Summer 2021 Class Notes

Interior of an empty Founders Chapel on the USD campus


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MARY DUGAN (BA) reports that her Harlequin novels are still in world-wide publication even after 18 years. “Most recently, Sweden has reissued all of my books and Japan has published them in Manga graphic novel format,” she writes. “It is interesting to see how the Japanese have visualized my characters. I like it!”


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KEVIN TOOHEY (BA) recently retired after 52 years in the transportation industry, including airlines and railroads.


GOLDIE SINEGAL (BA) is a real estate agent focusing on La Jolla and central San Diego. “I’m also privileged and excited to help clients with their real estate needs throughout San Diego County,” she writes.


ADAM SARANCIK (JD) was certified as the first impact trainer in the nation for the Positive Coaching Alliance, a national organization to create a character-building sports culture. He also published second editions of his books, Coaching Champions for Life The Process of Mentoring People, Athletes and Players and Takeaway Quotes for Coaching Champions for Life.



THOMAS LOFFARELLI (MBA) earned his JD in Law in 1989 and practiced law until 2004. “I worked to help small businesses get started, put together investments in real estate to create passive income for clients and operated a property management business,” he says. “I try to get clients interested in investment real estate at a young age.” He married in 2017 and is living in La Mesa, California. “I enjoy racquet sports, hiking, body surfing, jogging on the beach, climbing Cowles Mountain, wine tasting, dancing, live concerts and theater performances. I’m an avid sports fan who played senior softball three times a week, until this pandemic closed us down. Stay safe and be well!”

MARTIN MATES (BBA) writes, “Back in 1982, the USD career placement office helped me land a job with Reliance Electric. After 39 years working for Reliance Electric and ABB, I will start a new career with Weir Minerals, based in Salt Lake City, Utah.”


ED McPHERSON (JD) was recently honored in Billboard Magazine as one of Billboard’s Top Music Lawyers for 2020. He was also on the Los Angeles Daily Journal list of California’s Top (50) Entertainment Lawyers. He re- cently received a considerable amount of press for cases that he is handling for Kelly Clarkson and Dr. Dre.

BOB O’CONNELL (BA) published a book, The Art of Spies, in late 2020. It is available on


JAMES HITCHCOCK (BBA) writes, “I passed certification as an accredited investment fiduciary in April 2018, achieved my 10-year anniversary with my broker-dealer, Raymond James, a year later in April of 2019, along with now my 37th year overall in the financial services industry since graduating from USD’s School of Business.”


NELLY ENGLUND (BA) reports that she retired in July 2019 after 34 years with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

SIOBHAN RHEA SURRACO (BA) earned a master’s in gerontology and works as a director of resident services for a continuing care retirement community. “I volunteer at an RCSJ retirement community where several former USD professors live,” she writes. “Blessed to be married for 30+ years and have three amazing kids.”

VICTOR TORRES (BA), ’88 (JD) was named a Superior Court Judge by California Governor Gavin Newsom on Sept. 8, 2020.


MOST REV. JOHN P. DOLAN (BA), auxiliary bishop of San Diego, is co-editor of When a Loved One Dies by Suicide and Responding to Suicide, books that offer comfort, hope and healing.

LINDA MARAMBA (JD) recently completed her term as chair of the American Bar Association Section of Public Contract Law — a national association of attorneys and professionals in private practice, industry and government service — which is focused on federal, state and local public procurement.


NANCY CRONIN (BA) was appointed president of the New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association, an organization she has been a member of since 1995.


KAREN CADIERO-KAPLAN (BA) recently relocated after 40 years in San Diego. I am now living in New England and started the Wisdom Collective for Arts, Literacy, Healing and Movement. I’m also working with school districts and communities facilitating workshops on community health and self-care.”



BARBARA LEEPER (BA) just started her sixth year of working remotely as a writer for a medical communications agency. She and her husband, Jim, live in the Boston area with their daughter, who is a fifth-grader.


