Alumni Class Notes

Attention WCSU Alumni ...
Let us know the exciting things happening in your life. Send your news and announcements (wedding, engagement, new baby, anniversary, new job, promotion, retirement, personal or professional accomplishments, etc.) to for inclusion here in Alumni Class Notes. To update your contact information, click here.


WestConn Babies RuleAnd baby makes ...

Carla Lindsey '08 , Elifho Obopilwe, and their daughter Olivia welcome the birth of son, Golebetswe Carlton Obopilwe, born August 13, 2014.

WestConn Sweethearts Jeffrey Shpunt '09 and Danielle (Pelillo) Shpunt '11 welcomed son, Lucas, on May 23, 2014.

WestConn Sweethearts Brian Stashenko '06 and Marisa Svalstedt '05 welcomed daughter Haven Anne Stashenko February 8th 2014

Allison Iacovacci '03 and Joe Doorly welcomed daughter Kelsey Ellis on January 9, 2014. Kelsey joins her big sister Kirsten.

Jessica Ann and Anthony Saracino '03 welcomed son Anthony Daniel on September 28, 2013 and are now living in South Florida.

Josh and Sarah Ventrella '05 Hubbard welcomed daughter Callie Elizabeth on September 23, 2013.

Aurelio and Karin Mansberg '11 Muraca welcomed son Luca on September 8, 2013.

Kelly and Bryan '11 Bielefeldt welcomed daughter Ellie Jaymes on Jan. 28, 2013.

Jennifer (Campbell) '98 and Andrew Jaffe welcomed the birth of their son, Samuel, in early August 2012. Samuel joins brother, Ben (4), and sister, Georgia (2).

Kathleen and Scott '06 Coladarci welcomed daughter Eliana Marianne on Feb. 12, 2013.

Heather (Coladarci) '08 and Matthew Pellicone are the proud new parents of a son, Giovanni Matthew, born on Feb. 27, 2013.

WestConn Sweethearts Alissa (DeCarlo) '12 and Joseph '12 DeGregorio welcomed daughter Stella Ruth on Feb. 20, 2013.

Suzanne and Thomas Fuchs '95 welcomed their first child, William Alexander, at 8:54 p.m. on August 5, 2013, weighing in at 7 pounds, 3 ounces.

WestConn Sweethearts Jamison '10 and Erica (Fabrizio) '08 Odone are happy to announce the birth of their son, Max Davis, on Feb. 7, 2013. Max joins big brother Oliver.

Joann (Korniluk) '05 and Rich Kokorus welcomed their son, Alexander Jovan, on Dec. 28, 2012. He weighed in at 8 pounds and 5 ounces and was 21.5 inches in length.

Carissa and Samuel S. Kwapong '07 welcomed their first baby, Ian, on July 15, 2013, at 5:18 p.m. He weighed in at 7 pounds, 9 ounces, and was 21.25 inches in length.

Heidi (Rochlin) '98 and Mike Matheny welcomed a new baby, Hunter Blake, into their family on Feb. 2, 2013. He weighed 2 pounds and 5 ounces and was 14 1/2  inches long. He joins sister, Amanda, and brothers, Zachary and Troy.

Melissa (Grossman) '04 and Scott Rockafellow welcomed their third child, a baby girl they named Hannah Mae, on January 10, 2013.  She weighed 8 pounds and 8 ounces and was 20 inches long.  She joins her brother, Jacob Reese (5), and sister, Emma Brooke (3).

Wedding bells

Jessica and Philip Olkoski

Jessica Harlow '06 married Philip Olkoski on Sept. 6, 2014

Anne Marie Falconieri ‘08 married Ryan Lewis on Aug. 1, 2014.

WestConn Sweethearts Val Caraluzzi '12, '14 and Joe Massimo '12 were married June 22, 2014

Michelle Velthuizen ’09 and Christopher DiFalco ’09 were married March 29, 2014.

Greg Palanzo '07, married Andrea Dejmalova on February 22, 2014

WestConn Sweethearts Jennifer Hull '08 and Mark Lucas '09, August '13

Francesca "Romina" Serbia-Vega '07 and Jason Turek, Aug. 10, 2013

WestConn Sweethearts Marisa C. Svalstedt '05 and Brian D. Stashenko '06, June 29, 2013


In memoriam

Robert (Bob) W. Bantz ’74, Tampa, FL, May 9, 2014
Dorothy Bolek '02, S. Kent, CT, Oct. 23, 2014
Michael Dono ’82
, Brookfield, CT, Jan. 16, 2014
Patricia C. Dorsey ’72, Spring Valley, NY, Feb. 17, 2014
Margaret L. Ford ’68, Bridgewater, CT, Feb. 4, 2014
Karen Fortier '98, Danbury, CT Oct. 17, 2014
Douglas M. Foster ’77, Brookfield, CT, Mar. 7, 2014
Thomas R. Fulling ’62, Sebastian, FL, Jan. 14, 2014
Florence Ganley '64, Natick, MA, May 31, 2014
Marie F. Goeller ’62, Wappingers Falls, NY, Mar. 22, 2014
Carol Ann Gregware ’76,
Goshen, CT, May 9, 2014
Joanna Francis Guldalian '77, Milford, CT, July 21, 2013
Marietta Allen Jacobson '71, St Simons Island, GA, Mar. 28, 2014
Kriksciun '38, Stratford, CT, Jul. 23, 2014
Eleanor Lillian Lawry ’42,
New Hope, PA, Mar. 30, 2014
Norma Lenore '74, Norwalk, CT, Aug. 2, 2014
Charles M. LePage '07,
New Milford, CT, Sept. 3, 2013

