Class Notes: Undergraduate Alumni

Aug 11 2017

1966 and Years Prior

To take an active role in your Class Reunion activities, please contact Jack Reilly at jr2813@columbia.eduor 212-851-0734 or Paolo Santonocito at or 646-745-8417

Class Correspondent:
Gloria Reinish

Spencer Almen BS’12 received an Engineering Class of 1950 Scholarship and keeps in touch with Joe Alvarado. Almen writes: “Columbia continues to play a big role in my life after college. After spending my first two years out of school working in energy efficiency in New York, I took that work experience to Bogotá, Colombia (where my roommate was a buddy from the Columbia Ski Team) to start a new job in energy efficiency (which I found through a Columbia classmate). The year and a half I spent working in Colombia was invaluable and unforgettable as I experienced professional and social life in that country, improved my Spanish language skills, traversed a wide, beautiful swathe of Latin America, and gained a more nuanced understanding of the world. Since February 2016, I’ve been installed in Massachusetts, working in business development at a renewable energy company. The Columbia connection has been a blessing again here in the Boston area, where a number of college friends live and where I can drop in to occasional alumni events. Thanks again to the Engineering Class of 1950 for helping make it all possible!”

Class Correspondent:
Ted Borri

Class Correspondent:
Peter Mauzey

Class Correspondent:
Don Ross

Class Correspondent:
Leo Cirino

Class Correspondent:
Lou Hemmerdinger

Robert Drucker writes that his top news is that his granddaughter Blythe Drucker will join the Columbia family as a member of the Barnard College Class of 2021. In 2016, he toured the Arctic region around Svalbard, Norway, “replete with polar bears, walrus colonies, and thousands of cliffnesting birds. All bright for 10 days in the Land of the Midnight Sun. Fortunate to be able to balance the cold of the Arctic with a warm latefall cruise about the Caribbean.”

Joseph Coogan MS'60 
shares a story about bumping into President Truman on campus: "Harry Truman visited Columbia in September 1954. As he was leaving campus and crossing Broadway, I was exiting the subway station, which was then on a median separating the two lanes of traffic. I was a freshman enrolled in Columbia College on the five-year program, which included three years in the College and two in the Engineering School. Being a little late for my chemistry class in Havemeyer Hall, I rushed across Broadway and accidentally bumped into Truman, knocking him down. His two aides and I helped him up. After a sincere apology, I proceeded to class. Six years later, after three Columbia degrees and a commission in the Navy, I arrived at the Naval Air Station in Key West for a two-year tour of duty. Truman loved Key West. The house where he stayed and worked is now a museum, called The Little White House. I walked by many times but never saw him again. By then, he must have been a permanent resident of his hometown in Missouri, dutifully watching out for traffic and harried students."

Michael J. Guerriero shares some of his top projects over the years as a civil engineer, including Thimble Shoal Island, Virginia, connecting bridge to tunnel for the 17.6-mile Chesapeake Bay Crossing (“to determine the expected settlement for the 1,500-foot-long, 60-foot-high island, I calculated 8 feet, and the actual was 7 feet, 6 inches”); 400 miles of new roads in East Pakistan (Bangladesh); the residential retirement communities of Rossmoor and Clearbrook, New Jersey; and supervising surveying for the Eastside Access rail crossing into Manhattan, among many other civil designs and highway, survey, and geotechnical projects.

Class Correspondent:
Doug Kendall

Class Correspondent:
Marshal (Mickey) Greenblatt

Lynn Conway MS’63 writes: “I returned to campus last spring to present the invitational Magill Lecture, sharing thoughts and envisioning technology-futures with young Columbia Engineering students. This was a wonderful trip down memory lane and provided quite a feeling of life come full-circle! Awareness also continued to grow last year about the impact of my early research on VLSI microelectronic chip design, and last November I was thrilled to receive an honorary doctorate of engineering from the University of Victoria for that work. Meanwhile, my engineer husband Charlie and I are enjoying life together on our 24-acre ‘nature preserve’ in rural Michigan, out to the west of Ann Arbor.”

