Page 1







2 01 9


University of Hartford Magazine is published twice each year for alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends.

Vice President for Marketing and Enrollment M O L LY P O LK Editor JO N ATH AN E AST ERBRO O K ’87, M ’9 0 Design K R I ST INA KARLS O N ’14 K E V I N S E P E ’9 9 L I L LY P E RE IRA ’02 aldeia.design Art Direction PAU L A RIBEIRO Contributing Writers M E AG AN FAZ IO M ’16 ST E P HANIE FE NGLER KA R E N H UNTER M A RY INGARRA P ’2 0, P ’2 2 JI M K EE NE R P ’16 , P ’2 1 M I L D R ED M C NE ILL JE SE LE PARAGO NE JO E L SAM BERG M A R C IA S IM O N Photography N I CO LE BE DARD R AC H E L BO NAPARTE ’19 ST E P HEN D UNN ST E V E M CLAUGH LIN M A R I O M O RGAD O JO N ATH AN O LS O N D O U G P ENH ALL

facebook.com/ UniversityofHartford

twitter.com/ UofHartford

instagram.com/ UniversityofHartford

youtube.com/ UofHartfordNews

HA R TF O R D. E D U CONTACT US: H, UNIVERSITY OF HARTFORD MAGAZINE Office of Marketing and Communication, 200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, CT 06117 editor@hartford.edu O N T HE COVER: Environmentally friendly straws propel a business venture for two alumni. COVER PHOTO BY MARIO MORGADO




With Honors

Students challenged and rewarded by Honors Program.


Clean & Green

Pair of alumni grow entrepreneurial venture.


Space Race

UHart’s NASA connection benefits students and faculty. Ebony Campbell (A ’02, ’04)


P. 34

Cast of Characters YaAdam Fye inspires African girls.


Career Calling

Mark Benigni trades politics for education.

Lenny Masiello ’69

P. 27


Accentuating the Positive Helping others is life’s work for Ebony Campbell.

“I watched Neil Armstrong step off the ladder, and I felt an incredible sense of pride…”

Photo: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM 9A12554)

Maria “Gabby” Loza ’21

P. 37

DE PA R TM E N TS 0 2 O B S E R VAT I O N S Message from President Woodward

3 6 H AW K N AT I O N Inside athletics

04 SEEN & HEARD Views and posts

40 MIXED MEDIA Books, movies, and music

05 UNOTES News from campus

41 WORDS OF WISDOM Expert advice

1 2 H AW K ’ S E Y E V I E W The big picture

42 ALUMNI NOTES News for and about alumni

14 FIRST CLASS Spotlight on faculty

56 EXPRESSIONS Cool spaces

0 2 / O B S E R VAT I O N S / M E S S AG E




Developing, Engaging, and Delivering

Gregory S. Woodward

“They are stories of groundbreaking research, deep experiential learning, overcoming adversity, embracing an entrepreneurial spirit, and recognizing the importance of giving back.”

Greetings, friends. In these short letters, I like to focus on a theme relevant to things happening at the University that would be of interest to all of you—perhaps university growth, new programs, or alumni engagement opportunities. In preparation of this particular opportunity, I read some of the proofs of this edition of our spectacular, new H magazine. One story of achievement followed another, calling out our successes in so many different areas. I was impressed and inspired— and grateful, hopeful, and determined. Grateful to lead this special institution, hopeful for the impact our community is having in the world, and determined to continue to enhance and deliver the UHart educational experience to our incredible students. The stories on the pages you are about to read chronicle the amazing achievements of our students and alumni. They are stories of groundbreaking research, deep experiential learning, overcoming adversity, embracing an entrepreneurial spirit, and recognizing the importance of giving back. These stories haven’t come to fruition by chance. While completing intense majors and building skills for careers, our students experience thoughtfully constructed general education classes and coursework that allow them to personalize their education and tailor opportunities that will help them selfdefine a full personal and professional life. Many of these experiences shape who they are, just as your own experiences helped shape all of you.


This year, recognizing that the student experience begins on day one, the campus community reinvented the transition-to-college experience. We created new initiatives for professional first-year advising and mentoring, enhanced Orientation programming, and are opening the doors this fall to our new Center for Student Success, a true one-stop shop for students located at the heart of student life in Gengras Student Union. Right next door is the completely re-engineered Career Studio, giving students the opportunity to discover, experience, and secure their career paths throughout their college years. Campus looks great; many of our residence halls, classrooms, common spaces, and grounds received a lot of love and attention, resulting in the best-looking and most modern campus we have perhaps ever had. I often tell people I wish everyone had the opportunity to shake the hands of graduates as they cross the stage at Commencement. There is a tangible excitement and energy in the moment, just before our graduates officially take the next steps to continue their education, enter the workforce, enter the military, and the world. Our students are ready to follow their dreams and engage as poweful citizens. Together, through the great contributions of so many of you, we are going to continue to increase access to a UHart education, diversify our students and programs, and share our inspiring story with the world.

Because of UHart, I’ve grown as an artist, become active in social causes, and learned to be a leader. Those things—and this place—have shaped who I am. Kristen Ortega ’20, Illustration major

EMPOWER EVERY STUDENT Your gift to the UHart Impact Fund paves the way for every University of Hartford student to thrive and contribute to a better world.




H welcomes comments and thoughts from readers and alumni, and while we can’t print or personally respond to each letter or email, we promise that we do read and appreciate them. Comments published on this page express the views of the writers and not the University of Hartford or staff of H. Letters and emails are edited for clarity, space, and UHart style.



We Want to Hear from You!





MAIL : H Editor, Office of Marketing and Communication, 200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, CT 06117 E MAIL: editor@hartford.edu

Thank you for spotlighting the 50th anniversary of WWUH’s sign-on July 15, 1968, in your last issue. As the senior who showed a very young John Ramsey around our relatively new 3kw stereo radio station in the fall of 1969, I think it’s proper for the University to make more mention of the first 18 years of WWUH’s progress. Perhaps, your staff could/should delve into the past to find out about our 100 percent student effort to build and establish this iconic University of Hartford masterpiece. John has done a magnificent job with WWUH, built by and for students to further the interests of the University of Hartford. John’s Hartford Radio History shows and tells about the energy, time, effort, and life skills applied in those formative and sustaining years by the original student broadcasters. We’re still around and appreciate the tremendously unique educational opportunity afforded to us resulting from our gentle persuasion with Dr. A. M. Woodruff. Thank you very much for your attention to the complete history and sustaining mission of Alternative Radio 91.3, WWUH–FM, at the University of Hartford. —Clark Smidt ’70 (A&S)

I run the Civic Design class at the Hartford Art School, a student–based design group dedicated to providing visual communications to the nonprofit community. I just want to say how proud I was when I received the last couple of issues. This is great work! As an alumnus and having run a marketing communications firm for many years before teaching, I know this is branding communication at its very best. I look forward to sharing it with my students, especially because I see so many alumni were involved. The design is elegant, compelling, energized, and sophisticated. I love the subtle record lines on the cover of your winter issue, and the simplicity of the big H branding. —Michael Scricco ’72 (HAS) As one of Faisal Al–Marzook’s former classmates and lifelong friends, I feel that a larger article about his passing in your winter issue would not have been inappropriate. Like many others, Faisal was a supporter of the University for years after his graduation, sending more than one friend or relative to his alma mater. However, in today’s fragile atmosphere of peaceful and productive


relationships between diverse ethnic groups, especially those of Middle Eastern twitter.com/UofHartford origins, I feel the University Thrilled to receive an honorary degree missed a golden opportunity. from the University of Hartford. Many have passed through “Committed to community” is a way the gates at the soccer field, of life here and the foundation for wondering why there was the mission, vision, and values of this a plaque in English and in remarkable institution. Arabic, wondering who was it who was named there, and the reasons and purposes behind that story. Faisal was a remarkable person, able to look into the future with high hopes and find ingenious ways to contribute to the betterment of coming generations. Lynn Pasquerella, president of the Association of American Colleges and —Betty R. (Butryman) Universities, former UHart provost Vania ’68 (ENHP) As a recent emeritus faculty member, I received my winter issue. It is remarkable. Clear, accessible layout, splendid articles, loads of coverage. Wow! It makes me proud to have worked there. Many kudos! —Roger Desmond (professor emeritus of communication)

For the Record David Thompson ’89, M’91 became a member of the University of Hartford Board of Regents in 2014. The year was incorrect on page 51 of the winter 2019 issue.

instagram.com/ UniversityofHartford

Congratulations to Nasr Kamar ’20, the winner of our summer photo contest on Instagram!











/ 05

New state–of–the–art, high– tech learning and collaboration spaces are housed in a newly opened 10,000–square–foot addition to Auerbach Hall for the Barney School of Business. The new facility includes a trading floor, analytics lab, and new commons area.




Applied Learning

Civil engineering students tie coursework to real–world industry For recent grad Matt Garneau ’19, the firsthand look at industry he experienced during his time at the University of Hartford helped him gain the experience employers are looking for in entry–level engineers. It is, thus, not surprising that multiple companies reached out to Garneau prior to graduation with job offers. He decided upon a position working in the water and wastewater division at Tighe & Bond, a leader in environmental and engineering consulting services in the Northeast for more than a century. The College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture (CETA) offers a unique opportunity each year for civil engineering students to see how local water treatment facilities


operate. Being a student in Applied Assistant Professor Todd Brown’s Applied Wastewater Treatment class provided Garneau with the chance to go on tours with his fellow students to apply what they were learning in the classroom to real– world industry. The fact that he could speak about skills learned both inside the classroom and in person at these facilities gave him a clear advantage in the job market, he says. Brown’s class is unique in its focus on knowledge and skills that will help students in their careers. “The tours at local water treatment facilities focus on the drawings and technical specifications that engineers prepared when they designed the plants,” says Brown. Since developing the course two years ago, Brown brings his senior students out into the field during the spring semester to see how the design theory they learn during the fall semester is applied in the real world. Students evaluate drawing plans and ultimately see how they translate to the plants they visit. The first tour of the spring semester was at a water resource recovery facility in Manchester, Conn., recently upgraded with the latest wastewater treatment technology. The tour was led by Ray Weaver, process control supervisor, who has been part of that facility for more than 30 years. It consisted of several stops to see particular design elements and compare what is at the facility to the design drawings that students had studied in class. Garneau says it was very beneficial to review the technical specifications and drawings prior to the tour. “This allowed me to be prepared with very detailed questions that furthered my understanding of the plant’s processes, specifically nutrient removal,” says Garneau. “I am looking ahead to my career as a water and wastewater engineer, and applied learning opportunities such as this one will help me significantly.” These tours are one example of how CETA incorporates industry into its curriculum. Students are encouraged to listen to and learn how to speak with fellow engineers and operators, which in turn helps them develop the skills employers are seeking. Being an applied professor, Brown incorporates his industry experience into his teaching and is familiar with what companies seek in qualified candidates, so he connects these two areas when he can through trips like these. “If a student’s first job after college is a design engineer, they may be responsible for upgrading a plant,” says Brown. “Therefore, they will need to be comfortable going out and speaking with operators about their expertise and ideas.”




/ 07

W H E N O U T S I D E WO R DS CO M E I N Lectures at universities like UHart are not always delivered by professors. Throughout the year, a number of guest lecturers are brought in to classrooms, lecture halls, and theaters to impart words of knowledge, inspiration, motivation, and more. Do students think outside lecturers are instructive? We asked some of them and here are some of their thoughts.

Zachary Wood delivered the 2019 Rogow Lecture in Lincoln Theater in February. The 23–year–old recent graduate from Williams College wrote the book Uncensored: My Life and Uncomfortable Conversations at the Intersection of Black and White America and he is a crusader for open dialogue and free speech.

Academic, activist, and author Angela Y. Davis delivered the keynote message during a moving observance of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. on campus in February.

Mary Holter ’19 (shaking Davis’s hand): My mother always talked about her as a person to look up to as an example of how important it is to stand our ground, get our education, and stand up for what we know is right. I think it’s really important that we (students) have the ability to see someone who is a hero, someone so grounded in what they believe is right, someone to look up to. And it’s important to see them in the flesh so that we know that what we’ve learned about them is real and we can strive to do things that are similar.” Wiktoria Milewska ’21

Nicholas Gonzalez ’19

(third from right): “He made me see that communication will always be necessary in life and even when you don’t agree with someone, it’s better to hear that person out. I definitely find myself in scenarios like that. This was an opportunity to combine what I’m learning with hearing how an actual person does it and putting that together in my mind.”

(in black shirt on Mary Holter’s right): Meeting Davis and reading that poem gave me a new purpose as an activist in my own life to fight for what matters. I’m half Italian and half Columbian. I grew up surrounded by a lot of white people so I identified with them, but when I got here, it became so much about what you look like. I didn’t look like a white person to people, so these past four years, I’ve settled into being a person of color. The message that I want to spread is about the need for equality and treating everyone like they belong.”

Devon Lott ’21 (sixth from right, in grey sweatshirt): “Zachary Wood’s story touched me because I feel there are aspects of his life that are similar to mine, so hearing how he is growing and still figuring himself out was inspiring. He is so wise to encourage us to listen to other opinions because a lot of people say ’why should I listen to so and so when we don’t have the same views,’ but in order to keep growing and adapting and improving, we have to listen to each other in order to live in the same space.”

Eddie Cruz ’21 (shaking Davis’s hand): “For me, it was empowering to hear her speak about her conviction to causes—especially as a POC (person of color), to see someone who looks similar to me command the room’s attention. It was so liberating.”

FA L L 2 0 1 9





Michele Troy, professor of English in Hillyer College, has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant to conduct research in Germany beginning in October. Her 2017 book, Strange Bird: The Albatross Press and the Third Reich, told the surprising tale of a firm that managed to keep modern Anglophone literature— of the likes of James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, D. H. Lawrence, and Ernest Hemingway—alive in Nazi Germany. Troy’s new project, funded by the Fulbright grant, pursues the theme of Anglo American books once more, yet this time, from East Berlin, in the heart of the Cold War. She will spend her time in Germany researching a biography on Gertrude Gelbin, an American socialist whose Seven Seas Books became a conduit for Anglo American literature across the borders of the Cold War world in the 1950s and 60s. Troy will delve into the files of East German state censors and the secret police, transporting readers into expatriate circles in East Berlin, where authors, publishers, and intellectuals all had to learn to negotiate between their own desire for individual expression and the dictates of an increasingly authoritarian regime. On a Friday in late April, UHart hosted its inaugural conference focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the classroom. It offered an overview of the pedagogies in higher education that expand inclusive excellence, and highlighted the work that faculty must engage in to promote equity in their classrooms and to embrace social justice. The keynote speaker, Khyati Joshi of Fairleigh Dickinson University, highlighted topics that professors should consider when implementing teaching strategies that foster justice and inclusion. Later in the day, participants attended workshops focused on the areas of implicit bias, microaggressions, and facilitating difficult conversations in the classroom.


Assistant Professor of Chemistry Colleen Krause, working with UHart students and colleagues from a neighboring university, has developed a disposable test strip that detects Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2, a breast cancer biomarker. The test strip is a simple, inexpensive way to catch breast cancer early and would revolutionize personalized diagnosis. It is hoped that with early detection, physicians can tailor treatment approaches on the spot.


Last year, Krause’s research was published by top biosensor journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics. Students Susanita Carvajal ’19 and Samantha Fera ’19 were co-authors on the manuscript. “My students and I are working on engineering a portable output device for an electrochemical readout that is similar to the glucose meters you can buy in a local pharmacy,” Krause explains. The research team includes Adonica Simpson ’19,




/ 09

Appearing in “Science Highlights” section of National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) website.

[ DE C . 7, 2 018 ]

Using inkjet printers to build a new biosensor for less invasive breast cancer detection NIBIB–funded researchers have created a novel, low-cost biosensor to detect HER-2, a breast cancer biomarker in the blood, allowing for a far less invasive diagnostic test than the current practice, a needle biopsy. Scientists at the Universities of Hartford and Connecticut, and funded in part by NIBIB, combined microfluidic technology with diagnostics, including electrochemical sensors and biomarkers, into a powerful package that can give results in about 15 minutes.