Carmine Lombardi '69, and adjunct professor at WCSU, Danbury CT, Oct. 22, 2014
Richard I. Mansfield '50, Danbury, CT, Aug. 21, 2013
Andrée (Myers) McColgan '46, Danbury, CT, Aug. 11, 2013
Dolores C. McCusker ’02,
Danbury, CT, Mar. 19, 2014
M. Frances (Capetanidis) Milkavich '56, Sun City West, AZ, Mar. 20, 2014
Kevin E. O’Marra '78,
New Milford, CT, July 5, 2013
Daniel Paul Palmer Jr., ’90,
New Milford, CT, June 10, 2014
Donna L. Pasquariello '66, '74, Danbury, CT, July 23, 2014
Mary Michela (Gallucci) Peyron ’79, Naples FL, Feb. 23, 2014
Cheryl E. (Carlson) Piecora '80,
New Milford CT, Sept. 5, 2014
John H. Russo ’64,
Brookfield, CT, Apr. 4, 2014
Gary A. Schneider ’86,
Newtown, CT, Apr. 24, 2014
Jane D. Shannon ’72, Bethel, CT, Jan. 28, 2014
Michael Skandera ’47, Danbury, CT, Mar. 28, 2014
Lisa A. Sweeney '92, Mystic, CT, Aug. 19, 2013
Jean (Byrnes) Sweeney, '49, Danbury CT, Sept. 18, 2014
John A. Vendetti, Jr., '80, Danbury CT, Sept. 4, 2014
Susan Werkhoven ’85, Washington, CT, May 10, 2014
Karen Jeanne (Bleier) Williams '76, Milan, NY, June 17, 2014
Phyllis (Pat) A. Wrinn '78, Newtown, CT, Aug. 11, 2014

Dr. Michael H. Zotos '56, St. Augustine, FL, Oct., 2014

*** and those who were a part of the WCSU community ***

Dr. Ruth J. Allen, Professor Emeritus of Reading Consulting Certification Program , Randolph, VT, Feb. 16, 2014

WCSU Professor Emeritus of Justice and Law Administration Dr. David Machell, East Hartford, CT, Feb. 5, 2014

WCSU Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity brother Michael John Vargas McGrann, Oklahoma City, OK, Apr. 28, 2014

Professor Emeritus of Philosophy & Humanistic Studies Dr. James Munz, Medina, OH, Aug. 9, 2013

Dr. Massy Rajabzadeh, a member of the Chemistry Department faculty, Danbury, CT, Aug. 16, 2014

WCSU Professor Emeritus of Graduate and Ext. Studies, Morris Jack Rudner, Longwood, FL, Dec. 31, 2013

Clarence F. "Larry" Schneider, Jr., a psychotherapist, carpenter, adjunct professor of psychology, and an avid collector of antique Volvos, Newtown, CT, Aug. 18, 2014

Former WCSU Maintenance Manager, Leon F. Stolle, Danbury, CT, Mar. 25, 2014

WCSU donor and friend, Rita C. Thal, Danbury, CT, Jan. 21, 2014

Professor Emeritus Kathryn H. Vacha, Austin, TX, Aug. 13, 2013

Edith Yake, Sociology Professor for 25 years, Downington, PA, Oct. 1, 2014



Alumni The Class of 1957 - 1960 got together at Michael's II Cafe in Danbury for a reunion. The event was organized by Gene Sabados '57 and he provided our office with a picture of the attendees.
Seated L-R: Doug Jeffrey, Connie Conrad, Carol Kelly, Pat Kelly, Lois Weiss, Claudia Anderson, Gene Sabados; Standing L-R: Bob Conrad, Herb Crocker, Eddie Fischer, Skip Melillo, Jon Anderson, George Mann, Bill Weiss, Ron Naves


Richard W. Fay '64, '70 (BA, Elementary Education; MS, Education) retired in 2002 after 38 years as a teacher and later a math specialist with the Bridgeport Public Schools.

Bob Conrad ‘65 is being nominated to the Danbury High School Hall of Fame. He had minor league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies and made the team in 1955. He taught with Brewster Public Schools for twenty-seven years and continued to play baseball on several in-state and out-of-state teams. He also managed a semi-pro team, with a legendary softball career with the Danbury Industrial League. His team won the league championship for nine years in a row. He played for twenty-five years and managed for five years. Bob also coached little league and junior league teams.

Dr. Dennis R. Lauro '66, '73 (BS, Secondary Education; MS, Education) retired as superintendent of schools of the Pelham School District. He joined the Pelham school district in 1996 as director of curriculum, instruction and personnel and was promoted to assistant superintendent and later deputy superintendent before being named superintendent in August 2008. In January, Lauro began a new phase in his career when he became executive director of the Lower Hudson Regional Information Center.


Beverly Balaz ‘72 (BS Education), executive director of Fairfield Chamber of Commerce since June 2013, was inducted into the Fairfield Rotary. (sep. 14)

Nancy Harkness '73 (BS, Nursing) says that she retired last year from Massachusetts General; Hospital. She started there immediately after graduation. (may 2014)

Cynthia Barrere ’74 (BS, Nursing) professor and chair of faculty development at the Quinnipiac University School of Nursing, was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing on Oct. 18, at its annual conference in Washington, D.C. (Oct. 2014)

Charlotte Cuneo '74 (BS, Nursing) is a Clinical Nurse Educator at Boston Medical Center. She is a certified Clinical Aromatherapy Practitioner and is certified in the "M" Technique. (May 2014)

Donald Kappel '74 (BS, Education) is the director of the Public Affairs Department for Chesterfield County, Va., responsible for media relations, public relations and employee communications including the production of the employee e-zine newsletter, "County Comments." The publication was selected as the best employee/internal communication in a 2013 international awards competition by Ragan's PR Daily, one of the most authoritative organizations for professional communicators. Kappel's department also earned eight National Association of County Information Officers awards in 2013 for a variety of other communications products.

