Class Notes

Class Notes


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James Rudin, B.A. ’55, published “The People in the Room: Rabbis, Nuns, Pastors, Popes and Presidents” (iPub Global Connection, 2022). Rubin, a rabbi, takes readers inside the Vatican, Camp David, churches, synagogues and other spots across the global in his quest to forge interreligious relationships.









Judith Benderson, B.A. ’67, M.F.A. ’70, CERT ’04, was one of the artists included in an exhibition at the Friendship Gallery in Chevy Chase, Md., for International Women’s Month. 



Janetta Rebold Benton, M.A. ’69, published her ninth book, “How to Understand Art” (Thames & Hudson, 2021), in the Art Essentials series. The book provides a clear and concise overview of the fundamentals shared by visual arts across the globe.








Ralph Pezzullo, B.A. ’73, M.A. ’75, published the book, “Saigon” (Atmosphere Press, 2021), a coming-of-age story based on his experiences as an adolescent living in Vietnam from 1963 to 1965.







Lisa Brahin, B.A. ’84, authored “Tears Over Russia: A Search for Family and the Legacy of Ukraine’s Pogroms” (Pegasus Books, 2022), which documents the story of her grandmother’s escape from Ukraine in the early 20th century.

Kathy Harmon-Luber, CERT ’84, has published a book, “Suffering to Thriving: Your Toolkit for Navigating Your Healing Journey,” drawing on her experiences with debilitating illnesses and injuries.

Rachel Nugent, M.Phil. ’87, Ph.D. ’94, vice president and director for the Center for Global Noncommunicable Diseases at RTI International, was awarded the Luminary Leader Award in the inaugural Global Health Impact Awards presented by the Washington Global Health Alliance.

Larry A. Olson, M.F.S. ’83, authored a chapter, “The Examination of Cut, Torn, Perforated, and Shredded Documents,” in “Forensic Document Examination in the 21st Century” (CRC Press, 2021), which also includes chapters on handwriting complexity, computer-generated documents and electronic signatures.

David Poyer, M.A. ’86, has published “Arctic Sea” (St. Martin’s Press, 2021), the 21st book in his popular future-war series featuring Captain Dan Lenson.

Sarah Schneiderman, B.F.A. ’80, was selected as one of the artists included in the UNDERCURRENTS exhibition at the Ely Center of Contemporary Art in New Haven, Conn. She also was invited to participate in the online exhibition, “We Who Dream No Know Borders,” hosted by the Women’s Caucus for Art of Greater Washington, D.C., and the exhibition “The Best of Women” at Stola Contemporary Art in Chicago.

Leslie Whipkey, M.A. ’88, has earned a spot on the “Forbes Magazine” 2022 list of best-in-state women wealth advisors. Whipkey works at Bank of America in Vienna, Va. 





Elizabeth L. Block, B.A. ’94, has published the book, “Dressing Up: The Women Who Influenced French Fashion” (MIT Press, 2021), examining how wealthy American women—as consumers and as influencers—helped shape French couture of the late 19th century.

Holly T. Brigham, M.F.A. ’94, investigated the life and work of pre-Raphaelite artist, model and muse Elizabeth Siddal in “I Wake Again,” a solo show at the Delaware Art Museum. 
Marisa F. Capone, B.A. ’97, joined Goodell, DeVries, Leech & Dann LLP in Baltimore as an associate in its medical malpractice practice group.

Charlie Galligan, B.A. ’90, is a member of the Essential Caregiver Movement, an advocacy group pushing for state laws and now a federal law, HR 3733, designed to preserve the rights of nursing home residents to have access to visitors. 

Karen Knudsen, B.A. ’91, is the first female chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society. A National Cancer Institute-funded researcher, Knudsen previously served as executive vice president of oncology services and enterprise director for the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Health.

Matt Kreutzer, J.D. ’98, an attorney with law firm Howard & Howard’s Las Vegas office, has been selected to the Class of 2022 Legal Eagles Hall of Fame by “Franchise Times” magazine. 

Yahia Lababidi, B.A. ’96, has authored “Learning to Pray: A Book of Longing” (Kelsey Books, 2021), a collection of literary hymns.

Diane Lebson, B.A. ’92, published a book, titled “For a Good Cause: A Practical Guide to Giving Generously” (She Writes Press, 2021), a manual for how to “do” philanthropy, including researching organizations, the roles and responsibilities of board service, and how to raise funds when you hate asking for money.

