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 alumni@wcsu.edu for inclusion here in Alumni Class Notes. To update your contact information, click here.

Sections

WestConn Babies RuleAnd baby makes ...

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.

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.

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. Mom and dad are blessed!

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).

Jessica (Starks) '07 and Lance Churchill welcomed their son, Jackson, on February 22, 2012.

Wedding bells

Rachel Alemany '02 and Brian Dickinson, Sept. 1, 2011

Christine Barvinski Palmer '90 and Warren Hengel, July 25, 2012

Elizabeth Far and Justin R. Clement '01, '08, August 2012

Kristen L. Faust '06 and Charles Sterling, June 15, 2012

WestConn Sweethearts Kristi Jutton '06 and Timothy Frawley '08, October 2012

Carla Cole and Brian R. Jacobson '02, '09, Sept. 8, 2012

WestConn Sweethearts Bridget K. Schaefer '05 and Chip Keating '05, Aug. 14, 2011

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

Carissa Williams and Samuel S. Kwapong '07 (photo below), October 2012

Rachel Rose McCormick '10 and Terrance Matthew Knoche, Oct. 13, 2012

Lauren E. Mozingo '11 and Nathan White, May 26, 2012

Meghan E. Rajczewski '10 and David Hogan, June 16, 2012

Alyse L. Ramey '10 and Kyle Hlavac, Dec. 1, 2012

Kendra Lee Sloat '07 and Jamieson Donald Dacey, Oct. 6, 2012

Katie L. Smietana '09 and Ryan Beaudry, June 2, 2012

Cynthia A. Smith '06 and Matthew Trachten, May 19, 2012

Kara Fisher and Jason R. Street '11, Sept. 10, 2011

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

Kara Ashley Kunst and James Wilson Tanner '11, Dec. 23, 2012

In memoriam

David P. Adair '67, '74, New Milford, Conn., Aug. 12, 2012
Margo Ann Anderson '05, New Milford, Conn.
William S. Barnhart '77, Danbury, Conn., Feb. 7, 2013
Sheila (McCarthy) Barrett '74, Bethel, Conn., Nov. 26, 2012
Mary Jane (Claflin) Baxter, Katonah, N.Y., Dec. 3, 2012
Patricia (Walsh) Bellini '60, '69, Thomaston, Conn., Sept.25, 2012
Richard E. Birdsall '83, Danbury, Conn., May 1, 2013
Edward P. Brennan '86,
Ridgefield, Conn., Dec. 13, 2012
June C. Bishop '71, '79, Napa, Calif
Brita M. Cappel '74, Wilton, Conn
Ann (Titsworth) Carey '42, Newtown, Conn., July 17, 2012
Kenneth R. Cerulli '94, Norwalk, Conn., Jan. 15, 2013
David Clapp '50, Littleton, Colo., April 9, 2013
David F. Cook '72,
Danbury, Conn., Jan. 31, 2013
Virginia P. (Vicino) Crawford '70, Woodbury, Conn., July 29, 2012
Kathryn M. (Barrett) Curran '43, Danbury, Conn., May 14, 2013
Jonathan W. David '03,
Danbury, Conn., Nov. 13, 2012
Monica C. DeFeo '81, Newtown, Conn., Sept. 14, 2012
Henrietta "Henny" Herley Ehrenfreund, Yorktown, N.Y., Dec. 14, 2012
Sean Fogarty '60, Stamford, Conn
