The Alumni Society Advisory Board









Current Board Members


Mike Short '99 
Alumni Society President

Mike Short graduated from The University of Scranton in 1999 with a B.S. in Marketing. He resides in Mendham, NJ with his wife Susanna Puntel Short '01 and son, Grady Michael Short. Mike owns two Allstate insurance agencies in the state of New Jersey that provide multi-line insurance products. He is also Series 6 FINRA certified as a Personal Financial Representative and a licensed NJ REALTOR.

He previously served as Director of Service Programs at Scranton Preparatory School and was a member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Brooklyn, NY. During Mike's tenure as an Allstate agency owner, he has won numerous company and industry awards. In 2010, Mike's agency was the #6 Performing Allstate Agency Countrywide out of 12,500+ agencies. Mike's additional awards include Allstate's Inner Circle Elite (Top 1% in the country), #2 Performing Allstate NJ Agency (2009, 2010), Chairman's Award, Honor Ring Award, and the President's Conference Award. He has merited the distinction of Premier Service Agency since the award's creation in 2009.

Mike enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, studying business/entrepreneurship trends, real estate investment, skiing, golf, SCUBA diving, photography, and technology. 

 Katie Allen '18

Originally from Danbury, Connecticut, Katie graduated from the University of Scranton in 2018 with a bachelors in Exercise Science and Philosophy. During her time at Scranton, she engaged in a number of leadership and service activities, including being an Orientation Assistant and attending two Domestic Service trips to Louisiana and California. She also served the University at the Women's Golf team captain for its first two years at Scranton, as well as worked for the Clubs and Organizations office her junior and senior year.

Katie is currently continuing her higher education by attending the University of Long Island to earn her Doctorate in Physical Therapy.


Joseph Butash, M.D. '07

Born in Scranton and raised in Dickson City, PA, Joe graduated from The University of Scranton in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Biomathematics/Philosophy. He earned his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in 2011 and completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Drexel University/Hahnemann University Hospital in 2014.

Joe is board certified in Emergency Medicine and practices at Cambridge Health Alliance. Joe and his wife, Ali, reside in Boston.

Matthew Christy '98

Originally from Altoona, PA, Matt Christy is a 1998 graduate of the University of Scranton with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies.  He followed that with a stint volunteering in Alaska for a non-commercial radio station (building on his four years with WUSR). Matt went on to earn his MPA from Carnegie Mellon University, followed by working in the public and private sector, including the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the Governor's Office of Innovation as a Program Manager. Matt has a strong background in change management and organizational design, and is currently working as a federal contractor in process improvement initiatives. Matt and his wife, Bethanny, reside in Hershey, PA.

sameera-desai-873963ca.jpgSameera Desai Sullivan '05, G'06

Sameera holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting with a minor in French and a MBA from the University of Scranton. She began her career working as an auditor for PwC specializing in private companies. She later joined the luxury retailer Marc Jacobs International, rising to become the Global Controller of the multinational organization. Currently, she is the Chief Accounting Officer at SoulCycle Inc in New York City.

While at Scranton, Sameera was a 2 year Resident Assistant, a member of the United Cultures Organization and the Foreign Language Club. She also represented the University as a volunteer on the first International Service Program trip to Africa.

Sameera has stayed engaged with the University since graduation through the President’s Business Council, serving as a committee member in NYC. Additionally she has been a passionate KSOM career coach/mentor for many young alumni.
Sameera currently lives in Jersey City, NJ with her husband and can often be found planning trips back to her hometown in Zimbabwe.


chrisn.jpgChristopher Neumann, Esq. '87

Chris Neumann graduated from the University of Scranton in 1987 with a B.S. in Public Administration. He resides in Northport, New York with his wife Nancy (Lange) Neumann, C.P.A. (U. of S. graduate, 1987) and their two sons, Christopher and Timothy. Chris earned his law degree from the Dickinson School of Law in 1990. After graduating from law school Chris began his legal career with The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey where he continues to work today. Chris has extensive litigation experience in the Federal and State trial and appellate courts in New York and New Jersey. He handles complex personal injury cases from inception through trial and appeal. Chris also manages the Port Authority’s self-insured Workers’ Compensation program including supervision of staff, and providing legal advice to the Port Authority’s treasury department. Chris represents the Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation in all administrative hearings and applications regarding regulatory compliance before the Federal Railroad Administration. Chris has been a regular lecturer at the Port Authority Police Academy and the New Jersey Self Insurers Association.

Chris enjoys spending time with his family and is passionate about fishing and basketball. Chris still attempts to play basketball but he spends a lot of time coaching the game. He is the CYO basketball coordinator for his home Parish, St. Philip Neri in Northport. He is a recipient of the CYO of Nassau and Suffolk Role Model award for his long time work with kids in youth basketball. 


Jessica Palmeri '11, G'13
Chair, Recent Graduate Engagement Committee

Jessica Palmeri is a native of Northeast Pennsylvania. She currently lives in Connecticut and works as the Community Manager at Hyrell Online Hiring Systems -- a SaaS software company that provides HR software and applicant tracking solutions. Her primary job responsibilities include: marketing automation, mass email marketing, blogging and content strategy development, and social media networking.

