Class Notes

Class Notes


Richard A. Smith, M.D. ’65, initiated groundbreaking preclinical research on “antisense” drugs for neurological disorders, marking a pivotal moment in scientific advancement as the FDA approved a drug for people with genetic ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, “Lou Gehrig’s disease”).

Octavio Delasuaree, B.A. ’66, published “La Familia Borrero,” a chronicle of three successive generation of Cuban artists who represent Cuban National pride.

Wayne E. Mcowen, B.B.A. ’66, was honored by the Council of the District of Columbia with a resolution acknowledging his many years of service to the financial services industry as a lobbyist and thought leader.

Randolph H. Femmer, B.A. ’69, is an author, editor, and senior director of Biospheric Literacy 101 and The Wecskaop Project (What Every Citizen Should KNOW About Our Planet).

Carl E. Westman, J.D. ’69, is among a new group of private client services professionals at Gray Robinson. He specializes in private client services in Southwest Florida and Naples and offers expertise in tax, estate, trust, probate, and wealth transfer matters, along with charitable planning, estate administration, and tax- exempt organization counsel.


Arnold I. Menchel, B.A. ’72, was named the Best Lawyers: Lawyer of the Year 2024 in Hartford, Connecticut, for health care law, where only a single lawyer is recognized with this award.

Richard B. Streeter, Ed.D. ’72, published an e-book with his spouse.

Janet G. Streeter, B.Ed. ’73. “The Order” is a novel that envisions an order to parallel universes and what happens when they interact. The story crosses several genres, where the main character finds friendship and love as he deals with an impending ecological disaster, covert missions, espionage, and betrayal.

Gerardo M. Simms, B.A. ’73, J.D. ’82, was just inducted into the Belen Jesuit Hall of Fame 2023.

George A. Mason, B.B.A. ’78, has been “preaching God’s love for every body” at Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas. He is the author of “The Word Made Fresh: Preaching God’s Love for Every Body.”

Richard J. Phillips, B.A. ’78, published his new novel, “Cucamonga Pete—the Caddy Shack King.” The book provides a perspicuous narrative of friendship, humor, and heroism.

Arthur H. Rutter, B.A. ’79, is the founder and talent and literary manager of Critical Mass Management and executive producer of two films for television, “Adventures In Christmasing” (MTV Entertainment Studios in 2021) and “You Light Up My Christmas” (Lifetime 2019).

Brian K. Ziegler, J.D. ’79, LL.M. ’81, a highly experienced attorney and co-chair of the Corporate/Securities Law Practice Group at Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman, LLP, was honored as one of Long Island’s Top Lawyers. With more than 40 years of expertise in mergers and acquisitions, finance, and various legal areas, Ziegler also continues to be an active leader in the community, charity, and golf circles.


Andrew J. Krause, LL.M.E. ’81, a veteran wealth management lawyer at Gray Robinson with more than four decades of experience, employs a client-centric approach in estate planning and trusts, specializing in tax-efficient strategies, communication, and plan refinement.

Gordan C. Murray, Sr., B.A. ’82, J.D. ’85, was awarded the William M. Hoeveler Professionalism Award at the Florida Bar Annual Convention and the Florida Supreme Court’s Chief Justice of Excellence Award at the 2023 Conference of County Court Judges of Florida.

Kathryn R. Kortering, B.S. ’83, was a chiropractor for more than 30 years in several states but transitioned to preparing taxes at Carr, Riggs & Ingram.

Jeffrey A. Bass, B.B.A. ’84, is a sports handicapper in Las Vegas.

Thomas J. Frechette, B.Arch.’84, has more than 30 years of design experience on a broad range of innovative corporate, mixed-use, research, and cultural projects. He is co-leader of the design of the CoStar Group’s new campus in Richmond, Virginia.

Kimberly Kolback, J.D. ’86, of the Law Offices of Kimberly Kolback in Miami, organized and hosted the “New Age Tech Meets Ethics for the Ages” symposium, along with a behind-the-scenes tour of Maxx Volume Media Recording Studio on behalf of The Florida Bar Entertainment, Arts & Sports Law Section.

Linda B. Brown, B.S.N. ’87, was reelected as secretary of the American Legion Auxiliary Post 31. She continues to be an R.N. Case Manager II with a CCM certification at South Miami Hospital.

