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Snow bears

A popular snow sculpture contest was held during Winter Carnivals in the 1950s and ’60s.


The Ultimate Engineer Book Cover
Author and space historian Richard Jurek has filled a gap in the written history of spaceflight with his new book, The Ultimate Engineer: The Remarkable Life of NASA’s Visionary Leader George M. Low. A key architect and leader of NASA from the agency’s inception in 1958 to his retirement in 1976, the year he became 14th president of Rensselaer, Low has been described as “Apollo’s essential man,” “one of the unsung heroes of spaceflight,” and “the go-to guy in Washington on the shuttle.” Low’s pioneering work paved the way for President Kennedy’s decision to make a lunar landing NASA’s primary goal in the 1960s, and after the tragic Apollo 1 fire that took the lives of three astronauts, Low took charge of the redesign of the Apollo spacecraft and helped lead the program from disaster to the moon. He then became one of the leading figures in the development of the space shuttle in the early 1970s, and he was instrumental in NASA’s transition into a post-Apollo world. Chronicling Low’s escape from Nazi-occupied Austria to his helping land a man on the moon, The Ultimate Engineer sheds new light on one of the most fascinating and complex personalities in the history of manned space travel. Posted 2020-06-04


Engineering When members of the Crusader Club see the words “Last Charlie” in the subject line of the club e-newsletter, they know that they have lost yet another member. Crusader Club? Primarily naval aviators who have flown the Supersonic F8U (later F-8) single place, single engine jet fighter (not fighter-jet!) stemming from the mid-1950s. This Last Charlie was for fellow RPI NROTC Midshipman Pete Easterling ’51 (Elec.Eng.), more formally, VADM Crawford Alan Easterling Jr. USN (ret). Pete died at age 91 on Oct. 19, 2019. Easterling stood out as a midshipman and was battalion commander during his senior year. Following an initial assignment to a destroyer, Pete commenced flight training in January 1952. He was designated a naval aviator, joined a fighter squadron, and a year later he did what most NROTC grads did and left active duty. He continued flying at NAS Jacksonville as a Reserve Weekend Warrior. Returning to active duty in October 1957, Pete started flying the F8U Crusader. He advanced to lieutenant commander, then earned degrees at the Naval Post Graduate School and MIT. Easterling continued to advance through the ranks until he became commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, and was designated a vice admiral in December 1982. He retired to Jacksonville, Fla., in August 1985. This March is the 10th anniversary of my multiple myeloma diagnosis. With an initial regimen of chemotherapy of one and a half years, a break of six and a half years, I now have been back on that for two years. It has been fairly easy, pills which slow the development of cancer cells in the blood stream. Posted 2020-05-13
Science At my Rochester Wilmot Cancer Center oncology clinic last July, I was cleared to mix with people rather than leave wearing a mask. Taking advantage of that, I was able to spend four hours with Bill Goffe (Physics) and his wife, Bernie, at their retirement village cottage in nearby Webster. Bernie does their local driving; distant family visit to help with stays at their lake cottage. We all adjust. Posted 2020-05-13
Engineering Also in July, Jack Haefeli (CivilEng) gave up his apartment and automobile to take up residence in an assisted living facility. Posted 2020-05-13


Carlton Peter Dewitt was named the grand marshal for the 2019 Copperfest Parade in Oconto, Wis., last June. An extensive article about him was published in the Green Bay Press Gazette. Peter had a long and distinguished career in which he worked on rockets and developed high-tech instruments.
At Convair, he was part of a team developing early missile and rocket systems, including ones designed by Wernher von Braun. Peter’s suggestion helped stop rockets from crashing after going into uncontrollable spins.
Peter moved back to his hometown of Oconto in 1957 and founded Holt Instrument Laboratories. The company became a leader in the development of precision measurement instruments, some of which are still used by the National Bureau of Standards. The company’s highest profile work was with NASA, to whom Holt supplied calibration and measurement systems used extensively during the development of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo systems.
Posted 2020-05-14


Phil Brock wrote: “I spoke to Noel Siegel, and we talked about having a Phi Sig reunion sometime soon in NYC. I have been quite busy. I am still working, doing some part-time consulting work for two of my ex-competitors, one of whom used to work for me, and I find it very stimulating. I also play tennis three times a week, mostly doubles and sometimes singles. I’m lucky I can still run around. I’ve had a few replacements in recent years, a shoulder, two knees, and a hip. It’s amazing what can be done today.” Posted 2020-07-10
I received an email from C.J. Nager about a class reunion that was planned for this October. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, plans for future events, including class reunions, have been postponed. C.J. also sent his own news: “This was a busy year for us. Selling our home in South Carolina, moving to Longboat Key, Fla., and recovering from open heart surgery ... we are the walking wounded!” Let’s all wish C.J. a great recovery. Posted 2020-07-10
Engineering On a personal note, I was honored to be selected as one of two alumni to receive the Albert Fox Demers Medal along with John S. Hamilton, Class of 1973, at the RAA Awards Dinner during the 2019 Reunion. Past recipients from the Great Class of 1952 were John Horton (in 1982), Al Krause (in 1987), Harvey Zeve (in 1989), and Robert J. Pavan (in 2017). I feel honored to join such elite company. Posted 2020-05-18
Finally, on a somber note, we lost another classmate, Frederick E. Clark Jr., on June 21, 2019. Fred enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II and, after completing his training as an aviation machinist’s mate third class, served in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater of Operations. He was honorably discharged April 29, 1946. He then graduated from Hartford Veterans High School and, under the GI Bill, attended and graduated from RPI, with a BAE degree. He then worked at local engineering firms in Connecticut and then Jeter and Cook Architects before starting his own architectural firm. Ultimately, Fred was hired by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, serving as the Illinois State Architect for Farmers Home Administration in Champaign. Posted 2020-05-18


After 32 years, about 150 columns highlighting the exploits of about 400 members of our class, and enjoying wonderful interaction, I have decided to retire from Class Notes. Throughout this period of time, our great Class of ’53, which included many veterans of WWII, have made a distinct mark on society. Our families, professions, travel, schooling, hobbies, politics, and support of organizations has shown a level of commitment, morals, and ethics to have moved our school, country, and the world in significant directions. Stay safe and involved! — Arthur Goldstein ’53; Posted 2021-02-26
Engineering Arthur Goldstein writes: Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson was appointed president of RPI in September 1999. Gloria and I were present at the inauguration where then-Senator Hillary Clinton made a stimulating address. Since then the changes have been monumental. Rensselaer magazine, fall 2019 issue, has a wonderful review of the 20 years of progress. We have become leaders in biotechnology, nanoscience, design prototyping, advanced computing, and media arts. Facilities equal to these innovations have been built along with the East Campus Athletic Village. Dr. Jackson has served on many boards of leading organizations, becoming an outstanding ambassador for the college. She follows in the footsteps of former President George Low. RPI is a world-class school for the 21st century. The progress has not come easily, however. It makes us proud to see our alma mater advance in a multitude of directions. Read “Celebrating 20 years of Leadership” in the fall issue. Posted 2020-05-18
Linda and Bill Glaser
Engineering Linda and Bill Glaser (LPD1723@ celebrated the 33rd Entrepreneur of the Year award. It was bestowed upon two alumni and a former faculty member for the first PC-based “virtual classroom” and conference software products. Posted 2020-05-18


From left, standing with their wives, Glenn Brown ’54, Gus Albern ’54, Henry Rosenblatt ’54, Bob Thieringer ’54, Bob Meade ’54, and Jim Shildneck ’54.
Celebrating their 65th reunion on campus in September with their wives were, from left, standing, Glenn Brown ’54, Gus Albern ’54, Henry Rosenblatt ’54, Bob Thieringer ’54, Bob Meade ’54, and Jim Shildneck ’54. Posted 2020-06-11
Bob Meyers writes: A group of stalwarts celebrated our 65th Reunion on campus at the end of September. Unfortunately, at the last minute, I was unable to attend. Those who made it included Glenn Brown, our former Grand Marshal, Gus Albern, Henry Rosenblatt, Bob Thieringer, Bob Meade, and Jim Shildneck, the starting defenseman on the 1954 NCAA championship hockey team, and their guests. Posted 2020-05-14


Burt Tregub had a very interesting and satisfying career, being in on some very early decisions developing the internet and earning a half-dozen patents in the field of cryptography. Posted 2021-02-26
Ed Stofka reports that he has recovered well from a stroke five years ago. “The only thing I lost is my whistle.” He and his wife, Sam, are sports fans, and for many years, worked for the Minnesota Twins during spring training in Florida. They recently took cruises in the Caribbean and are regular bridge players. “We played regularly with Larry Bloom and his wife before they moved to Connecticut to be near their son.” Posted 2021-02-26
Ron Smith is still an active scuba diver and is looking forward to his next trip to the reefs of the South Pacific. Seven years ago, he sold his 17-foot racing sailboat, marking the end of 44 years of racing at major regattas all over the country. A jogger until his knee replacement, Ron works out regularly on ellipticals and treadmills at a fitness center. Posted 2021-02-26
Though he’s given up golf, Herb Schaeffer gets out for walks and is active in the stock market. He and his wife, Rita, live in New Canaan, Conn. Herb keeps in touch with Steve Whitman, George McBride, and Ray Hofker. Posted 2021-02-26
After a career at Mobil, which included three years in Saudi Arabia, Joe Pilaro retired in 1994 from corporate planning. He used his MBA background to start an investment advisory company and, among other things, helped set up a network of brew pubs in New Jersey. Posted 2021-02-26
Don Peterson has recovered well after a recent angioplasty stent procedure and is in pretty good health. He has reluctantly had to give up golf, a major activity since his days on the RPI golf team. Don and his wife, Shirley, continue to enjoy their lives in Tucson. Posted 2021-02-26
John Magadini still coaches and teaches at the Pingry School in New Jersey. After a long and successful career as their head hockey coach, he continues as head coach emeritus. “Just being around the kids is a treat. They call me Mags.” He recently had to start teaching online and keeps in touch with Steve Whitman, his former roommate. Posted 2021-02-26
Ray Hofker does some legal work. He had a large case against a chemical company that lasted 10 years, slowed by politics between the U.S. and China. Ray recalls arriving at RPI “with my Samsonite piece of luggage, which housed my first suit. My parents drove me to the Quadrangle and dropped me off. RPI was a societal learning pit for me. While I didn’t mature until much later, the experience was my foundation for personal growth. It was a long journey, and I appreciate every step of it.” Posted 2021-02-26
Jim  Hoffman still lives on his 120-acre farm near Lake Ontario, and leases it out for field crops. “I have a huge garden and a huge yard. My wife and I were urban people, and we enjoy the space.” After 30 years of service, he retired from his local Planning Board but remains deeply active in his church. He also works to oppose installation of wind turbines nearby.  Posted 2021-02-26
Engineering John Schmidt writes: Happy anniversary. Let’s get back for our 65th Reunion! Marcia and I moved to a retirement home near Princeton, N.J., in September — a path many of us have taken by now.  Posted 2020-05-18
Engineering Barnett “Barney” Behrenfeld reports that he has arthritis and takes physical therapy twice a week but is not yet ready to move to a retirement home. “My neighborhood has turned over many times, and I like to see the young people. It always makes me feel good.” He and his wife can still drive and get around, but they have hired help for gardening and cleaning. Both their children live nearby, which also helps. Barney still keeps in regular contact with Bill Barbash. Posted 2020-05-18
Engineering Constantine Bassilakis worked for GE on aircraft engines and then had his own business consulting on gas turbines for the government and GE. He now works out at the Andover, Mass., YMCA two or three times a week. Connie also enjoys league bowling, bass fishing at his son’s camp in Maine, rooting for the NE Patriots, and dancing at least once a month. “I just dance the fast ones. I don’t enjoy slow dances.” Posted 2020-05-18
Engineering In July, Phil Carroll organized a mini-reunion in Santa Barbara with Willy Lick and Joan and Ron Smith. Rick Setlowe got sick at the last minute and couldn’t attend. “We enjoyed continuous recollections of the old days, starting with lunch at a great beachside café, through a tour of UCSB (where Willy taught), and a long evening at his beautiful house in the foothills, including catered dinner and viewing of his paintings. I bought one of his paintings, and it’s nice to see it every day.” In November Willy had an exhibition of his paintings at a Santa Barbara gallery. See Posted 2020-05-18
Ilmars “Herb” Dambergs wrote with a great life story. “I came to this wonderful country as a Latvian displaced person in March 1950. In the fall of 1951, after eagerly requesting admission to the ROTC program at RPI, I was informed that I was not eligible by not being a citizen. The sergeant who told me that was wrong, but I had to accept his word. Instead of ROTC, RPI required me to take Chemistry 101. Well, my mind, lack of good high school preparation, my English, whatever, did not produce. Dr. Faigenbaum gave me a fat “F.” In my junior year I was required to repeat the failed subject. Although I was hoping for a D-minus, the professor was relentless and flunked me again. In the spring of 1954 RPI put me on probation; there was a possibility of getting drafted, and things looked bleak. Not even telling my parents, I visited the Army recruiting station, passed the requirements, and in May 1956 became an Infantry 2nd Lieutenant. The Army allowed me to obtain my baccalaureate degree and later a master’s in systems management. After nearly 30 years of service I retired in 1984. I belong to several veterans’ professional organizations. Last year the U.S. Army Officer Candidate School Alumni Association inducted me into the OCS Hall of Fame.” Posted 2020-05-18
Engineering Bob Hirshson had a career with Douglas Aircraft and Hughes Aircraft, eventually as manager of software development. No longer skiing or doing as much photography, he still keeps up with the computer world, especially for entertainment options. He and his wife have lived in their large house for 44 years but are not yet ready to downsize. Posted 2020-05-18
Engineering A former Air Force pilot, George Lamb has for many years built and flown radio-controlled model planes. He still builds models but no longer flies them. “My latest project is to divest myself of all my models.” Flying them had become increasingly difficult. “They get up high, about 2,000 feet, and you can’t see them. I don’t like to look into the sun.” Previously George had been filming some of his flights and entering the filmed results into international competitions. He and his wife have cut back on travel but still enjoy reading, walking, and visiting their grandchildren. Posted 2020-05-18
Engineering David Levine had a 34-year career at Sperry Rand/Unisys, then two five-year post-retirement jobs, first assembling and warehousing medical supplies and then in furniture and high-end gift shops. He reminisced about RPI days, when as president of Kappa Nu fraternity he doubled the house size and built a party room and bar. “It’s still there. My wife and I visited two years ago with all seven of our grandchildren and took photos at the bar. It’s now an RPI sorority house, and it’s immaculate. They were great — bused us to a hockey game and back. We also visited some of the joints we used to go to on 15th Street.” Posted 2020-05-18
Engineering John Lukacz reports that he is in good health and playing golf regularly. He and his wife drive regularly from Massachusetts to Maryland to visit their daughter’s family, including watching the games of three grandsons who are excelling in high school football and lacrosse. Their son also visits from San Diego. John hopes to attend our 65th Reunion. Posted 2020-05-18
Engineering Jerry Pollock moved to Florida 50 years ago to be near his parents and brother and sister. He reports that he has recovered well after fracturing four ribs last year. With two knee replacements, he doesn’t walk as far these days but gets to the gym to work out and swim. But with heavier knees, “I couldn’t keep my feet up.” In his Navy days Jerry made 21 crossings of the Atlantic and grew to love the sea. He and Jean live close to Ft. Lauderdale and have taken 77 cruises. “It’s so convenient.” Posted 2020-05-18
Engineering Steve Whitman has given up his house in New Jersey, and he and Janet now divide their time between homes in Connecticut and Texas. “But economic conditions in Connecticut are no better than in New Jersey. They kept raising the taxes on GE until GE left the state. The irony was that GE sold the land to a nonprofit, the Catholic Church.” Steve keeps up with the business world, including ties to AI research at Caltech, but says he doesn’t do much anymore. “I keep a black suit in each house and go to weddings and funerals.” Posted 2020-05-18


