Class Notes

Notre Dame Class Notes will be updated with each issue of the Notre Dame Alumni E-news. To submit an entry, please use this Update Your Information link. For a class note, enter your name and year of graduation and scroll down to Update ND!  You can update any other personal information at the same link. 

April 2021

The 1950s 
Bob DeMayo '50 collected his 915th career win in the opener of his 62nd season as North Haven beat Guilford, 8-3, at DeMayo Field. DeMayo has been coaching baseball at North Haven since 1959.
 

Ron Breault '58 wrote an article about his beloved Marionette, a Dolphin 24 sailboat that he restored, for Maine, Boats, Homes, & Harbors magazine. Marionette is featured on the magazine cover with Ron’s daughter Nicole and her husband sailing on Eggermoggin Reach in Maine. Click here to read the article

Note: the Class of ‘58 has a Facebook page: Notre Dame High School Class of 1958

Thomas Brancati '59 has been enjoying retirement after a long and interesting career as a telecommunications planning and design engineer. After serving our country for two years as a United States Marine, he spent the next 44 years traveling to over 15 countries on five continents for Bell Labs and as a private consultant. 

The 1960s
John Depodesta '62 was recently honored by ECMC Group, a Minneapolis-based not-for-profit focused on student success. ECMC Group in partnership with the Gary S. Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management recently inaugurated two John DePodesta Leadership Fellowships. The program, launched in 2020, provides graduate students in business, public policy, sociology or education the opportunity to co-design or launch a new venture in partnership with existing educational organizations that seek to improve the quality of postsecondary education.  DePodesta is a founding board member and immediate past chair of ECMC Group; he has devoted the past 25+ years working to help students succeed.

The1970s
Rollin Amore '70 retired after a 38-year career in international investment management.  However, he plans to keep busy starting a chain of eateries, Mimi's Handmade Ice Cream. If you are in the Washington DC area, Rollin will appreciate your stopping by Mimi’s in Arlington, VA. 

Anthony Simonetti '72 completed a 35-year career in nursing home administration in 2015. For the past six years, his focus is on a younger generation.  Tony is serving as a substitute teacher in the Emmett O’Brien Technical School. Simonetti serves on the Shelton Board of Aldermen and is the chairman of the Republican Town Committee. 

Ralph Volpe '72 retired a year ago following a 44-year career in public accounting. Throughout his career, he held leadership positions in several Connecticut professional accounting associations. In October 2020, he was elected to the board of directors of CONNEX Credit Union. 

Note: The Class of 1972 has a Facebook page: Notre Dame Class of 1972 50th Reunion

Andrew Sacco '74 is the organist at Saint John XXIII Parish in West Haven. Sacco serves both Saint Louis and Saint Lawrence Churches that comprise the parish. At Easter, the parish released a video of Sacco explaining the difference between the digital organ at Saint Louis and the pipe organ at Saint Lawrence. See the Saint John XXIII Parish Video here.

The 1980s
Note:  The Classes of '80 and '81 and the Classes of '85 and '86 are making 40th and 35th Reunion plans, respectively.  Watch for emails or contact the ND Alumni Office for more information; Br. George Schmitz, C.S.C. gschmitz@notredamehs.com.

David Grubb '85 was recently promoted to Senior Manager of Tech Support at Splunk. Grubb works out of Plano, TX. Splunk is a cloud-based platform for cyber security, IT, and DevOps.  

Joe Tonelli '86 is  the University of Bridgeport’s all-time leader in career victories for the Purple Knights.  Tonelli, UB’s Head Baseball Coach, recorded his 156 victory over Mercy College on April 10.  

The 1990s

Alvarez Symonette '91 is one of 19 professionals chosen to participate in the Herndon Foundation’s Public Board of Directors Training Program that is focused on bringing more diversity into corporate boardrooms. (second row, center)

The 2000s
Adam Letize '01 addressed the students in Carella Barrett-Rafala’s Honors Chemistry class via Zoom. Letize is the Senior Research Chemist with MacDermid Alpha Electronics Solutions.  He spoke to the students about his career and other career opportunities for chemists. 

