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. 

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.’