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UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO / Summer 2012

Class Notes Profiles

Summer 2012by USD Magazine Staff

Summer 2012 Class Notes

MoreClass Notes

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Game Changer

Chargers Chief Financial Officer Jeanne Bonk says it only took one thing to wend her way from Alcalá Park to the Chargers’ front office: hard...


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Grace in Motion

At the age of 24, Vincent Padilla has achieved what many covet: A career in a demanding field that combines multiple passions....


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Burden of Proof

Deputy Assistant Attorney Claudine Ruiz is making the San Diego community safer, one bad guy at a time....


What’s Your Story?

Share your life experiences, adventures and news by submitting a class note.

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1960s

[1962]

PEGGY (D’AGOSTINO) THOMPSON (BA) retired twice as a music specialist from the Clark County School District, and recently as a consultant/mentor for the district. She was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for her work with children and new music teachers in the schools. Peggy is the wedding coordinator for St. Joseph Church and the liturgist/music director for the Shrine of the Most Holy Redeemer.

[1965]

ALCY (BOSS) NEIDLINGER (BA) has been in Spring, Texas, for nearly three years. She joined a photography club and sells her photos locally as cards.

1970s

[1974]

VICKI (WESTERVELT) NASMAN (BA) and her husband, Steve ’71, became grandparents with the birth of Lincoln Vedder Reidel on Nov. 8, 2010. Vicki retired from the State of California Employment Development Department in 2010 and now cares for Lincoln twice a week. Steve is the senior managing director of The Affinity Advisory Group, a consulting firm for financial institutions. Vicki and Steve are co-presidents of USD’s Orange County Regional Alumni Association and they also coordinate the baptism ministry at St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church in Yorba Linda, Calif. They love to travel and planned to go to China in February 2012.

[1975]

GILBERT CARRASCO (BA) married Iryna Zaverukha in February 2011. Gilbert also co-authored The Law of Discrimination: Cases and Perspectives with USD Professor Roy L. Brooks and George Washington University Professor Michael Selmi.

[1977]

JOAN STEIDENGER (BA) was designated a certified consultant by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology in October 2011. Joan has taught sport psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, Extension Program and the Western States 100 Mile Race training camp, and has worked with athletes, musicians and performing artists on performance enhancement, injury concerns and adjustments. She is president of Power Zone, an individually designed coaching program for achieving personal bests in sport and life. Joan recently returned from Nepal, where she ran in a three-day,100K stage race to raise funds for Freedom Children’s Welfare Center, a Nepal orphanage.

[1979]

DOUG BOHNENBERGER writes, “I will never forget my years at USD. Cramming all night for a final and having to go in the basement of the nursing building past the cadavers to the only vending machines on campus; Friday evenings in Torero Canyon; studying on Sunset Cliffs; I loved everything about USD! … Miss all of you!”

REDELLE HRASTICH (MEd) retired from the San Diego Unified School District in 2009, after 30 years as a classroom teacher and education specialist. Currently, Redelle is a part-time field supervisor at USD for the School of Leadership and Education Sciences.

JERRY PLUMMER (BA) writes, “I’m living in the ‘burbs of Kansas City, working as an IT project manager at a global company named Thales. I love being involved in the community, being a board member of both the Jackson County 4-H Foundation and the Carriage and Driving Society of Greater Kansas City. As you can tell, I still also love my hobby of competing with my horses in carriage driving. I would love to hear from old friends! Find me on Facebook in the USD community.”

MICHAEL RAMIREZ (BBA) was diagnosed on Sept. 3, 2009, with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Shortly after receiving this news, Mike turned his energy into fighting for and prolonging his quality of life, and has taken on the challenge of searching for a cure through fundraising. In May 2010, Mike and his wife, Maureen (McKeon) ’81, along with friends and family, founded the Team Godfather Charitable Foundation. To date, Team Godfather has donated more than $250,000 to ALS research. The organization can be found online at www.teamgodfather.org and on Facebook.

1980s

[1981]

ED MAPLE (BA) is a computer systems administrator for a company in Scottsdale, Ariz. He has been married for 22 years, and he and his wife have two kids, ages 21 and 17.

MARYANN THOMSON (BA, MA ’82) loved seeing her classmates from 1981 and 1982 at the 2011 Homecoming Weekend. “Wow,” she writes, “30 years later, Toreros are still awesome!”

STEVE VASQUEZ (BBA) writes, “Enjoyed touring the USD campus while in San Diego to do the Superfrog Half Ironman Triathlon on Sept. 11, 2011. What a beautiful campus! What an environment to go to school.”

[1982]

MARK GARIBALDI (BA) was featured in the October 2011 issue of Bakersfield Life magazine. Founder of the Garo Method, a program of mental fitness, nutrition and physical ability, Mark has worked with clients across the country, including students, athletes and professionals. After graduating from USD, Mark earned a master’s degree at California State University, Bakersfield, and a law degree from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law. He practiced for a year with a private civil law firm and spent 10 years as a deputy district attorney. Mark launched the Garo Method in 2002, complete with a CD program and one-on-one life coaching. His website is www.thegaromethod.com.

DONNA (HAFF) SKAHILL (BA, MA ’88) and her husband, Vince ’83, are joining the Peace Corps and plan to travel to Micronesia/Palau in June 2012, where they will teach.

[1984]

FRAN (POLITO) ALGYA (BBA) has been a business owner in Flagstaff, Ariz., for 14 years. She and her husband own a dealership for small construction equipment and tractors, as well as snow removal equipment. They have three kids, ages 17, 15 and 10. “My husband and I recently went on a jazz cruise to Alaska,” she writes. “The entertainment was unbelievable!”

