Miami magazine Online
Profiles
Barbara Parker   Andy Unanue   Mara Altschuler
Ivan Yaeger   Barry Waldman    
Class Notes
1940s 1950s 1960s
1970s 1980s 1990s
2000s

Barbara Parker’s Mysterious Road to Success

Approaching a deadline, Barbara Parker (J.D. ’77) can spend up to 18 hours a day at her keyboard, immersed in the world of her fictional characters. That sort of dedication has allowed this accomplished mystery writer to publish eight successful novels since 1994.

“I’m a great eavesdropper,” says Parker, mother of two. Her daughter is an attorney in Washington, D.C., and her son is a graphic design student in New York City. “I carry a notebook everywhere, and if I hear a particularly interesting conversation, it might wind up in a book somewhere. But I don’t drop people into the books. They go through a filtering process.”

Parker practiced law for ten years, including two years as a prosecutor for the Dade County State Attorney’s Office. “When I was leaving law school, I never expected that I would end up becoming an author. The important thing is to keep your mind open.”

In addition to her stand-alone novels Blood Relations and Criminal Justice, Parker has penned six installments of her Suspicion series, starting with Suspicion of Innocence in 1994, which began as her master’s thesis in the Creative Writing Program at Florida International University. In 1997, it was adapted into a movie for CBS, Sisters and Other Strangers. The most recent installment in Parker’s Suspicion series, which tracks the adventures of defense attorney Gail Connor, is Suspicion of Vengeance, published in 2001. Suspicion of Madness is scheduled for early 2003.

“You learn as you go along,” she says. “As you become a better writer you reach a little farther, but the challenges of each new book are always difficult.”

Parker, who enjoys world traveling, visited Cuba in 2001 to research an upcoming novel, and she has been the guest author on three recent voyages aboard the luxurious QE2. During those trips, which have taken her to Australia, Hong Kong, England, France, the Canary Islands, and elsewhere, Parker gave lectures on the craft of writing.

Says Parker, “Don’t wall yourself in to a particular career. And when the voice says that you must do something else with your life, listen to it.”

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Andy Unanue Reaches the Top of the Food Chain

In their mid-30s, many men and women are still “finding themselves,” but not Andy Unanue (B.B.A. ’91), who at 33 became the chief operating officer of Goya Foods, Inc., the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States. “We have a term: La Grand Familia Goya, or Great Goya Family,” he says. “The feeling goes through all levels of the workers here, whether you’re a vice president or you’re just starting out.”

Despite his busy schedule, Unanue, whose employees call him Andy, maintains an open-door policy at the company’s headquarters in Secaucus, New Jersey. “These people are basically my family,” he says. “A lot of the employees have been here over 20 or 30 years, so they’ve seen me grow up. They’re a big part of who I am.”

Goya, founded in 1936 by Unanue’s grandparents, Don Prudencio and Doña Carolina Casal Unanue, employs more than 2,000 people in the United States, the Caribbean, and Europe. The privately held company reports $715 million in annual sales and produces more than 1,000 food items, everything from rice and beans, to olive oil and coffee.

Unanue donates generously to charitable causes and has served on numerous boards, including the Smithsonian Board for Latino Initiatives, the U.S. Savings Bonds National Volunteer Committee, the Committee for Hispanic Families and Children, the New America Alliance, and Ballet Hispánico, among others. In 2001, he was honored as Businessman of the Year by both the Federation of Hispanic Chambers and Hispanic Magazine, and in December 2001, he was appointed to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s transition committee.

Unanue, who did his graduate work at Thunderbird, The American Graduate School of International Management, notes that Goya is the first Hispanic-owned business to be featured permanently at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. The collection contains classic Goya advertising, product labels, and other company artifacts.

“Our products represent all the nice things about being Hispanic and Latino,” says Unanue. “It’s about gathering together with family and friends, and enjoying life to the fullest. And at work, if you can feel that way with peers, that’s nice too.”

