Class Notes Summer 2020
Roslyn Bernstein (GSAS ‘67, ‘74) has published Engaging Art: Essays and Interviews from Around the Globe, a new book that includes 60 essays that appeared online in venues such as Guernica Magazine, Tablet, and Huffington Post.
Alfred Malefatto (WSC ’75) has been selected as 2020 Florida Super Lawyers in the area of environmental law. He shares this designation with only 5% of all attorneys in Florida.
Stephanie Calmenson (STEINHARDT ’77) has published ROCKIN' ROCKETS: The Adventures of Allie and Amy, Book 2, Simon & Schuster.
Ronald E. Daniels (TANDON ’77) wrote See Us From Whence We Come, published by Outskirts Press.
Todd Daley (STEINHARDT ’81) retired last year after a 50-year career teaching high school and junior college. He has written five novels including Fable, Blue Collar Works, The Mariners Harbor Messiah, and the Pulaski Prowler.
Sheila Eva Bloomquist Wilmoth (GSAS ’89) has become a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Michele Marincola (GSAS ’90) has co-written, alongside GSAS ’96 alumna Lucretia Kargere, The Conservation of Medieval Polychrome Wood Sculpture: History, Theory, Practice, which will be published at the end of August.
Lucretia Kargere (GSAS ’96) has co-written, alongside GSAS ’90 alumna Michele Marincola, The Conservation of Medieval Polychrome Wood Sculpture: History, Theory, Practice, which will be published at the end of August.
Peter Lowy (LAW ’97) shareholder in the Houston office of national law firm, Chamberlain Hrdlicka, has joined the Board of Directors of the Houston Volunteer Lawyers, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization that serves as the pro bono arm of the Houston Bar Association.
Ann Marie P. Mauro, Ph.D. (MEYERS ’98) has been named dean and professor of the Marjorie K. Unterberg School of Nursing and Health Studies and is the new president of the Eastern Nursing Research Society.
Charu Raheja, Ph.D. (STERN ’02) is named CEO of TriageLogic Group, as Treasurer for Community Health Charities’ board.
Marj Kleinman (STEINHARDT ’03) launched Stoop Stories, a documentary and community portrait project, currently highlighting how Brooklynites are coping with both COVID and racial injustice. Since April, Stoop Stories has curated over 60 daily features of local families, essential workers and small businesses. Ms. Kleinman’s work was featured in Time Out New York and is part of a New York Times collection about stoop life.
Madeleine Baran (GSAS ’04) and her team at APM Reports won in the Radio category for "In The Dark: The Path Home" at the annual RFK Book and Journalism Awards.
David Tobon (LAW ’04) joined the law firm of Becker, Glynn, Muffly, Chassin & Hosinski LLP.
Coleen Stevens Porcher (WAGNER ’04) and her family are in a documentary, For They Know Not What They Do. It has been on the film festival circuit and is now being released widely, virtually, to coincide with pride month.
Daniel Banks, Ph.D. (TSOA ’98, ’05) the DNAWORKS Co-Founder and Co-Director, has been awarded the 2020 Alan Schneider Director Award.
Jessica Shiller (STEINHARDT ’07) wrote an article featured in the Washington Post in response to the death of George Floyd and subsequent protests, “Lessons learned from Baltimore teachers who talked with students about the 2015 death of Freddie Gray while in Police Custody”.
Yelena Bailey (GSAS ’10) wrote How the Streets Were Made: Housing Segregation and Black Life in America, which will be published in the fall.
Moshe and Celia Frances (MEYERS ’10 and STEINHARDT ’09) both met at NYU and are currently celebrating their 10 year anniversary: "My wife and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary this coming October.”
Laurie R. Lambert (GSAS ’13) has published Comrade Sister: Caribbean Feminist Revisions of the Grenada Revolution, University of Virginia Press, June 2020.
Adela Hurtado (CAS ’14) photo project, The Colors of Trujillo, was included in the latest exhibition of En Foco, a NYC Latino arts organization dedicated to supporting artists of color. Adela's photos were also featured in the May edition of New York Latin Culture Magazine.
