Class Notes

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Cynthia Wallace (Early Childhood Education) taught kindergarten, first and second grades from 1951 until her retirement in 1997. She happily took a break to raise her two daughters but remained committed to her career. During her senior year at SUNY New Paltz, while studying piano in Woodstock, she had the privilege of playing the Schumann Piano Concerto with the late Lincoln Igou conducting. She also acted in a small part on Broadway at the Booth Theatre in “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder, starring Paul Newman in 2002. At age 90, she gratefully continues to enjoy good health and just finished co-chairing on the mission board at her church in Westport, Connecticut.

Dennis Listort (English) ’70g (English) published his fourth book titled “The Afterdeath of Ethan Bishop,” now available on Amazon Kindle and in paperback.


Steve Hartman (Biology) recently published the book “Life is Short/Death is Forever: Finding Joy and Pleasure in Each Day Without Hurting Anyone Along the Way.”  The audio version is now available on Amazon. It can also be found along with award-winning films he has written and produced on his new website


Arthur Pfister (English) published a collection of short stories titled “Jazz Stories.” He is also an adjunct instructor at Norwalk Community College.


David Miles (Childhood Education) was class president for the Class of 1963. He joined the army in 1962 and later graduated from SUNY New Paltz in 1968. He taught fourth grade in the Wappingers Central School District for 32 years. He earned a master’s degree in  1972. He has a son, a daughter and five grandchildren, who live in Statesville, North Carolina. He would love to hear from any class of ’63 or ’68 alumni.

Gary Allen (Art Education) had his latest book, “Sauces Reconsidered: Après Escoffier,” named to the 2019 Outstanding Academic Titles list in the American Library Association’s Choice Magazine.


(Sheehan) Gershon (Political Science) and Norman Gershon ’69 (Political Science) met at SUNY New Paltz and celebrated 50 years of marriage on July 12, 2020.


Larry D. Dittmeier (Psychology) sends greetings to the class of 1971. He hopes everyone is doing well during this crisis. He reports, “Please all be safe and do the right thing. Wash your hands often and stay at home if at all possible. New Paltz was four of the best years of my life! All good memories!”


Clifford Schwartz (Biology) is a biomedical quality engineer at OpGen, an in-vitro diagnostic medical device company in Gaithersburg, Maryland, helping to develop a rapid in-vitro diagnostic test kit for antibiotic-resistant infections. Cliff lives in the Washington, D.C., area and would love to hear from fellow alumni at


Steve Allen (Anthropology) keeps trying to retire from his career in commercial real estate, but opportunities keep presenting themselves. He recently took a position as general manager of the Marketplace Shopping Center in Lake Worth, Florida. His big plan of going back to India for his 70th birthday is on hold due to COVID-19.


Glenn Cohoon (Art Education) started his 50th year working as an international prayer partner for Daystar TV Network in Texas. Watch online at


Lorainne Peltz (Art History) held an exhibition at the Zolla/Lieberman Gallery in Chicago from May through August 2020. The exhibition was titled, “The Deep End.” A conversation with the artist can be viewed online at the following link:

Edward Renehan’s (Political Science) biography of General Motors mogul Charles Stewart Mott won the 2020 Automotive Heritage Journalism Award for the Best Automotive Heritage Book. “The Life of Charles Stewart Mott: Industrialist, Philanthropist, Mr. Flint,” was published by the University of Michigan Press in 2019.

Clayton Aarons (Political Science) completed five years as an associate judge of the District Court of Maryland for Prince George's County in Maryland. Judge Aarons is a proud graduate of Howard University School of Law (1980). He and his college sweetheart, Linda Bryant ’79 (Secondary Education 7-12; Social Studies) just celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary.


Kym Moore (Theatre Arts) has been named the new dean of the Ira Brind School of Theater Arts at the University of the Arts, effective January 2021. Moore has worked for Brown University for more than 10 years as a professor and director of undergraduate studies at the Department of Theatre Arts and Performance. She has taught acting and directing at a slew of prestigious institutions including the Juilliard School, Sarah Lawrence College, Notre Dame University and Carnegie Mellon University, among many others. She earned a Master of Fine Arts Degree at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.


