The Online Edition

Class Notes — Fall 2016

Undergraduate Degrees


connie lewis

Connie (Yahara) Lewis, Barbara (Bachman) Edwards, Marcia (Senderovitz) Dalmas, Lynne (Boyle) Austin, Mary Ellen (Zwiebel) Mills and Betty (George) Polanowski have been meeting for lunch for 55 years – since their graduation in 1960. This picture that was taken in June 2015 when they got together at Agolinos in West Pittston, Pa. All of the ladies were education majors, although their careers took them in different directions. Five of the ladies married Wilkes men and Edwards is the first of the group to become a great-grandmother.


Royal Wetzel was inducted into the Milton Hershey School Hall of Fame on September 25, 2015, in the field of performing arts.



Andrea Templar Ackerman retired from Groton Public Schools, Groton, Conn., 10 years ago and is now a mentor in the writing center at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Her community service includes membership in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Trust Fund Board of Trustees. Her message is that you don’t have to fold up and wither away at 72 and you can still pass on what Wilkes gave you.


View More: http://knotjustanyday.pass.us/wilkeshomecoming2015

Connie (Yahara) Lewis, Barbara (Bachman) Edwards, Marcia (Senderovitz) Dalmas, Lynne (Boyle) Austin, Mary Ellen (Zwiebel) Mills and Betty (George) Polanowski have been meeting for lunch for 55 years – since their graduation in 1960. This picture that was taken in June 2015 when they got together at Agolinos in West Pittston, Pa. All of the ladies were education majors, although their careers took them in different directions. Five of the ladies married Wilkes men and Edwards is the first of the group to become a great-grandmother.


Rabbi Elliot Rosenbaum was named a staff favorite by Forward.com for being one of the new voices in Jewish music.

Marcia Brinker-Dye will be retiring at the end of this school year after 44 years of teaching in New Jersey, Louisiana and Texas.

The Rev. Bernard Evanofski recently returned to the United States after two years of missionary work in Honduras. He worked as a missionary priest in the Diocese of San Pedro Sula, serving in a number of parishes and missions, as well as working with the Missionaries of Charity Blessed Teresa of Calcutta’s Community, a center for the elderly and adults with terminal illnesses, and the Catholic University of San Pedro Sula. After returning, he was assigned as pastor of Holy Cross Parish in Palmetto, Fla.

Caleb McKenzie has joined US Lighting Consultants, an international lighting consultancy based in New York City, as principal of the firm. He was recently elected vice president of the New York City section of the Illuminating Engineering Society, and co-chair of The Richard Kelly Grant. A resident of Hoboken, N.J., he is a commissioner on the Hoboken City Planning Board.


John Margo retired from Oneida Healthcare in Oneida, N.Y., as the vice president of human resources in January 2014 after 23 years with the company.


Diane Krolikowski Ljungquist is chief executive officer at Berwick Hospital Center. Ljungquist previously was assistant chief executive officer at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital and chief operating officer at Tyler Memorial in Tunkhannock.



Louis Zack Jr. MBA ’86, was promoted to chief operating officer at Clarks Summit State Hospital. His previous position at the hospital was chief financial officer.

Robert Wallace is celebrating his 25th year as a biology professor and also spending this academic year serving as president of Iowa State University’s faculty senate, representing more than 1,800 faculty.  He teaches courses in evolutionary biology, plant evolution, plant classification, and economic botany.

Peter_Judy Steve

Peter ’81 and Judy Barnick Steve ’81 relocated their company, Ideaworks Marketing, to a new home in a Victorian building in Wyoming, Pa. It is the first time since the company was founded in 1988 that it has not shared space with another company. Peter and Judy are the owners of the firm, with Peter serving as CEO. The couple and their team celebrated with a Nov. 12 ribbon cutting and open house. They marked the occasion by making a charitable donation to Blue Chip Animal Refuge of Dallas, Pa.


David D. Reynolds joined the board of directors at Dime Bank. He is president and CEO of Northeastern Gastroenterology Associates as well as the medical director, president and CEO of Mountain Laurel Surgery Center and Maple City Anesthesia, all in Honesdale, Pa.


Gus Panagakos and Lissa Lee were married on July 11 in a backyard ceremony on their property in Dallas, Pa. The groom is a computer science graduate and works as a database administrator. The bride makes skin care products for her company, Back Mountain Soap Company, and is employed in home health care as a certified nurses aide.


Sandra J. (Sackrison) Breznitsky is the radiology system service line administrator for Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, N.C. In June 2015 she graduated from Nova Southeastern University with a doctoratein health sciences. She lives in Edenton, N.C., with her husband, Jeffrey, and has two children, Corey and Abbey.


