Pitt Magazine Homepage Table of Contents

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



ALUMNUS REDISCOVERS BATTLE SITE
A FOND FAREWELL
RECOMMENDED READING
IN MEMORIAM
ALUMNI NOTEBOOK . . .
ARTS AND SCIENCES

Charles R. Freeble Jr.,'43, of St. Petersburg, Florida, has had his second book, Toscape Death, published by Closson Press. Freeble, a retired physician and enthusiastic historian, dedicated his work to his wife who, he says, "has patiently indulged my penchant for visiting libraries, cemeteries, forts, battlefields, and historic sites. If ever an angel walked on earth, it is my dear wife." Allyn W. Keiser, '67, is managing director of CapMAC Holdings, in New York City. John Philbrick, '68, is the first director of information technology at Thomas Nelson Community College in Hampton, Virginia. Christine M. Hill, '72, of Cinnaminson, New Jersey, recently attended the Twelfth Annual Highlights Foundation Writers Workshop at the Chautauqua Institution in New York. Hill, a children's librarian, has written a biography for young adults on Langston Hughes, scheduled to be published later this year. Timothy McGee, '74, has edited Singing Early Music, published by the Indiana University Press. The book studies the principal languages of Europe as they were spoken from the twelfth to the seventeenth century. Leah Rudolph, '75, of Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, writes, "I was recently chosen as the 'Northeast Woman' by our local newspaper." Rudolph volunteers with several community organizations and runs a small home business as an independent senior fashion consultant. In 1995, she received the Pennsylvania Affiliate Volunteer Recognition Award for Outstanding Personal Service to the American Diabetes Association. Robert Wynn Blevins, '80, has received a master's in business administration from Lynchburg College in Virginia. Laura Bell, '83, is account manager for ad agency Poppe Tyson in Pittsburgh. Eileen Glisan, '83, '82, has been named the top educator of foreign language teachers in the country by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. Glisan is a professor of Spanish at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. James B. Petersen, '83, an associate research professor and director at the Archaeology Research Center at the University of Maine, has edited A Most Indispensable Art: Native Fiber Industries from Eastern North America (University of Tennessee Press), which focuses on the influence that fiber industries had on the economic, social, and ceremonial life of Native American cultures. Pamela Pochapin, '83, has joined Dudreck DePaul Ficco & Morgan in Pittsburgh as account executive, public relations. William S. Dietrich, '84, '80, president of Pittsburgh-based Dietrich Industries, has been elected to the board of directors of Carpenter Technology Corporation. Charles Howard Ford, '85, assistant professor of history at Norfolk State University in Virginia, has just had his first book, Hannah More: A Critical Biography, published by Peter Lang, Inc. Beth Schmidt, '85 (Pitt- Johnstown), of Pittsburgh, has joined Burson-Marsteller as senior copywriter. Frank W. Stanley, '87, writes, "My wife, new son, and I are getting ready to return to the United States after seven years abroad. I have spent the last three years in the Foreign Service as United States Consul to Nagoya, Japan. My next job will be at the State Department as a trade officer on the Japan Desk." Curtis Brautigam, '88, Public and International Affairs '83, sends the following note: "My wife Linda and I moved to Israel last year. I presently work in the Israel Democracy Institute as an abstractor of English- language political science articles. My wife works as a nurse in Sha'arei Tzedek Hospital. We currently reside in Jerusalem. I can be reached by e-mail at: chatan@idi.org.il." Neera Saksena, '89, of Gainesville, Florida, completed a master's in education at the University of Florida, was elected to two honor societies, and recently participated as an editorial assistant for the American Educational Research Journal. Michael A. Neuman, '90, is vice president, special events, for Arnold Communications in New York City. He writes, "I've run two New York City marathons and recently went skydiving with a few of my ZBT fraternity brothers." Jackie Kelvington, '92, has been named account manager by Curley & Pynn Public Relations Management in Orlando, Florida. Cynthia M. O'Leary, '92, of Los Angeles, was named to the staff of Southwestern University School of Law's Southwestern Journal of Law & Trade in the Americas. Shannon Severino, '93, works as an administrative assistant in manager relations at Yanni-Bilkey Investment Consulting Company in Pittsburgh.

