Sixteenth Annual USC High School Halls of FameUpper St. Clair School District
Friday, October 16, 2015
The purpose of the Halls of Fame is to identify and to honor those who have distinguished themselves in academics, the arts or athletics at the high school, collegiate or professional level and who, in so doing, have contributed to the pride and prestige of Upper St. Clair High School.
The Academics Hall of Fame inductees for 2015 are Jonathan Bayat, Barbara Spotz Johnson, William Maher, Michael Rees, and Jeffrey A. Rudolph.The Arts Hall of Fame inductees for 2015 are Tim Federle, Lisa Wunderlich Wetzel, and Denise Wunderlich.The Athletic Hall of Fame inductees for 2015 are Cameron Griffin, Jeffrey A. Rudolph, and Aly Walker.See below to read the brief bios and to enjoy some of the "digital memories" of that day!
Listed below are brief bios about all of our inductees.At the bottom of the page, there is a photo gallery and a link to more pictures.
The Academics Hall of Fame inductees for 2015 are:Jonathan Bayat, Class of 1996, was a competitive swimmer who was captain as a junior and senior. He was a senator of his senior class. Jon was the winner of the 1996 Veterans of Foreign Wars Voice of Democracy Broadcast Script Competition. His script, “Answering America’s Call,” was published in the Congressional Record on April 16, 1996. Because of his interest in government service, Jon went to American University in Washington, D.C., which specializes in foreign affairs. Jon earned a BA in Economics and International Studies in the year 2000. He began the rigorous process of joining the Foreign Service. As a result of written and oral tests, the usual 15,000 applicants were narrowed down to about 20 individuals who were invited to join the Foreign Service. His proficiency in Russian led to Jon’s first assignment at the U.S. Embassy in Minsk, Belarus, where he worked as the operational and logistical director. Because of his ability to speak Spanish, his second assignment was to the Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He also had overseas tours in Turkmenistan and in Denmark. While in Copenhagen, Jon taught a course in “Financial Intelligence” for the Copenhagen Business School. During his Washington tours, he worked in the Executive Office of the Department of State’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs and in Career Development, where he focused on deployment of Foreign Service Officers and on U.S. security interests. In recognition of his service, Jonathan has been the recipient of two Department of State Superior Honor Awards, five Department of State’s Meritorious Honor Awards, and the Department of State’s Franklin Award. This year Jon earned an MBA from the University of Maryland. When he was in Belarus, he met his wife Yulia. Jon and Yulia live in Arlington, VA, with their daughters Nadia and Liliana.
Barbara Spotz Johnson, Class of 1975, was a member of the National Honor Society and the recipient of a National Merit Letter of Commendation. Her activities were mainly in the fields of music and drama. Barbara was a singer, soloist, and accompanist for the Choir Department. She also had leading roles in plays and musicals. Barbara continued her interest in music at Grove City College. She was a member of the Chapel Choir and won first place in the Greek Sing of 1979. Academically, Barbara earned a BS in Biology and Chemistry and was a member of two honoraries. In 2004 she was given the Grove City Jack Kennedy Alumni Achievement Award. In 1984 Barbara earned a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the William and Mary School of Law. Her legal work consists largely of enabling patent processing for medical devices and protocols to enhance the health care options for the elderly and the infirm. Combining her biotechnology and biomedical knowledge with her extensive research into resources and treatments, Barbara is an outstanding advocate for those in need. In 2008 Barbara established her own legal practice to focus on intellectual property law. In addition to her law practice, Barbara has taught intellectual property law at California University of PA and at Grove City College. Currently she is the president-elect of the Rotary Club of Pittsburgh. Barbara studies Spanish and Mandarin Chinese to communicate with new citizens. Maintaining her interest in classical music, Barbara has been a singer and accompanist for the Mendelssohn Choir and the Shadyside Presbyterian Church Choir. Recently Barbara was a soloist in the USCHS Choral Reunion Concerts. Barbara lives with her husband Richard and they have a grown daughter.William Maher, Class of 1974, was the president of the National Honor Society and valedictorian of his class. He was a member of the tennis team all four years. He was the editorial editor of the St. Clairion and a founding member of the Recycling Team. For his accomplishments Bill was awarded a Westinghouse Family Scholarship and a Richard King Mellon National Merit Scholarship. He studied electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Notre Dame. When he earned his BS in electrical engineering, Bill was the valedictorian of his class. He won the Father Steiner Award from the College of Engineering and was named to two honoraries. Bill was a Notre Dame Scholar and Speakers Commissioner of his residence hall. In 1980 Bill was graduated with a MS in Electrical Engineering from MIT where he was named to the Sigma Xi research honorary. In 1984 Bill was graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School. His third year paper for law school was published as a report by Harvard Program on Information Policy. Before law school Bill worked on computer and data networks for Bell Labs. After law school he focused on telecommunications and worked for the Federal Communications Commission. He has worked for the FCC and for the United States Department of Commerce as the head of the domestic policy for telecommunications. He was awarded a Silver Medal from the US Department of Commerce. While living in the Washington, DC area, Bill has supported and is a former president of the Rachael’s Women’s Center, a shelter for homeless women. Bill and his wife Michelle Berberet live in Alexandria, VA, and are the parents of Clair and Will, two grown children.
