Fall 2018 Class Notes

View of USD campus from Tecolote Canyon



NADINE (ISRAEL TREVORS) THOMAS (BA) wrote and self-published a children’s book, Grandma’s Magic Box, with an e-version available on Amazon. “I did it for my grandchildren and had such fun writing it,” Nadine says. She also went to Kauai with her winning bid at USD’s Founders Gala silent auction.


[1965] LARRY MOYER (BS) enjoyed some rest and relaxation in Hawaii after celebrating the arrival of his 12th grandchild.


VERN SCHOOLEY (JD) received the AIC A. Sherman Christiansen Award at the U.S. Supreme Court and is counselor for the Ball/Hunt/Schooley Inn of Court in Long Beach, California, and the Judge Paul R. Michel IP Inn in Los Angeles. He blends his professional and social lives, including recent travel with the Long Beach State basketball team to his alma mater, Michigan State University. Vern also plays tennis weekly and took ski trips last winter to Park City, Utah, and Aspen, Colorado.


JAMES WELCH (JD) celebrated the 50th anniversary of his graduation at a dinner at USD. “A wonderful event,” James says.


GARY LANE (JD) is president of the Lane Agency, which is now affiliated with Dignity Memorial and Service Corporation International, North America’s largest owners and providers of funeral and burial services and cremations. “Love to help my friends pre-plan so their families are not faced with that tremendous burden,” he says.



IGNAZIO RUVOLO (JD) joined the largest private provider of mediation and arbitration services worldwide. Based in Northern California, he will be a mediator, arbitrator and special master in a variety of disputes, including business/commercial, civil rights, personal injury/torts, family law, intellectual property, and more. He has had a 24-year career as a respected jurist and has served as a justice, a judge, trial attorney and litigator. “Throughout my career, I developed a passion for helping parties resolve disputes,” he says.


JAMES COLLINS (JD) retired from his career as an attorney.

PENNY NAVARRO (BA) celebrated her 40th anniversary at USD in November 2017. “Although retirement is on the horizon, I still enjoy providing professional development programs to educators worldwide,” she says. Penny is “Gigi” to her 3-year-old granddaughter, Madeline Oona, and 2-year-old grandson, Anthony Michael.

LAWRENCE SYKOFF (MEd), ’88 (EdD) is president of LSS Consulting Group, where he provides strategic solutions to businesses and institutions in health care, education, performing arts, foundations, religious-affiliated centers and more. He also provides mentoring to institution leaders. Lawrence has many current and past board affiliations, including the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools, Family and Children’s Services of Monmouth Country and the Independent College Fund of New Jersey. During his career, he has received several U.S. Congressional Service Awards and two New Jersey Senate Certificates of Commendation for community leadership and service.


JOSEPH VECCHIO (MA) hasbeen retired for 13 years. He spends his time with his family and travels frequently.


SISTER KATHLEEN PHELAN (MEd) served a five-year term in elected leadership of the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters. She is now enjoying a sabbatical where her time is spent studying, traveling, attending retreats and enjoying life.


GARY WALSWICK (BBA) is in commercial real estate and was promoted to director for KW Commercial in Tustin, California.


JOAN STEIDINGER (BA) earned a master’s degree and a PhD in clinical psychology after graduating from USD. Her book, Sisterhood in Sports: How Female Athletes Collaborate and Compete, won five literary awards and is published in hardcover and paperback.


DAVID PARRY (BA) writes, “I support President Trump.”



NICHOLAS KRALL (BA) is an investment adviser representative for Primerica Advisors. He recently co-wrote, directed and performed in an Easter musical drama titled He’s Not Here! Nicholas also was elected president of his church council and earned a Series 65 securities license, meeting the fiduciary standard for his Primerica Advisors clients.


COLETTE FRAYNE (MBA) joined the faculty at Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management.

RICHARD HUSSEY (JD) recently published a novel, The Hedgecock Friasko. “It has received numerous awards from various book festivals and contests,” he says.


PAUL HANSON (JD) is celebrating the 31st anniversary of his law practice in Seattle.


KAREN (MEYER) CAMPBELL (JD) writes, “It’s good to have an online business.” She recently had to deal with family matters in another state and was able to continue working on editing legal documents with no loss of productivity.

CHRIS GUALTIERI (BA) is developing a vineyard in Ramona, California, to grow sangiovese and syrah grapes. He reports that he has been making wine for the past five years and has won awards in the amateur winemaker’s competition at the San Diego County Fair.

KATRINA JONAH (LLM) is the chief abundance officer for Jondewin Consulting Services. “I work with business owners establishing their exit plan, injecting value into their business and successfully transitioning to the successor of their choice.”

MARY WILSON (BA) accepted an early retirement offer after 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry. She is enjoying a “gap year,” which is slated to be filled with travel, family, reading and biking.

MARC YAFFEE (BA) is a stand-up comedian who tours nationally and internationally, including six overseas tours for Armed Forces Entertainment. He appeared on the premiere episode of the First Nations Comedy Experience on the First Nations Experience Network. His comedy special, Marc My Words, is available on Native Flix: nativeflix.com.


PAULETTE (DURAND) BARKLEY (JD) reports that she is retired and enjoying Colorado.

MANUEL GARRIDO (MBA) is a Juez de Plaza (judge at Plaza de Toros) in Queretaro, Mexico.


GUILLERMO LIZARRAGA (BBA) established his business in 1992 and specializes in the import and export of goods and products from Mexico into the United States.

DINO MANCINELLI (BBA) started a new company called People Interact, in which he provides human capital management solutions that work together as a system, including human resources, benefits management, payroll, time and attendance, recruiting and talent management.


GREG FLEMING (BA), ’88 (MEd) has been teaching for 29 years and has lived in Wrightwood, California, since 1992. He has owned the Village Grind, a boutique wine and espresso bar, since 2007.

