Miami magazine Online
David Powell   Laurie Silvers   Elena Lopez
Philip Kellerman   Marti Sharron    
Class Notes
1940s 1950s 1960s
1970s 1980s 1990s

David Powell’s Work Is Pure ‘Panda-monium’

Discovering the secrets of giant panda behavior in captivity may be the only hope for saving this highly endangered species, as David Powell (B.S. ’93) well knows.

“There are less than 1,000 giant pandas remaining in the wild, and if zoos are ever going to be a source of animals for reintroduction, it’s critical to figure out if they will breed in captivity,” says Powell, head of behavioral research at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.

Powell is part of the team responsible for learning about the newest pair of giant pandas, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, to be loaned to the United States from China. They arrived at the National Zoo in December 2000 and already have had more than 1.3 million visitors. Ling Ling and Hsing Hsing—the first pair of pandas given to this country by China in 1972 to commemorate President Richard Nixon’s historic visit—received more than 70 million visitors.

“So few people in the world get to work with giant pandas that I feel very lucky to have access to them,” says Powell. “They are so biologically unique, and everyone in the world is in love with them.”

An animal lover since early childhood, Powell started working for zoos while he was still in high school. He came to the University of Miami initially to study marine science, but “my interest quickly shifted back to dry land,” he says, “because I discovered I was more interested in animals and their behavior than ocean chemistry.”

He went on to earn his doctorate degree from the University of Maryland in 2000, studying a group of feral horses that lived on an island off the East Coast. While completing his dissertation, Powell heard that the Smithsonian was looking to expand its giant panda research program. He put in a proposal and was accepted.

“My goal is to provide insight on how these wonderful animals behave and how they live,” Powell says. “We’d eventually love to have them breed naturally and have a cub, but we’re mostly interested in their welfare, and providing a stimulating and comfortable environment for them. Along the way, we’ll be learning about them.”

Laurie Silvers Finds the Right Channel for Success

As the founder and president of Hollywood Media Corporation, Laurie Silvers (A.B. ’74, J.D. ’77) heads a $130 million international company that includes and She also is the creator of the enormously successful Sci Fi Channel, which experienced the second-largest launch of a cable network in history.

“It took four years and a lot of hard work to convince people that there was enough interest in science fiction to support a 24-hour cable channel devoted to the genre, and that there were enough programs to fill 24 hours of programming,” Silvers says. “I thought about what movies I went to see with my young son, and what games, T-shirts, and toys I bought him. It made me realize how many people were supporting this genre. It was just a case of putting all the pieces together.”

Making a good case was Silvers’ original career goal. A psychology major while an undergraduate at the University, she also obtained a law degree from UM and then began a practice in South Florida.

“I found myself representing clients who owned radio and television stations, and it was a natural evolution for me to become more interested in that industry,” says Silvers, who grew up around broadcasting.

“My father owned radio and television stations, and as a child I watched and listened and learned,” she says. “So when the opportunity came up for me to buy a small cable system in the Midwest, I rolled up my sleeves and tried my hand at it.”

Silvers grew that small operation into a successful cable system, then another. After selling the cable systems she owned, she started the Science Fiction Channel in 1988 and sold it to USA Network in 1992. Among her board of advisers were some of the giants of the genre, including the late Isaac Asimov and Gene Roddenberry (who also studied at the University of Miami).

“Looking back, one of the biggest obstacles I faced was the attitude that ‘an entrepreneur from Boca Raton, Florida, could never create a national network,’ but that just made me work harder,” says Silvers, who frequently gives motivational talks to young people.

“Believing in something and never giving up—that’s the important thing,” she says.

Elena Lopez de Mesa Shows Dogged Determination

Whether she’s saving lives as the first civilian member of Metro-Dade’s Urban Search and Rescue Team or running one of the most successful doggie day camps in the country, Elena Lopez de Mesa (B.B.A. ’95) is happy her career has gone to the dogs.

