Class Notes

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Profiles
   
André Raphel Smith John Lahey
   
Judy Niedermaier Alex Penelas
   

Class Notes
         
1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s
         

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Conductor André Raphel Smith is a Resounding Success

All great performers remember at least one peak moment in their lives-an instant when all seems right with their art.

For conductor André Raphel Smith (B.M. '84), the first such moment came in 1981 when he lifted his baton to the University of Miami Symphony Orchestra's opening notes of Ravel's Bolero.

"It was the first time I realized this was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life," says the Philadelphia Orchestra's assistant conductor. "It felt natural, as though I was at one with the orchestra and we were creating something very special."

André Raphel Smith photoIn the 15 years since that night, Smith has had many such moments. The former assistant conductor of the St. Louis Symphony has been guest conductor for the major orchestras of Houston, Cleveland, Atlanta, Minnesota, and Washington, D.C., as well as for music festivals around the country.

Last February he made his Carnegie Hall debut conducting the orchestra of St. Luke's in a concert celebrating the centennial of the birth of renowned contralto Marian Anderson.

Born in Durham, North Carolina, Smith began trombone lessons at age 11. He majored in the instrument at the University of Miami and performed extensively as a trombonist with symphony orchestras and chamber ensembles. At Yale University, where he received his master's degree, Smith began his conducting studies, continuing at the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School.

Today Smith is committed to educating students about classical music. He is motivated, in part, by a desire to give other young musicians the same encouragement he found as a member of his public school band and the Duke University youth orchestra.

A fan of the University of Miami Hurricanes, Smith tends to sprinkle his conversation with sports metaphors, especially when explaining his art.

"It's like being a football coach. You can have 50 great players, but if they can't work together as a team, they won't do well," he says. "With an orchestra, there must be someone on the podium who has vision and is passionate about the music. You have to inspire the musicians and make sure there's a strong emotional component to each performance."

 

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John Lahey's Irish Eyes Are Fixed on Education

Four million people line the streets along New York City's Fifth Avenue, cheering and, occasionally, chugging green beer. All eyes are on Grand Marshal John Lahey (Ph.D. '73), who is leading the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade.

As the clock on St. Patrick's Cathedral strikes noon, the parade halts. For a moment all are silent, remembering the Irish who died during the Great Hunger or potato famine 150 years ago.

John Lahey photoIt is no coincidence that Lahey, a New York Irishman who's marched in the procession or served on its committee since high school, was chosen to lead the St. Patrick's Day Parade. The Quinnipiac College president long has advocated more widespread education about the potato famine when, he notes, Britain exported crops from Ireland rather than feed its own.

"Upwards of 1.5 million people starved in a five-year period and two million were forced to leave," he says. "I and many other people thought the parade should both commemorate this terrible tragedy and celebrate the accomplishments of Irish-Americans who came to America during that time."

As with the St. Patrick's Day Parade, Lahey seems to have a major impact on whatever he takes on. A philosophy professor who spent summers working on a higher education administration degree at Columbia University, Lahey has been president of Quinnipiac College for ten years. In that time, enrollment at the Connecticut college increased by more than 100 percent, the school raised about $15 million in capital campaigns, two new research institutes opened, and a School of Law was acquired.

And largely because of his own experience applying the logic and decision-making skills he learned while pursuing undergraduate and graduate philosophy degrees, Lahey remains an advocate of a strong liberal arts curriculum, no matter what the student's major.

"College can't possibly prepare you for life in a single discipline," he says. "The most lasting educational qualities we can pass along to students are the ability to think in a logical, analytical way, to deal with a wide range of different people and value systems, and to be open to lifelong learning. Those abilities are best transmitted through the liberal arts."

 

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Judy Niedermaier Enhances Life by Design

Even as a child, Judy Niedermaier (B.Ed. '61) had a passion for design. At age five, she'd reposition the glass perfume bottles on her mother's dressing table to take advantage of the play of light. By the time she was a teen, she was rearranging furniture at her parents' home.

Now the Chicago native is president of Niedermaier Inc., a company that manufactures wood, metal, and glass store fixtures and displays, and sells home furnishings and accessories to department stores and other retailers in the United States and England.

Judy Niedermaier photoNiedermaier was a University of Miami education graduate who taught at Homestead Air Force Base for one-and-a-half years before joining then-husband Dale in preparing window displays and props for Burdines and Jordan Marsh department stores.

