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Fall 2004

GENO AURIEMMA, coach of the University of Connecticut's women's basketball team, was named Coach of the Year by the Associated Press news agency for leading the Huskies to a college record of 70 straight wins and capturing the women's college basketball national title. Auriemma won this award three times in previous years. No other coach has ever been named more than once.

MARIA LAURA AVANTAGGIATI, M.D. is designing a chemical compound that kills cancer cells but not healthy tissue. She is doing the research at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. where she also teaches. As a child in Italy, Dr. Avantaggiati lost so many relatives from cancer that she decided to help find a cure.

FABIANO CARUANA, age 11, is the youngest chess player ever to defeat an adult International Grandmaster at an official chess tournament. He ranks first in the U.S. for players under age 12. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Curana spends 36 hours a week practicing while his family spends about $50,000 a year for his chess lessons and travel.

CHARLES CORRADO, the longest serving musician in the U.S. Marine Band, died June 26 at the age of 64. Mastery Gunnery Sgt. Corrado had served 45 years as a pianist, 41 of which were spent at the White House. He died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's Disease), less that a year after his retirement.

ELIZABETH ANANIA EDWARDS, wife of Senator John Edwards, is of Italian descent. Her father was Vincent Anania, a decorated Navy pilot and all-American football player at the U.S. Naval Academy. An accomplished attorney, Mrs. Edwards graduated from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Law School.

THOMAS F. MANCUSO, M.D., 92, died of esophageal cancer July 4. A pioneer in finding remedies for workplace health hazards, including radiation exposure and industrial use of asbestos and dyes, many of his methods are still used today. His championship of the worker cost him research contracts, but prompted Congress to pass worker-protection laws.

TOM PERROTTA is best known for his high school satirical novel, Election, which was turned into a movie starring Reese Witherspoon. He has recently released his fourth novel, Little Children, about perfect mothers and the children's play groups they form in suburbia.

DORA SCHRIRO has been appointed director of Arizona's State Department of Corrections. Schriro, whose career in corrections has spanned over 30 years, hopes to utilize her progressive tactics in repairing the overcrowded and dysfunctional prison system of Arizona, which has the highest incarceration rate in the western U.S.

DIANA TAURASI, a junior from Chino, CA, helped lead the University of Connecticut women's basketball team to the National Title in March. Awarded the Associated Press Player of the Year, Taurasi is the fifth player in UConn's history to win the honor. UConn's team set an NCAA women's record by winning 70 straight games. [See above,"Geno Auriemma"]

ROBERT ZOTTI, M.D. is one of only 200 physicians in the U.S. who belong to their local police departments' SWAT teams. Zotti, 37, volunteers 36 hours a month with the Duluth team in Minnesota where he is on-call for duty at any hour. He participates in SWAT team "high risk" situations to help enforce the law and provide medical help.

FRANK SERPICO, the former New York City detective who uncovered police corruption in the 1970s, has an official website ( that is dedicated to "whistleblowers" or as Serpico calls them "lamplighters" everywhere. Along with his nephew Vincent, he has started a production company dedicated to projects that benefit society.