Class Notes

From an alum who became a world equestrian champion to a TV star who cycled 545 miles for charity, find out what your classmates have been up to

Sanford Katz (CAS’55) of Waban, Mass., is the Darald & Juliet Libby Emeritus Professor at Boston College. He retired after teaching at Boston College Law School for 47 years and lives with his wife, Joan. His son Daniel is an appellate lawyer in Massachusetts and New York, and son Andrew is the host of Katz Korner, a college basketball program on ESPN.

Peter G. Levine (CAS’62, SED’64) of Delray Beach, Fla., is president of the board of directors of JARC Florida, a nonprofit, nonsectarian organization that operates 10 group homes for adults with developmental disabilities in Boca Raton, Fla.

Carol Leary (CAS’69) of Longmeadow, Mass., president of Bay Path University, was appointed to the Department of Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council, which provides advice on matters dealing with homeland security and the academic community. Carol will serve a four-year term on the council.

Peter H. Bloom (CAS’72) of Somerville, Mass., writes that he “continues to perform in diverse concert tours throughout the United States. In February 2017, the Duo ‘2’ (Bloom, flute; Mary Jane Rupert, piano) gave recitals across the Southeast, celebrating the sesquicentennial of American composer Amy Beach. In April, Ensemble Aubade (Bloom with Rupert, piano, and Frank Grimes, viola) toured Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri, performing music by Rameau, von Weber, Robert Russell Bennett, and Karl Henning. Bloom and the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra continued the band’s 44th season with a show at MIT Cambridge featuring the premiere of Swamp-a-Rama and other works by music director Mark Harvey (STH’71, GRS’83), and a Salute to Duke Ellington at the Shalin Liu in Rockport.” Visit to learn more.

Martin Perry (CAS’73) of Massapequa, N.Y., has been teaching in the College of Professional Studies at St. John’s University since 2013. Contact Martin at

Cynthia Stowell (CAS’73) of Portland, Ore., has digitally self-published her first novel, New Old World (Smashwords, 2016). “It’s the story of a fortyish woman finding her way from utter independence to an appreciation of family during a trip abroad,” she writes. Her nonfiction book, Faces of a Reservation, A Portrait of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation (Oregon Historical Society Press, 1987), won an Oregon Book Award in 1988. “At this rate, we can expect an announcement of my third book in about 2047!”

Marky Kauffmann (CAS’75) of Shirley, Mass., is a photographer, curator, and photography educator. Her latest curatorial endeavor is the traveling show Outspoken: Seven Women Photographers. It was the winter exhibition at Groton School in Groton, Mass., opening on January 18, 2017. The show features the work of women photographers—Marky, Rania Matar, Blake Fitch, Nancy Grace Horton, Nadine Boughton, Emily Schiffer, and Tira Khan—who are making images about the lives of women and girls.

John Murzycki (CGS’73, CAS’75, COM’78) of Wrentham, Mass., published his first novel, Elthea’s Realm (CreateSpace, 2017). “It’s a blend of science fiction, fantasy, and technology thriller,” he writes. “The story fictionalizes the capstone course in CGS during my time, which was called ‘The Utopia Project.’ The plot follows five friends who have drifted apart after graduating from college seven years earlier. Now someone is after them because of that course. The setting begins in Boston but quickly shifts to the fictional world of Elthea’s Realm. It depicts how ordinary people, just like you or me, react when not only they are threatened, but the Earth is endangered.” Visit for more information.

Scott Smolka (CAS’75, GRS’77) of Port Jefferson, N.Y., is a faculty member in the department of computer sciences at Stony Brook University, and was appointed a Distinguished Professor by the State University of New York (SUNY) board of trustees.

John Bassilakis (CAS’76) of South Windsor, Conn., invites all of his fellow 519 Beacon Street alumni and BU friends to listen to his radio show, Square Pegs & Round Holes, a blend of Americana, alt-country, folk, and blues. The show airs on Sundays from 7 to 9 a.m. on 91.7 FM, the University of Connecticut’s radio station. Those not in the listening area can hear a live stream on Reach out to John at

Daniel Nadelbach (CAS’78) of Santa Fe, N.M., is a photographer who has specialized in architecture and interiors, fashion, and resorts and hospitality over a successful 25-year career. His clients have included Auberge Resorts, Vogue Australia, Western Interiors & Design magazine, Ocean Drive magazine, Sotheby’s, and ExxonMobil.