Michael J. Shea '74, '79 (BS, Elementary Education; MS, Education) has gone on to become a highly successful business person in the healthcare industry after spending seven years as a teacher in Bethel. He has been a senior operating executive at some of the most prestigious publicly traded healthcare companies in the world. He spent 10 years as a vice president with Caremark, followed by four years as the senior vice president of Business Development and Marketing with TeamHealth (the leading Emergency Medicine outsourcing company in the country). He is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Alliance Healthcare Services (AIQ), publicly held and the largest provider of mobile diagnostic imaging services in the country. He arrived at Alliance after running the largest operating group for dialysis, DaVita Healthcare Partners, as the senior vice president in charge of west coast operations and the executive in charge of DaVita's Hospital Services Group. Today, he lives in Thousand Oaks, Calif., with his wife and WestConn Sweetheart, Patricia M. Shea '74 (BS, Nursing), whom he met at WCSU. They have been married to for 38 years.

Wayne T. Keenan '76 (BA, Psychology) performed music from his new album, “Blue-Out,” in a concert called "Wayne Keenan and Friends: A Night of Jazz," in August at Edmond Town Hall in Newtown. Keenan now lives in Cancun, Mexico, where this year he played the first jazz concert at the Hard Rock Cafe.

Donna Hills, EdD, APN '76 (BS, Nursing) is an Associate Professor in Pediatric Nursing and tenured at Salem State University. She received her doctorate in 2007 from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and is a staff nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital. In January 2014, Donna presented a paper on e-portfolios as a vehicle for best fit for the capstone experience at the Hawaii International Educational Conference. (mar. 2014)

Ray P. Boa '77 (BBA, Business Administration), owner of A&J Construction, a major paving company in CT, received the Macricostas Entrepreneur of the Year Award at WCSU in October. The award, endowed by Constantine "Deno" and Marie Macricostas through the Ancell School of Business in 2008, recognizes those in the community who grew their businesses from small roots into full blooming successes.

Laura J. (Armento) Clough '77 (BS, Elementary Education) exhibited her collection of watercolors and acrylics, celebrating the energy of color and texture, in December 2013 at the Woodbury Public Library. Her work is inspired by the emotional impact of color and the challenge to render nature's beauty in a realistic form.

Brenda Fegley '78 (BS, Nursing) had an Adult Bat Mitzvah and loves babysitting her grand-nephew. She is involved with Temple activities and attends a weekly class on Talmud. (may 2014)



Alan J. Clavette ’80 was reappointed to the Advisory Council of The Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants (CTCPA) for the organization’s 2014-2015 activity year, representing the Trust, Estate and Gift Taxation Committee.  ( June2014)

Michael J. Fitzgerald '80, '93 (BM, Music; MBA) was awarded New Milford Teacher of the Year in August 2013. He and his wife Margaret (Cull) Fitzgerald '79, '84 (BS, Music Education; MS), live in New Milford with their four adopted children. The WestConn Sweethearts met while they were both music students at WCSU. (Cull) Fitzgerald is also a teacher and plays French horn in the Candlewood Brass Quintet.

Pamela Hochstetter ’80 (BS, Art & Education) exhibited at The Bruce S. Kershner Gallery in the Fairfield Library. "Abstract Visions" opened in April with a talk by the artists May 3, 2014. Pamela also holds a Master of Divinity degree from Yale University. (Apr. 2014)

Velya Jancz-Urban '80 (BA, English) hosted a "Chica Peeps" book launch reception at her home in Woodbury to celebrate the online release of "Chica Peeps, the Anthology." Chica Peeps represent groups of women who anchor, guide and nurture each other, often through humor and sisterhoods of strength and support. In December, she appeared on WTNH's "Connecticut Style" program to promote her anthology. Submissions are being accepted on an ongoing basis and information is available at

Dave Duff '82 joins REVOLT as vice president of content distribution, helping steer the network's distribution team with the goal of developing and implementing account strategies for key distribution partners across all distribution platforms. (July 2014)

Geoff Herald ’82 is retiring as Danbury Fire Chief. He began as a Danbury firefighter in 1980, six years later he took the lieutenant's test was given, and has steadily climbed the department's career ladder, culminating with his selection as chief in 2007. (June 2014)

Dr. George F. Kain '82, '85 (BS, Justice and Law Administration; MS, Counselor Education), professor of Justice and Law at WCSU who serves on the Ridgefield Police Commission, attended the seventh International Congress of Ministers of Justice in Rome an organization dedicated to abolishing capital punishment worldwide in November. He also was chosen to address the group about the successful battle that made Connecticut the 17th state in the country to end the practice. Kain also serves on the board of directors of the Connecticut Network to Abolish the Death Penalty.

