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ALUMNI CLASS NOTES What's new with you?
Wondering what’s new with your classmates? This is the place to find out what your fellow alumni have been up to.
Submitting a Class Note is easy. Seriously, easy.
You can tell us if you moved (we love updating our database with the freshest info). Or, maybe you have a new job or are enjoying your retirement. Perhaps you’ve earned a new academic degree, produced a television series, taken up a new hobby, gotten married, or marked a new milestone in your life.
Whatever your news, we want to hear about it. And, we know your classmates would love it, too. Class Notes keep alumni connected.I’m convinced! Submit My Class Note
(Page updated January 2022)
Alan Roland ’48
At age 90, I am still working full time (by telephone) as a psychoanalyst. I am also keeping up painting (watercolors) and drawing, with an exhibit scheduled this April in Monterey, MA. of jazz musicians while they played at the old Smalls, a jazz venue in Greenwich Village. I hope to have another performance of my play, Flight of the Ibis, which is set in 10th-century Cordoba, Spain, once the pandemic is over. My wife, Jackie, a Middle East historian, is about to teach her last term at Pace University before retiring. My daughter, Tika, lives in the Berkshires in Massachusetts with two grandsons, and my son, Ariel, a jazz musician with Juilliard training on the double bass, with his wife, a jazz vocalist, and son live near our apartment in Greenwich Village. Glad to hear that Poly had classes outside this fall. (January 2021)
Pete Kalison ’53
We reside in a golf course community where I still manage to break a hundred once in a while. I stay active working with the William & Mary Athletic Department and especially the basketball program. Marsha and I have three daughters and a collection of seven wonderful grandchildren, whom, during this pandemic, we see regularly thanks to Zoom and computer video.
The Great Class of 1953 remains close. We communicate with Zoom sessions and regular email updates to everyone and classmate Bruce Bernstein ’53 has done a remarkable job in keeping this going. We may have graduated quite some time ago but still know every word to “Far Down on the Heights” and our old football chant, “Give ’em the Axe, Axe, Axe!” (January 2021)
George Marks ’56
Hi to all those from the greatest Poly class, 1956, and hi to the rest of you as well. Bette and I just celebrated 55 years married. We have 2 children, 4 grandchildren – the oldest 2 boys have earned soccer scholarships to play soccer for Cal Berkeley. We now know their season will not take place, although football will. GRRRR. Many classmates have seen my latest photography on Facebook, and you’re welcome to join in. My latest work is with hummingbirds. Here is a link to 65 hummingbird photos. Stay safe and healthy. (October 2020)
Victor Rich ’57
Still see and speak to Fred Shwom ’57 and George Malin ’57 on a regular basis and to Richie Piluso ’57 and Peter Siviglia ’57 on a less regular basis. Fred and I golf together about 3-4 times per year. Will probably miss going to our Florida home for the winter this year because of medical issues affecting both of us either currently or in recovery stage. Waiting at home on Long Island with spouse Patti (former Patricia Ann Boxer, Packer) for our coronavirus prevention vaccination shots. I am a former president and current secretary of Dartmouth Class of 1961. During 2020, I became the seventh person from our class awarded the Class of 1961 Special Recognition Award for outstanding service to my college class, my college, and society in general. This year, I will miss the South Florida Poly Reunion Luncheon, which Patti and I looked forward to and attended for the past several years, spending time with both Harvey and Margie Scheff (before Scheff ’57 passed away in 2016) and Chuck and Dianne Kaufman (before Kaufman ’56 passed away in 2019). As of this past fall season, I was still playing 18 holes of golf per round, but definitely on a declining basis. I have retired from racing sailboats and skiing several years ago. (January 2021)
Jonathan Fratkin ’62
Living the retirement life on the Dog River, in Mobile County, Alabama. I enjoy being a “Damn Yankee,” a northerner who came to the South, either for a battle or maybe just a visit, and never left. I am learning how to handle our powerboat, a 24-foot Boston Whaler. There are many places to travel by boat around the Dog River and Mobile Bay. Although I have not yet become a real fisherman, Gail and I have caught crabs in small traps dropped off the end of our pier. It’s a great deal of work to clean enough crabs to make a good-sized salad. I would love to hear from alumni or alumnae, especially in the region. (May 2020)
Merrick (Rick) Gordon ’63
“Hoping everyone is safe and well! Phyllis and I have relocated to PBG, Florida. I’m still working and playing golf. If anyone else has done the same and lives nearby, please reach out.” (October 2021)
Terry Martinson ’65
I’m fully retired from 45 years of ministry, though I still preach when called upon. My wife, Marcia, and I have two sons and five grandchildren. We both volunteer at Plimoth Plantation (AKA: Plimoth/Pawtuxet.) I do lots of walking – more than 1,500 miles since the quarantine began a year ago.t’s a great deal of work to clean enough crabs to make a good-sized salad. I would love to hear from alumni or alumnae, especially in the region. (February 2021)
