“Last summer I completed a 150-mile bike ride, over three days, from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland, on the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) bike trail.”
—Seth D. Bergmann GEE’73
Celebrate Your Reunion, May 13–16, 2022!
Penn Alumni is planning a combined reunion for those who missed theirs in 2020 and 2021, along with those celebrating reunions in 2022 (classes ending in 0, 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7). Visit www.alumni.upenn.edu/alumniweekend for more information.
We Want to Hear from You
Please include your school and year, along with your address and a daytime telephone number. We include email addresses only when requested or obviously implied.
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.
Shirley Magitson Grallnick Ed’53 shares this poem, titled “The Garage”: “The garage, / A spiritual shelter. / Breezes spilling in / Throughout the day / Like an empty closet / That holds clothed memories. / Tell me about those joyful days of / Roller skates and fishing rods. / A sprinkling can / Sleeps on the floor. / This is my holy place / Soothing and composed / Two folding chairs / Stationed near the giant opening / Observe neighbors strutting by. / The morning paper still unread / Cast shadows on a white / Wasted wall. / Dusty wooden shelves / Climbing upward / Toward a ceiling light / Clothed in lacy spider webs. / No longer lonely / And confused / Feeling gleeful and free / The outside world is magical, / Memorable, and unparalleled. / My garage is holy; / My spiritual shelter!”
Dr. Lawrence Harte D’57 has published his fourth book, Listen Up!: Musings and Cartoons. From the book’s description, “Dr. Harte presents vignettes, art, and musings about life that nudge readers of all ages toward ethical and joyful behavior.” His other books are Brooklyn-ese Proverbs & Cartoons, Journey with Grandchildren, and Oh, My Aching Head. He writes, “I spent my career in orthodontics, was chair of the New Jersey Public Health Council, and represented our specialty for 20 years in Washington, DC. Kathy and I spend our free time visiting over 110 countries. I will send a free book to members of the Class of ‘57 Dental who request it at firstname.lastname@example.org. Availability is limited and all net proceeds go to charity.”
Robert Cassway Ar’58 has released a memoir, This Is My Story and I’m Sticking with It. He writes, “This tale is about how I evolved into an architect, and some of the buildings I designed along the way. A significant portion of the book is about my years at Penn, and the people at the School of Fine Arts who helped me. Without Dean Holmes Perkins Hon’72, Louis Kahn Ar’24 Hon’71, George Qualls, and others, I would never have developed a love for architectural design and the profession of architecture. In addition, during my senior year, I had the great experience of documenting all the structural drawings for Louis Kahn’s Richards Medical Research Laboratories on Hamilton Walk, while working part-time at Keast & Hood, Kahn’s structural engineer. As architecture is a visual art, there are many photographs to supplement the story regarding a particular building or event within the book, and it is dedicated to friends and teachers who, knowingly or unknowingly, helped me over the years. Lastly, I dedicated this book to the many fine clients that I had during my professional career. Many of the buildings that I speak about in this book would never have existed without them.”
Dr. Richard Stockton Weeder M’62 writes, “I published Surgeon: The View from Behind the Mask in 1988. I was invited to Oprah Winfrey’s show to discuss the book, and it was a bestseller with 20,000 copies sold in two editions. In 2006, I published The Key to Cancer, which explains the importance of immunity in cancer. Seven hundred copies were purchased by the Abramson Cancer Center at Penn, and chief of staff Dr. Joseph Carver GM’77 endorsed the book in 2019. In 2020, I published a memoir, Crowded with Luck. A sequel is almost ready for publication. Currently, I am publishing a third edition of The Key under the title The Key to Preventing and Overcoming Cancer. Meanwhile, The Key is being translated into German, Spanish, Portuguese, and Polish. I have a blog at rwcancer.org/blog, where I post articles weekly on cancer, humor, and general interest.”
Hon. Marjorie Margolies CW’63, a former congresswoman and current lecturer in political science at the Annenberg School for Communication, has published a new memoir on politics, international affairs, and her story of raising 11 children, including five refugees adopted from Vietnam and Korea. It is titled And How Are the Children: Timeless Lessons from the Frontlines of Motherhood After Raising a Family of Adopted, Homegrown, Step, and Sponsored Kids. Marjorie was profiled in our Jul|Aug 2011 issue for her work with Women’s Campaign International.