JUDGE CHARLES PORTER (LLM) writes: “Transferred the University of San Luis Obispo School of Law — an unaccredited law school of 20 years approval, of which I was the founder and executive officer — to the Monterey School of Law, a California accredited part-time school, the former becoming the accredited San Luis Obispo branch of the latter.”

ERIK SWAIN (BBA) is “alive and well in Boulder, Colorado, with a wife, teenage boys and a company that removes hate and racism from social media … wishing I could surf Black’s Beach tomorrow morning.”


LAWRENCE INDIVIGLIA (MBA) has released his best-selling non-fiction book, 126 Days, 11 Minutes: Our Love Story.

STACEY (ANDREWS) McCARTY (BA) says she and her husband, Chris, have called Nashville, Tennessee, home for 13 years. “Our oldest, Chase, is attending Marquette University and we have a senior, junior and sophomore in high school. I recently transitioned from running the Vanderbilt Leadership Academy for nine years to managing the office of the Faculty Senate for Vanderbilt University, and enjoy the new work.”


TIFFANY FOO (BA) is the author of a middle-grade children’s book series whose protagonist is a teenage version of her grandmother, Ruby Foo, a well-known restaurateur in Boston during prohibition. In the first book, Finding the Foo Identity, teen Ruby discovers a vibrant family history, discovering a photograph that led to her father’s overseas adoption. The second book, Ruby Goes to Spain, was released in February 2021.

ANGIE GOSSETT (BBA) has joined the Commander Navy Region Southwest as the regional non-appropriated human resources manager supporting 10 installations in California and Nevada. “I’m based in San Diego and support approximately 4,500 employees across the region in the Navy’s Fleet and Family Readiness programs,” she says.

KRISTIN (BUNKER) TILLEY (BACC) resides in Poway, California, with her two children, Brinnon, 12, and Raelynne, 7. A CPA with Coastal Tax Advisors, she recently completed her 28th tax season. “Very good career return on my degree from USD,” she says. “Go, Toreros!”


JOHN LAMBERT (BBA) reports, “After returning from RVing through 18 states during 2020 and working remotely along the way, we decided it was a prime time to close our latest Colorado chapter of the past 8+ years and launch into discovering the next exceptional place to call home. We sold our house in November and have chosen to rent for a few months in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, as the first stop on our scouting trip. We don’t know exactly where the next stop on the tour will be in the spring, but we’re embracing that unknown and trusting we’ll have further guiding lights to illuminate our next paths. Sometimes we’ve found you have to purposely close some doors to have new doors open. Onward!”

KATHERINE “KAT” (WOOD) NORRIS (BA) writes, “I have been busy raising four teenagers, age 14 to 19! I work as an independent bookkeeper for small businesses that may only need help with setting budgets, re-orienting or organizing their profit and loss and reconciling their books. I am also certified as a professional in human resources, so I can help with HR questions such as employee benefits. I love being back in Kansas City, close to family and friends, but I miss Southern California all the time!

DANIEL WILLIAM SULLIVAN (BBA) invites Toreros who find themselves in San Francisco to come by his winery facility, Treasure Island Wines, for a complimentary tasting and tour. He is teaching his 20th ski season at Lake Tahoe.

JONAH WEINBERG (BA) has returned to San Diego. He writes, “I was recently appointed executive director for a new nonprofit organization, the San Diego Kindness Initiative, which was established to assist members of the San Diego Jewish community who have been affected by financial insecurity and poverty.”


VINCENT MOISO (BA) writes that “As an entrepreneur I am constantly growing and scaling. I am running multiple businesses. Right now, I am also a shareholder and president of a glass company manufacturing product across the border in Baja California selling internationally. Check it out at I am also currently in development of an alter ego brand, called Surthriveal Gear, which will launch in January 2021. You can see it soon at”

WILLIAM (MATT) MORGAN (BA) is “recovering from November 2020 surgery and undergoing treatment for skin cancer, resulting in a 50% hearing loss. Since earning a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University in 2004, I have specialized in information management, data protection and computer forensics investigations, preserving intellectual property for Fortune 500 companies.”

