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Class Notes

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Summer 2021

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

UHart Alumni Friend Features

Did you meet your best friends at UHart? We would love to feature your story on our social media channels this summer! Tell us your friendship story.

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.

1970–1979

1974 | Lynn Visgusin Gotler 

Lynn Visgusin Gotler (A&S) has happily retired from her career in nursing. She is now traveling, hiking, and spending time with her family and friends.

1977 | Nancy Pantirer

Nancy Pantirer (HAS) was featured in PAPER Magazine. The article highlights Pantirer’s work that was used as the backdrop for a PAPER fashion shoot with photographer Kimber Capriotti. See the artwork in PAPER.

1980–1989

1980 | Andrew Pakula

Andrew Pakula (Barney) was interviewed on the The Net OGs podcast. In the podcast, Pakula discusses his career and how he played an integral part in the early days of Internet marketing and advertising. Pakula is currently the CEO of WiOffer.

1982 | John Elsesser

John Elsesser (M Barney) was a guest speaker at the CT Green Bank 2021 Earth Day Conversation Webinar where he spoke about the green projects and initiatives for the town of Coventry, Conn. Elsesser has served as the town manager of Coventry since 1988.

Annette Lawrence '86

1986 | Annette Lawrence

Annette Lawrence (HAS) was a visiting lecturer during the Hixson-Lied Visiting Artist Lecture Series presented by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s School of Art, Art History and Design. Lawrence is currently a visiting faculty member at Bennington College in Vermont.

Image from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

1990–1999

Lisa Quadrini M'91

1991 | Lisa Quadrini

Lisa Quadrini (M Barney) joined Brandywine Oak Private Wealth as a partner and private wealth manager. Quadrini brings more than 35 years of experience in financial services to the position, previously working at Wells Fargo, UBS, Merrill Lynch, and Cigna.

Image from Brandywine Oak Private Wealth

Joan Brothers M'93

1993 | Joan Brothers

Joan Brothers (M Barney) was presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who’s Who. Brothers has nearly 30 years of experience in the real estate industry and is the founding partner of Manhattan Boutique Real Estate, a full-service firm in New York City. Read more of Brothers’ accomplishments.

Image from 24-7pressrelease.com

1994 | A.J. Vittone

A.J. Vittone (A&S) co-produced Sorority Sister Killer, a thriller movie that premiered on Lifetime Network. Vittone is credited as an associate producer on the film and works for K5IVE Media, a Los Angeles-based production company responsible for creating and developing Sorority Sister Killer. Watch the network promotion of the film.

1997 | Sarah Graumann

Sarah Graumann (Hartt) was interviewed on GoLocal LIVE about the foundational principles that leaders need to develop for high achievement. Graumann is a faculty member at Providence College School of Continuing Education, where she teaches “Leading Teams.” The course is a foundational course in the school’s Leadership Development degree and certificate programs. Watch the interview with Graumann.

1999 | Shel Frolich-Tscherne

Shel Frolich-Tscherne (ENHP) has been accepted into the EdD in Educational and Professional Practice at Antioch University. Frolich-Tscherne will be part of the first EdD cohort specializing in Waldorf education.

2000–2009

2002 | Kaitlin Walsh

Kaitlin Walsh (A&S, M'04 A&S), received the 2021 President's Team Recognition Award for Inspiring Staff Excellence at the University of Saint Joseph (USJ). She is an instructional designer and program coordinator for the Digital Media major at USJ.

Douglas Bielmeier '03

2003 | Douglas Bielmeier

Douglas Bielmeier (Hartt) has released his third full-length album, Ambient Works. The album is a compilation of Bielmeier’s work throughout the last 15 years. Bielmeier is currently a professor at Northeastern University. Read more about Bielmeier and Ambient Works.

Image from dougbielmeier.com

2010–2019

Shayna Stahl M'14

2014 | Shayna Stahl

Shayna Stahl (M Hartt) has been announced as the first woman director of the Wildcat Marching Band at the University of Kentucky. Stahl will join the University as the director of Athletic Bands, assistant director of Bands in the School of Music, director of the UK Pep Bands and as the conductor of the UK Concert Band. Stahl brings 15 years of experience working with Division 1 athletic bands to the role.

Image from University of Kentucky

2015 | Danielle Wilken

Danielle Wilken (D ENHP) has been appointed as the twelfth president of the University of Bridgeport. Wilken has more than 20 years of experience in higher education and most recently served as the provost and dean of faculty at Goodwin University. 

