Fall 2021 Class Notes

Student looks over the San Diego skyline from the USD campus.


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RONALD HOUSE (BA), ’64 (JD) spent 25 years as house counsel for the San Diego Regional Center for Developmental Disabilities.

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JOHN McCOY (BA) writes, “After serving two terms, I recently transitioned off of the USD Alumni Board.” He is president of the Oceanside Theatre Company and looks forward to COVID restrictions being lifted and producing professional live theater on the stage at the Brooks Theater in Oceanside, California. John resides in Carlsbad, California with his wife, Michele “Micki” (Trahan) McCoy, who is also a Golden Torero. The couple have a daughter and son and six grandchildren.


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DEBBIE (SHATTUCK) BURKE (BA) has published six thrillers set in Big Sky Country, where she lives. She is a regular blogger at The Kill Zone, a popular crime-writing site, and is on staff with Montana Senior News.

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

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JAMES FERGUSON (BA) retired from Tucson Unified Schools after 42 years as a teacher, counselor and coach. He led Santa Rita High School boys’ basketball program in Tucson, Arizona, to six state championship appearances and two state championships. He was inducted into the Pima County Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012.

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HEATHER WISHIK (JD) writes: “I retired in June of 2020 from The Nature Conservancy, where I was the chief diversity and inclusion officer for four years and senior adviser to the CEO for the last year, leading a global culture transformation effort. I am now writing (poetry and memoir) and making art (collage, printmaking) and enjoying my retirement. My spouse of 39 years, Susan, and I are wintering in our summer home in Vermont to avoid the chaos of COVID in Florida where we have lived for the last four years. Our son, Gabriel, who is an internal medicine doctor with a specialty in addiction medicine, has just returned to the U.S. from Mozambique where he was working for Doctors Without Borders, setting up the country’s first methadone and harm reduction clinic.”

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ADRIENNE LEONARD (JD) writes, “I have retired from the corporate world, having worked in the legal department of telecommunications companies for nearly 20 years, and am now happily working for my husband in his commercial real estate business in Colorado. My twin daughters are both engaged and both plan to marry in 2022, one in the spring and one in the fall! It’ll be a fun and busy year ahead!”


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MARJORIE CUTTING (MA) writes, “I left high school at 17 to work as a costumier with the Royal Ballet in London and other theater companies. When I was 25, the London School of Economics (LSE) had a special entrance exam and program for students whose education had been disrupted by WWII. After four years with LSE and London University and a teaching degree, I moved to San Diego with my husband and 10-month-old son. While my husband pursued his PhD at UCSD, I went back to making costumes and eventually owned the San Diego Costume Company. After becoming a citizen, I pursued my master’s at USD and began teaching in Escondido. Eventually, I returned to the costume business, moved to Wisconsin and began designing costumes for the Ringling Theatre and the University of Wisconsin Baraboo/Sauk Campus. Now at the age of 87, I have published a book titled A Woman’s Journey: Out of the Cave of Self into the Heart of God. I loved my time at USD and the beautiful campus.” She is working on her first graphic novel and has a website at studioffsprings.com.

JOHN SPITTERS (BA) splits his time between the San Francisco Bay Area and Haverford, Pennsylvania. He founded a software company to help families deal with traumas and hardships. His wife works in healthcare in Pennsylvania; his stepson, Christopher, is a Valley Forge Military Academy and Menlo College alumnus, former head football coach at ASA College in Brooklyn, New York, and is now defensive assistant coach at the University of Albany (New York).

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JACK ADELMAN (JD) writes, “After retiring, we lived in Israel for 10 years, attending a Biblical archaeology course that was given by the government for tour guides.”

BOB GAGLIONE (JD) recently completed his service at the Department of Labor in Washington, D.C., as a deputy director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. He has returned to San Diego and resumed his career as an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association.

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JILL (BRADLEY) APPLEGATE (BBA) retired on October 1, 2020 from a 36-year career with American Airlines.