Richard Lutz ’67
I am living on the coast in western Scotland after retiring from TV journalism after a lot of years on both sides of the camera. All well and trying to control my sea kayak when the wind comes up from the southwest. My wife Jane and I spent some time with Frank and Wylie Baron in Britain last year. Good times had by all. (June 2020)
Martin Kafina ’71
My grown boys are both living in NYC; although they miss their Walden roots. I’m still going into town teaching Rheumatology & Medicine to the neophyte students at Harvard Medical School. Hope to see everybody at our 50th! (November 2019)
Paul DuBowy ’75
Recently returned from my fourth Fulbright fellowship, this time teaching in China as a Visiting Professor of Ecohydrology in the School of Water Conservancy and Environment at Zhengzhou University. Zhengzhou, along the Yellow River (the cradle of Chinese civilization), is a city of ten million people, and ZZU is the largest university in China (73,000 students). I navigated the city on its subway system pretty easily by myself (growing up in New York City helped). My ZZU hosts were great; they took me to many places that I wanted to visit, including a weekend trip via high-speed train to Xi’an to see the Terracotta Warriors of Emperor Qin Shihuang. (December 2019)
Kenneth Simurro ’75
My wife, Marilyn, and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary during this COVID pandemic. The work I do on the bishop’s staff of the Upstate New York Synod ELCA only increased since March 2020. I will move from my parish to an intentional interim position at the other end of our rural county in January 2021. Also, we rehabilitated our barn, planned a sizable garden, and kept our nearly nine-acre property neat and tidy. A celebratory shout out to classmate Paul Presti ’75 who recently celebrated his 40th wedding anniversary; I should know, as I was his best man! (January 2021)
Will Stevens ’75
I was named President of Every Generation Ministries. Based in Temecula, California, EGM is a global ministry partnering with churches in 17 nations to provide children with transformational biblical education. (February 2020)
David Wilson ’86
David Wilson, LCSW is a psychotherapist who lives in Hoboken with his wife and young child. He looks back at his years at Poly “with fondness and a sense of wonder.” (October 2021)
Samantha DiGennaro ’88
I’m thrilled to announce that Leonardo (Leo) DiGennaro hurtled in to our world on September 5, 2021 with an ear-to-ear smile followed by crocodile tears. Baby Leo is blessing his mommy’s life in more ways than I ever could have imagined. This has been a very long journey to parenthood and I feel so fortunate to have a healthy and beautiful baby boy (nonetheless, at our age!!). If anyone wants to meet my little champ or just catch up, please drop me a line. (November 2021)
Johnny Giacalone ’93
30 Nights of Sex (to Save Your Marriage), an independent comedy feature film by Johnny Giacalone ’93 (co-writer/co-producer/co-star) and starring Dan Fogler ’94, is now available for streaming for FREE on Tubi and available on DVD at Amazon/Barnes & Noble/Target! (January 2020)
Jon Krasner ’95
Jon Krasner, a partner at 7G Realty Group, opened The Rockaway Hotel in Rockaway Beach, NY in September 2020 and is looking forward to hosting future alumni events when it is safe to do so! Jon currently lives in Tribeca with his wife Dr. Dana Pagar and three daughters, Georgia, Lola and Isabel. (November 2020)
Jabari Brisport ‘05
Jabari Brisport ‘05 won election to the New York State Senate from District 25. In his victory, he also made history becoming became the first Black openly gay member of the New York State Legislature. (November 2020)
Cristina Cote ‘05
Comedian, producer and co-founder of the boutique Real Estate firm, Cote Luxury Real Estate, Cristina is the NYC broker on the HGTV TV show, “Happily Wherever” that premiered Friday, May 21, 2021 on HGTV and Discovery+, Episode 3 of the series, “City Comfort or Suburban Serenity?” in which “a family of die-hard New Yorkers loves the energy and diversity that the city has to offer, but they wonder if it’s worth the cost of their cramped apartment; they’ll seek the answer by exploring homes in Nashville, the Hudson Valley and Manhattan.” Legislature. (May 2021)
Sammy Jacobs ‘05
“The year 2020 has been a big year for me both personally and professionally. In February I got married and this spring I won the Teach Indy PE/Health Teacher of the Year for the City of Indianapolis. While the last 15 months have been tough for everyone, there have been some rewards.” (May 2021)
Akili Tommasino ‘05
Akili Tommasino ’05 and his wife Amanda Herrera Tommasino announced the birth of their daughter, Amaya Merit Tommasino, on June 14, 2022. Congratulations! Also of note, Akili was one of five curators featured by Frieze as providing “new leadership to some of New York’s most influential and beloved cultural institutions, at a time when the public discourse about injustice and the need for social change means the role of museums and arts spaces is being profoundly reframed.” Akili’s tenure as Associate Curator at The Metropolitan Museum of Art began in 2021. (January 2022)
Amardeep Gil ‘06
