Pitt Magazine Homepage Table of Contents

HOMECOMING
ARTS AND SCIENCES
BUSINESS
DENTAL MEDICINE
EDUCATION
ENGINEERING
GENERAL STUDIES
HEALTH AND REHABILITATION SCIENCES
INFORMATION SCIENCES
LAW
MEDICINE
NURSING
PHARMACY
PUBLIC HEALTH
PUBLIC AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
SOCIAL WORK



FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE
A WINNING PAIR
HELPING THOSE WHO HURT
A MAN FOR ALL REASONS
IN MEMORIAM
ALUMNI NOTEBOOK . . .
ARTS AND SCIENCES

James H. Benedict, '50, of Cincinnati, Ohio, has been chosen chair of the American Society for Testing and Materials committee on pesticides. Retired from Procter & Gamble, Benedict is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Martin Richard Gluck, '53, '50,'48, writes that he has retired from the faculty of the University of Texas Medical Center where he was associate professor and associate program director of the graduate program in clinical psychology. Jeffrey Huberman, '69, is dean of the College of Communications and Fine Arts at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. He has taught at the school since 1985 and has directed and produced more than 80 plays for university and professional theaters. Stefi Rubin, '71, an associate professor at Wheelock College in Boston, was recently awarded the Cynthia Longfellow Teaching Recognition Award. Michael Yablonski, '76, of Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania, has joined the law firm of Meyer, Unkovic & Scott LLP. Mary Kane, '83, a reporter for Newhouse Newspapers in Washington, DC, is the winner in the wire service category of the New York State Society of CPAs' Excellence in Financial Journalism Award. Kevin Sasinoski, '78, a lawyer in Pittsburgh, has been appointed public defender for Allegheny County. Eileen Stack McLaughlin, '84, writes, "I am presently the director of the Developmental Center of Carolinas Hospital System (in Florence, South Carolina) and have an 18-month-old daughter, Kallimarie." Richard Avon, '88, has joined the architectural firm of Burt Hill Kosar Rittelmann Associates in its Butler, Pennsylvania, office. Celeste Steffen, '88, is product development specialist for ERI Services in Pittsburgh. Nancy J. Ristau, '91 (Pitt-Bradford), is a 10th grade English and drama instructor at Westmoreland County School District in Montross, Virginia. Steven Urbaniak, '91, received his doctor of osteopathic medicine degree from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and a scholar-athlete award for academic excellence and participation in organized sports. Michael McCombs, '92, received the doctor of osteopathic medicine degree from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and an award for ability in the field of cardiology. Brian Saracino, '92, was awarded the doctor of osteopathic medicine degree from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and received two awards for capabilities in osteopathic philosophy. Christine Cavalier, '93, writes that until she saw a friend's name in class notes recently, she thought the section was more an "Old Fogies League." Now, she says, "Sucking in my pride and stretching out my aging fingers, I step up for my own rite of passage, an update in Homecoming: Gary Purpura ('93) and I have a wedding planned for June 1997. Gary is in his fourth year of a PhD program at the University of Pennsylvania, and I am in the midst of a master's at Temple."

BUSINESS

Jack D. Rimer, '58, of Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania, has been appointed a senior examiner to the 1996 Board of Examiners for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Bernard P. Kosik, '59, has been honored by the National Association of Container Distributors with the NACD Achievement Award. Kosik is vice president and director of administration for Owens-Brockway Glass Containers in Toledo, Ohio. Douglas Bartley, '62, was chosen as a master professor by the alumni of the University of Texas, Pan American campus. He is a professor of management and director of the Small Business Institute at the university and has done volunteer work both overseas and with Habitat for Humanity in Texas. Allysn Guehl, '80, is director of marketing for Reed Smith Shaw & McClay in Pittsburgh. G. Robert Sipp, '80, of Venetia, Pennsylvania, is sales manager for rolling mills in The Timken Company's North and South America Bearing Business Group. Kimberly Sharp, '81, was elected a principal of A. T. Kearney, at the global management consulting firm's Pittsburgh office. Joanne Swogger, '89, is director of energy derivatives and options trading for Equitable Resources Marketing Company in Pittsburgh. Philip Conti Jr., '90, is assistant treasurer of finance at Equitable Resources. Lynn Burns, '91, is director of information and technology at the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce. Robert B. DeSalvo, '92, writes, "Desperately needing a change, I moved to Los Angeles in 1995 and became assistant editor of Movieline, magazine, an acclaimed (and controversial) national monthly that offers an irreverent look at Hollywood and the movie industry."

