Catherine Rob Rogers ’91, a Laramie County, Wyo., Circuit Court Magistrate and a private practice attorney, was appointed to the First Judicial District Court by Gov. Dave Freudenthal.
In a Wyoming Tribune Eagle article, Freudenthal praised her, saying, “Her reputation for honesty and ethics is of the highest order. What makes her uniquely qualified is that the Circuit Court is really the people’s court, and she has a great people sense about her.” A sociology major as an undergraduate, she earned a JD from the University of Wyoming College of Law and was admitted to the Wyoming State Bar in 1998. “I am humbled by the Governor’s confidence in me, and I will do my best to serve the judiciary and the people of Laramie County with fairness, courtesy and a commitment to equal justice,” Rogers said. She is married to Kevin Ohlson ’90.
In a recent article in Time magazine, “Shaking Schools Up in an Already Tumultuous Year,” Andrew Rotherham writes: “With budget cuts looming, and with more states considering radical changes to teacher tenure and other important policies, 2011 looks to be a big year for education, for better or for worse.”
Rotherham singles out Michael Bennet ’87, U.S. senator from Colorado and 10 other educational activists for 2011, saying: “These activists are political and apolitical, working to change school systems from within and without, and can be found in the for-profit, nonprofit and governmental sectors.”
The article says “Bennet, who was Denver’s superintendent of schools before being appointed to fill a vacant Senate seat in 2009, beat the odds in November 2010 and won a full term. He’s tight with the President and has credibility with moderates in both parties. For these reasons, he’ll be a powerful force when the debate on teacher effectiveness and school accountability heats up in Congress.”
Tim Spencer ’97 was named vice president of worldwide sales for Skyword, an innovative venture that has trade-marked the term “search-driven media” (SDM) to describe its service. Spencer will create and oversee the company’s global sales initiatives.
Previously vice president of sales for Gerson Lehrman Group, a market research firm maintaining the world’s largest network of subject-matter experts, Spencer began his career with Good Machine, a leading independent producer and distributor of award-winning films, such as The Ice Storm, In The Bedroom and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. In 2002, the company was acquired by NBC Universal and renamed Focus Features. Spencer, who managed the global sales operation until 2008, was involved with several Academy Award-winning films, including Lost In Translation, The Pianist, The Constant Gardener, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Milk, and Brokeback Mountain.
In a press release, Tom Gerace, CEO and founder of Skyword, says, “Tim’s experience in building teams and defining new markets make him a natural fit and the perfect leader for our team.”
At Wesleyan, Spencer was an American studies major.
Kenneth Kimmell ’82 was named commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. Previously he was general counsel for the executive office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, joining Governor Duval Patrick’s team in 2007.
Energy and Environment secretary-designate Richard Sullivan has described Kimmell as the “legal lead” on all aspects of recent state energy and environmental policy.
Kimmell has been credited with overseeing the state permitting of Cape Wind, the nation’s first off-shore wind project, as well as leading environmental permitting changes and drafting land-based wind energy siting reform legislation.
Additionally, he has focused on the development and early implementation of policy initiatives such as the MEPA Greenhouse Gas policy, a first-in-the-nation policy that requires developers of major projects to identify, avoid, and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.
Prior to joining the Patrick-Murray Administration, Kimmell was in private practice, where he specialized in environmental and land use law and litigation.
A College of Social Studies major at Wesleyan, Kimmell received his law degree from the UCLA School of Law.
The New York Law Journalreports that “Katherine B. Forrest, a litigation partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore who specializes in antitrust and intellectual property, has left the firm to join the U.S. Department of Justice today as deputy assistant attorney general in the antitrust division.”
Forrest ’86 will oversee operations for the division’s criminal and civil programs. Her portfolio will also include overseeing international issues and appellate policy for the division. She had been with Cravath since 1990 and made partner in 1998.
David M. Gruppo ’79 has joined the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. (BTMU) as head of Latin America Corporate and Investment Banking, a newly created position. He reports to Randall Chafetz, head of corporate and investment banking for the Americas.
Gruppo has spent a significant portion of his career involved in Latin American corporate and investment banking, including positions with Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Santander. During the past eight years, he has been focused on the technology sector, working in various capacities with IBM, including T J Watson Research. An economics major at Wesleyan, he earned his JD from the Georgetown University Law Center.