James Martin (STH’73, GRS’79) of Jamaica Plain, Mass., published Consolidating Colleges and Merging Universities (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017).

Madeline Di Nonno (CAS’82) of Marina Del Ray, Calif., was elected chair of the board of directors of the Television Academy Foundation, the Television Academy’s charitable arm. Madeline is the chief executive officer of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.

Craig Prusher (CAS’85, LAW’88) of Miami, Fla., was appointed executive vice president and chief legal officer of Church’s Chicken. In this expanded role, he will continue to oversee the management of all domestic and international franchise and corporate legal affairs, and he will lead community, regulatory, and industry relations.

Dean Ricciardi (CAS’85) of Medford, Mass., writes, “For over a decade after graduation, I spun my wheels without any real direction to my life or career. In the mid-1990s, I worked for several years as the book buyer in the gift shop at the Boston Children’s Museum. In 1998, I took a job with a fledgling e-commerce company, and I enjoyed the challenges of working in a then-new type of business. But of course, I ended up getting laid off in the dotcom crash of 2001. Later, I found my way to an e-book publisher, which led to a job in 2006 with Harvard Health Publications, a small department at Harvard Medical School that publishes health information aimed at a general audience. In 2012, a change in our marketing partnership led to about 60 percent of the staff being cut, so I can claim the dubious distinction of having been laid off from Harvard. The longest and most difficult period of unemployment of my life followed, but in 2015 I went to work for another e-commerce company. This one provides a business-to-business platform for retailers to liquidate excess inventory through auctions. In 2017, I was offered the chance to return to my former department at Harvard, in a position that combines editorial and content management work. Meanwhile, in 1998 I married Miriam Greenburg, a California native and graduate of Brandeis University and Salem State University, who works in social services. We chose not to have children; instead we share our home with a rescued greyhound, a retired racer. We’re now on our second dog and live happily in Medford.”

Natalie J. Sobchak (CAS’86)
of Bronx, N.Y., was honored with the 2017 Jefferson Award by Pace University for her volunteerism and public service in the community. Natalie recently celebrated her fifth work anniversary as director of pro bono programs at the Pace Women’s Justice Center, a nonprofit organization that provides free legal services to victims and survivors of domestic violence and elder abuse in Westchester County, N.Y.

Jeffrey Bernick (CAS’87) of Scottsdale, Ariz., was appointed managing principal of the Phoenix office of the law firm Jackson Lewis.

Victor Levy (CGS’85, CAS’87) of Cherry Hill, N.J., published a book about financial planning, The Kitchen Table Financial Plan (River Grove Books, 2016). He writes that the book has received praise from many financial advisers and is being used as a teaching tool at Temple University’s Fox School of Business. Victor spoke to the school’s financial planning majors during the spring 2017 semester. Contact him at

Judith A. Boss (GRS’90) of Exeter, R.I., published Deception Island (Wild Rose Press, 2015).

Niki Kapsambelis (CAS’90, COM’90) of Pittsburgh, Pa., a journalist, published The Inheritance: A Family on the Front Lines of the Battle Against Alzheimer’s Disease (Simon & Schuster, 2017).

Amy Wilson Maroney (CAS’90) of Portland, Ore., published The Girl from Oto (Artelan Press, 2016), a historical novel that weaves together the story of Mira, a girl who becomes an artist in the 16th century, and Zari, the modern art historian who tries to discover her secret. Learn more at and email Amy at

Bevin Rolfs Spencer (CAS’91) of Littleton, Colo., writes, “I published my first children’s chapter book, The Backyard Players Present: Abracadabra (Xist Publishing, 2016). When a magic wand turns out to really be magic, a group of friends who call themselves the Backyard Players must find a way to reverse the spell before the curtain rises on their latest play.” Contact Bevin at

Richard Rubin (GRS’91) of Brunswick, Maine, wrote Back Over There (St. Martin’s Press, 2017), chronicling his
visits to American World War I battle sites in France.