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Mara Altschuler: From Headlines to Home Lines

During her 15 years with CBS News, Mara Altschuler (A.B. ’84) met former presidents Nixon, Carter, and Clinton, members of Congress, and many top celebrities. She covered the O. J. Simpson murder trial, the Columbine shootings, Pope John Paul II’s visit to Denver, California earthquakes, and Hurricane Andrew in South Florida. She also saw Cal Ripken, Jr., and Mark McGwire break “unbreakable” baseball records.

“The best part of being in a news organization,” Altschuler says, “is that you go to places you would never normally see and you meet people that you probably wouldn’t meet on vacation.” Recalling the 1993 Midwest floods, she says, “The most inspirational part was the people helping strangers. It’s an amazing sight to see how good people are.”

Altschuler, who won an Emmy at CBS for the network’s coverage of the bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, left the news business in 1999. “I was tired of getting woken up in the middle of the night,” she explains. “Covering breaking news becomes very difficult and taxing.”

Today, Altschuler is a senior broadcast producer for the nationally syndicated daily program, Martha Stewart Living, for which she has won two more Emmy Awards. Altschuler, who considers Martha Stewart to be “the most successful businesswoman of her generation,” urges students to study a wide variety of subjects such as history, geography, literature, and art appreciation. “That’s what makes a good television person. Be well-rounded. Be a Renaissance person.”

Altschuler says that Martha Stewart Living, which explores cooking, entertaining, gardening, decorating, organizing, and other home activities, has been especially relevant since the September 2001 tragedies. “People are spending more time at home with their families,” she observes. “They’re eating in, and they’re making things that mean something to them. They realize that life is short, so let’s take care of what we’ve got.”

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Inventor Ivan Yaeger Is a Patent Success

While other students were submitting moldy cucumbers and papier-mâché volcanoes to the seventh grade science fair, Ivan Yaeger (B.B.A. ’88) was researching the plausibility of bionic limbs. Five years later he actually created a functional, electrically powered prosthetic arm, for which he received his first of numerous U.S. patents.

Inspired as a child by the 1970s’ action show The Six Million Dollar Man, Yaeger became fascinated with prosthetics, as well as with the process of inventing and patenting. Today, Yaeger runs a trio of ventures under the umbrella of The Yaeger Companies.

Yaeger Innovative Products Corporation specializes in the development of products, copyrights, patents, and trademarks. The Yaeger Clinic, Inc., founded by his father and late grandfather—both physicians, specializes in family, chiropractic, and naturopathic medicine. The Yaeger Foundation, Inc., offers hands-on invention and entrepreneurial workshops, medical scholarships, internships, and affordable inner-city health care. The nonprofit foundation’s Yaeger Prosthetic Arm Program recently fitted an 11-year-old girl with a unique pair of prosthetic arms that respond to the wearer’s nerve impulses.

Yaeger says that the patent process is complex but manageable, even for everyday folks tinkering in their garage or at their kitchen table. “Obtain the latest information to be sure you’re not going down the wrong track,” says Yaeger, who points out that individuals can complete the patent application process for under $1,000, but that the process can be lengthy. “You really have to believe in what you’re doing.”

Recently honored by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for his achievements as an inventor, entrepreneur, and humanitarian, Yaeger credits much of his success to his father, who remains actively involved in The Yaeger Companies. “He taught me all the basics about working with mechanical devices and tools. He’s always been a mentor to me and has always supported my endeavors.”

To thank him, Yaeger recently bought his father a Mercedes. “I wanted to give him a little something to put a smile on his face. And it worked. He’s still in shock. It was a great moment.”

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Barry Waldman Is Master of Movie Magic

Barry Waldman has a reputation for getting things done. Big things. As the executive producer/unit production manager for international blockbuster films like Pearl Harbor, Gone in 60 Seconds, Armageddon, The Rock, and Batman and Robin, Waldman (A.B. ’85) is responsible for all the logistical arrangements that make the movie magic happen.