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STEVEN WAHL (BBA) writes, “2021 has been a busy year. I started a new role with Marel Power (an exciting startup in the energy space). I moved from California to South Carolina and joined Silicon Catalyst as an adviser. I’m beginning my fourth year on the advisory board of the Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge, a solid program that supports students to stretch themselves as true entrepreneurs, changing the world by improving the lives of mankind.”

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MAUREEN POLIMADEI (BA) was recently promoted to director of development and communications at San Diego Second Chance. Second Chance offers specialized workforce readiness training, sober-living housing, educational programs and support services essential to helping justice-involved youth and adults on their path to self-sufficiency.


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ROBERT JACKSON (BA) writes, “I am finishing my 10th book, Hester and Her Adventures with Merlin. I have my life story, No Rest for the Brave, in film development.” [ 1 9 9 4 ]

TIMOTHY EARL (JD) has been recognized by San Diego Magazine as a 2021 top lawyer in San Diego in the field of insurance. He is the chair of Sullivan Hill’s construction and insurance practice group and practices primarily in the areas of construction litigation, insurance coverage and business litigation.

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JAVIER GUERRERO (BA) is president and CEO of Coastal Roots Farm, a nonprofit community farm in Encinitas, providing equitable access to fresh organic nutrient-dense food, and equitable access to environmental education programming for schools, groups and the community.

ANNA LEAVER (BA) got a new job as PR manager for the Enterprise Partners group at NVIDIA Corporation in Silicon Valley.

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BILL BRENNAN (BBA) joined CMR Risk & Insurance as a principal in 2020 after 24 years at Barney & Barney/Marsh & McLennan. He is actively involved in many philanthropic organizations, including Big Brothers Big Sisters, USD’s School of Business, Alpha Project and the Daisy Miracle Foundation at UCSD. Bill reports that he currently lives in Mission Hills in San Diego with his wife, Lauri ’95 (BA), and two daughters.

CAPTAIN J. STEVE CORREIA (BA) moved so that he could assume command of Naval Network Warfare Command in Suffolk, Virginia, in July 2021.

DAVID CROSS (MA) reports that he recently remarried and moved to Oregon.

NICOLE C. SHELTON (BA), ’99 (MEd) writes, “After earning my JD and serving as a district-level special education coordinator in Central California, I am currently the executive director with Advocacy Associates Inc., a private educational advocacy and consulting firm in San Diego. Our practice serves families who have children and young adults with and without special needs, as well as those with mental health challenges. We also conduct professional learning and community programming regarding special education, distance learning and mental health.” She added that she has become a hiking enthusiast and planned to summit Kilimanjaro in June 2021.

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ANTHONY CAMPAGNA (JD) was appointed to the San Diego Superior Court on December 8, 2020.

KRISTI NICHOLS (BA) was promoted to director of archaeology, collections and historical research for Alamo Trust, Inc. in January of 2020. Alamo Trust is the nonprofit that manages the daily operations of The Alamo. In this role, she oversees the archaeological investigations at The Alamo, as well as the care of the historic site’s museum collection.

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MONICA PHELPS KLUGE (BA), ’07 (MS) writes, “Kindness, passion and love for yourself and others will lead you in a successful, fulfilling and exciting life! Blessings and love to all USD generations!”


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JOSIE MOORE (BA) reports that she got married in February 2018 and took command at Information Warfare Training Command Monterey in July 2020.

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RON GERMAINE (EdD) relocated to Abbotsford, BC, Canada to be near family. In 2020, he published a historical novel for teens titled Improbable Connections: A Mayflower Story.

NICOLE JOHNSON (BA), ’03 (MEd) is the CEO of TetraCore Consulting, LLC., a certified 100% woman-owned small business based in Los Angeles. The company provides a suite of professional support services such as executive coaching, leadership development and emotional intelligence training.

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ANGELINA “ANGIE” (THAYER) BEYER (BA) recently earned her MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, where she was selected as the 2020 Hotchkiss scholar and commencement speaker. Angie’s career as a scientist began in Dr. Malachowski’s undergraduate research lab, which afforded her many industrial opportunities upon graduation. For the past 20 years, Angie has had a diverse scientific and professional career in pharmaceutical development and has held positions as a medicinal chemist, process chemist, technical project manager, R&D portfolio manager and was recently a senior manager in Pfizer’s commercial development team. In January of 2021, she was promoted to director of pipeline development for Pfizer’s Parenteral Center of Excellence, where she works in new product innovation for the hospital business unit. Angie reports that she lives in Evanston, Illinois, with her husband, Philip Beyer, and their dog, Missy.