“I had reached a point where I had to make a decision to either go corporate or do something I was passionate about,” she says. “So I gave up everything and became a private dog trainer. It was a huge risk, but in my mind, it was a bigger risk to go down a path that I didn’t love.”

As she worked to become a nationally certified dog trainer, Lopez de Mesa also was formulating a business plan for a unique concept: a day care/day camp for dogs.

Established two years ago, Totally Dog is a two-acre ranch in the Redland area of south Miami-Dade County, with a bone-shaped pool, dog beach area, nap house, agility/exercise course, and chickee huts. There’s even a yellow school bus that picks up and drops off dogs at bus stops near owners’ homes.

“Totally Dog gives owners the opportunity to go to work and not feel guilty about leaving their pet locked up all day,” she says. “They can come home to a happy, healthy dog.”

Lopez de Mesa’s camp already hosts up to 30 dogs a day and has been featured on a variety of national television news programs. Her goal, however, is to grow slowly.

“I enjoy the camp, and I love the dogs,” she says. “I want to keep doing this.”

Meanwhile, in her spare time, she and her Labrador retriever, Thea, are members of the Metro-Dade Urban Search and Rescue Team—one of only two such task forces in the United States. Her first mission was to rescue survivors after the earthquake in Turkey in August of 1999.

“We were surrounded by the dead, but I focused on finding people alive,” she explains. “Unfortunately, the devastation there was too great, but you never give up. I’m so proud to be on that team.”

Philip Kellerman Harvests Hope for Migrant Workers

There are more than a million migrant farmworkers in this country, but they are an invisible population, living and working in extremely rural areas that most of us never see.

“They’re also one of the poorest groups in our nation, yet we depend on them for most of the fruits and vegetables we buy in our supermarkets,” says Philip Kellerman (B.S. ’77).

A little over four years ago, Kellerman established the Harvest of Hope Foundation—the first national foundation dedicated to helping migrant farmworkers and their families. Launched with only $46, the foundation today has raised more than $130,000 and helped more than 850 migrant families.

It all began with a telephone call.

Kellerman, a former school teacher, had been working for a U.S. Department of Education program that helped the children of migrant workers continue their education. The program had created a toll-free national hotline number to further assist the migrant workers.

“We thought that if we had one nationwide number for people to call, it would make it easier for them to enroll their children in school wherever they traveled,” Kellerman recalls. “On the third day, I got a call from a migrant family from Texas whose truck had broken down in Owatonna, Minnesota. They needed $262 to fix the transmission or they’d be stranded, and unable to get to the next fields where they could find work. “That’s when I discovered that there was no national foundation to help them,” he continues. “So the entire staff pitched in, and we started building a fund to handle these types of emergencies.”

A year later, Kellerman’s grandmother passed away, leaving him a small inheritance that he used to cover the start-up costs of the foundation.

“She was a social worker for 20 years and an advocate for the poor. Harvest of Hope is dedicated in her honor,” says Kellerman, who is still the foundation’s only employee and receives no salary.

“You don’t get many opportunities in life to do things that make a real difference,” he says. “I feel fortunate that I was in the right place at the right time.”

Marti Sharron Is Singing a Happy Tune

)ne of the first female record producers in the nation and an award-winning songwriter, Marti Sharron (B.S. ’72) is a naturally gifted musician who never had any formal musical training.

“I always wanted to be a songwriter,” says Sharron, who learned to play piano by ear, “but my family believed I should have a practical career.”

So, she came to the University of Miami to study mass communications, and after her graduation she was hired as a page at The Today Show in New York City.

“Barbara Walters always was getting mad at me because she could never find me,” Sharron remembers. “I was downstairs playing the piano and writing songs.”

Sharron soon left New York and returned to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where a chance meeting with Peter Graves’ orchestra changed her life.

“He was playing at the Bachelors III. I had three songs I had written, so during a break I went up to him and said, ‘Hi, you don’t know me, but would you demo my songs?’ And he said yes!” Sharron says.