Peter Wayner and Ed Woerner
Peter Wayner sent me a photo of himself and Ed Woerneron vacation last year on the island of Anguilla where they have been meeting for over 25 years. They were proudly wearing DEKE T-shirts. He said they “toast RPI every evening.” — Frank Griggs ’56; Posted 2021-03-16
Dave Richards has been retired for 24 years, has found no use for his slide rule, is busy watching Netflix, and enjoys TV features about engineering disasters. A student of military history, he is doing some reading of religious topics and history and is still trying to cope with arthritis. Posted 2021-02-26
Charley Buttz, knowing my love of bridges, sent me a photo of the new Tappan Zee Bridge. He noted that his apartment has a full view of the bridge. I remember writing a term paper on the original Tappan Zee sophomore year with Isadore Troschen as my professor. Posted 2021-02-26
Jerry Reinert celebrated Thanksgiving and his 85th birthday with his family at the Atlantis Hotel on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Early in February of this year, he started a new job guest lecturing at the Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Graduate School of Business. Posted 2021-02-26
Engineering Frank Griggs writes: It’s been about 68 years since we began our studies at RPI. I remember during that first week going to the bookstore in the basement of the Student Union and buying my books, drafting equipment in a metal container, along with our T square and slide rule, a K & E log log duplex decitrig of course, which we hung from our belts with great pride. Oh, and you may recall tuition was, as I recollect it, $300 a semester. Posted 2020-05-18
Engineering Jerry Reinert wrote, “My summer included a week at Safari West, in Santa Rosa, Calif. Lois (with her new knee) and I took my 10-year-old granddaughter Kalina. We all loved it. 2021 will be our 65th Reunion. I’m hoping that we can have a ‘crowd’ of at least 50. I’ll do my best, with your help, to make it have as much fun and camaraderie as possible.” Posted 2020-05-18
Engineering I got a long email from Joe Freitag describing his long and interesting career. He wrote, in part, “In my junior year I knew that I didn’t want to work for a process company or in the eld of thermodynamics. I loved the math in vibration control and when I graduated I worked for a few months for Sperry Gyroscope Co. testing to failure gyro and hydraulic packages for the Sparrow 1 Missile. It was part of a reliability program. As an Army ROTC student, I activated in January ’57 and went to Germany serving in a direct support ordnance battalion with the 3rd Armored Division. During that time I decided I was going to get an MBA when I returned, which was in early ’59. I applied and was accepted at Harvard Business School.” After that, “I pursued an entrepreneurial career with major aerospace and communications companies wanting to diversify their businesses with systems for the commercial sector. I worked twice for RCA, twice for Hughes, and twice for TRW — now Northrop Grumman — and enjoyed the moves on both coasts...I developed a love for classic cars after retiring and bought a 1930 Model A Cabriolet and a ’56 Thunderbird at the same time. My wife calls them mistresses because they were parked in a rented garage. I worked to make them pretty and then took them out to show off. I am still driving the TBird. I live in Palos Verdes, California, a suburb of Los Angeles and in a beach house on Alamitos Bay in Long Beach. My heath is very good. “My other activity is a foundation I created with my brother and family to honor my Dad, who received his apprenticeship at Daimler in 1923 but came to this country in 1927 when the economic conditions in Germany were so bad. He never worked in the automotive industry, but became a star designer at Sperry. This year I awarded the foundation’s 13th scholarship to a young man who will pursue his EE degree specializing in automotive electronics.” Posted 2020-05-18
Engineering Alan Dolmatch wrote, “In May my wife and I traveled in the south of France in the Languedoc region, where we saw two wonderful spanning structures built about 1,900 years apart. We visited the spectacular Millau Viaduct, a cable-stayed bridge spanning 2.5 kilometers across a deep valley. It was designed by the British architect/engineer Norman Foster about 10 years ago and includes seven masts of about 1,200 feet in height supporting a four-lane roadway some 800 feet above the valley floor. Its counterpart was the Pont du Gard outside of Nimes built by the Romans to deliver water from the mountains to the city of Nimes. About 800 feet of the three-tiered aqueduct remain and can be crossed with great views to the river below.” Posted 2020-05-18
Engineering Paul B. Kilian wrote, “Upon graduation I was commissioned an ensign in the Naval Reserve with a commitment to spend two years on active duty. I was assigned to the District Intelligence Office of the Ninth Naval District in Chicago, Ill. There I conducted background investigations on civilian and naval personnel who required a security clearance for work requiring access to classified information. While in Chicago I got married to Mary Jane. After I was discharged, I was employed by a small consulting civil engineering firm in Troy, N.Y., and designed potable water and sanitary sewerage facilities. My next job was for a slightly larger firm in Trenton, N.J. My work there involved the design and construction supervision of water and sewerage facilities for municipalities in central and southern New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania. In 1965 I obtained a position in a consulting engineering firm in northern New Jersey and we moved up there, where in the course of 12 years, I was employed at three different consulting firms. In 1977 I moved to Portsmouth, N.H., to take the position of vice president and general manager of the Portsmouth regional office of a Maine consulting engineering firm. Later on I was employed by a Portland, Maine, consulting engineering firm to manage the firm’s engineering design and construction activities in New Hampshire. My last year with the firm was spent in their Tallahassee, Fla., office, where I managed the investigation of hazardous waste and leaking underground storage tanks on property being acquired for the construction of an Interstate Highway System expansion project in southern Florida.” Posted 2020-05-18
Engineering Peter Wayner wrote, “At the 2019 Summer Heat Transfer Conference, in July, in Bellevue, Wash., I received a Certificate of Recognition at dinner from the ASME/AIChE Heat Transfer Division with a AIChE daylong symposium on research in my honor. With a small amount of time, I still do a little bit of research as a professor emeritus in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at RPI. No longer skiing, I look forward to spring.” Posted 2020-05-18


Bill Delany
Bill Delaney, a double E, was recently awarded the 2019 Eugene Fubini Medal by the Secretary of Defense for his many years as an executive and adviser to the Department of Defense. The award is the highest award by the Secretary to a civilian and recognizes his history of contributions to our national defense with his productive involvement in Air Force science and in the Navy’s advanced sensor technology. Bill is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, an IEEE fellow, and currently serves as a Director’s Office fellow at Lincoln Labs. Posted 2021-03-16
Doug Hasbrouck, our ’57 Networking Chair, shared news that our 2020 ’57 Spectrum award winner is Ana Gabriella Duque-Schumacher (Ana Duque), a remarkable young lady from Naples, Fla.  Posted 2021-02-26
Engineering Just got a book from Dave Brunell, written by his wife, Pam, titled Beloving. It’s unique, being written in a combination of poetry and prose about the Brunell family’s journey from the U.S. to Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Vietnam, then back home to their farm in Maryland with many adventures in those venues and many other places ... just what you’d expect of this adventurous ’57er. Its title effectively reflects Dave and Pam’s very positive experiences in and outlooks on life, living, and loving from their wide-angle view. Posted 2020-05-18
Engineering Buzz Campbell wrote: Am wondering if you all read the Fall 2019 issue of Rensselaer with Dr. Shirley Jackson on the cover and celebrating her 20 years of leadership, quite a story in itself. Another piece which caught my attention was titled “An Anchor and a Compass.” As one of the many in ’57 who spent time in the military after graduation (in my case as a Navy Airdale), I was very interested in the coverage of RPI’s position in U.S. naval history, which began in 1860 and has resulted in 80 RPI grads achieving flag rank, including two who gained two stars during 2019. Also catching some of ’57’s attention was the photo of RPI Middies on page 20 together with a photo of our highly recognized professor of civil engineering, Rear Admiral Lewis Combs, Class of ’16. I got some phone calls wondering if some from our class might be in the photo. Chuck Gould wondered if the photo was of ’57 Middies, possibly including Dick “Gus” Gustafson, Jack Bluestein, and himself. Some research determined that the photo was of the Rensselaer NROTC Unit of 1965. Chuck also recalled that “upon our graduation, Adm. Combs offered Gus a commission in the Civil Engineer Corps, to which Gus politely said he was ‘joining the Marines.’” Chuck then explained that “... the next guy through Adm. Combs’ door was me.” When Combs asked him, “Gould! Do you want to be in the Civil Engineer Corps?” his response was, “What’s that?” ... to which Combs responded, “It’s the Seabees.” Chuck quickly said, “Yes, Sir!!!” Chuck then added that he “spent four years with world-class folks and doing some very challenging work!” Posted 2020-05-18
Engineering Well, that led me to a call with Gus, whom I hadn’t seen since June ’57. Gus noted that he and Gloria married right after graduation, have five kids, 13 grandkids, and five great-grandkids, and served 33 years in the Marine Corps. He flew A-4s (Skyhawks) and AV-8s (Harriers) in Vietnam, flying off the attack carriers Coral Sea and Midway. His tours included commands of a squadron, air group, and a wing and he put two stars on as Major General. Gus, we salute you, your family, and your remarkable career of service! Posted 2020-05-18
Architecture And finally, from our steadfast classmate Doug Hasbrouck: Please check out the latest updates to our Class of 1957 Spectrum Award webpage, at As of December, 77 classmates have contributed nearly $134,000 to Spectrum, with gifts ranging from $100 to $25,000. Starting with our 60th Reunion in 2017, three outstanding engineering students have received unconditional prizes of $2,500 each. The value of the endowed fund varies with the markets, but new money into the fund comes entirely from members of our class. Once our class is gone, the fund’s future will depend entirely on growth from its investments. It has always been our ambition to grow the fund sufficiently to assure that it survives our class, and benefits future students for many years to come. Please join us in taking pride from the fact that ’57 is one of only two classes that have been able to generate such a “living class gift.” Your contribution can help us assure that the ’57 Spectrum Award will endure. Posted 2020-05-18


Howard Gates has moved to Florida in the Villages, a large retirement single-home golf cart community. He’s enjoying the nice, warm weather. Posted 2021-02-26
Dick Young and his wife, Willie, enjoy attending some Zoom classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University — a favorite activity for many years. He keeps in touch with LXA brothers Al Stearns and Charlie Zito (RPI ’57) and classmate brothers Ed Archer, Jack Ramsey, Harry Robinson, Chet Martine, and Ron Pickunka. Posted 2021-02-26
While COVID-19 continues, I contacted Dick Young, who then contacted Harry Zimmer and Wayne Smith, to confirm that the three of them were together as students on their NROTC summer cruise aboard the heavy cruiser USS Albany. Dick and Wayne went ashore in Chile where they contracted the Asiatic flu. All ships were later quarantined, so they were not allowed to go ashore at Guantanamo Bay. When they returned to campus, they found that social and athletic events had been canceled, including the RPI-Union football game. — Posted 2021-02-26
Garry Kearns
Architecture Garry Kearns, who is our class president, received the Rensselaer Alumni Association’s 2019 Distinguished Service Award at Reunion & Homecoming Weekend in September. Congratulations, Garry. The citation lists Garry’s numerous service contributions to RPI and the surrounding community over the past 60 years, including as career placement liaison and tireless service on the RAA’s Annual Fund Leadership Gifts Committee, Athletic Relations Committee, Class and Reunion Committee, and Alumni Hall of Fame Balloting Committee. He has always been there to assist Rensselaer in numerous ways, including stepping into the brink to steady the men’s hockey program as head coach from 1964 to 1969. Garry was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame in 1975 and the Hockey Ring of Honor in 2011. He was a member of the RAA’s Board of Trustees from 1984 to 1987. In appreciation of his outstanding philanthropy, generosity, and commitment to Rensselaer, Garry received membership in the Annual Patroon Society and the prestigious Palmer C. Ricketts Lifetime Patroon Society. Posted 2020-05-19
Architecture Martin Ginsburg was presented the top “Innovator Award” by ArtsWestchester in November. He and his brother Samuel founded Ginsburg Development Companies over 50 years ago, and the company has since built over 7,000 residential units, becoming the leading developer of residential properties in the northern suburbs of New York City. Since the mid 1990s, GDC has focused on waterfront developments, and Martin became a leading advocate for the post-industrial rediscovery of the Hudson River, including many transit-friendly developments adjacent to train stations. Posted 2020-05-19
Engineering The nation and Larry Nichols celebrated the 50th anniversary of the moon landing this past summer. Larry was at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center in July 1969 when Apollo 11 was launched. He was part of 10 Apollo space missions as an engineer. Larry’s first job after RPI was working on the Atlas Missile Program in Plattsburgh, N.Y. He later went to work for Grumman Corp., which NASA contracted to design, assemble, integrate, and test the lunar module. At Cape Canaveral in Florida, Larry was involved with the lunar landing program beginning with Apollo 5, the first unmanned flight of the Apollo Lunar Module that would later carry astronauts to the lunar surface. He stayed at Grumman until Apollo 17, the final moon mission, in 1972. Larry then joined his father-in-law’s construction business in New York, but missed his work as an aeronautical engineer and went to work at Goddard Space Flight Center. In his career, he contributed to many projects, including the Hubble Space Telescope, the Cosmic Background Explorer, and the Global Geospace Science project. Posted 2020-05-19


W21 Online - CN - Sheldon Weinbaum ’59
Sheldon Weinbaum ’59, professor emeritus in the City College of New York’s Grove School of Engineering, is one of 12 recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) from the White House. The awards are America’s highest honor for mentors who work with underrepresented groups to develop fully the nation’s human resources in STEM. “Sheldon Weinbaum represents the most outstanding mentors America has to offer and serves as both a model and an inspiration to students and those entering the professional workforce,” said a statement from the PAESMEM team. Posted 2021-03-15
Art Dionne lost his wife, Judy, in April after 60-plus years of marriage. After a successful career as a patent attorney, he retired to Rye, N.H. I counted four kids and six grandchildren. Posted 2021-02-26
Ken Decker retired from the real estate business in Denver. Always an outdoorsman, he and his wife intend to remain in the Denver area. Posted 2021-02-26
Engineering It was great to hear from Fred Mosedale (B.E.E., LXA, Phalanx). After graduation, Fred left Troy for his first job as an EE with RCA in Massachusetts. He rented lodgings in Concord, which was a one-time home of Henry David Thoreau. Fred writes that he became fascinated with Thoreau’s thinking. All of this exploration launched Fred on a long-term interest in philosophy. When we were at RPI, there was no philosophy course, but Fred speculates that had there been one, he would probably have taken it and — maybe, just maybe — transferred to another school. However, Fred stayed in the engineering world, with assignments in Alaska on a huge radar complex — and lots of spare time to read more philosophy. And, subsequently, he relocated to Germany to work on some sophisticated equipment — with more spare time. Somehow, Fred accumulated enough funds to finance a career change. He entered a doctoral philosophy program, and soon ended up teaching and writing philosophy. His moral is that “engineering is interesting, offers good-paying work, and can lead to unexpected fields.” Fred eventually became interested in the philosophy of language, which led him to think about computer languages. He landed a position as a technical writer with Intel in Oregon and, for the next 20 years, continued to publish philosophy on the side. Engineering and humanities can live well together, he observes. Interesting to note our class has produced several poets, and at least one mystery writ- er, and a cookbook publisher. But Fred is, I think, our first professional philosopher. All of you are encouraged to share with us some of your wisdom acquired and experiences over the last 60 years or so. Posted 2020-05-14


An article in a recent Rensselaer magazine was about Navy guys and their service. Bob Flesch was mentioned prominently. Dennis Fitzgerald said that Bob was his big brother at PKA — both “regular Navy.” Dennis never met a classier guy who was a true big brother.  Posted 2021-02-26
Bill Blanchfield ’60 writes, “Due  to  the  COVID-19  pandemic,  the  Reunion  celebration  planned  for  October  has  been  postponed.” Posted 2020-06-16


George Vachuda, former goalie on the varsity lacrosse team, has experienced what would be a major setback for most people, but not George. Twelve years ago, he broke his foot and wore a cast for three months. After complications, the foot was amputated and George now wears a prosthetic device. His attitude is absolutely marvelous. He blames no one for his problem and with a new, flexible ankle device he received recently, he is looking forward to hitting a golf ball again. Posted 2021-02-26
Science There have been many exploits by our classmates over the years, but George Bein is an unheralded success story. Here it is. Immediately following graduation, he decided to enroll at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn for an M.S. and a Ph.D., both in electrophysics. George took a total of six years; seemed like an eternity. His first job after that was at Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory in Buffalo, N.Y., and he did that for about 10 years. In the early ’80s when Ma Bell was being required to have some competition, his son, at the age of 17, came to him with an ad from Entrepreneur magazine. George writes: “He said, ‘Dad, we can get into the pay phone business if we buy 50 pay phones from this company.’ I told Jeff to just buy one. If he could sell it, we could buy more. He bought one and quickly sold it to a local bar. Long story short: We became The American Telecom Network offering a variety of telecom services across America, doing $50 million per year. Jeff and I were in business together for 25 years.” George goes on to say, “I must have inherited my son’s sense of creativity because I was recently awarded a patent called GFI Tripped Circuit Detection and Notification System. It notifies a homeowner when their GFI circuit trips, even if they are thousands of miles away from home. This can be very useful if, for example, they have a freezer and/or a refrigerator plugged into a GFI outlet in their garage. All garages are required to have GFI outlets. The approved patent uses an existing security system. I am currently working on an app that also notifies a homeowner when their GFI outlet trips; but this version does not require an existing security system.” What a great story. George lives in beautiful Sedona, Ariz., gets to play tennis three times per week, and plays drums in a fantastic dance band. Posted 2020-05-19
Engineering Brian McManus writes: At the most recent Reunion in October, a few people robustly represented the Class of 1961: Bob Bardagy, Fred Guimond, and Brian McManus, along with Ed Bok and Bob Peterson. Other Chi Phis: Hank Bauer, Mike Smith, Bill Hart, Tony Dignazzio, Jack Lahey, and George Maniatty participated in a Chi Phi general reunion. A trip to the Notty Pine was included. Bob lives in Victoria, B.C., and recently met with Rod Palmborg in Seattle. Fred Guimond, the only Deke present, moved from Baton Rouge to Leavenworth, Wash. Posted 2020-05-19


Engineering Ed Loizeaux sent me an essay about his “now-ancient life.” Ed and I started life at RPI across the hall from one another in the freshman dormitories, he in Room A-108 and I in Room A-103. Ed earned an MSIE degree and an MBA degree. He worked for the U.S. Air Force at Norton AFB in San Bernardino, Calif., before it closed. Then he moved to the San Francisco area where he “morphed from engineer to operations management,” running factories for high-tech firms. He once worked for Bill Perry before Perry became President Clinton’s Secretary of Defense. Bored with managing factories, Ed incorporated as Manufacturing Advisors and became flooded with clients from Brazil, Singapore, and many U.S. locations. He has been married to Judi McHan for 34 years. They have five children, all married and all gainfully employed. Ed retired at age 55, and he and Judi are living comfortably. He teaches English to foreign graduate students at Stanford University — not beginning English, but conversational English complete with slang and idioms. Posted 2020-05-19
Engineering Steve Mirer sent me a beautiful photo of four Pi Lambda Phi fraternity brothers and their wives who met in Santa Fe, N.M., in September to attend the Santa Fe Indian Market. The attendees were hosts Mary Anne (RSC 1964) and Bruce Larsen of Santa Fe, Lois and Mike Mannes of Baltimore, Helen and Marv Meistrich of Houston, and Arlene (RSC 1964) and Steve Mirer of Phoenix. Bruce retired from Vista Chemical in 1995, Mike practices real estate law in Baltimore, Marv retired from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in 2012, and Steve retired from GE Global Research in 2008. The intrepid octet is ruminating about meeting in Sonoma County, Calif., in 2020. Empty or near-empty stemmed glassware could be seen on the table in front of them, telltale evidence that everyone was having a terrific time. Mike and I palled around at RPI before losing track of one another. Posted 2020-05-19


