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Class Notes, 2007 July/August

July/August 2007

Greetings from Boston! After nine years in Texas, I relocated to Massachusetts in 2004. One of the perks, among many, is living within driving distance of Cornell again, thus making it possible to "road trip" with Kristen Sciacca (a resident of Portland, ME) to our 15th Reunion. Having survived the journey, despite my poor driving (as Kristen would point out), and having had such a fabulous time over Reunion Weekend, I decided to volunteer as a class correspondent.

Reunion provided a great opportunity to catch up with old friends such as Kristen Hurley vanRiper, who roomed with me at the Delta Gamma house during the weekend. Kris is enjoying life back in her hometown of Washington, DC, as the married mom of two boys, Finnbarr, 3, and Cormac, 1. She has recently become an expert at appreciating the finer points of Matchbox cars, Brio trains, and Jello jigglers. During our post-Reunion recap, Kris wrote that she was very flattered when several classmates thought she was an undercover spy working for the CIA. She actually works at the Corporate Executive Board, which is a real publicly traded company on the NASDAQ. Also in attendance were Richard and Sabrina Strickland Fertig, who live in New York City with their girls Alexandra, 5, and twins Natasha and Victoria, 2-1/2. Richard works in finance and Sabrina is an assistant attending orthopaedic surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery, as well as an assistant professor of orthopaedics at the Weill Cornell Medical College.

Continuing on the roster of '91 medical professionals, Sameer Desai writes that his fellowship in hematology and oncology at the U. of Michigan ends in July 2007 and that he is looking forward to moving back East for his new job in New Brunswick, NJ. Sameer and his wife had their second daughter, Aria, during reunion, so they could not be there in person. But, he says, they "can't wait for the 20th!" Therese Duane keeps busy as an assistant professor of surgery in the Division of Trauma/Critical Care and Emergency General Surgery in Virginia and as a mother of three: Luke John, 4, Xavier, 2-1/2, and Lila, 7 months.

Sumaya El-Ashry Ali of Boca Raton, FL, sends news that she and her husband welcomed Sofia last June 2, 2006. She joined big brothers Zane, 8, and Jaden, 5. From the other coast, Josephine Burns writes that she is married, with one really super cat. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and plays in a community orchestra with a surprisingly large number of Cornellian viola players. While currently working as a senior research associate at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and finishing up an MSc in environmental management at USF, Josephine intends to embark upon a summer of traveling throughout Australia, Germany, and Norway.

In addition to the births mentioned above, other members of the Class of '91 continue to add to their growing families at a healthy rate. In May 2006, Judy Zuidema welcomed son Antonio James Milan into the world. Big sister Anna, 2-1/2, loves having a little brother to tease. In August 2006, Pete Boksanski and his wife welcomed a second son, McCully, who joins big brother Murphy, 2, and Malia, 4. Pete is maintenance superintendent at the Tesoro oil refinery in Hawaii, where he has lived since 1994. Amy Shortlidge Cox and husband Aaron report the birth of their first child, Lydia Elizabeth, on December 30, 2006.

Patrick Farrell and wife Charity welcomed their first child, Caitlyn, in January 2007. Patrick writes that it was "simply an amazing experience." Professionally, Patrick has moved from the design side of structural engineering to the forensic side, providing investigative and expert witness support to the insurance and legal communities for CASE Forensics in beautiful Denver, CO. He is also still active in the Army Reserves, serving as operations officer for an engineer battalion, and, as such, has been deployed to the "sand box" twice since 9/11. In trying to make something good of the experience, a fellow soldier and Patrick have started a business importing Persian rugs for sale in the US ( In contrast to first-time parent Patrick, Kim Scott Baxter and husband Kevin had baby number four in August 2006, Margaret Suzanne. They call her Meg and note that she was named after classmate Margaret Showel. Baby Meg joins siblings Ella, Scott, and Sean.

Joseph Carolan, BA '96, has been in the Detroit area since 1995, where he lives with his wife and daughter. He went back to school in 2002 and, having finished his MBA, is currently working on his PhD, studying supply chain issues associated with cellulosic biomass as an ethanol feedstock for his dissertation. Joe writes that he is at Michigan State U., working with the State of Michigan on developing a sustainable bioeconomy as a strategy to provide impetus to the stagnant economy in the non-manufacturing sector. The award for news from the farthest distance goes to Hans Aramburo. Hans and his family have been living in Torino, Italy, since June 2006. He writes that it is his first experience living abroad and that he has particularly enjoyed their easy visits to other locales within and outside of Italy, such as Barcelona, London, Paris, southern France, Nice, Monaco, and Cannes. His family seems to have adjusted quite well and his children, ages 8, 7, and 6, picked up Italian in about three months. Hans says their easy bilingualism is the result of putting them in an Italian school for a total immersion experience. As a personal accomplishment, Hans completed his first marathon in Torino, and since then has completed marathons in Monaco and Barcelona, with Vienna and Prague in the works.

Daniel Milstein lives in Mount Kisco, NY, and works as a real estate broker. He spends his free time taking digital photographs--mostly of his own children, he admits. Daniel writes that he and his wife enjoy watching WABC-TV news at 11 pm to see Lee Goldberg '94 deliver the weather forecast and wonders if anyone has started a "What will Lee wear?" contest. I wonder if anyone at ABC knows that during college Daniel and his friends used to have Lee deliver a forecast every night at dinner. In April, Katrina Schreiber Firlik gave a University Lecture at Cornell. She talked about her book, Another Day in the Frontal Lobe: A Brain Surgeon Exposes Life on the Inside. You can check out her author website at

With this column, the '91 class correspondents hope to bring a little of the Cornell experience to you regardless of where you live or what you're doing. If this small taste of Cornelliana has made you hungry for more, why not look up college friends or check out the photographs from our time on the Hill? The Cornellian office has notified us that they still have extra copies of our 1991 yearbook, and you can purchase one now until the supply runs out. To order online, go to, or e-mail for more information.

Please continue to share your news with us via e-mail, through the link on our class website,, or on the News Form included in our class mailings.We look forward to hearing from you. *Sharlyn Carter Heslam,; Kathryn Kraus Bolks,; and Ariane Schreiber Horn,

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