Class Notes 2014

June 08, 2014

Lola Ajayi, BA, CJ ’10, recently left her position with the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection Agency to begin full-time graduate study at New York University this fall. She is an MPA public and nonprofit management and policy student with the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

Donald B. Ardell, BA, SOC ’63, is a speaker and author on quality lifestyles. His focus is skill building in the dimensions of reason, exuberance, athleticism and personal freedoms. He keynoted at the Global Spa & Wellness Summit in Marrakech, Morocco, in September. At the 2014 American Humanist Conference, he delivered excerpts from Robert Ingersoll orations that reveal the humanist vision espoused by the 19th century speaker. Don reports that his “fond memories of sociology, varsity basketball, student council and friends from GW years remain strong.”

Victoria Marquez Bonasera, MA, SOC ’02, currently works at the U.S. Department of State as a victim assistance specialist. Vicky and her husband Andy live in Washington, D.C., where they welcomed their first child Sebastian Anthony this past June.

Matthew Brault, BA, SOC ’04, recently left his position of nine years in the Health and Disability Statistics Branch of the U.S. Census Bureau to begin a PhD program in health policy at Harvard University.

Merrill Cohen, BA, SOC ’77, works as a vocational rehabilitation counselor and lives in Seattle, Washington.

Claire Cook, MA, SOC ’13, is the administrative organizer with ONE DC, a nonprofit group whose work centers on popular education, community organizing and alternative economic development projects in Washington, D.C.

Susan C. Dessel, BA, SOC ’67, continues to apply her sociology study at GW as she raises awareness of social issues through visual art. Her most recent work was exhibited this summer at the Gomez Mill House in Marlboro, N.Y. Entitled Brick in a Soft Hat, this series of drawings celebrates the life of Martha Gruening (1889-1937): suffragist, lawyer, civil rights activist, journalist and single parent.

Priya Dhanani, MA, SOC ’14, was awarded a GW Columbian Women's Scholarship last fall and a ShivKrupa Scholarship this spring. Both prizes reward outstanding academic achievement, leadership and civic involvement. 

Denise Dizzine, BA, CJ ’05, received an MA in forensic psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice (New York, N.Y.) in 2011 and an MPA with a dual specialization in court administration and management and operations also from John Jay in 2013. She currently works for the New York State Unified Court System as the Child Welfare Court Improvement Project liaison to the Bronx Family Court.

Carolina Dubon, BA, SOC ’13, has relocated to New York City where she works as a public relations associate at SiriusXM Satellite Radio.

Grace Friedberger, BA, SOC 07, is working at the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) in Washington, D.C. on numerous projects related to the Healthy Schools Act.

Marjorie Kossoy Fuhrmann, BA, SOC ’73, has enjoyed a career in data security and project management, and is now dedicated to a variety of volunteer efforts. Her projects range from heading a local chapter of a national social group to raising funds and heading a team for an international charity.

Tina R. Goel, BA, CJ ’05, co-wrote the article "The Post-DOMA Immigration Law Landscape" published in The Federal Lawyer (December 2013). She is currently working on a chapter regarding ethics in immigration law for an upcoming American Bar Association (ABA) book and a chapter about the L-non-immigrant visa for an upcoming D.C. Bar Association legal practice manual.

Priyanka Gogia, BA, HMSR ’14, was recently hired as an instructor/case manager for Project Place. Located in Boston’s South End, this community-based, nonprofit organization assists homeless and low-income individuals secure housing and employment. Priyanka coordinates services for individual students that will lead to classroom-based training and credentialing in an effort to assist clients with securing employment.

Clara Hanson, BA, SOC 12, has entered the MLA program in Gastronomy at Boston University.

Allison Suppan Helmuth, MA, SOC ’14, co-authored (with Jane M. Henrici) a review of John Arena's book, Driven from New Orleans: How Nonprofits Betray Public Housing and Promote Privatization for Sociological Inquiry (August 2014).

Jeffrey Holth, BA, CJ ’06, taught high school special education on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota for three years after graduating from GW. He then attended William Mitchell College of Law (JD 2012) with a focus in federal Indian law and tribal law. From 2012-13, he served as a judicial law clerk for Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan C. Page (a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and a former "Purple People Eater" on the Minnesota Vikings). Jeff is currently a law clerk for Judge Myron H. Bright of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in his home state of North Dakota.

Aaron Kramer, BA, SOC ’10, works for the new University Teaching & Learning Center at GW.

Kenneth Leon, MA, CRIM ’13, is currently pursuing a PhD in Justice, Law, and Society at the American University School of Public Affairs. He has co-authored with Professor Ron Weitzer the article "Legalizing Recreational Marijuana: Comparing Ballot Outcomes in Four States,” published in The Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice & Criminology (October 2014).

Jean Ferrick Loxley-Barnard, BA, SOC ’72, is CEO/publisher of the online magazines, Doctor to Doctor, Main Street and Shopper in Coastal Virginia and northeast North Carolina. She also owns a commercial property company, Barnard Properties, LLC, and was awarded First Citizen of Chesapeake in 2011. Jean and her husband, Terry Barnard, share seven children and seven grandchildren.

Marquita M. Melvin, BA, CJ ’99, earned an MA in Forensic Psychology from Marymount University in 2003. She is in her twelfth year at the D.C. Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency. Throughout her career, Marquita has worked with the latest in evidence-based practices and cognitive behavioral interventions in order to promote change in the lives of offenders and returning citizens with the goals of reducing recidivism and increasing public safety.

David Schoen, BA, SOC ’80, reports that he fondly remembers his studies and professors in the department. After completing law school he clerked for a federal judge in Alabama who served as a mentor and supported David’s long-time interest in civil rights. Since then he has practiced law on his own in Alabama, addressing myriad issues related to the constitutionality of social systems and institutional practices, such as the foster care system, public school standards, prison conditions, and the treatment of indigent criminal defendants.

Minozka King Silber, BA, SOC ’02, is program director at Community of Hope, Inc., and is currently pursuing an MSW at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Andrea W. Stewart, BA, SOC ’70, retired in January 2014 after a career at the GW Libraries, where she also served as interim university librarian in 2012-2013. She is now beginning a second career as an organizational management consultant.

Catherine A. Tatum, BA, CJ ’10, is an assistant public defender at the Public Defender's Office in Newport News, Va., where she represents indigent clients in criminal court.

Lamar Thorpe, BA, SOC ’07, moved from the D.C. area three years ago to the San Francisco Bay area with his family. He is currently serving as the chief advancement officer for the San Jose-Evergreen Community College District. He is also a 2014 candidate for city council. He is proud to report that his daughter Kennedy started kindergarten this year; alas, it will be a few more years until she can vote for her dad!

Jeffrey M. Tienes, MA, SOC ’10, is pursuing his PhD in sociology at the University of Pittsburgh. He is currently writing a dissertation grounded in his ethnographic research on the formations of identity and music scenes in the rap music industry.

Cheryl Walton, BA, SOC 11, has been selected as a Fulbright Scholar for 2014. She is teaching English in Malaysia through a Department of State Exchange Program.

Robin Pickholtz Wilson, BA, SOC ’82, has spent the past 11 years in the long term care industry as director of human resources for a not-for-profit organization in Alexandria, Va.

Christiane I. Zeichner, BA, SOC ’68, is a retired chief of forensic legal service of the D.C. Department of Mental Health.