Alumni CLASnotes Spring 2006
In This Issue:

Updates from CLASmates

Brain's Flight

Brian Kissinger and his World War II Piper L-4 Cub.
Brian Kissinger and his World War II Piper L-4 Cub.
Today, cross country flying is no longer considered a new approach to travel, unless the pilot—a survivor of brain cancer—determines to make the trip in his rebuilt 1942 World War II Piper L-4 Cub.

Brian Kissinger, who graduated from UF in 1990 with a B.A. in political science, took off on June 1 to fly across the U.S. to raise money and awareness for brain cancer and tumor research. The name for his mission is “Brain’s Flight.”

Kissinger is a three-year brain tumor (oligodendroglioma, stage II) survivor and avid pilot. He is so thankful for his own recovery that he has made it his life’s mission to raise money for research. “It is expected that over 190,000 brain tumors will be diagnosed in the United States each year,” Kissinger said. “Few of these patients will be as fortunate as I have been fighting my brain tumor. I am flying and fighting for them.”

There are two reasons for Brain’s Flight: to raise awareness about the disease, and to generate $100,000 in donations for the National Brain Tumor Foundation for research. He will continue to barnstorm against brain tumors and cancer throughout 2007.

Considering that Kissinger has survived a brain tumor he smiles when remembering the nickname he picked up when living overseas more than a decade ago. “Everyone seemed to misspell Brian as B-r-a-i-n,” he said. “I saw no point in taking offense over it, but something to laugh about. I did not expect, however, that it would be a message about what was ahead!”

To date, Kissinger has raised more than $42,500 towards his goal. For more information, please visit

Gator Becomes Chief Engineer of NASA

Michael Ryschkewitsch
Michael Ryschkewitsch
Physics alumnus Michael Ryschkewitsch (B.S., 1973) was named chief engineer of NASA in July, making him responsible for the overall review and technical readiness of all the agency’s programs.

Until taking his new position, Ryschkewitsch served as the deputy center director for NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. He also previously served as director of applied engineering and technology at Goddard, having joined the center in 1982 as a cryogenics engineer to work on the Cosmic Background Explorer mission.

Ryschkewitsch’s projects at NASA have ranged from the first servicing mission of the Hubble Space Telescope in 1993 to the Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere mission launched in April 2007. He has been awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, the NASA Medal for Outstanding Leadership, the Robert Baumann Award for contributions to mission success, and the NASA Engineering and Safety Center Leadership Award.

As chief engineer, he will ensure the agency’s development efforts and missions operations are being planned and conducted on a sound engineering basis with proper controls and management of technical risks.

In Brief


Rex Clark (B.A., Political Science, 1958) has been a government official in California for 46 years. He has been on the planning commission of three cities and spent 20 years on the city council of Watsonville in Santa Cruz County.

Carolyn Richards Johnson (B.A., Psychology, 1959) received an M.S. and Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Miami and was employed as a clinical psychologist until her retirement in January 2007.

Jane Palmer Potter (B.S., Biology, 1954) has spent much of her time traveling the world. She is a retired secondary school librarian.


Charles E. ‘Abe’ Abramson (B.A., History, 1963) has been active in commercial-industrial real estate and development in Montana since 1975, after returning from service as an Air Force officer in East Asia. From 1996–2001, he was appointed by the president of the U.S. to serve on the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science.

Emilio F. Moran (M.A. and Ph.D., Anthropology, 1969 and 1975) has been named a distinguished professor at Indiana University. He has spent 30 years examining how people and the environment interact, pioneering the field of environmental anthropology.

Eugene Nelson (B.A., Mathematics, 1961) established an I.T. department within the contact lens company, Vistakon, Inc., and has spent 17 years helping the company become an international business.

Judy Stiles Saucerman (B.A., English, 1963) received her master of social work from Florida State University and is now a licensed clinical social worker in Atlanta.

Barry P. Setzer (B.S., Chemistry, 1969) is chief of pediatric dentistry at Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla., where he has been a member of the Cleft Palate Team for the past 30 years.

Robert M. Waters (B.S., Psychology, 1963) received a master’s degree from the University of Texas in Austin and a Ph.D. from Purdue University. He worked as an engineering psychologist at the U.S. Department of Energy until he retired in 2003.


