Federalist Papers

Newsletter of the Department of Political Science

at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown

Summer 2008

Curtis Irwin, Annie Thomas, Vicki Slagle Named College Scholars

Curtis J. Irwin, son of Mark and Colleen Irwin of West Decatur PA, has been named the 2008 College Scholar in Political Science. Curtis is a graduate of Philipsburg-Osceola High School, and a dual major in political science and history, a President’s Scholar, and a recipient of the Johnstown Jewish Community Scholarship. He has been inducted into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Eta Sigma Freshman Honor Society, Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society, and Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society. His senior political science thesis on the controversial exhibition at the Brooklyn Art Museum has been submitted for consideration to the Pi Sigma Alpha National Undergraduate Political Science Journal. Curtis is President of the History Club and a member of the Student Council on World Affairs. This coming fall, Curtis will be attending Widener University Law School in Harrisburg. Curtis joins a distinguished complement of UPJ political science alumni who have been named College Scholars, including John Aughenbaugh, David Bahlavooni, Deanne Brutts, Amy Carlson, Bill Coffee, Nathan Darrigo, Toni DiGiacobbe, Jim Dreier, Dan Flynn, Crystal Fortwangler, Fred Furst, Michele Garrity, Matt Hoffman, Rick Hoffman, Tim Huber, Jeremy Intihar, Kristine Kappel, Jeff Kubay, Blaine Lucas, Steve McKnight, Mistey McMahon, Erinn Micklo, Stan Milavec, Allie Milkovich, Amy Miller, Erika Mills, Dale Morris, Diane Neff, Matt Procter, Robin Ruefle, Chris Sossong, Doug Spence, Tara Stricko, Marcelyn Thomas, Carrie Watt, Joseph Weidner, Jim Young, Greg Youra, Amy Zankey, and Christy Zoltun. Andmoragan Cody Thomas (left), a dual major in political science and history, was named the 2008 College Scholar in History. Annie is the daughter of Edward and Joyce Thomas of Hollsopple and a graduate of North Star High School. She has been inducted into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the Pi Sigma Alpha political science honor society, and Phi Alpha Theta history honor society. She is also the recipient of the Ayers-Korns Scholarship, the JoAnne Palumbo Perna Scholarship and the Cecil B. Leberknight Scholarship. Last summer she studied baroque art and architecture in Vienna under a Vira I. Heinz Women in Global Leadership Scholarship, and this coming fall will enter New England School of Law in Boston. Vicki Slagle, a dual political science and social sciences major from Johnstown, was named the 2008 College Scholar in Social Sciences. Vicki is the daughter of Marjorie and the late Russell Brinkerhoff of Chico, California, and a graduate of Vintage High School of Napa California. Vicki is a University Scholar, and has been inducted into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and the Pi Sigma Alpha national political science honor society. After her initial career in the military, Vicki began a second career as an analyst with the National Drug Intelligence Center in Johnstown and was able to complete her degree while working there full time.

                           Alexis Wieczorek Named 2008 Recipient of the Vannucci Award

The Albert P. Vannucci International Studies Award, named for the first director of International studies at UPJ and honoring superior achievement in the field of international studies, was presented to Alexis Wieczorek, daughter of Dr. J. Eric and Susan Wieczorek of Johnstown PA. Alexis is graduate of Forest Hills High School and a sophomore dual political science and communication major who is also in the international studies certificate program. She has been inducted into Phi Eta Sigma honor society and Sigma Alpha Pi National Society of Leadership and Success, serves as the Vice President for the Student Council on World Affairs, and is a member of both the Model European Union and Model United Nations teams. During the summer of 2007, Alexis was a recipient of an Albert P. Vannucci scholarship to study in Vienna and this summer received a Vira I. Heinz Scholarship for Women in Global Leadership to participate in a political development global service learning project in Bolivia this past May-June. After completion of the Bolivia project and one week at home, Alexis traveled to Austria to study at the SUC international summer university program on entrepreneurship and innovation, sponsored by the Austrian Chamber of Commerce.

