The Mepham Who's Who
1998 Honorees

Seven alumni have been inducted into the Mepham Who's Who Hall of Fame. The ceremony took place on April 19, 1998, with officers and board members presenting the honors at the annual Mepham Alumni Association Spring Luncheon.

The Who's Who program was initiated in 1964 to recognize and honor graduates who have made significant accomplishments in their fields of work and outstanding contributions to the welfare of mankind. A plaque in the rotunda honors our 109 previous winners and new inductees.

If you have graduated from Mepham more than ten years ago, meet the above qualifications and would like to be considered for an award next year, send an e-mail to to receive an application. You may nominate yourself or another Mepham alumna or alumnus.

The distinguished 1998 recipients are:

Steven Jaffe '58 - Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Dr. Jaffe attended John Hopkins University and Albert Einstein Medical School, where he received an M.D. He has been a director of child and adolescent psychiatric programs for sixteen years and was a pioneer in the development of a model for substance abusing adolescents. He is the author of The Step Workbook for Adolescent Chemical Recovery: A Guide to the First Five Steps. This workbook integrates various psychiatric treatments and is being used in numerous programs nationwide.

As a fellow of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, he was chairman of the work group that developed the first practice guidelines and was chairman of the special study group on adolescent substance abuse. Dr. Jaffe is an examiner for the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, received the President’s award of Community Psychiatric Centers and was named Psychiatrist of the Year by the Georgia Psychiatric Physician’s Association in 1992.

Dr. Jaffe also served during the Vietnam Era as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force. Steve recalls that his Mepham wrestling experience kept him mentally and physically active in college (captain of his college wrestling team), and helped him to prepare for his busy schedule today. Dr. Jaffe and his wife (Dr.) Ronnie now reside and practice in the Atlanta area.

Patricia Johanson '58 - Environmentalist/Artist

It is difficult to write a synopsis of a Who’s Who recipient when the honoree has been chosen from a membership application rather than a formal application, but given the magnitude of Patricia’s contribution to mankind and the fact that her life is devoted to community service, plus some detective work on the Internet, assisted this rather unusual narrative.

As a Bennington student, Patricia studied painting, sculpture, architecture and design: “The dialogue revolved around aesthetics and culture—an ideal world far removed from everyday life.”

Thus began her work which has culminated in combining functional art and ecology. Pat is a pioneer of ecological art, and her talent has been exhibited on five continents. “I have developed this hybrid art slowly, laboriously, and independently over a period of 35 years . . . I study the subject from as many different angles as possible, incorporate everything I know about it, and arrive at a composite solution that aims to be both aesthetic and factual.” “Many of my projects being constructed today were actually designed years ago and exhibited in art galleries, where they were discussed as ‘visionary fantasies.’ But I have been dogged and persistent, and unwilling to be relegated to the world of art history. An artist’s traditional role is to change the way we ‘see,’ but I have also wanted to change the way we ‘act.’ ”

Patricia’s major projects include:

Patricia’s talent and renown have taken her to Asia, where she designed parks in Korea, to the South America Amazon, and to Nairobi, Kenya. Her creations of beauty are for all to enjoy and the benefits to mankind are numerous.

Pat wrote on her application that “there is an inscription in the auditorium that I thought about throughout high school: ‘Virtue lies in the struggle, not the prize.’ I have to come back and see it. There are so many people I’d like to thank for encouraging such an unpromising student.” An unpromising student? We don’t think so!

To go to Patricia Johanson's web site click here

Richard R. Johnson '46 - Automatic Control Systems

Richard attended Iowa State University, Lawrence Institute of Technology, Michigan State University, and received degrees from Columbia (B.S.), and the University of Michigan (M.S.E.). He is possibly an overlooked work dynamo who supported himself throughout schooling and became a leading authority in the field of electronics, lasers and optics. His background is in electrical engineering, aerospace engineering, optics, managerial skills, project control, and more. He helped design, fabricate, test and troubleshoot many diverse systems used on rocketry, missiles and lasers. He helped design systems for the Space Shuttle and worked for many large international companies such as Rockwell, Litton, GM and Chrysler. He has been a consultant to foreign countries. He has published numerous papers and articles, and received awards and honors in his many fields of endeavor.

Years of community service helping Boy Scouts, teaching continuing education courses, being an advisor to science fairs and technical schools, as well as training apprentices and students, fill out his remarkable background.

Robert M. Pallay '69 - Family Medicine

Dr. Pallay received his M.D. from Northwestern University Medical School and completed his Family Practice Residency at Somerset Medical Center. He has had hospital appointments in the Department of Family Practice at Somerset Medical Center, had a private practice in Family Practice Specialty until 1995, and currently is Medical Director at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Belle Mead, NJ.

A partial list of Dr. Pallay’s impressive list of professional affiliations includes:

Robert’s current teaching appointment is as Clinical Associate Professor at UMDNJ – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Department of Family Practice (since 1995). He has received many awards, the latest from the American Medical Association 1997–2000 with Special Commendation for Self-Directed Learning. As a member the of Ambulatory Sentinel Practice Network, Inc., Robert is presently involved with two studies on Laboratory Test Ordering and two studies on Managed Care and Primary Care.

Robert has served his community as a school and athletic physician and participated on a number of task forces and commissions. The most recent, of which he is very proud, were the Task Forces on Charity Care/Managed Care and on Funding Options of Charity Care. These were appointed by the Commissioner of Health in NJ with the charge to figure out how to do and fund charity medical care in the state. Two year’s work culminated in recommendations to the governor and legislature that were adopted and voted into law, ensuring for at least the next 5–10 years the funding and care for the 1.2 million (and growing) people in the state who do not have medical coverage or Medicaid.

