Class Notes reflects submissions received between Aug. 1, 2015 and Jan. 1, 2016.
Theodore “Ted” Nicolay ’44 was given the title Honorary Trustee Emeritus in May of 2015 at a special dinner presided over by U of R President Ralph Kuncl. Ted is a former University Trustee (1974-1983) and Alumni Board member.
Dave ’50 and Lillian Levering along with Jim ’50 and Barbara ’50 Heywood are members of the Mount San Antonio Gardens retirement community in Claremont.
We welcome Alton Robertson ’54 as the Class Notes reporter for his class. Please contact Alton by email, firstname.lastname@example.org to share your news and noteworthy activities!
For this issue of Och Tamale, Alton asked his classmates a specific question to get the dialogue started. The question for this issue was: Where and when did you eat your most memorable meal?
Audrey Crane Barth ’54 “My most memorable meal was at the Steak House in Reno. It is a lovely meal with all the trimmings. We had Steak Diane cooked at the table. My husband and I always shared one plate. My husband has passed away so no more meals like that but wonderful memories.”
Nancy Ford Blue ’54 remembers, “as an Ohio girl, I grew up eating meat and potatoes. One night, about two years after the end of World War II, my father invited us to try a new Chinese restaurant in town. It was food that we had never had before. This was quite an experience. To this day, Chinese food is one of my favorites.”
Rich ’54 and Lorretta Lutton ’54 Bueermann made their “big move” in April to Plymouth Village Continuing Care Retirement Community in Redlands. They joined Barbara Gustafson Parker ’54, John Townsend ’54 and Alton Robertson ’54 along with approximately 25 other U of R alums.
Roger Cullen’s ’54 responded: “Our most memorable meal was probably when we took the visiting David ’54 and Mary ’56 Nuffer several years ago to a French restaurant called Le Rêve in downtown San Antonio, of all places. There were only a few tables, and reservations were required months in advance to sample Chef Andrew Weissman’s interpretations of out-of-this-world French cuisine. Le Rêve was acclaimed at the time by the New York Times. The Nuffers and we had broken bread together in Paris over the years and the four of us found Weissman’s fare superior to any we had found there.”
Ron “Squeak” Davis ’54 shares that the “most memorable meals were eaten at cookouts by the Big Wood River when I lived in Sun Valley, Idaho. We were joined by good friends and family. Chicken, steak, burgers, ribs and hot dogs were our normal meals.” Squeak’s current activities include tennis three or four times each week and biking in the desert.
Nancy Friend Dillon ’54 says her most memorable meal was in a lodge on Mount Cook on New Zealand’s South Island. Nancy has made 19 trips with the U.S. Lighthouse Society. She continues to volunteer as an airport “Navigator,” helping people find their way and/or answer questions. She also works with “Call for Action,” an NBC affiliate in Phoenix, which helps with consumer problems and saved viewers $1 million this year.
Dale Edmonson ’54 recalls “a late evening dinner in Lincoln, England (summer, 1987). A chicken dish with unforgettable sauce and shredded zucchini (later introduced in Bon Appétit). The ambiance of a 12th-century Norman house added to the pleasure.”
Jim Erickson ’54 has now retired after spending 56 years in the practice of law. He sold his house and moved to a seniors’ apartment project in San Juan Capistrano, a building project he had approved as chairman of the city’s Planning Commission and his wife had helped finance as manager of the city’s Redevelopment Agency.
Jean Burnight Fenton ’54 shares that her “most memorable meals were when Dave and I were dating in 1950-51 and went to the French restaurant in Laguna Beach, often followed by a play. The meal was a tureen of lentil soup, a big bowl of Caesar salad and grilled swordfish. Unfortunately, that restaurant no longer exists.”
The December Bracebridge banquet at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite tops Mary Pierson Graw’s ’54 list of memorable meals. She and Herb were on the list for about 11 years and finally won in the lottery for the first seating; so it was early and light and the view outside was spectacular.