NORA (HERMSEN) MIDDLETON (BA) owns and manages an upscale Airbnb in Cardiff by the Sea, California. She reports that she has achieved “superhost” status and strives to make sure her guests enjoy their stays.

F. DANTE SORIANELLO (BA) celebrated 31 years of service with the DEA in February 2018. In 2016, he was promoted to chief of the DEA San Antonio District where he leads federal drug enforcement investigations in 50 counties of central, south-central and west Texas, including the cities of San Antonio, Austin, Waco and San Angelo. “I credit my success to the education and experiences I had at USD as a young man,” he says. “I was blessed to have outstanding mentors at USD such as Dr. James Moriarty, Father Owen Mullen and Coach Brian Fogarty. They all contributed to my character and the person I am today.”


GREGORY BROWN (JD) has been practicing law in Irvine, California, since graduation. He is a partner with Brown and Charbonneau, LLP, a business litigation and family law practice and he is a state-board certified trial attorney.

YVETTE (BATISTA) MAGNAGHI (BA) and her husband, Ron, say they love keeping in touch with USD friends. They were sorry to miss this year’s annual Wine Classic, as they were in Europe during the summer, Yvette reports.


DEANA CARTER (BBA) writes, “When I am not working with my clients, I am volunteering in my community on the Library Guild Board of Rancho Santa Fe, California, as well as the board of Rady Children’s Hospital.” She is currently working on a blood drive with Rady and the Rancho Santa Fe Rotary.

LAURA CHECKMAN (BA) reports that after teaching for 25 years, she is a graduate student in human services counseling.

STEVE CLINTON (BBA) joined Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty in Coronado, California, which he says has the highest volume of sales in the county and markets to buyers and sellers internationally.

ANA MARIA ITURRALDE (BA) reports that she and her husband, Roman Vazquez, celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary. They have a daughter in high school.

JOSEPH LANZONI (MBA) is with Lightning Eliminators and recently received the Export Achievement Award for Small-Business Exporting from the U.S. Commerce Department.

JACQUES NAVIAUX (BA) retired from the Marine Corps Reserve on Jan. 1, 2018, after 29 years of service. He continues to fly for Delta Air Lines on the 767/757 out of Los Angeles International Airport. He reports living in La Jolla with his wife, Jeanine, and their sons Christophe, 18, and Philippe, 16.

LORI TOWNSEND (BA) signed a partnership with The Grommet to launch her new product, the Wondrous Oral Care Clean Tongue Wand. The goal was to reinterpret the familiar tongue cleaner with “industry-shaking design and the safest endocrine disruptor-free materials made in the USA.” Lori adds, “We wanted a healthier option. We wanted a better clean.” Learn more at www.wondrousoralcare.com.



ANDREW HARDY (BBA) is a partner in Twenty Four Seven Hotels, a hotel management company formed in 2004 and based in Newport Beach, California. He reports that he and his wife, Oksana, were married in 2014 and his stepson, Yaroslav, competed in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang in the men’s figure skating program.

SUSAN NUGENT (BA) reports that after a 28-year teaching career, she expected to retire on June 12, 2018, from a Title I school. “Five years ago, my class ‘adopted’ USD as their college of choice for a schoolwide program to remind students that college is possible for anyone,” she says. The USD flag waved daily outside of the classroom and the class wore USD colors every Monday. “I was 35 years old when I returned to college all those years ago, and though a novelty, I was accepted and befriended by my classmates,” Susan adds. “I have encouraged many a student to attend USD for the best experience of their life!”

LAURIE (SCHWARTZ) POOLE (JD) joined the law firm of Adams Stirling, PLC, as the managing partner of the San Diego and Carlsbad offices. Adams Stirling represents homeowners’ associations and Laurie has been a community association attorney for 25 years.

DENNIS ROSVALL (BBA) is a broker and owner of RE/MAX Prime in Paradise Valley, Arizona. RE/MAX Prime serves the communities of Paradise Valley, Scottsdale and the Phoenix metro area.

JEFF SNYDER (JD) has been practicing employment law in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1990 and is a founding partner of Shuman Snyder LLP.


ANN GRANT (JD) has a family law practice in Manhattan Beach, California. Her upcoming book, The Divorce Hacker’s Guide to Untying the Knot, is expected to be published in the fall of 2018.

RANDI (JOELSON) WATSON (MA) is a certified college admissions counselor and independent educational consultant.


KARIN BACKSTROM (JD) renovated a 1920s flat to house her law firm, Backstrom Labor Law. The firm is located in the heart of San Diego’s Bankers Hill neighborhood. “The firm advises and defends companies in all aspects of the employment relationship,” Karin says.

PATRICIA CHIN (DNSc) reports that she and her husband, William Chin, were honored at a dedication ceremony to the first named school at California State University Los Angeles: the Patricia A. Chin School of Nursing. Patricia earned a BS and MSN at CSULA and taught at the university, later serving as director and, upon her retirement, professor emerita. Patricia and her husband contributed a generous gift to the CSULA School of Nursing, which will support updates to the school’s nursing simulation lab, hands-on instruction for students, continuing education for clinical faculty and nurses, and established the Chin Family Institute for Nursing.

R. JEFFREY CRANE (BBA) recently celebrated his 25th year as a certified financial planner at Thrivent Financial and reports that in May 2018, he and his wife, Valerie, celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. “My business and family are doing great,” he says.

STUART GUSTAFSON (MBA) writes, “In between traveling for fun and speaking on cruise ships all over the world, I am continuing to write travel-based mystery novels. My first three are set in Los Cabos, Mexico; Sydney, Australia; and the Mediterranean Sea. My in-progress novel is set in Paris, France. Come along and enjoy the scenery and the stories!”

