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Spotlight on Alumni


Electronic gadgets have revolutionized the way we live our lives. But there are some gizmos, like windshield snowbrushes, that haven’t changed. Does anyone have an idea where this 1951 student may be heading on such a wintry day? Send your best guesses to us. We’ll publish the responses and buy a round of hot chocolate for the winning entrant.

College of Business Administration

Julia Shemeley ’00 and Joe Logue are happy to announce their engagement. The wedding will take place in June 2004.

College of General Studies

Dean Owrey ’69 has been named partner in the Assurance & Advisory Business Services practice at Ernst & Young in Pittsburgh. Owrey has been with Ernst & Young for 14 years, most recently as a senior manager responsible for providing assurance and advisory business services for the majority of the firm’s Pittsburgh-based healthcare and life sciences clients. David S. Lettrich ’86 has been named senior vice president and lead private banker of Sky Bank’s Pittsburgh region. He has 17 years’ experience in financial services, most recently with Mellon Financial. Darnell Moses ’89 has been promoted to authorities manager of Allegheny County’s Economic Development Department. He will assume day-to-day management of the six municipal authorities under the department’s umbrella. Thomas R. Carnahan ’92 has been named general manager of Service Experts’ Pittsburgh facility, Economy Heating and Air Conditioning.

Graduate School of Public Health

Several alumni and friends were involved with Allegheny Trail Alliance’s recent publication of Great Little Walks. Dean Bernard Goldstein wrote the book’s foreword, Melissa J. Ladewig (EDUC ’01G, ’92) wrote the back cover copy, and 2003 Porter Prize winner Bill Novelli, CEO of AARP, donated to the trail organization his award from the prize, which was used to help publish the book. Lois Michaels ’63, health advocate for the University of Pittsburgh Center for Healthy Aging, helped bring the University’s contributors together, and the Center for Healthy Aging supplied bookmarks that were included in the books.

Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

Kerry Lee Haynie ’88 recently accepted a position at Duke University as associate professor of political science. She was previously an associate professor at Rutgers University.

Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business

Karen A. Bowser ’88 is director of purchasing for FELD Entertainment, Inc. She is responsible for company-wide procurement of materials and services to support Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and Disney on Ice. She lives in Land O’Lakes, Fla. Dale Deist ’88 (ENGR ’69) and his wife, Barbara (SLIS ’71), are the owners of Bucks Fabricating in Hadley, Pa., one of nine regional companies to receive honors as a Western Pennsylvania Family Business of the Year for 2003. Louis W. Beardell Jr. ’91 was recently elected partner in the Philadelphia office of Morgan Lewis, one of the 10 largest U.S. law firms. Beardell is in the intellectual property practice.

