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.
➼ Thomas B. Roberts ’67 MA, a native of Storrs, Connecticut, has published a book called “MindApps: Multistate Theory and Tools for Mind Design.” It’s described as an exploration of “mind design” technologies and practices that boost intellectual capacity and enable new ways of thought and action.
➼ Jon Cipes ’72 (CLAS) was named chair of the board of directors of Adaptive Sports at Mount Snow. He’s been on the board since 2017, heading up the marketing committee. The organization provides adaptive sports, recreational opportunities, and educational experiences that help individuals with disabilities develop skills and confidence.
➼ After devoting 46 years to the education field, Doug Melody ’72 (CLAS), ’90 Ph.D. reports that he has transitioned to personal fitness coaching. For the past five years, he has helped others become more functionally fit and just wrote a book called “How to Die Young as Old as You Can.”
➼ Mariann (Valenti) Hunter ’73 (CLAS), wrote in to say that she and her husband, Ian D. Hunter ’72 (CLAS), ’73 MBA, just celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary. After graduating from UConn, where they first met in 1969, Ian went on to earn a master’s in criminal justice from the University of New Haven and then became a stay-at-home dad in 1979. Mariann became a fellow in the Society of Actuaries and worked at Cigna for 33 years. They have two children, who both live in New York City. Mariann says she and Ian are retired and enjoying the beautiful weather in Venice, Florida.
➼ In other retirement news, John Burrell ’74 (ED) writes that he has retired from Columbia Environmental Laboratory, which he started in 1983. He lives on Columbia Lake in Columbia, Connecticut, with his wife, Janet. “All the chemistry, biochemistry, and microbiology at UConn paid off,” he says.
➼ Molecular biologist Lynne Maquat ’74 (CLAS), a professor at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, recently was awarded the 2023 Gruber Prize in Genetics for her contributions toward identifying and describing the mechanism of nonsense-mediated mRNA decay.
➼ After spending her career working in primary care, hospice, and palliative care, Patricia O’Connor ’78 (NUR), ’96 MS has written “Navigating Life’s Final Journey — Conversations, Choices, Resources.” The book, available through her website, patocwriter.com, sheds light on the medical maze that often accompanies illness, particularly end-of-life issues, to help readers clarify and take control of their health situation.
➼ After 37 years, Dan Lemire ’78 (CLAS) has retired from his full-time law practice. He and his wife of 40 years, Karen Sullivan Lemire, live in Brookfield, Connecticut, where they enjoy life together with their three children and three grandchildren. He reports that the family has outposts in New York, Massachusetts, and southern Maine.
➼ Greg Ellner ’82 (BUS), a member of the Delta Chi fraternity at UConn, was elected county legislator for Putnam County, New York, receiving 64 percent of the vote.
➼ Leigh M. Skipper ’83 (BUS), a partner at Duane Morris LLP, has been appointed to the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s Practitioner Advisory Group, where he will consult and comment on the commission’s priorities and practices.
➼ Lisa Mendillo Kulhanek ’83 (SFA) and her cousin, Terese Wallack Waldron, have collaborated on “Sophie and Her Sisters Decorate Eggs for Easter.” The book — dedicated to their Ukrainian grandparents who immigrated to New Britain, Connecticut, in 1923 — is filled with colorful illustrations of egg-shaped characters. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the St. Jude’s Global-SAFER Ukraine initiative to support Ukrainian children battling cancer. Kulhanek is a senior graphic designer at The Toro Company and lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota, with her husband and family.
➼ S. Kent Butler Jr. ’85 (CLAS), ’94 MA, ’99 Ph.D. was the keynote speaker for the Virginia Counselors Association’s 2022 Annual Convention in Williamsburg, Virginia, in November.
➼ Cheryl (Turano) Ritacco ’85 (CLAS) was named chief operating officer of Overabove, a Chester, Connecticut-based strategic marketing firm, where she has worked since 2006. She also recently joined the board of directors for the Norwich Free Academy Foundation.
