Class Notes 2017

November 15, 2017

Luisa Abott, BA ’77, retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in 2007 and lives in Williamsburg, Va.

Cathy Andberg, BA ’73, recently retired after a career in occupational therapy in Duluth, Minn. She now spends her time on National Ski Patrol, outdoor adventures, travel in the U.S. and visiting family in the Twin Cities, Minn.

Gary P. Aronsen, MA ’96, directs the Yale University Biological Anthropology Labs and studies primate ecology and comparative osteology. He has a 2016 paper on a DNA recovery from human bone, and one in press documenting chimpanzee skeletons at Yale Peabody Museum.

Melissa Aszkler, BS ’11, MA ’13, works for an international health services company performing customer research. She recently moved back to D.C. and is enjoying reconnecting with the GW community.

Mackenzie Becker, BA ’14, after graduating from Howard Law this spring, will begin work as an Equal Justice Works fellow on a project to develop culturally competent legal representation for LGBT youth in foster care at the Children's Law Center in Washington, D.C.

Daniel Bernier, BA ’87, is an attorney in Waterville, Maine, where he lives with his wife and children.

Rujuta Bhatt, BA ’06, is a pediatric neurologist and faculty member at UCLA focusing on behavioral neurology and doing clinical work and research.

Rebecca Biermann, BA ’13, MA ’14, is currently working towards her PhD in biological anthropology with a focus on paleoanthropology at the University at Buffalo. She is also a teaching assistant, a Presidential Fellow and works part time doing archaeology.

Peter Blood, BA ’75, received his MA from the Delhi School of Economics in India in 1980 and worked as an Asia analyst and congressional relations specialist at the Library of Congress, from which he recently retired. He has lectured at Navajo Community College.

Megan Davison, BA ’12, is currently living in Chicago working as a consultant for Lipman Hearne, a marketing and branding firm dedicated to working exclusively with nonprofits. She is checking races off her bucket list, keeping up with Mayan archaeology and sampling craft beer.

Alexandra de Sousa, PhD ’08, is a senior lecturer in psychology, culture and environment at Bath Spa University, a top creative institution in the U.K. Her research focus is in brain evolution.

Teresa Dunphy, BS ’09, after graduation, worked as an EMT in D.C. and Maryland before moving to Texas to attend medical school.  She is now a third-year medical student at UNTHSC Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine hoping to do her residency in emergency medicine.

Stephanie Feinman, BA ’14, in 2015, worked as a production coordinator for the MTV World Series, Rebel Music Season II. The six 30-minute episodes examine the lives of young people using art and music to spark change around the world.

Ian Kerrigan, MA ’05, serves as director of exhibitions at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City. He leads the institution's curation, design and maintenance of exhibitions regarding the history and ongoing effects of 9/11.

Clare Kimock, MA ’15, is a doctoral student in the Department of Anthropology at New York University.

Nedjra Manning, BA ’11, has been a NYC public school teacher in the Bronx for the past four years. This year, she is working at MS/HS 223-The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology, teaching 7th and 8th grade social studies and 12th grade African diasporic literature.

Mary Martin, BA ’65, received her masters at the University of Michigan in speech pathology. She lived in Michigan for about 25 years and returned to home in Los Angeles 20 years ago.

Sarah Mezzino, BA ’04, is a curator for The Lawrenceville School, and just hosted a lecture on architects Peabody and Stearns.  She is prepping an exhibit on the school's 125-year-old theater program and has penned an article on Tiffany Windows for the spring ’17 Lawrentian.

Marintha Miles, MA ’16, is a PhD student at George Mason University in cultural studies. Her dissertation research explores the successes and failures of human rights activism against state violence.

Daniel Miller, MA ’11, is currently completing his doctoral work on the evolution of brain organization with Dr. Jon Kaas at Vanderbilt, and will begin his postdoctoral work on the genetics of brain development with Dr. Nenad Sestan at Yale this fall.

Mark Nelson, MA ’15, is currently working at George Washington's Mount Vernon as a collections technician.

Jennifer Nichols, BA ’16, is now interning for the Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes, located at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. She collects behavioral data on chimpanzees and gorillas at the zoo.

