WINTE R 2021
Volume 115 / Number 2
A Magazine for Alumni and Friends
The impact of Union engineers
Alumni recall two decades of Kenney Community Center
UNION COLLEGE ON THE FRONT COVER
Then & Now: This mash-up features a photo of a current student (left) and a historic engineering image (picture file SCA-1026), Courtesy of Special Collections. To see more historic engineering photos, visit digitalcollections. union.edu/s/brick-by-brick/ page/home VICE PRESIDENT FOR COMMUNICATIONS AND MARKETING
Leah Rosen EDITOR
Charlie Casey email@example.com ASSOCIATE EDITOR
Erin DeMuth Judd firstname.lastname@example.org CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Christen Gowan Tina Lincer Phillip Wajda CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS
Matt Milless Shawn LaChapelle DESIGN
2k Design PRINTING
Fort Orange Press
UNION COLLEGE is published
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.
WINTER 2021 // Volume 115 // Number 2
IN THIS ISSUE: Engineer it: From construction to software, 14 alumni shape the world In the 175 years since Union began offering engineering, graduates have made indelible marks in a variety of engineering fields. The pages that follow spotlight just a handful of the College’s accomplished engineering alumni.
Alumni recall the impact of their days 28 with Kenney Center When the College dedicated the Marjorie Kenney Community Center on Oct. 17, 2000, it launched a program that would benefit Union’s neighbors and instill in hundreds of students and alumni a passion for community service.
46 Alumni Clubs
47 The Classes & Profiles
34 Campaign update
68 In Memoriam
» Visit us online at www.union.edu/magazine » Follow us on social media
Despite COVID, we’re thriving
y young daughter knows what it means when I get the “Do you have a minute?” text from Dean Fran’Cee: another positive student COVID test. In mid-January, after our first week of testing, Fran’Cee Brown-McClure, our vice president for student affairs, skipped the usual text and called me with some sobering news. Our total of 51 student positives was about twice the number we had during the entire fall term. Following the example of institutions that experienced spikes last fall, we implemented a two-week campus quarantine to slow the spread both on campus and in external communities. By month’s end, the number of positives had declined significantly. We returned to our new normal of masks and distancing, but remain keenly aware that another spike could be around the corner. Our experience with COVID taught us several lessons, which I shared in a recent op-ed in Inside Higher Education. First, we anticipated that this winter would be much different from the fall. With a surge in cases nationally, we increased student testing from once to twice per week. We secured more quarantine space for students who tested positive and their contacts. We implemented tougher penalties for violations. And we tried to put some extra joy into the place by installing fire pits across campus, offering free online fitness classes and myriad virtual events and activities. Second, we understood that even with these enhanced measures, we would likely have more students quarantined, more stress across campus and among parents, more policy violations and a clear risk that we would have to send students home before the term was over. As anticipated, this term has been intense. At the end of week one, we had 100 students in quarantine, unable to fully participate in face-to-face classes.
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Finally, as difficult as it is to confront COVID on a college campus, we have had to find ways to pursue our mission: “to develop every student to lead, with wisdom, empathy and courage, in ways large and small, now and across multiple tomorrows.” Our community expects that Union will protect the health of its students, staff and faculty members and will avoid the existential threats that too many colleges have experienced in recent years. But it also expects more. Our whole community must find the time, energy and creativity to ensure that Union not only survives but thrives. A long time ago, I learned that in difficult situations—and COVID-19 is the most difficult one I have faced—there is rarely a path that makes everyone happy. That recognition drives me to select the path that I believe will benefit the most people and harm the fewest. When people raise objections, it is much easier to respond when you have made policy for the right reasons, not because it is expected to face the least resistance. Somehow, we are getting it done. Daily conversations with students, staff and faculty have helped us make more informed decisions and pivot when needed, such as opening more study spaces for students suffering from the social isolation of our campus quarantine. These daily conversations reveal just how committed everyone is to doing what it takes for all of us to succeed. We also know how much more students are learning and growing by being on campus, even with limited face-to-face interactions, in and out of the classroom. With the right mix of wisdom, empathy and courage, I am confident that we will continue to thrive. DAVID R. HARRIS, Ph.D.
WRUC and harmonics
our delightful piece on the history of WRUC (fall 2020) recalls the time years back when the station broadcast on the AM band. As electrical engineers (and ham radio operators) will attest, if the signal isn’t properly grounded and shielded there is a phenomenon called harmonics, which occurs at multiples (or fractions) of the broadcast frequency. One night the station got a phone call from the tower at Albany Airport saying, “Get the hell off the air! There’s a plane trying to land that can’t hear us; all they can hear is you!” The College’s solution was to put the signal on Union’s electrical grid, so that plugging in your radio was access, and technically it could not be heard even across Union or Nott Street. Even so, driving across campus past a row of streetlights with the car radio on, the signal would rise and fall as each street light acted like a small transmitter. BILL ALLEN ’59
Oh, THAT Pliny the Elder
eading Phil Robinson's ’71 reminiscences of his college experiences at WRUC brought back lots of memories. I broadcast the news two afternoons a week because Phil encouraged me to do so. Phil failed to relate what I assume to be his funniest experience while on the air at WRUC. He was the moderator of WRUC’s version of the popular TV contest, GE College Bowl. In one show, a Union team faced another from Skidmore College.
The question Phil posed was, “How did Pliny the Elder die?” (He died during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.). One of the Skidmore contestants signaled and then in a rather timid voice said, “social disease?” Howls of laughter erupted in my dorm and in the studio. I think it took almost a minute for Phil and everyone else in the contest to regain composure. But that day’s contest never seemed to completely recover. DAVID C. KING ’72
t is indeed ironic that the week before I received the latest Union College magazine, I was rummaging around in a box in the attic and came across a plaque that read: “1958 Kirk Evans; Dixon Ryan Fox Award for Excellence in Broadcasting; Awarded by Station W.R.U.C. Union College.” We had a 41-watt transmitter connected to the campus power grid; so, we were technically a local AM station. I say “technically” because on a parent’s weekend a father came into the station and said he sometimes enjoyed our programs. He lived in Chicago. One time we had a blood drive going on in the gym. In order to promote this worthy cause, we set up a remote and broadcast interviews with donors. The announcer asked one student how it went. There was a long pause and a thud—he fainted on the air. So much for good intentions.
Facing headwinds, ‘we will emerge even stronger’
espite the headwinds that face Union and all other colleges and universities, the College has a plan that will help it emerge even stronger than before, according to President David R. Harris. In an inaugural “State of Union” presentation on Nov. 19, the president outlined factors that affect admissions, giving and the budget. These include declining enrollments due to demographic shifts, the cost and perceived value of a private college education and “desperate discounting” by some other schools to lure students, he said. “I am confident that we will emerge even stronger,” he said. “Why? Lots of reasons, but one I look at is what this College did over the last eight months. We took a 225-year-old residential model online with three weeks’ notice for the spring term and then found a way to have a successful in-person fall term in the midst of a pandemic.” In a wide-ranging presentation that he plans to make a traditional annual event, Harris noted that since the pandemic moved spring term online in March, “We have come back and found ways to achieve our goals.” For more, visit https://www.union.edu/ news/stories/202011/facing-headwindswe-will-emerge-even-stronger
KIRK EVANS ’60
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HOMECOMING & FA M I LY W E E K E N D 2020
hough virtual, hundreds participated in Homecoming & Family Weekend with events including pumpkin carving and tailgate cooking contests and a panel celebrating the 100th anniversary of Union radio. “More than 100 alumni attended the 100th anniversary celebration of WRUC panel. Many alumni stayed on the call more than 3 hours,” said Ashley Boland, director of Alumni and Parent Engagement & Advancement Events. Boland also noted that parents were grateful, one of whom wrote: “Thank you very much for organizing the virtual Homecoming. It is a bit of a consolation for me as a parent in these challenging times.” During the weekend, the College also virtually recognized alumni, faculty and staff. ALUMNI GOLD MEDAL RECIPIENTS WERE: Jim Loree ’80, P’18, who graduated with a B.A. in American studies and economics, and is president and CEO of Stanley Black & Decker. Loree has served on the Board of Trustees since 2015 and has partnered with the Becker Career Center to recruit students for research positions, internships and full-time opportunities at Stanley Black & Decker. He also served on the Presidential Search Committee that selected David Harris. He and his family have established the James M. Loree (1980) and Rebecca Corbin Loree Family Scholarship to support talented students of color through the national non-profit, A Better Chance.
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Jim Loree ’80, P’18
Mort Silver ’55
MORT SILVER ’55, who graduated with a B.A. in English and is chairman and CEO of Orda Management Corporation in New York City. A longstanding donor, Silver has supported the Union Fund for more than 57 years. He is a member of the Ramée Circle Society and the Garnet Blades, which supports the Union hockey program. Other Union graduates in Silver’s family include his brother and several nieces and nephews. DR. KATHY MAGLIATO ’85, who graduated with a B.S. in biology and chemistry. One of the few female heart surgeons in the world, Magliato specializes in heart/hung transplantation and ventricular assist device implantation. She is an attending staff surgeon at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., where she founded and directed the Multidisciplinary Women’s Health Center. She is also the founder, CEO and chief medical officer of Cordex Systems, a medical device company. Magliato served on the Board of Trustees from 2008 to 2020. She has also served as an Admissions
Dr. Kathy Magliato ’85
Malcolm Sherrod ’17
volunteer for nearly 20 years. Magliato’s father, uncle and sister are also Union graduates. THE RISING STAR AWARD went to MALCOLM SHERROD ’17, who graduated with a B.A. in political science. He is a government affairs senior associate at the Glover Park Group in Washington, D.C. A lead volunteer with Union’s D.C. alumni club, Sherrod has been instrumental in helping to recruit new members and plan successful activities like football viewing parties and Welcome to the City events. He is a member of the Alumni Council and serves on the newly-created Committee for Diversity and Inclusion. Sherrod is also an Admissions volunteer who regularly speaks with prospective students in the Washington, D.C. area. FACULTY AND STAFF MERITORIOUS SERVICE AWARD RECIPIENTS WERE: PAUL WEHRUM, who retired from Union in 2019 following his 13th season as head coach of men’s lacrosse. A 1999 inductee into the National
Jennifer Milioto Matsue
Lacrosse Hall of Fame, his 138 wins are the most of any coach in Union’s varsity history. Through his coaching and mentoring, Wehrum positively influenced hundreds of Union student-athletes on and off the field. He also partnered with Union’s College Relations team on countless alumni events, including the annual alumni lacrosse game and reception. Wehrum is also a proud Union parent of daughter, Lyndsay ’09. JENNIFER MILIOTO MATSUE, who is director of the World Music and Cultures Program, and a professor in music, Asian studies and anthropology. An ethnomusicologist specializing in modern Japanese music and culture, she is the author of Making Music in Japan’s Underground: The Tokyo Hardcore Scene and Focus: Music in Contemporary Japan. Matsue directed the Zakuro-Daiko Japanese drumming ensemble that opened the Powering Union campaign launch event in February 2020. She has also served as a speaker at alumni
Kevin Rampe ’88
events around the country. Her newest research explores music and horses. The Special Appreciation Award went to KEVIN RAMPE ’88, who graduated with a B.A. in political science. General counsel for North America and director of global legal operations at the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, Rampe is a member of the President’s Council, the Campaign Steering Committee and the Ramée Circle Society. He served as Union’s commencement speaker in 2004, in recognition of his work to coordinate the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site and lower Manhattan following 9/11. Rampe has hosted campaign events and served as an Admissions volunteer, and works closely with the Becker Career Center. In addition to mentoring pre-law students, he recently facilitated two paid summer internships at Chubb. Rampe has also established an endowed scholarship, provided stipend support to students with unpaid summer internships, and helped to secure a gift from Chubb to support COVIDrelated initiatives at Union. To watch a video of the virtual awards presentation, visit Union https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=pZ01qhA0gfU WINTER 2021 | UNION COLLEGE
Mineva 203: Giving students a voice on climate change
hat’s more important than understanding climate change? Getting others to do so. That was a goal of Minerva 203, “Climate Change: Knowledge Empowers Action,” which teamed students from a range of disciplines to present final projects aimed at educating a broad audience. “There are so many people who just don’t believe that climate change exists, that it’s real, that it’s caused by humans,” said Prof. Holli Frey of Geology, who taught the class with Prof. Doug Klein of Economics, and Prof. Jue “Joy” Wang of Mathematics. “We asked students to consider, ‘How can we, as educated Union College students, get that message out there?’” The class took shape at the Faculty Development Institute last summer, when Frey was planning the syllabus. This year’s FDI, which helped faculty re-tool for face-to-face, online and hybrid classes, drew 90 Union faculty members and 66 others from New York Six schools. The FDI also fostered the collaboration with Wang, who added mathematical modeling, data analysis and visualization. “I enjoy very much teaching with Holli and Doug and I have learned a great deal from them,” Wang said. “This has been such a positive and inspirational experience for me.” Frey previously taught with Klein and other faculty in a similar model: an Adirondack mini-term in which multidisciplinary student teams explored tourism, the hardships and benefits of Adirondack life, and the meaning of wilderness. The FDI also introduced the idea of involving alumni. With no shortage of alumni in careers in environmental science, policy and business, the instructors decided to invite newer alumni. “We thought students should hear from alumni who are relatable, just a few years out of Union and doing amazing things,” Frey said. Guest lecturers were Jonathan Griffith ’11, an environmental scientist at University 6
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of Colorado, Boulder; Sara Miltenberger ’15, a corporate sustainability consultant and podcaster; and Maya Whalen-Kipp ’16, director of impact teams for Common Energy, a firm promoting community solar. With the goal of reaching a broad spectrum of students, the course was cross-listed to give credit in social sciences, science and math. Majors included biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, economics, engineering, environmental
science, geology, philosophy, political science and psychology. “I am impressed by their insightful conversations, depth of thinking, and passion and enthusiasm for addressing climate change,” Wang said. Bethany Costello ’22 has long been working her way toward a career in renewable energy. She took a term in New Zealand where she studied wind power and an internship with a renewable energy
“ I B E L I E V E T H AT T H E I N C LU S I O N O F M U LT I P L E P E R S P E C T I V E S , I N C L U D I N G F A C U LT Y, A L U M N I , A N D C L I M A T E ENTREPRENEURS AND ACTIVISTS D E E P LY E N R I C H E D M Y U N D E R S T A N D ING AND PERSPECTIVE. IT ENABLED S T U D E N T S T O F U L LY A P P R E C I AT E THE SUBTLE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN S TA K E H O L D E R S I N A C L A S S R O O M S E T T I N G . ” – Bill Pieroni ’22
firm. On campus, she is active in U-Sustain and Ozone House. “I’ve known since freshman year that I was going to go into sustainability in some form,” said the mechanical engineering major from Londonderry, N.H. “My major is coming together with my passions for the first time.” Bill Pieroni ’22, an economics major from Chappaqua, N.Y., found value in the broad approach to climate science. “I believe that the inclusion of multiple perspectives, including faculty, alumni, and climate entrepreneurs and activists deeply enriched my understanding and perspective,” he said. “It enabled students to fully appreciate the subtle differences between stakeholders in a classroom setting.” Minerva 203 was one of a suite of interdisciplinary on-line courses designed to help students develop solutions to difficult and complex societal issues. Other Minervas addressed racial justice and artificial intelligence. “We want students to have a voice. Union is not just about learning stuff in the classroom and doing exams,” Frey said. “We think we’re successful if students, when they leave Union, can convince someone that climate change is something they really need to be concerned about.”
Winter warmth—President Harris joined students for hot chocolate and cookies in late January around Union's new outdoor firepits, which provide safe outdoor gathering places during the pandemic.
WINTER 2021 | UNION COLLEGE
Letters from Darwin and Einstein find a home at Union
hen he worked at General Electric in Schenectady, Earle Mullen and his wife, Jo-Ann, would take frequent trips to New York City, where she grew up experiencing its art, theater and culture. On one particular trip in July 1982, the couple visited B. Altman’s, the famed fullblock department store at Fifth Avenue and 34th Street. They went up to the eighth floor, where the store’s unique Art Gallery offered for sale hundreds of autographs, manuscripts, maps, rare books, prints and paintings. Among the works available were original letters signed by George Washington, John F. Kennedy and Napoleon I. The Mullens left that day with two framed signed letters: one by evolutionist Charles Darwin and the other from the famed German physicist Albert Einstein. They paid just under a thousand dollars for each. A physicist himself, Earle Mullen held both men in high regard.
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For more than two decades, the letters hung on the wall of the den in the couple’s Niskayuna home and later in Grand Junction, Colo., where they moved in 2008. The letters now have a new address: Special Collections in Schaffer Library. When he died in 2018 at age 93, Earle Mullen—a man who loved the opera, classical music and fine wine—specified in his will that the letters go to the College. Although he had no direct connection to Union—he was a graduate of the University of Toronto—he would visit the library weekly and attend lectures on campus. “He really appreciated the College being a bastion of learning and education in the area, and he took advantage of it,” said his daughter, Jocelyn, who lives in Grand Junction. “He enjoyed what a college does for a small town in terms of its impact on culture and knowledge.” Darwin was a prolific letter writer, corresponding more than 15,000 times with his family and a range of other people
around the world. The letter Mullen bought, dated Aug. 9, 1872, was written to Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton, a prominent Victorian scientist who coined the term eugenics. The handwritten letter was one of a series exchanged between the two men, according to the Darwin Correspondence Project. Several were about rabbits Darwin needed for an experiment. The Einstein letter is typed in German and dated Dec. 5, 1939. It is to Rudolf Ehrmann, an internist and college professor, who, with Einstein’s help, was able to flee Nazi Germany. He later served as one of Einstein’s doctors in the U.S. The letter is on behalf of Ehrmann’s son, Rolf. The monetary value of the letters is unknown. While signed letters from both men have fetched substantial money at auctions, Sarah Schmidt, director of Special Collections and Archives, said that is not relevant. “To me, the real value of the letters is the tangible connection with history and two luminaries in their respective fields,” she said. An exhibit featuring the letters and other recent acquisitions is planned post-pandemic. An environmental engineer and the “main scientist in the family,” Jocelyn Mullen admitted she was initially disappointed her father did not leave the letters to her. Jo-Ann, her mother, died last year. However, Jocelyn is excited to have the correspondences kept at Union. “My father never stopped learning,” she said. “He was immensely curious about everything. In this time of science denial, I hope the College can display the letters to show the human side of two brilliant scientists.”
Professors honored with Stillman Prizes
wo Union professors were recently presented with the College’s top teaching awards. Scott Kirkton, associate professor of biology, is the winner of the Stillman Prize for Faculty Excellence in Teaching. Leo Zaibert, William D. Williams Professor of Philosophy, Law and Humanities and chair of the department, is the winner of the Stillman Prize for Faculty Excellence in Research. “One of things that excites me about being here is the tremendous faculty we
have at Union,” said Strom Thacker, the Stephen J. and Diane K. Ciesinski Dean of Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs in a video message. “We have a model here of a teacher-scholar approach to a liberal arts education. It means our faculty are both high-level teachers and high-level scholars at the same time.” As an animal physiologist, Kirkton and his research students investigate fundamental questions about how changes during an animal’s life history impact biological processes. Specifically, they use insect models to examine how development alters the biochemistry, morphology, physiology and biomechanics of respiration and locomotion. “I try to have my students be self-
motivated, and give them the different techniques and methods to do that,” he said. “We form teams in the classes that are made up of students with different backgrounds, different majors and different genders, and they solve real world complex problems. My goal is to make students leave the classroom maybe not wanting to be college professors, but at least having a passion or an interest in biology.” Kirkton earned his bachelor of science degree from Denison University and his Ph.D. from Arizona State University. He
“WE FORM TEAMS IN THE CLASSES T H AT A R E M A D E U P O F S T U D E N T S WITH DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS, DIFFERENT MAJORS AND DIFFERENT G E N D E R S , A N D T H E Y S O LV E R E A L WORLD COMPLEX PROBLEMS.”
– Scott Kirkton
was also a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral researcher at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. He joined Union in 2006. Zaibert is one of Union’s most prolific researchers, with work focused on punishment, forgiveness and related phenomena. He has contributed to numerous publications. His most recent book, Rethinking Punishment, (Cambridge University Press, 2018) has been the subject of several symposia and special journal issues in the U.S. and abroad. “The teacher-scholar model can work in the context of a liberal arts college,” Zaibert said. “I don’t work with my students on my papers, but I find it tremendously stimulating to discuss things with them.
My research benefits from their input. My teaching benefits tremendously in that I have a live research agenda. The two things are inseparable. When an institution like Union permits that, and then promotes it, there is potential for really interesting work to be accomplished.” Zaibert earned his Ph.D. at the State University of New York, Buffalo, where he received the Perry Dissertation Award for outstanding doctoral dissertation. He holds a law degree from Universidad Santa Maria in Caracas, Venezuela. He joined Union in 2009. The Stillman Prizes were created by Abbott Stillman ’69, David I. Stillman ’72 and Allan Stillman in honor of their father and grandfather, Abraham Stillman. WINTER 2021 | UNION COLLEGE
A salute to service
he College commemorated Veterans Day with an event to recognize the contributions of alumni in the military. It included a panel with Dr. Estelle Cooke-Sampson ’74 (Army); Maj. General Robert S. Dickman '66 (U.S. Air Force, retired); and Kevin Flike ‘06 (Special Forces Green Beret). President David Harris and U.S. Air Force veteran Frank "Tad" Knight '68 gave introductory remarks.
he things we miss when we’re working remotely. Laura MacManus-Spencer, associate professor of chemistry, has a puppy named Freyja. College arborist Joe Conti and a friend won a blue ribbon at the Kimberton Fair in the two-man crosscut sawing event. Becky Cortez, professor of mechanical engineering and director of Engineering, whistles along with her daughter’s cockatiel. In a quest to encourage the kind of small talk that might happen in, say, the line at Starbucks in Wold Center, the folks in Communications and Marketing last fall launched “Catching Up With …” The series asks questions aimed at uncovering fun facts and the latest doings of campus colleagues. “The profiles are supposed to be light, informative and conversational,” said Phillip Wajda, director of media relations, who came up with the concept. “Sometimes we hit a home run, other times we rap a single. But with so many interesting faculty and staff on campus, we always swing for the fences.” To catch up with “Catching Up With …” visit www.union. edu/news/catching-up-with
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Prof. Laura MacManus-Spencer
Clockwise from upper left, President David Harris, Charles Bass (former R-N.H.), Jahnae Morgan ’21 and Albert Wynn (former D-Md.)
Forum addresses gridlock, police reform
R Joe Conti, college arborist
edistricting may be the best way to alleviate gridlock in Washington, said two former members of Congress in a virtual meeting less than a month before the election last fall. Speaking at a wide-ranging Forum on Constructive Engagement that also touched on police reform, the pandemic, poverty and social justice were Republican Charles Bass of New Hampshire and Democrat Albert Wynn of Maryland. The discussion was moderated by President David R. Harris and Jahnae Morgan ’21. Both speakers expressed frustration with party leaders who don’t need to compromise to be re-elected. “Leaders of both parties come from places where they don’t have to be tolerant of other peoples’ ideas,” said Bass. “[Legislators] who come from swing districts have to be tolerant of other people’s ideas and persuade them
even though they may not be from the same party.” Wynn spoke of the importance of compromise to make progress. “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” he said. “If legislation moves the ball down the field, then we should do that and then do more later.” Wynn also noted the importance of relief packages along with job creation, especially as the pandemic is “locking in the existing gap between the haves and the have-nots, between African Americans and whites.” The Constructive Engagement series at Union is aimed at enhancing our appreciation of the value of understanding other perspectives. Support comes from Kelly Williams ’86 and her husband, Andrew Forsyth, through the Williams Legacy Foundation.
Prof. Becky Cortez
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Union’s extensive and nationally recognized alumni network plays an important role in preparing students for their working lives. Today, more than ever, students are relying on our support to help them
Stanley R. Becker Career Center = career and graduate school planning + skill development + networking 12
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I have spent over a decade working with the Becker Career Center. During that time I’ve hired at least 14 Union graduates into various positions at Morgan Stanley. Union alumni are good for the bottom line! I urge my fellow alumni to reach out to the career center with job and internship opportunities. Remember, we were all Union students once. There is no substitute for paying it forward.” PAT HASKELL ’94, Managing director, Morgan Stanley
Making connections How can U help students and recent graduates?
Share job and internship opportunities with the career center Contact Bob Soules, career center director, email@example.com Serve as a networking resource through the Union Career Advisory Network (UCAN) Update your contact information at ucan.union.edu Speak about your career during alumni events and online programs Contact firstname.lastname@example.org Support stipends for summer internships and research Visit union.edu/give
LEARN MORE AT union.edu/becker-career-center
In May 2020, Lisa Freed ’86 participated in a virtual panel discussion, “Alumnae Perspectives on Careers in Engineering,” for students and recent alumni. It was sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), the Office of Alumni and Parent Engagement and the Women’s Leadership Institute. When Aikaterini “Katerina” Petridou ’21 later told Bob Soules, Becker Career Center director, about her interest in soft robotics, Soules knew exactly who to call. Freed happily introduced Petridou to a colleague working in that area. By the fall, Petridou had landed a coveted internship at iRobot to begin in August 2021.
