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Spotlight on Alumni

Surprise! It’s safe to say that this scene from 1964 wasn’t the last time students were horsing around on the streets of Oakland. Does anyone know why this bearded fellow in the funny hat is trotting around campus?

We’d love to hear about other unusual campus happenings from any era. The person who sends us the best story wins a triumphant ride on the shoulders of our art director along this very street, Bigelow Boulevard.

Please send your replies to or Pitt Magazine, 400 Craig Hall, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260.

Arts and Sciences

Ken Collier ’71G, ’70G retired from his post as minister of the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, Calif.

Robert Oeler ’71 was named CEO of Dollar Bank in Pittsburgh, where he has worked for 34 years.

Rita Smith Kipp ’76G was appointed provost and dean of faculty at Marietta College in Ohio.

Robert P. Bittel ’78, an optometrist with offices in Jefferson Hills, Pa., and Whitehall, Pa., was named president of the Pennsylvania Optometric Association.

Barry O’Leary ’78 was ordained a Catholic priest at St. Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh.

Bob Cunningham ’80 was promoted to director of special projects with Catalyst Connection and the Doyle Center for Manufacturing Technology in Pittsburgh.

May Alice Ridley ’82G is employed with the Tennessee Department of Education. She’s president of a chapter of Societas Docta, an education advocacy organization for African American women.

Dick Schmalzl ’78 testified before the U.S. House of Representatives about the Sarbanes-Oxley Act’s impact on small businesses. He’s a partner with the Graydon Head & Ritchey law firm in Cincinnati.

Steve Swope ’82G received a master’s degree in business administration from Ohio State University. He’s a software engineer with Lockheed Martin in Fairborn, Ohio.

Stacy L. Sweeney ’86 was named group vice president of Art Institutes International. She will oversee nine art institutes in the northeastern United States.

Gail C. Calderwood ’93, a family lawyer, was named a partner with Pittsburgh law firm Raphael, Ramsden & Behers.

Stephen N. Buchman ’95 is a learning coach with Accenture, an employee staffing company. He’s also a business instructor with Benedictine University in Lisle, Ill.

Mike Corrado ’96, a former hockey goalie on Pitt’s club team, is founder and president of CorrTableSports, a company that designs and produces “Tockey” table-hockey games.

Heather Marie Momyer ’97 earned a doctoral degree in English at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette after defending her dissertation, “Performing the Illusion of Love: The Autobiographical Literary Critic and the Striptease Artist.”

Anita Pytlarz Ponchione ’97 and her husband, Marc Ponchione, announce the birth of their daughter, Anna Sofia, in July. Anita is director of School Alumni Programs at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Lisa Shapiro ’97G, associate professor of philosophy at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada, edited and translated The
Correspondence Between Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia and René Descartes
(University of Chicago Press).

Stephanie Paige Sudzina ’97 announces her engagement to Anthony Campanale of Sydney, Australia, where the couple plans to reside. She’s a managing director and executive producer at the International Business Forum in Massapequa, N.Y.


Three Pitt alumni entered the Doctor of Optometry program at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in Elkins. From left to right, they are: Dayna Helvick A&S ’07, Erin Van Shura A&S ’07, and Jessica Yannelli A&S ’06.


Christie J. Hilton ’00 and Bryan D. Bolinger ’01 received Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degrees from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Caroline Driscoll Geary ’03G, assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Manitowoc, received a 2007 Kay Levin Faculty/Staff Professional Development Award for her dedication to improving math literacy among science students.

Curtis Lane Paul II ’04 received a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey.

Tony Bonura ’06 finished seventh in javelin at the 2007 AT&T USA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships in Indianapolis. He was a two-time Big East champion and two-time All-American while excelling in track at Pitt.

College of General Studies

Mary L. Heindl ’66 received the Joe Gilbert Award for Lifetime Achievement in Association Management from the Pittsburgh Society of Association Executives. She’s editor of Dynamic Business magazine in Pittsburgh.

Russell L. Clanagan ’76 was elected to the town council of Marana, Ariz., where he moved after retiring from a 25-year career with the Pennsylvania State Police.

Trudy Gray ’83 wrote Flax Flower (iUniverse), a novel about a Flemish woman who falls in love with an American student attending medical school in Belgium.

Joe Resnick ’84 of Natrona Heights, Pa., wrote The Dark Side of Surviving Gastric Bypass Surgery (PublishAmerica).

Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

John Malone ’61 wrote Heading Home (Riverman Press), a novel based on his great-grandparents’ lives during the Civil War. He resides in Waynesville, N.C.

Uday Desai ’73 was appointed director of the School of Public Administration at the University of New Mexico.

Peter Caputo ’74 was named vice president for institutional advancement at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa. He’s also president of Caputo & Associates, a fundraising consulting company in
Wynnewood, Pa.