Jackie Bean Hall ’54 has chosen a dinner that she won 53 years ago through a competition sponsored by Fuller Paints on radio station KKHI in San Francisco. It was at the Blue Fox restaurant with ongoing nightclub entertainment after the dinner of chicken in a clay pot.
Bill Hawk ’54 is actively involved in several programs at the Huntington Library in San Marino. A new Visitor and Education Center opened in mid-2015, and Bill invites all members of the Class of ’54 to investigate the changes now being offered. Bill also enjoyed a fine visit recently with Tom Grant ’54 at his home in Encinitas.
Jeanette Johnson Henderson ’54 chose a dinner at Benihana in Tokyo in the ’60s. She reports that it was so good that she has since gone to Benihanas around the world and that the family has celebrated her grandson’s 16th and 18th birthdays at Benihana in Newport Beach.
Mara Dee Miller Hodson ’54 wrote, “It was in the midst of a horrible heat wave, and we were on a riverboat cruise on the Danube, Mein and Rhine Rivers. One of our ‘extra’ treats was dinner in a Viennese palace. There was no air conditioning, and everyone was hugging the open windows. We were greeted by a waiter bearing a tray with glasses of champagne and then herded into the dining area where a string ensemble was playing Strauss waltzes. They must have been miserable as they were all in costume.”
Ruth Jordan Jackson ’54 recently received two honors from the Arizona White Tank Mountains Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR). The NSDAR honored her many years of teaching and contributions to the preservation of local and national history by bestowing her with their Historic Preservation Medal and a certificate of recognition for her current work toward preserving Arizona history.
Bob Kindseth ’54 and his dance troop, The Razzmatappers, played at an outdoor wedding at Olvera Street in Los Angeles last November for 200 guests. Bob was the University’s Bulldog mascot, cheering on our teams at many sporting events. He enjoys tap-dancing and performs with other dancers as often as he can.
Jesse Poteet Lance ’54 and her husband, Wayne ’53, are living in Grass Valley, Calif., near their son and his family. They moved in 2015 from White Salmon, Wash., where they were living with their daughter. While they miss overlooking the Columbia River, they are enjoying the warmer winter and seeing their granddaughters regularly. Both are avid readers and make use of iPads to enlarge the print!
Jackson Law ’54 is recovering from knee replacement in his home of many stairs. He wrote to say that he was “very glad to see Gordon Harris ’54 getting recognition for the stained glass windows in the Browsing Room in the last Och Tamale.”
Mabel Shippam McFarland ’54 and her husband still live in Cupertino, Calif., and enjoy family gatherings. Their recent activities include driving up Highway 101 to Portland to visit family, volunteering at their church to pack boxes, which recently included letters from local 3rd and 4th graders, to be sent to troops in Afghanistan. They are expecting their eighth great-grandchild in February.
Jeanne Frey Mitchell ’54 writes, “My most memorable meals (plural) were in Alabama and Georgia when my husband was track and field coach of university teams. I would cook a sit-down chili supper for around 100 athletes every fall to combat the separation anxiety of newly acquired athletes who were away from home for the first time. I promise that anyone who has the time and desire to share at our table in Tucson, Ariz., will be a treat for us.”
Larry Nuggent ’54 and his wife, Kristina, have taught art for eight years on Crystal Cruises and will be continuing this activity as they head out again this summer to Alaska.
Don Ruh ’54, who has been retired 21 years and is living in Yucaipa, says that, during his sabbatical in 1972-73, he and his wife, Sandi Luchsinger ’58 and the children were living in a VW camper. On Christmas Day, they were in Morocco where they shared dinner with 10 other campers.
Rod Skager ’54 shared that his memorable meal was the first breakfast he had in the U.S. Army. “This began a singular period of life—a time outside of, and far removed from ‘normal’ life. It was bacon and fried eggs; and I was hungry after being up all night on the train from L.A. to Ford Ord.”
Bob Steinbach ’54 responded: “May 12, 1971, Thira, Santorini, Greece: On a patio on the edge of the caldera, the last light of day on the horizon, a well-lit cruise ship departing from the harbor, bouzouki music in the background, the fragrance of souvlaki in the warm breeze and an ouzo in hand. To this day, the scent of souvlaki or ouzo sends me to Santorini.”