Jim Anderson (M.A., Philosophy, 1979) has taught courses in almost every area of PC computer technology at Sandhills Community College in North Carolina. He is currently a principal partner in, an online company specializing in the sale of professional video training seminars.

Richard Ball (M.A. and Ph.D., Sociology, 1975 and 1980) recently retired after serving 27 years on faculty of Ferris State University in Michigan.

Terry Delahunty (B.A., History, 1977) has been named chair of the City of Orlando Transportation Advisory Committee. He earned a J.D. from UF in 1982 and practices in the areas of real estate development, commercial real estate transactions and mortgage financing at the firm Foley & Lardner LLP.

Chris K. Finton (B.S., Psychology, 1974) is vice president of the Health First Heart Institute in Melbourne, Fla. He is also a clinical professor in the Department of Health Care Management, Research, and Policy and the Department of Cardiology in the UF College of Medicine.

Roger Gallagher (B.S., Chemistry, 1974) retired from the U.S. Navy in 1993. He is now living in Panama City, Fla. and working at Bay Medical Center, where he provides anesthesia.

Evan B. Glick (B.S., Chemistry, 1974) has been appointed associate judge of the 315th District Court of Harris County in Houston, which hears child abuse and juvenile delinquency cases.

Suzanne Wakelam Green (B.A., History, 1972) is currently the director of adult education at Norwalk-L.A. Mirada Unified School District in Los Angeles.

Jack H. King (B.A., Sociology, 1975) recently retired from the U.S. Department of Defense, where he worked with military contracts.

Richard Levine (B.S., Zoology, 1975) has a private practice in general and preventative internal medicine in Boca Raton, Fla., where he has worked for 21 years.

Orhan H. Suleiman (B.S., Zoology, 1970) received an M.S. from the UF College of Medicine radiation biophysics in 1972 and a Ph.D. from John Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health in 1989. He has worked with the federal government for 32 years, primarily with the Food and Drug Administration as a medical physicist. He is currently a senior science policy advisor in the Office of Oncology Drug Products.

Richard Lane Taylor (B.A. and M.A., History, 1972 and 1975) and his family have started a charitable foundation, Journey Into Hope, with the goal of improving the living conditions of the desperately poor in the Dominican Republic. Visit for more information.


Michael J. Barton (B.S. and M.S., Statistics, 1981 and 1983) owns the timeshare rental and resale website and enjoys traveling with his five children.

Gary D. Bofshever (B.S., Microbiology, 1986) is a chiropractic physician in Coral Springs, Fla.

David Cano (B.S., Biochemistry, 1984) received an M.D. from Case Western Reserve University and is currently the director of Cano & Manning Eye Center and a staff surgeon at Palm Beach Eye Clinic in West Palm Beach, Florida. He has been elected President of the Florida Society of Ophthalmology for 2008.

Denice Cantillon (B.A., Political Science, 1988) received a Congressional Recognition Award for Community Service and is an assistant principal of a middle school in Los Angeles.

Margot Callaghan Carrington (B.A. and M.A., Political Science, 1985 and 1987) is in the U.S. Foreign Service and will be the Consul General in Fukuoka, Japan from 2007 to 2010. She has been with the U.S. Department of State for 14 years.

Mark P. Cressman (B.A., Political Science, 1988) opened a law practice specializing in civil litigation, personal injury and wrongful death claims in Winter Garden, Fla.

Debra Zimbler DeLorenzo (B.A., Political Science, 1982) is the director of victim witness management for the Office of the State Attorney, 6th Judicial Circuit, in Clearwater, Fla.

Eric Dubbin (B.S., Microbiology, 1984) has worked with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in new animal drug evaluation and was recently asked by the Center of Veterinary Medicine to be an executive coach and organizational development consultant.

Pedro I. Fernandes (B.S., Statistics, 1986) received an M.S. from the University of South Florida in 2002 and currently works for Tropicana Manufacturing Company, Inc. in Bradenton, Fla.

David S. Ged (B.S., Chemistry, 1987) received his J.D. from New England School of Law in 1992. He is the managing director of Heights Title Services, LLC in Naples and Cape Coral, Fla. and is the sole practitioner of the law firm David S. Ged, PA.

Tracy Gore (B.A., English, 1984) is the education coordinator of the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla.