Networking is not easy to learn and I enjoy making connections for Union students. Alumni can be particularly helpful by exposing students to careers or fields that they don’t think about because they haven’t experienced them yet. I enjoy talking to students like Katerina about how to apply the skills they’re learning in new and creative ways. If I can give back to Union by encouraging students to stay in the STEM fields and find a career path that suits them, I’ll feel that I’ve made a valuable contribution.” LISA FREED ’86, STEM program manager, iRobot I’m very excited to start my internship at iRobot after I graduate. I’ll get to put what I know into practice to hopefully make an impact on my community. Lisa Freed ’86 was very helpful and encouraging, and I’m grateful that she put me in touch with other engineers at iRobot. Union’s alumni network made a huge difference for me, and one day when I’m established in my career, I want to do the same thing for other Union students.” AIKATERINI PETRIDOU ’21, Major/minor: Computer engineering/ mathematics | Hometown: Thessaloniki, Greece
+ mentoring + internships + job opportunities + alumni network WINTER 2021 | UNION COLLEGE
n 1845, Union officially added engineering to its liberal arts curriculum, embracing and enhancing a new brand of education. In the 175 years since, the College has only grown more innovative in its approach to educating students across disciplines. These students have gone on to make indelible marks on the world in a variety of engineering fields. Here are few of the College’s accomplished engineering alumni.
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Leading the way in mechanical engineering Robert G. Huntington ’56 was part of the first class of mechanical engineering graduates. He holds an M.S. in engineering from Harvard University and a P.M.D. from Harvard Business School. He is owner and principal of Huntington Consultants. Robert has more than 35 years of management and technical experience in pollution control, heat transfer and energy recovery businesses serving a wide variety of industries—from cement and steel-making to power generation, waste to energy, petroleum refining and metallurgical. For over 25 years, he served as a senior executive operating and technical officer of three leading international pollution control companies. His responsibilities have included corporate profitability, marketing,
IT production, engineering, construction, finance, R&D and corporate acquisition/ divesture. He also planned, founded and staffed several subsidiary companies in the U.S., Great Britain and Brazil, and has engaged in corporate business ventures or projects around the world. Since 1994, through Huntington Consultants, he has provided consulting services to U.S. and international clients, including strategic planning, forecasting, marketing, product improvement, product design, specification preparation, organization, business valuations and acquisition strategies. Additional consulting services include operational troubleshooting, design, industrial air pollution control compliance planning and due diligence services /asset valuations for international acquisitions. Robert holds seven patents and is an active Union alumnus. He served on the Board of Trustee Advisors and was chairman of the Dean’s Engineering Council, earned five varsity letters in football and lacrosse, was a member of Block U Society, and was president of his class. Robert is also past president of the Glimmerglass Opera Guild, past director of the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and past director of the Pro Musicale Rara (Baroque Music Society). He is a member of the Samuel Huntington (Historic Preservation) Trust and the New York State Historical Association.
N C OLL
From construction to software, alumni shape the world
What are/were the most challenging aspects of your career? What are/were the most rewarding? Preparing for the challenges of the Clean Air Act, including developing my personal qualifications, forming a design/build business unit to supply industry with multimillion dollar environmental solutions, and running the resulting business in a responsible and profitable way. This was especially rewarding because it very successfully utilized many of my technical and business skills in a fast-track environment. These attributes and resulting experience were additionally rewarding when I founded a consulting business in 1994 that operated in this same market. How has your engineering degree been useful in another field? In my first job, I was leading an effort to develop an environmental thermo-electric air-cooling device for nuclear submarine use. The prototype I developed was placed on the SSN Thresher for trials. My mechanical engineering degree provided the foundation for the complex heat transfer and solid state Peltier performance analysis that was required. What was your most formative experience at Union? I started at Union in chemistry and switched into mechanical engineering my sophomore year, requiring substantial catching up of many engineering
prerequisites. This required extreme effort, coupled with my participation in athletics and fraternity affairs, I was challenged to manage my time effectively. This experience carried over to my professional endeavors. What’s the best piece of advice (professional or personal) you ever received? To not give up when things become difficult or when problems appear unsolvable.
Engineering for the environment Frank Darmiento ’67 earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Union before earning an M.S. in environmental engineering from Arizona State University. He served two years in the Peace Corps in WINTER 2021 | UNION COLLEGE
Bolivia (1967-1969), where his primary assignment was providing technical assistance to the Rural Community Development Program. He prepared designs and cost estimates for projects such as small schoolhouses, road surveys and water and irrigation projects. Frank spent most of his career working as an environmental engineer and manager for the utility industry (water and power). This transitioned into working as an environmental consultant. For the last nine years of his career, he managed the transportation research program for the Arizona Department of Transportation. Now retired, Frank continues his involvement with music as a performer, teacher, composer and conductor. In addition to performing with numerous music ensembles of all types, he founded La Forza Chamber Orchestra, a mid-sized symphony orchestra. Frank is the author of a book about his Peace Corps experience, Bolivia 30: Life as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the 1960s.
“A S A N E N V I R O N M E N TA L ENGINEER, ONE OF THE G R E AT E S T C H A L L E N G E S WA S D E V E L O P I N G C O S T- E F F E C T I V E S T R AT E G I E S F O R MY E M P L O Y E R S T O C O M P LY W I T H E N V I R O N M E N TA L R E G U L AT I O N S . T H E S E S T R AT E G I E S S AV E D UTILITY CUSTOMERS MONEY WHILE ALSO PROTECTING THE E N V I R O N M E N T. ”
– Frank Darmiento ’67
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What are/were the most challenging aspects of your career? What are/were the most rewarding? As a Peace Corps volunteer, I worked as the sole technical support for a regional rural community development office. There were no senior engineers to help me, save a civil engineering group in the main office 130 miles away. And they only assisted on one of my projects in two years. I was helping rural farmers with projects in their communities and my decisions affected their lives directly. The problemsolving skills I learned at Union were critical in helping me cope with these challenges. After the Peace Corps, I faced many challenging tasks over my four-decade career. Some involved matters of environmental protections, or environmental compliance requirements involving large sums of money. However, none had the significance of an aqueduct project I designed in a tiny village in Bolivia to
replace a wooden trough that washed out after each heavy rain. The local farmers relied on the associated irrigation canal to grow their crops. As an environmental engineer, one of the greatest challenges was developing cost-effective strategies for my employers to comply with environmental regulations. These strategies saved utility customers money while also protecting the environment. Developing these strategies required technical skill as well as excellent communication skills. How has your engineering degree been useful in another field? I use engineering skills learned at Union in variety of ways in my musical endeavors. These are mostly associated with organizing my schedule for teaching private music lessons. I also use problem-solving skills to organize the group when I conduct orchestras and prepare for concerts. What was your most formative experience at Union? I was fortunate that Union offered me the opportunity to pursue my musical interests while earning my engineering degree. In a parallel path, I studied music composition at Union and was co-leader of a jazz quintet with Dominic (Dick) Poccia ’67. He’s now professor emeritus of biology at Amherst College. Dick and I also created the Jazz Workshop at Union, a student-run jazz ensemble. I released a jazz CD on the Summit Records label in 2003. In that year, I also won a composition contest sponsored by the Dallas Wind Symphony for brass fanfares. What’s the best piece of advice (professional or personal) you ever received? As a Peace Corps volunteer, when I arrived at my work site in Bolivia I had a chance to talk to the volunteer I was replacing. In a town with no wastewater system, no electricity and only basic services, he told me that the busy volunteer is the happy volunteer. What he meant was that you
could tolerate a lot of adversity or discomfort as long as you believed you were doing something worthwhile. And that carried through my entire professional career.
Making his mark in energy and defense Thomas J. Baca ’76, then one of a few Hispanic students at Union, in five years earned a double major in mechanical engineering and Latin American studies. (His wife, Helen Kennicott Baca ’76 was a chemistry major.) He holds an M.S. in mechanical engineering and a Ph.D. in civil engineering, both from Stanford University. Retired after 35 years with Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M, his area of expertise was structural dynamics analysis, experimentation and design qualification. At Sandia, he contributed to the success of a wide range of national defense and energy projects, ranging from micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) devices to large-scale wind turbines and strategic missile systems. He retired as manager of the Analytical Structural Dynamics, responsible for using teraflop computer modeling to certify the functionality of nuclear weapon components without the use of underground testing.
He is an associate fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a lifelong member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. While at Sandia, he was heavily involved in the Hispanic Leadership Outreach Committee and Sandia’s STEM enrichment program for middle school students in the greater Albuquerque area. He spent 15 years as a member of the board of trustees of his high school alma mater, Albuquerque Academy. 2020 was his 14th year as a member of the Civil Engineering Department Advisory Board at the University of New Mexico. Thomas’ main hobbies are amateur photography and astronomy. He and Helen have traveled extensively across the U.S. and especially enjoy visiting their children and grandchildren on both coasts. They are providing full-time care and homeschooling for their two grandsons in Albuquerque. What are/were the most challenging aspects of your career? What are/were the most rewarding? I found the most challenging aspect of my career was dealing with change. I used a slide rule for my engineering classes and learned BASIC as a programming language at Union. By the time I retired from Sandia, we were using massively parallel computing platforms to solve multi-physics engineering simulation problems. I was consistently reminded that Union taught me not only how to learn (so that I could always modernize my set of engineering tools), but also taught me engineering fundamentals (so that I could judge the credibility of the results). The most rewarding aspects of my career were to use my technical and management skills to recruit and support the success of new generations of engineers. They continue to advance the art and science of engineering and tackle our most challenging engineering needs for the future.
How has your engineering degree been useful in another field? I am going to turn this question around and tell you why my Latin American Studies degree has been useful to my work in engineering. First, writing skills. My writing skills from my LAS degree have definitely been a boon throughout my career in engineering. Most engineers are not very adept in documenting their work and writing proposals. Second, problem definition skills. Social science analysis requires being able to integrate many different perspectives and phenomena into postulated theories. It is not an exact science, but studying political science, for example, is excellent preparation for formulating solutions to tough engineering problems. Finally, “thinking outside the box.” Studying the history, language, literature, politics and social structure of other societies is the essence of trying to extend our engineering norms to develop novel and game-changing engineering solutions. What was your most formative experience at Union? My first-year courses in engineering convinced me that I wanted to major in mechanical engineering. But my senior honors thesis on “Accelerated Fatigue Testing Of Artificial Mitral Heart Valves” as part of Prof. J. Richard Shanebrook’s research team showed me how integrating many aspects of my academic skills could
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come together to advance the state of knowledge on an important biomedical engineering problem. My most formative experience for my Latin American studies degree was spending my required term abroad in Seville, Spain. There, I did my independent study project on engineering in Spain and learned that the “American” way of living and engineering is not necessarily the only or best way to be happy or solve problems.
different operational and profit and loss roles over 40-plus years. During the past year, he has been president of a $1B segment and is currently responsible for global manufacturing, supply chain and facilities teams. Kevin has been active in various non-profit organizations over the last 20 years, serving as an officer and board member. He serves on the Board of Father Joe’s Villages, one of the largest homeless services providers in San Diego, Calif.
What’s the best piece of advice (professional or personal) you ever received? To be truly happy, use your talents and opportunities to make the world a better place for family, friends and fellow humans.
What are/were the most challenging aspects of your career? What are/were the most rewarding? Figuring out how to address the varied values of team members to ensure decisions are made in a timely manner and implemented effectively. The ability to balance the objective criteria surrounding a decision with the psychological impact on the team members affected by it, while retaining a sense of humor, remains the most intellectually challenging part of my day. I consider myself more of an amateur psychologist than an engineer most of the time.
Managing global supply chain and manufacturing Kevin Harkenrider ’77 graduated from Union with a B.S. in civil engineering before earning an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh. He is executive vice president of Global Operations at Viasat, Inc. in Carlsbad, Calif. Kevin has been in many
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How has your engineering degree been useful in another field? Within six months of beginning my first full-time job after graduating from Union, I became a supervisor. Practically speaking, I’ve been a manager of people ever since. An engineering degree provides analytical skills and helpful rigor to utilize in the search for the root cause of a problem. Combining engineering principles—and the discipline to ensure assertions are backed by proof—with empathy, curiosity, self-awareness and tenacity has served me okay. What was your most formative experience at Union? My spring semester of my senior year, I held a part-time job as intramural softball league coordinator. Over 50 percent of Union’s students participated. This meant I was responsible for coordinating
1,000-plus participants along with the myriad of umpire scheduling problems, weather delays, and equipment and field issues. I learned then that I enjoyed leading more than following. What’s the best piece of advice (professional or personal) you ever received? Lack of results + excuses do not equal results.
Helping to understand the electrophysiology of the brain Yvonne (Szymko) Bennett ’87 earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from Union and a master’s and Ph.D. in bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania. She also holds a master’s in audiology from Syracuse University. Yvonne is a program officer in the National Institute of Mental Health at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in the Office of Technology Development and Coordination, where she supports scientists and their research in brain imaging and electrophysiology, specifically with the Human Connectome Project and the Brain Initiative. She is developing a new initiative to harness artificial intelligence/machine learning methods using brain imaging and other data to help stratify patients. The hope is to apply these tools to the develop-
ment of new therapeutics for mental health disorders. She also supports the NIMH Suicide Research Team, an institutewide funding effort to decrease the incidence of suicide in the U.S. by 20 percent by 2025. Other career highlights include being a Mirzayan Science Policy Fellow at the National Academy of Engineering. Recently, she served as a review panel member for a funding announcement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “National Infrastructure for Mitigating the Impact of COVID-19 within Racial and Ethnic Minority Communities.” Yvonne supports junior scientists and encourages them to stay in science or a related field through local science fairs, as a member of the Association for Women in Science, and other forums. She also supports scouting and little league baseball in her area. In her free time, she likes to ski, sew, hike and go to art museums with her family. What are/were the most challenging aspects of your career? What are/were the most rewarding? For me, trying to raise a family and have a career as a military spouse has been the most challenging aspect. Moving with my spouse, a brigadier general in the U.S. Army, made it impossible to pursue an academic position. Enduring his three deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan made for some trying days. You learn to take things one day at a time, be resilient and seek the strength in your family. As a public servant, it is a true honor to be able to support the nation’s finest scientists and engineers conducting work in brain imaging at the NIH. The most rewarding times for me included experiencing the power of scientific discovery while at The Deafness Institute at NIH. There I reported new clinical findings in hereditary hearing loss, such as my work in Stickler syndrome, and helped contribute to the field of hearing science. Seeing
live sensory cells of the inner ear under a light microscope and examining their micromechanical tuning properties in my dissertation was also an amazing experience. The hearing science field is now beginning to see all of its efforts come to fruition, with a real possibility of applying gene therapy in the inner ear for the restoration of hearing. How has your engineering degree been useful in another field? Electrical engineering is a broad field and I have used my quantitative skills and analytic abilities in approaching problems in human and animal physiology—everything from coding, to working with all kinds of instrumentation, including magnetic resonance (MR) imaging systems and acoustics. What was your most formative experience at Union? In the summer of my junior year, Judy Dimauro Sarkis’87 and I spent time in the Lown Cardiovascular Laboratories at the Harvard School of Public Health as a part of the General Electric Expanded Horizons Scholars Program. This was my first foray into conducting biomedical research, and convinced me to pursue an advanced degree in biomedical engineering. What’s the best piece of advice (professional or personal) you ever received? My father had a huge influence on my career path—he worked at General Electric for 33 years. He was a ham radio enthusiast and built a model steam locomotive in our basement! The JETS program in my high school also gave me the confidence to give engineering a try. I was very torn between pursuing engineering and medicine. A JETS engineering mentor at Griffiss Air Force Base said, “You can do anything you want.” That clinched it for me.
“ A S A P U B L I C S E R V A N T, I T I S A TRUE HONOR TO BE ABLE T O S U P P O R T T H E N AT I O N ’ S FINEST SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS CONDUCTING WORK IN BRAIN IMAGING AT T H E N I H . ”
– Yvonne (Szymko) Bennett ’87
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What are/were the most challenging aspects of your career? What are/were the most rewarding? There have been challenges in each role I have held—development timelines, staffing, budget, client needs and more. My current role has been the most challenging and the most rewarding. Each day truly is different. Client issues come at all times and in a variety of severities. The rewarding part is enabling the team of experts, knowing when to pull the team together, and ultimately, resolving the issue. The work of my whole extended team strengthens our partnerships with our clients. When clients see our work and feel our support during the tough times, they typically understand and value our platform even more.
Managing technology across the globe Yvonne Turchetti ’02 graduated with degrees in electrical engineering and mathematics. She is director of IBM Z and Linux Client Care, responsible for the technical management of critical client situations worldwide. If a client has a serious issue, her team is involved directly. Yvonne started her career with IBM immediately after Union. She has held a variety of leadership roles across hardware, software, test engineering, portfolio management and technical support. Since 2005, Yvonne has been in management. The combination of leading and coaching teams, coupled with developing and enabling world-class technology, has been very fulfilling for her. Each day, she is “privileged to work with talented, brilliant, kind individuals.” Outside of work, Yvonne has coached youth athletics, including swimming, field hockey and lacrosse. In 2007, she started the girls’ lacrosse program at Red Hook High School. Yvonne served as head coach through 2018 and is now an assistant. 20
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How has your engineering degree been useful in another field? My entire career has been in and around the lab. I do not have to break out basic engineering principles all that often. But thinking like an engineer—following the data, understanding how hardware and software systems work together—I use those every day. What was your most formative experience at Union? My athletic teams and experiences—field hockey and lacrosse—undoubtedly shaped my Union experience. My teammates, the hard work, the successes and adjusting after losses—all were parts of that formative experience, and aside from a few more wins, I would not trade any of it. To build on that, many of my nights were spent in the lab with my friend and teammate, Heather. After hockey practice or a game, we would grab dinner and head to the lab to work much of the night. I believe a strong work ethic is integral to success and I definitely continued to develop one at Union. What’s the best piece of advice (professional or personal) you ever received? Enable your team.
Building a career in construction Molly (Flanagan) Larkin ’05 majored in civil engineering before earning an MBA from Union Graduate College. She began her career as a project engineer for Gilbane Building Company, a national construction management firm. Later, she joined the Design and Construction Group at the New York State Office of General Services as deputy director and was ultimately promoted to her current position as deputy commissioner. She is responsible for the business unit D&C, which performs design and construction public work and contracting on behalf of many executive agencies. It has a portfolio of over $1 billion in construction projects across the state. Sports have always been an important part of Molly’s life and a large influence on her sense of community. She volunteers on the board of Bethlehem Lacrosse Club and coaches her third grader’s team. Molly coached her daughter’s recreational soccer team. She and her husband, Ed Larkin ’05, remain involved in Union sports, especially football, soccer and ice hockey. A prominent soccer and lacrosse player at Union, she is very proud of her 2015 induction into Union’s Athletics Hall of Fame. Molly also enjoys sewing; she has made more than 400 facemasks since the start of the pandemic. She donated her first batch to the Ronald McDonald House in Albany and sent others to friends and family. A regular blood donor, Molly plays ice hockey in two adult leagues. She and her family support ReBuilding Together Saratoga County each year, as well.
“ENGINEERING TRAINED ME TO THINK ABOUT THE IMPACT YOU HAVE ON THE NEXT STEP AND T O P R E S S U R E -T E S T C A P A C I T Y. ”
– Molly (Flanagan) Larkin ’05
What are/were the most challenging aspects of your career? What are/were the most rewarding? Working as a public servant has brought a whole new meaning in 2020 in response to the pandemic. I have always enjoyed building things and helping people, and there is no better way to do both as an engineer than to be in public works. The most challenging aspects have been change-management and modernizing both operations and our workforce. Integrating processes into technology and making sure that it is sustainable and scalable. Before this year, one of the most rewarding experiences was working on the New York State Capitol (which is on the National Historic Registry) and restoring the historic laylights that were removed in the 1940s. There are only 50 state capitols in the country and the chances of being involved in a historical restoration of that significance and magnitude was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I also worked on a great team. How has your engineering degree been useful in another field? Although my career has largely been in engineering and construction-related fields, I recently helped another New York State agency with high-priority incident response during this pandemic. At first, I wondered about my qualifications to work in a field that was so drastically different from engineering. But I quickly realized my ability to ask questions until I understand how something works and to work with my team to find a solution was appreciated. I am confident that I added value to a wonderful team of people with diverse backgrounds. Many people shy away from asking questions, or know the answer prior to asking; I am not one of those people. Engineering trained me to think about the impact you have on the next step and to pressure-test capacity. The entire team had drastically different skills and technical backgrounds, but what we had in common
was an unwavering urgency to serve New Yorkers. Additionally, understanding specifications and drawings that form a contract and the interpretation of that contract, especially related to disputes and claims, has positioned me well for reviewing and analyzing impacts of proposed legislation. I never imagined I could be involved in or understand how the legislative process works, but I really enjoy the opportunity to respond to those requests. What was your most formative experience at Union? Sophomore year, Professor Andy Wolfe assigned our transportation class to volunteer as flaggers at a diabetes walk. Although at the time I did not appreciate it, my assignment was to stand near the entrance of a vacant parking lot. I directed hundreds of streaming cars (with my flag) to keep moving past my post. With my partner, we counted how many people followed directions, stopped to clarify the directions and finally, asked if they could be the exception and park in the lot we were blocking. It was very eye opening and I tell people the story often. Even if you design a system and have clear directions, you will always have people who think they are the exception. Fast forward 20 years, I am married to my classmate and Professor Wolfe and his son are now the goalies in my adult hockey league!
better. This is true professionally, athletically and personally. I tell that story often. Thank you, Jill! Professionally, I have a mentor who saw something in me and taught me to always treat everyone with respect and to help them understand the value they add in the operation. I started as an intern for the same group I lead today as the deputy commissioner, and I remember the people who treated me with respect in my position as an intern. Everyone has a role and something to bring to the team, regardless of their title.
What’s the best piece of advice (professional or personal) you ever received? They all relate to teams and relationships. Participating in athletics my whole life continued to shape me as a teammate and leader well before my professional career started. During a particularly difficult time for me athletically at Union—after tearing my ACL and spending countless hours in rehab—my athletic trainer, Jill Crary, told me that being the best does not make you a leader. You must inspire and bring the team along with your direction and example. Surrounding yourself with the right people makes you WINTER 2021 | UNION COLLEGE
Entrepreneurial engineering Matt Beenen ’09 earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Union College before becoming a product design engineer and founder of BuiltRight Industries. After spending a number of years leading another business in the automotive parts industry—and equipped with one invention he knew had potential—he decided to start his own company. In 2017, he was operating out of his home garage. Today, BuiltRight has more than 70 unique products, serves tens of thousands of customers a year and is preparing to build a new 20,000-square-foot engineering and manufacturing facility. Previously an intern with Polaris Industries, Matt was also a systems engineer for BAE Systems early in his career. He received the 2010 BAE Chairman’s Award for work in human/robot collaboration; the 2015 SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) 35 under 35 award;
and was the 2018 SEMA Launch Pad Business Competition Winner. Matt was also the 2019 SEMA Young Executive of the Year. His patented Bedside Rack System was named runner-up for 2019 Best New Product. In 2020, he was elected to the SEMA Leadership Council. He considers himself “both fortunate and cursed that my hobbies continue to turn into career opportunities.” Those hobbies have always centered on cars and trucks. He looks forward to restoring his first car (a 2006 Subaru STI), which has been under a cover for the last five years while he focused on his career and business. He and his wife, Meredith Brandon Beenen ’09, are active in their Connecticut community. During the pandemic, they have used BuiltRight’s five 3D printers to manufacture more than 3,000 protective face shields which were distributed to local hospitals, service organizations and healthcare workers. What are/were the most challenging aspects of your career? What are/were the most rewarding? Challenges and rewards are often closely related! In every role, I’ve had the opportunity to understand and influence many or all aspects of a project or business. This is something that I really enjoy. The result, however, is that whether it’s time or energy, I often run out of bandwidth. As BuiltRight Industries has grown, the biggest challenge I face is that I can’t work any harder than I do (and still have a life I love with my wife and daughter). So I need to be extremely careful with how I use my time and focus. The result is a critical need to identify and develop a killer team. Doing so has been the most rewarding part of my career. In summer 2020, Matthew Jones ’21 worked closely with me as a full-time paid engineering intern. Of course, there was the additional challenge of safely working during the pandemic. Even so, it was immediately obvious that “Matty” was a well-rounded engineer with a great work ethic. Most importantly, he was someone I
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Malysa Cheng Hurley ’09 and Brian Hurley ’09 with sons Brody and Ryder
could trust. He’s the kind of person I want on my team and we’re both excited that he’ll be starting as a full-time mechanical engineer after graduation in 2021. Investing in people and developing their skills is a big win for everybody. How has your engineering degree been useful in another field? I have stayed close to the engineering field and know that the problem-solving and analytical thinking is helpful in many of the business, marketing and communications aspects of my career. What was your most formative experience at Union? The Baja SAE college competition, where students are challenged to design and build an off-road race car, was absolutely critical in shaping my experience. Getting a completed vehicle to competition required that our group properly manage teamwork, design, fabrication and marketing with limited time and resources. Each year when we arrived at the competition, it was evident that many college teams had far more support and resources. That made our great performance all the more satisfying. Baja also contributed to what was my most formative experience at Union. Registering for the 2009 competition was the topic of an email exchange with my dad on an October morning during my senior year. That was our last communication. Later that morning, my dad unexpectedly collapsed and died at JFK airport. My father had attended the competition in Florida the year before and was looking forward to seeing us compete again. My Union friends saw me through that terrible loss and the Baja program become a way for me to stay busy and focus my energy. That year, we finished in 15th place out of 100 schools at competition in Oregon—a best ever for Union College Racing. What’s the best piece of advice (professional or personal) you ever received? “That’s good, keep going” is how I’ve shortened a bit of advice that my mom
(also a mechanical engineer) taught me early on. I know it doesn’t sound like precision engineering, but my mom always encouraged me not to insist on perfection or total confidence before moving forward. This advice has helped me jump out of my comfort zone, weigh risk and reward and manage competing priorities, knowing that doing those things well often leads to success more quickly and with fewer resources.