She sent the demos to Paul Anka, who was the first to record her work. That led to a stint at TK Records, then a job at the historic Criteria Studio. Then Sharron made the move to Los Angeles.

“During my first two years there, nobody returned my calls, and I worked in a car body shop to make ends meet,” she says. “Then ASCAP called me to perform for some of the leading record producers, and Linda Perry of ATV Music signed me.”

Today she is the head of her own two successful recording companies, Spinning Platinum Music and Martypants Music, and has worked with legendary artists including Natalie Cole, Anita Baker, Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Dionne Warwick, and Julio Iglesias. She also has written songs for top television series and movies.

Nearly everything Sharron has touched has turned to platinum or gold, and she has received dozens of awards, including a Grammy for Jump for My Love, by the Pointer Sisters.

“I just have the music in me,” she explains. “It’s a gift from God.”

Martha Melahn, A.B. ’42, reprinted her novels Wave of Destiny and its sequel Encounter with Destiny, out-of-print historical novels set in Key West in 1865. A third book, Legendary Dining, a cookbook/memoir/travelogue dealing with her 23 years abroad, also recently went on the market.
Elliott B. Wollman, B.Ed. ’47, M.A. ’48, a retired corporate executive, was recruited to be one of the officials at the 2001 NCAA Intercollegiate Fencing Championship held in March at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. He also was recognized by the Boy Scouts of America for 65 years of participation on its committees and boards, and for 40 years of involvement in fund development for the Girl Scouts of Racine County, Inc.
Harold Baumgarten, M.S. ’49, M.D. ’60, has published the second edition of Eyewitness on Omaha Beach, a history used in the filming of the fighting beach scenes of Saving Private Ryan. He resides in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

50s Photos

Frank R. Slivocka, B.Ed. ’51, retired physical education teacher, was presented in 2001 with the Combat Action Ribbon and the U.S. Marine Corps Distinguished Service Medal-State of New Jersey, for service in World War II.
Frank P. Rock, B.B.A. ’52, has retired after a career as a supervising special agent of the FBI and later as a corporate security director for a major U.S. company. He volunteers as a Guardian Ad Litem doing investigations for the court in cases of child abuse and delinquency. He resides in Sarasota, Florida.
Herbert L. Gopman, B.S. ’54, is president of Gopman Consulting Engineers Inc., located in North Miami Beach, Florida.
David G. Cromwell, B.B.A. ’55, for 40 years has been owner/broker of the David G. Cromwell Agency, a real estate and insurance business. He also has been president of the Rochester, New York, University of Miami Alumni Club since the 1960s.
Raymond G. Bauer, B.B.A. ’58, was selected to appear in Marquis’ Who’s Who in America.
Alan P. Taylor, A.B. ’58, was named by PR Week magazine as one of the top 100 public relations professionals in the 20th century. Taylor heads Alan Taylor Communications, Inc. in New York, New York. Suzanne Sawyer Zopfi, A.B. ’58, has retired from her career as a speech/language pathologist. She resides in Pembroke Pines, Florida.