TERESA BURRELL (JD) has had three legal suspense mystery novels published: The Advocate, The Advocate’s Betrayal and her most recent, The Advocate’s Conviction, which was released in October 2011. Her website is www.teresaburrell.com.

ROZANNA (SANCHEZ) QUINTANA (BA) reports that her daughter, Abby Reutzel, is at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., studying at the McDonough School of Business. Rozanna relocated to Jacksonville, Fla., to pursue her interest in adapted sports and recreation.

[1985]

KATHLEEN HARRIS (BBA) is the chief financial officer at Gallagher & Kennedy Law Offices in Phoenix, Ariz., and was recently named a board member of Catholic Community Foundation. In addition to serving on local professional banking boards, Kathleen has given her time to a number of nonprofit organizations, including Kiwanis Club of Tempe, Tempe Sister Cities, the St. Francis Xavier Elementary School Auction and charity events through the Diamondback wives. She is president of the Phoenix Police Foundation Board, serves in several advisory roles at Xavier College Preparatory, volunteers at Brophy College Preparatory and recently completed her 25th year of volunteering as a Junior Achievement leader. She and her husband, Tom, have four children.

MARGARET (BOYER) HILL (BA) graduated with a JD degree from Arizona State University in May 2011 and is working on an MBA from ASU.

KEN WINANS (BBA) was awarded top honors in the 2011 USA Best Books Awards. His book, Preferred Stocks – The Art of Profitable Income Investing, was the winner in the investment category. His prior books are Preferreds – Wall Street’s Best-Kept Income Secret and Investment Atlas – Financial Maps to Investment Success. Ken’s website is www.kenwinans.com and his books are available on Amazon.com.

[1986]

KEVIN HASKINS (JD) is an assistant district attorney with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. He is a candidate for Orange County Superior Court judge in the June election. Kevin’s campaign website is www.haskinsforjudge.com.

JANINE MASON (BA, MA ’11) is executive director of The Fieldstone Foundation, where she has worked for 23 years. She also manages the San Diego Small Grant Program for the Weingart Foundation, based in Los Angeles, and serves on the advisory board for the Institute of Nonprofit Education and Research at USD. Janine has a 15-year-old son who is a freshman at Cathedral Catholic High School.

[1987]

DONALD JAMES (BBA) reports that he has four great kids – Olivia, Lexi, Lleyton and Piper – and that he has found his soul mate in his wife, Melinda. With offices in New Zealand, Donald intends to split his time between the United States and New Zealand after the girls enter college. His primary activity is “family … always” and his secondary activities are surfing, triathlons, Xterra and mountain bike racing.

[1988]

DANIEL LeKANDER (BBA) married Miranda Maison ’97 on Nov. 13, 2010, in Sacramento, Calif. Dan is CEO of Minerva Properties and Miranda is senior corporations counsel for the California Department of Corporations.

GLENN O’CLASSEN (BA) is vice president of cloud adoption at Appirio, a global enterprise cloud solutions company. Glenn joined the firm as part of an acquisition by Appirio of VelocityMG, the company that Glenn founded to assist enterprises in driving user adoption of cloud applications. He launched the company after a tenure at Salesforce.com.

JOSIE (GABLE) RODRIGUEZ (MA) exhibited “Luminous Layers”, an encaustic art show at the San Diego International Airport, Terminal Two East, through March 2012. She says she is inspired by the “visceral, messy and spontaneous character of encaustic art.” (Encaustic art incorporates wax.) She was a clinical chaplain at Scripps Mercy and San Diego Hospice, and now dedicates her time to making and teaching art from her home studio in San Diego, where she and her husband, Al, offer art retreats.

PETER STAMATOPOULOS (BA) was named commanding officer of the Naval Supply Systems Command, Fleet Logistics Center San Diego. The San Diego center provides logistics, business and support services to fleet, shore and industrial commands of the Navy, Coast Guard and Military Sealift Command, as well as other joint and allied forces.

JIM WINGROVE (BA) lives in Sunnyvale, Calif., with his wife, Tracy ’92, and two children. He is an avid runner and enjoys coaching his daughters’ softball teams. Jim works at a biotech company in Palo Alto.

[1989]

KAREN PARKER PAPE (BBA) lives in Oakland, Calif., where she owns a business, Chirofitness, and keeps busy with family and friends.

ANNA (PATZMAN) UMSTADTER (BA) and her husband, Karl, moved to the Livermore Wine Valley in the San Francisco Bay Area. “I am now at home with our busy 2-year-old, Amelia Kate,” Anna says, “and my husband is a physicist with KLA-Tencor in Silicon Valley.”

1990s

[1990]

CHRISTIE BURKE BABCOCK (BA, MEd ’92) lives an hour southwest of Chicago in Frankfort, Ill., with her husband, Paul, and their four kids: Grace, 12; Molly, 9; Meg, 6; and Mick, 3. “I work two days a week as a high school counselor, where I spend the majority of my time trying to convince my students to become Toreros!” she says.

JEFF CARPENTER (BA) was selected California Teacher of the Year by the Veterans of Foreign Wars in January 2012 and has advanced to the national competition. On Dec. 15, 2011, he and his wife, Kristin, were in Sacramento where Jeff received Teacher of the Year awards from Rancho Bernardo VFW Post 7766 and VFW District 1. A longtime Rancho Bernardo High teacher, Jeff has five Advanced Placement government classes and a civics class, and he coaches football and girls’ lacrosse.

ANNE (DEMETRIO) DOWNING (BA) lives in Phoenix, Ariz., with her three children: Jack, 12; Kate, 10; and George, 8. She is a senior partner at Demetrio & Associates, a national and international recruitment and placement firm. “I enjoyed a great weekend of fine wine and dining in San Francisco with seven of my USD classmates this past September,” she says.

