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Students of Distinction


Freshman facts


The Class of 2011 – A Profile

FACTS, FIGURES, AND FUN What percentage of the class rated Ramapo College as their first or second choice? 96.7 percent What percentage of the freshman class live in Ramapo College residence halls? 85 percent The Class of 2011 represents how many states, NJ counties, and countries? Members of the class represent seven states: New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Connecticut, California, Maryland, and New Hampshire. Students are from all 21 counties. Students in the class of 2011 come from six foreign countries: Bulgaria, Trinidad, Nigeria, Kenya, Lebanon, and China. In what activities were they involved during high school? Captains of every imaginable sport Peer leadership Political campaign volunteers Dance Team Marching Band Choir Work with the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina relief efforts Community volunteers Professional actors Professional magician


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What are some of their accomplishments? Bergen County Caring Awards Published poets Girl Scout Gold Award Boy Scout Eagle Scout Who’s Who National Honor Society All-Conference, All-District, All-County and All-State in athletics How many applications were received by the Admissions Office for the Class of 2011? 4,961 applications were received and of those, 2,416 (48.6 percent) were accepted. How many freshmen have declared a major? About 72 percent What percentage of freshmen filed their applications online? 60 percent How many students in the entering class are Edward J. Bloustein Distinguished Scholars? 54

COLLEGE EXECUTIVE OFFICERS Peter P. Mercer, Ph.D. President Beth E. Barnett, Ed.D. Provost Pamela M. Bischoff, Ed.D. Vice President for Student Affairs Cathleen Davey Vice President for Institutional Advancement Dorothy Echols Tobe, Ph.D. Chief Planning Officer BOARD OF TRUSTEES The Reverend Dr. Vernon C. Walton Chair BOARD OF GOVERNORS Thomas O. McGurn Chair Lisa A. Ryan Alumni Association Board Chair Francis J. Rodriguez Friends of Ramapo Board Chair RAMAPO MAGAZINE STAFF Cathleen Davey Editor-in-Chief Bonnie D. Franklin Executive Editor Mary Cicitta Managing Editor Cynthia Burns News Editor Kathleen Mainardi Foundation Editor Rachel Pinton Sports Editor Carolyn Herring Staff Photographer Christopher Chavarria Intern DESIGN: Words and Pictures Creative Service, Inc. This magazine can be made available upon request in alternate media. Requests should be directed to: 201.684.7611 Alumni contact and change of address: Purvi Parekh at 201.684.7115 STUDENT AFFAIRS CONTACT: Pam Bischoff at 201.684.7457 Ramapo Magazine is produced by the Office of Marketing and Communications.

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Cover story (L) Professor Art Felix working on research project with student Angela Aggrey.



Ramapo College students are fulfilling course requirements or volunteering their time at Pony Power Therapies, Inc., located at Three Sisters Farm in Mahwah.



Cover story



Research and Special Projects Provide Invaluable Opportunities

Students of Distinction


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College news Faculty news Foundation news Grant news Alumni news Friends of Ramapo Class notes Ramapo reflections Courts and fields Datebook Ramapo live

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College news Ramapo College Featured in the Princeton Review Book America’s Best Value Colleges

Ramapo College is one of the nation’s best value undergraduate institutions according to The Princeton Review. The New York-based education services company featured the school in the 2008 edition of America’s Best Value Colleges. The guide profiles two hundred and twenty-two colleges chosen for their excellent academics, generous financial aid packages, and/or relatively low costs of attendance.

The Princeton Review’s editors commended Ramapo College for offering an intimate educational experience and for “achieving a level of success in thirty-seven years that some older colleges have yet to grasp.” The listing also read, “This school is one of the colleges designated as one of the best overall bargains—based on cost and financial aid—among the most academically outstanding colleges in the nation.”

Social Welfare Policy Class Presents Testimony Supporting Family Leave Act

Students enrolled in a Social Welfare Policy class traveled to Trenton to testify before the Senate Labor Committee in support of the state’s Family Leave Act. The legislation passed by a three-to-one margin.

Dr. V. Scott Massimo, an associate professor of social work who teaches the class, explained that students thought the Act applied to older workers with families to support, but they came to realize its relevance to their personal histories as well as their futures. This led them to write in their testimony: “We want to be able to be productive workers in the economy as well as dedicated family members. We are investing in a college degree so that we can build a foundation for our future. But what if tragedy strikes? We need Family Leave Insurance in order to feel secure in our quest for success, whatever the future may hold.”

“After the hearing,” noted Massimo, “the students 2

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were invited to a press conference where the president of New Jersey Citizen Action thanked the class for its support.” Citizen Action also asked the class to speak before the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee when the bill reached the final stage before going to the governor for approval.

In addition, the students were invited to present at the Influencing National Policy Symposium held at Rutgers University’s Newark campus. They were one of three student groups chosen to address almost two hundred people, including Sheila Oliver, Assemblywoman, 34th NJ Legislative District, and Walter Kalman, executive director of the NJ chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. After their presentation, the class organized postcard signings, where symposium participants filled out cards addressed to the governor and assembly members in support of the Family Medical Leave Insurance bill.

Ramapo College Recognized for Excellence in Educational Fundraising

Ramapo College is a winner of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s 2007 CASE-WealthEngine Foundation Award for Educational Fundraising.

The College received an Overall Improvement Award based on the judges’ analysis of three years of fundraising data submitted. Out of four hundred and eighty-two colleges and universities reviewed by CASE, only seventeen institutions were recognized for overall improvement. CASE award programs support the profession’s best practices.

In addition, the students were invited to present at the Influencing National Policy Symposium held at Rutgers University’s Newark campus. They were one of three student groups chosen to address almost two hundred people, including Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver, 34th NJ Legislative District, and Walter Kalman, executive director of the NJ chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. After their presentation, the class organized postcard signings, where symposium participants filled out cards addressed to the governor and assembly members in support of the Family Medical Leave Insurance bill.

This is the second time the Ramapo College Foundation has received this prestigious award.

Model U.N. Club Members Awarded Honorable Mention at National Conference Allen Feldman, associate professor of the Department of Culture and Communication at New York University, presented “The Other Gaze: Images, Bodies, and Spaces of Violence” at the College’s First Annual Diversity Perspectives Convocation. This presentation was sponsored by the Diversity Action Committee, the President's Office, and the Board of Trustees.

Russ Berrie Award for Making A Difference Bestowed Upon Nineteen State Residents

For his work as a host parent and trip administrator for Healing the Children, George Brewer of Wayne was presented the 2007 Russ Berrie Award for Making a Difference and a cash grant of $50,000.

Dana Katzman-Spett of Mahwah, founder of Pony Power Therapies, won the $35,000 award for her work with disabled children and adults who gain flexibility, balance, muscle strength, confidence, and self-esteem while riding horseback.

Jamie Lauren Cohen of Livingston saved two children from drowning during her holiday break from pre-med studies at the University of Michigan. For her quick actions, and for her work as founder of the Roseville Project, a program to provide holiday cheer to underserved children in Newark, she was presented the $25,000 award. During ceremonies at Ramapo College, nineteen unsung heroes from throughout the state were honored by the Russell Berrie Foundation. In addition to the top three awards, grants of $2,500 were presented to each of the remaining sixteen finalists. Delivering the keynote address was Saranne Rothberg, founder of the ComedyCures Foundation and a previous award recipient. Steve Adubato, television host and former state legislator, served as master of ceremonies.

(L-R): Corinne Brewer, acceping the $50,000 Russ Berrie Award for Making a Difference for her husband, George; Dana Katzman-Spett, the $35,000 award winner; and Jamie Lauren Cohen, the $25,000 winner.

Members of the Model United Nations Club received a delegation honorable mention at the 2007 National Model United Nations Conference held in New York City.

Ramapo College students represented Costa Rica in the conference, the world’s largest university-level simulation of the United Nations. They addressed issues such as AIDS, ecotourism, economic growth, and the climate; drafted resolutions and lobbied for their passage; and sometimes voted as a block with other South American countries on resolutions of mutual interest.

The conference provided college students with the chance to mimic the actions of the worldwide council by taking on the personas of the ambassadors of the one hundred and ninety-two member states, and tackling simulated conflicts that reflect the collaboration within the United Nations.

Dr. Clifford Peterson, professor of international politics and the advisor to the club said, “Of the more than two hundred and fifty clubs participating, from more than thirty countries, awards were given to about twenty delegations. This represented the first time Ramapo College students won an award at the conference.”

Kids in the Kitchen, a nutrition workshop designed by the Junior League of Bergen County to address child obesity and poor nutrition, was held at Ramapo College. Registered Dietitian Jackie Ehlert-Mercer gave a cooking lesson sprinkled with information about healthy eating habits. Members of Ramapo College’s men’s soccer team assisted, as part of the team’s commitment to community service.

Model U. N. Conference on Sustainable Development Held at Ramapo

As part of its Earth Week activities, Ramapo College hosted a model United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in preparation for an event of the same name at the United Nations headquarters. Developing policies to address global warming was a key focus. Students from Ramapo College’s Model U.N. Club and several political science and sociology classes were group facilitators and served on a panel of “government spokespersons.” High school attendees included social studies classes from Ramapo, Indian Hills, Ramsey, Ridgewood, and several other locations.

Attendees acted as spokespersons for groups including women, farmers, businesses, unions, local authorities, youth, scientists, and non-governmental organizations as they promoted positions on equitable access to energy, green industrial development, reduction of air pollution, and ways to promote biofuels and alternative resources to replace global dependence on fossil sources. Youth delegates carried the final document to the United Nations Conference.

Dr. Richard Russo, coordinator, Center for Learning and Instruction in the Teacher Education Program, and John Sloan, recently named astronomer/director of the astronomical laboratory at the Meadowlands Environment Center, both avid astronomers, held an open house to launch the Astronomy Observatory located next to the Bradley Center. The dome of the retractable observatory houses a sixteen-inch reflecting telescope, funded by a foundation grant. The telescope will be used for undergrad astronomy classes and MSET students, taught by Russo and Sloan.

Dr. Richard Russo

John Sloan

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Faculty news

Michael Riff Receives Honey and Maurice Axelrod Award

Videos Get Extensive Screenings

Dr. Michael Riff, director of the Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies, received the Honey and Maurice Axelrod Award, given to educators who have demonstrated outstanding efforts in teaching about the Holocaust and genocide, as well as to others who are continuing efforts to reduce bias, bigotry, and prejudice in their communities. The award was presented by the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education and the Anti-Defamation League of New Jersey.

Film Screened at Tribeca Film Festival

Shalom Gorewitz, professor of communications media, is a prolific videographer. His work, Soft Targets, was shown as part of the Rencontres Internationale in Madrid, Spain at the Circulo de Bellas Artes. This video premiered at the 2004 Faculty Exhibition at Ramapo and has recently been broadcast on the PBS Program “Reel New York,” as well as at several European film and video festivals.