Ester Venouziou (CAS’92, COM’92) of St. Petersburg, Fla., is the founder and president of LocalShops1, the area’s “buy local” organization, which was founded in 2008. She writes, “We opened LocalShops1’s first brick-and-mortar location. In addition to office space and displays to spotlight our local business members, it includes a monthly resident artist and space for pop-up businesses, so entrepreneurs can test out a new market or launch a new product. The space is in downtown Gulfport, Fla., in the historic waterfront district, about 5 miles from St. Petersburg and 20 miles from Tampa. We organize buy local/eat local/live local campaigns, networking events, cross-promotional advertising, and large-scale events that bring businesses and shoppers together, like Top Local Chef, the Shopapalooza Festival, and Tampa Bay Community Awards. LocalShops1 also contracts with local journalists and former journalists to offer affordable writing, design, web design, and marketing services for local businesses.” Contact Ester at

Michael Maguire (CAS’93) of West Roxbury, Mass., writes that he “keeps his roots well-watered.” Not only is he in his 23rd year teaching Latin and ancient Greek at his other alma mater, Boston Latin Academy, he is also chair of the governing board of the school at which he attended kindergarten 40 years ago. Michael continues to serve on the executive board of the Boston Teachers Union and is vice president of the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts. Contact Michael at

Rachel Brasso (CGS’92, CAS’94) of San Francisco, Calif., was appointed senior wealth manager and fiduciary specialist for BNY Mellon Wealth Management. Rachel is responsible for providing comprehensive strategic guidance on a range of tax and fiduciary matters, particularly for complex estate planning. Contact her at

John Rosengren (GRS’94) of Minneapolis, Minn., won the Donald Robinson Award for Investigative Journalism from the American Society of Journalists & Authors for his article “How Casinos Enable Gambling Addicts,” which ran in the December 2016 issue of the Atlantic magazine. The article was also nominated for a National Magazine Award and the Pulitzer Prize. John received a master’s in BU’s Creative Writing program.

Eric Schmoyer (CAS’94,’05) of Macungie, Pa., spent most of last year on the road with his horse, competing at cutting, a western equestrian sport involving working cattle. “I finished as the world champion in my division, the $15k Amateur,” he writes. Eric is a software developer and was able to work remotely as he traveled through the country, competing every weekend.

Scott Stitt (CAS’95) of Columbus, Ohio, was named a 2017 Ohio Super Lawyer. He works for the firm Tucker Ellis.

Kristen Casey (CAS’96) of North Potomac, Md., published her first novel, Finding Home (Gallant Fox Press, 2016), the first book in a series called Second Chances.

Chris Chanyasulkit (CAS’98, SPH’01) of Brookline, Mass., was elected to the executive board of the American Public Health Association (APHA) during its annual conference in November 2016. “Currently, APHA is the only organization that influences federal policy with its diverse public health membership and over 140 years of history,” she writes.

Adam McNeill (CAS’98) of Milwaukee, Wisc., writes, “In July 2016, alumni of BU men’s crew, Classes of 1995–2001, spent a long weekend in Toronto, Ontario, for the seventh edition of their annual ‘Boys of Summer’ excursion. The events began in 2010 as a way for old friends and teammates to reconnect each year in a different city and take in a Major League Baseball game. To date, 32 alumni have attended at least one of the seven weekends.” At time of writing, the group was planning a trip “to Minneapolis for the eighth long weekend in the series, and with a mission statement of Visiting Every Major League Ballpark to Raise Awareness of the Awesomeness of Boston University Crew Alumni, they expect to complete the circuit of 30 MLB stadiums in the late 2030s.” The BU men’s rowing alumni attendees to date include J. Patrick Birkemose (CAS’98), Walker Christie (CGS’95, CAS’97), Jon A. Clark (CAS’97), Jon E. Clark (CGS’95, CAS’97), Sean Corcoran (CAS’01), Scott DeMoss (SAR’97), Matt Elwood (CAS’00, GRS’00), Drew Hankins (CAS’00), Tim Holland (Questrom’98), David Kobasa (SAR’98,’00), Ed Leonard (ENG’00,’05), Matt Lusins (CGS’96, CAS’98), Mike Lyons (CAS’97), Aaron Martlage (COM’00), John McCann (CGS’98, Questrom’00), Jake Morton (CAS’96), Tom Nocella (CAS’98), David Padgett (SAR’99, SED’08), Chris Perry (COM’01), Joe Pizonka (CGS’98, CAS’02), Gilbert Reese (ENG’00,’06), Vlad Rozanovich (ENG’96), Rob Rogers (CAS’00), Ian Ruegg (CAS’00), Ray Sontag (CGS’95, CAS’97), Justin Stoger (CAS’98), Walt Swenton (CGS’96, CAS’99), Matt Tomlinson (CAS’97), Chris Torney (CGS’97, CAS’00), Wyeth Towle (CAS’97), and Rob Walker (COM’98).