60s Photos

Robert Denehy, B.B.A. ’60, has retired from Helion Industries Inc., the Contar Corporation, and Graphic Service Corporation, having served as president for the past 30 years. He and his wife, Sara, now live in Sun City, California.
Paul H. Tocker, B.B.A. ’60, was appointed assistant county attorney for Schenectady County, New York.
Jeanne Wolf, A.B. ’61, M.A. ’66, was awarded the coveted “Press” Award by the Publicists Guild of America. Wolf is the editor of Redbook Magazine; hosts Jeanne Wolf’s Hollywood, her own daily radio series; and is a frequent contributor to TV Guide, TV Guide On Line, and E! Online. She also is president of her own award-winning production company, Pentacom Productions.
Joseph B. Duray, M.B.A. ’62, was awarded the prestigious Distinguished Hoosier Award, one of the highest honors given by the governor in the state of Indiana. The DHA is presented to those citizens who have given great service to the state of Indiana and its citizens and have distinguished themselves as outstanding Hoosiers and Americans.
Richard N. Friedman, A.B. ’62, J.D. ’65, the Miami, Florida, securities lawyer popularly known as “The Singing Attorney,” released his second music album, All My Love. The album consists of 13 of the greatest love songs of the 20th century and was released through All-Star Music Corporation.
William G. Zimmerman, Ed.D. ’63, is semiretired after 43 years in education, 31 as a school superintendent, to spend more time with his wife, Ruth (McNeill), and their 15 grandchildren.
Jill Jacoby (Virginia Roessler), A.B. ’64, a lifetime educator, recently began a one-year term as executive director-elect of the Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA), assuming the executive director position in June 2002. WASA’s membership is comprised of nearly 1,100 superintendents, instructional administrators, business and personnel administrators, special education directors, and principals across the state. WASA is committed to leadership for public schools.
Jamie S. Barkin, B.B.A. ’65, M.D. ’70, has been elected to the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine Board of Regents, the nation’s largest medical specialty society. Barkin is a professor of medicine, oncology, and pediatrics at the University of Miami School of Medicine and chief of the Division of Gastroenterology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Florida.
Angela Saranier Blas, A.B. ’65, M.Ed. ’68, a former professor at SUNY Farmingdale, has retired to Lincoln, California, but still teaches computers to adults part time.
Ellen Kempler, A.B. ’66, was inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame, Class of 2001, representing the best in the teaching profession. Kempler teaches freshman English and senior ethics and leadership at MAST academy in Key Biscayne, Florida.
Thomas R. Spencer, Jr., A.B. ’66, J.D. ’69, the senior partner of Spencer & Klein, P.A., was elected to the board of directors of the Federalist Society, Miami Lawyers Chapter. He also served on this year’s Presidential Rank Awards Review Board, which plays a critical role in the selection of federal executives for the distinguished award that recognizes some of the nation’s most vital programs.
Michael B. Greenbaum, B.S. ’67, vice-chancellor/chief operating officer of the Jewish Theological Society, had his book, Louis Finkelstein and the Conservative Movement: Conflict and Growth, published by Global Press of the University of Binghamtom as part of its academic studies in the history of Judaism.
Anthony Sabatasso, A.B. ’68, M.S. ’70, Ph.D. ’73, a forensic psychologist of Sabatasso Consulting Systems, was listed in 2000 Outstanding Scientists of the 20th Century, second edition, 2001. He lives in Mill Valley, California.
Lynn Wolf, A.B. ’68, Ph.D. ’91, was promoted to associate professor of liberal arts at Nova Southeastern University. She lives in Plantation, Florida.
Michael Dorso, M.D. ’69, wrote and published Seeds of Hope: A Physician’s Personal Triumph Over Prostate Cancer. The book helps educate the public about the risks, cutting-edge treatments and technologies, and hopeful strategies for beating the odds of prostate cancer, both physically and emotionally.
Georgene Heath Duprey, A.B. ’69, has achieved national board certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, which seeks to identify and recognize teachers who effectively enhance student learning and demonstrate the highest level of knowledge, skill, disposition, and commitment to their profession. She is certified in special needs, adolescence through young adulthood, and is the Teacher of the Year at Wabasso School in Florida.
Mark E. Polen, J.D. ’69, was unanimously elected by his fellow judges to serve as the chief judge of the Fourth District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach, Florida, for a two-year term that began in July. Polen was a founder of the International Law Society Journal at the University of Miami.

70s Photos

Lisa Abady, A.B. ’71, a teacher at Margate Middle School, received national board certification in English as a new language. She lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Charles C. Harper, B.B.A. ’71, J.D. ’74, LL.M.T. ’79, has joined the forensic accounting and consulting firm of Lewis B. Freeman & Partners, Inc. as a principal. Harper will work on various cases, including a $16 million investment fraud case in the Port St. Lucie area, and the firm’s role in the assignment for the benefit of the creditors of
John Esse, M.S. ’72, Ph.D. ’74, psychology department director at Broughton Hospital, is the president of the North Carolina Psychological Association for 2000-2001.