UPJ Team Takes Two Top Honors in 6th annual Model European Union

The five-person UPJ team took two of the seven top honors in the University of Pittsburgh Model European Union simulation hosted by Washington and Jefferson College on February 15-16, 2008. Top delegate honors in the two-day simulation went to junior Jesper Nielsen, representing Denmark, with Bobak Karimi, representing France, receiving honorable mention. Junior Jeffrey Burtner, representing Austria, was also commended for strong performance. The UPJ contingent competed against teams from universities that host European Union Centers, including University of Washington-Seattle, Georgia Tech, University of Chicago/DePaul University, and the University of Pittsburgh, and also East Stroudsburg University and Washington and Jefferson College. The faculty advisor to the MEU team is Dr. Heinisch.                                            

                                                            Pi Sigma Alpha Inductions

 On April 22, 2008, the Kappa Beta Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society inducted the following students: Sarah Breyer, a junior political science major from Summerhill; John Hartman, a junior political science major from Pittsburgh; Adam Kovalchick, a senior political science major from Shelocta; George Medairy, a junior political science major from Holidaysburg; Jesper Nielsen, a junior political science major from Denmark; Julie Porterfield, a junior political science major from South Connellsville; Lori Skupaka, a junior political science major from Northern Cambria; Vicki Slagle, a senior dual major in political science and social sciences from Johnstown, Andmoragan Thomas, a senior dual major in political science and history from Hollsopple; and Stephen Wojnaroski, a junior political science major from Johnstown. The induction ceremony was held over pizza and pitchers of black-and-tan at Pappy’s Pub, site of the Chapter’s original induction ceremony in 1980.

Alumni News:

The following information on political science alumni is based on recent individual contacts and letters and supplements information already reported in the 1999-2007 issues of the Federalist Papers. Alumni not mentioned here or in those previous issues have defied discovery and/or we don’t have a current address for them. Some of those are listed below as Under Cover indicates that we’ve lost track of them – so feel free to reveal their whereabouts if you know where they are. The number of political science alumni now is somewhere around 480 and the Federalist Papers is mailed to over 400 with known current addresses and is also available on-line via the UPJ Political Science Department website.


Blaine Lucas ’78 with Babst, Calland, Clements & Zomnir in Pittsburgh specializing in municipal law, was named in Pittsburgh Magazine’s "Best Lawyers in America" for 2007-2008; John Rafferty ’75 long-time attorney in private practice in Montgomery County and one-time State Deputy Attorney General, is now in his second term as State Senator for Pennsylvania’s 44th Senatorial District. He serves as the chairman of the Senate Law & Justice Committee; James Sedlmeyer ’79 is entrusting his daughter Rebecca to the political science program at UPJ starting in the fall; Greg Youra ’79 is now with Holt Ney Zatcoff & Wasserman LLP in Atlanta.


John Aughenbaugh ’89 has completed his PhD in political Science at Virginia Tech, and is currently teaching political science and public administration at Virginia Commonwealth University; Linda Berardi-Demo (nee Berardinelli) ’85 is director of administration at the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh. She and John Demo (UPJ ’86) have two children; Lisa Fowler Caplinger ’87 is now the Export/Import Compliance Officer with Argon ST, Inc. in Fairfax VA; Fred Furst ’80, after many years practicing law in Denver and living in beautiful Boulder CO, is now with Rogers, Sheffield & Campbell LLC in Santa Barbara CA; Dennis Kane ’81 is now the Mayor of Ashland PA, apparently the only Republican to carry Ashland in any federal, state or local election. As Mayor, he is also authorized to perform weddings and has married eight couples so far; Denis Katchmeric ’80 remains with DOD in Washington DC analyzing Mid-east missile forces; Joachim (Joc) Knispel ’86 is currently Chief of Staff for National Security Agency in Georgia and U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel at Fort Gordon (GA); Stanley Milavec ’83 is co-founding partner of Mitts Milavec, LLC; Jim Vitalie ’81 was on campus last July bringing his youngest son to Pat Pecora’s wrestling camp; Christy Zoltun Donati ’85 has now completed two years at Widener School of Law in Wilmington DE.


