Alumni Updates December 2016

Alumni Updates

Maggie McCoy Pogue ’81 is the owner and operator of the Horseshoe Cross Ranch in Florida, where she raises beef cattle, dairy goats, and border collies. She is married to Dean Pogue and has two sons, ages 18 and 16.

Note from an alumna – Vicky Spencer Rouse ’83
I am thrilled to be touching base again with the school that helped me find a voice. I am currently the owner and special needs travel expert at Special Needs Vacation By V. I am still in the Louisville area, and would love to connect with those close and far. This summer Margi Fine Gad ’83 and I reconnected in NYC. I have also become a recent author. My book, The Special Needs Family Vacation Guide, is available on Amazon for $10. In order to honor my mom, who had Parkinson’s disease for over 30 years, I am coordinating a Parkinson’s Creativity Cruise out of NYC in May. Hope to be hearing from my fellow Wyverns.

Dr. Sander Florman ’85, director of the Racanati/Miller Transplant Institute at Mount Sinai in New York, was recently interviewed on the new field of HIV-positive organ transplants. Listen to this fascinating story here.

Sara Holt G’90, ’94 moved to Shanghai from St. Louis this summer to join her husband, who is a lecturer in the Writing Program at NYU’s Shanghai campus. Sara is currently spending most of her time learning Chinese and trying to figure out how to navigate life in China. She had been working as an architect and hopes to eventually find work in that field in China.

Danny Slaton ’96 works for Top Shelf Lobby, a government relations firm in Frankfort. He is married to Elizabeth Fitzgibbons and the couple has two children, ages 4 and 1.

Carolyn Gilles Hannan ’99 won an Orange Fork Award through the Idea Festival Taste Innovation. This award is for innovation in food, community, and sustainability in the business category. Carolyn works at Rainbow Blossom, owned by fellow alumna Summer Auerbach ’00, where she is the Director of Branding and New Business Development. In her three years at Rainbow Blossom, she has created and implemented several new programs that are centered around local, organic food, health + wellness, and innovation for the company’s business model. The award recognizes this work. Carolyn is also mom to Alexander (2) and wife to Schot, who is in his final year of a medical pediatrics residency at the University of Louisville.

Collin Smith G’96, ’00 plays Harry Jameson in Bear With Us, a film that was screened at the Flyover Film Festival in Louisville this July at the Baxter Theater. The film has won several awards on the film festival circuit. Bear With Us is a modern farce about a guy who attempts to propose to his girlfriend in the most romantic way possible, but his plan starts to fall apart when a ravenous bear stumbles upon their charming cabin in the woods. It’s a total comedy of errors that takes a close look at just how far we’ll go to preserve our relationships. Visit the website for more information.

Austin Llewellyn G’00, ’04 graduated from law school at Florida International University and passed the bar in both Kentucky and Florida. He has since returned to Louisville to practice law with his father.

Laura Binford ’06 is working as a data analyst at Wellcare and planning a wedding set for October 2017. She received her undergraduate degree at the University of Louisville in sociology, followed by a Master’s in Epidemiology at the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences.

John Reel ’06 is currently living in Denver while pursuing his Master’s Degree in Natural Resource Management. He enjoys living in Colorado and spending his free time hiking and biking.

Hannah Wells ’06 is living in New York and working as an associate in the tax group at the law firm Schulte Roth & Zabel. She graduated from the NYU School of Law in May and is preparing for a wedding to Amar Sheth in November 2017.

Anna Byers ’07 recently moved back to New York, where she just passed the New York bar exam. She is living there with her boyfriend, Drew, and their dog, Louis V (named for Louisville). She recently graduated from Harvard Law School and is serving as an Immigrant Justice Corps (IJC) fellow. IJC is a two-year fellowship dedicated to training passionate and committed immigration lawyers. Fellows are placed at organizations around the New York area to serve indigent and vulnerable populations attempting to gain legal or stable immigration status in the U.S. Anna works at the Sauti Yetu Center for African Women and Families in the Bronx.

Olivia Cole ’07 won a writing contest sponsored by literary agent Regina Brooks, which resulted in a two-book North American rights deal with HarperCollins. The first book in the series, The Whitecoat’s Daughter, is set for publication in late 2018. She is currently writing the second book in the series while her agent negotiates possible film and foreign distribution rights. Olivia is also working on an unrelated young adult project and preparing for the conference circuit next year. Olivia has two other books currently available for sale on Amazon – Panther in the Hive and Rooster’s Garden.

Kevin Ryan ‘07 is working as a freelance digital marketing and communications specialist. His webinar, “Exploring Social Media and e-Business” launches this month. Most recently, Kevin has been traveling around North Carolina, Washington D.C., and New York with friend and furniture designer, Keith Fritz. He was also featured in a Washington Post article discussing ways to effectively organize a tiny closet, which stemmed from his work with the professional organization company, Rachel and Company. Read the article here.

Kathryn Klingle ’13, currently a senior at Harvard College, created a short documentary film, Pata, that was selected as an official entry in the Boston Asian American Film Festival. The film tells the story of Pata Suyemoto, a woman who has turned the pain of loss and depression into ways to help her community. Check out Kathryn’s film here

Simon Spengler (exchange student in 2013-14) is getting ready for a year of voluntary service in Ghana. He will be in a school, helping with after-school activities and subjects like sports, arts, and music.


Allison Tyler ’03 married Bryan Rice in October in Tampa. Several Wyverns fought through Hurricane Matthew to attend, including Nora Crutcher Drake G’99, ’03, and of course Allison’s sister Sarah Tyler ’07. Allison described the event: “The day was perfect, a small wedding of about 50 people. We started with a cocktail hour where my husband and I mingled with our guests. We then got married by my husband’s best friend. My stepson walked me down the aisle. We had a very quick, but very emotional ceremony. The night ended with homemade cookies from my mom, Lisa Tyler, and some Pappy Van Winkle, our favorite bourbon.”

Brittany Diamond ’06 married Ben Thompson in October. Brittany is working as a product development and sales coordinator for Hollander sleep products.

Saskia Warren ’06 married Dan Leeds in October. The book-themed wedding took place in Thurmont, MD. Guests were asked to attend in costume as characters or authors. Saskia and Dan dressed up as Westley and Buttercup from The Princess Bride.

Michael Risley ’08 married Hannah Musser in October. The wedding was well-attended by Wyverns old and new, including Zach Ritter ’08, Isaac Hodes G’04, ’08, Tommy Skaggs G’04, ’08, Eugene Tyulmenkov ’08, Alex Joy G’04, ’08, Lev Rooks-Rapport ’08, James Risley G’13 ’17, Chris Joy ’06, and Kyle Snyder G’05, ’09.

Mais Alwan ’12 married Shahrear Shaker (brother of Shams Shaker ’17) in August. Following the wedding, Mais and Shahrear spent their honeymoon in Egypt and Dubai. Since leaving St. Francis, Mais attended Hanover College, graduating in May with a degree in biochemistry. She is now preparing to apply to medical school.