Michael Rees, Class of 1993, was a member of the National Honor Society and the valedictorian of his class. He was listed by Westinghouse as one of the top 10 Math and Science students in the Pittsburgh area. Mike earned a full academic scholarship to the University of Pittsburgh Honors College. In 1995 he was named the Barry M. Goldwater Fellow as one of the top 60 engineering students in the United States. Mike was the valedictorian when he earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a BA in Political Science. As one of the top 30 math and science students in the US, Mike was awarded a Research Fellowship by the Department of Defense. He attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he earned a MS in Mechanical Engineering and a MS in Technology Policy. Upon graduation Mike worked for Lehman Brothers where he supervised the strategic acquisitions for the Investment Management Division. In 2009 Mike was a founding employee and shareholder of Neuberger Berman Group, transitioning from Lehman Brothers as part of the management buyout transaction. He was named the Chief Operating Officer of Neuberger Berman Alternatives. This position led Michael to found and head the Dyal Capital Partners which is a $5 billion unit of global asset management of Neuberger Berman. Because of his success as an industrial leader in the Hedge Fund and Private Equity Industry, he and his team have become the focus of many global publications. Michael is a frequent speaker at industrial events. Mike married Allison Kerr from the USCHS Class of 1995 and they live a very busy life in New Canaan, Connecticut. Mike coaches their son Dylan’s baseball team and their daughter Alexis’s soccer team. Allison and Mike are active members of their church and strong supporters of a shelter for homeless boys.
Jeffrey A. Rudolph, Class of 1985, won many accolades in athletics as his Athletics Hall of Fame biography will reveal. For his achievements in academics, he was a member of the National Honor Society. He went on to Yale University where he earned a BS in Biology. Jeff attended the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. In 1991 he received the Dr. I. Arthur Mirsky Award for Excellence in Research and in 1992 he served as the School of Medicine Class President. After graduation, Jeff did a Pediatric Internship and a Pediatric Residency at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and then two years of pediatric fellowships in gastroenterology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. For the next eight years he remained in Cincinnati as a research instructor and then assistant professor in Pediatric Gastroenterology. As one of the leading specialists in intestinal failure in pediatric patients, Jeff has published articles and abstracts; he has delivered numerous lectures and conducted many seminars. He received grants to conduct research to investigate management and prevention of intestinal failure. He has participated in various symposiums and workshops around the country and the world. In 2009 Jeff returned to the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. In 2014 he became a Visiting Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Gastroenterology and the Medical Director of ICARE, Intensive Care and Rehabilitation Service. Currently Jeff serves on the Complex Abdominal Steering Committee, a Transplant Quality Council, and a Nutrition Committee. Because of his expertise in the field, Jeff has recently traveled as far away as Qatar and Austria to conduct seminars. At home he was a nominee for the “Nan Couts Award for the Ultimate Volunteer” and for the past three years he has earned the Pittsburgh Magazine “The City’s Best Doctor” Award. Jeff and his wife live in Wexford with their two children.The Arts Hall of Fame inductees for 2015 are:Tim Federle, Class of 1998, developed his interest in the performing arts by singing in the Boys Chorus and in the Pantheon Choir. His involvement in the musicals resulted in his being a four year member of the Thespians. After he was graduated, Tim traveled to New York City to achieve his dream of dancing on Broadway. Tim reached his goal when he was a member of the original casts of The Little Mermaid and Gypsy, starring Bernadette Peters. When he was still performing, he began writing books directed to children. When his first novel Better Nate Than Ever was published, the Huffington Post described his writing as “Judy Blume as seen through a Stephen Sondheim lens.” The novel was named a New York Times Notable Children’s Book of 2013 and a Best Book of 2013 by Amazon, by