Rev. Dr. Carole Johannsen '83 (BA, English: Writing Option) earned a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School after graduating WCSU, and just received a Doctor of Ministry from New York Theological Seminary. Her dissertation on spirituality and aging used principles of human development, biblical study and research with two groups of elders in Westchester and Harlem. She is an Episcopal priest, working at Phelps Memorial Hospital Center as coordinator of Pastoral Care, and lives in Bedford Hills, N.Y. an easy drive to her two children, their spouses and her five grandchildren. In 2011, she was honored by the American Muslim Women's Association for her work building bridges among diverse faith traditions.

Valerie Palmieri ’83 (BS, Medical Technology) was appointed to the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer at Vermillion, Inc. a multivariate diagnostics company focused on gynecologic cancers and women's health.(Oct. 2014)

Charles S. Schneider '84 (BBA, Accounting) has rejoined KPMG LLP as a managing director in the firm's Tax Transformation and Outsourcing (TTO) Services group, which is part of the Federal Tax practice. He will focus on helping multinational clients establish efficient intercompany transfer pricing approaches and improve the integrity of their intercompany accounts, leveraging the firm's capabilities around Operational Transfer Pricing services. He has 27 years of experience assisting large multinationals with a range of tax issues.

Chris M. Casey '86 (BBA, Management Information Systems) took over as the new men's basketball coach at Niagara University in Lewiston, N.Y. Formerly, he coached for Long Island University Post in Brookville, N.Y. While at WCSU, he played four years of basketball for the Colonials and was a two-time captain. He has accumulated 27 years as a basketball coach at the Division I, II and III levels.

Elizabeth “Liz” G. Carter '86 (BS, Elementary Education) is currently a driving instructor for Johns Creek Driving School in Johns Creek, Ga. In September 2010, she completed a 40-hour training course to become a Georgia Fire and Life Safety Educator. She also holds certifications as a CPR/First Aid Instructor with both the American Heart Association and the American Safety and Health Institute. Since 2006, she's been a volunteer instructor for P.R.I.D.E. (Parents Reducing Injuries and Driver Errors), a program sponsored by the Georgia Traffic and Injury Prevention Institute. In January 2007, she was sworn into the Georgia State Defense Force, where she holds the rank of corporal serving with the Aviation Tactical Command Platoon, 911th Support Battalion, 76th Support Brigade. She resides in Lawrenceville, Ga., with her husband, Michael S. Carter '89 (Justice and Law Administration), daughter and their two dogs and four cats.

Sharon J. Denninger '86 (BS, Nursing) is an APRN at Connecticut GI in New Britain, CT. She adds that she is loving her work.

Renee (Bouchard) Gardiner '86 (BS, Elementary Education) was elected Treasurer of Fantasy Playhouse Children's Theater in Huntsville, AL. FPCT is starting its 53rd season of providing entertainment to families of northern Alabama. 

 Dr. Robert P. McNamara '86 (BS, Justice and Law Administration) was named associate provost and dean of The Citadel Graduate College. Previously, he was associate dean of evening undergraduate studies and director of the 2 + 2 program in criminal justice at the military college. He earned his doctorate in sociology from Yale University.

James A. Stoops '86 (BS, Justice and Law Administration) published a book titled, "On a Vermont Witch's Window Trail: A Pictorial Trail Guide," about Vermont architecture that is commonly referred to as "Witch's Windows." Printed by Northshire Press in June 2013, 100 percent of the proceeds of his book benefit the Vermont Foodbank. His book may be purchased at the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vt., or online at and Stoops lives in Bennington, Vt.

Corrado DeGasperis '87 (BBA, Accounting)
is the president and chief executive officer of Comstock Mining, Inc. He has more than 25 years experience in manufacturing, metals and mining operational management, construction project management and the capital markets.

Florence L. Budge '88, '92 (BS, Elementary Education; MS Education) was hired as the principal at Kent Center School. Previously, she worked in the Danbury public school system, where she was a mathematics specialist since 2001.

Mark Ecke '88 is the new football head coach at Danbury High School, Danbury CT.

Dr. Holli M. Levy '88, '98 '11 (BS, Elementary Education; MS, Education; EdD, Instructional Leadership) was appointed elementary technology integration teacher for Ridgefield Public Schools.

William C. Piper '88 (BS, Justice and Law Administration) was named chief executive officer of Waveny Care Network in New Canaan. In his new position, he will be responsible for managing the strategic growth, operations, development and future direction of Waveny's comprehensive continuum of health care.

Alison A. Salerno '88, '04 (BS, Elementary Education; MS, Education) was appointed principal of Johnson School in Bethel, a school of about 400 fourth and fifth graders. She has been a math teacher at Bethel Middle School since 2006.

Joel J. Gomes '89 (BA, Chemistry) published an e-book on titled, “What Have You Done to Our Schools?” a reflection on his 20-year career in teaching and his observations on how it has changed. In the book, he takes readers on a trip through his career that involves four different economic districts and circles back to the same school he attended in 9th grade 30 years ago. The book reveals stories of the hidden problems in schools from the funny, to the disturbing, to the depressing.


Brian S. Goralski '90 (BS, Justice and Law Administration), Southington Board of Education chairman, is the new at-risk youth coordinator for the Meriden schools. For more than 20 years, Goralski has been a youth services officer with the state Department of Children and Families.

Attorney D. Susanne Snearly '90 (BA, Psychology) was again selected as a New England Super Lawyer for 2013 and named as one of Connecticut's Top Attorneys, a designation held since 2009, by Connecticut Magazine and the New England Super Lawyers Magazine. 

Mary Lavado '90 (BS, Nursing) is a patient Educator at Alore Healthcare.

