SJMC Class Notes

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John DeDakis ’77 retired from CNN after 25 years where, for the past six years, he was a senior copy editor on “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” in Washington, D.C.  John’s third novel in the Lark Chadwick mystery-suspense series, “Troubled Water“, was published by Strategic Media Books in February 2014. The novel’s protagonist, Lark Chadwick, a struggling journalist, is mentored by fictitious UW journalism professor and newspaper editor Lionel Stone. Learn more at

Christine DeSmet BA ’76 MA ’87 received the Robert and Carroll Heideman Award for Excellence in Public Service and Outreach on April 23, 2014, at a reception for academic staff awards on campus. DeSmet is a faculty associate in writing in the Division of Continuing Studies. She created the Writers’ Institute conference, now in its 25th year, and the Write-by-the-Lake Writer’s Workshop & Retreat, now in its 16th year and held on campus  June 16-20. The second book of DeSmet’s Fudge Shop Mystery Series, “Hot Fudge Frame-Up“, from Penguin Random House, will debut June 3. Her launch party for the book is Sunday, June 8, 2014, at 2 p.m. at Mystery to Me bookstore, 1863 Monroe St., Madison. All are invited for fudge and fun.

John McEvoy ’59, former sports editor for the Daily Cardinal, will have his sixth horse racing mystery novel, High Stakes, published by Poisoned Pen Press this fall.

Dennis McCann ‘74’s latest book, This Superior Place: Stories of Bayfield and the Apostle Islands, was published in May 2013 by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press. The book is a history of Bayfield and the Apostle Islands, McCann says, “covering all the booms and busts that make up the Bayfield/Islands story,” such as the fur era, logging, brownstone quarrying, fishing, agriculture and, today, tourism. McCann will give a talk about the book at the Wisconsin Historical Museum in Madison on April 9.

Gary Reistad ’78, produces LIVE@5 for WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee.