Class Notes 2017

Class Notes, Fall 2017

Updated: August 2017

Before 1960

"My 15th work in the field of political terrorism is Contemporary Islamic Movements: A Handbook, with graphs and text illustrations," writes Bernard Schechterman, M.A. '50, Ph.D. '73. He adds, "Published in a three-ring binder, this 'evolving book' caters to those who want a database for analytical and policy-making concerns, plus the opportunity to add data and events that occur on a daily basis." Schechterman is professor emeritus and former chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Miami. He has edited two books and published many articles on Middle East politics. He lives in Boynton Beach, Fla.


San Francisco attorney Guy O. Kornblum, B.A.'61, has been selected as a Northern California Super Lawyer for 2017 for the 14th straight year. He is a partner in the Bay Area civil litigation firm of Kornblum, Cochran, Erickson & Harbison. A member of the state bars of both Indiana and California, Kornblum is also of counsel with McNamar & Associates in Indianapolis.

In October 2015, Peru, Ind., attorney Thomas A. Keith, B.A.'65, J.D.'68, along with Norman E. "Ned" Pfau, B.S.'65, and other Fijis from the IU Class of 1965, organized a pledge class reunion weekend around the football game against Ohio State University. Keith lives in Peru.


Founder and owner of Realty Engineering Inc., Norman L. Cooper, M.A.'70, continues to work as a forensic engineer within the justice system, where he has produced more than 1,000 expert witness reports, and testified in more than 100 depositions and over 50 trials. Cooper has served at all levels of government, as a United Nations international consultant to Israel, on the policy staff of the U.S. secretary of transportation, and as an elected city councilman. He has authored and published several articles and books, many of which are housed in the Library of Congress. Cooper lives in Canyon Lake, Texas.

At the 2017 Independent Publisher Book Awards, Douglas A. Wissing, B.A.'71, received a silver medal for his second book on the Afghanistan War, Hopeless but Optimistic: Journeying through America's Endless War in Afghanistan, published by IU Press. The 21st annual literary contest featured gold, silver, and bronze medalists in 83 categories. Wissing's book took the silver in the current events: political, economic, and foreign affairs category. Wissing is an award-winning journalist and author of eight books, including Funding the Enemy: How U.S. Taxpayers Bankroll the Taliban. He has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times,,,, and, among other publications.

Steven C. Higgs, B.A.'73, M.A.'86, is the author of A Guide to Natural Areas of Southern Indiana: 119 Unique Places to Explore, published in April 2016 by Indiana University Press. The book is the first comprehensive and fully illustrated guidebook for nature lovers who want to explore the wild and natural areas of southern Indiana by trail, water, or road. Higgs highlights each site's unique natural characteristics and history with additional facts, anecdotes, and observations. He directs readers to the best locations in southern Indiana for bird and game watching, fishing and boating, hiking and camping, and more. Higgs, who lives in Bloomington, Ind., is an award-winning environmental writer and photographer and author of Eternal Vigilance: Nine Tales of Environmental Heroism in Indiana, published in 1996 by IUP.

Susan E. Clark, B.A.'76, was recently elected to the board of directors of Senior Services of Alexandria (Va.), a non-profit organization that runs programs to help seniors continue to live in their homes with dignity. She is very active in the Junior Auxiliary of Alexandria Inova Hospital and her local symphony orchestra, and is also a certified career transitions coach. For several years, Clark studied voice professionally and performed at her local church. She and her husband love to travel and last year took a 3-month cruise to New Zealand. Clark retired in 2005 and writes that she is still using the skills she learned at IU. She would enjoy hearing from members of the Class of '76 at

In February, the National Press Photographers Foundation announced the addition of Donald R. Winslow II, '76, as a new board member. Winslow's journalism career spans four decades. Currently the managing editor for the Amarillo (Texas) Globe-News in the Texas Panhandle, Winslow was the editor of News Photographer magazine for the National Press Photographers Association from 2003 until 2016. During his career, he has been a photojournalist, picture and graphics editor, director of photography, writer, and new media producer. Winslow worked for Reuters as a photojournalist and editor based in Washington, D.C. covering the White House and sports, and for Reuters NewMedia, in Reston, Va., and in New York City. He has also taught photography and photojournalism at universities in Italy and Switzerland. Winslow lives in Austin, Texas.


