The Envelope, Please

Adrian Wattenmaker ’05 is part of the Drama Desk Nominating Committee.


With more than 15 years as an actor and director, Adrian Wattenmaker ’05 knows what makes good theater.

Now he’ll be using that experience to choose the New York productions that will be up for a prestigious Drama Desk Award.  Wattenmaker, director of the Brooklyn campus of the School of Creative and Performing Arts, is one of six theater critics and educators on the 2012-2013 Drama Desk Nominating Committee.

The Drama Desk Awards “are the only major New York theater honors for which productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway
and Off-Off Broadway compete against each other in the same category,” reads its website.

Surprisingly, film was Wattenmaker’s first love, not theater. “I’ve always been connected the art world,” he says, “but I didn’t take theater seriously until my first month living in New York,” when he began a position as a stage manager at Cooper Square Workshop.

There he discovered his passion. “I love theater because it encompasses everything,” he explains. “I’m constantly learning. It’s
exciting to explore new characters, to become somebody who I’m not, while at the same time discovering different sides of myself.” Some of his roles include parts in The Rock Garden and The Author’s Voice. He most recently directed Reasons to Be Pretty at the New Workshop Theater of Brooklyn College and This Is Our Youth at 440 Studios in New York City.

The most essential skill for aspiring actors and directors is being open, Wattenmaker notes. “The ability to listen and take things in from other people is really important,” he says. “Everyone brings something different to the table.”

For now his table is full. In addition to his Drama Desk nominating duties, Wattenmaker is completing his MFA in directing
at Brooklyn College, where he is also an adjunct lecturer. He recently became a member of The Actors Studio Playwrights/Directors Unit and is working on an Off-Broadway production, Spirits of Exit Eleven, which opened in January at Theatre Row.

—Hannah Kaufman


Before 1960

SARAH SHERIDAN SPENCER ’34/’43 who was a teacher or principal for 27 years, was inducted into the Harford County Public School’s Educator Hall of Fame on April 30, 2012.

MICHAEL DEVITA  ’59 published his first book, My “Secret Love” Affair With Doris Day. He also started an Internet radio show on, “3M: Mike’s Music Memories” and sponsors day trips to see Broadway shows.

JOSEPH TISCHER  ’59 was inducted into the Washington County Sports Hall of Fame for competing in triathlons, a Bay Bridge swim and a 50-mile ultra marathon.


JACK COOLEY ’69 retired in June after 42 years in education. He started in physical education, but spent most of his years as a principal at Rappahanock High School in Warsaw, Va.

TED ZABORA ’69 retired after a 40-year career in human resources, including teaching HR management at Johns Hopkins University and Western Maryland College. He was also the vice president of human resources for the Mid-Atlantic Region of Securitas Security Services USA.


WILLIAM H. RICHARDSON  ’70 spent 25 years as an art instructor, more than five years as an illustrator, and numerous years as a deacon. He also plays the guitar and sings.

RALPH BUCCA ’71 has embarked on a second career after 38 years as a federal employee. He volunteers as an agro-processing specialist and travels to third-world countries several times a year to teach villagers and farmers how to process and preserve their food.

SARA L. HILDEBRAND MCVEY ’71 retired after teaching math for 39 years. She had been teaching middle school math in Berkeley Heights, N.J., for the past 26 years. She recently moved back to Lutherville to be closer to her daughter, JOCELYN ’07.

JANE EMRICH UMSTEAD ’71 ELED has become a fabric artist in Amherst, Va., specializing in rug hooking, embroidery and primitive arts. Jane and her husband STEVE ’69 retired from the Baltimore County School System in 2004.

HOWARD HYMAN ’72 retired after teaching for 39 years in St. Mary’s County  public schools in Md.

PAT ALLEN KAPLON ’72 published her third book, an illustrated children’s book, Betsy’s Choice, about a fairy child who dreams of growing up to be the tooth fairy. Kaplan has also published A Child Called Hope and Heart Poems.

DARRYL K. MEYERS ’72 retired from the U.S. Postal Service in August. He enjoys spending time with family, especially his granddaughters, and attending Towson football games.

