Class Notes

Class Notes
Sesto J. Voce ’56
Rancho Palos Verdes, California
Sesto is enjoying traveling and spending time with his family in the Los Angeles area. He retired from TRW Systems after 31 years with the company. “In life, when everything is said and done, what remains is your family and the relationship you established with it,” he writes.  “I do go to the gym to stay in shape. My wife and I enjoy our travels to Europe. We also enjoy our travels with my four children and my eight grandchildren. I don't do much technical work anymore. I'm enjoying my family and God's creation.”

Class Notes
William R. King, MS '62, PhD '64
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 
Bill recently received the Marquis Who's Who Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his achievements and leadership in management science and information systems.  He retired in 2008 with the rank of University Professor from the University of Pittsburgh, where he taught in the graduate school of business for more than 40 years and redesigned the doctoral program. Bill and Fay, his wife of 62 years, are now "snowbirds" who winter in Florida and spend summers in Pittsburgh's Fox Chapel Borough.

Class Notes
Thomas E. Sampson ’63
Carefree, Arizona
Tom has been awarded the Vincent J. DeVito Distinguished Service Award by The Institute of Nuclear Materials Management.  The award recognizes his many technical contributions and achievements in the development of gamma spectrometry systems for nuclear safeguards.

Class Notes
Kenneth First ’71
Midland, Michigan
Ken recently retired from the Dow Chemical Company and is a part-time staff consultant with the AIChE Center for Chemical Process Safety and a part-time lecturer at the University of Michigan. In February, he addressed the Mid-Michigan Section of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and talked about process safety. Ken earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Case Institute of Technology.

Class Notes
Aklilu Demessie ’77, MS ‘81
Hudson, Ohio
Aklilu, a retired senior engineer with Goodrich Landing Gear in Cleveland, was honored by the Ethiopian Crown Council for a lifetime of achievement in community service with the Knight Grand Cross from Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie, the grandson of Emperor Haile Selassie.

Class Notes
Stephen Mraz ’79
Cleveland, Ohio
Steve was named senior editor of Hydraulics & Pneumatics, a trade publication of Endeavor Business Media. For more than 30 years Steve has been writing on engineering management, fastening and joining, tribology, motion control, materials and mechanical engineering. He earned his biomedical engineering degree from Case Institute of Technology, then entered the Navy, where he flew as a Naval flight officer in an airborne early warning squadron.

Class Notes
Andrew Wasynczuk '79, MS '79
Westwood, Massachusetts 
Andy shared his memories of Case as part of a 50th anniversary video commemoration of university athletics. He played soccer and threw the javelin for the Spartans while earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering. He became a top executive for the New England Patriots and today is a senior lecturer at the Harvard Business School. In 2014, Andy received the Meritorious Service Award from the Case Alumni Association. He shares his story at

Class Notes
Thomas Botzman, ’81, PhD

Alliance, Ohio
Tom was named the 13th president of the University of Mount Union, starting in July 2020. He will step down as president of Misericordia University in Dallas, Pennsylvania. A former Mount Union faculty member and administrator, Tom began his career with a bachelor’s degree in polymer and macromolecular engineering from Case Institute of Technology. He worked in private industry before joining academia, including as a polymer engineer for Goodyear, and is the inventor on 12 patents.  

Class Notes
James Zizelman ’82, MS ’84
Rochester Hills, Michigan 
Jim has been named president of the Control Devices Division of Stoneridge, Inc., a maker of electrical and electronic components for the automotive industry headquartered in Novi, Michigan. He’s responsible for driving product development, innovation strategy and technical vision. Previously, Jim supported Stoneridge as a consultant, was vice president of engineering at Aptiv, and worked for more than 20 years at Delphi. He earned bachelor’s and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from Case.