School of Arts and Sciences

Susan Muto, Arts and Sciences ’70G, ’67G, is the executive director of the Epiphany Association and dean of Epiphany Academy of Formative Spirituality in Pittsburgh. She is a contributing author to The Church Women Want (Crossroad Publishing), which was awarded first place in gender studies at the Catholic Press Association Awards. Russ Kaufman, Arts and Sciences ’80, received his third- degree black belt from the Kodokan Judo Institute in Tokyo last June. Kaufman was a member of the Pitt Judo Club. when he was an undergraduate, and has studied Judo in both the United States and Japan. Theodore Pulcini, Arts and Sciences ’94G, associate professor of religion and chair of the department at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., is this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award, the college’s highest faculty honor. In 1999, Pulcini received the Constance and Rose Ganoe Memorial Award for Inspirational Teaching, an honor chosen by the senior class. His teaching responsibilities focus on the exploration of the biblical texts in their historical, social, and comparative contexts. He also specializes in Islam, early Christianity, and Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Edward Bunn ’50 retired from the business faculty at Wright State University-Lake campus in Celina, Ohio. He was a faculty member there since 1987. Daniel P. Levitt ’56 writes that he studied at Oxford University and Harvard Law School and served in the U.S. Air Force. He has been practicing law since 1967, first in Washington, D.C., and then in New York, where he resides with his wife, Harriet (EDUC ’57). Douglas Stelling Bergmann ’68, founder of The Humanist Community Temple, a Western Heritage Institution, was recently certified by the Washington, D.C.-based Humanist Society of Friends as a Modern Cleric. He lives in South Orange, N.J. Mosetta Whitaker Blackmon ’70 is the director of workforce development at Mitretek Systems, Inc., in Falls Church, Va. She recently received the company’s Human Resources Leadership Award for Community Service and Corporate Social Responsibility. Jim Flynn ’71 was awarded first prize in the sixth annual TANS short story contest held in conjunction with the South East Asia-U.S. Army Security Agency Veterans Organization reunion. The short stories in TANS deal with the everyday life of ASA unit members serving in the Republic of Vietnam. Joan McReynolds ’71 has been named chief customer officer for the food, drug, and mass channels of customer management at Sara Lee Branded Apparel. Sam Gordon ’73 is rabbi of Congregation Sukkat Shalom in Wilmette, Ill., having founded the congregation eight years ago. Gordon was also recently named to the executive committee of the board of trustees of the Chicago Theological Seminary and is a member of the board of trustees of the Reform Pension Board. Merrily Kodis Swoboda ’77G, ’66G, ’64, associate professor and head of the communication department at Pitt-Johnstown, received the school’s 2003 President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Navy Lt. Marc A. Franzos ’90 recently graduated from the Uniformed Services University’s F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine in Bethesda, Md. He was then promoted to his current rank and commissioned as a medical corps officer. John Lombardo ’91G has been appointed assistant headmaster at The Kiski School in Saltsburg, Pa., where he also teaches Spanish. Todd A. Pipkin ’91 is an assistant principal at Premier High School in Phoenix and will earn his master’s degree in administration from the University of Phoenix this fall. He and his wife are the proud parents of a son, born earlier this year. Jennifer (Babin) Weidenhof ’92 was married in July in Heinz Chapel. Her father, a photographer for Pitt athletics, arranged for the Pitt Panther to stop by at her reception. Jason Andersen ’96 will exhibit his artwork as part of ArtStart’s annual exhibition in New York City. Andersen is a volunteer project leader with ArtStart, an organization that works with the city’s homeless young people. Also on display will be the project "Empty Lots/Design Desires" that he created with ArtStart’s youth. Lisa Maley-Ferraro ’97 completed her MSW at SUNY-Albany and accepted a position as director of social work and admissions at Our Lady of Mercy Life Center in the Albany area. She and her husband, Giuseppe, welcomed their first daughter, Samantha, in May 2001. Ryan P. Trembler ’97, division manager of Vector Marketing Corporation’s Northern New England division in Waltham, Mass., has reached his $18 million career sales milestone. Marc T. DiSabella ’99 and Kenneth Charles Plowey ’99 were both awarded doctor of osteopathic medicine degrees from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in June. DiSabella is doing his internship at Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper Health System, Camden, N.J., and Plowey is completing his at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine-Western Pennsylvania Hospital. Marc R. Wagner ’99 recently graduated from the Coast Guard Recruit Training Center in Cape May, N.J. Stacey Zelgowski ’00 is an agriculture officer with the Department of Homeland Security, inspecting cargo at seaports, airports, and border crossings.

School of Education

Carol Flannick ’50G, ’44 was recently honored as one of Beverly Hills’ "local heroes and citizens of the year." She was cited for volunteer work with the Beverly Hills public schools and the St. Robert’s Center for the Homeless in Venice, Calif., and for the founding of a seniors group at Good Shepherd Church in Beverly Hills. Robert L. LaFrankie ’58G has written One Nation Under God: A Blessing and a Curse (Xlibris Publishing). LaFrankie has served as a teacher, counselor, principal, and superintendent of schools in both public and parochial education systems. He lives in Bethlehem, Pa. Patrice Wade-Johnson ’91G, ’80 has published a first novel, Wisdom Seeds (Brown Inc. Publishing). She lives in Pittsburgh. Nancy Chubb ’93G, ’79 KGSB has been elected treasurer of the Pennsylvania Psychological Association. Chubb is in independent practice as a psychologist in Pittsburgh. Jerome Michael Doerzbacher ’96G earned a master’s degree in library science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania in May 2003. Brian Horvath ’01G has been hired as head of the Kentucky Avenue School in the Shadyside section of Pittsburgh. Horvath also operates an athletic and academic student-centered consulting business. He lives in Aspinwall, Pa.

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Karl R. Gibson ’83G, ’76 was elected to the board of directors of the American Physical Therapy Association. He and his wife, Alice Springer Gibson (MED ’80), live in Pittsburgh. Joseph M. David ’88 (CAS ’86) and Paul Telega ’90G, ’83 were recertified as clinical specialists in orthopaedic physical therapy by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. David owns and operates David Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Center in Mt. Lebanon, Pa., where Telega is employed as a physical therapist. Julie Marie Bubash ’00 graduated with a master’s degree in speech language pathology from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in May. Beth Ann Langel ’01 earned a master’s degree in communication sciences and disorders from Clarion University of Pennsylvania in May.