DENTAL MEDICINE

Robert Rylands, '56, was awarded the Heart of Hampton Educator Award by the Hampton (Pennsylvania) Alliance for Educational Excellence. Emmanuel G. Koklanaris, '59, of Wilmington, North Carolina, writes, "After 37 years of practicing dentistry in Monessen, Pennsylvania, I sold my practice and retired to Wilmington to golf and fish." Joseph H. Seipp, Jr., '59, was the recipient of the Gerald A. Devlin Memorial Award for service to the community and devotion to his profession of orthodontics. He is one of only five orthodontists from Maryland to receive this honor. Michael K. Ban, '81, Arts and Sciences '76, has been appointed president of the Western Pennsylvania Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Society for 1996-97.

EDUCATION

Anne Pascasio, '67, Health Related Services '53, Education '50, '46, of Pittsburgh, was honored as a Catherine Worthingham Fellow by the American Physical Therapy Association. Christopher Shinkman, '69, of Bethesda, Maryland, is vice president and manager of the Fairfax, Virginia, office of New Options Group, Inc. Marlene Garone, '74, is vice president for operations at the Western Pennsylvania Hospital in Pittsburgh. Michael Senko, '74, of Pittsburgh, recently presented "Making Your Voice Heard" at the 46th annual conference of the National Council on the Aging. Theodore Martch, '79 a special education teacher in Winston, Oregon, received a $25,000 Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award. Kathleen Mary Huebner, '80, '71, of Cheltenham, Pennsylvania, is editor of Hand in Hand: Essentials of Communication and Orientation and Mobility for Your Students Who Are Deaf-Blind, a two-volume set that was honored for excellence in professional and scholarly publishing by the Association of American Publishers. James Menegazzi, '87, of Pittsburgh, is editor in chief of the new journal of the National Association of Emergency Medical Services Physicians. Robert Didycz '88, has been named teacher of the year at Milton Middle School in the Cape Henlopen School District in Delaware. Teresa M. Brick, '92, Arts and Sciences '91, is manager of public relations and international trade at the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce. Baorong Li, '93, of Minneapolis, has been named diagnostic services coordinator at Metropolitan State University. Ronald Smutney, '95, Arts and Sciences '84, assistant director of corporate and foundation relations at Duquesne University, has been elected vice president of Pittsburgh Cares, a local volunteer organization.

ENGINEERING

Walter Rupp, '30, writes that a recent book on patents recognized him for having developed the most patents ever granted to an Exxon engineering staff member in the 75- year history of Exxon Research and Engineering Company. Rupp, of Mountainside, New Jersey, specialized in the area of aviation gasoline and light hydrocarbon processing. Victor N. Mikhailov, '65, received the Willard F. Rockwell, Jr. Medal from the International Technology Institute and was inducted into the world level of the Hall of Fame for Engineering, Science and Technology. He is currently Russia's minister of atomic energy, as well as a professor and author of over 250 scientific articles. Bobby Gene Yow, '66, of Fort Worth, Texas, writes, "I retired in May from a career spanning 26 years in the United States Air Force and 17 years with the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. I plan to enjoy my retirement with my five grandchildren." Hodge Jenkins, '85, '81, received his PhD in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in June and has joined Lucent Technologies-Bell Laboratories in Norcross, Georgia. Jenkins has also been selected as an associate editor for the IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology. Michael Murray, '85, who was among the guests at a recent alumni event in San Francisco, is now a systems engineer with Radix Technologies in Mountain View, California. Jeffri Kaminski, '92, recently received a Juris Doctor degree from Pettit College of Law at Ohio Northern University.

GENERAL STUDIES

Dana M. Kasparek, '77, of Canton, Ohio, is principal marketing analyst in The Timken Company's North and South America Bearing Business Group. Walter S. Krasneski, '93, has joined the Butler, Pennsylvania, office of Burt Hill Kosar Rittelmann as business development representative. Steve Zeiden, '95, faxed the following: "I was recently promoted to national events coordinator for the Walden Book Company in Ann Arbor, Michigan."