Class Notes
Michael Coyle ’83
Minneapolis, Minnesota 
Michael was elected to the board of directors of Boston-based Haemonetics Corporation, a global medical technology company focused on hematology. He’s the Executive Vice President and Group President of the Cardiac and Vascular Group for Medtronic, where he oversees four of the company's business divisions. Michael holds six U.S. patents related to cardiovascular medical device products and technologies. He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Case Institute of Technology and is an advisor to the BME Think Tank of the Case School of Engineering.

Class Notes
Anthony Ignagni ’83, MS ’89
Oberlin, Ohio 
Anthony is the co-founder and CEO of Synapse Biomedical of Oberlin, Ohio, a medical device company helping fight the coronavirus pandemic. In April, the FDA gave emergency approval to its neurostimulation device that helps wean patients off of ventilators. Synopsis was founded in 2002 with technology developed at CWRU and University Hospitals. Anthony earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biomedical engineering from the Case School of Engineering.
Class notes
Gregory F. Shay ’83, MS ’91
Mentor, Ohio 
Greg won a technical Emmy in the 71st Annual Technology and Engineering Emmy Awards by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. His Emmy was to be presented in Las Vegas in April but the awards ceremony has been postponed because of the pandemic. Greg is the CTO at the Telos Alliance in downtown Cleveland. The award recognizes broadcast technology that he helped develop and that has become an industry standard.  

Class Notes
Susan Bagen ’86
Plano, Texas
Susan is an Application Development Manager at Micro Systems Technologies, in Plano, Texas, and has extensive experience as a process and product engineering consultant focused on electronic applications. She holds five U.S. patents. Susan earned her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Case.

Class Notes
John Wiencek, MS  ’86, PhD ’89 
Moscow, Idaho 
John, an accomplished chemical and biochemical engineer, has been named provost and executive vice president at the University of  Akron and is coming home. The Portage Lakes native, provost at the University of Idaho for the past six years, starts his new job May 29. John will serve as second-in-command at the university, reporting directly to the president and overseeing academics and the faculty. A professor of chemical education, he earned master’s and doctorate degrees in chemical engineering from Case Institute of Technology .

Class notes
Samir Jadallah ‘87
Burlingame, California 
Sam, a former Microsoft corporate vice president, recently joined Apple as its new leader of smart home technology. He talked about his journey from Case Institute of Technology to becoming the Head of Home at Apple April 8 as part of the CWRU Alumni Entrepreneurship Speaker Series. A Palestinian-American from New Jersey, Sam is the co-founder and chairman of the Institute for Middle East Understanding.

Class Notes
Aarti Chandna MS ’88
Atherton, California 
Aarti is an executive board member and partner in the Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund, which strives to make investments that have meaningful social impact. She was an online presenter in the CWRU Entrepreneurship Alumni Speaker Series April 9. Aarti, a member of the CWRU Board of Trustees, earned her master’s degree in computer science from the Case School of Engineering.

Class Notes
Tim Schigel ’89
Cincinnati, Ohio
Tim, a serial entrepreneur, is the founding partner of Refinery Ventures, an early stage venture capital investment firm in Cincinnati. He shares his insight with aspiring entrepreneurs  as a mentor for The Brandery, a startup accelerator in Cincinnati. Tim, the founder of the social media platform ShareThis, earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Case. 

Class Notes
Vicente Nazario ’90

Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
Vicente leads engineering operations as the Director and Site Leader for Honeywell Aerospace Puerto Rico. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and applied physics from Case Institute of Technology and joined Honeywell in 2007 as one of its first 12 employees on the island. Today, Honeywell’s workforce in the U.S. commonwealth nears 1,000.

Class Notes
Gabe Nelson ’92, ’95, PhD ’02
Wilmington, Massachusetts
Gabe has joined Massachusetts-based Berkshire Grey as a Senior Principal Roboticist. Previously, he was the Senior Robot Scientist at Boston Dynamics, where he worked for 16 years. Gabe earned three mechanical engineering degrees at Case, including his doctorate..