Harlan Sands, M.B.A. ’90, is the president of Cleveland State University and was named one of the newsmakers of the year for 2021 by Crain’s Cleveland Business. He was recognized for sponsoring Ohio’s largest vaccination site, growing the university around its mission of access and affordability, and partnering to develop a new Cleveland Innovation District.

Sandi (Rudenstein) Schwartz, B.A. ’99, has written “Finding Ecohappiness: Fun Nature Activities to Help Your Kids Feel Happier and Calmer” (Quill Driver Book, 2002) to guide families on how to use nature to reduce stress and boost spirits.

Kevin Simpson, B.B.A. ’92, has published “Walk Toward Wealth” (Merack Publishing, 2022), which shares proven strategies that porfolio managers use to grow wealth. He is donating 100 percent of the profits from book sales to charity.

Danielle (Tumolo) Smereczynski, B.A. ’99, was named chief philanthropy officer for the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. 

Burke E. Strunsky, B.A. ’96, is running for Riverside County, Calif., district attorney. A judge, Strunsky was elected to the bench in 2016, and prior to that was a deputy D.A. for 15 years. 

Rhea Wessel, B.A. ’91, has written a book, titled “Write Like a Thought Leader: How to Find a Constant Steam of Story Ideas to Position Yourself as the Go-To Expert in Your Niche,” that shows subject-matter experts of all types how to find and frame stories.

Linda Fisher Thornton, M.A. ’94, was awarded the Itzkowitz Family Distinguished Adjunct Faculty Award by the University of Richmond School of Professional and Continued Studies and was the faculty speaker at the school’s 2022 Commencement.






Brian Dean Abramson, LLM ’09, has added new content to the second edition of his legal treatise, “Vaccine, Vaccination, and Immunization Law” (BNA Books, 2022). The updated content covers COVID-19 vaccines, pandemic response and other pandemic-related materials; employer/ employee vaccination mandates; international vaccine law; and legal responses to anti-vaccine activism.

Anthony M. Avellino, M.B.A. ’08, published the book, “Finding Purpose: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey of Hope and Healing,” detailing his lifelong battle with mental illness and how he overcame it. 

Julia Barnes, B.A. ’05, was named CEO of the Movement Cooperative, a network of electoral and advocacy organizations working together to advance the progressive movement through shared data and tech infrastructure. She founded her own electoral consulting firm, JPKB, in 2017.

Glynnis Breen, B.A. ’01, was named chief marketing and communications officer at the American Forest Foundation. Prior to joining the foundation, she worked at the National Geographic Society, where she spearheaded global outreach initiatives, secured international partnerships and oversaw engagement for National Geographic Explorers.

Charles C. Calloway Jr., B.B.A. ’06, J.D. ’12, was promoted to partner of Chapman and Cutler LLP and recognized by Crain’s Chicago Business as a 2021 notable nonprofit board leader for his work as vice chair of the national board of Spark Inc. and as vice chair of the Finance and Audit Committee and treasurer of the Chicago Humanities Festival. 

Josh Denney, M.A. ’02, has joined Western Alliance Bank as director and head of government relations. Denney previously was head of federal government affairs at BBVA USA and vice president of public policy at the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Jonathan Doh, Ph.D. ’01, is the 2022 recipient of the University at Albany Alumni Association’s Excellence in Education Award. Doh is associate dean of research and global engagement, Rammrath Chair in International Business, co-faculty director of the Center for Global Leadership, and professor of management and operations at Villanova University School of Business.

Iris Drayton-Spann, M.A. '09, serves as a director at Stanton Chase in Washington, D.C. She is also the current chair for New Endeavors by Women, a volunteer member of Streetwise Partners DC and part of their Employer Advisory Board, and a member of Mercer/Marsh Women’s Executive Leadership Group. In 2019 and 2021, DCA Live honored her as one of the 25 HR Leaders of the Year in the region, and she was recently named to Mogul’s Top 100 DEI Leaders.

Pamela Ehrenberg, M.Ed. ’03, co-authored with Tracy López “Detour Ahead” (PJ Publishing, 2022), a middle-grade novel depicting the friendship between a Jewish girl preparing for her bat mitzvah and a Salvadoran American boy who is new to Washington, D.C. 

Jared Fishman, J.D. ’04, founded and is executive director of Justice Innovation Lab, a nonprofit that builds data-informed and community-rooted solutions for a more equitable, effective and fair justice system.

Isaac Fitzgerald, B.A. ’05, has a new book coming out in July, “Dirtbag Massachusetts: A Confessional” (Bloomsbury, 2022), a memoir in essays that begins with Fitzgerald’s early years growing up in Boston.

