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FAL L 2018

West Chester University MAGAZINE


And “Wells” at West Chester



hanks to the generosity of Dr. James R. Wells ’54 and Mr. Richard G. Wells ’58, the Wells School of Music is now the School’s formal name and can be seen prominently in the Swope Music Building.

Standing beneath the new signage is (bottom, L to R) Christopher Hanning, dean, with music students Kyla Eryka de Guia, Chloe Francis, WCU mascot Rammy, Elisa Aquino, Connor Riley, Brenten MeGee M’17, (top, L to R) Andrew Morrison, Olivia Yachnik, Ian Edge, and Andrew Gallagher. On the cover: Dr. James R. Wells ’54; Joanne M. (Noble) Wells ’55; Elizabeth J. (Noble) Wells ’60, M’66; and Mr. Richard G. Wells ’58.

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On the Cover: Keeping the Music Alive and “Wells”


Two music education alumni — Dr. James R. Wells ’54 and Richard G. Wells ’58 — have established a $3 million endowment to benefit the Wells School of Music in perpetuity.

Faculty Profile: Gopal Sankaran


Sankaran is honored for his distinguished service in international health on HIV / AIDS and other pressing global health issues.

Alumni Profile: Josh Maxwell ’08


Josh Maxwell ’08 exemplifies Golden Rams community spirit by serving as Downingtown’s youngest ever mayor.

Homecoming 2018 In Review


Photographic review of the 2018 Homecoming weekend held on November 2-4.

4 University News 11 WCU Events 13 WCU Profiles 14 Cover Story

18 Sports News 20 Chapter News 21 WCUAA President’s Message 22 Alumni Notes

wcupa.edu/socialmedia Digital version of the WCU Magazine is available at issuu.com/wcuofpa.

FALL 2018



any of us shared the same thought during Homecoming: There is absolutely no place like WCU…. While many institutions across the nation are experiencing challenges, our University home continues to thrive. With a 38.7 percent increase in WCU’s graduate enrollment over the past five years, the University has recently established the Graduate School as a much-needed one-stop shop designed to provide a wide range of services for a growing population. Our increasing undergraduate enrollment continues to be equally impressive, and we are especially thrilled that the divisions of Student Affairs and Academic Affairs have launched an innovative pilot program to support a large number of first-generation college students. From the minute students land on campus, they feel wanted, welcomed, and supported. Much of this is thanks to so many of you. Dr. James R. Wells ’54 and Mr. Richard G. Wells ’58, together with their wives Joanne M. (Noble) Wells ’55 and Elizabeth J. (Noble) Wells ’60, M’66, are perfect examples. Thanks to the Wells’ historic gift, the Wells School of Music will provide the additional resources needed to strengthen its offerings to numerous talented musicians. In addition, as a result of the generosity of the Honorable Dr. Clifford E. DeBaptiste, students now have access to an impressive and enriching multicultural lecture series. This fall issue of the WCU Magazine is then dedicated to all of you — our unwavering alumni, faculty, and friends — who are working to bolster this one-ofa-kind home of ours by setting a precedent of action, cultivating student success, and inspiring a multitude of “firsts.” You make WCU’s house a welcoming home for all and we thank you. Sincerely,

Christopher M. Fiorentino President

Editor & Executive Director of Communications Nancy Santos Gainer Associate Editors Matt Born Loretta MacAlpine Design JoAnne Mottola Photography Erica Thompson ’10 Contributors Bruce Beans Maurisa Warren President Christopher M. Fiorentino Vice President for University Affairs John Villella ’76, M’82 Interim Director of Alumni Relations Jenna (Cardaciotto) Birch ’06

The West Chester University Magazine is published three times a year for the alumni, families, students, and friends of West Chester University. We welcome letters concerning magazine content or issues pertaining to the University. Letters must be signed and kept to one typed page. Please include address and daytime phone number. Send correspondence to: Editor, The WCU Magazine, West Chester University, West Chester, PA 19383 West Chester University Magazine is published by the West Chester University Office of Communications

www.wcupa.edu WCU is an AA/EEO institution


Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation President Arthur Levine announced that the state will ensure that excellent teachers lead STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) classrooms in critical-need schools throughout the Commonwealth. The Woodrow Wilson Foundation selected Duquesne University, University of Pennsylvania, and West Chester University as initial university partners in the Woodrow Wilson Pennsylvania Teaching Fellows program. Among those pictured at the announcement are (L to R) Christopher Fiorentino, president, WCU; Arthur Levine; Daniel Greenstein, chancellor, Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education; Elliot Weinbaum, program director, William Penn Foundation; Pedro Rivera, secretary of education, Pennsylvania; Tom Wolf; Cynthia D. Shapira, chair, Board of Governors, Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education; David Dausey, provost, Duquesne University; Ken Witmer, dean, College of Education and Social Work, WCU; and other regional leaders.

WEST CHESTER UNIVERSITY COUNCIL OF TRUSTEES Thomas A. Fillippo ’69 (chair) Nicole Boylan (student) Christopher A. Lewis Barry C. Dozor ’71 J. Adam Matlawski ’80 (vice chair) Christopher Franklin ’87 Marian D. Moskowitz (secretary) Jonathan Ireland ’95, M’03 Eli Silberman Stephen Kinsey ’81 Robert M. Tomlinson ’70 The West Chester University Foundation Board of Trustees Officers Paula D. Shaffner ’80 (president) Deborah J. Chase ’76 (vice president) Kathy Leidheiser (treasurer) John H. Baker ’74 (secretary) Christopher P. Mominey (chief executive officer) Jennifer Coffey (assistant treasurer and CFO) Trustees Keith Beale ’77 R. Lorraine Bernotsky, ex officio Frank Branca ’70 J. Alan Butcher ’88, M’92 Millie C. Cassidy

Edward N. Collison ’93 Zebulun R. Davenport, ex officio Paul D. Emrick ’88 Thomas A. Fillippo ’69, Council of Trustees Representative Christopher Fiorentino, ex officio John A. Gontarz Maury Hoberman David P. Holveck ’68 Joan M. Kaminski ’69 Donald E. Leisey ’59 Sandra F. Mather ’64, M’68 Todd Murphy, ex officio Tahany Naggar John N. Nickolas ’90 Michael Peich Robert H. Plucienik Lewis Raibley, III ’83 James Shinehouse ’80 May Van M’89 John Villella ’76, M’82, ex officio Roger B. Ware Jr. ’82 Christine Warren ’90, M’99

West Chester University Alumni Association President Lisa Wright Bryant ’87 Vice President Nick Polcini ’00, M’05 Treasurer Mark Drochek ’86 Secretary William Scottoline ’74 Past President Matt Holliday ’09 Directors Lauren Bolden ’12, M’14 Lisa Wright Bryant ’87 Mark Drochek ’86 Robert Fanelli ’60, M’66 Dean Gentekos ’07 Jamie W. Goncharoff  ’82 Matt Holliday ’09

Jonathan Long ’03 Alison Maguire ’07 Elaine Mann ’91 Edward Monroe ’89 Stephen Nicolai ’08 Patrick O’Connor M’92 Alyssa Polakowski ’09, M’11 Nick Polcini ’00, M’05 William Scottoline ’74 Denise Bowman Trigo ’98 Andy Truscott ’09 Ruthann Waldie ’80 Emeriti Carmen Evans Culp ’52, M’64 (deceased) Janice Weir Etshied ’50 (deceased) Karl Helicher ’72, M’82, M’87 Joseph F. Kienle ’72, M’74 Richard D. Merion ’59, M’69 John F. Murphy ’43 (deceased) Luther B. Sowers ’49

