Class Notes

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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.

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Spotlight Stories

Nelson King of Dayville, Connecticut, sons Kevin King of Plainville, Connecticut, and Tracy King of Halfmoon, New York; and grandsons Zachary King and Robert King pose wearing UConn sweaters pose with the Jonathan statue at UConn Storrs campus.

Three generations of Huskies gathered on campus recently for a reunion that included a photo op with Jonathan. Nelson King ’60 (ED) of Dayville, Connecticut; sons Kevin King ’90 (ENG) of Plainville, Connecticut, and Tracy King ’92 (BUS) of Halfmoon, New York; and grandsons Zachary King ’26 (ENG) and Robert King ’27 (ENG) continue the unbroken line.

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Cover of "On Horsebarn Hill: Poems,” with art of a sunset over a grassy hill.

Writes Janet McMillan Rives, who this July will publish “On Horsebarn Hill: Poems,” with cover art by Blanche Serban: “My father came to UConn as a professor of marketing in 1942. He eventually became the assistant dean of the School of Business. My family moved from Mansfield Center to the white farmhouse (next to the current Dairy Bar) in 1944, when I was 6 months old. I spent my first nine years on Horsebarn Hill. In 1953, my family moved to 11 Eastwood Road, and in 1960, we moved to Tucson, Arizona, where my father became a vice president at the University of Arizona, his alma mater. I guess you can figure out that I’ve remembered my days on Horsebarn Hill my entire life!”

Snow Day

Icy air seeps under ill-fitted windows
through which I see nothing but white —
no maple tree, no stone wall,
no church steeple, just pure white.

Bowls of corn flakes sit on our red
Chromecroft dinette table
while Mother stands at the sink,
cigarette and Coke in hand.
We listen to the Bob Steele show
on WTIC from Hartford, listen
as the Down Homers’ country twang
is interrupted by a reading
of school closings: Tolland, Ashford,
Coventry, Manchester, Willimantic,
then finally, oh joy,
our Storrs Grammar School.

Snow day!

archival photo of a young Janet McMillan Rives and sister playing in the snow outside the house, taken around 1949

My sister (right) and me playing in the snow outside the house. This was probably taken in 1949.


A photo of Lois Greene Stone ’55 (ED) as a teen­ager and her hand-designed clothing and costume sketches are all featured in “Girlhood (it’s complicated),” an exhibit now on tour from the National Museum of American History. Stone, a writer and poet, is married to Dr. Gerald E. Stone and has 15 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

William Lloyd ’57 (BUS), who describes himself as a true lover of UConn women’s and men’s basketball, starting with “Geno, Rebecca, and Jennifer,” wrote to say he went through ROTC at UConn and was awarded “Most Improved Cadet” on graduation day. “I probably was poor to begin with, however I did make major and received 14 Air Medals and two Distinguished Flying Crosses for 350 combat missions in Vietnam.” Impressive!


Bruce H. Cagenello ’60 (CLAS) lets us know that he is enjoying life in the retirement community Masonicare in Wallingford, Connecticut. He retired from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties after more than 50 years in residential and commercial real estate. Among his many awards, including School of Business alumni of the year, is a recent one: 2022 Marquis Who’s Who list.

Congratulations to Dennis Alfred Randall ’64 (CLAS) and Donna Holcombe Randall ’64 (CLAS), who met as first-year students in Storrs and recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary! They were married in Simsbury, Connecticut, during the summer break between their junior and senior years and lived in off-campus housing for married couples on Cheney Drive in Storrs. They have four sons, Paul, Steven, and twins Brian and David, along with six grandchildren. They’re both retired and live in Plantsville, Connecticut.

Jerome A. Meli ’64 MS, ’69 Ph.D. recently published “The Physics of Radiation Dosimetry,” which is based on a course he taught in a master’s degree program in medical physics at Columbia University.

James Lyons ’65 (ED), ’74 Ph.D. has released a new book, “From the Projects to the Presidencies: My Journey to Higher Education Leadership.” It tells the story of his journey from being raised in a New Haven public housing project to eventually becoming president of six universities.