Engineering transformational change and capacity building Malysa Cheng Hurley ’09 studied mechanical engineering at Union before earning a master’s of mechanical engineering from Union Graduate College and an MBA from NYU Stern. Today she is an engagement manager in Implementation at McKinsey & Company. Malysa works mostly with organizations on transformational change and capability building programs—coaching clients through the design and implementation of organizational transformations. What are/were the most challenging aspects of your career? What are/were the most rewarding? I started my career with GE in their Commercial Leadership Program. I was working within the power generation industry, which was (...is) predominantly male, so that had its challenges. I remember being asked to fly down to Argentina to meet a customer about a wind deal, and was told the customer wasn’t happy when they saw a very young girl enter their offices. But I think I won them over when I was able to explain technical details about the equipment and technology. As a consultant, I’ve been able to work across many different industries and functions. I am always learning new things, meeting new people and being challenged in different ways. I’ve also become a very efficient traveler. I’ve been
able to hone in on the timing to get to the airport to allow just enough time for security, grabbing a coffee and water, and getting to the gate just as we are boarding. How has your engineering degree been useful in another field? The problem-solving techniques I learned across my engineering courses at Union helped build the foundation for effective and creative problem solving. What was your most formative experience at Union? The engineering community. We spent so many hours together in classes, on projects, doing homework, terms abroad. I may be biased but we were a really fun group. We had a lot of laughs in the lab and sometimes in class (I think that was at the peak of funny YouTube videos). I remember working at the table in the lab and someone took a bee out of the freezer and tied a string around it. When it thawed, it flew around on the leash. This fun community includes the professors as well. I helped coach Professor Keat’s daughter’s softball team while I was a student. After college, a few of us stayed close with Professor Davis. We still get together regularly for dinners with him and his wife– they’ve become like family. Oh, and also meeting my husband (Brian Hurley ’09) was quite formative. What’s the best piece of advice (professional or personal) you ever received? Be explicit with what you want and what you need. It took me until I had my first son to be bold enough to tell leaders what I needed to make work work. I wish I had started being so transparent much earlier in my career. WINTER 2021 | UNION COLLEGE
adventure in the outdoors through backpacking, mountain biking, cycling, skiing and climbing. A few highly recommended hikes include the John Muir Trail, the Wonderland Trail and the Tahoe Rim Trail.
Cruising along with autonomous vehicles Jonathan Wilson ’09 earned a degree in mechanical engineering. He went on to the University of Pennsylvania for a master’s in engineering (in integrated product design), which combined coursework from the School of Engineering, School of Design and Wharton School of Business. Today he is senior manager of fleet management at Cruise, a leader in the field of autonomous vehicle development. Jon leads a team that functions as liaisons between the engineering teams and the 24/7 autonomous fleet operations, to ensure allocation and prioritization of on-road testing aligns with the company’s objectives. Please share information about your community involvement, organization memberships, service or hobbies. At Union I was treasurer and president of the Outing Club. I continue to pursue
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What are/were the most challenging aspects of your career? What are/were the most rewarding? Working at Cruise has been amazing in many ways. The beginning involved scaling our team through dramatic hypergrowth, which was challenging, but also incredibly rewarding as I was witness to seeing peers grow into leaders. At that stage we also had so many problems to solve and processes to design and implement that every day was a land of opportunity. Identifying, prioritizing and tackling them felt like solving puzzles with an inspiring cross-functional team. As things calmed down, it became a time to harden the operation and chip away at the many continuous improvement opportunities. Today we are a well-oiled machine in some regards, but in the big picture it’s still the early days. The next chapter is going to be an order of magnitude larger and I cannot wait to begin the cycle anew. How has your engineering degree been useful in another field? My engineering degree has provided me with a creative and methodical problem solving skill set that I’ve put to work in a variety of fields including architecture, product design and fleet operations. What was your most formative experience at Union? My most formative experience at Union was unquestionably participating in the SAE Baja program. It provided the most tangible and applicable engineering design, planning and project management experience at Union, while at the same time being incredibly fun and rewarding.
“A S E N G I N E E R S , I T I S U P TO U S TO A N T I C I PAT E A L L T H E P O S S I B L E OUTCOMES OF OUR DECISIONS SO W E C A N A P P R O P R I A T E LY P L A N F O R T H E M . T H E R E A L I T Y I S T H AT I F W E
It was a highlight of my time at Union and I’m still proud of what our small team was able to accomplish.
D O N ' T, N O O N E E L S E W I L L A N D I T ’ S
What’s the best piece of advice (professional or personal) you ever received? A co-worker told me a story about one of his former bosses who wrote “Attitude and Effort” in indelible ink at the top of his whiteboard. It resonated because there is a lot outside our control, but attitude and effort are always up to us and are critical if you’re to be a good teammate and make a difference in the world.
– Jessica Sosa ’10
Overseeing on-site workers Jessica Sosa ’10 majored in mechanical engineering and minored in Spanish. She is a superintendent at Gilbane Building Company in New York City. She oversees trade workers specializing in mechanical, electrical/lighting, plumbing, drywall/
I M P O R TA N T T O N E V E R LO S E S I G H T O F T H A T R E S P O N S I B I L I T Y. ”
carpentry, cabinetry, appliances, paint, flooring, stone/tile, glass, hardware and more. It is her responsibility to understand the plans drawn out by the architects and engineers and match them to what is being built on site and what is physically possible. At Gilbane, Jessica co-leads the Latino Employee Resource Group (ERG) called HOL@ Gilbane. Through HOL@ Gilbane, she helps develop programming in support of diversity and inclusion for employees of Hispanic backgrounds and provides learning opportunities and resources for personal, professional and cultural growth. She also organizes volunteering efforts at local schools and participates in “Career Day” events for aspiring engineers. On a corporate level, she fosters a culture of ally-ship and anti-racism through webinars and open forums regarding race relations and unconscious bias in the workplace. Additionally, she supports economic inclusion efforts for Minority- and Women-owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) firms in the construction industry. Jessica was president of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) Student Chapter while at Union and she continues to work with local student SHPE chapters in the greater NYC area. She volunteers at career development workshops and industry lectures and engages in recruiting efforts for her
company. In her free time, Jessica enjoys biking, gardening, traveling and dancing. What are/were the most challenging aspects of your career? What are/were the most rewarding? One of the most challenging aspects of my career is general safety while working in the field. On a construction site, everything that seems set is not because it is literally still under construction. You must remain alert all day to ensure that every step you take is safe and free from hazards. This kind of awareness takes a lot of time and energy to develop, especially if you have not worked in a construction site before. It is very different from an office job, where you know that the floor you are walking on will not collapse from under you. Where you know that the guardrails you lean on are completely secure. With time you learn to spot hazards quickly and make decisions to keep yourself and your colleagues safe. The most rewarding aspect of my career is finishing. Reflecting back on a project that used to be a hole in the ground, but is now a massive structure that will outlive your days, is extremely powerful and gratifying. How has your engineering degree been useful in another field? My mechanical engineering degree has been extremely useful because I work alongside mechanical systems every day. Understanding how systems work helps me identify issues and isolate them in order to manage the damage they can cause in a project. Of all the theories I learned in college, the most prominent one is Murphy’s Law. The theory that “if something can happen, it will” and usually “at the worst of times.” As engineers, it is up to us to anticipate all the possible outcomes of our decisions so we can appropriately plan for them. The reality is that if we don't, no one else will and it’s important to never lose sight of that responsibility. WINTER 2021 | UNION COLLEGE
PL ANNING FOR TEMPLETON: What was your most formative experience at Union? My most formative experience was my mini-term abroad to Egypt with Professor Ashraf Ghaly. We explored the ways that engineering marvels throughout the country impacted civilian life in both ancient and modern ages. As a construction engineer, I’ve learned to consider the ergonomic aspects of a design in order to provide the most useful and functional space with the end-user in mind. This means making sure that undefined or under-defined features are coordinated in the most logical way to support the versatility and efficiency of the space we are building. What’s the best piece of advice (professional or personal) you ever received? As I grow in my career, I am learning to take a step back and spend more time thinking about people—the people behind achieving results and the people who will be impacted by them. Construction is a fast-paced, hazardous and downright dirty industry. Every single person that comes into work with you is living under the same unknown conditions and sometimes not under the same big-picture awareness as you. If you let the schedule and the bottom line supersede the health and safety of your team, you don’t get very far with efficiency or production. It takes teamwork to build a building. That doesn’t mean that you just push people to do their job. It means that you listen and care for each and every person, respect their craft and support them to be successful at their job. This “people first” mentality derived from a company motto we have at Gilbane. The more I have found myself applying it at work, the more I am noticing that trust and integrity is developing within my team. Especially now while people are still showing up to work despite undergoing personal affairs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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n planning for the Templeton Institute for Engineering and Computer Science, Jennifer Currey wants to hear from everyone, not just the engineers and computer scientists. As interim director of the Institute, Currey is leading the planning and implementation for a program that will do more than strengthen engineering and computer science. It will further integrate those disciplines across the entire campus. “One of the main goals is to get everyone at the table to talk about why this would be good for them,” said the associate professor of electrical,
computer and biomedical engineering. “As a committee and a campus we have to step back and ask what we want our students to get out of engineering.” The Institute is made possible by a gift of $51 million from 1980 graduates Rich and Mary Templeton. Besides the Templeton Institute, the gift will support the recruitment and retention of women pursuing a degree in engineering or computer science, enhancements to the curriculum, faculty support and further development of facilities. The gift was announced Feb. 21, 2020 at the launch of the "Powering Union" fundraising campaign. For more on the gift visit
‘get everyone at the table’
Prof. Jennifer Currey
https://www.union.edu/news/stories/20 2002/historic-51-million-gift-will-trans form-engineering-and-liberal-arts-union.
Recruiting women The recruitment and retention of women faculty and students is a priority. For Currey, that begins with the person at the front of the room. “We need to make sure that the diversity we’re seeking is reflected back to the students through the faculty who are in the classroom with them,” she said. “As a woman engineer, I’m able to share my perspective on issues I’ve seen in this field.” Equally important, she adds, is getting the message to men.
Recruiting women also means offering attractive programs, Currey said. Biomedical engineering, for example, is one of the division’s most popular programs with women. Finally, it means mentoring both in college and before. Currey cites the expansion of a mentoring program for women in mechanical engineering and EDGE, an outreach program aimed at steering high school girls toward engineering.
Liberal arts and engineering Also of particular interest to Currey is finding ways to bring students from the liberal arts into engineering.
“We won’t be successful by sticking an English major in a mechanical engineering class,” she said. Rather, success may come in the form of team learning experiences like the ones students have had in the new on-line Minerva courses. Those courses team groups of various majors to consider complex issues like climate change or social justice. “Graduates are going to work with a diverse group of people in industry, graduate school or wherever they go,” she said. “Having an appreciation for the way people approach problems is important. There are similarities between disciplines as well as some really cool differences.” The challenge, Currey said, is finding ways to build teams that represent a range of disciplines. In a capstone design team, for example, an engineer could cover the technical side. An economics major could do a cost analysis. A visual arts major could contribute to the aesthetic. An English major could handle marketing and communications. Currey is perhaps most excited about the possibilities the Templeton Institute offers for faculty to “get across campus.” “I think this is going to be really exciting for those faculty who want to engage with the liberal arts,” she said. “We came to Union for a reason. There are plenty of technical schools where we could teach. But there are not many Unions. We came because we’re passionate about the liberal arts, a sentiment I share with many of my colleagues.”
Currey, who joined the faculty in 2007, has served as director of Biomedical Engineering and as the Division IV chair on the Faculty Executive Committee. She also served as a faculty representative on an ad hoc advisory committee for engineering and computer science, co-chaired by Rich Templeton ’80 and Dean of Faculty Strom Thacker. Her research focuses on bone health and exercise. She earned her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
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As a student, Antonio Gutierrez '10 was a popular mentor at Kenney.
Alumni recall the impact of their days with Kenney Center 28
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he launch of the Ralph B. ’29 and Marjorie Kenney Community Center in 2000 began a program that would benefit the College’s neighbors and instill in hundreds of students and alumni a passion for service. The former Alps Grill has been a nexus for everything from afterschool homework help to volunteer income tax assistance. Named in memory of Ralph Kenney ’29 with gifts from his wife, Marjorie, and Fleet Financial Group, the building was a centerpiece of the UnionSchenectady Initiative, a neighborhood revitalization effort west of campus. Two-decades later, alumni recall their time at Kenney and its impact on their post-Union lives.
Shim-In Borneman ’13 Employment and training case manager for Native youth in Alaska At Union: music major, KCC volunteer, STEP mentor
“Looking back at all I’ve done with the Kenney Center and with the STEP program, I have learned and gained so much insight about working with young adults.”
Christie Dionisos ’19 This year she is conducting immunology research with plans to pursue a Ph.D. in neuroimmunology next year.
Antonio “A.J.” Gut
nal Education, a natio Co-founder of Saga tal en lem pp vides su non-profit that pro dents annually in 26 stu 00 3,5 to ing teach New York City, in ls public high schoo ae— ngton. (Three alumn Chicago and Washi d an ’09 ok thryn Co Kyra DeTone ’16, Ca re also leading core —a ’10 r lde Ho a Lativ areas of Saga.) or, y major, Kenney tut At Union: Philosoph Posse scholar the chance to learn “[Kenney] gave me challenges and the about some of the mmunity. I heard strengths of the co ts—their concerns, directly from paren s kids, and their dream ir their hopes for the ed lov importantly, I for the future. More in amazing students the th connecting wi Schenectady.”
After Union: Minerva Fellow at Witkoppen Health Clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa At Union: Major in neuroscience and gender, sexuality and women's studies KCC involvement: STEP mentor (2016), Junior Science program student leader (2015-2019), John Calvin Toll Day of Service (2015-2018)
“Volunteering at the Kenney Center was the first extracurricular activity I became involved in, and the rest is history. The majority of my involvement was through the Jr. Science program, organizing fun and educational experiments for elementary and middle school students every week for my four years at Union. Nothing put a smile on my face quite like seeing those kids. Being part of the Kenney Center community taught me to always show up. There were times when I was bombarded with school work or other activities, and cutting out community service for many students is the easiest thing to do. For me, I couldn't imagine cutting out this part of my college experience. While it kept me grounded and humble, it also made me realize you always can make time to help others.”
Mikaela Buryj ’20 After Union: Peace Corps, Ukraine KCC Involvement: Community Experience Pre-Orientation, Empty Bowls leader, Bethesda House weekly visits, Volunteer of the Year Award 2017
“If it wasn’t for the hard work [of Janet Sweeney at KCC] on campus and in the community … I wouldn’t have known about Bethesda House let alone gotten involved as a freshman. I am so grateful for the nurturing opportunities … which allowed me to see the great value and necessity of being involved out in the community. Volunteering was definitely one of the highlights of my Union career and I will miss the Kenney Center family so much! One of my greatest memories was receiving the volunteer award my freshman year. That was the first award I have ever really won and I will never forget how amazing that felt and how inspirational it was to listen to the other winners and look up to them and the work they were doing.” WINTER 2021 | UNION COLLEGE
Alumni recall the impact of their days with Kenney Center
Cybil Tribie ’11 Builder support coordinator for Evergreen Certified, a Seattle-based consulting firm that specializes in sustainable home building After Union: worked for a Miami engineering consulting company, then moved to Seattle to work with Americorps and as a construction volunteer lead with Habitat for Humanity. At Union: Environmental science KCC Involvement: STEP summer mentor, U-CARE program manager, Habitat for Humanity Club (founding board member). Cybil wrote and received a grant to improve the South Avenue Park in the College Park Neighborhood.
Liz Ackley ’11
“At Union, community outreach became a part of who I was. I worked at Kenney all four years of college and loved the opportunities and experience it provided me. It opened my eyes to volunteering and to the impact that even just one student can have on a community. Because of the Kenney Center, I spent two years working with Habitat for Humanity in Seattle, Wash. and still volunteer in the community.”
She is completing a fellowship in child neurology After Union: Fulbright Fellowship teaching in the Dominican Republic. Worked in a nextgeneration sequencing cancer genetics lab at Novartis Pharmaceuticals. Medical school at Columbia University and pediatrics residency training at Children’s Hospital of Colorado. At Union: Biology and Spanish & Hispanic Studies major KCC Involvement: America Reads (Leader— introduced an art component), SAIL (volunteer, coordinator), Big Brothers/Big Sisters, VITA tax program, Volunteer of the Year Award Recipient in 2009
“I cannot express adequately how impactful my time at the Kenney Center was in shaping a path for my future. Getting kids to learn and achieve was an incredibly rewarding experience. I was always curious to see if I could identify a particular reason why the student was struggling. Was it due to poor attention? Poor sleep? Or a learning disability? This is what inspired me to pursue a career in neurodevelopment. I plan to practice in an underserved area much like Schenectady to help identify and address medical and psychological issues that are preventing children from succeeding. I will always be grateful for my experiences at Kenney and for the opportunity to work with such dedicated staff including Don Austin, Angela Tatem and Janet Sweeney.”
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Emmanuela “Ella” Oppong ’19 Watson Fellow and aspiring international physician At Union: Biomedical engineering major and global service and education minor STEP mentor, Harry S. Truman Scholarship, Thomas J. Watson Fellow, Kathryn Wasserman Davis Projects for Peace award winner, Josephine Daggett Prize
“During my four years at Union, Kenney Community Center was one of the places I felt connected to. It was where I felt I could step outside of the books and lectures, to interact with the younger generation of students, and members of our Schenectady community. I think that Kenney Community Center is the heart of Union. It offers the platform to nourish and grow other parts of our being, in addition to our brain. For example, my heart always warms up during the “Random Acts of Kindness” week, led by Kenney Community Center. On such days, the vibe of the campus is completely different: it is bright, warm, welcoming and interconnected. I do wild and warm things, like give a random person a hug. Kenney played an important role in my growth and transformation at Union. Although I am an aspiring international physician, I also realized my passion for education because of my time at Kenney. Even during my Watson travel, I was able to pursue my passion for teaching (with kids and adults in the community); I hope to continue it in my future work.”
Aaron Ray ’10
s at Hamilton College. A Director of Opportunity Program mittee, he has presented member of the STEP advisory com t the college admissions to STEP students and families abou ry-age kids in basketball enta process. He also coaches elem College. lsior Exce at r ucto and is an adjunct instr ana studies Afric r and At Union: American studies majo and the rs Siste /Big hers minor. Volunteer for Big Brot ry schools enta elem l loca d visite Also American Red Cross. team. with the Union College Football worked at Union as an “Immediately after graduation, I five years. During that for ns issio assistant dean of adm hip with Angela Tatem time, I developed a close relations ed to appreciate the and Janet Sweeney and truly start n and Schenectady amazing work they do for the Unio to Skidmore, I kept in communities. After I transitioned Center and started ity touch with the Kenney Commun ents every summer, stud STEP hosting day trips for Senior ” day. this a trip that continues to
Fatima Hosain ’1 5 Resident physici an in emergency medicine at Yale After Union: grad uated from Alban y Medical College in 2019. At Union: majore d in biology and sociology, member of Lead ership in Medicine program, and earned an MB A
“I was lucky enou gh to be involve d with the Kenney Center in many different wa ys, including as a UC ARE Day program coordinator, pre-orientat ion leader and wo rk study student. My invol vement with the Ke nney Center helped m e develop importa nt leadership skills outside the class room and taught me the im portance of conn ecting with the local co mmunity. The va riety of opportunities fo r community ou treach greatly enriched my time at Union and helped mold me into th e socially conscio us physician I am today. In the years to co m e, I am confident that th e Kenney Center wi ll continue to inspir e future generatio ns of student leaders at Union and be yond.
Peter Durkin ’16 Account manager at FiscalNote, a global technology and media company that provides policy data, news, analytic, and workflow tools to help organizations assess and act on risk and opportunity. After Union: worked as Congressional aide and spent over two years in Democratic political fundraising. At Union: Political science major, history and Spanish and Hispanic studies minor
“I got involved in the Kenney Center's Homework Help and Skills Development Program during my first year. I felt I had a real impact in the children’s lives and it got me outside of campus and into the greater community. I know I speak for a lot of Union alumni when I say the College and Schenectady have greatly benefitted from all of the Kenney Center's programs and will continue to do so in the future.”
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Alumni recall the impact of their days with Kenney Center
Joe Fitzpatrick ’14 Public Health Social Worker at Boston Medical Center with responsibilities for case management and counseling for individuals living with HIV.
Maria Dreeszen ’14 Dentist At Union: Religious studies major (on a pre-dental track) and dance minor; Posse Scholar; Josephine Daggett Prize KCC Involvement: Junior Science Leader, 2012 Volunteer of the Year award for Class of 2014
“Volunteering at the Kenney Center was one of my favorite experiences during my time at Union. I always looked forward to my Thursday afternoons with the Junior Science program, which focused on teaching basic science concepts through fun experiments. This allowed me to give back to the community and encourage young minds to pursue the sciences. Often times, I was the one learning lessons from the students that I was teaching. The Kenney Center gave me a sense of purpose outside of my studies and became an outlet for me, a home away from home. It brings a smile to my face when I reflect on my time at the Kenney Center. It is a very special place of which I am honored to have been a part.”
After Union: worked two years in the New York City child welfare system as caseworker for families and children in foster care with chronic medical conditions and/or developmental delays. Earned a master’s in social work from the University of Pennsylvania, focusing on global human rights studies, economic justice and LGBTQIA+ health and social disparities. At Union: Psychology major KCC Involvement: Homework Help Program Leader
“I volunteered at the Kenney Center tutoring local elementary school-aged children at a weekly Homework Help Program. In my junior year, my good friend Christian Garcia ’14 and I were asked to co-lead the program and did our best to create a supportive, interactive and fun after-school environment for the children and volunteers. My time with Janet, Angela and the rest of the Kenney team solidified my passion for service and has impacted my career and personal journey. I’m proud to be a social worker and a Kenney Center alumnus. I encourage any Union student interested in service, advocacy or social justice to get involved!”
Naika Joseph ’12 Independently licensed social worker and clinician at a residential treatment program for men ages 14-21 with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. At Union: Majored in Spanish and Hispanic studies; double minor in sociology and Latin American and Caribbean studies KCC Involvement: Program Leader, Homework Help Club
“Volunteering at the Kenney Center was one of my most memorable and impactful experiences while I was a student. It was enriching and empowering to be around other like-minded faculty, staff and students, who understood the power and value of community. I wholeheartedly believed (and still do) in the work that the Kenney Center was doing and I often found myself encouraging others to become involved. I can see how it shaped my studies, having begun my undergraduate career convinced I was going to be in the medical field. When I reached my senior year … it dawned on me that social work was my calling and that working at the Kenney Center had been preparing me for my eventual progression to an MSW degree at the University of Michigan. It is so undeniably clear I would not be where I am today if it were not for being involved with this special place. It is, in my humble opinion, the heart of the school.”
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Urban Fellow at New York City Ec onomic Development Co rporation At Union: Biolog y major, Posse Sc holar, Klemm Fellow KCC Involvemen t: UCARE Day Stu dent Leader, STEP men tor, After-Schoo l Program Leader, work stu dy student. In 20 18, awarded a Gree n grant to make Ke nney Center more susta inable.
“The Kenney Ce nter was absolut ely central to my ex perience at Union . I found my sense of place and purpose in th e Union commun ity and the Sche nectady community. The opportunities I go t at the Kenney Center … shaped me as a person and leader. I use the skills I built th ere today in my care er.”
Macaire Grobe ’16 Recently earned master’s in biomedical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. After Union: served a one-year fellowship as a student ambassador to Germany through the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange. At Union: Bioengineering major, German minor; CBYX Fellowship KCC Involvement: After-school program leader, tutor, work study student, STEP presenter (after graduating)
“I worked at the Kenney Center as a work study student from 2013-2016, helping lead after-school programs and workshops. I also briefly mentored high school students in completing and presenting a science fair project. While at RPI, I have participated in department graduate council, which also includes STEM outreach. I have also returned to Union to give a lecture for two different groups of Summer STEP students about biomedical engineering.”
