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Spotlight on Alumni

In 1951, Pitt students couldn’t rely on reality television programs to find true love. Instead, they had to meet and get to know each other the old-fashioned way. Does anyone want to venture a guess as to what these two Pitt students were talking about? Best response wins a photo of Yul Brynner as the King of Siam in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I.

Arts and Sciences

Daniel P. Levitt ’56 writes that he studied at Oxford University and Harvard Law School and served in the U.S. Air Force. He has been practicing law since 1967, first in Washington, D.C., and then in New York, where he resides with his wife, Harriet (EDU ’57). Patricia M. Fabiano ’66 received the Ruth E. Boynton Award from the American College Health Association for distinguished service to the association. Fabiano is program director of Western Washington University’s Prevention and Wellness Services. Michael Hout ’72, a professor of sociology at the University of California at Berkeley, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Evan M. Pattak ’72 has cowritten What’s Your Investing IQ? (Career Press) with Carrie L. Coghill. He and his wife, Pohla Smith ’72, live in Pittsburgh. Jerry Scott McDevitt ’73 (Pitt-Johnstown), a partner in the Pittsburgh office of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart, has been profiled in The National Law Journal’s annual feature highlighting 10 of the nation’s top trial lawyers. He is the first Pittsburgh-based lawyer to be included in the selection. Gary C. Woodward ’73G has written The Idea of Identification (State University of New York Press). Woodward is professor and chair of the communications department at The College of New Jersey. Jay A. Friedberg ’74 is senior vice president of First Union in Reading, Pa. A 23-year veteran in the financial services industry, Friedberg lives in Lancaster, Pa. Bernard Duffy ’76G was named California State Polytechnic University Distinguished Teacher of the Year. Duffy is a speech communication professor at the university. His wife, Susan ’76G, is chair of the university’s liberal studies department and was the 1992-93 recipient of the award. Patrick D. Hurley ’79 is assistant vice president responsible for identification and development of new commercial business opportunities at Marsh of Syracuse, N.Y., a leading insurance brokerage and risk advisement company. Greg Greene ’82 is senior vice president of strategic planning and development at Ryder System, Inc., a leading transportation and supply chain management company. He resides in Miami. William V. Striker Jr. ’84 is vice president and regional director of restaurant operations for Bob Evans Farms. He is primarily responsible for restaurants located in parts of Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky. Michael Boykins ’86 has been awarded the professional designation of chartered financial consultant through the American College. Lisa M. Carlucci ’87 and her husband, Franco Paoletti, announce the birth of their daughter, Livia Chiara Paoletti, born March 19, 2003. Carlucci works at Princeton University as a department administrator and conducts training in cross-cultural issues for Berlitz International. Yvonne Hudson ’89G portrayed Anne Hathaway, wife of William Shakespeare, in a one-woman show at the Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh. William Ganis ’93 is a full-time assistant professor of art history at the New York Institute of Technology in New York and Old Westbury, N.Y. Shaleen Patricia Dziubek ’97 is province director of chapters for Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity. A senior analyst for PNC Financial Services, she is an active member of the Greater Pittsburgh Alumnae Association.


Donald W. Cowie ’78 (Pitt-Johnstown ’77) is a certified public accountant. A financial planner with AXA Advisors of Johnstown, Pa., Cowie is also an endorsed local provider for the nationally syndicated Dave Ramsey financial radio talk show. S. Mark Young ’83, Deborah MacInnis ’86, Nandini Rajagopalan ’88, and have been named fellows by the University of Southern California Center for Excellence in Teaching. All three teach at the university’s Marshall School of Business. MacInnis is professor of marketing, Rajagopalan is associate professor of management and organization, and Young is KPMG Foundation Professor in Accounting with Marshall School appointments on the faculties of the Leventhal School of Accounting and Department of Management and Organization. Mark McGranaghan ’85 is vice president of consulting services for EPRI PEAC Corporation, a Knoxville-based power engineering services company. He and his wife, Kathleen (EDU ’83), reside in Knoxville. Scott Lewin ’90 is executive vice president of Seeburger, Inc., a global integration technology company. He is responsible for North American business. Lewin resides in Marietta, Ga. Joyce Boissell ’91 is the training director/administrator for the Institute for Research, Education and Training in Addictions in Pittsburgh. Boissell previously held training positions in medical and behavioral health education at UPMC. Frank Paci, KGSB ’84, has been named executive vice president of finance, strategic planning, and development with Blockbuster, Inc., in Dallas. Prior to joining Blockbuster in 1999, Paci held executive-level positions with the Pizza Hut Division of Tricon Global Restaurants and with Burger King Corp.

