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Class Notes

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Winter/Spring 2020

See 1950–60s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, Weddings, 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.


Previously posted notes from 1957–60s

1959 | Ed Kirby

Retired educator, historian, and geologist Ed Kirby (M Hillyer) of Sharon, Conn., delivered a lecture titled “The Making of the Iron Industrial Age” at the Lenox Library in Lenox, Conn., on Jan. 11. He has also published a book, The Making of the Iron Industrial Age.

1964 | Frank Beneski

A heartfelt feature article on Frank Beneski (ENHP, P'90) of West Suffield, Conn., and his wife, Sheila, who passed away in January, appeared in the Hartford Courant. The article was about their journey together following Connecticut high school basketball the past three decades. It's estimated that they saw an average of 125 games a season.


Dr. Barbara Bartlik

1977 | Barbara Bartlik

Barbara Bartlik, MD (A&S) was rated a “Top Doctor” for 2020 by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. In 2019, she was selected among New York magazine’s Best Doctors and named a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Bartlik is currently in private practice in Manhattan. Read more.

Dianne Rechel

1979 | Dianne Rechel

Dianne Rechel (M Hartt) marked her 25th year as a realtor with Realtor Executives International. She is also a Lutheran church organist and music director, runs a women's business networking and empowerment group, and is on the board of the American Guild of Organists.

Previously posted notes from 1970s

1971 | JoAnne Hickey

Acrylic artist and Art Guild at Fairfield Glade member JoAnne Hickey (HAS) of Crossville, Tenn., taught Paint a Floral in Acrylic at the Plateau Arts Center in February. She is a professional graphic artist, custom framer, and retail merchandise trimmer. Hickey has also taught in the Connecticut school system.

1973 | Bill Dougal

Caricature artist Bill Dougal (HAS) of Lebanon, Conn., has created a video titled Caricature: What It Is and How It's Done. The video includes demonstrations by Bill and historical artists. The video is suitable for those who wish to try their hand at the fun art or who are merely curious.


1975 | Lee Woodman

Homescapes is a new poetry collection by Lee Woodman (M HAS) of Washington, D.C. The collection takes the reader from an Indian village to the edge of Tibet to a small town in New Hampshire. Woodman, whose essays and poems are widely published, is the winner of the 2020 William Meredith Prize for Poetry.


Chuck Pagano

1984 | Chuck Pagano

Television pioneer Chuck Pagano (CETA), (M'07 A&S) was featured in "Legends Behind the Lens," a series of industry profiles by The feature details his long and industry-defining career as an innovator at ESPN.

Tony Susi '85

1985 | Tony Susi

The Hartt School jazz education adjunct instructor Tony Susi (Hartt) has penned two compositions inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic. “Hymn to Healthcare Heroes” is for the men and women serving on the medical front lines and “Gone but Not Forgotten” honors the victims who have lost their lives due to the virus.

Previously posted notes from 1980s

1981 | Eugene Cantera

Saxophonist Eugene Cantera (Hartt) of Wylie, Texas, is currently performing with Bastards of Soul and recently played a sold-out show with the Black Pumas. The Bastards of Soul's new album, Spinnin, was released in February.


1988 | David Robinson

David C. Robinson (M'88 Barney, P'23) of West Hartford, Conn., has been elected to chair of the board of directors at the MetroHartford Alliance. Robinson is the executive vice president and general counsel at The Hartford—a role he assumed in June 2015—where he oversees the law department, government affairs, and compliance.

1988 | Dayna Seitlin

Sofitel New York has tapped Dayna Zeitlin (A&S) of San Francisco, Calif., to serve as its new director of sales and marketing. She joins the luxury Midtown hotel after 20 years of experience working for some of the top hospitality groups in the country.

1989 | Virginia Smith

Raritan Valley Community College’s Art and Design Department presented Tools of the Trade, a solo exhibition of work by full-time faculty member Virginia Smith (HAS) of Ewing, N.J. An artist and designer, Smith has always been fascinated with drawing for its artistic merit and as a process to solve spatial problems.


