanism and Mysticism, set me on a path of mysticism — spending years in India — and helped to inspire” the label artwork for the product.
➼ Benjamin Bielak ’92 (CLAS) sends word that he is on the executive team at iSpecimen, where he serves as chief information officer.
➼ Tom Carroll ’92 (CLAS), ’00 JD is moving up — and helping out. He was recently promoted to principal counsel at ESPN and was a guest instructor discussing employment law for UConn’s Executive MBA program.
➼ Also making moves is Todj Gozdeck ’93 (BUS), who was named partner-in-charge of Transaction Advisory Services at Marcum LLP.
➼ Congrats times two to Jamahl Hines ’93 (CLAS), ’14 6th Year, assistant principal at Conard High School in West Hartford, Connecticut. He was named 2022 Assistant Principal of the Year and promoted to interim principal at Conard.
➼ Rob Carolla ’94 (CLAS) made another career move in the sports field. He’s now director of industry relations at Learfield, a collegiate sports marketing company.
➼ Congrats to Kerry A. Kelley ’95 (CLAS), ’01 MPA on being named vice president of finance and administration and chief financial officer for Connecticut State Community College. Previously, she served as a section director in the governor’s budget office.
➼ Former Husky Carla Berube ’97 (CLAS) led Princeton into the NCAA Tournament Round of 32, where her team lost a one-point game to a 3rd-ranked Indiana that was then knocked out by UConn. Sociology major Berube played for UConn’s first national title team in 1995 and was an assistant coach at Providence College and head coach at Tufts University before heading to Princeton in 2019. Berube’s 11th-ranked Tigers knocked off 6th-ranked Kentucky in the Round of 64 and went 14-0 in the Ivy League this season.
➼ Anne McAuley Lopez ’96 (CLAS) writes that she has published her first book, “We Don’t Get to Ring the Bell: My CML Story.” In it, she writes about her battle with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), a rare and incurable cancer she was diagnosed with just four months after getting married in 2016. Lopez, who runs a writing business based in Chandler, Arizona, says she has reconnected with the University in recent years. She sat on an alumni panel about careers in writing in the fall and partnered with economics professor Natalia Smirnova ’04 Ph.D. to create video content for a writing course she is teaching. “I’ve loved getting back in touch with the University and helping students,” she says.
➼ Kudos to Nicholos Richard ’96 (BUS) on being promoted to director of advanced practices at Mandiant.
➼ Kudos to Valerie Kiefer ’98 MS, ’19 DNP, a nurse practitioner at UConn Student Health and Wellness, who was elected to the board of directors of the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.
➼ William “Bill” Pizzuto ’99 Ph.D. is getting a well-deserved break. The former director of UConn Waterbury retired this past February after 16 years in the post. Previously, he was associate vice provost for the UConn tri-campus program for Waterbury, Torrington, and West Hartford and was director of the Waterbury and Torrington campuses before the Torrington campus closed.
➼ Kudos to Tom Tedesco ’00 (BUS), ’02 MA, who was promoted to president and CEO of The Music People, a designer and manufacturer of the global brand On-Stage. He lives with his wife, Becky ’05 MSW, and daughters, Makenna and Addison, in Glastonbury, Connecticut.
➼ Teaming up for the win: Katherine (Robinson) Walas ’01 (CLAS) recently founded Indigo Specialty Underwriters with fellow alumnus Steve Adam ’86 (CLAS). Walas spent 18 years at AXA XL in financial lines, cyber underwriting, and operations roles, while Adam spent 30 years underwriting and leading teams in all facets of professional liability.
➼ Jocelyn Tamborello- Noble ’03 (ED), ’04 MA, ’09 6th Year is on the rise. She was named assistant principal for Conard High School in West Harford, Connecticut.
➼ Kudos to Chris Finazzo ’04 (CLAS), who joined SeaWorld Entertainment as chief commercial officer. Prior to joining the theme park and entertainment company, he was president of Burger King, overseeing marketing, operations, franchising, field operations, finance, and development for nearly 10,000 restaurants across the U.S., Canada, and Latin America.
➼ Three UConn graduates were among the largest ever class of lawyers promoted to partners at Day Pitney. Congratulations to Lynn M. Fountain ’04 JD, who specializes in energy and utilities and previously served on the faculty at UConn School of Law; Andraya Pulaski Brunau ’13 JD, a litigator who specializes in intellectual property and technology; and Justin M. Hannan ’11 (BUS), who specializes in tax law.
➼ Nick LeFort ’06 (CLAS) shares a life update. Though he started out as an English major at UConn, he switched to engineering during his senior year when he began working for Thule. When his first daughter was born in 2013, he returned to his true passion and began writing a couple of outdoor gear blogs. He switched again in 2017 to become a marketing director, helping open the Kinsmen Brewing Company. Now LeFort is a content strategist at Julia Balfour in East Haddam, Connecticut, and is raising his two daughters in a cottage in the woods where they’ve been planting lots of apple trees and blueberry bushes.
➼Meanwhile, Brandon Guishard ’07 (BUS) is senior director of marketing for the New York–based menswear brand Todd Snyder.
➼ Also on the rise is Matt Quaranta ’09 (ENG), ’11 MS, who was promoted to vice president of the structural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing and environmental engineering divisions of Loureiro Engineering Associates in Plainville, Connecticut.