Dental Medicine

Jeff LaFuria ’92G (CAS ’88) is the eastern division president of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. LaFuria has spent the last 10 years in Wheeling as an associate dentist and will soon be moving to Warren, Pa., where he recently purchased a dental practice.


David Myton ’62G is a professor of education and interim dean in the School of Education at George Fox University in Newberg, Ore. A retired executive director of the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission, Fox previously spent 10 years on the university’s faculty. Camilla Kane Stadtmueller ’66G writes that her 30-year teaching career ended upon her retirement from the social studies department of Harbor Creek School District near Erie, Pa. Stadtmueller’s daughter, Teresa (LAW ’97, CAS ’91), is an attorney for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Washington, D.C. and is married to Peter Gimbrer (LAW ’97), who is a labor relations attorney in Washington, D.C. Stadtmueller’s son, Peter (SIS ’02G), is a professor at the Mercyhurst College, North East, Pa., campus, in the information sciences department. James E. Schoenfelder ’74G passed the national exam of the National Board of Certified Counselors and is now a certified counselor. He is a guidance counselor at Bishop Guilfoyle High School in Altoona, Pa. Bernard E. Beidel ’78 has directed the Office of Employee Assistance in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1991. He was recently honored as the 2002 Employee Assistance Professionals Association Member of the Year, in part because of his efforts on behalf of the members of the U.S. House of Representatives and their staff following the events of September 11, 2001, and the House office building evacuations due to anthrax. Larry Cooper ’80G, head athletic trainer at Penn-Trafford High School in the Pittsburgh area, received the Micro-Bio Medics Award from Micro-Bio Medics, a nationally based athletic training supply company, for his outstanding contribution to the profession of athletic training on the secondary-school level. Ellen A. Roth, Education ’82G, received the Governor’s Award for being among the Best 50 Women in Business in Pennsylvania. The award is based on outstanding professional and personal accomplishments, contributions to business growth in Pennsylvania, and community involvement. Roth is president and cofounder of Getting to the Point, Inc., a Pittsburgh-based independent relocation consulting firm. Josephine Feldmiller, Education ’54, celebrated her 100th birthday on March 12, 2003. Feldmiller began her teaching career in West Virginia in the late 1920s. She put her career on hold once she married (only single women could teach) and resumed teaching in Pittsburgh during WWII when the draft changed the rules of the workforce. She was a permanent Pittsburgh public school teacher for more than 20 years upon her retirement in 1971.


Arthur G. Hoffmann Jr. ’83 is regional office manager for the Pittsburgh office of Gannett Fleming, an international consulting, engineering, and construction management firm. Thomas Brooks ’88 is managing director of Alpha Multimedia, Inc., a marketing, public relations, and planning firm. In 2001 he founded the Minority Professional Network. A Pittsburgh native, he resides in Atlanta. Dan Bell ’84, a project manager for American Bridge Company, is currently managing the construction of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Bascule Span in Maryland. He and his wife, Laura McGrail Bell (CAS ’83), live in Coraopolis, Pa. John W. Kovacs ’96G is the manager of geotechnical services for the Pittsburgh office of Gannett Fleming. Anthony E. Castle ’00 recently graduated from the U.S. Navy’s Nuclear Power School at Naval Nuclear Power Training Command, Goose Creek, S.C.

Information Sciences

Julie Dunn ’00G and Jason Grosman were married on September 28, 2002. They reside in Austin, Texas.

General Studies

John A. Disegi ’71, a materials development manager with Synthes (USA) in West Chester, Pa., has received an award of merit from ASTM International for commitment to standards development and more than 20 years of contributions in the area of medical and surgical materials and devices. Dean Brandt ’92 recently opened Dreaming Ant, a DVD rental and retail store in the Bloomfield section of Pittsburgh. Brandt is also cofounder and project manager of the nonprofit organization Music Awareness Pittsburgh. Deborah A. Vidner ’94 is living in the greater Washington, D.C., area and working as program director for employer relations in the School of Engineering at the University of Maryland. Thaddeus J. Culpepper ’97 is an attorney at McDonough, Holland & Allen, one of Northern California’s leading law firms. Culpepper previously worked as a law clerk for the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California.