Louis Agnello Jr. '92  (BA, English Writing) (also known as Cousin Vinny) published the Devil's Glove October 2013 and is touring and signing his book May 2014.





Peter S. Greenleaf '92 (BS, Justice and Law Administration), president of MedImmune, the Gaithersburg, Md.-based global biologics arm of AstraZeneca, spoke at the 2012 Mid-Atlantic Bio Conference in September. Greenleaf previously led the development of MedImmune's global marketing and portfolio organizations, as well as the broader commercial, corporate development and strategy functions. He chairs the Maryland Venture Fund Authority and serves on the board of directors of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the world's largest biotech trade organization.

Angelle M. Roussel '92 (BBA, Accounting) was appointed vice president and treasurer for Parsons, an engineering, construction, technical and management services firm, in January. She joined Parsons in 1999 and has served in roles of increasing responsibility in both the corporate tax and treasury areas. In her new role, she will oversee the company's global treasury function, which includes cash, investments, debt, financial instruments and banking relationships.

Patricia K. Bragdon '93 (BA, Social Work) received a civic award from the Danbury Old Timers. Bragdon is a co-founder of Ann's Place, The Home of I Can, and has received various awards of recognition.

Michele L. Wasikowski '93, '00 (BA, Communications and Theatre Arts; MBA) was selected to fill the newly created part-time position of human resources manager in Seymour.

Mary Consoli ’95 is president of the Danbury Nurse’s Union AFT Local 5047 and a volunteer with “No One Dies Alone.” She led the Union Negotiation Team to a successful contract agreement with Danbury Hospital. She says, “We piloted a new approach to negotiating staff and floating policies.” She is working on creating a policy for Return to Work for RN’s with Disease of Addiction. Mary is a proud grandmother of 2 and has # 3  due November 2014. (Mar. 2014) 

Jeffrey J. Troccolo ’95 (BA, Meteorology) has joined Aviation Management Systems, Inc. (AMS) as Senior Vice President.  He will be based at their Connecticut. (Apr. 2014)


Nancy McMillan '96 (BM, Music) published her first book, “March Farm: Season by Season on a Connecticut Family Farm" in January 2013. She also was the recipient of a grant from Sisters in Script ( Visit her website at McMillen lives in Bethlehem, Conn.

Elaine Abrams '98 (BS, Community Health) is president-elect of the Connecticut Public Health Association. She currently works as a community health educator in Norwalk.

Karren J. Garrity '98 (MS, Community Counseling) recently published a book, “The Tool Box,” which offers tricks of the counseling trade: hands-on, easy to understand, practical strategies used by many therapists to help parents, mentors and teachers navigate their relationships with teenagers. Her book is intended to coach adults who live and work with adolescents in such a way that the adults survive and the kids thrive. It will allow people to build successful, strong and positive relationships with the adolescents in their lives.


Steve George ’99 (BS, Education, History), coach of the Newtown High School football team, has been named last week’s [Oct. 20] recipient of the New York Jets High School Coach of the Week Award presented by Chase. Through Chase’s partnership, the monetary award to benefit the school’s football program has doubled to $2,000. George will be presented with a certificate and award ball. In addition, he is invited to watch the Jets-Patriots game in Chase’s suite at MetLife Stadium on December 21. (Oct. 2014)

Rute Mendes '99 (BS, Justice and Law Administration) became a partner at Ventura, Ribeiro & Smith, Attorneys at Law, in January. She has been with VR&S, a personal injury firm, since 2004. She concentrates part of her practice in representing victims in sexual assault and molestation cases as well as representing the families of people who have died due to the negligence of others. She also has worked closely with the Brazilian Consulate General in Hartford, providing counsel and legal advice in various matters, and has been a seminar presenter for the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association. She received the Pro Bono Award from the Danbury Bar Association in 2012.

John R. McCarron, Jr. '99 (BS, Justice and Law Administration) was appointed to the Committee on Law Practice Management (co-chair) by the New York State Bar Association. He is a partner at Montes & McCarron and concentrates his practice in matrimonial/divorce, family law, DWI defense, business law, technology law and real estate.



John Cucurullo '00 (BA, Communication) has been working as a school counselor for 12 years. Currently, he works at AB Davis Middle School in Mount Vernon, N.Y. He is also a regional governor for the New York State School Counselor Association and has served as president for the Westchester Putnam Rockland Counseling Association from 2009-10 where he continues to serve as  a board member. Cucurullo played baseball at WCSU from 98-99. (Jan. 2014)

Amy E. (Matthews) McKenna '00 (BA, Social Work) was inducted into the Connecticut Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in April 2013. McKenna was inducted into the WCSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011.

Nima Rezvan '00 (BBA, Marketing) was recently heavily recruited by Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc., in Bridgeport, as a senior loan officer. He can be reached at He also acquired a great new assistant who has ties to WCSU. Rezvan also started his first new restaurant/lounge in Newport, R.I., called Genie's. (Look for Genie's on Facebook.!) He invites all WCSU alumni to visit on their next trip to Newport.

Anna-Maria Heredia '01 (BS, Justice & Law Administration) received her Ed.D. in Higher & Postsecondary Education Administration from Arizona State University in 2013. She has recently returned to CT and now serves as an academic advisor and recruitment coordinator for the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut in Storrs where she works with pre-education and prospective students as well as leads recruitment efforts of underrepresented populations into teaching professions. Previously, she was an advisor to exploratory students at Arizona State University.

