Summer 2020 Class Notes

USD campus from Tecalote Canyon



GARY KURUTZ (BA, MA ’72) was inducted into the California Library Association Hall of Fame in October 2019.

KEVIN TOOHEY (BA) reports that his daughter, Michaela, is a student in USD’s Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering working toward a BS/BA degree in mechanical engineering. “I’m proud she chose USD, and I’m happy for her accomplishments,” he says.


VINCE AMMIRATO (JD) worked on product liability trials for many years and now has a part-time practice so he can assist his son, who is a general practitioner.


DOMINIC (“NICK”) ALESSIO (MEd) taught students with special needs and various challenges for two years in Melbourne, Australia and then for 30 years in the South Bay area of San Diego. During a two-year leave of absence, he served in the National Civilian Community Corps as a regional outreach coordinator. For 10 years, he was a consultant/practitioner with Brain Gym International, where he assisted people of all ages to enhance learning through simple movements. Nick recently retired after 11 years as a bus driver for the school district in Moscow, Idaho. “It’s important that I recognize Dr. Strunk, who was head of the special education department, and the University of San Diego for being instrumental in setting the foundation that lent to the above experiences,” Nick says. “I will be forever grateful.”


BERNARD CIERNICK (BA), ’82 (MA) has a new position as operations director with the U.S.-China Catholic Association. It is a small nonprofit based out of Berkeley, California, that creates bridges between Catholics in China and the United States. Go to



MARTY MATES (BBA) has been employed by the same company since 1982; he was hired after an interview sponsored by the USD Career Development Center. He has enjoyed two international assignments to Chile.


CAROL (DiSTEFANO) MALETICH (BBA) moved back to North Carolina after 21 years in Colorado. She says that she and her husband look forward to being near family –– and also the warm weather and Southern hospitality!


MARY (MORGAN) BOWEN (BSN), ’92 (JD), ’96 (DNSc) retired from her position as a professor of nursing with Ohio University in 2016 and from her position as a nurse practitioner with Hospice of Marion County in 2019.

GINA CHAMMAS (BBA), ’05 (MSGL) was appointed senior advisor to The American Anti-Corruption Institute on Middle East and North America (MENA) in January 2019.


Headshot of DENNIS NEIL JONES '83 (JD)

Dennis Neil Jones ’83 (JD)

DENNIS NEIL JONES (JD) received the Ventura County Bar Association’s Ben E. Nordman Public Service Award. This award was a recognition of his more than 30-year commitment of public service to his community. He was the 2008 president of the Ventura County Trial Lawyers Association and he volunteers as a settlement officer for the Ventura County Superior Court. He has been named a California Super Lawyer for his expertise in insurance law 12 times. He lives in upper Ojai with his wife, two cavalier King Charles spaniels and “too many cats.” His oldest daughter lives and works in Simi Valley while his youngest attends graduate school in London.

LESLIE (CONLIN) SACKO (BBA) bought an acre lot on the beach in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in 1986 and moved there last December to build on it. She and her husband, Al, are enjoying the same latitude as San Diego (32 degrees), similar weather and more than 100 golf courses to choose from. Al still travels nationwide for work. Leslie completed her MBA from Pepperdine University in 2005.


JOHN HARBY (BA) works on the back-end team of the e-commerce website.

ERIN LIGHTLE (BA) and her husband, a member of the Coast Guard, settled back in Southern California after nine years in Alaska. Erin is a mental health consultant for Head Start, and she reports that the youngest of her three sons will graduate from high school this year.

BILL SPARKS (MBA), ’98 (JD) retired from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and now works as of counsel with Wallin and Klarich, a criminal defense firm.


MARIE GIBLIN ANDERSON (BA) lives in San Diego and works in medical device sales. “Loving my husband of 15 years, Robert, and my son, who is 13,” she says.

TONY BATTILEGA (BA) reports that he lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, Jill, and their two kids, Mia and Joey. He has been a high school teacher and coach for 28 years.

