Fall 2022 Class Notes

USD's Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies


PATRICIA MORTELL related the sad news that her husband, Michael, passed away on Jan. 16, 2022. 


MARY DUGAN (BA) writes,  “I retired from grant writing last August. Now I have more time for my partner, Robert Mentken, who is 88, and exercising, maintaining as much health as possible, given scoliosis. My granddaughter and her husband are taking on positions at Duke University’s medical school; he is a fellow in palliative care and she is a fourth-year surgical resident and researcher in oncology. Loved seeing classmates on Zoom, celebrating our 60th anniversary! Any chance of doing that periodically?”


VERN SCHOOLEY (JD) writes, “I was privileged to be invited to the Supreme Court of the U.S. for a formal dinner in the Great Hall with 100 other legal leaders from around the United States. No matter how many times you have been, it is always a thrill to enter the Supreme Court Room and realize that is where the law is handed down.” Vern is past president of the Long Beach Bar Association, founding president of both the Ball/Hunt/Schooley Inn of Court and the Judge Paul R. Michel IP Inn and trustee of the AIC. He continues living in Long Beach, California, with his wife, the former Tricia Reschke, who was named Miss Australia in 1962. He enjoys tennis four times per week, and only recently gave up snow skiing.


JACKSON MUECKE (BA) and his wife of 43 years, Christine ’76 (MEd), enjoy their retirement in San Diego shepherding four grandchildren and watching in awe the service careers of their three daughters: Alexis is a neonatal charge nurse at Mary Birch; Meredith is a San Diego City firefighter/paramedic and Lauren is a mental health counselor working at the Mobile Critical Response Team. They add, “Our son Josh, who spent nine years in professional baseball with the Astros and the Colorado Rockies, is now in sales in Arizona.” After 10 years in administration at USD, Jackson spent 23 years with Merrill Lynch in La Jolla as a financial advisor. Christine taught at-risk children and their parents for 36 years at San Diego Unified and served as a lecturer at San Diego State University in child and family development. Jackson continues to stay involved in all aspects of USD athletics, and adds, “Never a dull moment!”


DEBBIE BURKE (BA) recently released her seventh thriller, Until Proven Guilty. The sixth book in her series, Flight To Forever, was a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Award. She and her husband, Tom, celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2022. 


JOSE RAZO (JD) was reappointed to the California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, where he has served since 2015. 


RANDALL FONG (MEd) writes, “After 30 years in Catholic education in Hawaii, I retired in May 2022. For the past 23 years, I’ve worked as college counselor/senior division counselor at Sacred Hearts Academy and spent seven years as admissions director at Damien Memorial School. Been blessed to make an impact at these two institutions. It has been a great journey with many wonderful memories. I’m also helping with children’s ministry at two churches.”

MARTIN MATES (BBA) reports that he landed his first job through USD’s Career Placement office. “Forty years with Reliance Electric / ABB, then began working at Weir Minerals last year,” he says.


WILLIAM GOREN (JD) writes, “I’ve been in Atlanta since 2012. My daughter is off to Drake University in the fall of 2022. My law and consulting practices — which focus on understanding the ADA, so that the client understands how to comply with that law and related laws — continues to grow.”


LAURA (PALAZZI) REYES (BA), ’88 (MEd) is enjoying her teaching career and was named one of five San Diego County Teachers of the Year for 2021-22. She and her husband are the proud parents of five children and have three grandchildren.


REID BUTLER (BBA) received his doctorate in IT management in early 2020. He currently works for Jabil as a program manager while volunteering as an adjunct faculty in the master’s program for a global university focused on low income and underprivileged students.


KATHERINE RAND (BA) provided this update: “I earned a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction from Western Governors University. I’m in my 29th year of teaching in Southern California, where I teach eighth-grade U.S. History, and AP Government and Politics to 12th graders and serve as an induction coach for new teachers.”

JOHN DELLA VOLPE (BA) has published a new book, titled Fight: How Gen Z Is Channeling Their Fear and Passion to Save America.


R. LYNN HOWARD (JD) is the chief deputy district attorney for Lincoln County, Oregon. She was recently named the National Association of Prosecutor Coordinators Highway Safety Prosecutor of the Year for 2022, which was awarded in July 2022. 


WENDY HIMES (BA) received her Master of Arts degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Colorado, Denver, which she completed in August 2021. “I teach high school English and college prep classes at Colorado Early Colleges Parker, an accelerated early college/charter high school,” she adds.


CHRISTOPHER TENORIO (LLM) writes, “I was appointed by President Biden in April 2021 as a deputy assistant attorney general in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.” He oversees the department’s Office of Immigration Litigation.


