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Alumni Newsmakers

The 1940s

Claire Jennings Frahler, BA ’49, and her husband, Andrew Louis Frahler, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in Atlanta with their four married children and most of their 10 grandchildren. Andrew is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a retired commander. Claire is a published writer.

The 1950s

Mildred Miller Gruver, BA ’55, taught high school history and English in Fairfax County, Va., Prince George’s County, Md., and for 26 years in Montgomery County, Md. After raising three children and earning two master’s degrees in education and educational technology, Gruver spent the next 25 years volunteering as a librarian at Deers Head State Hospital in Salisbury, Md., as well as many years at Manokin Manor Nursing Home and at the Somerset County Humane Society.

The 1960s

Sherry Zvares Sanábria, BA ’59, received the Arts and Humanities Award given by the Phenomenal Women’s Alliance at its annual leadership awards luncheon. The award honors the achievements in Sanábria’s painting career and her lifelong commitment to making a difference in the lives of others.

Assad Meymandi, MD ’62, presented a lecture titled “Music, Medicine, and Genomics” in April 2009 at the University of California, Davis. Meymandi serves as an adjunct professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine at Chapel Hill, is in private practice as a psychiatrist and neurologist, and also publishes a magazine, Wake County Physician, now in its 13th year of publication.

David Shinn, BA ’63, MA ’64, PhD ’80, an adjunct professor of international affairs at GW and former U.S. ambassador to Burkina Faso and Ethiopia, testified at the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing on Sudan on July 30.

Charles Aschmann Jr., MS ’65, retired from law practice in March 2007 and is now writing Westerns. Aschmann has three children and four grandchildren.

Douglas M. Chapin, MSE ’66, stepped down as principal officer of MPR Associates in Alexandria, Va., after 23 years of service in the position. Chapin has extensive experience in electrical, chemical, and nuclear engineering, and in particular with nuclear and conventional power plant systems and associated components. He will continue to provide technical leadership and expertise for MPR projects and clients.

Stephen H. Frye, MD ’68, published a book titled We Really Lost This War! Twenty-five Reasons to Legalize Drugs. Frye has spent the last four years researching, writing, and talking about what he calls the “failed drug war.” His Web site is Frye, a retired professor at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, enjoys spending time with his two sons, playing the piano, sailing, and traveling the world.

Sandy Joel Marenberg, BS ’69, was awarded the 2008 Developer of the Year Award from the Land Development Council of the Home Builders Association of Maryland. Marenberg has more than 25 years of experience in both residential and commercial real estate. One of Marenberg’s new home communities, Orchard Ridge, was also awarded a Max Award for its best townhouse model.

Marc Marmaro, BA ’69, was inducted as a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Marmaro is a partner at Jeffer Mangels Butler & Marmaro and has been practicing for more than 35 years. Marmaro specializes in commercial law and intellectual property litigation. Marmaro received the award with his brother Richard Marmaro, BA ’73, the first time brothers have been inducted into the college at the same time.

The Jewish Labor Committee honored Bob Sugarman, BA ’69, for his contributions to labor and employee benefits law and his accomplishments on behalf of working people. His firm, Sugarman & Susskind in Miami, Fla., represents unions and workers in all industries.

The 1970s

Nathaniel L. Doliner, BA ’70, managing shareholder of the Tampa office of Carlton Fields, was named chair of the business law section of the American Bar Association. Doliner is the first Florida attorney to become chair of the section. As chair, Doliner will oversee the section’s fall meeting in Washington, D.C., in November 2009; its spring meeting in Denver in April 2010; and section activities at the ABA annual meeting in San Francisco in August 2010. Doliner practices in the areas of corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate governance.

Robert Dunker, MS ’70, and his wife, Minnie, marked their 50th wedding anniversary on June 6. The couple celebrated their milestone with a cruise to Bermuda.

Members of the Virginia Council of Higher Education elected Christine T. Milliken, BA ’70, as council chair. Milliken is a member of the bar in the District of Columbia and of the U.S. Supreme Court. She also serves as president of the Arlington Community Foundation.

“Granny guru” Carol L. Covin, BA ’72, wrote Who Gets to Name Grandma? The Wisdom of Mothers and Grandmothers (Twenty Minutes Press). Based on 40 interviews, half with mothers, half with grandmothers, Covin shares insights across generations when it comes to raising children.