BUSINESS

Thomas J. Frentzos, '51, area agency manager for Lawyers Title Insurance Corporation in Pittsburgh, has been elected vice president of the firm. Robert H. Hood, '54, of Long Beach, California, recently received a Delta Tau Delta Fraternity Alumni Achievement Award. He is president of Douglas Aircraft Company. Daniel S. Connors, '75, is vice president for strategic implementation at D. F. Blumberg & Associates, of Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. He says when he is not on a plane visiting clients, he and his wife are on their way to visit their two grandchildren. David C. Bramer, '76, Arts and Sciences '69, of Eighty Four, Pennsylvania, writes, "My father received [three] degrees from Pitt. I received a BA and MBA, and my daugher received a BSW and MSW. Three direct generations with three undergraduate and four graduate degrees within 45 years! For good measure, you can throw in two uncles and two cousins, with six more degrees during the same period." Patricia L. Rogus, '78, of Monroeville, Pennsylvania, has joined Smith Barney as a financial consultant. Rogus writes that she also serves as a Eucharistic minister at St. Bernadette Church. Ellen Langas Campbell, '80, of Exton, Pennsylvania, helped celebrate the culture of Greece on a recent QVC two-hour special. Campbell, a former QVC host and president of NouSoma Communications, originated the Greek program theme. "As one of more than a million Greek Americans, I was excited to help...bring a bit of the romantic Greek mystique into the homes of our viewers."

DENTAL MEDICINE

Stephen Miller, '80, of Pittsburgh, received the Academy of General Dentistry's fellowship award during a ceremony at the academy’s 44th annual meeting in Portland, Oregon.

EDUCATION

Jane Ables Greenwood, 77, is director of community relations at Best Health Care of Western Pennsylvania. Marilyn Oermann, '80, Nursing '75, a professor in the College of Nursing at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, has completed her fifth book, which is entitled Professional Nursing Practice. Nancy Henry Albright, '82, of Pittsburgh, has been inducted into the North Hills School District's Hall of Fame. Albright, an all-American and all-state swimmer in high school, was team captain and all-American at Pitt. Mary Gloria Barry, '83, '78, is head of the department of health administration at Robert Morris College in Pittsburgh. Sean Wesley Waters, '93, of Philadelphia, has received the Minority Scholarship for Academic Excellence from the American Physical Therapy Association.

ENGINEERING

George W. Vines, '40, one of the original members of the Chicago Pitt Alumni Association, writes, "I am a member of the Poets and Patrons Society in Chicago. My poem, "The Lineman," received an award from the International Poets Society--not bad for a Pitt chemical engineering graduate!" Andy J. Benedict, '71, has been appointed director of total cost management, purchasing, for Ford Automotive Operations in Dearborn, Michigan. Benedict, who joined Ford in 1971, is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers. Lee Elder, '71, is manager of market development for GE Nuclear Energy in San Jose, California. Lisa Cendar Didden, '87, of Alexandria, Virginia, an electronics engineer for the Department of Defense, United States Navy, recently graduated from the United States Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island. Robert Scott Staub, '89, was named superintendent of the melted metals department of American Steel Foundries' Granite City, Illinois, plant. Lyn Benton Williams, '91, writes that she was recently married and has accepted a position as a manufacturing engineer at Delphi Packard Electric in Warren, Ohio. She also reports that she has earned a master's of science in engineering and business from Youngstown State University.

GENERAL STUDIES

David Marks, '93, is a capacity trader at CNG Energy Services Corporation in Pittsburgh.

INFORMATION SCIENCES

Khafre Abif, '93, and Teresa Neely, '93, have written In Our Own Voices, a collection of essays by 25 librarians of color who share their professional experiences. The book, published by Scarecrow Press, gives advice to those seeking to enter the library profession.

LAW

Jack E. McGregor, '62, counsel to Cohen & Wolf, PC, reports that he has been admitted to the Connecticut bar and is working on the redevelopment of Bridgeport's five-mile waterfront. "[I] am on the boards of Aquarion Company, Bay State Gas Company, and People's Bank." Harry Gruener, '69, Arts and Sciences '66, a partner in the Pittsburgh firm Goldberg, Gruener, Gentile, Voelker & Horoho, is the new chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association family law section. During his days at Pitt, Gruener was editor of the Law Review. Charles I. Cohen, '70, has joined Morgan Lewis in Washington, DC, as a senior partner in the firm's labor and employment law section. William S. Lerach, '70, Arts and Sciences '67, of Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach in San Diego, recently received an alumni achievement award from the Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. Gary Gentile, '71, of O'Hara Township, Pennsylvania, is chairman of Hearing Committee 4.10 of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Barbara J. Danforth, '85, has been appointed executive director of the YWCA of Cleveland. Danforth, a single adoptive parent, lives in Cleveland with her six-year-old daughter.

MEDICINE

Richard F. Kunkle, '71, president of the Emergency Medical Service Institute, has received Pennsylvania's Emergency Physician of the Year Award. Johanna M. Seddon, '74, Arts and Sciences '70, an associate professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, was recently named vice president of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. She was also recently granted the Lew R. Wasserman Merit Award for her contributions to ophthalmic research on mechanisms related to macular degeneration. Freddie H. Fu, '77, professor and executive vice chairman of orthopedic surgery at Pitt and medical director of the Center for Sports Medicine, has received the 1996 President's Challenge Award from the National Athletic Trainers' Association. Fu, head team physician since 1986, recently endowed $100,000 for an athletic-training scholarship at Pitt to be awarded each year to one student for graduate education. Alexander L. Bell, '85, is a surgeon with the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at St. Francis Medical Center in Pittsburgh.