Louis B. Kushner ’67 is senior editor of a forthcoming book on alternative dispute resolution in employment law. Kushner is a member of the Pittsburgh law firm Rothman Gordon, where he is head of the employment law department. He and his wife, Sandra Reiter Kushner ’67, reside in Pittsburgh. Marvin J. Rudnitsky ’67 is president of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, the leading provider of continuing legal education to Pennsylvania attorneys. Denise Niedzielski Hincken ’81 is managing attorney of the Brockton office of the Southeastern Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation. Bruno W. Katz ’90, an attorney in the San Diego office of Shea McNitt & Carter, was featured in California’s Daily Journal as one of the top California attorneys under the age of 40. Katz previously served four years in the U.S. Navy as a member of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Susan J. Messer ’92 is a director of the Pittsburgh law firm of Sherrard, German & Kelly, where she is a member of the firm’s corporate and financial services groups. Mark A. DiAntonio ’94 is a partner in the Baltimore firm of Baxter, Baker, Sidle, Conn & Jones. His practice concentrates on professional malpractice litigation and employment law. Daniel O. Brandeis ’94 is returning to Pittsburgh as foundation director of the United Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh after having worked in Philadelphia. He earned his LLM in taxation from University of Villanova School of Law. His wife, Jennifer Lynn (Taylor) Brandeis ’94 (CAS ’91), earned her MD from Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1999 and has accepted a position at UPMC Shadyside as an emergency medicine physician. David W. Forti ’95, KGSB ’95, CAS ’92, is a partner in Dechert’s Philadelphia office, focusing on real estate finance and securitization. Forti was among 61 U.S. attorneys selected for inclusion in the International Who’s Who of Securitization Lawyers. Joseph T. Moran, Law ’86, has joined Pepper Hamilton as a partner in the firm’s Pittsburgh office. A past president of the University of Pittsburgh Law Alumni Association (1994-1996), Moran concentrates in technology and cyberspace media and privacy matters.


Charles A. Provan ’54, CAS ’52, has been nominated for the American Association of Family Physicians 2003 Family Doctor of the Year in Pennsylvania. Last year, he and Marjorie Anne Bell (EDU ’53) celebrated 50 years of marriage. Basil J. Zitelli ’71, CAS ’67, has been named 2002 Pediatrician of the Year by the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Zitelli is professor of pediatrics in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and director of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh’s Paul C. Gaffney Pediatric Diagnostic Referral Service.


Three alumnae have been named Distinguished Alumni by the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing: Helen K. Burns ’93G, ’81G, is an associate dean for clinical education at Pitt; Margaret Shandor Miles ’65G is a professor in the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; and Madeline Turkeltaub ’70G serves on the development and implementation team of the Maryland Nursing Education Articulation Model and is married to Paul Charles Turkeltaub (MED ’69).


Michael Connell ’72 is a trustee of the Ohio Pharmacists Association. Connell practices at Nature’s Pharmacy and Compounding Center in Fairview Park, Ohio, and Rite Aid in Parma, Ohio. Susan Cvrkel Boston ’81 and Richard L. Boston ’90 announce the birth of their second daughter, Nadia Jayne, on February 6, 2003. Richard is a staff pharmacist at Bon Secours-Holy Family Hospital, and Susan is a relief pharmacist at Wal-Mart Pharmacy, both in Altoona.

Public Health

John J. Mulvihill, who founded and served as codirector of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health’s Department of Human Genetics, has been named chairman of the Oklahoma Genetics Advisory Council. He is a cancer geneticist and chief of genetics in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma Sciences Center.

Public and International Affairs

Jay R. Buffenmyer ’70, ’67, retired from his position as professor of business at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pa. A faculty member since 1976, Buffenmyer founded the college’s international business major, serving as director of the program from 1993 to 2000, and also served as chairman of the Department of Business.

Social Work

Lutrelle D. Rainey ’72G is the pastor of Ebenezer Presbyterian Church in Dalzell, S.C. Rainey previously served as pastor at churches in Delaware, Virginia, and North Carolina, and has been a faculty member at Delaware State University, Barber-Scotia College, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Washington and Lee University.

In Memoriam

Robert William Avery, a former professor of sociology at the University of Pittsburgh, died in March 2003 at the age of 78. Upon his retirement 11 years ago, the sociology department created the Robert W. Avery Award to honor the outstanding sociology major chosen annually by the faculty.