Richard Marmaro, BA ’73, was inducted as a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Marmaro is the head of Skadden’s West Coast SEC enforcement and white collar defense practice with offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Steven Zaidman, MSE ’74, joined Noblis Inc., a nonprofit science, technology, and strategy organization, as director of transportation systems concepts and planning. Zaidman is responsible for helping Noblis develop innovative solutions to meet the increasingly complex needs of the world’s transportation systems. He lives in Fredericksburg, Va.

McCarter & English in Philadelphia appointed Joel E. Horowitz, BA ’75, as managing partner. In addition to his own practice, Horowitz will oversee the day-to-day operations of the office as well as coordinate business and practice development efforts. Horowitz, a partner at the firm, focuses his practice on employee benefits and executive compensation.

Robert Ligget, BA ’75, has a solo management consulting practice, Corporate Pulse Consulting, which specializes in improving performance by improving corporate culture. Ligget’s practice is seven years old and was started after managing the leadership and customer service training for the Salt Lake 2002 Winter Olympics. He lives in Salt Lake City.

John Viste, BA ’75, was named country director in Lebanon for American Near East Refugee Aid. Viste previously served as assistant country director for CARE in the West Bank and Gaza.

R. D. “Dan” Nelson, MS ’76, vice president of Exxon Mobil Corp.’s Washington, D.C., office, retired in April after more than 32 years of service. Nelson has been vice president of Exxon Mobil’s Washington office and an officer of the corporation since 2004. He previously held a variety of other senior positions with the company in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia.

Dana Clerkin, BA ’78, joined early childhood education group We the Peepers as president and chief operating officer. The group uses original characters created by Clerkin’s sister to “make children laugh and smile.” Clerkin says the first Peepers book received rave reviews, and she is working on a second while creating a reading blog.

Syeda Munaim, BA ’79, received the 2009 Schenectady County Community College Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching, given annually at commencement. Munaim is associate professor in the mathematics, science, and technology department at Schenectady County Community College in upstate New York.

Babst, Calland, Clements and Zomnir in Pittsburgh named Laura Stone, BA ’79, JD ’82, as shareholder. She previously served as senior counsel. Stone focuses her practice primarily on counseling individual, corporate, and nonprofit clients in business planning and structuring, financing and commercial transactions, and negotiation and drafting of contracts.

The 1980s

John Saler, BA ’80, was nominated by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and elected to the Sunoco Welcome America board of directors. In this role, Saler is charged with the planning and execution of Philadelphia’s world-renowned July 4th celebration. As senior consultant at Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, Saler provides government and media relations services to Fortune 500 companies, privately held firms, and nonprofit organizations.

Frank T. Traceski, MFS ’80, retired from the Department of Defense after serving 30 years as an engineer and certified Defense Acquisition Corps specialist. He received the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service at a retirement ceremony at the Defense Technology Security Administration in Alexandria, Va.

William Drohan, MBA ’81, was elected chairman of Alliance Bank. He had previously served as founding director of Alliance and chairman of the budget and ALCO committee. Drohan is also the president and CEO of Drohan Management Group and is on the board of directors of the consultants section of the American Society of Association Executives. He serves on the GW School of Business Dean’s board of advisers and is an active member of the Luther Rice Society.

Darin Hayden, BBA ’81, is pursuing a career in residential real estate sales with Coldwell Banker in San Diego.

M. Joel Bolstein, BA ’82, JD ’87, achieved the distinguished 2009 Chambers USA Guide “Leaders in Law” ranking in the field of environmental law. Bolstein is a partner at Fox Rothschild in Philadelphia.

AARP in Washington, D.C., appointed Edna Kane-Williams, MA ’82, to vice president of African-American outreach. Kane-Williams has spent more than 12 years with AARP and has served in senior executive positions at organizations including the Epilepsy Foundation, Ogilvy Public Relations, and East Baltimore Development.

Maxanne R. Witkin, MPA ’82, was named director of the Office of Employment Discrimination Complaint Adjudication at the Department of Veterans Affairs in July 2009. Witkin previously served as the chief administrative judge in the Merit Systems Protection Board’s Denver field office from 2005 until July 2009. She lives in Lakewood, Colo.

