Summer 2011 Class Notes



(JD) was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the California Homebuilders Foundation at the June 2010 meeting of the Pacific Coast Builders Conference in San Francisco. Previously, Robert was named chairman of the Board of Visitors for the School of Law, and is a two-time recipient of the School of Law’s Distinguished Alumni Award.


JAMES MILLER (BS) is retired and living 10 months of the year in Chonburi City, Thailand, a coastal community located roughly an hour’s drive southeast of Bangkok.


ARDEL NELSON (BA) retired from his positions as professor and chair of the Department of Management at American River College in Sacramento, Calif.

VERN D. SCHOOLEY (JD) was presented the Distinguished Service Medal by the Linn Inn Alliance of the American Inns of Court (AIC) at the New York Intellectual Property Law Association meeting in March 2011. Additionally, Vern has served on the AIC Board of Trustees representing the western states, serves on the Leadership Council, acts as the AIC’s trademark attorney, is president of the Los Angeles Intellectual Property Inn and is counsel to the Joseph A. Ball Clearance S. Hunt AIC. He continues his practice of patent and trademark law across the country as senior partner with one of the state’ oldest intellectual property law firms, Fulwider Patton LLP.


MICHAEL WELCH (BA) partnered with his son and daughter-in-law to form Romano Welch Architectural Corp. in the Bay Area. Previously, Michael served as an adjunct lecturer for the USD Department of Engineer-ing. He and his wife, Marta, have been married 39 years and they enjoy spend-ing time with their two grandchildren.


MICHAEL RICHARDS (BA) reports that he is now retired.

MARGARET (WOLLITZ) TOMLINSON (BA) is enjoying retirement, and recently took a trip by train from Oregon to Minnesota to visit her son and grandchildren.



BOB BLAKE (BS) decided that, after a 30-year practice in emergency medicine at Palomar Medical Center and Pomerado Hospital in San Diego County, he was ready for a change. Bob now operates Medical Marijuana of San Diego, where he evaluates patients to see if they are eligible for a medical marijuana recommendation.


LARRY SYKOFF (MEd, EdD ’88) is headmaster of Ranney School in Tinton Falls, N.J. One of the largest private prep schools in the area, Ranney is home to over 800 students in grades ranging from “beginners” to high-school seniors. Larry reports that he has several students interested in attending USD, and that he truly enjoys being an advocate for his alma mater.

RICHARD WILDMAN (MA) is practicing law in La Jolla, Calif. He is president of the La Jolla Town Council, La Jolla Sunrise Rotary and Promote La Jolla, Inc.


MONSIGNOR JAMES TARANTINO (BA) was recently named a monsignor with the rank Prelate of Honor to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI. The monsignor also was appointed the vicar for administration and the moderator of the Curia for the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

MARK ZECCA (BA) was selected by the San Diego Business Journal as the Information Technology (IT) Executive of the Year for 2010. Mark is the senior director of IT and chief information officer for Mitchell 1 and Snap-on Diagnostics. He is also an adjunct professor of information technology for Ashford University.


RUSSELL WATTS (BA) lives on the island of Samoa, where he teaches deaf and hearing-impaired children.


DAVID FROMAN (JD) is the founding attorney of San Diego’s Froman Law Firm, where he focuses on business and immigration law. David recently had an article published in Bender’s Immigration Bulletin proposing a new approach to applying the Child Status Protection Act to over-age-21 derivative children of family, employment and diversity lottery immigrants.

JOSEPH GHOUGASSIAN (MA, JD ’80) completed a fourth tour of duty in Iraq. In 2010, he played a key role in developing the institutional capacities in public administration and public policy formulation for the government of Iraq, including the offices of the president, vice president, prime minister and his deputies along with the council of ministers. In 2009, Joseph was acting director and senior advisor of constitutional and legislative affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, and was assigned to develop and strengthen the legislative capacities of parliamentarians in drafting laws.

KATHLEEN (EASLER) LIUZZI (BBA) and her husband, James, have returned to Southern California after a two-year stint in Denver. A proud parent of five college graduates, including daughter and fellow USD alumna, Lisa ’03, Kathleen is looking forward to re-establishing herself locally. “Our second grandchild was born in February 2011. We are blessed!” she reports.

