The Mason Spirit: The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of George Mason University


Arts and Sciences


Dorothy K. Blum, B.A. Psychology '71 and Ph.D. Education '96, directs the U.S. Customs Service's Employee Assistance Program, which received an exceptional service award from the commissioner of customs for "their tireless, compassionate, and professional support following the tragic events of September 11, 2001."

Chris Ward, M.A. English '75, is leaving a teaching position in the English Department at Aquinas College in Western Australia to become an assistant professor at Ave Maria College of the Americas in Nicaragua.

Paulette E. Chapman, B.A. Government and Politics '76, was inducted as president of the Women's Bar Association of the District of Columbia at its 86th annual awards dinner in May. She is a partner at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, LLP.

Wayne Spencer, B.A. Biology '76, a former Patriot basketball player, participated in the World Masters Games in Melbourne, Australia, in the 50 and over elite basketball event, where his team, the East Bank Saloon from Portland, Ore., won the bronze medal.

Jackie Rivas, B.A. Spanish '77, was elected secretary of Women in Housing and Finance in Washington, D.C. She is a senior financial analyst at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Gale Lavinder, B.S. Psychology '79, is academic coordinator of clinical education at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. Gale earned a B.S. in Physical Therapy in 1982 and an M.A. in 1994. Gale is currently a doctoral candidate.

Donald A. Miller, B.A. Biology '79, was promoted to senior officer status in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve and is completing an emergency medicine residency in Toledo, Ohio. Miller completed his M.D. in 2000.


Charles V. Christian, B.I.S. '82, is a campus police officer at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University and is writing his autobiography.

Mary L. McGillen, B.A. History '82, retired from the federal government in 2002 and moved to Montross, Va.

Lee Garrity, B.S. Public Administration '83 and M.P.A. '90, was promoted to assistant city manager of Winston-Salem, N.C., in 2001.

Gregory George Paspatis, B.A. History '83, received the Past President's Award and the Sportsman of the Year Award from the Alexandria Sportsman's Club in May.

Paul A. Smith, B.A. Government and Politics '83, was named cochair of the board of directors of the 25th annual Hilton Head Celebrity Golf Tournament, which is played each Labor Day weekend and benefits more than 19 children's charities.

Melanie (Keck) Doon, B.A. English '84, joined the Society for Marketing Professional Services in Alexandria, Va., as its bookstore manager.

John Otto, B.S. Biology '84, is chair of the Animal Welfare Committee for the state of Oklahoma and a veterinarian in Norman, Okla.

Nels Randolph Benson, B.S. Public Administration '89, and his wife, Ellen, announce the birth of their first child, Andrew, in December 2002. Nels is director of information systems and technology for Democratic Leader of the House Nancy Pelosi. Before that, he worked for Richard A. Gephardt in the Office of the Democratic Leader of the House until Gephardt stepped down in December 2002.

Amy Mathis, B.A. Area Studies (Latin America) and Spanish '89, received an M.S.W. from New Mexico Highlands University in May.


Ralph E. Reeves Jr., M.S. Biology '90, was named the Outstanding Chemistry Teacher for 2002 by the Washington, D.C., Division of the American Chemical Society.

Vinton Joseph Valentine, M.S. Geography and Cartography '91, received his Ph.D. in Marine Studies from the University of Delaware in May.

Triesha (Glick) Foglia, M.A. School Psychology '92, gave birth to her second child, Cecelia Rose, in March. Her son, Benjamin, is four years old. Foglia was named advisor to the board of trustees of Lower Hudson Interactive Museum in Middletown, N.Y., and works for Minisink Valley Central Schools in Slate Hill, N.Y., as a school psychologist.

Christine (Stehle) Heaton, B.A. Government and Politics '92, and her husband, Tim, are proud parents of a second daughter, Abigail Grace, who was born in December 2002. Christine is a government and economics teacher at Homestead High School in Cupertino, Calif.

Matthew Abel, B.S. Biology '93, and his wife, Debra, welcomed their first son (who they hope will be a future Mason grad), Joshua Daniel, in January. Matthew was lead author of "Cervical Spinal Cord Hemorrhage Secondary to Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia," which was published in the April issue of the Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology.