STEVEN JONES (MEd) is the chief executive officer of Jones & Associates Consulting. In January 2018, he was named among the Top 500 Business Leaders in San Diego by the San Diego Business Journal for the second year in a row. Steven serves on the boards for the San Diego chapter of Teach for America and for LEAD San Diego. In September 2017, he was elected to serve as the president and CEO of the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce.

ARCHIE MEDRANO (BA) teaches at San Diego State University and San Diego Mesa College. He also tutors, primarily in mathematics.

KEN SCHMITT (BBA) is in his 20th year in the executive recruiting industry and he reports that he just celebrated his 25th wedding anniversary.

JOEL SELIK (LLM) was appointed to the Fee Dispute Arbitration Committee for the State Bar of Nevada.


PAUL JUNE (BBA) reports that he has kids and is growing a sports and active lifestyle business in San Diego. He writes, “Going bananas!”

JENNIFER SCHELTER (MFA) graduated from the post-baccalaureate program at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and she received an alumni studio award. She is completing the first draft of a memoir about identity, intimacy, beauty and the power of finding one’s voice. Jennifer runs her own business, leading team-building retreats that combine company core values and self-care.

SANDRA (KREBS) STERLING (BSN), ’95 (MSN) is investigating starting her own nursing company and is looking for a psychiatric nurse practitioner, a sponsoring M.D. and a medical biller.

KATIE WILSON (BA) writes, “After a lengthy international and domestic adoption process, I adopted my son, Kevin, in 2014. He is the light of my life!”


KEITH ALEXIS (MA) writes, “Since graduation, I’ve had the pleasure of working in the high-tech industry, focused on IP data networking. Employed by one of the largest original equipment manufacturers from Taiwan, I’ve had the pleasure of international travel, and joint projects for everyone from Cisco, IBM, HP, LG and Ericsson.” Keith is the chief executive officer of ICC Networking, which was launched in 2011 as an advanced Wi-Fi platform vendor. “ICC networking is focused on connecting communities in the U.S. and internationally. We help bridge the digital divide in under connected regions with our patent-pending wireless devices.”

VERONICA (BOWDEN) DERSCH (BA) is a law partner in Morrison Dersch, LLC, a criminal defense and family law firm in Kansas City, Kansas. Veronica is licensed in both Kansas and Missouri, and she has three children currently serving on active duty in the United States military.

CHRISTOPHER HOFFMAN (JD) was named to the San Diego Super Lawyers 2018 Edition. Christopher is the founding and managing partner of Fisher Phillips’ San Diego office. He represents employers in matters ranging from class action litigation to traditional labor matters and also counsels clients on day-to-day employment issues.


FAUSTA ALBI (JD) was named 2017 Lawyer of the Year for Immigration Law in San Diego by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers.

RAYMOND CAMERON (MA) has been a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in San Diego’s Inland Empire since 2001. He also is a clinical supervisor at the Center Against Sexual Assault of Southwest Riverside County, a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists ethics committee and a lecturer in USD’s SOLES Marital and Family Therapy program.

DARIN CHASE (BBA) is an eight-year backcountry ski patrol veteran. “Missing the snow,” he says.

RODNEY HATLEY (LLM) was a partner with the Chhokar Law Group, P.C., from which he separated in June 2016. “I’ve been on my own since then and loving it,” he says.

BENJAMIN MENDOZA (BA) is selling wireless solutions to businesses to assist with employee efficiency and communications.

KRISTIAN PANGILINAN (BA) is a clinical specialist in retina and immunology with Genentech. He reports that he lives in Hawaii, has four kids and enjoys surfing, photography and hiking.

MONICA ZENT (JD) is the founder of ZentLaw, an alternative law firm serving Fortune 500 companies. She is also the founder of Foxwordy Inc., a collaboration platform for the legal industry. Monica writes regularly on technology, entrepreneurship, leadership, startups and women in technology for publications such as Inc., VentureBeat, Entrepreneur and more.


DANIELLE ALEXANDER (BA), ’00 (MBA) reports that she recently welcomed her fourth child. She also says that she has owned Alexander Valley Lodge in Sonoma, California, wine country for 14 years.

KIMBERLY ARCADO (BA) reports that she married David Arcado Jr. on Sept. 27, 2017.

MARNY BASSETT (BA) is a copywriter and provides a variety of creative writing services that support both corporate and personal branding.

BETH MARINO (JD) opened Glick Haupt Marino, LLP, a law firm in San Luis Obispo, California, with two partners. She specializes in business transactions and counseling for the firm. Her husband, Jesse Marino ’97, was appointed by California Gov. Jerry Brown to the San Luis Obispo Superior Court after practicing for 20 years as a deputy district attorney.

LUIS MASSIEU (BBA) and his wife, Marta, recently welcomed their third daughter, Valentina. “Sisters Matilda and Flavia are excited to have a new sister home,” he says.

JAMES PERKINS (BBA) recently got a new job as associate director of programs and marketing at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area after 12 years in New York. “I look forward to meeting new USD alumni in the Bay Area and reconnecting with old friends!” he says.


MICHELLE (DEASEY) DARNELL (BA) joined the Smeal College of Business at Pennsylvania State University as the director of honor and integrity. “My formal interest in ethics started with my coursework at USD, and now I can do my part in encouraging future leaders to act responsibility,” she says. “Many thanks to my great professors at USD for starting me down this professional path!”

LYNN (HIJAR) HOFFMAN (BBA), ’06 (MSGL), ’18 (MS-CSOL) reports that she married Steve Hoffman in August 2017. She went back to USD for the third time, earning a master’s degree in cybersecurity operations and leadership. Lynn started Cibernetika, a cybersecurity consulting company, with her husband, who is a lawyer in San Diego. They have been traveling around the world and enjoying it very much, she says.