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Daria Nikitina

Heather Wholey

National Geographic Funding

WCU Archeologist and Geologist on Delaware Bay Shoreline


ising sea levels triggered by climate change aren’t just threatening beachfront properties and coastal cities, but ecologically rich salt marshes and thousands of archeological sites as well. To assess those dangers throughout the Delaware Bay, WCU archeologist Heather Wholey and geologist Daria Nikitina have been awarded a two-year, $30,000 National Geographic Explorers Grant. “This is a global issue,” says Wholey, an archeologist, professor of anthropology, and chair of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology. “Researchers throughout the world are concerned about the loss of environmental habitats, the loss of historical and archeological sites, and all of the scientific information that comes with that.” Supported by a WCU Foundation Grant for Faculty and Student Research, last year the duo and their graduate and undergraduate students conducted a pilot research project on Sheppards Island, a dryland hummock amidst the salt marshes of Delaware’s Milford Neck Wildlife Area. Nikitina, an associate professor in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences, extracted soil core samples from the adjacent marshlands that indicate the hummock once was a barrier island with dunes and a beach. Meanwhile, on the wooded hummock itself, Wholey found evidence of so far undated but


clearly prehistoric human habitation: chipped debris of jasper, a type of rock that was commonly used to make tools and weapons. With evidence of human habitation dating back 13,000 years, the Delaware Bay (North America’s second largest estuary) was one of the most culturally diverse areas in colonial America. Its inhabitants included Lenape and Nanticoke Native Americans, Swedes, Dutch, Finns, and Africans. The new funding enables the two professors to expand their research to at least six more wildlife management areas on both the Delaware and New Jersey sides of the bay. Their goals: to identify areas of undocumented human occupation; unearth connections between human settlement and coastal environments; assess the current impact of rising sea levels and storm surges on those resources; and predict future risks. “Even if we identify cultural resources, it’s impossible to save everything,” notes Nikitina. “But it’s important to know what those resources are and to prioritize their vulnerability.” “If we’re at least able to document these sites, even if they are not saved they will become part of our collective knowledge and history,” adds Wholey.


WCU Establishes Graduate School at Time of Unprecedented Graduate Student Enrollment


ith an increasing number of students interested in pursuing graduate degree programs at West Chester University, the University has established the Graduate School as a one-stop shop to provide a wide range of services for this growing population. The transition from a Graduate Studies Office to a Graduate School is prompted by a 38.7 percent increase in WCU’s graduate enrollment over the last five years — from 2,134 and 13.5 percent of the total enrollment in fall 2013 to 2,960 and 16.9 percent of the total enrollment in fall 2018. The Graduate School supports the preparation and professional development of all WCU graduate students, while encouraging the delivery of graduate education that specifically meets the needs of today’s busy students, including online learning and other innovative distance education models. “Student success is at the core of our mission at West Chester University,” Executive Vice President and Provost Laurie Bernotsky wrote in an email to the WCU community. “The Graduate School leverages the strengths of our thriving community of learners, our dedicated and highly qualified faculty and staff, our academic programs, research and professional opportunities, and the Graduate Student Association. While providing students a streamlined process for navigating graduate degrees and developing as scholars and professionals, the Graduate School also creates more opportunities for synergy and interdisciplinary collaboration across campus.” The Graduate School is directly aligned with the University’s mission to provide access and high-quality academic opportunities to students seeking a public higher education in the Commonwealth. “Over the past five years, we have seen an increasing number of graduate students who are opening themselves to potential new responsibilities, new jobs, and are reinventing themselves for career changes,” says Deputy Provost and Dean of the Graduate School Jeffery L. Osgood, Jr. “As a community of learners, we excel at helping these students connect the dots and are happy to be part of their educational journey. WCU is the graduate school of choice for students looking for quality education that is meeting the needs of the 21st-century market.” For information about pursuing a graduate degree at WCU, go to wcupa.edu/grad or call 610-436-2943.

Drilling Into Some of Earth’s Oldest Soils


n September, a two-day course on saprolite, one of North America’s oldest soil types, drew 40 professional geologists from 10 states and Canada, plus nearly 60 WCU geology students to an old farm field on the University’s South Campus. The group witnessed drilling operations to obtain soil samples and install three monitoring wells that are now key tools for the Department of Earth and Space Sciences’ saprolite research program. The rare and rarely studied soil stretches from southeastern Pennsylvania southward through the Piedmont to Alabama. It is composed of ancient weathered rocks that, as they decay, fracture and become highly porous. “We’ve discovered a highly permeable zone, where the rock interfaces with soil, that can produce more than two gallons of water per minute,” says Martin

F. Helmke, professor of hydrogeology and director of the WCU Groundwater Modeling Center. “This has major implications for water supplies and how fast chemicals might move underground. For example, older gas stations have released gasoline below the surface, and our research is determining how fast that gasoline might travel and how we can clean it up.” At no charge, one monitoring well was sunk 52 feet deep with a multimillion-dollar rotosonic drill by Cascade Environmental of Marietta, OH. The other two wells, also at no charge, were each drilled 35 feet deep by Parratt Wolff of Lewisburg, PA. The event was organized by WCU’s Department of Earth and Space Sciences, Continuing Professional Education, and Conference Services in collaboration with the Midwest Geosciences Group. FA L L 2 018

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Inaugural DeBaptiste Lecture Packs the Philips Autograph Library


n October 13, C. James Trotman (above, left), WCU professor emeritus of English and author of Frederick Douglass: A Biography, delivered the inaugural Dr. Clifford E. DeBaptiste (above, right) Frederick Douglass Institute Lecture to a standing-room-only audience. In “Finding the North Star Today,” Trotman discussed the importance of equality, diversity, and inclusion in today’s America, drawing inspiration from Douglass’ writings in his abolitionist newspaper The North Star, and his three autobiographies, as well as from Douglass’ famed oratorical prowess. Among those in attendance were the Honorable Dr. Clifford E. DeBaptiste, first African American mayor of West Chester Borough, who generously endowed this lecture series, and his daughter Lillian DeBaptiste; current Borough Mayor Dianne Herrin; and Christian Awuyah, WCU English professor and director of the WCU Frederick Douglass Institute. Professor Trotman established and is founding director of WCU’s Frederick Douglass Institute.



The Gift of Song


irector of Athletic Bands and Assistant Professor of Music Education Adam Gumble ’05, M’16 and nearly 50 members of the Incomparable Golden Rams Marching Band dressed in full regalia to fulfill a longtime wish of Lillian Whitman, a member of the Army Nurse Corp during World War II — to play “Happy Birthday” on her 95th birthday. The once-in-a-lifetime tribute was coordinated by David Bonilla-Garcia, student coordinator and president of the Kappa Kappa Psi fraternity, and John J. Whitman, WCU alumnus and one of Lillian’s five children.