LINDA VANDERHOFF ’72 retired after serving as CEO and president of the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Kentucky & Southern Indiana. Before that, she spent 11 years as a senior management executive with the American Red Cross of Central Maryland.

ANNE BUTLER ’73 had Across God’s Frontiers: Catholic Sisters In The American West published by the University of North Carolina Press.

CHERYL SCHEIN VOURVOULAS ’73 has retired after teaching grades K-2 for 33 years. Her plans include travelling with her husband, Gus, and being a substitute teacher.

JOSEPH CLARK ‘75 MCOM, president of Clark Audio Video Services and owner of CAMM System Mastering, published Chess Nut Delight, which contains his best chess problems. (He wrote a chess column for The Towerlight.) He is working on a book featuring challenging word puzzles. He and his wife Mary have three sons— MICHAEL ’02, ANDREW ’02 and NICHOLAS ’04, all of whom graduated suma cum laude from Towson.

MELISSA BARNICKEL ’76 BUAD is managing partner of Baygroup Insurance, LLC, an independent insurance brokerage with offices in Monkton and Rockville, Md. She brings more than 30 years experience in the industry to the company she founded with a business partner in 2012.

THOMAS B. BEYARD ’77 returned from a one-year deployment as command sergeant major of the 29th Combat Aviation Brigade in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. This was his second combat deployment in the last five years. He is director of planning, zoning and development for Westminster, Md.

JOHN REISINGER ’79 BUAD has just released his seventh book, Death at the Lighthouse, a mystery based on a real-life case.


STEPHEN HORNISH ’80 was promoted to colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserves. He has over 28 years in the service and is now with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.

DEBORAH VOSS-BRANDENBURGER ’83 left a roofing and siding company in Ocean City Md., for Hawaii in 2010. Now in Kaui, she is semi-retired and working part-time for the Navy Exchange.

OTHA “SKIP” SPRIGGS ’84 BUAD is executive vice president, chief human resources officer at TIAA-CREF in Charlotte, N.C. He has more than 25 years of experience, most recently serving as senior vice president of human resources and member of the executive committee at Boston Scientific.

HOPE TARR ’86 PSYCH has signed on to write a contemporary fairy tale-romance novel series for Entangled Publishing. The first book, Operation Cinderella, came out in October,  followed by a Christmas novella and two more full-length novels in winter and summer 2013.

CHRISTOPHER WOOLEYHAND ’87 received a Ph.D. in instructional leadership for changing populations from Notre Dame of Maryland University. An elementary principal for Anne Arundel County Public Schools and an adjunct instructor for McDaniel College, he lives in Severn, Md., with his wife, Debbie, and his children, Lucas and Lillian.

KIM FABIAN ’88 MCOM is senior vice president for Junior Achievement of Central Maryland in Owings Mills, Md.

JOHN JOHNSON ’88 was appointed president of Software AG USA, Inc. and member of the Group Executive Board. He has more than 20 years of experience in software for business analytics and intelligence.

DONNA DREHMANN ’89 MCOM started Listen Learn Live LLC, a company dedicated to helping businesses and organizations create the best customer experience possible.

PATRICIA MAGER ’89 was elected second vice president of the Maryland Society of Accountants and was also appointed to the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Community Partnerships in Chester, Md.

Clara Parker

Clara Parker

CLARA PARKER ’89 BUAD was promoted from vice president-regional finance director of Erickson Living to executive director of Charlestown, the company’s retirement community in Catonsville, Md.

ELLEN SHUPPERT PLATT ’89 obtained certification in rehab counseling, case management and geriatrics at the master’s level and founded a geriatric care management business in the greater Baltimore area.


A Happy Feat

Dance teacher wins a Howie Award for imparting her toe-tapping moves to students.


Brooke Kuhl-McClelland

You’ll never hear Brooke Kuhl-McClelland ’88 asking her students to sit still.

This Howard County dance teacher has her high school charges on their feet, moving in a mix of dance styles that include ballet, jazz and modern.

Her efforts earned her a Howie Award last March at the 15th annual Celebration of the Arts in Howard County.

“It’s very special to be recognized for what you do in the arts,” she says. “The core subjects always get the recognition. What I’m teaching offers things you can’t get from a general academic class.”