Davina Chang (CAS ’15) is a recent MBA grad from HEC Paris has taken on the CMO role with AJAN Management.
Greg Contaldi (TISCH ’17) is the creator of Bromance, an original comedy web series.
Martin C Taylor (WSC ’54) published Gabriela Mistral's Struggle with God and Man, and Language into Language: Legal and Linguistic Issues for Interpreters and Translators, McFarland Publishing.
Dr. Robert Berger (DEN ’65) is a general dentist of 40 years at Lake Ronkonkoma, NY. Dr. Berger was a volunteer dentist for 10 years with a community service license in Maui, Hawaii. He is retired now at 85-years-old, and has taken up ceramics, surfing, and fly radio-controlled airplanes. Dr. Berger was married to Francine for 46 years and is now married to Shelley Anne for 10 years.
Terry Connelly (LAW ’68) published his third book, Let's Blow Up the Elite College Admissions Black Box, on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.
Kenneth Laytin (HEIGHTS ’70) recently published a humorous memoir When Good Waiters Do Bad Things.
Paul Dillon (TANDON ‘66, GSAS ’69, ’74) has joined the Interstitial Lung Disease Collaborative as a patient advisor.
Ernie Schimizzi (STERN ’74) and his brother have been named to the New York State 2020 Hall of Fame Class of Broadcasters.
Greg Schimizzi (STEINHARDT ’76) and his brother have been named to the New York State 2020 Hall of Fame Class of Broadcasters.
Kosrof Chantikian (GSAS ’65, ’76) announces the publication of his third book of poems: The Songs Inside of You — published in June 2020.
Barbara Bronstein (STERN ’78) is the Founder and President of Second Servings of Houston, a food rescue nonprofit on a mission to fight hunger and reduce food waste. Since 2015, the Houston nonprofit has rescued over $40 million worth of food.
Iris Dorbian (WSC ’83) contributed a chapter entitled "The Great Equalizer" to a new book entitled After The Pandemic: Visions of Life Post COVID-19. The book, which was published by Sunbury Press, is an anthology of essays that considers how COVID-19, in the aftermath, may affect all areas of life from the economy to education to the arts. Ms. Dorbian’s chapter considers COVID's effects on celebrity culture.
Helene Stapinski (WSC ’87) is the author of three memoirs, including the national best seller, Five-Finger Discount. Her most recent book is Murder in Matera.
Laura Persky (STERN ’90) worked in product management and advertising, then switched to academia. She recently earned a Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) in Executive Leadership from St. John Fisher College, August 2018. Ms. Persky had been working at Manhattanville College as a Graduate Program Director. Shortly after she was named Associate Dean at Manhattanville College School of Professional Studies in January 2019.
Linda C. McClain (LAW ’91) recently published Who’s the Bigot? Learning from Conflicts over Marriage and Civil Rights Law (Oxford University Press, 2020), which was featured in a book symposium on the legal blog, Balkinization.
Janet Langsam (WAG ’92) CEO of ArtsWestchester (of Armonk, NY), has been honored with the Selina Roberts Ottum Award at the Americans for the Arts digital Annual Convention and Public Art & Civic Design Conference.
Sharon Esther Lampert (WSC ’84, STEINHARDT ’88, GAL ’97) wrote the book, 40 Rules of Manhood: How Do Silly Little Boys Become Big Sane Men.
Andrew Avner (SPS ’97, TISCH ’99) published his debut Latinx middle grade novel entitled Toro (Black Rose Writing) about a Spanish cow who wants to run with the bulls in Pamplona.
Melissa M Morris (GSAS ’00) is a music teacher at James Madison High School in New York City. She was honored with $10,000 in recognition of her work supporting student development and achievement. Ms. Morris now joins winners from all 50 states and the District of Columbia as one of the nation’s top inspiring teachers.
Andre S. Jenkins (STEINHARDT ’04) wrote a book called Life is ЯAW: The Story of a Reformed Outlaw, soon-to-be released on August 14, 2020. This biographical memoir takes an in-depth look into the life of Mutah Beale, formerly known as Napoleon of the legendary Outlawz rap group who was affiliated with the late Tupac Shakur. It examines his life starting from birth after the murder of his parents and growing up in an unforgiving environment where he encountered insurmountable obstacles at a young age.