ROBERT PALM (MIB) and his wife, Paola, moved to Athens, Greece, in May 2014 to work at the U.S. Embassy.

DAVID SANCHEZ (BBA) started his own marketing and video agency, focusing on the Hispanic market.


JACK BALDERSON (JD) is with Tasker & Balderson and reports that he is “dispensing a little justice here and there.”

JOSEPH MOLINA (BA) reports, “My oldest of two boys started kindergarten last fall (August 2017). We are proud parents!”

KATIE (BARKLEY) PRICE (BA) reports that she lives in Littleton, Colorado, with her husband and two daughters. After working in student affairs, college admissions and education consulting, she opened her own company in 2013. Through College Mindset, she provides personalized assistance to students and their families as they navigate the college admissions process.

CRISTINA SHOUKRY (BSN), ’01 (MSN) writes “Working in my awesome profession that USD prepared me for: family nurse practitioner!”

MARY (KUBOTA) WIEBEL (BSN), ’00 (MSN) is on the board of directors for International Relief Teams with many other USD alumni. She went on a recent mission trip to build homes in Tijuana, Mexico.



BENJAMIN BORRELLI (BA) is working toward a single-subject English credential from California State University Dominguez Hills. He also has earned a master’s degree in educational administration and an administrative services credential from San Francisco State University, and a single-subject social science credential from Sonoma State University.

KELLY CHANG RICKERT (JD) is the founder of the Law and Mediation Offices of Kelly Chang, a family law firm. “Celebrating our 18th year!” she says.


BEAU EPPERLY (BBA) is a partner with Epperly Elam, LLP, a progressive technology and cannabis venture capital law firm in San Francisco and Washington, D.C.


SARA (GONZALEZ) COOK (BBA) reports that she is on a multiyear island hiatus in Guam with her husband. “Enjoying an endless summer of hiking, diving and raising a new baby,” she says.

PRENTICE LE CLAIR (BA) is happy to announce the birth of his second son, Julien Prentice Le Clair. “We are all healthy, happy and grateful!” he says.

KATIE (LIND) PARKER (JD) is an assistant U.S. attorney and deputy chief in the civil division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego. She reports that she and her husband, Cameron, celebrated 20 years of marriage in July 2018. Cameron is a professor in USD’s mathematics department. Katie says that their daughters Caroline, 13, and Ellie, 11, are doing well.

ROGER PEREZ (BA) reports that he and his wife, Deirdre, welcomed Rowan Clare on Nov. 16, 2017. Roger says that they look forward to continuing their travel adventures with Rowan and big sister, Quinn, 5.

BRETT PETERSON (MA) was named founding director of High Tech High’s newest campus, High Tech High Mesa, in San Diego.

MARV SERHAN (MSGL) previously served as an adjunct professor at USD, teaching within the Master of Science in Global Leadership program from 2010 to 2016. He left that position to write his book in progress, titled The DNA of Ethical Leadership and the Good Society.

DEBORAH ZILLIOX (BA) expanded her business, Kheya Holistic Health Care, to two locations with a new office in Carlsbad, California, where she provides massage therapy and Pilates sessions. She reports that she and her husband, Michael, own a home in Oceanside.


RYAN DEMPSEY ARGENTIERI (MA) has been building a project management and stakeholder engagement tool for assessing resilience, risk and preparedness for leaders and building owners at the local level or in coastal and at-risk regions. Her firm is also preparing to launch a DIY strategic planning process for leaders and midcareer professionals across all sectors and backgrounds. She reports that she is looking for apprentices and strategic partners, especially within the Torero community.

KATY GARCIA (BA) reports that she married Sergio Rivera on March 24, 2018 at Saint Anthony De Padua in Gardena, California.

SABA (KIDANE) HERITAGE (MAPJ) reports that she and her husband, Tim, were married in 2014 and they have a 2-year-old daughter: Madison Leona. Tim is an artist and has an art gallery in Santa Monica, California, called T Heritage Art Gallery and Frame Shop. Saba is finishing her PhD work in conflict analysis and resolution at George Mason University. She has a master’s degree in African area studies with a political science emphasis from the University of California Los Angeles. For more than a year, Saba was a coordinator for the Biased Policing Complaint Mediation Program at the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office and, prior to that, she worked with a nonprofit organization assistant refugees and asylum seekers. She also handles interpreting for various agencies and immigration courts.

DIANA (WOOD) KUTLOW (MAPJ) was senior director for the Joan B. Kroc Distinguished Lecture Series for 13 years, arranging campus talks by peace luminaries such as His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Sen. George Mitchell, Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi and more. After serving as director of development from 2014 to 2017, Diana left USD to serve as director of development for Hands of Peace, a nonprofit that brings together Israeli, Palestinian and American youth for dialogue. “I am delighted to have found an organization right in my backyard that is having an impact on the protracted Middle East conflict,” she says.

GEORGINA MIRANDA (BBA)is the creator and chief executive officer of She Ventures. “Our event series and platform celebrates and ignites adventure as a way of life for women around the world,” she says. “We bring together rising female founders, leaders, athletes, Changemakers, artists and activists in the adventure, travel, wellness and outdoor space as one with our global community. Beyond a platform, we are a movement and vibrant testimony that women can be anything we want to be. Our voice matters and provides inspiration for others.”

BYRON PALMER (BBA) works in restoration agriculture using a method called holistic management with Sonoma Mountain Institute and as the co-founder and chief executive officer of groundedgrassfed.com. They manage and have restored eight ranches in Marin and Sonoma counties in California, totaling 4,500 acres. “We also raise organic cattle that end up in the whole foods supply chain as well as direct market to consumers,” he says. “We hire scientists to monitor and review the ecosystem status to make sure we are moving in the right direction.”

