Class Notes

Aerial view of the U statue on the Coral Gables Campus

Class Notes

The latest updates and announcements from University of Miami alumni throughout the decades
The latest updates and announcements from University of Miami alumni throughout the decades

Pepi Granat, B.S. ’58, M.D. ’62, published a book on Amazon titled “The Real Drama: Incredible Medicine.”


Alan L. Bialkowski, B.S. ’71, M.B.A. ’73, lives in North Carolina, where he has provided home improvement services to the homeowners of Carteret County.

Glenn F. Corillo, B.A. ’71, is a retired television news anchor in a top-40 market with dominant ratings. He is now a professor emeritus handling special projects such as study abroad.

Francisco R. Angones, B.A. ’72, J.D. ’76, received the Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2023 Cuban American Bar Association member awards ceremony. He is a past president of the organization, having served in 1982.

Jo W. Peterson, B.Ed. ’72, is the second vice president of the Coral Gables Garden Club, which is dedicated to educating members, youth, and the public about gardening, horticulture, environmental issues, community beautification, and the art of floral design.

Andres J. Pumariega, B.S. ’73, M.D. ’76, earned the 2024 Agnes McGavin Purcell Award by the American Psychiatric Association for an outstanding career achievement in child/adolescent psychiatry. His 44-year career includes leadership in academia, research, and work with underserved youth. He is a member of the Miller School of Medicine’s Medical Alumni Association Hall of Fame.

James R. Filenbaum, J.D. ’74, practiced law in New York for 30 years. With his wife, Linda, he has two daughters and seven grandchildren, and he is now located in Boca Raton, providing litigation funding for people who have pending cases.

Jack M. Gibbons, B.S. ’74, M.Ed. ’76, retired after completing 40 years of university administration, most at UCLA. He recently relocated to Temecula, California.

Thomas E. Lodge, Ph.D. ’74, has authored his fifth edition of “The Everglades Handbook: Understanding the Ecosystem,” now with coauthor Stephen E. Davis of The Everglades Foundation.

Douglas M. Kelly, B.A. ’76, a freelance writer and editor, as well as a licensed private investigator and security consultant, will have his book, “Sunshine State Mafia: A History of Florida’s Mobsters, Hit Men, and Wise Guys,” published this year by University Press of Florida.

Steven S. Shagrin, B.B.A. ’78, also known as “Shags,” is leading the fight against senior adult loneliness and isolation by creating an online community called The Playground Senior Circle, a nonprofit open to all at no cost.

Joseph E. Romanowski, B.B.A. ’79, partnered with LifeWive, a global technology company.


Keith E. Taylor, B.B.A. ’81, represented the University of Miami as a delegate at George Washington University’s presidential inauguration of Ellen Granberg.

William H. Williford, B.A. ’83, retired in 2023 from his business career as a principal data architect with a Fortune 50 health care company to a new career as a philanthropist/investor, concerned progressive cause campaign leader, and world traveler.

Jaene A. Miranda, B.A. ’85, was named among the 2024 Influential Business Women by South Florida Business Journal.

Melissa B. Groll-Leonard, B.A. ’86, accepted a position as the director of development, marketing, and communications for Young Israel of Hollywood-Ft. Lauderdale.

Jacqueline C. Bess, B.S.C. ’87, earned her Master of Science in instructional design and technology from Georgia State University and is working as a learning architect (contractor) for Cisco.

Linda B. Brown, B.S.N. ’87, was re-elected as secretary of the American Legion Auxiliary Post 31. She continues to be a registered nurse case manager II with a CCM certification at South Miami Hospital.

Ella M. Fredrickson, B.M. ’87, resigned from The Florida Orchestra as principal librarian after 28 seasons to pursue a new business venture with Tropical Zone Music, LLC. Ella will focus on music engraving, editing, and managing logistics for performance collaborations and special projects.

Elizabeth C. Pines, M.B.A. ’88, is the founder and senior attorney at Pines Law Group, formerly known as Elizabeth C. Pines PA, in Miami, Florida. Her firm specializes in employment immigration, family petitions, labor certifications, and naturalization for more than 25 years.

David Cook, B.A. ’89, M.B.A. ’96, accepted the role of executive vice president and chief people officer for AccentCare Inc., a 30,000 employee national post- acute care health system headquartered in Dallas, Texas.

