Class notes


Frederick Kluth, A&S '64, is an artist and owner of the FJKluth Art Gallery located in Kent, Ohio. Last year marked 20 years since he began operating the gallery.


Jerry Doctrow, A&S '72, celebrated his 50th alumni weekend and class reunion in the spring and enjoyed visiting online with classmates who were unable to attend in person. He spent more than two decades as an award-winning, internationally recognized stock analyst following seniors housing and health care real estate. He currently publishes a blog featuring advice on retirement and seniors housing.


Leonard Lucchi, A&S '80, a registered lobbyist representing business owners, trade groups, and local governments before the Maryland General Assembly and the U.S. Congress, was recognized by news site Maryland Matters as a "winner" in the 2022 session of the Maryland General Assembly. During that session, he worked on the Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022, which speeds up Maryland's current greenhouse gas emissions-reduction goals, and the Time to Care Act of 2022, which established a paid family and medical leave program for Maryland workers. He also served as chairman of Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence, which helped enact a ban on ghost guns in Maryland. He is a partner at O'Malley, Miles, Nylen & Gilmore, P.A.


Neal Blaxberg, A&S '82, is a certified professional life coach, author, and editor. He retired in 2015 after 30 years in private practice as a chiropractor, and, using his psychology and humanities backgrounds, established his current business, Your Pro Writer. He is the author of The Happy Introvert: Quirky Tales From the Depths of Solitude, which he published in 2017.


Rene Shumate, Nurs '91, '00 (Cert), '07 (MSN), was named to Baltimore Magazine's Excellence in Nursing 2022 list. She is a pediatric transplant nurse at Johns Hopkins University.


K. Christopher Garcia, Med '92 (PhD), led a team of researchers in the mapping of the 3D structure of a crucial signaling protein, Janus kinase, which takes signals from outside cells and passes along the information to molecules inside. The breakthrough may result in more effective drugs for blood cancers and allergic or autoimmune diseases. The research was published on March 10 in the journal Science. Garcia is a professor in the Molecular and Cellular Physiology Department at Stanford University School of Medicine and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He also is the founder of Synthekine, which develops engineered cytokine therapeutics to fight cancer and inflammatory disease.


Traci Brooks, Med '94 (MD), was named chief of pediatrics at Cambridge Health Alliance in April. CHA is a community health system that serves the Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston metro-north communities. Brooks provides clinical, administrative, and academic leadership to the department, while continuing to care for CHA's pediatric patients. She is board-certified in both adolescent medicine and general pediatrics and is an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.


Carolyn Boies, A&S '96, began her new job as associate general counsel at the Art Institute of Chicago in April. She previously was an assistant city attorney in the Seattle City Attorney's Office, supervising and handling political and constitutional litigation, including multiple matters against the Trump administration. She held the post for 12 years.


Cynthia H. Thurlow, Nurs '98, '01 (MS), authored Intermittent Fasting Transformation, which was released by Penguin Random House on March 15. Thurlow, a nurse practitioner, is an intermittent fasting expert and has given TED Talks on the subject. In addition, she produces the podcast Everyday Wellness.


Ian Lee Brown, Bus '99 (MS), '04 (Cert), vice president for diversity, inclusion, and belonging at Erickson Senior Living, was named to the 2022 Class of Influential Leaders by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International. The appointment recognizes Brown's work to educate and empower the next generation of business leaders to create welcoming and inclusive spaces. At Erickson, Brown is responsible for culture, employee retention, career growth programs, diversity, inclusion, and belonging. He also develops pipelines of talent both internally and externally. He is a member o Carey Business School's Dean's Advisory Board and the Underrepresented Advisory Board, as well as a member of the board of SAGE, the world's largest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ elders.

Lora Clawson, Nurs '99 (MS), was named to Baltimore Magazine's Excellence in Nursing 2022 list. She is the founder and director of the ALS Clinic at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

John Lofton Holt, Engr '99 (MS), was appointed executive chairman of Alphawave, a Canadian semiconductor technology company, in 2021. In March, the company acquired SiFive's Open Five business unit for $210 million, substantially expanding Alphawave's customer base.

William Stone, A&S '99, is chair of the International Health Literacy Association's Practice Standards Committee, earning a seat as a voting member on its executive board. He also authored "Market Research—Health Literacy's Missing Ramp," published in the American Journal of Health Education in 2022. He is director of content strategy at Sommer Consulting, a qualitative market research firm with extensive experience in health literacy. He and his wife, Tammy, whom he met while studying abroad in Australia, celebrated 25 years of marriage in May. They have two children, Mia, 14, and Jacob, 11.