Postcards from Tora Bora, a film produced by Kelly Dolak, assistant professor of TV production, and Stephen Jablonsky, assistant professor of digital media, and their professional partner, Wazhmah Oman, was accepted into the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival.

The Athens Video Art Festival in Greece selected The Shape of Emptiness, a 2006 digital video, for its festival at the “Technopolis” of the Municipal Of Athens.

Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff founded the Tribeca Film Festival in 2002 to contribute to the revitalization of lower Manhattan in the wake of the September 11 disaster.

Diversity Workshop held in the Bradley Center Skybox Poster design: Bonnie Blake

The professor also presented Practicing Jews: Art, Identity, and Culture at the Conney Project’s Conference at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In addition, there was a retrospective exhibition of Gorewitz’s video art created from 1979-1992 at the Hopper House Gallery in Nyack, NY.

Philip Anderson Elected Director of Carpenter Technology A F.U.N. Intervention to Stave Off Childhood Obesity Carpenter Technology Corporation elected Dr. Philip Anderson, professor of physics and a consultant on technology and intellectual property, as a director of the company.

“Dr. Anderson provides invaluable expertise and insight into advanced technology applications, including the fields of aerospace and energy,” said Anne Stevens, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Carpenter Technology.

A member of Ramapo’s faculty since 1990, Professor Anderson holds more than one hundred foreign and thirty-four U.S. patents, and was named Inventor of the Year by the New Jersey Inventor’s Hall of Fame in 2001. His consulting work has centered on security systems, medical devices, sensors, magnetics, acoustics, and materials.


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Dr. Kathleen Burke, assistant dean of the Nursing Program, represented Ramapo College in creating a partnership to address childhood obesity in Garfield, New Jersey.

When the city of Garfield discovered that the number of obese or overweight children in town exceeded the national average by five percent, leaders decided something needed to be done. The city’s public health nurse, Darleen Reveille, established a multisector Childhood Obesity Intervention Taskforce. Ramapo College is a part of this alliance of public and private partners. The taskforce created the F.U.N. (Fitness, Unity and Nutrition) Program to serve as the theme to build programs to improve community health.

enrolled in the Nursing Program conducted a needs assessment and assisted in developing projects that addressed environmental barriers and culturally compatible fitness and nutrition programs.

Among the initiatives were a RAMS Camp for middle school students, created by Dr. Angela Cristini, director of special programs, that combined planned activities with an emphasis on fitness and nutrition education, obesity prevention, and a walk-to-school program.

“The objective,” said Burke, “is to provide municipal leaders with evidence based tools, implementation plans, synergistic contacts, and communication materials to engage citizens in programs that increase activity and healthy nutrition.” Under the supervision of Dr. Frances Francbandera, associate professor of nursing, students

Garfield school teachers ready canoes for a fitness outing with their students.


The Ramapo College community mourned the death of Dr. Robert Christopher. A professor of literature in the School of American and International studies, he joined the faculty in 1974. He was convener for the literature faculty and served as director of field studies for the Law and Society major. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, his master’s degree from San Francisco State University, and a bachelor of arts degree from City College of New York.

“Transgender Workplace Diversity Workshop: Addressing Issues for HR and Legal Professionals” was held in the Bradley Center Skybox. Dr. Jillian T. Weiss, an assistant professor of law and society, who conducts research in the area of transgender workplace diversity issues, moderated. The workshop addressed New Jersey Bill S362 that added “gender identity of expression” to the list of classes protected from discrimination. The bill took effect June 12.

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Cover story Professors Collaborating With Students on Research and Special Projects

PROVIDE INVALUABLE LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES Ramapo College’s focus on experiential learning includes pairing students with professors to conduct research projects. Their efforts have resulted in publication and recognition at prestigious professional conferences, often with Ramapo College students singled out for their accomplishments.

“When students conduct research, they sometimes get surprising results that may have far reaching consequences.” DR. ARTHUR M. FELIX

Associate Professor of Biochemistry at Ramapo College


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Cover story

A Beaker Full of Experience Gained through Research Projects


utual respect and a keen understanding of biochemical processes mark the professor/student relationship between Dr. Arthur M. Felix, associate professor of biochemistry, and Angela Aggrey, a biochemistry and international studies major who graduated in May.

“Angela spent two years doing research with me and graduated with a certificate issued by the School of Theoretical and Applied Science: “Research Honors with Distinction,” noted Felix. To earn this designation, students devote at least four hours a week conducting research for two semesters, usually in their junior or senior years. They are required to prepare an oral presentation and a scientific poster at the end of the spring semester. They also keep track of their experimental details in a lab notebook and submit a written report on their research project.

Angela’s research involved the modification of acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin), using a procedure called pegylation. Professor Felix explained, “This is a way of modifying a therapeutic and is intended to increase its biological half-life.” The modifications stabilizes them to the usual enzymatic degradation and renders the therapeutic longer acting, requiring fewer or lower doses to effect the necessary biological activity.

Why aspirin? “Dr. Felix suggested it,” said Aggrey. “It’s a continuation of what he’s been working on. In biochemistry, you’re studying different life processes,” said Felix. “It’s a good target molecule to work with and provides a good extension of what we learned in class.” Aggrey added, “It’s also an extension of the principles of organic chemistry and general chemistry.”

Felix usually selects two students each year to conduct research under his supervision. Aggrey’s partner this past year was Catherine Post, who worked on a related problem developing a new pegylating reagent, and also graduated in May. During the first semester of the yearlong course, Felix worked side-by-side in the lab with the students. “By the start of the second semester, the students can do more on their own. Angela has done two years of research,” he said. “Essentially, by the second year she was conducting independent experiments with minimal supervision.” The completion of two years of research qualified Angela for the special designation: “TAS Research Honors with Distinction”.


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Dr. Felix reviews the detailed research findings Angela recorded in a lab notebook.

Aggrey and Post presented their research at the New York Chemistry Students’ Association of the American Chemical Society held at Manhattan College in April. Felix noted that more than fifteen colleges were represented there. He takes pride in his students’ accomplishments. “I have a background in pharmaceutical research,” Felix said. “This satisfies a need I have to do additional work aside from teaching. When students conduct research, they sometimes get surprising results that may have far reaching consequences.”

countries contract malaria. Aggrey also has an interest in neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

She is currently enrolled in the biochemistry Ph.D. program at the University of Rochester. And yes, during her admissions interview, she spoke about the research she conducted and also wrote about it in her admissions essay.

For Aggrey, working with her professor led her to choose to go into research. “It becomes real in the lab,” she said. “It’s satisfying to be able to create something.” There are two areas of research that interest her. Aggrey wants to be part of the effort to eradicate malaria, a disease that has wreaked damage in her native West African country, Ghana. “Every thirty seconds a child dies from malaria,” she noted. The professor pointed out that, in general, half of all children in third world

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STUDENTS OF DISTINCTION Whether through brains in the classroom, brawn on the court or athletic fields, an artistic brush of creativity, or benevolence through community service, Ramapo students continually demonstrate why the College attracts motivated and prepared students.

Students Support Relay for Life To help raise money for cancer research and to celebrate those who have survived the disease, approximately 44 teams comprising 400 students, faculty, and friends participated in Relay For Life®, a 12-hour overnight event sponsored by the American Cancer Society. About 150 participants endured the entire twelve hours.

Eliza Kelton, event chair for Ramapo’s Colleges Against Cancer club served as Relay for Life organizer. She worked closely with an American Cancer Society staff partner to make the College’s first event possible. She recruited committee members and teams, served as liaison to College administrators, and chaired meetings prior to the event.

Another student organizer, Emily Migliore, president of Colleges Against Cancer, said, “The reason Relay touches so many people is unfortunate: everyone has been affected or seen the effects of cancer in their lives.” Indeed, she became involved in the event four years ago after her grandmother died and she witnessed a friend’s mom battle the disease. Both students had previously participated in Relay for Life.

“The outpouring of support from the campus community was unbelievable,” said Migliore.


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“The generosity of participants enabled us to raise $25,000.”

Concurred Kelton, “The event proves that we are not going to give up until we find a cure, and seeing all the members of our campus community stay up throughout the night walking the track brought our community closer together by showing everyone that we’ll fight until we find a cure.”

Relay for Life will become an annual event at Ramapo College. Both Kelton and Migliore have already signed on for next year.

Student Sarah Costello also assisted in planning the event and Michael Dibartolomeo, admissions counselor, served as staff advisor.

Ramapo “Reins” at Pony Power Ramapo College students are getting a dose of horse sense as they learn the therapeutic benefits horseback riding affords children and adults with autism, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, emotional disabilities, developmental delays, and multiple handicaps. The students are fulfilling course requirements or volunteering their time at Pony Power Therapies, Inc., located at Three Sisters Farm in Mahwah. “Our treatment strategy operates on two levels: the movement of the horse and the experience of a horse farm,” said Dana Katzman-Spett, founder and owner of the organization. “We address the individual’s needs physically, emotion-

ally, and behaviorally and tailor the program to each rider.” Lynda Skinner, volunteer coordinator at Pony Power, said about 15 to 20 Ramapo College students volunteer for Pony Power each semester. A video and hands-on experience with the barn manager is part of the training program. “They need a comfort level around the horses,” said Skinner. “We start volunteers with the ponies. Volunteers deal with the elements of various age groups, disabilities, and the animals.” Ramapo students are referred through the College’s Service Learning Center or are social work majors completing required coursework. Each riding session lasts a half hour. Three trained assistants accompany a rider and horse.

On a given afternoon, 125 clients receive therapy on the 12 horses used in the program. Many of them are students who attend school at the Children’s Therapy Center in Fair Lawn or the N.S. Bleshman Regional Day School in Paramus. They’re not galloping around the corral; the hurdles they jump are incremental victories. Volunteers lead them around an enclosed pen, with clients giving the command, “Walk on,” which gets the horse to walk.

Katzmann-Spett said, “The unique relationship developed between horse and rider leads to increased confidence, patience, and self-esteem while fostering feelings of independence and pride.” Ramapo magazine



Daniel London: A Summer Scholar

Daniel Hart London, a double major in American studies and history in the School of American and International Studies, was selected one of fifteen Gilder Lehrman Summer Scholars for 2007. The five-week program included a stipend of $2,200, room and board in Columbia University student housing, meetings with eminent historians, trips to archives, and a research project that focused on early AfricanAmerican abolitionists.

In addition, he was named to the 2007 edition of Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. On campus, London serves as vice president of the Ramapo Save Darfur Committee, is active in the American Studies Club, and Ramapo History Club, and is a writing tutor at the Center for Academic Success.

