Brooklyn Tech Alumni Foundation
Visit Our Website April 2013
In this issue

$1Million Gift
Board Profile: Ed '65
Board Nominations
Ruby Engineers
Kamara Swaby '13
Where are they now?
In Memoriam


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$ 1 Million Gift
Isaac HellerMr. Isaac Heller

-- Heller’s generous contributions to Brooklyn Tech now total $2.3 million.

The Brooklyn Tech Alumni Foundation announces that Brooklyn Tech graduate Isaac Heller ‘43, a onetime farm boy who co-founded an iconic postwar-era toy company and then became a leader in commercial real estate, has donated $1 million to his alma mater Brooklyn Tech, which he calls the school that “made my life.” This Heller gift brings the total to $2.3 million that he has contributed to the nation’s largest STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) high school. The new gift will be used to support the Alumni Foundation’s ongoing efforts to help the school enhance facilities, curriculum, faculty development and real-life learning experiences.

“We are extraordinarily grateful for Ike and Helaine Heller’s remarkable generosity,” said Larry Cary, Brooklyn Tech Alumni Foundation President. “Ike recognizes that Brooklyn Tech today provides a dynamic education that prepares young people for tomorrow’s careers just as it did for him seventy years ago. His support helps make that continue to happen.” [Read Full Story]


Board Profile: Ed LaGrassa '65
Ed LaGrassaMr. Ed LaGrassa '65
BTHS Major: Architecture

College: City College of NY

Current profession and position: President of Chilton Realty International, a real estate investment banking firm

Once a Technite, always … Still has his “Step V” block from patternmaking. Not only kept the parallel clamps he made in machine shop; he still uses them.

Education for a lifetime: “Tech taught me how to think and solve problems. It gave me tools and skills that have been vital to me for my whole life.”

[See More information and Read Full Story]


Board of Directors Nominations

The Brooklyn Tech Alumni Foundation is accepting nominations for seats on the Board of Directors now through May 9, 2013.

Board members will serve a three year term that starts July 1, 2013. Board members are expected to attend all of the Board’s monthly meetings and retreats, participate actively in Foundation and school activities, and to bring their talents, skills, energy and love of their alma mater to support Brooklyn Tech, its students and faculty. We are an active, working board. The Board of Directors wishes to attract a wide pool of candidates whose diversity reflects the Tech student body throughout the school’s proud history. This includes diversity of gender, ethnicity, race, and profession/occupation.

To nominate a Brooklyn Tech alumnus to a seat on the Board, please forward that person’s name and class, with a brief statement as to why you think the person is qualified for the position, to Self-nominations will be accepted. The Nominating Committee will review all nominations and make its final recommendations to the Board at the May 23rd Board meeting. The Board will conduct the election of new Board members at its Annual Meeting on June 20, 2013.

[Read Full Story]


Ruby Engineers

The ruby, Alumni Foundation executive director Liz Sciabarra explained one recent Saturday afternoon in the Tech cafeteria to a select group of female students, represents “power and vitality.”

Power and vitality are two of the many qualities that women, who now total 42% of the student body, have brought to the school since the first pioneers arrived 40 years ago. When the Alumni Foundation supported by the school’s administration in 2010 created a special group for top current female students and outstanding female graduates to mentor them, they fittingly named it the Brooklyn Tech Ruby Engineers.

This was the group that gathered in the cafeteria on March 9, in an atmosphere of energy and enthusiasm, to induct the newly selected Class of 2013 Ruby Engineers. Forty young women, selected for their achievements in academics, extracurricular activities or service, were formally welcomed into the ranks. They were joined by an equal number of alumnae, from as recently as last year back to the 1970s.

 [Read Full Story and View Photos]


Kamara Swaby '13 Wins New York Times Scholarship
Kamara SwabyKamara Sawby'13

Brooklyn Tech graduating senior Kamara Swaby has been named one of eight students citywide to receive the prestigious New York Times Scholarship.

A Law and Society major at Tech, Kamara has already been accepted by NYU, Amherst College and Fordham, and is waiting for admissions decisions later this month from Harvard, Yale, Princeton and others.

