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Class Notes, 2009 July/August

July/August 2009

Now that the days are getting longer and we can all enjoy the outdoors again, pour yourself a tall glass of lemonade and relax on the deck as you catch up with some of your old friends. Thanks to all of the '91ers who continue to send us glimpses into their lives after Cornell. As many of us celebrate landmark birthdays this year, welcome little ones into the world, and continue to spend time with family and friends, it is wonderful to sit back and count the many blessings for which we are so grateful.

There's nothing quite like Ithaca in the spring. We can thank Doug Pascale for a trip down memory lane with this update. Doug visited Cornell recently for campus recruiting with Northrop Grumman, where he works as an engineering manager. He enjoyed seeing the recent campus additions, and of course had his requisite Hot Truck sandwich, dinner at Ruloff's, and good beer at the Chapter House. Doug was also thrilled to attend Cornell Hockey versus Princeton with good friend and fraternity brother Todd Rethemeier '93, MBA '95. Doug extends his happiness that even Engineers now have a nice hangout in the new Duffield Hall main floor; he also got to see the new dorms recently constructed on West and North. It's great to see that there is still quite a bit of activity on the Hill!

Campus reports also come to us by way of Francis Vanek, who is married to Catherine Johnson. The couple has kids Ray, 13, and Mira, 9, and reside at EcoVillage at Ithaca, an environmentally focused community near Cornell. Francis, a senior lecturer in Civil and Environmental Engineering, published a textbook, Energy Systems Engineering: Evaluation and Implementation. Francis's sister Rosie Vanek does excellent work for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, based in Geneva, Switzerland, and travels extensively around the world for outreach, fact-finding, and coordinating educational exhibits. Rosie is not alone in her globetrotting: Jean Tang travels the world as a food and travel writer for the New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler, New York Magazine, and other publications (see her new website: Marc Polymeropoulos, MPA '92, a senior member of the US Dept. of State, has returned to Amman, Jordan, with his wife and children ages 6 and 8. This is Marc's sixth posting for the Foreign Service, after two-year stints in Damascus, Syria; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Cairo, Egypt; the United Nations in New York; and a previous posting in Amman, Jordan, studying Arabic. Along with plenty of short trips to Afghanistan and Iraq, life has not been dull for Marc and his family! With many great Irish pubs in Amman (go figure), Marc has generously offered to buy a beer for anyone coming through on a tour of the Middle East. Contact the US Marine Corps at Post One and Marc will be found either at the Embassy or at his residence. The well-traveled Sonya Savkar Xu has lived in California, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and New York the past five years. Formerly a lawyer, Sonya now spends her time trekking the globe with her beautiful daughter, 5, and occasionally running into her good friend Sue Garland '91, who has been living in India for some time now.

Many of our classmates are making great contributions to academia. Steve Walton, a member of the faculty at Penn State U., was awarded a Leverhulme Trust Fellowship and will be a visiting professor at Leeds U. this fall. While there he will be working with the university (medieval studies and history of science), the Royal Armouries, and the Battlefields Trust on graduate modules for "The Origins of Firepower" and on engineering studies of the performance of 16th-century artillery and firearms. Steve was married last summer to Alice Margerum of Salem, MA, and London. Barbara Wilinsky Selznick (Tucson, AZ) and husband Sanford have children Lily, 7, and Ellis, 5. Barbara is an associate professor in the School of Media Arts at the U. of Arizona and has published her second book, Global Television: Co-Producing Culture. Last summer, Barbara and her family traveled back to Ithaca for the Suzuki Violin Inst. at Ithaca College (Lily plays the violin). Barbara reports that she thoroughly enjoyed going back to see Cornell and reading books to her son at the Temple of Zeus. She can't wait to go back again this summer and show her children more of Ithaca. Lucinda Rosenfeld has been busy writing a novel, "I'm so Happy For You," which tells the story of two competitive 30-somethings whose friendship dates back to college (see Lucinda's website: On the personal front, Lucinda lives in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, with her husband and daughters Cornelia, 1, and Beatrice, 3. Manhattan denizen Carolyn Richmond is co-chair of Fox Rothschild's hospitality law practice, representing many of the most popular eateries in the city. Carolyn has been recognized by Crain's 40 Under 40-New York's Rising Stars for her status as one of the city's most-sought labor law attorneys specializing in restaurants and bars. Carolyn's clients include some of the biggest names in the business, such as Bobby Flay and Drew Nieporent '77.

In baby news, Sharyn Talman Matthews (West Milford, NJ) welcomed son Tyler William at the end of January. Tyler joins big sister Katelyn, 3. Sharyn is the vice president of human resources for Spectrum for Living, a nonprofit serving the needs of adults with developmental disabilities. Scott Burnam (Arnold, MD) and his wife welcomed daughter Kaylen-Marie on March 17, 2009. When not changing diapers and trying to catch up on sleep, Scott works in pharmaceutical sales and plays lacrosse weekly to keep the memory of playing in the '88 National Lacrosse Championship alive. Jason Saul celebrated the first birthday of son Jonah Asher. Jason has been appointed to the faculty of Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management as lecturer, social enterprise. He is the CEO of Mission Measurement LLC, a firm based in Chicago that measures the social impact of corporations, nonprofits, and foundations. Catherine Reese and husband Sean Neilon welcomed son Joseph Patrick on Aug. 26, '08. Catherine is a surgeon at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston and promises to try to fit in some time for softball and golf along with the responsibilities of being a new mom. Greg Stoller reports that all is well in Boston, where his real estate and academic work continues to go well, although business is quite challenging in this economy. The Stollers' oldest son is 8 and the twins are now 5. Greg is regularly in touch with Dan Goldman, Mike Dreitzer, Rich Dreitzer '90, and Randall Singer.

Please keep us updated by e-mail, via our class website (, or on the news form in our most recent class mailing. We love to hear from you! Sharlyn Carter Heslam,; Ariane Schreiber Horn,; and Kathryn Kraus Bolks,

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