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May|June 2015

Leslie Koch C’01 writes to announce “the birth  of our son, Curtis Santiago Semmel. He is tall (78th percentile), skinny, and loves to kick.  He’s a shoo-in for Penn’s soccer team in 2032!”


Amaranth Ehrenhalt FA’51,, was the subject of a profile, “A Conversation With Amaranth Ehrenhalt,” that ran on The Huffington Post in early March.


Roy Nevans W’53 writes, “The show [that] I produced in 2014 in [a] New York City theater, Fabulous, the Musical Comedy, completed [its] 100th performance on Jan. 5. At that time we closed for a month’s vacation, some re-casting, and some minor script and dialog updates. We [re-opened] in the same theater at the Times Square Arts Center in February, as planned. The first new preview performance [was] on Feb. 13, with the official re-opening on Feb. 20 for an open-ended extended run.”


Marty Bloom W’54 is a former president of May Department Stores International and of May Merchandising. He writes that he is “married to Glenna for 58 years, [with] three sons and four grandchildren. We reside in Anguilla, Berkshires, and New York.” He is chair of the US Maccabi bridge team for the 2015 European Maccabi Games in Berlin this July. He had been chair of grand master’s tennis in the 2013 Maccabi Games in Israel.

Sylvan Litz C’54 announces the publication of his second book, Man Overboard, a novella. He writes, “This action-thriller and courtroom drama with a shocking ending is available at, a website that [I] established to enable authors to sell their books directly to book-lovers.”



Bert Lazerow C’60, professor of law at the University of San Diego, wrote Mastering Art Law, which was published by Carolina Academic Press. It “covers the full range of art-law problems, beginning with defining art and artists.”

Stephen J. Pollack W’60 wrote in early March, “I have just become CFO of Nano BioMed Inc., ‘translating nanoscience to biomedical applications.’” The firm is based in Locust Valley, N.Y.


Stephen A. Cozen C’61 L’64 is the founding chair of the Philadelphia-based law firm of Cozen O’Connor P.C. In February, the USC Shoah Foundation—Institute for Visual History and Education elected him chair of its board of councilors; he is also co-chair of the capital campaign. With his home base in Philadelphia, he is looking to expand the institute’s presence on the East Coast. He also serves on the board of the National Museum of American Jewish History, and is an emeritus member of Penn Law’s Board of Overseers.


Idaherma Williams GFA’63,, writes, “My new book, Idaherma’s Taxi Tales, has been published by the New Holland Press. [It] has a companion 2015 calendar. This series came about as a result of my travels to New York; the results are my paper cuts and stories of my travels. I also had a woodblock print exhibited in Barcelona last year in an international competition.”


Harvey Ziff W’64 writes that after practicing for over 40 years as managing partner in the Weinberg, Ziff & Miller law firm in Palo Alto, Calif., he has moved his law office to Los Altos. He continues his plaintiff personal-injury and criminal-defense practice under the firm name of Ziff & Cohn with his daughter, Adrienne Cohn. A member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum who has been recognized as a “SuperLawyer,” he now “commutes to work by bicycle as a supplement to [my] usual eight-hour/week exercise program of running, weight training, and a Power Pilates class, [and have] no retirement plans.”


Jeffrey W. Allister C’67, a former partner of the law firm of Allister & Naudon, in January became of counsel to the financial-institutions department of Cullen & Dykman, at their Wall Street office.

Ed Lane W’67 writes, “Under the heading of ‘It’s Never Too Late,’ I’m pleased to share that I have been accepted to the masters’ program in economics at SUNY Albany. I will also be teaching for the certified-financial-planner program at the College of St. Rose in the fall.”


Dr. Richard W. Cohen C’69, a psychiatrist who maintains a practice in Philadelphia, writes, “At the recent US Tennis Association Middle States Banquet, [I] was ranked #1 in singles in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware in men’s 30s, 35s, 40s, 50s, and 60s and set a record because no one has been ranked #1 in five singles divisions in the USTA section in one year. [My] daughter Julie Cohen, former Division I College All-American and top 100 WTA singles player, got the award for #1 Women’s Open Singles Middle States, and [my] son Joshua Cohen, another Division I College All-American, accepted the Middle States Tennis Industry Initiative Award for the Philadelphia Freedoms, as he is [their] head coach.”

