04 Nov 2013

(This newsletter is also available in PDF form here)



  1. Welcome Message from the President
  2. Homecoming, Nov. 8-10, 2013
  3. Undergraduate News: Fall Inductees, Plans for Year
  4. Alumni News: Class of 2007 and Other Class Notes
  5. “Sphinx” in the News
  6. Sphinx Links Seeks Alumni Mentors for Class of 2014
  7. Sphinx Links Class of 2014 Mentees Seek Mentors
  8. Contribute to the Sphinx Alumni Fund
  9. Join the Sphinx Facebook and LinkedIn Groups
  10.  Send Us Your News, Comments, and Suggestions

1. Welcome Message from the President of the Sphinx Senior Society Board of Governors 

I  became President of the Sphinx Senior Society Board of Governors (BOG) in July 2013. I follow four years of outstanding service by former BOG President, Merrie Frankel, C’76.
Building on Merrie’s excellent record, we have five major goals during this 113th year of Penn’s oldest senior honor society:

  • Strengthen Alumni Outreach. Strengthen outreach to the approximately 1600 living Sphinx alumni through our newsletters, emails, campus and regional gatherings;
  • Support Undergraduate Program. Support the 30 Sphinx senior undergraduates each year as they select and induct their classes each spring and fall and undertake social service and other projects and activities such as Fall and Spring Sphinx gear sales, the Spring Banquet and the Alumni-Graduation Weekend Champagne Brunch;
  • Expand Sphinx Links Mentoring Project. Continue and expand the Sphinx Links mentoring project we started in 2010 to offer the career and life advice of Sphinx alumni to Sphinx undergraduates;
  • Add An Online Class Directory to An Improving Web Site. Add an online Sphinx classmate directory to an ever improving Sphinx web site at www.sphinxseniorsociety.com; and
  • Raise $10,000. Build up the financial resources of the Society to support all of the above activities, starting with a modest $10,000 fundraising goal more than half of which we’ve already raised.
You can read in this Fall Newsletter about our actions to date to reach these goals.
We also hope to tell you more in person during our annual Homecoming Sphinx-Friars joint reception, Saturday, November 9, 2013, 3-4:30 p.m., Bodek Lounge , Houston Hall, right after the Penn-Princeton football game. (see item below)
Finally, I want to thank the following members of the Sphinx BOG for their excellent help in achieving our goals this year and beyond. They are: Gregory Suss, C’75, Vice President; John K. Fiorillo. W’86, Treasurer; Samir Malik, C’08, W’08, WG’14, Secretary and Newsletter Co-Editor; Adrienne Edwards, C’13, Previous Chief; Merrie S. Frankel, C’76, Previous President; Eileen McKeown, C’10, Coordinator, Sphinx Links Mentoring Program; Kiera Reilly, C’93, Coordinator, Alumni Outreach; Carlos Rodriguez, W’12; Lex Ruby-Howe, C’07, WEV’09, WEV’10, GED’12, Co-Newsletter Editor; Anita Saggurti, C’12; Glen S. Schuster, C’86, Co-Coordinator, Web Site and Alumni Data Base; Franklin Shen, ENG’03, Co-Coordinator, Web Site and Alumni Data Base; Dennie Zastrow, C’10, G’13; Current Student Officers: Max Presser, C’14, Chief, Jeremy Pincus, C’14, Pharisee; and Urja Mittal, C’14, W’14, Scribe.
Please help us reach our five goals for Sphinx in 2013-2014 and let us hear from you this school year. We love to receive your emails, letters and donations! (For the latter, please click on www.sphinxseniorsociety.com/donate)

Think Sphinx!

Steve Klitzman, C’66, President, Sphinx Senior Society BOG, sphinxseniorsociety@gmail.com,
sklitzma@aol.com; W: 202-418-1763; H: 301-263-0616; C: 202-277-9509.

2. Sphinx at 2013 Homecoming: Honor L. John Clark, Chief, 1963; Buy Sphinx Gear on College Green; Attend Homecoming Reception

Please join us on campus, Friday- Saturday, November 8-9, for 2013 Homecoming. While there are many activities taking place on campus that weekend, we want to note these with special Sphinx significance:

Friday, November 8
79th Alumni Award of Merit Gala
Join us in congratulating and celebrating Sphinx member and Chief, 1963, L. John Clark, W’63, WG’68, as he is honored with the annual 2013 Alumni Award of Merit.

For more information on the gala and to purchase tickets, please see: http://www.alumni.upenn.edu/homecoming2013/friday.html and http://www.alumni.upenn.edu/pennalumni/aamgala/index.html

Saturday, November 9th
Buy Sphinx Gear on College Green
Meet current Sphinx undergraduate members and alumni at the Sphinx table on College Green from 10:30 am – Noon. We’ll be selling Sphinx gear like baseball caps and sun glasses so you can refresh your Sphinx wardrobe.

