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Spotlight on Alumni

With the 2002 college football season getting underway, stars of this year’s Pitt Panthers have a chance to build their legacies just like running backs Rick Leeson (46) and Paul Martha (10) did in the early ’60s. If you remember their heroics, or have the scoop on some other Pitt gridiron legends, share the memories with us. If we publish your recollection, who knows, maybe your hero will give you a call.

Arts and Sciences

Jack Goldsmith ’50 was inducted into the Pittsburgh Advertising Federation’s Hall of Fame, honoring his 33 years in the business. A Pittsburgh native, Goldsmith served in the navy prior to graduating from Pitt with a degree in English. In 1955, Goldsmith co-founded MARC (Marketing, Advertising, Research, and Consulting) & Company, which has grown into MARC USA, one of the 25 largest advertising agencies in the country. George Zrust ’74 writes to say that he is senior producer for FCBi/Chicago, Foote Cone & Belding’s interactive and direct marketing unit. The former Pitt News columnist and cartoonist oversees Web and interactive advertising projects, including Web sites for such clients as Gatorade and Quaker Chewy granola bars. Now a resident of Evanston, Illinois, Zrust credits his liberal arts education at Pitt for helping him “adapt to a wide variety of work situations and respond with clarity and creativity, not getting hamstrung by vague objectives or seemingly insurmountable obstacles.” Judith Lindenberger ’76 e-mails that she has started her own consulting business. Based near Princeton, New Jersey, the Lindenberger Group specializes in human resources consulting, training and development, coaching, and organizational development strategies for nonprofit and corporate organizations. Jeffrey Sterner ’76 is vice president of the Altegra collection department of National City Bank of Pennsylvania in Washington. The Florida Psychological Association named licensed psychologist Mitch Spero ’79 its outstanding member in the child, adolescent, and family division. Spero, who is director of Child & Family Psychologists, was recognized for a variety of efforts, including his pro-bono work as the evaluating psychologist in the Elian Gonzalez case, and as president of the Stepfamily Association of America’s Broward County chapter. Carol Howell ’79, ’76, an instructor in the creative writing program at Syracuse University, had two short stories accepted by literary journals: “The Unveiling,” published in Miami University’s Oxford Magazine and “Social Skills,” published in the University of Wisconsin’s Wisconsin Review. Howell, a college-level writing teacher for 26 years, has had stories appear in a number of national publications and anthologies, including Redbook, Crazyhorse, and the New Orleans Review. Russell Martin ’86 is associate professor of history at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. A multilingual expert on Russian history, Martin also writes for reference books, such as the Encyclopedia of Russian History, and has appeared in the A&E television network’s Biography series as an expert on Ivan the Terrible. In addition, he is co-founder of the Moscow-based Muscovite Biographical Database, a Russian-American computerized register of early modern Russian notables. Robert Sette ’88 is director of the American Translators Association, the nation’s largest professional organization for translators and interpreters. Sette, an instructor in Pitt’s Professional Translation Certificate Program, is also president and chief translator of Translation Services, Inc., which provides foreign language services to corporate and individual clients throughout the country. Jaime McGovern Keating ’88, along with his wife Kathleen, writes to announce the birth of their fourth child, Matthew. The family, along with older siblings Emily, Erin, and William, resides in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. William Nasri ’89 is vice president of sales and new business development for De Lage Landen Financial Services in Wayne, Pennsylvania. Lora Dudrick ’93 is an immigration project manager for IBM, working with corporate acquisitions and mergers. Gerome Spino ’93 received the inaugural Environmental Studies Scholarship from Annie’s Organics, a Massachusetts-based international manufacturer and distributor of prepared organic foods. Spino’s award of unrestricted monetary support enables his continuing work in environmental sociology and science. Suzanne Ketler ’97, a former Fulbright Scholar and Mellon Fellow, is an associate in the Cleveland office of the national law firm Baker & Hostetler. Brian Barrick ’01 received his commission as a naval officer after completing Officer Candidate School at Naval Aviation Schools Command, Naval Air Station, in Pensacola, Florida.