In the 30 years since its inception, her company has become widely recognized for its Christmas displays, at such prestigious retailers as Bloomingdale's, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Ralph Lauren Polo stores. Her upscale, exquisitely crafted furniture graces the homes of such style mavens as Martha Stewart. And, Niedermaier has launched a line of cosmetics and vitamins called the American Vitamin Company.

Throughout the years, she says, her success has been based on certain basic principles of design.

"I don't believe in clutter or in overdoing things," she says. "To create a beautiful environment, you start with a box, and make sure each thing that goes in it is selected for scale, proportion, beauty, and lasting quality."

Her home, which is used for photo shoots of Niedermaier products, reflects this philosophy. Although the large apartment overlooking Lake Michigan is in a 1928 building, all the walls and the contemporary furniture are white or beige, and stark modern paintings draw the eye.

When Judy Niedermaier talks about her business interests, it is clear she has given the subject of design serious attention.

"If you are surrounded by a sense of beauty and order, you function better and are subliminally happier," she says. "When you put things together with an eye for the perfect setting, it enhances life."

 

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Alex Penelas: From Political Prodigy to Political Powerhouse

Law school friends who sat in Professor Bernard Oxman's freshman tortes seminar with Alex Penelas (J.D. '85) are somewhat surprised by his choice of a political career. At age 20, the man who would be Miami-Dade County's first executive mayor seldom volunteered his opinions in class.

"He was very quiet, but I don't remember anyone working harder than Alex," recalls Miami attorney and fellow student Peter Prieto. "He's the same as a politician as he was as a law student-thorough, dedicated, and hardworking."

Alex Penelas photoAs executive mayor, a position he helped craft while a county commissioner, Penelas is one of Florida's most powerful politicians. He exercises authority over Miami-Dade's $4.1 billion budget, overseeing a government that serves the county's 2.1 million residents. He selects the county manager, appoints commission committees and chairs, and has the power to veto commission actions.

Penelas actually helped craft his current position while a county commissioner in the early 1990s. In 1992 the executive mayor's post was created through a 1992 county-wide referendum and was filled for the first time when Penelas was elected in 1996. It is a job for which he is well-groomed.

Born in 1961, he was raised in Hialeah, the son of Cuban immigrants in a city that now boasts more than 150 nationalities. He attended Biscayne College before entering law school at the University of Miami. His first campaign, for Hialeah city commissioner, was prompted by what he and others saw as the need for new blood in government.

In 1990, at age 29, Penelas became the youngest person ever elected to the Metro-Dade County Commission. He was reelected in 1993. His most visible successes, on the commission and as mayor, have included spearheading the Dade County Homeless Community Plan, renegotiating the Miami Heat arena deal, and launching Operation Safe Streets/Clean Sweep, a $14 million police initiative that has curbed street crime.

Penelas attributes at least some of his success to his youth.

"I've always offered a younger, newer approach," Penelas says. "I'm not seen as being an insider in the political game."

 

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50s student photos
1950s
 

Stanley M. Goldstein, B.A. '51, J.D. '68, a judge who presides over Dade County's Drug Court, was recently the keynote speaker at the conference of the British Association of Chief Police Officers.

David Kuhner, M.Ed. '51, lives in La Verne, California, where he is a retired library consultant and handwriting expert and writes articles on historical subjects.

W. T. De Moss, B.B.A. '52, lives in Covington, Georgia, where he is owner of Bethel Insurance Brokers, Inc.

N. Richard Boutin, B.B.A. '53, after working as statewide chief appraiser for the State of Florida, formed the valuation consultant service of Boutin, Brown, Butler. Now retired, he lives in Tallahassee, Florida.

Dorothea Leona Dubler, B.Ed. '57, is a retired arts and humanities teacher living in Deland, Florida. She is a national and state award-winning poet and the author of 19 books of poetry.

Joseph M. Kurtz, B.B.A. '58, is chief financial officer for Fiber Fuel, Inc. in Savannah, Georgia.

Richard Margoles, B.S. '59, B.A. '59, M.Ed. '63, is an assistant dean at the San Francisco College of Osteopathic Medicine in California.

 

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60s student photos
1960s
 

Edith M. Asher, A.B. '61, of Santa Ana, California, is a freelance lettering artist and calligrapher. She recently became a published poet after entering her work in a national contest.

James C. Bryant, M.A. '61, is the author of 13 books and recipient of the Franklin Garrett Award for his article on the history of Atlanta's Fox Theater. He is also assistant president and university historian at Mercer University in Georgia.