John Surowiecki ’66 (CLAS), ’78 MA, of Hebron, recently published his 14th and 15th books of poetry, “The Place of the Solitaires: Poems from Titles by Wallace Stevens” and “Chez Pétrouchka,” which he describes as a long poem that gives Stravinsky’s puppet a voice, albeit a rude and nasty one.

Gary Goshgarian ’66 MA, writing under the pen name Gary Braver, published his 10th mystery, “Rumor of Evil.” His novels have been translated into 16 languages, and three have been optioned for movies. He’s an award-winning professor emeritus at Northeastern University, where he taught courses in science fiction, horror fiction, detective fiction, and fiction writing. He lives with his family in Arlington, Massachusetts. See Gallery

Here’s some impressive news: Perry Zirkel ’68 MA, ’72 Ph.D., ’76 JD, who retired eight years ago and now is a professor emeritus of education and law at Lehigh University, has continued his research and writing and recently reached his 1,700th publication with an article in the Connecticut Law Review.

Preston Trombly ’69 (SFA) tells us he is celebrating more than 20 years as a classical music commentator at Symphony Hall, SiriusXM satellite radio channel 78. He also recently had original artwork displayed at the Prince Street Gallery in New York City and with Long Island City Artists at the Factory gallery in Long Island City, New York.


Bob Rosen ’70 (CLAS) was recently elected to a second two-year term to serve on the Amberley Village, Ohio, council. He was then selected by the council to serve as mayor.

Richard Formato ’70 MS, ’79 Ph.D., of Harwich, Massachusetts, recently co-authored a science fiction novel, “Node Riders,” and a murder mystery, “Milo.” Formato developed the central force optimization algorithm, widely used in engineering, science, and medicine, and invented variable Z° antenna technology.

Congrats to Wes Slate ’72 (CLAS) on retiring after a long career that included teaching, business, and public service, most recently as the city clerk in Beverly, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Georgia Bills ’79 (MA), are new grandparents of Jeremy John Slate and have lived in Beverly since 1981.

Kudos to Anne M. Hamilton ’73 JD, a former Hartford Courant journalist, for researching and writing “A Century’s Journey: Women at the University of Connecticut School of Law,” the fourth in the UConn School of Law’s series of short histories. The book explores the inspiring stories of many UConn Law alumnae. Hamilton details how the Hartford College of Law opened in 1921, advertising “evening classes for men and women,” a remarkable gesture just a year after women in the United States won the right to vote. The school’s co-founder, Caroline Lillard, worked with her husband, George, to establish the school and build its reputation. Still, women remained a tiny minority at the law school and in the legal profession for the next 50 years. The tide began to turn in the 1970s, and now women students outnumber men.

Daniel R. Robinson ’74 JD, who is a municipal court judge in Telluride, Colorado, writes with an update. “Although I am a third-generation native of rural Colorado, my memories of law school in Connecticut are among my fondest. My career as a community member, lawyer, and judge in western Colorado over the last 50 years has been quite successful. I attribute much of that success to the privilege of attending law school there.”

United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut presented Andy Bessette ’75 (CLAS) with its first George Bahamonde Lifetime Achievement Award. The award celebrates those with outstanding personal and professional achievements who have dedicated themselves to philanthropy and community. Bessette, who is executive vice president and chief administrative officer at Travelers, is a member of UConn’s Board of Trustees and serves on UConn Health’s Board of Directors. He also is vice chairman of the Capital Region Development Authority and a member of the Board of Governors for Hartford Hospital.

Scott Prussing ’75 (CLAS) recently completed a successful second career as a novelist, writing more than two dozen novels in a variety of genres. He reports that his nine-book paranormal romance series, “The Blue Fire Saga,” is set in a mythical college in Connecticut (hmm) and has been downloaded more than 100,000 times on Amazon.

