Class Notes Online

March 2017

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FICHERA EGAN (BARNEY), M’85 (BARNEY) of Hartford, Conn., was the subject of a Hartford Courant feature article celebrating her 14 years feeding the hungry.  She is the mastermind behind Church Street Eats, a soup kitchen that caters to Hartford’s homeless population on the weekends.  It serves an estimated 9,000 men, women and children each year.



BETH SCHNITMAN-MALM (ENHP), M’74 (ENHP) of Wilmington, Del., has retired after 41 years working in higher education.  She spent the past 29 years at the University of Pennsylvania in the Office of Fraternity/Sorority Life where she oversaw the chapter house administration and facilities management of their Greek housing system.  


DR. IRA SCHWARTZ (A&S) of Bethesda, Md., is leading a group of scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory who are studying how to stop the spread of pandemic disease and infection in a population.  He is head of the Nonlinear Systems Dynamics Section in the Plasm Physics Division, and is an applied math task area coordinator. 

Schwartz '73


The Lion’s Club International Foundation awarded ANDREA REINE (A&S)of Framingham, Mass. with the Melvin Jones Fellow Award.  It is given for dedicated humanitarian services to the organization.  She has been associated with the Lion’s Club for 10 years and has been its president three times.  Reine has been an involved community volunteer, including an active role in various Special Olympics events, among other endeavors. 




The installation of a Victorian room featuring the interior design work of JANE RAINWATER (HAS) of Hartford, Conn., made its debut at an opening reception at The Dirt Salon in Hartford, Conn., March 25.  The room is titled The Botanical Tyranny Parlor.    

An article appeared in in March, previewing a town hall forum conducted by Massachusetts Commissioner of Elementary Education and Secondary Education MITCHELL CHESTER M (ENHP), M’87 (BARNEY) from Winchester, Mass.  He has been in that role since May, 2008.  Chester has had a varied administrative career and is an expert on accountability, assessment and teacher induction and retention.    

MICHAEL CICCHETTI (HARTT) from Farmington, Conn., served as the interim principal of the Long Lots Elementary School in Westport, Conn., this past year.  He started his career as a music teacher in Farmington, Conn., before moving on to serve as superintendent of the Berlin Public Schools and of Easton, Redding and Region 9 School districts. featured the photography of EMILY REED (BARNEY) in an article in March.  She honed her craft, post-retirement, at the University of Delaware’s Osher’s Lifelong Learning Institute.  Reed’s photographs have been widely featured in exhibitions and in print.


Elevation, the artwork of DAN TALLEY M (HAS) of Kutztown, Pa., was included in Light & Matter: The Photographic Object, curated by Kelsey Halliday Johnson at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pa., from March through June.


LEWIS P. VASQUEZ M (BARNEY), M’87 (BARNEY) of Rocky Hill, Conn., was appointed as a United States Army Reserve Ambassador for Connecticut.  He is a special background investigator/consultant for ADC Ltd., headquartered in Albuquerque, N.M.  Vasquez is a retired Army lieutenant colonel who served primarily in military intelligence including a mobilization during Desert Storm.

Chester '76

Cicchetti '76


PERRY GORDON M (A&S) of Oxford, Ohio, recently retired from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources as a national resources officer.  He continues his public service as a property/evidence manager for the City of Oxford, Ohio.



The wind trio ALTA, featuring alumni DANIEL GREEN (HARTT), M’90 (HARTT) of Hartford, Conn. and GWENDOLYN WINKEL ’86 (HARTT), AD ’91 (HARTT) of Avon, Conn., recently entertained guests at the St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Bloomfield, Conn. with vocals and lively dance music from the Renaissance using period instruments.  Peter Braunfield rounds out the wind trio.





Arts Consulting Group (ACG) President BRUCE THIBODEAU (HARTT) successfully defended his dissertation and was awarded a doctorate of business administration (DBA) from Grenoble Ecole de Management (GEM) in Grenoble, France. 




The Adirondack North Country Association named STEVEN CACCHIO (BARNEY) of Fayetteville, N.Y., as a new Board member.  He is president and CEO of Champlain National Bank.  Cacchio has focused much of his extensive banking career on community banking in upstate New York.  

