Class notes


Jerome S. Mayersak, A&S '60, a retired urologist, received the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences' 2019 Distinguished Urology Alumni Award.


Michael A. Moskowitz, A&S '64, is part of an international team receiving the Brain Prize 2021, a $1.5 million award for groundbreaking work on the causes and treatment of migraine. The research that began in Moskowitz's MIT laboratory in 1979, with a hypothesis and road map focusing on neuropeptides, has become the target for more than 15 drugs with the promise for better treatments ahead. In addition, the four-person team identified the first endogenous brain event that triggers migraine headaches. The award ceremony will be held in Copenhagen and presided over by Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark, in October.


Thomas J. White, A&S '67, an adviser to the UC Berkeley School of Law's Human Rights Center, co-edited a book titled Silent Witness: Forensic DNA Evidence in Criminal Investigations and Humanitarian Disasters, released in October 2020 by Oxford University Press. The multiauthor collection focuses on the development and application of DNA technology in the criminal justice system and reviews the associated scientific, legal, and ethical issues.


Laurence Sarezky, A&S '71, former chair of the Connecticut Bar Association's Family Law Section, is proud to report that his book, Divorce, Simply Stated: How to Achieve More, Worry Less and Save Money in Your Divorce, was ranked "the Best Family Law Book of All Time" by Book Authority. A No. 1 bestseller on, Sarezky's book is a uniquely engaging how-to manual with tips on controlling legal expenses and avoiding the most damaging divorce mistakes.


Michael Casher, A&S '72, retired from the University of Michigan as a clinical associate professor emeritus of psychiatry and is using his newfound free time for classical guitar study and performance, golf, tennis, and family. In March 2020, Cambridge University Press published the second edition of his co-edited book, The Manual of Inpatient Psychiatry, updated to keep pace with the many advances in the field of hospital psychiatry. He is also proud to report his son Gabriel received his PhD in child psychology in 2020.


David L. Levine, A&S '73, '75 (MFA), co-chair of Science Writers in New York (SWINY), interviewed book authors in front of live audiences prior to the pandemic. He has since moved the interviews to Zoom and started concentrating on COVID-19, speaking with a variety of medical experts and journalists. All the interviews can be found on SWINY's YouTube channel.


Cathleen Cohen, A&S '75, the 2019 poet laureate of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, released a collection of poems, Etching the Ghost, published in February 2021 by Atmosphere Press. In it, Cohen presents painting as a lens and an instrument through which to view life and make meaning. This collection explores the images that accompany one painter while she makes art, teaches, and raises a family.


Steven D. Schwaitzberg, A&S '77, is professor and chair of the Department of Surgery and professor of biomedical informatics at the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in Buffalo, New York, a position he has held since 2015. He also serves as director of surgical programs for Kaleida Health and Erie County Medical Center. He is a past president of the Society of Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons and governor of the American College of Surgeons. Much of his research involves novel surgical device development and functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) brain imaging during surgical skills acquisition.


Michael Sievers, Bus '79 (MS), is the writer, producer, and creator of a new podcast series, The Silver King's War, based on his father's WWII experience as a B-26 bombardier. The series is made up of four plays and follows his father's war writings from January 1943 to October 1945.


Robert Lenhard, A&S '81, a partner in Covington & Burling LLP's election and political law group, served as outside counsel to the Biden for President campaign from its inception through the inauguration.

Gary Okum, A&S '81, retired from clinical practice and his position as professor emeritus of clinical anesthesiology and perioperative medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. He is currently the interim chair of the department as it reorganizes after the bankruptcy and closure of its principal teaching hospital, Hahnemann University Hospital.


Sara Richmond, A&S '85, was elected partner of Bond, Schoeneck & King in January, working out of the firm's New York City office. Richmond concentrates her practice in the areas of school law, labor and employment, and cybersecurity, and counsels public, private, and charter schools in Westchester County, the Mid-Hudson Valley, Long Island, and the Greater New York City region. She regularly advises school administrations and boards on minimizing and addressing risks inherent in the operation of educational communities.


Martha Burke, SAIS Eur '90 (Cert), SAIS '91 (MA), was promoted to the position of senior policy adviser at Brownstein Farber Hyatt Shreck in Washington, D.C., where she advises global Fortune 100 companies on market access, emerging initiatives, and international government issues.