David Fetterman ’76 (CLAS) is pictured above with his family at the Times Square NASDAQ billboard announcing a recent honor. In December 2023, Fetterman was awarded the Global Impact Award by IAOTP (International Association of Top Professionals) for work highlighted in his book “Empowerment Evaluation and Social Justice: Confronting the Culture of Silence.” The award recognized his Feeding America–funded efforts to fight for food justice in the United States and his USAID-funded work to eliminate tuberculosis in India. He also has received a 2016 UConn Honors Distinguished Alumni Award and a 2008 Neag School of Education Outstanding Higher Education Professional Award. See Gallery

Tom Morganti ’76 (CAHNR), who lives and works in Avon, Connecticut, and is the grandfather of two, reports that he has just published his 11th book, “M’ystyk.” It’s a memoir about his more than 40 years as a veterinarian in Connecticut.

Congrats to Vicki (Wollkind) Tesoro ’77 (CLAS) on being elected to her fourth term as the first selectman of Trumbull.

Peter Emanuel Jr. ’77 (ED), a private school educator who went on to earn a master’s in history, has published “Course Change: The Whaleship Stonington in the Mexican-American War.” Using the logbook of the whaleship Stonington, together with other primary and secondary sources, Emanuel spins the tale of the months the whaleship served as a gunship for the U.S. Navy during the ­Mexican-American War.

Patricia O’Connor ’78 (NUR), ’96 MS writes with a life update: “I am so thankful to UConn for providing me with a career I have dearly loved. I have spent well over 40 years caring for people.” O’Connor was the first head nurse at Connecticut Hospice and spent many years bringing hospice care to various communities in Connecticut. She went on to become a nurse practitioner in a primary care setting and capped off her career working in specialty palliative care in New Hampshire. She shares her career wisdom in a new book, “Navigating Life’s Final Journey: Conversations, Choices, Resources,” to “help educate, inform, and reassure people as they approach their end of life.”

Dennis S. Main ’78 MBA was recently reelected president of the board of directors of Avalonia Land Conservancy, a nationally accredited regional land trust in New London County. He credits his MBA from UConn’s Center for Real Estate and Urban Economic Studies and his more than 40 years as a real estate broker for helping the land trust acquire and protect more than 2,000 acres. See Gallery

Lisa C. Taylor ’79 (CLAS), ’81 MA plans to launch a national book tour next year for her novel, “The Shape of What Remains.” She has written three poetry collections and two short-fiction collections, most recently “Impossibly Small Spaces.” She is the co-director of the Mesa Verde Writers Conference in Mancos, Colorado, where she lives with her husband, Russ Taylor ’80 (CLAS). She also teaches online for and serves on the board of the creative district in her small, mountain town.

Susan Packer Saposnik ’79 (ED, SFA) recently performed “Blue Rhapsody,” a piano concerto written for her by Michael Donovan. The world premiere took place last October with the Tri-County Symphonic Band in Marion, Massachusetts. In November, she performed the piece again with the Cape Community Orchestra on Cape Cod.


The Society of Financial Service Professionals honored Kevin Baldwin ’81 (CLAS) with the 2024 Ken Black Leadership Award. Baldwin is a founder and managing partner at B&L Financial Architects and has spent nearly 50 years in the financial services industry. In his spare time, Baldwin, of Hebron, Connecticut, likes to fly private and commercial airplanes. See Gallery

Jeff Denman ’82 MA reports that he recently published his second book, “John Quincy Adams, Reluctant Abolitionist,” and is working on a third book about the plight of Quakers during the American Revolution.

Judge John D. Moore (Ret.) ’83 JD joined Pullman & Comley as a member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution practice group. He will focus on the mediation and arbitration of civil and family disputes. See Gallery

Robert Bolgard ’84 JD shared a life update: “One of the best things that I’ve ever done was to get a law degree at UConn, attending mid-career at the night school. It helped me become a better trust officer and then vice president and regional manager at CBT and Fleet Bank until my retirement in 2000. Then I spent more than 18 years as an estate and trust attorney at Ericson, Scalise & Mangan in New Britain. I finally retired fully at age 84 and am now living in our former vacation home on a small lake in the Catskills in New York. Go Huskies!”