NURSING

Gerry Angel, '62, of Pittsburgh, has received the District Six, Pennsylvania Nurses Association's Distinguished Nurse of the Year award. Winner of numerous writing, research, and community service awards, Angel has also recently been appointed to the Long-term Care Council's Consumer Advocacy Committee under the State Secretary of Aging. Mary Beth Peterson, '83, is an obstetrician/gynecologist in Pittsburgh. She says the worst part of the job is having to deliver babies in the middle of the night. The best part: "It lets you do everything. You follow patients over a lifetime.... You take care of the whole person."

PUBLIC HEALTH

Cathy Tibbetts, '77, a health care consultant, has been elected to the National Board of Directors for the American Diabetes Association. Therese Poirier, '85, professor of clinical pharmacy at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, has been appointed as the first congressional fellow for the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Engineering. Poirier is currently in Washington, DC, as a congressional staff member.

PUBLIC AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Douglas B. Schwab, '87, is an insurance specialist with Consolidated Natural Gas Company in Pittsburgh.

SOCIAL WORK

Gisela Konopka, '43, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, has had her latest book, Courage & Love, translated into German under the title, Mit Mut Und Liebe. It was published by the Deutsche Studien Verlag in Weinheim, Germany. Stacey Kubala, '92, '84, of Pittsburgh, was named executive director of Southwinds Inc., a nonprofit agency that provides community living for developmentally challenged individuals in Allegheny County.



ALUMNUS REDISCOVERS
BATTLE SITE

While researching the history of Bower Hill in Western Pennsylvania, Robert Podurgiel (Arts and Sciences '77) discovered a curious fact.

Although Bower Hill was the site of a two-day battle during the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794, in which General John Neville's Bower Hill Mansion was burned to the ground, it had never been commemorated in any way.

The site was important because rebel leaders Oliver Miller and James McFarlane were killed, and the event was a key factor in President Washington's decision to send 13,000 troops to Western Pennsylvania to restore peace.

However, since the estate was completely destroyed during the rebellion, confusion had developed about where the mansion and battle had been.

With the help of the Scott Conservancy and historic preservationists at Historic Old St. Luke's Church and the Presley Neville House, Podurgiel, was able to determine with a good degree of accuracy the location of the mansion.

"Finding the site was a lot like putting together a 202-year-old jigsaw puzzle where all the pieces finally fell into place. I was especially interested in the project because I realized it was practically in my back yard," he said.

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission reviewed the research and awarded the site historical marker status late last summer when a ceremony was held to dedicate the marker.

Podurgiel, a Pennsylvania state employee and lifelong history buff, said a key source used in his research was the book Whiskey Rebels by University of Pittsburgh professor Leland D. Baldwin, first published in 1939 by the University of Pittsburgh Press.--Sally Neiser



A FOND FAREWELL

Readers of Pitt Magazine will be familiar with the name Robert C. Alberts. As author of Pitt: The Story of the University of Pittsburgh, he has been widely quoted within our pages. It is our sad duty, therefore, to report that Pitt's historian-biographer died on October 8, 1996, of complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 89.

Alberts (Arts and Sciences '31, '30) attended the University on an athletic scholarship and was captain of the cross-country team. He worked for many years for Ketchum MacLeod & Grove in Pittsburgh, writing articles and speeches for local corporate leaders. His real passion, however, was history.

Although not an academically trained historian, he had a great love of researching the past. He wrote four biographies, all published in hardcover by Houghton Mifflin Company. The Good Provider: H. J. Heinz and His 57 Varieties came out of his experiences at Ketchum where he serviced the Heinz account.

Fred Hetzel, former director of the University Press, recalls the day former chancellor Wesley Posvar asked him to recommend someone to write a book for the 200-year anniversary of the University.

"I suggested Bob; he was ideally suited. To this day, I've not seen a better history of a University. He was able to breathe life into institutional history--a very difficult thing to do!"

Alberts and his wife, Zita, whom he met at Pitt, owned three farms in Somerset County, one of them with an authentic log house in which they spent weekends and vacations. Inveterate collectors, they amassed a fine collection of Hoechst porcelain and works by German painter Karl Hofer.

Remembering his long-time friend, Oscar Shefler (Arts and Sciences '41) says, "Walking was a lifetime activity for Bob. Well into his eighties, he walked a measured mile every day around the inside perimeter of his apartment building. Unwilling to waste a minute, he used the time to memorize all of Shakespeare's sonnets."

