Class Notes, Fall 2017

October 01, 2017

Diana Alvarez Carrillo, BA ’15, is moving to Spain to study culinary tourism at the Basque Culinary Center in San Sebastian after two years working in the digital advertising industry in London.

Peter Baxter, MA ’99, now serves as CEO of Airdyne Aerospace and Airdyne R&D after jetting away over long weekends from GW history and law studies to develop defense-related business worldwide for several companies.

Jay Bender, BA ’78, has worked in construction management for 30 years. He has spent the past two years working as a paramedic.

Neil Bhatiya, MA ’09, is the research associate for the Energy, Economics, and Security program at the Center for a New American Security, a Washington, D.C., think tank.

Michael F. Bishop, MA ’94, is director of the National Churchill Library and Center at the George Washington University and executive director of the International Churchill Society.

Richard Boles, PhD ’13, joined the history department at the Oklahoma State University in August 2016 as an assistant professor of early American history. Richard teaches undergraduate and graduate students and continues to research race relations in American churches.

Jackie Burns, BA ’09, earned an MA and an MSc in international and world history from the dual master's degree program at Columbia University and the London School of Economics.

Patrick Clevenger, BA ’08, is currently pursuing a dual MS/MBA degree at the University of Texas at Dallas after two years as an adventure guide followed by three years working for an environmental nonprofit. He enjoys playing bluegrass music with his girlfriend too.

Shripal Daphtary, BA ’97, is a happy husband and father of two, living in Brooklyn, N.Y. He is the managing director of a telecom and technology company in NYC.

Neil De Haan Jr., BA ’70, respect for history continues, and it has remained during his further educational pursuits, including one year of study in theology, and earning an MSW, MBA and PhD in public administration. His focus is now John Adams and politics since 1964.

Corey Decker, MA ’13, is now an adjunct history instructor for Wallace Community College where she teaches U.S. and world history. She also teaches on the high school level including dual enrollment classes. She blogs about her teaching adventures at

Thomas DeLay, BA ’12, is currently serving as history department chair at KIPP Believe College Prep in New Orleans, La. He was a 2017 semi-finalist for the Fishman Price for Superlative Teaching Award through TNTP.

Frank DeMarco, BA ’69, saw his 13th book, Awakening from the 3D World: How We Enter the Next Life, published in September by Rainbow Ridge Books.

Ron Denham, BA ’67, devotes his retirement to reading (his latest is Tyler Anbinder's City of Dreams), writing a historical novel and traveling with his wife to Europe.

Gregory Domber, PhD ’08, is now teaching history at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo along with two other GW grads, Joe Bassi, MA ’03, and Christina Firpo, BA ’00.

Adam Drexler, BA ’05, serves in the U.S. Marine Corps, recently graduating from the Naval Postgraduate School with an MA in security studies (Europe and Eurasia) and awarded the Foreign Area Officer Association Award for Excellence in International Affairs.

Alison Dundore, BA ’17, is back at GW getting her master's in speech language pathology.

Joseph Enright, BA ’70, was hired at the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission in the summer of 1970 with his BA in history. After the agency's expiration, Joe continued a 35+ year federal career as an international trade specialist at the Commerce Department, through 2005.

John Farkas, BA ’09, is currently working for the Diocese of Scranton as the manager of development and alumni relations for Catholic schools.

Joseph Frechette, BA ’95, MA ’98, completed his doctorate in ancient history at the University of Maryland in the summer of 2017. His dissertation was entitled “Procopius of Caesarea: Pragmatike Historia and the Limits of Imperial Power.”

Gabby Friedman, BA ’13, is living in D.C. and is a specialist of government affairs for Gap Inc., the parent company of Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Athleta, Intermix and Weddington Way.

Patrick Funiciello, PhD ’16, is an assistant professor of history at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas.

Felix Harcourt, MA ’09, PhD ’14, is a visiting assistant professor of history at Austin College. His book, Klu Klux Kulture: America and the Klan in the 1920s, will be published by University of Chicago Press in November 2017.

Kate Hardwick, BA ’11, is starting her fifth year teaching high school history and humanities in Alexandria, Va. This past year Kate also earned her MEd from Vanderbilt University in independent school leadership.

Andrew Hartman, PhD ’06, is a professor of history at Illinois State University. He recently signed a contract with the University of Chicago Press to publish his third book, Karl Marx in America.

Jeff Hassmann, PhD ’02, is currently serving as professor of history and chair of the Social Sciences Division at Northeast Lakeview College in San Antonio, Texas.

Brian Hines, BA ’13, is the general manager of Pearson's Wine and Spirits, a family owned and operated tradition in the Glover Park/Georgetown area since 1933. He proudly consults hundreds of clients for private events, corporate events and parties in Washington D.C.

