Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute | About RPI | Academics & Research | Student Life | Admissions | News & Information
* *

Class Notes Features

railroad trolley Call for Model Railroaders: In honor of its 60th anniversary, the Model Railroad Society will hold a gathering during Homecoming 2007, the weekend of October 19-21. To be included on a mailing list for the event, former members can send an e-mail to Kevin Endriss ’78 at or to Peter Pedone at

Nicholas Zefferys ’61

Photo by Kris Qua
Nicholas Zefferys ’61 Recognized for Global Contributions

Nicholas Zefferys ’61, of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was honored with the Rensselaer Alumni Association Fellows Award from the Lally School’s Center for Financial Technology on Nov. 1.

As part of his visit to campus, Zefferys presented a lecture titled “Changing the Game: The Role of Innovation in the Business Enterprise in the Global Context.”

Zefferys is president and CEO of Applied Consulting and Engineering, a company that provides business consulting and engineering services globally, with a primary focus on Southeast Asia.

He has been conferred with an honorary award by the King of Malaysia that carries the title of Datuk (Sir), in recognition of his significant contributions to the country.

Zefferys is a member of the Malaysian American Society Executive Committee, the Malaysia-United States Business Council, and the Malaysian Economic Society. He also served as an adviser to the Joint United States Military Assistance Commands in Vietnam & Thailand.

As governor and past president of the American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce, Zefferys has helped open doors for Rensselaer in Malaysia and is developing partnerships between the Institute and the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation, as well as leading Malaysian universities.

Paul Davis ’66
Paul Davis ’66 Named Jefferson Science Fellow

Paul Davis ’66, professor of mathematical sciences and former dean of the Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, recently began a term as a Jefferson Science Fellow at the U.S. Department of State. One of only six fellows chosen for the 2006-07 academic year, Davis is the first mathematician to be named a fellow during the national program’s three-year history.

The fellowship, created in 2003 by the State Department in partnership with the Carnegie Corporation, the MacArthur Foundation, the U.S. science, technology, and engineering academic community, and professional scientific societies, brings senior tenured faculty members in science and engineering to Washington, D.C., for a year-long assignment. Fellows share their areas of scientific and technical expertise with non-specialists within the State Department to help shape U.S. foreign policy.

Davis, whose research interest is the operation and control of electric power systems, is working in the State Department’s East Asia and Pacific regional bureaus in the Regional Security Policy Office, which is responsible for activities arising from the United States’ commitment to an enhanced partnership with the Association of Southeastern Asian Nations. He is also assisting with United Nations agencies whose missions involve development.

Davis received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in mathematics from Rensselaer.

Theta XI members
Homecoming '06. In October, Theta Xi, which was founded at RPI in 1864, celebrated the 75th anniversary of the house the fraternity built at 1490 Sage Avenue. From left, are Roland Cavalier '68, Richard Greenlaw '68, Mike Gass '65, and Hank Malafronte '65.

Sivaporn Dardarananda ’68

Photo by Don Moore
Thai Alumnus Honored for Outstanding Contributions

Sivaporn Dardarananda ’68, of Bangkok, Thailand, received the Rensselaer Alumni Association Fellows Award from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (H&SS) at a ceremony held on campus Oct. 18.

During the event, Dardarananda discussed Thailand’s political economy, the impact engineering has had on the country’s growth over the past 50 years, and the need to preserve the nation’s wilderness and the arts in a lecture titled “Thailand Today: Politics, Engineering, Economy, and Culture.”

Dardarananda is the former chairman of the Thai Investment and Securities Co. Ltd. (TISCO Asset Management Company Ltd.), one of seven companies to be granted a mutual fund license in Thailand in 1992. He currently serves as the secretary general of the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation, which supports a systematic and effective approach to returning domestic elephants to the wild. Dardarandanda was appointed to the 19-member economic policy advisory team established after the Oct. 2, 2006, coup, and is one of 250 National Assembly members responsible for drafting a new constitution for Thailand.

Dardarananda, whose son and brother also received degrees from Rensselaer, is an active alumnus. He established a TISCO Endowed Scholarship Fund at Rensselaer to support Thai graduate and undergraduate students, which has supported 30 scholarships and fellowships to date. He also supported the Thomas Phelan Chair in H&SS.

Class of ’81 ski team members
Class of ’81 ski team members met last winter at Snowbird, Utah, for a 25-year reunion. Clockwise, from left, are Michael Fedun ’81, Craig Ellis ’81, and William Beck ’81. In front is Steve Winckler ’80, who skied with them many years at Tuckerman Ravine in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

Max Yates ’06 and Carrie Knowlton Hawley, M.S. ’95
Alumni Connect in New Orleans. Max Yates ’06 discovered that alumna Carrie Knowlton Hawley, M.S. ’95, shared his desire to help rebuild New Orleans when they met there by chance in early November. Both were helping out at the Musicians’ Village in the upper Ninth Ward.

“The region is still so devastated,” says Yates, former Grand Marshal. “I’m so proud of our initiatives last year that resulted in over $28,000 to benefit the barraged coast, but having seen the region firsthand, I can tell you it is going to take so much more.”

Hawley lauds the residents who have chosen to return and invest in the future of the city, and encourages others to continue to help. “There is so much that needs to be done and the Musicians’ Village project brings such a beautiful ray of light to a completely devastated area.” Hawley, who received her master’s in lighting, is an associate with Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design in New York City.

