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IONS • VOLUME 106 • NUMB • SUMME
2 Starting Point
4 Toward Good
A message from President Berkey.
5 Campus Buzz
2010 Commencement; Sports and
Recreation Center breaks ground; campus
appointments and promotions; and more.
First year students address global
1 4 Investigations
Bengisu Tulu's research brings together
medical professionals and IT.
38 Class Notes
56 Time Capsule
For whom does the Washburn Bell toll?
1 6 The Character of Athletics at WPI
Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds
20 Healthcare's Changing
Nancy Bullock '91 , '92 (MBA), Vera Tice
'86 (MS), and Steve Rusckowski '79 bring
leading healthcare technologies to market.
2o Numerical Value
It all adds up for Jovanna Baptista '00 and
Brian Weiner '04.
3O Digital Healthcare
Michael Gagnon '81 and John Janas '79
work and thrive at the intersection of
healthcare and technology.
Big Ideas in Small Places
Jeff Tingle '77 holds the future of healthcare
access in the palm of his hand.
John Gregory '53 on end-of-life care.
Product group from well-managed
forests and other controlled sources
) 1996 Forest Stewardship Council
> STARTING POINT
"He who has health, has hope. And he
who has hope, has everything."
— Arabian Proverb
This spring, I watched my husband cross the finish line of his first
marathon — with, quite literally, blood, sweat, and tears. Rob's accom-
plishment was many months (and many pairs of sneakers) in the making.
He spent countless hours running — before work or after work, and
always on the weekends. Over the last six months, I happily cheered
him on at various 5K races, a 20K, a half-marathon, and a 16-miler
that wended its way through scenic New Hampshire — in January.
Through all of this mindful watching (and a little running
myself — it turns out it's a contagious sport), I have learned that the key
to running well and to running far isn't in the expensive sneakers or the
friction-free socks. It's in the mind. It's in one's dogged determination.
I see that same purposeful resolve in so many WPI alumni, faculty,
and students. The proof, I offer, is in the stories of this Transformations.
In focusing this issue on health, it's quite clear that an inspiring number
of WPI alumni have dedicated themselves and their work to this impor-
tant field. Together, they're tackling critical, complex health problems.
In the pages that follow, you'll read about a medical doctor turned
software engineer, a biostatistician, a bioinformatics research scientist,
and a hospice director, among others, who are finding ways to improve
world health and our access to good care.
There's more: first year students in the Great Problems Seminars
tackle global health concerns and faculty research helps better integrate
information technology into the healthcare system.
During the months that this issue came together, U.S. healthcare
became a highly debated topic in Washington and around the country.
Regardless of the timing of our theme (purely coincidental), the future
of healthcare affects us all, no matter your politics. Twenty-first century
healthcare solutions require the brains of many — doctors and nurses,
scientists and engineers, problem-solvers and leaders.
So, here's to your good health and mine. And to the important,
determined work that WPI alumni, faculty, and students are doing
in support of this noble endeavor.
Thanks for reading.
Charna Mamlok Westervelt, Editor
Charna Mamlok Westervelt
Vice President for Marketing and
Alumni News Editor
Graphic Designer and Copy Editor
Print Production Coordinator
Director of Development Publications
Michael W. Dorsey
Director of Research Communications
wpi. edu/+ Transformations
Diverse views presented in this magazine do not necessarily
reflect the opinions of the editor or official WPI policies.
Address correspondence to the Editor, Transformations,
WPI, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, MA 01609-2280.
Phone: 508-831-6715; Fax: 508-831-5820.
Transformations (ISSN 1 538-5094) is published quarterly by
the Division of Marketing and Communications for the WPI
Alumni Association. Printed in USA by Dynagraf.
Periodicals postage paid at Worcester, Mass., and at additional
mailing offices. Postmaster: please send address changes to address
above. Entire contents © 2010, Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
2 Transformations \ Summer 2010
The Creative Side
I just wanted to take a moment to show my appreciation
for the mention of my work in the most recent issue of
Transformations ["Starting Point," summer '09]. My expe-
riences at WPI ultimately nurtured my creative side, and
helped me find my direction as a budding designer. It is nice
to know that others have seen and appreciated the immense
creative potential of the WPI community, students, alumni,
and faculty alike. I am proud to call myself
a member of the WPI community, and
hope that my studies in architecture can
someday help to better Tech, just as it
helped better me as an individual seeking
a creatively fulfilling life.
Damien Rigden 08
Distinction for WPI
I received actual, physical mail from WPI
and thought that congratulations are in
order for a super job on the periodical.
Distinct and really interesting. Keep up
the great work!
Aresh Mehta 95
Thriving Robotics, Thriving WPI
I always enjoy receiving my copy of Transformations, to
learn even more about the great programs going on at WPI.
In the most recent issue, President Berkey's message resonated
with me and with our efforts in state government to help
grow the economy in Massachusetts.
President Berkey wrote about WPI's practice of "not
lurching from field to field but evolving and expanding
by design in areas where we have real
leadership to provide." He cited WPI's
robotics program as a recent example of
that approach. Robotics is an important
growth sector for Massachusetts. It com-
bines our historic strengths of innovation
and technology development. I believe we
can emerge as a global leader in robotics
if we continue to improve public and
private education in science, technology,
engineering, and mathematics, the so-
called STEM fields, so that companies will
have the trained and talented workforce
they need to thrive here.
In that regard, I know that WPI's
leadership in robotics education, and across the STEM
continuum, will continue to serve our commonwealth very
well and will give our next generation of young people extra-
ordinary opportunities to learn, to innovate, and to succeed.
Timothy P. Murray
Lt. Governor of Massachusetts
Correction: Last summer the WPI men's crew
team competed in the Henley Royal Regatta for
the first time as a varsity program. It was not,
however, the first time WPI was represented in
the world-renowned regatta, as the club crew
team rowed there in the early 1980s. Thanks to
Peter Clapp '82 for pointing out this distinc-
tion. "I was one of the proud oarsmen in those
days that went over to represent WPI at that
grand occasion," he says. "And I suspect that
when this crew arrived, they found that our
reputation was in very good stead."
A message from President Berkey
Descartes wrote that health "is without doubt the first good and the
foundation of all the other goods in this life." And so, when I think
about the biggest challenges afflicting our planet — and the subse-
quent opportunities that will arise — I turn immediately to health.
Health is a concern for individuals in the narrow sense of freedom
from disease or affliction; of course, the larger implications —
physical, emotional, and social well-being — are critical for orga-
nizations, communities, and entire regions of the world.
It should come as no surprise that so many WPI alumni, faculty,
and students are productively engaged in the pursuit of health
solutions, approaching the issue from vastly different and important
perspectives, as reported in part in the pages that follow. Finding
solutions to some of the most critical issues of our day is, after all,
at the core of the WPI ethos.
On campus, one natural focal point is WPI's Life Sciences and
Bioengineering Center (LSBC) at Gateway Park. Now three years
old, this 128,000-square-foot facility is already filled to capacity
with faculty and graduate student research in such important areas
as regenerative medicine, including tissue engineering, wound
healing, repair of damaged heart tissue, and regeneration of
damaged organs and digits; sophisticated advances in prosthetic
device technologies; innovative medical devices including implant-
able sensors and related wireless communications; and many other
instances of the ways in which the power of engineering and
science are now being applied to advances in medicine and health.
The LSBC also houses one of the Massachusetts Biomedical
Initiatives' small business incubators, which is filled to capacity with
start-up companies in the life sciences industry, several of which
benefit from active collaboration with WPI faculty and students,
both formally and informally. Also residing in the Center are two
rapidly expanding pharmaceutical companies and the Institute's
Division of Corporate and Professional Education, which is provid-
ing extensive training programs to the commonwealth's life sciences
industry. Much of this activity will move into expansion space to be
provided in the next building at Gateway Park, an 80,000-square-
foot facility that should be under construction by early 201 1.
Beyond these more direct applications of science and technology,
WPI faculty research addresses important related aspects of
medicine and health. Several faculty in our new School of Business
(formerly the Department of Management) are working to develop
improved electronic medical record systems to provide more
complete health data on individual patients. Even mathematical
modeling is finding application in this domain. Professor Ki Chon,
head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, has developed
an algorithm for the improved detection of potentially deadly
atrial fibrillation, and math professor Dalin Tang has developed
a medical software diagnostic tool using computational methods
for noninvasive early identification and diagnosis of cardio-
are also prominently
part of the continuing
development of our
none more so than the
popular Heal the World
seminar, one of five
new Great Problems
to engage first year
students in meaningful
projects that address
some of the greatest
challenges of our time.
Our undergraduate concentrations in biomedical engineering and
in biology and biotechnology are among the most popular and
rapidly growing, and the recently approved graduate programs in
bioinformatics will become the newest among several joint graduate
and research programs between WPI and the University of Massa-
chusetts Medical School. Bioinformatics is a powerful set of tools for
the analysis of the voluminous amounts of health-related data now
being produced. Like the fields of biostatistics and epidemiology, it
is key to enabling evidence-based policy determinations important
to the development of improved healthcare systems and practices.
More generally, WPI invests in programs and facilities to encourage
well-being among our students, faculty, and staff. Our wellness
programs and counseling services are important components of the
Division of Student Affairs and Campus Life. Our new Sports and
Recreation Center, for which we broke ground on May 14, will
provide greatly expanded fitness and recreation facilities to encour-
age healthy lifestyles among members of the campus community.
These will include a 14,000-square-foot fitness facility, a swimming
pool, an indoor running track, racquetball and handball courts,
and a four-court gymnasium. As important as this facility is to our
varsity and club sports, it is every bit as important to the well-being
of all members of our community.
Beyond the confines of the campus, our alumni are engaged in a
wide range of endeavors to improve health and healthcare solutions:
from the practice of medicine to the development of diagnostics
and therapeutics, to the design and commercialization of medical
devices, to the application of advanced sensing and communications
technologies that enable remote diagnosis and monitoring of indi-
viduals both in medical facilities and in their homes.
Essential improvements in human health and healthcare systems
will depend on innovative, thoughtful contributions to many of the
related problems. It is a point of great pride for WPI to have so
many of our alumni, faculty, staff, and students making such
important progress on behalf of all of us, toward that first good.
"The preservation of health is without doubt the first good and the
foundation of all the other goods in this life." -Descartes
In his keynote address, Curt Schilling — retired Red Sox pitcher,
philanthropist, and video game development company founder —
urged the Class of 2010 to "make a positive impact on the world."
Indeed, WPI graduates are
well positioned to do just that.
Schilling spoke during WPI's
142nd Commencement in May,
when 1,140 students received
bachelor's, master's, and PhD
degrees — the largest graduating
class in the university's history.
Honorary degrees were conferred
upon Schilling, Clark University
President John Bassett (who
received WPI's first honorary
Doctorate of Humane Letters),
Angela Belcher, Germehausen
Professor of Materials Science
and Engineering and Biologica
Engineering at MIT, and Gordon
B. Lankton, WPI Trustee emeritus
and chairman of Nypro Inc.
Two Students Named Goldwater Scholars
Andrew Black '11 and Andrew K. Capulli '11 were selected
as 2010 Goldwater Scholars by the Barry M. Goldwater Schol-
arship and Excellence in Education Foundation. The Goldwater
Scholarship program fosters and encourages outstanding students
to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences,
and engineering, and is the premier undergraduate award of its
type in these fields. Since 2002, 16 WPI students have been
named Goldwater Scholars or honorable mention recipients.
Black, a native of Bridgewater, Mass., is a chemical engineering
major and chemistry minor who plans to pursue a PhD and
conduct research on
fuel cells, chemical
catalysis and to teach
Capulli, a bioengi-
neering major from
Hampstead, N.H., plans to pursue a PhD and perform research
on regenerative implants, prostheses, and the biomechanics of
tissues in either an academic or industrial setting.
Transformations \ Summer 2010 5
PI Sports and Recreation Center Breaks Ground
Construction on WPI's new Sports and Recreation Center
kicked off in a most fitting way: with the help of a student-built
robot. Alongside university dignitaries, Moonraker 2.0 — the NASA
Excavation Regolith Challenge winner (a $500,000 prize) built
by Paul Ventimiglia and teammates — was one of the first to dig
in, so to speak, at the ceremonial Groundbreaking on May 14.
Moonraker 2.0 was assisted by President Dennis Berkey, James
Carr '74, WPI Board Chairman Donald Peterson '71, and Trustees
Stuart Kazin '61 and Judith Nitsch '75. The Center, which will be
built into the hillside at the west end of the Quadrangle, next to
Harrington Auditorium, is scheduled to open in August 2012.
"The Sports and Recreation Center is an exciting and much
needed addition to the WPI campus," Berkey said. "We are not
just building another gym. We are building a place for our
community to come together — for competition, for camaraderie,
Just days before the groundbreaking, the George F. and Sybil
H. Fuller Foundation made a $1 million gift to support the new
center, which will make possible a striking glass-enclosed,
light-filled main entrance for the building, to be known as the
George F. and Sybil H. Fuller Atrium.
The 1 45, 000-squa re-foot facility will boast 14,000 square feet
of fitness space, a four-court gymnasium, a competition-length
swimming pool, a three-lane elevated jogging track, racquetball
and squash courts, rowing tanks, and workout studios. The
center will provide attractive space for large-scale events, such
as admissions open houses, career fairs, national academic
conferences, and alumni events. There will also be space
dedicated to WPI's robotics program, enabling the university
to support regional and national robotics competitions.
6 Transformations \ Summer 2010
Berkey Appointed to STEM Advisory Council
President Dennis Berkey has been appointed a member
of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick's Science, Technology,
Engineering, and Math Advisory Council. Established last October
and chaired by Lt. Gov. Tim Murray, the panel brings together
public and private sector stakeholders in the commonwealth to
boost student interest in and preparation for employment in the
"As a mathematics educator and as president of one of the oldest
and most innovative technological universities in the nation, I am
acutely aware of the central role that the STEM disciplines play in
our economic development," Berkey says. "Engaging students in
the wonder and fun of these disciplines at an early age enables
them to develop and appreciate the analytical and innovation
skills necessary for success in the careers of the future."
"I am acutely aware of the central role that the STEM disciplines play in
our economic development."
All sessions will start
at 6:00pm in the
Campus Center at WPI.
Tuesday, July 20
Thursday, August 1 9
Thursday, September 23
Tuesday Night Visitors Program
Have dinner with a current student
and attend a class any
Tuesday evening when classes
are in session.
Transformations \ Summer 2010 7
In Search of Clean Water
In Monwabisi Park, an informal settlement outside Cape Town,
South Africa, 20,000 people have limited access to clean drinking
water, toilets, showers, and drainage. Poor sanitation takes the
lives of hundreds of residents there each year.
Marcella C. Granfone '10, Christopher R. Lizewski '10, and Daniel
J. Olecki '10 hope to decrease that number significantly. As part
of their student project, which won the 2009 WPI President's IQP
Award, they designed and developed a communal water facility
to help reduce the spread of waterborne diseases. Following the
principles of sustainable development, the students designed a
cost-effective model facility that can provide clean water, showers,
toilets, and other facilities to 60 people in a manner that improves
sanitation, discourages vandalism, and protects the environment. The
students, who worked with the city of Cape Town Water and Sanitation
Department, developed their design after interviews with community
members and city officials and extensive field observations.
n Their Own Words
"We're excited that the machine did what
we designed it to do."
-Paul Ventimiglia, WPI student and head of Paul's
Robotics, whose robot Moonraker 2.0 won the
NASA Excavation Regolith Challenge,
a prize of $500,000
Oct. 1 9, New Scientist
"We hear from employers all the time that
these students hit the ground running and
know how to get a job done."
Constance Clark, assistant professor,
Humanities and Arts
Nov. 30, Worcester Telegram & Gazette
"The technology is proven."
Jim Duckworth, associate professor of electrical
and computer engineering, on the "Mantenna"
technology, developed by Duckworth and
a team of WPI researchers to locate
firefighters in a burning building
Dec. 2, Worcester Telegram & Gazette
"Some students are interested in recycling,
some are interested from a high-tech or
engineering perspective, and some are
interested in the social justice aspect."
John Orr, electrical and computer engineering
professor and chair of WPI's President's
Task Force on Sustainability
April 15, U.S. News & World Report
8 Transformations \ Summer 2010
Campus Appointments and 1 Promotions
WPI is well positioned for continued growth in areas important to the university's academic programs and in its contributions to economic
development, following the recent announcements of two inaugural academic deans and executive promotions.
Stephen Flavin has been promoted to vice
president for academic and corporate develop-
ment, in addition to his continuing role as
associate provost. He has served since 2007
as WPI's dean of Corporate and Professional
Education (CPE). In his expanded role, Flavin
will have primary responsibility for all of WPI's corporate relations,
with an emphasis on developing mutually rewarding, rich relation-
ships with the wide variety of WPI's corporate partners. He will
also oversee all of WPI's entrepreneurial academic programs, such
as CPE, summer programs, and distance learning.
Flavin more than doubled revenues for CPE in four years, while
increasing the number of new corporate programs by 300
percent. He has also promoted the development of new programs
in Systems Engineering and Biomanufacturing. Through his leader-
ship, CPE has taken a leading role in workforce development in
the Northeast by working with industry and government to provide
critical workforce education and training. He also played a key
role in attracting a $6.6 million grant from the Massachusetts Life
Sciences Center to support the next phase of life sciences devel-
opment at Gateway Park.
Karen Kashmanian Oates has been selected
as the first Peterson Family Dean of Arts and
Sciences. She comes to WPI from the National
Science Foundation's Division of Undergraduate
Studies, where she is the deputy director of
As dean, Oates will oversee seven academic departments —
Biology and Biotechnology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Computer
Science, Humanities and Arts, Mathematical Sciences, Physics,
and Social Science and Policy Studies — as well as interdisciplinary
programs in Environmental Science and Interactive Media and
Game Development. She will also have responsibility for helping
promote and augment WPI's aggressive investment in the life
A biochemist, Oates earned her PhD at George Washington
University, worked as a visiting scientist at the National Institutes
of Health's Oncology and Hematology Division, and began her
academic and research career at George Mason University,
before being called to a number of increasingly prominent leader-
ship positions. As an associate dean at George Mason she was
central in creating its New American College environment. Later,
she was recruited to help found, as its inaugural provost, the
Harrisburg University of Science and Technology.
Eric Overstrom, biology professor and head
of the Department of Biology and Biotechnology,
has been named Provost ad interim, following
John Orr's decision to return to full-time teaching
and research in WPI's electrical and computer
Overstrom's leadership in the life sciences at WPI was instrumental
in the creation of the Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center at
Gateway Park (LSBC), which opened in 2007 Over the past five
years, with Overstrom leading the charge, WPI has brought out-
standing faculty and students into the life sciences programs, and
has tripled research funding in this area. Through his leadership,
the LSBC has come to serve not only as the school's focal point for
graduate education and research in the life sciences and related
bioengineering fields, but also as a strong contributor to the contin-
uing development of life sciences industries in the commonwealth.
Mark Rice begins his tenure as the first Dean of
Business. Building on the success of WPI's Depart-
ment of Management, he will lead the university's
new business school. Rice comes to WPI from
Babson College, where he served for six years
as the Murata Dean of the F. W. Olin Graduate
School of Business and holds an appointment as the Frederic C.
Hamilton Professor for Free Enterprise. Prior to Babson, he was a
member of the leadership team at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's
School of Management and Technology, where he served as director
of the Incubator Program and the Severino Center for Technological
Entrepreneurship. His numerous scholarly publications on entrepre-
neurship and innovation include the best-selling book Growing New
Ventures — Creating New Jobs, co-authored with Jana Matthews.
Rice will succeed McRae Banks who has led WPI's highly
acclaimed Department of Management for the past 15 years.