Aleksander Marczuk ’19, Estelleta Hackshaw ’20, and Mikaila French ’20. The students are engaged in interdisciplinary research that incorporates engineering, synthetic chemistry, electrochemistry, and biochemistry. “They work throughout the year to gather meaningful, publishable results that can be presented at local scientific conferences, and they gain essential skills in becoming independent problem solvers. This will propel them into their prospective careers,” Krause says.

Colleen Krause, assistant professor of chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences, with the test strip.

From left: Emily Wright ’22, Karishma Pinto ’17, President Woodward, Ryleigh Johns ’20, Emmanuel Silva De Sousa D’23, Erin Sniffen ’16, and Chris Duffy, Hartford CLC mentor

At least 17 University of Hartford students and alumni have been selected to participate in the Obama Foundation’s six– month Community Leadership Corps (CLC) in Hartford. The selected young people (ages 18–25) are developing projects that address opportunities and challenges in Hartford. In June, UHart President Gregory Woodward had breakfast with five of the Corps members who are students or alumni. “The application did not ask what school the applicants attend or attended,” said Woodward, “so we are extremely pleased that a large number of our students and alumni have been selected to showcase their commitment to the city that is this University’s namesake.” At the invitation of the U.S. Consulate in Chennai, India, and in collaboration with the United States India Educational Foundation, Associate Professor Katharine Owens of the University’s Politics, Economics, and International Studies Department spent two days in Chennai last May sharing her research, leading workshops, and co–leading a cleanup event at Sreenivasapuram beach with the Environmentalist Foundation of India. During the spring semester, Owens utilized a prestigious Fulbright Foreign Scholarship to teach and conduct research on marine debris found along India’s southwest coast. Her work in India models a marine debris and policy action course she taught at the University of Hartford in 2016. At that time, her students collected and cataloged more than 1,600 pieces of trash along Connecticut’s beaches and shared the results with the environmental committee of the Connecticut General Assembly.

FA L L 2 0 1 9





Teaming Up UHart students from different disciplines work with manufacturing giant

At the University of Hartford, hands–on learning to prepare students for the future takes place in class and through job shadowing, internships, and independent study. Last spring, Chelsea Chaves ’20 was one of four students in an interdisciplinary independent study working with Hubbell Incorporated conducting market research on Arc Fault Current Interrupters (AFCI), a circuit breaker that breaks the circuit when it detects an electric arc in an effort to prevent electrical fires.

“Regardless of our major, we all had the same task,” Chaves says, which was “calling different distributors, electrical contractors, and property managers to ask what product they are using, why they chose that brand, and whether they were having any issues.”

Chaves is a marketing major in the Barney School of Business. She worked alongside Lauren Zarbis ’20, a Barney economics major; Leonardo Pegeas ’20, a math major in the College of Arts and Sciences; and Justin Simko ’19, an electrical engineering major in the College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture. “One of the issues we were researching was nuisance tripping. That’s when the AFCI breaks the circuit when a false arc is detected. After gathering all of the information, we put together a big in–person presentation for Hubbell officials and followed that


up with a written report. Hubbell said it was very helpful in determining what type of customers they are attracting for this product. “This was a great lesson in learning one method of conducting market research,” Chaves concludes. “I gained experience working with a group, in making a presentation in front of professionals, and in writing a formal end–of–project report. Not only will it look good on my résumé, it was fun.” The AFCI project was the latest done by UHart students with Hubbell Incorporated. During the fall semester of 2018, a different group of students conducted research on a prototype Hubbell device– charging station to determine how well it worked, where it might be most useful, and how it could be promoted. Hubbell’s latest portable charger station, the JumpCharge™, can be found in the new Hubbell ConneCT space in Auerbach Hall.

Pictured on site at Hubbell (from left): Associate Professor of Mathematics Fei Xue (faculty advisor), Leonardo Pegeas ’20, Chelsea Chaves ’20, Justin Simko ’19, Lecturer in Economics Ken Goroshko (faculty advisor). Not pictured: Lauren Zarbis ’20




/ 11

Experience of a Lifetime


Students participate in prestigious Legislative Internship Program

Learn more at hartford.edu

New Focus on—and Center for—Student Success At most universities, student life and academic services are distinct units with different goals and priorities. At the University of Hartford, they now exist together under one label: the Division of Student Success. This fall, UHart will open the doors to a new building at the heart of campus dedicated exclusively to students’ personal success. Located in Gengras Student Union, the new Center for Student Success will help students transition seamlessly into college life. Before even arriving on campus, students are assigned their own personal success coach. Together, student and success coach work in tandem on everything from creating an academic schedule to finances to getting involved on campus. The relationship is especially important during a student’s first year on campus, but the success coach remains a resource for the student in the years that follow. The Center for Student Success will also provide students with a one–credit advising course, academic coaching, connections to tutoring and support services, and planning for sophomore success.

“Given the demands of students today, young adults need more support than ever before navigating the transition to college life,” says Jessica Nicklin, associate vice president for student success. “The new Center for Student Success is a one–stop shop dedicated to empowering students to find solutions within themselves.” 

For the past half century, the Legislative Internship Program has afforded countless college students the opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge about how state government works, through direct experience in the legislative offices of the Connecticut General Assembly. With approximately 15 percent fewer internship placement opportunities available due to legislator turnover last spring—and more Brian Martin ’20 student applications than ever to the program— the selection process was highly competitive. Yet, the University of Hartford placed three students in this program during the spring semester: Brian Martin ’20 of the Barney School of Business, and Sara DelPiano ’21 and Dayna Dinnall ’21 of Hillyer College. Kate Darcy Hohenthal, UHart’s assistant director of student engagement and experiential education in the Office of Career and Professional Development, is in her second year serving as the Legislative Internship Program’s campus advisor. She stresses that this valuable program is open to students in all academic areas. “The government touches all aspects of Sara DelPiano ’21 our lives,” Hohenthal says, “and this internship program can introduce how our government works to students across all majors.” Hohenthal introduces students to the internship in a number of ways. Dinnall became aware of the opportunity through résumé boot camp events that the Office of Career and Professional Development holds for students. Martin was seeking a traditional business internship before his career advisor, Hohenthal, reviewed the Legislative Internship Program with him. DelPiano, an intern for Hohenthal, was encouraged to apply with the promise that, if accepted, she would be given the spring Dayna Dinnall ’21 semester off from her campus internship and hired back in the fall. As a business major, Martin chose to follow bills relating to finance through two committees of the Connecticut General Assembly: banking, and insurance and real estate. “I tracked a bill related to creating a state infrastructure bank and how it would be funded,” Martin explains, “and that allowed me to apply what I learned in the Barney School to the internship. I was also able to meet with the state comptroller during my experience, and found it very valuable to talk to someone who works directly with the state’s finances.” Dinnall worked for House Representative Charlie L. Stallworth. She began each day sorting through his emails, drafting responses to his constituents, and reviewing his schedule. On days when the House was in session, she would go to the State Capitol, specifically to the Democratic caucus room, to assist her legislator. When there was a public hearing involving Stallworth, she attended as well. “This internship has changed my perspective and potentially expanded my career opportunities after college,” Dinnall says. “My time at the Connecticut General Assembly has been an experience of a lifetime, to say the least.” “The University of Hartford has had an exceptional partnership with the Legislative Internship Program for many years now,” program director Lisa Roy says. “We have high expectations of the UHart students who participate and have found them to be inquisitive and self–directed, and they take full advantage of the opportunities offered in the Connecticut General Assembly for professional development and career exploration.”

FA L L 2 0 1 9


More than 1,350 University of Hartford graduates received degrees during Commencement Weekend last May to the applause and cheers of the largest crowd of exuberant family and friends in recent years.


Mackenzie Ford MONTESSORI E DUCATION When Mackenzie Ford received her degree on May 19, her achievement was not only a personal milestone. It was also significant for UHart, as Mackenzie became the first graduate of its Montessori bachelor’s degree program. A native of Chantilly, Virginia, Ford had been

studying early childhood education at a community college, but never imagined she would complete a bachelor’s degree. “Because of this unique program at the University of Hartford, I was able to transfer and complete a bachelor’s degree, along with pursuing my real interest in becoming a Montessori teacher,” she says.

Christopher “Khris” Henry DANCE PE RFORMANCE The youngest of nine in his family— and the first to graduate from college— Christopher Henry contemplated dropping out of school as a sophomore to care for his mother, who was diagnosed with cancer. His mother’s desire for him to finish school prevailed. Deeply saddened by her passing prior to the start of his junior year, Henry was determined to complete his college education and fulfill his mother’s wish. Following graduation, he moved to Boston to work for Urbanity Dance, and to share his passion for the arts through teaching.

Alyssa Petrancosta VISUAL COMM U NICATION DESIG N The real world waits for no one, so seniors in the visual communication design (VCD) program make the most of their time at the Hartford Art School by working with real clients long before Commencement. Alyssa Petrancosta teamed up with classmate David Todd in their Civic Design class to help a client—First Presbyterian Church of Hartford—create a brand that’s more inclusive and inviting to the LGBTQ community. They created print ads, a letterhead, business cards, and most challenging of all, updated the church’s website.

Silver Marbiah

Kristin Crowley



“Truly amazing and humbling” is how Silver Marbiah describes her two years at Hillyer College, which “opened doors beyond my imagination; it taught me about self–awareness, self–determination, and self–love.” A first–generation student in her family, Marbiah earned Dean’s List recognition, participated in the Honors Program, and presented at the creativity colloquium. “Beyond excited” to continue her studies as a criminal justice major in the College of Arts and Sciences, she looks forward to seeking internships with area police departments—and perhaps even the FBI. H / UNIVERSITY OF HARTFORD MAGAZINE

Coming from a technical high school, Kristin was accustomed to hands–on experiences, which was a perfect match for studying at UHart. At the College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture (CETA), she was able to work with architects and project managers in the field and apply the lessons learned to her own design work. Soon after graduation, Crowley began a full–time job with Whiting–Turner Contracting Company in Shelton, Conn., as a project engineer.

Simeon Kornegay




/ 13

ECONOMIC S AND FINANCE A valued member of the Student Government Association and Residential Life team (resident assistant), Simeon Kornegay effects change by challenging his peers to think critically and fairly. A good thinker and extremely hard worker, he is also one of the kindest students among the Class of 2019, caring deeply about the well–being of other students. Kornegay completed an internship at Beazley Insurance, and then after graduation, received a job offer from that same company. He credits his professors who “were experienced in their careers and showed genuine interest in teaching students about the world of business,” for his “development as a confident leader and professional.”

Andrew Goldstein BUSINESS MANAG E ME NT Andrew Goldstein wouldn’t trade his UHart experience for anything. “The people I met, the friends I made, and the instructors who taught me all hold a special place in my heart.” The Barney School’s focus on internships led to Goldstein’s hiring as associate of sales and marketing at a local events company. His own company, Promotonics Promotions, continues to make large strides in part, he says, to the knowledge he gained at UHart. “I look forward to carrying these lessons with me as I continue to work on both my career and my business,” Goldstein says.

Bonaparte Triplets DE RE K , COMM U NICATION | KEVIN , COMPUTE R SCIE NCE | R ACHE L , COMM U NICATION Rachel, Derek, and Kevin Bonaparte of Middletown, Connecticut, originally planned to split up when they went to college. That was before Rachel, the oldest, attended a UHart event for accepted students, and was so excited about the school that her brothers thought they should also apply. “I think it was the next day that the boys signed up for a tour and loved the school just as much as I did,” Rachel explains. Now the siblings are thankful that they went through college together. “It was nice to have my brother and sister at school with me,” says Derek. “I wouldn’t have made it through without them,” Kevin adds. “We had a built–in friend group.”


Ryan Biggs, an active–duty Petty Officer Second Class in the U.S. Navy assigned to the Naval Reserve Unit in Plainville, Connecticut, was named the Mid–Atlantic Region’s Junior Sailor of the Year. In addition to his full–time role as funeral honors coordinator, he also serves as the training officer among other duties for the Navy Reservist—all while attending UHart full time. A husband and a father of two young children, Biggs still finds time to give back through the nonprofit Calling All Brothers, Inc., which brings men from the local community into public schools to mentor students and serve as role models. This work recently earned him a UHart Community Service Award.

Sheri Sireci U NIVE RSIT Y STU DIES In her wildest imagination and expectations, Sheri Sireci never thought it would take 32 years to get her bachelor’s degree and graduate from college. Along that path, there were times when she never thought she would finish—period—based on the circumstances of life. Her story is one of perseverance, sheer force of will, and an ongoing mantra of “never give up.” UHart’s degree completion program, and its close–knit advising with the likes of Rob Toller (pictured with Sireci), was the final piece of the puzzle that Sireci needed to complete her academic journey. FA L L 2 0 1 9




Charles Canedy Barney School of Business

Teaching with Passion Charles Canedy retires but his influence upon four decades of students endures

It is difficult to imagine the Barney School of Business without Charles R. Canedy III. For 43 years, he dazzled students with his hypertrophic voice, a photographic ability to remember the names of hundreds at a time, and his impeccably professional aura. His enthusiasm for teaching influenced the trajectory of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of University of Hartford students, helping to swell the ranks of CEOs and entrepreneurs among Barney’s alumni.


“He just has a charisma about him that’s very memorable,” says Alex Coury ’08, M’10, a senior development officer at the University. “I meet with hundreds of [Barney] alumni a year, and he is the first person they ask about.” Canedy’s impact has been considerable, given that for at least eight years, every incoming Barney first-year student had to run the gauntlet of his introductory course in marketing. Coury, who is also a former student of Canedy’s, recalls, “The joke was you survived Charles Canedy and proceeded on in the business school or you changed your major.” On the occasion of his last interview before riding off into retirement, Canedy explained that his wife, Elaine, is the one who influenced the course of history for him and many students. “I was just a young PhD at that time,” Canedy says. “I worked for the Connecticut Bankers Association for about a year and a half, getting some practitioner skills. With that background, I got to know some of the colleges in the area. When the vacancy opened at the University of Hartford, I wasn’t all that enthusiastic about it, but my wife insisted. She had family in West Hartford and thought it would be congruent for us to be in the Hartford area, so I did apply and was hired immediately. As soon as I got in the building, I loved it thereafter.” The feeling has been mutual. You can hear the love in a tribute video posted on social media as one former student after another thanks the unforgettable professor, mentor, and friend for his inspiring leadership. Another significant tribute is the Dr. Charles R. Canedy III Scholarship, established by alumnus and Barney Hall of Fame inductee Charles Seeman ’76 and his wife, Susan. Jenna Pupillo ’20 was named the first recipient of the scholarship last spring. “People like Dr. Canedy are here once in a generation,” says Charles Seeman, retired president and CEO of United Community & Family Services, who has presented in Canedy’s classes. “The University of Hartford, Barney students, and those of us who have worked with him are better for the relationship.”


“Dr. Charles Canedy made everyone care just a little bit more about what they were doing because, very obviously, he cared.” —Peter Veru ’85, sponsor of the Theodore D. Veru Symposium in Business Excellence

Over the past four decades, the associate professor of marketing, who also has extensive knowledge of history, has been the recipient of every teaching award that the University confers, including the Roy E. Larson Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2008 and the All-University Curriculum Award for Teaching Excellence in 2006. His teaching ranged from Barney marketing and management courses to All-University Curriculum (currently named University Interdisciplinary Studies) courses. Canedy has also served as faculty advisor for the business honor society Beta Gamma Sigma, director of the Theodore D. Veru Symposium in Business Excellence, faculty advisor and coach of the Barney School Intercollegiate Case Team, and master of ceremonies for the International Business Competition. Now, with a bit of ambivalence, Canedy will find other fields in which to sow his passions. Retirement is “an interesting gambit,” he says. “My family does have property investments in Virginia and Florida, and in Connecticut. I am hopeful to invest more in that. I see myself possibly as a property manager. “I am basically a man of the soil,” Canedy says. “I enjoyed being in the classroom, being dynamic, magnetic, whatever term you want to use. But I also like to commune with nature. Maybe it is the solitariness of being alone on a tractor and all you see

is green fields and blue sky. That’s therapeutic. “I have 30 acres, and I have had experience in trying to grow grapes. My four sons [Charles Canedy IV, MD; Chadwick Canedy, PhD; Courtenay Canedy, JD; and Corwyn Canedy, a graduate engineer] worked for me. But after they went on to graduate school, I just couldn’t do it alone. Someday, the property will be a real estate tract that a developer will take up. But right now, it’s green fields, a dam, a pond, and some wooded area.” Certainly, there is much that Canedy will miss about the University of Hartford. His farewell to colleagues and friends at one of the many gatherings organized in his honor at the close of the spring semester says it all: “Verily, I shall mourn the loss of this career, mourn not teaching remarkable students destined to do wonderful things in the real world, and mourn the absence of embracing relationships never to be erased from the mind with faculty and staff colleagues. But then again, is it not true, as the poet versed? ‘Man’s feelings are always purest and most glowing in the hour of meeting and farewell.’ As my departure is nigh, my farewell wish to my colleagues is: On the personal level, may life become all that you want it to be.” H



/ 15

“ -” Exactly how does he remember the names of every one of his students?