Horace Blackman, B.A. American Studies and English '93, married Melissa Georgette Peterson in New Rochelle, N.Y., in May. They are both management consultants at Booz Allen Hamilton in McLean, Va.

Cynthia Henry, B.A. International Studies '93, earned B.S. and M.S. degrees from Johns Hopkins University and now works as a cardiology nurse practitioner at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va.

Jeanne (Fleming) Kruza, B.A. English '93, and her husband, Tom, announce the birth of their second daughter, Elizabeth Margaret, in March. Their older daughter, Caroline, is four years old. Jeanne owns Cordially Invited (, a stationery and bridal consulting business she started four years ago.

Arne E. Oas, B.A. Government and Politics '93, announces the birth of Arne Ethan, in March. Oas, a U.S. Army captain, graduated with a B.S. degree from the University of Nebraska Physician Assistant Program in May and will be reassigned to the Third Infantry Division upon completion of the Army Flight Surgeon Course.

Jeffrey W. Peaper, M.A. Industrial Organizational Psychology '93, received an M.B.A. from the University of Delaware in May.

George Sales, B.A. International Studies '93, left BearingPoint Inc. and joined MCI as a senior financial analyst in May. He is based in Ashburn, Va.

Dan Sepdham, B.S. Biology '93, and Barbara Sepdham, B.S. Biology '93, announce the birth of their second son, Sean, in March 2003. The family's next military assignment will take them to England.

Amy Leahy Shutts, B.A. International Studies '93, and her husband, Steve, welcomed a baby boy, Connor Stephen, in March. Amy continues to serve as director of career services at Brenau University.

Laurie (Corets) Yankowski, B.A. Communication '93, and husband, Christopher, celebrate the birth of their first child, Ella Suzanne, in March.

Carrie Beeton Harley, B.A. English Literature '94, and husband, Chris, had their first child, a daughter, in May 2002.

Meredith (Musgrove) Capps, B.A. Psychology '95, was married in August 1999. Meredith and her husband, Otis, celebrated the birth of their son, Harrison, last October.

Ray Cammas, B.S. Psychology '96 and B.A. Government and Politics '00, started working as operations manager for the Capitol Hill Business Improvement District in April. He and his wife, Diane (Smith) Cammas, B.S. Marketing '98, had a son, Ryan Daniel, in September 2002.

Michael L. Whitlock, B.A. Government and Politics '96, received a J.D. from the University of Virginia Law School in 2002 and is an attorney with the Washington, D.C., law firm of Holland & Knight LLP. Also in 2002, Gov. Mark Warner appointed him to the Governor's Commission on National and Community Service.

Charles D. Fisher, M.A. Professional Writing '97 and M.S. Technology Management '01, was named an associate fellow of the Society for Technical Communication. He is the software documentation manager for Datatel Inc. in Fairfax, Va., and also teaches technical writing at the University of Maryland University College.

Corey W. Hill, M.P.A. '97, was selected as director for the newly created Administration and Capital Projects Division of the Department of Rail and Public Transportation in Richmond, Va. The division oversees the department's budget, grant programs, and strategic planning, as well as manages capital projects such as the Dulles Corridor Rapid Transit Project.

Deborah Barfield Williamson, M.P.A. '97, married Troy Scott Williamson in May. The couple resides in Chester, Va.

The School of Management (SOM) has moved up to 83rd in the latest U.S.News & World Report: 2004 America's Best Colleges rankings of undergraduate business programs accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB). Last year, SOM ranked 97th. SOM is now ranked among the top 20 percent of accredited undergraduate business programs in the country. Of the more than 2,100 programs nationwide, only 408 are fully accredited by AACSB.

Linda Dickerhoof, B.A. Communication '98, is president of Signature Strategy Inc. (, a full-service integrated public relations, marketing, and communication firm she founded in May. An adjunct instructor in the Communication Department at Mason, Linda received her M.A. in Public Communication in 2001 from American University's School of Communication.

Kevin Lefton, B.A. English '98 and M.A. Telecommunications '00, received a law degree from Syracuse University College of Law in May.

