Union College Magazine Spring/Summer 2019

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UNIONCOLLEGE A Magazine for Alumni and Friends


As traversed by four alumni

Volume 113 / Number 3


Untitled Who would’ve guessed It came on a silver platter The world’s greatest gift Yet to be unwrapped Until that moment, held prisoner Living in Hades, blind to my surroundings The devil held me close Always to my back Comforting and calming, but not for me to see Keeping me (quietly) from being free This is how life is Fifteen steps and you’re back where you started Five short years, maybe a trip around the sun I knew it was normal I thought it was fine Kicking the can down the road No way to know that this wasn’t real Ah, yes, I can remember it now I blinked twice and looked all around Center of attention for all I didn’t do My eyes had actually opened at last I felt alive, I felt free to the heavens My demons slowly faded into the abyss I smiled in my head for no one but myself The string had been cut Wheels off the ground Liftoff So who would’ve guessed? It came on a silver platter Just a bone saw and some bolts And I was finally free

Computer science major Brendan Pritikin ’20 wrote this poem in response to “15 Step” by Radiohead, which he studied during winter term in “The Art and Music of Radiohead.” Read more about the class on pg. 22.

“I listened to ’15 Step’ often during an intense period in my life to help me relax, gather my thoughts and keep my head on straight. Near the end of high school, I was involved in a car accident in San Francisco—I had fallen asleep at the wheel. It resulted in a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea, and sent me down a years-long path to fix it. I felt like

I was spinning my gears during this time. I don’t remember most of what happened or my studies. Then I had surgery. A team at Stanford cut my jaw bones completely, moved my whole jaw outward and re-bolted it to my skull. It cured my sleep condition. I was so much more awake, aware and capable than I’d ever been. I was able to study and learn again.”

SUMMER 2019 // Volume 113 // Number 3


An illustration, symbolizing the experiences of alumni with opioids, by Kris Fitzgerald




Tom Torello EDITOR

Charlie Casey caseyc@union.edu ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Erin DeMuth Judd demuthje@union.edu CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Christen Gowan Tina Lincer Phillip Wajda CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Matt Milless Shawn LaChapelle DESIGN

2k Design PRINTING

Fort Orange Press

24 Opioids, as four alumni know them

UNION COLLEGE is published

As the opioid crisis rages, these alumni share their stories—of anguish and advocacy, of careers committed to finding answers, of breaking free from addiction.

three times a year by the Union College Office of Communications, Schenectady, N.Y. 12308. The telephone is (518) 388-6131. Non-profit flat rate postage is paid at Schenectady, N.Y., and an additional mailing office. Postmaster: Send address changes to Office of Communications, Union College, Schenectady, N.Y. 12308-3169. Alumni who want to inform the College about changes of address should contact the Alumni Office at (518) 388-6168 or via e-mail at alumni@union. edu. The same phone number and e-mail address should be used to correspond about ReUnion, Homecoming, alumni club events, and other activities.

Departments 2 President’s Message

34 focUs

40 Class Notes

3 Letters

36 Media

60 Unions

4 Around U

38 Alumni Clubs

68 Arrivals 70 In Memoriam


After Union, lifelong education for a changing world


t the Baccalaureate Convocation on June 15, I reminded our graduating seniors of what generations of alumni have learned since their time at Union: education does not end with Commencement. Four years ago at Opening Convocation, the Class of 2019 heard President Stephen C. Ainlay reflect on a book, Union College: An Unfinished History by Dixon Ryan Fox, Union’s 12th president. I returned to President Ainlay’s remarks about Union’s unfinished history and asked the seniors to consider how their own education is unfinished. I didn’t mean they need more tuition payments, classes or exams. Rather, that no college—even Union—can fully prepare graduates for the opportunities and challenges that await, primarily because we cannot know what they will be. But, Union is distinctive. We are a close-knit community with broad, interdisciplinary courses and programs that span the traditional liberal arts, as well as engineering and computer science, and a faculty that is committed to helping students develop intellectually and as people. In addition to traditional coursework, students learn valuable lessons from athletics, internships, Greek life, study away, research and casual conversations. Union graduates have a foundation—a commitment to lifelong education—to meet the challenges and opportunities of an uncertain future. In May, we hosted a campus event with three Fortune 500 CEOs—James Loree ’80 of Stanley Black & Decker, Richard Templeton ’80 of Texas Instruments and Devin Wenig ’88 of eBay—who discussed how Union prepared them to face challenges that were unforeseen when they graduated. (see p. 8 and watch on Facebook). All three revealed something we hear often: Union’s wellrounded education made them highly adaptable. Union’s brand of education is exactly what is required for tackling some of our most complex problems. I have often said that any major societal challenge requires solutions from a range of 2


disciplines. In this issue of our magazine we examine one challenge that is devastating communities, the opioid crisis, and how a Union education has prepared people to respond. The parent who is using a personal loss to educate others. Researchers studying neurobiological risk factors for substance use disorders or mental illness. The physician who is developing new addiction treatments. The young attorney who overcame opioid dependence. The College counselor who establishes a referral network for any student who needs it. On the eve of Commencement, I told our graduates that I could not recall much of my own college graduation, except for sharing it with Anne, who would become my wife. But I do know that despite starting college as a journalism major, I was unprepared for an America in which the media, experts and facts are under attack. Despite two years as an engineering major, I could not anticipate the rate of change in information technology. Despite earning a degree in social policy and doing extensive work on race and inequality, I did not expect to see a black U.S. President and I was unprepared for all that would entail. What is clear now is that I have spent my time since college selectively unlearning what I thought I knew and relearning what I needed to know. This was not because my education was deficient, but because the world continues to change. As our alumni will testify, and our recent graduates will discover, mine was not a unique experience. I take pride in knowing that thanks to the holistic and engaging approach we take at Union, our newest alumni are exceptionally well prepared to thrive despite the challenges of a changing world. Congratulations Class of 2019!



C E L E B R AT I N G years Thank you for the memories

Explore the world


hat a wonderful magazine highlighting Union’s terms abroad. I was a pre-med major who was incredibly fortunate to take a term abroad to Bath, England in 1977. It was an educational experience and one of personal growth. It taught me to expand my educational experience outside of the sciences, to learn more about history, art and literature. I also forged relationships with students from another country and got the confidence to handle many ‘adult’ situations. Best of all it started my love for travel and exploration, which has led me around the world. I would advise everyone to get out of their comfort zone, enrich and explore your world and take a term abroad. Thank you Professor Sam Ullman, the fellow students on the trip, and Union College for the experiences. As an aside, for years I have been placing the Union College magazine in my pediatric waiting room. Hopefully, some lucky high school student will pick it up and learn about the riches of Union College. You should suggest that other alumni who interact with other high school students do the same thing! MASON GOMBERG ’78, M.D.


enjoyed reading ‘Terms abroad turns 50’ in the winter magazine. I spent my spring semester in Vienna in 1970. I studied German art history, language and did an independent study on the Ottoman Siege of Vienna in 1683. It was good to get away from physics and do something completely different. Thank you for the memories.


HAL TUGAL ’71, Ph.D.

Remembering Prof. Sharlet


had the pleasure of having Prof. Robert Sharlet as a teacher and mentor and I have fond memories of him in and out of the classroom. Professor Sharlet could relate to the challenges I faced at Union as a first generation college student and athlete. Without his guidance and mentorship, my dream of graduating from a college like Union might not have been possible. He, along with a few other great professors in the PS department, made a difference in my life and in so many others. I stayed in touch with him through the years and enjoyed seeing him back on campus after his retirement. He will surely be missed by all who knew him.” NICK FAMULARE ’92 P’21

An obituary on Prof. Sharlet appears on p. 78

» Visit us online at www.union.edu/magazine

We are planning for the 2020 commemoration of the 50th anniversary of coeducation at Union, and we’d like to hear from you. Tell us about your formative experiences, your most influential professor or class, your biggest sports win or most defining challenge or success.

Please share your memories and photos—from 1970 or yesterday— by emailing magazine@union.edu

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Susan Zirinsky, president and senior executive producer of CBS News, gives the Commencement address.

Class of 2019 graduates during 225th Commencement




usan Zirinsky has spent her entire adult life at CBS News. As such, she has been witness to some of the biggest stories in history. Watergate. The Tiananmen Square student uprising. The Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting. The Boston Marathon bombings. The terrorist attacks in Paris. Drawing inspiration from her decades in the news business, Zirinsky offered a series of life lessons to the nearly 500 graduates at Union’s 225th Commencement in Memorial Fieldhouse June 16. The ceremony moved indoors because of steady rain. “There is no Google maps, Waze or Siri giving any of us directions to success,” said Zirinksky, who, on March 1, took over as president and senior executive producer of CBS News. She is the first woman to lead the venerable news organization. “What makes any of us feel successful? Success really means how well you cope with the things that happen as you take the journey in life. Real success is about not giving up when the worst things do happen. Success is about having an impact.” Zirinsky was the inspiration for Holly Hunter’s character in 1987’s Oscarnominated movie “Broadcast News.” She shared with graduates the key elements she lives by, including using fear as a self-motivator, sleeping very little and not always leaning in. “Lean sideways,” she said. “You have to accept you cannot have it all.” In her address, Zirinsky touched on the cultural shift of the last two years, including the #MeToo movement and its impact on society. “Unconscious bias remains in every business, every campus, every social situation,” she said. “It may never be over. An inclusive society is what we must be.” Zirinsky received an honorary doctorate of letters degree. The College also awarded an honorary doctorate of letters degree to Deborah

Margolin, a playwright, actor and founding member of Split Britches Theater Company. Margolin is Professor of the Practice in Yale University’s undergraduate Theater Studies Program. In his first charge to the graduates, President David R. Harris encouraged the class to take what they have built at Union and apply it to the world. “Make positive differences, in ways large and small, in places near and far, with wisdom and compassion,” he said. “Know that you are ready for what comes next, and that the world needs you.” The student speaker, Christie Dionisos ’19, reminded her classmates that Union has prepared them.



JUNE 14, 1998

President David R. Harris congratulates a graduate

“How do you put words to a place that took your breath away,” asked Dionisos, a double major in neuroscience and gender, sexuality and women’s studies from West Chester, Pa. “You do it justice. You make it proud. You be responsible for the biggest biological breakthrough in cancer research, the next engineered human prosthetic, the novel of the century, the most influential economic policy, the loudest cry for social justice. You are eminently qualified to do this.” Five members of the Class of 2019 received special recognition: Co-valedictorians Allegra Dawes, a mathematics major (with a minor in political science) from Corning, N.Y.; Thomas Gagliardi, a biochemistry major from Armonk, N.Y.; and Samantha Miller, a visual arts major from San Diego, Calif. Also recognized were co-salutatorians Lisa Gu, a computer engineering major from Marlboro, N.J., and Marc Perlman, a biology and economics interdepartmental major from Roslyn, N.Y. William A. Finlay, College marshal and chair of Theater and Dance, presided over his last Commencement before he retires. He joined Union in 1994, serving as marshal since 2005. Robert Bertagna ’85, the new chair of the College’s Board of Trustees, offered welcoming remarks. Visit facebook.com/unioncollege for a photo gallery from the event. SUMMER 2019 | UNION COLLEGE







Keynote speaker Catharine Bond Hill, former president of Vassar College, talked about the role of coeducation at Union.

Founders Day celebrates coeducation


n the fall of 1970, a group of 126 women made history when they arrived on campus to begin their college journey. Joining more than 300 other first-year students, they were the first full-time undergraduate women admitted to Union. Among them was Katherine Stout ’74. A top scholar and star athlete from nearby Guilderland, Stout was accepted through early decision. That gave her the distinction of being the first of the new admits. “I’ve been to campus a few times and met some of the students there,” the 17-year-old told the Times Union of Albany before she officially moved in. “The guys seem to be indifferent about the whole thing. But the administration is acting like a miracle has happened.” It may not have been a miracle, but Union’s decision to go coeducational was transformative. As the College plans to mark the 50th anniversary of this milestone next year, it was the focal point of February’s Founders Day celebration. The event commemorated the 224th anniversary of 6


the College’s charter. The keynote speaker, Catharine Bond Hill, the former president of Vassar College, gave an overview of the period when Union and other schools began admitting women. The civil rights movement and the Vietnam War dominated the era, promoting profound change in the country, particularly on college campuses. “Young people had found their voice and realized they had power to encourage change, and colleges and universities responded,” Hill told the audience in Memorial Chapel. “They had to. Admissions, the curriculum, and rules and regulations changed at a speed not normally experienced on academic campuses.” Union was no different. In 1968, President Harold Martin appointed a committee to study the issue of admitting women. After much deliberation, the school decided to welcome women full-time. Hill shared what Martin told the trustees: “I suspect that the wisest course is to think in terms of some extra human

beings…except for ironing boards, increased closet space and full-length mirrors.” “I’m not sure about the stereotypes implicit in that last part, but I like the idea of referring to significantly changing the demographics of your community as welcoming additional human beings to the community,” Hill said. She also shared her own experience as a member of the second class of women admitted to Williams College. “They weren’t completely ready for having women on campus, but in general, the transition to co-education, from my perspective, went well,” said Hill, managing director of Ithaka S+R, a higher education consulting firm. “I discovered economics, which I loved, and never felt unwelcome in that department.” She acknowledged some challenges, including the lack of varsity sports teams for women and inadequate bathroom facilities, but the college worked to address issues they had not anticipated. “It is important to know that admis-

President David R. Harris speaks during Founders Day

sions aren’t enough,” she said. “Both anticipating as much as possible and learning from experience, making sure the campus supports those admitted, are important. Students will succeed when they believe they truly belong on campus.” Since 1970, college attainment rates for women continue to rise, Hill said. But more is needed to increase access for low-income students and those from black, Latino and Native American families. When Hill served as Vassar president from 2006 to 2016, the college reinstated need-blind admissions and replaced loans with grants for low-income families. Higher education increases the well-being of the individuals in society, but also strengthens the economy and the country, she said. If schools embrace this challenge much like they did with regard to coeducation, progress can be made. “Our college campuses need to be welcoming to all students seeking higher education,” she said. “Union College’s policies make its commitments to this clear.” In his first Founders Day greeting, President David R. Harris called the occasion an opportunity for the campus community to come together to not only think about where they are going, but to reflect on where they have been. “We ask what decisions and non-decisions produced the set of opportunities and challenges we face today, and what specific paths did people pursue,” Harris said. “Just as important, we ask what idea

that seems so obvious and simple to us will fix the problems we see. What’s been tried before? Did it work or not? Can we learn from it?” Also at Founders Day, Teresa A. Henderson, teacher and visual art and design chair at Manilus Pebble Hill School in DeWitt, N.Y., was presented with the Gideon Hawley Teacher Recognition Award. Named for the 1809 graduate of Union who was New York State’s first superintendent of public education, the award is given to secondary school teachers who have had a continuing influence on the academic life of Union students. Henderson was nominated by Lillian Maresco ’21, a biomedical engineering major. The ceremony also included the announcement of the Stillman Prize for Excellence in Teaching to Jeffrey Corbin, professor of biology. The prize was created by David I. Stillman ’72, Abbott Stillman ’69 and Allan Stillman in honor of Abraham Stillman, father and grandfather. It is given annually to a faculty member to encourage outstanding teaching. Corbin will be presented with the award at a later date. In addition, the Hollander Prize in Music, established by Lawrence J. Hollander, the late dean of engineering emeritus, was awarded to Mengjia (Cheechee) Qi ’20 and Zi Wei Xing ’21. Qi performed Gnomenreigen (Dance of the Gnomes) from Two Concert Etudes, S. 145 by Franz Liszt. Xing performed Jardins

sous la Pluie (Gardens in the Rain) from Estampes by Claude Debussy. The celebration opened with remarks from William A. Finlay, College marshal and chair of the Theater and Dance Department; Robert Bertagna ’85, vice chair of the College’s Board of Trustees; Mary Carroll ’86, the Dwane W. Crichton Professor of Chemistry and chair of the Faculty Executive Committee; and Michael Stalteri ’19, president of Student Forum.

Teresa A. Henderson (center), teacher and visual art and design chair at Manilus Pebble Hill School in DeWitt, N.Y., was presented with the Gideon Hawley Teacher Recognition Award. SUMMER 2019 | UNION COLLEGE




Secrets of their success Fortune 500 CEOs discuss Union, influences and dealing with setbacks


his year, a special Steinmetz Day event brought three Fortune 500 CEOs back to campus for a wideranging conversation that was nostalgic, informative and inspirational. James Loree ’80, president and CEO of Stanley Black & Decker; Richard Templeton ’80, chairman, president and CEO of Texas Instruments; and Devin Wenig ’88, president and CEO of eBay, shared a stage with President David R. Harris. Harris moderated the hour-long discussion, “Developing Leaders for an Uncertain Tomorrow.” Union was recently included among the top 30 schools that graduated the most current CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. With 2,200 students, the College was the smallest 8


school to make the list. Harris was introduced by Sarah Taha ’19, a biomedical engineering major. She had an internship with Stanley Black & Decker last summer and has an offer of full-time employment following graduation. The conversation touched on the role Union played in each man’s success, how students can thrive in an ever-changing world and the importance of a wellrounded liberal arts education. “Union helped me to become a happy, healthy, adjusted adult,” said Wenig. He emphasized that the definition of success doesn’t mean one has to become a CEO of a major company. “It’s the life experiences I had here, the educational diversity and the people diversity.”

Templeton and Loree echoed the theme that all three CEOs could trace the foundation of their success back to Union. At Union, Loree graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree in economics. He was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, one of the highest distinctions given for academic achievement. He is a member of the College’s Board of Trustees. Templeton graduated with a bachelor of science in electrical engineering and was a member of the football team. Wenig received a bachelor of arts in political science. He holds a law degree from Columbia University Law School. The entire conversation is available on facebook.com/unioncollege/videos

New series promotes constructive engagement


ardeep Singh Kaleka and Arno Michaelis discussed “The Gifts of Our Wounds: Finding Forgiveness After Hate,” in April as part of the new lecture series, the Union College Forum on Constructive Engagement. A native of Punjab, India, Kaleka lost his father in the August 2012 shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis. The temple’s president and founder, Satwant Singh Kaleka, was among the six worshippers killed. The shooter was a self-proclaimed white power skinhead. Michaelis was a founding member of one of the largest racist skinhead organizations in the world. He later renounced the movement and wrote a book, My Life After Hate.

Robert Bertagna ’85 named board chair


obert D. Bertagna ’85 was elected chair of Board of Trustees in May. He succeeds John E. Kelly III ’76, who completed his four-year term as chair. The executive vice president for IBM, Kelly will remain on the board. Bertagna is vice chairman and head of mergers and acquisitions at Macquarie Capital in New York. A longtime supporter of the College, he joined the board in 2007. Bertagna received his bachelor’s degree in economics. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School. At Union, he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's most prestigious academic honor society. He was a four-year starting defensive back for the football team that reached the 1983 Stagg Bowl, the Division III championship. As a senior, he was named an Academic All-American. Bertagna was also a four-year letter winner in track and field. During Homecoming festivities last fall, the College renamed the stadium at Bailey Field the Bertagna-Class of 1985 Stadium

in honor of Bertagna and his wife, Julianne, as well as in recognition of his classmates. The couple has two children, Isabella and Robert. “This is a tremendous honor,” Bertagna said. “I owe much of who I am today to the education and experience I received at Union. I’m looking forward to working with President Harris and my fellow board members to ensure that future generations who come to this school can say the same.” “Bob’s passion and commitment to Union is undeniable,” President David R. Harris said. “His character, dedication and values exemplify the traits we try to instill in all of our students. We are proud and excited to have him lead the board as we embark on an exciting new chapter guided by a bold strategic plan.” “I also cannot say enough about the strong leadership John provided as chair,” Harris added. “He has been a tremendous asset to the board and we are grateful for his service.” Stanley O’Brien ’74, was elected vice

chair of the board, succeeding Bertagna. A retired vice president for BNY Mellon, O’Brien joined the board in 2007. Ellen Smith ’80 was named secretary of the board. A senior managing director for FTI Consulting in Boston, Smith joined the board in 2010. William Perlstein '71 was re-elected general counsel. He is chief deputy general counsel for BNY Mellon. He joined the board in 2017. SUMMER 2019 | UNION COLLEGE




Michelle Osborn, dean of Minerva programs





With a new leader, Minervas turn 15


hat Michelle Osborn would choose to spend a cold wintry night in a spare room at Beuth House should come as no surprise. Trained as a cultural anthropologist, the new dean of the Minerva programs knows that the best way to understand students is to live like one. So, in the first days in her new job, she challenged herself to spend time at Union, enjoying a traveling dinner and overnight stay. “The anthropologist in me wants to immerse myself in the community,” she said. “This is all about relationships and building connections with students.” “The key part of what I’m trying to do is understand the local culture, the needs on this campus and how the Minerva program can fulfill those needs,” she said. As the Minerva program turns 15 this year, Osborn takes over from the retiring Tom McEvoy, the Minerva dean since its founding. Osborn, who also serves as dean of the Class of 2020, joined the anthropology department in January 2015, teaching classes that covered the anthropology of sub-Saharan Africa, health and healing, food, humanitarian aid and globalization. Active in the Minerva Fellows program, which sends graduates for a year of service learning in a developing country, Osborn has a passion for helping students discover how they can be engaged internationally, again not surprising considering her background. As part of her doctoral research at Oxford University, Osborn was a political and medical anthropologist in Kenya,

where she studied local political and social justice issues. Much of her work was in Kibera, the largest slum in Nairobi, where she studied people in extreme poverty and the impact of HIV testing and counseling. She also worked for the HIV research arm of the World Health Organization on a multinational project in Africa aimed at encouraging testing and the use of retroviral medications. She later worked as a political analyst in Kenya’s 2013 elections. But teaching—and Union—called. “I loved teaching, so I applied for anthropology jobs,” she said. “I loved the campus and working with students to help them cultivate a diverse set of interests and to consider where those might fit more globally.” What excited her the most was helping students connect their personal passions and interests with the larger intellectual themes they learn in class. “What I really love about the [Minerva] program is its desire to bridge the intellectual and social space and to help students have this engagement out of classroom to think more broadly about their experiences,” she said. “If the Minerva programs are to be most impactful, they will connect, say, what students are learning in biology with the visual arts.” What are some of the opportunities? “I would love our students to be more engaged with issues of social justice,” Osborn said. “We have a lot of outside speakers and courses that look at issues such as inequality, diversity, ethnicity,


–M I C H E L L E


dean of Minerva programs

gender, religion and sexuality. “The Minerva program can help connect students in other formats to bring a different depth to the social justice issues and to connect students across campus.” Osborn also sees opportunities in connecting the Minerva programs with others that serve Schenectady such as the Kenney Community Center, a nexus for student community service. The Minerva house system aims to connect the intellectual and social spheres. All Union students and faculty are assigned to one of Union’s seven Minerva Houses. Many professors teach first-year preceptorials in their Minerva Houses, and some upper-class students live on the upper floors. The Minervas host more than 400 events each year, created and run by student house leaders with a house budget. Through Osborn’s outreach, students have been very responsive in sharing their ideas. Among them, should Minervas be themed along topics such as sustainability, ethics, social justice and equality? Are there opportunities to intersect programming of the Minervas and Greek life? Should first-year students have an opportunity to live in their Minerva? “This is an exciting time for Union and the Minervas,” Osborn said. “The 15-year mark is a really apt time to contemporize the program now that we’ve had an entire generation of students go through it. “This is about more than what students in 2020 are looking for in their college experience,” she said. “How can we prepare them for the 40 years or more after college?” SUMMER 2019 | UNION COLLEGE




Social entrepreneurship focus of Feigenbaum Forum


here is no shortage of entrepreneurs with programs to tackle social issues like hunger and recidivism. The challenge, however, is bringing those programs to scale. Enter New Profit, a venture philanthropy organization that provides growth capital and strategic support to social entrepreneurs. “We go out and find the best entrepreneurs in America and help provide growth capital,” said Vanessa Kirsch, founder and CEO of New Profit. “But we are all about backing the heroes … and it is such a privilege to help clear out the barriers so they can achieve their grand visions.” Kirsch was one of three entrepreneurs addressing important challenges through creative social enterprises who headlined the fourth annual Feigenbaum Forum on Innovation and Creativity. “Social Innovation: Food Insecurity, Recidivism and Barriers to Social



Opportunity,” was held March 7 in the Nott Memorial. Before founding New Profit in 1998, Kirsch launched twoother social enterprises, Public Allies and the Women’s Information Network (WIN). She was named “Entrepreneur of the Year”by Ernst & Young and has been recognized as a leader of her generation by Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report and Forbes. President David R. Harris moderated a discussion with Kirsch; Curt Ellis; co-founder and CEO of FoodCorps; and Marcus Bullock, founder and CEO of Flikshop. Ellis is a leading voice in America’s food movement. “King Corn,” a film he co-created, shaped policy debate about the Farm Bill and earned a George Foster Peabody Award. He has been recognized as a Draper Richards Kaplan Fellow, a Claneil Foundation Emerging Leader, a Kellogg Food and Community Fellow and

a New Profit Social Entrepreneur. He was also a recipient of the Heinz Award and Pearl Award. Flikshop is a free mobile app that enables incarcerated people to receive personalized postcards from their families, building community and decreasing recidivism. Bullock also founded the Flikshop School of Business, a program that teaches life skills and entrepreneurship to returning citizens. The forum is supported by the Feigenbaum Foundation, created by brothers Armand V. Feigenbaum ’42 and Donald S. Feigenbaum ‘46, longtime benefactors to Union who were leaders in systems engineering and total quality control. To watch a video of the form or view a gallery of photos, visit facebook.com/ unioncollege

After limo crash, Union responds


A leader in undergraduate research


nion has been recognized by the Council on Undergraduate Research for excellence in its programs that offer high-quality research experiences for undergraduates. The College joins the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as winners of this year’s Award for Undergraduate Research Accomplishments (AURA). Now in its fourth year, the award honors campuses that demonstrate depth and breadth in their undergraduate research initiatives and evidence of continual innovation. In choosing Union, the Council cited the College’s Scholars Program, its impressive track-record in securing external funding of faculty research, and its state-of-the-art research facilities, among other attributes. “The substantial growth and range of Union’s commitment to undergraduate research and the institution’s strong undergraduate research dissemination tradition offer a model for other baccalaureate-level institutions to emulate,” the Council said. Faculty-mentored undergraduate research is a staple of Union’s curriculum. Each spring, hundreds of students showcase their academic interests and

talents during the Steinmetz Symposium. More than a hundred students also participate in research each summer. Most projects are funded through the undergraduate research program. The rest are supported by government or scientific society grants to faculty members, academic departments, and/ or with foundation funding. “As a small liberal arts college, our students get an opportunity to be involved in every stage of a project, from the general concept to the design of an experiment to the final data-taking and analysis,” said Chad Orzel, the R. Gordon Gould Associate Professor of Physics and director of Undergraduate Research. “We are honored to receive this award from the Council on Undergraduate Research.” Founded in 1978, the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) is an organization of individual, institutional and affiliate members from around the world that share a focus on providing high-quality and collaborative undergraduate research, scholarly, and creative activity opportunities for faculty and students. Over 700 institutions and more than 13,000 individuals belong to CUR.

ore than a thousand people turned out Oct. 28 for “Healing Schoharie,” a benefit concert for the families of the victims and first responders of a deadly limousine crash. All 18 people in the limousine were killed, along with two pedestrians, in the Oct. 6 crash in the town of Schoharie. It was the country’s worst transportation-related accident in nearly a decade. The idea for the benefit came from Phil Wajda, Union's director of media relations, who was joined by others from the Union community and local organizations. The event at Mohawk Harbor in Schenectady opened with a special performance by Union's three a cappela groups: the Eliphalets, the Dutch Pipers and the Garnet Minstrelles. The event featured live music, food vendors and a raffle of donated items, including a Philadelphia Flyers jersey signed by former Union College hockey player Shayne Gostisbehere. Dozens of students from Union's athletic and Greek organizations volunteered at the event. More than $43,000 was raised. Two subsequent events have helped bring the total to nearly $50,000.





