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Spotlight on Alumni

Right foot: red. Left hand: yellow. The Cathedral lawn has been the site of many happenings over the years, from convocations to cricket matches to the occasional oversized game of Twister like this one in 1987. The author of the Cathedral Lawn story that most knots us with laughter will get to spend an afternoon playing Twister with the magazine staff. We may even throw in a pair of stylin’ sunglasses like those modeled here.

Arts and Sciences

John Knipp ’34G, ’30G, ’28, professor emeritus of mathematics and education, celebrated his 100th birthday in May. During his 39-year career at Pitt, he served as acting chair of the math department and as assistant dean of the Division of Natural Sciences. He also organized federally funded mathematics instruction seminars for educators in both India and the United States. He retired in 1973. Arthur E. Pape ’63 was named a Top 100 Super Lawyer in Illinois by Law & Politics magazine. He’s a partner of The Pape Law Firm in Wheaton, Ill. Dale Chodorow ’67 has edited The Domestic Architecture of Detlef Lienau, a Conservative Victorian (Infinity Publishing). He resides in Chapel Hill, N.C. Stan Kalson ’67, who has worked to advance the holistic health movement for more than 30 years, is director of the International Holistic Center in Phoenix, Ariz., which publishes resource guides and hosts public lectures and workshops. Irving N. Rothman ’67G, EDUC ’59G, ’57 received Omicron Delta Kappa’s Eldridge Roark Meritorious Service Award, recognizing 50 years of service to the national leadership honor society. He was named student president of Pitt’s chapter in 1956 and continued his involvement as an ODK faculty officer at Pitt and the University of Houston, where he’s now an English professor. Susan Muto ’70G, ’67G coauthored the third volume of Formation of the Christian Heart (Epiphany Books). She’s cofounder and executive director of the Epiphany Association in Pittsburgh and serves as dean of the association’s Epiphany Academy of Formative Spirituality. Michael Hout ’72 was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society, which was founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin. He’s a sociology professor at the University of California, Berkeley. George F. Franks III ’79 is president of Franks Consulting Group, a management, consulting, and leadership coaching practice in Bethesda, Md. Joseph Pinkney McCormick II ’79G, ’73G, ’69 wrote “How African American Men View African American Leadership Types: Findings from the Million Man March,” a chapter in the book Black and Latino/a Politics: Issues in Political Development in the United States (Barnhardt & Ashe Publishing). He’s the chief academic officer at Penn State in York, Pa. Chris Fletcher ’80 coauthored Steel City Gridirons (Towers Maguire Publishing), a history of football in Western Pennsylvania, including several chapters about Pitt’s championship teams. Angela J. Burrows ’81 was appointed senior director of marketing and public relations at Point Park University in Pittsburgh. Douglas W. Hall ’85, an airline and railway labor attorney, joined Ford & Harrison as a partner of the law firm’s Washington, D.C., office. Keith F. Dowling ’91, Pitt’s Big East cross-country champion in 1990, served as director of the inaugural 2006 National Marathon in Washington, D.C. Maria L.H. Lewis ’94, an employment law attorney with Miller, Alfano & Raspanti in Philadelphia, spoke about the connections between her career and her faith in a lecture series sponsored by the Christian Legal Society at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She also is an associate minister and legal staff member of Philadelphia’s Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church. Yurij Wowczuk ’94 and wife Charlotte GSPIA ’05, CAS ’95 announce the birth of their son, Joseph Ivan, in February 2006. Yurij is a plant manager with ITW Sexton in Martinsburg, W.Va., and Charlotte is an assistant vice president and project manager with Mellon Financial Corp. in Pittsburgh. Danelle Marra Davis ’95 is working for Saint Luke’s Medical Group in the Kansas City area, where she lives with her husband and 3-year-old son. Jonathan Kersting ’95 was promoted to associate publisher with the Pittsburgh Technology Council, which he joined in 1997 as a copy editor. Stacey Herreid ’96 serves as the community outreach and education coordinator for Adoptions from the Heart, a domestic and international adoption agency in Wynnewood, Pa. Denise E. Labosh Brayford ’97 and husband Knute announce the birth of their first child, Ainsley Caroline, in January 2005 in Danville, Pa. Patrick Keane ’99G joined the NOMOS Radiation Oncology Division of North American Scientific in Cranberry, Pa., as a building engineer/release manager. David J. Lander ’01 is the general manager of Privé Ultralounge, a new nightclub in Pittsburgh’s Strip District neighborhood. An-Jey Andrew Su ’01 and Deena K. Schneider Su EDUC ’04G announce the birth of their first son, Brandon BoLiang Garytt Su, in April 2006. Brandon’s grandparents include Pitt alums Cheng-Hong Su ENGR ’87G and Judie Schneider UPG ’95. Heather R. Bellucci ’02 was promoted to director of the West Palm Beach, Fla., Branch of Careers USA. Priscilla A. Rodd ’02G has written a novel, Surviving Mae West (West Virginia University Press). Mayada Mansour ’04 won the 2005 Impact Award from Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Science Center for developing a hands-on science program for therapeutic support students attending Milliones Middle School in Pittsburgh. The program has been expanded for all therapeutic support students in the Pittsburgh Public Schools.

Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

Raymond E. Urgo ’77 was named a fellow of the Society for Technical Communication. He is founder and principal of Urgo & Associates in Los Angeles. Pat DiGiovanni ’82 was appointed deputy city manager of San Antonio, Texas. David L. White ’89 was named vice president of marketing with the Greater Colorado Springs Economic Development Corp.

Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business

Donald W. Cowie ’78, a financial consultant with AXA Advisors in Johnstown, Pa., was named a member of the firm’s Sterling Group, a select group of the company’s nationwide professionals. Ted Janusz ’79 wrote Kickback: Confessions of a Mortgage Salesman (Insight Publishing). He’s a motivational speaker and owner of Janus Presentations in Hilliard, Ohio. Colleen R. Butcher ’99, ENGR ’94 joined Caesar, Rivise, Bernstein, Cohen & Pokotilow, a Philadelphia intellectual property law firm, as an associate.

College of Business Administration

Michael D. Benjamin ’01 joined Turner Investment Partners in Berwyn, Pa., as an associate with the firm’s institutional business development team.

School of Education

Mark Ratti Sr. ’68G, an associate broker and founder of the RE/MAX CSI Realtors Pittsburgh office, received the 2005 RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Award. Jerry Carter ’70G, CAS ’69, executive director of the Neil Kennedy Recovery Clinic in Youngstown, Ohio, was elected chair of the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board. He’s an adjunct faculty member at Youngstown State University, where he teaches graduate courses in chemical dependency counseling. Judy Soccio ’73 earned double accolades in an international design competition sponsored by Window Fashions magazine. Her drapery design for a Uniontown, Pa., restaurant was recognized as the 2006 Workroom of the Year. She also earned first place in the Designer Debut category, which honors outstanding window designers who have been in business fewer than five years. Soccio owns SR Design in Monongahela, Pa., with her husband and stained glass artisan, Juan Rodriguez. Leonard LaPlaca ’74G, a motivational speaker and former middle school English teacher, wrote Fountains of Life: Choose the Life You Want to Live (AuthorHouse). He resides in Windber, Pa. David W. Hebda ’85G, a neuropsychologist, received the Dr. Roy J. Hoover Award for Outstanding Medical Achievement in 2005 from the Virginia Rehabilitation Association. Michael Joseph Bercik ’99G is mentoring Filipino teachers as a Peace Corps education resource volunteer in the Philippines. Nick Paladino ’03G, a math teacher at Sewickley Academy in Sewickley, Pa., was one of 600 teachers nationwide selected to participate in the 2006 Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program. He toured Japan in June to learn about that country’s school system and culture.

