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Alumni Spotlights



Megan Eitel head shot

Megan Eitel ’17 Au.D

The audiologist owes her success in helping conduct research on TBI in the military population to the connections she made at Montclair State, and encourages students everywhere to remember that no one started as an expert in their field.

Nicole Romero ’20

The Independent Short Film award winner’s professors urged her to talk about her experiences as an undocumented immigrant, and with it came many accolades.

Allison Perrine Larena ’01 MA

President and CEO of the Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC) urges colleagues and students alike to remain positive and make opportunities in these hard times, and to look at the current affairs as great opportunities to create.

Marisa Sweeney

Marisa Sweeney ’08

The 2019 “Nutrition Entrepreneur of the Year” owes her success to a professor who inspired her to change her major, and encourages current students to get to know their professors for a lifelong opportunity of mentorship.

Kutcher photo

Dr. Eugene “Gene” Kutcher ’01 MA

Dean of the Norm Brodsky College of Business at Rider University still looks at success as a research study, and he has found a lot of good material to work with over the years.

Nel Noddings ’49

Nel Noddings ’49

Alumna of Montclair State, Rutgers and Stanford has proven to have had an extensive career in education– even 22 years after her retirement.

Amanda Frazao ’11, ’19 MA

North Arlington teacher puts her tools to the test to make sure her young students know that education still matters during a pandemic.

Anca D. Basturescu ’04

Partner for Yorktown Partners LLC reflects on the important relationships she made in college that lead to her many accomplishments.

Taras Petryshyn ’14 MEd

Assistant principal of Clifton Public Schools proves that achieving the American Dream is possible with hard work and determination, plus good insight from some pretty great teachers.

Nicole Silva ’05

2018 Milken Educator Award recipient continues to make sure her students know that they can do anything and are the leaders of their own destiny.

Glenn Tynan ’80

Musician-turned-accountant credits his alma mater for laying the foundation for his future career: being the vice president and CFO of a multi-billion dollar corporation.

Ni’Kita Wilson ’99

Vice president of Ideation and Innovation at Voyant Beauty proves how passionate she is about helping increase the quality of life for women and men from her time in the lab.

Leonard Blessing ’50, ’51 MA

At 99, curiosity and a forward-looking interest still propel an accomplished alum, now as ever.

Newman H. Rochester, Jr. ’00

Vice president of Business Development in Individual Life Insurance at Prudential Financial never imagined that majoring in philosophy would lead him to a career in finance, but he owes it all to his experiences at Montclair State.

Linda Obenauer-Kutner ’80, ’83 MA

Pharmaceutical scientist at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) incorporates Montclair State in her extensive professional career that has prioritized advocacy and giving back to the science community.

Nick Iannitelli ’99 and Jill Iannitelli ’00

Montclair State Athletics Hall of Fame inductee and Managing Partner at New York Life found love at Montclair State, and they advise current students to take in the college experience while they can.

Bob Downey ’91 and Cheryl Downey ’91

Alumni couple credits Montclair State for helping them achieve their individual successes, along with their 27 year-long marriage.

Victoria Ankrah ’06 MA

Executive director of the Acelero Learning Camden Philadelphia Head Start attributes her passion for nurturing young children to her early childhood education instructor from her days at Montclair State.

Tosan Boyo ’11 MPH

Montclair State’s first Master of Public Health graduate and the son of health care professionals decided to make a career in hospitals while growing up in Nigeria, and has since made a significant impact in the San Francisco community.

Aldo Scrofani ’73

Multiple Tony-Award winner never expected his education in business administration and accounting would lead him to the entertainment industry, but he soon discovered his passion was in the field all along.

Talena Lachelle Queen ’95

Poet, activist and fifth-grade language arts teacher still uses her college lessons of empowerment and tries to pass them on in everything she does.

Jim Benson ’86

President/CEO of Vision Quest Productions, Inc. and second-generation alum of Montclair State owes his extensive career in television production to the opportunities he took advantage of in college.

Patrick Coyle ’13 MBA

Vice President/CFO at Eisai Inc. has been able to achieve his dream of supporting patients while contributing to society in a meaningful way, and his alma mater played a pivotal role in his journey.

LaTarika Pierce ’15

Alumna who switched her major from Dance to Business Administration finds her way back to the stage, and her determination made her a Rockette.

Donor Spotlight: Rose Cali ’80

Alumna’s loyalty and love for Montclair State is now a legacy, and she is forever grateful for the adventure her alma mater has given her.

