Class Notes

Class Notes


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Gus A. Mellander, A.B. ’59, M.A. ’60, Ph.D. ’66, had two articles accepted by “The Hispanic Outlook in Education”: “The Unstoppable Women” in October 2021, which highlighted the significant educational achievements of Hispanic women and “Increasing College Enrollments Among Hispanic Men” in June 2022, which discussed the disappointing academic record of young Hispanic men and suggested corrective action. 









Thomas A. Cseh, B.A.’67, M.A. ’73, was appointed general manager for SISTEC (Sistemas y Tecnologia Industrial de Protección Preventiva, SA de CV), a wholly owned subsidiary of Banco Atlantida, the largest banking institution in Honduras. Based in the capital city of Tegucigalpa, Cseh and his team of 650 personnel provide guarding and cash-in-transit services around the country.



Michael Zagaris, B.A. ’67, published “Field of Play: 60 Years of NFL Photography” (Harry N. Abrams, 2022). A professional photographer, Zagaris has covered 42 Super Bowls and spent 49 seasons as team photographer for the San Francisco 49ers.






Sarah Birnbach, B.A. ’71, published “A Daughter’s Kaddish: My Year of Grief, Devotion, and Healing” (Wonderwell, 2022) recounting her yearlong odyssey to persevere through an unfamiliar world of Jewish prayer. To honor her father, she committed to reciting the Mourner’s Kaddish twice a day in synagogue for 11 months—a ritual that was historically reserved for sons.

Lydia Bodnar-Balahutrak, M.F.A. ’77, received a Fulbright Scholar Award to Poland for the academic year 2022-23. She is participating in a collaborative study of socially and politically informed art created by contemporary Ukrainian artists.

Max Hirshfeld, B.A. ’73, published “Sweet Noise: Love in Wartime” (Damiani, 2019), which is now in development as a traveling exhibition with Curatorial Exhibitions and will begin touring in 2023.

John Hoglund, J.D. ’73, and Patricia Olwell Hoglund, M.A. ’71, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this year. They met as residence hall advisers; John was in Madison Hall, and Pat was in Thurston Hall. 

Margi Kramer, M.A. ’79, published “Molli & Me and the Family Tree” (Friesen Press, 2021), a picture book that tells a story about a whimsical girl, a nostalgic mom and a wise old family tree that take a journey back in time to reveal beloved ancestors, mysteriously appearing as root vegetables and imaginative characters.

David Leaf, B.B.A. ’73, published an updated edition of “God Only Knows: The Story of Brian Wilson, the Beach Boys & the California Myth” (Omnibus Press, 2022). The book charts how Leaf befriended Wilson and worked with him on many projects, and features contributions from Paul McCartney, Barry Gibb, Elton John and more.

Scott McGeary, B.A. ’77, was appointed by the Circuit Court of Arlington, Virginia, to a three-year term on the locality’s electoral board. As its secretary, he helps administer annual primary and general elections. He also serves on and has chaired the Legislative Committee of the Virginia Electoral Board Association.

Karyne Messina, M.A. ’76, has published “Resurgence of Global Populism: A Psychoanalytic Study of Projective Identification, Blame-Shifting and the Corruption of Democracy” (Routledge Publishing, 2022), which examines populism in various countries through a psychoanalytic perspective. 

Todd Platek, B.A. ’74, has published “G88” (Bilbo Books, 2022), a novel that incorporates the twin threats of climate change and artificial intelligence.

Peter R. Silverman, B.A. ’77, was recognized in the 2023 edition of “The Best Lawyers in America for Arbitration, Commercial Litigation, Franchise Law, Litigation - Intellectual Property, Litigation - Securities, & Mediation.” He is a partner and retail and consumer sector co-chair in the Toledo office of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP.

Gary Sprouse, B.S. ’78, M.D. ’82, a family care physician, wrote “Highway to Happiness: The Roadmap to Less Stress,” an in-depth look at what is causing stress in humans, who is being impacted and how people can reduce their stress. 






Katie Beecher, B.S. ’87, wrote “Heal from Within: A Guidebook to Intuitive Wellness” (St. Martins Press, 2022). The book shows readers how they can take control of their own physical, emotional and spiritual health. 

