UB Today Alumni Magazine Online - Fall 2002
FeaturesAlumni ProfilesClassnotesCalendarThe MailFinal WordEditor's Choice


People of Note
Pamela S. Benson, B.A. 1976
Gary D. Lessord, M.F.A. 1979
Margaret I. Wooster, M.U.P. 1988 & Ph.D. 1978
Clotilde Dedecker, Ed.M. 2000




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tell us about yourself



1990s Classnotes

Christopher J. Acquisto, B.A. 1990, is in private practice at Acquisto Family Chiropractic in East Amherst, NY. He is a member of the American Chiropractic Association and a delegate to the house of delegates for the New York State Chiropractic Association. Acquisto lives in Williamsville, NY.

Michael P. Girard, B.S. 1990, is a partner at Klarquist Sparkman LLP, an intellectual property law firm in Portland, OR. Girard will focus his practice in the areas of patents, trademarks and other intellectual property matters. He lives in Portland.

David E. Johnson, M.A. 1990, is an assistant professor of comparative literature at UB, as well as one of two editors for The New Continental Review, an interdisciplinary journal of the Americas. The journal has received the Council of Editors of Learned Journals’ 2001 Phoenix Award for Significant Achievement. Johnson shares editorial leadership with Scott Michaelsen, associate professor of English at Michigan State University. Johnson resides in Buffalo, NY.

Diane Wonch, Ed.D. 1990 & M.S. 1978, has been named to the Trocaire College board of trustees in Buffalo, NY. She is health education director of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Buffalo and lives in Williamsville, NY.

Daniel M. Laufer, B.S. 1991, has accepted an assistant professor of marketing position at the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, OH. Laufer was former owner and consultant of Israelaufer Consulting in Austin, TX. He resides in Cincinnati.

James J. Roberts, M.B.A. 1991, a commercial underwriter with HSBC Bank USA, was named chair of the parish organization division of Catholic Charities’ 2002 Appeal, which had a goal of $10 million. Roberts is a former Erie County parish coordinator for this annual appeal of the Diocese of Buffalo, NY. He is a licensed funeral director and vice president of the John E. Roberts Funeral Home. He lives in Buffalo.

John F. Szumigala, M.B.A. 1991 & B.S. 1989, has been promoted to banking officer at First Niagara Bank in Lockport, NY. Szumigala began at First Niagara in 1999 as an investment representative, and had since progressed to his current position as assistant portfolio manager. He is a member of the Association for Investment Management and Research and the Buffalo Society for Security Analysts. He is also a CFA charter holder. He lives in West Seneca, NY.

Edward L. Zelmanow, B.A. 1991, is an attorney working for Aetna in the disability service center in Portland, ME. He and his wife, Christina, along with their new baby, Jacob Alexander, reside in Gorham, ME.

Michael P. Harris, M.M. 1992 & B.F.A. 1983, baritone, joined Barbara Wagner, pianist, to perform the music of Buffalo’s Jack Yellen, Ray Henderson and Harold Arlen at Shaarey Zedek’s “Yetzirah: Jewish Influence on the Arts” this past February. Harris has appeared in numerous operas, operettas and musicals in the Buffalo area. He has also sung with the Buffalo (NY) Philharmonic Chorus as well as with local choirs such as the Temple Beth Am high holiday choir. He lives in Buffalo.

Christopher Klucsarits, B.S. 1992, known as “Chris Kanyon” by the wrestling community, is a professional wrestler with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). He lives in Marietta, GA.

Jason E. Phillips, B.A. 1992, has been named director of marketing for Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, a world leader in medical and science publishing and information media. Currently, Phillips leads the marketing team of Williams & Wilkins’ medical society publishing group, located in Baltimore, MD. He lives in Ellicott City, MD.

Yogesh Kumar, M.B.A. 1993, is employed as assistant manager of the National Stock Exchange of India Limited, where he is responsible for the clearing and settlement operations of the exchange. He lives in Bulandshahr, UP, India.

Joseph M. Marris, J.D. 1993, has been named partner at Phillips, Lytle, Hitchcock, Blaine & Huber in Buffalo, NY. Marris is also a member of the board of directors of the Amherst Youth Board. He resides in Snyder, NY.

Marta L. Werner, Ph.D. 1993 & M.A. 1990, received a $10,000 Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society to produce a facsimile edition of the common notebooks of Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne. She previously taught for five years at Georgia State University in Atlanta, and is now assistant professor of English at D’Youville College in Buffalo, NY, where she specializes in teaching early American literature. An expert on poet Emily Dickinson, Werner has written extensively on Dickinson’s work, and has had two books published by the University of Michigan Press, Emily Dickinson’s Open Folios: Scenes of Reading, Surfaces of Writing (1995) and Radical Scatters: Emily Dickinson’s Fragments and Related Texts, 1870-1886 (2000). She resides in Buffalo.

Joseph A. Jansen, B.S. 1994 & A.A.S. 1992, has been promoted to banking officer at First Niagara Bank in Lockport, NY. Since joining First Niagara in 2000 as a market research and database manager, Jansen has risen to his current position as senior market segment manager, responsible for the marketing of the bank’s consumer banking product lines. He resides with his family in Kenmore, NY.