Lisa Fasulo

1990 | Lisa Fasulo

Lisa Fasulo (A&S) was featured in's "Busy Times" for her efforts to keep the community safe and healthy during the COVID-19 crisis. Fasulo is director of health for the town of Essex, Conn.

Sydney Leo

1990 | Sydney Leo

Boston Architectural College (BAC) named Sydney Leo (M Barney), pictured right, as vice president of finance and administration. She brings 30 years of experience serving commercial and nonprofit organizations, and historically black colleges and universities. Prior to BAC, Leo was the national education advisory leader at BDO USA, LLP.

Previously posted notes from 1990s

1991 | Christine Chabre

Bristol Senior Center volunteer Christine Chabre (HAS) of Bristol, Conn., had two of her pieces displayed at the Art Gallery at Mill in Unionville, Conn., for the month of January. They were displayed along with works from other members of the Senior Center.

1994 | Jane Penfield

The Society of Creative Arts of Newtown, Conn., hosted Jane Penfield (Hartt) of Coventry, Conn., painting a landscape in pastel. Drawn to nature, her work is an impression of light and life as she has experienced it through walking, travel, and direct observation.

1994 | Joseph Jankowski

Jones Soda Co. appointed Joseph Jankowski (Barney, M’98 Barney) of Loveland, Ohio, as head of U.S. sales. He brings 18 years of experience in direct store delivery and alternate delivery methods. Most recently, he served as the vice president of retail sales for Zenabis Global’s USA division.

1996 | Jeremy Simonich

Simonich.jpgAssistant District Attorney Jeremy Simonich (Hartt) of Chicopee, Mass., joined the Northwestern District Attorney’s office in Greenfield, Mass., in November as a district court prosecutor.


1997 | Margot Early

Margot Early (A&S) of Hartford, Conn., has joined the Metro Hartford Alliance as director of strategic events. She will work closely with Alliance partners to create fresh engaging events for investors and the region’s business community.


Sandra Doreleijers

2000 | Sandra Doreleijers

Sandra Doreleijers (A&S) was a guest on the podcast Beautiful Game. A former standout and academic All-American on the Hartford women’s soccer team, she is PSV Eindhoven's general manager and head of women's football. Doreleijers has transformed PSV from a mid-table team into a powerhouse.

Kaitlin Walsh

2002 | Kaitlin Walsh

Kaitlin Walsh (A&S), (M'04, A&S) received the 2020 President's Recognition Award for Inspiring Staff Excellence at the University of Saint Joseph (USJ). She is an instructional designer and program coordinator for the digital communication major at USJ.

Brian Stancavage

2006 | Brian Stancavage

Svigals + Partners, a full-service architectural firm located in New Haven, Conn., announced the elevation of Brian Stancavage (CETA), (M'11 CETA) to the position of associate. His portfolio boasts design contributions to six K–12 schools and the recently completed Yale Child Study Center.

Matthew Landon

2007 | Matthew Landon

Baker Newman Noyes (BNN), a nationally recognized top-100 accounting and advisory firm, announced that Matthew Landon (M Barney) has joined its tax practice as a senior manager in the firm's Portsmouth office. Well known in the Boston business community, he has more than 20 years of experience in tax and accounting.

Previously posted notes from 2000s

2002 | Jeff Dealamen

Jeff DealamenWatchung Hills Regional High School social studies and special education teacher Jeff Dealamen (A&S) of Warren, N.J., was selected the 2019–20 Teacher of the Year. He is not only a faculty member but an alumnus of WHRHS.


2003 | Melissa Firlit

Melissa Firlit (A&S) of Brooklyn, N.Y., was the director of the play 5 Times in One Night, which was staged at the Miles Square Theatre in Hoboken N.J. It took place in February and March of 2020.

2003 | Marcy Weiss

Marcy Weiss (A&S, M'04 A&S) of Commack, N.Y., has been promoted to director of marketing at elite| studio e in Farmingdale, N.Y. She has worked for the food-service project solutions firm for more than five years.

