Class Notes: Spring/Summer 2019-20

’50s

PATSY (STRATTON) SCHROEDER MDS’59 became an internet sensation when a video of her singing and playing her ukulele while sheltering in place at home in Naples, Florida, was shared by her granddaughter Maggie Schroeder ’12 on Facebook, and picked up by Milwaukee Magazine. Check out the video at www.usmtoday.org/patsy.

’60s

ROB WATSON ’67 won the 70–74 age group division for the 2019 Ironman Barcelona with a time of 12 hours and 10 minutes. The event consisted of a 2.4-mile swim in the Mediterranean Sea, a 112-mile bike ride, and a full marathon (26.2 miles). His finish qualified him for the 2020 Ironman World Championship in Kailua Kona, Hawaii (postponed to February 2021). Five weeks after Ironman Barcelona, he won his age group at the Long Course Aquabike National Championship (1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride) in Miami, which qualified him for the 2020 Aquabike World Championships in Amsterdam.

’70s

JOHN SCHEINFELD ’71 wrote and directed “The Happy Days of Gary Marshall,” which premiered on ABC in April. Scheinfeld is a critically-acclaimed documentary filmmaker, writer, director, and producer with a broad range of subjects and productions to his credit, including “Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary,” “The U.S. vs. John Lennon,” and “Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)?”

’80s

STEFFIANNA (MAJOR) BAKER ’83 wrote, “A photo of me and Sandy Lanier-Thompson ’81 meeting one of our sports heroes, the great Oscar Robertson, at Fiserv Forum in November 2019. Sandy and I played on the USM basketball team for two years. I was junior varsity and she was varsity. Sandy was the bomb—she had THE MOVES. We’ve enjoyed attending Bucks games together the past few years.”

MARGARET (GREBE) LIDSTONE ’89 has been named vice president and chief development officer for Vivent Health in Milwaukee. Lidstone is responsible for Vivent Health’s nationwide fundraising and philanthropic partnerships.

DIPAK MAHATO ’89 is the founder and CEO of SeaChange Technologies, which won the 2020 Global Change Award for “Zero Sludge” technology, which separates and cleans wastewater to eliminate toxic sludge in landfills.

’90s

LAFAYETTE CRUMP ’91 served as USM’s Class of 2020 Commencement speaker, and is also the 2020 recipient of USM’s Alumni Service Award. In addition, he was recently appointed the commissioner of city development by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Crump is managing member of Crump Law Firm, chief operating officer
of Prism Technical, adjunct professor of law at Marquette University, and the deputy chief of staff and chief diversity, vendor and engagement officer for the Milwaukee 2020 DNC Host Committee. He also served on USM’s Alumni Association board, is a USM Fund donor and former phone-a-thon volunteer, and served as USM’s career services networking and mentorship advisor.

MARC BALCER ’92 spoke at the National Association of Independent School’s Annual Conference in Philadelphia in February. His topic was “How to Meditate When You Don’t Have Time.” Balcer is the Upper and Middle School SEED teacher at The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.

AMY DUCHELLE ’93 was recently recognized as one of “16 Women Restoring the Earth” by the Global Landscapes Forum, which is the world’s largest platform on integrated land use dedicated to achieving the Paris Climate Agreement and sustainable development goals. Duchelle is climate change team leader and senior scientist at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). “This international recognition is not only a tribute to my work with CIFOR, but also to the exceptional formative education that I received at University School many years ago,” she said.

DR. LOUELLA AMOS ’95 (pictured here with Charlie Housiaux ’02, dean of students) visited Upper School students in February to talk about the health risks associated with vaping. Amos is a pediatric pulmonologist with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and assistant professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin.


CHRISTINA (WILSON) BERGER ’96 launched a GoFundMe campaign, in partnership with friend Preetha Kurudiyara, called Feed Our Frontline Hospital Staff MKE, on March 28. The campaign collected donations to purchase meals from local restaurants that can be delivered to various hospital staff in Milwaukee during the COVID-19 crisis. As of mid-June, it had raised more than $36,000 and provided more than 5,000 meals to local hospitals.

MAAYAN SILVER ’96 visited students in Upper School English Teacher Katherine Zilka’s Digital Journalism class to discuss her career as a reporter with WUWM 89.7. Silver, who previously served as a criminal defense attorney before pursuing a journalism career in 2016, spoke with students about the challenges of radio reporting and condensing content, and also shared best practices for interviewing subjects, obtaining audio, and editing stories.