JAKE RASMUSON (BBA), ’05 (MSRE) reports welcoming a son in 2016. In January 2018, Jake opened Bishop Real Estate Rasmuson & Associates.

MEGAN TURNER (BA) reports that she worked for five years in music publishing in Los Angeles and then relocated to Sydney, Australia, where she met her husband, Ilya. “The highlight of my life was becoming a mother last year to future Torero, Mathea, who joined us in August 2017,” Megan says.


PAULINE AMERSON (MBA) received her MBA (marketing and information technology emphasis) from USD in 2004 and is now focused on contract marketing jobs, looking for a full-time role.

MICHAEL CRAFTON (BA) reports that he and his wife, Ginger, welcomed their first child, Clara Joyce, in January 2018. In February, Michael started a new position with Ernst & Young in Houston. “We moved to Houston in mid-March and are enjoying a snowless spring in our new hometown,” he says.

ZACHARIAH CUSKELLY (BBA) started a company called TechLX that provides in-person, project-based technology education in the K-12 education system through curriculum, instruction and training. “We develop and teach elective, after-school and summer programs focused on robotics, coding, game development and makerspace technology,” he says.

CAROLINE (DE ZUTTER) ISAAC-TOURRE (BA) reports that she got married in 2015 and had a baby girl named Samuelle in 2017.

BENJAMIN KUULA (BBA) is in real estate development and has been focused on multifamily development and acquisition since graduation. “In my free time, I am hanging out with my wife and two sons,” he says.

JEFF SPENCER (JD) formed Silver State Law, based in Reno, Nevada. The attorneys at Silver State Law focus on all aspects of construction, litigation and real property.

ANNIE WU (JD), ’09 (MBA) joined The Veen Firm, PC, a San Francisco-based law firm specializing in personal injury matters. Annie has represented both the plaintiff and the defense in civil litigation matters involving catastrophic injury, traumatic brain injury, wrongful death and insurance bad faith claims. Prior to joining The Veen Firm, she worked at Alexander Law Group.


MIKE BEIDLER (MSGL) retired from the U.S. Navy in 2014 after 22 years of active-duty service. After a brief stint with Lockheed Martin as an international business development analyst, he assumed duties as the Department of the Navy’s civilian deputy director for international affairs in 2015.

REBECCA (McBRIDE) BUSTAMANTE (PhD) was promoted to full professor of educational leadership in 2017 at Sam Houston State University and is the director of the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership.

JAMES FESSENDEN (JD) was named a Rising Star in the San Diego Super Lawyers 2018 Edition. James represents public and private employers for Fisher Phillips in all aspects of employment law in state and federal courts, and before administrative and governmental agencies.

AUBREE GREEN (JD) made partner with Solomon Ward Seidenwurm & Smith, LLP. She is a member of the firm’s business and corporate and real estate practice groups, and she has extensive experience in commercial real-estate transactions involving hotels, casinos, industrial retail, single-family residential and other commercial properties. She also represents clients in land use and other regulatory matters related to real estate development.

LISA (HEINZ) HALL (BBA) passed the California real estate broker exam.

JENNIE KLASSEN (BBA) reports that she is enjoying life as a full-time mom to her children, ages 4 and 6. She is also a part-time business owner with Rodan + Fields skincare. “The flexibility of my business allows me to be a room mom, baseball mom and travel frequently,” Jennie says. “My favorite part of my business is helping others reach their goals and learn how to dream again! USD set me up for success as a business owner!”

SONYA (WILSON) SPARKS (BBA) reports that she and her husband, TJ, are pleased to announce the birth of their second son, Erik Sparks, in the summer of 2017. As the owner and curator of Sparks Art Gallery in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, Sonya promotes local artists through exhibitions and gallery events.


JACOB BELL (JD) is building an in-house litigation department for a nationwide home design and decor company. Prior to this, he handled construction defect litigation for a decade.

MEG HENRY (BA) reports that she met her wife, Emily Kupec Henry, in 2002 when they were college roommates at USD. “Maher Hall is where our love story began, and here we are 15 years later, married and about to have our first child,” Meg says. “We think fondly of our time at USD, particularly because we both got a spouse and a few best friends out of the experience! Thanks to the housing forces that be for setting us up as roommates!”

JULIA (MORGAN) JAFARI (BA) reports that she and her husband, Vincent, welcomed a baby girl, Ella Elizabeth, on Oct. 29, 2017.

DUSTIN OWEN (BBA) has partnered with Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty. “Connecting our local office to the largest brand in the world,” he says.

JEN SINGER (BA) manages corporate events in San Diego, San Francisco and Boston. “My company is entering its second year and is thriving,” she says.

LAURA SMITH (MEd) has taught elementary school for the past 12 years. She reports that in 2017, she and her husband moved to the Dallas/Fort Worth area. While deciding what to do with her master’s degree and teaching experience, she has opened her own organizational business. “Enjoying life in the South,” she says.

DEBORAH TOUPS (EdD) retired on April 20, 2018, from her job as the executive director of special education with Sequoia Union High School District in the San Francisco Bay Area. Deborah reports that she and her husband bought a ranch in Colorado. “I will continue to do consulting and training for districts in special education,” she says.

LEIZEL VERGARA-SPAGNOLA (BA) reports that she got married at Founders Chapel. In recent years, she has traveled to Israel, Jordan, Cuba, China, Egypt and Europe. She interned at the United Nations and worked for nonprofits such as the American Australian Association and New York University. She has volunteered in Haiti and New York City through New York Cares.


CHRISTOPHER DE YOUNG (BBA), ’08 (MSRE) led his company’s effort to design and build California’s largest zero-energy community of single-family homes, each designed with the potential to produce as much clean energy as they use in a year. The 36-home community is called EnVision and is located in Clovis, California.

