“While riding home on a late-night train, the words of a Penn professor echoed in my head: ‘At some time in your career, you’ll realize that you’ve done all the good you can do. When that time comes, repot yourself.’”
— Al Butkus G’95
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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.
Celebrate Your Reunion: May 15–17, 2020
Joe Younger W’55 writes, “I have fond memories of Penn. After graduation I enlisted in the US Army and spent most of my service in Korea. I returned to the US and worked in the electronics industry with my partner as a manufacturer’s representative, selling integrated circuits as well as other components in New England. I then became a consultant for 10 years and retired in 1984, devoting my time to volunteerism as a Wenham, Massachusetts, selectman, a museum guide, and a Medicare SHINE counselor (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders). Happily married with four sons, including Jeff Younger C’81; eight grandchildren, one of whom is considering Penn for 2021; and three great-grandchildren.”
Michael Eigen C’57 gave a talk titled “Psyche Singing-Weeping: Partnering Soul Hunger and Our Amazing Beings,” exploring the themes of his two latest books, at the Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies in New York this past fall. From the event’s description: “Eigen reminds us that struggling with one’s personality remains a lifelong task, exposing us to existential sufferings, agonies, traumas, and losses in need of soul confession, if not analytic prayer.” The talk can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/371138432.
Alvino E. Fantini C’58, professor emeritus of language teacher education at the SIT Graduate Institute, has published Intercultural Communicative Competence in Educational Exchange: A Multinational Perspective (2018). He writes, “The book reports on the impact of educational exchange and study abroad programs conducted by the Federation of the Experiment in International Living. The findings are based on two extensive research projects that explored the nature of intercultural communicative competence, its development during intercultural exchange (summer, short-term, and semester programs), and the impact of such experiences on the lives of both students and hosts up to 20 years later.”
Alan Warren C’58 writes, “As a stamp collector, I joined the University of Pennsylvania Philatelic Society in my freshman year and became editor of its newsletter and then president in my senior year. Two of the club members helped found the American First Day Cover Society, which I joined as a charter member in 1956. I began writing a column for their journal and I am still writing it in 2020, and in fact have written hundreds of articles that have appeared in over 70 philatelic journals worldwide. In May of 2019, I attended an international stamp exhibition in Stockholm where I was invited to sign the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists (RDP). The formal ceremony was held in the Hall of Mirrors in Stockholm’s Grand Hotel, the same venue where the Nobel prizes are awarded. The first person to sign the RDP was King George V in 1921. I am one of 14 living American philatelists who have signed the Roll.”
James Edward Jones GFA’62, founder and CEO of the Senoje’ Collection and Consortium, has written a new book, Marches: Essays on My Participation in Major Marches for Civil Rights and Social Change from 1962–2015, with assistance from Elva E. Tillman. The book includes sketches by James.
Richard Krassen W’62 writes, “After 55 years in the insurance business, I wrote a memoir, Breadcrumbs on My Journey. It is available on Amazon, or an inscribed copy is available directly from me by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Dr. Sucha Order Asbell CW’63 has been selected as both a Gold Medal honoree and the Luther Brady Lecturer for 2020 by the American College of Radiation Oncology.
Michael Groothuis W’64 writes, “I had a letter to the editor published in the Wall Street Journal (November 24, 2019). One of the nice results of that letter making it to print was a phone call that I received the next day from Muncie, Indiana. Marvin Rosenman C’64 GAr’66 recognized my name, even though we didn’t know one another at Penn. We had a terrific conversation. We both have kids who graduated from Penn. To get personal … I’m still working at commercial mortgage financing. My wife and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary in December. My 16-year-old twin grandsons visited Penn in the fall. They attended a class with their father, Adam Groothuis C’92, taught by a professor who was one of Adam’s professors 27 years ago. Nice! They’re bright kids and I’m hoping that at least one of them will be there in the Class of ‘25.”