Candice Shy Hooper, MA ’08, was awarded two national awards for her book, Lincoln's Generals' Wives, the Silver Benjamin Franklin Award in History from the Independent Book Publishers Association and the Bronze Medal in History from the Independent Publisher Book Awards.

Shawn Hoyer, BA ’99, is now leading Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Growth Technology Banking practice for the Mid-Atlantic region, based in Washington, D.C.

Umar Husain, BA ’17, is working as a strategy consultant for IBM, based in Washington, D.C. Umar’s current project focuses on supporting a military client with talent engagement strategy.

Don Insley, BA ’17, took a graduate degree in political science from Edinburgh University in 2012. Thereafter he went to work at NATO in The Hague and Norfolk for two years, now he's a senior consultant with Booz Allen in Los Angeles where he supports the Air Force on GPS.

Sicheng Jiang, BA ’15, will graduate from Columbia University with an MS in enterprise risk management, and will start to work in Protiviti as a consultant.

David Johnston, BA ’08, spent 24 years in the restaurant business and then 30 years in real estate. He specializes in selling historic properties.

Stephen Judge, BA ’57, MA ’60, has retired from a marketing and editorial career with Oxford University Press.

Edward Kemper, BA ’65, went to GW Law School after graduating with a history degree, and when he graduated took a job offer in Honolulu. He has practiced law in Honolulu ever since.

Dan LeClair, BA ’05, is serving as director of development for the global environmental nonprofit, 1% for the Planet.

Francis Letro, BA ’72, obtained a law degree JD from SUNY Buffalo and has been practicing law as a sole practitioner since 1980 in Buffalo N.Y. Francis is currently the president-elect of the NYS Academy of Trial Lawyers and the immediate past chair of the University at Buffalo Foundation.

Hui Lin, MA ’14, is teaching at WLSA Fudan Academy, Shanghai, China.

Cynthia Little, BA ’67, is the historian for the Philadelphia History Museum overseeing the Community History Gallery and exhibition development. She also heads up youth education and teacher training programs.

Juli Loyd, BA ’04, is an attorney practicing health regulatory law in-house at DaVita, Inc. in Denver, Colorado. She is married to a data scientist with whom she has a practice baby—a shelter pup she adopted while still living in D.C., named Oskar Blues.

Edward J. Marolda, PhD ’90, was recently named by the U.S. Naval Historical Foundation as a recipient of the prestigious Commodore Dudley W. Knox Naval History Lifetime Achievement Award for his 37 years with the Navy's historical program and authorship of 15 books.

Sarah Maserang, BA ’15, spent a year after graduation working with kids before she moved to North Carolina where she is in her second year at UNC School of Law. She spent her summer working for a public defender and is studying education law and child advocacy.

Chris Mason, PhD ’13, is a professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Penn.

Melia Mbanefo, BA ’16, graduated with a major in sociology and minors in history and communications in May 2016. She is currently enrolled in the Valparaiso University Law School hoping to practice civil rights law or family law upon graduation.

Christel McDonald, BA ’86, is living very much in the present and look into the past through historical research to find the root causes of personal, local, regional, national and international conflicts to build a better future—everywhere and anytime. Christel lives in Arlington, Va.

Gus Mellander, BA ’59, MA ’60, PhD ’66, was a university dean for 12 years and a college president for 20. Two of his academic books were recently selected by the Library of Congress as “essential reading to understanding early U.S.-Panama relations.”

Darren Menaker, BA ’00, lives in L.A. with his wife and toddler son. Darren is a principal at Bernstein Private Wealth Management providing investment guidance for high net worth individuals, families and institutions. Currently he chairs GW’s L.A.-regional alumni network.

David Miller, BA ’69, enjoyed GW as four of the best of his current 70 years. He lives in Louisville, Ky., working as the CEO of Miller Insurance Services. “Hail to the Buff & Blue.”

Gabriel Muller, BA ’13, works for The Atlantic magazine's digital consultancy, where he runs large-scale editorial projects for nonprofits and Fortune 100s. He also works as a freelance writing coach for writers aged 15 to 80.

Christopher Murry Jr., BA ’09, lives in Maine working for MaineHealth. He was recently invited by the Epic Systems Corporation to give a talk on the cultural considerations required in implementing a new perioperative coordination process.

Anthony Narcisso, BA ’83, was known to add a splash of levity and rapier repartee during history seminars. He wonders to this day if those incidents affected his grade.

John Newman, PhD ’92, published his dissertation as the eminent book JFK and Vietnam. John served in Army intelligence as military assistant to the director of NSA. He teaches counterterrorism at James Madison University, and is finishing his fourth volume on JFK's presidency.

David Oliver, BA ’98, is a CPA and runs his own practice in Manhattan Beach, Calif. David and his wife, Sonya, have two sons, Jonah (7) and Zachary (5).