New motion capture system boosts research


s the robot made of rigid rods and cables crawled across the floor, a series of 21 high-tech cameras peering down from along the edges of the laboratory’s ceiling went to work. Outfitted with powerful 12-megapixel sensors capable of capturing data at speeds of up to 1,000 frames per second, the cameras begin tracking a dozen points on the robot. The cameras record the position of the markers to a precision below 1mm. The data is relayed to a nearby computer and fed back to the robot, telling the robot where it is in threedimensional space at all times. Welcome to a new era of interdisciplinary research at Union. Thanks to a grant last fall from the National Science Foundation, the College recently purchased a high-speed, high precision 3D motion capture system. Similar to what’s used in Hollywood for special effects, sports teams, video game design and the military, the technology sets the school apart from many of its peers. Housed in the CROCHET Lab (Collaborative Robotics and Computer-Human Empirical Testing) on the ground floor of Wold Atrium, the state-of-the-art system will transform the way motion capture techniques are integrated into research in fields such as biomechanics, dynamics and controls, neuroscience, biology, computer science and robotics. “This is a differentiator for us,” said John Rieffel, associate professor of computer science and principal investigator on the grant. “Few, if any, small schools like Union have this system.” Rieffel was joined on the grant by Jennifer Currey, associate professor of electrical, computer and biomedical engineering and co-director of bioengineering; Leo Fleishman, the William D. Williams Professor of Biological Sciences; Scott Kirkton, associate professor of biology; and Nick Webb, assistant professor of computer science. Other faculty involved include Luke Dosiek, assistant professor of electrical, computer and biomedical engineering and William Keat,



Using a student-designed robot, John Rieffel, associate professor of computer science, demonstrates how a new high-speed, high precision, 3D motion capture system will transform research at Union.

professor of mechanical engineering. Installed this past winter by Swedish company Qualisys, a leading provider of motion capture technology, the tool will create a new wave of broad and dynamic interdisciplinary collaborations across campus for faculty and students who study the motion of humans, insects and robots. Rieffel was introduced to the technology a couple of years ago while working on a project in France with other researchers. “I saw its potential and what we could do if only we had this technology,” he said. “It’s not like we could go and borrow someone’s system. They are very much in demand.” Faculty and students are being trained on how to incorporate the technology in their research. Using a student-designed tensegrity robot fitted with reflective markers, Rieffel recently gave a short demonstration of the tool’s potential to explore the dynamical motions of soft robots. “Now I know not only where my robot is in space at up to super high speeds, but

also which direction it’s oriented,” he said as cameras tracked the robot’s movement. The data can be used to both analyze the complex dynamics of the robot’s vibrations, as well as to control the robot in order to steer it around the room. “It’s pretty amazing,” he said. Other faculty already are lining up to use the technology for their research. Leo Fleishman hopes to learn how lizards use complex motions to settle territorial disputes. Scott Kirkton wants to track the high speed jumping of locusts. Jen Currey and her students plan to examine the motion of mice to learn how they adapt to knee damage. Rieffel expects the technology to have a profound impact on how undergraduate research is conducted at Union. “Eventually, any student involved in plausible research will be able to come and use this space,” he said. “This system will enable us to set a new and transformative standard for the integration of motion capture techniques among STEM researchers at undergraduate institutions.”

Faculty describe ‘leaps of faith’


oy Wang, associate professor of mathematics, used 3-D models to help students connect with mathematical concepts. Jeff Corbin, professor of biology, had students read works of fiction to encourage creativity in science. Dierdre Hill Butler, associate professor of sociology, and Barbara Danowski, professor of biology, had students analyze their own DNA as part of a course on social identities in the genomic age. From science saving democracy to thinking through writing, faculty gave eight presentations on classroom innovations they have developed through the Faculty Development Institute. “8x8—Leaps of Faith: Cultivating Complex Thinkers for a Messy World,” was a capstone event in April that celebrated the success of the “Our Shared Humanities” grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. “I can’t imagine anything that would attract a third of our faculty and generate the enthusiasm and excitement that this grant has,” said Strom Thacker, dean of faculty. To see a highlight video visit: youtube.com/user/unioncollege

At “8x8,” Nicole Theodosiou, associate professor of biology, explains how scientific literacy can make students more engaged in democracy

Seven earn Green Grants for sustainability

P • •

• •

residential Green Grants went to seven projects aimed at sustainability. They are: Ben Weiner (residence director, Residential Life): Signage to encourage recycling. Anat Tewari ‘19: Partner with Ecovative Design, sustainable materials, Unionthemed merchandise made with sustainable materials. Aaron Rapaport ‘20: Nanoscale mixing of conductive polymers for printing solar energy devices. Raya Petrova ‘21, Sruti Bandlamuri ‘21: Free environmentally-friendly menstrual products. Kayla Quarless ‘21: Continue Octopus’s Garden by offering fresh and local produce. Andrew Wojtowicz ‘19: A solar thermal water pasteurization system. Lilia Tieman (admissions coordinator of events): Distance markers for campus perimeter.

Now in its 11th year, 132 projects have received a total of $173,000. President David R. Harris said the grants are vital in that they support “people doing important things outside the classroom, and engaging in major issues of the day.”

President David R. Harris, left, and Professor Jeff Corbin, right, with this year's Green Grant winners





Students on Union's India mini-term at the Taj Mahal.

India trip brings appreciation


A little campus creativity Carl George, professor emeritus of biology, created this specimen from ink he distilled from walnut husks of trees near Payne Gate. The walnut trees were planted in the 19th century by President Eliphalet Nott.



hrista Guerrier ’19 likely speaks for her fellow students on a recent mini-term in India when she says she experienced “diversity, hospitality, gender separation, poverty and most importantly, appreciation.” Hanna Whitehouse ’19 said, “I never thought of concern for the environment as a luxury: a luxury only people with clean drinking water can afford.” Dylan Windle-Puente ’19 said, “I remember looking down at this little boy and thinking ‘wow, he should be in school, or with his family, or playing with his friends.’ Instead, he was forced into begging tourists for money.” The trip, co-led by Laurie Tyler, professor of chemistry, and Tom McEvoy, director of Minerva programs, featured a tour of IBM India, arranged by John E. Kelly III ’76, a senior vice president at IBM; a visit to the Taj Mahal; a play day and donation at a Mumbai orphanage; and a work day at a facility for developmentally disabled children. “With this experience,” said Windle-Puente, “I plan on seeking out fellowships during my gap year to make a difference in another country.”

A Minerva ReUnion Alexis “Biz” Deeb ’12, center, was reunited recently with some of the students she taught as a Minerva Fellow at the Engeye Health Clinic in Uganda, where she also started the Engeye Craft Cooperative. The students were touring the U.S. and stopped at Union to meet Deeb and other former Minerva Fellows.

Students meet ‘Popular’ composer


Students with composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz, center. Dan Venning, assistant professor of theater, is right of Schwartz. At left is Betsy Modest Brand ’82, trustee and ACT board member, who supported the trip.

tudents in Prof. Dan Venning’s “Musical Theater Since 1970” and members of Mountebanks in February met composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz after watching Working, a Schwartz musical at A Contemporary Theater in Ridgefield, Conn. Schwartz, perhaps best known for the Broadway hit Wicked, also contributed to Pippin, The Magic Show, The Baker’s Wife and Rags. Mountebanks this spring produced another Schwartz work, Godspell. The trip was supported by Betsy Modest Brand ’82, Union trustee and ACT board member, with funds from the Internal Education Foundation and Intellectual Enrichment Grant. SUMMER 2019 | UNION COLLEGE




Founded in 1930, by “Uncle” Sam Ashley, Uncle Sam’s All-American Chocolate Factory has everything from caramels and nougats to jelly beans and handmade truffles and



dark chocolate bark. It’s flagship item, almond butter crunch, is a local and regional favorite. Owned by Joe Suhrada ’87, Uncle Sam’s has locations in Schenectady and Latham, N.Y.

Learn more (or order some chocolate) at www.unclesamscandy.com

Union provides $313 million to local economy serving as major employers, anchor tenants and economic engines in every region of the state,” said Mary Beth Labate, CICU’s president. “This is particularly true upstate where our campuses create jobs and economic vibrancy in communities large and small. We are private colleges, but we are working to benefit the public good in a very real and important way.” CICU is a statewide association representing the public policy interests of the chief executives of more than 100 independent colleges and universities in New York State.

2,200 A

ny given Sunday, the Schenectady Greenmarket is filled with members of the Union community. Students, faculty and staff make the trip downtown to Jay Street when the market is outdoors in the summer and fall, and inside Proctor’s Theatre in the winter and spring. They browse and shop among the dozens of vendors offering an array of food, artisan goods and other items. “Union has been a strong supporter of the Schenectady Greenmarket,” said Cheryl Whilby, the market’s manager. The campus community’s support of the Greenmarket is just one way that Union impacts the local economy. This impact is highlighted in the latest report by the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU). Union contributed $313.1 million to the Capital Region economy in 2017. This included $21.8 million generated by its 2,200 students and thousands of visitors, according to the analysis done by the Center for Govern-

mental Research. The center conducted the statewide study for the CICU. With 871 employees and an annual payroll of nearly $60 million, Union is among the largest employers in the region. The College is also a major purchaser of goods and services in the community, as well as a source of vital construction and service contracts. Union has been recognized nationally for its positive contributions to the city of Schenectady, including real dollars invested through its foundations and annual budgets; the presence felt from payroll, research and purchasing power; and faculty and student involvement in community service. Union is among the 100-plus private, not-for-profit colleges and universities that collectively generated $88.8 billion in economic activity for New York state in 2017, an increase of 12 percent since 2015. “New York’s private colleges are an integral part of the state’s economy,


$21.8 million generated by students and visitors



$60 million payroll




The Environmental Science, Policy and Engineering Winter Seminar Series, focusing this year on the misinformation campaign surrounding climate change, kicks off with Neela Banerjee. The senior reporter for InsideClimate News discusses “American Exceptionalism: How the U.S. Became a Stronghold for Climate Denial.”


“A Decolonial Atlas: Strategies in Contemporary Art of the Americas” opens in the Mandeville

Gallery. The exhibit includes recent works by U.S. and Latin American artists who are grappling with issues of colonialism and postcolonialism, and is organized by the Vincent Price Art Museum, California. It is curated by Pilar Tompkins Rivas.

Thomas Aung, Eulogy 31:3, 2018, oil on canvas, 42 x 26 inches

”Fragmented Memories,” featuring oil portraits by Thomas Aung ’20, goes on display at the Wikoff Student Gallery. “This body of work aims to connect viewers with their own fragmented memories of the people that they are close with and to self-reflect on the importance of the relationships they created,” he says. 20


Martine Gutierrez, Maria, Cakchiquel, 2016, C-print mounted on Sintra, 54 x 36 inches, courtesy of the artist and RYAN LEE, New York


Yulman Theater puts on “When the Promise Was Broken,” a collection of 13 plays inspired by the songs of Bruce Springsteen, each by a different American playwright. It pieces together nine plays that celebrate the human experience of longing, heartbreak and promises broken in working life, relationships, families and the American dream.

Union is again recognized among the U.S. colleges and universities that produced the most 2018-19 Fulbright U.S. students. This marks the third time in four years the College has received this distinction from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. Union produced six Fulbright student award winners, ranking it among the best of similar institutions.

Asian Fellowship Award ASIANetwork’s Freeman StudentFaculty Fellows selects a Union College proposal as one of seven recipients of its SFF 2019 Fellowship Award. Megan Ferry, professor of Chinese and Asian Studies and chair of the Modern Languages and Literatures Department, along with Trevor Atkins ’20, Jeremy Rausch ’21 and Meghan Reilly ’20, submitted the proposal, “Between State and Populace, Chasing the China Dream.”

ADAY4U, the College’s yearly one-day giving challenge, raises more than $500,000 for the Annual Fund with the support of faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni and friends. Donors from 43 states and 6 countries supported 17 athletics teams, terms abroad programs, annual scholarships, undergraduate research and 15 academic departments. SUMMER 2019 | UNION COLLEGE


| TIMELINE | The Art and Music of Radiohead MAR.

“The Bends:” Singer Thom Yorke of Radiohead being sucked down in a sea of water. “The Bends” was the title of the group’s second album. (Photo illustration by Bridget Cunningham ’21)

The band Radiohead and its constantly evolving sound is the focus of unique course this winter at Union, “The Art and Music of Radiohead.” Topics include “Radiohead and the Negation of Gender,” “Deforming Rock: Radiohead’s Plunge into the Sonic Continuum,” and “We got Heads on Sticks/You got Ventriloquists: Radiohead and the Improbability of Resistance.” Professor Jennifer Milioto Matsue teaches the class.

Students perform this year’s Winter Dance Concert, “Colliding Shadows,” inspired by George Orwell’s dystopian novel, “1984.” Directed by Miryam Moutillet, “Colliding Shadows” poses powerful questions: How is technology shaping the millennium? How is daily life scrutinized? Are we under omnipresent surveillance? And what do we truly own?

The seventh annual Dutchmen Dip raises over $20,000, with an additional $20,000 match from trustee Tom Coleman ’88, to support the Shinebarger Memorial Scholarship, created in memory of Kristen Shinebarger. Kristen, daughter of Shelly Shinebarger, director of disability services and international advising, died Dec. 20, 2018 after an eight-year battle with cancer at the age of 16. 22


Two earn Thomas J. Watson Fellowship APR.

Samantha Miller ‘19 and Emmanuela “Ella” Oppong ’19 will travel the world next year, funded by the prestigious Thomas J. Watson Fellowship Program. This marks the fourth time in the last seven years that the College has two Watson fellows.

Three seniors win Fulbright teaching assistantships Irving Cortes-Martinez ’19 will head to Malaysia, Victoria Grandel ’19 will go to Taiwan and Gillian Singer ’19 will be in Spain.

Union’s new vice president for Student Affairs President David R. Harris announces Fran’Cee Brown-McClure as the new vice president for Student Affairs and Dean of Students. Previously the dean of students at Spelman College in Atlanta, BrownMcClure succeeds Stephen Leavitt, who, after 15 years in the position, will return to the classroom as professor of anthropology. Brown-McClure started at Union July 1.

29th annual Steinmetz Symposium


Nearly 500 students showcase their intellectual and artistic prowess May 10, as part of the 29th annual Steinmetz Symposium. The day includes diverse lineup of oral presentations, poster sessions and exhibits highlighting student research as well as dance and musical performances, an art exhibit and other activities.

Jianmin Qu, dean of the Tufts School of Engineering, delivers the keynote address at the College’s annual symposium on integrating a liberal education with engineering. Qu who spoke on “A Tale of Two Purposes: Engineering Education in the 21st Century.”

More than 1,300 visitors returned to campus for ReUnion 2019 (May 17-19), enjoying great weather and great events, from Lobster Fest to the Alumni Parade and fireworks. Alumni and their families also had the chance to tour campus, reconnect with friends, hear presentations from fellow graduates and celebrate the accomplishments of mentors. SUMMER 2019 | UNION COLLEGE


EDITOR’S NOTE: The opioid crisis is extremely complicated. It is far-reaching, with implications for healthcare, social and legislative policy, economics and law enforcement. The story that follows explores this catastrophe through the eyes of four alumni who live it every day. Either through loss and advocacy, addiction and recovery, or careers dedicated to finding answers.





n May 2018, Scott Gibbs ’89 emailed the Union College magazine. His oldest son had overdosed on a combination of fentanyl and morphine in November 2016. Marcus was 21 years old when he died.

His story inspired this article. “I have so many fond memories of my four years at Union and the friendships that will last my lifetime,” Scott Gibbs said. “When Marcus passed away, I saw so many Union people—including my Sigma Chi brothers and basketball teammates—at the service.” “I am committed to openly and honestly honoring Marcus and the blessing that he was for our family. We are hopeful that his passing will save lives.”

Marcus’s Story


arcus grew up with his two younger brothers and parents in Hilton, N.Y., a suburb of Rochester. He was vivacious and effervescent. A big-hearted guy who loved the outdoors, sports and people. He ran cross-country in high school and volunteered at Open Door Mission to help men, women and children in need. “Marcus was a hugger,” Scott Gibbs said in a video for Rochester General Hospital’s Donate Life campaign. “He was never bashful about hugging. I can still remember the last hug he gave me. We were in the kitchen. I can remember where we were standing. I can remember his whiskers on my face.” “I go there a lot. I remember it a lot. I’ll be forever grateful for Marcus and the way he loved.” Marcus also studied finance at Canisius College, but he struggled during his short time there (2013-14). He was arrested for having a large quantity of marijuana within two weeks of arriving, and didn’t like the mandated counseling and supervision he received after that. In a piece Marcus wrote before he died, which he and his father intended to become a book about their experiences, Marcus recalled, “In college, after a calculus course…we would smoke fentanyl, snort Vicodin and pop percs until I hit the floor.” After leaving Canisius, Marcus came home and enrolled in a local community college (2014-15). He was arrested once and avoided being arrested a second time, ending up in the ER instead. Both times, Marcus had drugs in his system. He dropped out of school in his second semester. SUMMER 2019 | UNION COLLEGE



In 2017, there were drug overdose deaths in the United States. In June 2015, Marcus went to West Palm Beach, where he completed a week of detox, 30 days of in-patient treatment and approximately 90 days of out-patient treatment. He also lived 60 days in halfway houses and worked two jobs during that time. When he returned to Hilton in October 2015, he became a car salesman. He thrived in his new profession but, unbeknownst to his parents, he had relapsed. “Eventually, he realized he had to stop using heroin because he wanted to live,” his mother, Sue Gibbs said. “He knew people like him were dying.” In late October 2016, after almost a year of heroin addiction, Marcus stopped hiding his dependence and bravely began detoxing at home with his family. The withdrawal was extremely difficult; he was taken to the emergency room twice. Both times, no detox beds were available. Still, Marcus came through it and scheduled an intake appointment with an outpatient rehabilitation program Nov. 16. He was optimistic, but was worried (unnecessarily) that the clinic wouldn’t prescribe maintenance medication to prevent relapse—like methadone—if he didn’t have opioids in his system. On the morning of his appointment, Marcus used again.

“He was found unresponsive in a convenience store parking lot,” Scott Gibbs said. “Even though the EMT team was able to resuscitate him, the brain damage was massive and irreversible. They estimate he had been without oxygen for 90 to 120 minutes.” Three days later, on Nov. 19, 2016, he was taken off life support. It was at once the worst and proudest day of his parents’ lives. Their son died, but in doing so, gave life. “I think Marcus chose to be an organ donor because it was significant, he was interested in serving others,” Scott Gibbs said. “Six of his organs were successfully transplanted to renew and sustain life for five recipients. We can only hope those lucky people will live on with some of his spirit in them.” The irrecoverable loss experienced by the Gibbs family is not uncommon. “There are so many parents losing their sons and daughters to opioid overdose and we feel devastated for each and every one,” Sue Gibbs said. “Their stories are often similar and sometimes longer or more turbulent, but their kids were beautiful and loved, just like our Marcus.” Also like Marcus, many of these men and women are first introduced to opioids by their doctors. Marcus was prescribed opioids three times—twice for oral surgery at 14 and once for knee surgery at 18. Each time, his parents only gave him a few days of the medication he



Opioids (prescription and illicit) are currently the main driver of drug overdose deaths, resulting in 42,249 overdose deaths in 2016 (66.4% of all drug overdose deaths).

On average, the age-adjusted rate of overdose deaths increased 10% per year (1999–2006); 3% per year (2006–2014); and 16% per year (2014–2017).

opioid deaths




“I am committed

was supposed to take, but they remember Marcus asking for more pills. “When I asked him why, he said he liked the way they made him feel,” Sue Gibbs recalled. “Many people become addicted to pain medication after surgery. This was not the case with Marcus, but I believe those pills he took gave him a hunger for things he could consume to make himself feel ‘better.’” “End-of-life situations are the right time for prescription pain meds,” Scott Gibbs added. “We do not have to manage most pain with these addictive medications.” Dr. Patrick G. O’Connor ’78, chief of general internal medicine at Yale University School of Medicine, agrees that prescription practices need an overhaul. Overprescribing is one factor that’s led to this crisis.

How We Got Here


hat we’ve seen since the early 2000s is a massive increase in the number of opioid prescriptions written by doctors,” said O’Connor, also the Dan Adams and Amanda Adams Professor of General Medicine at Yale. Data from the Centers for Disease Control illustrate this fact. In 2012, doctors wrote 259 million prescriptions for such drugs—enough for every American adult to have their own bottle of pills.


higher In 2016, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (prescription and illicit) was 5 times higher than in 1999.

Each day, to openly and honestly 46 Americans honoring Marcus and the overdose on blessing that he was for our prescription opioids. Between family. We are hopeful that his 1999 and 2016, more passing will save lives.” than 200,000 died –S COT T GIB B S ’ 8 9 as a result of prescription ( P IC T U R E D W IT H S ON opioid overdose. MA R C U S ) CDC data indicate that the number of prescriptions written annually is declining after peaking in 2012 (there was a 19% reduction between 2006 and 2017), but it’s still too high. The amount of opioids prescribed per person is still about three times higher than it was in 1999. So why have doctors been writing so many prescriptions? In the early 2000s, the focus on pain intensified sharply. “Pain assessment became the ‘fifth vital sign.’ Doctors asked about pain the same way they checked blood pressure and weight,” O’Connor said. “Everyone was assessing pain, and if you weren’t, you were a ‘bad doctor.’ Simultaneously, there was a general increase in patients’ expectations that their pain would be treated— whatever it took.”