HEALTH AND REHABILITATION SCIENCES

Pam Gerry, '88, works as a system test engineer at Emtek Health Care Systems in Phoenix, Arizona, where she is developing and testing software for electronic medical records. Daniele Wilson-Aubrey, '89, is a self-employed dietician in North Carolina and is affiliated with Nutri-Fit. Lance Danko, '92, of Aiken, South Carolina, is tumor registry director and acting assistant administrator at the Georgia Radiation Therapy Center and a clinical faculty member at the School of Allied Health Sciences at the Medical College of Georgia. Mark DiCello, '92, of Pittsburgh, writes that he received his MBA from Pitt in 1996 and has accepted a position with Gateway Health Plan as a provider contract administrator. Laurel Zaks, '92, of Takoma Park, Maryland, is a pediatric nutritionist with the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC. Michele Brown, '93, a medical records coordinator, works for Presbyterian Senior Care in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. Jeffrey Nedrow, '94, is a systems engineer at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Amy Beale, '95, is an area account specialist at Recordex Services Inc. in Malvern, Pennsylvania. Terri Travis, '95, '87, is a nutrition educator at the Joslin Diabetes Center at the Western Pennsylvania Hospital in Pittsburgh.

INFORMATION SCIENCES

Stacey Armstrong, '87, is senior systems analyst in operational systems development at Equitrans, Inc., in Pittsburgh. Frances A. Steele, '87, Arts and Sciences '76, of Pittsburgh was promoted to manager in operational systems development at Equitable Resources, Inc.

LAW

Gene E. McDonald, '49, of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, received an honorary Doctor of Law degree at the annual Honors Convocation at Saint Vincent College. He is a senior partner with McDonald, Moore, Mason & Snyder and is active in many professional and community organizations. Johanna O'Loughlin, '73, is deputy general counsel with Equitable Resources in Pittsburgh. Michael Cassidy, '77, has joined the Pittsburgh law firm of Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote as a shareholder. Susan Mondik Key, '89, is an associate with the firm of Peacock Keller Ecker and Crothers in Washington, Pennsylvania.

MEDICINE

Gary Brickner, '75, has been appointed to the New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners. Marian Langer, '83, of Ashville, Pennsylvania, an assistant professor of biology at Saint Francis College, was presented with the Saint Francis College Honor Society Distinguished Faculty Award.

NURSING

Donna Rae Thompson, '62, of Pittsburgh, was awarded the Heart of Hampton Educator Award from the Hampton Alliance for Educational Excellence. Vicki Lucas, '79, '77, director of women's and children's services at Memorial Hospital Southwest, has been named the Outstanding Medical Person of the Year by the Crime Victims Alliance of Fort Bend County, Texas. Donna Kandsberger, '84, '81, clinical nurse specialist of pediatric oncology at Pennsylvania State University Medical Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania, is the 1996 recipient of an Oncology Nursing Foundation/SmithKline Beecham Research Grant.

PUBLIC HEALTH

William Raynovich, '84, is senior program director for the EMS Academy, School of Medicine, at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

PUBLIC AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Frederick H. Kerr, '61, e-mails, "I am pleased to report that I was awarded the honorary degree, Doctor of Laws, by the Lutheran College of Health Professions, Fort Wayne, Indiana." Richard Cunningham, '74, recently co-authored two presentations that were delivered at the National Association of Environmental Professionals' annual conference in Houston, Texas. Timothy Parks, '82, is president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance. Carol Campbell Swinston, '83, Education '67, attended the Fourth United Nations Conference on Women held in Beijing, China. She and other Pittsburgh attendees are working to enhance recognition of women's contributions to the city through her organization, Pittsburgh/Beijing '95 and Beyond. Robert DiSpirito, '86, writes, "I was recently appointed city manager of Oberlin, Ohio. Pitt graduates are welcome to stop by City Hall if they find themselves in town." Steven Shussett, '87, Arts and Sciences '85, has been elected chairperson of the Housing Authority of Frostburg, Maryland. Shussett is pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Frostburg. Robert A. Reddy, '90, Arts and Sciences '88, is associate director of financial aid at Point Park College in Pittsburgh. Robert Sitkowski, '94, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, recently taught "The Structure of the City," a class for members of the community to help them appreciate the public realm, the city in general, and the places most people take for granted. Sitkowski is an attorney with the Harrisburg law bureau.