Richard Moll W’66 shares this story about driving a taxi cab in New York City: “An elderly man caught my eye. He was stooped over slightly while standing on the corner of 8th Avenue and 49th Street in Midtown Manhattan, beckoning for me to pick him up. I determined based on his sloppy appearance and willow branch posture that he likely spent the last few hours in a bar. As I approached closer, I could tell his eyes were slightly closed and his stance a bit wobbly. I made up my mind not to let him get into the cab. Past experience taught me that drunk passengers are apt to louse up my day by either not being certain where they are going or not being able to pay their fare, sometimes even throwing up or dozing off to sleep. I thought back to the night not long ago when I wasted more than 40 minutes trying to coax and cajole a fairly inebriated drunk out of my cab. I rolled down the window to verify his state of inebriation. He sort of hiccupped as he asked, ‘Hey man, hic. Would you take me to Claremont Avenue?’ I didn’t recognize that street right off as being in New York, so I became even more determined not to let him open the car door. Would he prove to me he was coherent? Would he name a street address that was familiar to me? I queried him, ‘Is that in Manhattan?’ ‘No man.’ He slowly tortured the words. ‘It’s not in Manhattan, hic.’ I asked, ‘Is that in the Bronx?’ He repeated in a semi-drunken drawl, ‘No man, it’s not in the Bronx, hic.’ I asked him again. ‘Is that street in Connecticut?’ ‘No man … it’s not in Connecticut, hic.’ Finally I said, ‘Where is Claremont Avenue?’ ‘That’s easy,’ he slurred. ‘It’s right here in Philadelphia! Hic.’” Richard invites alumni contact at email@example.com.
Dr. Kenneth R. Fox C’67 has published a memoir, titled At the Point of a Knife. He writes, “It is a real-life thriller about a doctor who invents lifesaving laser technology, his wife’s destructive inheritance, and the legal conspiracy to steal his successful high-tech start-up.” Kenneth is a physician and surgeon, an inventor of patented medical technology, and a medicine and business professor.
Robert Selsam C’68 writes, “I retired after 25 years of heading Boston Properties’ New York office. I am now serving as executive chairman of Edison Properties and sit on the boards of STO Building Group (StructureTone) and Goldman Family Interests. I also serve as chairman of the Executive Committee of Phipps Houses, an affordable housing nonprofit in New York.”
Dr. Richard W. Cohen C’69 writes, “My daughter, Julia Cohen, and I won the USTA National Father and Daughter Doubles Clay Court Championship in October, seven months after I suffered a heart attack during a tennis tournament. I needed two stents and robotic bypass surgery. This is the comeback of the year in tennis! In addition, Clinical Psychiatric News published an article I wrote in the December 2019 issue, titled ‘How I Became a Better Doctor.’”
Dr. Richard L. Cummins C’69 M’73 see Doris S. Cochran-Fikes CW’72.
Celebrate Your Reunion: May 15–17, 2020
William W. Jones Jr. C’70 see Doris S. Cochran-Fikes CW’72.
Thomas J. Madden ASC’70, chairman and CEO of Transmedia Group, was recently back in Philadelphia and wrote of his visit to the Annenberg School, among other city venues. His article in CommPro, “Madden’s Philadelphia Story,” can be read online at www.commpro.biz/maddens-philadelphia. In addition, he and his daughter Adrienne Mazzone were interviewed for the film What’s in a Name: The Alfredo Versace Story. Thomas writes, “In our interviews, we talk about our longtime friendship with Alfredo and the respect we’ve always had for his creative genius.”
Sherman Aronson C’71 GAr’73 writes, “I had a show at the Burrison Gallery at the Inn at Penn, which ended January 10. The work included a series of images called ‘Urban Nature / Green Cities.’ The focus was to explore the importance of green spaces within our cities, to heighten our awareness of nature around us in the dense urban contexts where we live that offer a sense of well-being as well as direct environmental benefit to life around them. Enhancing our perception and conscious awareness of our urban parks and streetscape plantings can support our subconscious behavior and appreciation of climate change and human responses. And travel sketches are great fun. The show also delved into some simple forms, colors, and shapes in still life settings with new selections from the ‘Blue Vases’ series. Using a collection of glass vases and bottles, set against a window with garden views, it challenges our view of ordinary objects, perception of light and transparency, and adds an element of contemplation to the art subject. In addition, there was a small selection of drawings to illustrate the process from original sketch to final color image. Much of the work was created on an iPad, drawn and colored by hand, then finalized and printed in a variety of media.” The images can also be viewed at Sherman’s website, www.shermanaronson.com, and he invites alumni contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Walter Kuenstler C’71 writes, “I have closed my marketing consulting company Zolexa after 18 years and am now a full-time payment recovery technician at GEICO in Fredericksburg, Virginia.”
Adele Lindenmeyr CW’71, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova University, has published Citizen Countess: Sofia Panina and the Fate of Revolutionary Russia. She writes, “It is the first biography in any language of the prominent aristocrat, heiress, and philanthropist in tsarist Russia who became the first woman in history to hold a government cabinet position—and the first political prisoner to be tried by the Bolsheviks.”
