Class Notes 2016

June 08, 2016

Phyllis Allen-Blake, BA-SOC ’56, was formerly a professional dancer with the National Ballet and Washington Ballet, and now directs the Twinbrook School of Ballet in Rockville, Md. Phyllis quips that she still finds new ways to apply the major to her work every day: “Dancing aside, sociology helps me deal with all the parents and children!”

Donald B. Ardell, BA-SOC ’63, has won national and world titles in triathlon and was named All-American in three multisport disciplines by USAT. He has been awarded two patents (along with classmate Ray Lupo, SEAS BS ’63, JD ’68) for a fast transition running shoe, and published a new book Wellness Orgasms: The Fun Way To Live Well and Die Healthy (with Grant Donovan, 2015). Don reports that he recently completed a lecture tour in Australia, “accompanied by my lovely wife Carol. All in all, it’s been a good year, despite advanced age!” Keep inspiring us, Don!

Sean Beaty, BA-CJ ’98, JD ’04, is a trial attorney with the Southern Criminal Enforcement Section of the U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division, which is responsible for prosecuting federal tax crimes throughout the Southern region of the United States.

Heather Conrad, BA-CJ ’05, earned her master’s degree in peace and conflict studies from Ulster University in Northern Ireland in 2010. She now works at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. She is also co-president of Friends of the Red Cross, a young professionals group with Red Cross of Massachusetts, and volunteers as a mentor and English tutor for the School of Leadership Afghanistan.

Priya Dhanani, MA-SOC ’14, is director of prevention education for FAIR Girls, a D.C.-based nonprofit that works to eradicate child sex trafficking. Her work was recently highlighted by GW: “Alumna Shines Light on Dark Truths of Human Trafficking.”

Josh Douglas, BA-SOC (minor) ’02, is a law professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law, specializing in election law and voting rights. He has published a case book, several articles and has two more books in progress. He is also cited frequently in judicial opinions and the media, and the author of several op-eds.

Ceylan Engin, MA-SOC ’14, is pursuing her PhD in sociology with a focus in gender and demography at Texas A&M University. Her article "LGBT in Turkey: Policies and Experiences" was recently accepted for publication in the Journal of Social Sciences. She also received a Graduate Student Distinguished Paper Award from the Southwestern Social Science Association’s WGST section in 2015.

Carlene Fonseca, MA-CRIM ’13, is the dean of operations at Blackstone Valley Prep Middle School in Central Falls, R.I. Last year she ran for and was elected to the Central Falls City Council.

Charlie Galligan, BA-CJ ’90, has worked as a private investigator in Boston and Rhode Island since graduating from GW. Experienced in all types of investigations, he has spent the last 15 years focused on criminal defense—an area in which, Charlie asserts, there is “never a dull moment!”

Brittany Lee Garcia, BA-CJ ’13, has earned her master’s degree in international security from the University of Sydney in Australia. While studying, she interned for the U.S. Consulate in Sydney. She is currently working on a postgraduate diploma from the University of Oxford in diplomatic studies.

Samantha Granski, BA-CJ ’11, graduated with her master’s degree in social work with a focus in social policy and administration from Florida State University last May. She is currently living in Tallahassee, Fla.

David Greenlees, BA-CJ ’92, is the executive director of Trellis Arch, a global organization that ensures at-risk children have access to education in Haiti, Uganda, Nepal, India and the United States.

Clara Hanson, BA-SOC ’12, completed her master's degree in gastronomy at Boston University in May 2015, and this past fall she entered the PhD program in sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Katie Herman, BA-SOC ’06, writes that she is enjoying her work as an advertising professional and social media maven.

Jill Rabbino Hertzler, BA-CJ ’91, is living and working in Rockville, Md., as grants manager for the Jewish Social Service Agency. She procures funding for programs serving individuals throughout their lifespan, including children with special needs and Holocaust survivors living below the poverty line. Jill adds that she also has “two fantastic teen daughters who are beyond compare.”

Heather McKee Hurwitz, BA-SOC ’01, completed her PhD in sociology from the University of California Santa Barbara in June 2015. Her dissertation was titled "The 51%: Gender, Feminism, and Culture in the Occupy Wall Street Movement" and directed by Verta Taylor (Chair), Leila J. Rupp, Maria Charles, and Melvin Oliver. She completed interdisciplinary Doctoral Emphases in the Department of Feminist Studies and the Program in Global and International Studies, as well as the Certificate in College and University Teaching. She is currently a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Athena Center for Leadership Studies and the Department of Sociology at Barnard College in New York City. 

