Phi Sigma Sigma Reunion: Eight sisters from seven states enjoyed a reunion on Lake George in September. The youngest of the group had turned 50, so they celebrated “50 years, sisters forever,” and enjoyed apple-picking, a wine-tasting, and reminiscing. From left, are Stephanie Zane Taylor ’87, Lorraine MacLean Schomber ’88, Tracey Tocher ’85, Suzanne Cano Meeker ’88, Diana Koblanski Crossley ’86, Dawn Hammond Boyle ’87, Teresa Ciccimarra Schuele ’87, and Gwen Bird Bottomley ’87.


Bernis Soper is continuing her role as business manager for the Luzerne County SPCA. She is married to John Emmett ’79 (see note in 1979).

Miles Moffatt joined Tighe & Bond of Westfield, Mass., as a technical adviser and vice president. A 33-year industry veteran, he has managed major water programs and projects for clients throughout the Northeast.

Christopher Dufresne writes: “Have hit 25 years living in Europe. Sadly my wife and I have lost three of our parents over the past 20 months. Our daughters, Alison and Stephanie, are thriving. Alison is a propulsion and systems engineer at Deep Space Industries in Silicon Valley designing their engines that will propel craft to near-earth asteroids, where they will land, mine, take off, and return. Stephanie pursues film, dance, and acting opportunities with her latest project at the Gate Theatre in Dublin where she has the lead role in The Red Shoes.” The Dufresnes live in Galway, Ireland. —Kathy Pratt Harrington ’80;


Pat Roohan was named vice president of data management and analytics solutions at MVP Health Care in August. Previously he had a 30-year career at the NYS Department of Health leading quality, patient safety, health information technology, and data system initiatives, most recently as deputy commissioner of health for the Office of Quality and Patient Safety. —Marc Glasser ’81,


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Chris Hanke (B.S. ’82, M.S. ’86) and Paul Agnello (B.S. ’82, Ph.D. ’88) reconnected in mid-2017 on a “…fabulous two-week vacation with our wives, Kathy Mason and Iris Agnello, in Northern Spain (La Rioja and Basque regions), enjoying lots of great food and wine.” Chris has been working for Qualcomm in Raleigh, N.C., for four years, still keeping his hands dirty designing mixed-signal/analog power management circuitry for large data-center server chips. Paul is a senior fellow at GlobalFoundries in Malta, N.Y., joining GlobalFoundries when it acquired the IBM Microelectronics business in 2015 (after 25 years at IBM).

Amy Dickison spent the summer doing a lot of sailing out of Newburyport, Mass. Russ Paige ’81 and his daughter joined Amy’s family on the boat while they were passing through.

Guy Gabrielson III reports that his youngest son, Dane, finished his through-hike of the Appalachian Trail in the early fall...199 days, 2,190 miles! His middle son, Roy, is finishing up his master’s in fine art education in Cambridge, Mass., and hopes to be teaching next fall. Guy’s eldest son, Jess, is working in the tree business doing the high stuff and loves the thrills! Guy says that he hopes to get back to RPI soon.

After working in NYC for the last 14 years, Rob Stone and his wife, Mary Ann, moved to Chicago where he is now the CIO for Jenner & Block—a large international law firm. Rob noted that “…we decided this move would give us the chance for a major lifestyle change—we left a house in the suburbs of Connecticut and now live in an apartment in Lincoln Park. It’s been quite freeing to get rid of most of our ‘stuff.’ I also got back almost three hours a day by reducing my commute!”

Michael Angle was promoted in August 2017 to chief technology officer (CTO) of Opus. Mike was formerly president and co-founder of Alacra, a leading provider of Know Your Customer and Referential Data solutions, acquired by Opus. In his expanded role as CTO, Mike leads software development, technology operations, and data solutions globally.

Patrice Milos (M.S. ’82, Ph.D. ’84) was appointed to the board of directors of MedMates, a life sciences industry network group in Rhode Island. She is the president/CEO and co-founder of Medley Genomics, which addresses the challenges of genomic heterogeneity in the diagnosis and treatment of complex diseases. Initially focused in oncology, Medley provides unique ‘molecular fingerprints’ of a patient’s cancer enabling individualized diagnosis and optimal treatment. 