115/day On average, 115 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Drugs & the brain And then there’s big pharma. “The pharmaceutical industry took advantage of this focus on pain by creating new ways doctors could treat it,” O’Connor said. “Drug companies pitched their new opioid medications as highly effective for pain treatment, and as non-addictive or with lower addictive potential.” But this has proved not to be the case. Opioids aren’t a one-size-fits-all answer to pain. “Opioids are terrific for treating acute pain, such as from a fracture. They can be used very effectively at the proper dose and for proper duration, which in most cases is only a few days,” O’Connor said. “The chronic pain piece is where we lack data. Everyone—doctors, patients, pharmaceutical companies—made this extrapolation that if opioids are good for the management of acute pain, they must be good for treating chronic pain.” “But the evidence doesn’t exist to support this approach to chronic pain,” he added. “It’s a hard lesson everyone is learning.” So too is the lesson that prescription opioids are much more addictive than they were originally marketed to be. “Opioids are very subject to tolerance. As a result, we’ve seen more and more patients getting these medications at higher and higher doses and as a consequence, they become dependent,” O’Connor explained. “Physicians are supposed to be trained to treat pain in an evidence-based manner that is effective and safe. Unfortunately, this does not happen as often as it should.” “In many ways, our profession took the easy way and failed,” he added. “Doctors are not entirely to blame for the opioid crisis—this doesn’t capture the whole picture by any means— but they’ve certainly contributed to the problem.” 28



ddiction is a disease. It has a biology, much like any other disease. “With cardiovascular disease, you can use imaging studies to see arteries that are blocked by abnormal plaques,” said Dr. Patrick G. O’Connor ’78, chief of general internal medicine at Yale University School of Medicine. “Similarly, you can look at the brain— through imaging—and see abnormalities in structure and function in people with substance use disorder.” And it’s exactly these differences Dr. Marisa Silveri ’95 is studying. Associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Silveri is director of McLean Hospital’s Neurodevelopmental Laboratory on Addictions and Mental Health in the Brain Imaging Center. There, she investigates the overlap between brain development, substance use and mental illness in adolescents. The brains of participating teens are scanned (MRI) once annually for three consecutive years, starting at age 13 or 14. Their first scans are completed when they’re healthy

and before they’ve experimented with cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana or any other drug. “In general, we do not know enough about how the brain develops under healthy conditions,” Silveri said. “By studying teens recruited before they’ve used any substances or before they report any significant clinical symptoms of mental illness, such as anxiety or depression, we are characterizing a baseline profile of how the brain works. The goal is to identify neurobiological risk factors for substance use or psychiatric illness before they manifest.” To pinpoint these risk factors, Silveri and her team look at patterns of brain activation (in specific parts of the brain necessary for performing various cognitive tasks), brain structure and neurochemistry over the course of the three years. In the years following that initial, baseline scan, roughly “20 percent of our teen sample has begun using substances—alcohol, marijuana and nicotine,” Silveri said. “If baseline profiles in teens who go on to use substances differ from teens who do not initiate use, we call these neurobiological risk factors.”

“People with low levels of GABA tend to experience the effects of drugs less intensely, so they require more of the substance to feel the desired effect.” –DR . MA R IS A S ILV ERI ’95 Dr. Marisa Silveri '95 (above) pictured with Anna Seraikas '16 (right). Seraikas spent 2.5 years working with Silveri before recently joining the Marsh Lab at Columbia University.

One unique, potential risk marker she’s studying is gammaaminobutyric acid (GABA), an inhibitory neurotransmitter that regulates impulsivity, cognitive control and mood. Silveri’s lab was the first to publish in vivo human evidence that healthy teens naturally have lower levels of GABA in the frontal lobes of their brains than adults—which was related to the greater impulsiveness in teens. “Why would a brain be wired for impulsiveness, for taking dangerous risks? Evolutionarily, teens are biologically programmed to explore uncharted territory, to collect new information to aid in their transition to independence,” Silveri said. “Risky exploration in humans, however, is increasingly less related to survival-type activities, ranging anywhere from bungee-jumping to experimenting with drugs.” But, she added, lower levels of GABA are also observed in psychiatric illnesses like depression and anxiety, and in individuals who misuse alcohol, marijuana and other drugs. “GABA levels are altered by a number of substances. With alcohol, GABA levels increase, which is why we experience relaxation while drinking,” Silveri explained. “A person’s resting level of GABA, however, can influence how substances like alcohol feel. People with low levels of GABA tend to experience the effects of drugs less intensely, so they require more of the substance to feel the desired effect.” GABA levels can change over time as well, which is what happens when someone develops a tolerance to drugs.

Opioids, for instance, inhibit the action of GABA, preventing it from regulating other neurotransmitters like dopamine, which produces significant feelings of pleasure. When dopamine floods the brain unregulated, people experience an intense high. “When the brain is repeatedly exposed to substances that raise GABA levels, the brain adapts by decreasing production of GABA. This results in a lower resting GABA level, which is why a person might feel depressed or anxious when a drug leaves their system,” Silveri said. It’s also why a person can get hooked on opioids. “With repeat exposure over time, our brains adapt to the unregulated flow of dopamine and the amount released under the influence of opioids is no longer enough to feel the desired pleasure,” Silveri said. “So a person takes increasingly more opioids to regain that pleasurable high and their brain becomes physically dependent on the drugs. This is the cycle of addiction.” “Addiction is much more complicated than this,” she added, “but GABA is part of it.”

She and her team have several ongoing initiatives to better understand GABA. One, related to the discussion above, studies GABA’s role in brain maturation and how it contributes to risky behavior. Behavior that, in turn, might interfere with healthy neurodevelopment and compromise safety and wellbeing. Another examines how low levels of GABA associated with binge drinking or with depression might be remedied by a month of sobriety or the practice of yoga.





On the other hand, physicians are also a critical part of the solution.

Finding Solutions


ccording to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2016, 21 million Americans had a substance use disorder and needed treatment for addiction. Only 10% of them received it. Why? It’s complicated. Insurance often doesn’t cover addiction treatment. There’s a hugely negative stigma associated with addiction that prevents people from asking for help. And doctors and clinics specializing in addiction treatment are relatively few and as a result, difficult for patients to access. “In my view, the big gap with addiction is implementation science—getting effective treatments in the hands of healthcare providers and to the patients who need them,” O’Connor said in 2018 interview with the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine. “How would we feel if only 10 percent of Americans with cancer or diabetes or hypertension received the necessary treatment? We need to do better.” Primary care, with its widespread number of physicians in nearly every town, is one way to do that. O’Connor led the team that first demonstrated that opioid-dependent patients treated in primary care clinics with buprenorphine (active ingredient in Suboxone) did just as well as those treated with buprenorphine in specialty addiction programs. Conducted in the mid-1990s, the study helped lead to the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000. Signed by President Bill Clinton, it allowed properly trained primary care doctors to treat opioid dependence with buprenorphine (which O’Connor’s team proved to be safe and effective). It was a step in the right direction, but primary care doctors still need to be trained. Enter Yale’s Program in Addiction Medicine. Launched in 2017 and founded by O’Connor, the program is focused on developing new and innovative approaches to addiction treatment. It’s state-of-the-art training program in addiction medicine is also a model for other medical schools. “We hope to prepare the next generation of physicians to provide patient-centered addiction prevention and treatment in a manner that gives addiction care the high

priority it deserves in the healthcare system,” O’Connor said. “Our patients deserve no less.” That’s why, when serving as president of the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM), he led efforts to establish addiction medicine as a new medical subspecialty. As co-chair of a 2015 White House symposium, “Medicine Responds to Addiction,” O’Connor helped bring together leaders in federal government, academic medicine and healthcare to more broadly make the case for this new subspecialty. The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) approved it later that year. “Addiction medicine is the only ABMS subspecialty in which physicians who are board certified in any of the 24 primary ABMS subspecialties—internal medicine, psychiatry, family medicine, etcetera—can sit for the certification examination,” O’Connor said in the 2018 journal interview. “Physicians from all medical specialties can be certified, greatly expanding the pool of addiction specialists nationwide.” “Creating and certifying new addiction medicine specialists all over the country will really help bridge the gap in care,” he added. “Treatment should be available on demand. We know that when it is, treatment for opioid use disorder is very effective.” Eric Dyer ’13 can speak to this. He’s been sober for seven years now.

“In my view, the big gap with addiction is implementation science— getting effective treatments in the hands of healthcare providers and to the patients who need them.” –DR . PAT R IC K O'CONNOR ’ 7 8



Eric’s Story


ike a lot of people, Dyer has some things in common with his parents. His father, Rick, is a criminal defense lawyer. Dyer is also an attorney, though his practice focuses on healthcare law. Father and son were also both addicted to opioids. Rick, who has been sober 42 years, stopped using drugs before Eric was born, but was always open with Eric about his struggles. And that ended up being indispensable to his son. “When I was addicted, it made it a lot easier to talk to him when I needed to get help. He had been through it,” said Dyer, who lives in Boston, Mass. “He understood and could totally relate.” “We could connect on a lot of levels,” he added. “My dad always looked at his recovery as something to be proud of, and he used that in a positive way to help me.” But recovery wasn’t easy for Dyer, who was addicted to prescription pills like oxycodone and was introduced to drugs in seventh grade. It was then he tried marijuana for the first time. “The way I smoked was different from my peers, I wanted to use it every day,” Dyer said in an interview



with MensHealth.com recently. From there, he went to drinking, then cocaine, then he began snorting painkillers like Vicodin and Percocet. By the time his junior year at Union rolled around, he was physically dependent on opioids. His grades were up and down, but if he had drugs on hand, he’d be up early, go to classes, get through the day. If not, he’d lay in bed and go through withdrawal— awful nausea, extreme leg cramps and back pain. “It was the most uncomfortable feeling you could ever have, and the worst part was knowing the only thing that can fix it is more of what’s making you sick,” Dyer told MensHealth.com. But he still couldn’t shake the drugs. He used a family member’s credit card to buy a laptop, then sold that computer to a drug dealer to get the pills his body needed. On his 21st birthday, his girlfriend had had enough. She flushed his drugs down the toilet. “I don’t know if I would have made it without her. She’s the person who made the jump for me,” Dyer said. “The person who believed in me long enough to give me a chance.” “By the end, she had big things going on. It got to a point where she was like, I’m going to go do other

Get ting help If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, these resources provide information and ways to help. National Institute on Drug Abuse: drugabuse.gov/patients-families • Provides information about drug use and abuse, and prevention resources Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: samhsa.gov • Includes a national helpline and disaster distress helpline • Includes easy way to find treatment facilities near you (just enter your ZIP code)

things. That was a turning point—June 2011.” That fall, Dyer checked into Gosnold Treatment Center in Cape Cod. In conjunction with his treatment program, he took Vivitrol, a form of naltrexone. It binds to the brain’s opioid receptors, blocking the effects of opioids. He returned to Union in fall 2012, graduated in 2013, got his law degree and a master’s in business administration, and married the woman—Dr. Stacey Burns ’12—who flushed his pills. He has a life full of promise now, but he knows how lucky he is to have had treatment and support. “One thing alone is not going to do it. Vivitrol is great, it really helped me, but you have to have support. You have to have a safe place to live, people you can talk to and depend on. Sometimes even then it isn’t enough,” Dyer said. “If addiction was something you could beat on your own, you just would.”

At Union, a proactive approach


he College takes a proactive approach to educating students about substance use. Before first-year students arrive on campus, they complete an online requirement that increases awareness of alcohol and other drugs, and how to get help on national and campus levels. Orientation also includes ‘Party Smart’ floor meetings in all residence halls, which provide students with concrete action and intervention strategies they can use to make healthy decisions. Educational efforts continue throughout the year with guest speakers, health and wellness fairs, and social norms and poster campaigns, said Marcus Hotaling, director of Union’s Eppler-Wolff Counseling Center. Additionally, counseling center staff are trained to address substance use. The center also conducts the National College Health Assessment survey every two years, most recently in spring 2018. The data helps compare Union student drug use to 100,000 students around the country. “Nationally, about 1.5% of the sample indicated that they had ever tried opiates,” Hotaling said. “In our sample, a total of three students (out of 384 who completed the survey) indicated that they had ever tried opiates.” “We are fortunate that we have not had to work with many students presenting with opiate use disorder or addiction,” he added. “But we recognize we are not immune to this epidemic and continue to seek to educate ourselves on new initiatives and best practices in treatment.” That includes making certain help is available. “We have an established referral network of substance use disorder treatment programs and clinicians in the Capital Region that we can, and have, referred to for students requiring a level of care beyond what we can provide,” Hotaling said. “Additionally, we work with all students who wish to seek treatment while away from campus to ensure their needs are “Vivitrol is great, addressed.”

it really helped me, but you have to have support. You have to have a safe place to live, people you can talk to and depend on.”

– E R IC DYE R ’ 1 3 ( P IC T U R E D W IT H W IFE DR . S TAC E Y B UR NS '1 2)




Ever wonder what Union professors are up to when they aren’t teaching? Just about everything, as it turns out. Nothing is beyond

Telecommuting seems to increase stress Y O U N G H W A N S O N G , professor of economics

their collective

J I A G A O , visiting assistant professor of economics

reach or curious

orking from home sounds great, right? You could stay in comfy clothes all day, start a load of laundry in between conference calls, maybe even catch up on the dishes during your lunch break. You’d be so productive you’d have nothing to stress out about. Or maybe not. New research by Younghwan Song and Jia Gao shows the exact opposite might be true. Using data collected in a U.S. Census Bureau Survey (2010, 2012, 2013), they examined how subjective wellbeing varies among fulltime wage/salary employees working from home (teleworking) and those working in the office. Those working from home, they found, were more stressed out. They know this because survey respondents were asked to keep a detailed time-diary of a 24-hour period, and were asked when and where they conducted tasks like childcare, work and cooking. Respondents were also asked how they felt about these tasks. “Subjective wellbeing is self-reported wellbeing, usually describing how people feel about the quality of their lives,” Gao and Song said. “We have six measures of instantaneous subjective wellbeing, including happiness, pain, sadness, stress, tiredness and meaningfulness experienced in each activity.” All told, the researchers analyzed 11,793 activities from 3,926 respondents. “We were a little bit surprised by the results. We find that telework reduces tiredness as expected, which is most likely because of the time and energy saved in commuting,” Gao and Song said. “But our study also finds that telework with the aim of

minds. Here’s a glimpse of the diverse and intriguing work they do.

To learn more about this research, visit www.iza.org and search for “Does telework stress employees out?” 34

Photo illustration by Bridget Cunningham ’21



increasing flexibility has resulted in more stress for employees.” Why? “Working from home does give employees more flexibility and autonomy. However, people who telework usually take workfamily dual roles simultaneously,” Gao and Song said. “Blending personal and professional life may blur a person’s identity as an employee versus as a family member, and obscure the boundary between work and family-life, creating psychological tensions.” The researchers also found that just bringing work home, as opposed to actually working from home, had a similar effect. “Employees who bring work home are more likely doing overtime, unpaid work, which makes them unhappy,” Gao and Song said. “Blurring the work-family interface this way could also lead to more conflicts in the family and negotiations between couples.” So what’s a well-intentioned employer to do? “Both employers and policy-makers should recognize the stress associated with telework and the negative, net affect related to informal, overtime work,” Gao and Song said. “To enhance life quality, the government or employers should provide more supports to homeworkers, such as childcare, care for aging parents, physical supports like sufficient space to work, and social network that can sustain homeworking practices.” “It is also necessary to regulate long working hours in order to foster work-life balance and keep a harmonious family relationship.” –Erin DeMuth Judd

Building Our Third Century

The remainder of a charitable unitrust was received from the estate of Alice C. Juengling, along with additional bequest distributions. Proceeds will create the Harlan B. and Alice C. Juengling Endowed Scholarship. Alice was the widow of Harlan B. Juengling, Class of 1951.

An unrestricted bequest was received from the estate of Robert L. Chesanow, Class of 1955. Proceeds will be used to support areas of greatest need. A pre-med major, Dr. Chesanow was also involved with WRUC and the Concordiensis while at Union.

A bequest was received from Evelyn L. Bergen. The proceeds will be used at the discretion of the Trustees of Union College. Mrs. Bergen was the widow of Norman N. Bergen, Class of 1943.

A quarterly trust distribution was received from the estate of Naomi Chambers and added to the Walter R.G. and Naomi Baker Scholarship. Mrs. Chambers was the widow of Walter R.G. Baker, Class of 1916.

A bequest was received from the estate of Walter E. Burt, Class of 1973. Proceeds will support annual scholarship. Mr. Burt earned his degree in social sciences while at Union.

An unrestricted bequest was received from the estate of James M. Williams, Class of 1968. Proceeds will be used to support areas of greatest need. Mr. Williams earned his degree in English and was involved with WRUC while at Union.

The remainder of a charitable gift annuity established with Union was received from the estate of Walter A. Thurber, Class of 1933. Proceeds will support the sciences. Dr. Thurber earned his degree in electrical engineering and was a member of Delta Upsilon. After further education, his career path led to the sciences, teaching science and math, and consulting and writing science textbooks. He was also an ornithology expert with a geographic focus of Central America. A trust distribution was received from the estate of Alfred C. Baechlin, Jr., Class of 1932. The proceeds, along with previous distributions, will be added to the AlJean Baechlin Memorial Scholarship. A trust distribution was received from the estate of Thyra Joan Smith. The proceeds, along with previous distributions, will be used in support of Jackson’s Gardens.

A bequest was received from the estate of Robert M. Finks and will be used to support the geology department. Professor Finks was a research professor of geology at Union with an interest in paleontology and paleoecology. A quarterly trust distribution was received from the estate of Robert L. Slobod, Class of 1935. Proceeds will be used to support areas of greatest need. CHARITABLE GIFT ANNUITIES A charitable gift annuity was established by Professor William W. Fairchild. The remainder proceeds will support the Math Department and the Physics Department.








John W. Searles: California Mining Pioneer

Rokkaku Kites




Learn how to build, fly and battle with this traditional kite style called a Rokkaku. This style was invented in Japan over 400 years ago. At that time, large Rokkaku kites were made from paper and bamboo and flown by teams in competition. This kite style has remained popular because it flies so well and this book shows you how to adjust it for varying wind conditions. Design suggestions are included and there are many examples for you to use. Since Rokkaku kites are steady in flight and provide a broad canvas for decoration, they are popular during festivals. Rokkaku kites are also used in a kite battle, which is like a demolition derby in the sky. You can try it too!

E.M.R. is a fast-paced, medical thriller centered on a compassionate but troubled doctor, Robin Cochran, who is practicing in her southern hometown after training at an urban hospital in New York City. When her practice is bought out by the corporate giant HealthSure, she initially balks but learns to adjust. Not long after, she notices dangerous medical errors being made within HealthSure’s newly-installed E.M.R., (electronic medical record system) known as EMORY. Robin’s nemesis, a physician corporate climber, is all too eager to lay the blame on her. Robin shares her concern with her lifelong friend that something dark and unfathomable is happening. He risks his career to hide her until he can exonerate her. Meanwhile, Robin is being spied on by a talented hacker and I.T. specialist at HealthSure, who wants to rescue Robin from her enemies. But he has found an opponent in artificial intelligence (EMORY) that may very well be playing its own lethal game.

Introduction to Engineering: A Project-Based Experience in Engineering Methods

Searles Valley Historical Society via Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing

John Wemple Searles left New York and went to California to seek his fortune in 1852. He and his older brother, Dennis, first settled in Trinity County, where Dennis worked in the gold mines and John farmed and ranched. After losing everything in a lawsuit in 1858, John and Dennis moved to San Bernardino County, where gold and silver had been discovered in the mountains of the Slate Range. Here, they played important roles with many different mining companies, some of which were successful. However, in 1865 they again lost everything in a lawsuit to satisfy their debts. In 1873, John and his partners filed claims to 640 acres of borax-laden land on what is now known as Searles Lake. Here he built and operated the San Bernardino Borax Mining Company and finally found the fortune that had eluded him. Today, Searles Lake continues to provide millions of tons of industrial chemicals annually—including borax—with no end in sight.



American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc.

Introduction to Engineering is a project-based learning experience for first-year engineering students who are tasked with designing a hypersonic trans-atmospheric vehicle. This experience guides students through the same process that a team of engineers would follow by breaking a large design problem into smaller, more tractable sub-problems. Electronic course materials accompany the text and include narrated slideshows, handouts, spreadsheets and videos that allow students to deepen their understanding of engineering concepts and provide them with the examples and tools needed to build their test vehicles. By the end of this project-based learning experience, students will grasp the fundamental tenets of creative problem solving and discover the fascinating, challenging and motivating world of engineering.

CONSIDERATION Media, formerly Bookshelf, features new titles by or about alumni and other members of the Union community. To be included, send a copy of the work (book, DVD, CD) and synopsis to:




Botany Bay: Slavery and Social Reform at Union College during the Early Nineteenth Century

Causeway to a Bigger World

Bad Faith: Teachers, Liberalism, and the Origins of McCarthyism

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing

Botany Bay: Slavery and Social Reform at Union College during the Early Nineteenth Century examines how Union College, a leading institution of the 19th century, grappled with the social problems facing the young United States including questions concerning enslavement and intemperance. The book explores the life of Eliphalet Nott, the influential and misunderstood president of Union College, who served from 1804 to 1866. Seen as a champion of the anti-slavery crusade and the temperance movement, Botany Bay presents President Nott as far more complex reformer who struggled to understand his beliefs in relation to his actions. Along with detailing the life of Nott, the work provides readers a picture of student life during the era through the diaries and letters the young men left. These documents provide a rich insight into how college students understood the changing world around them. Their thoughts and reactions to major events offer a glimpse into the diversity of thought that existed across the United States during the turbulent years leading up to the Civil War.

Mountain Arbor Press

This memoir by Dan West, Union’s former vice president for College Relations, chronicles a career in the ministry and higher education with moves to 19 cities throughout the U.S. A native of Texas, West held positions in the Presbyterian Church and affiliated colleges. He served as president of Arkansas College (now Lyon College) in Batesville, Ark. and Carroll University in Waukesha, Wis. He served at Union from 1992 to 1999, during which the College completed a $150 million campaign, restored the Nott Memorial, built the F.W. Olin Center and renovated Shaffer Library. He writes that he and his wife, Sidney, “continue to look back at Union days as bright ones in our experience.” After Union, West went on to Swarthmore College as vice president for advancement, retiring in 2008.

Office of Communications Union College Schenectady, NY 12308 or synopsis and high-resolution image to magazine@union.edu

Fordham University Press

In late summer 1940, as war spread across Europe and as the nation pulled itself out of the Great Depression, an anticommunist hysteria convulsed New York City. Targeting the city’s municipal colleges and public schools, the New York state legislature’s Rapp-Coudert investigation dragged hundreds of suspects before public and private tribunals to root out a perceived communist conspiracy to hijack the city’s teachers unions, subvert public education, and indoctrinate the nation’s youth. Drawing on the vast archive of Rapp-Coudert records, Bad Faith provides the first full history of this witch-hunt, which lasted from August 1940 to March 1942. In recapturing this moment in the history of prewar anticommunism, the book challenges assumptions about the origins of McCarthyism, the liberal political tradition, and the role of anticommunism in modern American life.



Alumni Clubs NEW YORK CIT Y

WASHINGTON, D.C. The recent Health Care Policy breakfast in Washington, D.C., was moderated by Claudia Schlosberg ’76, Castle Hill Consulting; Kim M. Czuburak Esq. ’85, American Academy of Nursing; Megan B. Hashbarger ’05, Dialysis Patient Citizens; and Sarah Yergeau ’10, United Way Worldwide.

