Alumni Stories

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Gary Schmalfeldt ‘74

I was employed just after Thanksgiving in 1974 by visiting Australian recruiters. My employment began in January 1976. I became an Australian citizen in the early '90's. I married an Australian in 1977 and we have two sons, now aged 27 and 30. Upon arriving, I taught Biology, as well as junior Science. Since 1982, I have taught Math exclusively. I am now retired but I still do some substitute teaching.

Karen Wood ‘74

Aloha, I got my first job over here on Kauai as a med tech and have been working as a med tech since, moved from the hospital setting to part time at a small satellite clinic, and plan on retiring 10/4( over and out). Fredonia set me up to be able to buy some land in 75, having a good job. I bought 1 acre for$ 25,000, and built my own house with my husband. My brother followed and became a great field botanist. He was in National Geographic, pollinating plants and still does his hiking. He has found new species of plants, some of which are named after the Wood family, and he works for the National tropical botanical gardens over here. His name is Ken Wood.

I feel Blessed to have gone to Fredonia, getting a good job which enabled me to support myself and have a great LIFE here in Hawaii.

Robert Clerman ‘75

I have completed some additional education (UVa Env. Sci., and Hopkins, Computer Sci), had a career in science/technology research and consulting (MITRE and Noblis), married and raised a family (wife Vanessa and two kids Andrew and Leah, 28 and 24 respectively) and managed to enjoy every moment I can. I am now retired from Noblis after 30+ years and working as an independent consultant.

Jeff Gardiner ‘75

This year I am starting my 32nd year teaching. I am the Science Department Chair at Gloversville High School where I teach Biology, Chemistry, and Earth Science. I have many fond memories of Fredonia and I keep in touch with a lot of my college friends. Dr. Allen Benton was my advisor and because of him I have been a life-long birder. I remember his "Snipe and Woodcock Hunts" and his "Frog Forays" in the Spring. A classmate, Pete Bolig and I did a survey of migratory waterfall in Dunkirk Bay while we were there. I also braved a couple of weeks in the "Winter Biology" course offered at the college camp during the winter break of Dec '75-Jan '76. My best to all my former professors. I hope to get back to Fredonia one of these years.

Edward Strauser ‘75

I have fond memories of Fredonia State and especially Jewett Hall. In my last few decades as an Assistant through Full professor of Science Education at a Fredonia sized state university in Savannah Georgia, I have had extensive need to call upon my education at Fredonia. The influences of especially Dr. Yunghans, Fox, Mantai, Sharma, and Boenig are working with me and through me to influence hundreds of teachers who, in turn, influence thousands of children.

Donna Zittel ‘75

In July of 1977 I completed a year of internship in an accredited clinical hospital laboratory and successfully completed the American Society of Clinical Pathology exam to become a board certified medical technologist. I worked in the clinical chemistry laboratory setting in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area for over 24 years, after which I became employed at the MN state crime laboratory (Bureau of Criminal Apprehension [BCA]) in the Toxicology section, which is where I currently work. Since my employment at the BCA, I have successfully completed the American Board of Forensic Toxicology exam to become a board certified Forensic Toxicology Specialist.

I have taken my science training into the quality arena and now support Caterpillar suppliers with SPC and root cause and corrective action training. It is different going from the classroom to the manufacturing floor, yet still similar challenges when dissecting problems and using DOE processes.

Claire Vasios ‘78

I have always credited my years at Fredonia with sparking my intense interest in the biological sciences which led to a very successful career in the biotech industry. Specifically, the opportunity to do several independent research projects with the outstanding Fredonia Biology Department faculty was instrumental in my decision to go on to graduate school two years after my graduation from Fredonia.