Class Correspondents:
Chuck Cole
Mark Herman

Class Correspondent:
Tom Magnani

Lawrence Kuznetz MS’65 writes: “I will be teaching a course at UC Berkeley called the Design of Space Suits for Mars. We hope to link up with all the universities including Columbia’s extreme space initiative. All lectures are available by live streaming and archiving at for those who are interested.”

Lynn Conway ’62 MS'63


Tom Magnani writes: “A search through our boxes of photographs to share with our four grandchildren led to an interesting find from my senior year. It was a photo of Bob FordJon Kohn, and I studying together in Bob’s room in Furnald. Once the grandchildren got past the confusion of seeing their grandfather with some hair, I decided to scan it and send it to Bob and Jon. The three of us had a good time reconnecting and reminiscing. Other classmates I regularly hear from are Joe Spindel and Dan Lehrfeld. I look forward to hearing from you.”

1965 & '66
Diane (Dee) Samuel Goodman BS’66 and Seymour (Sy) Goodman BS’65, MS’66 celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on December 18. Sy was recently appointed as Regents’ Professor at Georgia Tech, the most distinguished academic professorship there.


To take an active role in your Class Reunion activities, please contact Jack Reilly at jr2813@columbia.eduor 212-851- 0734 or Paolo Santonocito at or 646-745-8417.

Richard B. Goldstein writes: “I retired in 2014 after 43 years from my position as professor of mathematics at Providence College. My wife, Donna, and I moved to Bonita Springs, Florida, and regularly attend Columbia alumni events. I am still active as a courtesy professor of mathematics at Florida Gulf Coast University.” Bill Quirk PhD’70 was reelected to a third term in the California State Legislature as an assembly member from the 20th District. He is the chair of the Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials and serves on the Agriculture, Utilities and Energy, Revenue and Tax, and Public Safety Committees.

Class Correspondent:
Ron Mangione

Kevin Hom
 ’74GSAPP is in his sixth year as dean of the City University of New York’s College of Technology, School of Technology and Design, where he has responsibility for nine engineering and design departments and a student body of 7,000. He was recently elevated to the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows; and his architectural practice, Kevin Hom Architects PC, recently completed the design and construction on the Fordham University Lincoln Center campus for a new graduate school of business, library, and campus activities and wellness center.


To take an active role in your Class Reunion activities, please contact Brian Alkire at or 212-854-2317 or Paolo Santonocito at or 646-745-8417.


To take an active role in your Class Reunion activities, please contact Star Sawyer at ss3858@columbia.eduor Paolo Santonocito at or 646-745-8417.

Joel Rosenblatt, director of network and computer security at the Columbia Information Security Office, writes: “After working on the Morningside campus in the Watson building for the last 38 years, I moved my office to the new Manhattanville campus, and I am now in the Studebaker building. It is interesting to watch the evolution of the area, and I am looking forward to other buildings opening in 2017 and beyond.”

Class Coorespondents:
Larry Chung
Peter Luccarelli

Class Correspondent:
Stewart Levy

Class Correspondent:
James Reda

Costantino Volpe MS’84 lives in Wrentham, Massachusetts, with his wife and two sons and has held a position as staff metallurgist at Senior Aerospace Metal Bellows in Sharon, Massachusetts, for the past five years. He writes that his older son, Timothy, just began his first year at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he is enrolled in the honors college and is majoring in electrical and computer engineering.

To take an active role in your Class Reunion activities, please contact Star Sawyer at ss3858@ or 212-851-2402 or Paolo Santonocito at or 646-745-8417.
Class Correspondent:
Dan Libby

Vincent Frank Carrubba writes that a Columbia Engineering degree started him on a journey to develop products that solve problems and generate profits. At GE, he developed the SpaceMaker kitchen appliances. When the NYSE phones needed overhauling, he patented and installed a redundant, hot-swappable power supply. He also engineered fastacting electronic safety devices now widely used on hair dryers to avoid electrocution, and a process and machinery to turn coconut husk waste into fire-resistant, lowcost building materials. Vincent’s latest invention is the patented SpaceMaker Outdoor Flooring, tongue-and-groove decking with a waterproof HTV silicone seal that creates dry and sheltered social or storage space under the deck.