Elizabeth Price, BA ’83, JD ’86, received the Liberty Bell Award from the Atlanta Bar Association. The award recognizes community service that has strengthened the American system of freedom under law.

Jerry Ippolito, MHSA ’84, is director of perioperative services and pain management business development at Southeast Anesthesiology Consultants in Charlotte, N.C. Ippolito is one of the nation’s leaders in mediating relations between hospitals and physicians and has been in health care administration for 30 years as both a health care business management consultant and a medical group practice administrator.

Michael J. Russell, MFS ’84, presented “Homeland Security Priorities for the 111th Congress” at a Policy and Research Forum hosted by the GW Homeland Security Policy Institute in February. Russell serves as the minority chief counsel for the House Committee on Homeland Security.

David A. Samuels, MBA ’85, was installed as chairman of the Charles E. Smith Life Communities, one of the nation’s largest providers of eldercare services. Samuels is the chief financial officer of a publicly traded technology company in the Washington, D.C., area.

Jim Alterman, MBA ’87, has been appointed lead psychotherapist in the psychiatric intensive care unit at a major Houston behavioral health hospital. Alterman is also expanding his work in private practice and employee assistance program counseling.

The University of Vermont College of Medicine appointed Ira Bernstein, GME ’87, senior associate dean for research. Bernstein is a professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences.

Michael R. Bramnick, BA ’87, was promoted to the position of senior vice president and general counsel of NRG Energy Inc., a Fortune 500 energy company in Princeton, N.J. Bramnick was previously deputy general counsel and chief compliance officer. He lives in Princeton, N.J.

Benjamin B. Klubes, BA ’87, joined BuckleySandler as a litigation partner representing financial institutions in government enforcement, regulatory, and class action matters, particularly with respect to consumer financial services matters. Klubes is co-managing partner of the firm with offices in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and New York. He lives in Bethesda, Md.

The Obama administration has chosen Frank O. Mora, BA ’87, to serve as deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Western Hemisphere at the Pentagon. Mora has spent the past five years at the National War College teaching courses on strategy, global security, and Latin American and Caribbean defense and security issues.

Jensen Shirley, MA ’87, successfully defended his dissertation “Congregation Activism in the Community: A Study of Faith-Based Leadership” at the University of San Diego. He lives in Bonsall, Calif.

NASA appointed Lori Garver, MA ’89, to deputy administrator after Garver served as the lead of President Barack Obama’s transition team reviewing the agency. Garver lives in McLean, Va.

Gary Lesser, BA ’89, was appointed vice chair of The Florida Bar Advertising Committee, which serves to uphold Florida Bar Association ethics rules governing advertising. In this position he is charged with reviewing and monitoring, along with committee members, submitted newspaper, television, and radio advertisements developed and purchased by law firms where there has been an appeal of a staff ethics attorney’s decision to ensure that each advertisement complies with the applicable Florida Bar ethics rules. Lesser is a managing partner of Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith.

Steve McGowan, MBA ’89, will rejoin the Discovery Channel as senior vice president for research after six years with the Nielsen Co. in New York. McGowan will plan and direct all broadcast, digital media, marketing, ancillary, and other types of research connected with the Discovery Channel. McGowan was with the Discovery Channel for 13 years before joining Nielsen.

The 1990s

Christian Downs, BA ’90, and Laura Taddeucci Downs, BA ’92, MA ’95, welcomed the birth of their third son, Joseph, on Feb. 10, 2009. Christian is the CEO of C-Management Inc., and Laura is the president-elect of the GW Alumni Association. The family lives in Arlington, Va.

International business performance consultancy McKinney Rogers in New York City appointed Marc Manuel, BA ’90, partner. Manuel works with clients on the development of corporate strategy, organizational alignment, and operational execution. Manuel was previously at the private equity firm of Kidd & Co. and also was the managing director and founding member of the SHC Group Inc.

Richard N. Jones, BA ’91, was recognized by two prestigious organizations for his teaching and reviewing excellence. Jones received an Academy Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence in Tutoring Award from Harvard Medical School, where he is an assistant professor of medicine. He was also named an “exceptional reviewer” by Medical Care, a journal published by the American Public Health Association. He is associate director of social health and policy research at the Institute for Aging Research and director of its Mental Health and Aging Research Center.