James A. Slaughter ’80, A&S ’76 was named director of land use advocacy for Scenic Hudson, an environmental group focused on preserving the Hudson River Valley in New York.

Patricia Orangis ’01 joined Gateway Rehabilitation Center in Aliquippa, Pa., as vice president of development.

Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business

Alvin Gross ’42, ’41 and Beulah Meltzer Gross ’45, A&S ’45 reside in Laguna Woods, Calif. They say their education at Pitt has served them well over the years.

Alex Kindler ’77, a partner with Pittsburgh accounting firm Horovitz, Rudoy & Roteman, received the 2006 State Chapter Presidents’ Leadership award from the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts.

John T. Harper ’82, A&S ’81 was named president and chief operating officer of Macy’s Home Store division in New York City.

James Crawford ’82 received the Silver Antelope Award from the Boy Scouts of America for his outstanding service to youth. He’s been associated with the Scouts since first becoming a Cub Scout and has been a member of the Boy Scouts of America’s Greater Pittsburgh Council Board of Directors, serving as president from 1996 to 2001. He’s chair and CEO of Clover Hill Foods in Bridgeville, Pa.

Tom Reed ’96 was named director of contracts for the Pittsburgh Technology Council and its affiliate companies.

Christopher Feeney ’97 was named senior vice president and treasurer of the Wyndham Worldwide Corporation in Parsippany, N.J.

School of Dental Medicine

Michael Rosella ’57 displayed his photography series, Last Days of Dixmont, in a 2007 exhibition at the Silver Eye Center for Photography in Pittsburgh. The series captured the decay of an abandoned hospital that had once treated those with mental illness.

Marc I. Samuels ’69, A&S ’67 was appointed director of the dental residency program at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. He recently retired from Pitt’s School of Dental Medicine after teaching there for 35 years.

John Pawlowicz ’93 earned a fellowship with the International College of Cranio-Mandibular Orthopedics. He’s a cosmetics and neuromuscular occlusion clinical instructor at the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies.

Marcia Martinez ’99 wrote a children’s book, Owen Takes Sophia to the Dentist (American Dental Association). She’s a dentist and yoga instructor in Orlando, Fla.

School of Education

Carol Stanton ’68G, a former career counselor at Pitt, wrote Life Coach in a Box (Chronicle Books).

Rudolph C. Rubeis ’77G, ’72G is superintendent of the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District in eastern Pennsylvania.

Donna K. Milanovich ’93G is superintendent of the Moon Area School District in western Pennsylvania.

Debra L. Fitzsimons ’94G was appointed vice chancellor for administrative affairs at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

William Dorner ’97G was ordained a Catholic priest at St. Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh.

Amy Kanapesky ’98G, A&S ’97 married Oscar Fletcher in Deep Creek, Md. She’s a teacher with the Montgomery County School District in Bethesda, Md.

David McCommons ’01G was named assistant superintendent of the Fox Chapel Area School District in western Pennsylvania.

Swanson School of Engineering

William H. Schneider III ’63 was elected chair of the vinyl plastics division of the Society of the Plastics Industry. He’s vice president of the chemical group of Dash Multi-Corp in St. Louis, Mo.

Teresa J. Cendrowska ’83 was promoted to vice president of global cooperation with ASTM International, an engineering-standards organization in West Conshohocken, Pa.

Sara DeLucia ’98 was named a team leader in the Bayer MaterialsScience Business Excellence Group in Pittsburgh.

School of Information Sciences

Rachel Deutsch Katz ’85G, ’84 received the Outstanding Staff Member Award from the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland. She’s assistant director for contract and grant accounting with the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

Donna L. Gilton ’88G, an associate professor of library and information studies at the University of Rhode Island, authored Multicultural and Ethnic Children’s Literature in the United States (Scarecrow Press).

Christy Fusco ’89G was named director of the Monroeville Public Library in Pennsylvania.

Cynthia J. Martincic ’01G, ’96G, SHRS ’77 was promoted to associate professor of computing and information at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa.

Andy Toerper ’04 was promoted to network administrator with the Pittsburgh Technology Council and its affiliate companies.

School of Law

Nine Pitt alumni from the Pittsburgh office of Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote were recognized as Pennsylvania Super Lawyers by Law & Politics and Philadelphia magazines. They are: David Armstrong A&S ’52, David Fawcett LAW ’53, Richard Klaber LAW ’61, James Strader LAW ’65, Daniel R. Delaney LAW ’68, A&S ’65, John Conti A&S ’75, George Kachulis LAW ’85, Maria Greco Danaher LAW ’86, CGS ’82, and Alyson Kirleis LAW ’88.

Arnold B. Silverman ’62 was named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer by Law & Politics and Philadelphia magazines for the fourth consecutive year. He’s an intellectual property attorney with the Pittsburgh office of Eckert, Seamans, Cherin & Mellott.