LORI (WUYCHECK) VENERDI (BA) and her husband, Bo ’90, have been married for 20 years and they have two children: Ben, 17, and Emma, 15. “Emma has Down syndrome and we are involved with the Special Olympics here in northeast Florida,” she writes. “Ben is a junior in high school and can’t believe USD offered surfing as a class and neither Bo nor I took it!” Bo owns Global Protection Products, where he manufactures and sells hurricane shutters.

[1991]

LIANA ABELE-OSITIS (BAcc) and her husband, Vilis, have a 2-year-old daughter. “Life is good!” Liana says.

CHARLES GALLAS (BA) and his wife, Stephenie, have three beautiful daughters: Alyssa, 14; Caitlyn, 9; and Bridget, 6. “I jokingly call it Charlie’s Angels,” Charles says.

[1992]

KRISTINE ASHTON-MAGNUSON (BA) owns and operates Ashton-Magnuson Media, a music publicity company in Los Angeles that she founded after departing the Mitch Schneider Organization in 2009. Her clients have included Rockstar Energy Drink UPROAR Festival; 48 Hours Festival; Avalanche Tour; Rock on the Range; Revolver Magazine; Punk Rock Dad, a book by Jim Lindberg; and the Dolor novella series by Rick Florino. Her website is www.am-media.net.

CHRIS SPENCE (BA) was honored when his office, Spence Chiropractic Center in San Diego’s Mission Valley, was voted Best Chiropractic Office in San Diego for the fourth year by CityBeat magazine. He is the past president of the San Diego Chiropractic branch of the California Chiropractic Association (CCA) and was twice awarded Doctor of the Year honors by the CCA. Chris lives in San Diego with his wife, his daughter, 5, and his son, 18 months.

MICHEL ZELNICK (JD) is a former CPA, attorney and psychotherapist who works with closely held businesses, partnerships and family enterprises to constructively harness conflict through periods of transition.

[1993]

STACEY (BUCKLEY) BUNN (BA) and her husband, David, have been married for 13 years. They live in Monterey County, Calif., and have four children, ranging in age from 20 months to 11 years old. Stacey home-schools the children and works part time in the family’s pie bakery.

BRENT HODGES (BAcc) is the head of schools for Rancho Solano Private Schools, the largest private school system in Arizona, with four schools serving pre-k through eighth grade and a new high school that graduates its first senior class this year. He is a proud USD alumnus and encourages USD education graduates to apply to Rancho. Brent’s son, T.J., is a sophomore at Phillips Exeter Academy boarding school in New Hampshire. Brent enjoys kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and reading in his spare time.

SUSAN (COLLINS) MOSBY (BA) and her husband, Peter, bought i9Sports, a youth sports franchise. “We are busy promoting and running flag football, basketball and soccer leagues/camps for kids ages 4 to 14 in the south Denver area,” Susan says. “I continue to teach Spanish at Cherry Creek High and raise our three kids: Chas, 6; Quinn, 4; and Lucia, 3; and two dogs: Nica and Bruin!”

[1994]

TIFFANY BEANE-LANDES (BAcc) writes, “I’d love to hear from former classmates and ‘lost’ friends. We live just west of Indianapolis in Avon, Ind., and have two busy boys: Jacob, 12; and Grant, 9. Update me and let me know what’s going on in your life.”

GREG CHABON (MBA) was named to the 2012 list of The Best Lawyers in America, the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. Greg is a corporate and securities attorney in the Greensboro, N.C., office of Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice.

RIAN KIRKMAN (BBA) was recently promoted to vice president of marketing, Las Vegas region, for Caesars Entertainment.

CYRIL VIDERGAR (BA) opened the law practice of Samson & Vidergar in Longmont, Colo., on Dec. 1, 2011, with prior law partner, Rick Samson. The firm focuses on real estate, land use, government regulation, estate planning and probate matters, as well as entrepreneurial planning, beer law and strategic business planning services. One of Cyril’s appellate cases was selected for publication in 2011, and he is scheduled to return to the Colorado Court of Appeals in 2012 to defend municipal regulation of oil and gas activities. He also authors a brewing column called “Pondering the Pint.”

[1995]

WENDY S. DUNLAP (MS) moved to Alaska in January 1998 to work on her PhD through the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. While in Alaska, she worked with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game until July 2001. She didn’t finish her PhD, but moved back to Southern California and now works for the California Department of Fish and Game maintaining the commercial passenger fishing vessel database.

JOEL GONZALES (BA) is director of admissions at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Pharmacy, the No. 1-ranked pharmacy school in the country.

TODD MORAN (BA) lives in Lawrence, Kan., and is a senior support analyst at Johnson County Community College. His responsibilities include providing computer support for classrooms and computer labs.

CHRISTOPHER M. PARTA (BA) is in his third year of law school at Lewis and Clark in Portland, Ore. His wife, Tiffany Tran-Parta, teaches middle school science. The couple’s 3-year-old son, Liam, keeps them on their toes.

JENNIFER WILLIAMSON (BA) is an account executive for the Vitamix Corp. “This year, I also started training and competing as a bodybuilder, something I’ve always wanted to do,” she says. “I compete in the figure division, which requires a high degree of muscularity, but not the huge size and mass of those competing in the bodybuilding division. I placed first at my third show, and plan to continue training and competing as long as I can!”

[1996]

NATALIE A. (ABRAHAM) ALLAN (BA) was married in 2001 at USD. She is now living in Kansas and working for PRA International. She has a 6 ½-month-old daughter named Miranda. Her husband also graduated from USD with an MBA in finance, though they didn’t meet at USD.