Class Notes
Christopher VanOrman, PhD ’92
Hillsdale, Michigan 
Chris has accepted the position of provost at Hillsdale College, where he joined the faculty in 1992 as a professor in the Chemistry Department. He has twice been named Hillsdale Professor of the Year. Chris earned his doctorate in chemistry from the Case School of Engineering. He owns a Harley Davidson Heritage Softail Classic motorcycle, which he enjoys riding with friends.

Class Notes
Arnold Huffman ’93
Atlanta, Georgia
Arnold is the founder and CEO at Digital Yalo, which was named the Digital Marketing Agency of the Year by the Technology Association of Georgia for 2019. He’s also president of the board of the Alumni Association of Case Western Reserve University. Arnold earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Case School of Engineering while playing basketball for legendary Coach Bill Sudeck. 

Class notes
Naci Ishakbeyoglu PhD ’94
Sunnyvale, California 
Naci has accepted a position as Director, Engineerings at eHealth, Inc., an online marketplace for private health insurance. Previously, has was Engineering Manager and a staff software engineer at Vida Health, Inc. Naci earned his doctorate in computer engineering from the Case School of Engineering.

class notes
Vinish Kathuria MS ’94
New Delhi, India 
Vinish is the managing partner at SenseAI Ventures, an investment firm that specializes in AI entrepreneurs. Previously he was the chief operating officer of Digital Quotient, a mobile marketing firm in India. Vinish worked for Microsoft, Infospace and Spice Digital in the United States before returning to India in 2007 to launch and lead startups. He earned his master’s degree from Case in polymer and macromolecular engineering.

Class Notes
Elliot Bendoly ’96
Worthington, Ohio
Elliot finished a three-year term as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Students and Programs at Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business and returned to the faculty ranks as a Professor of Management Sciences. He earned bachelors’ degrees in materials engineering and economics at Case.

Class Notes
Nimesh A. Mehta '96, MBA ’99
Dallas Texas
Nimesh was promoted to Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at National Life Group. He is in charge of information technology operations at the Vermont-based life insurance company and a member of its executive management team.  Nimesh earned his bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the Case School of Engineering and his MBA from the Weatherhead School.

class notes
Jessica A. Gaskin, MS’ 98, PhD
Huntsville, Alabama 
Jessica is the NASA-appointed study scientist for the Lynx X-ray Observatory mission concept. She’s leading a team focused on the next X-ray space telescope mission. Jessica is an astrophysicist in the Science Research Office of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. She earned her master’s degree in astronomy from Case.

class notes
Paul Adams, PhD ’00
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Paul, an associate professor in the department of chemistry and biochemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas, was named a Minority Access National Role Model by Minority Access, Inc. The group recognizes students and educators who inspire others to find cures or solve technological problems or address social disparities. Paul earned his doctorate in chemistry at Case.

Class Notes
Carmen Fontana ’00, MSE ’05
Chagrin Falls, Ohio
Carmen leads the Modern Software Delivery Practice at Centric Consulting, where she focuses on the Cloud and artificial Intelligence offerings. She’s also a busy writer and speaker and an advisor to the Women in Tech Initiative at CWRU. Carmen earned her bachelor’s degree in systems and control and her master’s in computer engineering at the Case School of Engineering.

Class Notes
Eric Perreault, PhD ’00
Evanston, Illinois
Eric was a featured speaker at the BME Distinguished Lecture Series at the University of California, Irvine, in February. He talked about neural and musculoskeletal systems are how they are linked in the control of movement and posture. Eric, who earned his doctorate in biomedical engineering from the Case School of Engineering, is a professor and chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern University. 

Class Notes
Carl Tashian ’00
San Francisco, California
Carl, a software engineer, writer and entrepreneur, is offering his services as an executive coach in the San Francisco Bay area via He earned his bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from Case and has worked in the startup world for more than 20 years. Carl was the Head of Engineering and Co-founder at Yerdle. 