Frances Kweller (SPS ’02, STEINHARDT ’04) announces that in collaboration with a sponsorship between the Stuyvesant Alumni Association's "Stuy Prep" and the director of Kweller Prep Tutoring Services, Inc., 25 top-performing 7th-grade students received full scholarships into Kweller Prep's rigorous Specialized High School SHSAT program this summer. Recipients of the scholarship had to maintain a 95 or higher school average, qualify for financial aid, and commit to a summer of study.
Jennifer Stewart (SPS ’05) is proud to announce her new role as Global Head of Real Estate Managing Director at BNY Mellon.
Molly Allis (TSOA ’05) is a non-binary artist and NYU alumni, and is about to release a queer bilingual children's book called Hooray, What A Day!/¡Viva, Qué Día!. It will also be part of Gender Inclusive Classrooms' resource list of books for teachers who want to foster safe, welcoming gender-inclusive classrooms.
Tzung-lin Fu (LAW ’06) has joined Bet Tzedek Legal Services as its Vice President of Legal Programs.
Ricardo Montez (TSOA ’01, ’07) is pleased to announce the upcoming publication of Line: Race and the Performance of Desire, Duke University Press, August 14, 2020.
Zachary Turpin (CAS ’05) has co-authored Every Hour, Every Atom: A Collection of Walt Whitman’s Early Notebooks and Fragments.
Caroline J. Manne (TISCH ’07) was hired by McGlinchey Stafford PLLC in the firm’s national Consumer Financial Services Litigation and Commercial Litigation practice groups in Washington.
Mabel Frias (CAS ’08) and her sister have co-founded a beauty company, Luna Magic, to champion diversity and inclusivity for multicultural customers and will be entering the largest retailer in February 2021.
Nadia Banna (STEINHARDT ’09) became a certified teacher of a method for wellbeing and posture, called the Alexander Technique, in 2012. After several years of seeing in-person clients, she has now just launched her related blog on posture, pain relief and wellbeing on her website, www.nadiabanna.com, in addition to offering online products and services to help people find poise and wholeness in body and mind.
Fabian Garcia (STEINHARDT ’09) was welcomed to the Red Oak Middle School Family as the new middle school principal. Mr. Fabian Garcia joins Red Oak ISD with 20 years of educational experience including the past four years as assistant principal in Manor ISD.
Sheela Prakash (STEINHARDT ’10) is a graduate of the Department of Nutrition & Food Studies and is excited to announce that her first cookbook, Mediterranean Every Day, will be released September 1.
Guillermo Bayas Fernandez, Esq (LAW ’11) is a member of Barcelona and New York Bar Associations. He is Partner in the Litigation and Arbitration area at AGM Abogados, but will also be part of the firm’s French Desk team.
Dr. Shanté Paradigm Smalls (GAL ’05, TSOA ’11) earned tenure at St. John’s University; their book Hip Hop Heresies: Queer Aesthetics in New York City, is forthcoming from NYU Press in 2021.
Adela Hurtado (CAS ’14) was one of 97 students awarded the Yenching Scholarship to study at the Yenching Academy at Peking University. This includes full tuition, room and board, research grants, etc. She will be earning her masters in China Studies and focusing on Law & Society and Animation.
Julia Rose Kraut (GSAS ’15) ’s book, Threat of Dissent: A History of Ideological Exclusion and Deportation in the United States, was officially published by Harvard University Press on July 21, 2020.
Bhargavi Ganesh (CAS ’16) graduated with her Masters in Computational Analysis and Public Policy from the University of Chicago in June 2020.
Angela Karl (CAS ’16) was admitted into the Master of Liberal Arts program in extension studies, in the field of English, at Harvard Extension School.
Gabrielle Kaplansky (CAS ’17) completed her Master's of Public Health from the George Washington University and has become an ORISE fellow.
Max Besbris (GSAS ’17) is releasing a new book, Upsold: Real Estate Agents, Prices, and Neighborhood Inequality, which is based on the dissertation he completed while at NYU (University of Chicago Press).