KEVIN CARLIN (BA) has worked in employee benefit sales for 30 years and is currently director of sales for California Dental Network, a dental HMO based in Laguna Hills, California. “Many USD alumni are successful brokers,” he writes, “including Monika Hughes, Pat Casinelli and James Morrison.”

PATRICIA GARCIA (JD) was elected to serve a three-year term on the executive board of the California Judges Association.

CLAUDIA LAINE (BA) reports that she has been married to her husband, Ed, for 27 years. After staying home to raise her two boys, she worked as a reading instructional assistant at an elementary school for the past 10 years. She says, “love and miss San Diego so much!”

JULIE NOVAK (DNSc) has been a tenured endowed professor at the University of Virginia, Purdue University and the University of Texas. She developed 14 nurse-practitioner-led clinics in Indiana, Texas and California. Julie was the first doctoral graduate at the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science.

JOEL SELIK (LLM) is a legal malpractice certified specialist, having completed the requirements by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.



SUSAN BUSQUE (BA) moved to St. Louis and transferred from NBC stations in Maine to KSDK “5 on Your Side” in St. Louis. “Thrilled to be living west of the Mississippi again—and I can almost literally see it just past the Arch from my new office windows,” she says.

TOM GAINES (BA) is the community connections coordinator at High Tech High North County in San Marcos, California.


JAMES FRAZEE (BA) was promoted to chief academic technology officer and associate vice president for Instructional Technology Services at San Diego State University in July 2019.

NADINE NABER (BA) completed two master’s degrees and a PhD, and she was promoted to full professor at the University of Illinois in Chicago. After publishing five books, she has been developing a career as a public speaker. She gave her first TEDx Talk in December 2019.


JEFFREY CRANE (BBA) visited Cuba on the Team USA adult baseball trip in 2019. He writes, “It was a great cultural experience. We brought baseball equipment to a special needs Little League and school supplies and sports balls to a local middle school near Havana.”

ANNE YOAKAM ELLSWORTH transferred from USD to the University of Oklahoma, where she earned a BFA in art history in 1992. She has paintings for sale at “Come see my work in New York!” she says.

MIKE NEWBY (BA) lives in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and says he recently celebrated his 25th wedding anniversary with his wife, Becky. “Enjoying our empty nest years,” he says. Mike has worked in physical therapy for 25 years.

VINCENT PANDES (BBA) is currently a partner/managing director at Silvercrest Asset Management Group, which acquired his previous firm, Neosho Capital, in 2019. He lives in Encinitas, California, with his wife, Nadia (Aladray) Pandes ’93, and their two teenage daughters, Malia and Siena.

JOSEPH ULAN (BBA) reports that he and his wife, Maryanne, welcomed a “miracle baby girl named Mj Ulan.”


DEBORAH (VIDOSIC) BRESKO (BA) returned to San Diego and is working again at Escondido Charter High School. “Enjoy being back home,” she says.


KATIE WILSON (BA) adopted her son, Kevin, in 2014. “He is the light of my life!” she says. Katie celebrated 25 years as an employee with the Diocese of San Diego, with the last 14 years as director of the drama program at Cathedral Catholic High School.


Headshot of JAY PETTIT '95 (JD)

Jay Pettit ’95 (JD)

JAY PETTIT (JD) joined Weintraub Tobin as a shareholder in the firm’s Intellectual Property Group. Practicing in San Diego, Jay, a registered patent attorney, prepares patent and trademark applications for clients in the United States and around the world. He handles complex IP litigation matters in federal and state courts relating to trademark, patent, trade secret and copyright issues. Jay also negotiates and drafts commercial, government and academic contracts, including development agreements, software license agreements and non-disclosure agreements.


ANDY GRUSH (BA) is half of the composer team, the Newton Brothers. The duo has composed the scores for the Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House, the Netflix movies Gerald’s Game and Extinction, and feature films Oculus and Ouija: Origin of Evil. Most recently, Andy and his partner created the score for the film adaptation of Doctor Sleep, Stephen King’s sequel to The Shining.