Lisa Lesko joined the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania as project manager of quality initiatives.

Bonnee Breese Bentum married Samuel Bentum of Ghana. The couple enjoyed two wedding ceremonies: one in Ghana on Aug. 30, 2014, and a second one in Pennsylvania on Dec. 21, 2014.


Ann Marie Kochuba-Mantione MBA ’98 and her husband, Sal, opened the Alpine Deli on West Northampton Street in downtown Wilkes-Barre.

LynnMarie (Rosencrance) Elko was named Businessperson of the Year by the Tamaqua Area Chamber of Commerce. She is the founder of Emma’s Friends Soaps and Lotions, Inc.

Henry Bisco and his wife Tammy Cyprich ’97 recently started their own business, MadGirl Designs, LLC, after nearly two decades in the commercial furniture business. The business focuses on custom millwork and shelving applications with an emphasis on medical and education applications.


Helen Chandoha joined the Lakeside Vision eye care practice. She is an optometrist and a member of the American Optometric Association, Pennsylvania Optometric Association and Northeastern Pennsylvania Optometric Society.


Michael T. Beachem, IV received a certificate in student affairs law and policy in June 2015. The training was held in Tampa, Fla., and sponsored by NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and Stetson University College of Law. Beachem serves as the associate director of resident life at International House Philadelphia.


Christopher Thompson, M.D., earned the hospice medical director certified credential from the Hospice Medical Director Certification Board. Thompson was recognized for his commitment to improving the quality of life by displaying professional competency in the hospice industry. He is hospice medical director for Transitions LifeCare: Kids, providing hospice and palliative care for terminally ill children in Raleigh, N.C.


Donna Talarico MFA ‘10 presented an intensive workshop called “Words, Words, Words” at the Higher Education Web Professionals annual conference in October in Milwaukee, Wis. This was her fifth consecutive year presenting at this event. Talarico also served on the conference committee. She presented a shorter version of the workshop at the 2015 Northeast Pennsylvania Blog Conference in September. She also was part of a nonfiction panel and editor speed-dating session at Philadelphia Stories’ 2015 Push to Publish Conference Oct. 10, and presented a session on personal branding at Moore College of Art and Design’s Leadership Conference for Women in the Arts Conference Oct. 17. In May, she launched a freelance writing and storytelling/marketing consulting company, Donna Talarico: Stories and Such.


Matthew Berger and his wife Michelle welcomed a son to their family on Aug. 3, 2015. Luke Matthew Berger joins brother Jackson Lee Berger, age 3. Berger is director of operations for EDM Americas Inc. and a member of the Wilkes University Alumni Association Board of Directors. The Bergers reside in Exeter, Pa.


Tom Voglino joined the engineering consulting firm Reuther+Bowen as a civil engineer. His responsibilities include land development design, planning and municipal engineering.


Jennifer Bonita accepted a new position at The Orchard as a member of their client relations team in product management, social media, artist relations and retail and event management. Previously she ran marketing and retail campaigns for Savoy Jazz and 429 Records.


Kristin Ann Pisano and Charles Edward Koulik Jr. were married in an outdoor ceremony at the bride’s childhood home in Hudson, Pa. The bride works at Pride Mobility Products in Exeter, Pa. The groom is employed by Koulik Oil Service in Hudson. The couple reside in Wilkes-Barre.

Sabrina Garnett and her husband, Daniel, welcomed their son, Chase, on Nov. 13, 2015.


Grayson Izard-Dann married Ryan Dann on Sept. 12 in Watch Hill, R.I.


Angelo Trento received his master’s degree in criminal justice with a concentration in homeland security from Monmouth University. He was hired by the Philadelphia Police Department, the fourth largest police department in the country.

Graduate Degrees



George Pawlush – See Undergraduate Degrees 1969.



Lisa Rufo MS is a retired English as a second language and Spanish teacher from Allentown, Pa. She returned to live in Spain last February.


Ann Marie Kochuba-Mantione  MBA– See Undergraduate Degrees 1995.


Donna Talarico MFA –See Undergraduate Degrees 2000.



Jillian Dwyer PharmD earned her certification in geriatric pharmacy. She works at Allied Services Integrated Health System in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties, Pa.

Brian Fanelli MFA successfully defended his doctoral dissertation “Waiting for the Dead to Speak,” at Binghamton University.

Michael O’Brien MS was named principal of Washington Park School in Totowa, N.J.


Chris Barrows MS has been named chairperson of the Edu Web Digital Summit. He was an advisory board member for the conference for the last two years.


Julie Cote MBA joined the Kingston office of the Classic Properties real estate agency. She belongs to the Greater Wilkes-Barre Association of Realtors.