Annual Joint Sphinx-Friars Homecoming Reception

Immediately following the Penn-Princeton Football game, approximately 3:00 – 4:30 pm. Bodek Lounge, Houston Hall, 3417 Spruce Street

Cost: $10 (payable at the door); free for children, undergraduates and members of the Class of 2013
RSVP not required, but appreciated: sphinxseniorsociety@gmail.com

3. Undergraduate News: Fall Inductees and Plans for Year

The Sphinx Class of 2014 completed its roster on October 6, 2013 by inducting the fall members of its class in a pinning ceremony in Houston Hall, Hall of Flags. Here’s an alphabetical list of the newest members of our Sphinx community with their activity and Penn school:

  • Diana Estefania Estrada Alamo , C’14, Queer People of Color
  • Mia Garuccio, C’14, PRISM
  • Elysse Gorney, C’14, Women’s Softball
  • David Kaiser-Jones, C’14, Penn Band
  • Tiffany Kang, C’14, Excelano Project
  • Pulak Mittal, W’14, ENG’14, PennApps
  • Julie Palomba, C’14, SPEC

They join the 23 other members of the Sphinx Class of 2014 inducted at the Spring Banquet on April 26, 2013:

  • Maxwell Presser, C’14, Chief, Medical Emergency Response Team
  • Jeremy Pincus, C’14, Pharisee, 1-in-4, PennQuest Orientation
  • Urja Mittal, C’14, W’14, Penn Political Coalition, Penn Political Review
  • Thando Ally, C’14, The Inspiration
  • Tania Chairez, W’14, Penn for Immigrant Rights & Latino Coalition
  • Frank Colleluori, C’14, NEC
  • Josh Cooper, C’14, Hillel
  • Mugha Eltigani, C’14, MSA
  • Hannah Gann, C’14, Community-School Student Partnerships, VarsityCheerleading
  • Carelle Hernandez, C’14, Latino Coalition, Onda Latina
  • Dau Jok, C’14, Basketball & Dut Jok Youth Federation
  • Ethan Jones, W’14, Men’s Soccer
  • Eliana Machefsky, C’14, Student Labor Action Project
  • Allegra Margolis, W’14, Wharton Women
  • Kris Martin, W’14, Football
  • Isa Oliveres, C’14, Mex@Penn, 34th Street
  • Spencer Penn, C’14, Class Board
  • Akiff Premjee, C’14, Penn Masala
  • Jonathan Rosenbaum, W’14, ENG’14, Weiss Tech House, Engineering Deans’Advisory Board
  • Sarah Shihadah, C’14, Penn for Palestine
  • Jennifer Sun, W’14, Daily Pennsylvanian
  • Abe Sutton, C’14, W’14, Undergraduate Assembly
  • Nick Volpe, C’14, Mask & Wig, 1-in- 4.

Plans for Year: Sphinx Alumni Speaker Series, Social Service Project    

The Sphinx Class of 2014 is interested in bringing distinguished Sphinx alumni to the Penn campus as part of a Distinguished Sphinx Speakers Series. You’ll have the opportunity to meet and inspire the current undergraduate class as well as other members of the Penn community. If you or one of your classmates would like to speak on campus this school year, please email sphinxseniorsociety@gmail.com , or contact Sphinx Class of 2014 Chief, Max Presser, maxpresser@gmail.com, Pharisee, Jeremy Pincus, jtpincus@gmail.com , or Scribe, Urja Mittal, urja@mittal.net.

The Sphinx Class of 2014 is also considering a number of possible social service projects and will report on its project selection in a future newsletter.

4. Alumni News: Class of 2007 and Other Class Notes

Class of 2007. Here’s the first of what we hope will be periodic short news items about what members of specific Sphinx classes have been doing:

Healey Cypher, W’07, and his team at eBay announced virtual retail stores in NYC for digital window shopping: http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/05/ebay-to-make-true- window-shopping-a-reality-with-new-nyc-virtual-retail-stores/

David Fraga, C’07, and his team at Shutterstock launched a new product called Skillfeed, which is an online marketplace for learning: http://investor.shutterstock.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=251362&p=irol- newsArticle&ID=1827023&highlight=

Ryan Hayward, W’07, is a co-founder of Hatch (formerly Makeably), a custom goods marketplace, which raised a seed round from an impressive group: http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/05/custom-goods-marketplace-makeably-raises- 650k-from-great-oaks-500-startups-others-shifts-focus-to-remixes/ ; http://techcrunch.com/2013/10/16/custom-goods-marketplace-makeably-rebrands-as- hatch-now-updates-pricing-as-you-go/