Dr. Margaret Seluk Race CW’71 G’74, a senior research scientist at the SETI Institute, was named a 2019 Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Margaret’s work focuses on ensuring that space missions do not either inadvertently bring terrestrial microbes along, which would complicate the search for indigenous extraterrestrial life, or return uncontained microbes or materials to Earth. She writes, “Who would have figured I could link my early interests in marine biology to research on mudsnails in San Francisco Bay … and later to science communication in a TV newsroom—and then missions to Mars! If you just reach for the stars, you might surprise yourself and have a fun time on the way!”
Alima Dolores J. Reardon GEd’71 writes of a visit from her daughter during the summer of 2019. “On July 29, for about a week and a half, Jenna, who is also the daughter of Saad B. El-Banna of Egypt and New Jersey, arrived with her husband from Cairo, Egypt. They visited Philadelphia and Delaware County, Pennsylvania, to see and converse with relatives over the phone.”
Doris S. Cochran-Fikes CW’72 writes, “On November 9, the Platt Student Performing Arts House hosted a Cabaret Reunion Show in conjunction with Penn’s Homecoming. A few of us who performed in the Cabaret (student groups Benny Franklin’s Summer Camp and Short Circus) 45-plus years ago reprised some of our numbers, and the show also included guest performers, material from our May 1973 greatest hits show (converted from cassette tapes to digital and embedded into a PowerPoint), memorabilia, and newly created slides. Current student organization Bent Button videotaped the show and incorporated the slides and music. We only had 15 minutes to rehearse each number, so it’s not perfect, but we’re pleased to share the YouTube link: youtu.be/bX-jUS4jQuA. (The Cabaret Reunion Show video is unlisted and not searchable on YouTube, so the direct link must be used.) It’s two-plus hours, so get out the popcorn, share the link with anyone you wish, and enjoy!” In addition to Doris, other participants included Robert “Bobby in the Lobby” Blake C’72, Denis Elton Cochran-Fikes C’74 WG’79, Dr. Richard L. Cummins C’69 M’73, Barry Fabius C’79, Joe Fillip C’80, Sylvia Friedmann Le Vine ASC’73, William W. Jones Jr. C’70, Sharon H. Katz CW’72, Michael Leibowitz C‘76 EE‘76 GEE‘78, Doug Lipman C’78, Lisa Litman MT’78, Peter Luftig C’78, Rex S. Morgan Jr. C‘77, Michael K. Rosenman C’76, Joseph Sayegh C’74, and friends Barry Cohen and Arleen Goman.
Carl J. Guarneri C’72 has published a new book, Lincoln’s Informer: Charles A. Dana and the Inside Story of the Union War. He writes, “This lively and deeply researched narrative reveals the inside history of the North’s war as seen by President Lincoln’s and War Secretary Edwin Stanton’s confidential reporter and troubleshooter. It features fresh impressions of Lincoln, Stanton, General Grant, and other Union war leaders, as well as new details about military investigations, the cotton trade, emancipation, and Lincoln’s assassination.”
Dr. Kenneth Grossman C’73 writes, “For some reason 2019 was a year of honors and recognition. On a professional level, I was named by New Jersey Monthly as a Top Doctor for the 14th consecutive year. In April I received the Physician Recognition Award from Riverview Medical Center for service to the hospital and community, the only dermatologist to ever receive this award. In September I was honored by the Parker Family Health Center, a clinic in Red Bank, New Jersey, that delivers free healthcare to the uninsured, for my financial and volunteering support. On a personal level, I am also the drummer in a rock band composed mostly of physicians, called the Docs of Rock. We donate our services to various local charities and so far have helped raise over $2.5 million through our free performances. As a result, the band was honored for our community service this year by three of those organizations, Lunch Break, the Zilinski Foundation, and the Parker Family Health Center. I am in my 36th year of solo private practice and so far have no plans to retire, either from practice or the band.”
Sylvia Friedmann Le Vine ASC’73 see Doris S. Cochran-Fikes CW’72.
Robert M. Steeg C’73 ASC’75, managing partner of Steeg Law Firm in New Orleans, was included in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America for New Orleans, in the categories of Banking and Finance Law, Commercial Finance Law, Commercial Transactions/UCC Law, Corporate Law, and Real Estate Law. He is one of a select group of lawyers who has been included in Best Lawyers for more than 20 years. Robert was also included in New Orleans Magazine’s “2019 Top Lawyers for Real Estate Law” list.
Anthony Bartolomeo CE’74 see Michael Neuman ChE’77 GCP’86 GFA’86.