Kuhl-McClelland, who has been teaching dance for 24 years at Hammond High School in Howard County, Md.,
is the only dance teacher in the school. Each year she puts about 150 students through their paces.

She prepares them for a mid-year performance in January and final recital in May. Brooke also prepares her students for dance competitions, such as the Maryland State Showcase and the Howard County Dance Festival. Her students most recently travelled to a competition in Disney World.

Kuhl-McClelland knows that she was born to teach and attributes her success to her passion for dance. “I enjoy having the ability to communicate what I’m feeling to an audience through dance,” she says.

She’s also thrilled when her students follow in her footsteps. “Several past students are attending Towson, getting their certificates in dance like I did,” she notes. “That’s pretty cool.”

In addition to teaching dance, Kuhl-McClelland also coaches lacrosse at St. Paul’s School for Girls. “Coaching a game is like choreographing a big dance out on the field,” she explains. “Every element needs to work together, and if something isn’t going right, it’s my job to decide what to do to make it better.”

—Hannah Kaufman


JAMES D. JONES ’90, who has been in the credit card industry since 1996, wrote Cornucopia of Cash, a book that explains how to profit from the billion-dollar credit card processing industry.

ROBERT LITTLE ‘91, an investigative reporter and editor for the Baltimore Sun since 1998, has been hired by NPR News as  senior editor for investigations. Led by Little, the Sun uncovered  errors in Baltimore’s speed cameras and examined tax records that exposed millions of dollars of undeserved discounts.

NICOLE BETTER ’92 is an author, educator and advocate for youth and young adults. She has published two books, My Truth: Testimony of a Teen Mom and Take Courage.

PAUL FAGEN ’92 CCMM, a manager of Communities In Schools of Chicago, is one of five winners of the 2012 Unsung Heroes award. Fagan, a social worker, created a conflict-resolution club three years ago at Chicago Talent Development High School. The club helped resolve more than 150 conflicts last year.

ANDREW SMILER ’93 M.A./PSYCH published Challenging Casanova: Beyond the Stereotype of the Promiscuous Young Male in November.

smilerThe book confronts the perceptions about male sexuality and offers advice so parents can help their sons develop maturity and better relationships. Smiler is a past president of the Society for the Psychological Study of Men & Masculinity, and a visiting assistant professor at Wake Forest University in N.C.

BRIAN ROBERTS ’94 CCMM was promoted to executive producer of Maryland Public Television’s long-running national television series, MotorWeek.

ZOLNA RUSSELL ’95 M.A. recently became director of sustainability at the Baltimore-based landscape architecture firm Floura Teeter Landscape Architects.

ANTHONY BROWN ’85/’95 M.A. was joined by recording artists Doreen Vail and Alton Scarborough at the Dream 4 It Foundation’s annual benefit concert.

BETSY HARVEY AUSTER ’96 ELED married David Auster on April 22, 2012.

AILEEN ESKILDSEN ’96 ACCT, principal and professional development coordinator at Ellin & Tucker, participated in the 2012 Women in Leadership Panel Discussion. She directs Ellin & Tucker’s continuing education, training and mentoring programs, and is also responsible for recruitment of accounting professionals from area universities.

TIDI HODGE ‘96 BUAD, who is licensed to buy, sell and rent real estate in Maryland, works for Long and Foster.

VONNETTA CORNISH ’97 MCOM launched One30 Media, LLC in January 2012. The company completed the production of Bachelorette’s Degree, an independent romantic comedy in July.

DAVID CURRY ‘97 MAT received a leadership in law award from  the Long Island Business News. This award recognizes those whose dedication to excellence and leadership, both in the legal profession and in the community, has had a positive impact on Long Island.

ANDREW BLEICHFELD ‘98 EDUC, a mathematics teacher at Harford Technical High School, was elected president of the Maryland Council of Teachers of Mathematics. His term begins in October.

GREGORY MIRMAN ’98 CCMM, a producer of CBS This Morning: Saturday in New York, married Christine Jean Byun in July.

ELIZABETH DERENCZ WOLFE ’98 became executive director for Donate Life Maryland, a nonprofit organization that registers organ, eye and tissue donors. Previously, she was project manager for The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland.  She and her husband, Roger, and their son live in Fallston, Md.

