Stephen Rusckowski, Quest Diagnostics’ longtime CEO, will step down from his place at the helm at the end of October. His tenure will end a decade after it began in May 2012, though he’ll stay on through March 2023 as executive chairman of Quest’s board of directors.
Dick Hammond writes that after he graduated and got married, “we moved to a sizeable 1769 home in Dublin, N.H. Our home was one of over 250 Dublin homes listed on the National Register of Historic Places. I joined New Hampshire Ball Bearings as an engineer and director of a large quality control department with 250 employees. I met many experts in the U.S. Space Program, including Wernher von Braun.
“I later joined Robertshaw Controls Company as a plant manager, producing temperature and pressure valves. I was also a consultant in the area of forest fuels. I purchased a company, renaming it Hammond Engineering, specializing in energy conservation and heat transfer, and resulting in significant savings for our customers.
“After retiring in 1996, I volunteered for the Town of Dublin Planning Board, helping to design a new fire station, playground, street lighting, and archives. I have lived in Holden, Mass., Dublin, N.H., Peterborough, N.H., and Yarmouthport, Mass. I have traveled to 18 foreign countries. Most important and rewarding are my two marriages and the joy of watching two daughters to this day.”
Michael Sills published a family history in the form of a cookbook, A Lithuanian Cookbook for My Irish Wife, which centers around the Lithuanian community in Hartford, Conn.
Peter Stanley reports, “During each summer Pax Gifford, Dave Hall, Gerry D’Amico, and I spend a weekend on a deck overlooking Woods Hole on the Cape. None of us lives in Massachusetts. We plan a new adventure each year then relate stories of past adventures. Some of these stories are actually true.”
Dan David writes, “Fifty years ago, before the first IQPs came to be under the WPI Plan, there was the WPI Urban Vehicle Project. Under the guidance of ME Professor John Mayer, a student engineering team drawn mainly from the classes of ’72 and ’73 designed and built a running prototype that was then entered in the Intercollegiate Urban Vehicle Design Competition held at the General Motors Proving Grounds in Milford, Mich., in August 1972. Features of the dent-resistant, composite plastic-bodied vehicle included three-across seating, a sliding door on the curb side, and a propane-fueled 1275 cc transverse engine powering the front wheels. The WPI Urbacar, as it was known, scored ninth out of 66 entries from around the country. More important for me, though, was the invaluable learning experience gained from being a member of the student project team. It inspired me to pursue what became a fulfilling, 31-year career in the automobile industry and it continues to influence my retirement hobbies—antique cars and home renovation.”
Phil Scarrell writes, “42 years working in the chemical industry—loved the chemical plant life. Used my WPI education to build a family, history, travel, and career. Some thought I could not have done it. Beautiful wife of 36 years, Martha, two grown girls with their own families. We traveled the world. Now settling into family life in North Carolina. Next project will be building our home. We’ll be the builders and manage all the contractors. Four years at WPI made this all happen. Daddy Wags, FIJI, Hockey, Herbie, Wayne, Dave, Stephen, The Attic, Tom, Chuck, Bob, John, and Jon—just to name a few WPI wonders. Thanks!”
George Oliver, CEO of Johnson Controls and a WPI Trustee, says he is proud that Johnson Controls has been selected as one of Fortune’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” in 2022. This is the first time Johnson Controls has been named to the list. “Our inclusion on Fortune’s list reflects the significant strides we have made toward our goal of ensuring a healthy, safe, and sustainable world.”
Tom Casale was recently appointed general manager of Quantic’s Corry Micronics and TRM Microwave business units.
Paul Cotnoir (’88 MS, ’10 PhD) was named by Worcester Business Journal as one of “22 people to meet in 2022.” He joined Clark University to oversee its new game design and technology program, inherited when Becker College closed. Starting in 2002 and through Becker’s closure last spring, he held several leadership roles at Becker, where he developed and launched new degree programs. The WBJ article reads, “His fluency in Worcester’s institutions, as well as his long-term experience at Becker, promises insight into what will and will not work to keep colleges strong.”
Enis Konuk (’89 MS CS) was recently named Chief Product Office at Docebo, a leading artificial intelligence-powered learning suite provider. Prior to his role as the leader of Learning Technologies at Google Cloud, Konuk was the CEO of Qwiklabs, a company known as a pioneer in hands-on technical learning, which he founded in 2012. He previously held positions at VMware as vice president of Worldwide Professional Services and Education and Sun Microsystems, where he was responsible for a team of sales engineers, consultants, technical account managers, and trainers.
Kathy Loftus, president of business development at e2s Building Performance, was recently elected chair of the Board of Directors of GBI (Green Building Initiative). Before joining e2s in 2020, she served for 14 years as Whole Foods Market’s vice president of sustainability and global leader of sustainable facilities, overseeing Whole Foods’ buildings portfolio, including energy, engineering, and facilities management, as well as waste diversion.