Glenn Marcella ’89 (CLAS) purchased his “Husky 6” vanity license plate last winter, confident of a sixth men’s basketball championship in the offing. This fan bleeds blue! As does his family: Wife Liz ’93 (CLAS) and daughters Julia ’23 (CLAS), Olivia ’24 (ED), and Emma ’28 (CLAS) are along for the ride. See Gallery

Jon Russo ’89 (BUS), who was a member of the Delta Chi fraternity and ROTC at UConn, was appointed to the advisory board of the Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He is the chief marketing officer and founder of B2B Fusion.

Tony Bertoldi ’89 (CLAS) debunks common misperceptions about affordable housing in his new book “American Dream Come True.” Bertoldi, of Boston, Massachusetts, studied economics and real estate at UConn and is co-president of the affordable housing syndication company CREA.


 Tim Bartlett ’90 (ED) was named chief executive officer of the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA following a nationwide search. A veteran YMCA professional who has already logged more than 34 years of service in the nonprofit world, he is a passionate community leader who has been recognized for his expertise in fundraising, community partnerships, collaborations, and volunteerism. Outside of work, he’s an avid sports, music, and cinema fan. He lives in Newtown, Connecticut, with his wife, Holly, a special education teacher, and has two adult children, Basil and Dylan. See Gallery

 Jason Calabrese ’93 (CLAS) has published a book, “Boost Your Basketball IQ,” for players, coaches, and parents who want to gain some insights on the game and help sharpen players’ mental skills. He’s a senior executive at Ion Solar Pros in Middlebury, Connecticut.

 Tara (Curtis) Mead ’94 (CLAS) recently joined the Pennsylvania Association of Community Bankers as director of communications and marketing. She has an extensive background in communications, starting with an award-winning career in radio before segueing to public relations in 2008. Since then, she has worked in various sectors of the public relations field, including state government, health care, and higher education.

 Kudos to Vernon Public Schools superintendent Joseph Macary ’94 (CLAS), ’16 Ed.D. on being named the 2024 Connecticut Superintendent of the Year by the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents.

 Nicole Alioto ’96 MA, ’99 Ph.D. returned to Storrs in March to speak on “How to Think Differently About Career and Technical Education” at a TEDxUConn event.

 Omar Randall ’96 (CLAS) was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in the U.S. Marine Corps. A native of the Bronx, New York, he currently serves as the deputy commander at the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve and the U.S. Marine Corps Forces South in New Orleans. See Gallery

 Brandon Bailey ’96 (CLAS) recently completed his doctoral degree in educational leadership from Pennsylvania Western University. He’s the director of educational services at Richland School District in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, where he’s also been head football coach for the past 23 years.

 All rise for the Hon. Rhea L. Moore ’98 (CLAS), who was recently sworn in as a municipal court judge in East Orange, New Jersey. She previously served as outside counsel for the city with a practice that focused on workers’ compensation, employment, civil rights, civil litigation, and municipal court matters.


David Franks ’00 (BGS) was named VP of sales at Avtron Power Solutions, having previously been VP of sales and marketing for Stored Energy Holdings. Before embarking on his successful business career, Franks was an NFL offensive lineman for four years, playing for both the Cowboys and Seahawks.

Andrea Abbott ’00 (CLAS) reports that she was hired as a STEM teacher with the Vail School District, which has four of the top 10 charter and public K–8 schools in Arizona.

Michael Alfano ’01 Ph.D. was promoted to vice president for strategic initiatives at Sacred Heart University. He previously was vice president for strategic partnerships and dean of the Farrington College of Education and Human Development.

Cynthia Spitalny ’03 (CLAS), a marketing and strategy health and tech executive with more than 20 years of experience, recently joined XP Health as its chief marketing officer. See Gallery

Congrats to Benjamin Fuller ’04 (SFA) on being promoted to principal at Cornerstone Research, an economic and financial consulting firm, where he specializes in economic analysis of commercial litigation.

