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Spring 2016

Flag that says "Let's Go."

Flags all Around

You loved the “Let’s Go” flags that we sent to traveling Mountaineers so much that we ran out! Now you can have your own to display at home or abroad or to send to friends. This “Let’s Go” flag is now available for purchase online at
Thomas Gera, Frank Hershberger and J.T. Morris wearing blue medical gowns in Liberia.

Responding to Crisis 

(pictured l-r) Thomas Gera, BS ’94, Keyser, W.Va., Frank Hershberger, PhD ’97, Ridgeley, W.Va., and J.T. Morris, BS, MS ’91, Rockville, Md., were deployed to the West African Ebola crisis from January to March 2015. They are officers in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service. They served on team three of the Monrovia Medical Unit and were stationed south of Monrovia, Liberia. The Monrovia Medical Units provided direct medical care to healthcare workers who became ill while caring for Ebola patients.

Kuwait flag

Always Room for One More

In the fall, President E. Gordon Gee visited the Middle East where he chartered the first WVU alumni chapter in that part of the world. Kuwait joins existing international chapters — all in Asia — in China, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea and Taiwan. What country will be next to form an alumni chapter? Stay tuned.


James Butt, BS, Fort Myers, Fla., who arrived at WVU after attending Egerton University in Kenya, wrote a book titled “My Life and Times,” published by Dorrance Publishing Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa. The book includes details about his time at WVU during the Vietnam War draft, national student unrest and the Civil Rights movement.


Martin Coy, BSJ, Frederick, Md., has published his second book “Unburied Treasure.” His first book, “Not All So Tall Tales” was published in 2007. … Col. Ben Findley, BS, MS ’69, Pensacola, Fla., published his fifth book “Concealed Carry & Handgun Essentials for Personal Protection” in print and eBook formats, with Florida Handguns Training. It is available on Amazon. Findley retired as a colonel with 30 years of service in the U.S. Air Force, from Pensacola State College where he served as dean of the College of Business and director of Human Resources, and retired as a licensed securities registered representative.


Brian D. Wyllie, BA, Fort Myers, Fla., has published “The Long Trip Home,” available through Amazon. The book is about his return trip from a Peace Corps assignment in Brazil from 1969-71. The book is in the Kennedy Library and the Library of Congress. 


Russell J. Bunio, BS, Camano Island, Wash., and Bradenton Beach, Fla., worked at General Motors, Cummins Engine Co. and the Boeing Co. In 2002, he founded a supply chain management consulting group, Russell J. Bunio and Associates. He has written “The Graduate Handbook,” with Trafford Publishing, based on best practices that provide graduates with advice to help them with a solid and quick start on their working careers. 


Linda Troeller, BS, Lakewood, N.J., is an art photographer whose new book “Living in the Chelsea Hotel” documents through photos her time living in the legendary New York hotel. 


Randy Jones, BA, entered a partnership with Praxxs Corporation, a northern Virginia-based, Washington, D.C.-area consulting firm. He retired from the U.S. Army in 1996 and from Science Applications International in 2012. He is currently writing the sequel to his 2013 novel “Pendulum.” 


Shirley Byard, BS, Glen Dale, W.Va., was named to the Sage North America President’s Circle for the 2014-15 business year with her company Best Business Strategies. … Michael Krawic, BFA, Los Angeles, Calif., is appearing in Paramount Studio’s “Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension” as Father Todd. This is the final chapter in the Paranormal Activity franchise, which has grossed nearly a billion dollars worldwide since 2009. He will also appear with Steve Guttenberg in the upcoming film “Lookin’ Up.” 


Melanie Kerber, MA, EdD ’92, Pittsburgh, Pa., has accompanied her foreign service officer husband, Frank, to tours in the Central African Republic; Kingston, Jamaica; and Brussels, Belgium. Following his retirement in 2006, the couple returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh. After eight years as a principal in the Sto-Rox School District, she became superintendent of Blackhawk School District in Beaver County. 


Houston Lewis, MSW, Angelus Oaks, Calif., recently retired from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs after 32 years of federal service. … Jane Peters McMullen, BS, New Cumberland, Pa., is Naval Supply Systems Command’s newest senior executive service member. She began her assignment as assistant commander for corporate operations at NAVSUP in Mechanicsburg, Pa., in January 2016. … Bill Tancred, EdD, an inductee of the WVU College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences Hall of Fame, is retired and a visiting professor for sports and exercise leadership at Suffolk University in England. He is also president for sport in the County of Suffolk and a patron for the charity Inspire Suffolk to help disadvantaged young adults get the opportunity to take up sports and improve their well-being. He represented Great Britain twice in the Olympics and has set many British athletic records, especially in the discus.