College of the Sciences & Mathematics Earns Nearly $1M in NSF Grants So Far This Year


y press time, five faculty members in the College of the Sciences & Mathematics had already earned $974,844 in grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The Principal Investigators (PI) are:

Jessica Sullivan-Brown, assistant professor of biology and Shawn Pfeil (co-PI), associate professor of physics: “Major Research Instrumentation: Acquisition of an advanced imaging system at a primarily undergraduate institution to promote research, teaching, and science outreach,” $462,940. Vishal Shah, associate dean: “RUI*: Fate and Impact of CuPro 5000 and Kocide 3000: A Microcosm Based Study,” $330,427. Kurt Kolasinski, professor of chemistry: “RUI*: Regenerative Electroless Etching,” $168,927. Richard Burns, associate professor of computer science: “Workshop: Doctoral Symposium at the 10th International Conference on the Theory and Application of Diagrams,” $12,550. For more information about this and other WCU research, visit the University’s website. * Research in Undergraduate Institutions, a specific NSF funding program

President’s Circle Awardees Honored by West Chester University and WCU Foundation


he President’s Award was established nearly two decades ago to recognize West Chester University’s leadership donors who give selflessly to support and advance the University’s mission. WCU is able to offer an education of distinction to numerous students thanks to their generosity. In October, West Chester University — in partnership with the WCU Foundation — honored this year’s President’s Circle Honorees. President Christopher Fiorentino and Dr. Susan Fiorentino ’86 are pictured with the honorees: (bottom row, L-R) Ellen Doyle ’60 and Ray Doyle ’62, M’64; Alison Fanelli ’60 and Robert Fanelli ’60, M’66; (middle row, L-R) Lorraine Hamel and Joseph Hamel; Dr. Susan Fiorentino and President Fiorentino; (top row, L-R) Portia Walls and George H. Walls ’64; Sandra Gorman and Kirk Gorman. Not pictured is honoree Marion Wolen ’51.

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Supplemental HRSA Grant Helps WCU Reach Clients at Regional Opioid-use Treatment Centers


Two Generations Laugh and Learn at Grandparents University


randparents and their grandchildren were on campus in June for WCU’s Grandparents University, where members of 19 families laughed and learned side by side in such courses as creating a family newscast in the University’s TV studio and learning about wind power by making “land yachts.” The annual camp draws alumni and retired faculty and staff, and is open to the public. For three days and two nights, participants live in one of WCU’s newest residence halls, share meals in the dining hall, attend interactive classes, and enjoy evening entertainment and such activities as a planetarium show. Other courses for this year’s families included being a radio DJ, exploring 3D virtual reality, learning about themselves through DNA or in WCU’s Human Performance Lab, and money matters. Some even took adventure to new heights on the WCU ropes course. Their consensus: It’s a great way to spend time with their “grands.” Check the WCU website for the latest news about Grandparents University 2019.


n early September, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded more than $1 billion in opioid-specific grants to help combat the national opioid crisis. West Chester University is the only academic institution in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, or Delaware and one of only 21 academic institutions across the country awarded a grant. With Pennsylvania sitting fourth in the list of states with the highest number of opioid-overdose deaths, the regional need is immediate. WCU has been awarded $297,970 from the U.S. HHS Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) program. The University is partnering with three regional health centers that provide opioid and other substance use disorder treatment, additional behavioral health services, and primary care to medically underserved populations: Community Health and Dental Care, Inc., Pottstown; Philadelphia FIGHT, Philadelphia; and Project H.O.P.E., Inc., Camden, NJ. Each of these health centers will receive $400,000 over the two-year term of the grant, bringing total funding for this supplemental grant to $1,497,970. Nadine Bean, professor in the Graduate Social Work Department, is project director and principal investigator for the grant, which supplements a $1.6 million BHWET grant she secured in fall 2017. “We had 16 original sites with the base grant and we have expanded to about 40 now,” Bean reports. The supplemental grant extends the breadth of the original grant through which MSW and/or MEd School Counseling students who are completing their final field placements in integrated health centers or Title I schools receive stipend support and advanced training. The supplemental grant is directed specifically to placing MSW students at health centers that provide opioid and other substance use disorder treatment in counties that have a high opioid-overdose death rate. This academic year, 30 students are receiving stipends of $10,000 each as they complete field placements. Bean notes that stipends will go to a total of 116 MSW or MEd School Counseling students who are committed to training in integrated care for medically underserved populations. Of that 116, 15 MSW students will receive stipends to complete their field placements at one of the three partnering health centers that offer opioid and other substance use disorder services with medicationassisted therapy. “We will establish long-term partnerships to enhance training in integrated care,” says Bean. “Ultimately, we hope to increase access to, and quality of, services, which in turn will improve health outcomes throughout the region.” A regional advisory board and training center will complement the continuing interprofessional education for field supervisors, faculty, students, and community partners.


Saxbys and WCU Partner to Launch an Experiential Learning Café


ince its opening at 701 South High Street in early August, a studentrun Saxbys Experiential Learning Program Café has quickly become a popular gathering spot for WCU students, faculty, staff, and neighbors. Open daily, the café is the sixth student-operated café opened by the Philadelphia-based coffee company. “It’s a great environment, with students doing homework and hanging out with their friends, and professors holding meetings here,” says Kelly Ingram, the student café executive officer. After undergoing two

months of training with Saxbys, the senior business management major is fully in charge of the café’s operations and its 40 student team members. “As just a senior in college, it’s an amazing opportunity — with Saxbys’ support — to be able to manage a team of 40 of my peers while learning about financial management and getting a business involved in the community,” adds Ingram, who receives wages, bonus opportunities, and 12 academic credits this semester during her time with the company.

“West Chester University actively promotes learning beyond the classroom by empowering undergrads and inspiring the entrepreneurs of tomorrow,” says Nick Bayer, Saxbys’ founder and CEO. “We are thrilled to expand Saxbys’ Experiential Learning Program with an institution that mirrors our company’s values and commitment to providing both education and opportunities through the lens of what we call the 3 Pillars of successful organizations: Team Development, Community Leadership, and Financial Management.”

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U.S. News and Money Magazines Both Name WCU a “Best Value”

onfirming the value of a West Chester University education, U.S. News places WCU at #69 (up from #82 last year) on its 2019 list of Best Value Schools/Regional Universities North. Money magazine concurs, placing WCU among the top 250 universities nationwide (out of 727 colleges and universities) on its 2019 list of “Best Colleges for Your Money.” Money analyzed graduation rates, tuition charges, family borrowing, and alumni earnings (plus 22 other data points) to find the country’s top values. For its 2019 rankings, U.S. News collected data on more than 1,800 schools and ranked just under 1,400 of them on 16 measures of academic quality. This year, U.S. News’ methodology placed the greatest value on student outcomes and incorporated new social mobility indicators that measure how well schools succeed at enrolling and graduating students from low-income families. West Chester made several other U.S. News lists: #17 Top Public Regional Universities North; #68 Best Regional Universities North (combining both public and private institutions); and #38 Best Schools for Veterans.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling M.S. Earns CACREP Accreditation


he University’s master of science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling has earned prestigious accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). National accreditation is an assurance that the program meets standards for professional preparation. The program’s CACREP accreditation is voluntary and extends through October 2024. “Employment opportunities in mental health community counseling are expanding,” says Cheryl NealeMcFall, associate professor and graduate coordinator for counselor education. The field is expected to grow 23 percent in the next 10 years. Overwhelming demand for WCU’s program drew 88 applications for the 20 student slots available this fall for the 60-credit program. “Practitioners are working with younger children all the time, looking toward preventive, as opposed to reactive, measures,” she notes. “We’re also creating more electives as we assess trends in clinical mental health counseling.” Evening classes are held at WCU’s Graduate Center at 1160 McDermott Drive, West Chester 19380.


WCU Pilots New Program for First-generation College Students and Their Families


CU has launched a new pilot program to help first-generation college students and their family members more quickly acclimate to college life. This year, nearly 22 percent of the 2,777 first-year students indicated they were first-generation college students. As part of the program, on Move-In Day more than 100 of these students and their family members spoke with WCU faculty, staff, and students — many of whom were also the first in their family to attend college. They also had lunch, received a “West Chester’s First” T-shirt, and spoke with WCU President Christopher Fiorentino. The goal: to help the students forge immediate WCU connections and learn about academic support offerings, financial aid, scholarship offerings, and co-curricular activities. “Research has found that making such early connections, both inside and outside of the classroom, is key to the success of first-generation students,” says Zebulun Davenport, vice president for student affairs. The program is a collaboration between the divisions of student affairs and of academic affairs. It offers the students monthly programs on such topics as study skills and time and stress management, and connects them with campus traditions such as Family Weekend and Homecoming — along with information for their family members to help them support their students’ college careers.