DARRYL NYZNYK (JD) authored a book, Mary’s Son, which endeavors to demonstrate how the story of Christmas and the birth of Christ can be significant in modern times. Darryl and his wife, Loretta, are the proud parents of four daughters and they still enjoy dancing to Bruce Springsteen’s “Waitin’ on a Sunny Day.”


SANDRA BROWER (JD) joined the San Diego office of law firm Sullivan Hill as an of-counsel attorney. Previously, Sandra was a shareholder in the law office of Wertz McDade Wallace Moot & Brower. She resides in La Jolla, Calif.


GORDON DUNFEE (JD) has been elected president of the California Receivers Forum, San Diego Chapter, for the 2011 term. A veteran real estate broker, developer, court-appointed receiver and attorney with three decades of professional experience in real estate law, Gordon has vast experience in handling complex real estate challenges. Since the early 1990s, he has been a court-appointed receiver on numerous cases involving industrial parks, multi-family housing projects, gas stations, restaurants, office buildings, auto dealerships and retail centers.

WILLIAM “JODY” GUNDERMAN (BBA) was named vice president, operations, and chief financial officer for John Deere’s financial services in Reno, Nev. Jody and his wife, Deborah, have been married for 28 years. They have two children, Jerome and Erica, who both attend the University of Nevada. In his spare time, Jody continues to try to break par on the golf course, but to date has yet to succeed.

KENNETH MEDEL (JD) ended “30 years of silence” to inform the USD community about some of his recent achievements. In 2010, he was named Attorney of the Year by the San Diego Defense Lawyers Organization (civil practitioners). In 2011, he assumed the presidency of the American Board of Trial Advocates, San Diego branch, and was appointed by former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to serve as a San Diego Superior Court judge.



DEBORAH WOLFE (JD) attained a Certified Legal Specialty (CLS) certificate in the new specialty of legal malpractice and was appointed a member of the California State Bar Advisory Commission on Legal Malpractice Law. She also continues to practice law, lecture and act as an expert witness in ethics matters throughout California. “I very much enjoy teaching at USD School of Law as an adjunct professor in Lawyering Skills II, and hope to continue to do so for the foreseeable future,” Deborah writes.


PAMELA (HERKNER) CHASSE (BA, MEd ’83) lives in Thousand Oaks, Calif., with her two cats, Koa and Zippy, and is a principal in the Conejo Valley Unified School District. Pam encourages everyone to live life to the fullest and enjoy every moment, and she’s also eager to reconnect with her Torero classmates: “I hope to see you all again real soon and with something new to share and learn. God bless!”

MARY (SAFFIAN) WOOD (BA) recently earned her master’s degree in education from Western Governors University. She is currently teaching fifth grade at Waimea Elementary School on the big island of Hawaii.


ED McPHERSON (JD) is a partner at McPherson Rane LLP, an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He recently was awarded an AV- Preeminent rating by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Digest, and has been recognized as a Southern California “Super Lawyer” in Super Lawyer magazine every year since 2006.


CHRISTINE MUGRIDGE (BA) completed her doctoral studies at the Pontifical Salesian University in Rome, where she also sang in the Vatican choir for seven years. Christine recently returned to California and serves as founder and president of Sacred Arts Communications, a nonprofit organization that uses all means of social communications to educate the public on Catholic faith and culture.

DAVID RYAN (BBA) has worked in the travel industry for over 25 years, and is currently the business development manager for Classic Vacations travel agency. A resident of Elk Grove, Calif., David is looking forward to attending USD alumni events in the Bay Area.


LAURI MARGESON (BA) has cultivated 25 years of management- and executive-level experience in the human resources field, most recently as an executive consultant for multinational operations and service-sector organizations in 14 countries throughout the world.


LINDA (EEREBOUT-KASANOS) CORDER (BA) is happy to report that a recent tour of USD with her students from the Technology Academy drew rave reviews. “The students were very impressed: some were amazed at the size of the campus, others were very interested in the building designs, and yet others were very, very excited when they saw the football field,” Linda reports.