He has been named to the Phi Beta Delta National Honor Society, Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society, Dean’s List, Ramapo Honor Society, and a Ramapo Scholar. London also has completed cooperative education programs at the Jewish Heritage and Van Dyck Museums in New York.

Roadrunners Baseball on the Scoreboard in 2007

The Ramapo College baseball team completed their 2007 season at 29-13 overall, 11-7 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference, finishing fourth in the conference.

The Roadrunners clinched a NJAC tournament bid with a 17-10 victory over Rutgers-Newark. They faced elimination from the 2007 championship tournament when they took on the Cougars of Kean University. The Cougars walked away with the victory, ending Ramapo’s hope of a NJAC Championship. Falling just short of a NCAA Tournament at-large bid, the Roadrunners earned the #1 seed in the 2007 ECAC Division III Championship Tournament. After numerous days of rain, #1 Ramapo and #2

Stockton were crowned co-champions of the tournament. What are the prospects for the 2008 season? Head coach Rich Martin returns all but five to the roster.

Several team members earned post season awards: Gary Miller, COSIDA All-Academic First Team; Joe Cacchiola, NJAC First Team AllConference NJAC Rookie Of The Year, NJCBA All-Rookie Team, and ABCA Third Team AllRegion; Nick Sbarra, NJAC First Team All-Conference and NJCBA Third Team All-State; and Jairo Jimenez, NJAC Second Team All-Conference, NJCBA Third Team All-State, and ABCA Second Team All-Region.

Financial Gains

Belyaba Semeran is a business administration major with a concentration in finance and a minor in international business. She is a member of the Delta Mu Delta National Business Honor Society and this past May was inducted into the New Jersey Collegiate Business Administration Association Honor Society. She currently works at Wachovia Securities where she began as a co-op student in July 2006. Wachovia has offered Semeran a permanent position upon graduation as a financial advisor in training.

Math Matters

A team of Ramapo students consisting of Adrian Maries, Alexandru Maries, and Viktor Vasilev won third place behind first-place Princeton and second-place Rutgers at the New Jersey Undergraduate Mathematics Competition held at the Garden State Undergraduate Mathematics Conference at Rowan University. The competition was funded, in part, by a grant from The Mathematical Association of America. Katarzyna Potocka and Pangyen Weng, both assistant professors of mathematics, organized the competition at Rowan. Said Potocka, “It felt great announcing my own students as the third place winners and having them come up to the stage for their award.”

Professor and Student Gather Moss and Keep Rolling

Under the guidance of Dr. Eric Karlin, professor of plant ecology, biology major Falon Cartwright assisted with an undergraduate research project last spring that’s on the leading edge of DNA technology: a microsatellite analysis of Hawaiian Sphagnum – peat moss to most mortals – to determine whether two different species are present on the island of Hawaii. Microsatellite analysis is a form of DNA coding in which researchers look for repeated sequences of nuclear DNA, useful markers in studies of genetic relationships. Cartwright said, “Another goal of the research was to determine if the Hawaiian populations of the species are more closely related to the East Asian or North American populations.”

Biology major, Falon Cartwright processing DNA samples at Duke University.

The student, who is a senior, traveled to Duke University in May with the professor to observe DNA extraction and to process samples Karlin collected in the field. She was then able to complete her role in the project, to assist in obtaining the microsatellite data.

ducting the research Cartwright “got a glimpse of what graduate school is like and how research is carried out.” While at Duke she lived with a graduate student who was working in the byrology lab (a botany lab concerned with the scientific study of mosses). “Through my interaction with her and others in the lab, I learned a lot about how a graduate program is run. As an undergraduate, this was a unique experience and, as a result, I have a better understanding of what to expect as I move on to the next level of education.”

Her research began by meeting weekly with Karlin to examine specimens and to discuss the concept of the moss. Karlin also taught her how to run the computer program Genemarker, which allows for the initial analysis of genetic information obtained in the lab.

“Dr. Karlin will perform statistical analysis of the data to determine if it shows the presence of one or two species of Sphagnum,” she said. By con-

This past summer, Cartwright attended Field Marine Science, a course at the Shoals Marine Laboratory on Appledore Island, Maine. Cornell

University and the University of New Hampshire run the laboratory. Cartwright was immersed in marine science through fieldwork, lectures, and time in the lab. Topics covered included the ecology of the Isles of Shoals and the Gulf of Maine, a detailed study of the variety of marine organisms that inhabit the waters surrounding the isles, and the geological origins of the Isles of Shoals, the Gulf of Maine, and the North Atlantic.

After the course, Cartwright remained on the island as a volunteer. She plans to attend graduate school and pursue a career in marine biology.

Creative Collision

Communication Arts students participated in Media Collision, an annual spring showcase of outstanding student work. Since its inception in spring 2001, the showcase has become an increasingly anticipated event for students. The showcase featured works in the audio, graphic design, digital imaging, public relations, advertising, television, video, Web design, online media criticism, and writing categories. Students submitted their work for the show to faculty, who reviewed and selected the pieces to be featured. The daylong showcase included an opening and closing reception as well as a recognition and awards ceremony.


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Foundation news

Scholarship Dinner

The Hermitage History Scholarship recognizes a Ramapo student in an internship or conducting research at The Hermitage in Ho Ho Kus, New Jersey. The Hermitage offers public programs on New Jersey and local history as well as exhibitions from its collection. Pictured are Kelly McCartney and Delight Dodyk of The Hermitage, recipient David Fernandes with his parents Elizabeth and Fred Fernandes.

100th Scholarship Endowment Received

At the Scholarship Dinner in March Ramapo College Foundation Executive Director Cathleen Davey announced the 100th endowed scholarship created at Ramapo College. The generosity of Elaine and Mike Adler has made this milestone in the growth of the College possible. Elaine is a member of the Ramapo College Foundation Board of Governors and Mike and Elaine were honored in 1992 at the Distinguished Citizens Dinner for their outstanding contributions to Ramapo College and higher education. Through the creation of this endowed scholarship, a full tuition scholarship will be awarded every year to a deserving student.

One of the most gratifying ways the Ramapo College Foundation fulfills its mission is by fostering a link between scholarship benefactors and students. It is with great pleasure that the Foundation hosted the annual Scholarship Dinner. In March, 200 people gathered to honor the accomplishments of Ramapo students who received over $210,000 in private scholarships in 2006-2007. Students and their parents had the opportunity to meet with scholarship donors. A distinguished alumna and donor, Marina Topken, spoke about the importance of creating an endowed scholarship for students. The guests also heard a lively panel discussion from four students. One of the panel members has been accepted to medical school, two are teaching this fall, and one is in her senior year as a biochemistry major. “The College is fortunate to have such loyal benefactors who have supported the College for so many years.” PRESIDENT PETER P. MERCER

CIT Performing Arts Series 2006-2007

The CIT Performing Arts Series continued to entertain and attract new friends to the College. We acknowledge Series Sponsor CIT Group, Inc. and Performance Sponsors Sharp Electronics, Huron Consulting Group, CR Bard, and Liberty Hyundai for their generosity and that of our benefactors. Under the leadership of Joe Leone and Robert Tillsley, the Series raised nearly $25,000. The Series will kick off its eighth season with the ageless and soulful singing of the legendary Richie Havens on September 29, followed by the Sultons of Swing and international jazz singer Champian Fulton on October 20. For the holiday season, the series welcomes the famed Montovani Orchestra, which will showcase the Ramapo Chorale Singers on December 2. The sounds of "Astaire Songbook" will be celebrated by music marvel Hilary Kole on February 9, 2008, The Magic of Ireland comes to the Berrie Center on March 9, 2008, and on April 26, the series welcomes the "Nobodies of Comedy" for an evening of laughter and fun.

CIT benefactors Mark Grannon, Susan Tillsley, Robert Tillsley and Gai Grannon enjoy "Forbidden Broadway" at the Berrie Center. CIT Scholar Linda Lee meets CIT CEO and vice president Joe Leone while attending the Capitol Steps performance in February.

(L-R): Mike Adler, Elaine Adler, President Peter Mercer.


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CIT patrons June Boswick, Terry Battaglia, and Eileen Dowling attend a CIT Performing Arts Series event at the Berrie Center.

(L-R): Ramapo College Foundation Chair Tom McGurn thanks Performance sponsor, Rick DeSilva of Liberty Hyundai for supporting the CIT Performing Arts Series while Series chairman, Robert Tillsley, presents a commemorative plaque.

College trustees attending this year's dinner include: (L-R standing): Thomas Zelante, past chair, Board of Trustees, A.J. Sabath '93, honoree (L-R seated): Sharon McGahee, trustee, The Reverend Dr. Vernon C. Walton, and D. Nicole Green (not pictured but in attendance was Peter McBride).

Past recipients of the College's Distinguished Citizens Award gathered to support the College and mark the Distinguished Citizens 25th anniversary. (L-R): Thomas W. Dunn, Carolyn M. Merkel '78, Debra Perry '85, Joseph R. Nothwang, Audrey Meyers, and Jeffrey A. Warren '73.

Distinguished Citizens Dinner – March 3, 2007

The Foundation celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Distinguished Citizens Dinner on March 3, 2007 at the Rockleigh Country Club. Chaired by Frank Shapiro, the event raised over $220,000 of unrestricted revenue. This major fundraising event allows the Foundation to award student scholarships, provide support for capital projects, and offer faculty and student research opportunities. Our honorees are recognized for their personal and professional commitment to advance higher education, and for their significant service to the community. This year's honorees were John D. McMahon, president and CEO of Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc; A.J. Sabath '93, an alumnus who is the chief of staff to the president of the New Jersey Senate and a trustee of Ramapo College; and Lawrence and Theresa Salameno, generous benefactors of the Salameno Spiritual Center and parents of Ramapo graduate, Francesca Salameno '06. The college gratefully acknowledges and thanks the honorees, vice chairs, corporate sponsors and benefactors for their support and generosity.

Honorees Theresa and Lawrence Salameno.

College trustees, officers and Foundation board members and honorees celebrated the 25th Annual Distinguished Citizens Dinner held in March. Pictured: (L-R seated): Cathleen Davey, executive director, Ramapo College Foundation and vice president, Institutional Advancement; Jacqueline Ehlert-Mercer, wife of President Peter Mercer; and Theresa Salameno, honoree. (L-R standing): Thomas McGurn, chair, Ramapo College Foundation; Frank Shapiro, chair, Distinguished Citizens Dinner; Peter P. Mercer, president, Ramapo College of New Jersey; A.J. Sabath ‘93, honoree; Lawrence Salameno, honoree; John D. McMahon, honoree; and Thomas Zelante, then chair, Board of Trustees.

(L-R): Guest Walter Hecht and Foundation Board of Governors members and Dinner vice chairs, Mike and Elaine Adler, helped celebrate the 25th anniversary of the dinner.