JENNIFER (BARTA) KNOX (BBA) and her husband, Micah, are the pastors at United NW Church in Auburn, Wash. They have four kids: Faith, 13; Hope, 12; Grace, 11; and their son, Justice, 10.

CATHY (WESOLOWSKI) NORTHCUTT (BBA) writes, “Life is full of surprises. While I still work as a life/parent coach, last year I made a big decision to scale back my private practice to go into business with my husband of 23 years.” Dan has been in real estate for 25 years and they are now a team, helping people buy and sell real estate in San Diego County. Their website is www.TeamNorthcutt.com. “We would enjoy hearing from you,” Cathy says. “Peace!”

[1997]

CAILA (COUGHLIN) ANDERSON (BBA) lives in Valdosta, Ga., with her husband, Corey, and two sons. She enjoys her time with Devin, 2, and Grant, 1, and is a public relations/social media freelancer in her spare time.

JENNIFER (BAILEY) BOWHEY (BA) and her husband, Steve, have a daughter who recently began preschool. The family adopted two Bernese mountain dogs, and Jennifer is involved in church fundraising and yoga classes.

MIRANDA (MAISON) LeKANDER (BA) and her husband, Dan ’88, were married on Nov. 13, 2010, in Sacramento, Calif. Miranda is senior corporations counsel for the California Department of Corporations and Dan is a real estate investor.

GREG YOUNG (LLM) chaired an eminent panel on preparing arbitration lawyers for a new generation of bilateral agreements at New York City’s International Law Weekend conference. More than 1,000 academic and practicing international lawyers, regulatory lawyers and law students attended the conference. Greg is co-chair of the American branch of the International Law Association’s Bilateral Investment Treaty and Development Committee.

[1998]

JAMIE A. (MILLER) GONZALEZ (BA) has been working with the UC Sea Grant Extension Program in San Diego on water pollution and invasive species issues related to recreational boats. She has been involved in research and outreach programs to help boaters reduce bottom paint pollution, and prevent the hull transport of invasive species.

JENNIFER (KOHNEN) KIRSCH (BA) says her daughter, Elisabeth, now 4, became a big sister and welcomed new baby brother, William Daniel, on May 27, 2011. Jennifer, her husband, Paul, and the kids enjoy living in Austin, Texas, and visit USD and the beach when they can.

GIANNA RAVENSCROFT (BA) and her husband, Mike, welcomed their twin son and daughter, Zachary and Alexa, in March 2011. “When I’m not busy juggling two babies, I am a bank regulatory counsel at WilmerHale in Washington, D.C., where I represent financial institutions of all sizes in strategic transactions and matters pending before the federal banking regulators,” she says. “While we love the excitement that comes with living in our nation’s capitol, we also dream of the day when we move back to sunny San Diego.”

[1999]

KRISTINA BROWN (MA) was promoted to associate professor at The School of Professional Psychology at Forest Institute. She is the director of the marriage and family therapy programs at the institute, and has a part-time private practice as a licensed marriage and family therapist.

GEORGE EBERLING (MA) recently published Chinese Energy Futures and Their Implications for the United States, which is available through Lexington Books.

TRAMY “EVELYN” HUYNH (BA) married Joseph Levert on June 25, 2011.

2000s

[2000]

SARAH (LANSER) DICE (BA) and her husband, Jim, welcomed a son, Joseph Raymond, on May 10, 2011. “Big brother J.J. couldn’t be more proud,” says Sarah.

AMALIA (RIVERA) LAWLESS (BA) and her husband, Stephen, celebrated their 11th wedding anniversary on Oct. 21, 2011. They were married at The Immaculata. Their oldest daughter, Emily, is 6 and loves school, soccer, reading and playing with friends. They welcomed their second daughter, Leah Kathryn, on Feb. 19, 2008. Leah, 3, is in preschool and loves “playing with dolls, making us laugh, eating all kinds of foods and bugging her big sister. I’m still very happy staying home with my kids,” says Amalia. “They keep me on my toes. Life’s never boring, that’s for sure!”

CELIA LOPEZ (BA, MA ’04) says she is happy to be back home in San Diego after working for a year and a half in Santa Barbara County. “I’m currently blessed to be working with foster youth and spend my free time actively serving in my church community,” Celia says.

NICOLE MATTHEWS (MA) is the chief experience officer and owner of The Henley Company, an experiential event and lifestyle management company based in San Diego. The company produces high-profile events, creates unique experiences, and manages the lives of busy executives and their families.

CHARLES SCHEIN (BBA) and Monica Escobedo ’00 were married in Founders Chapel in 2001 and now have three sons, ages 3, 5 and 7. Charles is in the dental program at Loma Linda University. “The family will soon follow and will reside in Southern California for the next four years,” Charles says.

JOHN SULLIVAN (BA) moved to Texas and is a construction project manager. He has built two $100 million federal courthouses. John has been married for nine years and has two children.

[2001]

TIMOTHY CLARK (BA) recently began a tenure-track position in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at USD after four years as a faculty member at Western Washington University. Timothy and his wife, Nicole, have three daughters, ages 6, 2 and 8 months.

RACHEL DANJCZEK (BA) is a dean at an independent college preparatory high school in Brentwood, Calif. She continues to teach part time as well. “I am still in touch with my closest friends from USD, recently meeting up with Katie Giedt and Kristen Iacobelli,” she says. “I also had the privilege to attend the wedding of Stephenie Petrilla, who was such a beautiful bride!”

YGNACIO “NASH” FLORES (MA) retired from the Navy after serving for 27 years and went on to complete an EdD at the University of Southern California. Recently, he was named the dean of public safety at Rio Hondo College in Whittier, Calif.

LISA HILL (BA) is training to ride in one of the premier cycling events in the United States, El Tour de Tucson, a 109-mile race around the perimeter of Tucson, Ariz. She is racing in honor of a teammate, Brittany Ross.