2019 | Robert Stone

Robert Stone (HAS) has graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) with his master’s degree in photography and related media. Stone’s master’s thesis focuses on how imagery can be used as a tool for communication. Read more about Stone’s thesis.

2019 | Emily Qualmann

Emily Qualmann (Hartt) and Gabrielle Filloux (Hartt) are currently in The Office!: A Musical Parody, which is now playing Off-Broadway. The musical is the first live musical to open in New York City after the pandemic. Read more about The Office!

2019 | Gabrielle Filloux

See Emily Qualmann '19

 

2020 and 2021

More than 2,300 University of Hartford students from the Classes of 2020 and 2021 celebrated the completion of their degrees in person or virtually during the University’s Commencement Weekend May 15–16. Graduates shared their excitement and future plans on social media—check out some of the posts below or see more celebratory posts

Ryan C. Biggs, MBA on LinkedIn: This past week I finally was able to walk the stage after earning my MBA from University of Hartford. Due to COVID, although some of us finished in 2020, we had our graduation pushed back to be conducted with the class of 2021. The greatest thing about this, is being able to do it with my family present!

Michele Yurgaitis on LinkedIn: My Class of 2020 Covid Grad, celebrating with the Class of 2021! The University of Hartford got it right! So proud of my Magna Cum Laude Honors, Visual Communications Major Graduate! Chase, you found your passion, your talents and you found your nitch in this world! Congratulations and we know we had the support of your Dad along the way! All those signs and 2 cardinals this morning, the ( David) speaker and messing up your name was brilliantly beautiful! Cheers to my first born... 2 down now .. 1 more to go! What a crazy but interesting 2021 so far! I love you ~Mom University of Hartford Chase Yurgaitis #graphicdesigner #art #communications #marketing #creativity

Caya Tull on LinkedIn: This Sunday I became an alumna of the University of Hartford - Hartford Art School, with a double major in Illustration and Visual Communication Design (VCD) and a Minor in Art History graduating Summa Cum Laude with University Honors and the distinction of Best Senior Portfolio in VCD. Walking across the stage at commencement was the culminating moment in a month where 4 years of hard work finally paid off. On April 17th I presented my design senior project, Tyro at our senior showcase (separate post coming soon). On the morning of May 1st, I attended my last closing circle after graduating from The Women's Advancement Initiative LEAD Program and receiving the Mims Butterworth "Just Say Yes" Award. And on that same evening, I presented my Illustration senior project. These 4 years have certainly not been easy, this most recent one especially so, but all I can say is - thank you, I did it, and please hire me!

Brittney McKenzie on LinkedIn: So very thankful to have finally reached this point. I started in 2009 at the University of Hartford and can finally say I’ve graduated with my Bachelor of Arts in Paralegal Studies! #classof2021

Julia Nattila on LinkedIn: I am excited to share that I graduated from the University of Hartford with my Master's of Science in Organizational Psychology this past weekend. The last 1.5 years of balancing full-time school, work, and life have been an incredible growth experience. I am extremely grateful for my family, friends, and mentors who consistently encouraged and supported me. I wouldn't have gotten here without them! Congratulations to the class of 2021, we did it!

Christopher Nunez on LinkedIn: This weekend I was reminded how truly blessed I am. 11 years ago, I arrived to this country knowing very little English and having to go to an ESL school prior to transferring to a “real” high school. I vividly remember leaving the essay portion of the SAT’s empty, because I couldn’t understand the question nor properly write in English (and scoring the lowest score possible). Today, I am working at a corporation Pratt & Whitney Raytheon Technologies that paid for 100% of this Master while working full time. Thankful is an understatement. MBA completed at Barney School of Business University of Hartford!

Dion Q. Stovall on LinkedIn: Through hard work, discipline and most of all the grace of God, I finally crossed the finish line in completing my Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Management from the University of Hartford Barney School of Business “The marathon continues" #UHart #MBA #Management #business #Leadership #RTX

Weddings and Engagements

Shealagh Begley A'11, '13

Shealagh Begley A'11, '13 (Hillyer, A&S) and Trevor Glasgow were married in September 2020. Their wedding was featured in WeHa.com.

Image from WeHa.com, photo credit: Justin Schwalbs

Rosentstein Engagement

Aryann Rosenstein '17 (ENHP) and Mike Kelly '18 (A&S) announced their engagement earlier this year. Arynn is a special education teacher with Newington Public Schools. Mike is a Route Sales Representative with Frito Lay, South Windsor. A November 2021 wedding is planned.