In January, Kevin Rampe ’88 hosted alumni and parents at Madison Square Garden for a Rangers vs. Flyers hockey game. Those in attendance included: Corey Dietrich ’13, Hilary Henkind Plattus ’89, Michael Hiller ’88, Jodi Tesser ’97, David Tarica P’10, Brian DeMichele ’03, Denise Webster ’01, Alan Rutkin ’80, Maura Rutkin P’12 & P’21, Randall Beach ’94, Jodi Tesser ’97, Ken Adler ’83, Kevin Rampe ’88, Christine Rampe, Nick Famulare ’92, Craig Ferrero ’92 and David Cohen ’88

CONNECTICUT Union College trustee Betsy Modest Brand ’82 and Michael Brand ’80, M.D., invited alumni to Acts of Connecticut, an exclusive lunch-and-learn presentation by Professor Dan Venning and performance of “Evita.” From left to right are Besty Modest Brand ’82, Pam Viglielmo ’82, Eileen M. (Goodman) Samuels ’82, Janet N. (Nachbar) Harrold ’82 and Randi Ribakove ’82

The recent panel on creating an inclusive workplace was moderated by Jason Benitez, associate dean of diversity and inclusion (far right). He was joined by (right to left) Meredith Miller ’97, Touro Law Center; Josh Davis ’14, LiveIntent, Inc.; Pooja Kothari ’03, Boundless Awareness; and Eric Miller ’91 P’22, Credit Suisse.

U Want to get involved? The Office of Alumni and Parent Engagement works in partnership with regional alumni clubs to host a variety of events, from panels and social gatherings to lunch-and-learn sessions with professors. Each event is a great opportunity to reconnect with friends, have fun and expand your social and professional networks— all while extending Union’s impact beyond Schenectady.


Union has a strong tradition of celebrating the holidays with classmates. This past year in New York City, over 100 alumni gathered to reconnect. From right to left are Julie Cyriac ’04, Rebekah “Becki” Ferguson ’04 and Sherine Skariah ’04 38


contact Violetta De Rosa at (518) 388-6565 or derosav@union.edu.

The Union College Annual Fund

POWER IN NUMBERS When we say that every gift counts, we mean it.

“Larger philanthropic gifts tend to get all the press,” said Mark Webster ’88, National Co-Chair of Union’s Class Agent Program. “But donors to the Annual Fund—the people who faithfully give year after year—are the lifeblood of the College.” Gifts to the Annual Fund provide a base of critical unrestricted support for students and academic programming. And steady gifts of all sizes from alumni, parents, employees and friends help the College maintain its leadership position in higher education. “Not everyone can make a large gift, but everyone can give in meaningful ways,” Webster said. “Union appreciates and values all support regardless of the amount.”

9,788 $7.7M Donors

Dollars raised

YOUR ANNUAL FUND GIFT SUPPORTS: • Innovative academic programs • Experiential opportunities such as internships, student teaching, study abroad, service learning and volunteerism • Leading-edge research activities, on and off campus • Essential scholarship and financial assistance for students

“I give every year out of loyalty and because I have seen first-hand how these funds shape the future of Union.” – MARK WEBSTER ’88, NATIONAL CO-CHAIR, UNION COLLEGE CLASS AGENT PROGRAM






Garnet Guard




Alumni who have celebrated their 50th ReUnion.




James Taub 711 S. Market Street Johnstown, N.Y. 12095 (518) 762-1172 shrevie711@hotmail.com

Ken Haefner 1346 Waverly Pl. Schenectady, N.Y. 12308 kbhaefner@gmail.com

Paul Mohr 140 E Duce of Clubs Ste A Show Low, Ariz. 85901 dadtired@frontiernet.net

Leslie Sobin writes, “After a dozen years with the World Health Organization, over 25 years at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, and seven years at the National Institutes of Health, I have finally retired. My wife and I are living in a retirement community in Gaithersburg, Maryland.”



John Honey ’61 121 Waterside Dr., Box 1175 North Falmouth, Mass. 02556 jahoney@msn.com

1950 Bernard Leason’s one-act play, “The President’s Widow,” was presented as a staged reading at two sold-out performances (Sept. 22 and 23, 2018) at The White Barn Theatre in St. Helena, Calif. The White Barn is a former carriage house dating to 1872, which has been a performing arts venue since 1985. “The President’s Widow” deals with the potentially disastrous results of political hate-speech. A review in the Napa County Register commented that the play is a “chilling and timely work,” which was masterfully read. Another of Bernard’s one-acts, “Afterwards...,” was performed, also as a staged reading, at the University of Colorado/Denver theatre department workshop earlier in 2018. The “Widow” has a cast of two; “Afterwards,” a cast of four. Bernard writes, “I date back to the Mountebanks of 1948-1949, under the directorship of the inspirational Jackson Davis.”




Eugene Benman writes, “What a January ’51 grad still recalls: 1) Fraternity choral competition 2) Summer on campus doing surveying with Sollecito, Cecil and Dages. 3) Travels with swim team. 4) Selling blood to Ellis Hospital—one’s own! 5) Repairing patients’ TVs at Ellis. 6) Often called ‘doctor’ at the hospital when seen with my TV repair bag. 7) Taking Mohawk Valley Union students back to Schtdy—Palmer, Duffy and others in my ‘39 Ford. 8) LACK OF COEDS ON CAMPUS. 9) Sources of income at UNION: GI Bill, GE Utica, table waiting, dishwashing, Utica City sewer construction company, city lifeguard.”


Hubert Plummer 21 Temple Road Setauket, N.Y. 11733 (631) 941-4076 whp@plummerlaw.com


Avrom J. Gold 33 Madiosn Lane Hilton Head Island, S.C. 29926 (908) 581-1455 avromgold@gmail.com

1956 Norman Bartner writes, “Visited Milt Herman for four days, and he continues to be my hero in his ability to overcome his physical issues. Milt is absolutely amazing. Barry Wolfensohn has recovered extremely well from heart surgery, and is back to his volunteer activities. Jay O’Neil is living in Scituate, Mass. After several injuries and illnesses, I am back in the training pool hoping to win another USMS National championship. Also, retired this year from practice and from teaching at U. Maryland. Son Jon has a 2-year-old and 2-month-old, founded his own firm in support of 14 hedge funds, and serves as COO of eight hedge funds. Daughter Samantha to marry this year.”


Robert B. Howe 135 Chevy Chase Dr. Wayzata, Minn. 55391-1053 howex001@umn.edu

On January 1, Allen Limberg was granted U. S. patent No.10,171,280 titled ‘Doublesideband COFDM Signal Receivers that Demodulate Unfolded Frequency Spectrum.’”


William “Dal” Trader 5361 Santa Catalina Avenue Garden Grove, Calif. 92845 daltrader@earthlink.net (310) 629-8971 Eugene Cassidy writes, “Lost in Florida, for the past eight years I have been a Shine volunteer for the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, where I help folks navigate the shoals of Medicare. We are trained very well and retrained often to the point that we are able to save people a lot of money on their health care. It’s the best job I have ever had and I have had some very good ones.” Stephen Cooper has had a monologue, “Clueless,” selected for publication in

Learning doesn’t just take place in the classroom. Terms abroad, internships and faculty-mentored research are integral parts of a Union education. Just ask Virginia Smith ’78. Sociology Professor Gene Schneller changed the trajectory of her life.

“As a student who had to work every summer and school year break, and as one whose professional trajectory was transformed by a research assistantship, I feel privileged to pay it forward,” Smith said. “No one knows better than I, the transformational power of being seen and encouraged by a mentor.”

After reading her paper on nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants, two emerging professions in the mid-1970s, he hired her as a research assistant. “Dr. Schneller was doing research on the health professions, and I can say without a doubt that I would never have applied to schools of public health for graduate work had I not had the experience with Dr. S.,” said Smith, who lives in New Mexico. “It gave me confidence in my ability to research and to write and, most importantly, it gave me direction. I don’t know where I would have ended up otherwise, but it sure wouldn’t be where I am today.” Smith is president of Adelante Consulting, Inc., and has more than 25 years of experience in leading project teams with up to 120 scientific, engineering, financial and administrative staff members. But her Union experience is where it all started. And that’s why she’s supporting the Making U Possible initiative, launched by President David R. Harris to ensure all students—regardless of financial need— benefit from a full Union experience.

T H E P R E S I D E N T I A L I N I T I AT I V E F O R S C H O L A R S H I P A N D I M M E R S I V E E XC E L L E N C E Each gift to Making U Possible programs will unlock an equal amount from a few generous alumni to be invested in scholarships, doubling the impact we can make in students’ lives. GIVE TODAY:

www.union.edu/upossible SUMMER 2019 | UNION COLLEGE



Best Men’s Monologues 2019. Watch at www.youtube.com/ watch?v=IQRjsFjYgTY (he is the “winner”). Arnold Goldschlager writes, “At age 80 I am still practicing medicine and boating in San Francisco Bay. Recently traveled to Africa and Israel. Next trip is France to meet with my fellow Knights of the order of St. Hubertus.”


Charles E. Roden kiw702@aol.com


Bill Reaman PO Box 301 Cataumet, Mass. 02534 (508) 566-0866 billreaman@yahoo.com Jim Reisman writes, “We’re continuing to celebrate our Union experiences. We enjoyed a dinner gathering Oct. 18 at a midtown Italian place, arranged after months of scheduling issues! We had people from as far away as Kansas City (KS) and West Palm Beach (FL), and several from the greater northeast! Alumni included Dr. Lew Roht

’60, Dr. Peter Steinglass ’60, Chet Feldberg ‘60, Tom Landsberg, Dr. Bernie Strauss ’60, Stephen Polmar, Bob Galvin, Bob Markfield, Dr. John Merey, Dr. Mike Bloom ’60 and Stu Cohen.” Richard McGavern was the 2019 recipient of the Canandaigua Chamber of Commerce’s Mr./ Mrs./Ms. Canandaigua Award, which honors an individual who has demonstrated service to the community and its citizens over and above what is expected of one person. In addition to being a former mayor and councilman, Richard also has been involved over the years with the Granger Homestead, Wood Library, Salvation Army and Light Hill. He and others also are credited with repairing the clock on the tower at City Hall and for helping to create the city endowment as an aftermath of the city’s centennial. For 20 years, he has served as a member of the Canandaigua Rotary Club.


George Ball 6929 Country Line Road Wayland, N.Y. 14572-9553 gball@frontiernet.net

George Ball writes, “I just returned from singing with a 53-man senior barbershop chorus on stage at the Grand Old Opry. We were in competition with five other senior choruses and I enjoyed the experience very much. Nashville is awesome.”

1965 Robert Hobday, of Honeoye Falls, N.Y., was recently elected director of the Antique Wireless Association Board of Trustees. Bob has been a member of AWA since 1984, serving as a museum historian and a volunteer on the museum staff. In 2009, Bob was elected as AWA deputy direc-tor. Bob graduated from Union College with a BA in industrial administration. He worked at Rochester Gas and Electric for 32 years, advancing to manager, pricing. In 1997, he was one of two team leaders who created Energetix, a subsidiary and finally an affiliate of RGE, where he advanced to managing director, strategic issues. Bob is a fellow in Radio Club of America and a recipient of their Jack Poppele Award.

Robert Hobday ’65

A mini ReUnion: Seated, left to right, are Dr. Lew Roht ’60, Dr. Peter Steinglass ’60, Chet Feldberg ’60, Tom Landsberg ’61, Dr. Bernie Strauss ’60. Standing, left to right, are Stephen Polmar ’61, Bob Galvin, ’61, Bob Markfield ’61, Dr. John Merey ’61, Dr. Mike Bloom ’60, Stu Cohen ’61 and Jim Reisman ’61. (Photo by Dr. Lew Roht ’60)



Gary Morris writes, “My wife and I watch with interest the current immigration discussion taking place in the United States. We have now lived in Hong Kong for six years

participating in the legal immigration system to become permanent residents. We are here because our son, his wife and our two grandsons (Union classes of 2027 and 2032?) live here. I have received an extension to 2020. Happily, I continue to be employed full-time, thank you Hong Kong Special Administrative Region China. Thinking of 2020, I look forward to seeing my classmates at our 55th ReUnion when I will be a HK permanent resident.”

Gary Morris ’65 accepts for Sowers Exchange a HKD 1,000,000 check from a local organization

Sherwood Lee writes, “I have retired after 44 years of practicing pediatrics in Haverhill, Massachusetts—11 years as a solo practitioner and 33 years as part of Pentucket Medical Associates. Replacing me is Lisa Gruber ’88! After four years at Upstate Medical, I did my internship and residency at Buffalo Children’s Hospital. One of my best friends while there, and with whom I still see regularly, was Roy Fazendeiro, who in turn, was good friends with Dave Lawrence ’65 when they were at Albany Med. We tried contacting him, but were unsuccessful. So Dave, if you read this, contact us for a mini-reunion and golf (I got Roy to take it up again) at my place in Ogunquit, Maine!”





Antonio F. Vianna 7152 Tanager Drive Carlsbad, Calif. 92011 simpatico1@juno.com

Joseph Smaldino 6310 Lantern Ridge Lane Knoxville, Tenn. 37921 smaldinoj@comcast.net (815) 762-5984

Jonathan Lathey writes, “In the last issue of Children & Libraries, I published an article ‘Newbury Medal Novels: What They Reveal About Class Differences and the American Dream.’ Tom Scriver, a retired English professor, provided helpful encouragement. My wife and I have moved to Arlington, Virginia, where I am a docent at the Library of Congress.” Antonio Vianna writes, “Seeking production/distribution for a screenplay documentary (HERO) that I’ve written about a USAF Sergeant who took down the first Islamist terrorist attacker in Germany in 2011 and then awarded the Cross of the Order of the Federal Republic of Germany. He is also a USAF Wounded Warrior Ambassador. Also, my historical fiction screenplay (Far From Ordinary) is currently a semi-finalist in the Southern California Screenplay Competition.”

Alan Maddaus writes, “On October 14, I completed a quest to climb 46 of the highest mountains of the Adirondacks, saving the Seward Range, named in honor of William H. Seward, Class of 1820, Secretary of State in Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet, for last. Seward Mountain, the highest of that range was the final climb. The ascent of Seymour, a neighboring peak two weeks previous was more challenging; Seward by the Calkins Brook trail took 11 hours but less effort. My wife and I, along with rescued animal companions, continue to divide our time between homes in Vischer Ferry, N.Y., and Cape Neddick, Maine.”

troubles politically. Next headed to Australia and its island state of Tasmania in March of this year for hiking and touring. Then, happily visiting grandchildren throughout the rest of the year in Brooklyn and Washington, D.C.” Allen Miller writes, “I read with interest Dominic Poccia’s note in the winter (2019) magazine. I believe Hendrix was at Union College considerably earlier than stated in the article. He was the guitar player for the Isley Brother’s Band and there are 2 photos of him in the 1966 Garnet Yearbook playing in Memorial Chapel. My guess is either the fall of 1965 or winter early 1966. I think that the Isley Brothers were hired by Psi Upsilon fraternity for a couple of their parties and Hendrix may have been present. Perhaps some brothers from that house and time may recall.” Joseph Shacter writes, “After 45 years in Hawaii, I’ve moved with my family to Portland, Oregon. We’re adjusting well to the change in climate but found ourselves without an ice scraper following our first snowfall. I was saddened to learn of the passing of John Monroe, Class of 1964, who was my mentor when I started at NASA in 1969.”


Alan Maddaus ’67 at the summit of Seymour Mountain Oct. 14, 2018 David Holdridge ’66 home from Beirut for the holidays with brand new grandson, flying in with his parents from Doha for family reunion at the farm in Vermont

Stephen Roehm writes, “Have been fortunate to travel a bit after retirement—was in South Africa in March of ’18. Incredibly beautiful country with wonderful people despite its

John Dresser Etna, N.H. jdressernh@gmail.com Richard Theokas writes, “On third career practicing law in North Carolina. Primarily criminal (a target rich environment) but dabble in civil issues and doing lots of pro-bono work.”


George Cushing Delanson, N.Y. pinyachta@gmail.com Ray Pike Salisbury, Mass. rnwpike@comcast.net Myron Fribush writes, “Became a mathematics teacher for two years after Union. Then went back to graduate and medical school at University of Rochester and got degrees in biophysics and medicine. After residency in family medicine, was faculty for two years and then set up private medical practice. Eventually left to do ER medicine, and moved to Sitka, Alaska in 2004. Semiretired now, working in ER intermittently, and planning much more fishing in Sitka Sound next year. See you in 2019 at our 50th!” Roy Fruiterman writes, “Loving my two years of retirement from my internal medicine practice in Delmar, N.Y. When missing my patients, I get to meet up with them over a coffee or on a long walk. I’ve restarted my (classical) piano, and now play in a piano quartet. Traveling to France, Belgium and lately Italy—as often as possible. Judy and I are Face Time addicts with our grandson living in Rochester. Looking forward to meeting classmates at the upcoming 50th. (Yikes).” Alan Miller writes, “Looking forward to catching up at ReUnion ’69. We survived Vietnam and other possible horrors. I did by staying in school as long as possible, and along the way earned M.S., Ph.D. and J.D. degrees. Currently living in NYC and enjoying sailing, skiing and tennis when not practicing as a patent attorney.” SUMMER 2019 | UNION COLLEGE




Frank P. Donnini Newport News, Va. fpdonnini@aol.com Douglas Vergith writes, “Sheila and I retired in April 2018 and moved back to Chautauqua, N.Y., where we both grew up. We’re enjoying the slower pace of life here. I’m playing lots of golf, coaching a youth basketball team and volunteering for the NYS Golf Association.”


Henry Fein, M.D. Rockville, Md. hgfein@aol.com Ivan Cooper was invited by the U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem to participate in a public diplomacy program in July 2018 on public-private partnerships (P3s), infrastructure management, and water/ wastewater management, and regulation in the Palestinian Authority (PA) territories. Ivan was the sole representative from the U.S. for the program. This effort was considered as high priority by the White House as an effort to help secure peace efforts between Palestinians and Israel.

Marquis Who’s Who, the world’s premier publisher of biographical profiles. Individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process. A highly esteemed businessman and community leader with more than 40 years of professional experience, Gary is a registered investment advisor (and president of Diversified Capital Corporation in Miami Beach, Fla.). He is also the managing partner of Xtra Storage Companies and International Wine Storage in Miami. Gary also serves on many non-profit boards and is a director of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation and the Collegiate Learning Exchange. He holds a Master of Education from Harvard University and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University’s Business School.

Ivan Cooper ’71 Annual pilgrimage to Union-Harvard men’s ice hockey game: Andrew Kulesza ’71, Victor Lerish ’71, Kent Wiley ’71 and Steve Amira ’71. Sadly, Union lost 5-3 in spite of a great Union fan turn-out. Ivan Cooper ’71

Gary J. Yarus has received the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award from



Roy Wiese writes, “In February, I joined three classmates—Jim O’Sullivan, Jim Winston and Jock Conly—for the first reunion all four of us have had

From left: Jim O’Sullivan ’71, Jim Winston ’71, Roy Wiese ’71 Jock Conly ’71 in Orlando

together in over 45 years! Reconnecting at Disney Springs in Orlando, we had a blast trading competing memories of the same events, profs, and acquaintances from our Union years.”

1972 Lee Zehngebot writes, “Much to my surprise, in May of 2018 I retired from medicine. I tried working part-time, but did not like it. Enjoying retirement, a great deal, doing a lot of traveling and even caught up with my old college roommate, Bob Michealson. Have two grandchildren and am riding my bike and skiing a lot. Looking forward to our 50th ReUnion in 2022.” Howard Haimes works for SAIC (previously Engility) in Lorton, Va., as subject matter expert supporting development of medical countermeasures for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DOD) at Fort Belvoir. He writes, “I support sponsored research in small molecule and biologic therapeutics against biological threat including drug-resistant pathogens, filoviruses (Ebola, Sudan, and Marburg) and alphaviruses (equine encephalitis) and emerging organ-onchip systems. I provide intellectual assistance and due diligence on DTRA funded

academic, pharmaceutical and biotech DTRA funded projects. Grant reviewer for external projects. I also serve as a reviewer for CARB-X (BARDA). Our son works in biotech in Cambridge, Mass., and our daughter lives in Gifu City, Japan with our two grandsons; Max and Silas. Her husband Michael Pistorio was recruited by a Japanese IP law firm.”

Howard Haimes ’72


Larry Swartz Niskayuna, N.Y. larry.swartz@agriculture.ny.gov


Cathy Stuckey Johnson San Mateo, Calif. caj1080@hotmail.com

The Snitkoffs take a pause for art


he name of Gail and Lou Snitkoff’s new enterprise—Pause Gallery in Troy, N.Y.—makes sense. With Gail recently retired as a professor at Albany College of Pharmacy, the couple has the time to pause and indulge in what they love: supporting the arts. For his part, Lou, a longtime area physician, enjoys the more predictable schedule of health care administration that enables him to spend some time in the gallery with Gail. He is vice president of the Ellis Medical Group in Schenectady. Pause Gallery, at 501 Broadway in downtown Troy, offers paintings, ceramics, glass, wood and the “coolest jewelry in the Capital District,” Gail says. It also features photography, much of it by Lou, who for years has shown his work at Union and regional venues. Works are reasonably priced, starting at $15. Lou, a biology major, cemented his 45-year passion for art with a course in scientific photography with Prof. Chris Jones of Physics. He was fascinated by the campus darkroom and the artistic images that could be made with the laser. Gail, a double major in biology and chemistry, didn’t take art classes at Union. But she took advantage of Union’s breadth, adopting the English department as her second home, where Prof. Hans Freund nurtured her love of literature. The Snitkoffs began collecting art while they were students at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, where Gail earned a Ph.D., and Lou a medical degree. As their collection grew, so did their network of artist-friends. Which motivated them to think about opening a gallery.

LOU ’73 AND GAIL GOODMAN SNITKOFF ’74 Gail ’74 and Lou ’73 Snitkoff in their Troy N.Y. art gallery with Julie Lohnes, Union director of art collections, at right

Gail, with five years of retail experience in an Albany pottery shop, refined her business plan for the gallery through an “Entrepreneur Boot Camp” offered by the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce. Her proposal took first place in a competition and launched what she calls their “leap of faith.” Always a teacher, Gail retains her love for the field. “Telling people about the art and how it was made is really a teaching activity,” she said. “The teaching and learning has helped me relate to our customers.”

Residents of Albany, the Snitkoffs chose for their venture nearby Troy, a walkable city with fascinating Victorian architecture, reasonable rents and a vibrant arts community. Troy has embraced the Snitkoffs and vice versa. But Lou admits they have their limits: “We are not rooting for RPI.” For more, visit www.pausegallery.com




Dick Connery took a trip to the Oakland, Calif., area to visit his daughter. He wore his Union cap, hoping to see some other Union grads. No luck until he attended the “Oaktober Fest.” One woman stopped him and said her grandfather was a graduate. A few steps more and a ’96 graduate stepped up. He writes, “I thought, ‘I should have taken a selfie for the Chronicle.’ Resolved to do this, at a wine tasting in Solvang, the host, Norman Fox II, came up and said his grandfather was a graduate in the forties, and I got my selfie!”

Dick Connery ’74 and Norman Fox II

Mark Mindel writes, “I’ve been retired (pretty much) since 2014. Still work a little at the Saratoga Racetrack as a mutuel clerk, coach marathoners for Fleet Feet, and officiate cross

Mark Mindel ’74, long time Averill Park track and cross country coach, introduces two of his athletes into the AP HOF last April.



country, indoor and outdoor track meets. Our son Scott, 32, lives outside of Boston and is still an outstanding marathoner (2:22 best) and recently won the Bay State Marathon in 2:23. He and his wife Sasha (an Olympic Trials Marathoner herself) are expecting our first grandchild in February, so we are all very excited. Daughter Katie, 29, is a photographer and waitress and younger son, Tim, 28 is a financial advisor for Northwestern Mutual. Wife Linda and I were married 33 years in March and she is also enjoying retirement.” Cathy Johnson writes, “My husband, Mark ’73, and I just celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary on January 19. I completed all my credits in December of 1973 and came back to graduate in June of 1974. Our wedding party included Christine Kelly, Caren Fox Linden, Marie Bednar MacDonald, Michael Hurley ’73 and Chris Johnson ’79.”

In August 2018, Bill Killen and Tom Combs, both BSEEs, completed a bike ride along the entire length of the D&L Bike Trail in Pennsylvania. The ride covered 185 miles over 3 days along the old Delaware and Lehigh Railroad and the Delaware Canal. The adventure started in Wilkes-Barre, and ended on the front steps of the Wharton School in

Bill Killen ’74 (left) and Tom Combs ’74

downtown Philadelphia, where Bill and Tom each received their MBAs. This was the 2nd annual BBB Ride (Bicycles, Baseball, and Beer) and included a Phillies minor league baseball game in Allentown, and a Red Sox at Phillies game in Philadelphia. The 2017 BBB ride covered 300 miles across the state of Missouri on the Katy Trail. The 2019 BBB ride will begin in Ocala, Florida and end in St. Petersburg.”