School of Engineering

Donald L. Deetscreek ’75 won the 2006 ASTM International Award of Merit and was named a fellow of ASTM International, a worldwide organization for product management system professionals. He’s director of quality assurance for Johnstown Wire Technologies in Johnstown, Pa. Les Snyder III ’79 was promoted to executive vice president for central region operations at Barton Malow, a construction company in Southfield, Mich. He has more than 27 years of experience in the construction industry and recently served as chair of the Building Division of the Associated General Contractors of America. Richard W. Metzler ’82G received the 2005 Robert B. Hurley Distinguished Service Award from the International Safety Equipment Association. He’s director of personal protection programs with EG&G Technical Services in Pittsburgh. Joyce Faulkner ’83 wrote Losing Patience (Red Engine Press), a collection of short stories that was recognized as “Notable” in the 2006 book awards sponsored by Writers Notes Magazine. She most recently wrote In the Shadow of Suribachi (Red Engine Press), a novel about seven Marines who meet at the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II. Scott Rosenberg ’85 was a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2006 New Jersey Awards Program, which honors business leaders who have developed and sustained successful companies. Rosenberg is the founder and CEO of Miro Consulting, which assists clients with computer software licensing. Jeffrey L. Cowan ’87, an Air Force lieutenant colonel, received the U.S. Air Force Meritorious Award, the third medal he’s been awarded for his service as a combat pilot. During the past two years, he has served as commander of the 74th Fighter Squadron on operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Daniel A. Gordish Jr. ’88 was promoted to manager, work management, with Allegheny Energy in Greensburg, Pa. Vincent Kopriva ’88 joined American Transmission Co. in De Pere, Wis., as leader of an electrical engineering team. Stephen J. Donley ’90 was promoted to a commander in the Navy. He works at the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest in Everett, Wash. Jason Zellefrow ’00 married Crystal Ann Zellefrow in June 2005.

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

John F. Englert Jr. ’04 is a prehospital education and training specialist in the Pennsylvania Department of Health. State officials recently recognized him for his service as an EMS responder during the Hurricane Katrina disaster and for his work in deploying other EMS responders to New Orleans.

School of Law

Arnold B. Silverman ’62, former president of Pitt law school’s Alumni Association, was named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for the third consecutive year by Law & Politics magazine. He’s an intellectual property attorney with Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott in Pittsburgh. Louis Coffey ’69, CAS ’62 led a workshop at an annual meeting of the Dispute Resolution Section of the American Bar Association. He’s a real estate attorney and arbitrator with WolfBlock in Philadelphia. Arthur J. Murphy Jr. ’72 received the 2006 John Carroll Award from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He’s a managing partner of Murphy, Taylor & Trout in Pittsburgh. Michael D. McDowell ’73, a Pittsburgh-based attorney, arbitrator, and mediator, was designated “Advanced Practitioner—Workplace Mediation” by the Association for Conflict Resolution. Pitt alumni working at Meyer, Unkovic & Scott in Pittsburgh were selected to lead several of the firm’s groups: Russel Ober ’73, CAS ’70, Tort Litigation Group; Thomas Berret FAS ’72, Litigation Department; Joel Pfeffer ’85, Corporate and Business Law Group; David G. Oberdick ’86, CAS ’83, Intellectual Property Group; Frank Salpietro ’86, Business Litigation Group; and Beth Slagle ’90, Insurance Coverage Litigation Group. Lynn Alstadt ’76, CAS ’73 was recognized in the “Leaders in their Field” section of the 2005 Chambers USA guide for business lawyers. He’s an intellectual property attorney with Buchanan Ingersoll in Pittsburgh. Robert Byer ’77, CAS ’73, a former judge with the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, joined Duane Morris as a partner. He specializes in appellate law and will practice in the firm’s Philadelphia and Pittsburgh offices. Mary Sue Ramsden ’79, CAS ’76, a matrimonial law attorney and principal of Raphael, Ramsden & Behers in Pittsburgh, taught a course about custody law for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute and also lectured at seminars in Pittsburgh and Mechanicsburg, Pa. Jeff Westerman ’80, a securities fraud and consumer class action attorney, is the managing partner of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman in Los Angeles. Thomas K. Hyatt ’82, a healthcare law attorney with Ober Kaler in Washington, D.C., is listed in the 2007 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Mary Beth Taylor ’83 was elected a trustee of Point Park University in Pittsburgh. She’s the senior general attorney/employee regulations and benefits for U.S. Steel Corp. in Pittsburgh. Evan M. Zanic LAW ’85, CAS ’82 was promoted to regional vice president of First American Title Insurance Co. He manages operations in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. William T. Molczan ’86 was elected a partner of Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co. He manages legal action recovery services in the Pittsburgh office. Susan J. Messer ’92, a corporate and commercial real estate attorney, was elected a shareholder with Sherrard, German & Kelly in Pittsburgh. Levi S. Wolf ’96, CAS ’93, a shareholder in the Pottstown, Pa., law firm of Wolf, Baldwin & Associates, was nominated treasurer of the Solo and Small Firm Practice Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association.Nina Wadhwa ’98, KGSB’98 joined the Pittsburgh office of the Burns, White & Hickton law firm as an associate. She’s focusing her practice on transportation law. Previously, she served as assistant counsel with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

School of Medicine

Johanna M. Seddon MED ’74, CAS ’70, an eye surgeon, received the Dr. Maurice F. Rabb Jr. Award from Prevent Blindness America for her dedication to age-related macular degeneration research. She’s founder and director of the epidemiology unit at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston and associate professor of ophthalmology at Harvard University’s medical and public health schools.

