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Homecoming


Spotlight on Alumni



It’s the Fab Four, Pitt style. These lads are part of a touring musical group—but they’re not with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

If you know any of these smiling faces from 1976 or the reason they’re trekking together (with more than 30 others!), we’d love to hear from you.

The most lyrical response wins a magical mystery tour with our editors.


School of Arts and Sciences

George L. Bond III ’64 was appointed executive director of the St. Clair Hospital Foundation in Mt. Lebanon, Pa. He has served as a board member of The Wesley Institute, an organization that helps mentally and behaviorally challenged children, for 15 years. Richard A. Yanke ’71 is executive vice president and chief information officer with Seacoast Banking Corporation of Florida and Seacoast National Bank in Stuart, Fla. Dennis W. McFarland ’73 was named director of finance for the City of Newark in Delaware. John P. Sozansky ’74 was installed as the 2007 president of the Metropolitan Pittsburgh Chapter of the Appraisal Institute, a real estate appraisal organization. Robert J. Bodnar ’75 was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He’s a University Distinguished Professor of Geosciences at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. He’s published more than 100 scientific papers and more than 300 abstracts of conference presentations. Thomas E. Lacher Jr. ’80G, ’72 was named head of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at Texas A&M University. Debora Solomon ’80G, an artist who sculpts in marble, bronze, soapstone, and alabaster, opened the Solomon Sculpture Gallery. She resides in Charlottesville, Va. David Chavern ’83 was promoted to chief operating officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He will oversee the National Chamber Foundation, the organization’s public policy think tank, as well as day-to-day operations of the chamber’s finance, communications, human resources, and information technology divisions. He’s an elected member of the Falls Church City Council in Virginia.

Beth Baughman DuPree ’83 wrote The Healing Consciousness: A Doctor’s Journey to Healing (WovenWord Press). She’s a breast cancer surgeon and medical director of the Comprehensive Breast Center at Diversified Specialty Institutes of Bucks County in Bensalem, Pa. Scott Turri ’86 received a 2006 Individual Artist Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He’s a painter and adjunct art instructor at Clarion University–Venango Campus in Pennsylvania. Cara A. (Patton) Johnston ’90 and her husband, Mark, announce the birth of their daughter, Carley Ann, in December 2005. They reside in Poland, Ohio. Ian B. Montgomery ’91 is a rector with All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Palo Alto, Calif. Tim Crum ’92 was named director of marketing and development with PetSmart Charities. He was also appointed to the board of Canada’s PetSmart Charities. He and his wife, Kristen Piawlock (SOC WK ’99), have a daughter, Olivia Marie. They reside in Surprise, Ariz. Brent Saunders ’92 was appointed senior vice president and president of consumer health care with Schering-Plough in Kenilworth, N.J. Dionne C. Broadus ’94 was named director of sponsorship sales and marketing for the Essence Music Festival, one of the largest annual African American gatherings in the nation. The event is hosted by the Essence Communications Corporation of New York. Mark D. Hipp ’96 was named a shareholder with the law firm Mette, Evans & Woodside in Harrisburg, Pa. He concentrates his practice in asset preservation, taxation, and real estate law. Laura Frecon ’99 is acting as Brenda the Butterfly on the PBS television show Kid Fitness. She’s a certified personal trainer and costume designer based in New York City. Michelle D. (Brown) Tallarico ’01 marked her fifth year of employment with the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Kari Merlina-Kizina ’03 organized Shimmy 2, a belly-dance performance that raised funds for the Pennsylvania Humane Society. She’s a belly-dance instructor in the Pittsburgh area. Conchitina Cruz ’04G received a Rockefeller Foundation Grant to attend the Bellagio Study and Conference Center in Italy. She’s an assistant professor at the University of the Philippines. Wyatt True ’06 is playing violin this year with L’Orchestre Symphonique d’Orléans of France. His first concert earlier this year was an all-Gershwin program. At Pitt, Wyatt studied violin with Roger Zahab and performed as concertmaster with the University Symphony Orchestra.

College of General Studies

John Bachinski ’77 retired from his position as captain of the Monessen Police Department in Pennsylvania. He’s now serving as a middle/high school police officer. Vincent Michael Paterra ’88 and his wife, Jennifer, announce the birth of their daughter, Marissa Anne, in May 2006. They also have a son, Michael.

Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

Donald F. Gismondi ’74 joined the Transportation and Infrastructure Division of STV, an engineering firm, as a senior associate and planning manager in the Chicago office. In 2006, he won the Bronze Medal from the Federal Transit Administration of Chicago, the agency’s highest award. Kelly S. Wolfe ’00, UPJ ’98 was named acting township manager of North Huntingdon Township in Pennsylvania. She and her husband, Justin, have two daughters, Alora and Ariana. Julie Shepard ’03, CAS ’90 is director of alumni relations for Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.

