The Online Edition

Class Notes



Ruth Melberger of West Pittston, Pa., conducted a tree tour of West Pittston in conjunction with the West Pittston Library. Area residents attended the 90-minute tour where Melberger pointed out different varieties of trees, including a Magnolia tree rarely seen in this climate.



Leslie (Tobias) Jenkins of Aurora, Colo., and Jim Jenkins recently took a cruise to the Baltic countries including Russia.  Leslie and Jim Jenkins are pictured in front of the iconic St. Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square, Moscow.


William Schmidt of Roseburg, Ore., and his wife Gretchen, spent the summer of 2018 working at the front desk of the Best Western Weston Inn in West Yellowstone, Mont.


Robert Catina, of Effort, Pa., received the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division Liberty Bell Award. The award was presented during the state association annual meeting in May in Hershey, Pa. The Liberty Bell Award honors individuals for their outstanding community service and for promoting the blessing of liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. After teaching business law at Pleasant Valley High School for nearly 40 years, Catina currently serves as tipstaff to President Judge Margherita Worthington of the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas.

James Wills of Sterling, Va., was named the managing member of Phillips Strategic Advisors, a business development company specializing in Asian, Africa and Middle Eastern markets.


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Carl Charnetski  of Harveys Lake, Pa., professor of psychology at Wilkes, was recently honored by S.A.F.E. Inc. with the Angel of Autism Pioneer Award.


Rabbi and Cantor Elliot Rosenbaum of Laredo, Texas, published his latest video, “Hashkiveynu,” which is available for viewing on YouTube. The project began in 2013 with the composing, recording and publishing on YouTube of 20 original songs based upon the liturgy of the Jewish Sabbath Evening Service and consisting of single vocal and guitar tracks and a lyrics sheet. Rosenbaum began to republish in 2015, adding vocal harmony and instruments to each audio track. The videos are part of a whole album, “Friday Night!,” which was inspired by The Beatles’s “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and draws upon traditional Jewish modes mixed with various forms of American music. Rosenbaum created the album to add accessible melodies to the cantorial repertoire to encourage those with limited Hebrew skills and to serve as a tool for students to learn the liturgy of the Sabbath evening prayers.


Pamela Pethick Gale and Randall Gale of Camp Hill, Pa., have been married 44 years.  Pamela is retired from teaching reading in the Camp Hill School District.  She previously worked in the personnel office of the Pennsylvania Department of General Services.  Randall is a partner in the Harrisburg, Pa., office of the law firm of Thomas, Thomas & Hafer LLP, where he has worked for the last 33 years. He previously worked in the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General and as a law clerk with the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Bruce Weinstock of Kingston, Pa., and his wife Nancy were honored on April 27 by the Wyoming Valley Children’s Association for more than 30 years of service.


Barbara Gavlick Hartnett of Swoyersville, Pa., retired from her costume rental business Costumes by Barbara in March after over 30 years in business. She continues her love of costumes and theatre in her online ETSY shop “Surely You Jester.”


Joseph Jedju of Flagtown, N.J., was recently honored as general music teacher of the year for 2018 by the West Virginia Society for General Music.  His award was presented in Charleston, W. Va., on March 9 before the start of the annual All State Children’s Choir concert.


Noel Jorgensen Cardew, Bouraine Meehan Smith, Mary Lou Murray Brady and Sandy Akromas Thomson – also known as the Wilkes College Barre Hall girls– got together in July at the Barley Creek Restaurant in Tannersville, Pa., for a mini reunion.


Michael Heller of Marshall, Texas, was named a charter member of the newly formed Brig Gen Camp 5, Department of Texas, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and has been appointed chaplain by the camp.



 Mark Rado was presented with the Achievement Medal for Civilian Service by retired commander Sgt. Maj. Marshall Williams.


Ruth McDermott-Levy of Villanova, Pa., received a Fulbright-Saastamoinen Foundation Health and Environmental Sciences Award for teaching and research. She will be at the University of Eastern Finland from August to December 2018.


Margie Eckroth-Bucher of Bloomsburg, Pa., retired on June 30, 2017, from Bloomsburg University after 24 years. She was a full professor of nursing, and upon retiring was granted Faculty Emeritus status by the university’s council of trustees.

