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Alumni Newsmakers

The 1940s

Samuel S. Freedman, BA '45, received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the Quinnipiac University Law School in May. He has served on the Connecticut Superior Court since 1978 and teaches three courses at Quinnipiac.

The 1960s

Valerie M. Josephson, BA '65, self-published a novel for young adults titled Who Would Not be a Soldier! The Boys of the 20th Maine. It tells the story of Josephson's grandfather, a 19-year-old Maine farmer who enlisted to fight in the Civil War. More information can be found at

Bernard J. Peters, BA '68, MA '73, retired from transportation and land-use planning careers at the New York State Adirondack Park Agency in the county of Rockland, N.Y., and as director of passenger services with the county of Westchester, N.Y. He now serves as project director with 2Plus Inc., a transportation demand management consulting firm in Carey, N.C.

The 1970s

Thom Lobe, BS '71, was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Asian Association of Pediatric Surgeons for his pioneering work in pediatric minimally invasive surgery. Lobe practices at Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa, and became the first surgeon to develop an advanced technique to perform major head and neck surgery through a small set of incisions that leave the patient with no visible scars and no pain. He received the award at the association's 22nd Clinical Congress in Malaysia.

Al McSurely, MA '71, was the keynote speaker at the Burke County NAACP annual banquet honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. McSurely is a human rights and civil rights attorney from Chapel Hill, N.C.

The board of trustees of the University of Kentucky announced the retirement of Michael E. Samuels, MA '72. Samuels served as the endowed chair and distinguished scholar in rural health policy and research, and professor of family and community medicine at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. He is a nationally-known health services researcher.

Howard J. Gershon, MA '73, was appointed to the Council of Regents, the legislative body of the American College of Healthcare Executives. He has served as a consultant to hospitals and health systems for more than 30 years, is an ACHE fellow and member of the American Hospital Association, has authored several articles on health care management, and is a frequent speaker at national conferences.

President and CEO of Trinitas Regional Medical Center Gary S. Horan, MA '73, was named to the board of the New Jersey Hospital Association. Horan is also a trustee and former chairman of the Greater New York Hospital Association and the Hospital Alliance of New Jersey, and a former chairman of the Hospital Association of New York State.

Jerry Brightman, DBA '74, president of The Leadership Group, joined True Solutions Inc. as executive director of The Leadership Institute Certificate Program.

Alan J. Burgess, MHSA '74, was named the 2009 Richard A. Harley Diplomate of the Year by the American Academy of Medical Administrators. Burgess is the chief executive officer of the Tehachapi Valley Healthcare District in California. An AAMA diplomate since 2005, he received the award in recognition of his leadership and contributions to the academy.

Mitchell Herman, MBA '76, is the chief financial officer and co-owner of RIS, a new restaurant in Georgetown. With a professional background in business and the food industry, Herman is president of Dana Creative Concepts Corp., a finance and management consulting company. He lives in Silver Spring, Md., with his wife, Patti, and their three sons.

Jacqueline Jones, BA '76, launched an updated website for her career coaching business. After more than 30 years in journalism as a writer, editor, and manager, she is translating those skills to individuals to better understand the working world. For more information, visit

James Harvey, MS '77, will run on the Republican ticket for state representative in Oklahoma. After working for 26 years as a systems analyst for the Air Force and various engineering firms, he attended night classes at Oklahoma City University Law School and earned his law degree in 1993. He retired from the U.S. Air Force as a lieutenant colonel after 24 years of service.

The University of North Carolina board of governors appointed William W. Mance Jr., MS '78, of Asheville to the UNC-TV board of trustees. Mance is a retired vice president of human resources for Mission Hospitals and has served as a consultant to clients in the medical community.

Patrick McKenna, BS '78, MD '82, professor of surgery and chair of the urology division at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, was elected secretary-elect to the board of the north central section of the American Urological Association.

Syeda I. Munaim, BS '79, received the State University of New York Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. She is an associate professor of mathematics, science, and technology at the Schenectady County Community College in New York.

The 1980s

Harvey S. Jacobs, BBA '80, announced that after more than 20 years of managing his own law firm, Jacobs & Associates, his firm merged into the law firm of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake. Jacobs represents small- and medium-sized business clients and individuals with real estate law, corporate formation, business transactions, contracts, Internet and technology law, intellectual property, and domain name disputes. He resides in Potomac, Md., with his wife and children.

John Saler, BA '80, was ranked as one of the "Top 50 Influential Democrats in Pennsylvania" by Politics Magazine. Saler provides government and media relations services to Fortune 500 companies, privately held firms, and nonprofit organizations.