Graduate School of Public Health

Joanne Andiorio ’84, ’72 was appointed executive vice president and chief operating officer of Vincentian Collaborative System, a health care and wellness network in western Pennsylvania. William D. Ulicny ’90 and his wife, Mary Pat, celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary in October 2006. He’s a consultant with Sanford Cohen & Associates, an environmental restoration and management firm in Vienna, Va.

Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business

Robert S. Edwards ’56 received the 2006 America’s Second Harvest Individual Volunteer Service of the Year Award for his work with the FreestoreFoodbank in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has served the organization as a trustee for 15 years and founded the annual Rubber Duck Regatta fundraiser, which has attracted more than $3 million for the food bank. Joseph H. Menendez ’73 was promoted to president of Saint-Gobain Abrasives, a tools and materials manufacturer based in Worcester, Mass. Jeff Hauser ’87 is president and CEO of the Pittsburgh RiverRats, an indoor football team. Christian E. Schuster ’92, ENGR ’88, a patent attorney, was promoted to the position of officer with The Webb Law Firm in Pittsburgh.

College of Business Administration

Forbes W. Burdette ’55 was appointed director of asset management with Evergreen Realty Group in Pasadena, Calif. He’s also director of CMC Residential in Los Angeles.

School of Dental Medicine

Byron A. Bonebreak ’72, CAS ’69 is a clinical assistant professor in orthodontics at the University of Maryland, where he has taught for more than 20 years. Rochelle Lindemeyer ’77 is director of the Pediatric Dentistry Residency Program at the University of Pennsylvania and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She’s also president of the Philadelphia County Dental Society. Jeanne Panza ’90 was appointed assistant dean of clinical affairs at the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry.

School of Education

Jo Presbury-Smith ’69G, a painter, displayed her watercolor paintings at an exhibition in the Vista Village Art Gallery in Vista, Calif. She’s retired after a 28-year career as a social worker with the Tri-City Medical Center in the San Diego area. Mary Margaret Hajduk ’72G received the Benemerenti Medal from the Catholic Diocese of Erie, a Papal award recognizing civilians who have dedicated themselves to the Catholic Church. She’s principal of St. Stephen School in Oil City, Pa. Susan Gillis Kruman ’76G was named Teacher of the Year, University Level, by the Pennsylvania Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. She’s a clinical instructor in Pitt’s Department of Health and Physical Activity and has directed the University Dance Ensemble for nearly 30 years. Cheryl A. Griffith ’96G, ’79G, ’75 was named superintendent of Apollo-Ridge School District in Armstrong County, Pa.

School of Engineering

Charles M. Russell ’70G, GSPIA ’70, ENGR ’59 was named the 2006 Engineer of the Year by the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania. He’s a senior vice president with Michael Baker Corp. in Pittsburgh. Robert O. Agbede ’81G, ’79 was appointed chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s Pittsburgh office. He’s president and CEO of Chester Engineers in Pittsburgh, the nation’s largest African American owned firm providing municipal engineering services. Mark Metil ’86 was named a stockholder with Gannett Fleming, a construction management firm. He manages the firm’s Transportation Systems Operations Group in Harrisburg, Pa. Mark Imgrund ’89G was named president of the Montour Trail Council, which maintains a 40-mile walking and biking trail southwest of Pittsburgh. He’s a retired software executive living in Peters, Pa.

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Mary Ellen Buning ’01G is an assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center. Bakheet Aldosari ’03G, ’00G is an assistant professor and coordinator of the newly established health and medical informatics master’s degree program of the Center for Health and Medical Informatics at King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences in Saudi Arabia.

School of Information Sciences

Cherie K. Galyean ’02G was appointed regional coordinator for the Maine Community Foundation.