DAVID MAUERMAN (MBA) is working with utilities and buried infrastructure owners to improve excavation safety within communities.

DAVE MULLINS (MFA) is the author of the forthcoming novel The Brightest Place in the World and a collection of short stories titled Greetings From Below. He received a creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, an individual artist fellowship in literature from the Nebraska Arts Council and the Silver Pen award from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame. He is an associate professor of English at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, where he lives with his wife and their three children.

GARY SHARP (JD) retired from his position as rear admiral lower half with the U.S. Navy after serving as the assistant judge advocate general during his 31-year Navy career. Gary now holds a position as senior executive service counsel in the Office of Chief Counsel at the Internal Revenue Service.


KYLE LAKIN (JD) opened Delphi Law Group, LLP in November 2018 with three partners. The firm has offices in Carlsbad and Indian Wells, California. “We are a full-service firm serving clients in the field of community association law throughout California,” Kyle says.


DINA DAVALLE (JD) is now assistant general counsel for Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. in New York City. She oversees transactions related to cyber, international, real estate, strategic sourcing and marketing issues.


Annie Etchegoyhen ’99 (BBA)

ANNIE ETCHEGOYHEN (BBA) received national recognition on the 2019 Top Wealth Advisor Moms list by Working Mother and SHOOK Research. A senior financial advisor at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, Annie also was named on Forbes’ 2019 Best-in-State Wealth Advisors and 2018 America’s Top Women Wealth Advisors lists.

TRAMY “EVELYN” HUYNH (BA) volunteers at the headquarters for Special Olympics in Connecticut. She reports that her husband, Joe Levert, is enjoying teaching mechanical engineering at the University of New Haven and their 5-year-old son enjoys kindergarten and raking leaves.

MELISSA (LOVELACE) LAND (BA) writes: “My retail travel agency is celebrating 10 years in  business in 2020! This would not have been possible without the love and support of my husband and family, as well as the resources and connections of the good friends and fellow alumni with whom I’ve kept in touch with over the years!”

ANA POPOCA-LOGUE (BSN), ’01 (MSN) completed her doctorate of nursing practice with a second specialty as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. “Nurses rock!” she says.

BRYAN WEATHERUP (BBA) moved to Singapore in December. “I took over as executive officer of the U.S. Navy base after leaving the Strike Group job in Japan,” he says. His daughter, Arianne, was born in 2019. Siblings Arthur, Carter and Evelyn are 3, 12 and 15, respectively.



DENISE (EDSON) STICH (LLM) accepted a new special counsel position at Procopio starting in September 2019. She is a student in the LLM taxation program in USD.


ANNIE PETERSEN (BA) writes, “While a student at USD, I wanted nothing more than to be a broadcast journalist and I succeeded as a two-time Emmy-award-winning producer.” During her career, she worked in San Diego, Palm Springs, Las Vegas and Dallas. Now, she is a personal development and leadership coach, working with people going through career and relationship transitions. “They all have one thing in common: a desire to live a more meaningful life,” she says.


JUSTIN ALMEIDA (BA) is a chaplain in a clinical pastoral education residency at VA Puget Sound. He expected to graduate in spring 2020 with a Master of Divinity in chaplaincy from Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry.


ERIN GIBSON (JD) has been named to a four-year term on the board of directors of the Federal Circuit Bar Association, a national organization for the bar of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. An attorney at DLA Piper, Erin focuses on civil trial practice in federal courts with an emphasis on patent litigation and international trade commission proceedings.

TIM METCALF (BA), ’11 (MSGL) retired from the U.S. Navy on Dec. 1, 2019, and began working at Sentek Global on Dec. 9, 2019.

RYAN STACK (BA), ’06 (JD) was elected to the city council of Heber City, Utah. He has served on the city’s planning commission since 2015, and says he looks forward to working in this new role as an elected official. Ryan will continue his full-time position as a prosecutor for the Summit County Attorney’s Office in Park City, Utah.


