Spring 2012 Class Notes



ROBERT WOHL (JD) is the co-author of Navigating Organizations Through the 21st Century — A Metaphor for Leadership with Louis J. Wolter, a former Drake University professor. In addition to significant leadership roles in San Diego and New York, he led a team in Montreal, Canada, in the development of the Canadair Regional Jet, the first jet aircraft for regional airlines. Robert retired in 1993 as president of Bombardier Regional Aircraft.


JACKSON MUECKE (BA) retired on Dec. 31, 2011, after more than 10 years as a USD administrator followed by 28 years as a Merrill Lynch vice president. Jackson plans to volunteer even more time at USD, and to travel and play golf with his wife of 32 years, Christine ’76.



JERRY PLUMMER (BBA) moved to Missouri in 1986 to be near family and settled east of Kansas City on a few acres where she keeps horses. She and her husband, Roger, have two grown sons, Erik, 28, and Ryan, 26. Jerry is a board member of the Jackson County 4-H Foundation.



JAMES POOLE (JD) James sent in some memories for the 30th anniversary of USD’s Law School Class of 1981. “Our criminal law professor was the Honorable Edwin Meese, an excellent lecturer. Despite being heavily involved in political planning with Ronald Reagan at the time, requiring frequent commutes to L.A., he was the only prof I can remember who not only gave a midterm exam, but invited each student to his office to review the results. He was the speaker at our graduation. For part of the years I worked in D.C. (1984-1989), Professor Meese was the attorney general, and we had at least one law alumni gathering in his office at the Justice Department, a huge space with a high ceiling and fireplace.”


MARLA (MERHAB) ROBINSON (BA) was named a top attorney in Orange County, Calif., by AVVO in the practice areas of corporate law and mergers and acquisitions.


MATT McGOWAN (BA) is in his 11th year of teaching elementary school in inner city Los Angeles. He and his wife, Jacinta, have a 6-year-old daughter.


CARLA (HOFFMAN) MIRAMONTES (BA) reports that she is a student at the Phoenix School of Law in Arizona.


ELLEN IRVINE (MA) retired from the foreign service on Aug. 31, 2011. Her 22-year career in public diplomacy took her to Mexico City; Paris; Brazzaville, Congo; Algiers, Algeria; Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire; Lomé, Togo; Antananarivo, Madagascar; Moroni, Union of the Comoros; Brussels, Belgium; and Accra, Ghana.

MARK VEALS (BBA) is controller for Shields, a specialty contractor in Winston-Salem, N.C. Since 2005, he has been living in North Carolina with his wife, Maureen, and daughter, Haley.


JOSIE RODRIGUEZ (MA) retired from a long career as a hospital chaplain and began painting. Her main medium is encaustic painting; she has shown her work in many galleries throughout the United States. Josie also teaches art classes from her home in Mission Hills. In September 2011, Josie opened a solo exhibition of encaustic works at the San Diego International Airport. The exhibition, titled “Luminous Layers,” will be open until March 2012.

HOLLY (COONRAD) WILLIAMS (BA) and her husband, Larry, were married on June 4, 2011.



REAGAN ROMALI (MBA) was named president of Truman College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago, effective July 18, 2011. Reagan has served as chief operating officer in charge of launching the Houston Community College System’s Community College of Qatar and also led finance and operations at several California colleges, including Moreno Valley College, Compton Community College, Los Angeles City College and Santa Monica College. Reagan writes: “I want to say thanks to USD for providing me such a wonderful educational foundation that has served me well in my career.”


PETER “CHRIS” HOVE (MBA) was promoted to president and chief executive officer of Nebraska Bank of Commerce in Lincoln, Neb.

JOSEPH ULAN (BBA) and his wife, Maryanne, were married in 2007. They have a newborn daughter, Rebecah.


KYLE LEESE (BA) is the assistant naval attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China.

SUSAN (WOODS) NATTRASS (JD) joined Pacific Ridge School in Carlsbad, Calif., as an economics teacher. For 16 years, Susan had her own law office, where she practiced employment law and, more recently, estate planning. “So excited to join the faculty at Pacific Ridge School and begin my transition from lawyering to teaching,” she says. “Such a great opportunity!”


ANNE (DOLD) GIBSON (BA) and her husband, Erik, were married on April 9, 2011. In attendance were fellow alumnae Katie (Lively) Swartz, Nicole (Messineo) Anthony and Liz Fraim. Anne is a meeting planner for a healthcare corporation in San Francisco. She and Eric live in Pleasant Hill, Calif.

KYLIE (GLENN) JENKINS (BA) and her husband, Patrick, are proud to announce the birth of a daughter, Megan Elizabeth, on April 27, 2011. She weighed 4 pounds, 5 ounces. “Megan was a huge surprise, but such a welcome addition to our family,” Kylie says. “Due to complications, she was born 5.5 weeks early, but she is perfect. You would never know she was a preemie other than by her ‘petite’ size. Our son, Glenn (9 years old), is an amazing big brother and is very helpful and attentive.” Kylie planned to return to work at Sports Illustrated/Golf Magazine and her favorite event of the year, Will Farrell’s “Cancer for College.” She writes that she and her family continue to enjoy their “quiet (but packed) lives with great family and friends in ‘Life is Good’ Carlsbad.”


RICARDO ARAIZA (BA) graduated with an EdD in organizational leadership from the University of La Verne in May 2011.

CURT HARRINGTON (LLM) was appointed an at-large member of the California Board of Legal Specialization with the State Bar of California for a three-year term. He also completed five years on the Tax Law Advisory Committee, the most recent year as chair. Curt continues his practice of taxation, patent and trademark law. He is also a registered patent attorney and has master’s degrees in electrical and chemical engineering, and in business.

NOELLE (GRANICH) STEELMAN (BA) and her husband, Wade, were married at Founders Chapel on July 9, 2011. The wedding party included fellow alumni Shannon Artmann as maid of honor and Shane Brown. Other alumni who attended were Paige Swope, Shawn Bengston and Jon McMullen. Noelle is the lead first-grade teacher for the Carlsbad Unified School District, and Wade is a senior chief in the U.S. Navy and is on the USS Sterett. The Steelmans live in Carlsbad, Calif.


JAMILIA (EL-FARRA) BAUER (BA) and her husband, Paul, moved to Irvine, Calif., with their 2-year-old son, Austin Jack. Paul is the executive chef at the Hotel Laguna in Laguna Beach, Calif. and Jamilia has been a lease analyst for a real estate investment firm in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. for the past four years.

HEATHER DIEROLF (MA, PhD ’09) is the executive director of Springall Academy, a nonprofit school in San Diego for individuals with emotional disturbances, behavioral disorders and autism. Heather continues to give back to USD by providing internships and practicum experience.



AIMEE (VADNAIS) COCHRANE (MA) her husband, Steve, and 4-year-old son, Christopher, all are pleased to announce the arrival of Nicholas Stephen on April 18, 2011. He weighed 9 pounds, 3 ounces, and was 20.5 inches long.

CHRIS COOK (MBA) and his wife, Kristina, proudly welcomed their first child, Peter Ellis, on Jan. 20, 2011. Chris reports that baby and family are doing well.

HARRY HARRISON (JD) recently formed Harrison & Bodell LLP, with offices in San Diego and Orange County, Calif. The firm will focus on personal injury, employment, business and class action litigation.

KELLY (CHANG) RICKERT (JD) is a certified family law specialist and owner of the Law Offices of Kelly Chang. She was selected by Super Lawyers as a rising star for the past five years, and was named one of the top women lawyers in Los Angeles. Kelly and her husband, Scott, live in Los Angeles with their daughter, Adia, 2, who inspires Kelly’s law practice with her “perfect sense of negotiation skills.”

CHARLES SCHEIN (BBA) and his wife Monica (Escobedo) ’00 have a 2-year-old son. The family has moved back to Visalia, Calif.


JAVIER MARIN (BA) is a high school social studies teacher and his wife, Celena, is an elementary school teacher, both in Woodland, Calif. “We are blessed with four beautiful children: Lourdes, 11; Javier, 6; Amali, 2; and Santiago, 1,” Javier says. For more about the family, go to hellakids.blogspot.com.


MICHAEL CORNER (BA) was promoted to lead admissions counselor at Ashford University in San Diego.

KODY DIAZ (JD) was appointed national legal department manager and managing counsel for Toyota Material Handling USA (TMHU). He served on the company’s legal counsel team for six years. Prior to that, he practiced litigation defense for various law firms across Southern California. Kody is also a faculty member at Taft Law School. He lives in San Clemente, Calif., with his wife, Kelly, and two sons, Lucas and Dillon.


Navy Cmdr. NICOLE MAVER-SHUE (MS) was promoted to her current rank while serving at Surface Warfare Officer School in Newport, R.I. Her promotion was based on sustained superior job performance and proficiency in her designated specialty.


EMILY COONFIELD (MEd) is working toward a PhD in educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Kansas.


DANIEL CARRILLO-GUNNING (BA) joined Wilson Turner Kosmo as an attorney in the employment law and business litigation group.

JESSICA (JEBERJAHN) JONES (BA) and her husband, Brandon, welcomed a daughter, Peyton Whitten, on July 8, 2011.

ROSANNE (AMARO) VALENZUELA (BA) and her husband, Brian, welcomed their first baby, Andres Amaro, on May 22, 2011.

MICHELLE WILKERSON-JERDE (BA, BA ’05) earned a PhD in learning sciences from Northwestern University and joined Tufts University in the fall of 2011 as an assistant professor in the Department of Education.


KALANI CREUTZBURG (BA, MS ’10) writes: “Since my graduation in 2006, I’ve been putting my leadership skills to the test. I joined the Marine Corps as an officer to lead the toughest group our nation has to offer. I’ve traveled all over the country and visited many others, like Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Bahrain, Israel, Italy, Iceland, Kuwait and even Egypt. My greatest accomplishment thus far is being hand-selected to be one of the 12 company commanders of a recruit training company aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. I also teach upper-division accounting classes at Park University.”

CHRISTINA (WHITTENBURY) RANDHAWA (BA) was a Spanish teacher at a New York City public school for four years while earning a master’s degree in education at Pace University. She and her husband, Ravinder, were married on Oct. 8, 2010, and they moved to Princeton, N.J., where he has a new job. “I quit my job and we decided to start a family,” Christina says.


BRITTANY CALDWELL (BA) graduated with a doctorate in physical therapy from Loma Linda University on June 12, 2011. She planned to relocate to Ventura, Calif., to work as a doctor of physical therapy in an outpatient orthopedic clinic.

is business development director for Callan Capital, an independent wealth management firm. Previously, he was responsible for distressed debt acquisitions at Kelly Capital, a private equity firm. Clinton has volunteered with homebuilding organizations Amor Ministries and Un Techo Para Mi Pais, and also became fluent in Spanish while living for a year in South America.

VANESSA (SANCHEZ) LOKAN (BAcc) and her husband, Carl, were married on July 24, 2010, in the town of Ka’anapali, Maui. They took a honeymoon cruise to Italy, Croatia, Greece and Turkey, and now live in Honolulu.

LYNN ROMBI (BA) graduated with a master’s degree in theology from the University of San Francisco in 2010. She is the director of youth ministry at the Carmel Mission Basilica in Carmel, Calif.


STACI JANUSZ (BA) completed a master’s degree in clinical psychology and is a third-year doctor of psychology student with Argosy University.

ALEXANDRA KRASOVEC (BA) graduated magna cum laude from Chapman University School of Law in May 2011.

Navy Lt. j.g. JONATHAN LEWIS (BA) recently completed a 10-month shipyard availability aboard the USS Mobile Bay, the second guided missile cruiser to undergo the most comprehensive upgrade and modernization program in Navy history, including the modernization of weapons and combat systems. Following the yard period, the crew charged through a series of sea trials and qualification in preparation for deployment.


CECILIA ZAVALA (BBA) was promoted to senior marketing associate for the Americas at Symtrax.



JACK GENNUSO (BA) is studying graphic design at Art Center College of Design.

NICHOLAS LERCHE-GREDAL (LLM) joined the Copenhagen, Denmark, office of Hannes Snellman Attorneys, a Pan-Nordic law firm that employs more than 300 people delivering transaction and conflict-management services from its offices in Copenhagen, Denmark; Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm, Sweden; and St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia.


ANNE-MARIE (SLAGILL) MALINOSKI (BA) and her husband, Steven, were married at Founders Chapel on June 11, 2011. They moved to South Carolina, where Steven is stationed as a naval submarine officer and Anne is a freelance writer for USD.

JOSEPH COLOMBO, MA, PhD, died on Jan. 2, 2012. A passionate and inspiring professor, he joined the Department of Theology and Religious Studies in 1984, and served as department chair from 1998-2004. His extensive service to the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) as well as university included multiple terms on the University Senate, as well as serving on, and chairing, the CAS Appointment, Reappointment Rank and Tenure Committee.

ANGELA (PALERMO) ELLIS ’63 (BA) reports that her husband, John (Jay) Ellis, passed away on June 3, 2011. He is survived by wife Angela, daughter Lisa (Ellis) Marr and son-in-law Brendan Marr, son John Ellis, daughter Dr. Julie Ellis, and grandchildren Andrew and Erica.

HELEN MCHUGH, RSCJ, PhD, passed away on Dec. 30, 2011 at the age of 95. An award-winning educator who developed academic programs for low-income children, Sister McHugh had over six decades of teaching and research experience. She spent nearly four decades at USD, and served as the chair of both the English department and the fine arts department. Named professor emerita in 1988, she continued to direct a tutoring program and conduct research until 2003.

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