Business Administration

Tilden Bennett ’59 retired as president of DynaVox Systems, a provider of augmentative communication solutions for individuals with disabilities, after 19 years. Bennett continues to serve as chairman emeritus of the company, which he founded as Sentient Systems Technology in 1983. James Caprio ’84 is senior consultant and partner with Solutions 21, a Pittsburgh-based consulting organization. Robert Funderlich ’85 is vice president and controller for the Tapco Group in Plymouth, Michigan. Joseph Belechak ’89, senior vice president of operations and customer service for Duquesne Light, was named to the board of directors of the Community College of Allegheny County’s Educational Foundation. John Barilich ’99, social work executive for the Veterans Administration Pittsburgh Healthcare System, received the 2001 Social Worker of the Year Award from the US Department of Veterans Affairs. The award recognized Barilich’s “exemplary skill” and significant contributions in the delivery of social work services and clinical care to patients and their families. Barilich is also the site manager for the H. John Heinz III VA Progressive Care Center, vice president of Geriatric and Extended Healthcare Services, and the Network 4 homeless coordinator. Cynthia Allshouse ’99 is assistant dean for administration for the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing. Allshouse manages key administrative functions of the school, including financial administration, space and facilities, and personnel.


Ignacio Perez ’68 reports from the San Francisco area that he received “superstar salesman” recognition as a commercial/residential account executive for Terminix International Co. The award, a trip to the Caribbean, honored his sales of more than $400,000 in one year. Perez was co-captain of the 1967 Pitt gymnastics team and men’s head gymnastics coach from 1973-77. Ron Baillie ’74, director of education at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Science Center, is Vectors Pittsburgh’s 2001 Man of the Year in Education. Kathy Partridge ’76 is senior vice president of business services for Ryder System, responsible for overseeing business and accounting functions. She is also manager of Ryder’s Shared Services Center in Alpharetta, Georgia. David Jones ’78 writes that he retired as professor from Point Park College in Pittsburgh, where he taught for 27 years. Marcia Anstandig Grayson ’87 (CAS ’85) earned a PhD in education from Seton Hall University.


Tampa-based Chitester Management, founded by David Chitester ’74, received the Small Business of the Year award from the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. The company, which provides consulting, professional staffing, and educational services to the construction sector, was honored for its achievements, community outreach efforts and consistent, impressive growth. Jami Shah ’76 is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, a grade that is conferred upon members with at least 10 years active engineering practice who have made significant contributions to the field. Shah, a resident of Scottsdale, Arizona, is also a professor and director of the design automation lab at Arizona State University, Tempe.

General Studies

Therese Rocco ’78 received the Legendary Alumna Award from the Community College of Allegheny County’s Educational Foundation. Rocco, former Pittsburgh Police Commander, was the first woman to be appointed assistant chief of police in a major city, and went on to become one of the most renowned missing-person administrators in the United States. She continues to be active in the community, volunteering at Mom’s House, lecturing with Carnegie Mellon University’s adult learning program, and consulting on missing-person cases. Joseph Resnick ’84 writes that he has developed the new “S.M.A.R.T. Vest,” a patented garment that includes a miniature audio and video transmitter system to be worn by anyone who needs to keep in close, reliable contact with others during his or her work. The vest is touted as a tool to “help combat domestic terrorism” and is currently being marketed to airlines, security personnel, and similar industries. David Paik ’86 is partner with Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton’s Los Angeles office. Paik practices with the firm’s tax, employee benefits, trusts, and estates group.

Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Richard Allison ’82 is the first dean of the Community College of Allegheny County’s newest site, the Washington Center in Washington County.

Information Sciences

Brandt Washington ’90 is a licensed Internet security consultant with AT&T Technical Marketing with the title “certified Internet security specialist.” Melissa Yurechko ’92 is community librarian for the Dwight Branch of the Hartford, Connecticut, public library. She served on the American Library Association’s national committee that chose the winner of the 2002 Caldecott Medal, which honors outstanding illustration in children’s literature.