Ellen Van Riper of Phoenix, Ariz., was promoted to the position of chief deputy city attorney for the City of Surprise, Ariz.


Michael Williams of Liberty, N.Y., was recently appointed superintendent of schools in the Tri-Valley Central School District, in Grahamsville, N.Y.



Timothy Williams of Lancaster, Pa., has recently been appointed the superintendent of the York Suburban School District in York County, Pa. He was previously the superintendent of the Westmont Hilltop School District in Johnstown, Pa. Earlier in his career he served in various school administrative roles in Lancaster County, Pa. Williams is pictured being sworn in as a commissioned officer by Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera.



Helen Barrett Snyder of Watstontown, Pa., recently married Robert Snyder. They live with their golden retriever, Cosette. They were married in Helen’s hometown church, Saints Peter and Paul in Towanda, Pa., and celebrated afterwards at her family’s Barrett Century Farm. She is the director of religious education at St. Joseph’s Church in Milton, Pa.


Edward Nowicki retired from the United States Air Force on June 1, 2016, as a lieutenant colonel.  His retirement ceremony was held at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.


Janice Saldukas-Parsons is an education associate in the Exceptional Children’s Workgroup at the Delaware State Department of Education.


Daryle Cardone of Virginia Beach, Va., was named the executive officer of the USS George Washington, a Nimitz Class aircraft carrier, in Newport News, Va. He serves in the U.S. Navy.

Brian Malina of Easton, Pa., started a new job as director of marketing and communications at the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Ying Wu College of Computing.



Lt. Col. Robert McAllister of Marlboro, Md., assumed command of the historic unit of the 1st Battalion 109th Infantry Regiment, 28TH Infantry Division. The Pennsylvania Army National Guard unit consists of more than 700 soldiers and is based in Honesdale, Williamsport, Tamaqua, Stroudsburg, New Milford, and Carbondale.  It is the unit in which McAllister originally enlisted in 1991. McAllister previously had been assigned to the Army Capabilities Integration Center, Fort Eustis, Va.; which develops capabilities for the Army’s future force. He has served in Bosnia and Iraq and in homeland operations related to Hurricane Katrina and Operation Jump Start.



Shawn Harden of Blacksburg, Va., was promoted to senior associate at Dewberry, an engineering consulting firm. Previously, Harden was a civil engineering and land development expert with the Danville, Virginia, firm. Harden has been with the firm for more than 17 years, and is the civil and economic development department manager, responsible for leading an experienced team of engineers in the layout and design of industrial parks and commerce centers. He has created master plans and designed approximately 15 industrial parks over the last 10 years. He also is a subject matter expert in the design of solid waste landfills. Harden is currently overseeing the design of the SoVa Mega Site at Berry Hill, located in Pittsylvania County, Va

Sean Higginson of Saint Charles, Mo., was recently named president of Radiology Consultants of Lynchburg in Lynchburg, Va.


Phillip Torres of Brooklyn, N.Y., a licensed respiratory care practitioner, is now practicing respiratory therapy at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, Nev.


William Layo of Memphis, Tenn., is working for SAIC as an information strategic planning consultant for the City of Memphis.


Sandra (Burke Porasky) Fassett of Shickshinny, Pa., had a chance meeting with the granddaughter of Wilkes’ founding President Eugene Farley. While Fassett and her husband were standing in line to enter Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas, owned by Joanna and Chip Gaines of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper,” they struck up a conversation with a young woman standing behind them. They learned that the woman’s grandfather was the founder of Wilkes College, where Fassett had studied while earning her nursing degree at the Nesbitt Memorial Hospital School of Nursing – and where she later returned to earn her bachelor’s degree.



Jason Bozinko and Sarah Doman-Bozinko of Swoyersville, Pa., welcomed their baby boy, Jackson Francis on April 16, 2018


Darron Fadden of Scranton, Pa., and his wife Jessica, welcomed daughter, Cecilia Mae, on Aug. 22, 2018. She weighed in at 7 pounds, 6 ounces and was 21 inches long.


Donna Talarico Beerman MFA’10 of Lancaster, Pa., recently was featured in a front-page story in the living section of LNP, Lancaster’s Sunday newspaper. The story was about Hippocampus, the online literary magazine that Talarico Beerman founded and edits, and Books at Hippocampus, a book publishing arm that her business launched in 2017.


