Alumni Honors

SOLES seeks to recognize those graduates who have excelled in their professional lives. All SOLES Alumni are eligible for the Author E. Hughes Career Achievement Award. The Author E. Hughes Career Achievement Award is the university's highest honor bestowed upon its alumni.

Diana NeebeCongratulations to SOLES' 2014 Author Hughes Career Achievement Award winner

Diana Combs Neebe, MEd '08
English Teacher and Instructional Technology Coach, Sacred Heart Prepatory

Diana (Combs) Neebe is a high school English teacher and instructional technology peer coach at Sacred Heart Preparatory. She is passionate about finding new ways to engage students in meaningful learning. The 1:1 environment has enabled Neebe to enrich students’ learning experiences, more actively differentiate instruction, and personalize her approach to assessments and feedback. She is the co-author of Power Up: Making the Shift to 1:1 Teaching and Learning, a professional text for teachers.

Neebe was named the 2014 Outstanding Young Educator for the International Society for Technology in Education, recognizing her as an educator who demonstrates vision, innovation, action and transformation using technology to improve teaching and learning.

A Google for Education Certified Innovator, Neebe presents nationally at conferences including National Council of Teachers of English and the International Society for Technology in Education, and consults for schools and districts to help facilitate their 1:1 programs.

Neebe is currently working on her doctorate in education at the University of San Francisco, where she helped design the new online education master’s program in digital technologies for teaching and learning. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego, and her master’s in curriculum and instruction as well as an English teaching credential from USD’s School of Leadership and Education Sciences.

Diana shares her insights on teaching with technology and supporting literacy via Twitter @dneebe and at

Past Honorees

2015 Honoree
Janine Mason, BA '86, MA '11
Executive Director, The Fieldstone Foundation

2014 Honoree
Stuart Grauer, EdD '89
President/Head of School, The Grauer Foundation for Education/The Grauer School

2013 Honoree
Jeff Carlstead, EDD '04
Owner/Manager, Carlstead Inc. Hotel Development & Management

2012 Honoree
Anulfo Manriquez, MA '05
President, Maximizing Access to Advance our Communities (MAAC Project)

2011 Honoree
Cynthia Flores, MA '79
Campus Director at Coachella Valley Campus, Brandman University

2010 Honoree
Rich Newman, EdD '05
Principal, Monterey Ridge Elementary

2009 Honoree
Patricia A. Makokis, EdD '00
Blue Quills First Nations College

2009 Honoree
Leona Makokis, EdD '01
Blue Quills First Nations College

2008 Honoree
Rabbi Laurie E. Coskey, EdD '00
Executive Director, Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice of San Diego County

2007 Honoree
Rebecca C. Smith, M.Ed '93
Vice President Communications, San DIego Workforce Partnership

2006 Honoree
Juanita Santos Nacu, MA '90, EdD '98
Educator of Heritage & Tagalong, University of California, San Diego