Helen Hollingsworth CAS ’30 died in March 2003. A former medical economist of the Hill-Burton program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Hollingsworth lived in Mitchellville, Md. since 1988.

John J. Horgan LAW ’69 died in May 2003 at the age of 61 in Pittsburgh. Horgan worked with Alcoa and for a private law firm before beginning a 20-year career at PPG Industries in 1975. He was a member of the University’s board of trustees from 1995 to 1997, and was also a member of the law school’s board of visitors.

William S. “Docky” Kowallis EDU ’54G died in February 2003 at the age of 92 in Jeannette, Pa. An avid Panthers basketball fan throughout his life, Kowallis played with the Panthers from 1929 to 1932. He worked as a teacher and administrator in the Duquesne public schools for 35 years, retiring in 1975.

Oliver J. Lengyel CAS ’37 died in December 2002. His granddaughter, Megan Lengyel Protz ’97 (Pitt-Greensburg) describes him as having been “the greatest Pitt fan I know.”

Edwin Marrs, who taught in Pitt’s English department for 23 years, died from cancer in October 2002 at the age of 73. He joined the Pitt faculty in 1967.

David Moser ENGR ’43 died in October 2002 at the age of 79 after a long illness. Moser worked for Westinghouse Electric Corp. for 38 years, eventually moving to the company’s Buffalo, N.Y., location. Survivors include his wife, Elaine; son, Michael; and daughter, Marie (CAS ’73).

Patricia Pelkofer EDU ’48, KGSB ’53, died in May 2003 at the age of 76. An active regional environmentalist, Pelkofer was a founding member of the Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) and was appointed to the Allegheny County Health Department Citizen’s Advisory Committee on Air Quality. She also worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources State Solid Waste Advisory Committee. She is survived by her husband, Cletus (MED ’50), and son, George.

Lillian G. Piantanida CAS ’69 died in March 2003 in Reno, Nev., where she had lived for the last 13 years. She worked as an industrial hygiene consultant before retiring several years ago. She was also a violinist, most recently playing with the Reno Pops Orchestra and the Carson City Symphony.

Ralph Pollock CAS ’40 died in June 2002 in Bethesda, Md. He was 83. A retired Central Intelligence Agency official, Pollock spent most of his 24-year career there as chief of the special activities staff of the office of personnel. After retiring from the CIA, Pollock founded the Constitution Study Group at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., which organized lectures and published two books on the constitutional system.

John Power ENGR ’61 died in October 2002 at the age of 68. A nuclear engineer whose career spanned 41 years, Power worked for General Electric and the Electric Power Research Institute before becoming an independent consultant in nuclear safety analysis and licensing.

Michael Sofranko ENGR ’96 died in February 2002 at the age of 28 in a mountain climbing accident near Boulder. An avid climber, Sofranko was employed as an electrical engineer with Hewlett Packard in Fort Collins, Colo., for three years and had previously worked for IBM in Burlington, Vt.

John Spagnolo Jr. CAS ’85G died in January 2002 at the age of 42 in Newark, Del. He was an analytic chemist in the DuPont Co.’s pharmaceutical division for 12 years.

Nathan Stark, former vice chancellor for health professions at the University of Pittsburgh, died in November 2002 at the age of 82 of complications from cancer. A health policy lawyer, Stark’s career included high-ranking positions in education, business, and government. At the time of his death, Stark was treasurer of the National Academy of Social Insurance.

Bruce Anthony Terrell CAS ’79 died in January 2003 at the age of 46. Formerly of Philadelphia, he lived most recently in Raleigh, N.C.

Cynthia “Ruthie” Van Horne EDU ’88G died in April 2003 following surgery for a brain tumor.

Fran Webster, former University of Pittsburgh assistant basketball coach, died in January 2003 at the age of 86 at his home in New Castle, Pa., of pneumonia. During the 1973-74 season, his team compiled a 25-4 record, including a 22-game winning streak, and he became known for his so-called “Amoeba Defense.” In addition to his basketball coaching duties, Webster also served as head tennis coach at Pitt.

John Weidemuller ENGR ’37 died in November 2002 after a serious fall. Founder and president of the Weidemuller Construction Co. in Baltimore, Md., Weidemuller began his career with the Army Corps of Engineers.

Marian M. Witherspoon EDU ’58 died in March 2003 in Pittsburgh. She taught in public schools in Pittsburgh and Colorado for 40 years prior to retiring from the North Hills School District in 1998.