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Mark Congdon Jr. of Greensboro, N.C., graduated with a doctorate in communication with a concentration in social entrepreneurship in communication pedagogy and educational leadership from the University of Maine in May. His dissertation, “Looking at innovation dialogically: Teaching communication and (social) change in the Innovation Engineering program at the University of Maine,” explored how universities can work to educate for and effect social change, while simultaneously developing students career skills. Congdon accepted an assistant professor position at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, N.Y.,  beginning in fall 2018. Congdon is pictured at his graduation from the University of Maine with his Ph.D. co-advisor, Liliana Herakova , left, and University of Maine President. Susan J. Hunter, right.


Mark Levy of Aventura, Fla., published a collection of 70 short essays, Trophy Envy, that he had broadcast on the public radio show, Weekend Radio.

Wendy Miller of Muncy, Pa., was named assistant dean of health sciences at Pennsylvania College of Technology. In May, she completed her doctorate, receiving the Doctor of Education degree in educational leadership from Gwynedd Mercy University.



Jeffrey Bauman of Duryea, Pa., accepted a position at Johnson College as an academic advisor. In this newly created position, Bauman will coach and counsel students through course selection as well as assess and measure student success based on retention and persistence to degree completion.  Bauman completed his Master of Arts degree in higher education from Messiah College in spring 2016. He also was recently elected as a member of Duryea Borough Council for a four-year term. Bauman is pictured at his first meeting of the Duryea Borough Council.


Jonathan Hummel of Schuylkill Haven, Pa., began working as a staff accountant at Evans Network of Companies in April 2018. Prior to working with Evans, he was a staff accountant at Schuylkill Community Action.


Jason R. Woloski of Plains Twp., Pa., was promoted to assistant program director of the Geisinger Kistler Family Medicine Residency in Wilkes-Barre. Woloski continues to see family medicine patients at the Geisinger Kingston Outpatient Clinic and Geisinger Wyoming Valley Hospital.  He also serves as a clinical assistant professor of family medicine for the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine.


Trisha O’Boyle Perrin of Swoyersville, Pa., wrote a children’s book, Luna the Rescue. It was published Feb. 15, 2018.


Rasha Shaker of Greater Nashville, Tenn., was promoted to research and engagement supervisor at Grayscale Marketing in Nashville, Tenn. Previously she was the advertising and marketing coordinator for the company.


Justin Davis graduated from University of Pennsylvania with a master of science in education degree focusing on policy and reform.


James Brown of Scranton, Pa., started a business, The Brown Initiative, LLC., with his siblings, Christian and Dianna Brown. The performing arts company puts on shows featuring singing, dancing, and live music. The trio performs locally near their home in Daleville, Pa., and Scranton, Pa. In March, Brown was lucky enough to continue his baseball career, when he signed to a team in France that is part of the French Federation of Baseball and Softball. He signed a contract to play for the Metz Cometz for the 2018 season which will keep him in France until October 2018.

Rachel Leandri of Wyoming, Pa., is the co-owner of the dance studio, Broadway on the Boulevard in Pittston, Pa., with partner Brad Chikowski. The studio was formerly known as the Pittston David Blight School of Dance. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was conducted by Wilkes University’s Small Business Development Center in August. A feature about the studio ran in the Times Leader online.



Robert Catina MS, see undergraduate, 1969.


Sherri Maret MS of Chambersburg, Pa., recently published her book, The Cloud Artist. It is now a finalist for the 2018 Oklahoma Book Award. Sherri is a veteran English teacher and librarian and is now a full-time author. She taught in the Chambersburg, Cumberland Valley, and Shippensburg, Pa., school districts for 20 years. Another book is in the works for a release later on this year.



John A. Bednarz Jr. of Shavertown, Pa.,  has been selected a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for 2018 by Philadelphia Magazine. Bednarz has received the honor for 10 consecutive years in the field of workers compensation law.


Donna Talarico Beerman MFA , see undergraduate 2007.


Sarah Doman-Bozinko MS, see undergraduate 2006.


Liz Krewson-Ross MBA recently joined the team at the Evergreen Family of Companies in Wyoming, Pa., as the manager of marketing and social media. Prior to her current position, she was the marketing and communications specialist at NiUG International.