Class Notes

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Leonard Zola (CGS’51, COM’53) was inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame in September 2009. Read about his career on the Hall of Fame website.

Sid Bennett (CGS’52, COM’54, CFA’55) recently published a book of his wife’s paintings: Betsy Bennett, Artist: A Cape Cod Treasure. Learn more at

Albert Williams (CGS’52, COM’56) of Carlisle, Mass., has operated Coastal Sailing School out of Marblehead, Mass., for the past 35 years. He writes, “Hello to any of my former classmates of 1952. I would love to hear from anyone I knew from the old days in Copley Square.” Contact him at

Matthew A. Cohen (CGS’54, CAS’56, SED’61) writes that he is now retired after spending 20 years at Portland State University in Oregon and another 28 years as a mental health therapist for Providence Health Systems. Several years ago, he and his wife helped launch the Portland chapter of Minds Matter, a volunteer education and mentoring program that helps prepare low-income high school students for college. He writes, “My wife and I are fortunate and proud to have two accomplished children—one an attorney who has appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court and a daughter who has spent four years in Africa as head of mission for Doctors Without Borders.” He adds, “I would love to hear from fellow graduates of the Class of ’54. While I have additional degrees from BU, the AA from CGS is the one I treasure the most.” Contact him at

John Stewart (CGS’56, CAS’58, GRS’59) has played on and managed teams in the Eastern Massachusetts Senior Softball Association—a group with more than 300 players—for the past 15 seasons.

Mary Pecci (CGS’57, SED’59) completed her Pecci Beginning Reading Series. Her book At Last! A Reading Method for EVERY Child! was included in curriculum specialist Cathy Duffy’s list of top 100 resources for homeschool curriculum. Learn more at

Marcia V. (Edelstein) Grossbard (CGS’58, CAS’60, SED’62) would like to hear from classmates. She can be reached at

Harold S. Neiderhoffer (CGS’58, Questrom’59) is retired and has served on the Peddie School Board in N.J. for more than 22 years.

Ron Hikel (CGS’59, CAS’61) is currently in Washington, D.C., working as deputy chief of staff and legislative director for U.S. Congressman Eric Massa of N.Y. Ron has been working on health care reform issues, drawing on his direct experience with both the British and Canadian health care systems.

Bill Westberg (CGS’59) transferred to Illinois College after finishing his associate’s degree at BU and then entered the Air Force. He later became an FBI agent, retiring in 1989. He writes, “I recall tuition at ‘JC’ was about $700 a year. Those of us who were high school graduates of sustained mediocrity had a ‘final’ chance to go to college, perform well, and transfer to the University. Many classmates were Korean War vets who were no-nonsense in their pursuit of higher education and they set the pace! I am so grateful for the opportunity BU gave me.”

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Foster Denker (CGS’60) has a new grandchild named Ashlyn, and he’s completed a movie script—a romantic adventure about a couple searching for a rare vintage car. He reports that his party lighting business is doing well, and he encourages friends to contact him through his business website:

Marcia Ruth (Kaplan) Rudin (CGS’60, CAS’62) received a joint MA in religion from Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary in 1965 and taught history of religion for several years at Paterson State College in N.J. After “retiring” from teaching to have two daughters with her husband, Rabbi James Rudin, Marcia became a writer, co-authoring two books with her husband. She spent approximately 30 years in the counter-cult field, educating the public about destructive cults. “I spend most of the year at our home on Sanibel Island in Florida (the other three months in our tiny apartment in Manhattan), and now write novels, plays, and screenplays,” she reports. “Four of my plays have been produced in festivals in Manhattan. I have two daughters, one a rabbi, the other a casting director and talent manager.”

Barbara Sher (CGS’62, CAS’64) completed her ninth book, Early Intervention Games: Fun, Joyful Ways to Develop Social and Motor Skills in Children with Autism Spectrum or Sensory Processing Disorders. Her other titles include Attention Games, Self-Esteem Games, Smart Play, and Extraordinary Games with Ordinary Things. Learn more at

Samuel Chesler (CGS’63, Questrom’65), emeritus professor of accounting at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, extends greetings to his classmates and encourages them to contact him at

David (CGS’63, CAS’65) and Phyllis (CGS’63, SED’65) Starr are retired from the Framingham, Mass., school system and living in Rockport, Mass. Phyllis taught fourth grade in Framingham, while David was a school social worker. They have three grown children and five grandchildren.