Roberto Cabanelas, M.B.A. ’87, vice president, corporate HR at ADM also has been appointed co-chair of the firm’s North America Hispanic/Latino employee resource group. He also is a director of the Latino Policy Forum in Chicago.

Laird A. Lile, LL.M.E. ’87, board-certified wills, trust, and estates attorney, has been named as a Top 10 Florida Super Lawyer for the sixth consecutive year, the 17th year that Lile is among the Top 100 Florida Super Lawyers. He also was named to The Best Lawyers in America 2023 for the 27th consecutive year.

Gary A. Bremen, B.S. ’88, retired from a 36-year career as a National Park Ranger, with nearly 30 years of that at Biscayne National Park. He launched his own travel consulting website and blog at

Donna J. Turetsky, B.B.A ’88, LL.M.T. ’93, has been named to the 2024 Best Lawyers List, a prestigious award entirely determined by peer review. She also was selected to the list in 2023 and 2022. She is the co-chair of Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman, LLP’s trust and estates and elder law practice groups.

Barrett Mincey, B.B.A. ’89, was inducted into the Marquis Who’s Who Biographical Registry, honored for his two-decade career as an educator and consultant for higher education leaders and organizations.

Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., B.S.C. ’89, the president and CEO of SHRM, has joined LifeGuides’ Social Impact Council as chairman. Taylor has more than 20 years of experience as a lawyer and executive, with roles at organizations like IAC, Paramount Pictures, and Blockbuster Entertainment Group. He serves on various boards including the University of Miami Board of Trustees, United Way Worldwide, and XPO Logistics, while also being a weekly contributor to USA Today and a fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources.


Deborah J. Gander, B.S.C. ’91, J.D. ’94, a prominent trial attorney known for securing more than $100 million in verdicts and settlements, joined Freedland Harwin Valori as a named partner, establishing a new Coral Gables office specializing in medical malpractice and catastrophic injury cases.

Mark Rennella, M.A. ’91, published a writing primer, “The One-Idea Rule: An Efficient Way to Improve Your Writing at School and Work,” to help students and young professionals improve their writing. The method is built on the assertation that every component of a successful piece of writing should express only one idea.

Magda M. Theodate, B.S.C. ’93, is now INTERPOL’s new deputy director for Corporate Procurement & Contracts, Travel and Events.

Michael W. Thrailkill, B.Arch. ’93, celebrated eight years of the success and growth of his Portland-based architecture firm with a five-week sabbatical in Tanzania.

Afi S. Johnson Parris, B.B.A. ’94, was named chair-elect of ABA’s Law Practice Division, which teaches the business of practicing law through marketing, management, technology, and finance to more than 27,000 members.

James S. Crowell, B.Arch. ’95, a seasoned executive with more than 32 years of development and construction experience, has joined Newgard Development Group as chief development officer to oversee new opportunities and expand the company’s market presence in North America. Crowell previously had key roles in significant projects like the $1.5 billion World Center in Miami and the $5 billion Centennial Yards project in Atlanta during his tenure at CIM Group.

Nancy S. Gutgsell, Ph.D. ’95, earned a second Ph.D. in the History of Christianity from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.

Joshua A. Cohen, B.A. ’96, has been recognized as top financial advisor by Northwestern Mutual (NM). This elite membership, the 2023 Forum Group, represents the top segment of NM’s industry-leading financial professionals and is a testament to their exceptional service and commitment to clients. Cohen is based in the Northwestern Mutual Boston office and resides in Canton, Massachusetts.

David F. Eccles, M.M. ’96, was named an O. Wayne Rollins Family Master Educator by The Lovett School.

Michelle J. Cooper, M.B.A. ’97, joined Touchstone Communities, Inc., as vice president and corporate controller in San Antonio, Texas.

Tiffani G. Lee, J.D. ’97, has been appointed as deputy managing partner of Holland & Knight, bringing experience as a litigation attorney and a commitment to diversity and community involvement to her new leadership role.

Charles A. Judkins, B.A. ’98, has been DJing for more than 20 years. Last year he started his own company, which has granted him the opportunity do the pre- and post-game shows for the Atlanta Braves.

Giuseppina L. Latino van Splunteren, M.S. ’98, M.B.A. ’98, was appointed by FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel to the Telecommunications Interagency Working Group, which was charged to present a report to Congress on the state of the broadband workforce in the United States.

Kendra P. Leonard, M.M. ’98, co-edited the book “Hidden Harmonies: Women and Music in Popular Entertainment,” which is an exploration of the untold stories of lesser-known female musicians.