Cyndie Chang, A&S '00, joined the Committee of 100, an invitation-only leadership organization of prominent and extraordinary Chinese Americans in the fields of business, government, academia, health care, and the arts. The committee focuses its efforts on public policy, civic engagement, philanthropy, arts, and culture. Chang is managing partner at the Los Angeles office of Duane Morris LLP and a member of its partners board, where she represents national and international businesses and litigates complex business disputes.


Nettie Vasbinder Owens, Engr '01, authored What Businesses Need to Know Right Now Volume 2: How to Flourish in Uncertainty, published by WritePublishSell in April. The book is a compilation of 48 interviews from peer experts who offer advice on how to help businesses thrive while dealing with challenging obstacles. The first volume in the series, What Businesses Need to Know Right Now: Lessons Learned From Interviewing Businesses During a Pandemic, is a compilation of interviews conducted with business leaders during the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Owens is a certified expert and speaker in the field of accountability and productivity.


Gwendolyn Binder, Med '02 (PhD), BSPH '07 (PGF), became president of science and technology at Cabaletta Bio in 2022. The biotechnology company focuses on the discovery and development of engineered T cell therapies for patients with B cell–mediated autoimmune diseases. Binder was one of the company's first employees, joining in 2019, and was most recently executive vice president of science and technology. She established and continues to lead the company's preclinical, translational, manufacturing, and quality teams.

Jenson Dunn, Engr '02, is a director at Harris Williams, a global investment bank specializing in merger and acquisition advisory services, in the firm's industrial group. He provides services to a variety of industries, including industrial technology, chemicals, specialty distribution, and consumer products, among others.

Selena Ramkeesoon, Bus '02 (MBA), is chief staff officer for communications at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, or ASHA, the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 220,000 audiologists and speech-language pathologists. In her position, Ramkeesoon leads the Digital Communications, Public Relations, Creative Media, and Membership departments. In addition, she serves as a member of ASHA's executive leadership team. Previously, she was the vice president of strategic communications at Abt Associates, a global consulting firm. While there, Ramkeesoon created the Communications & Behavior Change Capability Center and received the George Michaels Award for Outstanding Entrepreneurial Accomplishment.

Margaux Coady Soeffker, A&S '02, was selected as a 2022 Super Lawyer in Minnesota, where she is principal of Margaux C. Soeffker Family Law, located in Osseo.


Tarandeep Bawa, Bus '03 (MS), president and CEO of ITegrity, was named the Small Business Person of the Year for Maryland by the U.S. Small Business Administration, or SBA. ITegrity, which was named the 2022 Prime Contractor of the Year for the Mid-Atlantic Region by SBA, provides engineering, IT, and consulting services to multiple federal agencies. Bawa and his business received the awards during National Small Business Week in May.

Debra James, Nurs '03, is a holistic nurse dementia care specialist and the owner of Angelic Touch Health & Wellness LLC. She recently created The Practical Dementia Care Action Guide, an online course that offers a hands-on approach to dementia care. The six-week course covers communication concerns, financial issues, safety, and self-care, among others.


Nurjana Bachman, Med '04 (PhD), was appointed senior vice president for corporate development and strategy at ROME Therapeutics in April. ROME Therapeutics develops new therapies for cancer and autoimmune diseases by using repeatome, uncharted genetic material that has previously been considered junk DNA. Prior to this role, she was vice president of biopharma and corporate alliances at Foundation Medicine, where the partnerships under her leadership supported approval of three first-in-class oncology therapeutics.

Meera Modi, A&S '04, SAIS '05 (MA), was named to the board of directors of Orrstown Financial Services and its principal subsidiary, Orrstown Bank, in March. She is an attorney at McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC, where she handles private and public mergers and acquisitions, commercial contracts, equity and debt investments, financings, investor-to-investor matters, and corporate matters for clients and nonprofit entities.


Chadd K. Kraus, BSPH '05 (MPH), became president of the Pennsylvania College of Emergency Physicians and the inaugural director of research for the American Board of Emergency Medicine earlier this year. He also was selected as a 25 Under 45: Influencer in Emergency Medicine in 2021 by the Emergency Medicine Residents' Association. He is system director of emergency medicine research at the Geisinger Health System and an associate professor of emergency medicine at the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine.

Andrew Pile, Engr '05, is a co-founder of both Gumball, a provider of advertising technology solutions, and Headgum, a Los Angeles–based comedy podcast network.


Debra Charles, Bus '06 (MS), is a senior advisory financial reporting analyst at Frontier Technology Inc., which provides engineering, IT services, and software products to the U.S. Department of Defense and commercial customers.


Susan Finlayson, Nurs '09 (DNP), was named to Baltimore Magazine's Excellence in Nursing 2022 list. She is senior vice president of operations at Mercy Medical Center.