Douglas Frost, BS, MS ’83, Purcellville, Va., a senior vice president with Dewberry, has been appointed by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to the GENEDGE ALLIANCE Board of Trustees. He will serve a four-year term on the board to assist with addressing engineering innovation and industry technology challenges and expanding its support of Virginia-based industries. 


Robert D. Boyd, JD, Atlanta, Ga., of the firm Boyd Collar Nolen & Tuggle, was selected among Georgia Trend Magazine’s 2015 Legal Elite and named among Best Lawyers in America for 2016. His firm is listed as a tier 1 Atlanta family law firm for the fourth consecutive year in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Law Firms.” … Mark A. Lannan, BS, MS, is principal/owner of Brightfields Inc., an environmental consulting and remediation company headquartered in Wilmington, Del. The company was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of the nation’s 5,000 fastest-growing private companies for the third year in a row in 2015.


Janet Millard, BA, MS ’89, Cajamarca, Peru, joined the Peace Corps in 2015 at age 58. She completed training at Lima, Peru, and is now at her permanent site where she’ll be for two years, immersed in the culture while teaching English to children and starting community savings and lending banks. 


Lynn Kessler, BS, Alexandria, Va., continues to work as a producer/ writer for various networks, most recently post-producing “Alien Sharks 3” for the Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” and working as showrunner for “Hoarding Buried Alive: Reload.”


Michael Reid, BS, Downington, Pa., completed his doctorate in 2015 at Walden University with a dissertation on “Sales Performance and Emotional Intelligence of Technology Sales Professionals.” He has been happily married to his WVU industrial engineering classmate Denise DeBell for 27 years.


Erin Martin, BS, Pittsburgh, Pa., a lecturer in nursing at Waynesburg University, received the 2015 Lucas-Hathaway Teaching Excellence Award for a non-full-time faculty member. 


Joel M. Nagel, JD, Vienna, Austria, has been appointed the ambassador of Belize to the Republic of Austria. He is also serving as permanent representative to Belize’s United Nations offices in Vienna. He lives with his wife, Susan, and their seven children and he plans to divide his time between Vienna, Austria; San Pedro, Belize; and Sewickley, Pa. He is founder of Nagel & Associates, LLC, a boutique law firm in Pittsburgh, Pa., focusing on international commercial law and immigration.


Eusebio Llacer, MA, Valencia, Spain, received a PhD in English philology from the Universitat de València in 1990. He has been teaching English and American Literature for more than 20 years at the Universitat de València. He married WVU alumna, Esther Enjuto, and has three boys, 19, 15 and 13. Last year, he had a three-month research visit at the University of California, Berkeley. 


Hunter O’Hara, PhD, St. Petersburg, Fla., was appointed to the faculty of Early Childhood Education at Towson University in Baltimore, Md., and just published his book “Transcendent Teacher Learner Relationships: The Way of the Shamanic Teacher.”


Jason Cooper, BS, MS ’97, is vice president and chief analytics officer for Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey in Newark. 


Kimberly D. Ridenour, BS, Pittsburgh, Pa., recently became the director of marketing and business development at Bridges & Company, a general contractor.


Susan Aspey, BA, Washington, D.C., was promoted to SVP of communications, public affairs and policy at Cengage Learning. … Donna L. Burgraff, EdD, Chillicothe, Ohio, an associate professor at Ohio University, published an article in the January 2016 journal Higher Education for the Future. The article is titled “No More Textbooks: Changing How We Structure Classes” and details her strategy for combating rising textbook costs in higher education. … Chris Farley, BA, is in private practice as a psychotherapist in Silver Spring, Md.


Mark Combs, BS, MBA ’01, Bridgeport, W.Va., has been named chief information officer for Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC. Combs oversees all of the firm’s information technology functions and leads a personnel team supporting more than 325 attorneys in 14 offices.


Matt Lewellyn, BS, MBA ’01, is a project manager in Burgess and Niple's Parkersburg office. He has focused his career on improving and protecting the transportation infrastructure in West Virginia. He is leading the inspection and rehabilitation of the iconic New River Gorge Bridge. He also helped to revitalize the 100-year-old suspension Market Street Bridge in Weirton, W.Va. … Billy Williams, BA, BA, MA ’07, Morgantown, W.Va., served on the Shawnee tribal council for several years, worked as an analytical chemist at Mylan Pharmaceuticals and served as a leader at Chestnut Ridge Church. He is the strategic partnerships director at international development non-profit Nuru International. In 2011, he married his wife, Jamie, BS '09, MS ’11.