Marshall Thompson ’54 and his wife, Joyce Stedman ’55, continue to travel up to eight weeks each year including a month in Hawaii every fall and at their timeshare condos in Big Bear, Palm Springs and Sedona, Ariz. They serve on a support team for the First Combat Engineers Battalion at Camp Pendleton and on Dec. 21, helped prepare and serve dinner to 1,000 Marines and their families.
Alton Robertson ’54 writes, “I’ve decided on a home-hosted meal in a small house on the Amazon River. We sat on the floor with the family. The table was a branch from a banana tree. And we ate fish that the host had caught the day before for this occasion. Our question for the next issue will be: Is there a person or literary or artistic work that has had a major impact on your thinking in the past 62 years?”
First, we once again quote Sally Rider Cummings ’56: “Our 60th reunion is next May 20-22. Please attend and be part of the party preparations (that means serving on the planning committee)!”
Marilyn Mason Siemon-Burgeson ’56 teaches infant/toddler caregivers at L.A. Trade Tech College, Child Development Center. She also works on social justice issues, especially for women and girls, with Ascension Episcopal Church, AAUW Tech Trek Science Camp for 7th grade girls and the Scholarship Foundation of the Pasadena College Women’s Club in selecting local women for scholarship and fellowship awards.
Arlene “Shorty” Hanssen Smith ’56 has retired from teaching at Arizona State University and California State University East Bay and lives in Del Webb Sun City in Lincoln, Calif. She visits the east coast often to see her son’s family, three awesome grandsons.
Sharon Bruch Carrington ’58 reports from Hawaii that for the last 15 years she served the University of the Nations (YWAM) in Kona. She has also served as the International Registrar for Asia Pacific, and enjoyed much travel. She now works on other administrative duties.
Your Class Reporter Gordon Clopine ’58 and Sara Lapinski Clopine ’77 have finally done the
downsizing thing, moving from Redlands to Beaumont. E-mail remains the same (email@example.com). He invites your news for the Och Tamale!
Last summer Tony Lane ’58 and his wife sailed on Holland America from Seattle to Hawaii, where they had lived for three years. They then went on to the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Saipan, Guam, the Philippines, Borneo and finally Singapore, where they stayed for two days before flying back to their home in Palm Desert (and golf!).
Corrine Rohrbough Merritt ’58 and her husband have moved to Chandler, Ariz., to be near family. They also have family in Seattle, Wash., and have six grandchildren. They write they would enjoy calls (480-219-8753) and visits.
Sally Hansen Comings ’59 and husband David’s travels took them to Panama, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Cabo San Lucas, Honokeana Cove in Maui, a National Geographic trip through the Norwegian Fiords across to the Arctic Ocean and the island of Svelbard, Cape May, New Jersey, then Bosque del Apache, south of Albuquerque.
Gary Gaiser ’59 and partner, Rick, took two cruises in 2015. First a Disney cruise to the Caribbean with Gary’s three children and five grandchildren, followed by a four-week cruise from Los Angeles to Hawaii and the South Pacific.
Tony Pejsa ’59 and wife Ann Cornwell ’61 spent a week at the Mauna Kea Resort in Kona on the big island of Hawaii. Their granddaughter, Faith Pejsa ’19, started her freshman year at the U of R, making it the third generation after aunt Kerry Pejsa Enderle ’91, Ann and Tony.
Marilyn Solter ’59 traveled to Panama and Guatemala in January, staying in Panama City, Boquette, Panama in the rain forest, Guatemala City and Antigua, Guatemala. The trip included tours of the canal, Chichicastenango Market, Lake Atitlan, Tikal National Park and more!
Kathy Jerrell Harlan ’60 is a regular contributor to Life is Good! Gulf Coast Healthy Lifestyles Magazine, a publication focused on health and wellness. Her most recent article was about rock ’n’ roll and how a shared appreciation for music can unite generations of fans!