“Basically my job is to run the movie process, to handle all the details from helping choose the locations to hiring crew and managing expenses, as well as working with the director to achieve his creative vision,” explains Waldman.

The process can be grueling. He had less than a month to plan and arrange the filming of the meteoric annihilation of France for Armageddon. For Pearl Harbor, he had to find and ship a dozen World War II-era aircraft by barge from Los Angeles to Hawaii—despite a typhoon that could have caused a week’s delay. For his newest movie, Down & Under (scheduled for release this summer), he had to find a way to make Sydney, Australia, look like Brooklyn, New York.

“The motto I live by is, ‘Failure is not an option,’ ” he says. “You have to have a back-up plan B, C, D—whatever it takes.”

“That has created a unique niche for my career. I really enjoy the challenges and the pace of making these big movies, making crucial decisions 14 hours a day that impact 1,400 people and a multimillion dollar budget,” says Waldman, who’s come a long way from his early career, producing low-budget horror movies in the back streets of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

He credits his ability to juggle both the creative and managerial aspects of film production to the experience he gained while working as a teaching assistant for Ralph Clemente in the School of Communication.

“At the heart of it all is people,” he says. “There are so many people who come together to make a movie, and I’ve been extremely fortunate to work with some very talented filmmakers. I’m proud if I have been able to provide the tools to make their vision become reality. Ultimately, we want to make a movie that people enjoy.”

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1940s
Alan A. Rosen, B.S. ’49, is retired and enjoying life with his wife, Eleanor, in Boca Raton, Florida. He remains active as treasurer for the American Association of Retired Dentists.

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50s Photos

1950s
Alexander Boch, A.B. ’50, M.A. ’55, an adjunct professor of English-as-Second-Language at Northern Essex Community College in Massachusetts, received the college’s Employee Recognition Award. Boch, who attended his 50th reunion at the University of Miami in 2000, has one son and three grandchildren. Fluent in four languages, he enjoys writing poetry in English and Spanish.
Alan M. Solomon, B.B.A. ’54, LL.B. ’55, retired from active practice at Solomon, Krupnikoff & Wyskiel, P.C. and was named Of Counsel to the firm, specializing in litigation. He and his wife, Sheila White, B.Ed. ’63, have three children, Keith, Kerry, and Kim, and reside in Florida, Connecticut, and Vermont.
Edward A. Robin, B.S.E.E. ’57, senior vice president of New York City-based Twisted Pair Group, Ltd., has founded Alliance America, a nonprofit organization that assists municipalities with physical and information technology security issues and systems.