Randy “RJ” Ogren, B.Ed.’72, a former audio-animatronics artist for Walt Disney World, recently directed and produced the play Steel Magnolias and is laying the groundwork for a Civic Theatre in Lexington, Virginia. He has been involved in more than 75 productions with his wife, Suzanne, and currently has two films in development. He also had a recent one-man show of his paintings and prints. His paintings and murals have sold throughout the United States and England.
Charles A. Wilson, B.Ed. ’72, director of the child protection program at San Diego Children’s Hospital and former executive director of the National Children’s Advocacy Center, coauthored a book with his wife, special agent Donna Pence, of the Bureau of Investigations. The book, Team Investigation of Child Sexual Abuse: The Uneasy Alliance, was published by Sage Publications.
Barbara Reddy Craig, B.S. ’74, M.D. ’78, is a pediatrician and captain stationed at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. She is the senior consultant for all branches of the military on medical issues related to child maltreatment and is the director and founder of the Armed Forces Center for Child Protection, in which capacity she travels throughout the world providing patient care, training, medical-legal case consultation, and expert witness testimony.
Benedict P. Kuehne, A.B. ’74, J.D. ’77, a partner with Sale & Kuehne, PA, has successfully achieved board certification as a criminal trial advocate through the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Kuehne currently is chair of the Appellate Practice Section of the Florida Bar.
Eduardo De Marchena, B.S. ’75, M.D. ’80, has been named director of the Cardiovascular Center at the University of Miami Hospital and Clinics. De Marchena is a professor of medicine in the Department of Medicine at the School of Medicine, director of Interventional Cardiology, and codirector of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Michael Vines, A.B. ’75, is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree at Florida International University.
E. Regina (Betty) Widman, M.D. ’75, was chosen by her peers as one of the top 500 M.D.s for 2001 in the San Francisco Bay area. The recognition was listed in San Francisco Magazine.
Shelley Brooks, B.Ed. ’77, was awarded the degree of Master of Education in Technology from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, at the school’s commencement ceremony in May. While attending Lesley, Brooks maintained a 3.97 GPA and graduated with honors. Brooks is currently employed as a computer literacy and applications teacher with the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Darcy Winters (Lafountain), B.B.A. ’77, started Lunch for Two, LLC, a matchmaking/dating service for professionals and executives in Memphis, Tennessee.
Marian L. Hasty, M.B.A. ’78, formed Gautier & Hasty, P.L., in Coral Gables, Florida, handling family law, real estate, personal injury litigation, and estate planning and probate matters.