“I had a student once who felt I did it by some means of the occult.… My largest class was 265 and that was in Lincoln Theater. Within 10 days, I knew them all. I had to. How can you have control or, shall we say, chemistry or a rapport with students if I’m going to say, ‘You in the back row there with red hair, what do you think about it?’ That’s depersonalizing; that takes away the dignity of the professor-student relationship.… I don’t, as a rule, use nicknames, or super K’s, or affectionate cutesy little names that they call themselves.… I’m very formal.”

How he made lasting connections with so many of his students:

“If you get them when they’re young and make an impression on them, it’s long lasting, it’s for life.”

From the first Dr. Charles R. Kennedy III scholar, Jenna Pupillo ’20, who was honored for attaining a 3.5 GPA or higher while showing leadership through involvement in the Barney School of Business outside of the classroom.

“Although I have not had Dr. Canedy as a professor, his presence was well known throughout campus. I was honored to find out that I was the first ever recipient of this scholarship and I want to thank the Barney School of Business for thinking of me for such a prestigious scholarship.”

And more from Charles Seeman, the sponsor of the Charles R. Canedy III Scholarship:

“Since 2003 or so, I have been a presenter at Barney in the BAR 210 class, speaking to students about careers in a nonprofit organization. I’ve come to know and respect Dr. Canedy. Watching his interactions with his students is a lesson in itself. He knew every student’s name, discussed the objective of BAR 210, and the work the students were responsible for. His interactions were respectful; his style was collegial yet demanding. I enjoyed listening to him. During my presentation, he would highlight certain aspects of it. Then my son Brett attended Barney and had Dr. Canedy as a professor in 2006. When I asked Brett about Dr. Canedy, he told me Dr. Canedy was the best instructor he ever had at any level of his education. He has remained in touch with Dr. Canedy to this day. This means something to us.”

FA L L 2 0 1 9

1 6 / F E AT U R E

With Honors F E AT U R E / 1 7

UHart’s Honors Program growing by the year

The University of Hartford’s Honors Program blossoms with every turn of the academic calendar. At its beginning more than 30 years ago, there were just 11 Honors Program undergraduates. This past academic year, the number of Honors Program students graduating soared to a record 70—a figure that has more than tripled in just the past nine years. It’s not that students have gotten smarter; it’s just that the program has learned a thing or two about spreading the word and then encouraging students to trust themselves and take a leap of faith. UHart Honors Program students have access to outstanding courses that stretch not just their intellectual and creative capacities, but also their curiosity about the roles they’ll play in a professional environment, and how they can make a difference in the world. Once in the Honors Program, students attend interdisciplinary seminars in a wide variety of disciplines, and they work on their own specially selected and approved senior research projects. Their efforts are supported by faculty members—Honors coordinators—who provide individual mentoring. Each school at the University has Honors coordinators to whom students can turn, both to help plan their individual programs and to assist with their Honors projects.

1 8 / F E AT U R E

“The key to our program is that it encourages high-reaching and ambitious students to achieve even more than they thought they could,” says Donald Jones, UHart’s director of the Honors Program and associate professor of English. “There may be no better way to make the most of an undergraduate education.” It can be demanding—but most Honors graduates concede that the old maxim applies: anything worthwhile is worth working hard to achieve. Many students are able to complete

their Honors requirements in under eight semesters, which allows them to devote a semester to an internship or to study abroad. “And what that means,” Jones adds, “is that the Honors Program does not necessarily have to overwhelm their undergraduate years; most have time to do other things, which is something they like to hear.” All UHart schools and colleges require 18 Honors credits to be an Honors graduate (except Hillyer College, which requires 9) and each has specific GPA and test-score

requirements. Every fourth-year student must also work on a special senior Honors research project or formal thesis to successfully complete the program. Many Honors students present their work at the Undergraduate Research and Creativity Colloquium, an annual event sponsored by the Honors Program. A small group of Honors seniors is asked each year to make presentations at other regional or national Honors conferences, too, where the focus is on undergraduate research.

Several Honors graduates from this decade share their Honors Program experiences and how they have helped shape their careers. HAJAR ALTAMIMI ’17 Not all students are aware of the Honors Program before their arrival at UHart. “I didn’t know about it until the end of my first semester, when my writing professor told me that she was very impressed with my level in class and thought I’d fit well into the program,” Hajar Altamimi ’17 explains. Altamimi has a degree in respiratory therapy, and is now a registered therapist and adult critical care specialist at a Level I trauma center. She is also a subject matter expert at the Crown Prince Center for Training and Medical Research in Bahrain. Altamimi says she appreciated the Honors program because it gave her a goal to work toward. “I’ve always been a good student and a hard worker, but having the challenge of an Honors graduation project was rewarding,” she says. “I learned a lot of things, like how to conduct a research study. Most importantly, my program taught me how to rely on the experience and advice of others, and to combine that with my own interests to create something exciting—something that can also help others.” During her senior year, Altamimi teamed up with classmate Caitlin Connelly ’17 to make a truly positive impact in the local community. They developed and led a weekly smoking cessation class at a city shelter to teach the homeless new strategies and tools to quit smoking. Hajar Altamimi ’17 leads a workshop. H / UNIVERSITY OF HARTFORD MAGAZINE

F E AT U R E / 1 9

Many Honors students apply for scholarships that enable them to further advance their studies. Domestic scholarships include the noted Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies, which pays for the first year of graduate study leading to a PhD. One of the international programs is the equally renowned John G. Martin and Marion A. Bills Scholarship, which supports two years of graduate study at Oxford University in England. UHart Honors graduates have been accepted for graduate study at Carnegie

Mellon, Columbia, Yale, and a long list of other impressive institutions, while many others go on to work for such firms as General Dynamics, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and countless scientific, health-care, and international business leaders. “It’s such a great pleasure, and my own good fortune, to work with some of the best students at this university,” Jones says. H

BLAKE JONES ’16 The rigors of being a Division I student-athlete, pursuing a double major, following a pre-law curriculum, and participating in the Honors Program didn’t faze Blake Jones ’16. A four-year starter on the men’s soccer team who entered UHart as an economics major and later added a second major in politics and government, Jones worried at first that he’d be out of his comfort zone. But his advisor helped him plan a schedule that was entirely workable, often looking several semesters ahead. “Because of the Honors Program,” he remembers, “I took different classes than most of my friends. That meant there were a lot of new people to get to know. I’m glad I did. “It was academically challenging, but since I was with other serious students, I enjoyed it,” says Jones, whose Honors thesis investigated the economic and legal implications of changing the current economic model utilized by youth soccer in the United States to a model that is successfully employed in Europe. “That thesis,” he says, “was the most rewarding academic accomplishment of my entire University experience.” Jones is now the chief executive officer of the Olé Football Academy, a soccer-skills development club in New Zealand dedicated to helping that country’s young players flourish and reach their full potential. Similar to what those up-and-coming New Zealand soccer standouts learn at the Academy he oversees, Jones would advise today’s students in UHart’s Honors Program to “Never settle. Try new things, meet new people, be open to different opinions, and don't be scared to make yourself vulnerable.”

Rutger Strauss ’13 achieved a career goal when he was hired by Boeing.

RUTGER STRAUSS ’13 Rutger Strauss ’13 is a lead acoustics systems integration engineer at Boeing in St. Louis, involved with the development of advanced flight simulators. Working for that reputable aerospace firm had been his professional goal for years. Strauss entered the Honors Program with many friends, some of whom “gave up on the program because it was just a little more work than they anticipated,” he recalls. “I’m glad I didn’t.” Strauss, who earned his degree in mechanical engineering with a concentration in acoustics, was told about the Honors Program by his academic advisor, who had emphasized how the program can affect a student’s present as much as his or her future. While appreciating the later benefits that an Honors diploma brought to his résumé and job interviews, Strauss valued how the Honors Program puts a student in touch with classmates who are equally focused and dedicated. That interpersonal benefit followed him to Boeing, where he now works with people who share similar passions. “I’m not bored, and I’m not underutilized,” Strauss says. “I think one of the fears of many students who have high career expectations is that they’ll end up pushing papers around.” He also acknowledges that his advisor was right—his Honors achievement did raise the interview process to a new level. “Some interviewers mentioned how impressed they were with that accomplishment. That’s why my advice to new Honors students is not to give up just because it feels like it’s going to be a little bit of extra work.”

Blake Jones ’16 (standing, closest to bench) counsels players at New Zealand’s Olé Football Academy.

FA L L 2 0 1 9

2 0 / F E AT U R E



FA L L 2 0 1 9

If you have a good idea, if you want to do something that will have a positive impact on society, just do it.

Julia Piri ’17 remembers her first trip to the University of Hartford all too well. On the day the New York native traveled to neighboring Connecticut for her college visit, the traffic was dreadful and the weather as lousy as it could be. A less sensible and responsible teenager might have considered it a bad omen. Not Piri. “When I walked onto campus and found out about all the schools and degrees that were available, I knew this was the place for me,” says the Barney School of Business graduate who is now a promising young entrepreneur. “I said to myself, if I like it here on one of the worst days, I bet I’ll love it when it’s sunny and calm.” That speaks to Piri’s optimism, resilience, and instincts—three ingredients necessary for any entrepreneurial venture. UseMe LIFE, the company she founded and runs with her boyfriend, Kevin Windheuser ’16 (College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture), markets reusable metal straws which, once in wider use around the world, will have a considerable impact on the planet’s fragile environment. Plastic straws are unfriendly to the ecosystem, and paper straws have a limited functional lifespan. Metal straws are entirely renewable. They’re also safe, save consumers money in the long run, and have a built-in marketability factor because of their personalized nature— sort of like having your own coffee mug. “Before college, I really didn’t know what I wanted to study, although I knew that conservation would always be a part of my life,” Piri says from her office on Long Island. And while awful traffic and lousy weather will probably always be part of our world, UseMe LIFE is poised to make it a far more environmentally responsible one. Piri’s ecological concerns began long before she met Windheuser—with whom she served in UHart student government—but it was a trip to the United

F E AT U R E / 2 3

Kingdom she took with him a little more than a year ago that really sparked the idea for a renewable straw company. While visiting Windheuser’s family in Ireland was nice, the sparkling cleanliness of the Emerald Isle—from air to land to sea—was a welcome and pleasant surprise. Piri and Windheuser already knew that when it comes to the environment, every little bit helps. But it was only when they sat on that cross-Atlantic branch of Windheuser’s family tree that inspiration truly struck. As Piri recalls, when she got home from Ireland, the idea was already swirling strongly through her mind, but the look, feel, business model, and even name of the company came to her in a flash while riding the subway to her job. She wrote all those thoughts down right away so that she wouldn’t forget. Those subway scribbles became UseMe LIFE. “Some people ask if renewable straws really make a difference. The answer is a definite, unqualified yes!” Piri says, ably embodying the spirit not just of the company’s co-founder and co-leader, but also its spokesperson and public relations director. UseMe LIFE is a two-person enterprise. And while there are quite a number of lucrative companies that started out just that

way, it takes more than just a good idea and a little luck; entrepreneurs must also avoid any temptation to slow down or surrender when the going gets tough. Piri and Windheuser had the courage of their convictions to see their inspiration through, and never once hesitated during the early days when the recent college grads had to learn the intricacies of running a business. The whole idea was as fresh to them as the ink on their diplomas. Renewable straws may sound like a relatively simple concept, but heading an e-commerce company is never easy. (It’s made even more challenging by the need

for both Piri and Windheuser to hold down other jobs for the time being, she in banking, he in engineering.) They forged ahead and not only designed and molded the product line, but also selected the manufacturer and set up the digital trade platform. Today, they continue to monitor the manufacturer’s progress, manage the website, and fulfill their orders. In their current business model, each straw comes with a wooden holder, a cleaning brush, and a travel pouch. UseMe LIFE also accepts custom orders. The duo is always thinking of expansion plans, too, including the possibility of adding other items to the line, such as coffee mugs. From day one, Piri and Windheuser have had plenty of people in their corner to learn from, to help them, and to consult with. Growing up, Piri counted her parents as mentors, since they were small business owners from whom she eagerly absorbed some of the concepts about running a company. She still reaches out to some of her parents’ colleagues for advice from time to time. At the University of Hartford, she also had plenty of people who were mentors— long before she started a company for which mentors were needed. She calls them part of her UHart network of support. The University still provides a steady stream of support to UseMe LIFE from a number of faculty members who are skilled in management matters, and also from a few fellow classmates who now work in public relations and branding. UHart is also a customer, purchasing the straws as giveaways, supporting young alumni and helping the environment. “If you have a good idea, if you want to do something that will have a positive impact on society, just do it,” Piri insists. “If you’re not entirely certain how to start, start anyway, and then figure it out along the way.” She points to the University of Hartford as a community that supports students and graduates in all efforts to build a career. “When someone has an idea for a product or a business, they know they’ll have the full encouragement of almost anyone at the school they

ask. My advice is to always reach out to classmates and professors. Chances are if they don’t have the answers you need, they’ll find someone who does.” Between online marketing, a few trade shows, and the power of word-ofmouth promotion, Piri and Windheuser are confident that an Ireland-like landscape and seacoast is in their near future—right here in America. “My goal is to have our straws in every home in the United States,” Piri asserts with confidence. The couple’s other and even more immediate goal is to make UseMe LIFE their full-time gig. “After all,” Piri contends, “e-commerce allows us to run the business wherever we are, and at any time of the day.” Of course, there may be challenges along the way. Most business consultants would say that’s inevitable. But Piri undoubtedly knows that—and is likely not terribly concerned. It wasn’t all that long ago when she eagerly ran for president of her eighth-grade class on a platform of environmental responsibility—and lost. Five years later at UHart, Piri found her voice to accompany her passion—along with a boyfriend. Together, they started a company and are talking up a product that’s playing a decisive role in helping to quench our planet’s thirst for environmental responsibility. H

FA L L 2 0 1 9

24 / F E AT U R E

Charlie Delorenzo ’18

Aikaterini Stylianides ’20 and Ivana Milanovic, professor of mechanical engineering

SPACE RACE NASA connections invaluable for UHart students and faculty

WeSaam Lepak ’18 

F E AT U R E / 2 5

Lucas Shearer ’17 has been a musician his entire life. He’s played in bands—including with the Marines in its prestigious drum and bugle corps—and enjoys concerts both in small clubs and gigantic auditoriums. You might say he’s really into acoustics. But if you mention that word to Shearer, he probably won’t think of rock bands at all. He’ll think of rocket ships instead. That’s because in the world of mechanical engineering, acoustics is about the properties of sound as it affects flight, whether you want to land at Bradley International Airport or on Mars. At the University of Hartford’s College of Engineering Technology, and Architecture (CETA), professors teach it, students learn it, and together they engage in research that is used by NASA and many aeronautic technology firms. It is CETA’s specialization in acoustics that attracted Shearer to UHart in the first place. With a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, he is currently working toward his master’s degree at the University of Texas, and is also an intern with NASA Pathways, the space agency’s highly regarded program for students and graduates who want to be considered for federal employment in a scientific capacity. “It wasn’t until I became interested in poking around with robots and computer programs that I realized how sound, as much as it is a musical thing, is also a mechanical thing,” Shearer says. He may or may not have a desire to actually travel into space himself, but the importance of the technology that makes it possible inspires CETA students like Shearer and many others, including WeSaam Lepak ’18 and Iliana Albion-Poles ’19. The future of our planet may even one day depend on it. With a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, Lepak is now pursuing a doctorate at Purdue University. As a two-time NASA intern, he worked on a new launch system to propel spacecraft out of earth’s atmosphere.