WCU EVENTS HIGHLIGHTS DECEMBER 1 97th Holiday Program 7-16 Brandywine Ballet: The Nutcracker

14 Planetarium Series: Walking on the Moon

15 WCU Live!: Cashore Marionettes

DEC 7-16

Brandywine Ballet: THE NUTCRACKER

JANUARY 19-20 Alumni Dance Chapter LEGENDS of Song and Dance

25 Planetarium Series: The Expanding, Accelerating Universe

JAN 25


2 Miss West Chester University 2019

15 WCU Live!: Married to Broadway

22 Planetarium Series: Our Milky Way Galaxy


22-23 12th Annual Trumpet Festival

For a full schedule of events please visit Cultural & Community Affairs at wcupa.edu/oca & the College of Arts & Humanities at wcupa.edu/arts-humanities/ eventsCalendar.aspx.

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Gopal Sankaran

Sankaran Honored

for Distinguished Service in International Health


hile completing his doctorate of public health degree at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1988, Gopal Sankaran, M.D., spent nearly half a year at the World Health Organization’s (WHO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, as a consultant with its Global Programme on AIDS. For his continued focus since then on HIV / AIDS and other pressing global health issues — including maternal, reproductive, and childhood health, and earlier work with smallpox eradication — the long-time WCU professor of public health has been awarded the 2018 Distinguished Section Service Award from the International Health Section of the American Public Health Association. At the World Health Organization, Sankaran helped prepare guidelines for monitoring HIV infections and developed a model for assessing the magnitude of HIV-infected children in sub-Saharan Africa. His team’s initial estimate of 80,000 HIV-infected children in the region thereafter grew to millions, with millions more affected by the disease that killed their parents. “The stigma, discrimination, and ostracization of these children whom nobody wanted has been tragic,” he says. “And even though the disease has become much more controllable, if not yet curable, it and other disease conditions are much harder to control in areas where health services and health infrastructure are poor. “All of these conditions are global health issues,” he adds. “They don’t have boundaries.” Since coming to WCU 29 years ago, Sankaran has worked with Childreach/PLAN International, a Rhode Island-based nonprofit.


He created an HIV/AIDS treatment and control program in India; developed a similar plan for adolescents and young adults in Haiti; and evaluated the organization’s USAID-supported child survival projects in Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, and Mali. A full professor in the College of Health Sciences since 1997, the native of India also has used his expertise to teach courses on both HIV/AIDS and global health; produce state-funded educational videos on the topic for high school students and first-year college students; edit, with Kinesiology Department Professor Karin Volkwein-Caplan and (now) retired kinesiology faculty member Dale R. Bonsall, the 1999 book HIV/AIDS in Sport: Impact, Issues, and Challenges; and created a grant-writing course now offered by the College of Business and Public Management. For nearly nine years, Sankaran also served WCU in administrative positions, including presidential fellow for planning and, in interim positions, as the dean of graduate studies and extended education, associate vice president for sponsored research, and assistant vice president of international programs. He was an American Council on Education Fellow, the nation’s premier higher education leadership development program, in 1999-2000. “I’m fortunate and grateful to have had all of these opportunities,” says Sankaran, whose son Alex is a WCU sophomore. “But what I have done is miniscule. It’s just one grain of sand on a huge beach.”


Radha Pyati

Dean Radha Pyati Receives Environmental Award of Merit


adha Pyati, dean of the College of the Sciences and Mathematics, recently received an Environmental Award of Merit for her significant impact on the community as a scientist, educator, and advocate. In Pyati’s prior positions as chair of the Chemistry Department of the University of North Florida (UNF) and director of the UNF Environmental Center, Pyati also assumed responsibility for the annual State of the River Report for the Lower St. Johns River Basin. In addition to all of the local community and media presentations made regarding the report, under her leadership the report also received international attention from the United Nations with the integration of aspects of the report included in a United Nations World Water Development Report — the first time a U.S. river was included in a world water report. Under Pyati’s leadership, the UNF Environmental Center was expanded and the effort to have UNF join the American College and University Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), which is a public commitment by universities to become carbon neutral, was successful. (WCU has been a signatory to the ACUPCC since October 2010.) Beyond the contributions she made while at UNF, Pyati has been a strong advocate for the importance of science in public policy, as well as many social issues.

Stellar Student-athlete Matthew Penecale


t’s hard to imagine a better student-athlete than Matthew Penecale. With 397 career assists, the four-year Golden Rams hoops star and starting point guard is just 59 assists away from breaking the all-time WCU record. “I just try to get it to our shot makers and they do all the work,” the Jenkintown, PA, native says. In helping his team to the NCAA Division II tournament for the second time in three years, he was named to the All-PSAC East second team last year. He was also the first Golden Ram in this century to be named to The Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area and the CoSIDA Academic AllDistrict men’s basketball teams — while tackling a tough double major of exercise science and physics. His secret? “Time management, time management, and coffee.” After encountering some difficulty in physics courses, two years ago he switched his major to exercise science but doubled up again with physics after realizing that, “I hadn’t worked as hard as I could, and it’s intriguing to find out how the world we live in works. “On the court and in the classroom, West Chester has been an amazing experience,” he adds. Penecale envisions a career in either engineering or as a strength and conditioning coach after he takes a fifth year to graduate in 2020.

Matthew Penecale

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Keeping The Music ALIVE and“WELLS”


West Chester



Mr. Richard G. Wells ’58 Dr. James R. Wells ’54


wo renowned music education alumni — brothers Dr. James R. Wells ’54 and Mr. Richard G. Wells ’58 — have established a $3 million endowment to benefit, in perpetuity, the students and faculty of what is now WCU’s Wells School of Music. The largest cash gift ever received by the University will fund scholarships, graduate assistantship programs, travel for music ensembles, state-of-the-art marching band equipment, and music education programming. “To promote music and music education, the West Chester University School of Music must continue to attract the most talented candidates, offer much-needed scholarships, and secure national recognition as a preeminent music education school,” explains Jim Wells. “It is our intent to foster these ideals, and to strengthen the school as a fertile training ground for the persevering musicians of today and tomorrow.” “We are overwhelmed with the generosity of this gift,” says Christopher Fiorentino,

WCU’s president. “James and Richard are both pioneers in the field of music, and we are quite fortunate to have them as alumni, as well as role models for all of our students. Their willingness to make a significant difference in students’ lives is testament to their character, generosity, and ability to inspire an entire generation of future musicians.” The official naming of the Wells School of Music was celebrated at a Wind Symphony & Wind Ensemble dedication concert at the Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall on September 27. At a reception prior to the concert, Fiorentino and Christopher Hanning, the Wells School of Music dean, each called the gift from the brothers and their families “a game changer” — for both the music school and the University as a whole. Referring to the Incomparable Golden Rams Marching Band, which Jim Wells led to its still lofty reputation as its director for 24 years beginning in 1968, Hanning says, “The Wells brothers have achieved incomparable status in their professional lives. … I cannot

think of two musician/educators who have embodied the ideals of our institution more. Thank you for providing the opportunity for us to dream big and accomplish great things.” With a current total of 462 graduate and undergraduate music education and performance majors, the Wells School of Music is the University’s smallest school. Yet, a grateful Fiorentino notes, the School has long represented one of the University’s standards of excellence. Not long ago, he recalled, “A development consultant told me ‘West Chester is just one big gift away from a major breakthrough in fundraising.’ And this is that gift. It sends a message to the world that this is a place worth investing in. We’re very excited about this gift to support our gem, the Wells School of Music, and we’re going to leverage it to support the entire institution.” Music has been the Wells brothers’ lifelong passion. Raised in the Chester County village of St. Peters, they got involved in music early. Their mother sang in church, and they each