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60s Photos

1960s
Michael Z. Brenan, A.B. ’60, was inducted into the University of Miami Society of Founders and was honored with the dedication of the Mike “M.Z.” Brenan conference room in the James W. McLamore Executive Education Center at the School of Business Administration.
William F. Vitulli, B.S. ’61, M.S. ’63, Ph.D. ’66, has retired after 36 years as a professor and researcher in the Department of Psychology at the University of South Alabama.
Leonard Ray Teel, A.B. ’62, M.A. ’74, is a professor in the Department of Communication and director of the Center for International Media Education at Georgia State University. His biography of famed journalist Ralph Emerson McGill was published recently by the University of Tennessee Press.
Susan Neuman, A.B. ’64, president of the prominent eponymous Miami public relations firm, has been named the new president of the Barry University Alumni Association.
David Jennings, B.B.A. ’65, formerly with Coopers & Lybrand CPAs and after 26 years as chief financial officer of Bonacker & Leigh, Inc., has retired to establish part-time CPA practice in Fort McCoy, Florida.
R. Christopher Walton, A.B. ’65, retired to Litchfield Hills in Connecticut following a fund development career that included raising $400 million for hospitals, colleges, and social agencies in 20 states and five countries. Walton served in the Marine Corps, did graduate work at Harvard University, and was the subject of a cover article in Fund Raising Management Magazine. He and his wife, Anna, have two daughters, one son, and four grandchildren.
Joseph Angeleri, B.B.A. ’66, is president of Joseph Angeleri, Inc., a Sarasota-based remodeling company that was named to the Big 50 list for 2001 by Remodeling magazine. He also has been chairman of the Florida Home Builders Association Remodelers Council; president of the Home Builders Association of Sarasota County; founder and past chairman of the Home Builders Association of Sarasota County Remodelers Council; and the 1995-96 Remodeler of the Year for the Florida Home Builders Association.
Ronald G. Pantello, A.B. ’66, chairman and cofounder of Lally McFarland & Pantello EURO RSCG, has been named the 2001 Advertising Person of the Year by Med Ad News, a leading pharmaceutical trade publication. Pantello also has been appointed co-chairman of EURO RSCG Healthcare Worldwide, the third-largest healthcare network in the world.
Catharine Guberman Schauer, B.Ed. ’67, is on an intergovernmental assignment from NASA as a professor at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Stanley Skopit, B.S. ’67, president of A Center for Dermatology, P.A. in Hollywood, Florida, is the dermatology residency training program director for Nova Southeastern University and the North Broward Hospital District. He also is an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Nova Southeastern University.
Sam Daley-Harris, B.M. ’69, M.Ed. ’73, is the founder of RESULTS, an international anti-hunger lobby, and the author of Reclaiming Our Democracy: Healing the Break Between People and Government. He also contributed an essay on activism to the book Imagine: What America Could Be in the 21st Century. Currently Daley-Harris is director of the Microcredit Summit Campaign, an effort to reach 100 million of the world’s poorest families with microcredit and other financial services by 2005. He and his wife, Shannon, recently announced the birth of their second child.

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70s Photos

1970s
Roy Black, J.D. ’70, with wife Lea and TMG Productions, helped raise $200,000 for rehabilitated juvenile delinquents at a Miami Beach benefit for ICARE Bay Point Schools INC.
Rick Bischoff, J.D. ’71, M.S. ’72, serves on the board of directors of Commercial Bank of Florida, GoCruiseDirect.com, the Marine Council of Miami, and the Volvo Ocean Race Miami, Inc. His law firm, Bischoff & Associates, P.A., is located in Coral Gables, Florida. He has three sons.