DOUGLAS McCRORY (BARNEY), M’95 (BARNEY) won the Connecticut 2nd State Senate seat in a special election in February.  He has served in the State legislature since 2004, and has been deeply involved in both politics and community initiatives throughout his career.  McCrory, a former basketball standout at Hartford, is a vice-principal for the Capitol Region Education Council and has been an educator for over 20 years.  

Cacchio '88

McCrory '88



PAULA KNUDSON M (BARNEY) of Onalaska, Wisc. has accepted the position of vice president for student affairs at the University of Northern Iowa.  It continues a career focused on improving student life in education.  Previously, she was vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse.  

The Jazz Education Network (JEN) has appointed STEPHEN NIGOHOSIAN A (HILLYER) of Ridgewood, N.J. to the position of marketing communications manager.  His responsibilities will include developing ad campaigns, social media management, brand messaging and digital marketing initiatives.  

Knudson '89

Nigohosian '89

Provident Bank named AILEEN G. BOYLE (BARNEY) of Monroe, N.J. as banking center manager for its Old Bridge office.  She will be responsible for overseeing a broad range of financial initiatives.    
The Grammy-nominated work, Ellis Island: The Dream of America, composed by PETER BOYER M (HARTT), D’95 (HARTT), of Altadena, Calif., will be filmed April 7 and 8 for a national television production to appear at a later date on on “PBS’ Great Performances” series.  It will be performed by the Pacific Symphony.  The work was originally commissioned by The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford, Conn., and premiered with the Hartford Symphony in 2002.  Boyer is a former Hartt Alumnus of the Year.     
Boyer '93

SHANE SHANAHAN M (HARTT) of Brooklyn, N.Y. won a second Grammy Award for his collaboration with Yo Yo Ma on “Sing Me Home” in the Best World Music category.  He was also nominated along with his fellow ensemble members , though didn’t win, in the Best Music Film category for The Music of Strangers.  A classically-trained percussionist, Shanahan is a member of Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble.  His first Grammy came in 2010.  


The town of Lexington, Mass., has named KELLY AXTELL (ENHP) of Bedford, Mass., its assistant town manager.  Previously, she was assistant director of senior services for Lexington.


REBECCA PEARSON-FISCHER (A&S) of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, has authored the book, Stepping it Up: Foundations for Success in English.  She now teaches in the International Program at the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada.    




RAMSAY ANTONIO-BARNES (HAS) of Baltimore, Md., has been appointed to the position of K-12 makerspace program coordinator at the Friends School of Baltimore.




ANTHONY BARRETT (A&S)  of Bloomfield, Conn., and his wife Sabrina Tucker Barrett, representing Girls for Technology, received the Barack Obama Award at the Black History Month Awards Luncheon hosted by Capital Community College in February.  The award is presented to a local community or youth–based organization that exemplifies leadership and is an agent for change in their community.  



COREY PAINE (A&S) of Hartford, Conn., along with ADAM  SARETTE ’11 (HAS) of Manchester, N.H., co-wrote, choreographed and co-starred in a comedic musical short film that was one of the top selections for the Women In Comedy Festival held in Boston in April. 





ROBERT COGAN (A&S) of Washington, D.C., is now a senior policy advisor  for the Budget Committee in the United States House of Representatives.  Previously, he was deputy chief of staff & legislative director in the United States House of Representatives for more than six years.





PATRICK DUNN (HARTT) of Port Jervis, N.Y., performed his annual The Patrick Dunn Show, at the Port Jervis, N.Y., VFW, in February.  The scholarship dinner benefitted Port Jervis high school, his alma mater.  Appearing as himself and then as an Elvis Presley tribute artist, Dunn shared songs that have been enjoyed during his career in film, on stage and in many other venues.  He most recently performed at Lincoln Center, is currently in the show Candide at the New York City Opera and will star in Jesus Christ Superstar in Philadelphia this year.  



