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Snow came to Alumni Field early this year, as
the Engineers battled both Hobart College and
the weather during their Oct. 29 contest.
OF THE YEAR
James Baum, Class of 1986
Former President & CEO
Netezza Corporation, an IBM Company
For his exemplary accomplishments as an
innovator, excellence in driving innovation
within enterprise,and leadership within
the business world and beyond.
INNOVATOR? Visit business.wpi.edu/+baum to find out from The Innovator of the Year how great innovators are made through THE INNOVATOR'S MBA.
VOL. 108 NO. 1 ► FALL 2011
In Perfect Balance
Like the stunning bridges he builds, Mark Ketchum 75
knows how to balance stress, durability, and beauty.
BY DAVID ENDERS
OVER ► The Mayor of Cool
Naveen Selvadurai '02, '04 (MS CS) and his business
partner, Dennis Crowley, may have created the Internet's
next big thing, foursquare, a social media site that
mixes geo-tagging, urban exploration, and socializing.
BY MICHAEL BLANDING
Shaking Whispers from the Walls
Like a science-center twister, Nina Simon '03 is shak-
ing up the museum world, using creativity, passion, and
some good ol' WPI problem solving to make museums
BY KATE SILVER
A Century of Do-Gooders
Your alumni magazine goes undercover to bring you
the inside story of the secret Skull society, which recently
celebrated its 100th anniversary of stealthily moving
through the WPI campus doing nice things for others.
BY W. POLLY TEKNICK
Mastering the Course
Mark Mungeam '83 charted his own course when it
came to his profession — which is the same approach
he takes when designing a world-class golf course.
Cover Illustration by Paul Wearing
Forty percent less tat, 47 percent more Vitamin A.
Message From the President
Poems Found . . . Robots Scoring . . . Lessons
News from Higgins House
From Homecoming to award winners, WPI alumni
are on the move.
Robert Foisie '56 and Priscilla and George
Messenger Jr. '51 make transformative gifts to WPI's
Octogenarians are studying French, motorcycling 1 ,600
miles, and flying gliders — these are just a few of the 500
alumni who sent updates this issue.
What happens when you cut a Sudoku diagonally?
Solve Professor Heineman's Sujiken puzzle and find
out. Also, the Awkward Engineer by Sam Feller '07.
Here to There
Albert Soloway '48 looks back at his 30 years in higher
education and identifies some troubling trends.
Civil and Environmental
Electrical and Computer
rotecting those wno save ives
Engineers at WPI have spent the decade since
9/1 1 and the Worcester Cold Storage warehouse
fire developing innovative technologies and new
ideas to alleviate the dangers first responders
face every day.
Learn more: wpi.edu/+protecting
Not One But Legion
WORCESTER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE
VOL 108, NO 1
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF ALUMNI RELATIONS
Peter A. Thomas
Michael W. Dorsey
Eileen Brangan Mell
Sharron Kahn Luttrell
Christine Delia Monaca
Transformations magazine (ISSN 1538-5094) © 2011 is
published quarterly by Worcester Polytechnic Institute
in conjunction with the Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Alumni Association. Issues are mailed to all known WPI
alumni living within the U.S., as a benefit of having
graduated from WPI. This publication is guided by
WPI's principles of free expression and accepted stan-
dards of good taste Opinions expressed are those of
the signed contributors and do not represent the opin-
ion or official position of Worcester Polytechnic Institute
or its officers. POSTMASTER Please send address
change, Form 3579, to Transformations Magazine,
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 100 Institute Road,
Worcester, MA 01609-2280. Readers are encouraged
to e-mail comments to: Transformations@WPI.edu.
The Class Note is an under appreciated literary form. Consider this one sent to Harvard in 1847 in re-
sponse to a request for a career update:
"I don't know whether mine is a profession, or a trade, or what not. It is not yet learned, and in every
instance has been practised before being studied.. .It is not one but legion. I will give you some of the mon-
ster's heads. lama Schoolmaster— a Private Tutor, a Surveyor.. .a Gardener, a Mason, a Day-Laborer, a
Pencil-Maker, a Glass-paper Maker, a Writer, and sometimes a Poetaster.. ..For the last two or three years
I have lived in Concord woods alone, something more than a mile from any neighbor, in a house built
entirely by myself. — Henry David Thoreau '37
Thoreau's note is often cited because of the literary masterpiece that was to come from those Concord
woods. But as author Henry Petroski points out in his insightful book, The Pencil, Thoreau's class note
reveals even more. For instance, the profession that Thoreau practices but struggles to describe, says
Petroski, is that of an engineer, which was rapidly emerging in the mid-1 9th century and, indeed, has a long
history of being "practised before being studied."
Petroski also points out that Thoreau consistently displayed a common trait of the engineering mind-
set—namely, a desire to plumb a variety of subjects beyond the mechanical, as problem solving requires
a unique blend of skills, not the least of which is creativity. Which brings me to this issue of Transformations.
As you may have noticed, we've been creatively tinkering with your alumni magazine. This issue features
a new design, binding, size and editor. It also features an expanded class notes section filled with updates
from a creative group of WPI graduates unafraid to plumb any subject. The first page alone sets the tone.
Here, you'll find Frank Holby '48 studying French, a language he took up at age 83; Harvey Howell '51
confessing that he's slowed down a bit, but still finds time to pilot his glider; David Hathaway '53 complet-
ing a 1 ,600-mile motorcycle trip, camping along the way in a tent borrowed from his daughter; and George
Sanderson '52 deciding it's a good time to begin studying artificial intelligence.
Lest you think the octogenarians are having all the adventures, see Kim Schaefer '84, who is teaching
figure skating in her spare time; or Leonard Redon 73, deputy mayor of Rochester, N.Y, and the first Af-
rican American to hold that office; or Bruce Denson '68, who is now pastor at the local Methodist church;
or Laura Gregory Roberts '93, who was recently listed among the "Top 40 Under 40" by Connecticut
Magazine, or Barbara Doyle Atkins '94 who became a bone marrow donor this year.
In all, you'll find businesses being launched, books being written, classes being taught, music being
performed, and exotic, faraway places being explored. You'll also find a sincere passion for helping others
reach their potential. And, of course, you'll find an abundance of scientific, technological, entrepreneurial,
and engineering accomplishments.
After a thorough read of these class notes, I came away thinking that Thoreau would have been very
attracted to WPI if it had existed back in 1833 when he was a freshman. Petroksi's book provides some
evidence to support the hunch, as he reports that the frugal Thoreau actually had business cards printed
late in life that listed his occupation as civil engineer. But it's Thoreau's criticism of education, and his alma
mater in particular, that provides the most convincing evidence. Among the things Thoreau took issue with
was his professors' over-reliance upon theory. As he writes in Walden: "To my astonishment I was informed
upon leaving college that I had studied navigation!— why, if I had taken one turn down the harbor I should
have known more about it."
What you'll find in this issue of Transformations is a collection of WPI graduates who won't hesitate to
take that one turn toward the harbor, which invariably leads to uncharted waters, and, of course, new
discoveries and new knowledge. Now, expand that idea, not by one, but by a legion of men and women
who share that spirit, and you have the makings of a very interesting alumni magazine— which is just what
we intend to deliver to you.
JAMES WOLKEN, EDITOR
Reconnect at wpi.edu/+sao.
Follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
r e care.
Number of incoming freshmen in 1911 that set a WPI record for class size: 154
Number of incoming freshmen in 2011 that set a WPI record for class size: 1,009
Percentage difference of Vitamin A found rn goat milk compared to cow milk: +47
Percentage difference in fat found in goat cheese compared to cow cheese: -40
Number of "secret societies" at Yale University: 10
Number of "secret societies" at WPI: 1
Odds that a U.S. couple met via social media: 1 in 5
Odds that a divorcing U.S. couple will list Facebook among the causes of their break up: 1 in 5
Percentage of American adults who used the Internet in 2010: 79
Percentage of American adults who used social media: 47
Total revenue generated by WPFs Corporate & Professional Education unit in 2005: $2.8 million
In 2011: $9.7 million
Percentage of current WPI employees who are female: 53
Percentage of current WPI students who are female: 30
Estimated number of museums in the United States: 17,500
Median annual attendance in 2009 at a U.S. art museum: 44,878
Median annual attendance in 2009 at a U.S. science /technology museum: 357,103
Grade WPI received for sustainability in 2005 from the Sustainable Endowment Institute: D-
Grade WPI received in 2011: A-
Number of IQP and MQP reports downloaded during 2009 from Gordon Library: 240,000
Percentage of undergraduate applicants admitted into WPI in 2005: 83
In 2011: 57
Percentage of WPI's 2011 incoming freshmen who graduated high school with a 4.0 GPA: 44
Estimated number of bridges in the United States: 600,000
Number considered "structurally deficient" by the ASCE: 161,000
Estimated number of U.S. bridges found in "dangerous disrepair": 71,000
Amount returned to the economy for every U.S. tax dollar spent on transportation infrastructure: $1.57
Total, in dollars, of research awards WPI faculty received in 2005: $11.8 million
In 2010: $17.4 million
Number of Annual Fund phone calls from student callers to WPI alumni last year: 10,586
Record-setting total dollars raised by the WPI Annual Fund last year: $2,225,910
Estimated number of U.S. golf courses, public and private: 15,890
Estimated rounds of golf played in the U.S. last year: 475,000,000
Average greens fee in Massachusetts: $62.16
Recommended first-time gift to the WPI Annual Fund: $50
Fee for a lifetime membership to the American Goat Society. $200
The WPIndex is sponsored by the WPI Annual Fund, which has been helping WPI students succeed since 1 924
I read with a great deal of interest your very
cogent articles about China in the Spring edition of
Transformations. I would like to add a few thoughts:
Tom Friedman wrote a book called The World
15 Flat. It may be, but it is not level. Or in engi-
neering parlance, it is not tangent to the radius
of the sphere. Currently, the Chinese (as well as
many other nations | enjoy a labor cost advantage,
which is why I postulate that the world may be
flat' but it is certainly not level. Here is my main
point: In 1989, 1 was the general manager of a new
joint venture located in Beijing. Contractually, the
company could only pay S100 per month. Now, 22
years later (or one generation), my wife's nephew
is earning SI, 000 per month. Again, we engineers
would say 'one order of magnitude.' If the trend
continues, parity will happen in one more genera-
tion. At that point there will be no cost advantage
to making things like clothes or TVs or providing
call centers in China or anywhere else.
It's great that America is increasing its ties
with China. But our investment should be more
towards their domestic business and less aimed
at things for export. Forward-looking companies
are seeing this trend, and, again my opinion, "on
shoring" will become more the norm as we move
through the next millennium.
China is a fascinating place with intelligent,
secular people. They are more like us than we
might think. And contrary to what you may read
in the fourth estate, China likes the U.S. and wants
to emulate it in many ways. Most of China has ac-
cess to television and can see what "western civi-
lization" looks like. They are far from dogmatic
communists, despite the name of the ruling party.
There is more Confucius than Marx in China. As
former Chinese leader Deng Xiao Ping once said, it
does not matter if the cat is white or black as long
as it catches the mouse. I would only caution to
not get caught up in what we used to call 'China
Chic' We should recognize that their business
guide is Sun Tzu's The Art of War and not the sappy
stuff we read, like The One Minute Manager.
The U.S. makes up five percent of the world's pop-
ulation. China 22 percent. Soon, we will look across
the Pacific and see ourselves, just five times bigger.
Best we keep some of our production at home,
no matter how mundane or routine it appears.
J. D. CATTEL 70
President, Digital Control Company, Clearwater, Florida
I read with great interest Susan Seligson's article
about the experience of Chinese students at WPI
("Culture Shock"), particularly their participa-
tion in sports. I would like to add that Chinese
students are the largest ethnic group in the WPI
Badminton Club (Indians are second), and, as has
happened often in the past, they have served as
president and other officers of the club. While
badminton is an extraordinarily fast sport at
which the Chinese are very good, our students
usually look upon the competition as a social oc-
casion las described in Susan's article), groups of
friends sitting around the court chatting with the
players as the shuttlecocks whiz back and forth
across the net.
BLAND ADDISON, Associate Professor
Advisor to the WPI Badminton Club
Co-Director. Morocco Project Center
Being both a WPI alumnus and a musician, I found
parts of the spring 2011 edition of Transformations
to be quite upsetting. The "Grammy for WPI"
write-up was silly enough, with its trite insults at
expected pop targets. But the praise over the "Dig-
itar" project was ridiculous. Guitar-structured
MIDI controllers are nothing new, in fact at least
two of them are already called "Digitar." And if you
can pass a differential equations class, then sheet
music and tablature shouldn't be "too daunting."
For crying out loud— tablature, which is already
the dumbed-down version of sheet music, is just
counting! The last thing the music scene needs is
more shoddy guitar players with no understand-
ing of sheet reading or theory; we're already over-
whelmed with them. Yes, guitar playing "has its
own learning curve," but so do all skills. If they
didn't, they wouldn't be skills.
BILL MONTBLEAU 97
I was saddened (as I suspect many former stu-
dents, faculty, and staff were) to learn of the pass-
ing of John van Alstyne, Archie McCurdy, and Roy
Seaberg. "Van A" was a legend on the campus, hav-
ing an extraordinary capacity to keep tremendous
amounts of information in his head. He was the
"go to" guy during Drop & Add' each quarter. He
was also a great mentor and advisor.
Professor McCurdy was a good friend and
teacher. I learned a great deal from him about
thin film deposition, optics, and molecular-level
electronics. The biggest lesson I learned from
Prof. McCurdy, however, occurred when I hap-
pened upon him in the basement of Gordon Li-
brary, reading a Russian engineering text. "I didn't
know you could read Russian," I said. "I can't," he
replied, "but if I work hard enough, eventually I
will figure it out." I never forgot that lesson, for it
taught me to never shy away from even the most
difficult of problems.
But perhaps the biggest impact on my life was
Roy Seaberg, the director of admissions. Know-
ing WPI's reputation for being very selective, I
assumed my chances weren't good. But Roy was
very encouraging, and I will forever be grateful for
his confidence in me. He challenged me to stretch
my abilities and discover my talents. As a result,
I worked very hard to make sure that I honored
Roy's decision to accept me into WPI, and ulti-
mately graduated with distinction.
I will always think fondly of these individuals
who excelled at their jobs by going "above and be-
yond," and shall forever be grateful for their influ-
ence in my life.
RICHARD K. LADROGA '92
Vice President. Global Strategic Development
Doble Engineering Company
8 Fall 20T
WPI has prepared leaders, entrepreneurs, and in
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four-court gymnasium • competition pool with diving well • large venue for academic and community events
two-stories of cardio equipment, free weights, and circuit training machines • three-lane jogging track
multipurpose rooms for fitness activities • racquetball and squash courts
11 We are building a place for our community to come
together — for competition, for camaraderie, for celebration.
We are building a new setting for pvnpiipnne "
— Dennis Berkey, President
iTPTiril s| ll=lli =1 ri =if 1 -
Opening Fall 2012
arn more at sportsandrecreation.wpi.edu.
messao e fro
The Measure of
e hear talk in the media about the need tor
higher education to track and measure student
outcomes. This trend is driven in large part by
the rapid rise of for-protit colleges, which have
brought more choices to the higher education landscape, but
also more confusion as to what constitutes good value.
Assessing student outcomes has been a priority at WPI for
many decades, in part because our unique project-based cur-
riculum requires assessment far beyond traditional classroom
metrics, like test scores or grades WPI students must demon-
strate the acquisition of knowledge in traditional classroom set-
tings, and impressive amounts of it, I might add. But they must
also demonstrate that they know how to apply that knowledge
to real-world projects, while earning the trust and confidence of
fellow project members along the way. Such hands-on, collab-
orative learning is a distinguishing trait of a WPI education. It's
also the type of learning experience not easily captured by a
numeric evaluation. Leadership does not always reveal itself in a
Though difficult to distill to a numeric value, leadership is more
easily discernible when viewed through other prisms. Consider,
for instance, the alumni featured in this issue of Transformations,
which shows WPI graduates in a variety of leadership roles
across a range of industries. These stories not only chronicle re-
markable professional success, but also reveal that the passion
for problem solving is at the heart of their work.
Whether it's Naveen Selvadurai 02, '04 (MS CS) pioneering
his new geography-based approach to social media, or Mark
Ketchum 75 balancing the structural and cultural pressures of
a stunning bridge project, or Nina Simon '03 shaking up the
whispering world of museums by getting administrators to re-
think their value proposition, WPI graduates are applying their
problem-solving skills in creative and successful ways. It is this
talent for problem solving that inherently positions our graduates
Professional accomplishment is just one area where leader-
ship manifests. Family, community involvement, civic engage-
ment, the willingness to volunteer, to give back, to be a part of
something larger than oneself is another form of leadership that
is vital to a healthy society. Here, again, I am pleased to say
that WPI alumni have distinguished themselves, and I encour-
age you to read the expanded Class Notes section in this issue,
which shows many WPI graduates deeply involved in their com-
munities. The WPI Alumni Association has recognized some of
these hard working alumni who have volunteered their time, en-
ergy, and ideas on behalf of their alma mater, and you can read
about their accomplishments beginning on page 52.
Measuring leadership may be difficult to do numerically, but
it's not hard to identify when you see it in action. To that end,
WPI has been fortunate to have a stalwart example of leadership
for more than a century in the form of The Skull, whose 100th
anniversary is captured in these pages. The society, which es-
chews publicity and recognition, often points to Mildred McClary
Tymeson's history of WPI, Two Towers, as the impetus behind
their collective work. In that book, Tymeson closes with the fol-
[WPI] stands there for more than any other reason because —
by some strange and wonderful supply —
there have always been enough people who cared.
Therein lies one sure measure of leadership — people who
care. And that, I am proud to say, is also a prominent outcome
from a WPI education.
Fall 2011 11
WPI Ranks Among
Best In Many Ways
THREE RECENT RANKINGS will come as no surprise
to WPI alumni. The Huffington Post ranked WPI among
the 10 Nerdiest Colleges in the U.S., citing such "nerd-
esque" traditions as the "trigonometry-laced" fight song.
(You know the one: "E to the X... D-Y, D-X / Fight 'em,
Fight 'em, WPI!"). The popularity of combat robotics also
weighed heavily in the decision.
While "nerdiness" is trending up, the 2012 Fiske Guide
to Colleges focused on WPI's other notable traits, placing
the Institute on its list of 13 "Most Interesting Colleges."
The 2012 Fiske Guide describes WPI as: "Small, innova-
tive, and undergraduate-oriented, Worcester Polytechnic
Institute is anything but a stodgy technical institute. The
WPI Plan is hands-on and project-based and takes a hu-
manistic view of engineering. Emphasizes teamwork in-
stead of competition." Nothing nerdy about that.
Student assessment landed WPI on Unigo's list of "Best
Colleges for 21 Century Einsteins," which noted, "WPI at-
tracts some of the brightest young science and engineer-
ing students in the nation." Name recognition, student-
teacher interaction, and the success of graduates were
commended. "Students who graduate from WPI may
have plenty of high-paying professional options awaiting
them, but they have to survive the school's rigorous aca-
demics first," said one student review — which, President
Dennis Berkey noted, "is a good reminder that the real
rewards in life come from the work at hand."
Wilbur Reactor Decommissioned
HAT DOES IT TAKE TO PUT A NUCLEAR REACTOR TO BED?
A significant milestone in the decommissioning of WPI's Leslie C. Wilbur
Nuclear Reactor occurred in July, with the removal of 27 uranium fuel rods
from the fight water reactor pool. The multi-phase decommissioning pro-
cess began in 2007, when the 10 kW reactor went off-line and WPI's license
was amended to non-operating, possession-only status. The decontamina-
tion and dismantlement phases may take another year or two.
In 1959 when the reactor went five in the Washburn Shops, mechanical
engineering professor Leslie Wilbur reassured anxious neighbors by com-
paring the reactor's energy output to a couple of fight bulbs, or a toaster.
"Its purpose," he said, "is to show students how
chain reaction works and how to control it, not
to capture or use its resulting heat." wiibur person-
ally kindled the reaction by dangling the plutonium and beryllium cata-
lyst over the pool in a plastic baby bottle fastened to a string. (Sol's corner
drugstore — owned by Solomon Hurowitz '22 — was always a handy source of
such sundries, according to the account in Two Towers.) Wilbur joked that
it was only a matter of time before students would smuggle a goldfish into
The regulatory environment has changed greatly, says plant director Mi-
chael Curley, who serves as university compliance officer. The original ura-
nium fuel rods were delivered by regular train freight, with no special han-
dling. Fifty years later, the plutonium and beryllium source -which Curley
calls the "Einstein Cocktail" - left WPI in an insulated cylindrical drum the
size of an office desk, under the escort of six officials from the Department
The partially spent uranium fuel will find new use in UMass Lowell's re-
actor. "WPI reactor never created, or stored, potentially dangerous spent
fuel," says Curley. "Now, with the fuel gone, we can back off with some of
the alarms." He notes that security and specialized insurance for the reactor
imposed a drain on the university's resources. WPI's nuclear engineering
program was discontinued in 2000, due to waning interest. "I have the great-
est respect for the institutional history and memory that goes along with
this facility," he says. "I keep going back to Dr. Wilbur's vision in bringing
something extraordinarily new and exciting to the Institute. I feel a little sad
to see it ending with a whimper, in such a long, drawn-out process."
But certainly that's better than ending with a bang.
12 Fall 2011
►FROM HELMETS TO HARDHATS
Former student athletes take pride in rec center work
MORE THAN 20 FORMER STUDENT ATHLETES have exchanged
football helmets (and other athletic gear) for hardhats as contrac-
tors on WPI's new Sports and Recreation Center.
Jamo Carr '74, president and CEO of Providence, R.I.-based
H. Carr & Sons, is not only working on the center but is also its
fundraising co-chair. "When I look back on the reasons I came
to WPI - to get an engineering education and to play Division HI
football — it's gratifying to know that a new generation of engi-
neers, especially women, have access to these facilities," says Carr.
"It's more than just a playing field. It combines recreation and
learning. It contributes to the health and well-being of the entire
campus." Carr has a dozen WPI alumni working for him, includ-
ing vice president Jack Fitzgibbons '75, a former football team
captain and defensive end.
Former offensive lineman Dan Baird '85, now vice president of
operations at Francis Harvey & Sons, has been involved in a dozen
campus projects, including the origi-
nal construction of Morgan Hall, the
Bartlett Center, and East Hall. "I've
always taken great pride in work-
ing on projects for WPI — especially
this project. The new rec center will
provide a wonderful opportunity
for students to enjoy an athletic ex-
perience on par with the outstand-
ing education that the Institute
provides. This new facility will help
WPI continue to attract outstanding
scholar-athletes . "
Back in 1911, WPI alumni also rallied
their alma mater. Which just goes to
always an engineer.
H. Carr& Sons
Jamo Carr "M
Jack Fiizgibbons 76
Ben Achtn 04
Jamison Dtvoll 06
Jim Granger '86
Bernard Lanoie 04
Tom PuciHo '91
Tom Purcell 92
Kyle Shepherd 05
Salutes the WPIgradu
working on the
WPI Rec Center Proji
Francis Harvey & Sons Gilbane Building Com
John Harvay 77 Bill Kearney 85
Dan Baird 85 Melissa Hlnlon 06
Pete Barbadora 76 Justin Gonsalves 06
Kyle Hargreaves 06
Tim Harvey 09 City of Worcester Buildir
Sean Nelllgan 04 j onn Morawski 66
Sean O'Connor 94
to build a gymnasium for
show— once an Engineer,
Innovator of the Year
James Baum '86 received WPI's first-ever Innovator of the Year Award
at a School of Business reception held Oct. 27, 201 1 , for alumni and
friends. Baum, a serial entrepreneur, was executive vice president and
general manager at Parametric Technology Corporation, where he
helped generate more than $1 billion in revenue. As president and
CEO of Endeca, he led the company to stellar growth, becoming the
leading provider of e-commerce solutions to major online retailers. Now president
and CEO of Netezza Corp., he is credited with 14 straight quarters of growth
after Netezza went public in 2007, which led to an acquisition by IBM in 2010, a
transaction dubPed "the most disruptive acquisition of 201 0" by InformationWeek.
"As a role model, Jim Baum shows our students how to apply their knowledge
and skills to real-world challenges that result in innovations that can make a posi-
tive difference in the world," says Mark P Rice, dean of the WPI School of Busi-
ness. "The Innovator of the Year Award is a powerful signal of WPI's commitment
to developing — and recognizing — innovative and entrepreneurial leaders for a
global technological world."
After spending some
time in Las Vegas, \
came to the conclusion
that gambling appeals I
to people who are
bad at math.
MARK KETCHUM 75
Chief Engineer of the
Hoover Bypass Bridge
Fall 2011 13
WPI robotics team impresses at first international competition
IS A MIDDLE-OF-THE-PACK finish ever something to write
home about? It is when you're on a world stage, it's your first
time competing, and you're up against 27 other teams.
Technically, the WPI Warriors robotics team wasn't listed among
the winners at the international RoboCup held this past July in
Istanbul, Turkey, finishing somewhere between 9th and 16th. But
just competing was a major victory, considering
that WPI was one of only five U.S. universities to
even qualify for the event.
RoboCup is an international competition de-
signed to promote artificial intelligence and ro-
botics through autonomous soccer-playing robots
who compete in 20-minute matches.
"The keyword is autonomous," says Sonia Cher-
nova, assistant professor of computer science and
robotics engineering at WPI and faculty advisor
to the team. "These robots are not remote-controlled. They ob-
serve the world through two head-mounted cameras and use this
information to communicate with each other and decide what
action to take."
The competing teams are similar in their mix of graduate and
undergraduate students, but can be very dissimilar in their levels
of experience. That's why WPI's middle-of-the-pack finish was im-
"These robots are not
They observe the world
through two head-
mounted cameras and
use this information to
each other and decide
what action to take."
pressive, according to Chernova.
"WPI did very well, especially for a first-year team," she said. "We
played six matches and made it into the top 16, passing 12 vet-
eran teams. We were eliminated in the second round by a very
experienced team." And while competition is the driving force,
RoboCup also offers valuable learning opportunities, says Cherno-
va. "RoboCup is unique in that many teams release
their work as open source each year. This means
there's a lot of technological progress each year as
we discover solutions to old problems and tackle
Chernova first got involved with RoboCup as a
student at Carnegie Mellon University. After join-
ing the faculty at WPI, she established the Warriors
robotics team so students could tackle challenging
research problems in a fun way. Outside of Robo-
Cup, her work focuses on the development of algorithms that en-
able robots to leam through social interaction with humans.
WPI Warrior team members include David Kent, Quinten Palm-
er, Runzi Gao, Wilham Mulligan, Fredrik Clinckemaillie, Chris-
topher Conley, Benjamin Leone, and Khan-Nhan Nguyen. The
team has already started planning for next year's competition in
14 Fall 2011
See No Stereotypes
With camera in hand, Troy B. Thompson '95 takes aim at
stereotypes and the inherent harm they create.
Troy Thompson's No Evil Project (NoEvilProject.com) is a communi-
ty-building initiative designed to raise awareness around the harm
that comes from stereotypes. Thompson's project features photo-
graphic triptychs of ordinary people posing as the three wise mon-
keys. Subjects are then asked to label their pictures with three words that
others might use to stereotype them, followed by a brief description of a
good deed they've done. The No Evil Project will have its first public exhibit
at the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts in Worcester later this year.
Transformations caught up with Thompson to ask about the impetus behind
Did a specific event trigger your idea
for the No Evil Project?
It's really a reaction to the hyperbole of the
media and the belief that anyone with a dif-
ferent opinion from yours is evil. The proj-
ect started when I was talking with a friend
about the Democrats vs. Republicans and
the growing anti-Muslim sentiment in our
country. It really bothers me because I know
Democrats, I know Republicans, and I know
Muslims, and they're all good people. Yet,
when they're talked about, especially online,
it's always in a way that attempts to create
conflict, and nothing gets solved. I wanted to
find a way to have a productive conversation
without all that anger. My goal is to get some-
thing very positive to go viral — other than like
a kitten falling asleep. I thought that having
people pose as the three monkeys would
help break the ice.
This project is personal to me. I'm white,
my wife is black, and we're raising our multi-
racial daughter, Naomi, who's now two years
old. We're just getting a sense of what she's
going to deal with growing up. I'm trying to
make the world a little more understanding
Has the project changed opinions?
Having something visual and funny is a good
way to get people to think about deeper
topics. More often than not, people who par-
ticipate in the project come back to me and
say that just thinking about their own labels
helped them to realize how people view them
and how they themselves view others. It's re-
ally an emotional thing for them — to be able
to take a step back and see what's going on
and do some self-reflection. That makes it all
How did your time as a WPI student
influence your approach?
WPI teaches you how to learn. We're taught
that when you confront a problem, you need
to brainstorm and come up with radically dif-
ferent ways to solve the problem. The exhibit
started out as a website with photographs.
Now I'm into fundraising, marketing, and
setting up physical exhibits and events.
Fundraising is a key priority, as the goal is to
spread awareness. Anyone in the world can
take part in this project. The more people in-
volved, the more awareness we raise. Now
I need a funding partner who shares that vi-
sion. My simple project has gotten me into all
sorts of new things. But then, learning how
to learn comes back. I do my research and
learn — and then it gets done.
Troy B. Thompson '95 is owner of Daedal
Creations Web Design in Worcester.
Fall 2011 15
► LOST AND F01
WPI's James Dempsey uncovers lost
FINDING A LOST LITERARY TREASURE is always noteworthy in
academic circles, but when the find happens at a science/technol-
ogy school and not the Ivy League, well, the literary world takes
notice. Such was the case when WPI English instructor James
Dempsey discovered an unpublished E. E. Cummings poem dur-
ing his latest research project.
Dempsey, who teaches writing and literature, was research-
ing his biography of early 20th century publisher Scofield Thayer
when he opened a folder among Thayer's papers and found sev-
eral typewritten poems by Cummings. Thayer was a close friend
of Cummings and published the poet's work in his famed literary
magazine. The Dial.
Dempsey recognized a few of the pieces as earlier versions of
Cummings' poems he'd seen in print, but one stood out as un-
familiar. He put it aside and went back to his research. Later he
contacted the E. E. Cummings Society, which confirmed that the
1916 poem, titled "(tonite," had indeed, never been published and
Dempsey may have been the first person to set eyes on it since
Thayer had tucked it away decades earlier.
Dempsey presented his find to the E. E Cummings Society last
spring and wrote about it for the website, The Awl. Cummings was
just 22 when he wrote "(tonite" during what Cummings Society
coordinator Michael Webster says was a period of great poetic ex-
perimentation for the young artist.
The poem has sparked some debate because of its persistent
use of a racial slur. Webster noted that the find offers a new oppor-
tunity to show students how the public's reaction to a charged word
changes according to standards of the time and the way in which
artists push at those standards Dempsey says he looks forward to
bringing the discussion into the classroom.
"It raises important issues of how we should react to art of this
kind," he said.
Gompei's Family Tree
Descendant of Gompei Kuwada visits WPI to learn
more about his famous great uncle.
HE GREAT-GRANDNEPHEW OF GOMPEI KUWADA 1893, Pro-
fessor Arata Ichikawa, visited the WPI campus on Sept. 16, 2011 to get
a firsthand look at the school that has held such a prominent place in
his family's history.
"It's quite special to visit WPI and learn more about my uncle and
the wonderful education he received here," says the 74-year-old Ichi-
kawa, who arrived at WPI knowing that his uncle had a prominent
role in WPI lore, but not the specifics of the Gompei legend. "It was
fun to learn about Gompei the mascot, its coveted place among the
students, and my uncle's involvement," he says. "It is a wonderful tra-
Ichikawa's interest in his great-granduncle was spurred by his own
involvement with American football while a student at the University
of Tokyo, where he also taught for 30 years. "I introduced American
football to the University of Toyko, and that team still plays today,"
Ichikawa says with pride.
When he first encountered American football, Ichikawa had no
knowledge that his great-granduncle was involved with WPI's pro-
gram. But years later, when he did come across the legend of Gompei,
he knew he had to visit the WPI campus someday. "I am very happy to
see where our family ancestor first learned about the sport of football
and started this wonderful WPI tradition of Gompei."
Ichikawa enjoyed a special dinner with student leaders on Friday
evening, where he also delivered a presentation on urban engineer-
ing. The following day, he attended the WPI football game, a 31-3
romp over Becker College, where he was impressed by the Engineers'
strong running game and stout defense.
"It was wonderful to see Professor Ichikawa interact with the
students, who truly embraced him," says Peter Thomas, executive
director of Alumni Relations who hosted Ichikawa's visit. "And the
professor knows his football. He was predicting plays before they
happened throughout the game."
16 Fall 2011
Adebayo is sixth WPI student
to earn honors this year.
FUNMI ADEBAYO '11 was named an
Academic Ail-American for Women's Track
and Field by the College Sports Information
Directors of America, helping set a new
record for WPI as Funmi is the sixth
Academic All-American selection this
season. A two-time All-District first-team
honoree, Adebayo also earned Academic
All-NEWMAC status three times, in
addition to claiming the Two Towers Award,
the Women Achievement Award, and
induction into Tau Beta Pi. As if that wasn't
enough. Adebayo's IQP created a new
student health advisory council here on
WPI's 2010-1 1 Academic All-American
recordsetting lineup also included Jeff
Baker '11 (track and field), Celena Dopart
'12 (field hockey), Paul Moan '11 (soccer),
Aaron Champagne '11 (football), and Matt
Carr '12 (basketball).