Mary C. Fontaine '65, Fort Myers, Fla.
Dr. David C. Fuller '52, Elyria, Ohio, Sept. 12, 2012
Mark Giuliani '81, West Palm Beach, Fla., April, 30, 2013
Gloria (Kweskin) Goldman '43,
Bloomfield, Conn.
Mary Ann Gugliotti '75, Fort Myers, Fla., June 1, 2013
Joanna Francis Guldalian '77,
Milford, Conn., July 21, 2013
Alfred J. Hajj '54,
Danbury, Conn., Feb. 2, 2013
Donald J. Hall '82, Iron River, Mich., March 3, 2012
Mary Hatzis '54, Danbury, Conn., Feb. 20, 2013
Falguni “Fal” B. Hauser '91,
Westerly, R.I., Jan. 13, 2013
Lee Hawes '54, Redding, Conn., Oct. 7, 2012
Helen D. Hermes '61, '64, Redding, Conn., July 17, 2012
Barbara M. Hinckley, Newtown, Conn., Feb. 12, 2013
Vivian (Burgess) Holmes '55, Danbury, Conn., March 24, 2013
Jerome Hyland,
New Milford, Conn., Oct. 9, 2012
Donna (Vergaro) Jankovsky '62, Glendale, Ariz., Oct. 10, 2012
Kevin Michael Javillonar '73, '81, Danbury, Conn., Jan. 17, 2013
Jean A. Jerige, Darien Conn., Jan. 25, 2013
Gerard P. Johnson '67, '70, Bethlehem, Conn., Aug. 5, 2012
Susan E. Johnson '01, '98, Waterbury, Conn., May 5, 2012
Robin G. Joseph '73, Durham, N.C., May 16, 2010
Dorothy (Wixted) Kane '45, Danbury, Conn., Oct. 5, 2012
Richard A. Keizer '80, Salem, Ore.
Maud (Bancroft) (Billings) Knapp '94, Sandy Hook, Conn., July 24, 2012
Gunter F. Knopf '81, Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., April 4, 2013
Sara Kruzansky '97,
Danbury, Conn., Feb. 7, 2013
Carl A. LaMar '53, '63, Sun City Center, Fla., Aug. 1, 2012
Anne M. Lange '77, Takoma Park, Md.
Charles M. LePage '07, New Milford, Conn., Sept. 3, 2013
Paul J. Liberatore '62,
New Bern, N.C., Nov. 23, 2010
Ann (McKeon) Lombardo '51, Stamford, Conn., July 7, 2012
Wanda L. Longo '93,
Amesbury, Mass., Nov. 26, 2012
Norman S. Lubus '55,
Cary, N.C., Aug. 5, 2012
Anne L. (Macdonald) Magyar '35, Litchfield, Conn., July 6, 2010
Andrée (Myers) McColgan '46, Danbury, Conn., Aug. 11, 2013
Elizabeth M. McGovern '06,
Ridgefield, Conn., Nov. 23, 2012
Richard M. Meldon '78, Trumbull, Conn., Dec. 8, 2012
Heather T. Veronica (Casey) Milano '76, Brewster, N.Y. , May 1, 2013
Minerva G. Miles '71, '74,
Austin, Texas, May 28, 2006
Albert E. Minck, Jr. '48, Newtown, Conn., June 24, 2013
Shawn Marie Morse '94,
Lilburn, Ga., Sept. 30, 2012
Josephine Anne “JoAnne” (Murphy) Markosky '66, Danbury, Conn., June 11, 2013
Mildred Murphy '67, New Milford, Conn., April 24, 2013
Francis Dennis “Frank” O'Connor '62,
New Fairfield, Conn., Feb. 27, 2013

Kevin E. O’Marra '78,
New Milford, Conn., July 5, 2013
Brian D. Osar '11,
Brookfield, Conn., Dec. 24, 2012
Harriette (Londa) Papish '31, Westport, Conn., May 9, 2013
Arthur W. Perkins '51,
Dunedin, Fla., April 22, 2013

Cindy Mae Peterson '85,
Williston, Vt., Jan. 7, 2013
Judith Petrino '76, Monroe, Conn., April 30, 2013
Gerald Robert Post '81,
Colleyville, Texas, May 16, 2013