Class Notes
Jacquelyn Adams ’02
Denver, Colorado
Jacquelyn is the founder and CEO of the engineering consultancy Ristole, which offers employee training and development.  As an IEEE Senior Member, she serves as the vice-chair of IEEE's Continuing Education program. You can find her webinars and her blog at

class note
Michael J. Fu, MS '06, PhD '11
Mayfield Heights, Ohio
Michael, an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Case School of Engineering, received a National Science Foundation Early Career Award of $549,000 to continue his research into using electrical stimulation to help stroke victims regain muscle movement. He does the bulk of his research in stroke rehabilitation at MetroHealth System, where he is a staff scientist. Michael is also an investigator for the Cleveland FES Center. He earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering.

Class Notes
Bill Rabbit ’03, MS ’06
Chesterland, Ohio 
Bill is Engineering Project Manager at Nottingham Spirk Design Associates in Cleveland. Recently, he worked with staff at Sears think[box], the campus innovation center, to help design personal protective equipment for hospital workers caring for pandemic patients. Bill teamed up with a former classmate on the project, Ian Charnis ’05, the innovation lead at think[box]. Bill earned  his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering.

 Class Notes
Elizabeth Altenau ’09
Medina, Ohio 
Liz recently became Global Director of Marketing-Lower Extremity, for Integra LifeSciences, a global medical technology firm headquartered in New Jersey. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from the Case School of Engineering. Liz, who played soccer for the Lady Spartans, has shared her love for the game as a youth coach.

Class Notes
Katelyn Ballard ’10 
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 
Katelyn is a Senior Engineer for Bechtel Plant Machinery. For nearly decade, she has served as a presentation judge for the Pittsburgh Regional Future City Competition, which seeks to increase public awareness and appreciation of the engineering profession during national Engineers Week. Katelyn earned her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Case and her master’s at the University of Pittsburgh.

Class Notes
Bryan Schmidt ’11, PhD
Milan, Ohio 
Bryon is a new assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the Case School of Engineering. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering at Case and his master’s and doctorate in aeronautics at California Institute of Technology. Bryan joined the Case faculty in January.

Class Notes
Colleen Konsavage ’12
New Albany, Ohio
Colleen has joined Zane State College in Zanesville, Ohio, as an assistant professor of electrical engineering technology.  Previously, she was an engineer for American Electric Power, where she supported power generation at transmission stations in its Indiana-Michigan region. Colleen earned her bachelor’s degree in Systems & Control at Case, where she was a member of Engineers Without Borders.

Class Notes
Maryam Hashemian, MS ’13
Shaker Heights, Ohio
Maryam has moved into the position of Senior Systems Security Engineer at Rockwell Automation, which she joined in 2013. She earned her master’s degree in computer engineering from Case and is working toward her doctorate degree.

Class Notes
Stephanie Hippo ’15
Seattle, Washington
Steph was named a Women of Wisdom by the Women in Tech Initiative at CWRU for helping young women follow her path to success as a mentor and role model. She joined Google four years ago through its engineering residency program and today is a Site Reliability Engineer managing her own team. Steph earned her bachelor’s degree in computer science from Case, where she was a member of the Hacker Society and the Fencing Club. In 2016, she received the Young Alumni Leadership Award from the Case Alumni Association.

Abigail Sevier '15, MS '17
St. Louis, Missouri
Abby was the featured speaker at the Soar into STEM program of the St. Louis Science Center in April 2019. An aerospace engineer for Boeing Research and Technology, she talked about her experience with Boeing and the NASA Glenn Research Center to illustrate the team-based process of developing aerospace vehicles. She also staged a live demonstration of vertical lift aerodynamics using a small UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle), or drone. Abby earned her bachelor’s degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering and her master’s in aerospace engineering at Case.

Class Notes
Austin Engelbrecht ’16
Crown Point, Indiana
Austin recently became engaged to Caelainn Crnjak and the couple plans a June wedding. He’s a software developer for Applied Systems, where he is a member of the “tiger team” formed to expedite work on a feature in jeopardy of missing its target date. Austin earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science from Case, where he was a member of Phi Kappa Theta and sang with the a cappella choir Case in Point.