KATIE (O’ROURKE) DELANO (BA, MA ’90) recently celebrated her one-year anniversary as executive director of the Coalinga Area Chamber of Commerce in Coalinga, Calif. Previously, Katie taught history at a local community college. “A degree from USD prepares one for anything!” she writes.

TOM DOMINICK (JD) completed his term as the president of the San Bernardino County Bar Association, the oldest continually active association of its kind in California. Tom is a partner with the law firm of Fullerton Lemann Schaefer & Dominick, where he specializes in estate trust administration and litigation.

BILL GETTY (BBA, JD ’91) is the managing partner of Wilson Getty LLP, a civil litigation law firm in San Diego, where he has practiced law since graduating from the USD School of Law in 1991. Bill and his wife, Laurie, have five children and live in Del Mar, Calif.

DOUG KROLL (MA) recently published his third book, A Coast Guardsman’s History of the Coast Guard, through the U.S. Naval Institute Press. Doug is an associate professor of history at the College of the Desert in Palm Desert, Calif.

JENNIFER (PAINE) McKAY (BA) is an organizational development expert and has been helping companies grow, expand and transition for nearly 20 years. She also teaches fitness classes, spends as much time as possible outdoors, and, above all else, loves being a mom. Jennifer lives in Tucson, Ariz.

BARBARA (ELLIOTT) SANDERS (BA, MEd ’88) retired after 25 years of teaching, mentoring and coaching in San Diego’s South Bay Union School District. Her plans include traveling and starting her own party-planning business, along with running for school board. “Right now, I’m enjoying the precious gift of time,” Barbara writes.

ROBERTO SANTILLAN (MA) is a behavior support specialist and assistant football coach at Seligman High School in Seligman, Ariz.

KENNETH WINANS (BBA) has been selected to write a quarterly column online at


THERESA DE LA TORRE (BA) is in her 12th year with Agriculture Research Service, where she runs an entomology and agriculture research lab. Theresa also teaches CPR for health care providers, along with animal first-aid and CPR classes. “Involved with lots of exciting science!” she says.

TOM HILLEBRECHT (BA) joined Torrey Pines Bank as vice president and works out of the bank’s Carmel Valley, Calif., office.


KATE DIESFELD (JD) joined the Te Piringa Faculty of Law at the University of Waikato in New Zealand as an associate professor of social justice.


KEVIN CARLIN (BA) is now a specialty sales executive at Humana, where he is in charge of sales for Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties. “So happy to have San Diego in my territory again!” he reports.

ROSEMARY (MATEY) COATES (MBA) is a managing director at The AKA Group, where she consults with global businesses in the areas of global supply chain and manufacturing in China. Rosemary also serves as an expert witness and litigation support for supply chain process and software.

LANCE PELKY (BBA) manages the financial services firm Lance Pelky & Associates in La Jolla, Calif. While a student at USD, Lance was president of the university’s student chapter of the American Marketing Association. “We raised a ton of money that year and attended the national conference in New Orleans,” he says.



TOM DAVIS (BA) has, after 20 years of flying for the Navy, turned in his wings and retired from active duty. He’s looking forward to the next chapter of his professional life as a defense analyst, where he’ll develop and buy the next generation of military hardware. “One perk of my job is that I have a nice view of USD from my office,” Tom writes.

JEFF HARMEYER (JD) heads Harmeyer Law Group, APC, a San Diego-based firm that focuses on the areas of business litigation, real estate transactions, product liability, insurance coverage and bad faith, commercial litigation, construction contract disputes, personal injury, premises liability, and landlord/tenant and appellate matters.


KATHLEEN (LARSON) BORGESON (BA) and her husband, Erik, live in Linda Vista, Calif., with their two daughters, Emily and Ally. Kathleen works part time for Silverado Hospice in San Diego.

BRAD WEINREB (JD) was named one of California’s Top 100 Attorneys in 2010 by the Daily Journal, the state’s largest legal news provider. Additionally in 2010, Brad was honored by the San Diego Daily Transcript as one of the Top 10 criminal lawyers in San Diego. Brad is a veteran state prosecutor and is currently a deputy attorney general in the San Diego office of the California Department of Justice.