As for me, I recently founded the Professional Development Consortium of Hampton Roads (Virginia)—a place for leaders of professional development organizations to connect, collaborate, and coordinate on common issues and goals. I’ve been thinking about it for several years…finally time to act! More at —Mark Bowers ’82;


35th Reunion: Sept. 27-30, 2018 Brent Williams retired after 25 years at Xerox Corp. in Rochester, N.Y. Prior to that, he worked at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, Mass., for eight years. While at CSDL, he received an M.S. in mechanical engineering from MIT. He spent his entire career in various technical areas, including his last three years at Xerox, where he was a systems engineer working on the multifunction devices designed in collaboration between Xerox and its Japanese partner Fuji Xerox. Brent and his wife live in Penfield, N.Y. He’s enjoying retirement and much of his time is occupied by either riding or repairing bicycles. He volunteers with an organization in the inner city of Rochester that takes in unwanted bicycles, makes them safe and rideable, and gives them to people for free to use for transportation. Brent also works part time in a local bike shop and repairs bikes for friends and neighbors at his home.

Dino Cerchie retired after 30 years at McDonnell Douglas/Boeing. He started back in 1983 in Long Beach at the old Douglas Aircraft Co., continued studies while working, and picked up a master’s in engineering from USC. He almost finished his Ph.D. in engineering from University of Arizona (if not for a new product launch that demanded too much attention to finish his dissertation). Dino met his wife of almost 30 years, Pam, while in Long Beach—both having started work the same day. They have two sons, both out of college with advanced degrees and on their own. After much travel around the world working with customers on various aircraft programs, Dino and Pam in retirement now travel closer to home in their 4-wheel drive EarthRoamer RV, the first trip being 100 days, 12,000 miles, 19 states, and four Canadian provinces on “the roads less traveled.”

Kevin Updegrove, former site leader at Chromalloy Tampa Castings, is the CEO for Advanced Airfoil Components, a new joint venture between Siemens and Chromalloy in Tampa, Fla. The primary scope is turbine blade and vane cast components for power generation. Kevin has been with Chromalloy for 23 years and has a proven record of success starting up new facilities and effectively managing operational excellence to achieve the highest level of manufacturing performance. Kevin and his wife, Diane ’84, received the Alumni Key award at the RAA Awards Dinner in October.

Mark Mistur, dean of Kent State’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design, served as the featured speaker at a recent Bowman Breakfast, a twice-yearly tradition at Kent since 1963. Mark’s vision for future learning at the university included adding interdisciplinary course offerings and co-curricular initiatives and creating an innovation infrastructure to provide interdisciplinary spaces. He said some challenges for higher level classes that could be explored by such learning would include algae pollutants in Lake Erie, water scarcity and conservation, issues of rapid urbanization, or wearable technology. “It is not just about STEM, or even about learning new skills and requiring more education. This helps of course, but creating an innovation economy requires thinking outside the box and continually challenging and solving things. It requires encouraging greater creativity, ingenuity, and quickly adapting to market demand.” Prior to Kent State, Mark was associate dean of Rensselaer’s School of Architecture.

Attorney Mark D. Lansing has joined Dickinson Wright PLLC in their Washington, D.C., office. Mark focuses his practice on property tax and condemnation matters with respect to energy, industrial, and commercial properties. After his B.S. and MBA from Rensselaer, Mark earned his J.D. from Albany Law School of Union University.

Saul Kaplan is the founder and chief catalyst of the Business Innovation Factory, and recently shared his “From…To Story” for a colleague’s book that contains stories of pharmacy school graduates who leveraged their education in surprising ways. Saul began with his pharmacy degree from the University of Rhode Island, although he knew he wouldn’t spend his career filling prescriptions. After adding an MBA from Rensselaer, he leveraged both degrees to work in the pharmaceutical industry for Eli Lilly & Co., where he had the opportunity to work on the U.S. introduction of Prozac. He then became a consultant, first with Arthur D. Little and then as a senior partner at what became Accenture. After retiring from Accenture, he led Rhode Island’s economic development agency.

Wes Horbatuck was promoted to president of Norcom Insurance in November. He has been with Norcom since 1993, where he held his position as executive vice president and manager of the Norcom Insurance team. “Wes Horbatuck has grown Norcom Insurance into one of the best insurance agencies in Connecticut,” said the president/CEO of Norcom Mortgage.