Michael Cipoletti, MS, Waynesburg, Pa., assistant professor of forensic science at Waynesburg University, received the 2015 Lucas-Hathaway Teaching Excellence Award for a faculty member with a history of teaching excellence.


Russell W. Johnson, BA, was named the sole finalist for the Mystery Writers of America’s Robert L. Fish Award for the best short story by a new author for his story “Chung Ling Soo’s Greatest Trick” published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. … Sam Kline, BS, Belmont, N.C., was named commercial brokerage associate for Coldwell Banker Commercial MECA’s Belmont office. Kline joined the growing team that sells and leases commercial real estate and represents clients in Gaston and Mecklenburg counties.


R.J. Nestor, BS, MM ’03, Morgantown, W.Va., created “Golden Horseshoe, the Musical” about the history of West Virginia and wrote, directed and produced “Out of the Depths,” a short film about the Farmington mine disaster. He is the resident music director at West Virginia Public Theater, among other roles in north-central West Virginia. … Vineet Shastri, MS, Waukesha, Wis., accepted a new role as CIO at Western States Envelope & Label. The company is a top-three manufacturer of envelopes in North America. Shastri’s role enables business transformation to drive and support achievement of WSEL's strategic goals for its envelopes and labels divisions. 


John Walko, BS, was recently appointed solicitor to the Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds in Pennsylvania. He is an attorney of the law firm Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin PC.


Brian Cathell, BS, joined the firm of Pessin Katz Law in Towson, Md., as an associate in the firm’s Medical Malpractice Defense Group. Prior to moving to civil litigation, Cathell was an assistant state’s attorney for Baltimore County. 


Laura Maness, BS, Detroit, Mich., is in her fifth season as head women's lacrosse coach at University of Detroit Mercy, a Division I school, where she has led the team to Atlantic Sun Conference championship games the last three seasons. Prior to that, she coached in division II and III schools as well as high school.


Eric A. Geodereis, PhD, was honored with an Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award for his work as an assistant professor of psychology at Webster University in St. Louis, Mo. … Marli Riggs, BS, Alexandria, Va., was recently promoted to outreach and engagement manager at the Truckload Carriers Association. She coordinates the logistics for many well-known veterans’ programs such as Wreaths Across America and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s Wall That Heals.


William Bane, MBA, Princeton, W.Va., joined Strategic Risk Associates as senior manager, Enterprise Risk Management and Internal Audit Services. Strategic Risk Associates is headquartered in Richmond, Va., and is a national consulting and advisory firm specializing in the banking and financial institutions industry. … Daniel R. Heumann, BS, MdS, MA, Elkview, W.Va., is originally from Boston, Mass., but after attending WVU couldn’t leave West Virginia. He teaches chemistry at Herbert Hoover High School, married a beautiful West Virginia girl and has two wonderful daughters with a third child on the way. … Jaime Hunt, M.S., IMC, Kernersville, N.C., has been named director of public and media relations/chief communications officer for Winston-Salem State University. … Janna Mantua, BA, is a PhD candidate in the neuroscience program at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where Mantua researches how sleep following traumatic brain injury affects cognitive processes and how sleep’s impact on cognition changes with increasing age.


Evan McCaffrey, BS, Quito, Ecuador, has been traveling the world doing visual journalism and marketing. He now works for a travel company called Andean Discovery where he travels South America making videos. He also freelances, and his video of water protests in Ireland made it into major Irish news outlets. … Anand “Sunny” Narayanan, BS, BS, College Station, Texas, is pursuing a doctorate at Texas A&M University Health Science Center in the medical physiology program, focusing on space life sciences. In 2015, he worked at the NASA Johnson Space Center as part of a fellowship from the National Space Biomedical Research Institute.


Marietta Wright, PhD, Waynesburg, Pa., received the 2015 LucasHathaway Teaching Excellence Award for a faculty member with teaching excellence in introductory subjects.


Darus Zehrbach III, MBA, and his father, Darus Zehrbach II, MBA ’72, own ZEV Electric in Westover, W.Va., where they build electric vehicles and alternative energy installations.


