Hi, everyone. I only have one bit of news this month, but it’s great news. John Shea, my friend and roommate (and friend to many of us on the third floor of Millor and Campion Halls) was ordained a Jesuit priest in June. Below are highlights from a statement from the Society of Jesus. Congratulations, Fr. Shea! “On June 7, 2014, John Shea, S.J., was ordained a Jesuit priest at Church of the Gesu in Milwaukee by the Most Reverend Richard Sklba, DD, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Milwaukee. While earning his bachelor’s degree in biology from John Carroll, Fr. Shea developed an appreciation for the Jesuits, particularly through an eight-day silent retreat during his senior year. He earned a doctorate in evolutionary biology at The Ohio State University, where he was active in the school’s Newman Center and discerned a vocation to the Jesuits. Three days after handing in his dissertation in 2003, Fr. Shea entered the Society of Jesus. As a novice, he worked with Catholic Charities serving refugee families in San Jose, Calif. Next he was missioned to Loyola University Chicago, where he earned a master’s in applied philosophy. For his three-year regency assignment, Fr. Shea taught biology and conducted parasitological research at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash. At the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, Calif., Fr. Shea earned a Master of Divinity. He also served as a deacon at the Newman Center at the University of California, Berkeley, and as a member of the ministerial team at the Apostleship of the Sea, a Catholic ministry operated out of the Port of Oakland, one of the nation’s busiest ports. In an expression of gratitude on the occasion of his ordination, Fr. Shea writes: ‘I’m most grateful for the many relationships that have formed me as a Jesuit priest. I’m grateful for my parents who first taught me how to love, especially to my mother who modeled compassion. I’m grateful for my brother, sister, nephew, niece, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and godparents who showed me how to give and receive love in good times and in bad. I’m grateful for my many friends who have journeyed with me at my best and worst. I’m grateful for my teachers who inspired me to follow my passions, especially in biology. I’m grateful for my ministry with refugee families, seafarers, inner-city high school students, and many others. I’m grateful for my students who have shaped me into a better teacher. I’m grateful for God’s creation where I find deep peace and joy. I’m grateful for the Jesuits who showed me how to pray, finding God in all things, from gelato to parasites to Doctor Who. I’m grateful for my Jesuit brothers, who have given me their love, companionship, and support. Finally, I’m grateful to God, whose overwhelming generosity continues to fill my heart with grace and love.’ After ordination, Fr. Shea will spend the summer at St. Isaac Jogues Church in Rapid City, S.D., before heading to Omaha, Neb., to begin a teaching position this fall at Creighton University.”
I’ve received some news during the past few months. After several years of playing women’s tackle football for the Cincinnati Sizzle, Heidi Krebs retired. She remained involved as the special teams coordinator in 2013, when the team made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. They play in the same league, the Women’s Football Alliance, as the Cleveland Fusion. Heidi and her husband, Mark Johnson, had their first child, Rosalind Anastasia Johnson May 31. Heidi is a board-certified family physician and a National Health Service Corps ambassador working in Middletown, Ohio, taking care of the poor.
Chad Rankin joined the clinical staff of Integrated Health Services in Frisco, Texas.
Janine Seebeck was promoted to senior vice president, chief financial officer, and treasurer at Agilysys, a provider of information technology and hospitality software and services.
Vincent Shemo was named vice president and chief financial officer of Swagelok Co., a Solon, Ohio-based developer and provider of fluid systems, including products, assemblies, and services for the research, instrumentation, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, power, petrochemical, alternative fuels, and semiconductor industries.
Carla (LaVigne) Wessels is an advisor for Lia Sophia jewelry. Anyone interested in making extra money or wanting to know how to earn free jewelry can contact her on Facebook or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have additional updates, send them my way.
Geoff Wagner was recently named high school volleyball coach at Tuscarawas Central Catholic Junior Senior High School in Dover, Ohio. Geoff, who’s been coaching Junior Olympic and high school volleyball for more than 20 years, finished his third year as the head coach at Tallmadge High School, where his team won a district championship. He teaches at GlenOak High in Plain Township, where he was the head coach for five years.
Grant Cleveland’s large paintings at the Abstract Symbolism exhibit at the Fairmount Center for the Arts in Russell Township, Ohio, have created a colorful show for its newly painted walls. Cleveland has created 18 paintings during the past year. Many of them were on display at the Center this past spring. Grant and his wife, Laura, live in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, with their three children. Their daughter, Eleanor (12), has been studying dance at the Fairmount Center for nine years. A photographer, gardener, and software designer, Grant is CEO and president of DuneCraft, which he founded 10 years ago. The company creates themed terrariums that are sold internationally. More than 90 percent of DuneCraft’s products, which can be found at hobby and toy stores, are made and assembled in the U.S., and most of the components come from operations in Northeast Ohio.
Shortly after graduating, Michelle Pesce left for California and became a public-relations specialist for Fox Broadcasting Co. in Los Angeles, working with the likes of Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Taye Diggs, and Matthew Perry. Six months after going to Woodstock ’99, Pesce decided she had to give being a DJ a try. She bought her first set of turntables – tools of the trade – and segued into her new career. Now Pesce is one of the most sought-after DJs in the country. She specializes in Hollywood parties but travels a lot for gigs. She has appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” twice this year and was part of the On the Road with Yahoo! tour in May, a bus-tour featuring actors and singers, including The Lumineers and Kendrick Lamar, that made stops in dozens of cities.
M. Michelle (Bolocan) Dwyer released her new novel, “Love and Do What You Will,” published by iUniverse and is available in paperback and hard cover at Amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. The story explains the trials and triumphs of a woman destined for a forbidden relationship she can never have. Dwyer has worked as a sales/marketing professional, living in Litchfield, Conn., with her husband and Siberian Husky, Sydney Blu.
Brian and Shannon (Kuhlenschmidt) Trepka added twin boys to their family in March. Jason and Daniel join 6-year-old big sis, Robyn. Shannon started and is running a small business making handmade soaps and lotions (shannonssoaps.com). Brian is a senior interactive marketing strategist at Medical Mutual.
Please send more updates my way!
Brian Polian is the new head coach of the University of Nevada Wolf Pack football team. Previously, Polian was the special teams coordinator and tight end coach at Texas A&M. He also had coaching roles at Stanford (2010-11), Notre Dame (2005-09), the University of Central Florida (2004), and Buffalo (2001-03). Polian and his wife, Laura, have a son, Aidan, and a daughter, Charlotte.
Peter Wallish is the city of El Paso’s newly appointed redevelopment manager. Previously, he was economic development administrator for the city of Reno in Nevada and a business retention and expansion officer in Cleveland at the Department of Economic Development.
Annmarie Tirpak and I took our first cruise, a voyage to the Western Caribbean. Before you ask, it wasn’t on Carnival. It’s safe to say we’d do it again in a heartbeat.
If you have any news about your careers, kids, or anything else, send it my way.
There’s not much news to report. It’s easy to share news on Facebook, so the next time you’re online posting a note about a new job or child, don’t forget to send something my way.
Our own London Fletcher is still going strong in the NFL. He’s a starting linebacker for the Washington Redskins. In fact, his team was set to play my beloved Cleveland Browns when I wrote this. I hoped for a great game from London and a Browns’ win.
Peter Munson works as the Aide de Camp to Lt. Gen. Robert Neller, Commander U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command in Tampa, Fla. Peter’s second book, “War, Welfare, and Democracy: Rethinking America’s Quest for the End of History” was released in January 2013. Peter will be leaving the Marine Corps this summer to begin a civilian career.
A small number of you were able to make it back to Carroll for this summer’s 15th reunion festivities. If you missed it, check out highlights at the reunion 2012 page on the JCU website. Annmarie Tirpak and I dropped in Friday and were able to spend time with our friend John Shea, who’s been traveling throughout the world the past few years in his journey to become a Jesuit.
Sheri (Kilarsky) Terens and her husband, Rick, welcomed their first child, Eva Noel Terens, Dec. 28, 2011. She weighed 6 pounds, 5 ounces, and was 19 inches long.
After two seasons at Stanford University, where the Cardinal went 23-3 and appeared in two BCS bowl games, Brian Polian accepted a position at Texas A&M University as the special teams coordinator/tight ends coach.
John Alastra was engaged to marry Nora McCaslin, and their wedding was scheduled to take place Oct. 20. John, send wedding pictures if you can.
John Moore (MBA) was named director of corporate marketing at Millwood, a unit load and packaging systems, materials, and services company. Moore will oversee and coordinate the company’s marketing and communications initiatives throughout its business units, product lines, and national account development.
Pittsburgh Magazine named Brian Pekarcik, executive chef of Spoon and BRGR Bar, as its Chef of the Year this past June. “Having returned from California about five years ago, Pekarcik is proud to be cooking in Pittsburgh at a time when so many young chefs are opening their own restaurants.”
If you have any personal news – new family members, jobs, life adventures, etc. – be sure to pass it along to me.
Hi, everyone. I have a decent amount of news to share. Elizabeth (Shephard) Richardson welcomed her second child, Tyler John, Feb. 5, 2011. He joins his big sister, Megan Elizabeth (2). Elizabeth is a seventh- and eighth-grade teacher at Saint Columban School in Loveland, Ohio. She received her master’s in special education from Xavier University last year. She’s still in constant contact with Beth (Weist) Allman, who lives in Springfield, Ohio, and teaches at Springfield Catholic Central School. Elizabeth also told me Shannon O’Malley is married and living in Ireland with her husband and beautiful daughters. Elizabeth would love to keep in touch with more Carroll alumni. You can contact her at email@example.com.
Lauren (Lozano) Ziol, a designer, owns Lauren Lozano Ziol Interior Design in Chicago. Previously, she was a designer at Leslie Jones & Associates and Scott Himmel, Architect. She also was a contributing writer for Design Times and Chicago Social magazines, an antiques dealer at Rita Bucheit, LTD, and a fine and decorative arts assistant with Wolf’s Auctioneer in Cleveland and Oxford Antique & Design Center in the U.K.
Pittsburgh-based Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC named Kevin P. Kinross a senior adviser in its state government relations group. He has more than 10 years of political campaign management experience and is a reelection campaign manager for
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. He also was chief of staff for Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato and served as a special assistant to Gov. Ed Rendell.