ANDREW SERWIN (JD), the U.S. chair and global co-chair of DLA Piper’s Cybersecurity and Data Protection, Privacy and Security practices, received a San Diego Business Journal’s 2020 Leaders in Law award.


CATHERINE NORTHCUTT (BBA), ’19 (MA) writes, “Happy to share that I graduated with a master’s degree in higher education leadership, as well as a leadership coaching certificate from USD’s School of Leadership and Education Sciences, earned my ACC-ICF coaching designation and started a new position as community outreach and master’s in real estate recruitment manager for USD’s School of Business — all in 2019. I now serve as a coach for USD’s Center for Educational Excellence Race Talk Coaching Circles. I also lead and facilitate a diversity, equity and inclusion initiative for USD’s School of Business.”

DAVID PHILIP MULLINS (BA) has released his second book, The Brightest Place in the World.

LAURA (TAYLOR) NAMEY (BA) shares that her young adult novel, A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow, was selected for actress Reese Witherspoon’s book club last November. Set in the charming English countryside, the book follows a Cuban-American girl who goes to visit family far from her Miami home.

LARRY PEREZ (MA) is now the assistant dean of students at Florida Memorial University in Miami.


TAMALA CHOMA (JD) was recently appointed as vice president and general counsel at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys, California.

SANDRA HANNA (BA) has owned and operate a wellness center in Laguna Niguel, California, for nearly 20 years. The center specializes in chiropractic, acupuncture and plant based medicine.

MICHAEL VIOLA (BACC) and Jennifer Ross-Viola ’97 (BA) live in San Juan Capistrano, California, with their children, William and Benjamin. Michael runs PURE Restaurant Solutions, an accounting firm, and Jennifer is a high school biology teacher. “Go Toreros!” Michael says.


ROHANEE ZAPANTA (BA), ’01 (JD) was appointed to the San Diego Superior Court by then-Gov. Jerry Brown. She is co-chair of the California Judge’s Association Law School Wellness Committee that brought an Ethics and Wellness Webinar to the USD School of Law last fall. She also is a member of the Diversity Committee of the USD Law Alumni Board and enjoys speaking to community and student organizations about her experience as a Filipina in the legal profession.


SARA COOK (BA) writes, “After attending culinary school in Portland, I have moved back to Denver. My husband and I are opening an amazing restaurant named “Wing- Wok.” We hope to shake up the organic quick-food market. Keep a look-out as we hope to expand quickly.”



SAMUEL KEVIN BARGER (JD) recently retired as a senior assistant district attorney after 17 years as a criminal prosecutor in the communities north of Atlanta. He and his wife reside in northern Georgia.

SCOTT BERGEN (BA), ’20 (MEd) has started as the communications and marketing director at Louisville High School in Woodland Hills, California. Wife Nicole ’02 (BBA) owns her own market research and strategy firm. “We live in Calabasas, California, with two future Toreros,” he says.

DAVID BYE (MBA) joined Universal Electronics Inc. in the spring of 2020, loves working from home during COVID-19 and moved to Indiana to be and closer to his son.

DAVID FELL (BBA) writes, “After living in the Philippines for two years, my wife, daughter and I moved to Omaha, Nebraska, and bought a 34-year-old business called The Cookie Company. We ship cookies nationwide! We miss San Diego and USD very much, and hope to visit as soon as COVID ends!”

KATHLEEN HUGHART (MA) reports that after earning her master’s degree in history from USD, she worked twice as a writer for the Joan B. Kroc Center’s Women Peacemakers program. She adds, “I am currently a gallery guide at the History Center in Balboa Park.”


TORI HUMPHREY (BA) writes, “After teaching for 10 years and spending seven years at home raising my two daughters, I launched Dreams33 in 2020. Dreams 33, a 501(c)3 in 2020, which provides financial resources and support for current or former foster youth attending college. We believe that every student has a right to an education, and we work to give these students a normal and fulfilling college experience. We offer educational grants (up to a full-ride grant) and micro-grants, which allow students to apply for money to cover a specific educational need.” Learn more at


ADRIANA ARISMENDI (BA) has begun her teaching career as a business instructor at Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming.