Todd Anderson ’94 and his wife Denise (UPJ ’01) have a son Chase (b. 2006). Todd is still a partner with LeClair Ryan PC in Richmond, doing mostly healthcare litigation; David Antis ’90 is now Project Manager for infrastructure delivery and logistics with Asurion in Nashville TN. He also reports he and wife Kim now have a second kid (Augie) and he has started coaching t-ball; Len Benning ’95 is now with the Office of Emergency Preparedness in the U.S. Government Accountability Office in Washington DC; Patrick Flynn ’93 is Director of Human Resources with Pepsi Bottling Group in Somers NY, is married with four kids and living in a small town in Connecticut; Crystal Fortwangler ’93 has completed her joint PhD in Anthropology and Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan and has accepted a visiting assistant professor position in environmental studies at Oberlin College in Ohio. Her daughter Ruby Ann was born last summer; Steve McKnight ’90 is now with GSP Consulting and his wife Jeria is completing her PhD in information sciences at Penn State and will be teaching at Carnegie Mellon University. He reports three dogs but no kids; Mike Pacelli ’95 was ordained in the United Methodist Church and now serves as the Youth Director for the First Presbyterian Church in Greensburg; Kirsten Rafferty Taylor ’92 has been promoted to associate professor with tenure at Berry College (GA) and is co-author of Introduction to Global Politics (Routledge 2007). She and Ron, a mathematics professor at Berry, were married last December; Tammy Sarver ’90 has been promoted to associate professor of political science with tenure at Benedictine College in Chicago; Chad Serena ’96 is now a doctoral candidate at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, writing his dissertation in foreign and security policy; Tara Stricko-Neubauer ’99 recently published State High Court Judges: Institutional and Environmental Constraint (VDM 2008); Brett Wilmotte ’97, still with NDIC in Johnstown, is also serving as President of the Somerset County Young Democrats and been elected an inspector for elections in the county.


Amy Burger ’06 has been admitted into the PhD program in political science at West Virginia University; Kevin Chernosky ’02 is assistant district attorney in the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office in Pittsburgh; Andrew and Carolyn Dewey Roman ’05 have moved to Raleigh, both in public relations/advertising; Dan Flynn ’05 married Amelie Mazer (UPJ ’05) in the Whalley Chapel on campus last April; Brett Goda '07 enters Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego next fall; David Harbin and Mica Pilz ’03 were married in March 2007 and are living in Frederick MD; Jeremy Intihar ’05 is a statistician with MTS Technologies in Johnstown doing DOD, energy management and operations research work; Curtis Irwin ’08 will attend the Widener School of Law in Harrisburg next fall; Keli Knapp ‘03 and Kevin Neary ’03 were married in the Whalley Chapel on campus last July, and Keli is now an attorney with the Pennsylvania Gaming Enforcement Unit; Adam Kovalchick '08 begins graduate study at Slippery Rock next fall; Matt Leonard ‘07, while serving as constituent advocate in the Harrisburg office of U.S. Senator Bob Casey, has begun work on his law degree at Widener School of Law; Quentin and Mistey McMahon Metzer ’00 now have second kid, a son Aiden, born last summer; Nick Olson ’07 is completed his secondary education certification in social studies at the University of Pittsburgh and is teaching in Richmond VA; Amy and Paul Rutledge ’03 had a second son Benjamin in 2008. He is still completing his graduate degree in political science at West Virginia University and has accepted a one-year position starting this fall at Marshall University in West Virginia, teaching American politics and public policy; Chad Sichak '08 has taken a middle school position in social studies in Wilson NC next fall; Vicki Slagle ’08 continues her career as an analyst with the National Drug Intelligence Center in Johnstown; Annie Thomas ’08 will attend the New England College of Law in Boston this coming fall; Leonard Vigna ’02 is an associate with Kaminsky, Thomas, Wharton and Lovette in Johnstown; Rhianon Visinsky ’00 is in the Masters program in English at Arcadia University in Philadelphia; Jennifer Wahlen ’05 will begin graduate study part-time in the Government Department at Johns Hopkins starting in the fall, while continuing full-time at the National Association of Federal Credit Unions in Arlington VA.

