Domers in the News (Winter 2007–08)

Author: John Monczunski

Marathon runner Ryan Shay ’02 collapsed and died November 3 while competing in the U.S. Olympic team trials in New York City. An All-American track star at Notre Dame, Shay won the NCAA national title for 10,000 meters in 2001. After graduation he became a five-time national road-racing champion. Hundreds of mourners wearing blue-and-gold lapel ribbons with the ND logo attended his three-hour funeral in East Jordan, a tiny town in northern Michigan. Speaking at the funeral, Joe Piane, Shay’s ND coach, said “focus, discipline and sacrifice” were the words that best described the young athlete. . . . Rohan Gunaratna ’97, the author of Inside al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror and an associate professor at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, testified for the prosecution as an expert witness at the trial of Jose Padilla, accused of plotting to detonate a radioactive “dirty bomb.” . . . In November, Indianapolis Colts punter Hunter Smith ’99 appeared on the cable TV Gospel Music Channel program Front Row Live. Performing as the Christian acoustic rock duo Connersvine, Smith and a friend played music from their recently released debut CD. . . . Christina Rodriguez ’90 was featured in the July 2007 issue of Money magazine. The story deals with her struggle with multiple sclerosis and managing personal finances. . . . James Otteson ’90, professor of economics and philosophy at Yeshiva University, received the 2007 first place Templeton Enterprise Award for his book Actual Ethics. The annual award from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute is presented to scholars under 40 for the best books and articles in humane economics and culture. . . . Alison Bryant ’00 recently qualified for the U.S. Women’s marathon Olympic team trials, to be held in Boston in April. In 1999, she was the Big East Conference 10,000-meter champion and an NCAA All-American. . . . Harry Oliver ’83, who became a legend when his last second 51-yard game-winning field goal defeated Michigan in 1980, died of cancer in August. . . . William Sadlier Dinger ’63 and his wife, Maureen Dinger, received the Catholic Guardian Society’s Child of Peace Award in September. Dinger is president of the catechetical publishing company William H. Sadlier, Inc. . . . Mark Hexamer ’94 recently launched the Internet company, which allows people to freely trade their old books, dvds and video games. . . . William H. Turner ’71 M.A, ’74Ph.D., chair of the Appalachian Studies Program at Berea College, was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame in September. . . . Illinois Supreme Court Justice Bob Thomas ’74 received an apology and a reported $3 million out-of-court settlement from the Kane County Chronicle in October. The former Fighting Irish and Chicago Bears kicker sued the newspaper over two columns that he contended had libeled him. . . . F. Joseph Loughrey ’71, president and chief operating officer of Cummins, Inc., was recently honored by the Ireland Chamber of Commerce in the United States at its 2007 American Celtic Ball. . . . Scott Friedman ’94 has been named weekend morning anchor at KXAS-TV, the NBC affiliate in Dallas/Fort Worth. . . . Neil Punsalan ’00 founded the Internet entertainment company, which features short videos ranging from comedy sketches to live music. The entertainment website recorded 25 million hits in its first nine months of operation. . . . Thomas F. Degnan Jr. ’73, manager of breakthrough and new leads technology at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Co., was named a “Hero of Chemistry” by the American Chemical Society, recognizing his achievements in catalytic chemistry. . . . Jian Yi ’98M.A. was awarded the Bronze Zenith Prize at the Montreal World Film Festival for his fiction feature film Dong Sun (Bamboo Shoots). The independent filmmaker will begin a Starr Foundation artist-in-residence fellowship from March to August 2008 under the auspices of the Asian Cultural Council. . . . Chandra Johnson ’96, former assistant to then-Notre Dame President Edward A. Malloy, CSC, and former associate director of campus ministry, has become the executive director of the An-Bryce Foundation in McLean, Virginia. The group works to cultivate future leaders from amongst society’s most socio-economically disadvantaged young people. . . . Joseph Tedesco ’72 has been named the new dean of the University of Houston’s Cullen College of Engineering. . . . Coquese Washington ’92, ’97J.D., is the new women’s head basketball coach at Penn State University. . . . And Billy Taylor ’95, former men’s head basketball coach at Lehigh University, is now head coach at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. . . . Also named a head basketball coach is Kristin Cole ’94. The former Fighting Irish player now heads the University of New Hampshire’s women’s team. . . . Maura A. McCauley ’98, a director in Heartland Human Care Services, Inc., was recognized as a “young, emerging leader in the fight against racism and poverty” by the Community Renewal Society of Chicago. She has worked with the homeless for 10 years. . . . The History News Network has named Baylor University associate professor Thomas Kidd ’01Ph.D. a Top Young Historian. He is a specialist in 18th century North American history, especially evangelical Christianity in colonial America. . . . Renee LaReau ’96, ’00M.Div., recently won three writing awards from the Catholic Press Association. “Uncommon Choir,” about the Notre Dame Folk Choir, won first place for best feature in the national newspaper category and second place for best reporting on young adults. She won a second place award for her profile of a documentary filmmaker. . . . Architect Patricia A. Craig ’82 was featured in the July/August issue of Natural Home magazine in a story about her environmentally friendly home design. She also was featured in the November issue of Cooking Light magazine as the architect of the magazine’s 2007 “Fit House.” . . . Dr. Frederick C. Morin III ’72 has been named dean of the University of Vermont’s College of Medicine. Previously he had been chair of pediatrics at the University of Buffalo. . . . Col. Daniel Bruno ’81 recently was named garrison commander at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. With the new assignment, he serves essentially as the “mayor” of West Point. . . . Chicago Mayor Richard Daley recently nmed former Irish and Chicago Bears defensive tackle Chris Zorich ’91, ’02J.D., to the Chicago Public Library Board. . . . Selim Ilter ’78MBA is the new dean of the Ronald L. Bittner School of Business at Saint John Fisher College in Rochester, New York. . . . Scott Demorest ’93MBA, co-founder of ACME Business Consulting, has been named by the U.S. Small Business Administration as Oregon’s 2007 Small Business Person of the Year.