Class Notes

NEWS OF 1995

From the Alumni House:

Scott Seymour became engaged to Kasie Hornberger ’98 while they were on vacation in Madrid.

Pamela Ridgeway Niglio and her husband, David, bought their first home in Parsippany-Troy Hills, N.J. They celebrated their first anniversary July 4 and watched the fireworks over the lighthouse on Martha’s Vineyard.

NEWS OF 1994

NEWS OF 1993
Reunion Homecoming 2003

From Michelle M. Litzenberger:

On October 12, I married David Trent. Catherine Herman Parker ’94 and Christine Green were matron and maid of honor. I completed my M.B.A. at Lehigh University in June and now am director of sales for ACBS Inc. in Allentown. Dave is a senior software engineer for Rational Software in New York. I was fortunate to have a lot of Moravian alumni at my wedding, and I’m glad we’ve stayed friends these past 10 years.

Since this is our reunion year, I encourage everyone to write in and share your wonderful life events with us!

From the Alumni House:

In June, Andrea Birdsall left for Bosnia, where she she began a three-week assignment with Eastern Mennonite Missions of Lancaster County. She will continue her work in church development, which she began in Bosnia in 1995.

NEWS OF 1992

From the Alumni House:

Christina Bitner married Ray Nardo in November. Kate Lovett Dean was maid of honor; Gretchen Hochreiter and Tracy Hunt were attendants. Christina and Ray bought a house in Ambler. She just started a new job, working from home, designing apparel for a California company.

NEWS OF 1991

From Melissa dePamphilis:

Hello, everyone. I don’t have much to report, so please let me know what you or fellow alumni are doing these days. I’d love to hear from you!

I received an e-mail from Sherry Paul, who was married August 9 to Demetri Bychkowski. Lisa Bodnar was her maid of honor. Kristen and Craig Downey and Linda Pettinelli were at the wedding. Sherry said it was on an absolutely beautiful day, and they honeymooned in Hawaii. Sherry teaches music in Woodbridge Township, N.J., where she conducts three choirs. She also teaches piano students privately.

That’s all for me. Please drop me a note and have a great winter!

From the Alumni House:

Susanne Kmet-Diaz had a son, Nicholas Joseph Diaz, in May. She received her master’s degree in teaching in 2001.

NEWS OF 1990

NEWS OF 1989

NEWS OF 1988
Reunion Homecoming 2003

NEWS OF 1987

From Edie Fuchs Lewis:

I had the chance to get together with my former roommates. Lauren Kelly Lawn, Michele Vitacco Purcell, Doreen Patterson Cunningham, Bonnie Higgins Sullivan, and I met at the beach to catch up. Bonnie lives with her husband and son in Toronto. Michele just had her second son. Doreen also has two boys, and Lauren is keeping busy with four children. I have two daughters and am working on my master’s degree in education and reading specialist certification.

I also heard from Linda Collins Zebrowski. She had a girl, Nicole, on September 23, who joins big brother Nicholas. Linda is taking time off from managing an employment agency to stay home with her children. She and her husband live in Edison, N.J.

Homecoming turned out to be a cold but fun day. Class members who attended were Mandy Taylor and Jim Roth, Maria Pillsbury Kammtler, Steph Schweder Kratzer, Brian Clelland, Mike Brill (from Arizona!), Doreen Patterson Cunningham, Michael Deegan, Diane Hvizdak Taylor, Sandy Hammil, Ken Franiak, Denise O’Neil, Kim Cocheo Cheman, Kathleen Hanifan and Harris Hoke ’85, Mike Mancini, Pam Messerschmidt and Ray Pfiffer, Nadine Alijian, Rusty Bealer, Elizabeth Tyler Bugaighis, Tim Cooke, Georgine Danyi, Kristen Carlson Green, Melanie Kloiber St. Hill, Karen Zacek, and Kristen Carlson. (If I missed you, I apologize!) It was fun catching up and braving the temperature.