Under Cover – No contact and no current address, electronic or otherwise, for these alums:

    Camberis, Carol ‘79         Fisher, Wade ’86             Reber, Joann ‘85
    Cohen, Paul ’75              Markham, Glenn ‘80         Santiso, Anthony ‘96
    Dennis, Aycha ‘94         McCabe, William ’96       Skelly, Kimberly ‘82
    Donahue, Dan ’81          McClure, Rob ’75             Smith, Matt ‘’83

Notes:   James Alexander has an article on the English origins of 19th century laws of blasphemous and obscene libel forthcoming (2008) in the John Marshall Law Review. His standing offer of a free brew to pre-1995 alums at the main FolkFest pub at the new Johnstown Festival Park over Labor Day weekend is still in effect. He is the FolkFest photographer and can be found buzzing around the sound stages. Reinhard Heinisch spend the first part of the summer leading his third Amizade global service learning student group in Bolivia and is currently in Austria directing the SUC international summer university program in July-August. In April 2008, he delivered the keynote address on new right-wing populism in the European in an international context at the Salzburg International Symposium for Comparative European Politics. Ray Wrabley has two articles forthcoming on federal public lands grazing policies in Land, Resources, and Environmental Law (2009) and Public Lands and Resources Raw Review (2008) and has developed a new special topics course on public lands policy that will be offered for the first time in the fall. Jem Spectar, the new UPJ President, has a law degree and a PhD in political science.


Any alums interested in participating in the Heritage Square Project, which inscribes commemorative bricks in several small plazas between Krebs and Biddle Halls, should contact Dr. Alexander and he’ll send some information. A number of political science alums have planted message or commemorative bricks already, and six now fete those who have scratched and clawed their way to a PhD.

Appreciation goes out:

To all those of you who have kept in touch periodically over the years, or dropped by the campus to say hello, or sent in the alumni survey and added a nice note of greetings; to those of you who hail us down and say hello on the Oakland campus, or in the strip district or on the south side of Pittsburgh, or even meandering around in Washington DC. And a special thanks to those of you who have made contributions to Pitt-Johnstown through the Johnstown Educational Foundation, and dedicated your gift to political science, international studies, or to the Albert P. Vannucci Study Abroad Fund. Those extra funds help us to develop and present current affairs symposia on campus, to support current students traveling to such events in Pittsburgh, or to Model European Union or Model United Nations competitions, or to support students studying abroad. Recent recipients of Vannucci Study Abroad Scholarship Fund assistance include Rachel Abraham (Bolivia), Mark Caruso (Lancaster, UK)Devon Casti (Bolivia), Timothy Craft (Navajo Nation), Melissa Dorer (Australia), Heather Evans (Wordsworth Workshop at Dove College, UK), Sara Factor (Vienna), Benjamin Flanagan (Wales), Alex Gorshenin (Moscow), John Hartman (Bolivia), Shirley Hixson (Vienna), Erica Hutchinson (London), Patrick Johnson (Bolivia), Emmalie King (Italy, London), Matthew Leonard (Bolivia), Erika Mills (Vienna), Jeremy Myers (Australia), Jesper Nielsen (Bolivia), Tiffany Rossi (Bolivia), Ian Shirt (Bolivia), Bethany Simunich (Vienna), Christine Skutch (Rome), Christopher Solomon (Bolivia), Katharine Thomas (Spain), Alexis Wieczorek (Vienna), Shawn Willis (Lancaster, UK), Salina Wolfe (Spain), Justin Young (Prague), and Jonathan Youngwirth (Berlin).

Upcoming Issues of the Federalist Papers

This issue of the Federalist Papers is being mailed to all alumni of the UPJ Political Science program for whom we think we still have a good mailing address. We now have around 490 graduates going back to 1974 and we have yet to find and make contact with them all, and then there are those who have changed jobs and/or moved and we don’t know that. Keep in touch and update us on what you’re doing, at zander@pitt.edu, or heinisch@pitt.edu or rbw@pitt.edu. If you are in touch with other political science alums, please prod them into getting in touch with us or at least give us a good working mailing address for them. And if you know anything about someone on our Under Cover list, let us know.

July 2008