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Spotlight on Alumni

Some things really don’t change. Fifty years ago, the Cathedral of Learning elevators were just as packed at peak class times as they are now. What you won’t see today is George, the fashion-plate elevator operator.

Can anyone tell us more about this era of personal elevator service at Pitt? Best Cathedral elevator story wins 10 free rides from the basement to the top floor, hosted by our managing editor!

Arts and Sciences

Samuel Roen ’39 spent part of his career as the publicity director at the fabled MCA entertainment agency, where he worked with legends like Frank Sinatra and Bette Davis. Then he built a flourishing career writing true-crime stories and, more recently, books. His A Little Girl is Missing was among the first to highlight the problem of missing children. In November, the book will be newly released as a mass market paperback (Byron Preiss Visual Publications), as well as online at He’s also in the market to sell film rights for his book Evidence of Murder, which details the 1997 search for the killer of Carla Ann Larson, a Florida engineer who was murdered at Disney World. George W. Albee ’49G, ’47G was elected president of the Society for General Psychology. In September 2004, he spoke at a World Federation for Mental Health conference in New Zealand and in November 2004 spoke in Scotland as part of a remembrance of social psychologist Ignacio Martin-Baro. He lives in Longboat Key, Fla. Harry R. Mehalic ’51 says that when he didn’t get into Pitt’s dental school in 1951, his roommate, Edwin Kiester (CAS ’51), encouraged him to earn a degree in psychology. Mehalic followed that advice and, upon graduation, began a career in sales management. He lived and worked in Europe and ultimately became vice president of the international sales division at Max Factor. Upon retirement, he and his family moved from southern California to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, where they still reside. James P. O’Brien ’64 recently published With Love and Pride (James P. O’Brien Publishing). He and his wife, Kathleen (SOC WK ’67), live in Pittsburgh. Jeffrey Howard Huberman ’69, dean of the Slane College of Communication and Fine Arts at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., was honored as a Fellow of the American Theatre. Huberman has directed more than 70 plays in both academic and professional theaters and is the author of The Theatrical Imagination (Wadsworth Publishing) and Late Victorian Farce (Umi Research Press). His plays include The Adventures of Alice and Lions ’N’ Tigers ’N’ Bears, Oh My! Andrew James Lipman ’72 is a founding board member and president of the New Mexico Holocaust & Intolerance Museum and Study Center. He is also founder and president of Philanthropic Consulting Services. He served for 11 years as the executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Albuquerque, has been the recipient of three human rights awards from the City of Albuquerque Human Rights Board and was honored in 2001 by the State of Israel Bonds/Development Corporation for Israel. Patricia L. Ray ’81G leads a United Nations team in Eastern Europe to boost international investment in the region. She lives in Torrance, Calif. John Anderson Pidgeon Jr. ’83 has been a SEAL officer in the U.S. Navy for 19 years. He recently completed two tours in Iraq and was involved in Somalian and Haitian interventions. A Pitt swimming cocaptain in 1982, Pidgeon lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, Suzanne (EDUC ’89), and their two children. Bryan Fischer ’85 is managing director of business growth services for the Catalyst Connection in Pittsburgh. Debora Gossett Rivers ’85 released a book of poetry and essays titled The Working Mind of a Working Woman (Neshee Publication). The book is dedicated “to working women in and out of the house and around the world.” She lives in Philadelphia with her husband, Steven, and her daughters, Christa and Marissa. Brian K. Foster ’86 is the founder and managing partner of North Shore Technology Partners, Inc., an executive search firm focusing on healthcare information technology positions. He is married to Darla Rae (Duffy) Foster (EDUC ’89), and the couple has three sons: Colin, Preston, and Braeden. Connie Canaday Howard ’87G, director of theater at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Ill., is the 2004 recipient of the school’s All-College Outstanding Faculty Member Award. Canaday Howard is also artistic director of the Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, the college’s resident professional theatrical company. Richard Paul Scheines ’87G, ’82G, professor of philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University, has been named head of CMU’s philosophy department. F. Susan Felder ’88 is principal of Public School (P.S.) 40 in New York City. Johannes Christian Arnoud Peper ’90, the regional representative for Pitt alumni in the Netherlands, writes: “Should you consider having a vacation in Holland or you have a stop here, please drop me a line, and I’ll see if I can help you out in any way!” E-mail: Xaña Winans ’91, owner and president of Golden Proportions Marketing in Lewisburg, Pa., has been named one of the year’s Best 50 Women in Business by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development in association with the state’s business journals. F. Paige Heller Lenga ’92 and Kirk Lenga are proud to announce the birth of their son, Jack Henry, who was born on August 31, 2004. He joins his sister, Jolie. Scott Brian Abel ’93 is a systems engineer for a mortgage lending company in New York City. He and his family reside in East Meadow, N.Y. Lauren A. Tulli ’93, an associate in the Philadelphia law office of Cozen O’Connor, was recently named a member of the firm. Tulli practices in the insurance litigation department, where she concentrates in the areas of arson and fraud defense, casualty defense, insurance coverage, bad faith litigation, and reinsurance. Jennifer Lee Miller Toomey ’94 and Brett Toomey are proud to announce the birth of their son, Evan Monroe, born on January 28, 2005. The family resides outside Philadelphia. Aglaia Kiarina Kordela ’94G, associate professor in the Department of German Studies and the Russian department at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minn., has been granted tenure status. She has been teaching at the college since 1998. Jennifer Rick ’96 is managing director of the Pittsburgh Technology Council’s life sciences network. Mark Sewall ’96G was promoted to managing director of productivity improvement services at the Catalyst Connection in Pittsburgh. He was previously a quality/process improvement catalyst. Jesse Daniels Matthews ’00 and his wife, Erin, are the proud parents of Declan, born this spring, who joins older brother, Collin.

