Class Notes

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    May 2022

  • Jason Cicci accepts an Indie Series Award at a podium

    Jason Cicci (BFA ’93)

    Jason’s work was recently nominated for 16 Indie Series Awards for two independent series that he created/wrote/produced. “Cady Did” starring Tony Award-winner Cady Huffman was nominated for 12 awards, winning five, the most of any show this year, including Best Comedy Series. “Searching for Sylvie” was nominated for four awards, winning Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy.

  • Sally Gladden Luczyski (MA ’72)

    Sally presently works with the Sullivan County Dramatic Workshop (South Fallsburg, New York) and is involved in all aspects.
    She initiated Catskill Readers’ Theatre.

  • Nancy Danahy (BFA ’73)

    Nancy “retired” from Pearson Education in 2012, well before she was expecting to retire, so she started her own small graphic design firm, Nancy Danahy Design. She has a life beyond her work that includes her children, grandchildren, and friends, as well as two Mahjong groups. She is looking forward to some traveling later this year, with potential trips to Hilton Head, South Carolina, and Disney World in Florida with family. Her personal quote is “Life is good. It may not be perfect, but it is good.”

  • Terri Ginsberg (BFA ’85)

    Terri has published the short-form monograph “Films of Arab Loutfi and Heiny Srour: Studies in Palestine Solidarity Cinema” (Palgrave Pivot, 2021).  She is presently assistant professor of film and media at Concordia University in Montréal.

  • Moving Words About a Flower book cover

    Barbara (Zuckerman) Chotiner (BFA ’95)

    Barbara recently illustrated a new children’s book, “Moving Words About a Flower,” about the lifecycle of a dandelion for Charlesbridge Publishing. She had a book signing in her town of Narberth, Pennsylvania. Visit her website.

  • April 2022

  • John Rudolph

    John Rudolph (BFA ’05)

    After 15 years of building brands, concepting ad campaigns, and developing marketing platforms at various design and advertising agencies, John launched Map Agency, a brand design studio, in 2021. Based in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, Map Agency provides print and digital brand and design services for people and businesses ranging from start-up to Fortune 500. Visit map-agency.com to learn more and see the latest work.

  • March 2022

  • Deborah Miller

    Deborah (Walker) Miller (BM ’71)

    After singing for two seasons with the Metropolitan Opera company in New York City and having a successful performing career as an ingenue leading lady in Broadway musical touring shows and performing internationally on cruise ships, Deborah transitioned to producing radio shows and lent her talent as an on-air radio personality for “The Dick Miller Show” in New York City, New Jersey, Aruba, and St. Maarten/St. Martin. Today, Deborah is an award-winning realtor in Venice/Sarasota, Florida. She was inducted into the RE/MAX Hall of Fame in 2013 and in March 2021 was awarded the RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual International RE/MAX convention in Orlando at the Orlando World Center Marriott. Deborah has access to RE/MAX offices in 110 countries around the world.

  • Book cover of "Stories My Father Told Me"

    Helen Zughaib (BFA ’81)

    Helen was nominated for and received a three-year Social Impact Residency at the Kennedy Center/REACH in Washington, D.C., to work on issues surrounding displacement, refugee crisis, and migration, especially around women and children. She received the Evelyn Shakir Book Award for non-fiction from the Arab American National Museum in Detroit for the book “Stories My Father Told Me” (Cune Press), co authored by Elia Zughaib.

  • Nora Carrol

    Nora Carrol (BFA ’71)

    Nora’s most recent article critiquing the worrisome move of online university programs to third-party platforms was publishsed by Times Higher Education (UK) in July 2021. Nora is also teaching entrepreneurship for both graduate and undergraduate programs at the School of Business and Public Administration, University of the District of Columbia.

  • Adair Heitmann

    Adair (Wilson) Heitmann (BFA ’75)

    Adair is active in the international visual storytelling community, PechaKucha, most recently with her story “Creativity is the Mother of Reinvention.” She is a contributing author in the book “Animals: Personal Tales of Encounters with Spirit Animals” featuring Dr. Steven Farmer. She is currently writing unique stories that she presents and shares with diverse audiences. She is also working in book arts, photography, printmaking, and video essays.