Janice Hughes Knickerbocker ’61 and friends visited Dubai, India, Myanmar, Thailand and Singapore last fall. Next up in travels is a trip to Spain and Portugal in 2016. Her husband of 53 years, Jon, passed away in May 2015. Jan had been his caregiver for several years. She continues to live in Hermosa Beach, Calif.
Judy May Sisk ’61, class reporter, says: Happy New Year! The U of R class of 1961 will hold its 55th reunion May 20 to 22. The 50th reunion in 2011 was a wonderful event. We are hoping to have another great get-together this May, and we hope you will join us. More information will be sent later. Meanwhile, pencil it in on your 2016 calendar. We look forward to seeing you!
Alen Ritchie ’61 recently been elected for the second time, as president of the San Bernardino County Board of Education. He is also finishing his fourth and final year as president of the California Teachers Association-Retired, and is a member of the National Education Association-Retired Executive Council. Alen and wife, Carolyn, still live in Redlands, where he grew up and taught for 40 years.
David Cassetty ’63 and his wife, Carol (APU ’67), celebrated their 50th anniversary this past summer. They now live in Sunriver, Ore., after a lifetime of teaching in California, Oregon and 21 years in Asian countries with the International Schools.
Ross Gallen ’63 is retired now after 45 years as a litigator in Orange County. He doesn’t have any phones, any clients or any stress. His two sons are airline pilots for two different airlines, giving him a constant standby parent’s pass to the world.
Ed Matusuishi ’63 and his wife Beverly experienced a two-week cruise of the Mediterranean Sea with fellow alum Phil Esterman ’64 and his wife, Janie. Ed retired last year after 46 years of practicing pediatric dentistry. He still races his 1967 Porsche 911R. Ralph Lehotsky ’63 is his crew chief.
Norm Nailer ’63 rewarded himself for his 10 years as our class reporter by taking a three week trip to the British Isles.
Marvin Ott ’63 retired from the federal government National War College in 2011. Since then, he has been on the faculty of Johns Hopkins University, teaching classes at both the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore campuses. He is a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. He and his wife live in Chevy Chase, Md., and maintain a house on Great Cranberry Island off the coast of Maine.
Delores Rogers ’63 and her husband, Tom, celebrated their 50th anniversary this year. You can view Delores’s work in photography and oil painting on her personal website: dody-rogers.artist.com. This is something new in her life after 34 years in real estate sales.
Jack Russel ’63 has retired from his partnership with RJR Industrial Properties in Colton after 45 years. He and his wife Kerry, celebrated their 28th anniversary in October 2015. They, like most of us, are proud grandparents.
Tony ’63 and Sherryl ’64 Taylor have lived in Mammoth Lakes for 15 years. He is a founding board member of the Eastern Sierra Land Trust and serves as the president of the organization. Tony also continues to serve on the Board of Trustees for the U of R. The two love to travel. In recent years, they have been to Australia, New Zealand, the Galapagos Islands, the Amazon Rain Forest of Ecuador and, most recently, a hike through the Pyrenees Mountains with classmate Dave Shikles ’63 and his wife Janet Lamb ’64. They do take a resting break in Palm Desert in April.
Sam Brown ’65 and Allison Teal continue to be world travelers. Before Christmas, they visited the house where they lived for four years in Vienna. They were in Sweden at Alison’s brother’s 17th-century farm house for Christmas with all of their kids and a collection of 21 Swedish relatives. Then to London for a theater fix and back to Vienna for New Year’s Eve. They have a daughter teaching at Harvard.
Rita Loftus Cavin ’65 reports that, “From June 2015 until Jan. 3, 2016, I’ve had the privilege to serve Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., as its interim president. Leading this little college through its first steps to recovery after the tragic loss of 10 lives has been a humbling challenge and the most rewarding period of my professional career.”
John and Nancy Wheeler Durein ’65 were also on the wonderful trip to Croatia. Jim Schoning ’65 and Chere were just a few days ahead of us in Croatia, also!
Fred Emmert ’65 is still involved in his business of aerial photography over Southern California.
