Class Notes

NEWS OF 1983

From Lori Vargo Heffner ’82:

Beth Heller Kortze lives in Virginia and works in the pet industry. Her children are grown, and the oldest is off to college in the fall. Time flies—I remember dancing at her wedding!

From the Alumni House:

Sean Diviny was awarded an ABC/Disney Studios Fellowship in television writing.

Bruce Eden joined the Trust Company of the Lehigh Valley as vice president. (After his B.A. in economics from Moravian, he received an M.B.A. in finance from Wilkes University.) Bruce has been an adjunct instructor in economics at Penn State and an instructor of economics at Lehigh Carbon Community College.

John Steyln lost almost everything in Hurricane Isabel. A storm surge ruined most of his home and all his belongings. He currently resides with his wife and four young children in a rental home in Seaford, Va. Anyone who would like to send him a note can get his temporary address from the Alumni Office.

NEWS OF 1982

From Lori Vargo Heffner:

Greetings, Class of ’82, from Bethlehem! It’s a beautiful summer day, and the Lehigh Valley is full of fun events: Eagles training camp and Musikfest, just to name a few. We’ve had a restful summer and are enjoying our new home and the surprises our garden brings.

My family was recently entertained by Russ Bennett, who has a dream home in Point Pleasant, N.J. We had a great day on the beach and dinner afterward. He is still with Continental Airlines and enjoys traveling abroad. We have not heard from some friends in recent years, so I decided to do a quick shout in the column: “Hey, we miss you! Let us know how you are!” Some folks mentioned were Tim Silsbee, who was living in Michigan and working for Kellogg, Barry Yoder, Marie Yanulus, Sarah Miller, Rich Lempke, and other former program board buddies.

From the Alumni House:

Vanessa Schukis received the Gold Award and People’s Choice Award in the 2002 Vera Scammon International Vocal Competition. Last fall, she performed in the Boston premiere of The New Normal: A Spiritual Tribute to 9/11. Vanessa continues to perform in theater, opera, and concert engagements in the United States and Austria.

NEWS OF 1981

From Craig “Kegger” Bartlett:

In March, Stephanie Delana Akers and Lisa Calabrese Dogden ’83 hosted a Moravian dinner party in Florham Park, N.J., with Joe Kubrak ’82, Michael Castles, Margan Sztuk Mulvaney ’82, Walt Wehof, and Kegger Bartlett and their wives, husbands, and kids on the guest list. Steph and Lisa live 200 yards from each other. Their sons are in the same class.

In June, Michael Castles and Joe Kubrak played in a 3-on-3 basketball tournament in Mike’s hometown of Carlisle. (They’ve continued their Moravian basketball career!) After the tournament, Chris Smith III and I joined the families for dinner.

Michael’s family had several mini-reunions, including one with Harry Beisswenger, his wife, Kari, and their kids, and Harry’s parents, Harry and Elva.

Frank ’79 and Melissa Ludwig Rauscher ’80 have two children, a 7-year-old daughter, Griffin, and 2-year-old son, Frank IV. Frank has reconnected with Ken Pohlidal ’79, and they fish together most every weekend. Frank is running the cancer center at Penn’s hospital, and Melissa is still with Macy’s, overseeing 26 or so stores.

Mike visited with Hugh Richards, his wife, Eileen, and three kids: Paul, 15, Emily, 13, and Matt, 12. Hugh and Eileen have been married since 1986. Hugh was a successful computer salesman in the early ’80s and started his own business, Haverford Systems, in the late ’80s, selling, installing, and servicing audiovisual systems in corporate boardrooms and classrooms.

On August 15, the second annual Noel J. Foster Golf Tournament was held at Fox Chase Country Club in New Jersey. The players included: Ed Ford ’80, Chris Oehrle ’83, Stanley Rugis ’82, Jeffrey Gumina, Dave Wood, Mike Roosa ’80, Greg Burchette ’83, Gary McLean ’83, Dave Dunn ’80, Mark Kluk ’82, Jim Bartow ’83, Doug Geiger ’82, and David B. Shelley.

NEWS OF 1980

From Molly Donaldson Brown:

Michelle Tillander took a break from her busy schedule to give us an update. Last year, she resigned from her job as visual arts chair of the Governor’s School for the Arts in Virginia and headed back to the classroom: to Penn State to work on her Ph.D. in art education, which she hopes to finish in 2½ more years.

Last spring, she had an assistantship in the education department of Penn State’s Palmer Museum of Art. She taught workshops for the museum this summer during the Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. This fall, as part of her assistantship, she’s coordinator for the Zoller Gallery, which shows the work of students and faculty. She oversees installation and coordination of the exhibits, with a team of work-study students to assist her.

Michelle’s residence is still Virginia, and she still lives with Dana, her partner of 12 years. She adds that it’s been helpful to have unlimited minutes, free nights, and weekends on her cell phone!

Michelle was back at Moravian last spring, working on the Moravian Women Artists Exhibit. Over the summer, she had artwork on display in two juried shows: the National Digital Exhibit in Prescott, Ariz., and Hampton Bay Days Exhibit in Hampton, Va.

As you may have heard, Eric Rhodin died February 16 at the age of 87. Dr. Rhodin founded the journalism department at Moravian, which is what brought me to campus in the fall of 1976. He retired the year after we graduated. Those who were fellow journalism majors with me or anyone who ever took a class with Dr. Rhodin must have appreciated his wit and intelligence.

His son, Tony Rhodin ’79, is assistant managing editor at the Express-Times in Easton. I was in touch with Tony last winter and asked him to share some thoughts about his father.

