2015 Honorees

Mother Rosalie Clifton Hill Award
for exemplary service to the university

Stephen K. MBA ’71 (BS) and
Victoria J. ’74 (BS) Nasman

Bishop Charles Francis Buddy Award
for contributions to humanitarian causes

Henry J. Acquarelli ’69 (BS)

Chet and Marguerite Pagni Family
Athletic Hall of Fame
for extraordinary athletic success

Josh Johnson, Football

Author E. Hughes Career
Achievement Award
for professional career achievement

College of Arts and Sciences

Barbara A. Driscoll, PhD ’78 (BA)

Jim Parsons ’01 (MFA)

School of Business Administration

Matthew “Matt” J. Reno ’80 (BBA)

Hahn School of Nursing and
Health Science

Sandra Solem ’84 (MSN), ’02 (PhD)

Joan B. Kroc School of
Peace Studies

Lee C. Sorensen ’07 (MA)

School of Law

Karen P. Hewitt ’89 (JD)

School of Leadership and
Education Sciences

Janine Mason ’86 (BA), ’11 (MA)

Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering

Emiliano Gallego ’00 (BS/BA), ’11 (MSEL)

 


 

View Past Honorees

2014

2013

2012

2011


Stephen and Victoria Nasman

Mother Rosalie Clifton Hill Award

Stephen K. MBA ’71 (BS) and
Victoria J. ’74 (BS) Nasman

The Affinity Advisory Group

Vicki always says her life began at USD where she met Steve, whom she married in 1974, just a few short months after graduation.

While living and working in San Diego, the couple welcomed their first child, Ian. Job changes required a move to the Inland Empire, where they welcomed their second child, Kate.

No matter where their lives took them — the Nasmans always stayed connected to USD through alumni chapters across California and Arizona.

In 1997 they joined the Orange County Alumni Chapter. After helping with several events, they agreed to lead the chapter. For 10 years, they coordinated various events, including their signature event, the Pageant of the Masters, with a great team of alumni volunteers. They help with high school college fairs and participate in Summer Send Offs for incoming freshmen. They also talk with high school seniors as they prepared to attend USD.

Vicki and Steve enjoy coming back to campus, missing very few Homecoming weekends. Their legacy continued, when daughter Kate ’03 chose to attend USD, giving them the opportunity to connect with USD as parents.

Now retired from the financial services industry and from public service, they enjoy time with grandchildren and working with their consulting firm, The Affinity Advisory Group. Even though USD has changed in the years since they graduated, it still feels like home and reminds them of the first time they stepped onto the campus so many years ago.



Hank Acquarelli

Bishop Charles Francis Buddy Award

Henry J. Acquarelli ’69 (BS)
Retired Teacher

After graduating from Loyola High in Los Angeles, Henry “Hank” Acquarelli came to the University of San Diego as a freshman in the fall of 1959. As a member of the Class of 1963, he majored in business and economics and, at a later date, completed his bachelor’s degree in business and also earned his California teaching credential.

While at USD, Hank was active in the student government, serving two years as an Associate Student Body officer and two years as a class officer. He also participated in athletics and the theatre arts.

After teaching and coaching football and baseball during his first year at Marian High School in 1967, Acquarelli realized that working with kids was his calling in life. His teaching career spanned more than 30 years in the Poway Unified School District, but always included opportunities to mentor and build friendships with young people through school clubs and sports. Great memories were made during those long bus rides, surf meets, cold nights out on the field and late dinners between Acquarelli, known as “Coach Acq” and the kids on his teams. He continued to coach soccer, baseball and softball retiring in 2001.

The impact Acquarelli has made in the lives of so many is evident in the number of students who have reconnected with him on social media. The fact that his errands often lead to accidental hour-long conversations with former students is also a testament to how fondly he is remembered by so many.



Josh Johnson

Chet and Marguerite Pagni Family
Athletic Hall of Fame

Josh Johnson
Football, 2004-2007

Josh Johnson, a three-time team Most Valuable Player and quarterback for the USD football team, led the Toreros to two mid-major national championships (2005, 2006), three Pioneer Football League championships, and to a record of 30-4 as a starter.