CHRISTOPHER CALACCI (BA) writes, “It’s been a while USD, and I miss you. After graduating in 2002, I moved back up to Orange County and started a career in construction/home building/real estate. I married my best friend, Amy, in 2011 and we have two children, Emmy (2016) and Reese (2018). Emmy was born with an extra chromosome, also known as Down Syndrome. Emmy is my favorite human and I am forever grateful for the gift that the good Lord gave me. We are advocates for respecting all life, inclusion for all, and sharing the beauty and love that is Down Syndrome.”

ANNA SALUSKY (JD) is excited to share that she started a law firm in 2021. Salusky Law Group specializes in plaintiff’s side employment law, wage and hour class action, PAGA litigation and personal injury claims. The firm is located in Long Beach, California, and services clients throughout Southern California.

JAN WENDLER (LLM) was elevated to partner at WilmerHale in January 2021. He is based in Frankfurt, Germany.


COLLEEN CLEARY (BA) was promoted in April 2020 from supervisor to casualty manager and is celebrating 18 years with her company. “I’ve been heavily involved in the diversity and inclusion space there, acting as a board member for one of our ERGs and am also a member of California’s inclusion committee.”

CHRISTOPHER HEIM (BBA) was promoted to senior corporate counsel at H+K Strategies.

COURTNEY RICHARDSON (BA), ’04 (MA) joined the same-day delivery marketplace, Shipt, in late January as chief people and community officer; the position has a core focus on diversity, equity and inclusion. The team also leads Shipt’s charitable giving and community impact efforts.

JENN UHEN (BA) founded The Pledgettes, a community for women to talk about money, on Women’s Equality Day 2019. Now in its second year, she is leading chapters in Denver, Portland and Chicago with plans to expand nationally. Learn more at


JULIE BITTNER (BA) was promoted to equity partner for MWH Law Group in January. She specializes in employment litigation and general civil litigation. She was named a Great Plains Rising Star and Super Lawyer from 2015 to 2018, and Great Plains Super Lawyer for Employment Litigation in 2019 and 2020. She holds a Juris Doctor degree from Saint Louis University School of Law.

JOHN CANDITO (MS) reports he is the area director for supply chain management at Banner Health. “Having a master’s degree in supply chain management from USD has helped my career growth exponentially,” he says. “Great staff, faculty, location and state-of-the-art education. Dr. Simon Croom was one of my professors and is a wonderful leader.”

ERIK GREUPNER (JD) was promoted to Chief Executive Officer of the San Diego Padres in February 2021 and has signed a contract extension through the 2026 season. He originally joined the Padres in December 2010. He oversees the Padres’ business operations and leads the growth and development of the Padres’ business and culture.


GREGORY BONZER (JD) says he owns “a rare and antique, first- and rare-edition book business online with brick and mortar to follow at I als privately tutor distance-learning kids from grades 6 to 12 and do private test prep for the LSAT, GED and GMAT. I’ve recently earned a master’s certificate in in neuro-lin guistic programming. In addition, I am engaged and recently purchased a home in Arcata, California.”

VICTORIA KAMMERZELL (BBA) reports she is engaged to be married in June “to the love of her life.” She recently graduated from MANA de San Diego’s Latina Success Leadership program and is looking forward to pursuing her career goals.

PAMELA (TAHIM) THAKUR (JD/LLM) is the founder and managing attorney of the Thakur Law Firm, APC. She was recognized in early 2021 as a Southern California Super Lawyer for the second year in a row, and was listed among Super Lawyer’s top attorneys for litigation in both 2021 and 2020. She also appeared consistently on the group’s “Rising Star” list between 2016 and 2020.


FRANK N. LIEGGI (MA) resides in Irvine, California, and recently became CEO of, a leading dealer of pure gold bullion. He is also a director at


GINGER BLACKMON (EdD) is assistant professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

JAMIE (BUFKIN) HOVERSEN (BA) reports she was recently transferred from Budapest to Vienna after the university she works for was forced out of Hungary. “I consider Hungary my home and it is hard to see what the government is doing to this beautiful country.”

