Arts and Sciences
George H. Shames SHRS ’52, FAS ’49, CAS ’48, Pitt professor emeritus of communication science and disorders, wrote The Company of Truth (Towers Maguire Publishing), a novel about a boy with a stuttering disability. He’s a retired speech-language pathologist and psychologist. Bud Shuster ’54, a U.S. Congressman representing 15 counties in western and central Pennsylvania, wrote Making the Most of Your Life! A Love Letter to My Grandchildren (Ragged Edge Press). Ray Neufeld ’63, owner of Jillson & Roberts gift-wrap and accessory company in Santa Ana, Calif., acquired Sandicast, a manufacturer of animal figurines. Don DeCesare ’67, president of Crossroads Communications in Old Saybrook and Middletown, Conn., was elected chair of the Connecticut Broadcasters Association.
Fred Kaiser ’67G was honored as the 2005 Outstanding Alumnus by the Salem High School Alumni Association in Ohio. He’s a national government specialist for the Congressional Research Service in Washington, D.C. Donald E. Lampert ’69 was recognized as one of the nation’s best lawyers in the 2006 edition of The Best Lawyers in America (Woodward/White). He’s a workers’ compensation law attorney with Calfee, Halter & Griswold in Cleveland. Fern M. Moskowitz ’69 is a parent volunteer and trustee of the Plymouth Meeting Friends School near Philadelphia. Richard D. Peters ’69 earned his Master of Science in Transportation Engineering degree from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Michael W. Botsko ’71G received the Thoburn Award for Teaching Excellence from Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., where he has served as chair of the mathematics department since 1972.
Linda Fenner CAS ’73 received the 2005 Golda Meir Award from the Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado for her service to the Jewish community. Her philanthropic efforts include assisting Ethiopian-Israeli women to enter the workforce. She’s a board member of several organizations, including National Women’s Philanthropy, a charity of United Jewish Communities. Michael Clinton ’75 released his second photography book, Global Snaps: 500 Photographs from 7 Continents (Glitterati). He’s the executive vice president, chief marketing officer, and publishing director of Hearst Magazines in New York City. Mark Rosenberg ’76G, ’72G was appointed chancellor of the State University System of Florida. Susan M. Ford ’80G was named chair of the anthropology department at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where she’s an associate professor. Ronald S. Gaydos ’80 joined Heritage Health Foundation in Braddock, Pa., as vice president of development.
Joan Gubernick CAS ’78 was appointed director of marketing and public relations at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. Previously, she founded and led her own communications agency. Mei-Ling Ting Lee ’80G, ’78G, an associate professor in Harvard University’s medical and public health schools, was named a fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. Jeff Durosko ’81 founded Jeff Durosko Communications. He most recently served as vice president of corporate communications at Education Management Corp. in Pittsburgh. Joseph A. Gardella FAS ’81 received the National Science Foundation’s 2005 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. He was honored for his service as a chemistry professor at the University at Buffalo, where he has developed chemistry outreach classes, expanded curriculum for nonscience students, and mentored a paraplegic student who is now pursuing a doctoral degree.
Debra Martin Koma ’81 coauthored PassPorter’s Walt Disney World for your Special Needs (PassPorter Travel Press). A former writer for Pitt alumni publications, she now serves as senior editor of AllEarsNet.com. Crystel Gabrich ’82G, ’77G, ’73 was named dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, where she began teaching communication studies in 1982. Stephen A. Swope ’82G, a software development manager for Reynolds & Reynolds in Dayton, Ohio, enrolled in the Master of Business Administration program at Ohio State University. Michael Blaszkiewicz ’86, a senior scientist at Bayer MaterialScience in Pittsburgh, received Bayer’s First Annual Science and Technology Award for his team’s work on measuring hydrogen cyanide in fire smoke. He’s chair of the Rigid Polyurethane Foam Market Focused Group of the Alliance for the Polyurethanes Industry. James J. Caterino ’86 published his second novel, She (iUniverse). He resides in Coral Springs, Fla. Kathleen George ’88G, ’75G, ’66G, ’64, associate professor of theatre arts at Pitt, wrote the book Winter’s Tales: Reflections on the Novelistic Stage (University of Delaware Press) about the relationship between novels and plays. Virginia Lee Snyder Schaap ’88 was hired as assistant band director at Brentwood High School in Brentwood, Pa. Peter Woolley ’89G, ’83G was honored with a Presidential Citation from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, where he’s a political science professor and executive director of PublicMind, the university’s independent opinion research center.