Publishers Weekly, and by Slate.com. The sequel to this work, Five, Six, Seven, Nate! was named a Best Book of 2015 by Amazon and the American Booksellers Association; it also received a Lambda Literary Award. Tim’s narration of both novels won him audiobook honors from the American Library Association. His first picture book for young readers, Tommy Can’t Stop, was an independent booksellers’ Indie Next Pick. Over the past few years, Tim has become a nationally recognized speaker who describes his journey from being bullied to dancing on Broadway to writing books. CNN referred to Tim as the “perfect mentor,” and the Atlantic called him “a man who has devoted his life to giving others a good time—regardless of who his audience is.” Recently Tim has published bestselling cocktail recipe books. His latest, entitled Gone with the Gin: Cocktails with a Hollywood Twist, will be released this month. His first novel for young adults, The Great American Whatever, will be released by Simon and Schuster next spring.
Lisa Wunderlich Wetzel, Class of 1979, was very active in musical groups and dramatic productions. She was a member of the Choir, Concert Band, Marching Band, and Color Guard. Lisa appeared in the musicals Fiddler on the Roof, Oliver, West Side Story, and My Fair Lady; she performed in the dramas Our Town and Arsenic and Old Lace. For her service on stage, Lisa was elected to become a member of Thespians. She went to the University of Nevada in Las Vegas and earned a BA in Communications. In performance Lisa appeared in concert with Paul Anka and on stage in La Boheme and Parpignol. She became the Secretary/Treasurer of Southern Nevada Music Company, an authorized Steinway and Sons piano dealer. She is also a spokesperson on the web for the Hyundai/Young Chang Piano Company. Lisa is also the Director of the Music Education Program for Southern Nevada Music. In this capacity she supervises the 180 students who are studying piano, guitar, voice, violin, viola, flute, clarinet, and saxophone. Obviously Lisa has a profound influence on many student musicians in the Las Vegas area. Lisa enjoys following a healthy lifestyle with her family and her pets in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Denise Wunderlich, Class of 1978, participated in almost every musical group that USCHS had to offer. She was in the Choir, the Chanteclairs, and the All-State Choir. She was in Concert Band and Marching Band. Because of her work in Fiddler on the Roof, Oliver, and West Side Story, Denise was invited to become a member of Thespians. After graduation Denise went to the University of Nevada where she earned a BS in Business Administration, Finance, and Investments. Denise has combined her musical talents and experience with her business training. As a singer she performed with “The Tenors,” on PBS and with the McGuire Sisters in a television commercial. She performed in concert with Paul Anka and Barry Manilow and on stage in Les Miserables, La Boheme, A Christmas Carol, and Carousel. Denise was a member of the Las Vegas Master Singers who studied voice with Voltaire Verzosa. She is a spokesperson on the web for the Hyundal/Young Chang Piano Company. Denise teaches piano and voice. In 2007 Denise wrote and sang satirical lyrics about the Great Recession of 2007 and Steinway Pianos. As a result, she won $700,000 credit from Steinway and Sons. Denise became President of the Southern Nevada Music Company as an authorized Steinway and Sons piano dealer. In addition to demonstrating her business acumen, she also has continued her career as a vocalist. She has been a soloist for the Las Vegas Philharmonic fundraising outreach program. She has signed with Alanna Records with the Colourtime Project. Denise has a new CD called “2Believe” coming out this fall. Not only has she been successful as a performer, Denise Wunderlich has passed her knowledge on to her students and clients.The Athetics Hall of Fame inductees for 2015 are:Cameron Griffin, Class of 2005, was a star in both soccer and basketball. He was also the Senior Class President and a member of National Honor Society. For the USC Men’s Soccer Team, Cam was a three year starter and two year captain. During his senior year the team had a 27-0-0 record and was ranked by the NSCAA publication the Number One High School Men’s Soccer Team in the nation. During that year Cam defensively anchored the team which scored 109 goals while surrendering only 9. During his three years the team won back-to-back state titles, two section titles, and one WPIAL Championship. As a senior, Cam was named