Special thanks to Jack Titley for writing the class column since his 25th reunion. Posted 2021-02-26
Check out Jerry Lenaz’s website at Jerry, retired architect, is advancing his second career as a mystery genre bookstore owner in Princeton, N.J. If you want advice on the latest mystery novel, give him a call at (609) 688-9840. It is amazing what Jerry knows about suspense and mystery. Posted 2021-02-26
Roger Lourie retired as a general partner of Seagrace Partners LP, a private equity investment firm that he organized to invest in small companies. Roger earned his RPI degree in management engineering. His impressive academic achievements were matched by his membership in Phalanx, Pi Delta Epsilon journalism fraternity, his work as IFC president, and his involvement in many other campus organizations. Graduate study at Columbia University resulted in an MBA and a master’s in international and public affairs. In Connecticut, Roger was a member of the Representative Town Meeting for 25 years. Roger and wife, Claude, moved to Palm Beach where they are active in promoting their love of opera with the Palm Beach Opera. He welcomes a call, email, or a visit. Reach him at Posted 2021-02-26
Robert Arundale was one of the first to earn a B.S. in language and literature from RPI. After earning his Ph.D., Bob taught at the University of Washington and then spent 32 years at the University of Alaska. Oxford University Press published his book Communicating & Relating in 2020. After reaching professor emeritus status, Bob has more time for mountaineering, travel, and model railroading. Posted 2021-02-26
Engineering Dave Wicks has fond memories of playing RPI hockey for Ned Harkness and especially for the 1960-61 Frozen Four tournament. I’m sure he remembers the 17 to 2 win over AIC where Jim Josephson, Brian Pryce, and Brian Robins were ejected for brawling. Dave helped with two assists in that blow-out win. Dave majored in metallurgical engineering and was a brother of Lambda Chi Alpha. Now 55 years later, a retired Foster Wheeler Energy Corp. engineer and nuclear project manager for the Clinch River Breeder Reactor, Dave spends his leisure traveling, playing golf, and writing his dad’s biography. Bombs Away is the true story of his father’s escape from Nazi-occupied Slovakia after being shot down on his 24th combat mission. It is a great story of heroism and courage in WWII. Dave and his wife, Lorraine, celebrated their 53rd anniversary last July. They reside in Dansville, N.Y., where they raised three children. Daughter Jackie is a 5th grade teacher; her twin Jennie is a CPA, health-care consultant, and former hospital CEO. Their son Mike, a graduate of the University of Buffalo, works in law enforcement in Monroe County. Dave and Lorraine have three grandchildren. He would be happy to hear from classmates at Posted 2020-05-19
Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Jack Titley writes: Back in the fall of 1962, RPI President Richard Folsom apologetically announced that tuition for 1963 was being raised to $800 per semester. Dr. Folsom, in a letter to our parents, said that “the Board of Trustees reluctantly approved the increase in tuition.” Little did we know what it was going to cost our grandchildren to attend. Posted 2020-05-19
William Soffa, M.S. in materials engineering, was named to Carnegie Mellon’s Athletics Hall of Fame for his outstanding college basketball achievement. Bill is a professor of engineering at the U. of Virginia. Posted 2020-05-19
Engineering Marvin Rozansky sent us a sad note on the death of Roger Mester. Roger had been living in Copenhagen with his wife, Annette, and family for many years. As electrical engineering classmates, Marv and Roger forged a lifelong friendship. According to Marv, Roger was a 4.0 student until he wound up with a C in the senior year’s Senior Sequence in Philosophy class. Marv still feels guilty over having talked Roger into taking the class. Anyone who wishes to share a memory of Roger can contact Marv at As our ranks thin, we all mourn the loss of each classmate. Posted 2020-05-19


Jim Bexfield ( is still working but not traveling and wondering whether he will ever retire. Posted 2021-02-26
Jack Waite’s ( architectural firm, John G. Waite Associates, has offices in Albany and New York City, and specializes in the restoration and reuse of historic buildings. At the most recent convention of the American Institute of Architects, Jack’s firm received the National Design Honor Award for the restoration of Thomas Jefferson’s Rotunda, the center place of his University of Virginia. Another recently completed project was the restoration and rehabilitation of the Cincinnati Union Terminal, the last great railroad station built in America. That $225 million project now houses the Cincinnati Museum Center. And in April, the project received the Palladio Award, an international award for excellence in classical design. Posted 2021-02-26
Gene Tucker ( taught environmental sciences at James Madison University until 2011, after three years in the chemical industry and 32 years in R&D for the Environmental Protection Agency, interspersed with degree breaks to get himself “piled higher and deeper.” Since then, it’s been retirement in North Carolina caring for his wife, and retreating to his cabin and woodworking shop at a lake in southern Virginia. Posted 2021-02-26
Tom Reddy ( and his wife, Vita, left on a 120-day world cruise on Jan. 4. As they traveled, the COVID-19 virus began to impact; with ports, and then countries, beginning to close to passenger ships, they gave up in Bali, and traveled home, arriving on March 9, just missing the airline shutdown. They did have a great time in French Polynesia, New Zealand, and Australia. Posted 2021-02-26
Dick Chase ( wrote to say that before COVID-19 hit, he had been volunteering for the Huron River Watershed Council — sitting on the advisory committee for one of the creeksheds, and leading groups of volunteers collecting insect larvae from creeks to check the quality of the creeks. Posted 2021-02-26
Uli Decher ( wrote to say that he has been teaching at the University of Hartford as an adjunct professor. Uli retired from Westinghouse and has been teaching two courses per semester. This past spring was very busy, since his students were dismissed in mid-March, and he had to learn to teach online. Uli lives with his wife, Helen, in West Granby, Connecticut. Posted 2021-02-26
Allan Warshawsky (“Woosh”) ( reports that he and his extended family are all well. “Woosh” has three grandchildren in the Israeli army, five in university, and one in the 12th grade. Posted 2021-02-26
Frank Thiel reports that he and his wife, Patricia, are well. Residents in his community donate funds each year for scholarships for the young folks who work (or did until lockdown) in the dining rooms. Frank is a member of the Scholarship Committee, and they ultimately awarded five scholarships. A charming young lady will be using her award at RPI. Find out more from Frank at Posted 2021-02-26
Engineering Michael Wellner writes: I am beginning this edition of Class Notes by talking briefly about our 55th Reunion, which sadly I could not attend because my wife and I were on a delightful vacation cruise from Barcelona to Lisbon. Here are a couple of reports. Posted 2020-05-19
Engineering First, Dick Vennett and his wife, Mary Ann, went to Troy hoping for a sufficient turnout of ’64 alumni to warrant having a class dinner. But that was not to be. Although our 50th Reunion attracted more than 60 classmates, this year we managed only 10 who returned to the ’Tute. Of those 10, Dick and his Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity brothers made up 70%! These included Earl Foster, Nancy and Rich Greer, Mary Ann and Dave Marko, Tom McShane and his nephew, John, Diane and Eloy Nava, and Pat and Jack Piela. And they had their own reunion at the Century House Inn in Latham, and visited the campus on Friday, a beautiful day, and then had their own “class” dinner at the Century House. And on Saturday they all went to Saratoga Springs for a Beatles tribute concert, to honor the 50th anniversary of the Abbey Road album at Caffe Lena. Of course, they all enjoyed each other’s company, and decided that another five years was much too long to wait to meet again as a group. So their plan is to meet in two years (September 2021) in Mystic, Conn. Future fraternity reunions will be organized by the local brother(s) offering to host the reunion. Aside from that, Dick had a successful hip replacement in late June, and was able to attend the reunion without pain or cane! Find out more from Dick at Posted 2020-05-19
Science Next, Art Schoenstadt reports that he, too, was among the small group of us who actually made it back for reunion. He made it to the football game, to see the Engineers win handily. And he was able to tour the five main schools, stopping in each for about 30 minutes, with faculty members describing their research, and attend an interesting panel discussion in EMPAC. Art also made a stop at the small town where he went to high school, and visited with the widow of his Ph.D. adviser. You can reach Art at Posted 2020-05-19
Engineering Del Webster reports that his grandchildren are growing up! His oldest grandson, Eamon, was recently married, and his oldest granddaughter, Karana, began her freshman year at Oswego State. Eamon’s brother Eadoin began his freshman year at the University of Vermont. They are grandchildren to be proud of, and life continues to be good! Contact Del at Posted 2020-05-19
Engineering Dick Foster wrote in to say that in October he made a three-week trip to five countries in Southeast Asia. He reports that it was fascinating to see sights such as Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, and Halong Bay, among many other sites, and so many very friendly people. The trip turned out to be a bit of a challenge, even for an engineer, trying to keep five currencies straight, especially when $10 USD equals 200,000 dong! Dick will tell you more: Write to him at Posted 2020-05-19
Engineering And finally, Tom Luciano (baron731@com reports that he headed back to Troy for our 55th Reunion. His fraternity, Delta Tau Delta, was celebrating 140 years on campus and 60 years on Sunset Terrace. The house had a “Meet & Greet” on Friday afternoon, followed by a gathering at McAddy’s Irish Pub on Broadway, downtown. Sadly, the house was showing its age after six decades. On Saturday there was an escorted tour of the campus, led by several students; it was great to walk around the campus. The football team took on Anna Maria College (a small Catholic School in MA) and won 38-0. The team looked like it had over 50 members, a big change from when we were there. They also watched the women’s hockey team take on Minnesota State; they lost 0-3. The RPI goalie was from Sweden; the ladies looked pretty fast on the ice, but were outplayed by Minnesota. The Alumni House was very well staffed and helpful; vans were available to shuttle people to and from the Field House and athletic fields. All in all, a fun weekend! Ready for our 60th anybody? Posted 2020-05-19


Raymond Hakim, M.D., Ph.D. (’65 M.S.) was profiled extensively in a Pro News Report editorial in April, citing his prominence in the field of nephrology. He currently serves as the chief medical officer of Monogram Health, as well as an attending physician at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and a clinical professor of medicine at Vanderbilt’s School of Medicine in Nashville. He is a sought-after lecturer, speaker, editor, and published author, credited with more than 200 articles in professional journals and book chapters. He has also served on the editorial board of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, Seminars of Dialysis, and Kidney International. Posted 2021-02-26
Tonu Riismandel and Erik Pettersen
Engineering Erik Pettersen writes: The International Club of Annapolis takes advantage of our proximity to D.C. to invite ambassadors to our monthly dinner meetings. When it was announced that our scheduled speaker in September 2019 was to be His Excellency, Jonatan Vseviov, Ambassador of the Republic of Estonia, I extended an invitation to our Estonian classmate Tonu Riismandel, who lives in Ellicott City, Md. We hadn’t seen each other since graduation. We were joined at our table by Carl Hornig, a good friend of mine and one of Tonu’s high school classmates at Baltimore Poly. Posted 2020-05-19
Engineering Walter Witt ( wrote that, in the spring of 2019, he and his “wife of 53 years, Nancy, were at the new USTA Tennis Campus in Orlando. Along came a female tennis team with RPI on their uniforms. We engaged with them and had a very congenial conversation. It made me smile to think that all the female students attending RPI in 1961, when I was a freshman, would have barely equaled the size of this team. We were very impressed with the character and maturity of these young women. They represent RPI very well and make an old alumnus proud of his alma mater.” Posted 2020-05-19


After more than 22 years in Annapolis, my wife, Linda, and I moved to a 55+ Del Webb community in Fredericksburg, Va., to be closer to our daughter, Kristen, and family. Our new address is 16 Drum Point Drive, Fredericksburg, VA 22406. — Posted 2021-02-26
Engineering H. Brant Brown’s earliest ambitions seem to have involved the hands-on creation of technical processes and industries that provided unique yet economic solutions to societal needs. As such, his 45-year career has neatly embodied RPI’s oft-quoted maxim of engineering being the “...application of science to the common purposes of life.” Starting at RPI in civil engineering with a concentration in soil mechanics, he began his career as a construction surveyor at the Albany South Mall while still in school — and afterward as a highway engineer with the NYS Dept. of Transportation. Recreation included founding an RPI bicycle racing club, spelunking, and drag-racing a motorcycle. Brant’s thick CV includes 20 years of international work; first in Saudi Arabia as deputy director of engineering at Dhahran Airport, and afterward leading maintenance and overhauls of petrochemical plants, pipelines, drilling rigs, etc., at Aramco in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia. While there, he pioneered improved techniques in pipeline repair and fought oil and gas fires as a fire chief. Afterward, he managed design, construction, maintenance, and operation of power plants, major oil terminals, and pipelines at sites on the Caribbean island of Bonaire, in South America, and in Central America. These included providing further innovations in construction and applying pipeline fluid technologies. Related to these industrial activities, Brant attained a commercial multi-engine pilot’s license, performed underwater inspections of ships and piers, and became a qualified person-in-charge for oil spill cleanup. Back in the U.S. (though frequently traveling overseas), he managed the construction and operation of a privately held petroleum pipeline and storage company based in Long Island, retiring in 2015 as president. Brant says, “Living overseas can be exciting and provide immersion in different cultures. Work can provide opportunities to meet the whole spectrum of people, from subsistence farmers to heads of state. Overall, my family and I loved it. Self-reliance and independence on the job are requisites — especially when production is challenged by strikes, fires, floods, or earthquakes. One particularly memorable trip was driving a motor home 5,000 miles from NY to Panama and passing through Nicaragua during their civil war. On another occasion, my wife and household were tied up during an attempted kidnapping. Fortunately, it ended safely.” Currently, he is a member of a railroading group and he enjoys modifying and riding his personal railcar on actual train tracks. He has bicycled on many tours at home and abroad. Brant has four children by his late wife, and has since remarried. With all his travels, he seems to have eschewed tacky postcards. Instead, he saw to it that each of his children would be born in a separate country. He calls them his enduring “souvenirs.” He and his wife, Eileen, currently live in East Islip on New York’s Long Island. The seal of Rensselaer reads: “Knowledge and Thoroughness.” Indeed. Posted 2020-05-14


For the second year in a row, Lee Savidge won three first-place creative writing awards at the local level (Upstate New York) in the Veterans Administration Annual Creative Arts Competition. Last year, Lee’s poem, “Fly Me To The Moon,” a tribute to Neil Armstrong, won third place at the national level. Posted 2021-02-26
Engineering Here is a great life story from Paul Sa. “It has been 50 years since RPI and yet the memories of those cold bleak mornings are still sharp. The snow started in November and we didn’t see the ground again until late March, maybe early April. I remember those cold walks from AXP on Tibbits Ave. and walking with frozen feet down through the Quad to Sage and those endless, early morning chem labs. “Somehow I managed to finish in four years, and got into Harvard Business School. Brand-new MBA in hand, I took the highest paying job offer I got, which took me to American Standard in NYC. It was incredible! I was earning a living at last, I had a car, I had an apartment to myself, and all those girls! Of course, you know that was too good to last. Next thing you know, I was banished to a smelly plant in Piscataway, N.J., where I was to spend the next three years learning how to make fiberglass bathtubs, and to not breathe too deeply of the polyethylene fumes and fiberglass particles in the air. There was a management shakeup and at the age of 27, I quit and left my last job in corporate America. What followed was five years of unmitigated horror. I got involved with guys in a marina in Atlantic City, which rolled into a Kawasaki motorcycle dealership, and ended with me and my partners owning a bar-nightclub. In retrospect, I can’t imagine how I could have been so stupid, so naïve, so helpless in dealing with unscrupulous partners in a cash business. Thank God, my parents immigrated to the U.S., and my father brought me into his fold to work in ocean shipping. "I got my real start in 1977, starting my own shipping company. I also had the good fortune to be helped by an RPI classmate, Don Robohm, who was CFO for Seaboard Allied Milling in the late ’70s. Seaboard had a flour mill in Sapele, Nigeria, and had difficulty finding suitable ships to carry American wheat there from the U.S. Gulf. On my advice, they built seven specialized shallow draft bulk carriers in Japan and I got the contract to manage them. I stayed in shipping for 35 years but finally closed my company in 2011. I have found great peace in retirement. I used to competitively ride horses over jumps, but three years ago, my son said I was too old for such a dangerous sport (I had broken many bones in falls). Instead he found me a new safe hobby. I have now logged 200+ hours as a pilot flying low-wing Piper Cherokees.” Posted 2020-05-14
Class Correspondent:
Stu Berg ’67


With the postponement of last year’s Patriots Day B.A.A. Marathon, I didn’t have the opportunity to see classmate Steve Litchfield last spring. For the last 10 years, the RPI Alumni Association Boston Chapter has volunteered at the Sunday evening pre-race Pasta Fest Dinner event at Boston City Hall. One event that was not canceled last year was the 51st wedding anniversary of Steve and his wife, Martha. His hometown newspaper published a nice story on how the couple met while Steve was attending RPI and Martha was attending nursing school in Troy. — Posted 2021-02-26
Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Classmate Larry Kagan and his wife are relocating from Troy to Los Angeles to live closer to their two sons and spend some serious quality time with their three grandkids. After teaching at RPI for 43 years, and living in Troy for 50 years, they will miss their friends and colleagues but perhaps not the winters. As a professor emeritus in the Department of the Arts at RPI, Larry was able to devote more time to his sculpture practice and mount exhibitions. An exhibit of his selected works covering a 40-year span titled Shape and Shadow came down last summer at the Albany Institute of History & Art. Larry has also been to Taiwan for an exhibit titled Beyond the Shadows that featured his sculpture at the Chimei Museum in Tainan. He had a solo exhibit titled Impossible Shadows that opened in September at the Montclair Art Museum in New Jersey. The theme that runs through Larry’s works is how abstract metal sculptures can create seemingly impossible shadow images with special lighting. Posted 2020-05-19
Engineering Classmate Roy Wepner was honored in June by the New Jersey Law Journal as an “Unsung Hero” of the New Jersey bar. The award celebrates lawyers who work behind the scenes, but whose efforts are indispensable to their firm. The Law Journal highlighted his work in building his firm’s intellectual property litigation practice by stepping into cases already in process producing persuasive briefs. Roy graduated from the U. of Pennsylvania Law School and has been a partner for over 35 years at the firm of LernerDavid, which specializes in intellectual property law. Posted 2020-05-19
Engineering   In his retirement in Colorado, Gary Masner is a co-founder and director of the seven-year-old nonprofit public-private partnership Southwest Colorado Accelerator Program for Entrepreneurs (SCAPE). SCAPE is an economic development program that helps startup and early stage companies by providing mentoring and investment funds. Gary’s strength in business and financial strategy was initially developed during his business strategy consulting work at McKinsey after earning an MBA from Stanford. He credits the success of SCAPE in helping startups thrive through the network of retired business, technical, and finance professionals in the area that want to be part of the community and want to help. Posted 2020-05-19


