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Alumni Notes 1971-1980


James Black ’74, MS ’77, PhD ’81

was recently named board president of the Lamoille Economic Development Corporation, a private nonprofit dedicated to the economic development of Lamoille County, Vermont. A faculty member at Johnson State College since 1987, Black is chair of the economics department. He is also the president of Software Seminars, which provides software training to corporations and government agencies. In addition, he is the chair of the Lamoille County Republican Committee, but he insists that "a Republican in Vermont is a Democrat everywhere else." Black lives in Vermont with his six children and his wife, concert pianist Paula Ennis.




Brian Cone (BS 1973)



has accepted the position of Industrial Program Manager at Apex Laboratories in Tigard, OR.  His role is to assist industrial customers with laboratory data needed to meet permit requirements that help to protect the environment.  Brian has almost 40 years of experience in the environmental laboratory field.



Bradford Mersereau ’73



is a pianist. He played his first gig with a dance band for a Whitman College sorority in 1969, but more than 20 years would pass before he became a full-time musician. He has composed and performed pieces for movies such as Chris Rock's I Think I Love My Wife, and TV shows such as Ugly Betty. In 1999, Mersereau's sister, Laura Pressnall, passed away of complications from long-term alcoholism. He dedicated his first CD to her, Laura. He donated the revenues from this CD to charity, and has since donated $1.1 million to local nonprofits specializing in addiction recovery and prevention. He has served on the boards of the William Temple House, an episcopal social services organization, and Terwilliger Plaza, a retirement community. His music, and his efforts to promote sobriety, can be found at


Margaret Shirley MFA ’79

is an artist known for wood panel paintings that incorporate natural materials, such as pine needles and seaweed. Her work has been exhibited up and down the West Coast, most recently at Laura Russo Gallery in Portland. Shirley is also an adjunct faculty member of art at Portland State. She previously taught at Reed College and Marylhurst University, where she received an excellence in teaching award in 2004. She grew up in Astoria, and now lives in Portland with her husband, George.











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