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Class Notes

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Summer 2020

See 1950–60s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, 2020, Weddings and Engagements, Babies, or Seen on Social

Do you have news to share?

Maybe you recently got married or had a baby, celebrated a promotion or professional milestone, or had a gathering with some UHart friends. Whatever your news may be, share your UHart pride with your fellow alumni by submitting a class note, tagging us on social media, or using the hashtag #UHartAlumni. Select news and posts may be published in a future issue of H magazine.


Mark Ricciardelli

1978 | Mark Ricciardelli

Mark Ricciardelli M (Barrney), founder and manager of PlumBank Advisors, LLC, serves as co-chair of the Old Saybrook Cares Committee, a program launched this summer to help town residents struggling through the pandemic. The program offers grants to be used toward basic needs such as food, housing, clothing, utilities, child care, or transportation costs. See more on NBC CT.

Previously posted notes from the 1970s

1970 | Marc Sommer

Marc SommerMarc Sommer (A&S) was inducted into the Animal Chiropractic Hall of Fame in October 2019. He completed his specialty training in 1994 and has been treating animals ever since. He co-authored the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association's code of ethics and was a previous member of its board of directors. Read more.


1972 | Denise Tracy

Reverend Denise Tracy (A&S) was appointed lead chaplain of the Kane County Sheriff’s Office in Illinois. Tracy has had an extensive and fulfilling career as a member of the clergy and has also been a longtime supporter of the University of Hartford.


Patrick Vaccariello

1980 | Patrick Vaccariello

Marquis Who’s Who has presented Patrick Vaccariello (Hartt) with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. Vaccariello is a recognized musical director and conductor who has worked both internationally and nationally, including Broadway productions such as Cabaret, Annie, Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway, and West Side Story. He will serve as musical director of The Music Man starring Hugh Jackman, opening on Broadway in the spring of 2021.

Previously posted notes from the 1980s

1982 | Peter Baldwin


Peter Baldwin (Hartt) was featured on Connecticut’s Fox 61 News following his recovery from COVID-19 in June. Known locally as the “singing carpenter,” and often the life of the party, he greeted his family and friends with a rendition of “The Impossible Dream” upon his discharge.


1986 | Steven Minkler


After serving in an interim role the past three years, Steven Minkler (A&S), M’00 (A&S), D’08 (ENHP), will become the permanent campus CEO of Middlesex Community College in Middletown, Conn. He has 30 years of leadership and teaching experience within the Connecticut community college system.


1987 | Nigel Corner


Nigel Corner (Barney) is among four new Deputy Lieutenants for North Yorkshire, England, recently appointed by the Lord-Lieutenant Johanna Ropner, with Her Majesty the Queen’s agreement. Corner is also the managing director of his family’s business which is involved in the manufacturing, retail, and servicing sectors in North East England.


1988 | Jeff Bagwell


The Boston Globe named Major League Baseball Hall of Famer and former UHart baseball All-American Jeff Bagwell (Barney) in “The Best Cape League Players Who Made It to the Majors, Position-By-Position.” The Cape Cod League is considered to be the best amateur league in the country. Bagell played for Chatham in 1987–88.


1989 | Jolie Rocke


Jolie Rocke (Hartt) has been accepted onto the 2020–22 Texas Touring Roster by the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA). She progressed through a rigorous review by the TCA, an organization that provides grants to help bring in talent so that all Texans can enjoy performances and presentations in their own community.


Todd Zavorskas

1991 | Todd Zavorskas

Todd Zavorskas (A&S) is founder of Zombie Leader, an organization spreading good deeds for national and local charities “one bite at a time.” A self-proclaimed “geek,” and an avid collector and Comic Con vendor, Zavorskas has worked with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for the past 25 years, helping them raise nearly $212,000 through events. In 2016, he was a candidate for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Connecticut-Westchester-Hudson Valley Chapter Man of the Year.

