Class Notes Online

May 2017

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Hawk Hatchlings



RICHARD BELKIN (HILLYER) and his wife, Sherry,of Tucson, Ariz., co-produced the Broadway musical Come and Away, which received seven Tony Award nominations.  It won for Best Director of a Musical.


The artwork of CHESTER RENESON C (HAS) of Lyme, Conn., won the latest Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp Art Contest.  He used a duck painting that was originally created in 1962, and it will be the image used for the 2018 Connecticut duck stamp.  Reneson worked as an illustrator at Pratt & Whitney before launching a career illustrating animals for children’s books. 


Currently an adjunct professor at Asnuntuct Community College (Conn.), DAVID VANIA (BARNEY), M’72 (ENHP) has been teaching for almost 50 years.  Included were 18 years in the Hartford Public School system.  Vania counts his friendship with benefactor Faisal Al-Marzook, for whom the soccer field is named, as one of his most cherished relationships.  


ARTHUR HARTUNG (HAS) of Cagus, P.R., is currently teaching at the Sacred Heart Institute at Enders Island in Mystic, Conn.  He teaches sacred woodcarving and mosaics.


DENISE TRACY (A&S) of Elgin, Ill., now retired, serves as a police chaplain for the City of Elgin.  A couple of years ago, she was awarded the MLK, Jr., Humanitarian Award from the Human Relations Committee of the City of Elgin for her work to make Elgin an International Committee of Peace.


In celebration of the Sunken Poetry’s Festival’s 25th anniversary, the Hill-Stead Museum (in Conn.), presented Boundless: Altered Books in Contemporary Art, an exhibit curated by two-dimensional artist CAROLE P. KUNSTADT (HAS) of West Hurley, N.Y.  The works of three artists, including Kunstadt’s, will be installed among the many first editions and early volumes in the Pope family’s personal library. 


DR. DAVID MACBRIDE (HARTT) of Bloomfield, Conn., was the recipient of the Humphrey Tonkin Award for Scholarship and Creativity given by the University of Hartford at its Commencement ceremonies in May.

Kunstadt '73

JODI KATZMEN (A&S) of New York, N.Y., accepted a position as head of product development at Merlin Entertainments.  She oversees ideation through delivery of all Midway attractions in North America.  Merlin is the world’s second largest visitor attraction operator.


The paintings of MAUREEN GALLACE (HAS) of New York, N.Y., began a five-month run at MoMA PS1 in Queens, N.Y., in an exhibit titled “Maurice Gallace: Clear Day.”  The exhibit and artist were featured in an article that appeared in The New York Times.  Gallace’s paintings, most no larger than a legal pad, focus on landscapes and genre scenes of country Connecticut and Coastal New England.


A leading figure in municipal government for nearly four decades, Coventry (Conn.) Town Manager JOHN ELSESSER M (BARNEY) of Coventry, Conn., was featured in an article that appeared in the Connecticut Mirror talking about his role and the varied and intensifying fiscal pressures facing Connecticut and it municipalities.  He is the former president of the Connecticut Council of Small Towns.



ANDREW KAPLAN (BARNEY) of Marlboro, N.J. was appointed to the Board of Directors of Bioptix, Inc., and will serve on a number of committees in that role.  He is a founder of A to B Capital Management, and manages the A to B Special Situations Fund, LP.


STEPHEN NIGOHOSIAN A (HILLYER) of Ridgewood, N.J., is the marketing communications coordinator at the Jazz Education Network (JEN), a position he has held since Jan., 2016.  He was formerly director of artist relations and publicity for Latin Percussion (LP).   

Nigohosian '89

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey hired YOUSSEF SQUALI (BARNEY), M’92 (BARNEY) of Larchmont, N.Y. as managing director and senior analyst covering the internet and digital media sectors.  He previously worked at Cantor Fitzgerald as managing director and global head of internet research.   


