Coronavirus Update

In-person classes will not resume for the spring semester or Summerterm. Classes are being offered through remote instruction. Find full details of changes to the University’s schedule and operations, and additional information regarding our response to COVID-19 at

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February 2020 Class Notes

Anchor Awards
Anchor Awards

Do you know someone who should be recognized for their achievements? Nominations for the 2020 Anchor Awards are now open through April 10. Nominate an oustanding alum.

See 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, Weddings, or Who Do UHart?


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. Select submissions may be published in a future issue of H magazine.


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.


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.

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.


Eugene Cantera

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.


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.

Jeremy Simonich

1996 | Jeremy Simonich

Assistant 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.


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.


Dr. Gillian Galen on MSNBC

2005 | Gillian Galen

Gillian 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.


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.

Jesse Cerrotti

2014 | Jesse Cerrotti

The 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.



Shannon DePaul '14 (A&S) and Jordan Strybos '14 (CETA) of Lancaster City, Pa., were married Nov. 16 at the Saint Thomas Apostle Catholic Church in West Hartford, Conn., followed by a reception at The Riverview in Weatogue, Conn. Shannon is an account manager at an advertising agency, while Jordan is a project manager at an architectural testing firm.

Who Do UHart?