Kathryn A. Roberti '92,
Newtown, Conn., Aug. 22, 2012
Diane E. Robinson '87, Redding, Conn., July 5, 2012
Barbara M. Roulston '70, Tallahassee, Fla., May 7, 2013
Jane E. Ryan '96,
Ridgefield, Conn., April 28, 2013
Randall L. Sayers Jr. '84,
Danbury, Conn., Dec. 31, 2012
Robert D. Schnabel '96, Springfield, Mass., July 12, 2012
Robert F. Simonelli '55, Danbury, Conn., Dec. 12, 2012
Don H. Skahen '61, New Fairfield, Conn., Jan. 1, 2013
Helen E (Knapp) Sniffin '38, New Fairfield, Conn., March 3, 2013
Linda R. Spera '87,
Brookfield, Conn. Jan. 20, 2013
Elizabeth I. Stratford '76, '80, '84, Bethel, Conn., March 1, 2012
John Joseph Sweeney '47, Danbury, Conn., Aug. 5, 2012
Lisa A. Sweeney '92, Mystic, Conn., Aug. 19, 2013
Louise J. Taylor '40,
Hyde Park, N.Y.
Kathleen Thorne '63, San Jose, Calif., Feb. 26, 2013
Christine Z. (Bieluczyk) Travostino '40,
Blue Springs, Mo., Nov. 6, 2012
Frank J. Trombetto '94, Southbury, Conn., June 14, 2013
Mary G. Troy '53, Lincoln, Mass., Dec. 5, 2012
Mary L. (Lopedota) Urban '53, Danbury, Conn., Dec. 4, 2012
Neil E. Wagner '52, Danbury, Conn., May 11, 2013
Richard Charles (Dick) Wanzer '43,
Peachtree City, Ga., Feb. 6, 2013
Eric Noel Wellman '64, Newtown, Conn., April, 5, 2013
Ferris Barbara Hartley White '91, '95,
Danbury, Conn., Dec. 26, 2012
Douglas S. Woundy '90, Fairfield, Va., Sept. 16, 2012

Associate Professor of Music Eddie Bert, Danbury, Conn., Sept. 28, 2012

WCSU donor and friend, Kathleen E. “Kay” Cherry, New Milford, Conn., Sept. 27, 2012. Gifts can be made to the WCSU Foundation, Dr. Joseph B. Cherry Memorial Nursing Scholarship, 181 White St., Danbury, CT 06810. The scholarship was created in 1999 with a gift from Mrs. Cherry and Dr. Henry Blansfield.

Assistant Professor of Justice and Law Administration Dr. Melissa E. Fenwick, Danbury, Conn., Dec. 28, 2012

Josephine F. Helley, retired from the Financial Aid Dept., Danbury, Conn., Feb. 1, 2013

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

Professor Emeritus of Music Michael Mennone, Yorktown Heights, N.Y., Feb. 22, 2013

Professor Emeritus of Nursing Helen Mizer, Kennesaw, Ga., July 28, 2012

Professor Emeritus of Philosophy & Humanistic Studies Dr. James Munz, Medina, Ohio, August 9, 2013

Former history and geography teacher Richard O. Riess, Brighton, Colo., Nov. 3, 2012

Professor Emeritus of Chemistry Michael J. Uricheck, Hazelton, Penn., July 23, 2013

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

Lois E. Wixted, retired confidential executive assistant for the Personnel Department, Danbury, Conn., Sept. 14, 2012

CLASS NOTES

1960s

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.

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 uperintendent 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.

1960s

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.

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 uperintendent 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.

1970s

Dr. Joann M. Altieri Price '73 (BS, Nursing) closed her solo practice of gynecology in 2009 and is now retired. She enjoys classical music and reading. Her daughter, Katie, who has a master's degree in genetics, is engaged to be married in May.

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 the 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 there.