Edward Myles

1993 | Edward (Ted) Myles

Scholar Rock, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, announced the appointment of Edward (Ted) Myles (Barney) as chief financial officer and head of business operations. Myles brings more than 20 years of industry experience to this new role and will be responsible for finance, investor relations, corporate communications, IT, and facilities.

Joe Bouchard

1995 | Joe Bouchard

Noted singer-songwriter, musician, and former Blue Oyster Cult bass player Joe Bouchard M (Hartt) has released his sixth solo album Strange Legends. Since his Blue Oyster Cult days, Bouchard graduated from Ithaca College, earned a master’s in musical composition from The Hartt School, taught music, and worked at a music publisher. He has released three albums with his current group Blue Coupe in addition to 20 albums with Blue Oyster Cult and other groups.

Melissa Morris

1995 | Melissa Morris

Melissa Morris (Hartt) has won a Sanford Teaching Award for her dynamic teaching methods and for her work supporting student development and achievement. A music teacher at James Madison High School in New York City and a classical guitarist, she was inspired to become a music educator after a positive interaction with a young boy with autism. She joins winners from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Robert Montemurro

1997 | Robert Montemurro

Platt High School (Meriden, Conn.) graduate, former teacher, and principal Robert Montemurro M (ENHP) retired this fall after many years leading the school. The Platt community saw him as a “steady, inspiring leader who has displayed dexterity.” He joined Platt in 2012 after serving as principal of the Washington Middle school for four years.

Nicole Hughey

1999 | Nicole Hughey

Nicole Hughey M (Barney) was recently named vice president of diversity & inclusion at SiriusXM + Pandora. She will be responsible for creating and augmenting the company’s policies and practices as it relates to diversity and inclusion, to “cultivate an organization with individuals of diverse backgrounds of all levels, and where all of our people are included and have the opportunity to grow and succeed.” Previously, she held similar positions with Mass General Brigham and Travelers Companies.

Previously posted notes from the 1990s

1993 | Datuk Seri Kassim Saripuddin


Datuk Seri Kassim Saripuddin (M Barney) is the new Malaysian Aviation Commission executive chairman. He is regarded as a “consummate professional civil servant who has served the government for nearly four decades, most recently as secretary-general in the Federal Territories Ministry.” Saripuddin was also previously an adviser to the Malaysian Embassy in Tokyo, and education and training attaché for the Malaysian High Commission in London.

1996 | Michael McIntosh


Salem Medical Center has added Michael McIntosh (A&S), M’98 (A&S) as its new infection preventionist where he will be responsible for ensuring compliance with state, federal, and Joint Commission standards relating to infection control and quality core measures. Dr. McIntosh will assist with staff training on infection prevention and core measures.


1997 | Arlene Arnold


Arlene Arnold (Hartt), (M’99 Hartt) was recently profiled on the UConn Today website. A love of music led her to pursue both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Hartt School, followed by degrees from UConn and Texas A&M University to pursue her other interests in ornithology and conservation. She has been employed by the U.S. Navy since 2008 and is currently in Naples, Italy as the conservation and planning coordinator for the Europe, Africa, Central region, helping to ensure the Navy helps protect natural and cultural resources on host nations’ lands.

1998 | Lynn Valentine


Lynn Valentine (A’97 Hillyer), (A&S) was featured in’s “Where Are They Now?” The former UHart women’s golf standout, and the 2008 Connecticut Women’s Open champion, is now the LPGA teaching professional at Bear Lakes Country Club in West Palm Beach, Fla., where she has worked the past 22 years.


1998 | Sean Tabb


Sean Tabb (ENHP) and his brother, Colin, were featured in, detailing the brothers’ four-decade basketball journey throughout New England as players and coaches. Sean was a member of the UHart men’s basketball team from 1995–98 and is currently the head coach at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass.


Justin Bailey

2000 | Justin Bailey

After being named an assistant coach in June, Justin Bailey (A&S) helped his Otago Nuggets to their first New Zealand National basketball League title with a victory over the Manawatu Jets in the championship game. A math teacher at Long Bay College in Auckland, New Zealand, Bailey was a standout performer for the Hartford Hawks.

