2017 Inductees & Biographies

  • Jack Fishman Jack Fishman
    UCHS Class of 1966
    Earth & Atmospheric Sciences
    Jack Fishman, PhD, professor of Meteorology at Saint Louis University, is a leader in the field of atmospheric chemistry. He spent most of his career at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. where he researched methods of measuring air pollution using satellites and earned NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal. Fishman helped establish The St. Louis Ozone Garden Project to educate the public on the detrimental impact of increasing background ozone concentrations on crops and vegetation.

    Marlene Scheinkman Hammerman 1969 Marlene Scheinkman Hammerman
    UCHS Class of 1969
    Social Justice & Women’s Rights Activist
    Marlene S. Hammerman has long been associated with the National Council of Jewish Women-St. Louis and the fight for individual rights and social justice. She has provided testimony and engaged elected officials on the topics of reproductive justice, domestic and gun violence, trafficking, immigration and healthcare reform along with voting and LGBT rights. She has proudly served on every UCHS Class of 1969 Reunion committee since graduation and helped install the NCJW Kids Community Closet at her elementary school, Barbara C. Jordan (formerly Daniel Boone).

    Hasan Houston Hasan Houston
    UCHS Class of 1976
    Tri-sport Athlete, Probation Officer & Coach
    From shooting hoops at Heman Park to burning up the hardwood as a professional player, the late Hasan Abdul Houston was a legend in his own time. A three-sport standout in high school, he averaged 31 points each game and scored 55 points in a single game. He earned the St. Louis Post-Dispatch All-Metro, St. Louis Globe Democrat All-District, All-State honors and a college scholarship. He played collegiate and professional sports, but due to timing and chance, his career was cut short. A leader on and off the court, he served others as a U.S. probation officer and a life coach, developed mentoring programs for youth. In 2012, UCHS officially dedicated the Hasan Houston (basketball) Court.

    Robert Kalish Robert Kalish
    UCHS Class of 1958
    Journalist, Educator & Author
    From Hollywood to the Vietnam War - working in newspaper, television and radio - Robert Kalish is a mentor to multiple generations as he earned his reputation for hard driving coverage of major events including the dismantling of Maine’s only nuclear power plant and closing of a major naval base. In the way that life often imitates art, his experiences likely influenced fictional lead, Skipper Gould, a reporter for a small newspaper turned navy seal in his three-book series. In retirement, he continues to write and “explore the difference between craft and art.”

    Jim Katzman James Katzman
    UCHS Class of 1964
    Co-Founder of Tandem Computers, Inc.
    Just six years after earning an engineering degree from Purdue University, Jim Katzman co-founded Tandem Computers Inc. (now a part of Hewlett Packard). He earned an MSEE from Stanford and amassed a number of patents. He was a principal designer of the first major computers of HP and Amdahl Corp.  The NonStopTM System rocketed Tandem into the Fortune 500 in less than eight years. He was founding council chair at the University of California where scientists, working with the Katzman Automated Imaging Telescope, helped discover Dark Energy which garnered the 2011 Nobel prize in Physics. He has earned awards for lifetime achievement and community service and is listed in the “Who’s Who in Technology Today.”

    Tony Neal Anthony W. Neal
    UCHS Class of 1979
    Social Justice Leader & Businessman
    President/CEO of Educational Equity Consultants, executive director of the Center for Educational Equity and an adjunct professor, Tony Neal is known for helping people and communities utilize education to balance the scales of opportunity and justice while eradicating roadblocks to equity and equality as exemplified in his book, “Becoming a Social Justice Leader: Using Head, Heart, and Hands to Dismantle Oppression.” He serves on various boards in support of education and social justice including the Royal Vagabond, Inc. Foundation and is engaged in mission work in El Salvador.

    Virginia Palmer Virginia E. Palmer
    UCHS Class of 1979
    U.S. Ambassador to Malawi
    Virginia E. Palmer, U.S. Ambassador to Malawi, attended Washington University in St. Louis, holds a BSFS from Georgetown University and a masters degree from the University of Virginia. But, when she experiences different cultures, confronts governments and organizations sometimes hostile to the U.S., she relies on lessons UCHS taught her about diversity and being true to one’s self. Palmer, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, has served the State Department in the areas of counterterrorism and economic policy. In 2015, she rose to her present position as Ambassador to Malawi. Palmer is a recipient of two Department of State senior performance, two superior honor and three meritorious honor awards.

    Jerry Surgerman Jerry Sugerman
    UCHS Class of 1959
    On August 8, 1978, Missourians came together to preserve the beauty of the Meramec River voting “no” to a federal dam. That victory, largely credited to Jerry Sugerman’s vision and perseverance, had been set in motion 25 years earlier. As a research planner at Monsanto, he was temporarily a special assistant to U.S. Senator John C. Danforth (MO). The two worked to preserve the Meramec’s pristine beauty and natural wildlife, a cause that Sugerman ultimately made his life’s work. He authored the Meramec Heritage Riverway Plan to preserve agricultural, conservation and recreational areas and developed a land use model for the disposition of 27,000 acres of surplus federal lands bordering the Meramec.

    Alex Williams Jake “Alex” Williams
    UCHS Class of 1975
    Television Production & Videographer
    If you are a fan of sporting events, there is a chance you’ve seen the work of three-time Emmy-award winning videographer Alex Williams. From Michael Jordan to the Olympics, his images bring games to life. He has worked the Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and MTV Music Video Awards as well as hit shows including “Access Hollywood” and ”The Nanny.” His most memorable were Michael Jackson’s talk with Oprah at Neverland Ranch in 1993 and President Barack Obama’s 2011 Christmas tree lighting ceremony. He also videotaped NASA’s Houston space shuttle landings from a helicopter.

    Todd Williams Todd M. Williams
    UCHS Class of 1985
    Musician & Educator
    Todd Williams is among the finest woodwind artists in today’s jazz music scene. He is a sought after saxophonist, clarinetist, flautist and clinician. He is an assistant professor of Music Education at Indiana Wesleyan University. He has performed at prestigious venues on six continents including The White House, Carnegie Hall and The Hollywood Bowl. Extensive recordings with Wynton Marsalis decorate his list of accomplishments, as well as guest appearances with artists including Harry Connick Jr.. He is a four-time recipient of ASCAP’s Plus Award for Composers. His flagship composition, “We Proclaim Him,” has been a featured internationally.

    Andy Woods Andrew A. Woods
    UCHS Class of 1975
    Public Relations
    Public relations executive Andy Woods believes that who he is, is a reflection of growing up in U. City and the diversity of people and experiences he enjoyed in his school years. He creatied a sixth-grade student newspaper, served as sports editor for Hanley Junior High’s “Acorn” and UCHS’ “Tom Tom” (now “U-Times) and enjoyed a three-sport standout career in athletics. At global Fleishman-Hillard PR firm, he rose to senior vice president/partner, before creating his own company in Los Angeles that provides communications for a major automobile maker, and authoring a book celebrating this client’s history.