Spring 2023 Class Notes

USD campus in full sunlight



NADINE THOMAS (BA) writes, “Hi, from Aiken, South Carolina! I moved from a big house to small one just around the corner. My son still lives in Seattle, and we had a lovely Christmas together with my three grandchildren, Ryan is a teacher in Texas, Dyan is a precious stone collector in Seattle, and Cassidy is studying for her master’s degree.”



RONALD HOUSE (BA), ’64 (JD)  reports, “I retired from the practice of law after 57 years. Time to enjoy children and grandchildren.”


PEGGY THOMPSON (BA)  writes, “Don and I celebrated our 60th wedding anniversary on June 16, 2022, with 11 of our children and grandchildren on a 14-day cruise through the British Isles, Guernsey and Normandy. It was a wonder-filled family trip!”


VICTOR BIANCHINI (JD) provided this update: “U.S. national champion: sabre fencing and three-time national champion (2012, 2021 and 2022). Maccabiah Games Bronze Sabre Medal in 35-year-old division and silver in Team Epee.”

ELOISA THOMPSON (BA) reports that she has a new grandson. “William Robert Thompson Zuñiga was born July 12, 2022, to our youngest son, Robert, and his wife, Jessica. They have two other children, Edward Luis and Kaitlin Marie,”
she writes.


PAUL MAJKUT (BA) reports that he retired in 2020 after a career teaching undergraduate and graduate literature and philosophy. He adds that during that time, he was also an active journalist, both within the U.S. and abroad. He has been awarded five Fulbright Senior Specialist and Scholar grants (Argentina, Finland, Germany, Mexico and Estonia), and two National Endowment for the Humanities awards (Oxford, Cambridge). He is a reader of medieval manuscripts and rare books at the Bodleian Library Oxford, Cambridge University Library and the Huntington Library. He has received numerous journalism awards for this writing (the San Diego Press Club, the Los Angeles Press Club, the Southern California Press Club, the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Conference of Christians and Jews). In 1998, he founded the Society for Phenomenology and Media. He has lectured as a visiting professor widely in universities in the U.S., as well as internationally. Since retiring, he was asked by university colleagues abroad to teach classes online. Refusing pay, he decided to teach a course at the University of Jos, Nigeria, an impoverished university beset by religious violence.

TOM LaPUZZA (BA) celebrated the publication in September of 2022 of his book, Weapons of Choice: A History of the Point Loma Navy Laboratory. The volume chronicles the first half of the eight-decade history of one of the Navy’s premier research and engineering laboratories, Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific in San Diego, where he has worked for 53 years. Volume II is underway. He and his wife, Donna, celebrated their 53rd anniversary in August of 2022.



HEATHER RUTH WISHIK (JD) provided this update: “I retired from my consulting practice in June 2022. This is the third time I have tried to retire — hopefully it sticks this time. I am happily immersed in making prints and collages and writing poems. Next up is a revision of the novel I began 35 years ago and put in a drawer.”



DIANE BRANKS (BA) provided this report: “Podiatrist for 37 years, of which 35 have been with Kaiser Permanente: San Bernardino Podiatric Surgery (chief 1991-95) and Baldwin Park Vascular Surgery: Limb Preservation. Served as president of the California Podiatric Medical Association from 2021 to 2022. Married my husband, Paul Branks — who now is senior vice president of EastWest Bank — at Founders Chapel 35 years ago and we have three adult children. Katherine is getting her MBA from USC; Andrew is a supervisor at UPS and Annie is getting her PhD at University of Wisconsin at Madison in Biology Research. No grandchildren yet, but lots of cats, dogs and birds, plus my sweet little 95-year-old mother-in-law, who completes my family. I plan to retire in 2023.

JEFFREY L. SIMMONS (BA) is working at USD’s Learning and Design Center as an instructional designer. “Pursuing a late-in-life PhD in the leadership program with an emphasis on higher-ed,”
he adds.


THOMAS LOFFARELLI (MBA) has relocated to Lake Oswego, Oregon, “just eight miles from downtown Portland.” He adds, “Hello to all my Torero faithful! Come up and visit; we have a room waiting for you. Let’s plan a joint Zoom for all Torero clubs and groups across the U.S. and  the world. We need to plan how we can help other Toreros, and how we can be an asset to USD and each other. It’s about staying connected and finding out how we can be of assistance to others.”


SANDY BARSKY (BBA) writes, “Even after the first year into my second career, my mind always goes back to my time at USD with so many good memories of being there; all of which starts with the people I met, from classmates to professors.”