➼ Alex Molina ’10 (CLAS was a Husky football team walk-on who ended up playing four seasons here and heading to Denmark after graduation for a couple semi-professional seasons. Upon returning home, he tells us he made a career shift into acting, received an MFA from Harvard’s theater program, moved to New York City and worked in regional and off-Broadway productions of musicals. Midway through the pandemic he took a road trip to L.A., and decided to stay. He has starred in two independent feature films, one of which, “DASH,” he is producing. The film, he says, is “a feature-length drama/thriller shot entirely in one continuous take. No doctored shots, no hidden cuts, shot while driving the untamed streets of Hollywood at night. This film is a true one-take, something that has only been successfully completed a few times in the world.”
➼ Violet Lumani ’10 MBA published her first novel, “Foretold,” a supernatural tale of a high school girl who foresees the death of a neighbor and tries to stop it. Lumani, who earned a BA from Barnard College of Columbia University, lives in Connecticut with her husband, two children, and a pair of chihuahuas.
➼ Congrats to attorney Kelly F. O’Donnell ’11 (CLAS), who was promoted to partner at the Pullman & Comley law firm in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
➼ Way to go! Melanie Thomas ’11 MA, ’12 MA, ’20 6th Year, a third-grade teacher at Truman School in New Haven, Connecticut, was selected New Haven’s 2021 Teacher of the Year
➼ Welcome back to campus: Will Aloia ’12 (ED) has taken a job as assistant director of athletics for UConn Compliance. He previously had a similar role at Seton Hall University.
➼ Taylor Kielpinski-Rogers ’12 (ED) is moving from the gridiron to the parquet floor. She has taken a job as vice president for communications for the Boston Celtics. She previously worked as communications director for the National Football League.
➼ Mac Cerullo ’12 (BUS) and Kristina (Simmons) Cerullo ’12 (CAHNR) welcomed a son, Anthony Michael Cerullo, in July and report that he is already a huge Husky fan. He arrived the same day that Mac was supposed to start his new job covering the Boston Red Sox for the Eagle-Tribune newspaper in North Andover, Massachusetts. Mac had covered UConn football and men’s basketball for The Daily Campus while at UConn and has spent the last decade or so in sports journalism. Kristina is now a marketing lead with SmartPak Equine.
➼ Justin Michaud ’12 (BUS), ’14 MA added a new career move to his résumé. He was hired as a math teacher for Mercy High School in Middletown, Connecticut, having previously worked at Sacred Heart High School in Waterbury, Connecticut.
➼ Elizabeth M. DeVitto ’14 (ED), ’15 MA published a children’s book, “Safe Spot,” designed to help children understand emotions.
➼ Zach Townsend ’14 MPS has been promoted to vice president of human resources at Verified First, a background screening company. He also is an adjunct professor of management at Boise State University, where he teaches a human resources and training course to seniors. He and his wife adopted a dog from the same breeder who raised Jonathan XIV. “We saw that his parents were having another litter a year after he was born, so we got one of his brothers!” he says.
➼ Drew Hillier ’15 JD is making moves. He joined Morrison & Foerster in San Diego, California, where his intellectual property practice focuses on patent litigation, with an emphasis on the pharmaceutical, biologic drug, diagnostic equipment, and medical device sectors. He says he looks forward to warmly welcoming any UConn alumni who find themselves in San Diego.
➼ Congrats to Zachary Smith ’15 (CAHNR), who received his MPA from George Washington University in May 2021 and now works for FEMA’s Office of Response and Recovery in Washington, D.C.
➼ Wura Olusekun ’16 MS scored a career goal. She was hired by Major League Soccer as a senior coordinator in New York City, New York, where she will be involved in community engagement and outreach.
➼ Kudos to Charles Macaulay ’17 MS, ’21 Ph.D., who is an assistant professor in the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
➼ Jackie Millisits ’18 (ED, CLAS) reports that she is now a media strategist at Fandom in New York City, New York, having previously worked at World Wrestling Entertainment.
➼ Veronica Schorr ’19 (CLAS) writes in that she has published a debut poetry chapbook, “Conscious Blue.”
➼ Former UConn women’s basketball player Batouly Camara ’19 (ED), ’20 MS continues to do amazing things off the court as CEO of Women and Kids Empowerment (WAKE). In the past year, WAKE has built two basketball courts, launched six full scholarships, held three basketball camps, and built a water pump in a village that did not have access to clean drinking water — all in Guinea, her family’s ancestral home.
➼ Justin Pedneault ’19 (NUR) reports that 2021 was a great year for him. “Outside of working as an ICU nurse amidst the Covid pandemic, I was extremely blessed to gain some new titles. I am engaged to the love of my life, Ashley Durkin, and now the happy father of our little girl, Emily Charlotte. I also graduated paramedic school as I continue working towards my care goal as a Flight Nurse. I can’t wait to see what 2022 brings for me and our new family!” Neither can we, Justin.
➼ Kayla (Kay) Wong ’19 MA is making an impact. She is the Pride Center Coordinator at San Diego State University in San Diego, California, having most recently worked as a social worker for the Aurora Behavioral Health System.
➼ Congratulations to Sam Marshall ’16 (BUS), MS and Olivia Schipani ’17 (CAHNR) who tied the knot on the UConn Avery Point campus in the fall of 2021 before many friends and family members who are fellow Huskies.
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