John F. “Jack” King (CGS’67) of Framingham, Mass., is president of the Physicians Insurance Agency of Massachusetts, a subsidiary of the Massachusetts Medical Society. Jack reports that he recently returned from a five-week trip to the South Pacific, his two grown sons are doing well, and he feels he owes a “huge debt of gratitude” to CGS.

C. Christopher Pratt (CGS’67, SED’69) received an achievement award from the Association of Historical Societies of New Hampshire for his work with the Sullivan (N.H.) Town Archives. The association cited his organization of the town records and the private papers in the town library as well as his educational outreach to the community. His was one of seven awards presented at the association’s annual meeting in October 2009. Chris has served as the volunteer archivist and historian for Sullivan since 1995.

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Larry Nichter (CGS’71, CAS’73, MED’78) of Orange County, Calif., is president and founder of the nonprofit Plasticos Foundation and recently completed his 51st overseas mission training surgeons to be self-sufficient in the care of children with acquired and congenital deformities. He is also president of Pacific Center for Plastic Surgery and a clinical professor of plastic surgery at the University of Southern California and the University of California, Irvine. He recently received a 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award from BU’s College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. He also received the 2009 Child Help Humanitarian of the Year Award from the group’s Orange County Chapter.

Leigh Podgorski (CGS’72) completed her first novel, The Women Debrowska, a historical fiction loosely based on the story of her family and ancestors from Debowiec, Poland, and their immigration to Chicopee, Mass. She is currently seeking a literary agent and/or publisher.

John Murzycki (CGS’73, CAS’75, COM’78) is the director of marketing at EasyLobby, Inc., a software company in Needham, Mass. He writes, “My daughter Jessica is now attending her third year of college at Northeastern University. My wife, Carol, and I live in Wrentham, Mass.” He can be reached at

Larry Parnell (CGS’73, COM’75), associate professor and director of the master’s program in strategic public relations at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., was inducted into the PR News Hall of Fame in 2009.

Debra L. Smith (CGS’73, SED’75) was reappointed as a justice of the peace in Massachusetts on November 11, 2009. She is an attorney concentrating in family and juvenile law and an adjunct professor in the College of Arts and Sciences at Suffolk University in Boston. She invites classmates to visit her website at and to e-mail her at

Earl L. Hagström (CGS’74, CAS’76) received a master’s degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1978 and then worked as a petroleum geologist during the 1980s. In 1990 he earned a law degree from the University of San Francisco. He now specializes in environmental law as a partner at Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold and is an adjunct professor of environmental planning and policy at College of Marin. In 2006 he published Perchlorate: A Scientific, Legal and Economic Assessment. Earl lives in Mill Valley, Calif., with his wife, Sally, and two daughters, Kayla and China.

Philip M. Read (CGS’75, CAS’77) of Clifton, N.J., has just released Montclair & Environs, 21st Century Chronicles, a collection of articles published in The Star-Ledger, New Jersey’s largest newspaper, during the first decade of the new millennium as Read covered his beat in the so-called Upper West Side of New Jersey. A longtime journalist who has authored several pictorial histories, Read is a staff writer for The Star-Ledger, where he has worked for 12 years, and the one-time business editor of The Record in Hackensack. His daughter, Lauren Read (CAS’03), is also a BU graduate and recently received her master’s degree in information and library science at Rutgers University, New Brunswick.

Lori Kamer-Licker (CGS’77), an occupational therapist, wrote and self-published a children’s handwriting and activities book, Writing-Right with Professor Pendleton Pencil. Visit or e-mail Lori at for more information.

Dorcas Brown Sefton (CGS’77, CAS’80) reports that after graduating from BU, she earned an MEd from Northeastern University and then moved to Japan with her husband. She is now living in the U.S. again with two children in college and two still at home. She writes, “I am amazed that over 30 years have passed since my fun days at Myles Standish Hall! I think often of my years at BU and the many friends I had!”