  • Richard Huntington (BFA ’60)

    Richard will have a comprehensive exhibition of his paintings and work in other media, both mixed and pure, in 2023 at the internationally known alternative space Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center in Buffalo, New York. Visit his website.

  • Ferne Arfin

    Ferne Arfin (BS ’67)

    Ferne’s debut novel, “Tunnel of Mirrors,” was published in London in February 2022. The novel, a literary love story, is set in New York City and Ireland in the early part of the 20th century. After graduation from Syracuse University, Ferne studied with Malcolm Bradbury, founder of the UK’s first creative writing program, at the University of East Anglia. Her short stories have appeared in the Arkansas Review, The Literary Review, and several anthologies. Visit her website.

  • Charmatz logo

    Jim Charmatz (BFA ’88)

    Jim works in character concept and digital design. His team at Legacy Effects is Oscar nominated and multiple Emmy-winning for many films and TV shows, including the “Terminator” franchise, the “Jurassic Park” franchise, “Avatar,” “Iron Man” (and most of the other Marvel Cinematic Universe films and TV shows), and now for “The Mandalorian” and other “Star Wars” TV on Disney+. View his portfolio and his credits on IMDB.

  • A poster advertising Maya Stern's exhibition in Wisconsin

    Maya Stern (MFA ’21)

    Maya was awarded the graduate fellowship from the Southern Graphics Council International (SGCI). Her award culminates in a solo exhibition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison during the annual SGCI conference. The exhibition runs March 8-20 with an opening reception on March 18 from 3-4 p.m.

  • Harriete Estel Berman

    Harriete Estel Berman (BFA ’74)

    Jewelry by Harriete was recently featured in “Jewelry” on PBS produced by Craft In America. Visit her website.

  • February 2022

  • Book cover of Why?

    Taye Diggs (BFA ’93) and Shane W. Evans (BFA ’93)

    The acclaimed picture book duo have published “Why? A Conversation about Race” (Macmillan Publishing, 2022). Written by Taye with illustrations by Shane, the book distills the conversations many children and adults are having about race, injustice, and anger in communities throughout the U.S., and gives them context that young readers can connect with.

  • James Little (MFA ’76)

    James was one of the artists selected to be part of the Whitney Biennial 2022: Quiet as It’s Kept, which will be on view April 6-September 5. The Whitney Biennial is the longest-running survey of American art.

  • January 2022

  • Lisa (Simons) Brissette (BS ’85)

    Lisa received a master of arts in elementary education in 1986 from Fordham University and says that her speech communication degree was instrumental in helping her get her first teaching job in 1987. She taught grades 3-6 during her seven years in the South Brunswick school department in New Jersey. In 1994 she earned a master of science in education administration at Rider University; that same year she was hired as an elementary school principal for the Woonsocket school department in Rhode Island. She was named the Rhode Island Elementary School Principal of the Year in 2003 and also had the honor of representing the state of Rhode Island at a conference in Washington, D.C., where she had the opportunity to talk with Congressman Patrick Kennedy about improvements needed in education.

  • Book cover of "Among Lions"

    Kirsten (Weidemier) Panachyda (BM ’92)

    Kirsten’s first book, “Among Lions: Fighting for Faith and Finding your Rest while Parenting a Child with Mental Illness,” was published in May 2021.

  • Craig LaRosa

    Craig LaRosa (BID ’95)

    After a long career with such renowned design and innovation consultancies—Continuum Innovation, Frog Design, and Accenture/Altitude—Craig has joined Boar’s Head to support the premium CPG company as they continue their meteoric rise as the number one brand in grocery stores. Craig and his family (wife Valerie, son Dylan, and daughter Amelia) made the move to Sarasota, Florida, this summer and do not miss the winters of the Northeast.

  • Nick Purdy (BFA ’01)

    After a career managing performing arts centers and freelance theater and event design, Nick returned to school for a master’s in architecture and is now licensed and practicing in North Carolina.

  • Jay Aubrey Jones

    Jay Aubrey Jones (BS ’76)

    Jay recently made two appearances at Feinstein’s 54 Below in “Even If It Only Runs a Minute” and “The Boys from Syracuse.” He will be featured as Hemlut Heimlich in the world premiere of “MacGyver:The Musical” at Stages Houston. He will also be seen as an eccentric cat lover on “Bull” on CBS in February.

