Alumni Updates

Robert Bonnie ’81, Under Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment for U.S. Department of Agriculture, was awarded the Ducks Unlimited 2016 Wetland Conservation Achievement Award. Robert received his award in the Senior Federal Official category, one of six awards given each year.

Note from an alumnus – Mehran Tirandaz ’83
I am glad I am reconnected to St. Francis. When I graduated from St. Francis, I went to George Washington University in Washington D.C. and obtained my B.S. degree in biology. I subsequently went to medical school at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. I did my internship in internal medicine at New York Medical College and my internal medicine residency at Barnes Hospital at Washington University in St. Louis, and became boarded in internal medicine. I became interested in radiology and did a second residency in radiology at the LSU Medical Center in New Orleans. I subsequently completed a body imaging fellowship at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles and did another fellowship in musculoskeletal radiology at the University of California, Irvine. I met my wife, who is also a radiologist and specializes in mammography at the University of California, Irvine, when she was also a fellow. We live in Mission Viejo, CA. I am currently the medical director of a radiology department in a 200-bed hospital in Riverside, CA. Interestingly, up until 2013, all radiology residents, no matter where their training was done, even if it was in Hawaii, had to take their oral board exams at the Executive West Hotel in Louisville in June of their last year of training. So I was in Louisville when I took my oral boards in 1999 and I went with my wife when she took her oral boards in 2007. It is good to see Louisville having grown so much, including downtown, and I am glad St. Francis has expanded and all campuses have merged.

Note from an alumnus, current parent, and teacher, Paul Harshaw ’86
In May 1986, after graduating from the High School downtown (the old one, not the updated and remodeled version that stands today), I truly believed my days at St Francis were behind me. Little did I know other plans were being formulated in the stratosphere way out of my control. It started in the late 90s into the early 2000s when Madison Cawein the Artist-In-Residence at the time, and my old teacher, needed a regular substitute teacher, and being a struggling artist, I jumped at the opportunity. I loved my few years helping out at the school and relished my time back being a Wyvern. Time passed and I found myself married with two kids, working at a preschool where my children attended. Life was good, but again, plans out of my control were swirling above. This time I got a call from Alexandra Thurstone. We had gone to St. Francis together, and by seeing her around town and my family’s continued support of my alma mater through various fundraisers, she knew I was teaching. At first I wasn’t sure why she wanted to meet with me, but my wife did. As always, she was right, there was an opening in the Preschool, and they wanted me for the position! It only got better, because not only did I jump at this incredible opportunity to become a Wyvern again, but my two kids, Adam, 7, and Sophie, 5, would follow me and attend the greatest school ever. My wife Kasia had fallen in love with the school when we came for my 25th reunion, and needless to say, we are overjoyed at all the work the stratosphere has done. We have just finished our first year at the Goshen Campus and find ourselves more in love with the school, the staff and the faculty than we’ve ever could have imagined. We can’t wait for our second year.

Abby Kaplan ’89 is living with her husband in Brooklyn and working as a qualitative researcher in the healthcare industry. Her husband is the front-of-house manager at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, so she gets to see lots of theater and film. Alex is a proud cancer survivor and began a non-profit organization called Burning Survivors, inspired by the Burning Man Festival. Alex and her husband recently completed a 40-mile bike ride through New York City to raise money for cancer research.

Sarah Van Gaasbeek ’07 is about to start her second year at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. She is very excited to be back in Louisville after going to college in Brooklyn and spending a year in Toronto.

Spencer Crawford ’13 is a rising junior at Transylvania University. He expects to graduate in May of 2017. He just got back from studying abroad in England where his favorite class was “Invaders, Traders, & Lovers: How the Norman French influenced English Literature”. He had a blast exploring London and especially Stonehenge while making new friends along the way.

Jessica Lee Taylor ’00 is living in Cincinnati with her husband, Mark and one-year old son, Augustus. They have a home in the Westwood neighborhood. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and works as a therapist with St. Elizabeth Physicians Group.

Annie-Laurie Auden ’02 just finished her residency in Emergency Medicine at the University of Illinois in Chicago. She is on an International Medicine track through her residency program and received a grant to do a research project on cholera in Haiti. She loved the beauty of the country and is thinking of going back with Doctors Without Borders or a similar program.