Scott Saulson, M.A. ’71, serves as rabbi for the Congregation Rodeph Sholom of Rome, Georgia; dean of the Introduction to Judaism Cooperative for the Atlanta Rabbinical Association; spiritual leader for Congregation Shema Yisrael; and chaplain for Atlanta’s Jewish Family and Career Services. He also is a member of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta’s Community Relations Council, the Weinstvein Hospice Ethics Committee, and the Metro Atlanta Chaplains Association.
David B. Miller, M.S. ’72, Ph.D ’73, a professor of psychology at the University of Connecticut, has received the 2001 Best of Storrs—Best Professor award. He designed and maintains his department’s Web site and serves at editor-in-chief for Bird Behavior. In his spare time he plays rhythm guitar and does vocals in an all-faculty rock band, Off Yer Rockers.
Donn B. Harnick, B.S. ’73, is a plastic surgeon in private practice in New York City.
Carlos E. Stincer, M.D. ’73, has been elected president for 2002 of the medical staff at Mercy Hospital in Miami.
Roy Elterman, M.D. ’74, a physician at Dallas Pediatric Neurology Associates at Medical City Dallas Hospital, has been honored by The Epilepsy Foundation of Greater North Texas for his work in the field of pediatric neurology. Elterman is a cofounder of the Child Neurology Foundation and a clinical associate professor of neurology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He resides in Dallas with his wife and three children.
Barbara A. (Brumme) Garwood, A.B. ’74, served in the United States Air Force and the U.S. Air Force Reserves from 1975 to 1991. She has been a pilot for American Airlines since 1987 and is a captain on MD-80 aircraft. With her husband and fellow pilot, Tracy Garwood, she has two children.
Larry Greene, A.B. ’74, recently received an Emmy for news coverage in Los Angeles, California.
Juan A. Ruiz, B.S. ’74, Ph.D. ’86, M.B.A. ’91, is the director of bioanalytical development at Transkaryotic Therapies, Inc., in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His work involves gene therapy in patients with hemophilia A and enzyme replacement therapy for rare lysosomal storage diseases.
Joel Schackne, M.B.A. ’74, has been selected as a faculty consultant to the College Board’s Advanced Placement Statistics Reading at the University of Nebraska. For 31 years, he taught high school mathematics and secondary gifted courses in Miami.
Chris Migliaccio, B.S. ’75, associate professor in the Department of Natural Sciences at Miami-Dade Community College, has been awarded the Louis Wolfson II Endowed Teaching Chair, which recognizes excellence in teaching and instruction.
Carl Ritter, B.B.A. ’75, was selected as the lead contracting officer on the Patriot Missile Program at the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency in Capellen, Luxembourg.
Raymond Angelo Belliotti, M.A. ’76, Ph.D. ’77, recently published What is the Meaning of Human Life?, a book that addresses the relationship between life and religion. He also is the author of Justifying Law (1992), Good Sex (1993), Seeking Identity (1995), and Stalking Nietzsche (1998). Belliotti is the Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy, State University of New York at Fredonia.
Martin E. Levine, B.B.A. ’76, was named president and CEO of Estate Preservation Services L.L.C., a wholly owned subsidiary of the New York financial, tax, and investment planning firm Clarfeld Financial Advisors. He also is the author of Widow’s Survival Guide, a self-help financial guide for the newly widowed.
Timothy B. Bringardner, B.S. ’77, completed the 2001 Boston Marathon. He lives in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
James B. Jones, M.S. ’77, has retired as senior deputy assistant director after 30 years of employment with the United States Department of Justice. He resides in Warrenton, Virginia.
Patty Kirsch, B.S.Ed. ’79, M.S.Ed. ’80, a Palm Beach County Schools teacher for 15 years, was named the Florida Association of Science Teachers High School Science Teacher of the Year for the State of Florida. She is currently pursuing an Ed.D. at the University of Miami.