Charles P. Buscemi, B.S.N. ’99, M.S.N. ’01, Ph.D. ’05, was promoted to full clinical professor at the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Florida International University. Buscemi also was selected as fellow of the Wound Ostomy Continence Nurses Society.


Yvette R. Garcia, B.S.N. ’00, has worked for Nicklaus Children’s Hospital as a nurse for 23 years and accepted a new position in the outpatient radiology department.

Heather L. Rodriguez, J.D. ’00, became the lead Law Studies program teacher at South Dade Senior High School in 2022.

Jeremy R. Lake, M.A.S.T. ’01, who has been a driving force in Union Studio Architecture & Community Design and committed to designing connected, walkable, equitable neighborhoods and places for more than a decade, has been appointed principal. He will concentrate on establishing the firm as a regional and national leader in neighborhood design, bringing experience in mixed-use neighborhoods and urban infill to a diverse range of clients.

Michael S. Williams, B.B.A. ’01, was promoted to senior director, Human Resources Total Rewards at Yahoo.

Ramiro A. Restrepo, B.B.A. ’01, is a Kentucky Derby-winning owner and bloodstock agent. Restrepo’s family roots trace to Colombia. He grew up a racing fan in South Florida, attending races at Gulfstream Park and Hialeah.

Rossana Arteaga-Gomez, B.A. ’02, J.D. ’05, is a partner at AXS Law Group who practices in both federal and state courts and has a track record of trying many jury trials and effectively arguing motions that can determine the outcome of a case before trial.

Joshua D. Green, M.Pr.A. ’03, J.D. ’06, was featured on “Shark Tank,” season 15, for his creation, PIE Wine, “The OG Pizza Wine.” Green also is the CFO of Survios, a VR spatial gaming company, and has a career that spans from investment banking to private equity.

Roberto Castro, B.B.A. ’04, M.B.A. ’08, is vice president of marketing at Scenic Group USA. He has more than a decade of cruise industry experience working with companies like Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, and Silversea Cruises. Castro has taken on a new role at ScenicGroup USA as it focuses on brand differentiation and storytelling in the luxury river, ocean, and expedition cruise segment.

Kimberly D. Stone, M.B.A. ’04, was included in Billboard’s Women In Music Top Executives 2023 list.

Belkys Torres, M.A. ’04, has been promoted to the inaugural position of associate vice provost for inclusive excellence at the University of Pittsburgh. She aims to expand the university’s commitment to equity and inclusion by fostering collaboration and breaking down structural barriers for underrepresented student groups.

Brendan A. McQuaid, J.D. ’05, founded McQuaid Injury Law, PLLC, providing personal injury services in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Florida.

Alison J. Smart, B.F.A. ’05, is a Grist 50 honoree. The Grist 50 list, presented in partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative, showcases 50 individuals who have found unique ways to address pressing issues of our time—spanning policy, fashion, technology, food systems, comedy, music, clean energy, and more—reflecting the vibrant and inclusive nature of the climate movement.

Eric S. Kane, J.D. ’06, LL.M.P. ’06, was awarded the 2022 National Professional Advisor of the Year Award by the American Cancer Society (ACS) for his outstandingwork in promoting charitable estate planning and securing future gifts exceeding $5 million for ACS. He also was recognized for his dedication to the ACS mission and his leadership role in their Nationwide Gift Planning Advisory Council.

Justin C. Shepherd, B.B.A. ’06, has been elected chair of the Association of American Universities Data Exchange and promoted to associate vice provost at Emory University.

Ivan L. Hernandez, M.F.A. ’07, published the novel “Isla Vulnerable,”—an Amazon Instant Best Seller, which launched in Miami at the Actors’ Playhouse. The book started off as a screenplay in 2005, while Hernandez was enrolled as a University student.

Kali Martin-Schick, B.A. ’07, joined the National Medal of Honor Museum as the senior historian.

James J. Curnin, B.L.A. ’08, was honored at the awards program and profiled within South Florida’s Business Journal 40 Under 40 Awards special publication.

Johnathon V. Jadvani, M.M. ’08, received an invitation for his group, the Liberty HS Percussion Ensemble, to perform a showcase concert at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in the fall of 2023.

Brendan M. Merrill, B.S.C. ’08, co-produced the film “Under My Skin,” which debuted at the Raindance Film Festival, where it received six awards. He is developing a book series titled “The Tale of Mordred,” which will be released in early 2024.

