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Hall of Fame Inducts 8 Graduates

This year's inductees are Jamie Babbit, '89; Paul Campbell, '73; George Divoky, '64; John Philip "J.P." Fischer, '99; Marc Kamionkowski, '83; Joan Pagano, '64; Scott Spero, '82; and Celeste Terry, '75.

Eight distinguished Shaker graduates have been inducted into the Alumni Association Hall of Fame.

The new inductees are:

Jamie Babbit, ’89, a film director, producer, and screenwriter. After graduating from Barnard College, she served as Martin Scorsese’s assistant. She also worked for Hollywood directors David Fincher and the Farrelly brothers before making her first short film, Sleeping Beauties, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. She returned to Sundance with But I’m a Cheerleader. She has directed films The Quiet and Breaking the Girls as well as numerous television shows, including Gossip Girl, Nip/Tuck, Gilmore Girls, and Smash.

Paul Campbell, ’73, Head Regional Development Director at the International Baccalaureate. He has been with the organization since 1988 and in his current role oversees its work with interested schools, universities, governments, school districts, and educational groups. For the past several years, Campbell has been helping the Shaker Heights Schools on their way to becoming the first school district in Greater Cleveland to adopt the highly regarded International Baccalaureate program at all grade levels.

George Divoky, ’64, ornithologist, began studying Alaskan seabirds in 1970, conducting surveys for the Smithsonian Institution in areas being considered for offshore oil and gas development. Since 1975, he has studied Cooper Island near extreme northern Alaska and currently serves as director of Friends of Cooper Island to ensure continued research on the island’s seabirds. He also helped found the Pacific Seabird Group, an international organization working to advance conservation and research. His observations of a melting Arctic and rapid climate change were featured in “George Divoky’s Planet,” a cover story in the New York Times Magazine.

John Philip “J.P.” Fischer, ’99, United States Navy lieutenant. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2007 and, in 2010, attained the Naval Aviators’ Wings of Gold, earning his designation as a U.S. Naval Flight Officer for the Navy E-2C Hawkeye aircraft. He was then assigned to VAW-117, an early detection and warning aviation squadron serving the Pacific Fleet. While stationed at the naval air station, he began his battle with melanoma. He passed away in January 2012.

Marc Kamionkowski, ’83, a theoretical physicist who specializes in cosmology. His most significant research contributions are in the theory of dark matter, dark energy, and the cosmic microwave background. He has also worked in other areas of astrophysics and early universe and physical cosmology. Kamionkowski was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2013. He is the editor-in-chief and astrophysics and cosmology editor for Physics Reports and a trustee of the Aspen Center for Physics. His work has brought him numerous honors and awards.

Joan Pagano, ’64, author of best-selling fitness books, an informational speaker on health and fitness topics, and the owner of Joan Pagano Fitness in New York City. Former trainer to Jacqueline Onassis and Caroline Kennedy, Pagano has provided professional guidance to people at all levels of fitness since 1988, creating hundreds of training programs for individuals, groups, businesses, fitness facilities, schools, hospitals, and retirement communities. She is an authority on the benefits of exercise for women’s health issues such as menopause, osteoporosis, and breast cancer as well as strength training through the decades. 

Scott Spero, ’82, owner and president of the law firm Bentoff & Spero Co., L.P.A., where he works with families and individuals who have experienced personal injuries or wrongful death. A graduate of the Indiana University School of Business and Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, he is a member of board of trustees for the Temple-Tifereth Israel. He has been president of the Shaker Heights Alumni Association since 1999 and is past president of the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Alumni Association.

Celeste Terry, ’75, assistant executive director and acting director of grants at the United Black Fund of Greater Cleveland, Inc., with over 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector. She is the recipient of the Outstanding Field Instructor 2012 Award from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University for her work with U.S. and International graduate students. She is author of the book Transforming Non-Profits for Relevancy in Challenging Times and is also a Field Instructor at Cleveland State University/University of Akron Graduate School of Social Work.

Pictured above, from left, are (front row) John Fischer, holding a picture of his son J.P. Fischer, Joan Pagano, Jamie Babbit, Celeste Terry, (back row) Scott Spero, Mark Kamionkowski, Paul Campbell, and George Divoky.

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Posted Monday, October 14, 2013