80s Photos

Mary W. Sheffield, J.D. ’80, circuit judge of the 25th Judicial Circuit in Phelps County, Rolla, Missouri, was elected president of the National College of Probate Judges.
Jordan R. Starr, B.B.A. ’80, M.B.A. ’81, is vice president-financial advisor with Morgan Stanley in Coral Gables, Florida, after 11 years with Merrill Lynch.
Bruce A. Blitman, J.D. ’81, an attorney and mediator in Pembroke Pines, recently published a series of articles, including “Promote Yourself and Make Your Family Proud,” “Honey or Vinegar: An Honest Assessment of Your Negotiating Style,” and “Florida’s Mediator Ethics Advisory Committee Breaks New Ground,” in various publications. He also was invited to join the franchise panel of the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution’s Panel of Distinguished Neutrals.
Paul Parkinson, LL.M. ’81, was appointed associate circuit judge for Macon County, Missouri.
Bruce Davis, B.B.A. ’82, heads the Davis Financial Group and has served as a guest financial columnist for various papers. He married his high school sweetheart, Debbie; they reside in Hollywood, Florida, and have three sons.
Hunting Folger Deutsch, M.B.A. ’82, received the 2001 University of Miami Butler Community Service Award. He also joined Citigroup-Private Bank in Miami as managing director and was elected to the New World Symphony Board.
Joelle Mast, Ph.D., M.D. ’82, CMO/chief pediatrics since 1995 at Blythedale Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, New York, reports that he has the best of both worlds—practice and administration. He is married with two daughters, ages eight and ten.
Vincent Tesi, B.B.A. ’82, teaches marketing, business law, and business concepts at Colts Neck High School, where he also serves as assistant varsity football and track coach. He lives in Spring Lake, New Jersey.
Sharon “Sheri” Meit Abrahams, B.B.A. ’84, M.Ed. ’86, is director of professional development at McDermott, Will & Emery in Miami, Florida, where she heads their in-house post-law school educational program and curriculum.
Mara Altschuler, A.B. ’84, broadcast producer for Martha Stewart Living Television, won a second daytime Emmy for the show. Previously, while she was with CBS news, Altschuler won a National Network News Emmy for coverage of a continuing story, “Olympic Bombing.”
Kenneth D. Elmo, B.B.A. ’84, moved from PaineWebber after 15 years to Credit Lyonnais to run the OTC trading desk as vice president/head trader. He lives in Melville, New York.
Bob Orban, B.B.A. ’84, is vice president of brokerage services at Trammell Crow Co. in Miami, Florida. Orban manages the corporate advisory services practice for Miami-Dade County, representing tenants in office lease transactions.
Sally Still, M.F.A. ’84, senior associate with Christine D. Hanley & Associates, P.A., is now board certified in labor and employment law by the Florida Bar.
Michael J. Higer, J.D. ’85, of Mintz, Truppman, Clein & Higer, P.A., was reappointed by the Chief Judge of the United States District Court, Southern District of Florida, to serve on the Ad Hoc Committee on Rules and Procedures for the United States District Court of Florida.
Yvette Ostoloza, A.B. ’85, J.D. ’92, made partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, at the firm’s Dallas, Texas, branch. She concentrates in the trial and supervision of complex civil litigation in state and federal courts throughout the United States.
David R. Befus, Ph.D. ’86, president of Latin America Mission, was invited to present “Six Methodologies for Creating Jobs for the Poor” at a global conference in Thailand.
Tara Saltzman, A.B. ’86, is an adjunct professor in the School of Education at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. She also is the assistant testing and tutoring coordinator in the school’s advancement program.
Thomas Becker, B.M. ’87, district sales manager for Pearl Drum Corporation, was honored with a national award for overall outstanding achievement in sales for the year 2000.
Regina Eisenbach, A.B. ’87, Ph.D. ’92, is the associate dean of the College of Business at California State University, San Marcos (CSUSM), having served as interim associate dean from 1999 to 2000. She began at CSUSM as an assistant professor in 1991 and was promoted to associate professor in 1997.
Eric L. Lundt, B.B.A. ’87, J.D. ’90, was named shareholder in the Fort Lauderdale law firm of Heinrich Gordon Hargrove Weine & James, P.A. He concentrates his practice in product liability, drug, and medical device litigation and appeals.
Linda DeMartino, B.S.C. ’88, president of Linda DeMartino Public Relations, Inc. in Coral Gables, Florida, has won the 2001 “Up & Comers” Award presented by Florida International University and South Florida Business Journal. DeMartino was recognized in the public relations category for achieving success in the business she started in 1993, and for her contributions and dedication to the community.
Sergio Fernandez, B.B.A. ’88, was promoted to senior vice president within First Union’s private capital management group in Miami, Florida.
David F. Garr, M.B.A. ’88, is business operations manager of the Presidio Corporation, a networking integrator providing products and services to support enterprise and carrier-grade networks. The corporation helps customers integrate their voice and data networks.
Christine D. Hanley, J.D. ’89, M.B.A. ’95, board certified in labor and employment law by the Florida Bar, is the principal of Christine D. Hanley & Associates, P.A., a West Palm Beach-based law firm limiting its practice to employment and labor law and litigation representing employers.
Kirk Harootunian, B.M. ’89, has been a telecommuting control system programmer for Panja Inc. for four years. He has completed a control and automation system for Motorola Inc. in Chicago, Illinois, which utilizes Ethernet IP networks and global Web-based technologies like ASP and Java for advanced control and automation functionality.