Mark Anthony Duca ’90 authored Medical Care of Athletes (American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons). He’s an assistant professor in Pitt’s School of Medicine and associate team physician of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Janet Marie Russell Hughes ’92 and her husband, Brett Hughes, in Beaver, Pa., announce the birth of their daughter, Meghan May, in December 2004. Mark Ellebie ’93 was promoted to technical/team leader with the application services department at Kforce Professional Staffing in Tampa, Fla. David Maron ’93 was appointed assistant professor of surgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He lives in Havertown, Pa., with his wife, Kam, and twin sons, Connor and Christopher.
Angelika D. Mayer ’94, a Navy officer, was deployed to Iraq and Kuwait with the Naval Expeditionary Logistics Support Force Charlie to handle U.S. Army cargo. Mark-Aaron B. Tisdale ’94 was installed as vicar of All Saints Church in Clifton, Bedfordshire, England. He worked for the U.S. Department of State before attending divinity school at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Jeff Strickland ’94 is an assistant professor of history at Montclair State University in New Jersey. Studying history, he earned a master’s degree at Florida Atlantic University and a doctoral degree at Florida State University. Christopher Thomas Lutz ’95, an Air Force veteran, is a research scientist at General Dynamics in Chantilly, Va. He earned a master’s degree in international relations from Old Dominion University.
Jessica Rohrbach Bauer ’97 and Robert Bauer ’97 announce the birth of their second daughter, Cassandra Grace, in October 2005. Robert is a clinical research associate manager in the North America division of GE Healthcare. Glynis A. Gotwald ’97 and Adam C. Ford ’97 married in July 2005 in Syracuse, N.Y. They reside in New York City, where Adam is an attorney and Glynis is deputy director of public affairs for an economic development agency. Amy Niedzalkoski ’97 married Alex Brown in October 2005 in Pittsburgh, with lots of Pitt people in the wedding party and attending. Melissa Beth Silberman Cohn ’00 married Brian Cohn in October 2005 at Temple Emanuel in New Hyde Park, N.Y. The bride is a deputy county attorney with the Office of the Nassau County Attorney in Mineola, N.Y., and the groom is a certified public accountant with Gettry, Marcus, Stern & Lehrer in Woodbury, N.Y.
Zakiya Young Mizen ’01 married Jeffrey David Mizen in July 2005 in Downingtown, Pa. The bride’s sister, Jamila Young ’97, served as maid of honor. The couple resides in New York City, where they’re members of the Grammy Award-winning Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. Emily Avent ’04 was named a winner of the 2005 South Carolina Fiction Project, sponsored by the South Carolina Arts Commission. Her winning short story, “Jazz Bar,” was published in The Post and Courier. Julius Boatwright ’05 joined World Financial Group as an independent associate in the Pittsburgh region.
College of General Studies
Bill Cole FAS ’70, CGS ’67, an ethnomusicologist, was appointed professor in Syracuse University’s Department of African American Studies. He’s also cofounder and artistic director of the arts organization Shadrack, which presents works by artists of color. Scott E. McHugh ’76 was named managing director of Sky River Management in Henderson, Nev. Rich Rudek ’88 is cofounder, president, and chief operating officer of ReCasa Financial Group in Columbus, Ohio.
