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Class Notes Winter 2023


Joseph S. Szyliowicz

Joseph S. Szyliowicz (BA ’53) was recognized as Zeta Beta Tau’s oldest member of the University of Denver chapter during the organization’s centennial celebration in October 2022. Joseph was the founder and director of the Intermodal Transportation Institute and the Technology, Modernization and International Studies program at DU. 


Gaylord Christman (BSBA ’64), a longtime realtor in Billings, Montana, has raised $110,000 for Camp Mak-A-Dream, a nonprofit serving children and teenagers with cancer and their families.


Mary B. Kurtz

Michael Belsky (BSBA ’76) retired in 2021 as an executive director at Morgan Stanley, where he had worked in private wealth management as a senior portfolio manager since 2008. Before that, Michael worked at Bear Stearns and PNC Investments.

Mary B. Kurtz (MA ’76) has published a memoir, “Apertures: Findings from a Rural Life.” Her collection of lyric essays focuses on the daily rhythms of ranch life, the murmurings of a natural world and the vagaries and mysteries of aging and mortality.


Charles “Chuck” Wilkes (JD ’79) has co-authored a book, “Giants, Saints, and Heroes,” a collection of sermons in parable/narrative form. After practicing law for several years, Chuck became a pastor, and he also mentors young pastors and consults on matters of church and the law. 


T. Paul Furukawa

T. Paul Furukawa (PhD ’81) received the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), Texas chapter, for demonstrating the best of the profession’s values and accomplishments throughout his career. He is a member of the NASW Social Work Pioneers, the profession’s hall of fame, and leads the promotion of gun safety in San Antonio and the prevention of incidents like the Uvalde school shooting. His service as a San Antonio Housing Commissioner during the pandemic, according to the mayor, resulted in maintaining housing for hundreds of homeowners and renters who otherwise would have lost their shelters.


Natalie Brown (JD ’86) has been named a 2023 Best Lawyer, a prestigious accolade resulting from a peer-reviewed selection process that puts her in the top 5.3% of lawyers in the U.S. Natalie is a senior attorney with more than 32 years of legal experience. She practices catastrophic personal injury claims, slip and fall accidents, motor vehicle accidents and wrongful death at Franklin D. Azar & Associates in Aurora, Colorado.


Kyle Torke (MA ’94, PhD ’96) has published a new book, “Beachcombers: A Clementine the Rescue Dog Adventure,” by Loving Healing Press. This is the third book in a series on Clementine the rescue dog, which includes “Icebreaking” and “Hiking the Grand Mesa.”


Alisa DiGiacomo (MA ’97) has announced her retirement from History Colorado after 23 years of service. As the longtime director of curatorial services and senior curator, Alisa played an instrumental role in the creation of exhibits, publications and the work of numerous History Colorado scholars. 


Patricia Aaron (MFA ’98) recently exhibited her work at two Denver locations. “Between Continents” was on display at DU’s Anderson Academic Commons Sept. 14–Jan. 27, and “The State of Nature” was held at Space Gallery Oct. 7–Nov. 12. 

Tim Heath (BA ’98) is a functional medicine doctor whose clinic, Optimized Wellness Center in the California Bay Area, was voted Best Alternative Medicine Practice by Best of Oakland 2022. 


Andrew Pratt (BA ’00) has joined the commercial transactions practice group as a partner in the Minneapolis office of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP. He represents clients on a wide range of real estate financing and development matters, and advises companies throughout the life cycle of real estate transactions.

Adrian Fontes


Adrian Fontes (JD ’01) was elected Arizona secretary of state in November 2022. Adrian is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, having served on active duty from 1992–1996. He was a prosecutor with the Denver District Attorney and then with the Maricopa County Attorney’s office. He recently was the Maricopa County recorder. 


DezaRae LaCrue (BA ’04, JD ’08) has been named a 2023 Best Lawyer, an accolade resulting from a peer-reviewed selection process that puts her in the top 5.3% of lawyers in the U.S. DezaRae is a senior attorney at Franklin D. Azar & Associates, where she practices personal injury and insurance bad faith litigation. She has litigated and tried complicated multimillion-dollar malpractice cases throughout Colorado.


Craig Branton (MS ’10) has been appointed to lead an equity, debt and structured financing team in Denver in a joint venture between Cushman & Wakefield and Greystone. Craig previously served as executive vice president at CBRE. 


Cory Lamz (BA ’12) has joined the global legal team at Autodesk as corporate counsel. Cory serves as the legal business partner in support of global revenue operations, business models and pricing.


Jared Mazurek

Jared Mazurek (BA ’14) has been named executive director of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association. Jared has spent the past decade as a leader in environmental education in Colorado. The Minnesota native is excited to return to his roots and serve MDHA members and the Minnesota deer herd. 

Cecilia Soto (BA ’14) married Charles Gee III in Denver on Nov. 26, 2022.


Cam Griffin (BA ’15) has joined the Denver Nuggets staff as an assistant video coordinator. As a coach, Cam worked at Abilene Christian and Chipola College and, most recently, with the Air Force Falcons.  


Norman Holden (MBA ’17) published his first book, “Do Better! How One Father Gained Wisdom from Texting His Teen Daughter.”


Edwin Bustinza Lozada (JD ’18) has received The Legal 500 award. Edwin is head of compliance for Compania de Minas Buenaventura in Lima, Peru. 


Karen Finberg (HRM ’86) recently was promoted to chief franchise officer of Marriott Hotels. The fall issue of the magazine incorrectly listed her new position as chief financial officer.

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