More retirements out there? New promotions? Just want to share your “From…To” story? Send news! —Don Hubicki ’83;


Tobi Saulnier had a nice write-up in the Albany Times Union last summer. Tobi founded 1st Playable because she wanted to create games with a social purpose. Tobi earned her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate at RPI and used the RPI incubator to help start her business in 2005. At that time, only 11 percent of the game-development community was women. Now the number has grown to 22 percent; however, the changing industry has brought new challenges and opportunities. According to Tobi, anyone can produce a game, the challenge is making something people will pay for from a professional. Tobi has focused on educational games, building partnerships with organizations like The Environmental Law Institute. Tobi maintains the principles she started with—putting people first, getting outside whenever possible, and having fun wherever possible. 1st Playable now resides in a former ballroom at Troy’s Market Block. Keep up the excellent work, Tobi.

TUV SUD, a world leader in testing, certification, inspection, and training, announced in October that John Tesoro had been named president and CEO, responsible for American operations. “An experienced technology executive with a collaborative, deliberate, process-oriented leadership, John’s previous experience includes transformative solutions selling processes, organic growth initiatives, successful acquisitions and business unit restructurings, involving strategic planning, market research, financial modeling, due diligence, divestitures, and business integration—all invaluable skills that will help keep TUV SUD America on its continued course of development and growth, and most importantly to be the solutions provider of choice for clients.” John resides in the Boston area with his family and will be based out of the Peabody headquarters. Congratulations, John.

Reunion & Homecoming was once again a fun-filled weekend. At the campaign kickoff, I sat next to Connie Hastings and her second-oldest daughter, an RPI Jr./Sr. currently on a co-op adventure. We listened to her son, an RPI freshman, play pre-event music with other band members in the foyer of the EMPAC. Quite a treat. Her oldest daughter is also an RPI graduate (2015) who married her college sweetheart (sound familiar?) and now lives in Texas. Ed was home with their youngest son who has not decided if RPI will be his future. Connie is busy with full-time employment and Ed with running his own business. Turns out we were the only registered ’84 grads for the weekend and it was nice to catch up. —Diane Updegrove ’84;


At homecoming, Jocelyn McConnon (’21 Math.) became the first recipient of the Rensselaer Alumni Association Scholarship. It was an honor to witness the RAA’s scholarship fund begin supporting current students. If you wish to further encourage the next generations of Rensselaer alumni, check out how you can expand the reach of the RAA Scholarship Fund.

Last September, Judi Hunderfund (ChemEng), was appointed director of the Department of Consumer Protection/Weights & Measures for Rockland County, N.Y., where she has spent much of her career in various positions protecting the public’s health and welfare. Her department protects consumers by investigating complaints, assists in developing laws to protect the public, and warns of frauds and scams; in her new role, Judi will expand online access to the public.

Did you know that Kraig Nienhuis (Comm.) performed at the Bushstock Music Festival? After playing hockey for the Boston Bruins in the 1980s and then various professional squads in North America and Europe, Kraig became a singer/songwriter/entertainer performing at diverse venues across North America. He has played before a world record crowd of 113,000 at the “Big Chill,” at the NHL Winter Classic, and recently at the Edmonton Oilers 30 Year Reunion with Sarah McLachlan and Tom Cochrane. Impressively, he has opened for such renowned performers as ZZ Top, Nickelback, Heart, Huey Lewis, Tragically Hip, B-52s, Doobie Brothers, George Thorogood, and David Lee Roth, among others. His musical repertoire spans several decades and multiple genres. Maybe he’ll play the Freakout!

Business & Finance News has named Sean O’Sullivan (EE) as one its 2017 50 Outstanding Tech Entrepreneurs. While at the helm of NetCentric, he created “software for inside the Internet”; he is credited with co-creating the term “cloud computing” alongside George Favaloro from Compaq. In 1995, Sean founded SOSV (formerly SOSventures), a venture capital and investment management firm. As managing general partner, he has created and supported a wide range of business, humanitarian, and educational enterprises. He founded JumpStart International, which was a humanitarian engineering organization based in Baghdad and operating throughout Iraq during the post-war period of 2003-2006. As chairman of the Irish Entrepreneurship Forum and founder of Open Ireland, he is a leader and influencer of Irish government policy in fueling economic growth and recovery in the technology sector. Sean has also been a regular investment panelist on the popular RTÉ TV show Dragon’s Den as well as an occasional columnist for the Sunday Business Post