JUDITH DOWDY (BA), ’04 (BBA) joined Northrop Grumman after graduation as a production controller. Today, she is a program business manager and leads more than 100 people. Judith also is active in mentorship organizations and volunteers at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.

ANNETTE LO (MA) works for the City Contemporary Dance Company in Hong Kong, where she helps operate a program for in-school dance literacy education. She also is a part-time docent at The Mills in Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong, and gives tours of exhibitions in the Hong Kong Heritage Museum in Sha Tin.

DIMITRIS MAGEMENEAS (MBA) teaches finance and career courses at California State University San Marcos; he developed a new system of financial planning called The Five Ps of Money Management. Dimitris also joined Kingsview Asset Management in 2017 as a wealth manager.

KRISTIN MIKOLAJCZAK (BBA) and her husband, Steve ’05, are certified public accountants. Steve is the vice president of internal audit at Guild Mortgage Company and Kristin teaches accounting part time at San Diego State University.

DIANA (GOMEZ) TREVINO (MA) has been in private practice for five years focusing on post-traumatic stress disorder, trauma and anxiety. “I am moving into a bigger office with the hopes of hiring another clinician and becoming a group practice,” she says.


JoANN BELLAFIORE-YORK (BA), ’06 (BBA) and her husband, Tim, welcomed a son, T.J., on Sept. 25, 2019. “Everyone is happy and healthy!” she says.

JUSTIN HALL (JD) is CEO of NoveBay Pharma, a pharmaceutical company.

BRIAN LARROW (BBA) has been working for First Advantage since 2013 and was promoted to a data analytics and consulting role in September 2017. He holds a Six Sigma Black Belt certification and has worked with more than 80 enterprise clients to improve processes. Brian reports that he got married in 2013 and has two children, Amelie, 4, and Winston, 3. The family lives in Portland, Oregon, where he just bought his first house, a 1906 Craftsman bungalow.


MATTHEW PARR (BA), ’11 (MA) and his wife, Amy, welcomed a baby boy and future Torero, Elliott Matthew, on Nov. 20, 2019.

JULISSA PRECIADO (BA) writes, “Just bought a house!”

PATRICIA RANGEL-PEREZ (MA) is working in the social service field after several college counseling positions. She writes: “Thanks to USD, I was very lucky and haven’t had much difficulty with securing various jobs since I’ve graduated. I’m forever grateful!”


MONICA (PEARCE) CAGAYAT (MA) is now in private practice after more than a decade in healthcare, which allows her to spend more time with her family.

ZACHARY MOODY (BA) retired from the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant commander after 20 years of service. He says his wife, Megan, could not be happier. Zachary works at Lockheed Martin Corporation as a research scientist and is enjoying civilian life.

KELLY SHANNON (BBA) earned a master’s degree in nutrition science and certification as a registered dietician. She works for Virta Health, a healthcare tech startup that focuses on chronic disease prevention.


RACHEL FREEMAN (BA) released a book, The Hunger, a reflection on her journey recovering from an unhealthy self-image manifested through an eating disorder, an experience she hopes will help others. “This is my story, but it is not only about me,” she says. “It is about everyone who struggles and cannot find the right words to express themselves.”

JOSHUA HAMILTON (BBA) has been with Amazon for four years and is now working on the company’s Prime Video product. “I’m super excited to continue my work in the media space, which builds on my previous experience working at Paramount Pictures in Hollywood and publishing at Amazon,” he says.

MARY (CROCKER) KRIEGSFELD (BBA) and her husband, Matthew ’09, welcomed their second child, Grant Alexander, on Aug. 21, 2019. Grant joins big sister, Claire, 3. Mary is an events and marketing manager for the Market Intelligence Business Group at Institutional Shareholder Services. Matt is a staff manager for the deposit solutions team at Mitek Systems.

CHRIS MINKOFF (BA), ’10 (MEd) is a high school Spanish teacher at Classical Academy High School in Escondido, California. His wife is a speech-language pathologist with Rady Children’s Hospital in Oceanside. They live in Carlsbad with their daughter, Colette, 18 months.