JOSEPH GAGGERO (BBA) works for CrossLead, a leadership software and services company. “It’s exactly what I wanted to do after USD and the Student International Business Council. I started in 2014 and it’s been incredible,” he says.

CATHERINE HANNA-BLENTZAS (JD) has been selected to the Rising Stars list in San Diego Super Lawyers for the second time in the insurance coverage and construction litigation areas. Her construction law experience spans both public works and private projects, and her practice includes such issues as breach of contract, contract interpretation, performance disputes and more.

JULIE (PAYNE) NEWARD (IMBA) was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered program titled “She Can’t Tell Us What’s Wrong” on Jan. 10, 2018. The story focused on the sexual assault of those with intellectual disabilities. The piece highlighted Julie’s sister, who has “the cognitive level of a 10-month-old and was diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease due to ongoing sexual assault at an outside caregiving facility,” Julie says. She is an advocate for her sister at www.NataliesVoice.net and co-founder and president of the California chapter of the Sibling Leadership Network, www.californiasibs.org.


LOGAN GELBRICH (BBA) is a former USD baseball player. He owns Deuce Gym as well as several gyms under the same brand name. He currently travels the world teaching a leadership culture seminar called the Hold the Standard Summit.

ANTHONY MEJIA (BBA) is a student at USD in the Master of Science in Health Care Informatics program.

MARC PIRO (BBA) of Piro Wine Company received Editor’s Choice and 95-point scores from Wine Enthusiast magazine. The company specializes in pinot noir from Santa Barbara County.

VINAY SATHE (JD) has been promoted to partner at the Perkins Coie law firm in San Diego. He is a member of the firm’s intellectual property practice, where he emphasizes patent prosecution and patent litigation in wireless communications, mobile devices, telecommunications, software and semiconductor technologies. Vinay has an extensive engineering background in building products for the digital cable, satellite and wireless markets, and he has participated in several standards-setting organizations, including MPEG, U.S. broadcast HDTV (ATSC), MoCA and OpenCable standards.

ALANNA STREI (BA) was promoted to lieutenant commander in the Naval Reserves and was awarded the 2017 Silver Production Award by the San Diego Association of Realtors. She serves military, veteran and VA buyers and sellers across San Diego County.


BROOKE LEON (BBA) writes, “After graduating in 2009 after the ‘crash,’ it was difficult to figure out what I was going to do with my double major in business and marketing with a minor in management and an emphasis in real estate.” She entered the digital marketing world but realized event marketing was a better fit for her, and she started her own company. “In two years, I had doubled our annual sales and was seeing gross sales in the millions,” she says. Life changes led her into the real estate industry and she spent two years working for a group of investors. In the fall of 2017, Brooke and her business partner started Lion & Lumber Consultants and they are developing their own real estate investment firm with a focus on nationwide acquisition of multi-family properties.

DANIELLE MARCHIORO (BA) started a new job as executive director of the Highline Medical Center Foundation. “In my new role, I am raising funds and engaging our community in Southwest Seattle, so that everyone has access to exceptional health care close to home,” she says.

TOM NASH (BBA) reports that he has been married to Anne (Perera) Nash ’11 since 2014. He is working toward an MBA at California State University Dominguez Hills.

ERIC ROSENBERG (BA) was promoted to medical office administrator for Kaiser Permanente.

LIZ (BUCKLEY) ZITO (BA) reports that she and her husband, Josh, welcomed a baby boy, Joseph Buckley, on Feb. 4, 2018, who joins their 2-year-old daughter, Lucie. Liz is studying to become an international board-certified lactation consultant and Josh is a longtime employee of Nike in Beaverton, Oregon.



DAVID ARSCOTT (MSRE) co-founded Baycrest Capital in 2015, where he performs real estate valuation, consulting, analysis and related services in support of real estate debt buyers, lenders and investors.

DANA GORDON (MA) started a private educational therapy practice called Lotus Learning, which specializes in helping elementary through college students who struggle in school. Dana designs individualized programs that highlight students’ strengths and skills while building their confidence and maximizing their potential.

WYATT HARRISON (BA) moved to Maui, Hawaii. “My fiancé got a job here, so we decided to make the move and I will be remotely running my business back in Maryland,” he says. “Hoping to connect with some other USD alumni on the island!”

VIC MERJANIAN (JD) is a co-founder of the Kalfayan Merjanian law firm, which recently secured a $4 million wrongful death verdict for the family of a teen who was fatally injured when a delivery van ran into the bike lane where he was riding his skateboard.

RYAN MULVEY (BA) reports that he and his wife, Olga, welcomed the birth of their first child, Emilia Marie, in November 2017. In February 2018, they moved to Kyiv, Ukraine. Ryan continues to work for his public interest law firm in Washington, D.C.

INNA ZOZULYAK (MS) is the owner and principal of Level Up Talent Consulting, which focuses on the talent needs of growing organizations. “We help our clients bring their talent game to the next level with the latest technology and best practices,” she says.


DONALD BARNES (BA) finished three years at Amazon, and now works at Microsoft.

ALANA CALISE (BA) is a programs and impact coordinator at Pathfinder International in Watertown, Massachusetts. Her projects include providing sexual and reproductive health services in Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Mozambique.

JEREMY DAY (BA) and fellow USD alumnus Alex Carone have created a plant-based food manufacturing company in Denver called The Honest Stand. Their products are sold in grocery stores and universities across 18 states.

ROBERT ERMICH (IMBA) was an EY Entrepreneur of the Year finalist in 2017 and placed fifth in Germany’s fastest-growing startups.