ENRIQUE MORONES (MS) is the founder of the human rights organization Gente Unida. He received the Bishop Charles Francis Buddy Award from USD for his contributions to humanitarian causes in 2013. He reports that he appeared on the cover of the New York Times on Easter Sunday, 2021.

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RASCHA CONNERS (BA), ’15 (MSN) writes, “The more years that go by and the wisdom I have, the more valuable I realize my education, friendships and experiences at USD become.”

ADRIAN DOWNING-ESPINAL (BA) reports that she is living in Brooklyn, New York, with her wife of five years. “I am working as an addiction counselor at Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation providing intensive outpatient services,” she adds.

DESIREE GRAY (BA/BBA) says, “I am celebrating the launch of my new law firm, Choice City Family Law, LLC in Fort Collins, Colorado. As the managing member, I am enjoying the ins and outs of starting a new business while practicing law. This would not have been possible without the love and support of my husband of 23 years, who helped raise our two children to become amazing adults.”

CHRISTINA LASTER (BA) gave this response to an invitation to an event about diversity in politics: “I’m excited about the opportunity to partake in these discussions. I attended the university during a time where open discussions about diversity and equity weren’t welcomed. This is a positive step in the direction that is necessary for real lasting progress and change in society. Thank you!”

CHRISTOPHER YANOV (MAPJ), ’04 (MA) now serves as the global ambassador at Centro Fox, where he is helping the former President of Mexico, Vicente Fox, achieve his goal of establishing a hub of university satellite campuses at Latin America’s first presidential library and conference center.

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ANDY GUZENSKI (BBA) was recently promoted to principal/vice president at CMR Risk & Insurance Services, and is also the construction practice group leader at CMR. He has more than 17 years of industry experience as a broker. Andy is also involved in various trade associations and community organizations, including the AGC, ProVisors, the USD Alumni Association and the San Diego Bowl Game Association Holiday Bowl.

DIMITRIS MAGEMENEAS (MBA) says that after graduation, he implemented his new financial and marketing knowledge to launch a successful career change into financial advising. He adds, “Starting in 2018, that master’s degree really came in handy to become an adjunct professor at two local universities.” He notes that he earned the nickname Money Man from volunteering at Junior Achievement and that he has a passion for encouraging youth to take ownership of their future financial and career success. Today, his burning desire to utilize his God-given skills towards the betterment of society has led him to host online money management workshops for young adults. More information is available at moneymanhelps.com.

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MICHAEL ANGEL (BA) published a book in the fall of 2020: How Can I Live Peacefully with Justice?, which is part of the Little Books of Guidance series from Church Publishing.

EDNA DOMINGO (PhD) is the founder of Southeast California College, which offers beginning and vocational nursing programs. She reports that the accreditation with ABHES is in progress, with the BSN program projected to start in 2022. She writes, “I am ready to retire and am in the process of selling the school to a younger generation who can move the school forward.” She is doing academic consulting to help schools that need her help with BPPE, boards and accreditation.

VICTORIA KAMMERZELL (BBA) reports that she “married the love of her life in June 2021.” She graduated from MANA de San Diego’s Latina Success Leadership program and is looking forward to pursuing her career goals.

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CHRIS BERG (BAC) reports that he married Kristen Disbro ’10 (BA) in 2017. After a 10+year career as a professional triathlete, he retired in 2019 and is currently the director of finance for the U.S. branch of the iconic Italian bicycle brand Pinarello.

BRITTANY HALL (BA) writes, “In 2020 I transitioned my career to real estate. If any alumni are considering a move to Nashville, Tennessee, please feel free to reach out!”

JAMIE HOVERSEN (BA) writes: “In August, my job moved from Budapest, Hungary, to Vienna, Austria. The university I work for was forced out of Hungary due to political reasons and we established a new campus in Vienna amongst the pandemic. It’s been a wild year!”