ERICA MUNA (BBA) reports that she lives in San Diego with her husband, their 15-month-old daughter, Lily, and two puppies. Erica is a registered nurse at Sharp Memorial Hospital.



NABEIL HAZU (BA) provides delivery services for Amazon in the East San Gabriel Valley in Los Angeles County, where about 45,000 packages are delivered every week.

ALICIA McCULLAR (BA) completed a two-year federal judicial clerkship and is now a trial attorney with the Department of Justice in Houston, Texas.


JENNIFER (IX) FLAVIN (BBA) reports that she and Matthew Flavin were married in August 2018 and they bought a house in Redondo Beach, California. She is a school counselor at Santa Monica High School.

THOMAS JASPER (BACC) reports that he and his wife, Alex Crownhart ’18, relocated to Tacoma, Washington. He is still with Moss Adams but was given the opportunity to work with one of the national practice groups in Seattle and Portland.

RORY KAY (JD) was promoted to partner at McDonald Carano. A seasoned litigator and appellate attorney, Rory is experienced in all aspects of commercial and complex litigation, including representing clients before the Nevada Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Rory’s community involvement includes extensive pro bono work through the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, where he represents abused and neglected children placed in foster care.

DEVIN LUDWIG (BA) is a tenured high school Spanish teacher in the Poway Unified School District. He received his teaching credential from SOLES while completing his undergrad degree at USD.

MARTAL PREWITT (MA) is a licensed marriage and family therapist in the BEST (Behavioral Education Skills Training) program at Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital in Spokane, Washington. He works in a partial hospitalization program in the child psychiatry unit.


TREVOR CARLSEN ’12 (BA) was awarded a yearlong public policy fellowship with The Fund for American Studies. He will spend the next year discussing the fundamental questions and challenges a free society must address in order to flourish, as well as the unique advantages it can enjoy. Trevor currently is a policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Labor. Previously, he was as a manager of external affairs at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, where he worked with federal policymakers and Washington, D.C.-area think tanks.

JESSICA FAHEY (BA) has worked in the nonprofit sector since her graduation from USD in 2012, specifically working with individuals who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. She says that she enjoys her work and loves to be among family and friends in Kansas City, but she misses the ocean.


GERGANA DROUMEVA (BBA) reports that she and Aiden Arami ’13 were married last summer. They met and started dating at USD. “We’re so grateful to USD!” she says.

TARA IGUIDBASHIAN (BA) works in trade marketing at the Adidas North America campus in Portland, Oregon.

ABBY MALCHOW (BBA) leads Amazon’s new military entrepreneurship program to assist small businesses owned by veterans and military spouses. She also created a storefront on Amazon in collaboration with the small-business team to feature military-owned small businesses.

JESSICA MILLARD (BA) graduated from Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine in June 2019. She is in her first year of surgery residency at the University of South Carolina, Greenville.

Wedding portrait of CHRISTINA (BRUNI) RUFFINO '13 (BBA) and husband Mark '14

Christina (Bruni) Ruffino ’13 (BBA) and husband Mark Ruffino ’14 (BS/BA)

CHRISTINA (BRUNINI) RUFFINO (BBA) reports that she and Michael Ruffino ’14 (BS/BA) were married in San Diego on Sept. 21, 2019. Members of the wedding party included fellow alumni Amanda Adams, Vanessa Bellanti, Zac Caras, Allison Corlew, Colleen Harig, Katie Hitchcock, Sabrina (Rodriguez) Kosmas, Delaney (Deutsch) Mann, Justin Ruffino and Morgan Stacey. Christina is a human resources business partner at Brookfield Properties. Michael is an electrical engineer at Boeing; he earned his master’s degree in systems architecting and engineering from the University of Southern California.


SARAH ALSHAMMAA (BBA) is the assistant investment manager in the direct hedge funds department of Kuwait Investment Authority.