Father Anthony Federico '02 is the Parochial Vicar at Saint Bridget of Sweden Parish, Cheshire.  He recently launched a podcast titled Practically Catholic. https://anchor.fm/practicallycatholic

Louis D’Onofrio, Jr, MD '05 is the owner and primary care provided of Best Health Primary Care, Bridgeport. He is also the Director of Clinical Care at Westport-Weston Health District in Westport. He recently published Cohabitation COVID-19 transmission rates in a United States suburban community: A retrospective study of familial infections in the March issues of the journal Public Health.  

Jack Jung '07 (Jack Kim at ND) recently published the English translation from Korean of the Collected Poems of Yi Sang. Jung is a freelance translator.  He holds a Master’s of Fine Arts in Poetry degree from the University of Iowa.   

The 2010s

Earl McCoy '13 is the Assistant Director of Career and Professional Development at Albertus Magnus College. McCoy began his employment at the start of the spring semester. He joins the office’s Director Patrick Clifford '75.

Brian Rhone '13 started a new position as Baseball Instructor at DC Baseball Academy in Framingham, MA. 

Lonnie Blackwell '14 was sworn in as a recruit for the Shelton Police Department on April 13. Blackwell graduated from Southern Connecticut State University where he received an undergraduate degree and a master’s degree in exercise science. He will spend seven months at the police academy then 12 weeks of on-field training before officially joining the force.

Colton Kopcik '15 is a second year law student at Michigan State College of Law focusing on real estate and intellectual property law.  He has been accepted as a summer associate at Day Pitney LLC in Stamford. 

James Campbell '16 graduated from Sacred Heart University in December 2020 with a degree in Accounting.   In late-January, he joined the staff of Beers, Hamerman, Cohen, & Burger P.C., New Haven, as an audit staff accountant. 

Thomas Komar '17 is  a recent graduate of Bentley University with a BS in Marketing and a minor in Info Design and Corporate Communication. Komar and two classmates were featured in a recent Bentley News article The Three Marketeers. He recently visited ND and spoke to students in the Technology, Engineering, and Design class about his 3D printing work. 

Finn Boynton '17 completed the 16-course A.CRE Real Estate Financial Modeling Accelerator program in January and started a part-time internship with Four Springs Capital Trust, a real estate investment trust that owns and manages commercial properties. 

Liam Connell '17 will graduate from the University of Miami’s Farmer School of Business in May with a double major in Finance and Geospatial Analytics. In March, he started as an incoming Investment Analyst at AON, Norwalk, CT. 

Cory Luba '18 started a new position as an IT Specialist in the Sterling Community School, Sterling, CT.

 

Derrick Pommills '18 (left) is a junior at the University of Rhode Island majoring in Business Administration and Management. He hit the ground running in the second semester of his freshman year when he and a classmate started their own ride share service. Pommills has a summer internship with Enterprise Car Rental in New Haven this summer. 

Michael Brooks '18 has accepted an offer to join the Lockheed Martin summer internship program. 

The 2020s

Luis Stephenson '20 completed his basic training at Lackland AFB, Texas on February 25. He has moved on to technical training in San Antonio.

January 2021

The 1950s 
The 1960s
Richard Vennett '60 is a proud US Army Veteran who served in Vietnam. He later worked for Conoco for 25 years with assignments in Oklahoma and Norway. Richard and Mary Ann (Witaszek) are married for 54 years and now reside in Rio Verde, AZ.

Thomas Wilder '60 Lake Ridge, VA. is a retired U.S. Army  Lt Col with overseas duty in Vietnam, Taiwan, and Italy. He earned an MBA at Texas Tech. He recalls as highlight of his duty in Italy meeting and conversing with Pope Saint John Paull II. 

Donald Moore '63 was inducted into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame in 2018. Donald is the author of The Master Adaptive Learner: A Conceptual Model that appears as Chapter 3 in The Master Adaptive Learner, a new publication of the American Medical Association. The Master Adaptive Learner book is the first volume in the American Medical Association's MedEd Innovation Series. The Master Adaptive Learner is an instructor-focused guide covering models for how to train and teach future clinicians who need to develop these adaptive skills and utilize them throughout their careers.