Chris Klein ’19 Third grade associate teacher at the School at Columbia University, an independent elementary and middle school. Taking classes toward a master's degree in the Sociology and Education program at Teachers College. At Union: Mechanical engineering major KCC Involvement: Volunteer and STEP mentor
“I worked as a STEP mentor the summer after my sophomore year and loved it so much that I switched my work study assignment to Kenney for my junior and senior years. To say that the Kenney Center affected my career trajectory would be an understatement. The Kenney Center affected my life trajectory. I met kids there who have taught me much about what it means to be an educator. I met people there with whom I still have a strong relationship today.”
mley, Director of volunteers, Baptist Hea and Rehab lth Nursing ilitation Cen ter, Scotia, N.Y. “Students fr om the Ken ney Center been volun have teers with u s at Baptist H years. They ealth for have worked with our re visited our sidents, residents, h elped them their memo write irs and mo re. They ar hopeful ex e such a ample of th e next gen such exem eration and plary role m odels. They sunshine ev bring ery time th ey visit!”
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e begin this year with a “Thank U” to the thousands of members of the Union community who have generously contributed to the four pillars of the $300 million Powering Union campaign: Ensuring Access, Propelling the Liberal Arts and Engineering, Developing Students Beyond the Classroom, and the Union Fund. Together, we have raised over $238 million for these important priorities as of Jan. 31, 2021.
To learn more about the Powering Union campaign and the difference your support is making in the lives of our students, please visit:
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Ensuring Access is at the heart of the Powering Union campaign and is more important than ever before. Preparing the next generation for whatever the future has in store means making sure as many talented young people as possible have access to every aspect of the exceptional education Union offers. This means expanding scholarship and financial assistance so that every student is able to take advantage of the complete Union experience. Along with traditional financial aid, family grants will increase access to more middle-class families, putting Union within reach for students from a broader range of socioeconomic backgrounds. Growing support for Making U Possible initiatives—including immersive opportunities like mini-terms, internships and pre-orientation—will guarantee that no student misses out on any aspect of their Union education because of financial circumstances.
The Gerber Family Endowed Scholarship
he Gerber Family Endowed Scholarship was established by Nancy and Robert Gerber ’76. It provides financial assistance to students facing unanticipated financial hardship or a change in circumstances causing a need or an increase to their aid. Preference is given to students of single-parent households or students without living parents. Robert majored in economics at Union College and holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in economics, both from Columbia University. He retired as partner and chief investment officer at Lord Abbett & Co. LLC. Nancy, who began her education at Union, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. A practicing psychoanalyst, she holds a Ph.D. in literature from Rutgers University, a master’s in psychoanalysis from Boston Graduate School and a certificate from the Academy of Clinical and Applied Psychoanalysis. Robert and Nancy live in West Orange, N.J. “Upon my retirement in 2016, my partners gave me a gift of philanthropy—a contribution in my name to a nonprofit of my choice. When I started to think about what I wanted to accomplish with the gift, I tried to think not about institutions, but about who I wanted to help. And I thought about those times when a student runs into trouble and has difficulty going on with his or her education. Maybe a parent passes away or loses a job mid-term, and it might be challenging for the student to get additional help. That happened to me as an undergraduate. I wanted to offer a hand to someone in that position. The seed capital of my retirement gift wasn’t enough to fund or keep the scholarship going in perpetuity, so Nancy and I contribute each year. We’re building up the endowment so it becomes a fully independent scholarship.”
Shea Delehaunty ’21 Shea is an English major who plans to pursue a career as a reading and language learning specialist. She lives in Marblehead, Mass. “Alumni support of and engagement with Union has been so important to my experience over the last few years. When my father passed away unexpectedly, the Gerber Family Endowed Scholarship allowed me to continue my education at Union without interruption. With alumni support, I’ve been able to take a variety of fascinating classes, pursue various extracurricular opportunities and study abroad. As I prepare to graduate and enter the professional world, I’m grateful to know I have the support not only of Union itself, but of the many alumni who have come before me. Their expertise and advice will be invaluable.” To learn more about the Gerber Family Endowed Scholarship, contact Steve Jo, senior director for Leadership Giving at email@example.com or (267) 797-4342.
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Diana Gazzolo ’78 and Marcie Harmon-Mackin ’76 (right) in Seville, Spain in 1976.
The AOP/HEOP Family Endowed Fund
he AOP/HEOP Family Endowed Fund was created by Eros Marshall ’96, Richard Aguinaldo ’89, William ’71 and Bonnie Selley, and Kirk ’03 and Rosanmi Campbell ’03. New York State’s Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) and Union’s Academic Opportunity Program (AOP) are access and academic support programs. They provide support for first-generation and traditionally underrepresented students who demonstrate high potential to compete successfully in an academically competitive collegiate environment. The fund provides assistance to AOP/HEOP students to support their participation in immersive experiences at Union.
Eros Marshall ’96 Eros Marshall ’96 studied biology at Union College and is now a managing director at Citi. He lives in Glen Ridge, N.J. “Had it not been for the generosity of others, I would not have been able to attend Union College. I appreciate the time I spent at Union. It is important to me to help provide a similar experience to the next generation and to stay connected to the institution.”
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The Richmond Fund
he Richmond Fund was created by Diana Gazzolo ’78 and Marcie Harmon-Mackin ’76 to help AOP students with term abroad expenses. Studying abroad changes lives, but the cost of plane fare and pocket money can make it challenging to take advantage of such wonderful experiences. Diana studied political science and psychology at Union College and holds a “Ph.D. from the school of hard knocks.” She is principal at Martin Grant Associates, Inc. and resides in Boston, Mass. “I am the only person to graduate from the AOP program from my Class of 1978. As a student of the AOP program, I wanted to find a way to give back to the program specifically. It was natural for me to honor Marcie when I made my gift. She really helped me stay in school. Marcie was my roommate freshman year. She was a junior and decided to take in a stray freshman like me. I know firsthand how valuable it is to have someone believe you can do something and then show you how to do it. I wanted to honor her and support the AOP program.” Marcie studied modern languages at Union College before earning an M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. Retired from Temple University, she lives in Wynnewood, Penn. “My exposure to AOP came from
Diana, my Richmond Hall roommate and longtime friend. At Union, I was fortunate enough to spend three terms abroad—including one in Seville, Spain, with Diana—and I appreciate the extraordinary educational and life-enriching value of those experiences. I am proud and thankful to be associated with a scholarship that helps provide that opportunity to students who might not otherwise be able to benefit from those special programs.”
Aleksandra Szumilo ’21 Aleks is an organizing theme major (engineering, film studies and digital art) who hopes to work in a creative position in media and entertainment industries after graduation. She lives in New York City and Warsaw, Poland. “I’ll be forever grateful for the endless support I have received through scholarships and the HEOP/AOP program. I know that without it I wouldn’t be where I am today. During summer 2020, with the support of alumni, I completed graphic design certification through Coursera. That later helped me land a remote video production internship in fall 2020. The generous support I received also helped me get new glasses when my vision got worse. It helped me with the costs of traveling home. It made it possible for my younger sister to become a Dutchwoman in fall 2019, also through the HEOP/AOP program. Knowing that we can pursue our deepest dreams without worrying about the costs is amazing. It motivates me every day to stay humble and work hard. Thank you alumni for all of your generous support!” To learn more about the AOP/HEOP Family Endowed Fund or The Richmond Fund, contact Steve Jo, senior director for Leadership Giving at firstname.lastname@example.org or (267) 797-4342.
The Class of 1989 Fund ENSURING ACCESS TO STUDY ABROAD
he value of a Union Term Abroad is clear. Most alumni recall their study abroad program as one of the most formative experiences of their time at Union. But the extra cost associated with study abroad has prevented some students from participating. Several members of the Class of 1989 have come forward to endow a fund to support high-achieving students who dream of study abroad but lack the financial resources. “If we can change the equation so that all students can get the worldly experience of a Term Abroad, then we’re moving the needle on what they will have coming out of Union,” said one donor. The Class of 1989 Endowed Terms Abroad Fund directly supports Making U Possible: The Presidential Initiative for Scholarship and Immersive Excellence, which is a centerpiece of the Powering Union campaign. “All too often, finances are the only impediment to a student taking a term abroad,” said Lara Atkins, director of international programs. “The Class of
1989 fund ensures that more students have access to a signature Union program. We are indebted to those alumni who want future generations to also gain valuable experiences that will shape their personal and professional lives.” The fund will help students on a full 10-week term abroad to cover out-ofpocket expenses such as airfare, visa and medical fees, health insurance, excursions and personal expenses. Because financial aid is not applied to three-week mini terms, the fund will help students cover the program fee for tuition, room, board, airfare, health insurance and group excursions. For more than five decades, the College has offered faculty-directed study abroad programs that today involve about 60 percent of Union students. While COVID-19 has disrupted in-person study away programs through winter 2021, the College is preparing to resume these signature programs once it is safe to do so. To contribute to the Class of 1989 Endowed Terms Abroad Fund, contact Lisa McGrath, senior major gifts officer at email@example.com or (518) 388-6088.
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Eric ’91 and Susan Miller with children, from left, Alexa; Hunter and Jake ’22.
ERIC ’91 AND SUSAN MILLER
ric ’91 and Susan Miller know well the value of internships in launching a successful career. “A big part of college is figuring out how to land a job,” Eric said. “What better way for a student to explore what a job is actually like than to live it day to day?” But the Millers also recognize that for some students, particularly during this pandemic year, the need to earn money may preclude them from pursuing valuable non-paying internships. Which is why the couple has funded the Summer Community Service internship program through the Becker Career Center. With the Millers’ gift, students last summer interned with four organizations: an outpatient psychiatric program in Connecticut; a YWCA in El Paso, Texas; a political campaign for a candidate backed by the Sierra Club; and a summer camp for disadvantaged youth. “We felt good about giving opportunities to students who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to do those internships,” Eric said. Added Susan: “It really helped them to
UNION COLLEGE | WINTER 2021
build their resume so they can go out and find a permanent role once they leave Union and ultimately be philanthropic back to Union.” “The Millers’ gift makes a big difference,” said Bob Soules, director of the Becker Career Center. “It allows students, who otherwise may not be able to participate, to engage in very meaningful internships which benefit the student, the community and those in the community service organization they serve.” Eric was a managerial economics major at Union who had several internships with GE before he graduated. He began his career in financial services through a Becker Center connection with Robin Scheman ’84. She had run recruiting at Banker’s Trust and always made a strong effort to land a Union student in the analyst department each year, Eric recalled. Eric’s career path has brought him through Banker’s Trust, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Barclay’s and today at Credit Suisse, where he is a Managing Director. He earned an MBA at night through New York University.
Susan is co-founder and managing partner of Miller Klein Group, an executive recruiting firm. A graduate of the University at Albany with a B.A. in communications, she also holds a master’s degree in organizational psychology from Columbia University Teachers College. Susan got her start through Albany’s career center. “I believe the career center is one of THE most important departments at any college,” she said. The Millers describe themselves as “a big Union family.” Their son, Jake ’22, is a political science and history interdepartmental major, who did a mini-term in Spain. Other Union relatives include Eric’s brother, Stephen Miller ’89; Susan’s sister, Leslie Orner Neiditz ’89; and brother-inlaw Steven Neiditz ’90. “We have watched Union for three decades since graduation and the stock is going up,” Eric said. “It’s encouraging to see the path forward.” To support internships for Union students, contact Lisa McGrath, senior major gifts officer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (518) 388-6088.
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WINTER 2021 | UNION COLLEGE
Ever wonder what Union professors are up to when they aren’t teaching? Just about everything, as it turns out. Nothing is beyond their collective reach or curious minds. Here’s a glimpse of the diverse and intriguing work they do.
Check it out • Initial translations and other information are available at https://passionplaysof eighteenthcenturymexico. omeka.net/ • A preview of ethnographic documentaries is available at https://drive.google.com/ file/d/169dGXeywKtqzdrne 76myYwVdz_IsKfm9/view 40
UNION COLLEGE | WINTER 2021
Making historic plays accessible D A N I E L M O S Q U E R A , professor of Spanish, Hispanic and Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
hen Daniel Mosquera is finished, plays once suppressed by the Catholic Church and the Inquisition will be accessible to anyone anywhere in the world. Focusing on “Passion of Christ” productions in 18th Century Nahua Christian theater in Mexico, he and his colleagues have built a website that will house confiscated plays, related Inquisition reports and historical analysis. “Since the XVI Century, both Nahuatl- and Spanish-speaking residents of colonial Mexico put on performances of ‘Passion of Christ,’
creating locally embodied enactments of this core Christian narrative,” Mosquera said. “Always embroiled in disputes over religious authority and orthodoxy, these staged spectacles fell under strict censure in the mid-18th Century. During that time, church authorities added an Enlightenment-inspired disdain for emotive display to their distrust of popular—especially indigenous—religion.” The project will digitize all manuscripts and make available English translations from indigenous Nahuatl and Spanish “Passion”
plays. It will provide transcriptions of original and standardized versions of the plays. All documents related to the Inquisitional persecution of popular indigenous devotions will be transcribed into English. And the site will feature short ethnographic documentaries that explore “Passion of Christ” enactments in some central Mexico towns, where they are still performed today. The performances and interviews were filmed between 2009 and 2011. “Given the multifaceted nature of this corpus and the interdisciplinary approach to its translation and analyses, we felt that a freely accessible digital platform would best capture and make accessible the richness, complexity and pluri-semantic value of Mexican indigenous Christianity,” Mosquera said. Mosquera is responsible for translating the Spanish plays and Inquisitional case into English, as well as for their contextualizing and analysis. He is also responsible for the documentary video components. Mosquera is co-director of the project, along with Louise M. Burkhart, professor and former chair of the Department of Anthropology and former director of the Institute for Mesoamerican Studies at the University of Albany. Other members of the team include Abelardo de la Cruz de la Cruz, Nahuatl native speaker and doctoral student in the Department of Anthropology at the University at Albany; Rebecca Dufendach, research specialist and digital design expert at the Getty Research Institute; and Nadia Marin-Guadarrama, associate researcher in the Department of Anthropology at the University at Albany. The project is funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. – Erin DeMuth Judd
Following her curiosity, by foot S H E N A M c A U L I F F E , assistant professor of English
s a student and teacher, McAuliffe has moved a lot. At each town, she walks, seeking out interesting people and places. “I follow my curiosity with my feet,” she said. Richmond, Indiana, is a Rust Belt town pushed up against the eastern border with Ohio. Richmond has its share of boarded windows and poverty. But it is also layered with stories, and it is home to Earlham College, where McAuliffe was a visiting professor of creative writing. Few outside of Richmond know the town is the final resting place of the woman who stood by her preacher husband and followed him, along with two of her children, into a mass suicide at what was supposed to be a utopian settlement in the jungle of Guyana. When McAuliffe learned the town was where cult leader Jim Jones began as a street preacher and where his future wife worked as a nurse, she set out to learn more about the Peoples Temple and Jonestown. And, naturally, to walk to the grave of Marceline. Her quest is captured in an essay, “Marceline Wanted a Bigger Adventure,” which won the prestigious Pushcart Prize and is republished in the 2020 Pushcart Prize Anthology. It is part of a recently published 16-essay collection, Glass, Light, Electricity that essentially traces the writer’s journey across a decade of moves from the northwest to the northeast. The title essay, a treatise on the lure of neon lights, was listed as notable in Best American Essays 2020. McAuliffe is interested in people like Jones, whose idealism and progressive ideas are derailed by their own limitations or blind spots. She also is interested in people like Marceline, whose stories are overshadowed by larger figures and not part of the public record.
She began the project with a question for Marceline: “How could you love him, marry him, stay with him and allow this to happen to your children, your friends and yourself?” What she learned from Marceline is perhaps a lesson for all: we need to recognize when we have followed a person or a cause too far. “As we pursue ideas or want to change the world, it’s important not to get too swept up,” she said. “And yet I don’t want to warn people away from pursuing meaningful and important things. Many of the people at Jonestown started with the idea that they were creating a utopian society, but then it went so wrong. That puzzle is part of what drew me to write the essay.” Walking, at once therapeutic and meditative, is also important to McAuliffe’s creative process. In another essay in Glass, Light, Electricity titled “The Distance Between is an Unbroken Line,” McAuliffe chronicles a walk she took from her home to the campus of the University of Utah, where she earned her Ph.D. She creates a map of her walk by trailing a line of turquoise yarn to which she attached notes about points of interest, encounters with other people, and her thoughts along the way. The essay documents the walk, which she also calls a performance. At Union, a class McAuliffe teaches on the literature of walking investigates the relationships between walking, thinking, reading and writing. The course begins with “old walkers” like Thoreau and Wordsworth, but focuses equally on contemporary writers who consider
walking while Black, walking while blind, or walking in a war zone. Students also write about their own weekly walks. For McAuliffe, starting a walk brings excitement. “I don’t know what I’ll encounter on this walk, what I’ll see, who I will talk to or what I will find in myself in this experience. I guess I’ll go find out.” – Charlie Casey
WINTER 2021 | UNION COLLEGE
| MEDIA |
BURK KETCHAM ’48
RON SINGER ’62
ROBERT SCHAFER ’64
MICHAEL WESCOTT LODER ’67
Green Hollow Press
Inequality: Piketty’s Capital in a Nutshell
Beetle: The Autobiography of a Virtual Girl
This is a story about greed set in the small fictional upstate New York city of Dyken Falls. Dyken Paper, a paper mill specializing in watercolor paper for artists, has been owned and managed by the Van Doren family for over 100 years. There are 150 employees. Chet Van Doren, the CEO who owns 80 percent of the stock, dies and leaves the company to his only son. Douglas attended Exeter and Cornell. He is a snob who does not like Dyken Falls and is not liked by the employees of Dyken Paper. When Chinese buyers appear, Douglas decides to sell to them with the loss of 150 jobs. The Albany Tribune hears of this and Walter Murphy writes articles under the heading, “China Bound?” Walter, who attended Union College, becomes the hero of the story.
Gravy shares the theme of aging with Singer’s previous work, The Promised End, but, rather than a story collection, the new book mixes three genres: fiction, satire and poetry. This multi-genre collection covering life after 70 is divided into five sections— the preoccupations of the elderly, accountancy, books, activism and family (surrogate and real). The tone of the book follows this dictum, quoted from “A Voice For My Grandmother,” a memoir of the author’s maternal family that is included in Gravy: “There are few things I hate more than stories about lonely, impoverished oldsters sitting by their windows feeling bored and bereft. I don’t even like these characters when they turn up in English murder novels as the neighborly snoops who peep through the curtains for 20 years until one fatal day they see something which solves the whole case. They, and the writers, for that matter, should get a life. Anyway, they, the writers, need better plots.” To view a reading by the author, visit http:// www.unsolicitedpress.com/ store/p275/gravy.singer.html
Hemlock Lodge Press
One of the major issues facing modern societies is the increase in income inequality—the growth in wealth is not being shared among all segments of society. To form a basis for proposals on how to deal with this problem, Thomas Piketty has undertaken a massive analysis of data from many countries. His book on the role capital growth and ownership plays in income inequality has been widely circulated and discussed. But are his conclusions correct? In Inequality: Piketty’s Capital in a Nutshell, Robert Schafer provides an overview of Piketty’s analysis in an abbreviated and understandable presentation. Schafer finds that Piketty’s analysis does not entirely support the conclusions nor policy proposals that Piketty presents. Some of his theoretical explanations are not supported by his data. While Schafer agrees that there is a close link between capital ownership and income, he presents an alternative approach to dealing with the increasing problem of income inequality, an approach that he argues is just as politically viable as the tax on wealth that Piketty suggests.
Set on a modern-day university campus, Loder’s third novel introduces Lanie Whitehead (also called Beetle)—a smartass, interfering but compassionate, virtual girl. Jeff, her nerdy creator, has programed her to help him graduate and find him a “flesh” girlfriend who will put up with his less-than-perfect social skills. For Lanie, it’s a full-time job, that also requires her to deal with paranoid administrators and a possessive former boyfriend. She can walk through any wall, listen to any conversation, but she cannot leave campus or actually touch anything inanimate. Nor, come graduation time, can Lanie protect either Jeff or his girlfriend from her ex-boyfriend’s violence. A dozen years pass, and someone in the university salvage store turns her computer back on. The resurrected Lanie soon discovers that every person she knows is gone, and the ex-boyfriend is remembered as a martyred hero. Being a super-smart virtual girl, Lanie investigates, discovers the truth then kicks butt. A bittersweet, often funny story of courage, growth, love and finding understanding.
UNION COLLEGE | WINTER 2021
RAYMOND ANGELO BELLIOTTI ’70
Values, Virtues, and Vices, Italian Style: Caesar, Dante, Machiavelli, and Garibaldi Fairleigh Dickinson University Press
Belliotti’s 23rd book is a narrative of longing, exhilaration and devastation; a journey of the spirit that all human beings necessarily undertake but navigate with varying degrees of success. This work carefully examines the values, virtues and vices of four famous historical figures and a host of overlapping but distinct concepts, such as pride, honor, will to power, justification, excuse, repentance and forgiveness that frame human existence. The lives of Caesar, Dante, Machiavelli and Garibaldi demonstrate how we can lead staunchly meaningful lives even within an inherently meaningless universe. Belliotti’s objective is that by conducting such an interdisciplinary inquiry we might better position ourselves to craft our characters within the limitations enjoined by our cosmic circumstances. As always, however, we must deliberate, choose and act under conditions of inescapable uncertainty; assume responsibility for the people we are becoming; and, hopefully, depart the planet with honor and merited pride.
MICHAEL FRIEDMAN ’74
WALTER BOROTTO ’74
NANCI RUSSO MONACO ’78
Zürich, Switzerland, Greater Than a Tourist
Homicide: Party of Twelve
Covid Kids: Joy’s Story of Coping in a Difficult Time
Zürich is one of the great cities in the world. It has physical beauty, wonderful highly educated citizens, views of the Swiss Alps across Lake Zürich, a remarkable history and wonderful and unique food and drinks. It has been held to have the highest quality of life of any city in the world and it has the highest per capita income of any city in Europe. It has been the home to Albert Einstein and naturalized Swiss citizen Tina Turner. This book will be your insider’s guide to Zürich and you will get great travel tips from someone who— thanks to Union College—lived there for a year and has visited many times since. In Zürich, you will meet friendly people who speak a dialect that no one else can understand, but virtually everyone speaks excellent English. You will eat delicious food and cheeses and drink wines, beers, liquor, and soft drinks found nowhere else. You will see and maybe play sports you have never heard of and you will have a boat ride on a beautiful lake from which you will see the most beautiful mountains in the world.
Homicide: Party of Twelve takes us to Jersey City, where the boss of Chez Alain restaurant has just been gunned down in a drive-by shooting. Frankie Fortunato, a hardworking server, moves up to become the new manager. New Jersey State Police Detective Matt Klimecki catches the case and to help solve it leans heavily on the restaurant’s employees including Frankie and his girlfriend, Gabby D’Angelo. The plot twists and turns as Frankie struggles to please the owners and reopen the restaurant, while also dealing with the opposing forces of gunrunning criminals and the authorities who are trying to catch them. Walter writes under the pen name Michael Bronte. This is his ninth novel.
This is a story about a young elementary school child who is concerned about her mother’s exposure to the virus while working as a nurse; her anxiety about social distancing from family and friends; attending online school; and the changes her family faced when her father lost his job. The book is designed to help children compare and contrast their own family changes to those of the main character. It includes a parents’ guide with suggestions for identifying teachable moments to develop coping skills, reduce anxiety and feelings of helplessness. As the family slows its pace, a benefit of their increased time together is that the child learns more about her parents’ jobs, how to help her community, how to bond more with her older sibling and how to connect with her grandparents psychologically (despite social distancing). The book ends by asking children to draw a picture of how they are learning to cope with COVID-19. That artwork will be compiled and ultimately displayed on CovidKidsbook.net. The author is licensed physiologist and an associate professor of child development in the Department of Education at SUNY Buffalo. WINTER 2021 | UNION COLLEGE
| MEDIA |
JOHN C. LEVEY JR. ’81
BILL ACKERBAUER ’96
TINA HAUPERT ’02
The Gospel According to Angela
“Chicken Milk & Other Mysteries”
The Everything Macro Diet Cookbook
Skunk Jacket Records
Simon & Schuster
Black Lawrence Press
Highly creative and original, The Gospel According to Angela is a compelling, suspenseful thriller with mystical undertones. A woman who has suffered unspeakable loss, a mysterious girl who seemingly wields miraculous powers, a dedicated but lonely sheriff, a diabolical murderer… and God. Maybe, inexplicably, the four main characters find themselves intertwined in a surreal conflict, each pursuing their own ideal of salvation. Propelled by an action-packed story, the novel explores the fundamental challenges of the human condition and ultimately illustrates the universal power of love.
During some unexpected downtime at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, Bill wrote several songs with his seven-year-old son, Finnegan. Before long, they had enough material to put together a full-length album of novelty songs for children. Listen and download the album at https://smokinbill.bandcamp. com/
You can finally stop counting calories and start eating foods that bring you joy. With the macro diet, no food is off limits. The Everything Macro Diet Cookbook is an introduction to this flexible diet that can help anyone lose weight without having to avoid your favorite foods that may contain fats or carbs. Based on the simple formula that balances the daily intake of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, the macro diet is gaining in popularity as people discover they can shed pounds without feeling deprived. This cookbook not only includes an introduction to the diet, but also 300 recipes and sample meal plans to make shopping and meal prep easier than ever. It gives you all you need to transform your body while eating what you love.