Derek D. Nankivil, M.S.B.E. ’08, was awarded Patent of the Year by Johnson & Johnson Vision for a contact lens designed for presbyopia.

Benjamin L. Nussbaum, B.B.A. ’08, was honored at the awards program and profiled within South Florida’s Business Journal 40 Under 40 Awards special publication.

Michael Sarrow, M.F.A. ’08, produced the independent film “Smile as You Kill.” It premiered in Los Angeles at the TCL Chinese Theatres in Hollywood during the Silicon Beach Film Festival.

John D. Sparks, M.B.A. ’08, completed the 2023 Tokyo Marathon in 3:41:05 and became an Abbott Six Star Finisher. He received this honor for completing all 6 of the World Major Marathons.

Claudia A. Larrea, B.A. ’09, M.S.Ed. ’13, started a new position as grants and programs manager for Beyond Sport.

Michael V. Rangel, B.B.A. ’09, was honored at the awards program and profiled within South Florida’s Business Journal 40 Under 40 Awards special publication.

Elizabeth L. Vieito-Smith, M.S.N. ’09, D.N.P. ’13, chief nursing officer for UHealth/UMHC—University of Miami Hospital and Clinics, has been reelected to serve a two-year term on the Nursing Consortium of Florida’s Board of Directors, citing her 35 years of nursing leadership experience and dedication to help strengthen the nursing community.


Alexander Ruiz, M.B.A. ’10, was honored at the awards program and profiled within South Florida’s Business Journal 40 Under 40 Awards special publication.

Ricardo E. Zulueta, M.F.A. ’10, Ph.D. ’14, received a prestigious 2023 South Florida Cultural Consortium Artist Fellowship from the Miami-Dade Department of Cultural Affairs and The Ellies Creator Award from Oolite Arts.

Elspeth G. Black-Carpenter, B.S. ’11, is happily married and had her first child this fall. She enjoys serving her community as a family physician in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania.

Michelle E. Burgett, B.S. ’11, was hired as science division chair to run the science department at Woodstock High School.

Christina Singh, B.A. ’11, runs a financial planning practice in New York City.

Ryan A. Zangeneh, B.S.B.A. ’11, LL.M.E. ’18, joined Fox Rothschild LLP in New York as an associate in the taxation and wealth planning department. Zangeneh focuses his practice on tax, trust, and estate planning for high-net-worth individuals. He assists clients in minimizing gift, estate, and generation-skipping taxes and in the creation of wills and revocable trusts.

Christopher R. Callahan, J.D. ’12, LL.M. ’12, M.B.A. ’13, is the co-chair of the International Taxation & Wealth Planning Practice at Fox Rothschild LLP. He was selected to the 40 Under 40 List by the South Florida Business Journal, which spotlights professionals for their leadership, success in business, and contributions to their communities.

Taylor A. Grenda, B.S.C. ’12, joined FOX 5 in Washington, D.C., as the morning meteorologist.

Zachary Tohen, B.A. ’12, joined Fox Rothschild LLP in Dallas as an associate in the Litigation Department.

Bibi Katsev, B.A. ’13, is the new executive director of Teach For America for its Dallas-Fort Worth region.

Alexander J. Monje, B.S.C. ’13, J.D. ’17, joined 10X Capital, a NY-based alternative investment firm and asset manager as executive director, general counsel.

Jeremy Shir, J.D. ’13, joined the land use and zoning practice group at Shutts & Bowen, bringing eight years of experience representing developers, property owners, companies, and investors in obtaining development approvals and permits, as well as specializing in negotiations between homeowners and condominium associations and developers.

Lauren M. Spahn, M.M. ’13, J.D. ’13, a partner at Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton, LLP, specializing in entertainment and business litigation, earned a spot on Billboard magazine’s 2023 list of Top Music Lawyers, recognized for her work in talent and litigation.

Sean T. Adkins, M.P.A. ’14, was appointed town manager of Saint Albans, Vermont.

Colleen M. Farrelly, M.S. ’14, partnered with No Starch Press for the publishing of her book, “The Shape of Data,” which explores algorithms through geometry and practical scientific applications of data analysis. It features Farrelly’s journey from her biostatistics master’s degree to her current role as the chief data scientist at Staticlysm LLC, aiding startups with technology, funding, and regulatory guidance through data science and machine learning.