to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette’s and the Tribune Review’s Elite Eleven teams. He was a two-year All-section and All-WPIAL performer. As a senior, Cam was named to the All-State Team. In the sport of basketball, Cam was the starting point guard for the 2004-2005 WPIAL Championship Team. The team went 27-3. During his four years on the basketball court, the Panthers never lost a home game. After graduation from USCHS, Cam attended Davidson College and played soccer for four years. Cam was a captain for two years. He started in 36 games and the team entered the NCAA Division I Top 25 rankings twice and won honorable mention in the All-Southern Conference. During his final year at Davidson, Cam was the recipient of the Coleman-Lew Award given to the top male athlete in the Southern Conference who demonstrates excellence and leadership within the sporting arena, the classroom, and the community. Cam also served as the president of his fraternity and was appointed to the Student Athletic Advisory Committee. Since 2010 Cam has worked for Artisan Partners, an investment firm for large institutions and high-net worth individuals. He lives in San Francisco, CA, with his wife Laura Jean.
Jeffrey A. Rudolph, Class of 1985, earned the nickname Rudy when he was on the Panther football team in the early 1980s. He was an offensive tackle named to the Class AAA Parkway All-Conference First Team in 1984. Because of his exceptional academic and athletic accomplishments, Jeff was recruited by the football coaches at Yale University. During his second year, he became a starter at left guard. In 1987 Jeff earned an Honorable Mention as an All-Ivy League Offensive Guard; in 1987 and 1988 he was named to the All-Ivy First Team. In 1988 he was the recipient of the Jordan Oliver Award and a nominee for a national scholar athlete recognition. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Yale Bowl, the university has selected an All-Era Team. Jeff Rudolph was selected as a guard representing the period of 1978 to 1997. Despite his outstanding achievements as an athlete, Jeff’s work in the field of medicine seems to overshadow those accomplishments. His development as a physician at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School and as a specialist in the field of pediatric gastroenterology at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and at the University of Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital is described in his academic biography. They prepared him for his returning to the University of Pittsburgh’s Children’s Hospital in 2009. At the surprisingly early age of 42, Jeff was named an Associate Professor to lead the Department of Pediatrics Division of Gastroenterology. In this capacity he leads a team of nine specialists who treat pediatric patients who have experienced intestinal failure. Despite the critical condition of all their patients, the team has been able to lower the mortality rate by over 20%. In the field of Pediatric Gastroenterology around the world and at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, Dr. Jeffrey Rudolph is a hero. He is also a hero to his wife and two sons.
Aly Walker, Class of 2009, was a soccer star throughout her four years at USCHS. She lettered all four years and was a captain for three. Aly was named the Almanac Most Valuable Player. She was recognized as All-Section for four years, as All-State for three years, and as Regional All-American as a senior. In addition to her succession the playing field, Aly served in several other ways. She helped to develop and to serve on the Athletes Taking Action program. Aly performed over 200 hours of community service at St. Clair Hospital. As a senior she was the recipient of the Upper St. Clair Women’s Club Scholarship. After graduation from USCHS, Aly became a four year scholar athlete at the Ohio State University. She was a four year lettered member of the Women’s Soccer Team from 2009 to 2012; she was co-captain in 2012. Aly was a 3 year member of the All-Big Ten Team, a Big Ten Champion/College Cup Participant in 2010, a Sweet-Sixteen Participant in 2011, and an Honorable Mention for the Academic All-American Team of 2011. She also served as a member of the Student Life Weekend Calendar Committee for Dr. E. Gordon Glee. In 2013 Aly was graduated cum laude with a BS in Human Ecology and in 2014 she earned an MS in Education. Currently Aly is teaching seventh grade math in Dominion Middle School, a part of the Columbus City Schools. She is also coaching girls’ high school soccer at Columbus North International School.