Mana Nakagawa, C’07, is the lead international researcher for Sheryl Sandberg’s New York Times Best Seller Lean In, which is being published in over 40 countries and nearly 20 different languages around the world: http://leanin.org/discussions/lean-in- goes-global/

Shakirah Simley, C’07 and her delicious jams were featured guests on the Katie Couric show: http://www.katiecouric.com/features/make-shaks-strawberry-lavender- preserves/

Jareau Wade, ENG’07, is a co-founder of Balanced, a payment solution for marketplaces. Also raised a seed round from a great group and he is mentoring for Code2040.org supporting minority engineering talent as well as Sphinx mentee Isabel Friedman, C’13, via the Sphinx Links Mentoring Program: http://techcrunch.com/2013/04/02/balanced-andreessen-horowitz-collabfund

Please send your class notes to Sphinx Alumni Coordinator, Kiera Reilly, kreilly@upenn.edu, or Newsletter Co-Editors Samir Malik, samir.malik2@gmail.com, or Lex Ruby Howe, alexis.rubyhowe@gmail.com .

We also plan to ask each Sphinx Class Chief, Pharisee and/or Scribe to select one class person to be your Sphinx Alumni Class Note Editor. We’ll then ask that person to compile and send short class notes to Samir, Lex, or Kiera as noted above and as modeled on what we received above from Srikant Rao, EE’07, ENG’07, W’07, and Chief, Class of 2007. Thanks very much, Srikant!

Other Classes


Omar Maskati, ENG’11, is now a professional actor in New York City and recently appeared in the season finale of the CBS police drama “Blue Bloods” starring Tom Selleck. For a nice “spotlight” interview with Omar, see the Sept. 2013 newsletter of the Penn Platt Student Performing Arts House, in the “Where are they now?” section.

 We also received this letter  from the Hon. James J. Fitzgerald, III, ’62.

5. “Sphinx” in the News

As we find them, we’ll bring you some news items about our “Sphinx” namesake. Here are two items thanks to Kiera Reilly, C’93, and Sphinx BOG:

  • “Sphinx Fragment of Pharaoh Menkaure Found in Israel,”/Archaeology/Sci- News.com, http://www.sci-news.com/archaeology/science-sphinx-pharaoh- menkaure-israel-01212.html
  • Janell Wiseley, pennalumniblog, and Penn Current, “100 Years with the Sphinx”, http://franklypenn.com/2013/09/24/100-years-with-the-sphinx/ Tells the “full story” of the arrival in 1913 of the Sphinx in the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology- “a 15-ton single piece of red granite, the largest such stone sculpture in the Western Hemisphere and the sixth largest in the world.”

Penn Almanac Runs Story on Sphinx Spring Banquet

  • See also a report on the Sphinx Senior Society 2013 Spring Banquet held on April 26, 2013 that appears in the Oct. 8, 2013 issue of the Penn Almanac, Penn’s weekly “journal of record, opinion, and news.” Click on: http://www.upenn.edu/almanac/volumes/v60/n08/hot.html#sphinx

6. Sphinx Links Seeks Alumni Mentors for Sphinx Class of 2014

In 2010, the Sphinx Society Board of Governors created “Sphinx Links” as a new mentoring project to offer the career and life advice of experienced Sphinx alumni to current Sphinx seniors. Since 2010 we’ve made mentoring matches for nearly 40 Sphinx undergraduates with alumni mentors in dozens of professional fields. These have ranged from the arts, business, entertainment, finance, journalism, law, media and medicine, to biotechnology, global development, and public health.

We would like to invite you to participate in the program. As part of the program, you will be paired with a current Sphinx undergraduate mentee in the Class of 2014 who is interested in working in a field aligned with your career. In this role, you will have the opportunity to provide career guidance, job readiness preparation, and a shared network for your mentee.

You and your mentee will determine how the relationship functions – you can meet, talk or email as little or as often as you’d like. Our past mentoring relationships have been very successful so we hope you will join this year’s cohort! This is an excellent opportunity to give back to the Sphinx community and to have a positive impact on the career growth of one of our undergraduate members.

If you are interested in participating, please reply to Eileen McKeown, C’10, Sphinx BOG and Sphinx Links Coordinator, at mckeowneileen@gmail.com). Please attach a copy of your resume as well as answers to the questions below:

Your Name:
Your School (Wharton/College/Engineering/Nursing): Graduating Year:
Penn Activities:
Career Fields of Interest:
Brief Summary of Your Career (2-3 sentences):

If you have any questions, please contact Eileen McKeown (mckeowneileen@gmail.com). Please submit your resume and the above information as soon as you can so we can begin to make appropriate mentoring matches. with the Sphinx Class of 2014. You’ll also be able to sign up as a Sphinx mentor during Homecoming Weekend.