Lucas Shearer ’17 FA L L 2 0 1 9

2 6 / F E AT U R E

The collaborative research that Slaboch and his colleagues conduct supports their teaching activities and also helps keep CETA’s engineering faculty on the cutting edge of research. Paul Slaboch, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, with Jonathan Brown ’20 (left) and Sophie Kaye ’19 (right)

“I conducted experiments and ran analysis to ensure that the vehicle can survive high structural dynamic loading during launch,” he explains—boldly endeavoring to make something enormously complex sound deceptively simple. That’s the way it was at CETA, too, where Lepak worked on many other research projects, such as “Bio-Inspired Acoustic Absorbers.” Albion-Poles also has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, and one of her research projects, titled “Computational Aeroacoustics of DualStream Nozzle Flows,” furthered some vital research that had originally begun at NASA. “My family is usually impressed and confused by titles like that,” Albion-Poles says. “But whenever NASA comes into the conversation, they’re usually a little bit more impressed than anything else.” Lepak interned over the summer at Carrier Corporation as a sound and vibration engineer. Albion-Poles now works at an acoustic consulting firm in California and continues to impress her family and friends. Many other students and recent graduates have worked on projects with similarly commanding titles. As just a few examples, Jonathan Brown ’19 and Aikaterini Stylianides ’20 worked on “Supersonic Inlet Noise Radiation,” Ethan Casavant ’19 and Sophie Kaye ’19 on “Acoustic Absorption of 3D Printed

Cylinders,” and Charlie Delorenzo ’18 and Jared Deleon ’18 on “Effect of Aft Rotor on Inter-Rotor Flow Field in Open Rotor Propulsion System.” Imposing or commanding notwithstanding, topics like these are second nature to all of these young engineers. Many of them, along with UHart faculty members, apply for and receive NASA Connecticut Space Grants to help with their research. These grants are from a federally mandated consortium created in 1991 to provide funding, internships, and scholarships to those deemed worthy of participating in NASA research. Each state has its own NASA Space Grant Consortium, with a number of participating colleges and universities. The Connecticut group has 22 participating schools, and UHart is considered the lead institution. According to Janet Spatcher, the program’s state coordinator on the UHart campus, students and faculty alike benefit from NASA Space Grants. Not only can students get research scholarships, but faculty can get research grants, and then they often hire students to work with them on their projects. Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Paul Slaboch mentors many of the students whose research is funded through Connecticut Space Grants. He brings his students close to NASA simply by virtue of the association he’s had with


the agency over the years, including two summers at its Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, where he was a NASA Faculty Fellow. Professor Ivana Milanovic, who also teaches mechanical engineering and works on research projects of her own, is another mentor for students seeking grants and internships. She notes that although CETA graduates often leave Connecticut after graduation because of further schooling or out-of-state company recruitment, the acoustical pull of the Constitution State can never be overlooked. Between CETA’s specialties and staff, and the presence of in-state giants like United Technologies (UTC) and Sikorsky, that pull is almost as strong as gravity itself. “Companies like those are a natural fit for what we teach,” says Milanovic, who has worked with students on projects with UTC and other regional firms. The undergrads get valuable experience, and the companies themselves get the distinction of working with esteemed university researchers—such as Milanovic, who through the years has received six NASA Faculty Fellowships.

F E AT U R E / 2 7

da Vinci depicted vortices in some of his drawings, and people can relate to that.” That’s why she introduces the Renaissance superstar to her students. Milanovich also recounts for students various discoveries throughout history, some of which seem deceptively simple—but really aren’t—such as boomerangs and irrigation tunnels. As part of that, she shares drawings and

Lenny Masiello ’69

Slaboch reiterates that the research he and his colleagues conduct both supports their teaching activities and also helps keep the school’s engineering faculty on the cutting edge of research. While the topics at CETA may sometimes sound a bit alien, educators there know how to put a human face on all of it. Take Milanovich and vortices, for example, which is one of the topics on which she concentrates. That’s the part of fluid mechanics that describes how spiraling air (or water) draws mass toward its center, akin to whirlpools and tornadoes, and understanding it is vital to the safety of aviation and spaceflight. “At first, most people have no idea what that is and find it hard to relate to,” the professor acknowledges. “But Leonardo

photographs and sometimes even shows movies that in their own unique ways bring vortices to life. Whether it’s vortices or acoustics, CETA educators find ways to bring complex engineering concepts down to earth for many students who—aided by UHart’s strong connections to NASA— may dream of one day blasting off from Earth. H

walked on the moon. Vicariously. On July 20, 1969, a month after Lenny Masiello ’69 graduated, two men stepped off the Lunar Module and took a giant leap for mankind. Masiello was in the Air National Guard at the time, stationed in Cape Cod. “My squadron mates and I watched Neil Armstrong step off the ladder, and I felt an incredible sense of pride knowing I had a small part in making it happen.” Three years earlier, while attending UHart at night, Masiello worked for the Hartford aeronautics firm Hamilton Standard. An executive came looking for him. He already knew that Masiello was training to be a pilot, and he also knew that the 25-year-old was extremely fit. Those were two requirements NASA had for whomever was selected to test the spacesuit that Hamilton was working on for the moon landing. Masiello was selected. He was charged with an abundance of rigorous physical tasks to make sure the spacesuit met the challenges— both known and unknown—of walking and even jogging on the moon. The suit passed all the tests. Masiello spent the next two decades in the military, then went into electrical component sales for 25 years. Now 78, the Maryland resident (whose eldest son Brian ’98 studied acoustics at UHart) says he has high hopes that the United States will maintain its worldwide dominance in space exploration. To bolster his pride in our leadership, Masiello plans to visit the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. In many ways, he’ll see echoes of his alma mater there, by virtue of the technical contributions made by many faculty and students over the years. He’ll also see the first spacesuit on the moon—which never would have gotten there without his own special contribution.

Photo: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM 9A12554)

YaAdam Fye (A’06, ’07) shows African girls the way to dream big through a series of books.

F E AT U R E / 2 9

Cast of Characters

YaAdam Fye embarked on her collegiate journey during a period of considerable family transition—her family, which has Gambian and Tanzanian heritage, was in the process of moving from Maryland to Tanzania. Fye’s parents set a strong example of embracing life’s intimidating opportunities, and of challenging one’s comfort zone, so she felt encouraged to do the same. She decided to pursue a degree in political economy at the University of Hartford, where she could find her voice and use it to accomplish social good. When Fye began her first semester, she was told that hers was one of the most diverse classes in the University’s history. Her family celebrated its own rich heritage, but before that point, Fye often felt sheltered from the rest of the world. UHart galvanized her. “When my class came in freshman year, we were all very vocal,” Fye says. “For example, I’m a person who asks a lot of questions, and the professors provided

a space to be inquisitive. Whereas some people would be offended or judgmental, the faculty I met at the University of Hartford gave me the feeling that I could ask anything. I felt comfortable bringing my ideas and concerns to the table, and that helped me adjust.” Her worldview as a student who immigrated to the United States gave her insight and context that professors valued. She could be shy in class, but her

academic advisor, Bilal Sekou, associate professor of political science, recognized that Fye possessed wisdom beyond her years. When she spoke, everyone listened. “For other students to hear her take on different issues was really enlightening,” says Sekou. “She brought a unique perspective because her experiences were so unique compared to some of the other students taking the same classes.”

FA L L 2 0 1 9

3 0 / F E AT U R E

Fye had more reason to be excited about her first winter break than most of her classmates; her older sister was going to deliver a baby at any moment. When her niece Halima was born, Fye went to the local bookstore to look for books to read to her. “We’re half Gambian, half Tanzanian, and my sister’s husband is from Guinea,” Fye explains. “That’s three African countries to learn about while living in the United States, and we wanted a cultural story that would be relatable to Halima as she grew up. We couldn’t find a single one.” The memory of that experience reverberated in Fye’s mind throughout her college experience. When she finished her degree in 2007, she began an internship at the United Nations agency in Ethiopia, where her mother was living at the time. One afternoon, while she was talking with her mother and sisters, Halima roamed into the room. The sisters paused to look at her and realized that the stories they’d been searching for in that bookstore, years ago, were on the tips of their tongues this whole time. Out of that moment, their first book, The Royal Adventures of Princess Halima, took shape. “It was a personal project, but more people started asking us about it,” Fye says. “Parents were interested and thought it was a great idea. We navigated the self-publishing platform on


Amazon, and because of the growth it’s experienced since then, it’s gone from a hobby to a kind of small business.” Today, there are three series totaling five books, including The Royal Adventures of Princess Halima, The Samba and Batch Series, and Bakary on Safari. The books follow each character’s adventures in Tanzania and Gambia, and teach readers about several African cultures. They are fictional, but are rich with historical context, real cultural traditions, and lush geographic landmarks like Mount

Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti. The books also serve as educational tools, and help readers learn about counting, sharing, and appreciating nature. “Africa has so many beautiful national parks, it’s a treasure in itself,” Fye says. “But students don’t learn about national parks in school. So, in our book, Bakary on Safari, Bakary’s mother is a veterinarian, his father is a park ranger, and the two of them work on the Serengeti, so we can also use these books to teach about all the animals.” Every character featured in the stories has a name that pays homage to different African cultures, because Fye knew that names like Samba, Omar, and Mariam would be more relatable than Belle, Ariel, and Cinderella. Soon,

“These books give you a way of looking at yourself, looking at your experiences, and looking at what you can potentially do in the world.”

F E AT U R E / 3 1

as with any cast of lovable characters, it was time to take them on a book tour. At first, Fye’s goals were to introduce the concept of reading for fun and to share books that were relatable to the culture. When she went to Gambia with her sisters and niece to donate copies of their books to elementary schools, students were intrigued to meet the “real” Halima while being presented with the fictional Princess. In associating the two, they saw their own potential to dream wilder dreams, and think beyond the box of their own comfort zones, just as Fye did in the years prior. Those ah-ha moments inspire her to continue to grow the project as her own family expands, and new opportunities to educate through storytelling arise. “When you’re growing up in Gambia and none of the story characters look like you, they don’t reflect who you are, they don’t reflect your culture, then you realize there’s an African princess who is courageous and adventurous,” Fye says, “That’s the moment when the kids realize they can do something. They understand that they can be more than their circumstances, and I think that is the most touching moment of all.” Echoes of Fye’s work reached Sekou at the University of Hartford, who informed his colleagues about her progress in international affairs. In 2011, Hillyer College presented her with its Outstanding Young Alumna Award. “These books give you a way of looking at yourself, looking at your experiences, and looking at what you can potentially do in the world,” adds Sekou. “YaAdam is working hard to make a meaningful contribution in the world. She sets a good example of what can happen when you put yourself out there, take risks, and find motivation in making the world a better place. You can get things done.” In the years since publishing the first book, Fye’s name has appeared on lists of innovators and leaders around the world. In 2018, Quartz Africa identified her as one of the 30 most ambitious and imaginative minds on the continent—she received her award from Bill Gates. That same year, Fye was selected to attend Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa, five

days of development and civic engagement workshops designed to help Africa’s emerging leaders drive positive change. BBC and Reuters have both turned their cameras on her to showcase the power of providing children with relatable stories. The book series currently in development tackles deep-set societal norms in Gambia. On a recent visit, Fye witnessed the struggle that many young girls grapple with in balancing domestic duties and attending school. Their environment rarely gives them a voice. Rape and early marriage are tangible threats to their education. The new character, a Gambian warrior named Fatu, will demonstrate ways to these sensitive subjects throughout her adventures. Fye hopes this will offer young girls the language necessary to communicate their own needs and dreams. In the end, she hopes to show youth that the real rewards of education aren’t degrees, recognition, or trophies, but the realization of one’s purpose, a compass that guides you for life. H

The Obama Foundation selected Fye as one of 200 emerging leaders across Africa to participate in its inaugural training program.

Fye reunited with her academic advisor, Associate Professor of Political Science Bilal Sekou, upon her return to campus in 2011 to receive Hillyer College’s Outstanding Young Alumna Award.

3 2 / F E AT U R E

Career Calling


or someone who likes to help kids, Mark D. Benigni M’96, EdD’01 seems to have landed in the perfect job. As superintendent of Connecticut’s Meriden Public Schools, Benigni oversees the education of 8,600 elementary, middle, and high school students across a 12-school system.

His career path took a brief detour, and that’s okay, he says. He got back on track after earning two advanced degrees from the University of Hartford. At 18, and not quite sure what he wanted to do, Benigni decided to major in business administration at Western Connecticut State University. He graduated, president of his class, and gave a speech at commencement while secretly questioning whether he made the right career choice. He accepted an attractive job offer and, after three days of management training, called his mom, teary-eyed, telling her he really didn’t like it. He was raised to never be a quitter and didn’t want to disappoint her. Her advice surprised him. “Tell your boss it’s not for you,” Benigni’s mother offered. “This is about the rest of your life and finding happiness. They will respect you. They will understand.” Benigni quickly became a firm believer that work needs to feed your passions. After leaving the corporate environment, he worked part-time jobs as a tutor, sports coach, camp counselor, and youth leadership director. He decided to go back to school, which he would need to juggle with his jobs, so he explored the nearby University of Hartford. “I felt comfortable the moment I stepped onto campus,” Benigni says. He earned his master’s degree in special education in 1996.


Another Fork in the Road Getting involved in community volunteer programs, Benigni was encouraged to run for a city council seat; he won the election. A special education teacher at this point, he returned to the University of Hartford for its doctoral program in educational leadership. “Some of the professors at UHart really challenged my thinking through a rigorous process that helped me advance my leadership skills,” Benigni says. Earning his EdD in 2001 after a few years as a school administrator and city councilor, he was ready to advance his career, and decided not to run for another council term. The mayor publicly called Benigni a “quitter.” That wasn’t the type of leadership he wanted for the town where he planned to raise his family, so he challenged the mayor and scored an upset victory. Benigni went on to win three more terms as mayor of Meriden, and as fate would have it, he was offered a position as principal of a nearby high school shortly after the fourth election. “I had been living in two worlds—in education and serving as an elected official,” Benigni explains. Considering the growing job responsibilities and a family life with a daughter and son, it was time to make a career decision, although what he really wanted to do was find a way to merge school and community interests.

Not Afraid of Change “That nervous tension that comes with making a difficult decision brings out the best in us,” Benigni says. You have to seize opportunities and not be afraid to fail, because you learn from your failures as well as your successes.” Benigni chose education. Then, in 2010, when offered the position of Meriden Public Schools superintendent, he saw an opportunity that combined his passions for children and education with a fondness for the city that raised him. He eagerly accepted the role as the City’s educational leader in his hometown, going straight to work to

F E AT U R E / 3 3

build a symbiotic relationship between the city’s 12 schools and diverse local community. Advocating for his city, Benigni published articles such as “Unleashing Students from the Grip of Poverty: Providing a High-Quality Education— Against the Odds” and “Keeping the Arts Alive: A Connecticut District Invests in the Arts During Challenging Budget Times.” He was named as “A Leader to Learn From” by Education Week journal. “All parents want what’s best for their children” Benigni says, “but today’s families don’t always have the time or resources. We have a challenge and a great opportunity for public education to truly change people’s lives.” Benigni brings innovation to learning environments in which bigger is not always better—where a personalized approach is well received. “The days of telling students what they have to do are over,” he explains. “Students need to feel engaged and to know that their voice matters.” The important thing, Benigni adds, is that every student has access to equitable opportunities. That’s why every student in his district receives a Chromebook or similar device for online access.