Dr. Rhodin’s classes always included stories of his own very interesting and unusual life, moving us to share our stories with the same enthusiasm. Tony said legends surrounded his father because he was always telling these stories—“and he had a lifetime of them to entertain and inform inspiring journalists as they passed through his classes.”

Tony said his father showed up for every game he played and encouraged him to write. “You can only do two things, as I see it,” he told Tony. “Work for a newspaper or sell used cars. And you’re not very good at selling things.”

I’d heard another of the stories Tony shared: “Legend has it that Pop, on his first date with my mother—the woman who would be his wife for 43 years—asked her to pay off his bookie. She should have known better. But Pop was rakishly good-looking, so she turned over the cash and married him four months later.”

Tony remembers that his father’s passions were more intense than most. “He was a great writer, a fine teacher, an inspired thinker, and a guy who was almost always right about things—a truly irritating trait.”

Dr. Rhodin’s grandson, Nicholas, the son of Tony and his ex-wife Rose Mayer Sell, graduated in May from Bucknell University with a degree in biochemistry. He plans to pursue a master’s degree in public health.

Jon Otis ’79, Rose, and several Moravian professors were there March 22 at Lafayette College’s Colton Chapel to hear Dr. George Diamond’s sendoff to Dr. Rhodin. Mike Dowd ’68, one of Eric’s journalism students, officiated at the service.

From the Alumni House:

John “Woody” Snyder, faculty advisor of the Iowa State Sailing Club, and his crew won the 2003 FJUS Sailing Class National Championships. The races were held on Lake Erie in May.

NEWS OF 1979
Reunion May 21-22, 2004

From the Alumni House:

On May 20, Mary Jo Johnson received the 14th annual Athena Award, honoring outstanding businesswomen, from the Bethlehem Area Chamber of Commerce. Last year, Mary Jo began her own business, M J Johnson Consulting, which specializes in human resources, marketing, public, and community relations.

After being an adjunct professor at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y., since 1998, Jon Otis has been awarded a tenure-track associate professorship in the interior design department. He also received a faculty development fund grant to research and develop a new curriculum for a master’s program in exhibition design, to be the first of its kind in the United States. Jon also maintains his multidisciplinary design studio, Object Inc., in New York City.

Balancing Act

“Anyone who wanted to work could have done what I did,” says Lisa Moyer Roth ’90. That’s the message she left with several classes last spring when she visited Moravian as one of the Alfred T. Williams Leadership Series exemplars. She spoke to a corporate finance class taught by Eva Marikova Leeds, associate professor of economics and business, and to the Amrhein Investment Club in a whirlwind day on campus.

She is being generous. Not many single mothers with two small children could have stuck with it to get through college on the 10-year plan while running a beauty salon on the side and ended up a decade later on the other coast with a new family and her own financial advisory business. And not too many entrepreneurs have enough brain cells left at the end of the day to read about Russian history “recreationally.”

Lisa did—while remaining “one of the most thoroughly nice people I have ever met,” says Janet Loengard, professor emerita of history.

Thin, dark, and intense, Lisa talks faster than just about anyone you’ve ever heard. She was a graduate of Kutztown High School and a divorced mother when she decided to resume her pursuit of a college degree in history in 1981. At the same time, she bought a beauty salon in Allentown, thinking it would be “a great starter business.” The only problem: “I just didn’t like hair.” But quitting was not an option. “I had to face a real-life situation,” she says. “Real hungry kids. A real mortgage. A real car payment.” It took her until 1990 to finish her B.A.

It didn’t even occur to Lisa that she was a feminist. “Everyone talked about women’s this and women’s that,” she says. “But it kind of sneaked up on me in this Victorian women’s course that Janet taught.”

She remarried and accompanied her new husband, David Roth, to the West Coast, where he finished his medical training at the University of California at San Diego. He’s now on its faculty.

Lisa had plans to go to law school and actually won a scholarship to the University of San Diego law school. But while she was waiting for law school to start, she got a part-time job as a receptionist at a securities firm. She was offered a chance to become one of its compliance staff. Five years later, she had become its president. The firm has since been sold to Wells Fargo, the second-largest banking conglomerate in the West.

Her San Diego-based company, Monahan and Roth, with its nine employees, specializes in regulatory compliance consulting services for small and mid-sized brokerage firms that can’t afford an in-house advisor. “We found a niche and filled it,” she says, which may be the simplest business counsel ever handed out.

Three years ago, she bought a small brokerage house called Keystone Capital. “I bought it because it was named Keystone Capital,” she says, “and I immediately licensed it in Pennsylvania even though we don’t have a single Pennsylvania client.”

That’s it for law school, at least for the time being. But being a CEO doesn’t mean she’s an absentee mother. Of her “three very diverse wonderful kids,” two are in college: Sarah, 22, a senior majoring in psychology at the University of California at Irvine, and David, 20, a sophomore at UC-San Diego. “I’m thinking he’ll fulfill my aspiration to go to law school.” Then there’s Dennis, 12, the native Californian, a fifth-grader who knows all about sports. He’s the star of his soccer team, as is his mother, who plays on a women’s competitive soccer team that recently went to a tournament in Las Vegas.

To judge by the number of books, articles, and newspaper columns devoted to it, juggling family and career is the problem that most plagues contemporary women. Lisa’s response is as simple and direct as everything she says.

“ I don’t leave my work at the office,” she says, “but I don’t leave my kids at home either.”

- Judith Green