Christopher Thompson and Lindsay Bailey 

Lindsay Bailey, BS ’11, married Christopher Thompson on May 23, 2015. Lindsay is enrolled in the University of North Carolina’s public health education master’s program.

Leah Bogdan, Brian Bell and their dog, Chipper.

Leah Bogdan, BSJ ’02, MA ’07, and Brian Bell, of Morgantown, W.Va., celebrated their wedding at the Waterfront Place Hotel in Morgantown on Aug. 8, 2015, surrounded by family and friends and dog of honor, Chipper. Leah is an editor with the Continuous Learning Group and Brian is a completions engineer at Stone Energy.

Louisa Bowen and Brandon Koch.

Louisa Bowen, BS ’12, and Brandon Koch, were married Aug. 8, 2015, in Frederick, Md.

Brandon Hickman and Kristin Cleaver.

Kristin Cleaver, BS ’08, and Brandon HickmanRBA '08, of Pottstown, Pa., were married June 12, 2015, at the Hanover Grand Ballroom in Bethlehem, Pa. Hickman is the president/owner of Curtis Cole Homes, LLC., a real estate redevelopment company, while Cleaver works in the emergency room at the Lehigh Valley Health Network’s flagship facility.

Eric Davis and Kara Galownia

Kara Galownia, BS ’13, owner of Almost Heaven Photography, and Eric Davis, BS ’14, MS ’15, of Morgantown, W.Va., were married Aug. 1, 2015, at Snowshoe, W.Va.

Kelci Shirk and Stephen Sleeper.

Kelci Shirk, BS ’13, and Stephen Sleeper, BS ’13, of Atlanta, Ga., celebrated their wedding at Wisp Resort in McHenry, Md. on Oct. 4, 2015.

Alexis Claassen and Brad Marzullo.

Brad Marzullo, BSW ’14, and Alexis Claassen, BS ’13, MS ’14, of Milwaukee, Wis., were married Aug. 1, 2015.

Lisa Skandalis and Andrew Licata.

Lisa Skandalis, BS BS ’13, of Atlanta, Ga., married Andrew Licata, BS ’13, of Morgantown, W.Va., (School of Medicine Class of 2017) in Morgantown, on Nov. 28, 2015.


Reagan Ivy to Lauren Son, BSJ ’02, Baltimore, Md. Hunter to Phil McClure, BS ’11, Memphis, Tenn.


Nancy Keith Easley Barton, BA ’51, The Woodlands, Texas, June 5, 2015. 
Mary E. Coddington Temple, BA ’47, Morgantown, W.Va., Feb. 29, 2016. 
Lisa Colagrossi, BA ’87, New York City, N.Y., March, 20, 2015. 
Harold Philip Crickenberger, BA ’51, Oct. 13, 2015. Catherine Hamric Kalo, BS ’47, Grafton, W.Va. August 11, 2015. 
Vaughn Lee Kiger, BA ’66, Morgantown, W.Va., Feb. 26, 2016. 
Joseph Portaro, BS ’87, Morgantown, W.Va., March 14, 2016. 
Allison Arol “Al” Starkey Jr., BS ’76, Bridgeport, W.Va., Aug. 21, 2015. 
Tommy Ray Tucker, BS ’66, MA and EdD ’82, San Diego, Calif., Jan. 19, 2016. 
U.S. Air Force Col. (Ret.) Tom Wotring, ’53, Panama City, Fla., Dec. 20, 2015.

Class Notes Archive

Fall 2014

Get to know West Virginia's Teacher of the Year and an alumnus who's on the hunt for missing money.

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Fall 2015

Discover The Monticola yearbook online and send in your union announcements, along with the rest of your news.

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Fall 2016

Catch up with your fellow alumni who reported in this issue from 1967 to 2016. Don't see anyone from your year? Send us a class note!

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Fall 2017

We love hearing form you. Share what you're up to with your fellow Mountaineers.

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Spring 2015

Meet Masters swim champion Janet Bieno McDonough and composer Steven Traugh among many other fellow alums.

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Spring 2016

Catch up with fellow alumni through the years and find out where you can get your very own "Let's Go" flag to take with you on your travels.

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Spring 2017

Here is where we celebrate the accomplishments of your fellow alumni, welcome new Mountaineers to the world and bid farewell to those who've passed on.

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Summer 2016

This issue we mark personal milestones and mourn the death of longtime alumni leader Stephen L. Douglas.

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Summer 2017

We've shared WVU news with you, now tell us your news!

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