College of General Studies

Derrick Alphonso Nowlin ’97, contemporary jazz critic for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, participated in a broadcast tribute to the late singer-musician Ray Charles that aired on WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh and its sister station, the Pittsburgh Cable News Channel.

Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

Gary L. Wamsley ’68, professor of public administration for 28 years in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, was named professor emeritus by the school’s board of visitors.
Raymond R. Christman ’75, president and CEO of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, has been named a board member of the Enterprise Foundation. He is also the chairman of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation. Naim Kapucu ’03 received the Teaching/Tenured Faculty Leadership Award from the LEAD Scholars Program at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Fla., where he teaches public administration courses.

Graduate School of Public Health

Gerald Katz ’63, president and founder of Katz Consulting Group in Philadelphia; Constance Husman ’74, NURS ’70, nurse practitioner and instructor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics; and Joseph Costantino ’76, ’74, professor of biostatistics and director of the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health are all recipients of the 2005 GSPH Distinguished Alumni Award.
Thomas Priselac ’75 is the recipient of the Partners in Care Foundation’s 2005 Mathies Award in recognition of his leadership and commitment to quality in healthcare services delivery. Priselac is president and CEO of the Cedars-Sinai Health System in Los Angeles.
Madalon O’Rawe Amenta ’78, ’68 is the recipient of the 2005 Leading the Way Award from the Hospice and Palliative Nursing Association. She lives in Pittsburgh. Marc Hiller ’78, ’74, associate professor of health management and policy at the University of New Hampshire, and Samuel Koilpillai ’76, president of Community Uplift Projects International, which funds the Anantha Ashram Trust in Hosur, India, are both recipients of GSPH’s 2005 Margaret F. Gloninger Award. The award was established in honor of the late Margaret Fitzgerald Gloninger ’66. Ketul J. Patel ’97, KGSB ’93 is the new senior vice president for strategy and market development at St. James Hospital and Health Centers, which operates hospitals near Chicago. William Green Jr. ’01, KGSB ’89 is the 2005 recipient of the Pitt Alumni Association’s Volunteer Excellence Award in recognition of his continued service to both GSPH’s Alumni Society and the Pitt Alumni Association. He lives in Pittsburgh.

  Scene in Central Park: Martin Lewison (KGSB ’01), standing at the edge of New York’s Central Park during last winter’s Christo exhibition titled The Gates, pauses to appreciate another piece of art, his Pitt Magazine. (Like our Scenes? Visit our new Scene gallery for a look at our alumni on the move!)  

Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business

Edwin Bacheson ’79 is project manager for the Doyle Center for Manufacturing Technology in Pittsburgh. David Smith ’83, finance VP and CFO for Alkar-RapidPak, Inc., and Sani-Matic, Inc., joined the board of directors for The Alliance (Employer Health Care Alliance Cooperative). He lives in Brookfield, Wis. Connie Palucka ’86 is senior market development consultant for the Catalyst Connection in Pittsburgh. Joseph Muscatello ’91, ENGR ’87 is vice president of business development in the public finance department of Arthurs Lestrange, a financial firm in Pennsylvania. Christian Schuster ’92, ENGR ’88 is a patent attorney and new shareholder with The Webb Law Firm in Pittsburgh. Joseph McCarthy ’94, CAS ’75 is the recipient of the 2004 annual award from the Pennsylvania American Legion’s Housing for Homeless Veterans Corporation for “selfless support to veterans.” McCarthy is marketing director for Tandem Healthcare. He lives in Pittsburgh. Karl C. Williamson ’00, CAS ’93 and Carla Fix Willamson ’99 married last year. Wedding photographs, with friends and family, were taken at the Cathedral of Learning and the bronze panther statue near the William Pitt Union. The Williamsons are Pitt Alumni Association Life Members and avid fans of the Panthers football and basketball teams.

School of Education

Christine Cortazzo ’02G, CAS ’93 was selected to participate in the National Education Association’s Affirmative Action UniServ Intern Program in 2004. She is a UniServ representative for the Pennsylvania State Education Association.

School of Engineering

Lester Snyder III ’79 has joined Barton Malow, based in Southfield, Mich., as senior vice president and member of the firm’s executive committee. Enrique Bazan-Arias ’95 is a project engineer at Paul C. Rizzo Associates in Pittsburgh. Paul Arch ’98G was awarded the 2005 Carnegie Science Center Award of Excellence in the category Advanced Manufacturing. Arch is a research fellow in the Styrenics Technology group at NOVA Chemicals, Inc., in Monaca, Pa. Subodh Deshmukh ’00G, a principal engineer in the chemical and pharmaceutical development group at Wyeth Research in Pearl River, N.Y., was among 10 awardees of the company’s 2004 President’s Award for outstanding contributions to research. Chad Bartkus ’03 recently received his commission as a naval officer after completing Officer Candidate School at Officer Training Command in Pensacola, Fla. Anupam Gupta ’03 was awarded one of three South Carolina Space Grant Consortium GSRP grants sponsored by NASA. A doctoral student in materials science and engineering at Clemson University, Gupta and his wife, Melanie (CAS ’03), live in Clemson, S.C. Andres Villegas ’04 recently received his commission as a naval officer after completing Officer Candidate School at Officer Training Command in Pensacola, Fla.

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Barbara Amster ’71G is the founding director of the undergraduate and graduate programs in speech-language-hearing science at La Salle University in Philadelphia. Joanne Heidkamp ’83 was selected for a Ford Foundation Leadership for a Changing World Award. She is program director for the Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger. Pam Toto ’96G, ’89, a clinical instructor in the SHRS Department of Occupational Therapy, was elected a fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association. Linda van Roosmalen ’01G, assistant professor in the SHRS Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, received a Small Business Technology Transfer grant from the Department of Health and Human Services at the National Institutes of Health. The grant was awarded to develop an energy-absorbing, transit-safe wheelchair caster.

School of Library and Information Sciences

Barbara Keiser ’71G is director of Eastern Monroe Public Library in Stroudsburg, Pa. Kathleen Kappel ’76G, CAS ’73 recently accepted the 2004 Marietta Y. King and Alberta Walden Still Diversity Award on behalf of the Carnegie Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Pittsburgh. The award is presented to one library in Pennsylvania by the Office of the Commonwealth Libraries for promoting programs offered to minority older adults. As director of the library, Kappel initiated Mobile LBPH, a van that enables staff to provide reading equipment, recorded materials, and library information to residents in 36 counties of Western Pennsylvania. Edward Sauer ’87G, a principal engineer with Nextel Communications in Irvine, Calif., received an Innovators Leadership Award from Nextel and recognition from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for his work with the Nextel Amber Alert system that has been in trial with Pennsylvania State Police and Pennsylvania government Nextel subscribers. Marcia Wilds ’01 received the Master of Arts degree in teaching, elementary education, from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