In a press release for the company, Gruppo says he is excited by this opportunity, and he characterizes Latin America as having “strong and sustained growth over many years and demonstrated resilience during the financial crisis.”
He adds: “Latin America has reached an important inflection point where it is no longer emerging; it has emerged. … BTMU opened its first offices in Argentina and Brazil over 90 years ago, and has a long-established presence in Mexico and Chile, so is well-positioned to help facilitate the significant expansion of ties between Asia and Latin America.”
Jonathan Dube ’94 joined AOL as senior vice president and general manager of AOL news and information. Previously, he was vice president of ABCNews.com. Dube has twice served as president of the Online News Association and is now on the board of directors for the association.
In a press release, David Eun, president of AOL media and studios, calls Dube “[e]qual parts journalist and business strategist,” and says that he is “adept at building online content partnerships and creating exceptional user experiences.”
“At the heart of my passion for journalism is my long-time interest in how technology is transforming the media,” said Dube in the release.
A history major at Wesleyan, he has a master’s degree in journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. An award-winner for his work in new media, Dube has also published in a number of print venues, including The New York Times and the Columbia Journalism Review.
On Nov. 30, CBS named Marysol Castro ’96 the weather anchor for “The Early Show,” beginning Jan. 3.
This was part of the network’s sweeping change for the show, replacing the entire weekday anchor team of “The Early Show” with their weekend counterparts.
Castro had most recently served as the weather anchor and feature correspondent for the ABC News weekend edition of Good Morning America (2004–2010). In conjunction with studio coverage of the national weather outlook, Castro also reported weather-related stories from the field, including several from New Orleans and Florida, focused around the recent hurricanes.
Additionally, she has also reported on stories unrelated to weather, including ones on undocumented UC Berkeley students for whom deportation loomed, as well as a family whose young daughter suffered severe allergies to a wide variety of common substances.
On television broadcasts she also swam with sharks at a New Jersey aquarium, dove off cliffs in Hawaii, and covered the Academy Awards from the red carpet.
A government major at Wesleyan, she earned her master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
Katherine O’Brien ’75 was promoted to senior vice president and deputy general counsel at New York Life Insurance Company. She is responsible for managing the employment, litigation, ERISA, contracts, intellectual property, corporate transactions and administrative units of the Office of the General Counsel.
Previously, she was first vice president and deputy counsel after serving as the company’s chief diversity officer. She had joined New York Life in 1995 as a litigator, specializing in employment litigation and benefits compliance.
O’Brien earned a J.D. degree from Brooklyn Law School. At Wesleyan, she majored in English.
Adrienne Bentman ’74, M.D., director for the adult psychiatry residency program at the Institute of Living/Hartford Hospital, received the 2010 Robert Cancro Academic Leadership Award from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP).
The Cancro award recognizes a professional serving in a leadership role for his or her contributions to the promotion of child and adolescent psychiatry.
At the annual meeting of the AACAP, Bentman presented a talk on her recent work: “The Little Engine That Could; Re-Establishing the Institute of Living’s Residencies.”
Most people don’t become CFO of a national organization just one year out of Wesleyan—as a first job, no less—but Seth Halpern ’09 did just that.
A government major, he moved to Washington D.C. after graduation to look for employment, but the job market was difficult and a month later he was still unemployed. One morning at a local cafe he got to chatting with someone who said he worked at a software start-up, NationalField. Halpern admits that he’s always been “tech savvy” and the two hit it off. From there, he was introduced to the NationalField founders and he accepted a volunteer position with the team. A short time later, the CEO gave Halpern one of the top positions in the organization, formally naming him chief financial officer for NationalField,
Thomas Cowhey ’94 was appointed vice president of Aetna Investor Relations, responsible for maintaining the company’s relationship with the investor and analyst communities.
Cowhey, who joined Aetna in 2007, has most recently served the company as managing director of new business development. Prior to his affiliation with Aetna, he was a principal with Legacy Partners Group, an independent investment banking firm, and also had been a vice president at Credit Suisse First Boston. At Wesleyan, he majored in economics. He holds an MBA, with a concentration in health sector management, from Duke.
Aetna Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Joseph M. Zubretsky noted in a press release that “This new assignment makes very good use of Tom’s diverse experience, his strong knowledge of the health care industry and his familiarity with Aetna’s strategic and financial plans.”