Linda Scott-Hennerbichler '76 (BA, Speech and Theatre) performed in musical comedies and dramas all over the country with Jerry Mathers and Tony Dow, Shirley Jones and Shawn Cassidy, Bob Denver, Dawn Wells, Kathy Garver and Burt Reynolds. Eventually, she went into television. She was co-host for the nationally syndicated show PM MAGAZINE out of Tampa, Fla., and was a news anchor and documentary producer. She covered the southern no-fly zone in Dharahan, Saudi Arabia.

Ray P. Boa '77 (BBA, Business Administration), owner of A&J Construction, a major paving company in Connecticut, 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 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.

Attorney Robert J. Yamin '79 (BA, Political Science), a partner in the Danbury law firm of Yamin and Yamin, was a member of the Connecticut delegation representing the Republican Party that attended the 2012 national convention in Tampa, Fla., in August.

1980s

Michael J. Fitzgerald '80, '93 (BM, Music; MBA) was awarded New Milford teacher of the Year in August. He and his wife, Margaret (Cull) '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.


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 www.chicapeeps.com.

 

Chris G. Durante '82 (BA, Graphic Design) exhibited his work in April 2013 entitled, "Ball Players," at the Gallery at Still River Editions in Danbury. Durante used ink and collage elements to express his nearly life-long interest in baseball with stylized, comic book-influenced figures. He owns Chris Durante Framing in Danbury, is a member of the Silvermine Guild of Artists and teaches drawing as an adjunct professor of studio art at Norwalk Community College.

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.

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.

Lynda C. Lee Arnold '85 (BA, Social Work) has been employed at the law firm Moots Pellegrini, P.C. in New Milford since 2001. She specializes in divorce and family law, personal injury litigation and real estate.

Veronica (Cizik) Erdmann '85, '94 (BBA, Finance; MBA) became a certified bird-feeding specialist in 2012 at Wild Birds Unlimited in Brookfield.

Dr. Marguerite S. Aldrich '86, '93, '01, '12 (BA, Business; MS, Education; MS, Counselor Education; EdD, Instructional Leadership) was appointed assistant professor of mathematics at WCSU in August 2012.

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 on 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.

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 www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com/. 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.

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.

Karyn M. (Vaivoda) Randlette '88 (BS, Elementary Education) became involved in the field of early childhood education after graduation, where she started as a teacher's assistant. Within 10 years, she worked her way up to director, running corporate child care centers and getting them accredited under the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children). In 2007, she changed careers and returned to teaching, where she taught first grade in Oxford. Another big career jump came shortly and surprisingly thereafter when she was offered a job teaching family and consumer science at North End Middle School in Waterbury. She is currently enrolled in Post University as a graduate student in human services. Her two oldest daughters are enrolled at Central Connecticut State University and her youngest is a sophomore at Oxford High School.

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 Amazon.com 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.

1990s

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.

Christine (Barvinski) Palmer '90 (BA, Communication and Theatre Arts/Human Relations) worked for many years in sales and finance until she decided she needed a change. In 2009, she earned her RN at Dutchess Community College and has been working as a nurse ever since. She was also married in July 2012. She plans to go back to WCSU this fall to work towards her BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) degree. Her youngest daughter is also going to be enrolled as a full time student at Western.

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. 

Louis A. Agnello Jr., '92 (BA, English Writing) self-published his first novel, “The Magic Glove,” the story of a struggle between God and Satan over the soul of a baseball player who found an old baseball glove that magically turned him into a great player.

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.

Danbury Mayor Mark D. Boughton '95 (MS, Elementary Education) was a member of the Connecticut delegation representing the Republican Party that attended the 2012 national convention in Tampa, Fla., in August.

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 (www.sistersinscript.org). Visit her website at www.marchfarmthebook.com. McMillen lives in Bethlehem, Conn.

Alain J. Picard '97 (BA, Graphic Design) exhibited his collection “In View” at the The Good News Cafe and Gallery in Southbury from Sept. 11 through Nov. 27. “In View” is a collection of landscape, portrait, figure and still life paintings, diverse in subject matter, yet coalescing to reveal a unified visual perception one that is hopeful and compassionate, filled with wonder and bathed in light.