Kristin Tichenor has been promoted to senior
vice president for enrollment and institutional
strategy. Since 2007 she has served as vice
president for enrollment management. Tichenor's
additional responsibilities will include overseeing
the university's Division of Marketing and Com-
munications and helping guide the Institute on major strategic
challenges and opportunities.
Through Tichenor's leadership, WPI's applications for admission,
both undergraduate and graduate, have increased dramatically.
She has been highly successful in attracting women and under-
represented minorities to the university, where applications from
these groups over the last five years have grown by 140 and 170
percent, respectively. Tichenor began her tenure at WPI in 2000;
she previously worked in admissions at Clark University and
Business Grows at WPI
Momentum continues to build for the university's business
programs. Last fall, BusinessWeek ranked WPI's part-time MBA
program No. 1 in the nation; WPI was also ranked No. 1 for
student satisfaction in the program. It's the second time in two
years that the university has made this top-10 list; in 200^ WPI
was ranked ninth in the nation and No. 1 in the Northeast.
The university is poised to continue flourishing, following the
Board of Trustees' vote in May to establish the WPI School of
Business. Building on the myriad successes of the Department
of Management, the new business school will be led by Mark
Rice, the inaugural Dean of Business (see story, page 9), with
a distinct focus on developing students who are innovative and
entrepreneurial leaders, prepared for the global, technological
world. Centered on programs that combine business acumen
with technological, engineering, and scientific innovation,
students will learn the practical aspects of creating, running,
and growing a business.
The work of the WPI
K-12 Outreach Program
challenges students to grow
academically, making a
difference in educating the
next generation of leaders
10 Transformations \ Summer 2010
This spring, WPI's Department of
Humanities and Arts and its theatre
group Masque celebrated the 28th
anniversary of New Voices, the
nation's longest-running collegiate
new and original play festival.
Number of high school students who competed in the first WPI FIRST Regional
Tournament, held in Harrington Auditorium on March 12-13
Number of students who completed off-campus projects this year through WPI's Global
Number of graduate students who showcased their innovative work on Graduate
Research Achievement Day this spring
Number of new full-time faculty members who have joined WPI over the past three years
National rank, by The Princeton Review, of WPI's Interactive Media and Game
National rank of WPI's part-time MBA, by BusinessWeek
Transformations \ Summer 2010 II
EXPLORATIONS By Eileen McCluskey
South Africa suffers a runaway AIDS epidemic.
Ugandan women die of breast cancer at alarming rates. Now,
first year students address these and other health-related issues
through team projects in Heal the World, one of WPI's Great
Launched in 2007, the Great Problems Seminars prepare
first year students for the university's project-driven curriculum
and serve as an introduction to university-level research.
Students take problem solving out of the textbook and into
the real world by focusing on themes of global importance,
including societal problems and human needs. Supported by
a grant from Eric Hahn '80 and the Hahn Family Trust, GPS
is the result of a university initiative to enhance the first year
experience, enabling students to begin working on solutions
to real-world issues and problems from their very first day
Heal the World (HTW), which has been offered since
2008, is co-taught by Jill Rulfs, associate professor and asso-
ciate department head of biology and biotechnology, and
Helen Vassallo, professor of management. Together, they
seamlessly combine biology, business management, and good
research practices while inviting students, in teams of four or
five, to explore any health topic they choose for their project.
"There are a range of projects — they're not cookie cutter,"
12 Transformations \ Summer 2010
Students take problem solving out of the textbook and into the real
world by focusing on themes of global importance, including societal
problems and human needs.
Rulfs says. The goal, she adds, is ro identify not only an
issue, but a feasible approach, too. "It's not only 'What's
the problem?' but 'What's the action plan?'"
AIDS Prevention in the Aftermath of Denial
In one such project from this year, students addressed HIV/
AIDS prevention in South Africa, where the government had
denied, until 2006, that the HIV virus causes AIDS. A tragic
example of the cost of mismanaging a biological threat, this
colossal error has resulted in some of the highest rates of
HIV infection in the world (approximately 5.4 million of its
47 million citizens).
A group of WPI students, including Xavier Miller '13,
was drawn to this staggering problem. "I chose HTW because
there are so many preventable health problems, and even
though we were just freshmen, we could help solve them,"
says Miller, a chemical engineering major.
Since it would not be financially feasible to produce
and distribute enough medicine for all of the AIDS victims
in South Africa, the students chose instead to educate non-
infected individuals so they can avoid exposure to HIV. The
students' educational campaign would target middle school
children, ages 13 to 15, because their research showed that
the percentage of HIV infection jumps among individuals
ages 17 to 23 years. "We wanted to reach the kids before
they were likely to be exposed to HIV," explains Miller.
The team focused on Cape Town for their project. The
metropolitan area has school systems, public Internet access,
and a WPI project center, which opens the possibility of a
follow-up IQP in a couple years. The team would teach chil-
dren the facts about the number of people with HIV/AIDS
in their community, debunk myths (e.g., casual contact can
spread HIV), and spread the word about how to avoid expo-
sure to the disease. South African AIDS patients would speak
at middle schools about their experiences with the disease.
A website the team designed would disseminate educational
information and allow online scheduling of speakers.
Bringing Mammograms to Ugandans
Another of the projects also addressed a
major problem: breast cancer deaths in
Uganda. Autumn Silke '13 worked on
the student team that confronted this
issue. "I wanted to take HTW," says
Silke, "because it would help me develop
my group discussion and presentation
skills, and give me the chance to learn
about important issues." A biology and
biotechnology major, Silke also picked
Jill Rulfs talks with students from Power the World, one of the Great Problems
Seminars, during GPS project presentation day. Rulfs co-teaches Heal the World.
up key project management skills. "The seminar broadened my
abilities to assess team members' strengths, so we could each
decide which aspects of the project we'd focus on and research."
The students chose the Uganda project because of the
profound differences they found in breast cancer survival
rates there, compared to the United States. In Uganda only
45 percent of breast cancer patients survive beyond five years,
versus 81 percent in this country. Seeking reasons for that stark
discrepancy led the students to discover that fully 95 percent
of Ugandan women with breast cancer have reached stage 4 at
their first diagnosis. In the United States, that statistic is just
1 5 percent. At the heart of the problem lies a startling lack
of resources. Uganda, with its population of 31 million, has
only one oncologist and two mammography units, versus
the 10,400 oncologists and nearly 13,000 mammography
machines in the United States.
The students were determined to find a way to boost the
survival odds for Ugandan women who develop breast cancer.
Since many of the nation's citizens live in remote rural areas,
the team's strategy centered on a mammography van that could
bring this lifesaving technology to women. As they continued
to research their idea's feasibility, the students discovered that
Yale University has launched such a project in Uganda — proof
positive that their idea would work. Better yet, the van could
serve triple duty: transport women needing treatment back
to the clinic (at no charge), and carry educational brochures
about self-exams. Fundraising could build a fleet of vans.
Rulfs and Vassallo, looking back on their first two years
teaching the HTW seminar, say they find their work especially
rewarding, particularly when they see students become inspired
by their projects. "It's wonderful for these kids to find that
passion," Vassallo says.
Transfo rmat io n s \ Summer 2010 13
INVESTIGATIONS By Michael Dorsey
As the nation seeks to
solve the conundrum of its
troubled healthcare system,
information technology —
including electronic medical
records and telemedicine —
will be a critical element of the
solution. But healthcare has
been slow to adopt IT, for a
variety of reasons. WPI's
Bengisu Tulu is helping the
industry clear the hurdles that
stand in the way of its realizing
the full benefits of modern
Translating IT into Better Healthcare
When you think about modern medicine, you think about technology:
advanced imaging systems, diagnostic labs filled with analytical equipment, even
robotic assistants in the operating room. Ironically, the healthcare industry has
been one of the slowest to embrace information technology. The reasons are
complex, says Bengisu Tulu, assistant professor of management at WPI, whose
research focuses on finding ways to overcome the hurdles that keep medical
professionals from making use of the full benefits of information systems.
Tulu says that some of the IT problems in healthcare stem from communi-
cations breakdowns. Developers of information systems fail to understand what
users want the systems to do. Computer systems that manage medical records
and billing follow different rules and can't easily share information. Systems made
by different manufacturers can't talk to each other seamlessly. "Often," she says,
"my role is to serve as the translator."
A good case in point, Tulu explains, is the way electronic medical systems
deal with (or more often, don't deal with) the particular issues that face people
with disabilities. "Typical medical records systems are focused on treatment, but
people with disabilities are also concerned about benefits. They need to be com-
pensated for their medical care, and their medical records are the legal evidence
required to support their claims."
Benefits administrators use a ratings system to evaluate claims, but those
ratings don't map well onto the treatment codes that doctors use, causing delays
in payments. While working on her PhD in the School of Information Systems
and Technology at Claremont Graduate University, Tulu was part of a research
group that helped gain national visibility for this issue and proposed solutions
that will help electronic medical record systems bridge this costly gap.
The work caught the attention of the Social Security Administration, one of
the nation's largest payers of medical benefits, which is now committed to working
toward the seamless transfer of medical evidence from healthcare providers to the
agency, notes Tulu. "This is exactly why we work in this field. This issue matters
to a lot of people, and the impact of this work can be significant."
As an information technology translator, Tulu often works to open a produc-
tive dialog between teams in healthcare organizations charged with improving
processes and those that implement new technology. "You really need to be sure
these groups talk to each other," she says. "Technology and processes need to be
planned and designed together. When that does not happen, people become frus-
trated because there are many changes coming at them and they may well conflict."
Over the past two years, Tulu has had the opportunity to put this theory into
practice in a project that produced a rare medical IT triumph. Tulu worked with
one of the largest not-for-profit health organizations in Oklahoma to set up a
telestroke network. Telestroke is a way of using video technology to connect rural
hospitals that don't have stroke specialists on staff with larger medical centers that
do. It allows patients in remote areas who may have suffered a stroke to be diag-
nosed and treated with the clot-busting drug tPA in the brief window of time
when that medication can be safely administered.
The health organization in Oklahoma had been involved with telehealth for
14 Transformations \ Summer 2010
more than 15 years, Tulu says, before embarking on the telestroke project. "They said,
'We've made a lot of mistakes and learned from them. We want to do this one right."
Tulu and her team were offered the opportunity to become involved before
the first site was set up and observe the implementation process as new sites were
brought up. The health system paired someone from the process development group
with the telehealth group so the process design and the technology were integrated
seamlessly. "The people in the emergency rooms using the system are very happy,"
she says. "It shows that if you come in as one group and make all of the changes as
one solution, the healthcare profession will find that it makes sense."
Currently, Tulu is applying the lessons learned in Oklahoma to a new telehealth
project with the plastic surgery division of the University of Massachusetts Medical
School. Patients with chronic wounds need to be seen by a group of specialists regu-
larly, but the consultations tend to be brief. "The patients, who usually have other
serious medical problems, sometimes have to be transported by ambulance from
hours away, and those trips can have a deleterious effect on the wounds."
Working with Dr. Raymond Dunn '78, chief of the division of plastic surgery,
and Peder Pederson, professor of electrical and computer engineering at WPI, Tulu
hopes to help develop a system that will enable wound care specialists to view images
of patients' wounds remotely and decide if an in-person visit is warranted. "This
could result in considerable savings and better outcomes for patients," she says.
Tulu is pursuing this and other projects through WPI's new Center for eHealth
Innovation and Process Transformation, an interdisciplinary research center working
to improve healthcare delivery through engineering, management, and information
technology. The task before the center is daunting, Tulu says, for as the nation seeks
to reform its troubled healthcare system, technology — from electronic medical records
to telemedicine — will play an increasingly important role. "We will continue to have
problems with adoption," she says, "until we can get to a point where we can create
good systems that are designed for the user and supported by a good mechanism.
We need to be happy with the whole healthcare system, not just the technology."
Transformations | Summer 2010 15
By Jim H. Smith
I H E CHARACTER OF
Athletics at WPI
WPI Basketball Head Coach Chris Bartley has a little code
that summarizes what he expects of his team. He calls it the
"ABC's for Success at WPI" and it's all about embracing life
with passion. "A" stands for academics. "B" is for basketball.
And "C" is about commitment to your community.
One morning last winter, just before Christmas, the team
was rigorously adhering to "B." The season was still young,
but another NCAA Division III tournament appearance
seemed within reach. In little more than a month the team
had shown what it was made of, losing just one game while
posting nine wins, including a hard-earned double overtime
tilt with Gwynedd-Mercy in the Regis Tournament.
Good teams don't think about the last game, though, or
the tournament two months down the road. They concentrate
on the here and now. So that morning Bartley's guys were in
the weight room. That's where they got the news.
There is a meditative quality to the repetitive nature of
fitness training. Grinding out the laps, the sprints, the lifts,
the steady one-foot-after-the-other pace of the long distance
run can be good not only for the body, but for the spirit as
well. Somewhere in the rhythm of the reps you find your
center. You achieve balance.
But after the team learned about Mary Chatfield, no one
felt like lifting anymore. It was like the light had suddenly
drained out of the day.
Bartley himself delivered the news. A lot of tasks fall upon
the shoulders of collegiate coaches, but nothing prepares you
for this. Mary Chatfield, who coordinated the Big Brothers
Big Sisters Program at Worcester's Elm Park School, where
all the members of the team serve as mentors to a group of
young boys every week, had slipped away during the night.
She was just 54 years old.
"The guys were devastated when I told them," Bartley
remembers. "Ms. Chatfield was a powerful role model for
them. She had a terrific way with kids — firm, but fair. She
had great strength."
All of the players knew what they had to do. They had
to show great strength, too. They had to be there for their
"little brothers," many of whom do not have a real big brother
or a dad to be there for them when the light suddenly drains
out of the day. They had to be there for Chatfield, whose wake
they attended and at whose funeral they served as ushers.
And they had to be there for each other, their community.
The Best Role Model You Can Be
Bartley, now in his ninth year at WPI, reached out to Big
Brothers Big Sisters seven years ago, joining the organization's
board and recruiting his players as volunteers. There were 1 5
WPI Big Brother matches that year. Today, while every mem-
ber of Bartley's team still serves as a Big Brother, involvement
in the program has spread well beyond athletics, and there
are nearly 200 WPI Big Brother and Big Sister matches.
"A major part of the WPI mission is to take what you
learn and use it to make the world a better place," Bartley
says. "Participation in Big Brothers Big Sisters helps us instill
in our student-athletes a willingness and desire to be servants
"A big part of our success is attracting the best young student-athletes
we can find. We put a high emphasis on character/'
Transformations \ Summer 2010 17
in the community. All of our student-athletes understand
that they are very fortunate to be here. This program is a
way for them to give something back to others who are less
fortunate. At the same time, it helps the athletes mature."
Ask David Brown, a junior guard from Lowell, Mass.,
who comes from a background not unlike many of the kids
served by Big Brothers Big Sisters. Brown met his "little
brother," Juan Garcia, when he was a freshman. They've built
a tight bond in three years. "These kids really look up to us,"
says Brown. "It's important for them to see older guys who
are succeeding as college students. When you realize what an
influence you can have on a little kid, it makes you want to
be the best role model you can be."
A Structure for Success
"A big part of our success is attracting the best young student-
athletes we can find," Bartley says. "We put a high emphasis
on character." At WPI, those best young student-athletes
must be able to cut it in the classroom, too. "A lot of people
ask me how I could play two sports and handle the course
load required to earn a degree in civil engineering," says Mike
Swanton '10, who played varsity baseball and football during
his four years at WPI. "I'm not so sure I would have made it
without playing sports."
Sports helps provide the structure that is absolutely
essential for students who must be effective time managers
if they are going to succeed at WPI, says Kelly Johnson '10,
who knows a thing or two about
time management. Another two-
sport student-athlete (field hockey
and softball) she also served a term
as president of SocComm, WPI's
social committee, and actively par-
ticipated in Alpha Phi Omega
National Service Fraternity while
maintaining a 4.0 GPA.
"You really need a structure at
WPI," says Johnson. "Sports provides that. It also gives you an
instant group of friends, a team whose support, resources, and
connections you can rely on."
In fact, athletics and academics enjoy a symbiotic relation-
ship at WPI. Head Women's Basketball Coach Cherise Galasso
says sports offers students a way to be balanced and focused.
At the same time, she says, "our student-athletes succeed
because they are well-rounded, high achievers. They have great
time management skills and a strong work ethic. They like
challenges and they are very competitive. They thrive on that."
All told, WPI's varsity programs succeed because the teams
comprise students who are good at both academics and athlet-
ics, and who are deeply devoted to both, says Dana L. Harmon,
director of physical education, recreation, and athletics.
"Our job is really to address 'the whole person,'" she says.
"We help them work with others and develop self-confidence.
They have a sense of responsibility about their academic work
and they're accustomed to being on teams. They have an
understanding of the sacrifices you sometimes have to make,
the choices in life that are so important. These are remarkable
young people and they do well."
So well, in fact, that WPI student-athlete GPAs are on par
with, or higher than, the general student population, Harmon
says. Student-athletes graduate in four years at a rate that's
6-10 percent higher than the overall student body. And that
fact, which speaks to perseverance as much as intelligence, says
a lot about the success of WPI's student-athletes.
18 Transformations | Summer 2010
"WPI's varsity programs succeed
because the teams comprise students
who are good at both academics
and athletics, and who are deeply
devoted to both/ 7
— Dana Harmon
"You have to have a certain skill set to be successful at both
academics and athletics at a school like WPI," says Galasso,
whose team boasted a collective 3.45 GPA while winning 20
of 25 regular season games last year. "You definitely can do
both sports and academics, and do them well, but you have
to stay focused and balanced. The student-athletes we recruit
are accustomed to teamwork. They are actively involved in
learning. And they tend to like having a routine."
Head Baseball Coach Mike Callahan thinks intelligent
student-athletes bring an edge to the game. "Smart players play
better," he says. "They understand the game better. They see it
right away. But what's more important — the biggest thing —
is they really want to get better. They want to fix problems."
Brian Savilonis '72, head men's and women's cross
country coach, echoes that work ethic. "Many of my most
effective student-athletes have been young people who never
participated in athletics in high school," said Savilonis, the
longest tenured active WPI coach. He recalls three alumnae —
Athena Demetry '91, Maura (Collins) Pavao '91, and Chris
(Mikloiche) Scott '90 — who hadn't run in high school. "Here
at WPI they became All-New England together," he says. "It is
wonderful to see young people like these come here and find
something special in athletics, something enduring that they
can take with them when they leave."
Demand for Recreation
Since Harmon arrived on campus in 2002, WPI has contin-
ued to grow its athletic reputation and success. In 2009 the
men's basketball program returned to the NCAA tournament
for the fifth straight year. At the same time, the women's
basketball team won 20 games, a new school record, on its
way to another ECAC New England championship, its second says WPI President Dennis Berkey
So great is the demand for recreational options that the
Institute has just broken ground for the new Sports and Rec-
reation Center. The 145,000-square-foot facility will include
a modern 25-meter stretch swimming pool with spectator
seating for 250; a 29,000-square-foot gymnasium that can
accommodate indoor sports and help with large community
events like admissions open houses and robotics competitions;
an elevated, three-lane jogging track around the perimeter of
the new gym; workout studios; and 14,000 square feet of
fitness and cardio space.
"WPI's beautiful campus and extensive facilities are criti-
cally important to its continuing success as a high-performance
university, producing women and men well prepared for the
rigors, opportunities, and challenges of 21st century life,"
in three years. And the men's baseball team competed in the
NCAA championship for the first time in the program's
The 2009-10 season also marked an important mile-
stone: WPI had the greatest number of women participating
in varsity athletics in school history. Still, athletics at WPI
is not just about varsity sports. Fully 60 percent of students
participate in intramural sports, Harmon says. And another
20 percent are engaged in club sports.
Indeed, Chris Bartley sees firsthand the importance of
sports and recreation for students. As basketball coach, his
job extends beyond the court.