Mark Chittim writes, “After retiring from Fresenius Kidney Care in 2017, I enrolled in the Community Kitchen Culinary Training Program at the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. I am doing an internship at Cranston Senior Center, where we prepare meals for seniors all over the East Bay of Rhode Island. After completing the internship, I plan on doing part time work at either a senior center, assisted living center or community kitchen.”

William (Will) Waters is winding down (eventually) his career at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador. A sociologist, he is co-director of the Institute for Research in Health and Nutrition, which studies the social determinants of health in all kinds of interesting places, including Andean indigenous communities and Galapagos. He’s been married to the same person for 36 years and grateful for that. Son Andrew is a cardiologist in Shawnee, Kansas.

Chris Nadherny has published his first book, The Proactive Executive, available on Amazon and receiving five-star reader reviews. The book results from his long career with Spencer Stuart, a top global executive search firm, where he assessed, coached, guided and presented countless executives. This unique experience provided him with an uncommon understanding of how the most successful careers are formed and accelerated, resulting in swifter advancement, more job satisfaction, and significantly higher compensation. His insightful and practically designed guidebook is for professionals who may be a bit complacent in managing their careers, at a crossroads, or simply unclear about what to do.

1975 James Rostenberg writes, “I had a wonderful mini-reunion dinner in Schenectady during Homecoming weekend with five Union friends: Steve Gyory ’76, Jill (Swyer) Novak, Joe Czechowski ’76, Lou-Anne (Beauregard) Gyory ’76 and Rick Novak.” Jonathan Gould and his wife, Nicki, welcomed three grandchildren over the past year. Their daughter, Maddi, and her husband, Antoine, had twins; David and his wife, Madison, had a little girl. And Madison is pregnant again. Career-wise, the seventh edition of Jon’s co-authored book, Psychological Experts in Divorce Actions, was published in January 2019.

Chris Nadherny ’75

Roy Rubinfeld writes, “In the course of practicing ophthal-

mology—specializing in LASIK in the Washington, D.C., area—I founded two biotech companies and developed and patented non-invasive treatments to save the sight of millions of people worldwide. Over the last decade, I’ve worked closely with Roxanne Littner ’76, MPH. Being a clinician, married to Roxanne—an epidemiologist—induced an ‘oil and water’ approach to conducting research. Roxanne, being the brains of the operation, fortunately prevailed.”





Jill Schneier Wegenstein Carmel Valley, Calif. jwegenstein@gmail.com

Leila Shames Maude LeeShamesMaude@alumni. union.edu

Kim Waddell and husband, Greg Gall, spent the day with Jodie Miller DeMuth ’77 and Dennis DeMuth ’75 at their vacation home on San Juan Island, Wash., in August. She writes, “It was great to catch-up! Their visiting son, James, caught Dungeness crabs out front for dinner. What a treat! We enjoyed our two weeks in Washington and can’t wait to go back; such beautiful scenery.”

Jean (Griffith) Hansen writes, “After being downsized from my long-term employer in 2015, I have continued in my field of construction dispute resolution consulting (Time and ost matters.). The past two years I have been working part-time out of my home in central N.J. with Navigant Consulting, recently acquired by Ankura. All is well. This arrangement allows me to spend time with aging parents and husband, Ken, developing

our new retirement property outside of Charlottesville, Va. (2020 move planned).” Donald Dulchinos writes, “Seven Union alums and KA brothers, spanning the classes of 1978–1983, held a reunion in September by riding our bikes through five national parks in eight days—that’s 500 miles and 31,000 vertical feet! We spent a couple days saying ‘what have you been up to,’ a couple more talking about where our kids are, and then we were just longtime friends once again sharing a great adventure. Our planned eighth rider, Pete Raymond, had just suffered the loss of his dear wife Karen Kenneally, and we

Roy Rubinfeld ’75

In January, Don Amira, with wife Betsy, and Theron Russell, with wife Pam Yarus Russell ’76, toured the Mekong River, visiting major cities, inland villages, UNESCO and historic sites in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Don Amira ’75, with wife Betsy, and Theron Russell ’75, with wife Pam Yarus Russell ’76, on a tour of Vietnam and Cambodia

Kim Waddell ’76 (left), Dennis DeMuth ’75 and Jodie Miller DeMuth ’77 in San Juan Island, WA.

Alumni gathered Aug. 25, 2018 in New York City to celebrate the wedding of Rachel Messinger (daughter of Karen Sokoloff) and Brian O’Leary. Attendees included Carol Meola, Wendy Beck (wife of Stephen Beck ’75), Naomi Robbins, Andy Messinger (Karen’s husband), Jennefer Schifman (wife of Alan Schifman), Dotsie Whitney, Cathy Rimsky, Lee Rimsky, Peter Meola ’77, Stephen Beck ’75, Mark Gross ’75, Alan Schifman, Steven Seif (Dotsie’s husband), Ellen Reiss and Peter Reiss ’73.

Alumni attend the wedding of Rachel Messinger, daughter of Karen Sokoloff ’76

Alumni who participated in an eight-day bike ride through five national parks in September include Steve Buchanan ’81, Tom Siragusa ’8, Russ Davidson ’80, Don Dulchinos ’78, Jim Quittmeyer ’80, Gregg Singer ’80 and Tom Hallenbeck ’80.




dedicated the ride, and a few affectionate stories, to her memory.” Lynne Bolstad writes, “Still working as a hospitalist, night shift now. Currently on leave due to orthopedic problems. Husband now working parttime in internal medicine. One daughter working in Albany doing combination administrative and patient contact work, and is an outspoken social activist. One daughter returned from Africa/Peace Corps, went to law school, and is now working in Washington, D.C., in a legislative aide type of Federal position.”


Jeff Laniewski, Florence, Ariz. jlaniewski4@gmail.com


Kurt Hamblet San Luis Obispo, Calif. kurthamblet@gmail.com Matt Fronk writes, “After graduation I spent 30 years as a mechanical engineer at GM. I spent the last 20 years of my career there both starting and leading GM’s Fuel Cell development activity, which was a tremendous experience as we built the company’s first 100 prototype cars. After retiring in 2009 I have continued as an engineering consultant in the advanced energy technology field. My wife, Donna, and I will be married 40 years in 2019 and our three children—Brian, Kellie and Lindsey are out of the house and working. Brian is an English prof, Kellie is a PR manager, and Lindsey is a middle school teacher. We have two grandsons as well.”



Gary Philipson writes, “Retired from our family business in March, and am looking forward to my next chapter. Three kids: 29, 26, 23, and my lovely wife Lisa. Still stay in touch with good friends Allan Greenberg, Alan Rosenberg, Jan Rosker Anderson, Amy Margolis and Audrey Stein.” Ed Westermann writes, “I live in Canandaigua, N.Y., with my wife Beth, our dog, Gideon, our cat, Lloyd, and our parrot, Marley. I am still working as a software engineer for the Harris Corp in Rochester, N.Y. I plan to retire in about three years. Beth and I enjoy kayaking, glamping (glamor camping), gourmet cooking, and, of course visiting Finger Lakes wineries.” Keith Edwards is SVP & GM of Hamilton Thorne, Inc., a TSX listed firm engaged in the IVF–fertility business and is responsible for worldwide sales and operations. He writes, “Every bit of the chemistry and biology courses I took at Union remain relevant and constant reminders of Un-ion’s value. A special hello to all those students I tutored in chemistry and histology.” Andrew Terranova writes, “After a 30-year career as franchisee in Buffalo/Niagara Falls, I have retired from the corporate training field. I am currently conducting executive and management coaching. Playing over-50 basketball and pickleball.” Kurt Hamblet retired in 2012 as a senior trial deputy with the Santa Barbara County Public Defender’s Office. He writes, “At the same time I ceased teaching constitutional law, evidence, and criminal procedure at three schools. I split my time between San Luis Obispo, Calif., and Columbus,

Ohio. My wife of 33 years, Ramona, is still teaching for Purdue, but has allowed me to chase Union hockey and the SF Giants all over the central U.S. I have enjoyed golf, gambling, and sports outings with numerous alumni, including Ed Elinski and Andy Terranova. I hoped to see fellow alumni in Pittsburgh in January when the Dutchmen play in the Three Rivers Classic Tournament. I encourage all members of the Class of ’79 to update their contact information with me by dashing off a quick email to kurthamblet@ gmail.com.” Katy (Boyd) Boxley writes, “On November 26, I became the 10th person in Arizona to have the Zephyr Endobronchial Valves inserted into my lung. The changes were swift and profound! This procedure was approved by the FDA in late spring and a local hospital became one of two places to be doing it (more are now on board). Science and medicine combined to improve the quality of life for those suffering from emphysema: how great is that?”

1980 Peter Raymond writes, “In September 2018, I lost my wife, Karen Kenneally, to breast cancer. Karen and I first met when I was a senior at Union. She had already graduated from SUNY Cortland, and we met by chance through a friend. Karen was living in a log cabin in the woods while I was writing my thesis for Byron Nichols on Buddhism and politics in Southeast Asia. After graduation, Karen and I spent three years living and working around the world, a pattern we would continue with my career focused on economic and

political reforms globally and Karen’s as a teacher. We brought three beautiful children into the world, one of whom, Tom, also went to Union and was instrumental in restarting Kappa Alpha there. Karen was an inspiration to all who met her; quiet, loving, adventurous. For all the work I did in so many countries with so many people, no doubt her impact on the world was greater.”

Peter Raymond ’80 and his wife, Karen Kenneally, who recently passed away.

Mack Sperling, an attorney with Brooks Pierce (Greensboro, N.C.), was recently recognized as an industry leader in the 2019 edition of North Carolina Super Lawyers. Mack specialized in business litigation.

1981 Susan E. Farley of Niskayuna, N.Y., was honored Oct. 20, 2018, at the United States Supreme Court for her professionalism and excellence in law and practice. The event, a Celebration of Excellence, was sponsored by the American Inns of the Court and hosted by the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Clarence Thomas presiding. As the winner of the 2018 Professionalism Award for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Susan joined ten other circuit court awardees across the U.S.

Parents Circle

We deeply believe in giving back to Union, a community that has provided an exceptional education and enriching experience for Hallie ’19 and Chad ’22. We are proud to celebrate our family legacy and share our philanthropy with the College. Union parents help make great things happen, and through your involvement, you can also be part of that success.


he Parents Circle connects

– Chip ’84 and Alison Batchelder P’19 P’22

with families to enrich the Union community, directly

impacting the student experience. We encourage parent philanthropy, engage leadership donors, and host regional events. We invite you to join us in supporting the educational programs and activities that make your child’s Union experience extraordinary.

To learn more about the Parents Circle, please contact: Noelle Beach Marchaj '05 Director of Parent and Family Philanthropy Cell: 860-655-2875 marchajn@union.edu




Susan is an intellectual property attorney with more than 30 years’ experience as a litigator and partner in the firm Heslin Rothenberg Farley Mesiti—the largest IP firm in Upstate New York. She graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Union College with a degree in chemistry, and cum laude, Justinian Honor Society, from Albany Law School.

global bank loan business at Bear Stearns. Jay received his MBA from New York University and his graduate diploma from the London School of Economics.

Alumni participate in the 2017 Pan Mass Challenge. Back row from left: Steve Weil ’82 (second from left), Richie Simons ’81, Andy Weitzman ’81 (fifth from left), Doug Spector ’81. Front row from left: Bill Berman ’82, Doug Brum ’81 (last on right)

Challenge with my fellow Union alums Doug Brum, Ken Gold, Bill Berman, Andy Weitzman, Steve Weil, Mark Blukin and David Eppler. LET’S GO ISLANDERS!” Susan Farley ’81

Douglas Spector writes, “2019 will be a big year for our family. Our oldest, Daniel, is leaving the Army in the spring after nearly 13 years of service. We’re looking forward to seeing where he lands next. He and his wife, Steph, celebrated their first anniversary this past September. Our middle one, Eric ’14, will be married to Amanda Blumstein in July. They both live in NYC and work for Amex. And our youngest, Sara, graduates UT Austin in the spring as a radio, television and film major. We’re very much looking forward to her next landing spot as well. After spending 30 years in Great Neck raising our family, Ossie and I embarked on a new adventure when we moved to the upper east side of NYC in the fall. We are absolutely loving our new digs and taking ad-vantage of everything the city has to offer. This summer I’ll be once again saddling up for the Pan Mass 50


Matt Gerien ’04 writes, “Dr. Brian Sorrentino, a groundbreaking St. Jude researcher lost his own battle with cancer this fall. His last piece of research is expected to be published in the New England Journal of Medicine soon: https://dailymemphian.com/ article/1352/Pioneering-StJude-researcher-Dr-BrianSorrentino-dies” Brian is further remembered on pg. 74.


three-day champion. It was wonderful to hear from so many old friends during my time on the show. Thanks to Union for a great education!” Cowen Inc. recently announced that Jay McDermott has joined the firm’s growing credit franchise, where he will serve as co-head of Cross Asset. He joins Cowen with 22 years of distressed and special situations experience. Most recently, Jay spent three years as the CEO of DebtStream Corp., the specialty credit boutique he founded. Previously, he served four years as managing director of high yield and distressed trading at RBS Securities, and 12 years as the head of the

Suzanne Koppelman writes, “In July 2018, I was a contestant on Jeopardy! and was a

Stuart Jablon writes, “After 30 great years in the produce industry, I quit my job last fall, we sold our home and my wife and I have been traveling since. I have a new job lined up in June as a U.S. Peace Corps Country Director. This takes me back to my beginning—after I graduated Union, I served two-plus years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Jamaica.”


Cory Lewkowicz Needham, Mass. corylewkowicz@gmail.com David Campanile writes, “I fully retired in February 2018 from a 26-year career as an anesthesiologist in Syracuse, N.Y. I am enjoying life with my wife, Jennifer, as we travel and visit our children in Florida and Washington, D.C. Retirement is highly underrated and I feel there are not enough hours in the day. It was so nice to reconnect with Union classmates at ReUnion this past spring. Can’t wait for ReUnion 2023.”


Linda Gutin Cary, N.C. lindagutin@hotmail.com

Suzanne Koppelman ’82 with Alex Trebek

Maria Kansas Devine ’82, Shelly Stroud Loveland ’82, Kelly Dennin ’82 and Joan Moumbleaux ’81 celebrate their Union friendship in Paris.

Adam Spitz just published his first novel, E.M.R., a fictional medical thriller dealing with corporate medicine and artificial intelligence in an electronic medical record system. Some of his personal experiences as a doctor in training in NYC are incorporated.

Melissa Gruen writes, “Life continues to be good here in the Mile High City of Denver. Besides my usual work seeing patients in the SNFs, I’m now the medical director for Brookdale Hospice. I had my first solo art show in May (my 15 minutes of fame!) and had an article about my show and my artwork published in a local magazine. To see my artwork, checkout my website, http://colormyworldorange. com. Our daughter, Rebecca, now in seventh grade, continues to play hockey and so do I. She’s a Peewee and I play on three adult teams. Ray, Rebecca, and I go skiing most weekends and are now gearing up for Girl Scout Cookie Season. After already earning her Bronze Award, Rebecca is working hard toward the Silver Award, the next highest Girl Scout achievement. We don’t get back east nearly enough but all the sunshine in Colorado is wonderful!”

of assessment at Bergen Community College.


Kent Avery writes, “Happy to have retired a few years ago from residential construction, renovation and investment. Still have a presence in the U.S. but spend most of our time in Mexico on Cozumel. Married for 26 years, no kids (by choice), and glad to no longer suffer winters in the mountains of Colorado. Definitely enjoying life in the slow lane, and we can usually be found in a VW bus driving to or at a beach. If you find us rest assured the cooler is stocked, and the door is unlocked.”

Joseph C. Picolla is deputy inspector with the U.S. House of Representatives Office of Inspector General (OIG). He is responsible for day-to-day oversight of audits and advisories related to information systems and administrative functions of the House and joint entities. Previously, Joseph served as a House OIG management analyst, assistant director, and director of the advisory services division.

Richard Palmieri ’85 and his daughter, Elisabeth, who graduated with the Class of 2018 with a degree in economics.

1985 Melissa Gruen ’84 with daughter, Rebecca

Christopher Kiwus writes, “Retired after 30 years as a captain in the U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps. Now the associate vice president and chief facilities officer at Virginia Tech.” Gail Abraham Fernandez received her Ed.D. in community college leadership in November 2018. She is dean

Berkshire Bank President Richard M. Marotta has been named chief executive officer and president of Berkshire Hills Bancorp Inc., the parent company of Berkshire Bank. He will also serve as chief executive officer of the bank, and he has been appointed as a member of the Board of Directors. Richard has been senior executive vice president of Berkshire Hills Bancorp Inc. and president of Berkshire Bank since 2015. Richard holds an advanced certificate in risk management from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

1987 Daniel Friedman writes, “In 2017, just months after the loss of my wife and my mother, my sister, Lesley Ann Friedman Davis ’88, lost her battle with brain cancer. She is survived by her husband Ricky Davis, her son, PJ, and her daughter, Seren. Her husband described her by this poem: “You. That cloud passing by, that star with no name, that breeze that left a kiss on my cheek the other day, that thought that lingers, that sound that plays, I feel it’s you, and I feel the grey. Not that you're gone. Not that I've stayed. But that I cannot hold you for just one more day.”

Hidden Hollow Energy, Boise, Idaho, owned by James Tomlinson ’88

Diane Mehta’s debut poetry collection, “Forest with Castanets,” came out in March 2019 with Four Way Books. Born in Frankfurt, Germany, and raised in Bombay and New Jersey, Mehta studied with Derek Walcott and Robert Pinsky in 1992-1993 and has been an editor at PEN America’s Glossolalia, Guernica and A Public Space. Her book about writing poetry was published by Barnes & Noble books in 2005. She lives in Brooklyn and is working on a collection of essays and a historical novel.

1988 Richard Gersten writes, “Oldest child graduated from college and is working in NYC for Bare Minerals, a makeup brand. Time flies. Still doing consumer private equity after 20 years and enjoying it!” James Tomlinson writes, “Purchased a landfill gas to electricity plant, which produces over 25,000 MWH per year of clean, renewable electricity. We now have over 50 solar and renewable energy projects completed.”

“Forest with Castanets” by Diane Mehta ‘88. Photograph by Krista Steinke, insects (from the series “Purgatory Road,” 2014)





Alumni gathered at Gabriela’s Restaurant & Tequila Bar in November

1990 In November, alumni gathered at Gabriela’s Restaurant & Tequila Bar, owned by Nat Milner, in New York City. In attendance were Nat Milner, Allison Howard ’91, Mary Farris ’91, Matt Futterman ’91, John Wells ’91 and his wife, JooYung Lee, Roxanne and Dave Cohen ’90, Heather (Feeley) Weddle ’91, Leigh Brezenoff ’90, Ruthie Wallberg ’92 and Rachel Levine ’91 .

the first of his three books of drawings, All the Restaurants in New York, is being published. Books on London and Paris are to follow over the next two years. You can find his work at www.alltherestaurants.com

Nish Nadaraja ’94 is featured in a new video for UBS. Kimberly Twombly Wu ’93 helped create the piece.

The first of three books of drawings by John Donohue ’90

Jason Buchwald writes, “Decided to leave the ‘regular’ hospitalist group, and work as a hospitalist locally as a locum—and in process of getting out of state licenses to do the same for when Arizona work is slow. I continue to build my own practice, going to nursing homes and acute rehab centers, with the plan to be eventually fully self-

Rebecca Hurd ’92 and Scott Cyr ’88

1991 Members of the Class of 1990, George Kenny, Karen (Bleser) Hom, Becky Troutman, Stephanie (Bertorello) and Frank Fitzgerald, and Liz (Perkowski) and Norm Hale, recently got together in July on Martha’s Vineyard to celebrate their 50th birthdays.

After leaving The New Yorker magazine in 2015, John Donohue embarked on a career as an artist. This May,



Rebecca Hurd writes, “It was a huge surprise to spot someone wearing a Union College sweatshirt at the building supply store in our small mountain town of McCall, Idaho. Then to find out it was an actual fellow alum and Idaho resident, Scott Cyr ’88! Looking forward to co-hosting a hockey viewing party later this season.”

for over a decade. He recently talked about this experience in a new video for UBS. We filmed at Foreign Cinema and the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. Stay tuned to www.ubs.com to see Nish!”

Alex Elkan, an attorney with Brooks Pierce (Greensboro, N.C.) was recently recognized in the 2019 edition of Business North Carolina’s “Legal Elite,” a listing of the state’s top lawyers in business-related categories. Alex was selected for his work in the environmental category. Alex was also recently recognized in the 2019 edition of North Carolina Super Lawyers as an industry leader.

Brendan Clifford writes, “My wife, Debbie, and I are still living in New Hampshire with our two boys, Connor (13) and Dylan (12). Our time and money are spent on youth hockey these days and whatever is left is spent on lacrosse. On the career front, RiverStone Claims Management LLC recently promoted me to vice president, leader, insurance operations department and that has been an exciting challenge. Everyone is healthy and happy and we hope you are as well.”


Jill D. Bernstein New York, N.Y. jilldbernstein@yahoo.com Kimberly Twombly Wu writes, “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Nish Nadaraja ’94

Nathan Fitch ’93 writes, “My 6th book in the ‘How to Rock Climb’ series was released— ‘First Timer to Gym Climber.’”

employed! It has been another fun year for music. I still have my own recording studio, the Operating Room, and I am writing for and co-producing other artists, and in some cases playing keyboards on other artists’ releases. One of these was nominated for a Grammy! I am also working on getting my music licensed for film, TV, etc. All this is on the updated website, www.BuckyTunes.com. My wife, Chiqui, and I are in NYC often, and if anyone is visiting the Arizona area please let us know. It would be great to catch up! jdbuchwald@yahoo.com”


Randall Beach Schenectady, N.Y. rsbeach72@gmail.com Kerry Evers, co-president of Pro-Change Behavior Systems Inc. is a co-recipient of the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) Mark Dundon Research Award, which recognizes leadership in research to advance workplace behavioral health and wellbeing. “Union provided me with such an incredible education,” she said. “But even more importantly, it allowed me to start my research career early and provided opportunities that many undergraduate institutions aren’t able to.” She received with award with Sara Johnson, co-president of Pro-Change, a Rhode Island international behavior change company that produces award-winning programs for employers, health plans and health care providers. A psychology major at Union, Kerry earned a master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Rhode Island. Kevin Cortes writes, “I retired from the U.S. Marine Corps in

January 2015 after 20 years of flying the CH-53E helicopter. Since then, I have tried my turn in the finance industry (local credit union first, then a mortgage company followed by an insurance company) for four years. Now I am happy to announce that I’ll be going back to the cockpit as an airline pilot for SkyWest Airlines while still remaining in San Diego. Once a pilot, always a pilot!” Nicole Goldin writes, “In January 2019, I was sworn into D.C. local office as an elected Commissioner (ANC 2A); and also became a non-resident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council. Otherwise, I continue to consult, write and speak on international development, inclusive economics and global youth affairs; and am an adjunct professor at George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs. I headed back to Africa, with my trip to Rwanda, in March.”


Ryan T. Smith Jupiter, Fla. ryan.smith@thebenjamin school.org Daniel Rickson writes, “Recently relocated back to the east coast, after several years out west (Hawaii and California) working as environmental health and safety director for Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and then EHS director at Yosemite National Park. This past year we welcomed the birth of my son, Finnegan Adair Rickson, and I started a new position as EHS director of Aurora Flight Sciences, a Boeing Company in the D.C. area. Adjusting to life’s many blessings and continuing challenges, I wish peace and happiness to all my Union peers and friends.”

Scott Boyd and his wife, Sharon Smith Boyd ’94, and their children have been training service dogs through FreedomFidos, a non-profit that provides service dogs to veterans. They recently trained a dog, Dutch (“a shout out to our alma mater,” Scott writes) for a military family who has a son with Autism.


Sara Amann Garrand Ballston Lake, N.Y. sgarrand1@nycap.rr.com

Merger & Acquisition Services, Inc., owned by Jason Murgio ’98, receives the M&A Advisor Corporate/Strategic Deal of the Year Award


Kellie Forrestall BeeBee Lowell, Mass. forrestkj@hotmail.com

1996 Mark Reid writes, “Promoted to Colonel, United States Marine Corps, and slated to command headquarters and service battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command in Norfolk, Va., beginning summer 2019.”

for Insurance Underwriting Transaction by deal volume and Top 5 Advisors for Insurance Brokerage by Deal Value. Jason and his wife, Patricia, along with their children, Colt & Britton, reside between Connecticut and New York City.

