“Please drop me a line next time you are in Paris; it’s always a pleasure to share my favorite spots with Penn friends.”
—Jon Passaro C’06
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Deadlines 7/15 for the Sep|Oct issue; 9/15 for Nov|Dec; 11/15 for Jan|Feb; 1/15 for Mar|Apr; 3/15 for May|Jun; and 5/15 for Jul|Aug.
Hon. Harold Berger EE’48 L’51 presented the School of Engineering and Applied Science’s Harold Berger Distinguished Lecture and Award to Dr. Drew Weissman and Katalin Karikó for their “landmark research that set a foundation for the mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.” Dr. Weissman is the Roberts Family Professor in Vaccine Research in Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. Karikó, adjunct professor in the Perelman School of Medicine, is the senior vice president of biotech company BioNTech, which is based in Germany [“The Vaccine Trenches,” May|Jun 2021]. Harold is a World War II US Army veteran and serves Penn in multiple capacities, including on the board of advisors of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, as chair of the Friends of Biddle Law Library, and as a member of the executive board of Penn Carey Law’s Center of Ethics and the Rule of Law. In addition, he was the recipient of the inaugural Lifetime Commitment Award of Penn Law. A cofounder and managing shareholder emeritus of Berger Montague, Harold is a recipient of a National Achievement Award from Marquis Who’s Who in America and Marquis Who’s Who in American Law.
D. Jay Hyman W’52 see John Majane WG’58.
Barry Gordon WG’57 see John Majane WG’58.
John Majane WG’58 writes, “Penn Wharton alumni in the Washington, DC, area gathered for lunch on March 23 at Hunter’s Bar & Grill in Potomac, Maryland. Joining me were Barry Gordon WG’57, D. Jay Hyman W’52, J. Mills Williams WG’71, Kersey Dastur WG’71, and Jesse Cantrill W’63 WG’73. The conversation was extensive and interesting and covered the problems with forgetfulness at our advanced ages, travel with using a passport—make sure you get your application early, maybe six months early—and of course the Silicon Valley Bank failure. Lunch went on into the late afternoon, a testament to our desire to talk. Our next gathering is June 22 at the same venue. Any Penn Wharton alumni who are interested in joining should contact me at email@example.com.”
Celebrate Your Reunion, May 17–19, 2024!
Sandra Every Dean W’59 GrEd’06 has published a new book, Beyond Civics: The Education Democracy Needs. She writes, “Failure to teach civics is often blamed for the problems facing democracy. But civics alone is not enough to prepare young people for the hard work of sustaining a democratic society. It is not enough to learn how a bill becomes law. Rather a school should itself be a democratic ecosystem where young people have the opportunity to observe and practice those skills and dispositions required to be an engaged and informed citizen. In Beyond Civics, I share my experience of 23 years as a leader of such a school.” Sandra was head of The Philadelphia School at 25th and Lombard Streets from 1983 to 2006.
James E. Jones GFA’62, a retired professor of fine arts at Morgan State University, writes, “After more than 60 years, I continue to make art. So far this year, my partner Elva E. Tillman and I have participated in the following shows at Charlestown Retirement Village. For Black History Month in February, I was the designated Artist of the Month. I exhibited eight works reflective of several aspects of the complex existence of Black people in the United States, recognizing the all-important African connection. On March 21, I participated in a pop-up sale of a wide variety of prints and books that were self-published. The proceeds of the sales were donated to the Charlestown Benevolent Fund.”
Bill Boggs C’63 ASC’64 has a new volume in his comic novel series about a talking English bull terrier named Spike, Spike Unleashed: The Wonder Dog Returns. From the book’s press materials: “Spike’s is a fresh comedic voice outside the human world offering pithy commentary on our own absurdity.” A portion of book sales will be donated to animal rescue organizations. Bill was profiled in our Jul|Aug 2007 issue for his book Got What It Takes? Successful People Reveal How They Made It to the Top, and he served as assistant dean of students at Penn in the late 1960s.
Jesse Cantrill W’63 WG’73 see John Majane WG’58.
Dr. Marty Fritzhand C’63, a urologic oncologist living in Cincinnati, completed the Brazil 135 ultramarathon in January. The footrace covers 135 miles of rugged terrain and a total ascent of over 31,000 feet. Marty broke his own record as the oldest finisher of the race a few months before his 80th birthday.