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TANYA FRAUSTO (BA) reports that she married her husband and USD McNair program administrator, Ramiro, in 2014 at Founders Chapel. “Our two boys, Ramiro Juan (‘RJ’), and Lucas recently turned 4 and 1, respectively. We bought our second home in Fletcher Hills. Ramiro works from home, continuing to serve USD students, while I work in the office every day serving our most vulnerable population, our veterans. I am a licensed clinical social worker in a skilled nursing unit with veterans ranging from 65 to 95 years of age. I am honored to serve this community and be a liaison between them and their families, especially during the pandemic.”

ALLISON OMBRES (BBA) writes, “My life changed unexpectedly during the eighth month of my second pregnancy, when I developed alopecia universalis: total hair loss. I had a difficult time finding a wig that I loved so I started a wig consulting business to help women like me. Just before COVID, I launched my first product, an active workout wig for women with hair loss. I also decided to start a give-back program where I sell 10 wigs and give one away. I was surprised to see how the give-back program continued to motivate me throughout this past year! This year, I am launching a surf, ski and cycle hat system to continue to help women maintain their active lifestyles. I have received feedback that the hats are chic and that women would like to buy them. In order to expand the give-back program, I am going to sell the hats to generate awareness and continue to give wigs away. My life since USD has definitely thrown me some curve balls, but I am loving the process and, as always, I am hopefully optimistic about the future. This is my life and I’m making the most of it!”

MEGAN SOTO (BA) moved to Asbury Park, New Jersey. She is working at C&A Financial Group as a cash flow strategist.

JENNA STROMSOE (BA), ’16 (MSN) reports that she and her husband, Jeremy, welcomed their first child, Samantha Michelle, on December 12, 2020.

ERIN VOISIN (BBA) was recently promoted to the position of managing director at EP Wealth Advisors in Torrance, California.

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JESSICA ROLIN (BA) writes, “I worked at Stanford as a sports performance coach for five years. We then we moved to Montana where my husband is now the head football coach at MSU-Northern. We were blessed with two children, Payton (3) and Bo William (2). Currently, I am a stay-at-home mom, and I am loving spending time with these precious little ones!”


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ELIZABETH HAUSMANN (BA) is working as a family medicine and preventive medicine physician at the VA clinic in Oceanside, California. She reports that she has two children, Samantha and Luke, with husband Kyle.

LISSETTE LIZARRAGA (BA) says she landed her dream job working in global office operations at Airbnb in San Francisco. Her love for all things international was realized at USD, where she studied abroad in Florence and Guadalajara and studied French and Italian.

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JAMIE BECK (JD) was featured at UC Santa Barbara’s TEDx event, where she spoke about “Rising Above the Criminalization of Human Trafficking Survivors.” Her TEDx talk can be found on YouTube.

ALEXIS (“ALI”) KENNY (BA) has recently become a licensed clinical psychologist. She works for Leader-Wise, an organization that provides mental health support and assessments for persons becoming clergy in various church sects. Ali reports that she, her husband, and her daughter now live in their own house at the base of a mountain in Helena, Montana.

JOSEPH MADDELA (BA) graduated with a medical doctorate degree. He writes, “I matched and started first-year residency (PGY-1) at Adventist Health Tulare Family Medicine Residency in July 2021.”

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MARGARET REYNOLDS (MA) writes, “I am living and working in Chicago, Illinois, at Symmetry Counseling, a private group practice. During COVID, I have been providing teletherapy to adults with a focus on trauma, anxiety and depressive disorders. I proposed to my partner, Cory Ottenwess, in April 2020 and got married to him in December 2020. I am now also a stepmother to Cory’s 12-year-old daughter, Micaela, who is awesome and so easy to love. I look forward to a time when it will be safe to travel again and when I can bring Cory and Micaela to see San Diego and the USD campus. I am so proud to learn about and read how my cohort and classmates have used their skills and talents to serve their communities and clients, especially during the past year! Proud to be a Torero!”

TYLER WILSON (BA) is a personal injury attorney in his hometown of San Antonio, Texas. He reports that he and his wife, Cristina, are expecting their second son this August.