Kim Hanes (B.S., Geology, 1983) is currently working for the South Florida Water Management District. She has developed Palm Beach County’s Wellfield Protection Ordinance and worked on numerous Superfund Remediation projects.

Jeffrey F. Jacobs (M.A., Political Science, 1989) is a colonel of the U.S. Army and is currently serving at USCENTCOM in Tampa, Fla.

Leonard Jacobs (B.A., Religion, 1980) holds an M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix. He is president of Netsecuris Inc., an information security consulting and value-added reseller company in Minneapolis.

Tammy Jasionowski (B.A., Zoology, 1989) is a physician and attorney, practicing law in Albuquerque, N.M. with a concentration in medical negligence cases.

Jeffrey Kremer (B.A., Sociology, 1985) is a principal of The Sunday Paper, a startup and free weekly newspaper in Atlanta.

Rear Adm. Richard B. Landolt (B.A., Political Science, 1981) recently completed an assignment as executive aide to the Commander of Naval Forces Europe and Joint Forces Command in Naples, Italy, a NATO command. In July he reported to the Pentagon, where he serves as deputy director for expeditionary warfare on the U.S. Navy staff.

Jodi R. Mattes Marvet (B.A., English, 1984) practices insurance coverage law at Kerns, Pitrof, Frost & Pearlman in Illinois. She is also executive vice president of Shir Hadash Reconstructionist Synagogue.

Ted Moore (B.A., English, 1986) works for CSX Transportation in Jacksonville, Fla. as the business manager for all machinery, power generation, and wind-energy shipments.

Leza Mueller (B.A., Political Science, 1987; M.A., Public Administration, 1990) spent eight years in government work and is now raising her three girls in Gainesville, Fla. She and her husband were awarded Parents of the Year at the Alachua County Club for 2006. She is the treasurer at Howard Bishop Middle School and volunteers at Lawton Chiles Elementary School.

Michael McDonald (B.A., American Studies, 1983) is an associate professor of anthropology at Florida Gulf Coast University and was honored with the 2006–07 Senior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award.

Harsha V. Ramayya (B.A., Speech Communications, 1986) is a vice president for JP Morgan Chase, Home Equity Division, in Jacksonville, Fla.

Cindy Taylor (M.A., English, 1982) is a teacher at McHenry West High School in McHenry, Ill. and is the only National Board Certified Teacher in her district.

Erik Viker (B.S., Psychology, 1987) received an M.F.A. in theater technology from the University of Texas in 2003. He is an assistant professor of theater at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania, where he teaches courses in theater production, stage production, and dramatic literature.

Mike Wittenstein (B.A., Russian and Portuguese, 1980) founded Storyminers, a consultancy to help brands improve their customer experiences. He resides in Atlanta.


Diana Catherine Bauerle (B.A., Spanish, 1996) has been practicing immigration and nationality law for six years. She works at Sidley Austin LLP, a global law firm headquartered in Chicago, where she helps employers obtain proper immigration documentation for their employees.

Luis Betancourt (B.A., Political Science, 1998) is director of student employment at Miami Dade College and is pursuing an M.B.A.

Ryan Branksi (M.A., Speech-Language Pathology, 1998) received a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and works at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. He was recently honored by the American Speech Language and Hearing Association his early career contributions in research.

Elizabeth G. Byrd (B.A., Sociology, 1992) received a master’s of social work degree from Florida State University in 2000 and works as a licensed clinical social worker in private practice in Gainesville, Fla.

Brett Carmel (B.A., Political Science, 1995) received a joint M.B.A. in international business and M.A. in international affairs and economics from George Washington University in 1998. He is a managing director and founding partner of Seale & Associates, an investment banking firm in Washington, D.C.

Edward Duckworth (B.A., History of Science, and B.S., Neurobiological Sciences, 1995) has been appointed an assistant professor of neurological surgery at Loyola University in Chicago.

Dan L. Edmunds (B.A., Religion, 1997) completed a doctorate of education in pastoral community counseling in May 2006. He is a commissioner for the Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights International.

Joanne Fine (B.A., English, 1990) is an assistant U.S. attorney in the southern district of Florida.

Caleb Finegan (Ph.D., History, 1999) has been an associate professor of history at Indiana University of Pennsylvania for six years, where he established a Latin American studies minor and serves as its director. In 2007, he received the university’s Distinguished Faculty Award for Service.

