Beulah Moody (A&S 1968) doesn't think her story is all that interesting, though at age 97 she's thought to be the oldest Point Park alumna. She started college in her early 40s, when her son was in kindergarten, to study early childhood education so she could have a better understanding of what he was learning in school. The non-traditional student admits it "wasn't easy going to college while raising children" and advises today's students to finish their degrees before starting a family. She took night and weekend classes and found Point Park to be "very convenient." Moody often took the streetcar from the Bethel Park home she shared with her husband John Moody, who was a labor editor for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He passed away over a year ago, shortly after the couple relocated to Woodcliff Lake, N.J., to be closer to their son John and his family. John Moody is now serving as a news director for FOX News in the Big Apple. Her granddaughter, Kate Moody, works in French television in Paris, and her grandson, John, works for Google in New York. Moody has fond memories of Point Park and says she attended classes held in one building. She also recalls Joann Blum, who started the early childhood education program at Point Park, and says Blum "treated me exceptionally well." Moody excelled, graduating magna cum laude. She later worked in a joint venture with Point Park and Easter Seals, teaching in a program for developmentally challenged children. She taught for seven years and then served as director of education for Easter Seals, a position she held for 19 years. She earned a supervisory certificate and her master's degree in special education from the University of Pittsburgh in 1974. Retired at age 70, Moody’s driver's license expires in 2014. In fact, she drove until moving to New Jersey two years ago. As for her health, she says she's "still here” and sharp as a tack. She's had some health problems and has been in and out of the hospital "to get straightened out again." Moody jokingly says "thank goodness, I usually come back home." At 97, she says, "you never know." Moody regrets that she was unable to attend Point Park's 50th anniversary celebration several years ago, but says she looks forward to keeping up with campus life by reading The Point. "I certainly enjoyed Point Park."
Michael J. Rieker (A&S 1978) has retired from Penn Glass Company, Inc. He had been employed as vice president and general manager for the past 32 years. In addition to earning his degree in psychology at Point Park, Rieker earned a master’s degree from Shippensburg University in 1980. He currently serves as a facilitator with the Center for Community Peacemaking. He and his wife live in Holtwood, Pa.
Kim Payne (COM 1979) was recently appointed to the position of staff writer and media coordinator with Saint Leo University in Saint Leo, Fla. In his new role, he is responsible for raising the university's profile and reputation locally, regionally, nationally and internationally through concerted communications and media relations activities. Kim writes, “Saint Leo is the oldest Catholic college in Florida (founded in 1889) and one of the largest in the nation. I will graduate in December from Saint Leo with a graduate certificate in marketing. My wife, Susan and I will celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary on March 31, 2014.”
Judy Lashinski Davis (COM 1971), writing as author Judy Ann Davis, announced the release of two books in fall 2013. Up on the Roof and Other Stories, a collection of nineteen short stories, was published by Whiskey Creek Press. A second book, the romance mystery Key to Love, was published by The Wild Rose Press. Both books are available in digital and print on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Visit her: www.judyanndavis.com or contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
David Perozzi (COM 1988), served as a judge for the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant held in Moscow, Russia last November. Perozzi is an award-winning journalist and producer with more than two decades of experience. He built his career reporting and producing for ABC News and NBC News and has worked with CNN’s Anderson Cooper and NBC’s Al Roker. Perozzi has earned numerous honors, including four Emmy Award nominations, and was recently instrumental in launching a new music news program called Fuse News, where he served as supervising producer.
Debra DeCourcy (COM 1982) is the new executive communications director for Northlich, a large advertising and marketing agency in Cincinnati, Ohio. DeCourcy heads the agency’s public relations group. She is married to fellow Point Park graduate Mike DeCourcy, an award-winning sports journalist and writer for the Sporting News.
Rob Ashford (COPA 1983), an award-winning Broadway performer and director, co-directed The Sound of Music live performance, starring Carrie Underwood, that aired on NBC on Dec. 5. To see a Broadway World video about the making of the production, including comments from Ashford and the young actors who appeared in the show, visit: www.broadwayworld.com/videoplay.php?colid=632921
Sherri (Clark) Hertzog (COPA 1998), who earned her degree in dance at Point Park, writes to say that she has made a career change and is now a licensed massage therapist (and has appointments available). A resident of Waynesburg, Pa., she can be contacted through Facebook.
Daniel Hart (COM 1996, 1999) is manager of media services for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Patricia (Kober) Slye (COM 1991) is the author of just-published Back Porch Mornings: My Journey to Peace, A Memoir. The book is described as “an inspiring memoir that recounts the pain of grieving for loved ones and then moving into a new purpose in life. The author shares her journey that has helped her find what is really important and her intent to show others how to capture more joy every day.” For more information, visit: www.amazon.com/Back-Porch-Mornings-Journey-Peace/dp/1492180297.