Chad Kirkpatrick, BA ’91, was named Arizona’s chief information officer and director of the Government Information Technology Agency, where he will oversee the technical assets and computer systems at every state agency. Kirkpatrick was previously vice president and business systems manager at Wells Fargo & Co.

The Washington Business Journal named Paul Mamalian, BA ’91, a finalist on its “Top Washington Lawyer” list in the general counsel category. Mamalian serves as general counsel to Apptis Inc., where Mamalian works closely with the management team to define the most efficient and effective ways to maximize investments from a legal, tax, employee, and business perspective. He works in Chantilly, Va.

Maj. L. Tammy Duckworth, MA ’92, received the AAUW/NASPA Women of Distinction Award at the 2009 National Conference for College Women Student Leaders.

Kyle Farmbry, BA ’92, MPA ’94, PhD ’99, was named a Fulbright New Century Scholar for the May 2009 to April 2010 term. The Fulbright New Century Scholars Program is an initiative designed to forge new links among scholars and professionals from around the world who work collaboratively to seek solutions to issues and concerns that affect humankind. Farmbry has been assistant professor at the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University since 2005.

James Michelson, BA ’92, principal at JFM Concepts, announced the launch of VDP Web online at The software is a cross media marketing utility that serves commercial printers, marketing agencies, and marketing departments worldwide. Michelson lives in Indianapolis.

Gregory Dean Watts, BA ’92, completed production on his indie feature comedy Defending Dr. Karl. Watts wrote and produced the film, which focuses on a burned out public defender assigned to represent a pet shrink charged with fraud. The film’s Web site is Watts lives in Nacogdoches, Texas.

Christopher Barley, MD ’93, is president of Citta, a nonprofit organization that supports hospitals and education centers in the poorest areas of India and Nepal. Citta delivers health care to 25,000 patients a year, supports schooling for children, and provides economic development programs for women at risk.

Frank Cilluffo, BA ’93, moderated the policy and research forum titled “Homeland Security Priorities for the 111th Congress” hosted by the GW Homeland Security Policy Institute. Cilluffo is director of the Homeland Security Policy Institute.

Kari Stoddard Evans, BA ’93, and Marc Evans welcomed the birth of their baby girl, Penelope Louise, on May 6 in Charlottesville, Va. Penelope weighed 9 pounds, 9 ounces.

Carol Olson, MA ’93, is executive director for the Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault in Fredericksburg, Va. Olson worked as a therapist for 13 years, running The Creative Arts Space, a private counseling practice in Richmond, and as a clinician at the Richmond Behavioral Health Authority.

TopGrading Solutions in Port St. Lucie, Fla., promoted Larry Lebofsky, BA ’94, to vice president. Lebofsky has been in the recruiting business since 1997 and specializes in the electronic payments industry.

Kathleen Salmon-Robinson, MA ’94, is part of SALMON Health and Retirement of Westborough, Mass., which in April received the Massachusetts Family Business of the Year Award from Northeastern University. Salmon-Robinson, along with her two brothers Matt and Andrew, are the third generation to operate the senior housing and healthcare business their parents established in 1952.

Ethan L. Chazin, MBA ’95, president of the Chazin Group, conducted a program for the staff of the Brooklyn College Conference Center on “Customer Care Strategies for Competitive Advantage.” Chazin’s program was featured in the April/May issue of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce Progress magazine.

Daniel Cohen, MA ’95, sold his business and transitioned to the academic world after earning a doctorate in management from Case Western Reserve University. He is now a lecturer at Cornell University, where he teaches entrepreneurship and business strategy and serves as entrepreneur-in-residence at Cornell’s Undergraduate Business Incubator. Cohen had the honor of serving as the commencement speaker at his alma mater, Montgomery Blair High School in Montgomery County, Md. His family also welcomed a new son, Jackson Bradley Cohen.

Westfield State College in Westfield, Mass., named Robert A. Hayes, PhD ’95, vice president for academic affairs. Hayes served as interim vice president for academic affairs since July 2008 and will continue to serve as the college’s chief academic officer. Hayes joined Westfield’s Department of Psychology in 1997, where he later served as coordinator of graduate programs.

Asim Kamdar, MBA ’95, was appointed director of new product development at Colloquy in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Colloquy is a start-up venture founded by The Washington Post that allows traditional universities the opportunity to extend their reach through distance learning.

George J. Danneman, BA ’96, joined Salvo Landau Gruen & Rogers as a shareholder. Danneman focuses his practice in commercial real estate, municipal finance, affordable housing, and community development and is resident in the firm’s Wilmington, Del., office.

Serena M. Aunon, BS ’97, is a member of NASA’s newest class of astronaut candidates. Aunon was previously a University of Texas Medical Branch-Wylie flight surgeon for NASA’s space shuttle. The group of nine astronauts is NASA’s first batch of new spaceflying recruits in five years, and they were selected from a field of 3,500 applicants. Aunon will report to NASA’s Space Center in Houston for two years of training.

Matt Bonesteel, BA ’97, was named college sports editor at The Washington Post, where he has worked since graduation. Bonesteel lives on Capitol Hill with his wife, Jennifer.

Amy Ruth Ita, BA ’98, joined Barnes and Thornburg in Columbus, Ohio, in its labor and employment law department. Ita has a background as an employment litigator and counselor with particular experience in wage and hour litigation including collective actions, discrimination litigation, school law, traditional labor work, and workplace and student privacy issues. Ita previously served as law clerk to Hon. James G. Carr of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

The Multnomah Bar Foundation elected Christine Zemina, BA ’99, a board director. Zemina practices environmental, natural resources, and general commercial litigation law at Bateman Seidel. She has served on the YLS Professional Development Committee and on the St. Andrews Legal Clinic Race for Justice Committee.

The 2000s

PBS travel television series Equitrekking was honored with a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Camera Photography with host and producer Darley Newman, BA ’01, her husband and executive producer, Carl E. Ward, BA ’00, MA ’02, and director of photography Gregory Barna. Equitrekking, which was also nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Special Class Series, is the first travel television series to explore the world on horseback. It is broadcasting its fourth season.

Lewis D. Ferebee, MA ’00, was named a regional superintendent for Guilford County Schools in North Carolina. As one of five individuals named regional superintendents, Ferebee will lead the Enrichment Region, made up of nine schools that need intensive support. Ferebee, who has been a teacher and administrator, was named Principal of the Year in 2006 at Fairview Elementary.

Eve Goldberg, BA ’00, was hired as a research and policy associate at The Nellie Mae Education Foundation in Quincy, Mass., the largest philanthropy in New England devoted to education. Prior to her hiring at the foundation, Goldberg held the position of research associate at the Education Development Center. Goldberg also worked as a program assistant at the Constitution Project and served as a member of the Teach for America Corps at Joseph A. Hardin Elementary School in New Orleans.

Aaron Otto, MPA ’00, was named Kansas assistant state treasurer by State Treasurer Dennis McKinney. Otto is the former chief of staff to the lt. governor and served as a member of the governor’s senior staff for the last five years. Prior to returning to Kansas, Otto served in the Pentagon and on sea rotations in and outside the Navy as well as in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Emily Karcher Schmitt, BA ’00, and her husband, Sean, welcomed their first child on Sept. 28, 2008, at The George Washington University Hospital. Griffin James Schmitt was born at 6:51 a.m. and weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces.

David Holt, BA ’01, announced his candidacy for the Oklahoma Senate. He lives in Oklahoma City. Read about Holt at

Caroline Marie Horrigan, BA ’01, and Quinn Patrick O’Toole were married on June 20 in Norwalk, Conn. Until last year Horrigan was a reporter at Congressional Quarterly in Washington, D.C. O’Toole is the western editor for National Public Radio in Culver City, Calif.

Under the leadership of Editor Cindy Roth Hutter, BA ’01, the staff newspaper for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute won first place in two competitions. The newspaper took home a gold award in the New England Society for Healthcare Communications 2009 Lamplighters Awards and also won the top spot in the national Ragan Recognition Awards competition in the category of Best Nonprofit Employee Newsletter. Hutter is internal communications manager at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and lives in Brookline, Mass.

Lt. Col. Robert Lyman, MA ’01, was selected as one of 15 White House fellows. The appointment came after an intense selection process from more than 1,000 applicants for the 2009-10 class of fellows. Lyman will hold a one-year position within an executive department of the federal government. He has been deployed to Southwest and Central Asia eight times and was awarded the Bronze Star three times. Lyman is married to the former Nancy Wolf of Oklahoma City. They have a daughter, Ava Rose.