Brian Kenneth Swain MS’87
 writes: “I recently published my seventh book, a poetry collection entitled Chicken Feet. It is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other book sites. I have, to date, published three novels, three poetry collections, and an essay collection, and am busily working on finishing my fourth novel, hopefully due out late this year.”

John Gadjo 
writes: “I served in the United States Marine Corps for 24 years after graduation as an infantry officer, attack helicopter pilot, and instructor pilot. My service took me on multiple deployments to include the Middle East, Far East, Somalia, and Afghanistan. After retiring from the Marines, I was employed by Corning as an engineer in the fiber optic division before returning to aviation. Currently, I am a captain with Netjets Aviation and spend my free time on the water.”

Avi Kaner MBA’89 writes that he and his team have expanded the Morton Williams Supermarkets chain by four stores, for a total of 15 supermarkets, primarily in Manhattan. Avi also serves as elected second selectman (deputy mayor) in Westport, Connecticut.

Louis J. Soslowsky MS’87, MPhil’89, PhD’91 was appointed associate dean for research integration at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in 2017. The role was created to increase collaboration across campus and bridge research efforts and strategy between the Perelman School of Medicine and partnering schools and programs. Lou, who is Fairhill Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and professor of bioengineering, also oversees Research Core Facilities for the school.

To take an active role in your Class Reunion activities, please contact Star Sawyer at ss3858@columbia.eduor Jill Galas Hickey at or 212-854-4474.

Class Correspondents:
Caryn Frick
David Shofi

Daniel Weinstein MS’89 opened Essential Structural Engineering, LLC (, in Philadelphia. The firm provides structural engineering services on a wide variety of project types throughout the United States.

Class Correspondent:
Shreosee Roy

John Gadjo '86


Aminuddin Ab Ghani is a senior professor and deputy director of River Engineering and Urban Drainage Research Centre (REDAC) in Malaysia. He writes that his main research interests are sediment transport, flood risk management, and sustainable urban drainage systems. Aminuddin is a member of the Sewer System and Processes Working Group (SSPWG) under the auspices of the International Water Association (IWA) and the International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research’s (IAHR) Joint Committee on Urban Drainage. He is also an editorial board member for the International Journal of River Basin Management, published by IAHR, and an associate editor for the IWA’s Water Science and Technologyjournal

Class Correspondent:
Laura Cordani Christopher


Aminuddin Ab Ghani ’89

Class Correspondent:
Laura Cordani Christopher

Dr. Christopher Ahmad writes: “I continue my lifelong passion on the soccer fields and baseball diamonds of New York City as head physician of both the New York Yankees and NYCFC. I graduated from Columbia as an engineer in 1990, and from NYU in 1994 as a doctor of medicine. Throughout my life, I have always been driven to learn more about the mechanics of the human body. As an orthopedic surgeon, I strive to innovate and be as active as possible—publishing over 250 articles and becoming one of the world’s most respected Tommy John surgeons. Outside of work, I live with my wife, Dr. Beth Shubin Stein, and three children in lower Manhattan. I am writing my second book, a follow-up to Skill, and I commit passionately to my nonprofit organizations Crutches4Kids and the Baseball Health Network. I was also honored to be featured in the fall edition of Columbia Magazine.” 


Class Correspondent:
Radhi Majmudar


To take an active role in your Class Reunion activities, please contact Star Sawyer at ss3858@columbia.eduor Jill Galas Hickey at or 212-854-4474.
Class Correspondent:
Janneth Ignacio Marcelo

Class Correspondent:
Herbert Kreyszig

Class Correspondent:
Enrico Marini Fichera

To take an active role in your Class Reunion activities, please contact Beth Manchester at or 212-854-4472 or Jennifer Feierman at or 212-851-4020.