MICHAEL ZARCONI (JD) was named a 2021 Rising Star by Super Lawyers. He is a member of Sullivan Hill’s litigation, construction and insurance practice groups.

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COLIN PHILLIPS (BA) writes, “Finished my MS in geology degree in May 2020 at San Jose State University, a long road since being inspired by Liz Baker-Treolar and Beth O’Shea!”

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MICHELLE FONSECA-KAMANA (JD) was recently featured in Yahoo Finance’s 2021 list of women who are changing the game in the legal industry.

ROSS JOHNSON (BS/BA) has been an engineer at Bay Area Lockheed Martin since 2017. There, he worked on the AEHF satellite program and is currently working on the ballistic missile defense program, THAAD. He reports that he welcomed a new daughter in 2019 with Kaitlyn (Howell) Johnson ’10 (BA).

LARRY NOVELO (BS/BA) reports that he married his longtime girlfriend, who he met in Washington, D.C., on April 10, 2021. The couple is outposting to Nairobi, Kenya to pursue their career goals together.

ALEX RIOLO (BBA) reports that after seven years at Northrop Grumman, most recently as a program manager, he’s moving to Boston to start his MBA at Harvard Business School.

ELIZABETH (CRAWFORD) ROSE (BA) writes that she got married on December 5, 2020.

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EBTESAM ALTENEIJI (MA), ’20 (PhD) was recently appointed as the director of UAE University Center for Public Policy and Leadership.

LAUREN KLEIN (BA) is “living and teaching at risk youth in the city of New Orleans!”

RITA KUCKERTZ (BA), ’20 (MA) writes, “After 10 years of studying and working at USD, I will be leaving to attend UCLA Law this coming fall. I will miss being on campus, but I will always be a Torero!”

AMY (HAMMOND) LOGAN (BA) continues to work at the biotech company Hologic, in San Diego, as a scientist who helped design a SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic test for the detection of COVID-19 infections. She reports that she and her husband, James ’14, have a 2-year-old daughter and recently celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary.

GABRIELLE PEREZ (BA) writes, “USD and the Alcalá Club brought me to my closest friends. I am so grateful for this special club and for the countless memories it gave me. Four Alcalá Club alumni will be standing with me at my wedding next year — that says it all!”

ERIKA RODRIGUEZ (BBA) is the founder & CEO of Nadi Marketing, an ecoconscious digital marketing agency remotely based in San Diego. She’s been featured on Yahoo Finance, Means and Matters – Bank of the West, and the San Diego Voyager website. “As a 1% for the Planet member, I help mission-driven companies, social impact organizations and ecopreneurs to create impactful content, partnerships and campaigns that engage with the sustainable consumers of today,” she writes.

NIKITA STANGE (MA) recently moved to Key West, Florida, where she is the office manager for a land development company. She still keeps in touch with many of her USD friends and professors.

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GILDA GABRIEA MARISCAL (MS) writes, “The USD Supply Chain Management program really helped me understand business in a different way. In December of 2020, I opened my very own Farmers Insurance agency! I am beyond thankful to God for giving me the opportunity to fulfill a dream of mine, becoming a business owner. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me.”

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VIRGINIA HART-KEPLER (PhD) has been the director of the Family Nurse Practitioner program at California Baptist University since 2019.

ERIN LUPFER (JD) reports that she married Ben Cooper ’17 (JD) on September 20, 2020.

PRAVEEN WICKREMASINGHE (BA) is about to start his second year in the MD program at Florida International University’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, in Miami, Florida.

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OLIVER FLORES BALANZAR (BA), ’20 (MEd) received his secondary teaching credential in mathematics and his MEd in curriculum and instruction through the MCC Dual Credential Program.

SHANNON McAVOY (BA) writes: “Update No. 1: In 2019, I began law school at Chapman University’s Dale E. Fowler School of Law with a full ride merit scholarship. Update No. 2: I placed at the top of my law school class during my first year, which provided me the opportunity to transfer to Berkeley Law, which is where I currently attend. Update No. 3: After doing exceptionally well in my first semester at Berkeley, I accepted an offer to work as a summer associate in Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s Los Angeles office. Gibson Dunn is one of the top law firms in the world and I intend to return to the Los Angeles office upon graduation.”