Jessica is a two time graduate of The University of Scranton ('11 and G'13) and a passionate and supportive alumna of her alma mater. Since 2013, Jessica has worked with The Kania School of Management Professional Development Passport Program, volunteered as a Regional Alumni Club Leader, served as a 2011 Class Representative, and helped to mentor a dedicated team of student committee members who plan and implement the annual Kania Young Alumni Day Conference.

Matthew Prudente, Ph.D. '09

Matt is an assistant professor of mathematics at Alvernia University.  He is originally from Allentown, PA. Matt received is BS in Mathematics in 2009 and received his MS and PhD in Mathematics from Lehigh University in 2011 and 2015, respectively.  He taught at Saint Vincent College before returning to the Lehigh Valley.

While at Scranton, Matt was a three year Resident Assistant, Orientation Team Leader, and member of the math club.  Over his time there, he was involved with USPB, give tours, and was a supplemental instructor.  Currently, Matt stays involved with the Lehigh Valley Alumni Chapter.

Matt currently lives in Alburtis, PA with his wife, Mary, his two sons, Owen and Jack.

brian-raftery.jfifBrian Raftery, Esq. '91

Brian E. Raftery is a partner in Dentons' Trusts, Estates and Wealth Preservation practice, as well as a global practice leader for this practice. He brings his background as a certified public accountant to his law practice, which focuses on domestic and international estate planning, creditor protection through the use of foreign and domestic asset protection trusts, estate planning for artwork, wealth preservation, life insurance planning, protective dynasty trusts for children and grandchildren (against creditors, estate taxes and division in the event of a divorce), business succession planning, trust estate administration, pre-immigration planning and post-immigration tax planning.

In addition, Brian counsels clients with respect to the preparation of simple and complex wills, trusts, limited liability companies (LLC) agreements, partnership agreements and pre- and post-nuptial agreements. He is also experienced in litigating will contest cases and negotiating will contest settlements.

Brian represents ultra high net worth individuals, including celebrities, international families and professional athletes, and helps them find the solutions that best meet their planning needs.


Mara Smith, J.D. '13

While at Scranton, Mara majored in International Business and minored in Spanish and Philosophy. She was actively involved in SJLA, went on an ISP trip and studied abroad. Following Scranton, Mara did a year of volunteer work in San Francisco through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. In 2017, Mara graduated from Drexel's Thomas R. Kline School of Law with a health law concentration. Currently, she is a parishioner at Old St. Joe's, Philadelphia's Jesuit Parish, and is a member of the Office of Ignatian Spirituality's Contemplative Leaders in Action program. Mara lives in South Philly and is working in Montgomery McCracken Walker and Rhoads, LLP Philadelphia's office on a wide variety of legal matters.

Amanda Sonzogni '15

Amanda Sonzogni graduated from The University of Scranton in 2015 with a B.S. in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, and minors in Operations Management and Business Leadership. Amanda is currently the Implementation Manager at Corporate Jet Support. Prior to her current position, she began her career working for Goldman Sachs in New York City.

Amanda has been engaged with the University since graduation through Young Alumni Day, Scranton’s Day of Giving, the President’s Business Council, as well as assisting current students in obtaining internships and full-time opportunities. She has also stayed connected with the Scranton community as an Advisory Board member of Dress for Success Lackawanna.

Amanda currently resides in New Jersey where she enjoys traveling and training for triathlons.


Joseph Sorbera, III '08

 Joe Sorbera is the Vice President of JLS Cost Management Systems Inc., his family's construction cost and project management firm based in lower Manhattan. He joined the Advisory Board in 2017. Joe knew he wanted to go to The University of Scranton the moment he set foot on campus, and his love for the school has only grown over the years. He graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Management and a minor in Japanese language, and was enrolled in the Business Leadership Program. Joe founded the Italian Society on campus, acted in many Liva Arts Company performances, and participated in the Model UN, as well as many other activities.

Joe lives in Kearny, NJ with his wife Kristen (Class of 2009). The two met at an Alumni Christmas reception and were both engaged and married on campus. He is the former co-chair of the Young Professionals Committee for Bideawee, a 116-year-old animal rescue organization based in Manhattan. Joe also serves on the alumni board for Loyola School in New York City.

Thomas P. Umile, Ph.D. '06, G'06

Tom Umile is an Assistant Professor in the Chemistry Department at Villanova University. He is originally from Jessup, PA. Tom received a BS in Biochemistry and MA in Chemistry from The University of Scranton and earned his doctorate in Chemistry from Princeton University. He previously taught at Gwynedd Mercy University.

 At Scranton, Tom was a member of numerous Performance Music bands and choirs, performed in or directed many Liva Arts Company productions, and completed the Honors Program. At various times over the years he also served as a Teaching Assistant, Royal Ambassador, and reporter for The Aquinas.

Tom currently lives in Philadelphia and is co-chair of the Philadelphia American Chemical Society Younger Chemists Committee. He serves as a cantor at Old St. Joseph's Church, where he also sings in the Loyola Choir and organizes parish running events.

Jane Yeomans G'04

Jane has been a nurse for 46 years in various clinical and academic settings. Currently, she is a Clinical Quality Management Consultant for the Highmark Health Plan. She was raised in Scranton and received her BSN from Georgetown University. Her husband, Bill, is a Dentist at the Scranton Primary Healthcare Center. Together, the couple has raised three sons who are now raising their four grandchildren. She was thrilled when the University developed the Nursing Master's program, where she gained immeasurable knowledge and a new sense of her career path that has lead her to where she is today.