Alan Sukoenig C’63 writes, “Tapes that the late David Shrier C’61 and I recorded on the Penn campus in 1962 and 1964 of the extraordinary Philadelphia jazz pianist and composer Hasaan Ibn Ali were released by Omnivore Recordings on November 19, under the title Hasaan Ibn Ali: Retrospect in Retirement of Delay: The Solo Recordings. The release consists of 21 tracks. Hasaan Ibn Ali was known among just a small circle of Philadelphia jazz musicians, including John Coltrane and McCoy Tyner, and is said to have exerted an important influence upon them. Only a single record of his playing was released in his lifetime: The Max Roach Trio Featuring the Legendary Hasaan, released on Atlantic in 1965. He died in 1980. Dave recorded Hasaan in a lounge in Hill College House, then known as the Women’s Dormitory, in June 1962, and I recorded him there and in Houston Hall’s lounge in October 1964. I’d love to hear from anyone who remembers being present at one of the sessions. I can be reached at email@example.com.”
Rabbi Nason Goldstein C’64 reflects on the 50th anniversary of his ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America: “Fifty years is a long time. It constitutes a lifetime. During these years, I served congregations, established a Jewish hospice program, and instituted a Jewish educational program for newly arrived Russian teens. After ordination, I assumed the stance of Aaron to whom the people flocked when Moses was delayed from descending Mount Sinai. It took me several years until I realized that I had to become like Moses: I had to go out to the members before they would come to me. Midway through my career, I enrolled in clinical pastoral education, a Christian training program for chaplains. There, I had to modify my interpretation of Judaism’s emphasis on the intellectual at the expense of the emotional. I then understood what a bereaved mother said to me at the funeral of her newborn: ‘Your tears meant so much to me.’ Training with clergy of other faith traditions opened my theological beliefs. As much as I loved Jewish tradition, I realized that Judaism is one of many ways to the power behind the universe. A trip to China removed my disapproval of images and statues as tools of worship. In my personal devotion, I was dissatisfied with the traditional liturgy and wrote my own siddur (if anyone would like a copy of my siddur, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org). My guiding principle is ‘Make it a good day.’”
Dr. Edward F. Rossomando D’64 and Nina P. Rossomando CW’64 have established the Dr. Edward F. Rossomando Scholarship in Entrepreneurship at the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine. Edward writes, “I recently retired from the dental school after 44 years of teaching a variety of subjects, including biodontics and entrepreneurship. The scholarship is to encourage dental students to pursue a business school degree.”
Andrew H. Cohn C’66 writes, “I’m teaching courses at the Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement on the ancient Maya of Mesoamerica and medieval Spain under Muslim rule and other topics. I continue to serve as chair of the board of the US Legal Services Corporation affiliate for Greater Boston, and on the boards of 826 Boston, a writing program in the Boston Public Schools (www.826Boston.org) and the Toynbee Prize Foundation, a charity which supports the historical study of globalization (www.ToynbeePrize.org).”
Arthur M. Shapiro C’66 celebrated his 50th year on the faculty of the University of California, Davis on November 1. He is the Distinguished Professor of Evolution and Ecology there.
Eugene Stelzig C’66 has published a new collection of poetry, Walking Through the Four Seasons: An Impromptu Poetry Journal. He writes, “This collection is an experiment in which I took up the challenge of writing poems every few days about my walks on my 28-acre property above one of the Finger Lakes in Western New York. The poems cover the full range of a year, from August to August, to trace the geography of a reflective mind in touch with the natural world and itself.” Eugene is a professor emeritus of English at SUNY Geneseo.
Gregg Huff W’67, who teaches at the University of Oxford, was one of two recipients awarded the 2021 Lindert-Williamson Prize by the Economic History Association, given biennially for an outstanding book in global, African, Asian, Australian, or South American economic history. Gregg was honored for his 2020 book, World War II and Southeast Asia: Economy and Society Under Japanese Occupation.
Myron D. Milch W’67 writes, “I hope to see all of my friends from the Class of ’67 at our 55th Reunion next May. Our 50th Reunion, five years ago, was a lot of fun—very, very, very wet, but also a lot of fun. I practiced law in New Jersey for more than 44 years before retiring in 2015. The biggest and most difficult case lasted more than 18 years. In 1982, I began representing a lady, Xiomara Alvarez, in a divorce action against her wealthy husband, William Engel. After they were divorced in 1983, William and one of his brothers, Herbert Engel, conspired to hire one of Herbert’s employees, James McFadden, to murder Xiomara. All three of them, William, Herbert, and James, were convicted of murder in 1986. Immediately after they were convicted, I filed a wrongful death civil action against William and his brother. Herbert died in prison shortly thereafter. William, however, was able to mount a vigorous and expensive defense. From his prison cell in Trenton State Prison, he spent more than a million dollars on attorneys fighting against the case I filed. He was even able to file Chapter 11 personal bankruptcy from prison and delay the case for almost a decade. The case was finally tried in 1995 and my clients were successful in recovering a judgment of $5.1 million. A dramatization of the case is being presented on the TV show Killer Siblings, which appears on the Oxygen network. I am one of several people involved in the case who appears on screen. The show featuring the Engel brothers was first broadcast on December 17. It is frequently rebroadcast.”