Laurie Urraro graduated from The Ohio State University in 2011 with a Ph.D. in peninsular Spanish literature and culture and is teaching full time as a Spanish professor at Penn State Behrend (a branch campus of Penn State) in Erie, Pa., (where she’s from). She’s in the process of writing her first book and is having a lot of fun teaching and researching. She’s also getting married this July and plans to live in North East, Pa.
Erin Beirne Estes, a recruiter at the Cleveland Clinic, is responsible for the hiring of non-nursing staff for the west and south Family Health Centers. Erin and her husband, John, welcomed a baby boy, Cayden Michael, their third child, Oct. 22, 2011.
Sarah Lundeen Bonnette, who married earlier last year, had a baby girl, Kaitlynn Leona, Jan. 2.
Sheri (Kilarsky )Terens and her husband, Rick, had their first child, Eva Noel, Dec. 28. She weighed 6 pounds, 5 ounces and was 19 inches long.
My wife, Annmarie Tirpak, who works for the Department of Veterans Affairs, was promoted to rating veteran service representative. It’s a big step up, so while I miss her during her two months of training away from home, I know she’s going to
Our 15-year reunion is coming June 15-17. Check the website, jcu.edu/reunion, for more information. I hope to see you there. Keep sending me updates.
Hi, everyone. I received an extensive update from Susan (Okuley) Paz: Karen Thompson-Shaheen is the chief program and operations officer at NewBridge, a program in Cleveland that provides after-school arts programming for high-school students and vocational training for adults. She has found her new position to be quite a learning experience but is enjoying it.
Nikki (Nicholas) Custy is busy with her three boys and still finds time to work part time as a technical writer and teach Irish fiddle lessons. Nikki will be competing in an international music competition with her band, the Burning River Ceili Band, in Ireland this summer.
Meghan Sweeney is an associate professor of English at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she’s been teaching since 2003. Meghan and her partner, Nick, went on their annual south Texas trip this summer and saw Monica Dragoman in New York City. Monica is the division director of Family Planning in the Department of Ob/Gyn at Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx. When she’s not busy delivering babies and teaching medical students about women’s health, she stays centered doing Bikram yoga.
Erika Bauer lives in Bethesda, Md., and works at the National Zoo in Washington with endangered Asian carnivores. Erika has been interviewed by NPR several times for her work with the zoo and is one of the few in the world who has shipped a live, giant panda to China.
Lynn Rutledge works for the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities in Columbus, Ohio, as an occupational therapist, working with adults and overseeing therapy services for four shelter workshops. Lynn also welcomed an adorable baby boy into her life in March. Lynn and her family are enjoying time with baby Elliot and traveled to Maine for a relaxing vacation this summer.
Susan (Okuley) Paz is enjoying life with two young boys. She and her family live in Indianapolis.
Other news: Joy Malek Oldfield has filed petitions to run in the November general election for a seat on the Akron Municipal Court. Joy is running for the seat held by Judge Thomas McCarty, who’s running for re-election. Joy is a magistrate and judicial attorney who handles civil and criminal pending court proceedings for Summit County Common Pleas Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer.
Don’t forget our 15-year reunion is this coming June 15-17 (as little groaning as possible, please). Visit sites.jcu.edu/ alumni for more details.
Not much news this time around. Kelly (Cooke) Barry and her husband, Jon, welcomed their second child into the world. Eve Melody Barry was born Friday, April 8, weighing a healthy 10 lbs. 4 oz., and measuring 20.5 inches. Everyone is doing great, and big brother Sean (3) is excited about his little sister.
Michelle (Cheraso) Qualls married May 10, 2011 in Key West to Curtis Qualls, and they live in Broadview Heights, Ohio, with their two dogs, Jovi and Gino.Michelle has been with Fox Sports Ohio for five years as a senior account executive selling TV media sponsorships for the Cavaliers, Blue Jackets, and Reds.
M. Michelle (Bolocan) Dwyer published a fiction novel, “Love And Do What You Will.” Search Amazon.com to order a copy. Michelle lives in Connecticut but travels to Cleveland frequently and may be doing a book signings in the area. Stay tuned.
I’m sending this column in just before Sarah Lundeen’s wedding, so I should have more details next issue.
Andrew Perry recently moved to Rocky River, Ohio, with his wife, Jane, and their two sons, John (4) and Michael (3). He’s in his 11th year teaching at Mayfield High School and has been coaching football and the varsity boy’s tennis team.
Mary-Michelle Coleman-Walsh, a member of the Alumni Association board, married Kevin Walsh in June. Their wedding reception was in the Dolan Science Center. Dr. Michael Nemunaitis’ wife, Cheryl, and two daughters, Emily and Natalie, were members of the wedding party. In January, Mary-Michelle accompanied JCU students on an immersion trip to Guatemala. She’s still teaching in communications at Carroll while pursuing her Ph.D. in communications at Kent State University.
When he’s not teaching sixth-grade social studies at Revere Middle School, Pete Kramarczuk spends time as a volunteer pilot for Veterans Airlift Command (VAC). Through a network of volunteer aircraft owners and pilots, VAC provides free air transportation to wounded veterans and their families for medical and other compassionate purposes.
Heidi Strycula Stark is the principal of Ingomar Middle School in Pittsburgh. For the past three years, she was principal of Leroy Elementary School in the Riverside Local School District in Painesville, Ohio.
Joseph A. Bigler is vice president of business development at Cobra Wire & Cable. Before joining Cobra Wire & Cable, Joe worked with ADC as national account manager within its major account sales team. He lives in Cleveland with his wife and daughter.
Bryan Painter was appointed vice president of sales for the Americas at OpTier. He’ll be responsible for managing the company’s sales efforts and customer relations in North and South America. Prior to OpTier, Bryan served in various sales roles at CA Technologies where he was responsible for managing the company’s service assurance business in the Eastern U.S.
Joy Malek Oldfield left her law firm in December to work as a magistrate and judicial attorney in the Summit County Common Pleas Court. She’s also running for judge of the Akron Municipal Court in November. Joy lives in Akron with her husband, Charlie, and two daughters, Amelia and Alana.
Finally, Sarah Lundeen is getting married Aug. 6, 2011, to Greg Bonnette. Her sister, Mary Katherine (Lundeen ’04) Wainwright is the matron of honor. Read details about the wedding in the next issue.
Take care, and keep sending me updates via email or Facebook.
Hey, everyone. Just a couple of updates this time. Richard Pluhar earned his Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute. He also was certified as a ScrumMaster in IT project management. This summer, he moved to the NYC area from Atlanta to accept a project manager position with asset management group of JPMorgan Chase.
Ernie Petti and his wife, Aidess, welcomed their son Imre into the world late last year. (Ernie, the entire third-floor Millor Hall group is giving you a high-five from throughout the country.)
Andy and Kelly (Dick) Close had a daughter, Sarah Mary Close, May 10. Kelly and Andy are living in North Royalton, Ohio. Andy is working in IT for Benesch, a law firm in Cleveland, and Kelly ended her time as an editor at Thomson Reuters to be at home with Sarah for a while. They see Matt and Sherry (Lucchetti) Watts often, along with their kids, Andrew and Ashley.
Andrew Perry recently moved to Rocky River, Ohio, with his wife, Jane, and their two sons, John (4) and Michael (3). Andrew is in his 11th year teaching at Mayfield High School and has been coaching football and the varsity boys tennis team.
Just a reminder to sign up for our class page on Facebook. Search for “John Carroll University Class of 1997.” You can send me updates to my e-mail address or through Facebook. Thanks.
Hey everyone. Hope you’ve all had a nice spring. I have just a few updates to pass along — Peter Munson (U.S. Marine Corps, Middle East Foreign Area Office) recently published Iraq in Transition: The Legacy of Dictatorship and the Prospects for Democracy (Potomac Books, 2009). The book is a history and socio-political analysis of events since 2003 and the effects of Iraq’s troubled past on the attempt at transition to democracy. The book has been endorsed by Dr. Steven Metz of the U.S. Army War College, Dr. Vali Nasr, an advisor on President Obama’s staff and professor at Tufts University’s Fletcher School, Dr. Ahmed Hashim of the U.S. Naval War College, and Gen. Anthony Zinni, former Commander, U.S. Central Command and Presidential Special Envoy to the Middle East.
James Grant and his wife, Allison, welcomed their second child on Dec. 30. Her name is Caroline Rose Grant and she joins big brother James Harned Grant III (2).
Brian Polian has moved from the Fighting Irish to the Pac 10. He was appointed special teams coordinator for the Stanford Cardinal football team after serving in the same capacity for the last five seasons at Notre Dame. Throughout his tenure in South Bend, the Irish special teams were some of the best in the nation. Under his guidance, the Irish boasted the best kickoff return coverage in the nation in 2008, allowing just 16.5 yards per return.
Nicole Buchman Blum has been living in Portland, OR, for the past seven years. She’s been married to her husband, Trevor, for five and a half years and they are expecting their first child in early August.
Bridget Smith Wendt is moving from Philadelphia to Atlanta, GA. Her husband, Michael, has been transferred by his company, Siemens. Bridget and Michael have also added a little boy to their family. Hogan was born in February 2009 and joins big sister, Louisa (4).
John Alastra is working as an attorney for The Isaac Firm, LLC in Columbus, OH. He also mentioned that classmate Ryan Carter got married in November 2009.
Gary Love is in Korea again. He will finish up his one-year tour in August and then head back to the D.C. area.
Vincent Shemo and his family have relocated to Westlake, OH, and he recently took the position of vice president and controller of PolyOne Corporation in Avon Lake, OH.
That’s it for now. Be sure to send me any updates you might have on yourself or another classmate. And don’t forget to sign up for our class page on Facebook. Just search for “John Carroll University Class of 1997.” Thanks!
My recent call for news on the “John Carroll University Class of 1997” page on Facebook brought in quite a few updates. Here’s some of the news I received: John Alastra is working as an attorney and living in Columbus, OH.
Pete Munson, a major in the U.S. Marine Corps, is still in San Diego. His first book, Iraq in Transition: The Legacies of Dictatorship and the Prospects for Democracy, came out in June. It is available for order through the publisher (Potomac Books) or any major book retailers.
Lisa Anghilante (married to John Anghilante ’96) has a new baby, Anthony John, born August 24, 2008. Lisa lives in Avon Lake, OH. Lisa and John just acquired a new business called “The Hearth Shop,” in Fairview Park, OH – www.facebook.com/l/;www.hearth-shop.com.