Jamie Rolewicz '96
Jamie Rolewicz '96 Keeps NASCAR on the Move

Besides hugging curves at speeds upward of 100 miles per hour, jockeying for position among competitors, and spending Sundays thrilling tens of thousands of screaming fans, what do Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have in common? The answer lies with a Rensselaer alumnus.

Six years after graduating from the Institute with a degree in civil engineering, Jamie Rolewicz ’96 started Champion Tire and Wheel Inc., a Cornelius, N.C.-based company that provides more than 4,000 15-inch wheels per week for the cars of nearly every team in NASCAR’s Nextel Cup, Busch Grand National, and Craftsman Truck racing series.

During the course of the 37-week race season, each NASCAR team purchases roughly 300 wheels from Champion, keeping 60 on hand at the track each race day in case of accidents.

Rolewicz, a stock car racing enthusiast, got involved in the sport while working for Goodyear as a part-time tire engineer.

“Through that experience I developed an understanding of the design of race tires and their use on stock cars, which eventually led to the creation of Champion,” he says.

Beyond simply supplying the wheels, Rolewicz’s company provides a transportation service for its racing customers, shipping damaged and used wheels back to Champion’s storage facility from the raceway each week, while simultaneously transporting a second set of restored, new wheels to the next track for the following week’s race.

Jamie Rolewicz '96 Keeps NASCAR on the Move
After a race, Champion’s 50 full-time employees dismount the used tires, clean the rims, and restock the wheels for use at races later in the schedule. Information about frequency of use, low spots on the rim that should be noted during mounting, and other details about the life of the tire are archived in a computer and can be accessed by scanning a bar code placed on every Champion wheel.

Since the company operates strictly for racing teams, there’s no need to promote its services via ads on the sides of the 25 trucks in the hauling fleet. Instead the company uses the vehicles like moving billboards, promoting NASCAR charities like the Victory Junction Gang Camp — founded by NASCAR’s famed Petty family for children with life-threatening illnesses — or blockbuster hits such as Sony Pictures’ Talladega Nights, starring Will Ferrell as NASCAR driver Ricky Bobby.--AC

Weeks – Brousseau ’04 Wedding

Kivy Weeks ’03 and Guillaume Brousseau ’04 were married in Vermont on May 28, 2006. The wedding was at the home of her father, Tom Weeks, M.S. ’89, and the reception was catered by RPI grads Keith Downes ’91 and Neil Eklund ’91. Pictured from right to left are Greg and Mary LaChance ’97, Kivy Weeks ’03, Guillaume Brousseau ’04, Kelly Hutchinson ’03, Christopher Graves ’04, Tom Weeks ’89, Ramona Pierce ’03, Neil Eklund ’91, Keith Downes ’91, Kyle Camp ’04, Mike Eglesia ’03, and Damjan Zotovic ’03.

Weeks – Brousseau ’04 Wedding

Anderson ’04 – Mann ’04 Wedding

Gregory Mann ’04 married Monica Anderson ’04 on Oct. 28, 2006, at St. Margaret Mary's Church in Albany. Many RPI alumni were present, including Kenneth Anderson Sr. '50, Kenneth Anderson Jr. '76, Thomas Georgens ’81 and Kathleen (Anderson) Georgens '81, and many more. The newlyweds honeymooned in Aruba, and currently live on Long Island, N.Y.

Photo by Jill Kaiser Photography, Troy N.Y.

Anderson ’04 – Mann ’04 Wedding

Rivera ’90 Wedding

Michael Rivera ’90 wed Paula Hollar on the west lawn of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 30, 2006. Theta Xi fraternity brothers in attendance included, from left, Ronald Vogel ’90, Sean Hulsebosch ’90, (Rivera), and Jeffrey Lamoree ’90. Michael is now with Clark Construction Group, L.L.C., in Bethesda, Md.

Rivera ’90 Wedding

Rivera ’90 Wedding

Phi Sigma Delta in Napa

Ten Phi Sigma Delta alumni from the Class of ’59 got together for a reunion in August 2006 in Napa, Calif. Standing, left to right, are Michael Salkind, Bob Zimels, Al Retzky, Ira Kaltinick (in front of Al), Mike Burwen, Gerry Eppner, Art Bildman, Al Skopp, and Rob Lynn. Seated, is Millie Roth.

Phi Sigma Delta in Napa

Class of ’67 Planning Committee

Planning for the 40th Reunion of the Class of ’67 is off to a great start, with the help of a large planning committee, who have barely changed over the years! Catch up with these fellows at Reunion, June 7-10.

Class of ’67 Planning Committee

* *
Rensselaer Home Page | AlumServ Home Page

Feature Articles | President's View | At Rensselaer | Class Notes Features
Making a Difference | Rensselaer Milestones | Staying Connected | In Memoriam
Back Issues

Rensselaer (ISSN 0898-1442) is published in Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.

Opinions expressed in these pages do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or the policies of the Institute.
© 2007 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. All rights reserved worldwide.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), 110 8th St., Troy, NY 12180. (518) 276-6000
Web site design by Strategic Communications and External Relations.
Questions? Comments? Please contact
Tracey Leibach, Managing Editor.