Lauren Kennedy

2002 | Lauren Kennedy

Lauren Kennedy (HAS), a design and communications lead for the Boston Public Library’s Norman B. Leventhal Map and Education Center, was co-curator for the Center’s startingly relevant new online exhibition, BENDING LINES: Maps and Data from Distortion to Deception. The exhibit challenges viewers to look deeper into the persuasive techniques used in cartography and educates on the reasons that people use maps for persuasion.

Barbara Clark

2004 | Barbara Clark

Barbara A. Clark D (ENHP) has authored the book Echoes from a Child’s Soul: Awakening the Moral Imagination of Children. It presents remarkable poetry inspired by aesthetic education methodology created by children that were labeled academically, socially, and/or emotionally at risk.

Milmaglyn Morales

2006 | Milmaglyn Morales

Milmaglyn Morales (ENHP) was recently appointed to the National Association of the Deaf’s Board of Directors as a Region I representative. Morales, a native of Ponce, Puerto Rico, is a certified K–12 educator, a deaf interpreter for the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and law chair on the Connecticut Association of the Deaf board, and Chair of Interpreters Qualifications Subcomittee of the CAD Legislative Committee. She also currently teaches preschool at the American School for the Deaf.

Previously posted notes from the 2000s

2000 | Javier Colon


In honor and appreciation of teachers in West Hartford, amid the backdrop of COVID-19, Javier Colon (Hartt), Season I winner of NBC’s The Voice, recorded an inspirational message. The message was released on Teacher Appreciation Day in early May.


2003 | Matthew Hoch


Matthew Hoch (M Hartt), (C’04 Hartt), associate professor of voice at Auburn University, along with his former student Patty Holly, were honored with the 2020 Music Teachers National Association American Music Teacher Article of the Year for a piece they co-authored, Engaging All Students: Connecting with Different Personality Types in the Studio. The article was selected by a committee from American Music Teacher magazine and was presented by the Music Teachers National Association.

2004 | Debbie Chou


Singer-songwriter Debbie Chou (Hartt) recently released a new album, The End of Our Time. Chou had released her debut album, Lovebug, in 2012, followed by a single in 2013, Little Prince, both of which reflected her piano and synth-based aesthetic borrowed from post-punk, indie, classical, and electronic music.


2009 | Allison Kern


A senior specialist for corporate social responsiblity and internal engagement at Konica Minolta, Allison Kern (A&S) was named to the 2020 Difference Makers list by ENX Magazine. The annual list honors “individuals from throughout the imaging technology universe who have left an indelible impression by serving their clients, companies, and business partners while bringing calm to calamity and resolution to disarray.”


Nina Vazquez

2019 | Nina Vázquez

Nina Vázquez (A&S), a graduate student at the University of Connecticut’s El Instituto of Latinx, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies, was awarded a Pre-Doctoral Fellowship for 2020 to conduct research in Puerto Rico. The research is in regard to how Puerto Ricans racially identified prior to U.S. occupation and the passing of the Jones Act in 1920. Listen to a recent UHart to Hartford podcast featuring Nina.

Previously posted notes from the 2010s

2012 | Nicole Pielli

Nicole Pielli

UHart Alumni Board of Directors member Nicole (Suissa) Pielli (Barney) recently started a new position as associate attorney with Griffin Alexander, P.C. in New Jersey. She will specialize in landlord-tenant matters, condominium association law, and litigation. Suissa brings to her new role international tax and compliance experience from Deloitte Tax, LLP.


2013 | Dana Eckstein Berkowitz


Dana Eckstein Berkowitz (A&S) has been appointed for the 2020–22 term as the alumni representative to the board of Sigma Tau Delta, an international English honor society. She was inducted into UHart’s Psi Phi chapter in 2010 and served as chapter president for two years. Berkowitz has been active in the society’s Alumni Epsilon since.


