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Spring 2002

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Barbara Crossman Bell

At the National Gallery, Carol Christensen Parker is restoring a group of Italian Renaissance paintings. She and son Ned, 13, hiked the Grand Tetons last year. Each summer, Carol and husband Fred return to the Adirondack region of New York State where Fred climbs mountains and Carol frequently sings with Terri Huxtable and Liz Hood.

Kathryn Kariotis del La Femina married a man with four children and has three of her own. The couple maintain their own separate residences, which are less than a mile apart in Ashland, MA. “It’s wacky,” muses Kathryn, “but it works for us.” She welcomes e-mails from friends who graduated in ’69 and ’70; she can be reached at kathryn.dellafemina@workscape.com

Lori Rusling Shearer enjoys teaching in a greater London primary school despite being assaulted last year by the parent of a pupil. “This is a sad reflection of dysfunctional parenting, stress, and poverty,” writes Lori, “and one of the reasons I am running parenting programs in this area.”

Susan Talmadge Smith celebrated the 27th season of Longacre Leadership Program with 72 terrific teenagers, ages 12 through 18. Son Matthew, a junior at Connecticut College, is studying in Tibet; daughter Alex is filling out college applications.

Jane Roberts Alpert and husband Mark paid me a visit in December; we had a terrific time. The Alperts’ triplets were accepted, early decision, to the colleges of their choice. Courtney will attend Union College; Lauren and Jon will head to Tufts.

Courtney Sale Ross Holst co-founded the Ross School, a private school for grades 5–12 in East Hampton, NY. The school was featured in the New York Times (December 6, 2001) for its recent addition of a new gymnasium, a $10-million-dollar structure called the Center for Well Being. Built of the Brazilian hardwood ipe, the building sports a geothermal heating system and was funded by the Ross Institute, which operates the school and four other educational programs.

Cynthia Hearn Dorfman reflects on 9/11: “How is it that we are able to cope? For me, I thought of the letters my father wrote to me when I was a student at Skidmore and he was in the Marine Corps in Vietnam in the late 1960s. He encouraged me to be patient and not worry over the future but to look to it always with hope and courage. Today our unwillingness to resign ourselves to terror and death is expressed, for me, in the hope of those who are making contributions to our country.” Cynthia is the media services director for the Office of Education and Research Improvement in Washington, DC.

A friend of mine, who has been a stay-at-home mom for 30 years, was asked by her 17-year-old daughter how she could have “wasted her time at a place like Skidmore, on a silly major like liberal arts, and then thrown it all away to raise kids?” This was my response to her: “It was my education at Skidmore that kept me sane while I raised my kids and survived my marriage. It made me feel I had worth beyond those roles. Skidmore defined me, invented me, grounded me, protected me, focused me….I wasn’t a shrinking violet in high school, but college gave me so much more confidence. Later on in life, I would chair committees, serve on boards and [lead] nonprofits. How else could I have done those things without the years at Skidmore?”


Lise Bang-Jensen

According to a November 30 issue of the Philadelphia Business Journal, a review of Lynn Marks’s résumé is “a history course in some of the more pressing public policy issues of our time.” The executive director of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, Lynn has earned recognition from the American Judicature Society for her efforts to reform the judicial system in the areas of fair housing, domestic violence, ethnic bias, and reproductive rights. Her career has its roots at Skidmore, when the government major worked on a fair housing project in Harlem. After graduating, she became the first executive director of Family Planning Advocates, a group that lobbies the New York State Legislature. In January, when she attended an event in Albany celebrating the FPA’s 25th anniversary, Lynn—who has remained a close friend—was my houseguest.

Deborah Bozbeckian Raptopoulos lives in Brookline, MA, where she has a private practice in psychotherapy. She also dabbles in a “creative side project,” buying distressed buildings that she then rehabs, decorates, and sells. Daughter Vanessa ’00 is a graphic artist in NYC, Elena is spending her junior year in Florence, and Lilah is in seventh grade. Husband Vassili is a radiology professor at Harvard. Debbie encourages Boston area classmates to contact her at DebRaptop @aol.com.

Barbara Tsairis has been juggling two jobs since January, when she joined the campaign staff of Martha Fuller Clark, a Democrat state representative running for an open New Hampshire Congressional seat. Meanwhile, Barbara, who lives in Portsmouth, NH, continues as U.S. director of Odyssey in Athens, a college study program in Greece. While recruiting students in October, she visited daughter Lexie in San Francisco, where she is working on a master’s degree in American Sign Language.

