Black and white archival photo of six male students studying at a desk

Class Notes

Did you get a promotion? Get married? Receive an award? Expand your family? Write a book? Meet a personal goal? Chat with a fellow alum about the good old days? We want to hear from you and your WPI classmates do, too! Tell us your latest news and it may appear in Class Notes—it’s a great way to reconnect with your fellow alumni:


T. B. Puttaswamy resides in Greenville, S.C., with his wife, Shashi, and their daughter, Samantha. After retiring from ABB Global Engineering in the Netherlands, he has volunteered as an AARP Tax-Aide for over 10 years and serves on his subdivision’s HOA Architectural Committee. He welcomes correspondence from WPI alums of ’63, ’64, and ’65:


Charlie Sisitsky was sworn in as mayor of Framingham on Jan. 1, 2022.  He has 40 years of public administration leadership experience and an extensive record of public service. He served as an elected member of the town’s Board of Selectmen from 1998 to 2018 where he served multiple terms as chairman and also led the Utility Abatement Committee, and the Traffic and Roadway Safety Committee. After Framingham became a city, Charlie was elected city councilor from District One, and served as chairman of the Planning & Zoning subcommittee of the city council.


Lesley Small Zorabedian with President Laurie Leshin at Commencement

Lesley Small Zorabedian, pictured with President Laurie Leshin, was honored with a Presidential Medal at the 2022 Commencement ceremony for her trailblazing efforts to help shape the university. She was one of the first women to be enrolled at WPI as an undergraduate in 1968 and became the first woman to receive an undergraduate degree from WPI. Zorabedian and fellow pioneer Jayne Rossetti were also recently honored by an anonymous donor, who established an endowed scholarship in their names.


Mark Cioffi is the program analyst for the New Hampshire Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. He was reappointed to two of the governor’s drug and alcohol prevention and treatment task forces (the Opioid Task Force and the Data and Evaluation Task Force). He says, “Everyone likely knows someone adversely affected. We have made progress decreasing the number of opioid prescriptions, their day’s supply, and strength. However, we now see the statistics indicating increasing utilization of stimulants and amphetamines, especially in the 30–59 age group. This is a national trend that we will now focus on, without sacrificing gains made against opioid abuse. As everyone knows, the COVID pandemic sent several projects into a holding pattern. We are back to moving forward.”  

Louis Collette is among the first Peace Corps volunteers to return to overseas service since the agency’s unprecedented global evacuation in March 2020. “The Peace Corps is the best organization for foreign volunteer service. My brother was a Peace Corps volunteer. I am motivated to help,” said Louis. He will serve as a health volunteer in Peru, working in cooperation with local community and partner organizations on sustainable development projects.


Norman Guillemette writes, “I completed my seventh Boston Marathon with a time of 3:23:54—I placed 15th in my age group. My years running for WPI have inspired me to stay active in my sport. Coach Norcross was instrumental in my development as a runner.”


William Fitzgerald

William “Bill” Fitzgerald was recently named chair of the WPI Board of Trustees. A trustee since 2013, Fitzgerald recently retired from GE Aviation, where he served as vice president and general manager of the Commercial Engines Operation. He was responsible for all commercial jet engine products and global support, including the GEnx product line, the fastest-selling jet engine in GE’s history. In his most recent service on the WPI Board of Trustees, he chaired the Task Force on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, which focused on evaluating the Board’s practices and purposes in recruiting and developing members who can authentically represent the current and future WPI community. Those efforts are informing the work of the Board’s Nominations & Governance Committee, which he began chairing this year. Fitzgerald is also vice chair of the March of Dimes National Board of Trustees.

Joel Kearns (MS ’13, PhD ’19) was promoted to deputy associate administrator for Exploration at NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C. He leads the Exploration Science Strategy and Integration Office and is manager of the Lunar Discovery and Exploration Program (LDEP). LDEP will send U. S. robotic landers and scientific instruments to the surface of the Moon every year starting in 2022, and provide scientific instruments for the Artemis Human Landing Missions starting in 2025.


Jan Husby has been promoted to chief information officer of PRA Group. In this role he will drive information technology and business applications at a strategic level across PRA’s global platform.


Michael Fillion has been named chief operating officer at Conformis. He previously served as executive vice president, Global Operations at Tecomet.

Jiong Ma (MS EE) has been appointed an independent board member of BusinessWire LinKinVax, a clinical-stage biotechnology company specializing in the treatment of infectious diseases and certain forms of cancer.

