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.
➼ Lois Greene Stone ’55 (ED) reports that she and Dr. Gerald E. Stone celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary in June. They have 15 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren “so far.”
➼ Hannah Riesenfeld Korobkin ’56 (CAHNR) writes from Phoenix, Arizona, with a life update. Korobkin has retired from her job as a physical therapist. She says that when she was at UConn, her professors, including Frances Tappan and James Bauer, were early pioneers in the physical therapy profession. She is hoping to hear from her classmates.
➼ Reporting in from another warm climate, Jason Traiger ’67 MA says he is enjoying retirement in Sarasota, Florida, where he spends his time following local cultural events, bicycling, taking photos, and playing in the Manatee Concert Band.
➼ Also enjoying retirement is Albert D. Surowiecki ’68 (CLAS), who was a revenue officer for the IRS in the New York City area. He is a Vietnam veteran and lives in Woodmere, New York.
➼ Anne Greiner ’70 (CLAS) shares that three generations of her family have graduated from UConn. Her son, Neil Greiner ’93 MS, followed in her footsteps, and her grandson, Zachary Greiner ’22 (BUS), just graduated in May. Congratulations to a true-blue Husky family!
➼ Kenneth Anchor ’70 MA, ’72 Ph.D. was honored with the Presidential Award from the American Board of Vocational Experts at its 2022 convention. He founded the multidisciplinary credentialing organization 40 years ago. A clinical psychologist based in Nashville, Tennessee, he also has served as psychology professor and internship training director at Vanderbilt University. He has published more than 95 book chapters and journal articles, along with five books, including “The Disability Analysis Handbook.”
➼ Virginia H. Fallon ’71 (PHAR) sent us proof that she still has the freshman beanie she got in 1966 before finishing the five-year pharmacy program. Thank you Virginia!
➼ William R. Kinloch ’73 (CLAS) has retired after a long career in law. His educational website, draftriotwalkingtour.com, is based on his lifelong study of the American Civil War and includes a virtual walking tour of four important sites of the 1863 New York City Draft Riots, including photos of the sites as they appear today. He and his wife, Barbara, make their home in Cheshire, Connecticut.
➼ Bestselling author Robert D. Kaplan ’73 (CLAS) gave a nice shout out to his English professors at UConn. He dedicated his latest book, “Adriatic: A Concert of Civilizations at the End of the Modern Age,” to two professors emeriti. “I dedicated the book to David Leeming and the late Charles Boer because their classes on myth and modern literature led me to a lifelong infatuation with learning and the intellectual life. It is an example of how the liberal arts, as taught half a century ago, opened the mind of a working-class student,” he says. The book, his 20th, uses the travel genre to explore poetry, art, architecture, history, geography, and geopolitics. Besides being a novelist, Kaplan reported on foreign affairs for The Atlantic magazine for 30 years.
➼ Decades after she first started working on messenger RNA as an undergraduate in a UConn lab, Lynne Maquat ’74 (CLAS) has received two major international awards for her groundbreaking discoveries in the field.
Maquat, a mechanistic biochemist, recently won the 2021 Warren Alpert Foundation Prize from Harvard Medical School and the 2021 Wolf Prize in Medicine from Israel. She is best known for discovering a mechanism that destroys faulty messenger RNAs (mRNAs) in human cells. Her discoveries have led to a better understanding of human diseases and the development of RNA-based therapies to fight disease.
Maquat, who is the J. Lowell Orbison Endowed Chair and a professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of Rochester, grew up in Easton, Connecticut, and was the first in her family to go to college.
“Back then, I was painfully quiet, very studious, probably too serious, and wanted to do well,” she says. “I grew a lot as a person at UConn since I was on my own and had to make my own decisions. I really liked to learn and took all sorts of classes. However, the best and, at the same time, most challenging experience for me was working in Stu Heywood’s lab. I spent two summers and four semesters working in his lab. I was well prepared for graduate school by the time I graduated UConn.”
In addition to making seminal discoveries, Maquat has been a mentor to women at work. She started the University of Rochester Graduate Women in Science, which provides mentoring for the professional and personal development of graduate students.
“When I was a graduate student, working toward a Ph.D. in biochemistry, there were no female biochemistry faculty members,” she recalls. “Moreover, a number of the male biochemistry faculty members sent the vibe that training women was not a good use of time and energy. I found my career to be full of difficulties because I am a woman. Fortunately, I believed in what I was doing.”
