Class notes

Bloodroot plant (Sanguinaria canadensis) with bloom.
Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), a spring wildflower found on the IU Bloomington campus. Photo from IURTP herbarium project, 2008

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In the meantime, check out what your fellow alums have been doing.

Donald E. Robbins, BA ’68 Zoology, BS ’69 Optometry, OD ’71, received a 50-year service award from the Indiana Optometric Association during the organization’s annual awards luncheon in April 2018. Robbins is an optometrist in Shelbyville, Ind., where he lives.


“I recently retired after working as a speech pathologist in the Los Angeles area for the past 35 years,” writes Charles F. Becker, BA ’72 Biological Sciences. He adds, “Since retiring, I have had a book of poems and drawings published by World Stage Press, based in Los Angeles. The name of my book is Friends My Poems Gave Me. I am currently working on another book of poems.” Becker lives in West Hollywood, Calif.

In June 2018, the International Federation for Emergency Medicine presented Gary M. Gaddis, BA ’79 Biological Sciences, PhD ’84 Physiology, MD ’86, with the Order of the IFEM at the organization’s 2018 International Congress in Mexico City. The award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated an extensive and continuous commitment to emergency medicine in their own country and has made significant contributions to supporting its development. Gaddis is professor of emergency medicine in the School of Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis. He lives in St. Louis.

David H. Goldsmith, BA ’78 Biological Sciences, writes that he is a beverage host for Community Meals Inc., in Traverse City, Mich. He adds that his son, Alexander, married Heidi Nicholas in Traverse City in October 2017.

In October 2017, Mark A. Malangoni, BA ’71 Zoology, MD’75, was inducted into the Cleveland MetroHealth System Medical Hall of Honor for his contributions to MetroHealth and the practice of medicine. Malangoni, a national leader in the care of trauma and surgical infections, joined MetroHealth in 1990, helping to build the hospital’s trauma center and planning the hospital’s present operating room suite. Malangoni left MetroHealth in 2011 after 21 years as chair of the surgery department to became associate executive director of the American Board of Surgery based in Philadelphia. He also is an adjunct professor of surgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He lives in Bryn Mawr, PA.

In September, Archway Publishing, a division of Simon and Schuster, published A Surgeon’s Odyssey, the second book by Richard M. Moss, BA ’77 Biological Sciences, MD ’81. In the book, Moss recounts his journey from being a young doctor to his role as a cancer surgeon working in Thailand, Nepal, India, and Bangladesh. Moss is a head and neck surgeon in Jasper, Ind., where he’s lived with his wife, Supit, and their four children for more than 25 years.

Research Associate Kathy A. (Barnes) Sheehan, BA ’77 Biological Sciences, retired in April after 42 years at the bench, 27 of those years spent here in IU Biology. Kathy is an author/co-author of 32 scientific publications, is the primary author of a book published in 2005 describing the microbial life in thermal areas of Yellowstone National Park, and she holds a patent for the use of endophytic fungi to treat plants.

While employed in the Department of Biology at IU, Kathy studied Drosophila in the laboratories of Rollin Richmond, Bill Saxton, Irene Newton, and Jason Tennessen. During her 15 years living in the Western U.S., Kathy spent 10 years in Bozeman, MT, conducting microbiology and fungal genetics research at Montana State University and at the Thermal Biology Institute where she performed many seasons of environmental biology field research to describe eukaryotic hot spring communities in Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park. She also taught a summer thermal biology field course in Yellowstone. In Colorado, she worked for 5 years in the Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology Department at the University of Colorado Boulder with fly geneticist Bob Boswell.

An avid quilter, Sheehan received an honorable mention at the Indiana Heritage Quilt Show, March 2019, for an entry she designed, Silk Snippets, done in glorious shades of teals, blues, and purples. Now that she is retired, Sheehan will have more time for quilting, traveling, and spoiling her granddaughter, Sagan.  She is married to Mark C. Sheehan, BA ’70 Plant Sciences, MA ’72 Plant Sciences, PhD ’79 Biology, who works part time during his retirement as a forest technician and field biology specialist here in the department.

Beth (Payne) Ullom, P.G., BA ’73 Biological Sciences, worked nine years in the medical field and in biological research after graduating from IU. She obtained a B.S. in Geosciences (cum laude, geophysics option) from the University of Texas at Dallas, completed one year of graduate studies at UT Dallas, and finished her MS in Geology (specializing in geophysics) at Kent State University, where she was selected as an outstanding geology graduate student at the master’s level during the year of her graduation. She uses all of her degrees in her current role as an environmental consultant.