Ben2K Goes Okay
After 42 years, stalwart IT leader
Ben Thompson 73 retires.
At the close of Fiscal Year 2011, WPI experienced a transition as
epic — and as uneventful — as Y2K: the retirement of Ben Thomp-
son '73 from the WPI IT department. Thompson's retirement
brought no system crashes or queues of unfed students sty-
mied by malfunctioning ID cards. Instead, Thompson, who
thinks of WPI as family, took great care to ensure a smooth
transition for the thousands of WPI students and employ-
ees who use the systems he has designed and maintained
for 42 years.
Thompson started working in WPI's nascent comput-
er center as a freshman, running data processing jobs on
punch cards. He retired as associate chief information officer.
CIO Deborah Corwin Scott called Thompson "the organization-
al memory that knows why all the decisions were made in the past
that make up the present and inform the future." The sheer volume of "tribal
knowledge" he passed on called for a "Vulcan mind meld," she said.
"He was a great face for IT," says operations manager Heidi Startz. "Technology can seem
large and scary for some people. But Ben could talk to everybody, and was always willing
to help. If you were going in the wrong direction, he would steer you right, and you would
never even know it happened."
"He touched a lot of lives," says Academic Technology Center Director Mary Beth Harrity.
"Ben was always a geek. He was first in his high school to own a VCR. He had his best ideas
at three in the morning. And he was a great boss — always fair and very creative."
Scott announced that in honor of Ben's retirement, the "CCC" moniker for WPI's Com-
puting & Communications Center would also be retired. On July 1, 2011, the department
went forward under the simple banner "Information Technology."
WPI Mourns "Ma" Fell
Legendary Homecoming Queen passes away at 93.
Marie Fell passed away July 2, 2011, at
age 93, following an illness. Marie, or
"Ma" as she was known around campus,
was a cook for the WPI chapter of Alpha
Tau Omega (ATO) fraternity for 30 years,
starting in 1969.
"Ma quickly became the 'Sweetheart
of ATO.' To this day and forever after,
she will always be considered the house
mother of the Gamma Sigma chapter,"
said Sergio Cherenzia '04 and Kyle Pow-
ers '12 in an e-mail to the WPI commu-
nity. She is credited with keeping the
brothers in line and contributing to the
success and popularity of the fraternity.
She also played the role of "resident
psychiatrist," lending an ear to students
who needed to discuss problems.
In 1981 Fell was tapped by the Skull.
ATO nominated her for homecoming
queen in 1983, and she took the crown,
becoming the "most senior" homecom-
ing queen in the university's history, at
age 66. For this achievement, she was
mentioned in newspapers across the
Fall 2011 17
►MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Lessons from 9/1 1
Sixth annual workshop garners national attention.
AS ANY PUBLIC SAFETY CHIEF WILL TELL YOU, the hardest part of their
job is watching their men and women vanish into a building to save lives,
not knowing when -or if— they'll emerge safely. On Sept. 11, 2001, the
entire country watched this scene unfold on an unimaginable scale as hundreds
of emergency workers rushed into the World Trade Center just before the towers
collapsed. Ten years later, rescuers in full gear crawled through the stairwells and
corridors of Atwater Kent in simulated search-and-rescue missions at WPI's sixth
annual Precision Indoor Personnel Location and Tracking Workshop, sponsored
by the Department of Homeland Security.
The annual workshop, held in August, brought together experts from industry,
academia, government, and public safety to focus on the latest technologies that
provide critical information about the whereabouts and physical condition of res-
cue workers, as well as the environmental conditions in which they're working.
A 1999 fire tragedy in Worcester, resulting in the loss of six Worcester firefight-
ers, launched Associate Professor Jim Duckworth and Professors David Cyganski
and John Orr on a quest to develop better indoor tracking systems. The 9/11 ter-
rorist attacks brought even greater urgency to the task, prompting WPI to host
the annual workshop.
One indicator of the importance of this research is the amount of press coverage
the workshop generated, with 347 separate media outlets mentioning the event.
WPI is also leading a new national study to investigate the risks of rescues and
fighting fires in high-rise buildings. In the 9/11 attacks, emergency workers carry-
ing heavy gear had to climb tens of stories to reach victims, fighting against a tide
of people rushing to escape. The high-rise study will examine new approaches to
Mastering the Game
WPI adds master's degree to
nationally ranked program.
WPI'S INTERACTIVE MEDIA AND GAME DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM (IMGD)
has added a master's degree with three distinct focus areas: technical (for
students with a software development background); serious games (for
students who want to apply IMGD to areas such as education, simulation,
social sciences, or interactive art); and management (for those headed
toward the business side of game development). With only a handful
of schools in the country offering an MS, WPI continues to build off the
groundbreaking success of its undergraduate IMGD program launched in
2004, which now ranks among the university's top 10 majors. This spring
the Princeton Review ranked WPI's IMGD program sixth in the nation and
first in the East.
New Project Center
Nantucket home to latest WPI Project Center,
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S THE LAST SUMMER CROWDS pulled up their beach
umbrellas and left Nantucket to its year-round residents, a group
of WPI juniors was laboring away in Worcester, preparing to leave
a more enduring mark on the island.
The university's Nantucket Project Center is the latest of its 27
project centers on five continents. The island is an ideal place for
a project center, according to Dominic Golding, adjunct associ-
ate professor in the IGSD. It faces many of the same issues as
elsewhere, but on a smaller scale, which makes research more
manageable for the students.
"The island is very much a bounded community," Golding
says, "but it also reflects the larger society."
The center was built on the success of nine pilot projects in
2008 and 2010, which addressed issues as diverse as alterna-
tive energy, public awareness of Lyme disease, and the use of
cell-phone technology for self-guided tours of historic properties.
In B-Term, six IQP teams embarked on in-depth investigations
in museum studies, energy use and conservation, sustainable
agriculture, and beach restoration. Nantucket's 10,000 year-
round residents were particularly welcoming, connecting the stu-
dents with the people and resources to help with their research.
"The great thing about being on the island is that everyone
knows everybody," says Golding. "It gives the students tremen-
dous access, and they get a very special reception and treatment
while they're here." The pilot project teams were featured on local
television, and invited by the Nantucket Board of Selectmen to
present their findings at a meeting. A large showing of community
members turned out to hear the teams' final presentations.
"It's a small place," he says, "but it gives the students a very
18 Fall 2011
"Father Pete" Receives Goat's Head Award
WPI chaplain recognized for lifetime commitment.
REV. PETER SCANLON was presented with the
Goat's Head Award for Lifetime Commitment
to WPI by the Alumni Association at a special
ceremony during Homecoming Weekend. The
Goat's Head Award recognizes individuals for
their lifetime contributions to WPI.
"Father Pete," as he was affectionately known
to all, was responsible for establishing a Catho-
lic campus ministry for the Worcester area col-
leges in the early 1960s. He became WPFs first
fun-time chaplain in 1969, lending a guiding
hand and compassionate ear to thousands of
students. "He was a friend, mentor, and coun-
selor to all students — not just the Catholic
ones," recalled one alumnus at Scanlon's retire-
ment. He married many alumni couples, he
baptized their babies, and when their children
reached college age, he watched over them, too.
"You have dedicated your life's work to help-
ing others," read the citation in his honor.
"During your time at WPI, you oversaw your
flock— which included members of all faiths —
in good times and bad." As Catholic chaplain
to the Worcester Fire Department, Scanlon
"prayed and cried" with those affected by the
Worcester Cold Storage warehouse fire in 1999
and the tragedies of September 11, 2001.
Although he officially retired from active
ministry in 2006, Scanlon continues to main-
tain close ties with the WPI community. He
also holds a part-time position as diocesan vicar
for colleges and universities.
Music Brings People Together
WPI professor finds a common language in Palestine.
OUGLAS WEEKS, WPI professor and administrator of applied music, found har-
mony in Palestine during a recent trip there for the Music Days festival.
"We got people working together through music," says Weeks about the two-week
summer festival, which saw 80 young Palestinian musicians from West Bank refugee
camps work with about 20 instructors from around the globe. Their end product was
Western-style instrumental music like jazz and classical, as well as traditional Arabic
Music Days' theme was "Visit Palestine" and the program was sponsored by the Ameri-
can consulate and the nonprofit Al-Kamandjati Association. Its goal: celebrate music
across cultures. "There was a lot of enthusiasm, and the people were very warm," Weeks
says. "They often invited me back to their homes for a meal. They were very hospitable."
Weeks, whose specialty is brass instruments, acted as a mentor, teacher, and per-
former for the second year in a row. "It was the perfect fit of performance and mu-
sic education," he says. "There was a
noticeable improvement in the qual-
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Despite the volatility in that part of the
world, Weeks found it a pleasant experi-
ence. "It was an opportunity to go into a
troubled area and do something for kids,
to help them improve their music skills and
therefore their life," he says. "I have a better understanding of the conflict, too, but our
visit wasn't about the politics. It was about collaboration."
Fire Protection Burns Bright
WPI Students Dominate National Conference.
THE COLOR CRIMSON dominated at the student poster
session of the National Fire Protection Association's annual
World Safety Conference last June. Of 16 projects selected by
judges from submissions from around the world, 10 were from
WPI students. Proudly clad in FPE shirts, they displayed research
findings ranging from the effects of cultural bias in building
evacuations to the dynamics of forest fires and dust explosions.
This is the first time student projects were solicited for the
"The depth and variety of student research presented at this
important conference reflects the major areas of technical
expertise and leadership of WPI's world-renowned faculty," says
WPFs head of Fire Protection Engineering Kathy Notarianni.
Under Notarianni's leadership, the department has attracted
millions in research dollars, including the latest grant — a $1
million award from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to study the
risks of fighting high-rise fires.
With students and faculty working from a variety of disci-
plines, including chemical, civil, and mechanical engineering,
architecture, robotics, and physics, WPI's FPE program continu-
ally pushes the boundaries of knowledge in fire protection.
"People ask me 'How is it that WPI is taking over?'" Notarianni
says. "WPI is a very dynamic, problem-solving place, and that's
why it's so successful."
Fall 2011 19
Like the spectacular
bridges he's built,
Mark Ketchum's career
has been about handling
stress, solving imposing
problems, and leaving
behind a legacy
of rational beauty.
BY DAVID ENDERS
The arch is a classic
among structural forms.
"Like human society/'
posited the Roman
stoic philosopher Seneca,
u the arch is kept from falling
by the mutual pressure of its
parts." Having recently
engineered the construction
of the Hoover Dam Bypass
bridge, the longest span
concrete arch in the western
hemisphere, Mark Ketchum
75 knows something of the
mutual pressures that make
up the balancing act of our
Ketchum has 32 years of experience in bridge design and con-
struction support— and not the everyday pre-cast, concrete on-
ramp type that routinely gets made. He designs big. iconic, awe-
inspiring, way-of-life-changing bridges. They may be concrete
arch-supported, suspended, cable-stayed, or cantilevered, but each
are unique and custom-designed to fill a societal need, to bridge
an identified gap in the infrastructure. His international bridge
engineering firm is based, appropriately enough, in San Francisco.
Bridges are under enormous stress from wind, water, and earth-
quakes, and those are just the natural stressors. Add to that the
societal stress of ever-increasing ship- and road traffic, budget
shortfalls for maintenance and repair, the quickly shifting politi-
cal climate — and you wonder how our nation's bridges, approach-
ing an average age of 50, have stood for so long. "Earthquakes,
windstorms, and ship collisions weren't really well considered 75
years ago," Ketchum says, "and now we know a lot more about how
much energy these structures need to soak up to survive."
Civil engineers like Ketchum, who pioneered new seismic tech-
nologies 20 years ago in the precedent-setting Golden Gate Seismic
Retrofit project, are a big reason many of the older bridges are still
around. The 57-year-old vice president of OPAC Consulting Engi-
neering, a company he co-founded 20 years ago, calls the Golden
Gate one of his "breakthrough projects."
His foundation in engineering goes back to WPI — and maybe a
little genetics. Originally from Denver, Ketchum's father, Milo Ket-
chum Jr., was a pioneer in pre-stressed concrete, space frames, and
dome structures. His grandfather, Milo Ketchum Sr, was the dean
of the College of Engineering at the University of Colorado from
1906 to 1917 and literally wrote the book on structural engineer-
ing: the 900-page Structural Engineers Handbook. His father moved
the family to Old Saybrook, Conn., when Ketchum was eight years
old. "I had an interest in building things and in mathematics as
long as I can remember," he says. And when it came time to choose
a college, he knew he "didn't want to be in the middle of a giant
college in a giant city." WPI was a good fit, and he especially liked
the innovative and hands-on approach to engineering exemplified
by the WPI Plan. "The project format of the school really gave me
an achievement framework on which to build. It taught me to not
be scared of going after bigger and better things."
GO WEST, YOUNG MAN
Ketchum pursued his master's, and later a doctorate, from the
University of California at Berkeley where he met his lifelong men-
tor, Tung-Yen Lin, widely considered a pioneer in pre-stressed con-
crete design and construction. "I was T. Y. Lin's teaching assistant
at Berkeley, and when I finished his class with flying colors, he
offered me a job."
Ketchum's WPI project experience, his early research work with
Lin, and his analysis work at Berkeley made him an ideal candidate
to be project engineer on the Golden Gate project. Originally, the
project's scope was to research the feasibility of adding commuter
rail just below the highway deck, but then came the 1989 Loma
Prieta earthquake. That quake, a 7.1 on the Richter scale, knocked
down a span of the Bay Bridge, took 68 lives, and caused S7 billion
in damages. It also forced government officials to acknowledge
the 1,000-lb. gorilla in the room. The epicenter of the Loma Prieta
quake was some 60 miles to the south. The U.S. Geological Survey
subsequently concluded that there was a 62 percent probability
of at least one magnitude 6.7 quake or greater impacting the San
Francisco Bay region by 2031.
A comprehensive, state-of-the-art, seismic study was added to
Ketchum's work on the Golden Gate. "We had to consider that
although it was a state-of-the-art bridge in the 1930s, it was built
with rivets and what is now considered low-strength steel, both of
which are now obsolete."
The study concluded that the Golden Gate was indeed vulner-
able to a seismic event of greater magnitude or closer proximity
than the Loma Prieta quake. "We came up with ways to improve its
seismic performance without significant change to its appearance.
We called it our 'retrofit strategy.'" Twenty years later, the bridge
is now in the third and final phase of the retrofit and virtually all
of Ketchum's recommendations, in one iteration or another are
being implemented. "One of the biggest issues was taking 20 years
to get the funding. Building new projects is sexy, but fixing the
old stuff? Not so much." The retrofit project has been awarded the
Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award by the ASCE.
After T. Y. Lin International was sold in 1992, Ketchum decided
rather than continuing with the new larger company, he would
start one of his own. "I took a
giant leap of faith in quitting a
well-paying job and starting a
new company with absolutely
no upcoming projects," he
laughs. He and business partner,
Kwong Cheng, a long-time asso-
ciate and colleague at T. Y. Lin
International, keep each other
in balance. Both are accom-
plished engineers: Cheng serves
as president of OPAC Consulting
Engineers and handles the busi-
ness and production end of the
company while Ketchum typi-
cally wrangles with the techni-
cal side. "We have a very strong
crossover in skills and abilities
where the whole is truly greater
than the sum of its parts." says
admired big bridges
in the world are
typically ones that
were designed to
OPAC has not been shy about taking on bigger firms, especial-
ly on large-scale, pushing-the-envelope-type projects. They have
engineered the first new suspension bridge built in the U.S. in more
than 30 years (the Carquinez Strait Bridge in northern California)
and completed multiple standout projects in South America.
Micronesia, and Asia, sometimes competing with firms "whose
marketing departments are big-
ger than our whole company."
You win some and you lose
some, he says of the pressure
of competition, taking it all in
stride and balancing career and
family life. Ketchum met his
wife. Valerie Knepper. in gradu-
ate school at Berkeley, where
he earned his PhD in civil engi-
neering and she her master's in
public policy Together, they live
peacefully in what he calls "my
two careers, two kids, too tired
His work has taken him around
the world and has included en-
gineering a one-of-a-kind bridge
in Nanning in South China. "The
client wanted something that
Early Warning Signs
THESE ARE ABSOLUTE MUSTS IF A BRIDGE STRUCTURE IS TO REMAIN STANDING,
says bridge engineer Mark Ketchum. These same qualities, it could be
argued, make for a healthy national infrastructure. Our transportation
system was built strong and has grown in network (if not structural)
redundancy, but just how thin can it be stretched before breaking 7
Transportation for America (a coalition for transportation reform) pub-
lished The Fix We're In For: the State of the Nation's Bridges, a national
study that says one in nine bridges is "structurally deficient." That's
about 70,000 bridges in need of replacement or substantial repair. The
American Society of Civil Engineers puts the figure even higher. The
backlog of fixes could cost as much as $70.9 billion, the Federal High-
way Administration estimates, while the federal budget outlay remains
slightly more than $5 billion per year. Adding insult to injury, when the
World Economic Forum releases its rankings of national infrastructure
systems in September, the United States, currently ranked 6th, is ex-
pected to drop to 16th.
Reversing this trend is not likely to be easy given the political and
economic climate, but there's no time like the present to ramp up the
repairing or replacing of bridges, according to Ketchum. "A down mar-
ket is the best time to invest in our civil infrastructure because costs
are also down. If you wait until the market is up, it's more expensive to
build anything and it's harder to find the labor." One only has to look at
the massive amount of our nation's infrastructure completed during the
That golden era in infrastructure put people to work and was consid-
ered a sound investment in our economic future. "Look at the payback
we've had on those investments from the '30s," Ketchum points out.
"Hoover Dam, the big bridges in New York — these structures are still
being used for our benefit."
"Compared to the rest of the world, the amount of money the U.S.
spends on civil infrastructure in proportion to gross domestic product
is small," he says. [The country spends about 2 percent of GDP on
infrastructure, according to Reuters — about half what it did 50 years
ago] "I'm not sure how long we can maintain economic or military su-
premacy at that level." By comparison, Europe spends about 5 percent
and China about 9 percent of GDP on infrastructure.
Having engineered the Nanning Bridge in South China, Ketchum
was impressed with the Chinese commitment to building infrastructure.
"They are in a build mode. They're building the biggest of just about
everything in the world: dams, bridges, transportation systems, water,
THE NANNING BRIDGE IN SOUTH CHINA.
power. They're investing heavily in all these things." Politics and busi-
ness practices vary greatly from country to country, he says, which can
affect the speed at which infrastructure work gets done, but "engineers
are engineers everywhere" and big problems get solved in creative
ways if there is a commitment to do so.
The Interstate 35 bridge collapse in Minneapolis in 2007 drew the
country's attention to our crumbling infrastructure — at least for the short
term — and Ketchum was called upon by National Public Radio and Fox
News to comment on the collapse. The ensuing investigation revealed
a complex mix of elements that contributed to the disaster. The original
gusset plate design was no longer sound. Some early warning signs
of wear were not dealt with in a timely fashion. There were long-term
maintenance issues. Opposing pressures, structural and societal, all
came into play. Ketchum and the ASCE advocate a strong and redun-
dant peer review process to crosscheck engineering work because, he
notes, "to err is human."
"It's never just one thing," says Ketchum. Design and maintenance
go hand in hand. "These structures have built-in redundancy and it al-
ways takes more than one thing to knock one down. The true sign of an
advanced civilization is not just what is built, but how it is maintained."
24 Fall 2011
nobody's ever seen before," Ketchum says, noting the bridge has a
330-meter span — a "non-trivial structure."
The result is stunning: a fundamentally sound structure that
looks like a work of art. "I have this theory about bridge design,"
says Ketchum. "The most admired big bridges in the world are typi-
cally ones that were designed to be structurally rational and con-
structible. They're designed for good performance, they're econom-
ical, and can be maintained, with designs conceived and executed
by engineers who have a good sense of aesthetics." These classic
bridges may be touched up by architects, he says, but most of the
architecture is in the hands of the engineers. "This was true of the
Golden Gate Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge, and some of the old mas-
terpieces like the Eads Bridge in St.
Louis and the Firth of Forth Bridge
If you make the appearance of a
bridge the top priority, and then
challenge engineers to make it
work, Ketchum maintains you
get structures "that don't seem to
endure the test of time" and cost
much more to build. "My mentors
always taught me that the differ-
ence between something ordinary
and something stunning was about
5 to 10 percent of cost."
The Nanning Bridge "butterfly
arch" illustrates the point. Return-
ing to "first principles in structural
shape finding," Ketchum returned
to the classic arch. "The bridge
actually has three arches. Two of
them are obvious and the deck is
the third arch and they are pulling
against each other in perfect static
balance, acting the way arches are
supposed to act — that is, pure com-
pression without bending."
Each project has its own challenges, Ketchum says, and it is this
breadth of an engineering career that he finds most rewarding.
"When I was a student at WPI, I enjoyed balancing tech classes with
humanities classes. I loved philosophy and writing classes. It's the
same with my career, it's the breadth aspect I enjoy, not focusing on
one particular thing."
Ketchum likes to balance the technical R&D side of engineering
with the creative side of design. He likes to balance office work with
hands-on field work. "I spend a lot of time in the office, but I've
also hiked the cables on top of the Golden Gate Bridge, 750 feet up.
I've spent some time on a construction platform 900 feet up on the
£'^?i_ the . ultimate
Hoover Dam Bypass. It seems like a lot of my field work begins with
a white-knuckle experience."
The Hoover Dam Bypass Project (officially named the Mike
O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge), completed in 2009 was
another one-of-a-kind achievement. OPAC worked directly with the
construction contractor to engineer and build the bridge needed
to ease traffic congestion and deterioration of the nearby Hoover
Dam. The huge arch of the bypass bridge stands on the tallest pre-
cast concrete columns in the world. It is more than 1,000 feet long
and, as Ketchum likes to point out, "it's all within 3/8 of an inch
of where it is supposed to be." Because OPAC was working directly
for the contractor, Ketchum says he had the rare opportunity for
instant feedback on whether
OPAC-engineered structures were
working. Like early Roman engi-
neers who would stand under
their arch structures as the cap-
stone was lowered in place, the
ultimate in professional account-
ability was assumed.
Large-scale civil engineering
may not be for the faint of heart.
A reportedly stressed-out Clifford
Holland, who engineered New
York's Holland Tunnel in the '20s,
collapsed and died the day before
the project's completion. Joseph
Strauss, the lead engineer of the
Golden Gate Bridge, died within
a year of its completion -and just
after writing his most famous
autobiographical poem "The
Mighty Task is Done."
To decompress, Ketchum esti-
mates he has ridden his motorcy-
cle some third of a million miles in
11 countries around the world. He
enjoys sailing on the bay, bicycling,
and making a "walkable commu-
nity" a priority in his life. He walks about 20 miles a week in his com-
mute to work. And he still keeps in touch and visits with WPI friends.
Mutual pressures? To be sure, but Ketchum's out-on-the-edge,
risk-taking engineering career proves it's really all about balance.
"Any difficult project can take a lot out of you, but there's no need
to get obsessive-compulsive about it. I have limits for myself. I don't
push myself into hellishly long workweeks."
The arch is a classic because it just plain works. It can eliminate
tensile stresses pulling a structure apart by resolving those stresses
into more manageable compressive stresses, redirecting forces, and
holding it all together in a gently curved state of equilibrium —
which is a good way to describe Mark Ketchum's career.
Like early Roman
would stand under
the r arch structures
as |he capstone
Fall 2011 25
launch of foursquare,
Naveen Selvadurai may
have discovered the Internet's
next big thing. Now he's got
his social networking
company on top.
From the moment Naveen Selvadurai '02, '04 (MS CS) got
to WPI, his main thought was "how quickly can I gradu-
ate?" Not because he wasn't learning crucial information
and skills in computer engineering. He was. But because
he was eager to put those skills to practical use.
"I wanted to build things," he says. "I was itching to get
out and do something cool." He overloaded on classes,
studying straight through summers in order to finish
his bachelor's in three years and his master's in another
year and a half. The rest of his time was spent working
computing jobs at Lucent Technologies and Sun Micro-
systems. "I didn't have much of a social life at WPI," he
admits. "There were days when I didn't talk to anyone.
I would be in a WPI lab all day, and working in a Lucent
lab at night."
It's the ultimate irony, then, that when he finally did
create something "cool," it would be a tool dedicated to
26 Fall 2011
Social media sites —
FACEBOOK, TWITTER, LINKEDIN-
have allowed us to share unprecedented personal
details with our friends and neighbors,
at the same time they have, ironically,
made us less social by allowing us to update a
status' instead of a friend.
By contrast, Selvadurai and co-founder Dennis Crowley have flipped
that on its head with their social media app foursquare (one word,
lowercase f), which actually encourages people to go out and ex-
plore their cities and meet up with friends. In person!
Since the tech bubble burst back in 2001, the Internet has lost
some of its get-rich-quick luster. Venture capital, particularly for
start-ups, has dwindled significantly during the past decade, though
a noticeable uptick began in late 2010, according to National Ven-
ture Capital Association. Internet pundits have been clamoring
about the "next big thing" for several years now, and mobile social
networking could be just that.
Here's how foursquare works: users download the application
onto their smart phones, and then every time they visit new plac-
es—a cafe, bookstore, museum, or even a friend's apartment — they
"check-in" to let their friends know where they are. Each time they
do, they rack up points in a friendly competition to see who can
visit more places - if they check into a specific place enough, they
can even become the "mayor" of that place, possibly getting spe-
cial discounts from the owner as a reward for their loyalty. Since
foursquare launched in March 2009, it has proved wildly popular
among a particular subculture of young, urban trendsetters, dou-
bling its users to 10 niillion last year alone, resulting in nearly a
billion check-ins worldwide.
Being a mobile app makes all the difference, as mobile network-
ing has the potential to be a game-changer in social networking.
Advertisers are slavering over the idea of targeting customers by
their movement and destinations, and investors have signaled their
interest by pumping money into the service, including a $50 mil-
lion venture capital infusion this past spring that brought four-
square's market valuation up to $600 million. So far, however, the
company has yet to show a profit. If foursquare is going to prosper
in the space it created, Selvadurai and Crowley are going to have to
transform it from a fun game for urban hipsters into a tool that
the average consumer finds indispensable. For Selvadurai that's the
whole point— ever since he was young, he's been looking for ways
to use computers to enhance our fives in the real world, not just
behind the screen.
From Theory to Practice
Selvadurai grew up in a small town in Connecticut, after his fam-
ily emigrated from India to the U.S. when he was 9 years old. Back
then, he thought he would follow in the footsteps of his father, a
mechanical engineer. But instead of building with gears and wires,
Naveen found his outlet in a computer keyboard— where he could
let his imagination run wild on projects that didn't cost money. In
high school he built a rudimentary "chat" program so his parents
could speak to him from various rooms in the house. When it came
time to pick a college, he chose WPI specifically because its project-
based approach emphasized creating tangible products.
As a freshman, Selvadurai was inspired by the calculus class he
took with Professor Art Heinricher. "His teaching style made it fun,"
he recalls. "The class met in Olin 107, a big open hall with six black-
boards, and 15 minutes after he started class, all six blackboards
were full." Throughout his time at WPI, however, Selvadurai contin-
ually looked to the practical —when he studied systems engineering
with now Computer Science Department head Craig Wills, he was
able to directly apply the class material he learned by day on the sys-
tems he was programming at Sun Microsystems at night. "I was able
to see how they were making a real operating system at Sun while I
was learning the actual specifics of how such systems worked."
It was his MQP, in which he partnered with Sergio Salvatore '02
that charted his later course. Years before refrigerators and toast-
ers came equipped with microchips, the two engineering students
tried to design an operating system that would allow home appli-
ances to talk with one another. "Technology is supposed to help us,
so how do we advance that?" Selvadurai would ask himself. "Why
shouldn't I be able to open the door with my cell phone or have
28 Fall 2011
the air conditioning turn on just as
I enter the house."
Despite Selvadurai's introverted
personality, the two students be-
came fast friends; Salvatore was
impressed by his friend's quick
intelligence and elegant solutions
to engineering problems. After he
graduated, Salvatore began work-
ing for Sony Music in New York, try-
ing to develop an application that
would allow users to bring their
music with them on their mobile
phones, and he recruited Selva-
durai to help him with the work.
"Once he was in New York, Naveen
hit his stride," smiles Salvatore.
"A lot of people gravitated toward
him for the same reasons I did. He's
fun to be around."
In New York, Selvadurai's social
life suddenly blossomed. He began hanging out with
a group of hke-minded programmers who were
similarly enthralled with the possibilities of
mobile programming. A meticulous docu-
menter of his social experiences, Selvadurai
began making lists of his favorite places in
New York— hacking Google Maps to cre-
ate Web pages with which to share these
places with his friends.
"We always called them Naveen's
Places," remembers friend Chad Stoller.
"Naveen's best date places, Naveen's best
dinner places, or Naveen's best tea places."
The more esoteric the find, the better it rated
in his impromptu guides— and the more he
could brag to his friends about finding them. "He
would go to a restaurant because the short-order cook
was in a band the rest of us had never heard of," laughs Stoller.
"He had all kinds of inside information, but they weren't secrets
he was trying to keep from people, rather tips he was sharing to
influence people's decisions."
The Mayor of Cheers
Through his work at Sony, Selvadurai became intrigued by the po-
tential of the mobile phone. "I was traveling a lot back then," says
Selvadurai. "I went to Cannes, Tokyo, Malaysia, and I realized that
with your phone and your passport you can go anywhere. We were
all carrying something very powerful in our pockets: our phones —
and they were going to get even more powerful." He started think-
ultimate irony, then,
that when he did
finally create something
"cool" it would be a
ing to himself, "wouldn't it be cool if you had some
way of using your phone to record places you visit-
ed in, say, Tokyo, so you could share them with
your family?" After leaving Sony in 2007, he
began exploring the idea, initially develop-
ing a platform to design scavenger hunts
for some friends.
At the same time, he was sharing digs
with Dennis Crowley, another whiz-kid
inventor who produced one of the first
mobile phone applications that com-
bined text messaging with an early ver-
sion of foursquare's "check-in" feature [his
Dodgeball app was later acquired by Google].
The two began talking about creating a new app
that would combine Crowley's check-in feature with
some of the game elements Selvadurai was combining. At
that moment, Apple released its new iPhone, creating a platform
that not only allowed developers to create their own apps, but pro-
viding a device that was ideal for a location-based networking app.
Over the next year, the two spent countless hours huddled over
their laptops at coffee shops and restaurants refining the idea —
Crowley supplying the business savvy and Selvadurai handling the
operating system and coding. From the beginning, Selvadurai was
adamant that they develop a point system to give users a fun incen-
tive to check into new places. But it was their friend Chad Stoller,
an advertising executive who would later become an angel investor
in the company, who provided the missing link. One day as the co-
founders were working at Stoller's favorite cafe in the West Village,
Stoller casually mentioned that it would be cool if there was some
Fall 2011 29
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way that when you came into a place everyone knew your name — a
la Norm from Cheers. "I'm here all the time," Stoller playfully boast-
ed. "I should be mayor of this place." The idea clicked and became
one of foursquare's signature features.
The Game Begins
Selvadurai and Crowley unveiled their new application in 2009 at
South by Southwest, the popular Austin, Texas, festival, and from
there it grew in popularity, but only in a handful of cities like New
York and San Francisco, where there were enough check-
in points and a critical mass of computer geeks
who were interested in one-upping each other
for mayoral rights at their favorite bars.
Foursquare, however, didn't really take
off until early 2010, when the company
partnered with Bravo TV, which of-
fered special "badges" to users when
they ate at a restaurant frequented
by a cook on Top Chef or shopped
at a favorite store of the Real House-
wives of New Jersey.
Since then, foursquare has added
many more partnerships — more than
1,000 at last count — that offer special
branded content from everyone from
McDonald's to the Colbert Report. From
the beginning, Selvadurai and his partners
have wrestled with how to add these features
without turning off their core followers. "If a user
wants to follow Bravo, they will get Bravo stuff. But if they don't,
they won't get anything — it's like Bravo doesn't even exist."
For businesses, foursquare provides a bonanza of customer in-
formation where users check in. Registered businesses can access a
dashboard system that allows them to track the number of check-
ins by users and offer special deals to their most loyal customers.
"They can see the data and develop special promotions, and can
truly say, 'I got this increase in traffic after running this special,'"
Right now foursquare's business service is free, a fact that has fu-
eled rampant speculation on how the site might even-
tually make money. Last August the New York Post
ran a breathless article saying that foursquare
would soon be charging its 500,000 regis-
tered merchants for access to the dash-
board, a supposition Selvadurai says is
false. "Right now the idea is to sign up
as many businesses as we can," he
says. "After that we might come up
with some interesting ways to mon-
etize it," for example, charging for
premium content that would give
them access to more detailed cus-
That's probably the right approach,
says Jeremiah Owyang, an industry ana-
lyst with Altimeter Group who tracks so-
cial media. "Their main focus now needs to
be adoption, adoption, adoption," he says. "In-
crease functionality in order to bring more businesses
and users into the fold. That should be
While 10 million users may seem like
a good start, it's nothing compared to
the 700 million on Facebook or even
the 200 million on Gmail— both of
which are starting to compete with
location-based services. "We've seen in-
cumbents move into the check-in space
very rapidly," says Owyang. "Google,
Facebook, Yelp. Foursquare has tre-
mendous pressure to innovate and con-
tinue its momentum."
