Alumni News, Spring 2014

April 2, 2014

Regina Lee Blaszczyk, MA ’87, is the Leadership Chair in the History of Business and Society at the University of Leeds in the UK. In 2012, her latest book, The Color Revolution, was published by the Smithsonian Lemelson Center and the MIT Press. Following reviews in The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune and the Atlantic, the book was awarded the 2013 Sally Hacker Prize for Outstanding Scholarship that Reaches Beyond the Academy by the Society for the History of Technology at its annual meeting in Portland, Maine. Blaszczyk's new work focuses on the cultural-business history of fashion. It includes collaborations with researchers at the universities of Oslo, Newcastle, Heriot-Watt, St Andrews and Erasmus Rotterdam and with the Center for Business History in Stockholm and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Cary B. Cheifetz, Esq., BA ’72, practices family law at the firm of Ceconi and Cheifetz, LLC, located in Summit, N.J. Mr. Cheifetz is the president of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and author of New Jersey Family Law (2nd Edition) published by LexisNexis.

David P. DeVito, BA ’89, MPA ’06, is the director of the American Psychological Association's HIV Training Program. He resides in Arlington, Va., with his husband Dr. Daniel S. Michalski.

Mary Tess Driver, BA ’03, is currently residing in Connecticut. This is her seventh year as a high school teacher at Southington High School (she teaches AP U.S. History and honors U.S. History). Mary is very excited to announce that she is getting married in November 2014!

After nearly two decades in Baltimore, Jessica Elfenbein, MA ’89, is now professor of history and senior associate dean of the University of South Carolina's Graduate School. A public and urban historian, Jessica is now working on a program to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the burning of Columbia, S.C.

Charity Fox, PhD ’10, is in her fourth year on the tenure track as an assistant professor in the Klein Family School of Communications Design at the University of Baltimore, where she teaches in the English, Communications and Popular Culture Studies programs and researches the intersections of gender, narrative and popular cultural rituals. She and her husband Brian recently celebrated the first birthday of their daughter Betty.

Rebecca (Berlyoung) Freeman, MA ’08, is still living in Auckland, New Zealand and has just started her third year working for Auckland Council as a specialist in built heritage (planning/policy team). She welcomed baby Clara Jane Freeman in March of 2014.

After living abroad since 1990, Anita Hibler, PhD ’89, returned to San Diego in January but continues to teach as an online adjunct professor for the University of Maryland University College, which she has been doing since 1999. In 2006, Elephants for Mr. Lincoln: American Civil War-Era Diplomacy in Southeast Asia (Scarecrow Press, Inc.), a book she coauthored with Bill Strobridge, was published.

Kalie Kelman, BA ’10, became an Israeli citizen in October 2013 and is living in Jerusalem. She is currently the director of recruitment for the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. Pardes is an innovative co-ed learning institute for Jewish textual analysis.

Laurie Lahey, PhD ’13, completed her first year teaching in the Africana Studies Department at the University of South Florida in Tampa, where she taught classes on race in American society and the African diaspora. This year she received an NJ350 Publication Initiative grant. Pending review, the manuscript will be published by Rutgers University Press in 2016. She also contributed a chapter to an edited collection, entitled Beyond Civil Rights: African American and Latino/a Activism in the Twentieth Century United States, which will be published by University of Georgia Press later this year. Her essay explores African American and Puerto Rican alliances during Camden, N.J.'s 1971 riot.

Lisa McCollough, MA ’03, is working in the Marketing Department of Wyndham Worldwide in San Diego, and is a fundraising committee volunteer with the Coronado Historical Association. Now residing on Coronado Island, she and her husband, Andre just celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary. They have three children Evan, 15; Luke, 13; and Sage, 10.

Eric McMurray, BA ’08, is an attorney with the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C., investigating complaints of illegal retaliation against safety whistleblowers in the mining industry.

John O'Keefe, PhD ’12, will be starting as an assistant professor of history at Ohio University-Chillicothe in 2014.

After 31 years at the Library of Congress, seven of them as head of the Hebraic Section, African and Middle Eastern Division, Peggy Pearlstein, PhD ’93, retired on October 1, 2013. She will present a paper at the annual meeting of the Southern Jewish Historical Society, to be held in Austin, Texas, in October 2014.

Devin Proctor, MA ’13, has moved a full 10 feet to the west, to the Anthropology Department, where he is getting a PhD.

Aliza Schiff, BA ’05, has been back in the area for a few years working for Arlington County as a public art project manager, commissioning art and design enhancements for public spaces and taking care of the county's collection of 60+ permanent public artworks. Before that she spent a few years in St. Louis working for a public art consulting firm and earned a master’s degree in public humanities from Brown University in Providence. She and her husband just had a baby boy named Ethan in January!

David Sitomer, BA ’70, is currently retired but has been writing a play about W.W. Corcoran and a book.

Since last checking in with the department, Robert Solomon, BA ’72, and his wife relocated from New York City to Napa, Calif. He continues to consult, coach, write and teach under the auspices of his firm Solomon Strategic, while also working as a managing director of PALAZZO | Investment Bankers.

Jason Steinhauer, BA '02, was recently named one of D.C.'s "50 on Fire" by In the Capital magazine. His website explains why he was on fire.

Jason Tercha, MA ’13, wrote and presented two conference papers in the last year. "A Little R&R: How Retrocession and Railroads led to Alexandria’s Rebirth," which he presented at the DC Historical Studies Conference on November 16, 2013, and "Derailed: Construction, Expansion and Failure of the Manassas Gap Railroad," presented at the Virginia Forum on March 15, 2014.

For the past year, Carole Watson, PhD ’78, has been serving as acting chairman of NEH. President Obama’s nomination of President William C. Adams of Colby College as incoming NEH chairman is before the Senate, and we along with the wider humanities community are eagerly awaiting his Senate confirmation.