Glenn Gilman C’69 has joined the law firm of Greenblatt, Pierce, Engle, Funt & Flores, LLC, as of counsel in its Pennsylvania criminal-practice group. [See Gazette, “Justice in the Bones,” Nov|Dec 1999.]

Dr. John Hurd Gr’69, emeritus professor of economics at Norwich University in Vermont, co-wrote with Dr. Ian J. Kerr C’62, who teaches history at the University of Manitoba, India’s Railway History: A Research Guide, which was published by Brill in 2012.



Dr. Arnold R. Eiser C’70 is vice president of medical education for the Mercy Health System of Southeast Pennsylvania and professor of medicine at Drexel University and associate dean of its medical school. He wrote The Ethos of Medicine in Postmodern America: philosophical, cultural, and social considerations, which was published by Lexington Books last year.


Howard Brod Brownstein C’71 W’71 is CEO of the Brownstein Corp., a turnaround management and restructuring firm based in Conshohocken, Pa. In March, he was named a board leadership fellow by the National Association of Corporate Directors, which provides credentialing for corporate directors and corporate-governance professionals.


Seth Bergmann GEE’73 writes, “I competed in the USATF National Club Cross Country Championship meet last December at Lehigh University, finishing the 10K course in 44:54, good for eighth place in the male 65-69 age group.”

John Q. Gale EE’73, an attorney in Hartford, Conn., has announced his candidacy for mayor (



Marc Margulies C’75 GAr’79, principal of Margulies Perruzzi Architects, a Boston architectural and interior design firm, this month will be elected a fellow of the American Institute of Architects, “in recognition of his achievements in design, his contributions to architecture, and his service to society.” For many years, he has served as chair of Heading Home, helping with the design of six homeless shelters.


Aldonna R. Ambler SW’76 , Hammonton, N.J., head of Ambler Growth Strategy Consultants, in April was inducted into the New Jersey Business Hall of Fame. She also chaired the state’s delegation at the most recent White House Conference on Small Business.


Jonathan Bart C’78 is counsel in the Philadelphia office of Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, P.A., and lives with his wife of soon-to-be 30 years, Mary Kennedy-Bart, an associate director of finance for the Perelman School of Medicine at Penn. He writes, “I am happy to announce the addition of a new member of the Penn Alumni family, as my younger daughter, Allison, is being graduated with her Class of 2015 mates on May 18, with a major in communications and minor in sustainability and environmental management. She has attempted to experience everything that Penn has to offer, from living in the Quad as a freshman and [as a sophomore] becoming a Daily Pennsylvanian sports editor, after which she studied owl monkeys in Argentina. She took a semester abroad at the University of Melbourne and returned to run for and win a seat on the Class of 2015 Board as vice president for internal affairs, where she has played a major role this year in planning and running the Feb Club for seniors. She was in the Annenberg Washington Summer Internship Program in Washington, summer 2014, during which time she worked for the Association of Public Television Stations. This year, she was a teaching assistant for Prof. Al Hunt, a Bloomberg News commentator, in his Annenberg course, and earned a fellowship in the Penn Program in the Environmental Humanities. Mary and I could not be prouder of Allison as she sits with the Class Board at Commencement 2015. We are also equally proud of older sister, Sarah, whom many of you may have seen finish as the $50,000 runner-up in the 2012 Jeopardy! College Championship. After working for the NY Mets and working in the beer industry, where she now knows more about obscure craft beers than almost anyone on Earth, she returned to school as a post-bac, pre-med student at the University of Vermont. Mary and I continue to live in bucolic Mt. Airy and look forward to seeing our Penn friends at Commencement.”


Yarrott Benz FA’79 GFA’80 wrote The Bone Bridge: A Brother’s Story, a “medical/family/psychological memoir,” which was published by Dagmar Miura in March.

Dave Lieber C’79 writes the “Watchdog” column for The Dallas Morning News. One, “Looking at the Man Who Killed My Friend,” was included in “The Best Columns of 2014” by The Daily Beast.



Jordan Peimer C’81 has been appointed executive director of ArtPower! at UC San Diego. Previously, he was VP and director of public programs for the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.


Terry Walsh SW’82,, writes, “I am a vocational expert in private practice, since 1997. I work on earning-capacities and lost-wage analyses, labor-market surveys, and similar analyses for all age groups.”