"We have a special privilege," he says. "We get to play
a role in shaping the lives of great young people during their
four years of college. My job isn't just about developing a
winning team. What I love about coaching is working with
student-athletes and helping them to be really successful —
in all aspects of their lives." D
To read more about the Sports and Recreation Center, see page 6 and visit sportsandrecreation.wpi.edu
Transformations \ Summer 2010 19
20 Transformations \ Summer 2010
It's an exciting time to be in the healthcare
business. Spurred by technological advances,
demographic changes, and product innova-
tion, the healthcare technology and services
industry is booming. Not surprisingly, WPI
alumni are leaders in this field, helping bring
innovative healthcare solutions to market in
a changing world. Nancy Bullock '91,
'92 (MBA), Vera Tice '86 (MS),
and Steve Rusckowski '79 are three
As a Student in WPI's undergraduate biotechnology pro-
gram, Nancy Bullock loved her hours in the biotechnology
lab. But she wanted to get the same hands-on feel for the
business of biotech, which was just beginning to boom. In
her junior year, after being accepted into WPI's dual-degree
bachelor's MBA program, Bullock began her graduate busi-
ness studies as an overlay to her undergraduate work.
To complement her studies, she landed a business devel-
opment role with Genica Corporation (now part of Thermo
Fisher Scientific), one of Worcester's first biotech start-ups.
She completed her MQP through a project for this provider
of neurological diagnostic testing services. "This early role
was pivotal in enabling me to experience how I could marry
the business with the science," she says. In fact, she's made a
successful career at that intersection of science and business.
Transformations \ Summer 2010 21
For 18 years, Bullock led business development and mar-
keting initiatives at various biotech and medical technology
companies, from start-ups to major players in the healthcare
space like Medtronic and Johnson & Johnson. She helped
develop and launch cutting-edge medical implants, instruments,
and capital equipment for neurological conditions, minimally
invasive cardiovascular surgery, and pain management. She
also identified the best opportunities for expansion — in new
products and services, and in established and emerging global
markets. Now, as principal of her own consultancy, Break-
through Healthcare Solutions, Bullock does the same for
"An incredible amount of innovation comes from start-
up companies who have a great concept, but who aren't sure
how to develop a sound business plan to bring the product to
market," she says. Those firms, and their larger multinational
brethren, all face similar challenges, from figuring out what
their products should look like to identifying the most lucra-
tive geographic markets for them.
They are also riding many of the same trends, such as
the transfer of patient care from hospitals to outpatient clin-
ics, physicians' offices, and even home — a shift that is being
propelled in part by the development of smarter, less invasive
technology and the drive to improve patient quality of life
while reducing the cost to provide the associated care.
"Over the past 20 years, we've completely transformed
the way surgery is done. Many procedures that previously
could be done only in a hospital operating room now are
safely, effectively, and economically performed in more acces-
sible settings," Bullock says. "We're doing procedures less
invasively, using instruments designed to provide access into
the body through smaller incisions. For many procedures,
surgeons no longer need to make a large incision. Instead,
they're able to operate through natural orifices or openings the
diameter of a nickel." All of this can make for greater safety,
faster recovery, and lower costs. It does not, however, make
the process of capitalizing on these innovations any simpler.
Recently, Bullock consulted for a Minnesota-based start-
up that had developed an innovative device used to maintain
long-term vascular access for chronic hemodialysis patients.
With an early successful track record in the United States, the
company wanted to expand internationally but didn't know
where to start. So she researched what the group might face
when entering markets across Europe and the developing
world, from regulatory hurdles to economic barriers to local
infrastructure limitations. She then used that information to
prepare a global go-to-market plan, recommending where the
company should focus first and how it should approach mar-
ket entry. This plan enabled the start-up to seek the necessary
funding from its investors.
Interestingly, Bullock points out that not all of the
innovation in the healthcare market takes the form of new
technology. Some of it has to do with the way in which
businesses are structured and services delivered.
While working for Medtronic, for example, Bullock
helped change the way the company delivered its deep brain
stimulation solutions, which center around accurately implant-
ing one or two electrical wires the size of a human hair that
are then connected to a pacemaker-like implant to stimulate
the brain and alleviate symptoms of neurological disorders
such as Parkinson's disease. Previously, hospitals had to spend
upwards of $1.5 million in capital, often waiting a full year to
purchase, install, and train on all of the necessary technology.
Bullock led the shift to a fee-for-service model that depended in
part on technological improvements, but that was really about
changing the way the procedure was delivered and paid for.
"We took the most essential technology, miniaturized
and customized it for the deep brain stimulation procedure,
then packaged it together with all the necessary devices,
instruments, and one highly trained Medtronic professional,
and provided a one-stop shop solution to the hospital on a
fee-per-procedure basis," she says. No more large capital
expenditures, and no more excessive wait-times for treatment;
instead, there was an easier way for the hospital to pay for
state-of-the-art technology, and surgeons could provide
patients much faster access to this life-changing procedure.
"I'm passionate about my work — it's all about helping
transform patient care through innovation. The breakthroughs
in healthcare are evolving not only from the products them-
selves," Bullock says, "but also from the market dynamics and
patient care delivery methods."
With over 20 years of experience in the telecommu-
nications and healthcare technology industries and a resume
that covers everything from R&D product development to
executive management, Vera Tice has the kind of technical
savvy, managerial know-how, and sector-specific expertise
needed to navigate the telehealth market. Which is good,
because her clients sometimes don't. [Telehealth covers
anything that involves delivering healthcare services using
telecommunication technologies, from conducting remote
doctor's visits via webcam, to monitoring a person's vital
signs using wireless sensors.]
Not long ago, Tice was approached by a start-up founder
who envisioned a software system that would allow consumers
to manage all aspects of their healthcare, from electronic visits
and accessing of test results to online billing. The problem?
"He had no experience in either software development or
the healthcare industry," she says.
Tice, who takes obvious pleasure in turning ideas into
reality, not only reworked parts of the CEO's business plan,
she also recruited a team of software developers to prototype
elements of the system, giving her client something to show
potential investors. "Now he's back on track," she says.
Tice spent 1 5 years working on networked patient-
monitoring devices and healthcare information systems in
the medical products group at Hewlett-Packard (now part
22 Transformations | Summer 2010
For the past seven years, Vera Tice has worked primarily with small
entrepreneurial companies and healthcare organizations that are
attempting to bring new remote healthcare technologies to market.
of Philips Healthcare), and another four years at Nokia,
where she led the development of mobile device applications
and network security products. As Nokia and its competitors
began to explore the possibility of using smartphones and
similar mobile gadgets to deliver telehealth, Tice saw an
opportunity of her own. For the past seven years, she has
worked primarily with small entrepreneurial companies and
healthcare organizations that are attempting to bring new
remote healthcare technologies to market.
It's a niche that has expanded rapidly
over the past few years, as giants like
Philips and GE have begun to acquire
smaller entrepreneurial companies in
order to beef up their telehealth portfolios,
and as large healthcare organizations like Partners Healthcare
have begun to commercialize the remote healthcare technologies
they've developed in-house. A growing number of universities
are entering the mix, as well. For example, Tice has consulted
with Advanced Body Systems, a start-up built around a novel
sensor developed by Yitzhak Mendelson and James Duckworth,
WPI professors in biomedical engineering and electrical and
computer engineering, respectively. Originally developed to
monitor soldiers on the battlefield, the sensor could potentially
be used to keep tabs on people who work in all sorts of extreme
conditions, from firefighters to miners.
Government promotion of electronic health records (EHR)
and the federally mandated expansion of health insurance cov-
erage are also giving the industry a boost, as an aging cohort of
Philips telemonitoring devices support remote patient education and enable
O K healthcare providers to remotely monitor patients with chronic illnesse
their homes. Photo courtesy of Philips Healthcare
baby boomers with chronic conditions — and a looming short-
age of primary care physicians — makes remote healthcare a
more viable means of serving everyone who needs help. In the
future, rather than trudging into your general practitioner's
overcrowded waiting room just to see if you need a specialist,
you might simply dial into a call center and be triaged with
the help of streaming video and remote biometrics, your data
automatically entered in an EHR.
Yet government involvement is a double-edged sword.
Recently, Tice worked with a home-care product development
company that developed a healthcare information system that
would allow visiting nurses to record a patient's medical data
and related billing information on a standard PDA, then
upload it all to an online database to be accessed at the
home-care agency offices. Home-care agencies could pay to
use the system on a subscription basis.
Systems such as these would allow agencies to replace
their dedicated data recorders and databases with commonly
available mobile devices and secure hosted data center storage.
Cheap cloud storage could follow. Yet they could also run afoul
of FDA regulations governing medical devices — a category
that includes anything used for diagnostic purposes. While a
PDA such as an iPhone might not resemble an EEG cart,
with the right app and enough patient data, "it begins to cross
the line," says Tice. This past January, the FDA ruled that an
iPhone running medical imaging software was indeed a class
III medical device, and hence subject to pre-market approval.
Scenarios like this make telehealth companies nervous.
And that makes Tice very, very busy.
Steve Rusckowski speaks like a physician.
"We've always been focused on the need to understand
what healthcare does every day: to care for a person with a
health problem," he says.
But Rusckowski is no doctor. He's the CEO of Philips
Healthcare, the medical technology and services arm of
Dutch multinational Royal Philips Electronics.
Philips Healthcare is a major provider of high-end imag-
ing equipment and healthcare information systems, and a
leading purveyor of high-tech home monitoring devices, with
sales of approximately $10 billion and employing 34,000
people globally. In recent years, the company has also devel-
oped cutting-edge handheld diagnostic tools that use exotic
technologies like magnetic nanoparticles to scan for signs of
drug use and heart disease.
Despite all that technical firepower, however, technology
actually comes last at Philips, says Rusckowski, whose first job
after WPI involved managing the mechanical support team of
a chemical factory for Procter &C Gamble. (He later served as
a production supervisor in the company's soap and detergent
division before earning a degree from MIT's Sloan School of
Management, and went on to run the medical products group
at Hewlett-Packard and the healthcare group of Agilent.)
24 Trans formations \ Summer 2010
"We spend $1 billion a year
on R&D at Philips Healthcare,
but that's only beneficial if you
an demonstrate that you can
se the technology you've
developed to better diagnose,
treat, and manage disease
while lowering cost."
— Steve Rusckowski
"We think about the biggest healthcare issues around
the world," he says, "and rather than looking at technology,
we consider the biggest problems associated with those issues.
Then we try to understand the full care cycle that a doctor
would go through in diagnosing, treating, and managing that
problem over time." Only then, Rusckowski says, do they ask
what technological solutions are most likely to improve care
while reducing costs.
The answer to that question may depend on factors rang-
ing from biology to geography. Clinics in rural China, for
example, might benefit most from inexpensive diagnostic
equipment that doesn't require a lot of skilled technical
support, like simple, reliable ultrasound scanners. Developed
countries like Japan and the United States, however, might
benefit from a more technologically robust approach.
American hospitals, for example, are faced with a
growing number of ICU patients and a shortage of specially
trained physicians, or "intensivists," to care for them. So
Philips acquired Visicu, a Baltimore-based firm that developed
an "elCU" system to permit a small group of intensivists in
a central station to remotely monitor all of their acute-care
patients. Software algorithms sift through reams of patient
data to help identify who needs help before complications
can arise. That, in turn, cuts down on unnecessary fatalities,
reduces the amount of time patients need to stay in intensive
care, and lowers overall staffing levels.
Sometimes, even a simple fix can make a big difference.
As populations in the developed world grow ever greyer, more
and more people are going to want to spend their remaining
years at home, rather than in some kind of elder-care facility.
AutoAlert is the only pendant-style help buttoi
call for help fall and you're unable to push the button yourself.
Photo courtesy of Philips Health>
But those people are going to need help if they suffer a fall —
and many of them do, leading to serious complications (bro-
ken bones, hypothermia) and expensive hospital stays. In
this case, Philips came up with the AutoAlert pendant, a tiny
gizmo containing an accelerometer and altimeter that auto-
matically calls for help if its wearer takes a spill. With better
software, it may one day learn to recognize the behaviors that
lead to falls and sound the alarm before they can even occur.
It's hardly a tricorder; but again, the idea is not to aim
for the flashiest technological solution, but one that solves
a genuine problem and delivers real value.
"We spend $1 billion a year on R&D at Philips Healthcare,"
says Rusckowski. "But that's only beneficial if you can demon-
strate that you can use the technology you've developed to better
diagnose, treat, and manage disease while lowering cost." D
Tran sfo rmations \ Summer 2010 25
By Joanne Silver
Tm nof^itting crunching numbers all day. I'm working
with people, with teams. I work with physicians, with
business people, marketing people/ 7
Not all medical research takes place on animals and in petri dishes. Increasingly, numbers
are the raw ingredients of those looking to cure diseases. Jovanna Baptista '00 and
Brian Weiner '04 address this challenge by tapping into the ability of computers to sort
through vast quantities of data in search of information that could hold the secret to the
next medical breakthrough.
For almost as long as Jovanna Baptista has loved math,
she has found ways to keep the netd factor from defining her
life. In high school it meant becoming captain of the cheer-
leading squad, while still belonging to the math team. At
WPI — where in 2000 she received a BS with high distinction
in actuarial mathematics and a minor in management — she
relished the chance to work at a London hospital for her IQP,
helping design a system for prescribing appropriate wheel-
chairs for patients with neurological disorders. There, she
valued the teamwork with WPI biomedical engineers; the
subsequent multimedia presentation back at school led to
winning the President's IQP Award. And now that Baptista
is a respected biostatistician for pharmaceuticals, she talks
excitedly about the human side of her career.
At her condo in Bostons Roslindale section, where
paintings by her brother Joshua complement the stylish but
comfortable furnishings, Baptista says, "I'm not sitting
crunching numbers all day. I'm working with people, with
teams. I work with physicians, with business people, market-
ing people. Although I love statistics, it's very little of what I
do. My job is using tools to present the information to non-
statisticians. Doctors are the experts. My job is to understand
what they need and work it into a clinical trial."
The ultimate goal, of course, is for a pharmaceutical
company to create a drug that will benefit patients, with the
fewest adverse effects. Reaching that point, however, involves
lengthy and often byzantine processes, both scientific and
bureaucratic. In the decade since Baptista graduated from
WPI, she has gained insight into virtually every aspect of this
vital path, both at a number of pharmaceutical companies
and at the Harvard School of Public Health, where she
received an MS in biostatistics in 2002.
Whether constructing a clinical trial, or going before
the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make a case
for a drug, Baptista has proved a skilled observer of people.
She is sensitive to the suffering of the individuals for whom
a future medication might be beneficial, but committed to
the highest standards in structuring a trial. She understands
physicians' desires to get a potentially helpful medicine to
patients as quickly as possible. And she is able to maintain the
diplomacy needed to ensure a study satisfies all involved —
from the FDA to the pharmaceutical company — by "not
being caught up in the moment."
A visible record of Baptista's research shows up in the
insert inside the packaging of an approved drug. There, in
small print, are the conclusions drawn from the many ques-
tions she had to ask along the way. Among the main ones,
she says, are, "How do you figure out how many patients you
need for a study? What will be a clinical benefit — a mean-
ingful difference? You try to have a study that is clinically
meaningful, statistically significant, and cost effective."
Baptista, who has investigated drugs for cystic fibrosis,
cancer, anemia, and other conditions, must focus on the risk
versus the benefit of a particular drug in the context of the
Transformations \ Summer 2010 27
situation it would treat. A life-threatening disease clearly
allows for more potential adverse effects than one addressing
a more benign ailment. At Infinity Pharmaceuticals in Cam-
bridge, Mass., where she handled oncology trials, Baptista
explains the complexity of figuring out dosing for a protocol.
"You don't know the effective dose," she says. "You keep
bumping it up until you reach dose-limiting toxicities."
Even though Baptista must weigh negative repercussions
in everything she studies, by nature she prefers to focus on
positive outcomes. In fact, she decided while at WPI not to
become an actuary because it was too downbeat. She did her
MQP at John Hancock, assisting on a project to price a dis-
ability waiver for the insurance company. She concluded,
"Pricing insurance is dry and morbid. You think about how
people become disabled and die. You come up with a figure
so that the insurance company can make a profit off people
The career she chose instead seems full of promise by
comparison. She believes biostatistics is "an opportunity, if
you're a person who wants to work in teams of people from
different backgrounds. I work in a medical environment. I
may not know about disease or the biology of disease, but I
go in and start learning. I'm a piece of the puzzle. All these
disciplines come together to get a drug approved."
It's a disease that has been identified in an ancient Egyptian
mummy and that still plagues a third of the planet's six billion
residents as a dormant threat. Every year the microbe that
causes tuberculosis infiltrates the lungs of many, killing two
million individuals and destroying the well-being of countless
others in the process. For Brian Weiner those statistics repre-
sent a challenge, which he is addressing with his own arsenal
of computations. Working at the Broad Institute of MIT and
Harvard, he wrestles vast quantities of data into revealing
some of the secrets of what he calls "this horrible bacterium."
As he sits at his desk on the seventh floor of the Broad's 7
Cambridge Center building, overlooking the technological
hub of Kendall Square in Cambridge, he appears hopeful and
his bright eyes shine: "The work we're doing is laying the
foundation for good things to come: diagnostics, new drugs,
The battle between Weiner's team and the disease
requires weapons so potent and sophisticated they could not
have existed a mere decade ago. Central to his strategy — and
to the field of bioinformatics — is an ability to understand
and manipulate genomic data. On twin computer monitors,
a colorful array of graphs and charts depicts the strengths and
potential vulnerabilities of tuberculosis DNA. Weiner admits
that his two Dell desktops are nothing exceptional, however.
"They're standard," he says. "You could go to Best Buy and
pick them up."
What lends power to Weiner's quest lies on a different
floor of the bright and ultramodern Broad building, which
opened only four years ago. Behind a secure door, row upon
row of towering steel-gray machines punctuated by blue
lights hum with activity. This load-sharing facility — "the
farm" to Weiner and his colleagues — can analyze sequenced
DNA at dazzling speeds, enabling scientists to discern the
location of mutations in the microbe. By comparing drug-
sensitive TB, multidrug-resistant TB, and, the most worri-
some, extensively drug-resistant TB, the researchers are
hoping to pave the way for more targeted treatments.
To explain complicated concepts such as gene expression
and the transcription network in an organism, Weiner clutches
his arm. The area he grabs represents a protein called the
transcription factor, which "sits down on the DNA" and acti-
vates it. The graphs on his computer screens, with their sharp
peaks, "allow us to see where they're sitting down, where
they're located, which genes they're controlling," he says.
In the whirlwind decade that has included the decoding
of the human genome and invention of the Illumina DNA-
sequencing machine, Weiner has gone from a high school
student in Brookfield, Conn., to an associate computational
biologist with a BS with distinction in biotechnology from
WPI and an MS in bioinformatics from Boston University.
WPI's Odyssey of the Mind — a team-oriented science com-
petition for schoolchildren — left a lasting impression on him
as a talented young scientist, who would be growing bacteria,
running DNA gels, and taking a biotechnology elective
before graduating from high school. When it came time for
college, Weiner wanted a school that took a similar team
approach to creative problem solving.
Investigating bone biology at the University of Massa-
chusetts Medical School for his MQP confirmed Weiner's
passion for biology — but with the computational slant that
had just begun to be offered as a concentration at WPI. He
wanted to "analyze data and get to the bigger picture," he
says. Biology's links to the human condition made the field
particularly appealing to Weiner; adding math to the mix
only enhanced what he perceived as the long-term potential
of his efforts.
First at the nearby Whitehead Institute, and since
2006 at the Broad, Weiner has found exactly the sort of
environment he was seeking. While he has been assembling
such databases as the one for mutations associated with
drug-resistant TB, he has been able to look around him
and witness astounding work on other gene-related problems.