Foundation Board of Governors member Millicent Anisfield and her husband Richard, both major benefactors of the College, attended the annual Distinguished Citizens Dinner.

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Grant news

Foundation news

Ramapo College Golf Outing

The 20th Annual Ramapo College Golf Outing, sponsored by SEIKO Corporation of America was held at the award-winning Tuxedo Club in August. The event raised over $110,000 for student scholarships, faculty research opportunities, and ongoing campus projects. Co-sponsors for the event included; Century 21 Construction, Stryker Orthopaedics, Prudential, SNS Architects




& Engineers, P.C., Sony Electronics, Inc., Prestige Family of Fine Cars, W.B. Engineering & Consulting PLLC, Tom Patire Group LLC, O'Connor Davies Munns & Dobbins, LLC, Atlantic Imaging Group LLC, Arthur Groom and Company, BMW of North America, LLC, Inserra Supermarkets, Inc., Optimum Lightpath and TD Banknorth, N.A.


MARSHACCESS = ACCESS FOR ALL R amapo College received a $852,276 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to further develop, test, and implement its MarshAccess = Access for All program, a national model for accessibility and assistive technology that adapts science programs for people with disabilities at the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission’s Meadowlands Environment Center.

“MarshAccess might be their first exposure to field-based science activities that will broaden understanding and give them the means to be lifelong learners.” ANGELA CRISTINI

Ph.D., executive director of special programs at Ramapo College


1. (L-R): Tom McGurn, chairman of the Ramapo College Foundation; PGA professional and Ramsey native Martin Catalioto; Don Mahoney ’73, chair of the golf committee, and Dr. Peter P. Mercer, president of Ramapo College. 2. Representing Seiko Corporation, the sponsor of the golf outing, standing (L-R): Rusty Rowlands, Brian Shave, and Paul Camaratta. Sitting (L-R): Michael Morano, Carmen Adragna, Marty Gormley, Daniel Miller, and John T. Draper. 3. (L-R): Trustee Peter McBride, Richard Anisfield, Wally Brady, and Marc Goldstein. 4. (L-R): Gai and Mark Grannon, and Brian Flynn. 5. (L-R): Wally Brady, Ramapo students Amanda Bordfeld and Jessica Patterson, and Richard Anisfield. 6. Darryn O'Donnell of Tom Patire Group LLC was the $1500 winner of the Putting/Chipping Contest sponsored by the Prestige Family of Fine Cars. Congratulating him are Chuck Luciano, business manager of Prestige; Dr. Peter Mercer, president of Ramapo College; and Tom McGurn, chairman of the Ramapo College Foundation. 7. (L-R): Cathleen Davey, executive director of the Ramapo College Foundation, with Ray Benedetto, Frank Calafiore and Chris Pompeo of Century 21 Construction Corporation, dinner sponsor of the Foundation's Golf Outing, and Don Mahoney ’73, chair of the golf committee.


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“The need to create substantive access to informal science education opportunities for adults with disabilities and adults with age-related limitations has been identified nationally, regionally, and locally,” said Jean Balutanski, MEC director of disabilities education and lead investigator on the grant. “MarshAccess is the Meadowlands Environment Center’s solution to this demand.”


The expanded MarshAccess program will identify and test appropriate assistive technologies and programmatic approaches with a goal of engaging five thousand disabled adults in outdoor fieldbased experiences to foster their interest in science and improve their scientific literacy. “For most young adults and older adults with disabilities, science was an often neglected part of their K-12 education,” said Angela Cristini,


Ph.D., executive director of special programs at Ramapo College, and co-principal investigator on the grant. “MarshAccess might be their first exposure to field-based science activities that will broaden understanding and give them the means to be lifelong learners.”

Slocum Skewes School (Ridgefield), experienced dipnetting as part of their visit.

With NSF funding, MarshAccess will develop two science content-enriched modules, each consisting of an outdoor field experience utilizing an accessible outdoor garden and trail, led by an environmental educator. The experience will be coupled with hands-on lab activities to document the experience. Ramapo College, in partnership with the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, will work with community organizations serving people with disabilities to assist grant staff in documenting MarshAccess as a model program.

According to Victoria Madden, Ph.D., project director at the Meadowlands Environment Center, co-principal on the grant, “MarshAccess = Access for All will focus on how regional environmental centers can engage people with disabilities through appropriate and accessible programming and how it can be implemented in other informal learning settings.” Components of the program include multimedia kiosks at points along the outdoor trail; a set of assistive technologies for use by the public; trail and garden self-contained materials produced in standard and large print, audio, and Braille; a MarshAccess Web site; and a posting site for participants to share their experiences.

Passaic Elks Cerebral Palsy Center

Ramapo magazine


Alumni news

Spotlight on the 2007 Recipient of the

TAS Alumni Reunion Honors Dr. Grace Borowitz and Dr. Robert Shine


s vice president, Administration and OSGLI at Prudential Financial, Frances K. Hackett’s responsibilities include the management of Prudential’s largest client and special projects with significant organizational impact. Hackett, ‘80, has been with Prudential since 1974, briefly leaving the company to work for Amerihealth Insurance Company of New Jersey. At Prudential, Hackett has held steadily increasing positions of responsibility in client relations, operations, project management, compliance, marketing, and human resources.

She has served as a member of the Classification and Compensation Policy Advisory Committee of the State of New Jersey Judiciary, as coordi-

nator of the NJ Supreme Court’s Committee on Efficiency II, and as a member of the Advisory Council of the School of Health Related Professions at UMDNJ. Recently she has been appointed to serve on the new Veterans Affairs Advisory Panel that will report directly to Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Jim Nicholson. The panel will advise him on ways to improve VA programs serving veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and their families.

Hackett chairs the Anisfield School of Business Alumni Advisory Board. She is a Governor on the Ramapo College Foundation Board where she serves on the Distinguished Citizens


More than 100 TAS alumni, faculty, friends and family gathered on May 2, 2007 at the home of President Peter P. Mercer, to reconnect, share fond memories, and recognize Dr. Grace Borowitz and Dr. Robert Shine for their outstanding leadership and dedication to students. Through their teaching, research, and mentoring these dedicated and caring professors have influenced Ramapo students through the past three decades.


“This occasion is a memorable one for me and I thank all of those who made it so fulfilling. I am so proud of the Ramapo alumni that my husband Irving and I helped to realize their own potential," stated Dr. Grace Borowitz.

Dinner and Golf committees. Hackett also has served Ramapo as a member of the Board of Directors of the Alumni Association, the 2004 Presidential Search Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee. She was honored at the Distinguished Citizens Dinner in 2004.

“I was absolutely unaware that I would be honored with Grace at the Alumni Reception. This is one of the best moments in my life,” said Dr. Robert Shine. The evening provided alumni with the opportunity to thank Grace and Bob for their guidance, support and encouragement during their years at Ramapo. As with many of our dedicated faculty, the mentoring of talented young people continues long after students graduate from Ramapo.

Champagne Toast



Over 200 seniors and their families attended the annual Champagne Toast held on May 6, 2007. With the help of a dedicated committee, Jennifer Barry, Hanna Jarosh, Dara Hofstadter, Megan Kaplan, Ellie Miltner, and Kim Sherwood, the event was successful. During the program, “Ramapo Memories,” submitted by students, was read. The presentation touched all hearts, as the graduates shared the academic and social experiences of their college years. Bryan Steros '98, vice president of the Alumni Association Board, presented the toast and welcomed the graduates into the Alumni Association.

The 2007 Champagne Toast was sponsored by Liberty Mutual and Chappell Studios.



1. (L-R): Dr. Robert Shine and Dr. Grace Borowitz were recognized by TAS alumni, faculty, and friends for their outstanding leadership and dedication to students. 2. (L-R): Dr. Teresa Karcnik ’84, Timothy Strohmeyer ‘84, Dr. Teo Halpern, Dr. Peter Nirchio ’83, and Matthew Rutten ’84. 3. Members of the TAS Alumni Committee with Drs. Borowitz and Shine. Dr. Carolyn Merkel served as chair of the committee. (L-R): Charles Iacovella ‘74, Pamela Iacovella ‘76, Paul Miller ‘98, Dr. Shakti Ramkissoon ‘99, Mahboubeh Darian ‘79, Dr. Irving Borowitz, Dr. Grace Borowitz, Dr. Robert Shine, Dr. Carolyn Merkel ‘78, Timothy Strohmeyer ‘84, Dr. Angela Brown ’93, and Dr. Peter Nirchio ‘83. Additional members of the committee not pictured: Carol Flach ’86, Dr. Glen Micalizio ’96, Dr. Neil Stein ’94, Dr. Yizhe Wang ’93, and David Westra ’95. 4. (L-R): Richard Toupence ‘93, Rosalie Rivera, and Nelo Rivera ’93. 5. (L-R): Dr. Richard Lowell, Dr. Shakti Ramkissoon ’99, Lori Mainwaring, and Dr. Carol Frishberg. 6. (L-R): James Lydon ’76, Frank Magdits ’78, and Paul Miller ’98 with Dr. Grace Borowitz. 7. (L-R): Dr. Robert Shine, Andrej Kiryak ’84, and Eugene “Ollie” Ottens ‘82.


3 1. Alumni Board co-vice president Bryan Steros '98 presents a toast to the Class of 2007. 2. Amanda Bordfeld '08 and Gina Sallustio '07 presenting the Senior Gift Drive Honor Roll to President Mercer. Also pictured is David Terdiman, associate director of annual giving. 3. The Champagne Toast Committee presents the memories submitted by their fellow classmates. (L-R): Kim Sherwood '07, Jennifer Barry '07, Ellie Miltner '07, Dara Hofstadter '07, Megan Kaplan '07, and Hanna Jarosh '07. 4. (L-R): Daniella Terrero '07, Vanessa Faxas '07, President Peter Mercer, and Jenna Romatowski '07.


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Ramapo magazine


Alumni news

Friends of Ramapo

New Alumni Summer Reunion July 21, 2007

Friends of Ramapo

Friends of Ramapo was founded to expand communications and foster greater understanding between the campus of Ramapo College and neighboring communities. The Friends of Ramapo Board of Directors meets quarterly to plan programs and events. Friends members are welcome to attend.

Over 150 (a record number) Ramapo College alumni and their guests joined with others at Bar Anticipation in Belmar for the annual New Alumni Summer Reunion. They had great weather and enjoyed all the activities including Ramapo trivia, volleyball, and games against alumni from other participating colleges.

Friends of Ramapo awards scholarships to students and sponsors cultural events for the community. Since its inception in 1977, Friends of Ramapo has awarded almost 100 scholarships, and sponsored many events such as the Summer Concert Series, the Community Art Auction, lectures, and receptions.