School of Law

Michael D. McDowell ’73, a Pittsburgh-based attorney and arbitrator, was elected cochair of the workplace section of the Association for Conflict Resolution. He was also appointed to the Advisory Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution for the Pennsylvania Joint State Government Commission. In January, he was part of a panel presentation, “Representing Clients in Mediation: What Works and What Doesn’t,” to the Federal Court Section of the Allegheny County Bar Association. Lorie Beers ’87 joined KPMG Corporate Finance as managing director of the Special Situations Advisory Group. She’s based in New York City. James G. Porcelli ’87, a patent attorney, was promoted to the position of officer with The Webb Law Firm in Pittsburgh. John F. Deasy ’91, CAS ’87 was named a shareholder with Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin. He focuses on sports, entertainment, and product liability litigation. Steve Kenney ’91 is minister of Crittenden Drive Church of Christ in Russellville, Ky. He’s pursuing a Master of Divinity degree from Lipscomb University in Nashville. Linda Tashbook ’96, SLIS ’87G was appointed mediator in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. She’s a foreign-international-comparative law librarian at Pitt’s Barco Law Library. Jeremy W. Ryan ’97 was named a partner in the Wilmington, Del., office of Saul Ewing. He’s a member of the firm’s bankruptcy and restructuring department. Daniel J. Anders ’98 was appointed to the Philadelphia Municipal Authority Board of Directors. He’s an associate with Pepper Hamilton, focusing on commercial litigation.

School of Medicine

Charles A. Crans ’62, PHARM ’55 was installed as president of the Mahoning County Medical Society in Ohio. He’s a retired surgeon who served as chief of surgery of the Youngstown Hospital Association. Michael P. McCarthy ’65 wrote Bull in the Ring (Airleaf), a book about two Pitt medical school graduates coaching the Navy football team. John A. Szafranski ’92 was named the medical director of Unison Advantage, a health care insurance company.

School of Nursing

Janice Selekman ’69 edited School Nursing: A Comprehensive Text (F.A. Davis). It received the American Journal of Nursing’s 2006 Book of the Year Award in three categories—advanced practice nursing, maternal-child nursing, and childbirth and continuing education. She’s a nursing professor at the University of Delaware. Judith (Delisi) Mihealsick ’72 lost her battle with pancreatic cancer last July. The middle school where she worked has created a scholarship in her name to continue her legacy of love and healing. Beginning this year, the scholarship will help to support students who plan to pursue careers in health care. Contributions—made payable to the Judy Mihealsick Scholarship Fund—can be sent to: Creekwood Middle School, 3603 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Kingwood, TX 77339. Donamarie Nanna Wilfong ’85G coauthored Nursing School Success: Tools for Constructing Your Future (Jones & Bartlett). She’s an instructor at the Western Pennsylvania Hospital School of Nursing in Pittsburgh. Victoria L. Rich ’91G, ’84G was named chief nurse executive of the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center campus in Philadelphia. She’s also the assistant dean of clinical practice in the university’s nursing school. Judy A. Stevenson ’95G was named executive director of End Stage Renal Disease Network 4, a renal patient advocacy group in Pennsylvania and Delaware. Chris McKenna ’97G was promoted to manager of the Benedum Pediatric Trauma Program at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg

Erin L. Cerutti ’06 worked for the Greensburg office of the Rendell/Casey Coordinated Campaign and directed the Get Out the Vote program on Election Day in November.

University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown

William J. Mullaney ’82 is president of MetLife Auto & Home insurance company in Rhode Island. Christian Como ’94 married Angela Michels in September 2006. He’s a software engineer with Highmark, a health insurance company in Pittsburgh, and the head wrestling coach at Burrell High School in Lower Burrell, Pa. Trisha Cruz ’00 is an attorney working as an assistant public defender for Adams County in Pennsylvania.

  Ellen Wartella
 

Watch Out

The pop icon Michael Jackson pilots a golden spaceship, swerving to avoid enemy fire as an audience stares wide-eyed through 3D glasses, watching the video on a gigantic screen. Ellen Wartella (CAS ’71) and her family are among the audience viewing Captain EO at a theater in Disney World. The flashing video and loud soundtrack frighten Wartella’s toddler. She ends up rushing her crying son out of the theater.

That happened 20 years ago, but Wartella, a leading scholar on how media influence children’s development, often reflects on that incident. Even in the “most magical place on Earth,” she had to be careful about the effects of the media on her son. Today, she’s working to shape national public policies as a senior fellow with the Fred M. Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa. Also a distinguished professor of psychology and executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of California at Riverside, she studies what makes television shows, movies, and videogames “kid friendly” by evaluating criteria like: Do the characters speak in a manner that’s comprehensible and respectful to children?

During her 30-year career, she has shared her research findings with Congress and her advice with people involved in Sesame Street, the popular children’s television show.

Wartella’s grown son now screens films for his mother. Oh Mom, don’t go to that movie, he’ll say. You’ll be upset by the violence! She appreciates having someone look out for her, too. —Lauren Mylo

  Cameron (left) and Lowenstein
 

That’s the Ticket

Seven-year-old Mike Lowenstein teetered on the edge of his seat between his father and grandfather as Pitt vied for victory against football rival Notre Dame. As the game clock wound down, a courageous rally by the hometown Pitt Panthers fell short, and the Number-One-ranked Irish survived, 17-15. That was back in 1964. A Pitt football season-ticket holder since his 12th birthday, Lowenstein (CAS ’78) now attends games with his wife, Andrea, and their three college-age children.