Michele F. Pacifico, MA ’83, was inducted in July as a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The distinction of Fellow is the highest honor bestowed on individuals by SAA and is awarded for outstanding contributions to the archives profession.

Owen Pagano, BA ’14, is currently a project manager at Dimensional Fund Advisors in Austin, Texas.

John Patton, BA ’69, graduated from GW Law in 1974. He currently lives in D.C., retired from the IRS charitable organizations section. He would like to see a history review course similar to the Law Bar and CPA Exams that he passed.

Nicole Phelps, BA ’00, contributed a chapter on “Expansion and Diplomacy, 1865-1914" to the annotated bibliography The SHAFR Guide and won the College of Arts & Sciences Faculty Distinguished Service Award at the University of Vermont.

Leslie Pitterson, BA ’09, was promoted to vice president of communications for US Media at Nielsen. In this role, she oversees integrated campaigns and media relations supporting the company's digital shift, including its digital products and clients.

Curtis Raye, BA ’07, is running for New Jersey State Apiarist, however the position is hired, not elected, so he is not on any ballot and nobody seems to even know he's doing it. Please visit

Clifford Rees, BA ’74, is the proud legacy parent of Alice Rees, who enrolled as a first year at GW’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences starting in the fall of 2017.

Michael Rhode, BA ’87, has worked in military medical history since graduating and is currently the archivist with the Navy's Bureau of Medicine and Surgery's History Office. His most recent book is 2017's The Incomplete Art of Why Things Are about Richard Thompson.

Kate Rosenberg, BA ’08, is currently serving as the Combat Systems Officer in USS Donald Cook (DDG 75), homeported in Rota, Spain.

Steven Ross, BA ’70, is currently a counselor for the Kingman, Arizona Elementary school district.

Arnold Rudin, BA ’55, has written or edited 17 books. His latest book, Pillar of Fire: A Biography of Rabbi Stephen S. Wise (Texas Tech University Press) was nominated for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize.

Philip Runfola, BA ’64, continued to work as an independent contractor for an additional 10 years after retiring from the CIA after 35 years of service. Philip is now retired in Florida and golf occupies the majority of his time.

Bruce Rushing, BA ’09, started a PhD program in logic and philosophy of science at the University of California, Irvine.

Pauline Schwartz, BA ’02, started her own company, Briden Chase, where she matches financial services compliance professionals with career advancing opportunities. She is also the third vice president of the Dix Hills Jewish Center.

Raabia Shafi, MA ’08, debuted her boutique consulting firm in January 2017. With over 10 years of experience in human-centered design and adult learning strategies Raabia will help executive leadership teams across all industries transform their organizational cultures.

Shayna Sloan, BA ’16, is currently working as an interpreter in Military Programs at Colonial Williamsburg. She is an interpreter at the axe throwing range and is occasionally part of the gun crew that fires a reproduction 18th century light three-pound cannon.

Barry Spiegel, BA ’65, has just retired as chief human resources officer from Cornerstone Montgomery, a non-profit agency providing services to the mentally ill.

Daniel Sullivan, BA ’83, celebrated his 30th anniversary at the law firm of Robinson & Cole, which he joined following graduation from The National Law Center in 1987. He practices in the firm's Providence office, which he co-founded in 2009.

Malcolm Surer, BA ’15, is currently a journalist in Beijing and a master’s student in IR at Peking University.

William A. Taylor, PhD ’10, is an associate professor at Angelo State University. He is the author of Military Service and American Democracy (University of Kansas Press, 2016) and Every Citizen a Soldier (Texas A&M University Press, 2014).

Margaret Walrod, BA ’12, is working as a program analyst for the U.S. State Department in the Bureau of International Information Programs. This summer she completed a certificate in International Crisis and Conflict Negotiation from the University of Washington.

Art Weber, BA ’73, retired as a colonel in the USMC. He is currently an adjunct professor at the Naval War College. He has been teaching a seminar on the Vietnam War for the past 20 years.

Dan Whittier, BA ’11, is currently working as a consultant in the Telecommunications Practice at Kaiser Associates in Washington, D.C. As a consultant, he assists clients in operational process improvement, focusing on the South America market.

Steve Willenbucher, BA ’00, is living in Alexandria, Va., with his wife and two children. Steve is currently the director of contracts with SBG Technology Solutions, Inc., an Alexandria-based Government IT, engineering, and consulting firm.

Chance Williams, BA ’16, is starting an Erasmus Mundus European Master's Program on “Dynamics of Cultural Landscapes and Heritage Management” this fall. He will spend the next four semesters studying in France, Portugal and Italy.

Tsing Yuan, BA ’60, MA ’62, is now retired, having taught at Swarthmore and Wright State University, where he also served as History Department chairman. Tsing is living in the Princeton area, taking advantage of the Princeton History Department's speakers and special events.