Justin Jacobson, BA-SOC ’08, is currently an entertainment, sports, fashion and art attorney at The Jacobson Firm, P.C. in New York City. He has numerous high-profile clients from the creative and entertainment world and teaches music business classes at The Institute of Audio Research in NYC.

Jamila Jarmon, BA-CJ ’05, is an associate attorney at Porter McGuire Kiakona & Chow, LLP in Honolulu, Hawaii. She is a civil litigator in the areas of condominium and homeowner's association law, foreclosure, collections, construction litigation and bankruptcy. This fall, she began teaching business law at the University of Phoenix.

Michael Jones, BA-SOC ’91, is a police officer who recently celebrated his 25th year in law enforcement at the Delaware River Port Authority Police Department in Camden, N.J.

Kenneth Leon, MA-CRIM ’13, is a PhD student in American University’s Department of Justice, Law, and Criminology with a dual emphasis in sociolegal studies and criminology. He spent last summer in Colombia studying the country’s  policing model. This research was funded by the Tinker Foundation and the American University Center for Latin American and Latino Studies.

Greggor Mattson, BA-SOC ’97, received tenure in the Department of Sociology at Oberlin College this past year, where he has taught since receiving his PhD from UC Berkeley. He also supports two interdisciplinary programs: Law & Society and Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies. His new book, The Cultural Politics of European Prostitution Reform: Governing Loose Women (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), is a comparative policy analysis of 100 interviews with stakeholders in the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and Finland.

Marquita Melvin, BA-CJ ’99, earned a master’s degree in forensic psychology from Marymount University in 2003. She is in her thirteenth year at the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, and also serves as an adjunct professor at Marymount. She was honored with the 2015 Outstanding Alumni Award by Marymount’s Forensic and Legal Psychology Program (FLP), and was recently appointed to the FLP Board of Visitors.

Rafik Mohamed, BA-CJ ’92, was recently appointed dean of social and behavioral sciences at California State University, San Bernardino. He is the author of Dorm Room Dealers: Drugs and the Privileges of Race and Class (with Erik D. Fritsvold; Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2009).

Eric Nell, BA-CJ ’06, recently moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and is working at Maritz Travel. He assists Fortune 500 companies with the design and execution of their corporate events, meetings and incentive travel trips.

Rachealle Sanford, MA-CRIM ’14, has coauthored a paper with Professors Daniel Martínez and Ron Weitzer on the media's coverage of human trafficking. The article draws from Rachealle's MA thesis research and will be published in the Journal of Human Trafficking in May 2016.

Robin Sherman, BA-SOC ’73, is corporate director of editorial development for a large business-to-business magazine publisher and a freelance publication editor and designer in Savannah, Ga. He has designed, developed or improved more than 40 publications, and also serves on the volunteer task force for a developing community radio station.

Janet Shope, PhD-SOC ’90, is professor of sociology and associate provost for faculty affairs at Goucher College in Baltimore, Md. Her recent publications include Paid to Party—Working Time and Emotion in Direct Home Sales (with Jamie L. Mullaney; Rutgers University Press, 2012) and "Feeling the Hands of Time: Intersections of Time and Emotion” in Sociology Compass (with Jamie L. Mullaney; 9(10): 853-863, 2015).

Andrea Stewart, BA-SOC ’70, MA-GSEHD ’92, works in the field of organization redesign and volunteers for the Stephen Ministries counseling program in Queen of Apostles Parish of Alexandria, Va., as well as the Annandale Christian Community for Action service program.

Jack Susman, MA-SOC ’61, is a professorial lecturer in the Milken Institute School of Public Health at GW. He is currently helping his department develop a new course on the evolution of human physical activity and diet. He is also preparing a book on theories of aging for publication, and is a 4th degree black belt in Aikido—now that’s leading by example.

Maureen Taft-Morales, BA-SOC ’79, earned a master’s degree in Latin American studies from Georgetown University, and writes that the field of sociology has always informed her work. For over 20 years she has been a specialist in Latin American affairs for the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress. She was also a journalist for several years, writing articles and producing radio documentaries on social and international issues for The Washington Post, Latin American Newsletters and National Public Radio.

Chelsea Ullman, BA-SOC ’12, is working as a policy associate at GW’s Global Women's Institute. She received her master’s degree in public policy at GW in 2014 and is currently pursuing her PhD in public policy and public administration from GW with a focus in gender and social policy.

Sommerset Wong, BA-CJ (minor) ’11, graduated from the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii in May 2014. She is a practicing attorney in Hawaii at Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert. In 2013, while still in law school, she and her partner won best brief in the Native American Moot Court Competition, which was published in Native American Law Review.