IROQUOIS (ANDERSON) JOHNSON (BA) had her first child, a girl named Peyton, on July 28, 2018. She received her Master of Science degree in Regulatory Affairs and Services on Dec. 20, 2019, from Saint Cloud University. She married Denis Johnson in Kauai, Hawaii, on Feb. 2, 2020, and had her second child, a boy named Kai, on April 22, 2020.


GABRIEL DeANDA (BA) reports that he and Courtney (Holtz) DeAn da ’11 (BA) welcomed baby Soliel DeAnda on March 25, 2020.

MARY STURGEON (BA) writes that after eight years working in Chicago for two of the top-10 architecture firms in the world, she has taken on a new role as project manager of design at CRB Consulting Engineers in St. Louis, Missouri. CRB provides design-build solutions for the life science and technology industries. She continues her involvement the American Institute of Architects, National Organization of Minority Architects and mentoring young professionals.


BRANDYE COMBS (BA) started the two-year master of social work program at California Baptist University last fall.

BETH KNUDSON (BA) reports that she completed her MBA at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, in May 2019. She and her husband, Bryce ’08 (BS/BA), welcomed baby boy number two in November 2019.

CHRIS ROBERTS (BA) writes, “Excited to be sharing my passion for environmental science with the world through the lens of my new touring company, the Ride Guide.”

JENSEN SHIRLEY (EdD) is an associate licensed professional therapist conducting couples and individual counseling. “More importantly, I counsel veterans and their families,” he says. “I provide therapy to incarcerated veterans at the Vista jail. To this end, as a veteran myself, I provide service to those who have served.”

LOUIS VARGAS (BA) reports that he and Stephanie (Kishbaugh) Vargas ’09 (BA) welcomed a baby boy, Edgar Vargas, on July 20, 2020.

LIZ ZITO (BA) was recently accepted to nursing school and will earn a Bachelor of Science degree at Linfield University in a four-semester program. “I started in February 2021 and I am eager to begin this new career path with the support of my family: Josh (husband), Lucie (age 5) and Joe (age 2),” she says.



MICHAEL BENCH (BBA) reports that he was recruited by Voit Real Estate as a vice president and that he and Brittany Bromagen ’11 (BA) were married in Nashville on Oct. 18, 2019. They recently bought a home in La Jolla, California.

RUTH SOBERANES (BA) recently joined the U.S. Department of Commerce as an international trade specialist in Phoenix.


DEREK ABBEY (MA), ’19 (PhD) is the president and CEO of Project Recover, which he describes as “a worldwide effort to search for, locate and repatriate Americans missing in action from our nation’s previous conflicts.”

ANNETTE CALLIS (PhD) writes, “I have a recent publication: Callis (Browning), A. (2020). Application of the Roy Adaptation Theory to a care program for nurses. Applied Nursing Research, 56.”

PATRICK C. JUSTMAN (JD) was promoted to counsel at Latham & Watkins LLP. He is a member of the firm’s litigation and trial department and has experience with trademark and breach of contract disputes.

MELANIE LUCAS-CONWELL (BA) has completed her MBA at the Presidio Graduate School and moved to Anchorage, Alaska, where she started as portfolio manager for the 49th State Angel Fund, the state’s entrepreneurship fund. She’s thrilled to return to the last frontier, after living there in 2019 when she worked on an impact investing strategy for the Alaska Conservation Foundation.

ANED MUÑIZ GRACIA (EdD) reports, “The era of coronavirus led to expanded work opportunities. I became involved in curriculum design and review with a private Catholic university in Puerto Rico (similar in size and mission to USD) while maintaining my work at a Los Angeles community college and starting new work with a private upper school in Las Vegas — all simultaneously!”

KATHERINE ANNUSCHAT McCAIG (JD) has been promoted to partner at law firm Snell & Wilmer. She is part of the corporate securities group and is based out of Orange County. Her promotion went into effect on March 1, 2021. Her practice is concentrated in corporate and securities, including mergers and acquisitions, private placements and venture capital financing, securities offerings and securities law compliance, entity formations and corporate governance, owner relations, buyouts and disputes, and general contract negotiations. She is an author and presenter of several publications and has received the Wiley W. Manuel Certificate for Pro Bono Legal Services from the State Bar of California. McCaig is currently on the firm’s ethics committee.