Gary Love earned his master’s in strategic intelligence from the National Defense Intelligence College (NDIC.edu) in July. In August, he went to South Korea for a one-year tour. Gary and his wife, Amy Joseph Love ‘96 bought a new house in Northern Virginia.
Joy Malek Oldfield and her husband, Charlie, welcomed their second child, Alana Joy, on Sept. 2, 2009. She joins big sister Amelia (2).
Amy (Fenske) Atallah and her husband, Ehab, had a baby May 13, Elizabeth Grace, who joins Nathan (2). They have been living in Milwaukee for the past two years.
Ami (Hill) Armbruster lives in Cincinnati and has three daughters.
Penny Roxas got married Sept. 6 to Mark LeAir. They live in Portland, OR.
Denise Haynik is a pathologist in Phoenix.
Jason Goldberg is a certified financial planner and branch manager for Wells Fargo Advisors in Blue Ash, OH. He and wife Julie Pate have three kids.
Geoff Urbanowski and his wife had their first child, Sara Marija, back in March. Geoff is an ID consultant with Identiphoto and helps companies, organizations, and government agencies enhance security.
After living in Naperville, IL, for the past eight years, Ryan Carter purchased a new home a bit farther west. Ryan is also engaged and will be getting married on Nov. 6. A few of Ryan’s groomsmen include Darren Perusek and Dean Lamirand. Ryan is a regional sales manager for Constellation Wines US, the largest wine supplier in the world.
Finally, I’m proud to say that my wife, Annmarie Tirpak, passed a big test at her office (she works for the Department of Veterans Affairs). I knew you could do it! … Thanks to everyone for sending in news!
A lot of us must have the winter blues, because the past couple of months have been very slow for receiving news. I did receive an update on Gregory Halko, CPA CFE, who has joined the firm of Skoda Minotti as a senior manager in the accounting and auditing department. He previously worked at Ciuni & Panichi Inc., where he was a manager in accounting and auditing. He is a member of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants, and Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, as well as a board member for the Cuyahoga County Critical Incident Stress Management Team.
In case you haven’t checked, the John Carroll University Class of 1997 group on Facebook has 66 members as I’m writing. Be sure to check it out, and sign up!
I’d like to hear who has the most interesting job right now. If you think you have a job that’s gonna make everyone else say “Wow!” let me know, and I’ll include it in the next issue. Until then, take care!
Hello everyone! Not too much news to report this time around. Jen (Sezon) Brugger and her husband, Garett ’95 welcomed a new addition to their family. Their son Harrison John Brugger was born on Sept. 3, 2008. He joins twin siblings Graydon and Ellie (3). Grant Cleveland was recently highlighted in an issue of the Marcia Pledger. Since it’s a short article, here’s the full item: “Looking back, Grant Cleveland admits that starting a business with just one product, a kit for growing cactus plants, didn’t seem like the most logical thing to do. Then again, what’s considered logical for a serial entrepreneur working on his fourth business? Six years ago, Cleveland launched DuneCraft Inc. with just the cactus kit, called the Odd Pod, and less than $100,000 he raised from suppliers and angel investors. A year later he had two products to sell and lukewarm interest from a few small retail chains, websites and catalog companies. Today, DuneCraft has 25 employees and offers 250 educational novelty products through national retailers, including Toys “R” Us, Borders and Kmart, and it has licensing agreements with Nickelodeon and others. Sales are expected to top $3.5 million this year and reach $5 million to $7 million next year, thanks to increased orders from big retailers.”
If you’re on Facebook, I started a new group called “John Carroll University Class of 1997.” Be sure to sign up!
For whatever reason, in my last column, I neglected to mention the passing of Tim Russert ’72. As many of you remember, Tim was our commencement speaker, and after sitting through several graduation ceremonies in the years since then, I believe that no one can top Tim Russert. I vividly remember the most important lesson he shared: our most important mission in life after graduating is not to go out and make as much money as we can, but to do everything you can to make the world around you a better place. Since then, I’ve read both of Tim’s books and rarely missed an episode of Meet The Press. You can be sure that during this year’s campaign season, he would have made sure that no question would have been left unanswered. We miss you Tim, and even as a Browns fan, I will be proud to say this: “Go Bills!”
Pete Munson just moved back from an assignment at the American Embassy in Muscat, Oman, where he traveled all over the Middle East and had a few stops in Europe. After a short stop in Ohio, Pete and his family are moving to San Diego, CA, where he’ll be stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar for the next two to three years, flying KC-130 aircraft.
Michael Nemunaitis is living in Dallas, TX, with his wife, Cheryl, two daughters, Emily (4), Natalie (2), and son, Eric (6 weeks). He is finishing up a fellowship in oncology and will be moving back to the Cleveland area July 2009 to set up an oncology practice. Despite living away from Cleveland since graduation in 1997, he has remained an avid Browns, Indians, and Cavs fan and can’t wait to get back home. Mary-Michelle Coleman is godmother to their youngest daughter. She continues to live in Cleveland Heights and is a teacher at Carroll. Tim O’Brien is godfather to their youngest daughter. He lives in Munson, OH, with his wife, Melissa, and continues to run O’Brien Leasing in Lyndhurst.
Mary (Deucher) Greulich and her husband, Heath, have been married for seven years, this past August. They have two young children: Michael (3) and Fiona (1). They currently reside in Strongsville, OH, with their kids and yellow lab, Augustus. Mary’s accounting career recently brought her to MTD Products, Inc. located in Valley City, within the Financial Planning and Analysis department. She also squeezed in some time the past few years to obtain her MBA. At MTD, she has run into class of ’97 alums Dan Ziegler and Natalie Sabo.
Molly (O’Shea) Davis is living in Cincinnati, had a baby girl in June, and just finished her master’s in marketing. She recently joined the JCU community on Facebook and it helped her catch up with some other classmates: Julie (Jackimiec) Netzky teaches high school English in Chicago. Amy Brown is an international flight attendant and recently moved back to Pittsburgh where classmate Tracey McConnell now lives and works in marketing. Annmarie Tirpak and I also recently caught up with Julie in Chicago and enjoyed sharing stories over Starbucks.
Thanks to everyone who sent news for this column. Keep the updates coming!
My last call for news didn’t turn up as much as I was hoping, but I did hear from a couple classmates. Angel Kornuc tells me that she and Michael McNeeley married on December 29, in the Cleveland area. Some JCU alumni were in the wedding party: Marino Nerici ’89, Mary McIntyre (now Mary Setta). They are still living in Florida.
Ernie Petti’s been hard at work with Disney Animation. Want proof? See for yourself! The trailer for “Bolt,” the movie he’s been working on for the last two years or so, is finally online (and playing in theaters in front of WALL-E). If you have a chance, check it out – http://movies.yahoo.com/premieres/8545849/standardformat/. It’s also available in HD from the same link.
I also received a note from someone who graduated a few years after us, but has a sibling in our class. “My name is Kate Cooke, class of 2005 from JCU. I was just reading your column in the most recent JCU magazine and saw you didn’t have too many updates for your class … we’ll I’ve got a brand new one for ya! My sister, Kelly Barry (formerly Kelly Cooke) class of 1997 is a new mom! She and her husband, Jon, recently welcomed their first child on June 12, 2008. His name is Sean Robert Barry, and he’s adorable. They are currently living right outside of Boston.”
Natalie Sabo got engaged earlier this year and is planning to get married this December. She also had a visit from Kristi Vadino in late June. Kristi has been teaching in Africa over the past year and was home for her sister’s wedding.
Michael Nemunaitis is living in Dallas, TX, with his wife, Cheryl, two daughters Emily (4), Natalie (2), and son, Eric (6 weeks). He is finishing up a fellowship in oncology and will be moving back to the Cleveland area in July 2009 to set up an oncology practice. Despite living away from Cleveland since graduation in 1997, he has remained an avid Browns, Indians, and Cavs fan and can’t wait to get back home. Mary-Michelle Coleman is godmother to his youngest daughter. She continues to live in Cleveland Heights and is a teacher at JCU. Tim O’Brien is godfather to their youngest daughter. He lives in Munson, OH, with his wife, Melissa, and continues to run O’Brien Leasing in Lyndhurst.
I heard from Peter Munson: “I just moved back from an assignment at the American Embassy in Muscat, Oman, where I traveled all over the Middle East and a few stops in Europe. After a short stop in Ohio, my family and I are moving to San Diego, CA, where I’ll be stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar for the next two to three years, flying KC-130 aircraft.” … Not much else for our class, but I will tell you that Annmarie and I headed down to Jacob… er, Progressive Field for a JCU alumni-sponsored Tribe game. Despite the rain, it was a fun night, and hey, we actually won a game. I’d recommend getting out to an event such as this, whether it’s in Cleveland or your area. It’s a great way to catch up with JCU grads you might not otherwise know.
If you have news about yourself or anyone else, please send it my way. Thanks!
Most of our class must still be getting over the winter doldrums, because I received very little news for this update. So, when you get this issue, take a few minutes to shoot me a message. In most cases, when someone sends me an update, they make a point of saying how much they enjoy reading about their fellow classmates, even if they didn’t know them too well while they were at school! To make things a little more interesting, I’m proposing a contest. There’s no prize involved (I haven’t made my millions yet), but let’s see who can win in these categories: Person living furthest from campus right now; Most interesting job; Best family update.
Let’s hear what you’re up to! My e-mail address is listed at the top.
I received a note from Rachel (Luchini) Sielski. She writes: “I am married to my high school sweetheart, Ted Sielski, and living in Bay Village, Ohio. We recently adopted a five-year-old boy who is the absolute light of our lives. I am the executive director of a non-profit agency in Bay Village called Family Haven which provides support to adults with developmental disabilities both at home and in the community. I would love to hear from anyone in the Cleveland area who is interested in becoming involved in fundraising or volunteering. Our group loves to have people come over to teach our clients a special recipe, help them create a project (i.e. jewelry design), or even just read to them. It’s a wonderfully fulfilling way to spend time. Contact me – firstname.lastname@example.org – if you are interested.
Natalie Sabo left Accenture after almost 10 years in the consulting force to work locally at MTD Products as manager of business intelligence. She’s been there since Feb. ’07. Natalie has also kept in touch with Kristi Vadino, who is now teaching in Nairobi Kenya, Africa. She is really enjoying all the safari adventures.
Jim Grant and his wife, Allison, recently welcomed their first child, James Harned Grant III on October 24, 2007.
