Where Are They Now?

By Carol Olechowski
Rebecca Whiteley with students in Moldova

We wondered what was new with Rebecca Whiteley, B.S.’07, (Spring 2009, “A Lifelong Dream Realized”), a Peace Corps volunteer in Moldova two years ago. So we contacted her – and promptly received a response. Whiteley returned to New Jersey with her then-fiancé, Moldova native Costel Sarivan, in December 2009, and the couple married the following month. “Costel is currently in his second semester at Raritan Valley Community College and works at the ARC of Warren County,” e-mailed the Phillipsburg, N.J., native, who now goes by her married surname. “I am working as the development coordinator at Cancer Support Community Greater Lehigh Valley and am applying to graduate programs in fundraising management,” added Sarivan, who majored in political science at UAlbany.

Professor of Political Science Joseph F. Zimmerman must be one of the most prolific writers around! The State University of New York Press, which published his Regulating the Business of Insurance in a Federal System in December, will release Zimmerman’s Horizontal Federalism: Interstate Relations this spring. His manuscript State-Local Governmental Interactions has also been approved for publication. Zimmerman’s many other books include Congress: Facilitator of State Action; The Silence of Congress: State Taxation of Interstate Commerce; and The Government and Politics of New York State: Second Edition – all published by SUNY Press.

Alan Abbey

Alan D. Abbey, B.A.’75, who wrote the initial installment of “The Last Word” for UAlbany (Spring 2007, “Back to the Future”), e-mailed recently to let us know that he’s now Internet director of Shalom Hartman Institute, “an educational think tank and policy center focusing on pluralistic and modern Jewish thought.” The institute runs programs in both Israel and North America, noted Abbey. He and his wife, Sheryl, marketing director for a publishing company, live in Jerusalem with their children, Alex, 15; Ezra, 11; and Maayan, 8.


Owing to the cholera outbreak, Phara Pignard, B.A.’02, M.S.W.’08 (Fall 2010, “Helping Haiti”), and her family delayed their planned December return to the Caribbean country to continue distributing clothing, medicines and other aid to victims of the January 2010 earthquake. Since the publication of her story in UAlbany, “I have collected funds for the shipping of five barrels [of supplies],” wrote Pignard, who earned her undergraduate degree in sociology and criminal justice. “I’ll keep you posted as things progress,” she promised.

Phara Pignard

School of Social Welfare Professor Emeritus Edmund Sherman, Ph.D., let us know about his recent book, Contemplative Aging: A Way of Being in Later Life. Published last July by Gordian Knot Books and distributed by University Press of New England, Contemplative Aging emphasizes “the crucial importance of mind and spirit in the later years of life,” noted Sherman, who lives in Latham, N.Y. “While staying physically and socially active for as long as possible, we would do well to cultivate a more reflective or contemplative approach to living [that will] prepare [us] for the losses of relationships and physical activities.” Sherman, who taught at UAlbany for 22 years before retiring in 1995, follows his own advice: An avid reader, he also continues “a small counseling practice with older (60+) individuals.” In addition, Sherman enjoys “theater, film, chamber concerts and long walks” with his wife.