(L-R): Domenick Pasqualone ’05, Nicole Nyzio, Dana Milanak ’04, Gerard Avillo ’05, Ryan Foley, Erica Anaczkowski ’04, Monique Kakar ’04.

Scott Crompton '06 and Jonathan Carletto '06.

“Being a Friends member has given me a rare win-win opportunity. While the modest dues help Ramapo College, I also get access to some of its facilities. Best of all, I derive a great sense of satisfaction that, together with many other Friends, I’m helping fund scholarships.”

(L-R): Dee Van Saders, Rebecca Kraus, and Dr. Peter Mercer, Ramapo College president.


President, Friends of Ramapo

Members of the Friends of Ramapo can take advantage of Ramapo's cultural programs and facillities such as the library, and have the opportunity to audit classes depending on the level of membership. Members also have the privilege of purchasing a membership to the Bill Bradley Sports and Recreation Center. (L-R): Chelsey Graf ’07, Megan Garrity ’07, Lauren White ’07, Gina Sallustio ’07, Greyson Woods ’07 and Sara Laurenzi ’07.

(L-R): Al and Margaret Gensch, Stan Richmond, Barry Gantt, and Marion Truglio at the summer concert board meeting.

(L-R): Francis J. Rodriguez and Judith Webster.

(L-R): Helen Stewart Thayer, immediate past president; Robert Cella, vice president; and Dominick Truglio, treasurer.

Kristen O'Leary '06 and Adebayo Arowolo '06. Kim Sherwood '07 and Dara Hofstadter '07.

Kick-Off Concert and Alumni Tent - July 5, 2007

Summer Concerts

The kick-off concert to the Commerce Bank Summer Concert Series, which featured New Jersey Pops, with conductor Michael J. Buglio, presented a musical salute to Americana. Due to uncertain weather, the fireworks were moved to the following week, and the Alumni Tent was moved indoors to the Pavilion. Alumni and their friends and family enjoyed a delicious barbeque and great music. (L-R): Rich Conti, Florence Sabrin, Dr. Ron Kase, Dr. Murray Sabrin, and Frank Shapiro.

Front Row (L-R): Commerce Bank employees Joanne Westphal, vice president/retail market manager, Julie Castillo, and Melek Ilazi. Back Row (L-R): Susan Pasi-Clolinger, Henry Izquierdo, Larry West, assistant vice president/interstate manager, and Thomas Hewitt, field market manager.

Summer at Ramapo College is filled with academic classes; special programs including the New Jersey Governor’s School for International Studies, Upward Bound, and EOF Summer Institutes; plus a variety of camps. Summer at Ramapo is also a special time to welcome all from our regional community for a series of four outdoor concerts at the College Bandshell. Sponsored by Commerce Bank and supported by McBride Agency Realtors, Rockland Electric Company, the Ramapo College Alumni Association, and Friends of Ramapo, and hosted by the Ramapo College Foundation, the 2007 Commerce Bank Summer Concert Series entertained more than 5,500 during July.

Over 30 alumni enjoyed a delicious barbeque and great music.


Ramapo magazine

Ramapo magazine


Class notes

Daniel P. Quinn ‘74 published a tribute to the various musicians and artists who have most inspired him, entitled Organized Behavior: Collected Poems. The compilation reflects Daniel’s dedication to the performing arts. His artwork was also displayed at the “Tu-be Blue” group exhibition at Trapezio CafÈ & Gallery in Nutley.

Marriages and Unions Danielle Klau ‘97 to John Cochran Eric Melniczek ‘97 to Amanda Dye Corinna Tafoya ‘97 to Brent Mills Andrew Comunale ‘98 to Kimberly Falzarano Annie Davaris ‘98 to Greg Hazley Erica Niclas ’98 to Pavel Svitak Erin Baumgardner ‘99 to Neil O’Halloran Heather Mintz ‘99 to Matthew Frederick Mark Polizzi ‘99 to Cara FitzPatrick Michael P. Scaplen ‘99 to Karen Novak Melissa Machovic ‘00 to Drew Bradicich ‘00 Deonia Olivo-Lewis ‘00 to Richard Neveu Chris Ramaglia ‘00 to Christina Uhlmann Eric Fernandes ‘01 to Heather Elizabeth Parks Steven Kraemer ‘01 to Carolina Marchiori Jeff Matvienko ‘01 to Teressa Esposito ‘02 Marissa Putten Vink ‘01 to Brook Blahnik Tracy Cappelluti ‘02 to Jeffery Katz Jaclyn Madden ‘02 to Issa Kanawati Jeffrey Colford ‘03 to Sandra Isik Robyn Philburn ‘03 to Joseph Carson Liza Marie Porcelli ‘03 to Alex Fonti Bill Venezia ‘03 to Erica Schweikert ‘03 Theresa Malek ‘04 to Luke Lesniowski Leslie Young ‘04 to Jason Mildenberg Katie Bovino ‘05 to Andrew Chudy ToniAnne Graziano ‘05 to Anthony Cusmano ‘05 Dennis Mortensen ’05 to Laura Rose Sadlo Breanne Elise DeGasperis ‘06 to Wallace A. Zosche


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Dean M. Shapiro ‘74 is a freelance writer living in the New Orleans area. He is a survivor of Hurricane Katrina and is working with the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation to help the city recover its tourism base. He is also writing true crime stories for Court TV’s online Crime Library, is a ghostwriter for fitness guru Mackie Shilstone, and is working on getting his fourth and fifth books published. He teaches noncredit writing and public relations classes at the University of New Orleans. Jean Coe, Ph.D. ‘75 was named coordinator of West Bergen Mental Healthcare’s Substance Abuse Treatment Program. In her new position, Jean expands substance abuse services by offering more group therapy targeted towards the specific needs of the individuals.

Beverly J. Ververs ‘75 is the associate director of Career Development and Co-op Internships at Montclair State University. She received an award recognizing her dedication and outstanding service to the field of counseling, given by the Counseling Department of the Montclair State University College of Education and Human Services at their Annual Awards Ceremony on May 3, 2007.

Steve Wagner ‘75 lives across the street from the College campus on the other side of the Ramapo River. He is married to his high school sweetheart who also graduated from Ramapo in 1975. Owner of a local construction company, he has recently attended a number of fundraising events at Ramapo and has had the privilege of dining with President Mercer and his wife. Steve’s company, CCI Construction, donated labor and materials to renovate the old Mahwah library and turn it into the Mahwah Historical Museum.

Donald M. Weekes, Jr. ‘75 lives in Ottawa, Ontario. He is an environmental and occupational health and safety consultant. He recently remarried Lan Chi Nguyen and they share custody of her son, Justin. Donald has been awarded a Fellow Membership to the American Industrial Hygiene Professionals. Sandra Benedetto ‘76, director of product management and sales engineering for the industrial business division at Pioneer Electronics USA, works with her team to-

ward the development of Blu-Ray technology, a disc that is set to become an integral part of HDTV.

Alonzo Moody ‘76 has been awarded the John A. Girgenti Civic League’s Volunteer of the Year Award for his service to the community. He is currently the deputy mayor of the City of Paterson. Alonzo is also the executive director of the City of Paterson’s Youth Services Bureau, and has served as a board commissioner for the Paterson Public Schools for more than fifteen years.

Dennis Bonagura ‘77 is the president and chief operating officer of EXTOL International, a worldwide computer software company.

Nancy Johnson ‘77 lives in Hillsborough, NC. She works for the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners as a group benefits underwriter.

Randall Kirkpatrick ‘77 was appointed director of development at Court Appointed Special Advocates of Mercer County.

Evan Weiner ‘77 was appointed sports journalist for MCNSports, a company that produces and streams live and video-on-demand sports content via the Internet. Charles Lana ‘78 joined New England Motor Freight as an account executive. He works at the Elizabeth, NJ terminal. Charles received the President’s Circle Award for outstanding performance in sales from Consolidated Freightways, located in northern New Jersey.

Carol Sommerfield ‘78, formerly known as Carol Perron, received her Ph.D. in organizational systems from Fielding Graduate University.

Roger Muller ‘79 is a licensed insurance producer, a real estate salesman, and a travel agent. He also is a member of the Hoboken Board of Directors of the City’s Chamber of Commerce. Roger resides in Secaucus and Hoboken. Julie Shaw ‘79, a licensed addictions counselor, works for an intensive outpatient treatment program in West Milford. In addition, Julie began a teaching assignment for the New Jersey Prevention Network as a certified instructor of counseling and addictions, advising coursework for students working toward state certification.

Paul Andrus ‘80 teaches as a full time professor of art at the University of Advanced Technologies in Tempe, AZ. Paul was honored with an invitation to participate in the 2007 Biennial of Contemporary Art in Florence, Italy. An

event held every two years, the biennial is a major exhibition of world class artists. Paul’s works are represented in nine countries in Europe, New Zealand, Australia, and Hong Kong.

Robert Vandenbergh ‘80 was promoted to senior executive vice president of Lakeland Bank. He will continue his position as chief lending officer and will also work on special projects with the CEO of Lakeland Bank. Robert is also chairman of Sussex County Community College and a Karen Ann Quinlan Foundation trustee. He resides in Andover with his wife, Barbara.

Laurence C. Egerton ‘81, at the age of 56 was hired by the North Carolina Police Department in Wilmington. He has been a social worker, and most recently owned an auto mechanic business. He passed all the physical tests and graduated from the academy as the oldest in a class of 13. He was quoted in an Associated Press article on June 8, 2007: Older officers bring "overall maturity and life experience, I tend to get a lot of cooperation just because of my age. Whether I'm arresting someone or getting people to divulge information, I think people assume that I've been out there for a long time."

Donna Yeung ‘81 lives in Orlando, FL with her husband Jonathan, her son Sean, three retired greyhounds and two cats.

Mariann Izzo Cheney, BFA ‘81 was promoted to director of Human Resources for the New England division of C & S Wholesale Grocers, Inc., Keene, NH. Mariann’s great grandparents, Abigail and Ingram Estabrook, came to America from Sackville, Canada in the mid 1800s and worked for HO Havemeyer and later ran the farm for Stephen Birch on the estate which was to become Ramapo College. On February 24, 2007, Rocco DiPaola ‘82, Michael Kennelly ‘81, John LaVacca ‘82, Steve Jones ‘83, Jeff Kristol ‘82, and Thomas D’Agostino ‘82 celebrated John LaVacca’s return to the U.S. from Australia. It was also their 25th anniversary from Ramapo College. They all met as freshmen in the fall of 1978.

Carolyn Spies ‘83 was appointed associate dean for faculty and program development at Bloomfield College. She has also served as interim dean of academic affairs, chair on the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences, director of the honors program, and coordinator for the Psychology Department. Carolyn has been teaching at Bloomfield College since 1993.