Paul D'Ambrosio, BA '81, was a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. He is the investigations editor for the Asbury Park Press in New Jersey and a published thriller author.

Gail Farrelly, DBA '81, had an essay published as the "Last Word" column in the March Journal of Accountancy. Farrelly is a writer living in Bronxville, N.Y.

M. Scott Reichenbaugh, MSA '81, has assumed the position of executive director of the Marine Corps Institute. MCI maintains 700,000 enrollments per year from marines all over the world.

M. Joel Bolstein, BA '82, JD '87, was named in the Chambers USA "Leaders in Law" rankings in the area of environmental law. Bolstein is a partner at Fox Rothschild in Warrington, Pa.

Kenneth Winneg, BA '82, received a PhD in communication from the University of Pennsylvania in December 2009. Winneg is managing director of the National Annenberg Election Survey, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

Norm Knight, D.Sc '84, has been elected a fellow of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics "for outstanding contributions in and development of advanced computational methods leading to the understanding of complex aerospace structural response."

Darlene Harris, MBA '85, was elected president of Pittsburgh's city council. Harris will lead the city's legislative meetings and will succeed the mayor if he is unable to complete his term.

Steven M. Braunstein, BA '86, was promoted to president of Snyder Cohn, a leading D.C.-area CPA and business advisory firm. In his new role, Braunstein will maintain his hands-on client responsibilities as well as day-to-day oversight and leadership of the firm's operations and its more than 75 associates.

Michael Dee, MBA '86, was profiled by the Baltimore Sun about running the Patapsco Bank in Dundalk, Md. Dee oversees the community bank, which has four branches in the Baltimore area and about 70 employees.

Shehab Gergash, BBA '87, MBA '88, spoke with Emirates Business about United Arab Emirates' financial markets and the world economy.

Jensen H. Shirley, MA '87, presented "Congregation Activism: Faith-Based Leadership" at the 18th annual Conference of African-American Studies in February in Baton Rouge, La. Shirley lives in San Diego.

Anne-Marie Twohie, BA '89, was named director of the Fairfax County Office for Children. Twohie will oversee the Fairfax County Head Start program, the Employee Child Care Center, and the School Age Child Care program; the regulation of small family childcare homes and the training of Fairfax County childcare professionals; the Virginia Preschool Initiative; the childcare subsidy program; and school readiness initiatives.

The 1990s

Edward Moser, MA '91, has contracted with the Goddard Space Flight Center to co-author a book for McGraw Hill on the management of science missions to outer space. He lives in Alexandria, Va.

Michelle Severino, BA '91, MA '95, was inducted into the Okaloosa County Commission on the Status of Women. Severino serves as the executive director of the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida and teaches humanities and museum studies at Northwest Florida State College and the University of West Florida.

Melanie Tekirian, BA '91, and Dillon Wu are proud to announce the birth of their daughter, Rebecca Elizabeth Wu. She was born Oct. 18, 2009, in New York, N.Y., and weighed 9 pounds, 1 ounce.

Jonathan Vivar, BBA '93, and Kelly Vivar are proud to announce the birth of a baby boy, Kaleb Biggs Vivar. He was born Feb. 2, 2010, in Voorhees, N.J., and weighed 7 pounds, 12 ounces. Fifteen-year-old Alexandra Vivar is very proud to be a big sister.

Lisa Barclay, BA '94, was named partner at Zuckerman Spaeder in Washington, D.C. Barclay practices in the areas of complex civil litigation, professional responsibility and legal ethics, and food and drug law. Prior to joining Zuckerman Spaeder, she worked at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and clerked for Senior U.S. District Court Judge William B. Bryant.

Rachelle Dubow, BA '95, was named a partner at Bingham McCutchen in Boston. Dubow's practice focuses on counseling, protection, and licensing of intellectual property rights with an emphasis on domestic and international trademark prosecution and global brand management. She also does pro bono work for the Family Law Project for Battered Women, the Economic Justice Project, the Center for Women and Enterprise, and Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts.

Laura Jackson, MPA '95, joined the Manhattan College sports medicine department as a graduate assistant. Her duties include the daily treatment and rehabilitation of student athletes, implementation of strength programs, and the education of student-athletes on basic health care.

Jeffrey R. Miller, MBA '95, joined Dow Jones & Co. as vice president and managing director of consulting services. He leads the global organization in integrating online and social media to drive companies' sales and marketing.

Cody Tubbs, BA '95, was named director of local public affairs for the metro region of Southern California Edison, one of the nation's largest electric utilities. He lives in Pasadena, Calif.

Digitas Health named Gautam Gulati, BA '96, MD '00, vice president/group director in the science and medicine department. Gulati will be one of five physicians at the agency and will be based in the New York office.

Barbara Walczyk Joers, MHA '96, joined Children's Hospital of Wisconsin as vice president of surgical services. She previously served as chief operating officer of The Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn. She will work to develop a comprehensive strategic plan for surgical services across the health system.

Jeffrey B. Carter, MA '97, serves as the director of acquisitions for Franklin Street Properties Corp., a real estate investment trust, where he has worked for the past 11 years. Carter resides in Marblehead, Mass., with his wife, Brette, and their 4-year-old daughter, Alexandra.

Arthur Jason De Luigi, BS '97, BA '97, was appointed program director of the Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Residency Program for the National Capital Consortium at the F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. De Luigi will coordinate the graduate medical education of Army and Navy officers studying physical medicine and rehabilitation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and National Navy Medical Center. De Luigi is a veteran of two deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and has served as team physician for the U.S. Paralympics.

Candice Bennett, BA '98, MA '03, was featured in a Washington Post story about a letter from Thomas Jefferson she and her husband found at American Legion Post 24 in Old Town Alexandria.

William F. Davis, BA '98, was promoted to membership in Cozen O'Connor, one of the 100 largest law firms in the United States. He practices in t he firm's New York office, where he is a member of the business law department and focuses on real estate law.

Dianne L. Barron, EdD '99, is president of the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools. She is associate provost and dean of the graduate school at Troy University in Troy, Ala. The conference's purpose is to consider topics relating to graduate study and research.

What's in Stork?, a new business launched by Jamie Davis, BA '99, of Huntersville, N.C., specializes in handcrafted, unique baby gifts using high-quality materials that parents can use after the baby arrives. For more information, visit

The Rev. H. Beecher Hicks Jr., MBA '99, was the special guest speaker at the High Point University special service to honor the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Katherine (Weil) Mendoza, BA '99, and Alejandro Mendoza are proud to announce the birth of a baby boy, Noah Alexandre Mendoza Weil. He was born Sept. 16, 2009, in Rex Hospital, Raleigh, N.C., and weighed 9 pounds, 1 ounce.

Sahar Sulayman, BBA '99, is the new traffic manager of Delucchi+, a full-service strategic marketing communications firm located in Washington, D.C. Sulayman oversees the agency's traffic and project management responsibilities, serves as the liaison between the account management and creative teams, and ensures that all projects are completed on schedule and according to specification.

The 2000s

Janeece Docal, MEd '00, EdS '07, was selected as the new principal of Powell Elementary School in Washington, D.C. Students from Powell Elementary were among 200 lucky kids selected to trick or treat on the White House lawn for Halloween in 2009.

Meliha Pérez Halpern, BA '00, was appointed to the board of governors for the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. She is an associate in the personal injury practice group at Stein Sperling in Rockville, Md.

Chris Berg, BA '01, JD '04, was named assistant general counsel to Citizens United. Berg previously served in the George W. Bush administration. He has also worked for national political organizations including the Republican National Lawyers Association and the Young Republican National Federation.

Rachel H. Collis, MTA '01, was named national coordinator of Antigua and Barbuda's participation in Expo Shanghai 2010. She will spend six months in Shanghai with her staff, providing promotional opportunities for Antigua and Barbuda. She also completed a degree as a medical transcriptionist.

Elizabeth Cox, BA '01, was recognized as one of "50 Planners and People to Watch in 2010" by Sports Events Magazine. Cox serves as director of community relations, medical and volunteer services for the Competitor Group and 14 Rock 'n' Roll Marathons across the country.

Carlos Flores BS '01, and Meghan Becker, BA '03, were married March 20, 2010. They reside in Washington, D.C.

Tiane Harrison, BBA '01, was named one of PR News "15 to Watch" in the corporate and nonprofit PR category. She was honored at the PR News PR People Awards Luncheon in December. 

Peter F. Herzog, BA '01, joined Sherin and Lodgen in Boston as a litigation associate. Herzog will continue to focus on appellate practice, bankruptcy litigation, and commercial litigation.

Jennifer Kroog, BS '01, married Jared Rosenberg on Dec. 5, 2009, in New York City. The couple resides in Los Angeles, where Kroog works in fashion marketing and Rosenberg is in artist management in the music industry.

Beth Weisser, BA '01, an attorney in the Philadelphia office of Fox Rothschild, was appointed to serve a three-year term on the board of the Friends of the Philadelphia Zoo Committee. Weisser focuses her legal practice on complex commercial litigation matters. She also serves on the Philadelphia Bar Association Judicial Selection and Retention Committee and on the board of directors of New Directions for Women.

The Wilderness Society named Paula Wolferseder Yabar, MBA '02, senior vice president for membership and development. During her 23-year career in development and marketing, Yabar has worked for the World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy, and the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Most recently, she was the senior officer for philanthropic services at the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Laura J. Brown, BA '03, JD '08, joined the Philadelphia office of Blank Rome as an associate in the general litigation group. Brown previously served as a law clerk for Hon. Joel Schneider, U.S.M.J., and an interim law clerk for Hon. Ann Marie Donio, U.S.M.J.

Maria Comella, BA '03, was hired as deputy chief of staff for communications for newly elected New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Comella directed press relations for Christie's gubernatorial campaign. She is also pursuing a master's degree in health care policy at New York University.

Don Richards, MA '03, was approved by the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees as director of government and community affairs.

L. Trenton Marsh, MA '04, completed the IBM Corporate Service Corps in Egypt. CSC aims to train a new generation of global leaders by exposing them to diverse cultures, policy environments, and different societal expectations.

Alan Roughton, BA '04, founded the Law Office of Alan M. Roughton in Washington, N.C. He focuses on divorce and child custody cases.

Tom Morgan, JD '05, and Joy Kraybill, PhD '08, married on April 16, 2010, in Alexandria, Va. The couple resides in Washington, D.C.

Kajal Patel, BBA '05, was married on June 27, 2009, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill, N.J. More than 400 people attended the weekend festivities.

Jeff Blake, MBA '07, founder of Altavert Alternative Advertising, has joined the board of directors of Active Young Professionals, the nonprofit networking arm of Life Rolls On Foundation. As the organization's marketing/PR officer, Blake offers insight on starting an advertising company, which he developed the plan for during his business studies at GW.

Sarah Kelley, BA '07, and Paul Sullivan, BA '07, are happy to announce their engagement. The wedding ceremony will take place on Sept. 17, 2011.

Michael Jon Roy, BA '07, accepted a position at the Department of Defense in Washington, D.C., as an analyst. Roy was previously employed with the Department of Veterans Affairs as an equal employment opportunity manager. "It has been a three-year journey toward realizing my dream of serving our nation in a national security position," he says. "The critical thinking and objective analysis skills I gained through my GW education have given me the tools needed to succeed in government."

Justin Salerian, BA '07, completed a film, Tell Me and I Will Forget. Seen through the eyes of emergency medical workers, it is a social commentary on South Africa 15 years after the end of Apartheid. The film was submitted to the Cannes film festival in February and entered the world film festival circuit in 2010.

Marwah Zagzoug, BS '07, MS '09, received her master's of science in health sciences specializing in clinical research administration from GW in 2009 and has been accepted into the PhD in health sciences program at Seton Hall University School of Health and Medical Sciences. One of her goals is to enhance clinical research in Saudi Arabia and encourage partnerships with research facilities in the United States.

Scott Bartlett, MA '08, was named a New Faces of Engineering finalist by the Project Management Institute. Bartlett is a mechanical engineer in the industrial and advanced technology group of CH2M HILL in Spartanburg, S.C.

Sabrina Ebner, BA '08 MA '10, and Samuel Garvett are happy to announce their marriage. The wedding ceremony took place on July 1, 2010.

Julia King, BA '08, is teaching fourth grade at West Gary Lighthouse Charter School in Gary, Ind. The charter school prepares students for college through an art-infused curriculum. King's class is referred to as GW because each classroom is named after the university the teacher attended.

Thomas Renard, MA '08, started as a senior associate fellow and head of the Brussels office at the Center on Global Counterterrorism Cooperation. He is also a research fellow at Egmont-The Royal Institute for International Relations, a Brussels-based think tank.

James Skoufis, BA '08, became the youngest councilman in the history of the town of Woodbury, N.Y. Skoufis finished ahead of three other candidates. For more information, visit

Ariel Goldring, BA '09, and Bevan Sabo, BA '09, started a free-market economics and philosophy blog. Sabo and Goldring have had the opportunity to interview a number of well-respected thinkers, including Robert Dunn Jr., professor of economics at GW. The blog can be found at

Jessica Emi Matsumoto, BA '09, was married to Jonathan Pett Miller in San Jose, Calif. Rabbi Josh Berkenwald performed the ceremony at Congregation Sinai.

Michelle Voll, MBA '09, received a "Pathways out of Poverty" $8 million grant for her green jobs proposal. "Pathways out of Poverty" supports programs that help disadvantaged populations find ways out of poverty and into economic self-sufficiency through employment in energy efficiency and renewable energy industries.

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