James Yorke Jr. ENGR ’59G died in April 2002 in Houston, Texas. During his career, Yorke worked on atomic plants and space-age wind tunnels, and conducted seismic research on protecting installations from earthquake damage. He retired from Houston Light and Power Co. in 1984.

Anna Marie Yurick NURS ’58, NURS ’59G, NURS ’79G, died in February 2003 in Murrysville. Yurick taught at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing for nearly 40 years and was chair of the school’s Department of Health and Community Systems upon retirement in 1999. In 1980, when Pitt was one of the few nursing schools with a gerontology program, Yurick and three of her colleagues were asked to write The Aging Person and the Nursing Process. She also helped found and consulted for a community support group for individuals caring for their aged relatives.

Albert Zupon ENGR ’58 died in February 2003, at the age of 66. A native of North Fayette Township, he worked for the borough of Oakdale, Pa., for
32 years.

Learning to Win

Phil Sorrentino doesn’t ask his students questions like “Who was the 16th president of the United States?” Instead, he asks them to “define government.”

This is how Sorrentino’s We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution class is run at Richmond’s Governor’s School, a Virginia magnet high school for active learners pursuing public and international studies.

Sorrentino (GSPIA ’96) wants more than the right answer from his students. He pushes them to explore topics and build upon their own ideas.

Those ideas can lead to championships. The We the People program exists in schools throughout all 50 states, culminating in a national competition on the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. “There isn’t an athletics program at the Governor’s School,” Sorrentino says, “so, the class is our football team.”

His class prepares for the competition throughout the school year by breaking into small groups to discuss different topics like judicial review or the 14th Amendment. Knowledge from his class isn’t gained merely by “a test where you get a 50 and throw it away.” He prefers to teach by making his students search for the right answers in group discussions. The end result: “They become active learners.”

They also become viable contenders at the We the People tournament. And after placing in the top 10 of the nationwide competition for the past six years, the Richmond team won it all this year.

—Keith Bandelin

Hand That Feeds

In the “failure-to-thrive” ward of a hospital in eastern Romania, paint peels off the walls of a dimly lit room—the windows are the only source of light because the hospital can’t afford to pay the electric bill. Thirty babies, ages 4 months to 3 years, wail in their cribs. Most have been abandoned because their families can’t afford to feed them.

At 8:30 a.m., David Parfitt (CAS ’91) and 13 of his students from Middlebury College in Vermont arrive at the clinic to help the understaffed hospital care for the children. The team spent two weeks there earlier this year, helping with feedings and playtime. They studied the neurological deficiencies in the babies as well. Parfitt, an assistant professor of biology who graduated from Pitt with a neuroscience degree, researches early life stressors, such as malnourishment and neglect, and how they affect brain development.

In the dim room of the hospital, Parfitt feeds 3-year-old Gabi. He watches intently as Gabi dips his hand into a bowl of yogurt and sucks the goop off his fingers. The thin boy, with wiry brown hair and soulful brown eyes, shows signs of autism. For the past two weeks, Gabi has kicked and screamed at Parfitt whenever he attempted to feed the child solid food. Today, though, Gabi scoops a round slice of banana out of the yogurt and chews for the very first time. Parfitt realizes he helped Gabi take the first step to overcoming an early life stressor, nearly bringing the professor to tears.

—Cara J. Hayden


Life is fragile, but you are strong and getting stronger.
—Dierdra Joi Zollar from the Hallmark card captioned “Cope”

In Dierdra Joi (Brown) Zollar’s stories, there were heroes and villains, and the good guy (or gal) always won in the end. At the tender age of 10, Zollar (FAS ’94) became a master of the happy ending when she began crafting tailor-made stories for her cousins for $1 apiece.

Although she didn’t know it at the time, Zollar’s newfound skill of writing for a specific person in a particular situation would serve her well in a journey of writing and self-fulfillment that would take her from her native Florida to Pittsburgh, and then on to Kansas City, Mo.

After earning an undergraduate degree in English from Florida A&M and her master’s degree in literature from Pitt, Zollar made the leap from writing teacher to Hallmark greeting card writer in 2000.

“I try to infuse my experience and my voice when I can, but I also have to appeal to a variety of people, while still being specific to each person who buys the card,” explains Zollar.