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80s Photos

1980s
David P. Frankel, J.D. ’80, was selected to serve on the board of directors of Friends of Slovakia, Inc., a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve relations between the United States and the Slovak Republic. From 1991 to 1995, he worked in the former Czechoslovakia and the Slovak Republic helping to develop those countries’ antitrust laws and to privatize the Slovak economy. He is now a staff attorney with the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C.
Daniel Adams, M.M. ’81, has been promoted to full professor at Texas Southern University. He has been a member of the music faculty in the Department of Fine Arts at TSU since 1988.
Absalom Agwona Madiavale, M.B.A. ’81, cofounded a consulting firm, Wema Consultants, in Nairobi, Kenya.
Kevin Emas, J.D. ’82, has been appointed to the Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida by Governor Jeb Bush. He resides in Kendall, Florida, with his wife, Marilyn, who is the director of major gifts for the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. They have three children.
Sue (Mathisen) Steele, M.B.A. ’82, was named vice president of Industrial Services at BE&K, an international engineering and construction company in Birmingham, Alabama. She also serves on the Birmingham Urban League Board of Directors.
Caryn Sukolsky Hackett, A.B. ’83, recently joined the Palm Beach, Florida, regional staff as development director for the Anti-Defamation League.
Debbie E. Schechter, A.B. ’83, B.S. ’83, was named director of marketing for Project Tomorrow, a nonprofit educational foundation for the advancement of science education in the Orange County School System. She serves as the University of Miami Alumni Club president for the Los Angeles/Orange County group, following in her father’s (John Bozanic, B.S.E.E. ’58) footsteps. She lives in Huntington Beach, California, with her two children.
Linda Singer Stein, B.B.A. ’83, J.D. ’86, was reelected to her third term in office as a Miami-Dade County Court Judge. She also serves as associate administrative judge of the North Dade Justice Center. She and husband Craig have three children.
Suzanne Jean Higgins, A.B. ’84, is the director of advocacy and community relations at Fort Lauderdale’s Covenant House of Florida, a 104-bed shelter for runaway, homeless, and at-risk youth. She has helped raise more than $1 million serving as liaison for the Young Professionals for Covenant House. She also has served as president of the Broward County Alumni Association and the University of Miami Broward Women’s Guild, and is now in her fourth term on the University of Miami National Alumni Association Board.
Barbara L. Kornblau, J.D. ’84, resides in Miami and recently began a three-year term as president of the American Occupational Therapy Association. In addition to running her own law office, she is a professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy and Public Health at Nova Southeastern University.
Scott B. Saul, A.B. ’84, J.D. ’87, has had his own law firm in South Florida since 1991, following a four-year stint as a prosecutor in the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office under the tutelage of former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno. Saul and his wife of 14 years (a Florida Gator) have four children and are celebrating the Bar Mitzvah of their oldest son.
Gary Davidson, B.S. ’85, CEO of Sonakali Gardens and Zoological Preserve in Round Rock, Texas, was selected to receive the President’s Points of Light Award, recognizing outstanding volunteer service to the community. He received a signed certificate from former president George Bush, Sr., who established the award in 1990.
Joanne Gelfand, J.D. ’85, a former editor of the University of Miami Law Review, serves as Of Counsel in the Boca Raton office of Akerman Senterfitt, practicing in creditors’ rights and bankruptcy. She is a member of the Florida Bar, the New York Bar, and the District of Columbia Bar.
Ervin A. Gonzalez, J.D. ’85, was recently elected to the 11th Circuit, Seat Three of the Florida Bar Board of Governors. He also was ranked number one in Miami-Dade County and Broward County jury verdicts for 2000 by Florida Jury Verdict Reporter and the Daily Business Review. He has served as president of the Dade County Bar Association and the Dade County Trial Lawyers Association, and is an adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law.
Maria Sammarco, B.S. ’85, is a partner in Family Physicians of Gahanna, where she practices family medicine. She recently adopted a 6-year-old boy from Vladimir, Russia.
Donna Ballman, J.D. ’86, a Fort Lauderdale attorney specializing in employment law, has been named one of the Top Lawyers in South Florida by South Florida Legal Guide for 2001-02.
Geralyn Passaro, J.D. ’86, a partner in the Fort Lauderdale law office of Stephens, Lynn, Klein, LaCava, Hoffman & Puya, P.A., was named a “First Lady of Broward County.”
George Jiha, B.F.A. ’87, is a Miami-based filmmaker who recently completed production of his first feature film, A Sensible Obsession. He also is president of the newly formed production and distribution company, Harvest Entertainment.
Christopher H. Scherer, B.M. ’87, is the editor of BE Radio magazine, a trade publication that covers broadcast engineering. He is chairman of the national Certification Committee of the Society of Broadcast Engineers. He resides in Overland Park, Kansas.
George A. Pincus, J.D. ’88, senior counsel for Proskauer Rose L.L.P. of Boca Raton, has received the National Association of Industrial Office Properties South Florida Chapter’s Individual Member of the Year award. The association represents members of the commercial real estate industry.
Scott J. Stone, M.B.A. ’88, has joined the Walt Disney Company as group marketing manager for groups and conventions at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Syed Saulat Hussain, B.S. ’89, is a senior marketing manager for Infineon Technologies in San Jose, California. He resides in Silicon Valley with his wife and two children.
Jessica Katz Jameson, B.S.C. ’89, received her Ph.D. from Temple University and has been an assistant professor of communication at North Carolina State University since fall 1999.
Randy Shannon, B.G.S. ’89, defensive coordinator for the Hurricanes football team, received the Mentorship Award at the first annual Athletes for Academics awards ceremony, sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences and the Center for Research on Sport in Society. Shannon, a former Hurricanes linebacker, was a member of the 1987 National Championship team.
John A. Xanthopoulos, M.A. ’89, is associate professor of education at the University of Montana-Western.

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90s Photos

1990s
Sally Goldberg, Ph.D. ’90, a parenting specialist with expertise in the first three to five years of development, is a full-time author. Her two most recent book releases are Baby and Toddler Learning Fun, published by Perseus Books, and Constructive Parenting, published by Allyn & Bacon.
Rick Staveley, B.B.A. ’90, M.B.A. ’96, recently founded Prosperity Advisory Services to provide strategic and tactical management solutions to small and mid-sized businesses. He formerly had worked with Equitrac Corp. in Coral Gables, Florida, as senior vice president and CFO.
Margaret A. (Peggy) Burkhardt, Ph.D. ’91, a holistic nurse for over 20 years, is director of Healing Matters, co-education director at the Rivers & Bridges Consortium of the West Virginia Rural Health Education Partnerships, and a family nurse practitioner at Gulf Family Practice. Named the American Holistic Nurses’ Association 1999 Holistic Nurse of the Year, she has completed her second book, Spirituality: Living Our Connectedness, published by Delmar. She resides in Beckley, West Virginia, with her husband, Joe Golden.
Michael C. Gongora, B.S.C. ’91, J.D. ’94, opened his own law firm in Miami Beach, practicing family law and commercial litigation. He also is president of the Miami Beach Latin Chamber of Commerce, legal advisor to the Latin Chamber of Commerce of the U.S.A., and an officer on the Miami Beach Bar Association.
Michael LaRosa, M.A. ’91, Ph.D. ’95, is assistant professor of history at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee.
Mohamed I. Bakarr, M.S. ’92, resides in Greenbelt, Maryland, and works as director of projects for the Center of Applied Biodiversity Science at Conservation International in Washington, D.C.
Lea Salama DiMitri, B.B.A. ’92, J.D. ’95, practices business and family U.S. immigration and nationality law at Larry J. Behar, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She and her husband, Ricardo, recently had a baby girl.
Andrea K. Pent, M.Ed. ’92, is the coordinator of sport management at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina. She received her Ph.D. in Sport Management from Florida State University in 1999.
Daniel L. Segal, Ph.D. ’92, and Cindy B. Kamilar, Ph.D. ’93, recently had a daughter. Cindy is a psychology professor at Pikes Peak Community College, and Dan is an associate professor of psychology at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
Clay Stafford, M.F.A. ’92, resides in Franklin, Tennessee, and has authored ten children’s novels based on classic works.
Susana Alvarez-Diaz, B.B.A. ’93, M.B.A. ’95, and Frank Diaz, B.B.A. ’98, announce the birth of Sofia Isabel. They reside in Miami Lakes, Florida.
Melissa Brod, M.A. ’93, has been named vice president, national accounts manager for the United States Tax Division. She resides in New York City.
Jennie Klein, B.M. ’93, is an actor and voice-over artist in the South Florida area, primarily through her own company, Jenniebug Productions. She also manages a local jazz duo, Jazz By 2, and is the production coordinator for Civins Productions, a Fort Lauderdale film and video company. Klein volunteers her spare time as a Live Reader for the WLRN Radio Reading Service, a tutor for students at Oakland Park Elementary, and a member of Hands On Miami. She also is working on the Janet Reno campaign for governor.
Alexis Muellner, M.A. ’93, is the managing editor of the South Florida Business Journal.
Darcy Scharrett, M.M. ’93, spent the last six years working as a chief purser for two cruise lines. She and her husband, Roy Yates, now reside in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and operate Openwide International USA, specializing in instrumental and vocal placements in the cruise industry.
Craig Sherman, A.B. ’93, lives in Los Angeles, California, and recently sold his first screenplay, New Suit. The film is a comedy based loosely on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Emperor’s New Clothes, and it is being produced as a feature film by Trillion Entertainment.