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John F. Felter (CGS’83, Questrom’85) is an area vice president with the risk management firm Arthur J. Gallagher in N.Y. He is also president of the Boston University Alumni Club of New York and encourages anyone interested in getting involved in the group to contact him at

Paola Seremetis (CGS’83, CAS’85) is marketing manager for the School of Science & Technology and the School of Humanities at the first English-taught public university in Greece: International Hellenic University. She writes, “I have been living in Thessaloniki, Greece, for the last 12 years and am married to Thodoros Dovistinos and have two children, Sophia and Michael. If any of my old classmates would like to get in touch with me, my e-mail address is”

Jim Conviser (CGS’85, Questrom’87) is a commercial real estate broker at Conviser Property Group in Boston. He writes, “I live in Brookline so I am close enough to catch an occasional Terriers Hockey game! I’d love to hear from old friends.” Contact him at

David Dorfman, (CGS’86, CAS’88, LAW’91) is preparing to compete in the 2010 Iron Man triathlon in Lake Placid as a cancer survivor.

Kathy (Kolodner) Berlin (CGS’87, COM’89) now lives in Columbia, Md. She is married and has two young children.

Anne Elizabeth Davidson (CGS’87, Questrom’89, COM’91) married Carl Swepston on August 8, 2009, at the Naval Air Station in Coronado, Calif. Carl is a retired Navy SEAL and the two are active in the West Coast community. Anne writes that her dream of being a published author has come true. Her recent releases include Operation L.O.V.E., Holiday OP, and For Your Heart Only. She is also a monthly columnist for RT Book Reviews. See what else she’s doing at

Chantal Weatherley-White Unfug (CGS’87, COM’89) served as deputy CEO for the 2008 Democratic National Convention for the mayor of Denver and was recently featured in CONVENTION, a documentary that portrays the political convention through the eyes of Denver’s organizers, reporters, police, and protesters. After screening at film festivals worldwide, the film will be in theaters and on television in spring 2010. Chantal is married to Douglas Unfug, has two sons, and lives in Denver, where she welcomes visits from fellow alumni. Reach her at

David C. Flocco (CGS’88, CAS’90, SED’92) earned an EdM in private school administration at Teacher’s College, Columbia University, in 1998 and an EdD in educational administration from Seton Hall in 2004. He lives in Montclair, N.J., with his wife and four children. He is in his fifteenth year at the Montclair Kimberley Academy, where he is head of Upper School.

Daniel Osias (CGS’88, Questrom’90) lives in northern Calif. with his wife and three children. He writes, “I would love to keep in touch with college classmates. Go Terriers!” Contact him at

Joseph Yudin (CGS’88, CAS’90) lives in Israel, where he runs a successful travel business, Touring Israel. He and his wife, Meirav De Paz, have two daughters, Geffen and Dekkel, and a son, Meron. He writes, “I have finally completed my military requirement in the IDF Paratrooper Reserves at age 41, and this year I also have completed an MA in the Land of Israel Studies from the University of Haifa. Also I will be starting my studies and research toward a PhD at the University of Haifa in the Land of Israel Studies Department. Would love to connect with past friends, and if you’re coming to Israel, shoot me an e-mail and let’s get together:”

Anthony M. Ramos (CGS’89, CAS’92) fulfilled a lifelong dream in December 2008 when he graduated from The French Culinary Institute at the top of his class. He is currently director of marketing and communications at Wildlife Trust in New York City. In his spare time, he caters events and teaches cooking skills. Follow his blog at

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Tracy Marek and her husband, Randy Newell, explore Antarctica.

Tracy Marek and her husband, Randy Newell, explore Antarctica.

Nicholas W. Hofgren (CGS’90) reports that he is a partner in a successful finance company in London, England, and is engaged to be married.

Tracy Marek (CGS’90, COM’92) and her husband, Randy Newell, took a two-week trip on the Ukrainian scientific ship Akademik Ioffe to Antarctica in February 2009. The trip included crossing the Antarctic Circle, an overnight sleepover on a glacier, tours of current and former research centers, and daily wildlife excursions to see whales, seals, penguins, and birds in their native habitat. Tracy is currently in her seventh season as senior vice president of marketing for the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. She encourages classmates to contact her at or at

Ayanna Pressley campaigns for a seat on Boston's City Council.

Ayanna Pressley campaigns for a seat on Boston’s City Council.

Ayanna Pressley (CGS’94) was elected to Boston’s City Council in November, becoming the first African American woman to serve on the council.

Rebecca (CGS’96, COM’98) and Anthony (CGS’99, COM’01) La Pira welcomed a daughter, Mallory Jane, on July 17, 2009. Their first child, Luke Jackson, turned three on January 17, 2010. The La Piras will celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary this summer.

