USD Magazine

ERIN ELEXIS (BA) graduated in March 2009 with a PhD in psychology from Alliant International University in San Diego. She is a child psychologist for the Center of Autism Research, Evaluation and Service in San Diego.

DEVER LAMKIN (BAC) and Kelly Murphy were married on Oct. 3, 2009, at the Dana Hotel on Mission Bay in San Diego. Attendees included fellow alumni Chris Bradish, Zack Olmstead, Paulo Elias, Blake Stockstad, Mike Reid, Tyler and Erica (Klein) Huebner, Matt Moye, Ben Schafer, Chad Iafrate, Cordell Hansen and Bobby Donnelly. Dever and Kelly live in San Diego and are in the process of buying a home.

TOM TARANTINO (BA) married Summer Sassen, his high school sweetheart, on April 25, 2009, at the historic Rancho Camulos in Piru, Calif. Among the 16 attendants were alumni Dara Greaney, Dave Lazo and Ronnie Zuccaro. Tom and Summer got a special dispensation from the bishop to have a Catholic ceremony at the chapel on the ranch grounds. They live in Camarillo with a puppy named Pete. Summer completed her teaching credential at California Lutheran University, and Tom continues to manage at Emergent Game Technologies, where they are developing software engines for next-generation gaming consoles.

BRIANNA BARR (BA) is in her second year of dental school at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Brianna and her husband, Troy, were married recently. Troy is an engineer at Black and Veatch.

JIM BRITT (BA) and his wife, Cari, celebrated the birth of their son, Colin, on July 24, 2009, just two days after their three-year anniversary. The family lives in Seattle, where Jim recently became a gang detective with the Seattle Police Department after seven years of patrol work.

ELISA (WIECH) CADWELL (BA, MEd ‘03) is the training manager at the regional office of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Mission Valley. In her spare time, she volunteers as an English language instructor for the Van Hahn Temple in Santee. Elisa presented a paper and slideshow at the 11th annual Sakyadhita Conference in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.

ELIZABETH (COTTER) DONAHUE (BSN, MSN ‘02) is the mother of “two beautiful boys” and a nurse practitioner in a busy primary care office in Reading, Mass.

PAULA (CHAPMAN) ISHAM (BA) and her husband, Jeff, joyfully welcomed their first son, Eli, on Jan. 21, 2009. “Eli loves playing with all of his USD aunties,” Paula says.

LISA PETERSON (BBA) married Matthew Willmon on May 16, 2009, at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa Valley. Serving as bridesmaids were fellow USD graduates and Gamma Phi Beta sorority sisters Denise (Ryan) Peek, Heather (Cole) Brinkley, Liza (Osbun) Pinard, Paige (Patterson) Kratz and Colleen (Martin) McGuinness. Lisa and Matthew live in Carlsbad and both work at Life Technologies, the biotechnology company where they met three years ago.

MICHELLE (RICHMAN) SU (BA) and her husband, Kevin, welcomed a baby boy, Sean, on May 27, 2009. He weighed 8 pounds, 1 ounce, and was 20 inches long. The Su family lives in the Washington, D.C., area.

REBECCA VARDA CONDON (BA) and her husband, Matt, were married on July 3, 2009, in Chicago. In the wedding party were fellow USD alumnae and Alpha Phi members Meghan Kain and Sara Ford. Also in the bridal party were USD alumni Marissa Ontiveros and Victor Ramos. Rebecca and Matt moved back to Chicago and will be teaching middle school in the city.

ILEA DORSEY (BBA) has been living in East Africa since 2006. She started in Uganda with Restore International, serving vulnerable youth in Kampala and the war-torn northern towns of Gulu and Atiak. In January 2008, she moved to Rwanda to work for Keza, a luxury fashion label in the Unites States representing African-made products. “We are a business consulting and development firm, developing the small locally owned businesses that create our products,” Ilea says. More information is available at (See story on page 32.)

MALTE FARNAES (JD) opened his own firm, The Law Office of Malte L.L. Farnaes, in Solana Beach on Jan. 1, 2010. His practice focuses on trademark and trade secret management and protection for medium and small businesses. His secondary focus is commercial litigation and commercial landlord/tenant disputes.

DANIEL LICKEL (JD) and Clinton Rooney started a San Diego law practice in January 2009 focusing on bankruptcy, auto fraud and consumer finance litigation.

ERIK NAGEL (BA) recently returned from his second combat tour of duty in Iraq as the battalion surgeon for the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, based in Twentynine Palms, Calif. Erik moved back to California to begin a new job as general medical officer for the Maritime Expeditionary Security Group One in Imperial Beach.