Jim Horkovich reports that he has failed retirement for (at least) the third time. He retired from the USAF in 1990, from Raytheon in 2014, and from Schafer Corp. in 2018 following Schafer’s acquisition by venture capitalists. “Some folks at AEgis Technologies thought I might add value to their technology pursuits in my field of directed energy and high-power lasers, and made me a part-time senior principal scientist, which allows me to work not just from home here in Littleton, Colo., but also from our newly acquired vacation retreat on the Sea of Cortes in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico. My career now has more than 40 years in directed energy systems.” Posted 2021-02-26
Alan Cetel recently retired after a 50-year career at Pratt & Whitney, the jet engine division of Raytheon Technologies (formerly United Technologies), where he was responsible for high-temperature structural alloy development. His work at Pratt was focused on developing advanced nickel-based single crystal superalloys used in very aggressive turbine airfoil applications, as well as finding novel uses for these alloys. He accumulated 36 U.S. patents. Posted 2021-02-26
Steven Nussbaum and his wife, Lillah, returned from a cruise to South America and Antarctica in February before the coronavirus hit. “It was a bit cooler than the weather that we are used to in West Palm Beach, Fla. Looking forward to the return of alumni meetings in south Florida when this pandemic is over.” Posted 2021-02-26
Ron Ferrara (Chem.E.) and his wife celebrated 50 years together in June 2019. They were in Scotland and had their vows renewed by their local priest, who was on the trip with them. Posted 2021-02-26
Paul Levine retired after 30-plus years as the senior head and neck cancer surgeon and 20 years as the chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center. He became an emeritus professor in December 2017. Posted 2021-02-26
Ed Muszynski has been retired a few years and enjoys painting watercolors, acrylics, and collages — a hobby since age 18 — reading, and taking walks. He’s lived in Rochester, N.Y., for over 40 years and worked in ‘aero e’ for just a few years, then went back to school for urban and transportation planning and economic development, and retired after 33 years with New York State’s planning and economic development agency, Empire State Development. He’s been a letter writer to newspapers and to high government officials since college, with many letters as well as op-eds published. Posted 2021-02-26
Richard Sawitzke and Henry Scheuer
The Class of ’69 celebrated its 50th Reunion on campus in October. Richard Sawitzke ’69, left, met up with class correspondent Henry Scheuer ’69 at ECAV during Reunion & Homecoming Weekend. Posted 2020-06-10
Henry Scheuer writes: Over 100 of our classmates returned to the Rensselaer campus for our 50th Reunion. Old friendships were rekindled and some new ones were made. Each of us returned to remember, commemorate, and celebrate where we learned, laughed, cried. Our formative time at Rensselaer helped set the groundwork where each of us could “Change the World,” each in our own fashion.
The Rensselaer campus looked quite snappy, and allowed the opportunity to examine the pedagogical direction that Rensselaer has taken in the 21st century. Although the coursework has changed, we were able to attend classes and presentations that once again opened our eyes in wonderment. The energy and passion of student learning was in the air and recollections of our days as students returned. Walking around the campus has changed as well. There are more steps to climb, the hills are steeper, and the distance between buildings has increased! Over the last few months, I have spoken on the phone with many of our classmates. Quite a few are dealing with age-related physical challenges and regret not being able to return. Here’s an opportunity to re-connect: through the Class Notes. Please email me with news and updates about you.
Posted 2020-05-14


Remember to join the RPI Class of 1970 Facebook page. — Posted 2021-02-26
Check out classmate Matt Costello’s website at and take a look at the award-winning books he has authored including the Cherringham series and the Mydworth Mysteries. Posted 2021-02-26
In preparation for our 50th Reunion in 2021, Susan Alten needs new email addresses for Jane Zuckerman Israel, Judy Lieberman Porte, Diana Halstead Smith, Roswita Apkarian Hayes, Deborah Krohn Rogers, and Virginia Lester Teslik. Send her a note at Posted 2021-02-26
Stephen Valentine took the initiative in 2017 to create a Facebook page that is truly ours. Almost 10% of our class is now part of “RPI Class of 1970,” sharing pictures and stories of the past and present. Posted 2021-02-26
Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Rick Hartt writes: At press time we learned that our 50th Reunion, originally scheduled for Oct. 8-11, 2020, has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Facebook page, RPI Class of 1970, is administered by founder Stephen Valentine and now has over 60 members. Let’s shoot for many more as we celebrate our 50 years since graduation. Great photos and memories are posted. Many ideas for our Reunion have been suggested on our FB page. Keep an eye out for news about the rescheduling of Reunion. Let’s all try to re-connect. A few short notes: Stan Sieger volunteers weekly at the Los Angeles Kitten Adoption Center. Matt Costello, editor of our literary magazine, the Gorgon, just published, with Neil Richards, the third book in his series The Mydworth Mysteries, London Calling! The developer of the classic game The 7th Guest is also an active reviewer of classical music and continues his work on various media projects. Mike Weishan is a great supporter of the arts, local business in Cattaraugus, N.Y., and also a photographer extraordinaire. Walt Piskorski is enjoying life in Nashua, N.H. Del Davis lives in Texas.     Posted 2020-05-19
Engineering I heard from Dave Bivans. In the last three years, Dave has been inducted into his high school’s (i.e., Exeter Twp HS, Reading, Pa.) Academic and Athletic Hall of Fame. This is on top of his 2007 induction into Pennsylvania’s State Sports Hall of Fame for his high school conference, county, district, and state cross country championships. He tells us that “given that we live on 84 acres with 80+ of various species of trees, from pine to maple, oak, aspen, and others, I decided to focus much of my woodworking design to utilizing those resources.” Over the past three years he has developed an acoustic guitar design based on a Martin 000 size, completing a prototype last spring, after 2-1⁄2 years developing the skills and tools, from butternut and maple trees on their property. “As expected, it has an extremely mellow sound that a dozen guitarists have given top marks. In addition, being a fly-tier and fisherman for over 60 years, finally acquired property and constructed a cabin on a trout and salmon pond in northern Maine. We now can sleep seven on an 1,800-acre cold water pond and dock our Lund fishing boat along with several canoes and kayaks.” Posted 2020-05-19
Business Tom Krause is living in Frisco, Texas, although he had moved around a lot before getting relocated there. He got his B.S. in Mgt. from the ’Tute and a little later his MBA from South Carolina. He has retired from a career in health care/hospital management, but does a little work from time to time. Mostly just concentrating now on downsizing and getting rid of all the stuff that has accumulated over the years. Posted 2020-05-19


I participated in the Hartshorne Memorial Masters Mile and finished the race with a time of 6:42.1, placing me 44th, age-graded, out of 76 competitors. — Posted 2021-02-26
Steve Nauman retired from Exelon after approximately 44 years. After RPI, he served as an engineering officer in an Air Force Civil Engineering unit and then started at Commonwealth Edison in its System Planning Department. Steve went to law school at night and after about 20 years of transmission planning and operations work, shifted to regulatory work. In addition to testifying before federal and state agencies, he represented the utility industry through testimony before several congressional committees on cybersecurity and other electric power reliability policies. He has worked with many RPI electric power engineering graduates, all of whom have provided leadership to the industry. Posted 2021-02-26
Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Seth Bergmann writes: On a sad note, Candy Kanuchok ’70 wrote to tell me that Kirby Rowe passed away in August of 2017. She said that Kirby was on the RPI hockey team, 1968-71. Posted 2020-05-19
Science Gary Nelson ’70, ’71, wrote that he and Dave Ritchie organized a Track & Field and Cross Country reunion on September 27. Dave also wrote to tell me about the reunion: “Our Cross Country and Track & Field Teams Reunion, the 1965-75 teams edition (with Doc Hudson ’56 and Crispin Hall ’56 included!), was pretty successful, with 22 former cross country and track guys (and some spouses or partners) attending. I’ve heard from many of those who attended, saying they’d be happy to come back in five years, 2024, which is also the 200th anniversary of the ’Tute. And maybe include a spring home track meet in the get-together. “Some highlights and thoughts I had: Bob Peters ’65 came from the farthest away — California — truly a cross-countryman! Al Alexander ’69 was runner-up, probably the only time he’s lost (or been entered in) this kind of competition — motoring in from Minnesota! Charlie Patton ’69’s visual presentation of the Puerto Rico and Laurinburg, N.C., pre-season track training trips, plus some pictures he took from various meets — with his winning commentary and various comments from the audience — was a delight! Also, nearly 15 members of the current RPI cross country men’s and women’s teams stopped in and talked with us — they were an engaged and engaging group of young people! Instead of concentrating on a win-loss record for the school, the cross country program is built around helping the runners become the best they can be. So that means fewer meets for each runner, with each runner having a goal for the season and identifying the meets that they will run in, and training for the ultimate meet they want to compete in. Pretty interesting, and less about running the best runners every meet, but rather saving everyone and training them for the end-of-season big contests. Another source of pride for the school is the number of All-Americans that the program fosters and the individual results that these student-athletes achieve. And yes, we heard that the two highest GPAs for RPI’s athletic teams are still held by the cross country and track teams!” Posted 2020-05-19
Engineering Former RPI distance ace Bill Pollock writes that he did not enter the Boston Marathon last year (it would have been his eighth consecutive) due to a knee injury. He had surgery and has already qualified for the 2020 Boston Marathon. Way to go, Bill!  Posted 2020-05-19


Hector Mayol says he really loved reading last spring’s 1972 Class Notes. “I can relate to Dave Halwig’s failure at retirement as I went to law school at 55 and started a law career at 60. Ken Adamo, congrats on your achievements; my practice has led me to be counsel to the retirees of the government of Puerto Rico in the largest municipal bankruptcy on record.” Posted 2021-02-26
Engineering David Halwig writes: “Having completely flunked both retirement and semi-retirement, I am a co-founder of IntelliVen Inc., a company which provides strategic and operational consulting to mid-sized businesses who find themselves at inflection points, and I sit on the board of directors or advisory boards for several companies in the Washington, D.C., area. In addition, I sit on the board of trustees for St. George’s School in Newport, R.I., and the Langley School in McLean, Va., chairing the audit and risk management committees for each. I was recently appointed to the Chief Risk Officer’s Council at George Mason University and joined their adjunct faculty. In the past few years, I was a part of an interdisciplinary group at RPI to help develop the Challenge Studio concept, which I hope will grow to fruition in the near future. I also remain a big advocate for the Archer Center for Student Leadership Development, where I feel privileged to lead a couple of graduate-level sessions a year.” Posted 2020-05-19
Engineering Kenneth Adamo was listed in The Best Lawyers in America. He is a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP. He specializes in all areas of intellectual property law, particularly patent, copyright, unfair competition, trade secrets, and related antitrust matters. Kenneth holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from RPI, an LLM from The John Marshall Law School, and a JD from Albany Law School. Posted 2020-05-19
Peter Adamiak
Engineering   Peter Adamiak has been named by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers as a 2019 SMPTE Fellow. Peter helped found the firm National TeleConsultants (NTC), one of the most respected media technology consulting, design, and systems integration companies in the world. Peter has spearheaded major projects, including the ground-up development of ESPN’s broadcasting headquarters in Bristol, Conn., and Telepictures’ TMZ facility, the first tapeless facility capable of going direct to air from a server. Other major projects he has overseen for NTC include groundbreaking facilities for ABC, Warner Brothers, and Viacom. Peter has a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from RPI. Posted 2020-05-19
Science Jim Moe writes: I am a new class correspondent and look forward to hearing from any members of the Class of ’72. As for me, after graduating with an M.S. degree in computer science from RPI, I had a career in IT consulting and management, retiring in 2015. My wife and I live in Pittsford, N.Y., and have three kids and three grandchildren so far. We still enjoy downhill skiing, cycling, and travel. My hobby of model railroading has taken me all over the country to conventions and I look forward to seeing the new RPI club layout. Posted 2020-05-19
Class Correspondent:
Jim Moe ’72


Roderic Pettigrew
The National Science Board (NSB) has awarded the prestigious Vannevar Bush Award to Roderic Pettigrew ’73. The award honors science and technology leaders who have made substantial contributions to the welfare of the nation through public service in science, technology, and public policy. Posted 2021-03-16
This year reminds me of our freshman year at RPI when the Hong Kong flu was an epidemic. We did not shelter in place back then and most of us were not “social distancing.” That flu turned out to be pretty bad as well: an estimated 2 million deaths world-wide and approximately 115,000 in the U.S. between 1968 and 1970. Three waves. We are handling this flu with more science and experience this time around. Hope the second and third waves are less active than the Hong Kong flu.  — Posted 2021-02-26
Arnold Woo retired from Ericsson in 2017 and is now occupying himself taking classes at Rutgers, enjoying sailing, and flying radio-controlled planes for fun. He has stayed in touch with Edmond Chin. Posted 2021-02-26
Thomas Gooding of Niskayuna and his dog, Lili Ann, won first place at last February’s Westminster Kennel Club Masters Agility competition (20-inch division). Tom and his wife, Nancye, run Gooding Skin Systems in Latham and travel to dog shows all over North America. Posted 2021-02-26
Engineering Gary DiCamillo writes: RPI started the 2019-2020 school year strongly with the largest freshman class in history (almost 1,700 freshmen) and with the highest average SAT scores ever (1410). I attended a board meeting in October and we celebrated Shirley Jackson’s 20th year as RPI President with Josh Groban providing the entertainment...great talent with a strong philanthropic bent. Posted 2020-05-19
Business Also in October, the Rensselaer Alumni Association held its annual awards program, honoring the most active and loyal RPI alums. This year our classmate John Hamilton was awarded the Albert Fox Demers Medal, the second highest award the association gives out. John has been the longtime president of the Dallas alumni chapter and is now the longest serving club president in the country. John frequently travels back to RPI for homecoming, presidential dinners, and the Big Red Freakout. One nominee characterized John as “a tireless volunteer whose dedication to serving alumni and students of RPI is unmatched.” The Dallas alumni chapter won the 2008 Most Improved Chapter of the Year Award under his leadership. Congratulations, John! Posted 2020-05-19
Engineering In other news, we heard that Jim Ballard was elected to the A-TEK (McLean, Va.) board of directors last summer. Jim currently serves as chairman of Preferred Systems Solutions (PSS) and previously was president and CEO of this government services company. Under his leadership, PSS grew from $57M to $650M in annual revenues with services spanning IT, engineering, and program management to the Intelligence Community and Department of Defense. Jim was a naval officer holding command and leadership roles in naval shipyards, the Naval Sea Systems Command, and the Program Executive Office Submarines. A-TEK is comprised of a team of experts in managing the data that drives federal missions and is a 23-year partner to government agencies including the NIH, Homeland Security, Justice, and Commerce. Great work, Jim. Posted 2020-05-19
Engineering Gary DiCamillo writes: As always, you can check out the Class of ’73 website at and check in. Posted 2020-05-19


Engineering James Wernicke writes: Our 45th class reunion was held last September 27 and 28. While the attendance was not as large as the 40th, we still had a great time. There were some new faces that had never made a reunion before, like Phil Bennett and his wife, Becky. We all enjoyed dinner at Delmonico’s in Albany on Friday night and then got together at the Pump Station for some refreshments after the Saturday activities. In case you didn’t hear, RPI football won 38-0. They must have liked that score because the following week they went and beat Rochester by the same score! You can check out the reunion pictures on our Facebook page, RPI 74. Kudos to our Class Captain Claudia Seligman for all the work she put into the reunion as well as the memorabilia she brought us from New Orleans. Remember the next reunion is not only our 50th, but it is also RPI’s 200th. It should be a very memorable event. During the dinner we tried to put the RPI brains together to figure out what technologies would be commonplace in 2024. Some of our thoughts were that self-driving cars would be everywhere; help desks would be functional; there would be no physical phone; organs would be 3D printed; cancer would be defeated; there would be major infrastructure shutdowns due to hacking or just plain computer error; the Internet of Things would be ubiquitous; medical AI would be common; there would be one EZ-pass that would work on all toll roads; and vehicles would have RFID chips so they could be tracked. Join us in 2024 when we see how well we have done. While not at the reunion, Bob Scaringe managed to get himself selected as HVAC Insider Man of the Year. I’ve written about Bob and his company, Mainstream, in the past and it’s good to see him still getting recognition for his work. Steve Earley, president of his firm S. M. Earley, was also made a director of RG Group. Steve has served on several other boards in the past. Posted 2020-05-19