Modest about his own accomplishments, Weiner is quick to
praise the achievements of others, who are training their
genomic sights on HIV, cancer, diabetes, malaria, and other
global maladies. "Working at a place like the Broad, you feel
2 8 Transformations \ Summer 2010
"The work we're doing is laying the foundation for good things
to come: diagnostics, new drugs, new vaccines/'
like you're in school. You're continually learning while you're
doing professional science," he says. "The Broad, as a model,
is a gigantic institute structure where all collaborate." Weiner
gives a shout-out to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
for funding a grant for the TB database, and to Eli and
Edythe Broad for recently doubling their contribution to
their eponymous institute after being impressed by the
research being done there.
For Weiner, ultimately it's not about the numbers. In the
Broad lobby — where a mini-museum houses a luminous inter-
active display of ongoing enterprises at the organization — he
takes an iPod-style clicker and flashes onto the TB section.
There, in vivid hues, charts and maps and photographs tell
the stories of people ravaged by disease. Weiner's research
numbers — untold millions and millions of them — will add
up when the pictures in the display become obsolete. D
Transformations \ Summer 2010 29
By Michael I. Cohen
Fueled by advancing technology and the
unprecedented infusion of federal funding,
the United States is speeding toward a digital
evolution in healthcare information. The promise
holds that better use of technology will improve
patient care and save the system billions of
dollars. It's a massive transformation, affecting
myriad individuals and institutions, and Michael
Gagnon '81 and John Janas '79 are just
two WPI alumni who are leading the change
at both ends of the spectrum.
+ + +
It's easy to imagine: A guy from Detroit is vacationing on
Michigan's upper peninsula and falls off his all-terrain vehicle,
breaking his leg and suffering a concussion. He is rushed to
the local emergency room, unconscious, and with a few key
strokes his entire medical history is displayed on a screen to
help guide the ER team.
What's easy to imagine in our digital age, however, is not
yet possible in practice. Making it so is the latest challenge for
Mike Gagnon. "Today, medical data is not portable across all
systems. That's the big problem we're ultimately trying to fix,"
he says. "I like to fix big, messy problems, and this is a big one."
Gagnon is the technical architect for the Michigan
Health Information Network (MiHIN), the public-private
partnership working to link healthcare providers across the
state into a single network. Their goal is to have the medical
records for each of Michigan's 10 million residents accessible
whenever, and wherever, they're needed. He's taken on the
challenge in Michigan after helping the states of New York
and Vermont design and launch various elements of their
health information networks.
Getting an entire state healthcare system working on one
network is a massive undertaking. Beyond the complexities of
making incompatible systems talk to each other, details such as
ensuring that a patient's identity is correct across the network
Transformations \ Summer 2010 31
are not as straightforward as one might imagine. It's very
common for a person to be identified in different ways by dif-
ferent healthcare providers, Gagnon says. A patient may use
her full name at her primary care doctor, but drop her middle
initial when registering with a specialist. A lab report with
blood sugar results may list a patient as Bob instead of Robert.
So when our fictional tourist is on the bed in the ER, a net-
worked health information system needs to know which
records are really his.
In Michigan, Gagnon leads a multifaceted team to
conceptualize the design of a workable network for the state.
"Right now, we're at the very-high-level design stage of the
system," he says. "We're evaluating the status of our providers,
looking at what core technologies we need, and starting to
develop standards for interoperability, privacy, and security
that we will embed in the system. Every state in the country
will be doing this eventually."
Crafting the big picture for healthcare information
technology was not on Gagnon's radar screen growing up in
Hopedale, Mass. He knew he wanted to be an engineer, but
he was not focused on any particular area. When WPI offered
a scholarship, his father suggested studying computer science
because, as his dad presciently told him back in the 1970s,
"this computer thing is going to be big."
"My father worked for the state department of employ-
ment security, so he saw where people were getting laid off
and where the job opportunities were good," Gagnon says.
"His advice to me was right on target."
After earning a degree in computer science, Gagnon went
to work for a defense contractor — now part of BAE Systems —
where he developed a networking algorithm for the Patriot
Missile training system that allowed a battalion commander a
unified view of the battlefield so he could direct each missile
battery from a single location. In 1990 Gagnon moved to
Wisconsin, following his future wife, Heidi, an engineer
trained at UMass Lowell. He landed an IT job in the depart-
ment of laboratory medicine at the Mayo Clinic, which set
him on a new career path. "Working at Mayo was an amazing
educational experience," Gagnon says. "I learned a lot about
the business of healthcare."
At Mayo he developed the clinic's first electronic system
for sending test results to hospital-based laboratories. He also
designed Mayo's electronic clinical trial control system. In 1997,
after the family had moved back to New England, Gagnon
became the director of IT infrastructure at the Fletcher Allen
Medical Center in Burlington, Vt., where he led the development
of several new health information systems, and helped set the
standards for Vermont's nascent health information network.
Now as a consultant and president of Health Information
Exchange Partners, LLC, Gagnon sees no turning back on the
digital evolution in healthcare systems in the United States.
"The technology is definitely there — it's ready," he says. "I
think we're about five years away from seeing the core elements
of these large health exchanges in place and starting to have
Spend any time on the Internet and you'll see them — annoying
pop-ups or artfully integrated displays specifically aimed at you,
based on your demographics and your web-surfing history.
But long before this idea of selling soap through person-
alized information delivery became commonplace, John Janas
saw the potential of using digital tools to deliver personalized
medical information to help doctors take better care of their
patients. "What we're trying to do," he says, "is take the best
of evidenced-based medicine and integrate the relevant data
into the doctor-patient encounter."
A medical doctor turned software engineer, Janas devel-
oped a novel system to link established medical information,
like guidelines for managing diabetes, with a patient's elec-
tronic chart. In 2006 General Electric bought his patented
software and it's now embedded in GE's Centricity® Physician
Office system. "We want the technology to allow physicians
to spend less time worrying about paperwork, and more time
assessing their patients and developing treatment plans based
on the best relevant information," he says.
Growing up in Lowell, Mass., where his father practiced
family medicine, Janas knew early on that he, too, wanted
to be a doctor — even though his father was becoming disillu-
sioned by the non-medical burdens placed on physicians.
"My father actually tried to talk me out of becoming a doctor
because he was concerned with the direction medicine was
taking," he says. Janas chose WPI because of its strength in the
sciences and its project-enriched curriculum. His MQP work
optimized techniques for isolating immune-system cells known
as lymphocytes from human blood samples. [Lymphocytes
help the body identify and fight off infections.] "This was the
late 1970s, before people understood what was unfolding with
HIV and AIDS, so my project turned out to be in a very
important field," says Janas.
Upon receiving his MD from Creighton University Med-
ical School, Janas completed a combined internal medicine/
pediatrics residency at Bay State Medical Center in Springfield,
Mass., then joined a family practice in Bar Harbor, Maine. After
nearly four years on the island, he moved to the Dartmouth-
Hitchcock clinic in Concord, N.H., where, in addition to see-
ing patients, he served as assistant director for managed care,
focusing on improving the efficiency and quality of care.
During those years in New Hampshire, some of his
father's forebodings were realized. "The demands of the insur-
ance companies and the government were hitting physicians
with hours and hours of paperwork," Janas recalls. "Paper-
work can become overwhelming and it cuts into the time you
spend with patients."
Janas made a fateful decision. He left Dartmouth-
Hitchcock to build a private practice, one with an electronic
medical records (EMR) system. "We had an advantage
because we were small and starting from scratch," he says.
"We decided to do things differently and we became the first
private practice in New Hampshire to implement EMR."
Using such a system yielded benefits right away. It saved
32 Transformations \ Summer 2010
"The electronic medical records (EMR) system not only made us more
efficient, it improved patient satisfaction/ 7
— John Janas
physician, nurse, and staff time by having patient records
always available. No more chasing down charts. Janas could
communicate with patients by secure email, instead of return-
ing phone calls from messages that piled up all day, or all
weekend. The system handled reminders for visits and pre-
scription renewals, cutting down on incoming phone calls.
"It not only made us more efficient," he says, "it improved
patient satisfaction." As helpful as the early EMR was, Janas
saw a gap and an opportunity that ultimately led to his
patented software. Until then, the growing amount of
evidence-based clinical information on best treatment prac-
tices was available only by reading reams of medical literature.
"And the reality is, not every physician can take the time to
read all the literature," Janas says.
So he began tinkering with computer code and developed
applications for his EMR system that aggregated medical infor-
mation from respected sources, and then brought that data into
a patient's record, as appropriate. When he saw a patient with
high cholesterol, for example, the latest peer-reviewed guide-
lines for treating high cholesterol would pop up on the screen
alongside that patient's medical history and recent lab results.
With a colleague, he founded Clinical Content Consul-
tants, which continues to develop new software tools to make
the doctor-patient encounter more effective. He also consults
with hospitals and physicians groups to help them effectively
implement the GE system and to use the technology to drive
better quality of care. "The software is important, but if they
put only existing processes on the screen, it will fail," Janas
says. "What's more important is training physicians and
adapting their processes to use the technology." D
Transformations \ Summer 2010 33
in Small Places
By Joanne Silver
Jeffrey Tingle has glimpsed the future in the
keypad of a cell phone. After years of developing
software for medical applications, he has turned to
an idea both bigger and smaller than any he has
explored before: using mobile technology as an
instrument to deliver healthcare. He has figured out
ways to use the most basic phones to ask questions
and generate answers about symptoms, dosing, and
other issues, to offer medical assistance to those who
otherwise might have to do without it or obtain it
only at a sacrifice to their families — and livelihood.
Last summer, Tingle — a chemistry major from WPI's
Class of '77, who also has an MS in geological sciences from
Brown University — took a detour from the corporate path
and volunteered on a project that placed cell phones in the
hands of community health workers in rural Chiapas,
Mexico. Now, he is considering not only how to expand this
idea among the world's most underserved populations, but
also ways in which mobile phones can facilitate healthcare
delivery here in the United States.
On a spring afternoon at his home in Harvard, Mass.,
Tingle describes himself as "very focused, very driven" in his
dot-com days. Medical enterprises ranging from drug discovery
to risk management benefited from his know-how and, in
turn, he became highly informed about the intersecting fields
of medicine and technology. A skilled climber and "fanatical"
cross-country skier, Tingle exudes vigor, even while sitting on
a wicker chair with a laptop nearby. He traces his enthusiasm
for physical challenges to WPI, where he got hooked on the
outdoors first at a winter session at Baxter State Park in Maine,
and then as an avid member of the outing club. Thinking back
on the allure of climbing, he asks, "Was it for the thrill or for
the problem solving and management of risk?" He has con-
cluded that it was the latter, and he believes these forces remain
powerful motivations in his current, more alternative, exploits.
He calls up an image of a cell phone on his computer,
with the word MicroEmulator in place of the brand name.
In the cell's window, three headings appear, in Spanish or
English, depending on the user's selection: pediatric dosing,
adult epilepsy, and diarrhea in children. The emulator can
furnish a sequence of questions and the corresponding
answers for these problems and others confronted by a
community worker administering healthcare in a remote
location, far from a clinic or hospital.
This two-dimensional picture represents Tingle's efforts
as a volunteer for the initiative in Chiapas, supported by
Partners in Health, a Boston-based nonprofit dedicated
to providing medical care and social justice to some of the
world's destitute people. For this project, Tingle worked on
software to be installed in the phones distributed to commu-
nity care workers chosen to serve their villages. One worker
per village received a phone, so that in this very poor and
remote region, perhaps 5,000 people in a dozen villages
could be aided by the software Tingle devised.
"I was updating clinical protocols, recoding the logical
stream," he explains. "They needed a way to help community
health workers provide medication to children. They have a
toolkit that contains about 10 different drugs. I worked with
clinicians to build an application around the dosing protocols.
Before, it was ad hoc. If they had a big kid, they might give
him % of an adult dose. There is a diagnostic component as
well. If the fever is this high and there is diarrhea, what is it?
We're not trying to treat more insidious diseases. The program
is trying to take care of 80 percent of the people 80 percent
of the time."
But that improvement can significantly affect both the
physical and the economic health of patients. "These are
isolated villages," Tingle says. "If a woman in harvest season
has a sick child and has to walk two days to a clinic, that is
an enormous economic hit." If that woman, in turn, can be
home picking crops with a child on the mend, the help
extends to multiple individuals.
Tingle is an astute observer of high-tech trends. "If you're
going to survive in technology," he says, "you're going to have
to reinvent yourself every three to five years." And so he was
primed to think of mobile devices as the next wave, especially
after a case of undiagnosed low sodium sent his elderly moth-
er on a circuitous journey through the U.S. healthcare system,
while she experienced dementia, falls, mixed-up medication,
and an assortment of other problems.
"It took some smart doctors a long time to figure out
what was wrong," he says. "Could we have shortened the cycle
and made it less disruptive?" Tingle's mother does not live in
a remote Mexican village. She lives in PJiode Island with her
husband. Tingle and his three younger brothers are all within
an easy day's drive. Nevertheless, the crisis got Tingle thinking
about the potential for mobile technology as a healthcare
tool even in a country where doctors are plentiful.
Tingle is certain that, just as a phone assisted in delivering
better support to isolated villagers, a similar system could prove
valuable in coordinating care for seniors. He imagines being
able to combine a host of options within a single device. Along
with a list of medications, there could be a way of checking
that these were being taken, as well as guidelines regarding
missed doses. A Twitter-style status update could simultane-
ously inform all family members about appointments and allow
someone to sign up to accompany the patient to the next one.
The software hasn't been created yet, but Tingle is already
reaching out to possible partners in this venture. At "meet-ups"
in Cambridge's Kendall Square, he and others consider what
the product would be, how to bring it into existence, and
then market it. "With any software development, people build
upon the generations before," Tingle says. In his hands, that
process is continuing. O
Transformations \ Summer 2010 35
Everyone knows they're going to die, but nobody believes it.
If we did, we would do things differently."
— Morrie Schwartz, in Tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom
John Gregory '53 practiced cardiology and was a clinical
professor at Columbia University until 1999, when he became
director of the Palliative Care Program at Atlantic Healthcare's
Overlook Hospital in Summit, N.J. In 2006 he was appointed
administrative medical director of Atlantic Hospice. His son
John is a pediatric oncologist in the Atlantic hospital system
and has been a driving force in establishing family-centered
care for critically ill children. His wife, Alice, is a nurse, and
two more of his five children are also in the medical field.
Ironically, he shares a name with another John Gregory,
the 18th century Scottish physician-philosopher considered
to be the first medical ethicist, who wrote that being frank
with seriously ill patients was a "painful office" and one of
the "most disagreeable duties" of the physician. Gregory has
found that duty very meaningful.
In 2008 he was honored by the Karen Ann Quinlan
Memorial Foundation for his vision and his dedication to
bettering end-of-life care.
36 Transformations \ Summer 2010
What is palliative care?
Sometimes called comfort care, palliative care is a specialty
that offers seriously ill patients treatment for their symptoms.
Our team approach deals not only with the physical problems,
but with spiritual, psychological, and social issues. We also
help families deal with issues their loved ones face. Palliative
care is for patients who are not necessarily at the end of life,
but need help managing their symptoms.
It grew out of the hospice philosophy and program that
evolved in England in the late 1960s and spread to the United
States in the mid-1970s. The goal is similar to hospice, but it
is not dependent on prognosis and can be provided at the
same time as curative treatment.
How did you evolve into your current role?
I have been involved with the Bioethics Committee of
Overlook Hospital from the start, and have served as chair
for some time. When the committee first evolved, we spent
a lot of time learning about death and dying. Our bioethics
consultations frequently involved decision making about
goals of care at the end of life. We were trying to get at what
a patient whose prognosis was not very good would want
in that situation. That gradually evolved into Overlook
Hospital's palliative care practice.
What happens in a palliative care consultation?
Members of our team meet with the patients and their fami-
lies, and sometimes a chaplain or social worker. We talk with
the physicians who are caring for the patients and get their
viewpoints, so we can explain what the professional caregivers
are thinking. There are often several different specialty physi-
cians involved in the care of the patient, and the communica-
tions can be confusing to families. We give them a chance to
ask questions and have them answered. We make sure they
have all the information they need to make decisions, and we
try to guide them along the appropriate pathway, to work out
goals that are appropriate for that patient.
What's the family response?
In general, they're very grateful for our help and input. Many
times the family has not had these kinds of conversations.
Even if they have, these are still difficult decisions for family
members. It's not an easy topic for people to talk with their
children about, or children to talk with their parents about.
What can be done to make the process easier?
Advance directives, living wills, healthcare proxies, and so
forth, are the ways we encourage families and patients to have
a plan in the event that they become seriously ill. The Patient
Self-Determination Act passed in 1990 states that hospitals
must ask patients if they have an advance directive and offer
them the opportunity to develop one, if they wish.
We developed a video called "Anna's Story." It involves
an elderly patient who is brought into the emergency room
with trouble breathing. She winds up in intensive care on
a ventilator, and a lot of things happen that, in retrospect,
she wouldn't have wanted. We use this as a teaching tool to
facilitate discussion in our lectures at the hospital, and in
presentations to local groups.
Are there consequences of not planning ahead?
Patients can sometimes receive excessive treatment when
the prognosis may indicate that the chance of survival is not
very good, where the burdens of the kind of high-tech care
that now exist might outweigh the benefits. There's a lot of
suffering that goes on when patients become unable to express
what they would really want. Younger people tend not to
worry about those things; yet an accident could cause them to
become comatose or otherwise unable to speak for themselves.
Ideally, all patients would have had a conversation with some-
one who can speak for them, so that they don't lose the right
to choose their medical care. The best time to do that is in a
physician's office, when an individual is not critically ill.
What changes have you seen in this field?
Mainly, that it's become a specialty. There are fellowships,
residencies, conferences, and professional associations. They
are now teaching end-of-life care in nursing schools and
medical schools. All of that has evolved over the last 10 years
or so. There's also been a huge educational effort to make the
public aware that such services are available. But there's still
a lot of education that needs to be done.
Some misinformation came about during the national
discussion on health reform that was very distressing for
caregivers in the palliative care movement. Our goal is to
determine patients' wishes and do what they want. This was
totally misrepresented. In the United States, euthanasia is
not accepted at all. Only a few states allow physician-assisted
suicide, which involves writing prescriptions that could be
taken by patients who choose to end their own lives. Many
people in the field feel that if you offer good palliative care,
there shouldn't be a need for physician-assisted suicide, or
that the desire for it would be relatively rare.
What other issues need to be addressed?
Hospice provides a beautiful caring for patients, and a lot of
people who are near the end of life miss out on it because they
aren't referred early enough. Hospice is a benefit that is sup-
posed to be given when patients have a prognosis of less than
six months, but 35 percent of patients referred to hospice die
within seven days of being placed there. Enrolling in hospice
often is looked on as giving up, and no one wants to give up.
But it's a time when patients can be relieved of a lot of the
burdens they suffer near the end. If they're only getting that
for three or four days, they miss a lot of the benefits, which
are really wonderful for patients and families. D
Transformations \ Summer 2010 37
= CLASS NOTES
Stay connected. Material for Class Notes comes from newspaper and magazine clippings, press releases, and information
supplied by alumni. Production schedules vary; please allow up to 6 months for your note to appear in print. We welcome your
news by Web: wpi.eduATransformations Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 508-831-5820 Mail: Alumni Editor,
Transformations, WPI, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, MA 01609-2280.
WPI mourns the passing of Janet Forkey,
wife of Ray Forkey '40, on Oct. 1 9,
2009. Together, they have been staunch
supporters of WPI.
Burton Hinman '45 is president and
owner of Change Systems Inc. He lives in
Barrington, III., and has three children, five
grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren
scattered throughout the country.
'54 and his wife,
Marlys, traveled to
Delhi, India, to join
in a four-day wed-
for a client's son,
which, he writes, "put the movie Monsoon
Wedding to shame." In 2009 he presented
a paper on evaluation decisions related to
climate change at the ASME International
Mechanical Engineering Congress and co-
authored a paper on IT metrics. His recent
book is listed in Bookshelf, page 40.