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Endowment to Enhance Student Musician Travel Opportunities


he Wells brothers’ endowment will, in part, be used to support travel opportunities for student music groups. “In order for us to tell our story and reach beyond this region of the country, we must be able to support our ensembles with travel funds,” says Christopher Hanning, the dean of the Wells School of Music. For example, this November the Incomparable Golden Rams Marching Band performed at the Bands of America Grand National Championships in Indianapolis, IN, and the Wind Ensemble will perform in February at the College Band Directors National Association Conference in Tempe, AZ. “Being invited to these events is a major accomplishment and speaks to the quality of my colleagues and our students and, more importantly, will provide students with memorable experiences that will shape their futures,” adds Hanning. Lauren Platt, a senior music education major from Jackson, NJ, agrees. She was part of a 45-musician wind ensemble composed of students from WCU and Marywood University in Scranton, PA, that performed three times during a 10-day trip to China in May. Among the many highlights: performing a piece written for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics while being conducted by the composer; and being mobbed onstage by the audience afterwards. “They were the best audience I’ve ever experienced,” says the clarinetist, “and I really grew as a musician.”


took both piano and trumpet lessons. Before they were 16, each of them had joined the musicians’ union and were playing trumpet alongside musicians twice their age in Pennsylvania jazz bands in Pottstown and Boyertown. And when they weren’t playing, they were haunting the Sunnybrook Ballroom in Pottstown listening to big bands — everyone from Harry James to Stan Kenton, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Count Basie. After high school, there was no question where they would go. “West Chester was then, and still is, probably the best music education school in the East and possibly the entire country,” says Jim. Besides their continuing weekend professional gigs, they also performed in multiple West Chester music bands and honed not only their musical chops but their teaching skills. Between classes, practicing, rehearsing, and performing, says Jim, “Music students are probably the busiest students on campus.” After he graduated in 1954, Jim taught music at Oley High School, earned his master’s degree in music education at Temple University and then — two years after returning to WCU to teach and direct the marching band — earned his doctorate from Columbia University in 1970. That same year he created the Marching Band and Band Front Conference. Eventually a full professor, he also taught in the music education and music history departments. His first year back, he began to put the marching band on the national map by leading it into New York’s Shea Stadium to perform at the American Football League championship game: the game that sent quarterback Joe Namath and the New York Jets on to their stunning Super Bowl III upset of the Baltimore Colts two weeks later. “I had great students who were interested in getting the most out of their education and they were great musicians,” recalls Jim. “When we put them on the field, the sound was outstanding, and it still is. It’s a great band.”


Pictured following a president’s reception honoring the Wells brothers are (L to R) John Villella, vice president for university affairs and chief of staff; Elizabeth J. (Noble) Wells ’60, M’66; Mr. Richard G. Wells ’58; WCU President Chris Fiorentino; Dr. James R. Wells ’54; Chris Hanning, dean, Wells School of Music; and Dr. Sue Fiorentino, associate professor in the Management Department.

After Richard graduated from WCU, he taught and directed the bands and choirs at both the Kutztown and Owen J. Roberts high schools (the latter is the brothers’ alma mater). Between 1968 and 1997, Richard — who earned his master’s in music education from Columbia University in 1961 — was an associate professor and director of bands in the Department of Music at Kutztown University. For 31 years now, the creator of the university’s jazz program also has led its alumni jazz band, and Kutztown’s musicians practice in the Richard G. Wells Rehearsal Hall. Their wives — sisters whom they have known since childhood — also have strong WCU, education, and music ties. After earning her BS in music, Jim’s wife Joanne M. (Noble) Wells ’55 taught music in Boyertown and Pottstown elementary schools for five years, and she is still a church organist. Richard’s wife Elizabeth J. (Noble) Wells ’60, M’66 sang in the West Chester women’s chorus and still sings in her church choir. Elizabeth, who also earned a master’s degree from WCU, taught middle and high school social studies in the Pottstown School District for 40 years. In 1982, while the brothers were still music professors, they started Festivals of Music, a school band clinic/conference business, in Douglassville, PA. The following year, they launched World Travel Inc., originally to help adjudicators and school bands fly to their music competitions.

They started the festivals because they loved playing beautiful music as part of an ensemble and wanted to create that experience over and over again for young musicians. “It was also a great motivator, because a lot of groups heard others year after year and kept coming back to improve their scores,” adds Jim. Annually, 230,000 middle and high school students now play and sing at up to 200 festivals a year in concert halls and parks in the United States and Canada. Since 1981, more than 4.3 million students have participated in the educational-oriented competitions. Meanwhile, under the chairmanship of James Allen Wells, Jim’s son, World Travel Inc. evolved into a travel management consulting firm that concentrates on serving mid-market companies. It is now the nation’s fourth largest independent travel company. Initially, the humble Wells brothers were reluctant to make public the size of their $3 million gift. They ultimately agreed to do so, however, because, “We hope it serves as an example and an inspiration to other alumni,” says Jim. “Our message is: The school gave you so much, think about getting involved.” Before leaving the reception, his brother Richard added, “This is where my brother and I really got our education, which we were able to apply to our wonderful careers. We thank West Chester for everything it did for us and we’ve enjoyed turning it back to them in some little gift. As I always say, keep music alive.”

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Mark Lindsay ’99

Photo courtesy Golden State Warriors

Mark Lindsay standing next to Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors, during a basketball game in the 2017-18 season.

Referee Mark Lindsay ’99 Makes a Difference: On the Basketball Court and with Jamaican Youth


eing able to share the court with NBA stars on a nightly basis may sound like the wildest dream of a diehard sports fan, but for NBA referee Mark Lindsay ’99, it is just another day at the office. The three-year letterman on the Golden Rams men’s basketball team began refereeing youth games during his senior season at West Chester. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, the Malvern native officiated in several college conferences and the NBA Development League before becoming an NBA ref in 2010. Spending your days with the likes of LeBron James and Anthony Davis would be fulfilling enough for many sports fans, but Lindsay also strived to do more, and he was presented with that chance during the annual WCU Men’s Basketball Messikomer Hall of Fame


Banquet. After accepting the 2016 Milton Blitz Award — honoring a WCU graduate who has made a significant contribution to basketball — Lindsay was approached by Ben Kay, a Golden Rams assistant coach. Kay wondered if Lindsay would be interested in helping at the Treasure Beach Jamaican Youth Basketball Camp. During the annual five-day event, former NCAA basketball players and basketball professionals associated with the Philadelphia Men’s Basketball League offer skills training to nearly 1,000 youth in Saint Elizabeth Parish in southwestern Jamaica. The youth also receive three daily meals, sneakers, socks, backpacks, reversible jerseys, and T-shirts. “The opportunity to give back to the sport of basketball and make an impact on a group of underprivileged kids was something that

fully resonated with me,” says Lindsay, who helped with the 2016 camp and the last two as well. “Seeing firsthand the positive impact the camp has on the children is deeply impactful, fulfilling, and in sync with my passion, purpose, and pride in being a steward of the sport.” Lindsay, who has known WCU Head Basketball Coach Damien Blair since he was a first-year student, credits his years as a student-athlete at West Chester with helping shape and nurture his passion for giving back. “My WCU experience not only helped me get to the biggest stage in basketball but, more important, has been a catalyst for using that platform to inspire kids and give to those less fortunate than ourselves,” he says.