In his senior year he was a finalist for the 2007 Walter Payton Award, the FCS equivalent to the Heisman Trophy, after tossing a school-record 43 touchdowns, while leading the nation in total offense and passing efficiency. He would garner Second-Team AP All-America and Third-Team Sports Network All-America honors.

During his career, Johnson completed 724 of 1,065 passes (68 percent) for 9,699 yards and 113 touchdowns. He added 1,864 rushing yards (6.1 yards per carry average) and 19 touchdowns on the ground. A two-time PFL Offensive MVP, he finished with 11,563 yards of total offense and is the current NCAA career leader in passing efficiency (176.7).

Following his senior year Johnson was named the MVP of the 2008 East-West Shrine Game and was selected in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He is currently in his seventh year in the NFL and, this season, reunited with former USD head coach Jim Harbaugh with the San Francisco 49ers.

From Oakland, Calif., Josh is the founder and president of the Fam 1st Family Foundation. Along with his cousin, Marshawn Lynch, running back for the Seattle Seahawks, the foundation improves the lives of inner-city youth by mentoring them on the importance of education, literacy and self-esteem.



Barbara Driscoll

Author E. Hughes Career Achievement Award

College of Arts and Sciences


Barbara A. Driscoll, PhD ’78 (BA)
The Saban Research Institute / University of Southern California

Barbara Driscoll, PhD, joined the faculty at the University of Southern California in 2000 and is an associated professor in the Department of Surgery at its Keck School of Medicine. She also works in the Department of Pediatric Surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), a nonprofit hospital for pediatric care, is one of the nation’s premier teaching hospitals through its affiliation with the Keck School of Medicine at USC. It’s also home to The Saban Research Institute, one of the largest and most productive pediatric research facilities in the United States.

As a principal investigator at the Saban Research Institute, Dr. Driscoll directs her own laboratory, focused on determining how cumulative lung injuries result in chronic lung disease and how prophylactic therapeutic approaches might delay the onset of disease.

Dr. Driscoll is a host mentor for the Bridges to Stem Program at Pasadena City College and, since its inception in 2006, has also served as a mentor for the CHLA’s Samuels Family Latino & African American High School Internship Program for high school students from underserved public schools.

Dr. Driscoll is a peer reviewer for several NIH study sections and a number of scientific journals. She is chair of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at CHLA and also lectures on the ethics of using animals in scientific research, as a part of the bioethics courses taught at both USC and CHLA.

Dr. Driscoll received her doctorate in molecular biology from the University of Arizona, and her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of San Diego.



Jim Parsons

Author E. Hughes Career Achievement Award

College of Arts and Sciences


Jim Parsons ’01 (MFA)
Actor

Four-time Emmy winner, Golden Globe® Award winner and SAG nominee, Jim Parsons continues to bring a winning combination of indelible charm, charisma and comedic timing to his roles on screen and on stage, establishing himself as one of Hollywood’s leading men.

Parsons is best known for his role as Sheldon Cooper in CBS’ critically acclaimed hit, “The Big Bang Theory.” On the big screen, Parsons will be heard voicing a lead character, named “Oh,” alongside Rihanna in “Home,” a DreamWorks Animation adaptation of the award-winning book, The True Meaning of Smekday, by Adam Rex. “Home” is set to hit theatres on March 27, 2015. Parsons recently co-starred in HBO’s Emmy- winning original movie adaptation of “The Normal Heart,” where he reprised his role as Tommy Boatwright from the Tony Award-winning play of the same name. Parsons received an Emmy nomination for his role.

Parsons earned a Master’s in Fine Arts degree from The Old Globe/University of San Diego Graduate Theatre Program and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Houston. He currently resides in Los Angeles.



Matt Reno

Author E. Hughes Career Achievement Award

School of Business Administration


Matthew “Matt” J. Reno ’80 (BBA)
Founder /CEO Reno Contracting Inc.

Matt Reno founded Reno Contracting more than 20 years ago and, to this day, remains an integral part of the company. His reputation in preconstruction and business development ensures that he continues to be a cornerstone in the San Diego general contracting community.