CAROLINE GALLOGLY (BBA) reports that she married U.S. Army Capt. Kevin Koehn in 2016. They live in Georgia, where Kevin is stationed at Fort Benning. Caroline started Crafted Occasion, a full-service event planning company.

LUCRECIA IRUELA (LLM) is a seasoned leadership coach and human resources consultant in Europe, the United States and Latin America. She also teaches leadership skills to business owners and executives around the globe, provides support to startups, and has developed a program for entrepreneurs in educational and professional environments. Prior to focusing her career on coaching, Lucrecia worked as an attorney for law firms in Madrid, Spain and California; directed human resources departments and founded her own business.

ASHLEY (RENTZ) KERINS (JD), ’12 (LLM) has been selected to the Rising Stars list in San Diego Super Lawyers for the second time in the areas of tax, real estate and business/corporate. As a member of the business and corporate transactions and tax practice groups, she focuses her practice in the areas of real estate, corporate, partnership, business transactions, tax planning and more.

EILEEN LOFGREN (BA) celebrated the fifth year of business for Child of Wild, her jewelry company. “We have just opened our first retail location down the street from USD!” she says. “This year, we were honored to have our jewelry featured in Vogue, Glamour UK and our fourth year of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue!”

SHANNON (CAJKA) PATEL (BA) reports that she and her husband, Sameer, welcomed their first child, Devan, on Sept. 13, 2017.


EMMA GORDON (BA) has been Scripps Health’s event coordinator for the past three years. She moved to Colorado to be the manager of events for Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation in Denver. 

SHAIDA OMID (BA) moved to Boston to be a research assistant at Harvard Medical School after graduation. “I fell in love with the medical sciences and decided to complete a Master of Science, graduating from Boston University Medical School,” Shaida says. “Now I am in my second year of medical training at Creighton University and will be completing medical clerkships at St. Joseph’s Hospital at our satellite campus in Phoenix, Arizona. I look forward to being closer to home!”

KRYSTAL PARREIRA (BAcc) was promoted to manager at M Green and Company LLP, an accounting firm in Visalia, California. In February 2018, she bought her first home in Tulare, California.

SARAH TULLGREN (BBA) launched her own company, Set & Stones, which was inspired by a box of her grandma’s costume jewelry. “After years of working at a local bead store and selling pieces to friends just for fun, I finally realized this passion could be turned into something more,” she says. Her company’s jewelry is sold by retailers in Southern California, Colorado and online.

DOMINIQUE (ALJABI) WILLIAMS (BA), ’12 (BBA) finished law school in May 2016, took the bar exam in July and learned in November that she passed. In December 2016, she was sworn in as an attorney and has been practicing in criminal law.


DILLON CHECKAL (BBA) writes, “Using the relationships built and knowledge gained through USD, I’ve formed a successful real estate business in the San Diego area.”

NATASHA DALE (BA) has been working in the craft beer industry and accepted an offer to pursue a master’s degree in archaeology at University College Cork in Ireland in the fall of 2018.

CLARK FLEMING (BS/BA) has lived in Sacramento, California, for more than two years. He works for an engineering firm in the renewables sector in Folsom, California.

HANA PRUZANSKY (BA) is a part owner of an eco-friendly surf fin company called Huckleberry Surf Co. and is in the process of getting her MBA at USD.


SARAH BRIDGES (JD) completed Officer Candidate School in August 2017 and then took the Oregon Bar exam in February 2018. She learned that she passed the bar in April and was sworn in on May 17, 2018.

GEORGIE BULLOCK (BA) taught for two years in Chula Vista, California, completed a master’s degree in special education at the University of Washington and now teaches first grade at St. Joseph School in Seattle.

BENJAMIN COMPTON (BA) just moved back to San Diego after living in Ireland and Australia for a few years.

PAMELA CRANDALL (MA) is a school counselor in a K-6 charter school in Fontana, California.

MARTIN DALY (MS) finished a Master of Science program at Columbia University in New York. “I’m enjoying my free time since my studies have ended,” he says.

DENNIS DIENST (MS) started his first project in Malaysia. He writes, “English is a main language, so communication is much easier than other Asian countries.”

DEREK FLOYD (MA) celebrates four years since founding Writing for Good, a growing grant writing and management consulting practice. He was awarded a $500,000 grant from CalRecycle for the Imperial Valley Food Bank, which took the organization to 87 percent of a $6 million capital campaign. Other clients include The Old Globe, Art of Elan, The New Children’s Museum, Home Start and GenerateHope. Derek also co-founded the San Diego County Chapter of the Grant Professionals Association.

AMELIA GENTILE (BA), ’14 (BBA) is the program manager for the Against Sexual Assault Campaign at Goldsmiths, University of London.

LORI LORENZ (MSEL) left a large, publicly-held high-tech company to lead a marketing team in the healthcare field. “The opportunity has allowed me to use everything I have ever learned about leadership, and I am really enjoying it,” she says. “Sometimes it takes playing in a new arena to really test your skills!”

JESSICA McCARTHY (BA) moved back to San Diego after completing her master’s degree

in theology and ministry at Boston College. “I am working as the youth minister at St. Mary Magdalene, right across Tecolote Canyon from USD!” she says.

LESLIE WILSON (BBA) moved to Washington, D.C., three years ago to earn a master’s degree at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Leslie now handles trade and investment policy work on Mexico and Canada at the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration.


KATHRYN BINGHAM (PhD) conducted two presentations at the Women in Defense Leadership Summit hosted by the Palmetto Chapter: “Growing through Disruption: Leverage the Power of Change for Career Success” and “Elevate Your Presence: Stand Up and Stand Out When Speaking and Leading.”

JASON GERIN (MSGL) is in his third year with Corrpro: An Aegion Company. He leads the company’s business development effort across the Department of Defense and the local commercial market, providing stronger, safer infrastructure.