Industrial Scientific, the global leader in gas detection, announced that its chief information officer, DAVID DiLEO M (BARNEY) of Canonsburg, Pa., has been named CIO of the Year by the Pittsburgh Technology Council.  The award recognizes exceptional leadership in IT and security.  David has been with Industrial Scientific since 2013.  



Motor Coach Industries has announced that PATRICK LAFFAN (US) of East Haddam, Conn., has joined the organization as vice president for new coach sales for the Northeast Region in the U.S.  He was formerly commercial vehicle sales manager at Dattco, Inc.  


Dr. ALLISON LITTLE M (A&S) D’13 (A&S) of Clarks Summit, Pa., was the subject of a question and answer on-line article that appeared on in March.  As a clinical psychologist, with a specialization in children and adolescents, she draws on multiple theories and inventions to treat a diverse groups of patients in Northeast Pennsylvania.  



Simon, a global leader in retail real estate, announced that ASHLEY WHEELER (A&S) from Watertown, Mass., has been named director of marketing & business development at South Shore Plaza in Braintree, Mass.  In that role she will lead and direct all marketing efforts.  Wheeler has been with Simon since 2011, and comes to South Shore Plaza from Pheasant Lane Mall in Nashua, N.H.

Laffan '10

Little '10

Wheeler '10






A story on first-year Archbishop Ryan High School head coach and former Hartford Hawk, JOE ZEGLINSKI (BARNEY) of Philadelphia, Pa., appeared in  Zeglinski is Archbishop Ryan’s all-time leading scorer and his number 24 is retired there.  The Raiders were 23-6 and reached the state semifinal round.  Zeglinski is third among Hartford’s all-time leading scorers with 2,016 points.  

Zeglinski '11

Pebody Real Estate named ALEXANDRIA CORNELIO (BARNEY) of Woburn, Mass., as manager of its new office in the North End of Boston.  In her new role, she will work with the broker/owner and assist with the operations of the new agency.  Prior to Peabody, Cornelio was a marketing associate at UDR.  

HEIDI JOSEPH M (ENHP) of Portland, Conn., joined the Wheeler Clinic in 2016 as its vice president of the health and wellness center operations.  She oversees clinic operations at three locations across Hartford, Bristol and New Britain.  The organization provides medical, dental, behavioral health and medication assisted treatment for all ages.   


Coltland Souvenir Shop is an installation and sale of sculpture paintings by STASS SHPANIN (HAS) of Agawam, Mass., that was presented at the EBK Gallery in Hartford, Conn., in April.      

Cornelio '12

Joseph '12



CAITLIN ROUX-HALLORAN C (US) of East Hampton, Conn., started law school at the University of Connecticut in fall of 2017.


A forfeiture support associate law clerk with the United States Attorney’s Office in Boston, Mass., CHRIS YAGOOBIAN C (US)of Springfield, Mass., passed both the Massachusetts and Connecticut Bar exams.





Making a name for himself in the world of art and skateboards is NATE HANSEN (HAS) of Venice, Calif., who operates a hand-painted skateboard business.  All of his designs incorporate an image of corn in some way because, as he explains it, corn is a happy image.  Hansen’s web site and Instagram page, cornskateboards, shows images of the boards and his other works.   

Hansen '14




Saxophonist MIKE CASEY (HARTT) of Hartford, Conn., was profiled in a February article in the Hartford Courant.  He talked about the release of his first full-length album as a leader, The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door.  The article also dealt with Casey’s views on Hartford as a rich training ground for the Jazz scene.  


The chief clerk of the Hartford Probate Court, MONICA GONZALEZ A’12 (US), (US), C’15 (US) of Harford, Conn., is celebrating 19 years with the Hartford Probate Court System.


Melitsa Vasiliakis (A&S) of Cromwell, Conn., started law school at the University of Connecticut in the Fall of 2017

Casey '15



ANGELA AGUILAR C (US) of Groton, Conn. has taken a position as a criminal law paralegal with the Mystic, Conn, law firm of Pieszak-Miller & Brodeur, LLC.


JOANNA RIGON-BINNS C (US) of Bristol, Conn., has taken a position with the Public Safety Office, Connecticut Office of the Attorney General, as a paralegal specialist.