Terilee Edwards-Hewitt (Psychology) published the article "Immigrant Alexandria: An Ongoing Oral History Project in Alexandria, Virginia" in The Journal of Urban Anthropology/Revista De Antropologie Urbana 6(11):37-58, 2018. Edwards-Hewitt is the oral history coordinator for the Office of Historic Alexandria, as well as a collections and museum education aide at Alexandria Archaeology in Alexandria, Virginia. She is an adjunct professor of anthropology at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland.


Regina Yeager (Communication) has been named national account executive at the Council for Aid Education (CAE). CAE is a leading provider of performance-based educational assessments measuring 21st-century skills. In this role, Yeager is responsible for leading the organization's market expansion by cultivating strategic partnerships and client relationships with school districts, secondary and higher education institutions nationwide.


Ellen (Aszkenas) Luksberg ’90g (English) retired from MC Miller Middle School in the Kingston City School District in 2015 and began working at The Lisa Libraries. She was recently promoted to executive director. The Lisa Libraries shares donated books with nonprofit organizations locally and across the country.


Marcia (Thomas) Ballard (History) is the author of a new non-fiction book titled, “Enslavement as Punishment,” now available on Amazon. It explores the paradoxical nature of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.


Kate (Carey) O’Brien (Communication Disorders) is a proud recipient of the Huntington School District SEPTA's Distinguished Service Award for 2020.  This award honors individuals in the Huntington School district who have displayed a commitment to the success of students with special needs. She has worked in the district for 26 years as a speech and language pathologist servicing school-aged children and loves her work.


Valerie (Morrissey) Malott (Philosophy) graduated with a Master of Arts in English from Northern Kentucky University in May 2020. She is currently a part-time instructor of English composition at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College in Cincinnati, Ohio. A creative writer for several years, her poem, "Memoria" was recently published in Passager Journal.


Adam Breier (Secondary Education 7-12; English) successfully defended his dissertation and earned a doctorate with a specialization in school leadership from Fordham University in May 2020. He currently serves as a senior director within the Office of School Quality at the New York City Department of Education where he leads a team of directors who conduct quality reviews at schools across all levels throughout New York City.

Brendan Lyons (Education: Social Studies) has been appointed as the new superintendent of Lakeland School District, effective July 1, 2020.


Rachel Reuben Senor (Communication) ’09g (Marketing) is now the vice president of account strategy at OHO Interactive, a digital marketing agency specializing in digital strategy, user research, website design, website development, content strategy, digital advertising, marketing and organizational design. OHO works with clients across industries including higher education, non-profit and healthcare. Senor also married Sean Senor on March 20, 2020, in a private backyard ceremony days after having to make the painful decision to postpone their April wedding due to COVID-19 restrictions.


Ama Birch (Theatre Arts) recently published the “Ferguson Interview Project,” a collection of 20 interviews about the events before and after the death of Michael Brown Jr., in August 2014. Currently, Birch is conducting a fundraiser to raise money for Michael Brown Sr.'s foundation, Chosen for Change (CFC) in Ferguson, Missouri. Half of all proceeds will be given to the foundation until Dec. 31, 2020. The book is available online at


Scott Ferrare (Music) is a Rome, New York, native who has taught music for 16 years in locations that have spanned New York and Seattle, to Vietnam and Saudi Arabia. Ferrare recently released his new album, “Scott Ferrare Volume 4.” It is now available on iTunes, YouTube and Amazon.

Gordon Tepper (Communication) was appointed as the communications director for the Town of North Hempstead, New York.


Alexander Marrero (Music) presented in a national video conference for the College Music Society in June 2020. He presented to faculty from Auburn University, East Carolina University, California Polytechnic Pomona, Ohio University, Salisbury University, Sunway University, University of Minnesota, University of Missouri at Kansas City, University of North Texas and University of Wisconsin at Whitewater. Morrero serves as the chair of the committee on Cultural Inclusion for the College Music Society for 2020.