I’m collecting e-mail addresses of classmates. So far, I have 150. If you’d like to receive a longer version of this column, please e-mail me. More juicy tidbits, but no SPAM, I promise.


Reunion ’02!

Nancy McNiff

Bobsie Hertz Rifkin will return to Saratoga for our 30th reunion and hopes to connect with elementary education majors and friends from North Hall, Van Duesen, Kimball, and Wait.

Rebecca Irwin Johnson, who moved to Venice, FL, this year, has recently become eligible for membership in the PGA! Her new address is 691 Bird Bay Circle, Venice, FL 34292.

Mary Linda Patteson, who married Art Rynearson in 1996, exclaims, “Life is very good!” and sends greetings to “all ’72 Moore Hall women.”

Holly Hoofnagle Weise teaches second grade in Princeton, NJ. Her daughter Louisa attends graduate school at the University of Michigan; Bethany is a freshman at Franklin and Marshall; and Lucy is a high-school freshman.

Barbara Tfank has launched a collection of women’s clothing under her own name that sells exclusively at Barneys. She will continue to design feature films for her husband, director Peter Markham.

Sue Miness Farber and husband Marty miss their kids, but have also learned to enjoy the benefits of being empty-nesters. Daughter Jennifer will graduate with honors from the University of Vermont in May, and son Aaron is a freshman at Columbia.

Mary Parker Ballou volunteers with Challenge Aspen, a group that works to help the physically, mentally, and visually impaired get out on the ski slopes.

Susan Horowitz Notar is in her 30th year teaching at Newburgh Free Academy in Newburgh, NY. Husband Leon was recently named director of facility operations at the 92nd Street YMCA in Manhattan. Son David, a Hartwick College student, was studying in South Africa this semester. High-school sophomore Jonathan was cast in a lead role in the spring musical. Susan plans to attend reunion.

Laura Griffith McDermott and husband Rick are delighted with their new home in Vero Beach, FL, where they are active in community affairs. Daughter Lauren, a senior at Lawrenceville School in New Jersey, is slated to play lacrosse at the University of Pennsylvania this fall.

Debbie Baum Chapin married Ed Horowitz in June 2000. She and Ed formed a venture capital firm that invests in start-up technology companies. Standing six feet tall, Debbie’s son Josh is a formidable 9th-grader. Ed’s son Mike has been accepted at Duke; older son David is attending culinary school. Debbie welcomes e-mail at debbie@edslink. com.

Deb Sehl Coons and husband Phil “survived the holidays” with daughter Kate, a 1999 graduate of Colgate; son Jonathan, who graduated from Nichols in 1994; and younger son, Tim. Deb is looking forward to the 30th and hopes to see her old friends from Skidmore 3rd floor.

Cas Smith Luis lives in the Houston area with husband Manny and son Matt, 12. Matt plays sax, swims, and is a Boy Scout. A pilot with Continental Airlines, Manny flies the 777 to Europe. Cas manages a busy hospital emergency room and loves it. Classmates are invited to “come on down to rodeo!”

Jaye Winkler lives in Oakland with husband Jim Hepburn, where, among other things, Jaye breeds Lippitt Morgan horses in an effort to preserve the original strain. In 2001, Jaye and Jim enjoyed surfing in El Salvador, where they spent Christmas, and took a golf trip to the Arctic Open in Iceland. When traveling to the East Coast, Jaye stays with former roommate Martha Maier in Providence, RI. Martha is an art and cookbook reference librarian for the Providence Public Library.

Victoria Wirth’s husband, Dan Larson, ran his 32nd Boston Marathon in 2001. The family took a great summer trip to Denmark and Sweden. Daughter Nell joined sister Sunny at Yale last September. Victoria, who is working on plans for our 30th reunion, “strongly encourages” her old nursing-major colleagues to attend.


Elizabeth Raff Nace


Beth Chiquoine

First of all, 2002 is a big year for most of us—the year we turn 50! So enjoy our half-century mark, everyone; it really is something to celebrate. There does appear to be a competition about who is the youngest in the class; they’ll just have to wait longer to celebrate.

Belinda Bowling Bewkes was remarried on November 17 to Jim Metzger, who was chief technology officer at Texaco until the merger with Chevron last fall. She now uses the name Belinda Bewkes Metzger. Belinda, who is also a ChevronTexaco employee, is looking forward to both her 50th birthday and her imminent retirement. Eldest daughter Chandler is a sophomore at Colgate University; younger daughter Barrett is a senior at Deerfield Academy; and son Garrett attends eighth grade at Eaglebrook School in Deerfield, MA.