I obtained a PhD in Microbiology/Molecular Biology in 1986 from Rutgers University/Rutgers Medical School, and then did a year-long post-doc at the Roche Institute in Nutley, NJ studying avian retroviruses. At that time, I got married and moved up to the Boston area where I transitioned into the area of patent law in 1987. Since 1992, I have served as the head of the Intellectual Property group for Alkermes, Inc., a global biopharmaceutical company that applies its scientific expertise and proprietary technologies to develop innovative medicines that improve patient outcomes.

Congratulations to all on the 50th anniversary celebration of Jewett Hall and on the fabulous new science center which will undoubtedly lead to many successful future scientists that will proudly call “Fredonia” their alma mater. I will look forward to visiting the new science center when it is completed.

Michael J. Carlton ‘79

It will be a year ago September 28, 2011 that I moved down south to Bristol, Virginia. I'm sort of semi-retiring out of the busy life and slowing down to enjoy life a little more and the nature around it. I've always loved the mountains and wanted a log home so I have gotten a chance at both. I purchased a rustic log home that was built with logs from 1831 built by slaves. I'm on 2 acres of land out in the rural country part of Scott County in Bristol, VA. My college roommate for two years has been down in the area of TN/VA for 30 years. As it turns out, I live about a mile up the road from him, he also has a log home. I'm working part time at a Cracker Barrel doing Retail/Cashier just to get out of the house and still meet people.

Congratulations for Jewett Hall on making 50 years and to its new replacement, Science Center.

Cynthia Moncreiff ‘79

I was at Fredonia from 1976 through 1980, and worked with Dr. Tom Storch on some of his phytoplankton research. I spent many hours out in the old greenhouse, and I'm certain that I would not have gone on to obtain both a masters degree in marine science, and eventually a doctorate in biology, without my experiences at Jewett Hall and the excellent training and coursework I received as an undergraduate there.

Timothy Desmond ’80 & ‘83

I am currently a radiochemist, producing two 500mCi multiple patient doses of [18F]FDG each workday for PET scans. When not doing this I still do research in Nuclear Medicine. Peter Scott (Cyclotron and Radiochemisty Facility director) is guiding studies on tauopathies and novel radiotracers for their diagnoses. I am cutting brain sections from various diseases for use is autoradiographic studies of binding characteristics for ultimate use in clinical runs. I am also doing solubilized receptor/protein binding assays for preliminary characterization for both [18F] and [11C] tracers.

Thomas Arnone ‘82

I've been a family doc here in Rochester for 22 years. I am currently the managing physician at Unity Family Medicine at Country Village and I've been precepting med students and/or working w/ the admissions committee at NYCOM and U of R for awhile. Kids are grown and living out west and doing great. My wife Chris and I have great places to visit consequently!

Hugh M. Share ‘82

I’ve spend my entire post-Fredonia life in the beer business, working for Anheuser-Busch InBev in variety of positions related to environmental sustainability. I started as a wet chemistry lab technician in a brewery wastewater treatment plant and now work in a global capacity implementing environmental sustainability programs across our operations and supply chain.

I’ve been fortunate enough to move along in the organization through a combination of hard work, dreaming big, and some good old luck. It’s been great fun traveling the world and working with all parts of the company and external stakeholders to conserve natural resources for all users.

We moved to St. Louis in 1993, raised our children here and have enjoyed it immensely.

Chris H. Demiris ‘83

Life has been good to me. Shortly after Fredonia and completing my internship at the Catholic Medical Center, which does not exist anymore, I completed my MBA at Adelphi University. After about a year and a half of working in a research lab at Cornell in NYC and in a clinical lab at Mary Immaculate hospital, I went into the medical device market working for several companies since 1985 (Coulter, Bio-Rad, Beckman, Roche and BD). I held positions of increasing responsibility from a sales rep to marketing manager, service manager, and regional business manager, my current position is the Marketing and Sales training leader for BD's Molecular and Cytology Diagnostics Marketing group. I live in the Baltimore area with my wife Caroline of almost 28 years. We have two children, Angelica who recently graduated from UMBC, who is works in marketing for a local Casino. We also have a son, Theodore who is a sophomore at the United States Naval Academy. He plays lacrosse and hopes to one day be a fighter pilot and engineer.