When she’s not in the lab, Maquat and her husband, Mark, love to spend time outside with Jacky, their “12-pound, non-shedding Schnoodle.” An avid traveler, her work has taken her to “amazing places” around the world, including Patagonia, Ladakh, Tibet, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka. —Grace Merritt
➼ Fore! Andy Bessette ’75 (CLAS), a member of the UConn Board of Trustees, was inducted into the Connecticut Golf Hall of Fame in June. Bessette, who is executive vice president and chief administrative officer for The Travelers Companies Inc., is no stranger to athletic feats. He was a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Track and Field team in the hammer throw, setting an Olympic Trials record.
➼ Barbara Tryon ’75 (CLAS) has published “The Broken Flower Girl,” under the name BJ Tryon.
➼ Speaking of novelists, UConn professor emerita and retired psychologist Cynthia Herbert Adams ’76 MA, ’81 Ph.D. just completed “The Red Toque: Love and Loss in the Time of Tito.” Based on a true story, the historical novel centers on a farm family in the hills of Slovenia, and the six children who must survive both World War I and World War II. Adams has also written a trilogy of horror novels and a memoir.
➼ Nick Checker ’77 (SFA) won a grant from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development’s Office of the Arts to develop a solo-performer adaptation of his stage play, “Elegy for an Icon.” He also just published a new book, “The Legend of Kwi Coast,” a young-adult novel about a daring young dolphin.
➼ Elaine W. Viens ’78 (CLAS) shares a life update. She says after graduating from UConn, where she played JV basketball, she went on to earn a master’s degree at Southern Connecticut State University. She is now retired from a career as a speech language therapist and lives in Signal Mountain, Tennessee.
➼ Andy Young ’80 (CLAS) published “Work(s) in Progress,” his second book of essays, many of which have appeared in newspapers in his home state of Maine. He jokes that given his financial acumen — he notes that he was asked to leave the School of Business in 1979 for failing to finish the lower division requirements in four years — he should be able to retire from his position as an English teacher at Kennebunk High School by the end of the 2046–47 school year.
➼ John M. Barry ’82 (CLAS), ’84 MA is settling into retirement after a long career in college communications. He retired in July as vice president for communications and chief marketing officer for the University of Richmond. Prior to Richmond, he spent 10 years at Baylor University, where he was vice president for communications and marketing and chief marketing officer. He also served as associate director/director of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at UConn and then as UConn’s director of communications and marketing. His family of Huskies, wife Patty Barry ’00 (CAHNR), son Stephen Barry ’07 (CLAS), and daughter-in-law Kelly (Messer) Barry ’07 (NUR) helped him celebrate his retirement.
➼ Leigh M. Skipper ’83 (BUS), the chief federal defender for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, joined Duane Morris as a partner in the firm’s trial practice group, working on its white-collar criminal defense team. During his tenure as chief federal defender, he oversaw one of the largest federal defender offices in the country and was responsible for the training, strategy, and supervision of more than 65 attorneys. He is also an adjunct professor at Drexel University School of Law, teaching classes on sentencing and federal criminal law.
➼ 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 20 years.
➼ Nancy Dupont ’85 (NUR), ’10 MPH, who is UConn Health’s epidemiology director, received the 2021 Dr. Peter J. Deckers Employee Appreciation Award.
➼ Cosmo DeStefano ’85 (BUS) writes in with a life update and some exciting publishing news. “In some ways, it seems like yesterday that it all started with my accounting classes with Professor Larry Gramling on the Storrs campus,” he says. He goes on to say that he spent his entire 34-year professional career at PricewaterhouseCoopers and was a partner in the tax practice when he retired in 2019. He just published his first book, “Wealth Your Way: A Simple Path to Financial Freedom.” The Covid-19 pandemic, he says, “provided much down time to collect my thoughts and write the book: 35 years of experience distilled into 200 pages.”
➼ Dana Sosensky ’87 (BUS) wrote in to say that she loved “An Epic UConn Love Story — In Eight Acts,” in the February 2022 UConn Magazine about the many couples who met in The Jungle at UConn. “My husband and I met there in Alumni, as did our three daughters and their significant others,” she says. “Moving to the next generation, we now have our little granddaughter, who is sporting her UConn spirit!”
➼ Steven J. Burns ’88 (BUS) was appointed president and CEO of the Idaho Community Foundation, a public nonprofit that aims to help build and strengthen communities across Idaho’s 44 counties.
➼ Playwright Julie Linden ’90 (CLAS), ’95 MA got some good news recently. Her one-act play, “Symptoms and Their Interpretations,” was selected for the 2022 William Inge Theatre Festival’s New Play Lab.
➼ Kudos to Philip Dukes ’91 (CLAS), ’99 MBA on being appointed chief counsel and senior policy advisor to the New York City Mayor’s Office of Pensions and Investments.