Bob Rosenbaum W’65 writes, “In 2021, I retired from the law firm Arnold & Porter in Washington, DC. I retired as a senior partner in 2009 and devoted the next 12 years doing only pro bono work through the firm protecting our national parks. One project was fighting against a development at Valley Forge, which resulted in what is now the Museum of the American Revolution in Center City Philadelphia. I am continuing to work for national parks on the board of trustees of the National Parks Conservation Association. I recently reengaged with the Penn Museum, which I often visited as an undergraduate.”
Joan Segal Trachtenberg Nu’65 GNu’81 writes, “Recently, my dear classmate Jill Sheridan Slattery Nu’65 and I got together to celebrate our longtime ‘Penn pal’ friendship and her 80th birthday.” A photo of the two sporting their matching Penn Alumni watches can be seen on the Gazette’s social media pages.
Dr. Richard M. Spiegel C’66 was awarded the Gold Medal for Meritorious Service to Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons at its annual Alumni Gala in New York. Richard, a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, recently retired from his practice of child and adolescent psychiatry in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Evelynn “Lynn” Caterson CW’67 has been named the 2023 Woman of Distinction by the American Association of University Women’s Atlantic County Chapter, and she also was reelected chair of the Atlantic County Board of Elections for the ninth time. Her article on how to make houses of worship safe for all worshipers was recently printed in a book called Safer Sanctuaries.
James Carnahan C’68 writes, “In the last year I’ve completed and self-published two more books. Midlife Vagabond 3: Sweethearts on the Road, 1991 & 1994 is the third in my series of travel photo/journals—this one portraying, through journal text and hundreds of colorful photographs and drawings, extended romantic excursions in Portugal, Spain, France, and Italy. The second is David Kelly Carnahan, Artist: A Biographical Catalog—the life story of a gay artist told through correspondence, diary entries, and reviews, and lavishly illustrated with hundreds of his paintings and drawings from the 1950s and ’60s , unique work sometimes (inadequately) referred to as ‘Midcentury Modern.’ (Coincidentally, he was the man who married my widowed mother in 1958 and subsequently adopted my brother and me.) Both books are available on Amazon. Meanwhile, I’m still (occasionally) doing architectural design and making custom furniture—and keeping up a thriving vegetable garden!”
Mike Levy W’68, founder and retired publisher of Texas Monthly magazine, has been inducted into the Southwest Advertising Hall of Fame. Previously, he received the Henry Johnson Fisher Award from the Magazine Publishers of America, and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Saint Mark’s School of Texas. During his 35 years as publisher, Texas Monthly received 14 National Magazine Awards, which honor editorial excellence in the magazine industry. Mike was profiled in our Mar|Apr 2000 issue.
Dayton Duncan C’71 has won the 2023 Writers Guild of America Award for best documentary script for writing Benjamin Franklin, a four-hour film biography directed by Ken Burns and broadcast on PBS. In October, PBS will broadcast Burns’s The American Buffalo, which Duncan wrote, and Knopf will be publishing Duncan’s 14th book, Blood Memory: The Tragic Decline and Improbable Resurrection of the American Buffalo. He was featured in our Sep|Oct 2009 issue.
Kersey Dastur WG’71 and J. Mills Williams WG’71 see John Majane WG’58.
Drew Gilpin Faust G’71 Gr’75 Hon’08 has published a new book, Necessary Trouble: Growing Up at Midcentury. From the book’s press materials: “To be a privileged white girl in conservative, segregated Virginia was to be expected to adopt a willful blindness to the inequities of race and the constraints of gender. For young Drew Gilpin Faust, the acceptance of both female subordination and racial privilege proved intolerable and galvanizing. … During the 1960s, through her love of learning and her active engagement in the civil rights, student, and antiwar movements, Faust forged a path of her own—one that would eventually lead her to become a historian of the very conflicts that were instrumental in shaping the world she grew up in.” Drew is president emerita of Harvard University and a former history professor at Penn.
Robert J. Hallock W’71 has been elected president of Chizuk Amuno Congregation and Schools, a Jewish house of worship in Maryland. He writes, “After retiring from careers in law and business, I have found this position to be one of the most rewarding in my life. Although I am not particularly ‘observant,’ it has been an honor and fulfilling to work with our dedicated clergy, staff, and congregants. As an added bonus, and perhaps a throwback to my time as president of the Penn Glee Club, I have continued to be involved in music, but this time in being a part of the musical services at Chizuk Amuno in the Shir Shabbat band. How fun and how wonderful that music can be so meaningful to people in a sacred community!” Bob also serves on the board of the Institute for Islamic Jewish and Christian Studies. He invites alumni contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Art Silbergeld GCP’71 has rejoined Thompson Coburn LLP in the Labor and Employment Practice as a partner in the law firm’s Los Angeles office. Prior to rejoining, Art was a shareholder with Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth.