Dick Emery '56 snowmobiled 4,000
miles from Michigan to Alaska this winter,
enduring sub-zero weather and frostbitten
cheeks to raise money for diabetes re-
search. At the end of the 20-day expedi-
tion with MichCanSka 2010, his group
had generated more than $70,000 in
donations and was hoping to exceed
$100,000 by the final tally. For more
photos and a full account of the expedi-
tion, visit michcanskag2.wordpress.com.
Cliff Wiersma '58 joined RE/MAX
Realty Group in Fort Myers, Fla., as a
broker in the commercial division.
Bernard Lally '59 received the presti-
gious Paul Harris Fellowship Recognition
for Distinguished Community Service,
named for the founder of the Rotary Club.
He was honored for his longtime service
to the town of West Springfield, Mass.
Richard Brewster '60 embarked on six
weeks of volunteer service aboard Mercy
Ships' newest vessel, Africa Mercy, this
winter. "That's me," he says, "lying down
on the job!" He and his wife, Susan, have
participated in 10 previous missions with
the floating hospital program.
Chuck Burdick '62 won election to the
Town Council of Duck, N.C., the youngest
town in Dare County, incorporated in
2002. He has served as Duck postmaster
and is the former vice president of opera-
tions for Sudamtex de Venezuela.
'64 received the
2009 annual Award
for Excellence in
UFOlogy from MUFON
Mutual UFO Network).
An expert in the field
of photo analysis, he has been active in
UFO research for over 35 years.
Pete McCormick '65 retired from IBM
after 4 1 + years.
Phil Hopkinson '66 continues as presi-
dent of HVOLT, his power transformer con-
sulting business. He has been active in the
movement for national policy for energy
Allen Ikalainen '67 was promoted
to vice president at MACTEC. Based in
Wakefield, Mass., he manages three of
the company's New England offices.
Arnie Miller '67 received a Governor's
Citation from the Commonwealth and the
2008 Mack I. Davis II Award from the Har-
vard Graduate School of Education for his
work in Boston-area schools. In addition to
tutoring math students, Arnie developed a
Math & Magic club for the Brockton Boys
and Girls Club as a fun way to develop
problem solving skills.
Jon Titus '67 continues to blog on elec-
tronics design news for EDN.com.
Gene Dionne '65 (left) reached the East Coast after a 50-day cross-country bicycle ride
with John Robinson, his best friend from his Air Force days. Their tour was named HOPE
Across America to draw attention (and contributions) to the work of Operation HOPE, an
organization that provides economic tools and services to combat poverty in Los Angeles.
See their blog at hopeacrossamerica.blogspot.com.
3 8 Transformations \ Summer 2010
w p i Reunion 2010
More than 200 alumni and guests returned to WPI for Reunion 2010,
June 3-6. You may view and purchase photos and watch videos from
the weekend at alumni.wpi.edu/reunion.
Bob Whyte '60
Peter Rado '70
Mark O'Neil '80
Philip Wild '50
John Wilson '65
Paula Fragassi Delaney '75
John FitzPatrick '75
Ginny Giordano FitzPatrick '75
Judy Nitsch '75
Yi Hu (Ed) Ma
Sang Ki Lee '60
Transformations \ Summer 2010 39
= CLASS NOTES
new publications by WPI alumni, faculty, staff
Manhattan Project to the Santa Fe Institute:
The Memoirs of George A. Cowan
by George Cowan '41 University of New Mexico Press
Cowan's distinguished career in nuclear physics included 39 years
at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and serving on the White House
council of science advisers in the 1980s. He offers an eyewitness ac-
count of the race to develop the world's first atomic bomb, filled with
colorful anecdotes about famous scientists and politicians. His open-
ing chapters describe growing up in Worcester and studying at WPI.
It was his physics professor — the notorious Morton Masius — who
noted Cowan's excitement about the discovery of nuclear fission and helped him get his first
job with the cyclotron research group at Princeton, which drew him into the government's
Manhattan Project program.
M> I.OMi |0l R\n IIOMI
My Long Journey Home: A Life Worth Living
ni.nft Living by Bailey Norton '43 Available through Edgartown Books
Urged by his son to record some family stories, Bailey Norton
produced and published a 150-page history of Edgartown,
Mass., illustrated with vintage photographs of his seafaring
ancestors. This beautiful coffee table book traces his family tree
back 10 generation to the early settlers of Martha's Vineyard.
Included in Norton's own life history is a chapter called "From WPI to WWII." He received
a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Edgartown Library Foundation in 2009.
Sustainable On-Site CHP Systems: Design,
Construction, and Operations
by Milton Meckler '54 and Lucas Hyman, eds. McGraw-Hill
This practical guide provides detailed information on CHP (combined
heat and power) systems that substantially increase the energy effi-
ciency of commercial, industrial, institutional, and residential buildings.
In-depth case studies illustrate real-world applications. Meckler is presi-
dent of Design Build Systems (DBS) and one of four Global Award
Finalists for McGraw-Hill's Platts Energy Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Hive Detectives
BIVB DETECTIVES , „ „ „ ,„ ., . ,..„.. ,. . ...
by Loree Griffin Burns 91 Houghton Mittlm (Junior Library
; Burns's second book in the "Scientists in the Field" series probes
the mystery of colony collapse disorder, or CCD, which is deci-
mating the world's honey bee populations. To get "hands-on"
with her subject, Burns visited bee wranglers and researchers
throughout the country, learned to smoke hives from the president of the Worcester County
Beekeeper Association, and even earned two certificates from beekeeping schools. She
discloses that she was stung five times in the making of the book.
Fred Aspinwall '70 is retired from Nor-
ton Co. after 35 years of service. A trustee
emeritus of the Mohegan Council of Boy
Scouts of America, he was honored for his
years of service at a recent banquet hosted
by Troop 109 of Millbury, Mass.
Lothar Kleiner '70 is working on poly-
mer-coated resorbable stents that remove
blockages in coronary arteries through the
use of controlled-release drugs. "These
devices have provided positive results in
human clinical trials," he writes.
Charles Pickett '70 retired in 2009,
after 37 years with Knolls Atomic Power
Laboratory. For the last five years he
headed up chemical, hazardous, radio-
active, and mixed waste management and
disposal at the company's Kesselring site in
upstate New York. "Retirement allows me
to devote more time to my small gunsmith
business," he writes.
Bob Allard '71 writes, "I retired as
Worcester's city assessor after 15 years of
service. Previously, I worked in the nation-
wide real estate arena, primarily as a retail
site selection specialist. Judy and I have re-
located to Redlands, Calif., the 'jewel' of
the Inland Empire, where we are enjoying
the more favorable climate and the prox-
imity to many of Judy's relatives."
John Boursy '71 recently retired after
more than 20 years at International
Telecommunication Union in Geneva,
Switzerland. He and his wife live in
Paul Cleary '71, a U.S. magistrate
judge since 2002, received the Golden
Rule Award from the County Bar Associ-
ation of Tulsa, Okla. The award is given
to lawyers who exemplify high standards
of professionalism and civility in their
Jim Kaufman '71 (PhD) is president
and CEO of Laboratory Safety Institute in
Natick, Mass. The nonprofit has trained
more than 60,000 scientists and science
educators since it was established in 1977.
Jazz educator and bassist Bob Sinicrope
'71 is a featured musician on the New
England Jazz History Database. He came
to campus recently to jam with students
and record some interviews.
James Tarpey '72 was promoted to
chairman of the Northeast Gas Association.
Roger Lavallee '73 was elected to the
board of directors of BALTNET, a nonprofit
organization that promotes collaboration
between the Baltic States (Lithuania, Latvia,
and Estonia) and the Southern New Eng-
land states. BALNET's main objectives are
to facilitate trade and investment, and to
provide a forum for networking and infor-
mation exchange between the U.S. and
Baltic countries' business and academic
communities. Roger continues to serve as a
director of both BEACON and The BEACON
Foundation in Hartford, Conn.
Steve Dacri '74 unveiled Xtreme Close-
up Magic in Worcester, with shows at La
Scala Restaurant and The Fifth Amend-
ment. He also performed at the Boston
Harbor Hotel and the Comedy Studio's
Mystery Lounge in Cambridge. His Decem-
ber 2009 Massachusetts tour concluded
with a lecture for the Society of American
Magicians in Springfield.
Mark Mahoney '74 is president of the
medical staff at St. Luke's Hospital in New
Bedford, Mass., and serves on the board
of Southcoast Hospitals Group.
Stephen Page '74
was recognized as
a 2009 Florida Super
Lawyer by Super
Lawyers magazine. He
is a founding member
of Page, Mrachek,
Fitzgerald & Rose. His trial law practice
focuses primarily on complex business
and commercial litigation.
Art Aiken '75 is an adjunct instructor
of mathematics at Ocean County College,
where he also teaches chess in the Contin-
uing Education department. He resides in
Beachwood, N.J., with his brother, Doug.
Exxon Mobil Corp. vice president Mike
Dolan '75 delivered WPI's inaugural
"Sustaining our World: Energy for the
Future" lecture in September. His talk, "The
Outlook for Energy: A View to 2030,"
described integrated solutions to meet the
world's growing energy demand
Rich Allen '76 of Canton, Mass., was
appointed COO at Boston-based Stantec.
John Germaine '76 received the
Award of Merit from ASTM International
Committee Dl 8 on Soil and Rock. He is
a senior research associate at MIT, where
he focuses on geotechnical and geoenvi-
Jeremy Jones '76, '78 (MS) was
appointed to Naturally Advanced Tech-
nologies' board of directors.
Bill Cunningham '77 is director of the
Northern Kentucky University Entrepreneur-
ship Institute. He teaches courses in new
venture creation, finance, and marketing.
Eric Hertz '77 , who spent a month
cycling around New Zealand in the '80s,
is now posted there as the new CEO of
2degrees, a mobile telecommunications
New book features chapter by WPI President Dennis Berkey and
the work of several WPI alumni
Holistic Engineering Education: Beyond Technology
edited by Domenico Grasso '77 and Melody Brown Burkins Springer
Holistic Engineering Education presents a blueprint for restructuring
engineering education to address the complex challenges of the 21st
century. In an invited chapter called International Education and Holistic
Thinking for Engineers, WPI President Dennis Berkey presents the WPI
Plan and WPI's Global Perspective Program as effective models for
learning in an increasingly interconnected world. Co-editor Grasso,
who is vice president for research and dean of the Graduate College
at the University of Vermont, has written several chapters that demonstrate the need for a
holistic approach to educating engineers. Other WPI contributors include Alfred Grasso
'93 (MS CS), president and CEO of MITRE Corporation, and Gary Wnek '77, faculty
director and Joseph F. Toot Jr. Professor of Engineering at the Institute for Management
and Engineering at Case Western Reserve University. More information is available at
wpi.edu/news/perspectives/101 191 .htm.
Gene Wilusz '66, ed. Woodhead Publishing in Textiles
Tl-Nspire for Dummies
by Steve Ouellette '88 W/7ey Publishing
Analyzing and Interpreting Continuous Data Using JMP:
A Step-by-Step Guide
by Brenda Ramirez '93 SAS Press
Achieving Interoperability in Critical IT and Communication Systems
by Bob Desourdis '77 ('79 MSEE), Peter J. Rosamilia, Christopher Jacobson, eds.
The Secret of Intentional Wealth
by Margaret Lynch '83 NewEnglandSuccessCoaching.com
Paul Angelico '78 is chief transforma-
tion officer at Quincy Medical Center,
hired to implement cost savings and rev-
enue-enhancing measures based on the
management model that worked for him
when he owned Twin River Technologies.
He lives in Dover, Mass., with his wife
and two sons.
John Moulton '78 has a new position
as group VP and general manager, China,
for Johnson Controls Inc. in Shanghai.
Shane Chalke '79 is president of Mort-
gage Harmony in Tysons Corner, Va.
Col. Peter Kujawski '79 received the
U.S. Department of Defense Legion of
Merit Medal for exceptionally meritorious
service during his 30-year Army career.
Recently retired from the U.S. Army
Reserve, he holds the post of vice president
of international sales at SIG SAUER in
Jim Miller '79, chair
of ocean engineering at
the University of Rhode
Island, was elected to a
three-year term on the
Acoustical Society of
Ali Kabas '80 shows his paragliding
videos from Istanbul at vimeo.com.
Scott Wade '80 was appointed business
manager for the industrial segment of
C&M Corp., based in Wauregan, Conn.
Transformations \ Summer 2010 4 1
Building a Legacy of Giving
Jennifer Wyse '94 is a woman on the go. Busy juggling the demands
of family and career, Jennifer credits her success at GE (most recently in
the aviation unit), to WPI's project-based curriculum, emphasis on working
in teams, and the ability to be in leadership positions in extracurricular
activities. A consistent volunteer and supporter of the Annual Fund,
Jennifer — and her husband Donald '92 — are in the process of drafting
their estate plan. "Now that we have Aiden and Amelia we have to
think ahead, and remembering WPI in our will just seemed like a
natural thing to do," Jennifer says.
In these complex times, we understand that making the most of your
philanthropy means thinking ahead. We know, too, that the best planned
gifts are simple, straightforward, and designed to benefit WPI and you,
our dedicated supporters.
Simple, meaningful, personal
A retirement resource
of IRAs and life insurance:
An easy, tax efficient, and often
overlooked planning opportunity
Act today. We can help you make an important difference in 2010!
Simply contact us by phone or email.
For a confidential consultation, contact Audrey Klein-Leach, executive director
of planned giving, at 508-831-5076 or email@example.com.
Michael Gagnon '81 is technical archi-
tect for the Michigan Health Information
Paul Guth '81 was appointed president
and CEO at Artromick.
William Kiczuk '81 was appointed
CTO and vice president in the Engineer-
ing, Technology and Mission Assurance
organization at Raytheon.
was named a senior
associate at Gannett
Fleming, a construction
based in Pittsburgh.
Bill Waller '81 (MS PH) organized "Set-
tling the Moon and Mars — Insights from
Personal Experiences of Living in Antarc-
tica," a panel discussion that brought to-
gether veterans of U.S. and Soviet missions
in Antarctica to explore how the lessons
learned in arctic climates would apply to
long-term survival in space. A former pro-
fessor at the University of Washington and
Tufts University, he served as a scientist at
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and
helped established the Cape Ann Science
Alliance, a co-sponsor of the event.
Robert Mitchell '82 is an actuary and
vice president at Unum Provident Life Insur-
ance. He lives in Scarborough, Maine.
Gordon Swanson '82 serves as
general manager at Fenwal Controls in
Ashland, Mass., and is a contributor to
Hire a WPI alumnus, new graduate, or
student and you'll gain someone who
globally minded, collaborative, innova
ready to contribute from Day One...
In other words, hire someone like YOU
Ron Thompson '82 was appointed
managing director, global head of ABS
strategy for Knight Libertas UK, based in
the company's London office.
Jay Cameron '83 is a senior consulting
engineer at HSB Global Standards. He
has been active on the school committee
in Agawam, Mass., in support of better
education in the STEM disciplines.
Don Montgomery '83 launched
WinGreen Marketing Systems in Boston,
providing clean tech companies with online
marketing and lead-generation services.
Jennifer (Toomey) Reily '83 writes
from Colorado, "Remarried last year,
inheriting two teenagers in the process,
and changed my name from Cavanaugh
to Reily. Still got the luck of the Irish!"
Daniel Statile '83 was promoted to
general manager of refining operations
at NuStar's Paulsboro, Ga., refinery.
Jim Welch '83 joined Marathon Tech-
nologies in Littleton, Mass., as president
and chief executive officer.
Gary Wong '83 is director of applications
engineering at Wright Line in Worcester.
Joel Bernstein '84 brings joy to
candy lovers all over the globe through
CandyXpress.com, part of the Morristown,
N.J., candy business that has been in the
family for three generations. Read his
blog at bwcliffordcandynews.com.
Michael Briere '84 holds the post of
executive scientific consultant at ACOO
Enterprises, under contract to International
Jack Henderson '84 joined the Portland,
Ore., office of Carollo Engineers as direc-
tor of the firm's Northwest Water Practice.
Career Development Center
By Connie Horwitz, Associate Director,
Career Development Center
When the Shoe Doesn't Fit: Ouch!
received a call from
an alumnus recently. He
graduated WPI within
the last 10 years. He
said, "Connie, I hate
what I am doing. I hate
engineering. I am miser-
able. I want out." He
was bored, burned out, down on himself,
and gritting his teeth just making it through
the day. The shoe no longer seemed to fit;
it hurt badly. And he's not even 30.
He is probably not the only one among us
who is coping with the unexpected discovery
that what you thought you would love profes-
sionally is, in fact, the complete opposite.
While this may end up being the best epi-
phany he has ever had, the question is, how
long do you continue in a job, in a field, you
no longer like? What are the consequences
of wearing shoes that don't fit properly any-
more? Where, indeed, will that realization
If you are no longer satisfied with the work
you do, looking critically at the impact it has
on your life and those around you is an excel-
lent health check. Have you ever witnessed
the change in someone you know who has
switched from something they hated to some-
thing they love doing? The rippling effect of
being happy, motivated, and passionate can
be enormous in the circle of their lives.
So, how can we make a change? It begins
with the most fundamental health check: iden-
tifying what you are doing when you are truly
happy. What situations draw out your great-
est strengths? What are you doing when you
know that you are in your element? What
were those situations in the past?
When the alumnus called, we explored all
aspects of what really led him to despise his
current situation. A pivotal issue was whether
or not it was this particular position or if it
was the engineering field in general. And
we explored what he loves to do. We usually
don't resolve everything in just one talk, but
by the end of our first discussion, he was
clearly calmer, more positive, and more hope-
ful about making a healthy change in his
career path — possibly within engineering!
We are always available at the CDC to help
alumni make healthy career decisions. So, if
the shoe no longer fits, please get in touch.
For an in-person or phone appointment, call
Contact Connie at firstname.lastname@example.org
= CLASS NOTES
Dennis Leonard '84 was part of the
WPI Venture Forum "Innovate to Survive
and Thrive" panel in February. He is vice
president of operations at IPG Photonics.
The WPI Alumni Association
is pleased to announce
the recipient of the first
Distinguished Service Award
will be recognized for his lifetime
contributions to the WPI community
at large, reflecting friendship,
support, and overall responsiveness
to the needs and interests of students,
parents, alumni, faculty, and staff
over the years.
A reception will be held at
Homecoming on October 2
to honor Bill, who has been and
continues to be a friend and mentor
to the WPI family. A portion of the
event admission fee will benefit the
WPI Alumni Association scholarship
fund for undergraduates.
Registration details and ways to
become involved will be available
in the coming months.
Please save the date!
Pete Manca '84 is a contributor to
Virtual Strategy Magazine. He works for
David Mongilio '84 was appointed
technical manager of Cytec Industries'
Wallingford, Conn., facility.
Jackson Nickerson '84 is Frahm Fam-
ily Professor of Organization and Strategy
at Washington University's Olin Business
School in St. Louis. He was recently elected
to CleanTech Inc.'s board of directors.
Richard DesJardins '85 was promoted
to vice president at General Physics Corp.
in Amherst, N.Y.
Dave Doherty '85 is vice president of
semiconductor products at Digi-Key Corp.
in Thief River Falls, Minn.
Jerry (Yue-Sheng) Lin '85 (MS; 88
PhD) is a chemical engineering professor
and department chair at Arizona State Uni-
versity's Ira A. Fulton School of Engineer-
ing. He recently received the American
Institute of Chemical Engineering Award
for Excellence in Industrial Gas Technology.
Wayne Lipson '85, MD, joined the staff
of St. Mary's Cardiovascular & Thoracic
Surgeons in Huntington, W. Va.