Strong Communities and Personal Happiness Supporting children and senior citizens is the key to a strong community, according to Benigni, and that support goes both ways—the community needs to support a strong school system, too. Members of the local senior center visit Meriden high schools, where students help them learn to use technology. Local realtors have been invited for school visits to share observations with potential home buyers. Progressive initiatives continually tighten the bonds between the schools and residents. This partnership between education, service, and community is a constant amid changing times, and it’s at the core of Mark Benigni’s mission. Watching it work makes him happy. “The happiest people in this world have jobs that help fulfill their lives,” Benigni says. H

FA L L 2 0 1 9

3 4 / F E AT U R E


As a high school student growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Campbell had a school counselor and remembers thinking, “She listens to me and doesn’t judge me. That’s what I want to do.” She’d need a college education, which would be a financial struggle, and with the starry-eyed naivete of an inner-city teenager, Campbell sorted through college brochures and chose the University of Hartford because “it looked pretty.” Her mom, a hard-working single parent who always took care of everyone and everything around her, was determined to get her daughter to the college of her choice, but no one could have anticipated the hardship that followed. By the beginning of her sophomore year in UHart’s Hillyer College, Campbell was deeply involved in several campus organizations, including Brothers and Sisters United and the Red Caps (Orientation student leaders). She was scheduled to start work at UHart’s Office of Multicultural Programs on Sept. 11, 2001. Campbell arrived at Gengras Student Union to start her job when her new boss said a plane flew into the World Trade Center. They joined the crowd gathering around the TV and watched the horrific news develop. She was the only one in the room who knew that her mom, a computer processor for Cantor Fitzgerald, was inside one of the Twin Towers. She walked around numb that day, the next day when she went home to New York, and the next several weeks following her return to UHart. Anxiously, Campbell waited for a phone call that never came. It was five months before recovery teams confirmed the worst through DNA— Campbell’s mother was among the 2,606 individuals in and around the World Trade Center who lost their lives that day.

At her lowest point, Campbell’s professors watched her get by one day at a time. Her advisor, Woody Doane, and mentor, Delois Lindsey, somehow knew when to show up with support. Friends were surprised to see Campbell back to school so soon, but she said, “My mom worked hard to get me here. I’m going to stay.” Campbell completed her two years and earned an associate degree from Hillyer College (which honored her as an outstanding young alumna in 2014). She remained at UHart for another two years, earning a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the College of Arts and Sciences. Then came grad school in New York City, followed by a job

that bad thing that happened, learn to not focus on that. Find strength and build on it.” In 2010, realizing how much she missed working with students, Campbell was referred for a counseling position with Good Shepherd Services in Brooklyn. Lindsey, her UHart mentor, gave her a glowing recommendation. With renewed energy and big aspirations, Campbell took the job, and on top of that, started on a doctorate in social work, transitioning in 2015 to social work for high school students through the New York City Department of Education. She completed her doctorate in 2017 and continues to advocate that every stu-

“When you work with young people, there’s this fire they have. You see this greatness in them before they see it in themselves.” in the Bronx, counseling teens in abusive relationships. It was her turn to be somebody’s sounding board. She listened to teens who were beaten or molested by family members, and some who just needed someone to hear them. After a couple of years, that numb feeling came back. “I got to the point where these stories didn’t affect me anymore,” Campbell recalls. “I was no longer taking care of myself, and I knew from school that self-care had to be 100 percent at the top of my list.” After only three years, she left social work and traveled. Then a friend asked her to consult on a few self-awareness workshops for students learning to be peer leaders. They needed skills training. Admittedly, and not surprisingly, Campbell’s best work comes from the strength perspective. Her message is loud and clear, “You are not the problem; the problem is the problem. Take

dent needs an opportunity to talk with a social worker. “We have the mandated cases, of course, but you don’t know who ate last night, or who was on somebody’s couch, or who lost a parent,” Campbell explains. “Many times, parents are in distress, too, and can’t help. If a young woman has a boyfriend issue, that’s important to her. I’m here to listen, and not judge the students for what they’ve been through, what they’re thinking, or how they feel. Everyone needs to know that someone in their school cares about them.” Mentors made a difference in Campbell’s world. It’s one reason why she currently mentors a UHart psychology student who seems to be following in her footsteps. And it’s not just about paying it forward. She knows the sense of reward that comes from helping others; she saw it in her mom, and it’s now her life’s work. H

Accentuating the Ƥositive












When recruiting Maria “Gabby” Loza, Hartford golf coach Pete Stankevich felt that she could become one of the best players in Hartford women’s golf history. Loza is proving him right.





/ 37


Champion Golfer Keeps Priorities in Order She plays one of the most individualistic sports, but golfer Maria “Gabby” Loza ’21 clearly has a team mentality. After enjoying one of the most successful years in Hartford women’s golf program history as a sophomore, Loza has clear goals for her upperclass years that revolve around bringing the Hawks together; she strives for greater team success and stands ready to mentor the younger golfers entering the program.

At Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, last April, there was plenty of magic for Maria “Gabby” Loza (second from left), who won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference individual crown.

“I really like my teammates and want the best for them,” Loza explains, “so I want to get everyone more involved and see our team grow.” Born in Miami, Loza spent much of her childhood in Colombia. Though most of her family played golf, Loza was encouraged by her mother to try many different sports before deciding to concentrate on just one. By the time she was nine, the verdict was in—golf would be her sport.

Loza feels that her pursuit of golf can be attributed to watching the route her older cousins took, playing golf in Colombia and then relocating and attending Division I colleges in the United States. “Those were big steps that I wanted to follow,” Loza says. “I told myself, ‘Wow, you can go study and play golf at a school in a different country.’ For me, when I was little, that was amazing.” Loza’s family returned to the United States for her senior year of high school in Winter Garden, Florida, where she led West Orange High School to conference, sectional, and regional titles. When it came time to decide on a college, Loza was steadfast that golf was only part of the equation—academics were every bit as important. She wanted a school with a very specific major—biomedical engineering—and a golf coach who wouldn’t have reservations about her taking on such a demanding course of study. Loza found a perfect match at the University of Hartford. On the course, Loza wasted no time in getting noticed. In her first season, she posted the best stroke average in program history, enjoyed six top–10 finishes, and was named Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC, the conference women’s golf competes in) Rookie of the Year. Building on that momentum, Loza enjoyed a stellar sophomore campaign, breaking her own school record for stroke average while recording three top–five finishes. The year culminated with Loza becoming only the second golfer in program history to win an individual conference championship. She did so in dramatic fashion at the 2019 MAAC Championship in Buena Vista, Florida, overcoming a three–stroke deficit on the final day to register a two–stroke victory. Loza was awarded the prestigious McLeod Trophy as the conference’s Most Outstanding Golfer. “I thought she’d have a great chance to win the conference championship this past April if she played well,” says Pete Stankevich, Hartford head golf coach. “When the final round started and she was only a few shots back, I knew it was within reach. By the midway point of the final round, I knew it was her tournament to win.” “She’s an amazing ball–striker, and as she continues to get stronger and work on her short game, she could be one of the top players in the Northeast. I already believe she is the best player in the MAAC Conference.” Pete Stankevich , Hartford Head Golf Coach Not that she has much free time, but if you don’t find Loza on the green or in study mode, you may find her in the gym. It’s a place, she says, that she not only enjoys being in, she feels it helps her golf game. Loza also enjoys group activities such as hiking and painting alongside—not surprisingly—her Hawks’ teammates.

FA L L 2 0 1 9

3 8 / H AW K N AT I O N / I N S I D E


Making Connections Hawk Nation Alumni Network Bridges the Past and Present

Planning for life after competition is part of the educational experience for Hartford student-athletes, and for the last four years, the Hawk Nation Network has brought current and past Hawks together. The annual event each spring provides current student– athletes with the opportunity to learn from former Hawks who are today thriving in their respective fields. Last April, Stefanie Bourassa ’06, M’08 (women’s soccer), Jackie Kelly ’15 (softball), and men’s lacrosse alumnus Brian LaMastro (A’99, ’01) returned to campus. They met in small groups with current student-athletes before taking the stage for an open forum during which they discussed their time at UHart and how it prepared them for life after graduation. The alumni returning each year represent a range of career fields, and current student-athletes are matched with them in small breakout sessions based on course of study and career objectives.

Bourassa is the site manager and sports medicine clinical program director at the Bone & Joint Institute of Hartford Hospital. Kelly serves as director of student-athlete wellness, outreach, and inclusion for the Rutgers University Department of Athletics. LaMastro serves as an area senior vice president for Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., one of the world’s largest insurance brokerage and risk management services firms. The previous year, Matt Curtis ’94 (men’s basketball), Ryan Gardner ’01 (baseball), and Katie Roth ’14, M’16 (women’s basketball) were invited to campus to take part in the event. “It’s a great idea, it’s a great program,” Roth said. “There are a lot of similarities between what all student-athletes experience, regardless of their sport. It’s important to keep those connections, past and present.” Despite coming from very different professional backgrounds—Curtis has served as the Simsbury Superintendent of Schools since 2012, Gardner is a managing partner at Fiduciary Investment Advisors, and Roth is a research analyst for NBC Sports— their connection as former Hawks helped them deliver a unified message to the more than 100 student-athletes in attendance. Curtis shared his

experience of working in the aerospace industry before making the transition to education, where he climbed the ladder from teacher to assistant principal, principal, and director of human resources, before becoming superintendent. When Gardner graduated in 2001, he never envisioned a scenario where he would be back mentoring Hartford’s student-athletes. But that only seemed to make his Hawk Nation Network experience all the more satisfying. “The first year I was out [of Hartford], I was still trying to find my way and figure it all out,” he remembers. “Everyone takes a different path and I’m sure mine was not that dissimilar from what some of them will experience.” “We truly believe that Division I athletics changes lives and builds leaders,” Director of Athletics Mary Ellen Gillespie says. “Hawk Nation Network is another resource that was implemented in order to provide career mentoring and advising for our student-athletes. They gain valuable professional insight directly from former student-athletes who are now in their field of interest. We are working with the University’s Career Services office to expand the program and provide more skill-building workshops in order to further prepare our student-athletes for success in whatever path they choose upon graduation.”

The Department of Athletics honored numerous student–athletes and teams at the 2019 Athletics Honors Night this past spring. Lindsey Abed of women’s basketball and J.R. Lynch of men’s basketball received Athlete–of–the–Year awards. Abed became the 18th 1,000– point scorer in program history and helped the team reach the America East championship game for the second time in as many years. Lynch graduated as the only player in Hawks’ history to record 1,000 points, 300 assists, and 150 steals in a career. Both Abed and Lynch were also honored with the prestigious Hawk Medal of Honor.

SPORTS Head Justin Blood signed to contract extension through 2024. H / U NTIIC VK EERR: S I TBaseball Y OF H A R TCoach FORD MAG AZIN E

The women’s soccer team recorded the highest team grade point average (3.68).

Hawks’ student–athletes post 3.0 GPA for 26th



/ 39

High Praise for New Women’s Basketball Coach

Basketball season is just around the corner. Check out schedules and ticket information at HartfordHawks.com.

Welcome, Morgan Valley, to Hawk Nation. Valley was introduced as the University of Hartford’s ninth head women’s basketball coach in the program’s 43–year history, last April. She brings more than 14 years of Division I coaching experience to Hartford, spending time as an assistant in the Pac–12, Atlantic Coast Conference, America East, Atlantic 10, Colonial Athletic Association, Patriot League, and Big East.


NCAA Appearances

Director of Athletics Mary Ellen Gillespie welcomes Morgan Valley to Hawk Nation.

Her career arc includes stops at the University of Arizona, University of Washington, Virginia Tech, UMass, University of New Hampshire, Towson University, Holy Cross, and UConn. Valley was a four–year member of the women’s basketball team at UConn, where she appeared in four Final Fours and won three NCAA Division I National Championships under Geno Auriemma from 2000 to 2004.

Valley inherits a Hartford team that is coming off three straight winning seasons and consecutive America East Championship appearances. The Hawks, who have made six NCAA Tournament appearances since 2002, returned to the postseason for the first time since 2013 this past season with a WNIT bid.

Javelin Thrower Enjoys Record– Breaking Campaign Victor Shapovalov from the Hartford men’s track and field team enjoyed great success during his sophomore season in 2018–19. A native of Feeding Hills, Mass., Shapovalov finished among the top five in every meet he competed in. He began the season by posting three straight victories in the javelin, including a school– record breaking throw of 63.65 meters. That mark earned him top billing at the Adidas Winthrop Invitational and qualified him for the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships East Regional in Jacksonville, Florida, last May. There, Shapovalov capped off his impressive season by placing 36th behind a throw of 59.54 meters. He became just the second male in Hartford track and field program history to compete in an NCAA regional event, joining Terrel Davis, a long jumper who qualified in 2018.


What They’re Saying About Morgan Valley GENO AURIEMMA, Head Coach, University of Connecticut “I’m so excited for Morgan. She is absolutely the most dedicated and hardworking person I’ve been around in a long, long time. Her experiences as a player and assistant coach at various levels have provided her with all the tools she needs to be an excellent head coach. The University of Hartford made a great hire. They hired a terrific coach and an outstanding human being.”

All–Conference Selections

Conference Championships

Conference Players of the Year

SUZY MASON, University of Arizona Senior Associate Director of Athletics “Morgan Valley has spent 20 years honing her craft as a college basketball coach and is a leader in the prime of her career. Every step along her coaching path has prepared her to become the head coach at the University of Hartford. She is excellent in the gym with player development and has handled recruiting, compliance, academics, and staff development. Her work ethic, relationship building, and coaching connections set her apart, and Hartford is getting a great basketball mind and a better person.” MIKE NEIGHBORS, Head Coach, University of Arkansas “Don’t let that smile that lights up a recruit’s living room and a hug that leaves you without a doubt that she meant it fool you: This is a competitor with years of evidence of excellence. We all knew after our run to the Final Four in 2016 that she was ready to lead her own program. Kudos for hiring someone who has worked to earn the title of head coach. Well done, Hartford. Well done, Morgan Valley.” KELSEY PLUM, University of Washington ’17, Current WNBA Player “I couldn’t think of a better woman, coach, and mentor for the job. Morgan Valley is the epitome of a winner, in every sense of life. She’s certainly changed mine, and I can’t wait to see how she changes the University of Hartford.” DIANA TAURASI, University of Connecticut ’03, Current WNBA Player “Morgan has prepared her whole life to be a head coach. She has dedicated her life to basketball and the betterment of young women. The University of Hartford and Morgan will be a perfect match!”

straight semester. / John Carroll ’19 and George Blagojevic ’19 sign pro basketball

contracts to play in the Czech Republic and Australia, respectively. FA LL 2019







They Shall Swoop is the latest novel by Gwendolyn Cahill ’80 (A&S) of Richmond, Va. The mystery features art theft specialist detective Ted Swoop, whose chase to stop intruders of an award–winning Afro–Caribbean art gallery leads to a tale of international intrigue, cover–ups, and mysterious deaths. Chris Christian ’91 (A&S) of Clinton, Conn., co–edited a new book: Psychoanalysis in the Barrios: Race, Class, and the Unconscious. The book is an interdisciplinary collection of essays by distinguished international scholars and clinicians, and refutes the idea that psychoanalysis is an expensive luxury only for the wealthy.

Jacky Lamenzo ’12 (ENHP) of Needham, Mass., has written a children’s book titled Addy Wants to Fit In. The tale is about a little ant who is a picky eater. The book parallels the author’s own childhood and was inspired, in part, by a children’s book course she took while at UHart. Kate McGovern M’79 (Barney) has published A Public–Sector Journey to Lean: Fighting Muda in Times of Muri. The book describes how Lean process improvement techniques and principles that have reduced waste and enhanced quality in manufacturing can be applied to public administration.


Many Faces, One Mary: Discovering Homegrown Gardens and Shrines of Our Lady, a book by Marie Prouix–Meder ’96 (M Hartt) of Chicopee, Mass., was featured at a book launch and lecture recently at the College of Our Lady of the Elms library theater. The book features photography of outdoor statues of the Virgin Mary. Lyn Smith M’86 (ENHP) of Peabody, Maine, has authored a new book titled What Makes an Opossum Tick? She is currently an instructional strategist/reading specialist at Kennebunk Elementary School. Smith presented her book as part of the Pasco Lecture Series at the Graves Library in Kennebunkport in March.

Imaginary Birds: Music for Oboe and English Horn is the latest release from Phil Salathé M’06 (Hartt), AD’07 (Hartt) of Potsdam, N.Y. The CD is a collection of five chamber works penned for long–time collaborators such as Oboe Duo Agosto. Salathé, a former Jeopardy champion, is a composer, teacher, author, and analyst.

Share your newly released book, CD, or film with the UHart community. Email editor@ hartford.edu.