Michael Scanlon '66 Despite COVID-19, Mike agreed to help at the US embassies in Sofia, Bulgaria for ten weeks and in Minsk, Belarus for six weeks. “They were happy to have me but I am happy to have made it home safely”

Daniel Scoppetta MD '69  After retiring from his general surgical practice here in Connecticut, Dan initiated a surgical project in Jeremie, Haiti in 2016. The Grand Anse Surgery Project provides quality surgical care for the residents of Jeremie. (In the 1969 yearbook, you will recognize Dan by the last name Gioiella.) Visit the website and read Dan’s story.

The1970s
Clifford Dudley, EdD '70 has been engaged in education for forty years as a teacher and administrator. With degrees from Fordham and Northcentral University (CA), he taught history and government class at Sacred Heart University and the University of New Haven. Dudley is a member of the McMillian Center at Yale through which he has worked with the British Army and the Irish Red Cross. He notes that he kept busy during Covid by preparing classes, taking a virtual class through Yale School of Management, was cast in an online historical play, over-exercised the family goldendoodle, and binge watched Monty Python’s Flying Circus. 

Dennis Tobin '70 recently welcomed his second grandchild and now finds joy in retirement babysitting and playing golf. Retirement came after 32 years at Eder Brothers, Inc. (wholesale wine and beer distributor) West Haven. Tobin also devoted ten years to teaching and coaching at Sheehan High School (Girls Softball and Field Hockey). 

Harold Card '72 and his wife Ellen completed the Camino de Santiago a year ago, walking 800km from St. Jean Pied de Port, France to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Hal took up blacksmithing as a hobby in 2010 and now has a blacksmith shop in a neighboring town. As a retired but active cardiologist (practices one day per week), Hal was happy to get his first COVID vaccine in late-December.

Sal Anastasio '74 used his musical talent to create a CD of holiday songs and donated the proceeds of sales to local charities.  His effort was a featured spot on WTNH in December.  

The 1980s
John Gibbons '81 is celebrating 35 years as an educator.  This year marks his twentieth year as principal of the Weston Middle School, Weston, Massachusetts.

Chris Cinque '86 Retired from the West Haven Police Department in November after a 20 year career. He is now employed as a Police Officer at Southern Connecticut State University.

Brian McManus '86 recently started a new position as Recovery Coach Manager – Department of Corrections Program at Community for Addiction Recovery, Hartford, CT.

Michael Kiely '88 was recently interviewed on a podcast entitled The Political Life with a focus on his role as President, US Government Affairs at UPS. In a typical year, UPS is incredibly busy during the holidays. But with people ordering goods via e-commerce more than ever because of COVID-19, 2020 was  not a typical year. And, with the first Coronavirus vaccine shipments going out in December, UPS had a crucial part to play than ever before in making the global economy work.

The 1990s
Dave DeCaprio '90 is the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of a new startup ClosedLoop. The platform is being used to help hospitals determine which patients are most likely to miss appointments, acquire infections like sepsis, benefit from periodic check ups, and more.

Christopher Prato '90 was promoted to Senior Vice President at CreditGuard Corporation. Prato has been with CreditGuard for over eight years as VP for sales building new relationships and programs and products with the relationships. He will not lead the CreditGuard team in all areas, not just sales. 

Alvarez Symonette '91 was accepted into the inaugural class of the Herndon Directors Institute. The Institute tackles the issue of under-representation of minorities serving on corporate boards. The Herndon Family Foundation (the philanthropic arm to Atlanta Life Insurance Company) is sponsoring the program with an initial cohort of 19 individuals. Atlanta Life was founded in 1905 by Alonso Herndon and is the first and oldest Black-owned insurance company in America. Classes begin in February and run for six months. Alvarez was also recently named to Notre Dame's Board of Directors. 

Jeff White '96 is among seven new leaders elected to serve on the Connecticut Business and Industry Association Board of Directors. The CBIA is Connecticut's largest business organization. The new board members were elected in November. 