Alvaro M. Vazquez, B.A. ’89, M.B.A. ’97, worked for 40 years at Meco Miami, a heavy construction equipment company.


Jeffrey S. Jacobs, B.S. ’90, M.D. ’93, was elected to be speaker of the House of Delegates for the 57,000 member American Society of Anesthesiologists. He also currently serves as the anesthesiology chair for Cleveland Clinic Florida.

Corali Lopez-Castro, J.D. ’90, won the Circuit Judge of the Year in the Southern District of Florida Award during the 2023 Cuban American Bar Association member awards ceremony.

Lori A. Smith, B.S.C. ’91, is a licensed professional counselor for BetterHelp.

Scott M. Barnett, B.S.C. ’92, won two Emmys at the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Suncoast Emmy Awards for the categories of historical documentary and director. He is also celebrating his new film, “Crossing Overtown,” a PBS documentary that explores Miami’s unique role in the Civil Rights Movement.

Monica Scudieri, B.B.A. ’92, is the owner of Grab Your Slice, LLC and the author of Grab Your Slice of Financial Independence. She offers one-on-one coaching, in addition to workshops, and partners with financial advisors.

Beatriz Azcuy, J.D. ’94, was honored as a 2024 Influential Business Woman by the South Florida Business Journal. Under her leadership, the firm Sidley Austin LLP created a new scholarship at the University of Miami School of Law, the Sidney Austin Endowed Law Review Scholarship.

Detra P. Wilder, J.D. ’94, is a recipient of the Anti- Defamation League Jurisprudence Award for her outstanding contributions to the legal profession and the community at large.

Roy A. Richardson, B.S.C. ’96, is the co-owner and chief security officer of Aurora InfoTech, a cybersecurity firm recently ranked as one of the Top 250 Managed Security Services Providers worldwide. He also is a cybersecurity speaker, bestselling author, and proud Hurricane.

Crissa-Jean M. Chappell, B.S.C. ’97, M.F.A. ’99, Ph.D. ’03, has released her fifth young adult novel, “Sun Don’t Shine.”

Rodolfo J. Paiz, B.B.A. ’97, was awarded one of the most prestigious global awards in family business, the FFI International Award, for outstanding career contributions to the field. He’s writing his first book, which focuses on agreements and protocols for business families.

Richard P. Flood, B.S.C. ’98, is vice president and chief advancement officer for The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation. He led the $100 million campaign to create the Statue of Liberty Museum and collaborated in bringing the statue’s “Little Sister” to the New York Harbor. In recognition of his contributions, the French government made him a Knight in the National Order of Merit.

Wendy Wriggins-Ernst, M.B.A. ’98, is an adjunct instructor in health care administration at Tallahassee Community College and serves on the board of directors for the Big Bend Health Council.

Miriam Y. Soler Ramos, B.S.C. ’99, J.D. ’02, won the Past President of the Year Award during the 2023 Cuban American Bar Association member awards ceremony.


Georgina D. Crawley, LL.M.T. ’00, is vice president and general counsel of Common App, a widely-used platform for college applications. In this role she brings extensive experience in the nonprofit education sector, including 14 years at the College Board, followed by roles at Hunter College and a charter school network, where she routinely provided legal counsel on maintaining nonprofit status and advised on various in-house legal matters such as employment, labor, compliance, and privacy.

Craig A. Nixon, B.Arch., ’00, is back at the University of Miami after 23 years to pursue his Master of Construction Management degree.

Penny Fraser, LL.M.T. ’01, presented her “40 over 40 Bombshell Series” fine art exhibition, which celebrates and empowers women in their 40s and beyond, at ArtServe.

Gina Beovides, B.B.A. ’02, J.D. ’05, won the Circuit Judge of the Year in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit during the 2023 Cuban American Bar Association member awards ceremony.

Hosana Fieber, B.A. ’02, was appointed the new CEO of Tervis, succeeding the Donelly family, who will remain involved in the company’s ownership and legacy. Fieber, who has been with Tervis since 2009 and most recently served as COO and CFO, expressed her deep affinity for the brand and its culture. She will focus on running daily operations, driving strategic plans, and ensuring the company’s goals are met.