Bombardier Inc., the parent company of Bombardier Aerospace and Bombardier Transportation, has appointed Jeff Hutchinson (M.S. CompSci) as chief information officer. Bombardier, headquartered in Montréal, Canada, is the world’s leading manufacturer of both planes and trains. In this position, Jeff is responsible for leading Bombardier’s global IT, digital asset, and cyber security functions. Jeff has more than 30 years of experience leading and transforming IT organizations at large, matrixed companies including Honeywell, Maple Leaf Foods, SAP, and Danone/Dannon. Throughout his career, he has focused on leveraging leading processes, digital assets, technology, and collaboration to enable improved business performance, profitability, and business growth. 

Got news? Send it along. —Patricia DeLauri ’85;


Dan Ireland (B.S. Mgmt.) recently participated in presenting an interactive webinar on career advice for entry-level engineers. He is senior director of content operations at IEEE GlobalSpec, where he’s responsible for managing a group that maintains technical content for one of the largest engineering resource and digital media websites. Dan previously managed an IHS aerospace engineering group in the UK.

Congratulations to Peg Olsen (M.S. Urban&Env., Ph.D. Ecol.Econ.) for being named director of the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. She most recently served as chief conservation officer at the National Audubon Society, overseeing 23 state programs and 46 nature centers as well as international programs. Peg also worked for the Conservancy from 1989-2003, holding various national and international posts and launching the Australia Program. In her new position she will be protecting 585,000 acres and working on the environmental challenges of land and water protection, reducing the causes of climate change, and utilizing nature to adapt in a climate-changing world.

CommerceHub announced the promotion of Kathleen Conley (B.S. ECSE, MBA) to senior vice president of operations. Prior to joining CommerceHub in 2014, Kathleen worked in a diverse portfolio of companies including Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan, Bank of America, Viewlocity, Factory Automation & Computer Technologies, and Computer Integrated Modular Mfg.

With 25 years of federal service, Arnold Abraham (B.S. Physics) retired as associate director of intelligence for United States Cyber Command at Fort Meade in August 2013. The next day, he started law school at the University of Maryland, where he was the oldest student in the class. He graduated cum laude, passed the bar, and now is the principal attorney/founding partner of The CyberLaw Group, a 21st-century firm focused on personal privacy and data protection.

Michael Wands was named head of Global Investment Strategies at Putnam Investments. He joined Putnam in 2008, having spent his career since RPI on Wall Street, most recently as head of Fixed Income N.A. for State Street Global Advisors.

Anthony Szema, M.D., has been promoted to clinical associate professor of medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care, and Division of Allergy/Immunology, Northwell Health, and clinical associate professor of occupational medicine, epidemiology and prevention, and director, International Center of Excellence in Deployment Health and Medical Geosciences, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell.

Dr. Szema wrote two new books: Unusual Diseases with Common Symptoms and World Trade Center Pulmonary Diseases and Multi-Organ System Manifestations. He is CEO of RDS2 Solutions Inc. and is co-inventor of a vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) drug that cures pulmonary fibrosis and lung injury and pulmonary hypertension. His part-time practice is Three Village Allergy & Asthma, PLLC, South Setauket, N.Y. He is married to Denise Monte, M.D., FACS. He and his children, Allison and Austin, received their black belts in Tae Kwon Do over the summer. —Jane LaGoy ’86,


The class of #RPI87 returned in force for our 30th Reunion! Kristin Stoehr Pereira reports, “A little older and a lot wiser, we put our well-earned laugh lines to good use. It was so nice seeing everyone again.”

A reunion within a reunion took place when the Class of ’87 swimming and diving team took the opportunity to reconnect. Dinner and reminiscing Friday night at the home of Bob Kirchner and his wife, Natalie Wittner Kirchner (Russell Sage), was attended by Armen Pogharian, Hans Foerster, Eric Pearl, Ralph Krempl, and Sebastian (Sam) Pascarelle. Tony Sarrack had to leave before dinner and Tom Belletete and Deb Cherniwchan Belletete joined the festivities the next day. Jeanne DeBonis (nee Carboni) was a last-minute scratch. While visiting the Robison Pool on Saturday, they fortuitously ran into former Big Red Swarm and old friend Bob Keyes. Bob and the team have started making plans for the 100th anniversary of the swim team, occurring in 2018. If you were on the swimming or diving team at RPI in the last 100 years, please reach out to make sure you are included.