Robert Sedler ’59 (CAS ’56) and his wife Rozanne (CAS ’60) were honored in a special program by the Oakland County, Michigan, branch of the American Civil Liberties Union. Robert, who holds the Walter Gibbs Chair in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at Wayne State University Law School, has often acted as a volunteer lawyer for the ACLU. He has litigated cases involving a variety of constitutional issues, such as First Amendment rights, racial discrimination, and abortion. Rozanne is a geriatric social worker with Jewish Family Services, and serves on the executive board of AFSCME Local 1640, which represents mental health workers in the tri-county area. Donald Shaw ’70 reports that he is living in Ecuador and teaching English at the National Polytechnic University in Quito. Edward Schmidt ’72 is a partner in the tobacco litigation practice area of the Washington, DC, office of Thompson Coburn. Kevin McKeegan ’82, partner at Meyer Unkovic & Scott’s Pittsburgh office, is on the firm’s management committee for the 2002-03 term. Scott Dismukes ’85 is a member of Pittsburgh law firm Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott’s litigation division and environmental department. J. Kenneth Moritz ’88 joined Stonewood Capital Management, a privately held investment firm, after leaving his position as chief executive officer of MAX Hats. Amy Smith Himmel ’92 and her husband Brian Himmel ’92 e-mail to announce the birth of twin daughters Rachel and Cara. Brian is a member of the litigation group and partner at the Pittsburgh office of law firm Reed Smith. Madelaine Baturin ’93 is a member of the litigation department of Baturin & Baturin, a Harrisburg-based law firm. Vincent Longo ’97, (CAS ’90) writes that he is general counsel for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 23. Harry Baturin ’98 (CAS ’95) is a member of the law firm Baturin & Baturin in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in the business and personal taxation department.


David Tolner ’77 (CAS ’73) is president of the medical staff for North Arundel Hospital in Glen Burnie, Maryland. He also serves as an instructor of neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and as assistant clinical professor of neurosurgery for the University of Maryland.


Susan Albrecht ’78, ’75, (EDU ’81) is associate dean for student and alumni services and development in the School of Nursing. Also an associate professor with the School of Nursing, Albrecht conducted pioneering research in the development and successful implementation of a nursing intervention to help pregnant adolescents stop smoking.


Steven Strauss ’70 is adjunct member of the New York State Board of Pharmacy for a five-year term. He was also one of 75 distinguished honorees at Long Island University’s 75th anniversary. J. Christopher Meilinger ’90 is regional pharmacy manager with Safeway Pharmacy in the Phoenix, Arizona, area. James McAuley ’93 writes that he received tenure at Ohio State University, where he is associate professor of pharmacy practice and neurology.

Public and International Affairs

Tedd Wein ’81, (CAS ’80), owner of Mail Boxes Etc. in the North Hills, was featured in an article on selecting and running a franchise in Entrepreneur magazine. Wein has operated his store, which was the first MBE franchise in Pittsburgh, for 15 years. The store ranked number one in sales revenue in 2001 out of the area’s 20 MBE locations, and finished in first or second place for the last five years. Christopher Harrison ’94 is an associate attorney with the Austin, Texas, law office Fulbright & Jaworski in the intellectual property department.

Social Work

Rose Wiesman Dobrof ’47 received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from the Hebrew Union College, as well as an award from the National Association of Social Workers for her contributions to her profession and the field of gerontology, and a special lifetime achievement award from the Caucus and Center for the Black Aged. Dobrof, who is the Brookdale Professor of Gerontology at the Hunter College of the City University of New York, is the widow of alumnus Alfred Dobrof ’47.

