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Past Newsmakers

Spring 2003

RONALD D. BUONOCORE is the first Italian American police chief of Jersey City's (N.J.) 174-year-old police department. A former marine, Buonocore is a highly decorated police officer, who comes from a family of policemen, including a brother who died in the line of duty. He took office in January.

GINA CENTRELLO, president of Random House Ballantine Publishing Group, is one of the most powerful executives in publishing. She is known for her strong publishing and managerial skills and broad editorial expertise.

JOHN CRISPINO, a research scientist at the University of Chicago, is trying to find a way to increase stem cell production (and thereby healthy tissue) in mice, a goal that would have major implications for treating cancer in humans.

ROSALIE FUSCO GAZIANO was named 2002 National Mother of the Year by American Mothers Inc. She raised five sons - four physicians and an attorney - whose achievements include Truman and Rhodes scholarships. Gaziano is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of West Virginia University with a degree in communications.

Basketball legend HANK LUISETTI died Dec. 17, 2002, at age 86. He revolutionized the sport when he introduced the one-handed jump shot during a 1936 college game his team, Stanford, played against Long Island University. Luisetti was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1959.

Poet KATHLEEN OSSIP (b. DiNuzzo) won the 2002 American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize for her collection "The Search Engine." Ossip teaches a poetry workshop at the New School in New York City.

Scientist LAURA-ANN PETITTO of Dartmouth College has published research showing that when babies make babbling sounds they actually are learning to speak. She directs Dartmouth's research into how humans acquire language.

M. ANTHONY PIERRO has received the Legion of Honor medal, the highest military honor bestowed by the French government. Pierro, 106 years old, fought in France during World War I.

GEORGE RANALLI is dean of the School of Architecture at City College, City University of New York. He also heads his own architecture firm, where his clients include novelist Philip Roth and his project list includes such landmarks as the New York Times Tower.

ROSE SCHERINI, Ph.D., whose relentless research revealed the little-known story of how Italian Americans were treated in WW II, died Feb. 19 in Greenbrae, Calif., at age 76. Her work formed the basis of the traveling exhibit "Una Storia Segreta: When Italians Were Enemy Aliens."

MARIO "MOTTS" TONELLI, Notre Dame and Chicago Cardinals football star, died in his hometown of Chicago, Jan. 8. He was 84. Tonelli, who turned to sports to overcome a childhood accident, played college and professional ball, enlisted in the Army and survived the Bataan Death March before returning home to a public service career.

ANTHONY ZINNI is U.S. Special Envoy to the Middle East. A decorated Vietnam veteran and four-star Marine general known for his political sensitivity and "hands-on" approach to diplomacy, Zinni will be honored during the OSIA 2003 Biennial National Convention in St. Louis, Aug. 10-16.