Nick Spitzer C’72, a professor of anthropology at Tulane University and host and executive producer of the public radio show American Routes, is the 2023 recipient of the Bess Lomax Hawes National Heritage Fellowship, presented by the National Endowment for the Arts in recognition of his contributions to the preservation and awareness of cultural heritage. From the press release: “Spitzer’s whole life has been spent documenting, broadcasting, and writing about the vitality and innovation of American culture—the local, the non-official, the folkloric, and the vernacular.” He has been the subject of a feature-length profile [“Digging Routes,” Mar|Apr 2009] and several subsequent stories in the Gazette.
Dr. Jack Elias C’73 M’76 GM’79 GM’80 writes, “I spent 23 years at Yale Medical School as chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and then the chair of Internal Medicine. For the last 10 years I have been the dean of Medicine and Biology and senior vice president of Health Affairs at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.” In May, Jack was presented with the Keen Award from Brown University, given by the Brown Medical Alumni Association to recognize “a member of the Brown medical community who has made outstanding contributions to medicine, encompassing research, education, leadership, and patient care.”
Janet Millenson CW’73 has been appointed by Maryland Governor Wes Moore to the State Board of Elections.
Celebrate Your Reunion, May 17–19, 2024!
Nancy Lanard CW’74 GEd’75, senior partner at Luther Lanard PC, was presented the Distinguished Member Service Award from Women Owned Law (WOL), a nonprofit advocacy and networking group that aims to empower women lawyers in the business of law. Nancy was recognized for her years of service to WOL, mentoring members, creating its virtual program series, and serving on its executive committee.
Jerry Shih C’74 has received the BraVada Garrett-Akinsanya Distinguished Elders Award for Leadership in Minnesota Psychology from the Minnesota Psychological Association. The award honors “elders who have made significant contributions to mental health in Minnesota through their roles as scholars, teachers, mentors, practitioners, and/or advocates for rights and just causes.”
James A. Backstrom L’76, an antitrust lawyer in Philadelphia, was honored by the Global Competition Review (GCR) for his role in the “Behavioural Matter of the Year—Americas” for 2022. James secured the dismissal of price-fixing and bid-rigging charges brought by the US Department of Justice against his client, an executive in the chicken supply industry. GCR recognizes the biggest antitrust cases each year and honors the world’s leading lawyers, enforcers, economists, and academics.
Hon. Henry Kantor C’76, senior judge for the State of Oregon, has been recognized as the 2023 Legal Citizen of the Year by the Classroom Law Project, which honors leaders who advance the ideals of civic education and inspire future generations.
Brian K. Ziegler W’76, a partner at the law firm Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman, was named one of the “Top Lawyers of Long Island” by RichnerLIVE and Herald Community Newspapers. Brian is cochair of the Corporate/Securities Law Practice Group at Certilman Balin, and also a member of its executive committee.
Roger Kahn W’77, a member of the swim team while at Penn, was part of a world record-setting men’s 200-meter medley relay at the 2022 US Masters Swimming Summer National Championships. He swam the butterfly leg for the Sarasota (FL) Sharks Masters Team.
Kathleen Bell Lee C’77 has been elected to the board of directors for Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity, a nonprofit legal aid organization. Kathy is a retired history and English teacher for the School District of Philadelphia.
Billy Shore C’77 has been appointed by President Biden to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition. Billy is the founder and executive chair of Share Our Strength, which through campaigns like No Kid Hungry and Cooking Matters, has reduced childhood hunger across the US. He was featured in our May|Jun 2005 issue.
Jeremy Steinberg W’78 writes, “I merged my public accounting firm, Steinberg Shebairo LLP, into a larger firm, Schulman Lobel LLP, to take advantage of the synergies and expanded resources a larger firm offers. My practice specializes in serving the arts and entertainment industries, private wealth, and closely held businesses.”
