class notes- fall 2017

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Class Notes- fall 2017

Share your news by emailing We want to hear about your life! Kids, dogs, cats, moves, vacations, jobs, promotions, grad school, life changes, good times, hard times, retirement- anything you'd like to share with your fellow UWW grads and current and former faculty! And send pictures too if you want! 

James Cahillane '89 is a retired executive, poet, author of 6 books, and monthly columnist for the Daily Hampshire Gazette in Northampton, MA. Born in 1933, he's a Korean War Air Force veteran who managed his family's car dealership for 50 years. He earned his degree with a focus in business through UWW in '89 and then returned to UMass Amherst to earn his MA in English in 1997. He lives in Williamsburg, MA with his wife Maureen Stone. 

Suzanne M. Carter '17: I graduated from UWW in May, 2017 with a concentration in Elementary Education. It was, by far, one of the most empowering experiences of my life. I have always dreamed of being an elementary school teacher. In addition to requiring a Bachelor's Degree, Massachusetts requires a set of MTEL tests to be passed depending on the grade level/subject you wish to teach. I passed my last required MTEL in August, 2017 and received my teaching license from the state. I was offered a job at my local Elementary school on August 31st, 2017! I am truly living my dream right now at the age of 48. Believe in yourself, and do this for YOU!

Annie Decoteau '16 is coming up on the one year anniversary as founder and owner of Rise Artisan Bread Bakery and Cafe in Berthoud, Colorado.

Amy DeLaiarro Sheridan '16: After graduating from UWW in 2016, I have moved to Raleigh, NC. I am currently studying for the PRAXIS II exam and am in a Masters Program for School Counseling with Salem College in Winston-Salem, NC. I hope to be a Special Needs Teacher while getting my Masters. If I hadn't done so well through UWW, there is no way I'd be in this Masters Program! I'm so grateful for everything that you've done. One of your new students is a friend of mine and she told me that she was inspired by my journey and went back to school after 20 years! Incredible! I am so proud to be a UMass Alumni! Go UMass!

Jeanne Dodge '09- Much has happened since I graduated. I shifted some of my volunteer medical gigs (I have aged out of some of what I was doing). I still volunteer with Special Olympics, Best Buddies, the MS Society, but I also am a Citizen Corp volunteer (think disasters- Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency). I also got my amateur radio license so I can help with communications in emergencies.

Randall Foote '17: I was accepted as soon as I got my Bachelors into the Graduate Program in Urban Planning and Community Development at UMass Boston, and I will also be taking some classes concurrently at the MIT Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning. I started Harvard in 1966, so it only took me 51 years to complete my Bachelor's degree...a long "gap year". UWW was an excellent program, enabling me to complete my missing two undergraduate years in one year. Both the teaching and the advising were great. I managed a 4.0 GPA, which is a lot better than I did in 1968 (it was a complex time).

Howard Goldman, MD, MPH, FACP '78: I was a fortunate 1978 graduate of UWW/U.Mass Amherst. I was advised by Ruth Hooke and Marvin Kalkstein, Ph.D and received a BS degree in Nutritional Counseling. Following graduation from UWW, I got a scholarship to study at the East West Center in Hawaii and further my studies in Asia. After I completed my Masters Degree in Public Health, I went to Medical School and graduated in 1987. Currently, I am an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and Medical Director at the Baltimore Preventive Medicine Center. I was former President of the Medical Staff at Medstar Franklin Square Hospital in Baltimore and currently sit on the Board of Directors. I am happily married to Dr. Donna Howard, a 1978 graduate of the School of Nutrition at UMass who, following her Ph.D from Johns Hopkins is now a tenured professor at the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland at College Park. Our daughter Rachel just completed a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology, and our son Elliott works in the tech industry. Thanks to UWW, I was able to transform my work and life experience history into college credits and launch my career.