2001 Finnegan Adair Rickson, son of Daniel Rickson ’98

Jason Murgio and his firm Merger & Acquisition Services, Inc. celebrated its 20-year anniversary in 2018. As a boutique investment banking firm focused exclusively on the insurance sector, the firm completed in excess of $1 billion in transaction value in 2018; was the winner of the M&A Advisor Corporate/ Strategic Deal of the Year Award; and was ranked by S&P Financial in the Top 5 Advisors

Andrew Beebe (BS ’01 and MS ’02) recently joined Arlington Capital Advisors, a consumer focused investment bank, to lead their spirits and wine practice with additional focus on cannabis. Prior to Arlington, Andrew spent eight years at

Andrew Beebe ’01



CLASS NOTES Nathan, Tristan, and Caleb Megenedy (Ryan Megenedy ’03 and Karla Strobel ’03 of Marblehead, Mass) enjoyed a mini ReUnion with Preston and Avery Lippmann (Jenny Moon Lippmann ’03 and Walter Lippmann of Scotia, N.Y.), and Reese Jackson (Benny Jackson ’03 and Cara (ONeal) Jackson ’04 of Melrose, Mass.).

Diageo, where he led strategy and M&A, started their ventures group and most recently, led the project to build a new Guinness brewery in Baltimore, Maryland. He still resides in Connecticut with Katherine (BS ’01 and MS ’02) and their two boys.


Katrina Tentor Lallier Shrewsbury, Mass. katrinalallier@gmail.com

2004 Kate Beck received the New York Times Teacher Who Makes a Difference Award last spring for her work in college admissions counseling. She is director of college counseling at NYC iSchool, a public school in Manhattan. She is also an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s master’s program in counseling psychology, and has taught courses in ethics, school counseling and college counseling.

Noelle Beach Marchaj writes, “Hope everyone is well and enjoying the spring! It’s been a delight reconnecting with Union over the past three years through my role in College Relations. I work remotely and live in Old Saybrook, Conn., with my husband and two boys—Harlan (3) and Landon (1). Our 15th ReUnion is next year (May 29–30, 2020), and I hope you will join the festivities. Check out the Union College Class of 2005 Facebook page for more information, Union highlights, and throwback photos from our yearbook. I look forward to hearing from you!”

Noelle Beach Marchaj Old Saybrook, Conn. marchajn@union.edu



Jacqui Young Weissman and Allison Wicker ’12 joined forces to start Weissman Wellness: Geriatric Care Management in NYC. They are focused on enabling clients to maintain their independence, remain in their homes, and to continue to live their lives with dignity. They work tirelessly with clients' families and friends to develop a balanced and optimal care plan for their loved ones. Learn more at www.weissmanwellness.com

associate director of the Bone Marrow Transplant & Cellular Therapy Fellowship Program. To read the story, visit stjude. org/about-st-jude/stories/ promise-magazine/winter2019/dance-of-the-t-cells. html


Sarah T. Heitner New York, N.Y. sarah.t.heitner@gmail.com Kevin Flike, a retired Green Beret staff sergeant, was recently featured in a story on Wicked Local. Kevin, who was shot during his second tour in Afghanistan with the 1st Special Forces group, debuted his new “Wounded by War” documentary. The piece walks viewers through his journey. Learn more on his blog, woundedbywar.com Ryan R. Laddey was recently sworn in as an attorney. He is an associate in the tort and product liability practice of Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani LLP in its New York City office. A graduate of Rutgers University School of Law, he also received an M.A. in environmental studies from Montclair State University.


Jacqui Young Weissman ’05 and Allison Wicker ’12

Harlan and Landon, children of Noelle Beach Marchaj ’05


on track to be the largest study ever conducted for families with a high frequency of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It’s also the only study that’s using whole-genome sequencing to help determine why this type of cancer seems to run in families. Jaime is a member of St. Jude’s oncology department, in the leukemia/lymphoma division. To read to the story, visit stjude.org/about-st-jude/ stories/promise-magazine/ spring-2018/hodgkin-lymphoma-when-lightning-strikestwice.html

Dr. Jaime Flerlage was recently featured in an article on stjude. org about her work running FAMHL clinical trial, which is

Dr. Aimee Talleur was recently featured in an article on stjude. org about her work with CAR-T cell therapy, which involves engineering a patient’s disease-fighting T-cells to find and destroy cancer cells. Aimee is an instructor at St. Jude and

Jackie Siedlecki Murphy Delmar, N.Y. jaclynrenemurphy@gmail.com Erika Selli was promoted to partner of Haug Partners LLP from the firm’s New York City office. Erika focuses her practice on patent litigation for technologies, pharmaceuticals, computer software, business methods and commercial products. She has represented clients in all stages of trial and appellate proceedings before federal

Mixing hockey and music BY MOLLY CONGDON ’12


ustin Mrazek ’08 was born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, where pretty much everyone plays— or knows someone who plays—hockey. Mrazek started skating when he was five and quickly fell in love with goaltending. He honed his skills on local minor teams throughout his childhood and in high school he played for Saskatchewan AAA clubs. When he moved on to Junior A (SJHL) hockey, he was recruited to play for Union. While it’ll always be his first love, hockey had some competition in Schenectady. “My roommate and teammate Dan Tatar ’07, who is a fantastic guitar player himself, gave me my first lessons and it took off from there,” Mrazek said. “At that time, between the demands of hockey and engineering, guitar and music were a nice stress outlet, giving me 20 to 30 minutes a day to detach and be creative.” After graduation he started a career as an engineer back in his hometown, but he never stopped writing and creating melodies. Today, he’s combining hockey and music, forging something fans of either will love with the Regina-based alternative rock band, Coherency. “Several years ago, some friends I play hockey with were starting up their old grunge band again. Their bass player had other commitments and couldn’t make it work, so they asked me and I jumped at the chance,” Mrazek said. “In June 2018, we recorded and released a full 14-song album, Cognitive Dissonance.” He initially developed some of the featured music during his time at Union.

JUSTIN MRAZEK ’08 Major: Engineering Current Position: Engineer, musician, hockey player

A few months later in December 2018, the band produced a hockey-themed music video for its song, “Bleed.” “It’s a combination of our passions: hockey and music,” Mrazek said. “We worked with the Regina Pats, our local WHL junior team, to create a pump-up, NHL-style playoff montage music video.” “They gave us access to an endless supply of highlight footage, as well as their facilities to film the band on center ice and in their post-game media area,” he added. “The final product quickly splices between highlights and band takes, which matches the song’s intensity.” They recently debuted it on the scoreboard during intermission at Pat’s game and couldn’t be happier. Mrazek credits his time at Union for a lot of his success.


“Union helped develop my career, interests and passions,” he said. “I got a great engineering education that has launched my working career, I still play hockey for fun every week, and my music hobby sustains me on a creative level. I am grateful for my time at Union and the life it has led to.” Mrazek added that coach Rick Bennett and his teammates deserve a special shout-out for their support. So, too, do professors Ann Anderson, Andrew Rapoff, William Keat and Ronald Bucinell. “Professor Anderson still may have one of my first recorded songs, MER331…,” Mrazek said. The band is busy working on a follow-up album, which should be out later this year.






Majors: Political science & Spanish Current Position: Litigation associate, Goulston & Storrs PC, Boston, Mass.

A law career of service


arla Reeves ’08 serves on the board of the Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association (VLP). She’s a volunteer attorney for the Women’s Bar Foundation’s Family Law Project for Domestic Abuse Survivors. She also mentors law students through the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association, is a member of the Women’s Bar Association’s Women of Color Committee and serves on the Outreach and Engagement Committee of the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission. In 2018, she won VLP’s Denis Maguire



Pro Bono award. It recognizes attorneys for their commitment to assisting lowincome clients and their dedication to spreading awareness of the importance of pro bono work through their contributions to the Volunteer Lawyers Project. “Pro bono work is very important to me because it allows me to assist underserved individuals, organizations and communities that would not otherwise have access to legal representation,” Reeves said. “Pro bono work is fulfilling and gives me an opportunity to make a difference while honing critical skills.”

“I have represented domestic violence survivors seeking divorces from abusive spouses. I also provide pro bono representation to a family of refugees who are seeking resettlement in the United States,” she continued. “In addition, I provide employment advice to a number of nonprofit organizations.” Employment law is also a big part of her full-time job at Goulston & Storrs PC. “The counseling component of my practice entails providing day-to-day advice to employers in an effort to ensure compliance with federal, state and local employment laws,” Reeves explained. “As a litigator, I represent clients in state and federal court, and before administrative agencies, in cases involving claims of discrimination, harassment, breach of contract, and violation of post-employment restrictive covenants.” “I conduct sensitive investigations involving reports of workplace misconduct,” she added, “and provide customized workplace trainings on topics such as discrimination and harassment prevention, and compliance with pay equity laws.” Reeves, who has been with Gouslton & Storrs since 2016 and practicing since 2011, credits Union with setting her on this path. Her time in Schenectady helped her choose between becoming a professor and becoming a lawyer, and fellow alumnae have been instrumental in providing guidance. “Valerie Hoffman ’75, a partner at Seyfarth Shaw LLP in Chicago, has mentored me since my freshman year and was one of the first lawyers to do so,” Reeves said. “Judge Judith G. Dein ’76, a Union trustee and U.S. Magistrate Judge for whom I worked during the summer after my first year of law school, has also been a mentor. My experience working with her solidified my interest in litigation and trial work, and gave me the confidence to continue down that path.”

district courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the U.S. International Trade Commission.


Dana Cohen Bernstein New York, N.Y. dana.lynn.bernstein@gmail.com Kenneth Falcon is pleased to announce the launch of Falcon Rappaport & Berkman PLLC, a full-service law firm with offices in Manhattan and Rockville Centre, Long Island. Joining the firm as partner is Moish Peltz. Ken focuses his practice on complex real estate transactions, estate administration and related litigation. Moish focuses his practice on intellectual property law and litigation.


Gabe Kramer Los Angeles, Calif. kramerg3@gmail.com Carl S. Winkler New York, N.Y. carl.s.winkler@gmail.com Matt Beenen was named the 2018 Launch Pad winner by a panel of automotive industry judges at a live event in Las Vegas Oct. 29, 2018. The competition is part of the SEMA Show, one of the world’s largest B2B industry conferences. Matt is owner and president of BuiltRight Industries, a producer of automotive accessories. He presented his company’s Bedside Rack System, modular custom panels that attach to the inside walls of a pick-up truck bed to securely mount tools, equipment and accessories. Matt demonstrated solid engineering, innovative design, scalability and customer demand, as evidenced by over 3,500 systems shipped in its

inaugural year. Matt, a lifelong automotive enthusiast, is a mechanical engineer and inventor from Blaine, Minn. SEMA Launch Pad, powered by YEN (Young Executive Network), is the premiere young entrepreneur automotive competition.

kids, regardless of need or ability! To learn more about Camp Shriver, visit www. crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/camp-shriver-boston-2019/irismansour


Cristina Vazzana Boston, Mass. vazzanaca@gmail.com


Matt Beenan ’09, second from right, receives the Launch Pad award at the Specialty Equipment Market Association show in October. From left are Rory Connell, chair of SEMA Young Executives Network; James Pumphrey, Launch Pad host and Donut Media head writer; Beenan; and Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO.

2010 Andrew Dresner recently became offensive coordinator for University of Maine football. He coached the Black Bears’ wide receivers last fall, and joined the team’s staff last March after a year as offensive coordinator at Pace University.

2011 Rebecca Wentworth writes, “We have relocated to Ruiru, Kenya, north of Nairobi for my new job as special projects director with Burn Manufacturing, managing the piloting of emerging technology products on the continent, with a focus on clean cooking. Karibuni (welcome)!”

Rebecca Wentworth ’11 with her husband, Jason AbbottDallamora, at the summit of Mt. Satima in the Aberdares (Kenya’s third highest mountain).

In February, Alexander Brockwehl participated the Pi Sigma Alpha National Student Research Conference as a member of the “Living and Working in Washington” panel. He is a staff member with the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Pi Sigma Alpha is the national political science honor society, into which Alex was inducted in 2010.

Is there a doctor in the house? Cara Zimmerman and EJ Feld graduated from Albany Med in May of 2018. They moved to Providence to start their residency training in internal medicine and psychiatry at Brown University together. Ankur Shah also graduated with his MD and is at University of Pennsylvania completing his urology training. Colleen Kilbourne is training as a family medicine primary care physician at University of Rochester.


Anna Meiring Boston, Mass. annameiring@gmail.com Iris Mansour trained to run the Boston Marathon this spring. She ran on behalf of Camp Shriver, a free, inclusive sports-based summer camp for kids with and without disabilities. It promotes inclusion between campers, participation and friendship, and facilitates social and motor development for all

Elliot Feld ’14, Ankur Shah ’14 and Cara Zimmerman ‘14 at Albany Medical College graduation, May 2018

Nicholas Brenn has recently started a new job with Nestlé Nespresso in Lausanne, Switzerland. Nick’s senior project in the ECE department was a controllable coffee roaster, and he held frequent coffee tastings through the Minerva program. His two




Recycling electronics


e all have them. Cell phones. Tablets. Laptops. But what happens when we don’t want them anymore? Maybe they’re donated. Maybe they’re thrown away. Megan O’Connor ’12 is trying to give everyone—especially the electronics industry itself—another option. Recycling. In August 2017, after earning her Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from Duke University, she co-founded Nth Cycle with Desiree Plata ’03. Plata was her Ph.D. advisor, and the technology Nth Cycle uses to recover the rare earth metals in electronics grew out of O’Connor’s dissertation research. “When I was getting my Ph.D., I went to a green electronics industry summit at Yale. All the sustainability officers from big companies like Apple and Dell were there,” O’Connor said. “They just kept talking about these huge sustainability challenges—that recycling was too expensive and there’s not enough incentive to do it.” “And I just thought, there has to be a better, cheaper, more sustainable way,” she added. “The company’s name really stems from the vision that we can recycle these materials an unlimited number of times.” So she and Plata developed a specialized carbon nanotube filter that allows them to recover neodymium, praseodymium and dysprosium from electronics, as well as cobalt from lithium ion batteries. “Think of an iPhone. Recycling has different tiers. We need someone in front of us to disassemble the phone. They process it by dissolving it in acid and put it into a liquid form,” O’Connor said. “We then take that liquid stream and run it through a series of carbon nanotube filters, applying a specific voltage to recover the valuable metals.”



MEGAN O’CONNOR ’12 Major: Chemistry Current Position: Co-founder, Nth Cycle

“This form of carbon is super conductive with very high surface area,” she continued. “We can reclaim a lot of this metal in a very small amount of space.” If Nth Cycle can help the electronics industry transition to a circular economy, in which materials get used any number of times—rather than the mostly linear economy it has now—the benefits are many. “Right now, we’re throwing millions of dollars of these metals into landfills, where they have the potential to leach out and damage the environment. Mining and refining these metals on the front end of production is also very hazardous to the environment,” O’Connor said. “And national security is an issue for the U.S. since 90 percent of the rare earth metals our electronics industry uses come from China. Being reliant on foreign sources makes our supply chains unstable. We’re trying to decrease that reliance by providing a new source of metals for the U.S.”


O’Connor credits her drive to change an industry, in part, to her Union education. Laurie Tyler, chemistry professor and chair of the department, inspired O’Connor to stick with her chosen major of chemistry. And the environmental chemistry classes and research she did with Laura MacManus-Spencer, associate professor of chemistry, inspired O’Connor to go into environmental engineering. “Union prepared me very well for a science career—the lab experience is just unparalleled,” O’Connor said. “Union is one of the reasons I’m here.” Nth Cycle is part of the Innovation Crossroads program run by the Department of Energy at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. It provides early stage funding to promising start-ups in the energy sector. Emily Jennings ’18 recently joined the company as a full-time mechanical engineer.


passions, engineering and coffee, have converged into a dream job in a dream location. Kayla Masterman writes, “Will be graduating with my master’s in clinical social work at The University of Chicago.” Rebecca Knepple writes, “Earned a Master’s Degree in material science from Northeastern University.” Joshua Rose (Gloversville, N.Y.) is marrying Katherine Pouliot ’16 (Orwell, Vt.) in the fall of 2019. They currently live in Burlington, Vt., where they both work at the University of Vermont Medical Center. Josh in the medical genomics laboratory as a scientist and Katherine is on the hematology/oncology floor as a registered nurse. While working, Katherine is also a full-time student earning her doctoral degree in nursing, with plans to become a nurse practitioner. They first met on the second floor of Schaffer Library next to the windows overlooking the Nott, and have been together since 2014.

Gaby Biederman ’14 and Teddy Kitchen ’14 are getting married this summer (7-20-19) in Westport, Ct.

ReUnion in Huntington Beach, Calif.: Brian Choi ’13, Peter Griesinger ’13, Jordan Douglass ’13, Sean Read ’13 and Adam Rosenthal ’15


Lauren Woods Watervliet, N.Y. 2016@alumni.union.edu

Joshua Rose ’14 and Katherine Pouliot ’16 will be married this fall

2015 Adam Rosenthal writes, “Teaching high school math at my alma mater in California. Coaching four youth lacrosse teams as well.”

Thomas Glading is deployed in Iraq as a first lieutenant and platoon leader in the Army’s 101st Airborne “Screaming Eagles.” An ROTC graduate at Union and member of Chi Psi, he completed Army Ranger training, Expert Infantryman Badge and graduated from the Airborne and Air Assault schools. Deployed in December, he oversees a security detail.

Vito Capuano, Thomas Lawton and Jack O’Connor joined together in 2018 to create Taasa Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to stimulating a holistic approach to economic and social selfsufficiency by improving access to healthcare programs in the developing world. Taasa’s inaugural project is to aid and expand a local health clinic in rural Uganda. The clinic treated over 1,500 patients last year. They write, “With continued support from the Union community, we intend to remain invested in the current clinic, while also expanding healthcare, educational and economic programs throughout Uganda, and hopefully the developing world.” For more, visit taasahealth.org. Baahh-Nazoshnnii BrownAlmaweri writes, “Since July, I have had the honor of returning to my community at the American Indian Child Resource Center in Oakland, California. I was brought onto the permanent staff as a mathematics tutor and multimedia educator this past fall; leading my own curriculum under our state TUPE programming (Tobacco Use and Prevention Education). More recently, my colleague and I have been elected to co-facilitate Cultural Conversations, a nationwide program with Bioneers (California and New Mexico), the Rez Refuge (Navajo Nation), The New School (Atlanta), and Bishop O’Dowd High School (Oakland). Each school or organization has recruited 10 Native and non-Native students to discuss topics such as racism in schools, traditional knowledge, intercultural allyship, and identity. Our goal is to

foster community across differences and provide a culturally enhancing experience during our time in the Navajo Nation, my birthplace. It has been a blessing to give back to the community that supported me before attending Union. I am now working alongside my high school mentors and mentoring students from my hometown. I have so much excitement for this immersion experience because it is an opportunity to continue in the same work as my 2017 Thriving as a Nation Davis Peace Project, as well as provide new opportunities for the next generation.”

2018 Bretta Elizabeth Beer is serving as a youth U.S. Ambassador in Germany on the CBYX Fellowship at Heidelberg University. She is studying neuroscience and German language and culture. The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX) is a fellowship funded by the German Bundestag and U.S. Department of State that annually provides 75 American and 75 German young professionals the opportunity to spend one year in each other’s countries, studying, interning, and living with hosts on a cultural immersion program.





’13 Alumni attend the wedding of Nolan Connors ’13 and Katie (Krohl) Connors



2002 Terra Conlon married Ali Biggs, a 2006 graduate of Whittier College from San Francisco, Calif. Close friends and family joined the couple for an extended weekend in the woods at the Gray Eagle Lodge in Graeagle, Calif., Oct. 12-14, 2018. Alumni in attendance included Will Howe, Kirk Bassarab, Lonny Chase, Thalia (Matthews) Chase and Chris Holinger ’00.

Recently married? CO N G R AT U L AT I O N S !

’02 Alumni attend the wedding of Terra Conlon ’02 and Ali Biggs (Chloe Jackman Photography)

2009 Jill (Radwin) Elias ’11 and Samuel Elias were married April 22, 2017 in Philadelphia, Penn. Alumni in attendance included Ben Miller, Ryan Deck, Jennifer Turecamo ’08, Brandon Alboum, Caroline (Rebhun) Mandel ’05, Aron Mandel, Mike McAndrew, Brendan Kennedy, Britt Gottlich ’11, Robert Shoobs, Lauren Laitman ’11, Olivia Grubman ’11, Eva Pogosian ’11, Samantha (Griffith) Shoobs ’11, Rachel Stein ’11, Matt Ursillo ’12, Freddie Dantus ’11, Tania (Gutman) Gray ’80, Nicole (Abrams) Furer ’11 and Michael Gray ’78.


If you’d like to change your name on your Union College record, visit uconnect.union. edu/updateyourinfo

Alumni attend the wedding of Jill (Radwin) Elias ’11 and Samuel Elias ’09

Samantha Beatty and Sean Clancy were married Aug. 3, 2018 in San Diego. Many Union alumni were in attendance, including Scott Coblyn ’10, Jared Kinsler ’10, Sara Reigle, Libby Botsford, Maggie Popeo ’10, Andrew Reigle ’08, Trip Botsford, Bennett Boucher ’11, Jimmy Clifford ’10, Meredith Madej ’08, Steve Madej, Brian Groark, Ryan Kraynak, Phil Mendes ’11 and Jon Long. Brandon McArdle married Ann Squires in Tupper Lake, N.Y., Aug. 4, 2018. Alumni in attendance included Eric Wigand, Sarah Britton, Jessica (Stein) Jaffe, Molly (Flannigan)


Alumni attend the wedding of Samantha Beatty ’09 and Sean Clancy ’09





Alumni attend the wedding of Brandon McArdle ’09 and Ann Squires

Larkin, Adrienne (Hart) Beach, Mara (Powers) Pluto, Kim Berlowitz, Elise Wakeland, R.C. Atlee Hodgson, Katherine (Cissel) Nix, Karin Santiago, Dennis Berte, Josh Weiss, Graham Kaplan, Greg Jaffe, Rian Cahill, Jared Byrne, Kip Beach, Richard Pluto, Edward Larkin, Sarah Scott, Matthew Kearney, Stephen Searle, Mary Larkin, Kelly Larkin and Emily Teitel. Gabe Kramer married Giulia (Zammit) Kramer in idyllic Breckenridge, Colo. The happy couple shared the moment with Neil Kramer ’70, Morgan Dennison, Malolm Thayer Dennison, Charles Bennett, Samuel Goodale, Daniel Jude Spero T.K.E.P., Fred Steiner, Charles Washington Harvey, Alex Wolf, Tim Shelton, Edward Hancock, Samuel Werner, Dr. Carl Winkler, Sterling G. Hadley, Marie Catillaz, Amelia Shelton ’11, George Washington Tuttle, Jeff Soo, Rachel Smooke, Edward Martindale, Mary Beth Steiner, Julie Vlakic, Merwin Henry Stewart, Lydia Armstrong and Eileen Kim. 62




Alumni attend the wedding of Gabe Kramer ’09 and Giulia (Zammit) Kramer

Alumni attend the wedding of Pete Falco ’09 and Erika Gluckstal


Alumni attend the wedding of Kaitlyn Evans ’09 and Christopher Rodriguez June 2, 2018 in Buffalo, N.Y.

Pete Falco ’09 married Erika Gluckstal in Ft. Myers, Fla., Nov. 10, 2018. They couple lives in New York City. Alumni in attendance included Lauren Kissel Magee ’08, Robert Parker Harris, David Karlin ’08, Keegan Peters ’08, Dana Cartwright ’08, Benjamin Fetterman, Zach Smith, Laura Boddorff ’08, Steve Boddorff ’08, Margaret Wilson ’11, Greg Mahlum ’08, John Costello ’08, Jen Costello, Paul Amy, William Hoek ’08, Tim McCabe ’73 and Karen McCabe ’74.


Alumni attend the wedding of Kevin McKenzie ’09 and Sheena Gupta ’10

Kevin McKenzie married Sheena Gupta ’10 at Tribeca Rooftop in New York, N.Y., July 14, 2018. Alumni in attendance included Anthony Perez, Pat Fergusson, Joey Taussig, Tom Metzmaker, Alex Moskowitz, Sebastian Dumonet, Kevin Quigley, Matt Olsson, Dan Bailey, Pooja Dave O’Neil, Pranali Trivedi, Neeja Desai, Ben Giglio, Meghan Keenan, Will Green, Amelia Whitney and Mansi Narula.


