Both in New Jersey and miles away, our Kean graduates are making bold strides. Whether they’re serving up success on the tennis court, rising through the legal field or opening a new culinary sensation, Kean alumni strive for achievement in every endeavor.


Lynn Martin ’58 has enjoyed writing and painting in Southern Vermont since graduating from Kean (Newark State).


John Freeman, '70 retired after dedicating 50 years to public education, beginning his professional career as a sixth-grade teacher in Parsippany, NJ and concluding as superintendent of schools in Pittsfield, NH.

Anne Grasso ’73 is residing at the Oaks at Denville and is looking forward to her 100th birthday in November 2020.

Martin Havran ’78 recently published a book entitled My Vietnam Education or How to Conduct Original Research Without Really Trying. This is a memoir of his Vietnam War tour with historical commentary included. He is donating 100% of proceeds to scholarship funds of The 1st Cavalry Division Association.

Deborah Seeley ’78 is in her 42nd year as a special education teacher. Since March 16th she has been teaching remotely from home and volunteering at her church with the E-Meal Program which provides free meals and other items to anyone, no questions asked. It has been an amazing journey.

Kathleen D. Wilkinson ’78 is becoming PBA president-elect.

Ed Cooney ’79, ’86 completed the 2,192 mile hike of the Appalachian Trail from March - August 2019.

Lissa Brown '78 MA announced publication of her latest novel, Filthy Money, a mystery set in 1950’s Newark, NJ. Published by Quest Books. (Picture below)

Filthy Money


Craig A. Garner ’80 retired from his second job as Systems Analyst at Jersey City Public Schools. Since then he had the opportunity to write and complete his tenth book of Poetry entitled "The Journey...A Poetic Culmination of my Life". He began writing poetry almost twenty years ago as a therapeutic method of helping me deal with many issues. His first book entitled "A Poetic Twist Fate" was just an experiment but led him to believe that he could actually do this when folks were buying his books.

Candace Grimaldi ’80 ’87 is retiring from 38 years of teaching Middle School Science in the Kenilworth District. She would like to thank the college for helping her achieve what she had, an awe-inspiring career!

Gene Pantalone ’82 Rowman & Littlefield as published his 2nd book, From Boxing Ring to Battlefield: The Life of War Hero Lew Jenkins. His 1st book was Madame Bey's: Home to Boxing Legends, which was published in 2016.

Keep Your Songs in Your HeartCarolyn Quinn ’84 has written a second book. This one is for children in middle grades and deals with the separation of friends during World War II when one little girl is forced to enter a Japanese internment camp. It's called Keep Your Songs in Your Heart and it was named an Award Finalist in the 2019 American Fiction Awards.

Gloria Horton ’85 has worked since the beginning of the pandemic at Broadway House for Continuing Care in Newark, NJ. She has been a social worker at Broadway House for 25 years and recently an Administrator in Training. Once visitation was stopped and the residents could not see their families, they started putting into action video chats and encouraging families to send letters and care packages to defray their love ones from feeling the emptiness of not seeing them. Being part of management, she ensured that the staff and the shifts are at least being nourished. Gloria added that “I work with amazing people! For all these reasons We HOLD THE LINE!”

Marianne Jennings ’85 caught the virus and tested positive in mid-March. After thirty-one days she finally tested negative. She is grateful to be here taking classes and help assist my professor in another class at Kean.

Hugo E. Almeida ’88 was visiting Ecuador in mid-March and was able to come back to the US just as it started COVID19. As the CEO of Abitronix and a long-time entrepreneur, he has experienced and successfully lived through many different crises.


Forever is a really long timeKelly Bolton ’92 started working in the pharmaceutical industry. Completed her book in May and as of September 1, 2020, it is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Target, and Dymocks in Australia. The Diocese of Metuchen recently did a story on the book as well.

I am still in the industry but now working as an Access and Reimbursement Manager.

Art Nimbley ’94 was promoted in January 2020 as the Regional IT Manager with my current employer, Pierre Fabre. I have Information Technology oversight and responsibility for 6 countries in North and South America.

Joseph P. Mastandrea ’97 was promoted to Fire Chief of the Kearny Fire Department on July 1, 2020.


Stefanie Lowe ’00 received a Master’s in Autism Spectrum Disorder from Grand Canyon University in Fall 2020.

Christine Warian ’03 MA received her Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration in November 2019 from the University of Phoenix.

Bryan Hoffmann ’04 works full time for the State of NJ in the Office of the Chief State Medical Examiner. His role is rather grim as he is the "Mass Fatality Coordinator" which means he is the one responsible for disaster response.

Mitchell Schlossman ’05 MA published an article in Eurocosmetics Magazine July-August 2019 edition. “Nail Polish for the 21st Century.”