Denis Elton Cochran-Fikes C’74 WG’79 see Doris S. Cochran-Fikes CW’72.
Alyson Frank CW’74 writes, “I have recently reinvented myself after bringing up two daughters, having a career in financial operations at Raymond James, and being a psycho-grandmother to my five adorable grandchildren. I have joined Business Group Resources as an account executive. I, along with other associates, have helped over 5,000 business owners get back money they deserve through congressionally mandated tax credits and incentive programs. I love helping businesses and invite alumni contact at email@example.com.”
Hon. Susan Peikes Gantman CW’74 G’74, president judge emeritus of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, is the recipient of the 2020 Pennsylvania Bar Association Family Law Section Eric Turner Memorial Award. This award honors a lawyer who is dedicated to the practice of family law and who serves as a mentor and teacher to fellow lawyers. As part of the award, a $1,000 donation will be made to an organization of Susan’s choosing. She selected the Montgomery Child Advocacy Project, an organization that aims to end and prevent child abuse and neglect in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, through legal services, advocacy, and education.
Stephen Hall ChE’74 has been named the 2020 Engineer of the Year in the Delaware Valley by the Engineers’ Club of Philadelphia.
Joseph Sayegh C’74 see Doris S. Cochran-Fikes CW’72.
Michael Leibowitz C‘76 EE‘76 GEE‘78 see Doris S. Cochran-Fikes CW’72.
Michael P. Malloy L’76 writes, “I am pleased to report that in January 2020 Wolters Kluwer published the first of five supplements this year for my three-volume treatise Banking Law and Regulation. The 260-page publication includes discussion of the ongoing implementation of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (EGRRCPA); analysis of the continuing efforts at regulatory implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act, in light of the enactment of the EGRRCPA; and, highlights of new case law on the effect of Dodd-Frank Act § 922 concerning arbitration clauses.”
Michael K. Rosenman C’76 see Doris S. Cochran-Fikes CW’72.
Rex S. Morgan Jr. C‘77 see Doris S. Cochran-Fikes CW’72.
Michael Neuman ChE’77 GCP’86 GFA’86 writes, “It has been a busy third year as professor of sustainable urbanism in London, with recent lectures at the University of Cambridge, ETH Zurich (the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Switzerland), and TU Delft (the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands), along with keynotes at international conferences in Barcelona and Malaga, Spain; and Liverpool, England. I coedited Engendering Cities with UNESCO Chair Inés Sánchez de Madariaga for Routledge, and had numerous articles, book chapters, and reports published this year. A real highlight was spending two weeks in the San Francisco Bay Area, seeing sailor, brewer, winemaker, and semi-retired lawyer D. Byron Miller Jr. ChE’77; and returning to Philly and the Penn campus for the first time in a decade, seeing Weitzman School of Design Dean Fritz Steiner GRP’77 GFA’86 Gr’86 and Anthony Bartolomeo CE’74.”
Doug Lipman C’78 see Doris S. Cochran-Fikes CW’72.
Lisa Litman MT’78 see Doris S. Cochran-Fikes CW’72.
Peter Luftig C’78 see Doris S. Cochran-Fikes CW’72.
Barry Fabius C’79 see Doris S. Cochran-Fikes CW’72.
Dave Lieber C ‘79 writes, “I continue to work as a staff watchdog columnist at the Dallas Morning News. But in 2019 I branched out and debuted a one-man play about a legendary Texas newspaper publisher, Amon G. Carter. The play, picked up by a local theater company, was performed 30 times in 2019 and then launched a statewide tour in 2020. I wrote a book—AMON! The Ultimate Texan—as a companion to the play.”
William D. Volk C’79 writes, “I produced a climate-themed game, titled The Climate Trail. The Climate Trail uses the play style of the most popular educational game ever released, The Oregon Trail (65 million copies sold). The tipping point we are now at with climate change inspired its creation. The Climate Trail is an entirely free game, with no advertising, about climate refugees fleeing ever-worsening conditions after inaction on climate has rendered much of the US (and the world) uninhabitable. The game combines the simulation game of the journey north with visual novel elements where characters reveal how and why this climate apocalypse unfolded. The game is available for the iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac, PC, and Linux systems. I was interviewed by the Weather Channel on November 4, and the game has received quite a bit of press, including the UK’s Daily Mail.”
Celebrate Your Reunion: May 15–17, 2020
Joe Fillip C’80 see Doris S. Cochran-Fikes CW’72.
Karen Goodman Mucha C’80 has joined the law firm Plunkett Cooney as of counsel attorney in the healthcare industry group. She works out of the firm’s Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, office.
