Summer 2022 Class Notes

Beauty shot of USD campus

1960s

[1961]

MARY DUGAN (BA) writes, “I’ve recently retired from my part-time job writing grant proposals for a small dance company; before that, I wrote for immigrants’ rights and at one time, for reproductive rights. I’m an active Unitarian and just went on a march for climate justice in downtown Manhattan. I’ve lived with my boyfriend, Robert Mentken, for 14 years; he’s an inventor, semi-retired and age 87. We’ve slowed down. Because of COVID, we haven’t gone to any shows yet, but hope to do that soon. Here, we don’t have a car and enjoy the subways and buses! My three kids and two grandkids have done well: Anna is a surgeon at Brown and Ben works for Google in Silicon Valley. My daughter has an eight-horse trailer transporting horses lovingly all around the Western states, especially California. One son is a scientist/professor on sabbatical, enjoying his Tesla, and one son teaches fourth grade in the LA schools. I am blessed and got a good foundation in liberal arts at USD.”

[1962] 

PEGGY THOMPSON (BA) has retired from her position as wedding coordinator at St. Joseph, Husband of Mary Church. “I’m still active in the ministry with the new coordinator, and still very involved in our parish activities and organizations,” she says.

[1963]

ELOISA THOMPSON (BA) reports that she is living in Baja with her husband, “walking the beach (almost) daily.” She has three grandchildren and one more on the way.

1970s

[1971]

VINCE AMMIRATO (JD) says that after 42 years of practice, “I will be retiring and will be of counsel for my son, Vincent S. Ammirato at Ammirato Legal in Costa Mesa. I feel that after more than 140 jury trials, it is time to pass the baton to the younger generation. Life with the law has been a most interesting and learning experience, and I will always thank USD for allowing me to be a part of its School of Law.

[1972] 

ALICE GONZALEZ (BACC) writes, “I’ve lived in beautiful San Diego all my life. I retired from being a Catholic school teacher. I’m enjoying rediscovering San Diego, traveling and volunteering in my community!”

[1976]

DAVID MOUSSETTE (BA) writes, “Still living in Williamsburg, Virginia, near my grandsons, who are now 10 and 12 years old. I’m involved with the York County Historical Committee in the local area, which also contains Yorktown and Jamestown. Staying healthy and close to home due to pandemic.”

[1978]

MIKE HARROD, DVM ’78 (BA) writes, “I was one of three USD graduates accepted to the veterinary program at UC Davis in 1983. For a veterinary program that only accepted 122 students that year, USD placed very well compared to many larger schools. My Bachelor of Arts degree with a biology major gave me a firm foundation from which to learn and grow. Veterinary practice was a challenging and rewarding profession. Those who have read or seen All Creatures Great and Small have caught a glimpse of veterinary life, but something was left out: fleas! In my first five years of small animal veterinary practice in San Diego, I spent an incalculable amount of time talking about and treating fleas. At that time, there were no treatments or preventatives that were both safe and effective. Most of my patients were itchy with patchy baldness and my clients were mad. So, what did I do? I used my liberal arts education to expand my horizons and wrote a children’s book about fleas. It didn’t help my clients or patients at all, but it relieved my stress. And what did I do with that book you ask? I published Farrah Farhopper the Faraway Flea on Feb. 17, 2022, which was Amazon’s No. 1 New Release in Children’s Bug & Spider Books (probably not a big category). It was published five years after I retired because life, raising a family, fighting fleas and helping pets and pet parents took priority.”

[1979]

JAMES PAULSON (BBA) retired from the Gaming Control Board in October 2011.

1980s

[1981]

SUZANNE HAGAN (BA), ‘94 (MEd) writes that she taught a public speaking course at USD in the fall of 2021. She previously taught a public relations and social media pop-up course. 

[1983]

GERALYN SULLIVAN (BA) was named to the 2022 list of top women wealth advisors by Forbes in February.