Darren Groh ’94, ’03 MA

Principal of Catham High School still appreciates the relationships he made during his time at Montclair State for aiding his successful career in education.

Johna Mailolli ’09

Medinah E. Muhammad ’16

Carlos E. Gonzalez ’11

Marianne Elkovich Autorino ’68

Jan Price ’74, ’77 MA

Matthew Khan ’15, ’17 MS

Kristen Olsen Campbell ’10 ScD

Jim Dorey ’92

Tara Henderson ’04

Donor Spotlight: Kevin Bradley ’84

Helen Archontou ’91

Christopher Catching ’99

Kent Daniel ’18

Emma Kaptein ’13

Ron Silverman ’84

Ebone Lawrence-Smith ’11

Edward Gero ’76

Emanuel Scrofani ’61

Michele Ansbacher ’80

Daniela Gioseffi ’63

herman meyers

Herman “Bud” Meyers ’65

Anniversary of a National Tragedy: Former SGA President Remembers Kennedy Assassination

Tom Kaminski ’84

Broadcaster of the Year Award Goes to Tom Kaminski

Photo of Kristin Kehoe

Kristin Kehoe ’06

Chris Lighty

Chris Lighty ’07 ’12 MA

Pooja Patel

Pooja Patel ’12

Melba Moore

Melba Moore ’70

Michael Price ’81

Writer, co-producer of The Simpsons

Tobin Bell

Tobin Bell ’70 MA

A Character’s Actor

Tamour Kousha

Tamour Kousha ’05

Kathleen Flynn

Kathleen Flynn ’79


Lauren Charles ’14

Hank Gola

Henry “Hank” Gola ’76

Daniel Infanti ’76

Allison Strong posing for a picture

Allison Strong ’12

holly gera

Holly P. Gera ’79

Jason Velante

Jason Velante ’00

Jennifer Skomial

Jennifer Skomial ’08

Jenn Winski Colodney ’02

Alfred Bundy ’75, ’81 MA

Alfred Bundy ’75, ’81 MA


James W. Merli ’83

Barbara Sholz McCarthy ’71


Jim Bartek ’92 & Sharon Gaglione ’85


Judy Graef ’66, ’69 MA

Marc Fanelli '93, '99 MA

Marc Fanelli ’93, ’99 MA


Andrew Fede ‘78

Hakika DuBose '06

Hakika DuBose ’06

Joseph Pasquino ’11

Joseph Pasquino ’11

So Young Baek '14

So Young Baek ’14


Peter McGuigan ’81

Andrew “Andy” Timm ’88 and Michele Samarya-Timm ’88, ’01 MA

featured image denise rover

Denise Rover ’84

Lori McSorley ’86

Dr. Sportelli

Dr. Domenick Sportelli ’00, ’03 MS

Kurt Mussina '88

Kurt Mussina ’88

featured image of trina parks

Trina Parks ’96

John Quimby

John Quimby ’81

featured photo of autumn turner

Autumn Turner ’14

Al Fatale III

Al Fatale III ’04


Joan McGeough ’80


Niki Russo ’16, Avis Spirit Award Winner

Photo of Joe Redmon in front of baseball diamond.

Joe Redmon ’15, General Manager, New Jersey Jackals

Photo of Tom Toronto, Montclair State Alum

Tom Toronto ’79

Feature image for Louis D’Amico ’73

Louis D’Amico ’73

Drums of Thunder


Antoinette Baskerville-Richardson ’74

Chief Education Officer for the Mayor Baraka’s Office of Comprehensive Community Education

Feature image for Stephanie Guzman '06

Stephanie Guzman ’06

Feature image for Wendy Gillespie '73

Wendy Gillespie ’73

Broadway Producer

Feature image for Ihor Andruch ’99

Ihor Andruch ’99

Career Counselor at Berkeley College

Feature image for Jesse Schwartzman ’11

Jesse Schwartzman ’11

Legal Assistant at malpractice and personal injury law firm in Bergen County

Feature image for Melanie Murphy '97, '00 MA

Melanie Murphy ’97, ’00 MA

Data Driven: Alumna turns love for statistics into successful career in analytics