In non-reunion news, this summer, Orbital ATK named Rick Mastracchio senior director of operations for their Commercial Resupply Services program. As a member of the Advanced Programs Division’s Human Space Systems team, Rick manages the CRS Mission and Cargo Operations teams and supports other Human Space Systems programs, including Orbital ATK’s exploration pursuits beyond low earth orbit. Rick’s new role with Orbital ATK follows an accomplished career with NASA during which he flew as a mission specialist on three space shuttle flights and spent time on the space station, logging 228 days in space, including nine spacewalks.

Though they missed reunion, it was great to reconnect with classmates Jim Rider and Paul Urmson when they visited Troy recently. Jim is currently the visual effects supervisor for HBO’s forthcoming adaptation of Fahrenheit 451.

George Norman and Mary (Rooney) LaChance ’97, after both being first-time candidates for Glastonbury, Conn., Town Council, are happy to report that they were both elected on November 7! Both are looking forward to working together to serve the great town of Glastonbury.

Mark Ameres reached out to invite anyone in the Cape Cod area to drop by (contact via and

If you haven’t already, catch up with our classmates on Facebook at —Peter Quinones ’87;


30th Reunion: Sept. 27-30, 2018 Suzanne Cano Meeker (B.S., MgmtEng, MBA) reports that she continues to stay in close touch with her Phi Sigma Sigma (Gamma Theta chapter) sisters. In September 2017, eight sisters from seven states rented a house on Lake George for a fantastic girls weekend. The youngest of the group had turned 50, so they wore custom T-shirts that said “50 years, sisters forever,” went apple-picking, enjoyed a wine-tasting, and painted wine glasses. They shared stories and laughs, and made new memories. Between them, they have 17 children, some of whom have graduated college and others who are starting the search process, while some are still in middle school. Experiences on campus brought these women together and their values as sorority sisters have kept them together through the years.

Attending were Stephanie Zane Taylor ’87, Lorraine MacLean Schomber ’88, Tracey Tocher ’85, Suzanne Cano Meeker ’88, Diana Koblanski Crossley ’86, Dawn Hammond Boyle ’87, Teresa Ciccimarra Schuele ’87, and Gwen Bird Bottomley ’87. (See photo above)

Congratulations to Robert Lopez, who is a 2017 recipient of the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards’ Presidential Recognition Award for leadership shown within the Member Board Executive community. Robert is executive secretary to the New York State Boards for Architecture and Landscape Architecture within the NYS Education Department’s Office of the Professions. He is a registered architect in New York.

Alphonse Lariviere, MBA ’88, has been appointed president of Kaman Corp.’s Distribution Group. He has served in various roles with Kaman since 2004, most recently as senior VP, finance and administration, distribution segment. Prior to his arrival at Kaman, he served as VP, global shared services, at Garlock Sealing Technologies, and VP, finance, with Goodrich Pump & Engine Controls.

My travels have been more extensive than usual this year, with cruises to the Caribbean, Cuba, and along the Danube River (Germany/Austria/Slovakia/Czech Republic) and land visits to Italy, Southeast Asia (Thailand/Vietnam/Cambodia—including a Mekong River cruise portion) and Spain/Andorra. We live in a wonderfully varied world and I’m very lucky to not only explore it but also share it with my travel clients!

Michael Bahtiarian has been hired by the acoustical consulting firm Acentech as a principal consultant in the Noise and Vibration Group. He has over 32 years of experience in the design of noise control treatments such as barriers, enclosures, damping, and vibration isolation.

Our 30th Reunion is next October. Hope to see you there! —Grace Vitagliano Roth ’88;


John Olson was named vice president of cloud operations, technical support and security at Guardian Analytics in October. He is responsible for running the company’s cloud operations financial crime platform, which combines fraud detection and anti-money laundering (AML) capabilities, as well as a real-time B2B supplier portal account takeover (ATO) offering.

Mark Maybury, MBA ’89, was named to the newly created position of chief technology officer at Stanley Black & Decker in November. He joined the organization from the MITRE Corp., where he held a variety of strategic technology leadership roles over 27 years. A former U.S. Air Force officer and chief scientist from 2010 to 2013, he is a member of the Defense Science Board and recently completed service on the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board and the Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee.—Joseph Hom ’89;