/ 41

Are You Positive? Tips for positivity in your career and life from alumnus John M. Jaramillo

John M. Jaramillo (M’09, M’15 Barney) is a leadership coach who works with clients to enhance their understanding and demonstration of their best skills and attributes, to lead themselves and others. It is important to proactively build what it is you want to experience in your life and work—especially positivity.   It’s no secret that the mood in our country is both tense and exhausting for people. Because we have limited control over such environmental factors, here’s how we can push forward with positivity through self–leadership.

Be Selfish. Before anything, consider what you need to feel fulfilled. Get what you need and deserve, within reason and without taking from anyone else. What do you need to achieve for yourself to be your happiest?

Wash, Rinse, Repeat. Step back regularly

from life and work to review where you stand and refine your approach. Don’t shoot immediately for perfection. Chip away with—and celebrate—small wins. Build up a positivity portfolio. Always keep evolving!   Customize these tips to your needs and environments. Work on them with trusted colleagues. A better you contributes to a better, positive environment. Never underestimate your impact on the greater environment. And don’t wait on anyone to live your best life and do your best work.

Don’t Waste Your Relationships.

Seek and build rich connections to support, challenge, sharpen, and empower you and your environment. How are you exchanging true value both ways with those around you?

Volunteer in Your Community. Our

communities benefit from our value and capabilities. So, share what you’re about and what you provide, delivering your experiences and abilities. Realize the difference you can make. How are you contributing to the environments around you?

Tackle the Toxicity. Acknowledge, assess, and address—and never ignore—negativity. The energy utilized to fight off, ignore, or suppress negativity can instead be used for greater purposes. Face negativity head–on, and strategically plan how to minimize it. What forms does negativity take in your life?

Learn more about Jaramillo and the road to a more positive and powerful you at CoachItOut.com












ALUMNI NOTES Recent label design for Connecticut Valley Brewing Company’s Mosaic Series. Jessica Battista ’15 (HAS) | JessicaBattista.com


DEAR ALUMNI, Hello fellow Hawks! I’m thrilled to rejoin the Alumni Board as president, and I want to thank all the dedicated alumni who have served in Board leadership before me. I look forward to carrying on their legacy.  As a Barney School alum, I attribute a great deal of my personal and professional fulfillment to UHart. I have a feeling many of you can relate to this special sense of community that is so ingrained in campus—and alumni—life.  Join me as we continue to expand and strengthen our worldwide UHart community—whether volunteering, advocating for the University online, attending events, teaching, or mentoring others. How we choose to show up in these moments, both individually and collectively, is powerful.   Thanks to those of you who are already helping to advance the University’s mission. To those of you who are interested in doing more, or getting re-engaged, please reach out! We’d love to have you show up with us on this leg of the journey. 

Maureen Fulton Leathers ’05 President Alumni Association

Class notes are posted online monthly. Notes submitted between August 2018 and December 2018 are included in this issue. M AI L : Class Notes Editor, Office of Alumni Relations,

200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, CT 06117

ONL I N E : hartford.edu/submit-note


David Rubin (Barney) of Glendale, Calif.,

attended a small, exclusive reception in Beverly Hills for legendary portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz. The reception preceded a larger event of nearly 2,000 people, where Leibovitz presented her iconic work. 10

Saunders Smith (Hartt), M’73 (Hartt) of Gwynn Oak, Md. An exhibit of his works was also placed in Allen Library during that time.

AD Artist Diploma C Sixth-Year Certificate D Doctorate GPD Graduate Professional Diploma H Honorary Degree M Master’s Degree No letter designation indicates a bachelor’s degree (or last year attended). P indicates the parent of a student or alumna/us.


Peter Stempe (M Hartt) of Boise, Idaho, retired after 41 years as principal oboe of the Sunriver Musical Festival Orchestra. He was the last original member of the Festival Orchestra that was formed in 1978. 13


A Associate Degree

indicates photo.

/ 43

The University of Hartford alumni network is vast, with a diverse community of over 88,000 strong throughout the United States and around the globe. UHart alumni are making their marks everywhere—in the arts, in business, in STEM, as professional athletes, and more—and have incredible stories to tell. You were once students, and now you’re alumni for life. Keep those bonds strong and stay connected.

The Hartt School staged two concerts in early November, 2018, to celebrate the 70th birthday and music of Stuart



Contribute a Note!


FOLLOW THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION: facebook.com/UHartfordAlumni twitter.com/UHartfordAlumni instagram.com/UHartAlumni


Hashim Al-Tawil (M HAS) authored a textbook titled History of Arab Art. He is an art history professor and chair of the department at Henry Ford College. Al-Tawil has written about Arab art in textbooks published by Oxford University Press and Edinburgh University Press.


Kate McGovern (M Barney), see recently published book, p. 40.


Gwendolyn Cahill (A&S), see recently

published book, p. 40. Syllatrex International, Inc., founded by Michaela Senk-Eustace (M Barney) of West Hartford, Conn., celebrated its 35th anniversary with a luncheon on November 9, 2018. The West Hartford, Conn., business provides technology and accounting services to small businesses. Former UHart soccer standout Steve Waters (ENHP) of Unionville, Conn., retired after 36 years as the Farmington High School boys soccer coach. With a 557–89–51 career record and nine state titles, he is tied as the winningest boys soccer coach in Connecticut history.


Music America Special Reports named Bonnie Barrett (Hartt) of Brooklyn, N.Y., director of Yamaha Artist Services, Inc., as a Top 30 Professional. The publication recognizes the most innovative and accomplished individuals in the music industry. 4 Pedro E. Segarra (A&S) of Hartford, Conn., was named the commissioner of the State of Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission. He has been active in the practice of law for more than 30 years, in addition to his extensive experience in community activism, social work, and public service.

FA L L 2 0 1 9




Designworld.com published a Q&A profile on Tricia Mellor (CETA) of Torrington, Conn., in November 2018. She is a design engineering supervisor at Altra Industrial Motion. 23 Maestro David Rudge (Hartt) of Dunkirk, N.Y., has been appointed music director and conductor of the Rock Hill Symphony Orchestra in Rock Hill, S.C. He is currently director of orchestras and the Hillman Opera at the State University of New York at Fredonia. 18


Cigna Corporation announced that Mark Boxer (CETA) (A&S) of Glastonbury, Conn., will assume the role of executive vice president and global chief information officer for the combined Cigna and Express Scripts business following the close of the proposed transaction. 12


Mark Arend (A&S) of Atlanta, Ga., has been editor in chief of Site Selection since 2001. The internationally


Interested in planning an alumni event in your area? We want to help. Event-ina-Box will provide you with… • The assistance of a UHart Alumni Engagement staff liaison • Communications support to handle email invitations and social media • Event registration support • SWAG items


circulated magazine covers real estate and economic development. Prior to joining the editorial staff there in 1997, he worked for 10 years in New York City at Wall Street Computer Review, ABA Banking Journal, and Global Investment Technology. Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, LLC (CD&R), a private equity firm, announced that Micaela Bulich (CETA) of Catskill, N.Y., has been engaged as an operating advisor to CD&R funds. She was formerly vice president of global supply chain for GE Renewable Energy’s onshore wind business. Bulich has more than 30 years of experience as a strategy and execution leader of supply chain organizations. Joe Olzacki (A&S), ’86 (Hartt), M’94 (Hartt), D’01 (ENHP) of East Hampton, Conn., was appointed superintendent of schools by Connecticut’s Region 14 Board of Education. Previously, he served as director of the Rwandan Teacher Education Program in partnership with UHart. Olzacki has 20 years of public school service experience. Kevin Ronan (A&S) of West Long Branch, N.J., won a Mid-Atlantic Regional Emmy as a segment producer for Classroom Close-up NJ that aired in the New Jersey–New York market. It was his seventh regional Emmy win. Anthony Susi (Hartt) of Andover, Conn., had his band composition, “Aurora Borealis,” published in this year’s C.L. Barnhouse catalog of new works. He had three other band compositions, Portrait of a Patriot, Harvest Fair, and The Last Rose of Summer published by Grand Mesa Music. Susi also released his sixth album of original works, Cathartic Keys. The website occatholic.com published an article on Erik Wexler (A’83 Hillyer), (A&S), M’87 (Barney) of Manhattan Beach, Calif., regarding his efforts in leading Providence St. Joseph Health, an organization that includes 51 hospitals and more than 800 clinics in the West. Wexler is senior vice president and chief executive officer of the Los Angeles region.


Lyn Smith (M ENHP), see recently published book, p. 40.

To learn more, log on to hartford.edu/EventBox.



Rami Haxhi (Hartt) of Middlebury, Conn., joined the Connecticut Audubon Society as an ecotravel assistant. Previously, she had spent 30 years as a public school teacher.


After a 25-year career as a law enforcement officer and three years as an executive protection agent, Erik Hansen (A&S) of Miami, Fla., was named executive director of Redemption Armor, LLC. In this role, he will be in charge of business development, international sales, and government compliance. The Kaplan University School of Professional Education, in conjunction with Think2Perform®, awarded Brian Curhan Lichtenstein (M Barney) of West Harford, Conn., the Behavioral Financial Advisor™ designation. He is an Office of Supervisory Jurisdiction and financial securities advisor with Securities America, Inc.


Hartford Symphony Orchestra Executive Director Steve Collins (Hartt) of South Glastonbury, Conn., was named Nonprofit Executive of the Year by the Hartford Business Journal. The award was a part of the publication’s Community Excellence & Nonprofits awards and recognized a leader who demonstrates vision and innovation.


The Rhode Island Community Food Bank added four new members to its board of directors, including Mary Eastman (A&S), M’92 (A&S) of Lincoln, R.I. She is head of personal investing acceleration for Fidelity Investments. The Board of Directors of Cushman & Wakefield announced the appointment of Michelle MacKay (M Barney) of New York, N.Y., as an independent member. MacKay is a senior advisor to iStar, an adaptive investment REIT that finances, invests in, and develops real estate and related projects. Major League Baseball’s Milwaukee Brewers named Sharon McNally (HAS) of Milwaukee, Wis., vice president of marketing. She joined the


organization after spending the past six years at GS Design, where she was 17 managing director.


Chris Christian (A&S), see recently

published book, p. 40. Andrew Golden (A’89 Hillyer), (A&S), (M’95 A&S) of New Canaan, Conn., the principal/owner of ARG Group, PLLC, announced the expansion of his private practice to a new office in Westport, Conn. He brings more than 23 years of experience in the field of psychology and psychotherapy, and has been in private practice the past 11 years.


The St. Lawrence String Quartet (SLSQ), with alumni members Geoff Nuttall (AD Hartt) of Portola Valley, Calif., and Lesley Robertson (AD Hartt) of New York, N.Y., performed on campus at the second 2018–19 Richard P. Garmany Series event on Nov. 15. SLSQ is the first ensemble to be invited back to perform since the founding of the series in 2009–10.


Scholar Rock Holding Corporation added

Ted Myles (Barney) of Concord, Mass., to

its board of directors. Since 2016, he has served as executive vice president and CFO of AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


AVANGRID, a leading sustainable energy company, announced the appointment of Peter Church (A&S), M’96 (A&S) of West Simsbury, Conn., as chief human resources officer. He will oversee human resources, information technology, and general services. 20 Seth Nagelberg (HAS) of Shaker Heights, Ohio, won first place in the All-Ohio Contemporary Ceramics Biennial. He is in his fourth year as the ceramics department chair at the Cleveland Institute of Art. 2


Three 2018 Grammy-nominated cast recordings involved UHart alumni. Philip Boykin (Hartt) of West Orange,



/ 45

N.J., performed in Once on this Island,

Orin Wolf ’01 (Hartt) of New York, N.Y.,

was the executive producer of The Band’s Visit, and Christine Dwyer ’07 (Hartt) was in the ensemble of Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert. Higher Heights for America co-founder and 2018 Anchor Award winner Glynda Carr (Hartt) of East Windsor, Conn., served as a panelist at the FastCompany Innovation Festival in October 2018. Her panel was titled “Politics: The 1 Next Generation.”


Marie Prouix-Meder (M Hartt), see recently published book, p. 40. The art of Donna Festa (M HAS) was a finalist in last spring’s competition for the Hopper Prize. Her work has also been featured in a solo exhibit in the United Kingdom and was reviewed in the New Art Examiner. 14 Bay Path University announced that Wayne Webster (A&S) of Hartford, Conn., has been elected to its Board of Trustees. A banking and financial services executive with more than 22 years of experience, Webster is vice president, commercial lending at Westfield Bank in Westfield, Mass. 11


Harborstone Credit Union in Tacoma, Wash., promoted Forest Hayes (M Barney) of Bellevue, Wash., to the position of senior vice president and chief risk officer. He will serve as the primary management liaison to the supervisory committee. School psychologist Suzanne Schweitzer (M A&S) of Canton, Conn., was named the recipient of the Thomas DiCorleto Memorial Outstanding Service Award from the Farmington Valley Special Education Directors Association. The award is given to a person who embodies the passion and commitment to children that DiCorleto exhibited. 19


Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin chose Walter Veselka (M Barney) of Old Lyme, Conn., as the city’s public works director. He had run the Bristol, Conn., public works department since 2003.

B E I N TH E S POTLIG HT Alumni Spotlights, regular features on the University’s Alumni Association website, highlight alumni who are impacting the world in meaningful and interesting ways. Have a story to tell? Access Spotlights at hartford.edu/ alumni-spotlights.


Retired Hartford fire chief and certified educator Charles Teale Sr. (M Barney) of Hartford, Conn., was one of eight speakers featured at a TEDx event in Hartford in early December. Lee Simmons ’06 (A&S) of Agawam, Mass., and Laura Dinan Haber ’07 (Barney) of Kensington, Conn., co-organized and co-hosted the event. College of Southern Nevada Chief Information Officer Mugunth Vaithylingam (Barney), of Las Vegas, Nevada, received a lifetime achievement award at the Las Vegas Top Tech Executive Awards in early November. In August, he was the recipient of the Most Influential Global CIO award at the Global CIO Leadership Summitt.


Keir O’Donnell (Hartt) see ShawnCaulin Young ’04 (Hartt) Gina Oliveira (A’98 Hillyer), (Barney)

of West Hartford, Conn., owner of Olive Gypsy Boutique, helped stage and run a pop-up store in West Hartford Center for the holiday season. Jon P. Stroop (Hartt) of Hopewell, N.J., is the director of library information technology and digital services at Princeton University. He was in the audience with head Princeton librarian Anne Jarvis when former UHart President Humphrey Tonkin presented an item from his personal FA L L 2 0 1 9









6 4


1 Glynda Carr ’95 (with microphone) 2 Seth Nagelberg ’94 3 Josh Herman ’05 4 Bonnie Barrett ’81 5 Gregg Katzman ’07 6 Jon P. Stroop ’00 (middle) 7 Shawn-Caulin Young ’04 8 Jamaal Fields-Green ’18 9 Erica Bryan ’15 10 David Rubin ’68 (right) 11 Wayne Webster ’96 (third from left) 12 Mark Boxer ’83 13 Peter Stempe ’75 (next to speaker)

8 9


13 11




book collection to their library. 6 The Markens Group, a full-service medical management firm, hired Tessa O’Sullivan (M Barney) of West Hartford, Conn., as senior account manager. She has worked with professional societies and trade associations for more than 30 years.


The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) chose Jeannine Nonaillada (ENHP) of New Hyde Park, N.Y., to receive its Roster of Fellows. The award, given at the 2019 AOTA Annual Conference & Expo in New Orleans, La., was for “Clinical Excellence and Visionary Leadership to Gerontology.” Orin Wolf (Hartt) see Philip Boykin

’95 (Hartt)


The Hartford Business Journal named Christopher Cykley (CETA) of Middlebury, Conn., and Morgan Sones Ferrarotti (M’07 A&S) of Rocky Hill, Conn., to its list of 2018 40 Under Forty. As vice president of Construction Solutions Group, Cykley has helped grow the company into one of the premier owner’s representation providers in Connecticut. Ferrarotti is currently the senior director of integrated marketing at MassMutual, where she leads integrated marketing campaign planning to ensure brand and customer experience consistency.