Daniel S. Fridman (B.A., Political Science, 1996) received a J.D. from Harvard University and serves as Senior Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General and Special Counsel for Health Care Fraud at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.

Mark Fritz (B.A., History, 1992) owns an insurance agency in Dallas, specializing in mortgage protection and retirement protection insurance.

Ian J. Goldstein (B.A., Anthropology, 1993) is a partner and shareholder in the law firm Goldstein & Jette P.A. in West Palm Beach, Fla. He represents individuals for criminal matters in state and federal courts.

Davon Brent Harrison (B.A., Criminal Justice, 1997) received an M.S. in criminal justice from the University of Central Florida and is a criminal street gang and violent crime investigator in Orlando, Fla. assigned to the FBI’s Metro-Orlando Safe Streets Task Force.

G. Robert Hawthorne (B.A., English, 1992) is president of Hawthorne Executive Search, an executive search firm based in North Carolina.

Stuart J. Henderson (B.A., East Asian Languages and Literatures, 1993) is a Japanese translator who has assisted Japanese tourists in Orlando, Fla. and Los Angeles. He is pursuing a master’s degree at Harvard University.

Catherine Manzano Giron Jones (B.S., Botany, 1993) has worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the Whitmore Foundation Farm in Leesburg, Fla. and is now working for Florida Blood Services in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Audra E. Latham (B.S., Psychology, 1998) received a master’s degree from the University of North Florida in mental health counseling and is a licensed mental health counselor.

Steven H. Lee (B.S., Microbiology and Zoology, 1996) is an assistant professor of radiology at Loyola University Medical Center.

Louis B. Lerman (B.A., American Studies, 1997) received a bachelor’s in computer information sciences in 2001 and an M.B.A. in 2006 from UF. He is serving a one-year appointment to the World Bank in Washington, D.C.

Chris Loschiavo (B.A., Political Science, 1995) served as the director of student judicial affairs at the University of Oregon for seven years and recently returned to UF as assistant dean of students and director of student judicial affairs.

Tracy Matus (M.S., Speech-Language Pathology, 1995) works with children as a speech-language pathologist in New York City.

Kelly J. McKibben (B.S., Psychology, 1990) received a J.D. from the Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, Ala. in 1994 and has practiced law with the Florida Department of Children and Families. She is a County Court Judge in Brevard County, 18th Judicial Circuit, and also works in the criminal division at the Moore Justice Center in Viera, Fla.

Steven Melilli (B.S., Microbiology and Cell Science, 1992) is a chiropractic physician in private practice in Clearwater, Fla.

Winifred Acosta NeSmith (B.A., Criminology, 1992) is an assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Florida in Tallahassee. She also serves on the executive board of the National Black Prosecutors Association as the vice president of planning.

Peg O’Connor (B.A., Criminology, 1993; M.A., Sociology, 1998) spent three years as a law clerk to the Honorable Stephen P. Mickle, U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Florida, and has accepted an associate position with Turner & Jones in Gainesville, Fla., where she will practice civil and criminal law.

Michael X. Rohan, Jr. (B.S., Interdisciplinary Studies, 1994) graduated from Nova Southeastern University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2001. He completed a residency in orthopedic surgery at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in 2006 and completed a spine surgery fellowship at the Texas Back Institute in July 2007. He is moving to Panama City, Fla. to begin practicing orthopedic spine surgery.

Scott Stolze (B.A., English, 1994) recently resigned from his job with a technology company, sold his house, and moved to New Orleans where he is volunteering in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

Melissa Wheaton-McDuffie (B.A., Philosophy, 1997) received a J.D. from UF in 2002 and a master’s of science in management from Troy University in 2006. She is a labor relations manager for CSX Transportation.

Tami Lyn Rennie Wilson (B.A., Criminal Justice, 1994) joined the U.S. Army in 1995 and was trained to become an intelligence analyst and Spanish linguist. She received certification in elementary education with an endorsement in ESL from Indiana University.


Yaniv Adar (B.A., Political Science and Jewish Studies, 2005) is a third-year student at Duke University School of Law pursuing a J.D. and a master’s in public policy.