My education at Fredonia is the cornerstone for the career success I have enjoyed. I have many fond memories of my four years at Fredonia and keep in touch with my classmates and Sigma Phi Epsilon brothers on face book.

Marvin Hymanson ‘83

I work at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, DC, testing software for Veteran Health Care applications. My family and I live in Oakton, VA right outside of Washington, D.C. I am married and have 3 teenage children; 2 daughters and 1 son. My eldest daughter is now in college studying biology wants to become a pediatrician. She currently works as a pharmacy technician. My youngest daughter plans on going to community college in two years. My son, the middle child, seems to have an interest in computers.

Robert P. Kerr ‘83

I participated in the first ever Tropical Biology course offered by Dr.Mantai, culminating in a trip to Trinidad and Tobago. Great time. I ended up being the only student certified in scuba so Dr. Storch and Dr. Fox perhaps I believe were the two that did a drift dive with me. Great dive – one of the best in my life actually. My daughter (20 year old Junior at George Washington) is doing a semester abroad and my wife and I are celebrating our 25th anniversary by visiting her in England and doing a short trip over to France.

Edward J. Peterson, Jr. ‘83

As of June 25 I am the Director of Laboratories at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, a 1,200 bed academic hospital affiliated the Washington University School of Medicine and ranked #6 in the country by U.S. News and World Report. I have over 430 employees which include 35 managers and supervisors. I have had a very diverse career including an Assistant Professorship at the University of Delaware for seven years and other senior healthcare positions outside of the lab.

Laurel Baglia ‘84

I’m a scientist in the Center for Pediatric Biomedical Research. I’m using genetic mouse models to study congenital diaphragm hernia and lung development. In my spare time my husband Paul and I show and raise Irish Water Spaniels.

Scott Crocoll ‘84

I've been working for the NYS Dep. Environmental Conservation for almost 32 years as a biologist. In the early years I worked on Freshwater Wetland mapping and environmental impact analysis. The last 15 or so years I've been spending much of my time mapping endangered, threatened and special concern species locations of wildlife and sometimes plants using GPS technology. I also train staff in the use of GPS and help various Divisions within our Agency and others purchase and evaluate GPS equipment. Currently, I am also developing timber management guidelines for forest nesting raptors on our state forests. On the personal side of life, Janie and I will be celebrating our 36th wedding anniversary next week. We currently have 3 little grandchildren. My daughter is married and living in California, which is home to our one little grandson. My youngest son lives nearby with our two other little ones; a grandson and granddaughter.

Young Lee ‘84

I received a good education from Fredonia, and particularly from the Biology Department and its outstanding faculty. Now in my thirteenth year at New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, ( I am at Coney Island Hospital, one of eleven public acute care hospitals in NYC, as its Director of Training & Development at the 371-bed, acute care hospital in southern Brooklyn. I also function in high level capacities in patient-centered care, patient safety, infection prevention, performance improvement, discharge planning and health reform initiatives (Accountable Care Organizations -- ACO, Patient-Centered Medical Homes – PCMH.) Last year, I was fortunate to have been selected as a Fellow at the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (, and I am involved in a very close examination of the challenge of chronic heart-failure patient re-admissions to acute care hospitals related to implications to both patients and for public health systems that guide care. I enjoy my job and find satisfaction almost every day in something that I have done to improve care for our patients and the communities in which they live. Earlier in my career, after traveling a bit after Fredonia, I had spent years in some of the poorest parts of the country "paying my dues," but also learning about community work and citizen engagement. My total education at Fredonia, including formal studies, research and bonding with my fellow biology-addicts in Jewett Hall and at the College Lodge, were priceless in many ways.