Elsie Sterling Howard CW’68 writes, “The Class of 1968 hosts monthly, hour-long Class of ’68 Friendship Hours, featuring classmates and University guests. These events are announced in a monthly newsletter that is emailed to all classmates for whom we have a current email address. If you are not receiving the emails, please contact me at email@example.com. All of our Zoom event recordings and class newsletters are archived on the class website, www.alumni.upenn.edu/1968. Save the date for our 55th Reunion, May 12–15, 2023. Planning for it began in February. Stay up to date with 1968 by sharing your correct email.”
Rev. William C. Nelsen Gr’71 and his colleague Darrell Jodock, a professor emeritus of religion at Gustavus Adolphus College, have cowritten a book, titled Embracing Diversity: Faith, Vocation, and the Promise of America. William writes, “It provides inspiration, encouragement, and guidance for people to embrace—and not to fear—the increasing racial and religious diversity in our country. In my professional career, I’ve served as president of Scholarship America, dean of St. Olaf College, president of Augustana University, university minister and acting president of Midland University, my undergraduate alma mater, and as a seminary president and parish minister.”
Seth D. Bergmann GEE’73 writes, “Last summer I completed a 150-mile bike ride, over three days, from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland, on the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) bike trail.”
Andy Gilman C’73 GEd’73 writes, “Penn friends have made a big difference throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Every six weeks former housemates Andy Baum C’72, Allison Feldman Levine CW’73, Maureen Daley Schreiber CW’74, Judy Levinson CW’73, Cate Moffett CW’73, Dr. Ed Schreiber C’72, Andy Stern C’72 and I catch up on Zoom. We mostly talk in present tense but sneak in a few stories from Philly. Soccer buddy Jeff Winokur C’73 and I also catch up since I can’t visit him in Boston. I’m still CEO of CommCore Consulting Group in Washington, DC, which provides crisis and media communications. And I’m on the organizing committee to plan our 50th Reunion (May 13–14, 2023), with Anita Sama CW’73, Bill Keller C’73, Mark Maas C’73, and several others. This will be my first in-person reunion and I’d love to see others in our class. Send alumni news and contact details, as well as ideas and willingness to participate, to firstname.lastname@example.org, and stay alert for more info and plans as they unfold.”
Jeff Schoenwald Gr’73 writes, “In December 2019, my wife Sheri and I enjoyed a safari tour in southern Africa. We toured five camps in South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. Our tour leader Samantha hailed from Monde Village, Zimbabwe. When the pandemic hit, all tourism died, and with it, Samantha’s sole source of income, which was also a singular source of support for her village. Samantha and I discussed the benefits of drilling two water wells in her village and building a community garden, which would, in part, sell produce to the local hotels and restaurants in nearby Victoria Falls. I wrote a grant application to the foundation of Rotary International (to which I belong) to cover drilling, solar power for pumping and treatment, and irrigation supplies for a garden. The grant was approved, and I have currently raised close to 90 percent of our local club’s requirement. Construction will begin in early 2022. Needless to say, our wanderlust for travel has been severely stunted for the past two years, but we are now beginning again to explore possibilities for world travel. Who knows what will come out of that?”
Bohdan D. Shandor W’73 writes, “Humor is an important aspect of life. During the isolation and grayness of the pandemic, I started a publishing company, Downside Up LLC, focusing on humor, novelty, and specialty books. I am proud to announce that last month Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers released our first book, Jokes for Grandparents (To Tell Their Grandkids). The second book, Jokes for Retirees and Seniors (That You May Not Want to Tell the Boss), which is scheduled for release in March, has fun with retirement and growing older. To learn more about Downside Up and its future publications, please visit our website, www.downsideupjokes.com.”
Class Presidents Susan Frier Danilow CW’74 G’74 and Harvey Hnatiuk EE’74, along with 50th Reunion chairs Nancy Lesser Lerner CW’74 and Peter Sgro C’74, write, “Please join us as members of the Class of 1974 Reunion Committee. The committee is already over 60 members strong! Meetings will be held two to three times per year via Zoom, with more frequent meetings during the year of our reunion. Please email Colleen Kelly in Alumni Relations at email@example.com if you would like to help with this effort as our class moves towards a wonderful—and meaningful—celebration on campus in May of 2024!”
Claire Moray Leininger DH’74 see Eric Leininger C’75.
Maureen Daley Schreiber CW’74 see Andy Gilman C’73 GEd’73.