Janet Niessner, BA ’07, is currently the director of archaeological services for DirectAMS, a radiocarbon dating service. She received a Masters of Science in Forensic Archaeology and Anthropology from Cranfield University, Defence Academy of the U.K.

Lisa Marie Porter, MA ’07, is the volunteer manager at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, focusing  on volunteers who conduct informal science education with the museum's visitors. September 2017 will mark 10 years at NMNH.

Kristen Ramirez, BS ’13, is a fourth year PhD student at the City University of New York in the New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology. Her dissertation focuses on the biomechanics and evolution of suspension in hominoids.

Naina Ramrakhani, BA ’14, is currently in her third year working as the special events & group visits coordinator at the Rubin Museum of Art, planning and executing private rentals and special programs. She is also applying to the music business graduate program at NYU!

Alexandra Ratzlaff, BA ’03, is currently a NEH postdoctoral fellow at the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research, Israel. Beginning in 2017-2018, he will be a lecturer in the Department of Archaeology at Boston University.

Elizabeth (Liz) Renner, PhD ’15, after finishing her PhD in 2015, began a postdoctoral position at the University of Stirling in Scotland. She is still working with pre-school-aged children and non-human primates, principally squirrel monkeys.

Detra Robinson, MA ’94, shortly after graduation in 1994, joined Westat—a contract research organization in Rockville, Md.  Now a company vice president, she manages international projects dedicated to improve lives through research.

Shanyn Ronis, BA ’09, is a member of the Forbes 30 under 30 class of 2017 and a finalist for the Forbes $1 million Change the World award owing to her work in international education. In 2013 she founded the Education Global Access Program, a global nonprofit.

Ana Rossetti, BA ’02, is an assistant dean at Illinois Tech Stuart School of Business, Chicago. In March 2017, she began her term as co-chair of the Women in Student Affairs Knowledge Community of NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education professional association.

Diana Santillán, MA ’06, is the senior gender and evaluation specialist at EnCompass, LLC, where she provides training, technical assistance, research and evaluation expertise to advance gender equality in international health and development.

Aaron Schmitt, BA ’13, is currently a data manager for a nonprofit cooperative group that conducts clinical trials for cancer treatments. She states that, “I owe my time at GW, specifically my internship at CASHP, to where I am now as my work is all about data analysis.”

Douglas Smit, BA ’08, after graduating from GW, Douglas received his MA in anthropology from the University of Illinois-Chicago in 2012, and will receive his PhD in anthropology from the University of Illinois-Chicago in 2017.

Joseph Snyder, BA ’68, is retired and living in Shepherdstown, W.V., with his wife. He is still writing and publishing fiction and non-fiction (see his biography in Who's Who in the World).

Spiro Stefanou, BA ’77, after graduation, went on to graduate study in agricultural economics. He was on the faculty at Penn State for nearly 32 years and assumed the position of professor and chair of food and resource economics at the University of Florida in January 2015.

Jack Stein, BA ’73, went on to obtain a medical degree and a master’s degree in public health.  He was the corporate medical director for Sunoco for 18 years and is now the CMD for Philadelphia Energy Solutions. Jack is Board Certified in Int/Occ/and Addiction Medicine.

Stephanie Strauss, MA ’13, holds a Harrington Doctoral Fellowship in Art History at the University of Texas at Austin. She recently advanced to ABD status, and her first peer-reviewed article (on writing at Izapa, Chiapas) was just accepted for publication in Ancient Mesoamerica.

Anna Taylor, MA ’98, serves as regional director for Take Stock in Children, a college access nonprofit which has provided scholarships and caring mentors to over 27,000 first generation college students across Florida.

Danielle Tyson, BA ’13, is finishing up her graduate degree in museum studies, also from GW, and is working in development at the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum.

Marianne Weant, MA ’05, welcomed their fourth child, Emilia, in July.

Douglas Wicklund, BA ’83, MA ’86, is currently senior curator for the three NRA Museums. He operates from the National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Va., and is responsible for a collection approaching 10,000 firearms. Last year marked 30 years for him in this line of work.

Irene Zimmermann, BA ’80, MA ’85, after a career in anthropology, is working with National Museum of the American Indian and other Smithsonian Museums, as well as international organizations, NGOs and consulting firms.