After several years of writing the class notes, I have decided to give someone else a turn. Diane Hvizdak Taylor has agreed to take over the job. Please e-mail her with your news at

From the Alumni House:

Elizabeth Tyler Bugaighis has been named assistant dean of arts and sciences at Northampton Community College, responsible for hiring and mentoring a staff of more than 100 adjunct faculty members. She has been an adjunct professor of education at NCC and Moravian.

Melanie Kloiber St. Hill got married in May 1997. She has a daughter, Natalie, born in November 2001. She and her family moved from San Diego to the Lehigh Valley in August.

NEWS OF 1986

From James and Lynda Farrell Swartz:

Time seems to fly by! Life as we’ve known it is different, but we still have much to be thankful for. We didn’t see many of you at Homecoming this year—what happened? The new Houndfest theme was great. Despite the bitter cold weather that day, it was a success. Hope to see more of you next year.

I did get some information on fellow classmates. Joanna Dunn Scheirer and her family have moved to Hong Kong for a few years. She and her husband, John, and three children (Alyssa, 8, Michael, 5, and infant Emily) are excited about this adventure. John works for Bloomberg News and was promoted to its Asian-Pacific Rim desk in exchange relations. They welcome your contact. Their e-mail address is

Joanna maintains contact with Sharon Lucas Montalto and Christine Blaschak Charles, who just had her third baby. That’s three kids under the age of 3!

Bob Medina is a team leader at his school and corresponding secretary for the local union. His son, Jeremy, is 5-foot-4 and 135 pounds and enjoys football—just as his dad did! Courtney is a cheerleader.

Heather Apgar Murphy ’87 and Brian have moved back to New Jersey with their two children. They live in Florham Park. Bill Schoonmaker and his wife, Lisa, welcomed twins in June. Katie and Matt are keeping them busy. Bill and his family have moved to Morris Township, N.J.

David Imhof, a major in the U.S. Army, is in Kuwait. His wife and children live in Fort Hood, Texas.

Lauren Schaffernoth DeFuria and Brian were expecting their second son in December.

There were several ’86 alums who volunteered at Homecoming this year. A big thanks to all of them! Robin Pflugler Kanefsky and her daughter Rachel looked great. They are living in Virginia. Val Hand ’85 and John Morris brought their three boys to Houndfest. Lauren Turnbach Brennan, Corinne Parker Edmonds, and Gary Barron also volunteered their time that day.

NEWS OF 1985

From Paula Colizzo Lewinski:

Hello to the Class of 1985. I did not drop off the face of the earth, and please note my change of e-mail address. Joe, Megan, Jason, and I are all doing well. I’m sure most of us are in the same boat: too much to do and not enough hours in a day to do it, whether there are kids in the mix or not. I hope everyone is finding happiness and fulfillment in their lives.

I heard from Susan Weinandy Addison. She and her husband, Kevin, were delighted to welcome their first child, Ian Joseph, on April 17. They live in Pottstown.

I also received a nice long e-mail from Tracy Miller Geary. She has been busy with trips to Singapore and Maine to visit with her sister; taking her daughter, Elizabeth, to preschool; and receiving her master’s degree in creative writing and literature from Harvard University. She is working as a teacher’s assistant in creative writing. As if all this weren’t enough, she is the fiction editor of Harvard’s Charles River Review and Harvard Summer Review. She finds this works out well for her because she can write and edit at home still is able to get out sometimes. Watch this column to find out where her published works can be purchased!

Over the summer, she attended the wedding of Brian Pell ’83 in Philadelphia, which she said was small, beautiful, and elegant.

Rob Kreutzer e-mailed me in early September to let us all know that he and his wife, Barb, had their second son, Braedon Austin Karl, on August 16. Braedon joins older brother Nicholas William, 31/2. All the Kreutzers plan to continue supporting the Moravian soccer team. Rob still is in touch with Bernie Mantoni but says that’s about it.

From the Alumni House:

Lynn Muschlitz LaBarre recently went back to work at Keystone Savings Bank in the mortgage department. She works near Neal Koplin ’82 and several other Moravian alums.

Peter Lega is a technologist for Tractor Internet and a stay-at-home father. His wife, Wendy, is a manager at Sun Microsystems and works three days a week on a work/time-share policy, which she wrote for the company.