PETER “CHRIS” HOVE (MBA) was promoted to executive vice president and senior lending officer in charge of management and commercial banking functions at the Nebraska Bank of Commerce in Lincoln, Neb.

KAREN (REUTER) RICE (BSN, MSN ’94, DNP ’06) was inducted as a fellow of the American College of Critical Care Medicine in January 2011 at an awards presentation in San Diego. Karen is an assistant professor in the Duke University School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics.

ERIKA (BRUEGGER) SANCHEZ (BA) joined the Vista, Calif., office of Coldwell Banker, a residential real estate company.

MIKE WILLIAMS (BA) and his wife, Kara (Brady) Williams ’94, are busy raising two boys in Carlsbad, Calif. Mike is a Realtor partner with Keller Williams Realty and Kara is a tennis instructor.


PATTY (O’CONNOR) LAURITZEN (BA) lives in Moss Landing, Calif., with her husband, Dean, and daughters Lilly, 2, and Kathryn, 1. She works in advertising, but also enjoys writing fiction and showing her photography on the side.


MOLLY McGLENNEN (BA) had her first collection of poetry, Fried Fish and Flour Biscuits, published in November 2010. Her poems call upon personal memories and ancestral antecedents of Molly’s Anishinaabe heritage as they render the continuance and celebration of the complex realities of Native American life in the 21st century. After graduating from USD in ’94, Molly went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Mills College (’98) and her PhD in Native American Studies from UC Davis (’05). Now an assistant professor of English and Native American Studies at Vassar College, Molly, her husband and daughter live in New York, but miss California very much.


DONALD DE ANGELO (MA) was honored with an induction into the San Diego Hall of Champions as a “Legend of Coaching” in November 2010. Donald has been a highly successful coach for the swimming and diving teams at Cathedral Catholic High School (formerly University of San Diego High School) since 1996.

KEITH RANDAHAN (MBA) recently joined Baker Electric Solar as operations manager. He heads up the solar company’s project and field operations management; his duties include scheduling, forecasting and the daily management of the design build of single and multifamily residential and commercial grid-tied photovoltaic solar systems. “I am proud and excited to be affiliated with a top-tier local solar firm that’s here to stay — one that’s the product of four generations of electrical contracting experience,” Keith reports.


KATY (PALMEN) GRYBOSKI (BA) is thrilled to announce the arrival of her third child, Evelyn Grace, on Dec. 30, 2010. Evelyn joins big brothers Sam, 4, and Owen, 2. Katy is in the second year of a leave of absence from teaching middle school math, but will return to the classroom in the fall of 2011 while her husband, Dan, a high school math teacher, takes over domestic duties. The family resides in Broomfield, Colo.

MARY (STETTER) HOLDEN (BA) is back teaching high school English in San Diego’s Sweetwater Union High School District after taking some time off for the birth of her daughter, Diana, on Sept. 3, 2008.

DAVID MULLINS (BA) is proud to report that his first book, Greetings from Below, was published in January 2011. A graduate of the prestigious Iowa Writer’s Workshop and winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction, David is an assistant professor of creative writing at Creighton University.

JILL (HASTINGS) SCHULMAN (BA) is senior sales manager for Abbott Laboratories in San Clemente, Calif.

MIKE TANGHE (BA) packed up his family and moved back to San Diego from Minnesota to open a commercial insurance agency. While driving his car along the 1,500-mile trek from Minneapolis-St. Paul to America’s Finest City, “frugal” Mike was graciously hosted by USD alumni Herman Chaves ’96, Craig Weitman ’98 and his wife, Treslynn (Gomez) Weitman ’96.


DANIEL COBIAN (BA) is in Washington, D.C., on a one-year fellowship with the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decision-making through research and analysis.

CURT HARRINGTON (JD) was reappointed chair of the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization’s Taxation Law Advisory Commission. Curt is a patent and tax law partner with the Long Beach, Calif., law firm, Harrington & Harrington.

DAVIN HECKMAN (BA) is an associate professor and chair of the Department of English at Sienna Heights University in Adrian, Mich. An author and award-winning educator, Davin is the supervising editor of the Electronic Literature Directory, a resource for readers and writers of digital literature.