Industry analyst Tim Hickemell of
Info-Tech is less worried about compe-
tition. Since users aren't likely to use
more than one service to check in, he
thinks foursquare will continue to lead
the pack so long as Facebook and other
sites continue to allow foursquare to
post to their sites. But he also agrees that
is catching on?
n August President Obama
signed in to foursquare
as a way for users to
track his whereabouts
during his re-election
Fall 2011 31
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.-^x^ig mends with the President of the United State — even if
developer created a real-time dating service, matching up singles in in a roundabout way-isn't a bad accomplishment for a computer
close proximity based on the history of the places they like to visit. engineer who once spent days not talking to anyone. But Selvadurai
Those who use foursquare are passionate about integrating it into isn't resting on his laurels. Like Obama, he is hoping 2012 might be
their Lives. Already there have been two marriage proposals made his year.
Fall 2011 33
^_ O £
^T. I'N J.^1 Uilli
PRIVACY IN THE
Age of Geo-Tagging
As anyone who has used foursquare can attest,
racking up points and besting friends of May-
orships can be an addictive pursuit. But it also
raises the question — what is foursquare doing
with all that check-in information? "This notion
of real-time location can become an important
piece of private information that users may be
concerned about," says Craig Wills, head of
WPI's computer science department, who re-
cently co-authored a seminal study on Internet
privacy. "A lot of our work focused not on what
information other users in a social network
might see, but on what other entities might
gain access to that."
In 2009 he and his co-author, Balachander
Krishnamurthy of AT&T Labs, examined over
100 popular websites, and found that 84 per-
cent of them, including such popular social
networking sites as Facebook, Linkedln, and
MySpace, leaked private information to third-
party "aggregators" such as doubleclick,
which then used that information to track us-
ers across the Web and target them for ads on
completely different websites. With a site like
foursquare, the implications of that could be
downright creepy. "If I am checking in at my
favorite coffee place, and then later I visit CNN
and get an ad for Joe's Coffee Shop, then
that's a bit invasive," say Wills.
Selvadurai, however, assures users that the
site doesn't share its information with outside
third parties. "We build things that our friends
want to use," he says. "So when we build new
features and products, we think very hard
about privacy" In addition to blocking ag-
gregators, foursquare makes sure that users
share only the information they want — offering
them the option to make check-ins public or
private, and encrypting all information shared
across the network so it can't be intercepted
by nefarious third parties "There's no ability
for stalkers to follow you," says Selvadurai. "At
least not those you don't already know about."
Even retailers registered with foursquare
get limited information about users — such as
gender breakdown along with the first name
and last initial of their most frequent custom-
ers Users can opt out of providing even that
much information, as they can opt out of shar-
ing their information on other networks such
as Facebook and Twitter. "We think about this
all the time and we try to be as open as possi-
ble," says Selvadurai. "When we launch a new
feature, we are very clear about how this stuff
works — we lay it out in very clear language."
Wills praises the openness of foursquare's
most sites — though he does caution that hav-
ing an "opt-out" on features can sometimes be
lost on users "Ten percent will always make
the choice to say no, 10 percent will make the
choice to say yes, and 80 percent will make
the default choice," he says. In addition, us-
ers should be careful of how their information
is used by other social networking sites that
might connect with foursquare's real-time lo-
"It's obligatory for a site like that to tie into
Facebook. The problem is you might not un-
derstand you are putting this stuff on your
Wall — and, increasingly on Facebook a lot of
this stuff is public by default. You get this odd
interplay between settings going on between
multiple social networks." Some users may be
completely fine sharing their locations publicly
across other networks — or even getting tar-
geted ads from Facebook or other sites based
on those locations. "Some people say that is
great, instead of getting a generic ad, they're
getting one for something they want," says
Wills, "but it does illustrate how much informa-
tion is gathered in one place by a company
that is trying to make money."
For users who are concerned about open-
ing up their movements to public scrutiny, it's
important to check their settings across all of
their social networks. When in doubt, says
Wills, opt out.
foursquare must expand its offerings beyond check-ins and brand
partners if it's going to capture a wider audience. "They need to get
more targeted with their recommendations," he says. "Like, if you
visit a store at a certain time, foursquare could recommend a certain
place to have lunch, and then give you a code for a free dessert."
Foursquare is already experimenting with new features. Back in
March it added recommendations to users, based not only on their
own history but also the places visited by their friends. At the same
time the company has shared its code with other developers who
have used the system to design their own foursquare add-ons. One
developer created a real-time dating service, matching up singles in
close proximity based on the history of the places they like to visit.
Those who use foursquare are passionate about integrating it into
their lives. Already there have been two marriage proposals made
by check-ins at favorite spots. And users themselves created the idea
of "foursquare day" on April 16, demonstrating a bit of math prow-
ess in their selection, and getting more than a dozen real-life may-
ors, including the mayors of New York, Miami, and Atlanta, to issue
foursquare proclamations. "Users have taken this to a level we never
thought possible," says Selvadurai.
The latest evidence foursquare is catching on? In August Presi-
dent Obama signed in to foursquare as a way for users to track his
whereabouts during his re-election campaign.
Becoming friends with the President of the United State -even if
in a roundabout way -isn't a bad accomplishment for a computer
engineer who once spent days not talking to anyone. But Selvadurai
isn't resting on his laurels. Like Obama, he is hoping 2012 might be
Fall 2011 33
LIKE A SCIENCE CENTER TWISTER, NINA SIMON '03 IS USING
CREATIVE TECHNIQUES AND WEB 2.0 TACTICS TO STIR UP MUSEUMS,
MAKING THEM MORE INTERACTIVE AND, WELL, MORE FUN.
By Kate Silver | Photography by Kevin Scanlon
WITH HER YOUTHFUL UNTAMED CURLS AND
STYLISH GLASSES, something about Nina Simon
'03 bellows, "color outside the lines!" The energetic
30-year-old brunette is the kind of person you can
visualize leading a singing flash mob down the halls
of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, where
she's executive director. Since graduating from
WPI with a BS in electrical engineering, Simon has
been busting through museum staff stereotypes
as she works to energize museums, shaking the
whispers from the walls, unbuttoning that top button
(or two), and filling institutional dinosaurs with life. In
the process, she's stirring up the industry like a
science center tornado.
According to a study released by the National Endowment for the
Arts, museum attendance is dwindling, and those who are still
visiting are older and whiter, on average, than the United States
population. In 2011 the American Association of Museums released
a report that found more than 70 percent of American museums
experienced economic stress last year. More than half of them expe-
rienced a decrease in funding— particularly government funding.
If something doesn't change, Simon worries about the future of
museums. "I think if museums go with the status quo, they will be
in danger," she says.
Described as a "visionary" by Smithsonian magazine, Simon sees
museums as community gathering places that should do more
than just pay tribute to the community they're in. They should
engage that community, even change with it. With Web 2.0 as her
inspiration, Simon aims to do for museums what the participatory
online model did for the Internet: transform it from a flat, passive
experience into an active adventure, where each user's experience
builds upon the last; break free of the stiff, whisper-filled museum
walls we grew up with and create meaningful places that are ever-
changing, just like us. To Simon, a museum experience goes far be-
yond the relics that hang from its walls.
"A lot of what I'm trying to do is break down the notion that a mu-
seum should be an elitist space for a certain kind of experience and
just say no to that," says Simon. "Museums are places to explore,
places to connect with creativity and culture — no matter who you
are, no matter where you come from, no matter how much educa-
tion you have".
36 Fall 2011
A REAL- LIFE EDUCATION
When Simon was 16, growing up in Los Angeles, she wanted to drop
out of school and design pinball machines. She was a creative kid,
the daughter of artists — her dad is Screamin' Scott Simon, a mem-
ber of the band Sha Na Na, and her mom wrote educational films
for Disney— who made good grades, but she was never impressed
by the structure and formality of the classroom. "I was always sus-
picious of the gold stars," she says. One of the formative books she
read as a teen was The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School
and Get a Real Life Education.
"While I was in high school, I became really interested in non-
traditional forms of education and learning," she says. Museums
always provided her a land of "real-life" education. She loved places
like the Exploratorium in San Francisco and the Museum of Science
in Boston. People are there by choice, learning at their own pace,
according to their own interests, and they're not graded on it.
In fact, her embrace of free-spiritedness and independent thought
led Simon to WPI. "I don't know if you want to print this, but I got
into MIT and Stanford and Berkeley," she says, "I wanted to come to
WPI because of its project-based education."
She flourished on campus. She befriended many of her profes-
sors and was impressed that they truly valued and supported her
forging her own educational path. Although she would eventually
graduate with a 4.0 and a degree in engineering, she said it was the
deeper lessons she learned at WPI that really made a mark.
"A lot of people extol the virtues of having a liberal arts educa-
tion. There's no doubt in my mind that there are positive things
that come from that. But I also think there are positive things that
come from having an engineering education that focuses on prob-
lem solving," she says. "When you see a challenge or some intrac-
table thing, you don't just think, 'Oh, let's talk about this a lot.' You
think, 'Well, let me try to figure out how I can attack this, how I can
try to solve it.'"
That's just the approach she's taking toward museums.
After graduating from WPI, Simon heard that the highest paid peo-
ple starting out in museums were those who posed, often nude,
for drawing classes. The first money she earned didn't come from
designing exhibits, planning programs, or even taking tickets. It
came from modeling. She would regularly model at the Worcester
Art Museum, making $20 an hour to stand still and eavesdrop on
art lessons. "It was like getting paid to process the day in a lovely
setting," she says.
By day, she volunteered at the Museum of Science in Boston and
at the Science Discovery Museum in Acton. For months, she did
everything from managing volunteers to designing exhibits to
cleaning Plexiglas. She did well enough that they decided to give
her a paycheck.
"I think everybody was a little surprised when I graduated with an
engineering degree and then took a $7-an-hour job at a science mu-
seum," she smiles. Still, she knew that was where she wanted to be.
At 23, she was hired by the International Spy Museum in Wash-
ington, D.C., as an "experience development specialist." She helped
plan and create an interactive experience called "Operation Spy,"
which she describes as "a cross between an episode of 24 and a
theme park." Guests would act as intelligence officers and make
their way through a mix of puzzles, games, and psychological chal-
lenges, including a he detector test. Simon worked with the con-
tractors, created the story fines, and wrote the scripts.
Around that same time, she'd started a blog called Museum 2.0,
(museumtwo.blogspot.com). It was 2006, and the idea of user par-
ticipation was in full force, thanks to Web 2.0 and sites like Face-
book, Twitter, and Wiltipedia. On her blog, Simon pondered how
that concept could also apply to museums. In her first blog entry,
dated Thursday, November 2, 2006, she wrote, "What are the pos-
sibilities and challenges in creating 'an architecture of participa-
tion?' This blog will explore the ways that museums can and do
evolve from 1.0 (static content delivery machines) to 2.0 (dynamic
content aggregation and network machines)."
Simon's blog did more than just explore it. It became a breed-
ing ground for discussion among colleagues and enthusiasts across
the world. While its aim was to help shape museums though user
participation, the blog itself was transformed in the same direction.
Simon was so energized by the blog's momentum that when
Simon's blog did more
than just explore it.
It became a breeding
ground for discussion
among colleagues and
"Operation Spy" opened at the museum, she left her job in D.C. and
moved back to her native California to further develop her participa-
tory museum passion. Museum 2.0 became the name of her design
firm, where she worked as a consultant with museums, libraries, and
other hubs of culture to create, well, really cool stuff: an interactive
online game to coincide with season 4 of CBS's CSl.NY; an exhibition
at the University of Washington on "advice," featuring a visitor-run
advice booth; creating the curriculum for Girls, Math and Science
Partnership's technology-focused Click!, an urban science adventure
camp; using crowd-sourcing to design a 3,000-square-foot interactive
gallery at The Tech Museum in San Francisco, and more.
Fall 2011 37
During that time, she wrote the book Participatory Museum, which
was a participatory experience in and of itself. While writing the
book, Simon posted it online as a wiki, inviting the audience to add
to and edit the work. She had no idea at the time that it would be-
come a manifesto for change in museums. The book went on to
sell more than 3,000 copies in the first year (quite a coup in the
industry), and was named "museum education book of the year" by
the Museum Education Monitor. It's now used as a text by at least 20
graduate programs in eight countries (that she knows of).
The book and blog are beloved by industry insiders everywhere,
including Eric Siegel, who met Simon at a museum conference
soon after she graduated from WPI. At that time, he was president
of the National Association for Museum Exhibitions and director
and chief content officer for New York Hall of Science, where he
Siegel, who is an active voice on the Museum 2.0 blog, says that
Simon stands out in the industry because of the tangible difference
she makes at museums. He says she has a true knack for breaking
down barriers and putting museum exhibits and spaces to use as a
catalyst for conversation, rather than the whisper zone of yesterday.
"I think her real passion is about building community." he says.
"Museums can do that and Nina is really leading the way in that." In
fact, Siegel says that her efforts have helped bring a renewed inter-
est in museums from a younger population.
"She has a lot of real fans in museums today, there's a lot of people
who look up to her, particularly young museum professionals," he
says. "For people in their 20s, particularly young women who are in
their 20s, I think she's really a role model. That's a big deal."
UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF CREATIVITY
When Simon accepted the executive director position at Santa
Cruz's Museum of Art and History in May 2011, she stopped con-
sulting in order to truly focus on this community museum. In a
matter of months, she's made a number of seemingly simple but
highly effective changes, bringing renewed interest to what was
considered a tired approach. She put up a comment board so that
visitors can make suggestions. She brought in local artists to paint
murals, and added a lounge and puzzle room where visitors can sit
and relax. She put chairs and couches throughout the museum, so
it feels like a home. Already, she's seeing people interact with one
another more. They're reading in the lounge, or helping a stranger
with a puzzle. They're no longer zooming through the museum, as
they did in the past.
In coming months, she has bigger plans. There will be an urban
scavenger hunt by bicycle, drop-in art workshops, a "Creativity Un-
der the Influence" class that pairs drawing with wine, craft nights, a
sculpture park, and other workshops, demos, and performances to
draw in new audiences.
As Simon continues to make strides at the museum, creating a
space that's relevant and reflective of the Santa Cruz community,
she thinks back to her days at WPI, and relates much of what she's
Nina Simon's Top Five
We asked museum mover and shaker Nina Simon '03 to pick her
top five participatory museums in the U.S. Here are her selections,
in her words:
THE WING IN SEATTLE
This is an incredible community-driven
museum in which all exhibitions are created by and with community
members about issues relevant to them. The result is very current,
very provocative exhibitions on everything from garment workers to
the refugee experience to religious intolerance, www.wingluke.org.
THE NEW CHILDREN'S MUSEUM IN SAN DIEGO
| This place is
fascinating. They take a contemporary art approach to interactivity.
Their entire building shows a thematic exhibition on a big idea like
"animals" or "garbage" and they commission internationally recog-
nized contemporary artists to make their exhibits. It's not unusual
to see kids crawling all over a climbing wall designed by Brooklyn
artist Sun Kwak or zooming around on vehicles created by Roman
de Salvo, thinkplaycreate.org.
These guys are rock stars when it comes
to digital participation. They do a fabulous job inviting visitors to
participate in everything from image identification to sharing their
experiences to selecting works that will be shown in the museum.
THE MINNESOTA HISTORY CENTER
This is a big, state
museum with a thoughtful approach to visitor participation. Their
Greatest Generation, and MN150 exhibitions all involved heavy visi-
tor and community participation, often including contributions from
throughout the state, minnesotahistorycenter.org.
THE COLUMBUS MUSEUM OF ART
This is an unpretentious,
excellent art museum with a surprising number of interactive com-
ponents to invite people to make their own art, play games with art,
and learn more through participation, columbusmuseum.org.
doing today to what she learned there. All of her progress is based
on experimentation, prototyping, and testing. As she opens the
doors to the Santa Cruz museum wider and wider, she's excited to
see just what might happen. In her eyes, the museum isn't as much
about history and art as it is about creating community.
"I think everything is about who the audience is," she says.
38 Fall 2011
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^y * --
' . ./
nr^ttt^ art #tiffc ittiil) l)tittJ
For 100 years a
secret society of
people have moved
the WPI campus
doing nice things
by W. Polly Teknick
ILLUSTRATION BY DAVID FULLARTON
Ask a Skull member aw
the secrets of the secret society, and they'll swear there
aren't any. They'll insist that The Skull is nothing more
than a congenial bunch of humble do-gooders who
prefer to operate "under the radar" for the benefit
of WPI. Nothing more, nothing less.
But ask too many pointed questions, especially of younger mem-
bers, and you'll start to get vague answers ("Gee, I don't really know
anything about that. . .") followed by shifty eye movement and some
really bad acting.
Pry too much, and you'll wonder if they're beginning to circle the
wagons. For instance, while researching this article, your humble
scribe was sent to on a wild goose chase through obscure papers in
the WPI archives by a well-respected member of the Gordon Library
staff— who just happens to be a member of Skull. A bit of innocent
note-taking during a Skull event triggered a rapid alert that spread
instantly through the ever-vigilant network. Most mysteriously,
notes for this story emerged from a WPI-networked laser printer
with sections blacked out, as if redacted by the CIA. (I kid you not.)
So, how much can we non-Skulls really know about The Skull?
A Hundred Years Ago
The year was 1911. A junior named George Dixon had an idea:
select classmates for an honor society, where outstanding lead-
ers from the junior class could be brought together as seniors
to pool their energy and resources in service to WPI. Dixon re-
mained highly engaged as Alumni Association president, An-
nual Fund chair, and trustee. He also continued to guide Skull,
along with classmate and co-founder Ralph Taylor, until his
death in 1956. Dixon's papers reveal a meticulous record keeper
and a tireless supporter of the Institute. But they reveal virtually
nothing about his intentions for Skull.
One hundred years — and more than 1,000 members later—
the organization celebrated its centennial on the weekend of
July 16, 2011. The highlight was a gala dinner at Worcester's
grandly restored Union Station — which also turned 100 years old
this year. Honorary chair of the Skull centennial celebration Bill
Grogan '46 paid tribute to six non-Skulls for their devoted con-
tributions to WPI. The inaugural George P. Dixon Award was be-
stowed upon Skull's own "odd couple" — their term, not ours —
former advisors Van Bluemel (physics professor emeritus) and
Bill "Tuna" Trask (retired director of placement /associate dean
of students). The weekend also featured activities on campus,
including an Open House in Skull Tomb. ("Open House" turns
out to mean open to Skull members and spouses only; friends or
reporters not allowed.)
In Dixon's time, WPI was so small that Skull members could file into
Alden Memorial for general assembly, dim the lights, and circulate
slowly through the awed audience to tap new members. A group
of black-robed Skull members, their faces hidden by the darkness
of their deep hoods, come up behind unsuspecting inductees and
tap them (which is described by some members as a 'whack' and by
other members as a 'gentle pat' on the back). Today, with a larger
student body, it takes a bit more strategy to locate and ambush in-
ductees, particularly since the tappers still show up looking like a
gang of grim reapers.
Sigma Pi Epsilon president Zach Garbowitz '12 remembers when
he was tapped. He'd received an urgent summons to return to the
fraternity house. "I thought it must the police," he recalls. "I figured
someone was hurt, or had gotten into trouble. So I rushed down
42 Fall 2011
ALUMNI TRAVEL PROGRAM
England, Scotland, Wales
April 19-28, 2012
London Project Center
Nov. 5-17, 2012
Venice Project Center
The WPI Alumni Association is proud to announce the 2012 travel
program. Trips include an exclusive opportunity to visit the WPI
Project Center in each location. Best of all — 10 percent of the total
cost will be donated to the Alumni Association Scholarship Fund for
undergraduates. We invite you to choose from these destinations
for a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience!
More information is available online at alumniconnect.wpi.edu. ', «j*,
Check this web page and watch your email for details about special
information sessions about each trip. Questions? Contact the Office
of Alumni Relations at 508-831-5600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
[The Shocking Secrets of SKULL
Over the years. Skull has taken its share of ribbing about its
secrecy, particularly from the student newspaper on April
Fool's Day But the organization isn't as secretive as some
claim. In fact, here are 10 things that Skull members actually
want you to know.
Ilt is the third oldest campus organization, (behind only the Glee
Club and the student newspaper, also founded in 1911, which
loves to poke fun at Skull's mysteries.)
2 Skull Tomb) — the former Magnetics Laboratory — became the
organizations headquarters in 1921. It is rumored to contain
everything from victims of Robert Goddard s secret experiments to
the live goat that was WPI's original mascot. What goes on there will
never be known, but it can be revealed that it sometimes involves
coffee and Danish. How macabre is that?
3 This is no old boys' club. Skull went co-ed as soon as WPI did
Lesley Small Zorabedian 72. WPI's first female undergraduate,
was tapped in her junior year. (Yale, by contrast, allowed women into
its Skull and Bones only under duress, in 1991 .)
4 Skull's first honorary (non-student) member was Rear Admi-
ral Ralph "Prexy" Earle. WPI's sixth president, tapped in 1931.
Since then, membership has been extended to faculty, alumni, trust-
ees, and staff, including the beloved ATO cook. Marie "Ma" Fell.
5 If you think you have what it takes to be a Skull — you don't.
Those who daydream about getting the tap can dream
on. Faculty advisor Bland Addison puts it this way: "The
students who are selected are genuinely surprised. Others
may see them as outstanding, but they have that sort of
personality and attitude that they don't see themselves as
6 If you're not tapped m your junior year, there's still a
chance. Devoted alumni are sometimes tapped de-
cades — even half a century — after graduating!
7 Actually, it s never too late. The author of WPI's Alma
Mater, Willard Hedlund (Class of 1910). was tapped 35
years after his death. And he knew the founders personally.
8 Skull's overt activities include running the Rope Pull,
singing in the Alma Mater competition, and nurturing
other campus traditions
9 The Skull Trophy, given for extraordinary spirit and ser-
vice in the recipient's freshman year, is meant to inspire
students to do more for WPI. It does not. however, guaran-
tee future Skull membership.
.4 ^ Skull would never tell, but your alumni magazine will:
I \J For its 100th Anniversary, Skull raised a $240,000
gift for WPI.
and was told. They're in the basement.* I thought. Why the base-
ment? I went down the stairs, came around the corner, and saw a
circle of black robes. That's when I knew."
The late Nils Hagberg. a beloved WPI security guard with 40 years
of service, was tapped while making his rounds. "A bunch of Skull
members approached me." he told the WPI Journal in 1974. "I figured
thev wanted to get into Boynton Tower, so I reached for my keys.
Then someone whacked me across the back. I turned, and there was
Bob Wagner grinning ear to ear. saying 'Welcome to the Club."
"I had no idea who was under the hood." says Joe Mielinski '87.
"I saw these two hands reaching out, and they were shaking." The
hands, trembling with pride, belonged to his father, Joe Mielinski
'61. who had the rare honor of tapping his own son.
"The night I was tapped. I had tears in my eyes." says Al Papianou
'57. who was tapped 40 years after he graduated. The late Sam Men-
cow '37 was almost 80 years old when he was selected for Skull. He
became an inspiration to his 20-year-old classmates by showing up
for every single initiation rite, even in the middle of the night, even
in the freezing cold.
Skull's initiation has been rumored to include horrific tortures,
such as being buried alive, or sleeping in coffins. "Oh, man, no!"
laughs Sean Seymour '09. "Outsiders always think it's worse than
it is. Although there was one person in my class who was terrified
about coffins the whole time."
"Our rituals are educational." says faculty advisor Bland Addison.
"They involve keeping alive the traditions and lore of WPI." As for
assertions that the robes invoke malevolent societies, such as the
Klan or the mafia, he scoffs. "It's just for fun. Think Harry Potter or
medieval monks. The robes reinforce the rite of passage that induc-
tion represents. They also add a little theatrics."
What's Under the Hood?
Although outsiders profess to know the rules for Skull selection
and delight in making predictions on the next class, members in-
sist that there is no formula. Addison and co-advisor Chrys Demetry
'88 stress that the selection process seeks those who take pleasure in
doing good things for WTI. but shun the glory.
"People aren't selected because they want to get into Skull, or be-
cause of some written mission statement." says Addison. "They're
selected because they're that sort of person, the type who's corn-
mined to making the community" better." The true Skull type. Addi-
son savs. would never be disappointed at not being selected. "They
would be out congratulating the people who had been tapped."
During questioning about the true work of Skull, the advisors hes-
itate frequendy and exchange glances, as if weighing their inherent
nature toward helpfulness against Skull's mandate for secrecy. "A
Skull member will see a problem or opportunity on campus and
without calling attention to themselves, will call on their resources
to get something to happen." is about as specific as Demetry gets.
"It's not a conspiracy." adds Addison "But it's sub rosa when it
happens. Skull's ambition is not to make Skull look good— our am-
bition is to make WTI better. Skull members are not interested in
an\T±iing coming back to them. That's why they're reluctant to talk
about what they do. It would embarrass them. They're just happy
to be doing it."
But what if a magazine offered to do a big. glossy feature story on
Skull? With great photos and lots of quotes and name-dropping?
Addison smiles and shakes his head no. a beguiling anomaly in this
era of 24-hour self-promotion and endless Twitter announcements.
While Skull members state the group has no mission statement,
if they did it might be drawn from the dosing paragraph of T\\x>
Towers, the official history of WPI. where it is written that WPI
stands solidly atop its rounded hill because "there have always been
enough people who cared."
"We try to be among those people." Demetry says quietly.
"We don't try." Addison asserts. "We just are. Someone else
brought us together— and that makes it all possible."
W. Polly Jeknick is the pseudonym used by Transformations editor
Joan Enough-Miller, who bravely went undercowr to get this story, and
whose identity has been disguised by WTTs Witness Protection Initiative
Career Development Center
Mark Mungeam '83
charted his own course
when it came to his
profession— which is the same
approach he takes when designing a
world-class golf course.
o the average golfer, the placement of
sand traps and water hazards on a course
can seem like an insidious plot that will
guarantee a round filled with double
ogeys and major frustration. ©
To golf course architect Mark Mungeam '83, it's almost an after-
"So little of designing a golf course involves what to put around
the greens," says the owner of Mungeam Cornish Golf Design Inc.,
in Douglas, Mass. "I think about trying to make each hole a chal-
lenge for the golfer who shoots a 76, as well as the golfer who shoots
a 126. It's like putting together a jigsaw puzzle."
The puzzle begins to take shape when he arrives at a proposed
location. Eschewing modern technology like satellite photography,
and armed with just a simple topography map, Mungeam walks the
land. He first concentrates on locating the greens, then moves on
to transforming the rest of a typical 350 acres of woods and mead-
ows that make up the typical award-winning golf course that has
marked his quarter-century in the business.
"It's still very important to get an understanding and a feel for the
vegetation and the soil conditions, of what kinds of environmen-
tal restraints you might have to deal with," notes Mungeam, who
took several biology and design courses while completing dual de-
grees in civil and environmental engineering. "It's not like I know
where everything is going to be, but I can see a piece of land, figure
out how to take advantage of what's available, and make a good
High-profile architects like Robert Trent Jones, and firms with
the name of Hall of Fame golfers Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus,
are well known to the average golfer. But Mungeam's work has not
gone unnoticed by golf insiders, people who recognize the broad
range of skills needed to create an outstanding course.
"Mark has a well-respected reputation for building golf courses
that are technically sound," says Chad Ritterbush, president of the
American Society of Golf Course Architects. "He pays attention to
the details, and delivers a good product. He does it the right way."
The list of award-winning courses Mungeam has designed in-
cludes Shaker Hills in Harvard, Mass., LeBaron Hills in Lakeville,
Mass., Owl's Nest in Campton, N.H., and The Golf Club at Oxford
Hills, Conn, which was rated the third best public access course
by GolfWeeJc magazine. At Charleston Springs Golf Course in Mon-
mouth County, N.J., the two 18-hole courses he built received a 4.5
out of 5 star ranking from Golf Digest magazine, along with the des-
ignation of one of the best places to play in 2004 - 2010.
He also can point to work at courses like the Olympia Fields Coun-
try Club in Chicago, where he led major renovations in preparation
for both the 1997 U.S. Senior Open and the 2003 U.S. Open.
While Mungeam professes not to rank his work, he has a special
place for Cyprian Keyes Golf Club in Boylston, not far from WPI.
With wetlands spread throughout more than 20 percent of its 235
acres, Mungeam's skills were tested, for he had to design a course
that could meet the standards of course superintendent Richard
Zepp, a 1973 WPI graduate.
"Mark designed this course so that it not only utilized all of the
land's natural elements, but he took into account what would
► A Course of Study
Mark Mungeam didn't
choose his major in a
traditional way as he
entered WPI in 1979.
"When I was in high
school, I wanted to get
into wildlife manage-
ment or natural resource
management, or become
a park ranger," Mungeam
recalls. "My parents and
guidance counselor told
me that I should have
higher aspirations. I was
good in math and sci-
ence, and I saw that WPI
had classes in environ-
mental engineering, so I
thought, 'Maybe I should
get into that.'"
He eventually added
civil engineering as his
main academic focus,
but says the structure of
his IQP and MQP allowed
him to load up on elec-
tives like construction
land planning, and
biology. Those classes,
taught by such faculty as
Malcolm Fitzpatrick (who
was also his advisor) and
Fred Hart, interested him
even though he hadn't
a clear idea of how they
might help him after he
graduated. Taking them
proved to be a prescient
"I utilize all those dis-
ciplines in my business,"
Mungeam said. "Often
we're planning golf holes
within a housing devel-
opment where I have to
incorporate roads and
drainage systems, things
like that. You need a
broad background to do
well in this industry."
The biology courses
helped his work with
wetlands, plant materials,
and even choosing the
best kinds of grass seed
to suit a course's environ-
mental footprint. It also
has come in handy to
help smooth the permit-
ting process with town
conservation and plan-
ning boards, which can
be a challenge. But in the
end, he's judged on the
"No one cares about
how a golf course gets
built, or what issues we
had to deal with, or the
money spent on it,"
said Mungeam. "If the
owner gets good value,
and golfers like it, that's
all that matters."
48 Fall 2011
make it easiest to maintain after he finished," says Zepp, who has
managed Cyprian Keyes since its 1996 construction. General Man-
ager David Frem, whose family hired Mungeam, adds, "This course
is as fundamentally sound as when it was first built. It has stood the
test of time."
CHARTING A CAREER COURSE
The only one in his family to play golf, Mungeam was a member of
the varsity golf team during his days at WPI. "I wasn't one of the bet-
ter players, but I did play," he says, revealing only after some prod-
ding that he had a nine handicap, something most golfing enthusi-
asts can only dream about.
In the summer between his sophomore and junior year, he land-
ed a job at the small, nine-hole Berlin Country Club in his home
town, where he quickly was promoted from mowing fairways and
raking bunkers to overseeing all course maintenance and assist-
ing with daily operations. Noticing that Mungeam also sat on the
town's Conservation Commission and thus understood environ-
mental issues, the owner asked him to draw up plans to double the
size of the course.
Using a copy of The Golf Course by Geoffrey Cornish, a renowned
Massachusetts-based course architect, Mungeam created a design
that was warmly received but went nowhere due to lack of funding.
While Mungeam pro-
fesses not to rank his
work, he has a special
place for Cyprian Keyes
Golf Club in Boylston,
not far from WPI.
No matter. "I decided it was something that could be a lot of fun,
and I decided that I would work my way into that field," he says.
During his senior year at WPI, he wrote to several course archi-
tect firms. Cornish, who was one of the few to respond, thought
Mungeam's civil engineering background would help him in his
job search, and it did when he landed a job at Moore Golf Inc., a
national golf course construction company based in Virginia. Af-
ter moving to a Florida rival two years later, where he oversaw con-
struction of several courses around the country, he felt ready by
1987 to begin designing his own courses.
Ironically, he then received a call from Brian Silva, who had recent-
ly partnered with Cornish, who was looking for help for the busy
firm. Soon Mungeam was headed back to New England, thrilled for
WPI Career Services
Among National Colleges
and Universities by
Here for a lifetime.
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networking opportunities available for alumni.
Career Development Center
+ 1 508-831-5260
the chance to learn from Cornish. He cites an early project he over-
saw in upstate New York in which he actually used a bulldozer to
create all 18 greens, giving him the type of unique experience few
golf architects have. "It was so invaluable to learn from the ground
up, to know how to put together a course from start to finish," he
says. "That has helped me my entire career."
THE CEREBRAL APPROACH
Golf architecture is subject to the same follow-the-leader fads as any
other industry. Mungeam's first designs featured tighter fairways
and small greens, known as "target courses," that punished those
golfers who take a "grip it and rip it" approach. Recentiy, architects
have returned to the links-style look that Mungeam prefers, featur-
ing unkempt bunkers and large greens surrounded by tall grasses,
which forces players to take a cerebral approach and consider such
things as approach angles and how a ball will play on the slope of
Expectations have also has changed over the past two decades.
Whereas earlier golfers would be satisfied to walk and play munici-
pal courses that generally have few amenities, today's player expect
so much more: riding carts and smooth paths, grounds that fea-
ture spectacular views, groomed fairways, and, of course, closely
cropped greens. But it comes at a steep price: because of stricter
environmental regulations, and land that is increasingly difficult
to find and more expensive to develop, the cost to build a new golf
. . . architects have returned
to the links-style look that
Mungeam prefers, featuring
unkempt bunkers and large
greens surrounded by tall
grasses which force players
to take a cerebral approach.
course can now run over $10 million dollars and take more than
four years to complete — resulting in greens fees upwards of $100 in
order for course owners to recoup their investment.