Dr. Teresa Karcnik ‘84 lives with her husband and two daughters in the mid Hudson Valley Region of NY State. She is a practicing radiologist and partner of Radiology Associates of Poughkeepsie, NY, PLLC.

Sam Blom ‘85, formerly of Midland Park, retired from PSE&G after 36 years. He lives in Cottonwood, Arizona. He is an assistant coach for the high school boys varsity soccer team, substitute teacher and has performed in two plays for the local community theater group that raises money for non-profits.

Janet Dengel ‘87 serves as editor for two publications owned by North Jersey Media Group, Englewood and Pascack Valley. The quarterly magazines cover businesses and personalities in the Bergen County area.

Daniel Kellogg ‘87 was recently promoted to sergeant after serving thirteen years on the Wyckoff Police Department. Daniel also serves as a DARE officer, juvenile officer, bicycle patrol, safety officer, crime prevention officer, and field training officer. Barbara Napolitano-Gibbons ‘87 and Geoffrey Gibbons proudly announce the arrival of their son, Anthony Edward Gibbons, born July 13, 2005.

Peter Goetz ‘89 has been hired by Ross University as vice president for Marketing and Enrollment. Peter’s responsibilities include enrollment management, marketing, applicant services, and alumni.

Jerry G. Ianni ‘89 received his M.S. in mathematics at Stevens Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. in mathematics from CUNY Graduate Center. He is an associate professor of Mathematics at LaGuardia Community College and an adjunct faculty member at City College of New York. Since 2003, Dr. Ianni has devoted his research to mathematical music theory, and in April he revisited Ramapo to present Algebraic Structures in Music Theory.

Clifford S. Bernstein ‘90 has been appointed to the faculty of the School of Medicine at the State University of New York at Stony Brook as clinical assistant professor of Radiology. Dr. Bernstein is a specialist in breast imaging, with particular interest in breast MRI and breast biopsy.

Allan Pearlstein ‘90 and Annmarie Rosco ‘90 married in the Ramapo College Mansion in 1992. Their daughter Rachel was born in 1999 and is now in second grade. Allan works as a Social Security claims representative in the Mesa, AZ SSA office. He has been with SSA for 14 years and has had the most rewarding career.

Glenn Schneider ‘91 worked with Mick Jagger in New York on ten 12-minute press interviews. Glenn serves as a freelancer working in video production for clients including Pepsi, BMW, and Quest Diagnostics. Ian Anderson ‘92 was named chief operating officer for Smart + Strong, a Manhattan-based publisher of health-related magazines and Web sites.

Luis Linares ‘92 was appointed to the position of director of the Bloomfield Republican County Committee. He will manage the committee’s day-to-day activities until the November election is held. Luis is also the chairman of the Republican National Assembly of New Jersey.

Sammy Olusala ‘92 received a master’s degree in Political Science from William Patterson University in 1995. He also received a master’s degree in 1997 in Education from Iona College, and in 2000, a diploma in Education from St. John’s University. Sammy plans to travel back to his native country Kenya and to run for Parliament. Stacy B. Greene ‘93 and Andrew Greenhut will be married on November 11, 2007. They will travel to Hawaii for their honeymoon. Stacy is the major gifts officer at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark. The couple resides in Whippany.

Erik Hunter ‘93 serves as the national public policy training manager for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Erik is responsible for training on the NAACP’s six public policy content areas. James J. Sexton, Esq. ‘94 is a trial lawyer and founding partner of a growing matrimonial law firm with offices in Rockland, Manhattan,

and Bergen County. He has taught at a variety of colleges and universities including Ramapo and NYU. In his limited free time he enjoys long distance running and has run several marathons. He has two sons, Noah and Billy, and lives in Rockland County, New York.

Lymor Wasserman ‘94 has returned to Fair Lawn, NJ, after 10 years of building her family and career in Chicago, IL. She teaches courses for underprivileged adults looking for work, and has joined Ajilon Finance as an executive recruiter in Paramus. James Jencarelli ‘95 was unanimously voted head of the Carlstadt-East Rutherford Regional School District by the Board of Education. He was previously the principal of Becton Regional High School and was chosen after consideration of five other candidates. Bill Paquin ‘95 was appointed CEO of SpineUniverse, an educational resource for spine health.

Kyle Copeland ‘96 joined King Real Estate Agency as the vice president of marketing. Kyle will assist the King Real Estate team with pre foreclosures counseling, mature adult moves, down sizing, first time buyers, renters, and any other real estate questions. Felicia Lichter ‘96 graduated with honors from Rutgers University with a master’s degree in Library and Information Science. Felicia, who also earned a law degree from Seton Hall University School of Law, works as a legal project editor for Lexis Nexis.

Dr. Glenn Micalizio ‘96 is an assistant professor of Chemistry at Yale University. In May he was recently awarded the Boehringer Ingelheim New Investigator Award, for 2007.

Gwen Plut ‘96 married Tom, on May 31, 2003. Their first child, Abigail, was born on February 22, 2005, and their second child, Ethan, was born May 23, 2007.

Daniela Bianchinotti ‘97 lives in Tappan, NY with her husband, Glen. After a successful career as vice president at one of New Jersey’s top public relations firms, she is now a freelance public relations consultant. She is a work-at-home mom of five children ranging from two to 18 years old.

Loft in New York City. John is a research editor for the New York Times. The couple honeymooned in Paris and The Seychelle Islands before settling down in Brooklyn.

Eric Melniczek ‘97 and Amanda Dye were married on June 24, 2006 at the Selu Conservancy in Radford, Virginia. Eric works as the assistant director of the Radford University Experiential Learning and Career Development. The newlyweds spent their honeymoon in Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Peggy Stewart ‘97 was honored by Princeton University for outstanding New Jersey secondary school education. She was among the four winners chosen out of 73 candidates and was recognized at the university’s 2007 Commencement. Peggy teaches social studies at Vernon Township High School and has involved her students in interactions with people and cultures outside the United States through travel and exchange programs. Peggy was also awarded the New Jersey State Teacher of the Year award for 2004-05. Corinna Tafoya ‘97 married Brent Mills on February 17, 2006. Corinna has worked as a caseworker in Child Welfare and Adult Protective services for the last two and a half years. She will soon begin working for a non -profit organization as an advocate manager. Andrew Comunale ‘98 and Kimberly Falzarano were wed on December 31, 2006. Andrew is currently the regional sales director with GI Pathology. Annie Davaris ‘98 married Gregory Hazley on July 28, 2006 at St. Gabriel the Archangel Church in Saddle River. The couple honeymooned in Paris. Annie is an eighth-grade teacher in Paterson. Gregory also attended Ramapo College; he is currently the senior editor for O’Dwyer Publications.

Patty Hemphill ‘98, a licensed clinical social worker, is currently a partner of Elder Care Options (ECO), LLC, a Franklin Lakes geriatric care management company. Erica Niclas ‘98, married Pavel Svitak on October 29, 2006. Erica is currently completing her teaching certification at Felician College. Both Erica and Pavel are employed at Hackensack University Medical Center.

Aaron and Jennifer Greenberg ‘97 announced the birth of their son, Zev Sachar, born September 21, 2006.

Danielle Klau ‘97 married John Cochran on October 14, 2006 in New York City. Danielle works as a designer for Ann Taylor

John George Casianos.

Arleen Bochette ‘99 is married to George Casianos. She is a social studies teacher in the Chesapeake Public Schools in Chesapeake, VA. They have a son,

Ramapo magazine


Class notes

Erin Baumgardner ‘99 and Neil O’Halloran were married on November 11, 2006 at the Church of Our Saviour in New York City. Erin works as an event planner for Oppenheimer Funds in New York City. Neil is employed as the vice president for Countrywide Commercial Real Estate Finance Inc. in New York City. The couple honeymooned in Nevis, West Indies, and now reside in New York City. Lenore Brady ‘99 graduated with the 29th Basic Telecommunicator Class and completed the North Carolina Sheriff ’s Standards course for telecommunications at the NC Highway Patrol Training Academy in Raleigh, NC. Lenore has been employed with the highway patrol since March 2006.

In Memoriam Hartland Helmich ‘74 Barry Ryan ‘75 Mark Kosmack ‘76 Robert Yingling ‘76 Harry D. Foster ‘81 Frances A. Bennett ‘85 Kim A. Haas ‘86 Tonia Ruth Vogel ‘89 David R. Westra ‘95

Heather Mintz ‘99 married Matthew Frederick on November 4, 2006. Heather is currently completing her graduate studies in educational counseling.

Mark Polizzi ‘99 and Cara Fitzpatrick were married at St. Elizabeth’s Church in Wyckoff. Mark works as a pharmaceutical sales representative for King Pharmaceuticals, while Cara is employed by ESP as a project manager. The newlyweds reside in Wyckoff.

Dr. Shakti Ramkissoon ‘99 graduated UMDNJ, New Jersey Medical School in May 2007. He was awarded "the medal of excellence" for his outstanding achievements while a medical student. Shakti will be doing his residency in the Department of Pathology at Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital. This is a highly prestigious and coveted residency.

Michael P. Scaplen ‘99 and Karen Novak were married on August 25, 2006. Michael is employed as a relationship manager at Penson Financial Services.

Melvin Carrillo ‘00 BSN, RN, BC, nurse manager of bariatrics at Hackensack University Medical Center, was featured on the January 2007 cover of Advance for Nurses Magazine. The article highlights Melvin’s work with bariatric surgery programs, designed to help patients lose weight and maintain healthy weight loss.


Ramapo magazine

Steven Engravalle ‘00 was promoted to chief school administrator of the Hamburg Borough School District. The position combines the responsibilities of superintendent and principal. Melissa Macovic ‘00 married Drew Bradicich ‘00. Melissa is a sales representative for Herff Jones Yearbooks in Hudson Valley.

Christopher Ramaglia ‘00 and Christina Uhlmann were married on December 17, 2006 at St. Thomas of Canterbury Church in historic Cornwall-onHudson, NY. The couple spent their honeymoon in the Caribbean.

Andrea Zaccone ‘00 announces her engagement to Kevin Fahrer. Andrea is an operations analyst with Movado Group Incorporated. Elizabeth Caraballo ‘01 passed the New York and New Jersey bar exams. She was sworn in to practice in New Jersey on May 29, 2007.

Eric Fernandes ‘01 and Heather Elizabeth Parks were united in marriage on October 14, 2006. Eric is pursuing graduate studies in computer science at Fairleigh Dickinson University; he is employed as a software engineer by Siemens AG. The newlyweds are planning a tour of Europe for their honeymoon. Jenny LaPlaca ‘01 and Ryan Darlington happily announce their engagement. Jenny is working as an associate manager of marketing communications at Global RCI, part of Wyndham Worldwide. The wedding is planned for August 2008.