In Memoriam

Seymour Cohen, Arts and Sciences ’53, died April 19, 2001, in Lakewood, Illinois. He had been rabbi of Chicago’s Anshe Emet synagogue for more than 30 years, and became well-known as an advocate of Soviet Jewry and a proponent of inter-religious dialogue. He translated three medieval texts into English, and published several books. Robert Dauer Sr., Law ’56, died April 2002, in his Pittsburgh home at the age of 73. Dauer served in the army during the Korean War and was an Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge before retiring in 1999. He continued working as a senior judge until his death. George Dulabon, Medicine ’47, died January 2002, at the age of 78. In addition to his private practice in Penn Hills, he worked for the Department of Labor and Industry for the Bureau of Disability Determination until his retirement in 2001. Howard Flood, Business ’52, ’57, died February 2002, in Wall, New Jersey. Patrick Galbraith, Engineering ’77, died December 28, 2001, in an automobile accident at the age of 47. He lived in Worcester, Massachusetts and was a project manager with Steeltech Building Products. Gerald Guine, Education ’82, Dental Medicine ’55, died January 2002, in Wilmington, North Carolina. A retired lieutenant colonel in the US Air Force, Guine served overseas during WWII in the Pacific and Japan. He was recalled during the Vietnam War and served in the Surgeon General’s office and the Pentagon. Guine, a former program director for the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine, also served as Pitt Alumni president, and was active in many professional and community organizations, including the Pender County Board of Health, American Legion, and Kiwanis. Naomi Guy Hand, Education ’49, died November 2001, at the age of 89. She taught in the Ohio County Schools for 30 years. Nancy Glunt Hoffman, Nursing ’62, died in Latrobe Area Hospital on December 30, 2001. She was 61. Hoffman was very active in her church, Covenant Presbyterian. A licensed pilot, Hoffman was on the steering committee of the Latrobe Area Hospital airshow. Thomas Holtzapple, Arts and Sciences ’71, died August 3, 2001, in Fort Mill, South Carolina. A former medic in the US Navy, Holtzapple was an accountant for Bethlehem Steel in Johnstown before moving to Fort Mill, where he worked as an accountant. Herman Langkamp III, Arts and Sciences ’66, ’55, who once taught microbiology in Pitt’s School of Dental Medicine, died November 1, 2001, at the age of 73. Langkamp, a Wilkinsburg native who retired from teaching in 1998, had a long career that included chairing Pitt’s biohazard committee and developing the Sterilization Equipment Evaluation Service Program, an infection control procedure used by the American Dental Association, OSHA, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Joseph Matuschak, Arts and Sciences ’33, a native of Connellsville, died at his home in South Union, Pennsylvania, October 14, 2001, at the age of 89. He spent three years as an artillery forward observer in the 13th Armored Division of the Army. Mary Helen Clapper McCue, Nursing ’49, of Kittanning, Pennsylvania, died November 1, 2001. She was 86. McCue served as a second lieutenant in the US Army Nurse Corps, with stations including South Carolina, Japan, and Hawaii, during WWII. Edmund Michalik, Arts and Sciences ’40, ’37 died July 8, 2001, in Church Hill, Tennessee, at the age of 85. Born in Munhall, Pennsylvania, Michalik taught statistics and probability at Pitt from 1937 until he joined the US Navy in 1941. He returned to the University after his discharge in 1946 and taught, in addition to pursuing his mathematics PhD. After a career that included working on guided missiles and vacuum-tube powered computers, he joined PPG, from which he retired as senior staff engineer in 1980. M. Bernard Moskovitz, Dental Medicine ’60, of Wellington, Florida, died October 6, 2001. Howard Sloan, Medicine ’62, died December 24, 2001, at the age of 64 from lymphoma. A Pittsburgh native, Sloan began his career at the National Institutes of Health. His subsequent posts included chair of pediatrics at Staten Island University Hospital, professor in the College of Medicine and Department of Biochemistry at Ohio State University, and at Long Island College Hospital. Robert Statler, Pharmacy ’42, died July 14, 2001. A veteran who served in the US Army Air Corps medical division during WWII, Statler was head of the Veterans Administration Pharmacies in Washington, DC, and was also administrator of the Sibley Hospital. A. Michael Sulman, Arts and Sciences ’72, died February 12, 2001, in Tucson, Arizona, where he and his family had moved in 1977. Sulman operated his own accounting firm, and served as executive director of Congregation Anshei Israel in Tucson.

Wanda Ruffin, Social Work ’76, is associate professor of psychology at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. She joined Hood in 1990, and for the past five years has conducted ethnographic research on the significance of the New Orleans jazz-style funeral. She recently finished the project.