7. Sphinx Links Class of 2014 Mentees Seek Mentors

Here is information from four Class of 2014 Sphinx Links mentees who’ve told us they would like to have a Sphinx alumnus mentor. If you would like to be a mentor to any these students, please email Eileen McKeown, C’10, and Sphinx Links Coordinator, at mckeowneileen@gmail.com:

  • Student #1: C’14 (Health and Societies major)
    • Career Fields of Interest: Public/Global Health, Foreign Affairs
    • Desired locales after graduation: East Coast of the US or Europe
    • Brief Statement of Prior Experience/Future Interests: I’m a Health and Societies major, with 3+ years of clinical research experience through my emergency medicine lab at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. I’ve spent the past two summers interning in Europe, and am fluent in Italian. I’d love to spend time working overseas in either global health or diplomacy work, and have spent almost as much time abroad as I have in the US.
  • Student #2: C’14 (Chemistry major)
    • Career Fields of Interest: Pharma/healthcare/biotech/consulting
    • Desired locales after graduation: 1) New York; 2) Chicago; 3) Philadelphia
    • Brief Statement of Prior Experience/Future Interests: I’m a senior studying chemistry with a minor in Biological Basis of Behavior. I’ve had the opportunity to work at a major pharma company, an academic research center, and in hospital finance. For the future, I’m interested in remaining close to the pharma/life sciences/healthcare sectors. I don’t think I want to work in a lab setting but I’m still open to it. I’ve started interviewing with life science consulting firms as of the beginning of October.
  • Student #3: W’14 (Management, Marketing major)  
    • Career Fields of Interest: Brand management, marketing, management consulting
    • Desired locales after graduation: No preference stated.
    • Brief Statement of Prior Experience/ Future Interests: At Wharton, I study Management & Marketing and looking to learn more about brand management opportunities. I have worked at Morgan Stanley & General Mills therefore know about different industries in financial services and marketing. I am currently looking into Management & Marketing consulting positions. I would love to get my MBA and pursue brand management.
  • Student #4: W’14, ENG’14 (CIS)
    • Career Fields of Interest: Entrepreneurship/Venture Capital
    • Desired locales after graduation: San Francisco, New York, Austin, Boulder, Seattle, Philadelphia.
    • Brief Statement of Prior Experience/Future Interests: My past internships were at Facebook and Piazza (edtech startup in Palo Alto). My experiences at Penn have also been very focused in the realm of tech and entrepreneurship. I directed PennApps for 2.5 years, and am a partner on the Dorm Room Fund team. I was president of the Dining Philosophers (Penn’s comp sci club) for 2 years, and also had other similar involvements. I’m now working on my own startup with a friend in Wharton; he and I are both going to be doing that full time after we graduate. I expect to work on startups (either founding them, or joining very early on) for the next 10-15 years; at some point down the road I want to start doing my own angel investing, and eventually I want to join a Venture Capital firm as a partner.

8. Contribute to the Sphinx Alumni Fund

The Sphinx BOG in July 2012 established the Sphinx Alumni Fund to support the ongoing activities of the Sphinx undergraduate and alumni communities. We set a two- year fundraising goal of $10,000. And as of October 19, 2013 we have raised more than half of this goal.

To help us reach our $10,000 goal by July 2014, we encourage you to use our easy online giving tool. Please just clink on this link to donate: http://www.sphinxseniorsociety.com/donate

We’ll appreciate your donations at any level but suggested levels include: Chief- $250
Pharisee- $100
Scribe- $50.

Or you can mail your check made out to Sphinx Senior Society to Sphinx BOG Treasurer John K. Fiorillo, Esq., W’86, at: 1634 Wildlife Drive, Chester Springs, PA 19425.

9. Join the Sphinx Facebook and LinkedIn Groups and Help us Update Our Alumni Email Contact List 

We encourage you to join our Facebook and LinkedIn Groups – both named Sphinx Senior Society. These are closed groups and only open to members of Sphinx.

As the Penn database is not 100% accurate, we also ask you to share this newsletter with your Sphinx classmates. If they did not receive this newsletter, they should email Kiera Reilly, Sphinx ’93, member Sphinx Board of Governors. Kiera can code alumni in the Penn database and add Sphinx members to our email list for all future newsletters and other Sphinx information.

10. Send Us Your News, Comments and Suggestions

If you have any personal news, comments or suggestions for future newsletters or emails you’d liked to share with us and/or the Sphinx alumni community, please email us as follows:

– Kiera Reilly, C’93, Sphinx BOG, Alumni Coordinator, kreilly@upenn.edu
– Samir Malik, C’08, W’08, WG’14, Sphinx BOG, Secretary and Co-Newsletter Editor, samir.malik2@gmail.com
– Lex Ruby Howe, C’07, WEV’09, WEV’10, GED’12, Sphinx BOG, Co-Newsletter Editor, alexis.rubyhowe@gmail.com .