Alum Notes

Alum Notes

We take pride in celebrating the good news of our fellow alumni. Where has life taken you since graduation? Tell the Tech alumni community about career changes, achievements, family news, awards, and more by submitting an alum note using the form below.

All Notes
  • All Notes
  • Awards & Publications
  • Career Milestones
  • Life Celebrations
  • Memories
  • Technite Diamond Club
  • Volunteering

Class of 1967

Gerard Walsh

March 8, 2023

I was proud to play football from 1963-1967 under the guidance of legendary coach Adam Cirillo. If you were a member of the team, life at Tech was a little bit different. We were grouped together in a homeroom (i.e., “T” prefect) with our fellow team members. This promoted camaraderie but also allowed Adam to address the group on both team and school matters. We also received academic assistance when needed. That was the overriding theme at Tech: academic excellence.
At the time, our team practiced across the street in Fort Greene Park. It was not a field, it was a dirt hilltop shared with broken bottles and rocks. It is amazing that we performed as well as we did. We would practice till the sun went down, cross Dekalb Avenue, go up to the locker room, shower, dress, then most of us would hop on a bus or subway back home. On Friday we would take our equipment home to bring to the game on Saturday. No fancy bus rides for us. And, since we did not have a field of our own, we played our home games at Boys High’s field. All this sounds like complaining, but it was a process we rolled with and never thought we were deprived.
Lastly, I would like to share some some of my more vivid  memories of Tech. I remember the ‘fairy-dust battles’ in foundry; going to Dykes Lumber to get a piece of pine when we ruined our step V block in Shop; gathering in our beautiful auditorium for assembly sessions; torturing the slop cops at lunchtime; avoiding the SOS in the hallways; dreading walking to classes on the upper floors; figuring how to turn a three-view drawing into an isometric; and hoping Mr. Kaufmann would not call on you to discuss the Weekend In Review section from the New York Times, etc., etc.

Class of 1963

Ronald Vazzano

March 8, 2023

After graduation from Tech, I attended Manhattan College where I earned a BBA with a major in advertising. I spent 31 years as a media director at major ad agencies in New York and L.A. That career was interspersed with a seven-year stint as an actor (still am a member of Actors’ Equity). Twenty-four years after I returned to advertising, I retired in 2003 from the Publicis Groupe, a French-owned international advertising and media company.

I’ve spent the last 20 years as a writer, poet, and speaking performer and frequently do public readings through the auspices of the writers’ groups I belong to: Italian American Writers Association (IAWA), Irish American Writers and Artists (IAMWA), and the Independent Writers of Southern California (IWOSC). I have written a monthly online piece I call a MuseLetter. It is now in its 19th year and can be accessed here.

I didn’t turn out to be an engineer, but was able to apply the training and discipline I learned at Tech, through its challenging curriculum, to other professions and life endeavors. I have not set foot in  Brooklyn Tech in 60 years and look forward to returning for Homecoming, March 25, 2023.

Class of 1966

Arnold T. Oftedal

January 25, 2023

Tech was extra special. I remember the transit strike when Ken Larsen and I rode our bikes to school and  were permitted to “park” them in the inside courtyard. Ken and I were Editors-in-Chief of the Blueprint. Teachers I remember are: Dr. Rich, Mr. Pasner, Mr. Polan, Miss Coyle, Mrs. Piraino, Mr. Malachias, Mr. Starfield, Mr. Weiss, and Miss Cincotta. There were many others I can list – indicative of the tremendous impact they all had on my years at Tech.

I attended CCNY, earning a BS in Mathematics, went on to Richmond College, earning an MS in Math Education, and subsequently going on to CSI, earning a 6th Year Certificate in Supervision and Administration. I taught Mathematics in the NYC school system for 14 years, moving on to administration, becoming an Assistant Principal Administration, subsequently leaving NYC schools after 23 years to enter administration in the New Jersey school system. I was a high school principal for 14 years, ending my career as an elementary school principal. I retired after 40 years.