  • December 2021

  • Karl Weld (BFA ’92)

    Karl is entering his sixth year at SharkNinja, first as studio manager, then director of creative services, and now as director of Asset Innovation Group. His team is responsible for all image assets for a $5 billion global consumer products company (CGI and traditional image retouching, as well as video animation). He is also an exhibiting member of the 100-year-old Rockport Art Association and Museum, painting in watercolor. Visit karlweld.com to see his work.

  • Michael Croiter (BM ’98)

    Michael received his second Grammy Award nomination for Best Musical Theater Album for “Burt Bacharach and Steven Sater’s Some Lovers,” (Burt Bacharach, Michael Croiter, Ben Hartman & Steven Sater, producers; Burt Bacharach, composer; Steven Sater, lyricist). Michael was nominated in this category in 2013 for “Matilda: The Musical.”

  • November 2021

  • A man and a woman take a selfie

    Joe Blank (BFA ’18)

    Joe had his debut feature film “Roman Candle” screened at the Syracuse International Film Festival in October. He wrote, directed, co-produced, and self-financed the film, working alongside Joshua Curley ’18, Collin Hotchkiss ’18, Connor Burns ’18, Matt Kerr ’18, Derrick Owens ’18, Noah Schindler ’19, Sarah Hubner ’19, and Melissa Lawson ’18. “Roman candle” has also been accepted to the Tallahassee Film Festival and the New York Long Island Film Festival. Learn more about the film.

  • Arlene Roth

    Arlene F. Roth (Knecht) (BS ’69)

    Arlene recently received an award for her painting “Dancing Spanish Skirt Mandala” from the Sarasota, Florida-based Ringling College of Art & Design, Englewood Art Center. She has excelled in her new career as an acrylic artist painting impasto impressionist and abstract styles. Her creations in bright colors sculpted with both brush and palette knife literally rise off the canvas. To see her collection, visit her online art gallery.

  • Harriete Estel Berman

    Harriete Estel Berman (BFA ’70)

    Harriete is featured in the Craft in America episode “JEWELRY” on PBS. The program highlights Tom Herman’s use of precious materials, which is a phenomenal contrast to Harriete’s use of recycled materials of tin cans and post-consumer plastic. Also in the episode, Gabrielle Gould is inspired by nature, Jesse Monongya is a Navajo/Hopi jeweler, and Art Smith reflects an innovative mid-20th century aesthetic. The episode is streaming now on the PBS video app and will have its broadcast premiere on December 10. Watch a preview.

  • Julia Pitcher

    Julia Pitcher (BM ’02)

    Julia recently moved from PhRMA over to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) as the newly created head of state government relations. She will be responsible for driving the public policy agenda in states across the nation and deepening its advocacy relationships with stakeholders. She’ll represent MJFF before legislators, regulators, and other state government policymakers on policy issues related to access to care for Parkinson’s patients and caretakers. She currently resides outside Annapolis, Maryland, with her two sons, Colt (age 6) and Oliver (age 4).

  • Kinsey Robb

    Kinsey Robb (BFA ’04)

    After more than a decade working with internationally recognized artists at several commercial contemporary art galleries in New York City, Kinsey has made the move to the nonprofit arts sector to take the helm of Sarasota’s oldest visual arts nonprofit, Art Center Sarasota. As a newbie to the city of Sarasota she is looking forward to forging new partnerships, collaborations, and building a culture of philanthropy to help sustain the center’s mission and elevate the many exhibitions, art classes, and cultural programming it brings to the community. If you are in town and want to connect, please reach out to her. Read an article about Kinsey’s new position.

  • October 2021

  • Two outdoor sculptures next to a building

    Daniel Anderson (BFA ’01)

    Dan’s XO WORLD Project unveiled two monumental sculptures in New York City on September 21 to celebrate World Peace Day: the “XO World” sculpture in front of One World Trade Center and its companion sculpture, “XO Play,” at The Oculus. “XO World,” at 285 Fulton Street, is inspired by the game of jacks, while “XO Play,” installed at Church Street/WTC/Westfield Mall, is a sculpture of children playing jacks. Both aim to promote the universal messages of equality, unity, peace, and love. The XO WORLD project will install monumental sculptures in major cities around the world to call attention to the need for peace, love, and inclusion. Learn more about the project at www.xoworldproject.com.