Set in the 1930s, and spanning the globe, The Good Echo is the story of a marriage between controversial nutritionist and dentist Clifford Bell, and his quietly courageous wife, Frances. After their young son dies from surgery Clifford performs, the two seek to escape their grief through unconventional means, traveling from Ohio to Sudan, to substantiate a theory of which Clifford’s colleagues are skeptical. Narrated in turn by Frances and Clifford, and by the ghost of their son Benjamin, the book is composed of postcards and bedtime stories, folktales and family legends, travel and research notes. The Good Echo celebrates the healing that can arise through sustained curiosity, and how our deepest sadness sometimes initiates the boldest adventures of our lives. The Good Echo is winner of the The Big Moose Prize and the Balcones Fiction Prize.
See story on p. 57.
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: Office of Communications Union College Schenectady, NY 12308 Or send synopsis and high-resolution image to: magazine@ union.edu
UNION COLLEGE | WINTER 2021
SHENA McAULIFFE, assistant professor of English
The Good Echo
Parents Circle Amy and Carlo Merlo P’23 with children (from left) Cody, Camryn, Carmen ’23 and Casey
JORDAN SMITH, Edward Everett Hale Jr., Professor of English
Little Black Train Three Mile Harbor Press
he Parents Circle is a philanthropic group that works in concert with school leaders to enhance the Union experience for students and their families by supporting faculty, staff and the broader campus community. Members become College insiders and investors in its success, ultimately developing stronger ties to their student’s Union experience. We invite you to join with us in supporting the educational programs and activities that will make your child’s Union experience extraordinary.
We are entering the chapter of our lives when we are helping our children with their final educational preparation before they begin their careers. We are so pleased with the experience our daughter is receiving at Union College. If we all commit to give what we can to Union, we will preserve this privilege for generations to come. – Amy and Carlo Merlo P’23
Old loves—especially music and art—once again kindle a poetry of beguiling eloquence and erudition for Jordan Smith. Highlights of this collection include two memorable suites of poems: “Eight Hats,” based on paintings by Walter Hatke, and “Sketches for a Novel,” drawing on paintings in the National Gallery of Ireland. The pull of the past is strong for Smith, and these poems are replete with references to touchstones of other eras— straw boaters, Wobblies, R.D. Laing, old time hymns, Monopoly games…but nostalgia is leavened by a new political urgency, the ecstasies and explicatives of today.
To learn more about the Parents Circle, please contact: Noelle Beach Marchaj '05 Director of Parent and Family Philanthropy Cell: 860-655-2875 firstname.lastname@example.org union.edu/parents-families WINTER 2021 | UNION COLLEGE
Alumni Clubs The Alumni Leadership Series examined “Growth Strategies for You and Your Business” in part one of its “Reimagining the New World of Work” program. Panelists included Jennifer Baum ’87, founder & CEO, Bullfrog + Baum; Jay Freeland ’91, retired chairman of the Board & interim CEO, Perceptron, Inc.; Steve LeClair ’91, president & CEO, Core & Main, LP; and Brandon Torres Declet ’97, CEO & founder, Measure. Catharine Potvin ’97, founder & CEO of Stragility LLC, moderated the virtual event. In honor of the 100th anniversary of Union radio, alumni shared their WRUC experiences and the impact that the station had on their lives. Pictured here, Phil Alden Robinson ’71, film director and screenwriter for Field of Dreams, Sneakers and The Sum of All Fears.
Susan Maycock ’72 hosted a 6-week “Living Upward” series.
The Alumni Leadership Series examined “Leadership Skills for Today’s New Reality” in part two of its “Reimagining the New World of Work” program. Panelists included Kate Stefanik Barry ’01, partner at Isaacson, Miller; Rich Delaney ’80, retired senior vice president, global operations, PepsiCo; Julie Holunga ’95, principal & executive coach, Chinook Executive Solutions; and Roy Jackson ’82, retired senior vice president, business development & industry affairs, The Coca-Cola Company. Catharine Potvin ’97, founder & CEO of Stragility LLC, moderated the virtual event.
Don’t miss out! Nick Matt ’67, chairman & CEO of F.X. Matt Brewing Company, led a Saranac Beer Co. tasting event.
Alumni and current parents enjoyed an election 2020 discussion with Professors Zoe Oxley and Clifford Brown. 46
UNION COLLEGE | WINTER 2021
Check out the wide array of webinars sponsored by the Office of Alumni & Parent Engagement and the Women's Leadership Institute over the past several months at ualumni.union.edu. Whether you’re interested in Russian history, beer tasting or advice about your career, there’s something for everyone. You'll hear from experts—including alumni, trustees and faculty—and student speakers. Are there topics you’d like to suggest for our 2021 series? Share them with us at email@example.com.
Alumni who have celebrated their 50th ReUnion.
GARNET GUARD CLASS CORRESPONDENT
John Honey ’61 121 Waterside Dr., Box 1175 North Falmouth, Mass. 02556 firstname.lastname@example.org
Please save the date for the Garnet Guard’s virtual meeting in May 2021. Details will follow soon.
1951 CLASS CORRESPONDENT
James Taub 711 S. Market Street Johnstown, N.Y. 12095 (518) 762-1172 email@example.com
1953 CLASS CORRESPONDENT
Hubert Plummer 21 Temple Road Setauket, N.Y. 11733 (631) 941-4076 firstname.lastname@example.org
1954 CLASS CORRESPONDENT
Avrom J. Gold 33 Madison Lane Hilton Head Island, S.C. 29926 (908) 581-1455 email@example.com
1955 CLASS CORRESPONDENT
Ken Haefner 1346 Waverly Pl. Schenectady, N.Y. 12308 firstname.lastname@example.org
William Deuell 2666 Steeple Run Lane Manteca, Calif. 95336 email@example.com
1957 CLASS CORRESPONDENT
Paul Mohr 140 E Duce of Clubs Ste A Show Low, Ariz. 85901 firstname.lastname@example.org Peter G. Kansas, M.D., a board certified ophthalmologist in the Capital Region, has retired after nearly 60 years of providing health care for generations of patients. He has served as clinical professor of ophthalmology at Albany Medical College, and founded Kansas Eye Surgery Associates and co-founded the Albany Regional Eye Surgery Center. He had a great impact on the field of cataract surgery, with a patent for manual small incision cataract extraction method and instrument. In 1992, Ocular Surgery News pronounced his phacosection technique one of the 10 best surgical techniques in the world. He has authored several textbooks and contributed to scores of peer-reviewed articles. Peter has trained thousands of eye surgeons and participated in international missions, providing eye care and surgery around the world in underdeveloped areas. In retirement, he looks
N O TE S
forward to travel with his wife, Dianne, and pushing his skiing ability beyond the Five Black Diamond expert level.
updates you would like to share for the magazine, contact me at email@example.com or (310) 629-8971.”
Anthony Ehrlich writes, “2020 has been a terrible year in terms of mortality, disease, stress—you name it. One bright spot in it for me, if only a minor one, is that I have become a published author. Two of my essays (‘Last Words’ and ‘Where Are They Now?’) have been included in The Berkshire Edge, a daily online publication that features literary work, cultural notifications about events at Tanglewood, Berkshire theaters, etc., and local news. And I recently read some of my poetry at an open mic event in Ormond Beach sponsored by the Creative Happiness Institute. I not only survived the reading but garnered some applause.”
1958 CLASS CORRESPONDENT
David C. Horton 68 Paul Revere Road Lexington, Mass. 02421 firstname.lastname@example.org
1959 CLASS CORRESPONDENT
William “Dal” Trader 5361 Santa Catalina Avenue Garden Grove, Calif. 92845 email@example.com (310) 629-8971 Dal Trader writes, “Members of the Class of 1959, if you have
Charles E. Roden firstname.lastname@example.org Joel Kupersmith writes, “Along with a professor of anthropology and the chief VA historian, I put together a course at Georgetown University for second-year students titled ‘Veterans: Hero, Victim, Threat.’ Courses about veterans’ issues are unique for major universities and we also have a number of senior government officials as outside speakers. In addition, I have just received a $1.2 million grant from the VA to lead an AI database project on opioid abuse. It involves VA, several universities and health plans.”
1961 CLASS CORRESPONDENT
John Honey email@example.com
1962 Kirke Bent writes, “I’ll go into the good stuff. The short version: Wonderful family, solid career. The longer version: I finally graduated and started at the Prudential as a grunt programmer @ $102/week. I retired as VP, equipment and software planning. In that
WINTER 2021 | UNION COLLEGE
CLASS NOTES 48
assignment, among other things, I purchased mainframe gear. I took us from all-IBM to fairly evenly split between IBM, Hitachi and Fujitsu. It was hard and terrifying but resulted in really good prices. Along the way I had technical, financial and administrative gigs. My coolest titles were when I was VP, administration and board member of a subsidiary while still an officer of the parent. Again, along the way, I got an MS in computer science, was awarded a software patent, and authored two peer-reviewed journal papers: one on a new recursive function for calculating Catalan numbers and one more recently on evaluating reciprocal cost allocation using Markov matrix math. That last may wind up being influential, replacing a few textbook methods.”
and more students he wanted to teach. A man of great strength of will and determination, as well as great kindness and humanity, he will be sorely missed by Roz, his wife of 58 years, his daughters, his colleagues and friends, and his former students around the world.” Noah is further remembered on pg. 72.
Elaine Catz and Debra Hershkowitz write, “Our father, Noah Hershkowitz, died Nov. 13, 2020 at the age of 79. He was an internationally renowned and much-respected plasma physicist who shared his love of his field with generations of students at the University of WisconsinMadison. ‘Physics,’ he once explained, ‘is like a jigsaw puzzle that’s really old. All the pieces are worn down. Their edges are messed up. Some of the pieces have been put together in the wrong way. They sort of fit, but they’re not actually in the right places. The game is to put them together the right way to find out how the world works.’ Despite having primary progressive multiple sclerosis for almost four decades, he kept finding out how the world works—because there were always more experiments he wanted to do, more theories he wanted to test, more equipment he wanted to build
UNION COLLEGE | WINTER 2021
Noah Hershkowitz ’62 died Nov. 13, 2020.
when Western letter forms are constrained by E. Asian aesthetic conventions Westerners take it for Chinese, and so fail to ‘see’ meaning, even as E. Asians, fully expecting to find meaning, discover none. In practice, vertical English can appear beautiful, expressive, effortlessly incorporates visual effects, improvisations. And all easily done with any standard calligraphy pen, say, on any blank greeting card. In other news, here’s a quick, quirky, by-the-numbers, catch-up bio: 25 years a student, AbD in History, NYU; 25 years IT systems analyst & management; 30 years this past October with my sweetheart; 35 years a calligrapher, Kampo School, 5th Degree, Advanced; 55 years since Union; and 65 years an artist … with a son, daughter-in-law and two wonderful grandchildren.”
George Ball 6929 Country Line Road Wayland, N.Y. 14572-9553 firstname.lastname@example.org
1966 CLASS CORRESPONDENT
Antonio F. Vianna 7152 Tanager Drive Carlsbad, Calif. 92011 email@example.com
1967 CLASS CORRESPONDENT
Joseph Smaldino 6310 Lantern Ridge Lane Knoxville, Tenn. 37921 firstname.lastname@example.org (815) 762-5984
1968 CLASS CORRESPONDENT
John Dresser Etna, N.H. email@example.com
1969 CLASS CORRESPONDENTS
George Cushing Delanson, N.Y. firstname.lastname@example.org
1965 Alan Rosner writes, “Twenty years after Union, I started writing text vertically so pre-conscious pattern recognition wouldn’t immediately shift from observation to decoding language. That led to formal calligraphy studies in 1987 and then a serious return to writing vertical English in 2000. In 2019, Union publicized my ‘Instructional Chapbook for Translating Horizontal to Vertical Text.’ Now an ‘Advanced Instructional Chapbook,’ in preparation, will shift the focus from fluid vertical lettering to a functional, directly legible, semi-cursive script—a meeting of East & West. As proof, these equal but opposite confusions:
common misconceptions about food and drug safety and includes examples of unanticipated health effects. The book is available on Amazon and at BarnesandNoble.com
Ray Pike Salisbury, Mass. email@example.com A Groucho Marx observation in vertical text: “Outside of a dog a book is (a) man’s best friend, inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.” Read left to right as Groucho would, but read right to left as Yoda might.
Jim MacGregor, Ph.D., D.A.B.T., has published a book based on his experience in product safety evaluation and regulation titled A Natural Mistake: Why natural, organic, and botanical products are not as safe as you think. It discusses
A new book by Carter Page, son of Allan R. Page ’69
Allan R. Page writes, “Have always wanted to write a book. Next best thing is to have your son or daughter write one. Hot off the press from my son, Carter—Abuse and Power: How an Innocent American Was Framed in an Attempted Coup Against the President.”
1970 CLASS CORRESPONDENT
Frank P. Donnini Newport News, Va. firstname.lastname@example.org Howard Blank writes, “The past 12 months have been quite a roller coaster and I am still unsure as to where we are on this ride. At least I know we are still living in Switzerland. The highlights included getting fitted for my spacesuit for the hopefully soon-to-be-ready, Virgin Galactic sub-orbital flight. While officially retired, I still kept a bit active in the oil-trading world. On a more personal note, I tested positive for COVID in April; for me, a mild but debilitating infection. Between that and the COVID world consequences, no automobile racing. Our daughter, Jessica, was scheduled to get married at Lake Como, Italy, in September but given the quarantines and travel restrictions, the party has been postponed until 2021. As she and her (now) husband are living in New York City; they still married on the expected 2020 date but via Zoom. Where this voyage goes from here, who knows?” Wendy Cole writes, “I was in the Class of 1970 as Larry Cole. I've worked in the technology field my entire career and the last 20 as a contract consultant designing and developing corporate global intranet applications. In 2015, I came out as transsexual/ transgender. Larry is my male
representative’s name and Wendy is my name now. I had my surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center with Dr. Rachel Bluebond. I am now a gender transition mentor and advocate—a coach for those transitioning. I’ve helped and influenced people over the last five years informally and it inspired me to advocate and try to make a difference. Website: www.wendycolegtm.net.” Charles Cusimano writes, “After a satisfying 48-year career in radio and television, I retired in January , expecting to visit Union for my 50th Reunion in May and the 100th anniversary of WRUC in the fall. Well, that didn’t work out as planned! In any case, my wife Mary and I are enjoying life in Sarasota, Fla., where we’ve lived since late 2003. Unfortunately, we’ve been unable to visit our nearly 6-year-old grandson in Southern California, but hope to make that our first trip when it’s safe. And, of course, get back to Union for those postponed festivities.” George Dodson writes, “I’m retired from an amazing career at IBM. I was elected to the city council of Colleyville, TX. During COVID-19, our council has done as much as possible to help our businesses by allowing takeout food and giving every household $70 coupons to spend in our city’s businesses. We have assisted the businesses in applying for loans and grants to keep them in operation. Being a 50-year computer veteran, using computers to communicate has been normal because I have been consulting long distance with clients for over 20 years. God has blessed me and my wife with good health and no COVID yet.”
Frank Donnini, class correspondent and long-time Newport News, Va., resident, writes, “I have kept relatively busy during the pandemic in ways different from what was normal. Now three years into retirement, still taking Lifelong Learning Society classes, but everything is done virtually at this time. Yoga for seniors and open art studio work well; other classes not as much. Favorite place for wife Zell and me to go walking over the many months continues to be nearby Colonial Williamsburg.” John Hammerstrom writes, “My wife, Diane Marshall, and I are healthy and happily retired on the east (wet) side of the Big Island of Hawaii. We are growing vegetables, half way through building an off-grid home and involved with several volunteer organizations.” Bill Munno writes, “Peter Ericson (VA) has kept far flung classmates—John Hammerstrom (HI), Ross Fraser (CO), David Beardsley (NH) and others—connected with daily emails from Heather Cox Richardson (Letters from an American), Dan Rather, Andy Borowitz (satirist at The New Yorker), the Washington Post and the NYT, with thought provoking articles. With the pandemic, there is time for reading, reflecting and hoping that our 50th Reunion can take place in 2021. I am looking forward to catching up with classmates and wrestling teammates from earlier years.” Bill is senior counsel at Seward & Kissel LLP in NYC. Ray Oneglia writes, “Celebrated 50 years at family construction business O&G Industries based in CT. As a third-generation member, I am part of a Union family group including Greg Oneglia and Ken Merz (both ’69) and Ernie Torizzo ’63,
who continue to mentor a fourth-gen group of seven. Company founded by my grandfather will celebrate 100 years in 2023.” Neil Kramer writes, “Being editor of Concordiensis was the best part of my time at Union, but I gave up journalism for graduate school in history at Claremont in California. I’ve been a secondary school teacher and administrator in Los Angeles independent schools for most of my working time, which is ending now as assistant head of Geffen Academy at UCLA. My wife Robin still works, after a distinguished career in local government and philanthropy, as managing director of a foundation. Our three sons include one Union alum (Gabe ’09), who is a political consultant in Los Angeles, one restauranteur in D.C., and one film finance agent in Hollywood. We are also blessed with two splendid daughters-in-law and one granddaughter. At Union, Robin and I have established the David Potts Fund for Research in History, to honor my friend and advisor, and to enable students to have the kinds of experience like the one I shared with Tony Woods, Ted Steingut, Dean Hoffman, Floyd Weintraub and Prof. Bill Bennett at Concord College in West Virginia in the fall of 1968.” Leighton “Chris” Wood writes, “Retired on Dec. 31, 2018 after 40+ years working in the computer data storage sector, the sexiest place to work in any IT-related field. I was looking forward to meeting up with Richard ‘Rat’ Miller, William ‘Chow’ Hartt and Joe ‘Niskayuna’ Godlewski, among many others with whom I shared many adventures growing up. Hope you all are healthy and well.” WINTER 2021 | UNION COLLEGE
Theodore S. Steingut writes, “Enjoying life during COVID (or as the Talking Heads said ‘during wartime’). Carolyn and I are spending winters in Florida at the Hunters Run Club in Boynton Beach and spring/summer/early fall in N.Y., where we play golf at Inwood Country Club. Greatly watching our granddaughter, whom Floyd Weintraub nicknamed the OAO (one and only Nova Stoller) about to graduate from Lehigh and start work at E&Y and FaceTime, videos and photos of CAP (Charles Allen Powell)—our daughter Rebecca’s son pushing 2 in Austin, Texas. Sadly, not seeing the Texas family during COVID until who knows when but we do see our son Chad and his wife Nina, who have lived in Connecticut since it started, having closed on a weekend house on March 4. Sort of retired unless someone needs a lawyer whose mind still seems to operate despite a degenerate life. Missing my best friend ever, Floyd Weintraub, taken from us way too soon and who would have loved a 50th ReUnion at U.C.”
1971 CLASS CORRESPONDENT
Henry Fein, M.D. Rockville, Md. email@example.com Fred Maxfield is in his 26th year as chair of the biochemistry department at Weill Cornell Medical College. He has trained 50 postdoctoral research scientists and 15 Ph.D. students, and he has published more than 250 scientific papers. This summer, he was pleased to host a Union student for a (virtual) research internship. He and his wife, Christine, are living in Chappaqua, N.Y.
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a psychotherapist and 26 years in solo practice in Newport News, VA. My wife of 40 years retired in June. I am a full-time writer, and have had four poems published in Ritualwell. org. For those who are contemplating retirement, I highly recommend it!”
Fred Maxfield ’71
Scott Bowen writes, “Retired this spring from Binghamton University, served as the director of Government Relations/Economic Development and as adjunct instructor in the Health and Wellness Department (Karate). Previously, I had served as a prosecutor for the NY Organized Crime Task Force, head of the Southern Tier Regional Office for the NY Attorney General, commissioner for the NYS Insurance Fund, as an attorney in private practice, and as an assistant district attorney (Broome County).” Jerry Levine, MD, MBA, writes, “As of Aug. 1, 2020, I have retired from medical practice and administration. Beginning my career as an infectious disease doctor in 1980, at the very beginning of the AIDS epidemic, and ending it 40 years later as a chief medical officer during the COVID-19 pandemic is amazing. I have been blessed with a great career, loving family and friends! I look forward to the next phase of my life journey. I wish well to all my classmates from the Class of 1971, and to all Union graduates and current students!”
1972 Fred Levy writes, “April 17, 2002, I retired after 46 years as
Dr. Aaron Feingold is the long-time chairman of the Department of Cardiology at Hackensack Meridian JFK University Hospital. This year a new cardiac wing and state-ofthe-art cardiac catheterization lab was named in his honor.
A new wing named after Dr. Aaron Feingold ’72 at Hackensack Meridian JFK University Hospital
to La Quinta, California, with my wife, Diane, in 2015. After passing the California Bar exam in 2019, and surprisingly after eight months being found to have a positive moral fitness to practice law by the State Bar of California, I was admitted to practice law in California in May of 2020. I immediately became a member of the California Young Lawyers Association for the next eight years: https://calawyers.org/ california-young-lawyersassociation/overview/. In 2019, I wrote Zürich, Switzerland, Greater Than a Tourist, which is available on Amazon. It required that I had lived in Zürich for a year, which I did as an exchange student during my junior year at Union College in 1971-1972. I attended the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule in Zürich, which is the only thing Albert Einstein and I have in common.” Jennifer Smith Turner recently won the 2020 NYC Big Book Award (in the women’s fiction category) for Child Bride. This is the second national literary award Jennifer has received.
Republican incumbent Jim Tedisco was re-elected to the 49th Senatorial district of New York State. This was his 20th win.
1973 CLASS CORRESPONDENT
Larry Swartz Niskayuna, N.Y. firstname.lastname@example.org
1974 CLASS CORREPSONDENT
Cathy Stuckey Johnson San Mateo, Calif. email@example.com Michael Friedman writes, “After a career as a family law attorney in Delmar, New York, I moved
Jennifer Smith Turner ’74 won the 2020 NYC Big Book Award, in the women’s fiction category, for Child Bride.
Taking the trail not taken
BOB SHAGES ’72
n 1963, a National Geographic article about the first Americans to climb Mount Everest captivated Bob Shages ’72. Fifty-six years later, in 2019, he realized his goal of seeing that legendary peak with his own eyes. While “any aspirations of summiting passed long ago,” Shages climbed to the Everest base camp that November. “The strange thing is, it is hard to see the massiveness of Everest from the base camp as other mountains mostly block it from view,” he said. “We actually got a better view from the top of adjoining Kala Patthar (18,400 feet), which we hiked the following morning.” “Trekking through Nepal, every day the scenery was more impressive as we went up through forests to scrub vegetation to well beyond tree line, where it is mostly grey rock,” Shages continued. “But I was most impressed by the Sherpa people who live at these high elevations. There are no roads and everything comes in on the back of a man or beast. “What we thought of as an adventure, they live every day with a peaceful
calmness that makes you look at the world a little differently.” Seeing things differently, and seeing different things, is what has drawn Shages to hiking all his life. Between his junior and senior years at Union, he worked in Switzerland and took a mountaineering course. Since then, he’s hiked in New Hampshire, New York, Virginia, Colorado and Pennsylvania—with high lights coming in the form of Yellowstone, Olympic and Yosemite National Parks. “I like taking the trails not often taken and getting to see things few people get to see,” Shages said. “In Yellowstone, I avoided every popular trail and discovered, up close, many geysers and waterfalls that those who stay in the tourist areas never get to enjoy.” “I also got chased by some young buffalos who thought the trail belonged to them,” he added. But the unexpected—especially when it comes with purpose—is one of the best things about hiking for Shages. “In 2002, I climbed Kilimanjaro as part of a fundraiser for a British charity doing
work in Africa. And for 18 years, I have been doing the Rachel Carson Challenge—a 35-mile up-and-down trail near Pittsburgh that has to be covered between sunrise and sunset,” he said. “It’s an annual reminder to stay in shape.” “I also recently added the Bataan Memorial Death March in New Mexico,” Shages continued. “It’s a 26-mile trek through the desert to commemorate the survivors of the Bataan Death March in World War II.” When he’s not out in the woods or on top of a mountain, Shages consults for General Electric on government contracts. Before he retired from the company in 2016, he worked in several of GE’s industrial product and services businesses in the U.S. and abroad, and was part of GE’s inaugural Six Sigma Master Black Belt group. He holds a BSEE and an M.S. in industrial administration, both from Union. Shages remains involved with the College as an alumni board member of Sigma Phi. He and his wife, Susie ’74, live in Pittsburgh, Penn.