Terry Emmens, B.A. ’86, was listed in the 2023 edition of “The Best Lawyers in America for Trusts & Estates.” 

R.J. Hinkemeyer, M.P.A. ’82, published “Sins of Stone: A Maryland Mystery,” which tells the story of an investigative reporter who covers cultural tensions in a small Maryland town.

Gary Lesser, B.A. ’89, was sworn in as president of the Florida Bar. Lesser is managing partner of Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith, a firm his grandfather founded in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Samuel Maizel, J.D. ’85, was recognized as one of Los Angeles’ “Top 100 Lawyers for 2022” by the “Los Angeles Business Journal” and received the 2022 Outstanding Nonprofit Lawyer Award for distinguished service as outside counsel to nonprofit organizations by the American Bar Association’s Nonprofit Committee. “The Los Angeles Daily Journal” named him one of California’s top health care lawyers in 2021, and Global M&A Network named him the restructuring lawyer of the year in 2020. 

Steve Nearman, M.B.A. ’85, moved—along with his wife, autistic teen and financial advisory business to Plymouth, Massachusetts, where he created the only South Shore program for his son’s favorite sport, “special ice hockey,” which is open to anybody who wants to learn and play ice hockey but cannot play for any other team. The Great Blizzards of Massachusetts Special Hockey program now boasts more than 37 players and their families with dozens of head coaches and assistant coaches. 

Cindy Newberg, B.A. ’88, director of the stratospheric protection division at the Office of Atmospheric Programs, is the recipient of the Partnership for Public Service 2022 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal in Science, Technology and Environment. Newberg has played an instrumental role internationally to curb the use of hydrofluorocarbons, incredibly potent greenhouse gases that are major contributors to climate change.

Sarah Schneiderman, B.F.A. ’80, had a solo show, “Breaking Political Barriers,” in the Windsor Public Library in Connecticut in October. Her artwork was also included in “Waste Management: Reuse, Reimagine, Repurpose” at the Institute Library, New Haven, Connecticut.





Yahia Lababidi, B.A. ’96, published “Desert Songs: Poetry by Yahia Lababidi” (Rowayat, 2022), a spiritual love letter to the deserts of Egypt, including profound Arabic translations by Syrian poet Osama Esber, alongside powerful photos by Moroccan photographer Zakaria Wakrim.  

Sherry Levin Wallach, B.B.A. ’92, was recently sworn in as the president of the New York State Bar Association. Levin Wallach serves as deputy executive director of the Legal Aid Society of Westchester County and has spent most of her career as a criminal defense attorney for people who cannot afford one.

Tami Levin, B.A. ’95, was named a winner in the 23rd Annual Women in Technology Leadership Awards in the Non-Profit and Academia sector. She is the director of premedical and applicant resources at the Association of American Medical Colleges as well as the founder of Uncommon Essays.

Jennifer Morrison, B.A. ’90, was appointed the first female commissioner of public safety by the governor of Vermont and has launched the Hero Maker podcast.

Karen Myers, Global M.B.A. ’93, received the W.Y. Smith Award from the Institute for Defense Analyses, which recognizes extraordinary individual or group contributions to IDA from non-research staff members.

Michael Price, Ed.D. ’99, published “17 Days That Changed America: How the Silver Bridge Collapse Made Life Safer for All of Us,” exploring the events surrounding the collapse of the West Virginia’s Silver Bridge in 1967, considered the deadliest bridge disaster in U.S. history.

Tania Said, M.A. ’98, recently launched Tania Said Consulting to provide organizational and program development services for museums and nonprofits. 

Lisa Schroeter, B.A. ’92, was honored by the Association of Women in International Trade with its 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award. Schroeter is Dow’s global director of trade and investment policy, and the award recognizes leaders who have contributed significantly to advancing trade policy and contributing to the growth, skills and empowerment of women in the field. 

Yosefi Seltzer, B.A. ’93, won the American Bar Association's LAMP Distinguished Service Award as the U.S. Army’s representative. According to the ABA, Seltzer, an administrative law attorney, “demonstrated dedication to clients and to the wider military community,” especially in his work to research and advocate for a change to New Jersey Department of Taxation guidance that penalized non-resident servicemembers.

