The Online Edition

Class Notes



Donald Murray of Dallas, Pa., is writing a book on the effort to draft Adlai Stevenson as a presidential candidate at the 1960 Democratic National Convention.


Rob (Richard) Burns of Piermont, N.Y., and his wife, Lynda, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Dec. 24, 2017. Burns is a village trustee and vice president of the Paradise Homeowner’s Association.

Richard Probert of Sackets Harbor, N.Y., wrote a new novel, That Good Night, published by Beaufort Books. He taught music at Wilkes from 1968 to 1973.


Jenkins classnote

Leslie (Tobias) Jenkins


Leslie (Tobias) Jenkins and James Jenkins of Aurora, Colo., recently visited Tacoma, Wash., to see their great grandson, James, on the occasion of his first birthday.






Marie Shutlock Drinko of Acworth, Ga., a military and family life counselor, received a coin of excellence for her work in Italy and a certificate of appreciation for her work in Germany. She is working in Guam until June 2018.


Reunion: Oct. 5-7

Daniel Klem of Allentown, Pa., professor of ornithology and conservation biology at Muhlenberg College, discussed creating bird-friendly glass with Hari Sreenivasan of Scitech Now, a science program on PBS. Klem is an internationally recognized expert on bird deaths from flying into glass windows and structures. His interview can be seen at http://www.scitechnow.org/videos/


Michael Gallagher of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., retired after 36 years with the Music Box Dinner Playhouse in Swoyersville, Pa. He began working at the theatre in 1981 when it was established. He served in various capacities with the theatre over three decades and most recently has designed sets as the artistic director emeritus of the playhouse. Gallagher, who majored in education and minored in theatre at Wilkes, learned about set design from the late Klaus Holm while he was a student. Gallagher established a theater program and taught school in Pennsburg, Pa., and honed his skills at the Colorado Springs Opera Festival. He also designed sets for Scranton Public Theater, Theater Under the Tent on Montage Mountain and the Masonic Temple.


Joseph Sekusky retired in December 2016. He was a caseworker for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the Department of Public Welfare in Scranton, Pa.


Gary Robert Blockus of Laurys Station, Pa., was named executive director of the Lehigh Valley Youth Soccer League. He also writes for TeamUSA.org, covering elite U.S. athletes and teams in international and Olympic competitions. Blockus retired from The Morning Call newspaper after 35 plus years as a sports writer.

Kathleen Herpich of Bensalem, Pa., was named principal of the St. Elizabeth School in Paincourtville, La.


Shepard Willner of Arlington, Va., is expected to retire in September 2018 after a 35- year career in federal service. Willner plans to enjoy life with his friends and family and is writing a memoir titled Marching to a Different Drummer.


Donna (O’Toole) Sedor was named director of development for the Women’s Resource Center in Scranton, Pa. She previously was director of development for the Wyoming Valley Children’s Center.




William V. Lewis Jr.


William V. Lewis Jr.  of Jenkins Twp., Pa., was elected to the national board of directors of the Academy of Certified Portfolio Managers. He is a vice president, wealth management advisor and portfolio manager with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in Wilkes-Barre.








Linda Kelnock


Linda Kelnock of West Chester, Pa., completed her fifth Philadelphia Marathon and her 17th all-time marathon on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017.












Shelley (Umbra) Pearce


Shelley (Umbra) Pearce is an integrative psychotherapist in private practice in Los Angeles, Calif. She serves as president of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, Los Angeles Chapter, and also serves on the board of directors of the Global Bridge Foundation. In 2007, she was honored as a community leader of the year by NEIU-19, a Pennsylvania organization servicing three counties and 20 school districts. Her direction of the site Humanistic Spirituality led to receiving the 2014 Culture Unplugged International Film Festival Award for a compassionate theme. Pearce is a nonsectarian minister and student of contemplative and wisdom traditions. She served as director of the Wilkes University Conservatory from 1998 to 2009.




Kevin Gryboski of Venetia, Pa., participated in the Atlanta Braves Alumni Weekend in August 2017. He was a standout pitcher for Wilkes University from 1992 to 1995. He played for the Braves from 2002 to 2005 where he was a relief pitcher who earned the nickname “Groundball Gryboski” due to his success in getting batters to hit grounders, often ending in double plays.

David Allen Hines

David Allen Hines



 David Allen Hines of Kingston, Pa., was appointed to the Government Finance Officers Association national committee on governmental budgeting and fiscal policy. He is the director of operations for the City of Pittson, Pa.






Alexandria Zuranski of Salt Lake City, Utah, transferred to the Social Security field office in Provo, Utah, where she works as a service representative.



Chris Parker

Christopher Parker


Christopher Parker of Wilkes-Barre is an 18-year veteran of the Luzerne County Department of Probation Services, and was named the state Juvenile Probation Officer of the Year in November 2017.







Reunion: Oct. 5-7

Kerri Fasulo of Pleasant Valley, N.Y., was promoted to marketing director at Anthem Inc. where she oversees marketing strategy for specialty pharmacy.



Ryan Klemish of Duryea, Pa., and his wife, Kristin (Hake) Klemish, welcomed a daughter, McKenna Dee Klemish, on May 5, 2017.


Jamie Babbit Stewart

Jamie (Babbit) Stewart and Russell Stewart


Jamie (Babbit) Stewart of Parisppany, N.J., married Russell Stewart on Aug. 12, 2017, at Zugibe Vineyards in Geneva, N.Y., on Seneca Lake.








Noll Wedding

Christopher Noll of Danville, Pa., and Danielle (Vindigni) Noll ’10 (above) of Lewisburg, Pa., married on Oct. 28, 2017.