Craig F. Warren, A&S '93, became chief administrative officer at the Washburn Center for Children, a nonprofit focused on providing transformative children's mental health care, in October 2020. He previously served as the vice president of enterprise solutions at the Minnesota Children's Museum.


Kendra Preston Leonard, Peab '95, lyricist and librettist, enjoyed numerous recent premieres and performances of her work: "Strawberry Man," commissioned and performed by Arwen Meyers, was released in April 2020. "Fire and Dust" premiered at the 2020 N.E.O. Voice Festival in Los Angeles. Leonard's libretto for the micro-opera Par for the Course premiered with Rhymes with Opera in its 2020 Pocket Opera Workshop, and another, Sense of Self, premiered with Opera Elect in late 2020. Leonard's first collection of poetry, Making Mythology, was published by Louisiana Literature Press in January 2020.


Alysoun McLaughlin, A&S '96, was elected secretary of the board of advisers to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. She is an election official in Montgomery County, Maryland, and serves on the federal advisory committee by appointment of the National Association of Counties.


Rafael E. Torres, A&S '98, was appointed chief quality officer at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York, where he will lead multidisciplinary, team-based efforts to develop, monitor, and enhance initiatives focused on safety, efficiency, and the patient experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings, while working with hospital leadership on new program development. He served as the director of emergency medicine at White Plains Hospital since 2014.


Janet Freedman, A&S '99 (MLA), published Divine Intervention: A Memoir in January 2021. The book chronicles Freedman's journey from her childhood in conservative, blue-collar East Baltimore to her college years at the Maryland Institute College of Art, where her eccentric friends—including John Waters and the not-yet-famous drag queen Divine—helped her move past her insecurities, ditch her plain-Jane looks, and create a future that wasn't going to happen. The book is available on Amazon both as a paperback and Kindle e-book.


Adina Renee Adler, SAIS '02 (MA), was promoted to vice president of advocacy at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, where she will oversee government relations, trade, economics, and regulatory affairs. She joined the trade association in 2006 as senior director for international affairs and was promoted to assistant vice president in 2019.

Rhonda Glover Reese, Ed '02 (MS), a retired FBI special agent, is a member of the Mirror Project, working to encourage the FBI to enhance minority recruitment, retention, leadership training, and promotional opportunities. In fall 2020, she was interviewed on CBS This Morning along with three of her colleagues.


Luci Gabel, Bus '03 (MBA), a leadership optimal performance coach, published Eat to Lead (Atmosphere Press, October 2020). Filled with practical advice, encouragement, and the latest nutrition research, the book details how to harness a healthy diet and an active lifestyle to be a more effective leader.

Thomas F. Marshall, Ed '03 (MS), was awarded the North Carolina Civil Air Patrol's 2020 Chaplain of the Year Award, one of the organization's highest honors, for his active service as a chaplain providing spiritual support and instruction to senior members and cadets of the North Carolina Wing Air Patrol. Marshall was presented with the award virtually at the 2021 North Carolina Wing Conference in February.


David M. Baron, Bus '04 (MBA), independently published The Undercover Wrestler: The Untold Story of an Undercover Hero of Israel in September 2020. Based on true events, the semifictional espionage spy-thriller novel is set in post–World War II Czechoslovakia and tells the story of Baron's grandfather, Zalman Unreich, a highly regarded wrestler and undercover spy from Israel. Raised by a strict father who hoped his son would become a rabbi, Zalman instead planned to use his champion wrestling background to defend the Jewish people. His adventurous career began in the streets of Bratislava, continuing in Palestine and eventually Israel, where he negotiated an arms deal that helped the State of Israel defend itself during its early days of war. While working as an Israeli diplomat and a master of deceit, Zalman helped the victims of the Communist anti-Jewish "show trials," and he smuggled many people across the Iron Curtain in Europe, risking his life on a daily basis.

Rajendrani "Raj" Mukhopadhyay, Med '04 (PhD), was promoted to vice president for diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect at the American Chemical Society. She was previously the executive editor of Chemical & Engineering News Media Group and the BrandLab.


Beth Hatef, A&S '07, an attorney focused on alcohol regulation and distribution issues, has joined the nationwide food and beverage group at Davis Wright Tremaine. In addition to advising on regulatory and distribution issues, Hatef will provide critical counsel on corporate transactions involving alcohol beverage suppliers and retailers. Hatef previously worked at McDermott Will & Emery.