SOCIAL WORK

Albert Rosenberg, '49, of El Paso, has received the National Association of Social Workers Lifetime Achievement Award for the state of Texas.



FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE

Orah Miller might be called a dreammaker by those who have had their fondest wish come true--to become a parent.

Miller (Social Work '79) is codirector of Adopt-a-Child, a Pittsburgh agency that has completed almost 250 adoptions of children in Russia, Bulgaria, and China.

"People who want to adopt are so vulnerable, and everything looks scary," Miller says. "So it's helpful to have an agency that walks them through everything, and that's what we do--from the initial paperwork to picking up the child.

"In Russia, for instance, we have drivers and translators who stay with the couple the whole time. We also assist the couple during the court review process."

To begin the adoption process, a couple must get Immigration and Naturalization Service approval and file an orphan petition to guarantee citizenship for the child. After that, it's time to process the foreign documents and look at tapes of available children, many of whom are in orphanages.

"Most kids don't hit milestones in an orphanage like kids do here--at 12 months, they're probably not walking yet because they're spending 20 out of 24 hours a day in a crib," Miller says. "But they will walk."

Miller says new families report that the first six months are the hardest.

"After a year, though, people feel like they've always had their kids. You don't adopt and live happily ever after; people adopt and join the rest of us who are dealing with parenthood. It gives me a lot of pleasure to see that."--Sally Neiser



A WINNING PAIR

Super Bowl Sunday last year turned out to be more exciting than the game for two Pitt alums. That was the day they became millionaires. Patricia and John DiNardo of Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, both 1978 Pitt nursing grads, won $10 million when representatives from Publishers Clearinghouse arrived on their doorstep during half-time celebrations.

"I'd had a terrible day at work," Pat recalls, "and when I got home, I'd put on my old fuzzy bathrobe. I heard the doorbell ring, and John said, 'You'd better come out here.' "When I got to the door, I could see cameras and lights and people holding a big cardboard check, and I thought, 'Oh, no!'....I guess everyone in America saw me in my bathrobe that day."

After visiting Publishers Clearinghouse headquarters recently, Pat has some advice: "When you get that letter saying, 'You may have the winning number,' that's literally true. A computer picks the number and stores it away. In my case, the holder of that first number never sent the envelope back."

As to the future, Pat and John both agree that their lifestyle won't change significantly. The win does, however, open up opportunities. For John, a nurse anesthetist, it meant a trip to Ecuador recently as part of a surgery team. "Since team members pay their own costs, I couldn't have gone before," he says.

Pat, a nursing instructor, thinks three children, a farm, and their careers will keep them busy for the foreseeable future. "The plan is that we'll keep on working till the kids are in college. After that," she says, "it should be all downhill."--Sally Neiser



HELPING THOSE WHO HURT

Counselor Robin Connors (Education '86, Social Work '79) first began to understand self-injury and its connection to past traumatic events while working as a counselor at Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (PAAR) in the early '80s. Some of her clients were responding to their trauma by, in turn, injuring themselves.

Trauma is defined by the loss of control over one's body, emotions, and/or sexuality, explains Connors. Feelings of helplessness, personal disconnection, betrayal, confusion, and overstimulation can feed self-injury. Self-injury, then, is fundamentally an attempt to regain control.

In 1994, Connors and PAAR employee Kristy Trautmann created a workbook for self-injurers to help them understand and overcome their need to hurt themselves. The workbook launches self-injurers on a journey of self-discovery and, for some, helps them to explore alternatives to self-inflicted violence--funnelling their rage into a drawing or journal, or using markers to draw on the body parts they would otherwise harm.

But Connors is also helping therapists to better counsel self-injurers. "Historically, self-injury has been understood in a way that is fairly blaming and pejorative," she explains. Well-meant but useless advice--like "Stop banging your head against the wall, that's not going to help you"--discounts the fact that those who self-injure may not want to stop, or may not feel able to stop, says Connors. "People do things for a reason. Somewhere inside of them, it makes sense."

While maintaining a private therapy practice in Pittsburgh, Connors offers self-injury sensitization workshops for therapists.

