On The Cover
A week of festivities
Students overcome obstacles to succeed
Reaching a new generation
Larita Nottis Kaspar’s dear husband Jim passed away on January 25, 2014. Larita says Jim, whom she was married to for more than 40 years, was a special blessing and her family now celebrates his life.
Diane Balconis Quinn and Gerry are back in Indiana after spending the winter in Florida
Marie Louden founded a Giving Circle in her "over 55 community," which just distributed $12,000 to non-profit organizations in Prince William County, Virginia. This is their sixth year and they have grown from four members to 40.
Lucille “Ann” Williams (Moss) and husband Richard are very proud that their daughter, Dr. Valerie Williams, thoracic surgeon at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, was named as one of Cincinnati’s Top Docs. Ann is a voiceover performer working in New York as well as recording commercials and narrations from her home studio in New Jersey. Richard has retired as Director of Corporate Quality Assurance for Becton Dickinson Co. and plays a lot of golf. In her personal time, Ann takes piano lessons and enjoys writing for children. One of her stories, “Ring of Trouble” will be published in the spring issue of St. Mary’s Messenger, a Catholic magazine for children. She would love to hear from her classmates ... “the best of ’65.”
June Terry (Rawls) has retired (twice). After 32 years of teaching elementary school, she retired in January 2001. In March 2005, she helped open a ballroom dance studio and then retired from that activity on December 31, 2012. Now she is basking in the leisure time afforded her, via traveling and visiting her beautiful grandchildren in Tennessee. As a Miami native, she loves to visit other places, but returns home to Miami every time.
Darryl L. Gentry retired in 2003. Prior to retirement, Gentry was a licensed clinical psychotherapist for over 31 years, a graduate school instructor, medical school instructor, and published author of brief psychotherapy. Gentry’s passion for the history of early rock ’n’ roll led to teaching courses in 2010. His teaching inspired him to become a non-fiction author at age 72.
Bobby Pearce was nominated for a Tony Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award for costume design for Broadway’s “Taboo.” Most recently, his work could be seen in the new musical “Summer of Love” at The Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine. Design highlights include “Falling for Eve” at the York Theatre and “The Marvelous Wonderettes” (New York City and Albany, New York; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Long Beach, San Jose, and Sacramento, California). Pearce also designed for the films “Let It Snow” starring Bernadette Peters, “Chita & All That Jazz” starring Chita Rivera, and “Behind the Beat” starring Vicki Sue Robinson.
Dawn Vassil is the clinical microbiology supervisor at Blanchard Valley Hospital in Findlay, Ohio. This hospital was the third hospital in the nation to achieve ISO 15189 certification and the second in the nation to achieve recertification. Vassil has been married for 23 years to her best friend, retired Sgt. 1st Class Black R. Horse, and they have four children: Theodore (22), Alexander (17), Zachary (13), and Danielle (8). After living around the world, they have happily retired to Ada, Ohio, to raise their children, put down roots, and restore a Victorian manor house that is lovingly called Blackhorse Manor.
Vanessa Gilyard will start as an adjunct humanities/history professor at Strayer University.
Lorna Johnson’s son, William Noel III, is graduating from Barry in May 2014. He will be receiving a bachelor’s degree in sport management. He has an internship with the Miami Marlins and is also a recipient of the Barry Legacy Scholarship.
Jeffrey Cohen has been working for Holland America Line since 2006 in several capacities, both onboard and shore side. Since joining the company, Cohen has visited more than 60 countries on six continents. He was recently promoted to manager of port operations. In his new role, he will oversee the port and shore operations in the Mediterranean and East Asia.
Jesus F. Jara earned his doctorate from the University of Massachusetts- Amherst in 2010 in educational leadership and policy and now serves as deputy superintendent of Orange County Public Schools in Orlando, the 11th largest school district in the country. Jara is married to his wife, Lourdes, and has three children, Carlos, Alexander, and Jacqueline. All three children attend Orange County public schools.
Dr. Donavan Outten was named director of distance education at Unity College. Dr. Outten will lead the environmental college in Unity, Maine, in its first ever expansion into the creation and delivery of online academic programming that is mission driven, effective, and embodies Unity College’s first in the nation focus on sustainability science, the leading-edge of 21st century transdisciplinary (collaborative) environmental problem solving. Dr. Outten holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Bethune-Cookman University, a Master of Science in Human Resource Development and Administration from Barry University and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University.
1998 & 1999
Anthony DeSantis, MS ’99, and Michelle DeSantis ’98 will be celebrating their 14th wedding anniversary in November. Anthony completed his PhD in conflict resolution and analysis from Nova Southeastern University in 2011. After working for 10 years at Nova Southeastern, Anthony was hired as the associate dean of students at the University of Florida. Michelle completed her Master of Business Administration in accounting from Saint Leo University in 2012 and is working as an accounting manager for Haven Hospice. They moved to Gainesville, Florida, in 2010 but always stay connected to the friends they made during their time at Barry University.
Christopher Hill has joined the Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s board of trustees. Hill is a vice president and banker of J.P. Morgan Private Bank, where he advises high net worth families, senior executives, and foundations and endowments. Hill received his Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School and Master of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Arts and Sciences. Hill is a member of the Barry University Student Managed Investment Fund advisory board.