Congrats to Amanda Falcone ’05 (CLAS), public relations director for Middlesex Health, on being named the 2023 Practitioner of the Year by the Public Relations Society of America Greater Connecticut Chapter. See Gallery

Adam J. Lupino ’06 (CLAS) was promoted to international representative for the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) New England region, covering the six New England states and New York. Lupino has worked for LIUNA for more than 17 years, dealing primarily with policy and labor relations in the construction industry.

Zak Romanoff ’07 (CLAS), president of OMNI Food Sales, recently published “Death of a Broker: How a Brand Advocate Was Born.” The book is about the need for transparency and strong leadership in the food industry and advises young professionals starting in a multitude of industries. “I would love to give back to UConn, a place that is very dear to my heart,” he says. “UConn gave me a home, a place where I was able to forge my identity and develop my interests.”

The Hon. Shanique D. Fenlator ’07 (CLAS), ’11 JD of Hartford was elected to the Connecticut Bar Foundation’s James W. Cooper Fellows Program. Fellows are nominated by their peers based on their outstanding service to the profession and the larger community. Fenlator is an administrative law judge for the Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission in Hartford.

Nathaniel Nelson ’07 MA recently published his first children’s book, “My Friend, Thomas Carl,” about a cat waiting in an animal shelter for a new friend.

Beata (Hrynkiewicz) Harasim ’08 (CAHNR), ’12 Ph.D., a holistic and integrative doctor, completed a fellowship with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists and is now the proud proprietor of Radiant Health and Wellness in West Hartford, Connecticut. See Gallery

Best wishes to Tabitha (Banker) Demicco ’09 (NUR) and Louis J. Demicco III, who married in October at the Jonathan Edwards Winery in North Stonington, Connecticut. She’s an RN case manager in community health at United Services in Mansfield, while he is the co-owner of a family business, Jewett City Greenhouses. They’re both huge fans of the UConn men’s and women’s basketball teams. Go Huskies!


Richie Kremer ’10 (CAHNR) won the 2024 Emerging Leader Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. Kremer has been superintendent at Hop Meadow Country Club in Simsbury for four years, following six years as an assistant there. Away from the course, he is an assistant cross-country coach at Simsbury High School and produced “Scrooge! The Musical” for his church. As a UConn student, he was president of the student group participating in alternative spring break, providing hurricane and natural disaster relief.

Wendy Garvin Mayo ’10 MS of East Hartford reports that she recently published a book, “SHAPE Your Life: A 5-Step Blueprint for Sustainable Stress Management.” She also recently launched Collaborative Cancer Care, a mental health practice curated to provide emotional support for cancer patients, cancer survivors, and families in Connecticut.

Best wishes to Alexander Kaiser ’11 (CLAS) and Brittany (MacGregor) Kaiser ’11 (NUR) of Boston, Massachusetts, who married in October in Portland, Maine, before a crowd of UConn alums. They were both active in Greek life at Storrs and attended many of the same events on campus, but didn’t get to know each other until they connected online and realized they lived on the same block in Boston! She is a cardiac transplant nurse, and he’s a health care IT consultant. See Gallery

Kris Cricchi ’11 (CLAS), controller at Guilford Savings Bank, was given the 2024 New Leader in Banking award by the Connecticut Bankers Association.

UConn basketball legend, social justice reformer, author, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer Maya Moore Irons ’11 (CLAS), ’24 H returned to the Gampel court to share hard-earned wisdom with graduates of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “Living on a team is a way of life,” said Moore Irons, who gave practical tips for cultivating a team. “Wherever your journey brings you next, strive to bring that true winning-team way to whatever community you commit to, and you will end up experiencing the joy of living out your purpose.” See Gallery

Congratulations to Colin McDonough ’12 (CLAS) and Maria Belén Ruiz ’13 (CLAS) on their wedding, which was attended by many UConn alum friends. See Gallery

Abigail Vacca ’12 (CLAS), ’14 MSW, of Simsbury, recently launched the podcast “Global Treasures” on Apple Podcasts and other major platforms. Vacca says she and her co-host already have listeners in more than 35 countries.

