Class Notes

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    July 2024

  • Jay Aubrey Jones

    Jay Aubrey Jones (BS ’76)

    Jay recently sang in “About Time,” a new musical review by Maltby and Shire for their class reunion at Yale. The show also featured Gretchen Cryer, Jason Danieley, Daniel Jenkins, Q. Smith, and Lynne Wintersteller. Jay is playing Achish in the Off-Broadway musical “David” through July 13 at the AMT Theatre.

  • Matt Barba

    Matthew Barba (BM ’18)

    Matt has taken full ownership of a growing audio-visual production company based in Brooklyn, New York, known as FullStack Productions NY. After years of honing his craft as an audio engineer and learning other technical disciplines in the world of live events, Matt will be leading the growth and vision of FullStack NY while orchestrating resources to provide excellent service to the audio-visual and events industry in New York City and beyond.

  • Laurie Maddalena Leadership Consultant

    Laurie (Hackett) Maddalena (BS ’96)

    In November, Laurie was an inaugural honoree for the ‘CUSE50 Alumni Entrepreneur Award recognizing the 50 fastest growing alumni businesses. Laurie is a professional speaker, leadership consultant, and CEO of Envision Excellence in Maryland. Her company facilitates leadership development programs for managers and executives to help companies create cultures where people love to come to work.

  • May 2024

  • Rockin Botz Exhibition Poster

    Tyler K. Smith (BFA ’77)

    Tyler will have the solo exhibition “ROCKIN’ BOTZ: The Lowbrow Art of TYLER K. SMITH” at the Lighthouse ArtCenter Galleries in Tequesta, Florida, Jan. 16- Feb. 22, 2025. Visit his website.

  • A painting of swings at a carnival.

    Kathleen (Reilly) Beausoleil (BFA ’90)

    Kathleen is in a three-person show at The Painting Center in New York City through May 18.

  • April 2024

  • Tara Sandlin

    Tara Sandlin (BM ’23)

    After years of working in non-profit religious and artistic spaces around Central New York, Tara will matriculate to Harvard University this fall to pursue a master of divinity degree on a full scholarship. Tara is excited to bring her musical background to a cohort preparing for careers as leaders in the academy, religious sites, government, non-profit, and more.

  • Jay Aubrey Jones

    Jay Aubrey Jones (BS ’76)

    Jay recently performed at 54 Below in New York in “54 Below Loves Cast Albums.” The show also featured Karen Akers, Christine Pedi, Ben Jones, Michael Portantiere, Matthew Martin Ward. Megan Styrna, Robbie Rozelle, George Anthony Papas and John Griffin.

  • March 2024

  • Even the Dog Was Quiet Book Cover.

    Margaret Sáraco (BFA ’81)

    Margaret recently published her second book of poetry, “Even the Dog Was Quiet” (Human Error Publishing, 2023). Tamar Jacobs, associate editor of Iron City Magazine, commented, “This book is a kind of memoir in poems, a careful recounting and examination of the way Sáraco’s relationships over the course of life have shaped her, and how her memories have sustained and helped her find and make meaning from life. The poems study small interpersonal moments embedded in everyday life and pan back to consider the meaning of a life, and heart, full of thousands of these moments. This is a gorgeous book.” “Even the Dog Was Quiet” is widely available, including online in Barnes & Noble and Amazon and at the Syracuse University Campus Store.

  • Jonathan Lavan in a diving suit under water taking a photo of an alligator.

    Jonathan Lavan (BFA ’85)

    Jonathan is the owner of Underpressure Diving & Nature Photography. In his role as a photographer, naturalist, citizen scientist, and wildlife expert, he leads diving and photography trips all over the world. His award-winning nature photography has shown in galleries in Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, Barcelona, and his home state of Maine. Jonathan is a staunch environmentalist and educator of young people. He is committed to making a difference on this planet through his images and his message of goodwill to all creatures.

  • December 2023

  • Jay Aubrey Jones

    Jay Aubrey Jones (BS ’76)

    Jay recently played Ezekiel Foster and Mr. Snoring Man in Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” at Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, Pennsylvania. On January 25 he will be featured in an encore presentation of “Jerry Orbach’s Broadway” with Anita Gillette, Lee Roy Reams, William Michals, Nikita Burshteyn, and Chris and Tony Orbach at 54 Below in New York. Jay can also still be seen in Episode 302 of “Only Murders in the Building” with Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez on Hulu.