Michael D. McDowell ’73, a Pittsburgh attorney, is a member of the Panel of Arbitrators and Mediators of the National Arbitration Forum, a dispute resolution organization.

Frederick W. Thieman ’77, a former U.S. attorney, was named president of the Buhl Foundation in Pittsburgh.

Roger N. Morris ’89, PHARM ’86 was listed in the top 5 percent of health care law attorneys in Arizona and New Mexico in the Southwest Super Lawyers magazine. He’s an attorney with Quarles & Brady in Phoenix.

Tammy Singleton-English ’90, a Pittsburgh attorney, is an advisor for the Westminster Counseling Center in Pittsburgh. She’s also on the planning committee for an estate planning conference in Pittsburgh.

Debra Wicks ’96 wrote a textbook, Constitutional Law (McGraw-Hill), for the computer forensics class she teaches at the Pittsburgh Technical Institute.

Rachael Santoriella ’02 received a Master of Laws degree in trial advocacy from Temple University in Philadelphia.

School of Medicine

Maura Kelly Cosetti ’03, a chief resident in otolaryngology with the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary in Manhattan, married John Sarason Saroff in August.

Andrew M. Tometsko ’64 was honored posthumously as a 2007 Distinguished Inventor of the Year by the Rochester Intellectual Property Law Association in Rochester, N.Y. The award recognized his invention, MicroFlow, which helps to assess the safety of pharmaceutical drugs. He was the president of and cofounded Litron Laboratories.

School of Nursing

Phoebe D. Williams ’72G, ’70G was named a 2007 Distinguished Alumna of Pitt’s School of Nursing. She’s a professor at the University of Kansas School of Nursing.

Kathleen T. Patterson ’01G was appointed director of Clarion University’s School of Nursing and Allied Health in Clarion, Pa.

University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown

Deanne O’Dell ’94 was appointed to the board of directors of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. She’s a lawyer with Wolf, Block, Schorr and Solis-Cohen, a law firm in Harrisburg, Pa.

In Memoriam

Alfred Ash KGSB ’52, CBA’51 died in June 2006 at age 76. He expanded his father’s candy and tobacco store into the Jacob Ash Company, a clothing and sporting accessories wholesale business. He was also active in the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh and enjoyed traveling globally with his family.

Kathleen Musulin Beamer NURS ’06G, UPJ ’77 died in August 2007 at age 53. She served in the Navy for 15 years, attaining the rank of lieutenant commander. She also worked as a case manager with Highmark Blue Shield and as a clinical research coordinator with the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

John J. Dillon EDUC ’74G, superintendent of the Brentwood, Pa., school district for 12 years, died in July 2007 at age 79. After retiring in 1986, he served on the school board and became president of the Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees, which named its hall of fame in his honor.

Ida Gertrude Spellmire Gealy A&S ’37, a sister in Pitt’s Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, died in June 2007. She was a member of the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh and a former Girl Scouts leader.

Thomas LeRoi Harrington A&S ’46 died in February 2007 at age 82. Ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1950, he served churches in Indiana, Wisconsin, Florida, and Georgia. He also led an international interdenominational church in Nepal for a year. After he retired in 1994, he wrote a book, Reflecting and Rejoicing (iUniverse).

Fred E. Kiviat ENGR ’78G, A&S ’68G died in July 2007 at age 67. He was born in the Bronx, N.Y. Early in his career, he worked for Gulf Oil as a researcher of alternative energy sources. In 2005 he retired from the DuPont chemical company. He was always curious and pursuing new hobbies, from astronomy to the Civil War. In retirement, he returned to taking classes in fields from meteorology, to economics, to journalism at Salisbury University in Maryland.

Andrew J. Kuzneski Jr. CBA ’62, a University trustee and former president of the Pitt Alumni Association, died in June 2007 at age 67. He was an ever-exuberant Pitt ambassador and supporter. His Pitt football career was highlighted by a crucial interception that helped end Syracuse University’s 16-game winning streak in 1960. After graduation, he founded the Kuzneski Financial Group. At Pitt, his legacy includes the Joyce and Andrew Kuzneski Scholarship Fund.

Julia Nardei Messina EDUC ’42 died in February 2007 at age 86. She was retired after serving as head of the English department at Susquehanna Township High School near Harrisburg, Pa. She had also taught French and English at schools in the Pittsburgh region.

Marion L. “Dottie” Olsen A&S ’33 died in May 2007 at age 96. She was politically active with the League of Women Voters and the Democratic Party. During the 1970s, she served as chair of an environmental committee that investigated the effects of pollution. She also was a member of the First Methodist Church and a country club in Hendersonville, N.C.