It’s a tall order, but one she fills well. More than 100 of her cards have appeared on store shelves—sympathy and graduation cards, cards on hope, holiday cards, and more.

“I don’t believe in coincidence,” Zollar says of the similarity between the made-to-fit stories she wrote as a child and the tailored greeting cards she composes today. “This was my destiny.”

—Beth May

Beyond the Glory

The crowd thinned at halftime. Who could blame them for leaving? The Mountaineers of West Virginia University led the Pittsburgh Panthers by 27 points.

Not everyone gave up, though. One teenage fan sat there with his father while the Pitt team jogged back onto the field. He and his dad watched other faithful fans return to their seats, slowly walking the concrete steps of Pitt stadium. A guy near them even screamed, “Let’s go Pitt!” through his cupped hands.

Jeffrey Kondis (KATZ ’82, ENGR ’77) still remembers cheering from Section 18 of Pitt Stadium. His family’s seats were on the 50-yard line, season tickets his father first purchased during President Eisenhower’s era. He remembers the steps leading down, down to his seats, the crowd whooping and screaming. Mostly, he remembers the plays—the game-winning passes, the heartbreaking interceptions. The plays are part of a heritage he shares with his father, his brother, and, now, his own children—a thread through his life that marks the passing of time, like that Pitt-West Virginia game in 1970, a cool autumn day with WVU leading 35-8 at the half.

Kondis and his father were rewarded for staying. Pitt scored three second-half touchdowns that brought them within six points, close enough for a last-minute, five-yard pass and success-ful point after that bumped Pitt to a 36-35 victory.

That afternoon never left Kondis. Three years later, he was student manager of the Pitt football team, and when Pitt won the National Championship in 1976, his last year as manager, he knew nothing would ever sever his lifelong bond with the University.

Evidently, he was right.

Although football may have been the catalyst, Kondis is connected to Pitt by more than just touchdowns. After graduating with a degree in chemical engineering, he turned his tassel a second time, in 1982, with an MBA from the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business. Today, he’s the director of corporate development for Pittsburgh-based Watson Standard Company and is an adjunct faculty member in Pitt’s College of Business Administration. He has been married for 24 years to Patricia (CAS ’77), whom he first met after a basketball game during his junior year at Pitt.

In addition to Kondis and his wife, Pitt alumni from his immediate family include his brother, David (KGSB ’84, ENGR ’80), who was also the student manager of the football team; his father, Stephen (DEN ’53, CAS ’51); his uncle, Edward (ENGR ’64, ’62); and his sister, Susan (SIS ’83). Also graduating from Pitt were his late father-in-law, Edward Falkowski (ENGR ’52), and his two sister-in-laws, Monica (EDU ’76) and Ann (EDU ’89).

In 1990, he became a member of the Varsity Letter Club board, serving as the president from 1998 to 2000. Then, when one of his wife’s friends—a sorority sister—asked him to serve on the Katz alumni board, he agreed, and this year, he became president. He remains a member of the Varsity Letter Club board, and now he’s treasurer of the Pitt Alumni Association, too.

Somehow, he still finds time to go to the games. Long before the Panthers moved to Heinz Field, he and his brother bought season tickets next to their father on the 50-yard line. Today they all have season tickets at the new stadium, Section 212, and just like his dad did with him, Kondis takes his son, Dylan, and his daughters, Lindsay and Peyton, to the games. He says it reminds him of those days in the old stadium, those plays, those fall afternoons, those moments tying years together, families together.

—Mark Dragotta

To Be Continued

The ballroom looked elegantly spacious. Although the sun was starting to set on our nation’s capital, some late-day rays still streamed through the French Embassy’s floor-to-ceiling windows, bending around the stately ballroom’s 30-foot-high concrete pillars and illuminating the round buffet tables skirted with maroon bunting.

The room filled rapidly with a parade of Pitt alumni who had parked along nearby Reservoir Road. They had come to a reception hosted by the alumni association to learn what was going on at their alma mater; it was part of Pitt’s ongoing on-the-road alumni updates.

By the time the procession ended, there were about 400, maybe 450, attendees. Most were dapperly dressed—men in suits, women in dresses—as they broke bread taken from cornucopia baskets in the middle of the tables. Surrounding the baskets were trays of delicacies, including cheeses not typically found at supermarkets and bowls of pâté, very rich, very dark, very French.