Dennis Donovan '86 writes, "I've been
officiating college football for 10 years at
the Division II and III levels. I recently got
promoted to officiate at the Division l-AA
level in the Ivy League, the Patriot League,
and the Colonial Athletic Association."
Brenda Hart-Flynn '86 earned LEED
AP certification. She is an estimator for
Delta Design & Construction in Medford,
Gov. Deval Patrick (left)
toured Lightlab Imaging
nc. with president and
CEO David Kolstad
'86. In a speech to em-
ployees, Patrick praised
the company's role in re-
building the economy through "innovation,
good ideas, and the technology of tomor-
row." Lightlab, based in Westford, Mass.,
received a $188,000 award from the Mas-
sachusetts Life Sciences Initiative to create
new jobs in the state's life sciences sector.
Kathy Loftus '86 works for Whole
Foods Market as global leader for sustain-
able engineering, maintenance, and
Craig Malone '86 (MS PH) is senior
vice president, product development, for
Kevin Collins '87 was elected to part-
nership at Covington & Burling LLP, where
he practices intellectual property law in
the firm's Washington, D.C., office.
James Madigan '87, treasurer and
vice president of the F. W. Madigan Co.
in Worcester, was elected chairman of the
Better Business Bureau of Central New
England. He joined the board in 2006,
succeeding his father, Francis "Bud"
Eric Pauer '88 works
at ITT Corporation,
Nashua, N.H., as a
senior principal systems
engineer. He is also a
lieutenant colonel in
the Massachusetts Air
National Guard, serving as the director of
logistics-air at its Joint Force Headquarters
CONSTRUCTING OUR FUTURE
Mark your calendars now! All alumni
are welcome to attend Homecoming 2010.
Reunion activies are planned for these classes:
1985. 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005. and 2010
Friday, October 1
> Hall of Fame Inductions:
Ernie Ansah '96, Dave Helming '64,
William Komm '75, Russell Philpot '83,
Jennifer Plante '96, Rachel Zimet Pytel '02
Saturday, October 2
> Alumni Association Awards Ceremony:
Edward Cheung '85, Paul Chodak III '85, '
Leo Gestetner '95, Jiong Ma '90, Karen
Tegan Padir '90
> Conversation with President Berkey "•'
> Activities for all ages on the Quad
> Homecoming Parade of Floats
> WPI Football vs. Hobart College
CHECK YOUR MAIL SOON FOR COMPLETE HOMECOMING 2010 REGISTRATION INFORMATION.
Questions? Please call the WPI Alumni Relations Office at 508-831-5600 or log on to alumni.wpi.edu/reunion.
From the Alumni Association President...
I am excited to provide you with an update from the Office of
Alumni Relations and the Alumni Association. We are launch-
ing many great initiatives, and I hope that you are taking ad-
vantage of these opportunities.
Connecting with Fellow Alumni via Events in Your Area
There are now more alumni events occurring across the globe
aimed at providing you with opportunities to meet fellow
alumni, as well as WPI students and faculty. We currently have
20 Regional Clubs, including three outside the United States.
Regardless of whether you live close to WPI or far from
Worcester, attending a Regional Club event is a great way to
maintain your connections with WPI. If you are interested in
getting involved, please contact the Office of Alumni Relations
The Office of Alumni Relations and the Career Development
Center are working together to provide students with the oppor-
tunity to have an Alumni Mentor. A number of alumni have
already signed up. As a mentor, you have the opportunity to
not only shape the career of a future alumnus/a, but also to
strengthen your connection with WPI. You can participate re-
gardless of your proximity to campus. Please reach out to Con-
nie Horowitz, associate director of career development services,
at email@example.com to become a mentor.
Travel with Fellow Alumni and Visit WPI Project Centers
The Alumni Association has partnered with one of the world's
largest travel companies, Collette Vacations, to offer several
vacations to exciting locations where we have project centers.
The first trip will be in November 2010 and will feature travel
throughout Italy, where you will spend an afternoon visiting the
students and faculty of WPI's Venice Project Center. By partici-
pating in this program, you will also support a major initiative
of the Alumni Association — providing scholarships to students.
Ten percent of every trip booked goes to the WPI Alumni
Association scholarship fund for undergraduates. You can learn
more about this exciting travel package and the innovative
projects being completed by students and faculty around the
world, at alumniconnect.wpi.edu.
Alumni Association Update
This year the Alumni Association Board of Directors embarked
on three initiatives:
• Hosting impactful meetings with agenda items that involve
and engage alumni
• Increasing alumni scholarship fundraising while recognizing
individuals who have impacted the lives of many alumni
• Increasing alumni engagement
I am happy to report that we have made progress on each
of these objectives. In terms of increasing scholarships, I hope
that you will join us on October 2, 2010 for a reception honor-
ing Bill Trask, the first recipient of the Alumni Association Dis-
tinguished Service Award (see opposite page). A portion of the
event admission fee, as well as proceeds from a silent auction,
will benefit the Alumni Association Scholarship Fund. Please
look for updates on all of the Alumni Association initiatives in
The Bridge and Transformations.
As I close, I would like to offer a special challenge to
the graduates of the 1980s. I encourage you to get involved —
whether you share your expertise with/provide guidance to
current students as a STAR Mentor, or attend
or even volunteer to lead a Regional Club
event. Feel free to reach out to me at
firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss ways
to become involved. Supporting WPI is a
Joyce S. Kline '87
in Milford, Mass. He and his wife, Diane
(Brissette) '88, have two children, Ryan
Herman Pururyan '88 was named
CEO of Jenike & Johanson, where he has
worked for 18 years, previously as senior
vice president. He is the author of more
than 20 publications on bulk solids stor-
age, handling, and processing, and a
frequent lecturer for AlChE.
KUDOS: Zeta Psi International recognized
three alumni for outstanding leadership
and service: Evan Pressman '84, Silver
Circle Award; William Shaw '01 , Alumni
Advisor of the Year; and Anthony
Richardson '09, Phi Alpha Award (pre-
sented to graduating seniors.)
Todd Wyman '89 was appointed senior
vice president of global operations and
integrated supply chain at Ingersoll Rand.
Jonathan Bird's Blue
World received a 2010
New England Emmy
Award for the segment
Aquarist for a Day,
filmed at the New Eng-
land Aquarium. His
underwater adventure series for children
and families airs on more than 260 public
Jiong Ma (MS EE) was promoted to
partner at Braemar Energy Ventures. She
joined the company in 2007 and is based
in the Boston office.
David Stern (MS BME) holds the post of
senior vice president, scientific affairs, at
Ken Wood oversees Paladin SmartGrid
operations for EDSA as business executive
for the San Diego-based software developer.
Navy Cmdr. Michael
took official command
of the USS Pittsburgh.
A front-page story in the
Worcester Telegram &
Gazette chronicled his
nguished military career.
Transformations \ Summer 2010 4 5
Toby Wyman left the Atlanta Braves or-
ganization to become president and COO
of the WNBA's Atlanta Dream. His goal is
to "build a first-class organization that wins
championships on the court and positively
impacts the community off the court," he
said in a press statement, noting his com-
mitment to a customer base that includes
many young girls who aspire to become
pro athletes. Wyman was previously assis-
tant general manager of business opera-
tions for the Gwinnett Braves.
Dave Andrade's Educational Technology
Guy blog has been touted in NEA Today
magazine as a great resource for teachers.
He also blogs for Tech & Learning maga-
zine. Dave, a physics teacher and educa-
tional technology specialist, lives in
Stratford, Conn., with his wife, Cori.
Amy Brideau-Andersen directs the
new Anti-Viral Research Group at Pere-
Rich Coriey (MS EE) was a speaker at
the 5th International Cloud Expo in New
York City. He is founder, CTO, and VP of
engineering for Akorri.
Andrew Hoyen was one of Rochester
Business Journal's "Forty Under 40" for
2009. He is director, OEM business man-
agement, for Carestream Health Inc.
KUDOS: Three alumni were among Consult-
ing-Specifying Engineer's 40 Under 40:
Mike Ferreira '91, senior FPE engineer,
Hughes Associates; Craig Hofmeister
'92, vice president, engineering technology,
Rolf Jensen & Assoc.; Nate Wittasek '95,
associate, FPE engineer, Arup.
William Katzman and his wife, Anita,
welcomed their son, Michael, into the
world on April 13, 2009. Michael's early
arrival allowed William to get a good start
in his new job as program leader for LIGO
Science Education Center, an NSF-funded
project of Caltech and MIT.
Gregory Shapiro, a former systems ad-
ministrator at WPI, is now vice president,
engineering, and CTO at Sendmail. He
blogs at sendmail.com.
Dave Fall joined Clickable as senior vice
president of product and operations.
Laurie McCabe works for ICP Solar
Technologies as business development
manager for monitoring and metering
products. Her paper, "Jesus as Agent of
Change: Transformational and Authentic
Leadership in John 2 1 ," was published
in the Journal of Biblical Perspectives in
Kevin Strauss founded familyejournal
.com to encourage family communication.
By responding to daily questions in a
private, password-secured environment,
family members can share thoughts and
re-establish connections. Kevin is president
of Now or Never LCC.
Hermine Valizadeh is an attorney at
Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione, focusing on
patent prosecution and litigation in com-
puter, internet, and electrical technology.
Leonard Belliveau and his wife, Stacy,
welcomed their third daughter (and future
WPI graduate), Brienne Zoe, on Feb. 19,
2009. Big sisters Maya, 10, and Alexan-
dra, 2, could not wait to meet the new
addition to their family. Leonard is a senior
fire protection engineer and office manager
of the Warwick, R. I., office of Hughes
Associates, an FPE and code consulting
company headquartered in Baltimore.
Cory Belden joined C. H. Fenstermaker
& Assoc, as director of engineering opera-
tions in the company's Baton Rouge office.
Scott Anderson ('98 MS FPE) was
promoted to assistant vice president and
manager, construction and natural hazards,
for FM Global's engineering standards
Jeff Baron and his wife, Kim, are proud
to announce the birth of their twins, Leah
Eve and Elijah John, born Sept. 4, 2009.
After a brief stay at the NICU, all are
home and thriving. "Big sisters Sarah, 5,
and Rachel, 3, are happy because now
there's one for each of them," he writes.
Giovanni Capriglione is vice president
of Pacesetter Capital Group in Richardson,
David Ricketts is assistant professor of
electrical and computer engineering at
Carnegie Mellon. He was recently selected
to participate in the National Academy of
Engineering's first Frontiers of Engineering
Paul Seppanen is president of Broad-
wind Energy's Energy Maintenance Serv-
ice, leading technical services and repair
for wind energy customers across North
Alan Belniak reports several career
changes after his 10 years in the trans-
portation field. Initially a software product
manager at PTC in Needham, Mass., he's
now the company's first-ever director of
social media marketing. Alan married
Lee Blouin '96 in 2004. They have two
daughters — Jillian, 2, and Jane, born in
December 2009 Alan earned his MBA
from Babson College in 2009, with a
focus on technology management.
Patrick Blais married Cynthia Knipe on
May 16, 2009. He is a project engineer
with J. F. White Contracting in Westfield,
Neil O'Rourke married Lori Ann Lahue
on Oct. 1 1 , 2009 He works for Verivue
Inc. and lives in Hudson, Mass.
4 6 Transformations \ Summer 2010
Wayne Bates (PhD) lives in Ashland,
Mass., with his wife, Kathy, and three
sons. He was inducted into the Ashland
High School Hall of Fame for his work in
combating pollution through wastewater
operations for the Navy Expeditionary Lo-
gistics Support Group Forward. His duties
included travel to Iraq and Bahrain. Now
home, he has returned to his civilian em-
ployment at BP's Cherry Point Refinery in
n the Public
Alan Pearlman '48, inventor of the ARP synthesizer and a pioneer in electronic music, was featured in That's All Rite Mama,
a blog about custom records pressed by Rite Records # EDN interviewed Ken Wadland '72 on the development of OrCAD layout
software # Dean Kamen '73 offered advice to inventors as a guest on NPR's "Talk of The Nation" and demonstrated his new
prosthetic arm, code-named "Luke," on The Colbert Report • Boston Magazine listed Alden Bianchi '74 as a 2009 Massa-
chusetts Super Lawyer # Lee Jeans president Joe Dizialo '76 won Oprah's approval on a show called "Oprah's Favorite New Jeans
and the Best of the Rest" # New Hampshire State Rep. Daniel Itse '80 appeared on the Glenn Beck show to discuss HCR-6, a bill
he filed for state sovereignty # Phil Guerin '82, director of environmental systems with the Worcester DPW, was quoted in a Worces-
ter Magazine cover story on reviving the Blackstone Canal # Director of engineering Pete Gosselin '85 explained the environmen-
tal advantages of Ben & Jerry's new hydrocarbon cooler technology in USA Today # Wachusett Brewing Company founders Ned
LaFortune '90 Kevin Buckler '89 and Peter Quinn '89 celebrated their 15th anniversary in December with a benefit event that
was covered by the MetroWest Daily News and other area and industry papers # NBC's Today Show featured pianist Sergio
Salvatore '02 and vibraphonist Christos Rafalides playing the title cut from their new CD, "Dark Sand." The duo recently performed at
Carnegie Hall and Boston's Steinert Hall and greeted WPI alumni at special receptions organized by Regional Chapters of the Alumni
Association # John Baird '04 was part of a panel on Manga, Literacy, and Children at the Otakon 2009 convention in Baltimore
# The work of Matt Young '06 as lead engineer on Infoscitex's Green Energy Machine (GEM) waste-to-energy system was mentioned
in a Christian Science Monitor story.
Blaine, Wash. He continues to serve as a
reservist and has started a new assignment
as the commanding officer of a submarine
tender maintenance unit in Portland, Ore.
president of Dejobaan
Games, returned to
campus in October
as part of the IMGD
Speaker Series. A
videocast of his presen-
tation is posted in the 2009 archives at
recent game, "aaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAa-
AAAAAII! — A Reckless Disregard for
Gravity," was a finalist for Excellence in
Design at this year's Independent Games
Festival in San Francisco.
John Markow, his wife, Aino, and son,
Ronan, announce the birth of a new family
member, Rebecca Audrey, on Feb. 3, 2010.
They live in Finland, where John has been
facilitating beta trials for Nokia since
Terry Desmarais joined AECOM as a
project manager, focusing on wastewater
engineering. He is completing his master's
Mark Manasas (MS ME) was appointed
manager of Cambridge Consultants' Surgi-
cal & Interventional Products Group.
Laura (Cooper) and Mike Olivieri '98
announce the birth of their first child, Alli-
son Eloise. They live in Washington, D.C.
Jovanna Baptista is a biostatistical
consultant in the Boston area.
Stefano Ceriana, his wife, Jenene, and
their older daughter, Sophie, are happy to
announce a new addition to their family:
Emily Grace, born Sept. 18, 2009
Patrick Kaplo was one of 53 teachers
honored nationally with the 2009 Milken
Educator Award. Enrollment in his physics
classes has almost quadrupled in the 10
years he's been teaching science at Camp-
bell High School in Litchfield, N.H. The
award includes a $25,000 prize and an
expense-paid trip to Los Angeles to attend
the Milken Educator forum.
Qui Luu is an applications engineer in the
High Speed Converter Group of Analog
' : i
Matt Beaton was
the first candidate to
announce his run for the
to the Massachusetts
House of Representa-
tives seat being vacated
by Karyn Polito. A lifelong Shrewsbury res-
ident, he is owner of Beaton Construction.
His brother, Brian '98, and classmate
Jamie Contonio are helping with the
Nick Nigro is a Solutions Fellow at the
Pew Center on Global Climate Change,
where he reports to the vice president for
Innovative Solutions. He is responsible for
research, analysis, and communication of
transportation technology and policy solu-
tions for reducing greenhouse gases.
Marie (Charpentier) and George
Oprica '00 are thrilled to announce the
birth of their first child. Miles Stefan was
born six weeks early, on Nov. 9, 2009
After a brief stay in the NICU he is home
and depriving everyone of sleep!
Dagny Williams married Thomas
Bronson on May 16, 2009 They live in
David Jasinski is a Navy-certified diver
for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center
in Newport, R.I. He and his wife, Adeline,
have two children — William, 2, and Harry,
born in September 2009. They are plan-
ning a move when Dave begins his next
assignment at the Washington Navy Yard.
Joseph Knuble was named lead de-
signer for NASA's Soil Moisture Active
Passive (SMAP) Mission RF Front End.
Nicholas Minka married Heather Shead
on June 7, 2009 He is a software engineer
at MRV Communications. They live in
Jason Reposa's mybanktracker.com
provides bank rates, reviews, and news
to democratize banking.
Transformations \ Summer 2010 47
= CLASS NOTES
Lauren Wojtkun '02 married Jeffrey Davis on Aug. 9, 2009. Celebrating with the couple
were Matt '01 and Nikole (Howard) Lewis, Celine McGee Rachel (Zimet) and
Chad Pytel Howie Rappaport, Sara Swiatlowski '03, Dave Conforto, Tara
Peters, and Caitlin (Harvey) '03 and Matt Borsini '01. Lauren is the assistant
director of Greek Life at MIT. They reside in Arlington with their cat, Foxxy.
Michal Klos ('05 MS) spoke at WPI's
User Experience Lecture Series in Novem-
ber 2009. He is founder and partner at
360ix Consulting Inc.
Reem Malik ('88 MS EE) is an applica-
tions engineer in Analog Devices' Inte-
grated Amplifier Products Group in
Navy Lt. Susan Mendenhall joined fel-
low sailors of Patrol Squadron Ten (VP-1 0)
"Red Lancers" on a six-month deployment
to bases in Qatar, Djibouti, and Japan in
support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and
Jeffrey Paquette was promoted to Air
Force captain. He serves as theatre com-
munications plans and requirements chief
with the Seventh Air Force, Osan Air Base,
in South Korea.
Tighe & Bond promoted Dave Prickett
(MS CEE) and Matthew Romano to
Montira Satienpoch spent the 2009
field research season with the Haughton-
Mars Project in the Canadian High Arctic,
where the cold, dry desert environment is
a lot like that on the Moon or Mars. Her
team will be featured next year in the
BBC's new "Frozen Planet" series.
Steven Trueman is pursuing a PhD in
biochemistry at UMass Medical School.
He married Jenna Boccanfuso on June 20,
Todd DeSantis and Lesley Anderson
'06 were married Sept. 1 2, 2009 They
live in Medford, Mass.
Air Force Capt. Michael ladarola mar-
ried Crissy Hermann on July 1 7, 2009.
He serves as a space vehicle engineer at
Vandenberg AFB in California.
On Nov. 30, 2009, Michael Carbonello
was sworn into the Massachusetts State
Bar. He is already registered with the U.S.
Patent and Trademark Office. (See wedding
announcement under 2006.)
Joel Chery, a Merrill Lynch financial
advisor, was one of Worcester Business
Journal's "40 Under Forty" for 2009
Jessica Reidel married David Sarcione.
The wedding party included his brothers
Mike '84 (MS EE) and Joe '05.
Matt Harrison was promoted to CTO at
Hall Web Services in Portland, Maine.
Andrew Law married Katie Wallace on
June 24, 2009. He is a doctoral student in
BME at the University of Rochester.
Caitlin Mc Koy and Michael Carbon-
ello '05 were married Sept. 1 2, 2009.
They were joined by many alumni, includ-
ing maid of honor Kate Bernier. The
couple now resides in Somerville, Mass.
Kerri Edlund married Lee Theriault on
July 3, 2009.
Russell Yang Gao was profiled in The
Future Actuary, a quarterly newsletter for
actuarial candidates. He also contributed
a "University Spotlight" feature highlighting
the strengths of WPI's actuarial program.
Russell is an actuarial associate at the Till-
inghast Insurance Consulting Practice of
Towers Perrin in Hartford, Conn.
Hans Erik Jensen and Ploypan
"Aom" Thongpradit '06 became
engaged in July 2009.