Kulleni Gebreyes, HS '02, Bus '10 (MBA), is the national health care consulting leader and director of Deloitte Health Equity Institute, or DHEI, a new social innovation and knowledge development organization. Its mission is to advance health equity by addressing disparities, inequities, and structural flaws in the health system. Under Gebreyes' leadership, DHEI collaborates with organizations and community leaders to create strategies to drive health equity internally for their workforce and externally for their consumers, communities, and the broader ecosystem.


Nafeez Amin, Bus '11 (MS), cofounded Smart with a Heart, a nonprofit GMAT and GRE test-prep company. Smart with a Heart offers live-instruction classes, free office hours, private mentoring, and admissions advice from fulltime teachers with 99th percentile scores, as well as a no-questions asked free repeat policy.


Jathin Bandari, Med '12 (MD), became chief medical officer at Protara Therapeutics, a clinical stage company dedicated to identifying and advancing transformative therapies for people with cancer and rare diseases, in January. Bandari previously served as Protara's vice president, head of clinical development, and interim chief medical officer. Bandari is a urologic oncologist, specializing in minimally invasive urologic oncology and advanced open pelvic and retroperitoneal cancer surgery.

Laura Daly, Nurs '12, was named to Baltimore Magazine's Excellence in Nursing 2022 list. She is a senior clinical nurse in acute care, family practice, and general medicine at Johns Hopkins University.

Max Parasol, SAIS '12 (MA), a research fellow at RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub, authored AI Development and the 'Fuzzy Logic' of Chinese Cyber Security and Data Laws, published by Cambridge University Press in 2021.


Brian Reil, A&S '13 (MS), became the managing director of external communications for the Edison Electric Institute, the membership association that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies, in March.


Janet Barnes, A&S '14, Nurs '20 (MS), recently received the Diseases Attacking the Immune SYstem Award from Johns Hopkins Hospital. The DAISY Award is sponsored by the Daisy Foundation and recognizes the compassionate care provided by nurses.

Elizabeth Foreman, Nurs '14, was named to Baltimore Magazine's Excellence in Nursing 2022 list. She is a lead clinical nurse at Johns Hopkins Hospital.


Anna Noguchi, Nurs '15, was named to Baltimore Magazine's Excellence in Nursing 2022 list. She is a program coordinator for organ and tissue donation at Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Living Legacy Foundation.


Margaret C. West, Nurs '16, was named to Baltimore Magazine's Excellence in Nursing 2022 list. She is a registered nurse in pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Hospital.


Yaffa Elefant, Nurs '17 (MS), was named to Baltimore Magazine's Excellence in Nursing 2022 list. She is a pediatric nurse at Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital.

Carol Rosenberg, Nurs '17 (DNP), was the second-place winner of NursePitch, an interactive event co-sponsored by the American Nurses Association, that features nurses who want to share creative solutions and innovations. Rosenberg was recognized for her startup READY.SIM.GO, a patient education simulation tool.


Guilherme Andreas, Peab '18 (GPD), and Gianne Ge Zhu, Peab '12, '14 (MM), collaborated on the CD Beyond Bossa Nova, which was released on March 30 by Polymnia Records. Andreas has been an active performer throughout theU.S. and is currently based in New York, where he dedicates his time to teaching and to discovering lesser-known composers whose music expresses extreme ranges of emotions and demands tremendous virtuosity. Zhu is a music instructor at the International School of Music and is state music theory chair for the Virginia Music Teachers Association.

Arun K. Das, Med '18 (MD), became chief business officer at Cabaletta Bio, a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of engineered T cell therapies for patients with B cell–mediated autoimmune diseases, in January. Das was one of Cabaletta's first employees, joining in 2019, and was most recently executive director of new product planning and business development. Before Cabaletta, Das was a resident physician in general pediatrics at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and an investment banking analyst in the health care group at Goldman Sachs.


Christina X. Marea, Nurs '20 (PhD), received a 2021 Hillman Innovations in Care grant from the Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation. The grant advances innovative, evidence-based models of care that show potential growth and promise. Marea's program, "Promoting Postpartum Health and Well-being of Families Experiencing Racism," created a partnership between Community of Hope, a nonprofit working to end and prevent homelessness in Washington, D.C., and Georgetown University to expand a novel maternal health program for postpartum care. Rather than the routine six- to eight-week postpartum visit, Community of Hope will offer a 12-month comprehensive plan that incorporates racially and culturally congruent care, home visitation, case management, and family focus groups for birthing people of color living in Washington.

Jenny Trieu, Engr '20 (MS), became a software engineer at WELL Health Inc. in November 2021. WELL is a patient engagement platform used by some of the nation's leading health care systems that enables secure, interactive text conversations.


Cheryl Nelson, Nurs '21 (DNP), received the Allegany College of Maryland's 2021 Community Engagement Award for her support of the COVID-19 vaccination efforts in Allegany County. She is the director of the Nurse Managed Wellness Clinic and a professor in the nursing program at Allegany College of Maryland.

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