CATHY CAMPBELL-GERMANN (BA) writes, “After 38 years in a career of sales and sales management, I retired in September! Mark and I are going to be snowbirds with this change, living our lives in northeast Florida and Westminster, Colorado. We are the proud parents of four children: two live in Colorado and the other two live in New York and Minnesota. As we wait for hopeful grandchildren, we will continue to volunteer at our Catholic churches and the community, for myself to learn golf and play pickleball, to travel and to entertain. I am most grateful to USD for deepening my Catholic faith, which led to a life filled with friends and service!”


CYNTHIA DURYEA-HIBBERT (BA) reports that she was “recently honored by New York State Assemblywoman Pam Hunter as the Community Educator Exceptional Woman of the Year for my work as an adult programming planner for the Liverpool Public Library.”

CHRISTOPHER KITZMAN (BA) provided this update: “I went back to school in July 2020 at Chicago’s Loyola University to pursue an executive MBA and did a 10-day international immersion in Paris with our EMBA cohort. I graduated in May 2022, and recently took a new job with a division of IBM.”

JAMES NORIEGA (BA) writes, “On June 27, 2022, Elizabeth (Colonna) Noriega ’86 and I welcomed our second grandchild, a beautiful baby girl named Isabel.”


JACK TADE (BBA) joined the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) as a corporate controller in the Finance Directorate located at IDA’s Alexandria, Virginia, headquarters. IDA is a nonprofit corporation that operates three federally funded research and development centers in the public interest sector. IDA answers the most challenging U.S. security and science policy questions with objective analysis leveraging extraordinary scientific, technical and analytic expertise.

CHRISTOPHER WELLBORN (JD) was sworn in as first vice president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in August 2022. He is a solo criminal defense practitioner defending people in South Carolina accused of crimes ranging from misdemeanors to felony charges in state and federal courts throughout the country.


JOEL G. SELIK (LLM) has been appointed by the State Bar of Nevada to the standing committee on ethics and professional responsibility.



STEVE CIHOMSKY (MA) has been a history teacher and boys soccer coach in Tempe, Arizona since 1997. He was the recipient of the Yale Summer History Program in 2007.


RICHARD J. BRUECKNER (BA), ’04 (JD) writes that he and his wife are living on the vacation island of Ocean City, Maryland with their two daughters, Isabella (8) and Sophia (5). Rich founded RJB LAW, LLC, which has grown to be the largest DUI and Criminal Defense firm on the Eastern shore of Maryland. Rich loves helping people when the chips are down, specializing in handling more than 400 DUI cases annually. “USD helped instill a servant’s heart, which has held me in good stead for all these years. Perhaps most importantly, my family is still surfing more than 200 days per year … thanks USD!”

RANDY LASER (MBA) writes, “I am now working at Richard Branson’s new cruise line, Virgin Voyages, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I’m leading the sailor and crew travel team.”


KATIE (MARTIN) KEEN (BA) writes, “Jim and I are the owners of four Wetzel’s Pretzels franchises in the San Diego/Temecula area and we just moved back to San Diego after living in Colorado for 17 years. We look forward to reconnecting with some old San Diego friends!”


VICTORIA BAILEY (MSN) writes, “Mostly I have spent the last 15 years working and taking care of my elderly mother. However, I retired from the VA and now want to enjoy all that San Diego has to offer.”

STEVE McGREEVY (JD) was elected to the Orange County Superior Court on June 7, 2022. He is currently head of the OCDA Homicide Unit.


AMANDA STROBERG (BA) writes, “I’m in my 24th year in education working in San Diego as the attendance coordinator at Eastlake High School. My oldest son just started his freshman year in college (OU) and I also have a 10th and 8th grader. I have been married for 21 years to my husband, Shane, a local CPA, and we can be found on the sports fields watching our kids.”

DEBRA WYMAN (JD) was featured in a story on the Lawdragon Magazine website. In it, she is described as “a top-tier securities litigator who has dedicated her career to seeking justice for defrauded investors. She has achieved client wins totaling more than $2 billion, including a historic $1 billion settlement in a securities fraud class-action lawsuit against the real estate investment trust company, VEREIT (formerly known as ARCP).” 



SCOTT BERGEN (BA), ’21 (MEd) provided this update: “I took a job at Chaminade College Prep in West Hills, California, as assistant campus minister and teacher

CHRISTOPHER M. FALLON (JD) has been named a partner in the Los Angeles office of Liebert Cassidy Whitmore. He provides representation and legal counsel to school and community college districts, special districts, independent schools and nonprofit entities. His practice focuses on matters pertaining to business and facilities including general vendor contracts, construction contracts and issues, procurement issues, property agreements and leases and various business issues. He is also a LEED (Leadership in Energy Environmental Design) Green Associate, meaning he has been accredited by the U.S. Green Business Certification Inc. as a professional with extensive knowledge of green building practices, construction and operations.