➼ Pamela Mead ’87 (CLAS) quite literally fell into yoga after she broke her hip while visiting family in Sweden. After surgery and a long recovery, she had to relearn how to walk because one leg was a quarter-inch shorter than the other. Her surgeon suggested she try yoga to rebuild her strength and balance. “Yoga was a game changer, particularly once I discovered hot yoga,” she says. She’s now the owner of Manipura Power Yoga, a hot power yoga studio in Brookfield, Connecticut.
➼ Chlora Lindley-Myers ’88 JD was elected president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for 2023.
➼ Eileen Meskill ’91 JD was appointed Connecticut’s deputy attorney general.
➼ Congrats to Michael L. Cornell ’92 (CLAS), ’01 JD, who was recently promoted to brigadier general in the National Guard. Cornell, who spent 20 years practicing law, recently accepted an active-duty position at the Pentagon, leading the 2,500-person agency responsible for IT and cybersecurity services for the U.S. Department of Defense.
➼ John Ho ’92 (CLAS), an attorney with Cozen O’Connor, was appointed management vice-chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion of the Legal Profession Committee of the American Bar Association L&E Law Section.
➼ Cindy Carrasquilla ’94 (CLAS) shares that UConn basketball greats, including Lyman DePriest ’91 (CLAS) and Chris Smith ’92 (CLAS) joined Haddad & Partners to tip off March Madness at Dockside Brewery in Milford, Connecticut.
From left: founder and creative director DJ Haddad, DePriest, Smith, Carrasquilla, and Kevin Jones.
➼ Congrats to Donna Hayward ’98 6th Year on being named 2023 National Principal of the Year. She serves as principal of Haddam-Killingworth High School in Higganum, Connecticut.
➼ Peter Horman ’99 (CLAS), of Needham, Massachusetts, was named to the board of trustees of William James College, a private college of psychology in Newton, Massachusetts. Horman is the owner and consulting chief actuary of Horman Mathematical and Actuarial Solutions Inc.
➼ Mara Reisman ’99 MA, ’06 Ph.D., an English professor at Northern Arizona University, shared the news that she has recently published a new book, “Moral Complexities in Turn of the Millennium British Literature.”
➼ Natalie Braswell ’00 (CLAS), ’02 MPA, ’07 JD was named Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont’s general counsel. She previously served as Connecticut’s comptroller.
➼ Johannes Neuer ’00 MM was recently appointed director of the German National Library in Leipzig, Germany. “My time at UConn and in Connecticut was instrumental in developing a passion for working in the arts, media, and culture sector, where I have spent most of my career so far and learned much of my craft that I still put to use every day.” After earning a master’s in music at UConn, Neuer worked as an audience development manager at the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and as managing director at Chamber Music PLUS. He went on to earn a master’s in e-media at Quinnipiac University and served on the board of the Justice Dance Performance Project. He later moved to New York City, where he held several leadership positions at The New York Public Library.
➼ Marisha Chinsky ’00 (CLAS) was promoted to vice president of The Bliss Group, a marketing communications firm.
➼ Nathan Quesnel ’01 (ED), ’02 MA, ’22 Ed.D. was appointed head of Norwich Free Academy. He most recently served as superintendent of East Hartford Public Schools.
➼ Ronelle Porter ’02 JD was awarded the 2023 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Beacon Award by the New York State Bar Association’s committee on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Porter, a partner and assistant deputy chair of the capital markets and corporate department at Loeb & Loeb LLP in New York City, was president of the Black Law Students Association when she was at UConn School of Law.
➼ Michael A. Pascucilla ’02 MPH reports that he and David Knauf ’74 (CLAS), ’99 MPH have been working together on a pioneering water quality public health project since 2017. Their project — Microbial Source Tracking in the Sasco Brook, Lower Farm River, and Goodwives River Watersheds of Long Island Sound — was recently featured as the cover story in the Journal of Environmental Health.