Cindy Urrutia (CAS’98) of Clovis, Calif., published the catalog Elotes con Sangre, the Journey Home, Photographs and ‘Nierikas’ (yarn paintings) of the Land of the Wixáritari, First Peoples, The Huichol Nation of Mexico, 1970 (Press at California State University, Fresno, 2016), which she edited with poet Juan Felipe Herrera.

Kristin Swenson (STH’93, GRS’01) of Charlottesville, Va., published God of Earth: Discovering a Radically Ecological Christianity (Westminster John Knox Press, 2016). She writes that it “is a work of creative nonfiction in which I track, through the church year, the question of what happens if we imagine the Jesus of Christian theology to be realized in the nonhuman natural world.” Kristin is a visiting associate professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia.

Regina LaMonica (CAS’02) of Chicago, Ill., was named partner in the white collar and investigations practice at the law firm Perkins Coie. She has extensive experience representing companies and individuals in a wide range of white collar criminal matters, as well as in complex securities and civil litigation. Regina has represented clients across a variety of industries in enforcement matters pending before the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the office of the comptroller of currency, and various state attorney general actions.

Katie Norton (CAS’03) of Glen Arm, Md., is director of development at Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. She leads the organization’s fundraising initiatives while exploring and establishing new avenues for strategic growth. She plays an integral role in the development of the UCF House, a home away from home for young adult cancer patients in the Baltimore area.

Jane Lyden Rousseau (CAS’04) and Craig Uram (CFA’93) of Boston, Mass., welcomed their first daughter, Ada Louise Uram, on December 27, 2016.

Melinda Richardson (CGS’03, CAS’05) of New York, N.Y., writes that she and Stacey Chang (Questrom’05) “are working together on a footwear startup called VEERAH, which is focused on thoughtfully crafted, cruelty-free shoes that come with interchangeable accessories to make sure women can do good and look incredible anytime, anyway, anywhere.” launched in October 2016. Melinda oversees communications for the brand. “It’s been wonderful to support each other over the years and to be part of a women-led brand that celebrates the #VEERAHwarrior in us all—a community of women who embody strength, femininity, and compassion as we aspire to make a positive impact and conquer the world in style. We are very excited to share this new business with the BU community!” Contact Melinda at

Brittany (Brown-Hart) Bepler (CAS’06) of Washington, D.C., married Peter Bepler on October 22, 2016, at Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards in Charlottesville, Va.

Philip Trick (CAS’06, GRS’06) of Arlington, Tex., writes that he represented “the United States, Boston University, and my consulting firm, the Scruggs Group, in the international financial modelling competition, ModelOff, in London on December 4, 2016, as one of the top 20 participants.” This was the ModelOff competition’s fifth year, and it consisted of two online preliminary rounds, where competitors built mathematical models to answer a variety of questions, generally based around financial concepts. The top 50 percent in round one moved on to round two, and the top 20 scorers from the combined rounds moved on to the finals to compete for prizes. Contact Philip at

Katherine Hinkle (CAS’07, SED’09) of Madison, Wisc., joined the law firm Michael Best as an associate in its Madison real estate practice group.