MARIA PARLADE (BA, JD ’02) founded the Christian law firm, Parlade Law, LLC, in Las Vegas, and focuses her energies on her passion for child advocacy. As a truancy diversion judge, Maria seeks to encourage, motivate and empower her students. As a pro tem hearing master, she focuses on each child’s provision of a permanent, safe and nurturing home. As a pro tem dependency mother’s drug court master, Maria encourages mothers to overcome addiction and strengthen the bonds with their children. “I thank Jesus Christ every day for the opportunity to serve Him through serving others,” she writes.

JUSTIN WASSERMAN (BA) and his wife, Liz, are pleased to announce the arrival of their first child, daughter Harper June, who was born on July 21, 2010. The Wasserman clan also relocated to Denver in November 2010.


EMALYN LEPPARD (MEd) was named San Diego Unified School District’s 2010-2011 Middle School Teacher of the Year. Emalyn has taught for 13 years, with six of those as a special-education teacher at Montgomery Middle School in Linda Vista, Calif. (See story on page 36.)

LISA (DAHLQUIST) STEPHENS (MSN) retired from the Navy in 2005 and currently works as a family nurse practitioner at the naval hospital in Bremerton, Wash.


MARINA GONZALEZ (BA) returned to San Diego, where she is a faculty assistant in the School of Law at USD. Previously, Marina lived on the island of Guam, where her two children were born. “Enjoying my life as much as possible,” she reports.

KEVIN McPHEE (JD, MBA ’00) and his wife, Seda (Evis) McPhee ’00, are happily married and enjoying life with their son, Kaya, and daughter, Alara.

JUSTINE PHILLIPS (BA, JD ’05) is an associate with the law firm of Baker & McKenzie. Based in San Diego, Justine is a member of the firm’s Dispute Resolution Practice Group, and she concentrates her practice on complex business litigation.

LOUIS WRIGHT (BA) spent seven years in the Army, completing two tours of combat in Iraq. He has since joined the U.S Secret Service as a special agent in the Los Angeles field office.



KATHRYN (TANNER) GRAMMATICO (BBA) and her husband, Joseph, plan to celebrate their three-year anniversary on July 12, 2011. They relocated to San Ramon, Calif., and welcomed their first child in October 2010.

VALERIE M. KENNEDY (BA, MA ‘07) ) gave birth to her first child, Alexander Xavier, on Aug. 13, 2010. Valerie has worked in USD’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions as a counselor since since 2000. “My husband, Brian is in his final year of law school here at USD,” she reports. “Too bad I can’t submit a photo — Alex looks great in Torero Blue!”

MARTHA MEDINA (BA) joined 21st Century HealthCare, where she is in charge of all quality in the production of vitamins, dietary supplements and pet supplements. In January 2011, Martha ran a marathon in honor of Phoenix Children’s Hospital and her new friend, Denise, who is a patient there. Martha also teaches kickboxing and expected to complete her MBA from Arizona State University in May 2011.

FABIANA SALIM (BBA) returned to San Diego after a 10-year stay in Brazil, where she worked in business development, marketing, sales and event management. “Looking for a job in SD!” she writes.

KAYTIE (LEE) WURSTER (BA) lives and works in London, and travels as much as her schedule allows.


TYLER ANDERSON (BBA) and his wife, Stephanie, are enjoying life with their son, Will, 1. Since graduating from USD, Tyler has built a strong reputation in advertising and marketing; his most recent endeavor being the founding of Casual Fridays Inc., a digital and social media marketing agency.

ERIN (FLEMING) BLOCK (BBA) and her husband, Steven, purchased a home in Oceanside, Calif., where they live with their son, Logan Michael, and their two beagles. Erin is a research analyst with the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) in Carlsbad, Calif.

SHARON McGUIRE (PhD) was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners in June 2010.

MARSHALL WINTERS (BA) completed an MBA and is a business consultant for companies and organizations that operate in the high-end retail and luxury sectors.


JUSTIN ALMEIDA (BA) and his wife joined the Peace Corps in 2007, serving as volunteers in Romania. Justin now works as a resource developer for the Ethiopian Community Development Council’s (ECDC) African Community Center in Las Vegas.

AMANDINE AZENCOTT (MBA) launched her own skin care company, Codage, in Paris, France. Attempting to “revolutionize the world of beauty,” Codage offers made-to-measure beauty products according to each client’s skin-specific needs. “Loved my experience at USD,” Amandine writes. “My years there were really enriching.”

BARBARA DENNY (LLM) was re-elected as councilwoman for the city of Coronado, Calif., on Nov. 2, 2010. Barbara continues to champion issues such as land use and water law, and takes great pride in reserving a spot on her staff each semester for a student in USD Law School’s Land Use Clinic “so they can gain real-world experience before graduation,” she writes. Barbara also cites her time at USD as a critical component to her tenure in city government. “The education I earned at USD is an integral part of my success as the peoples’ representative of Coronado,” she writes.

KODY DIAZ (JD) completed his fifth year as product liability counsel for Toyota Material Handling U.S.A. Inc. He manages the defense of all product liability litigation, and assists all internal departments with product-related legal issues.

ROGER PEREZ (BA) received a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Texas Medical Center at Dallas in 2008 and completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric neuropsychology at Advanced Neurobehavioral Health (ANH) of Southern California in 2010. Roger now practices at ANH, providing neuropsychological evaluations to children and adolescents, and he is also director of the ANH Concussion Clinic. He and his wife, Deirdre, live in Mission Viejo, Calif., and love to travel frequently.

MARISSA (POST) SCHUBERT (BA) married Eric Schubert in April 2010 in Colorado, where the couple lives. Marissa (Finn) Evans ’02 served as the matron of honor. Eric works in public relation for the NFL’s Denver Broncos.

TIFFANY (GRIDLEY) TRAVER (BBA) and her husband, Josh, celebrated the birth of their first baby girl, Reese Makenzie, on Dec. 9, 2010. The couple bought their first home in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles in April of 2009.


CHRYSALIS AMOUR (BA) reached her longtime goal of becoming a self-employed entrepreneur last November when she opened the doors to be*Mused, a boutique gift store in Portland, Ore., specializing in locally crafted art, jewelry and clothing. “Lots of change in a short period of time!” she says.

JESSICA BECK (BA) published her first article in the September 2010 edition of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, a twice-yearly academic journal for theater practitioners, academics and creative artists. Jessica is completing a PhD in performance practice at the University of Exeter in England.

JOHN DZIDA (BA) earned both a master’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in Asia and pacific studies from the University of San Francisco in May 2010. John is a credit analyst/commercial underwriter at Mechanics Bank in the Bay Area.

CAITLIN (CURRAN) KAVANAGH (BA, MA ’04) married the love of her life, Niall, on July 10, 2010. Caitlin’s sisters Caroline Curran ’08, Colleen Curran and Claire Curran were her maids of honor.

JEFF McATEE (MS) was named communications director for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Criminal Enforcement. Prior to working with the EPA, Jeff served in the U.S. Navy and managed public affairs aspects of the Naples Public Health Evaluation in Italy. Jeff, his wife, Joanna, and their three daughters make their home in Alexandria, Va.

MOLLY (KING) OATES (BA) and her husband, Jordan ’03, enjoy life in Denver with daughters Avery Kathleen, 3, and Finley McNamee, 1. Molly is a stay-at-home mom and Jordan is an attorney.

NATHALIA OSORIO (BA) joined international law firm Proskauer Rose LLP, recognized as one of the premier finance practices in the country. Nathalia is a member of the firm’s Junior Capital Group, and lives with her husband, Jeffrey, in Boston.

MEGAN PAGLIUCA (BA) is the vice president of display media for integrated marketing agency Merkle. “Throughout my career, I have worked in the new frontier of digital advertising, and it’s with my passion for this field that I look forward to working at Merkle,” Megan reports.

LILIANA (AVILA) RURUP (MBA) married Lee Rurup on Oct. 22, 2010, at Cuvier Park in La Jolla, Calif. Torero alumni in attendance included: Pilar (Holley) Ivanov ’98, Val Ivanov ’97, Laurie Coleman ’04, Helena (Wallentin) Lindstrom ’94, Lorena (Aguayo) Fisher and Lynn Hijar ’98.