Gerald T. O'Neil, Sr., B.B.A. '61, lives in Newberry, Florida, and is group vice president of AvMed Health Plan. He is also past chairman of the Florida Association of Health Maintenance Organizations.

Ralph F. Vitolo, B.A. '64, recently retired from his post as the director of computer services for New York City.

Carol Wright, A.B. '64, has been promoted to business editor of the Palm Beach Daily News.

Leslie Cream Alpert, B.A. '65, is the assistant to the mayor of the City of Mount Vernon, New York.

Daryl Ann Miller, B.S. '66, M.A. '68, M.D. '69, has been awarded the Gene A. Whiddon Endowed Teaching Chair at Broward Community College, where she is a professor of biology.

Roberto A. Pastor, B.B.A. '66, moved to Cary, North Carolina, after retiring as chief of the budget and management accounting division of Inter-American Development Bank.

Lydia Metlika Pineiro, B.M. '66, recently retired after 30 years as music specialist with the Broward County Public Schools. She is a past president of Broward County Elementary Music Teachers Association and a 1994 finalist for Arts Teacher of the Year.

Silas R. Johnson, Jr., B.B.A. '67, lives in Alexandria, Virginia, and was recently promoted to major general, U.S. Air Force. He is married to Paulette Kamykowski Johnson, B.B.A. '68, who is a teacher.

Andris A. Zoltners, B.S. '67, is a professor of marketing at the J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He is a founder and managing director of ZS Associates, a global business consulting firm, and is the coauthor of a book, The Fat Firm, about the inner workings of companies.

Liana De Girolami Cheney, B.S. '68, M.A. '70, is a professor of art history at the University of Massachusetts.

Carlos A. Suarez, M.D. '68, a surgeon who practices in South Miami, made a presentation on newer laparoscopic surgical techniques for the Mexican Society of General Surgeons. He is director of the Institute of Minimal Access Surgery.

Irving Jacoby, B.S. '69, is assistant director in the Department of Emergency Medicine and clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. In April 1997 he led a medical assistance team in Grand Forks, North Dakota, following the flooding of the Red River. The 18-person team provided medical care for thousands of persons displaced by the flooding.

Marilyn Smith Van Houten, B.S.N. '69, is president of Rehab Case Management, Inc. in Miami, and of the Dade County Chapter of the Case Management Society of America.

 

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70s student photos
1970s
 

Martha A. Foote Bragdon, B.A. '70, lives in Melbourne, Florida, where she is an administrative assistant at McDonnell Douglas Space and Defense Systems.

Steven C. Glenn, B.A. '70, lives in Orange Park, Florida, where he has been the top producing pension consultant for the past five years at SunLife of Canada.

Lewis J. Mann, B.A. '70, lives in Gainesville, Florida, where he is the founder of MannCo Financial Services.

George S. Werking, M.S. '70, is the assistant commissioner, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington, D.C. He received the Harvard Innovations in American Government Award and the Vice President Award for Reinventing Government.

Ruth H. Sargent, A.B. '71, is director of development for Growing Together, based in Lake Worth, Florida.

Samuel H. Ballam III, B.B.A. '72, lives in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, where he is a principal at Cooke & Bieler, investment counsel to large institutional accounts.

Linda Smoling Moore, B.A. '72, has a private practice as a clinical psychologist in Bethesda, Maryland.

Millicent B. Rogers, M.Ed. '72, is a semi-retired English teacher at the Berlitz School in Miami. She now teaches English part-time to speakers of other languages.

William A. Weitz, Ph.D. '73, was appointed to the State of Florida Board of Psychology for a three-year term.

Mark R. Targe, A.B. '74, is an advertising manager for the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska's largest newspaper.

Tom Bagley, B.A. '75, is a self-employed television producer and photographer whose producing credits include the award-winning PBS series, "Country Inn Cooking with Gail Greco." His still photography appears in Gail Greco's Little Bed-and-Breakfast Cookbook Collection.

Donald Bars, B.Ed. '75, lives in Boise, Idaho, where he is director of the Treasure Valley Neuroscience Center. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Idaho in 1996.

William J. Fisse, B.B.A. '75, M.B.A. '77, is vice president, director of human resources for Citicorp in Long Island City, New York.