Josh Maxwell ’08

Photo by Carly Romeo & Co

Josh Maxwell ’08:

Downingtown’s Youngest Mayor Ever Talks Service


ince graduating from West Chester University, Josh Maxwell ’08 has continued to exemplify Golden Ram community spirit by serving as Downingtown’s youngest ever mayor. Now in his second term, Maxwell married Blair Thornburgh on August 4 at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia, then showed off his hometown by having the reception at Dane Décor in Downingtown. As the granddaughter of former Pennsylvania governor and U.S. attorney general Dick Thornburgh, Blair Thornburgh is quick to support the Downingtown community by partnering with her husband in many campaigns. She is also an author of young adult books. Maxwell says he always had an interest in politics, but a change came during his third year at West Chester, when he transitioned to part-time student status in order to help his family. Spending more time in Downingtown allowed him to get involved in the community and learn more about how local government offices work. His experiences both in Downingtown and at WCU led him to run for mayor in 2009.

“A lot of friends were in the Army Reserve and I wanted to get involved. That evolved into a major in political science,” he explains. “I helped with fundraising events for many organizations on campus, including the Russian Club. We helped fund an orphanage.” Currently, Maxwell is working on campaigns pertaining to genderbased violence, equality, education, and decreasing property taxes. He is also involved in the effort to build a top-tier transportation center in the heart of downtown. The $224 million project will make Downingtown the only borough in southeast Pennsylvania that has Amtrak, SEPTA, and Chester Valley transportation in its downtown area. Construction for part of the station is slated to begin next summer. Maxwell continues to promote community involvement and youth leadership, sharing this advice to students: “Demonstrate your values through anything you have an interest in and get involved — whether that be professionally or politically — in order to find ways to better serve the country.”

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CHAPTER NEWS For more information about any chapter or its events, contact the chapter directly or the WCU Alumni Office at alumni@wcupa.edu.


The Alumni Dance Chapter is looking forward to its 11th Annual Winter Festival this January, which will benefit the Barbara J. Lappano Dance Scholarship. Our chapter remains active in promoting the current dance programs at WCU and providing a network for alumni dancers. Are you a WCU Dance Team alumnus and interested in getting involved with this chapter? Find us on Facebook: WCU Alumni Dance Chapter.


Congratulations to the newly elected board members: President: Rob Heckman Vice President: Michael Gallagher Secretary/Treasurer: Nancy Metzger We had a great time celebrating our new board members at an Aberdeen Ironbirds game and hope to see you at our next event! Interested in getting involved with this chapter? Follow us on Facebook: BMAC WCU.


We are thrilled with the enthusiasm and alumni engagement at Homecoming this year and are looking forward to connecting with more alumni at our future events. Are you a WCU Bands alumnus and interested in getting involved with this chapter? Find us on Facebook: WCU Bands Alumni Association.


Congratulations to our 2018-19 Executive Board! The following Rams are in office from July 1, 2018 until June 30, 2019: President: Deidre Gray Vice President: Christina Smith Secretaries: Egypt Graham and Stephanie Allen Treasurer: Justice Smith Public Relations: Lisa Jackson Follow us on social media for updates on future events, including the Winter Commencement Kente Ceremony on December 13, 2018. Facebook: WCU BAC.



We’ve had a busy fall! We had a great turnout for our community service picnic, and we partnered with the WCU Resource Pantry in October and our Friendsgiving at Levante in November. We had another sellout crowd for our Nutcracker Ballet Brunch and are already planning our fourth Annual Princess & Superhero Brunch in the spring. We meet monthly and hope to see you at the next event! Make sure you LIKE our Chester County Facebook Page to stay tuned with the latest and greatest. Facebook: WCU Chester County.


Are you an alumnus who lives or works in Delaware County and is interested in taking on a leadership role among your fellow alumni? Contact the WCU Alumni Office.


We hosted our annual Friars at the Phillies game event in September, with proceeds benefitting our Friars Society students. More than 75 alumni attended. Looking forward to our upcoming service initiatives and hope to see you at our events! Follow us on Facebook: Friars Society Alumni Association.


Created in 2014, the Honors College Alumni Chapter is committed to engaging alumni of the Honors College by inviting them back to the University to participate in oncampus social and service events. It is our hope that Honors alumni may network with each other as well as provide valuable insights to current students. Are you an Honors College alumnus who is interested in getting involved with this chapter? Contact the WCU Alumni Office.


Are you an alumnus veteran who is interested in getting involved or taking on a leadership role with this chapter? Stay in touch with all that is going on within our alumni veterans community by contacting the WCU Alumni Office.


Alumni and students participated in the annual Law Alumni Chapter event, Careers in Law. The networking reception featured alumni in various fields of law who provided insight to prospective law students. Are you an alumnus employed in a legal-related field who is interested in getting involved with this chapter? Contact our chapter representative: wcu.law.alumni@gmail.com.



The Omega Delta Chapter alumni had a busy year with events throughout the summer and fall, including donation drives for school supplies and a Thanksgiving food drive for our local communities. A Christmas gift drive is also planned. With the help of West Chester Mayor Dianne Herrin and partners in Chester County, our chapter was able to take 28 students from the West Chester Area School District to a Phillies game in September. We had a great time celebrating with our Greek alumni at Homecoming and hope to see you at our next event. Find us on Facebook: Omega Delta Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

A Message from the Alumni Association President

Lisa Wright Bryant ’87


The Political & Government Affairs Alumni chapter enjoyed reconnecting with fellow alumni at our annual Homecoming reception and hope to see you at our next event. Interested in getting involved with this chapter? For upcoming events and information, find us on Facebook: WCUPGA.


We’re gearing up and planning our fun-filled weekend of events coming up in March, including an alumni tailgate, a Phillies spring training game, a Sarasota polo match, and more! If you’re interested in getting involved with this chapter, contact the WCU Alumni Office.


Our chapter is hosting elections! We are looking for new and returning alumni to join our chapter and continue the legacy of our nation’s capital alumni chapter. For more information about how you can join this chapter or take on a leadership role among your fellow alumni, contact the WCU Alumni Office. Follow us on Facebook: WCUAA, Washington D.C. Chapter.

UPCOMING CHAPTER ADDITIONS Criminal Justice Chapter Philadelphia Chapter Montgomery County Chapter

Interested in getting involved in our new chapters? Contact the Alumni Office to find out how you can be a part of leadership in the WCU Alumni network: alumni@wcupa.edu.

The word for Homecoming 2018 is INDESCRIBABLE! The purple and gold atmosphere was charged with excitement, which was evident on everyone’s faces throughout the fun-filled, threeday weekend November 2-4. It was an honor for me to attend the various events and talk to alumni who enjoyed reconnecting with old friends while reminiscing about their days at West Chester. Thank you all for being a part of such a phenomenal event! Now, speaking of our days at West Chester, you have an open invitation to come back home to West Chester at any time. There are various programs and events throughout the year that you can attend. Just go to www.wcualumni.org to view the upcoming events and plan on attending a few. You can also drop in for a visit, enjoy walking around campus, and finish up by having lunch or dinner in the newly renovated Food Court in Sykes. Whenever you decide to come back, just remember that West Chester will always be home. You are always welcome. Lastly, our next big event is Alumni Weekend, which is scheduled for April 26-28, 2019. Mark your calendars and plan to be here! Also, if you missed meeting any of our awesome, hardworking Board of Directors during Homecoming, never fear, we will be here during Alumni Weekend and look forward to meeting you. On behalf of the West Chester University Alumni Association Board of Directors members, I thank you for your continued support and purple and gold passion. It is because of amazing WCU alumni that our association is second to none! Rams Up, Lisa Wright Bryant ’87 President, WCU Alumni Association FA LL 2018 | 21


composition, The Pennsylvania March, with an inaugural performance by the Marine Band of Allentown in that city’s West Park in September.