Graduate School of Public and International Affairs
Sally Mizerak ’75 led workshops with community leaders at Re-Thinking Louisiana, a conference to discuss how to rebuild communities damaged by Hurricane Katrina. She’s president of Performance Drivers in Pittsburgh. Steve Shussett ’87, CAS ’85 is the teaching presbyter of Lehigh Presbytery, a consortium of 35 churches in eastern Pennsylvania. He lives in Allentown, Pa., with his wife, Alicia White Shussett ’88, and their children, Rachel and Daniel. Kevin Evanto ’96, CAS ’91 is director of communications for Dan Onorato, chief executive of Allegheny County, Pa. John S. Shaffer ’97, ’90 was honored as a Distinguished Alumni Lecturer at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pa. He’s the executive deputy secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.
Graduate School of Public Health
Roderick Williams ’87 is chief operating officer of Inova Loudoun Medical Campus in Leesburg, Va. He’s also a member of the Virginia Health Care Association’s Health Planning Committee. Jill Lundberg ’96, a Pfizer Global Health Fellow, is assisting Family Health International in Lilongwe, Malawi, with case studies of home-based care for children with HIV/AIDS.
Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business
Andy Berry ’85, CAS ’84 was appointed chief financial officer of Ocean Pacific Apparel Corp. in Irvine, Calif. Paul Messineo Jr. ’87, ENGR ’86 joined engineering firm Pennoni Associates as principal of the Pittsburgh office. He’s president of the western chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Pennsylvania. Patricia Stranahan ’92, former director of Pitt’s Asian Studies program, was appointed president-elect of the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia. Doug Ginevan ’97 joined Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, as assistant vice president for financial planning and analysis. Michael F. Walsh ’05, ’90 was named assistant professor of marketing at West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.Va.
College of Business Administration
Albert Raizman ’39, past chairman of the Israel Heritage Room in the Cathedral of Learning, was recognized for his service to the Jewish community as an Eight Over 80 honoree by the Jewish Association on Aging in Pittsburgh. He’s a former president of the Rodef Shalom Congregation in Oakland and a lifetime trustee of both the Union for Reform Judaism and North American Federation for Temple Brotherhoods. Stanley Wynett ’52 wrote The Job Hunter’s Crystal Ball (Adams Media). Amy Doltis Cooper ’01 and James Cooper married in March 2004 at Faith Baptist Church in Wilmington, Del. The couple resides in Buffalo, N.Y.
School of Education
Johannes Maas ’67G is the international president of Worldwide Faith Missions, which builds and operates orphanages in India and Thailand. He has offices in Akron, Ohio, and Chonburi, Thailand. Regis Schilken ’67G published The Oculi Incident (TurnKey Press), a mystery novel set in the Catholic Church. He’s retired after a 25-year career with Pittsburgh Public Schools. Gerry Kowalski ’89G was selected as a faculty member for the summer James C. Grimm National Housing Training Institute at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md. He’s director of residence life at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. Lawrence A. Butterini ’91G, ’75G received the 2005 High School Principal of the Year Award from the Pennsylvania Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals. He has served as principal of North Allegheny Senior High School in McCandless, Pa., for 14 years. Christopher Rizzo ’05G was named dean of student life at Colorado State University–Pueblo. He has more than 15 years of experience in student life administration.
School of Engineering
Horace Pops ’63G was named a fellow of ASM International, a worldwide network of individual engineers who work with metals and materials. He’s director of the metals laboratory at Essex Group in Fort Wayne, Ind. Ray Orowetz ’70 joined NAI Pittsburgh Commercial as an associate broker. David G. Maire ’72, a patent attorney, was recognized as a top lawyer by the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating System. He’s a founding member of Beusse, Brownlee, Wolter, Mora & Maire law firm in Orlando, Fla.