Brian Pekarcik, a Murrysville, Pa., native, returned Oct. 1 after four years in San Diego to take over as executive chef at the Steelhead Brasserie and Wine Bar, the flagship restaurant of the Marriott Pittsburgh City Center Downtown. “My wife and I recently had a second child, and Pittsburgh was calling. It’s much more comfortable and affordable to live here than San Diego.”
Please take a moment when you can to send me your most recent news. Every time someone sends me a note, they mention how much they enjoy hearing about their fellow classmates. See you next time!
Sandy Lucas wrote me a brief note: “I’ve been an attorney at Schneider, Smeltz, Ranney & LaFond, P.L.L. in Cleveland since 2000, practicing in the areas of estate planning and trust and estate administration. I became a partner at the firm in January 2007. Recently, I joined the Board of Directors of the Catholic Charities Corporation.”
Agnes and Bill Previts had triplets- identical boys and a girl- who were born in Feb.
Beth Weist dropped me a note as well: “I got married this July and I currently live in Columbus. I work in Springfield, Ohio as a Campus Coordinator of a Catholic School. My married name is Beth Allman. (Maiden name: Weist). We plan on visiting Shannon (O’Malley) Corrigan ’97 this summer in Ireland, where she lives.”
Aryn Micaletti pointed out a correction that needs to be made from the last column: Aryn is a real-time captioner with VITAC Corporation in Southpointe (which is located in Canonsburg, PA), instead of real-time captioner with Southpointe.
As you can tell, these past few months have been slow for news. Please pass along any updates, and I will be sure to include them in the next column. Thanks!
Shannon (O’Malley) Corrigan wrote me from an island off the West coast of Ireland. She’s been living in Ireland for seven years now and moved from Dublin to Achill Island where her husband, Declan, about three years ago. She has packed in her job in social work and psychotherapy and is now a small business owner running a post office on the island. Shannon and Declan have also become new parents. Shannon gave birth to a baby girl, Amelia, in April.
Susan (Okuley) Paz sent me an update about herself and a few other ’97 grads: Susan and her husband are living in Indianapolis for the summer with their new baby boy, Alex, born in February.
Erika Bauer, Ph.D., has been selected for the prestigious Smithsonian’s National Zoo curatorial resident program in animal care. Erika will spend the next two years in Washington, D.C., working and conducting research at the National Zoo.
Monica Dragoman, MD, finished her residency training in Dallas in ob/gyn and is now living in New York City completing a family planning fellowship at Columbia University.
Meghan Sweeney, Ph.D., and her life partner, Nicolas Laudadio, are assistant professors of English at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. They’re currently enjoying a great road trip of the Midwest and East coast for the summer.
Karen Thompson-Shaheen is now working as a consultant at the Cobalt Group, a community development/strategic planning firm in Cleveland. She loves the change of her new position.
Nikki (Nicholas) Custy, her husband, and son Sean welcomed new baby Patrick to the family in March. Even with their two kids, Nikki and her husband still find time to play gigs with their Irish band, Pitch the Peat.
Lynn Rutledge graduated with a master’s in occupational therapy from The Ohio State University in 2006. She is currently an occupational therapist with the Heinzerling Foundation, a non profit organization for children and adults with severe/profound MR/DD. Lynn and her new dog, Buster, are living in Columbus.
Aryn Micaletti lives in Seven Fields, PA, and is a real-time captioner with Southpointe.
Janelle Riley is a wealth management-RA with KeyBank in Cleveland and has three kids: Warren (9), Serena (6), and Jenine (6).
Nicole (Radu) Wilkens is living in Raleigh, NC, and has two children: Jordan Alyssa (3), and Jacob Thomas (8 mos.)
Alexander B. Clarke lives in Bath, OH, and is president of Brechbuhler Mack in Canton. Alexander and his wife, Kelly, have two children, Anna (3) and Grace (1).
Joseph and Amy (Campbell) Szyperski live in Toledo and have three children: Sam (6), Eleanor (3), and Theodore (2 mos.).
Heather (Slesinger) O’Donnell ’96 is living in Concord Township, OH. She and her husband, John, have two children: Lucille, and Abigail, both 2 years old.
Steven G. Voinovich is in commercial real estate with CB Richard Ellis. Steve and his wife, Gina ’98,welcomed the birth of their first child, Steven George Voinovich Jr., on Thanksgiving Day, November 23, 2006. Steve is also getting inducted into the John Carroll Athletic Hall of Fame in September 2007.
Elaine (Cirino) Perdion sent me a correction from the last column I wrote: her daughter, Ella is one years old.
Sheri Kilarsky sent me a note: “I am currently living in Westlake, OH, with my fiancé Rick Terens. We are getting married on August 16, 2008. We just moved back from a nine-month hiatus in Guam. Rick is a pilot for Continental and was based there for 18 months. We traveled to Australia, Japan, Thailand, Philippines, Bali, Palau and many other places. I moved back in February and started working at Meaden & Moore as a senior manager in their Cleveland office.”
Hope you made it to anniversary weekend. Annmarie Tirpak and I spent some time at JCU that weekend, and Annmarie was honored to read the list of our deceased classmates at the Reunion Mass and Moment of Remembrance. We ran into Tim and Nikki (Hewald) Brainard among a few other folks. It was great getting back to campus. Drop me a note with news (and pictures, if you have them)!
The big news coming up for us is Reunion Weekend taking place June 22-24. You’ll probably be receiving this right before the event takes place. Hopefully you can make it. We’ll have plenty of stories to share!
I heard from Maureen (Shaughnessy) Mackar. She works in marketing and community relations for Barnes and Noble in Cleveland, and recently planned area events for the final Harry Potter book coming out this July. Sadly, she couldn’t spill the beans on how the series ends.
Arthur Soroka is living in Mayfield and is a senior manager with Accenture.
Laura (Seide) Davidson lives in Holiday, FL, and has a son named William (2).
Russell Kunic was recently named manager of VPEC, the anesthesia pre-operative evaluation clinic at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN.
Elaine (Cirino) Perdion lives in Brecksville, OH, (my neck of the woods!) and has a daughter named Ella (8).
Maureen (Sweeney) Calkins lives in Hamburg, NY, and has a son named Gavin (3).
J.J. Huszczo lives in Concord, OH, and is a sales executive with IntraLinks.
Bridget (Smith) Wendt just moved back to the Philadelphia area after living in Germany for three years. She is working for Siemens Medical Solutions and has a daughter named Louisa (1).
John C. McLaughlin is a traffic supervisor with John Morrell & Co. in Cincinnati.
Anthony Mahfood is a wealth management advisor with BB&T Wealth Management in Greenville, SC.
I heard from Angel Kornuc ’98, who shared the stage with me in a number of JCU theatre productions (actually, she was usually at the front of the stage, while I stayed in the back with the other chorus members) “I spent the last ten years as an entertainer: first doing a cruise ship, then cabarets and singing telegrams. I also worked for five years with grades K-12 in performance shows and workshops. Currently, I am the full-time musical theatre director for Estero High School, in Estero, FL. I am getting married to Michael McNeeley (he went to Carroll, too) in December, in Ohio.”
My wife Annmarie Tirpak and I ran into Amy Everetts following a Billy Joel concert here in Cleveland. Amy’s working for the American Red Cross. … As for me, I headed Down Under earlier this year for a work-related meeting in Tasmania and New Zealand. You can read a bit about my trip (hopefully the fruit growing information doesn’t bore you to tears), and see a few photos, by going to www.americanfruitgrower.com/ifta.
Talk to you soon!
Several of our classmates sent in news for this edition of the class of 1997 column, so I’ll get right into it. Stacy Bongini Sepelak married Tim Sepelak on July 1, 2006. JCU grads that were in attendance were Tim’s dad, Richard Sepelak ’67, Katy (Perrone) McGrath, Liz (Black) Ryan, Bridget (Jordan) Connolly, Amy (Happ) Choe ’98, Amy Bakos ’99, Christy Krauss ’01, and Andrew ’96 and Anne-Marie (Wolanin ’93) Connors.
Anthony Mahfood lives in Greenville, SC, and is an investment manager for BB&T. He is getting married to Tracy Evans in July 2007.
Fellow Rush fan Sarah Lundeen is a program supervisor with Cleveland Christian Home.
Bridget (Smith) Wendt lives in Fairport, NY, and has a daughter named Louisa.
Joy Malek Oldfield is a principal attorney with Hill/Company, LLC in Akron.
Lynn E. (Giovenco) Rochon is a marketing manager with Salix Pharmaceuticals in Morrisville, NC.
Bridget (Maloney) Chamberas is a lecturer at Boston College’s IREPM.
Christina (LeMay) Greig is a registered nurse with University Hospitals in Cleveland.
Annie (Klekamp) Mulvany is an intramural director with the University of Colorado-Boulder.
Paul A. Keating is a senior tax accountant with Swenson Advisors, LLP in Temecula, CA.
Stacy Dyrlund Gilbert lives in Lakewood, OH, and has a daughter named Elizabeth Grace.
Denise Haynik recently finished her residency in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation where she served as chief resident. Currently she is living in Pittsburgh where she is doing a two-year fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center specializing in breast and gynecologic pathology.
Theresa (Koncal) Laheta lives in Brunswick, OH, with her husband, Beck fan, Jeff ’98.
Pamela (Coyne) Neckar is director of finance and human resources with Collins Gordon Bostwick Architects in Cleveland. Pamela and her husband Richard Neckar have two children: Kyle (4) and Derek (1).
Susan (Okuley) Paz is living in Durham, NC.
Colleen (Kermode) Kiernan is living in Clio, MI.
Kelly (Carroll) Zurawski teaching science at McDowell High School in Erie, PA, but is taking the rest of this year off for maternity leave. Her son Alex was born on October 18. Her husband, Bryan ’96, is the head golf professional at Lake Shore Country Club. He still plays competitively quite a bit and qualified (and played) in the Nationwide Tour event at Peak-N-Peek this summer.
Suzanne Lynch Head is a three-six grade literacy teacher in the Cleveland Municipal School District. She has a daughter, Celia (2 ½), with another on the way.
Kimberly (Ross) Renz has a daughter named Madilyn (2).
Lori Mankowski Gettle has enrolled in the Penn State College of Medicine.
Amy Hill Armbruster and her husband, Ed, welcomed their third daughter, Lauren Nicole on November 24. Lauren joins sisters Marie Noelle (4) and Natalie Ann (2). Amy is employed by Wood and Lamping in downtown Cincinnati.