Emily Getler ’12 (NUR) and husband Chris Rago ’12 (NUR), of Boston, Massachusetts, shared happy news: “This is Teddy Rago, 5 months old, our next-generation Husky.” See Gallery

Every year in June, classmates, friends, and family of Sam Grad ’13 (BUS) climb Mount Monadnock in Jaffrey, New Hampshire, to memorialize his life and untimely passing in 2014 from lymphoma. “The annual gathering of Sam’s Army is not only a tribute to a special person but an example of the deep bonds of friendship shared among fellow UConn alumni,” says John Moore ’13 (CLAS). See Gallery

Fido just got an upgrade. Elkin Taveras ’12 (CAHNR) and Greg Dohan ’14 (BUS) recently teamed up to launch an unusual new business venture: private jet travel for pets. Their new company, Avolar Pets, flies dogs, cats, and other pets alongside their owners in the cabin of the jet, not tucked below with luggage. Pet owners sit on leather seats with access to an open bar and a light menu while Fido gets a complimentary bandana and doggie treats.

Timothy Watt ’14 (ED), ’16 MA won the Connecticut 2023 Lights On Afterschool Teacher of the Year Award. Watt, a third grade teacher at Mayberry Elementary School in East Hartford, joined Thrive Afterschool last year, immediately making an impact on the program and his students.

Christina Edwards ’15 (CLAS) writes that she has launched a business career consulting agency, C3 Career Consulting, designed to help women and people of color transition into jobs that maximize their income. She has more than 11 years of human resources experience in the technology and aerospace industry.

Shannon Cowles ’15 (BUS) reports that she was recently promoted to regional sales manager at Otis Elevator Company, where she supervises account managers in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, and Washington, D.C. She works remotely from her home in Naples, Florida. She says she has attended career fairs at UConn through her company and looks forward to participating in future events as an alum.

Melissa (Myers) Worth ’15 (NUR), of Hudson, New Hampshire, writes with a life update. “I met my husband, Justin Worth ’14 (PHAR), ’17 Pharm.D, ’17 MBA, during my sophomore year at UConn when we both lived in Russell Hall (Northwest dorms) in 2012. We got married in 2019 and welcomed our baby girl, and potential future Husky, Hannah, in April 2023. We also live with our cat, Russell. We are so thankful to UConn for not only our education but for bringing us together. Go Huskies!” See Gallery

Congrats to Sarah Ricciardi Russell ’15 JD and Nicole B. Coates ’11 (CAHNR), ’15 JD on being promoted to partner at Silver Golub & Teitell law firm. Both are members of the firm’s Medical Malpractice and Serious Personal Injury groups and are based in the Stamford office.

Congrats to Kimberly Green Reynolds ’16 MBA, of Atlanta, Georgia, on being named chief procurement officer for Coca-Cola Bottlers’ Sales & Services Company. See Gallery

John Ewen ’16 (CLAS), director of athletic communications at Manhattanville College, was named to the 2023 30 Under 30 list of College Sports Communicators.

Julia Carter and Anna (Neupert) Wildfeuer ’19 (BUS), who live on the same street in Dallas, didn’t meet until they both enrolled in the Online MBA program at UConn. See Gallery

Best wishes to Dennis Le ’19 (CLAS) and Emily (Jarnutowski) Le ’17 (CLAS), who tied the knot in December.


Danielle Erickson ’23 JD joined Pullman & Comley as an associate in the firm’s Trusts and Estates practice. At UConn Law, she worked in the school’s tax clinic, was president of the Family Law Association, and V.P. of the Women Law Students’ Assoc., earning the 2023 National Association of Women Lawyers Outstanding Law Student Award.

You never know where you’ll run into a fellow Husky. Sundari Birdsall ’21 MPH, MSW was surprised and delighted to discover that Paula Wunsch, who spent a semester at UConn as a study abroad student, was staying at the same hostel as she was during a trip to Delhi, India, in January. “Paula’s UConn Rec shirt was a familiar sight in a foreign country!” she says. Birdsall, who is a student wellness counselor at the Yale School of Medicine, says the pair shared nostalgic memories of fitness classes at UConn Rec and trips they took through the UConn Outdoor Education Center. “UConn connections go beyond borders!” See Gallery

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