Shannon Vossler (CAS’08, COM’08) of Memphis, Tenn., writes, “Although I work at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as the in-house media producer, my work last year with This Old House won a national Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lifestyle Series. I got a shiny statue and everything! It was an amazingly emotional project that highlighted a fantastic nonprofit, Homes for Our Troops, which builds specially adapted homes for disabled veterans. We traveled to Florida to meet recipients of some of these homes (and their families), and our hosts actually helped build one of the homes in New Hampshire. It was an incredible experience, and it’s very humbling that the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences appreciated our work so much to award us an Emmy.”

Samantha DuBois (CAS’12) of Emmaus, Pa., and Kelisha Menon (CAS’12, COM’12) of New York, N.Y., launched a weekly online newsletter, Wish You Were Here, which curates articles for the global-minded traveler. Each issue links to a selection of travel journalism from various websites. Find out more at

David Collier (GRS’13) of Washington, D.C., published Democracy and the Nature of American Influence in Iran, 1941–1979 (Syracuse University Press, 2017).

Anne Whiting (CAS’13) of New York, N.Y., exhibited her first capsule fashion collection, Anne James New York, during New York Fashion Week at the Adalinda Fashion Show, a showcase of designers committed to social and environmental stewardship through fashion. Anne is a graduate of Parsons School of Design in New York City, and has studied ecotextile innovation and development in Milan. She is passionate about implementing sustainability into her work.

Christie Tang (CAS’16) of Santa Monica, Calif., has launched a cell phone case business, Tangy Design. “I studied psychology with a minor in graphic design, and my career path has led me to become a user experience designer for my full-time job,” she writes. Christie’s phone case patterns are based on her watercolor fruit designs. Visit, or email Christie at


Riding for Life

Keahu Kahuanui (CAS’06) on the AIDS/LifeCycle. He tweeted that he met five other Terriers on the ride’s red dress day. Photo by Georg Lester.
Keahu Kahuanui (CAS’06) on the AIDS/LifeCycle. He tweeted that he met five other Terriers on the ride’s red dress day. Photo by Georg Lester

In June 2016, actor and photographer Keahu Kahuanui (CAS’06) completed the AIDS/LifeCycle, a 545-mile bike ride that starts in San Francisco and ends in Los Angeles. The seven-day ride raises money for the HIV and AIDS services of the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

Kahuanui, best known for his roles in shows like MTV’s Teen Wolf, says the “ride was by far one of the most uplifting, inspiring things I’ve done in my life, especially considering the current political environment.”

Despite the grueling 80-miles-per-day schedule, Kahuanui expects to tackle the challenge again. The Los Angeles LGBT Center, which offers programs ranging from healthcare to education, says more than half a million people enter its doors every year.

“With some charities, it’s not always easy to see the results of your campaigning or where the dollars actually go. I wanted to see people benefit directly from a charity with a solid reputation of transparency,” says Kahuanui, who continues to act and audition while throwing himself into photography (see his work at “I couldn’t be more honored to stand behind this sort of humanitarian effort, especially with such an incredible staff.”


Economic Intuition

BU Economics Distinguished Alumni Award winner Jin-Yong Cai (GRS’88,’91), left, with Dean Ann E. Cudd and Professor Laurence J. Kotlikoff. Photo Courtesy of BU Economics.
BU Economics Distinguished Alumni Award winner Jin-Yong Cai (GRS’88,’91), left, with Dean Ann E. Cudd and Professor Laurence J. Kotlikoff. Photo Courtesy of BU Economics

Jin-Yong Cai (GRS’88,’91) was the winner of the BU Economics and the Institute for Economic Development 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award.

Cai started his career at the World Bank before holding key roles in the private sector, including as head of Goldman Sachs’ operations in China. He then served as executive vice president and chief executive officer of the International Finance Corporation, part of the World Bank Group, and is currently a partner at TPG, a global private investment firm.

“He has not been just an observer or a participant in the transformation of China into the country we know today, he has been a leader,” said Professor of Economics Marc Rysman at a May 2017 event honoring Cai, reportedly the first Chinese national to earn a PhD in economics from BU.

“The remarkable thing about him is that he’s such a sweet, lovely guy; there’s not an ounce of pride,” says Professor of Economics Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Cai’s advisor at BU. He credits Cai, who spoke at the department’s 2017 Commencement, for combining “great economic intuition” and “a nose for business,” noting that it’s rare for someone to be successful in both economics and finance.