Stuyvesant HS Class 1980 logo The Daniel Bergstein/SHS'80 Memorial Scholarship Fund
Advisors to the Fund

Seven members of the Stuyvesant Class of 1980, and friends of Dan Bergstein came together in 2001 to establish the Fund, and continue to serve it in advisory capacity. The principal roles and responsibilities of the Advisors are:

  • to develop the Fund toward a goal of $100,000 in endowment principal
  • ensure that its operations are conducted efficiently and transparently,
  • set award levels and revise competition guidelines as needed
  • select the awardees, and
  • keep contact with the community of donors and in particular with the
    Stuyvesant Class of 1980

In addition to the Advisors, a number of public members support the work of the Fund through Institutional representation, as Honorary Advisors.

Peter Green
Nicholas Griffin
Richard Herschlag
Beth Knobel
Mark Messer
Sungkey Paik
Tim Stickleman
Al Torres
Rebecca Wotman

Niccholas Griffin

Nicholas Griffin grew up on the east side of Manhattan and played second trumpet alongside Dan Bergstein at Wagner JHS; both were happy to move downtown to Stuyvesant in 1976 and graduated there in 1980. Nick studied history as an undergraduate at Notre Dame, and later did a Master’s degree in international development administration in Bloomington, IN. He’s worked for international non-profits, academia, the United Nations and as a contractor to US federal government. He’s lived and travelled widely overseas, and presently resides in the District of Columbia.

Rich Herschlag

Rich Herschlag’s most recent book, Before the Glory, was published by HCI (Chicken Soup for the Soul) in June 2007. The book features inspirational childhood tales from twenty baseball heroes, including eleven Hall-of-Famers. Rich Herschlag’s other published books include Jack of All Trades (Northwest, 1994), Lay Low and Don't Make the Big Mistake (Simon & Schuster, 1997), The Interceptor (Ballantine, 1998) and Women Are From Manhattan, Men Are From Brooklyn (Black Maverick, 2002).

Lay Low, a humorous but practical guide to gliding through corporate America on minimal effort, resulted in over 175 radio and TV interviews across the country. The book was the subject of a feature article in USA Today, highlighted in Reader’s Digest, and quoted on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. Lay Low was also translated into Chinese.
The Interceptor, a political and environmental thriller set above and below the streets of New York, was reviewed favorably by numerous publications including the New York Times, the New York Daily News, and the New York Post.

Herschlag writes a weekly humorous commentary which aired for five years on National Public Radio stations in the Lehigh Valley, PA and in Chicago, as well as occasionally on Public Radio International. The written version of the commentary is circulated widely on the internet and published semi-regularly in alternative weeklies such as New York’s Westsider and Our Town and Buffalo’s The Beast. A full listing of recent columns can be found at Herschlag was also a regular columnist for the New York Sports Express until it folded in 2004. Rich Herschlag has recently completed a screenplay, Cooped Up, a comedy about a retired New York City detective who can't get his grown children to move out of the house. The movie will star comedian Pat Cooper. Herschlag has also recently completed a full-length movie treatment for Mobbed Up, the story of a man and wife who, on a lark, fake being in the mob and wind up in for real.

Rich Herschlag earned a bachelors degree in science and engineering from Princeton University in 1984. In 1991, he received his license as a professional engineer from the State of New York and went to work as Chief Borough Engineer for the Office of the Manhattan Borough President, where he stayed until early 1995. Since then, he has run a consulting business, Turnkey Structural, that specializes in the rehabilitation of residential and commercial buildings. The website is Herschlag lives in Easton, PA, with Susan, his wife, and their daughters Rachel and Elise.

Born and bred in Queens, Beth Knobel studied with Dan Bergstein for four years at Stuyvesant HS and then four more years at Columbia University. Beth then continued on to Harvard, where she earned a masters and doctorate in public policy at the Kennedy School of Government. Her interest in press and politics led to her to Russia, where she moved in 1992. She spent 14 years total living in Moscow, where she worked for The Los Angeles Times, the television news agency Worldwide Television News, and CBS News. From 1999 to 2006, she was the Moscow Bureau Chief for CBS News, eventually working as both as both an on-air correspondent as well as a producer. She is a recipient of an Emmy award for her work at CBS News coverage of the 2002 Moscow theater siege, and Edward R. Murrow and Sigma Delta Chi awards for coverage of the 2004 Beslan school siege. In 2007, she moved home to New York, to become a professor of communication and media studies at Fordham University. Dr. Knobel recently co-authored a guidebook for young journalists with CBS News legend Mike Wallace, Heat and Light: Advice for the Next Generation of Journalists. The book is scheduled to come out in China in 2014.