90s Photos

Julio M. Martinez, B.G.S. ’90, a professional health care consultant with Pfizer, Inc., in Ocean Ridge, Florida, was District Sales Representative of the Year for 1999 and 2000.
Myriam C. (Hidalgo) Mazzeo, B.B.A. ’91, is vice president of corporate lending at Ocean Bank, where she manages a $75 million loan portfolio and depository accounts. She resides in Coral Gables, Florida.
Victoria Noriega, M.S. ’91, Ph.D. ’94, is director of undergraduate studies in psychology at the University of Miami.
Diane Marie Doolan, B.B.A. ’92, was elected province director of chapters for Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity, in which capacity she will work with its collegiate chapters and their respective alumna advisory and house boards. Currently assistant director of the Annual Fund at the University of Miami, Doolan also is a member of Hands on Miami, Junior League of Miami, and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
Greg Mayback, J.D. ’92, is president of the Intellectual Property Law Association of Florida and a patent attorney with Lerner & Greenberg, P.A., in Hollywood, Florida. For the year 2000, his firm was named by Intellectual Property Today™ magazine for being among the top 40 law firms in the world for obtaining patents in the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Craig Minassian, B.S.C. ’92, recently served as an assistant press secretary and director of television news in the White House under President Clinton. Prior to that he served on the White House advance staff and accompanied the former president on foreign and domestic trips, including trips to Africa, China, Vietnam, Europe, Israel, and major events such as the Democratic convention and the G-8 Summit.
Alexander H. Valdes, B.S.E.E. ’92, and Judith N. Valdes, A.B. ’92, J.D. ’97, have two children, Sabrina Nicole and Kyle Alexander. The family resides in Miami, Florida.
Frederick W. Brown, A.B. ’93, joined the Philadelphia office of Gekoski and Bogdanoff, P.C. as a litigation associate.
Judith M. Hernandez, B.S.M.E. ’93, is a senior sales engineer at Nortel Networks in Sunrise, Florida.
Wayne Waxman, M.B.A. ’93, is the training and events manager for Flash Products Group at Intel Corporation in Folsom, California.
Charlotte M. Freeman, M.S. ’94, Ph.D. ’97, clinical director for the Memphis Exchange Club Family Center, received the 2001 national Welcome Back Award for her work as a psychologist focusing on depression and abuse in the black community. The purpose of the national awards program sponsored by the Eli Lilly pharmaceutical company is to help fight the stigma associated with depression and to help the public better understand that depression is treatable.
Jennifer Kaufman Lesser, J.D. ’94, gave birth to her second daughter, Josie Paige Lesser, in November of 2000. She and her family reside in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Mary Lou (Dunnigan) Ruderman, B.B.A. ’94, and Gary Ruderman, B.B.A. ’93, are proud to announce the birth of their first child, Gary Steven Ruderman II, on April 7, 2001.
Kimberly Cornell, B.S.C. ’95, daughter of Clara Cox McElroy, B.S.N. ’65, won her second Emmy in June. She is a TV producer in Los Angeles, California, at KCAL 9. She won the honor for a series on AIDS in Africa.
Heidi McInnis, M.B.A. ’95, of Miami, Florida, was appointed chair of public relations for The Junior League of Miami, Inc., an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.
Mindy Moellering, B.S.C. ’95, was elected province director of chapters for Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity for Women. Her responsibilities will include visiting and educating collegiate chapters about policies and procedures. She resides in Ludlow, Kentucky.
Roy J. Nirschel, M.A. ’95, Ph.D. ’97, former vice president for Institutional Advancement at the University of Miami, has been appointed president of Roger Williams University (RWU) in Rhode Island. RWU has 5,000 students, eight colleges including the only law school in Rhode Island, a $50 million endowment, and is ranked in the top 20 in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report.
Jack Tufano, B.Arch. ’95, is construction administrator for the Educational Facilities department of Spillis Candela DMJM in Coral Gables, Florida. Formerly, Tufano was employed in construction management for Burdines, Inc. for five years. He resides in Miami, Florida.
Ann Miller Kowel, B.S.C. ’96, J.D. ’99, is director of admissions at California Western School of Law in San Diego, California.
Frances Castellvi-Senti, M.B.A. ’97, was promoted in 2000 to president of Kidco Interiors, Inc., the firm that specializes in murals, custom furniture, and the interior décor of children’s areas for commercial projects such as Carnival Cruise Lines and the Fontainebleau Hilton in addition to residential bedrooms and playrooms.
Monica Maria Molina, A.B. ’97, graduated from New York Law School.
Chris Petry, M.A. ’97, is a compliance manager for the eastern region with Koch Materials Company in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.
Camille A. Vinci, A.B. ’97, is a Youth Corps instructor at Utica Community Action Inc., in Utica, New York.
Jennifer A. Klein, A.B. ’98, is employed as an eighth grade teacher at John Audubon Communications and Technology Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She received the 2001 Super Star Educator award from the YMCA and the City of Milwaukee. Klein also works on a part-time basis with foster children.
Amir A. Ladan, J.D. ’98, began Carsten & Ladan, P.A., a full-service firm with a special emphasis on criminal defense, trusts/estates, and entertainment/sports law. The firm is located in Winter Park, Florida.
Tracey Lynne Murray, M.S.N. ’98, is a nurse consultant and hospital surveyor for the District of Columbia Department of Health, a faculty member of Howard University, Division of Nursing, and a member of Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society.
Jennifer Papp, A.B. ’98, will soon obtain an M.S. in geography from Penn State University. She is now a lecturer in geography at UM.
Abdul Ramad Murray, B.B.A. ’99, was promoted to senior financial advisor associate at Bernstein Investment Research and Management in Washington, D.C. Murray received the Employee of the Year 2000 award, providing financial management services to high-net- worth private clients and institutional investors.
Kelly Beth O’Riordan, A.B. ’99, a peer counseling coordinator for Broward County Public Schools, is writing a prevention curriculum for elementary level after-school programs. She resides in Deerfield Beach, Florida.
LaFontaine Elite Oliver, B.B.A. ’99, is a producer and programming assistant at Radio One in Washington, D.C., the largest minority owner of radio stations in the nation. Oliver, who is a former general manager and disc jockey at WVUM, also is teaching part-time at a local broadcast training school.

Brad E. Coren, J.D. ’00, has been appointed an attorney at the law firm of Bernstein and Maryanoff, P.A., of Miami, Florida, where he will concentrate his practice in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and products liability. Coren is an active member of the Golden Slipper Club and Charities, a 900-member charitable and fraternal organization that provides services to the youth, elderly, and needy.
Brooks J. Holcomb, J.D. ’00, received an LL.M. in taxation from New York University, and has joined the Phoenix, Arizona, office of Quarles & Brady, LLP as an associate. His practice focuses on advising corporations regarding tax and corporate issues, and individuals with respect to estate planning.

Have You Made the Headlines Lately?

Enjoy reading about your classmates in Class Notes? Take a moment to share some news about yourself in a future issues of Miami magazine. You can email your information to us at Please include your name; address (indicate if it is a new address); address (including city, state, and zip); home and work telephone numbers; email address; your place of employment and title; your degree, year graduated, and school/college; and your latest news (career changes, accomplishments, promotions, honors, etc.). We will print your news in the first available issue. 

Tool Bar
Miami magazine Home | Miami magazine Archive | Alumni Home | UM Home