School of Information Sciences

Carole Callard ’66G received the 2003 P. William Filby Prize for Genealogical Librarianship. Callard is the first librarian at the Library of Michigan in Lansing to hold an endowed chair of genealogy. She and her husband, Donald Pope Callard ’65G, live in Lansing. Jeff Kelly ’88 recently founded, an online dating service.

School of Law

Larry Nelson, Law ’76, is senior vice president and associate general counsel-development for Wendy’s International, in Dublin, Ohio. He joined Wendy’s legal department in 1978 as a staff attorney and was made an officer of the company in 1991. Also, he is a big brother in Big Brothers-Big Sisters of Greater Columbus, Ohio. Louis B. Kushner ’67, a member of the Pittsburgh firm Rothman Gordon, has been elected a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. He is the only attorney selected for admission to the college from Western Pennsylvania this year. Marvin J. Rudnitsky ’67 was recently elected president of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. Rudnitsky is the managing partner in the Selinsgrove, Pa., firm of Rudnitsky & Hackman. William E. Lestitian ’90, a member of the Pittsburgh firm Rothman Gordon, was selected by PUMP (Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project) and Pittsburgh Magazine as one of the region’s top "40 Under 40" for 2002. The awards recognize civic and professional impact by Pittsburgh-area young people who have made a positive and lasting impact. Tammy Singleton-English ’90 has been appointed to the long-range planning committee of the Estate Planning Council of Pittsburgh. She is the founder of the Singleton-English Law Office in Bethel Park, Pa. John Jacobs ’94 (CAS ’91) has co-authored Pittsburgh A-Z (Word Association Publishers) with his wife, Diana Shoop ’94, and his sister Kathleen Shoop (EDUC ’00G, CAS ’91). The book, written under the pseudonym Martha Vandalay, is an educational exploration of Pittsburgh-area attractions and is being used by one of Pitt’s professors as part of a welcome package for new students and professors. Todd Sacco ’94, a manager in the tax consulting practice of Ernst & Young, Pittsburgh, has been awarded the Personal Financial Specialist credential by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Brian C. Cich ’95 has been elected partner at the Canton, Ohio, firm of Black, McCuskey, Souers & Arbaugh. Cich, who focuses his practice in the areas of real estate, commercial, oil and gas, and corporate law, joined the firm in 1995.

School of Medicine

John "Jack" P. Brandt ’43 retired in July after 60 years of medical practice. He had operated an ophthalmology practice in Lock Haven, Pa., for the past 53 years. Alexander M. Minno ’47 (CAS ’43) was appointed to the board of trustees of the National Hypertension Association, Inc. A specialist in internal medicine and rheumatology, Minno is a past recipient of the University of Pittsburgh Alumni Association Volunteer of the Year Award.

In Memoriam

Nancy May Bleil CAS ’80 died in May 2003. She worked for Pitt as manager of advanced training and user services and was a frequent editorial/opinion writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Frank Bolden EDUC ’34 died in August 2003. A reporter for the Pittsburgh Courier, Bolden covered the Hill District in the 1930s and ’40s. He was one of the first two accredited Black war correspondents during World War II. While a Pitt student, Bolden was the first African American in the Pittsburgh marching band. In addition to his work for the Courier, where he later served as a feature writer and city editor, Bolden was also a reporter at the New York Times, NBC-TV, and worked for the Huntley-Brinkley Report. He also served as assistant director of information and community relations for the Pittsburgh Board of Education. Among Bolden’s many awards were the George Polk Award, the Lifetime Achievement Golden Quill Award, a Lifetime Achievement Award of the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation, and, in 2003, the Legacy Award of the National Association of Black Journalists. He was a Distinguished Alumni Fellow of the University of Pittsburgh and was the subject of a cover story in the September 1999 Pitt Magazine.

Donald M. Carroll Jr. EDUC ’59G died in July 2003. A lifelong educator, Carroll’s most recent position was as the state secretary of education for Pennsylvania Governor Robert P. Casey. Among his many accomplishments were the establishment of both the Intermediate Unit System in Pennsylvania and the Governor’s School for the Arts.