"Obviously we need to protect our natural resource and endan-
gered species. Sometimes the best golf holes may not be possible
because of habitat areas, say, for turtles, or you can't play across a
wetlands area," explains Mungeam, who has actually walked away
from projects with too many obstacles to meet his demanding spec-
ifications. "You try to create holes in which you can impact these
areas in the least possible way. It's more expensive to construct a
golf course than ever before, and because of that there's going to be
fewer golf courses built."
While there are obvious advantages to having his name attached
to a course built from scratch, he also gets much satisfaction from
modifying existing courses that can range from adding a couple
of water hazards to reworking all the greens. Currendy, he is
working on 10 upgrades throughout New England, preferring
not to venture overseas, where most of the new courses are be-
ing built. That would take him away from his wife and five chil-
dren for months at a time, something he has no interest in.
Staying stateside also allows him the chance to play a few
rounds when time permits, although his handicap has risen
over the years to a still-respectable 15. That's about the same as
former President Bill Clinton, who was Mungeam's playing part-
ner during the 2004 grand opening of Hudson Hills Golf Course
in Westchester County, adjacent to Clinton's adopted town of
So what about that notion of politicians having a reputation
for bending rules? "Cheating? I didn't see it. He was just one of
the boys," Mungeam recalls with a laugh. "Sure, he had a mulli-
gan here or there, but he didn't do anything like kick his ball or
tee it up in the rough. It was an amazing experience."
50 Fall 2011
IS A DEGREE REQUIREMENT
Three significant projects are required to graduate from WPI — and 50
percent of our students complete at least one overseas. The challenges
vary with the venue— from building a sustainable laundry facility
for a community outside Cape Town, South Africa, to preserving the
environmental, artistic and cultural heritage of Venice, Italy. Wherever the
go, WPI students become immersed in the local culture, researching and
implementing projects as scientists and engineers do to solve problems
and change lives.
Share how your WPI project ex
perience changed your life at
2011 ALUMNI AWARD RECIPIENTS
The WPI Alumni Association honored nearly two dozen alumni at Alumni & Reunion Weekend, June 2-5,
and at Homecoming, Sept. 23-24. Congratulations to the 201 1 Alumni Association Award Recipients.
Robert H. Goddard Alumni
Award for Outstanding
RICHARD K. ALLEN 76, chief
operating officer and senior vice
president for global operations at
Stantec, one of the largest environ-
mental science firms in the country.
WILLIAM L. ANTHONY JR. '61 ,
partner in the Silicon Valley Office of
the firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
and a member of the firm's Intellectual
STUART C. KAZIN '61, retired senior
vice president of Worldwide
Operations and Administration at
Lotus Development/IBM Corporation.
JOSEPH E. LAPTEWICZ JR. 71,
former president of and current
technical advisor to Empi, Inc., a
manufacturer and provider of
noninvasive medical products.
CLAUDE P. MANCEL 71, former
vice president for research and
development for global home care
at Procter & Gamble.
Herbert F. Taylor Alumni
Award for Distinguished
Service to WPI
JOHN J. GABARRO '61, member of
the Management Executive
Council; volunteer for WPI admissions,
reunions, and fundraising events for
HANS H. KOEHL '56, class agent,
reunion and fundraising volunteer
MORGAN R. REES '61, former presi-
dent of the Alumni Association, Class
Board of Directors and Poly Club,
reunion and fundraising volunteer,
member of the Civil and Environmental
Engineering Advisory Board.
MERRILL E. SPILLER JR. '51, class
agent, member of Class Board of
Directors, reunion volunteer, main-
tained class website for many years,
photographer at 50th and 55th
reunions, treasurer of Tech Old Timers.
MICHAEL P. ZARRILLI 71, class
agent, Regional Council representa-
tive, Steering Committee member for
the President's Advisory Council (now
President's Circle), WPI trustee since
WPI Award for
WARNER S. FLETCHER, WPI trustee
since 1993, Worcester civic leader,
tireless advocate for WPI and its
Worcester Community Project Center.
2011 Alumni Award Recipients:
1 . Keith Barrett '96
2. Melissa (Lichwan) Besse '91
3. Gerald Burns Jr. 91
4. James Gannoe '91
5. Laura Amodeo '06
6. Megan Wallent '91
7. Rev. Peter Scanlon
8. James Baum '86
9. James Fee '65
John Boynton Young
Alumni Award for Service
LAURA M. AMODEO '06, member
of the Alumni Association Board of
Directors and Annual Fund Board;
reunion volunteer and Hartford/
Springfield Alumni Chapter
MELISSA M. (LICHWAN) BESSE '91,
Alumni Association Cabinet member,
career mentor, reunion volunteer, and
WPI event host.
KATHLEEN A. (DALY) PEREIRA '96,
Alumni Association Cabinet and
Board of Directors member, Annual
Fund Board member, Class Agent,
Graduates of the Last Decade Council
member, and reunion volunteer.
52 Fall 2011
Ichabod Washburn Young
Alumni Award for
GERALD L. BURNS JR. '91, CEO of
Data2Logistics, LLC, a Platinum Equity
company that provides Fortune 1 000
companies with actionable information
captured from freight bills.
KEITH A. BARRETT '96, vice president
of technology and chief technology
officer at Shareholder.com.
JAMES P. BAUM '86, executive vice
president and general manager at
Parametric Technology Corporation,
former president and CEO of Endeca,
president and CEO at Netezza Cor-
poration, where his work ultimately
drove the acquisition of Netezza by
IBM in a 2010 transaction dubbed "the
most disruptive acquisition of 2010" by
JAMES R. GANNOE '91, cofounder
and president of Extremity Medical, an
orthopedic device company special-
izing in the development of next-
generation fixation and arthroplasty
systems addressing needs in the distal
MEGAN WALLENT '91, lead program
manager for Internet Explorer at
William R. Grogan Award
for Support of the Mission
JAMES F. FEE '65, co-founder of the
WPI Venture Forum, which provides
educational programs to entrepreneurs
working to commercialize their ideas
and inventions, (posthumously)
The Goat's Head Award
for Lifetime Commitment
REV. PETER J. SCANLON, longtime
E HEAR THREATS OF A "DOUBLE-DIP" RECESSION. Con-
gress continues to debate everything from debt ceiling to
credit ratings to Social Security. Unstable global economies
threaten the status quo. And for the WPI community of real
people holding real jobs, it may drive many of us to bury our
heads in the sand and wait for the storm to blow over. While
that's certainly one strategy, I recommend another approach
that will give you better control of your future. It centers
on understanding your Indispensability Profile. What's that,
you ask? Follow these simple steps and you'll find it:
• Know Your Accomplishments. Make a list of every spe-
cific accomplishment you have achieved since your last
performance review. Do not generalize. For each, answer
this question: "If I had not done this, what would have hap-
pened?" Your manager may forget your accomplishments,
but you shouldn't. Did your decisions save money or in-
creased productivity? Continue to add to your lists of ac-
complishments, and soon you'll see your "Indispensability
• Study your company's current activities: Is business ex-
panding or retracting? Where is the company growing? Are
you where you want to be? If not, how can you get there?
What expertise do you have that would fit? Make a plan that
• Make appointments with the appropriate people. Meet
with your current manager to review your latest contribu-
tions so they are top of mind (before any reductions-in-work-
force take place). Also, meet with managers and peers for in-
formational purposes to learn more about the company and
how your skills fit their needs. Strengthening your network
Knowing your Indispensability Profile, and preparing now,
increases the odds that you will find yourself gainfully em-
ployed should layoffs occur. - Connie Horwitz
Connie Horwitz is Associate Director of WPI's Career Development
Center. Contact Connie at CDCalumni@WPI.edu
Fall 2011 53
The Best Job in America*
Earn a Master of Science in Systems Engineering Online
Demand is soaring for systems engineers.
Fast forward your career through a
virtual return to WPI. Designed for busy
professionals and taught by seasoned
real-world experts, our online program
delivers practical knowledge in a flexible
platform. You earn a degree with the same
rigor and prestige that has made WPI a
leading technological university for nearly
* As ranked by Money/Payscale. corn's list of great careers (money.cnn.com).
For more information, contact:
Corporate & Professional Education
+ 1 508-831-4917
THE VIEW FROM THE HILL
From the Alumni Association President
DEAR ALUMNI AND FRIENDS,
I am delighted to thank our generous
alumni for their support of our alma
mater. Last year was one of the most
successful fundraising years ever for
WPI: $30 million in commitments were re-
ceived. Some of the highlights: $6,316,704
from the Class of 1951, $3,200,885 from 1961,
and over $10 million from 1956. These gifts
put us well on the way to a successful cam-
paign—a campaign that will keep our insti-
tution world-class and accessible to the best
and brightest students.
In September we celebrated Homecoming
2011. Alumni and their families flocked to
campus to enjoy the barbecues on the Quad,
tours of WPI's new Sports and Recreation
Center, the traditional Parade of Floats and
Rope Pull, and of course, the football game.
The Classes of 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006,
and 201 1 also celebrated their reunions.
During Homecoming the Alumni Asso-
ciation honored our own with the Robert
H. Goddard Award for Outstanding Profes-
sional Achievement and the John Boynton
Young Alumni Award for Service to WPI. Re-
cipients were James Baum '86, Gerald Burns
Jr. '91, James Gannoe '91, Megan Wallent '91,
Laura Amodeo '06, Melissa (Lichwan) Besse
'91, Keith Barrett '96, and Kathleen (Daly)
The William R. Grogan Award for support
of the WPI mission was presented to Jim Fee
'65. You may know that our dear friend Jim
died within the year. His widow, Joan, and
family accepted on his behalf from Pat Mo-
ran '65, Jim's fraternity brother. Jim worked
tirelessly on behalf of WPI, creating what has
become a vibrant network of innovators and
entrepreneurs. We were very pleased to have
Jim's family join his WPI family to share in
The WPI Alumni Association Goat's Head
Award for Lifetime Commitment to WPI was
presented to Father Pete Scanlon, longtime
WPI chaplain. Father Scanlon joins Bill Trask
as recipient of this prestigious award.
The awards ceremony was held in conjunc-
tion with the second annual Alumni Associa-
tion Online Auction. This year, the auction
raised approximately $9,000 to benefit stu-
dent scholarships. My thanks to the alumni
who served on the auction committee, those
who donated items, and those who partici-
pated in the bidding to make this year's auc-
tion another success.
If you didn't make it to Homecoming,
I hope you will save the date for Alumni &
Reunion Weekend 2012, May 31 -June 3. To
learn more about other WPI events through-
out the year, and how you can stay connected
to our alma mater, visit www.wpi.edu /alum-
ni. I look forward to seeing you on the Hill.
All the best,
Bob Cahill '65
GORDON LIBRARY PRESENTS
ARCHIVES & SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
Remembering past innovators and preserving their legacies
The Morgan Construction
Company of Worcester, now
part of Siemens VAI, was
responsible for some of the
great innovations in the roll-
ing mill industry, beginning in
the 1 880s. The impact of this
company and its employees is
found around the world.
The Morgan family,
which has had close
ties to WPI since the
donated the compa-
ny's archives to WPI
Morgan Construction Company:
Revolutionizing the Rolling Mill Industry Worldwide
Now through June 6, 201 2
in the Gladwin Gallery on the Ground Floor
• Models of mills and machinery
• Historic photographs
• Drawings of early Morgan mills
For hours and details about exhibits
and events happening at the Library,
For archives information, email email@example.com
or call 508-831-6112.
Creating meaningful and lasting connections is at the heart of the WPI experience. It was
also the theme for this year's Homecoming festivities, which took place Sept. 23 and 24
on the WPI campus. Hundreds of alumni returned to campus to enjoy a fall weekend
of fun, competition, and friends. Alumni in attendance enjoyed watching the Parade of
Floats, the annual Rope Pull, fraternity and sorority open houses, and of course, the
Homecoming Game, which was won by the Engineers 34-31 before a packed house at
Alumni Field. The Classes of 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006, and 2011 also gathered on
campus that weekend to celebrate their class reunions.
56 Fall 2011
1 .Three cheers for Gompei!
2. Students and alumni pose with WPI's beloved mascot.
3. WPI musicians entertain students, alumni, and friends
on the Quad.
4. WPI beat RPI 34-31— Go Tech!
5. Graduates of the Last Decade Reception:
(back row, from left) Matthew Silva Sa '09, Jon Baldiga '09,
and Dericc Orso '09; (front row, from left) Liz Carey '09 and
Sabrina Zayas '09
6. Sigma Pi's creation for the Parade of Floats
7. Friday night's Pep Rally
8. Enjoying the Graduates of the Last Decade Reception:
Ben Landry 10, Amanda Moreno 10, Jen Maurer 10,
Matt Runkle 1 1 , Jason Codding 1 0, and Greg Richmond 1 1 .
9. The WPI Marching Band performing at halftime.
10. Alpha Gamma Delta in the Parade of Floats
1 1 . Family fun at the 1 991 and 1 986 Class Reunions.
12. Tom Hopper '64 (left), Moe Silvestris '64, and Bob Cahill '65,
WPI Alumni Association president, join the Parade of Floats.
Fall 2011 57
On Behalf of Students
Two Alumni Provide $15.6 Million in Scholarship Support
IN A REMARKABLE demonstration of loyalty
and dedication, two WPI alumni have recent-
ly made generous gifts that will enhance the
university's ability to attract and retain the
best and brightest students. Robert A. Foisie
'56 gave $9.4 million to support the Robert
Foisie Scholars Fund for undergraduate stu-
dents, which he established in 2009.
Foisie's announcement came just after
George Messenger Jr. '51 and his wife, Pris-
cilla, announced that WPI will receive more
than $6 million from their estate, funds that
will also be used to support undergraduate
scholarships through the George and Priscilla
Messenger Scholarship Fund.
"Through these generous gifts — two of the
largest in WPI history— Bob Foisie and the
Messengers have greatly expanded our capac-
ity to offer scholarship support to bright, tal-
ented, and ambitious students who are best
suited to WPI's culture of high achievement,"
says President Dennis Berkey "They have also
provided our community with tremendous
momentum for our fundraising initiatives,
of which scholarship support is a key priority.
We are grateful to Bob Foisie, and to George
and Priscilla Messenger, for their dedication
and generosity to WPI."
The Foisie and Messenger scholarship gifts
come at a critical time, says Stephen E. Rubin
'74, chair of the WPI Board of Trustees. "Many
of our students face financial challenges due
to the current economy and the daunting cost
of higher education," says Rubin. "Bob Foisie
and the Messengers have chosen to help these
deserving young students through endow-
ment, which means these scholarships will be
available to WPI students for generations to
To date, WPI's scholarship endowment to-
tals $102.8 million, which amounts to 374
separately named funds that generated more
than $5.4 million in scholarship aid during
the 2010-11 academic year. This is in addition
to the $42 million that WPI spent last year on
financial aid from its own operating funds.
"Endowed scholarships play a vital role
in keeping WPI's doors open to these high
achieving students," says Kristin Tichenor,
senior vice president for enrollment and in-
stitutional strategy. "Nearly 90 percent of our
students qualify for some form of financial
aid, so the need is great. Mr. Foisie and the
Messengers are ensuring that more of our stu-
dents have the opportunity to make the most
of their WPI education. And I believe their ac-
tions will inspire other alumni to follow suit
and invest in future generations of WPI stu-
A trustee emeritus of the university, Foisie has
a long and generous history of philanthropy
at WPI, with a particular focus on under-
graduate scholarships. Prior to establishing
the Robert Foisie Scholars Fund, he had estab-
lished 17 other undergraduate scholarships,
named in honor of various WPI professors
who influenced his life. Since 2009, the Foisie
Fund has provided scholarships for up to 10
incoming undergraduate students each year,
chosen from the top students of the class.
Each Foisie Scholar receives a four-year, full-
tuition scholarship and a one-time allowance
to be used for a WPI Global Studies experi-
ence. WPI currently has 23 Foisie Scholars — 10
entering their junior year, five entering their
sophomore year, and eight first-year students.
58 Fall 2011
According to Foisie, who received scholar-
ships as a WPI student, there were several fac-
ulty members who made a lasting impression
on him. "Those fond memories have fueled
my dream of estabhshing a scholarship fund
to support qualified students with financial
need and a burning ambition to make a dif-
ference in the world."
Foisie received a mechanical engineering
degree from WPI and a master's degree from
Cornell University in 1958. As a young engi-
neer, he found a way to simplify the design
of a fuel control valve for jet aircraft, which
led to a patent. Among his many credits,
Foisie is founder and former president of
Matik North America, Inc. in West Hartford,
Conn., a firm specializing in paper-processing
machinery. He also owned a Swiss company
that makes carton and packaging machinery.
Foisie began his career as an engineer at Ham-
ilton Standard Co., and later served as chief
production engineer at Pratt & Whitney in
Hartford. His current business interests span
from telecommunications to real estate.
The Messenger Scholarship Fund
Scholarship support has long been a priority
for George and Priscilla Messenger, as well. A
child of the Great Depression, George Mes-
senger experienced firsthand the financial
burden of a college education, while Priscilla
comes from a long line of educators, and so
understands the critical role that education
plays in individual achievement. With these
values in mind, they established the George
and Priscilla Messenger Endowed Scholarship
Fund in 2001. Their latest gift, made through
a bequest, will be added to this fund.
"I firmly believe that students should not
be burdened with a heavy debt load when
they graduate from college," says George Mes-
senger. "WPI provided me with a scholarship
that— combined with outside jobs — enabled
me to complete my studies. I was 16 when I
entered WPI and I graduated with a degree
in physics. WPI provided me with the solid
education that made my successful career
Messenger went on to earn a master's de-
gree in electrical engineering from the Uni-
versity of Pennsylvania and a PhD in engineer-
ing from California Coast University. He has
had a significant impact on technologies that
allow satellites to work successfully in space.
His discoveries include the Messenger-Spratt
Equation, which describes the effects of neu-
tron radiation on bipolar devices, and the
Kirk Effect — also called current-induced base
push-out — an apparent increase in the width
of bipolar transistors that occurs at very high
injection levels and current densities. Mes-
senger's discoveries showed how electronics
could be hardened against the effects of ra-
diation. The work resulted in several patents
and more than 50 refereed technical papers.
Messenger also contributed to the develop-
ment of the EKG and the hardening of circuits
for the atomic clock in the Global Positioning
Satellite. He conducted research at the Naval
Research Laboratory on a proton radiator for
fighting cancer that localized radiation dam-
age to the area of the body being treated.
This earned him the Alan Berman Research
Publication Award from the Naval Research
Laboratory. He also received the Annual Mer-
it Award from the Institute of Electrical and
Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Nuclear and Plas-
ma Sciences Society, the Peter Haas Award for
outstanding technical contributions to hard-
ened military and space systems, and election
as a life fellow in IEEE for his contributions
to the determination of radiation to semi-
conductors and advances in semiconductor
technology. He is the co-author, with Milton
Ash, of The Effects of Radiation on Electronic Sys-
tems—considered the definitive work in the
field — and Single Event Phenomena. In recogni-
tion of his pioneering work on the hardening
of electronic systems, Messenger received an
honorary doctor of engineering degree from
WPI in 2009. Just recently, both Messengers
were awarded honorary doctorates by Hills-
dale College, George in science and Priscilla
Fall 2011 59
* ! John Lancaster '39 writes, "I retired from the National
Radio Astronomy Observatory as assistant director in 1981 to
live aboard our ketch VITA for 12 years in the Caribbean Sea.
Back to Socorro, N.M., in 1993 and then in 2001 to a CCRC in
Setauket, NY, so that we could be nearer our five daughters.
Phyllis, the 1 939 WPI Class Bride, died in 2004 after a six-year
battle with cancer, and in 2006 I married a gal named Gloria.
We live in a very nice four-level life-care community named
Jefferson's Ferry with 300 other folks. Would love to hear from
other retirees. E-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org."
George Bingham '40 writes that he's been very active as
a member of a worldwide group of "global warming realists."
He lives in Portland, Ore.
Ted Pierson '43 writes, "I live in a continuing care residen-
tial community near Princeton, N.J., with lots of activities to
keep me busy. I still drive, but have given up golf. Many close
friends have passed away, and I wonder who is left from the
Class of '43. 1 have followed with pride the scholastic advances
of WPI over the years."
Erl Lagerholm '44 writes from Carmel, Calif., with praise
for the Spring 2011 issue of Transformations. "I think it was,
by far, the finest issue that was ever produced. Keep up the
Ernie Kretzmer '45 says he's "living the proverbial
charmed life. . we built our self-designed dream house, which
has proved very livable — low in maintenance and very green,
especially considering we moved in 22 years ago. Heating
and cooling is geothermal, all windows and doors have dual
glass panes, and almost all lighting inside and out is compact
►2 Frank Holby '48 writes, "I have been studying French for
almost three years. I have also assumed the nearly full-time
job of caregiver for my wife of 62 years who has dementia.
I stay healthy by daily exercise. At 86, it's necessary to ex-
ercise both the body and the mind to remain fit for such an
important job as caring for a wife who has given me four fine
children, who in turn gave us 1 5 grandchildren. My legacy has
been established through this family, of whom I could not be
Dan Sheingold '48 is still working at Analog Devices as
editor of Analog Dialogue [in its 45th year of continuous pub-
lication — his 43rd]. He's a volunteer reader at Learning Ally,
formerly Recording for Blind & Dyslexic. He lives in Waban,
Mass., and can be reached at email@example.com.
Pres Stevens '48 and his wife, Mary, made their first trip to
Iran in 36 years, where they visited Mary's family, and toured
the buildings and gardens of Shiraz, Yazd, and Isfahan. He
was impressed by the magnificent layout and the decorations
of Takht-e-Jamshid (Persepolis), the pre-lslamic (Zoroas-
trian) decorations in Yazd, the intricate and heavenly mosaic
designs of the facades in the Chahar Bagh of Isfahan. "We
enjoyed a delicious lunch of Shirazi salad and carrot and rice
pulo served to us by our tour guide's mother and sister in their
village home, as we sat cross-legged around an embroidered
cloth on the carpeted floor. It was a wonderful experience!"
Lee Bassett '51 recaps his year: "I turned 81 in December
and celebrated with a high PSA reading. Responded with a
biopsy in January. Analysis indicated hormone shot for Febru-
ary. Decided to move in March. Big garage sale in April. Com-
pleted move in May. Prostate radiation treatments in June.
Five days per week thru July. Check-up OK in August. Wife's
birthday in September Another check-up in October, Daugh-
ter's birthday in November. I turn 82 in December."
Dick Coffey '51 reports that his town of Wilbraham, Mass.,
was hit by its first tornado on June 1. "Happily, it missed
our area. On July 26 we were hit again by a microburst
that knocked down several trees. No one was hurt, but we
have become very attentive to weather reports involving
Harvey Howell '51 says he has slowed down quite a bit this
last year due health problems but managed to get in some
glider flights, including "two hours in my own ship," which he
keeps in Vermont. He still lives in Dover, Mass., with Debbie,
his wife of 60 years.
Robert Zimmerer '51 recalls his excitement about working
in the Washburn Shops, where his hero, Robert H. Goddard,
started his experiments. "Before I had graduated, his widow
was invited to give a talk. I discovered he had been a member
of my fraternity! Like Goddard, I, too, earned a PhD in phys-
ics. Few of my classmates still live to reminisce with me."
Ann and Monroe Dickinson '52 say, "We escaped from
summer heat with a cruise on the Baltic Sea. Embarking from
Stockholm, we traveled to Tallinn, Estonia, and to St. Peters-
burg, Helsinki, and Copenhagen. For the past two years we
have been residents of a continuing care retirement com-
munity located in Rockville, Md., with easy Metro access
to Washington. Neither of us misses house maintenance,
cooking, and chores, and both of us enjoy the programs and
activities at the facility."
George Sanderson '52 writes, "We've just entertained
a party of three from Kent, England, plus our daughter and
grandchildren in an overlapping week. I'm trying to sign up for
an online course on artificial intelligence from Stanford Uni-
versity. My motto? When you stop learning, you start dying."
David Hathaway '53 shares that he just returned from a
1,600-mile bike trip to the annual BMW rally in Bloomsburg,
Pa. "This 80-year-old borrowed my daughter's tent and slept
on the ground. Retirement is wonderful as long as you have
several hobbies, spend some time volunteering, and have
enough children that you can relive your life through them."
Phil Simon '53 writes. "I am proud of my graduation
position, which allowed me further and free education and
wonderful professional positions in my field. I am 80 and still
vibrant in my profession, retired twice, and still running my
own private company. "
Neil Gleberman '54 and his wife, Donna, celebrated their
50th wedding anniversary in April with a year of travel. "We've
been to French Polynesia, taken a Seine River cruise from
Normandy to Paris, and will venture to India and Nepal later in
the fall. We are proud grandparents of six (soon to be seven!)
grandchildren. Retired life in Virginia has been wonderful for
us, and we enjoy golfing, hiking, our Brittany, and traveling.
We have visited more than 75 countries so far!"
60 Fall 2011
Milton Meckler '54 notes that he resides in The Huntington
Townhomes, built in 1998, not the historic Huntington Hotel
[as was erroneously stated in the previous issue], which was
demolished after falling into disrepair A member of the St.
Petersburg, Fla.. Preservation Society, Milton designed the
commemorative bronze plaque for the community's gated
entrance, in tribute to the historic hotel.
Bill Taylor '55 published two e-books of fables, Bribem
Beaver Logs On, and Bribem Beaver Gives a Dam. "Not exact-
ly the traditional format for scientific publications," Bill says.
He says a Kindle edition is also available-
Dave Gilda '56 writes. My wife, Justine, and I have had 53
very happy years together and raised a wonderful family Jobs
have taken us from the East to the Midwest and back again.
I worked for GE, Black & Decker, and finally a consulting job
for the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association that in-
volved working with CEOs, chief engineers, and building code
associations. In 2001 we moved to Allentown, Pa., and are very
lucky to have our children nearby."
Dick McBride '56 says he's "enjoying life, splitting time
between Maryland and the California desert, volunteering,
playing lots of tennis, and enjoying our 13 grandchildren."
Dick Rotelli '56 writes, "After I retired in 1994, we did a lot of
traveling, I also got back to playing the piano and composed
a few tunes. Although everybody knows engineers can't write
(except for current WPI gradsl), I did publish two biographies,
which have done well and have received nice reviews. My
website, rlrotellibooks.com, has a slideshow for each, with
my original music Our sons Richard Jr. and Michael are WPI
grads. Michael married his WPI sweetheart."
Dick Barlow '57 writes, "Afra and I have joined the flock of
snowbirds on the Pennsylvania-Florida route, and spend half
the year in each place. We have three kids, and six grandkids.
We will celebrate our 50th anniversary next year, God willing,
with a trip to Afra's hometown in Bavaria, and three weeks
hiking in the Bavarian and Swiss Alps. I keep busy with pho-
tography, and Afra is a black-belt duplicate bridge player —
but she won't tell me where she keeps the gold points! We
see Carole and John Hoban '57 occasionally, but not much
contact with other WPI friends since our 50th. Hope to make
it to the 55th!"
Herbert Hemenway '57 writes. "I spent 40 professional
years developing a mechanical transmission called Harmon-
ic Drive that has application for robotic joints and aerospace
hardware. Virtually every satellite that is flying uses one or
more Harmonic transmissions, including the Space Shuttle
and the Hubble telescope. We developed an actuator for
the Saturn missile to control the flow of liquid oxygen and
hydrogen. We also developed the wheel drives for the lunar
rover. There are a total of eight Harmonic Drive transmis-
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sions parked on the moon for eternity! When I took the aero-
space option my senior year at WPI, I did not expect to get
into space hardware development. I spent the last 15 years
as engineering manager of Harmonic Drive Technologies.
Al Papianou '57 wrote a memoir of his life as an "inden-
tured servant" working at his uncle's Greek restaurant in
Woonsocket, R.I., before he came to WPI. "It's called Tolia's. I
had it printed at a local company and have given away about
150 copies. I sent one to President Berkey, just to prove that
engineers can write. I also donated about 50 copies to vari-
ous organizations, which have sold them and kept the profits.
To all of my fellow alumni: Do it! Your children and relatives will
appreciate the insights into your life."
Spike Vrusho '57 lives in Vero Beach, Fla,, with his wife of
26 years. Marion. He is active in fundraising efforts for the
Homeless Family Center and for his Unitarian Universalis! Fel-
lowship. "A guest room with two beds and a private bath await
classmates who wish to visit this lovely community," he writes.
Solon Economou '58 says. "I've knocked another item
off my Bucket List: flying in a World War II B-17. Next up,
theP-51 ? "
Howard Pritz '58 says he been retired 10 years from his
work "developing a complete family of anthropomorphic
test devices, otherwise known as automotive crash test
dummies." He also says, "Retired life is good. I have been
married to my high school sweetheart for 52 years, and we
have three children and five grandchildren. We are active
in our church, where we both sing in the choir. I am also an
election official. My wife works part-time as an education con-
sultant. We attend lots of plays and concerts and we enjoy
traveling. Life is full!"
Sherman Poultney '58 writes, "Like everyone else my age,
we are downsizing and planning a move. Ours is from Wilton,
Conn., to North Carolina."
Bill Rabinovitch '58 received more than 200,000 "Likes"
on Facebook for his posts about Steve Jobs — before Jobs's
death in October. In a TechCrunch post last summer, he re-
called the opening of Apple's flagship store and theatre in
New York's SoHo district in 2002. "I had a unique opportunity
to videotape the opening, including the celebrities and com-
puter cognoscenti that showed up from around the world
for the champagne reception. Steve, in the pink of health,
was as charming as could be, interacting with great warmth
with a variety of invitees. I was able to catch much of the
ambiance and flavor of the event in my video. Even then, I
was already convinced Apple was the ongoing future. The
deeper story is always key for me, and I was super aware of
it that evening." Bill is now working on a historical film about
the SoHo art scene, incorporating his firsthand experiences
as an insider from the 1960s to the present.
►3 Jim Alfieri '59 represented the North Bay Italian Cultural
foundation at the Oakland A's first-ever Italian Heritage Night.
"Guess who got to throw (roll) out the first pitch'' Italian style,
of course — it was a bocce ball!"
Fall 2011 61
Mohammad Amin '59 is retired from Sargent and Lundy
Engineers in Chicago, but continues as a consultant with them.
Nancy and Dave Dickert '59 say, "We have friends who
kindly invited us to cruise with them in the straits of Georgia
and Howe off Vancouver, B.C., for a few days. We haven't
been on a boat of that size in years so we jumped at the
chance and had a great time. The electronics were amazing.
Set the course via GPS and the auto-pilot does the rest. Great
place, great seafood, great trip, much fun with good friends."
► 4 Roger Kuenzel '59 is a performer in the Irem Temple
String Band and also sells toys for the benefit of children at
Shrine Circuses in Kingston, Pa.
Pat and Frank (Skip) Pakulski '59 say, "We had an ex-
citing month-long trip, starting in Sydney, Australia. Snor-
keled the Great Barrier Reef, visited Darwin, then on to Bali,
Hong Kong, Taiwan, Shanghai, Nagasaki, Dalian, and finally,
Beijing. Met some wonderful friends from all over the world."
Geza Ziegler '59 writes, "I successfully retired, though very
busy. (More than when I was employed!) Besides hobbies,
such as motorcycling, I am involved in church activities. I re-
cently broke my right hip and had it replaced. (Parts were NOT
from China!) Just starting to walk without a cane. Otherwise
all is well!"
Richard Brewster '60 says, 'Just back from Gambia after
six weeks on a medical team repairing cleft lips, palates, and
facial deformities. I was the photographer for the Smile Train/
Mercy Ships mission, in charge of before-and-after shots "
Bill Hester '60 was featured in a special commemorative
issue of the Monmouth Message, honoring the service of
Fort Monmouth's soldiers, civilians, and family members. He
served in the Signal Research and Development Labs as a
2nd lieutenant, directing a team dedicated to solving heat
transfer problems caused by solar interference in satellite
radio communications systems. Hester's team developed
an innovative coating for parabolic dishes that enables the
worldwide satellite communications of today and is used
commercially on rooftop TV dishes. The base was closed in
Ed Sappet '60 says, "This alumnus is still in gear. Recently
sold my condo and bought a house in Florida. Good time to
buy as prices have fallen low."
Stephen Brody '61 continues as an applications engineer
for Anver Corp. in Hudson, Mass. The company specializes in
industrial vacuum material handling applications.
Ted Cocca '61 retired from the U.S. Department of Defense
after 45 years in weapon systems. He says he's enjoying
water skiing, snow skiing, golf, and no alarm clocks.
Asjed Jalil '61 retired from Morgan Co., though he contin-
ues to serve the company as an ambassador, based in the
Worcester area and traveling to nurture relationships with com-
panies in South Asia. A recent article in the Morgan Journal
chronicled his career, from India to WPI to the formation of
Morgan India, where he remains on the board of directors.
Tom Pantages '61 writes, "Hi 'mates! Renovating family
home, taking all too long; plumber/carpenter/electrician hope-
fully coming soon. Hope to get active in photography again
in 2012. I've been involved with international folk dancing for
over a decade now."
Harvey Slovin '61 writes, "Our son Jeffrey graduated from
WPI in 1996 with an MS CS. After many years in the private
sector and the federal government, I'm enjoying retirement,
as well as volunteer work. My wife, Loretta, and I enjoy travel-
ing around the world and exhibiting our pictures at our photo
George Yule '61 and his wife, Ingrid, traveled to the Holy
Land. "It was an unforgettable trip, shared with a great group
of people from a church in Palo Alto, Calif."
