Domers in the News (Spring 2008)

Author: Notre Dame Magazine staff

Former Notre Dame women’s basketball center and WNBA All Star Ruth Riley ’01 went to Mali, West Africa, last December as part of the United Nations Foundation’s “Nothing But Nets” campaign, a global grassroots effort to prevent malaria. Riley was part of a U.S. delegation that delivered 133,000 long-lasting, insecticide-treated mosquito nets. More than 2 million bed nets will eventually be distributed as part of the campaign. . . . A ferocious fish that lived 95 million years ago in what is now Morocco has been named after Mark Pankowski ’88. The new species, Cladocyclus pankowskii, was named after the public relations consultant in Washington, D.C., in honor of his role in discovering it. An amateur paleontologist, Pankowski bought the fossil from a dealer on the Internet and, since he had never seen anything like it, donated it to the Smithsonian Institution. After a year of study, a scientist at London’s Natural History Museum concluded the fossil represented a new species and named it after Pankowski, using the scientific convention of adding an extra “i” when naming a species after someone’s last name. . . . Stone Grissom ’00J.D., an attorney and former news anchor at KMIZ-TV in Columbia, Missouri, will be part of the defense team in an infamous Missouri murder trial. Steven Rios, a Columbia police officer convicted of murdering a University of Missouri student with whom the police officer had an affair, will be retried because an appeals court ruled two hearsay statements in the original trial were inadmissable. . . . Architect Marianne Cusato ’97, known for her Katrina Cottage design of inexpensive homes developed for hurricane victims, has been ranked as the fourth most influential person in the home building industry by BUILDER magazine. Her book, The Value of Design, which focuses on the way design impacts home value and quality of life, was recently published by James Hardie Building Products. . . . Rev. James Grummer, S.J., ’85M.A., ’89Ph.D. was recently re-appointed as one of 10 regional assistants to Jesuit Father General Adolfo Nicolás. Grummer had served the previous father general since 2005 as assistant for the United States. Prior to that he had been the Jesuit provincial for the Wisconsin Province, which includes a seven-state region in the upper Midwest. . . . Robert J. Welsh Jr. ’56 has been inducted into the inaugural class of the Northwest Indiana Business and Industry Hall of Fame. Welsh, Inc., a multistate business selling petroleum products through convenience stores and travel centers, was sold to Speedway and Flying J several years ago. . . . John J. Biancamano ’76J.D. has been named Ohio University’s interim director of legal affairs. . . . Wayne County (Michigan) prosecutor Kym Worthy ’84J.D. was in the national news after she launched a criminal investigation into possible perjury charges against Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick regarding an affair with his former chief of staff. . . . Patrick J. Morgan ’76M.A. has been appointed county attorney by the Augusta (Georgia) County Board of Supervisors. . . . David Hannah ’62, who directed the Houston Marathon for 23 years before retiring in 2002, was profiled in the Houston Chronicle on the occasion of his induction into Running USA’s Hall of Champions, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the sport. . . . Dennis Hanno ’77, the undergraduate dean at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts,was profiled in The Boston Globe in February for his work in Ghana. For the past eight years he has been leading groups of American students to the African nation to help with economic development through entrepreneurship projects. In 2006 he established a nonprofit organization, the Nyansa Project (, to stimulate economic development in Ghana. . . . Brian W. Casey ’85, former Harvard University associate dean for academic affairs in the faculty of Arts and Sciences, was named the 19th president of Indiana’s DePauw University. . . . Two Notre Dame alumni are involved with the newly established Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship in Lexington, Kentucky, founded to advance the principles and practices of the 19th century Kentucky statesman known as the “Great Compromiser” for his ability to bring about political compromise. William Hudson Giles ’97 is co-chairman and treasurer of the center’s board while former U.S. Ambassador Carey Cavanaugh ’78M.A., director of the University of Kentucky’s Patterson School of Diplomacy, serves as a board member. . . . Terry Malik ’73 retired in March as a senior partner with the Chicago law firm of Winston & Strawn to become the first male president of Guerin Prep High School in River Grove, Illinois. Originally established as a girls’ school under the sponsorship of the Sisters of Providence, Guerin turned co-ed in 2004. . . . In March Stephen Zakas ’07 was awarded a five-month internship and scholarship with the German Bundestag (parliament). Zakas is one of 115 recent college graduates from 25 nations to receive an International Parliamentary Scholarship through which he will observe the German political process and study at one of three German universities. . . . Abby Dils ’00 was featured in a story on career change in the Chicago Tribune. Dils, who worked for a Fortune 500 company in human resources following graduation, says she felt more drawn to a social service career even though it meant a 35 percent pay cut. She now is a counselor in Bridges, a program sponsored by the Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities. . . New Jersey State Senator Walter Kavanaugh ’55 passed away in January. Speaking of the longtime legislator known for his dedication and kindness, former New Jersey Governor Christie Whitman said, “He was one of those people who really cared.”. . . In January, President Bush named Jeffrey Lungren ’95 to be special assistant to the president for legislative affairs. He formerly had served as deputy assistant to the vice president for legislative affairs. . . . Dr. Mary Beth Schueth-Cain ’85, an Indianapolis physician and former Notre Dame women’s basketball player, was recently inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. . . . Notre Dame is tied with Syracuse and Fordham for having the most alumni broadcasting NBA games. The Notre Dame announcers are George Blaha ’66 (Detroit Pistons), Austin Carr ’71 (Cleveland Cavaliers), Bob Fitzgerald ’88 (Golden State Warriors), Tim Kempton ’86 (Phoenix Suns) and Pete Pranica ’86 (Memphis Grizzlies). . . . In February former Ohio Governor J*ohn J. Gilligan ‘43*, former director of Notre Dame’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, and Joseph Pichler ’61, former CEO of the Kroger Company, were presented the Great Living Cincinnatians Award by the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce. The two Notre Dame alums were cited for their dedication to education and compassion. . . . Former Notre Dame football players Tom Zbikowski ’07 and Jeff Samardzija were among 27 athletes featured in a 1-minute commercial for Under Armour footwear that appeared during the Super Bowl. Zbikowski convinced the company to donate shoes and athletic apparel to Chicago’s Leo High School football team.