Melissa Proffitt, B.A.'82, J.D.'85, is the office managing partner in the Indianapolis office of the law firm Ice Miller. She chairs the agribusiness group, co-chairs the employee benefits group, chairs the energy group, and is responsible for business development initiatives for the Firm. Proffitt concentrates her practice in employee benefits with a focus on welfare benefit plans and qualified plans. She counsels regional and international clients on benefit issues, including plan formation and design. Proffitt lives in Indianapolis.

Tracy A. Marshall, B.A.'87, who is of counsel in the Orlando office of the Florida law firm Gray Robinson, was named to the 2016 Best Lawyers in America list in the eminent domain and condemnation law practice area. She is a board certified civil trial lawyer in Florida, who practices in the areas of eminent domain, land use litigation and commercial litigation. Her eminent domain practice includes representation of both property owners and taking authorities. Her general commercial litigation practice also includes state and federal court litigation regarding franchises, trademarks, trade secrets, employment discrimination suits, landlord-tenant disputes, foreclosures, title insurance claims, and fraudulent transfer claims.


In 2015, Julianne P. Blanch, B.A.'90, joined the Salt Lake City office of the law firm Parsons Behle & Latimer as a shareholder in the litigation department. She concentrates her practice on product liability, and representing product manufacturers and distributors. She also handles commercial disputes, catastrophic personal injury claims, employment litigation, and insurance coverage.

It has been a busy 2017 so far for Kristen M. "Kris" Putnam-Walkerly, B.A.'90, president of Putnam Consulting Group. In March, she was named a 2017 inductee into the Million Dollar Consultant Hall of Fame, one of only six consultants selected to receive this honor. In May, her new book on effective philanthropy, Confident Giving: Sage Advice for Funders, published by Tradewinds Press, was named a finalist in the prestigious 2017 International Book Awards. And in June, she was named the seventh top philanthropy speaker on the list of America's Top 25 Philanthropy Speakers for 2017 by Philanthropy Media and The Michael Chatman Giving Show. Putnam-Walkerly is a global philanthropy adviser, who over the past 18 years has helped more than 60 foundations and philanthropists strategically allocate and assess over $350 million in grants and gifts. She lives in Westlake, Ohio.

A shareholder in the Las Vegas office of the law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Jennifer L. Carleton, B.A.'91, joined the board of directors of the Tyler Robinson Foundation in 2015. Carleton assists TRF with its mission to strengthen families financially and emotionally as they cope with the tragedy of a pediatric cancer diagnosis. TRF is the charitable arm of Imagine Dragons. It is named after Tyler Robinson, a fan of the band who at 16 years old was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer. Carleton counsels clients on corporate and regulatory matters, focusing on the licensing aspects of deal structures and transactions, mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations and public finance. She has spent the last 19 years of her career in gaming, first as in-house counsel for an Indian casino and now as an adviser to multiple premier public and private gaming companies in the United States.

Jenny Kustra Quinn, B.A.'91, is senior manager of public relations and social media for Family Travel with Colleen Kelly, a PBS show that airs in 90 percent of the U.S. She is also a communications consultant, writer, and editor for a variety of clients. Quinn resides in Mount Prospect, Ill.

"I was ordained by the United Church of Christ in October 2015," writes Leslie A. Leasure, B.A.'93, M.F.A.'04, adding, "I am the program director at the Ignite Institute, which provides spiritually-based leadership development and resiliency training for those working for social transformation, especially in the areas of economic and racial justice. I am also the creator and curator of the Into the Wilderness spiritual community, which focuses on daily spiritual practice. I blog for both organizations. For more information, go to and" Leasure lives in Berkeley, Calif.

