Domers in the News

Author: The editors | Illustrations by Emmett Baggett

Michael Sherwin ’98J.D., is at the center of one of the most unusual legal cases in American history. Beginning with his brief term of service as acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, he has been responsible for prosecuting more than 300 people from 40 states associated with the storming of the U.S. Capitol building on January 6. “What makes this case, in particular, unprecedented and unusual and extremely complex is the fact that after the event, obviously thousands of people went back to their home districts,” Sherwin told reporters in January. “And that has complicated things.” . . .

Domers Farrow
Kimberly Farrow

Kimberly Farrow ’99 produced such excellent results in 16 months as interim president and CEO of Central City Integrated Health that the board of the nonprofit organization, which provides medical care as well as housing and employment support for vulnerable populations in the Detroit area, appointed her to the permanent position. Farrow, who joined the organization in 2016 as chief medical officer and vice president of clinical operations, implemented a strategic plan as interim president to stabilize the organization’s finances and expanded its community partnerships, a particular challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic. . . . Otakuye Conroy-Ben ’98, assistant professor of environmental engineering at Arizona State University, is leading initiatives to support tribal communities that have suffered a disproportionate burden during the pandemic. Funding from the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health has allowed Conroy-Ben, the first member of the Lakota tribe to earn a doctorate in environmental engineering, to develop research and outreach programs focused on testing wastewater in reservation sewage systems to detect the prevalence of the coronavirus. . . . Margaret Scharle ’95 struggled to help her 90-year-old mother navigate Oregon’s complicated COVID-19 vaccination appointment system. In the process, Scharle uncovered inequities that inspired her to establish an outreach program at her Portland parish, St. Mary Magdalene. The project soon expanded to other faith communities and service organizations, the Reed College philosopher says, promoting vaccine access and acceptance among thousands of older people, many of whom are low-income or have disabilities. . . . Founder Sport Group, led by CEO John Anton ’93, donated more than $815,000 from sales of masks to provide resources for first responders. When the pandemic began, Founder shifted some of its production from performance apparel to the masks, donating 100 percent of proceeds to the All Clear Foundation, which supports the health and well-being of law enforcement, firefighters, EMTs and others on the front lines of crisis-support services. . . .

Domers Merfield
Danielle Merfeld

Danielle Merfeld ’94 acknowledged in a 2019 profile in this magazine that she sometimes sees a flicker of disbelief in people’s eyes when she tells them what she does for a living. Being a woman in engineering still raises the occasional eyebrow, but Merfeld’s success and influence as vice president and chief technology officer for GE Renewable Energy prompted her election in February to the National Academy of Engineering “for leadership and development of products for large wind turbines and solar photovoltaic systems.” . . . As a University of Colorado anthropologist for more than three decades, J. Terrence McCabe ’70 has studied how the Turkana and Maasai people of Africa have adapted to environmental and social change. McCabe’s work was recognized with his selection as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. “I have learned a lot from my colleagues,” McCabe said upon receiving the distinction, “and even more from the African people who have let me into their lives and have given generously of their time and incredible knowledge of the ecosystems in which they live.” . . . Mark Madrid ’15MNA left his position as CEO of the Latino Business Action Network to work under President Joe Biden. In February, Madrid became associate administrator for the Office of Entrepreneurial Development at the Small Business Administration. . . . Working from his bedroom, staring at screens, bothering to wear professional attire only from the waist up. In those ways, Mike Monaco ’15 has had a pandemic experience similar to many. But the difference from his usual work environment has been more stark than most. Monaco has been broadcasting sports for ESPN from his bedside, a far cry from the arena atmosphere he was accustomed to before COVID-19 hit. “We get the backdrop situated so that it looks somewhat presentable, like I’m not sequestered in my bedroom, and we go from there,” the Massachusetts native told . . . Lt. Gen. Bryan Fenton ’87, who served as senior military assistant to the U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, has been promoted. In January, the former deputy commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command became commander, Joint Special Operations Command and commander, Joint Special Operations Command Forward of the U.S. Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. . . .

Domers Fennelly
Beth Ann Fennelly

Beth Ann Fennelly ’93, poet laureate of Mississippi, received a $50,000 fellowship from the Academy of American Poets. The fellowship recognizes her literary work (most recently, Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs) and her activism in promoting reading and writing across her state. . . . When a large number of high school students register for an event at the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh, the staff attributes the influx to James Lucot ’94MSA. The high school history and government teacher, and source of the aforementioned “James Lucot Effect,” has been named the Holocaust Center’s Educator of the Year. “We are impressed that he never stops learning, recently completing a master’s degree in Holocaust Studies for which he traveled the country visiting Holocaust memorials,” the center’s executive director, Lauren Apter Bairnsfather, said of Lucot, who is also the author of the 2018 memoir My Prison Had No Bars: A Child Surviving in Silence. . . . Dan Santucci ’06 has worked for several years at one of his alma maters as a Notre Dame development director. Now he’s returning to his other alma mater. In February, the former Notre Dame and NFL offensive lineman was named president of Saint Patrick High School, Chicago’s oldest all-boys Catholic high school. . . . Danny White ’03 stepped into a difficult situation as the new athletic director at the University of Tennessee. White, who developed a reputation as an innovative administrator in five years as AD at the University of Central Florida, replaced Tennessee legend Phillip Fulmer and inherited a vacant football coaching position after the firing of Jeremy Pruitt. White hired Josh Heupel, who he worked with at UCF, then set about the business of leading all Volunteers programs to the Rocky Top. . . .

Domers Taylor
Aaron Taylor

Aaron Taylor ’94 was a two-time All-American, a team captain and a first-round pick in the 1994 NFL Draft, so the former Notre Dame offensive lineman’s selection to the College Football Hall of Fame in January might have been a foregone conclusion, but was a moment of nostalgic celebration nonetheless. The 1993 Lombardi Award winner will be inducted with the rest of the 2021 class in December, becoming the 48th Notre Dame player in the hall, the most of any school.