John W. Clem GSPH ’69G died in July 2003. Clem was past executive director of the Health System Agency of Southwest Pennsylvania, past deputy secretary for quality assurance of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and the past director of accreditation of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. He was also past president of both the Pitt Alumni Association and the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health Alumni Association.

M. Jean Ellis KGSB ’47 died in February 2002 in Grand Haven, Mich. She had been an administrative assistant for Grand Valley State University in Michigan until her retirement.

James R. Harper EDUC ’56G died in July 2003. Harper spent 33 years as an educator and administrator in the North Hills School District. He retired from the district in 1982.

Mable T. Hawkins EDUC ’79G died in June 2003. Hawkins was an associate professor emerita at the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work, where she taught for more than two decades before retiring in the 1990s. Upon her husband’s death in 1987, she established the Dr. Alexander A. Hawkins Scholarship Fund in the School of Social Work.

Jeffrey Jay Heimberg CAS ’69 died in February 2003. Heimberg was a financial advisor in Cranford, N.J., for 32 years. An avid sportsman, he coached soccer, basketball, and baseball teams in Readington Township, N.J.

Carol Ann Hoffman SLIS ’95G, died in June 2003 following a brief illness. Hoffman, 53, was associate curator of the Ford E. and Harriet R. Curtis Theatre Collection in Hillman Library. Hoffman is credited with organizing Pittsburgh theater memorabilia in the Curtis collection, which includes more than a half-million theater programs and 25,000 photographs.

Mahala Edna Ingram CAS ’53G died in June 2003 at the age of 100. She had been a teacher for 35 years, retiring from Wellsville High School in Alabama after having taught in West Virginia’s Hancock and Pleasant County school systems.

Arnold Sampson MED ’44, CAS ’41 died in June 2003. One of the area’s first vascular surgeons, Sampson treated patients at Montefiore, Jefferson, and Homestead hospitals. He also volunteered at Kaplan Hospital in Rehovot, Israel, during the Yom Kippur War. He retired in the late 1980s.

Eunice Kellett Sieg EDUC ’68G, CAS ’67 died in June 2003. She was a caseworker for several years for the Pittsburgh Institute for the Blind before moving to Venice, Fla.

Samuel T. Simone Sr. EDUC ’49G died in July 2003. Simone was a lifelong educator. He began teaching at Bridgeville High School, later merged into Chartiers Valley School District, in 1959. He also served as principal of Chartiers Valley Senior High School and as a school district administrator in charge of transportation and was involved with Project Head Start.

George Swartz CGS ’73 died in May 2003. Swartz dedicated his life to a career in workplace safety. After serving three years as a U.S. Army paratrooper, he began working with Pittsburgh Bridge and Iron. He later became corporate director of safety at Midas International, where he worked until his retirement in 2000. He was inducted into the Safety and Health Hall of Fame International in 2002.

Kevin W. Walsh LAW ’80 died in June 2003 from injuries sustained in an automobile accident. He was 47. Walsh was a partner in the Philadelphia office of Pepper Hamilton and cochairman of the firm’s real estate practice group.

James F. White CAS ’49 died in September 2002. Following service in the Army’s 3132nd Sonic Deception Company during World War II, White began a career as an insurance agent, working in Connecticut, Minnesota, and finally finishing his career as president of Babb Insurance in Wayne, Pa. He retired in 1984. He is survived by his daughter, two sons, and his wife, Caryl Garman White (CAS ’49).

Wendell Wray SLIS ’52G died in August 2003. Wray was a professor emeritus in Pitt’s School of Information Sciences. Helping inner-city youths was his lifelong passion. He served 14 years in the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and directed the North Manhattan Library Project, a cultural outreach program that introduced arts and humanities to inner-city children, before returning to Pittsburgh as a faculty member in Pitt’s library school in 1973. Memorial contributions for a fund being created in Wray’s name can be made to Andrew E. Falk, director of development, School of Information Sciences.

School of Engineering

Richard C. Wiegand, Engineering ’83, is vice president and executive operations officer at Elliott Company, which specializes in turbines and compressors. Wiegand is responsible for corporate operations leadership at the company’s Jeannette, Pa., headquarters. He returns to Elliott, where he worked from 1989 to 1999, having most recently worked for Sermatech International in Manchester, Conn.

Srinath Viswanathan, Engineering ’90G, ’83G, is a principal member of the technical staff in the metals processing department at the Materials and Process Center of Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M.