Joe Plante (MS BME) is now vice president and general manager of AMETEK’s Instrumentation & Specialty Controls division. He previously served as division vice president and business unit manager for AMETEK Brookfield.


Jim Gerren has been appointed Clark County (Nev.) building official and director of the Building Department. Having worked in the Building Department since 2004, he has served as assistant director since 2019. He is a licensed professional engineer in fire protection engineering in Nevada.


John Mauger

Rear Adm. John Mauger (MS FPE) was named commander of the First Coast Guard District at a May 13 ceremony at Faneuil Hall in Boston.


Derick Fors was featured in a Worcester Telegram & Gazette article that discussed his new business relationship with his former WPI golf coach, Tim Bishop. According to the article, Fors, a former member of the WPI golf team, is the general manager and director of golf at Northern Spy Golf Club in Townsend. He recently hired Bishop as head pro at this private club. Fors has worked at Northern Spy for a majority of his career and, according to Bishop, was known as an excellent golfer during his time at WPI.   


Maureen “Moe” Young was featured in a May 20 Worcester Telegram & Gazette article about her custom homemade “Moeshmallows.” According to the story, she sells her hand-cut marshmallows at pop-up locations, as well as at local retail stores and the Worcester Public Market. She has created more than 40 flavors, including cotton candy, mocha chip, churros, strawberry champagne, watermelon, almond, and vanilla, as well as cocktail flavors like cosmo, margarita, hurricane, and mojito.  Moe participated in EforAll Greater Worcester, a 12-week entrepreneurship training program, and won an award at the 2022 Winter Accelerator Final Presentation for her business pitch.


Edwin Rule (MS, MTI) has been appointed vice president, regulatory, quality, and compliance, of Bluejay Diagnostics in Acton, Mass.


On Feb. 15, Vanessa Castro welcomed her daughter, Apollonia Mae Rybka, Class of 2044.

James Phelan was named to the 2022 Minuteman Hall of Fame, which honors alumni and former teachers, staff, or coaches who have gone above and beyond to exemplify the spirit of Minuteman High School in Lexington, Mass. James, who was named a Distinguished Alumnus, is the vice president of finance and operations at Verdox, a company that develops technology to reduce carbon emissions. He is an attorney and professional engineer with experience in finance, law, and engineering at start-up corporations.


Christopher Roy (MS), general manager of Shrewsbury Electric & Cable Operations (SELCO), was named to the 2022 Power 50 list in Worcester Business Journal. According to the story, “Roy is creating symmetrical broadband speeds at the gigabit level or higher, which will be key in attracting new businesses, particularly tech companies, relying on the highest level of internet connectivity.”


Julie Bliss Mullen is the co-founder of Aclarity, a company that commercializes novel electrochemical water treatment systems for the complete, on-site destruction of contaminants like PFAS in wastewater. Aclarity has been nominated for Imagine H2O’s Urban Water Challenge Audience Choice Award. Other WPI alumni in the business include José Alvarez ’15 and Elisabeth Christ ’21.


Hunter Putske and Maria Grandoni ’15 were married on March 19, 2022, in Madison, Wisc.

Qingyun Zhu (MS, PhD) received the Outstanding Faculty Award at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.


A group photo of WPI community members at Nicholas and Julia LaRochelle's wedding

Nicholas and Julia (Scott) LaRochelle were married in Manchester, N.H., on Feb. 19, 2022. Sitting from left, Elizabeth Desjardins ’17, Nicole Quintal ’17, Anna Valdez ’17, Kimberly Lamsal ’17; Standing front row, from left: Shauna Goulet, Cara Bove ’17, Drew Derubeis ’17, Jessie Ciulla ’16, Anthony Campagna ’17, Megan Errichetti ’18, Caroline Clark ’17, Nicholas Larochelle, Julia ( Scott) Larochelle ’17, Andrew Santos ’17, Yasuha Santos, Rupak Lamsal ’17,Kyler Lamsal, Jayne Scott ’78; Standing back row, from left: Nick Hassan ’16, Chris Bove ’17, Michael Paquette ’18, Jessica Wey ’18, Mike Clark ’17, David Laplante ’17, Beth Miloscia ’15, David Scott ’15, Kenneth Scott Jr. ’76.


Jenna Hirshfeld is an associate project manager in the Falmouth, Mass., office of RLC Engineering Project Management Organization.

Allison Silvia has accepted a software engineer position with Google in Cambridge, Mass.


Tony Eid accepted a position with GE Aviation as a member of its Operations Management Leadership Program (OMLP). Over the next two years, he will take over three different roles in this full-time position.

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