Aaron Frankel writes that he spent a year after graduation teaching English in Israel and then attended Harvard Law School. He married Maria Fox in 2009. Following a honeymoon in Tahiti, they moved to Allendale, New Jersey, where they now have three boys and two large dogs. Aaron is an intellectual property litigator at Kramer Levin. After working in sales and for a nonprofit (the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), Maria will be attending Columbia’s School of Social Work in the fall.

Class Correspondent:
Daisy Chow


Class Correspondent:
Catherine Marcinkevage


To take an active role in your Class Reunion activities, please contact Beth Manchester at or 212-854-4472 or Jennifer Feierman at or 212-851-4020. 
Class Correspondent:
John Morris

Class Correspondent:
Amar Doshi

Class Correspondent:
Eric Rhee

Class Correspondent:
Devang Doshi

Brandon Basso writes that after serving as the vice president of engineering at 3D Robotics, he will be joining Uber ATG’s self-driving car effort. He will be working on autonomous vehicle technologies, with an emphasis on mapping and safety. At 3D Robotics, Brandon led the engineering development of the first consumer drones.

Class Correspondent:
Nick Jennings


To take an active role in your Class Reunion activities, please contact Jack Reilly at jr2813@columbia.eduor 212-851-0734 or Jennifer Feierman at or 212-851-4020. 
Class Correspondent:
Tamsin Davies

Tamsin Davies writes: “Hi, fellow members of Class of 2007! This year marks our 10-year reunion in June. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible and catching up.”

Class Correspondent:
Amy Lin

Jessica Aspis Wender ’13BUS married Brian Wender on Long Island in 2016 with many Columbia friends attending, including three as bridesmaids. The couple lives in Manhattan, where Jessica works in the Chief Analytics Office at IBM. She is also president of the Columbia Engineering Young Alumni (CEYA).

Class Correspondent:
Heather Lee

Class Correspondent:
Justin Merced


To take an active role in your Class Reunion activities, please contact Jack Reilly at jr2813@columbia.eduor 212-851-0734 or Jennifer Feierman at or 212-851-4020. 
Class Correspondents:
Rebecca Frauzem
Hannah Cui

Spencer Almen, who received an Engineering Class of 1950 Scholarship, writes a note of thanks to the Class of 1950. Read his note and personal update in the Class of 1950 section.

Nikkan Das is currently a pediatric resident at the University of North Carolina Children’s Hospital. She writes that she stayed in the city after graduation for medical school and then decided to try out a new town for a few years (but definitely misses the city life). She is enjoying residency so far and is keeping her options open as to what she wants to do in the future. She is planning to get married this fall and is excited to see what this year will bring.

Class Correspondent:
Mary Byers

Serge Yegiazarov writes: “I was recently included in Features magazine’s 2017 30 Under 30 list. The list includes other notables such as Evan Spiegel, the CEO and cofounder of Snapchat; The Weeknd, a Grammy Award–winning artist; and Odell Beckham Jr., one of the top talents in the NFL.”

Class Correspondent:
Victoria Nneji

Phoenetia Browne graduatedfrom the University of Texas-Austin with a master’s degree in civil engineering (construction engineering and project management) in 2016. She was the Women’s Soccer Assistant Coach at the College of St. Elizabeth in Morristown, New Jersey, and is now an engineering assistant at Turner Construction, working on the Barnard New Building Project.

Olivier Jin started graduate school at Stanford University in 2015 and expects to graduate in June. In summer 2016, he did a summer internship at Intel Corporation and will be joining NVIDIA full-time in September.


To take an active role in your Class Reunion activities, please contact Beth Manchester or 212-854-4472 or Swaati Puri at or 646-745-8411..

Dr. Christopher Ahmad '90