In 2014, Joanna S. Feltz, B.A.'94, J.D.'98, an attorney specializing in trusts and estates, was named director of planned giving for the Catholic Community Foundation in the Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis. She previously served on the planned giving committee of the Ronald McDonald House from 2005-2010. As director of planned giving for the Catholic Community Foundation, Feltz is responsible for administering education programs throughout the archdiocese around legacy planning opportunities, improving the participation in permanent gifts for the foundation, and assisting those who wish to set up outright or permanent gifts for the sustainability of parishes, schools, agencies, and ministries of the archdiocese.

Ronald P. Whitworth, B.A.J.'97, is chief privacy officer of SunTrust in Atlanta. He previously served in the same role for EverBank in Jacksonville, Fla. In addition to his duties as CPO, Whitworth is tasked with managing SunTrust's compliance teams for HR, marketing, and information security. Whitworth lives in Marietta, Ga.

Randy S. Cohn, B.A.'98, is a shareholder in the Alton, Ill., office of the national law firm Simmons Hanly Conroy. He oversees a team of attorneys and investigators with a focus on helping victims of asbestos exposure. Since joining the firm in 2004, he has recovered more than $100 million on behalf of families throughout the country injured by mesothelioma and asbestos-related diseases. Super Lawyers magazine has recognized him on its Illinois Rising Star list from 2012 to 2014 and as an Illinois Super Lawyer in 2015. Cohn lives in Edwardsville, Ill.


Former deputy spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of State, Marie Harf, B.A.'03, received the IU College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Young Alumni Award in 2015. During the Obama administration, Harf was a frequent fixture on nightly news broadcasts fielding questions about Iran, North Korea, and Ukraine, and later served as senior adviser of strategic communications to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. The daughter of two IU alumni, she went on to receive a master's degree in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia before accepting a job as a Middle East analyst and, later, spokeswoman for the CIA. Harf served as an adviser and spokeswoman on national security issues for President Obama's 2012 re-election campaign and then as spokeswoman and adviser for Chuck Hagel during his secretary of defense confirmation. Harf joined the Fox News Channel in January 2017 and currently serves as a contributor, offering national security and political analysis across FNC and Fox Business Network's daytime and primetime programming.

In January, John T. Young, B.A.'04, took the oath of office to become the state representative for Indiana House District 47. He was sworn in by Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Hogan Rush, JD'83, in the Indiana House Chamber. Young said, "The lessons I learned at IU have helped me become a successful attorney. Now I will be able to bring that valuable experience to the Indiana General Assembly to help make effective policy decisions." Young lives in Trafalgar, Ind.

In September 2016, Louisville Business First named Ozair M. Shariff, B.A.'07, J.D.'12, to its 2016 Forty Under 40 list. The list honors exceptional young professionals who are making significant contributions in the local community through their charitable efforts and leadership. Shariff is an attorney based in the Louisville, Ky., office of Stites & Harbison. As a member of the law firm's health care service group, his practice is devoted to a wide range of issues affecting health care providers. In November 2016, Shariff was elected to serve on the board of trustees of the Speed Art Museum for a three-year term. He previously served on the museum's board of governors. Shariff lives in Louisville.

In 2015, Lee J. Hurwitz, B.A.J.'09, joined the national law firm Segal McCambridge Singer and Mahoney as an associate in its Chicago office. He is an associate attorney focusing his practice on toxic tort, product liability, and complex commercial litigation. Hurwitz has extensive experience handling insurance defense cases involving personal injury and subrogation claims, and has prepared dozens of cases for jury trial, taking nine cases to verdict as solo lead counsel. Prior to working at Segal McCambridge, Hurwitz was an associate attorney with a litigation group in Chicago. He lives in Lisle, Ill.


Peter M. Laramore, B.A.'13, graduated from the University of Chicago Law School in June 2016 and is now a law clerk for Indiana Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey G. Slaughter, B.A.'85, J.D./M.B.A.'89. Laramore lives in Indianapolis.