PAULA (CHAPMAN) ISHAM (BA) writes, “I had a wonderful volunteer experience on behalf of USD in Mrs. Hackett’s third-grade class in Roseville, Calif. I shared about USD, showed them photos of my personal experience, defined what a Torero is, and spoke about how important it is to go to college and how to prepare. Their favorite part was seeing my actual framed diploma I brought with me! It was special to share with a class of 8-year-olds about my fantastic alma mater.”

GREGORY JACKSON (BA) finished a residency in veterinary surgery in the Los Angeles area and then returned to San Diego to take a position as a staff surgeon at a local specialty hospital. He also married his wife, Nicole, a veterinary technician. Gregory is enjoying being a newlywed and reports that he is very happy to be back near the USD community.

GAIL NOLAN (BA) is a legal analyst with the State of California Department of Justice Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse division.

[2002]

PEARL LY (BA) is currently pursuing a master’s degree in library and information science at UCLA.

ANNE PETERSEN (BA) completed a master’s degree in business continuity, security and risk management at Boston University’s Metropolitan College in May 2011. She is a member of the Junior League of Las Vegas and was recently named a board member for the nonprofit Help of Southern Nevada. Anne is a full-time newscast producer at KLAS-TV, the CBS News affiliate in Las Vegas. Eventually, she hopes to integrate her professional experience with her new interest in business continuity.

JULIE SEIDENSTEIN (BA) is an attorney in the Charlotte, N.C., office of Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein, and was named a 2011 Woman Extraordinaire by Business Leader magazine. Julie is in her firm’s banking and finance group, and she focuses her practice on commercial real estate and structured finance. She is active in CREW Charlotte, the Charlotte Women’s Bar and the Mecklenburg County Bar Lunch With a Lawyer program.

AUBREE (SPEAR) VALENTINO (BBA) and her husband, Scott, welcomed a second son, Carter James, on Nov. 20, 2011. Carter joins big brother, Luke, who turned 2 in January 2012.

[2003]

ANN ABALOS-VENTURA (BBA) and her husband, Julius, were married in September 2011.

ANNA (SMITHSON) BLANKENHEIM (BA) and her husband, Mike, were married on Oct. 22, 2011. They honeymooned in St. Lucia and are now settled in Sutter Creek, Calif.

KRISTIN (EDELHAUSER) CHESSMAN (BA) and her husband, Ryan, welcomed their first child, Tyler, in November 2011. Kristin is a freelance writer and editor for various publications and websites.

COLLEEN CLEARY-REED (BA) writes, “Wow, what a ride! Since graduation, I have been fortunate enough to land the job of my dreams and the best husband in the world!” As a claims trainer, she travels all over the country training new and tenured employees for a nationwide insurance company. In Sept-ember 2011, Colleen married her husband in Riviera Maya, Mexico, in a destination wedding. “I definitely miss my times at USD and so wish to go back some day to further my education,” she says. “Thank you USD for a wonderful education, without which I wouldn’t have this wonderful occupation. Also, thank you for starting my community service endeavors, which I continue to do, both inside and outside of work!”

CANDACE COMER (BBA) is a client success manager at Promo Labs in Austin, Texas. Most recently, Candace was an account executive at Goldner Associates in Nashville. “I wanted to move closer to my family and was presented a great opportunity to go work for a startup technology company in the promotional industry,” she says.

BASIL CONSIDINE (BA) worked for USD for one year, and is now studying music and theology at Boston University.

AMIE (GARCIA) CORT (BBA) and her husband, Ryan, welcomed their first child, Paul Alan, on Sept. 10, 2011. The family lives in Dublin, Calif., with their two dogs.

BONNIE ANN DOWD (EdD) was named the new executive vice chancellor for business services by the San Diego Community College District’s Board of Trustees. She brings 22 years of experience as a faculty member and administrator in California community colleges. Most recently, Bonnie was vice president, finance and administrative services, at Palomar College. She is also the president-elect of the California Community Colleges’ Association of Chief Business Officials and assumes the presidency of the state organization in 2012.

JOHN DZIDA (BA) married Amanda Huffman on Aug. 5, 2011, in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. John and Amanda live in San Francisco.

LAURA JOHNCOX (BA) loves making floral arrangements, gift baskets and other craft projects involving art. She also enjoys playing sports, running and yoga. Laura says, “My most recent personal achievement was finishing to Boston Marathon in 4:02:12. Thanks to my family and friends for their support!”

ASHLEY KILLIN (BA) completed her pediatric dentistry residency in July 2011 at the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. She now practices at a pediatric dentistry group practice in Colorado.

JUANITA LEDESMA (MA) recently published Return and Succeed, Continue Your Education Now! The book is filled with exercises, checklists, inspirational stories and a wealth of resources to show step-by-step how to return to an educational setting with awareness and a roadmap for success.

ERICA (SNOW) MIKULSKY (BA) moved to Alabama, and she and her husband welcomed a baby girl in February 2011. “We are enjoying the Southeast!” she says. “Someday, we’ll return to San Diego. We miss the beach!”

ANNIE SCHOTT (BA) made the switch to teaching first grade after six years of teaching kindergarten.

ERIN (BETTINGEN) SORENSON (BA) and her husband, Eric ’01, welcomed their first child, Tristan Joel, on July 9, 2011. He weighed 7 pounds and was 20 inches long at birth. “He is such a good little baby boy,” Erin says. “We love seeing him smile at us each morning!” Erin and Eric live in Ladera Ranch, Calif., where they are now enjoying all of the family-friendly activities.

COURTNEY (CRUMMEL) SUMMERS (BBA, MA ’04) and her husband, Guy, welcomed a daughter, McKinley Faye, on July 26, 2011.