  • Jessica Whitley and Mayor Ben Walsh

    Jessica Whitley (BFA ’18)

    Jessica, who received an M.P.A. from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School this summer, designed a colorful asphalt mural painted on the pavement in front of Syracuse’s city hall. The winning submission in a contest offered by Adapt CNY and the city last year, the image shows a skyline bordering a vibrant tree supported by several hands. This project was funded by a $25,000 grant from the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Asphalt Art Initiative, which sponsors community art projects. The grant supported materials, technical support, volunteers, and furniture to engage the public.

  • November 2023

  • Adlai Hurt (BS ’04)

    Adlai earned a Ph.D. in learning and leadership, with a concentration in higher education administration, from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. His dissertation is titled “The human capital campaign: the relationships of burnout and investment in employee development on intent to leave.”

  • September 2023

  • Joanie Leeds FREADOM album cover

    Joanie Leeds (BFA ’00)

    Joanie, a Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, released her latest children’s album “FREADOM: Songs Inspired by Banned Children’s Books” on September 15. “FREADOM” illustrates the melodic power of solidarity, resistance, and diversity. Joanie and her all-star Book Band celebrate many of the banned children’s books with a new collection of eight original songs that joyously amplify messages of love and inclusion.

  • Phillip Gregory Burke photo with text He's the First by Phillip Gregory Burke and OOB Festival

    Phillip Gregory Burke (BFA ’07)

    Phillip’s play, “He’s the First,” was a top 13 finalist out of 850 submissions at this year’s 48th Annual Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival.

  • Jeanne Finkelstein Goodman (BFA ’73)

    Jeanne’s work is included in numerous corporate collections in the United States, as well several university and college gallery collections, including Atlantic Shores Corporation, Capital One, Central Fidelity Bank, Charles H. Taylor Arts Center (Hampton, Virginia); Chowan University (North Carolina); Contemporary Art Center of Virginia, and many more. View a full list on her website.

  • Kieran Murphy, Pierce Brosnan, Brendan Murphy

    Kieran J. Murphy (BFA ’06)

    This past year Kieran had the opportunity to direct a TV series with his brother Brendan titled “History’s Greatest Heists” hosted by Pierce Brosnan. Debuting on the History Channel, it is currently on demand and also on KLM flights. For the series they used new volume LED technology to put Brosnan into the actual heist. Kieran also just finished his 10th anniversary of helming “Shark Week” as a director of photography for Discovery Channel. Recently, he finished a film starring Tyrese Gibson (“Fast & Furious” franchise), which will come out at the beginning of 2024.

  • Carole Saccone (MFA ’00)

    Carole Saccone is president of The Reel Film Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3 dedicated to promoting independent film exhibition and education. She is also creative director of the Reel Deal Film Festival, an international festival in Central Florida’s East Coast. The festival raises funds for the foundation’s outreach, which includes filmmaking clubs for at-risk teens, free comprehensive college counseling for students seeking film-related education paths, and scholarships to declared film majors. Syracuse filmmakers can reach out for a discount code for submission.

  • August 2023

  • Kathryn Ferentchak

    Kathryn Ferentchak (BFA ’17)

    Kathryn was recently named 2023 Filmmaker of the Year/Visual Effects by Pro Moviemaker Magazine for artist JWalks’ music video “White Wine.” Ferentchak served as director and producer of the video, which was the first shoot at Cinepacks’ brand-new LED virtual production studio in Hollywood, combining mixed media, aerial dancing, and in-camera visual effects.

  • A child holds a stuffed hippo, a stuffed elephant, and a stuffed fox

    Sara Moore (BFA ’03)

    Sara recently launched Silver Lining Stuffies, a line of children’s book and companion stuffed animals helping kids understand and manage their emotions through playful, engaging stories. The first three books, “Andie & the Worries,” “Frankie & Gloob,” and “Slow Down, Alfie!” address feelings of worry, sadness and over-activity. They foster imagination and play so that children can see themselves in stories, know they are never alone, and discover their own methods for achieving mental wellness. Sara’s vision is that every child has the tools, skills, and community needed to develop a healthy mindset.

  • July 2023

  • Adair Heitmann

    Adair (Wilson) Heitmann (BFA ’75)

    Adair is a national first-place winner (website) and honorable mention (essay) awards recipient in the 2023 National Federation of Press Women Professional Communications contest. She is a four-time winner in the Connecticut Press Club’s 2022 Professional Communications Contest, including two first place awards, second place (speeches), and third place (speeches) in the state. She is a story artist creating personal narratives and performing them live and online in storytelling venues, theaters, libraries, churches, and schools. She is also active in the international visual storytelling platform PechaKucha. Her essays and poems are published in books and anthologies, and she is a poet-in-residence teaching artist in schools with Silvermine Art Partners in Norwalk and Bridgeport, Connecticut.