Julie Cowan C’83 had an exhibition, “Portraits and Architecture: Prints,” at the Burrison Gallery on the Penn campus in March and April. “I have been creating watercolor pencil drawings on architectural subjects in the 1990s and been doing printmaking and multimedia works since 2005 in my hometown, Chicago. Contact me for more information and to see more work at”

Jonathan B. Jacobson C’83 married James D. McKibben, his partner of 25 years, on Feb. 23 at Yale University. They first met there in 1990, where they both earned graduate degrees. Their marriage took place on the silver anniversary of their first date.


Elan Louis C’84, Westchester, N.Y., recently left Columbia University, after nearly 25 years, to become chief of the Division of Movement Disorders and professor of neurology and epidemiology at Yale University (his medical-school alma mater). He and his wife, Vinita, have three sons, Ravi (16), Kiran (10), and Devin is a freshman at Haverford. Elan would love to hear from classmates and friends at

Sean P. Wajert L’84, managing partner of the Philadelphia office of Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP, co-edited the Class Actions and Mass Torts Answer Book 2015, which was published recently by the Practicing Law Institute.



Dr. Peter J. Gruber C’85 Gr’92 M’92 has been appointed professor and chair of cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Iowa. He continues to practice as a pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon. In addition, he serves as co-director of the Abboud Cardiovascular Research Institute, where his laboratory studies genomics and stem-cell biology.


Jesse Deutsch W’86 is pleased to announce that his daughter, Hannah, was accepted to the College and will join the Class of 2019 in the fall.


Dan Bercu C’87 W’87 writes, “Lightweight football prepared me well: I ran 135 miles thru Death Valley, from Badwater, Calif. (lowest point in North America), to Mt. Whitney (highest peak in continental US).”

Jim Espaillat C’87 and his wife, Diane, are proud to announce the arrival of twins Ethan and Emma on Feb. 19. Their big brother Ryan (12) was happy and excited to welcome them to their home in Upper Saddle River, N.J. Jim is president of Delphinus Consulting, a software development firm, and Diane is co-founder of Tractor Jeans.


Victor J. Gallo W’88 in January was promoted to partner in the New York law firm of Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP, where he is a member of its environmental and land-use practice group; previously, he was of counsel there.

Dr. Kenneth A. Barbee GEng’88 Gr’91, professor of biomedical engineering at Drexel University, in March was inducted as a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.


John Reisinger G’89,, has just released The Confessions of Gonzalo Guerrero, “the fact-based story of a shipwrecked Spaniard who became a leader of the Mayan resistance to his former countrymen in the Yucatan.”

Robbie D. Schwartz C’89 writes, “My husband, Dan Goldfine, and I are proud to announce that our daughter, Ariel Shayne Goldfine, will be joining Penn’s Class of 2019! We’re also grateful that Ari has made it convenient for us to fly in from Scottsdale, Ariz., to attend both her future Commencement ceremony and my 30th Penn Reunion on the same weekend.”



Craig Gittleman EAS’90 writes, “I am thrilled to announce that my daughter, Jolie, will be entering the College, Class of 2019. I recently moved from Rochester, N.Y., to southeastern Michigan where I am the engineering-group manager for fuel cells at General Motors.”


Jonathan Bing C’92 has been appointed head of the New York City government-affairs practice of Wilson Elser, a defense-litigation law firm, which he joined in 2012 after serving as special deputy superintendent of the New York Liquidation Bureau. Prior to that, he was a New York State Assemblyman, representing the Upper East Side and East Midtown Manhattan, from 2003 to 2011.

Rev. Dr. Randall J. Forester C’92 in February began his new pastorate as senior pastor of St. John’s United Church of Christ in Kenton, Ohio, “a ‘Faithful and Welcoming Church.’” He hopes to “continue utilizing [my] international-relations degree in mission and development work while serving this vibrant congregation of over 900 members.”

Stephanie Grayson C’92 lives in Manhattan with her husband. She has joined Group SJR, a content-marketing agency, as senior director, social media.

Mark Saloman L’92 has been appointed partner in the Berkeley Heights (N.J.) office of FordHarrison LLP, a management-side labor and employment law firm, where he specializes in complex restrictive covenants and trade-secret litigation.

Jennifer Platzkere Snyder W’92 has been promoted to equity partnership in the Philadelphia office of the law firm of Dilworth Paxson LLP.