Lisa R. (Karasiewicz) Baudot, MBA ’02, began a PhD in accounting at the École Supérieure des Sciences Économiques et Commerciales (ESSEC Business School) in Paris in September. She married Regis H. Baudot on Aug. 30, 2008, on the Île-de-Noirmourtier, France.

On April 6, Kelly Pettigrew Baumgarner, MS ’02, and her husband, Shawn Baumgarner, welcomed the birth of their son, Adric Liam Baumgarner. Adric weighed 9 pounds, 10 ounces. The family lives in Greensboro, N.C.

Gavin Daniels, BBA ’02, and Sheyna Rivera Daniels, BA ’02, were married on Oct. 25, 2008, in San Diego. The couple lives in San Francisco, where Sheyna is a business development director at the American Heart Association and Gavin works in corporate finance at Clorox Co. Fellow ’02 Colonials in attendance were Thomas Conroy, Cristina Craig, Elyssa Davis, Patrick Florentino, Jennifer Friedman, Inga Petrovich, Brad Simon, Robert Simon, William Stern, Michael Roberts, Paige Simms Roberts, and Megan Wiley.

Dawn Erckenbrack, EdD ’02, was named vice president of Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare Inc. as well as president and CEO of Jewish Hospital Medical Center South in Hillview, Ky. Erckenbrack began her duties on April 6, 2009, after completing 21 years as an Army medical department officer. She lives in Elizabethtown, Ky.

Debra Filcman, BA ’02, was named editor of The Somerville Journal and in Somerville, Mass. Filcman was previously editor of the Needham Times for three years. She lives in West Newton, Mass.

Roya Rahman, MS ’02, serves as president of the Homaria Rahman Foundation, a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to supporting orphans in Afghanistan.

Ryan Schrenk, MA ’02, was promoted to director of the extended learning division at Montana State University-Great Falls College of Technology. Schrenk is a doctoral student in educational leadership and expects to earn his EdD from the University of Montana in 2010.

Lt. Col. Joseph Bassi, MA ’03, (U.S. Air Force, retired) completed a PhD in history of science from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He lives in Lompoc, Calif.

Sid Choraria, MS ’03, left Merrill Lynch’s Asian debt syndicate desk in order to study for a master’s in business administration at New York University’s Stern School of Business. Choraria was president of the GW Alumni Association in Hong Kong.

Christina Fanitzi, BBA ’03, and her new husband, Shawn, have both spent several tours overseas in Iraq as Army captains. TNT’s Wedding Day worked with the military and the Catholic Church to arrange to fly the couple home for their wedding. The day included a ceremony at the same church where Christina’s parents got married; a major donation to the Fallen Soldier Fund, a charity close to the couple’s hearts; and a chance for Christina to trade in her fatigues for a couture wedding dress.

Eugenia Friedman, BA ’03, married Matthew Fien on Aug. 1, 2009, in Boca Raton, Fla. The couple resides in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where Friedman works as a commercial insurance underwriter and Fien is a dentist finishing his post-graduate residency in periodontics.

Erin McKinney-Prupis, BA ’03, became the program coordinator for Project C.O.P.E., a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration-funded HIV and drug and alcohol prevention program in Paterson, N.J.

Kristen Taddonio, BA ’03, MA ’06, director of climate choice at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is one of 30 finalists for the 2009 Service to America Medals. The awards program pays tribute to America’s dedicated federal workforce, highlighting those who have made significant contributions to the country. Honorees are chosen based on their commitment and innovation, as well as the impact of their work on addressing the needs of the nation.

Miranda Anderson, MBA ’04, wed Roger Ballentine, president of Green Strategies, on May 19 at the Gunpowder River State Park in Maryland. The couple resides in Washington, D.C., where Anderson is director of sustainability for Walmart Stores Inc.

Alessandra Mediago, BA ’04, completed her master’s degree from Seton Hall’s Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations in December 2008. Mediago also passed the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection Customs Broker licensing exam and has applied to be a licensed customs broker.

Evan Andrew Paprocki, MS ’04, is planning a spring wedding with fiancée Andrea Lynn Mortoro. Both work at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where Paprocki is a physical therapist.