Patty and Jon Lathrop have been busy working on a new lakefront property in northern Idaho. It looks spectacular! Posted 2021-02-26
Gail Worthington has been frequenting Facebook with photos and reports as she and Mark Vince roam about the western part of the country in their new mobile home. Posted 2021-02-26
Lori Johnston Chen has submitted her papers to retire from teaching, though I’m sure she hoped she would at least be finishing up the school year in class with her students. Posted 2021-02-26
Science Greetings to the Class of 1975! Andy Grosso is living in Georgetown, in Washington, D.C., where he has his own law practice. His longtime girlfriend, Virginia Covington, is a federal judge in Tampa, Fla. They “commute,” and keep JetBlue and American Airlines in business. Last May, Andy gave the keynote address on “Big Data, Better Health,” to a conference of the International Lawyers’ Association in New York City. According to Andy, it was the first (and hopefully the only) time that an audience of lawyers was treated to both a description of quantum computing and a musical quote from Jefferson Starship’s “Ride the Tiger.” Posted 2020-05-19
Architecture Got an email from Jackie Masloff last July, which said: “I successfully defended my doctoral dissertation on July 16 and will be receiving a Ph.D. in Educational Studies with a specialization in Adult Learning and Development from Lesley University. I was the first in my cohort to do so and was able to complete all the coursework and writing of the dissertation in three years. I also started a new teaching position in September 2018 as a lecturer in computer information systems at Bentley University in Waltham, Mass. Although my husband retired almost two years ago, I have no intention of doing so! I really enjoy teaching, the students, and the school, and still have much to do as long as my health and my brain are still working well!” Posted 2020-05-19


Engineering Francis "Bud" Offermann was featured in The Buffalo News in September for keeping alive a great family tradition: throwing out the first pitch on opening day for the Buffalo Bisons. His grandfather formerly owned the Bisons and was among Buffalo’s most famous citizens. Bud is an indoor air quality scientist who runs his own company and often testifies as an expert witness in complex court cases. Posted 2020-05-14


Ricuarte Vasquez Morales and dollar sign icon
Ricuarte Vasquez Morales, M.S. ’77, PH.D. ’79, an economist, began a seven-year term as administrator of the Panama Canal in September, shortly before the Canal celebrated 20 years under Panamanian administration. Since the canal was expanded in 2016, it has experienced unprecedented growth and record-breaking tonnage for the waterway.  Posted 2020-06-18
Jeffrey Friedman
Science JEFFREY M. FRIEDMAN ’77, whose discovery of the hormone leptin has transformed our understanding of obesity, was awarded the 2020 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. He was recognized for his discovery of a new endocrine system through which adipose tissue signals the brain to regulate food intake. Friedman is the Marilyn M. Simpson Professor and head of the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics at Rockefeller University, as well as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. The Breakthrough Prize, with its $3 million award, is the most generous prize in the sciences, and recognizes achievements in the life sciences, fundamental physics, and mathematics. Friedman’s 1994 discovery of leptin, and of its receptor in the brain encoded by the obese gene, shed new light on the pathogenesis of obesity. He and his colleagues have since shown that leptin acts on sets of neurons in brain centers that regulate food intake and energy expenditure, and has powerful effects on reproduction, metabolism, other endocrine systems, and immune function. “Jeff’s research has transformed the way we think about obesity,” says Rockefeller President Richard P. Lifton. “He discovered an endocrine system that informs the brain about the state of energy storage in the body. When fat stores are low, leptin is low, driving food-seeking and consumption. People who can’t make leptin have a seemingly insatiable appetite. This spectacular work establishes a biological basis for obesity and provides clear evidence that overeating is not always a simple failure of willpower.” Friedman was presented with the prize at the annual Breakthrough Prize gala awards ceremony, known informally as the “Oscars of science,” at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California, Nov. 3. The event was broadcast live on the National Geographic channel. Posted 2020-06-04
Science Charles Roth (Comp.Sci.) writes from Ann Arbor with a few updates... “Eight years as senior software architect at ProQuest. Unit-testing evangelist, speaking at ‘Agile & Beyond’ in Detroit, May 2019. Volunteering and building software tools for VotersNotPoliticians of Michigan, we successfully ended gerrymandering in Michigan last year! Daughter Emma going on second year at Boston University in technical theater, wife ‘Pastor Barb’ doing pastoral care for senior living centers., blog” Posted 2020-05-19


Peter Pfeiffer
When the national magazine Green Builder announced its 2020 Sustainability Awards last January, Peter Pfeiffer ’78 was honored for his contributions to environmental building design with not one, but three significant awards. The founding principal of Barley/Pfeiffer Architecture was named a Sustainability Superhero. Posted 2021-03-16
Kathryn Tyler Prigmore spent 21 years teaching at Howard University’s School of Architecture and Planning/Design. She is now associate director at Shalom Baranes Associates, in Georgetown. “I like these projects because most of the time, the people in the building have been in facilities that haven’t been renovated in a very long time. I enjoy helping understand the kinds of space they’ll be going in, the technologies they’ll able to use, and then to see them after they’ve moved in and how much better their working space is from what they left.” Posted 2021-02-26
Richard Sedlak completed 42 years with America Cleaning Institute, as executive vice president of technical and international affairs. This included environmental fate and a combination of personal and environmental causes on the cleaning processes. Posted 2021-02-26
Bob Moretti has been elected the national vice chair after being selected by the Treasury Department to serve on the nationwide Taxpayer Advocacy Panel. Panel members listen to taxpayers, identify issues, and make suggestions for improving the Internal Revenue Service and customer satisfaction. Posted 2021-02-26
Neil Rothman is taking on a new challenge as professor and program coordinator for a new undergraduate program in biomedical engineering at Stevenson University. He says through his undergrad program at RPI and the foundation it provided, he feels lucky to be able to create a great curriculum and exceptional experiences for the SU students to launch their careers. Posted 2021-02-26
John Kelly and IBM logo
Institute Trustee John E. Kelly III ’78, ’80, was inducted into the Semiconductor Industry Hall of Fame “for his visionary role in promoting deep partnering to avoid duplicative R&D costs and steer the industry out of the R&D crisis in the mid-’90s.” He was also noted for advancing the science of AI and cognitive computing. Posted 2020-06-18
Engineering Mark Keough writes: Frank Paxhia is doing well. My wife, Janet, and I visited Frank and his wife, Sue Anthony, in September after we had visited the nearby Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome (N.Y.) — a famous location for WWI dogfights! We still need to get back to the Aerodrome next spring, as the ground winds were too high for the bi-wing planes. Frank is doing well, having retired from IBM several years ago. Woodworking and other hobbies keep him busy! Posted 2020-05-19
Science Jean Pouliot recently made me aware of the two kids books that he has written and illustrated. He studied physics at RPI with us from 1974 to 1976. The most recent book is Bernie and the Day the Icebergs Melted, published in 2018. It follows a family of walruses as they try to understand why their ice is melting. The story takes the reader to Indonesia, where a dramatic rescue occurs, and to Washington, D.C., where animals confront a conference of world leaders. It’s a hopeful story that calls kids to action to save the planet from climate change. The second book is I am a Tyrannosaurus Rex! Both books are available online, so brush up on your dino skills! Posted 2020-05-19
Engineering Mark Keough writes: Last February, Janet and I were in Montana skiing with our ski club at Whitefish Ski Resort — near Glacier National Park. We took off one of our days to go snowshoeing along the edge of Lake McDonald and another afternoon to go dogsled riding — both were great times! July and August were interesting, as I became rather non-responsive to my wife and a CT scan showed a large brain cancer tumor (glioblastoma) sitting on top of my left brain lobe. I don’t remember that weekend, but had full consciousness upon waking up from surgery on July 2. The surgery removed 75% of the tumor sitting on top of my brain but the other 25% remains embedded in my brain. Was back to work by the end of July and completed six weeks of daily chemo pills and radiation sessions by the end of August. My 38 stitches got removed in mid-September. I’m now on the maintenance program (Optune) with mesh headsets that stick to my head (after having shaved off all of my hair!) that flip-flop the magnetic polarity on my brain, making it difficult for a dividing cancer cell to correctly place the right number of chromosomes on each side. With a different number of chromosomes in each divided cell, the cancer cells die. Basically, it is a way to prolong my life by keeping the cancer cell growth down. Look forward to hearing from you! Posted 2020-05-19


Engineering Paul Sicard writes: Almost 100 people from ’79 enjoyed last September’s 40th Reunion. We had an enjoyable kickoff at Wolff’s Biergarten and a very enjoyable class dinner buffet at Brown’s Revolution Hall, both along Troy’s River Street just north of the Green Island Bridge. As usual the Class of 1979 was by far the largest class there except for the 50 Year Club. Just think how we will dominate Reunion when that’s us in another 10 years. (Mark the year 2029 on your calendar now!) We had a blast with a ’70s-style band party (OK, it was a DJ) at Mother’s on Saturday night. I hadn’t seen the video of Meat Loaf doing “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” in years! What a wonderful time. Thanks to Karl Oestreich and Susan Brownell and everyone else on the Reunion planning committee. Jeff Shapiro, the speaker at our class dinner, insists that when he retires from Disney later this year he is moving back to Boston from southern California because the housing prices are so much cheaper there. Twisted! And we had lots of people announcing retirement, including Pete McCowan, whose last day at the NY Department of Transportation was the Friday of Reunion. Doug Lentivech left his wife Kathy home to mow the lawn while he spent Saturday afternoon at Reunion; Doug is a deputy commissioner for the New York State Department of Education, splitting his work between Albany and New York City. Unfortunately, there is also sad news to pass along. Dave Shulder passed away suddenly at his home in Austin, Texas, on November 3, about a month after attending our 40th Reunion. Dave had worked 30-plus years as an engineer at IBM. I received word at Reunion that one of my nuclear engineering classmates, Steve Jaquez, had passed away last year. Steve had been running a website design business in LaGrange Highlands, Ill. Posted 2020-05-19
Engineering Bill Jameson was deployed with Team Rubicon in 2019 to Beaumont, Texas, and Grand Bahama Island for disaster relief for flooding and Hurricane Dorian. Bill was named the Charlotte, N.C., metro area field operations lead for Team Rubicon, an independent agency that provides disaster relief. Bravo, Bill! Posted 2020-05-19
Business C.J. Urlaub is now the senior vice president of strategic partnerships, integration, and care delivery at Mount St. Mary’s Hospital in Lewiston, N.Y. He had previously been president and CEO of Mercy Hospital in Buffalo. Posted 2020-05-19
Engineering Chuck Kunze has been appointed director of marketing and product management for 3A Composites USA, a global supplier of composite panels for the architecture, graphic display, and industry and transport markets. Posted 2020-05-19


Dave Larsen
Engineering Dave Larsen has been named a Collins Aerospace Fellow, recognizing his contributions to the company and the aerospace industry at large. Dave is a leader in the advancement of Prognostics and Health Management (PHM) Systems. He is known for authoring Collins’ common PHM standard work methods, driving cross-BU PHM collaboration, and leading the design and development of PHM-enabling systems and components. Posted 2020-05-19
Science Andy Sands was an editor for the AO Manual of Fracture Management - Foot and Ankle, which was released in Davos December 2019. Posted 2020-05-19


Please join us on Facebook! — Mark Bowers ’82; Posted 2021-02-26
Steven Marsh was appointed as special IP counsel for PicPocket-Labs. He oversees all patent prosecution and is responsible for strengthening the company’s IP portfolio. Posted 2021-02-26
John Brown has been the chair of the Department of Mathematics and Information Science and Technology at Cabrini College for over 20 years. A recent student newspaper article lauded him for how his passion for teaching mathematics translates to a passion for student success. Posted 2021-02-26
Al Fargnoli dropped a quick note that, although it hasn’t been an eventful year, he now has a new job title, “senior research engineer” and that he’s “ least getting paid to do mathematics!” Posted 2021-02-26
Darhl Ehrgott joined the Navy flight program after graduating and spent 10 years on active duty, then 10 more in the Navy Reserves. He flew the F-14 Tomcat off the USS Enterprise and was in the Top Gun program at NAS Miramar in San Diego, joined American Airlines in ’92, and currently is qualified as a pilot on the Boeing 777 out of Miami. For any of his old friends at RPI who want to say hello, call (239) 821-4420. Or if you’re in the Naples, Fla., area, stop in! Posted 2021-02-26
Edward Gilchrest owned a contract product design and engineering firm in Oxford, Conn., for 14 years. Over the past few years they have added contract manufacturing to the mix, taking on manufacturing responsibility for a number of the products they have designed for clients. Clients range from small startups to Fortune 500 enterprises. Posted 2021-02-26
Check out this great article about Judy Johnson spotlighting her volunteer role as a Tech-Girlz instructor and coordinator at Judy is in her sixth year as a software engineer at Onyx Point in Maryland. Posted 2021-02-26
Engineering Mark Bowers writes: Please join us at Posted 2020-05-20
Tom Knapp and Jamie Sarkisian
Engineering Tom Knapp and Jamie Sarkisian got together at Opening Day celebrating the Red Sox 2018 World Series championship. Tom asserted that they look exactly the same as they did in ’82, but Bob Corell is challenging that statement. Posted 2020-05-20
Science Al Fargnoli shared that in April 2019, he hiked Mount Tammany (N.J.). Then in May, he celebrated his 13th work anniversary with Hubbell Power Systems. In September he was awarded his first patent from the USPTO. He writes: “I am one of five inventors. It’s a method of synchronized phasor measurements on an electric power distribution network because everyone needs to know the relative phase of the mains. Someday your toaster could use this!” Posted 2020-05-20
Business Betty Jo Licata (Ph.D., MBA ’81) noted: I am celebrating my 25th year as dean of the Williamson College of Business Administration at Youngstown State University. I still reflect upon the RPI Professional Leadership Program we ran for high management potential engineering and science students. I hope those who went through the PLP all experienced great career success as tech leaders.” Posted 2020-05-20
Engineering Brian Adler has been on the run! “I finished my 30th NYC marathon (185th marathon) and I have now run at least one marathon a year (40 consecutive years) since our junior year at RPI. I ran my very first one in Portland, Maine, while doing a co-op work assignment in October 1980. I’m still teaching physics, aerospace engineering, and digital electronics — and looking at retiring in a couple of years.” Posted 2020-05-20
Science Rich Allen wrote: “I am approaching 30 years at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Although I have had only one employer, it seems like I have had multiple careers, mostly in various aspects of semiconductors and MEMS. But recently I have moved to leadership of the NIST Accelerometer Calibration Service. Total career change! On more personal notes, Ruth Ann and I celebrated 35 years of marriage in October and our three children are all grown up and well-started in their careers.” Posted 2020-05-20
Engineering Carol (Fik) Davis has been pretty busy! “I have been married for 27 years to my husband, Larry, who practices real estate law, and we have a 17-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter (started a little late!). I have been practicing occupational medicine for 21 years now and have retired from nearly 18 years at the clinic at Brookhaven National Lab. I now do per diem work at Plum Island Animal Disease Center at the employee health clinic where I ferry to work. I also am employed by a federal agency where I perform fitness for duty exams at the IRS and federal courts. Over the years I have combined engineering with medicine and have had the opportunity to do stints at the LIRR, Belmont Racetrack, Toyota, Corning, Jim Beam, and the JFK Airport. “I am in touch with my past RPI roommates, Mary, Jill, Michaela, former fellow cheerleaders Sandy and Rose (with Mary and Jill), and my friends Mary and Gary (Y’all know who you are!). Would love to hear from anyone I shared a class with or Church IV friends. My favorite memories of RPI were weekend movies at CC308, the summers I spent there on work study, or classes where I took up roller skating and did a bit of careful rolling through campus with Mary or dancing at the Rafters at Saratoga Lake. I enjoyed cheering at hockey and football games too, and enjoyed a short time in the chorus before things got too intense to stay! I’m on Facebook or my contact is Best wishes!” Posted 2020-05-20
Business Marty Byrne recently marked his 11-year anniversary at RPI as director of business development for the Center for Future Energy Systems (CFES). According to Marty, “CFES supports NYS energy initiatives through applied research, technology transfer, education, and outreach. It is especially gratifying that our offices are in the George Low Center for Industrial Innovation building, a tribute to his vision for cooperative interface between academia, industry, and government. I take pride working at the institution that launched a 30+ year industry journey in technical sales and marketing with GE, Total, and 3M and I proudly display my RPI diploma, which carries George Low’s signature. My education allowed me to raise four wonderful professionals and I look forward to retirement with my wife of 44 years, visits with grandchildren, and travel. The wonderful RPI faculty and staff are second to none and will always have a special place in my life.” Posted 2020-05-20
Engineering Emile Anderson retired from Raytheon IDS. He’s currently a MITRE senior systems engineer working for USAF FMS programs at Hanscom AFB. He is also engaged in his community through the Knights of Columbus, as a NH/VT/ME Red Cross trustee, and as an adjunct prof. at NH Community College in math/physics. Plus, he’s an RPI alumni volunteer! Posted 2020-05-20
Engineering Bob Fairchild, vice president of Appalachian Hydro Associates, is happy to report that construction is nearly complete on their brand-new hydroelectric power plant at Kentucky River Lock and Dam 12 near Ravenna, Ky. Bob and his business partners, including David Brown Kinloch ’78, are also part owners of the Mother Ann Lee Hydroelectric Station at Lock and Dam 7 on the Kentucky River, which they purchased in 2005 and refurbished from 2006 to 2009. MALHS has produced more than 10 GWh since its refurbishing. Posted 2020-05-20
Science Louis Kokernak has been living in Austin, Texas, for nearly 30 years, where he runs an investment advisory firm. His charitable interests include community health care, secondary education, and local parks. “Best wishes for the members of the Class of ’82!” Posted 2020-05-20
Engineering Margaret (Mac) McMahon (Ph.D.) and her family are “...still in Maryland where I teach cybersecurity. I am missing ice hockey while my knees get sorted out. I have been lecturing about military history and genealogy, and there are links to my books and blog at If there are any other RPI descendants of the 51st Pioneer Infantry Regiment soldiers (formerly NYNG 10th), drop me a line.” Posted 2020-05-20
Engineering Randy Kuldell shared that he and his Phi Kappa Theta brothers Brian Heft ’80, Mike Laraia (’82, ’83 M.S.), Michael Tessman, and Paul Spicer (’81, ’82 MBA) all met up for three weddings of their progeny in 2019. The weddings were in Tripoli, Pa., Skytop, Pa., and Norfolk, Va. There are two more weddings on the calendar for this year. According to Randy, “...just when we all thought paying for college was over, now comes paying for weddings!” Posted 2020-05-20


Peter Homer
In May, Peter Homer ’83 was thrilled to watch NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley wearing the spacesuit he designed when they boarded SpaceX’s Falcon 9 for the first manned space flight from U.S. soil since 2011. Posted 2021-03-16
Business The Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver has named Vivek Choudhury dean. Says Vivek: “You have the chance to interact with students, learn about their aspirations, and work with them. And if you’re lucky, you have an opportunity to make a difference in some lives.” Since the days of earning his MBA at Rensselaer, Vivek has led a distinguished career in academia with faculty positions at Florida State University and the University of Pittsburgh, followed by faculty and leadership roles at the University of Cincinnati’s Carl H. Lindner School of Business, and at George Washington University’s School of Business. Posted 2020-05-20
Science David Tannenbaum was the sole bicycling competitor in Team USA’s Master Division at the 2019 Maccabi Pan American Games in Mexico City, finishing 8th in the 55-59 age group. The Games include three races: a 13-mile time trial on a Formula 1 car racetrack at 7,200-foot elevation, a 48.8-mile course that lapped around Ajusco Mountain in 45-degree temperatures at 11,772 feet, and a 51-mile mountain descent from 5,200 feet and return climb. Following RPI, David spent 13 years overseas as his wife was posted to six countries with the UN, traveling to 45 countries. Since his return to the U.S. in 2014, he has been a foreign cultures and languages teacher at Fort Huachuca near his home in Hereford, Ariz. In 2018, he medaled in every Senior Olympics event he entered, taking five gold medals at state and qualifying for nationals. Posted 2020-05-20
Business Dr. Geoffrey Akers, P.E., is a principal engineer at Missile Defense National Team for General Dynamics in Huntsville, Ala. Posted 2020-05-20


Kevin retired and we have relocated back to Carson City, Nev. Our home that was rented for eight years needs lots of TLC so “staying at home” has allowed us to make a dent in the project list.  — Posted 2021-02-26
William Morales had to look for a new job due to the relocation of the Bureau of Land Management to the West. Fortunately, he found a job with the Department of Defense in the same line of work. Additionally, William has started posting YouTube videos. One shows you how to convert a 3-foot-tall, battery-powered Christmas nutcracker so that it uses either AC or battery. The other video shows how to convert a folding bike to electric. Posted 2021-02-26
Todd Engelhardt ’84, MBA, has been named regional director of investments at Cumberland Advisors. Todd will provide investment advice to individuals, institutions, retirement plans, and government entities throughout Southwest Florida. A Series 65 licensed adviser, Todd has more than 30 years of investment management experience. Posted 2021-02-26
Diane Basile, Anne Prosser, Carlos Nieto, Marie Sayre Cole, Doug Bladecki, Diane Updegrove, Laura Dunn Salvati, Florence Huban Suraci, Carol Iorizzo DiTaranto, and Debbie Tozier.
Classmates from the Class of ’84, celebrating their 35th Reunion in September, met on the sunny steps of the East Campus Athletic Village. From left, are Diane Basile, Anne Prosser, Carlos Nieto, Marie Sayre Cole, Doug Bladecki, Diane Updegrove, Laura Dunn Salvati, Florence Huban Suraci, Carol Iorizzo DiTaranto, and Debbie Tozier. Posted 2020-06-11
Engineering Diane Updegrove writes:  First, thank you to Carlos Nieto (Class Pres), Florence Huban Suraci (Class VP), Marie Sayre Cole, Laura Dunn Salvati, and Walter Ashe for pulling together our 35th Reunion. Marie captured 19 classmates attending various activities during the weekend. It was good to hear how everyone is doing. I had wonderful conversations with several people, however, I ask that they send an “official” update to me as I don’t want to report something they would rather not share with the masses! Posted 2020-05-20
Engineering Florence Huban Suraci (Chem.Eng.) has just crossed her 20 years at Cisco, manager of strategy and planning for Cisco’s Americas Data Center Architecture. Her husband, Tom Suraci, and she remain active in community and alumni events and were happy to see everyone who was able to join or correspond to the recent 35th Reunion, as well as being at the 20-year celebration of Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson. They are proud of starting their own legacy family; son Jonathan Matla ’15 (Ind.Eng. and ’18 MBA & M.S. Finance) is working as a restructuring consultant at EY, and son Peter Matla ’17 (IT) is working as a cloud and IT consultant at Deloitte. They enjoy living locally in Loudonville, N.Y., and spend winter in Sunny Isles Beach, Fla. Posted 2020-05-20
Engineering There is a motivating article in the August 7, 2019, edition of the Greenwich Times. In July, Tom Brust, an avid swimmer and biker, participated in the Greenwich Cup Triathlon for the 30th straight showing at the strenuous event. Tom moved to Greenwich after his 8th race as he liked the community. He participates in other marathons, but the “Cup” is his favorite. After leaving RPI, Tom earned a graduate degree from Columbia Business School. Posted 2020-05-20
Engineering Diane Updegrove writes: Since there is not much else to report, you get to hear about my life. During my trip north, I enjoyed lunch with Liz Rodriguez (B.S., BArch). Her work in the Troy area is admirable. I also was lucky enough to attend the Duracell Co. picnic at Lake Compounce as a guest of my son Alex and met up with Gary Rapp who also works for Duracell, and his wife, Kim. They are doing well and were in the process of moving their son who just graduated from RPI to his new job in NYC. Lastly, I am a second-time grandma; Baby Mae Ellis Updegrove was born in August. Our 40th Reunion will coincide with RPI’s 200th anniversary, 1824-2024. I’m sure it will be an impressive event, so I thought it best to get it on your radar now. Posted 2020-05-20


Pierre Langevin has retired after 35 years at Honda Canada Inc., acting as general manager for Eastern Canada. Posted 2021-02-26
Business In August, digital manufacturer Protolabs, located in Minneapolis, Minn., named Moonhie Chin (M.S.) to its board of directors. Protolabs is the world’s fastest digital manufacturing source for rapid prototyping and on-demand production. Chin had served in numerous leadership roles at Autodesk Inc. since 1989 before concluding her 30-year tenure with the design software giant as senior VP of digital platform and experience. Posted 2020-05-20
Business In April, Michael W. Kozlowski (MBA) was appointed executive director of marketing and communication at Alfred University. Kozlowski served as chief marketing officer and director of strategic initiatives for the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system, a position he held since 2014. Posted 2020-05-20
Engineering After stepping down as president and CEO of Seagate Government Solutions in October, Deb Oliver (MEE) was named to the SRC Inc. board. She began her career in the GE Aerospace Edison Engineering program and held various engineering positions with both GE Aerospace and Lockheed Martin. She rose to program VP at Lockheed Martin and in 2003 was selected as Lockheed Martin’s Stanford Sloan Fellow. Posted 2020-05-20
Science Richard Olsen (Math) joined American International Group Inc. (AIG) as chief actuary, General Insurance, based in New York. Most recently, he was chief financial officer of Munich Re’s U.S. P&C reinsurance subsidiary. He is a fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society. Posted 2020-05-20
Architecture Patricia DeLauri writes: The Rensselaer Alumni Association (RAA) is a volunteer organization of committed alumni working to support the Institute, its alumni, and future alumni. The following are two examples. In September at Homecoming, the RAA was proud to recognize Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity with its first Community Service Award for Greek Life. Also, the RAA recognized Andrew Berger ’20, Katie Hyrb ’21, and Emily Veenhuis ’20 with the RAA Red & White Emerging Leader Award, presented to a rising junior or senior who is a member of the Red & White student organization and shows exceptional leadership and commitment to Rensselaer and the RAA’s mission. Through your generous gifts to the RAA Scholarship Fund, the RAA can recognize and encourage these emerging leaders and organizations. As alumni, this is one way to proudly pay it forward. The RAA Board of Trustees invites you to join RAA Connect, a networking platform and mobile app built exclusively for Rensselaer alumni and alumnae. RAA Connect brings our community together with access to an easy-to-use alumni directory, featuring powerful search filters and the most current career information, allowing you to connect with alumni around the world. Visit, and follow the simple steps to get connected. Posted 2020-05-20


Engineering Gregory Low was promoted to director of engineering operations for SRCTec LLC. He has contributed to many SRC programs, most notably managing the SR Hawk product line and leading the Ground-Based Sense and Avoid program. Posted 2020-05-14


Dave Berque has been appointed DePauw University’s vice president for academic affairs, through the 2022-23 academic year. Berque, who also is a professor of computer science, began teaching at DePauw in 1992. In 1997, he was named the U.S. Professor of the Year for baccalaureate colleges by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The Indianapolis Business Journal listed him among its “Innovators” in 2006, noting that he developed software that improved interaction among students and teachers. He received the Mira Techpoint Award for educational contribution in technology in 2007. Berque holds three U.S. patents and has received more than $1.57 million in external grant funding, including eight grants from the NSF. Posted 2021-02-26
Science Mark Dorfman, M.D., is senior managing partner of Eye Surgery Associates in South Florida, which recently entered into a strategic partnership with Eyecare Services Partners Management. He serves as chief of pediatric ophthalmology at Joe DiMaggio Pediatric Hospital. Posted 2020-05-14


2019 was ironically the best travel year as my travel agency, ABC World Vacations (, took on additional consultants and I visited a record number of new countries, bringing my total visited country count to 113. While 2020 has brought my business to a complete halt, I am confident that we will be traveling the world again in the future. — Grace Roth ’88; grace@abcworldvacations Posted 2021-02-26
Nancy Aronson was a computer science major at Rensselaer, and has always been both an artist and packrat. She merged those two interests together by opening a curiosity shoppe with her husband, where they sell all kinds of vintage and fun items, antiques, and handcrafted one-of-a-kind items. Posted 2021-02-26
Derek J. Goldberg, co-owner of Peak Power & Mfg. Inc., teamed with the Easy Field Corporation to design, manufacture, and sell over 30 facemask-making machines in the first half of 2020, which are producing over a half-billion face masks this year. Posted 2021-02-26
Ravi Ravichandran has been named vice president and chief technology officer (CTO) for the Intelligence & Security sector at BAE Systems Inc. As CTO, he drives the development, integration, and transition of next-generation solutions that advance the company’s current programs and future technology pursuits. With 25-plus years focusing on technology innovation, prototype development, and product transition to franchise programs, his work has been granted patents and featured in books and academic journals. He has received many awards from BAE Systems and was selected as Technology Solutions “Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2012. Posted 2021-02-26
Chris Zajda recently merged his company Perrone & Zajda Engineers with a larger firm and he is now vice president and one of the partners at RZ Design Associates Inc. in Rocky Hill, Conn. They are one of the area’s leading consulting engineering firms, providing HVAC and structural engineering services. For 10-plus years, he has been an active member of the Connecticut Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Urban Search and Rescue Task Force One. Posted 2021-02-26
Kris Provenzano is looking back at an almost 30-year career with the U.S. National Park Service. Having worked at parks from the Bering Sea to the Atlantic Ocean, she is currently managing the design and construction of the $300 million-plus water and wastewater system modernization program at the Grand Canyon. She thanks RPI for the education that got her there! Posted 2021-02-26
Engineering Brian Stevens (M.S. ECSE) has joined the board of directors of Nutanix, a global leader in cloud software and hyperconverged infrastructure solutions. He most recently served as chief technology officer (CTO) of Google Cloud, where he was responsible for leading the technology vision for Google’s public cloud offering. Prior to that, he was executive vice president and CTO at Red Hat, responsible for all engineering strategy and execution at the open source software company. He also served as CTO of Mission Critical Linux, and spent more than 14 years working at Digital Equipment Corp. as a senior architect. Posted 2020-05-20
Business Joyce Jarrett (MBA) has recently become chief financial officer for the Nash-Rocky Mount Public School District in Nashville, N.C. Most recently, she was the manager of business affairs at the Center for Great Public Schools at the National Education Association in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, she was the assistant finance director in finance and administration for George Washington University School of Business. For much of her career, Jarrett worked as the associate executive director for fiscal affairs and operation and as the manager of business affairs for the NC Association of Educators in Raleigh. Posted 2020-05-20
Gary Borla
Business Gary Borla (MBA & three M.S. degrees) was recognized by the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) for 30 years of volunteer service to the symphony. He has served in many capacities including customer relations, marketing, membership, and information technology. Borla began his service at Tanglewood, the BSO’s summer home in Lenox, Mass., in 1990 when he collaborated on the development of the first computerized database of thousands of volunteers who are involved with the BSO. Throughout an engineering career and with a passion for the arts (sculpting in particular), Borla made sure that his life was full of art and music of all kinds. Posted 2020-05-20


Richard Monda won another honorable mention in the Griffith Observatory Science Writing Contest, this time for his article “Chasing the Moon’s Shadow Again: Another Totally Awesome Experience — a Sequel.” This was an account of his trip to observe the August 2017 total eclipse of the sun from a prairie of central Wyoming. After 25 years on the planetarium staff of the Schenectady Museum (now MiSci), 10 as planetarium director, he now teaches physics and astronomy at Hudson Valley Community College, where he makes occasional videos about the current night sky called the HVCC Eyes on the Sky series. Posted 2021-02-26
Business Karl Fessenden, M.S. ’89, became president and chief operating officer at MB Aerospace. Previously, he was president and chief executive officer at CHC Helicopter. Posted 2020-05-20
Engineering Burns & Levinson welcomed Paul Pysher as one of its partners in its Intellectual Property Group. A highly regarded IP prosecutor, he had been a partner at Choate, Hall & Stewart. Posted 2020-05-20
Engineering Martin Reid joined GODIVA Chocolatier as its chief supply chain officer. He had been with The Estée Lauder Companies, where he led supply chain operations in fast-growing businesses across multiple manufacturing locations. Posted 2020-05-20
Class Correspondent:
Joe Hom ’89


Betty Chan-Massey has joined KORE Power, a global energy storage provider, as the vice president of strategic development. Betty has worked in the industry for over 10 years, previously at A123 Systems and NEC Energy Solutions serving the renewable energy markets globally. She brings a new level of product integration, customer support, and perspective to the growing business and the team at KORE Power. Posted 2021-02-26
Business Carl Christenson (MBA), chairman and CEO of Altra Industrial Motion Corp., has been appointed to the board of directors at IDEX Corp. Altra is a leading designer and producer of electromechanical power transmission motion control products, while IDEX is a family of diverse businesses that supplies products such as BAND-IT side airbag clamps and Hurst Jaws of Life rescue tools. Posted 2020-05-21
Business Archana Deskus (MBA) was appointed senior vice president and CIO at Intel. She has served as CIO and senior vice president at Hewlett Packard Enterprise since fall 2017. Prior to HPE, she held CIO positions at Baker Hughes, Ingersoll Rand, Timex Group USA, and Carrier. Posted 2020-05-21
Engineering Carl Esposito (B.S., EE) has been appointed a senior vice president and president of the E-Systems division of Lear Corp., a leading supplier of automotive seating and electrical/electronic systems. Carl most recently served as president of the Electronic Solutions Business Unit for Honeywell Aerospace. Posted 2020-05-21
Engineering Amy Villeneuve (M.S., MgmtE), has been appointed to the board of directors at Humatics Corp., a pioneer in the field of microlocation navigation technology serving the autonomous vehicle and industrial automation industries. Amy was most recently a vice president at Amazon and the president and COO of Amazon Robotics (formerly Kiva Systems), providing fulfillment center automation through the use of robots and software. Posted 2020-05-21
Engineering Jackie Yeaney (B.S., EE) has been appointed executive vice president, marketing, for the analytics platform company Tableau Software. Jackie brings more than 20 years of marketing thought leadership experience to Tableau, including positions at Boston Consulting Group and Delta Air Lines. Jackie was the EVP of strategy and marketing at Red Hat and most recently, the chief marketing officer at Ellucian, an EdTech company for higher education. Posted 2020-05-21
Engineering Rob Mueller (B.S., Comp. Sys. Eng.) emailed with an update of their travels to Nashville, Colorado, and South Carolina and cute photos of the grandkids dressed up for Halloween. They spend a few months in Florida each winter in order to escape the snow as best as possible. Posted 2020-05-21
Engineering Rob Sherman writes: As for Dianne and me, we celebrated our son’s graduation from Oklahoma State University with degrees in both aeronautical and mechanical engineering last May, then moved him to Seal Beach, Calif., in July, stopping at every air and space museum that we believe exists between El Paso and San Diego. Adam has since started his career with Boeing in Long Beach, making “the nest” seem just a bit emptier. We moved our daughter to and from Olympia, Wash., for the summer, where she interned with the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. We joined Abigail and her friends for a long, sunny(!) weekend in Seattle to celebrate her 21st birthday before she returned to Pullman and Washington State University. At the front end of that long weekend, we really enjoyed staying with Bob Beauchamp (B.S., MechE) and his wife, Kim, at their lovely home in Centralia, Wash., checking out their farm and wandering through the nearby farmers market. As if his work at Boeing and around the farm weren’t enough, Bob has gone back to school, completely filling his Saturdays with his graduate course studies. Posted 2020-05-21


Engineering Sabih Khan, M.S. '91, long-time executive at Apple, was promoted to the executive team as senior VP of operations. The operations department is the division spearheading supplier partnerships for green manufacturing. Posted 2020-05-14


Engineering Brian Romansky has been appointed chief technology officer at Owl Cyber Defense Solutions. He joined the company in 2017 as director of business development, and will now lead the strategic development of advanced technology. Posted 2020-05-21
Business Renée Pellegrino joined the board of Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center, a nonprofit organization providing services to identify, treat, and support children in abusive situations. ECCAC has provided more than 60,000 services at no cost to over 12,000 children over the last 18 years. Posted 2020-05-21
Engineering The Gloversville, N.Y., Leader-Herald newspaper featured Peter Voelker and his award-winning Helderberg Meadworks. Visitors to Esperance, N.Y., should be sure to visit the tasting room. Please have one for those of us too far away to visit! Posted 2020-05-21
Science John Trammell has departed the University of Minnesota and been hired as a principal engineer at Target Corporation.  Posted 2020-05-21


Engineering Jennifer (Ocif) Love is a teaching professor at Northeastern University in Boston, in the College of Engineering, where she teaches and advises undergraduate and graduate engineering students. She has been a faculty member at Northeastern since 2006. Jen lives in Marshfield, Mass., near the beach with her husband Ricker Love and their two children, Cooper, born in 2006, and Kailyn, born in 2008, where she also volunteers as a STEM K-12 educator. Jen’s website is Jen is currently working on a doctorate in education at Northeastern. Posted 2020-05-21
Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Keisuke Hoashi is an actor. His recent appearances include Bob’s Burgers, Better Things, The Detour, Marvel’s Runaways, General Hospital, and Hawaii Five-0. He has had commercial bookings for Hershey’s and TD Ameritrade, and has upcoming guest starring roles in two shows on HBO, an animated series on Hulu, two gigantic video games, and a major motion picture from A24 studio! Posted 2020-05-21


Cory Smith has chosen to retire after a long career as an electric utility engineer. During his career, he’s seen the internet come to life and the nation’s electric utility industry change from a monopoly to a market-based system. He’s seen computers evolve from mainframes to desktops to laptops to handheld devices. He participated in the development of the nation’s first mandatory reliability requirements for the bulk electric system and was the principal planning engineer for several extremely large projects. “I like to think that my small contribution has made the world a little better.” Posted 2021-02-26
Engineering Bob DeRosa was promoted to director, hardware engineering, at SRC Inc. He served in the U.S. Navy for six years and has worked at SRC for 15 years, most recently as senior manager, radio frequency engineering. Posted 2020-05-14


I am writing from Djibouti, Africa, where I am deployed for a year as a captain in the U.S. Navy, honored to have been selected by RADM Luscher, Commander Navy Reserve Forces Command, to serve as chief of staff for the Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa. — Posted 2021-02-26
Eric Perardi is lead developer for the new 240,000-square-foot ice hockey sports facility in Cedar Park, Texas, named the Crossover. Posted 2021-02-26
Todd Koelmel is a cover artist for a monthly issue of Chronogram. Posted 2021-02-26
Gina Hayduk was appointed to the grant-funded position of government contracting coordinator for the small business development center at Mohawk Valley Community College. Posted 2021-02-26
Business Mark George was appointed executive vice president and chief financial officer for Norfolk Southern. Posted 2020-05-21
Business John Stone was appointed president of Strategic Construction Solutions. Posted 2020-05-21
Business Kevin Merritt was appointed managing director, director of equity research, at Wedbush Securities. Posted 2020-05-21
Business James Romano was appointed vice president, corporate risk officer, at The MEMIC Group in Portland, Maine. Posted 2020-05-21
Susan Bator
Engineering Susan Bator has been promoted to senior consultant at GZA GeoEnvironmental Inc., where she is an environmental consultant with an emphasis on hydrogeology and remediation. She is also the co-chair of GZA’s internal Professional Technical Conference, and a member of the National Groundwater Association and the Licensed Site Professionals Association. Posted 2020-05-21


I am the marketing director for Ecolab’s North American health care business, where we provide infection prevention solutions (disinfectants, hand sanitizer, barrier drapes, hygiene monitoring programs, etc.) to hospitals. It’s been an interesting opportunity to apply the skills acquired at RPI as we’ve been working through unprecedented demand for our products. A bright spot has been reconnecting with people through a weekly Zoom call that a group of Lambda Chi Alpha brothers are hosting. It’s interesting how we went 20+ years with mostly sporadic contact and now, because of the pandemic, are connecting weekly. — Hank Carbone ’96; Posted 2021-02-26
Andy Livadariu joined Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. as managing director with the firm’s Global Technology Investment Banking Group. Previously, Andy was with Piper Jaffray, covering application software and leading the human capital management practice. Posted 2021-02-26
Emily Peyser joined Polsinelli in a leadership role for its new Seattle-based intellectual property team. Emily’s practice focuses on strategic planning, procurement of U.S. and foreign patents, opinions, enforcement, and licensing. Posted 2021-02-26
Matt Patricia, former head coach of the NFL’s Detroit Lions, was recognized with induction into the Vernon-Verona-Sherrill High School’s “Wall of Distinction.” Posted 2021-02-26
Matt Zaist has been appointed as an independent trustee of American Homes 4 Rent, a provider of high-quality single-family rental homes. Matt was president and chief executive officer, and a board member, of William Lyon Homes from 2016 until the company was acquired by Taylor Morrison. Posted 2021-02-26
Kathleen Kay, previously CIO for Pacific Gas & Electric, is now CIO at Principal Financial Group in Des Moines, Iowa. In her new role, she is responsible for Principal’s global technology and digital strategies. Posted 2021-02-26
Science Congratulations to Sean Trask, a 2019 inductee into the Rockville High School Hall of Fame. Sean was recognized for his high school cross country and baseball careers. At RPI, Sean was a pitcher for the Engineers and helped the team to an unbeaten season our senior year and a first-ever NCAA Division III tournament spot. Posted 2020-05-21
Science Classmate Susan (Costa) Galvin and her family have been living in Las Vegas, Nev., since her husband (Steve Galvin) retired from the Air Force after 22 years of service. Both she and her husband are medical doctors. Susan was named chief medical officer (CMO) of Hope Christian Health Center, a faith-based clinic for the uninsured in North Las Vegas. They have three kids, ages 15, 14, and 12, and get the entire family involved in cosplay attending comic and sci-fi conventions. They were even featured on Buzzfeed last year after San Diego Comic-Con! Very impressive! Posted 2020-05-21
Engineering Hank Carbone writes: I made the trek back to Troy in September over Reunion Weekend for a Lambda Chi Alpha super reunion that brought together over 140 brothers from the early ’50s through the late 2010s. The memories came flooding back as a few brothers and I took a casual stroll from the Commons down to the Union (the McNeil Room now has a Panera???), through the Quad, over to and down the CII/JCC wind tunnel, and to the VCC/library area to check out the new- to-us EMPAC building. Quite a bit of new construction on campus since we all graduated, but it was still “Good old RPI.” Attending the super reunion from the Class of ’96 were Jamie Burts, Rex Wang, Neil Kindlon, Steve Lee, Dave Carlson, Mike Nifontoff, and Ron Lewkiewicz. It was a great weekend catching up and reconnecting with everyone. I can’t wait for the next one! And speaking of reunions, our 25th Reunion is in just two years! Keep your late September/early October weekends in 2021 free so you can attend. Hope to see you all there. Posted 2020-05-21


Sarah Angel-Johnson
Sarah Angel-Johnson ’97 has joined Save the Children U.S. as chief information officer, overseeing business-technology integrated strategy and solutions, IT operations, customer service, policy and planning, and Payment Card Industry compliance, in addition to building operations. She joins Save the Children from Year Up, where she also served as chief information officer. Prior to Year Up, she took the $860 million Girl Scout Cookie Program digital, earning them a place in Fast Company’s Top 10 Most Innovative Nonprofits. Posted 2021-03-16
Rakesh Chopra has been making waves at Cisco as a Cisco fellow. Fellow alum Eric Friedrich (’06) reported that Rakesh’s work on Silicon One is groundbreaking for the speeds it can transfer data at and also for the new lines of business it is opening for Cisco. Posted 2021-02-26
Glenn Weinstein, who received his M.S. in ’97, just joined Twilio as their chief customer officer. Posted 2021-02-26
Stacey Hills, one of our MBAs in the Class of 1997 and a Ph.D. from 2004, was just appointed assistant professor of business at Columbia-Greene Community College. Posted 2021-02-26
Bob Hepburn just set records in weightlifting; his day job is a materials scientist for Fujimi, but he fits in time to build strength and set records for his age group in Portland. In case you’re wondering if you can compete with him, only if you can squat more than 195 kg, bench more than 127.5 kg, and deadlift more than 220 kg. Posted 2021-02-26
Stephen Trowbridge was promoted to EVP and CFO of AngioDynamics in Latham, after serving as interim CFO since October. Posted 2021-02-26
Icon of a person kicking (left) and Michael DePietro (right)
Michael DePietro ’97 co-founded Karate Combat, the first professional, full-contact karate league worldwide. The company designed its own fight ring, which it stages in exotic locations, and is pursuing technologies like body sensors, biometrics, and IA, to improve the audience experience. He presented his business story on campus in October.  Posted 2020-06-18
Engineering Kristen Fitzpatrick writes: I had a chance to catch up with Josh Haacker while I was in LA for work. He and his wife, Jessica, have two kids, ages 9 and 11, and he just launched his own business, Muldrow Partners. Here’s what they do, from LinkedIn: “We partner with entrepreneurial companies and developers striving to implement water, clean energy, and climate solutions. The firm seeks to identify and manage attractive investment opportunities on behalf of environmentally conscious investors, and support growth-stage companies with capital planning, transaction, and commercial support.” Best of luck, Josh! Posted 2020-05-21
Engineering Sara Schiveley was awarded the Alumni Key Award by the RPI Alumni Association. Posted 2020-05-21
Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Kord Jablonski has been named business director of deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Mass. Posted 2020-05-21
Engineering Marc Eigner has been named CEO of Anju Software in Phoenix, Ariz. Posted 2020-05-21
Architecture Peter Rader was promoted by JLL to regional education practice lead for the firm’s Project and Development Services group. Posted 2020-05-21
Science Kathleen Moriarty was named as one of the top 100 females taking up the battle against cybercrime. Posted 2020-05-21


Saavik Ford
In June, international headlines reported evidence of what could be the first light ever detected from a black hole merger. Previously thought impossible due to the nature of black holes, the discovery was reported by Saavik Ford ’98, professor at Borough of Manhattan Community College, and her colleague, Professor Barry McKernan. When two black holes spiral around each other and ultimately collide, they send out ripples in space and time called gravitational waves. Because black holes do not give off light, these events are not expected to shine with any light waves, or electromagnetic radiation — but Ford and McKernan theorized about ways in which a black hole merger might explode with light. Learn more Posted 2021-03-16
Mark Vertucci has joined Fuss & O’Neill as a new owner. Mark leads the Traffic Department in the company’s Manchester, Conn., headquarters, which hosts one of the largest traffic and transportation consultant groups in Connecticut. As an owner, Mark will help shape the future and direction of the New England firm. Mark started his career as an intern with the firm in 1997. He is a registered professional engineer in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New York. Mark also holds the certification of Professional Traffic Operations Engineer. Posted 2021-02-26
Engineering Liz (Dunn) Hanson has been promoted to Air Force colonel. Her two sons, Michael and Andrew, and her daughter Catherine pinned on her new rank during a ceremony at the Pentagon. Liz previously served as commander of the 517th Airlift Squadron of the 3rd Wing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. As a pilot, she has logged over 3,300 flight hours, including 578 hours of combat time in Iraq and Afghanistan. Posted 2020-05-21
Engineering First Horizon National Corp. recently appointed Patrick Kelly senior vice president, chief digital banking officer, on its digital banking and marketing leadership team. Posted 2020-05-21
Science Dr. Michelle Barhaghi has joined the Premier Women’s team at Delta County Memorial Hospital. Michelle is an obstetrician and gynecologist and is double certified in integrative medicine. After attending medical school at Mount Sinai Medical School in New York, and completing her residency in Washington, D.C., Michelle worked in New Zealand, South Africa, Nigeria, and Los Angeles. Posted 2020-05-21


Business Scott Maybee was named president of NextGear Capital. He was most recently general manager for Manheim Northstar Minnesota, and before that, spent 10 years with Nissan North America and Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp. Posted 2020-05-21
Engineering Kevin O’Shea joined Amastan Technologies as chief commercial officer. The company develops plasma technology for materials production used in additive manufacturing, battery, and other industrial markets. Posted 2020-05-21


Business Mike O’Malley was interviewed for a profile in the Albany Business Review in December. He is vice president of sales and marketing at DeCrescente Distributing Co. He started his career at Gallo Wine Co., then moved to Coors, before joining DeCrescente. The biggest change in the industry, he says, is the amount of data that is available, which helps target sales based on statistics of who is buying what, where, and how often. Posted 2020-05-21


Muta’Ali Muhammad
Photo Credit: Jihaad Muhammad
Muta’Ali Muhammad ’01, a graduate of the School of Science, directed a documentary that recently appeared on HBO. Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn takes a closer look at the murder of Yusuf Hawkins in 1989. The film explores both the murder of Hawkins, as well as the subsequent protests for racial justice. “It’s an opportunity to show people that any time you think that racism is in the past, you need to rethink it,” said Muhammad, who focuses all of his works on “Love, Art, and Activism.” He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in information technology after serving as president of the Black Students Alliance.Visit the HBO website to access the full documentary. Learn more Posted 2021-03-16
Engineering Cmdr. Eric Reeves took command of Training Squadron (VT) 86 at a change-of-command ceremony at NAS Pensacola, which trains naval flight officers, in November. He has accumulated more than 2,300 flight hours and 400 arrested landings in the S-3 Viking, EA-6B Prowler, and EA-18G Growler. Posted 2020-05-21
Science Adam Goode, a site reliability engineer at Google, was appointed to the Fox Chapel Area school board, in Pittsburgh. Posted 2020-05-21


Bob Lyons, currently the CEO of Alert Logic, made the list of the 10 Coolest SIEM (Security Information, and Event Management) CEOs of 2019. Posted 2021-02-26
Matthew Filippelli has become the principal engineer and offshore services lead for Natural Power, an independent service provider that works on green energy projects. Posted 2021-02-26
Maureen Long, Yale University professor of geology and geophysics, has been studying the seismic structure beneath the U.S. for a number of years. She is part of a team of researchers investigating seismic activity under New England, where researchers have identified a heated rock bulge more than 100 miles below the surface! She and her colleagues published their findings in the scientific journal Geology. Posted 2021-02-26
Robert LaBella became Identiv’s A&E business development manager, where he will head their new Architects, Consultants, and Engineers in Security (ACES) program. Identiv is a global provider of physical security and secure identification. Posted 2021-02-26
Robert Doyle became the new president and CEO of The Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants. Posted 2021-02-26
Bassam Tarazi has a great TED Talk to share called “10,000 Miles of Planned Grit.” In this talk, he takes you on a 10,000-mile adventure from London to Mongolia with insights gained through the process and power of “planned grit.” He’s an author, entrepreneur, speaker, and strategist. Learn more at Posted 2021-02-26
Chris Cole and other preservation specialists continued their efforts in the restoration of a historic grist mill in Roslyn, N.Y., by raising it 8 feet so a new foundation could be poured. This mill is one of the few surviving examples of Dutch wood-framed industrial architecture in the U.S. Chris is the construction manager for Cole Engineering and Construction, a Vermont company specializing in historic preservation that is managing the project. Posted 2021-02-26
Byung-In Kim, professor of Pohang University of Science and Technology’s Department of Industrial and Management Engineering (in Korea), was named a fellow of the Asia-Pacific Industrial Engineering and Management Systems. He was the only scholar chosen for this prestigious honor in 2019 for his contributions to academia. Posted 2021-02-26
Eranga Jayewardene was appointed to the Board of Directors for National Savings Bank in March. After RPI, he obtained a M.S. electrical engineering from Stanford University and was the first Sri Lankan to be awarded the Bill and Melinda Gates Fellowship. He is also a published author and has presented at the International Society for Optical Engineering’s annual symposiums. Posted 2021-02-26
Engineering Melissa Coppola (aka Observa) released her first full-length hip hop album called Beaten Path and toured throughout the country during the fall to promote the album. Posted 2020-05-21


Lightning against a pink and orange sky
The popular weather app Dark Sky, brain-child of Adam Grossman ’03, has been acquired by Apple. Dark Sky aggregates data from many sources to predict precisely when it will rain or snow at an exact location — down to the minute — and uses beautiful visualizations to present weather information. The inspiration came when Grossman was stranded by a storm at a highway rest stop — and frustrated by his inability to learn when the storm would end. “Our goal has always been to provide the world with the best weather information possible, to help as many people as we can stay dry and safe,” says Grossman. Posted 2021-03-16
Science Dr. Sumbul Desai, VP of health for Apple Inc., helped design the advanced heart monitoring, ECG, and fall detection feature of the Apple Watch Series 4. This feature was designed to revolutionize the health industry, by collecting your personal health data so that your doctor can spend more time consulting with you about a treatment plan. Dr. Desai is also a clinical associate professor at Stanford Medical. Posted 2020-05-21
Ed DerGurahian writes: Paul Zapustas emailed me to say that he has started a new career. After hanging up his Wall Street suit and tie, Paul moved to Boston where he is now the CFO and business director of R3Bilt, an interval training workout focused on anti-aging. Paul and his colleagues hope the company will become the “Amazon of fitness” at some point. Way to go, Paul! Posted 2020-05-21
Business Xinfeng Wang was recognized by the RAA with the Alumni Key Award during Reunion & Homecoming weekend. Congratulations! Posted 2020-05-21
Science Avanindra Joshi was recognized by the RAA with the Alumni Key Award during Reunion & Homecoming weekend.  Posted 2020-05-21


Wafa Batayneh is an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST). She is currently on sabbatical leave at Iowa State University, working for her promotion to become a full professor. During her integrated experience, she has had several research projects, prototypes, awards, a U.S. patent, and publications in these areas, where she is an author and coauthor of more than 30 journals and conferences publications. Posted 2021-02-26
Mary Beth Cooley was named program chief engineer at Pratt & Whitney. In 2019, she got the ASME Distinguished Engineer of the Year award and the George Mead Medal. Posted 2021-02-26
Congrats to David Parker for his appointment as the chief operating officer for Cleverciti Systems, where he will leverage his more than 15 years of experience in the technology business to help position the smart parking company into new markets and manage sustained growth. Posted 2020-05-21
Business The President’s Commission on White House Fellows selected Jermon Bafaty, M.S. ’04, into the 2019-2020 class of White House Fellows, where he will be given the opportunity to engage in public service for one year with the Department of Energy. Posted 2020-05-21
Engineering Shawn Newman has volunteered to support Rensselaer by serving as the class correspondent. Shawn is active-duty Navy and is currently stationed in the Norfolk, Va., area. If you have updates to share such as a promotion, earning a new degree, a new addition to the family, meeting a life goal, or anything significant in your life, please submit your updates to Shawn at Posted 2020-05-21


David Fannon was awarded tenure and promoted to associate professor at Northeastern University in Boston, where he studies and teaches about the science and design of buildings. Posted 2021-02-26
IT & Web Science Chris Searles and his wife welcomed Bryson Christopher into this world last May. Son Max is a wonderful and enthusiastic big brother. Posted 2020-05-21
Engineering Jason Gertler plays on the hockey team Fire and Ice. They play during the year locally. They went to Lake Placid for a tournament and won Bronze. They just started going to this tournament as of last year. Posted 2020-05-21
Business Jonathan and Kellie Bullis Eck celebrated their 10-year anniversary. They have two little girls in their family. Posted 2020-05-21
Science Larissa (Wudmaska) Wolf celebrated her 10th wedding anniversary (last July) to fellow alumnus Adam Wolf. Posted 2020-05-21
Engineering Zaheera Abdul Ghani was part of Team Bey, which completed the Viper Challenge @ Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Malaysia.  Posted 2020-05-21
Engineering Our classmate Joshua Khoury took a disastrous spill that resulted in a hospital stay as the bleeding on his brain was monitored. He is in recovery and almost back to 100%. A glorious miracle for his wife, Abigail, and four children! Posted 2020-05-21
Engineering Daniel Quinn is a staff materials and process engineer at Sikorsky, where he has worked for 11 years. Posted 2020-05-21
Engineering Katie Karaffa writes: Our updated FB link is: Posted 2020-05-21


Bernard Malouin
JETCOOL Technologies, founded by Bernard Malouin ’06, Ph.D.’10, unveiled a new approach to cooling computer processors and other high-power electronics at the 2019 IEEE International Microwave Symposium last June, and took home honors as the Next Top Startup. The technology, known as micro-convective cooling, uses small fluid jets that can be built within the electronic device, and could result in a tenfold increase in cooling efficiency compared to today’s state of the art, says Malouin. “Many of our favorite services run on processors that could do even more, but they get too hot,” he says. “With better cooling, we hope to break that logjam and help technology companies create a new wave of devices that will power tomorrow’s extraordinary innovations.” Industries that would benefit from JETCOOL’s technology include aerospace, electric vehicles, and artificial intelligence data centers. In addition to winning top honors among startups at the symposium, JETCOOL, a recent spinoff from MIT Lincoln Laboratory, won the audience choice award for the best new technology startup. “With our technology, we can build the heat sink into the silicon substrate itself,” says Malouin, second from left, below. “Think about that, the world’s best cooling built into the computer chip so you can’t even tell it’s there.” Posted 2020-06-08
Engineering Joe DeBellis was promoted to director of sales, Houston, at Service Wire Co. He has more than 10 years of industry experience, starting in plant engineering, moving to applications engineer, and then into various sales roles focusing on the utility market. Posted 2020-05-21


Richard Palmer and Gravyty logo
Richard Palmer ’07 co-founded Gravyty, the first AI company focused solely on the social good sector. Gravyty recently received an investment of $21 million to fund the growth of the company, which provides SaaS-based fundraiser enablement solutions for higher ed, health-care, and other nonprofit organizations.  Posted 2020-06-18
Engineering The Colorado School of Mines welcomed Nikki Farnsworth as assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering in the fall. Her research centers on the development of novel biomaterials to investigate cellular interactions with their environment and develop therapies for life-threatening diseases. Posted 2020-05-21


Please like our Facebook page at and follow our daily stories on Instagram. Rest in peace, Dr. Knowles. — Posted 2021-02-26
Abigail Koppes received the 2020 Rita Schaffer Young Investigator Award from the national Biomedical Engineering Society. Koppes is an assistant professor of chemical engineering at Northeastern University. She is also the principal investigator for a research team of graduate and undergraduate students in the university’s Advanced Biomaterials for Neuroengineering Laboratory. Posted 2021-02-26
Michael Collard has joined national architecture, engineering, and planning firm Bergmann. Previously, Michael worked at ENVISION Architects as an architectural designer and associate. Michael currently resides in Troy, New York. Posted 2021-02-26
Ryan Hawthorne has been appointed assistant vice president of electric engineering and operations for Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation. Ryan oversees engineering functions and field operations of the electric system for all of Central Hudson, and will provide oversight on the utility’s annual capital budget of more than $200 million. Posted 2021-02-26
Bill Atkins ’08 is co-creator of the popular iPhone/iPad app Stylebook, which lets users manage their wardrobe virtually. The app, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in October, has been covered by such publications as The New York Times, Wired, and Vogue, and is consistently in the top five paid apps in the Lifestyle category of Apple’s App Store. Posted 2020-06-18
Justin Blinn
Architecture Justin Blinn, Architect, LEED AP BD+C, was recently promoted to associate principal at TEF Design. Throughout his time with TEF, he has completed a wide variety of projects, including the historic renovation of 170 9th Street in San Francisco, an addition to the PG&E Larkin Substation, and the Boys & Girls Club of San Francisco Don Fisher Clubhouse. Congratulations on your promotion, Justin! Posted 2020-05-21
Science After six years leading the Cardiff Devils, Jake Morissette has retired, announcing that he will not be returning to the Elite Ice Hockey League for this season. Morissette holds the title of most successful captain in the Devils’ history, leading the only Welsh team in the EIHL to back-to-back league titles in 2017 and 2018, along with a Challenge Cup win in 2017 and the team’s second straight playoff championship. Congrats on a fantastic career, Jake! Posted 2020-05-21
Engineering Unilux has recruited Rostislav “Russell” Lembersky to integrate advances in machine learning to improve system speed and accuracy. Lembersky will bring significant experience with software and algorithm development, along with a rich technological and operational background to the team. Posted 2020-05-21
Engineering Gary Russinko, PE, has been promoted to principal at kW Mission Critical Engineering. Gary is a power strategist and lead engineer on some of the largest and most complex data center projects being built today. kW Mission Critical Engineering is a 140-person firm located in Troy, with offices and projects across the U.S. Posted 2020-05-21
Business Trent Gillaspie writes: Make sure to like our Facebook page at, and connect with us on TikTok. Just kidding! Posted 2020-05-21


Joseph Henits and Lindsey Garrett were married on Jan. 18, 2020. Joe earned his B.S. in aeronautical and mechanical engineering and Lindsey earned her B.S. and M.S. in applied mathematics. They live and work in Melbourne, Fla., where Joe is a senior loads engineer at Northrop Grumman and Lindsey is a senior project engineer at L3Harris. Posted 2021-02-26
Science Dr. Shaina (Feldman) Bruce was the lead author on an original article published in the September 2019 edition of Obstetrics & Gynecology (the “Green Journal”). Her article was titled “Disparities Among Cervical Cancer Patients Receiving Brachytherapy.” This is the second time she’s been published as the lead author — her previous article was published in Gynecologic Oncology in June 2018. Posted 2020-05-21


Rev. Gary Morello judged the sports category of Darien Art Center’s 2020 Smartphone Photo Contest. Gary spent his time at RPI playing football and is currently part of the Darien Football coaching staff, a certified indoor cycling instructor, and field ambassador for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Posted 2021-02-26
Richard Off has recently been promoted to project architect at Hoffmann Architects. He joined the firm in 2016 as a project representative and has worked on various projects, with his most notable contributions being the restoration of the First Presbyterian Church in New York City. Posted 2021-02-26
After 10 years at GE Aviation, I left my job there and relocated to Virginia to be closer to family and friends. I have also switched industries and am working at a biotech fund focused on early-stage innovation and company formation. The Rensselaer Alumni Association has launched RAA Connect, an online platform similar to LinkedIn, open to RPI alumni only. It has networking and  mentoring capabilities, affinity groups, and much more! Check it out at — Meghan Lenihan Moulder ’10; Posted 2021-02-26
Engineering After eight-plus years as lead radio voice for the Mets Double-A team in Binghamton, N.Y., Tim Heiman has transitioned to working full time in mechanical engineering. Going out on a high note, he was named 2018 Minor League Broadcaster of the Year by Ballpark Digest. Posted 2020-05-21


Erin Morelli married Brian Vazquez on Feb. 29, 2020, in Boston. Erin is currently employed as software development engineer for the Alexa Speech team at Amazon. Posted 2021-02-26
Engineering Zijie Yan, Ph.D. ’11, assistant professor, chemical and biomolecular engineering, at Clarkson, was awarded the John W. Graham Jr. Faculty Research Award. He is an expert on laser-induced self-assembly of nanoparticles. Posted 2020-05-21


Like our Facebook page, RPI Class of 2012, and follow us on Twitter, @rpiclass2012. — Posted 2021-02-26
Megan Koharik (Reile) welcomed her daughter and future RPI alum, Cora, to the world on March 25, 2020!  Posted 2021-02-26
Washington State University Tri-Cities Clinical Assistant Professor of Fine Art Sena Clara Creston presented her piece titled “Willow of the Waste” at a recent WSU faculty and staff exhibit on campus. The piece is an electronic interactive art piece that conveys a statement about the environmental impact of plastic. Posted 2021-02-26
Colleen Costello
Colleen Costello ’12, co-founder and CEO of Vital Vio, was selected by Goldman Sachs as one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2018 at the Builders + Innovators Summit in October. Vital Vio is a pioneer in continuous disinfection technology. Posted 2021-01-13
Architecture Congratulations to Leora Radetsky, who recently joined the staff of the DesignLights Consortium as a senior lighting scientist. Previously, she worked as a research scientist for Rensselaer’s Lighting Research Center. Posted 2020-05-21
Engineering Jason Griffith is currently serving as the mission event sequencing lead for the Artemis I mission, which is part of NASA’s effort to return astronauts to the moon by the year 2024. He earned his B.S. in aerospace engineering from RPI in 2012 and went on to complete an M.E. in space operations from the University of Colorado in 2016. Posted 2020-05-21
Science A graduate of the joint RPI/Albany Medical College B.S./M.D. program, Jay Agarwal, M.D., recently joined the roster of ENT and Allergy Associates, LLP, in Hackensack, N.J. Posted 2020-05-21
Engineering After eight years in the Navy, including time serving as a nuclear operator on the USS Alaska, Jason Nattress headed to RPI and earned his B.S. in nuclear engineering as part of the Class of 2012. He is now serving as an Alvin M. Weinberg Fellow at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Posted 2020-05-21
Engineering Rob Sobkowich writes: Stay connected on Facebook, RPI Class of 2012, and on Twitter, @rpiclass2012. Posted 2020-05-21


One honorary classmate was laid to rest after more than 30 years of public service, and I encourage all of us to return to the words that U.S. Representative John D. Lewis H’13 offered at our Commencement in May 2013. He recalled a storm shaking his aunt’s shotgun house and advised us: “the wind may blow, the thunder may roll, and the lightning may flash, and the rain may beat on our old house... Call it the American house. Call it the world house. We all live in the same house. Maybe, just maybe, our forefathers and our foremothers all came to this great land in different ships, but we’re all in the same boat now. We’re one people. We’re one family. We’re one house. Stay with the house. Walk with the wind.”  — Posted 2021-02-26
The crew of The Maiden Factor
Cary Kaczowka ’13, an engineer with Boeing Co., joined the crew of The Maiden Factor for a five-week leg from Los Angeles to Antigua. In 1989, the Maiden became the first boat to race around the world with an all-female crew. The current crew is sailing around the world raising funds and awareness for girls’ education.  Posted 2020-06-18
Stephen Nock writes: With sincere gratitude to many of you who sent comments in our RPI Class of 2013 Facebook group, I’m overjoyed to give updates from throughout the world. We’ll follow the sun from east to west. Posted 2020-05-21
Engineering Daniel Gold moved to Japan and courageously immersed himself in the study of the Japanese language and culture. Posted 2020-05-21
Science After completing a master’s degree in plant and soil science last year, Deb Kraft recently explored the Balkans on a six-week bike tour. Deb powered herself through Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, North Macedonia, and Greece. Posted 2020-05-21
Engineering Wedding season came in full swing. Lin Duan married Tyler Hassenpflug. Lin also completed her MBA in 2019 and returned to Wayfair in a full-time management role. Posted 2020-05-21
Architecture Rebecca Exley married Kevin Zaylor, with many other classmates as guests and in the wedding party. Posted 2020-05-21
Engineering Also in semi-reunion fashion, fellow alumni joined Jon Sevilla’s wedding celebration: Wilson Wong, Allie Ahn, Staci Liu, Rose Coyle, Jeremy Coyle, Patrick Rabbitt, Ben Krieger, and Kevin Ung, as well as non-2013 guests: Orrin Amsden ’16, Kelly Owens ’08, and Sara Epperson ’09. Posted 2020-05-21
Engineering Connecticut’s Women of Innovation program recognized Maranda Wong as a finalist for the Inspiring STEM Equitability Award. Posted 2020-05-21
Engineering Carlie Newcomb enthusiastically relocated back to Massachusetts and started at Boston Scientific in Cambridge. Posted 2020-05-21
Science Dr. Amy Valera earned a Ph.D. in biology and a position as a scientist at Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Posted 2020-05-21
Engineering Mary Arntzen (Ciufo) earned her professional engineering license in April. She works at a civil engineering firm near Boston. Posted 2020-05-21
Engineering In Seattle, Corey Marshall piloted a regional lecture series for local alumni chapters to feature diverse career stories. Seattle also won the 2019 Rising Star Chapter Award. Posted 2020-05-21
Business In Portland, Ore., Kyle Maggy started an above-average air freshener venture, called Nose Patrol. Posted 2020-05-21


Engineering Christina Pacifico, production engineering associate manager at Tesla Inc., and president of Women in Tesla, in Reno, Nev., was honored by the Girl Scouts of the Sierra Nevada for her leadership in STEM. Posted 2020-05-22
Architecture Brenna Weisslender was hired as an intern architect at Gawron Turgeon Architects in Scarborough, Maine. Posted 2020-05-22


Engineering Sarah Spellane writes: Happy five-year anniversary, Class of 2015! Can you believe it’s been five years since we walked across the stage? I hope everyone is doing well and that the past few years have brought you happiness, health, and success. We will be gathering to celebrate our milestone anniversary at Reunion & Homecoming, so be on the lookout for more details in the coming months. This summer, two couples will each celebrate a first wedding anniversary! In June 2019, Katelyn Rauth (Arch.) married Tyler King ’14. In July 2019, Beth Greenberg (Conte) and fellow classmate Mike Greenberg were married. Congratulations! Posted 2020-05-22
Engineering In October 2018, Terrance McGovern left his full-time job and started his journey to explore the world. So far, he has visited Central America, South America, and Europe! Follow along on Instagram, @nomadic terrance. Posted 2020-05-22
Business During the summer of 2019, the U.S. Hockey League announced Luke Curadi as the director of player personnel. He “will be responsible for supervision and execution of USHL combines as well as USHL Development series Youth Tournaments.” Posted 2020-05-22


Rebecca Bruno is an architectural designer at Mosaic Associates in Troy. She is a key member of the architectural team responsible for the district’s multiphase, multimillion-dollar capital project to renovate all schools in the district. She says she is honored the first major project she’s been involved in at Mosaic is at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School. Her work includes schematic design and programming, development of design concepts and technical solutions, and coordinating with consultants. Posted 2021-02-26
Engineering Daryian Rhysing’s company, United Aircraft Technologies, was one of four startups awarded up to $50K through the MassChallenge accelerator program. His company had finished first in the Berkshire Mfg. Innovation Challenge. Posted 2020-05-22


Science Dillon Bodnar published his second volume of poetry, Harmonic Emotion: A Resonating Assembly of Reflections, in 2019. Posted 2020-05-22
Engineering Lillian Kolehmainen joined Hyman Hayes Associates (HHA) in February as a design engineer. She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering at RPI and is a registered engineer in Training (E.I.T.) and is OSHA certified. Posted 2020-05-22


Akash and Krish Chandani
Twins Akash Chandani ’18 and Krish Chandani ’18 make up the fast-rising R&B duo THEMXXNLIGHT (pronounced “The Moonlight”). They were “discovered” by Wiz Khalifa, who featured their beats on his latest album, Rolling Papers 2. Posted 2021-03-16


Engineering Kathryn Mix joined CHA’s Mechanical Group as an assistant engineer providing support on projects requiring state-of-the-art mechanical systems. Posted 2020-05-22
Business Marisa Raspa, who played on RPI’s women’s ice hockey team, joined the roster of the Boston Pride pro women’s hockey team last fall for the 2019-20 season. Posted 2020-05-22
Business Whitney Renn, who played on RPI’s women’s ice hockey team, joined the roster of the Boston Pride pro women’s hockey team last fall for the 2019-20 season. Posted 2020-05-22


Ice hockey player Jacob Hayhurst ’19 has signed a contract with the ECHL’s Worcester Railers for the 2020-21 season. Posted 2021-02-26
Engineering Christopher Hourigan has joined CHA Consulting as an assistant engineer providing geotechnical engineering assistance. Posted 2020-05-22
Architecture Emily Freeman joined CUBE 3 as a project coordinator. Posted 2020-05-22
Science Congratulations to Lovisa Selander, who joined the Boston Pride hockey team this year, and in March was named NWHL Goaltender of the Year. Posted 2020-05-22


Margaret Graves has joined SV Design in Chatham, New York, as an architectural designer on the North Shore residential team. Posted 2021-02-26