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In April, the novel was named the best eBook in fiction for 2020 by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Child Bride tells a story about the coming-of-age journey of a young girl from the South who joins the African-American migration to the North, and finds her way through challenges and unforeseen obstacles to womanhood. In the segregated South of the mid-1900s, 14-year-old Nell bears witness to a world that embraces the oppression of women. She is fascinated with the prospect of being an independent person. But when she turns 16, she is married off and brought to the city of Boston as a bride. Estelle Cooke-Sampson was featured in a documentary film that was screened at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival in October. Geographies of Kinship is a powerful tale about the rise of Korea’s global adoption program. Learn more at https://festival. vcmedia.org/2020/movies/ geographies-of-kinship/ Virginia (Bade) Frame writes, “All is well. I went to graduate school at Columbia and earned my PhD in pharmacology. There I met my husband, Lawrence Frame, MD. We moved to Pennsylvania, where he continued his research in mechanisms of arrhythmias and cardiac antiarrhythmic drugs. I had a productive and interesting career managing clinical drug trials for several pharmaceutical companies. I enjoyed riding, training and competing horses in combined training events (dressage, cross country jumping and show jumping). It’s a passion that I shared with our daughter, Chelsea. Chelsea is a physician’s assistant. We are retired. We had hoped to
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continue to travel but COVID has put a stop to that for a while. We live in Pennsylvania.”
1975 Mark Dobday writes, “I hung up my lab coat and retired in June 2019. My wife Sandy and I sold our house in Medway, Mass., packed everything up and moved to Polson, Mont. on Flathead Lake. We are busy restoring the house Sandy grew up in. I am still doing some lab consulting and working with the ASTM Soil and Rock committee. We are looking forward to getting out into the mountains and on the water soon. Hoping that our three East Coast children will get to come visit us this summer. Old friends and past and present members of the Union Geology Dept. are invited to stop by and sample some of the 26 breweries in the area. Glacier Park is only 71 miles away.”
Mark Dobday ’75
The fifth Park to the Nott Ride to Fight Parkinson’s, a fundraiser for the Michael J. Fox Foundation’s fight against Parkinson’s, was held this fall. Due to the pandemic, this year’s ride was limited to 100 miles on Sept. 26, 2020, from the home of Garret Andrews ’78 in Woodstock, N.Y., to the Nott Memorial. Riders included Fred Weil, Phil Mueller, Dave
Fred Weil ’75, Phil Mueller ’75, Dave Gordon ’76, Thomas Siragusa ’83, Adam Schwartz ’96 and Sara Miltenberger ’15 participated in the 5th Park to the Nott Ride to Fight Parkinson’s.
Gordon ’76, Thomas Siragusa ’83, Adam Schwartz ’96 and Sara Miltenberger ’15. The group raised $12,000 in their annual effort.
1976 CLASS CORRESPONDENT
Jill Schneier Wegenstein Carmel Valley, Calif. firstname.lastname@example.org Robert Johnson writes, “First off, I would like to apologize to the other Robert Johnson in my graduating class for wearing his highly festooned graduation gown, which I received in error. They had mistakenly handed him the wrong box. As I remember, he wore a nice suit rather than my plain-vanilla black gown. Feeling guilty about this, however, may have fueled my subsequent life-long drive to be worthy of such an honor. After graduation, I began a master’s program in industrial design at The Pratt Institute. It was heaven. My thesis was the design and validation of a unique wind rotor design. From there, I was a production support engineer at an aerospace company. I trouble-shot defective production boards and designed test equipment to speed up the calibration of
sensors for a Grumman surveillance aircraft. After this, I worked at another aerospace company that produced actuators. I designed the digital portions of their first microcontroller-based actuator products. Next, it was on to Bell Laboratories, where I was part of a small group that demonstrated Lucent’s first predistortion-based RF amplifiers. We were spun off as a startup, which grew to 150 employees at which point Lucent bought us back. I was at [the now] Alcatel-Lucent for a while as a contractor until they had to cut back and that job ended in 2012. From then on until a few jobs ago, it was all unsatisfactory contract jobs, which left me disheartened but at least I managed to see our three offspring finish their education. Things picked up a bit and I recently found myself at Lockheed-Martin designing FPGAs (don’t ask). During all this time I managed to complete 12 NYC Marathons, write a screenplay, be featured in an article by The Smithsonian’s Air & Space magazine (Sept. 2015, ‘Where Did Max Miller Die’). Perform in a production of ‘A Midsummer Night's Dream,’ was runner-up in Pool & Patio magazine’s
landscape design contest, and was awarded a number of USPTO patents and joint patents. I have a backlog of 20+ product ideas, which I may finally have time to address. I am just getting started. I think I am now worthy of the graduation gown which fate bestowed on me back in 1976.” Lew Insler writes, “After living my entire life in New York State, my wife and I moved to Asheville, N.C. at the end of August. We are loving the mountains of Western N.C. and I’m doing lots of cycling on the quiet but very challenging roads around here with the Blue Ridge Cycle Club. My wife just retired from her faculty position at SUNY College of Optometry while I continue my semi-retirement, working part-time from home writing Federal Court appeal briefs on behalf of Social Security Disability claimants in N.Y. and Connecticut. Everything is submitted electronically so the move did not change my practice; though that’s probably the only thing that hasn’t changed! We’d love to hear from any grads passing through, or others who may have relocated here as well!” Scott Dolin writes, “I retired in July from Hartford Eye Physicians, P.C. after 35 years in the private practice of ophthalmology. When things return to normal, my wife, Diane, and I will be splitting our time between our homes in West Hartford, Conn., and Boynton Beach, Fla., as well as exploring the world.”
Steve Loren writes, “Sue ’78 and I will be celebrating our 38th anniversary in April. We continue to live in the northern suburbs of Chicago with one grandchild and one on the way. We owe our good fortune to having both taken a psych course together at Union. But, as the professor— in protest to being denied tenure that year—only had class on the first day, the midterm and final exams, we didn’t really meet until I moved to Chicago in 1982. Through total serendipity, Sue, although she had transferred to Northwestern after her sophomore year, was on my call sheet for a Union fundraiser. When we realized we both worked in the same building, we started dating. We immediately recognized one another from the psych class.”
two children in college, both studying remotely from our home in Seattle. We like to travel, but this year have been staying in the Northwest and getting into the mountains as much as possible for hiking, backpacking and skiing. I keep in touch with many Union classmates and look forward to visiting again soon when travel is safer.”
Dave Bradlee writes, “I’ve spent my career writing software for various companies, including Data General (remember them?) and Microsoft. A year ago, I retired from LabKey Software (serving medical researchers), and since then have been writing software with a couple of colleagues, to create Dave’s Redistricting, a free web app to help citizens advocate for fair and transparent redistricting (daves redistricting.org). My wife, Kathryn Gardow ’80, and I have
Jeff Laniewski, Florence, Ariz. email@example.com
1977 CLASS CORRESPONDENT
Leila Shames Maude LeeShamesMaude@alumni. union.edu
Dave Bradlee ’77 in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.
Amazon KDP Publishing has available for sale Yeah!...Me Too and Empowered by Trauma by PA James. Phyllis A. James writes, “These books are autobiographical, self-help and speak to the importance of personal accountability and humble honesty concerning consequences of choices.”
1978 CLASS CORRESPONDENT
1979 CLASS CORRESPONDENT
Kurt Hamblet San Luis Obispo, Calif. firstname.lastname@example.org Larry Rehr writes, “I recently retired from Delta Air Lines, as an international captain. I flew for 36 years, 20,000 hours in the air and carried about 750,000 passengers. It was an amazing career that took me to six continents, and dozens of countries. I certainly had the corner office with the best views in the world. I will miss my fellow crew members, my wonderful passengers, and the fulfillment that comes with connecting people throughout the world. As my retirement was advanced several years due to the COVID pandemic, I have not planned out the next phase of my life but look forward to being home a lot
more with my wife Debbie, in Connecticut. I hope she feels the same way. My children, Samantha and Stefan, both live in Southern California, so there will certainly be frequent visits there, as well as to some of our favorite locales along the Mediterranean.”
Larry Rehr ’79
1980 Andrew Zabronsky was named partner in the Northern California trust and estate law boutique Hartog, Baer & Hand. For nearly 30 years, he has focused exclusively on all aspects of trust and estate litigation, from prosecuting claims by disinherited beneficiaries to defending financial institutions in national class actions, and everything in between. The author of the “Breach of Trust” chapter in California Trust and Probate Litigation, Andrew also has a strong background in fiduciary litigation. Teri Bohl writes, “After retiring as a managing director at Morgan Stanley, I have been able to once again pursue my love of riding. I always had racehorses while working but didn’t have the time to seriously ride. So I’m riding competitively again. Okay, the jumps are lower this time around but I am so grateful to be able to do this again. I’m splitting my time between WINTER 2021 | UNION COLLEGE
Left: A cemetery on Saipan, where Sara (Simmons) Campbell ’80 does historic research.
Below: Sara (Simmons) Campbell ’80 on Saipan, in front of one of the FEMA-constructed homes.
Learning from disaster SARA (SIMMONS) CAMPBELL ’80
ara (Simmons) Campbell ’80 has put the civil engineering degree she earned at Union to good use. During her career, she’s worked in site and civil design and stormwater management. She’s helped grow branch offices for several firms and was a city engineer for Greenfield, Mass. In 1992, she started her own civil engineering consulting business, which she continues to oversee between deployments to areas devastated by natural disasters. “I work for the engineering firm Dewberry on specific assignments and am part of what they call a disaster cadre,” Campbell said. “When a disaster happens, FEMA puts out a call to firms on contract for relief work, like Dewberry.” “In 2018, I spent the first several months of the year working on Hurricane Harvey relief in Galveston, Texas. A disaster that got significantly less press—Super Typhoon Yutu—brought me to the much more remote island of Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands,” she continued. “Every trip is a learning opportunity, and I am glad to use my skills to help in some small way.” In Texas, she worked with municipalities, school districts and churches to help them apply for FEMA funding to build facilities back stronger than they were before. In
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Saipan, a U.S. commonwealth near Guam, she was on a six-week mission to evaluate housing damage and develop rebuilding plans and budgets. The experience was intense, Campbell said, working 12-hour days, seven days a week. That didn’t keep her away, though. In fall 2020, she went back to monitor the construction repairs to FEMA-built homes on Saipan. It’s work that she’s happy to do because it helps others, and it’s work that’s allowed her do more than just engineering. Passionate about history, Campbell has developed an interest and affection for the Saipan community and its past—something she wants to help record and preserve. “Saipan was first ‘discovered’ by the Spanish, and then it was under Germany, then Japan. There was a lot of Asian tourism here (before COVID) and there are many memorials to the Japanese from WWII,” she said. “It is a complex culture, proudly American now, and I am planning to learn more. I like to share history.” “My first project was to get the photographs in the veterans’ cemetery here posted to the Find a Grave web site,” Campbell continued. “I’d like to produce a little ‘how to’ guide about finding genealogical records here in Saipan. There is an oral
history tradition, but it is good to summarize available records for future research.” While different, she was just as drawn to the history of Galveston. “I started blogging about the 1900 Galveston hurricane when I was there. That disaster is still the worst loss of life on record in the U.S.,” Campbell said. “I met with the archivist at the Galveston & Texas History Center and we worked together on fleshing out some of the individuals who were listed as lost 120 years ago. I was even able to prove one survived who was on their list as lost.” To read her blog, visit http://remember ingancestors.blogspot.com/search?q= galveston Campbell holds a master of engineering (civil), with a focus on hydraulics and hydrology, from Cornell University and an MBA from Western New England University. She has lived in Western Massachusetts for 34 years, currently in Erving, and has three children.
Teri Bohl ’80 and Thor at the Kentucky National Horseshow
upstate N.Y. and Kentucky when I’m not on the road. Very, very grateful for this chance again. Life is good and getting old isn’t that bad after all!”
1981 CLASS CORRESPONDENT
been named chief administrative & credentialing officer for the American Society of Association Executives in Washington, D.C. ASAE is the professional membership society for nearly 50,000 association professionals worldwide.”
Sue Barnhart Ferris email@example.com
Dan Lacoff and Helene Grossberg Lacoff are the proud new grandparents of Max David Muchnik, born 7/22/20. His parents Lauren and Leo are enjoying their new bundle of joy. Max has many playdates with his cousin Remi, who turned 2 years old on 10/19/20. Remi’s parents, Allison Lacoff Aspis ’08 and Ilya Aspis ’08, are enjoying the playdates as well.
1983 CLASS CORRESPONDENT
Cory Lewkowicz Needham, Mass. firstname.lastname@example.org
Incumbent Village Justice David Dellehunt ran unopposed for a new four-year term in the Kinderhook (N.Y) village election. He earned a joint degree from Albany Law School. Robert Skelton writes, “I am pleased to share that I have
Linda Gutin Cary, N.C. email@example.com Dr. Gregg Meyer was recently named president of the community division and executive vice president of value based care at Mass General Brigham. He is responsible for two of Mass General Brigham’s hospitals— Newton-Wellesley Hospital and North Shore Medical Center—two large organizations where he served as interim president, as well as Health Care at Home and the Community Physicians Organization. Gregg will also be responsible for building and leading a best-in-class Value Based Care Program.
1985 Robert Bertagna writes, “From a personal standpoint, my big
news is that after 35 years as an investment banker I have decided to retire from the industry at the end of this year (2020). It is time for me to try something new! I am exploring many options and have not yet decided on my direction nor on a timetable. I am excited about all that lies ahead. I continue to be highly engaged at Union College. In 2019, I was elected chairman of the Board of Trustees. Given the pandemic, the job has been much more demanding than I was expecting. However, under President Harris’ leadership and with support of the Trustees and the rest of the Union College community, we have thus far navigated through the crisis as well as anyone could have expected. Nonetheless, we certainly recognize the contagiousness and virulence of COVID-19, so we are staying humble and are preaching a constant message of vigilance to the campus community. Since the onset of the pandemic my wife, Julianne, and I have been living primarily at our place in Lake Placid and secondarily at our home in NYC. Our son, Robert, graduated from Harvard College in May and is working remotely at a fintech company in New York. Our daughter, Isabella, recently entered the MBA program at the Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Business and, even with the COVID-19 restrictions, seems to be happy and thriving in the program.”
forget anyone! In lieu of our 35th Reunion, we had a great video chat. Wish it was in-person at the Rathskeller. Stay safe Class of 1985.”
Tim Hesler writes, “This past June, I had a great Zoom catch-up call with my Class of 1985 classmates from six different states. Dave Ebbitt organized our 1985 ‘symposium’ and we had an engaging time with Mark Richard, Greg Struckus, Steve Paquette, Chip Peters, Mike White, Guy James and myself. I hope I didn’t
Mary Margaret Keniry writes, “I joined Catholic Charities Senior and Caregiver Support Services in Schenectady, N.Y., as the new long-term care ombudsman program director. I received a master’s in social work from the University at Albany in May 2020.”
1987 Jason A. Oshins was recently elected the seventh supreme master of the world’s leading Jewish college fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi). A graduate of New York Law, he is an attorney in private practice in the New York and New Jersey area. Jason is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, is a former president of the Union College Alumni Association and former trustee of the College.
Jason A. Oshins ’87
1989 Lauren Walker was recently featured in UtahValley360. The profile focused on her career and job as chief supply officer at Young Living Essential Oils.
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1990 Timothy E. Sams was recently named president at SUNY Old Westbury by the State University of New York Board of Trustees. He brings 29 years of higher education experience to SUNY Old Westbury, with demonstrated leadership in improving student success, particularly for students from disadvantaged and marginalized communities. He also brings an emphasis on institutional excellence, inclusive innovation and strategic change management. Timothy was previously vice president of student affairs for Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas. Brian F. Moss, CFA, is excited to have launched Soaring Capital (www.soaringcapitalllc.com), a registered investment advisory and private wealth management company focused on bringing institutionally rigorous, quantitative and evidenced-based financial advisory services to families and business owners. The firm leans on investment management techniques, methods, tax strategies and knowledge learned from over 30 years of Wall Street experience. The firm is based in Darien, Conn, which has been his home for the past 10 years. He writes, “I am very appreciative of the Union community, especially for the support from my Phi Sigma
Kappa fraternity brothers Ken Berlack and Chris Meadows ’89. Earlier this year, I ran for Union Alumni Trustee and in spite of not winning, it was great to reconnect with so many alumni.”
Toby Overdorf was recently re-elected as representative of District 83 in the Florida House of Representatives. A Treasure Coast resident for over 20 years, he is an environmental consultant living in Palm City, Fla., with his wife Maggie. He founded Crossroads Environmental Consultants in 2002, which became a nationallyrecognized company under his expansion and leadership. He has also overseen similar growth at EDC, Inc., a full-service local engineering firm where he serves as the environmental division president. His occupation stemmed from his passion for the environment. He holds a master’s degree in biology and an environmental MBA from Florida Atlantic University.
Julie Holunga gave a talk at TEDxCherryCreekWoman 2020, the premier Colorado TEDx Women event held in conjunction with the global TEDWomen Conference. Julie is a speaker, leadership trainer and coach with Chinook Executive Solutions.
1992 Brendan Clifford writes, “Debbie and I and our boys, Connor & Dylan, are doing well. Connor & Dylan are both in high school and starting to consider colleges, including Union, of course. After nearly 17 years with RiverStone, I joined Tokio Marine HCC as vice president of claims for their public risk group. I am enjoying the transition very much. I hope all is well with all of my friends at Union.”
1993 CLASS CORRESPONDENT
Brian F. Moss ’90
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Jill D. Bernstein New York, N.Y. firstname.lastname@example.org
Randall Beach Schenectady, N.Y. email@example.com
1996 Kathy Thiel was recently featured in the Albany Business Review. The story focused on the business sales, consulting and valuation company she began building 14 years ago. Dr. Karen Mourtzikos was recently appointed executive vice dean at the Wayne State University School of Medicine. She is responsible for graduate medical education, continued medical education, enhanced clinical affiliations, leadership searches and special projects. She joined the School of Medicine from the Stony Brook University Renaissance School of Medicine in New York, where she served as an assistant professor of clinical radiology, vice chair of faculty and staffing administration, and associate director of the diagnostic radiology residency program.
MaskMottos.com and Designs by Niko. Maskmottos masks are reusable, high-quality custom face masks that meet World Health Organization recommendations. Designs by Niko is a luxury and fashionable line of accessories for mask wearing. Niko writes, “I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 39 years old. Since my journey with the disease, I have had a miracle baby at 43 and have been involved with many cancer support organizations. Listening to the patients, I recognize the fear in their voices and their vulnerability to COVID-19 and its harmful effects on people with pre-existing conditions. I wanted to do something actionable to fight the coronavirus by making high-quality masks in fashionable colors with funny mottos, monograms, corporate logos, memorable movie quotes and inspirational sayings. ‘Say it on a mask’ is my motto. I am hoping that the public will embrace the use of masks. Through my connections in the breast cancer world and from an entertainment industry background, I created this inspirational line of masks with logos for Amy Robach (anchor of “Good Morning America” and host of “20/20”.) For every mask sold from Amy’s line, Maskmottos.com
1997 CLASS CORRESPONDENT
Sara Amann Garrand Ballston Lake, N.Y. firstname.lastname@example.org Niko Harriton is owner, founder and creator of
Niko Harriton ’97 is owner of MaskMottos.com, which makes reusable custom face masks.
BILL ACKERBAUER ’96
Time at home means music
eed a little pick-me-up? Something silly and joyous? Give a listen to musician Bill Ackerbauer’s first album of children’s songs. He wrote and recorded it with his youngest son. “When the pandemic shut down schools in March 2020, I started spending a lot of time at home with Finnegan. To pass the time and keep the mood light, we wrote the song ‘Chicken Milk,’ Ackerbauer said. “We put it in a silly video that we shared with his first-grade class via the internet.” “One thing led to another and soon I realized I had a lot of kid-friendly music in my repertoire,” he added. “Because of the COVID crisis, we recorded the album at home and worked with local libraries to present a series of online music videos for kids.” The album, titled “Chicken Milk & Other Mysteries” was released June 5, 2020, and includes music that is both new and old to the Ackerbauer family.
Some of the songs, like “Stinky Feet Blues,” have been around since his eldest son, Liam (18), was in preschool. Another Ackerbauer wrote with his middle son, Carter, when he was in third grade. Carter is now 15. Seven-year-old Finnegan’s favorite tune on the album is “The Ferret Song.” His dad describes it as a “silly little ditty Finnegan wrote in honor of his favorite stuffed animal.” “The album tries to tap into different emotions I remember feeling when I was small, such as wonder and amazement over the natural world (‘Mysterious Crow’) and the blissful exhaustion that comes at bedtime after a long day playing outdoors (‘The Moonflower Waltz’),” Ackerbauer said.
That’s equally true for another album— this one for grown-ups—that Ackerbauer also released in summer 2020. “The music that I play with The Insolent Willies isn’t too far removed from these same emotional chords,” Ackerbauer said of the band’s new album, “Mostly Harmless Acoustic Mayhem.” “We love moving folks to laugh and think, tap their feet or even get up and dance. Perhaps one of the greatest things music can do is help us all get in touch with our ‘inner children.’” “Mostly Harmless Acoustic Mayhem” is the first full-length album for the roots-rock group. Download it at https://theinsolent willies.bandcamp.com/ “Chicken Milk & Other Mysteries” is available at https://smokinbill.bandcamp. com/album/chicken-milk-other-mysteries Or check out a couple of the videos for children at https://youtu.be/yOxIU1BFbeQ or https://youtu.be/X6fiP49c5C4 Ackerbauer lives in Johnstown, N.Y.— about 30 miles west of Union College— with his wife, Jennifer Sponnoble, and their three sons. His father, Charlie Ackerbauer, is a member of the Class of 1965. When he’s not playing music, Ackerbauer is a probation officer in Fulton County.
“But making little kids laugh and jump around is the major goal and major source of inspiration for the album.”
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A GREAT RESOURCE for ALUMNI and STUDENTS
Union College’s CAREER ADVISORY NETWORK • A searchable database of approximately 13,000 alumni and friends of the College who have offered to share information and advice relative to their career and/or graduate school interests. • Exclusive to Union College students and alumni.
donates an additional mask to the 5 Under 40 Cancer Foundation. 5 Under 40’s mission is to provide funding for medical, wellness and beauty services to women under the age of 40 who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, or have tested positive for the BRCA gene. Unfortunately, it took a shocking diagnosis for me to find my true passion, which is to reduce the spread of COVID and help the public incorporate face masks into their everyday wear. For more info or just to connect, please email me at email@example.com, follow me on Instagram @maskmottos or check out MaskMottos.com.”
1998 CLASS CORRESPONDENT
If you have already joined UCAN, please make sure your profile is up to date. If not, please join us to help students and network with other alumni. Learn more at ucan.union.edu
Thank you, alumni We are incredibly grateful for the support alumni have shown Union students over the past few months. Thank you!
If you become aware of opportunities (paid or unpaid), or have an open position at your company or organization (remote or in-person, short-term or long-term), please notify Rochelle Caruso (firstname.lastname@example.org), senior associate director for employer relations in the Becker Career Center.
Ryan T. Smith Jupiter, Fla. ryan.smith@thebenjamin school.org John P. Cloutier writes, “After 14 years with Shawmut Design and Construction serving as the national purchasing manager and a project executive and project manager in their national retail, hospitality and gaming sectors, I have joined Callahan Construction Managers in Bridgewater, Mass., as a project executive in charge of our special projects division. I will be responsible for the quality and integrity of the construction management process from the identification of an opportunity through the closeout of the project, as well as the management of the project teams and the business line. Callahan manages projects all over New England and the New York City metro area.”
In November, Doyin Richards participated in TEDxTemecu-
UNION COLLEGE | WINTER 2021
la’s public Watch Parties. His was one of six new talks debuted over several weeks. A Black father of two multiracial children, Doyin is a best-selling author of a children’s book on positive race relations and an activist for mental health and healthy masculinity, especially among people of color. He holds a B.S. in psychology from Union.
1999 CLASS CORRESPONDENT
Kellie Forrestall BeeBee Lowell, Mass. email@example.com Sarah Sportman writes, “After working for the last 10 years in New England as a professional archaeologist in the field of cultural resources management, I was appointed state archaeologist of Connecticut in February 2020. In my new role, I work with developers, towns, Native American communities, archaeologists and the public to conduct and facilitate archaeological research and to preserve the archaeological heritage of Connecticut. I also serve as assistant extension professor at the University of Connecticut and provide educational programming for students and the public.”
2002 Tina (Canary) Sutton writes, “I am an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Rochester Institute of Technology. I was awarded tenure in April of 2019. My most recent publications include: ‘The value of handwritten notes: A failure to find state-dependent effects when using a laptop to take notes and complete a quiz’ in Teaching of Psychology; ‘Valence, arousal, and
dominance ratings for face stimuli’ in Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology; and ‘Examining the importance of valence and arousal in processing emotional words and pictures’ in Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology.” Tina (Rizzitano) Haupert writes, “My third book was published in August. The Everything Macro Diet Cookbook is an introduction to a flexible diet that can help anyone lose weight without having to avoid your favorite foods. Based on the simple formula that balances the daily intake of protein, fat and carbohydrates, the macro diet is gaining in popularity as people discover they can shed pounds without feeling deprived. I also work 1:1 on with nutrition clients using a macro-based approach and functional lab testing.”
2003 CLASS CORRESPONDENT
Katrina Tentor Lallier Shrewsbury, Mass. firstname.lastname@example.org
2004 Richard Saltzman is a managing director of Guggenheim Securities, the investment banking and capital markets division of Guggenheim Partners. Previously, he was with Houlihan Lokey, where he most recently served as U.S. head of secondary advisory.