Margaret Giles, M.A. ’09, joined the Institute for Defense Analyses as a research associate in the Cost Analysis and Research Division of IDA’s Systems and Analyses Center.

Peter Glessing, B.A. ’08, married Pari Cariaga at the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis on Oct. 23, 2021. Alumnus Patrick Stadelhofer, B.B.A. ’08, was the best man, and alumni Brandon Hines, B.B.A. ’10, and Ryan DeWerd, B.B.A. ’10, served as ushers.

Adam Goldstein, B.A. ’04, has been working in an Israeli field hospital in the western Ukraine town of Mostyska as part of a team of 80 doctors and nurses providing support to the local Ukrainian hospital. Goldstein is the director of trauma surgery at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel. 

Maura Judkis, B.A. ’07, and Scott Gilmore, J.D. ’12, welcomed their daughter, Margalit Ruby Judkis-Gilmore, on March 10. Judkis is a reporter for "The Washington Post," and Gilmore is an attorney at Hausfeld LLP and an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law.

Dionna Latimer-Hearn, M.A. ’02, was named clinician of the year by the National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing. She is the founder and education director of REACT Initiative Inc., a nonprofit that promotes equity in education.

Benjamin M. Mastaitis, B.A. ’00, is now an assistant attorney general in the Public Integrity Bureau of the New York State Attorney General’s Office. 

Stephen Ryan, B.A. ’07, was promoted to director and chief systems engineer of advanced programs for Northrop Grumman’s Strategic Space Systems Division in Redondo Beach, Calif.

Emily K. Wilson, M.A. ’08, authored the book, “Mildred Trotter and the Invisible Histories of Physical and Forensic Anthropology” (CRC Press, 2022), the first biography of the acclaimed anatomist and anthropologist.






Sevan Araz, B.A. ’18, joined the Institute for Defense Analyses as a research associate in the Joint Advanced Warfighting Division of the Systems and Analysis Center.

Kristi Beroldi, Master in Clinical Mental Health Counseling ’15, is a licensed professional counselor with Thriveworks Reston, specializing in depression, life transitions, anxiety and self-esteem issues.  

Susie Dumond, M.A. ’16, authored “Queerly Beloved” (Dial Press/Random House, 2022), an LGBTQ+ romantic comedy set in Tulsa, where Amy, a baker/ bartender turned bridesmaid-for-hire, falls for the cute new lesbian in town. 

Nicole Hoyt, B.A. ’10, founded a company called Somethingood, which launched a financial newsletter, “Money Side Up,” to empower women, minorities and others who have been historically underrepresented in traditional finance.

Najma Khorrami, M.P.H. ’12, published two books: “A Spoonful of Gratitude: Tips to Reduce Stress and Enjoy Life to the Fullest” (Mascot Books, 2022), a collection of 68 articles published over five years revealing why gratitude is the foundation of self-growth; and “Self Care with Ted and Friends” (Mascot Books, 2022), a children’s book.

Kate Pena, B.B.A. ’14, has been promoted to a new position of senior manager, brand management at Hilton Honors. In her new role, Pena will help develop the overarching brand strategy and operationalize global initiatives for the DoubleTree by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations brands.

Rudy A. Rodas, B.B.A. ’11, was recently named the 2021 Hermano of the Year by La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity Inc.

Miguel Rondon Segura, B.A. ’12, published “The Climate Crisis: A Moderate Approach to the Energy Debate” (Mars Publishing, 2021), the only book written by a millennial who works in oil and gas arguing for moderation.

Courteney Coyne Simchak, Ed.D. ’18, has been appointed assistant head of school for student and academic affairs at Beauvoir, the National Cathedral Elementary School. 

Chloe Sorvino, B.A. ’15, will publish the book, “Raw Deal: Hidden Corruption, Corporate Greed, and the Fight for the Future of Meat” (Simon & Schuster, 2022), an exposé of the U.S. meat industry, the failures of the country’s food system and the growing disappointment of alternative meat producers.

Geovanny Vicente-Romero, M.P.S. ’19, was recently recognized for his column on CNN en Español, which was named “Political Column of the Year” by the Napolitan Victory Awards. Vicente-Romero serves as an associate professor at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies and was named chief communications officer for the Inter-American Institute on Justice and Sustainability, an international organization based in Washington, D.C.

Bri Whitfield, B.S. ’18, is one of 12 recipients of a grant from Generation Hope, a nonprofit that provides parenting students with mentoring and financial and childcare assistance so they can graduate from college.