Susan Loconto Penta is a founding member of WPI’s Women’s Impact Network and a founding member of WPI’s Collaborative for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. She has served on the Management Executive Council for WPI’s Business School and the Technology Advisors Network. She is a co-founder and managing partner at MIDIOR and an executive professor at Northeastern University. She is a frequent speaker on the topics of innovation, entrepreneurship, and product organizations, and has recently been appointed chair for the Women’s Network Advisory Board for The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.
Lou Delzompo (MBA) recently joined Apogee, a leader in higher education managed technology services, as chief technology officer. He is responsible for developing and implementing innovative and effective managed technology services strategies that serve the needs of U.S. higher education, as well as ensuring that the company’s offerings meet and exceed the needs of its 400-plus higher education customers.
Bob Morales has taken a multi-year assignment at RAF Menwith Hill in North Yorkshire, United Kingdom. He oversees engineering and operations activities for over a dozen satcom terminals and a data center that support the U.S. Air Force and NATO missions. After 23 years in Virginia and an empty nest, he says an overseas tour was a perfectly timed new adventure.
Michael Ferreira (’94 MS FPE) is COO of Vision Solutions AR, a start-up focused on developing augmented reality platforms. James Lynch ’00 (’04 FPE) is company CEO. They recently released Home Vision AR, their first product for the real estate industry.
received the 2021 Air Education and Training Command Civilian Educator of the Year award. He is an associate professor of computer engineering within AFIT’s Graduate School of Engineering and Management.
Dayna Cornell-Badhorn, 23-year Avnet veteran, has been named regional president, Americas electronics components. She now oversees all activities tie to Avnet’s electronics components business in the Americas and manages operations teams supporting business in the region.
Mike Ingram was recently appointed president and CEO of Shadin Avionics. He most recently served as vice president and general manager of the Avionics Business Unit at Honeywell Aerospace.
Walter Miska is now director of Franchise Development at Snapchef, a leader in temporary and permanent foodservice staffing and training. He and the executive team will be leveraging Snapchef’s existing national preferred contracts with the world’s leading foodservice providers to meet business needs across the country.
Beth Tubbs (’95 MS FPE) was named 2022 President of the Society of Fire Protection Engineering. At the International Code Council (ICC), headquartered in Washington, D.C., she serves as a key engineering resource and contributor to the International Existing Building Code (IEBC), the International Fire Code (IFC), the International Building Code (IBC), and the ICC Performance Code (ICCPC) as a Senior Staff Engineer with the Codes and Standards Development Department.
Christine Hersey has been named director of investor relations at Trulieve. She has over 20 years of experience working in and covering a variety of sectors including biotech, cannabis, cleantech, and consumer retail at Durant Partners, Efficacy Capital, M.S. Howells, Savitr Capital, and Wedbush Securities. She previously covered global securities, traveling throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Prior to her career in finance, Christine worked as an environmental engineer and project manager.
Steve Franklin is now director of engineering at Montalvo. He has over 25 years of experience as an engineer and 14 years as an engineering manager for a global automation supplier.
Jeb Ledell was recently named chief operating officer of AVEO Oncology; he previously served as COO of Enzyvant Therapeutics.
Jason Mello retired last August after being commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the WPI AFROTC program and serving 23 years in the United States Air Force. He is now president of the Space Transport Services subsidiary of Firefly Aerospace.
Rainer Reichel was featured in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette for building “Treegloos” near the WPI campus using his background in architecture and engineering. Rainer, who holds a bachelor’s in biotechnology from WPI and a master’s in architecture from Kohn Kaen University in Thailand, often constructs igloos around pine trees in his yard. One was large enough for several people to stand in and was equipped with benches, candles, and an electrical outlet for a coffeemaker or cooker. According to the article, Reichel integrates his igloo design with the natural terrain and the the longest one of his igloos lasted was four months.
Sharad Bhojnagarwala has been promoted to principal at General Atlantic, a leading global growth equity firm. He joined General Atlantic in 2011; before that he was an investment professional at TVS Capital, where he focused on investments in the mid-cap consumer sector.
Victoria (Valentine) De Dominic (’02 MS FPE) has been named to the technical staff at American Fire Sprinkler Association.
James Lynch (’04 MS FPE) is CEO of Vision Solutions AR, a start-up focused on developing augmented reality platforms. Michael Ferreira ’91 (’94 MS FPE) is company COO. They recently released Home Vision AR, their first product for the real estate industry.
Piti “Todd” Bhirombhakdi was named to Prestige 40 Under 40, “the annual list of 40 brilliant minds in Thailand who are shaping the future.” He is the youngest board member of Boon Rawd Brewery Group and is leading the charge in business transformation through his positions as CEO of BRF Logistics, Food Factors, and SBP Digital Services.
Liz Cash Hitchcock was recently honored among New Hampshire’s top female business leaders. In addition to her role as director of the Board for Minim, she is the developer of Manchester’s new live/work space for creators, innovators, and entrepreneurs; developer of The Factory on Willow; and owner of the Bookery, a local independent bookstore. In 2021, she was recognized as one of The New Hampshire 200, the state’s most influential business leaders.