ReVivo Medical, co-founded by Glenn Sanders, was recently featured in the Albany Business Review. Based in the Albany Medical Center Biomedical Acceleration and Commercialization Center, ReVivo’s mission is to improve treatments for back, neck and spine-related pain.
Annette C. Stock email@example.com
Dana Cohen Bernstein New York, N.Y. firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Gross is a principal specializing in transaction management at Avison Young, a commercial real estate firm. Peter brings more than 15 years of experience in tenant and landlord representation, acquisitions, dispositions and development assemblages. Prior to joining Avison Young, he was co-head of operations and a senior broker for Douglas Elliman Commercial, where he was the top grossing commercial agent in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
2006 CLASS CORRESPONDENT
Sarah T. Heitner New York, N.Y. email@example.com Diana Busino was recently selected for the Sports Business Journal’s 2020 Class of “Game Changers: Women in Sports Business.” These women represent every sector across sports business from teams and leagues, to agencies and sponsors, to technology companies and media outlets. Diana is managing director and chief operating officer at Turnkey Search. Kris Mayotte was recently featured in The Michigan Daily. The story focused on his path to the University of Michigan, where he is an assistant coach for the Wolverines’ ice hockey team.
2007 CLASS CORRESPONDENT
Jackie Siedlecki Murphy Delmar, N.Y. firstname.lastname@example.org
Jude M. Mason recently earned an MBA from Rutgers University with concentrations in real estate and finance. Jude is a partner at KABR Real Estate Group, a private equity real estate fund. Jude’s wife, Carly (Mand) Mason ’10, recently took a project management office lead position with Reckitt Benckiser—a Londonbased consumer package goods company known for Lysol, Enfamil baby formula and other household brands. Jude and Carly also became first-time homeowners, recently purchasing a home in Wyckoff, N.J. (located in Bergen County). Their two-year-old daughter, Charlotte, is enjoying the backyard and new playroom while mom and dad now have more space to work from home.
Charlotte, daughter of Jude M. Mason ’08 and Carly (Mand) Mason ’10, enjoys some ice cream
2009 CLASS CORRESPONDENTS
Gabe Kramer Los Angeles, Calif. email@example.com Carl S. Winkler New York, N.Y. firstname.lastname@example.org
Liz Mariapen writes, “I have been working for the Democratic National Committee for the last two years in Washington, D.C., at National HQ. In January 2020, I was promoted to the position of associate director of party affairs and handled party business leading up to our first virtual convention. I am a very proud graduate of Union College/ HEOP program.”
Liz Mariapen ’09
Daniel Jude Spero, former president of the Union College Golf Club, recently celebrated his 10-year anniversary in the New Jersey office of Jones Lang LaSalle. Now a managing director, Dan represents a broad array of clients in the healthcare, tech and engineering sectors. Dan remains a loyal fan of the Dallas Cowboys, Seton Hall basketball and any team with cool uniforms playing well that day. Dan also serves as player-coach of “10 Points, Yes!,” his championshipwinning Hoboken rec league basketball team. Dan averaged 22 points and 0.9 rebounds per game over the 2020 season. Dan’s culinary interests, which began at Union with a fondness for exotic lamb, have blossomed into Beero’s Bites, a food review service where Dan serves as steward. Dan is happily married and resides in Hoboken, N.J. with his wife Julie Spero (née Vlakic), a special education teacher. WINTER 2021 | UNION COLLEGE
Anna Meiring Boston, Mass. email@example.com
Lauren Woods Watervliet, N.Y. firstname.lastname@example.org
In fall 2020, Brittany Gilbert exhibited her work in the Hastings Gallery of Art in the Katharine L. Boyd Library on the campus of Sandhills Community College. Brittany’s recent group exhibitions include the sixth annual Oxford Arts Alliance Exhibition in Pennsylvania; Twelfth Annual National Juried Exhibition at Prince Street Galleries in New York; Positive/ Negative at Slocumb Galleries in Tennessee; and Plein-Air at Manifest Gallery in Ohio. In 2020, she participated in the Four Pillars Artist Residency in Mount Gretna, PA.
2013 CLASS CORRESPONDENT
Cristina Vazzana Boston, Mass. email@example.com
2014 In memory of their former colleague, Sarah Foster, over 80 members of the faculty and staff at Harrison Central School District came together to contribute to the Sarah A. Foster ’14 Memorial Prize. Endowed by a classmate, this Memorial Prize is awarded annually to a Union senior(s) who demonstrates academic excellence in history and who plans to become a teacher, just like Sarah.
Jeamela Guilloteaus writes, “ As of September 2020, I am a direct entry nursing student at Northeastern University studying to become a pediatric nurse practitioner.”
August Beau York (York ’03)
George Thomas Kennedy (Kennedy ’05)
Sienna MaryAnn Clancy (Clancy ’09)
Lenox Irving Weller (Weller ’09)
2018 Gianluca Avanzato writes, “I won a Russell Berrie Fellowship, which allows a small, international cohort to study interreligious dialogue for a year (2020-2021) at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, Italy, where I am engaged in my studies. Additionally, I have had three poems published— two, ‘Piazza San Ciro’ and ‘Union Square,’ by pacific REVIEW in their spring 2020 issue, ‘Synchronous;’ and one, ‘Columbus Circle (The Grapes of Wrath),’ by NYSAI Press in their fall 2020 issue, ‘We Carry Us.’”
Andrea Tehan Carnes writes, “My husband and I finalized the adoption of our second child, Nick age 14, in September 2020. We finalized the adoption of our first child, Ronen age 8, in October 2018. We live in Vernon, Vt., and I am in my 10th year of teaching math/science/computer science to girls in grades 7-12 at the Stoneleigh-Burnham School in Greenfield, Mass.”
Alexandra (Waibel) Kennedy and Iain Kennedy welcomed George Thomas Kennedy March 6, 2020.
Kyrie K. York writes, “My spouse and I welcomed our baby boy, August Beau York, to the world June 23 in Dallas, Texas. He was 9.5 pounds and 19.5 inches.”
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2007 Russ Spiegel writes, “Juliet Regan Spiegel came into the world on Feb. 26, 2020 as ‘Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe’ was playing in the delivery room. We could not think of a more appropriate entrance for our baby girl! She was 20 inches long and 8 pounds exactly. We are so thrilled! Big brother Miles is obsessed, as we all are.”
Juliet Regan Spiegel (Spiegel ’07)
Jameson Christopher Latham (Latham ’09)
Charlotte Vassallo with baby brother Samuel John Vassallo (Vassallo ’09)
Guerin Bay Douglass and Winifred Freeman Douglass (Douglass ’10)
Daniel Jonathan Matthews (Matthews ’10)
Melanie Jane Paikoff (Paikoff ’10)
Lacey Weller writes, “My husband, Douglas Weller, and I recently welcomed our first child on Sept. 29, 2020. His name is Lenox Irving Weller. He is named after Lenox Road—one of the streets that lines campus. We are already so in love and can’t wait to take him for a walk on campus when the pandemic is over!”
Lisa (Crawford) Matthews and Brian Matthews welcomed Daniel Jonathan Matthews April 24, 2020.
Arden (Sack) Estep and husband, Mike, welcomed daughter, Ivy, in August. She joins big sister, Iris.
Ethan Strauss writes, “I am very excited to share that a future Dutchman was born June 22, 2020! The little Dutchman’s name is Maximillian Strauss. My wife and I are so excited to share this news with the Union community.”
2009 Larissa (Chudomel) Latham and Terry Latham welcomed Jameson Christopher Latham on June 28, 2020. The family lives in London, England. Michael Vassallo and Caitlin Vassallo write, “Samuel John Vassallo joined our family on June 3, 2020. We are also proud to say that Sam was delivered by another member of the Union family, Dr. Sandra Nagler ’85.” Sean Clancy and Samantha (Beatty) Clancy welcomed their first child, Sienna MaryAnn Clancy, Sept. 24, 2020. The happy family resides in San Diego, Calif.
Miles Douglass writes, “My wife and I welcomed identical twin girls to our family on July 31—Guerin Bay Douglass and Winifred Freeman Douglass.”
Richard Paikoff and Ekaterina Paikoff welcomed their daughter, Melanie Jane Paikoff, in August 2020.
Ivy with big sister, Iris (Estep ’13)
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Alumni attend the wedding of Marisa Kaufman ’09 and Michael Dan
Marisa Kaufman married Michael Dan Sept. 13, 2020 at Temple Sinai in Roslyn, N.Y. Alumni in attendance included Tamar Soroker Peltz, Moish Peltz ’08 and Jillian Lubarsky Akavan ’05. Alumni in virtual attendance included Marisa Greenberg, Jodi Stein Emmott and Heather Stein Kruse.
Elizabeth Guyton married Tim Johnson Aug. 22, 2020 at the Lenox Hotel in Boston. Steph (Egizi) McNamara, Jill (LaForest) Cannon and Meredith Kelly were in the bridal party. Elizabeth writes, “I’m living in South Boston with my husband and chocolate lab, Lady, and am in my fifth year working as the communications director for Governor Charlie Baker (R-MA).”
Maggie Wilson ’11 married Ben Ramos June 20, 2020 in Haymarket, Va. Due to the pandemic, it was an intimate ceremony with only their parents in attendance.
George Burleson married Samantha Tayne in Asheville, N.C., Sept. 1, 2019. Alumni in attendance included Jason Briggs ’11, Will Larzelere, Chris Diskin, Lexi Diskin, Max Goveia ’13, Chis Johnson, Justin Mahoney, Chris Rush, Dominic Brown and Brittany Oakes.
UNION COLLEGE | WINTER 2021
Elizabeth Guyton ’10 and Tim Johnson
Ben Ramos and Maggie Wilson ’11
Benjamin Romer ’11 and Melanie Middleton were married June 27, 2020.
Alumni attend the wedding of George Burleson ’12 and Samantha Tayne
Alumni attend the wedding of Andrea Jorge ’13 and Patrick Fan ’12
Andrea Jorge and Patrick Fan ’12 were married Sept. 21, 2019 in New York, N.Y. Alumni in attendance included Anne Trojanowski ’15, Jamie Langweil, Kim Blecich, Scott Loitherstein ’08, Michael Dolinger ’10, Thomas Albano ‘12, Rachael (Cox) Ouimet, David Swift ’08, Nick Blanchard ’10, Brendan Lichtenthal ’12, Michael Betz ’12, Matthew Breazzano ’11, Matthew Goldfarb ’12, Josh Gayer ’08, Harrison Paras ’06, Ross Helliwell ’08, Allison Ebersol ’15, Michelle Frankel, Tess WINTER 2021 | UNION COLLEGE
Koman, Jordan (Thomson) Spiesbach ’14, Valerie Lichtenthal ’10, Alex Leisenring ’08, Benjamin Sims ’11 and Sloane Sheldon ’11 . Emily Rudolph and Max Weiner ’15 got married in New Haven, Conn., with 55 of their closest friends and family on August 29, 2020.
Shannon (Crowley) LaPoint and Nicholas LaPoint were married Dec. 28, 2019 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Alumni in attendance included Alex (Antonucci) Meile, Amanda Blake, Amanda (Weld) Templeton, Amy (Bonitatibus) Crowley, Ava Carnevale, Billy Meile, Brian Daley, Carolyn Infante, Charlie Templeton, Chelsea (Nyman) Erlich, Colleen (Kilbourne) Tracy, Jeff Erlich, John Giuggio, Joshua Ouellette, Juliette (Larzelere) Law, Matt Meile, Meghan Murphy, Michael Crowley, Michael Ewing, Nick Becker, Nicki Martini, Nicole Merigliano, Peter Meile, Ryan Crowley, Taylor Tebano and Terell Winney. Diana Fletcher ’13 married Jonathan Carroll Sept. 5, 2020.
2015 Ciara Dudeck and Anthony Vitiello were married July 25, 2020. They write, “We postponed our big celebration for next summer but we were able to celebrate intimately with our immediate families this summer.”
Alumni attend the wedding of Max Weiner ’15 and Emily Rudolph ’13.
UNION COLLEGE | WINTER 2021
Miles Ingraham married Tais Celestino dos Santos Ingraham at Pousada Quilombo Resort in São Bento do Sapucaí, Brazil, Aug. 30, 2019. Alumni in attendance included Colleen Nugent, Ryan Asselin, Liam McAninch, Michael Pratt, Hyung Yul Choi ’15 and Peter Scatena.
Alumni attend the wedding of Shannon (Crowley) LaPoint ’14 and Nicholas LaPoint ’14
Ciara Dudeck ’15 and Anthony Vitiello ’15
Stephanie Dick and Steven Stangle ’14 were married Sept. 19, 2020. Alumni in attendance included Nancy Stangle ’80, Emily Stangle ’17 and Samuel Pierce ’15. They write, “We have decided to both take the new last name of Storie, so we are now Stephanie and Steven Storie. We have been together since Stephanie’s freshman year of college in 2012! Our wedding took place in Killington, Vt. at the Trailside Inn. Something very special to us was having Matt Milless, assistant dean of students, as our officiant. He was such an
Guests attend the wedding of Stephanie Dick ’16 and Steven Stangle ’14
important mentor to both of us during our times on campus since we were both so heavily involved in so many different organizations.”
Alumni attend the wedding of Miles Ingraham ’16 and Tais Celestino dos Santos Ingraham
WINTER 2021 | UNION COLLEGE
T H A N K YOU
hank you and welcome to our newest Ramée Circle members, who joined the ranks of nearly 1,100 alumni and friends. We wish to recognize you, and remember those whose generosity was realized in the past year. A complete list of our members is available at www.rameecircle.com. Legacy gifts made by Ramée Circle members support Union College and secure the financial needs of donors’ loved ones. Such gifts also provide donor tax benefits, all while helping Union meet current goals and reach further into the future.
UNION COLLEGE | WINTER 2021
Philip S. Arony '70 Linda M. Arony Lawrence A Baldassaro '65 Theresa J. Bohl Victoria J. Brooks Joseph H. Compagni '64, P'93 Katherine Compagni Ph.D. P'93 Francis Harold Felts '70 Isak V. Gerson '52 Kurt M. Glacy '90 Nicholas John-Florian Gray '81, P'24 Norma Elizabeth Green Donald S. Green '41 Harold M. Hohman P'89 Merle Hochman P'89
Richard F. Kranzmann '60 Clare Kranzmann Robert J. Pezzano '72 Kevin M. Rampe '88 Christine Rampe Leslie G. Roden Charles E. Roden '60, P'94 Peter Marc Chowdhury Savard ’93 Moitri Chawdhury Savard Steven Andrew Sokal '75 James M. Strosberg '63, P'98 Bruce D. Walsh '60 Margo Walsh Stephen D. Wolfe, '64 Patricia Wolfe
for sharing your legacy with Union The Union Fund, which many Ramée Circle gifts support, is critical to augmenting the College’s operating budget and advancing its education mission. As the oldest continuing fund of its kind in the nation, the Union Fund is an expression of community in which individuals illustrate the power of many. Gifts realized from the wills and trusts of Evelyn L. Bergen (spouse of Norman Bergen ’43), James F. Dorrill ’51, Sheldon J. Evans ’40, Rodney W. Gartner ’51, Robert W. Hamre ’50, Mary S. Harris (daughter of Howard B. Santee ’16), Richard P. Propp ’56, Robert L. Slobod ’35, and Elizabeth Veeder (daughter of Carl W. Veeder ’13) will allow the College to continue its long tradition of academic excellence. Union College was also the beneficiary of a gift from Walter E. Burt ’73 to support the Walter E. Burt ’73 Scholarship. A generous bequest from Edward W. Carsky ’50 will be added to the Edward W. Carsky ’50 Scholarship Fund.
James ’62, P’92, GP’23 and Carol P’92, GP’23 Ehlen established a deferred payment charitable gift annuity. The remainder of the proceeds will be added to the James G. Ehlen, Jr. Endowed Fund. Margery Gardow (widow of Dr. Ernest Gardow ’56) established the Gardow Endowed Student Research Fund. Bequest distributions received from John Glover ’76 were added to awards and scholarships that John had previously endowed in visual arts and photography. Ronald Q. Jennett ’52 established the Ronald and Margaret Endowed Scholarship Fund. William V. Johnson ’44 made provisions in his trust to support the Memorial Chapel Maintenance Fund. Alice C. Juengling (widow of Harlan B. Juengling ’51) added to the Harlan B. and Alice G. Juengling Endowed Scholarship Fund. A bequest was received from William T. Kirchgasser ’61 to support student field research in geology. Former parent Lola S. Lea P’85 (parent of Jennie L. Clegg ’85) made a gift through her estate to support Friends of Union Swimming & Diving. Peter Marc Chowdhury Savard, M.D. ’93 and Moitri Chowdhury Savard, M.D. established a deferred payment charitable gift annuity.
TO LEARN MORE VISIT
rameecircle.org/give OR CONTACT
Steve Jo, director, Gift Planning firstname.lastname@example.org | (267) 797-4342
WINTER 2021 | UNION COLLEGE
8 IN MEMORIAM
8 1940s Walter J. Wiggins ’46, of Ithaca, N.Y., who graduated from Cornell Law School and founded some of Ithaca’s most iconic hotels and restaurants, Sept. 11, 2020. Wally and his family owned La Tourelle, L’Auberge du Cochon Rouge and John Thomas Steakhouse restaurants, and the Ramada Inn (now Hotel Ithaca) and Divi Hotels in Aruba. A U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served in World War II, he was 95. George W. Haas Jr. ’47, of LaPlace, La., Jan. 26, 2020. He was 95. Erwin R. Miller Jr. ’47, of Temple Terrace, Fla., who served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and was awarded two battle stars (Leyte Gulf and Okinawa), Aug. 24, 2020. A graduate of the University of Florida Law School, he practiced in Jacksonville for 13 years before opening his own office in Tampa in 1996. An AV-rated attorney who tried to conclusion more than 500 circuit civil cases, he loved traveling, boats and the water. He was 94. Francis J. Peters ’47, of Austin, Texas, who served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Oct. 4, 2020. An executive for the Bell System and AT&T whose career spanned 45 years, Frank was a proud supporter of Union and served for many years as a class head agent for the Annual Fund. In Mendham, N.J., he was a volunteer firefighter, an active church member, president of the Board of Education and an elected town council member. In retirement, he served as board member emeritus of the University Federal Credit Union in Austin. He was predeceased by his wife, Julie, and is survived by his eight children, 12 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Frank, whose son and two granddaughters are also Union graduates, was 95.
UNION COLLEGE | WINTER 2021
John K. Chapman ’49, of Broadalbin, N.Y., who served with the U.S. Navy during World War II and participated in the invasions of Normandy and Okinawa, Sept. 23, 2020. Co-owner and operator of the former Crane-Nevins Electrical Supply Inc. in Amsterdam, he was a 70-year member of the Kennyetto Lodge of the F&A Masons. Also a member of American Legion Post 337 and Veterans of Foreign Wars #8609, John was also a former member of Broadalbin Rotary Club. He was a board member of the Bankers Trust Bankers Association and a member of the NRA and Ohmar Hunting Club. He was 96. Dr. Richard H. Phillips Sr. ’49, of Wynantskill, N.Y., and formerly of Loudonville, who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Dental School, Sept. 27, 2020. A dentist who practiced in Troy, N.Y., for 48 years, he was an Air Force veteran of the Korean War. Also a member of the Third District Dental Society, the Country Club of Troy and ROB’s, he enjoyed lacrosse, tennis, golf and skiing. He was 92.
1950s Frank B. Swan ’50, Binghamton, N.Y. who served in the U.S. Army during World War II and worked as a pharmaceuticals sales representative for Lederle Laboratories, Oct. 7, 2020. A deacon, usher and groundskeeper for First Presbyterian Church for many years, he excelled at sports and won numerous golf championships. Also serious about cards, ping-pong, handball, bowling, waterskiing, hunting and fishing, he was 94. John H. Bowers ’50, of Madison, Wis., who served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Merillat and graduated from Albany Law School, Nov. 1, 2020. John, who also held
a juridical science degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School, was assistant attorney general for Wisconsin. Later deputy attorney general, he also spent 30 years with Lawton & Crates, specializing in labor, pension and healthcare law. A member of the Wisconsin Criminal Jury Instructions Committee, he also consulted for the firm Schneidman, Hawks and Ehlke S.C. President of the Lake Puckaway Improvement Association for more than 20 years, he was 93. Harry R. Lawton ’50, of Pittsfield, Mass., who was an electrical engineer at GE for 41 years, Nov. 24, 2020. After positions in Philadelphia and Alabama, he worked at MIT through GE for a year before settling at GE Ordnance in Pittsfield, where he was technical director for Polaris and Poseidon missile guidance systems. He earned his B.S. in physics from Union, where he also was a member of the track team, and an MBA in engineering management from RPI. He was 92. George Jung ’51, of Rochester, N.Y., who served in the U.S. Army during World War II and did graduate work at the University of Rochester, Sept. 1, 2020. A math teacher at Edison Tech for most of his career, he loved sports, music (especially classical and musicals of the ’30s and ‘40s), and his family. George, who also loved pun-type jokes, was 93. Donald O. Meserve ’52, of Albany, N.Y., who graduated from Albany Law School and spent nearly 30 years as an assistant counsel at the New York State Education Department, Aug. 4, 2020. He successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court and upon retirement, the Board of Regents issued a resolution recognizing his service on the Regents Committee on Professional Practice and Committee on Higher
8 DR. DAVID FALK ’39
r. David Falk, who died recently at 106, never forgot that when he was out of money during his junior year in 1938, Union found a way. Falk, a retired urologist in Bakersfield, Calif., is believed to have been Union’s oldest alumnus. “The College could have told me, ‘Well, no tuition, no classes,’” Falk said in a 2008 interview. “They didn’t do that. They made a deal with me where I could finish out my school year and pay them back as I could, which I did. That was very impressive to me. I feel that if I can help students who were feeling financial pressure, I should do so.” Like many during the Great Depression, Falk took whatever work he could find: deliveryman, truck driver, night watchman. It was enough to keep him afloat through Union. Later in life, he covered his bills and then some. The generosity of Falk and his late wife, Elynor, has totaled about $3.5 million. It included the David and Elynor Falk Endowed Scholarship for majors in biology and the David Falk ’39 and Elynor Rudnick-Falk Professorship in Engineering. He also was a regular donor to the Annual Fund and a member of the Ramee Circle planned giving society. In 1975, he donated a harpsichord in memory of a mentor, Elmer Tidmarsh, professor of music. A native of East Nassau who commuted to Union from his family home in Albany, he earned his Union degree in chemistry. He was junior class marshal. He received the Richmond Prize in Music Appreciation and the Fuller Medical Scholarship
for study at Albany Medical College, where he earned his M.D. degree in 1943. His generosity has extended to Albany Med, where he has created endowed chairs and scholarships for Union graduates. While serving in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during World War II, he was in a convoy en route to Japan when the U.S. dropped two atomic bombs on Japan. Falk’s ship was redirected to New York City, leaving him with a major decision: return to New York’s Capital Region for another winter or try California. He chose the latter and never looked back. “The sun was blazing and the temperature was 86,” he said. “I took off my overcoat and never put it back on again. I said, ‘I am never leaving here.’” In 1950 he settled in Bakersfield, Calif., where he went into private practice and became chief of the department of urology at Kern County General Hospital. It was in Bakersfield that he met his wife and married in 1962. The former Elynor Rudnick, an alumna of UCLA, was a helicopter service owner and pilot who was trained to ferry airplanes for the military in World War II. She was one of the first to use helicopters for spraying crops. In 1947, she trained a contingent of student pilots who would later become the first members of the fledgling Israeli Air Force. She was also active in managing an extensive portfolio of family farms in southern California, perhaps most notably a date farm in Coachella Valley. She passed away in 1996.
True to his word, Falk stayed mostly in sunny California. Records show only two campus visits in the early 90s. But gift officers and presidents have visited him in California. Following a visit with Falk in 1974, Union President Harold Martin wrote, “It’s clear that western air and marriage to a vigorous woman have given you the entrepreneurial spirit.” When Cherrice Traver, the David Falk and Elynor Rudnick-Falk Professor of Computer Engineering, visited the 97-year-old benefactor in 2011, he was spending time at his local library studying up on the development of transistors and electronics. He spoke proudly of his wife’s business acumen and tutored the professor on the process of raising and harvesting dates. He later sent her a box of Medjool dates. “I am not surprised that he lived to be 106,” Traver said. “He was clearly still enjoying life very much at 97.” Throughout his life, he never forgot to pay it forward. “Those who preceded me at Union, through their understanding and generosity, provided the opportunity for my education,” he said. “I am deeply grateful. It is my duty, in like manner, to provide for our future. It is payback time.”