Ray Katz W’81 WG’82, cofounder and chief operating officer of Collegiate Sports Management Group (CSMG), writes, “Five years ago, CSMG was born. Thanks to the leadership and vision of our board, management team, and investors led by Dr. Harvey Schiller, Michael Schreck, Neil Malvone, and me, along with Phoenix Sports Partners, CSMG has provided significant resources, thought leadership, and value across all levels of college athletics. We will continue to maximize exposure and drive revenue for our clients, supporting recruiting and on/off field performance. We currently represent 20 conferences across Divisions I, II, and III, encompassing over 225 schools as well as the Eastern College Athletic Conference and National Junior College Athletic Association both for traditional sports and esports, where we have aggregated the most substantial group of college esports marketing assets in the world.”
Haresh Lalvani Gr’81 created a 4-D periodic table of chemical elements, which was published in Foundations of Chemistry (December 14, 2019). He writes, “The periodic table of chemical elements is the starting point of new materials and nano-architecture. New developments in nano-design and nanotechnology impact the design arts: art, design, and architecture.” View the table, along with nine short animations, at the bottom of this webpage: bit.ly/2sWqQ4i.
Jeff Younger C’81 see Joe Younger W’55.
D. Anthony Bullett C’83 writes, “My hometown of Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, adopted an LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance on December 17. We are the first rural community and 58th municipality in Pennsylvania to adopt such an ordinance. I began this effort in 2010 and cofounded the group Diversity Huntingdon—Everyone Is Welcome Here! in 2018, which pressed our borough council to adopt the ordinance. Huntingdon was founded in 1767 by Penn’s first provost, William Smith.”
Larry Clark Gr’83, director of the US Department of Agriculture’s National Wildlife Research Center, was honored with the 2019 Presidential Rank Award for his career accomplishments. According to the USDA, “Larry oversees approximately 160 researchers, biologists, and support staff located at the Center’s headquarters office in Fort Collins, Colorado, and eight field stations across the country. Their mission is to find solutions to challenging wildlife damage management problems related to agriculture, natural resources, property, and human health and safety.”
Susan Gilbert Cohen C’83, managing partner of Diversity Marketing and Communications writes, “NBC Today Show personal finance expert Jean Chatzky C’86 shared insights and advice from her new book, Women with Money, with members and guests of the Morris County (NJ) Chamber of Commerce on December 6. I chaired the event, and Meghan Hunscher C’01 GCP’02 is the Chamber president and CEO.”
M. Lee Kristeller Cording C’83 writes, “I retired from work to care for my beloved husband, Bill, who died in 2019. He was the third-longest survivor in the University of California San Diego (UCSD) pancreatic cancer clinical trials. Bill’s participation helped lead to the approval of his drug regimen for use against both colorectal and brain cancers. I will continue our efforts to raise funds for the UCSD program through the annual San Diego Spring Sprint Triathlon.”
Sherry Ruggiero Fallon C’83 has been reappointed to a second term as a magistrate judge for the US District Court of Delaware.
Celebrate Your Reunion: May 15–17, 2020
Michael McKenna C‘85 has joined the Executive Office of the President of the United States as a deputy assistant to the president and deputy director of legislative affairs.
Jean Chatzky C’86 see Susan Gilbert Cohen C’83.
David Krucoff C’89 writes, “Three years ago I created an organization called Douglass County, Maryland, and now I am running for Congress as an Independent in Washington, DC, largely based on the advocacy to create Douglass County, Maryland. We are calling our campaign ‘The Purple New Deal.’ It is outspokenly reformist and nonpartisan. Our primary objective is to win complete voting rights for us, the residents of the District of Columbia, prior to the 2030 census. This is a process that we started that needs support from around the nation as well as in Washington, DC, and Maryland to succeed. Please google ‘Krucoff for Congress’ to learn more.”
Lisa Niver C’89, a travel journalist and founder of We Said Go Travel, won third place in the National Arts and Entertainment Journalism (NAEJ) Awards for her television segment on KTLA 5 News about the Oscars, featuring Kimpton La Peer Hotel in Hollywood, California, and the on-demand, in-home beauty service Glamsquad. She won in the category Soft News Feature–Under 5 Minutes—Film/TV. Two of her other articles were also nominated for the NAEJ Awards, including “4 Women Founders Share Their Origin Stories” (Wharton Magazine, May 17, 2019), and “Polar Bears Can’t Vote, So You Have To!” (Ms. Magazine, November 5, 2018).