Sungkey Paik

Sungkey Paik was born in Seoul, Korea and came to the US by way of Vietnam and Thailand in 1968. My father worked for as a military contractor during the Vietnam war in Saigon. We left shortly after the Tet offensive and arrived in New York during the spring of 1968. I grew up in Forest Hills, Queens and attended school there until I was accepted to Stuyvesant High School, then located on 16th Street and First Avenue. It was there that I met some of my closest friends, whom I still see often. Dan was in my homeroom, as well as Nick, Rebecca and Rich, who are fellow members of the advisory council. I have known Rich since first grade when I came to school knowing only a few words of English.

After high school, I spent a couple of years at NYU’s dental program but decided that my career did not lie with dentistry so I spent some time traveling around Europe and holding various jobs trying to figure out what to do with my life.  At the time, my girlfriend was a computer science major and got me interested in computers.  I re-enrolled at NYU an graduated two years later with a computer science degree.

After a short stint at programming, I got into systems and networking which were much more interesting to me. I found my way into the airline industry and was able to feed my wanderlust for several years.  It was during a business trip to Buenos Aires where I connected with my wife, Analiese, who was living there running a small company with another American woman. We spent almost a year traveling back and forth until she moved back to the states. We have been married for 12 years and have two sons.

I am currently working as a computer scientist at a large pharmaceutical company.  I work with new technology products and services that enhance the research, development and sales of new drugs and products on a global basis.  I am glad for the opportunity to be on this advisory council and have tremendous respect for everyone involved in the fund.

Timothy Stickelman originally grew-up in Brentwood, New York and now is a resident of Stuyvesant Town in New York City. He has worked as an attorney in New York City since graduating from New York Law School in 1990.  Prior to law school, Timothy earned a B.A. in Political Science from the State University of New York at Albany. In 1986, he began working at The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as a law intern while attending Law School at night. Upon graduation from Law School he became an attorney in the New York Litigation Division of the Port Authority Law Department, and subsequently moved to the Commercial Litigation Division and Public Securities Law Division of the Law Department and is now and Assistant General Counsel at the Port Authority. In addition to the Dan Bergstein Scholarship Fund, he is a member of the Surrogate Decision-Making Committee for the State of New York.

Al Torres

Al Torres is currently Executive Director, Staffing & Diversity, Verizon Telecom Human Resources. As head of all staffing, recruiting and diversity management for Verizon Telecom, Torres leads an organization focused on acquiring and supporting the retention and development of the best, brightest and most diverse talent in the industry. Prior to his current assignment, Torres was the Executive Director, Human Resources Operations, supporting the New York and New England regions, Marketing and Information Technology, and also overseeing the Attendance Program Office.

Torres joined Verizon Communications in 1986 in the Customer Services Department where he held several positions as Field Supervisor and Area Operations Manager in the North Brooklyn and Bronx Districts. He transitioned from field assignments to staff assignments and held three distinct Director positions prior to becoming an Executive Director: Director of Human Resources for the New York State Market Area; Director, Operations Assurance & Support; and Director, Corporate Telecommunications Services for the Network Services Group.

Throughout his career, Torres has received numerous awards, most notably, the Hispanic Corporate Achiever in 1992 and the Eagle Leadership Award by the National Eagle Leadership Institute in 1999.

He is currently a Board Member of El Repertorio Espanol, New York City’s premier Spanish Language Theater Company. Torres holds a BA from Columbia University and an MBA from the William E. Simon School of Business of the University of Rochester.  He resides in Demarest, New Jersey, with his wife, Nora, and their two daughters, Ashley and Chelsea.

Rebecca Wotman

Rebecca (Goldstein) Wotman graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, did graduate work in art history at NYU's Institute of Fine Arts, and received an MBA from New York University. She worked for more than 15 years at the World Monuments Fund, followed by a stint in the private sector managing internal branding at Jack Morton Worldwide, a subsidiary of Interpublic. After next managing marketing and communications for UJA/Federation of New York's Long Island Region, Rebecca took an indefinite sabbatical to raise daughter Sophia (born in 2004) and help husband Daniel in his law practice. The Wotmans live in Great Neck, New York.

Advisors are mostly drawn from the Stuyvesant class of 1980; Al Torres was a classmate of Dan's from Columbia and Tim Stickelman a co-worker from the Port Authority.

They can be reached by emailing