Elsa E. Waite, B.B.A. ’93, J.D. ’96, has joined the law firm of Bobo, Spicer, Ciotoli, Fulford, Bocchino, Romaguera & Shomo, P.A. in North Palm Beach, Florida, as an associate. She also is a board member of Girls II Women, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to mentoring young women.
Daniel P. Ferris, M.S.Ed. ’94, is an assistant professor at the University of Michigan in the departments of movement science and biomedical engineering.
Nikolas J. Korba, B.S.C. ’94, has accepted a position as a staff pastor at the Miami Vineyard Community Church.
Debra Rodman Ruiz, B.S. ’94, M.A. ’98, is a Ph.D. student in cultural anthropology at the University of Florida. She is working in Guatemala on her doctoral dissertation project and recently became a Fulbright scholar.
Julie Beth Shaw, B.S.N. ’94, of South Miami has joined Aeromed Flight Team following several years in pediatric critical care at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Scott Carter, B.B.A. ’95, J.D. ’99, and Cristie Pecoraro Carter, B.S. ’95, announce the birth of a new Hurricane, Sophia Rose Carter. Scott is an associate at Nixon Peabody in Boston, and Cristie is pursuing her doctorate in higher education at Harvard University. Other ’Canes in the family include Cristie’s sisters—Cindy, B.S. ’97, M.P.H. ’00, who works at the CDC in Atlanta, and Cori, B.S. ’00, a third-grade teacher in Miami—as well as Scott’s parents, George and Judy.
Michelle A. Delancy, J.D. ’95, a former associate with De la O & Marko, P.A., has opened delancyhill, P.A., her own law firm in Miami’s Brickell district, with partner Marlon A. Hill.
Carmen Fanego, B.B.A. ’95, J.D. ’98, was recently named assistant vice president and associate counsel for TotalBank in Miami. She continues to practice in commercial transactions and commercial litigation.
Deborah (Stoiloff) Rudolph, B.B.A. ’95, human resources consultant at CIGNA Dental in Plantation, Florida, announces the birth of her first child, Matthew Alexander Rudolph.
L. Wesley Phillips, M.A. ’96, was named the head football coach at Rowlett Christian Academy in Rowlett, Texas.
Laura Weinfeld, J.D. ’96, and her husband Paul Damski, M.D. ’97, announce the birth of their twin daughters, Julia Sarah and Maya Hannah. The family resides in Hollywood, Florida.
Gretchen A. Fanconi-Shifflett, B.S. ’97, received her D.V.M. from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in May 2001. She works for a veterinary practice in Raleigh, North Carolina.
James A. McKenzie, M.B.A. ’97, a financial and retirement plan consultant at Salomon Smith Barney in Fort Lauderdale, has been promoted to second vice president of investments.
Khalid Salaam, A.B. ’98, is the director of scouting and management at Page305 modeling agency. He recently returned to the professional tennis circuit after spending four years working in Milan, Paris, and Miami.
Jennifer-Joy Sutton McCarthy, A.B. ’98, joined CJ Law Offices in Seoul, Korea, where she will practice international business, international trade, and corporate law.
Thomas A. Taulbee, B.B.A. ’98, was named director of alumni relations and communications for Gulliver Schools, a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian day school. A South Miami resident, he also is an active member in the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

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2000s
Kristina Elizabeth Lutchkus, A.B. ’00, is the box office manager for the Sovereign Center for the Performing Arts in Reading, Pennsylvania.
Roslynn Ferguson, J.D. ’01, is a new associate at Lewis, Longman & Walker, P.A., a Florida law firm with offices statewide. Based in their West Palm Beach office, Ferguson specializes in the areas of land use, local government, and environmental permits. She also works on issues related to the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Program.

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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 alumni.classnotes@miami.edu. Please include your name; address including city, state, and zip (indicate if it is a new address); 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. 

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