TIMOTHY EARL (JD) was selected as a 2022 Super Lawyer in the area of insurance coverage. He works for Sullivan Hill Rez & Engel in San Diego and is chair of the firm’s construction and insurance practice group. An experienced litigation attorney, he practices primarily in the areas of construction litigation, insurance coverage and business litigation. His insurance coverage practice involves representation of policyholders and insurance companies in a variety of insurance coverage disputes primarily involving property damage or bodily injury arising out of construction defect and asbestos claims.

JENNIFER SCHELTER (MFA) is working as a meditation and writing coach in Philadelphia. She writes, “From Feb. 11-18, 2023, I’m leading a mindful retreat to Quimixto, Mexico, at the stunning Xinalani Resort. Those interested in R&R, spiritual inspiration and new life horizons should check it out on my website, www.jenniferschelter.com.”

DANIEL SULLIVAN (BBA) is launching his own brand of wine, Makasi: Wines of Gratitude, which specializes in pinot noir and chardonnay. Find it online at Makasiwine.com. He adds, “Anxious to get back on the mountain. Come ski and drink with me!” 


JONATHAN ASCH (JD) recently joined Compass, a San Diego County luxury real estate firm. He notes that he has served the Torero community as a residential, investment and multifamily broker since 2003.

JENNIFER (BAILEY) BOWHEY (BA) reports that her business, Visiting Angels NNMP, was voted best home care agency in Eastern Virginia by the readers of Virginia Living magazine.


TAMARA (GRAFF) CORDOVA (JD) was appointed by Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak to a four-year term on the Nevada Public Utilities Commission in June of 2020.


CRISTINA SHOUKRY (BSN), ’01 (MSN) writes, “I am dedicated to using everything I learned at USD’s School of Nursing, which was an amazing footstep to a lifetime mission to serve with knowledge, dedication and compassion. Thank you!”


KELLY (KAISER) EDWARDS (BA) was inducted into the Santa Cruz High School Athletic Hall of Fame in October 2021. Edwards, a three-sport athlete at SCHS, excelled in volleyball, basketball and softball, and continues to stay active today. She reports that she married Harvey Edwards in 2010 and the couple has twin daughters, age 8. Kelly and Harvey reside in Salem, New Hampshire, and enjoy coaching their girls in basketball at the Boys and Girls Club.


JENNI MASSMAN (BBA) writes, “We just moved our little family from Sparks, Nevada to Edmond, Oklahoma. It’s an exciting new adventure!”

AMANDA SWEENEY (BBA) reports that she and her husband, Jason ’02 (MBA) ’02 (JD), welcomed their fourth daughter in 2021 and opened a startup apiary on their new 110-acre farm, Edgewood Apiaries and Farm, in Bremo Bluff, Virginia. Jason continues to build his law practice, serving top 100 global business firms. “There’s nothing like keeping busy!” Amanda adds.


CHARLENE (NAFT) GREEN (MA) reports, “I just moved to the national organization of the regional nonprofit I was working for. Working on a Jewish leadership program for 20- to 24-year-olds.”


CRAIG HENRICKSEN (MBA) writes, “I’m the founding member of a year-old startup in the Bay Area, which is still in stealth mode. We are looking to bring to market new air sanitation technology to dramatically improve the safety and quality of indoor air. I’m serving as chief marketing officer, and recently led the team on a complete rebranding of the company and our first product. I’m looking forward to introducing the company to the world in the coming months.”

JEROMY WHITE (BBA) reports that he is “running a growing employee benefits and human resources consulting firm. Raising three kids, ages 8, 6 and 4.”


KRISTIN DONAHUE (MA), who earned her degree in marriage and family therapy, runs a private practice in La Mesa, California. “My specialization is in treating individuals who suffer from symptoms of trauma,” she writes. “My genuine passion is working with military service members and their families, as well as law enforcement and first-responder populations.”


JACKIE MOLA (LLM) writes, “Hi, Class of 2008! Great class! I miss all my LLM classmates from all over the world. Shout out to our great professors, especially my Family Law professor Houghton, who worked so hard with my class to make sure that our family papers were published!”


JACQUELINE P. CHE (BA), ’11 (MA) is among the 35 emerging leaders selected to join the Obama Foundation Leaders Asia-Pacific program, which trains participants in leadership development and community and civic engagement to help build their skills and scale their work across public, private and nonprofit sectors. She is the director of internal control and evaluation for federal programs at the CNMI public school system in Saipan and is also the founder of Full Belly, Full Hearts, a volunteer-led initiative that provides free hot meals and family grocery bag distribution from partnering wholesale distributors, referrals to social services, job search and placement assistance and translation services for unemployed and underemployed individuals who seek it. The Obama Foundation Leaders program is designed to further inspire, empower, and connect emerging leaders from Africa, Asia-Pacific and Europe to change their respective communities and the world. To learn more, visit obama.org/leaders.


CONRAD SMITH (BBA), ’15 (MS) recently joined Shield AI as director of supply chain operations after nearly 13 years with Northrop Grumman.