The list of alumni appearing in Broadway productions continues to grow with Kevin Duda (Hartt) of Woodside, N.Y., and Matt Faucher ’08 (Hartt) of New Hartford, Conn., appearing in Beautiful. Riza Takahashi ’14 (Hartt) of Itami Hyogo, Japan, and Sheldon Henry ’10 (Hartt) of Brooklyn, N.Y., appeared in Mean Girls and The Prom, respectively. Alumni Association Board Member Kaitlin Walsh (A&S), M’04 (A&S) of Windsor, Conn., contributed a chapter to the publication Metacritical Cervantes: Early and Modern Contexts. The chapter is titled “From ‘desocupado lector’ to ‘lector ilustre’: Reading Cervantes’s Prologues” and focuses on Cervantes’s critique of fiction in his works of prose.


/ 47

and on their journeys as artists. The other alumni included were: Bronze Radio Return drummer Rob Griffith ’07 (Hartt) of West Hartford, Conn.; painter Corey Pane ’11 (HAS) of West Hartford, Conn.; filmmaker and photographer Andrew Reardon ’14 (A&S) of Enfield, Conn.; singer Nekita Waller ’14 (A&S) of Bloomfield, Conn.; and violinist Gary Capozziello ’18 (Hartt) of Manchester, Conn. (magazine below) Photo: Patrick Raycraft/courtesy Hartford Courant Media Group The Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange appointed James Michel (M Barney) of Bloomfield, Conn., as its CEO.


The Hartford Courant published an extensive feature article on Joseph Battaglia (ENHP) of Hartford, Conn., focusing on his Hip Hop for the Homeless concert tour that has expanded to eight cities over 11 days. It took place December 5–15, 2018. Music director and composer Melanie Guerin (Hartt), M’10 (Hartt) of West Hartford, Conn., and dancer Carolyn Paine ’04 (A&S) of Hartford, Conn., were among seven UHart alums who were included in an extensive feature on the local arts scene in a recent issue of Hartford Magazine. The article titled “Inspired, A Renaissance of Young Artists” profiled 12 individuals who shared their thoughts on their work

TH E VOICE OF MATCH GAM E AN D H E R S H E Y ’ S , STE VE F R E NCH Steve French ’03 (Hartt) continues a successful career as a voice actor. His work has been heard on a wide range of projects including DC Universe’s Young Justice, television shows Brooklyn NineNine and Match Game, the Netflix series Maniac, and in commercials for Hershey’s.

He was a long-time director at Access Health CT, most recently as its interim CEO. Previously, Michel worked at Aetna and for the Metropolitan District Commission in Hartford. Storyteller Shawn-Caulin Young (Hartt) of Los Angeles, Calif., is the star and one of the producers of the feature film, Heart, Baby. The story is about George Lee Martin, an African American prison boxer who turned down freedom and Olympic gold to stay in prison. The film also includes Keir O’Donnell ’00 (Hartt) of 7 Los Angeles, Calif., as Randy.


Josh Herman (A’03 Hillyer), (A&S) of

Walt Disney Television/Jeff Neira


Pearland, Texas, received his 2017 World Series Championship ring as a member of the Houston Astros staff. He is manager of special event operations with the Astros and has been with them since

FA L L 2 0 1 9



2014. Herman has been active in helping the University engage alumni in the Houston area. 3 Dan Millman (A&S) of Livingston, N.J., was named manager for corporate hospitality at the Madison Square Garden company in July 2018. He is responsible for premium hospitality sales. Millman has worked with the NFL’s New York Jets, the MLB’s New York Yankees, and the NHL’s New 22 Jersey Devils. Sheldon Richards (Barney) of Hamden, Conn., started his own CPA firm. The business is called Reliable Tax Services and serves New York and Connecticut.


The city of New Bedford, Mass., hired Tabitha Harkin (HAS) of Halifax, Mass., as its city planner. She has experience as a municipal, regional, and state planner, and has also worked in the private sector as a landscape designer. Most recently, Harkin served as director of planning and economic development for the town of Norton, Mass. The Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame recognized Peggy Lyman Hayes (Hartt), H’11 of Sharon, Conn., at its November celebration. A former principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company, she is currently a master instructor at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance. Matt Herbst (Hartt) of Cromwell, Conn., wrote the music for a short film called Gillymuck, which was broadcast globally on the Hulu Network for their Huluween event. He has also composed music for brands such as Sumsunq and Durex. Phil Salathé (M Hartt), AD ’07 (Hartt), see recently released CD, p. 40. Lee Simmons (A&S) see Charles Teale Sr. ’99 (Barney)

Alumni group Bronze Radio Return, in conjunction with their new extended play release, Check One, was featured in an interview on blacksquirrelradio.com. The group includes Matt Warner (Hartt) of Glastonbury, Conn., Chris Henderson ’07 (Hartt) of Northport, Maine, Rob Griffith ’07 (Hartt) of West Hartford, Conn., and Bob Tanen ’08 (CETA) of Harleysville, Pa.



Christine Dwyer (Hartt) see Philip Boykin ’95 (Hartt) Morgan Sones Ferrarotti M’07 (A&S) see Christopher Cykley ’02 (CETA) Rob Griffith (Hartt) see Melanie Guerin ’04 (Hartt), M’10 (Hartt) and Carolyn Paine ’04 (A&S)

Hartford startup-business incubator the Social Enterprise Trust (reSET) appointed MetroHartford Alliance Director of Investor Programming Laura Dinan Haber (Barney) of Kensington, Conn., to its board of directors. She is vice president of the University’s Alumni Association. Also see Charles Teale Sr.

SU PE R BOWL SU N DAY TICKET DE S IG N E R ROB E RT MACH UGA Robert Machuga ’11 (HAS) is a senior designer with the NFL and played a key role in creating much of the branding that was seen around the Super Bowl in Atlanta, including the game ticket. He has been with the NFL since July 2016. Previously, Machuga was the creative director at Catch 24 Advertising and Design.

’99 (Barney).

Chris Henderson (Hartt) and Rob Griffith (Hartt) see Matt Warner ’06 (Hartt)

Valiant Entertainment named comics journalist and marketing professional Gregg Katzman (A&S) of Edgewater, N.J., to the position of marketing coordinator. He has almost a decade of experience in the press and retail side of the comic book industry and he will focus on growing the awareness of the Valiant brand while forging strategic relationships. 5


OVUWA, a South African choir led by conductor Mxolisi Duda (Hartt) of Hartford, Conn., gave an inspiring collection of pop-up performances on campus throughout the day on October 4, 2018. The University of Pretoria’s renowned choir performed a variety of cultural, folk, and indigenous music and dances. Matt Faucher (Hartt) see Kevin Duda ’02 (Hartt) Bob Tanen (CETA) see Matt Warner ’06 (Hartt)


Alumni Association Board Member Matt Cooke (A&S) of Boston, Mass., was promoted to vice president of corporate communications at Santander Bank, N.A. He has been with the company for 24 two years. Josh Feldman (Hartt) of Washington, D.C., started work at ARTECHOUSE, an innovative digital arts space. He runs the national tourism and group strategy for 15 the brand.


Sheldon Henry (Hartt) see Kevin Duda ’02 (Hartt) Krista LaBella (HAS) of Brooklyn, N.Y.,

whose solo exhibition of her work opened at Syracuse University in September 2018, was interviewed on the podcast Art Uncovered. She also had her work Venus Altarpiece shown at the Atteboro Arts museum in June, and a photograph and artist’s book in a show in Costa Mesa.


Brandon Korn (A Hillyer) of Haverstraw, N.Y., was nominated for a Grammy for producing on the Travis Scott Astroworld album. It is nominated in the Best Rap Album category. The album has reached double platinum status. Corey Pane (HAS) see Melanie Guerin ’04 (Hartt), M’10 (Hartt) and Carolyn Paine ’04 (A&S)


Rebekah Chozick (HAS) of West Hartford, Conn., accepted a position as director of the Rachel Uffner Gallery in New York City. Previously, she worked with museums and curators from all over the world as part of the artist liaison


team at Lehmann Maupin Contemporary Art Gallery. Jacky Lamenzo (ENHP), see recently published book, p. 40. Gregory Robert MacArthur (M Hartt) of Landenberg, Pa., joined the staff at HESS International Education Group, the largest and most recognizable private language school in Taiwan. Nicole A. Suissa (A&S) of Brooklyn, N.Y., began a new job as a tax consultant at Deloitte last fall. Previously, she served as a privacy officer for Alliance 25 for Better Health.


Miles Aaron (CETA) of Cambridge, Mass., completed his engineering science DPhil in biomedical engineering at the University of Oxford. He was a 2013 John G. Martin Scholar recipient. Aaron intends to start a company that will allow him to pursue his passions for music, technology, and business. Bliss Piverger (M A&S) of Boca Raton, Fla., joined the woman-owned national litigation services consulting firm Litigation Insights as a jury 16 research consultant.


Carolyn Paine ’04 (A&S)

Riza Takahashi (Hartt) see Kevin Duda

’02 (Hartt) Nekita Waller (A A&S) see Melanie Guerin ’04 (Hartt), M’10 (Hartt) and Carolyn Paine ’04 (A&S)


Erica Bryan (Hartt) of Hartford, Conn., delivered her debut solo project, Young, as a featured performer on Connecticut Public Television’s The Parkville Sessions that aired Nov. 3. The album is collection of original jazz and new-soul works inspired by the bittersweet beauty of life. Erica is the front woman for the Hartford-based band West End Blend. 9 Jazz saxophonist Mike Casey (Hartt) of Storrs, Conn., continues to receive rave reviews for his recordings. His final single from his Stay Surprising album “Cold-Blooded Blues” was released in October. He was profiled in an article by the Huffington Post that month. Parkville Sounds, a Hartford music studio created by Stephen Cusano (Hartt) of North Haven, Conn., was featured in a four-part series of live music performances on Connecticut Public Television. The series, The



/ 49


Karis Gallant (Hartt) of Hamilton, N.J., joined the 2019 national tour of Kinky Boots. The tour made its Connecticut tour appearance May 31–June 2 at Foxwoods Casino. Jermaine Woodard Jr. (Hartt) of Portsmouth, Va., is a contracted business analyst working with the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles. He is doubly focused on an active performingarts career: singing with CONCORA, Composer’s Choir, cantoring at Catholic parishes, baritone-section-leading with Asylum Hill Congregational Choir and Hartford Chorale Inc., and performing with regional opera and musical theater companies.


Alexa Joachim (ENHP) of Bridgewater,

N.J., was a speaker at “The Next Generation: Will the Story Survive? A Panel of Third Generation Voices Responds,” held at Seton Hall University. It was a lecture featuring a panel of third-generation Holocaust survivors. Joachim is currently working in human services at the Civil Service Commission in Trenton, N.J.

Camilo Garcia (CETA) of New York,

N.Y., is the owner of DS BIM, a building information modeling company for subcontractors on large-scale commercial projects. Along with Rite Flow Mechanical, his company completed work on the new Louis Armstrong Tennis Stadium in Queens, N.Y., last summer. Patrick Laramee (CETA) of Holyoke, Mass., has been promoted from second lieutenant to first lieutenant as a member of the United States Air Force. He currently serves in active duty as a health facilities officer responsible for a large portfolio of military construction projects around the world. Goodnight Blue Moon guitarist Dan Liparini (Hartt) of North Kingston, R.I., was quoted extensively on the genre of folk music in an article that appeared in newhavenindependent.org. The article was promoting the Connecticut Folk Fest and Green Expo. His band combines pop and folk music, along with R&B elements. Andrew Reardon (A&S) see Melanie Guerin ’04 (Hartt), M’10 (Hartt) and

BAKE R , BODY B U I LDE R , CHOI R CON DUCTOR , AN D M U S IC TE ACH E R SAR AH M E LL A S Sarah Mellas ’14 (Hartt) won the national Kellogg’s Holiday Baking Challenge by creating two Frosted Flakes pear-berry tarts. A self made baker, she splits her time as a choir conductor/music teacher and a professional recipe dveloper and food stylist for Yummly, a web site and mobile app. Mellas is also an ameteur body builder.

Parkville Sessions: Where Live Music Meets Hartford History, demonstrates how music has changed this historic neighborhood. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) featured Frances Johnson (M A&S) of New Haven, Conn., in an article and video on its website to promote its Diversity Training Program. She completed a summer stint as a trainee in a neuroscience lab at NIMH before matriculating in a neuroscience doctoral program at the University of Pittsburgh last fall.

Rebecca Pappalardo (A&S) of Southington, Conn., was accepted into the Albany Medical School’s physician assistant program. She began the program in January 2018. The State of Connecticut sponsored 10 murals that were painted across Hartford last summer, including one created in part by Alexander Raniello (HAS) of Wethersfield, Conn. The goal of the program was to beautify and brighten 21 up areas of the community.

FA L L 2 0 1 9






Gary Capozziello (Hartt) see Melanie Guerin ’04 (Hartt), M’10 (Hartt) and Carolyn Paine ’04 (A&S) Jamaal Fields-Green (Hartt) of New

City, N.Y., landed the roles of John Laurens and Phillip Hamilton in the Chicago cast of Hamilton, staged at the CIBC Theatre. 8 Manchester Community College named Michelle LaBelle (Barney) of Hartford, Conn., veterans services associate for the campus’ Operation Academic Support for Incoming Service Members center. She served as a U.S. Army medic from 1996 to 2000. Kelly Tischbein (University Studies)

of Bloomfield, Conn., entered the Information Technology (IT) Leadership Development Program at Traveler’s Insurance Company. It is a four-year rotational program that will provide the opportunity to experience different types of IT roles across the Travelers enterprise.

Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019 | 2–5 p.m. on the Harry Jack Gray Center lawn

Celebrating all alumni, including the Reunion Classes of 2019, 2014, 2009, 2004, 1999, and 1994. Also honoring alumni of Red Caps, SGA, Jewish Student Life, and Multicultural.   The $10 fee includes one drink ticket, Reunion Row pint glass, food, music, photos, and photo booth fun.   Register today and check out the full Hawktober Weekend schedule at hartford.edu/hawktober.






18 21 19 14 Donna Festa ’96 15 Josh Feldman ’10 16 Bliss Piverger ’13 17 Sharon McNally ’90 18 David Rudge ’82 19 Suzanne Schweitzer ’97 20 Peter Church ’94 21 Alexander Raniello ’17 (mural) 22 Dan Millman ’05 23 Tricia Mellor ’82 24 Matt Cooke ’10 25 Nicole A. Suissa ’12

20 22






2019–20 ALUMNI ASSOCIATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS OFFICERS President Maureen Leathers ’05 Vice President Laura Dinan Haber ’07 Treasurer Kerrie Sullivan ’93 Governance Committee Chair Mary P. Murphy ’04 Immediate Past President Carolyn Reibling Bligh ’87 SCHOOL AND COLLEGE LIAISIONS Julianna Cruz ’14 (Hartt) Michaela Catallozzi ’11 (CETA) John M. Jaramillo M’09, M’15 (Barney) Ebony Wright-Campbell A’02, ’04 (Hillyer) Naomi Lerner Tussin ’77 (HAS) DIRECTORS Communications and Social Media Kristie Borges ’93 Students and Young Alumni Kristen Harris A’00, ’02 Career/Mentoring David S. Daye ’06 Athletics Affinity Scott Hilt ’96 Board of Regents (ex officio) Paul A. Sittard ’85 MEMBERS AT LARGE Kelly Axtell ’99 Jolie Rocke ’89 Bryan Boppert ’02 Daylon Martin ’96 Madison Norwich ’16 Sean O’Donovan ’14 Brian Romano ’83, M’18 Nicole A. Suissa ’12 Kaitlin M. Walsh ’02, M’04 STUDENT REPRESENTATIVES Dan Falkovich ’21, SGA representative to the Alumni Board Liam McCusker A’16, ’17, graduate assistant representative To learn more about becoming a Board member, or to get involved as a volunteer, log on to hartford.edu/alumni.