KRISTEN (SCHULTZ) WRAY (BA) has been the alumni director at her alma mater, La Salle High School in Pasadena, Calif., for nine years. She also has her own business, Finer Details Wedding and Event Planning. Kristen is an active member of the Kiwanis Club of Pasadena, and a volunteer with Villa Esperanza Services in Pasadena and For Families of Active Military in Yorba Linda, Calif. Kristen and her husband, Andy, were married in October 2009 and live in Yorba Linda.

[2004]

PEDRO ANAYA (MA) was recently appointed to the City of Chula Vista Planning Commission.

TRAVIS BAYS (BA) welcomed his new daughter with a creative announcement: “On Feb. 12, 2011, Bodhi Surf School hired its newest team member, Maya Paz. With 41 weeks of surfing experience (in mommy’s tummy), this new ripper is no joke. She forms part of the Bodhi Surf Yoga Team as well, and has participated in 700 hours of Vinyasa flow and deep meditation, topping most yoga professors who have been teaching and practicing for years. Talk about being advanced for her age! Full disclaimer … her proud father is writing all this hype, so tread lightly when you do the research to validate the numbers!”

YVETTE DE ANDA (BA, BA) welcomed her first baby on April 22, 2011.

MEGAN DONOHUE (BA) graduated from Maine Maritime Academy with a 200-ton mates license and a 100-ton masters license. She currently works for SIO as a resident technician.

LAUREN LOMBARDI (BBA) is a real estate agent at Billionaires Row in La Jolla, Calif., specializing in the UTC area of La Jolla, as well as the coastal communities of San Diego. Prior to becoming an agent, Lauren was executive manager of Billionaires Row for four years. As one of the company’s top-producing agents, Lauren has sold more than $12 million in property in the last two years.

NATALIE (GERKEN) PETERSEN (BA) and her husband, Eric ’04, were married on Oct. 22, 2011, in San Diego. Eric is an electrical engineer for General Atomics and Natalie is a human resources specialist with Booz Allen Hamilton. They have been in San Diego since graduation and are looking forward to building their life together there as a newly married couple.

DAVID ROSALES (BBA) and his wife, Kendra, welcomed their first child, Amelie Pearl, on Sept. 28, 2011, in Newport Beach, Calif.

[2005]

JENNIFER (HYDE) ATKINS (BA, BA ’05) writes, “Brought the most beautiful, amazing little girl into the world on Sept. 22, 2011.” Daughter Avery Marina Atkins weighed 6 pounds, 9 ounces.

HEATHER BROWN (BA) completed a master’s degree in teaching and learning with technology from Ashford University in May 2011. She also was recently promoted to academic quality coordinator and now works in Academic Affairs at Ashford University.

RHONDA (GIEFER) CURTISS (BA) and her husband, Ryan, were married on April 26, 2008. Their son, Braydon Woodrow, was born on Feb. 17, 2009, and their daughter, Briley Rae, was born on Aug. 16, 2010. Rhonda is the Learjet 85 Aircraft interiors buyer for Bombardier Learjet in Wichita, Kan.

VICTOR DUMEIGE (BA) married Sonia Caballero ’05 in July 2011 in the south of France. “Sonia and I are currently living in New York with our dog, Beau Gosse,” Victor says. “We miss beautiful San Diego!”

ERIN GUNNING (BA) earned a master’s degree in social work from Colorado State University. Erin specializes in substance abuse counseling and early mental health therapy, and is the alumni volunteer coordinator at USD.

EMILY HOIST (BA) married Kenny Oliver in San Diego on Oct. 1, 2011. Emily works at a financial planning firm in San Diego and Kenny is in human resources at a local high-tech company.

DANIEL JAIMES (BA) helped open the Katz & Associates San Francisco office and is now the on-site community outreach specialist at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission as they continue to rebuild the Hetch Hetchy Water System. Recently, Daniel contributed an article to Water Environment & Technology magazine highlighting some of the social media outreach tactics he’s initiated to reach reporters, government officials and the general public. He also has produced several YouTube videos on behalf of the agency.

CHERYL A. KURTZ (MS) is now a government employee of the Department of Defense. In 2004, she was hired into the New Professional Program at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center in San Diego as a marine ecologist. She now provides technical and regulatory support to SPAWAR, NAVSEA, and U.S. EPA scientists. Cheryl moved to Santee, Calif., in October 2004 and has two cats, Oscar and Sage.

JONATHAN BANNON MAHER (BBA) is a candidate for the United States Senate in New Jersey.

CHRISTINE (BURGER) PISTEK (BA) and her husband, Peter, welcomed their second daughter, Olivia Marie, on Aug. 31, 2011.

SARITA (HAMMONS) PITONES (BA) and her husband, Arturo, were married on Nov. 23, 2008. They live in El Cajon, Calif., and welcomed their first child, daughter Olivia Guadalupe, on April 30, 2011.

JESSICA A. (MILBOURN) REED (BA) works in Carlsbad, Calif., at the 3E Company as an associate regulatory specialist. She also served as primary technical contact for environmental permits for all Home Depot stores. Recently, Jessica accepted a job offer in Maui, Hawaii, as an environmental specialist for Maui Electric Co.

KELSEY WEBSTER (BA) graduated from New York Medical College in May 2011 with dual degrees of MD and a master’s in public health. Kelsey has started her residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Colorado.

BRIANA (RONHAAR) WEISINGER (MA) reports that she has two wonderful children, Shira, 3, and Ari, 1, and also earned an MBA. With fellow alumna Christy Soto, Briana started the San Diego Professional Chapter of the National Association of Women MBAs. The website is www.nawmba.org/sandiego.