1 st Lt. Christopher Warms completed
Air Force Pilot Training and earned his
wings at Corpus Christi Naval Base on
Aug. 28, 2009. He is currently stationed
at Little Rock AFB, where he flies a C-130.
4 8 Transformations \ Summer 2010
Amanda McCullough and Andrew
Bisol posed on the steps of Alden Memo-
rial after their Aug. 8, 2009, wedding.
Andrew works for a structural engineering
firm north of Philadelphia, and Amanda is
a veterinary student at the University of
Pennsylvania. They are happily living in
Upper Darby, Pa.
Brendan Devereaux and Nathan
Levesque turned their internships with
P. J. Keating into full-time employment.
Brendan is now assistant site manager for
Cranston, R.I., and Nathan is construction
superintendent in the Acushnet branch.
Chuck Gammal received the Siebel
Scholars Award, which recognizes
outstanding graduate students with a
$35,000 award. An MBA candidate and
teaching assistant at MIT's Sloan School of
Management, he also received the Grad-
uate Student Council Teaching award.
Raffaele Potami (PhD) joined Cold
Chain Technologies in Holliston, Mass.,
as a senior mechanical engineer. He was
profiled in Worcester Business Journal
Liz Stewart was accepted to attend the
Lindau meeting of Nobel Laureates in Ger-
many with funding from the NIH. Her doc-
toral research at the University of Michigan
focuses on the behavior of biofilms that
Mary Kate Toomey bought a home in
2008 and now resides Worcester. She
recently walked the full 26.2 miles in the
Jimmy Fund Boston Marathon, raising
nearly $1,000 for cancer research and
treatment. She also took part in her
mother's election campaign, helping Kate
Toomey return to the Worcester City Coun-
cil as the No. 2 vote getter (six candidates
make the council). She and roommate
Liz Kinnal serve as co-presidents of the
Alpha Gamma Delta GBAC Junior Circle.
Shelley Dougherty (PhD) and Jennifer
Ewalt have joined ECI Biotech as senior
Tracy Golinveaux's feature "It's Not
Easy Being Green," describing the difficulty
of being both environmentally responsible
and conscientious about firesafety, was
published in the November/December
2009 issue of NFPA Journal. She is pur-
suing her master's in FPE at WPI.
Alex Schwartz and Beth Beinke
released their game "Spring Fling"
(springflinggame.com), available for
iPhone and iPod Touch. Alex and Yilmaz
Kiymaz gave an IMGD seminar on their
24-hour iPhone game "Ramelicious,"
which features ramen noodle packets
All That Jazz (History)
Bob Sinicrope '71, a mathematics major turned musi-
cian and educator, returned to campus to share his
memories — and his music — with students in Professor
Rich Falco's Jazz History Humanities Inquiry Seminar.
The students have been interviewing prominent jazz
musicians for the New England Jazz History Database
(jazzhistorydatabase.com), an interactive multimedia
digital archive dedicated to preserving historic record-
ings, original scores, audio interviews, photographs, and
visual artwork by and of jazz musicians.
Sinicrope, a double bassist who has performed and
offered clinics on six continents, financed his WPI ed-
ucation by playing with a traveling polka band. In
1974, starting with a single course and a handful of stu-
dents, he launched the jazz program at Milton (Mass.)
Academy, which now sends ensembles all over the
world — from South Africa, to the Higashi School for
autistic children in nearby Randolph, Mass., to the in-
auguration of Sinicrope's
former student, Gov. Deval
Patrick. In 2007 Bob be-
came the first recipient of
the John LaPorta Jazz Edu-
cator of the Year, and this
spring received a Jazz Edu-
cator Achievement Award
from Downbeat magazine.
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Transformations | Summer 2010 A 9
Clayton E. Hunt Jr. '34 of Rochester,
N.Y., died May 1, 2010. He was prede-
ceased by his wife, Flora (Wheeler), in
January 2010. Two daughters survive him.
After a 33-year career with Eastman Kodak,
Hunt retired as senior development super-
vising engineer with more than 20 patents.
I Gladding '36 (Sigma
^M Phi Epsilon) of Wilming-
I ton, Del., died March
i • Mi 8, 2009. He was the
I retired head of the
^^^JLJfl I Research Division at
DuPont, where he worked with his wife,
Elinor (Hartnell), for many years. She died
Lawrence K. Barber Sr. '37 (Theta
Chi) of Waynesville, N.C., died Aug. 30,
2009. He was predeceased by his wife,
Martha (Way). He is survived by a son.
Barber retired as manufacturing director
after 42 years with the A. C. Lawrence
Richard J. Lyman
'37 (Lambda Chi
Alpha) of Lenox, Mass.,
died Aug. 16, 2009.
He was the retired vice
president of personnel
for New England Elec-
tric Systems, now National Grid. He leaves
his wife, Elizabeth (Hentz), and two children.
George E. Hanff '38 (Lambda Chi
Alpha) of Seattle, Wash., died Nov. 1 ,
2009. His wife Mildred (Stringer), died in
2008. Four children survive him. An aero-
space scientist, he was retired from Boeing.
Robert W. O'Brien '38 (Sigma Alpha
Epsilon) of Medford, N.J., died July 21 ,
2009 He leaves his wife, Gladys (Bewley),
and his four children. He was predeceased
by his first wife, Jule (Reidy), in 1980.
O'Brien was retired from Kraft Foods as
general manager, purchasing.
Albert A. Nims '39 (Phi Sigma Kappa)
of Baltimore, Md., died June 12, 2009
Predeceased by his wife, Betty, he leaves
two daughters. He was the retired manager
of airborne radar systems for Westinghouse
H. Roger Erickson '40 died peacefully
Nov. 2, 2009, at his home in Holden, Mass.
He leaves his wife of 60 years, Anna (Hen-
rikson), and a son. He was predeceased a
daughter. Erickson was personnel director
for U.S. Envelope Co. and later the
Worcester County Institution for Savings.
John H. Peters III
'40 (Skull) of Rockville,
Conn., died May 21,
'* I 2009, followed by his
*\t~ ^B wife, Laurel, on May
3 1 . They are survived
by two children. Peters
began his career at Pratt & Whitney on
the Monday after graduation and retired
in 1997 as general supervisor.
Walter J. Sydor '40 of Raritan, N.J.,
died April 30, 2009. Predeceased by his
wife, Rowena, he leaves two sons. Sydor
worked for American Cyanamid for 26
years, earning two patents. In retirement
he opened BRS Tax Service.
Frederick R. Waterhouse '40 of
Aiken, S.C., died Dec. 27, 2008. A
retired supervisor at DuPont, he leaves
his wife, Pauline, and two children.
'41 (Phi Sigma Kappa)
died April 9, 2009, in
Holyoke, Mass. He
leaves his wife, Virginia
(Conklin), and three
children. He was retired
from Texaco's Beacon Research Laboratory
as assistant manager.
Boyd R. Abbott '42 (Sigma Alpha
Epsilon) of Mountville, Pa., died April 5,
2009. He worked for Armstrong World
Industries for more than 30 years and
retired as general manager of research,
administration, and services. Survivors
include his wife, Dorothy, two children
and two stepchildren.
George F. Barber
'42 (MSME '50)
(Phi Sigma Kappa) of
Burlington, Vt., died
June 2, 2009. A former
instructor in WPI's me-
department, he retired from IBM as a staff
engineer. Predeceased by his wife, Joan
(Colton), he leaves three children.
Burton P. Franklin
'42 (Alpha Epsilon Pi)
of Pueblo, Colo., died
Feb. 1 7, 2009, leaving
his wife, Beverly. He
worked for General
Electric Co. for many
years before starting his own electronics
Ralph W. Piper '42 (Lambda Chi
Alpha) of Sonoma, Calif., died June 3,
2008. He was predeceased by his wife,
Rose-Marie. He was retired from a long
career with Westinghouse Electric Corp.
John E. Rogerson '42 (MSCM '47)
(Lambda Chi Alpha) of Mainville, Ohio,
died May 26, 2009. He was retired from
Procter & Gamble Co. as a safety engineer
specialist. He leaves his wife, Catherine,
and three children.
Donald E. Treadwell '42 of Shrews-
bury, Mass., died Jan. 6, 2009. He leaves
his wife, Marion (Peterson), and two chil-
dren. He was retired from the former State
Mutual Life Assurance Co.
Arthur D. Wilson '42 (Alpha Tau
Omega) of Parish, N.Y., died March 24,
2009, leaving his wife, Madeline, and
three children. He was retired from
Richard Whitcomb '43,
WPI mourns the passing
of Dick Whitcomb on
Oct. 13,2009. He is
best known as the
developer of the Area
Rule, which made su-
personic flight practical. His later innova-
tions, which include the supercritical wing
and winglets, have boosted speed and
improved fuel efficiency of military and
commercial planes, resulting in great cost
savings. The wind-tunnel model Whitcomb
used to develop the Area Rule is now in
the Smithsonian National Air and Space
Museum. • Shortly after graduating from
WPI, Whitcomb took a job at Langley
Research Center, run by the National Advi-
sory Committee for Aeronautics, which
became NASA in 1958, and spent his en-
tire career there. He received numerous
awards for his contributions to aviation
design, including the National Medal of
Science and induction in the Inventors Hall
of Fame. WPI honored Whitcomb with its
Presidential Medal and an honorary doc-
torate in engineering. A collection of his
papers is housed in the Gordon Library
Archives at WPI. • Read more at
wpi.edu/news/perspectives/94 1 68 .htm.
George "Jerry" Cagen '43 of Boyn-
ton Beach, Fla., died Nov. 25, 2008. He
leaves his wife, Elaine, and three children.
His career included many patents for audio
equipment used by Apollo mission astro-
nauts, as well as the Tiny Tears and Chatty
Cathy dolls made by the Ideal Toy Co.
5 Transformations \ Summer 2010
Joseph M. Jolda
'43, former dean of
Worcester Junior Col-
lege, died Feb. 19,
2009. He also taught
and Bartlett High School. Predeceased
by his wife, Florence (Godzik), he leaves
Thomas A. Bombi-
cino '44 (Sigma Alpha
Epsilon) of Venice, Fla.,
died April 1 2, 2009.
His wife of 62 years,
Mildred, died in Octo-
ber. They are survived
by two children. Bombicino was a chemi-
cal engineer and a specialist in the field of
electrical insulation. He patented a process
to fabricate mica sheets of uniform thickness
using modified papermaking machinery.
After 1 7 years with General Electric, he
served as vice president of New England
Mica and retired from United Technologies.
E Leslie M. Davis '44
(Lambda Chi Alpha)
of Tucson, Ariz., died
March 2, 2009. He
worked for American
Cyanamid Co. in chem-
ical sales. He is survived
by his wife, Dona Leigh, and five children.
John R. Fleming '44
(Phi Kappa Theta) of
Agawam, Mass., died
Oct. 9, 2008. He re-
tired from Rexnord as
general foreman of pro-
duction and, in retire-
ment, made deliveries for Longmeadow
Flowers. His wife, Marie Ann (Vilkas), died
in 2000. Two sons and four daughters
Martin T. Pierson '44 of Newark, Del.,
died Feb. 23, 2009. Predeceased by his
first wife, Geraldine, and a son, he leaves
his wife, Joyce, and a son. A member of
the WPI football team, Pierson went on to
coach at the University of Delaware and
Duke University. He later worked as indus-
trial relations manager at Sperry Corp. for
Stanley R. Cross '45 of Worcester died
July 28, 2009. He leaves his wife, Eleanor
(Steinhilber), and three daughters. He was
predeceased by a son. After serving as
president of the family castings business, S.
Ralph Cross & Sons, he founded Mayfield
Plastics with his brother Gordon.
George C. Pompeo '45 of North
Grosvenordale, Conn., died May 18,
2008. He was retired as president of
Hobbs Medical Inc. Survivors include his
wife, Elizabeth (Hoenig), and four chil-
dren. He was predeceased by a daughter.
Kenneth A. Lyons
'46 (Sigma Phi Epsilon)
of Randolph, Mass.,
died April 8, 2009,
leaving his wife, Metta,
and two daughters. He
was retired from The
Foxboro Company as a senior systems
specialist. Although Lyons graduated from
Northeastern University, he remained a
dedicated WPI alumnus who served on
his Class Board of Directors, contributed
vintage photographs to the 50th Reunion
Yearbook, and raised funds for a record-
breaking Class Gift that made the Campus
Center's Class of 1946 Lounge possible.
A loyal member of Sig Ep, he worked to
establish chapters at MIT and Boston
University. His grandson, Tim Driscoll,
is a member of the Class of 201 1 .
Floyd T. Miller '46
died April 30, 2009.
His wife, Ora (Cote),
died in 2000. Two chil-
dren survive him. He
retired in 1980 after a
long career with GM.
Allan E. Raymond '46 (Phi Sigma
Kappa) of Columbia, S.C., died July 4,
2009. A retired environmental engineer,
he worked for the states of New York and
South Carolina. Survivors include his wife,
Priscilla, and five children.
Vincent A. Zike '47 (Sigma Alpha
Epsilon) of West Hartford, Conn., died
April 25, 2009. Predeceased by his wife,
Elizabeth (Chaffee), he leaves three sons.
He was retired from Stanley Works.
Richard A. Atwood
'48 (Phi Gamma Delta)
of Desert Hot Springs,
Calif., died May 25,
2009. He is survived
by his wife, Carol, three
children, and three
stepchildren. During his 30-year career
with Boeing Aerospace, Atwood worked
on electronics for numerous space missions.
G. Edward Desaulniers '48 (MSEE)
(Phi Kappa Theta) of West Stockbridge,
Mass., died May 1 , 2009. He was retired
from General Electric Co. as a senior relia-
bility engineer. Predeceased by his wife,
Muriel (Wells), he leaves nine children.
Wayne A. Shafer '48 of North Andover,
Mass., died Oct. 18, 2008. Predeceased
by his wife, Barbara (Hunt), he leaves two
sons. He was retired from the Community
College of Rhode Island.
Norman E. Cotnoir '49 of North
Kingston, R.I., died Sept. 3, 2009. He
leaves his wife, Myrtle (Bigelow), and six
children. A longtime electrical engineer,
he retired from Brown & Sharp in 1983.
Glanovsky '49 of
Bristol, Conn., died
j Feb. 16, 2009. He was
predeceased by his first
wife, Shirley (Degnan),
and his second wife,
Janice (Furbish). Four children survive him.
Glanovsky was retired from a 30-year
career with Pratt & Whitney.
Eli Mitchell '49 of
Rolling Hills, Calif.,
died Dec. 5, 2009,
leaving his wife, Diana
(Staker), and six chil-
dren. He retired from
the U.S. Air Force as
a lieutenant colonel in 1975 and later
started Mitronics, an IT consulting firm
for small businesses.
William C. Reeves '49 (Sigma Alpha
Epsilon) of Charleston, S.C., died Feb. 8,
2009. He leaves his wife, Helen, and
four children. He was retired from G.E.
Donald R. Sanders '49 (Theta Chi)
of Westfield, Mass., died May 4, 2009.
He was the husband of the late Dorothy
(Webster) Sanders, and the father of three
children, who survive him. Sanders was
a retired electrical engineer who worked
for several firms in the Westfield area.
James O. Wenning '49 of Madison
Heights, Va., died Nov. 7, 2008. He was
retired from the U.S. Air Force as a captain.
David W. Danielson '50 (Alpha Tao
Omega) of Aptos, Calif., died Jan. 31,
2009, leaving his wife, Janke, and a step-
daughter. He was retired from General
Robert S. Longworth Sr. '50 of Port-
land, Conn., died Feb. 25, 2008. After
many years with the former American
Cyanamid Co., he retired from the Hard-
ware Division of The Stanley Works. He
leaves his wife, Joan (Robinson), and
Robert W. Baldwin '51 (Sigma Phi
Epsilon) of Richland, Wash., died March
24, 2009. He worked in the gas and oil
industry in New York City for more than
40 years. Survivors include his wife,
Catherine, and three children.
Transformations \ Summer 2010 51
Halsey E. Griswold '51 (Sigma Alpha
Epsilon) of Pawlet, Vt., died May 24, 2004.
He leaves his wife, Nancy (Burrows), and
five children. A son predeceased him.
Griswold was retired from Texaco Oil as
a chemical engineer.
Bernard P. Brennan '52 of Hartford,
Conn., died Nov. 20, 2008. He was re-
tired from Hamilton Standard (now Hamil-
ton Sundstrand) as a sales representative.
Henry J. Hart '52 (Sigma Alpha Epsilon)
of Hobe Sound, Fla., died May 28, 2009.
A longtime engineer in the petroleum in-
dustry, he managed the construction of key
offshore projects for Conoco Ltd. He leaves
his wife, Pil Sun, and a daughter.
Walter H. Rothman '52 (Theta Chi) of
St. Louis died Oct. 16, 2009. He leaves
his wife, Mary (Fagan), three children,
and three stepchildren. A former project
engineer for the U.S. Army, he was later
a self-employed consulting engineer.
Willard R. Ernst '53 (Sigma Phi Epsilon)
of Windsor, Conn., died Nov. 21, 2009.
He leaves his wife, Lorraine (Maclsaac),
and three children. He was retired from a
long career with Hamilton Sundstrand Corp.
Earl N. Sample '53 (Alpha Sigma
Epsilon) died March 22, 2009. A lifelong
resident of Barre, Mass., he held the posts
of superintendent of public works and of
the highway department, as well as serv-
ing on numerous boards and committees.
He was also owner of Barre Engineering Co.
Stanley P. Negus '54 (Phi Sigma
Kappa) died June 4, 2009, at his home
in Marston Mills, Mass. He worked for
Wyman-Gordon Co. for 38 years. Pre-
deceased by his wife, Ruth (Hubbard),
he leaves three children.
Otto A. Wahlrab '54 (Phi Gamma
Delta) of Hilton Head, S.C., died July 7,
2009. He leaves his wife, Joyce, three
daughters, and two stepsons. Wahlrab
was the retired president and owner of
John P. Slade Insurance Agency.
Joseph C. Berry '57 (SIM) of Belling-
ham, Wash., died Feb. 19, 2009. He
owned and operated Hunter Berry Inc.
and the Adco Group. He is survived by
his wife, Dorothy, and three children.
Victor L. Moruzzi '57 of Wappingers
Falls, N.Y., died Feb. 21, 2009. He leaves
his wife, Joan (Paggi), and five daughters.
As a member of the staff of the IBM Re-
search Center, he published more than
100 papers and two books. After retiring
he taught physics at Florida Atlantic
William E. Hanson '32, trustee emeritus, died Sept. 7, 2009.
Hanson was elected to the board in 1960 and served as chair
from 1968 to 1971, guiding the establishment of the WPI Plan.
He received the 1972 Herbert F. Taylor Alumni Award for Distin-
guished Service. After earning his bachelor's and master's degrees
in chemistry at WPI, he earned a PhD at New York University
and became a fellow of the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research
at the University. His research, sponsored by Gulf Oil Co.,
focused on the geochemistry of petroleum. He later moved to
the Gulf Oil Research Laboratories in Harmarville, Pa., where he
remained until 1971, retiring as senior scientist in the executive
department. He leaves his wife, Lenore "Lee" Corey, whom he
married in 1961 after years as a confirmed bachelor; he also
leaves a brother.
Howard C. Warren '42, a private investor and former owner
of The Riley Company, died Feb. 15, 2010. He served as trustee
from 1971 to 1981, and was then elected trustee emeritus. He
was honored with the Robert H. Goddard Alumni Award for
Outstanding Professional Achievement in 1972 and received an
honorary doctorate of engineering from WPI in 1982. Warren
retired as chairman of the board of Riley Stoker Co. in 1981.