Michael Scavelli, A&S '07, a trial lawyer who focuses on complex commercial litigation, internal and government investigations, and white-collar criminal defense matters, was elected partner at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, based in the firm's New York office. Scavelli regularly counsels corporate and individual clients in high-stakes situations. In commercial litigation, he has represented a range of clients—from corporate executives to technology startups to Fortune 500 companies—in securities litigation and business disputes around the country. In white-collar matters, Scavelli has defended both corporations and individuals against federal and state authorities and has extensive experience counseling clients through concurrent criminal, regulatory, or civil proceedings.


Ryan Kim, A&S '08, has been promoted to partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. Kim's practice concentrates on a wide variety of domestic and international debt financings and complex restructurings. He represents private equity sponsors, hedge funds, portfolio companies, alternative capital sources, and other financial investors in matters pertaining to leveraged buyouts, loan originations, distressed investments, and other corporate finance transactions. He also represents debtors and creditors, including ad hoc creditor groups, in connection with restructurings, workouts, debtor-in-possession financings, and exit financings.

Celeste Malone, Ed '08 (MS), was elected president of the National Association of School Psychologists. She is the second person of color to be elected to this office in the association's 52-year history.

John "Chuck" Ternent, Ed '08 (MS), was appointed chief of police for the city of Cumberland, Maryland, in August 2020.


Elena Walsh, A&S '09, college access specialist and teacher at Benjamin Franklin High School at Masonville Cove, in Baltimore, is one of 12 recipients of the 2021 Counselors That Change Lives Awards. This recognition is given by Colleges That Change Lives, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the ideal of a student-centered college search.


Michael Lavers, A&S '10 (MLA), who teaches English at Brigham Young University, was awarded the Bridport Prize for his poem "Low Tide." The competition began in 1973 in Bridport, England, to help fund the local arts center and now attracts entries from more than 82 countries for poetry, short stories, flash fiction, and the novel.

Brandon L. Stuart, A&S '10, founder and chief creative artist of Detroit-based startup ideaLogic LLC, was awarded grant funding to partner with food trucks to serve as floating voter information hubs in the weeks leading up to Election Day 2020 through a project called "Float the Vote." The five-person core project team also secured a product donation of nearly 2,500 plant-based burger patties from Impossible Foods and traveled around the city on Election Day flanked by eye-catching vehicles and food trucks, decorated with flags, posters, and signs, serving free food to voters at various polling locations. The project culminated with the creation of the short documentary film Float the Vote: Tell Your Story.


Maxi Gumprecht, A&S '12, a stand-up comic who goes by Maxi Witrak professionally, had her collection of poetry, titled Unsent Postcards: things I never told you, published in February 2021 by Lightning Press. Pairing vintage imagery with charming love notes, it is a spark of fairy-tale romance dressed in the sweatpants of reality.

Abhilaksh Likhi, SAIS '12 (MIPP), hosted a virtual film discussion on popular Indian cinema in the 2000s, organized by the Resident Welfare Association in New Delhi, in February 2021. The discussion focused on the rich, diverse, and eclectic body of work of Indian filmmakers across the many regions, cultures, and languages in the country.


Anna Carello, Ed '13 (Cert), will become the associate head of school for academics at Collegiate School, a private school for boys in New York City, on July 1.

Sana Shaikh, Ed '13 (MS), director of school operations for Springfield Public Schools in Massachusetts, was selected as a 2021 National Voices Fellow by 50CAN, an organization that advocates at the local level for a high-quality education for all kids, regardless of their address.


Wyatt Oroke, Ed '15 (MS), an English teacher and part-time basketball and volleyball coach at City Springs Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore, was named the 2020–21 Maryland Teacher of the Year.

Roy E. Strowd III, Med '15 (PGF), Ed '18 (MEHP), a neurologist and neuro-oncologist at Wake Forest Baptist Health, was named assistant dean for academic affairs at Wake Forest School of Medicine.


Alejandro Diasgranados, Ed '18 (MS), '19 (Cert), a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher at Aiton Elementary School in Washington, D.C., was named 2021 D.C. Teacher of the Year and was one of four nominees for the National Teacher of the Year Award.


Shayla Heavner, Ed '19 (MS), co-authored, with School of Education faculty member Christopher Devers, "Digital Tools for Mathematics Composition: Building an Online Mathematics Course," which was published in the October 2020 issue of the International Journal on E-Learning.

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