Dr. Alan M. Polson D’94 is a professor of periodontics at Penn Dental. In March, he received, as “an outstanding American of Welsh heritage,” the Robert Morris Award from the Welsh Society of Philadelphia for “showing leadership in the field of dentistry.”

Pilar Ramos C’94 was recently promoted to executive vice president and associate general counsel, North American markets, at MasterCard.



Dr. Christopher Hsu C’95 wrote in early February, “I am currently an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer with the CDC and have been involved with Ebola in Atlanta and in Africa. My supervisor here, Dr. Mary Reynolds Gr’98, has also been involved in the Ebola response in Africa. I’m leaving for Puerto Rico for three weeks to investigate critical and fatal Chikungunyia infections on the island.”


Dave Kerstein C’96 L’99 writes, “I am excited to announce that last November, after 14 years at Gibson Dunn and 15 years as a complex commercial litigator, I joined Bentham IMF, the pioneer and leader in litigation funding, as a senior investment manager and legal counsel. My principal role [is] to source, analyze, and manage potential investment opportunities in commercial litigations.” Dave lives in Manhattan with his wife, Erica, and their two sons, Jacob (nine) and Jaxon (six), and can be reached at

Joshua Wolson C’96 was promoted to equity partnership in the Philadelphia office of the law firm of Dilworth Paxson LLP.


Nicole Cinnamon Bohorad C’97 in March joined Under Armour’s digital-marketing team in Baltimore, where she leads content distribution and analytics. Most recently, she led Capital One’s social-media marketing-engagement team in McLean, Va.


Danielle DeRose Amari C’98 and her husband, Matt, are thrilled to announce the birth of their first child, Emma Sophia, on April 22 of last year. They live on Long Island. “[We] can’t wait to bring Emma, future member of the Class of 2036, to campus to explore!”

Dr. Joel Laudenbach D’98 GD’04 maintains a private oral-medicine referral practice in Beverly Hills, Calif. In January, he became president of the Southern California Academy of Oral Pathology. This year and last year, he was selected as a “Southern California Super Dentist” by Los Angeles magazine.

Michael Schleigh C’98 was recently elected president of Lansdowne (Pa.) Borough Council. He is currently a litigation associate in the King of Prussia office of Forry Ullman PC.


Jennie Pries Friend W’99 and Adam Dale Friend WG’05 are thrilled to announce the birth of their son, Jack Milton Friend, who arrived on Feb. 24. He was welcomed by his older sister, Jamie Pries Friend, and joined his family living in New York.



Dr. Jillian Lucas Baker C’00, an assistant professor of public health at La Salle University, was recently named a “2015 Black History Month Gamechanger” by KYW Newsradio and CBS Philly for her “groundbreaking work in HIV-AIDS research.”

Jeremy Gill Gr’00,, writes, “I [was] honored to be a recipient of a New Music USA project grant, along with the Parker Quartet.” Their recording of his Capriccio, commissioned by Chamber Music America, comes out this spring on innova Recordings.

Eric Yecies C’00 G’01 and his wife, Wendy, are happy to announce the birth of their third child, Savannah Reese Yecies, on Jan. 2. Big brother Tyler and big sister Brooke are excited about the new addition to the family. Also, Eric was recently named partner in the New York office of Holland & Knight, where he practices intellectual-property law, focusing on pharmaceutical patent litigation (


Aaron Karo W’01,, writes that his fifth book comes out this month from Simon & Schuster: “Galgorithm is a young-adult novel about Shane Chambliss, a high-school senior who devises a mysterious formula to help his classmates find love.”

Leslie Koch C’01 writes, “My husband, Jake Semmel, and I are proud to announce the birth of our son, Curtis Santiago Semmel, on Dec. 5 in New York. He is tall (78th percentile), skinny, and loves to kick. He’s a shoo-in for Penn’s soccer team in 2032! Curtis loves to play with other alumni babies, including those of Nidhi G. Ruy C’01 and of Sharon Han C’01 L’06. He lives in Long Island City; mom is director of social-media research at HBO.”