"At the core," says Connors, "I want to help people make sense of self-injury."--Christine McCammon



A MAN FOR ALL REASONS

The myth is that sports fans want nothing less than national championships. Well, a championship would be nice, but it's not the title that fills seats. Excitement fills seats. Competition. A chance to win.

With the appointment of a new athletic director, 39-year-old Steve Pederson, the University has found someone with that competitive spirit.

"One thing that stood out for the search committee was Steve Pederson's high level of energy and his enthusiasm for moving the athletic program forward in swift fashion," says Assistant Chancellor Jerry Cochran, who chaired the committee that recommended Pederson.

Pederson honed his competitive success at three large university programs--Tennessee, where he was hired by some guy named Johnny Majors; Ohio State, where he helped build a football program so good that it beat one Western Pennsylvania team 72-0; and, most recently, as associate athletic director with two-time football champion Nebraska.

And the same tradition of excellence is what lured him to Pitt. "Since I've been named athletic director," Pederson says, "I've received phone calls from all over, and they have the same message: Pitt is a great school with a great reputation. And when I look across the stadium to the school and the medical center, I want the athletic program to match those great institutions."

Pederson's enthusiasm also translates into ambitious goals, and those goals, he says, are simple: "I want Pitt to return to its days of glory as the top athletic program in the eastern part of the United States."

And, Cochran adds, not just in football and basketball: "Steve's priority is to be competitive in the Big East, in every sport."

Sounds lofty, right? Don't be too sure.

"I believe in setting attainable goals," Pederson says, "and there is simply no limit to what we can attain at Pitt."--Mark Collins



IN MEMORIAM

William Earl Blose (Education '69) of Kittanning, Pennsylvania, died February 19, 1996, of leukemia. He was an elementary principal in the Freeport Area School District for 34 years.

Benjamin Flagler Foote (Arts and Sciences '42) of Redondo Beach, California, died March 9, 1996. He served in World War II on the staff of General James Doolittle and, as a B-24 navigator, earned the Distinguished Flying Cross. Contributions in his name may be made to the University of Pittsburgh Alumni Memorial Fund.

Charles W. L. Foreman (Arts and Sciences, '38, '35) of North Granby, Connecticut, died May 9, 1996, at age 83. A former English professor at Pitt, he joined UPS in 1941. Under his leadership, the UPS Foundation established endowments at major research universities.

Harry J. Friedman (Arts and Sciences '56), of Honolulu, died May 10, 1996. His wife, Cappy, writes: "Harry taught political science at the University of Hawaii for 34 years." He was a member of the American Political Science Association and the American Society for Public Administration.

John E. "Jerry" Holt (Medicine '54) died May 13, 1996, in Sun City West, Arizona. At the time of his retirement in 1987, Holt was medical director of the East Pittsburgh Division of Westinghouse Electric Corporation. His wife, Lois, says, "After retiring, we directed and taught bridge on cruise ships around the world. We had 25 wonderful years together."

Vigdor Kavaler (Business '50, '48) died January 17, 1996, in Pittsburgh at the age of 70. He was executive secretary of Rodef Shalom Congregation for more than 30 years and taught economics at the University of Pittsburgh and at Carnegie Mellon. He walked to work every day, in good weather and bad, and never drove a car.

Karen Ruth Logue (Nursing '65) died June 19, 1996, of pancreatic cancer. In her career, she rose through the ranks at Johnson & Higgins, a national insurance brokerage and consulting firm, and in 1989 was promoted to the company's headquarters in Manhattan. She was a member of the Pennsylvania and American Bar Associations, the American Association of Nurse Attorneys, and the American Society of Health Care Risk Management.

Bernard Luczak (Engineering '36) a retired brigadier general who helped pioneer the Army's air-defense missile and rocket programs, died in his Rancho Bernardo, California, home on April 17, 1996.

E. Samuel Overman (Public and International Affairs, '83, '78) professor in the Graduate School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado at Denver, died June 25, 1996, at the age of 44.

Michael Zofchak (Engineering '32) of Coral Springs, Florida, died in December 1995. Born in Czechoslovakia, he was a lieutenant colonel in the US Army during World War II. After graduating from Pitt, he worked as an electrical engineer for Westinghouse until his retirement in 1972.


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