Steven Kraemer ‘01 married Carolina Marchiori on December 16, 2006 in New Providence. The couple honeymooned in Brazil, where an additional wedding ceremony was given by the bride’s parents. Steven is employed by Target in business management.

Jeff Matvienko ‘01 and Teressa Esposito ‘02 happily announce their engagement. Jeff is employed as a pharmaceutical consult-

ant for Day & Zimmerman, Inc., out of Philadelphia. Teressa works as a corporate recruiter & training specialist for DialAmerica Marketing, Inc. in Mahwah. She also works toward her teacher’s certification from Bloomfield College. A 2008 wedding is planned.

Tim O’Shaughnessy ‘01 announced his marriage to Laraine Noceti August 5. Tim is employed as a police officer for the Borough of Fair Lawn.

Marissa Putten Vink ‘01 and Brook Blahnik were married in June 2006. Marissa works as the development coordinator for the television production company Powderhouse Productions in Boston, MA.

Jennifer Scancella ‘01 received her Ph.D. in Mathematics at Lehigh University and is now a tenure track assistant professor of Mathematics at Gannon University in Erie, PA. She was married in January of 2006 to Patrick Gorman. Haneefah Webster ‘01 is the proud parent of two beautiful girls. Samiyah was born March 4, 2004 and Nia was born July 19, 2006.

Marc Weinstein ‘01 announces his engagement to Pamela Fertel, with a wedding planned for March 2008. Marc is currently a marketing and communication specialist with Unilux, Inc.

Danielle Benedek ‘02 and Brian Christmann married in June. Danielle is a teacher in Passaic County, and Brian is working for a local excavating company.

Tracy Cappelluti ‘02 married Jeffery Katz on October 14, 2006. She received her master’s degree in corporate and organizational communications from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She is employed as a senior human resources representative with Hertz Corporation in Park Ridge. The couple now resides in East Rutherford.

Nicholas Giovanniello ‘02 announced his engagement to Jennifer Van Kleef. Nicholas is the branch manager for Enterprise Rent-a-Car in Edison. The wedding is planned for October 13, 2007 at St. Augustine of Canterbury R.C. Church. Kevin Holm ‘02 is a project manager at Pearson Prentice Hall, working in the Business Publishing Group. Since graduating in 2002, Kevin has completed a masters certificate in book publishing from New York University and has now completed his first year at Fairleigh Dickinson University where he is pursuing an Executive M.B.A. in Management.

Manshi Joisher ‘02 and Apurva Mehta happily announced their engagement on April 14, 2007. Manshi is working as the associate director of investments data management at MetLife. The wedding is planned for July 2008.

Jaclyn Madden ‘02 and Issa Kanawati were married on April 9, 2006. Jaclyn works as the assistant manager of Ann Taylor Loft. After spending their honeymoon in California, the couple resides in Paramus.

Michelle Masi ‘02 and Adam F. Lerner ‘04 are engaged to be married on August 2, 2008 in Matawan, New Jersey. Michelle is currently a special education teacher. Adam is a first lieutenant in the United States Air Force Reserve and in the field of sales. Jacquelyn Oshman ‘02 and her husband Keith announce the birth of their son, Gavin Keith, on April 5, 2007.

Vidhi Shah (Parekh) ‘02 and Kunal Shah are thrilled to announce the birth of their baby boy Krishiv on May 20, 2007. The joy is also shared by his proud aunt, Purvi Parekh ‘01, ‘04.

Jeffrey Colford ‘03 married Sandra Isik on May 20, 2006 in Ridgewood. The couple honeymooned in Belize and they reside in Wood-Ridge. Jeffrey is a senior auditor at Ernst & Young.

Steven M. Frost ‘03 and his wife Valerie celebrated their first wedding anniversary on June 17 and are expecting their first baby in November. The couple relocated to Roseville, CA.

Allison Harraka ‘03 is in her seventh year as a fourth-grade teacher at Pines Lake Elementary School in Wayne. She teaches math to all fourth-graders, as well as reading, writing and language arts to her homeroom class.

Nicole Krawczuk ‘03 and Thomas Knell announced their engagement. The wedding is planned for fall 2007.

Linda Neilson ‘03 passed the New Jersey State Bar and was sworn in to practice in New Jersey on May 29th, 2007.

Robyn Philburn ‘03 and Joseph Carson were married on September 1, 2006. Robyn works for Pzifer Inc. as a research associate in New York City. The couple resides in Morristown.

Liza Marie Porcelli ‘03 and Alex Fonti were married on November 4, 2006. Liza is employed as a special education teacher in Hawthorne. The couple honeymooned in Aruba and now resides in Wyckoff.

Bill Venezia ‘03 and Erica Schweikert ‘03 were married December 2, 2006 in Newtown, CT. Bill is a network engineer in NYC; Erica is a resolutions analyst in Shelton, CT. The couple lives in Bethel, CT.

Brian Wilson ‘03 is a development associate for the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art. Brian’s tasks include working on grants, a membership drive, and other fundraising for the company.

Nicole Basiaga ‘04 cheerfully announced her engagement to Frederick Gissubel. The wedding is planned for May 2008.

Jaime Hill ‘04 happily announced her engagement to Brian Phair.

Adam Lerner ‘04 has been promoted to 1st lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. He is assigned as a deputy missile combat crew commander at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, WY.

Theresa Malek ‘04 married Luke Lesniowski on March 30, 2007. The happy couple are expecting their first child in October 2007.

Cathleen Sampson ‘04 is an assistant production supervisor in Los Angeles working on television commercials. She has been living in Los Angeles for two years and loves the environment.

Dina Tortorelli ‘04 received the Excellence in Nursing Leadership award from Chilton Memorial Hospital on May 9, 2007. Dina works as a manager in the hospital’s Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory.

Leslie Young ‘04 and Jason Mildenberg were married on March 18, 2006. Leslie is employed as a pre-kindergarten teacher at the Ranney School in Tinton Falls. The newlyweds currently reside in Freehold Township.

Lauren Bergeron ‘05 joined DeCarbo & Fidacaro Food Solutions in East Rutherford as director of recruiting.

Katie Bovino ‘05 and Andrew Chudy married on October 21, 2006. The couple traveled to Aruba after the wedding and reside in Manville. Katie is working for the University Medical Center at Princeton in labor and delivery.

Anthony Cusmano ‘05 and ToniAnne Graziano ‘05 were married on October 8, 2006. The couple met during their first day of orientation at Ramapo and have been together ever since.

Diane L. Darcy ‘05 and Walter J. Schmidt happily announced their engagement. Diane has run Platinum Events, her own wedding and event planning firm since 2005. They recently purchased their first home in Freehold Borough, NJ and look forward to their October 6, 2007 wedding. Jackie Maron ‘05 works as a digital media planner for MediaVest Worldwide in New York City. Through the advertising agency, Jackie works on brands under the Procter & Gamble umbrella.

Dennis Mortensen ‘05 married Laura Rose Sadlo on July 14, 2007. Lee Chernowetz ’05 was the best man. Dennis is the head production engineer of Little Steven’s Underground Garage, a nationally syndicated radio show in over 120 markets.

Kristen Purpura ‘05 joyfully announced her engagement to Glen Ferttitta. The wedding is planned for October 2007.

Howard Sisken ‘05 is engaged to Stacey Zeidman, with the wedding planned for October 11, 2008. He is currently a production manager with DWJ Television in Ridgewood, NJ.

Jennifer Desfosse ‘06 was named executive assistant at Lanmark Group in Eatontown, NJ. She is responsible for assisting the company’s top executives by scheduling meetings, making travel arrangements, and managing their schedules.

Alison Fenkel ‘06 teaches first grade at Martin Luther King Elementary School in Edison. David Hershberger ‘06 announced his marraige to Jenny Nickles this past June. He is employed as a technology teacher at Highland School in Midland Park. Francesca Salameno ‘06 teaches fifth grade at Brookside School in Allendale.

Valerie Scala ‘06 announced her engagement to Joshua Krohn. The wedding is planned for September 8, 2007. Valerie works as a registered nurse at Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC.

Lia D. Trepiccione ‘06 announced her engagement to David Timpanaro. The wedding is planned for June 2008. Lia is currently employed in business development by LDT International. Ronald F. Waldt ‘06 was sworn in as a police officer of the Englewood Cliffs Police Department on January 18, 2007. He completed a six-month training program at the Bergen County Police Academy.

Ryan Benz ‘07 has joined Lanmark Group in Eatontown, NJ as an account coordinator. Caroline De Fino ‘07 joined the business publishing department of Pearson Education in Upper Saddle River as an editorial assistant. Julie Ann Kulinski ‘07 will continue her doctoral studies after graduation. She will by studying physical therapy at the University of Medicine and Dentistry.

Joseph Maulbeck ‘07 is currently a mental health counselor for Community Hope and will pursue his master’s degree is psychology. Lauren Rutledge ‘07 was recently hired by MTV Networks as Assistant to the President & COO.

Breanne Elise DeGasperis ‘06 married Wallace A. Zosche on July 21, 2006. The couple spent their honeymoon on the isle of Curacao, and they reside in Newton. Breanne is pursuing a teaching career.

Joshua A. Epstein ‘06 was selected to play professional baseball for the Israel Baseball League’s Petach Tikva Pioneers Team.

Ramapo magazine


Ramapo reflections

Spotlight on


rofessor Ira Spar has led two lives since joining the Ramapo College history faculty in 1973. Spar, the College's expert on the history of the ancient Near East has taught ancient history, ancient law, and a variety of other courses that touch on the culture, people and languages of a part of the world that remains mysterious to most Americans and the majority of westerners. At the same time, he has been associated with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, arguably the most important museum in the world. Spar works on a collection of cuneiform tablets, which have been at the Met since the nineteenth century. There are over six hundred tablets and fragments; some pieces are extremely small; the size of your thumbnail; others are much larger. Tablets are made of clay from riverbanks. Important tablets recording literary or royal texts were made from purer clay and baked in an oven instead of being dried in the sun. Wearing his floppy hat while directing the careful excavation of a chamber two stories below the ground, Spar has been called "Ramapo's Indiana Jones."

The cuneiform writing system is pre-alphabetical and was used in ancient Babylonia. Spar describes it as "a terrible system of writing. Terrible. No wonder it was replaced by the alphabet." He has worked on the collection, first cataloging the tablets, for thirty years. Spar is the author/editor of three volumes of cuneiform translation. Volume one is 400 pages long and volumes two and three are around 540 pages each. The fourth and last volume is now being prepared for publication by Spar. The collection is an important window into the government, literature, economics, science, and religion of 26

Ramapo magazine

Babylonia in the period about 3000 BCE to the first Century CE. The texts also are fascinating as they provide an insight into the reverence, fear, and awe the Babylonians felt for their gods. The texts are also a chronicle of everyday life of an important ancient civilization that has had a great influence on classical and western civilization.