Matejkovic ’69

Murphy ’71

1950s Leonard Miller ’56 blazed the trail for African American auto racers when he started the Black American Racing Association in 1972. This year, the original members reunited for a gathering at the Mercer Museum in Doylestown, PA. Pat Stewart ’56 was the grand marshal of the Erlton Independence Day Parade after 50 years of service to the Erlton South Civic Association in Cherry Hill, NJ. Ken Leister ’58 has built nearly 1,000 bluebird boxes in the last 10 years for residential properties, schools, golf courses, local businesses, and nonprofits. He donated the more than $14,000 in revenue that his efforts have generated to the Bluebird Society of Pennsylvania.

1960s Charles Gilmore Jr. ’65 was a guest preacher at Presbyterian Church of Easton. Harry Lewis ’68 was named the 2018 Citizen of the Year by Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry. Ed Matejkovic ’69, the longesttenured athletic director in WCU history, was named to the National Association of College Directors of Athletics 2018 Hall of Fame class. During his 22 years as WCU’s 22 WEST CHESTER UNIVERSITY

Loscalzo ’79

Verdeur ’89

athletic director, he built the Golden Rams program into one of the most successful in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.

1970s Bob Bishop ’71 retired from Wayne Valley High School in Wayne, NJ, after nearly 60 years of involvement with its football program. He was also inducted into the New Jersey Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Tom Filipovits ’71 was inducted into McDonald’s Lehigh Valley AllStar Football Classic Hall of Fame. Alex Murphy ’71 was named the number one 2018 Top Lawyer for entertainment law by Main Line Today magazine. He has over 35 years of experience exclusively as an entertainment lawyer. Dave Tatum ’72, a Vietnam veteran, was honored at Media Theatre’s Veterans Night. After he returned to civilian life, he attended WCU, where he met his wife and earned his teaching degree. Duke Schneider ’78 was welcomed at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Academy in Fort Pierce, FL, as the academy’s new physical education teacher for fourth through 12th grades and head coach of both golf and basketball. Ron DeGrandis ’78, a Lehigh musician and composer, premiered his

Marsha Gaspari ’78 was named the wellness navigator/residential health services manager at Blakehurst Senior Living in Towson, MD Theresa E. Loscalzo ’79 was named to the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 2018 list of “Women of Distinction.”

1980s Deborah P. Brown ’81 has been appointed the American Lung Association’s chief mission officer. Caroline Sabatini ’85 joined Customers Bank’s residential mortgage team as a loan originator and loan officer assistant; she supports loan origination in the Philadelphia region. Rosie DeSanctis ’86 performed with her vocal group, Tre Bella, at the annual St. Anthony’s Italian Festival in Wilmington, DE. She can also be heard and seen on “The Rosie and Bill Show” podcast with fellow alumnus Bill Miller ’85. Roger Branton ’89 was appointed chief executive officer of xG Technology in Sarasota, FL, by its board of directors. Jim Verdeur ’89 has been appointed musical director and arranger for the Victor Music Group.

1990s Dana Patson-Denner ’90, a Norristown-based acrylic painter, displayed some of her artwork at the Pirate Art Festival this summer in Brigantine, NJ. Jennifer Montanez ’91, a teacher at Wilson Elementary School in


Newark, DE, was named Christina School District’s teacher of the year. Jeff Stein ’91 was published in the September/October 2018 issue of Professional Investigator (PI) Magazine. His article was “Is There Really Truth and Justice For All?”

teachers with students throughout southern Chester County and beyond. Today, his 30 instructors provide home instruction in a variety of instruments, including piano, guitar, voice, drums, and all orchestra and band instruments, to more than 200 students.

Thomas J. Francella, Jr. ’92 joined the national Bankruptcy, Insolvency & Restructuring Group of the Cozen O’Connor law firm in Wilmington, DE.

Brian Endlein ’04, Middletown (DE) High School band director, has been nominated as a 2019 Music Educator Grammy Award quarterfinalist.

Bill O’Connell ’92 was appointed Pennsylvania Relationship Manager of Title Alliance.

Ethan F. Abramowitz ’05, attorney with the Seltzer & Associates law firm in Philadelphia, was selected to the 2018 Pennsylvania Rising Stars List.

Michael Markovich ’93 was promoted from detective sergeant to the police chief of Pottstown, PA, after serving in the department for 19 years. Theodore Roth M’95 retired as Birdsboro, PA, police chief in November after 38 years in law enforcement. Brad Lamison ’97, M’06, a sixthgrade teacher at East Coventry Elementary School, discussed with the Reading Eagle how he creates a comfortable, “coffee house cool” learning experience in his Pottstown, PA, classroom.

2000s Annemarie Caruso ’00 joined First American Title Insurance Company as part of its commercial business development team. John Ciferni ’00 was named assistant principal of Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School in Summit, NJ. Jessica Barth ’01 starred in A Stolen Life, a Lifetime movie that premiered in July.

Joe Bernatowicz ’05 is gearing up for business expansion. He is the operating partner of two companies: So Cal PF, with 11 Planet Fitness gyms, and ZDRY LLC, whose partners own two ZIPS Dry Cleaners, with an ambitious plan to develop 108 more ZIPS stores over the next 15 years. Jeff Lamb ’05 was named the head softball coach at the University of Dubuque in Iowa. Jonathan D. Landua ’05 recently joined the Malvern, PA, law office of Saxton & Stump as an associate attorney focusing on health care, health care litigation, and commercial litigation. Anne McAninch ’05, a composer and music composition instructor at James Madison Memorial High School in Madison, WI, was awarded a fellowship by the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Jill Greene ’06, M’09 has been named executive director of the League of Women Voters of Berks County.

Chuck Liedike ’06 was selected as a Lower Frederick Township (PA) supervisor. Brian Fitzy ’07, Philadelphia singer/songwriter who graduated with a degree in classical instrument performance/violin, performed at East Green Amphitheater in Tiffen, OH. James Smith M’07, his daughter Megan Honeysett, and their Megan James Group real estate firm joined BBHS Gallo Realty in Rehoboth Beach, DE in May. Patrick Gallo ’09 was elected to the Board of Directors of Crime Victims Center of Chester County.

2010s Arielle Weidner ’11 joined ConnectCare3 in Lititz, PA, as senior director of client and wellness consulting. Tim Chubb ’12, chief investment officer of Girard Partners, a Univest Wealth Management Firm based in King of Prussia, PA, was named to the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 list. Brittany Peck ’12 was sworn in as new officer in the Lower Makefield Township (PA) Police Department. Carolyn F. Giardini ’13, assistant vice president & director of marketing at ARRO Consulting Inc. in West Chester, won the Woman to Watch Award as part of the Central Penn Business Journal’s 2018 Women of Influence program in Harrisburg. Frank Kurylo ’13 was highlighted in The Philadelphia Inquirer for coowning a 10-acre organic produce farm in Phoenixville and starting the Pennsylvania chapter of the National Young Farmers Coalition.