Richard A. Polvino, M.Arch. 1994 & B.S. 1988, is an architect at Perkins & Will, where he is associate principal focusing on health-care architecture. Previously, Polvino worked as senior project designer at Facility Development Services International, and has traveled extensively throughout Europe. He lives in Dallas, TX.

Brette M. Sember, J.D. 1994 & B.A. 1990, a freelance writer, has authored seven books throughout her writing career. Her latest releases are Child Custody, Support and Visitation in New York and The Visitation Handbook: Your Complete Guide to Parenting Apart. These books have been published under Sphinx Publishing, an imprint of Sourcebooks. Another recently released book, Repair Your Own Credit and Deal with Debt (See “Read On,” UB Today, Spring/Summer 2002), is set to be released in Spanish. Sember lives in Clarence, NY.

James M. Bachert, B.S. 1995, has been promoted to senior accountant at Lumsden & McCormick LLP of Buffalo, NY, where he will be responsible for auditing and accounting services to commercial businesses, nonprofit organizations and government entities. Lumsden & McCormick LLP is one of the largest locally owned, certified public accounting firms in Western New York. The firm provides financial services to closely held businesses and individuals in Western New York and Canada. Bachert lives in Buffalo.

David S. Goldberg, B.S. 1995, has been named the new business development owner for the New England area at Computer Associates in Framingham, MA. He lives in Westford, MA.

Charles Marino, B.S. 1995, is vice president of the commercial division of M&T Bank Corporation in Buffalo, NY. Before being promoted in 2001, Marino worked as the accounting and operations manager for M&T’s commercial real estate subsidiary. He lives in Lancaster, NY.

David J. Quirolo, B.A. 1995, is an associate at the law firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft in the capital markets department. He resides in New York, NY.

Martin M. Ruminski, Mus.B. 1995, has received the Martin E. Segal Award for Upcoming Artists. He performs as an opera singer under the stage name of Valerian Ruminski, a name chosen as a tribute to his late father. (See alumni profile in the Winter 2001 issue of UB Today.) A bass-baritone, Ruminski has performed with the New York City Opera and at the Metropolitan Opera House. Locally, he has performed in Greater Buffalo Opera productions at Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, NY, and has sung the national anthem at Buffalo Sabres games. Additionally, he has released a CD entitled Live at the Consistory, a recording of his recent concert at Canisius College. He is planning the release of an additional CD entitled Underground, which he describes as “folk/techno/R&B.” Ruminski lives in Philadelphia, PA.

Eric C. Alcott, Ed.M. 1996, has been promoted to vice president of advancement at Houghton College in Houghton, NY. Most recently senior director of development at Houghton, Alcott worked as director of development for the School of Dental Medicine at UB from 1996 to 1999. Alcott lives in Williamsville, NY.

Vincent A. Dunleavy, B.A. 1996, has become a marketing manager for the NBC Television Network Sales and Marketing Organization in New York, NY. Before his promotion, he worked as a human resources associate, marketing analyst and most recently human resources manager for NBC 4 Columbus, WCMH-TV, an NBC-owned and operated station in Columbus, OH. Dunleavy resides in New York, NY.

Gerry Murak, E.M.B.A. 1996, has been named president of the board of directors of the Upstate New York Turnaround Management Association, as well as director of the National Turnaround Management Association Board. A change agent for more than 30 years, Murak is a turnaround performance specialist of Murak & Associates LLC, a hands-on management consulting firm in Williamsville, NY. He resides in Getzville, NY.

Heather D. Collins, M.S. 1998, has been named director of the physical therapy department at the Sitrin Medical Rehabilitation Center in New Hartford, NY. She will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the department, including program growth and development, policies and procedures and staff training. Collins was previously employed at Hudson Valley Physical Therapy in Fishkill, NY. She is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the American College of Sports Medicine. She lives in Camillus, NY.

Andrew F. Esch, M.D. 1998, M.B.A. 1991 & B.S. 1990, has joined the team at Understanding Disabilities, Creating Opportunities (UCP) of Western New York. UCP’s health services offer comprehensive primary medical care, as well as highly specialized health services, to adults with disabilities. Esch previously served as chief resident/resident physician at Sisters of Charity Hospital in Buffalo, NY, and is currently an emergency room physician with Buffalo Emergency Associates. He is also an internist at R&B Medical Group in Williamsville, NY, where he lives.

Alec J. Raphael, J.D. 1998, was admitted to practice law in the Territory of Guam effective May 1, 2002. Currently, he is a staff attorney with Guam Legal Services Corporation in Hagatna, Guam; for the past two-and-a-half years, he has been a litigator in its domestic violence unit. Raphael resides in Chalan Pago, Guam.

Melissa R. Brown-Williams, J.D. 1999, has been appointed domestic violence resource coordinator by the Eighth Judicial District of the Unified Court System. In this position, she will oversee the programming, planning and development of the domestic violence part of the Buffalo City Court. Before this appointment, Brown-Williams worked as a family law attorney with the New York State Attorney General’s Office in Buffalo, NY. She resides in Tonawanda, NY.

Anthony T. LaGreca, B.S. 1999, is a New York City firefighter who was on duty on September 11, 2001. He lives in Springfield Gardens, NY.

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