Alumni attend the wedding of Alexandra Guernon '10 and Andre Loli





Alumni attend the wedding of Emily Feldman ’10 and Michael Pfeffer


Alumni attend the wedding of Stella Kyung ’10 and Nader Tehrani

2010 Alexandra Guernon married Andre Loli in Duxbury, Mass., on Aug. 25, 2018. Alumni in attendance included Cristina Liquori, Katie Smidt, Diana Goodman, Bridget (Jameson) Johnson, Courtney Foster and Julie Mayne.

On Aug. 30, 2018, Emily Feldman married Michael Pfeffer in Netanya, Israel. Emily and Michael have lived in Tel Aviv, Israel for the past 5 years. Many alumni traveled across the world for this special occasion, including Jennifer Silverman, Dan Bloomstone, Lori Cassorla, Abigail Cable, Kaitlin McGrath, Charles Cerlen '09, Jennifer Lichtman and Lindsey Goldberg. Stella Kyung and Nader Tehrani were married in Glenhead, N.Y., May 26, 2017. Alumni in




Alumni attend the wedding of Maggie Levine ’09 and James Maher ’10

attendance included Steven Leung, Samuel Yoon, Camille Mori, Andrew Mak, Jen Lee, Rifat Mamun, Omar Hassib, Nakhshab Farhikhtah, Catherine (Davis) Sayles, David Sayles, Heidi Ching and Hyma Kavuri. Maggie Levine ’09 married James Maher in Boston, Mass., Sept. 2, 2018. In the wedding party were Tyler Cross, Ben McIntosh, Drew Pearson ’08, Joseph Maher ’14, Emma Labrot ’09, and Tamar (Soroker) Peltz ’09. In attendance were Robert Levine ’82, Rebecca (Silverman) Levine ’89, Jack Lansing ’09, Erik Lageroos ’05, Annmarie (Mica) Lageroos ’05, Miles Kueffner ’09, Moish Peltz ’08, Tom DiLaura ’09, Maggie Nivison ’09, Tom Perry ’09, Reed Olsen ’09, Raphe Breit, Andy Barhite ’09, Meg (Licht) Barhite ’09, Demarcus Hamm, Trang Nguyen ’14, Ed Tomlinson ’13, Owen Heneghan ’09, Regina Chiuminatto ’09, Chuck Fontana ’09, Erin Bligh, Chelsea Tussing ’12, Dan Roginski ’12, Matt Saleh ’08 and Graham Miller ’09. The ceremony was officiated by Kara McCabe ’09. Monica Niedermeyer and Jon Lareau were married Aug. 18, 2018. Alumni in attendance included Allison Cuozzo, Katrina Neily Schellens, James Schellens, Chris Jacobson, Molly Osborn Jacobson, Natalie Ullman, Amanda Judson, Bianca Germain, Chris Westlund, Hannah Comeau, Katie Weinstein O’Shea, Matt Kissane, Meg Clark Kissane, Tim Cook, Jared Kinsler, Lindsay Gabrielski, Pete Kennedy, Lizzy Moran, Meredith McClennan Steiner, Brendan Steiner, Hilary Segar, Catie McGuinness, Lauren Trell, Hallie Mabrey, Melissa McDonald, Chris Foley, Tom Pressman, Ashley Simses, Kaius Garber ’11, Mark O’Shea ’11, Lauren Hennessey ’11 and Caroline Moran ’13.




Alumni attend the wedding of Monica Niedermeyer ’10 and Jon Lareau ’10

Alumni attend the wedding of Zachary Antilety ’11 and Maryssa Mataras ’11

Alumni attend the wedding of Anthony Pontosky ’12 and Catherine Ferrara ’11 Dec. 1, 2018




2011 Zachary Antilety and Maryssa Mataras were married on Sept. 29, 2018 in Southampton, N.Y. Union alumni in attendance were Catherine Ferrara, Kyle Holmes, Zachary Epley, Kelly Krause, Cassandra Skoufalos, Amanda Powers, Lauren Guidi, Edward Burnham, Timothy McGovern, Anthony Pontosky, Mark Herrington, Daniel Kutner, Adeler Kerner, Shelby Cutter and Amanda Egan.



Aviva Hope Rutkin married Alison Bruzek at the Pierce House in Lincoln, Mass. in August 2018. From left, attendees included Rachel Baker ’12, Sara Block ’12, Zach Pearce ’12, Aleena Paul ’12, Alan Rutkin ’80, Corey Rutkin ’21 and Ajay Major ’12

Nolan Connors and Katie (Krohl) Connors were married Oct. 21, 2017 at Union College’s Memorial Chapel. Alumni in the wedding party include Bonsal Brooks, Dan Golden, Rob Santangelo and Carolyn Connors. Nolan is a 1st Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, stationed at Camp LeJeune in Jacksonville, N.C. Katie is a first grade teacher at Castle Hayne Elementary School in Wilmington, N.C. Kristin O’Connor and Chase Richey were married Oct. 20, 2018 in Rocky Hill, Conn. Alumni in attendance included Nick Hayes, Lily Hayes, Alexa Campbell, Sam Goldman, Jennifer Mansfield, Hanna Pitter, Chris Coney ’11, Giovanna Velardo, Rachel Cohen, Harrison Kim, Evan Croll, Bethany Crowe, Lauren Wainman, Mitch Pfeiffer ’12, Taylor Pfeiffer, Luke Johnson, Cal Smith, Parker Niles and Sarah O’Connor ’11.


Alumni attend the wedding of Kristin O’Connor ’13 and Chase Richey ’13

2016 Olivia Williamson married Ian Roche. Many Union alumni celebrated with them, including Aurora Butera, Kayleigh Corrado, Elizabeth Murad, Emily Sullivan ’18 and Maya Whalen-Kipp, who were in the wedding party. 66



Alumni attend the wedding of Olivia Williamson ’16 and Ian Roche

Shape the future with a few words A beneficiary designation is one of the simplest ways to make a gift to Union College. It’s as easy as filling out a form. You can specify the individuals and charities you want to support and you can also specify the percentage of assets you want each beneficiary to receive.

BENEFICIARY DESIGNATIONS ARE AVAIL ABLE WHEN GIVING THE FOLLOWING ASSETS: • Retirement assets: You can control the transfer of these assets at your death without changing your will or living trust. This is also one of the most tax-wise ways to make an estate gift. • Life insurance: As an alternative to naming Union as the beneficiary, you can transfer ownership of the policy, which results in an immediate income tax charitable deduction and potential income tax savings in the year of the gift. • Other assets: Commercial annuity contracts, bank accounts, investment accounts


Jacqueline Cavalier, Director, Gift Planning (518) 388-6156 (direct) | cavaliej@union.edu | www.union.giftplans.org SUMMER 2019 | UNION COLLEGE




Graham Cole Harriton (Harriton ’97)

Eloise Angelique Popp (Popp ’99)

Alexander Gerard Smith (Smith ’05)

John Wells Fitzgerald Beaty (Beaty ’06)

Daphne Meredith and Bradford Robert Oram (Oram ’07)

Miles Salvatore Spiegel (Spiegel ’07)

Remi Danielle Aspis with parents Allison and Ilya (Aspis ’08)

Zach and Mari Rose Karelitz (Karelitz ’08)

Jones Robert Hogenkamp (Hogenkamp ’08)

Riley and Brennan Capuano (Capuano ’09)

Helen Carol Eisenman (Monti ’11)

Charlotte Abigail Baisley (Baisley ’14)


HEY 1997



Niko (Winstral) and Matthew Harriton were ecstatic to welcome Graham Cole Harriton into the world May 7, 2018. Graham (aka Fuzzy) is adored by his parents, his 8-year-old sister, Daisy, and 12-yearr-old brother, Miles. They write, “Our family also recently made the move in August 2018 from NYC to Weston, Conn. We are enjoying the suburban life and being able to catch up with lots of Union alumni in the Conn. area.”

Robert Oram Jr. and Meredith (Landry) Oram welcomed their daughter, Daphne Meredith, on May 21, 2018. Daphne, who recently celebrated her first birthday, joins big brother, Bradford, and the family dogs, Reagan and Kennedy.

Bert Capuano writes, “This year my wife, Lauren (Obst), and I welcomed identical twins to our family. Riley and Brennan were born Jan. 23, 2018, weighing 4 pounds, and 3 pounds, 2 ounces. Both are crawling around and keeping us on our toes! I am a senior software engineer at IEEE GlobalSpec in Albany, N.Y., where I have worked for the past 9 years. Lauren is a library media specialist at Lincoln Elementary in Scotia, N.Y.”

1999 Richard Popp and his wife, Regina, welcomed Eloise Angelique Popp on Oct. 7, 2018.

2005 Alexander Gerard Smith was born Oct. 9, 2018 at 10:44 a.m. He weighed 8 pounds, 3 ounces and was 21.5 inches long. Matthew and Georgina (Serroukas) Smith, and their pug, Lenny, are very excited to welcome him to the family.

2006 Ben Beaty, wife Catherine and daughter Charlotte welcomed John Wells Fitzgerald Beaty on Sept. 1, 2018. Baby Jack is already a huge Union fan!

Russ Spiegel and Anne Marie Spiegel are thrilled to introduce the littlest Dutchman, Miles Salvatore Spiegel. Born at 12:08 a.m. on July 29, 2018, Miles was 7 pounds, 5 ounces, and 20.5 inches. They write, “We are incredibly in love!”

2008 Allison Lacoff Aspis and Ilya Aspis welcomed their daughter, Remi Danielle Aspis, on Oct. 19, 2018 in Manhattan. Remi is the granddaughter of Helene Grossberg Lacoff ’81 and Dan Lacoff ’81 . Brad ’08 and Cara (Gallivan) Karelitz ’09 welcomed their daughter, Mari Rose, on Nov. 26, 2017. They write, “Zach is crushing it in his new role as big brother.” Jamie Dughi Hogenkamp and David Justin Hogenkamp ’06 welcomed Jones Robert to the Union College family on Feb. 26, 2018.

2011 Libby Monti and Mike Eisenman ’09 welcomed their first child, daughter Helen Carol Eisenman, on May 1, 2018 in Boston, Mass. They write, “Helen is happy and healthy and brings so much joy to our lives!”

2014 Katie (Ziemba) Baisley and her husband, Matthew, welcomed their first child, Charlotte Abigail Baisley, into the world on Aug. 31, 2018.

U Have you changed careers? Traveled? Won an award, gotten married or had a baby? Been published or promoted?


Email classnotes@union.edu, the deadline for the winter magazine is October 21. Photos are welcome too. Send high-resolution images that are at least 1 MB in size.




8 .........

1940s . . . . . . . . .

Dr. Edward P. Shapiro ’42, of Deerfield Beach, Fla., and formerly of Schenectady, N.Y., who graduated from Tufts School of Dental Medicine and served in the U.S. Army, Nov. 7, 2018. Ed, who practiced dentistry on State Street in Schenectady for 40 years before retiring in 1988, enjoyed traveling and playing bridge. He also played tennis into his early ’90s. He was 98. Paul E. Kummer ’43, of Bridgewater, Mass., who served as a meteorologist in the Army Air Corps during World War II and held a master’s degree from Stevens Institute of Technology, Jan. 27, 2019. Paul spent 38 years with Thompson-Weinman & Co. and retired as vice president and technical director of the company’s division of British Petroleum. Active with many choral singing groups, most recently with the Thirwood Singers, he was also active in his community. He and his wife received the “Volunteers of the Year” award in 1990 from the Roseland Town Council. He was 96. Lansing R. Rosekrans ’45, of Aurora, Colo., Sept. 17, 2018. He was 96. LeGrande “Sam” R. Howell ’47, of Eliot, Maine, who served with the U.S. Navy during World War II and did graduate work at the University of Wisconsin, Nov. 6, 2018. Sam, who taught chemistry at Munson Academy (Mass.), also taught math, chemistry and physics at Williston Academy (Mass.), where he coached track and field. He then worked in sales and executive management before founding Spinney Creek Shellfish (Maine) with his wife and son. Active in his community, including as a York Hospital volunteer, he was 92.



Dr. Leslie J. DeGroot ’48, of South Dartmouth, Mass., who earned his medical degree from Columbia University and served on the faculty at Harvard, Brown, MIT and the University of Rhode Island, Oct. 23, 2018. Les, who joined the University of Chicago in 1968 as professor of medicine and director of the thyroid study unit, was editor of the online textbooks EdnoText and ThyroidManager. Past president of the American Thyroid Association, he was 90. Murray Zankel ’48, of Paramus, N.J., who served with the U.S. Navy during World War II and was an insurance broker and financial advisor, Nov. 21, 2018. Murray, who loved art, sculpture, bridge and chess, was 91.


1950s .........

Jacques F. Dreyfuss ’50, of Naples, Fla., a World War II veteran who served as a radio operator in Panama and worked for Coca Cola before becoming a regional sales representative (Caribean) with Trane Air Conditioners, Nov. 8, 2018. Later a real estate broker in Miami, he most recently worked with Key Fire Hose as the liaison to its manufacturing supplier in France. An avid reader of the New York Times, he was 94. Richard F. Philip ’50, of Aiken, S.C., who served with U.S. Navy during World War II aboard the U.S.S. Appalachian before spending his career as a metallurgist with E.I. DuPont at the Savannah River site, Sept. 2, 2018. A member of St. Thaddeus Episcopal Church, the Metallurgic Society of American, the Augusta Stamp Club and the American Philatelic Club, he was a founding member and chairman of the Aiken Decency League. He was 91.

George A. Hendon III ’51, of Kansas City, Mo., who attended graduate school at Columbia University and enjoyed a long career with the FAA, Oct. 8, 2018. A sincere, witty and caring man, he was 90. David E. Closson ’51, of Webster, N.Y., who served in the U.S. Army and held a master’s degree from Albany State College, Nov. 21, 2018. David, who spent 30 years at Brighton High School as a teacher and guidance counselor, was active in Asbury First United Methodist Church. Recipient of the 1997 Visiting Nurse Service Volunteer of the Year Award for his work with Meals on Wheels, he was 91. Richard M. Johnson ’51, of Naples, Fla., July 27, 2018. He was 92. Don M. Cregier ’51, of Montague, Prince Edward Island, who studied at the London School of Economics and the University of Michigan, and conducted doctoral research at Yale and Columbia Pacific, Nov. 15, 2016. Don, who ended his 40-year teaching career when he retired from the University of Prince Edward Island, was a member of several honor societies and a Canada Research Fellow. He was also listed in the International Who’s Who of Authors and Writers. Don, who published over 200 articles and reviews, was 86. B. Delano DeBaryshe ’51, of St. Augustine, Fla., who served in the U.S. Army before earning a M.B.A. from the University of Santa Clara (California), Jan. 20, 2019. Del, who spent 44 years in ordnance design, engineering physics and systems optimization, worked for the U.S. National Bureau of Standards, Diamond Fuze Labs of the U.S. Army, General Electric, Motorola Research Labs, and Lockheed Missiles and Space Laboratories, among others. A master mason and a past exalted ruler in the BPO Elks, he was 90.

L. Sherwood Lennartson ’52, of Sewickley, Penn., and formerly of Beaver, Penn., who served with the U.S. Navy during World War II, and later with the Air Force Reserves, Oct. 18, 2018. Sherwood, who spent 34 years with Westinghouse Electric Corporation, served in many leadership capacities, including as deputy president, Europe, Africa and Middle East. Also active in his community, he served on the United Way Board of Directors, was an ordained elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Beaver, a 32 Degree Mason and member of St. James Lodge No. 457 F. & A.M. He was 90. Dr. Alan K. Radack ’52 DDS, Swampscott, Mass., May 1, 2018. He was 87. Donald M. Hoskins ’52, of Lower Paxton Township, Penn., who served with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and earned degrees from the University of Rochester (M.S., geology), Bryn Mawr University (Ph.D., paleontology), and the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School (masters, government administration), Dec. 5, 2018. Employed with Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Topographic and Geographic Survey from 1956 until retirement in 2001, he was a life-member of the Unitarian Church in Harrisburg and was active in several professional organizations, including the Geological Society of America. He was 88. William M. Ernest ’52, of Pensacola, Fla., July 29, 2018. He was 87. Richard F. Miller ’52, of Charlottesville, Va., who served with U.S. Army at the Fort Huachuca base before enjoying a 40-year career with General Electric, Dec. 31, 2018. Richard, who worked primarily in technical sales, business management, and marketing and engineering, ended his career as marketing manager with General Electric in Charlottesville. Active in his

community, he was especially proud of his involvement with Habitat for Humanity. An accomplished trumpet player and member of the Sentimental Journey of Charlottesville band, he was 87. Ronald Q. Jennett ’52, of Fort Worth, Texas, who held a master’s in mathematics from Purdue University and spent 39 years in the aerospace industry, the majority with General Dynamics (Lockheed Martin), Feb. 15, 2019. An aerospace engineer, he designed and perfected systems that included the B58, F111 and F16 aircraft, and the Patriot, Safeguard and La Crosse missile systems. Ron, who was an active member of the First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth for almost 60 years, established an endowed scholarship at Union College—the Ronald Quentin Jennett and Margaret Anne Jennett Scholarship Fund. He was 88. Garrett W. Murphy ’53, of Dover, N.H., a U.S. Army veteran who created and directed (1964–1979) the Adult Learning Center in Albany, N.Y., before joining the NYS Education Department, where he rose to bureau chief in the Office of Adult Education, Nov. 26, 2018. Architect of the 1984 Employment Preparation Education legislation, Garrett also chaired the National State Directors of Adult Education legislative committee that provided feedback to Congress on the re-authorization of the 1998 Workforce Investment Act. In 2005, his 40-year career in public service was recognized in a ceremony at the U.S. Library of Congress. He was 87. Alfred L. Goldberger ’54, of Schenectady, N.Y., who graduated from Albany Law School and spent 57 years actively practicing law, Jan. 27, 2019. A member of the Schenectady and New York State Bar Associations, as well as Beth Israel

Synagogue, he had been a member and vice president of the Schenectady Jewish Community Center. A Shriner and member of the Schenectady Light Opera, Al also served as the City of Schenectady Corporation counsel under two mayors. He was 86. George W. Jackson ’54, of Raleigh, N.C., who joined IBM in 1952 and served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict, Jan. 9, 2019. George, who retired from IBM in 1987, was 85. George M. Smolens ’55, of Phoenix, Ariz., Nov. 16, 2018. He was 84. Philip D. Farnum ’56, of Cherry Hill, N.J., Oct. 29, 2018. He was 83. Robert S. Warner ’56, of Keeseville, N.Y., who retired from Middle Country School District where he was a teacher and chairman of the Business Education Department, Feb. 4, 2019. An active member of the East Moriches United Methodist Church, he enjoyed building wooden model boats, sailing and boating on Lake Champlain. An Alpha Delta Phi brother during his time at Union, he was 84. Arne T. Engkvist ’57, of Naples, Fla., who served with the U.S. Air Force as a navigator on a KC-97 strato-tanker before spending 35 years with N.Y. Telephone Company, Nov. 5, 2018. Ted, who held a graduate degree from NYU School of Business and held many executive positions at N.Y. Telephone, enjoyed traveling. He was 83. Michael A. Masin ’57, of Asheville, N.C., who graduated from the University of Miami Law School and was a prosecutor with the local State Attorney’s office, Oct. 1, 2018. Michael, who later enjoyed a career as a criminal defense attorney, was 83.




Joel M. Albert ’57, of Mahwah, N.J., who graduated from NYU Law School and served in the National Guard, Aug. 26, 2018. A family law attorney who operated a private practice in Bergen County for 58 years, he was 83. Dr. Sheldon V. Smith ’59, of Vineland, N.J., who graduated from Albany Medical School and served with the U.S. Army at Fort Gordon during the Vietnam War, Jan. 8, 2019. A doctor for many years at Summit Medical Group, he also worked at Primary Care Physicians (East Rutherford) and Vineland Developmental Center. Named one of America’s top physicians (2004–05) in internal medicine and cardiology, he was 80. Conrad F. Bader ’59, of Cobleskill, N.Y., who held a master’s degree from SUNY Albany and was a longtime mathematics and social studies teacher at Sharon Springs Central School, Jan. 28, 2019. Also a park ranger a Glimmerglass State Park in Cooperstown, he was a member of various bridge clubs and enjoyed the outdoors. Conrad was 82.


1960s . . . . . . . . .

Rev. Donald H. Cady ’60, of Charlottesville, Va., who served as deacon at Grace Episcopal Church in Keswick, Nov. 27, 2018. He was 80. James M. Cowie ’60, of Clifton Park, N.Y., who held master’s in mechanical engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology and an M.S. in health services administration from Russel Sage College, Jan. 26, 2019. James, who served in the U.S. Air Force (1960–70), spent his career as a health care administrator, first as CEO of St. Mary’s Hospital (Troy) and then as



CEO of the Hudson-Mohawk Recovery Center. An avid boater and camper on Lake George, he was 81. David Barry ’61, of Rochester, N.Y., who held a master’s degree in biochemistry from Penn State University and was a biochemist for the Norwich Pharmacal Company (N.Y.) for 27 years, Nov. 16, 2018. Later employed by Oneida Research Services (N.Y.), David was a lifelong musician who was a member of several groups, including Norwich City Band and New Horizons Band. Founder of the Riverside Ramblers Dixieland band, he was 85. William T. Kirchgasser ’61, of Colton, N.Y., and formerly of Potsdam, who held a M.S. and Ph.D. in geology from Cornell University, and was a Fulbright Scholar in England, Jan. 14, 2019. Bill, who retired as professor emeritus from SUNY Potsdam, taught in and chaired the college’s geology department. A specialist in the study of rock layers of the Devonian age, he had two Devonian fossils named after him. Vice chair of the Canton-Potsdam Hospital Foundation Board and an active leader in the Unitarian Universalist Church of Canton, he was 79. Joel N. Nussbaum ’63, of Great Neck, N.Y., Nov. 4, 2018. He was 77. David L. Herndon Sr. ’63, of Bethesda, Md., who held a law degree from George Washington University, Dec. 1, 2018. Passionate about history and politics, and an avid book collector who never shied away from a debate, he was 78. Alan H. Blanc ’65, of Pacific Palisades, Calif., Oct. 2, 2018. He was 75. George M. Ulrich ’65, of Worthington, Mass., who held an MBA from NYU and served in the Air Force National Guard,

Nov. 6, 2018. A financial analyst at the Hartford Insurance Company and later MassMutual, he was a financial consultant for Northfield Mount Hermon School during retirement. George, who served on the Worthington town finance committee and on the board of directors of the Worthington Rod & Gun Club, was 75. Frank J. Patock ’66, of Oceanport, N.J., who was a graduate of N.J. Institute of Technology, MCE, and served with the U.S. Army in Okinawa during the Vietnam War, Oct. 29, 2018. Jay had been president and CEO of Patock Construction Company (Tinton Falls) since 1977. A leader of many community and professional organizations, he was founder and chairman of the board of Two River Community Bank; president of the Affordable Housing Alliance; and a member of the Tinton Falls Business and Professional Association. He was 74. Robert K. Ploss Jr. ’67, of Kingston, N.Y., who held a master’s degree from SUNY New Paltz and until his retirement in 2008, was CEO of Colonial City Moving Storage, Jan. 10, 2019. An avid bowler inducted into the KBA Hall of Fame in 1998, he was a member of the Hall of Fame board and served as secretary and president. Also a member of Fair Street Reformed Church, where he served as deacon and on various ministries, he enjoyed hiking, golfing, biking and traveling. He was 74.


1970s . . . . . . . . .