NATASHA (RADWAN) RAHEL (BBA) became a real estate broker in California and Florida after graduating from USD. She then attended Whittier Law School, became an attorney in 2007 and started her own practice in real estate and business law. Natasha and her husband, Akbar, were recently married, after reuniting at their 10-year high school reunion. Natasha is also active in the community working with Muslim youth.

ANNA SALUSKY (JD) and her husband, Kevin, welcomed their daughter, Leah, into the world on June 3, 2009. She weighed 6 pounds, 3 ounces, and measured 18.5 inches long. Anna is an associate attorney in the litigation department at Woodruff Spradlin & Smart in Costa Mesa, Calif.

KELLY (GLASER) SCHREINER (BBA) and her husband, Mark, were married on Oct. 11, 2008, in Portland, Ore. The wedding party included USD alumni Jen (Nelson) Nichols, Samantha (Cannon) Burton and Anjelica Durazo.

MARVIN SERHAN (MSGL) has more than 40 years of leadership and management experience in the military and private sector. He left active duty as a Naval flight officer in 1997 and has since worked in the utility, telematics and security industries at such firms as Motorola and IBM. In addition to his master’s degree from USD, Marv holds two other post-graduate degrees. Marv and his family live in Camas, Wash.

KAYE STAMBAUGH (MSEL) and her team from HD Supply Facilities Maintenance captured the gold award at the 24th International Team Excellence Awards competition held at the 2009 American Society for Quality Conference on Quality and Improvement. The competition featured 27 companies from around the world.

AUBREANNE (SPEAR) VALENTINO (BBA) and her husband, Scott, were married on May 2, 2009, at Founders Chapel.

ELISABETH BIEBL (BA) lives in Vail, Colo., where she is the communications manager for Vail Mountain. In her free time, she enjoys skiing Vail’s 5,289 acres of terrain, mountain biking and traveling. She went to Machu Picchu in June 2009. “As always, can’t wait for my next adventure!” she says.

ROBERT BITONTE (LLMG) was elected president of the Los Angeles County Medical Association, with his term beginning on July 1, 2009.

CRISTINA CHIRIBOGA-HAHN (MEd) retired as interim president of Cuyamaca College, part of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District, in August 2009. This position culminated a 35-year career in teaching and administration in California community colleges. Today, Cristina teaches at National University and continues to volunteer on projects for the Association of California Community College Administrators.

CORRIE (VAN DEN AKKER) COLEMAN (BA) is attending The Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate School. She is working toward an MBA with a marketing emphasis and continues to work full time for an advertising agency.

JOSE DALPRAT (BA) and his wife welcomed their first child, Ilan Alcalá, on Nov. 3, 2009. Ilan weighed 7 pounds, 15 ounces, and was 20.5 inches long. Jose expected to graduate from medical school in May 2010.

JESSE FARRIS (BBA) and Patricia Hafner were married on June 13, 2009. Jesse recently accepted a position at Haskins and Associates practicing real estate law and litigation. Jesse and Patricia, who is from Bayville, N.Y., plan to move to Panama in the next few years.

CAROLINE (TAYLOR) FLOREA (BA) and her husband, Colby ‘03, were married in October 2007 in Malibu. They live in Charlotte, N.C., where Caroline works in event management. Caroline and Colby and have a Cavalier King Charles spaniel.

CHRISTINA (MUSCARELLA) GOOCH (BA) earned a JD degree from the University of New Mexico in 2008 and practices law with the firm of Keleher & McLeod in Albuquerque, N.M.

DANIELLE HARWAY (BBA) writes, “Nov. 16, 2008, was the happiest day of my life! I married my soul mate, Rick Harway, at the Grand Del Mar. There were many USD alumni in attendance at the wedding, which made the day even better!” Danielle’s best friend and fellow alumna, Marissa (Martin) Holdorf, was the matron of honor. Danielle says she has the two most beautiful stepdaughters — Ashley, 10, and Hailee, 7 — who loved attending homecoming at USD. Ashley is now looking forward to attending USD herself, Danielle reports.

DEBRA JOHNSON (MEd) is a PhD student at USD’s School of Leadership and Education Sciences. She defended her proposal and received approval to move forward on her dissertation. Debra traveled to Mondragon, Spain, with SOLES Global in July 2009, teaches part time for Southwestern College and works one day a week in clinical practice.