Graduate School of Public Health

Floyd K. Morris Jr. GSPH ’88 has been named president of Children’s Futures, a healthcare and social services organization in Trenton, N.J. Previously, he was a senior program officer with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Princeton, N.J.

School of Social Work

Karen Zandi ’82 was appointed executive director of Hillside Children’s Center in Rochester, N.Y. She joined the child welfare and youth development agency in 1987. Nelson Henning ’86G was promoted to professor of social work at Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio, where he has been a faculty member since 1994. Jill A. Shuey ’00G was named executive director of the Community Outreach Partnership Center at Niagara University in Niagara Falls, N.Y. Her husband, Matthew Ward FAS ’01, is a chemistry professor at Daemen College in Amherst, N.Y.

University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg

William Viola ’99 served as director of the Pittsburgh Sports and Fitness Festival in May. He works at Kumite Classic Entertainment in Irwin, Pa.

In Memoriam

Carolyn Dunmire Atkinson CAS ’49 died in March 2006. She was retired from a 25-year career as a social services supervisor in the Bucks County, Pa., Department of Public Assistance. She also was an active member of the Welfare Fund Committee of the Village Improvement Association in Doylestown, Pa.

Harold H. Davis DEN ’51, CAS ’44, a dentist who practiced in Pittsburgh for 33 years, died in May 2006. He was a charter member and active participant in the Academy for Life Long Learning at Carnegie Mellon University.

Richard Dilworth Edwards FAS ’55, ’48, a former mathematics instructor and board member at Pitt, died in June 2006 at age 87. He was a retired chairman of the former Union National bank in Pittsburgh.

Louise Kerr Johns SLIS ’34, a librarian with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, died in May 2006 at age 92. She worked in the children’s, reference, and interlibrary loan departments and continued to serve as a substitute librarian for 10 years after her retirement.

Mali Daum Katz GSPIA ’81, SOC WK ’81G died in October 2004.

Ralph Mravintz EDUC ’55G, a brother in the Society of Mary Catholic order, died in May 2006 at age 80. During his career in education, he served as the admissions director of the University of Dayton in Ohio and taught at high schools in Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania.

M. Cornelia O’Friel EDUC ’56 died in May 2006 at age 84. During her 62 years as a Sister of Charity, she taught business and religion classes at secondary schools in Pittsburgh and Tucson, Ariz. In 2000, she retired from her 22-year position as business manager of Bishop Guilfoyle High School in Altoona, Pa.

Catherine E. O’Connor Hartman Rosenlieb EDUC ’91G, NURS ’80G died in March 2005 at age 75. During her 26-year career as a nursing educator, she served as chair of the Department of Nursing at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. She also founded a parish nursing program at Beaver United Methodist Church in Beaver, Pa.

Jeffrey Patrick Ryan CAS ’77 died in May 2006 at age 51. He worked in software development at Union Switch and Signal for 20 years and later served as a manager with IBM. He also taught faith formation classes at St. Francis of Assisi church in Raleigh, N.C.

Edward W. Salko MED ’43, CAS ’41 died in December 2005 at age 86. During his 37-year career as a physician in Fort Myers, Fla., he served as president of the Lee County Medical Society and Lee Memorial Hospital medical staff.

Edward J. Stachowiak CAS ’51, a former scholarship sponsor for Native American students, died in August 2004 at age 75. He was retired after a 40-year career as a physician and was founder and president of the Mud Squad, a support program for juvenile offenders in Monterey County, Calif.

  Nimish Shrivastava


The muffled notes from “Yeh Mera Dil Pyar Ka Diwana,” a song from the Bollywood musical Don, filter through Nimish Shrivastava’s pocket, slowly growing in intensity. Shrivastava (FAS ’97, ’90, CAS ’87) hurries to silence the ring tone on his cell phone so he won’t disrupt his employees’ concentration at work, though ring tones may be one of the things they are working on.