John Tommasino (A&S 1993), writes to say, “I recently moved to the Greater Los Angeles area where I am writing for online and print media outlets.” He earned his degree in English at Point Park.
Elizabeth Wheatley (COM 1993) has been named president of the Fort Pitt Society, a supporting organization of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR), which has owned and operated the Fort Pitt Block House as a historical site and museum for the last 120 years. Wheatley previously served as the organization’s director of publicity since 2010 and has been active in the Pittsburgh Chapter NSDAR since 2009. She was born into a family active in the Daughters of the American Revolution for generations. Seventeen of her ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War, and she is eligible to belong to the Colonial Dames (descendants resided in an American Colony before 1750). Wheatley graduated cum laude with honors from Point Park with a degree in journalism and communication. After graduation, her love of travel and culture led her to a job as a flight attendant at Delta Airlines. She continues to work for Delta while also serving as director of marketing for WebSAP.net, a Pittsburgh-based web design and development company founded in 1998 by her husband Michael Wheatley. Liz and Michael reside in North Fayette Township with their three children, Catherine (14), Amelia (9) and Andrew (5).
Cathleen Williams (BUS 1992) is employed as payroll and personnel coordinator for the Dean's Office in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. She earned her degree in business management at Point Park.
Dave Droxler (COPA’01) played the title role in the production of The Man Who Laughs, which was nominated for three Drama Desk Awards in the following categories: Unique Theatrical Experience, Outstanding Music in a Play and Outstanding Lighting Design. Droxler competed against Tom Hanks and Steve Martin, among other famous actors. Droxler is a New York based actor, clown, filmmaker, and screenwriter/playwright. After graduating with a BFA in Acting at Point Park, he has worked in Off and Off-Off Broadway productions, as well as around the country in film, regional theater, national tours, and clown shows. “As a physical comedian, Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin have played a vital role for me and have been the base for much of my work, not only as an actor, but also as a playwright,” he says. Last June Droxler was cast as a lead character in the independent film Remorse, which was filmed in Philadelphia, his hometown.
David S. Miller (BUS ’00) was ordained by Bishop David Zubik as a permanent deacon for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh in June 2013. He lives in Gibsonia, Pa.
Charlene Bidula (COM ’03, BUS ’09) has been promoted to manager of communications and new media at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg, Pa. She earned her undergraduate degree in broadcasting and her M.B.A. in sport, art and entertainment management at Point Park.
Anne Perri Cole (COM ’09) and Ben Cole (COM ’09) are the parents of John "Jack" David Cole, was born November 19, 2013. Anne is a member of Point Park’s Alumni Association Board.
V. Fawn Walker-Montgomery (A&S ’06) received the Social Leader Award as part of the 2013 Mon River Fleet Women of Achievement ceremony aboard the Gateway Clipper on Oct. 3. Sailing the Monongahela River around the Healthier Communities PartnerSHIP towns of Clairton, McKeesport, Duquesne and Braddock, the event honored accomplishments of local women who have made an impact on the communities where they live and work. A lifelong resident of McKeesport, Walker-Mongomery’s political career and civic involvement were inspired in McKeesport in her youth. She has 11 years of experience in social services, working with local families and agencies such as Macedonia FACE; Adelphoi Village; and Allegheny County Children, Youth and Families. She chairs the McKeesport Downtown Business Authority and is vice chair of the Home Rule Charter Committee. Walker-Montgomery serves with McKeesport Recreation Board, McKeesport African American Political Coalition, Rainbow Temple-Operation Save Our Youth, Semper Fidelis Club, McKeesport NAACP, Association of Black Social Workers and Carnegie Library of McKeesport. She is a past board member of First Step Recovery Homes and has served on McKeesport council since 2010. She graduated summa cum laude from Point Park with master's degree in criminal justice administration.
Caitlin Howley (COPA ’09) has been appointed technical director at the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center in Midland, Pa. She earned her degree in technical theatre at Point Park in 2009.
Ashley Schoendorf (COPA ’13) is a cabaret singer and dancer on Royal Caribbean’s Azamara Club Cruise line ship “Journey.” Point Park classmate Joe Pudetti (COPA ’13) is a performer on the same ship. Born in Florida, Ashley started dancing at age three and singing at age 12. Before transferring to Point Park, she spent her freshman and sophomore years at St. John's River State College in Palatka, Florida where she received the Outstanding Performing Arts Student of the Year Award. Diagnosed with thyroid cancer during her sophomore year, she went through a thyroidectomy and went on to pursue her dream becoming a professional singer. Ashley says she loved studying in the city and having the opportunity to experience the four seasons and says she appreciated the training and the experiences that she received at Point Park.