2013 | Ira Wagner


Ira Wagner (M HAS) has been named the interim director of the Monclair Art Museum in Montclair, N.J. He became involved with the museum when he joined the Board of Trustees as co-chair and eventually chair of the finance committee. Since graduating from UHart, he has been teaching photography at Monmouth University and working as an artist.


2016 | Chaz Davis


Chaz Davis (A&S), a visually impaired distance runner, was featured in in a piece that chronicles his journey dealing with Leber’s hereditary optical neuropathy. Guided by his desire to help others and using his own experience, Davis serves as an adjustment counselor at the Massachusetts Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired in Brookline, Mass.

2016 | Kareem Lewis


Repertory Dance Theatre, the nation’s premiere modern dance company, welcomed Kareem Lewis (Hartt) to its troupe for its 55th season. The Boston native began his formal dance training at the Boston Arts Academy. After graduating from there, he continued his training at the Brookline Ballet School before attending the UHart.


2016 | Jacqueline Petriello


Winchester School District has named music teacher and chorus director Jacqueline Petriello M (Hartt) as its teacher of the year. She has been teaching in the school district since 2013 and works at both of the district’s schools, teaching pre-K to second-grade music at Batcheller Early Learning Center and third- through sixth-grade chorus at Pearson Middle School.


Previously posted notes from 2020

2020 | Jackson Olson


Jackson Olson (Barney), an outstanding performer on the field and in the classroom for the UHart baseball team, was featured in the New Milford Spectrum ahead of the June MLB player draft. He was the team’s starting shortstop and compiled a 3.82 GPA in the Barney School of Business.

Weddings and Engagements

Jason Hubeny '18 and Haley Milone '19

Jason Hubeny ’18 (ENHP and current DPT student), recently proposed to Haley Milone ’19 (A&S) at Elizabeth Park in West Hartford. Jason and Haley first met each other their first year at UHart in 2015 through the Pep Band, and have been together since January 2016. Haley currently works as a Quack Pack instructor at Educational Playcare while Jason is in UHart’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program, set to graduate in 2021.

Previously posted Weddings


Tunkel baby

Eric Tunkel ’12 (Hartt) and his wife announced the birth of their first baby together, Micah Paxton Hunter Tunkel on February 26, 2020. They have two other children, Matthew and Noah.

Previously posted babies

Seen on Social

Cynthia Moreno '14 and Jaime Kramer '16 celebrate as new physician assistant graduates from Thomas Jefferson University class of 2020!

@hartford_msoc: Friday flashback: Hailing from Tel Aviv Israel, Udi Cohen ‘17 made an immediate impact in the central midfield. An All-Region two way player comfortable on both sides of the ball he helped lead the team to 38 wins and 3 conference final appearances. #demandmore #hawksunitedasone

@fj_gaylor: Lloyd a 20-year USPS veteran originally from Jamaica making sure everything gets delivered, including the newest @uhartalumni @universityofhartford magazine with cover art by Hartford’s Lindaluz What are the odds seeing this in the Parkville section of Hartford this afternoon.

@banditsofny: College seniors lost a moment this year when they weren’t able to have commencement like those before them, so we partnered with the @universityofhartford to help create a special experience for their graduating seniors. We collaborated with our alma mater and the @uhartalumni team to help bring a smile to the Class of 2020 by creating these custom gift kits for the whole class, filled with special items just for them! If you are a 2020 Hartford grad be on the lookout for these coming your way the next few weeks!

@josaynemeant2be: Virtual graduation @excelsiorcollege BS'16 MSCJ'20 #ExcelsiorProud #DearClass of2020 #Alumni #UHart4Life

@hartford_msoc: A GREAT (and hot) day on the course for our annual Men’s and Women’s Golf Tournament. Thank you to all of our event sponsors, alumni, friends and to @wampanoagcountryclub for hosting us! #hawksunitedasone