School of Law

Frederick Frank ’70, CAS ’67 was recognized by Best Lawyers in America for being named to the publication for 10 consecutive years. Philadelphia Magazine also named him as one of Pennsylvania’s Super Lawyers for the second consecutive year. Frank is CEO of the Pittsburgh law firm Frank, Bails, Murcko, Gubinsky and Gale. Joseph Scafetta Jr. ’72 has been named special counsel to the intellectual property law firm of Oblon, Spivak, McClelland, Maier and Neustadt in Alexandria, Va.
Michael McDowell ’73, a Pittsburgh-based attorney, arbitrator, and mediator, has been appointed fact finder on the Panel of Neutrals of the Ohio State Employment Relations Board. Dennis Unkovic ’73, a partner of Meyer, Unkovic & Scott in Pittsburgh, has been elected to the board of Meritas, an international alliance of business law firms. C. Kurt Mulzet ’81, an attorney with Raphael, Ramsden & Behers, served as moderator of a roundtable discussion of ethical and professionalism issues that arise in family law practice at a Continuing Legal Education Seminar sponsored by the Allegheny County Bar Association and the Family Law Section Professionalism Committee. David B. Stratton, ’78, a partner with Pepper Hamilton’s Wilmington, Del., office, has been elected to the firm’s executive committee, the governing body of the law firm. Stratton is a commercial bankruptcy lawyer and head of that office’s Bankruptcy and Reorganization Practice Group. Thomas Hyatt ’82, a principal with Ober/Kaler, a national law firm with offices in Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Falls Church, Va., has been invited to join the American Health Lawyers Association’s inaugural class of health law fellows. Hyatt lives in Potomac, Md. Daniel Anders ’98, an associate with the Philadelphia office of Pepper Hamilton, has been appointed by Mayor John F. Street to the Philadelphia Gaming Advisory Task Force. Yarone S. Zober ’03, CAS ’97 has joined the Pittsburgh office of Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel as an attorney. He will practice in the firm’s business and finance department, concentrating in real estate, tax, and general corporate matters. In 2004, Zober was recognized by Pittsburgh Magazine and PUMP (Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project) as a “40 Under 40” honoree for his positive impact on the region’s development.

School of Pharmacy

Linda Toth ’80G, FAS ’76 has been awarded a four-year federal grant from the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke to study sleep problems that develop during kidney disease. Toth is interim associate dean for research and faculty affairs, professor of pharmacology, and director of laboratory animal medicine at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield, Ill.

School of Social Work

Kenneth S. Ramsey ’84G, president and CEO of Gateway Rehabilitation Center in Aliquippa, Pa., is a recipient of the 2005 Health Care Hero Executive Award, presented by Pittsburgh Business Times and sponsored by World Health and Med Tech. With 38 years of experience in the drug and alcohol treatment field, Ramsey has dedicated his professional life to helping restore the lives of individuals and families struggling with alcohol and other drug problems.

University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown

Matthew Pavlosky ’96 is managing director of the Pittsburgh Technology Council’s advanced manufacturing network.

In Memoriam

James Edward Amos BUS ’55 died in July 2004. An interpreter during the Korean War, Amos later founded Monument Industries, a manufacturing plant in Bennington, Vt.

Bertrand Bennison GSPH ’54 died in February 2005 in Williamsburg, Va. He worked on health issues in the public and private sectors, most recently serving as county health officer for northern Florida, including Leon County.

Charles Cohen BUS ’30 died in April 2005 in Houston. He previously lived and worked in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Sister Helen Louise Connelly EDUC ’46 died in March 2005. A respected educator of deaf students, she was principal of the DePaul School for Hearing and Speech in Pittsburgh’s Shadyside neighborhood until she retired in 1987.

Marjorie Mae Dickson CAS ’39 died in March 2005 in her Oregon, Ill., home. She was a secretary at Westinghouse in Pittsburgh and worked in the War Department in Washington, D.C.

Charles P. Duncan Jr. CAS ’39 died in February 2005. A U.S. Army veteran of World War II, Duncan worked for nearly 30 years as a geologist with Columbia Gas Company.

Lillian Mae Gill NURS ’52 died in March 2005 in New Castle, Pa. She was chief of nursing at the Altoona Veterans Hospital in Altoona, Pa., when she retired in 1982.