VIN BAKER ND (A&S) of Hamden, Conn., was included in an article on which revealed that his son, Vin Baker, Jr., had made a verbal commitment to attend Boston College.  Vin, Jr., is a 6’9” junior forward at Hamden Hall.   Vin, Sr., is UHart’s all-time leading scorer (2,238 points) and is a four-time NBA All-Star.

Squali '90

ROB KUDYBA (HARTT) of New York, N.Y., began his career as system administrator for the computer and information science department at Fordham University.




SONIA TURNER A’94 (HCW), (ENHP) of Windsor, Conn., was named the City of Hartford’s teacher of the year.  She is a sixth grade literacy teacher at Annie Fisher STEM Magnet School, where she has been for nearly 19 years.




The first African American ringmaster of a major circus, JOHNATHAN LEE IVERSON (HARTT) of New York, N.Y., was featured prominently in national media coverage as the Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus closed out its 146-year history.  He appeared on CBS Sunday Morning, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and was part of the coverage in, among other media outlets.  Iverson was hired for the role in 1999 at the age of 22.   


Veteran realtor JUDITH GAUVAIN (ENHP) of Westerly, R.I., joined Randall’s Watch Hill (R.I.) office as a sales associate.  She has been an active realtor the past 10 years.  Her previous career was that of a nurse for 32 years. 


AMIT KUMAR (BARNEY) of New York, N.Y., vice president and senior analyst  at Macquarie Group Limited, was the subject of a Q&A article that appeared on  He spoke on the subject of commercial insurance and how it is best positioned to benefit from an improvement in the economy.   

Kumar '00

Team Phun, with principal owner JESSE GOODWICK (CETA), M’09 (CETA) of San Diego, Calif., at the helm, is riding a wave of success.  The company, with a showroom blocks from the beach and an extensive social media marketing presence, specializes in custom apparel and promo fun items including screen printing, patches, pocket tees, and cut-n-sew. 


Oliver Scholars, a nonprofit organization that prepares high-achieving African-American and Latino students for success at the nation’s best independent schools and colleges, honored RYAN SPEEDO GREEN (HARTT) of Tallahassee, Fla., at its annual gala in early May.  The bass-baritone recently returned to the Metropolitan Opera in the iconic Zeffirelli production of La Boehme

Goodwick '08

Alumni Association Board member JOHN JARAMILLO M (A&S), M15 (BARNEY) is the founder and a leadership coach with Coach It Out (CiO), a multi-service leadership coaching firm which seeks to maximize leadership and professional development for its clients by providing a slate of services.



TIFFANY SAWYER A’07 (HILLYER), (ENHP) of Roxbury, Mass., is the new principal of St. Patrick School in Roxbury Beginning July 1.


Over the past few years, SARAH ORTLIEB (A&S) of Streamwood, Ill., has been developing a nonprofit organization called Nodd Pottery.  Through the organization, she provides the community of Rogers Park, Chicago with affordable or free art education services and after-school enrichment programs.


Joining the Farewell National Tour cast of Mamma Mia for its run at the Boston Opera House May 30 to June was CHLOE KOUNADIS (HARTT) of Framingham, Mass.  She played Ali, the best friend of Sophie. 


Hartford portraitist GENEVIEVE NOLAN (HAS), of East Hampton, Conn., a.k.a. Genevieve May, had her work displayed at EBK Gallery in Hartford, Conn.  It is unique in that she specializes in painting strangers she meets around the city and in the community.   

Kounadis '15



CLAUDETTE BENTIL (BARNEY) of Tolland, Conn., has been working in corporate travel management at American Express GBT the past 19 years.




Hawk Hatchlings


MELANIE (ANGEL) LeROY M’13 (BARNEY) and MATTHEW LeROY ’09 (A&S) of West Hartford, Conn., welcomed their first child, Grayson Gerald LeRoy, on April 4.  He weighed in at seven pounds, three ounces and was 20.5 inches long.  Melanie’s father, William Angel M’88 (BARNEY), is a UHart graduate.