MARIA KELLY (BA) works at the Community Coaching Center, a community-based socialization program for children with autism. During the summers and winters, Maria conducts research and observes nonhuman primates. Most recently, she conducted research on the island of Ometepe, Nicaragua, and on Broke Island, Equatorial Guinea. Maria is also enrolled in a master’s program at USD for teaching history and social sciences. (See story on page 34.)

ASHLEY KILLIN (BA) graduated from the University of Louisville School of Dentistry in May and has entered a two-year residency in pediatric dentistry at Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis.

DAVID LEATHERBERRY (JD) is counsel for the San Diego Psychological Association. He is a regular contributor to the “California Psychologist Magazine” and this year published the “2009 California Laws for Counselors and Psychotherapists.”

ANTONIO LOPEZ (BA) manages $65 million in clients’ assets at Merrill Lynch. He and his wife, Elizabeth, were married on Sept. 27, 2009, and they honeymooned in Venice, Croatia and on the Greek Islands. They live in Santa Fe, N.M., which he says is “an optimal place to live and grow.” Antonio has run in seven marathons in the past five years with times ranging from 2:32 to 3:04. Antonio and Elizabeth have run in five marathons together, including the Boston Marathon in 2009. Antonio won the New Mexico marathon in 2009.

WILLIAM MONCHER (BBA) married Raluca Chiriac in November 2008, and they celebrated the arrival of a son, Timothy, in April 2009.

JULIA (SMITH) RICE (MA) graduated from Willamette University College of Law with a JD degree in 2007. She and her husband, Daniel, were married on Nov. 23, 2008, and they welcomed a daughter, Autumn, on April 1, 2009.

ELIZABETH RUNYEN (BA) and Colin Gilbert ‘03 were married on May 10, 2008, in Lake Arrowhead, Calif. They met during a USD study abroad program at St. Clare’s, Oxford. The couple lives in Laguna Niguel, Calif.

CATHRYN (BRUEN) SANTAMBROGIO (BA) and her husband, Michael, were married on June 20, 2009, in Vail, Colo., where they live. She also completed a master’s degree in nonprofit management from Regis University.

DEAN SHORT (JD) and Kathleen Jean Clancy were married on Nov. 7, 2009, in Indian Wells, Calif.

JAMES SMEDLEY (JD) opened his own law firm, Law Offices of James J. Smedley, Esq., in Las Vegas. His areas of practice include criminal defense, personal injury and family law. More information is available at

KRISTIE SOARES (BA) has been a fourth-grade teacher for five years in the Solana Beach School District.

ANTHONY SOLINA (MEd) and his wife, DeAnna, celebrated the birth of their son, Ricky, on March 21, 2009.

FRANK TODDRE (BA, BA) graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, with a JD and MBA in December 2008. He passed the Nevada bar exam and is working as the judicial clerk for the chief criminal judge in Las Vegas until September.

LEA PARVEEN ARCE (MEd) is a high school biology teacher on the Kapalama campus of Kamehameha Schools on the island of Oahu. She also coaches girls cross country and girls track and field for Kamehameha. In 2008, the girls track and field program won its first state title. Lea established the KS Surfers Give Back Club in September 2008, and she is establishing the school’s first competitive surf team in the hopes of competing for the national title in Dana Point, Calif.

GEORGE CHAMMAS is the divisional vice president of the San Diego branch of AXA Advisors, a financial services firm with offices in 60 countries. George oversees employees in San Diego and helps clients build and protect their wealth through estate planning tools. “I often recruit associates from USD and continue to be involved when time permits,” he says. “I look forward to greater things to come for USD graduates and love being involved.”

ALICIA (GETCHELL) DEARN (JD) and her husband, Simon, were married on Dec. 20, 2008, and they quickly started two businesses. is a Web site that helps match clients with attorneys; it has a resource center, articles and a blog. Dearn Law Group opened its doors on June 15, 2009, specializing in business and employment law.

JIM ELLIS (EdD) and his wife, Julie, recently returned from a year in Hanoi, Vietnam, where they served as humanitarian missionaries. During the year, they provided 1,750 wheelchairs to needy individuals, upgraded two hospitals that serve patients with eye maladies, and arranged for an eye surgeon from Salt Lake City to come demonstrate the most current eye surgical procedures. The doctor also performed more than 40 eye surgeries on patients who had been previously screened out.

BROOKE MARADA (BA) was married in March 2009.

SEAN McCLINTON (BBA) and his wife, Yuri, announced the birth of their first daughter, Mia Lily, on March 19, 2009. Sean works for a small business in Seattle that sells Aloe Cure, an aloe vera juice. The family lives in Kirkland, Wash.