The 2000s
John Franco '07 shared pictures with ND faculty and staff of his current post. He is deployed with the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team based out of Fort Hood, TX. He is stationed with the Darkhorse FST 1-7 CAV which is the Forward Support Troop of “GarryOwen”.

David Mayer '03 is a geographer with the United States Geological Survey. He currently works at the Astrogeology Science Center, Flagstaff, AZ with a team of scientists and engineers. The USGS developed the landing site maps that Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover will use to navigate the ground when it touches down on Mars on February 18. David recently addressed Liz Colluccio’s Astronomy class and Kelsey Sewell’s Technology Engineering and Design Course.  

The 2010s
Thomas Simjian '11 did not let the challenge of virtual learning get in his way when he agreed to supervise six interns from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.  Simjian works at Jounce Therapeutics in Cambridge. From the Jounce Website: At Jounce, we are driven by the desire to create long-lasting therapeutic options to transform the way cancer is treated. This is brought to life by our Cancer Hero Wall -- a daily reminder of why we come to work each day and the potential impact we can have on patients’ lives. 

Tulio Ossa '12 began employment as a Data Management Business Analyst at Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  Ossa recently completed his MS in Business Analytics at Quinnipiac University. 

Alec Albright '15 taught Aviation Weather at Saint Louis University during the fall semester.  From Alec’s LinkedIn post:  “Teaching this class was a unique challenge, as I had the opportunity to write the syllabus and curriculum from the ground-up and present ideas about meteorology and flying in a way that I believe is most helpful to future aviators at SLU. Teaching during a pandemic also posed a significant challenge as only half of the class could be present for any given lecture, and it was impossible to give exams in a normal in-person setting. I also took four law school classes this semester while working.”

Conor Hylton '16 graduated in May 2020 from UConn with degrees in Molecular Cell Biology and Chemistry. In August, he began medical studies in Oral Surgery also at UConn. “I am interested in the future use of genetics and stem cell therapy in the management of dental disease. The friendships I cultivated and education I received at ND have been an integral part of my success and will serve me for a lifetime!”

Mark Bissell '18 is the recipient of a 2021 Fashion Scholarship Fund award.  Candidates submit a portfolio pertaining to their area of study for this competitive award.  Mark’s portfolio featured the use of fashion and technology to drive sociopolitical change. Mark is a third year student at Marist College. 

Despite COVID Tyler Salatto '10 was able to pull together some friends an family for the annual Thomas L. Salatto Memorial Golf Classic back in August. This year's tournament raised an additional $1,000 for the scholarship fund at Notre Dame. ND Alumni participants included: David Galligan ‘10, Matt Alcebo ‘10, Mark Crilly ‘10, Alex Penrod ‘10, Joseph Russo ‘10, Gianni Giugno ‘10, Connor Shortell ‘10, Mark Lightowler ‘10, Kevin D’Andrea ‘08, Dave Montefusco ‘10, Mike Montefusco ‘08. 

October 2020

The 1950s

James Nugent ’56 is proud of his extended family and its ND connections. Son Jim ’82 is the father of James ’14 and Patrick ’16; son Scott is the father of Charles ’16 and Ben ’19; Michele Nugent Severino is the mother of Christopher who attended ND for three years. We hope to see a great-grandson sometime in the future.   

Ron Breault ‘58 recently published Voyaging with Marionette (Whaler Books 2020), an insightful and personal story of his 25-year journey with Marionette, a Dolphin 24 sailboat that he restored, sailed, and raced with pride. See more at Ron’s website www.dolphin24.org.

The 1960s

Albert Ruggiero ’66 recently collated and published a collection of short reflective writings of his late wife Carol. Entitled Pearls from Carol, the book is available from Balboa Press

 

 

 

1967 classmates Tom Cretella, Bob Greco, and Dennis Bowler recently took to the hills. According to Dennis’ Facebook post: ‘Some people say life is about the numbers, here are some fairly relevant ones: Date 10/1/2020, 3 members of the NDWH class of 1967, Tom Cretella, Bob Greco and yours truly, all three 70 years of age reached the 4,320 foot summit of  Mt. Osceola in the White Mountains, 3.5 hours up, 3 hours down. All three live to tell the tale!’

