I love opening email or signing onto Facebook to see a note from one of you updating me (and the rest of our class) on where your life has taken you during the few years since graduation. Catching up after work one day, Nick Grady told me about the new position he started in February as an admissions counselor at Kent State University in Ohio. Until that time, Nick was working as a program specialist at Cleveland State University’s Center for Educational Leadership. Samm Starkey also started a new position this winter and is the foster care coordinator at the Cleveland Animal Protective League. Samm passed along the exciting news that Mike Pryslak and Jamie Filicko are engaged. Kaitie Snider sent engagement news as well. Kaitie and Mark Taylor ’12 became engaged Dec. 28, 2013, in Salt Lake City. Kristen Lecerf, who’s a registered nurse in Neonatal Intensive Care at Akron Children’s Hospital, is engaged to Cory Walter. They planned a wedding in Akron for this past April. Hayley Ryshen ’11G is the assistant director of children and day camping services at the Mandel Jewish Community Center. Hayley and her fiancé, Ari Rivchun, plan to marry this August.
I received an email from Michael-Patrick Bagnowski, who graduated from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Mich., May 18, 2014. He had the great honor of speaking at graduation. MP is clerking at the Cook County (Ill.) State’s attorney’s office in the appeals division, and he hopes to continue working there after graduation.
On one of the many cold days in Cleveland this winter, I received an email from Jay Campara, who’s living in sunny and warm Clearwater, Fla. Jay has worked at Nucci Medical Clinic for more than a year, handling business development for the clinic through relationship marketing for the doctors.
JCU Professor Mark Waner ’91 passed along an update about my old roommate, Amy Gunderman. Amy will take part as a fellow in the 2013-2014 NSTA New Science Teacher Academy.
Congratulations to all of you for your accomplishments and milestones. I know there are more of you with reason to celebrate. Your Carroll family wants to celebrate with you, so fill us in by emailing or calling me. With love for JCU,
Fall 2013 has been an exciting time around the quad. Our Blue Streak football team advanced to the playoffs, and renovations to Murphy Hall are in full swing. For our Carroll family, the excitement has extended in many directions as our classmates continue to make advancements in postgraduate life. Allissa (Moore) ’12 and Michael Schmitt were married in Cleveland on Aug. 10, 2013. Wedding bells also rang for Sarah (Navarro) and Blaine Balderston, who married on Oct. 19, 2013.
Angela Petitto took a break from biology this fall to enroll in a full-time MBA program at Duquesne University with a concentration in sustainability. She expects to graduate in August 2014.
Christopher Lewis and Melissa Love fled the cold weather of the Midwest and headed South. Christopher moved to Atlanta where he’s working for Steris Corp. in customer operations as a remote agent. He also joined the Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter at Emory University as an advisor to help them achieve their charter. Melissa moved to Charlotte, N.C., in July to start a new position as a senior account executive at FleishmanHillard, a PR firm.
I look forward to hearing from you with more updates to share in the next column. With love for JCU,
As I sit down to write this column, another generation of Blue Streaks is packing up to move onto campus this week. They’ll spend the week attending the Graffiti Party and the hypnotist just as we did six years ago. And then, in the blink of an eye, they, too, will be sending updates about new jobs, engagements, and educational achievements. I heard from Tom Nowel ’69, father of classmate Will Nowel, who told me Will is a labor contract negotiator as a new staff representative for the Cleveland office of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Ohio Council 8. Last year, he worked as a full-time campaign coordinator for Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown.
Joey Catanese sent his update in the midst of celebrating the completion of his Master of Healthcare Administration degree from Des Moines (Iowa) University Osteopathic Medical Center. In May, he moved to Dayton, Ohio, where he’s employed as a senior health-care consultant for Germane Solutions, a niche health- care consulting company specializing in graduate medical education.
Be sure to watch NBC’s “Today” show during the 9 a.m. hour to see the work of recently promoted researcher, Kristen Jantonio, who’s thrilled to continue working at the Today show in this capacity.