SCOTT ZIPSE (BBA), ‘13 (MS) reports that he and Kelsie Bishop ’14 (BBA) were married at an intimate family ceremony at Light Church in Encinitas, California.


JOSE FELIX (BBA) opened a co-working space with a few friends in Oceanside, California, in 2020. “We saw the need and because of the current circumstances, we also see the long-term potential,” he says. “Not to mention how much fun we’ve had talking to people about it around the community.” He invites Toreros to learn more.

KORTLYN (McPEEK) HOYT (BA) was hired at her K-8 alma mater to teach grammar to seventh- and eighth-graders in 2019. She reports she was married to Michael Hoyt on Dec. 28, 2018, and that their twins — daughter Kyrie Eve and son Kato Lee — are now home after arriving nine weeks early.

CHEYENNE McCARTHY (BAsays she has “relocated to chilly Des Moines, Iowa, for chiropractic clinical rotation at the VA hospital.” She expected to be a doctor of chiropractic in March 2021.

TYLER WILSON (BA) is an associate attorney at the Daspit Law Firm in San Antonio, Texas. He and his wife welcomed their son, Bennett, into the world on May 6, 2019. They also have become homeowners for the first time.


JESSICA CHANG (BBA) reports that she has exciting news to share: “I’m humbled to share that I have stepped into the new role of diversity stepped into the new role of diversity officer for student engagement at San Diego State University. I am honored to serve the SDSU community as we strive toward a pillar in our strategic plan that includes equity and inclusion in everything we do — especially in a time of social, racial unrest. My time working at the United Front Multicultural Center as a student intern consistently comes to mind as I serve my students at SDSUMy experiences of being able to cre ate third spaces and counternarratives at the UFMC and having agency, leadership and support from the leaders there, have centered me in my passion and inspiration for social justice and compassion to give back. Thank you UFMC and USD, please let me know if there’s any way I can continue to support as an alumna, potentially bridging our students to gether in community!”

CARLOS DUARTE (BA) writes, “In 2020, I became a licensed clini cal social worker and started my own business, a private practice, where I provide psychotherapy to adults experiencing anxiety, rela tionship issues and life transitions. I also started a separate business, Sporting Club Verdugos, a nonprofit organization that operates a player development program for adult soc cer players, in addition to a men’s professional development club and a women’s professional development club. Both businesses are based in Glendale, California, where I reside with my 6 year-old son, Luca.”

YESENIA MORENO (BA), ’19 (MA) has started working as an aca demic counselor at a Catholic all-boys high school in the Los Angeles area.


NICOLAS DIXON (BA) reports that he is founder of the ARAKNIDO Corp. whose projects include a space time capsule for the AI ShowBiz Summit 4.0 Forever in the Space 2020 Hall of Fame. He also has been accepted into the Nuclio Digital School master’s program in Digital Product Management in Barcelona, Spain.

AMELIA GENTILE-MATHEW (BA/BBA) reports that she is “working in the field of higher education as an instructional designer at the University of Denver’s Office of Teaching and Learning, with a pas- sionate focus on equity, accessibility and trauma-informed pedagogy.”

HARMONIE (EDELSON) JACOBSON (BS/BA) graduated in May 2020 from the full-time MBA program at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler Business School). She started a new role in July 2020 as program manager of business transformation and innovation at Google.

EMILY (KIRSCHBAUM) MALYUK (BA) reports that she returned to school in 2018 for a BSN and became a registered nurse in 2019. She mar ried in 2019. “I started traveling as a crisis response nurse in April 2020 when New York City was the U.S. epicenter of the COVID-19 pandem ic,” she says. “My home base is in Rochester, Minnesota, with my husband and our two golden retrievers.”