Andrew Henriksen ‘85

After Fredonia, I stared working as a medical technologist at Southwest Hospital in Bayshore. I then received an M.S. in Immunology from C.W. Post. I became the night supervisor for what is now the Core Lab for Northshore University Hospital. I left the lab to become a science teacher at Amityville High School, and am also an adjunct for Syracuse teaching forensics. I have also written three sci/fi fantasy novels. I credit Fredonia for giving me a great scientific foundation and for getting me interested in Immunology. One of my most interesting memories from Jewett Hall is the time a rogue mouse in my research lab escaped and nearly ran into Dr. Dunham's lab!

Marianne Joyce Hauswirth ‘86

Right now, I am living in Babylon, NY on Long Island. I did move to North Carolina after graduating where I worked at NIEHS, UNC Chapel Hill, and finally at CIIT, a private research company based in Research Triangle Park. I had planned to pursue my Masters degree at the Medical University of South Carolina, but family issues arose and I took a research assistant job at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. While there, not only did I have tea with Dr. James Watson every day, I also applied to the Suffolk County Police Department.

I have been a police officer for 21 years now. Although I miss the research aspect of my college and post college training, I have been putting some of my skills to use as a member of the Crime Scene Unit. No day, no case is the same. I still keep up on the recent literature on genetics and am the resident in-house specialist on DNA related subjects since DNA analysis at crime scenes has started to surpass fingerprints.

Jeffrey Rothrock ‘86

I have been teaching high school Bio for 23 years, the last 16 in Fulton, NY (southeast corner of Lake Ontario. My oldest of 3 children is a junior at Nazareth College in Rochester. My 2nd is a senior in high school and I’m trying to convince her to look at Fredonia. My son is an 8th grader who loves the outdoors. I had the chance last fall to come to Homecoming just for a night and rehash old war stories with friends. I would love to come back this fall during the celebration to touch base, but due to coaching responsibilities, probably will not make it.

Marlene Schmitt ‘88

In 2004, I obtained my Master of Arts in Teaching at Eastern Oregon University. Then I moved to Alaska and was a teacher for 8 years. I taught mostly JH-HS math/science/electives for 2 years in Chefornak, AK (a Yupik Eskimo village), mostly JH-HS math/science/electives for 4 years in Eek, AK (a Yupik Eskimo village), and 7th-12th grades all subjects for 2 years in Chignik Lake, AK (an Alutiiq village). In May 2012, I successfully completed my Educational Leadership Certificate through the University of Alaska - Anchorage. As of August 2012, I have been the site administrator (AKA: principal) at the William N. Miller Memorial School in Napakiak, AK. The transition from being a teacher to being a principal has been challenging, but I’m enjoying myself.

If you've ever seen or heard of the shows "Flying Wild Alaska" or “Ice Road Truckers,” you may have a simplistic idea of what it's like to live out in "bush" Alaska. There aren't any dirt or paved roads between villages, although we do have an ice road on the Kuskokwim River that I enjoy driving upriver to Bethel, AK during the winter. Everyone either flies into the village throughout the year, takes a boat on the river during the summer, rides a snowmobile or a 4-wheeler on winter trails, or drives on an ice road during the winter. Most of the planes I ride in only have 3 or 5 passengers; however, on occasion I get to ride in a bigger plane that seats 9 passengers. I ship in most of my food and supplies at the beginning of the school year, and then supplement them with care packages from my family who live in Angola, NY and with small purchases in Bethel or Anchorage when I'm traveling (usually around the holiday season). For the first two years I lived in Alaska, like the majority of the people in my village, I didn’t have running water. I took a shower, did my dishes, and washed my clothes up at the school. I feel fortunate that my current district-provided house has running water.

Mark A. Somerville ‘88

Several professors at the school had a formative influence on me. First and foremost were Dr.’s Jimmy Winter and Tom Storch who ran the Environmental Resource Center. These two were wonderful mentors for our field work and great people in general to work with and learn from. Dr. Sharma was my inspiration to study fish physiology and I’m happy to say my fish physiology book stays close to my desk for reference. Dr. Ken Woods inspired me to stop and smell the roses in this field. Dr. Allen Benton was an old-school ecologist whose influence still guides me when looking at resource management issues.