Don’t forget that this summer is our 10-year Reunion! Reunion 2007 takes place June 22-24. You can keep up to date on the weekend’s festivities by going to http://www.jcu.edu/alumni/reunion07/index.htm. Hope to see you there!
Earlier this year I was fortunate to attend the wedding reception for Ernie Petti and Aidess Domagas. The couple were married in California in August (our own John Shea performed a wedding blessing right along the shore!), and celebrated with receptions on the West Coast and back in Cleveland. You can rest assured that Ernie and Aidess make a great couple. There were a few of us in attendance, including myself, my wife Annmarie Tirpak, Matt Ericsson, Andy Tulenko, Brian & Shannon (Kuhlenschmidt) Trepka, and Steve Potashnik.
Liz (Black) Ryan lives in Chicago with her husband, Ned, and son, Jack.
Elizabeth (Makarowski) Hokaj sent me an update: “After graduating, I earned my Master’s in Special Education and am certified in Behavior Therapy. I met my husband, Terry, in graduate school. We were married in August of 2001 and have two beautiful children: Luca (4) and Tara Elizabeth (7 weeks). We live in the outskirts of Phoenix, AZ, (Goodyear) to be exact. I was a full-time teacher for 5 years, this year I am taking off to raise my children. My husband is a certified financial planner and musician among other things. My son attends preschool, and we have him playing hockey … yes there are a lot of hockey fans out here and we do have ice! He is also like his father, very musically talented. I am excited to see what my daughter will be involved in. Now that I am not a full-time teacher, I have become very involved in a lot of volunteer work at my son’s school. I am still involved in Special Olympics which will always hold a special place in my heart.
Derek Krajc had been living in Florida for 6 years before moving back to Pittsburgh, where he now works as a retail manager for Sodexho. He has a son, John Michael Krajc, born March 16 (yes, he’s John 3:16!). He says all is well and living in PA is wonderful again; he can’t wait to feel that good old lake effect snow that he’s been “missing” the past few years.
Laura (Seide) Davidson recently moved from Scotland to Florida. If you know any JCU alumni looking to hire another JCU alum, let her know.
Richard Pluhar has been living in Atlanta since 2001. He is now working for COXnet, a division of Cox Communications that provides technological support of all Cox newspaper web sites. He is currently in charge of the online classifieds for 17 daily papers across the United States, as well as new advertising and other revenue based projects. He is single and living in Alpharetta, GA, about 25 miles north of Atlanta. He’d love to hear from any old friends, especially if you are in town!
David Frattare is a special agent with the Pennsylvania office of the Attorney General in Pittsburgh. He has two children, Spencer (5), and Carly (3).
Doralice (Tavolario) Ricchiuti is an attorney with Manchester, Bennett, Powers, and Ullman in Youngstown.
Zandra D. Franco-Dragish is a practice manager with Associates in Cardiothoracic Surgery in Youngstown.
Laith Alsayegh recently completed a Vascular Medicine Fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic and moved to Milwaukee in July 2006 to join the Vascular Center at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee, WI.
Sarah Roche dropped me a line: “After I finished a master’s of education, I went to Thailand for three years to teach English at a university there. Then, I went to Haiti and taught at a school as a volunteer. I was doing everything from teacher training, to teaching and community development. I was living on the countryside where I had no light or electricity so we cooked over three stones in a pot on the ground, and washed our laundry by hand with water that came up the mountain on a donkey from the spring 45 minutes away on foot. I learned a great deal about living in a community and my spirituality and am still on the board of directors at the school. I am currently living in the Dominican Republic teaching at a grammar school and one of the universities here. I go back to Haiti to check on the school and my friends. I will probably be back in Chicago in the next year or so, but who knows which way the wind will blow.
Keep sending me news!
My job with Meister Media Worldwide in Willoughby, OH, is as busy as ever. But the big news for me is about my wife Annmarie Tirpak. She’s working for the Veterans’ Administration in downtown Cleveland as a veteran services representative. When a veteran submits a claim for any type of benefit, she makes sure that they receive the proper respect, coverage, and benefits needed for that claim. She’s with an elite group called the Tiger Team, of which there is only one in the entire United States, with only 50 people being hand picked for this team, and it deals specifically with World War II veterans and very elite claims. As she tells me, it feels good to be doing something good for people that need and deserve it.
I bet you never thought our old pal Ernie Petti would be settling down, but it’s finally happening. He’s getting married to a girl he met in California named Aidess Domagas. I’ll be sure to pass along an update from their reception in the next column.
I heard from long-time dorm mate Matt Kremser, who also went to the same wedding classes as Annmarie and I. Matt and his wife, Aimee, just had their second son, Zachary, on June 29, and mom and baby are doing great. Luke, the big brother, is 21 months and very excited for Zack to play, but, it’s still a little ways off. As for Matt, he’s a dentist, with a practice in Streetsboro, OH. They live in Hudson, OH, and it’s about a ten minute drive to work. Matt wants to know how the rest of the Miller/Campion crew is doing, so let me know.
Bill Sindelar’s making a name for himself out in California. He’s been working on American Idol, The Showbiz Show with David Spade, and a kid’s show called Hannah Montana (“I am the audience warm-up guy.”) He still travels and performs with Wayne Brady and shot a video that will be in Best Buy all around the country starting in September pitching HDTV. He lives in Studio City and will see the Browns on the West Coast twice this year in Oakland and San Diego. If you want to keep up with Bill’s activities, go to www.billsindelar.com.
Erin (Beirne) Lenos is living in Fairview Park, OH, and has two children, Alexa (5), and Christopher (3).
Kara (Barauskas) Maida, who threw a great wedding last year when she married Bob Maida, just finished her MBA at the University of Maryland in May.
Theresa (Marino) Ferenac is a programmer analyst with Progressive Insurance and lives in Highland Heights, OH.
Brady Brosnahan is an area manager-Central U.S. with Akibia and lives in Plainfield, IL. Brady and his wife Emily Kostic have a daughter, Francesca.
Abbe Carrol is an executive recruiter with Ohio Savings Bank in Cleveland.
Elizabeth (Makarowski) Hokaj sent me a very nice update and would love to hear from any old friends she lost touch with. After graduating, she earned her master’s in special education and is certified in Behavior Therapy. She met her husband, Terry in graduate school. They were married in August of 2001 and have two beautiful children: Luca (4) and Tara Elizabeth who was born in June. She lives in the outskirts of Phoenix, AZ (Goodyear to be exact). She was a full time teacher for five years, but this year she is taking off to raise her children. Her husband is a certified financial planner and musician among other things. Her son attends preschool and is playing hockey: “yes there are a lot of hockey fans out here and we do have ice!” He is also like his father, very musically talented. Now that she is not a full time teacher, she has become very involved in a lot of volunteer work at her son’s school. She is still involved in Special Olympics which will always hold a special place in her heart. … Finally, I know many of you and your families have been touched by this war with family members being asked to serve their country. I would like to ask that we all keep in our prayers our brave service men and women who are protecting our freedom, including my brother who is currently serving in Iraq. May God bring them all home safely and soon …
Erin (McNabb) Howe got married March 4 in Chicago to Bill Howe. Erin is in nursing school and will graduate in December 2006. “As much as we want out of Chicago, we’re stuck here until at least 2008.” Carroll folks who came to the wedding were Lorena (Laurie) Urraro, who is working on her Ph.D. at The Ohio State University, and Genevieve Volpe, one of the readers. and is living and working in Cleveland Heights. Melissa (Winberry) Gleeson and Irina (Maritzia) Jacobs were both invited, but due to children weren’t there. Irina is living back in Madrid with her husband, who is a chiropractor, and her four children. Erin and Bill are planning a honeymoon for later in the summer to Spain and Mallorca.
Collyn Rybarczyk is living in Charleston, SC, selling real estate for Prudential Carolina – email@example.com. She loves it and loves the city of Charleston. If anyone is planning a visit to Charleston, feel free to contact her.
Joy Malek Oldfield became a principal member of Hill/Company LLC, a law firm started by one of the partners at her old law firm in Cuyahoga Falls, OH. She works on plaintiff’s civil and business litigation.
After almost two years of mobilization in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as a member of the U.S. Army Reserve, John Hotek decided to return to active duty with the U.S. Army. He traded in his General Electric corporate gray for U.S. Army camouflage. He’s currently in school at Fort Lee, VA, but upon completion, he will be assigned to the 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, NC. … Lauren (O’Neil) Rakvic moved from California to Annapolis in August 2005. Her husband is a professor at the Naval Academy, and she is a third grade teacher.
John Samol is a physician in the Seven Hills Women’s Health Centers in Cincinnati.
Gina Girardot has joined the law firm of Tucker Ellis & West LLP in Cleveland as an associate.
Patricia Tripar is vice president of ABN AMRO Bank in Chicago.
Louise Aquila, Ph.D. (’97G) is a manager of training and curriculum at SynCardia Systems in Tucson, AZ.
Peter Munson is currently studying Arabic at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA. He completed a master’s program in National Security Affairs (Middle East/North Africa region) at the Naval Postgraduate School in 2005.
Keep the news coming!
Hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday season. There’s quite a bit of news from our class this time, so I’ll get right into it. Jeff Zukauckas is the promotions director for WTAM 1100, 96.5 Kiss FM, and 100.7 WWMS in Cleveland. He was recently nominated for a national Radio Music Award for Promotion/Marketing Director of the Year. If you live in Cleveland and listen to WTAM on the weekends, you can also hear Jeff on the air as one of the “Prize Guys,” along with fellow alum Pat Butler ’01, on the Contest Show. Jeff says he’ll catch up with former WJCU vets on occasion.
Jamie (Bateman) Putinski lives in Mentor with her husband, Steve. She is teaching third grade at Center Elementary in Mayfield and had a baby girl, Alexa, last June.
Gary Love returned November 4, 2005 from his second tour in Iraq, this time as a company commander out of Fort Bragg. He was able to bring all his soldiers home alive, despite operating throughout northern Iraq. Next, Gary will be in Columbus, where he’ll spend about two years working in the recruiting battalion.
Tricia Hovorka and her husband recently had their first child, Logan, on August 13. She lives in Roswell, GA, and is doing a lot of volunteer work.
Jen Sezon Brugger and her husband Garett ’95 had twins, Graydon and Ellie, on September 16. They live in Erie, PA.