CHRISTINE HACKETT (BA), ’15 (BA) graduated in May 2017 from the University of San Francisco with a Master of Arts in Public Affairs.

KIRSTEN (MONAHAN) MORRIS (BA) reports that she was married last summer and started taking classes to prepare for a graduate program in physical therapy.

REGINA (VERDUZCO) NICHOLSON (BA) reports that she is married, backpacked in Europe with her husband and purchased a home in San Marcos, California.

MADISON POPE (BA) is starting a new job as an advocacy supervisor at Voices for Children, a nonprofit that supports foster children by providing them with trained volunteer court appointed special advocates.

LAUREN VEGA (JD) is a labor employment attorney at Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch, LLP. She reports that she met her fiancé, Nicholas Ferraro, at USD’s School of Law.

REID WAGNER (BAcc) writes, “I have designed a new iOS app that reverses the way all other weather apps work. Users select the type of weather desired and travel time, and are presented with a radius of available options,” making going outdoors seem possible no matter what. SolCaster (www.solcaster.com) has been available for download since April 2018.


NICOLE ARTINIAN (BBA) got her real estate license after graduating from USD. She lives in Toluca Lake, California, and works in Beverly Hills. “I have had a very successful first year in real estate, and I look forward to the future,” Nicole reports.

NICHOLAS BIHR (BA) was hired by the ONE Archives Foundation, the oldest active LGBTQ organization in the United States. “I am assisting in the expansion of their LGBTQ history education initiatives and their community engagement programs,” he says.

KRISTION GRBAVAC (BA) founded GRBCON Inc., a pipeline contracting business, during his last semester at USD. In the past two years, the company has won a number of contracts, established a reputation of professionalism and technical ability, and constructed projects in the public and private sector. “I credit much of the firm’s early accomplishments to USD and the skills I acquired during my time there,” Kristion reports.

PETE GREENE (BAcc) joined the startup Asana, which just completed a $75 million Series D funding. He works on the finance team as a financial planning and analysis associate.

ALEC HARTMAN (BA) is a graduate student at Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry. He is also a graduate assistant in the Office of Campus Ministry with hopes of working in university ministry after earning his degree.

KAITLIN MEYER (BA) is the government affairs specialist at California Volunteers, Office of the Governor.

MILES MITCHELL (BA) moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, after graduating and start working as a creative assistant at Regis Corporation. “The first three weeks I was there, I facilitated social media contests and campaigns, assisted hair stylists in facilitating a hair show in Arizona, and traveled to New York to the L’Oréal headquarters to discuss future product offerings and technology developments,” he says. He also is developing a new arcade game, Galactic Battleground, and is preparing for a national convention tour.

KENDRA MORAVEK (MS) is the regional director of supply chain at a for-profit healthcare organization in Phoenix, Arizona.

KRISTEN OBANA (BA) is a customer success manager for the financial services and insurance industry at Adobe. She manages a portfolio of top-100 accounts as their post-sales account manager, responsible for product adoption, retention and growth.

COLLIN SHAW (MSGL) started a new business in the service and trade industry and is about to start another in importing. Collin writes, “I miss San Diego, USD and the people!”

PHIL SILVER (MSEL) writes, “Taking what I learned and applying it to building a great consulting practice.”


KATHERINE HAMILTON (BBA) works for the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, a nonprofit organization that champions homeownership for the Hispanic community.

TYLER HENRY (BA) manages creative ads for two national public health campaigns. One campaign is centered on LGBTQ young adults and the other centers on multicultural youth.

MARK JONES (BA) is raising three children and building his business, LegalShield, through the expansion of his network, focused on relationship marketing.

STEVE MAKELY (BBA) is a financial adviser with Edward Jones Investment in San Diego.

KRISTA PINYAN (BA) returned from working in Shanghai, China, and is now working in sales for Broadridge in San Diego, a global financial technology company.

AURORA RODARTE (MA) is a kindergarten teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District. She is also seeking a doctoral degree.

BONNIE SMITH (LLM) is in India working with the Human Rights Law Network in conjunction with a second LLM she is pursuing with Northeastern University School of Law.

XIAOYE YANG (BA) is in the Master of Architecture program at the University of Pennsylvania.

[2018] ZHENXIAO WANG (BAcc) writes, “I just started my first job.”

In Memoriam

THOMAS CLEARY passed away on Saturday, May 26, 2018, surrounded by his loving family. Before being diagnosed with brain cancer this past summer, Tom served for 13 years as USD’s senior director of community and government relations. He is survived by his wife, Donna, and three children, two of whom are USD students.

FATHER LARRY DOLAN, ’62 (BA), OFM passed away on May 15, 2018. A beloved member of the USD community for decades, Father Larry, 78, had been a priest for 53 years. His funeral Mass was well attended by USD alumni, including Rich Yousko ’87 (BBA) who remembered Father Larry as “an engaging, brilliant, peaceful man and priest.”

John Swanke, PhD, 1927-2018

PATRICK McCARTNEY ’70 (BA) passed away from heart failure on Nov. 14, 2016. He was 68. Pat earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and journalism from USD and a master’s degree in print journalism from USC. In his lifetime, Pat traveled to many countries, worked as an edi-tor on a number of newspapers and was near completion on a book about California’s medical-marijuana law. He loved hiking and skiing, and had a cadre of friends throughout his life.

PATRICIA (MCNAIR) SCOTT ’58 passed away in November 2017. She spent her life as an educator and was very involved with her community.

JOHN WALTER SWANKE passed away in July 2018. He began teach-ing in the philosophy department of the College for Men in 1968 and retired in 1993. He established the Anne Catherine Swanke Memorial Scholarship Fund, named for his daughter, who would have graduated from USD in 1985 with a Bachelor of Arts in music.

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