The Times Scholarship, which draws hundreds of applicants a year, provides Kamara with up to $7,500 in college financial aid, a summer internship at The Times and mentoring from Times employees and former scholars. Since the program’s inception, 235 Times scholars have gone on to college and careers in medicine, law, finance, teaching and other professions. “They represent the best of New York City and The New York Times,” said one of the program’s officials.

[Read Full Story]


Where Are They Now?

Joseph Lechleider '50 developed an inventor's passion for using creative reasoning to change the world. Lechleider's 1993 patent, one of his more than 20 U.S. parents, described the concept that today defines the Internet's ebb and flow - to provide more bandwidth for downloads than uploads. The multibillion-dollar DSL broadband industry exploded and opened the way to high-speed Internet access for hundreds of millions of people around the globe, making possible e-commerce and the dramatic rise of social media, in large part thanks to the man who found his calling at Brooklyn Technical High School. This year Mr. Lechleider will be inducted into the The National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Barry Rubenstein, '60 received a BS in Electrical Engineering and an MS in Computer Sciences. This year, he was awarded The Long Island Technology Hall of Fame 2013 Entrepreneur Award for his efforts in building Long Island as a technology business hub. Additionally, he was inducted into the Long Island Technology Hall of Fame. A general partner at Wheatley Partners, his long history of investing in and founding technology companies since 1969 signifies his commitment to building the business and technology community. He was a founder or founding consultant to several firms including Applied Digital Systems, Inc., Fatwire Software, Novell, Inc., Cheyenne Software, Inc., Scan Source and FalconStor Software and has served on the Boards of several technology companies including US Web, Inc. and Picazo Communications Inc. (now part of Intel, Inc.) among others. He is also the Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the North Shore LIJ Health System and a member of the Executive Committee of the American Society for Yad Vashem.

Joe Citron '63 practiced ophthalmology full time In Atlanta after getting his MD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1971 and training at the Mayo Clinic. After graduating from the Georgia State College of Law in 1997, Joe combined his medical and legal backgrounds into a consulting and teaching career. He has given seminars throughout the US and overseas including Israel. The picture is from the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa Israel during the American-Israeli Toxicology meeting in 2011..

Florina Altshiler '00 recently relocated to Anchorage, Alaska, where she is an assistant district attorney for the State of Alaska, Department of Law, Criminal Division which handles the prosecution of all levels of crime through jury trial and appeals. She is also a coach for the West Anchorage High School mock trial team (going with the team to nationals this May in Indianapolis) and a candidate ski patroller with Alyeska Resort and the Nordic Ski Patrol. Florina is also honing her backcountry aresenal with added skills of ice climbing, mountaneering and climbing while enjoying the outdoor opportunities of Alaska. Every summer, Florina returns home where she continues to teach trial advocacy at Columbia University in the City of New York.

[Photos and Full Stories]


In Memoriam

Ernest Kahn '46, Assistant Principal
Ernest Kahn started as a social studies teacher and eventually became the Chairman of the Department. In total, he spent 30 years at Brooklyn Tech. During his tenure, Ernie served as a representative on the Specialized High Schools Council, the advocacy group that got the Hecht Calandra Act passed.

Ernie taught leadership and sacrifice, and dedication to the greater good. He came to America after Kristallnacht, with the clothes on his back, with a sister and parents; everyone else in his family remained in Nazi Germany and died during the Holocaust.

The Foundation sadly announces the passing of the following alumni. Our condolences are extended to their families and friends:

Jerry Benetatos
Milton P. Dudeck '36
Amedeo Iorio '37
Paul I. Ballou '40
Charles G. Hamm '40
Oscar A. Dieterich '41
Richard D. Manetta '41
George Fangmann '43
Howard Stern '44
Harry Strickholm '45
Joseph Buongiorno '47

Otto Heinicke '47
Paul A. Katz '53
Louis W. Martin '54
Fred T. Johnson '55
Thomas M. Mulvey '56
Anthony R. Baldomir '58
Paul Rosenthal '60
Richard Silverman '60
Robert E. Zimmerman '61
Daniel Rivers '73
Joseph A. Bongiorno '75

Brooklyn Tech Alumni Foundation
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