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 Couseling) 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.

 

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.

 

2000s

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  board member. Cucurullo played baseball at WCSU from 98-99.

Amy E. (Matthews) McKenna '00 (BA, Social Work) will be 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 Nima@primeres.com. 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.

Tim Sohn '01 (BA, Spanish) owns Sohn Social Media Solutions, which provides social media education and marketing services to small businesses. He is trying to win a small business grant from FedEx, and he needs your help. The FedEx Small Business Grant Contest will award $50,000 total to 10 small business owners to encourage innovation. The grand prize winner will receive $25,000.  It is Sohn's dream to open a social media training center here in northeastern Pennsylvania, where he can hold classes for businesses and the public on social media platforms and strategies. Classes would be offered both on-site and online.  Sohn's initial application to the contest was accepted, and now he needs your help to get to the next step in the contest. You can vote for Sohn's entry every day until Feb. 23, 2014 at: http://smallbusinessgrant.fedex.com/Gallery/Detail/5d4832d3-f8ce-4b68-9e4b-720cf36941db/, and click on "Vote for This Business." After this round of the contest, the top 100 contestants will be selected, partially based on the number of votes online. Contest winners will be announced March 24.  Sohn Social Media Solutions provides social media classes and marketing services to small businesses in northeastern Pennsylvania and around the world. For more information, visit Sohn Social Media Solutions on Facebook, on Twitter @editortim and online at http://www.SohnSocialMediaSolutions.com.

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.

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.

Shawn P. Emmerson '04 (BBA, Finance) owns The Bicycle Center in Brookfield. After working there since he was 15, he purchased the shop the year he graduated.

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."

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 http://www.lionheartconsultingllc.com/ for more information. McKee can be contacted at sissy.mckee@outlook.com and 203-685-5004. You can connect with her on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/sissymckee.

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. Along with her own artwork, Nancy now represents other artists and artisans. Additional information can be found at www.cassidygallery.com.

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.

Sarah P. Haynes '05, '10 (BS, Elementary Education: English; MS, Education) is engaged to Adam Cefaloni. A July wedding is planned.

William R. Burgess '06 (BA, History) accepted a new job teaching third and fourth grades at the Heath School, a small elementary school in rural Massachusetts.

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.

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.

Joseph W. Sullivan '07 (BA, History) became engaged to Meghan Piebes. They met while working at Green Chimneys in Brewster, N.Y. A July wedding is planned.

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 (EdD, Instructional Technology) is the new superintendent of schools for Connecticut Region 12 that includes Bridgewater, Roxbury and Washington.

Erik Ofgang '08 (BA, History) is pursuing an MFA at Western and is the editor of a new literary journal that is being launched by the MFA Program in Creative and Professional Writing in collaboration with Dr. Leslie Lindenauer and museum studies students. The journal is called "Poor Yorick: A Journal of Rediscovered Objects" and will publish multigenre and multimedia works inspired by lost and forgotten objects and images of material culture from the past and present.
www.facebook.com/pooryorickjournal.com
https://twitter.com/PYJournal.

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), Rogers Park Middle School science teacher, was named Danbury Public School's 2013 Teacher of the Year. Zaleta is currently a candidate for a doctorate in education in instructional leadership at WCSU. 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.

Karen Bartone '09 (MFA, Art) presented on the techniques and enjoyment of plein air painting at Kellogg Environmental Center in Derby in June 2013. Plein air painting is a French expression meaning “in the open air.” Participants learned how to set up and paint the scenery around the pond at Osbornedale State Park using the water, creatures and fields for inspiration. Bartone is an art professor at Eastern Connecticut State University.

WestConn Sweethearts Michelle L. Knipple '10 (BS, Elementary Education: Mathematics) and Kevin R. Fiore '09 (BBA, Management) are engaged to be married. A June 2013 wedding is planned.