John F. Roach Jr. ’71, of Menands, N.Y., who held an B.F.A. in acting and an M.F.A. in directing from Carnegie Mellon University, Nov. 10, 2018. John, who was executive producer of “Paradise Alley,” owned Force Ten Productions, which



amin Sanneh ’67, the Yale Divinity School professor known for his scholarship on the worldwide spread of Christianity and its relationship with Islam, passed away Jan. 6, 2019 at the age of 76. A native of Gambia, a small nation in West Africa, he was raised a Muslim but converted to Christianity. He attended a government-run Islamic boarding school before coming to Union on scholarship in 1963. At Union, he was a contributor to Concordiensis, writing articles about the 1965 independence of his native country, U.S. programs to attract

foreign college students and British rule in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). After Union, he went on to earn a master's degree from the University of Birmingham in England in 1968, and a doctorate in Islamic history from the University of London in 1974. He also held teaching posts at the University of Ghana, the University of Aberdeen in Scotland and Harvard University. He wrote 20 books, most on the relationship between Islam and Christianity, and a 2012 autobiography, Summoned from the Margin: Homecoming of an African. In his 2016 book, Beyond the Johad, he cautioned about the danger of reducing Islam to a security threat. "The only thing worse than being the target of religious extremism and violence is the forsaking of the very values and ideals that violent extremists find so abhorrent,” he said. He wrote more than 200 scholarly articles, focused primarily on Christian missions and missionaries, and Christianity’s spread throughout Africa, Latin America and Asia. Among his honors, he was a Commandeur de l'Ordre National du Lion, Senegal's highest national honor, and a Catholic who served on two pontifical missions. Survivors include his wife, Sandra, a professor of Zulu at Yale; a daughter, Sia, a senior attorney at the Equal Justice Initiative, and Kelefa Sanneh, a writer at The New Yorker.


produced a diverse range of films and plays—from Craig Lucas off-Broadway plays to made-for-TV movies like “Broad Daylight.” Also an author, his novel, Lucrezia Borgia, was published in 2010. An avid reader who loved books, he was 69. Charles P. Goody ’71, of Schenectady, N.Y., a mechanical engineer who spent 53 years with General Electric Research and Development and helped develop early MRIs., Oct. 21, 2018. A volunteer fireman for Jonesville and Rexford Fire Departments, he was a member of Shenendehowa Methodist Church for 58 years and was active with local Boy Scout Troops. A volunteer captain in Clifton Park, he was 88. Calvert O. Barber ’72, of Schoharie, N.Y., who served with the U.S. Army and spent 26 years with General Electric, Sept. 5, 2018. Dedicated to community service, Cal spent 60 years with the Carlisle Fire Department and Rescue Squad, and was also town justice, councilman and assessor, as well as Boy Scout/Webelo troop leader. In 1984, he received the presidential award for exemplary community service from Ronald Reagan for his role in rescuing explorers trapped in an underground cave during a flash flood. He was 83. Mark A. Urman ’73, of Montclair, N.J., a veteran independent film executive who became president of film distribution at Cinepix Film Properties and then Lionsgate, Jan. 12, 2019. The executive producer of the Academy-Award winning film, “Monster’s Ball,” he founded THINKFilm in 2001. The company garnered eight Academy Award nominations in seven years, winning two. In 2009, he opened Paladin, where he championed the concept of DIY distribution and helped filmmakers reach their best audiences. He was 67.




James S. Plotnik ’74, of Manchester, N.H., who was employed by the Visiting Nurse Association of Albany and helped bring pickleball to the New York Senior Games, Nov. 8, 2018. The USAPA Eastern Seaboard Ambassador, he was active in the Church of St. Gabriel’s Men’s Club and served as its president. In 2007, he converted to Catholicism and was baptized. An avid Union College hockey fan, he was 72. Geoffrey D. Picard ’75, of Howland, Maine, who served with the U.S. Army in Vietnam and worked in insurance sales and construction, Nov. 19, 2018. He was 69. H. Douglas Burch ’78, of Queensbury, N.Y., who was executive director of Tri-County United Way (2003-2006), a committee member of the Glens Falls Rotary Club and active on the board of directors of the Glens Falls Civic Center Foundation (2002–2018), Oct. 12, 2018. Well known for his work with the Adirondack Red Wings, he was also vice president of corporate marketing at the Olympic Regional Development Authority and president of the Albany River Rats. He was 63.


1980s . . . . . . . . .

David W. Scherbarth ’80, Pittsburgh, Penn., who held a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, Jan. 20, 2019. Dave spent 38 years at Westinghouse and then Curtiss-Wright, where he contributed to technology advancements for the military, including the development of a motor/ generator to launch and recover aircraft. He was 61.



Dr. Brian P. Sorrentino ’81, of Cordova, Tenn., who was director of the experimental hematology division at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Nov. 16, 2018. Also the Wall Street Committee Endowed Chair in Bone Marrow Transplant Research, he graduated from SUNY Upstate Medical Center College. He was 60. Thomas M. Goldstein ’81, of Lincolnshire, Ill., and formerly of Rockville Centre, N.Y., who graduated from Wharton and was the CEO of ABN Amro Mortgage Group, Feb. 6, 2019. Also CFO of LaSalle Bank and managing director and CFO at Madison Dearborn Partners, he served in executive positions at Dean Witter, Discover Card and Allstate. Also on the boards of Freddie Mac, Kemper Insurance, Columbia Acorn Wagner, Federal Home Loan Bank and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, he was 59. Richard Borowski ’84, of Massillon, Ohio, who held a B.S. in mechanical engineering and was employed by Garlock (Palmyra, N.Y.) before joining The Timken Company in 1997 and becoming a senior seal manager, June 7, 2018. Rick, who held many patents for his seals at both companies, liked travel, wine and fine dining with friends. A member of Jackson Friends Church who is survived by his wife, son and daughter, Rick was 64. Gregory T. Bowler ’85, of Jacksonville, Fla., who worked for software companies in California and MTV Networks in New York City before founding his own software testing company, Qualtech International, July 22, 2018. Active in preventing Apartheid activists from speaking at Union during his time in Schenectady, Greg was also an original member the College’s Pi Pi Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. He was 55.

Donna M. Accuosti ’87, of Delmar, N.Y., who held a master’s degree from the College of St. Rose and spent her entire career in education, most recently as assistant superintendent of the Greenville Central School District, Jan. 15, 2019. Donna, who recently received an Ed.D. in educational curriculum, instruction and assessment from Northeastern University, was an avid reader. She was 55. Mark G. Abbey ’88, of Abingdon, Md., who held a leadership position at the Bureau of Information Resource Management’s Beltsville information management center for the last 12 years, Dec. 22, 2018. Mark, who joined the Foreign Service in 1990, served overseas with his family for more than 15 years, after which he joined the Civil Service in Maryland. He was 52.


2000s . . . . . . . . .

Sarah A. Foster ’14, of Harrison, N.Y., who taught sixth grade social studies at Louis M. Klein Middle School, where she also coached girls volleyball, was killed in an accident in New York City, Feb. 15, 2019. After Union, she earned a master’s in teaching from Union Graduate College. She loved the beach, international travel, history and the excitement of New York City. She was 27.


Friends of Union College Richard J. Luniewski, of Gallupville, N.Y., and Vero Beach, Fla., who worked for Union College for 25 years and ran Rundy Cup Meadow in Gallupville, Nov. 7, 2018. A graduate of Cobleskill College who held a degree in horticulture and greenhouse management, he was 78. Margaret “Pinkie” Merriam Moon, of Corinth, N.Y., a teacher and community volunteer who with her late husband, Rexford G. Moon Jr. ’44, former director of admissions, trustee and volunteer, hosted a number of events for alumni and employees, Jan. 4, 2019. She was 98. Survivors include a son, Timothy ’77. Paul J. Loatman Jr., of Mechanicville, N.Y., who was the head of the Upper School at Doane Stuart for many years and taught subjects that included American history and government, bioethics and economics, Feb. 4, 2019. Also an adjunct professor at Union College, Schenectady Community College and the College of St. Rose, he published “Images of America Mechanicville” in 2013. Mechanicville’s historian and a coach of Babe Ruth baseball squads, he was also a communicant and lector of All Saints on the Hudson Church and Church of the Transfiguration. He was 76. Jean M. Bennis, of Rotterdam, N.Y., who worked for General Electric and was a guidance secretary at Bishop Gibbons High School before retiring from the Union College Admissions Office, Feb. 2, 2019. She was 92.


ane Golub, a prominent businesswoman and philanthropist who supported Union and a number of regional educational, health and cultural initiatives, passed away on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 after a brief illness. She was the wife of Life Trustee Neil Golub, who joined the board in 1994. At Union, Jane and Neil supported the restoration of Golub House, the Minerva named in memory of Neil’s father, William Golub ’26. They were also longtime supporters of the William and Estelle Golub ABC Presidential Scholarships, named for Neil’s parents. They supported capital campaigns including those for Schaffer Library, the Integrated Science and Engineering Center and Wicker Wellness

Center. Neil and Jane also have made gifts to the Annual Fund and the Jewish Chaplaincy. The Golubs have long been active in a variety of local organizations including miSci, Ellis Hospital, Bellevue Women’s Center, Schenectady Jewish Community Center, Schenectady Day Nursery, Proctor’s, Wildwood School and Double H Ranch. Among the many national regional and national organizations they have supported are the Muscular Dystrophy Association, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, United Jewish Federation, Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Special Olympics. After a 23-year career as an elementary school teacher, Jane served in a number of leadership capacities for Golub Corp., the parent company of Price Chopper Supermarkets For decades, she led campaigns against bullying and intolerance. She served as the education coordinator for “A World of Difference,” a campaign of the Anti-Defamation League of the Capital District to raise awareness of prejudice and appreciation of differences. Born Dec. 10, 1938, Jane attended Bronx High School of Science and later graduated from Forest Hills High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan, and a master’s in elementary education from SUNY Oneonta. Survivors also include her daughter, Mona.




8 JOHN S. MORRIS President 1979-1990


olleagues recall John S. Morris, the 16th president of Union College, as a strong proponent of liberal arts education who emphasized faculty development and undergraduate research. Morris passed away May 4, 2019 at 93. Morris once said in a speech that education rests upon the understanding that it has the task of training minds; that we are “rational beings, who live in a particular society, and that we use reason to come to see and understand the world.” He also was a strong advocate for independent colleges and universities, at one time serving as chairman of the board of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities of New York State. During the decade he served as president (1979-1990), Morris oversaw the renovation and expansion of Carnegie Hall, now known as Reamer Campus Center, a project he saw as a symbol for the integrity of the College. In 1987, his decision to make Union SAT optional drew national attention. Morris cited the tests for alleged bias and their failure to predict success in college. During the Morris era, the College’s endowment increased from $30 million to $90 million. The Campaign for Union, the major fundraising effort, reached $50 million, $12 million more than its goal. John Selwyn Morris was born in July 2, 1925 in Tonypandy, Wales, at the time a coal mining area. After serving in the Royal Air Force during World War II, he earned a B.A. from the University College of South Wales

and Monmouthshire, master’s degrees from Cambridge University and Colgate University, and a Ph.D. from Columbia University. He also studied at Union Theological Seminary. Ordained as a Presbyterian minister, he served with the Vernon and Vernon Center, N.Y, churches before beginning his academic career at Colgate. He became professor of philosophy and religion in 1970 and was appointed Colgate Professor of the Humanities in 1971. While serving as president at Union, he taught introductory classes in philosophy and religion and an interdisciplinary course, “Images of the Sea,” which considered marine life, the sociology of island communities and literature about the sea. It was during a field trip for this course that he was tagged “Presmo” by students who thought his full title was too formal. “That was a great experience,” he recalled. During Morris’ presidency, the College launched the General Education curriculum. In 1988, Union began Educational Studies,

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part of the College’s graduate offerings. A year later, it re-established the Geology department (dormant for two decades) and started programs in East Asian Studies, Women’s Studies and Religious Studies. The College added Terms Abroad programs to Japan and China. A Dana Foundation grant supported undergraduate research and faculty scholarship. With Morris’ encouragement, Union was a founding member of the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, and hosted the fourth annual conference in spring of 1990, just before Morris retired. In 1981, the College obtained a MacArthur Foundation grant to endow assistant professorships that rotated among departments. In 1989, new funding supported three new faculty chairs: the Roger Thayer Stone Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, the Thomas J. Watson and Emma Watson Day Professorship of Engineering; and the John and Jane Wold Professorship of Geology. Among other building projects during the Morris presidency, the College renovated Stanley Becker Hall as the home of Admissions and Financial Aid, installed a lighted artificial turf field (now Frank Bailey Field) and renovated Alumni Gymnasium, adding a new pool and racquet courts. Recognizing the need to connect Union to its local community, Morris chaired the Citizens Special Committee on Local Government in Schenectady County and, with his wife, Enid, the Schenectady County Historical Society’s fundraising drive to construct a new library. He served on the boards of the Schenectady Trust Company, the Parsons Child and Family Center, the Schenectady


Chamber of Commerce and Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital. His memberships included the American Association of University Professors, American Philosophy Association, American Academy of Religion, Royal Institute of Philosophy, Society for the Study of Theology and the National Welsh American Foundation Board of Advisors. He served as a trustee of Skidmore College from 1986 to 2017. Morris received the Founders Medal, Union’s highest honor at Commencement on June 17, 1990. He also received Colgate’s distinguished service award, Schenectady’s Patroon Award and was named a fellow of Cardiff University. He held honorary degrees from Hartwick College, Elmira College and Skidmore College. Of his accomplishments, he was most proud of developing an alumni network that instilled a sense of pride in Union, creating a parklike setting for the College and developing a General Education curriculum, he said in a 2017 interview with Thomas Werner, Florence B. Sherwood Professor of Chemistry Emeritus. “I found my time at Union to be very satisfying,” he said in the 2017 interview. “Both of us enjoyed being part of this community. When I left Union, I left with a sense that I had received something very important in my own life.” His wife, Enid Eiry Morris, passed away Feb. 14, 2018 at the age of 91 at their home in Hamilton, N.Y. They were married nearly 64 years. Survivors include a son, Paul John Morris, of Harvard, Mass.


rof. Donald “Ed” Robison, who taught graduate courses in statistics, computer science and operations research for 25 years, passed away Nov. 16, 2018 at his home in Hyde Park, N.Y. He was 87. He taught in Schenectady and at graduate programs in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. and Pittsfield, Mass., retiring in 1996.

A native of California and raised in Oregon, he earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon, and his master’s and Ph.D. from Ohio State University. He served two years in the Army during the Korean War, stationed at White Sands Proving Ground in New Mexico. He began his professional career at TRW Inc. in Los Angeles, where he worked as an aerospace statistician for 12 years. A lover of music, theater and dance, he was also enjoyed videography, comic books and movies. Active in the Hyde Park Reformed Dutch Church, he sang in the church choir and in the Rhinebeck Choral Club. He enjoyed the scenery of the Hudson Valley and the Oregon coast. Survivors include his son, David Robison; three daughters, Jean Robison Weglinski, Julie Cook, and Rebecca Robison-Veprek; and six grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.






olleagues and alumni are mourning the loss of Robert S. “Bob” Sharlet, professor emeritus of political science, whose teaching and research chronicled the dramatic shifts of politics and law in the Soviet and post-Soviet eras. Sharlet, the Chauncey Winters Research Professor of Political Science, passed away Jan. 26, 2019 at 83. Sharlet taught at Union from 1967 until his retirement in 2003. He also taught courses on Eastern Europe, political justice, human rights and the Vietnam War. He launched his career in Soviet and Eastern European studies in 1956, when he took a break from college for a stint in the Army. Eager to see Europe, he enrolled in the Army school that trained young Americans in languages spoken in areas of military interest. He made the “truly serendipitous” decision to study Czech and joined Army Intelligence in West Germany where he went undercover as a Philco TV salesman, eloped with (but did not marry) a countess and moonlighted as a car racing correspondent, according to the family obituary. After the Army, he completed a B.A. in American civilization from Brandeis University, and then pursued a master’s and Ph.D. from Indiana University in Soviet studies. He was an exchange fellow at Moscow University Law School, and earned a

certificate in Foreign and Comparative Law from Columbia University Law School. “I found the field absolutely fascinating,” he wrote. “We were in the middle of the Cold War, Stalin had been dead for about 10 years and the Soviet Union was changing.” Years before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Sharlet’s scholarship maintained that an undercurrent of social, economic and political dissent would lead to the empire’s disintegration. Throughout his career, but especially from 1985 to 1991 when Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was leading his country through tumultuous changes, Sharlet’s teaching and scholarship required adaptability. Armed with the day’s edition of the New York Times, Sharlet

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began each class by discussing the implications of the latest developments. He used his computer to check on Soviet news several times a day. He was a frequent source for major news outlets including the New York Times, U.S. News and World Report, Time, CBS News, NPR, Voice of America and a number of Soviet and European media. Gorbachev’s resignation and the end of the Soviet Union came in December 1991 while Sharlet was visiting Cairo, Egypt, with his son and daughter. “I was out of position,” he recalled. “I wasn’t home at the computer. I wasn’t near a phone. But it was interesting to say goodbye to the Soviet Union on a small street in Cairo.” Soviet Constitutional Crisis (1992), his first book after the collapse of the Soviet Union, began simply: “History is strewn with the wreckage of empires.” He published seven other books, notably the widely-cited The New Soviet Constitution of 1977 (1978), and roughly 200 academic articles, chapters and other essays on topics related to his research. In 1977, he was named chair of the East European Coordination Group for Amnesty International, where he oversaw cases of dissidents who would become leaders of their countries. He served as a research associate at the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (1965–67) and Senior Coordinator of the Rule of Law Consortium (1994–96). He consulted for the U.S. Agency for International Development, the CIA, the U.S. Supreme Court, the State Department; and for the Parliament of the


Republic of Georgia, the Constitutional Court of Belarus, and Constitutional Commissions of Russia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. Before his death, he completed a book, Searching for Jeff, a biography of his younger brother, Jeff Sharlet (1942–1969), an early leader of the Vietnam GI anti-war movement and founder of the first underground GI paper, Vietnam GI. Charles Gati, professor of political science emeritus, recalls urging Sharlet, a fellow grad student at Indiana, to apply for a job at Union. The first candidate to visit campus, Sharlet so impressed Dean Martin Lichterman and Prof. Joe Board, department chair, that they offered him the job that day and canceled the rest of the interviews. Survivors include his partner, Fiona Burde; daughter, Jocelyn Cordelia Sharlet; and son, Jeffrey Charles Sharlet. A memorial is planned for June 22 in Saratoga. Details will follow. The family obituary is posted here. Contributions may be made to the Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans, a writing contest at the Iowa Review established by the Sharlet family (www.givetoiowa.org/ iowareview).


heodore “Ted” Davidge Lockwood, former dean, provost and professor of history, passed away Jan. 21, 2019 at his home in Stowe, Vt. He was 94. At Union from 1964 to 1968, Lockwood is credited with curricular reform, the trimester calendar and expanding the arts program. He served first under President Carter Davidson, then President Harold Martin. At Union, he led the development of a general education curriculum called Comprehensive Education. He re-aligned the academic administration to create two centers with deans, one for the humanities and social sciences, the other for science and engineering. The design, he said, would create “an administrative structure that cuts across those barriers separating one discipline

from another.” He combined Music, Art and Drama into a Department of the Arts with shared facilities and a departmental major, according to the Encyclopedia of Union College History (Wayne Somers, ed.) In a citation from the Board of Trustees, Lockwood “brought to Union College a fine talent for administration, the courage to break molds, and the tenacity that was largely instrumental in making new ones.” He left Union to assume the presidency of his alma mater, Trinity College, serving there until 1981. He then served as founding president of the United World College of the American West in Montezuma, New Mexico, from 1982 to 1993. The son of a Dartmouth professor, he was born in Hanover, N.H., and lived for many years in Hartford, Conn., when his father taught at Trinity. He entered Trinity in 1942 but left the following year to serve with the Army 10th Mountain Division in the Italian campaign during World War II. He held a bachelor’s in history from Trinity, and earned his master’s and Ph.D. in modern European history from Princeton University. Before coming to Union, he taught at Trinity, Dartmouth, MIT and Juniata College. At Concord College in Athens, W.V., he transitioned from teaching into administration. Survivors include his wife, the former Lucille “Lu” Abbot and several children. He was predeceased by his wife, Elizabeth, in 1980.






he bubbly freckle-faced girl who inspired thousands at Union to join her eight-year battle against cancer is being remembered for her determination, grace and courage. Kristen L. Shinebarger, who passed away Dec. 20, 2018, at the age of 16, was remembered during a pre-game moment of silence at the Mayor’s Cup hockey game in January at the Times Union Center in Albany. “It was fitting that we remember Kristen before a big game like the Mayor’s Cup,” said Jim McLaughlin, director of athletics. “Her spirit moved people on all corners of this campus, but nowhere more than athletics, where she stood as a shining example of courage meeting adversity.” Kristen, the daughter of Shelly Shinebarger, director of disability services and international advising, was diagnosed as a third grader with Ewing’s sarcoma, a childhood cancer of the bones and soft tissue. Early on, she endured the amputation of her right leg followed by dozens of surgeries and chemotherapy and radiation sessions. Kristen’s fight launched dozens of fundraisers and awareness campaigns by thousands of students and hundreds of staff and faculty over the years. Funds to Kristen’s Kause supported the Shinebarger family’s treatment expenses, including travel. “Mere words could never express our gratitude,” Kristen’s mother said. “From Texas to Japan and Ohio, the Union support followed us and helped keep us afloat. She knew she was loved and supported by the entire Union community.”



The fundraisers also supported cancer research, with Kristen and her family often present to thank those involved. Events included Dutchmen Dip; Run, Ribs and Reggae; 3-on-3 basketball; Home Run Derby (also in support of the late Justin Lloyd ’16); Family Feud; Pink at the Rink; and the Sarcoma 5K race. Kristen was made an honorary member by several teams, including men’s and women’s ice hockey, where she had her own stall in the locker rooms. Her mother recalls with a laugh her daughter’s excitement at first visiting the men’s locker room, followed by her realization that locker rooms have a particular aroma. She dropped the puck at a number of hockey games. “We tried to do as much as we could with the events for Kristen,” said Rick Bennett, head coach of men’s ice hockey. “It was a collective effort on the part of all the guys.”

In April of 2014, Bennett shaved his head in solidarity with Kristen for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation fundraiser. Two weeks later, when the team won a national championship, his hairless photo was on sports pages across the country. Kristen’s mom, as advisor to international students, is well known to Canadian hockey players for making Union a home. “Just being able to support that family is a great thing,” said Ashley Johnston ’14, a member of the women’s ice hockey team and mechanical engineer whose senior project was to design a prosthetic leg that could be adjusted to grow with Kristen. Cheryl Rockwood, head trainer and director of student athlete programming, said that athletes, even those who hadn’t met Kristen, admired her grit. “She’d already lost a leg, and her hair not growing back was the only thing that made her cry,” Rockwood said. “How freakin’ tough was this kid.” Kaitlyn Suarez ’16 organized the first Dutchmen Dip. “Kristen was the inspiration for our first Dutchmen Dip,” she said. “Her legacy will live on as Union continues to support other members of its community battling cancer.” Survivors also include her father, Marc; brother, Eric; and grandparents, Harry and Donna Shinebarger of Ballston Spa, N.Y., and Billy and Julie Harrington of Williamson, N.C. Memorial contributions may be made to the Animal Shelter or to the Carson Sarcoma Foundation at www.carsonsarcomafoundation.org.

Your support matters


nion is a very special part of me and the woman I am. As a higher education professional, my leadership style has been impacted by what I learned at Union. I strive to create environments that provide students with the same nurturing, academic rigor and opportunities for growth that I received during my time on campus. Since graduation, I have been committed to our alma mater. Union invested in me and provided me with an exceptional experience, and I firmly believe that, “to whom much is given…much is required.” This is why I chair Union’s Terrace Council—I know how integral our support is to the College’s continued growth and sustainability.

Higher education is at crossroads, times are challenging. But Union is striving to find solutions that better serve our communities, country and world. Our College is outpacing its peers and setting new standards for the future of higher education. As alumni, we must do our part to ensure that Union continues to be a leader. Our giving provides young people with the opportunity of a lifetime—the Union College experience. There is no better time to join me as a Terrace Council member. – DR.

K E N YA M. L E N O I R M E S S E R ’ 9 0

Dr. Kenya M. LeNoir Messer ’90 holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University and is associate vice provost at Louisiana State University. She is also a published author, researcher, lecturer and national presenter on issues impacting student success; organizational strategy and change management; African American male student-athletes in college; and levels of participation by American students in international education. She studied psychology at Union, where her activities included study abroad, College Year in Athens; vice president, African and Latino Alliance of Students; resident advisor, Davidson Hall; Gospel Choir; student teaching assistant, Psychology Dept.; Delphic Honor Society

The Terrace Council is Union’s leadership giving society for donors who make an annual gift of $2,000 or more. For more information, visit uconnect.union.edu or call (518) 388-6175. SUMMER 2019 | UNION COLLEGE


Office of Communications 807 Union Street Schenectady, NY 12308-3169

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& Family Weekend


Homecoming & Family Weekend is all about community. Each fall, the Union community comes together to celebrate creativity, tradition, and to make new memories. We look forward to welcoming you and your family back for an exciting weekend!



H IG H L IG H T S INC LU D E : • Listen to faculty lectures or visit a class with your family • Meet other parents and students at the first-year family reception • Cheer on Union athletic teams as they compete on and off campus • Enjoy great food, live music, face painting, and other fun activities at our family picnic

Registration opens August 15 REGISTER ONLINE: www.union.edu/hfw OR CALL US: 518-388-6168