George Dimitrov, B.S. Biology '99, graduated from Johns Hopkins University in August 2002 with an M.S. in Biotechnology. He and his wife, Dolly Yordanov, have a daughter, Yvonne, who was born in March. George works at the Institute for Genomic Research in Rockville, Md.

Daria Moore, B.A. Communication '99, is an event planner for the National Confectioners Association in Northern Virginia. Daria's book, Untying the Knots, which is based on her life and was written as a form of therapy and healing, is available at


Mary Heather Latta, B.A. Art History '01, and Preston Corey Judson were married in March in Williamsburg, Va.

Raymond T. Barr Jr., B.A. Psychology '02, completed Officer Candidate School with distinction in Pensacola, Fla., and was commissioned as a naval officer.

Jayme Beamer, B.A. Communication '02, works for Hooked on the Outdoors magazine where she writes, edits, and uploads articles to the magazine's web site (

Simon A.J. Kiser, B.A. Psychology '02, an Army reservist called to active duty, was recommended for a Bronze Star Citation for exceptional meritorious achievement while assigned to the 305th Psychological Operations Company in support of Task Force Tarawa during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

James Stein, B.A. Government and International Politics and Foreign Languages '02, was a key member of the Legislative Demographic Services account team that won first place in the Showalter Group's Political Involvement Technology Innovation Award at the annual National Conference for Political Involvement Professionals in Naples, Fla., held earlier this year.

Michael Ickowitz, B.A. Communication '03, and Tanya Elizabeth Desselle were married in March. The groom is an admissions counselor at American University, and the bride is pursuing a master's degree at George Mason, where she is employed as assistant director of admissions. The couple lives in Herndon, Va.

Stacy Rosholt, B.A. Biology '03, plays with the D.C. Professional Women's Volleyball Tour and coaches at George Mason High School in Northern Virginia.



Bob Semmler, B.A. Business Administration '72, retired from the U.S. Marine Corps in July and resides in Beaufort, S.C.

Jeffery D. Burke, M.B.A. '76, was appointed vice chair of the Commonwealth Catholic Charities 2003 board of directors. He is an executive vice president with Bon Secours Health Partners in Richmond, Va.


Christie Kennedy Struckman, B.S. Decision Science '90, married Mark Struckman in September 2002, in Sacramento, Calif.; finished her Ph.D.; and now teaches organizational change and leadership at San Jose State.

Christopher E. Mandel, M.B.A. '94, was elected chief risk officer for the Risk and Insurance Management Society Inc. in April. In addition, he was appointed chair of the Enterprise Risk Management Committee at USAA in San Antonio, Texas, where he serves as assistant vice president of enterprise risk management.

Sandra D. Morris, B.S. Marketing '96, received the Certified Meeting Professional designation from the Convention Industry Council. Sandra was among 458 professionals who passed the certification examination held in February.

William V. Looney Jr., B.S. Finance '98, is a vice president at Credit Suisse First Boston LLC in New York City. In 2001, he received his private pilot's license and purchased an aircraft in 2002. He now spends as much of his free time as possible flying.

Tomas Dundzila, M.B.A. '99, was promoted to manager at Accenture, a leading management consulting and technology services company, in March.

Conflict Analysis and Resolution


Lance D. Woodbury, M.S. Conflict Analysis and Resolution '95, was made an associate of the Kennedy and Coe Corporation and is in charge of the firm's Garden City office and Mediation and Planning Group.



Allesandra Smith, M.Ed. Reading '76, is an administrative assistant for Brookfield Homes in Fairfax, Va.



William J. Minor, J.D. '82, was appointed a judge for the Fairfax County District Court.

David A. Hirsch, J.D. '84, was elected to a three-year term, which began in July, as a director to the board of directors of the Fairfax Bar Association.


Judy M. Tyrrell, J.D. '91, was appointed to the Improvements in the Judicial System Committee of the Indiana State Bar Association. Judy practices family law.

Former George Mason rower Melissa Rice, B.S. Health, Fitness, and Recreation Resources '01, won the lightweight women's singles sculls at the Pan American games in Indianapolis, gaining a position on the U.S. National Team. She will represent the United States in the Dominican Republic Games.