Len Kruger C’80 EAS’80 has a new novel coming out in October, which won the 2023 Fiction Award from the Washington Writers’ Publishing House. Len writes, “Humorous and heartbreaking, Bad Questions is a coming-of-age journey toward redemption and self-awareness, skirting the lines between spirituality, skepticism, and faith—and asking the big questions. Shining the light of a memorial candle back to the year 1971 in suburban Washington, DC, Bad Questions tells the story of Billy Blumberg, who carries guilt over the recent death of his father, a Hebrew school principal. After Billy and his mother move to a nearby town, he encounters Ms. Marvin, a former teacher notorious for her macabre eccentricity. A séance in her apartment veers out of control, leading to a deadly ‘hex list’ and Billy’s discovery of his father’s fatal secret.”
Mike Bellissimo C’81 writes, “The Bellissimo family has lots of news. Elisabeth Bellissimo Nu’15 GNu’19, a nurse practitioner at Columbia University Irving Medical Center’s Department of Pediatric Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine, married Josh Bates last September in Edgartown, Massachusetts. Barbara Bellissimo W’82 recently launched Bellissimo Consulting, which helps nonprofits in seasonal communities build and sustain fundraising capacity, and Bellissimo Creative, which offers modern custom calligraphy and stationery design. I graduated from Case Western Reserve University in May with a PhD in Management: Designing Sustainable Systems. My dissertation is titled ‘Reliability and Resilience at US Hospitals During the Global COVID-19 Pandemic: A Mixed Methods Case Study on the Effect of Leader and Team Behavior on Crisis Response.’ I’m looking forward to my ‘third act’ career in academia in the fall as a research fellow at Case. I can be reached at email@example.com.”
Dr. Ben Kruskal C’81 writes, “I recently moved from Tufts Medicine to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, where I am medical director for clinical integration. I have five kids, ages ranging from 33 to 20. The 20-year-olds are twins, one at the University of Michigan and the other at the University of Maryland. My 27-year-old is just getting her MFA in screenwriting from Emerson College, and the oldest two both work in education in the Boston area, where we live.”
Barbara Bellissimo W’82 see Mike Bellissimo C’81.
David N. Feldman W’82 L’85 writes, “I’ve had a blessed career in law and business consulting. After seven years in large law firms, I led my own firms, including one that grew to 40 people, focused on corporate and securities law, and ranked the number one firm in financings for public companies (PIPEs) for seven years. I’ve also written four books on finance and entrepreneurship. For the last 10 years, I’ve focused on the cannabis and psychedelics industries as counsel and advisor through my consulting firm Skip Intro Advisors and its affiliated boutique law firm, Feldman Legal Advisors. I’ve been happily engaged to the love of my life for the last three years and have two grown children from my first (sadly deceased) wife. While in law school, Howard Griboff C’82 and I bought a radio station in Florida after having led Penn’s WQHS while undergrads. Feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Howard Shalowitz C’83 writes, “Roger Harte EE’83, Daniel Sternlicht C’83, John Vogel C’83, and I were roommates at Penn in 1982–83. Roger and I were members of the Penn Glee Club under the baton of Bruce Montgomery. All four of us were in the Penn Singers, also under the direction of Bruce Montgomery. We have all remained very close friends for 40 years. In 2008, Roger and I traveled throughout New Zealand, and as recently as February, we traveled in western Germany. In 2013, all four of us went to Panama City, Florida, where Daniel works for the US Naval Support and was the president of Temple B’nai Israel—the only synagogue in Panama City. As a cantor, I was asked to lead services and lecture on Jewish music. In January, Temple B’nai Israel asked me to return to for another weekend to lead services and teach. All four roommates gathered for that weekend as well. In May, we attended our 40th Reunion together. I also continue to serve as the chair of the Penn Secondary School Committee for southern Illinois and eastern Missouri. I have been doing this for over 30 years.”
Zoe Weil C’83 G’83 is a humane educator and author of six books. Her tween fiction book Claude & Medea: The Hellburn Dogs has been rereleased by Lantern Publishing with a new edition. From the book’s press materials: “The story follows a group of 12-year-olds who, inspired by their eccentric substitute teacher to think differently about the world, embark on a heroic adventure to unravel the mystery of why dogs are being stolen in their neighborhood.” Zoe cofounded the Institute for Humane Education in 1996, which helps educators teach about human rights, environmental preservation, and animal protection. More information can be found at humaneeducation.org.
Celebrate Your Reunion, May 17–19, 2024!
Brian Rubin W’84, a partner in the Washington, DC, office of Eversheds Sutherland, won the Law360 Distinguished Legal Writing Award for coauthoring “A Tale of Two Enforcement Actions Against Compliance Officers: An analysis applying the NSCP Firm and CCO Liability Framework.” Selected from nominations submitted by the nation’s 1,000 largest law firms, Brian previously won this award once in the 2000s and once in the 2010s. “Boy, we’re getting old,” he writes.