In addition to his books, he wrote articles for The Atlantic Monthly and The New York Times Magazine, was editor of the Bulletin Index news magazine, and was a contributing editor of American Heritage. He was a long-time member of the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania and was the recipient of a Letterman of Distinction award from Pitt in 1981 and the Bicentennial Medal of Distinction in 1987.--Sally Neiser



RECOMMENDED READING

Judith R. Robinson (Arts and Sciences '80) is an award-winning poet and fiction writer whose work has appeared in numerous magazines, anthologies, and newspapers. Her new book, The Beautiful Wife and Other Stories (Aegina Press) is a collection of 17 short stories about the people and places she knows and loves. They include "Them Someday Things," a story set in Pittsburgh's Hill District; "Mountain Boy," about the World War II experiences of a Moundsville, West Virginia man; and "The Beautiful Wife," a character who embodies the cultural idea of woman as a sexual object.

"I find that my characters seem to be combinations of different people," Robinson says. "Everyone a writer meets, every experience you have, you draw on when you write."

A native of Pittsburgh, she refers to the city as the place she loves. "I have never lived anywhere else because I've never found a place I like better." Robinson is currently working on her first historic novel, a story about turn-of-the-century Pittsburgh.

Ham with Wry, Volume 2 (A.G. Halldin Publishing) is the second set of stories by J. K. Stoner (Education '53, '36), a former professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Stoner, who died in 1995, wrote the newspaper column, "Ham With Wry," which appeared weekly from 1977 to 1992 in The Indiana Gazette and from which his collection of stories is taken.

The second volume, like the first, portrays a whimsical view of real-life situations in a folksy, often tongue-in-cheek style. Stoner's ability to see humor and satire in the commonplace makes for fun reading as he describes his experiences in the role of gentleman farmer and university professor.

During his career at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Stoner, an emeritus professor, was chair of the Department of Business and Distributive Education and acting dean of the business college.--Sally Neiser



IN MEMORIAM

James Edward Cali (Arts and Sciences '87), an assistant professor in the theatre department of the University of Central Florida, died August 1, 1996. While at Pitt, he directed Amadeus and Seduced, and his production of In the Boom Boom Room was an alternate in the Pittsburgh Post- Gazette's list of best plays for 1986.

Donald Young Cameron (Medicine '35, Arts and Sciences '31), of Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania, died September 28, 1996, at age 85. Cameron made house calls up to the day he retired.

Louis Dennis Eells (Medicine '84), a dermatologist in Cocoa Beach, Florida, died June 24, 1996, at age 56. He was a member of the Brevard County Medical Society, the Florida Medical Association, the American Academy of Dermatology, and the American Cancer Society. He was also a pilot and owned his own plane.

William Karau (Business '65), 61, of Houston, Texas, died August 23, 1996, after a prolonged battle with cancer. Before his retirement, he was vice president of marketing for Inexco Oil Company and worked throughout his life in the oil and gas industry.

George Levy (Arts and Sciences '47) died August 4, 1996, of cancer at his Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania, home. He was 71. Although by profession he was president of a division of National Steel Corporation, he joked that his full-time job was football. For the past 22 years, Levy helped sports broadcaster Bill Hillgrove on WTAE radio "spot" Pittsburgh Steelers by matching their uniform numbers with their names. Levy was a member of the Aluminum Trade Association, a past president of the Green Oaks Country Club, and a member of the Rodef Shalom Congregation.

James P. Murray, Jr. (Engineering '30), the retired owner of a manufacturer's representative firm, died of heart failure in February 1996 at his home in O'Hara Township, Pennsylvania. Murray, who stood over six feet-four inches tall, was known to family and friends as "The Leader." During World War II, Murray served in the China-Burma-India theater and flew over the Himalayas 38 times.

Morris Graham Netting (Arts and Sciences '26) died on August 26, 1996, at his Powdermill, Pennsylvania, home at age 91. From 1954 to 1975, he was director of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. In the mid-1950s, he helped establish the Powdermill Nature Reserve in Westmoreland County, which soon became one of the most important bird-banding stations in the East.

In 1925, while a student at Pitt, he volunteered in the Carnegie Museum's amphibians and reptiles lab. He was hired the next year at a salary of 25 cents an hour. From 1944 to 1963, he taught geography, zoology, and herpetology part time at the University of Pittsburgh. The Cheat Mountain salamander--Plethodon nettingi--was named in his honor.

Lester Perry (Education '25) died September 23, 1996, in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, at the age of 92. Perry served as executive director of the Pennsylvania Medical Society for 25 years. He was a founder of Pennsylvania Blue Shield and a longtime member of the company's board of directors. Prior to his long career in health care, which began in 1931, he served for a time as assistant to the dean of men at Pitt.


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