Jesse Erlich '62 is a partner and member of the Intellec-
tual Property/SciTech, Government Contracts, and Science &
Technology Groups of Burns & Levinson LLP of Boston.
Casimir Matonis '62 says he spent a fantastic week in June
camping near Lake Powell, Ariz., and hiking various trails,
including four slot canyons: Lower Antelope, Secret Canyon,
The Passage, and Corkscrew Canyon.
Tony Allegrezza '63 writes, "I am enjoying retirement
immensely after 35 years in the membrane industry. I still do
a little consulting and patent writing, but not enough to
interfere with racquetball, biking, and drinking coffee with
friends. This spring I went on a two-week bike trip through the
Andalusia region of Spain, and discovered that Spain is the
second most mountainous country in Europe. It was a great
but strenuous adventure. Judy will retire from teaching soon
and we plan to do some heavy-duty traveling. Best wishes to
all in the Class of '63."
Dick Epstein '63 says, "I recently retired from Mayfran In-
ternational. Since then I have volunteered for SCORE, helping
small business start-ups in the Greater Cleveland Area. I am
also mentoring the local high school's robotics teams. Both
of our children have moved back to Cleveland. We now have
four young grandchildren within 10 minutes of our home."
Russ Hokanson '63 is enjoying retirement in Wilmington,
Del., with his wife, Barbara. He has two daughters, two grand-
children, and three great-grandchildren.
Robert Murphy '63 writes, "I plan to watch the launch of the
NPP satellite from Vandenberg AFB on October 25. I started
this mission back in 1997 and served as its chief scientist until
2004, when I retired from NASA. I have continued to be in-
volved in the mission, first as an adjunct professor at George
Mason University and now as a private consultant. I also teach
astronomy at a nearby college. I will be watching the launch
with Nancy, my wife of 46 years. Time flies! (Let's hope that
NPP does, too!)"
Bob White '64 writes to share this wonderful tale: "Some-
time around the summer of 1983, 1 was vacationing with family
at a small pond in western Maine. The camp was rustic, with
no indoor facilities, so it was our custom to bathe in the pond.
While washing my hair one day, I lost my WPI class ring in the
water. Never could find it, even with a metal detector. But this
past summer the WPI Alumni Office contacted me and put me
in touch with a Maine woman whose son had found the ring —
some 15 years ago! With the help of our WPI Alumni Office,
the ring is now back on my finger. Pretty amazing, I think."
Tom Zagryn '64 writes, "Gone fishin'! Love it here in Litch-
field County, Conn. Sadly, my wife, Donna, passed away in
2009, so it's just me and my "girls" now — Buttons and Bows,
my two Maltese ladies. Also have two sons, making me a
proud dad. I am active in my Elks Lodge and enjoy family,
neighbors, friends, and the Red Sox. Still play guitar, but don't
have the chops from my days of playing with our Blue Echoes
band in Worcester (1962-66). Would love to hear from any
Class of '64 grads who remember me when I had hair — but
don't send chain emails. Be well, all."
Frank Benham '65 and his wife, Paula, are now retired and
living in Palm Coast, Fla. "We are both very active in volunteer-
62 Fall 2011
ing for the local community. We've also taken up serious cro-
quet. (Not your backyard kind. We have rules, strategy, and
lots of fun). Life is now seven Saturdays a week!"
Charlie Dufour '65 writes, "Each January, for the past five
years, we have been taking a team to Mali, Africa. We hold a
medical clinic and have been working on building an orphan-
age and school. So far, we have helped start five Christian
churches and treated several thousand people for conditions
such as malaria, wounds, burns, eye problems, typhoid, etc.
It has been very rewarding."
Mort Gutman '65 writes, "After graduation, I went to USAF
Officer Training School. I spent the next two years in naviga-
tor school, bombardier school, survival school, and B-52
school before being assigned to Plattsburgh AFB as a navi-
gator. I flew 65 bombing missions and managed to survive
unscathed. Later, I picked up an MBA from the University of
Detroit. I also became a volunteer firefighter, and stayed for
23 years, being named Firefighter of the Year in 1996. (Yeah,
I was one of the crazies who ran into — versus out of — burn-
ing buildings.) Went on to get my paramedic license through
UConn Medical School and worked as an EMT, then a para-
medic for many years. I finally had to quit due to progressively
degrading knees. For the past nine years I've been working as
a public safety dispatcher for our town. I got back into flying
several years ago, which does wonderful things for my sanity.
I've been married to the same beautiful woman for 43 years
now. We have two children. Our son, who is autistic, lives in
a group home not too far away and where he is very happy,
which makes me happy. Our daughter is an emergency room
physician in a small hospital near Cape Cod."
Pete McCormick '65 is enjoying his third year in retirement.
"Made a cross-country train trip in July with a stop at Glacier
National Park and toured Oregon, Washington, and Vancou-
Michael Oliver '65 writes, "Since I retired in 2001 , Pat and I
spend our winters in Hilton Head, S.C. We've traveled twice to
Italy, and really enjoyed the people, the food, and the sights.
We also took our family to Jamaica to celebrate our 45th wed-
ding anniversary. Everyone had a wonderful time, especially
our two grandsons. Most important, we remain in very good
health, active in sports. Retired life has treated me well —
thanks to my education from WPI."
Philip Blackman '66 writes: 'Just completed two weeks of
exploring Vancouver and Anchorage."
John Gilbert '66 writes, "We were supposed to cruise up
the East Coast of Japan, but, as they say, 'life happens' — in
the form of the recent tsunami. We were re-routed to Korea
and Russia. I got to see two areas that I knew from my Air
Force days, when it was the Soviet Union and I was part of
the mission monitoring their Air Force activities. It was very
interesting to visit museums and see the machinery that I had
tracked some 50 years earlier on display."
Bill Nims '66 writes, "In early August, I went to Orlando to
visit my new grandson (Brody), who was born on my birthday,
and to celebrate my mother's 96th birthday."
Don Nitsche '66 writes, "After a career as a pension actuary,
I retired from Mass Mutual in 2009. Nancy and I have been
married for 41 years, having met in my junior year at Tech. Our
kids live in Boston and Las Vegas, and we enjoy visiting them."
Steve Alpert '67 recently celebrated 30 years with GE
Healthcare. He is a principal engineer in Boston and lives in
Auburn, Mass. He has three grandchildren.
► 5 Bill Hyatt '67 writes, "With a few members of my church,
I joined a winter snowshoe expedition in the White River Na-
tional Forest. We spent one night at one of the famed 10th
Mountain Division Huts at 1 1 ,000 feet above sea level, with
no electricity or running water. Our water supply was (non-
yellow) snow that we melted in pots. We backpacked all food
supplies, propane stove, sleeping gear, and decks of cards.
KP duties were assigned to those who lost the card games. I
forgot the milk and butter for the French toast breakfast, but
it was the one of the most satisfying breakfasts I ever had!
This adventure had special meaning for the Greenwood Con-
gregation, because our 93-year-old patriarch and past-pastor,
Les Whittemore, was in the 10th Mountain Division during
World War II. In the photo, the guy in the front left corner is
yours truly; to my immediate left is Alice Hyatt."
Bruce Denson '68 recently accepted the position of pastor
of First United Methodist Church in Southbridge, Mass.
Bob Anderson '68 writes to say he's been working in Beau-
mont, Texas, for 30 years. "My wife, Beth, and I built a house
on five acres in the woods. No plans to retire yet. We make it
back to Worcester occasionally. I am always amazed at how
much WPI has grown since my previous visit."
John Gahagan '68 says that retirement agrees with him: "I
retired from teaching nine years ago. Since then, my wife and I
have been to a wedding in the south of England, a wedding in
the south of France, and to Jordan, where I was part of a team
teaching Jordanian teachers about computers. We also went
to Wales, Mexico, and Eastern Europe — plus, two great trips
to Beijing. If we knew retirement was going to be so much fun,
we'd have done it sooner."
Ken Gminski '68 writes, "Our daughter, Sarah Beth, present-
ed us with a grandson, Colin Joseph Nassif, 15 months ago.
My wife, Ruthanne, took a leave of absence to watch him. That
means I get to see him a lot! Life is good. I feel blessed. I see
Arnie Antak '68, our fearless leader, at his summer lake house
in New Hampshire, and Brian Belanger '66 when we vacation
in Arizona. Brian recently became a grandfather, too. I got my
Medicare card back in May — I always thought 65 was old — now
I see it as merely upper middle age, as I expect to live to 100."
Fall 2011 63
Ronald Jodoin '68 says, "I just retired after 37 years as
a professor of physics at Rochester Institute of Technology.
Along the way I received RIT's Eisenhart Award for Outstand-
ing Teaching, served as associate dean of the College of Sci-
ence, and consulted for Xerox Corporation, where I earned 13
U.S. patents. Martha, my wife of 43 years, and I have a son
and a daughter, are the proud grandparents of three boys and
two girls, and are looking forward to traveling and relaxing."
Gerry Blodgett '69 writes, "I recently had my cancerous
prostate removed by a robot. Prostate removal used to be a
very intrusive procedure, with a lengthy recovery. But in my
case, a robot poked some small holes and I was back at work
in three days. I have always been in awe of the miracles that
technology provides us, but this little adventure brought it into
focus. My thanks to all you engineers and technologists."
Peter Heins '69 writes, "My wife, Robin, and I have been en-
joying retirement. I am in frequent contact with John Gavitt
'69 and correspond with Ken McGuire '69 about once a
year. I continue to be active with ham radio after 40 years and
for the past decade have had major responsibilities with stag-
ing a major amateur radio communications exercise on the
grounds of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Mu-
seum in Simi Valley, Calif."
Eric Nickerson '69 says, "The Fiji class of '69 had their first
reunion in 2008 and second in 2010. It was great to see old
friends and hear how they are doing. I moved from Amherst
to Milford, N.H., where I continue to work and enjoy my pas-
sion of flying a hot air balloon. I am a commercially rated pi-
lot, licensed to fly paying passengers. I'm also starting to get
back into blue water sailing, in case anyone needs a crew.
Especially enjoying my children and grandchildren — a total of
Bob Anshutz '70 retired in July 2010. "After a year, I find it
quite satisfying. I heartily recommend it. However, don't ex-
pect to have all that free time. I still find it hard to get every-
thing done on my To Do list. But there's always tomorrow."
Raymond Danahy '70 (MS PH), '79 (PhD) is now
retired in North Carolina after a varied career: "Seven years
as a physics professor at Norwich University; eight years
as an environmental scientist and manager of an environmen-
tal radioactivity lab manager; and 15 years at a Department
of Energy nuclear weapons cleanup project as a radiochem-
istry lab manager, environmental scientist, and waste disposal
Paul Himottu '70 is beginning his eighth year of teach-
ing high school math at Worcester Academy. His daughter,
Jennifer Himottu '09, will be marrying Keith Flanders '09
Dave Ploss '70 writes, "I'm retired in Hendersonville,
N.C., playing golf and coaching the Asheville Rowing Club.
Once again working with a younger rower trying to make the
^6 Bob Soffel '70 writes, "Like some of my classmates, I
followed the corporate nomad path after serving three years
in the U.S. Army. First Cleveland, and then to Connecticut,
Pittsburgh, Houston, and finally settled for good just north of
Philadelphia. Smartest and happiest decision I ever made
was marrying my second wife, Josephine, in 1985. We visited
Egypt last year and spent some time on the Nile. Still work-
ing., .what pension? Have run a specialty adsorbent engineer-
ing and sales company for the past 15 years, and my son
Andre joined the business a year ago."
Dwight Eddy '71 and his wife, Linda, celebrated their 40th
wedding anniversary last year. Dwight achieved another mile-
stone this year: his 15th anniversary working for Synopsys.
"My passion is riding my GoldWing motorcycle," he says.
Paul Evans '71 writes, "I am enjoying my volunteer work
at St. Michael's Cathedral in Springfield, Mass., where I was
recently elected to a three-year term on the Parish Council."
John Szoke '71 writes: "I retired in 1999 after spending 20
years with Hewlett-Packard in the medical division. I am now
an investor and a member of WPI's Alden Society. My wife is a
professional artist and a juried member of the New Hampshire
League of Craftsmen. We try to get to the campus as often
as we can."
Steve Watson '71 reports that the annual Bob Ferrari '74
Fiji cookout was a great success, with about 80 alums, wives,
and guests, as well as four current WPI students on hand for
the sweat-a-thon. "I thought I was the second oldest after
Greg Goulet '67, but Sherman Gates '72 corrected me,
as he is two days older. This was the sixth annual get-together
at Bobo's, and they only get better!"
After 24 years at Grace Construction Products. Tom Weil
'71 has joined the Mass DOT as a district bridge inspec-
Ed Schull '72 is currently the vice president of regulatory
affairs at GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy in Wilmington, N.C. He
and his wife, Annie, recently celebrated their 25th anniversary.
Jim Tarpey '72 was named chair of the Rockland Com-
munity College Foundation's board of directors. He lives in
Dick Belmonte '73 writes, "I retired as deputy chief of staff
of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering
Command in August 2010, after working for the Army for 37
years. I am now serving as the Grand Knight of the Bel Air, Md ,
Knights of Columbus Council and as a co-chair of the major
gifts campaign for my parish's capital campaign. When not
volunteering, I enjoy playing golf two or three times a week."
Garry Boynton '73 is retired and loving it. "Thirty-five years
in the work force was enough. Career was great but you got-
ta KNOW when it is time to leave. Remember all the things
you wanted to do as a kid? Well, so far I have backpacked
New Mexico; gone scuba diving at St Croix, Grand
Cayman, and Belize; and became a professional ski patrol-
ler (have to do something in the winter!). I continue to be
heavily involved with the volunteer fire company, Boy Scouts,
and National Ski Patrol."
Diane (Gramer) Drew '73 is currently manager of analytics
at Hamilton Sundstrand in Windsor Locks, Conn. In May 201 1 ,
she received her master's in systems engineering from WPI.
Larry Dzaugis '73 writes, "Living outside St. Louis where I
build BMW and Ferrari car radios. My wife and I are looking at
where to move when this factory completes its move to Mex-
ico. Prefer warm winters and green vistas for our next stop."
Mike Gipps '73 says, "My wife and I retired in San Francisco
after 30+ years with Dow Chemical. Our two daughters are
out of the nest, and we're having fun. I ref four high school
sports (soccer, basketball, volleyball, and women's lacrosse).
I've taken up fishing again and have enjoyed fly fishing in
Montana, a float trip down the Salmon River in Idaho, and
king salmon fishing in Alaska, where I recently caught a 35-
Ib. salmon. But I'm not goofing off completely. I volunteer by
preparing tax returns for seniors and low-income people. We
won't talk about my golf game, as it's still a work-in-progress."
Ken Lexier '73 and wife, Sue Ellen, live in Comville, Maine.
They have five grandchildren, with whom they spend as much
time as possible. He is still with the law firm Wright & Mills,
and she recently retired as a teacher. Ken will be climbing Mt.
Katahdin again this year, with classmates Mike Zack, and
64 Fall 2011
Ed Peczynski '73 writes, "I retired in 2010 after 37 years in
the electric utility field, ending my career as director of infor-
mation technology for Northeast Utilities. I'm now spending
my time volunteering for a few organizations, traveling, play-
ing lots of golf, and taking care of my new granddaughter ."
Diane Pritchard '73 was elected Queen of Al Haram Tem-
ple No. 130, Daughters of the Nile, a sister organization devot-
ed to helping the Shnners Hospital for Children. Now retired
from a career as professor of computer science, she keeps
busy with Dai's Creative Designs, a graphic arts company.
She returns to WPI every Homecoming to present the Bob
Leonard Redon '73 was appointed deputy mayor of Roch-
ester, NY, the city's first African American to serve in that role.
Richard Sliwoski '73, '80 (MS CE) is currently the director
of the Department of General Services for the Commonwealth
of Virginia, and has been elected president of the National
Association of State Chief Administrators.
Thomas Burns '74 writes, "I have become a certified water
quality monitor for Virginia Save Our Streams, a conservation
program of the Izaak Walton League. The data collected helps
local and state organizations identify potential sources of pol-
lution in an effort to improve the overall quality of the water-
sheds throughout the state."
Robert Milk '74 is relocating to Phoenix, Ariz.
Dan Hartford '74 has been traveling the American West,
from Route 66 to the scenic National Parks, to support his
photography hobby, which "has progressed from taking pic-
tures to making photographs." See danhartfordphoto.com.
"At age 62 in the high tech field, the pickings are slim. If things
don't turn around, I'll be de facto retired. Not the worst thing
to happen. Started ourexperiencecounts.com, offering work-
shops, webinars, and other tools to help out-of-work Boomers
Rick Takanen '74 retired after 35 years with GE. "First day
of retirement was the start of a trip to Japan to visit one of our
three sons. Since then, some consulting, but mostly traveling,
relaxing, and working on the sports memorabilia collection.
Kathy and I are planning a trip to Australia next year to cel-
ebrate our 30th anniversary."
Ed Gordon '74 came out of retirement to serve as an ad-
junct professor at Austin Community College in Texas, teach-
ing computer security and networking tracks.
Wayne Bryant '74 says. "In my spare time I've been writing
iPhone applications. Go to www.klrapps.com to see some of
the apps I've created ."
Mark Munson '74 writes, "My wife, Ellen, is awaiting a trans-
plant of a kidney offered by her second cousin. After nearly
seven years of her being on dialysis as a result of end-stage
renal disease, we are both extremely grateful and humbled
by the donor's initiation of this process; we feel we are in the
presence of an angel. To say that this will be a life-changing
event is understating its significance. We anticipate a good
outcome, and look forward to the new quality of life this will
enable for Ellen."
Mark lampietro '75 is living in Pennsylvania and is vice
president of quality systems and regulatory affairs for Unilife.
Robert Hart '75 retired in September 201 1 after 36+ years
working for the federal government. "After the house is in
order," he writes, "I will try to find a new job, preferably part
time, working here in New Jersey, or maybe a new career in
another field I"
► 7 Ed Griffin '75 writes that he just completed two years
in the Peace Corps, working in Lesotho (southern Africa). "I
taught at Moshoeshoe II High School and my wife, Carol,
worked at the Matsieng HIV/AIDS Clinic. Grateful for the op-
portunity to serve. Our biggest challenge was language. Back
to work at San Diego Gas & Electric soon."
Greg Miranda '75 is enjoying a break from work, traveling
with his family, working on projects, and trying to get in shape
for the upcoming ski season. "Senior year at WPI for the
older son; younger son started freshman year at St. John's
High School. Glad to see so many classmates at Homecom-
ing this year!"
Norton Bonaparte '75 has been appointed city manager
of Sanford, Fla.
Bob Simon '75 writes, "Enjoyed my weekend back on cam-
pus for the 100th Anniversary of Skull. The Class of 75 was
well represented. Enjoyed friends, fraternity brothers, and
Deans Grogan and Trask. Everybody looked great, as did the
WPI campus. Starting my 20th year with Arizona Chemical.
Family and work have kept Debbie and me busy. Two chil-
dren, who are Notre Dame alumni, so many weekends will be
centered around football."
Jeffrey Wnek '75, '85 (MBA) teaches physics at Wedding-
ton High School in Matthews, N.C., which was No. 322 on
Newsweek's recent list of the top 500 high schools. "I enjoy
flying a couple times a month and getting my tired, old bones
to the gym on a regular basis. I have four grandchildren with
another on the way. Catch up with me on Facebook or visit my
Bob Fried '75 writes, "After 23 years with the same com-
pany, I decided to go into business for myself in 2005. I left
Vishay in 2004 to start Midarome Electronics, which is essen-
tially an international company of one person. I do a lot of
traveling in the U.S. and abroad — I recently returned from my
53rd trip to Asia."
Harry Danberg '75 writes, "I'm still in Portland, working for
the Oregon Air National Guard. Daughter Nicole is attending
Oregon State. Son Zachary is a junior in high school."
Fall 2011 65
Barry Braunstein '75 joined Camstar Systems, a supplier
of MES (manufacturing execution systems), as a strategic
Bob Horner '75 is director of public policy for the Illuminat-
ing Engineering Society. "The job involves frequent trips to
Washington to deal with legislative and regulatory issues that
affect the lighting industry. The IES is based in New York City,
but I work out of my home office in Groveland, Mass."
Peter and Sandra (Reardon) DiPietro '76 commute
to Manhattan together from their home in Ridgefield, Conn.
Sandy works at Marsh, the world's largest insurance broker,
in the Japanese Client Servicing Unit. Pete continues at Swiss
Re Corporate Solutions, the former Industrial Risk Insurers,
where he has worked since graduating. "We've been enjoying
life as grandparents and taking in all the shows, restaurants,
and sights that The Big Apple has to offer," he says.
Steve Tuckerman '76 is now a math teacher at Killmgton
Mountain School in Vermont.
Duncan Macintosh '76 ran the Boston Marathon this past
year and has run a number of triathlons. He writes, "I love my
flower garden, fine dining, cruises, skiing, and YouTube. I read
more nonfiction than is good for me and will gladly bore any-
one regarding the financial meltdown, World War I, or Doris
Day. In short, I'm happily married, my kids haven't asked for
money in the past 48 hours, and life is great."
Bill Mullen '76 retired after 30 years with the government,
primarily with the Army Corps of Engineers, and plans on con-
sulting in hydrology and hydraulics for the private engineer-
ing industry. He lives in Lunenburg, Mass., where he plays
sax and keyboards and enjoys long-distance bicycle touring.
"I recently got together with TKE classmates and we hit it off
again as if we'd never left. I'm happily married for 31 years
with two grown kids."
Art Stryker '76 completed a successful career in hardware
design engineering/management, as well as hardware ap-
plications engineering. He earned a degree in internet tech-
nology from Foothill College and founded Stryer Consulting
Group, a software company that develops websites and mo-
Roland Moreau '76 just passed the 31 -year mark work-
ing for Exxon Mobil Corp., where he serves as safety, secu-
rity, health, and environment manager for ExxonMobil Up-
stream Research Co. His responsibilities include oversight
and management of programs based in Texas and Doha,
Qatar. "On a personal note, I've been married 34 years and
remain based in Houston."
Jay Cruickshank '76 is executive VP and general counsel
for Lane Construction Corp. in Cheshire, Conn.
Jim Howe '77 retired from National Grid this spring after 34
years and joined CHA Consulting, an engineering and design
firm based in Albany, NY He has teamed up with Julie Por-
caro '04 to create CHA's Gas Engineering and Asset Man-
John Osowski '77 was honored as Civil Engineer of
the Year by the Rochester (NY) Chapter of ASCE He and
his wife, Martha, spent a week in Paris — their first trip to
Europe. He lives in Brighton, N.Y, where he's active on the
Matthew Ward '77 just completed his 25th year as a faculty
member in WPI's Computer Science Department. He recently
co-authored the textbook Interactive Data Visualization: Foun-
dations, Techniques, and Applications, AK Peters, publishers.
Marcia (Huber) Berg '77 retired from DuPont in August.
Bill Cunningham '77 headed up the Northern Kentucky
University Entrepreneurship Institute as interim director and
has been involved in coaching a half a dozen start-up com-
panies in the Cincinnati region. The Greater Cincinnati Ven-
ture Association awarded him the Spirit of Entrepreneurship
award for his 20 years of work with the organization. "My
daughter Sarah now works in Massachusetts, giving me more
reasons to visit New England and the Boulevard Diner. My
son, Michael, a medical engineering and music major, re-
cently opened for Tim Reynolds and Leon Russell at venues
in Pittsburgh this year. I am anxiously waiting for his work to go
platinum so I can cut back on my day jobs!"
Al Barry '77 is a director and an investor in ETW Inc., an en-
gineered tool manufacturer in Waukesha, Wise. The company
specializes in 5-axis machining and produces cutting tools
and fixtures for heavy equipment, automotive, aerospace,
military equipment, marine equipment, and anywhere metal is
machined. You can reach Al at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jeff Harrington '77 celebrated the 25th anniversary of Har-
rington Group Inc., the FPE consulting firm he started as a
one-man shop in the basement of his home. The company
has grown to 17 employees, with offices in Duluth, Ga., and
Charlotte, N.C., and active projects in 20 states, as well as
Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico.
Dave Makris '77 has been a master solution architect with
Hewlett-Packard for eight years. He works in the Enterprise
Services Division, chasing IT outsourcing opportunities.
Rick Wheeler '77 was promoted to president of Capewell
Tammy and Bill Alexander '78 were married April 1 , 201 1 .
Robin (Paisner) and Robert Chapell '78 are enjoying
being grandparents for the first time to Ricky Cortejoso, sim-
ply the cutest and smartest boy in the world! Robert is a vice
president for Woodard and Curran; Robin is the health direc-
tor for the Town of Walpole, Mass.
Laura Mattick '78 writes, "I am currently teaching high
school physics at St. Mark's High School in Wilmington, Del.
My husband, Michael Poirier '79, does business consult-
ing and software development for a wide variety of customers.
We have four children."
Peter Landry '78 lives in Little Compton, R.I., with his wife,
Susan, and two sons. He works for the Diocesan Health Fa-
cilities in Fall River, Mass., as director of facility development
and planning. An avid bicyclist, he enjoys boating on Buz-
Frank Alberto '78 is vice president of quality engineering at
Park Electrochemical Corp.
Wes Wheeler '78 was appointed CEO of Marken, where he
manages global collection, transportation, storage, and distri-
bution of specimens and clinical trial supplies.
Mike McDonald '79 will spend two years in China with
Westinghouse to test and start up the newest generation of
nuclear power plants. "This promises to be extremely reward-
ing both personally and professionally," he writes.
Mary (Palumbo) Seaboldt '79 switched careers and now
teaches high school math at Somers (N.Y) High School.
Tom Soszynski '79 retired from the USAF in 2003. "I now
work for a contractor teaching military pilots how to fly the
KC-10. New Jersey has become home, though Massachu-
setts ties remain strong."
Roland Brooks '79 continues as a software engineer for
Raytheon in Burlington, Mass. "I enjoyed a week at Bar Har-
bor, Maine, this summer. My niece Sarah is Class of '14 (ME)
Bob Parent '79 serves as director of Nike's Identity Manage-
Mary (Farren) McDonald '79 says, "This summer I've
been traveling a lot to Asia, including Seoul, Hong Kong, Sin-
gapore, Penang, and Taiwan. I also keynoted a conference in
South Africa. After no international travel for the previous three
years, I'm now doing laps over the Pacific!"
Andy Davidson '79 reports the birth of his first grandson
After a series of mergers and divestitures, Ken Engan '79 is
now a system engineer for The SI Organization, an indepen-
dent spinoff from Lockheed Martin. He has two grown chil-
dren and keeps active with skiing, biking, sailing, camping,
66 Fall 2011
Pete LaBelle '79 and his wife, Julia, traveled to Italy and
Alaska. Then, after a trip to Texas, where son Alex graduated
from Texas A&M and started a new job as a mechanical engi-
neer, they waved goodbye to daughter Kelsey as she boarded
a plane to continue her education in France,
Pete Basel '80 has been an independent consultant for
10 years, moving from mainly analog and digital circuit and
systems design to also include robotics and machine vision,
"I designed a robotic pick-and-place system that has placed
over a million parts and has required little maintenance. I've
also taken on some loudspeaker design work for a new mini-
monitor and subwoofer system."
Margaret (Fernald) Gomes '80 is a program manager for
MITRE Corp., performing research and analysis for the FAA.
"I live and work in northern Virginia, but travel for pleasure
when I can. Recent vacations have included Croatia and Italy.
I recently spent a weekend in Chicago, visiting my WPI room-
mate, Colleen O'Connor Jones '80
Brian Biernacki '80 writes, "I've just dropped off my son
Thomas at WPI to become a member of the Class of 2015.
I have been working for Coto Technology of North Kingstown,
R.I., since 1993 and am now the product manager for reed
relays and switches. Lucille and I celebrated our 30th wedding
anniversary this year. We have four children: Andrew, Janina,
Thomas, and Celina."
Ali Kabas '80 is busy with his photography and motion
design business, and has started a corporate identity venture
with a partner. He continues to fly the Istanbul skies in his
paramotor and traveled to Lebanon recently to fly along the
coast in Beirut.
Perry Esposito '80 writes, "I am an l&C engineer with
Dominion Virginia Power in Richmond, where my wife, Jean,
and I finally are empty-nesters (besides our three mini-Dachs-
hunds). We enjoyed a wonderful two weeks in Toscana, Italy.
Next year we're planning Paris. I also had a great time last
year at our 30th WPI reunion, where I reestablished ties with
my PKT brothers. WPI looked great and, of course, a good
time was had by all."
Martin Rowe '80 writes, "Cindy and I bought a house in
Brookline, Mass., that's now undergoing major renovations.
When you remove walls and ceiiings from a house that's
over 100 years old, you find 100 years of bad maintenance.
We wondered why the second floor was still standing, given
the way someone cut out sections of joist to run plumbing.
We needed a civil engineer to design new infrastructure to
make the house secure. I'm still working as senior technical
editor at Test & Measurement World even after the magazine
and website were sold twice in 2010."
The War We Knew: RiverWoods Remembers
World War II
JACK TAYLOR '56, co-editor | RiverWoods (riverwoodsrc.com)
Soldiers, nurses, students, and others share their wartime memories in this collec-
tion of firsthand accounts from 75 residents of RiverWoods retirement community.
Taylor and two fellow residents undertook the project to preserve a variety of voices
and perspectives on the effects of the war, at home and abroad. His own chapter,
called "A Foxhole to Play In," depicts the innocence of a child pitching in to collect scrap metal and
watching soldiers train at nearby Fort Devens, while adults wait for news of loved ones. A retired
physics professor and computer programmer, he lives at RiverWoods in Exeter, N.H.
GARY BRAVER (GARY GOSHGARIAN) '64 | Forge Books
Northeastern University student Zack Kashian lies in a coma after a bicycle
accident on the streets of Boston. When he regains consciousness, his near-death
experiences capture the interest of religious fanatics and a mysterious group of
medical researchers, in a desperate quest for answers about the true nature of
the afterlife. Goshgarian is the author of seven previous thrillers and winner of the
Massachusetts Book Award.
What's Your Game Plan?
Backgammon Strategy in the Middle Game
MARY HICKEY 77 AND MARTY STORER | Gammonvillage.com
Two-time U.S. Open backgammon champion Mary Hickey strikes again, with a
collection of 122 real-game problem positions presented in quiz format. A detailed
discussion of each problem follows, with solutions diagrams and explanations.
In addition to her many tournament wins, Hickey is a columnist and author of
Chouette and More: The World's First and Only Backgammon Sci-fi Soap Opera.
Gareth Kucinkas '80 is living and teaching in the Swiss
Alps at an international boarding school.
Susan Kollmeyer Benz '80 is a business development
sales manager for General Dynamics IR Systems and Com-
ponents. She lives in Hollis, N.H., with her husband, Chuck,
and daughters, Emily and Molly.
Tom Trepanier '80 is working with the Institute of Nuclear
Power Organizations, on loan from Constellation Energy
Nuclear Group, as a senior representative.
Richard Whalen '80 is Cubmaster for Pack 78 in Framing-
ham, Mass., where his son is starting his Bear year.
Tom Clark '81 continues as senior architect for Infoblox, a
network automation company. "I live on the West Coast in
Santa Cruz, and go sailing in Monterey Bay as often as pos-
sible — now that my boat has been repaired from damage
caused by the March tsunami event! I spent two weeks in
Portugal this summer on a combo work/play trip and heartily
recommend it as a place to visit."
Edward Crivello '81 writes, "I am in my 29th year working
for the U.S. Army at Natick Labs, where I am assistant to the
director of the Natick Soldier Research, Development, and
Engineering Center. We conduct basic research on product
development for equipment that includes combat uniforms,
rations, aerial delivery systems, and field equipment. I recently
returned from a trip to Portugal with my wife, Fernanda, and
our children, Matthew and Christina, to sightsee and visit with
my wife's family. I visited WPI this past Sunday to drop my son
Matthew off for freshman orientation as part of the Class of
Fall 2011 67
2015. He is majoring in physics and is excited by the many
Suzanne (Call) Margerum '81 has been living in Lafay-
ette, Calif., for 14 years, with her husband, Dick, and children,
Derick and Valerie. She is vice president of development and
manufacturing at Cerus Corp., a biomedical company.
Bob Groman '81 (MS CS) is a co-principal investigator on
a National Science Foundation grant supporting the Biological
and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office. The
BCO-DMO manages and serves oceanographic biogeochem-
ical, ecological, and companion physical data and information
developed in the course of scientific research and contributed
by the originating investigators
Bob Hevey '81 just celebrated his 30th anniversary at
General Dynamics, Electric Boat.
► 8 Susan (Hoffma) Rabideau '81 works with the Rhode
Island Department of Health to provide safe drinking water
through public water systems. "DRINK TAP WATER!" she
urges. The photo, taken during a recent convention, shows
her posing in a replica of the capsule used to rescue the
Chilean miners "During that same conference, I reunited
with my WPI roommate, Liz (Gallagher) Benson '80, af-
ter 20+ years of lost contact. We shared a great dinner and
talked non-stop about our life's adventures, children, etc."
Susan lives in Bristol with her husband and three (almost)
Mike Chechile '81 (MNS) is retired from a long teaching
career and now works as a medical technologist at Baystate
Medical Center in Springfield, Mass "I traveled to China on
three separate occasions to adopt three daughters I have
also traveled to Ecuador seven times over the last 10 years
to help improve the lives of indigenous people by building
decent housing. Life is good and there just is not enough time
to do it all."