John Biagioni (MS) has been named president at Lampin Corporation, a critical component manufacturer in Uxbridge, Mass. John previously served as president at Dynisco. He began his career as a machinist and he has held numerous positions at other companies in the manufacturing sector with significant expertise in procurement and management.
Jeremy Hitchcock and Liz (Cash) Hitchcock ’02, members of the Minim Board of Directors, were recognized in the New Hampshire 200, the state’s most influential business leaders. Jeremy is an active angel investor in the New Hampshire startup community and has led technology development teams to solve security problems at the national, commercial, and consumer levels. Liz is a prominent entrepreneur, philanthropist, and small business owner with an innovative focus on community building, workforce development, and technology. Together, the couple also runs an independent bookstore (Bookery Manchester) and partners with Manchester Moves to improve biking and walkability in the greater Manchester area.
Sharon Medeiros (MS) was recently named chief accounting officer and senior vice president at BankNewport. She joined the bank in 2015 and previously served as senior vice president and controller. She is also a certified public accountant.
Joe Chapman, a cybersecurity lead at MITRE, will work with WPI on a recent $1 million grant from the commonwealth that will help create a collaborative research and development center in the university’s new academic building. The center will work with industry partners to advance secure manufacturing of semiconductor chips and provide workforce development programs to promote better access and opportunities for jobs in the STEM field.
Cheryl (Boquist) Ingram and family happily welcomed a new baby, Myka Joyellen Ingram, in December 2021.
Nick Pelletier was named president of the North Central Massachusetts Association of Realtors, whose membership includes more than 550 Realtors in a territory that stretches from Orange to Harvard, Mass.
Arnold Ndegwa was honored with the Modern-Day Technology Leader Award at the BEYA STEM Conference 2021. Each year, the Black Engineer of the Year Award Conference honors the work of engineers and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics professionals in their industries. Textron spotlighted Arnold on its social media platforms in February 2021.
Katelyn Comeau was named to the 40 Under 40 list by the New Hampshire Union Leader. A pharmacy manager at New London Hospital, she received her DPharm from MCPHS. When asked what motivates her to give back to her community, she said, “My parents and the sacrifices that they made to allow me to be where I am today. I could never have accomplished what I have if it weren’t for their selflessness and support. It is because of their example that I try my best to give back to my community.”
Bethany Almeida has been appointed an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Clarkson University. She previously served as an American Society for Engineering Education Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory.
Marissa Capua was recently interviewed in the podcast “Check Your Beer” about her work at Zero Gravity Craft Brewery in Burlington, Vt. She discussed her various roles in the brewing industry and how her different experiences in brewing shaped her current position as a quality assurance technician.
Sean Kelly (MS ’16, PhD ’18) and Aaron Birt (MSE ’14, PhD ’17) were named to the Worcester Business Journal “40 Under Forty.” While they were doctoral students, they founded Solvus Global, a technology solutions provider for the manufacturing industry. In three years, Solvus had secured a research deal with Oxford, Mass., laser manufacturer IPG Photonics, grown to $5 million in annual revenue, and opened three locations. Its latest location in Leominster, Mass., was awarded a $1.6-million state grant.
Christina Bailey-Hytholt recently joined WPI as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Her research focuses on biomaterials, drug and gene delivery, and diagnostics—particularly as it relates to maternal and fetal outcomes. She was recently listed on Forbes magazine’s “30 Under 30” list as a trailblazer in her field.
Lena and Joe Brown met in their freshman year during VOX’s production of “Into the Woods” and became close friends through their mutual love of music and theater, although apparently not close enough as Joe friend-zoned Lena later that year. Fortunately for both of them, sophomore year they realized they were better together and never looked back. They got married in Worcester in 2018 and now live in Boston with their cat, Striker.
Aaron Birt, PhD (MSE ’14) is the first WPI graduate to be named to the Forbes “30 Under 30” list for manufacturing and industry. (See more under Class of 2014.)
Maggie Russell passed the Patent Bar last year and was sworn into the Connecticut Bar in November. She is now an associate in the Hartford office of Cantor Colburn.
Tali Solomon and Matt Michaels recently shared their story of how they met at WPI. “We first met as lab partners in Chem 3 freshmen year. We were friends for most of college until we started dating our senior year. We moved to Boston after school and got engaged in May 2020. We got married last August!”
Ama Biney visited Ghana recently, and volunteered with The Ghana Shock, a local girls’ softball team founded in 2017 to introduce the game and create new opportunities for girls ages 8 to 14. She organized a fundraiser and donation drive to assist the team, which so far has raised over $1,600. Ama was a basketball star in high school and at WPI and was the recipient of the 2019 NCAA Today’s Top 10 award. Now a Worcester resident, she works for Raytheon.
Nathaniel O’Connor and Zahra Noori, both current PhD students in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, were married on Dec. 18, 2021, at the Colonial Hotel in Gardner, Mass. They met in Professor Jamal Yagoobi’s research group in 2017. The wedding was attended by Yagoobi and many other WPI students and staff.
Robert King (PhD) received the first ever Michael A. King, PhD, Research Award from the Department of Radiology at UMass Chan Medical School, where he is an assistant professor.