ALLISON KRAUSEN ’98 completed the California International Marathon in 2 hours and 41 minutes on Dec. 6, 2019. The time qualified her to participate in the Olympic team trials in the marathon category on Feb. 29 in Atlanta. Krausen finished the team trial in 2 hours and 46 minutes, placing her 321st out of 565 participants. “It’s a huge honor to be a part of that race; just getting to toe the line with all the top runners in the country
is pretty special,” she said. Krausen and her family live in Edwards, Colorado.

’00s

CHRISTOPHER CHAN ’00 was recently profiled in “UWM Report” for his extensive knowledge and love of Agatha Christie novels. After discovering her as a Middle School student at USM, Chan now writes for AgathaChristie.com and serves as an international goodwill ambassador for the website. Chan earned a master’s degree in library and information studies from UW-Milwaukee, a doctorate in history from Marquette University, teaches courses online, and substitute teaches at USM.

HISONNI JOHNSON ’01 co-wrote and directed an independent film called “Take Out Girl,” which had its world premiere at the Cinequest Film Festival in March. Johnson studied with acclaimed Chicago photographer David VanderVeen, and amassed an impressive portfolio of commercials, along with an affinity for still photography and film. He has worked professionally in nearly every crew position there is in both television and film, and created two original television pilots, “Fight Night Legacy” and “Olympia,” and a pilot six-episode season called “Grayson: Earth One,” which takes on the origins of the DC comic hero, Nightwing.

DR. CHRISTIN REMINGA ’04 accepted a position as criticalist, emergency and critical care DVM manager, at DoveLewis Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Hospital in Portland, Oregon. Reminga finished her three-year veterinary residency in emergency and critical care medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in 2016, and is proud to be one of 600 veterinary critical care specialists (criticalists) in the world. After earning her doctorate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she completed an emergency medical internship in New York City. She then began her specialty career in private practice with a focus on department development, creating a state-of-the-art ICU in Seattle, prior to her work with DoveLewis. She credits USM with helping her develop a foundation for collaboration, motivation, and investigative learning.

BENJAMIN JURKEN ’06 and his wife, Abby, welcomed daughter Genevieve Anne Jurken, on April 11.


CRISTINA COSTANTINI ʼ07 co-directed a new movie, “Mucho Mucho Amor,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January. The film explores the life of extravagant Puerto Rican astrologer, psychic, and gender-nonconforming legend Walter Mercado, and will stream on Netflix this summer.

Members of the Class of 2008 (from left) David Havens, Sanjay Hariharan, Andrew Seter, Ryan Khanna, and Andrew Nelson, met up over the holidays in December 2019.

’10s

(From left) Lucy Bartlett ’11, Jenna Seter ’12, Djdade Denson ’14, and James Shovers ’11 joined members of the USM Board of Trustees for an off-site meeting in early March, where they provided insight into the benefits of their USM education and their USM connections as alumni, and how they felt the school prepared them for success in life after college. The panelists also had round-table discussions with trustees, where they answered additional questions.

JUSTICE KELLY ’16 plays as a defensive end with the North Dakota State University football team, which finished the first 16-0 season in modern college football history in January. It was NDSU’s eighth national title in nine seasons—the most championships by any school in Division I FCS history. Kelly will be a senior majoring in business administration.


HANNAH ENGEL ’17 is the recipient of Marquette University’s Diederich College of Communication scholars award for corporate communication, which is given to the junior with the highest GPA in his or her major.


BENNETT HUFFMAN ’18 helped to develop an app called NOVID, which is a tool to help anonymously trace user’s exposure to both direct and indirect carriers of COVID-19, and alert them well before they are symptomatic. It is available on Android and iOS, learn more at www.novid.org.

’20s

MIA BUCHBAND ’20 served as the international vice president of BBYO, a global Jewish leadership organization serving over 80,000 teens annually in more than 50 countries. Buchband served as one of two teen coordinators for BBYO’s International Convention, which brought together over 5,000 teens, alumni, educators, and philanthropists for a weekend in February.


ADAM MALIK ’20 was named the 2020 recipient of USM’s Frank S. Spigener Service and Leadership Award, which recognizes a graduating senior for outstanding service and leadership. Malik has worked on a variety of projects, including teaching English to children in an orphanage in Pakistan, tutoring with Our Next Generation, volunteering with SEA Literacy, and becoming a member of the Borgen Project, which addresses global poverty.

Alumni Visits

The USM Alumni Association had a great time catching up with alumni this spring, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Be sure to visit www.usmk12.org/alumni for dates of upcoming events. We hope to see you soon!

Alumni who live in Atlanta, (from left) Merlina and Demetrius ’92 Patterson, Candace Walther ’17, Vanessa Nerbun, John Ladky ’70, Leah Wabiszewski, and Rawlings Joerres ’10, enjoyed meeting up and sharing memories from their USM days.

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