Robin (Spilka) Neorr moved to Columbus in May 2004 and married Patrick Neorr on August 27, 2005. Patrick does marketing and promotions in Ohio for Jack Daniels (Robin, I think you and Patrick just made several new friends). Those in the wedding from ’97 were Jamie Barbour, Brian Eble, and Chad Fine, along with Christine (Krane) Balasko, ’96, and Nicole Bourrillion, ’94. Robin is fulfilling her dream of feeling like she’s in college radio forever. She’s an account manager/marketing coordinator for CD101, an independently owned alternative station –firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our old pal Ernie Petti has been through some big changes since leaving JCU eight years ago. For one thing, he’s now a liberal, goateed mountain climber who lives in California and works for Disney. You can even find his name in the credits for movies such as Reign of Fire, which came out a couple of years ago. Now we find out he’s engaged! He’ll be getting married to a girl named Aidess Domagas, who’s from Los Angeles.
Jeff Scoby lives in Newport Beach, CA, and is a sales manager for Sherwin-Williams.
Bridget (Maloney) Chamberas — email@example.com — and her husband, Anthony, welcomed their first child, Thomas Francis, over the summer.
Keep the news coming, and don’t forget you can also send pictures if you’d like …
Patricia Nowak is the owner of Charlotte Braun Dance Studio in Parma Heights, OH.
Dan Tartabini works in sales with KB Home in Phoenix, AZ.
Brian Polian is living out his dream as the special teams and assistant defensive backs coach at the University of Notre Dame.
Brian Tommasone works with Park View Federal Savings Bank in Solon, OH. He and his wife, Valerie, have a two-year old daughter named Kassandra.
Linda Iekel Murray lives in her hometown of Rochester, NY. She’s been happily married for four years and just had her second child, Elena, in April. (Joseph is their son who’s only 14 months older!) In terms of career, “I’m raising these kids. And, after four years as a parent educator with a local non-profit agency I’m starting a consulting business to teach parenting skills and support local parents. I couldn’t ask for anything more. We are truly blessed.”
Beth Weist is a teacher at Catholic Central Elementary in Urbana, OH.
Please keep the news coming. I frequently get notes from classmates who enjoy reading about friends they’ve lost touch with over the years. And don’t forget that it’s possible to include recent pictures of you and your classmates in the Alumni Journal. Just drop me an e-mail. Thanks!
Annmarie Tirpak and I attended Kara (Barauskas) Maida’s wedding outside of Pittsburgh in May. It was a beautiful day, and we had a great time at both the wedding and the reception. Kara and Bob Maida make a great pair, and we wish them all the love in the world.
My efforts at tracking down random classmates have paid off! I received an e-mail from Ilche Nonevski. He’s back in Cleveland after a five-year stint down in Cincinnati, where he finished up a joint MD/MBA at the University of Cincinnati. He’s heading over to the Cleveland Clinic in July to start a fellowship in Gastroenterology. He got married in September 2003 to Sarah Merkel of Chicago, IL, and they live in University Heights, just down the road from JCU.
Matthew Milewski is working as an account executive for the advertising agency Chemistri-Martin. He recently transferred to the Chicago area and is wondering if there are any Class of 1997 JCU grads out there. You can drop him an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roy Warren (MBA) is now the interim principal at Beachwood High School.
Annie Klekamp Mulvany is the assistant intramurals director at the University of Colorado.
With the summer coming to an end, I’m sure many of you have stories to tell of vacations, weddings, and more (Annmarie and I sure do!). Drop me an e-mail at email@example.com, and I’ll spread the word …
I received quite a bit of news for this update, so let’s get right to it. Matt and Kelly Ericsson welcomed their new baby, Cole, into the world on January 20. Baby Cole is doing just fine.
In another month, my wife, Annmarie Tirpak, and I will be heading to Pittsburgh for Kara Barauskas’ wedding. Kara, who moved back from Washington, D.C., to the Pittsburgh area a couple years ago, is marrying Bob Maida on May 21, and they’ll be vacationing in Hawaii! Kara’s working at the law firm of Reed Smith in Pittsburgh as a business development specialist in the marketing department. I’m sure I’ll have some interesting stories from the wedding for the next column.
Kevin Kinross has had a very busy year! He got married last June and is currently in his second year at Duquesne University School of Law’s evening program. During the day he is chief of staff for Alleghany County (PA) Chief Executive Dan Onorato.
Emily Daube Parlin let me know that she, along with her husband Eric, welcomed their new son Ryan Patrick into the world on February 17.
Lisa (Giannetti) Anghilante and husband John ’96 are expecting their first baby in May. They know the baby will be a girl and are planning on naming her Sophia. Lisa recently got a new job as the marketing services manager for Magnificat High School in Rocky River, OH.
Brian Polian has accepted the position of special teams/assistant defensive backs coach at the University of Notre Dame.
Brent Miller is working as a real estate broker with Flanagan LaMee Real Estate in Englewood, CO.
Emmanuel Teitelbaum is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Government at Cornell University. He recently accepted a tenure-track position as assistant professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where he will begin teaching in the fall. Manny’s wife, Lauren, is a student at the University of Chicago Law School, and they just had a daughter, Olivia Reese, on January 14.
Shannon (O’Malley) Corrigan has been living in Ireland for the past five years. She has worked in various parts of the country with children in residential homes, while she pursues her training in psychotherapy. She got married in October 2003.
Eric Embacher is working as a residential director at the University of San Diego. He wants to share his e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jessica Schjeldahl and Scott Paprzycki got married in Calistoga, CA, in November. Amy Williams, Emily Steince, Lucas Koffler, Jason Goldberg, and Matt Young attended the wedding. Jessica works as a consultant for Cap Gemini/Ernst and Young, and Scott works for Sherwin-Williams. Amy Williams is teaching fifth grade in Twinsburg, and Emily Steince is a freelance accountant and lives in Cleveland.
Lama Alloush Zerhusen, who sent me the info on Jessica and Scott’s wedding, lives in Connecticut with her husband Bryan. She finished her master’s in management in December from Alberts Magnus College, and works for GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals.
Hope everyone has a great summer! Annmarie and I are house-hunting, so hopefully by the time you read this, we’ll have a new place. Also, as a reminder, if you have any pictures of recent gatherings with fellow classmates, send them to me, and we’ll try to get them into the Alumni Journal.
Warm greetings to the class of 1997. The Cleveland area is about to get hammered by a cold wave, so I’ll enjoy this 60 degree day while I can. Not very much news coming in recently, but I’m sure all of you have stories to share about holiday get-togethers with classmates so send them to me at email@example.com.
A few of us had our own gathering just after Christmas, at the California Pizza Kitchen in Legacy Village, a unique new shopping plaza on Cedar, just down the road from JCU. In attendance were myself, Annmarie Tirpak, John Shea, Ernie Petti, Andy Tulenko, Matt Ericsson, Brian Trepka, and Shannon (Kuhlenschmidt) Trepka.
Sherry (Lucchetti) Watts sent me a message — Sherry and her husband Matt Watts welcomed a baby girl, Ashley Morgan, into their family in August (Sherry and Matt also have a two-year old son, Andrew). Matt is teaching middle school at Fort Middle School in Berea, OH, and Sherry handles the marketing and communications for Impullitti Landscaping in Chagrin Falls and the retail garden center in Burton. They get together often with Kelly (Dick) Close and Andy Close.
Jill (Muldoon) Rendek lives in West Melbourne, FL, and along with her husband, Louis ’95, are expecting their first baby in May.
Daria Dreboty-Cerimele recently moved back to the Cleveland area after completing her residency in Indianapolis. She lives in Chardon and loves being closer to home (Youngstown). Daria and her husband, Michael, have a one-year-old daughter, Isabella. Daria is currently a physician with University Primary Care Physicians. She would love to hear from any former classmates; her e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Something new to the Alumni Journal section of the magazine — if you have any pictures of recent gatherings you’ve had with fellow 1997 grads, send them to me, and I’ll see if we can get them into the issue. I can’t make any promises, but we’ll do our best. Take care everyone!
I hope everyone had a great summer, but unless you’ve escaped Cleveland for a warmer climate, you’re probably in the middle of a cold winter right about now. There hasn’t been a whole lot of news coming in lately, so if you want to give me and everyone else in the Class of 1997 a heads-up on what’s happening with you, shoot me an e-mail at email@example.com.
Gary Love dropped me a line to let me know he has returned to Fort Bragg, NC from an assignment to South Korea in March of 03 and was deployed with the 82nd Airborne to Operation Iraqi Freedom that August. He spent 8 months in theatre with the 1-505th PIR (Parachute Infantry Regiment) where they were directly responsible for the volatile city of Fallujah. A couple months after they returned, he left the 82nd and is now taking a company command in the 525th Military Intelligence Brigade. Unfortunately they are slated to deploy to Iraq just after the new year. “A year in Korea, 6 months back (1 with Amy ’96 & kids), 8 months in Iraq, 9 months back, and upcoming 12 months in Iraq. Quite a pace, huh!?” Gary’s wife Amy ’96 and daughter, Jessica, and son, Mark, will remain in Fayetteville, NC, while he spends roughly 12 months in Iraq. Amy and 3 other military spouses have started a small business doing interior design.
Lauren (O’Neil) Rakvic, a fellow floor mate on 3rd floor Sutowski our freshman year, also sent me a letter. “Since graduating, I taught in Euclid for 5 years and got my master’s at John Carroll. In 2002 I moved out to Palo Alto, CA (near San Francisco) with my boyfriend, Ryan Rakvic (Ryan works at Intel). I am a teacher out here as well. Ryan and I got married on July 24, 2004. From our graduating class, Denise Haynik and Alison (Chill) Dietsch were two of my bridesmaids. (They both say hi, by the way!).
John Shea recently spent time down in Peru as part of his Jesuit studies. Here is just a sampling of his always-fascinating experiences: Besides running high schools and colleges, Peruvian Jesuits help organize the Fey Alegria (faith and happiness) grade schools. They cooperate with the government who fund the schools and with lay and religious (usually nuns) who staff the schools. They are also involved in parish work – especially in the pueblo jovens (young villages) that surround the major cities of Peru. Escaping poverty and violence (Peru experienced two decades of civil unrest because of the terrorist activities of Shining Path), millions of people moved from the country to the cities. Many of the young villages they formed lack electricity, water or paved roads. To see such poverty and realize that most of the world lives like that was a powerful experience for all of us. The people are uneducated and many speak Quechua, the native language. By establishing community leaders (most often women) in each parish, the Jesuits have empowered the people to assert their rights for basic needs such as water, food and education. Getting to know the Jesuits in Peru helped me appreciate the international character of the Society – this was especially true when some of us received a “behind-the-scenes” tour of a Jesuit church.”