After working as a livestream and podcast producer at the Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village, NYC, Amardeep now runs his own virtual event production agency, StreamGuru Productions. (May 2021)
Park Cannon ‘09
Incumbent Park Cannon ‘09 won election to the Georgia House of Representatives from District 58. (November 2020)
Emily Hochman ’10
Emily Hochman is the Founder and CEO of Wellory, the anti diet nutrition app on a mission to make personalized nutrition accessible for all. Hochman has been featured in Forbes, Business Insider and the Wellory app is now available via Apple Store and Google Play! (November 2020)
Allegra Natsios ’10
I’m so sad I couldn’t attend this year’s reunion–that none of us could hold a celebration–because this year is special. It has been 10 years since I walked through the halls, and I’m sure next year, when I celebrate my friends’ 10 year graduation anniversary, it will still feel like my second home. I know that high school felt like forever, and college was even worse, but Poly truly is a community with a lifelong impact. I have never regretted my years of school, homework and the never-ending weeks of sleep deprivation, because the memories I made then have stayed with me as inspirational reminders that you don’t have to be the biggest person to make the largest impact. Now I’m not saying I would go back to high school, (because I wouldn’t survive it all again), but I am saying that I miss the community that shaped who I am today.
Right now I work in the healthcare field, and I see how important every single person is. You do matter, and we all want you to be safe not just for you, but for the benefit of others. If I have learned anything, it is that nobody accomplished saving the world on their own. Everybody had a little help. From the bottom of my heart, I hope the Poly community stays safe, strong and smart. (July 2020)
Christine Croasdaile ’13
This last year has been one of great testimony. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, I completed a year and a half at ViacomCBS as an Editorial Brand Strategy Assistant in Times Square and moved to Washington, DC to pursue my JD/MBA at Howard University. I celebrated a milestone birthday over Zoom, learned my first year of doctrinal courses in a completely virtual setting, and was still able to make connections and network in a new city despite the limitations on social interactions.
I am happy to share that I accepted a Summer Associate position to join Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s Intellectual Property Litigation group out of their San Francisco office and I will be splitting my opportunity with Facebook’s Legal Departments. I also received a Law Fellowship from my college alma mater, Amherst College, to assist with my 2L year.
Even during this long quarantine period, I am grateful to have been able to successfully complete my first year of law school, maintain contact with my Poly family, and celebrate the positive moments despite the not so positive realities. I look forward to seeing the world open up little by little so that we can continue striving to make our small parts of it a much better place! (May 2021)
Drew Lewis ’14
“As I enter my final year at Howard University School of Law, I reflect on how eventful my law school career has been. I was elected Student Bar Association President, which is reminiscent of my time at Poly as Student Government President in 2013-2014. This is truly a full-circle experience. I also received the Graduate Student Assembly’s Law Student of the Year Award in April. In August, I served as the Orientation Co-Chair, responsible for ushering in our entering class of first-year students into their novel virtual educational setting. In September, I co-founded Law Students Protect the Vote, a nonpartisan campaign encouraging law students to participate in voter protection programs to ensure that everyone eligible could exercise their right to vote in the 2020 elections. I am the Pro Bono Chair for Howard’s Public Interest Law Society and hosted our Annual Benefit Auction to fundraise for our scholarship, which is awarded to students with unpaid public interest summer internships. I was elated to discover that Poly’s administrators had supported the cause by making generous donations. Lastly, I am proud to announce that I am a published guest contributor to the Pulitzer Center’s 1619 Project Curriculum through their Law School Initiative. The Pulitzer Center partnered with two law schools to create an interdisciplinary approach that provides a legal conceptualization of the articles in The New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project. I created lesson plan modules on ‘American Popular Music’ and ‘The Wealth Gap,’ which are designed to inspire critical thinking and further understanding on the societal effects of contemporary racial issues in America. This summer I will be working in-house as an intern with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated’s Legal Affairs Department, working primarily on Intellectual Property and compliance matters.” (May 2021)
Khail Bryant ’17
Khail launched BOI TOI, a streetwear brand, in the spring of 2020 in her college dorm room at Brown University. What started as a hobby, has grown to unimaginable heights, and Bryant is both humbled and grateful. (November 2020)