Feature image for Tony Carlino '77

Tony Carlino ’77

Maritza Rivera

The Heartwarming Story Behind This N.J. Mom’s Graduation

Read the full story on

Feature image for Norman Eckstein '98

Norman Eckstein ’98

CFO and Tax Collector in Boonton Township

Feature image for Joseph Christensen '09, 15 MA

Joseph Christensen ’09, 15 MA

Communications in the STEM Sector

Feature image for Melissa De Feo '06

Melissa De Feo ’06

New York City Department of Education

Feature image for Zalaya Ivy '11

Zalaya Ivy ’11

Medical Student at Meharry Medical College

Feature image for Kristian Dyer ’03

Kristian Dyer ’03

Writer for USA TODAY and On-air Personality on MSG

Feature image for Paul Rodriguez '06

Paul Rodriguez ’06

Deputy Counsel to NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio

Steve Pepe '65 with fellow alumni Pamela Portin '77 and Michael Finnegan '76

Stephen Pepe ’65

Owner, Clos Pepe Vineyards LLC

Feature image for Matt Barbiere ’10

Matt Barbiere ’10

Co-Founder of Two Ton Brewing

Feature image for Jessica Marini ’06

Jessica Marini ’06

Assistant Research Scientist at The College Board

Feature image for Marilyn Moya ’98

Marilyn Moya ’98

Assistant to the Associate Vice President for Development Seton Hall

Feature image for Ian Honauer ’10

Ian Honauer ’10

Fleet Supervisor at Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Feature image for Lester Vrtiak '09

Lester Vrtiak ’09

Program Associate and Pianos Project Leader at Sing for Hope

Feature image for Kimberly Moreno '06

Kimberly Moreno ’06

Health Sciences Teacher at Union City High School and winner of the Milken Educator Award for NJ

Feature image for Bonnie J. Mizdol '79

Bonnie J. Mizdol ’79

The Honorable Bonnie J. Mizdol ‘79, A.J.S.C; Assignment Judge of Bergen County

Feature image for Richard A. Volkert ’84 MA

Richard A. Volkert ’84 MA

Leading Expert in the geology of New Jersey

Feature image for Lauren D'Imperio '14

Lauren D’Imperio ’14

Musician and Founder of #ProtectOurFutures

Feature image for Andrew R. Freeman '84

Andrew R. Freeman ’84

President, Andrew Freeman and Co. Restaurant and Hospitality Consultants

Feature image for Cathy Madalone '99, '04 MA

Cathy Madalone ’99, ’04 MA

Chief, Bergenfield Police Department

Feature image for Anthony Scriffignano ’82, ’85 MA

Anthony Scriffignano ’82, ’85 MA

Senior Vice President, Chief Data Scientist, Dun and Bradstreet

Feature image for Susan Head ’75 MA

Susan Head ’75 MA

Senior Vice President and Senior Philanthropic Specialist, Wells Fargo

Feature image for Eugene Dermody '75 MA

Eugene Dermody ’75 MA

2014 Tom Waddell Award Recipient

Feature image for Meredith Bishop '90

Meredith Bishop ’90

Principal Development Scientist, ConAgra Foods Company

Feature image for Takeem L. Dean '03, '11 MA

Takeem L. Dean ’03, ’11 MA

Dean of Students, Allen University

Disnalda Vargas ’09

Audit Senior, Deloitte

Minal Shah ’14

Project Coordinator, Kallman Worldwide

Robert Minervini ’98

President, Art Emphasis Designs LLC

Clifford Swisher ’48, ’51 MA

Historian, Little Falls Historical Society

Douglas Piekarz ’08 MS

President and CEO, the Akron Zoo

Kimberly Miller-Olko ’90

Senior Vice President of Video Programming and Development, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

Joanne Swanson Barry ’77

Executive Director and CEO of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants

Larry Hazzard ’73, ’80 MA

Commissioner, New Jersey State Athletic Control Board

Lester Taylor ’97

Mayor, East Orange, NJ

Susan O’Leary Giordano ’99 MBA

Chief Nursing Officer, Hackensack University Medical Center at Pascack Valley

Louise Worthington ’80

Principal, John T. Baker Middle School

ellan white

Ellan Ben-Hayon ’96

Chief Financial Officer, Lightyear Capital

liza offreda

Liza Offreda ’10

Women’s Head Soccer Coach at Gallaudet University

david wertheim

David Wertheim ’79

Vice President and General Counsel, Ferrari North America

Tracy Doyle ’87 & Angela Fiordilino ’87

Phoenix Marketing Solutions, LLC

Kristin Barber ’93 ’02 MA