Edward T. Bullister ’79 was inducted into the Pittsburgh Public Schools’ Alumni Hall of Fame. He’s founder and president of Cambridge Technology Development, a medical technology company in Weston, Mass. Joseph Mullen ’80 joined the engineering firm Pennoni Associates as division manager of civil/site and landscape architecture technology at the Wilkes-Barre, Pa., office. He’s an active member of the American Society of Dam Safety Officials. David M. DeFelice ’85 received the Exceptional Service Medal from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for his public outreach efforts at the John H. Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, where he serves as a community relations team leader.
Mark Downie ’86 was promoted to vice president of sales, Western hemisphere, of Ridge Tool Co. in Cambridge, Ohio. Jeffrey J. Ream ’93 was appointed vice president and regional office manager of the Clearfield, Pa., office of Gannett Fleming, an international engineering firm. Mike Fasolka ’94, CAS ’94 received the National Science Foundation’s 2004 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. He works at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Washington, D.C., and was recognized for improving scanned probe microscopy techniques and researching nanostructured polymer films.
Georgia Kralovic Yanchar ’96 joined Calfee, Halter, & Griswold as an associate in the law firm’s intellectual property group. She’s concentrating her practice on patent, trademark, and copyright infringements. Rob Borland ’98 is a project manager with Cranberry, Pa.-based Church Restoration Group, which restores historic and sacred spaces across the country, including churches in Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi that were damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
Cheryl Lynn Cheatle Cummings ’98 and her husband, Scott Cummings, are proud to announce the birth of their son, Evan Michael, who was born in December 2005. Adam Fisher ’02 joined the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials in Washington, D.C., as program manager for engineering. Aasma Walia ’04G was hired as an associate engineer at Caterpillar, Inc., in Peoria, Ill.
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Karl R. Gibson ’83G, ’76, past president of the SHRS Alumni Society, received the Carlin-Michels Achievement Award from the Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association. He’s president and CEO of River Valley Rehabilitation Associates and director of physical therapy at UPMC’s St. Margaret Hospital. Stephen Fuzie ’86 was appointed to the National Ethics Committee, National Athletic Trainers Association. He’s also chair of the ethics committee for the District 8 branch (California, Nevada, and Hawaii). Dexter Facey ’98 earned an MBA degree from Eastern University in St. Davids, Pa. He works at the University of Pennsylvania Health System’s blood bank.
School of Information Sciences
Mark Maller ’76 had his novel Getting Back (iUniverse) published. He resides in Forest Park, Ill.
School of Law
Michael D. McDowell ’73, a Pittsburgh-based attorney, was appointed mediator for the New York Stock Exchange and National Securities Dealers Association Dispute Resolution. Steven E. “Tim” Riley Jr. ’78, CAS ’75 was elected president of the Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. He’s a partner of Conner Riley & Fryling in Erie, Pa. Thomas C. Baumann ’79, a partner of Abes Baumann in Pittsburgh, was named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer in 2005 by Law & Politics magazine. Charles R. Aley ’81 was appointed vice president, general counsel, and secretary of Novelis Corp., an international aluminum products manufacturer.
Kim Kendrick ’81 was named assistant secretary of fair housing and equal opportunity in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C. Timothy Conboy ’82, a partner of Caroselli, Beachler, McTiernan & Conboy, was named a Top 50 Pittsburgh Super Lawyer by Law & Politics magazine. Jeffrey Pollock ’87, a Pittsburgh-based family court lawyer, hosted a golf tournament in September that raised $6,300 for the nonprofits Court Appointed Special Advocates and Safety Kids International. James G. Porcelli ’87, a patent attorney with The Webb Law Firm, was elected treasurer of the Pittsburgh Intellectual Property Law Association.