➼ Allison Cantor ’04 (CLAS), ’10 JD reports that she’s been promoted to assistant chief counsel at ESPN.
➼ Tyler Rhodes ’04 (SFA), the director of sales for small businesses at the Boston-based software company, Hubspot, says his company tries to be as involved as possible with UConn by judging sales competitions and working with recruiting to help place seniors in jobs. Nice going!
➼ Amy Lynch ’05 (CLAS) was recently promoted to president of Comcast Cable’s Northeast Division, where she is responsible for all cable operations in 14 northeastern states from Maine to Virginia. Lynch, who has more than 25 years of experience in telecommunications, media, and technology, has been named a San Francisco Business Times “Most Influential Woman” as well as one of Seattle’s “Women to Watch.” She serves on several boards and committees, including Girls Inc. of Metro Denver, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado, and Colorado Community Colleges.
➼ Chloe Mickel ’07 (CLAS), a lawyer in Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck’s litigation department, was promoted to a shareholder of the company.
➼ Congrats to Kristina Allen Reliford ’07 (BUS), a litigator and trial attorney, who was made partner at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP.
➼ Michael Smith ’08 MS, who was featured in “Building Futures,” in this magazine’s Fall 2019 issue, writes about continued success teaching in Pennsylvania: “I wanted to share with you that my Future City Middle School team won the World Championship in Washington, D.C. in February. We now have won back-to-back international titles and for the third time in five years. My team is now the winningest team in the history of this prestigious STEM competition. Since I have coached our team over the last 17 years, we have won the regional competition 12 times and been nationally ranked 1st (three times), 2nd, 4th, 6th, 11th (twice), 12th, and 13th over those years. This year’s team created the future city of Odessa, Ukraine, and presented the project to diplomats at the Ukrainian embassy in D.C. While the competition is heavily dominated by engineering schools and science academies, our public school now tops the international ranks. I attribute a good deal of that success to my Neag School of Education degree and Confratute experience at Connecticut. I remember my first summer there, when I got a call from Warwick offering me the gifted support job at Warwick Middle School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. While I have never had an engineering class in my life, I learned how to think, how to compete, and how to win an engineering competition thanks to UConn.
➼ Fany DeJesús Hannon ’08 MA was appointed UConn’s interim dean of students. Hannon is currently the director of UConn’s Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center.
➼ Becca Ginns ’09 (CLAS) was named to the 2022 Association for Healthcare Philanthropy “40 Under 40” list, which honors the industry’s brightest young leaders who have demonstrated success in health care philanthropy. Ginns, a senior director of corporate and foundation relations at the Prevent Cancer Foundation, secured $1.24 million in her first year at the foundation and developed several new initiatives.
➼ Paige Classey Przybylski ’09 (CLAS), ’11 MA just published her first novel, “Everything You Left Me,” a Young Adult (YA) mystery written in verse, a form she says is growing in popularity. The book was named one of Forbes’s “7 Most Anticipated YA Mysteries to Dive into This Winter.” She has been an educator in Connecticut public schools for 12 years. “My time at UConn was instrumental in my development as both an educator and a writer,” she tells us.
➼ Congratulations to Josh Feldman ’10 (BUS) on being promoted to partner at the law firm of Ruel Ruel Burns Feldman & Britt in Hartford, Connecticut. He’s a member of the firm’s divorce and family law practice.
➼ Gwaina D. Wauldon ’10 JD joined the law firm Pullman & Comley as an associate.
➼ Seth Bronko ’11 (BUS) was elected as a Connecticut state representative, serving the 70th district representing Naugatuck.
➼ Congratulations to Justin Raymond ’11 (CLAS) and Michelle Raymond ’12 (CLAS) on the birth of their second son, Nolan Michael Raymond.