Federal Funds

A nationwide search concluded with the selection of Gary Amelio (LAW ’81, CAS ’78) to take charge of the retirement savings plan for more than 3 million federal employees—accounts worth approximately $115 billion. Amelio was ready to do whatever the job required. Or so he thought.

Nearly the moment he became executive director of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, the government agency began allowing contributors to change their investments daily, instead of monthly. When the technology didn’t cooperate, the press had a scoop. Within the first month of arriving, Amelio found himself testifying in front of a congressional committee, which was televised live on C-Span 2. While the interview didn’t crack the Nielsen TV ratings, his remarks helped calm fears about potential long-term problems. Before long, the technical glitches were worked out; Amelio found his 15 minutes of fame had ended.

That’s not to say his job has gotten any easier. He says he feels the weight and responsibility every day for overseeing the nest eggs of federal employees. "This is at the core of most folks’ financial well-being as they make plans toward how they’re going to manage their retirement."

Amelio says he is well prepared for the job, in part, thanks to his undergraduate and law degrees from Pitt. Actually, he never expected to leave Pittsburgh, spending the past 21 years working at the city’s two best- known financial institutions—14 years at PNC Bank, preceded by seven years at Mellon Bank.

When the five-member board that oversees the federal agency selected Amelio last year, he felt the opportunity was too great to miss. He hasn’t forgotten about Pittsburgh, though. His office is decorated in blue and gold, and a Pitt flag hangs outside his suburban Washington, D.C., home. —Erika Fricke

One of the Fellows

As Sue Schwartz takes a walk in the Southside of Greensboro, N.C., she tries to look beyond the boarded-up buildings, the filthy mattresses, the piles of beer bottles. She tries to ignore the smell, too. She looks at the foundations of the historic Victorian and Craftsman houses to see what can be saved. It turns out, some won’t survive. One house is lost to termites, a couple more to arson. Yet, slightly more than a decade later, that same walk provides Schwartz with a different look. Thanks to her work as an urban planner, she sees renovated homes—ornate woodwork, oval windows, turrets. She sees a neighborhood that has turned into one of the coveted places to live in Greensboro, and she thinks, "This is so cool."

Schwartz (CAS ’91) has spent a large part of her career helping bring moribund neighborhoods, like Southside, back to life. When contemplating a project, she doesn’t think about what’s possible, but follows the community’s request and tackles it piece by piece. She also thinks about how the neighborhood connects with the rest of the city so that the area doesn’t fall again into disrepair. For example, which bus routes will take the residents to jobs in other parts of the city"

For her work and dedication to community service, the American Institute of Certified Planners recently inducted her as a fellow, one of the most prestigious honors for American planners. There are more than 20,000 AICP certified urban and rural planners, but fewer than 300 have attained the status of fellow. —Erika Fricke

Universal Language

Try translating a homegrown American phrase like "Georgia peach" for movie viewers in China and you get an idea of what Patricia Prozzi’s company is up against. In Chinese, the equivalent is "a fairy down to earth." Russians would call such a woman "the brightest apple of many hues." In Bahasa, an Indonesian language, it’s "flower of the town," and similarly in Italian, it’s "the pearl of the village."

Prozzi (CAS ’76) is president of VITAC, a company that has provided TV closed-captioning for news and broadcast programming for the past 17 years. VITAC annually captions nearly 60,000 live program hours, including news broadcasts, and nearly 10,000 hours of prerecorded programming that airs on broadcast or cable TV and even Web casts.

Last year, Prozzi, after becoming VITAC’s president, decided to take the company into a new market: DVD subtitling. In 42 languages! Pittsburgh-based VITAC (pronounced VIGH-TAK) is aiming for a 20 to 25 percent share of the DVD subtitling market by 2005.

After convincing VITAC’s parent company the new venture was worth it, Prozzi and other company brass spent the early part of last year building VITAC’s translator network. It now numbers about 250 people, all of them native speakers of foreign languages. VITAC recruited them by advertising in foreign-language newspapers or by handing out VITAC brochures to travelers walking through airports. Then they gave them rigorous English and computer testing.

Closed-captioning, however, has always been and will remain the company’s mainstay, Prozzi says. More than 120 million Americans benefit in some capacity from captioning. Jonathan Szish

Scene at Stonehenge

Bob Watson (CAS ’96), touring the English countryside, seems oblivious to the marvel of Stonehenge. Then again, it’s hard to imagine anything competing with the thrill of reading Pitt Magazine. His wife, Lauren (SHRS ’97), documented the magazine’s power by snapping this picture.

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