NICOLE SCHWARZ (BA, JD ’06) resides in San Francisco, where she is an associate with Cooley, LLP.

JENNIFER (NEILL) WHALEN (BA) is the owner and operator of True North Adventures, a business that facilitates women’s outdoor adventure programs and yoga retreats. Jennifer and her husband, Adam, a helicopter pilot in the U.S. Coast Guard, live in Astoria, Ore. “We’re loving the Pacific Northwest and all of the outdoor playgrounds up here,” she reports.


RYAN CASTANOS (BBA) is working for the Saint Anthony Foundation, a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization dedicated to providing resources and support for homeless, marginally housed and low-income residents. His professional responsibilities center on providing computer education and job readiness to those in need of training. “My job puts me in daily contact with a lot of great people who are very, very real and that helps to keep me grounded in reality,” he says.

LISA (GANTZ) FARNAN (BA) married Jason Farnan on June 5, 2010 at the Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano, Calif. The couple recently purchased their first home in Encinitas, Calif., and enjoy living in the San Diego area. Lisa and Jason met through Lisa’s Alpha Delta Pi sorority sister Erin Laverty ’05, who was a bridesmaid along with Deana Riggio ’05 and Rachel Romani ’05. Other USD alumni in attendance included: Sheetal (Doshi) Agarwal ’04, Elizabeth Jordan ’05, Ashely (Jones) Kaade ’05, Craig Smith ’04 and Heather Vento ’05. Lisa currently works at UCSD Extension and manages their Nonprofit Leadership and Fundraising certificate programs.

JENNIFER HIGA (BA) and longtime boyfriend Haydn Mitchell welcomed their baby girl Keira Anela Elizabeth Kathleen Mitchell on Feb. 24, 2011. Her godmothers are USD grads Claire Sharp ’04 and Jayvee Pendon ‘04. “We are all doing well and enjoying the family time,” Jennifer reports.

JOSEPH McKELLAR (BA) moved to New York City to become executive director of Queens Congregations United for Action (QCUA), a nonprofit organization that seeks to galvanize communities through the promotion of justice and human rights. Previously, Joseph was a community organizer with the San Diego Organizing Project.

GEOFF STIRLING (BA) is a self-described “gnarly California dude.” The actor/former reality TV star has appeared in myriad big-screen and TV productions, and continues to seek the perfect role that will become a character larger than life, and one where he can “throw caution to the winds,” he muses. When not working on the screen or stage, Geoff enjoys surfing, snowboarding and honing his ninja skills.


JOSHUA BESER (JD) is assistant general counsel for Swiss-based pharmaceutical corporation Lonza. Previously, Joshua served as an associate at the law firms Bingham McCutchen LLP and Heller Ehrman LLP.

JESSICA (JEBERJAHN) JONES (BA) married Brandon Jones on July 10, 2010, in San Luis Obispo, Calif. The couple resides in Troy, Mich., where Jessica teaches middle school special education.

ROBERT OSAK (BA) is an AmeriCorps member, promoting volunteerism in communities in and around California’s Central Valley. Robert lives in Visalia, Calif., and is looking to connect with USD alumni in the Central Valley area “to network, and possibly partner for events,” he writes.

TAMMY (WOODARD) STREETER (BAcc) is vice president at the Bank of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City. Happily married since 2004 to husband and fellow Torero alum, Kale Streeter ’05, Tammy is thankful for “an incredible husband, a wonderful career, great health … so many blessings!”


ALLISON (WOJCIK) L’HEUREUX (BA) and her husband, Eric, welcomed son Benjamin Steven to the family on May 24, 2010.

VICTOR SALCIDO (BA) earned a JD from the University of Arizona in 2009, and, in the process, met the love of his life, Megan. The two were married on Sept. 4, 2010, and live in Nevada.

NICOLE SOLAS (BA) is enrolled at Roger Williams Law School in Bristol, R.I. She is scheduled to graduate in the spring of 2013.