[2006]

EVAN BARNES (BA) was honored by the 2010 National Newspaper Publishers Association Award for Best Sports Page (third place), 2009 NNPA Award for Best Sports Page and News Story, and 2008 NNPA Award for Best News Story (third place).

MICHAEL BRUSSELBACK (JD) was recognized as the Riverside County Prosecutor of the Year for 2010.

JONATHAN HASKELL (BAcc) and Colleen Moore ’06 were married in St. Louis, Mo., on Sept. 4, 2011. The wedding party included fellow Toreros J.V. Abraham, D.J. Birnie, Jenny (Yates) Cook, David Hunt, Patrick Mahoney and Holly (Wencel) Traut. Jonathan and Colleen live in Denver.

LINDSAY (RHINE) PETERSEN (BA) and her husband, Adam ’04, recently purchased a home in Rancho Peñasquitos, Calif. “We are enjoying home improvement projects and making this new house into our home,” Lindsay says.

COURTNEY (BLOKLAND) ROBERTS (BA, MBA ’10) and her husband, Blake ’10, were married on Oct. 1, 2011, at The Immaculata. They live in the Bay Area, where Courtney is a marketing proposal specialist for Grant Thornton, and Blake works for Stryker Endoscopy.

[2007]

MELANIE (McFARLAND) ALLRED (BA) and her husband, Tyler, have been married for three years and welcomed a daughter, Penelope Joann, on Jan. 10, 2012. Penelope weighed 8 pounds, 1 ounce, and measured 18-1/2 inches. Melanie is the ministry assistant, discipleship, for Solana Beach Presbyterian Church, where she manages more than 70 Bible study small groups and the women’s ministry. She continues to be involved with Alpha Chi Omega at USD as the fraternity relations advisor and volunteers with Greek InterVarsity at USD.

SARAH (CHILDRESS) GRAY (BA) and her husband, Robert, were married on Sept. 10, 2011. “It was an incredible day with all of our friends and family, and especially my USD Gamma Phi Beta sisters. We absolutely rocked the dance floor!” says Sarah. The newlyweds live in Newport Beach, Calif.

ERIC LOREY (BAcc) was recently promoted to enterprise controller of Technetics-Burbank, an engineered-products company serving the aerospace market. He is also taking courses in an MBA program at Woodbury University while living in nearby Pasadena, Calif.

JENNIFER MILOSCH (BA) is a fifth-year PhD candidate in economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She plans to finish her degree in the spring of 2013 with a research emphasis on family economics. She is involved in USD’s new Central Coast Alumni Chapter.

MELANIE MINO (BA) graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2009 with a master of science degree in social work and is now a medical social worker in a hospital critical care unit in Chicago.

MEGAN MORTENSEN (BA) graduated from Emory University in May 2011 with a doctorate in physical therapy. She is now in a pilates-based physical therapy residency in Durham, N.C.

ALEXANDRA SMITH (BA) went on her ultimate dream vacation to Egypt in December 2010. The three-week trip covered every major city in Egypt, a Nile cruise, a camel ride and a hike up Mount Sinai with a guide named Moses. Back at home, Alex is the president of the new Central Coast Alumni Chapter for USD.

MICHELLE (LEIBRAND) WAHLIN (BA) writes, “Graduate school can be a very long haul, but I’m happy to say the end is in sight! I am officially a PhD candidate and am working on my thesis research right now. Just another few thousand hours in the lab and 100+ pages of dissertation writing, and I will get to add a few letters to my name (and hopefully a real job to my résumé). My work is on understanding and characterizing the metabolism and toxicity of a breast cancer drug called lapatinib (Tykerb).”

BETH (MACHTOLF) WINTER (BAcc) and her husband, Aaron ’06, were married on July 9, 2011, in Spokane, Wash. They live in Seattle.

[2008]

JAMES ALDO (BBA) and Lindsay McGowan ’08 were married on Sept. 17, 2011.

KAITLIN GOWAN (BA) is a doctoral student in literature at Arizona State University. She received her master’s degree from ASU in the spring of 2011. In addition to teaching first-year composition at ASU as part of her teaching associateship, Kaitlin is an adjunct faculty member teaching composition at a local community college. Kaitlin says the great English literature foundation she received at USD helped get her to where she is today. “Go Toreros!” she says.

REBECCA HAMES (MA) was promoted to assistant director of the UCSD California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science (COSMOS), a month-long summer academic enrichment program for talented high school students who are interested in science, technology, engineering and/or math. She manages program operations, supervises the student selection process, trains high school teacher fellows, coordinates curriculum with university faculty, and trains residential and graduate assistants. Rebecca also facilitates an annual UCSD summer program “best practices” day-long conference.

THOMAS BLAKE HIGGINS (BA) is enrolled as a first-year dental student at the University of Colorado Denver School of Dental Medicine. Before enrolling at CU, he participated in two medical/dental mission trips to Honduras with Cure International to provide free care for patients in un-derserved communities in that country. Blake says he is happy to be back home in Colorado and hopes to get in a little skiing in his hometown of Vail this winter.

JAMIE (BUFKIN) HOVERSEN (BA) and her husband, William, were married in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in December 2010.

ITHA KARASINTH (BA) is a medical student at Touro University Nevada.

ROBERT WATKINS (JD) and his wife, Shauna (Boehm) ’09, celebrated their third wedding anniversary in December 2011.

[2009]

ELIZABETH (HACHMANN)
CONDAS (BBA) and her husband, Russ ’10, were married recently. “We met at USD and loved every second of it!” Elizabeth says. “We miss San Diego … but maybe we’ll be back in the future! Right now, we’re living in Minneapolis.”