Yordon Mollov (International Relations) would like to announce the birth of two sons in the past two years.


Kushal Pandey is leading a team of 65 employees as head of productions and operations of Blinqlab, a Dutch company focusing on real estate presentations.


Erica Wagner (Humanistic Multicultural Education) ’08g has been promoted to assistant director of community and civic engagement in the new Center for Student Engagement at SUNY New Paltz. In this role, she manages volunteer programming, voter registration, the co-curricular transcript program and relevant student organization activities.


Claire (Dellarocco) Young (Printmaking) and her husband Jared Young (Visual Arts Education) welcomed a baby boy in June 2020.


Nicholas Meyer (Adolescence Education: Biology) has been teaching science, mathematics and special education courses full time at the middle school and high school level for eight years. He joined the Fairleigh Dickinson University Faculty in fall 2019.


Marissa (Kactioglu) Fuerderer (International Relations) and Maxwell Fuerderer '13 (Political Science) were wed on the Rail Trail in New Paltz on June 19, 2020. They are college sweethearts, having met during their junior year at SUNY New Paltz.


Taylor Faith Krigsman (BS - Early Childhood Education: English) published a children's book about COVID-19 titled, “The Way the World Changed.” The book was illustrated by Krigsman’s friend and co-worker, Ashlynn Marie Lilly. The two hoped to create a story with whimsical illustrations that would feature characters from diverse backgrounds, inspired by Krigsman’s blended family. The oldest of six children, Krigsman has five siblings who were adopted through foster care, and she has had 19 foster siblings in total.

Noah Schoer (Digital Media Management) celebrated his one-year anniversary at SiriusXM where he is an audio production assistant for The Howard Stern Show.

Nicholas Turner (English) recently published “Bulb,” a science fiction novel wherein a power grid failure greatly impacts the world, civilizations crumble and life grinds to a halt. The book is now available on Amazon.


Shauna Keating (Graphic Design) returned to the SUNY New Paltz Graphic Design program as an adjunct professor this fall. She was recently elected for a second two-year term as president of the upstate New York chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA).

Elliot Frances Flynn (Theatre Art; Digital Media Production) formerly known as Theresa Flynn, is in Portland, Maine, acting in what will be her fifth feature film. She will be seen in upcoming films from Miramax, Netflix and more.


Madeline Barrasso (Sociology) joined NYC Health & Hospitals' COVID-19 Test and Trace Corps. as a case investigator supervisor. She reports, “Since May, we have been contacting New Yorkers that tested positive or have been exposed to those that tested positive to COVID-19, providing them education on the virus and resources, in addition to collecting contact information to help with data collection and preventing the spread. It has been such an honor to help those in need with assistance and strengthen the skillset of those that I supervise with techniques taught to me during my time in New Paltz.”


Magda Diaz (Early Childhood Education B-6) is a 2020 Success Academy Excellence Award winner. Diaz won an award for achievement, which recognizes the teachers who have inspired their scholars to perform at the highest academic level based on academic data and meeting school culture goals. Diaz is a first-grade integrated co-teacher at Success Academy Fort Greene in Brooklyn, New York, and has worked hard to close opportunity gaps for low-income children of color.


Meagan Ortiz (Sociology) is a recreational counselor for youth placed at psychiatric residential treatment facilities. Following the COVID-19 outbreak, she enrolled in Adelphi University's graduate program to pursue a master’s degree in social work. She also started a new position with New York Family Services in July 2020, where she interned for two semesters as an undergraduate. She is a New York State certified rape crisis counselor, working with incarcerated individuals who are victims of sexual assault and
sexual harassment.

Risa Castro (Accounting) has accepted a staff accountant position at Mediacom’s corporate office in Orange County, New York.




Emily Palmerino '17 (Communication Disorders) and Cohen Damon were married on Sept. 14, 2019, surrounded by friends and family and many New Paltz alumni. The couple was misidentified in the spring 2020 issue of New Paltz Magazine.