James Griffin ’67 signed a contract with Dusty Saddle Publishing to write five new novels over the next two years. The books will introduce a new character, Texas Ranger Luke Caldwell. The first one in the series, Ride for Justice-Ride for Revenge, will be released later this year.  

Paul Jakubson ’67 retired as the Chief of Police for the Town of Madison in 2009 after a 35 year career.  Paul and his wife Judith continue to live in Clinton, CT where he owns and operates a small company called MI BRI Downrange, LLC, specializing in firearms valuation and sales.

Joseph Slezak ’69 is currently a semi-retired business organizational training and development consultant and owner of The STEM Group (Strategic Training and Enterprise Management). In addition, he is a volunteer Solar System Ambassador appointed by NASA-JPL to conduct free public workshops that explain the function and purpose of NASA space exploration projects and activities. He does this through his own public education company, also called The STEM Group (Space Technology Exploration Mission) where he works with community groups, students, libraries, and other organizations to provide training and educational resources for teachers and student STEM education groups. He explains how current space technology is contributing to the improvement of society and promotes student interest in the pursuit of the study of the STEM disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics to secure a future career.

The 1970s

Antonio Gianelli, PA-C, ‘70  is an associate professor at Western Michigan University and a clinical instructor at Michigan State University College of Medicine, Department of Medical Specialties. He is also a Distinguished Fellow in the American Academy of Physician Assistants and President of the Society of Physician Assistants in Rheumatology. 

Michael Puglia ‘71 and his wife Deborah and family celebrated the baptism of  Mason Jeremy Gaudio, son of Andrew Gaudio and Elyse Puglia Gaudio (SHA '05) at the Church of the Resurrection in Wallingford. Also pictured are Godfather Mike Puglia '01 and Godmother Allison Generoso (SHA '05). Mason's great-uncle is Pat Puglia ‘78

Hal Card ‘72 has been hiking the 46 high peaks of the Adirondacks with his daughter, Anna. This photo was taken at the top of Seward Mountain, summit #40! Hal is proudly wearing an ND tee shirt for this photo-op. 

William Clifford ’72 recently retired after a 43-year career in education; he left Brooklyn, NY, upon retirement and moved to Florida.  

Joseph Fusco ’72 is a proud grandparent of nine grandchildren! He has published another collection of humorous poems and essays that is available on Amazon Books entitled Hmm…That’s Different.  

George Platt ‘72 reported that Harty Press, where he worked since 1970, closed shop in May impacted by Covid-19 fallout. Harty Press was in operation for 120 years; George held the position of president of the corporation when it closed. He has relocated to GHP Media in West Haven. 

Philip Brencher ’73, (second from right) a faculty member at New Haven’s Sound School, assisted Don Martone ’87 (far right) and his Marine Biology Class on a field trip to Long Island Sound. Utilizing a device called the Virtue, the students are investigating biodiversity in the intertidal zone and the succession of life from biofouling, to phytoplankton, to zooplankton, to bryozoans, to invertebrates, and all other life forms that appear in chronological order.  

The 1980s

Dominic Amore ‘80 joined the Hartford Courant in 1988. He writes a weekly column and covers UConn men’s athletic teams. The National Sports Media Association has named him Connecticut Sportswriter of the Year 5 times. A lifelong Connecticut resident, he is an adjunct professor at SCSU and since 2019 at Iona College. His book, A Franchise on the Rise: The first 20 years of the New York Yankees hit shelves in 2018. 

John Forcinelli ’82 recently interviewed Dom Amore ’80 on his podcast Have-A-Little. John resides in Portland, Tennessee, where he works as a security guard and is active in the music scene.   

John Griffin ’82 is semi-retired after a 31 year career as a Forensic Scientist and Regional Laboratory Director with the Virginia Department of Forensic. He is now in Arizona teaching Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics in a vocational healthcare institute. 

Tom Norton ‘82 and his son Liam (Amity ‘16) received degrees from SCSU on the same day. Tom was awarded his Sixth Year Diploma in Educational Leadership; Liam received his BS cum laude in History with a minor in Secondary Education. 

Jay Caporale ‘83 started a new position in higher education in September. He is Special Assistant to the Provost at Johnson and Wales University, Providence, RI. 

Wayne Travers ’83 joined Ernst & Young, LLP in February 2020 as an associate director, overseeing public relations for EY’s Assurance and Strategy and Transactions businesses. 

Rick Burdick ’87 credits his ND academic and athletic experiences for the success he has found in his 30-year career in the investment industry. He is currently the Regional Vice President for Catalyst Funds, Tampa, FL.   

Robert Moran ’88 recently received his State of Connecticut Real Estate License. 

The 1990s 

Joe Tantalo ’93 and AraBella Fischer proudly announce the birth of their first-born child, Teodoro Burr Fischer-Tantalo (b. May 26, 2020). In addition to adjusting to parenthood, Joe is developing the musical adaptation of Forrest Gump (based on the novel by Winston Groom), with music and lyrics from the composers of the 2007 Academy Award winning movie and Broadway musical, Once

The 2000s

Jung Yeul (John) Cha ’01 is teaching English at Chungdam Learning in Seoul, South Korea. John is a graduate of Florida State University.  

David Mayer ’03 was promoted to Geographer at the U.S. Geological Survey's Astrogeology Science Center in March 2020. He is a member of a seven-person team at USGS that created the digital maps that will guide NASA's next Mars Rover, Perseverance, to a safe landing spot on Mars.

Craig McDonough ’06 and his wife Emily proudly announce the birth of their daughter on April 18, 2020. 

Joseph Canelli ’06 and his wife Ariana welcomed the birth of Noah Alessandro Canelli of May 28, 2020.

John Franco ’07 was posted to Fort Hood, TX in 2019 from his previous duty station at Camp Carroll, South Korea.

The 2010s

Christopher Daniel ’10 is a 2017 graduate of Roger Williams University School of Law. He is in private practice with Martin Clearwater & Bell, LLP, defending medical professionals and hospitals facing medical malpractice claims throughout the State of New York. He is married to Kayla DeLucia of Cheshire and currently resides in New Canaan, CT. 

Brandon Gomez ’10 was recently featured on a list of 41 LGBTQ Latinx role models and community leaders - announced by the non-profit Honor 41. CT Latino News ran this story with Brandon’s video, click here to view

Matthew Doyle ’13 is a fashion model working out of Miami. His clients include Saks 5th, Neiman Marcus, and Perry Ellis. 

Anthony Richardson ‘15 is pursuing his Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at the University of New Haven where he also serves in a graduate school outreach program titled UND Go-Getter. 

David Wajtowicz ’15 is starting his second year in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the University of Hartford.  

Matthew Jacques ’15 recently began work as an Account Associate at Whittlesey, Hamden, CT.  

Kyle Taylor-Gaskin ’16 is serving with the United States Army. He is currently in basic training as a cavalry scout. 

Kyle Torres ’16 is employed as an advisor at Wells Fargo in Manhattan. 

Kevin Clancy ’16 is a first-year law student at Marquette Law School.

Lucas Audie ’17 is the youngest Warehouse Supervisor in the Northeast Region for Coca-Cola North America. His work involves planning drink donations to food banks across the United States. He is pleased to have an ND alum Diego Garcia '91 as his co-worker.

Ernie Santiago III ’18 started his clinical nursing assignment at St. Vincent Hospital. Ernie is in the nursing degree program at Quinnipiac University.

 

 

 

Colton Varholak ’19 recently participated in the Closer to Free Ride in honor of his mother who has been battling breast cancer for over 7 years. Colton raised $3,200 for Smilow Cancer Hospital with his 107-mile ride. 

Warren Bailey Murphy ‘19 took the title in a recent professional point fighting promotion sponsored by Pro Point, according to a recent article in Black Belt magazine. Bailey and his opponent Ryan George won accolades for ‘Fight of the Night,’ and Bailey took the ‘Technique of the Night’ Award. The article concluded,  ‘Murphy used Pro Point's first event as an opportunity to continue making his case as one of the top fighters on the planet.’