Congratulations to Chad and Cheri (Stuart) Cotter, who celebrated their first wedding anniversary June 9, 2013. The couple is enjoying life in Colorado Springs, Colo., where they moved September 2012 for Chad’s job with the Army.
Kathryn Skelly and Nicholas Hallal are engaged and planning a wedding in the summer of 2014. Nicholas proposed to Kathryn on Carroll’s campus November 2012. Kathryn also just completed her M.Ed. in middle and secondary instruction at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and is teaching at Elyria (Ohio) Catholic High School.
High school and college sweethearts, Ciara Mastin and Kurt Hauber ’10, ’12G, also have exciting news. The couple became engaged July 4 and is planning a wedding in the summer of 2015. Ciara, who just finished her M.Ed. at Carroll, will be pursuing her principal’s license while continuing to teach high school English at Orange High School. Meanwhile, Kurt is in Pennsylvania at Penn State College of Medicine.
It was great to catch up with Danielle Maholtz, who’s a third-year medical student at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. She passed her Level 1 boards and is beginning her clinical rotations. Continuing to serve as a leader, Danielle sits on several councils within PCOM and as a student representative and liaison at the national level for osteopathic medicine. Most recently, Danielle was appointed by Dr. Norman Vinn, the president of the American Osteopathic Association, to serve as the student delegate to the AOA Council of Interns and Residents.
Continue to proudly represent our alma mater as you lead and serve. With love for JCU,
This spring, our class mourned the loss of a beloved friend and classmate, Billy D’Antonio, who will be remembered as a true man for others. His genuine, caring personality and his ability to bring a smile to the faces of all those around him will never be forgotten.
Wedding bells are ringing for some. Nick Hermez and Melissa Zapata will be married June 1, 2013. Their two-year-old son, Owen, will serve as the ring bearer.
Nick Ward and Melissa Ritchey also are engaged to be married.
Paulin Byusa is living in Chicago while working toward his MBA at Loyola University.
In December 2012, Nick Grady began a new position as the program specialist for Cleveland State University’s Center for Educational Leadership. Nick plans to pursue a master’s degree in the near future.
Sarah Buranich sent word that Cos Polino coached his high school hockey team, Canisius High School, into the championship game for the junior varsity state tournament.
Erica Aber received a promotion to vice president and portfolio manager for Spero- Smith Investment Advisers, an independent, fee-only investment management firm in Cleveland.
Remember, our 2-year reunion is June 14-16, 2013. I hope you’ll join me under the Big Tent. As always, continue to lead and serve, and send me updates so I can share your adventures with everyone. With love for JCU,
I hope this edition finds you well. Our classmates are doing wonderful things all throughout the country …
Sarah Navarro moved to Kansas City in October 2011 to explore a new city and make new friends. She got a great job as operations coordinator at KBP Foods, which is affiliated with Yum! Brands.
In October 2012, Sarah and Blaine Balderston became engaged in Cabo San Lucas. The couple is planning a wedding at Gesu Catholic Church in University Heights, Ohio, in October 2013.
This summer, after finishing her year of postgraduate volunteer service in Baltimore, Audra Distefano moved back home to Buffalo, N.Y. She works for the March of Dimes as the community director for her division, planning fundraising events throughout the year. At the end of summer 2012, Audra spent a girls’ weekend in Cleveland with classmates Gina Bitonte, Michelle Nigro, and Alynn Martin.
Stephan Burdette graduated with his master’s in business management from the University of Saint Joseph (West Hartford, Conn.) in December. He was promoted to price and signage coordinator for Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Jay Campara became the director of client relations at Jim Dodson Law in Clearwater, Fla. He also started Athletes Excel LLC, an athletic and academic management business tailored to high school student athletes.