Tammy Singleton-English ’90 founded Singleton-English Law Offices in Pittsburgh to focus on estate planning, probate, and tax law. She’s a board member of the Estate Planning Council of Pittsburgh. Beth Slagle ’90, a partner of Meyer, Unkovic, & Scott in Pittsburgh, and Agnus Berenato, head coach of Pitt’s women’s basketball team, both received ATHENA Awards from the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and Affiliates and the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce. The award recognizes professional women who are dedicated to helping other women reach their leadership goals. Patrick Abramowich ’94, CAS ’91, an attorney with Fox Rothschild in Pittsburgh, was named a Pennsylvania Rising Star by Law & Politics magazine and Philadelphia Magazine.
Mark A. DiAntonio ’94 is a contributing editor for The Fair Labor Standards Act: 2005 Cumulative Supplement (BNA Books). He’s an employment law attorney with Pallo, Marks & Hernandez in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Rick Gibson ’96 was named a partner of the Columbus, Ohio, office of international law firm Jones Day. He focuses his practice on mergers and acquisitions. R. Russell Lucas ’96 joined Maiello Brungo & Maiello as an associate focusing on school and municipal law. Andrew J. Kennedy ’97 married Nicole Miller in July 2005 in Las Vegas. Brian E. Davis ’98, a commercial real estate law attorney, was named a partner of Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago. Aaron Asher ’04 joined Raphael, Ramsden & Behers in Pittsburgh as an associate specializing in matrimonial law.
School of Medicine
Richard E. Deitrick ’59, CAS ’54, captain of Pitt’s 1953 football and basketball teams, received the Outstanding Alumni Award from the Danville Area Community Foundation in Danville, Pa. He served as chair of the obstetrics and gynecology department at Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh for 10 years.
School of Nursing
Eleanor M. Stittich ’54G, ’51, professor emeritus of California State University–Fresno, was inducted into the Central San Joaquin Valley Nursing Hall of Fame. Margaret Grey ’70 was named dean of the School of Nursing at Yale University. Carol Caliendo ’75 was named dean of the College of Professional Studies at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, where she has served as a professor. Holly Ann Williams ’76, a 2005 Pitt Legacy Laureate and 2005 winner of the Distinguished Alumna Award from the School of Nursing, completed the Washington, D.C., Marine Corps Marathon last fall. She’s a captain with the U.S. Public Health Service and serves as an anthropologist and epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
School of Social Work
Betty Rothbart ’75G, EDUC ’73 was appointed director of health education and family living for the New York City Department of Education. She coauthored Healthy Teens, Body and Soul (Fireside), which won a 2004 writing award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Roy Capenos ’89G, CAS ’76 is a staff member with SharpVisions, a Pittsburgh company that assists disabled people with daily living. Chrystal Dawn Walker Grimes ’96 published a poetry collection, titled Life as Clear as Sunset (Authorhouse).
University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg
Romy Shinn Piccolella ’00 gave birth to her first child, Frank Corwin, in October 2004. She earned an MFA degree with a poetry concentration from Goddard College in Plainfield, Vt.
University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
Stacy Carbaugh ’96 is an intern with State Farm Insurance, working to become an agent and financial advisor.
Katherine M. Detre, Distinguished Professor of Epidemiology in the Graduate School of Public Health, died in January 2006 at age 79. She was founder and director of Pitt’s Epidemiology Data Center and is featured in the National Library of Medicine’s Changing the Face of Medicine exhibition as one of 330 female doctors who made significant contributions to the medical field in the past 150 years. In 2000, she won one of the largest federal research awards in University history—$52.2 million to study patient treatments in both type 2 diabetes and early coronary artery disease.
Marshall “Biggie” Goldberg CAS ’39, Pitt’s star running back on the 1936 and 1937 national championship football teams, died in April 2006 at age 88. He was a two-time All-American and an honoree in the College Football Hall of Fame. After playing professional football for the Chicago Cardinals, he became president of a heavy-machinery company in Illinois and served on Pitt’s Board of Trustees and the School of Information Sciences Board of Visitors.
Frank E. Goodell EDUC ’40, a member of the 1937 national championship Panthers football team, died in November 2005 at age 91. He also played on Pitt’s baseball team and was a member of Phi Kappa Theta fraternity. He was retired after a 38-year career as a podiatrist in Staten Island, N.Y.