Robert (“Butch”) lives in Neshanic, NJ with his wife, Thea (Peltz ’70), and three children (“my greatest contribution to mankind so far”): Eric (21) and Jessica (19) are in college, and Courtney is in high school.

Marion Schweisguth Lang '61 - Theatre Arts and Community Building

Mrs. Lang attended Russell Sage College (B.A. in English and Sec-Ed) and Indiana University (M.A. in Theatre). Marion is quite proud that her Mepham Dramatics training with Miss Ramel in Skull & Bones, prepared her for her life’s career: artist, teacher, and community builder. She has taught theater herself, directed and acted in plays and educational videos, and served as artist-in residence in the schools.

Central to her work was the founding of the Greenwood Players Children’s Theater in Wisconsin, a professional company of adult actors, artists and musicians, that from 1982-1996, created thirty-five original plays and led hundreds of workshops based on international folk tales, personal multi-cultural experience and original stories. Greenwood performances stimulated and encouraged audiences to become involved in the arts in the classroom, in their homes, and in their communities. Under Marion’s leadership, Greenwood Players also offered a varied community outreach program. Among the company’s special achievements, are the many plays presented by culturally diverse actors and the inter-generation, multi-cultural workshops devoted to education about the Hmong, recent Laotian refugees to Wisconsin.

Marion is particularly proud of her family, her husband Warren, a teacher, writer and actor as well as her sons Daniel, a visual artist and Benjamin, a sociology major.

John G. Ullman '66 - Business and Finance

John received a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and a M.B.A from the University of Chicago. He began his career at Corning Glass Works in Corning, NY, and over the next six years held five different jobs. He soon realized this was not his forte. He was fortunate enough, however, to find his dream career right at Corning. At age 30, he set out to fulfill this dream, starting his own company and helping fellow employees at Corning plan for their financial future. Since high school, John had offered stock advice to his friends. Now was his chance to do what he loved: John G. Ullman & Associates, Inc. was incorporated in 1978. As president, John believes that “For us to be successful in what we’re doing for clients, we have to earn people’s trust. You can’t just ask for it.” This concept is working. In its twenty-year life, the company now has assets of $270 million with a ten-year goal of $1 billion. In 1997, John was honored with the Greater Corning Area Chamber of Commerce Small Businessperson of the Year Award.

Mr. Ullman’s contributions to the community are quite impressive. He has been a very active member in the Corning Rotary Club since 1978 and is presently Rotary Advisor to Painted Post East High School Interact Club. During the years 1982–1994, John was a coach in the Babe Ruth Baseball League and he currently coaches the Painted Post Little League. John is also currently serving as an Honorary Chairman of the YMCA’s $4.2 million Capital Campaign.

Jurgen Worthing '41 - Electrical Engineering

After graduating from Mepham in 1941, Jerry attended Ursinus College before entering the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. His college education was interrupted by W.W.II, when Jerry served in the US Army Signal Corps from 1942–46 as a Technical Sergeant who installed and maintained radio aids to aerial navigation, point-to-point and air-to-ground communications and radio teletype equipment, in the European Theater of Operations. After the end of the war, Jerry resumed his college career at Polytechnic Institute, receiving his Bachelor of Electrical Engineering in 1948. Jerry continued his love of learning by taking various graduate courses in business management, electrical and computer engineering.

Jerry’s career started with Servomechanisms, Inc. (1948–54), as a Senior Project Engineer, designing analog computers for flight control in aircraft. Jerry then co-founded Trio Laboratories, Inc., based on his invention of an instrument needed to test those computers. The next fifteen years were spent creating electronic instruments and computers, and designing new products for production. Worthing Enterprises was started in 1968 and continues today, where Jerry is a consultant in the fields of computers, energy law and management, cable television, and electrical engineering. He served New York State in the Assembly as Technical Counsel for the Committee on Energy (1979–84) and as Technical Director for NYS Legislative Commission on Energy Systems (1975–79), where he combined political experiences with technical know-how to help form energy policy for the state during the energy crisis of the 70s. He has been consulted on the interaction of energy pricing and conservation, and their effects on the environment and has testified as an expert before Public Utilities Commissions in Missouri, Illinois, Maryland, Virginia and New York.

Throughout the years, Jerry has been an activist in community affairs. During the Nixon years, he lectured at high schools (including Mepham) on the details of legal process of impeachment, and currently gives an annual lecture on how to reduce property tax assessments, leads several groups in discussions on solving computer problems and designing Internet World Wide Web sites, and gets great pleasure in helping friends and neighbors solve their technical problems. Jerry is a many times “Letter to the Editor” writer to Newsday and The New York Times. Closer to home, he is the Alumni Association’s Webmaster. His Internet web pages (highlighting the works of the Association, Mepham past and present, students now and then, etc.), have created an awesome network of people from all over the country and on foreign soil, enabling communication with us and each other. His work for Mepham Alumni has truly been a labor of love, and we are very proud to have such a talented gentleman promote the Mepham Alumni Association worldwide.

Jerry has been married since 1949, to Clare Eastwood ‘46, who is the Alumni Association’s Historian. They met on Jones Beach after being introduced by another Mephamite and the rest is history. They have two daughters, and two grandchildren and have resided in the Wantagh section of Levittown since 1951.

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