Laurie (Sheen) Young, BA ’04, a third-year associate at Nikolai & Mersereau in Minneapolis, has been elected co-chair of the Hennepin County Bar Association’s new lawyers section. Young will also sit on the executive committee of the Hennepin County Bar Association.

David Adams, BA ’05, is working on an independent documentary film that centers on three intertwining topics as they relate to youth: D.C., Hip-Hop, and education. Adams plans to work on the project full time at the start of 2010.

Robert J. Ellis III, BBA ’05, was promoted to captain in the U.S. Air Force. Ellis returned to the United States after a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan, where he volunteered to help train and work with the Afghan National Army. For his work and actions while in Afghanistan, he was awarded the U.S. Army Combat Badge, the Army Commendation Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Air Force Overseas Ribbon Short, the Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border, and the NATO Medal. This was Ellis’ second deployment. His first was to an undisclosed location in the Middle East. He is now assigned to Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.

Victoria Mitchell, BA ’05, accepted a position at the U.S. Agency for International Development in Washington, D.C., as a foreign service officer. Mitchell’s first post will be in Cairo, Egypt.

Jillian (McKnight) Tobias, BA ’05, and her husband, Daniel J. Tobias, BA ’04, BS ’04, left on a two-year trip around the world. They keep a Web site dedicated to adventure travel and their trip at

Jordan Heiber, MA ’06, was awarded a Mike Mansfield Fellowship. The Mike Mansfield Fellowship Program is a two-year, government-to-government exchange established by Congress in 1994 to build a corps of U.S. government officials with substantial Japan expertise. Heiber was a foreign affairs officer with the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Korean Affairs. He began full-time Japanese language and area studies in the Washington, D.C., area this fall.

Ryan Sturgill, MBA ’06, announced his engagement to Lauren Elizabeth Wozniak. Sturgill works as a consultant for the Navy in Washington, D.C. They planned an October wedding.

Alison Walsh, BA ’06, was named public relations specialist, in charge of media relations and account relations at PR Flex in Baltimore. Walsh was previously in New York with Ogilvy’s PR’s consumer marketing practice and Evins Communications’ lifestyle division.

Joshua Wilkie, BA ’06, pitched in the Double-A Eastern League All-Star Game on July 15, 2009. Wilkie plays for the Harrisburg, Pa., Senators. He was also an All-Star last year in the Single-A Carolina League with the Potomac Nationals in Woodbridge, Va.

Jeff Blake, MBA ’07, moved to Los Angeles after graduation and founded Altravert, a company that creates an alternative to outdoor advertising media such as billboards. Altavert serves the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area and offers discounted services to fellow GW alumni. Find more information at

Morgan Hooker, BS ’07, a former GW Water Polo standout, is one of the stars of the Discovery Channel’s newest reality show The Colony.

Samuel Sherraden, BA ’07, is a policy analyst for the Economic Growth Program at the New America Foundation, a Washington-based think tank. He wrote a commentary for and appeared on Fox News to discuss the viability of the green sector as an engine of job creation.

Teresa J. Haase, PhD ’08, was named assistant professor in the master’s in counseling program at Eastern Mennonite University. During her time at GW, Haase worked in the GW Community Counseling Services Center.

Dominick Swinhart, BS ’08, was selected as the new fire chief of Watertown Fire and Rescue in Watertown, S.D., on March 1, 2009.

Andrea Christine Todd, EdD ’08, was named Virginia Tech’s Language and Culture Institute associate director. Todd has extensive experience in program administration and teaching English as a second language within university settings. Prior to her appointment at Virginia Tech, she managed the Higher Education Administration Doctoral Program at The George Washington University.

Jean-Marc Gorelick, MA ’09, wrote an opinion piece for the Christian Science Monitor about the difficulties faced by American farmers. The article is related to his GW capstone project in International Development Studies.

Lynn Marie Hlavacek, MEd ’09, and Joseph Edward Silvia were married on July 18 at St. James Chapel in Chicago. The new Mrs. Silvia started as a third-grade teacher at Sargent Shriver Elementary School in Silver Spring, Md., in August.

Jean Marie LaFauci Schutt, BA ’96, PhD ’09, and her husband, Kevin R. Schutt, MBA ’09, MS ’09, both received advanced degrees from GW in 2009. Jean graduated with a PhD in counseling and Kevin received a master’s in business administration and a master’s of science in finance. They live in Falls Church, Va.

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