Margaret Hodges SLIS ’58G, Pitt professor emerita and author of more than 50 books for children and young adults, died in December 2005 at age 94. Among her many awards was the 1985 Caldecott Medal from the American Library Association, which she won for her book Saint George and the Dragon (Little, Brown). She retired from the School of Information Sciences in 1978.
Albert J. Podratsky BUS ’54 died in December 2004 at age 76. He was a retired director of labor relations with Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp. and also served on Pennsylvania’s Human Relations Commission. An Army soldier during World War II, he was a member of several veterans’ associations as well as the Capital City Polka Dancers’ Association in Harrisburg, Pa.
Welsh White, a Pitt law professor and renowned national critic of capital punishment, died in December 2005 at age 65. A faculty member since 1968, he most recently served as the Bessie McKee Walthour Endowed Chair. He was an active lawyer for indigent defendants, authored four books about the death penalty, wrote a criminal procedure textbook adopted by more than 40 law schools, and published many scholarly articles in prestigious law journals.
On a dreary day in May 1958, Margaret Gross Jacobs scans the crowd for her daughter, but it’s hard to see anything through the veil of rain dampening the commencement ceremony. Undaunted, the gathered soon-to-be-graduates endure the weather that has muddied the lawn and drenched their robes, patiently waiting for the diplomas they’ve dedicated years to earning. Jacobs pushes aside the soggy tassel that wetly smacks her cheek and sits down, listening to the raindrops thocking on her mortarboard. This is Jacob’s second commencement. She’s waiting to receive her master’s degree in social work, but there’s another reason why today is special—her daughter is graduating as well.
Jacobs (SOC WK ’58, CAS ’23), now 103 years old, first graduated from the University in 1923 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. Her brother, Joseph Gross, then a professor of physics at Pitt, provided support to his sister during an era when women typically did not go to college. Thirty-five years, a successful career (mainly as a lab technician), and two children later, Jacobs returned to Pitt for her graduate education, just in time to join her daughter,
Jill Brehm (SHRP ’58), among the hundreds of others in the class of ’58. She has likely experienced the changing face of Pitt more than anyone else.
On that wet day in 1958, Jacobs looked over her shoulder at the inviting, dry haven of the Cathedral of Learning—it wasn’t there the last time she graduated. —Nicole DeFazio
Wings Well Earned
Yanking on the joystick, Robert Higginbotham jacks his PT-17 plane into a vertical zoom. He’s performing a loop stunt, and he watches through his goggles as the hazy horizon flips to the wild blue yonder. For a moment, he’s upside-down above the Alabama cotton fields, and then he completes the loop as his instructor observes from the Tuskegee Army Air Field hundreds of feet below. It’s 1944, and this is his first solo flight.
Higginbotham (MED ’57) is among the ranks of the first African American military aviators—the Tuskegee Airmen—who were some of the most successful combat pilots in World War II. At a time when black soldiers were often relegated to mess hall duty, the airmen’s courage and accomplishments helped dissolve racial barriers throughout the U.S. armed forces.
Skyward, Higginbotham pulls and thrusts the joystick, sending the Red Baron-style biplane into stalls, spins, and rolls. Wind whips around the cockpit as he monitors the wavering needles on the instrument panel. He first imagined piloting when he and his brother Mitchell, also a Tuskegee Airman, built balsam-wood model airplanes as boys.
Higginbotham, now a retired orthopaedic surgeon, and his brother were honored last year—the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II—by the Daniel P. Matthews Historical Society in their hometown of Sewickley, Pa., for their Tuskegee Airmen service.
The Pitt alum’s long career as a surgeon had its own set of excitement and challenges, but for Higginbotham, nothing quite rises to the thrill of those days above the cotton fields, flying free. —Cara J. Hayden
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