Class Notes Online

December 2015


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Weddings Hawk Hatchlings: Births and Adoptions






ELLIOTT DUNN (BARNEY) of Windsor, Conn., was inducted into the 2015 Connecticut Veterans Hall of Fame on November 30.  The ceremony took place in the atrium of the State Legislative Office Building in downtown Hartford, Conn.  He was honored as a Golden Hawk in 2012.


JOHN T. DILLON (BARNEY) of Greenwich, Conn., has assumed the chairmanship of the Atlantic Salmon Federation’s (ASF) U.S. Board of Directors.  He is the retired, long-time chairman and CEO of International Paper.


KURT HYDE (A&S) of Corinth, Tex., won third prize with his play “Peace on Earth” in the 2015 Methods and Madness New Play Festival in Denton, Tex.  His play is based on the true events of the first Christmas of World War I during which the troops arranged their own informal truces over the holidays.  Hyde is retired from the U.S. Air Force and from the computer field, and has become a writer.


JOSEPH CELLI (HARTT) of Bridgeport, Conn., received an Asian Cultural Council grant for music research in Indonesia about Muslim culture and music, and has launched a nationally broadcast radio program titled, Soundprint: Asia on WPKN 89.5 FM.

Celli '68


Schwartz '73

IRA B. SCHWARTZ (A&S) of Bethesda, Md., has been elected Fellow of the American Physics Society (APS).  He was recognized by the APS for his pioneering contributions to the understanding and development of topological insights into the dynamics, fluctuations, and control of strongly nonlinear, physical and population systems. 
of Longmeadow, Mass., was featured in a Hartford Courant feature article recently for his impact in influencing young people.  The article focused on his Pauly Chute Slamm basketball team whom he has coached since 1984, and their participation in the Greater Pro-Am Basketball Showcase.  The article describes him as a “Renaissance Man” and noted that he has been a college professor, special-needs educator, motivational speaker and a specialized coach, while influencing generations of youth.


DONALD PANCIERA (ENHP) of Meriden, Conn., represented his alma mater, Maloney High School, playing at The Stoddard Bowl on Thanksgiving Day.  Panciera played club football at UHart.




LONNIE SHOR (BARNEY) of Marietta, Ga., was hired by Sprayberry High School in Marietta. Ga., as the varsity boys’ assistant head lacrosse coach.  For the past three years, he was an assistant junior varsity coach at Lassiter High School, which compiled a 27-4-5 record during that time.



ALEX NAKHIMOVSKY (HARTT), M’88 (HARTT) of West Hartford, Conn., led a quintet of jazz and classical musicians during a performance on December 5 at Beth Sholom B’nal Israel in Manchester.  He is a jazz and classical musician who is well known throughout the world.  Since 1999, Nakhimovsky has been a full-time faculty member at the Greater Hartford Academy for the Arts and an adjunct faculty member at the Hartt School.




GINNY (KIRWIN) JOHNSON (HARTT) of Rockland, Mass., has been selected as the director of library services for the East Bridgewater (Mass.) Public Library.




Pegis '88

Cellist JOLYN PEGIS AD’87 (HARTT), (HARTT) of Plano, Tex., served as a guest artist in December at a Masterclass for the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester.  She has been a member of the Dallas Symphony since 2000, and is also the assistant principal cello of the Chautauqua Symphony. 
St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center nurse ELAINE SCHEINBLUM (ENHP) of West Hartford, Conn., was a recipient of a Health Care Hero Award at an awards ceremony December 2 at the Connecticut Convention Center.  The Awards were given by


JEFFREY KURTZ (A&S) of Edwards, Colo., was appointed director of sales for the Colorado Mountain Express.  His primary focus will be to develop strategic initiatives to enhance the overall guest experience.  Kurtz has worked in hospitality and transportation for more than 20 years, including more than a decade with Colorado Museum Express in a variety of sales roles.
GIOIA ZACK A (HCW) of Wethersfield, Conn., joined O,R&L Commercial as a commercial broker.  She has been a real estate professional since 2011.



Cantor ELLEN TILEM (HARTT) of Teaneck, N.J., shared her talent at the annual Cantor Sapir & Friends concert held December 24 in Delray Beach, Fla.



JEFFREY L. HAYMAN M (BARNEY) of Goldsboro, Pa., has accepted the Zurich Insurance Group’s (Zurich) nomination to join its board of directors.  He is an independent consultant and advisor who has an extensive knowledge of the insurance industry. 


JEANNE DOLAN CAVANNA M (BARNEY) of Hebron, Conn., started a new mediation business, OpenGate Mediation Group, LLC in Glastonbury, Conn.  The practice handles general mediation as well as family mediation as an alternative to traditional divorce litigation.  Cavanna completed a 40-hour mediation training program as well as basic divorce mediation training.


SEAN BRAVAKIS (A&S) of Windsor Locks, Conn., was inducted as a member of the Class of 2015 in the Windsor Locks Athletic Hall of Fame.  He was a three-sport athlete at Windsor Locks, and was tabbed All State in baseball as a junior and senior.  Sean played baseball for the Hawks.



PHILIP JOHNSON M (BARNEY) of Dedham, Mass., was tabbed chief human resources officer for the St. Luke’s Health System.  He has more than 30 years of experience in human resource management.

Johnson '94



The evocative work of KATHLEEN ZIMMERMAN ’96 (HAS) was on display at the Kehler Liddell Gallery in New Haven, Conn., from January 14 to February 14.  The show, “Couples”, featured Zimmerman’s drawings, prints, and sculpture.   





Greene '97

JIMMY GREENE (HARTT) of Sandy Hook, Conn., has been nominated for two Grammy’s for his recording “Beautiful Life.”  The album was nominated in the Best Jazz Instrumental category, and the song, “When I Come Home”, was nominated for Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals.  “Beautiful Life” celebrates the life of Greene’s daughter, Ana, who was killed in the Newtown (Conn.) tragedy in 2012.  Fellow Alumni JAVIER COLON ’00 (HARTT) and LATANYA FARRELL M (ENHP), M’98 (ENHP) appeared as vocalists on the album.






Oboist MEREDYTH COLEMAN M (HARTT) of Overland Park, Kan., a member of the City Winds Trio, performed as part of the Music at Noon Concert Series held Dec. 3 for the Morristown, N.J. community.


The photographic works of ELLEN AUGARTEN M (HAS) of Northampton, Mass. were selected as the featured photographs that appear in the upcoming Florence Bank calendar.  A reception to introduce the calendar, including a meet and greet with Augarten, was held December 4.  Her body of work spans more than three decades and includes children and family portraits, and compelling images of the Pioneer Valley.

AARON BELEN (BARNEY) of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., president of AFB Hospitality Group, LLC and AFB Investments, LLC, was named to Crain’s 40-under-40 for 2015.

WALTER GIBSON (HARTT) of Bloomfield, Conn., participated in “TubaChristmas,” a national tradition which made its New Britain, Conn., debut on December 19.


Soprano AMANDA KOHL (HARTT), D’15 (HARTT) of Hartford, Conn., performed with the Chorus of the Finger Lakes at a holiday concert held at Clemens Center in Elmira, N.Y., December 13.

SARAH R. WILLIAMS M (ENHP) of Simsbury, Conn., was named principal of the Carmen Arace Intermediate School.  Previously, she was a curriculum specialist at the Wintonbury Early Childhood Magnet School and as a fourth-grade teacher at Metacomet.

The School Administrators Association of New York has selected MATTHEW YOUNGHANS (ENHP) of Nanuet, N.Y., as its 2016 New York State Secondary Assistant Principal of the Year.  This award is given annually by SAANYS and the National Association of Secondary Principals to an assistant principal who has set the pace, character, and quality of education for the students in their school.



Williams '06


TRACEY BLOSER M (HARTT) of Lahaina, H.I., lent her singing talents to a unique performance of “Handel’s Messiah,” that was performed at the historic Lao Theater December 19-20.  Bloser is currently on the faculty at Maui Music Mission in Lahaina, co-leading the Keiki Choral Program, “Voice-Everybody Sing!”  








CALIDA JONES M (HARTT) of District Heights, Md., is the artistic director for a social change music education program called “Bravo Waterbury” in Conn.  In addition to music education, students receive homework tutoring, participate in physical activity, and are involved with a host of development projects.  Currently, more than 200 of Waterbury’s most vulnerable students are engaged physicially, mentally, and emotionally through creative expression.  Her work in “Bravo Waterbury” and the El Sistema movement (which inspired Bravo) has taken Jones all over the world.     

ANDREW JOHN McGOWAN M (BARNEY) of Roswell, Ga., has been named a visiting professor in the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University.  He will be teaching communication at both the MBA and undergraduate levels.  McGowan was previously the director of global media relations and brand reputation for UPS.

Bloser '07

Jones '07


McGowan '07

STELLA –MARIS OGWU A’06 (HILLYER), (A&S) of Hartford, Conn., was honored by Hillyer College with its Outstanding Young Alumna Award this past fall.  Committed to become a pediatrician, she is currently enrolled in Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn.  Ogwu expects to complete her degree and begin her residency in May 2016.  

KATHERINE DONOVAN M (BARNEY) of Suffield, Conn., was named to the Connecticut Society of CPAs (CTCPA) “New and Young Professionals to Watch” list.  She was among a select group of three up-and-comers, aged 35 and younger, who have set themselves apart as emerging leaders in the accounting profession.  She is a senior audit associate at Whittlesey & Hadley, P.C., in Hartford, Conn.




Pianist MICHAEL KORMAN M (HARTT) of Manchester, Conn., and soprano MICHELLE FIERTEK D’14 (HARTT) of Berlin, Conn., performed a collection of Cabaret songs December 13 in Simsbury, Conn. as part of the “Songs Expose” musical duo.




REBECCA DeNIES (HARTT) of Manchester, Conn., served as a guest artist during the 2015 season of the Connecticut Concert Ballet’s performance of the Nutcracker.


ALEXIS SEMEVOLOS-VELAZQUEZ (HARTT) of Glastonbury, Conn., landed a role in the musical “Golden Bridge” produced by the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York.


Saxophonist MICHAEL CASEY (HARTT) of Hartford, Conn., joined Cory Garcia for two concert performances December 5 and 19 at Studio 59 in Torrington, Conn.  While at Hartt, he studied under such jazz artists as saxophonists Abraham Burton, Rene McLean, and Javon Jackson, trombonist Steve Davis, and bassist Nat Reeves.  Michael was a nominee for “Best Jazz” in the Hartford (Conn.) Advocate’s “CT Music Awards.”

JUSTYNA DABROWSKI (HAS) of Danbury, Conn., had her artworks displayed on the walls at the 100 Pearl Street Gallery in Hartford.  She creates images from old family photographs of happy gatherings.  The centerpieces of the exhibit are paintings that hang across the gallery from each other that depict the same meal, but from views on opposite sides of the table.

MICHELLE BETH HERMAN (HARTT) of Commack, N.Y., has been nominated for a New Hampshire Theatre Award as Best Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Aldonza in Man of LaMancha that ran last summer at Jean’s Playhouse in Lincoln, N.H.  The award winners will be announced January 23 during a gala at the Capital Center for the Arts in Concord, N.H.  She is currently performing with Celebrity Cruises in South America.








Herman '15



Sobocinski '09



BENJAMIN SOBOCINSKI ’09 (CETA) and Brittany Gilroy of LaPlata, Maryland, were married November 28 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Morganza, Md.  Ben is a civil engineer working for Soltesz in Burtonsville, Md.   Alumni guests included Theresa Sobocinski ’12, Stephen Sobocinski ’10, Danielle Etta Sobocinski ‘12, Brendan Floyd ’10, Andrew Sgro ’10, Brady Stouffer ’09, Brittany Black Stouffer ’09 and Chris Hebert ’08. 


Hawk Hatchlings:
Births and Adoptions