Scott Mathews '82 works at the Jet Propulsion Lab in
Pasadena, Calif., in the Spacecraft Mechanical Engineering
Section, Integration and Test Group. He supports several
programs, including the Mars Science Laboratory, scheduled
for launch in November 201 1 . He is also assigned to be the
lead engineer for mechanical ground support equipment for
the Soil Moisture Active-Passive (SMAP) spacecraft, which
is being developed to monitor Earth climate. He lives in Los
Angeles with his daughter, Grace.
David Rubinstein '82 writes, "After the successful sale and
integration of Resolve Technology to The CoStar Group, I've
moved on to become VP of Operations for Glasshouse Tech-
nologies of Framingham, Mass. Our daughter Rachel is a junior
at Tulane University; our younger daughter, Sydney, is a junior
at Newton South High School. We live in Newton, Mass."
Paul Dagle '82 writes, "Still working at Electric Boat, after
29 years. I've been the director of radiological services for
the last 10, responsible for all nuclear submarine radiological
work (new construction and maintenance/repair) both at EB
and at SUBASE New London. Ann and I are empty-nesters,
with all three sons working or in college. We enjoy our vaca-
tion home on the Cape as often as we can get there "
Vincent Ascioti '82 has left the CPG Sales field after 25
years and relocated to Palm Harbor, Fla., where he is now a
licensed real estate agent with Bahia Realty Group. He has
two children, Krista and Joseph. He writes that his wife trav-
els the country as a senior consultant with Culbert Healthcare
Solutions, while he stays home and cleans the pool!
Minje Martinez '82 (MS CE) writes, "After 27 years at
Procter & Gamble in many consumer product roles, in 2010
I founded metis-market knowledge, a market research
firm. Metis offers a variety of cutting-edge market research
Joel Swan '82 has been employed at Triple Play Integration
for several years, porting and optimizing Adobe's Flash Player
to embedded devices and systems.
Bradford Perch '82 married Catherine Sturgis in 2005. He
lives in Holden and works at Walker Magnetics in Worcester.
Joel Kearns '83 is vice president for solar research and
development at MEMC Electronic Materials., located near
St. Louis. "As I write this I am visiting my company's new
solar wafer manufacturing facility in Kuching, Malaysia."
Mark Besse '83 writes, "The 25 years of telecom industry
programming is over for me, as I've moved into the medical
IT field at Dell. My career at Nortel Networks ended (as it did
for thousands after bankruptcy) at 22 years, but after a long
search and retooling of software knowledge, I am glad to be
at a great company. However, a career is nothing compared
to the privilege of raising three fine children with Kristy, my wife
of 1 5 great years so far."
Charles (Chip) Bienia '83 has been working for CNC
Systems for the last 1 8 years, starting as an applications engi-
neer, and now in sales for the last seven years.
Terry O'Coin '83 works for CSC (IT services) as the global
CTO for the United Technologies Corp. account in Hartford,
Conn., and lives in Sturbridge, Mass. "Beyond work, my wife,
Mary, and I spend a lot of time with the kids' school and sports
activities. Hard to believe we're fast approaching our 30th
class reunion in 2013!"
► 9 Steve Roy '83 and his horse, Rufus (back from the
disabled list!), captured 12th place in the Northeast Regional
Cowboy Mounted Shooting Championships. "Gussyed-up
in their finest attire, local cowboys and cowgirls mount their
horses to relive the days of the Old West!" notes the group's
website, masixshooters.com. (Don't worry — they're firing
blanks!) Steve and his wife, Jennifer (Udall) Roy '84, live
in Nashua, N.H. Their son, Matthew, is a member of WPI's
Class of 2015.
68 Fall 2011
I ■ no tes
David Rainone '83 and Janet (Cray) Rainone '86 have
two children, Andy and Melissa. David works for CBRE in sup-
port of its Real Estate Services account with Bank of America,
leading the Property Management Platform and management
of almost 50 million square feet of B of A property in over
5,000 locations. "I love living in western Connecticut, except
there are too many Yankees and Jets fans out here!" he says.
Tom Barron '83 writes, "It's been a busy year. I just got
remarried. Second time's a charm. Brought all the kids (now
have 5) to the Grand Canyon, Brice Canyon, and Las Vegas
(two extremes) in July. We are buying a new house so we can
fit in all the kids better."
Robert Filippone '83 was promoted to senior vice presi-
dent of federal advocacy for the Pharmaceutical Research
and Manufacturers of America.
Joe Morgan '83 is president and CEO of Standard Register
Co. in Dayton, Ohio.
Cathy Coyne Parker '83 received her master's in
mental health counseling and is now a career counselor at
the University at Albany. A certified life and career coach,
she has her own coaching business, Trust Your Voice (trusty-
Scott Rudge '84 and family recently returned from a trip to
the Amazon and Galapagos Islands. "Meanwhile, back in real
life, I'm working on the 2nd edition of my textbook and con-
sulting with clients in India, Europe, and North America."
Kim (Cote) Schaefer '84 writes "I went to San Diego in
August for State Games of America, where I coached some
Massachusetts figure skaters, including my daughter Lily.
We also took part in the opening ceremonies at QualComm
Stadium (home of the San Diego Chargers), marching with
the entire Massachusetts delegation. It was really exciting to
take part in this national event, and Lily came home with a
total of five medals."
Keith MacNeal '84 writes, "After 12+ years with Shipley/
Rohm & Haas/Dow Chemical, I now work for Entegris in
Billerica, Mass., as a senior quality engineer, supporting pro-
duction of filtration products for the microelectronics industry.
I have three children. My daughter Samantha just started at
WPI and will be majoring in chemical engineering."
Bob Blackey '84 writes from Portland, Ore., where he
recently celebrated the 17-month birthday of his daughter,
Nora Gail, and has just left the newlywed phase with his lovely
Ed Paulsen '84 and his wife, Eileen, live in Medway, Mass.
Ed is currently VP of business development at Aeroflex/Test
Evolution. They have three children
Josh Reed '84 and his wife, Karen, are proud to announce
that their daughter, Kirsten, is attending WPI as a member of
the Class of 2015. She is studying biomedical engineering
and hopes to make the women's crew team.
Perry Riani '84 has lived near UC Berkeley in the Bay Area
for over 25 years. He and his wife, Kathy, have two children.
After 1 5 years in field engineering and high tech for major cor-
porations and as president of PACE in the 1990s, he moved
into commercial and residential real estate in 1999. Perry has
been busy promoting WPI at Oakland Technical High School's
rigorous Engineering Academy, competing in a fundraising
triathlon for the Leukemia Society, and vacationing in Mexico,
Lake Tahoe, and other western destinations, as well a trip to
Boston and Portland, Maine, to visit family and friends.
Dean '84 and Rochelle (Scala) Holman '85 recently cel-
ebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. Their older daughter,
Nichole, is a sophomore at WPI, and they have been taking
their second daughter, Corey, on campus tours all around
New England. They also have a son in high school who excels
in math and science. Dean is manager of sustaining engineer-
ing at Mercury Computer Systems in Chelmsford, Mass.
Jean (Salek) Camp '84 writes, "My husband, David, and I
are enjoying life on Kaua'i — with time for yoga, paddling out-
rigger canoes in Hanalei Bay, and hosting pizza and bocce
parties." Jean's project management consulting keeps her
busy. She also enjoys cruise trips and mentoring students on
the island to expose them to engineering.
Howard Miller '84 practices law in San Francisco at the firm
of Bartko Zankel Tarrant and Miller, focusing on general busi-
ness, antitrust, and intellectual litigation. He and his wife, Lisa,
have two children.
Michelle Bugbee '84 works at Solutia Inc. in Springfield,
Mass.. as intellectual property counsel for multiple divisions.
"I enjoy the combination of technical and legal that working as
a patent attorney provides me. I took a wonderful and relaxing
cruise in the Mediterranean at the beginning of July."
David Parker '84 works for EFI (Electronics For Imaging) as
director of engineering. He lives in Hillsborough, N.H., with his
wife, Susan, and four children.
Dennis Aves '84 writes, "My wife, Terri, and I recently cel-
ebrated our 25th wedding anniversary with a wonderful trip
Daniel Farrar '84 was appointed CEO of ezRez Software in
Bruce Harley '85 is in the process of re-writing his first
book, Insulate and Weatherize (2002, Taunton Press). The new
edition should be available in fall 2012.
Virginia (Noddin) Knowles '85 has lived and worked in
many settings since graduation, including Mississippi, North
Carolina, and now New York. "I am married with (4) children.
We enjoy hiking, camping, occasional travel, and annual vis-
its back home to Maine. I work in our local school system
(and keep tabs on my kids!). I sure enjoyed connecting with
classmates at our Reunion last fall — even managed to survive
rowing in the alumni crew race on Lake Qumsig!"
Fall 201 1 69
Judie (O'Coin) Walker '85 has been teaching sixth grade
in Easton, Mass., for the past five years. She and her hus-
band, Rick Walker '84, are proud to say that two of their
three children are students at WPI.
► 1 Ken Johnson '85 toured Rome with his family in 201 0.
"This month my boys and I took a lap around the Nordschleife
(Northern Loop) at the Nurburgring motorsport complex. I felt
like Clark Griswold in European Vacation," he says. Ken has
been with Hewlett-Packard for over 20 years and is currently a
global account director, traveling internationally.
Jeannine Machon '85 returned to Colorado after three
years in Copenhagen, where she happily watched the 2008
election turmoil and the financial crash from afar. She is now
working with chemical analytical equipment — marketing prod-
ucts for a start-up company and starting up a company of her
own. "With two kids in high school and little time available, I
have plugged into the WPI alumni group in the Denver area
this summer, reminiscing about local Worcester addresses
and events. It is a bit daunting, though, to talk about "the
comp" and be met with a blank stare."
Gail (Anderson) Tenney '85 changed jobs in February,
becoming a support product manager for IBM Rational
after 1 1 years in software development. "My outside interests
include being Cubmaster for Cub Scout Pack 731 in North
Reading. Mass.. and serving on the church stewardship com-
mittee. My husband, Doug Tenney '86, and I continue to be
busy raising our children, Andrew, Ben, and Christine."
Mark Carpenter '85 and his wife celeb r ated their 26th wed-
ding anniversary. He works as a telecom industry consultant
and is creating a start-up that will provide a new category
consumer product that's 100 percent made in the USA.
Steven Davi '85 was promoted to senior vice president of
advanced technology at SeaChange International, based in
Mara (Catlin) Duffy '86 is enjoying life in southern New
Hampshire with her husband, Gordon, and their 9-year-old
Cliff Dufresne '86 is a project manager at Invensys PLC.
Cheryl Macedo '86 writes. Just back from a wonder-
ful three-week vacation to Alaska and Las Vegas I made it
through two earthquakes (5.4 and 5.8) in less than a month 1 "
Frank Statkus '86 (MS MG) serves as a program and
project manager for multiple radar systems. "My manage-
ment degree was right on with an up-to-date approach to
solving project problems."
Nick Tsapatsaris '86 says, "I am a professional engineer
and registered architect specializing in real estate develop-
ment projects, including an award-winning center city mall in
Paterson, N.J., — the largest private investment that city has
seen in the past 100 years." Nick and his wife, Stacey Vlavia-
nosi, have three daughters, Anika, Ellie. and Michaela
Mercedeh Mirkazemi Ward '86 writes, I was diagnosed
with breast cancer in June 2010. After six rounds of chemo,
lumpectomy, and 38 rounds of radiation, I am back to being
healthy. I worked through all my treatments (except three days
after surgery), and my co-workers gave me lots of support.
We even made a list of "10 Best Things About Chemo." After
being laid off, I took the summer off to enjoy some time with
my children, Kyle and Arianna."
Erin (O'Connell) Madden '86 lives in Lynnfield, Mass.,
with her husband, Bruce, and three children, Jack, Lucy, and
Michael. She is senior manager, mechanical, at MKS Instru-
ments in Wilmington, Mass.
► 11 Bob Wilton '86 is a software development manager at
Microsoft Corp., working with a team of developers from
Charlotte, N.C., Seattle, Shanghai, and Bangkok. He says, "On
a recent trip to China, I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity
to see the Terracotta Army near Xi'an. My wife, Rhonda, and I
have two sons and a wonderful granddaughter."
► 12 Ron Barth '86 says, "After 20 years in database
application development, I purchased the company that I was
working for, Alternative Systems. I am now owner of a soft-
ware development firm. My other passion is music. My band,
Clockwork (clockworkboston.com), has been playing wedding
receptions for 20 years. At WPI I formed the East Coast Jam
band with Theta Chi brother Jim Sahadi '85, and we per-
formed for WPI's first-ever Battle of the Bands. Great memories."
Dennis Donovan '86 has begun his 20th year as a math
teacher at Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood, Mass.
He teaches AP calculus and AP statistics, and travels to
MAAAAMfrtA* - ' '
Kansas City each June to serve as table leader on the
national grading team. He's also a referee for NCAA football
at the FCS level in the Ivy League, Patriot League, and Colo-
nial Athletic Association (former Atlantic 10).
Mark Fitzgerald '86 was elected to partnership at Nixon
Peabody LLP where he is a member of the Litigation and
Intellectual Property Dept., focusing on biotechnology.
Jeffrey Plouffe '86 is working with at-risk kids in a night
high school math class in Lewisville, Texas.
Donald Walker '87 married Marybeth Porcello in 2009, at
the Twin Drive-in in Mendon, Mass. — 10 years to the day after
their first date there. Their wedding favors were windshield
cleaning cloths printed with a picture of the drive-in and their
names. Their romantic wedding was covered in the local
newspaper. Don writes that he hopes to always remember
their anniversary: 7/8/9.
Ron Welter '87 says, "Life is happily chaotic with my three
children in or out of college, and their stories always bring me
back to my own time at WPI. My wife and I are easing toward
the next phase of life, looking forward to all the free time we'll
get to have while still young of body and mind."
Sue Lindberg Shanahan '87 lives in Princeton, Mass.,
with Mike and their kids— Liam, Collin, Clare, and Quinn.
She works for the town as parks and recreation
director, and as children and teens recreation director for
the family's home-away-from-home summer community
on Lake Winnipesaukee.
Jeffrey Bloom '87 is CTO and director of engineering for
Dialogic Media Labs, a division of Dialogic, developing tech-
nology and products for measuring the perceptual quality of
video delivered over mobile networks. He lives in Princeton
Junction, N.J., with his wife, Pam, and three kids.
70 Fall 2011
Peter Ingle '87 writes from Salt Lake City, where he is direc-
tor of the Learning Coalition at Westminster College. After 1 1
years as associate professor of education, he now supports
professional development of college faculty. "At the American
Association of Colleges and Universities conference last year,
I ran in to several faculty and administrators from WPI and
told them how excited I was to see them there. Many of the
topics discussed as novel ideas at the conference were things
I experienced at WPI almost 25 years agol In addition to my
work life, I have a wonderful wife and two boys (10 and 12).
We love the life in Utah, as we are skiers, bikers, and hikers."
Jim Goodell '87 recently had the privilege of connecting
four great organizations — WPI, the Center for Educational
Leadership and Technology, the National Association of
Elementary School Principals, and Edutopia/The George
Lucas Educational Foundation — while putting together a
grant through Next Generation Learning Challenges, funded
by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Hewlett
Foundation. In June, Next Generation Learning Challenges
announced WPI's ASSISTments project as one of the winning
proposals. The project will rapidly expand the use and impact
of the learning technology developed at WPI by Professor Neil
Heffernan and his team. Jim lives in Oxford, Mass., with his
wife, Patti, and three children.
Christine (Burke) Nichols '87 is currently principal con-
sultant to Regulatory Consulting Services. She works with
medical device companies to get products approved through
regulatory agencies in the U.S. abroad. She also participates
in the Women in Industry Networking (WIN) program at WPI
and mentors professionals wanting to work in regulatory af-
fairs. Her 13-year-old son attended the state championship
for Destination Imagination at WPI this spring.
Michael Fronczak '87 continues as a product data man-
agement advisor for ExxonMobil Lubricants in Paulsboro, N.J.
He and his wife, Celeste, live in Glen Mills, Pa., where he
enjoys attending swim meets with their four children.
Stephen Madaus '87 was elected partner in the Worcester-
area law firm Mirick O'Connell. He specializes in municipal
land-use and environmental proceedings.
Scott Flaherty '87 was promoted to senior vice president of
finance and CFO of Colt Defense LLC.
Carmen Romeo '87 left a GM position with a manufactur-
ing company and, with his wife, Louise, took on management
of her family's chocolate manufacturing and retail business
"So. I am an Engineer turned Chocolatier and life is sweet!
Our business is Fascia's Chocolates, founded by my mother-
and father-in-law in 1964. We take pride in hand-making all of
our products in time-honored fashion; the resulting gourmet
products speak (taste) for themselves. Interestingly, choco-
late involves a lot of science, the machinery involved in manu-
facturing needs constant maintenance, and we've developed
a few aids along the way. so an engineering background is a
plus. We have two children, Lauren and Matthew, and keep up
with a core group of fellow graduates."
Mark Osborne '88 is a program executive for Shire HGT in
Lexington, Mass., where he frequently works with Pat Sacco
'86. "The teams I lead are developing new drugs to treat rare
diseases in children. At home, my wife of 21 years works hard
(but doesn't get paid) raising our three kids, Alex, Katie, and
Tyler. Alex applies to college this fall and is thinking about
mechanical engineering — who knows, maybe a second-
generation WPI engineer?"
Susan (Shorey) '88 and Timothy Ferrarotti '90 recently
celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary by visiting Grand
Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier national parks with their three
boys. Susan is a senior engineer at Chemtura Corporation in
Naugatuck, Conn. Tim is a physician assistant in emergen-
cy medicine and teaches at Quinnipiac University in North
Sue (Giroux) Sontgerath '88 has been working at WPI
since 2008 in the Office of K-12 Outreach. "I recently took a
new position as an assistant director of admissions, and I am
looking forward to sharing all the great things about WPI with
prospective students. My husband, Heri, and I live in Shrews-
bury, Mass., with our two daughters, who are in high school "
Teresa Tucchio '88 continues as an engineering specialist
at Electric Boat.
Mark Miller '88 is a senior software engineer in Flight
Dynamics Group at Sikorsky Aircraft. He is working on his
MBA and enjoys playing music in his free time. He lives in
Trumbull, Conn., with his wife, Adriana.
Daniel Hoaglund '88 writes, "I've been in the telecommu-
nications industry for over 15 years and have been at Acme
Packet for the past 2.5 years. I've been happily married for 12
years to my bride, Annise, and we've lived in Weston, Mass.,
the entire time. We have enjoying our summer weekends on
Cape Cod with our two children, Sophia and Evan, and are
renovating our summer home in Osterville.
Tim Shea '88 is co-owner of Alpha NetSolutions Inc., a pro-
vider of outsourced IT for small businesses in Millbury, Mass.
"I have recently been signed to write editorials for itchannel-
insight.com," he writes. "I am an assistant scoutmaster with
Boy Scout Troop 66 in Thompson, Conn., and attended
"Wood Badge" training, which is advanced leadership train-
ing for adult Boy Scout leaders. I have also been invited to
participate in the "Genius League," an advanced marketing
Vinay Kundaje '88 and his wife, Donna, celebrated their
20th anniversary by going to Italy this past summer.
William Riccio '88 writes, "I am completing my fourth year
with the City of Newport, R.I., as director of public services. On
the personal side, I continue cycling as much as can be fit into
my schedule and look forward to doing a little traveling to the
Caribbean and Denver in the coming months."
Bryan Sheppeck '88 writes, "I am living in Loudonville, N.Y.,
(next to Albany), and working at Avaya. My four kids keep
me jumping. Our seventh annual Red Sox road trip with a
group of other WPI alums took us to Pittsburgh in June. Previ-
ous years took us to Philly. Chicago, San Diego. Baltimore,
Toronto, and San Francisco."
Angela (latrou) Simon '88 began an MS in construction
management at Wentworth Institute of Technology. She works
at Tutor Perini Corp.. and lives in Southborough, Mass., with
her husband of 15 years and three children, Korinna, Xander,
David Picard '88 took his operations and business process
management consulting company (PSInd LLC) full time and
signed on three new clients in the past year. PSInd provides
BPM solutions to clients in banking, financial services, and in-
surance, among others. He lives in Framingham, Mass., with
his wife, three children, and a 130-pound Shiloh Shepherd.
Greg Duplessie '88 started ExecEvent, a new company
that brings together technology executives in the data stor-
age, cloud, virtualization, and data center industries for net-
working and learning. Greg is married, with two children. He
lives in Ridgefield, Wash.
Christine (Poirier) Nolan '88 is director of communities
at the Mass Tech Leadership Council, where she helps foster
entrepreneurship and drive innovation in the state.
Carl Moore '89 works at Maxim Integrated Products in
Chelmsford, Mass., as executive director of test systems de-
velopment. "I recently presented a keynote address on Ana-
log Integrated Circuit Test at the North Atlantic Test Workshop.
Had a great summer, with travels to London, Paris, Iceland,
Paul Halloran '89 is associate director of quality control for
Sekisui Diagnostics. He lives in Auburn, Mass., with his wife
Brian Horgan '89 is project director for the construction
of the new corporate headquarters for United Illuminating in
Orange. Conn., where he has worked for 22 years.
Lisa (Jalbert) Menard '89 is the proud parent of a second-
generation engineer. Tyler Menard is a computer engineering/
computer science major in the WPI Class of 2014.
Fall 2011 71
Dave Sauriol '89 writes, The June 8 tornado tore through
my town of Monson, Mass., and took out our downtown area
and a lot of homes. Thankfully, I live north of town and was
spared. I just launched my quest for completion of the New
England 67 (4,000-footer peaks). I completed the New Hamp-
shire 48 last year (a 2- 1 - year effort) and started on the Maine
14, hitting Abraham. Saddleback, Horn, and Sugarbush on
my first weekend trip If anyone else out there is crazy about
gaining elevation by foot, drop me a line on Facebook at
Hikin' Dave. I am chair of the Berkshire Chapter of the Appa-
lachian Mountain Club, and we'd love to have you join us."
Brian Perry '89 was recently promoted to vice president and
general manager of Mercury Computer Systems' Services
and Systems Integration (SSI) business unit. He previously
worked for Suntron Corporation's Northeast Express. He lives
in Andover, Mass., with his wife, Paula, and children, Sydney
Greg Gibson '89 has been a captain at General Electric
Corporate Air Transport for eight years. He recently returned
from a trip through Russia, India, and China. He lives in South-
bury. Conn., with his wife, Donna, and their three children,
Kennedy, Courtney, and Nathan.
Adam Pease '89 published Ontology: A Practical Guide,
available from his company, ArticulateSoftware.com. He also
started a new job as a research scientist at Rearden Com-
merce, developing ontologies and natural language under-
standing components for personalization.
Kevin Beaulieu '89 has a new position at EMC. He was
promoted to senior consultant in the Education Services
Division, working on the new data warehousing and analysis
Glenn Butler '89 launched CTO Services in Holliston, Mass.,
providing technology consulting services to manufacturers.
He was previously CTO at Crane Merchandising Systems.
Donna DeFreitas '89 joined Boston-based Vanderweil
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Engineers as an associate principal, working from the com-
pany's New York and Philadelphia offices.
Kimberly (Kuzmitski) Beaulieu '89 was promoted
to senior quality systems engineer at Smith & Nephew in
Brian Weissman '90, his wife, Lynnea, and their two chil-
dren, Maya and Josh, have relocated to Orlando, Fla., where
Brian is working as a technical specialist for the Walt Disney
Paul Graves '90 (MS EV) was appointed deputy director
of the Design & Construction Management Department at the
University of Kansas in August 201 1 . He previously served as
assistant chief engineer in the Kansas Department of Agricul-
ture's Division of Water Resources. Paul and his wife, Jane,
reside in Lawrence, Kans., with their two daughters
Carlos Cruz '90 is general manager for a straw manufactur-
ing company based in Colombia. "I have worked in several
multinational companies as general manager, and now I am
leading this family-owned business."
Achille 'AP Alonzi '90 writes, "Five years ago I announced
the birth of my daughter, Elizabeth. On June 6, 201 1 , my wife,
Susan, and I welcomed Lauren Patterson to the family. My son
Edward, 7, announced that he wants to be an engineer like
Dad. Stay tuned..."
Aaron Konvisser '90 says, "I have been living in San Diego
for over 1 years now and often marvel that I live in a place
that people come to for vacation. I am working for Nokia,
which is the best company I have ever worked for. They truly
respect their employees and create very-high-quality prod-
ucts. I still think of WPI and often tell people about the Plan
and how well it fit my learning style."
Kyle Petersen '90 was promoted to captain in the U.S.
Navy medical corps, where he serves as executive officer of
Naval Medical Research Unit 6, in Lima, Peru. He oversees
a lab with several hundred employees focused on infec-
tious disease research for vaccines and products to protect
the war-fighter, as well as host nation capacity building, and
Todd Miller '90 manages the satellite ground station re-
sponsible for the Washington-Moscow Presidential Hotline
He has been working with Honeywell for the past 13 years.
Todd writes that he enjoys the single dad life and is finishing
up the restoration of his 1967 MGB GT
► 13 The underwater PBS series "Blue World" by Jonathan
Bird '90 won three Emmys this year. As host of the series,
he received the award for best On-Camera Talent Program
Host/Moderator. In addition, the Blue World production team
received the award for best Magazine Feature/Segment for
"Lobsters" and best Children/Youth Program for "Antarctica."
► 14 Col. Rory Welch '90 toured the space shuttle Atlantis
in June, before its final mission. As vice commander of the
45th Space Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., he is responsi-
ble for the processing and launching of U.S. government and
commercial satellites from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station,
leading more than 2,000 professionals assigned to operating
locations in Florida, Ascension, and Antigua, plus an addi-
tional 90 deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Rory's son, Ryan,
is a member of the WPI Class of 2015.
Wendy (Parker) Holsberger '90 was married in Novem-
ber 2010 to Carl Holsberger. She resides in Albany, N.Y, and
works at Creighton Manning Engineering, where she has
managed the transportation group for 12 years.
Lynn Timmerman '90 (aka "The Maven of Savin'") shares
her money-saving and organization techniques at her website,
mavenofsavm.com. A former process engineer and physics
teacher, she's now a wife and SAHM (stay-at-home mom),
raising three children and two Kangal dogs in New England.
Ken Comey '90 living in Austin, Texas, with his wife, Julie,
and son Joey. 5. Ken is working for BP Products NA as a senior
environmental advisor on the Environmental Compliance and
Joe Uglevich '90 has an environmental infrastructure
practice, managing wastewater, sewer, and related planning
and design projects in New England and across the U.S.
Paul Kirkitelos '90 writes, 'Just completed my first Ironman
triathlon in July. The event was called the Vineman Triathlon,
held in the wine country of Sonoma County, Calif."
Chris Hegarty '90 was named a 201 1 IEEE Fellow.
Eric Brown '91 recently finished a two-year study of shaman-
ism with the folks at Spirit Passages.
72 Fall 2011
Peter Borden '91 writes, "After 15 years in technical and
sales operations at PTC. I have taken on the role of business
development director. My WPI education continues to posi-
tively impact my life and career."
Orhan Arsel '91 writes, "Living and working in Istanbul and
enjoying my 20-month-old daughter, Ada. Went on an off-road
motorcycle tour in South America in August, starting from
Salta, Argentina, and going through Bolivia and Chile. Would
like to hear from local alumni currently living there. Contact me
Rob Douglas '91, '93 (MS CS) and his wife, Teresa, wel-
comed their first child home this past March; Daniel was born in
Incheon, South Korea, on March 1 7, 201 0. Rob continues as a
principal computer scientist and project lead at the Space Tele-
scope Science Institute in Baltimore, supporting the Hubble
and the upcoming James Webb space telescopes.
Frank Christiano '91 still resides in Sugarland, Texas, with
his wife. Kerri. and children Angela, Ryan, and Faith. Frank
just celebrated 20 years at Chevron.
Jim Harrison '91, president of WJH Engineering Consul-
tants, has moved his medical device design, analysis, and
testing facility to a new location in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Erik Perry '91 was promoted to CEO and elected to the
board of Natural Blue Resources.
David Planchard '92 is the founder of D&M Education
LLC, after 27 years in industry and academia. He has six pat-
ents and has published and authored numerous papers on
machine design, product design, mechanics of materials,
and solid modeling.
John Desormier '92 is an engineering specialist at Electric
Boat in Groton, Conn. He tests weapons systems for Trident,
SSGN, and Virginia class submarines. He is also a commander
in the Navy Reserve and is CO of a submarine operations unit
based in Akron, Ohio. He lives in Gales Ferry, Conn., with his
wife, Sarah, and their children, Jack and Kate.
Chris Easton Dusio '92 is chief systems engineer for Pro
Line 21 Synthetic Vision System at Rockwell Collins, in Cedar
Rapids, Iowa. "I married a software engineer, so yes, we
have lots of computers and home automation. My husband,
Joseph, and I traveled to Italy three years ago (for those who
didn't notice, Dusio is an Italian name), which was a real treat.
It was interesting to go back to Venice, where I spent the sum-
mer at WPI's Project Center. For fun, we like to go trekking on
trails, even in the winter when it's 18 degrees below. We also
like to ride motorcycles and read (OK, on a Kindle)."
Jen Schaeffer '92 continues to work for CH2M HILL as a
civil engineer in southwestern Virginia and is currently studying
Chinese medicine in North Carolina. "I am greatly enjoying
studying qualitative physics after a career's worth of quantita-
Concetta DePaolo '92 was recently promoted to professor
in the Scott College of Business at Indiana State University.
She lives in Terre Haute with her husband, Dave Rader, and
their daughters, Megan and Abigail.
David Small '92 spent several weeks climbing poles and
restoring voice and data services for Verizon customers dur-
ing the 16-day strike by IBEW and CWA. "As a management
employee, I was called upon to fill in as a maintenance and
repair technician. It has been a while since I've been so close
to the customer, and it was gratifying to receive their thanks for
helping get their services back up and running "
Tania Wolanski '93 lives in Colorado with her husband,
Rich Summers, and children, Grace and Garrett. "I work in
product development and product engineering at Ricoh in
Boulder (formerly InfoPrint Solutions, formerly IBM). It's a
busy phase in life, juggling work and family In our free time
we enjoy the Rocky Mountains — biking, hiking, fishing, and
the beautiful place where we live."
Jeff Jorczak '93 took a position as VP of information tech-
nology at Medical Risk Management (MRM) in Hartford Conn.
He lives with his wife. Missy, three kids, and a dog.
In the past year, Charles Homan '93 and his wife, Moira,
and sons, Forrest and Conrad, have visited Denali National
Park and Chugach National Forest in Alaska. Great Smoky
Mountains National Park in Tennessee/North Carolina, and the
National Mall and the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
in Washington, DC. Charles continues to work as a systems
administrator at General Dynamics C4 Systems in Needham,
Mass., where he has been employed for 10 years.
Scott Pease '93 writes, "The last year has brought a number
of changes. In late 2010 we moved to a new home in Naper-
ville, III.. (Amy's home town!) and gained a new member of
the family — a West Highland Terrier named Wesley (as in "the
Dread Pirate Roberts"). Then in early 201 1 I left my employer
of 12 years (Sapient) and ventured on to Microsoft as a techni-
cal account manager in the Midwest District ."
Heather (Polacek) Kapushoc '93 and Stephen
Kapushoc '94 write to say, "We took our three children —
Lucian, Natalie, and Hayden — on a summer tour of New
England, with stops in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New
Hampshire, and Maine. Of course, a visit to the Wachusett
Brewing Company was a must! We live in Herndon, Va."
Jeff Rembold '93 writes, "I'm living in Rochester, N.Y, with
my bride of nearly 15 years and five children, I am working for
PTC as a senior applications engineer and having a blast (no
pun intended) helping aerospace and defense companies
improve their product development processes. Last May I ran
my first marathon, an extremely muddy trail run along the
Genesee Gorge in upstate New York. I enjoy playing with my
children, home brewing, and reading as much G. K. Chester-
ton as I can."
Nestor DeoCampo '93 notes, "I just tallied the number
of students I have instructed over the last seven years and
discovered it has exceeded 5,000."
Matt Zembruski '93 writes. "I live in Hudson, Mass., and
I enjoy bringing my son to WPI for Homecoming just about
every year. For the last eight years, I've been baking hand-
made energy bars from scratch and eating one for breakfast
just about every day. After some considerable thought and
planning, I decided to create a company to bring them to mar-
ket this year. Imagine a fresh-baked brownie that's organic,
gluten-free, and vegan that will keep you feeling satisfied for
hours. It's super healthy and tastes amazing."
Matt Friend '93 writes, "Danielle, our girls (Hannah and
Emma), and I have planted ourselves in Holden, Mass.
Danielle runs the Holden Veterinary Clinic and I am wrapping
up my sixth year at MathWorks. We spent a week of camping
in beautiful Acadia National Park this summer, and a week
Laura Gregory Roberts '93 was recently named to the
"Top 40 Under 40" list" by Connecticut Magazine. She is an
information systems manager at Hartford's Saint Francis
Hospital. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis five years ago, she
now volunteers for the Connecticut Chapter of the National
MS Society, in addition to her many other civic activities.