JONATHAN OBERG (BBA) writes, “Being a part of the hockey club was a highlight of my college experience. The friends that I made and the bonds that we continue to share from competing together really enriched my life. Looking forward to keep in touch with them throughout the years and hoping many more Toreros can share this experience moving forward.”

KATHRYN (“KATIE”) ROBINSON (MSN), ’20 (PhD) wrapped up her first year as tenure-track nursing faculty at CSU San Marcos in May of 2021. “Though this year has certainly been both different and challenging, I can still say I’m fulfilling my professional dreams!” she says.

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ALEXA HELD (BBA) writes, “I moved back to the East Coast last summer. I am currently living in a small beach town of Newport, Rhode Island. I am working for a cannabis CPA and finance company doing social media marketing. I also freelance for multiple other companies on the side. I love where I live and I can’t wait to get back to San Diego and visit!”

SYDNEY LAY (BA) is currently a first-year USD MEPN student and works at Rady Children’s Hospital.

ROSARIO SUTTON (MA) praises USD’s Master of Arts in international relations, saying, “This is a super great program with a great graduate director and awesome and knowledgeable faculty, I miss them and my classmates dearly! The program truly made a great impact on my life.” She recently launched a podcast, Global Natives, which she says “highlights indigenous cultures in regions around the world with the purpose of fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of ancestral heritage. My goal is to bring visibility to the unique voices and perspectives of modern-day ancestors discussing the challenges and contributions of their people, from past to present.” Looking back on her time at USD, she reflects, “I can say that my degree has certainly helped me to follow my passions, and this podcast is certainly one! I hope to expand and grow this, having intellectual conversations and bring awareness to cultures, peoples and communities that some might not even be aware of.”

LAUREN WONG (MA) writes, “I started a new position as the assistant director of residential life at UCSD’s Thurgood Marshall College!”

JOSH WYMER (MSN) who is currently a USD faculty member, has joined Shifthive, a health care workforce startup, as chief clinical officer.


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PAULA BLOOM (MA) writes, “I have my LPC associate license and I have been working as an associate practitioner at Griffin and Associated Practitioners. I’ve been enjoying working at a new practice with diverse clients with a variety of needs. I have been focusing on working with individuals with childhood and sexual trauma.”

ELIZABETH BUSHNELL (BA) writes, “I’m really excited to say that I received the NSF GRF and I’m starting my master’s this fall.”

DIANA MCDERMOTT BORSTEN (MS) writes, “I’ve recently relocated to the Netherlands with my husband, and I am stepping into a new role as program manager of human resources operations with Dept. Agency, the largest digital agency in Europe (and growing)!”

ANDREW JONES (BS/BA) recently accepted a new position with Boeing as an electrical design and analysis engineer for the International Space Station. Working at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, Andrew is assisting with the design and development of the new NASA Docking System (NDS Block 2). He is also happy to announce his recent engagement to fellow Torero Olivia Greenwood ’19 (BA).

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PATRICIA SYLVESTER (MS) was recently accepted to the Suffolk University School of Law, where she will be pursuing her Juris Doctorate. She adds, “Following this, I will be going through Officer Candidate School to become a JAG in the United States Navy.”

In Memoriam

JEANNE “JENNIE” (BABICH) FOLLETT ’74 passed away on August 23, 2020. She had a long and arduous career as a court reporter, initially working for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, and she finished her career reporting depositions in San Diego. She was a passionate physical trainer and a health aficionado. “She was a great person who should be remembered,” says John DeVine ’72 (BA).

ERIC F. YUHL ’81 (JD) passed away on March 14, 2021. “The adjective I’d use to describe Eric, if I had only one, would be ‘legendary,’” said his brother and legal partner, Christopher P. Yuhl ’87 (JD) in a Los Angeles Daily Journal obituary. He added that Eric did everything at full speed. “Whether you were on his team or opposing him, you had to drive at the speed of light to keep up.”

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