Brad Borkan C’75 G’79 writes, “My degree in decision sciences from Wharton has been helpful in the writing of my two coauthored books. My newest is Audacious Goals, Remarkable Results: How an Explorer, an Engineer, and a Statesman Shaped our Modern World. It reveals the remarkable stories of three important yet flawed people: the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen (first to reach the South Pole), the great Victorian-era engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and the statesman Theodore Roosevelt (the driving force behind the Panama Canal). The book looks at what we can learn from them to improve our own decision-making. Also, I’m pleased to report that my first book, When Your Life Depends on It, which tracks the life-and-death decisions made by the early Antarctic explorers, is listed on BookAuthority’s Top 100 Best Decision Making Books of All Time.”
Eric Leininger C’75 and Claire Moray Leininger DH’74 write, “We are now the happy grandparents of Lila (born in 2019) and Violet (born in 2021). Eric recently retired from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University after an 11-year encore career following a successful run in the corporate world (McDonald’s, Kraft Foods, Quaker Oats). He is now an executive coach with Executive Coaching Connections. We are members of the Penn Alumni Club of Sarasota in Florida.”
Jon Sarkin C’75, an artist whose career began when complications from a neurosurgery led to a stroke, has signed an exclusive representation agreement with the Henry Boxer Gallery in the UK. The gallery will oversee the sales of all of Sarkin’s original fine art, as well as advocate for the inclusion of his artwork in gallery exhibitions and museum collections. Jon’s own Fish City Studios in Gloucester, Massachusetts, will remain open to the public and focus on merchandise, prints, NFTs, and commissions.
Robert M. Steeg C’73 ASC’75, managing partner of Steeg Law Firm LLC in New Orleans, was included in New Orleans Magazine 2021 Top Lawyers in the legal specialty of Real Estate Law.
Michael Aronson W’78, managing director at Red & Blue Ventures, writes, “We recently closed our fifth venture fund, Red & Blue Ventures II, a $15 million fund targeted toward investing in the next great Penn companies. We now have 18 companies in the Red & Blue portfolio and $50 million under management. Classmates and former students of mine are invited to visit us at the spectacular Pennovation Center when on campus. We love giving tours.”
Shari Faden Donahue C’79 has published a new children’s book in her series about a zebra-striped whale, A Mask … You Ask? She writes, “I created this timely children’s story to assist young children with the concept of wearing a protective facial mask. In this funny, whimsical, uplifting book, children learn that even in a mask, they are certain to remain uniquely themselves … and one of a kind!” Shari and her family own the Zebra-Striped Whale Ice Cream and Crepe Café in Newtown, Pennsylvania, which was founded after the book series.
Andy Toy C’80 G’81 has been named policy director at the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations (PACDC). He writes, “PACDC is a membership organization that fosters strong community development corporations and communities by enhancing skills and advocating for resources and policies to create a just, equitable, and inclusive Philadelphia. I continue to serve on the Mayor’s Commission on Asian American Affairs (it has been a hard year) and currently serve on two local foundations, the Merchants Fund and Union Benevolent Association, and I am a founding member of the Philadelphia Public School Giving Circle. I was also excited to join the Friends of FDR Park a few years ago as this park, an amazing gem for the Philadelphia region, begins a major makeover in 2022.” Andy was profiled in our Mar|Apr 2015 issue on his efforts to build the first recreational center in Philadelphia’s Chinatown.
J. Noel Hubler C’81 Gr’95 has published his first book, Overcoming Uncertainty in Ancient Greek Political Philosophy. He writes, “Overcoming Uncertainty breaks new historical ground by investigating the conflicting notions of opinion and uncertainty in Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics and exploring the resulting implications for their political theories. At the same time, the book makes a theoretical contribution by arguing that only Aristotle’s recognition of opinion as both subjectively and objectively uncertain can ground a deliberative republic.”
Joe Jablonski C’81 L’87 shares that his novel A Thing With Feathers has been reviewed by the Society of Classical Poets. The review can be read at tinyurl.com/athingwithfeathers. Joe was also interviewed for a story on Penn Law’s website, which can be read at tinyurl.com/pennlawjablonski.
Dr. Stan Bernard C’82 WG’88, a former senior fellow at the Wharton School who taught for 14 years, has written a new book, Brands Don’t Win: How Transcenders Change the Game. He writes, “The book describes a powerful, proven system for winning that leading companies—Amazon, Peloton, Apple, Google, Starbucks, Nike, and others—use to win by playing their own game, not the traditional branding game. Learn more at www.BrandsDontWin.com.”
Brian Tartell C’82 WG’87 is the executive director of the Queens County Independent Practice Association and SOMOS Accountable Care Organization. He writes, “We strongly and proudly support private practice and community-based practice in the greater New York area with significant outreach into underserved communities. My wife, Dr. Michele Bessler, owns and operates Long Island Optometric Vision Development, a behavioral optometric and vision therapy practice focusing on children and trauma patients. We live in suburban Long Island.”