D’Arcy F. Rudnay G’01 in March was promoted to executive vice president of the Comcast Corporation, where she had served as chief communications officer and senior vice president; she is the first woman in the company’s history to be appointed to that level. Last year, she was inducted into PR Week magazine’s Hall of Fame and was named “the nation’s top woman in public relations”; she has been included among the “Most Powerful Women in Cable” for the past five years by CableFax magazine.

Matt Thornton C’01 G’03 is the new communications director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.


Joshua Carle C’02 and Jessica S. Carle Nu’07 GNu’12 are thrilled to announce the birth of their son, Maxwell William Carle, on Jan. 26. “Max is already sporting his Penn onesie and can’t wait for his first trip to campus.” Josh recently began working for Pfizer in New York as a director of portfolio and decision analysis in their oncology and vaccines group, while Jess continues to work in central New Jersey as a nurse anesthetist.

Dr. Mariel Focseneanu C’02 married Dr. Eric Karlin on Dec. 13 in Hollywood, Fla. They celebrated with 130 of their friends and family, including Sharon Appelbaum C’02, Dr. Monica Lee C’02, and Dr. Jeremy Brauer M’07. After a “fabulous wedding weekend,” Mariel and Eric traveled to St. Lucia for their honeymoon. They are both affiliated with Westchester Medical Center: she is a pediatric and adolescent gynecologist and he is an allergist and immunologist. They live in Tarrytown, N.Y.

Rosanna McCalips L’02 was promoted to partner in the Washington office of the law firm of Jones Day where she practices civil litigation. She lives in McLean, Va., with her husband, Chris Vergonis, and their three-year-old son, Connor.


Ross Clark C’04 writes, “I have been promoted to senior director, business development and strategy, at Condé Nast Entertainment, [a] new division at Condé Nast that develops filmed-entertainment content for film, television, and digital video.”



Adam Dale Friend WG’05 see Jennie Pries Friend W’99.

Gregory B. Muller C’05, Philadelphia, has been promoted to chief operating officer and partner of SSH Real Estate, a commercial real-estate firm in the Philadelphia region.


Jessica S. Carle Nu’07 GNu’12 see Joshua Carle C’02.


Chandler Craig Baker C’08, an associate attorney with Kelly Hart & Hallman in Austin, Tex., wrote Alive, her first novel, a “young-adult thriller with a touch of horror,” which will be published next month by Disney-Hyperion.

Meredith Finn C’08 and Steven Finn W’08 GEng’10 WG’16 are proud to announce the birth of their daughter, Harper Zoey Finn, on Dec. 8. “Harper has been busy playing with her new friends and family, including Caren Levine W’81, Brian Finn W’82, Matthew Levine C’07, Lindsay Janowitz Levine C’07 L’10, Arden Finn C’10, Marissa Finn C’12, Bruce Levine C’78 M’82, Aileen Meshover Levine Nu’80 GNu’86, Lisa Finn WG’85, Jason Levine C’05 L’09, Evan Levine L’16 WG’16, and Brett Levine W’13. Currently living in Center City Philadelphia, Harper has the pleasure of weekly stroller rides around Wharton’s MBA Pub on Thursday nights.”


Jasmine Nichole Cobb ASC’09, an assistant professor of communication studies at Northwestern University, wrote Picture Freedom: Remaking Black Visuality in the Early Nineteenth Century, which was published by the New York University Press this year.


Gabriella Kim Nu’12 is a public-health nurse home visitor with Nurse Family Partnership Philadelphia, providing health education and support to underprivileged first-time mothers in Philadelphia. She published her first paper, “Outcomes of a Hospital-Based Employee Lactation Program,” which was co-written with her professor Dr. Diane Spatz Nu’86 GNu’89 Gr’95 and Dr. Elizabeth Brendle Froh Gr’14. Gabriella lives in the Graduate Hospital area of Philadelphia.


Jake Gutman C’14 wrote in early March, “I have been at Queen’s University Belfast since September, working as a research assistant for Prof. Beverly Milton-Edwards, a noted expert on Islamist movements and Middle Eastern politics, which has entailed working on a book about the Muslim Brotherhood since the Arab Spring. [This] has been a very interesting and fulfilling experience and I hope to see it through to publication later this year.” He has been selected as a “junior fellow for 2015-16 in the democracy and rule of law program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace [in Washington].”

Ta-You Huang LPS’14 and Yixiu Zheng LPS’14 announce their engagement. They met they first day of school at Penn and plan to marry in 2016.

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