Ben Green ’01 started Greensleeves Music in 2007 to connect music FA L L 2 018

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Joseph E. Samuel, Jr. ’13 was a summer law associate with the Montgomery McCracken law firm in Philadelphia after recently completing his second year at the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. Elizabeth L. Scheer M’13 joined Delaware Hospice as a new hope counselor. Peilin Chi ’14, who emigrated from Taiwan a little more than a decade ago, earned an accounting degree from WCU after learning how to speak English thanks to the nonprofit Volunteer English Program — her success story was highlighted in a recent Daily Local News story. Charles Conway ’14 was awarded the 2018 Access Wilmington Award for efforts over 26 years to make the creative craft of playwriting and performance accessible to persons with disabilities throughout Wilmington. Darnell Hinton ’14 was spotlighted for Teach One, Feed One, a nonprofit that he established to support those who are homeless in Kensington. Hinton’s organization encourages individuals to turn away from the streets and forgo drugs.

associate in its Philadelphia metro market office. Eric Cantrell M’15 is the new director of athletics at Walla Walla University in Washington state. Tori DeCesare ’15 was named among the Top 15 Teachers by Main Line Today. She teaches sixth grade at East Vincent Elementary School in Spring City, PA. Tyler Dorso ’15 has been promoted to senior accountant at Belfint, Lyons & Shuman’s Tax and Small Business Department in Wilmington, DE. Alexander Thompson ’15, interned with Judge Jerome Simandle in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in Camden. Jessica Schury ’16, who majored in flute performance, performed in a summer mini concert series at Lincoln Park Community United Methodist Church in Reading, PA. Tyler Starr ’16, CPA, has been promoted to staff II accountant at Belfint, Lyons & Shuman’s Rotational Development Program in Wilmington, DE.

Colleen Karl ’14 is a writer in the Office of Communications at York College of Pennsylvania.

Dominique Carter ’17 was accepted into the National Academic Advising Association’s Emerging Leaders Program.

Andrew Laino ’14 and his brother Tripp hosted their podcast “Dissecting the 80s” as part of the Philly Podcast Festival.

Laura Sposato ’17 plans to return to AmeriCorps next year as a team leader after completing service in St. Joseph this year.

Greg Sacidor ’14 is the founder of the Martha League for collegeaged amateur basketball players. The Northeast Philadelphia league completed its seventh season this summer.

Adriana Zeiders ’17 was sworn in as a new West Chester (PA) Police Department officer.

Jessica Boulding ’15, CPA, joined the Siegfried Group LLC, in accounting and finance as a senior 24 WEST CHESTER UNIVERSITY

Sarah England Baab ’18 was named music director at Kemble Memorial United Methodist Church in Woodbury, NJ.

Deborah Fine ’18, who recently graduated with a social work degree, benefited from a Ruth Rovner Scholarship. Mary O’Leary ’18 is working for one year as an AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) volunteer with the Misericordia University Department of Social Work in Dallas, PA. The Philadelphia resident is serving as an administrative assistant focusing on enhancing fundraising and grant opportunities for Dinner for Kids, which provides nutritious meals for children in need.

In Memoriam 1945 Letty Eckensberger Reeder 1945 Rosemary Lantz Haft 1946 Rose Rosoff 1947 Nancy Boyle Jaquette Hough 1950 William Smedley 1950 Virgil LaPenta 1951 James Murphy 1952 Nancy Herr Reese 1953 Carlton Lehman 1956 Daniel Langan 1958 John Johnstone 1959 Edna Mae Rice Serchak 1959 Virginia Ammon Warburton 1961 Rosemarie Lonzi Miles 1967 Arlene Ponte Clanton 1971 Brenda Cameron Guss 1979 Kevin Boyle 1987 Miriam Maguire Myers 1993 Charice Harris Collins 1994 Stephen Misetic 2011 Taylor Childs 2018 Laura Masse

DEATH NOTIFICATION PROCEDURE Contact the Alumni Relations Office with a copy of the decedent’s obituary from a newspaper or the internet, or a copy of a letter or email from a family member of the deceased. Please note: Death notifications will not be accepted via telephone.


Engagements (1) Mike Sincavage ’11 to Brittany Kreiger ’11 (2) Kyle Gallagher ’13 to Chelsea Brunie ’14 (3) Nick Crisci ’15 to Kristine Paronto ’11, M’15










Marriages (4) Ann Taylor Gunn ’81 to Joel Gunn in June 2018 (5) Eric Ritchie ’07 to Jamie O’Donnell Ritchie ’08 in May 2018 Luke Stromberg ’07, M’10 to Laura Carnes Stromberg ’10 in June 2018 (6) Francis Reppert, Jr. ’14 to Melanie Riland-Reppert ’15, M’17 in April 2018

future alumni (7) Seth Birch ’06 and Jenna Cardaciotto Birch ’06 welcomed daughter Isabelle Rae Birch in June 2018. (8) Alexandra Hartmann McTigue ’07 and John McTigue welcomed Elle Mary Anne McTigue in the summer of 2018. Andrew Martin ’10 and Heather Ruh Martin ’10, M’11 welcomed Hazel Theresa Martin in May 2018. Colin Bagwell ’13 and Coleen Bagwell welcomed Jackson Douglas Bagwell in August 2018. (9) Bryan Joyce ’13 and Cierra Mautone Joyce ’13 welcomed Hudson Stuart Joyce in April 2018.

SUBMIT your class notes to the Office of Alumni Relations to alumni@wcupa.edu.

CONNECT WITH US www.wcualumni.org 610-436-2813

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Homecoming November 2-4


2018 FA LL 2018 | 27


Rams on the Road!

Baltimore Area Alumni hosted their annual meeting at the Aberdeen Ironbirds baseball game in August and elected their new executive board.

On a recent tour of China, the WCU Wind Ensemble performed at Xuzhou Concert Hall under the direction of Alumnus Andrew Yozviak ’91.

WCU Athletic Training Alumni gathered for a reception in New Orleans at the Annual National Athletic Training Conference.

Students Danielle Agan (left) and Caitlin Thompson (right) perform in the Piazza Santa Barbara in Davoli Superiore (Calabria, Italy) while studying with the Ombelico Mask Academy.

Photo Submission Guidelines • Photos should be no less than 300 DPI and in JPG format. • Digital camera and/or cell phone shots should be taken on the highest resolution setting available. • Photos should be emailed as an attachment, not pasted into the email or document. We reserve the right to not publish a photo of low quality, and not all photos can be published. Please send your photos as email attachments to the attention of the WCU Alumni Relations Office at alumni@wcupa.edu. Omega Delta Alumni Chapter was joined by West Chester Mayor Dianne Herrin to sponsor a trip for 28 West Chester Area School District students to attend a Phillies game in September.


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West Chester University West Chester, PA 19383-7401


The West Chester University Magazine is published three times a year for the alumni, friends, and family of West Chester University of Pennsylvania by the Office of Communications, West Chester University, West Chester, PA 19383-7401.


Postmaster: Send address changes to: West Chester University Foundation, 202 Carter Drive, West Chester, PA 19382



Help us keep your magazine coming by filling in the address change and sending it to us before you move.

Name _________________________________ Class Year ____________ Address ________________________________________________________ City ____________________________________________________________ State __________________________________ Zip ____________________ Phone __________________________________________________________ E-mail __________________________________________________________ Mail to: West Chester University Foundation, 202 Carter Drive, West Chester, PA 19382

Upcoming WCU Alumni events! wcualumni.org/eventscalendar

DECEMBER An Evening with Santa (5 & 6) JANUARY Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball and Cheerleading Alumni Reunion FEBRUARY Dinner & Show — Married to Broadway Murder Myster Dinner

MARCH Princess & Superhero Brunch Phillies Spring Training Alumni Events – Clearwater, FL Sarasota Polo Club Tailgate – Lakewood Ranch, FL Law Alumni Chapter Panel 36th Annual Presidential Scholarship Community Gala (sponsored by the West Chester University Foundation)

APRIL Dinner & Show – Rumours: A Fleetwood Mac Tribute Rammy Egg Hunt Alumni Weekend (26-27) Chester County Chapter Golf Outing

CONNECT WITH US www.wcualumni.org 610-436-2813

Profile for West Chester University

West Chester University Magazine Fall 2018