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Class Notes, 2009 March/April

March/April 2009

Have you heard the news? Facebook is not just for kids. Really, it's true. Many of you are already active participants in this online social networking phenomenon. Some of you (like me) have hesitated to join (Isn't LinkedIn for the grown ups? Do I really want to share that much on the Internet?). You may be astonished to learn how many people you know are on Facebook. If you have not already done so, check out the Cornell Class of 1991 Group created by Charles Wu. It is open to all people on the Cornell Network (not just members of the Class of '91). You will need a Cornell e-mail address to join. You can find instructions on the homepage: As more classmates join, it will become a terrific resource for the most current information about the comings and goings of the Class of '91 (complete with photos) and plans for our next reunion. It is my New Year's resolution to give Facebook a try. I hope to see you there.

Now on to one of my favorite methods of voyeurism: the Class of 1991 Class Notes! Natalie Schwartz Mariuzza has written The Teacher Chronicles: Confronting the Demands of Students, Parents, Administrators and Society. The book, based on Natalie's interviews with more than 50 teachers around the country, reveals the challenges and pressures teachers face from a host of sources. "I wrote The Teacher Chronicles to give parents insight into the perspective of teachers, enabling them to develop productive and successful relationships with their children's teachers." The book also offers teachers the opportunity to learn how their colleagues have successfully overcome challenges. The Teacher Chronicles was released on Sept. 8, 2008 and is available on

In August 2008 Kevin Lemanowicz began his 13th year at FOX 25 in Boston, MA. He has been the chief meteorologist from the first day FOX 25 went on the air in 1996. FOX 25 has grown from a one-hour 10 p.m. newscast. Now, Kevin does the 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 10 p.m., and 11 p.m. newscasts five days a week. Kevin and his wife Alina celebrated their 16th wedding anniversary in October 2008. Older son Conor, 11, started middle school this year and is into everything from scouting to art to football. Jacob, 8, is in 3rd grade and loves any sport he can play at any time, anywhere. Kevin and Alina couldn't be more proud of them. Last April (2008), the family took a spring break trip to Niagara Falls, NY. On the way, Kevin brought them to Ithaca to visit Cornell, where they caught a Cornell baseball game vs. Columbia. The boys even went home with a foul ball. After trekking around campus, they visited Kevin's fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha. Then he introduced all of them to deep-dish pizza at the Nines. Kevin says, "It was every bit as delicious as I remember." The Lemanowicz family left with new Cornell gear they proudly wear around Franklin, MA.

Mark and Pallavi Gholkar Homan (Palo Alto, CA) have been living in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past ten years. After a decade of debating whether to return to Colorado, they have decided to stay in California and are building their dream home just a few blocks from the Stanford campus. Their children Maya, 8, and Vijay, 5, are the joys of their parents' lives. Mark writes that Maya is an angel with the soul of a saint, and Vijay is all mischief. Pallavi was promoted last year to director of product management for Mail at Yahoo! and Mark has been at Cisco since 1998, currently as senior director, responsible for the six customer care call centers around the world. When he wrote, Mark and Pallavi were getting ready to host Rick and Elise Wiener Joy in November 2008 on a surprise trip to Napa, CA, to celebrate Rick's 40th birthday. Jean Signorelli Spiegel lives in Ballston Lake, NY, with husband Bruce and their two daughters, 6 and 1. In her present "day job," Jean is a store manager at Kohl's department store. After hours, Jean is busy shepherding her daughters to their many activities, volunteering at their schools, and organizing community events. The Spiegel family spends much of their summer at the lake house in beautiful Aurora, NY (30 minutes from Ithaca). After three years in Davidson, NC, Matt and Cristina Moeder Shaul and son James, 8, moved back to Newtown, CT, where Matt has taken on a new role at Hewitt Associates (the firm he joined right out of Cornell), leading the company's HR outsourcing business in the Eastern US and in Canada. The Shauls loved their southern living, but are enjoying being back in the Northeast and seeing old friends.

Last fall, professor of Astronomy Dr. Steve Squyres delivered amazing presentations about the Mars rovers to several gatherings of Cornell alumni and friends. Tamara Fox, Alex Bonne, Charles Wu, and Kathy Kraus Bolks enjoyed hearing Prof. Squyres in San Jose, CA, on November 5. Bob Baca, Meredith Clark Shachoy, Nicole Bisagni Del Toro, Nicole Doria-Rose, PhD '98, Chris Selley, Marrita Murphy, and William Kim attended the presentation, and the "Return from Mars" reception, in Washington, DC, on Nov. 20.

News of new babies continues to stream in. Ejnar Knudsen and wife Elizabeth adopted a baby girl in 2007, and now they are expecting triplets. Last year Ejnar received the Young Alumni of the Year award from CALS. Ejnar and Raju Shah '90 (Hotel) manage a hedge fund in California that focuses on investing in public food and agriculture companies. Cassius Drake, an emergency room doctor and medical director of a freestanding emergency room outside of Detroit, and his wife welcomed second son Xavier on Oct. 6, 2008. Mollie Finch Hunter and husband John welcomed a new baby girl in July 2008. Catherine joins big brothers Luke, 3, and James, 18 months. And if three kids in three years isn't excitement enough, the Hunter family moved in August from Norfolk, VA, to Bremerton, WA, where John (CDR, US Navy) is stationed aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis.

Liza Jones Hards and husband Steve welcomed their first child, Tyler Steven, on Aug. 26, 2008. In July, Liza gathered with many of her Tri Delta sisters at Denise Law La-Galia's house for a baby shower in Liza's honor. Attendees included Suzanne Schafer Skalski, Jennifer Tauras Twining, Jennifer Sampson McBride, Kimberly Martin-Epstein, Noelle Briand '90, and Ariane Schreiber Horn, JD '96. Less than one month later, on Sept. 23, 2008, Kimberly Martin-Epstein and wife Peg welcomed daughter Beatrix. These proud new moms had an amazing 2008, explaining "it is wonderful to be legally married, and we are so fortunate to live in this place and time where we can really be Bea's moms TOGETHER."

If you find yourself missing Ithaca during these years between reunions, consider participating in one of the wonderful programs offered by Cornell's Adult University (CAU) on-campus summer classes. Three of our classmates participated in programs in 2008, including Kim Brown Bixler and Amy Wefer Faucher, who enjoyed the Tennis program, and Patricia Skibitsky Oleyourryk, who attended the Guerilla Cooking class. Happy 40th birthday to the majority of the Class of 1991. Please share stories about how you celebrated (or plan to celebrate) this significant milestone and we will include them in our columns throughout the year. Ariane Schreiber Horn,; Kathryn Kraus Bolks,; Sharlyn Carter Heslam,

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