MEGAN BRABSON ’11 (BA) writes, “I am so excited to share that I recently joined my husband, Rex Brabson ’14 (JD), as his new director of operations to help build our law firm, T-Rex Law, P.C.! We focus on intellectual property law for clients nationwide. Rex asked me back in 2007 — when we were both undergrads — if I would be his girlfriend, coincidently in front of USD School of Law. I don’t think at that time either one of us would have dreamed 15 years later we would be running a law firm together, but it has all come full circle. We got married at Founders Chapel back in 2015, and in 2019 added a new member to our family, our son Max. We recently hired a law clerk who attends the law school, and plan to hire another Torero attorney to join our team in the next few months. USD will forever hold a very special place in our hearts!”

MONICA ODDO (BA), ’19 (MSN) reports that she married Sean Cullina ’10 (BBA) in April of 2022. 

KURT WHITMAN (JD) has joined the law firm of Mitchell Chadwick in Roseville, California, as counsel, continuing his practice in the areas of land use, environmental and real property law.


CHEYENNE McCARTHY (BA) writes that she “proudly opened her own chiropractic office in Fallbrook, California, this year. She provides comprehensive chiropractic care for the community, specializing in veterans, pregnant patients and you!” She welcomes all Toreros, and adds, “receive $20 off your initial visit when you mention this USD Magazine blurb. Be well at McCarthyChiropracticInc.com.”

MICHAEL ZARCONI (JD) has been selected to the Rising Stars list in the area of construction litigation. As a member of the Sullivan Hill Rez & Engel litigation, construction and insurance practice groups, he has a wide range of experience as a general civil litigator including commercial and business litigation, construction disputes, insurance coverage, anti-SLAPP litigation and labor and employment law matters. His construction practice focuses on large scale construction performance disputes for general contractors, subcontractors, developers and engineers. 


JESSICA HANSON YORK (MA) began a new role as executive director of San Diego’s Mingei International Museum in July 2022. She took over as the museum is riding the wave of a successful transformational renovation project and played a key role in the fundraising and oversight of a recent capital project, which raised more than $47 million. She joined the museum in 2011 after serving as director of external affairs and marketing at The New Children’s Museum in downtown San Diego. While there, she oversaw the creation of the brand and managed the grand opening in 2010. She currently serves as an adjunct professor at USD’s School of Leadership and Education Sciences. Read more. 


LAUREN KLEIN (BA) is working for Teach for America in New Orleans, Louisiana.


LAUREN FREIDENBERG (JD) has practiced civil rights litigation in California, most recently in Los Angeles, for the past five years. “I’ve recently returned to my hometown of Seattle, Washington,” she writes. “I’m currently employed with a civil rights litigation firm, MacDonald Hoague & Bayless. I’m so proud to see USD School of Law’s ranking at No. 64!”

EVAN WAHL (BBA), ’16 (MS) is working for Catalent Pharma Solutions as the director of project management and site strategy. A global company, Catalent is comprised of 50 sites and 18,000 employees.


ZAC DWECK (BA) writes that he was “recently promoted to estates director for the Eklund | Gomes Team in Orange County and leading expansion into the Las Vegas market.” 


JENNIFER GIVENS (BA) earned her master’s degree in human resource management at National University and received a commission from the U.S. Navy Reserve as a direct commission HR officer.

BRITTANY PHILLIPS HUNT (BA) received her masters in counseling with honors distinction specializing in marriage and family therapy and practitioner of clinical counseling from National University. “I’m now a registered associate therapist with dual licensure — AMFT and APCC — in California and am working to become a fully licensed therapist. I specialize in military, LGBTQIA+, substance use and trauma populations. Thank you, USD, for fostering my love for psychology and for the amazing professors who pushed me to continue my education!”


AMANDA NELSON (MA) is the full-time director of marketing and communications for San Diego Pride. 


NIKTA SHAHBAZ (BA), who was valedictorian for USD’s College of Arts and Sciences in 2020, was accepted to Yale Law School, which is considered the No. 1 law school in the U.S.


NATHAN AGGARWAL (BA) provided this update: “Since I’ve graduated, I’ve become an EMT in San Diego and am applying to Master of Nursing programs.”

CHRISTINA (KOVACH) CORPUS (MS) was elected sheriff in San Mateo County in June 2022, making her one of the first two Latina sheriffs in the state of California. She earned her master’s degree from USD’s Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership program.

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 council-member 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) writes, “I was fortunate to be appointed by Governor Newsom in February to be his Northern California regional coordinator of external affairs!” 


JENNIFER KELLY (MEd) writes, “I’ve been job hopping a bit the last several years. I’ve just been hired to be a teacher at the United Nations International School that offers an excellent salary. It’s a one-year appointment with a good chance of being hired longer.”

TEODOR ZELENSKYY (BA) starts his master’s in family therapy program at California State University, Northridge, in the fall of 2022.

We want to hear from you! Submit class notes via email to classnotes@sandiego.edu. 



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