His thumbprint can be found on notable projects throughout the city, including Diamond View Tower, MedImpact, ResMed, Santa Fe Summit and Marriott Hotels.

Reno’s father served in the U.S. Marine Corps and Reno was born at the Marine Corps base, Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. In the mid-1960s, the family moved to the San Fernando Valley, where Reno attended Crespi High School. In 1976, he came to USD, graduating in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science in business administration.

Reno contributes to the San Diego community, giving generously to The Wounded Warrior Foundation, Big Brothers and Sisters, YMCA of San Diego, American Heart Association, Child Abuse Prevention Foundation, Navy League/Homefront San Diego and many other organizations through his years as the company’s CEO.

Reno has received several community awards, including Entrepreneur of The Year in 2007 and Warrior Foundation Man of the Year in 2010. He enjoys quiet evenings at home with his wife, Pam, and their dogs, Deuce and Coco, and cats Clyde and Carter. Reno is a devoted father, has been the coach and biggest fan of his children’s sports endeavors, and enjoys fishing, hunting and traveling with the family. His personal philosophy is, “You need to figure out what you want to be and then be the best at it.”



Sandra Solem

Author E. Hughes Career Achievement Award

Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science


Sandra Solem ’84 (MSN), ’02 (PhD)
Associate Director, Patient Care Services / Nurse Executive, VA San Diego Healthcare System

Sandra Solem, PhD, is an associate director for patient care services and nurse executive at VA San Diego Healthcare System, a 304-bed facility providing veterans with a wide range of inpatient services and outpatient care at seven community clinics throughout the county.

Dr. Solem joined the VA San Diego Healthcare System in 2010 after returning to the Veteran Healthcare Administration (VHA) in 2006, following the conclusion of a project as a consultant at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Facilitating focus groups with men and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, listening to their stories and seeing their ongoing, long-term need for care, prompted Dr. Solem to leave her position as chair of nursing at Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I., and return to caring for veterans and their families. The combination of leadership roles in both clinical practice and academia presented unique opportunities to implement clinical practice models of care and change management projects.

Leaders at the VHA asked her to facilitate a veteran-centered partnership model of care in Lexington, Ky., in 2010, as well as the opening of a new VA medical center in Las Vegas, Nev., as the nurse executive in 2013. Currently, her work as the executive sponsor for implementation of Relationship-Based Care and Culture of Excellence at VASDHS, a member of National VA Council on Evidence-Based Practice and a mentor for new nurse executives into the system, keeps Dr. Solem fully engaged in clinical practice and education. She earned her BSN at Montana State University followed by her MSN and PhD in nursing at the University of San Diego.



Lee Sorensen

Author E. Hughes Career Achievement Award

Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies


Lee C. Sorensen ’07 (MA)
Director, Shuraako, One Earth Future Foundation

Lee C. Sorensen is the director of both Shuraako and the Responsibility to Protect and Business projects at One Earth Future (OEF), a Colorado-based organization, which leads initiatives aimed at improving systems and services that prevent and stop armed conflict.

The Shuraako project addresses the credit gap facing small and medium-sized businesses in Somalia to create sustainable jobs as an alternative to piracy and other criminal enterprises. The Responsibility to Protect and Business program showcases the private sector’s role in the prevention of mass atrocities.

Before entering the Master of Arts in Peace and Justice Studies program at USD’s Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, Sorensen was an entrepreneur with 20-plus years of executive business experience creating healthcare, mental health and education companies.

He combined his business background with peacebuilding by completing the degree with a focus on human security, poverty alleviation and structural inequality leading to conflict — particularly unequal distribution of resources. His development projects include child and maternal health, education and peacebuilding through parts of Africa, including Somalia, Tanzania, Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

Sorensen is on the advisory board of several organizations including the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies and the Institute for Peace and Justice Women PeaceMakers program. He also served on RAND’s African First Ladies Initiative, which he helped establish. Prior to working with the One Earth Future Foundation, Sorensen was the U.S. director of outreach at the Institute for Economics and Peace. He is a passionate explorer of the relationship between peace, business, governance and human well-being.