The buffet stations intertwined with exhibits representing areas of the University. In one corner, for instance, the Global Studies table had live video-chats connecting Pitt alumni from around the world. In another corner, visitors found the Adventures of Sim-Man Dying 1000 Deaths for Medical Education, an interactive computer program simulating the myriad medical causes of death.

Guests held their plates of hand-picked cuisine as they stood in spontaneous groups among the buffet stations, talked with people at the exhibits, and mingled at the bar. They then made their way into the adjoining theater for the featured attraction of the evening—an address by Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg. Most opted to get comfortable in the blue velour theater seats. Others, though, mingled in the Exposition Room, where the Nordenberg speech was broadcast on a 20-by-20-foot screen. During his presentation, the Chancellor took the audience on a virtual tour of the University—from the recent dramatic physical enhancements on campus to academic achievements. He talked about new buildings and the success of individual students and graduates, including Cynthia Kinnan (CAS ’03), a 2003 Marshall Scholar.

In many ways, the night reflected the passport theme. Indeed, the invitation guests received in the mail a few weeks earlier resembled a passport—blue in color with Passport stamped at the top, the eagle and the shield displayed in the center, and University of Pittsburgh emblazoned at the bottom.

Once the affair ended and guests made the return walk along Reservoir Road, it seemed that maybe the night had been more than an update, more than a tour of the new-and-improved Pitt. Maybe it was more like a trip, a trip where they revisited old friends, where they rekindled collegiate memories, and where they traveled into the future, too, learning about what’s in store for their University of Pittsburgh.


Koral’s Korner

Spanning the Globe

My Kind of Town Chicago-based alumni gathered at the Parthenon Restaurant on May 15. Outgoing club president Steve Buchman (EDU ’02, CAS ’96) was responsible for adding an academic element to this successful annual event. Alan Meisel, director of Pitt’s Center for Bioethics and Health Law, and William Wagner, deputy director of the University’s McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, presented the Pitt Alumni Association Signature Series continuing education program, “Stem Cell Research: Hype or Hope?” Orlando Antigua (CGS ’95), formerly a Harlem Globetrotter and now director of operations for Panthers men’s basketball, provided the athletics component of the program. George Polimus (KGSB ’46) introduced the Chicago Pitt Club 2003 scholarship recipients, Rachel Cobb and Joshua Rigney. Afterwards, the club elected two alumnae, Jessica Samuels (KGSB ’01) and Leanne Hutton (CAS ’95), to serve as copresidents. Tim Evans (KGSB ’88, CAS ’84) provided comic relief. In closing, Art Pape (CAS ’63) led the group in singing the alma mater, including Jack Hertz (CAS ’71), who has attended Chicago Pitt Club events for years. Seen eating flaming cheese were Gary Brownlee (KGSB ’78, CAS ’74), a regional director for the association, and Larry Holleran (EDU ’56); these two were instrumental in launching the Chicago club’s scholarship endowment. Hooooopa!

Land Down Under Albert S. Rudock (MED ’80, CAS ’76) sends a hearty hello to all his former classmates. After a career in the U.S. Navy, he lives in Australia.

The Last Frontier Patty DeMarco (FAS ’71, CAS ’68) writes that she is associate dean for advancement and administration at the University of Alaska in Anchorage and is working on a book about her adventures up north, including an encounter with a bear in her backyard, catching her first halibut (by accident), and the joys of driving in ice fog.

Aloha Tom Fairfull (EDU ’65) retired as staff historian for the U.S. Pacific command, Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii, after 38 years of government service. He continues to serve as an adjunct faculty member at Chaminade University in Honolulu and live in Palolo Valley, Honolulu, Oahu. It’s tough duty, but Fairfull is clearly up to it.

Back to the Mainland Ronald Baime (CAS ’83) has been named senior vice president for Circuit City Stores, based in Richmond, Va. Adam Richter (CAS ’92) recently became editor of Seattle’s Ballard News-Tribune. He writes, “After working here more than a year, I remain convinced that the newspaper business is the best.” Meanwhile, Elizabeth (Conway) Alsayed (UPJ ’00) and husband, Maher, had a daughter, Saara Maher Alsayed, on October 2, 2002, in Largo, Fla. And finally, “bored with the Dilbertesque world of gray cubicles,” Mark Cairns (ENGR ’88) is dabbling in theater. Cairns made his stage debut at the Holly City Repertory Theatre, playing Autolycus in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale with the South Jersey Shakespeare Company.

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