ADAM GERBER (MFA) is a licensed real estate agent with The Leibowitz Team at Douglas Elliman Real Estate. The team is regularly in the top 3% of agents companywide. “I take great pride in being a graduate of the University of San Diego,” he says. “Being a part of such a successful network of like-minded professionals is akin to being a part of a unique family.”

ANTHONY GOMEZ (BACC) is a senior associate at KPMG and a second-year law student at Loyola Marymount University.

GARRETT HASBACH (MBA) is supporting the Apeel Sciences strategy team as they extend the life of fresh fruits and vegetables.

KATHRYN SILVERMAN (BA) leads a corporate travel booking team supporting health care staffing.

TAYLOR WEST (BACC) works in the Disney Youth Sales department at Disneyland Resort.


VICTOR GUADARRAMA (BA) moved to Las Vegas to pursue a career in hospitality convention sales at the Venetian/Palazzo Resort.

JACLYN (KRIZOVENSKY) KOZLOWSKI (MEd) reports that she and her husband were married on Sept. 1, 2019, in a beautiful outdoor ceremony overlooking Mission Bay. They met in 2011 as bartenders in Washington, D.C. In 2013, Jaclyn earned her MEd at USD. “After six months of long distance, Jeffrey followed me out here and we’ve been living in Ocean Beach ever since.”

CHRISTIAN MARTIN (BA) earned certification as a Project Management Professional (PMP).

TUAN-VIET NGUYEN (BA) graduated from Poznan University of Medical Sciences (Poland) on June 3, 2019.

EMILY REID (MSN) works at a community clinic in San Diego, which provides medical care and medication-assisted treatment for the uninsured, underinsured and patients with substance abuse disorders.

ELIZA VERA (BBA) writes: “At USD, I was sincerely supported and taken in as one of the campus musicians … I even got to play with my band for the homecoming concert my senior year and open up for some idols of mine. The support I felt from USD gave me the confidence to continue my career post-college. I started a band called Swimming in Circles with my partner, Jack Williams. We have a great following in San Diego and just completed our first West Coast tour this past  November. The amount of USD alumni who came out to support me once again blew my mind!”

KIM WOODBURY (BS/BA) is a kit development manufacturing engineer for Thermo Fisher Scientific in San Francisco, where she works on product introduction projects that support next-generation sequencing.


HANI ALAMRI (BA) writes, “Working in a family business, including real estate. Also, opened new business in woodcraft: Instagram account @hani_wooden.”

JEFFREY DeFELICE (BS/BA) is a design engineer at the Chevron Refinery in Richmond, California.

CHRISTY DeNOVA (BA) graduated from occupational therapy school in Virginia, where she received a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree. She is currently a practicing occupational therapist working at a hand therapy clinic.

ANGELA HAROLD (BA) graduated from law school in May and passed the California Bar exam.

SEAN MILES (MBA) co-founded Habitbetter, a wellness company focused on helping people build healthy habits through guided daily journaling, with his sister, Katie Miles, a fellow USD alumnus. Together, they work in San Diego developing e-courses that cover stress management, goal setting, nutrition and other wellness topics.

MELLANIA SAFARIAN (JD) is chair of the New Lawyer Division and sits on the board of directors for the San Diego County Bar Association.

MASHA YAKOVLEVA (MA) is working on her dissertation. She is studying the definitions of self-care in different disciplines and its effectiveness for maintaining overall health.


KHALED ALASKAR (BS/BA) is an engineer on Kuwait’s first renewable energy project called Shagaya Renewable Energy Park, where the goal is to supply 20% of Kuwait’s energy from renewable energy sources. Khaled is an instrumentation and control engineer in the maintenance department and performs corrective and preventive maintenance to the instruments in the plant. “We are hoping to educate and popularize alternative energy, so people can understand its importance and benefits as well as attracting capital toward this energy,” he says.

FRANCISCO FAGOAGA (MS-SCM) works at Boeing and is actively involved with the Seattle Torero Network.