Ullom is the due diligence lead for Enercon Services, Inc., in Pittsburgh, PA. She has been affiliated with Enercon and associated companies for almost eight years. Ullom is a registered professional geologist in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. An expert in environmental compliance issues, she has managed staffs of professionals performing a variety of environmental assessment and remediation activities for many years. Over the course of a 30-year career with several different companies, Ullom has supervised and reported results of a large number of Phase I through complex Phase II environmental site assessments, geophysical site characterizations, geological site characterizations and hydrogeologic site assessments, geotechnical drilling, wetland determination and delineation, and environmental remediation projects, and has served as an expert witness about many of the same issues. She has also performed geological and geophysical consulting to oil and gas companies throughout her career and currently provides technical support to a number of major oil and gas clients of Enercon on issues ranging from spill prevention, stormwater discharge, waste disposal, and water quality issues related to surface water, groundwater, and wetlands. She regularly interfaces with regulatory agencies at the federal, state, and local level.


In June 2018, Louis M. Profeta, BS ’86 Biology, MD’90, delivered the baccalaureate address at his alma mater high school, North Central High School in Indianapolis. He recounted how he received a prize in kindergarten for painting Play-Doh black at a science fair but received Fs in high school chemistry and algebra, as well as Cs, and a couple of Ds in other subjects, adding “If I had to apply to college today at Indiana University, I would not get in.” Profeta had planned to be a star athlete in college, but he broke his neck in a fall, and was hospitalized for weeks. He now spends most of his time in the hospital, but as an ER doctor at Saint Vincent Hospital of Indianapolis.


Cynthia Fierro Giesecke, BA ’01 Biology, of Alexandria Va., received the 2017 Margaret Vinson Hallgren Award from the National Military Family Association. The award, established in 1990, recognizes the contributions to NMFA by a volunteer or board of governors member. Giesecke joined the NMFA Volunteer Corps in January 2007 and is a dedicated member who, in the past year, has logged more than 480 hours of volunteer work and has worked on many unique volunteer projects at NMFA’s headquarters in Alexandria.

In April 2018, Jennifer Moses Kohn, BS ’04 Biology, OD ’08, was named the Indiana Optometric Association’s 2018 Young Optometrist of the Year. The award, also called the President’s Citation, is presented to an IOA member licensed 10 years or less who has demonstrated not only contributions to the profession, but also in service for the benefit of the visual welfare of the public and service to the community at large. Kohn practices at Moses Eye Care Center in Merrillville, Ind., and lives in Chicago.

Maurine B. Neiman, PhD ’04 Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, returned to the Bloomington campus to give a talk on March 22 via our EEB Seminar Series, entitled “Sex in the Wild (and especially in New Zealand).” Nieman is an associate professor in the Department of Biology and the Department of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Iowa. Her research focuses on the evolutionary maintenance of sex in natural populations using the New Zealand freshwater snail Potamopyrgus antipodarum as her research model.

Jennifer A. Raff, BA ’01 Anthropology, Biology; MA ’08 Anthropology; PhD ’08 MCDB, Anthropology, is an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Kansas. She recently signed a major book contract with publisher Twelve Books, a division of Hachette, to write a genetic history of the Americas for the general public. Raff, who is keenly interested in improving public science literacy, blogs for Forbes. An avid martial artist and former Golden Gloves boxer, she lives in Lawrence with husband, Kenneth “Colin” McRoberts, their young son, nicknamed “Ox” (thanks to his first and middle initials), and the family dog, Alu.

Jan Lee Santos, MA ’04 Microbiology, reports that a lot has happened since his time at IU, where he was a James P. Holland Fellow from 2001-2002. He earned his MD from Ross University School of Medicine, doing clinical rotations in the Caribbean, U.S., and U.K. Santos earned a Master of Healthcare Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, followed by administrative internships and fellowships at UNC School of Medicine, Durham VA Medical Center, and Piedmont Health Services (PHS). He currently is the Clinical Services Trainer for PHS in Chapel Hill, NC. His primary duties include training and certification of all clinical staff and development of in-house training, certification, educational, and professional development programs. Santos enjoys teaching third- and fourth-year UNC medical students healthcare improvement methodologies, data analytics, and serving as their primary mentor on their quality and process improvement projects, overseeing 30 students per year. In addition to his position at PHS, he is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the UNC School of Medicine, an adjunct professor of Healthcare Management at Campbell University School of Business and at Wake Technical Community College’s Department of Life Sciences. Santos hopes to visit IU again one day.