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and Continuing Education. A longtime member of the University Club of Albany, he served in the U.S. Army and enjoyed squash, chess and classic movies. He was 89. Julian R. Potts ’54, of Binghamton, N.Y., who was a captain in the USAF and served as an atomic weapons officer in Okinawa, Sept. 26, 2020. Employed with IBM Endicott for 30 years, he was a charter member and elder at South Hills Presbyterian Church in Vestal. Julian, who enjoyed genealogy, traced his roots back to the 17th century. He was 88. Carl Silver ’54, of Greenfield, Mass., who served in the U.S. Air Force, was a high school biology teacher, a guidance counselor and a U.S. park ranger, Sept. 26, 2019. Carl, who held a Ph.D. in psychology, worked at the veterans VA hospital in Florence and also operated a private practice. A devoted fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots, in his later years he volunteered as an umpire and on political campaigns. He was 88. Rev. John A. Buerk ’55, of Buffalo, N.Y., who held a master of divinity from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg and did post-graduate studies at Heidelberg University, July 29, 2020. Ordained in 1959, he was pastor emeritus of Parkside Lutheran Church, where he was pastor for 28 years. Later he was a pastor-in-residence at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. Lochlin G. Syme ’56, of Centerbrook, Conn., who was a U.S. Army veteran and an international chess champion, Sept. 16, 2020. A sales representative for Sea-Trac boating shoes and later Vermont Castings, he loved working on boats and cruising to various ports in New York, Rhode Island and Connecticut. He also enjoyed his cabin at Crescent Lake (N.H.) and delighted in learning about trains, creating elaborate
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set-ups for his model trains and reading about maritime history. He was 87. Dr. Charles Sills ’57, of Somerville, N.J., who graduated from Chicago Medical School (now Rosaline Franklin University) and was chief of surgery at Monmouth Medical Center, Aug. 28, 2020. Charles, who also had a private practice at Riverview Hospital, loved to sculpt and paint and served on the board of the Zimmerli Museum at Rutgers. His work has been shown in galleries in Monmouth County and he won awards from New York’s Allied Artists of America and Knickerbocker Artists. He was 85. Dr. Howard E. Voss ’57, of Stuart, Fla., who graduated from New York University School of Medicine and conducted landmark studies on the nature of penicillin allergy, July 26, 2020. A diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine who held leadership positions in many organizations, he had a private practice for 27 years. Howard later spent 20 years with the Volunteers in Medicine Clinic, becoming its medical director and CEO. The recipient of many awards, including President Barack Obama’s Volunteer Service Award for Lifetime Achievement in Volunteerism, he was a member of the Cleveland Clinic Martin Health Auxiliary for 22 years. He was 85. Raymond B. Meyer ’57, of North Ridgeville, Ohio, who retired after 32 years with Union Carbide and spent 27 years as a volunteer tax preparer for seniors, July 23, 2020. A Ruby Life Master bridge player, he played clubs bridges as part of unit 125 of the American Contract Bridge League in Cleveland. In his 20s and 30s, he took part in bridge tournaments throughout New York State. He was 85. Richard W. Maylott ’59, of Leesburg, Va., who attended the University of Buffalo and worked for the Department of Labor and traveled extensively for the Bureau of
Labor Statistics, Aug. 23, 2020. He became a lead supervisor, responsible for administering dozens of wage surveys for department publications for fairness and equity in salary administration. Retiring after 30 years, he was active in a number of amateur radio clubs and was a member of several radio organizations, including Sterling Park ARC. Also a train collector who set up his Lionel-9 gauge train every Christmas for his grandchildren, he was 83.
1960s George D. Calder Sr. ’60, of Bennington, Vt., who held a master’s in engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology and spent 25 years at ITT in the defense communications department, Sept. 23, 2020. After retiring to Fort Myers Beach, Fla., he was a member and past commodore of the Boardwalk Caper Yacht Club. A parishioner of the Methodist Church in Moravia, N.Y., and the Chapel by the Sea in Fort Myers Beach, Donald was 81. Arthur D. O’Loughlin ’60, of Chatham, N.J, who served in the U.S. Air Force and graduated with a degree in electrical engineering, Feb. 11, 2020. Art, who spent the majority of his career as a professional engineer for Kruse and Associates in Jersey City, played football and was president of Delta Phi at Union College. He loved to dance and spent much of his free time on the ballroom floor. He was 82. Roy H. Calkins ’61, of Niskayuna, N.Y., who held a NYS professional engineering license, served in the U.S. Army in South Korea and worked at the New York Department of Transportation, Oct. 18, 2019. Roy also worked for the NYS Waterways Division and State Canal Corporation, assisting in designing and supervising canal projects. A life-member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, he was also a member of the Retired Public Employees Association Inc. He and his
8 DR. ROBERT HOWE ’58
r. Robert Howe ’58, a prominent Minneapolis hematologist and professor at the University of Minnesota with an extensive portfolio of alumni activities, passed away Nov. 14, 2020 of COVID-19. He was 84. Born in Elgin, Ill., he was raised in Little Falls, N.Y., where a visiting admissions counselor saw promise in the young man and assured his attendance with financial aid. Howe spent the rest of his life repaying the favor. At Union, the biology major was urged toward research by a number of faculty: Francis Lambert of Biology, and Egbert Bacon and Howard Sheffer of Chemistry. And it was Raymond Rappaport of Biology who brought him to work summers at the prestigious Mt. Desert Island Biological Laboratory. In idyllic Salisbury Cove, Maine, he worked alongside leading scientists and formed a connection that would later bring him to do research at the renowned Karolinska Institute in Sweden. “Dad was grateful to Union College,” said his daughter, Debbie Howe. “Union visited Little Falls High School and spoke to its brightest boys. Dad told them he could not afford a place like Union and they said they could make it happen. There, he cultivated his love of
music and literature and his firm belief in a liberal arts education.” After Union, he earned his M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School in 1962. After his residency at the University of Minnesota, he entered the U.S. Public Health Service as assistant clinical director of the National Cancer Institute. He returned to the University of Minnesota Medical School in 1970, rising to full professor and associate dean. He retired in 2009 to continue his passions for sailing, karate, travel, and operas. His long list of alumni commitments included chair of the Ramée Circle, president of the Minneapolis Alumni Club, member of the Alumni Physicians Advisory Board, Annual Fund volunteer and former Terrace Council chair, member of the Alumni Council, class representative and admissions recruiter. He was the College’s delegate at presidential inaugurations at the University of Minnesota and Macalester College. At his 40th ReUnion in 1998, he and his wife, Sondra, a musician and educator, presented a lecture on “Music, Medicine and Mozart.” Their program was reprised at a number of other alumni gatherings. A regular attendee at Homecoming and ReUnion, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the College in 2005. He is survived by his wife; three children; and two grandchildren including Alexander Reagan ’16.
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wife, Rita, were active in their Glen Eddy Senior Living Community, serving on the Resident’s Council and information systems and finance committees. Roy was 80. Noah Hershkowitz ’62, of Madison, Wis., who was the Irving Langmuir Professor Emeritus of Engineering Physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Nov. 13, 2020. He held a Ph.D. in physics from Johns Hopkins University and was a professor of physics at the University of Iowa before joining Wisconsin. Noah made groundbreaking contributions to plasma physics and had a profound impact on many students. He was the recipient of numerous awards, including the James Clerk Maxwell Prize in Plasma Physics and the IEEE Marie SklodowskaCurie Award. Diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis at the age of 40, Noah never let it slow him down. He was co-author of three papers presented at the APS DPP conference the day before he died. He was 79. Charles R. Swain ’63, of Weston, Mass., who was a self-employed software systems analyst who created and supported back office software for the financial community, Sept. 14, 2020. In retirement, he spent more than 10 years volunteering with AARP. Chick enjoyed tennis, skiing, whitewater canoeing, fishing, golfing and competed in numerous marathons. A member of the Anglers Club of New York and the Weston Golf Club, he loved spending time with his family at their cottage on Silver Lake. He was 79. Girts G. Pupons ’66, of Albany, N.Y., who served in the U.S. Army and earned undergraduate and master’s degrees from Union College, Aug. 30, 2020. He retired from the New York State Department of Transportation after almost 40 years of service. Active in the Latvian Fraternity, Lettonia and the Latvian Lutheran Church, he was 81.
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Thomas C. Murphy ’66, of Raleigh, N.C., who held an MBA from George Washington University and a BSN from Keuka College, and was an Eagle Scout, Sept. 10, 2020. Tom spent 50 years in health care in various capacities, including as an administrator at several New York State-operated psychiatric centers, as a cardiac rehabilitation nurse at Albany Medical Center and as administrator of Rose Manor Nursing Facility in Durham. Also surveyor/consultant at the Joint Commission, he donated his experiences and time to health-related committees and boards in Durham. He was 77.
1970s Glenn B. Goodrich ’70, of Chicopee, Mass., who graduated from Lenox School and then Union College, Aug. 21, 2020. He was 71. William B. Pfaffenbach Jr. ’70, of Clifton Park, N.Y., who spent 35 years with Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory, Oct. 16, 2020. Bill, who enjoyed working on projects at home and at the family camp on Great Sacandaga Lake, volunteered for the National Ski Patrol for 48 years. He served at Willard and Whiteface Mountains and was appointed to the 1980 Olympic Ski Patrol in Lake Placid. Also a member of the Schenectady ELFUNs and the Clifton Park Elks Lodge #2466, he was a longtime board member of the Clifton Park & Halfmoon Emergency Corps. He was 80. Walter E. Knights G’71, of St. Paul, Minn., who served with the U.S. Navy and earned a degree in science and mathematics from John Brown University and an M.S. from Union College, Aug. 13, 2020. A professor at St. Paul Vo-Tech College in St. Paul, Minn., he liked flying airplanes, jogging and riding motorcycles and bicycles. A Unitarian Universalist, he was 92. Howard J. Klopfer ’71, of Schenectady, N.Y., who held a bachelor’s degree from Farmingdale State College and a degree in chemistry from Union College, Aug. 27,
2020. A research chemist for 40 years at General Electric, he held more than 10 patents related to aerospace plastics. Howard, who enjoyed spending time on the lake with his family, in the bowling alley and on the softball field and golf course, put on dynamic chemistry shows for elementary school children. He was 85. Dr. Stanley Shapiro ’71, of Los Angeles, Calif., who graduated from Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University, Oct. 14, 2020. Board certified in internal medicine, he also held a master’s in public health from UCLA and a fellowship in infectious diseases at Kaiser Permanente. Stan, who became physician emeritus in 2014, had a lifelong career treating HIV-AIDS, hepatitis and other infectious diseases. A voracious student of history, literature and politics, he was 71. Bruce J. Auwater ’72, of Gloversville, N.Y., who was the owner of the former Auwater Shoe Dept. in Gloversville, Aug. 13, 2020. He was 69. Bonnie J. Greeson G’73, of Lexington, Ky., who held a B.A. in botany and teaching certification (grades 7-12) in science from the University of Kentucky, Aug. 10, 2020. She also held an M.S. in geology from Union College and was an educator at institutions in Kentucky, New York and Georgia. Recognized in the Who’s Who Among American Teachers (1999-2001), she was active in her community, including as Sunday school teacher, in the Albany Medical Center emergency room, at Prince William Hospital and as a member of the Catherton Ladies Club (Manassas, Va.). She was 78. Joan Allen ’73, of Malvern, Penn., who held a master’s in business administration from New York University and retired as corporate production controller at Pfizer’s Manhattan headquarters, Oct. 4, 2020. Passionate about books and sports, Joan was devoted to her children, driving them to practices, volunteering at their schools
8 and teaching catechism classes. She treasured their annual family vacation to Aruba. She was 69. Joseph A. Kapp ’75, of Schenectady, N.Y., who held a B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering from Union College and a Ph.D. from RPI in materials engineering, Aug. 5, 2020. Joe, who enjoyed an engineering career with Watervliet Arsenal and ExxonMobil Belgium/USA for 27 years, was also president of Elmherst Research and was an adjunct engineering professor at Union. Chairman of the board of trustees at Hudson Valley Community College and its longest serving current member, he was an active leader in many professional organizations. A recipient of the Alfred H. Geisler Memorial Award and former mayor of Rensselaer, he was 67. Aaron M. Clindinin ’76, of Pattersonville, N.Y., who finished his career as a systems analyst with Key Services Corps, Sept. 11, 2020. Known for his funny stories, quick wit and playing football with the neighborhood children, he was 69. Mark J. Broomfield ’77, of Ballston Spa, N.Y., who held a master’s degree in business administration from Fordham Gabelli School of Business, Sept. 24, 2020. He enjoyed a 43-year career as a managing director for Bankers Trust Company; chief information officer/managing director for Citibank’s global cash management division and as principle of Business Edge Solutions. Mark was also director of financial services for Perficient (Forward ThinkGroup) and served on the Federal Reserve Bank committee. He was 65. Martyn Strong G’76, of N. Chelmsford, Mass., who graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute before earnings a master’s in computer science from Union College, Sept. 10, 2020. Martyn, who also held a master’s in electric power engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from Western New England College, was a software engineer for General Electric and RCA. He later
JUDGE ETHEL LOUISE BREWER
lumni and colleagues are remembering the former Ethel David who, as director of the College’s AOP/HEOP program, was a firm but supportive motherly figure who marshaled hundreds of students—many first generation collegians—through the challenges of young adulthood and higher education. Judge Ethel Louise Brewer passed away on Sept. 9, 2020 at the age of 70. She was at Union from 1988 to 1996. Born in Utica, she was the third of seven children of the Reverend Louis C. and Dorothy Alexander Brewer. At 6, she moved with her family to Albany, where her father was pastor of the Union Missionary Baptist Church. She earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, and a master's degree in education at Hunter College in New York City She held various other positions in higher education at Hudson Valley Community College, Ithaca College and Benedict College in Columbia, S.C. In 2012, she was appointed by then Governor Nikki Haley to serve as a Summary Court Judge in Richland County, S.C. where she presided over the county bond court at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center. She retired in August 2020. When she died, the South Carolina State Senate issued a resolution which read, in part, “Judge Brewer … was often
described as ‘a quiet storm with a kind heart,’ and the people of South Carolina were made better by her influence and will greatly miss her impactful presence.” Among alumni recollections: “Ethel regularly gave me pep talks, reminded me of my value and grit motivating me to stick with it because I was stronger and smarter than I was giving myself credit for. I am forever grateful to her for seeing in me something I didn’t yet see in myself.” —Angela R. Rudolph ’93 “Ethel was a beacon of light for me and provided me with the guidance and push that I needed at Union.” —Khristian Gibson ’97 “I will always remember her fierce conviction toward social justice and I will forever grateful to the opportunities she gave all of us AOP alumni at Union.” —Joon Keum ’94 “She was supportive yet firm. She pushed me and others to fulfill our potential. She fought for us to be part of the Union College campus and to leave our mark. She was the force we all needed to succeed academically, politically, socially and spiritually. She commanded our respect and she gave us respect.”— Dionne Owusu Morgan ’94 “I learned from Ethel to speak truth to power, recognize my inner strength, and to have unflinching beliefs in my abilities.” —Jacques P. Etienne ’94
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worked for Raytheon, MSD as a senior software engineer and ended his career at Giganet. Martyn, who volunteered with Microsoft to teach high school students programming languages, was 71. Peter R. Cowie G’79, of Rotterdam, N.Y., who graduated from Newark College of Engineering before earning a master’s in mechanical engineering from Union College, Sept. 4, 2020. Peter worked for General Electric (Bechtel) for 38 years and was a member of several organizations, including the Northeastern Woodworkers Association, Make A Wish Foundation and GE Elfun Society. An avid runner, he participated in the Schenectady Stockadeathon for 37 years, as well as the Boston Marathon. Peter, who enjoyed gardening, travel, golf, fishing and cheering on his grandchildren during sports or musical events, was an active parishioner at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church. He was 72.
1980s Francis T. Murphy ’81, of Clifton Park, N.Y., who was a technical leader of the Communicable Disease and Electronic Surveillance System for Health Research Inc. at the New York State Department of Health for many years, Aug. 27, 2020. A communicant of St. Edward the Confessor Church, he was an Eagle Scout and an active player and board member with the Capital District Soccer Club. An avid coin collector and New York Mets fan, Frank was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity at Union College. He was 61. William C. Gould ’82, of Golf, Ill., who spent many years in finance as the global risk manager for ING Barings and as an entrepreneur with the formation of Greylock LLC, July 20, 2020. Bill, whose greatest passion was his family, enjoyed hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and in upstate New York. An active and athletic person and lifelong ice hockey player, he played at Union College and coached his sons’ teams. He was 60.
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S. Helen Shaver ’87, of Schenectady, N.Y., and formerly of Rotterdam, N.Y., who worked in the financial aid department at Union College for many years, Aug. 26, 2020. A member of Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, she volunteered at Proctors Theater and with the American Red Cross. Helen also took tap dance lessons at Ferrara Dance Studio and was a member of a senior tap dancing group. She was 92. Robert E. Maranville ’88, of Durango, Colo., who worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia Laboratory in Albuquerque as a safety specialist, Aug. 7, 2020. Robert, who loved the outdoors and the physical challenge of sports, won many medals in bicycle and triathlon races. Music and guitar were important to him, and he liked to cook and grow chili peppers for his own salsa. A New York Giants fan who never missed a game, he was 54.
1990s Richard Schroedl G’91, of Staatsburg, N.Y., who held a B.S. in chemical engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology and an M.S. in computer science from Union College, Aug. 8, 2020. He worked for IBM and Lenovo for a combined 35 years, during which time he produced five patents. Richard, who enjoyed traveling and watching sports and Formula 1 races, liked skiing, flying, scuba diving and everything engineering. He was 60. David C. Burke ’90, of Galway, N.Y., who held an MBA from Union College and was regional administrator for HCR ManorCare for more than 20 years, Oct. 18, 2020. David loved to travel and collect keepsakes from his favorite shows, including Star Wars, StarTrek and Looney Tunes. He also enjoyed music and dancing to all genres. He was 52.
2000s Mark E. Banovic G’03, of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., who graduated from Hobart and William Smith College and held a master’s degree from Union College, Aug. 21, 2020. A teacher at Farnsworth Middle School for 16 years, he was also a soccer coach, mentor and leader. Mark enjoyed hunting, fishing, hiking and skiing and was a member of the Good Fellows Club. He was 41. Jennifer Williams McKernon ’04, of Argyle, N.Y., who designed circuit boards for Central Semi Conductor before working on digital mammography machines at the General Electric Research and Development Center, Sept. 18, 2020. She also worked for Applied Robotics and for the Department of Defense before joining Boston Scientific (acquired by Angio Dynamics). There, she and her team received a patent for the pancreatic cancer treatment device called NanoKnife. Jennifer loved traveling, her dogs (Einstein and Ferdinand) and her farm in Argyle. She was 38.
Friends of Union College William J. MacFarland, of Glenville, N.Y., who served in the U.S. Army during World War II and held an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering and a master’s degree in industrial engineering, both from Columbia University, Sept. 10, 2020. A reliability engineer at GE until his retirement, he was also an adjunct professor of statistics at Union College. William, who enjoyed literature, philosophy, poetry and classical music, was 95.
8 FAYE E. DUDDEN
olleagues are remembering Faye E. Dudden, the former professor of history and founder of what is now the Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies Program at Union. She passed away Oct. 16 at the age of 72. She taught at Union from 1983 until 1997, when she accepted a position at Colgate University. She retired from Colgate in 2016 as the Charles A. Dana Professor of History. A pioneer in the field of women’s studies, her published work focused on women’s occupations and the women’s rights movement in the 19th century. Her book, Women and the American Theater 1790-1870, won the 1995 George Freedly award for the best book on the history of the American theater. Her most recent book is Fighting Chance: The Struggle
Over Woman Suffrage and Black Suffrage in Reconstruction America. Teresa Meade, Florence B. Sherwood Professor of History and Culture Emeritus, recalled Dudden as a mentor to junior faculty, a conscientious and popular teacher, and an established scholar. Meade also noted that Dudden was very active in College service, at one point chairing the Faculty Review Board. “No doubt there are several [current faculty] who owe our promotions and tenure to her work as a member of ad-hoc tenure committees, member and chair of the FRB, and generous informal advisor,” Meade said. “Faye was especially important to me as one of the very few female tenured faculty members in the entire college, and the only other woman in the history department,
when I came in 1987,” Meade added. Dudden authored the entry titled “Women at Union” in the Encyclopedia of Union College History (Wayne Somers, ed.) which begins with Union’s founding as a male-only school. By the 1990s, she observed, “women were a normal presence on the Union College campus, but there remained subtle (and not so subtle) ways in which they did not enjoy the same conditions or status as Union men.” From 1984 through 1986 at Union, Dudden held a McArthur Foundation Fellowship, which supports a promising junior faculty member. Dudden, a native of Camillus, N.Y., earned her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Rochester. Survivors include her husband, Marshall Blake.
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8 PROF. MICHAEL E. HAGERMAN
olleagues, students and alumni are mourning the loss of Michael E. Hagerman, professor of chemistry, who was well known for his passion in the classroom and for his friendly and wide-ranging collaboration in the research lab. He passed away Dec. 3, 2020 after a long battle with melanoma. He was 50. He taught a range of courses in Chemistry, Environmental Science, Policy & Engineering and Science, Medicine and Technology in Culture. His research, much of which was done with interdisciplinary teams of students and faculty, focused on inorganic and materials chemistry applied to the synthesis of inorganic and organic nanocomposites. He was co-director of the College’s Nanotechnology Program, which offers an interdisciplinary minor that explores the many applications and policies related to the inconceivably small. “We are heartbroken by the loss of Mike,” said Joanne Kehlbeck, chair of Chemistry. “He was a caring and dedicated teacher, committed to the Union experience of mentoring students to find their passions and achieve their very best. His impact on
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the College is ongoing, most notably in his work initiating the Nanoscience program, developed through numerous grants for course development and the acquisition of exceptional research instrumentation. “He championed undergraduate research in the most substantial way, by welcoming every student to work with him in the lab and enabling them to travel to professional conferences to share their results,” Kehlbeck said. “He was an exceptional writer and was passionate about helping students write well, too. His colleagues will remember him for his sincere warmth, caring and innate ability to send a note of encouragement exactly when needed.” He received a number of grants, most recently as lead principal investigator on a National Science Foundation MRI award for a Powder X-Ray Diffraction (PXRD) system. The research activities using the PXRD span the departments of Chemistry, Geology, Mechanical Engineering, and Physics and Astronomy, as well as the interdisciplinary programs of Nanoscience and Environmental Science, Policy, and Engineering.
Hagerman, who joined the College in 1997, held a B.S. from North Central College, and a master’s and Ph.D. from Northwestern University. He earned tenure at Union in 2003. Survivors include his wife, Gail Donaldson, who has taught in the psychology department; and two children, Sarah and James. According to his wishes, there will be no memorial immediately, according to Kehlbeck, who added that the department will plan “a celebration of his extraordinary passion for teaching chemistry and working with students.” In an email to alumni, Kehlbeck said, “Working with students in the lab was one of his greatest passions and kept him fighting until the end. Please know how proud he was of your success.” Isaac Ramphal ’14, responded: “This is heartbreaking news for [those of us] whose lives were touched by his kindness. My success can certainly be attributed in large part to him.” Mayrita Arrandale ’05 added: “He was the most supportive teacher and mentor I ever had. I'm certain I wouldn't have had any of the success without him believing in me.”
CAME TOGETHER for UNION
1,465 $775,000+ $400.94 46 1976
TOTAL DOLLARS RAISED
AVERAGE GIFT SIZE
to our donors and advocates who made the October Challenge a success!
NUMBER OF STATES FROM WHICH DONATIONS WERE RECEIVED
• $100,000 from Tom Connolly ’89
• $150,000 from Dave Breazzano ’78
Why do U support Union?
• $10,000 from WRUC 100th Anniversary Committee
CLASS YEAR WITH MOST DONORS
J ULIE LE V Y ’87, P ’ 2 1
B OB BY S YE D ’0 3
M IK E A L A B URJY ’2 0
Parent Circle family
President’s Council member
GOLD Committee member
“Union students have the opportunity to become involved and grow as young adults. Being able to contribute to Union’s community in the classroom as well as via the arts, campus life and athletics provides for a well-rounded college experience. We are proud that our gift can support students in their educational journey.”
“Having remained in the area after graduation, I always had the desire to get back in the campus community. Over the years, I realized there was never a great time to start but that you have to commit to the things you are passionate about. I cannot think of a better time than now to re-engage and support students and faculty. I chose to give to the Union Fund and join the President’s Council as a way to give back to the College that did so much for me, and to help guide students/alumni as they enter the various stages of their careers.”
“I give back to Union because I know how critical and formative my four years there were to my overall character and professional development. I came into college not really having a defined idea of what I wanted to do or what I was truly interested in. However, the opportunities provided to me both inside and outside the classroom allowed me to gain perspective and grow on all levels.”
Above: Michael Levy P’21, Julie Levy ’87, P’21 and Emerson Levy ’21
Office of Communications 807 Union Street Schenectady, NY 12308-3169
MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR A VIRTUAL
More information is coming soon to ualumni.union.edu
While we’re disappointed we won't be on campus together for ReUnion 2021, we’re excited about the slate of exciting online events we’re planning. Highlights include: • Virtual class receptions and trivia • Receptions honoring the 100th Anniversary of WRUC and the 50th Anniversary of Terms Abroad at Union • Student-led panels and tours • A variety of fun activities to participate in from home