2004 | Jim Ford profiled actor and stuntman Jim Ford (Hartt) of West Boylston, Mass. The article focused on his role as a member of the stunt ensemble that performed in the movie The Irishman. The team’s work was nominated for a SAG Award. It was Ford’s first nomination after 200 credits as an actor and stuntman.

2005 | Gillian Galen

GillianGalen.jpgGillian Galen (M A&S, D'09 A&S) of Lexington, Mass., a senior child and adolescent psychologist associated with both the Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital, provided her expert insight on an MSNBC segment focusing on social media and mental distress in teens. 


2008 | Patrick Dunn

Patrick Dunn (Hartt) of Port Jervis, N.Y. joined the national touring production of Les Miserables. He is playing the lead, Jean Valjean, in the musical.  Dunn was profiled in during a touring stop there. 

2008 | Courtney Gomez published a video piece on Norwich Free Academy head women’s basketball coach Courtney Gomez (ENHP, D’10 ENHP) of Old Lyme, Conn. The piece focused on the program’s transition from legendary coach Bill Scaralata to Gomez, a former standout with the UHart women’s program.

2008 | Joe LaPorta

Joe LaPorta (CETA, M’13 CETA, M’15 Barney) of Madison, Conn., announced his plans to seek the 12th District Senate in Connecticut. He is a licensed professional engineer and is employed by Eversource working primarily in electric power distribution engineering and operations.

2008 | Conor Hickey

Conor HickeyBrookside Mezzanine Partners announced that Conor Hickey (M Barney) of Stamford, Conn., has joined the firm as vice president of finance. Previously, he was controller at Sagad Holdings, and was also a senior associate in KPMG’s audit practice where he focused on integrated audits of SEC registered entities.


Jonas Hampton

2011 | Jonas Hampton

Jonas Hampton (CETA) was featured in The Mercury following his eighth-place finish (among 175 runners) at the recent Olympic marathon trials in Los Angeles. It was a vast improvement for the former UHart student-athlete, who finished 48th at the 2016 Trials.

Christiana Lang

2012 | Christiana Lang

Christiana Lang (A&S), a 2019 Anchor Award recipient, announced on LinkedIn that she had accepted a position with More in Common as a U.S. senior associate. More in Common's mission is to understand the forces driving us apart, to find common ground, and to help bring people together to tackle our shared challenges.

Matt Dwonszyk | 2013

See Mike Casey '15.

Thee Easy Baked Donut by Sara Mellas

2014 | Sara Mellas

Sara Mellas (Hartt) published The Easy Baked Donut Cookbook, just in time for National Doughnut Day on June 5. Try out one of her recipes from our Brain Breaks and let's get #quarantinebaking!

Mike Casey

Mike Casey | 2015

Mike Casey (Hartt) released his new music video "Dagobah." Says Casey, “It's a song inspired by Star Wars and Hartford, drawing comparison between my own journey studying jazz outside a major city to Skywalker's journey to Dagobah to study with Yoda.” Fellow alumni from The Hartt School on the track are Matt Dwonszyk '13 on bass, Corey Garcia '18 on drums, and Jared Warsoff '18 assisting with mixing.

Corey Garcia | 2018

See Mike Casey '15.

Jared Warsoff | 2018

See Mike Casey '15.

Previously posted notes from 2010s

2011 | Derek Bryant

Derek Bryant (A&S) of San Jose, Calif., was the keynote speaker at a Black History Celebration held in early February at Peace United Methodist Church in Milpitas, Calif. He is the recreation coordinator for the City of Santa Clara.

2011 | Alex Perry and Jasmaine Seaberry

Seabury.pngAlex Perry (A’08 Hillyer, ENHP) of Middletown, Conn., and Jasmaine Seaberry (A’09 Hillyer, A&S, M’12 A&S) of Rosedale, N.Y., were featured in a Q&A that that was published in The article, titled “What are RAs Social Lives Like?” talked about their time together on campus as resident assistants and the friendship they developed.  