Maria Lioutaia (GSAS ’19) will have her article “Palace of the People” published in the Summer 2020 issue of Ploughshares.
Valesia Henriques Pichardo (WAG ’19) is the Scholarly Coordinator of the Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant (soon to be advanced practitioner) fellowship at NYU Emergency Department. For the first time this year, the program will accept nurse practitioners and move forward with an all-encompassing advanced practice educational program.
Yolene Legrand (STERN ’75) had her painting "Tete de Femme" recently featured in a Brooklyn Museum Instagram post because of its presence in their collection.
Mary Jane Hayes (GSAS ’86) was the author of Dakota Help Me See the Light, a story about a blind boy, Emma’s House of Sound, and Emma’s Freaky Sneaker’s a story about a deaf child.In May 2020, these three books received a 2nd place Silver Award from Mom’s Choice National Book Award. She was accepted into the authors in the School Literacy Program at the Amelia Island Book Festival in February 2020 for Dakota Help Me See the Light. Her website is mjhayesauthor.com.
Helene Stapinsky (WSC ’87) has a new book deal with Simon & Schuster for THE AMERICAN WAY: A TRUE STORY OF NAZI ESCAPE, SUPERMAN AND MARILYN MONROE, tracing the intersecting lives of a lovable huckster and publisher of DC Comics, who helped families flee from Hitler's Germany, and one of the men he rescued, both of whom had a habit of popping up in some of the greatest moments of American pop culture history 1920s-1950s.
Nathalie van Walsum Fuson (CAS ’90) is the author of THE LUCKIEST GIRLS, a novel about the allure and pitfalls of the high-stakes world of fashion models. THE LUCKIEST GIRLS won a finalist award in the 2020 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.
Laura Lynne Vidler (CAS ’92) was appointed Dean of the College of Letters, Arts & Sciences at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.
Trevor Hayward (TSOA ’93) started a new company, FaceMasks-Protection, whose goal is to provide quick and reliable access to personal protective equipment.
Veronica Gonzalez Peña (GSAS ’94) is a filmmaker whose art documentary, Pat Steir: Artist, is now available on some streaming platforms. She has published two novels with semiotexte, Twin Time: or, how death befell me & The Sad Passions, as well as a book on the Mexican Drug War, So Far from God, which was part of the 2014 Whitney Biennial.
Christine D. King (SSSW ’02) recently published What Didn’t Happen - A memoir with Adelaide Books, July, 2020.
James Jenson (GAL ’03) wrote the book The Creative Arts Ministry Field Guide.
Daisuke Miyao (TSOA ’97, ’03) wrote Japonisme and The Birth of Cinema which is now available from Duke University Press. Miyao reveals the undetected influence that Japanese art and aesthetics had on early cinema and the pioneering films of the Lumiére brothers
Harmony Bench (TSOA ’03) wrote Perpetual Motion: Dance, Digital Cultures, and the Common, published by the University of Michigan Press. Her book is a new exploration of how digital media assert the relevance of dance in a wired world. Perpetual Motion argues that dance is a vital part of civil society and a means for building participation, looking at how, after 9/11, it became a crucial way of recuperating the common character of public spaces. It asks how dance brings people together in digital spaces and what dance’s digital travels might mean for how we experience and express community. Harmony Bench is associate professor in the Department of Dance at The Ohio State University. Her writing has been published in The Oxford Handbook of Dance and the Popular Screen, Choreographies of 21st Century War, and Dance on Its Own Terms: Histories and Methodologies.
Vanessa Díaz (CAS ’05) wrote Manufacturing Celebrity: Latino Paparazzi and Women Reporters in Hollywood which is now available from Duke University Press. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, her experience reporting for People magazine, and dozens of interviews with photographers, journalists, publicists, magazine editors, and celebrities, she traces the complex power dynamics of the reporting and paparazzi work that fuel contemporary Hollywood and American celebrity culture.
Steven M. Shparber (CAS ’07) has joined Clark Hill's Washington DC office as a Member in the Environment, Energy & Natural Resources practice group. Steven began his career as an Attorney-Advisor in the FERC’s Office of Administrative Law Judges, and advises on energy regulatory issues, independent power production and renewable energy. Shparber has an extensive background as a private sector, corporate and government lawyer in advising on energy regulatory issues, independent power production and renewable energy, and distributed energy resources.