Celebrate Your Reunion: May 15–17, 2020
Kathy Boockvar C’90 was appointed acting secretary of the commonwealth last year and confirmed by the Pennsylvania Senate in November. She writes, “It has been an incredible privilege to serve, and I look forward to continuing to work with our outstanding partners at the state, national, and local levels to advance elections and occupational policy and practice.” Kathy also serves as cochair for the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) Elections Committee, and as a NASS representative on the Election Infrastructure Subsector Government Coordinating Council (EIS- GCC). She writes, “The EIS-GCC is a first of its kind collaboration among federal, state, and local officials to secure elections and improve election security protocols, communications, and resources across the nation. Find out more at bit.ly/36ayW7A.”
David Riz GAr’90 has been named principal at Ballinger, an architecture and engineering
firm in Philadelphia, after 20 years at
KieranTimberlake. He will concentrate his efforts in the firm’s higher education sector.
Stuart Gibbs C’91 writes, “This March, my 20th novel, Tyrannosaurus Wrecks, will be published by Simon & Schuster. Last year, I started a new series with Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation, which hit the New York Times bestseller list, and I am also adapting my Spy School series for film at Fox/Disney. One of the great aspects of being a novelist for young readers that I didn’t expect was that I would be invited to lots of author conventions and festivals, where I would have the opportunity to hang out with so many other great novelists, like Jordan Sonnenblick C’91, Adele Griffin C’93, and Julie Buxbaum C’99, who turns out to live just around the corner from me.”
Ruthlyn Greenfield-Webster Nu’92 writes, “This past July, I represented Team USA and competed at the 2019 North and Central American and Caribbean World Masters Association Regional Track & Field Championships, which were held in Toronto, Canada, July 18–21. I won gold in the women’s triple jump, but it did not come easy! I had sustained a left foot plantar fasciitis injury while driving up to Canada from New York and had to scratch myself from my 100-meter and 200-meter dash events! That also meant that I was not eligible to compete for Team USA in the sprint relays. I couldn’t walk for the first two days, but the team trainers worked on me all four days and helped me to be able to at least ‘attempt’ competing on the last day in my specialty event, the triple jump. I had entered the event on a whim despite not jumping in six years due to knee issues and with no preparation for jumping in my training leading up to the competition. Thankfully, I was able to push through the pain and jumped well enough to win the gold medal and leave the championship as the 2019 Triple Jump Regional Champion (age group Women 45-49)!” At Penn, Ruthlyn was a track and field standout who graduated with program records in the indoor and outdoor triple jump. She was inducted into the Penn Athletics Hall of Fame in 2017.
Adam Groothuis C’92 see Michael Groothuis W’64.
Adele Griffin C’93 see Stuart Gibbs C’91.
Leslie Richards GRP’93, general manager at SEPTA, has joined the faculty at the Stuart Weitzman School of Design. This spring, she is teaching a course entitled “Practice of Transportation Planning: Crafting Policies and Building Infrastructure.” Previously, Leslie served as secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation from 2015–2019.
Celebrate Your Reunion: May 15–17, 2020
Manu Asthana W’95 has been appointed president and CEO of PJM, an electric company headquartered in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
Al Butkus G’95 has published a novel, The Woman in the Pinstriped Suit. He writes, “The book is the start of my third career. A follow-up book, currently titled The Woman’s Club, is already in the typewriter, or perhaps I should say the computer. My career began as a newspaper reporter at various California newspapers and then onto doing interpretive writing on the staff of Forbes and Time magazines. Some 20 years later, while riding home on a late-night train after editing a cover story at the Forbes office in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, the words of a Penn professor echoed in my head: ‘At some time in your career, you’ll realize that you’ve done all the good you can do. When that time comes, repot yourself.’ The repotting made me a speech writer for the chairman of Phillips Petroleum, now Conoco/Phillips. I moved on to managing the company’s corporate communications, then doing the same work for Bell Atlantic, now Verizon, and then Aquila Incorporated. Along the way, I picked up a master’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania because I knew I also wanted to teach some day at the university level. I started doing that years ago in the evenings as an adjunct communications professor at the University of Missouri–Kansas City. Another 20 or so years have passed, and I’ve decided to repot again. At age 75, I started writing my first novel. Three years later, it is now published. While I now live in Kansas City, I do get to visit Penn’s campus, mostly as I visit my grown children who still live on the East Coast. While walking the campus, I recognize no one but remember many. It’s still the greatest campus in the entire country.”