Kimberly Masters Gaines, J.D. '94 and her husband, Joshua, moved to Dublin, Ohio, from Boulder, Colo. Kimberly, a securities attorney on a consulting basis, and Joshua have two children, Ethan (5) and Austin (2).

Bryan Haynes, J.D. '98, joined Troutman Sanders LLP in Richmond, Va. He is an associate in their Complex Litigation Group. He and his wife, Kristie, J.D. '97, recently had a daughter, Brooke Morgan.


John Henault, J.D. '00, joined Morgan, Lewis & Bockius as a litigation associate. He will practice in Northern Virginia, focusing on securities, telecommunications, and banking litigation.

Darryl Strutton, J.D. '00, married Emily Rebecca Kreis in May in Stamford, Conn. Also during May, Darryl received a master of laws degree in tax law from New York University.

Glenn Heiser, J.D. '02, passed the Maryland State Bar exam and thanks everyone for their support and encouragement.



Rita K. Chow, B.I.S. Public Health with a certificate in Gerontology '83, is director of the National Interfaith Coalition on Aging in Washington, D.C., and received the Chief Nurse Officer Award for her nursing contributions to the field of aging.


Linda L. Lilley, Ph.D. Nursing '97, was named a university professor, a prestigious award to individuals who have excelled in teaching, service, and scholarship, at Old Dominion University where she is an associate professor of nursing. She is in the process of completing the fourth edition of her textbook, Pharmacology and the Nursing Process, which has stayed in Elsevier Health Sciences Publishing Company's Mosby Yearbook's top 10 books in nursing and pharmacology.

Public Policy


Edward A. Callaway, M.S. Professional Studies '98, earned his doctorate from Capella University.


Liza Kupczak, M.A. International Commerce and Policy '01, works at Veridian Corporation as a senior analyst for National Policy Programs and is pursuing her Ph.D. in Public Policy at George Mason.

Gabrielle H. Sarrano, M.A. International Commerce and Policy '02, passed the entrance exams and various clearances for entrance into the U.S. Department of State's Foreign Service 113th Junior Officer class in May. Gabrielle is excited about this opportunity and credits the International Commerce and Policy Program for making it possible.

Shannon Costello, M.P.P. '03, is engaged to Justin Tackett, a communication student at George Mason. They are planning an October wedding in Winter Park, Fla.

Social Work


Dennis C. Daley, B.S.W. '75, is an associate professor of psychiatry and chief of Addiction Medicine Services at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh, Pa. He has to his publishing credit patient and family materials in the form of books and recovery guides, and books for professionals and clinical books.


Dalal Musa, B.S.W. '97, completed two years of postgraduate clinical training at the Washington School of Psychiatry and will begin a private psychotherapy practice in Arlington, Va.


Helen Krull Bailey, B.A. Government '74, passed away on May 24, 2003.

Jackie R. Bucklew, B.S. Business '79, passed away on August 24, 2002.

Louise A. Buehrle, B.S. Education '77 and M.Ed. Administration and Supervision '81, passed away on February 15, 2003.

Stephanie L. Buser, J.D. '87, passed away on November 11, 2002.

Jennifer Demuth, B.S. Psychology '01, passed away on June 11, 2003.

Douglas Warren Detty, B.S. Law Enforcement '76, passed away on April 12, 2003.

Francisco Huaytan, M.A. International Commerce and Policy '01, passed away on February 6, 2003.

Marianna Madden McNeill, M.S. Information Systems '86, passed away on June 11, 2003.

James R. McReynolds, M.B.A. '77, passed away on October 10, 2002.

Nan Netherton, M.A. History '89, passed away on June 9, 2003.

Edwin Vincent, M.Ed. Special Education '95, passed away on March 3, 2002.

Peter Streckfus
, M.F.A. Creative Writing '00, had his manuscript, The Cuckoo, chosen by Louise Gluck as the winner of this year's Yale Series of Younger Poets competition. The book is scheduled for release in April 2004. Peter's poems have been published in Beloit Poetry Journal, Matrix, Natural Bridge, Pleiades, and Slope. The Cuckoo was also chosen by C.D. Wright as a finalist in the Academy of American Poets Walt Whitman Award. Peter is the chief writer and publicist at the San Francisco Art Institute and resides in the city with his wife, Bird Vitko.