Jim Melville writes that he is “finally married,” to a wonderful woman from Japan. He continues to run his manufacturing business in Stuyvesant, NY. In spite of a weak fashion market, he has recently signed three licensing deals with Japanese companies and is now licensing his two brands, Melo and XS Baggage, for accessories and clothing distribution in the Pacific Rim. He and his wife are climbing enthusiasts.

Ellen Miller-Wolfe and children Amy, 12, and Aaron, 9, love life on Mercer Island, WA, where they live with a sheltie named Snickers and cats Bailey and Otis. After spending most of her career in historic preservation and city planning on the East and West Coasts, Ellen now manages an economic development program for the City of Bellevue, WA, just across the lake from Seattle.

Margo Peter Geddie recently remarried. Stepdaughter Sophie is a sophomore at University at Texas, and stepson Matthew is in fourth grade. Margo’s daughter Ashley is a freshman at Southern Methodist University. Margo was promoted to senior vice president of investments at Salomon Smith Barney and loves her work, “despite the catastrophic environment we have been operating in for the past two years.” Her husband is a litigation attorney with his own firm, Siegmeyer, Oshman & Geddie. Margo takes on many volunteer positions, but finds the most rewarding to be running an online support group for women who have had abortions. The group’s url is www.wits.org.

In Barrington, IL, Mel Littleton Fox and husband Dave celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary last summer. Daughter Amy is at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a double major in management and marketing. Son Andy is at Northwestern University in Evanston. Now in her tenth year of teaching fourth grade, Mel was proud of her students’ response to the September 11 tragedy. The class decided to make and sell flag pins using safety pins and beads. By February they had raised over $1,050 and donated it to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

Helen Edelman was appointed director of sales and marketing for the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. She is gratified to have the opportunity to contribute to the ongoing health and visibility of the Saratoga Springs community. Her children are all well and spreading their wings; one daughter lives in Chicago, the other resides in Montreal, and her son is in elementary school.

San Diego-based Jeri Held is working with Boston-based FilmPlayLinks, a revolutionary new DVD company that is putting independent films (such as winners of the Sundance Festival) on DVD. Jeri, a liver transplant recipient, has arranged for the Institute for Organ Donor Awareness to be the charitable recipient of the films’ proceeds. Jamie Redford, son of Sundance founder and actor/director Robert, heads the Institute. Jeri states emphatically, “Every chance I get to convince people to be donors, I take.”

Claire Simonelli was named senior manager of business development for Trigen Energy Corporation in White Plains, NY. Her responsibilities include finding opportunities to develop and build cogeneration plants for institutional clients such as universities, municipalities, and hospitals. A former international finance banker, Claire is delighted that her French major continues to “pay off”: Trigen is a subsidiary of Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux, a French company headquartered in Paris.

Lois Dates was honored to serve as “best woman” in Nancy Haas Geyer’s wedding last year. Nancy’s son Kevin, a student at James Madison University, walked her down the aisle.

Margaret Wilson lives in Burlington, CT, while close friend Ellen Frost is a longtime New Yorker. Despite the miles between them, Margaret and Ellen have spent countless weekends and holidays together with their children. Now that Margaret’s son Andrew, 20, is off at Columbia, and daughter Alexis is on the threshold of entering college, Margaret is “entering a new phase of freedom and fear without the daily reassurance of mothering.” The director of operations for an outpatient mental health clinic, she has perfected her introduction at cocktail parties as “an artist in administrator’s clothing.” Ellen has enjoyed a highly successful 25-year career at Chase Manhattan and is the mother of Henry, 12, and Alex, 6.

Last May Diane White Calder was named special projects coordinator and development specialist for the department of surgery at Thomas Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia.

Deborah Davis Moore’s son Bill competed in the British Amateur Golf Tournament in June 2001 in Prestwick, Scotland. He is manager of operations of the National Employers Council. Deborah’s younger son, Andrew, is an attorney associated with Halloran & Sage, LLP in Hartford, CT.

Patricia Willstatter is Midwest manager of Rosie O’Donnell’s magazine, Rosie.

Rosemeryl Sanders Harple coordinates a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont maternity wellness program that manages the care of women with complicated pregnancies. Her youngest son, Chad, is bound for college this fall. Rosemeryl loves spending time with her four-year-old granddaughter. She welcomes e-mail at RHarple443@aol.com.