Susan Tarallo '93 heads the math department at Millbury
High School, where she has taught for seven years. After
II years teaching math, she enrolled in the MME (Master of
Math for Educators) program at WPI and is now finishing a
capstone project. She serves on the Poly Club Executive
Council and the Hall of Fame Selection Committee.
Anthony Donato '93, a project manager at Nitsch Engi-
neering, earned the designation of Certified Floodplain
Matt Thibodeau '94 and his wife, Jody Koch, are thrilled to
announce the birth of their first child, Mitchell Joseph, born
Jan, 1 4, 201 1 . They live in Chicago.
Chris Newell '94 writes that he is enjoying adventures with his
elementary school-aged daughters, and explaining to them
the science and engineering behind the way the world works.
"Today we will probably head outside into the wind and rain of
the tropical storm for a lesson."
Barbara (Doyle) Atkins '94 was a bone marrow donor in
August. She was on the marrow registry for four years before
Fall 2011 73
she got the call. "It was an amazing experience!" she says.
She lives in Arlington, Mass., with her husband, Aron Atkins
'96, and daughter, Linda.
Matthew Ford '94 writes, "It's been an interesting year.
I found myself in Dubai and Beijing on business. The start
of the school year brings a return to normal in the home.
Our eldest son will march in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego
Chris Cogliandro '94 is a program manager for the Aero-
space Defence and Positioning Control business segment of
The Timken Company.
► 15 Anthony Maselli '94 writes, "Karen and I have spent
the past few months introducing our baby daughter, Lilla, to
the sights and sounds of summer in New York City: a (rainy)
jazz concert in Madison Square Park, the Mermaid Parade in
Coney Island, the July 4th fireworks in New York Harbor, street
fairs and playgrounds, and Staten Island's 350th anniversary
celebration." They make their home in the St. George neigh-
borhood of Staten Island. Both parents freelance as an NYC-
based graphic design/photography team
Brad Waterson '94 recently jumped into a career in medi-
cal devices with Smith & Nephew. He lives in Central Mass
with his wife, Pamela (Jannarelli) Waterson '96, and two
children. Brad has shed his shoes in the past year and found
childlike joy in running barefoot. Read about his journey at
► 16 Warren Smale '94 enjoyed a western Caribbean
cruise with Lambda Chi Alpha brothers Joe Klimek '94 and
Cory Jobe '93. "Digital camera in pocket, we toured Haiti,
explored Mayan ruins in Mexico, and climbed a thousand-foot
waterfall in Jamaica."
Michael Bruce '94 was named Entrepreneur of the Year at
the 27th annual MIC Gold Star Awards celebration hosted by
the Virginia Minority Supplier Development Council. He works
for InScope International in Reston, Va.
Shawn Pete '95 writes, "In October of 2007, I married Jas-
mine Weston, a local to Yucca Valley, Calif., where we currently
live. I work at Esterline Defense Technologies as a mechani-
cal engineer II and as a CAD administrator for four U.S. sites
Gregory Charland '95 is currently CEO of Charland Tech-
nology, an IT consulting and support company. He has also
been elected to the board of directors of the Greater Gardner
Chamber of Commerce. He lives in Hubbardston, Mass., with
his wife and six children.
Brady Townsend '95 writes, "Began teaching mathematics
at Wachusett Regional High School (my old high school) in
the fall of 1997, and have been there ever since. I've created
I 16 I
two new courses at the school, including a project-based
course using data, help, and information from WPI's REU and
Mil programs. I married Tracey Lee Fenn in 2005. Our first
daughter, Cassandra, was born in 2006, followed by Alexan-
dra in 2008."
Joe Santos '95 says he's still trying to figure out what he
wants to do when he grows up. He recently graduated from
the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., and was assigned to
the Chief of Naval Operations staff as the head of the Na-
val Warfare Integration Group New Concepts and Innovation
Team. "I am patiently awaiting my next assignment, hopefully
as commanding officer of a submarine."
Brooke Kuffel O'Connor '95 and Jim O'Connor '92
welcomed their second child, Sean Michael, into the world on
March 19, 201 1 . Big sister Claire adores her new little brother.
George Chu '95 says, "My wife, Carolyn, and I are busy
with our kids William and Madeline. After getting my MBA from
MIT, I entered the nonprofit sector and am currently the chief
analytical officer for Citizen Schools, an education reform
Heather (Linnehan) Desmarais '95 writes, Over the past
seven years, I've been a stay-at-home mom to my children,
now 7 and 5. I served as group leader at our local children's
playgroup center and worked my way up to co-president.
Now I'm office manager, a role that allows me to work from
home and still be a SAHM. I plan on going back to work in the
fall when my youngest starts kindergarten."
Ross Pease '95 writes, "Two years ago I took a military leave
of absence from my job flying for UPS and went back into the
Air Force full time. I'm currently based out of Camp Smith, on
Oahu, Hawaii. We've added to our family and now have two
sons, Josh and Seth."
► 17 Lisa Cigal Schletzbaum '95 (center) serves as
president of the Women in Transportation Seminar, Boston
Chapter, along with board director Sarah Dennechuk '99,
and secretary Carrie (Belanger) Rocha '96 A number
of other alumnae are members of the chapter. Lisa and her
husband, Roy Schletzbaum '95, live in Norwood, Mass.
Jeff Mullen '95 and his wife, Kerry, celebrated their 10th
anniversary this summer. They currently live in Tewksbury,
Mass., with their daughters, Julia and Olivia. Jeff is a manu-
facturing engineer at Astra Tech in Waltham, Mass.
Pam (Kelly) and Steven Sluter '96 are proud to announce
the birth of their fourth child, Luke, born in March 2011. He
joins Isabelle ('01), Bethany ('05), and Aram ('08). They also
adopted two labrador retrievers, Smokie and Sadie. Both are
adjusting well to their new home.
David Dufort '96 writes, "After working in the Midwest
and up and down the East Coast for 12 years, I returned to
Massachusetts three years ago to work for AstraZeneca in
Westboro. Laura and I have two girls and a boy, each born
in a different state."
Jesse Parent '96 competed in the 2010 Individual World
Poetry Slam in Charlotte, N.C., and received second place
overall. He also traveled to the 201 1 National Poetry Slam
team competition in Cambridge, Mass., with the Salt Lake
City slam poetry team, where they reached the semifinals and
finished 19th out of 76 teams.
74 Fall 2011
Michael Spellman '96 writes, "This summer we enjoyed a
five-day Disney cruise. Our youngest son loved the Sea Lion
Encounter at Blue Lagoon in the Bahamas."
► 18 Justin Carter '96 works for Boeing/NASA at the John-
son Space Center in Houston. "We recently reached 'wheel-
stop' for the Space Shuttle Program. This brings an end to the
30 years of Space Shuttle operations. Before the end of the
program I had the chance to fly a Space Shuttle simulator in
the Shuttle Integrated Avionics Laboratory. I also traveled to
the Kennedy Space Center for the STS-135 landing. It was
a bittersweet moment to have brought the Atlantis home for
the last time."
Sue (MacPherson) Kristoff '96 celebrated the fifth anni-
versary of her consulting business, The Kristoff Group. She
continues to work with small technology-focused businesses
to identify and respond to federal R&D grant and contract
Cathleen (Connelly) Carmignani '96 was married recently
to Richard Carmignani. Cathy is a math department chair at
Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, Mass. She
and her husband reside in Dudley, Mass.
Teri (Burrows) Brehio '96 writes, "I was recently been
promoted to medical education director at New Hampshire
Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency after practicing here
for 10 years."
Samuel Fix '97 writes, "Since 2001, I've been building
spacecraft at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics
Laboratory in Maryland. I worked on the Messenger space-
craft (orbiting Mercury), the New Horizons spacecraft (on its
way to Pluto), and two radar instruments that are circling the
moon (LRO and India's Chandrayaan-1). I'm currently work-
ing on a pair of spacecraft that are going to study the earth's
radiation belts (RBSP), due to launch in 201 2. My wife, Allison,
and I have an 18-month-old son named Colin. His favorite
game is climbing on EVERYTHING in the house."
Mike Glynn '97 and his wife, Rosanna Catricala Glynn
'99, have settled down in Connecticut with their three boys.
"I currently work for UTC Power (UTC's fuel cell division) and
direct the communications and marketing activity for the
Erika (Simpson) Wachs '97 has been with the same com-
pany, W. L. Gore and Associates, for 14 years, which is quite
untraditional these days. "Another interesting fact about me,
unrelated to my career, is that I started doing sprint triathlons
last summer. I completed my second season this year and
now have five triathlons under my belt. I placed for the first
time this year in my age group with my two little boys cheering
me on and my husband competing in the same race!"
Jimmy Pai '97 writes, "This is my second year in Maui run-
ning a one-man IT department for the Fairmont Kea Lani, one
of the greenest hotels in the state." With the Kea Lani Green
Team, he has implemented innovative initiatives, including
thermostats that communicate with the hotel's database to
automatically turn on when a guest checks in and shut off
when a guest checks out.
Deb (Foley) McManus '97 leads the product management
function for the trace division of Morpho Detection, a leader in
explosive and narcotics detection for aviation safety, checked
baggage screening, and military and critical infrastructure
protection. She lives in the Greater Boston area with her hus-
band, Steve, and sons, Patrick and Matthew.
Peter Manolakos '97 moved with his family (Ani, Niko,
and Anthony) to Shrewsbury, Mass., this summer. He also
received his MS in clinical research from Drexel College of
Medicine. He still works for Eli Lilly's Oncology Specialty Divi-
sion and will celebrate 15 years with the company next year.
Jonathan Ross '97 is a safety and reliability engineer at
Hamilton Sundstrand, providing analysis on human space-
flight programs such as the Orion spacecraft and the EMU
space suit. He lives in Windsor Locks, Conn., with his girl-
friend and is pursuing an MBA through a WPI CPE cohort.
Kibwe Jonay (Jones) '97 writes, "In January, I delivered
our second child, Kibwe Gideon, at home. My wife was in
labor for a half hour, then the baby crowned before we could
make it to the car! He was born without issues; the paramed-
ics came after the event and took Jenn and our newborn to
Michael Feely '97 recently completed his 11th year at the
U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. He and his wife bought their
first house, on Capitol Hill in DC.
Charles Prescott '97 is a senior project manager at CM I
in Erie, Pa.
Jeannine (Block) Lovering '98 writes, "The Lovering
family has been busy in Mystic, Conn. We finished building
and moved into our new home and celebrated 1 1 years of
marriage. James is now teaching physics at Waterford High
School and coaching spring track. I separated from Pfizer
after 13 years and am now pursuing a degree in nursing. Our
girls, Amelia and Bethany, enjoyed the family's three-week
vacation to Disney World."
Paul English '98 spoke on a panel at EMC World 201 1
on Big Data Storage. He will co-chair the 2012 Cascadia IT
Matthew Dowling '97 takes care of veterans as an attend- Romeo Gervais '98, '99 (FPE) has accepted a new
ing physician at the VA-New Jersey Health Care System. Matt position with the Boise Fire Department as deputy chief
and his wife, MariLisa Billa Dowling '98, welcomed their ' ire marshal,
first child, Luca ("Class of '33?"), into the world on October 7.
Fall 2011 75
Adam Fowler '98 , "99 (MS BBT) started a new job in
April as director of manufacturing development at Santarus.
a biopharmaceutical company in San Diego Adam and his
wife, Nancy (Tryder). celebrated their fifth wedding anniver-
sary in August and are expecting their first child (a boy) in
Janel Lanphere '98 married Tony Peterson in 2009 "I was
lucky enough to gam not only a husband but two stepchildren,
as well," she wntes. Outside of her work as a medical device
engineer at W L. Gore & Assoc . her mam passion is com-
peting in races such as the Gore-Tex Trans Rockies RUN3. a
three-day stage race held in Colorado. She also serves as an
executive board member of Team Run Flagstaff and coaches
beginners in the Step Into Running program.
Stephen Fong '98 was promoted with tenure to associ-
ate professor in the Chemical and Life Science Engmeenng
Department at Virginia Commonwealth University in Rich-
mond, where he has taught since 2005. He also serves as
associate department chair.
Keith Pray '98 says that his family is expecting a baby girl
soon; they also have two little boys He is pnncipal software
engineer at BAE Systems and an adjunct instructor in the CS
department at WPI.
Jill (Baryza) LeFevre '98 and her husband, Gene, wel-
comed their third child in May 2010. Ava keeps her mom
on her toes while grving her big sister and brother plenty of
Jeevan Ramapriya '98 Antes, "In September I left politics
and public service and returned to corporate America as a
vice president and associate director of regulatory, industry,
and government affairs at State Street Corp in Boston."
Amy Sinyei "98 is a senior project manager at Recommmd
enterprise search and e-discovery software provider.
Gregory Murphy '98 .'.rites, "I'm currently a practicing
emergency room physician in western Mass . and have a
David Srebnick '98 reports a career change "In 2003. 1 left
. Mich had been acquired by Hewlett-Packard) to pur-
sue a career in teaching I quickly found a job as an 8th-grade
math teacher at the Solomon Schechter Day School in New-
ton, Mass It's a great career and I'm glad I made the move.'"
Nilufer Saltuk Soucek '98 says she's excited to be in-
volved with Dress for Success Denver's fundraising efforts.
idor for Your Guests, donates a portion
of sales ibulous women's organization. Splendor
s, umbrellas, and parasols for weddings,
s so it fits perfectly that we partner
id non-profit *
Mike Stark '98 s a sergeant with the Allenstown. NH
Police Department and spends his free time with his children
Jon and Abigail.
Steve Dupree '99 and his wife. Natalie, took their 1-year old
daughter, Sarah, to Australia, where she got her first passport
Jessica (Hamel) '99 .re Liam Kelly '98
birth of their first child, Gavin Liam, in September 2009 "He
is an extremely active child and proving to be very techni-
cally savvy!" they report. The family moved to Buffalo, NY.
for Lam's new job.
Janet Burge '99 (MS CS). '05 (PhD) ^
and promoted to associate professor of computer science
and software engineering at Miami University
Jennifer (Marinello) '00 v Joshua Parks 01
expecting baby number two in February 2012 Joshua is a
senior engineer at Lockheed Martin in Moorestown. N.J.. and
Jennifer works part time as an educational consultant, yoga
instructor, and childbirth educator. Their son, Jacob, turned
2 in March
Ryan Metivier '00 writes from Nashua, NH. *l am so glad
that Ben Newton '00 and his family moved to town!*
Seth Flagg 00 (Use Levin) and I recentty
had our first child, Alistair Seraphin.*
'00 earned Anne Ryan in 2010. They live in
Kevin Amorin '00 announces the birth of Zachary, who
joins his brother. Jacob, as potential future Engineers. Kevin is
director of technology at Nexage and an adjunct professor of
information assurance at Northeastern University.
Malcolm Beaulieu '00 says "This summer I launched the
beta version of a social media podcast site, weHEARus.com."
Stefano Ceriana '00 will present a paper. "What Results
Are Possible in Hydraulic Modeling? A Case Study of Water
Distribution Modeling," m Citrus County, at the Ronda Section
AWWA Conference in Orlando. Fla. The paper is based on a
project that modeled the entire water distribution network of
Citrus County, Fla. He a project manager with Hoyte. Tanner.
Scott Ammidown '00 married Colleen Cunningham in May
2010. In attendance were classmates Seth Sienkiewicz
Justin Barber Joe Malboeuf Matt Lavoie Justin
Woodfall ■ . Adam Bensle ... Dennis Mag-
nifico 01 Tim Fox 03 Their daughter. Olivia, was bom
is a senior program manager at EMC
Beth Schweinsberg '00 wntes, "I've joined the Incident
Response Team at Google Inc. This distinguished group per-
forms digital forensics on the Google networks to find and
► 19 Bryan LeBlanc '01
to Tampa Fla . in fall 2010 to pursue a new role as busi-
ness development director for a small defense company. He
wntes. 'I have three beautiful children (two boys and. finally.
a girl) with the college sweetheart I met in Founders Hall.
Danielle (Williams). I also own and operate a small business
helping other small businesses win government contracts
(winningcomm.com). I miss my WPI baseball glory days, but
now enjoy being a Little League head coach for my sons *
Jim '00 Dina (Carreiro) Konz '01
of their third child. Logan James, m February 201 1 . Preceding
him are sister Ullian and brother Colby "We've stayed v\ the
area (Webster. Mass.) and I'm still working for the company
I did my co-op with in 1999 (formerly Shafenc4der.com. now
Ken Gagne "01 wntes. "After receiving my master's degree
in publishing from Emerson College. I spent the summer m
Denver, where I took in a Rockies game with WPI alumni. I
live in Framingham. Mass.. where I am a senior associate
online editor tor Qxriputeiworld.com. By night, I host the
.\v • -ee e LW.ea:?:
► 20 Kevin Dickert "01 : " '■' *
son Kid's Cancer Buzz-Off held at Gillette Stadium in Jury.
. czing for Qumn' team was formed in hone
infant daughter Qumn, who has been re: ent for
acute myeloid leukemia since she was two weeks old The
15-memberte; - so included Qulnn's uncle Greg
Walker '97 (PhD) ? : Brad Waterson '94 ad their
heads shaved to benefit programs a: Children's Hospital
Bostc - "ess of oediatnc cancer
Nick Nigro '01 : ~ibed Mount Kihmaniaro in June to raise
money for a wounded veterans organization He works for
■ on energy and climate :
Jen (Waite) Blair '01 sta led ame as a
full-time Salesforce com CRM architect and developer She
lives m Worcester with her husband. Jamie, and their 2-year-
old Akita. Jasmine
Frederick Tan '01 received a PhD in biology from Johns
Hopkins University m 2008 and is now a postdoctoral fellow
L tiversity of Z . - eley
Jessica (Hoepf) '01 and Jeff Costa '02 are corned a
Ihe world in August 2010. They live in
Kensington N H
Sean Toomey '01 (MS FPE) *as named the new deputy
Greg Coppenrath '01 married Valerie Azzopardi in
~^ey reside in Clinton. Mass Greg works
for Analog De
Matthew Munyon '01 writes, "I married Amber Vayo (of
Worce; J Clark University) in 2009 We spent two
years in Fairfax. Va.. and enioyed visiting the Smithsonian
museums memorials, and other sites and events (such as
parties . jon Stewart 'Rally to Restore :
I started modifying effect pedals for electric guitars and
recently built a tube amplifier This new hobby has started me
down the path of guitar amplifier repair and construction, and
I hope to start a small business making hand-built boutique
Johanna (Tenczar) '01 and Matthew Shaw '00 r
comec ' ; . aoob, on May 5. 2010. "He
odd's cutest 14-month-old in glasses
showing that he is likely a future engineer ■ -
Nathan Smith '01 :urrer rcester with his wife
Anika. o . ■ - and their black lab. Thor
He is a senior design engineer at Anderson Power Products
Alex Knapp '01 writes a science and technology blog for
Forbes called "Robot Overlords.' focusing on cutting-edge
research and how it impacts the culture at large Check it out
at blogs forbes.com/alexknapp
Amanda (Right) and Paul Muller '01 reside m Alexan-
dria. Va.. with their dog, Sadie, and their cat. Cune Paul was
oromoted to the rank of maior in the U S Air Force
ie relinquished command of Detachment 45 of the Air
Force Technical Applications Center at E .:■ - ---- Zolo . m
order to take ? . - r : rce Headquarters at Be
- - E ashmgton. DC Amanda was accepted to the Systems
Engineering Associates program at Northrop Grumman.
Jennifer (Brandl) Franco '01 recertrj e corned her son
E ~- .anuary2011 She also has a 2-year-old
Nick Williams 02, 04 (MS FPE) ecently relocate:
East Coast a - ' <eene N H after having lived m
Macau (SAR). China, and Chicago over the past four years.
He is now the corporate facilities senior manager of fire pro-
asale Grocers Nick and Jenny have a
14-month-old daughter. Caitlyn. and a new baby girl, Maya.
- -e world Sept. 24, 201 1 .
Brian Zahnstecher '02 mamed Caryn Ploszay in 2009
He is a . :ai global account manager for Emerson
-'- Power San Jose, Calif
Bai Lan Zhu '02 - as been an Air Force officer since gradua-
■ call AFB. he writes 'I've been blessed enough
to do a variety of jobs, including aircraft avionics program
management, early warning radar enhancement spacelift
operations, and missile testing I've been selected to attend
intermediate professional military education, and I'm hoping
to attend the Naval Command and Staff College next '
Shauna (Malone) Onofrey '02 and her husband Kurt
announce the arrival of their first : an James, bom
She says. "We are envying the addition to our
burgeoning family in Randolph. Mass '
Bassam Esa '02 sought a house in Worcester, only five mm-
3 King distance from WPI He and his wife Nada had
their first baby. Katia. on Jan 5 201 1
Jim '02 and Sarah (Bellfy) Koniers '04 recently relocated
to southern New Hampsh -- : a jghter Theresa. Jim
accepted a position as a senior mechanical engineer -
Dynamics in Wobum, Mass working on hybrid and electric
vehicle component design
► 21 Lauren Abrahamsen '02 graduated with a DVM
from Colorado State University's College of Veterinary Medi-
cine and Biomedical Sciences in May. "I currently work for
the USDA Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health," she
says, "but I'm looking to pursue a career practicing mixed
Damon Blanchette '02 writes, "I've worked at Smith Col-
lege in Northampton, Mass., almost since graduation. My son
just turned 7. I'm now back at WPI very part-time, working
on my master's in computer science (focusing on real-time
graphics), and I should be done when my thesis is complete
by the end of 2011."
Nick Sherwood '02 writes, "I just finished my PhD this sum-
mer at Cornell University, working on silicon nanophotonics for
use in future optical microprocessor interconnect networks. It
was fun, cutting-edge work. I'm now at a start-up called Tor-
nado Medical Systems in Ithaca, N.Y, using my optics knowl-
edge to make tiny medical devices. I took a month-long tour
of the north of Spain — I can summarize the trip as warm and
delicious. Anyway, life is good, WPI, and I think of you often."
Frances-Feliz Zgambo '02 married Thomas Kearns Feb.
14, 2011. She is pursuing her MS in quality management at
the National Graduate School in Falmouth, Mass. They cur-
rently reside in New Bedford with their two children, Thomas
Glenn Donovan '02 writes, "My wife, Erin, and I welcomed
our second child, Liam, in August. His sister, Ellie, celebrated
her second birthday in April. I have been working at the Naval
Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, R.I., since June 2002
This past year I was honored to receive the Arthur S. Flem-
ming Award for excellence in federal service in the category of
Applied Science, Engineering, and Mathematics."
Heather (Maisey) Buschman '02 was promoted to
scientific communications manager at Sanford-Burnham
Medical Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., where she edits
the institute's website and blog.
Jayne McAlary '02 married Ryan Swiercmsky July 16, 2010,
in Aruba, where they met on vacation in 2004. Engineers
celebrating with them in paradise were classmates Tiffany
Howland, Elena (Kozulin) Gaudette, Brian Blackwell
and Julie (Bolduc) Blackwell, along with Jackie (Maio-
rano) Caceci '03, Cati Knab '03, Jason Gaudette '03
and Jennifer (Patoulidis) Flynn '01
►22 Kerri (Hufnagle) and Michael Wojcik '02 an
nounce the birth of Matthew Frazier on July 14, 2011. They
live in Coventry, Conn. Mike is Northeast regional sales man-
ager for MECO Biopharmaceutical. Kerri is staff engineer in
the Propulsion Systems Analysis group at Pratt & Whitney.
Elaine (Warner) Sanfilippo '02 recently launched her new
business, AdopTee's, which designs and sells pet-themed
T-shirts to raise money for animal rescue and welfare groups.
"In just under 10 weeks, we've donated over $1,000 to the
cause," she says. Find out more at adopteesonline.com.
Patrick Baxter '03 writes, "My girlfriend and I recently trav-
eled to Costa Rica to attend her brother's wedding in March.
It was my first experience visiting a Central or South American
country. The weather was a welcome break from our horrible
winter! Our hotel was located just across the street from the
white sand at Flamingo Beach. Of course, in the afternoons
the swim-up bar in our hotel pool was more attractive than
Ari Copeland '03 received the Allen B. Roberts Award
from the F1 Section of the American Water Works Associa-
tion for his outstanding volunteer work in youth education for
the water profession. Previously a civil engineer with Black &
Veatch Corp. in Florida, he recently accepted a position with
the AWWA in Denver, where he will be working under the
Technical and Education Council supporting WQTC and ACE
Andrew Keefe '03 was named chief engineer of BPG
Motors, a start-up in Cambridge, Mass. The company's
hybrid electric dual-tracked military vehicle was featured on
engadget.com, and AOL Autos Transloic video channel did
a segment on BPG's self-balancing motorbike.
Sarah (Linderme) Xavier '03 and her husband, Jeff,
welcomed their first child, Nathaniel Bradford, April 8, 201 1 .
Chris Gordon '03 has worked for the Missile Defense
Agency since 2003 as a contractor with SAIC, along with
occasional support to the missile intelligence agencies. For
the past two years, he has served as lead contractor for the
Flight Test Design and Planning division. He received an MS
in systems engineering from the University of Alabama-Hunts-
ville in May 2010. Chris lives in Huntsville with his wife (high
school sweetheart), Jess; son, Gabe; and daughter, Julia.
Darren Torpey '04 and Vickie Wu '03 were married Sept
10, 201 1 , in Natick, Mass. Vickie went back to school to start
a career in food service. She's a cook for Aramark and works
at Biogen's Weston, Mass., office. Darren is a web developer
for Punchbowl.com, a consumer-facing start-up in Fram-
ingham. He also runs Boston Game Jams, a community of
professional and amateur DIY game developers who gather
on weekends to collaboratively design and construct original
video- and board games from start to finish.
Erica Bartos '04 started a new job teaching physics and
math at a high school in Charlottesville, Va. This was her third
summer working for Sail Caribbean, a program for middle
school through college students to learn to sail and scuba
dive, study marine biology, and do community service in the
British Virgin and Leeward islands.
Andrew Smith '04 recently changed jobs — from software
engineer at New England Baptist Hospital in Boston, to proj-
ect manager, applications, for the UMass Memorial Lab Infor-
mation Systems department in Worcester
78 Fall 2011
Greg Kronenberger '04 changed jobs in 2010 and is now
a member of Booz & Co. He recently worked the post-merger
integration of a transmission service operator, supported a
pension insurance agency during an IT transformation, and
is now helping a client in the consumer and retail space in
transforming its core processes and IT.
Madeline Sola '04 was a finalist for the Women of Innova-
tion Award for Community Innovation and Leadership. She
is a structural engineer in the Fatigue & Fracture Mechanics
Group at Pratt & Whitney.
Colleen Shaver '04 says, "I bought my first house in
October 2010 in Worcester. I also rescued two kittens (Fonzie
and Joanie) to join me there.
Christina Sunshine (Byrne) '04 and Christopher Wall
'06 welcomed their daughter, Kathryn Mackenzie, into the
world on April 3, 201 1 .
Meaghan and Jacob Castiglione '04 welcomed "beautiful
Finola Elizabeth" into the world in September 201 1 .
Kat Rlvard '04 and Dave Belliveau '04 are pleased to
announce that they are engaged! They are planning a wed-
ding in spring 201 2. They bought a house this year in Hudson,
Mass., where they live with their two dogs and eight chickens.
Yvonne Mok Green '04 writes, "First son born: Kiran Alex-
ander on March 18,2011."
Tasha (Andrade) '04 and Josh Clark '04 announce the
arrival of their son, Dylan Jacob, on Jan. 9, 201 1 . They live in
West Roxbury, Mass.
Jessica McAlear '04 hiked 750 miles of the Appalachian
Trail in her six weeks off this past summer and hopes to finish
the trail next summer. She's in her third year working at St.
Lawrence University in the north country of New York, coach-
ing the crew team and teaching in its First Year Program.
When not teaching or hiking, she volunteers as a referee at
national rowing events.
Nicole McMahon Orrell '04 was recently promoted to
global manager of product performance and safety at KARL
STORZ Endoskope. Her husband, Mike Orrell '04, is a
senior product design engineer for Curtis Industries. "Our
son, Jack (Class of 2030?), wants to go to college when he is
'big and strong like his daddy.'"
Frank Gerratana '04 is practicing intellectual property law
at Fish & Richardson in Boston.
Jennifer Flynn '04 writes, "Last year I moved to San Diego.
Since then I've been working as a software engineer and
scrummaster for Localeze."
Matt Gage '04 writes, "I'm living the dream in San Diego,
working for a media technology company creating web
solutions for an AT&T contract (their U-verse Online website).
I've also been dating a WPI graduate, Jenn Flynn '04, who
lives out here."
Teresa Cheromcha '04 is currently employed by the Colo-
rado Bureau of Investigation as a criminalist II agent (DNA
analyst) in Grand Junction. She received her master's in
forensic molecular biology from George Washington Univer-
sity in 2007 and previously worked for the Armed Forces DNA
Identification Laboratory in Maryland.
Julie Porcaro '04 left National Grid earlier this year after six
years as a senior engineer. She has joined CHA Consulting
in its Concord, Mass., office, working with Jim Howe '77
Alison Schafer Salomone '04 and her husband teach
math and computer science at Bridgewater State University.
She also runs a robotics program for high school students
and actively promotes getting more females into engineering.
"I have made a half-dozen trips to backpack across Europe.
We've settled down in a house in historic Plymouth, Mass.,
and love our life!"
Lindsey (Tetreault) Waitt '05 writes, "I was married on
July 21 in Disney World. My husband is in the Army, stationed
in South Korea, so I have moved there with him for a year. I
am on an educational leave of absence from Raytheon to pur-
sue a master's degree in aerospace engineering from Purdue
University, taking all my classes online while living in Korea."
Jessica (Reidel) Sarcione '05 and her husband, David,
are proud to announce the birth of their first child, Cameron
David, on Sept. 8, 201 1 . She says, "I work from home full time
as a patent examiner in biomedical art for the U.S Patent
and Trademark Office. Our (hopefully growing!) family lives in
Manassas, Va., but we do hope to return to Massachusetts
Molly Nawrath '05 graduated from nursing school in May,
and passed her RN boards in June. She is now a registered
nurse at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center on the Telem-
etry Unit. To celebrate, she bought a new 2012 Hyundai Elan-
tra. Her dog, Rusty, enjoys riding in it with the windows down.
Jay Kramarczyk '05, '06 (MS FPE) says, "I am living in Lit-
tleton, Colo., working as a forensic fire protection engineer/fire
investigator with Phoenix Investigations & Engineering. The
little bit of free time I have I spend volunteering at my church,
diving in the Denver aquarium, and enjoying Colorado. I hope
everyone else is enjoying life now that we're (supposed to be)
all grown up."
Tuan Nguyen '05 writes, "I am currently a senior manu-
facturing tech I at Abbott Bioresearch Center in Worcester.
I am involved in the downstream manufacturing of the drug
Humira, Abbott's most successful product in the company's
Aaron Vandesteen '05 says, "The birth of Theodore Miles
Vandesteen to Aaron and Jacqueline Vandesteen occured on
Feb. 26, 201 1 . He was born on the same day of the month that
both his mother and father were born."
Sid Rupani '05 writes, "In January, after completing my PhD
at MIT, I moved down to Miami to start a job with DHL. Miami
has been great and I'm loving it here so far!"
Daniel Boothe '05 recently joined Bose Corp. in Framing-
ham, Mass., working on acoustic design of new products for
the Home Entertainment Division.
Jaime (Grout) '05 and Andrew Day '05 were married in
October 2008 and purchased their first home in July 2009.
She works for Genzyme in Framingham, Mass., and he
works for Raytheon in Andover. They write, "Learning as we
go, we've been working very hard to update our home with-
out contractor help. Our first major project included the total
replacement of the roof within the first three months. Obvious
lessons learned: (1) replacing a roof is a project worth being
contracted, and (2) it's not a project to be completed by those
afraid of heights!" Their fun vacations have included Mexico,
the Bahamas, and camping and skiing in New England.
Chris Aniszczyk '05 writes, "In terms of work, I am manag-
ing Twitter's open source program. In terms of other things,
I've traveled 31 4,567 miles and been to 69 cities and 1 7 coun-
tries, according to Tripit."
Vonda Bui '05 writes, "I switched companies in April 2011
and am now an associate in the Retirement, Risk & Finance
department at Mercer. This past July, I visited Chicago and had
a WPI mini-reunion with classmates Adam Epstein, William
Herbert, and Jocelyn Lally, along with Laura Amodeo
'06, Michael Terranova '06. We had a great time catching
up in the Windy City!"
Xiaohe Hu '05 writes, "Aiming to become the best baker with
my mathematical genius."
Lauren Corsetto '05 and Joshua Young were married in
New Jersey on Oct. 10, 2010. Melissa O'Dea '06 was one
of the bridesmaids; Stephen O'Dea '06 and Carlos Goller
'02 were also in attendance. The newlyweds currently reside
in Montclair, N.J.
James Ehnstrom '05 writes, "After graduation I worked in a
clinical setting and got my MS at Northeastern. I now work for
Cubist Pharmaceuticals as an analytical chemist. I am getting
married this October, then we'll be on our way to Aruba for
Fall 2011 79
Stephen Gauntt '05 writes, "After WPI I got my master's
degree at TAMU. I've spent the last tour years working for a
major oil services company designing drilling riser equipment
I also got married and bought a house."