Continue to send updates as you lead and serve as men and women for others. With love for JCU,
This fall, I returned to our beloved alma mater as a student and graduate assistant. As I walk around the Quad early in the morning while students head to 8 a.m. classes or pass through the atrium during the lunchtime rush, I’m continuously reminded of the blessings we shared as a class during our four years on campus. The past several months have bestowed additional blessings on many members of our class. Nicholas and his wife, Katie (Saporito) Orlando ’09, ’11G, welcomed their daughter Abbie (estimated JCU class of 2034) into the world June 11.
After completing her “Meet the Press” Fellowship, Kristen Jantonio accepted a job at NBC’s Today show and moved to the Big Apple.
Kristina Spoto began a job at the Cleveland Clinic and interned with Organizing for America, President Obama’s re-election campaign.
Katie Mathews, who began her master’s studies in pastoral ministry at the University of Dayton, is serving as a graduate assistant in the campus ministry department in liturgy. Katie sends warm wishes to everyone.
Tom Weinandy began an MBA program at Wheeling Jesuit University and will continue working in the WJU Service for Social Action Center, now as a graduate assistant.
Tina O’Keefe spent the year after graduation working for the Humility of Mary Volunteer Service in Cleveland at Saint Martin de Porres High School and Villa Montessori Preschool. She taught, substituted, tutored, and conducted research. In July, she started in the school psychology program at John Carroll and plans to graduate in 2015.
Duchess Adjei, who continued the momentum of schooling after Carroll, graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., where she received her Master of Science in Communication this past July. Duchess, who works for a college in Indianapolis as the assistant director of communications and marketing, endeavors to pursue her own personal business venture in social marketing.
Dan Fitzmaurice ’10 graduated from Cleveland State University’s accelerated nursing program with his BSN in May. This past July, he accepted a position at the Cleveland Clinic’s main campus to work as a nurse in the cardiovascular surgical ICU.
Cos Polino, a scout for the Buffalo Junior Sabres, works closely with Sabres’ legends Michael Peca and Larry Playfair. He’s also working toward his master’s in sports administration at Canisius College.
Sarah Buranich is a licensed pharmacy intern for the state of New York.
Continue to set the world on fire! With love for JCU,
I was happy to hear from so many classmates for this column. Between completing volunteer commitments, furthering their education, and joining the workforce, our classmates have been busy making our alma mater proud.
Kevin Henderson will finish his year with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in August. He lives in Camden, N.J., and provides legal services to low-income immigrants and refugees. Kevin, who was accepted to the doctoral program in political science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, will begin his advanced studies in September.
Brian Overberger works as a policy and procedure trainer with U.S. Bank Home Mortgage in the Cleveland area.
Chris Lewis works at Steris in customer support and data entry. He’s living with Francis Sueiro and Andy Hall. Francis is student teaching at Lutheran West Middle School and tutoring at Huntington Learning Center. Andy received his MBA from the Boler School of Business this past spring.
Molly Gradowski sent word from Duran, Ecuador, where she and Liz Castellano are volunteering. Molly works at a shelter for street boys in the morning and at a the Rostro de Cristo after-school program in the afternoon. Both ladies are in love with their friends and neighbors in Ecuador, with whom they’re living and serving. She says it will be difficult for them to leave in August when they return to the U.S.
Dany Diaz Mejia is finishing his first year of graduate school at Carnegie Mellon in public policy and management. This summer, Dany will be in South Africa working for the United Nations Development Programme in biodiversity issues. He hopes to return in May and finish the last year of his program.
Christine Liebrecht works as a Jesuit volunteer at Legal Services Alabama in Mobile. In August, she’ll be accepting a university fellowship at The Ohio State University in the Master of Social Work program.
Kevin Grande is an AmeriCorps VISTA member working with a community outreach program to bring computer literacy training to people facing economic and social hardships.
Please don’t hesitate to send a note with your updates. With love for JCU,
Our class is full of updates as we approach the one-year anniversary of our graduation. Liz Castellano is completing a year of service in Duran, Ecuador, with the Rostro de Cristo program. She’s working at Damien House, a home and hospital for patients with Hansen’s Disease, in the mornings. She spends her afternoons running an after-school program to keep the children safe, busy, and off the streets.