Jeffrey Scott Kievit, B.M. '75, lives in Hawthorne, New Jersey, where he is president of Matador Music, Inc. He produced a Christmas recording for Vanessa Williams and was the music director for her television special.

Robert E. Pauley, B.A. '75, of Ballwin, Missouri, is a national sales account executive for SESAC, Inc., where he works on special music performing rights licensing projects.

Gary Barker, B.S. '76, of Winter Park, Florida, received the Florida Optometric Association's prestigious 1996 Optometrist of the Year award.

Robert Morris, A.B. '76, lives in Warren, New Jersey, where he is vice president and partner at Certainly, Inc.

Bernard A. Strauss, M.B.A. '76, is senior vice president, financial consultant for Smith Barney, Inc., in Coral Gables.

Linda R. Fagan, A.R.N.P. '77, of Homestead, Florida, was named Outstanding Nurse Practitioner in the State of Florida.

Mirtha Shideler, B.A. '77, M.S.Ed. '93, is a teacher at Ormond Beach Middle School, in Ormond Beach, Florida.

Barbra Maislin Stone, M.A. '77, is director of development for The Improv Comedy Traffic Schools of Florida and is an actress who has also done film, stage, and radio work.

Robert C. Barry, B.A. '79, a chartered financial consultant with John Hancock Financial Services in Andover, Massachusetts, has been named president of the Andover Fund for Education, a nonprofit group supporting grants for local teachers.

Elena Evans, B.A. '79, M.B.A. '81, J.D. '89, lives in Miami where she is an assistant staff counsel for the Florida Bar.

Jacobo Sznapstajler, B.S. '79, M.S.P.H. '83, lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he was promoted to regional business manager of Chiron Diagnostics.

 

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80s student photos
1980s
 

Michael Kosnitzky, B.B.A. '80, an attorney and head of the business law group at the Miami-based law firm of Zack, Sparber, Kosnitzky, Spratt & Brooks, has been appointed to the Board of Governors of the Shepard Broad Law Center of Nova Southeastern University.

Mauricio Bouroncle, B.S.E.E. '81, lives in Pembroke Pines, Florida, where he is the president of Comtek International, Inc.

Laura A. Gangemi, B.B.A. '81, J.D. '84, has become a partner in the law firm of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart in Washington, D.C.

Ramon Manuel Barrera, B.S. '82, received a degree in electrical engineering from Florida International University. He is employed as an examiner for the Patent and Trademark Office in Washington, D.C.

Mary K. Behling, M.D. '82, lives in Setauket, New York, where she has a private practice and is a consulting psychiatrist at SUNY at Stony Brook Student Health Services.

John R. Mullen, M.D. '82, is a radiation oncologist at Maine Medical Center in Portland and has published articles on the treatment of soft tissue sarcomas.

Gaetano "Tommy" Ferlazzo, B.M.Ed., '83, of Fort Myers, Florida, is the band director for Alva Middle School. He also owns West Coast Music Service, a catalog of band recordings.

Nancy A. Pattison, M.D. '83, a pediatrician, was recently appointed chief of medical staff at the University Health Services at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

William J. Turner, B.B.A. '83, is senior vice president in charge of credit policy and credit administration at the Republic Bank of Miami.

Mark M. Altschul, J.D. '84, is an attorney at Altschul & Altschul in Manhattan as well as the Democratic district leader and Democratic state committeeman for the 63rd assembly district in Manhattan.

Scott Jay Siegel, B.A. '84, works as a staff associate for the University of Miami.

Alex Casimiro, B.S. '85, lives in McKinney, Texas, where he works as an advanced systems logic manager for Texas Instruments.

Blake R. Nestok, M.D. '85, lives in Mariemont, Ohio, where he is the medical director of cytopathology at The Christ Hospital.

Paul C. Tompach, B.S. '85, is an assistant professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also a member of the medical faculty at Harvard University.

Teresita H. Garcia, B.B.A. '86, is a partner at the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, office of Holland & Knight.

Gary A. Tsarsis, M.B.A. '86, lives in Matawan, New Jersey, where he is managing director in charge of international equities trading at Deutsche Bank.

Dana Lindsay, B.S. '87, completed her training in general surgery in Dallas, Texas, and joined a surgical practice in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Roland Sanchez-Medina, Jr., B.B.A. '87, of Coral Gables, is an associate at the law firm of Zack, Sparber, Kosnitzky, Spratt & Brooks. He specializes in corporate, tax, and sports law.