BASIL CONSIDINE (BA) was the 2021-2022 U.S. Fulbright faculty fellow in Madagascar, where he taught at the University of Antananarivo, volunteered at local schools and led an international performance tour by Really Spicy Opera. In addition to dozens of outreach lectures, lessons and workshops, he also baked more than 138 kilos of flour into bread to feed his students and local unhoused persons and amassed an “obscenely large collection of lemur paintings that he commissioned.”


NICK BELLANCA (BACC) provided this update: “I recently joined Marsh McLennan Agency (MMA) as vice president of employee health and benefits, specializing in health care plan design, benefits and total rewards consulting for employers. Prior to joining MMA, I was a founding member of Genomic Life, and led their group benefits division. While at Genomic Life, I helped create their unique cancer guardian program, designed their go-to-market strategy and led their national sales efforts in the employer market. We were the first organization to introduce genomic programs as an employee benefit.”


MELANIE BRANDT (MEd) writes, “I began the 2022-23 school year as the assistant principal of Madison Avenue Elementary in the Cajon Valley Union School District. I am a proud member of the Madison community! Go Eaglets!”

PATRICK NASR (BACC) currently serves as a vice president in the Life Sciences group at Blackstone and recently joined the National Cancer Center’s Board of Directors. 

LIANNA TABAR (BA) married Andre Downes on June 11, 2022, at St. Cecilia Church in Boston, Massachusetts. The couple was grateful to be surrounded by family and friends that day, and to celebrate with more family and friends a week later at a reception in El Dorado Hills, California.


MOLLIE SITKOWSKI (BA) reports that she is “now a partner at a law firm practicing international trade law!”

KRESTSNA TOTTRESS (BBA) started a new job as the senior manager of billing operations at an oncology diagnostic laboratory in San Francisco.


ALEXANDRA KRASOVEC (BA) was promoted to partner in the Consumer Protection, Advertising, and Competition Practice Group at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, on Jan. 1, 2022. Her practice focuses on Telephone Consumer Protection Act compliance and class-action defense.


DANIEL BROWN (BA) is a San Diego architect for Gensler. He writes, “For the last four years, I’ve been working on the new Snapdragon Stadium (home to the SDSU Aztecs, San Diego Legion and San Diego Wave). I’m proud to be a part of making this stadium a new standard for sports and entertainment facilities.”



LAUREN (PAULUS) EAGAN (JD) is the founder and CEO of Eagan Immigration, a female-led U.S.-based law firm dedicated to empowering immigrants to achieve. The fully remote company specializes in humanitarian immigration cases and is making plans to expand into employment-based immigration. Founded in 2014, the firm has grown from one attorney to a workforce of more than 70 team members and counting. In the summer of 2022, the company debuted on Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 5000 list, which is described as “the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies in America.”

SAMANTHA (SHENKO) KING (BA) has been working in the federal government for the last 11 years as a “contractor for two years, civil servant for nine years” in the Washington, D.C., area. She says she started as a contractor in logistical planning and then became an analyst. Since then, she’s been promoted and worked through the ranks as a liaison, briefer, chief of operations, and is now a senior-level manager. “I’m one of the fastest females to elevate from entry-level to senior ranking within the organization,” she wrote. “I earned my master’s degree in global security studies from Johns Hopkins University in 2018 while working full time and have competed in multiple bodybuilding competitions. We got married in Austin in February 2022! Next year, I will have served 10 years as a civil servant and we’re looking forward to starting a family. We recently bought our first home in San Antonio.”


MEGAN EILERS (BA) graduated from Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law in 2018 and is working as in-house privacy counsel at Western Digital Corporation.

TYLER WILSON (BA) is an attorney for Flores & Pelaez-Prada in San Antonio, Texas. He and his wife of six years, Cristina, have two sons: Bennett, 3; and Noah, 1.

MICHAEL ZARCONI (JD) has been selected for inclusion in the 2023 edition of Best Lawyers in America; Ones to Watch in the fields of commercial litigation and insurance law. He works for the firm Sullivan Hill Rez & Engel, which provides “full-service representation to clients in a variety of industries with an emphasis in insolvency, construction disputes, insurance coverage, real estate, business disputes, civil litigation and transactional work.” 


NATALY (YOSEF) CARAS (BA) writes, “My husband, Zac Caras ’13 (BBA), and I met at USD. We have been happily together for more than 10 years. Zac is exceling in his data analytics position for a start-up known as Klover, and I’m practicing real estate law. We live in Chicago now. We are so, so grateful to USD for bringing us together!”

TARA IGUIDBASHIAN (BA) reports that she “is now corporate partnerships activation account manager for Kroenke Sports and Entertainment (Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rapids, Colorado Mammoth).”

ROMYN SABATCHI (BBA) reports that she played Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet and Nikki in Both Your Houses for the 2022 Hawaii Shakespeare Festival.

ALEX SHUSKO (BA) reports that spouse Erin (Hong) ’13 (BA) completed her DDS from UCLA in 2017, and has been in practice in New York, California and soon, Scottsdale, Arizona. Alex completed his MD from Creighton in 2017, completed ophthalmology training in 2022 and started practice in Scottsdale in August 2022.


KEITH VAN WAGNER (JD) was selected to be the group program manager for the County of San Diego’s new Public Records Act Unit, which is responsible for coordinating responses to all countywide Public Records Act requests.


LAUREN (RILEY) BAGIAN (BA) and Mike Bagian ’16 (BS/BA) are happy to announce their recent marriage.

KATELYN JOHNSON (BA) reports that she has moved back to San Diego from Seattle for a new position at the Oceanside Arts Museum.


GARY COUCH (BS/BA) married Alexis Dachs ’17 (BA) on Sept. 24, 2022.

VICKY (MADERA) JAMISON (MA) is working as a master sommelier for Talbott Vineyards in Carmel, California. She also volunteers with anti-human-trafficking organizations in Salinas, California. She is married and has a 2-year-old son. 

KIRAN LONG-IYER (BA) was recently a guest speaker for USD’s Psychology and Behavior Neuroscience Club this semester. They discussed their career trajectory from working at a start-up that creates fiber photometry imaging systems for use in neuroscience research to their current research at UC Davis in the Tian Lab probing neuromodulation in the brain.


DELILAH BISHOP (BA) is a co-founder of and producer at Be Kind Studios, a boutique stills and film production team.

EARVIN BUCKNER (MA) recently got married.

ELLIE PETTY (BA) joined the doctoral program in chemical and biological sciences at Scripps Research in Fall 2022.

McKENNA SAKAMOTO (BA) is a neuropsychology research coordinator at the VA San Diego Healthcare System. She began a PhD program in clinical psychology at Pennsylvania State University in Fall 2022.

TARA VUKOVICH (JD) has a new position as business and construction defect litigation attorney at Lorber Greenfield & Polito LLP. 

KENNETH YEE (MS) writes, “After obtaining my master’s degree in cybersecurity operations and leadership, I was able to switch careers to work as an IT specialist in 2020. I will transition to information system security officer.”



MICHAEL APOSTOL (BA) is a staff research associate in the Translational Neuroimaging Lab at UCLA. He is testing whether noninvasive brain stimulation influences withdrawal symptoms in people who smoke cigarettes. 

AMANDA HOLBROOK (BA) will attend the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida, to pursue her PhD in clinical science. She is looking forward to pursuing research and working toward becoming a licensed clinical psychologist.

ASHLYNN ROSS (BA) is a second-year student in the master’s program at Yale University’s Divinity School.

JAY SEVILLA (MA) is an academic advisor for UC Berkeley.

CHINONYE WAMKPAH (BA) joined the Master of Public Health program in Behavioral Social Health Education Sciences at Emory University in Fall 2022.


JOSEPH EYERMAN (MS) writes, “Getting my master’s from USD was the best thing I could have done for my career. More important, I became a better version of myself thanks to the LEPSL program.”

SCOTT OMAHEN (MSN) is currently working at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit.


ALEXA ANDRADE (BA) is pursuing a master’s degree in cognitive science in education at Columbia University.

ALI BELL (BA) accepted a position as an environmental educator with AmeriCorps at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

BRENNAN HARRIS (BA) traveled through Europe and other countries with two of her best friends after graduation to explore other cultures and possible jobs or graduate school opportunities abroad.

AKEMI ITO (BA) joined the neuroscience PhD program at Boston University in the fall of 2022.

MICHELLE NGUYEN (BA) is pursuing a master’s program in genetic counseling at Stanford University.

ANAHI BUSTILLOS SALAZAR (BA) is joining the neurobiology PhD program at the University
of Chicago. 

RILEY WEEDEN (BA) is pursuing graduate school for a master’s degree in mental health counseling at St. Edward’s University in
Austin, Texas.

SAMUEL WHITE (MS) got married on Jan. 1, 2022. “We moved to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for my wife’s residency and I got a job as the property manager of a 52-acre real estate development,” he writes.

In Memoriam

TRUSTEE EMERITUS A. EUGENE (“GENE”) TREPTE passed away at the age of 97 in mid-September of 2022. He continued his father and grandfather’s legacy of building major San Diego landmark buildings as president of the Trepte Construction Company, which was founded in 1895. Celeste, his wife of more than six decades, passed away in 2014. He is survived by his three daughters, nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren as well as his sister. 

Submit class notes via email to classnotes@sandiego.edu. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *