Class Notes Online

July 2015


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2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015        
Weddings Hawk Hatchlings: Births and Adoptions




RON WEISINGER (A&S) of Monroe Township, N.J., and his dog, Ben E (female standard poodle), were honored as a team as Pet Therapy Dog of the Week by Pet Partners, the world’s largest nonprofit pet therapy organization, with more than 11,000 members. Weisinger recently launched a dog training business, Dog Leadership 101, in central New Jersey.


David Katz '77

DAVID KATZ (HARTT, M’89 HARTT, D’86 HARTT) of Danbury, Conn., led his Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, nearly 300 musicians in all, in “Something Wonderful,” a concert of the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein, in famed Orchestra Hall in Chicago, Ill., in April 2015. It was the second appearance in the historic venue for Katz’s acclaimed all-attorney ensembles, which he founded in 1986. At Hartt, Katz was a protégé of Vjtautas Marijouis, who conducted in the same Chicago theater almost 40 years ago.  


JOAN AFMAN (HAS) of Tequesta, Fla., has published a new book titled Whatever He Wants, which transfers the personality and life of a biblical King David to the modern world. After teaching art in Hartford, Conn., for many years, Afman retired to Florida, where she has been an adjunct art instructor at Norwood University for seven years.


KATE EISEMANN (A&S) of Fairfield, Conn., was named grand prize winner of the Fairfield Museum and History Center’s 2015 IMAGES Juried Photography Show. Her entry, catscan, an image of her cat sitting on a scanner, was chosen from more than 800 submissions from Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. Eisemann is a photographer and a location scout for movies, television, and advertising.


BERNARD KAVALER (A&S, M’88 BARNEY) of West Hartford, Conn., was elected vice president of the Connecticut Foundation for Open Government, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting an open and accountable government and advocating the public’s right to know.

Kate Eisemann '79



Chandra Chandratilleke '81

CHANDRA CHANDRATILLEKE (M, BARNEY) of Colombo, Sri Lanka, enjoyed the Memorial Day holiday with John Ogilvie, Barney School professor of management. With 35 years’ experience in management training and consultancy, Chandratilleke is the head of training and a consultant at the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon in Sri Lanka. He is also a visiting faculty member of the Graduate School of the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka. 


EDWARD CHESKY (A&S) of West Hartford, Conn., has retired from federal service following 34 years of distinguished service in the U.S. Army as a civilian defense contractor and Department of Homeland Security official. 


Edward Chesky '85


SCOTT OLSEN (BARNEY) of Wethersfield, Conn., has his own entertainment business, SHO Productions.  The company provides live musical entertainment groups, from small combos to large dance bands, as well as DJ, sound, and lighting services. Two of Olsen’s groups, Glamour Girls and Mixed Signals, have performed at the University’s Hawktober Weekend in the past.



ROBERT KAIDEN (M, BARNEY) of Las Vegas, Nev., was named chief accounting officer at Twitter.


IRIS RAMOS (ENHP, M’96 ENHP) of Wethersfield, Conn., was the subject of a feature story in the Hartford Courant (June 28, 2015). The article detailed her journey from a high school dropout in 1976 to her current role as a respected dean of students at the M. D. Fox Elementary School in Hartford, Conn. Along the way, Ramos earned a bachelor’s degree and three master’s degrees in three different specialties; she received a sixth-year certificate from Central Connecticut State University.


Iris Ramos '90



JAMES LONG III (ENGINEERING) of Virginia Beach, Va., has accepted a position with the Virginia Department of Transportation as the district major projects delivery director for the Hampton Roads District (southeastern Virginia).


MICHAEL MENAPACE (HARTT) of North Granby, Conn., has been elected an officer of the Hartford County Bar Association (HCBA) and will serve as secretary, treasurer, president-elect, and president over the next four years. The HCBA is a nonprofit association of lawyers and judges in Hartford County that is dedicated to promoting public service and furthering the principles of law and justice. Menapace is an attorneywith the firm of Wiggin and Dana.



PHILLIP BOYKIN (HARTT) of Montclair, N.J., a Tony Award nominee, starred in the York Theater Company’s Off-Broadway musical Lord Tom in April 2015 in New York City.






Thomas Nelson '04

Cindy Walsh '04

MEARA LEBOVITZ (HARTT) of Philadelphia, Pa., and JOSH GISCHNER ’15 (A&S) of Suffern, N.Y., have been accepted in the incoming class of Hebrew Union College’s Jewish Institute of Religion. Lebovitz will train as a cantor; Gischner will train as a rabbi.


THOMAS NELSON (A&S) of Colchester, Conn., a professional videographer and editor, was recognized with an Emmy Award for editing the television series Made in Connecticut, which aired on Connecticut Public Broadcasting. It was one of two nominations for Nelson. The award was presented on May 30, 2015, during the 48th Annual Emmy Awards for the Boston/New England Region at the Boston Marriott Copley Place. Nelson and his wife, AMANDA BACKER NELSON ’04 (A&S), have a son, Parker.


CINDY WALSH (A&S) of Sait Julie, Québec, Canada, served as an analyst for Réseau des sports (RDS) coverage of the Women’s World Cup. RDS is the French-Canadian equivalent of ESPN. Walsh was a captain and three-time All-Region performer for the Hawks’ women’s soccer team.


 KATHRYN KIRKPATRICK (ENHP) of White Plains, N.Y., graduated in May 2015 from SUNY Westchester Community College with a certificate in medical billing and coding.


JEFFREY S. SESKO (A’03 HILLYER, BARNEY) of Oak Park, Calif., was appointed vice president of Milberg Factors.

DESIRÉE “DESI” ROBINSON (A&S) of East Elmhurst, N.Y., a health and lifestyle journalist, was a speaker for a group of prospective graduate students at the Metropolitan College of New York. She has been invited back to speak on “Green Initiatives” at the school’s Leadership Forum. She was also invited to address Organizing for Action’s Climate Change March. Robinson describes her work as the juncture “where pop culture meets public health, exploring the intersections of race, gender, art, class, environment, and politics.”  



JOSHUA FLORILLO (HARTT) of West Hartford, Conn., and CYNTHIA ELVIN A’02 (HILLYER) of Vernon-Rockville, Conn., are the owners of a new restaurant, Zest 280, on Park Road in West Hartford. 

RACHEL WADDELL (HARTT) of Canton, Ohio, was named to’s “20 under 40” roster for 2015. Waddell is assistant conductor of the Canton Symphony Orchestra and music director/conductor of Canton Youth Symphonies.




 JOVAN ALEXANDRE (HARTT) of Wallingford, Conn., has a new release titled Collective Consciousness, which received a favorable review in the online WNPR News: “Right from its opening title track, the album lights up with promise.” Alexandre is a graduate of The Hartt School’s renowned Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz.


JILLIAN SOARES (HARTT) of Somerset, Mass., is appearing with the touring company of Girls Night: The Musical.



Sean Newcomb '14    Brian Hunter '14


                James Alfonso '14

 TSAR FEDORSKY (M, HAS) of Gloucester, Mass., was awarded a 2015 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship for her thesis project, “The Light Under the Door.” With the award, Fedorsky became one of 19 artists to receive a $10,000 fellowship.


SEAN NEWCOMB (A&S) of East Bridgewater, Mass.; BRIAN HUNTER ’14(ENHP)of Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.; and JAMES ALFONSO ’14 (BARNEY)of Raynham, Mass., have all continued their professional baseball careers in 2015. Newcomb was named the Los Angeles Angels’ top prospect by Baseball America and is playing with the Advanced Class A Inland Empire 66ers of the California League. Hunter was named a Midwest League All-Star playing for the Cincinnati Reds’ Class A affiliate, Dayton Dragons. Alfonso is playing for the Clinton LumberKings, the Class A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners in the Midwest League. 





TREY STOVER (A&S) of Beech Creek, Pa., was drafted in the 35th round by the Kansas City Royals in the MLB first-year player draft.  While an undergraduate, he and HALEY RICE ‘14(A&S) of Schenectady, N.Y, were honored by the America East Conference with the Helping Hands Award, which is given to one male and one female athlete from each America East institution for their dedication to bettering their communities through service. Rice was president of the University’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council.

Trey Stover '15 and Haley Rice '14





DANIELLE ETTA ’12 (A&S) and STEPHEN SOBOCINSKI ’10 (CETA) of East Hampton, Conn., were married on May 29, 2015, in Fishkill, N.Y., with a reception following at Dutchess Manor in Beacon, N.Y. The bride, a former member of UHart’s volleyball team, is an information account executive for Travelers in Hartford, Conn. The groom, a former member of UHart’s baseball team, is a mechanical engineer for Dynamics Electric Boat in New London, Conn. UHart groomsmen included JOSE WARD ’09, BEN SOBOCINSKI ’09, DREW SGRO ’09, ZACK TARNER ’10, and BRENDAN FLOYD ’10. Other guests included UHart volleyball alumnae and their coach: (l–r) MICHELLE CORDELL ’12, DIONNA KIRTON ’14, MADDY MOLYNEUX ’10, HALLIE FULLAGAR ’14, SAREETA NETHERSOLE ’15, Head Coach Don Ferguson, TAYLOR McCREERY ’14, SARAH BOSS ’10, and LINDSAY FORD ’11, D’14.   



JESSICA GAY ’13 (BARNEY) and KYLE CHOLEWA ’13 (A&S) of Simsbury, Conn., celebrated their nuptials on Oct. 13, 2013, at Saint Clements Castle in Portland, Conn. SABRINA SLEMP ’13 (BARNEY) was maid of honor and RYAN ADAMS ’13 (CETA) was best man. (See Hawk Hatchlings.) 


Hawk Hatchlings:
Births and Adoptions




LATASHA JARRETT RAINEAULT ’08, D’10 (ENHP), and her husband, Jordan, of West Hartford, Conn., welcomed the birth of their first child, daughter Maya Elizabeth, on June 29, 2015.  



JESSICA GAY CHOLEWA ’13 (BARNEY) and her husband, KYLE CHOLEWA ’13 (A&S), of Simsbury, Conn., welcomed the birth of their son, Colton, on Nov. 19, 2014. (See Weddings.)