Jannett Lozada Ammons, B.S.N. '88, is a staff registered nurse for the cardiac surgery unit of St. Vincent Charity Hospital in Ohio.

Steven Gruskin, B.S.M.E. '88, is a senior associate patent attorney with Sughrue, Mion, Zinn, Macpeak, and Seas, in Washington, D.C. His wife, Leslie Petterson Gruskin, B.S.N. '88, M.S.N. '91, is a Ph.D. candidate in infectious disease epidemiology at The Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health.

Alessandra Herzog, B.A. '88, was promoted to artist development representative for MCA and GRP Records and resides in Washington, D.C.

Suzanne Schierholt Weedman, B.A. '88, is trade books manager at the University of California, San Diego bookstore.

Christopher Crane, B.S. '89, is chief resident in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Virginia. He is the recipient of the 1997 Roentgen Resident/Fellow Research Award, which is given for outstanding research in the field of radiation oncology.

Jeffrey Alan Kasky, B.A. '89, attended law school after graduation and currently serves as executive vice president of One World Adoption Services in Hollywood, Florida.

Mercedes M. Potts, B.A. '89, is a legal assistant at Burger King Corporation and an adjunct professor at Florida International University's School of Continuing Education. She resides in Homestead, Florida.

Lloyd S. Schulman, B.S. '89, is an associate research scientist for the Bayer Corporation in Indiana.

Scot C. Schultz, M.D. '89, completed his general surgery residency at Georgetown University and is now finishing a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at Bowman Cray School of Medicine.

Terri L. Thomas, B.M. '89, is a money laundering analysis specialist for Citicorp, Inc. in Tampa, Florida. He plans to attend law school and pursue studies in white collar/financial crime.

 

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90s student photos
1990s
 

Anthony Richard Bailey, A.B. '90, has received a master of business administration degree from the Darden School at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. He works for the Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan.

Kara M. Kreutner, M.S. '90, is a graduate assistant at the School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina. She is beginning a Ph.D. program there in health promotion and education.

Michael Andrew Winegard, B.S. '90, is a project manager and vice president of inside sales at Kramer Ltg., Inc. in Newport, Rhode Island.

Louis S. Meltzer, B.B.A. '91, is a financial consultant for Merrill Lynch in New York City.

Wendy L. Miller, B.A. '91, spent four years in hospitality sales and marketing and is now a technical installation specialist at InfoMed. She resides in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Albert C. Oliver, Jr., B.S. '91, of Burlington, New Jersey, works for the U.S. Postal Service.

Christine Quiñones, B.B.A. '91, is a financial consultant for Merrill Lynch in Coral Gables.

Cara A. McKee, B.A. '92, M.S. '96, was promoted to senior occupational therapist in the spinal cord injury department of HealthSouth Sunrise Rehabilitation Hospital. She lives in Plantation, Florida.

Jonathan D. Reich, M.D. '92, lives in Atlanta, Georgia, where he is a pediatric cardiology fellow at Emory University. He served as an associate medical director for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.

Ravi Sandrapaty, M.D. '92, is chief resident at UTMB Hospital in Galveston, Texas, and is finishing a residency in radiation oncology.

Thomas C. Foley, J.D. '93, lives in Lincoln, New Hampshire, and recently published his first novel, a legal thriller, titled Measuring Lives.

Keri Gilford, B.A. '93, recently returned from Thailand, where she served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer for 27 months. She lives in Tampa, Florida, and is completing a master's degree in public health and epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of South Florida.

Michael Lent, M.F.A. '93, lives in Hollywood, California, where he is a screenwriter and a part-time instructor in UCLA's Extension Arts Reach Program. His wife, Sonia Beckwith Lent, B.A. '93, is a client relations manager for Citibank.

Karen Riley, B.S. '93, recently earned an M.B.A. at Columbia University. She also completed a summer internship in online advertising sales at Warner Brothers.

Kelli Marie Cayley, B.S.N. '94, lives in Houston, Texas, where she is a junior in the Nurse Anesthesia Program at Baylor College of Medicine.

David A. Dayoub, B.S.C. '94, is a reservations agent at Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines in Miami. He is also a staff writer at Generation ñ, a new Hispanic magazine.

Kerry J. Cooper, B.S. '95, is pursuing a master's degree in public administration at Montana State University. She works for Montana People's Action, a statewide lobbying group.

 

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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 alumni.classnotes@miami.edu. 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.

 

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