Updates from Alumni

This new section allows you to submit posts to Cornellians. Whether you've started a job, met up with fellow Big Red grads, or have other news to share, you can create a post by filling out the form here. All posts are subject to a brief review process; for posting guidelines, please see our FAQ. (Please note that in the search field, the drop-down menu only includes years for which there are existing posts. Search results currently include only updates tagged with class year.)

Nyaneba Nkrumah, PhD ’01

I am excited to let you know that I am about to publish an adult fiction novel. Wade in the Water is to be published by Amistad, HarperCollins in January ’23 (available for pre-order), and is a gripping coming-of-age story about the increasingly complex relationship between a mistreated Black girl growing up in 1980s rural Mississippi and a mysterious white researcher from Princeton who appears in her racially divided town. The novel exposes the consequences of secrets left untold and the power of the past to dictate the future. Do visit my website to read more details. In other news, I continue to work (20+) years for the World Bank in Washington, DC, where I continue to meet, not surprisingly, several amazing fellow Cornellians.

Douglas McIlroy ’54

Ken Knowlton ’52, BEP ’53, MS ’55, died recently. His role as a pioneer of computer-generated movies is well told in a New York Times obituary. Though Knowlton was a year ahead of me in EP, I did not meet him until we were grad students at MIT. We would later enjoy facing offices at Bell Labs. Ken was endlessly creative. Besides his pioneering computer graphics, I particularly remember the eerie feeling of typing at a special keyboard he made, on which you could read the keytops right through your fingers—good for instantly switching among alphabets. The trick was to project symbols onto the keytops through a half-silvered mirror above the keyboard that reflected the symbols to your eyes so you’d see them and your fingers simultaneously. douglas.mcilroy@dartmouth.edu

Johnamarie Macias ’08

Working as a student library assistant at the Sidney Cox Library of Music and Dance and spending long (yet productive) hours at Olin and Uris inspired me to pursue a Master of Library Science and a Certificate in Archives and Preservation of Cultural Materials. After working different library roles for the past decade, I’m happy to share I’m back in the archival field as the new Archives Assistant at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina. In other news, I also picked up a new hobby over the past year: collecting vintage postcards. Part of my growing collection includes Cornell University postcards. I chose Cornell as my main focus because I love and miss my alma mater! jm436@cornell.edu

Barbara Rainard ’64

As a child I visited the Egyptian exhibit at New York’s Metropolitan Museum and was entranced, especially with the tiny figurines of people going about daily tasks. I became fascinated with archeology. Finally I decided I wanted to actually see Egypt’s ancient sites and my husband and I went on a Cornell alumni trip to Egypt in 2019. We started in Cairo, touring the ancient ruins, the museum, the lovely Coptic churches, a mosque, and a synagogue, as well as a visit to the souk. Then it was off to Luxor to more ancient sites, including the Valley of the Kings. Next were 4 days of sailing down the Nile in a dahabiya with stops in villages, temples, tombs, and quarries. We ended in Aswan with another temple, the dam, and an interesting Nubian museum. Our accommodations were luxurious, the food was great, and we got to see some of daily Egyptian life as well as the expected pyramids, etc. Our guides were highly informative and great company. And then came COVID! Our timing was just right. bjchemist@comcast.net

Jeffrey Woodring ’93

I hung up the trading jacket 8/25/2020, retiring to spend more time with family. My wife, Nicole, started a new career: got her PT degree and is working as a therapist. Marra soph at Penn State, Parker starting at Cornell Fall 2023! (yes, he will play football) and Todd soph in high school. Though I have also been getting back to my college interests: VP of Sigma Nu alumni board, secretary of Friends of Cornell Football (the new booster club), and president of the high school football booster. I guess I haven’t grown up yet!? I spend a bunch of time with fish: boating / fishing on the Long Island Sound, stocking trout with the Burlington Fish Hatchery, doing fish surveys, and volunteering with Trout Unlimited. I also joined a men’s hockey team…a new appreciation for the Lynah skaters. I regularly see Greg Dinkin ’93, Marc Bruno ’93, and Tim Barry ’93, and plan to bond with many more for Reunion. teamwoodring@gmail.com

Kimberley Best Robidoux ’91

Recently joined WR Immigration as Partner to open and lead the San Diego office! Looking forward to this new Chapter, at an incredible law firm and to working with an amazing team on employment-based immigration matters, including guiding employers with I-9 Employment Verification training, advice and audit defense. Excited to have been named Super Lawyers – Immigration – in San Diego for another year. Hard to believe we have been in San Diego for 18 years! kimbest@me.com

Melissa Carver Sottile ’93

I came back to Cornell for Homecoming with my husband, Greg, & our two sons, Ethan (17) and Jack (15). We had a fantastic time, a great football game, meeting students & alumni, and touring the campus old & new. Brunch at the Statler brought an added surprise—a large display of photos over the years. It was a touching reminder of my late parents’ wedding reception there during the Thanksgiving blizzard of Nov. ’58!

We continue to enjoy living in (& perpetually renovating) our antique home in this tiny rural town in CT’s northern hills. After 11 years teaching at UConn, I started a new chapter as a writer, researcher, & consultant in personal finance & fiscal policy. I love working from our back porch, a lazy Lab at my feet, watching a crocus or two peek through stubborn bits of snow amidst the songs of returning birds. It makes me miss sunny spring days on the Arts Quad with friends (and errant frisbees) and outdoor happy hour at Collegetown Bagels. Cheers! mtc2@cornell.edu

Mathieu Laberge, MBA ’16

Matt Laberge is proud to announce he recently joined KPMG’s partnership. As a Partner and Regional Leader in KPMG’s Economics & Policy practice, Matt will continue to serve his private, not-for-profit, and government clients in resolving some of their most prominent challenges related to the economy, their market, and their policy environment! ml2382@cornell.edu

Marc Grappel ’71

God bless all of you, especially all the friends and classmates that I have never heard from in fifty years. Hope you are all well. It’s been a very interesting and sinuous road to the present, and the story is still unfolding. My best memory, aside from those wonderful Big Red sunsets, was my discovery of the sculpture garden concrete creations from those early ’60s architecture students, and I visit them every year I return to Ithaca, mainly to take in the car races at Watkins Glen, as well as the state park there. Peace and love to you all. marcvette1949@yahoo.com

John Sandford Rueppel ’93

I am happily ensconced in San Francisco with my wife, Aparna Venkatesan ’93, and two teenage sons. I am a partner at the law firm of Johnston, Kinney & Zulaica, LLP, trust and estates firm, where I handle trust and estates litigation. Happy to connect with all Bay Area alums interested in the law or trust and estates. jrueppel@gmail.com