While still completing my Master’s thesis and thereafter, I spent 20 years running remote salmon hatcheries in Prince William Sound helping to produce over 3 billion salmon fry over that time. I moved on in 2005 to work for the State of Alaska Department of Fish and Game as the Area Management Biologist for the sport, personal use, and subsistence fisheries in the upper Copper River and upper Susitna River Area (about 25,000 sq miles).

My family lives on a 123 acre homestead near Chitina Alaska. My oldest son is attending the University of Alaska for Archeology, my daughter attends the University of Alaska Southeast for Psychology and outdoor recreation, and my youngest son is a junior in HS and plans to do something in veterinary sciences. I have many fine memories in Jewett Hall where Fredonia’s future science work sprang forward, leading to the construction of your new science building.

Paul Carlson ‘89
Deborah (Cross) Carlson ‘89

Deb and I live in Arlington, TX. We have been married for 23 years and have 2 children. Emily is 20 and Brett is 16. Deb is an assistant professor in the department of Surgery at UT Southwestern. She has been studying inflammation in the cardiac system related to burn and/or sepsis injuries since we moved here 12 years ago. I have been working at Parkland hospital for the past 5 years customizing the electronic medical record that has been installed. Prior to that, I had worked in a lab studying amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Both Deb and I remember fondly many memories from Fredonia. A couple that stand out was when Dr. Yunghans was showing us how to use a centrifuge and warned us that the Corex tubes reak sometimes. When we were doing the lab, of course a tube broke and he got out his “super sucker” (also known as a turkey baster) and sucked the contents out of the well and put it in another tube. Another memory was going into Dr. Yunghans’ office and asking him a question. He would ever so deftly pick a paper from a large stack on his desk, and that would be the one he was looking for. Amazing.

Rob Demuro ‘92

I am still in the Adirondacks. Enjoying it and still half owner of The Deers Head. I am the medical director of the hospital and wear about 10 other hats given the day of the week. Really love the area. Made it to the campus last summer when traveling to Cleveland with some college friends. The place looked great. The medical tech degree was the right thing for me to do. The chemistry degree was good but as a physician I am certainly not dealing with any chair confirmations of the benzene ring now-a- days.

Gaye Gill ‘93

I always think back fondly of my times at Fredonia, and especially Jewett Hall. I've been in the Medical Technology field since I left Fredonia in 1992. I worked for 2 1/2 years at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester in the hematology/blood bank labs. Then I moved to Baltimore in 1995 and worked for Quest Diagnostics. I worked in Hematology there for 13 1/2 years. Now I'm at Howard County General Hospital in Columbia, Maryland. It is part of the Johns Hopkins Hospital system. I've been with them since 2008. I am the Lead Technologist of the Hematology lab. I have 2 children - Grace is 7 years old and Tyler is 6 years old. They keep me very busy.

John Genet ‘95

I live in Minnesota now and work for the MN Pollution Control Agency doing biological monitoring in rivers and wetlands related to Section 303d Clean Water Act assessment (i.e., Impaired Waters Listing).Traditionally these assessments have relied on water chemistry parameters but more and more states are beginning to use aquatic community assessments to evaluate the aquatic life of rivers, streams, and wetlands. In MN we use fish and macro invertebrates to assess streams and in wetlands we use plants and macro invertebrates. I chiefly focus on the aquatic inverts. It's a pretty interesting job and has a wide variety of job requirements, from field work to data analysis to report writing. Earlier this week I had the chance to accompany a colleague of mine completing wetland plant surveys in the northern part of the state. We had to contract with our state patrol to helicopter us into these sites. One site was in the middle of the Red Lake peat lands, many miles from any sort of road or trail. A pretty unique landscape, it was like walking around on a sponge. My wife Kristen and I have three healthy (and active!) kids. Sarah is twelve, AJ is eight, and Hannah is five. All three play hockey which pretty much ties up most of our winter. My wife teaches biology courses at Anoka Ramsey Community College and has become involved in a large NSF grant to facilitate research opportunities in community colleges. The PI on that grant is from Finger Lakes Community College so it gives her an excuse to take one of the kids back to NY to visit the grandparents every once in a while. Otherwise we typically get back to NY about once a year.