Published in the Hartford Courant on February 7, 2021

Past Weddings and Engagements

Babies

Krane Baby

Jason Krane ’10 (A&S) and Renee Sandler Krane ’10 (A&S) welcomed their son, Carson, in April 2020.

Yung Baby
Christa Yung '11 (HAS) and her husband welcomed a son, Eugene Oliver Yung, on May 18.

Seen on Social

@UHartHillel:“Larissa and I had very different college experiences. We hung out in completely different circles at school. If it wasn’t for Hillel we never would have met and we wouldn’t have the life we have today. Hillel was a place where no matter what social group you came from you had a place there.

We were friends all through college and would chat here and there after college. In 2017 we reconnected and there was a spark. We were long distance for a year commuting to see each other from Brooklyn to Boston. Finally in 2018 I moved up to Massachusetts and it was the best decision I ever made. Larissa and I have since gotten married and had children. We love to go back to Uhart to visit as often as possible because without it and Hillel our lives would be very different.”

-Abi (Winter) Weiner (‘10) and Larissa Weiner (‘11) @universityofhartford @uhartalumni

@uhartdining: What’s better than an ice cream sandwich? An ice cream sandwich made with cookie dough. What tops that? When it’s made by @universityofhartford alum!!! GSU is now featuring @doughwich stop by and try one today!

@UHartHillel: “‘Now I understand why they say the friends you make in college will be your friends for life.’ My time at University of Hartford were four of the best years of my life - not only for the amazing education I received and the incredible experiences I took part in, but for the lifelong friends I made. The women who I met in my first days at college, and in my first experiences at Hillel, are the women who were the bridesmaids in my wedding - the first to hold my children - and the ones who are by my side through every moment in life.

We often reminisce together about our times at Hillel. Whether thinking back on our favorite events, such as Promakkah or FYSH (First Year Students of Hillel) week, or the way Shabbat services and dinner kicked off our weekends, looking back on our time together at Hartford Hillel brings joy and happiness to us all - and we know these are the stories we’ll be telling together for the rest of our lives.”
-Sarah Byer Koffler ‘08

Help support Jewish Life at the University of Hartford today and for our future Jewish Hawks #hillelglobalgivingweek @universityofhartford @uhartalumni

@UHartHillel: “We met during orientation in August, 2000. Ami was a freshman and Loni was his Redcap!

We both were very involved in Hillel. Friday evening at Hillel (services and Shabbat dinner) was a central part of our weekly routine - and the place we felt most at home while on campus.

Almost two decades after graduation, we remain in touch with our Hillel friends and regularly reminisce about the fun memories from Hartford Hillel.
As parents of four young children, we try to replicate the friendly, welcoming, and joyful atmosphere of Hillel in our home.”

Help support Jewish Life at the University of Hartford today and for our future Jewish Hawks through the link in our bio #hillelglobalgivingweek @universityofhartford @uhartalumni

@UHartHillel: Our next Alumni Spotlight is Dina Kirsner Silverman ‘03!

Image 1: Dina and Bara Colodne ‘03. “Our story is we didn't like each other at first, but we became friends fast and were best friends who talked every day till she died recently.”

Image 2: “The wedding picture is all the friends I keep in contact with - Stephen Greenstein, Michael Arem, Diana Fooksman Forbus, Lauren Firtel and Bara Colodne -- That was taken 13 years ago this July.”

Image 3: “The picture of the 4 of us was taken the weekend I got engaged. It is one of my favorite pictures. We are wearing Hartford and Dartmouth gear since the Dartmouth Ski Shabbaton was huge when we were in school.”

 Thank you for sharing, Dina! We are proud our alumni have such strong connections to @universityofhartford and each other.

Help support Jewish Life at the University of Hartford today and for our future Jewish Hawks #hillelglobalgivingweek @universityofhartford @uhartalumni

@UhartfordSGA: Yesterday was our banquet! Here are some photos from the event! We have loved supporting each and every one of you students this year and cannot wait to see you all next year! Say a sweet farewell to our seniors who are going to miss the university and student body so much!

@UniversityofHartford: Keshawn Smith ’20 recently earned his Bachelor of Science in computer engineering. He is now working at Travelers as a software developer within their Technology Leadership and Development Program while pursuing his Master of Engineering in electrical and computer engineering and teaching part-time at #UHart. Learn more about his success thus far and how the University has prepared him for his career (link in bio).