Florent Allais (Ph.D., Chemistry, 2004) has completed two post-doctoral fellowships in Paris and worked on the synthesis of new anti-cancer drugs.

Leslie Anderson (B.A., History, 2004; M.A., Art History, 2006) has received the Chancellor’s Fellowship to pursue a Ph.D. in art history at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Jonathan Anderson (B.A., History, 2003; B.S., Zoology, 2003) graduated from the UF College of Medicine in 2007 and is completing his residency in emergency medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

Michele Bickford (B.A., English, 2000) has been named global director of investor relations products for Institutional Investor in New York City. She was previously associate editor at the company’s Alpha magazine, developing and conducting research covering the hedge fund industry.

Jessica Rayson Boxer (B.S., Psychology, 2001) is an associate attorney at an anti-trust class action firm in New York.

Sean Cortopassi (B.A., History, 2005) received an M.S. in political science from Florida State University in 2006. He interned for the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite is pursuing a Ed.D. at George Washington University.

Jessica Donisi (B.S., Psychology; B.A., Criminology; 2007) is pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology at Nova Southeastern University, where she is a member of the college volleyball team.

Marcos Javier Garcia (B.A., English, 2004) began law school at Florida International University this fall.

Joshua Gellers (B.A., Political Science, 2005) graduated from Columbia University with an interdisciplinary M.A. in climate and society. He is pursing a Ph.D. in political science at the University of California, Irvine studying global environmental security.

Michelle Jacobs (B.A., Political Science, 2002) received a J.D. from The American University in 2005 and practices tax law and estate planning in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

David Kaye (B.A., Political Science, 2003) was awarded a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School in June 2007 and is an associate at Clifford Chance in New York City.

Clayton Kolb (B.A., History, 2005) is pursuing master’s degrees in history and public policy at the State University of New York at Albany. While completing his graduate work he has been employed by the New York State Senate as a Homeland Security and Veterans’ Affairs analyst. In 2006, he was appointed by Governor George Pataki as a member of the New York State Veterans’ Affairs Commission.

Kerri Vitalo Logan (M.A., Sociology, 2000) is a state policy advisor with the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.

Monique Skop McBride (B.A., English Literature, 2003) received a master’s of divinity from Duke University in 2006. She is a minister of Christian education and family ministries at Trinity United Methodist Church in Gainesville, Fla..

Regan McManus (B.S., Psychology, 2001) earned an M.B.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in spring 2007.

Lauren Miguez (B.A., History, 2005) is currently working for the Holocaust Museum of Southwest Florida in Naples, Fla.

Joshua Pila (B.A., Political Science, 2004) graduated from Georgetown University with a J.D. in May 2007 and joined the law firm Dow Lohnes PLLC in Washington, D.C.

Angela K. Pluto (B.A., Communication Sciences and Disorders, 2004) works at The Georgia School for the Deaf.

Kristen Seitz Potter (B.A., Political Science, 2005) earned an M.S. in business management from UF in 2006 and was recently named an account leader at Keymer Group Strategic Communications, a corporate communications firm in Jacksonville, Fla.

Alejandro Sanchez (B.S., Biochemistry and Microbiology and Cell Science, 2006) performed clinical research at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in summer 2007 and joined Harvard University’s new pathway M.D. program this fall.

Andrew Shaw (B.A., Economics, 2001) has joined the staff of Sen. John Ensign, R-Nevada, working on healthcare and social security issues.

Carla Small (B.A., Political Science, 2003) recently graduated from New York University’s School of Law and is an associate at LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae LLP in New York City.

David Southcott (B.S., Psychology, 2002) manages the loan production of six branch locations for a top five bank in Tampa, Fla.

Jessica Szember (B.S., Sociology, 2004) is a retail property manager for a development firm in Atlanta.

Tara Williamson Underwood (B.A., Political Science, 2000) received a master’s degree in management from the Florida Institute of Technology in 2005 and now works for the ITT Corporation.

Marlon Watson (B.A., Economics, 2001) received a J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law in 2007.

Matthew R. Williams (B.A., Political Science, 2006) studied Arabic at the University of Jordan immediately following graduation and now works for Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida.

Ashley Wallingford (B.S., Psychology, 2005) works at the Sarasota YMCA as an independent living specialist for Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties. She assists foster youth who are aging out of care, and helps prepare them for independence.

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