Rensselaer Alumni Magazine - Fall 2017 - 60
was recently named a Filene Fellow by the War for
Talent research center.
Friends from the Class of '08 gathered in the Finger Lakes area in April
to celebrate the upcoming wedding of
Brooke Thompson. From left, are Ellen
McNamara, Brooke Thompson, Kelly
Barbera, and Blake Huovie.
digital products at GE, and Marsha (Aaron) Cordio was also there to support the cause, and is still
enjoying her work at Philips Health Tech.
As long as I'm giving work updates, Brian Fitzpatrick recently left CarGurus to join HubSpot.
I'm still at Harvard Business School, nothing new
on that front. Drop a line and let me know what
you're up to if you haven't seen your name in this
column for a few years! -Kristen Fitzpatrick '97;
20th Reunion: September 2018 Laura Ferran
enjoyed a career in management consulting in the
fields of technology and health care, but recently
became head minister of the Vibrational Awareness Center of New York.
Elyse (Johnson) Santic, global project management lead, corporate real estate services, at Cushman & Wakefield, was featured in an extensive
interview in the July 4-24, 2017, issue of the New
York Real Estate Journal as Executive of the Month.
-Mike Johnson '98; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharon Berger married Taryn Curry last November. They met at Pace Law School, from which
they both graduated in 2009. The wedding was
held at the Highlawn Pavilion in West Orange,
N.J. It was a night to remember, in part due to all
the RPI alumni in attendance, including Mara
McCoy Robbens '00, Matthew Robbens '00,
David Raphael '99, Mark Supplee '00, Michelle
Regina Iacobelli '00, Lena Yim '00, Joe Pinheiro
'99, Katie Dusett '99, Lise Dirlam '98, Sarah
Cowell '99, and Rene Gonzalez '96.
Sekou Bermiss received the "Eyes of Texas" award
for excellence in service to the University of Texas
at Austin, where he is an assistant professor of
management. The campus Eyes of Texas organization honors outstanding students, faculty, and staff
who make noteworthy contributions to the University of Texas at Austin community. Sekou also
60 RensselaeR/Fall 2017
Emily Grandstaff-Rice, FAIA, senior associate
at Arrowstreet, was elected director at-large of
the American Institute of Architects (AIA). She
recently chaired the AIA's Equity and Future of
Architecture Committee and served as president
of the Boston Society of Architects in 2014. Emily
received a B.S. and B.Arch. from Rensselaer and a
master's in educational technology from Harvard.
She was named a member of the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows in 2016. -
Erica Kulesza '99, email@example.com
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Brian Pothier was inducted into the Northfield
Mount Hermon Athletics Hall of Fame in June.
After playing four seasons at RPI, he played nine
seasons with four different teams in the NHL, playing 362 games and scoring 118 points. His business,
the Pothier Blueline Hockey Program, provides
coaching and consulting to youth hockey players.
-Bridget Olson '00, Bridget@alum.rpi.edu
Kareem Muhammad and his wife, Lynda, welcomed their first child, Amir Karim Muhammad,
April 6, 2017. In addition, Kareem began his twoyear term as the Rensselaer Alumni Association
(RAA) president July 1, 2017. -Mike Cooke '01;
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G. Nagesh Rao was inducted into the Eisenhower
Fellowships alumni network in May. As a 2016
USA Eisenhower Fellow (one of 10 selected across
the U.S. and first member of the RPI community to
join this elite network), Rao traveled to Sri Lanka
and Vietnam to promote small business technology
transfer and innovation research, and to enable
new dialogue opportunities between startup hubs
across the world. He earned his B.S. in materials
engineering and philosophy from Rensselaer and
currently serves as chief technologist for the U.S.
Small Business Administration's Office of Investment and Innovation, where he advises senior
leadership at SBA and the White House on the
SBIR/STTR programs across the U.S. federal government, and oversees the SBA Growth Accelerator Program. -Elizabeth Trawinski Aitken '02,
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15th Reunion: September 2018 Sonia (Lopez)
Reigles and Dr. Damon Reigles '99 welcomed
their second child, Ella Josephine, this spring.
Sonia temporarily hung up her actuary hat running the production valuation team at Legal &
General America until the summer. She put her
engineering training to good use by building cardboard forts with their son, Otto, while Damon
continued representing what RPI engineering is all
about at Structural Group.
My wife and I will be expecting our first child any
day now. We are very excited and look forward
to the joys of parenting. -Ed DerGurahian '03;
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If you are interested in writing the class notes for
the Class of '04, contact Meg Gallien, alumni news
editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Happy fall, Class of 2005! Jeff Bartkowski joined
Kraken Sonar Inc., a marine technology company, as the director of business development. The
Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced that
Christian Scott is now the resident inspector at
Duke Energy's Catawba nuclear power plant, located near York, S.C.
Michael Comer and Maria Milcetic Comer '06
welcomed their first child, Cassandra Marie, on
Nov. 17, 2016. The happy family is enjoying their
time in Boston, Mass. My husband and I also
recently welcomed a child, Thomas Raymond, on
April 18, 2017.
David Fannon is an assistant professor at Northeastern University where, with colleagues Peter
Wiederspahn and Michelle Laboy, he was awarded
the 2017-2019 Latrobe Prize by the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows. The prize
supports a two-year program of research leading to
significant advances in the architecture profession,
in this case furthering the team's investigation of
"Future-Use Architecture." -Shannon Hitchcock Schantz '05; email@example.com
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Ashley Brandin and her husband, Tom, welcomed
their first child, Bridget Ann Lobosco, into the
world on April 13. Congratulations to the family!
-Meghan Kate '06, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kirk MacDonald was named head coach and
director of hockey operations for the Reading Royals, the ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of
the National Hockey League in May. He is the seventh coach in the 16-year history of the team, and
had been serving as interim head coach. -Alex
Salinsky '07; email@example.com
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10th Reunion: September 2018 Wedding bells
are in the air! Brooke Thompson got married to
Brent Warren on June 9. Ellen McNamara, Blake
Huovie, and Kelly Barbera attended her bachelorette party in Finger Lakes back in April. Quite the
reunion! Congratulations, Brooke and Brent!
And wedding bells are soon to come as Josh Reid
proposed to his girlfriend, Dr. Ashley Sutherland,
on April 29, 2017. Their engagement was captured
in a video that quickly became an internet sensation, receiving over 3 million views within a week
of being posted online! The video is a true testa-