Amy E. Serino, J.D. ’99, opened Serino Law LLC, an employment law firm focusing on independent investigations of workplace complaints, such as claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation and other wrongful conduct. 

Irina Carlota Silber, B.A. ’91, published “After Stories: Transnational Intimacies of Postwar El Salvador” (Stanford University Press, 2022). The book builds upon Silber’s nearly 25 years of ethnographic research centered in Chalatenango, El Salvador, to follow the trajectories—geographic, temporal, storied—of several extended Salvadoran families. 






Lauren Marks Alperstein, B.A. ’05, won her election to become a circuit court judge in the 17th Judicial Circuit in Broward County, Florida. She was also honored as attorney of the year in 2021 by Legal Aid Services of Broward County.

Liz Castelli, B.S. ’05, Adette C. Contreras, B.B.A. ’06, and Erica Taylor Haskins, B.A. ’06, co-founded the New York City-based event design agency, Tinsel Experiential Design, which is celebrating its 12th year in business. Last summer, they teamed up with Ashley Spillane, B.A. ’06, and her team at Impactual to design and produce #THEPartyThenThePoll, a massive celebration and expression of gratitude, held in D.C. in June, for campaign workers, volunteers, poll workers, activists and others who supported the democratic process in 2020.

Avon Hart-Johnson, M.S. ’01, is the founder and president of DC Project Connect, which provides crisis intervention and information resources to families affected by incarceration. The organization is currently working with families to address these issues through literacy and has created host of children’s books on parental incarceration.

Stephen McGuire, Ph.D. ’03, a professor of management at California State University, Los Angeles, received the 2022 President’s Distinguished Professor Award for superlative teaching and exceptional commitment to students as well as professional accomplishments and service.

Divani R. Nadaraja, J.D. ’07, was named a partner in Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell LLP’s Family Law Group.

Stephanie Vance, M.S. ’02, published “Across the Aisle” (Entangled Publishing, 2022), a romcom based in D.C. about two lobbyists from opposing sides falling in love. Vance is also an adjunct professor in GW’s Graduate School of Political Management.






Kevin Frey, B.A.’15, covers the New York state congressional delegation for Spectrum News NY1. He got his start in journalism with GWTV while a student and has interviewed members of President Biden’s cabinet and covered the COP26 International Climate Summit.

Christina Hawatmeh, B.A. ’10, has published “The Year Time Stopped: The Global Pandemic in Photos” (HarperOne, 2022). The book includes 200 images and stories from 2020 from around the world. Hawatmeh is the founder and CEO of Scopio.

Najma Khorrami, B.S. ’06, M.P.H. ’12, founded startup Gratitude Circle that recently launched a #GratitudeHotline. She is also the author of two books.

Daniel Lippman, B.A. ’12, a White House and Washington reporter for POLITICO and former co-author of Playbook, proposed to artist Sophia Narrett in July on the beach at the Rosewood Baha Mar in the Bahamas.

Chandrally Mahajan, M.P.H. ’18, is in her second year of medical school and speaks on client-centered communication for skin care concerns at Aveda South Florida Institute.

Mark F. Mashack, J.D. ’16, has joined Blank Roman LLP’s Washington, D.C., office in its nationally recognized Intellectual Property & Technology practice group.

Monique May, M.H.A. ’17, wrote “Doc Fix My Plate! The Physician in The Kitchen's Prescriptions For Your Healthy Meal Makeover,” a cookbook for those who want to eat a plant-based diet.

Sabrina Puppo, E.M.B.A. ’10, started a fundraiser at that uses greeting cards to support the UN Refugee Agency in its efforts to protect refugees and displaced people during the war in Ukraine.

Laura Shuey-Kostelac, B.A. ’14, M.A. ’15, was promoted to partner of global public affairs at global independent marketing and communications firm FINN Partners.

Jessica Stewart, M.H.A. ’18, M.P.H. ’22, joined the Institute for Defense Analyses as director of the Strategy, Forces and Resources Division within the Systems and Analyses Center, an IDA-managed federally funded research and development center.