Bob ’65 and Sherry Netzley ’65 Engberg report: “We celebrated our 50th anniversary with a three-month odyssey across the U.S. this past summer. After the ’65 class reunion we headed north to tour the San Juan Islands in our more-or-less trusty VW Westfalia camper. We returned to California to race our vintage Elva sports car at the Monterey Historics and then towed it across the U.S. to race again in Ohio and New Jersey. The car and its “California hippie” VW camper owners were honored with Vintage Spirit awards at both races. In all, we crossed 25 states. We arrived back home in late September and in October headed to Yosemite for a brief backpack and a celebration of our anniversary alongside the Merced River with family and friends.”
Gary George ’65 announces that the fourth book in his Smoke Tree series, Death on a Desert Hillside, is available on Amazon.
Susi Merrell Hora ’65, and her husband, Mas, celebrated their 50th anniversary this December. Kathie and Barney Martinez ’64 were there, as well as many other friends. They have lived in La Palma, La Mesa, El Centro, Brazil and now Placentia in California.
John ’64 and Marcia Perry Mehl ’65 have been on the go since reunion. They immediately left to attend the wedding of a friend in Germany and then visited Salzburg where they spent time with Barbara, Marcia’s Austrian sister from their time there as students in 1963. In the fall, they traveled with O.A.T: first to Turkey, including Cappadocia, Istanbul and Ephesus and then the Adriatic countries of Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Slovenia.
Bill Purves ’65 celebrated the arrival of his fourth grandchild. He enjoyed traveling in the southern hemisphere to geologic sites in New Zealand, saw koala, wombats and Tasmanian Devils in Tasmania, toured parts of Australia and enjoyed some of the Polynesian islands such as Fiji, American Samoa and several other islands.
Dave Strack ’65 has also published a book, Letters over the Wall: Life in Communist East Germany. It’s a chronicle of the lives of his four East German friends over the last 40 years taken from their letters, which he translated from German.
Tom Bandy ’66 and Jack Parham ’66 took part in the semi-annual 50-mile Rosarito to Ensenada bike ride without any mishaps. It was Tom’s 15th ride in this event. He also completed his fourth annual week-long ride across Iowa.
Ken Buxton ’66 recently retired as a high school principal. His lifelong avocation has been music and the performing arts, and he is now relishing the added time and opportunity to make music. Ken is currently a member of the Master Chorale of Flagstaff, as well as the Flagstaff Light Opera Company, where he recently performed in the musical Brigadoon. In his career, Ken directed over 40 school and community productions. Ken is the proud father of daughter, Karen, and son, Jim, and resides in Sedona, Ariz.
After retiring from corporate life in 1999, Jim Guthrie ’66 has been primarily involved in board work and financial consulting for start-up and turnaround companies. He is enjoying his new role as a grandfather, and he and wife, Chris, have been heavily involved working with AustinPetsAlive!
Merrill Hatlen ’66 recently retired from the School of Public Health at Indiana University, where his wife, Deborah Piston-Hatlen, works for the Center for the Study of Global Change. He is currently working on a documentary about the American composer Walter Piston.
Wendell Johnson ’66 sends greetings from Siem Reap, Cambodia. He moved there after retirement from teaching on the U.S. Navy Base in Sasebo, Japan, for 43 years. In Cambodia, Wendell has become involved with the Landmine Museum, which sponsored an event for 16 current U of R students who had come for their interim study and helped refurbish a school.
Joyce Collins Landsverk ’66 received her M.Ed. and teaching credential from Stanford. She then taught in San Jose, the Peace Corps in Brazil, Boston and Santa Monica. She is active in church activities and is currently president of the Assistance League of Santa Monica. She enjoys traveling with her husband and spending time with four daughters and nine grandchildren.
Andy Mauro ’66 married to Kathy Arthur and father of twins with three granddaughters, quickly left the banking and market research field for the wholesale flower trade. After 10 years, they sold their chrysanthemum farm, and he went to work for the State of California, eventually getting into administration of the Del Mar fairgrounds. After retiring he began exploring nature, advocating for the environment and becoming a hardcore birder.