Kimberly L. Kruse, B.B.A. ’02, was promoted to project manager and lead analyst for the civil space industrial base at the U. S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security.

Mahsaw E. Nademin, B.A. ’02, a psychologist from Arizona, authored “Don’t Be a Stranger to Grief,” a book that guides readers through coping with grief and finding purpose through introspection and a unique intervention called “Release With Love Letters.”

Gerald T. Ratigan, B.B.A. ’02, is serving his second year on the global board of directors for the Institute of Management Accountants, the Association of Accounting and Financial Professionals in Business, which is composed of 140,000 members worldwide.

Catherine J. Shields, M.S.Ed. ’02, won the American Writing Award in the parenting category for her book, “The Shape of Normal: A Memoir of Motherhood, Disability, and Embracing a Different Kind of Perfect.”

Wagner G. Pierre, B.S.Ed. ’03, was hired to teach military-connected children in Guam in 2020 and later in Germany.

Mike J. Langley, B.A. ’04, is the executive director of Florida Justice Institute, a public interest law firm dedicated to serving Florida’s disenfranchised communities with impact litigation and advocacy in criminal legal reform, housing insecurity, and more.

Jenny B. Bogard, M.P.H. ’05, co-founded a boutique consulting firm, Commonality Inc., where she works with a variety of clients to help them accelerate their social impact initiatives with multifaceted insights.

Devon S. Richards, B.S.C. ’05, J.D. ’08, joined ShuffieldLowman firm as a senior associate practicing in commercial, civil, business, probate, trust, and guardianship litigation. Richards brings more than 15 years of legal experience, is a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent-rated attorney, and has been recognized by both Super Lawyers and The Best Lawyers in America.

Mark A. Cusick, B.S. ’06, was assigned the pastor of St. Paul Catholic Church, Damascus, Maryland.

William J. Kolhoff, M.D. ’06, was appointed medical director at the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities’ East Central Regional Hospital—Gracewood.

Diego Perilla, B.S. ’06, M.P.A. ’10, M.P.H. ’10, M.B.A. ’12, is the COO for Universal Health Services and recently launched Success Continued LLC, an investment fund committed to buying and operating established businesses.

Magda C. Rodriguez Brenner, B.A. ’06, joined Day Pitney LLP as a health care partner in the firm’s Healthcare Life Sciences and Technology Practice. She brings extensive experience in representing health care entities—including health systems, hospitals, and physician practices—in operational, regulatory, and litigation matters, with a focus on data privacy requirements, government investigations, and class action lawsuits.

Lattisha L. Bilbrew, B.S. ’07, is an orthopedic surgeon practicing in Atlanta, Georgia. She recently published her first book, “Yes, I Am the Surgeon: Lessons on Perseverance in a World That Tells You No.”

Ralph W. Confreda, B.B.A. ’07, an experienced trial lawyer, joins Hinshaw & Culbertson as senior counsel in Ft. Lauderdale. Confreda specializes in representing financial services companies and real estate clients in complex commercial litigation, class actions, foreclosures, real estate, and title issues.

Kali Martin Schick, B.A. ’07, joined the National Medal of Honor Museum as the senior historian in 2023.

Andrea L. DeField, B.S.C. ’08, was named among the 2024 Influential Business Women Awards recipients by the South Florida Business Journal.

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

Benjamin L. Nussbaum, B.B.A. ’08, received the South Florida Business Journal 40 under 40 Award. The award recognizes 40 outstanding professionals under the age of 40 based in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties for leadership, success in business, and contributions to their community.

Vivi A. Worsley, B.B.A. ’08, a mother of three, has recently stepped back into the business world, returning to the field of construction and pursuing a career in project management.

Ayeisha A. Brinson, Ph.D. ’09, was appointed to the board of directors of the Potomac Conservancy, which works to restore the health of the Potomac River. She is also a research staff member at the Institute for Defense Analyses.

Adrienne N. Vendetti Hodges, B.B.A. ’09, is the co- founder of How to be a Redhead, a beauty brand for redheads established in 2011. How to be Redhead was featured in the show “Shark Tank” and received a deal from Mark Cuban.


Jamie A. Ostroff, B.S.C. ’10, began her new role as chief investigative reporter for WPTV in West Palm Beach.