Neil Kaplan W’84, founder of polandpassport.com, has published a second edition of his book, Acquiring Polish Citizenship by Descent: What You Need to Know. He writes, “This newly updated second edition reflects changes from Brexit and is the first ever book to tackle this subject, which has garnered unprecedented interest over the past year.”
Robert Kerbeck C’85 writes, “My memoir about my career as a corporate spy, Ruse: Lying the American Dream from Hollywood to Wall Street, was released on February 1. My debut book, Malibu Burning: The Real Story Behind LA’s Most Devastating Wildfire [“Briefly Noted,” Mar|Apr 2020], was based on the 2018 Woolsey Fire, during which my family and I fought to save our home. Malibu Burning won the 2020 IPPY Award, the Readers’ Favorite Award, and the Best of LA Award. Having gone from an accidental firefighter to a reluctant wildfire expert, I recently won a 2021 SoCal Journalism Award for my essay on wildfires in producer Shonda Rhimes’s magazine, Shondaland.”
Keith E. Gottfried W’87 writes, “I am thrilled to announce the launch of Gottfried Shareholder Advisory, a boutique strategic advisory firm that advises companies and their boards of directors on shareholder activism preparedness and defense and shareholder engagement. As shareholder activism activity continues to rebound from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with the SEC’s recent adoption of new rules mandating the use of universal proxy cards in contested director elections likely to be a gamechanger for shareholder activism, I believe now is the optimal time to launch this firm.” Keith resides in Rockville, Maryland, with his wife Cindy and their two children, Sophie and Benjamin.
Carl Law C’87 see Lisa Niver C’89.
Lisa Niver C’89 writes, “I loved being back on campus for Homecoming! I spoke at the RealArts@Penn program at Kelly Writers House to students who are aspiring writers; and I went to the football game with Heather Smay Fudala C’91 and Carl Law C’87. I am also happy to report that I won a third-place technology reporting award in the 2021 Southern California Journalism Awards for my piece in Thrive Global, ‘Is Talking Through Technology Making You More Human? with Rana el Kaliouby’ (tinyurl.com/LisaNiverThrive), and I sold my first article to WIRED, ‘8 Useful iPhone Tips for Ex-Android Users’ (tinyurl.com/LisaNiverWired).”
Brad Reis EAS’89 GEng’92 has been promoted to president and COO of Q-Lab Corporation, a provider of weathering and corrosion test equipment and services. He writes, “We help companies all over the world ensure that their products will last outdoors. I am based out of our headquarters in beautiful Westlake, Ohio. We have facilities in China, Germany, the UK, Florida, and Arizona. I would love to hear from old friends from Penn at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Devora Zack C’89, a leadership consultant, has published The Cactus and the Snowflake at Work: How the Logical and Sensitive Can Thrive Side by Side.
Scott E. Rosenthal C’90 has developed his second ambulatory surgical center, Integrated Surgical Institute, in Leesport, Pennsylvania. An anesthesiologist and pain management specialist, he has offices in Philadelphia, Royersford, Wyomissing, and Pottsville, Pennsylvania. He was honored again in 2021 as one of Philadelphia’s “Top Docs” by Philadelphia magazine.
Mark Samuelian W’90 has been reelected to the Miami Beach (FL) City Commission, after serving as commissioner since November 2017. Additionally, he serves as a member of the commission’s finance committee and chairs its land use and sustainability committee. As a former national chess master, he actively sponsors scholastic chess across Miami Beach schools. Mark and his partner, Laura Dominguez, live on Florida’s Venetian Islands.
Heather Smay Fudala C’91 see Lisa Niver C’89.
Pam Wachter McAfee C’91 writes, “On January 7, I was sworn in as a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina, sitting in Raleigh. Attending the ceremony virtually were Cari Feiler Bender C’90, Katherine Goodman C’90, and Dr. Katherine Sharkey C’91.”
Dann Sklarew C’91 see Jennifer Friedman Sklarew C’92.
Sherwin Gluck EAS’92 writes, “I’m proud to announce the release of my third book, Pappus: The Saga of a Jewish Family. It’s a collection of [my family’s] letters written just before, during, and after World War II—nearly 1,800 letters from 70 letter writers, all interconnected. It documents the experiences of an observant Jewish family from Polyán, Czechoslovakia, a small agricultural village. Of six siblings, one emigrated to America in 1938, four more in 1940, and one remained behind with his wife, little children, and elderly father. Read letters from children learning to write, grandparents living out their golden years, family, friends, and neighbors—Jew and gentiles alike. Some will become martyrs, others survivors. A few will be enablers, collaborators, and perpetrators. This is my family’s story, in their own words, and it is the definitive companion text to my other books Private Good Luck and As I Remember.”