David L. Shields EDUC ’50, a Navy veteran from World War II, died in April 2007 at age 81. He retired in 1987 after teaching at Indiana University of Pennsylvania for 21 years.

Reva Lipman Swartz EDUC ’48G died in August 2007 at age 90. During her career, she was a nurse with Western Pennsylvania Hospital and Pitt’s School of Nursing. She also volunteered at the Vista Program and Hospice while living in Minnesota. She was a member of Young Peoples Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Joseph “Doc” Wrobleski DEN ’37 died in October 2006 at age 93. He was a Medical Corps captain in the Army Air Corps during World War II. In addition to having played golf, been a member of the Rotary Club, and practiced general dentistry in Clairton, Pa., for 53 years, he served as the school district’s dentist and on the school board.

Constance Opipare Yankus A&S ’74, a librarian with the Ohio Legislative Service Commission, died in July 2007 at age 54. She worked as a reference librarian at public and academic libraries for more than 30 years and was an active member of the Legislative Research Librarians section of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Metals Maven

  Dawne S. Hickton

Every other month, six colleagues sit around a table in a packed restaurant, chatting about anything and everything. The menu changes, the guests come and go, but one thing remains constant: Dawne S. Hickton is always there, always listening.

Hickton (LAW ’83), who taught law at Pitt and spent more than a decade with USX Corporation, is the newly named chief executive officer and vice chair of RTI International Metals, a manufacturer and distributor of specialty metals like titanium. The company, based in Niles, Ohio, will soon be moving its headquarters to Pittsburgh. Six times a year, she takes a random group of five coworkers to lunch, mixing departments and ranks. She also hosts a yearly picnic at her Pittsburgh home for those she supervises; when she was
promoted to CEO this year, the guest list grew dramatically.

She spends many hours winging her way to RTI’s various plants around the world, her mode of transportation made of the very products her company produces. RTI metals are used in jet airframes, as well as in medical implants, factory equipment, and other infrastructures of everyday life.

Hickton’s ultracommitment to “face time” is one of the things that make her unique in her field, not just the fact that she’s a top-executive woman in the metals industry. Taking the time to get to know her staff is among her highest priorities. “I’m a big believer in people,” she says.
— Jennifer Meccariello Layman

Mapping History

  Joseph G. Garver

A Harvard librarian scans a 19th-century map of Gloucester, Mass., analyzing it like a great American novel. As if reading between the lines, he searches for deeper meanings in the geographical drawings. Then, he notices a sea serpent. What’s this? he thinks.

The obscure creature sends him on an intellectual journey. In the days and weeks that follow, he reviews books, newspaper reports, and eyewitness tales of serpent sightings in the Gloucester area. The map enthusiast, Joseph G. Garver (SIS ’81G, A&S ’80G), is a cartographic historian and reference librarian for the Harvard Map Collection, the oldest such collection in the United States.

As a national expert on historic New England maps, he’s also a popular speaker on lecture circuits. During his talks at libraries, museums, and historical societies, he shows how maps are more than tools for navigating from point A to point B. The history of civilization, he says, can be traced through map illustrations, landmarks, and symbols. Every depiction gives clues to the ways in which people lived.

When Garver finishes researching the historic map of Gloucester, he can tell the story of the serpent Scoliophis Atlanticus as if he were one of the few hundred fishermen who claim to have seen the oddity during the summer of 1817. This American legend is now one of Garver’s favorite tales—a moment in time suspended by the artistry of a map.
—Anthony Moore

Home Run

  Michael Flaherty

Michael Flaherty doesn’t normally stroll through the park at 4 a.m., but someone has to ensure that 200 kids don’t get lost around a wave pool. The triathlon begins in four hours and there’s much to do. In the predawn darkness, he works by flashlight to label carpet squares with the youngsters’ names. Then he places the squares around the racecourse, marking the drop-off spot for each child’s bicycle.

Flaherty (A&S ’07) is part of a team that has spent months planning this triathlon fundraiser at South Park in Pittsburgh’s South Hills suburbs. It will benefit the Pittsburgh chapter of Habitat for Humanity, an international organization that helps low-income families build homes.

At 8 a.m., eager kids swim in the pool before they bike and run. Parents on the sidelines whistle and holler. The excitement makes Flaherty’s early-bird work gratifying, as it has for the past seven years and seven triathlons. He has been volunteering at this event since he was 15. “Seeing the kids’ faces as they cross the finish line and realizing that they’ve done it makes it all worthwhile,” says Flaherty. Sure enough, I-did-it grins flash when the kids complete the race and receive their medals.

This year, the youngsters weren’t the only ones to receive accolades. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette named Flaherty a Community Champion in recognition of his dedication to the triathlon and Habitat for Humanity. This year’s event raised nearly $75,000 for a new house and a family in need.
—Paul Ruggiero


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