/ 51

Roommates While college roommates often lose touch through the years for many reasons, most notably career, family, and geographic distance, there are many bonds and friendships formed in UHart residence halls decades ago that continue strong today. Each issue, H will tell the story of one-time roommates who have never lost touch. If one of the most valuable experiences of college is meeting people who are not like you, Amy Quigley ’93 and Mara Steinberg ’93 were the perfect match when they arrived on campus in the fall of 1989. Whether it was the geographic regions of the country they came from, religion, their personalities, or their interests, there were many contrasts between Quigley and Steinberg. Both clearly remember and laugh to this day about move-in day when the New Englander (Quigley) and Midwesterner (Steinberg) met one another, settled into their Reeve Hall dorm room, and decided to put up posters on the wall. Steinberg showcased New Kids on the Block, while Quigley proudly revealed a poster of Madonna. Both wasted little time in making fun of their new roommate’s musical tastes. What singers they liked was secondary to more meaningful factors that overrode Amy Quigley (left) and Mara Steinberg differences to unite the new roommates. “What really bonded us,” Quigley says, “is that our families were very similar. We both had strong relationships with our parents, who instilled good values in us.” In fact, the parents instantly bonded during move-in day, likely foretelling the strong friendship that would develop between their children. Quigley notes that both mothers, especially, played a key “supporting role in making our relationship important. Each felt that ‘this is the caliber of person I want my daughter to spend time with.’” Steinberg’s mother would soon refer to Quigley as her “other daughter,” and the same relationship developed between Steinberg and Quigley’s mother. After spending their first two years as roommates, Quigley and Steinberg encountered another difference as juniors: one wanted to live in Regents Park, while the other preferred the Village Apartments. They thus found new roommates during their upperclass years—but remained close. Upon graduation, Quigley headed back to the Boston area while Steinberg settled in New York City. The friendship blossomed further. Quigley says the two visited each other monthly for the first 10 years after college, helped by the fact that both had similar life patterns in their 20s: being single, renting apartments, and establishing careers. They took a cruise together to celebrate their 30th birthdays and each would later serve as a maid of honor at their former roommate’s wedding. “For important milestones in our lives, we were always there for each other,” Quigley says. “What’s interesting about Mara and me,” she continues, “is that even though we have separate friends and interests, there’s sort of a core to us that we always come back to one another—we’re always attached.” Steinberg explains that “if you are truly good friends, you can go an extended period of time and still get on the phone like it was just yesterday when you last talked.” With growing personal and family responsibilities in recent years, the in-person visits now number closer to two or three times per year. Yet, the pair text constantly and know if something tough happens, their friend would be on the phone within minutes. “I always know she is there for me,” Steinberg emphasizes. Keeping their friendship strong has not detracted from their careers. Steinberg has become established in the New York City finance world, currently serving as a director at Barclays after previous positions with the likes of Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. Quigley is president of the Massachusetts Innovation and Technology Exchange, a technology association; and is the founder of InfluenceHER, a diverse community of professional women defining the next-generation workplace. Both have also stayed involved with UHart. Steinberg is a member of the Barney School of Business Board of Visitors. Quigley serves on the College of Arts and Sciences Board of Advisors, and previously was on the Alumni Association Board of Directors. Yet the greatest memory of the University of Hartford for both will be meeting their college roommate and finding a lifelong friend. “Mara is as close to a relative as you can get,” Quigley says. Her observation says it all.

FA L L 2 0 1 9



We Remember... The below listing includes deaths from August 2018 through December 2018.


Edward Diemente ’48 (Hartt), P’88 West Hartford, Conn., 12.29.2018 Saunder D. Weinstein A’48 (Barney) West Hartford, Conn., 8.14.2018 Victor J. Antanaitis C’49, AD’50 (HAS) Stafford Springs, Conn., 10.21.2018 Beryl Rundbaken Cantor A’49 (HCW) Ellington, Conn., 10.25.2018


Melvin Marcus A’48, ’50 (Barney) Bloomfield, Conn., 11.19.2018 Priscilla Carter Magee A’51, M’68 (Hillyer) Winsted, Conn., 11.3.2018 Aliki Michalaros-Sciascia ’53 (Hartt) Trumbull, Conn., 12.17.2018 Barbara Miron Tanguay ’53 (Hartt) Suffield, Conn., 8.23.2018 Max M. Kalman ’54 (Barney) Newington, Conn., 8.14.2018 Thomas G. Gregory ’58 (CETA) Sylvania, Ohio, 8.4.2018 Leon R. Pierce M’58 (ENHP) Bloomfield, Conn., 10.11.2018 Dorlee Clark Rohlfing A’58 (HCW) Milwaukee, Wisc., 12.3.2018 Leonard H. Adam ’59 (A&S) West Hartford, Conn., 8.17.2018 Edgar Brisson ’59 (CETA) Cocoa Beach, Fla., 11.20.2018 Nancee Cheffet A’59 (HCW) Colchester, Vt., 9.21.2018


Nancy J. Allan ’60 (HAS) North Mankato, Minn., 9.23.2018 Gladys B. Dunn M’60 (ENHP) West Hartford, Conn., 11.5.2018 Edward E. Lanati M’60 (ENHP) Windsor Locks, Conn., 8.14.2018 John A. Sweeney M’60, C’63 (ENHP) East Hartford, Conn., 8.7.2018 Henry L. Haddad M’62 (ENHP) Cromwell, Conn., 10.1.2018

Harry S. Hanson Jr. M’62 (ENHP) Natick, Mass., 11.3.2018

Richard F. Anderson M’75 (Barney) Southington, Conn., 12.8.2018

Edward S. Akucewich Jr. M’63 (ENHP) Port Saint Lucie, Fla., 9.16.2018

Marleen Podorowsky Denney M’76 (ENHP) Portland, Maine, 12.21.2018

Peter C. Bjarkman ’63, M’70 (ENHP) Lafayette, Ind., 10.1.2018

Geraldine R. Green M’76, P’80 (ENHP) Hartford, Conn., 8.17.2018

Valerie A. Ginszanski A’63 (Barney) 8.25.2018

Michael P. Gut ’77, M’82 (Barney) Lebanon, Conn., 9.6.2018

Philip M. Janes ’64 (A&S) Granby, Conn., 9.22.2018

Lucille McCarthy Bellizzi ’78, M’88 (ENHP) West Hartford, Conn., 10.21.2018

Daniel O. May ’65 (A&S) Santa Cruz, Calif., 9.8.2018

Clifford W. McGuire M’79 (Barney) Guilford, Conn., 12.20.2018

James S. Pillion ’65 (Barney) Niantic, Conn., 9.23.2018


Joy H. Robinson ’65 (HAS) 8.29.2018 Sally F. Cadmus A’66 (HCW) Rocky Hill, Conn., 8.2.2018 Helen Arth Nicholson M’66 (ENHP) Verona, Pa., 10.3.2018 Mary Senecal Potter M’67 (ENHP) Old Saybrook, Conn., 12.2.2018 Rene J. Racette M’67 (ENHP) The Villages, Fla., 10.4.2018 Lewis F. Krupka ’68, M’71 (A&S) Schenectady, N.Y., 8.12.2018 Robert T. Richards ’68 (Barney) Washington, D.C., 12.31.2018 David P. Rinaldi ’69 (A&S) Carrboro, N.C., 8.8.2018


William P. McKenna M’71 (ENHP) Old Saybrook, Conn., 12.28.2018 Philip J. House M’72, C’74 (ENHP) Westbrook, Conn., 8.9.2018 Dr. David H. Macbride ’73 (Hartt) Bloomfield, Conn., 9.7.2018 Bonnie Good O’Malley A’73 (HCW) Hartford, Conn., 9.29.2018 Myra Wiskind Panitch M’73, C’74 (ENHP) West Hartford, Conn., 10.27.2018 Jacqueline Games ’74, M’83 (ENHP) Granby, Conn., 12.7.2018


Lucy C. Schon ’80 (A&S) Farmington, Conn., 8.21.2018 Gary J. Orefice M’81 (Barney) Niantic, Conn., 9.23.2018 Eric Dahlin ’85 (Hartt) Tariffville, Conn., 10.12.2018 James D. Jepeal ’85 (Barney) East Granby, Conn., 8.10.2018 Ina J. McCravy-Buntin ’85 (A&S) Springfield, Mass., 8.6.2018 George H. Koenig M’86 (Barney) Brewster, Mass., 8.10.2018 Edward A. Lombardi M’86 (Barney) Essex, Conn., 8.10.2018 Marilyn A. Kelley A’88 (A&S) Woodstock, Conn., 9.12.2018 Richard F. Albani M’89 (Barney) Fairfax, Va., 11.19.2018


Beau Thurnauer M’92 (Barney) Coventry, Conn., 8.7.2018 John C. Morris Jr. M’95 (Barney) Kensington, Md., 11.2018 Brendan A. Ahern ’99 (ENHP) Honolulu, Hawaii, 11.15.2018


Danielle M. Fasciocco ’11 (ENHP) Havertown, Pa., 9.8.2018




/ 53

ALUMNI EVENTS UHart Alumni Night at Atlanta’s SunTrust Park took place in April. There to watch the Braves take on the Miami Marlins were: Bruce Buchholz ’79, M’89; Susan Buchholz ’78; Marisa Ackerman; Mark Ackerman ’75; Fred Beloin ’79, M’80; Brenda Beloin; Daylon Martin ’96; and Ryan Johnston ’10.

In March, Florida alumni attended a reception with President Gregory Woodward at the Olympia Clubhouse in Wellington.

JOIN US! UHart and the Alumni Association sponsor events and programs in Greater Hartford and across the country. Grow professionally, be social, and give back to the community while reuniting with classmates and fellow alumni. To learn more, visit hartford.edu/alumni-events.

Alumni, students, staff, and friends of The Hartt School attended the annual Hartt Theatre Division Showcase Wrap Party and Alumni Reunion March 18 at The Brazen Tavern in New York. Shown here are Juwan Crawley ’16, Haley Huxley ’19, Rachel Moss ’19, Madison Vice ’19, and Genevieve Hendrix ’19. The event was originated by Ryan BauerWalsh ’06 in 2007. University alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends attended Founder’s Day Challenge launch parties in Boston (bottom), New York (left), and Hartford that sparked a highly successful Founder’s Day Challenge fundraising effort in February. A total of 1,644 gifts were secured, exceeding the gifts goal by 164 percent. The fundraising total of $238,265 was a Founder’s Day Challenge record. Gifts were made to more than 60 University programs, including the UHart Impact Fund that supports every area of the University experience.

The Aetna Hartford Alliance has embarked on a partnership with the Helping Hawks Service Scholar Program at the University of Hartford. Last spring, the eight scholars visited the Aetna office for an immersion visit, their second, which involved job shadowing and learning about corporate social responsibility. The Alliance consists of alumni and friends who focus on engagement efforts between Aetna employees and the University.

A number of young alumni were invited to serve as panelists during the admission scholarship competitions in February. They spoke to high achieving high school students who were admitted to UHart about their experience as students and graduates, and answered questions for prospective parents. Shown here are panelists (from left) Sabrina Amaral ’13; Frank Piechota ’13; Fresia Fernandez ’17; Matthew Merkent ’14, M’18; and Maria Arroyo ’13.

I’m grow ing to be a



Planning an alumni event? Getting married? Having a baby? Show your UHart pride by requesting UHart pennants or onesies today. We’ll also help you celebrate by sharing your news as a Class Note— to appear online and in a future issue of H. Request your pennant or onesie today at hartford.edu/alumni-gear.

Theta Chi and Beta Sigma Gamma fraternity celebrated their 50th anniversary last March. The weekend began with one of the University’s oldest traditions, painting the anchor. Events for alumni and current brothers included a networking event, volleyball tournament, campus tour, and an awards ceremony and banquet.


Have you recently moved, gotten married, or have a new job? Have you updated your email or other contact information? Don’t miss out on the latest UHart news or event information! Contact us at hartford.edu/alumni-update.

FA L L 2 0 1 9




We Congratulate & Welcome... WEDDINGS


Alyson Mackler ’11 (A&S) and Jordan Quimby ’12 (A&S) of New York, N.Y., were married Sept. 28, 2018, at the English Manor in Ocean Township, N.J. Alyson is an associate video producer at CBS Interactive, and Jordan is a production artist at Baron & Baron, Inc. [1] Kevin Estes ’11 (Barney) and Christina Ginn of Powhaten, Va., were married October 6, 2018, at Reinstein Ranch in Livermore, Calif. Kevin is a retired police officer and is starting his own business training detection dogs. [2] Caitlin Simard ’11, M’15 (A&S) and Justin Malinowski of Holyoke, Mass., were married October 27, 2018, at Stanley Park in Westfield, Mass. [3] Nikkia Smith ’13 (ENHP) and Kendall Thompson of Charlotte, N.C., were married October 15, 2018. Nikkia is currently in school to become a sign language interpreter. The couple are therapeutic foster parents. [4] Catherine Carey ’14 (Barney) and Kevin Whelen A’10 (Hillyer), ’14 (A&S) of Ipswich, Mass., were married Sept. 22, 2018. Catherine works in advertising at MullenLowe and Kevin is a project manager for Windover Construction. [5] Sophia Olsen M’16 (A&S) and Jason Bond Ponichtera of Farmington, Conn., were married October 20, 2018, in Stowe, Vt. Sophia is a senior marketing communications manager in the University’s Office of Marketing and Communication. [6]

Julie Pelton ’03 (A&S) of White River Junction, Vt., and her husband, Gregg Nalette, welcomed a girl, Rylie Joy, on September 7, 2017. [7] Josayne Anderson ’04 (Hillyer) of Glenham, N.Y., welcomed son Napoleon Tejera-Anderson, on September 10, 2017. [8] Jessica Fine Sowalsky A ’05 (Hillyer), ’07 (A&S) and Adam Sowalsky of Bethesda, Md., welcomed their first child, a boy, Ari Michael Sowalsky, on October 30, 2018. Jessica is a learning systems and courseware manager at the University of Maryland. Adam is a principal investigator at the National Cancer Institute, NIH. [9] Juliana Carillo MacTaggart ’08 (Barney) and Andrew MacTaggart M’06 (Barney) of Southington, Conn., welcomed their first child, a boy, Mateo Parker MacTaggart, on December 27, 2018. Juliana was on the women’s golf team at UHart and works for Prudential Retirement. Andrew is employed by Pratt & Whitney [10] Ben Sobocinski ’09 (CETA) of Waldorf, Md., and his wife, Brittany, welcomed daughter Margaret “Maggie” Michelle Sobocinski on October 20, 2018. Ben works for Soltesz, a local civil engineering company. [11] Jaret von Rosenberg ’09 (Barney) and Sarah Rasor von Rosenberg A’06, ’08 (A&S) of Commerce, Texas, welcomed their second child, Ava Len von Rosenberg, on August 20, 2018. Jaret is the head men’s basketball coach at Texas A&M–Commerce. [12] Judy Denny ’11 (CETA), M’14 (CETA) of New Haven, Conn., welcomed her third daughter, Jada Amani Denny, on July 4, 2018. [13] Joanne McWalters M’14 (ENHP) of Manassas, Va., welcomed a boy, Colby Laurence Thomas McWalters, on May 28, 2017. [14]










/ 55


See more class notes and photos online at hartford.edu/class-notes









FA L L 2 0 1 9



Cool Spaces Experience stadium seating, enjoy the circus, and step back in history when you visit the office of Hillyer College Dean David Goldenberg (A’73, ’76, M’76).

1 3




1 R ead All About It

A March 10, 1777, edition of the Connecticut Courant, featuring a front-page “Proclamation from London” signed by Mad King George, who was unhappy with the colonists.

2 R evolutionary Eyeglasses

These eyeglasses, protected by a tube-shaped case, were made in Philadelphia and date back to the American Revolution (1776–81).

3 The  Greatest Show on Earth

A replica of an original circus wagon from the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus.

4 Take  Me Out to the Ball Game

A passionate San Francisco Giants fan, Goldenberg couldn’t turn down the opportunity to acquire a pair of authentic stadium seats from the city’s historic Candlestick Park after its closure.

5 G o Fightin’ Hawks

An original Hillyer College banner from 1954.




Our new website is here! Explore the new hartford.edu and rediscover the University of Hartford experience. Get a dynamic virtual glimpse into today’s UHart, as we share with the world what makes our campus and community so special.

All-new site structure and navigation Custom features like our program explorer Fresh, modern, responsive design





University of Hartford

University of Hartford

FA L L 2 0 1 9

200 Bloomfield Avenue West Hartford, CT 06117


Change Service Requested

JOIN US OCTOBER 18–20, 2019

Profile for University of Hartford

UHart H magazine fall 2019  

H strives to be a magazine you feel compelled to read cover to cover. The articles and features will bring the UHart experience and story to...

UHart H magazine fall 2019  

H strives to be a magazine you feel compelled to read cover to cover. The articles and features will bring the UHart experience and story to...

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded