Fall 2011 Class Notes

USD campus at night



LT. COL. MICHAEL WELCH (BA) served in Air Force assignments in Japan, Korea, Spain, Las Vegas and New York City before retiring. He is now a defense contractor for the U.S. Navy in decision support systems. Michael has been married for 37 years and has two sons.



SANDRA NATHAN (BA) was promoted to senior vice president of the National Council on Aging, a nonprofit organization that aims to improve the lives of vulnerable older adults.


STEVEN VILLWOCK (BS) published a Social Security ruling on the transferability of vocational skills.


WILLIAM BARTEK (BA) is a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker and lives in Orange County, Calif. He was a contestant on the CBS network show “The Amazing Race: All Stars.”



RONALD ISRAEL (JD) was elected a district court judge in November 2010 and he took office in January 2011. He presides in the newly created Department 28 of the 8th District Court of Nevada.

WILLIAM ZEMBA (BA) published his first book, David and the Old Man. A true story, the book “reflects Catholic values while exploring a very mystifying disease,” says William. “It would be of great value to students at this impressionable time in their lives to read such an account.” Learn more at www.davidandtheoldman.com.


MARY DURKA O’CONNOR (BA) published her first novel, The Tappakega Sisters, A Search for Truth. Mary writes that upon visiting USD with her daughter, Carlie, she was happy to discover that she can still fit through the bars on the gate leading into Founders Hall. Mary encourages fellow Class of 1983 alumni to send in updates on their lives.


WILLIAM HALEY (BBA) played football with the Toreros for three years — the first year as a redshirt — and was on the 10-1 team. He received a teaching certificate from California State University, Fullerton, and a master’s degree in instructional technology from National University.


ROSALIND (BRADY) SMITH (BA) reports that she and her husband are returning to San Diego — where her husband will start a new job — after six years in Phoenix. Rosalind, too, planned to start a new job in June 2011.


ERIN WILKINSON (BA) is a marketing professor at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I., and received an award from the Fulbright Program to teach and do research in Tanzania and Zanzibar in the spring and summer of 2012. She recently spent three weeks in Zanzibar volunteering as a small business and marketing specialist. She trained women’s groups in the skills they need to establish shell craft jewelry businesses.


J.B. ORECCHIA (BA) was named president and chief executive officer of Oweing.com, a web resource with tools and advice to help people accelerate paying off debt. His 22 years of experience in financial services and online marketing include positions in consumer finance at Household International (now HSBC) and several senior roles at Experian Interactive. J.B. was instrumental in the growth of FreeCreditReport.com.


JACQUELINE (LEHN) DuPONT (BA) was honored recently with the Bishop Tod Brown Award for Exemplary Business Integrity at the ninth annual Conference on Business and Ethics sponsored by the Orange Catholic Foundation. Jacqueline is the founder and chief executive officer of DuPont Residential Care in San Clemente, Calif., and Assured InHome Care Inc. in Costa Mesa, Calif. She was recognized for her ongoing commitment to caring for the aged.

JULIE NOVAK (DNSc) received the Henry K. Silver Memorial Award from the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. The award, which recognizes national leadership in pediatric nursing, was presented during the opening session of the association’s 32nd annual Conference on Pediatric Health in Baltimore, Md. Julie is the associate dean for practice and engagement at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. In her career, she has developed nurse-managed clinics, educated pediatric nurse practitioners, initiated a doctor of nursing practice degree and led nursing students on service-learning projects in Mexico, Russia, China and South Africa. Julie was USD’s first nursing doctoral graduate and served on the faculty at the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science.



THOMAS F. LEBENS (JD) was honored for outstanding contributions to the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO), at its National Annual General Meeting on May 29, 2011 in Traverse City, Mich. Thomas is a partner at intellectual property law firm Fitch, Even, Tabin & Flannery, and was presented with a Presidential Award in recognition of the pro bono intellectual property legal work he performed on behalf of the AYSO during the past year. Thomas is an accomplished patent attorney specializing in the prosecution of patent, trademark and copyright applications, as well as matters involving intellectual property and business strategy, licensing and infringement issues. In addition to his patent practice, he currently manages West Coast operations for Fitch Even’s San Diego, Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo offices.

KATHIE O’NEIL (BA, MEd ’95) teaches Special Day Class English at Temecula Valley High School, where she has worked for eight years. She also is in her eighth year of advising the cheer program at the school. In her spare time, she teaches Zumba, cycling and body pump classes at several gyms. “Needless to say, I have very little down time,” she writes.


LUCINDA (INZUNZA) BOLT (BA) and her husband, Brian, were married in 2008. They live in Chickamauga, a small city in North Georgia, where she teaches science for seniors at Whitfield Career Academy.

DAVIN HECKMAN (BA), an associate professor and chair of the English department at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Mich., was named a Fulbright Scholar. He will spend 10 months researching and teaching the emerging discipline of digital media and electronic literature at the University of Bergen in Norway. Davin will be joined by his wife, Carrie, and their three sons, Jonah, Oscar Romero and Sergio. Reminiscing about his favorite professors at USD — including Mary Quinn and Ben Nyce — he says, “Now that I am teaching, I really see all the work, character and passion that go into being a decent teacher.”

WENDY KELLER (BA) is a Los Angeles occupational therapist who helps people with physical and psychological disabilities overcome their challenges using activities they enjoy in a therapeutic way. “I love it!” she says.

RAYMOND SCHIMMEL (JD, LLM ’99) owns and operates the San Diego Bankruptcy Law Center in San Diego. His website is www.endbillcollections.com.


AMY (KNOTEN) GROSSE (BA, BA ’98) and her Austrian husband, Michael, welcomed a daughter, Olivia, in February 2010. Amy is a communications manager for UTC Fire & Security in Brussels, Belgium, where she has lived for seven years. She reports that she loves life in Europe and especially loves being a mom.

MICHELE HAINLEY (BA) is studying to become a certified Microsoft Office specialist. “I am also actively searching for that perfect career that will be soul fulfilling,” she says. “Ideally, I would love to work for a nonprofit organization helping to make a positive difference in peoples’ lives in some way.”

ELIZABETH HIMCHAK (BA, MA ’02) graduated from the FBI Citizens’ Academy in San Diego in May 2011. In recent months, she received awards from the San Diego Press Club, California Newspaper Publishers Association and the Society of Professional Journalists for her breaking news coverage of the Chelsea King murder. Elizabeth is a staff writer at Pomerado Newspapers assigned to the Rancho Bernardo News Journal. She says she enjoys returning to USD for alumni activities and volunteer opportunities, including serving on the USD Homecoming Committee for the past 10 years.

CHRISTOPHER LOWERY (BBA) published a book, 365 Surf Days, last year. “It received a decent amount of press, including a feature on CBS-8,” he says. Find more online at www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1775064.

BRUCE PLEAT (MBA) and Arianna Dagostino ’99 welcomed a daughter, Sofia Rosa, on Jan. 19, 2011. Sofia joins big brother Elkan.


ERIN BOSMAN (JD) became chair of Morrison & Foerster’s firmwide Product Liability Group earlier this year. Her practice focuses on the pharmaceutical, medical device and aviation industries. Erin was listed as one of the Daily Journal’s “Top Women Litigators” in 2010 and 2011. She was also named in 2010 by the Daily Journal as one of the “Top 20 Lawyers Under 40” and by Law360 as one of the “Rising Stars Under 40” for the area of product liability.

VERA FRY (JD) joined the firm of Goel & Anderson as a partner. Goel & Anderson is a leading provider of global immigration services to individuals, companies and their employees. Vera advises clients on complex legal matters involving all of the major U.S. immigrant and nonimmigrant visa classifications. She recently returned from Japan, where she operated her own registered foreign law office and taught law at a Japanese national law school.



MAX BYFUGLIN (BBA) was married on Sept. 5, 2010, and recently moved to La Jolla, Calif. He also was promoted to home lending specialist for the La Jolla branches of Citibank.

GENE STONEBARGER (JD) appeared for oral argument before the California Supreme Court on Jan. 5, 2011, in Pineda v. Williams-Sonoma Stores, a case that has
received national attention. In the matter, the California Supreme Court issued its unanimous retroactive ruling that bars retailers from recording customers “personal identification information” such as zip codes.


ALI COX (BA) is competing for a spot on the U.S. national women’s rowing team, after taking a six-year hiatus from rowing to concentrate on her marketing career. She won a silver medal in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, and is presently training for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Ali rowed for USD from 1999 to 2001. Follow her journey online at www.alicox.com; see story on page 34.

MOLLY SIEBERT ECKMAN (BA) was promoted to membership in the firm of Cozen O’Connor, where she practices through the global insurance group in the Seattle office. Molly has represented insurers in such matters as first-party and third-party coverage litigation, and has represented businesses and individuals in general litigation matters, including employment discrimination, premises liability and breach of contract.

KORTNEY KOLERUS GENARO (BA) and Anthony “Gino” Genaro ’02 welcomed their first child, a daughter, Reagan Kay, on April 15, 2011. She weighed 6 pounds, 6 ounces. Gino continues to run his music management firm and other business ventures while Kortney teaches the fourth grade. Kortney completed a master’s degree in education in the spring of 2011. The family lives in New Braunfels, Texas.


ROBERT BEDGOOD (JD) was promoted to partner with the San Diego law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. His practice is in intellectual property, particularly in life sciences, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. He provides strategic intellectual property counseling and management, and develops successful patent strategies to obtain broad, commercially meaningful patents.

LISA MARTIN (MEd) is the co-founder of Live California, a cultural immersion camp at which teen students from Spain can study English as well as the American culture. The students have English classes in the morning and then take part in surfing, sailing and beach activities in the afternoon. Live California arranges for students to stay with host families during the summer program. The organization’s website is www.livecalifornia.net.

NADINE MASTROLEO (MA) completed her PhD in counselor education and supervision from Pennsylvania State University in 2008 and then joined the faculty at Brown University in the Center for Alcohol and Addictions Research.

JEFF McATEE (MSGL) was named communications director for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Criminal Enforcement. He came to the EPA after serving a two-year recall to active duty with the U.S. Navy and a 34-year career as a television news anchor/reporter at stations around the country, including Seattle and Nashville. Jeff, his wife, Joanna, and their three daughters live in Alexandria, Va.

CATHERINE SANCIMINO (BA) passed her dissertation defense and received a doctorate in clinical psychology in August 2010. She moved from San Francisco back to San Diego and is the clinical coordinator at the Autism Center of Excellence, University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine. Catherine specializes in working with children with emotional dysregulation and developmental disabilities.

DEAN SHORT (JD) and his wife, Kathleen, celebrated the birth of Emma Jean on Dec. 28, 2010. Dean is now corporate counsel at Toshiba America Information Systems in Irvine.

RYAN STACK (BA, JD ’06) left the Salt Lake City, Utah, Prosecutor’s Office and took a position with the Summit County Attorney’s Office. He says he is excited and thankful for this opportunity.

MEGAN TURNER (BA) relocated to Sydney, Australia, in March 2008. She was married in October 2010 and recently started a new position with Alberts Music, an iconic Australian music company.


PEDRO ANAYA (MA) was recently named senior account executive at Southwest Strategies, a San Diego public affairs and public relations agency. With nearly a decade of
experience in the nonprofit sector, Pedro most recently served as the executive director of the Greater Golden Hill Community Development Corporation. He was selected as a recipient of Reebok’s Human Rights Foundation’s International Humanitarian Award and he is a co-founder of the San Diego Cesar E. Chavez Commemoration Committee, which hosts the nation’s largest series of events to honor Chavez.

SHERI CLARK, a 2004 graduate of USD’s paralegal program, is a mediator, office manager and paralegal case manager for the Law and Mediation Offices of Debra Caligiuri in Carlsbad, Calif.

MELISSA MONDAY (BA) earned a master’s degree and a dual PhD in clinical and industrial/organizational psychology from Alliant International University in San Diego. After finishing graduate school, she co-founded M.B. Strategic, a website development and online marketing firm in San Diego that concentrates on website design and advanced search engine optimization to help small and mid-sized businesses grow online.


GALEN BAGGS (MBA) was named director of finance for Z57 Inc., a San Diego real estate marketing firm. He brings more than seven years of experience to his position. Most recently, he was controller for Apex Contracting and Restoration.

JONATHAN BARRERA (BAcc) joined New York Life Securities as a financial advisor. Most recently, he was an assistant controller at American Campus Communities. Jonathan reminds fellow Toreros that estate planning is important for everyone.

KEVIN BRINK (BA) and Nina Williams ’06 were married in San Diego on Aug. 7, 2010. The wedding party included fellow USD alumni Evan Helmy, Andrea Keesling, Christine McAuliffe, Brad Maxfield and Brigitte Wesselink. Nina completed a master’s degree in health administration at Texas A&M Health Science Center in 2008 and Kevin completed a PhD in electrical engineering at Texas A&M University in 2010. Kevin and Nina live in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., where Kevin works for the Air Force Research Lab and Nina works at White-Wilson Medical Center.


BRIGID AVERY (MA) and her husband, Jeremy Chesla, celebrated their first year of being parents when their son, Emmet Calder, turned 1 on March 18, 2011. “We will be back in San Diego hopefully in October 2011, if not sooner,” Brigid says. “We miss it so much!” Brigid is the director of alumni relations at her undergraduate alma mater, Aquinas College, in Grand Rapids, Mich.

ANNA MARIE GRAAS (BA) recently bought her first house in Tierrasanta, Calif.

DETGEN (BANNIGAN) GREEFF (BA) returned to the United States in August 2009 after two years in Bangalore, India. In March 2010, she began working in logistics planning for the Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program, and she married Brian Greeff in October 2010.

ALICIA LEITE (BBA) has been working with International Justice Mission since graduating from USD. “We do incredible work around the world, rescuing people from bonded slavery, sex trafficking, police brutality, child sexual abuse and many other important issues,” she says. “It is very meaningful work to be a part of. I am so grateful to get to
do something bigger than myself.”

MATTHEW MEYER (BA, BA ’06) was married on May 28, 2010, and moved to Ventura, Calif., to establish InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in Ventura County.

LINDSAY (SLATE) PERALTA (BA, BA ’06) and her husband, Ron, were married on Oct. 23, 2010. “It was the best day ever!” she says. “I was so happy to see so many of my USD friends from the United Front and Kappa Kappa Gamma at my wedding!”

FRANNIE RAY-EARLE (BA) recently received the University of Colorado Staff Council Service Excellence Award. Frannie joined the Voices for Children (VFC) CASA board in 2009 and has worked to better link VFC CASA with the CU Boulder chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta. She also has served the local Theta chapter since 2007 as the public relations, philanthropy, service and alumnae advisor. Frannie started working with CASA in 2003 as a Theta at USD. She also has served as the president and regional representative of USD’s Denver alumni chapter since 2008. She is the center coordinator of the Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels and is working toward an MBA at the University of Colorado.

LORENA (LOPEZ) ROMERO (MEd) and her husband, Richard, welcomed their first child, Richard Joaquin, on Sept. 11, 2010. Lorena was a teacher at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in City Heights, Calif., and she now dedicates her time to her family.


BRITTANY CALDWELL (BA) received her doctorate of physical therapy from Loma Linda University on June 12, 2011. She will be relocating to Ventura, Calif., to work as a doctor of physical therapy in an outpatient orthopedic clinic.


ARIELLE BENNETT (BA) expected to be a PhD student in political science at Rutgers — with specializations in women and politics and in political philosophy — starting in September 2011.

NICKI OSBORN (BBA) moved from San Diego to New York City in March 2011 and works for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.


MARISSA VASQUEZ (MA) was accepted into San Diego State University’s doctoral educational leadership program, which she expected to start in the Fall of 2011.



DANIEL IGLESIAS (BBA) writes, “Since graduating, I have gone into the golf world and would love to connect with any students, alumni or faculty at USD who are interested in golf.”

JACQUELINE McMANUS ’83 (BA, JD ’86) passed away on March 27, 2011, after a lengthy but courageous battle with cancer. She was an attorney with Fenton & Keller in Monterey, Calif., and wrote the Workplace Law column for The Monterey County Herald. Her community work included Girls Inc., Junior League, the Monterey Museum of Art and United Way Monterey County. She is deeply missed by her family, friends and colleagues.

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