James Kyung-Jin Lee C’92 has published a new book, Pedagogies of Woundedness: Illness, Memoir, and the Ends of the Model Minority. He writes, “The pressures Asian Americans feel to be socially and economically exceptional include an unspoken mandate to always be healthy. Nowhere is this more evident than in the expectation for Asian Americans to enter the field of medicine, principally as providers of care rather than those who require care. My book explores what happens when those considered model minorities critically engage with illness and medicine whether as patients or physicians.” James is an associate professor of Asian American studies and English, as well as the director of the Center for Medical Humanities at UC Irvine.
Jennifer Friedman Sklarew C’92 and Dann Sklarew C’91 write, “We have both now joined the full-time faculty of George Mason University’s environmental science and policy department. As assistant professor of energy and sustainability, Dr. Jen is enjoying managing the MS concentration she created in Energy and Sustainability Policy and Science, along with her teaching and research. Now a full professor, Dr. Dann is psyched to be advocating for hunger-free campuses and cochairing Mason’s Carbon Neutrality Task Force, while empowering students to practice what we teach to realize more sustainable development.”
Jon Lasser GEd’94 has published a new children’s book, What Boys Do. From the book’s description, it’s “a fun, affirming book that holds no restraints to traditional norms about what it means to be a boy.”
Airea D. Matthews C’94 has been named the 2022–2023 Philadelphia Poet Laureate. Airea is assistant professor of creative writing at Bryn Mawr College, where she directs its creative writing program, and she is part of the graduate faculty of Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Creative Writers. She is also a visiting professor and scholar at Rutgers University in the Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice. Airea was profiled in the Gazette’s Jul|Aug 2016 Arts section, when she won the 2016 Yale Series of Younger Poets prize.
Judy Hutchison Wiencken W’94 writes, “Last August, I married Mitchell Wiencken (my high school crush!) in a gathering at our home in Portland, Oregon. Penn friends came from afar to make it a special day, including Spencer Wang W’92, Jeanne Plessinger Wang W’94, Francisco Bayron W’94 (and his son Jake!), Neeraj Patel C’95 W’95, Shannon Hoffmann W’95, and former regional director of admissions at Penn Bruce Chamberlin GrEd’06.”
Andy Deemer C’95 has been awarded Close-Up Magician of the Year by the International Brotherhood of Magicians, the world’s largest magician’s association, for his virtual magic shows. He was also featured on the CW show Penn & Teller: Fool Us in January. Andy was profiled in our Sep|Oct 2008 issue.
Galeeb Kachra C’95 EAS’95 writes, “I am pleased to announce that I published two short books this year. How I Changed the World: In My Own Unique Ways shares my experiences around the world over a 15-year period with the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). I Also Can’t Breathe: But This Jury Hangs tells my experience as a juror on a civil trial for a medical malpractice, wrongful death case in Seattle. The books can be found at tinyurl.com/books-by-galeeb or your favorite ebook store.”
Lauren Zaslansky Conner C’96 and Eric Conner C’96 write, “Hello from Burbank, California, where the first of our two sons, Alexander (age 13) celebrated his Bar Mitzvah. Our younger son, Judah, turned 11 in February. Many Penn friends were in attendance in person and via Zoom. Special thanks to Shari Bart Gottlieb C’96 G’97, Karen Murphy C’96, and Amy Auslander Sobel C’96, who made the trek to Southern California to celebrate with us. Other local alumni who joined in person: Sandy Rapkin Roth W’96, Josh Payne W’96, Dan Kay C’97, and Kelly Decker C’97. Eric currently hosts and produces The Backlot, an arts podcast for the New York Film Academy, where he teaches and served as dean of students. He recently produced Aswat Acherim (Other Voices), a documentary film about unlikely friends in the Gaza–Sderot war zone of the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict. Check it out at aswatacherim.com or watch it on Amazon. Eric is at EricConner@yahoo.com. Lauren is cofounder and COO of GatheringUs (GatheringUs.com), a start-up focusing on bringing communities together after the death of a loved one. Over the past year and a half, her team has planned and hosted 500 interactive virtual/hybrid funerals and memorials. They’ve also planned other life events, fundraisers, corporate events, and more, as we all figure out the new normal between in-person and online events. For more information, contact email@example.com.”
David Siegel C’97 WG’03, CEO of Meetup who formerly headed Seeking Alpha and Investopedia, has written his first book, Decide and Conquer: 44 Decisions That Make or Break All Leaders (www.decideandconquerbook.com). He writes, “The book provides a counterintuitive approach to help readers make smarter decisions in both their professional and personal lives. I’d love to get your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.” David lives in White Plains, New York, with his wife and three teenaged kids and is host of the podcast Keep Connected.
Jake Wilson C’99 writes, “In my first run for public office, I was elected on November 2 as a city councilor-at-large for Somerville, Massachusetts. Inauguration took place on January 3, with friends and family in attendance, including my wife, Catherine Evans C’99.”
Dina Greenberg CGS’00 GGS’04 was interviewed for New Books Network’s podcast New Books in Literature (November 30) about her novel Nermina’s Chance. It can be heard at newbooksnetwork.com/nerminas-chance.
Eugenia Song C’00 GL’21 celebrated her belated 40th birthday at the Penn Club of New York on January 27. She writes, “I would be delighted to hear from old Quaker friends at email@example.com.”
Dr. Lara Sullivan M’01 WG’01, CEO of Pyxis Oncology, celebrated the company’s recent $168 million IPO by ringing the closing bell at Nasdaq on December 1. As CEO, she has taken the small biotech from startup to a public company in one year, raising a total of $300 million in 2021.
Sara Wolkenfeld C’01, chief learning officer with Sefaria, a free online library of Jewish texts, has been selected as part of Class 6 of the Wexner Field Fellowship. According to the press release, the fellowship focuses on “developing promising Jewish professionals’ leadership skills while enveloping them in a rich network of Jewish colleagues.”
Mike Grossman C’02 has been elected partner at Loeb & Loeb LLP.
Jordana G. Schreiber C’02, a trusts and estates attorney at Day Pitney LLP, has been promoted to partner.
Erin Palmer C’03 writes, “I announced my campaign for chairwoman of the DC Council on September 25. The primary election will take place on June 21. I’m a former assistant general counsel for the Administrative Office of the US Courts and staff counsel to the Judicial Conduct and Disability Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States. You can read more at erinfordc.com.”
Namrata Poddar G’03 Gr’08 Gr’10, a writer who teaches literature and creative writing at UCLA, has published a new novel, Border Less. From the book’s description, it “traces the migratory journey of Dia Mittal, an airline call center agent in Mumbai who is searching for a better life. As her search takes her to the United States, Dia’s checkered relationship with the American Dream dialogues with the experiences and perspectives of a global South Asian community across the class spectrum.”
Miriam Diwan C’04 W’04 has joined New State Capital Partners as head of investor relations. She works out of the firm’s offices in Los Angeles and Orange County, California.
Marissa Sapega C’04 and Thomas Zylkin C’05 write, “We’ve decided to renovate our utility room. We’re planning to add a laundry sink, drywall, new linoleum, and possibly new cabinetry. We found a contractor on the social media site Nextdoor willing to do the work for a reasonable price. We look forward to using our new utility room to give our baby daughter Alessandra Zylkin’s (Class of 2043?) dirty clothes a good soak before washing.”
Ken Hoover GEE’05 has been named principal at the intellectual property law firm Fish & Richardson.
Anne Haskell McGuire C’05 writes, “My husband Eric Haskell and I welcomed our first child, Andrew Terry Haskell, on December 11 in Boston. After a remarkably fast 24-minute delivery, we are all doing well. Our family also looks forward to introducing Andrew to his special aunts and former High Rise East Room 609 residents, Allison Gutknecht C’05 and Nicole Oddo Smith C’05.”
Lindsey Palmer C’05 writes, “I’m publishing my fourth novel, Reservations for Six, with Wyatt-MacKenzie in May. Here’s the premise: A tight-knit group of three couples has been celebrating all their birthdays together for a decade, but when the first of the friends turns 40 and announces he wants a divorce over dessert, it sets in motion an unraveling, as each couple is forced to reexamine what’s brought and kept them together—and whether their relationships are strong enough to survive.” Lindsey is also the author of Otherwise Engaged, If We Lived Here,and Pretty in Ink.
Therese Roche C’05 has been promoted to associate architect at Bialosky Cleveland. Her projects include Kent State University’s White Hall renovation and the James M. Ashley and Thomas W. L. Ashley US Courthouse in Toledo, Ohio.
Nicole Oddo Smith C’05 writes, “My husband Greg and I are pleased to announce the birth of our daughter, Greta Josephine Smith on September 9. Mom, Dad, and big sister Elaine (age four and a half) are doing well and live in Mount Airy, Philadelphia. I work as the director of human resources at Archaea Energy and as an adjunct professor at Saint Joseph’s University teaching Introduction to Human Resources. We look forward to getting back to campus!”
Thomas Zylkin C’05 see Marissa Sapega C’04.