During my career in education, I was also a member of the New York  Army National Guard, receiving my commission as an officer in 1971 and then leaving the military in 2000 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Now, in retirement, I have become involved with Northern Ocean, NJ Habitat For Humanity on a volunteer construction team. I am also involved with the Norwegian Christian Home and Health Center in Brooklyn, as a member of the Board of Directors. Finally, I am also a Board Member at the Lutheran Brethren Conference Center in Pennsylvania.

All in all, my direction towards leadership in most all that I have undertaken I attribute to my development at BTHS. Those three years (I came in the 10th grade) were the most profound in my educational upbringing. For that, I am profoundly thankful. Not to get too corny, but: “Tech Alma Mater, Molder of Men!”

Class of February 1953

Donald (Steinberg) Sargent

January 25, 2023

I earned a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree from Cornell University in 1958, then worked for Union Carbide Chemicals in Charleston, WV. In 1964, joined Grumman’s Apollo Lunar Module propulsion design team, followed by the on-site propulsion test program at NASA’s White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico. Post-Apollo, I worked for Versar, a contractor to the Environmental Protection Agency, for more than 15 years, for EPA’s effluent guidelines and priority pollutants programs. Along the way, became a Registered Professional Engineer and a Certified Industrial Hygienist.
Afterwards, returned to aerospace and rejoined Grumman for NASA’s International Space Station project, in the development of the Space Station’s propulsion and environmental control and life support. Completed 18 years at Johnson Space Center in Houston in 200. After a 3-week retirement, joined the Commercial Space Transportation office of the Federal Aviation Administration in Washington, DC, evaluating rocket operators’ (SpaceX, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, and others) launch licenses to ensure safety for the uninvolved public, specializing in propulsion and life support. Still working full-time (at age 87) for FAA.

Class of 1952

John Huson

December 19, 2022

I followed my recently deceased brother, George R. Huson ’47, who became a rocket scientist, to Tech where I swam on Coach Connell’s team. Still swimming. Swam at the U.S. Masters Short Course National Swimming Championships in 2021. After Tech, won an NROTC scholarship to University of Louisville, Kentucky, where I swam on the team and met my wife of 65 years. After graduation and commissioning spent six years in the Caribbean before returning to the U.S.
Bumped around until 1972, when I had the opportunity to move to Charlotte, N.C., where I founded Carocon, a general contractor company.  We have built over 30,000 housing units and last year had a volume of over $14,000,000. Have five children, 14 grandchildren, and seven grandchildren. Friends and classmates can reach me here.

Class of 1958

Malcolm Davidson, M.D. FAAP

December 16, 2022

I have very vivid memories of my four years at BTHS and still have my Major T. Like so many of my classmates, I too feel a tremendous sense of gratitude to Tech for my four years of excellent education.
I went on to get my BA at Uptown Hunter College (now Lehman College) in the Bronx and clocked four more years commuting via the NYC transit system. I then went to Upstate Medical School in Syracuse. My internship and residency in Pediatrics were completed at Children’s Hospital and Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas and Baylor Hospital Program in Houston. After two years in the USAF Medical Corp, I returned to Dallas, spent 45 years in General Pediatric practice and have been retired for the past seven years.
Amongst my best and most memorable teachers were Mr. Lincoln (Industrial Processes) and Mr. Tron (French). Amongst my most terrifying teachers were Mr. Nepo (Woodshop) and Mr. Riker (Mechanical Drawing).

If possible, I would like to know if two of my classmates, Charles Courdy and Ronald Cardos are still out there.

Class of 1987

John Mardente

December 16, 2022

I knew I wanted to be a civil engineer ever since I was eight years old. My 6th grade teacher recommended her engineer husband’s high school: BTHS. I told my dad and he brought home the book so I could study for the entrance exam. We had three choices of high school on the exam form and all I marked down was BTHS. I happily gained admission and attended from 1983-87. Dad took me to Tech for a tour and to show me the NYC subway and I loved BTHS. The foundation I have from this school prepared me for my life and I will always appreciate this opportunity. I attained a full scholarship to CCNY to study Civil Engineering and graduated in 1993.