Ryan Paulsson ’01 hired by the Westport Police Department in 2001was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. Paulsson was the department's "bloodhound handler" for ten years and has supervised the K-9 Unit since 2010. Paulsson serves as a tactical officer with the Southwest Regional Emergency Response Team, and is a member of the Westport police/fire dive-rescue team and the Marine Division. He is a certified law-enforcement instructor in numerous disciplines. (June 2014)

Rachel (Alemany) Dickinson '02 (BA, Psychology) lives in Minnesota with her husband, Brian, and works at the Department of Veterans Affairs as a veteran service representative.

Keith H. Fielding '02 (BBA, Finance) joined Lee & Associates in West Los Angeles, Calif., as a principal office broker. He specializes in both landlord and tenant representation and property disposition with a concentration in office leasing. His expertise in office leasing and investment sales analysis has enabled him to bring strategies from a national and regional perspective that other brokers cannot provide. He has focused on the entertainment and creative business throughout West Los Angeles.

Angela R. Zurowski '02 (BA, Political Science) has built a career in nonprofit management with an organization called the International Institute of Connecticut. Nearly 100 years old, the Institute offers an array of legal, educational and social programming to approximately 7,000 immigrants, refugees and foreign-born victims of serious crimes such as human trafficking. She currently serves the organization as executive director. She also engages in outreach and community education and is often asked to facilitate trainings for community providers. Zurowksi is exploring new training models to help increase cultural competency among partner nonprofits as well as for-profit entities.

Julie E. Hill '03 (BS, Justice and Law Administration) was sworn in as a member of the North Haven Police Department in January.

Trisha L. Somers '03 (BBA, Marketing) moved her business, Laser Luxury, to Chappaqua, N.Y., in January 2014.

Christopher P. DeAngelis '04  (BM, Music, Jazz) performed on the Verve Jazz Ensemble's debut recording, "It's About Time," featured for more than three months since its release in spring 2013 on the national charts of the Web-based industry publication JazzWeek. Bass player DeAngelis was a member of the original VJE ensemble and returned as guest artist to complete the quintet for "It's About Time." (jan 2014)

Heather Coladarci Pellicone '04, '08 has been appointed principal of South Street School (K - 5) in
Danbury, CT. (June 2014)

Bridget Grady '04 (MFA) was invited by Commissioner Daniel Esty to exhibit at the State of Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. She exhibited works based on the Connecticut landscape and wildlife. A selection of plein-air paintings based on her current observations of the changing character of Hemingway Pond, located off the Steele Brook in Watertown, and paintings from the “ Fragile Ecologies” series were on view for the summer.

Lillian "Sissy" McKee '04 (BBA, Management) introduced her new consulting business, LionHeart Consulting LLC, in Summer 2013. The firm offers strategic learning and organization development including,  high impact leadership program development, competency and talent assessment and development, training design and delivery, performance coaching and intervention and ​teambuilding with a purpose. Visit for more information. McKee can be contacted at and 203-685-5004. You can connect with her on LinkedIn at

Jonathan M. Blanck '05 (BM, Music, Jazz) performed on the Verve Jazz Ensemble's debut recording, "It's About Time," featured for more than three months since its release in spring 2013 on the national charts of the Web-based industry publication JazzWeek. He has performed as tenor saxophonist with the Verve Jazz Ensemble since the group's founding in 2006.

Nancy White Cassidy '05 (MFA) moved her House on the Hill Studio from Litchfield County to the White Mountains region of New Hampshire. She also opened The Cassidy Gallery At Jackson Village in Jackson, N.H., with a grand opening on Dec. 28, 2013. Along with her own artwork, Nancy now represents other artists and artisans. Additional information can be found at

Samantha (Conetta) Flynn '05 (BBA, Management) joined the Women's Center of Greater Danbury's management team as the development director where she will plan, coordinate and direct all development activities and major fundraising events, and assist with communications and outreach projects. She was previously employed by the YWCA of Greenwich, where she served as development manager and was a member of development teams at Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the New Milford Hospital Foundation.

Joel Spector '05 (MFA, Illustration) is demonstrating portrait painting at SCAN this Novemeber. His honors include awards from the Portrait Society of America, Pastel Society of America, Society of Illustrators, and Oil Painters of America. Japanese television has produced a documentary showing his vibrant methodical illustration process. (Nov. 2014)

Larry Badaracco ‘06 (BA History), who is a special education teacher in the Behavior Intervention Program, is the new head football coach at New Milford High School. He was the assistant coach in 2013 and inherits a Green Wave squad that is coming off last year’s 4-7 campaign. (Aug. 2014)

Matt Ensero, ’06 (BA, Finance) owner of Wing It On! a wings/burgers/wraps launched Waterbury in 2011 opened a second restaurant in 2013 and has licensed the menu and brand to two other business owners. He is now recruiting franchisees. (May 2014)

Jason P. Livingston '06 (BS, Justice and Law) was appointed as a police officer of the Brookfield Police Department. He was chosen as one of the top candidates from a field of more than 250 individuals who tested for the position. Prior to joining the Brookfield Police Department, Livingston was with the Travelers Insurance Company as a claims investigator.

Diana Santos '06 (BBA Accounting) was appointed treasurer of the Fairfield Network of Executive Women. She is a senior associate at Reynolds & Rowella LLP, an independent accounting firm. (Oct. 2014)

Dr. Robin S. Goodrich '07 (MSN, Nursing) was featured in Columbia University's Teacher's College alumni newsletter, “Courier,” in which her career in nursing was highlighted. Goodrich is currently an assistant professor of nursing at WCSU.