Dilip Ramachandran EE’06 writes, “I’ve submitted the manuscript for my new book, Gangsta Vision: Recipes to Break into Product Management Leadership. I wrote this because several years ago I started to convince myself that someone who looked like me couldn’t break into senior leadership. But somewhere inside I was unwilling to let go. I resorted to a series of tools and tactics to catapult myself to where I am today—something I now call ‘Gangsta Vision.’ The book’s controversial title has sparked debate and a conversation that needs to happen. As a minority, an immigrant, or an underrepresented person, we enter foreign territory that has rules we don’t understand. We just jump in and try to survive. My mission is to create a movement where we have a dialogue about purpose, to improve communication, and build a more common understanding of our experiences. You can find more information at Gangstavision.com.”
C. Frank Igwe G’07 WG’20, president of homecare agency Moravia Health, has been named to Philadelphia Business Journal’s list of Most Admired CEOs of the Year.
Mohit Bhende WG’08 is cofounder of Karat, which provides “interviews-as-a-service.” According to TechCrunch, the company “has closed a round of $110 million, a Series C that values the Seattle startup at $1.1 billion.”
Patrick Cozzi GEng’08 see Andie Tursi LPS’09 LPS’19.
Andrew Goldsmith C’08, an attorney in the litigation group of New York–based law firm Pryor Cashman, has been promoted to counsel.
Jin Lee C’08, director of digital health at Astellas Pharma,has been selected to this year’s Presidential Leadership Scholars class. The program “brings together bold and principled leaders … who are interested in exploring lessons learned during the administrations of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, and Lyndon B. Johnson.”
Remy Nshimiyimana LPS’08 L’11 has been promoted to partner at the law firm Faegre Drinker.
Ari Mittleman G’09 writes, “My book Paths of the Righteous: Stories of Heroism, Humanity and Hope has been published by Gefen Publishing House in Jerusalem, during an unprecedented rise in antisemitism. Written as fast-paced short stories, the book profiles eight unheralded non-Jewish leaders who have recently gone above and beyond for the Jewish community.”
Andie Tursi LPS’09 LPS’19, director of marketing and communications at Cesium, writes, “Cesium is a technology startup based in Philly—and we have a lot of Penn connections. We recently hired Dr. Norman Badler, former Rachleff Family Professor in Computer Science in Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, to lead Metaverse Research. Dr. Badler has founded three Penn centers, originated two degree programs, and supervised countless students over his five decades at Penn. One of those students was our CEO Patrick Cozzi GEng’08, who subsequently taught classes at Penn for eight years. His protégé, Shehzan Mohammed, Cesium’s director of product management, currently teaches computer graphics at Penn as well. Cesium has since employed numerous Penn alumni (myself included) and hosted Penn student interns as well. We’re deeply involved not only in building the metaverse, but also in leading the advocacy for it being open and interoperable. We’re currently working with the biggest players in the metaverse—among them, Epic Games, NVIDIA, and others. Dr. Badler will help lead this effort.”
Adam R. Mandelsberg C’10 has been promoted to partner at law firm Perkins Coie. He is a member of the firm’s Business Litigation practice.
Jessica Herzfeld LPS’12, an artist based in Cleveland, presented a solo art show at The Art Gallery in Willoughby, Ohio, that closed in January. She writes, “It predominantly featured a collection of my pieces inspired by the works of French poet Arthur Rimbaud. This was just my second-ever solo show showcasing these pieces. My first show was in Lakewood, Ohio, in February 2020. It was covered by Cleveland.com (tinyurl.com/jherzfeld). The show was popular enough to be extended through the duration of March 2020, but the rise of COVID-19 put a damper on that. With all that in mind, I’m very excited to have another opportunity to share several of my pieces with the world once again!”
Cathryn Peirce C’16, cofounder of the social impact fintech firm Carbon Zero Financial, has been appointed CEO of the organization. Carbon Zero’s Visa branded cards allow users to allocate their rewards points into carbon offsetting projects to neutralize their carbon footprint.
Miranda Lupion C’17 see Cornell Overfield C’18.
Cornell Overfield C’18 writes, “I proposed to Miranda Lupion C’17 on Penn’s campus in the summer of 2021. She said yes.”
Kevin Myers C’19 see Jennifer Richards C’21 G’21.
Sophie Bass C’20 LPS’21 has joined the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) as a research associate in the Cost Analysis and Research Division of IDA’s Systems and Analyses Center.
Jennifer Richards C’21 G’21 writes, “Kevin Myers C’19 and I are launching an organization to place Penn seniors and recent alumni in entry-level jobs in the nonprofit and public sectors. By creating a channel for Penn students to serve the public interest, we’re seeking both to address the minimal institutional support provided by Penn for students to pursue careers outside of consulting and banking and to reduce the significant brain drain caused by Penn students leaving Philadelphia en masse upon graduation.”