Anna Preston in the role of artistic producer, collaborated with Artists for a Cause for a four-part contemporary dance series, “Dance for Food 2013.” Audience members were asked to bring non-perishable food donations as admission to the concert. Artist for a Cause partnered with local food banks for distribution. The concerts, presented in Palm Beach, Martin, and St. Lucie counties, featured her company, Preston Contemporary Dance Theatre (PCDT), along with YOW dance (Orlando), Downtown Dance (Lake Worth), Vanya Allen (West Palm Beach) and others. PCDT has a mission to create cultural awareness of social issues through dance, “connecting passion to purpose.”
Rev. Jim Mayfield received his Master of Arts in Theology and specializes in Christian counseling, marriage and family issues. Rev. Mayfield provides counseling for pastors and pastors’ wives.
Carmen Welsh Jr worked as a supervisor over note takers (a person hired to take notes for a student with a documented disability) from 2009 to 2013 at Miami Dade College (MDC). She then stepped down to pursue her dream of a master’s in fine arts. Welsh had her first short story published in 2000 and has had short fiction and art pieces published in various fanzines, magazines, and e-zines. Her fantasy fiction has appeared on podcasts, and a story and nonfiction piece has been published in two literary journals. She is now a graduate student in the University of Tampa’s creative writing program. She is a member of a genre fiction writers’ guild and a new member of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs. She is still with MDC and part of the academic tutoring staff.
Diane Amado-Tate has been named chief nursing officer at Doctors Hospital in Coral Gables, Florida. An accomplished leader with 22 years of nursing experience, Amado-Tate most recently served as assistant vice president of nursing at South Miami Hospital, where she oversaw nursing staff and patient care in the South Miami Hospital Heart Center, emergency center, critical care unit, and respiratory and pulmonary departments. She also helped lead the development and construction of South Miami Hospital’s new Emergency Center, which opened in December 2012. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing, graduating cum laude from Hunter College in New York, where she began her nursing career at NYU Medical Center. She earned a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Phoenix and a master’s degree in health services administration from Barry University.
Zachary M. Gill has been named partner in the law firm of Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz, PA. Gill has worked at the firm since 2010 where he concentrates his practice in the area of personal injury law, criminal defense, and general civil litigation. Gill was born and raised in Fort Myers, Florida. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts from Florida State University and his Juris Doctor from Barry University School of Law. While at Barry, he was an active member of the Student Bar Association, moot court, and trial team. For the past two years, Gill has been recognized by Florida Super Lawyers magazine as a “Rising Star” in the field of personal injury litigation.
Ruth Studstill acquired two master’s degrees since graduating from Barry in 2008. She now has a Master of Business Administration (2012) and a Master of Science in Leadership (2013). Studstill also started a new position last December as the staff assistant to the director of patient care services at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Miami VA Healthcare Systems. She celebrated 10 years of federal service on November 16. Studstill also joined the National Association for Professional Women (June 2013).
Robyn Braun accepted a position at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin as assistant professor of sport psychology.
Jarin Straatsma, a former member of the Young Alumni Association’s Leadership Committee, achieved his dream of working for Google only a few years after graduating from Barry.
Farley Ashby, George Harrington, and Casey Johnson returned to Barry in September to serve as panelists as part of the 2013 Men in Leadership event, “Man Up: Real Talk.”
Julie Tyk is now a part of Gray Robinson’s Orlando medical malpractice defense group. She joined the firm as an associate attorney this past December. Tyk focuses on medical malpractice, transportation litigation, property insurance defense, and insurance defense. Tyk earned her law degree from Barry University School of Law, where she graduated cum laude. While in law school, she was a law clerk for in-house counsel at one of Orlando’s largest hospital systems.
Derek W. Eisemann, J.D. has joined the Sarasota law firm of Syprett Meshad as an associate attorney. Eisemann's practice is focused on representing plaintiffs in all aspects of personal injury matters, as well as other areas of civil litigation, including real estate. A member of the Sarasota County Bar Association, Eisemann serves on various committees in the Young Lawyers Division. He was born and raised in Sarasota and is a 2001 graduate of Sarasota High School.
Deborah Winton considers herself a “senior student,” with fewer working years in front of her than behind her. Her position with Barry University’s Physician Assistant Program began in 2004, which enabled her to complete her undergraduate and master’s degrees at no cost. With the progression of courses, her duties and responsibilities on the job also increased. The financial struggles she endured as a single mother was the ideal conduit for her daughters to excel scholastically. Her daughter Janene holds a degree in finance and works as a client manager for a third-party Medicare billing company, while her other daughter Samantha is completing her internship at Stanford University. Winton is a proud mother and notes that she pushed her kids to perform and they pushed back harder.
Samantha Eve Morris is a registered marriage and family therapist intern in the state of Florida. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Barry University and graduated with honors from St. Thomas University with her Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy. Aft er graduation, Morris started her own company, Family Psych Central, LLC, and joined the private practice of Psychotherapy Associates of Broward. While working in private practice, she is currently pursuing a doctorate of behavioral health from Arizona State University.