Sigma Pi Brothers and Family Making a Difference

Bert Hurlbut ’74
Vice President
New Stanford Hospital Construction, SHC

Alum Bert Hurlbut finishes construction of the New Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto just before his retirement. The timing of the opening couldn’t have been planned any better. He led a construction team of over a thousand workers on site to the completion of the 368-bed facility. Stanford started treating patients in mid-November, about four months before the big crunch for hospital beds, and the facility is up and humming and doing well. Bert is now hunkered down at home, rebuilding a fence in his backyard, which, he jokes, might take as long as it did to finish the hospital.

Here is a link to some videos and photos of the building, and here is a link for the Topping Out Ceremony, held five years ago. The star of this video can be seen giving a speech to the public at the 2:45 mark.

Nick Vojnovic ’81
Little Greek franchise

Nick has made it his mission to provide hot meals to students of the University of Southern Florida who are experiencing food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “The university has supported my company so much, so I want to give back,” Vojnovic said. “When I saw an article about the Feed-A-Bull food pantry running short on food I said, ‘We can help that.’”

Read the entire article from The Oracle.

John Schor ’83
Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeon; Chair, Dept of Surgery
Verde Valley Medical Center, Cottonwood, Arizona

Running low on PPE. First one is from Home Depot, second pic is home-made hat and mask, and the last pic is from the Darth Vader Collection. We are at a small community hospital in Northern Arizona. We’ve been busy with many patients from the Navajo reservation, which sadly has one of the highest infection rates in the US. As a side note, my wife has insisted that I wear my mask even while I’m home. Guess she’s had enough of my face the last 20 years. Take care all.

Alan Rosen ’91

As coronavirus sparked layoffs across the New York City region, the bulk of the first wave consisted of hospitality workers. Alan Rosen (on left in image), owner of Junior’s Restaurant, bumps elbows with an employee who picked up a paycheck.

Caroline Motschwiller ’14

Caroline Motschwiller, a former Sigma Pi Sweetheart, is at NYU/Bellevue as a pulmonary and critical care fellow. She is spending all her waking hours in the ICU and ER, providing care to those patients infected with COVID-19. Caroline is a daughter of Mu Chapter brother Donald, and his wife Amy Motschwiller, who are both class of 1980 grads.

Seth Mosner ’10

Seth Mosner and family work to keep the food chain going. A statement from Mosner Family Brands states:

If you’re in the food industry, especially at the wholesale level, NYC’s Hunts Point Markets and their many meat, seafood, and produce companies have likely been connected to your experience. We’re known to be many things, but what we really are is a group of several hundred business owners and thousands of local—mostly Bronx-based—employees working daily to service the largest, most fast-paced and demanding food market in the world. Thank you to The New Yorker (VIDEO) for spotlighting the spirit of the workforce that has kept our essential businesses running during this unprecedented crisis. It's not a miracle that our food supply has remained strong throughout the last two months, despite the dynamic challenges Mosner Family Brands and our neighbors have faced. It's been the result of tremendous perseverance and courage on the part of the men and women who have come to work every day to meet the needs of our communities. Their dedication, along with the other food manufacturing, transportation, and distribution workers around the country, deserves our recognition and gratitude.

See the article about Seth and his family from Eater.

Nick Wint ’15

Below: Tania Gazarian, mother of Nick Wint ’15, giving the two thumbs up.

Tania works at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, New York, which was the epicenter for the COVID-19 crisis in New York City. The hospital was hit so hard that President Donald Trump spoke about it in one of his daily COVID-19 briefings.

Joseph Manzi ’16
MD candidate, Class of 2021
Weill Cornell Medical College

My role has been based in research. I am working on three different projects:

  1. Prevention: BCG treatment used in patients with certain types of bladder cancer, as well as a TB prevention shot in other countries, has possible immune boosting effects that might prevent contraction of the virus/serious illness. Studying patient population who’ve received this medication and observing if they’re incidence of COVID illness is less than the normal population.
  2. Management: Correlating certain blood biomarkers with severity of covid ICU patients with potential applications to physician decision making in patient care.
  3. Treatment: You might have heard of the drug Remdesivir in the news as a potential treatment for the virus. My team and I are currently in clinical trials, giving the drug to patients at NYP and studying effectiveness and clinical safety of the drug. My job involves monitoring a handful of patients’ kidney, liver, and heart functions to assess the safety profile of the drug and ultimately to see if there is a mortality benefit.

Read about a clinical trial on Remdesivir that Joe was associated with.

Christian Zollner ’16
PhD Candidate, Corona Research
University of California, Santa Barbara

As COVID-19 continues to ravage global populations, the world is singularly focused on finding ways to battle the novel coronavirus. That includes UC Santa Barbara’s Solid State Lighting & Energy Electronics Center (SSLEEC) and member companies. Researchers there are developing ultraviolet LEDs that have the ability to decontaminate surfaces — and potentially air and water — that have come in contact with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

“One major application is in medical situations: the disinfection of personal protective equipment, surfaces, floors, within the HVAC systems, et cetera,” said materials doctoral researcher Christian Zollner, whose work centers on advancing deep ultraviolet light LED technology for sanitation and purification purposes. Read more . . .