[1985] 

LAURA REYES (BA), ‘88 (MEd) was honored as one of five teachers of the year by the County of San Diego in the fall of 2021. She writes that as a girl she started kindergarten without knowing English. “If I could do it, with limited access, then I wanted to encourage others and inspire others to overcome obstacles that come their way. I connect with emerging bilingual students.” She teaches at Central
Elementary School in the Escondido Union School District. 

[1986]

JANINE MASON (BA), ‘11 (MA) writes that she “recently created and launched the Nonprofit Board Exchange to expand and equalize opportunities for nonprofit board recruitment and service. The site also lists local training opportunities on board governance and other resources for those wanting to learn more about serving as a volunteer board member. Learn more at npboardexchange.org.

1990s

[1993]

LISA GREER (BA), ‘00 (MBA) writes, “Happy New Year Toreros! The Greer family is thankful to be healthy, well and living in Carmel Valley/North San Diego. Our four kids — 19-year-old Robbie, who attends Cal Poly SLO; 17-year-old Megan, who is a high school senior; 13-year-old Mandy, who is in the eighth grade and 7-year-old Josh, who is in the second grade —are all well too. Let’s connect on LinkedIn. Go Toreros!”

[1994]

VALERIE ATTISHA (BA) provided the following update: After a successful two-decade career as a fundraising professional and nonprofit executive, Valerie joined PNC Bank in June 2021 as its first vice president of client and community relations in San Diego County. In her role, Valerie oversees the bank’s business, charitable and civic relationships as well as its philanthropic giving and sponsorship opportunities. Additionally, she directs the bank’s marketing, branding and communications efforts as well as its community engagement strategies. “I feel immensely grateful to have landed my dream job at my dream company,” she says. 

[1997] 

JENNIFER BOWHEY (BA) recently won the Pinnacle Achievement Award. Her franchise location, Lighthouse Family Services, Inc., is ranked 33rd out of more than 560 Visiting Angels locations in the world. Her company also ranked in the top 15% of home care companies nationwide via Home Care Pulse surveys. She also has a product launch in the works. Jennifer bought an extra company car and is in the process of remodeling a guest home near the office so she can set up internships in the Chesapeake Bay region in the summer of 2022 and beyond. 

TREVOR HOUSER (BA) has published his debut novel, Pacific, the story of what a desperate father is willing to do to save his son’s life. He is an advertising copywriter living with his family in Seattle. He’s published stories in dozens of literary journals including Story Quarterly, Zyzzyva and The Dr. TJ Eckleburg Review, among others. Three of his stories were nominated for the Pushcart Prize. 

[1998] 

JOSH BECKETT (BA) and Gibsey (Pence) Beckett ‘99 (BA) recently launched an online winery brand. Thibido Winery is based in Paso Robles, California, and is a side project while they manage the Beckett family company, Peachy Canyon Winery.“We’re looking forward to coming back to USD and pouring wines for both wineries at the USD Wine Classic in July!” they say. The couple has two daughters in high school and reside in Morro Bay, California. 

DON MARTIN (JD, LLM) joined Snell & Wilmer as a real estate partner in the firm’s Las Vegas office.

[1999]

JORDAN HOPCHIK (MSN) writes, “I completed my DNP in 2014.”

2000s

[2000]

MANDI URBAN-LESTER (JD), ‘03 (MEd) reports that after being nominated by her students, she was selected as the College of Lake County’s (CLC) Outstanding Adjunct Faculty of the Year for 2021. In June, she was awarded the prestigious Illinois Community College Trust Association’s 2021 award for Outstanding Adjunct Faculty of the Year for the state of Illinois. Mandi — an adjunct faculty member and specialist writing tutor at CLC since 2005 — teaches a specialized section of Critical Thinking focused on U.S. Supreme Court cases. 

[2003]

ELISABETH BIEBL (BA) writes, “After a long hiatus from California, I am back in the Bay Area with my husband and two kids (4.5 and 2.5). We are missing the mountains of Colorado, but enjoying being closer to loved ones.”