David Scotti, Law ’80, is “Of Counsel Resident” in the Pittsburgh office of Pepper Hamilton. An experienced construction lawyer, Scotti represents owners, developers, contractors, and subcontractors, and is a construction arbitrator and mediator for the American Arbitration Association.

Regina Lightfoot, Arts and Sciences ’78, is dean of the graduate school at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. She joined the faculty there in 1996 as associate professor of information technology and now oversees eight graduate degree and certificate programs for more than 800 students.

David Dinkel, Arts and Sciences ’91, is assistant vice president in the business technology planning department at Banknorth Group in Portland, Maine. His responsibilities include maintaining the software for the company’s desktop computer configurations.

Maryjean Lovett, Education ’72, director of student alumni programs at the University of Pittsburgh, is on the board of trustees at the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children. Lovett is also advisor to Pitt’s Blue and Gold Society, an organization of top college student leaders who act as liaisons to the Pitt Alumni Association.

H. Scott Cunningham, Law ’90, is director of the Pittsburgh office of PNC Financial Services Group’s trust and fiduciary services group.

Ralph Melocchi, Engineering ’84, is purchasing manager for the Pittsburgh office of Turner Construction Company. A lifelong resident of North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, Melocchi has been with Turner for 18 years, and has worked on projects for clients such as Lazarus.

Dan Pheil, Arts and Sciences ’72, is president of Landis Gardner, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of precision grinding machinery. Pheil, who has been with the company for 28 years, is responsib

Star Wars Action Figure

While digging through the archives of the Star Wars Trilogy, Scott Balcerek had to pinch himself.

Fresh from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, he landed a job as an assistant visual effects editor at Industrial Light and Magic, one of Star Wars’ director George Lucas’ group of companies, outside San Francisco.

He was soon marrying old film and new technology to remaster all-time film classics: Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. “I remember looking at these old elements and thinking, ‘This is surreal,’” says Balcerek, who majored in English writing at Pitt (CAS ’90).

The San Francisco resident has been the lead visual effects editor for the two most recent films in the Star Wars saga. With editing tools, he helps create seamless interaction of actors shot against a blue screen, miniature models, and digitally created environments.

In his hometown of Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania, there wasn’t a movie theater, but Balcerek says he’s always been interested in film, especially its power to tell a story. While at Pitt, he interned with the local television show Evening Magazine. The internship evolved into a job, which led to production assistant jobs on films shot in Pittsburgh.

Before he left for Los Angeles in 1993, Balcerek helped friend, Craig McTurk, edit Street Songs, a documentary about Pittsburgh street singer Bill Dorsey. The film won a Student Academy Award in 1993 from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Balcerek hopes to soon complete shooting a documentary about New York City street singers called Harlem Blues. It’s his directorial debut.


Motorcycle Lady

Her name is Sylvia Henderson. Yet, to her coworkers and clients alike she is also known as “That Motorcycle Lady.” For good reason. She has combined a passion for riding motorcycles with her job as an effective communications trainer.

Her company, Springboard Training, teaches how to balance personal and professional demands, and improve personal effectiveness. Effective communication for Henderson—who received an MBA from the Katz Graduate School of Business at Pitt in 1975—includes presentations that are generously sprinkled with motorcycling analogies.

Here’s an example. In motorcycle safety class, beginners are offered the “FINE-C” mnemonic, which stands for fuel, ignition, neutral, engine, and choke. The checklist helps ensure a trouble-free motorcycle ride. Henderson instructs her clients to use that same list as a reminder of the essentials for a successful day.

Before starting Springboard Training, which is based in Clinton, Maryland, Henderson spent 20 years in corporate training. She worked for IBM and America Online as an instructor for employee systems design. Indulging her twin passions for motorcycling and leading a balanced life is a bonus of her career change.

“My satisfaction is when I realize my audience comprehends the concepts of communicating effectively, by realizing they were born to be wild,” Henderson says. “When I know they have grasped my ideas, my classroom ride is as great as my motorcycle experiences.”

—Matt Mauclair

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