➼ Chemistry teacher David Thibodeau ’12 (ED), ’13 (CLAS), ’13 MA writes that he was pleased to meet fellow Husky Vincent Gallucci ’65 MA, a retired elementary school principal, during a gathering last Christmas. “Vin and I chatted extensively about how education has changed over the years, our UConn experiences, and what it means to be a teacher,” says Thibodeau, who teaches in Smithfield, Rhode Island, and at Johnson & Wales University in Providence. “Despite being separated by several generations, our shared profession and UConn experiences brought us together for an evening of memories, stories, and laughs!”
➼ Erick Russell ’12 JD, a partner at Pullman & Comley, was elected state treasurer in Connecticut. He is the first Black LGBTQ candidate elected to statewide office in Connecticut.
➼ Congratulations to Erin Nicholls ’12 (CLAS), ’16 JD, who recently became a partner at the Wiggin and Dana law firm.
➼ Katherine M. Patnaude ’12 MS was promoted to audit partner at PKF O’Connor Davies in the company’s Wethersfield, Connecticut, location.
➼ Coastal Bridge Advisors, an investment company, promoted Brett St. John ’13 (CLAS) to investment portfolio strategist.
➼ Suzanne Ondrus ’14 Ph.D. shared that she is excited about moving into consulting in the fields of diversity, equity, and inclusion; gender equity; and nonviolent communication. So far, her clients have been the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia. During the pandemic, she learned advanced Spanish on her own and, later, conducted gender and DEI training in Spanish in Colombia and Guatemala. Also, last year she published a second book of poetry, “Death of an Unvirtuous Woman,” which strikes back at victim-blaming in an 1881 Ohio homicide resulting from a domestic violence case involving a German immigrant couple.
➼ Mark T. Basile II ’15 (PHARM), ’17 (Pharm.D.) and his wife, Sarah, welcomed their son, Mark T. Basile III (“Trey”), in June 2022. Trey was born into a long legacy of Huskies that began with his great, great grandfather, Daniel Graf, who graduated from the Connecticut Agricultural College in 1921. Trey would become the 5th generation in this legacy family — should he choose to become a Husky.
➼ Robert Isner ’15 (PHARM), ’17 Pharm.D. and Stefanie Zassman ’15 (PHARM), ’17 Pharm.D. got married in September in Woodbury, New York, surrounded by family and friends, including many UConn alumni. They met in the School of Pharmacy and through Greek Life.
➼ Proud parents Elizabeth and Antonio Pinho wrote to share the news that their son, Christian Pinho ’15 (ENG), was hired by Google last June. “Thank you, UConn, for effectively preparing our son with the knowledge, skills, and qualities he needed to learn to think and create on his own.”
➼ Tatianna A. Montalvo ’18 (ED), a broadcast media manager at ESPN, was part of a team that won a Sports Emmy for Outstanding Technical Team Event for their broadcast of the College Football Playoff National Championship.
➼ Anna Neupert ’19 (BUS) and Max Wildfeuer ’18 (BUS) say they had the best time celebrating with fellow Huskies at their wedding. Congratulations, you two!
➼ Chase Foltz ’21 (ED) was hired as a graduate assistant for Manhattan College’s Office of Athletics. He most recently worked with the Norwich Sea Unicorns of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League.
➼ Will Mandelbaum ’21 (SFA, ED), ’22 MA starred as Jean-Michael in Fairfield Center Stage’s “La Cage Aux Folles.”
➼ Recent graduate Anna Rodin ’23 (CLAS) has already published a book, “For Your Twenties: A Guide to Staying Connected Amidst the Chaos.” “While targeted at people in their twenties, this book is truly for all ages,” she says. “Between a global pandemic, the political climate, social media stressors, and the daily to-dos, we face some unique challenges. I lay it all out vulnerably and authentically with stories from my own life as well as from experts I’ve interviewed.” Way to start off with a bang, Anna!