SARAH (BAKER) MARTINI (BAreports that she graduated from The Rockefeller University with a PhD in biological sciences in June 2020 and started working at a medical communications agency; she has since been promoted to senior associate director.


MEGAN KRONE (PhD) says “I recently started my own freelance editing business where I help writers craft their writing so that their content, expertise and passion shines through a well-organized document.”

EVAN WAHL (MS) says he was on-boarded by Catalent Pharma Solutions, a Fortune 500 company. He is the new director of project Management and site strategy for the firm’s San Diego location.


NAOMI HARDING (BA) shares that she is in her first year of graduate school at Johns Hopkins University and is teaching “the most amazing third graders.”

LIXIN MALU (MBA) says her experience at USD “was the most beautiful memory in my life” and that she has an e-commerce business. “I take action each and every day to teach individuals and families how to take control of their finances with the things they are already purchasing.”


DARIO CAMINITE (BS/BA) has completed jet pilot training in the Air Force and earned the AETC Commander’s Trophy for best flight and leadership skills. He was desigand leadership skills. He was designated an F-35 pilot, only the fourth such designation of anyone while still in training. He has been promoted to first lieutenant and is receiving additional training at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Arizona.

IAN LITUCHY (BS/BA) writes, “In 2017, I opened my first food truck in Los Angeles, which developed into a large scale food truck booking business, City Flavor. We were recently featured in Yahoo News and have spent a lot of time helping businesses survive throughout the pandemic. We continue to serve the mobile food community and those looking to support and assist local small businesses. I also serve full time as a the lead front-end software engineer at Apostrophe, an online skincare and dermatology platform.”

ANDREW VAN ARSDALE (JD) started his own law firm in January 2019. “I have a prominent role representing abuse survivors in the Boy Scouts of America bankruptcy case in Wilmington, Delaware,” he writes.


RYAN HAWKINS (JD) has joined the firm of Foran Glennon Palandech Ponzi & Rudloff as an associate in its Phoenix office. He will focus on insurance coverage and defense.



MENZA BOLAMBA (BA) is pursuing a master’s in education and teaching credential at USD’s School of Leadership and Educa tion Sciences.

CURTIS CHAN (BBA) reports he is “working remotely in sunny Sabre Springs!”

JOHN GERGES (BA) says, “I started my first year of medical school at St. George’s University!”

ERIC NOBLE (MS) was promoted to police brigadier general of the Philippine National Police.

MELISSA RUIZ (MEd) says she recently began a new teaching position as a middle school teacher. “I am so excited for this new opportunity and I know my MEd from USD will be very beneficial with this new experience.”

LUREE SCOTT (BA) was accepted into UC Riverside Palm Desert’s low-residency MFA program for creative writing and writing for the performing arts.

SEBASTIAN WALLAT (MS) says the business analytics program “with my fellow classmates was an amazing year and I wish I could go back and live it all again!”

YARISSA VALDEZ (BA) writes, “I recently got hired as a fifth-grade elementary school teacher!”


DANIEL COBOS (MS) reports, “It’s never too late! At age 58, I’m completing my master’s degree. The USD learning experience has provided an outstanding avenue to meet other life learners and create friends for life!”

[in memoriam]

KRISTEN BONILLA-SOSA ’63 (BA) passed away Oct. 5, 2020 from congestive heart failure at age 78. After obtaining her economics degree, she was a reporter for the San Diego Union-Tribune before moving to New York City and becoming a reporter and researcher for Time-Life, covering major events like the funeral of Winston Churchill. She was an NGO representative from 1975 to 1982 to the United Nation’s Commission on Human Rights and the Sub-Commission on Discrimination and Protection of Minorities. She leaves behind a daughter, Alexandra Sofia, and brothers Victor J. Bonilla and Salvador Bonilla-Mathe. Donations in her name can be made to the U.N. Refugee Agency or charity of your choice.

