Class Correspondent

Greetings, ’76ers: Not to scare you, but 2011 is the 35th anniversary of our Brandeis graduation. Where did the time go? To kick off the Class Notes, here’s my update: I have a new job. I left the digital world to go back to my TV-producing roots and am now senior producer for Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern.”

Congratulations to Susan Abramson! The longest-serving female rabbi in Massachusetts, she is beginning her 27th year at Temple Shalom Emeth in Burlington. She released another volume in her series of children’s books, which chronicle the adventures of superhero Rabbi Rocketpower.

Shaylor Lindsay of Lexington, Mass., teaches piano and chorus. She recently performed a Mozart piano concerto with members of the Concord Orchestra. Her son, Ethan, attends Concord Academy.

Corrine Varon of Swampscott, Mass., had an exhibition at the Gaga Gallery, “Celebrating the Human Form: Four Decades of Visual Expression,” which featured nearly 400 of her works. She teaches in the Cambridge school system.

Davis Baird has moved back to the Boston area. The dean of the University of South Carolina’s Honors College since 2005, he was named vice president of academic affairs and provost at Clark University in Worcester. Before becoming Honors College dean, Baird chaired South Carolina’s philosophy department for 13 years.

Jum-Phot Chuasai serves as managing director of Leadership Management International, a company in Thailand that specializes in people and organization development. He had been president of the Rotary Club of Bangkok–Ploenchit and councilor of the Siam Society. He recently walked the pilgrim route from St. Jean Pied de Port in France to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, covering a distance of 900 kilometers in 27 days. He has a son who is studying biomedicine at the University of Warwick in England.

Robert Posner and his wife, Diane Nigrosh, a Tufts and Northeastern University Law School alumna, live in Mansfield, Mass. They celebrated their ninth wedding anniversary on Aug. 12. Robert writes, “Accidentally, in marrying Diane, I married into a legacy Brandeis family, as both of Diane’s parents — Larry ’52 and the late Anne Nigrosh ’52 — were in the first graduating class.”

Joani Krieger Mitchell moved to the beach in Capitola, Calif., and is enjoying the daily walks at the ocean and weekly sailing trips. Besides working as a management consultant for Oliver Wyman, Clarity, and OnPoint Consulting, she has started her own travel business, I Love to Travel too, which specializes in cruises and women’s volunteer tourism to developing countries.

Mahmud Rahman’s first book, “Killing the Water: Stories,” was published in January and has been longlisted for the 2010 Cork City-Frank O’Connor Short Story Award. He is currently revising a novel.

Razel Solow directs the Center for Gifted Studies and Education at Hunter College, CUNY, in New York. Her son, Noah, attends the University of Chicago Business School and her daughter, Dena, works for the Public Defender’s Office in Washington, D.C. Razel’s husband, Joel Trugman, didn’t attend Brandeis, but his sister, Sheila Trugman ’75, did.

Ken Gorfinkle recently joined the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center as psychological consultant. He and his wife, Doris Ullendorff, have a psychotherapy/behavioral medicine practice, Common Sense Therapy, in Manhattan and White Plains, N.Y.

Scott Edelman completed a year as the State Department’s senior Iraq analyst in June and moved to Manama, Bahrain, where he is now the foreign policy adviser to the commander of the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet. His 3-year-old son, Eytan, will start preschool in Bahrain, and Scott’s wife, Aylin, will resume her career as a radiologist.

Susan Klebanow is a professor of music and director of choral activities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she has been on the faculty since 1986. She is married to Richard Luby. Their son Nicholas is a student at Wesleyan.

Jaye Campbell, who teaches weaving and runs the gallery and the textiles department at the Multnomah Arts Center in Portland, Ore., has been commissioned to weave fabric for a Frank Lloyd Wright house. The material is for the cushions on the banquette in the library of the Gordon House, a Usonian house built in Wilsonville in 1957 and moved to the Oregon Gardens in Silverton in 2002. Because two of the original threads are no longer manufactured, she has designed a replacement fabric using the same weave structure, same cotton warp, and two rayon boucle substitutes. She writes, “Pretty exciting, and definitely a feather in my weaving cap!”

After a career working for human resources consulting firms and Citigroup, Ellen Blitz has started her second act. She’s working for Corporate Counseling Associates, a private firm that manages critical people issues. At CCA, Ellen creates and executes the marketing and communications strategy, consults with clients on a broad range of HR and communication issues, and is a member of the firm’s management team. She is very proud of two gainfully employed and financially independent sons, Zach, 26, and Jared, 23 — graduates of Vanderbilt and Emory.

Elana Lehavy Givens has worked for the past eight years as assistant dean of career services at the Brandeis International Business School. The school did not exist when all of us were at Brandeis, but it has quickly grown to be a top-notch institution with more than 500 students. Writes Elana, “I would like to connect with old friends. I am always interested in learning whether organizations can use either talented interns or full-time employees from Brandeis.” She can be reached at

Carol Nevius has written three books for early elementary readers (ages 4–8), “Karate Hour,” “Baseball Hour” and “Building with Dad.” She writes, “Coming out in March 2011, just in time to miss the World Cup, will be ‘Soccer Hour’ (I’m on a roll!).”

Michael Bogdanow
is the featured artist for the 5771/2010–11 Women of Reform Judaism ( art calendar, as well as the organization’s greeting cards and High Holy Day cards. In July, Michael and his wife, Marjorie ’78, toured Poland in a small study group that included several members of the Brandeis community — Nancy Winship, P’10, P’12, senior vice president of institutional advancement; Bruce Magid, dean of the International Business School and the Martin and Ahuva Gross Chair in Financial Markets and Institutions; and Matt Tambor ’84. Organized by the Forum for Dialogue Among Nations, the group spent a week traveling and learning about the history and current condition of Polish Jewry, Polish-Jewish relations, the Polish perspective on the Holocaust, and relations among Poland, Israel and the United States.

Debra Chernick, an attorney in Rhode Island, is the creator and founder of Para-Kin (, a company designed to add words to our vocabulary that will accurately reflect, describe and embrace evolving family relationships.

Barbara Glustoff writes, “After being married for more than 20 years to a lovely man in the food marketing business, I now find myself married to a dairy farmer — same man, new life! Our 5 Spoke Creamery makes great cheeses that just so happen to be kosher. We make our cheeses in Pennsylvania and are starting a second dairy in New York. Our children (Marlee and Ethan) are off to college, so I’ll have plenty of time to spend on the farm.” Barbara’s son took classes at Syracuse over the summer, giving her a chance to catch up with Sharon Springer ’77 and her family. They live in Syracuse, where Sharon has her own internal medicine practice.

David Gurwitz, the managing director of Charles Nenner, one of the world’s leading market forecasters, has become a composer and concert pianist and enjoys playing benefit concerts for charities (

Attorney Kyle Coffman writes from Hawaii, “The long and winding road led me to Maui, with detours aplenty. I’ve been here since 1987. I have a general practice but am doing a lot of family law. I’m still collecting material for my autobiography, to be published no time soon. First, I need my 15 minutes of fame. And, to be trite, I also need to figure out what I’ve become since I grew up.”

Submit a Class Note