Daniel Paul Greenlee MED ’24, CAS ’22 died in March 2005. A former doctor for Pitt’s football team, he was likely, at age 102, the oldest living graduate of the University’s School of Medicine. He practiced medicine until age 80.

Robert P. Hogan BUS ’52 died in March 2005. He was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and a Korean War veteran. Prior to his retirement in 1997, he served in executive sales positions at Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel and Worthington Industries.

Nicholas J. Hosu DEN ’94G, who died in September 2004, practiced dentistry in Erie County.

Edward L. Keim MED ’43, CAS ’40 died in November 2004 in Murrells Inlet, S.C. An army veteran, Keim was a general practitioner, a plant surgeon for Bethlehem Steel, and an emergency room physician. He was a physician at Penn State when he retired in 1984.

Frances Elisabeth McMeen SLIS ’65G died in February 2005. She was a librarian, employment counselor, and, most recently, administrative assistant at Goldman Sachs & Co., in New York City.

Raymond M. Seng Jr. BUS ’55 died in January 2005 in Beverly Hills, Mich. Seng was an insurance executive in the Detroit area. While at Pitt, he was, during the 1953-54 school year, president of the Pennsylvania Gamma Chapter of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.

Rev. Richard H. Wilmer Jr., a priest and scholar instrumental in founding Pitt’s religious studies department, died in March 2005 in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood. When Wilmer retired from Pitt in 1983, a lectureship was established in his name.

Cape Caper

The beauty of Victorian homes in Cape May, N.J., sometimes masks a secret. Behind one door of those well-to-do painted ladies, a crime has been committed. Somewhere along the town’s seaside streets, a culprit roams, confident that his perfect crime, perfectly executed, will forever go unpunished.

John Pekich  

Unpunished, that is, until Sherlock Holmes arrives on the scene for a weekend of fact-finding, food, and fun.

The 19th century’s most famous detective comes alive twice a year in Cape May, thanks to John Pekich (EDUC ’70G, CAS ’64), who stages the town’s Sherlock Holmes Mysteries, an extended dinner theater production. The three-day event entertains sold-out audiences.

Pekich, the production’s writer and director for the past eight years, places Holmes in the middle of the intrigue. The famed pipe-smoking investigator helps local authorities in a hunt for clues that takes more than 140 guests from the buffet table on Friday, to many of the area’s noted bed-and-breakfasts on Saturday, to a brunch on Sunday—where the mystery, played out on stage, is always solved. Audience members win prizes for attending in best costume and for correctly guessing the play’s outcome.

“You cannot outwit Holmes, the world’s most intelligent person,” says Pekich, who is also a supporting cast member. “I enjoy writing these plays each year, especially when people in the audience who’ve been here before come up to me and say, ‘I thought I had you this time, but you got me again.’”
–Chris A. Weber (CAS ’93)

Blood Counts

The physician wakes up in the middle of the night, covered in sweat. In her nightmare, a patchwork of purple bruises covers her body. In reality, she bruises more easily lately. She knows something isn’t right. The next morning, she orders blood work—on herself.

The tests reveal that Heather Vega (FAS ’95), a family-practice doctor at Uniontown (Pa.) Hospital, has aplastic anemia, a rare condition affecting only three people per million. She and her husband, Wayne Nagle, are stunned. As a doctor, the 31-year-old Vega knows the disorder can be life-threatening and that the most effective treatment usually involves a bone marrow transplant. Her physician scours the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry, but there is not a single match. There’s no match in her family, either. So, she begins a course of medication and blood transfusions to manage the condition.

Vega took six weeks off work. At first, she brooded over why this had happened to her. But then her physician instincts kicked in, and she pounced on the disease. She organized blood drives in Pittsburgh and Uniontown, bringing in more than 250 new bone marrow donors and at least 400 units of blood.

Today, a year after her diagnosis, she’s completely finished with her course of medications and transfusions. Yet, her campaign continues. Twenty-five billboards for the Central Blood Bank in southwestern Pennsylvania show the picture of a smiling couple on their wedding day. It’s Vega and Nagle, along with the reminder: These moments made possible by blood donations.
—Sarah Zoe Wexler (A&S ’04)

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