Class Notes

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

Carol Tidwell (History) lives in the Chicago with her husband, near their son and two granddaughters. A retired corporate and healthcare attorney, she is currently a labor arbitrator and enjoys the variety of this work. She reports, “I remember New Paltz fondly and hope all there are staying safe.” 


Lawrence Bleier (Secondary Education: Social Studies) is proud to announce his son, Richard Bleier, will be pitching for the Miami Marlins this season. 


Denis Simon (Asian Studies; Political Science) recently completed five years as executive vice chancellor at Duke Kunshan University, a Sino-foreign joint venture university involving Duke, Wuhan University and the city of Kunshan in Jiangsu.  He returned to the Duke campus in the U.S., where he currently is serving as senior adviser to the Duke President for China Affairs.  According to Simon, “this is a truly critical time in US-China relations and my goal is to help revitalize the bilateral relationship through more innovative projects like the Duke Kunshan campus.” 


Sherri (FroimKramerson (Communication Disorders) and Robert Kramerson celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary on September 12, 2020. Sherri met her husband in her junior year at New Paltz as a blind date and was set up by her roommate, Linda Simon and her boyfriend, Jerry Ormaner ’72 (English). Sherri is the proud mother of fraternal twin daughters and the grandmother of two grandchildren. She attributes her good education and marital bliss to the blind date she had on St. Patrick's Day at New Paltz in 1974. 


Leslie Klein (Elementary Education: Sociology) published her first book of poetry, “Driving Through Paintings,” by Shanti Arts Press. 


Edward Renehan ’80 (Political Science) will publish his book “Deliberate Evil: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Daniel Webster, and the 1830 Murder of a Salem Slave Trader,” in fall 2021 by the Chicago Review Press. Ashleigh Banfield of Court TV says, “Ed Renehan has combed through the murky annals to eloquently reveal one of the most riveting stories of crime, detection, and court drama in the history of American jurisprudence.” Renehan is the author of many other books, including the biography of Hudson Valley writer and naturalist John Burroughs. You can find him online 


Richard Burlot (Communication Studies) married Grace Esposito of Plainview, New York, on March 6, 2021. 

Gina O’Brien-Carroll (Communication Studies) screenwriter and director, made her directorial debut with “First One In,” her third original screenplay, released on Sept. 8, 2020, and now streaming on Amazon Prime Video. “’First One In’ is a comedy for women, but it isn’t the typical comedy for women,” said O’Brien. “It isn’t about parenting, romance, marriage or girls’ nights in Vegas. I like those, but this is different. It’s about women who challenge themselves away from their everyday lives, on a team with other women.”  


Cynthia Soroka-Dunn (Communication) had one of her photos selected as the artwork for a skateboard deck at Hudson Valley Eclectics. The photograph is a black and white image of Kaaterskill Falls in the Eastern Catskill Mountains. While a student at New Paltz, Soroka-Dunn also minored in photography. The skateboard design can be found at 


Patrick Dean Coleman (International Relations) published his first book “Of Mercy and Men: The Story of Elliot Brown, a Maryland Slave.” Copies are available for sale with major booksellers and on his publisher's website: 


Camille Jacobs (Communications Media) is an educator and restorative justice thought leader in New York City who brought her skills and perspectives to the ongoing anti-racism conversation at the College. The alumna expertly moderated two installments of the College’s “Dismantling Racism” series, via Zoom. The events serve as part of the ongoing conversations about the College’s work toward becoming an anti-racist institution, and how it can better serve all members of our community. 


Sofia Pertuz (Communication Studies) will be the keynote speaker for the Gender and Sexuality Center at East Stroudsburg University’s celebration of Womxn’s History Month. 