MELISSA HALTER, who was USD’s Assistant Vice President for Student Wellness as well as an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Counseling and Marital and Family Therapy, passed on Jan. 19, 2021. She was a loving, dedicated and compassionate leader on the front lines supporting USD students as well as the campus community. She first came to USD in 2003 as a psychology intern and then returned to USD in 2007 as the director for the Center for Health and Wellness Promotion. A licensed psychologist, Melissa provided direct clinical care to USD students and worked to build services and programming that supported students in a holistic way. Since 2015, she served as an assistant vice president and was a strong lead er supporting Campus Recreation, the Center for Health and Wellness Promotion, the Counseling Center, the Disability and Learning Difference Resource Center, the Gender Identity Resource Center and the Student Health Center. Her wise counsel and calming demeanor benefitted many important areas of the university; she was an outstanding to the USD leadership team, particularly through the COVID-19 pandemic. A humble and selfless leader, she built others up and found the good in every situation. She was named the Sister Virginia Rodee USD Administrator of the Year in December 2020. She is survived by her mother, Mary, her siblings, Kathy Halter, Tom Halter, and Kristin Elliott, and six dearly loved nieces and nephews, Tommy, Max, Grace, Abbie, Emmie and Teddy.

MAUREEN McGRATH AGGEL- ER ’60 (BA), ’73 (MA) RSCJ passed away Sept. 18, 2020. She taught at Sacred Heart schools in El Cajon, Palo Alto, Seattle and at Convent of the Sacred Heart High School in San Francisco, where she was dean of students. She advocated for education, women’s rights and social justice and attended the U.N.’s first World Conference on Women in Mexico City. She cherished her Irish heritage, but counted herself part of the global family. Survivors include her sister, Anne Will, brother, Terry Aggeler and an enormous loving family. Donations may be made to the Society of the Sacred Heart or favorite charity.

ROBERT MELBOURNE ’90 (MA) died peacefully at home on December 24, 2020, surrounded by his family. He was 91. He served his country first as a private in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve with the 4th Tank Battalion in San Diego from 1947-1950, and then as an officer in the U.S. Navy, in the Civil Engineering Corp (Seabees) with American Construction Battalion One in Korea from 1951-1954. Bob graduated from the University of Southern California in 1951 with a BS in civil engineering. Upon returning from service in Korea, he earned a master’s degree in engineering and construction management from Stanford University. His career included infrastructure construction services, civil engineering and a 28-year stint working on large and a 28-year stint working on large scale water construction projects for the San Diego County Water Authority. He retired as assistant chief engineer, but was also called upon at various times to serve as chief engineer. His strong interest in history led him to earn a master’s degree in history from USD in 1990, and a PhD in history from USC in 1996, with his dissertation on Advance Base Construction by Civilian Contractors in War Zones, which combined his military and civil engineering enthusiasms. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Jeanne; his children, Ann Farley, Maria Melbourne-Hayes, Steven Melbourne and Louise Vance; as well as eight grandchildren: Katie, Mary, Abby, Grace, Colette, Rose, Robert and Trevor.

ECKHARD (ECKI) SPAETH ’93 (BBA), ’95 (MBA) died suddenly on Dec. 20, 2020, of cardiac arrest while ski touring in the Austrian Alps. He left behind a wife, daughter and son, as well as friends and admirers around the globe.

ROBERTA MARY CALLAHAN WEBSTER ’81 (BSN), ’84 (MSN) passed away on Jan. 18, 2021, from acute respiratory distress syndrome secondary to COVID pneumonia. Professionally, she demonstrated a commitment to the greater good as a registered nurse, lactation consultant and nursing educator. She worked as the charge nurse in the USD health clinic in the 1980s, as an ICU nurse at the El Centro Regional Medical Center (ECRMC), as a lactation consultant at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego as well as lactation consultant and program director for ECRMC. Roberta had a long career in nursing education, primarily at Imperial Valley College, where she was a full time faculty member and most recently was associate dean of nursing. She is described by her colleagues at Imperial Valley College as a hero for her service to the nursing community during the COVID pandemic. Roberta put the needs of others ahead of her own and was always there for her family. She is survived by a number of family members, including her brother, Wendell J. Callahan, who is professor of practice and counseling program director for USD’s School of Leadership and Education Sciences.

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