Vanessa Feld W’86 writes, “I recently wrote a book, Long Way Off. In it I detail the harrowing journey of going from being a Penn graduate to a homeless alcoholic and drug addict. I am ruthlessly honest about my eating disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder. I had demoralizing experiences that I would have never imagined, but I’m back.”
Bruce John Riddell GLA’86, a landscape architect, has published a new book, LandART: From Acadia to Zen. He writes, “This 272-page hardcover anthology of gardens features plans, beautiful color photographs, and thoughtful musings about my personal inspiration and creative process. The book provides a unique glimpse into many of the private and public gardens that I’ve designed and constructed throughout Maine. LandART provides readers with inspiration and insightful techniques for creating their own version of paradise by combining art, nature, and imagination.”
Tobey M. Daluz C’87 coleader of the Bankruptcy and Restructuring Practice Group at the law firm Ballard Spahr, has been inducted into the American College of Bankruptcy as a fellow. Fellows of the college are recognized for “their contributions to the administration of justice, their public service, and their integrity.” Tobey is the founding partner and former office managing partner of the firm’s office in Wilmington, Delaware.
Terry Spahr C’88 G’95 writes, “I moved from Philadelphia to Hanover, New Hampshire, in May 2022 to be closer to nature and farther from the gadgets and systems that pervade our lives. Bought a house and some land with bears, moose, coyotes, porcupines, bobcats, birds, bees, and a brook running through it next to the Appalachian Trail. Missed this year’s 35th Reunion due to a priority of clearing lots of trees and creating and establishing a diverse and organic garden of fruits and vegetables. On the professional side, I left 20 years in the real estate field, produced a feature-length, award-winning human health and environmental documentary on the impact of unsustainable population growth. The world release was scheduled for Earth Day 2020. COVID derailed that and we launched a year later. The documentary just debuted on television nationally this April on PBS. In conjunction with the film, we founded and are growing a nonprofit called Earth Overshoot (earthovershoot.org), which furthers education and action ensuring that real sustainability is central to all personal and public decision-making.” Terry was profiled in our Jan|Feb 2020 issue.
Celebrate Your Reunion, May 17–19, 2024!
Monica Taylor C’89 writes, “I have been a professor at Montclair State University for 22 years and am currently the director of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. My latest book, Our Bodies Tell the Story: Using Feminist Research and Friendship to Reimagine Education and Our Lives, asks (and answers) a number of critical questions that are key to improving our educational system. For example: How can we use our embodied stories to navigate and disrupt how schools and society reproduce the patriarchy and heteronormativity within our institutions of learning? How do we transgress oppressive boundaries that permit our dehumanization and exclusion? How do we navigate our students’ trauma when we are navigating the reignition of our own? This book sets out to tell the story of how we have tried to answer these questions in our lives and work. Each chapter examines a different stage of life from childhood, adolescence, first years of teaching, to adulthood.”
Laura Von Rosk GFA’89 has received a $10,000 Individual Artist Grant from the New York State Council on the Arts, as well as residency fellowships from Virginia Center for the Arts (VA) and Jentel Arts (WY). She writes, “Since retiring this past May from my position as gallery director at the Lake George Arts Project in New York after 23 years, I plan to have more studio time.” Laura’s paintings can be viewed at lauravonrosk.com, and she invites alumni contact at email@example.com.
David Glass C’90 was the featured cover story in Divorcing Well magazine’s April 2023 edition. He writes, “The article focused on my dual background in clinical psychology and law, and how I help clients to move on after divorce so they can maximize their second chance at happiness.” The article can be read at https://tinyurl.com/GlassCoverStory.
Jeffrey Modell EAS’90 W’90 writes, “My wife Melissa and I returned to the US after eight years living and working in Vienna, Austria. I took a new job as the chief information officer of Creative Testing Solutions (mycts.org), the world’s largest nonprofit blood and plasma donor testing laboratory. My job is remote, and we decided to settle in Chicago. We recently became empty-nesters and are enjoying the conveniences, fun, and sunset views of River North skyscraper living. #givebloodsavelives”
Dr. Julie C. Yi-Wilson C’90 writes, “My oldest daughter graduated summa cum laude from Penn this year and is applying to medical schools. My younger daughter will be starting at Wharton this fall. She has been designated a Coolidge Senator, Coca-Cola Scholar, National Merit Winner, and Presidential Scholar Semifinalist so far.”