Natalia P. Yepes, B.S.C. ’10, was named a Top 25 Percent Advisor in multiple categories in the 2023 Hosted Travel Advisor Report.

Drew F. Chesanek, B.B.A. ’11, was promoted to partner at Adams and Reese, LLP. Drew practices civil litigation in areas such as construction, landlord/tenant, real property, maritime, and contract disputes. Drew is recognized among Best Lawyers Ones to Watch in Construction Law and Real Estate Law.

Jennifer Lorenzo, B.S.C. ’11, was nominated for an Imagen award for Best Voice Actor for her work on Hamster and Gretel on Disney+/Disney Channel in the role of Abuelita Gomez. She also is a recipient of the Creator of the Year and Best Character awards from Tecla.

Patrick McCabe, B.S.Ed. ’11, is a chiropractor, Parker University professor, and more recently, senior external recruiter.

Christina L. Romelus, B.S. ’11, CEO of PolitiCALM, received the 2023 Palm Beach County Women’s Chamber of Commerce Giraffe Award for her outstanding work with children and youth.

Stephanie V. Vendetti Thomas, B.B.A. ’11, is the co- founder of How to be a Redhead, a beauty brand for redheads established in 2011. How to be Redhead was featured on the show Shark Tank and received a deal from Mark Cuban.

Jarrett M. Lane, B.A. ’12, joined the Institute for Defense Analyses as an adjunct research staff member in the Joint Advanced Warfighting Division.

Abdullah J. Fathi, B.B.A. ’13, president of the United Kingdom ’Canes, is the first presidential envoy of any football association, serving the Uruguay Football Association in the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, and Gulf Cooperation Council, and has established their commercial offices abroad. His work has also been recognized in The Times News.

Kristyn Greco, B.S.C. ’13, started a part-time marketing and communications consulting company in 2023.

Yousef I. KashKash, B.S.M.E. ’13, M.S.M.E. ’15, was approved for two U.S. patents within the past year.

Bibi Yasmin Katsev, B.A. ’13, was named executive director of Teach for America Dallas-Fort Worth. Katsev will manage every facet of the organization’s regional operations, working toward establishing a network that will enhance educational opportunities for children throughout the city.

Kyle W. Sielaff, B.S.C. ’13, former MLB catcher for the Tampa Bay Rays and the owner of Kings Of Catching, has become the full-time play-by-play announcer on Marlins Radio Network this season.

Diana M. Donnarumma, B.S.C. ’15, is a multi-organ transplant recipient, published model, inspirational speaker, and the founder/CEO of Resilience Medical. She won the NYSTEC accelerator competition and was a semifinalist in the 43North and Oley Foundation annual awards.

Andrea K. Brook Soshnick, B.A. ’15, is the owner of For Her Hand Gem Company, an all-women-led sustainable fine jewelry brand in South Florida.

Kendra E. Plummer, M.B.A. ’16, received the outstanding hotelier of the year award in 2023 from the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators, and Developers.

Anya Labonville, B.A. ’17, is helping SERHANT., a luxury real estate brand, to expand in New York City and Miami.

Hailey D. Rooney, B.S.B.E. ’17, was hired to lead the quality and regulatory departments of Curonix, a company the engineers medical devices to reduce health care’s reliance on opioids for chronic pain management.

David Yankana, B.G.S.C. ’17, M.H.A. ’20, M.B.A. ’21, was featured in the South Florida and Business Wealth Magazine Up and Comer Awards for Excellence in Leadership—Take Over. He is also a 2022 University of Miami 30 Under 30 honoree, serves on the University’s Young Alumni Leaders Council, and is director of operations at Amatheon Animal Health.

Karyna M. Armstrong, M.P.A. ’18, received a Diverse Lawyers Making a Difference award from Profiles in Diversity Journal. She is one of only 11 award recipients across the United States. She was also recognized in the 2023 Q4 edition of Profiles in Diversity Journal.

Jason L. Aubert, B.S.Ed. ’18, received a master’s degree, worked for the MLB commissioner’s office as a replay operations administrator, did an internship as a video scout / baseball operations intern for Inside Edge, and is currently working for the Chicago Cubs.