KIMBERLY WILMOT VOSS ’98 M.A., coordinator of journalism in the Nicholson School of Communication, earned tenure and was promoted to associate professor at the University of Central Florida in May 2012. She also welcomed son, Paul Jacob, who joins big brother, Curtis James.

REBECCA CAREW ’99 joined Google in Oregon as an environmental and safety technician. Her previous experience includes nine years as an environmental scientist with URS Corporation, working for a time as a health and safety manager in Iraq.

JEN MICHALSKI ‘99 published two novellas, Could You Be With Her Now from Dzanc Books, and her debut novel The Tide King from Black Lawrence Press. She also runs an online literary quarterly, “jmmw,” and cohosts the blog, “510 Readings.”


REBECCA FREY ’01 is a costume designer and wardrobe stylist based in New York City. Her work was featured on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, the 2010 Emmy Awards and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. She is also the owner/founder of Seek New York, which offers shopping tours and wardrobe styling.

DONNA WITHROW ’01, who graduated from UM School of Social Work in 2004, opened Support With Compassion Family Counseling this year, with offices in Bel Air and Joppa, Md.

BETTY ’01 and BEN LIGHTNER ’04 welcomed their daughter, Becca Grace, on October 21, 2011. She joined her big sister, Bailey.

SHELLY BREZICKI ‘01/’04 and her husband, Jim, welcomed their first child, a daughter, Noa Eden, on May 31, 2012.

GREGORY WILKINSON ’04 ELED earned an Ed.D. in teacher leadership from Walden University.  His dissertation investigated the impact of structured note-taking strategies on the math achievement of middle school students and was defended at the south rim of the Grand Canyon in August 2012.

ASHLEY MYERS ’05, who was a behavior specialist in Hagerstown, Md., obtained a degree in Mortuary Science in 2009. She is a licensed mortician for Sauffer Funeral Home in Frederick, Md. 

DORAY SITKO ’05 received a master’s degree in education with an emphasis on health promotion from Virginia Tech in May. She works for Econometrica, a consulting firm in Bethesda, Md., and bought a house in Baltimore City in 2011.  

RYAN DRAYTON SCHREITER ’07 was awarded the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Degree from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and continues his medical training in family medicine at St. Joseph Medical Center in Reading, Pa.

MICHELLE KOMIN ’08, an area manager at Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Baltimore, Md., married Greg Moore on July 20, 2012. They live in Harford County, Md. 

CHRISTOPHER COLONNA ’09 graduated from the New England School of Law in Boston, Mass., in May 2012. He is pursuing a master’s degree in  international relations of the Middle East at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

TARA GOGOLINSKI ’10 opened Life & Love: Couple and Family Therapy in Crofton, Md.

JERRY HOUSAND ‘10 was promoted to senior accountant at Gross, Mendelsohn & Associates in Baltimore.

DANIEL RENZ ’10, a special agent with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, specializing in personnel security investigations, is studying for a master’s degree in justice administration at Methodist University in N.C. He married Anastasia Dolgovskij.

MATTHEW ROCKMORE ’10 is employed at Wegmans Food Markets Inc. as of July 2012.

TODD WILCOM ’10 ACCT is a staff accountant Gross, Mendelsohn & Associates in Baltimore.

traveled from California, Arizona, Rhode Island, Louisiana and Maryland to “Death Valley” stadium to watch the Tiger football team take on Lousiana State University last fall.

KELLY M. ABRAMSON ’11 recently completed U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill.

JOSHUA DAVIS ’11, a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine since March 2011, facilitates youth development through sports and health education.

ADAM L. GERTZ ’11 graduated from recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S. C.

RACHEL DRUCKENMILLER ’12 M.A. is a corporate health and wellness specialist for Silberstein, recognized as one of Baltimore’s Healthiest Employers by the Baltimore Business Journal.

KATELYN MATTINGLY ‘11 MCOM joined the HMTV6 news team in Hagerstown, Md., as an anchor and reporter.

JOEY BUTLER ’12 MCOM joined the fundraising team of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation after volunteering and interning with the organization. n