Laura Frederick Maxwell is a product manager at Kemper Auto & Home Insurance Co. and was awarded an associateship, which requires completing seven exams administered by the Casualty Actuarial Society.

NEWS OF 1984

From Janet Gomes Feakes:

In the year 2002, most of us hit our 40th birthdays! And we’ll soon be celebrating our 20th reunion at Homecoming, so start planning now for attending in the fall of ’04!

Cindy Gessell Phillips and her husband, Bob, are the new parents of Robert Andrew Phillips, born December 12. My family and I spent July 4 with Cindy and Bob in their beautiful home in Ridgewood, N.J., and we all enjoyed the fireworks display while sitting on their front lawn. We had a surprise visit from Mike Dougherty ’83, his wife, Lisa, and their three children. Mike grew up one block away from Cindy’s home. Cindy continues her own business in the public relations consulting field.

Fred and Christine Blaschak Charles are happy to announce the arrival of Joseph Abraham on July 15. Joe was welcomed home by big brother Isaac and sister Micalene. Chris says you can now refer to her as Joe-Mama!

Diane Rinnovatore Smolenski was promoted to managing director in the asset securitization business of Lehman Brothers, New York, where she has worked for five years. She lives in Edison, N.J, with her husband, Gene, and daughter Anastasia, who is 5 years old.

The New Prometheus

Ryan Mehl ’96, an assistant professor of chemistry at Franklin and Marshall College, made headlines in January with the publication of an article in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. He was first author of the report on an experiment conducted at the Scripps Institute in La Jolla, Calif., called “Generation of a Bacterium with a 21 Amino Acid Genetic Code.”

Here’s the explanation: all living organisms are made up of protein building blocks composed of 20 amino acids. Ryan and six researchers, working from an idea initiated some 15 years ago by Peter Schultz of the Scripps Institute, built an organism that can make and use 21 amino acids, leading to what Life Sciences Network, a science news service, calls “the world’s first truly artificial organism.”

“Artificial” overstates the case, says Ryan, who explains that his team used the same genetic “machinery” that naturally forms the 20 amino acids to enable a bacterium to make and use a 21st. Moreover, since the ability to make the 21st amino acid is achieved by altering the DNA, the bacterium not only is a self-sufficient life-form but also can pass this trait along to its progeny. “Our goal has been to expand the organism genetically rather than to create a new one.”

The genetic components for making and using the 21st amino acid were combined in an E. coli bacterium but copied and altered from other organisms, including several kinds of bacteria and a gene found in the sperm whale. “Significant alteration was necessary,” Ryan says, “in order to get the new parts to work together but not get tangled up with the 20 other amino acids that occur naturally.”

Their achievement allows “unbelievable chemical control,” Ryan says. The uses of the additional amino acid range from theoretical to practical. It will help researchers understand the way protein building blocks work, answering fundamental questions: How did life become based on 20 amino acids? Is 20 perfect? Is 21 better?

Practically, the new protein material allows laboratory scientists to do far more with proteins than they can with the natural 20. “In the research labs at Scripps, they already have moved it into yeast . . . and it won’t be very long before we can move it from yeast to mice. New and improved proteins are on their way for use as catalysts in making drugs or to be used as drugs themselves,” Ryan explains.

Ryan credits his chemistry professors at Moravian, Dan Libby and David Langhus, with awakening his interest in laboratory research. “Dan, especially, is the reason I’m here,” he says. “He was the first person to put me into a lab and let me get excited about working there.”

After he graduated from Moravian, he received his Ph.D. from Cornell University and then took a post-doctoral fellowship at the Scripps Institute. He joined the faculty of Franklin and Marshall College last fall.

Ryan is married to Aubrey Lynn Hicks ’95, an English major who has worked at several publishing houses and now is concentrating on writing fiction. They share two cats, Iris and Snowdrop, and a puppy, Bishop, whose genetic mix is open to question, though he combines the amino acids of a boxer and a Labrador. Ryan’s mother, Judy, was assistant director of publications at Moravian and now is publications director at East Stroudsburg University. His brother, Graham ’95, is an engineer with Lockheed Martin in Philadelphia.

—Judith Green