2012 | Katherine Donovan

Katherine DonvanWhittlsey manager Katherine Donovan (M Barney) of Suffield, Conn., has been named one of the “Women to Watch” in the Connecticut Society of CPAs’ inaugural class. The award recognizes the contributions female CPAs are making in the state. Donovan has been with Whittlsey for more than seven years.  

2013 | Samuel Blatt

Blatt.pngSamuel F. Blatt (C University Studies) of West Hartford, Conn., has passed the Connecticut Bar Examination and has joined Hartford-based Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates, P.C., as an associate attorney. He will represent fiduciaries in the administration of trusts and estates.


2014 | Jesse Cerrotti

Cerrotti.jpgThe profiled Jesse Cerrotti (A&S) of Astoria, N.Y., who launched a campaign in late January vying for a City Council seat representing Astoria, N.Y., and parts of East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, and Woodside. He works as a youth organizer for the Worker's Circle, a progressive Jewish social justice organization.


2014 | Justin Wilcox

Wilcox.pngThe accounting and advisory firm Fiondella, Milone & LaSaracina (FML) of Glastonbury, Conn., announced the promotion of Justin Wilcox (M Barney) of Rockfall, Conn., to partner. At FML, he was most recently senior manager, tax services, where he specialized in tax and advisory services.  

2015 | Kathryn Gawrych

Former UHart women’s volleyball player Kathryn Gawrych (Barney, M’16 Barney) of Massapequa, N.Y., has opened her own business, Real Life Ninja Academy, in Freeport, N.Y. The franchise is modeled after the popular NBC sports/entertainment show. Gawrych and her new business were featured in

2016 | Alyssa Covas

Certified orthoptist and board eligible prosthetist Alyssa Covas (M ENHP) of Pottsville, Pa., has joined the Prosthetic & Orthotic Solutions, LLC practice in West Springfield, Mass.  

2016 | Shannon Mumley

Shannon Mumley (M A&S) of Hartford, Conn., has joined the Hartford Chamber of Commerce as director of small business development and strategy. She will engage with the city’s Department of Development Services to retain and attract businesses to Hartford and position them for success.


Kathleen Cicchese '14 and Ryan Baldassario Wedding

Congratulations to Kathleen Cicchese '14 and Ryan Baldassario! The two were wed on Feb. 29, 2020 at The Riverhouse at Goodspeed Station in Haddam, Conn., along with several UHart alumni in attendance to celebrate this special moment. Kathleen is a teacher, while Ryan works at the UConn School of Business. Photo: Meraki Photo

Past Weddings


Miles Rob Griffith

Robert G. Griffith III '07 (Hartt) and Laura Engel '07 (A&S) shared the arrival of their baby boy, Miles Robert Griffith, born March 20, 2020.

Seen on Social

Charmaine Mitchell-Robinson '14 and Madison Tobar '12 showing off their UHart pride at the wedding of Kathleen Cichese '14 and Ryan Baldassario.

Latasha Jarrett Raineault '08, D'10: This week's @hartfordtfxc virtual challenge was toilet paper shot put!

Kristina Karlson '14 gets engaged!

Celebrating with Kristina Karlson '14 are (from left to right) Garrett Young '13; Jasmine Ahern; Laura Garrigan A'12, '15; and Megan Johnson '14.

josaynemeant2be: Happy Birthday former @universityofhartford President Harrison. Working with you on the President’s Committee for Minority Retention as an undergraduate has helped pave the way for me to continue to advocate for diversity and inclusion. When leadership is intentional about hearing and seeing people and solutions, progress will be made. #UHart4life

@himynameissarahx3: I'm not one for technology. But I am glad I live in a time where this is possible. Were we all in separate houses through the country? Or were we back on campus hanging in the village? The world may never know. What I do know is that I love these people forever. #hartfordhawks #uhart #uhartalumni

Colleen Tito and Liam: We’re just celebrating all of the University of Hartford graduates along with all the high school graduates who will be calling UHa home in the fall!

Paul Krause '13: Thanks for the onesies! The 12-month onesie finally fits over a 9-month onesie.

Rob Richardson: Maddyx is stoked her first UHart gear finally fits!