Karen Hewitt

Author E. Hughes Career Achievement Award

School of Law


Karen P. Hewitt ’89 (JD)
Partner, Jones Day

Former United States Attorney Karen Hewitt has successfully litigated hundreds of cases in federal court over two decades. She currently represents companies in civil and criminal investigations and in complex business litigation. Hewitt’s practice focuses on defending matters involving possible violations of federal law, including the Anti-Kickback Statute, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the False Claims Act, and the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Before joining Jones Day in 2010, Karen served as San Diego’s chief federal law enforcement officer, where she focused on national security, border security, cyber and intellectual property crime, white-collar and financial crime, civil fraud, violent crime, narcotics and immigration enforcement. During Hewitt’s tenure, the U.S. Attorney’s Office also investigated and prosecuted violations of the securities laws and bankruptcy fraud. Under her direction, the U.S. Attorney’s Office achieved a record number of convictions — including cases involving the prosecution of numerous high-ranking members of a Mexican drug cartel, a defense contractor bribing a congressman, an Internet threat to kill a presidential candidate, the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent, a conspiracy to steal U.S. military encryption technology and the bombing of a federal courthouse.

Hewitt is partner-in-charge of the San Diego office. She is a director of the San Diego North Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Former U.S. Attorneys. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts of San Diego, a Master in the Enright Inn of Court and a member of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers and Lawyers Club.



Janine Mason

Author E. Hughes Career Achievement Award

School of Leadership and Education Sciences


Janine Mason ’86 (BA), ’11 (MA)
Executive Director, The Fieldstone Foundation

As executive director of the Fieldstone Foundation, Janine Mason is responsible for its management, grantmaking and leadership development programs and established the Fieldstone Leadership Network, a continuum of seven programs supporting 1,500 nonprofit leaders in Orange and San Diego counties. Mason worked with the Weingart Foundation managing its Small Grant Program, from its inception through 2014. She is certified as a facilitator for Courage to Lead, which provides leadership training for nonprofit executives.

Mason received her undergraduate degree in psychology and her Master of Arts in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from USD’s School of Leadership and Education Sciences. She’s also a graduate of the Executive Program for Philanthropy Leaders at Stanford and earned her national certification in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance.

Mason serves as the advisory board co-chair for USD’s Institute for Nonprofit Education and Research and is the creator of USD’s Kaleidoscope Award, which honors exceptional governance in nonprofit organizations.

Mason is also active with the Cathedral Catholic Parents Association and the Dons Athletic Club. She is a lector at St. Therese of Carmel and former religious education teacher and parish guild president. She has served on various boards, including San Diego Grantmakers, San Diego Blood Bank Foundation, Harmonium, The Children’s Initiative, National Society of Fundraising Executives, BIA Cares Foundation, Eureka Communities, San Diego City Schools Partners in Education and United Way. A graduate of LEAD San Diego, Mason was recognized as Alumni of the Year for her work creating the San Diego Children’s Initiative. She’s included in “Who’s Who in the West” and “Who’s Who in America.”



Emiliano Gallego

Author E. Hughes Career Achievement Award

Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering


Emiliano Gallego ’00 (BS/BA), ’11 (MSEL)
CEO, PAGASA SA de CV

Emiliano Gallego was born in El Centro, Calif., and raised in the border city of Mexicali, Mexico, a region known for its excellent wheat harvests.

He graduated from the University of San Diego in 2000 with a joint BS/BA degree in industrial and systems engineering. After graduation, he began working in sales for PAGASA’s pasta and cookie manufacturing plant located in Tijuana, Mexico. Seven years later, he was named general manager. Under Gallego’s leadership, the company tripled its sales and production capacity. It is currently the only pasta company in Mexico to have FSSC certification, guaranteeing global standards in quality and hygiene. The company has received more than $10 million in federal grants for its innovative machinery design and production workflow.

As a strong believer in education, Gallego returned to USD to earn a Master of Science in Executive Leadership degree in 2011.

Today, Gallego serves on various education-related boards, including the governing board at El Centro de Enseñanza Técnica y Superior (CETYS) Universidad, USD’s Comité Mexico advisory board, and the advisory board for USD’s Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering. He is also president of the FFGM Entrepreneurship Fund, which supports the new ventures of young entrepreneurs.