Anish Aswani '08 (BBA, Marketing) joined the portfolio management team of Southridge Partners II LP. He is responsible for assisting with investment selection and portfolio management as well as support marketing efforts for the firm. Most recently, he worked as an institutional equities broker at Aegis Capital Corp.

Dr. Patricia E. Cosentino '08 (Ed.D., Instructional Technology) is the new superintendent of schools for Connecticut Region 12 that includes Bridgewater, Roxbury and Washington.

Frank LaBanca ‘08, a graduate of the Western Connecticut State University doctorate in education program (Ed.D.), is principal of the new Danbury Public School, a state-of-the art STEM and global academy. 

Teaching at the new school will be Joseph DiGuiseppi ‘03, Alessandra de la Vega ‘02, Natalie Locke ‘10, Beth Manning ‘09, Joshua Meade ‘10, Laura Muller ‘09, Julie Pokrinchok ’00 & ‘04, Jennifer Power ’09 and Kristy Zaleta ’08 & ‘14.

Karen (Menslage) Waterman '08 (MS, Counselor Education) joined the Amity Regional High School Counseling Department as career center director.

Kristy L. Zaleta '08 (MS, Education) '14 (Ed.D.), was named Danbury Public School's 2013 Teacher of the Year as a Rogers Park Middle School science teacher. She was honored by the Connecticut Science Teachers Association for excellence in middle school teaching in a ceremony at the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale University in April 2014. She is now teaching in the Danbury Public School system.

Bryn Gillette '09 (MFA) exhibited his work at 287, the Gallery for the Cultural Alliance of Western CT, to further his amazing quest to keep Haiti in our hearts and minds as the country struggles to rebuild. In "Haiti, Beyond the Ruins," running through June 7th, his work grieves Haiti’s brokenness while celebrating its stunning, though tenuous beauty. Bryn calls “Beyond the Ruins” his "prayers for Haiti." Bryn a full time art, photography, and Bible teacher at Trinity-Pawling School in NY. He is the co-founder of TeamOne:27, a non-profit dedicated to serving the needs of Haitian orphans, and spends the majority of his artistic time as an advocate and champion of the needs of his Haitian “family.”  ( ) (June 2014)

Meredith Liberto '09 (BA, Chemistry) is a Research Scientist at Boehringer Ingelheim in Danbury. In June 2013, she was asked to do a video series called “I Am Research. Progress. Hope” for Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). The series focused on inspiring future generations to pursue STEM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) by spending a day in the life of a scientist. These scientific stories were rolled out as part of the organization’s partnership with U.S. News & World Report to present a half-day series called “STEM Saves Lives,” which focuses on “building a 21st century workforce educated in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to maintain global competitiveness in biomedical research and deliver medical advances to patients." To watch Meredith's video, visit:

Jonathan William Rosario '09 (BA, History & Psychology) served as an education and youth development Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay from February 2011 to April 2013. His most recent Peace Corps project involved the physical expansion of the public library in his site. More information about this project can be found at Rosario plans to enroll in graduate school this fall to study international relations/international affairs.

Christopher Shaw '09 (BS, Justice of Law & Administration) was sworn in by the New Milford Police Department as a new member of the force. He graduated March 14 from the Milford Police Academy. (june 2014)


Alana D. Bertozzi '10 (BA, Communication) has been teaching English in South Korea for the past two and a half years through the EPIK program. An avid traveler, she has enjoyed adventures all over Asia.

Twin sisters Maria Camila E. '10 (BA, Biology) and Ana Carolina E. '10 (BA, Biology) Bortolleto have led clinics around the state with Connecticut Students for a Dream, teaching people about President Barack Obama's plan to give temporary "deferred action" or "administrative relief" to certain undocumented students who came to the United States as children.

Gisela Dias '10 (BS, Nursing) is working in Yale New Haven Hospital's Medical Intensive Care Unit and is working towards her Critical-Care Nursing Certification. (may 2014)

Dr. Jacob C. Greenwood '10 (EdD, Instructional Technology) accepted a position as assistant principal of Darien High School.

Dr. Raina Kor '10 (EdD, Instructional Leadership) was appointed to fill the position of assistant superintendent of schools for Instruction and Human Resources for the Irvington Union Free School District in Irvington, N.Y.

Barbara Mansilla '10 (MFA) is pleased to announce that her artwork is available to Samsung galaxy owners as  cases for your phone featuring her artwork. Her phone cases can be purchased at

Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo '10 (MFA, Profesional Writing) worked as a reporter for many years in Nigeria, Europe and North America. His columns appear in many journals including African Abroad, Class, ThisDay, Champion, USAfricavoice, Africa Vibe, Vanguard and Independent. For five years, he was a columnist for, the U.S. editor of He has just finished work on his first novel, "Death on Mount Trashmore." He played a doctor in the award-winning movie, "Soul Sisters." Okonkwo is the founder of Iroko Productions LLC and the Olaudah Equiano Prize for Fiction.

Timothy Pandajis '10 (BS, Meteorology) of WRIC-TV 8 News in Richmond, Va., earned the American Meteorological Society's Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) designation, a professional recognition of the quality of his weather broadcasts. Among radio and television meteorologists, the CBM designation is sought as a mark of distinction and recognition.

Malorie Savran '10 is returning for her third summer at Nemasket River Productions, this time as the property mistress. Having graduated as an accounting major she now makes her living as a tax auditor, but in her spare time loves everything creative. She weaves, has her own loom, knits and writes short stories. (July 2014)

Brittany P. Connors '11 (BS, Health Education) was named the head softball coach of Ledyard High School. Former St. Bernard coach, Brittany led St. Bernard to the Class S quarterfinals last season. The Ledyard team is a Large division Eastern Connecticut Conference  team that went 6-14 last season. Connors bought a house in Ledyard last year and said taking over the Colonels seemed like a perfect fit, but admitted it was tough leaving St. Bernard, where she started her coaching career as an assistant after graduating from WCSU. (june 2014)

Christopher S. Lombardi ’11 wrote, produced, and directed The Reluctant Detective. The film opened with a community screening at the historic Bijou Theatre in Bridgeport, CT and Christopher said, “The location should enhance the vintage period feel.”

Bianca M. Lucchesi '11 (BBA, Marketing) was named head cheerleading coach at Felician College, located in  Rutherford, N.J. She is the second coach in program history. Lucchesi is also beginning her second year as Felician's assistant director of Undergraduate Admissions.

Michael T. Perrone '11, (BS, Justice and Law) returned home from serving in the armed forces in Afghanistan. Once he leaves the Marines in 2015, Mike plans to work in federal law enforcement.

Dr. Stephanie Bell '12 (EdD, Instructional Technology) was appointed director of the Prospect School at Wooster in Danbury. Previously, she was assistant principal for New York's Boards of Cooperative Educational Services, which provides shared educational programs for multiple school districts.

Sara J. Burke '12 (BBA, Accounting) joined Dworken, Hillman, LaMorte and Sterczala PC Certified Public Accountants as a staff accountant.

Justin A. Cruickshanks '12 (BBA, Management) was named new head coach of Bacon Academy's junior varsity football team in Colchester, where he also serves as the junior varsity offensive coordinator, special teams coordinator and offensive line coach.

Shelby Hilario '12 (BS, Nursing) is working at Danbury Hospital and was chosen as one of the top 10 nurses picked to honor for the "Salute to Nurses" out of Fairfield County. (May 2014)

Dr. Christopher M. Longo '12 (EdD, Instructional Leadership) is assistant principal at New Milford High School.

Catrina Morgan '12 (BA, Biology) was trained by the nonprofit Student Conservation Association, which provides high school and college students with conservation experiences in all 50 states from urban communities to national parks and forests. Currently, she is pursuing a master's degree in geographic information systems at Arizona State University.

Nicole Root '12 (BBA, Management) is planning a trip to Europe for a month travelling to Ireland, Holland, Switzerland, England, France, Spain and Italy. She will be going on exciting excursions and is excited to learn about other cultures. Upon returning, she would like to find a full-time employment in the health & beauty industry. She also plans to pursue her MBA and will be starting at UConn in Fall 2014.

Steven P. Rountos '12 (BS, Justice and Law Administration) was appointed an officer in the Brookfield Police Department. Prior to his new position, he was a member and later an adviser in the Danbury Police Department Explorer program.

Jason Szabo '12 (BBA, Finance) recently started a position at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and has completed his Series 7 and Series 66 designations to become a fully licensed financial adviser.

Stephanie Thibodeau '12 was sworn in as a police officer in Newtown, CT. She is now doing six months of law enforcement training at the police academy, and will return to Newtown for several months of field training by training officers who accompany them while on patrol. (Oct. 2014)

Christine Marie Vanturini '12 (BS, Health Promotion Studies) continues to play high-level hockey despite her declining vision. She is a member of the Hudson Valley Women's Empire State Games team and plays on two predominantly male adult leagues at Brewster Ice Arena.

Kelli E. Veras '12 (BS, Elementary Education: Mathematics) recently completed U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Ill. During the eight-week program, Veras completed a variety of training, which included classroom study and practical instruction on naval customs, first aid, firefighting, water safety and survival, and shipboard and aircraft safety.

Anthony Granata '13 (BS, Music Education) through the Ameson Foundation was offered a teaching position in China (Aug '13 - Aug '14) to teach English as a Foreign Language.

Katie Marsan ’13 (BS, Music Education) became the fourth WCSU student in the past five years to be named a Fulbright scholar. This fall, she will head to the University of Tartu in Estonia for nine months, during which time she will take fiddle lessons and study education and the folk music of the European nation. Katie plans to pursue a graduate degree in music to become a teacher.  (June 2013)

Joe Moravsky ’13 competed in his second season on "American Ninja Warrior"! We would like to congratulate him for his impressive accomplishments. (Aug. 2014)

Rachel Armour ’14 (BM, Music) co-spearheaded a lawn concert  to help the campaign against Alzheimer’s. Ribbons and Rhythms, A Night of Music for the Cure included a WCSU a cappella group of women and the WestConn Jazz ensemble made up of Keenan Asbridge, Matt Angelo, Doug Toussaint and Matt Rousseau. (June '14)

Matt Cole ’14 (BA Social Work) is a lifelong Newtowner, and is hoping to be next state representative (District 106). He has worked in former Rep. Chris Lyddy’s office, assisting with legislative initiatives and constituents who were having trouble getting help from the various state agencies. (Nov. 2014)

Matthew A. Correia '14 is appointed principal of Emma Hart Willard School in Berlin, CT, effective July 1. He is has a WCSU doctoral degree in instructional leadership.  (Apr. 2014)

Fernando Pereirawas '14 sworn in as a police officer in Newtown, CT. She is now doing six months of law enforcement training at the police academy, and will return to Newtown for several months of field training by training officers who accompany them while on patrol. (Oct. 2014)

Archived notes can be found here

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