KELLY (BLAGOF) MEINECKE (BA) and her husband, David Meinecke ‘03, were married in August 2005. They live in Dana Point, Calif., and have a son, Wyatt, who is 2.

DAVID ORTIZ (MSEL) was recently promoted to senior vice president, sales and marketing, for Orange County Container Group. He has been with the company for 10 years and now has sales and marketing responsibilities for nine corrugated and packaging plants in Southern California and Mexico. OCCG produces 100 percent recycled linerboard, industrial and retail packaging for many industries.

KARA RICKS (BA, BA) is in an accelerated bachelor of nursing science program at Queens University in Charlotte, N.C. Kara and her husband, Jason, have a child, Jakar.

SALVADOR RIVAS (MA) is the director of the Office of Industry and Outreach Relations in the electrical engineering department at the University of California, Los Angeles. His position includes marketing, creating industry research partnerships, alumni outreach, faculty support and strengthening industry relations. He received an EdD in college administration from the University of Southern California in 2008.

MASASHI YAMAZAKI (MA) is on a three-year overseas assignment with a U.S. government agency.

MERIDITH MILLER (BA) graduated from the University of San Francisco Law School in 2008 and passed the California bar exam on her first try. She is an attorney with the Morgan Lewis law firm in San Francisco, specializing in corporate litigation.

CHAD MURPHY (BA) spent a year teaching English in Thailand and then graduated from Gonzaga University in May 2009 with a master’s degree in organizational leadership. He joined the Army ROTC at Gonzaga and is now a second lieutenant in the Army.

DEREK WATTENBARGER (BBA) started Surfside Developers Inc., a full-service construction company that focuses on new construction, home remodels, room additions, commercial tenant improvements, and more. He is a third-generation contractor and comes from a legacy of homebuilders in central and Southern California for more than 75 years.

ERIC BENSON (BBA) passed the Colorado bar exam in July 2009 and will begin practicing law in the Denver metropolitan area.

SHANNON (SULLIVAN) BROWN (BA) is working toward a master’s degree at San Diego State University and will begin work on a PhD soon after graduating.

LINDSAY RHINE (BA) and Adam Petersen were married in San Diego on Aug. 9, 2009. They honeymooned in Hawaii and are living happily in Pacific Beach.

MELANIE (McFARLAND) ALLRED (BA) married her high school sweetheart, Tyler, on June 15, 2008, in Fullerton, Calif. They both work in campus ministry: Melanie at USD and Tyler at California State University, San Marcos, Intervarsity. Melanie is still involved with her sorority and is an adviser to the USD chapter.

BRANDON HANCOCK (MSRE) founded GreenShoots Real Estate in October 2009. As president, Brandon oversees development, acquisition and consulting activities for the Texas-based company. The firm offers such services as consulting, financial analysis, market studies and due diligence for developers, investors and property owners. More information is available at

KENDRA QUINTANA (BA) and Dave Galante ‘05 were married on July 31, 2009, at Balboa Park. They live in the Washington, D.C., area.

JULIA BECHERER (BA) is a dental student at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Dentistry.

LAUREN (GYLLENBORG) GOLDEN (BA) and her husband, Justin, were married on Aug. 1, 2009, in Prairie Village, Kan. Justin is a financial adviser for Edward Jones, and Lauren is an event planner for “The Kansas City Star.” They live in Leawood, Kan.

MELISSA MIRANDA (BA) is a second-year law student at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento.

In Memoriam
HILARY (SCHMIT) CEJKA ‘82 (BA, MA ‘89) died on Sept. 20, 2009.

JERRY DOMINELLI ‘69 (BA) passed away on August 2, 2009. His youngest daughter, Jennifer Dominelli ‘98, says he “absolutely loved USD and remained proud his entire life long to have studied here.” She says he gave generously to USD when he could, and laments that “the inner man who was my dad was nothing like the outer image portrayed to the public.” In the end, she says, he “understood deeply what life was really all about.”

WILLIAM McCARTY ‘64 (JD) has passed away.

GAIL (GIULIANI) ZADOW ‘87 (BA) passed away December 27, 2009 after battling cancer. After graduating from USD, Gail moved to Alta, Utah to teach skiing. She and Jeff Zadow then moved to Montana and had two children, Ellie, 10 and Hayden, 8. After attending the Waldorf teacher-training program in Hawaii, they moved to Boulder, Colo., where she joined the Shining Mountain Waldorf School. Gail will be remembered as an amazingly beautiful and loving person who loved life.