Greg Krane '05 became engaged to Farleigh Layfield in the
spring of 201 1 . He says, "We met as students in veterinary
school and have been dating since 2007. We're very excited
about our August 2012 wedding in Newport, R I " Greg re-
cently relocated from the Philadelphia area to join the Park
Ridge (N.J.) Animal Hospital as an associate veterinarian. "I
look forward to meeting WPI alumni in the NYC metro area."
Brian O'Donnell '05 is starting a PhD program in electrical
engineering at Arizona State University.
Peter Lohrmann '05 ran in the Pike's Peak Ascent, a 1 3.32-
mile race that climbs to a 14,115-ft. elevation.
Adam Rogers '05, '07 (MS FPE) safeguards the nation's
treasures as a fire protection engineer at the Smithsonian
Institution. He works with several WPI FPE alums to protect
buildings and collections, and to ensure the health and safety
of visitors, staff, and volunteers.
Jamie Mohr '06 and Tom Skiba '00 were married in
August 2010. The celebration brought together many WPI
alumni, including classmates William Johnston Paolo
Piselli. Lynn Reni, Justin Zipkin and Gary Hamilton;
also maid-of-honor Stacey Mohr '08 best man Rob Skiba
'02 Jesse Marzullo '02 Neil Whitehouse '05 Lauren
Stolzar '05 Elizabeth (Hansen) Bulger '05 Jodi Low-
ell 08 and Jenna Balestrini '09
Jim Norton '06 earned his Connecticut PE license. A me-
chanical engineer for BVH Integrated Services, and a LEED-
accredited professional, Jim specializes in the design of HVAC
components for healthcare and higher education facilities.
Chris Werner '06 writes to say, "In January I moved from
Manchester, N.H., to San Jose. Calif , and began a new job
at Apple as a product design engineer In December 2009
I became engaged to Heather Senecal — wedding plans are
Amanda (Gray) Bullerwell '06 moved back to New Eng-
land from Seattle last year to work for Labsphere
Philip Ng '06 writes, "I've been working at VT MAK for two
years on simulation software and living in Boston since gradu-
ation. I have traveled around North America for various reasons
but still love it here. I have met so many great people and
done and learned so much — all thanks to WPI!"
► 23 Erin Ringer '06 and Matthew Regan '06 were mar-
ried March 21 , 201 1 , in Maui. 'A bunch of Tech alumni celebrat-
ed with us in Westford, Mass., in July. We live in Lebanon, N.J."
Tofer Carlson '06, '11 (MME) writes. "I graduated (again!)
in May with a master of mathematics for educators degree
I'm currently teaching high school math in Worcester, writing
plays, and working on organizing a theatre company."
Aaron Bergeron '06 says. "I went to the Bonnaroo Music
and Arts Festival in Manchester. Tenn , this past June — four
days of music, sun, and dust!"
Max Stinehour '06 sends this update, "After finishing my
tour of duty as a surface warfare officer as a Navy lieutenant. I
have begun my studies toward a doctor of pharmacy degree
from the Medical College of Virginia at VCU."
Chris Deraleau '06 experienced the arrival of his first son,
Theodore, on Sept 2, 201 1 . "He joins his sisters, Charlotte
and Lucille, who, despite being so young, are extremely well
traveled, having been to Hawaii (twice) and Aruba, along with
several trips to visit to their grandparents in Las Vegas and
Geoffrey Batstone '07 reports that he has passed the FE
and is now working on his PE After a layoff from a small
company. I found a better job in the transmission engineering
department of National Grid My degree was definitely invalu-
able in getting my foot in the door as more than half of my
department is WPI graduates! On the romantic front, I've been
dating a beautiful girl named Meghan for almost a year now
She is incredible and we are really happy together. I have a
feeling we'll be getting engaged soon."
Yekaterina Kazinik-Jorgji '07 says, I got married two
years ago to my high school sweetheart. Traveled to the Taj
Mahal, going to China soon for work, and just trying to enjoy
life. Working in the power industry and training in Six Sigma."
► 24 Krista (Smith) '07 and Matthew Shaw '06 were
married Aug. 15, 2010, in Brewster, Mass. The wedding party
included from left Meghan Kelly '07, Garon Clements
'08, Lesley (Anderson) DeSantis '06, Christopher Shaw,
Amanda Smith William Stanney '09, Kelly Osberg '07,
and Mike Tiu '08.
Keeley Stevens '07 writes. "I received my master's
80 Fan 2011
with my fiance and started my first job at a start-up called
Soapstone Networks It was a learning experience, but un-
fortunately the company went under in 2009 Later that year I
started working at SolidWorks as a software engineer. I have
been in their API group for almost two years now, and I love
the company. After a September wedding we will honeymoon
i r.URf. i
degree in physics from North Carolina State in 2009 and
am pursuing my PhD in physics, focusing on tribological
characterization of percolated lead films above and below
the superconducting transition, with an expected graduation
in 2012 On a less scientific note. I became a Yoga Alliance
RYT-200 certified yoga instructor. In my spare time (left over
from superconductors and sun salutations). I dance West
Coast Swing and make jam out of as much of the wonderful
southern produce as I can (Get it? 'Can?' I crack myself up.)"
► 25 Marc Schultz '07 recently completed the Juvenile
Diabetes (bicycle) Ride-to-Cure in Burlington, Vt.
John Scimone '07 says, "Great news 1 I just got engaged
to Faith Henderson — I met her while at WPI six years ago. No
date is set for the wedding yet, but it will probably be on Cape
Cod in a couple years. We're very excited "
Kris Nigro '07 says "I'm currently working as a senior proj-
ect engineer for McCarthy Building Companies on a hospital
complex replacement project in Oakland, Calif. Also pursu-
ing an MSODL degree through WPI's new blended learning
Sanjayan Manivannan '07 writes, "I recently graduated
from the MBA program at Harvard I am re-entering the work
force as an associate at McKmsey & Company in their Boston
office. Recent travels have taken me to Denver. Salt Lake City,
London, and Venice ."
Sam Feller '07 says. "I recently launched a new website.
www.awkwardengineer.com." [See page 86]
James Phelan '07 tells us, "I got married in July 2010. 1 live
in Los Angeles and have worked at ExxonMobil since gradu-
ation as a project development engineer. I'm also attending
law school part time ."
Jeffrey Sanders '07 is a fourth-year doctoral student in
structural biology and molecular pharmacology at Thomas
Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and is currently
doing research for the DOD
Hillary Perkins '07 tells us that she found work as a
research assistant at BU's Medical School in the pathology
department, "with the help of WPI's CDC Jobfinder site I cel-
ebrated my one-year anniversary there in August, and intend
to start working toward my MS in pathology in the near future ."
► 26 Kaitlyn Anderson '08 ana Ryan Adams '10 became
engaged in June and are excited to be planning a fall 2012
wedding Kaitlyn is a product manager for ConforMI in
Burlington, Mass., and Ryan is an operational excellence
specialist for Shire HGT in Lexington."
Emily Potter '08 writes, "After graduating. I bought a house
Theodore McDonald '08 writes, "At WPI I worked on a
small-scale hybrid rocket engine for my MQP I now hold a full-
time job as a propulsion test engineer working on the Dragon
Propulsion System for Space Exploration Technologies in
McGregor, Texas. Though some say I've grown up,' I still
tinker with amateur rocket engines at home."
► 27 Ryan Graves '08 received his Wings of Gold for
completion of the Naval Aviation program, as well as a Top
Hook award for his top grades He is now stationed in Virginia
Beach, where he will continue training on the F/A Super Hornet
before being made available for worldwide deployment as a
member of a carrier strike group.
Jessica Coelho '08 writes. "I've moved to Hartford and
have worked for MDC, a water and sewer company, for
three years This July I was able to travel to Sao Miguel in the
Azores. This island is where my great-grandparents are from
and it was my first time getting to see it ."
Adam Schwartz '08 works for Rolf Jensen and Assoc in San
Diego. He recently went to Washington. DC. to celebrate his
grandmother's 100th birthday "What an epic event! She still
does everything but drive and still has a great sense of humor.
About 50 family members got together for the event, including
my brother (who also graduated from WPI with an ECE degree
in 2010). With San Diego's plethora of musicians and the
intoxicating weather, avoiding moving back to the East Coast
is high on my priority list!"
Tiffany Walls '08 says she became engaged to her boy-
friend of three years, Jason Smith, in August "I also cel-
ebrated the third year of working as a medical technologist for
Athena Diagnostics and the one-year anniversary of receiving
our boxer puppy, Roscoe "
Celeste Fay '08 writes. "I moved from an A/E firm doing
run-of-the mill (no pun intended!) hydropower consulting, to
the Alden Research Lab in Holden, Mass . where I can rub
shoulders with the real hydropower minds "
Kyle Gauthier '08 says, "I graduated from U.S. Air Force
pilot training and earned my wings. I'm now stationed at
Ramstem AFB in Germany, flying the C-130J in support of
U.S. forces in Europe and Africa "
Fall 2011 81
Jennifer Hosker '08 is the new manufacturing and quality
engineer for Burndy's Tooling Group in Littleton. N.H.
Kaushal Shrestha '08 says he's been with the same com-
pany for three years now. "Have two dogs; both are beautiful
American Eskimo spitz I am very excited to be going back
home to Nepal soon. My sister is now a sophomore at WPI."
Kunai Atigre '08 says, "I have been working as a partner
in the heavy engineering and jobbing industry I am getting
good exposure over here in Kolhapur, India. Looking forward
to expanding the business ."
Erica Grygorcewicz '08 confesses, "Never thought
there'd be a day, but I have made my way back to Worcester!
After a few years in Boston, I was ready for a 'smaller' city and
something closer to my friends and family. I've been playing
rugby (Go, Shamrocks!), working for MassDOT, and loving
life. Tried to re-live my WPI party life with classmates Katrina
Kucher and Elise McDevitt down in Cancun. but we real-
ized we just can't party like we used to!"
Ian Woloschin '08 writes, "While not as exciting as a fully
automated house (to WPI folks, I mean), I got married on
Sept 4 to Nora Basile at her alma mater, the US Coast Guard
Academy in New London, Conn.
Keith Ferry '08 says. "I'm working for Avery Dennison, start-
ing a specialty vehicle decal company, and investing in real
estate part time."
Vannak Chhay '08 says. "I traveled to Cambodia to revisit
my roots, went to the Bahamas to get some R&R, and am now
back in Worcester working at Blue Sky Biotech."
Whitney Thurrott '08 reports, "Since graduation I've been
teaching high school science in Hartford, Conn. In 2010 I
purchased a home and have been slowly but surely making
improvements to it. And I've started a photography business
with a partner."
Armen Dilsizian '08 writes, "I traveled to Switzerland with
my girlfriend and climbed and skied the Alps, staying in
a small mountain village The only access to and from the
village was by ski lift (No roads, so no cars.) We then went to
Rome to visit the Colosseum and other sites."
Anthony DiOrio '08 says his travels have taken him to Mex-
ico, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Malaysia, California, and places
closer to home. "I ran in the Harpoon 5-miler in May. I was a
sprinter at WPI, so long distance has been a wonderful, new
challenge for me I've also been playing volleyball, basketball,
and Softball competitively Cycling is my next target. Looking
forward to starting my MBA soon."
Amanda Olore '08 reports. "I recently shifted career paths
away from my degree in actuarial mathematics to accept a
new opportunity at Aetna Inc., and it has been a great experi-
ence thus far 1 "
Mary Kate Toomey '08 is a field hockey official for middle-
and high schools in metro Boston. She's also vice president
of the Alpha Gamma Delta Greater Boston Alumnae Club. "I
was invited by WPI's Camp REACH as a 'Distinguished Alum'
of the program to speak at the first-ever Career Explorations
Dinner last July "
Matt Schulze '09 sends this update: "I started at Bristol-
Myers Squibb, preparing its Devens site for performance
qualification I put that experience to good use when I ac-
cepted the business systems analyst position at Genzyme
in September of last year I actually work for Chuck Lemire
'02. who has been a joy to work for. I've also been elected
president/chairman of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon WPI Housing
Corporation We presented Donald Peterson '71 with the
Merit Key Award at his 30th Reunion ."
►28 Krista Dietz '09 tells us, "I decided to relocate back
to Massachusetts, so I moved to Boston, where I now work
at Woodard & Curran. In my spare time, I've been performing
musical theatre — most recently "Rent" at The Footlight Club
in Jamaica Plain. I'm engaged to Alexander Forti '09. who
proposed marriage at the Higgins House gardens, accompa-
nied by Gompei, the goat, and many close friends. (Unfortu-
nately. I was unable to steal the Goat's Head!) We plan to get
married in the summer of 2013 ."
Gabriella Serrati '09 says, "I've been living in Houston,
working for ExxonMobil. There is a pretty large population of
WPI alumni down here and we are attempting to start a mini
82 Fall 2011
Francis Song '09 was recently promoted to first lieuten-
ant in the USAF and has been awarded Air Battle Manager
wings after completing NATO AWACS training "I'm currently
serving as an air weapons officer with Squadron 2, based in
Geilenkirchen, Germany. I would like to say hello to all my fel-
low brothers and sisters serving in the U.S. military, especially
those who graduated in 2009."
Jason Hu '09 writes. "After a short' vacation to New Orleans
and Chicago. I finally settled in my new job at a biomedical
start-up, where I enjoying working on a variety of products
and making decisions that matter Really am appreciating my
WPI experience. Who knew those late MQP nights and over-
nighter thesis camp' actually taught me so much?"
Katie Bomba '09 says, "I received my master's in genetic
counseling from Arcadia University in May, and accepted a
job at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, where I am a
practicing genetic counselor "
Don Havener '09 was a finalist in the Launch L-A entrepre-
neurial contest for his "Havener Hot Plate" ski bindings, de-
signed to absorb impact to reduce knee injuries, as well as
prevent runaway skis
Eric Sheridan '09 writes, "Since graduation I have worked
at Bose Corp as an engineering project manager, for which
my blended undergrad IE curriculum prepared me well I've
come back for more WPI education and am currently enrolled
in the MBA program; I plan to graduate in May 2012 I live
Nashua, N.H., with my dog, Charlie "
Jessica LaGoy '09 lives in the Baltimore area, where she
works as a technical program manager for EMC Corp. and
is pursuing an MS in cyber security "I have two dogs, Sasha
and Ares, and spend my time hiking with them, as well as
training in mixed martial arts "
Kevin Jillson '09 ran the 201 1 Boston Marathon, finishing
46th overall — only his third marathon ever (first Boston). Kevin
finished 40th among the men, with a personal record time of
2:25:52 [Editor's Note: Kevin average 5:34 per mile for 26
miles; this is no simple feat]
David Willens '09, a project engineer at Kinefac Corp ,
is developing new thread-rolling and metal-forming
Eric DeStefano '09 writes. "I've been living in Groton,
Conn., for the past year as an engineering analyst for Electric
Boat. I also recently got engaged — a June 2012 wedding is
on the way Lots of planning to do!"
Amanda Young '09 tells us. "I've been working for
ExxonMobil in its Baton Rouge chemical plant for the past
two years, in the polymers department."
Kevin Cox '08, '09 (MS FPE) writes. Since graduating
I've received multiple job offers in the field of fire protection.
Thanks to WPI! With a steady income, I've been able to follow
my motto of work hard, play hard, which started immediately
after graduation, when a group of 14 WPI classmates and I
took a vacation cruise to Bermuda for a weeklong celebration
Keep up the good work, WPI!"
Scott Gary '09 says. "I started a new job in May with a great
company that includes education benefits, which I'm taking
advantage of. I'm attending Auburn University (online) in
pursuit of a master's in aeronautical engineering. My wife
and I celebrated our second anniversary in July. We're plan-
ning a trip to Europe next year to enjoy the sights before we
Derek Lee '09 says. "I've been volunteering at a church,
teaching ESL to new Chinese immigrants I work at MassDOT
in its research and materials lab."
Dhruv Sarin '09 shares. "I've had quite a ride since I left
WPI Worked for Harvard Medical School pushing out papers
and patents, and am currently a first-year medical student at
the Medical College of Wisconsin."
Ryan Marinis '07 (MS ME), '09 (PhD) writes to say. "I've
recently switched organizations within Sandia National Labo-
ratories, pining the Energetic Materials Dynamic and Reac-
tive Sciences organization, where I am researching initiation
and output of explosives. Aside from that I've been gradually
making my way down the Colorado Trail by mountain bike."
Jason Ogasian '09 began his career at General Dynamics
in Pittsfield, Mass He married his girlfriend. Bethany Flagg,
in June 201 1 . "After an exciting honeymoon in Alaska and a
month of packing, we moved to San Jose, Calif, where I work
for General Dynamics as a reverse engineer."
Patrick Gemme '09 tells us, "I'm a technical services
engineer at Holy Cross, responsible for wireless on the entire
campus. I set up a thin client solution to help save 60 percent
on many new computers. I've been a part of Open Security
Foundation (helping import new data loss incidents from
state FOIA requests). I have two children and live in Worcester
with my wonderful wife "
Elizabeth Ellis '09 teaches high school chemistry in
Caitlin Macko '09 and Virgil Vaillancourt '06, '07 (MS
ME) became engaged in June 2011 and are planning a
spring 2012 wedding in Connecticut
Erik Brechun '09 tells us, "I've been working for Raytheon
in Newport. R.I.. as a signal processing engineer, contract-
ing with the Navy at Pearl Harbor and then Andros Island,
Bahamas, working on submarine sensor systems. My wife
and I have traveled extensively across the Caribbean and are
expecting our first child at Christmastime "
Joshua Dick '09 shares the following: "This summer. I went
on a 10-day trip to Israel through the Birthright Israel organiza-
tion and saw many famous and historic sites throughout the
country. What an amazing place! This past weekend. I went
Fall 2011 83
^k TOP SO EMPLOYERS
I DIVERSITY OF
^H ._ IH
Difference In Energy
Your Career Edge
[tandem] skydiving for the first time! The scariest part was the
paperwork I had to sign before jumping."
Christopher Schlichting '10 (MS MFE) tells us, After
finishing my master's, I returned to Germany to work for MAH-
LE, a worldwide automotive supplier Currently, I'm working
on a project in Tianjin, China, for four months, supporting the
installation of a new assembly line. I get to travel a lot, visiting
sub-suppliers in Shanghai and Beijing."
Taylor Esformes '10 shares her news "In the past year,
I got married twice — once in Worcester and once in Miami —
but to the same person both times! I also started my own
tutoring business, Mr Physics Tutoring, teaching kids the
skills they need for math, science, and the SATs Also discov-
ered that the research I did for my MQP is going to be pub-
lished m a scholarly journal, so I'm going to have my first co-
author credit! Hoping to go to grad school soon, but for now
I'm happy to be self-employed, busy, and newly married!"
Dan Sacco '10 recently began working as a systems
engineer for Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics in Flanders.
N.J., working with the R&D group
Mike Ghizzoni '10 works at Aras Corp. as a software solu-
tions engineer and lives in Lowell. Mass "I got rid of my old
college car and am financing a new 201 1 Kia Forte — awe-
some to have a 6-speed. My girlfriend and I are enjoying
anime conventions, salsa and swing lessons, bowling, and a
massage class. All my friends are getting married and having
children. I must be getting old If all goes well. I'll be popping
the question myself in a year or so "
Andrew Bartley '10 writes. "I've been steadily chipping
away at my MBA (part time) at WPI. and serving as presi-
dent of Theta Chi's Alumni Association. I have switched from
biotech, my undergraduate field, to the surprisingly exciting
IT industry. I am now an IT systems admin at EMC. I'll be
moving to Framingham next year in order to be closer to my
new job while still staying close to my alma mater."
Lianne Eisner '10 (MS CS) and her husband, Nathan
Poisson, live in Hudson, N.H., with their cat, Rayne. "I was
among the first to be inducted into Upsilon Pi Epsilon in
May of 2011 by my undergraduate alma mater, Rhode
Joseph Cotnoir '10 writes, "Since graduation, I got a full-
time position on campus. I am an instructional technology
support specialist in the ATC's Technology for Teaching and
Devin Kelly '10, '11 (MS ECE) tells us. "I went to the 2011
Bonaroo music festival in Manchester, Tenn. My friends and I
drove from Worcester and camped for four days. I just started
working at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, doing research in the
Wideband Tactical Networks Group."
► 29 Renee Walker '10 was on the cover of the Spring
201 1 issue of Woman Engineer In a profile of her career with
EMC Corp., she credits her internship with helping her gam
experience and insight on the industry.
See puzzle on page 86
Majed Almejmaj '10 (MS FPE) shares the following: "I
loved WPI so much that I decided to stay here for my PhD. So
I am jumping from one lab to another with an occasional stop
by the Goat's Head."
Chris Jeznach '10 has moved back to Massachusetts and
is working for Spirol International."
Lillian Clark '1 1 reports, "I just started work on my master's
degree at UMass Amherst in environmental engineering. Also
doing water quality research and modeling of the Wachusett
Reservoir as a research assistant in the Water Resources
Group. I miss everyone at WPI!"
Colbert Sesanker '11 writes, "I'm taking a gap year
before grad school and it's great. Working as a programmer
at UConn Health Center."
Skyler Whorton '1 1 says. "With my freshly minted diploma
in hand, I completed a summer internship at a local software
consulting company, which gave me valuable software mod-
eling experience for my entry as a graduate student at WPI
this fall. I'm pursuing an MS in computer science, working
with Professor Neil Heffernan It's exciting that I get to remain
right in the heart of the WPI community!"
► 30 Richard Emberley '11 received the Howe-Walker
Award from the Boston Society of Civil Engineers. He was
honored for his exceptional service during his two years as
president of the WPI student chapter of the ASCE
84 Fall 2011
Benjamin R Chadwick '31 (Lambda Chi Alpha)
George T Barks '32
Lester N Linter '32
William A. Slagle '33
Roman J 'Joe" Koziol '34
William P Mitnik '34
Howard E. Stockwell '34 (Lambda Chi Alpha)
John R Brand '36 (Phi Sigma Kappa)
F Kenwood Jones '36 (Sigma Phi Epsilon)
Charles R. "Mike" Michel '37, Trustee Emeritus
Edward W. Armstrong '38 (Sigma Phi Epsilon)
Richard M. Elliot '38 (Phi Gamma Delta)
Philip K Hathaway '38 (Lambda Chi Alpha)
Henry F. Howe '38
Howard J. Blanchard '39
David McEwan '39 (Phi Gamma Delta)
Edward J Roszko '39 (Alpha Tau Omega)
Richard B. Wilson '39 (Phi Sigma Kappa)
Donald S Chatfield '40 (Theta Chi)
Robert W Hewey '40
Norman U. LaLiberte '40
Warren S. Bradford '41 (Sigma Alpha Epsilon)
Alexander Davidson '41
Theodore J. Sydor '41
Delbert A Betterley '42 (Lambda Chi Alpha)
Haskell Ginns '42
Robert H. Grant '42 (Phi Sigma Kappa)
Norman A Kerr '42 (Alpha Tau Omega)
Carl I Benson '43
Fred S. Moulton '44 (Phi Sigma Kappa)
Robert F Petersen '44 (Phi Gamma Delta)
Warner H. Tabor '44 (Alpha Tau Omega)
Donal R. Whitney '44 (Alpha Tau Omega)
John C. Bayer '45 (Alpha Tau Omega)
Frederick J. Levitsky '45
Clayton R. Adams '46
John F Brown '46
William G. Daly '46 (Phi Kappa Theta)
Robert B. Davis '46
Richard L Perkins '46
Edward J. Waranowicz '46
Elmer S Sachse '46
Leslie Flood '47 (Phi Gamma Delta)
Edward C Perry '47
Robert E Beauregard '48 (Phi Kappa Theta)
Guy W Burr '48
Charles F Jones '48
Charles A. Woodman '48
Robert M Lerner '48
Chester L. Anderson '49 (Sigma Phi Epsilon)
Thaddeus S Bonczyk '49
Edmund R Knight '49 (Alpha Tau Omega)
Donald Taylor '49, Trustee Emeritus
John 0. Archibald '50, (Phi Sigma Kappa)
David L. Brumback '50 (Phi Gamma Delta)
William G. Collings '50 (Phi Sigma Kappa)
Robert L Moison '50
Edmund L. Nichols '50
Theodore A Mellor '51
Alan E Willis '51
Donald H Adams '52
Richard G Bennett '52 (Sigma Alpha Epsilon)
Walter J. Connor '52
Edward A Hjerpe '52 (Phi Gamma Delta)
Kenneth T Lang '52 (Sigma Alpha Epsilon)
Edmund M Luzgauskas '52
Robert R. Nuttall '52
Alfred C Bafaro '53
Harry W. Brown '53 (Phi Sigma Kappa)
Charles E Home '53 (Lambda Chi Alpha)
Eugene J Dragon '54
George H. Kay '54 (Sigma Phi Epsilon)
Richard L Meirowitz '54
Gilbert K. Nersesian '54
Edward L. Nelson '55
Philip E. Olson '55 (Sigma Phi Epsilon)
Robert C Stempel '55, Trustee Emeritus
Ernest Bernstein '56
Henry J Dumas '56 (Alpha Tau Omega)
Frederick F Hermg '56
Kevin E. Joyce '56 (Phi Kappa Theta)
Eric Ostergaard '56
Neil W. Armstrong '57
Robert G Frantello '57
Frank Furman '57
Charles B Cushman '58
GustavusR Ide '58 (SIM)
Arthur T Human '59
Robert B. Massad '59
Joshua C 'Jay" Alpern '60 (Alpha Epsilon Pi)
Martin R. Beck '60 (Sigma Alpha Epsilon)
Stanley J. Strychaz '62 (Phi Kappa Theta)
Steven G. Sutker '65
Joseph G. Acker '66 (Phi Gamma Delta)
Richard E. Makohon '68 (Alpha Tao Omega)
William A Biliouns '69 (SIM)
David W Clark '69
Alvin B. Pauly '69 (Alpha Tau Omega)
Robert W Smith '69
Michael T. Moylan '70
Richard A Arena 71 (Lambda Chi Alpha)
Robert A. Childs '71 (Alpha Tau Omega)
Steven P Dexter '71
Ernest A. Evancic '71
Charles H Bacon '72
Carl F Johnson 72
Warren V Prescott 72
Richard M. Filipetti 73 (Phi Gamma Delta)
Armand R Catalani 74
Lawrence E Potter 76 (SIM)
Walter J Peterson 77 (Phi Sigma Kappa)
Robert A Bryant 79
Francis J. Martin 79
Craig R. Autio '80
Michael A Bowen '80
John F Conlon '82
Richard K Anderson '83
Scott A Cote '86 (Sigma Alpha Epsilon)
Anne-Mane Arnold '92 (MNS)
Cpt. Laura A (Matejik) Eberts '04
Omar P Pinango '06 (Phi Sigma Kappa)
FACULTY, STAFF, AND FRIENDS
: oner Sotak '95 (MBA), Professor of
Marie "Ma" Fell, former ATO Cook
Olive Kuniholm, longtime Tech Old Timers member
and widow of David A Kuniholm '40
Complete obituaries can usually be found through newspapers, websites, legacy com, and similar indexes. WPI will share details on the "completed
careers" of friends and classmates, if available. To request further information, contact a!umm-editor@wpi edu or call 508-831-5998
Fall 2011 85
By George Heineman
Place digits from 1 to 9 in the triangular grid such that
1 No digit repeats in any row, column, or diagonal
2. No digit repeats in any of the outlined boxes and triangles
PUZZLE ANSWER ON PAGE 84
On the rare occasions I use calculus at
work, I get excitsd and think that
maybe, college was worth the money
By Sam Feller 07
WPINDEX SOURCE MATERIAL
#1 Seventy Years of WPI, H. F Taylor; #2. 11,12. 13. 20. 21. 28, 29 WPI 2011 Accreditation Report: #3,4
ScienceDailycom: #5 Wikipedia: #6 Tech Bible. #7 Chadwick. Martin, Bailey Research; #8 International
Business Times; #9, 10 Pew Internet Project; #14, 22, 23 WPI Admissions Office; #15, 16, 17American
Association of Museums. #18. 19 Sustainable Endowment Institute; #24. 26 US Pirg; "Study on Ameri-
can Roadways". #25 American Society of Civil Engineers; #27 TheHill com: #30 31 . 32 National Golf
Foundation; #33 WPI Annual Fund Office; #34 American Goat Society
reject Lead The Wa
Committed to preparing educators in
Science ♦ Technology ♦ Engineering ♦ Mathematics
Mass. Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray recently announced
the state's endorsement of Project Lead The Way, a
project-based curriculum for grades 6-12. WPI serves
as the state affiliate of this initiative that uses real-
world problem solving to produce students who are
interested in and prepared for STEM careers.
Your WPI education helps to define you.
Help us to define the importance of STEM education
by encouraging your local schools to join 4,200
schools nationwide in offering Project Lead The V'
Email kl email@example.com for details or for assistance.
86 Fall 2011
WORCESTER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE
The Next Generation
After 32 years in higher education, Albert Soloway '48, Dean Emeritus at Ohio State University,
has concerns about the future of American education.
BY ALBERT SOLOWAY '48
WHEN COMPLETING MY DOCTORATE in chemistry from the
University of Rochester I thought I'd only teach if I had no
new research ideas. It was an arrogant thought since I've
spent the bulk of my career — 32 years — in higher education.
In retrospect, it is understandable that I gravitated toward the university. My fa-
ther and mother, Russian Jewish immigrants, greatly valued education, some-
thing they were both denied in Russia. Instead, they put their three children
through college. They were very giving people. My father, a hero of the Great
Depression, was a poor grocer who worked 75-80 hours per week. He often pro-
vided food for out-of-work neighbors. Most people
paid him back when able.
My mother also valued intellectual pursuits, as
well as cultural. She attended the Worcester Phil-
harmonic concerts regularly, and was vitally inter-
ested in political activities, marching for women's
suffrage in the 1920s. Her illness and death from
breast cancer when I was 16 motivated me to major
in chemistry and to work in cancer research.
The idea of helping others, then, was ingrained in
me at a young age. Teaching and doing research at
a college was a very logical direction. However, my
initial attempt was thwarted by religious bias. After
completing a two-year postdoctoral NIH fellowship
at Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research,
I applied for an assistant professor position in the
chemistry department at the University of North
Carolina. I filled out an application which asked
my religion and my mother's maiden name. I re-
sponded that I was Jewish and my mother's maiden
name was Raphaelson. I never heard from them,
and can only infer as to why. Thirteen years would
pass before I obtained my first full-time academic
appointment as Associate Professor in the College
of Pharmacy at Northeastern University.
From the start, I enjoyed the twin challenges of
teaching and research. My research background
was much further developed since I'd spent 10 pri-
or years working on a new therapy for malignant
brain tumors with the chief of neurosurgery at Mas-
sachusetts General Hospital.
My only teaching experience, however, was pro-
viding an evening graduate course in biochemistry.
I found teaching very demanding, but satisfying,
especially when I was able to help a young person
sort out career options. It was also very gratifying to
establish a program with high academic standards.
I was looking for no farther career changes; I
Fall 2011 87
thought I had found my niche in life. However,
when the dean became incapacitated, the university
asked me to become acting dean, which I accepted,
knowing it was a temporary position. But when the
dean died, I was offered the position.
I decided to accept the deanship, hoping I could
create a more positive environment for students and
faculty. I served two years as dean before being of-
fered a comparable position at Ohio State University.
to that mission.
Leaving Northeastern and Boston was not a simple
decision. My wife, Barbara, was enrolled in an MBA
program and our daughter, Madeleine, was at Mas-
sachusetts College of Art. She said to me, "Dad, chil-
dren are supposed to leave parents not parents leave
Ohio State was a good place for me. I had great sup-
port from the provost and president as well as an ex-
cellent faculty. I served 11 years as dean and 10 more
when returning to the faculty. Approaching 73, 1 de-
cided to retire, wanting to write a book on what was
happening in our universities and, subsequently, to
write scientific papers on the biochemical bases of
hormonally induced cancers, Parkinson's disease,
macular degeneration, and chemical addictions.
In 2006 I published the book I wanted to write.
Tided Failed Grade: The Corporatization and Decline of
Higher Education in America, the book's major thrust
was that the corporate structure being forced upon
universities was ill suited for higher education. I
hoped my book and others like it would provoke se-
rious national discussion.
They haven't. The corporate structure is now fully
ensconced with ballooning administrative costs,
commercially driven research, students viewed as
customers with retention focused on tuition dol-
lars, rampant grade inflation, and tenure under at-
tack. Tuition has been double the national inflation
rate for 25 years now, caused not by faculty salaries
but by rising administrative costs coupled with new
construction costs. Many students are saddled with
enormous debts after graduation. University presi-
dents increasingly are selected for their fundraising
prowess and not their academic accomplishments.
The real "customer" of higher education is not the
student but American society that employs these
students after matriculation. Universities that fail to
maintain high standards erode public trust and put
into serious question the value of a traditional col-
lege degree versus something taken online.
The main purpose of college is educating a well-
rounded, adaptable generation of students capable
of adjusting to change. Everything else is peripheral
to that mission. My worry is that standards are be-
ing lowered and the failed social policies affect-
ing primary and secondary education will soon be
replicated in colleges. Will we then witness politi-
cal intervention with questionable results? Higher
education has been the crown jewel of the American
educational system for more than a century; I fer-
vently hope it remains so in the coming decades.
Albert Soloway '48, Dean Emeritus of the College of Phar-
macy at Ohio State University, has authored more than
200 scientific papers and is founder and former president
of the International Society for Neutron Capture Therapy.
His 2006 hook, Failed Grade, raises provocative questions
about the state of higher education in America.
88 Fall 2011
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