Janet Davis ’96 (Communication) celebrated the grand opening of JADE Grill & Café, located inside the RWJ Fitness and Wellness Center in Hamilton, New Jersey, in April 2021. Born and raised in Jamaica, Davis’s fascination with food began at an early age as she observed and later began helping her mother in the kitchen and at the family’s restaurant. Today, she is the CEO of JADE, a food, special event and media enterprise comprised Davis oversees operations at JADE, servicing clients like RWJ Barnabas Health and RWJ University Hospital, and as a contributor at Total Food Service. She is a proud mother to son Robert, active community volunteer, and member of Bible-Way Apostolic Missions, the NFL Alumni Association and the Chamber of Commerce of Southern New Jersey (CCSNJ). After graduating from SUNY New Paltz, Davis went to work for Bloomberg, L.P. She spent twelve years in human resources and broadcasting, during which time she earned a master’s degree in communications from Temple University. In addition to her work, Davis also gives back to her local community and supports numerous causes, donating her services and sharing her knowledge and expertise via speaking engagements. She was the keynote speaker at the 2016 Bi-annual EOP Conference at SUNY New Paltz and volunteered her time as a panelist at the College’s Women’s Leadership Summit in 2015 and in 2021. 


Gordon Tepper (Communication Media) has been appointed to the Adults and Children with Down Syndrome (ACDS) board of directors.  ACDS serves those with Down syndrome, autism, and other developmental disabilities. 


Alexander Marrero (Music) started his second term as the chair of the Committee on Cultural Inclusion for the College Music Society. His international volunteer assignment for their Composer Advocation Project during calendar year 2021 includes North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and Antarctica.


Rebekah Stoll (Psychology) (Humanistic-Multicultural Education) ’09g was recently awarded the Dr. Mary Barter Scholarship for Women and Minorities from the New York State Council of School Superintendents. The council selects one winner each year who shows promise in the field of educational leadership with the likelihood of serving in a superintendency throughout their career. 


Jeffrey Canino (English) ’12g made his professional writing debut with “Besties: ‘Work It Out.’” The graphic novel will be published in fall 2021 by HMH Books. A sequel is to follow in 2022. More information can be found online at  


Thomas Savage (Political Science) has been awarded a yearlong public policy fellowship with The Fund for American Studies (TFAS). The fellowship welcomes 17 rising stars from across the United States who will spend the next year discussing the fundamental questions and challenges a free society must address to flourish, as well as the unique advantages it can enjoy. Savage is the research manager of the Center for State Fiscal Reform at the American Legislative Exchange Council. His research interests include public pensions, other postemployment benefits (OPEB), state bonded obligations and fiscal policy. 


Elliot Frances Flynn (Digital Media; English) made her feature film debut in 2021 with the movie “Shoplifters of the World,” released by RLJ Entertainment, an AMC company in January 2021. “Shoplifters of the World,” is a comedy-drama based on an urban legend. The film is set over the course of one night in the lives of four friends in Denver, Colorado, who are spinning from the news of the split up of iconic British band The Smiths. 


Stephanie Whiteman (Psychology; Black Studies) is continuing to impact young learners’ lives through the successful tutoring business she started last fall. Whiteman made her entrepreneurial dreams a reality by creating “Early Learning Wit Da Wrks,” a private tutoring business focused on giving children a head start in literacy acquisition that can benefit their learning for years to come. Through one-on-one tutoring sessions offered to elementary students in The Bronx, Whiteman tailors lessons to individual needs and reinforces what teachers have taught in the virtual classroom. 


Kaisei Sugawara (International Relations) was featured in a New York Times article about the rising generation of young professionals in Japan. Kaisei is advancing quickly in his new role as an engineer at a security firm - a role for which he was recruited thanks in part to the international experience he got while studying at New Paltz. Read the full article, "An ‘Old Men’s Club’ Dominates Japan,”online. 


Erika Wasonoredjo (Communication Studies) recently accepted a position as associate video investor at Mediacom at WPP, a media company. Wasonoredjo interned at Atlantic Records and The Door PR. Although early in her career, she worked on brand strategy projects with clients such as American Express, Motorola, MTV, Uber and various musicians. 

Kaitlyn Gunter (Biology) is pursuing her career in conservation biology by working for the Student Conservation Association (SCA) Adirondack Corps this fall. The organization brings together students who have a passion for conservation service projects with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Corporation for National and Community Service. Read more online at