➼ Congratulations to Marcia Imbeau ’91 Ph.D., who was awarded the Arkansans for Gifted and Talented Education’s Presidential Award. She teaches graduate courses in gifted education and elementary education at the University of Arkansas.
➼ When you go to UConn, meet your wife at UConn, get married on campus, and your daughter commits to the Class of ’26, a little yard artwork is in order, write Jim O’Meara ’92 (BUS), ’00 MBA and Georgia O’Meara ’93 (CLAS). Jim created this on their front lawn in South Windsor, Connecticut, for daughter Rhianna’s high school graduation party. It took about 20 cans of spray paint, he says, and the inspiration for the image came from the boards at the hockey arena (he has season tickets). “My two older sons attended Maryland, but I put a little more emphasis on this one since both Rhianna’s mom and I are UConn alumni through and through. We finally got our Husky!”
➼ Klarn DePalma ’92 (BUS) was named senior vice president of group sales and sponsorships at Nexstar Media Inc., where he will be responsible for the strategy, development, and execution of sales and sponsorship efforts for the company’s broadcast stations and digital properties.
➼ Wendy Winters ’93 MA was hired by Midland Public Schools in Midland, Michigan, as a consultant in gifted education. Winters says she helped the district create a new program for children in grades one through five called Advanced Learning Program for Students for the 2022–23 school year.
➼ Laurie S. Haas ’94 (BUS) was named one of the Top 100 Women Leaders in Connecticut for 2022 by Women We Admire. An attorney with the Murthy Law Firm, she represents companies and individuals before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Department of State, and other government agencies.
➼ Congrats to Paul Throne ’94 MSW, ’96 MPH on being elected chair of the board of directors for the National WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) Association. Throne directs the Office of Nutrition Services in the Washington State Department of Health and is Washington State’s WIC director. He lives in Tacoma, Washington, with his husband, David P. Carney ’91 MSW.
➼ June (Sauter) Prakash ’94 (CLAS) was elected president of the Arlington Education Association in Arlington, Virginia.
➼ Eric Schmidt ’94 (CLAS) left behind a 20-year career in the car industry to start his own business in the life insurance field, partnering with Integrity Marketing Group.
➼ 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.
➼ Ed Chiaramonte ’98 (CLAS) published his first book, “Back To Win: How Johnny Moss Returned Humanity to Poker and Life,” which resurrects a historic poker player to examine the construct of man vs. machine, as well as what it takes to be the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) in any field.
➼ Chris Casavant ’98 (CLAS), a sixth-grade teacher in Marshfield, Massachusetts, recently published “The Greatest Cause of Mia Dubois,” a novel for middle schoolers about climate change and climate justice. “The environment is an issue I’m very passionate about and have been for years,” he says. “I decided to try to make a difference this way.”
➼ And speaking of books, Jeremy Visone ’98 (CAHNR) has published “Empowering Teacher Leadership: Strategies and Systems to Realize Your School’s Potential” about transforming schools into collaborative team environments where teacher leadership is an intentional part of the culture.
➼ And David Pohorence ’98 MA has written “Why Not Me?” about the struggles, experiences, stories, and strategies that led to his success as a personal trainer, business coach, and fitness franchise owner.
➼ Meanwhile, Peter Jones ’98 MBA has published “Treasure!” about the histories of coins from shipwrecks.
➼ Frank W. Petise ’98 (ENG) is on the move. He was named bureau chief of Transportation, Traffic & Parking for the city of Stamford, Connecticut. Frank, his wife, Cortney, and their three children live in Southport, Connecticut.
➼ Deborah C. Beebe ’99 (BUS) has joined Harper & Whitfield PC. Beebe is now a manager in the accounting firm’s Farmington office.
➼ Congratulations to children’s book author Angela Burke Kunkel ’02 MA, whose debut picture book, “Digging for Words: José Alberto Gutiérrez and the Library He Built,” was selected as a Nutmeg Book Award nominee for grades two to three. She has two more books forthcoming with Random House Studio, “Make Way,” a picture book biography of Robert McCloskey, and “World More Beautiful,” a picture book biography of author-illustrator Barbara Cooney, whose work is kept in UConn Library’s Archives & Special Collections.
➼ Brian Feroldi ’04 (BUS), a writer for The Motley Fool who has 265,000-plus Twitter followers, has written his first book, “Why Does the Stock Market Go Up?” The book is designed to demystify the stock market for the average investor. Want some Feroldi investing tips? See our story, Making Money.
➼ Cara Marie Brown ’04 (CLAS) reports that she earned a master’s degree in special education in 2019 and is now teaching in the Waterbury, Connecticut, school system.