For about ten years Spar directed the study abroad experience for Ramapo College students interested in participating in an actual archeological dig in Israel. His association with faculty at Tel Aviv University allowed Ramapo College, as part of the New Jersey Archeological Consortium, to offer a program that brought undergraduate students and others into the dig site of the ancient Kingdom of Geshur. Under the direction of Spar and other experts, students learned field techniques, and participated in the uncovering of a small kingdom, a comprehensive city that was referred to in the Bible. The site, located on the Golan Heights above the Sea of Galilee close to the border separating Israel and Syria, is called Tel Hadar. A tel is an ancient mound that sometimes contains old ruins.

Students from New Jersey and many other places lived on an Israeli kibbutz, sharing meals and chores with the residents. After rising very early each day to avoid some of the desert heat, participants spent mornings digging and clearing soil and sand, and at noon ran into the Sea of Galilee to remove the dust and dirt collected. Participants in the dig were successful in their search for parts of buildings, vaults, ancient streets and pieces of pottery and utensils made in ancient times, and after dinner each evening, the day's finds were analyzed by experts from Tel Aviv University. New Jersey's Public Television Network sent a camera crew along one summer and recorded all of the dig's

activity, and how the student participants felt about the experience. The hour-long show, The Lost Kingdom, was shown on several PBS stations and was well received. It was an important recognition for the high quality programs offered by the College. Spar no longer conducts this dig, but travels alone or with his family to sites in Jordan and Syria or to remote parts of Turkey, to learn more about the people who inhabited these places thousands of years ago.

Spar grew up in New Rochelle, New York and attended the American University, majoring in international studies. Upon graduation, he was accepted to the University of Michigan and granted a Horace G. Rackham Fellowship for the study of Ancient and Near Eastern History and Language. He became an Assyriologist, specializing in an Akkadian dialect called Neo-Babylonian. Spar then studied at the University of Minnesota, earning a Ph.D. in ancient Near East studies. The combination of Spar's teaching, along with his work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and actual archeological field work, has produced learning experiences that college students will never forget.

Courts and fields

Women’s Softball finishes 2nd in New Jersey Athletic Conference

The Ramapo College softball team finished the 2007 season with a 33-10 overall record and a second place NJAC finish with a stellar 15-3 record.

Bouncing Back to Victory

The Ramapo College men’s basketball team was familiar with success when they entered the New Jersey Athletic Conference Tournament in February. The team started the 2006-2007 season strong with five victories, including one over Richard Stockton College to open the official NJAC season at 1-0.

While the team suffered its first loss to Kean University, they came back to win the next four games straight. Two losses in the Annual Cactus Jam Tournament toughened the players, and they bounced back with a five-game winning streak.

The team’s athletic prowess earned them the #2 seed in the NJAC Championship tournament. Victories over TCNJ and Rowan got them to the finals against New Jersey City University. After a tense game on their opponents’ home court, the Roadrunners defeated NJCU in an overtime finish to become NJAC champions.

All but two members of the 2006-2007 NJAC championship team will return for the 20072008 roster.

The 2007 season started slowly, but soon the Roadrunners hit their stride with a six-game winning streak. This success continued with their double-header wins over CSI. They began the NJAC season with two victories over TCNJ. Double-headers were often an even split for Ramapo, with Rutgers-Camden, Montclair State, and Stockton College games consistently breaking even. This changed by the end of the season, as the Roadrunners swept their last three NJAC double-headers with victories over

Rutgers-Newark, NJCU and Kean. This earned them second seed in the 2007 NJAC tournament. While hopes for an NJAC championship were dashed, Ramapo was awarded a bid to the 2007 NCAA Division III Softball Tournament, in which they fell just short of the championship game. All but six players return to the 2008 roster.

Potential for Success in the World of Professional Football When scouting new talent, one might look to those with experience and years of training to set the standard for the next wave of professional athletes. In some cases, however, it is raw, natural prowess that surpasses even the most veteran of young players.

Such is the case with Todd Lowber of Riverdale, NJ, a 2006 alumnus of Ramapo College. Sports enthusiasts will remember Lowber as a starting member of the men’s basketball team for two seasons, averaging more than 12 points per game.

Lowber is perhaps most famous for being crowned champion in the high jump competition at the NCAA Division III Championships in May of 2006. Lowber’s jump measured at 7’ 5”, and he is the first individual national champion in Ramapo College’s history.

It is not a professional basketball team that took note of Lowber’s accomplishments, though; rather, Minnesota Vikings scout Jamaal Stephenson noticed his potential for success in the world of professional football. While Lowber has never played organized football, his physical athleticism is obvious, and his 4.1 second 40-yard dash cemented him as a perfect choice for wide receiver. On April 19, 2007 it was officially announced that Todd Lowber was signed to the Minnesota Vikings.

He loves all art and music, especially opera, and brings this passion along with his worldly experiences to every class and lecture, providing a unique context for studying ancient civilizations.

Some of the material in this article appeared in Museum, Behind the Scenes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Danny Danziger published by Viking Press.

Photos: Tom Dahlin/

Ramapo magazine


Datebook October 11

Old Dog, New Tricks: The Work of Shalom Gorewitz 1 p.m., Sharp Theater

October 12

Quartet San Francisco

8 p.m., Sharp Theater The quartet will present an eclectic repertoire including music by Stevie Wonder, Chick Corea and Astor Piazzolla.

October 13

Avner The Eccentric Exceptions to Gravity 8 p.m., Sharp Theater

Enjoy the antics of Avner: magician, clown, juggler, acrobat, puppeteer, comedian, mime and dancer. October 14

The Sutin Ensemble

8 p.m., Sharp Theater Join the ensemble and guests as they present The Beethoven Septet.

October 20

Creating Memories at Ramapo

9 a.m. – 9 p.m., Ramapo College Trustees Pavilion A Scrapbooking Event Sponsored by the Ramapo College Alumni Association. Proceeds benefit the Alumni Scholarship Fund For reservations and additional information call: 201.684.7179

October 20

The Sultans of Swing and Champian Fulton

8 p.m., Sharp Theater David Berger's 16-piece big band, featuring vocalist Champian Fulton, performs music of the 30s and 40s.

November 4

Friends of Ramapo Historic Tour and Program

Visit the Birch Mansion and Havemeyer House. Proceeds benefit the Friends of Ramapo Scholarship Fund. For reservations and additional information call: 201.684.7179

Gallery Exhibitions November 7 December 12

Collection Parallax

Kresge Gallery This exhibition features non-Haitian works from the Rodman Collection with loans from private collections.

In Other Words

Pascal Gallery features the 2006 winner of the annual Ramapo Curatorial Prize, Mariangela Mendez Prencke of Bogota, Colombia.

November 8

NYC Alumni Reception

6 p.m.-8 p.m. For reservations and additional information call: 201.684.7115

November 30 and December 1

Ramapo live

GREEN MEETS GREEN: Transitioning from


"We can't afford to be green" to "We can't afford NOT to be green."

Panel Discussions and Workshops, Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 9 p.m. EXPO: Connecting Consumers and Services, Saturday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sponsored by the Institute for Environmental Studies

December 2

Christmas with the Montovani Orchestra and Chorus (joined by the Ramapo Chorale) 8 p.m., Sharp Theater

February 9

Hilary Kole: Singing Astaire

8 p.m., Sharp Theater The Astaire Songbook is a musical celebration of songs including "'Puttin on the Ritz," "A Fine Romance, "Top Hat," and "Cheek to Cheek."

March 8

26th Annual Distinguished Citizens Dinner March 9

The Magic of Ireland 8 p.m., Sharp Theater The troupe consists of champion Irish dancers accompanied by singers playing the accordion, fiddle, pipes, and flutes.

Launching this Fall… Look for…

the Ramapo College Alumni Online Community


e are pleased to offer alumni a new portal, similar to Myspace, to help foster connections among alumni.

Become a part of Ramapo Live and take advantage of these great features:.

• Search the alumni directory – Find friends, update your contact information, and add a picture to your profile! • Register for events – Showcase and link up with your circle of friends. Network with alumni from around the globe. • Read and post class notes – Share your news or catch up with classmates online. Post photos, too! • – Get a Ramapo forwarding address. No need to notify everyone the next time your e-mail address changes. Update your alumni e-mail account; they’ll always be able to reach you.

The online community offers many electronic tools to help you get the most out of your Ramapo connection. All you have to do to begin using these tools is join. Membership to Ramapo Live is available to alumni only. In order to access "members-only" areas of this online community, you must register first. Once you've registered, simply enter your User ID and Password when prompted, as you browse the community.

If you would like to be the first to use Ramapo Live, please submit your updated alumni profiles with e-mail address at: If you have any questions, please contact Purvi Parekh, ’01, ’04, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations at 201.684.7115 or e-mail

April 26

Nobodies of Comedy


Ramapo magazine

8 p.m., Sharp Theater Laugh out loud at the most talented rising stars in stand-up.

Ramapo magazine


Non Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Hackensack, NJ Permit No. 1037

505 Ramapo Valley Road Mahwah, NJ 07430-1680

New Jersey’s Public Liberal Arts College


Nancy Giles, CBS Sunday Morning contributor, comedian, and actress delivered the commencement address at Ramapo College on May 11. Frances K. Hackett, Ramapo class of 1980, received the President’s Award of Merit. A total of 1,363 students who completed their studies in January, May, and August, were eligible to participate. Whether delivering her social commentaries on CBS Sunday Morning or delighting theater fans with her solo pieces, Nancy Giles is described as a perceptive and provocative observer of today’s world. She deftly combined her blend of laugh-out-loud humor – including anecdotes about her mother’s advice, her hair, and learning to walk in high heels – and common sense wisdom to encourage the Class of 2007 to embrace the challenges to come.

Commencement speaker Nancy Giles regaled grads and guests with amusing, yet thought-provoking, anecdotes about her life.

Sashes designating student accomplishments add zest to the traditional cap and gown.

Showers of smiles and sunshine blanketed the 1,363 students comprising the Class of 2007.

Prior to the ceremonial procession to the Bandshell, members of the Board of Trustees and Board of Governors gathered at the Birch Mansion. (First row, L – R): President Peter Mercer, President’s Award of Merit recipient and Board of Governors member Frances K. Hackett ’80, Board of Trustees then chair Thomas Zelante, Board of Governors chair Thomas McGurn, and Trustee Sharon McGahee. (Second row, L- R): Trustee Gail Brady, Student Trustee Stephen Bloom, and Trustees W. Peter McBride, Timothy Schroeder; A.J. Sabath ’93, Esther Suarez, and The Reverend Dr. Vernon C. Walton.

Ramapo College Magazine Fall 2007  
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