Kelly Cline (COM ’13) recently began a 10-month term of service in the National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), an AmeriCorps program. AmeriCorps NCCC is a residential national service program that supports disaster relief, the environment, infrastructure improvement, energy conservation, and urban and rural development. Cline studied global cultural studies and photojournalism at Point Park. “I chose to do a term of national service because I am willing and able to do so. I strongly believe that if you are capable of serving, you should,” says Cline. “I am passionate about community service and giving back to communities in need. I believe it is the youth of our nation that must set the example for the future, and I want to be a part of the movement towards continual improvement in the world.”
Robert Gregg (COM ’10), writes to share some memories about what led him to choose Point Park for his college studies: “While attending West Allegheny I performed in seven musicals, including Hello Dolly. You could say musicals are no big deal, but in a small town they are. It unites the community. I [always] applaud because I know how many months of preparation are required to put on a show. [I had performed] with the Pittsburgh Boys Choir, so I was no stranger to the spotlight. Performing was exciting and the older students in the cast made the kids feel welcome. I have always believed that the arts programs at schools are the reason why creative kids succeed…My love for the arts is why I chose Point Park University. I sang in the choir, attended shows at the Playhouse, and graduated in 2010 with a degree in communications and a focus in broadcasting. I used my current job as a ramp agent to travel to New York and watch the Rockettes in their Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall.”
Jaron Frand (COPA ’12) was an actor in Musicals Tonight! revival of Smile, which featured music by Marvin Hamlisch, in New York City last fall. Frand has a special connection to the show and the late Marvin Hamlisch. “I worked on this show when I was younger, so I have a little bit of history with Smile. It’s a quirky show that isn’t produced much. I guess that’s why Musicals Tonight! got their hands on it and wanted to revive it. They look for forgotten musicals specifically. Not only had I been a part of this specific Hamlisch show before, but I recently had the chance to work with him one-on-one. I was really fortunate to be chosen by the Point Park faculty to audition and then work with him as he gave me coaching in a master class setting. It was a part of Point Park’s Distinguished Master Artist in Residence in the fall of 2011.” The most important piece of advice he learned from Mr. Hamlisch? “He mentioned that everyone gets one big break. It’s really how you decide to go after it that counts. This has stayed with me during my first year in New York. For me, I try to treat every opportunity that comes my way as my big break. I really push myself to take charge of my career path and be bold. I don’t want to miss out on any opportunities, even if it's just my little break. I think it will all add up someday.”
William Hutchinson (A&S ’11) initiated his career as a professional boxer with a main event fight on Nov. 27. Known by the nickname or fighting moniker “Hutch,” Hutchinson writes, “I trained long and hard for this fight, which is just a small step in the direction I want to go in. I am very focused and determined to build my career quickly.” A resident of Pittsburgh’s West End and a former Boilermaker, he says “I chose Point Park because I loved the location and the unique layout of campus Downtown. I had a great experience at Point Park, meeting classmates who I continue to connect with even today. I also had the opportunity to study under some great professors, particularly PK Weston. I graduated with a degree in English focusing in creative writing. It was right around the time I graduated that I began to see opportunities for myself in the boxing world. Hutchinson says, “I use skills that I have developed through my studies quite a bit. From a promotional and managerial aspect it benefits me greatly to have the intellectual skills to maneuver around the business aspect of the sport. Through my time at Point Park I crafted a creative skill set that directly benefits my marketing ability.”
Deirdre Kane (BUS’13) is owner of 52nd Street Market and a production analyst for Highmark. Kane says her experience in earning a master’s degree in organizational leadership, with a concentration in community leadership, inspired her to open a new grocery store in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood. “I must admit that the concept of opening a corner market was not even on my radar when I first enrolled at Point Park. However, earning my master’s degree in organizational leadership gave me the confidence to listen to my instincts and be open to new possibilities,” says Kane. “A concept in the M.A. program that really resonated with me was the importance of having a vision. Learning about amazing women leaders and understanding their visions and how they were able to attain success certainly had an effect on my life. It gave me the idea that I, too, could reach for the stars if I was able to channel my energy, creativity and passion into one vision.” Kane says she is “hopeful that our partnership with the local schools will blossom, offering educational opportunities to local youth” and that Lawrenceville Organic Community Gardens will continue to flourish.