A side note: My dad tried to get into BTHS in 1948 but didn’t make it and had to attend Boys High School. He was very proud of me for getting in and always was so proud of me. He recently passed away in April 2022 and I miss him dearly. Thanks, Dad.

Class of 1958

Michael Gordon

December 16, 2022

After Brooklyn Tech, from which I got the best education anyone could want, rather than pursuing engineering, I changed to Pre-Med and went to Brooklyn College. Because of a desire to travel and explore as much of the world as possible I chose to attend medical school in Scotland, at the University of St. Andrews, the Dundee campus. I travelled through my study years and on graduation did a 5-month internship in OB/GYN in Israel after 6-months medicine in Aberdeen Scotland. I returned to Boston to do a second internship, thence to Montreal, Canada and then to Israel with my Israeli wife. I pursued further internal medicine training in Israel, after I completed my mandatory military service as an Air Force doctor. I returned to Canada in 1973 and took a combined position at the University of Toronto, Mount Sinai Hospital and Baycrest Geriatric Centre. I completed my master’s in Ethics at the University of Toronto
With a specialty in ethics and geriatrics I put my mind to one of passions — writing. I have authored nine books; two have just been revised and a new one is soon to be released. My first book was Old Enough To Feel Better: A Medical Guide for Seniors. My two revised books are Brooklyn Beginnings: A Geriatrician’s Odyssey and Moments that Matter: Cases in Ethical Elder Care. My new book, Looking through the Lens: Reflections on Medicine, Ethics and Society, should be released in 2023.
I am retired from practice and live with my wife Gilda Berger from Winnipeg and have four children, two from my first marriage and two with Gilda.
I consider myself a very lucky person — Brooklyn Tech was the beginning of that quest for adventure and knowledge.

Class of 1954

Ivan D. Steen

December 3, 2022

I graduated Tech in January 1954 and immediately enrolled in NYU’s College of Engineering, expecting to complete a program in electrical engineering. After two semesters, however, I realized that a career in engineering was not for me, so I transferred to NYU’s College of Arts and Sciences, with a major in History. I graduated in 1957 and immediately began graduate school, also at NYU, and received an MA in American History in 1959. I had taken six months off in 1958 to complete the Basic Infantry Officer Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, and then served a couple of months at Fort Dix, New Jersey. I stayed on at NYU, and completed a Ph.D. in American History in 1962. I taught for three years at CUNY/Hunter College, and in 1965 accepted a professorial position in the History department of the University at Albany, SUNY. I introduced a course in American Urban History, which I taught regularly until my retirement in 2010. I was also the founding director of my department’s Oral History Program and its Graduate Program in Public History, and directed both programs for thirty years. In addition to numerous scholarly articles and book chapters, I’ve authored Urbanizing America: The Development of Cities in the United States from the First European Settlements to 1920, and co-authored United University Professions: Pioneering in Higher Education Unionism. My wife and I have been married for more than sixty-four years, and have two daughters.

My thanks to Brooklyn Tech for providing me with an outstanding high school education and a wonderful experience.

Class of 1947

Sam Koeppel

December 2, 2022

I invite all alumni (and students, too!) to visit the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, Long Island. As one of its many docents since the museum’s opening in 2000, I guide visitors through the Apollo section exhibit on Thursdays. I was lucky to have worked on Apollo’s Lunar Module proposal at Grumman Aerospace, winner and prime LM contractor, led by Tom Kelly.
Featured Apollo exhibit? One of the three remaining flight-ready Apollo Lunar Modules that did not go to the party. Ours sits on a simulated moonscape with Apollo 11’s Neil Armstrong mannequin descending the spacecraft’s ladder.
The museum’s exhibits cover aviation and space on Long Island since 1903. As a result, hundreds of authentic LI aerospace elements occupy the floor and displays, including many Grumman and Republic Aviation aircraft. Countless subcontractors, like Sperry Gyroscope, were also among companies that participated in the extraordinary Lon Island era of aviation and space. Another Tech alum, Andy Parton ’75, is president of the museum, which has generously hosted several Brooklyn Tech Alumni Long Island Chapter breakfasts.

Write an Alum Note

Write an Alum Note