[2004]

MARIA GAUGHAN (BA), ‘09 (MA) reports that she transitioned into a career in real estate after working at USD in ministry and in the nonprofit sector. She is proud to work for The Seaman Team Keller Williams Realty in San Diego and to continue to serve and accompany fellow Toreros with their home buying/selling experience. She lives in San Diego with her husband and their three boys.

[2007] 

KATHERINE CHIRIBOGA (BA) writes, “My husband is USD alum-adjacent, as his brother and I are both Toreros and he was commissioned out of the San Diego NROTC consortium. After 14 years of active-duty service, we are settling in the Washington, D.C., area living on the Virginia side. Having received various scholarships for both undergraduate and graduate school, I am really enjoying my job as the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society’s education program manager and as a Sunday librarian with the historic Alexandria Library.”

BRITTANY HALL (BBA) is a real estate agent with Benchmark Realty in Nashville, Tennessee. She enjoys helping people call middle Tennessee home and has worked with several USD alumni who have relocated to the area. She adds, “I specialize in working with investors who are eager to take part in this rapidly growing city!” On Oct. 15, 2021, she reports that she married Derek Graff in a beautiful outdoor ceremony in rural Nashville. The couple resides in downtown Nashville.

[2008]

REBECCA FRAZEE (EdD) writes, “In addition to teaching at San Diego State University in the Learning Design and Technology graduate program, in the summer of 2021, I was thrilled to serve my community as sort of an ‘edtech first responder’ by providing professional development and support to more than 1,000 faculty members as they transitioned to online teaching. I also serve as the associate director of the Flexible Learning Environments Exchange initiative (FLEXspace.org), an award-winning global open education resource of learning space examples and resources, with an international community of more than 5,000 members from 67 countries. Recently, we have begun gathering examples and evidence-based guidance for the design of more inclusive physical learning environments. In response to the pandemic, FLEXspace has been able to provide valuable resources and guidance to the higher education and K12 community as they struggle to reimagine and reconfigure physical learning spaces to consider social distancing needs. Through the FLEXspace open educational collaborative, I have had the opportunity to work closely with higher education leaders from the California State University Chancellor’s Office, California Community College Chancellor’s Office, the University of California Office of the Provost, the State University of New York Office of the Provost, Pennsylvania State University, EDUCAUSE and the International Society for Technology in Education, among others.”

SYDNEY HARTLEY (BBA) writes that she and her husband, Robert, recently welcomed their baby girl. “Our hearts have never been so full!”

2010s

[2011]

JOHNNY CUSHING (BA) is a 2011/F-35 contract instructor pilot at Miramar with Lockheed Martin.

KEVIN O’MALLEY (BA) writes, “My wife and I were married on July 31, 2021, after having to postpone the event in 2020 due to COVID.”

[2012] 

RYAN GOBLE (BA) reports that he and his wife have relocated. “We live back home now in Arizona and I work at our home church, Scottsdale Bible Church.”

NICOLE SCHMIDT (BA) writes, “I graduated with my master’s in leadership development from Chapman University in August 2021 and moved to Denver at the end of October!”

[2013]

A.J. AGRAWAL (BBA) recently sold his company,  Verma Farms — an ultra-high-end health-conscious CBD brand — to FE International Inc. 

SCOTT MARCUS (BBA) says that he is “looking forward to retiring after 23 years of uniformed service to our great nation! I hope I can find a good job that will allow me to stay in San Diego!”

[2014]

RAQUEL MEADE (BA) says,   “After many years of undergraduate and graduate training, I am now working as a licensed clinical pediatric psychologist in New York City. I started as a psychology major at USD, which opened the doors for great training opportunities (USD peer counseling program) and internships and allowed me to earn a spot at a doctoral program!”