Marc Wachtfogel, Ph.D. (STEINHARDT ’09) was named chief human resources officer and a member of Des Moines University's executive leadership team. His first day of work at the medicine and health sciences institution will be Aug. 17.
Jaime Vasquez (LAW ’09) was recognized as Lawyer of the Year in Tax Litigation and Controversy by US News’ Best Lawyers in America San Antonio-based. He was one of three Chamberlain Hrdlicka attorneys nominated by their peers to be recognized for the award.
Alison Devenny Hetherington (WAG ’10) and her husband Kells Hetherington, welcomed a baby girl on February 1, 2020 at the Santa Rosa Medical Center in Milton, Florida. Lydia Luke Hetherington weighed 7 pounds 1 ounces and measured 19 inches long. Lydia is named in honor of her maternal Great-Great-Great Grandmother, Lydia Cherry of Prince Edward Island, Canada, and Luke in honor of her paternal Grandmother Hope's family. The Hetherington family make their home in Pensacola, Florida.
Jessica B. Muise (GAL ’11) has joined The New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) as the newly created role of program administer, creative economy.
Dr. Evan Berger (CAS ’12) and Rebecca Cooper (CAS ’12) met at NYU and got married on August 8, 2020.
Kyra Stephenson-Valley (CAS ’16, ’17) was one of the organizers and a speaker at the recent 2020 March on Washington. She's currently the Policy Advisor at National Action Network's Washington, DC Bureau, and a founding member of Concerned Citizens of DC, a youth-led civil rights movement.
Greg Contaldi (TSOA ’17) is working as an Associate Producer on "The Drew Barrymore Show."
Lola Marcy Ajayi (WAG ’17) co-wrote a children's book Taiwo and Kehinde: The Wedding Trip which takes readers through a colorful, cultural, emotional yet humorous, and family-oriented journey of twelve-year-old twin sisters who venture into the world of entrepreneurship to achieve their financial goal.
Marisa Grimes (GSAS ’18) was elected to become a member of the Democrats Abroad delegation representing Vice President Joe Biden at the 2020 Democratic National Convention, where she will take part in the process of nominating America’s next President and Vice President. Ms. Grimes is a Biden Delegate for Americans living overseas in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Jacob Max Fertig (TSOA ’19) founded This Machine Media, a multidisciplinary production company dedicated to sparking civic engagement through documentary storytelling. This Machine works with individuals and organizations to tell cinematic stories that get attention, raise funds, and galvanize communities toward progressive goals. Connect with them at thismachinemedia.org and @thismachinemedia on Instagram.
Audrey Romjue (STEINHARDT ’20) just finished work on The Oldest Profession, a short-animated documentary about the fight to decriminalize sex work in New York as told through the lens of a human rights activist, a NY assembly member, and an anonymous sex worker.
Kyndall Sillanpaa and Sam McHale (TSOA ’20) founded an artist residency on a farm in rural Indiana to give fellow actors, directors, and playwrights a safe place to continue creating during COVID-19. In October, they will perform a series of shows before socially distant audiences. It is currently the only theatre company in the country creating and performing traditional live theatre.
Courtney Ramm (STEINHARDT ’20) is a professional dancer and choreographer whose upcoming memoir, Eris Rising (Acorn Publishing, Fall 2020) is a deeply personal tell-all about falling for a highly manipulative and dangerous man. Over the course of their relationship, Marcus leads Courtney down a long, dark rabbit hole, gaslighting her until she uproots her promising career in Hawaii to live and work within a cult-like Texas church with him. An inspiring read above all else, Eris Rising is a necessary reminder of the resiliency of the human spirit.
Kenton Blacutt (NYU Shanghai ’21) co-founded an NYC based company called Kikt. Kikt is an alternative method of payment (mobile application) which uses QR codes to process transactions in order to provide a fast, contact-free experience for both merchants and users. The goal of the company is to help businesses avoid predatory payment processing fees while also allowing a contactless ordering experience and rewarding customer loyalty with free items.