Andre K. Buchanan, B.A. ’18, has a background in athletics, coaching, and officiating. With skills in software engineering, product management, consulting, sales, and recruiting, he’s confident in the potential of Athletech, a sports-tech company he launched in recent years.

Koren Lavi, D.P.T. ’18, is a real estate agent in the Denver metro area working at Keller Williams.

Michael R. Karp, M.D. ’19, is a fourth-year medical resident in radiation oncology.

Dongyang Zhu, B.S.B.E. ’19, received an offer as a software engineer level 2 at Oracle.


Anthony A. Alvarez, B.B.A. ’20, is employed by JP Morgan as an investment associate.

Daniella Barton, B.A. ’20, M.H.A. ’21, completed an administrative fellowship at Ochsner Health System in New Orleans and went on to start her career as an associate consultant for Evan James Consulting.

Jabari-Ture G. Brooks, B.S. ’20, is a fourth-year medical student at Howard University currently applying to child neurology residency programs. He was recently inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Society for academic distinction.

Riley Gong, M.S.F. ’20, is working as a mutual fund wholesaler on Wall Street specializing in selling municipal bond funds and was top in sales at TD Bank Upper East Side, Midtown Manhattan and Union Square.

Priscilla Ruiz, B.B.A. ’20, J.D. ’23, is an attorney at Jones Day.

Ryan C. Brennfleck, B.A.M.A. ’21, works for GTG, a family-owned drayage trucking company in Port Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Madeline L. Harts, D.M.A. ’21, is executive director of the Grammy-winning Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and head of music at the Buffalo Seminary, an all-girls college preparatory school.

Michelle A. Jacome, B.B.A. ’21, M.S.B.A. ’23, is working for RBI as a support digital analyst, teaches at Miami Dade College, and is finishing an ACUE certification. Next, she will be applying for a Ph.D. in information technology.

Logan T. Larson, D.M.A. ’21, a music composer, released a new album called “The Monster You Made” with his new music ensemble, Logarhythmic Collective, which combines classical music with EDM. “The Monster You Made” was released on the label Imaginary Animals, affiliated with the Grammy-nominated label Bright Shiny Things.

Polina Levan, J.D. ’21, was hired as one of the youngest members of the legal team at Motorola Solutions, Inc.

Kyle Macau, B.B.A. ’21, M.S.Acc. ’22, was featured in the South Florida and Business Wealth Magazine Up and Comer Awards as a Corporate Culture Champion.

Sherise M. Scott, B.B.A. ’21, was promoted to an investment associate at Citi Private Bank after completing a two-year rotational program. Upon graduation, Sherise moved to Los Angeles to pursue the opportunity with Citi and recently relocated to Miami.

Wentao Xu, B.S.M.E. ’21, joined Mercedes Formula 1 Power Unit Division (AMG HPP) as an engineering trainee.

Angela M. Laitano, M.B.A. ’22, is working on her second master’s degree, this time in information technology and is a candidate for 2024 graduation.

Jordan Motley, B.S.Ed. ’22, is an agent assistant in the Unscripted Department at United Talent Agency.

Juan P. Quintero, M.S. ’22, moved cross country to the Bay area in California. He is a general consultant with Propeller and has experiences with Fortune 500 clients. He is supported in the start of an environmental, social, and governance initiative at his firm and is co-lead of the corporate social responsibility report project.

Sofia Abreu, B.S. ’23, participated in the Dedicated Educational Unit program, a clinical partnership with Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Leonard P. Bierbaum, M.S.F. ’23, was a recipient of Hurricane Leadership Academy Award in 2023 and is currently an investment banking intern at EC Mergers and Acquisitions in their New York office.

Rachel Fein, B.S.C. ’23, is working with the New York Mets as an account executive in membership services.

Kurt Knoernschild, B.M. ’23, moved to New York and is working at an entertainment financial firm.

Joanne Ruggiero, M.B.A. ’23, is honored with the In the Company of Women’s Award in the Health and Human Services category.

Treasure J. Wilson, B.S.C. ’23, known as Stat Baby, is a co-host on the “Come and Talk 2 Me” network, founded by the legendary rapper and entrepreneur Cam’ron, which blends sports entertainment and pop culture. She has her own show on the network called “Check Out the Stat.” Treasure’s following on multiple social media platforms multiplies as she builds an audience and fan base.