KYLE MILLER (BBA) writes, “I was named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative in Business in 2021.” This is the 12th annual list that the company has put out to celebrate the “most creative people in business,” honoring an influential and diverse group of leaders from a vast range of global industries including tech, science, design, entertainment, health care, media, government, nonprofit, sports and food. He is head of the Z Team at Tinder, which is described as “a cross functional group that combines deep product expertise with a propensity to take big swings in order to create the next generation of dating products for Gen Z.” 

MICHELLE PEÑA (JD) is the new attorney member-at-large in the Appellate section of the San Diego County Bar for 2022.

[2016]

BRENT ALLMAN (BA) published a paper in the journal Viruses as one of his dissertation chapters. Find it online at https://doi.org/10.3390/v13071216.

JUAN CHARRABE (BA) is a yoga teacher working toward a degree in psychology.

LAUREN FREIDENBERG (JD) provided this report: “I recently relocated from Los Angeles (previous employer: McMurray Henriks, LLP) to Seattle (new employer: MacDonald, Hoague, and Bayless). I am entering my sixth year of the practice of law, all of which has been dedicated to civil rights litigation (police misconduct). I am grateful to USD’s School of Law and to Professor Roy L. Brooks for my civil rights education and employment opportunities.”

JACK A. GARRETT (MBA) writes, “I’m so appreciative of all my time at the USD School of Business master’s program and Nonprofit institute. I’m currently consulting for nonprofit institutional clients’ capital improvements in the greater Philadelphia area with Aegis Property Group.”

MORGAN HANSEN (BA) passed both the California and Nevada bar exams and is practicing as an attorney in Santa Rosa, California. 

JOLINE MANN (BBA) writes, “Since graduation, I’ve worked in the B2B software market and medical industry in various roles and projects.”

JULIANA MASCARI (BA), ‘19 (JD) reports that she married Austin Jacobs ‘17 (BBA) in Founders Chapel on Oct. 16, 2021.

NATHAN OLIVER (BBA) transitioned from the DTLA Wells Fargo commercial banking office to the San Diego Banner Bank commercial banking group.

HAYLEY PARK (BA) earned her master’s degree in Music Therapy from Arizona State University in 2019. She currently works at the VA providing music therapy to veterans in the rehab, dementia and hospice units. She reports that she married her husband, Chris, in 2018 and they just became first-time homeowners.

DARCI ROBERTS (BA) reports that she married Ricardo Dixon ‘14 (BA) on Oct. 23, 2021, at the Old Post Office in Saint Louis, Missouri. A reception at Hotel Saint Louis followed the ceremony. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communications studies at USD and her master’s degree in media and strategic communication at George Washington University. Ricardo earned his bachelor’s degree at USD in political science and his law degree at Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law. Darci is a digital director at Faith in Action, a national nonprofit organization, and Ricardo is an assistant United States attorney. The couple met more than seven years ago at USD and currently reside in Saint Louis, Missouri.

ARMAN SIDDIQUI (BA) recently received an F31 graduate fellowship from the NIH to fund research aimed at developing a novel drug target to treat the three neglected tropical diseases caused by trypanosome infections. Read more here.

KEITH VAN WAGNER (JD) was promoted to program coordinator for the County of San Diego Independent Redistricting Commission.

[2017] 

DEVON PARIKH (BBA) provided this update: “Bid get the frisbee dolla dolla bill y’all.”

KIKO SALAZAR (BA) writes, “At the age of 25, I was promoted to chief operating officer of Doctor Multimedia, the highest-rated medical marketing company in the world. In June of 2020, my rapid progress in the world of business led myself to be featured on the cover of San Diego Woman Magazine, an invitation-only publication. I created a website, www.kiko.org, where visitors may find my latest endeavors in the worlds of business and digital marketing, the dates of my upcoming seminars and more.”

SHANNA VAN WAGNER (JD) was promoted to senior associate for Lynberg & Watkins.

[2018]

INDIRA GALVEZ (BA) writes that she is the press secretary for Ally Dalsimer, “a progressive Democrat who is running for Congress in VA-11.”