Marc Wyandt

Marc Wyandt 


Marc Wyandt of Old Forge, Pa., is the principal of Abington Heights Middle School and was appointed assistant superintendent of the school district in January 2018. During his time at Abington Heights, Wyandt has served as an elementary and middle school principal and assistant high school principal. HE received a master’s degree in educational leadership from Wilkes.






Danielle (Vindigni) Noll ’10 – See photo in Undergraduate 2009




Andrew M. Seaman


Andrew M. Seaman of New York, N.Y., was named the digital editor for Reuters.com, an international news agency. Previously, he was the agency’s senior medical journalist covering the Affordable Care Act and other health and medical news. Seaman was awarded a President’s Award from the Society of Professional Journalist for his work as Reuters.com’s ethics committee chairperson. He is also on the alumni board of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.






Brian Switay ’10, MBA ’12 of Port Monmouth, N.J., and Courtney Malast ’13 of Belford, N.J. got married on July 21, 2017. Many Wilkes alumni celebrated with them at the wedding. Colonels who attended the ceremony are pictured, from left to right: Samantha Mulvihill Caiola ’10, Genelle Gunderson ’12, Benjamin Caiola ’12, Michael Olerta ’12, Yasmine Solomon ’12, Danielle Capone Hanson ’12, Gerbeys Roa Harris ’12, Kristina Spauldin Grandinetti ’11, Courtney Malast Switay ’13 (bride), Zak Grandinetti ’10, Brian Switay ’10, MBA’12 (groom), Anthony Dorunda ’11, Lorelay Coronoa Benedict ’11, Jonathon Bowman ’12, Karissa Henderson ’10, Ray Dungee ’13, Michal Ogar ’16 and Renee Loftus (retired faculty).



Jessica DiBernardo


Jessica DiBernardo ’12 MS ’15 of Dallas, Pa. was chosen as a top 20 Under 40 for the NEPA Business Journal 2017 edition. DiBernardo is an associate director of graduate admissions at Wilkes University, focusing on recruiting and enrolling students for the nurse practitioner programs.


Reunion: Oct. 5-7

Justin Franiak is hosting the afternoon drive slot on air on WHMK, 98.1 The Hawk, with Townsquare Media in Binghamton, N.Y. Previously, he worked at WPIG/WHDL in Olean, N.Y., where he hosted nights and afternoons.

Courtney Malast Switay ’13 – See photo in Undergraduate 2010



Matt Kaster

Matt Kaster

 Matt Kaster of Washington, Pa., was signed by the Washington Wild Things as their second pitcher. Kaster played four seasons of collegiate baseball at Wilkes, spent summer 2016 playing for the Purcellville Cannons in the Valley Baseball League and had a brief stint in his first taste of pro ball with the Florence Freedom in 2017. At Wilkes, Kaster logged 92 innings in 61 appearances. All but two of those outings were in relief. Kaster was a two-time all-conference selection, and had a career ERA of 3.82. In 2016, he enjoyed his best year at Wilkes, earning him a first-team selection that year.



Terrence J. Purcell MBA of Barnesville, Pa., was appointed president of the former Blue Mountain Health System hospitals after their acquisition by the Bethlehem, Pa.- based St. Luke’s University Health System. The hospitals have been renamed St. Luke’s Palmerton Campus in Palmerton, Pa., and St. Luke’s Gnaden Huetten Campus in Lehighton, Pa. Purcell has been employed by Blue Mountain Health System for more than two decades, most recently serving as the senior vice president of operations.


Bryan Zellmer MBA


Bryan Zellmer MBA of Shohola, Pa., has been named director of KU Presents!, a performing artists series at Kutztown University that brings professional performing artists to the school and the surrounding communities. He previously worked in leadership roles at a 10,000-seat amphitheater in Pennsylvania, a casino entertainment lounge in New York, a state-of-the-art performing arts center in New Jersey and an historic theater in Colorado. Zellmer has a long career as a performer, which has included performing the National Anthem for the Philadelphia Phillies and singing with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic. He’s performed with a marching band in numerous parades, from Disney World to New York City. He also spent several years as a lighting designer working with a professional regional theater company and a high school theater program, working with professional Broadway directors.



Kaitlyn Martin Fitzgerald MS

Kaitlyn Martin Fitzgerald MS ’11 of Forty Fort, Pa., coached her inaugural field hockey game in September 2017 with Bryn Athyn College in Montgomery County, Pa. She helped start the program from the ground up. Before taking the job at Bryn Athyn, she was as an assistant for three years at Arcadia University.








Sarah Lloyd

Sarah Lloyd MS

 Sarah Lloyd MS ’12 earned a master’s degree in communication sciences and disorders from East Stroudsburg University in May 2017. She recently completed her fourth year as an adjunct instructor in the English-as-a-second-language program at Northampton Community College. She is currently a speech language pathologist in southern California.






Hetro_Washo Wedding

Amy (Hetro) Washo MBA ’12 of West Pittston, Pa., and Jason Washo married on Jan. 14, 2017. The ceremony was held at Immaculate Conception Church, West Pittston, and the reception was held at the Mary Stegmaier Mansion, Wilkes-Barre. The bridal party included several Wilkes alumni. Pictured in the first row, from left to right, are: Jim Cooney, Delaney Washo, Jason Washo, Amy Hetro Washo MBA’12, Leah Scholtis; second row, left to right: Jon Besko, Jessica Vensky, Matthew Washo; and third row, left to right: Jon Krieger, Ashley Popovich ’07, Bridget Giunta Husted ’05.


Jessica DiBernardo ’12 MS ’15 – See undergraduate 2012