Kate McCormick is in the midst of her service commitment to Mercy Home for Boys & Girls in Chicago. Mercy Home is a residential home for at-risk youth ages 11 to 21. It provides a safe, therapeutic environment for neglected, abused, and poverty-stricken youth to thrive.
Audra Distefano is completing a year of service through AmeriCorps in Baltimore. She’s volunteering with Catholic Charities at My Sister’s Place Women’s Center. She works daily with clients in need of service and with the volunteers in the kitchen.
Tom Weinandy stuck with the Jesuit network and is spending a year doing service work at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia. His mission is to increase service opportunities for the students at the university.
Katie Knox is a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University. She’s pursuing her master’s in civil and environmental engineering with a focus on global sustainable construction.
Adam Miller returned home to Florida and is working at his alma mater, Coral Springs Charter. During the 2011 season, he served as the football team’s offensive line coach and was named head football coach for the 2012 season.
Carmen Albino remained at Carroll to complete the fifth-year MBA program and will complete his course work at the end of June 2012. He’s working full time at Guido’s, his family’s restaurant, and will stay in the business after finishing his MBA.
Paulin Byusa is in the Washington, D.C., area working for Management Sciences for Health, a public health nonprofit organization. He’s enjoying his time in D.C. but will be moving to Chicago to pursue the MBA program at the Graduate School of Business Loyola University.
Ashley Bauer accepted the position of special events coordinator at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Mike Schmitt is serving at Fort Bragg, N.C., as a Military Police officer with the 82nd Airborne Division. In December, he became engaged to Allissa Moore.
Brendan Patrick McCreary was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Navy Jan. 20.
Kindel Nelson has joined Youth Villages as a residential therapist at the Youth Villages Inner Harbour Campus in Douglasville, Ga. The organization provides residential treatment to children with emotional, behavioral, and mental health issues.
With love for JCU,
As I write, our first homecoming weekend as alumni has come to an end. It amazes me how quickly the months have passed since our commencement ceremony. Yet as friends and classmates came together on campus, it was as though we were never apart. No doubt, however, our classmates have wasted no time embarking on life’s next adventure.
Kristen Jantonio was selected for the NBC/John Carroll University Meet the Press Fellowship created in honor of the late Tim Russert ’72. Kristen is a part of the various aspects of research and production for the weekly political talk show.
Maria Perossa is the director of marketing at Brightwood Animal Hospital, where her duties include maintaining the practice’s social media accounts, designing brochures, writing press releases, and making sure the practice has a presence at community events. She’s also discovered her passion in the film industry after being cast in “Fun Size,” a Paramount Picture starring Victoria Justice due out next October; “The Avengers,” based on the Marvel Comic series due out this May; and “I, Alex Cross,” based on a James Patterson best seller – all filmed in Cleveland this summer.
Holly Kleese began her career. She was hired as an assistant account executive at AKHIA, a public relations and marketing communications company in Hudson, Ohio.
Life for Christine Jaqueth is busier than ever because she’s a campus minister and theology teacher at Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin high school in Chardon, Ohio. She’s also a dorm proctor at Gilmour Academy in Gates Mills, Ohio. Her jobs are going well, and she loves living close enough to visit Carroll once in a while.
Following graduation, Taylor Nagy headed to Denver, where she’s volunteering full time as the program assistant for Metro CareRing, a food pantry. The hours are long, but she’s happy knowing the work she does is critical to those in need. Taylor lives in a simple-living community in solidarity with the poor and 18 other full-time volunteers from various organizations.
Sarah Buranich, who’s attending D’Youville College School of Pharmacyin Buffalo, N.Y., received her white coat during a ceremony on Oct. 1, 2011. She spent two weeks working her first rotation and shadowing at a Rite Aid.
Ali Karolczak is pursuing her master’s in communications management at Carroll while working as the public relations intern at the American Holistic Medical Association. Ali was cast in the JCU One-Acts in November 2011.
Continue to represent our alma mater proudly as you lead and serve.
With love for JCU,