Benjamin N. Birns, B.S.C. ’15, joined CHEQ as the director of partnership development for the Miami-based mobile order and social gifting platform.

Rob Cancio, M.A. ’15, Ph.D. ’18, won his reelection to the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District.

Samuel C. Katz, B.A. ’15, joined the Houston office of Am Law 100 law firm Akerman LLP.

Eric R. Louderback, M.A. ’15, Ph.D. ’18, was appointed to the Harvard Medical School faculty as an instructor in November 2021.

Raul A. Velarde, B.S.En.E. ’15, M.S.C.E. ’15, joined CP Group as their director of environment, social, and governance.

Xeba H. Zareie, B.S.C. ’15, founded a functional food company called Preme in 2022.

Michelle E. Jimenez, B.A.M.A. ’16, M.S.Ed. ’20, received recognition for a student earning the top score in the work for Cambridge Environmental Management.

Danielle E. Schimmenti, B.S.M.A.S. ’16, graduated with her Ph.D. in Geology from Texas A&M University in August 2023.

Darik Hoff, M.S.F. ’17, transitioned to RBC Wealth Management as lead financial advisor and portfolio managerin Seattle.

Yukun Pei, B.S. ’17, received a Master of Music at NYU Steinhardt Music Technology and an advanced Certificate in Tonmeister Studies in 2021.

Kai H. Weitekamper, B.S.M.E. ’17, was promoted to senior supervisor of the Machine Shop at Abbott Neuromodulation in 2022.

Andre K. Buchanan, B.A. ’18, launched Athletech, a sports technology company.

Carolyn Dueñas, M.B.A. ’18, is a contributing author to Hispanic Stars Rising Volume 2.

Julio M. Pimentel, M.S. ’18, received his Ph.D. in cancer biology.

Michelle D. Williams, B.S. ’18, graduated from medical school in May of 2023.

Gabrielle M. Argimon, B.M. ’19, a rising 3L, played a pivotal role in the School of Law’s victory at the Young Lawyer’s Florida Bar Robert Orseck Moot Court Competitionby receiving the Best Oralist Award.

Kyle Sonlin, B.B.A. ’19, co-founder and CEO of Security Token Market—a media and data analytics company focused on digital, tokenized assets that utilize blockchain technology—announced the publication of the book “Blockchain Explained: Your Ultimate Guide to the Tokenization of Finance,” which covers a wide range of topics in the blockchain space.


Matthew D. Grossi, Ph.D. ’21, was selected as a data scientist with the NOAA Fisheries Southeast Fisheries Science Center to oversee innovative data management solutions and cutting-edge research in machine learning and workflow automation.

Oswald A. Joseph, B.B.A. ’21, M.S.Tx. ’22, is an associate with Alvarez & Marsal’s practice in Miami.

Victoria A. Nordquist, B.S.B.A. ’21, started a new career in real estate private equity.

Emma G. Pitcairn, B.A. ’21, is studying for her master’s degree in education at Vanderbilt University.

Olivia A. Watts, B.A.M.A. ’21, after moving to the Washington, D.C.-area in 2022, got her first job as a billing representative at a radiation oncology clinic in Rockville, Maryland, which made her realize her passion for creating change in the national health care system.

Marissa N. Katz, B.M. ’22, is doing an accelerated law school program focusing on music law.

Evelina A. Khodykina, B.A. ’22, is a law school student at Florida International University and is working as a real estate agent.

Juan P. Quintero, M.S. ’22, moved to Silicon Valley last summer to begin his career in consulting.

Timothy B. Callahan, B.S.B.A. ’23, started working as a personal banking analyst on the Mass Cobrands Portfolio team at Citi in its New York office.

Geethika Kataru, B.A. ’23, received an internship at Starz through the TV Academy’s internship program.

James S. Lu, B.S.M.A.S. ’23, is an air permitting consultant with Trinity Consultants in Orlando.

Aria D. Modirmassihai, B.S.I.E. ’23, is working full time at Citi in San Francisco working as a sales analyst.

Mikaela C. Sanders, B.S.B.A. ’23, is working as an associate product marketing manager at Google.

Juliette A. Valle, B.A. ’23, with a background in musical theater and political science, is Miss Florida and an advocate for diversity in pageantry. She is aspiring to become the next Hispanic Miss America and is promoting Hispanic representation, all while actively engaging in charity work and leveraging her musical talent to support various causes.