Joi R Fisher, ’07 MA early in the pandemic Joi, who serves as a high school assistant principal decided she was going to send a message to her students In the form of a rap video. They were three weeks into the quarantine, and it appeared that they might not be going back. In hopes of bringing a laugh or a smile to the seniors faces made the message and posted it for seniors. One week later her father was rushed to the hospital and confirmed positive with Covid-19. Now needing to lift her own spirits she changed that rap video into a lyric video “COVID19 Changed the Learning Game” so that she and others could read the lyrics and be reminded that this new normal wasn’t easy but to hang in there. As we reached May in quarantine for Teacher Appreciation Week, she knew the administration team needed to say thank you in a special way the staff for their hard work. Joi put pen to paper and began working on song number two “And We Have To Let Them Know”. The students and staff enjoyed the tribute and she is happy to report that her father is recovering.

Steven MunizSteven Muniz ’07 has been employed by the Florida Broward County school system since 2007, teaching 2nd-5th grades; primarily Gifted/High Achieving classes. Steven has been nominated by the PTA for the "Eleanor Adler Pat on the Back Award" twice for going beyond the services of a teacher. He was nominated as Teacher of the Year for my school several times and Gifted Teacher of the Year for Broward County twice. He earned a Masters in Reading at Florida International University (FIU) with a perfect 4.0 GPA!

Leana Malinowsky ’08 was recently accepted for the Ed.D program at Kean for Educational Leadership. Since graduating, she has been a member of Delta Rho, Kean's chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society for Education. She is currently the Associate Counselor for the chapter at Kean. Since 2014 the chapter became a two-time ACE (Achieving Chapter Excellence) chapter- the highest honor a chapter can receive. While attending the annual conference in Norfolk, VA they received the Florence B. Stratemeyer Award for Chapter Excellence, also known as the ACE of the ACE award. She will have two articles published in a new book by KDP this fall: The New Teacher’s Guide to Overcoming Common Challenges: Curated Advice from Award-Winning Teachers. Finally, she recently filmed a book talk with Scholastic Books.

Sophia Gail Johnson ’10 her story will be displayed at the Veteran Hospital and extension offices in Lake City Commerce as a portrait and on the teleprompters.

Sophia Johnson poster

Shelby R. Miller ’10 ’13 recently started a new job as the Assistant Registrar at the JFK Muhlenberg Snyder Schools in Plainfield, NJ on August 24, 2020.

Scott Lafontaine ’11 went on to Oregon State and received masters in analytical chemistry and Doctorate in hops research (food science) He did a post doc at Cal Davis -Robert Mondavi Institute and then was awarded a Humboldt research Fellowship at the VLB in Berlin Germany, which he starts this coming January. He has a number of publications and has presented at numerous conferences.

Brenda McMahon ’15 had a long running career in the food and beverage industry. For 6 months, she worked in Major League Baseball for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Kansas City Royals doing recruiting for beverage hawkers and managing concession areas. After that, she went back to my family business. From working many music festivals around the country, to cooking a simple BBQ menu at the local street fair and even catering. She decided to pursue the true entrepreneur dream and took over her family catering business.

Since her graduation in 2015, it's made her a very diverse person, highly disciplined in work ethic, and she is a Kean mentor in the General Scholars Program that was launched last year. “Thank you again to the Kean professors, clubs, students, and everyone else involved that made my time extremely valuable for the future #Keanpride”

Amber Yoson ’17 earned her baccalaureate degree in Criminal Justice. In pursuit of that passion, she is currently employed in the Security Department at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in Somerset, NJ. In her capacity as the only female on the force, she is a vital member of the small team. Her responsibilities are varied, from screening patients who enter the emergency room, physically subduing unruly individuals who may be prone to violent outbursts, consoling families who are in trauma, patrolling and securing the Covid floors, and escorting Covid patients to designated areas for treatment. Despite the obvious dangers of working in an extreme Covid environment, Amber executes her duties with compassion, dedication, knowledge and bravery - putting herself at risk by responding at a moment's notice to protect the welfare of others. Her aunt Bernice Hornchak ’75 was excited that Amber chose Kean University to fulfill her educational goals and exceptionally proud of her achievements.

Prince Adjei ’19 was promoted to Coordinator of Records Information Management at his company. He also welcomed twin boys with Nana Adjei.

Jaclyn Palmieri ’19 upon graduation, she was hired as a Corporate Esthetics Trainer where she would train other licensed skin care specialists in The U.S. and Canada. In February, she was promoted to Esthetics Operations Manager for Hand & Stone Franchise Corporation.

Sarah Fichtner ’19 MA since the pandemic began in early March, Sarah and her colleagues have been working day in and day out to provide the necessary treatment services to our clients at Relevance Behavioral Health in Freehold, NJ. Relevance Behavioral Health is an addiction treatment center that offers partial care, intensive-outpatient and outpatient services to adults 18 and older. Additionally, while completing her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling at Kean University, she learned about the NJ Disaster Response Crisis Counselor Certification. This certification represents a partnership between the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services’ Disaster and Terrorism Branch, the Mental Health Association of New Jersey and the Certification Board of New Jersey and is completely funded by the Health Resources Services Administration. During times of uncertainty, she finds it helpful to reflect on the things we are grateful for; thus, she would like to express her sincerest gratitude to Kean University and the entire Counselor Education Department.