ANNA LEYRER (BA) received an award at the Fourth Annual La Mancha Awards ceremony, which was held on Oct. 20, 2011, at USD’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice. Anna was honored for her outstanding volunteer service through Casa Cornelia Law Center’s volunteer program.

LAUREN McDONOUGH (MA) graduated from Harvard University’s language and literacy graduate program in May 2011 and is now a literacy specialist in a public elementary school just outside of Boston.

BRITTANY (WHITE) STRUCK (BA) completed graduate school at the University of Rhode Island with a master’s degree in marine affairs. She then married her husband, Kenneth, in Dallas and they moved to Long Beach, Calif., where Brittany works for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. As a natural resource management specialist, she works on endangered species, specifically the Southern California steelhead trout.

SHAUNA WATKINS (JD) and her husband, Robert ’08, were married and moved to Washington, D.C. They are both attorneys, practicing administrative law for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. “We are definitely enjoying the area of law and the East Coast adventures,” Shauna writes.

2010s

[2010]

JAMES BLACKFORD (BA) was promoted to account executive after reaching the rank of assistant manager in the management trainee program at Enterprise Holdings.

MICHELLE DOMINGUEZ (BA)
is a student in the master of arts in medical science program at Boston University School of Medicine. “Even though BU does not have blue as one of their colors, I continue the Blue Friday tradition here in Boston!” Michelle says.

SARAH HEALY (BA) has lived in Shanghai and Changzhou in the People’s Republic of China, interned at a World Trade Center and management consulting firm, and continued her study of Mandarin in China. Currently, Sarah lives in Shanghai.

RITA MAGLIOCCO (BAcc) writes, “I quit my job in public accounting over the summer because I didn’t feel like I was reaching my personal potential. I chose stability over passion. If I had done that five years ago, I never would have ended up at USD — the hands-down greatest experience of my life. So, I listened to that tiny voice inside and quit my job, knowing that everything would work out as it was supposed to. One month later, I landed my dream job in television production for the No. 1-rated daytime talk show with NBC Universal. USD taught me to think outside the box, put faith in myself and work hard to chase down any dream. I challenge all of you to do the same: Live the life you dream!”

ERNEST BONIFACE MAKULILO (MA) and his wife, Marie, were married at The Immaculata on May 1, 2010. That same month, Ernest completed his master’s degree in peace and justice studies at USD’s Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies. The wedding ceremony was officiated by Father Daniel Nganga from Kenya, Ernest’s peace and justice studies classmate, and by Father Bill Headley, dean of the school. “Great memories,” Ernest writes. “Now Marie and I are blessed with our son, Benedikt Fulbright Makulilo, born on Feb. 10, 2011.” Ernest is from Tanzania, and is founder and director of the Makulilo Scholarship Foundation, which helps people in developing countries pursue studies in North America and Europe. He also is publishing a book on the same topic.

CHARLOTTE MAY (BA) is a law student at the University of California, Los Angeles, and expects to graduate in 2013. She plans to work as a summer associate at Sheppard Mullin in Del Mar, Calif.

RYAN MULVEY (BA) is in the second year of a joint degree program (JD and master’s in philosophy) at Boston University.

VINCENT PADILLA (BA) is a professional ballet dancer and a business owner. “It seemed only natural to go into business after completing my philosophy degree, and my dancing career is both a passion and a serious endeavor,” Vincent says.

KATHARINE TEMPLE PISCHEL (BBA) and Zachary Shannon Wood ’10 were married on Oct. 10, 2010, in Monterey, Calif. They met at USD as sophomores and now live in Loveland, Colo.

[2011]

DEREK ABBEY (MA) is deputy director at the U.S. Marine Corps’ Train the Trainer School.

MICHAEL GREEN (JD) took the bar exam in July 2011 and has started his legal career in Washington, D.C.

MELANIE LUCAS-CONWELL (BA) moved back to the Bay Area with her boyfriend and fellow Torero, A.J. Griffin. She is an account coordinator for Google’s AdMob account management team and coaches her high school’s rowing team. Melanie looks forward to rowing in the USD Alumni 8 at the San Diego Crew Classic in April.

EMILY McMAHON (BBA) writes, “After starting my job search in September of my senior year, I am thankful to have started as early as I did, for it took a full year to find a position. Searching for a position out of state posed an added difficulty, and my advice to those looking to move to a new city after graduation is to start their job search early, reach out to alumni via LinkedIn and be patient!”

SHANNA NASIRI (BBA) writes, “The company I work for just went public! InvenSense is now trading on the NYSE! Such an exciting experience to be a part of!”

LINDSEY (CLAAR) SMITH (MA) and her husband, Trevor, were married on Nov. 11, 2011, in a small sunset ceremony overlooking the beach in Carlsbad, Calif. “It was magical!” Lindsey says. Trevor is a third-generation Realtor, born and raised in north San Diego County. Lindsey and Trevor live in Encinitas, Calif. Since graduating, Lindsey resumed a part-time role overseeing the training and marketing for Heart Haven OutReach (H2O), a nonprofit she founded in her hometown of Bolingbrook, Ill., in 2004. The website for the organization is www.HeartHavenOutReach.org. Lindsey also helps Trevor with his real estate business and she is heavily involved with her church, The Movement, in San Marcos, Calif.

ALEXA TIERNEY (BBA) was hired as a business services assistant at Red Door Interactive after a full-time paid summer internship. “First full-time, non-intern position since graduation!” she says.

KAYLA WITT (BA) is studying toward a master’s degree from the University of Portland and working as a third-grade teacher at St. John the Baptist Elementary in Draper, Utah.

What’s Your Story?

Share your life experiences, adventures and news with fellow alumni by submitting a class note at www.sandiego.edu/publications/classnotes or send email to classnotes@sandiego.edu.