➼ Add another accolade to the Sue Bird ’02 (CLAS) and Diana Taurasi ’05 (CLAS) résumé. Theirs became only the second cover in NBA 2K game franchise history to celebrate WNBA athletes (Candace Parker graced 2K22).
➼ Congratulations to Lindsey (Welsford) Martínez ’05 (CLAS), who was appointed to serve as a judge in Orange County Superior Court in California. Martínez, of Brea, California, previously served as a senior attorney in the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division Three. She earned her law degree at George Washington University.
➼ Greg Farm ’06 (BUS) is a “chili head” with beginner’s luck. On a whim, he and his brother, Dan, decided to enter the Meadowlands Racetrack Chili Cook-Off in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the last week of January 2020, shortly before the pandemic shut everything down. The brothers entered in the verde category, a green chili typically made with pork, green peppers, various spices, and no beans.
“It was the very first time we entered an International Chili Society competition and the first time we tried to make chili verde. We won!” he says. “I guess we’re pretty lucky, because I’ve heard from a number of people who have had success cooking chili that this kind of win is rare.”
Their victory qualified them for the annual ICS World Championship Chili Cook-off in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in the summer of 2021. Though they didn’t win there, Farm says he had a great time and even made an appearance on “Inside Chili Nation,” which aired on the Cooking Channel last February.
“Food has always been a real important part of our family,” he says. “We were one of those families who, no matter what we had going on, had to eat dinner together at the family table. After our mom passed from breast cancer in 2016, it’s something all of us surviving family members do to stay connected to her and one another.”
Farm, who lives in Abington, Pennsylvania, and is an IT director at Lennar Homes, plans to bring the heat again when he and his brother compete at the Meadowlands chili cookoff this November.
In the meantime, he agreed to share his award-winning chili recipe, which will be featured in the upcoming “Seriously Good Chili Cookbook” by Brian Baumgartner, aka Kevin from “The Office.” —Grace Merritt
Northeast Connection Chili
- 1 pork butt, cut into ¼-inch chunks
- 2 Spanish onions, diced small
- ¼ cup garlic, minced
- 2 Anaheim chilies, seeded, charred, and peeled
- 2 poblano chilies, seeded, charred, and peeled
- 1 ½ pounds tomatillos, peeled and rinsed
- 1 bunch cilantro, rinsed, big stems chopped off
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- Hatch green chile powder, to taste
- Salt and pepper, to taste
In a large pot, sear the pork chunks a few at a time and set aside. Add the onions and garlic and saute until soft. Puree the roasted chiles, tomatillos, and cilantro together with a little bit of the chicken stock. Add everything back into the pot along with the rest of the chicken stock and all the spices. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the meat is nice and tender and the chili has thickened up slightly, about 2 hours. Adjust the salt to your liking. This chili is great served over rice!
➼ Ismat Mikky ’06 Ph.D. was appointed chairperson of the Division of Nursing at Bloomfield College in Bloomfield, New Jersey.
➼ Brett Eagleson ’08 (BUS) joined the New Haven, Connecticut-based Washington Trust as vice president of commercial real estate. Previously, he served as vice president and commercial loan officer at Guilford Savings Bank. He is active in community service and currently serves as treasurer on the board of directors for Guilford Youth Mentoring.
➼ Lynn Malerba ’08 MPA was named Treasurer of the United States by President Joe Biden. She will be the first Native American to hold this position. Malerba became the first female chief of the Mohegan Tribe in modern history in 2010.
➼ Brittany Hunter ’08 (ED), ’11 MS was promoted to business manager for Azure Core at Microsoft, where she previously worked in talent management and as an HR program manager.
➼ Congrats to Alyssa Lynch ’09 (CLAS) on being promoted to partner at the law firm of Halloran Sage in New Haven, Connecticut. She’s a member of the firm’s Workers’ Compensation Practice group.
➼ Michael Piccirillo ’09 (ENG) married Rebecca Lussier ’07 (ENG) in 2016 and they welcomed their first child, Madelyn Marie Piccirillo, in March. “We hope Madelyn will be a future Husky!” he says. Congratulations.
➼ Peter Dart ’09 6th Year is moving up. He was selected as the new school superintendent of Mansfield Public Schools in Connecticut. He previously served as principal of Mansfield’s Dorothy C. Goodwin Elementary School and succeeds Kelly Lyman ’92 MA, ’93 6th Year, who retired in July.
➼ Chad Cook ’09 (BUS) and his wife, Lianna, report that there was a big contingent of UConn grads at their wedding reception, held at the Glastonbury Country Club in Glastonbury, Connecticut, in November 2021. The couple actually got married in 2020 but delayed the wedding reception due to the pandemic.
➼ Daria Zagorska Luczkowski ’10 (BUS), ’13 MBA, who emigrated to the U.S. from Poland in 1999, has always shared a passion for creativity with her mother, Ewa. The mother-daughter duo recently founded Mia Bella Box, an online gifting solution for individuals and companies, named for Luczkowski’s 7-year-old daughter, Mia.
➼ Marty Summa Jr. ’12 (ED) was promoted to director of digital media and social strategy for Sage Growth Partners. Previously he was senior director of social/digital media and branding for the University of Maryland’s athletic department.
➼ David Robitaille ’12 (ENG) was named global marketing manager of oligomers and coatings at Dymax Corp. After graduating from UConn, Robitaille served in various positions at DuPont before joining Dymax in 2015.
➼ Jessica J. Hitt ’13 MBA was honored with a 40 Under 40 award by the Denver Business Journal. She is VP of human resources at TIAA, a financial services organization. She began her career at the Royal Palm Beach Target as a member of the leadership team.
➼ Brett St. John ’13 (CLAS), who earned a master’s degree at Creighton University, joined Coastal Bridge Advisors as an investment strategy associate.
➼ Joey Kopriva ’14 MA was promoted to director of residential life at Columbia University. Kopriva has been in residential life at Columbia for seven years, most recently serving as the associate director.
➼ Abbye E. Meyer ’14 Ph.D. has published “From Wallflowers to Bulletproof Families: The Power of Disability in Young Adult Narratives,” which examines the different ways authors use and portray disability in literature.
➼ And the winner is … Ryan Glista ’16 (CLAS), ’18 MFA, who snagged a New England Emmy for Outstanding Editing in the Boston/New England Region for the dance film, “While You Were Gone.”
➼ Jessica Stargardter ’16 (ED), ’17 MA and Bryan Kirby ’18 (ED), ’19 MA have published two books, both titled “Empowered Leaders: A Social Justice Curriculum for Gifted Learners.” One is for fourth and fifth graders, the other for sixth through eigth graders.
➼ Jake Krul ’17 (ED) was promoted to assistant director of development in athletics for the UConn Foundation. He previously served as an assistant director of athletic external relations there.
➼ Olivia Piper ’17 (CLAS), a poet and fiction writer who has been published in Funicular Magazine, Her Heart Poetry, and the Connecticut River Review, has been admitted to Hollins University’s creative writing MFA program. At UConn, Piper directed and adapted several stage productions, including “Little Women” and “Brownstone,” and was a staff writer for HerCampus at UConn.
➼ Constantine J. Alleyne ’17 MBA was named one of the Top 100 Women Leaders of Connecticut for 2022 by Women We Admire. She is founder and president of the Civilian Corrections Academy, which offers consultancy, training, mentoring, and career planning services.
➼ Kailey Townsend, who attended UConn from 2015 to 2019, has taken on a new role as social media manager for the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
➼ Leah Lum ’18 (ED), competed for Team China women’s ice hockey in the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing.
➼ Jeff Garnelis ’18 (ENG) was hired as safety/risk manager at Environmental Systems Corp. in West Hartford. He had been a risk control consultant at Travelers Insurance and a loss prevention associate at AIG Insurance. He grew up in Stafford, Connecticut, where he worked for his father’s residential homebuilding business.
➼ Alfredo Ramirez ’19 MA began a new role as a corporate training specialist with City Experiences. He previously worked as the assistant director for programs and marketing at Temple University.
➼ Swapping baseballs for basketballs, Sydney Gibbs ’19 (ED) started a new position as an account executive for membership sales with the Brooklyn Nets, having previously worked in a similar position for the Boston Red Sox.
➼ Ronobir “Ron” Deb ’19 (CLAS) of Glastonbury, Connecticut, was among the first Peace Corps volunteers to return to overseas service since the agency’s unprecedented global evacuation in March 2020 in response to the pandemic. Deb, an economics major, landed with his group in April in Colombia, where he will serve as a community economic development volunteer. “I’m interested in international relations, and this seems like a great opportunity to gain some quality experience for a State Department–type job, if I choose to go that route,” Deb says. “I’m also looking forward to the food and meeting new people. I hope to finally become fluent in Spanish and develop some hands-on economic experience in the real world.”
➼ Ryan Haynes ’20 MA is a residence life coordinator at Pomona College in Claremont, California.
➼ Hunter Frayne ’21 (CLAS) is an investment research associate with Fenimore Asset Management. While at UConn, Frayne double majored in economics and philosophy and interned at Pitch Gauge, IBM, Gutenberg Research, and The Hanover Insurance Group.