[2019]

ERIC GERSBACHER (MA) says, “Lately I’ve been chilling hard. I am hoping to gain some data analytics skills, and am considering a boot camp. I was offered a job in disaster relief assistance to begin next year.”

NOEL MEZA (JD) writes, “My son, Noel, Jr., just turned 2! He was born three weeks before I took the California Bar Exam, which I passed on the first try!”

2020s

[2020]

RAMON LEYVA (BS/BA), (MA) accepted a software engineer offer from Microsoft at the end of July 2021.

WILLIAM SWEATT (BBA) writes, “I graduated in the Corona Class of 2020 so had to get a little creative. I bought a couple of buckets, a vacuum, some spray bottles and started knocking on doors. Now we are San Diego Select Detailing, and have been running independently for 15 months, most recently ranking in San Diego’s top-10 detailing businesses. Things worked out how they were supposed to!”

[2021]

DAVID FIELDS (BBA) writes, “I graduated in May and got a job as a logistics specialist at Pilot Flying J in Knoxville, Tennessee.” 

MARVIN HEINZE (MSEL) was recently honored by the San Diego-Imperial Council of the Boy Scouts of America as a 2021 National Eagle Scout Association Outstanding Eagle Scout. Currently a City Councilmember in Coronado, Heinze was recognized as a notable Eagle Scout who, through service to his country and community, has inspired others. A career Navy Special Operations Officer who led Explosive Ordnance Disposal forces, a senior government official in port and harbor security and a dedicated community volunteer, Marvin consistently lives the Scout Oath. 

MARJON SAULON (MA) recently accepted an appointment to serve as Northern California regional coordinator for the Office of California Gov. Newsom. He began the job on Feb. 7, 2022. He writes, “I’m excited to connect the priorities of Californians to the governor.”

JENNIFER “JENNY” DOYLE BATISH ‘03 (BA) passed away on Nov. 8th, 2021, at the age of 40 after a long and courageous battle with breast cancer. She grew up in a Navy family and lived in numerous locations before settling in Washington state. She graduated from Archbishop Murphy High School in Everett, Washington, in 1999 and received a Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship to the University of San Diego. After succeeding in making many lifelong friendships, she graduated from USD in 2003 with a degree in biology and was commissioned as an Ensign in the United States Navy. Following her active-duty Naval Service, she worked in support of the Navy with the SAIC Corporation before joining the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2009. She completed training at the FBI Academy with Class 09-04. Jenny served on multiple squads as an FBI Special Agent in Philadelphia and Sacramento until her illness forced her to medically retire in 2021.  She was extremely proud of the important work she did with the FBI and enjoyed the friendship and camaraderie she developed with fellow agents and teammates. Jenny is survived by her husband, Ramon Batish, and her almost 5-year-old son, Christopher. They were the love of her life along with her entire family. She is also survived by her mother and father, Christie and Dennis Doyle, and by two older brothers: Pat and his wife, Ann, and their two children, Patrick and Louisa; Tim and his wife, Nicole, and their daughter, Alexandra.

JAMES FREED ‘56 (BA) passed away on Dec. 21, 2021. He was the first graduate of the College for Men. As such, Freed holds a special place in the history of the university. James transferred to USD from St. Columban’s Seminary in Milton, Massachusetts, coming to campus as a senior in 1954. At that time, there were about 40 undergraduate men enrolled at USD, along with another 60 in the School of Law. “We were the stepchildren,” he recalled in a 2006 story in USD Magazine. “We went to class across Linda Vista Road, where the University of San Diego High School used to be.” After earning his undergraduate degree in philosophy, Freed was drafted and did his military service in Germany before returning to San Diego, where he’d lived since 1941. “I worked at Teledyne Ryan for 36 years,” he said. “Back then, the aerospace industry was San Diego’s bread and butter.” He looked back on his place in USD’s history with a hint of solemnity: “The men’s college blossomed and grew from humble beginnings to the great university we became. Bishop Buddy was a visionary.”

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