  • Book cover for Five Minutes to Curtain

    Linda Lori Burgess (MA ’80)

    Released in December, 2022 by J.Gordon Shillingford Publishing, Linda’s “Five Minutes to Curtain” was launched in March 2023. Replete with invaluable information, humorous anecdotes, and encouraging tips, this little book serves as an excellent resource for teachers of theater arts as well as for anyone who wishes to create and stage original plays.

  • May 2023

  • Cheryl Patton Wu

    Cheryl Patton Wu (BFA ’75)

    Cheryl was recently named a Grand Jury Award finalist for Manifest Gallery’s (Cincinnati) 17th exhibition season (2020-2021) for her fiber piece “Strata.” Cheryl also is pleased to announce that she will be exhibiting her fiber and fabric art at Gallery 50, Bridgeton, New Jersey, for the month of June, and at Perkins Center for the Arts, Collingswood, New Jersey, for the month of October. You can view Cheryl’s fiber art on her website, and you can follow her on Instagram (cherylpattonwu).

  • Jay Aubrey Jones

    Jay Aubrey Jones (BS ’76)

    Jay spent April and May in Hilton Head, South Carolina, playing Larry in “Company” at the Art Center of Coastal Carolina. On July 24 Jay will be featured in “Jerry Orbach’s Broadway” with Jill O’Hara, Lee Roy Reams, William Michals, and Chris and Tony Orbach (Jerry Orbach’s sons) at 54 Below in New York City. Later this year Jay can be seen as an imperious usher at a celebrity funeral on “Only Murders in the Building” on Hulu with Steve Martin, Martini Short, and Selena Gomez.

  • Dusty Rhodes

    Dusty Rhodes (BS ’61 )

    Dusty retired in March after serving 32 years as Hamilton County (Ohio) auditor. The county commissioners declared March 9 “Dusty Rhodes Day” in Hamilton County.

  • Michael Ambrosino (BS ’52, MS ’55)

    Michael is a retired series creator and executive producer at WGBH-TV and Public Broadcasting Associates whose credits include “Nova” (1974, PBS, creator and executive producer);”Odyssey” (1982, PBS, creator and executive producer): “The Ring of Truth” (1987, PBS, executive producer); and “Journey to the Occupied Lands” on “Frontline” (1993, PBS, producer-correspondent).

  • A person points at a stone wall that says Benjamin D. Watkins Company in carved type

    Sue Howard Youngblood (MFA ’86)

    After careers designing and teaching, Sue recently was awarded the AIGA Fellow from the Atlanta chapter. The award recognizes designers who have made a significant contribution to raising the standards of excellence in practice and conduct within their local design community as well as in their local AIGA (the professional association for design). Learning about AIGA while at Syracuse University, Sue has been an active member ever since. She currently guides Type Walks in historic areas of Atlanta to raise education scholarship funds. The walks weave the stories behind letterforms, plaques, graffiti, and signs with Atlanta’s history.

  • April 2023

  • Five Minutes to Curtain book

    Linda Lori Burgess (MA ’80)

    Linda has published the book “Five Minutes to Curtain – A Teacher’s Guide for Creating and Staging Original Plays” (J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing, 2022)

  • Gabriel Eng-Goetz

    Gabriel Eng-Goetz (BFA ’08)

    Gabriel was featured in the Walter Magazine article “The Runaway: Muralist and Graphic Designer Gabe Eng-Goetz.”

  • Bettina Jones (BFA ’75)

    Bettina was recently accepted into the west edition #162 of New American Paintings. The competition is juried by a museum curator; the west division is composed of 14 states, and 40 painters are selected for the issue.

  • Maria Nicholas

    Maria Nicholas (MA ’00)

    Maria has published a bilingual (Greek and English) visual monograph of her father, Apostolos Nikolaidis (1938–1999), a Greek music singer who lived and worked in the United States and Canada for over 25 years (Marilou Press, 2022). A comprehensive history of her father’s artistic contribution to Greek music, the book combines first-hand accounts with original research, rare artifacts, and historical detail to highlight unknown facets of Greek nightlife and music entertainment in North America during the back half of the 20th century. Popular Greek culture website called the book “a unique, even insurmountable measure of comparison in terms of how a popular Greek music artist can be presented in printed literature.”