Linda Stolte Steinkrauss Nu’92 GNu’97 is a pediatric nurse practitioner in endocrinology at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Delaware. She is also the president of the Pediatric Endocrinology Nursing Society and volunteers at Innocence Project Delaware. She is married to Philip Steinkrauss II W’93, and her children are Philip Steinkrauss III C’23 and Angela Steinkrauss Nu’26. Linda invites alumni contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joshua Himes C’93 has been nominated to the rank of rear admiral in the US Navy. Following graduation and commissioning from Penn, Josh has served as a naval intelligence officer for nearly 30 years. His first flag officer assignment is as the vice director for intelligence on the Joint Staff at the Pentagon.
Philip Steinkrauss II W’93 see Linda Stolte Steinkrauss Nu’92 GNu’97.
Celebrate Your Reunion, May 17–19, 2024!
Jennifer A. Brandt L’94, chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Family Law Group, has been elected secretary of the American Bar Association Family Law Section. Jennifer lectures regularly and plans courses for attorneys and other professionals on the topic of family law for organizations such as the American Bar Association, Pennsylvania Bar Association, and others. She also teaches a course on divorce for Main Line School Night in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania.
Judy Friedman C’94 and Fred Gluckman W’94 write, “We participated in an event marking the five-year anniversary of the inaugural advisory board for Penn’s Center for High Impact Philanthropy (CHIP) at the School of Social Policy and Practice (impact.upenn.edu). Among the attendees who came to campus to celebrate were Patty Braun Silvers CW’72, Barry Porter W’79, Julie Hinds Franklin C’87, Monica Peisach Sasson C’91, Tim Fazio C’96 W’96, Gary Kiang EAS’98 W’98 WG’07, and Danisha Singh Patel C’99. We are so proud of the amazing work CHIP is doing to support impactful philanthropy and grateful to founding executive director Katherina ‘Kat’ Mylene Rosqueta WG’01 and Dean Sara ‘Sally’ Bachman for their leadership.”
Durreen Shahnaz WG’95, founder and CEO of Impact Investment Exchange, has published a new book, The Defiant Optimist: Daring to Fight Global Inequality, Reinvent Finance, and Invest in Women. From the book’s press materials: “From growing up with constrained life chances and working as the first Bangladeshi woman on Wall Street, to becoming a global leader in impact investing, Durreen takes us on a mesmerizing trek of innovation, compassion, and enterprise. … [Her book] offers strategies for placing women, the underserved, and the planet at the heart of systems.”
Matt Goldberg W’96 writes, “I never got around to sending an update when I got married in April 2013, so why not now at our 10-year anniversary! My 2013 wedding to Genea Sobel took place in Carmel, California, with many Penn friends in attendance, including David Kerstein C’96 L’99, Mike Henry C’96, Steve Leitzell C’96 L’99, Lainie Leitzell C’97, Steve Lin W’96 EAS’96, and Lauren Lazare C’96. Genea and I met through Aaron Zagha W’96, who also attended and gave a great speech about ‘happy accidents’ in history since it wasn’t a ‘planned’ fix-up. Thank you, Aaron! Fast-forward 10 years and we are living in Lafayette/Walnut Creek, California, with our two dogs and our soon-to-be eight-year-old Ahva. I have been working as general counsel for technology start-ups and I help Genea run her staffing and recruiting company, Upshot Talent. I continue to make and sell paintings as a hobby (I took my first painting class senior year at Penn) and also write and produce music in my garage studio (a hobby I never expected to have but enjoy very much). Hope all is well with everyone.”
Matt Wasowski C’96 and Chris Balakrishnan C’97 write, “We are excited to announce that after 20 years of leading Nerd Nite, the world’s second-largest presentation series in the world full of silliness and beer, we have our first book coming out on February 20, 2024, via St. Martin’s Press, an imprint of Macmillan. How to Win Friends and Influence Fungi: Collected Quirks of Science, Tech, Math, and Engineering from Nerd Nite is a collection of 70 of our favorite STEM-centric, fun-yet-informative presentations from around the world, such as ‘The Science of the Hangover,’ ‘What Birds Can Teach Us About the Impending Zombie Apocalypse,’ and ‘Lessons from the Oregon Trail.’ We unveiled the book cover in May and preorders are available now. Woohoo!” Nerd Nite was featured in “The Geeks Shall Inherit the Bars” in the Jan|Feb 2012 Gazette.