CRYSTAL CATALAN (BA) left behind a career in the business world to become a missioner with Cabrini Mission Corps. Crystal works with the Save Our School Children Foundation Inc. in Baguio City on the island of Luzon in the Philippines, where she teaches in a youth program and also spends time working in prison ministry. Prior to her placement in the Philippines, Crystal was a teacher and campus minister at Mother Cabrini High School in New York City.

ANDREW McMILLIN (BA) married Raelene (Harper) McMillin ’07 at Founders Chapel on June 26, 2010. Andrew works in the Department of Admissions at the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College, and Raelene works in the Office of Financial Aid and Student Services at Emmanuel College. The couple resides in Boston.

ERIC SANCHEZ (BBA) worked part time at Wells Fargo Advisors in La Jolla, Calif., as an assistant financial adviser for two years after graduation. He then packed his bags and headed to London, where he is a client group analyst within the Investment Banking Division of Deutsche Bank.

ANNIE TOTH (BA) is a program coordinator for the San Diego campus of the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL). Her duties include working with CCL faculty to coordinate and deliver leadership training to corporate and nonprofit executives from around the world. Annie is also pursuing a master’s degree in strategic public relations from George Washington University.


MATTHEW BOWERSOX (BBA) is chief operating officer of Good Life Home Care, a Monterey, Calif.-based home health care agency that helps transition rehabilitation patients to life back at home. Matthew credits the business’ success to a skilled work force and “wearing a lot of different hats,” he says.

MONICA PEARCE (MA) is working toward earning her license as a marriage and family therapist.

MITCHELL RYAN (BBA) played football for the Toreros from 2004 to 2008, and earned First-Team All Conference honors in 2008. After trying to continue his football career for a few years, Mitchell decided to leave life on the gridiron behind and focus on finding a new career path.

NICK YORCHAK (BA) started his own digital marketing agency, Big Footprint Digital, in Denver. “Life is really busy right now,” he writes.


ERICA MOORE (BA) migrated from one palm-treed paradise to another, as she is living in the Marshall Islands and teaching elementary school English through the nonprofit organization WorldTeach. She is especially excited to report that her fifth- and sixth-grade students are participating in a pen pal exchange with students from a San Diego Catholic elementary school where she tutored while studying at USD. “Hopefully my work here will be successful enough that some of my students will have the opportunity to attend college … maybe even at my alma mater!” Erica writes.

MELANIE ORMOS (BA) spent seven months living and working in Montreux, Switzerland, after her graduation from USD. Upon returning to the United States, she acquired her YA yoga instructing license in Portland, Ore., and worked in Los Angeles for CB Richard Ellis Investors. Melanie is now in the process of moving to Washington, D.C., to pursue a position in communications and editing.

PETER PRENTISS (BA) is based on the Big Island of Hawaii and working for biofuel company Cellana.


MEGAN ANDERSON (BA) was inducted into the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) in November 2010. As a corps member, Megan is responsible for completing a series of six- to eight-week service projects that emphasize teamwork, leadership development and service learning. She says of her reason for joining the NCCC, “If not me, then whom? If not now, then when?”

FRANK FERNANDEZ (BA) is a graduate student in Stanford University’s School of Education, where he is pursuing a master’s degree in policy, organization and leadership studies with an emphasis on higher education.

JADE GOMEZ (BBA) is living, working and studying in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Jade is earning a master’s degree in business administration for international business.

In Memoriam

MICHAEL BAILEY ’86 (MBA) died of natural causes at his parents’ home in Watsonville, Calif., on Jan. 22, 2011. A retired naval officer, Michael loved all things outdoors: skiing, hunting, fishing, gardening (except for the gophers), flying and scuba. Michael was a man of many talents, and his generosity of spirit will not soon be forgotten by the many he touched.

RAYMOND GREGORY SAATJIAN ’71 (JD) passed away on Jan. 13, 2011 at the age of 67.

SCOTT GAVIN ’63 (BA) passed away at the age of 69. A loving partner, devoted father and doting grandfather, Scott was a dedicated doctor and friend to all. A native of San Diego, he attended St. Augustine High School and the University of San Diego. He was also the first USD graduate to be accepted into medical school, attending Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisc. Respected for his wisdom and adored for his compassion, Scott will be dearly missed.