Greg Mattera (CGS’97, COM’99) was promoted to vice president at Premere Color, where he oversees print management projects for his national client base. He and his wife, Summer Mattera (SAR’99), live in Walpole, Mass., where they are kept busy with their two boys, Brayden and Zack.

Greg Mattera enjoys a recent boating trip with his wife and two sons.

Greg Mattera enjoys a recent boating trip with his wife and two sons.

Marshall Levit (CGS’98, COM’00) does professional audio narrations for Marshall the Mouth Voice-Overs, LLC, a voice-over company he founded in Houston, Tex., in June 2008. Contact him at

William Sargent (CGS’98, COM’00) reports that life in Asia continues to treat him well. He is head of marketing and communications for Asia for the insurance and risk advisory firm Marsh. He writes, “There is an active BU Singapore Alumni Association, which just hosted Law Professor [Cornelius] Hurley. If anyone finds themselves in the Far East, please feel free to drop me a line at”

Ian Arougheti (CGS’99, COM’01) recently joined the Paradigm Talent Agency in Beverly Hills as a talent agent representing some of the industry’s top comedians. He married Myriam Younes on August 15 on the beach in Santa Monica, Calif. The couple met in Myriam’s hometown of Montreal last summer at the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival. BU alumni in attendance at the wedding were Alessandra DeStefanis (CGS’99, CAS’01), Laura DeStefanis (Questrom’06), Allyson Haas (COM’01), Melissa Grossenbacher (COM’00), Jamie Kaler (CAS’87), and Jeremy Shein (COM’01).

Ian Arougheti married Myriam Younes on the Santa Monica beach last August.

Ian Arougheti married Myriam Younes on the Santa Monica beach last August.

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Dianna Jouan (CGS’00, CAS’02) graduated from the University of San Francisco with a master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in marketing on December 18, 2009.

Karlene Ludwig Pinizzotto (CGS’00, COM’02) of N.J. and her husband Stephen welcomed a daughter, Claire Alma, on September 23, 2009.

Jaron Friedman (CGS’01, Questrom’03) moved to Minneapolis to take a role with Boston Beer—makers of Samuel Adams, Twisted Tea, and HardCore Hard Cider—as the national team lead with SuperValu Grocers.

Andrew Hass (CGS’02, COM’04) works at William Morris Endeavor talent agency in Los Angeles and can be contacted at

David Katzenberg (CGS’03, COM’05) is the executive producer of The Hard Times of RJ Berger, a new comedy series scheduled to begin airing on MTV in June. Watch the trailer on MTV’s website.

Jeff Gilfillan (CGS’04, COM’06) lives in New York City and works as an associate producer and head of the N.Y. office for Believe Media, an international commercial and media production company that was recently named one of the top 25 in the world by Creativity magazine.

Aaron Kaufman (CGS’04, CAS’06) has left real estate firm Tishman Speyer and now is a commercial real estate broker at Vicus Partners in New York City.

Purvi (Shah) Ranka (CGS’04, CAS’06) married Mitun Ranka on June 27, 2009, at the Sheraton in Mahwah, N.J. Mitun is a 2005 graduate of MIT. The couple now lives and works in New York City.

Michael Sulprizio (CGS’04, CAS’06) of East Boston, Mass., married Lindsay Vatalaro on October 11, 2009, in Winthrop, Mass. Michael works for State Representative Carlo Basile and is pursuing a master’s degree in public affairs at University of Massachusetts, Boston. Lindsay is a graduate of Salem State College and is an activities coordinator for the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center. Michael’s twin brother Robert Sulprizio (CGS’04, CAS’06) was one of the best men at the wedding, along with Michael’s younger brother, Stephen Sulprizio.

James Boynton (CGS’05, Questrom’07) has been growing his commercial property and casualty insurance company, which is now grossing $20 million in annual sales. Jim works with several types of businesses, including local restaurants, IT firms, and contractors, as well as several fellow BU alumni. He can often be found at BU hockey games, alumni events, or catching up with his former professors around campus. Contact him at or 617-816-5507.

Cyrus Kamali (CGS’06, CAS’08) works in the oil and construction industry in Saudi Arabia. He writes, “I would like to thank all, especially Dean G., for the support and guidance while in CGS.”

Mary Purdey (CGS’06, COM’08) is pursuing a master’s degree in library and information science at Simmons College. Last summer she interned at the Educator Resource Center at the Museum of Science in Boston, and in the fall she interned in the museum’s Current Science and Technology Department and volunteered in the library at Fenway High School.
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