When he and Doug Cameron (LAW ’84), his partner at the Reed Smith law firm, heard about the Pittsburgh-based Tickets for Kids Foundation, they saw an opportunity to support their alma mater while sharing the fun of college sports with underprivileged children.

The Tickets for Kids Foundation provides organizations serving children and their families with donated tickets to area sports, arts, and cultural events. Lowenstein and Cameron began their efforts to help the foundation in 2002, during the Petersen Events Center’s inaugural basketball season.

“I think that college sports have become a very large part of our culture,” says Cameron. “I hope this is an opportunity for the kids to see what attending college would be like and provide an additional incentive to achieve that goal.”

Rallying colleagues and friends, the two men have since raised enough funds to score 19 basketball season tickets and 60 season passes for Pitt football games annually, along with other events. So far, nearly 4,000 young people and their families have seen the Panthers play thanks to the pair’s efforts. —Emily Karam

  Daniel Chew (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette photo by Bob Donaldson)
 

Million-Mile Man

On a 100-mile ride, the bicyclist pedals against strong gusts as he weaves west through Murdocksville, Pa. Three-and-a-half hours into the ride, upper back pain sets in. His pace slows, and soon Daniel Chew (CAS ’87) decides to turn back home. He’ll be 12 miles short of his mark for today, but he doesn’t mind. After all, he has the rest of his life to hit his ultimate goal—one million miles, trekked and charted little by little, each time he hops on a bike, no matter where he’s headed.

A former math major, Chew often thinks in terms of numbers. He began his million-mile mission in 1968. He has worn out 14 bikes, and he rides about 20,000 miles each year. He’ll reach his goal roughly 32 years from now, at age 76.

As he pedals home, the hills remind him of much tougher rides through Colorado’s Rockies on one of his eight treks in the Race Across America (RAA), knocking off 3,000-mile chunks each time. After twice winning the national race, Chew started working for the RAA, writing for its Web site and tracking statistical data on each of the riders.

On this day, he races to beat the sunset. When he pulls into his driveway, he immediately heads inside to log his ride: 88 miles today; 608,000 miles total. A decent day in the life of a million-mile man.
—Katy Rank

In Memoriam

Richard H. Brenneman FAS ’54, CAS ’52 died in November 2006 at age 85. He was an engineer who worked for NASA and served as the executive secretary of the City of Los Angeles’ Committee on Utilization of Space Technology. He also hosted the public television science shows Innovations and Science Safari. In his youth, he was a nationally ranked wrestler, and he is commemorated in the Pottsville Sports Hall of Fame in Pennsylvania.

William H. Frank CAS ’44 died in December 2006 at age 86. He was chief of surgery and past president of Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital in Johnstown, Pa. After retiring in 1982, he collected minerals, gemstones, and related reference materials, which he donated to the geology department at Pitt’s Johnstown campus.

Hal F. Holt EDUC ’52G died in December 2006 at age 93. He was retired after a 40-year career as a business educator. He founded and chaired the business department of Glendale Community College in Arizona.

Leslie Hurt GSPH ’83, CAS ’79 died in February 2007. She lived in Atlanta, Ga., where she worked for the Georgia Department of Human Resources Division of Public Health.

Rita Butler Johnson EDUC ’66G, ’50, a two-time Fulbright scholar, died in February 2007 at age 79. Sponsored by the U.S. State Department’s Fulbright exchange program, she studied at the University of Alexandria in Egypt and the University of Banaras in India. She taught social studies and business at Avonworth High School in Ohio Township, Pa., for more than 30 years.

Norman Elwood Mendenhall CAS ’36 died in January 2007 at age 92. He was an obstetrician based in Johnstown, Pa., who served on the staffs of Conemaugh Valley Memorial, Mercy, and Lee hospitals. As a pilot who logged more than 12,500 hours of flying time, he was a member of the Johnstown Pilots’ Association. He also served as a pilot license examiner for the Federal Aviation Administration.

H. Edward Roberts ENGR ’51, a retired mechanical engineer with Westinghouse, died in February 2007 at age 80. He was an active member of the Association for Research and Enlightenment in Virginia Beach and was a volunteer for Meals on Wheels.

Marie L. Schmitt CAS ’33, a high school English, French, and Latin teacher, died in January 2007 at age 94. She was a pianist for the Tarentum VFW chorus and a member of the Community Service Club of Tarentum, Pa.



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