Bingying "Judy" Feng '16
San Francisco, California
Judy is the co-founder of AntX Technologies, which she and a friend launched in 2019. The company has developed a “smart scale” that not only weighs food but provides calorie counts and nutritional information. She exhibited the technology at CES 2020 as part of the CWRU presentation team. An international student from China, Judy earned her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Case and her master’s in systems engineering at Penn.

Class notes
Daoning Zhou ’16, MEM ’17
Cleveland, Ohio 
Daoning is a business analyst at Cohen & Company in Cleveland. He’s also an organizer of Cleveland’s popular annual GiveBackHack, where cash prizes are awarded for the best ideas for improving the community.  He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and his master’s in engineering management from Case

class notes
Justo Karell ’17, MBA ’19 
Stamford, Connecticut 
Justo is a military engines data scientist for Pratt & Whitney and a co-founder of two social venture startups: SalHatesFoodWaste maps potential food waste and cheap and free food in the Hartford area. Mobility, launched in Cleveland in 2019, installs bike-sharing programs in low income neighborhoods. Justo earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering physics at the Case School of Engineering.

Class Notes
Nicholas Vitale ’17, MS ‘20
San Francisco, California 
Nick is pursuing his doctorate at Stanford University, where he is working towards developing wearable integrated neural microsystems for applications in non-human primates. He earned two degrees in electrical engineering at Case

Class Notes
Janet L. Gbur, PhD ’18 
Canfield, Ohio 
Janet, a research associate in materials science and engineering at the Case School of Engineering, was elected to the Leadership Council of the Microscopy Society of America. The society champions all forms of microscopy and the development of new imaging technologies. Janet will serve as its treasurer.

Class Notes
Turner Montgomery ‘18
Boston, Massachusetts 
Turner is now a Field Clinical Engineer for Neocis Inc., a Boston company that develops assistive surgical robots. During the coronavirus pandemic, he volunteered for the Ventilator Project, an effort of engineers to develop and rapidly produce ventilators that could help patients stricken with COVID-19. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from the Case School of Engineering.

Class Notes
Jessica Powell ’18
Providence, Rhode Island 
Jessica is an Associate Product Development Engineer at BD, formerly Becton Dickinson & Company, a medical technology firm in Warwick, Rhode Island. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering at Case and is working toward her master’s in biomedical engineering at Brown University.

Class notes
Jeffery Sagerer ’18
Columbus Ohio 
Jeffery is an Engineer Associate with Worthington Industries in the WIRED Rotational Program. He’s also a volunteer with the Ventilator Project, an effort of engineers to develop and rapidly produce ventilators that can help people stricken with COVID-19. Jeffery earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at Case.

Class Notes
Emily Dickens '19, MEM ‘20
Cleveland, Ohio 
Emily joined Cleveland startup Octet Scientific as the Head of Product Development. She’ll be creating novel molecules for zinc batteries and working towards the future of sustainable energy storage. Emily earned her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and her Masters of Engineering and Management at Case, where she was a Think Energy Fellow with the Great Lakes Energy Institute.

Class Notes
Akinola. D. Akinbote ’20
Barcelona, Spain 
Akinola is pursuing his doctorate in tissue engineering and disease modeling at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Barcelona, Spain. The EMBL PhD program is fully-funded by the European Union and accepts less than 5 percent of applicants. An international student from Nigeria, he earned his bachelor’s degree in Macromolecular Science & Engineering from Case. With the help of the Case Alumni Association, he also studied tissue engineering at Rice University. He hopes to become a biomedical engineer specialized in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering.

Class Notes
Humza Khan ‘20
Madison, Wisconsin
Humza joined Epic, the healthcare software giant, as a project manager. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from the Case School of Engineering, where he was a member of the Case Engineers Council.

Class Notes
Tin Pham ’20
Boston, Massachusetts 
Tin will be pursuing his doctorate in chemistry at Tufts University starting this fall. He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Case, where he was an orientation leader and a student worker at Sears think[box].