Megan Nicholson is an assistant general manager with American Campus Communities in Cleveland.
Nikki (Nicholas) Custy is a technical writer for SupportSoft in Broadview Heights, OH. Along with her husband Patrick, she plays in two Irish bands in the Cleveland area: Brace Yourself Bridget and Pitch the Peat. You can find out more about the bands at www.braceyourselfbridget.com. Nikki also recently attended the wedding of Susan (Okuley) Paz in La Jolla, CA.
Mike Mapel is an auditor with McCarthy, Burgess & Wolff in Cleveland.
Shannon (Kuhlenschmidt) Trepka received the “Excellence in Education” award for Metro Catholic in the spring. Brian Trepka is e-commerce analyst for Summit Racing Equipment in Tallmadge. … Andrea Tracy is the program director at the Lake/Geauga County Educational Assistance Agency — her two cats have learned to meow the “Star Spangled Banner.” Nothing new on her plans for taking over the world, so she’s safe to talk to for now.
That’s all for this month. Take care everyone, and keep the news coming!
Hello again everyone. I hope you all had a great summer.
Lisa Jelinski is working at JP Morgan Chase as a staffing officer.
Shannon (Kuhlenschmidt) Trepka is currently a 7th grade teacher at Metro Catholic Parish School in Cleveland. Shannon and Brian Trepka were married on June 28, 2003. Several of us from the class of ’97 attended the wedding, including myself, Annmarie Tirpak, Matt Ericsson, Andy Tulenko, Bill and Agnes Previts, Sarah Lundeen, Susan Braat, Heidi Krebs, and many more.
Karen Thompson has been named executive director for academic programs and planning in the dean’s office at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
Elizabeth Black married Edwin Ryan on July 31, 2004. They just moved back to Chicago. JCU alumni in attendance were: Stacy Bongini, Amy Happ ’98, Kate Perrone McGrath, and Maggie O’Gara ’98.
Vincent Shemo is working as a financial analyst with a company called Timken in Canton, OH. Vincent and his wife, Sarah, welcomed their second child into the world in May, a daughter named Meredith.
Carla (LaVigne) Wessels and her husband recently bought their first house in Ware, MA.
Megan Carney is working as a meeting and event planner in Pittsburgh. Her company does programs all over the world and is currently in high gear for the 2004 Summer Games in Athens, Greece, where they’ll be managing ticketing, transportation, hotels and special events for several clients. Megan married Jim Gilson ’96 in June in Pittsburgh, where they will be living.
Kristen Liberati is getting married in August 2004 in Pittsburgh.
Janice (Minarich) Spicuzza is currently living in Willowick, OH.
Michelle (Straub) Fisher does marketing for Community Services Group in Mountville, PA.
Caroline (Gillespie) Morse ’97 is married to Joseph Morse and is a training and events manager for ERC.
Heather Barbus is an associate attorney for the law office of Susan Fortino-Brown in Chicago.
Jolia (Georges) Sandine is a pharmaceutical representative with Glaxo Smith Kline in Triangle Park, NC.
Aileen Masterson is an asylum officer with the Citizenship and Immigration Service in Arlington, VA.
Julie (Mahoney) Barr got married on October 11, 2003. She is working with a financial planning firm in New York.
Michael Horan also got married in October 2003. He just completed his Ph.D. in Oral and Craniofacial Biology at Ohio State and is currently working on his D.D.S.
Chris Anderson is managing the new branch of American Equity Mortgage in Nashville, TN.
Annmarie and I ran into Jen Toohey recently at a Wing Fest in downtown Cleveland. Her radio career is taking off: Jen is the midday DJ (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) at Q104 in Cleveland. Looks like those years at WUJC paid off! In fact, Jen hosted the wing-eating competition that yours truly was in (I came in second). Jen also sends out a weekly Q104 newsletter.
I never heard back from Tim Hanchin, or any news on him, from the last column, so I’ll throw out another random name I’d like to hear from. So, former hall mate Ilche Nonevski, what are you up to?
Talk to you all again soon,
Back again for another edition of news from the Class of 1997. Keep all your news coming — it’s nice to find out what fellow classmates are up to. I recently returned from a trip to Italy, where I spent a week touring apple orchards and packing facilities. Despite missed flights and lost luggage, it was a great trip, and I was able to meet people from all over the world.
A few items I’ve received lately: John Moore is a partner with Hilty Moore & Associates in Chagrin Falls.
Here is the full down low on Kristi Vadino, now known as Ms. Vadino: “I just signed my contract for a third year of teaching mathematics at Kingswood Regional High School in New Hampshire. I am on my third year of a 3-year graduate program. By the end of the summer I should have a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of New Hampshire. It is called a master’s of science for teachers. On weekends and a few weeknights, I am a snowboard instructor. I snowboard as much as I can and as often as I can! I love it. I stay in touch with Natalie Sabo and Andrea Kirks. In fact, last year they came up to visit me for a few days of fun in the snow at Attitash Bear Peak. Let’s just say, I felt like I was in college again. I miss it. We should do it more often!
Andrea Kirks works at University Hospitals in Cleveland and is in the Air Force Reserves.
Natalie Sabo is still working for Accenture. She just recently returned to Cleveland (after being on the road for nearly five years) to work on an in-town assignment.
Cathy (Herr) Kaminski has been teaching French and Spanish at a middle school in Denver, CO for the past 7 years and has been the foreign language department chairperson for 5 years. She earned her master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Northern Colorado in 2002. Upon completion of her master’s, she earned her Principal’s License. Her intention is to eventually move into an administrative role at the district level. After several years of dating other people and “finding ourselves,” Cathy married her high school sweetheart, Keith, in June 2003. They had a beautiful wedding in their hometown of Buffalo, NY. Erika (Hood) Anderson was her matron of honor and her husband, Mike Anderson ’98, was an usher.
John Charles McLaughlin married Melissa Marie Fortener of Kettering March 12. The couple resides in Blue Ash, OH.
Carla LaVigne is a supplier engineer and program coordinator with Maxtor Corp. in Massachusetts.
Tom Frazier defended his dissertation recently and is now officially Dr. Thomas Frazier. He will graduate with his Ph.D. from Case Western University on May 16. He will be back in Cleveland in August to do his post-doctorate work at the Cleveland Clinic in neuropsychology. He and his wife, Allison, just had their first baby boy, Sean Thomas, on January 15, 2004.
To close this column, I’m going to steal an idea from Marty Fox class of 1999 columnist (Marty, Matt Ericsson, and I were co-hosts of “Get Bent” at WJCU), and pick one classmate per month and ask “Where Are They Now?” This month’s target is Tim Hanchin. Tim, what are you up to right now? Take care everyone!
Hello once again to everyone from the Class of 1997. I apologize for the long delay between updates, so let’s get right to the news … Michael “Miguel” Davis no doubt has his hands full right now. He’s working in the Department of Homeland Security as a principal legal adviser.
I picked up a lot of news from Eric Embacher … He’s busy with a freelance writing career and is living in Cuyahoga Falls. When he’s not writing, he has been singing and playing the guitar at local coffee shops. Check out his recently published pre-teen biography about Will Smith on amazon.com.
Lynn Rutledge is pursuing a second degree in computer science at The Ohio State University. She would like to use her studies to develop adaptive technology for people with mental retardation and developmental disabilities.
Meghan Sweeney received her Ph.D. from SUNY Buffalo in the spring of 2003 and is teaching as an assistant professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
Karen Thompson was promoted to director of corporate and foundation relations at Case Western School of Medicine in Cleveland.
Monica Dragoman is now a second year at the OB/GYN residency program at UT Southwestern in Dallas. She has already delivered hundreds of babies.
Nikki (Nicolas) Custy is enjoying life with her husband, Pat, and is working as a technical writer at First Energy in Akron. They’re part of an 8-piece Irish band called “Brace Yourself Bridget” that plays all over Ohio.
Erika Bauer is continuing her doctoral studies in behavioral psychology at the University of Michigan. This summer, she traveled to a sanctuary in Zambia to study chimpanzees.
Susan Okuley is having fun living in San Diego and just got married this past summer in La Jolla. She and her husband both do research at biotech companies.
Kara Barauskas recently moved back to the Pittsburgh area, and his planning her upcoming wedding!
John Shea has entered the seminary to become a Jesuit. He’s based in the Detroit area. At this moment, he’s taking part in a silent retreat.
Annmarie Tirpak is now working for the Cleveland Opera planning all of their special events and fundraisers. She is having a wonderful time and meeting very exciting people like Anton Coppola, the uncle of Nicholas Cage.
When you have a chance, drop me a line and let me know how things are going, where you’re living and working, etc. Take care!
A happy spring to everyone in the class of 1997. With work keeping me busy, I haven’t had as much time to keep track of what is happening with everyone. But I do have a few notes to pass along …
Gretchen (Dramis) Hull is a teacher and coach in the Jackson Local School district in Massillon, OH.
Bridget (Maloney) Chamberas earned her master’s degree in religious education from Boston College in 2001. She stayed in the Boston area and on October 12, 2002, she married Anthony Chamberas. She recently started a new job at Our Lady’s Parish in Newton, MA, which she says is interesting given the status of the church in Boston.
Theresa (Koncal) Laheta married Beck fan, Jeff Laheta ’98 on October 19, 2002.
Maria Zaczyk is a consultant for New York Times Television in New York City.
Matt Fadel works in the Euclid City School district as an elementary school educator. He is in his first year of a two year exchange teaching opportunity in Japan. Anyone who wants to catch up with Matt (he spent most of his senior year on crutches from rugby injuries) can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joce (Vergeldedios) Bien married Arthur Bien in October (seems like October is a hot month for weddings). She is a manager for Progressive Insurance in Mayfield Heights.
Annie Klekamp received her MBA from the University of North Alabama while working as the assistant women’s soccer coach. She now lives in Denver and works for the Littleton Soccer Club as the college coordinator and club coach. She sees Annie Collopy about every three weeks. Annie is currently teaching and living in Colorado Springs. In December they went to Regina Lecznar’s wedding.