Noreen P. Reilly


Ingeborg Hegemann Clark

Elizabeth Maloney Dowd and husband Jim, who live in Larchmont, NY, traveled to China in September to adopt Abigail, who recently celebrated her first birthday with big sister Margaret, 6.

For the record, Roslyn Rose is not involved with antiques or pottery, as noted in the last Scope. A fine artist in Hoboken, NJ, she had her studio open to the public during the annual city-sponsored art tour.


Reunion ’02!

Constance Martin

Kristine Tomlinson is a technical writer in Massachusetts. She is taking classes at the New Seminary, based in New York City, to become an ordained interfaith minister.

Registered nurse Nancy Clark Ficaro is VP of sales for a home IV infusion company. She and her husband’s daughter Suzanne attends Loyola College.

Living in the Adirondacks since 1978, Gail Cagwin Meyer teaches biology at Saranac Lake High School and owns a small business with husband Rick. They enjoy skiing with sons Charlie, 15, and Sam, 13.

Sarah Checco Goode has had some big changes in her life. She and husband Ken purchased a small pottery manufacturing business last year. Sarah, who graduated from massage therapy school last October, is staff therapist in an ob-gyn office, where she cares for pregnant women and new moms.

Diane Mastrorocco is a calligrapher and works part-time in the health and fitness field. A Weight Watchers chapter leader, Diane represented the group on the Ananda Lewis show in January.

Michael Felder works as a family physician and teaches internal medicine, pediatrics, and medical ethics at Brown Medical School. He lives in Providence, RI, with his wife and five children, who range in age from three to 11.

Mary Alice Boudreau Katon’s son, a sophomore at UNC-Greensboro, is majoring in media studies and sociology. Mary Alice manages a college information center at a public library in Greensboro. Her husband is a real estate appraiser.

Kathryn Schubert Whyland, living in Syracuse, NY, is busy with her children’s football, soccer, basketball, and softball. She, husband Bill, and family went to the Dominican Republic on vacation in February and had a blast.

Ann Coleman-Specht is looking forward to reunion #25 and will be in a show entitled “The Garden” opening in June at Gallery 100 in Saratoga Springs to coincide with Reunion.

Enjoying her first year of “empty-nesting,” Donna Ericsson Reinbold is the manager of sales and marketing for a large mailing company and lives in Chicago with husband Paul. Son Eric is a computer-electrical engineering major at Cornell University; son Chris is a plebe at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.

Ruth Loomis and husband Josh appeared on the House & Garden Network show "Designing for the Sexes" in November. The couple received a complete makeover for their master bedroom.

Margret Paticopoulos Poole is visiting colleges with her older son and attending kindergarten activities with another. She is a realtor with Blackman & DeStefano in Albany, NY.

As deputy director of intelligence for U.S. Armed Forces, Art Richardson is based in Saudi Arabia, where he is tasked with “looking for bad guys in Afghanistan.” Although he works 14-hour days, seven days a week, Art insists that he is not too busy to read e-mail and would greatly appreciate hearing from classmates. He can be contacted at Prince Sultan Air Base at jtfswa.j2.dep@psab.af.mil.

Our sincere condolences to Karin Bigelow Farber on the death of her 23-year-old son, Benjamin, in late 2001.


Barbara Balaguer Blundell

Martha Kirkpatrick is delighted to be back in her home state of Maine, where she is commissioner of the state’s department of environmental conservation.

Joseph Qualiano has been promoted to lieutenant of police for the southern commands of the New Jersey Transit Police. The NJTP earned a commendation for its prompt response in assisting hundreds of commuters, transit employees, and others wounded in the World Trade Center attacks of September 11.

Peggy Isham and her two teenage daughters are year-round residents of Martha’s Vineyard. Peggy operates a charter school there, which she founded five years ago. “It’s fun,” she exclaims, “but a lot of intense work!” Peggy’s older daughter graduated from high school early to hike in Costa Rica this spring; her younger child attends boarding school in Rhode Island. She writes, “I have been awful about staying in touch with Skidmore friends, but they are always in my heart.”


Kim West

Melissa Weintraub
is pursuing a master’s program in English at Oregon State University. Although she enjoys the coursework, Melissa is not as enthusiastic about the 10-week breaks between terms and finds herself “thinking fondly of Skidmore’s semesters.”


© 2002 Skidmore College