Dr. R. V. Paul Chan C’95 has been named chair of the department of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Stephen Leitzell C’96 L’99 writes, “Jack, Gemma, and I are proud to announce the establishment of the Lainie Leitzell Memorial Scholarship Fund at the University of Pennsylvania, in memory of Lainie Welsh Leitzell C’97. Each year, this special scholarship provides financial aid support to an undergraduate student in the College of Arts and Sciences who shares Lainie’s passion for the study of French. Information on the Lainie Leitzell Memorial Scholarship Fund can be found at bit.ly/39TdHd6.”
Rachel Levy Lesser C’96 has published her fourth book, Life’s Accessories: A Memoir (and Fashion Guide), which was chosen as one of ‘11 Memoirs You Need to Be Reading Now’ by Parade magazine. Rachel writes, “The book is a coming-of-age memoir told in 14 essays, and in each essay the narrative is tied to a fashion item from my closet or dresser. In the book, I write about my time at Penn, and my lifelong friends from Penn make appearances in the book as well. I was back on campus in October to record a podcast episode at the Kelly Writer’s House with English professor Jamie-Lee Josselyn C’05, and I did a reading at a Live from the Writer’s House event.”
Carol F. McCabe L’96 has been named managing partner at Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox, an environmental and energy law firm located in suburban Philadelphia. She joined the firm in 1996.
Didem Un Ates EE’97 W’97, senior director of AI customer and partner engagement at Microsoft, has been recognized as the UK 2019 Champion Woman in Technology by TechWomen100. The award goes to a senior individual of any gender who champions women within the technology industry. As part of her diversity and inclusion efforts, Didem organizes “Girls in AI” hackathons worldwide, which are now becoming a formal Microsoft brand. She writes, “This scale will help increase the disconcerting 12 percent female diversity ratio in artificial intelligence and machine learning.” Didem also won the Women in Advertising and Communications London Future Leader Award and was shortlisted for the Dublin Tech Summit Diversity Role Model award in 2019.
Felix Kushnir C’97, an attorney, has been promoted to shareholder at the law firm Shulman Rogers.
Elizabeth W. McCollum WG‘97 of Philadelphia has joined Hana Group as CEO of Hana Group North America. She writes, “Hana Group serves the international foodspace with operations in the United States, Europe, China, and a growing list of countries. Our mission is to become the number one pan-Asian-inspired cuisine provider in the world with sustainable food and responsible service, to help our customers lead a happy and healthy lifestyle.”
Julie Buxbaum C’99 see Stuart Gibbs C’91.
Celebrate Your Reunion: May 15–17, 2020
Sharon Ravitch Gr’00, Professor of Practice at the Graduate School of Education, and Usama Mahmud EAS’10 G’12, technical adviser to the Minister of Education for the state of Punjab, are coteaching a course at Penn in the spring titled “Education Reforms, Design and Implementation in Global Context.” Sharon writes, “Within one day of sending the course announcement, we discovered we’d been awarded a Global Course Development Grant from Perry World House! This grant enables us to bring in high-level policy experts and to include innovating technology-mediated development efforts including leading-edge policy dashboards and systems.”
Patrick Stokes WG’00 has been elected to McDaniel College’s board of trustees. Patrick is president and CEO of Sage Brothers, a consulting firm.
Meghan Hunscher C’01 GCP’02 see Susan Gilbert Cohen C’83.
Kathleen Culver C’02, a food photographer and author of the food blog The Floured Table (www.theflouredtable.com), was a finalist for Saveur magazine’s 2019 Blog Awards in the Best Baking and Sweets Blog category.
Heidi Tallentire C’02 G’02 L’05 is a founding partner of Krauss Shaknes Tallentire & Messeri LLP, a family law boutique with offices in New York and Connecticut. Heidi has focused exclusively on matrimonial and family law matters for the past 15 years. She also serves as an adjunct professor of law in the S. I. Newhouse Center for Law and Justice at Rutgers School of Law–Newark, where she teaches courses on family law.
Rachel Friedman C’03 G’07 has written And Then We Grew Up: On Creativity, Potential, and the Imperfect Art of Adulthood (Penguin Books, 2019). In the book, Rachel interviews eight friends who attended a performing arts camp together as children with a goal of finding out how their creative promise has translated into adult careers, relationships, and identities.
Celebrate Your Reunion: May 15–17, 2020
Jamie-Lee Josselyn C’05 see Rachel Levy Lesser C’96.
Jaughna Nielsen-Bobbit C’05 CGS’06’s food blog To What Place (www.towhatplace.com) was awarded Editors’ Choice and Readers’ Choice in Saveur magazine’s 2019 Blog Awards in the Culinary Travel Blog category.