He is survived by five children, 1 1 grandchildren, and six
Peter H. Horstmann '55, trustee emeritus, died Aug. 19,
2009. A former Alumni Association president, avid supporter of
WPI athletics, and longtime chair of the Citations Committee, he
brought recognition to others and was himself recognized with
the Herbert F. Taylor Alumni Award for Distinguished Service and
membership in the WPI Athletic Hall of Fame. Horstmann began
his career in the aircraft industry and later joined Coppus Engi-
neering, where he became vice president and part owner of the
firm. After several other industrial positions, he was director of
human resources for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. He
belonged to Sigma Phi Epsilon and Skull. Survivors include his
wife, Barbara Van Loon Horstmann, three daughters, and six
Peter H. Levine, MD, a dedicated supporter of the Institute and
personal mentor to many at WPI and in the Worcester commu-
nity, died Dec. 15, 2009, at age 71. A physician, teacher, and
research hematologist, he played a key role in the formation of
UMass Memorial Healthcare and served as the organization's
first CEO. On his retirement as CEO in 2002, the Peter H. Levine
Cancer Center was named in honor of his service and contribu-
tions. Levine served as a WPI trustee for almost two decades,
starting in 1990, and served on six committees. He was also a
member of the President's Circle and the Presidential Advisory
Council. He leaves his wife, Catherine, and three sons.
Full obituaries may be read at wpi.edu/News/Memoriam
David N. Olson '57 (Phi Sigma Kappa)
of Incline Village, Nev., died Feb. 3, 2009.
He was the founder and president of D & D
Mobile Homes. Survivors include his wife,
Carol, and three children.
William R. McLeod Jr. '58 (Theta Chi)
of Warwick, R.I., died July 27 2009, leav-
ing his wife, Nancy (Wainwright), and
three children. He worked for Ciba-Geigy
and Borden & Remington Corp.
James H. "Skip" Porter '58 (Sigma
Phi Epsilon) of Pennington, N.J., died Oct.
1 5, 2009. Survivors include his wife,
Janet, and two children. He was retired
from New Jersey Bell (now Verizon). A
member of the undefeated 1954 football
team, he enjoyed coaching youth sports
in his local community.
Kenneth B. Halvorsen '60 (Sigma
Phi Epsilon) of Santa Paula, Calif., died
Dec. 1, 2008. Predeceased by his wife,
Maureen, he leaves five children. He
retired as an electrical engineer for Port
Hueneme Naval Base after a 30-year
career in civil service.
52 Transformations \ Summer 2010
Robert J. McElroy '60 of Providence,
R.I., died July 14, 2008. He earned a
master's degree in educational math from
the University of Rhode Island and taught in
the Cranston and Warwick school systems.
Paul J. McCarthy '61 of Auburn,
Mass., died March 5, 2009. He was
retired from New England Telephone Co.
as a district manager in the engineering
department. Two children survive him.
Walter E. Pillartz '61 (Phi Kappa
Theta) of Guilford, Conn., died April 5,
2009. He leaves his wife, Mary Ann
(Bradsnyder), and two children. After 35
years with Southern New England Tele-
phone Co. Pillartz retired as a division
manager and opened Details, a fine
home accessories store.
Robert E. Seamon '61 of Albuquerque,
N.M., died Dec. 25, 2009, from injuries
sustained in an automobile accident the
previous day. He was retired from Los
Alamos National Laboratory, where his
work on nuclear weapons was recognized
with several awards from the Department
of Defense. Seamon endowed the Burton
and Mildred Seamon Memorial Scholar-
ship Fund in honor of his parents.
William A. Brutsch '62 (MSM 81)
(Theta Chi) of Milford, Mass., died June
15, 2009. He leaves his wife, Carol
(Carlberg), and two children. He retired
as deputy chief operating officer of the
MWRA in 2002, after a 30-year career
in which he led important improvements
to the state's water supply.
Harold E. Johnson '62 (SIM) of North
Conway, N.H., died Sept. 26, 2009. He
was a retired plant supervisor for Norton
Co. Predeceased by his wife, Ruth (Lidell),
he is survived by a daughter.
Alan S. Elias '63, of Winter Garden,
Fla., died May 22, 2009. Predeceased
by his wife, Helen, in 2003, he leaves
two children. He was a systems analyst
for Sikorsky Aircraft for 30 years.
David A. Kilikewich '63 (Tau Kappa
Epsilon) of Kaneohe, Hawaii, died Aug.
24, 2009. He retired from the Pearl Har-
bor Shipyard as a test engineer in 2002.
Survivors include his wife, Arleen, and
Henry P. Torcellini '63 (Lambda Chi
Alpha) of Eastford, Conn., died June 24,
2009. He worked for Gardner & Peterson as
a civil engineer for more than 30 years. He
leaves his wife, Dottie (Buell), and two sons.
Gerald D. Waxman '63 (Alpha Epsilon
Pi), a longtime professor of astronomy at
Santa Rosa Junior College, died Oct. 13,
2009. He was instrumental in founding the
school's Institute for Environmental Educa-
tion. He leaves his wife, Pam Zimmerman,
and two children.
John van Alstyne, dean emeritus of academic advising, died
April 16, 2010, in Asheville, N.C. He came to WPI in 1961 as
a professor of mathematics, intending to stay just one year. He
retired 28 years later, "having spent more than a decade and a
half making a profound difference in the lives of hundreds of WPI
students," the WPI Journal noted. Known simply as "van A," he
served on the Faculty Planning Committee for the WPI Plan and
was appointed dean of academic advising in 1970. He won the
Trustees Award for Outstanding Teaching in 1970 and received
the William R. Grogan Award for Support of the Mission of WPI
in 1993. He leaves three daughters and a grandson.
E. Russell Johnston Jr. died Jan. 24, 2010. He taught civil
engineering at WPI from 1957 to 1963 and later retired as
professor emeritus from the University of Connecticut. He was
the author of three textbooks and numerous journal articles.
He leaves his wife, Ruth, two sons, and three grandchildren.
Norman Sondak, a pioneer in information systems and com-
puter science, and the first person to teach computer science
at WPI, died in San Diego, Calif., on Nov. 5, 2009, at the age
of 78. Sondak joined WPI in 1968 and taught until 1978. He
later retired from San Diego State University as chairman of the
Information Systems Department. He is survived by his wife,
Eileen, two sons, a daughter, and four grandchildren.
Professor Archie K. McCurdy '59 (MSEE) of Franklin Town-
ship, N.J., died Aug. 1 3, 2009. He taught electrical engineering
at WPI for 40 years and retired as professor emeritus in 1995.
His research on acoustic wave properties and thermal conduc-
tivity is still widely read and highly regarded. He leaves his
wife, Carmella, two daughters, and a son.
Full obituaries may be read at wpi.edu/News/Memoriam
Robert J. Geiger '64 (Sigma Phi Ep-
silon) of Goshen, Conn., died April 7
2009. He leaves his wife, Lucinda, and
three children. He was a plant manager
at The Torrington Company and later at
Owens-Illinois before retiring in 1996.
Albert J. Metrik '64 (Phi Kappa Theta)
of Erie, Pa., died March 17, 2009. He
leaves his wife, Rose, and two children.
A longtime electrical engineer for General
Electric Co., he previously worked on the
Apollo space program.
Frank E. Stone '64 (Phi Kappa Theta)
of Farmington Hills, Mich., died March 17
2008. He worked for several chemical
companies and retired from MacDermid
Chemical Co. as plant general manager.
He leaves his wife of 1 3 years, Eunju, a
daughter, and two stepchildren.
William W. Guidi '65 (Phi Sigma
Kappa) of Worthington, Mass., died Nov.
26, 2008. He was a longtime electrical
engineer for General Electric Co. His two
sons survive him.
Charles F. Merry '65 (SIM) of Topeka,
Kan., died Feb. 27 2009, at age 88. A
longtime employee of American Optical
Co., he later retired as vice president Duf-
fens Optical. He was predeceased by his
wife, Jeanne (Ketchum), and a daughter.
He is survived by a daughter.
Ronald J. Rustigian '65 (Sigma Phi
Kappa) of Portsmouth, N.H., died Sept.
1 8, 2009. A former mechanical engineer
for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, he was
retired from the Department of the Navy.
He is survived by a daughter.
Peter G. Stebbins '66 of Hollis, N.H.,
died June 14, 2009. He spent more than
two decades with Sanders Associates/
Lockheed Sanders and later worked for
Signatron and Siemens Medical Systems.
He was predeceased by his first wife,
Joyce (Ericson) in 1988. He leaves his
wife, Ellen (Walker), and a daughter.
Transformations \ Summer 2010 53
William E. Sullivan Jr. '66 (Sigma Phi
Epsilon) of North Reading, Mass., died
Feb. 28, 2009. He was a member of the
technical staff of Computer Sciences Corp.
James L Viele '67 (Theta Chi) of Vail,
Colo., died Aug. 9, 2009. Predeceased by
his wife, Kathleen, he leaves three children
and his close friend Vickie Leigh. Viele
worked for International Paper Co. before
moving to Colorado and starting a con-
Edward H. Borgeson '68 (Phi Sigma
Kappa) died Sept. 9, 2009, at his home in
Wayland, Mass. He leaves his wife, Trudy
(Hood). The father of Ross Borgeson '99,
he also leaves two other sons. He was a
senior development engineer for Raytheon
Integrated Defense Systems.
William J. McCarthy '68 (Sigma Pi)
of Austin, Texas, died April 6, 2009. An
enrolled actuary, he had served as an
actuarial consultant for Allen Bailey and
Associates, after 30 years in the life insur-
ance industry. Survivors include his wife,
Nancy, and three children.
Walter Sackmann '68 (Tau Kappa Ep-
silon) of Granby, Conn., died Oc. 22,
2009. He leaves two children and their
mother, Kendra (McNamara) Ketchin. He
was a fluid power specialist offering tech-
nical and sales support for several indus-
George J. Sonntag '68 (SIM) of Boyl-
ston, Mass., died May 13, 2009. He was
predeceased by his wife, Pauline, and a
son. He leaves four children. Sonntag
worked for Heald Machine Co., and later
its parent company, Cincinnati-Millacron.
Daniel P. Lorusso '69 of Pittsfield,
Mass., died May 7, 2009, after a battle
with cancer. A longtime electrical design
engineer, he most recently worked on med-
ical equipment projects. He is survived by
Hans van den Biggelaar '70 (PhD),
former professor and head of the electrical
engineering department at UMass Dart-
mouth, died April 29, 2008. He was 81 .
He previously taught at St. Anselm College,
Skidmore College, and RPI.
Robert C. Vickery '70 (SIM), 82, a
retired production manager for Wyman-
Gordon Co., died Jan. 24, 2009, at his
home in West Boylston, Mass. His wife,
Virginia (Lynch), died in 1998. Three
children survive him.
Roy Seaberg '56, former director of admissions at WPI and
executive secretary to the faculty committee that created the WPI
Plan, passed away in Delray Beach, Fla., on Oct. 1, 2009, at
the age of 75. Seaberg joined WPI in 1962 as assistant secre-
tary of the WPI Alumni Association. In 1969 he moved to the
Admissions Office, where he rose to director in 1980. Four years
later he was given the opportunity to help expand WPI's student
recruitment efforts more globally as director of special admis-
sions. He retired in 1996, after 34 years in the WPI administra-
tion. A member and former advisor for Phi Gamma Delta
fraternity, he was also active in Skull. He coached the WPI golf
team to two undefeated seasons between 1963 and 1970 and
was a leader in Alumni Association regional programs for
David E. Lloyd, a former vice president of business affairs and
treasurer of WPI, died April 8, 201 0. Lloyd joined the admini-
stration in 1954 as business manager, and retired in 1986. He
oversaw an era of great expansion in WPI's student enrollment,
operating budget, and endowment, as well as the completion
of major building projects and the establishment of the Alden
Research Laboratory in Holden. Survivors include his wife, Elsie
(Sivell), a daughter, and two grandchildren. He was predeceased
by a son in 2007.
Full obituaries may be read at wpi.edu/News/Memoriam
Robert W. Ewing '71 (SIM) of Fal-
mouth, Maine, died Oct. 27, 2009. He
was 89. Predeceased by his wife, Dorothy
(Marble), he leaves two children. He was
retired from New England Electrical Sys-
tem as district superintendent for the North
Richard E. Fleming '71 (SIM) of Grafton,
Mass., died Feb. 20, 2009. He was 77.
A retired superintendent and manager for
Commonwealth Gas Co., he leaves his
wife, Laura (Bolofka), a daughter, and two
Former wrestling team
captain and assistant
coach Raymond F.
Cherenzia '73 (Phi
Gamma Delta, Skull)
lost his battle with brain
cancer on Jan. 9, 2009.
He was the founder of Cherenzia Associ-
ates Ltd. and also operated Cherenzia Ex-
cavation with his brother, Salvatore. While
doing graduate work at WPI he served as
assistant wrestling coach from 1974 to
1976 and continued to referee for high
school and college matches. Survivors in-
clude his son Sergio Cherenzia '04 and
two other children, his former wife, Rhonda
(Zanella) Cherenzia, and his fiancee, Jill Kass.
John E. Dunn '73 (SIM) of Boylston,
Mass., died July 1 4, 2009, at the age of
86. Predeceased by his wife, Corinne
(Saulnier), he is survived by two children.
He worked for Meyers Manufacturing for
Samuel E. Schumacher '73 (SIM) of
East Woodstock, Conn., died May 30,
2009. He worked for Dexter Russell Co. for
more than 30 years. Survivors include his
wife, Judith (Dowling), and two children.
Walter G. Spreadbury '74 (SIM) of
Worcester died Feb. 21, 2009, at age 84.
He leaves his wife, Isabel, and two chil-
dren. He was retired from Norton Co. as
manager of international engineering
projects and domestic affairs.
John D. Keefe '75 (SIM) of Bayonet
Point, Fla., died April 9, 2009, at the age
of 83. He leaves his wife, Shirley, and a
daughter. He was predeceased by a
daughter. Keefe was retired from Bay
State Abrasives as general foreman.
Robert S. DeMarco '79 (Sigma Alpha
Epsilon) of Boylston, Mass., died Feb. 13,
2009. He leaves his wife, Leslie (Harris),
and three sons. He was a technical recruiter
William A. Woishnis '80 (Lambda Chi
Alpha) died Aug. 2, 2009. A pioneer in
the electronic information field, he and his
wife founded William Andrew Publishing,
based in Norwich, N.Y., in 1990. His inno-
vations included the Plastics Design Library
and Knovel, a data-driven science and engi-
neering database. He is survived by his
wife, Jeri Wachter, and a son.
5 4 Tra nsform at i o n s \ Summer 2010
Ronald I. Borjeson Jr. '81 (SIM) of
West Boylston, Mass., died Aug. 31, 2009,
at age 81. He leaves his wife, Anna
(Decker), and four children. He retired
from Norton Co. as a foreman with 36
years of service.
David B. Ward '82 (MSCS), 74, of
Scottsdale, Ariz., died Jan. 24, 2009,
leaving his wife, Gail, and three sons. He
worked for Honeywell International as a
software engineer for 40 years.
Richard J. Wurm '82 (Lambda Chi,
Skull) of Sudbury, Mass., died May 15,
2010, after a six-year battle with brain
cancer. He leaves his wife, Katherine
(Coghlan) '81 , and four sons. He began
his career at New England Telephone,
worked for several communications and
data protection companies, and was most
recently director of program management
Gilbert F. Cahill '85 (SIM), of Wilming-
ton, Mass., died May 7, 2009. He was 73.
He leaves his wife, Joan "Joy" (Revane),
and a son. He was a retired manager for
Massachusetts Electric Systems.
Keith W. LeDuc '85 of South Dartmouth,
Mass., died Sept. 17 2007 after a long
battle with ALS. He leaves his wife, Eliza-
beth (Roy). He worked for Metcalf & Eddy
as a water treatment engineer.
Ronald A. Renaud '87 of Thompson,
Conn., died April 9, 2009. He was retired
from Hyde Manufacturing Co. as a cost
estimator. He leaves his wife, Jeanne
(Lefebvre), and a daughter.
Darius Dilmaghani '91 died Aug. 12,
2009, at his parents' home in Chestnut Hill,
Mass., after a lengthy battle with liver can-
cer. He was the brother of Alex Dilma-
ghani '91 . He also leaves his father and
stepmother, and another brother. He was a
senior mechanical engineer at Keurig Inc.
Michael C. Naum '91 of Woodstock,
Conn., died June 26, 2009, after a long
battle with cancer. Survivors include his
wife, Genevive (Kwok), and two children.
He received a master's degree in Strategic
Intelligence from the American Military
University and earned several patents
while working at Sun Microsystems. He
founded Silicon Dimensions in 2002 and
joined Advanced Micro Devices in 2006.
Nathan J. Gronda '99 of Shrewsbury,
Mass., died Jan. 4, 201 0. He was a proj-
ect engineer for Metso Automation USA
Inc. He is survived by his mother and
William A. "Andy" Pfeil '07 of
Andover, Mass., died Nov. 9, 2009, of
injuries sustained in a car accident. A dou-
ble major in computer science and electri-
cal and computer engineering, he was the
recipient of a Tau Beta Pi Scholarship.
WPI has also received notice of the
following deaths. William S. Koschny
'44 in 2006; Marvin B. Cramer '62 in
2006; and Michael B. DeRose '74 in 2005.
Alumni Association Mourns Former Presidents
Donald G. Craig '57 (Sigma Phi Epsilon) died Jan. 1, 2010. A former military and
civilian pilot, Don retired from American Airlines in 1995. He
presided over the Alumni Association from 1 993 to 1 995, a vital
phase that conducted a comprehensive survey of alumni needs,
enacted a master plan, and laid the groundwork for WPI's first online
alumni network. In 1 997 he received the Herbert F. Taylor Alumni
Award for Distinguished Service. He established the Matthew
Andrews Craig Scholarship in memory of his youngest son, who
died in a boating accident at age 24. He is survived by his wife,
Nancy Andrews Craig, of Savannah, Ga., and two sons.
Robert E. Maynard Jr. '63 (Phi Kappa Theta), died Dec. 18, 2009. Bob was retired
from a 35-year career with R. H. White Construction Co., where he
served as executive vice president. A 2003 Taylor Award recipient,
he served as association president from 1 997 to 1 999 and was in-
strumental in restructuring the organization. As chair of the Alumni
Funds Board, he oversaw the master plan that paved the way for
WPI's $150 million capital campaign that concluded in 2004. He
leaves his wife, Judith A. Praskiewicz Maynard, and two children.
WPI Inventor Becomes Legend
Elwood Haynes may have graduated more than a century ago, but this year he joined
the first class of inductees in the Howard County Hall of Legends in Kokomo, Ind. His
classmates include legends from the world of art, business, and journalism, some of
whom are Pulitzer-, Peabody- and Emmy award winners.
Haynes, a member of WPI's Class of 1881, is best known for inventing America's first
mechanically successful gasoline-powered automobile in 1894, which is a part of the
"America on the Move" exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. His
research on metal alloys — which dates back to his senior thesis, "The Effect of Tungsten
on Iron and Steel," — has improved everything from razor blades to spacecraft.
Transformations \ Summer 2010 5 5
<> TIME CAPSULE
The Washburn Bell now rests safely on a specially built cradle in the lobby of the Washburn Shops, where
it can be enjoyed by the WPI community. Cast in 1926 with a senior class gift of $160, the 250-pound bronze
bell was silenced once when Washburn's tower collapsed during a 1938 hurricane. It fell a second time in
2005; this time the cupola was deemed structurally unsound to bear its weight, and the bell was not returned
to the tower.
The Classes of 2008 and 2009 took on the project of restoring the bell for display and mounting a plaque
documenting its history. The Alumni Association helped fund the makeover, which included sandblasting to
remove stains and corrosion, and a lacquer coating to preserve its luster. A full account of the restoration, with expense records,
drawings, and research, will remain in the Gordon Library Archives.
The bell still tolls — but only for those who shake the clapper.
56 Transformations \ Summer 2010
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To register for an upcoming information session:
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