Chris Balakrishnan C’97 see Matt Wasowski C’96.
George J. Dickson Jr. G’98 has been promoted to chief investment officer at New York Private Bank & Trust (NYPB&T) and to cohead of Emigrant Capital Markets. He manages the investment portfolio for Emigrant Bank and advises NYPB&T client portfolios, focusing on nonprofits, endowments, and ultra-high net worth individuals. He also serves on the boards of Sarasota Private Trust and Cleveland Private Trust.
Sarah Federman C’98, associate professor of conflict resolution at the University of San Diego, has published a new book, Transformative Negotiation: Strategies for Everyday Change and Equitable Futures. From the book’s press materials: “Transformative Negotiation advances an understanding of power and oppression as core to negotiation, arguing that negotiation is central to social mobility and social change. Bringing theory into action, the book explores the real-world examples that Sarah Federman’s own students bring to class, such as negotiating with courts to get their kids back or with the IRS to reduce late fees. Federman explains how heritage, ethnicity, wealth, gender, age, education, and other factors influence what we ask for and how people respond to our requests, as well as what is at stake when we negotiate.”
Leela Prasad Gr’98 has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2023 in the field of South Asian studies. Leela is a professor of religious studies, and gender, sexuality, and feminist studies at Duke University. Her latest book is The Audacious Raconteur: Sovereignty and Storytelling in Colonial India.
Joshua Schuster C’98 Gr’07, an English professor at Western University in Canada and director of its Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism, has published two new books. What Is Extinction? A Natural and Cultural History of Last Animals (Fordham University Press, 2023) discusses different definitions of extinction over the past few centuries; Calamity Theory: Three Critiques of Existential Risk, cowritten with Derek Woods (University of Minnesota Press, 2021), examines the rise of the field of “existential risk” and methods to comprehend global extinction events.
Meryl Koenig Sole C’00, a researcher and adjunct professor of music education at New York University and Teachers College, Columbia University writes, “I’m thrilled to share the publication of my first book, Knowing the Children We Teach: Essays on Music Learning, which I coauthored with my friend and mentor Danette Littleton. The book, published by Rowman & Littlefield, offers insight into the innate traits of children such as goodness, kindness, needs, spirituality, playfulness, and wonder. Each essay is supported through research and features data from music teacher–participants.”
Richard P. Phelps GrW’01 has published a new book, The Malfunction of US Education Policy: Elite Misinformation, Disinformation, and Selfishness. From the book’s press materials: “’Policy formation’ should be an objective process. However, US education policy is formed by opportunistic ‘strategic scholars’ promoting only their own work. Wealthy foundations, political parties, and celebrity-obsessed journalists sustain this information degradation. The Malfunction of US Education Policy examines how education suffers for it.”
Hon. Eric Johnson L’03 won reelection as mayor of Dallas for a second term. He ran unopposed after serving as Dallas’s mayor since 2019 and previously as a Democratic member of the Texas House of Representatives.
Celebrate Your Reunion, May 17–19, 2024!
Zuri Rice C’04 is one of eight emerging television writers selected as a fellow for the 2023 pilot accelerator created by Women’s Weekend Film Challenge, an organization that works toward gender parity in film and TV. The fellows, each of whom has a complete script for the first (pilot) episode of an original TV series, participate in a three-week training, then pitch their TV shows to HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Showtime, Warner Bros. Discovery, Blumhouse Television, and other studios and production companies.
Kate Lehman Trumbull C’04 has been promoted to chief brand officer of Domino’s Pizza. She oversees advertising, media, product innovation, and national sales.
Lauren Sankovitch C’05 is the 2023 recipient of a Harriet Evelyn Wallace Scholarship for Women Geoscience Graduate Students, presented by the American Geosciences Institute. Lauren is a second-year graduate student in the department of geological sciences and engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno. Her research focuses on developing a more precise dating method for silica-rich sinter deposits, which form around high-temperature hydrothermal systems such as geysers.
David Baron C’06 has joined Seward & Kissel in New York as a partner in the law firm’s Employment Law Group.