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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K04PTh4ITS8&feature=youtu.be

Perry H. Obee '09 (MFA, Art) exhibited at the H. Pelham Curtis Gallery in the New Canaan Library in December. The exhibition, "Spaces," featured oil paintings of an abstract nature, rich in saturated color and mood.

Natasha Panzer '09 (MA, English) published her first book, “Spontaneous Joyful Natural Birth” (Hale 2012). It is a collection of positive, natural birth stories and a guide to the beauty and benefits of natural delivery.

Tracy L. Powers '09 (MFA, Art) exhibited her work, “Utopia,” at the First Street Gallery, located in the heart of Chelsea, New York City. Through “Utopia,” Powers explores our fascination with the amusement park experience depicting the modern American condition where happiness is monetary and spirituality is the defiance of our physical limitations. This collection of work explores this new frontier of American culture, where the beauty of the natural world is denied in favor of an artificial utopia.

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 www.facebook.com/paraguaylibraryproject. Rosario plans to enroll in graduate school this fall to study international relations/international affairs.

Regina B. Siergiej '09 (BA, Social Work) is doing her first-year Master's of Social Work (MSW) internship at Catholic Charities in Danbury through the University of Connecticut West Hartford School of Social Work.

2010s

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.

Jeff T. Buckholz '10 (BA, Art) presented a post-Halloween show called "Crown of Clowns" at Danbury's Mercurial Gallery. Buckholz paints visceral illustrations that seek to conjure deep emotions.

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), a paper sculpture artist and illustrator, had her piece, "Christmas Morning," featured in the 3rd Annual Holiday Art Celebration: "Illumination of Imagination" at the Six Summit Gallery in Ivoryton.

"Strange Little Books," an installation exhibition by children's author and illustrator
Jamison A. Odone '10 (MFA, Art)
, opens at the Mercurial Gallery in downtown Danbury on Saturday, July 13.  A reception will be held at the gallery on Saturday, July 20, from 5 to 7pm, and an artist talk with Odone will be held on Thursday, Aug. 1, from 4 to 6 p.m.  Odone's newest book, "Mole Had Everything," the focus of the exhibition, will be available at the gallery throughout the exhibit.  [Press release]

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 Nigeriaworld.com., the U.S. editor of Instablogs.com. 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.

Nichole Rizzico '10 (BS, Justice and Law) joined the U.S. Army in August 2012 and is still currently active. Her occupation in the Army is a Human Resources Specialist.

Jennifer A. Swendsen '10 (BS, Nursing) works at Waterbury Hospital's emergency department. She and her WestConn Sweetheart Joshua W. Meade '10 (BS, Music Education K-12) just bought a house together and became engaged.

Brittany P. Connors '11 (BS, Health Education) was named the new head coach of the St. Bernard softball team in Montville. Connors was the assistant coach for the softball team last year when, despite being the 20th seed, it made a run to the Class S state championship game, losing to Coginchaug, 6-0.

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.

Officer Christopher M. Nott '11 (BS, Justice and Law Administration) was hired by the Norwich Police Department in September.

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.

Eileen F. (Skinner) Tavolacci '11 (MFA, Art) received an honorable mention award from Juror Donald Sultan at the 3rd Biennial Footprint International Exhibition at the Center for Contemporary Printmaking in Norwalk. She also participated in the 32nd Mini Print International of Cadaques Exhibition, Taller Galeria Fort in Girona, Spain. Both exhibitions began in June 2012.

Amy Almeida '12 (MFA, Art), Tiffany Johnson '12 (MFA, Art) and Megan Marden '12 (MFA, Art) exhibited in a group show “EmergeCT 2012: Painting Recalculated” at the UConn Stamford Art Gallery in September. The show featured eight recent graduates of Connecticut's MFA painting programs.

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.

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 retruning, 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 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.

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.

 

WCSU Weather Information

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Greater Danbury 5-Day Forecast

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