Sarah Hebert '15: I am currently the Afterschool Program Director as well as Summer Camp Director of a Literacy based summer program. Last fall i was named one of the National Afterschool Association's Next Generation of Afterschool 2017 and traveled to Dallas, Texas to take part in their three day convention/workshop. Below is a link with my write up! Recently United Way of Mass Bay wrote a blog post about my summer camp program and the literacy work we do to reduce summer learning loss. I create literacy based curriculum and incorporate it throughout our summer program in both and active and passive ways in the hopes of reducing the risk of summer learning loss. I have to say that the past two years have been a whirlwind of emotions since graduation May 8, 2015. I had Posy May 11th and fell madly​ in love with her. I decided to stay home concentrating on motherhood and our bond, while going back to work only two days a week and creating curriculum from home part time for her first year. I am so privileged to have had that experience.

Ruth Hooke has died at the age of 90. Ruth served UWW students as an advisor and instructor from 1974-1995. She is greatly missed. Read more about her here. She was an extraordinary woman who led an extraordinary life. 

Nick Lesogor '16: Just two months post graduation I got a job at Boston Children's Hospital as a Patient Experience Representative. August of 2017 was a busy month as in 5 days I bought my first home, got married, and went on my honeymoon to Italy! Earlier in the month I got accepted into and began studying for my Masters in Healthcare Administration at the University of Cincinnati's online Distance Learning program!

Nico Lustig '15: I am happy to share that I have started my second year at the Vermont Law School. I am earning a J.D. and Masters of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy simultaneously. I focused on Business and Food Systems Studies in my portfolio for UWW, and the coursework I am focusing on now in law school is a natural extension. Thanks for keeping the Alumni connected to UWW.  It was an honor to graduate from UMass and I relish staying connected. ~Nico Lustig, J.D.Candidate ’19; Master of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy ’19; Staff Editor, Vermont Journal of Environmental Law; Co-Chair, Food and Agriculture Law Society; Social Justice Mission Scholar 

Tom Orifice '16 is working on his MS in Leadership at Northeastern University.

Bradley Riley '17: I just graduated from UWW in the fall. Since then I started my Ed.M in human resources development at the University of Illinois. I became a licensed insurance agent and started working for Liberty Mutual. Also I visited Ana Maria College for my daughter who is a Senior in high school. She wants to be a music therapist. Everyone is healthy and happy. Missing you all already.

Josh Rumbut '17: I'm currently enrolled at UMass Dartmouth in their Masters of Computer Science program and am helping the The Sustainability Initiative there develop a mobile app to reduce water and energy use.

Carl Seppala '04 is president of the teacher's union for the Athol-Royalston Regional School District, member of the New Salem School Committee (and rep to the Union 28 School Committees), as well as teaching physics, calculus, and a course on performance measurement instruments at Athol High School in Massachusetts.

Karen Stevens: Both Cindy [Suopis] and I have chapters in the forthcoming Leaps of Faith: Stories from Working Class Scholars and continue to teach for UWW part-time since retiring from the UWW faculty. I've been traveling/vacationing as much as I can:  Hawaii, the White Mountains and the solar eclipse (in KY) this past summer.  My husband Carl- a UWW grad- was with me for the latter two. I'm part of a Women's March Huddle and the North Quabbin Regional Democratic Committees (Carl is in this, too).  

Amanda St. Andrews '17: I graduated from UWW in May, 2017 and I just received my acceptance letter to the MGH Institute of Health Professions Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program for the spring semester. Looking forward to seeing the newsletter and how great all my former UWW classmates are doing!

Cynthia Suopis: After 15 years of service to UWW as a faculty member and former Director, Cynthia Suopis has retired. In her retirement, Cindy will continue teaching Experiential Reflections on Health for UWW, spend more time with friends and family and work in the Decision Training Program with inmates at the Hampshire County Correction Facility in Northampton Massachusetts.

Donna Turner-Woods '17 has has been accepted to the Master of Science in Human Services Concentration in Global Studies and Latin America Regional Studies at Northeastern University.