DESREE FOSTER moved from San Diego to the San Francisco Bay Area in June 2018. She passed all four parts of the Certified Public Accounting Exam and became a licensed CPA in July 2019.

JAMES MASON (MEd) is a high school science teacher at Augusta Preparatory Day School, where he has taught for 17 years.


RAED ALMUTAIRI (BS/BA) writes: “After graduation, I have been through ups and downs to decide what I’m going to do for the rest of my life. A year later, I got hired by Halliburton Energy Services as an oilfield engineer, and I’m happy with what I do every day.”

EMILEE CUTRIGHT (MA) is a program analyst for the Veterans for American Ideals initiative at Human Rights First in Washington, D.C. She supports and advances the policy objectives of VFAI by engaging in research, policy analysis and targeted advocacy with veterans and refugees around the world.

DANIEL JOECK (MFA) booked his first gig since moving to New York at the beginning of 2019. He acted in an episode of a crime re-creation show called Dead of Winter.


JARED AMORY (JD) took the bar exam in 2019 and started EcoInfusion, a business that manufactures and distributes sustainable hemp products. He also received a job officer as a law clerk (and attorney upon bar passage), resumed writing his book Waves of the Mind, traveled back home to New York and later visited Cancún and Tulum, Mexico.

SERENA ARTS ’99 (MSN), ’19 (DNP) works at Father Joe’s Villages, providing care on-site and in downtown San Diego through street medicine.

RISHABH DANGI (MBA) set up a company to export food items such as Indian spices and their extracts and reports plans to expand into exporting textiles and other food products.

KATIE KNOTT (MBA) joined Collins Aerospace as manager of internal and executive communications.

CLAIRE MORALES (BBA) started working at her first job as a proposal development coordinator at Moravek, Inc.

ALEXIS NACHT (BA) is enrolled in the master of science in occupational therapy program at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

ADNAN NOUH (BA) writes, “I’ve been trying to further understand my best skill sets in the work field.”

DANA STEVENSON (MS) has been working to find a role with his current employer to apply his new master of science in cybersecurity degree, such as in security architecture or cyber ops management. He is planning his next certification track in solutions architecture for Cloud Services.

JOSE TURRUBIARTEZ (BA) is studying for the LSAT.

SARA ZAMANIAN (BA) is a clinical study associate for Johnson & Johnson.


JOHN BERRAY ’94 (BA) passed away in February 2020 at the age of 48. For the past four years, he worked as a digital learning coach for the Grossmont Union School District. Most recently, he served as the district’s math curriculum specialist, where his passion for math led to innovations districtwide. John was selected by his students as the Golden Apple Award winner in 2000 and again in 2008. His peers named him West Hills High School Teacher of the Year in 2014, he was named one of five 2014-15 San Diego County Teachers of the Year.

A math teacher by training, John began his career in education at West Hills High School in 1995. His classes were a lively, enjoyable experience wherein he turned the mundane on its ear to motivate his students to see the beauty of mathematics and its omnipresence. A gifted teacher, John helped students grow and guided their understanding of the important connection between their education and the rest of their lives.

In the years since graduating from USD, he came back to campus to talk to future teachers and share his expertise and delight in the profession. John spent 25 years working for the betterment of young people. His friendly smile, caring demeanor, gentle spirit and life lessons will carry forward.

MEREDITH (LOHNE) VON TSCHARNER ’86 (BBA), ’89 (MA) passed away unexpectedly on Nov. 24, 2019, in Denver. Meredith and her husband, Patrick, had been married for more than 28 years and maintained a deep friendship since they met at USD in 1982. They raised three children: Emma Meredith ’17 (BA), 25 years old, and twins Matthew Christopher and Nicholas Jameson, 21 years old. Meredith was well-known as a student at USD and lived a life full of love, compassion, generosity and friendship. “She dedicated her life to raising our children and being an incredibly supportive and loving friend and partner to me,” Patrick says. “Our family will miss her smile, presence and unmistakable voice.” A memorial Mass and celebration of life is planned during the summer in San Diego.

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