Tony Sorrentino GCP’05, assistant vice president in Penn’s Office of the Executive Vice President, has been tapped to serve on the board of Visit Philadelphia, the official tourism and marketing agency of Greater Philadelphia.
Andrew S. Dulberg C’06 has been named partner at the law offices of WilmerHale. Andrew is a member of the Litigation/Controversy Department and Business Trial Group and works from the firm’s Boston office.
Jonathan Lerner C’06, founder of Tailored Tours Barcelona, is directing a cultural tour of Catalonia, Spain, called “At the Borders of Memory: A Jewish Heritage Route in Spain,” May 11–17. He writes, “The project has been conceived as an immersive journey across 1,000 years of Jewish presence in this corner of the Mediterranean.” More information can be found at bit.ly/35enDv1.
Sarah A. Eastburn C’07, an estate planning attorney, has been elected a shareholder of Eastburn and Gray.
Elizabeth Kohli Landau EAS’09 and Yoni Landau EAS’09 write, “We welcomed our first child, Owen Alexander Landau, on December 14. We’re excited to bring him to campus and show him where we met 15 years ago!”
Dr. Kevin L. Rakszawski EAS’09 was featured in an article on Healthline titled “The Fight Against Lymphoma: New Treatments Unveiled at Cancer Conference” (December 15, 2019). Kevin, who was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma during his undergraduate years but is now cancer-free, is a physician and assistant professor of medicine in the division of hematology/oncology at Penn State.
Celebrate Your Reunion: May 15–17, 2020
Brian Finkel W’10 is cofounder of D’vash Organics, a manufacturer of superfood sweeteners. D’vash Sweet Potato Nectar was recently named as one of Whole Foods’ “Top Food Trends for 2020” and D’vash Date Nectar was included in marthastewart.com’s “25 Unique Hostess Gift Ideas from Our Editors” list (November 8, 2019).
Nsenga Knight GFA’10, an artist, showed some of her work at an exhibit called Love in the Time of Hysteria at the Prizm Art Fair in Miami, from December 4 to 6.
Usama Mahmud EAS’10 G’12 see Sharon Ravitch Gr’00.
William Shotzbarger C’10 writes, “Lauren Pezor and I were married on October 5 at St. Augustine’s Church in Philadelphia. We met while attending Syracuse University College of Law. I practice commercial and antitrust litigation at Duane Morris LLP in Philadelphia, and Lauren practices healthcare litigation at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC in Princeton.”
Hannahmae Dela Cruz C’12, a home baker living in Las Vegas and author of the food blog Make It Dough (makeitdough.com), won the Readers’ Choice award from Saveur magazine’s 2019 Blog Awards in the Best Special Interest Blog category.
Bahja Johnson W’12, director of global merchandising for Banana Republic, was recently profiled in a Forbes article titled “Meet the Woman Changing the Diversity and Inclusion Status Quo at Gap Inc.” (November 30, 2019). Bahja cofounded the Gap’s Color Proud Council to tackle bias and promote inclusion from product conception to marketing. Read the article at bit.ly/2E317t5.
Celebrate Your Reunion: May 15–17, 2020
Brandon Sosna C’15, chief revenue officer for University of Cincinnati Athletics, has been named to Forbes magazine’s “30 Under 30” list, as well as Sports Business Journal’s “New Voices Under 30” list. From Forbes: “Sosna manages a team of 22 staffers while overseeing the athletic department’s external operations, which include ticket sales, media relations and marketing/advertising; thanks to Sosna’s leadership, the football team set new records for attendance and season ticket sales.”
Brooke M. Rogers C’16 has joined Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP’s Chicago office as an associate. Brooke focuses her practice on Commercial Litigation and Business Disputes, Environmental Litigation and Product Liability.
Christopher Powala WMP’17 was appointed president and CEO of NFlection Therapeutics in July. NFlection is a biotech company dedicated to developing treatments for rare diseases in the neuro-oncology therapeutic area.
Elizabeth Spragins Gr’17 has joined the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, as an assistant professor in the Spanish department.
Dr. Michael Ammar GM’19, an ophthalmologist specializing in retinal disease, participated in Alcon’s Second Annual Retina Fellows Institute, a training program featuring the latest innovations in retinal surgery.
Connor Augustine C’19 has been accepted into the Peace Corps and departed for Ethiopia in January to begin training as a health volunteer. He will spend two years living and working there. He writes, “I hope to engage in alternative educational spaces that work to transform the way we create and disseminate knowledge surrounding public health.”