Shrivastava chose this particular Indian song from a huge selection of ring tones his company creates. He’s founder and president of eMbience, which specializes in fast delivery of “infotainment” products to mobile-phone companies. The ring-tone products, Masttones, are a favorite of Shrivastava’s. He likes giving different ethnic markets a chance to express themselves through their cell phones. Masttones focus on the South Asian market but are expanding to include ring tones with appeal to Arabic and Filipino cultures.

“A cell phone is a very personal device,” says Shrivastava. “It’s a projection of your personality.” Shrivastava, whose phone screen boasts a picture of his daughter, Natasha, became interested in software for small devices after he completed his PhD in computer science at Pitt. He created his San Diego--based company as the consumer market for cell phones was just emerging in 2001.

Today, eMbience creates a range of products—from real-time weather reports complete with satellite images to live traffic updates—with the assistance of partner companies like AccuWeather and MapQuest. The company also develops its own services for niche markets, such as Drinktini. Very popular with the young professional crowd, the service locates bars and entertainment in any city.

Shrivastava slips his phone back into his pocket, humming a few notes from “Yeh Mera Dil.” “It’s catchy, but I like to change my ring tone every few months,” he says. He won’t be exhausting his choices any time soon.
—Katy Rank

  Kim Sergeant

Going the Distance

Kim Sergeant’s shoes crunch rhythmically on the pebbles littering the dirt path. Sunlight cascades though maple leaves, the scent of sap lingering in the evening air. In a pouch bound tightly around her waist, a sports drink jostles with a container of ibuprofen, a flashlight, and a plastic bag holding the remaining crumbs of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Sergeant (SLIS ’84, PHARM ’84G, ’81) hums aloud to country tunes escaping her earphones, hoping the noise will ward off any wandering bears. Night will fall soon, and she will have to use her flashlight to see the markers lining the 100-mile path of the ultramarathon.

Sergeant, director of pharmacy at the University of Texas Medical Branch, is accustomed to the challenge of long-distance running. An avid athlete since high school, Sergeant ran her first ultramarathon 12 years ago. Since then, she has finished 29 of the 100-mile ultra races and doesn’t plan to stop any time soon, even at age 47.

“It’s just as much mental as it is physical,” Sergeant says.
In the 28 hours that Sergeant runs, she endures unpredictable weather, scant human contact, and no bathrooms—not to mention physical exhaustion. But it’s all worth it for Sergeant, who reaches the finish line in time to catch sight of her good luck charm waiting in the crowd: her mother, a high school track coach and Sergeant’s biggest fan.

“This race is a part of who I am,” says Sergeant. “I’m a daughter, I’m a pharmacist, and I’m a runner.”
—Rachel Hayes

  Molly Maguire Gaussa

Dolittle, Esq.

The courtroom is hushed, expectant. Molly Maguire Gaussa (CGS ’98) stands completely still, trying not to disturb the evidence, which is turning its head from side to side, eyeing her nervously. Gaussa is used to working with living evidence, but she’s not used to interrogating it. We’ve got to make it talk, she thinks. The success of the case depends on it.

The evidence is an African gray parrot. Gaussa, Pennsylvania’s only pet lawyer and one of only a handful nationwide, is trying to prove that the parrot is Loulou, the beloved bird her client raised from infancy. Loulou had escaped months earlier, but a parrot whose description matches Loulou’s turned up in the possession of the defendant, who has refused to surrender the bird. If the parrot can recite the few choice phrases that Gaussa’s client says it can—like “Daddy’s got to go to work!”—chances are this isn’t a case of mistaken identity.

When Gaussa started her career as a personal injury lawyer, she never expected to be taking the animal kingdom under her wing. But after the death of her German shepherd from veterinary malpractice, Gaussa decided to incorporate her love of animals into her profession. “I was walking my black lab Casey one night, and it hit me: animal law,” says Gaussa. She began taking animal-related cases in 2004 and has been a pet lawyer ever since.

Now, in addition to bringing home litters of abandoned puppies and rescuing sick dogs, Gaussa deals with groomer negligence, veterinarian malpractice, and pet-custody disputes like Loulou’s. And in a few moments, she will become the first lawyer to question a parrot in court.
—Hali Felt

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