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Fall 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.


Alejandro Tkaczevski

1985 | Alejandro Tkaczevski

Alejandro Tkaczevski (Hartt) and Victoria Gobetz '85 (HAS) are happily married and living the country life in Greenfield, N.H. The two married in 2017 after meeting at UHart. Alejandro teaches piano privately and also writes music.


Leigh Medeiros

1994 | Leigh Medeiros

Leigh Medeiros (HAS) published her first book, The 1-Minute Writer, last year with Simon & Schuster. The book features 396 brief writing prompts to help jump start the writing process, perfect for teaching writing classes. Read more at Providence Monthly.

Image from Simon & Shuster

Tom Humbert

1995 | Tom Humbert

Amazon Prime has acquired the rights to the award-winning musical movie Wholly Broken, created by and starring Tom Humbert (Hartt). Wholly Broken is the story of an alcoholic minister and his journey through life. The film won the Best Feature Film USA 2017 Award at the International Film Festival Manhattan. Watch the film on Amazon Prime Video.   

Image from Newsday

Jason Caron

1996 | Jason Caron

Jason Caron (Hartt), a band director and music teacher at Hudson High School in Massachusetts, was featured in Wicked Local in September. Caron is in his 20th year with the school and shared his enthusiasm to return back to the classroom and adapt to a new hybrid plan. Caron is also a professional bassoonist and a member of the Metropolitan Wind Symphony, Boston.

Image from Wicked Local

LaTanya Farrell

1997 | LaTanya Farrell 

The West Hartford (Conn.) Town Council voted to appoint nine residents to the West Hartford Commission on the Arts. Among them are a pair of UHart alumni: singer and songwriter Javier Colon ’00 (Hartt), winner of season one of NBC's The Voice; and local singer, performer, songwriter, and educator LaTanya Farrell (ENHP). Read more about the pair here.

Image from


2000 | Javier Colon 

See LaTanya Farrell '97

Jeff Champagne

2001 | Jeff Champagne

Jeff Champagne (HAS, Barney) has joined the team at Kohler Company as the general manager of emerging categories, including MedTech and smart homes. He and his wife of 16 years, Ali, have three children and are expecting their fourth in March.

Jim Ford

2004 | Jim Ford

Fresh off his Screen Actors Guild nomination for his role in The Irishman, actor and stuntman Jim Ford (Hartt) has released a book, My Take on All Fifty States. The memoir features highlights and insights into his journey so far. Included are mentions of his fond memories of the University, including the year he spent as Howie the Hawk. Learn more about Ford in his episode of UHart to Hartford.

Shanta Lee Gander

2007 | Shanta Lee Gander

Shanta Lee Gander (Barney) received the Arthur Williams Award for Meritorious Service to the Arts at the 2020 Vermont Art Awards. Gander is the director of publicity and outreach at Mount Island—a magazine dedicated to rural LGBTQ+ and POC voices. She is also a member of the Vermont Humanities Council Speakers Bureau and has served on the Brattleboro select board and as president of the Arts Council of Windham County.

Photo by Chinue Clifford

Matt Cooke

2010 | Matt Cooke

Matt Cooke (A&S) was recently named vice president, head of communications for US Functions at Santander US. In this new role, Cooke is responsible for developing and implementing strategies that help build the Santander brand to current and potential employees, enhance employee engagement, and drive understanding of the overall business, reputation, and culture transformation. Matt has been with Santander for four years, previously holding communications roles at Prudential Financial and The Hartford.


Corey Paine

2011 | Corey Paine

Corey Paine's (HAS) artwork was featured as part of a Community Spotlight in the Hartford Courant. The article highlights The Borden, a multi-use facility in Wethersfield, Conn., where Paine has a mural in its sports simulation room.

Image from the Hartford Courant

Davi Paulo

2013 | Davi Paulo 

After graduating from The Hartt School, Davi Paulo was in search of a new experience and decided to move to Beijing, China, where he created the drag persona Miss Lola du Jour. Paulo quickly rose to become one of the top drag performers in the city. As Miss Lola, he not only entertains, but also teaches, enlightens, and spreads awareness to help build up and enrich the surrounding community.



Abdulaziz AlOthman (CETA), a 2020 Anchor Award recipient, has been appointed as the founding curator of the World Economic Forum’s Kuwait Hub as part of the Global Shapers Community—a networking group of young professionals looking to create a postive change in the world. 

Mike Casey

2015 | Mike Casey  

Mike Casey’s (Hartt) jazz trio was one of five international finalists selected to compete in the DC Jazz Prix. The competition is organized by DC Jazz Festival, one of the largest jazz festivals in North America. Shortly after the festival, Casey’s debut visual album, Laws of Attraction, was released. 

Brittany Ferrante

2018 | Brittany Ferrante   

Brittany Ferrante (ENHP), an assistant golf pro at Village Club Sands Point in New York, completed a 200-hole marathon and raised over $52,000 for Babes Against Cancer—part of the American Cancer Society—which funds breast and prostate cancer research. Ferrante complete the 200-hole marathon in 12 hours and was able to surpass the club’s previous amount of donations from its annual golf tournament that supports breast cancer research—canceled this year due to COVID-19—by over $20,000. Read more at USA Today.

Image from LPGA

Weddings and Engagements

Daniel Rombola and Brianna Pacileo

Daniel Rombola '18 M'18 (Barney) recently proposed to Brianna Pacileo '18 (A&S) at Newport Vinyard in Newport, R.I. Daniel and Brianna first met their first year at UHart—they both lived in Hawk Hall and were a part of the Hawk Spirit residential living community. Daniel was a member of UHart’s men’s tennis team, and participated in a year of cross county and track, while Brianna was a member of the volleyball team. Brianna currently works as a technology auditor at Travelers, and Daniel is an investment analyst at Aetna.

arena wedding

Becki Walter ’16 (Hartt) and David Arena ’14 (CETA) were married in a small ceremony in Glastonbury, Conn.—just 15 minutes away from where they met at UHart seven years ago.

arroyo wedding

After four postponements due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Alexandra Arroya ’13 (A&S) and Matthew Merkent ’14 (CETA), M’16 (CETA) were married. The couple met on a trip to India with Engineers Without Borders.


szuman baby
Greg '13 and Lauren '12 Szuman welcomed their first child, Landon, on Aug. 13. His puppy sisters adore him and he’s already taken his first cross-country road trip with his parents! Even though he was born in San Diego, he can’t wait to grow up as a Texan. Maybe, someday, he will even become a UHart alumnus himself.
Reitmayr baby

Brienna Reitmayr '02 '05 (A&S) and Aaron Spencer welcomed their daughter, Audrey Faith, on February 1, 2020.

Seen on Social

@diningwithdinan: Cheers to the awardees of the @uhartalumni 2020 Anchor Awards. Always a pleasure to cohost with @marvelous_miss_mo #gohawks #stayathomecoming

@inter_thinking: We each ran a 5k for #UHart2020Miles last week. Go Hawks! #uharthawks #uhartalumni #uhartfaculty #universityofhartford

@cewt23: What a Hawktober Weekend it’s been! And now for some waffles and jazz brunch. (Food stylist I am not!) #Hawktober2020

The Ana Grace Project (@anagraceproject2015) shared the news of Nelba Márquez-Greene receiving the 2020 Distinguished Alumna Anchor Award.