Amy (Giordano) Shealy married Allen Shealy (from South Carolina) on August 31, 2002. Nicki (Hewald) Brainard, Danielle (Bosela) Bailey, and Lesley Brown were all involved in the wedding. Amy is still working at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation as a genetic counselor. She and Allen are living in Lakewood.
Wade Cole lives in Mason, OH, and works as an investigator for the Ohio Civil Rights Commission in Cincinnati.
Carla (LaVigne) Wessels moved to Auburn, MA, and works for Maxtor Corporation as the ASL curator in the Supplier Quality Engineering Department. She was married May 25, 2002 then had a formal wedding with her husband Randy in Niagara Falls. Aryn Micaletti was one of the bridesmaids.
Finally, those of you who passed by the Public Affairs office while they were at John Carroll undoubtedly remember the smiling face of Public Relations Director Roberta “Bobbi” Bokman Rodgers. Sadly, Bobbi Bokman Rodgers passed away on January 12 after a long fight with a major illness. Please keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers.
Happy holidays to all of you. I hope everyone has had a great year. Not a lot of news to report this time. After spending a few years on the West Coast, Andrea Tracy moved back to “sunny” northeast Ohio. She is now the assistant director of student financial services at Mount Union College. Just after Andrea came back into town, a few of us spent an evening in Coventry catching up on old times. Annmarie Tirpak and I were there, along with Andrea and Julie (Jackimiec) Netzky, who lives in Chicago but was in town for a couple of days.
Andy Tulenko just returned from a long trip to Thailand. He says he enjoyed himself, even if he didn’t like the food. … Lisa Jelinski lives in Dayton and is a senior recruiter for INRANGE Global Consulting.
Denise Haynik graduated from the Ohio University School of Osteopathic Medicine this past summer, and started her residency at the Cleveland Clinic in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology.
Brian Polian is the special teams coordinator/running backs coach at the University of Buffalo, which competes in the Mid-American Conference. He recently finished his master’s of science in education at Baylor University. He is also engaged to Laura Maggiotto, with a wedding date of June 7, 2003. Congratulations Brian!
Jeff Zukauckas and Carrie Sorna got married on Sept. 1, 2001 and honeymooned in Hawaii. Jeff is the promotion director at WTAM 1100 and 96.5 KISS FM in Cleveland, carrying on the tradition from his days at WUJC.
London Fletcher, who won a Super Bowl ring with the St. Louis Rams, is trying to do the same thing in Buffalo, where he signed as a free agent. He’s looked pretty good so far this year, and it’s nice that whenever a TV announcer mentions his name, they almost always bring up “tiny” John Carroll University.
I recently wrote an alumni column for JCU’s Web site, and it has information on Reunion 2002, along with some updates on other classmates. You can check it out at www.jcu.edu/alumni/johncarrollmagazine/class_notes_1997.htm. That’s it for now. Both Annmarie and I are doing well and working hard. If you have any updates on yourself or others from the Class of ’97, please send them along to me. Take care!
Hello to everyone in the Class of ’97. I hope all of you are having a great summer. I’ll get right to it with all the updates and news I’ve received over the last couple of months.
Jim Cullen lives in Lafayette, CO and is a regional sales manager for CCX Corporation.
Erin (Beirne) Lenos is a health services coordinator with MBNA Marketing Systems in Beachwood. Her daughter, Alexa Grace, turned a year old on July 8.
Carla (LaVigne) Wessels married Randy Wessels on May 25. They live in Auburn, MA, and will have a formal wedding ceremony in Niagara Falls on September 1. Carla is working as an ASL curator at Maxtor Corp.
Gina Girardot graduated from Case Western School of Law in May and just moved to Miami, FL, where she will be working as a prosecutor in the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office.
Gary Love has been reassigned to Camp Humphreys in Korea in the 6th Cavalry Brigade. He should be there until May 2003.
Hopefully a few of you had a chance to make it up to Reunion Weekend in June. For anyone who has not been back to campus since graduation, you really need to check it out. Just walk around the AD Building and the Atrium and check out all the changes. We also saw the construction of the new Dolan Science Center, which looks to be huge and should even have an underground-parking garage! Annmarie Tirpak and I made it up to JCU for part of the weekend and had a great time. We took a tour of campus and ran into Chris Moscati, who is living back in Buffalo and working for the family business. After the Alumni Mass, we met up with a few other classmates: Matt Ericsson and his wife, Kelly; Bill and Agnes Previts, Brian Trepka, Shannon Kuhlenschmidt, John Shea, and Jackie Kulbago ’96. We had dinner at Pizzazz (in case you don’t know, all of Fairmount Circle is now owned by John Carroll). Afterwards, we ran over to the Class of ’97 tent to see who was there. Robin Spilka, who was involved in much of the reunion planning, said she’s having a busy life with school and work. On our way out, we met up with Amy (Everetts) Budd and Maria Midea. Amy works for Altman Hospital in Canton.
As of this writing, John Shea is in Paraguay visiting his sister in the Peace Corps.
Bill Previts received his Ph.D. in mathematics from Case Western Reserve University in May.
Unfortunately, not all of the news passed along from alumni is good news. In May, Ronald Tirpak (Annmarie Tirpak’s father and my father-in-law) passed away after a long bout with cancer. Then a couple of weeks ago we attended the funeral for Andy Tulenko’s father, Joseph, who had also suffered from a long illness. I’ll use the end of this column as a dedication to these two men, as well as to everyone from the Class of 1997 and their families who have lost their closest loved ones.
Till next time, take care, and God bless,
Hello to everyone in the class of 1997. I hope things are going well for all of you, and you’re having fun this summer. I’ll use part of this column to share some details on the wedding of Annmarie Tirpak and myself. But before that, I’ll pass along some updates I’ve received on the rest of you.
Kara Newmeyer ’98 passed along the news that Debbie Janchar married Pat Fitzmaurice ’95 in September. They bought a house in Lyndhurst.
Jason Brady, a fellow resident of 3rd floor Sutowski during freshman year, dropped me a line. He’s living in Santa Barbara, CA, and working for a retirement planning firm called PlanMember Services. He should be starting up at UCLA soon to work on his MBA, and is trying to enjoy the sun and body surfing of Southern California during his spare time. Jason also wanted me to pass along his e-mail address: email@example.com.
After 7 years of dating, Brian Graf and Mary Beth Sullivan ’98 got married on December 1 in Cincinnati, and honeymooned in Hawaii. They’re living in Mayfield Heights. Brian also wanted to pass along his e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Natalie Sabo got engaged the week before Thanksgiving — with the wedding set for this September. She also told me that Andrea Kirks went through boot camp and training for the Air Force and is now in the reserves.
Eryn Ace is an attorney with Hahn Loeser and Parks LLP in Summit County. She graduated from the University of Akron Law School in 2000 and specializes in patent law and trademark and copyright law.
Pete Munson was promoted to Marine Corps Captain in the Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 in Cherry Point, NC.
Joy Malek got engaged to Charlie Oldfield, whom she met at law school. They’re getting married on August 31, and classmates Erin Norton and Lisa (Adams) Sukenik will be in the wedding.
Adrian Del Busso, who married Andrea Dunbar, is president of a company called Aptira in Hudson, OH.
Kevin Potoczak is an account representative at the Canvas Exchange in Cleveland.
Kristi Vadino has been traveling for the past couple of years, conducting adventure camping tours. Now she’s settled down in Stowe, VT, where she teaches high school math.
Samer Hilal is an associate vice president with Morgan Stanley in Chagrin Falls.
Maggie (Suter) Viertlbeck married Matt Viertlbeck in October, and they live in Toledo. Bridesmaids from our class included Melissa (Zielinski) Jankowski, Kara (Hayes) Trant, Katy Winchell, and Rachel Luchini. Gary Jankowski (Melissa’s husband) was an usher. Maggie’s working as an admissions director at her high school alma mater, St. Ursula. Hey Maggie, say hi to Matt for me. We went to high school together at St. Francis.
Melissa (Parenti) Glynn and husband, Tom, had their second baby boy, Reggie, on October 13. They also have a three-year-old son, Archer, and are building a new home outside of Chicago. Here’s their e-mail: email@example.com.
Dmitry Fokin returned to Russia after graduation and was working at PriceWaterhouse as an auditor and Alfa Group as a financial analyst. Now he’s working at Indigo Telecommunications, where he supervises regional cellular providers.
Mark Andros (who works for the Department of the Interior’s National Park Service outside of Washington, DC) visited him recently, and said Dmitry is hoping to make a trip back to the US this year.
Coley Daigler was on the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Michael Rowan is a Ph.D. student at Ohio State and teaches in OSU’s Introductory Biology Program.
Megan Nicholson is a residence life coordinator at the University of Akron.
Kristen (Thimons) Schmidt is an emergency medicine resident at the Cleveland MetroHealth Medical Center.
Shannon (McCabe) Hotek and John Hotek welcomed their second child, Emily Christine, into the world on January 21.
Emily Daube Parlin received a master’s of arts degree in special education from the University of Akron in May 2001. She lives in Uniontown, OH, with her husband, Eric Parlin. Emily teaches fourth grade at Clearmount Elementary School in North Canton.
Now, as promised, here’s the scoop on our wedding day on September 8, 2001. We got married at St. Joseph’s Byzantine Catholic Church in Brecksville, with the reception at the Crystal Chalet in Cleveland. Julie (Jackimiec) Netzky was a bridesmaid, and there were quite a few from the Class of 1997 who attended: John Shea, Andrew Tulenko, Kara Barauskas, Matt Ericsson, Bill and Agnes Previts, Brian Trepka, Shannon Kuhlenschmidt, and Andy Fedoriw, who came all the way from eastern Pennsylvania. We all had a great time. A couple of people who wanted to come but could not make the trip in from California were Ernie Petti and Andrea Tracy (who is still working on her world domination plan). Matt Kremser was in our Pre-Cana class, and he got married last summer. Annmarie and I honeymooned in Aruba, and believe me, there is not a more beautiful place on earth. We were actually there during the 9/11 tragedy, but if you’re going to be stranded, what better place to be? Thanks to everyone who came out for the wedding, and to everyone who has offered their best wishes to us. I’m still hard at work at Meister Publishing, and Annmarie just completed a job as a consultant for the Ohio Federation of Teachers.
That’s all for now. Here’s one more reminder about the upcoming Reunion Weekend — it’s June 14-16. Plan to attend or get involved in the planning by contacting reunion coordinator, Rosalie Massey at 216-397-3014.
Take care everyone, and have a great summer!