Eric Head ‘95

Thinking back to when I started college I never thought I would end up in the food industry. It has been good to me and I really enjoy it. After I left Cliffstar in Dunkirk I moved to Chicago to work for McCain Foods for 3 years. From there I went to Wisconsin to work for Northland Cranberries for 3 years. I have been at Givaudan for 13 years now. It is a fantastic company with global reach. We are the largest supplier of flavors and fragrances in the world.

I currently am currently our Director of Flavor Creation and Application for the beverage business. That team is made up of product development scientists and flavorists. We supply and support all of the major beverages companies around the globe.

Jonathan Lelito ’03 &’06

I’ve managed the laboratory here in MI for almost four years now, and in that time I’ve overseen the expansion of the facility from 10 HotPack style growth chambers and four full-time employees to over 50,000 cubic feet of walk-in growth chamber space, 11 full-time folks and a ¾-time maintenance worker. We’ve also expanded our cooperator network (e.g. the folks who release, monitor, and learn more about our biological control agents) to include Forest Service, Agricultural Research Service, and personnel in seventeen states, both in government and academia. We’ve managed to release approximately 1.3 million female parasitoids in a total of 17 states so far, and we’ve done a good job of improving rearing and distribution methods for our insects to aid in getting more out to the cooperators. Nonetheless, while I enjoy managing a facility with national impact, I miss having more time for the laboratory and for asking questions and working to find the answers.

Cory Mavis ‘05

I currently am a Senior Research Specialist at Roswell Park in charge of the Lymphoma Research Lab here. We do basic research (in vivo/in vitro) all the way to clinical research here as well as presentations at major meetings. Other than that I am living in North Collins and have recently gotten married. I still enjoy fishing and outdoor activities.

Holly Kaas ‘09

I am currently in my 3rd year teaching middle school science at a Title I school district in Florida, close to where I grew up. I was voted outstanding first year teacher and represented my school at our district competition. I started the district's first middle school science bowl team and attended the regional competition last year. This year 5 other schools are following my lead. I love teaching here and dispelling the myth that we live on the Pacific Ocean. Any free time I get is spent taking classes to become a Florida Master Naturalist or at the beach swimming and snorkeling. After I finish all my master naturalist courses, the plan is to start on my PhD.

Kristen Patterson ‘09

I have been working at the University of Chicago in the Human Genetics department under Dr. Carole Ober and Dr. Yoav Gilad. I have done genotyping using various systems (SNaPshot by ABI, iPlex by Sequenom, Taqman). I use the computer programs to determine if the calls are correct or if there's any room for error. I have started to work on reprogramming white blood cells (LCLs) into stem cells and then differentiating the stem cells into cardiomyocytes. I miss Fredonia and am very grateful for all the work I was able to do while there.

Mark Herron ‘10

I received a great education at Fredonia. I began the Physician Assistant Program at Le Moyne with a great foundation thanks to classes like Professor Astry’s Microbiology course and Dr. Byrne's Mammalian Physiology and A&P courses. I have nothing but great memories from the Fredonia Biology department, except for the long nights in the library! I definitely started off ahead of many of my Le Moyne classmates thanks to those classes. I graduate from the Le Moyne PA Program on August 10, and then I'll be getting my things together to head to Commissioned Officer Training at Maxwell AFB in Alabama in October. I was commissioned by the Air Force via a scholarship program after the end of my first semester at Le Moyne and I will be working as a Physician Assistant in the USAF for 3 years.


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