Jon Passaro C’06 writes, “The ‘06ers have been far too absent from the Gazette in recent issues, so I figured I would chip in with my news. So much has happened in the past several years, but there are two clear highlights: In 2019 I married my Australian husband in what turned out to be one of the last pre-pandemic weddings (too many Quakers were in attendance to list here; thank you to all who made the trip to Paris). Two months later, I resigned my post as a legal adviser at the OECD—one of those ultra-secure jobs no one is ever supposed to give up (COVID-19 was still nowhere on anyone’s radar)—to launch an executive and team coaching business. Both decisions ended up being among the best of my life. I coach mainly lawyers in large international firms (with a particular focus on recently minted partners). Helping lawyers to better manage their workloads, stress, and teams is not only extremely rewarding but also a great way to stay connected to former colleagues around the globe. I am also active as a speaker and facilitator for l’Autre Cercle, a French nonprofit that advocates for LGBT+ inclusion in the workplace. In my spare time, I have been ski touring in the French Alps, hiking the hills of Tasmania, and exploring all that my adopted hometown has to offer. Please drop me a line next time you are in Paris; it’s always a pleasure to share my favorite spots with Penn friends.” Jon can be contacted at email@example.com.
Celebrate Your Reunion, May 17–19, 2024!
Kevin Davenport C’09 has joined Swire Properties as senior vice president of development, where he oversees both commercial and residential development. Prior to his move to Miami, Kevin worked on some of New York’s most prominent projects, such as Manhattan West at Hudson Yards.
Chris Haaf L’09 has joined Waldrep Wall Babcock & Bailey, a law firm in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, as partner.
Alexandra J. Gold C’11 G’12, head preceptor in the Harvard College Writing Program, has published a new book. From the press materials, “The Collaborative Artist’s Book: Evolving Ideas in Contemporary Poetry and Art offers a rare glimpse into collaborations between poets and painters from 1945 to the present and highlights how the artist’s book became a critical form for experimental American artists in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.”
Dr. Mfon Effiong Umoh EAS’11 writes, “William James Kane and I were married on July 2 at the Pen Ryn Estate in Pennsylvania. The wedding party included bridesmaids Sascha Murillo C’12, Angela Ddamba Kasowitz C’11 Gr’17, and Christina Brose Nu’11 GNu’14. Alumni relatives included my sisters, Dr. Uduak Umoh Andy EAS’04 GM’14 and Nse Umoh Esema C’09 GCP’10 and my brother-in-law Moses Esema W’09. Several Penn friends shared in this special day, far too many to list, so the Red & Blue were very well represented. Bill and I met in Baltimore while I was completing my internal medicine residency at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and Bill was teaching English and special education at Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School. I’m currently completing my clinical and research fellowship in geriatric medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. We look forward to post-married life and plan to stay in Baltimore for the immediate future.”
Kendra Hypolite C’12 SPP’16 and Fitzann Reid WG’23 write, “We got married in 2022 at San Francisco City Hall. Fitz is part of the ownership group Cotogna Sports Group, which purchased an Italian professional basketball team earlier this year [“Alumni Profiles”, this issue]. Kendra is the inaugural CARE advocate for racial justice at the University of California, San Francisco.”
Christopher R. Rogers GEd’13 Gr’23 received the Young Friends of the Preservation Alliance Award from the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia. He was honored for his work to preserve the Henry Ossawa Tanner House (a National Historic Landmark). Tanner has been called “the most distinguished African American Artist of the 19th century” by the Smithsonian Institution.
Elisabeth Bellissimo Nu’15 GNu’19 see Mike Bellissimo C’81.
Jessica Schneider Rollén C’15 and Sebastian Rollén C’16 W’16 welcomed their first child, Evelyn “Evie” Frances Rollén, on April 15.
Sebastian Rollén C’16 W’16 see Jessica Schneider Rollén C’15.
Rachel Ellis Gr’17 is the author of a new book, In This Place Called Prison: Women’s Religious Life in the Shadow of Punishment. Rachel writes, “Based on a yearlong ethnographic study conducted for my PhD dissertation at Penn, this book offers a vivid account of religious life inside a US state women’s prison. It shines a light on the stories of incarcerated women and shows how women draw on religion to navigate lived experiences of carceral control.” Rachel is assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Maryland.
Dr. Tiffany Yeh M’22 is founder of the healthcare materials startup Eztia, which has graduated from the 2023 Embark accelerator program, hosted by REI Path Ahead Ventures. Eztia engineers cold therapy wearables that deliver on-the-go icing so that athletes can perform better in heat and recover faster from muscle strain.
Fitz Reid WG’23 see Kendra Hypolite C’12 SPP’16.
Philip Steinkrauss III C’23 see Linda Stolte Steinkrauss Nu’92 GNu’97.