Don’t forget to attend our 50th reunion May 20– 22, 2016!
Sandra “Sandy” Kanaga Hayhurst ’67 writes, “I’ve been divorced since 1996 and finally retired from teaching mostly kindergarten in 2009. I have three sons and nine grandkids whom I adore. Being Grandma Sandy is the best job ever! I am very active in my community church serving as greeter/usher and small group leader in women’s Bible study. Knitting and reading round out my week. As I say each Sunday, ‘Blessings!’”
Bob McCann ’67 retired with emeritus status last spring from his position as professor of education at Linfield College in Oregon, where he taught for 21 years. While at Linfield, Bob was active in International Programs and led students on 12 January Term study experiences in Hawaii, England and Puerto Rico. This year, Bob continues his work at Linfield teaching tennis in the department of health and human performance. Bob and Nancy continue to live in McMinnville, playing music and enjoying the Pacific Northwest.
Peter Spencer ’67 continues to serve as chief financial officer and deputy commissioner of the Social Security Administration after coming out of retirement in March 2013 at the request of the acting commissioner. He retired as SSA’s San Francisco Regional Commissioner in 2011 and has been in public service for over 46 years.
Phil Weil ’67 says he is in good health, which allows him to do his favorite activities—hiking and photographing wildflowers. He has been retired from teaching for five years but returns to the classroom two or three times a month to substitute.
Peggy Rivers Constantine ’68 has published her memoir, The Reluctant Volunteer, about the time she and husband, Tim Constantine ’68, spent in the Peace Corps during 1970-71 in Cristalina, Brazil. Meanwhile, Tim has been busy serving on the board of the Inland Valley Hope Partners charitable organization, managing their work at Amy’s Farm, a patch of land where he grows fruits and vegetables for the Hope Partners’ four food pantries and their family shelter. Tim and Peggy live in Claremont.
Steve Hack ’68 retired from the Army in 1992 and started a new career working in museums. He has worked at the Egyptian Museum in San Jose, Calif., the Children’s Museum in San Luis Obispo, Calif., the History Museum in St Petersburg, Fla. and for the last 10 years has been at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg. His son, Mike, 35, lives in California.
Sue Freed Rainey ’68 married John Collins in a small ceremony in Idyllwild on Oct. 18, 2015. Her sister Stephene Moseley ’70 was her attendant. Sue retired as superintendent from Riverside Unified School District and is currently working as president/CEO of United Way of the Inland Valleys.
William “Bill” Albright ’71 had his new book, The Pearl of East Texas, published by Outskirts Press in September of 2015.
Richard Adams ’72 published a book, An American in Rural Egypt, recounting his experiences of living in rural Egypt on two occasions in the 1970s and 1980s.
Rich ’73 and Pam Anderson ’73 Smith write that Richard retired in May after 39 years in ministry. He was honored by the First Congregational Church of Reno with friends from several previous parishes in attendance. At a final celebration, he threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Reno Aces ballgame with church members and fellow bluegrass musicians in attendance to say goodbye. Pam is retiring from University of Nevada Reno after several years of college teaching. They moved in mid-May to Green Valley, Ariz., and welcome contact from U of R friends at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Claudia Breslow Flint ’75 says: “I have retired from being a principal but still keep busy now and then filling in as an administrative sub in school districts and also as a supervisor for UC Irvine student teachers. Greg is still working at Disneyland as a manager. Look for him running around managing Adventureland, Frontierland and Main Street Attractions (the rides!).”
Garett Bruen ’79 retired from the Aerospace industry in 2012 after more than 40 years. This included working on the Apollo Program at McDonnell Douglas in the early ’60s and working for Rocketdyne, which among other things builds rocket engines. One of the contributing factors in his successful aerospace career, he says, was the BS degree he earned at the University of Redlands. After his wife of 27 years passed away in 2001, Garett met and married his wife Maritza, who is from Nicaragua and owned a home and ranch there. They have since expanded the home to eight acres and they breed cattle, horses and German shepherds and grow coffee. They usually spend half of their time at their home in Simi Valley, Calif., and the other half at their home and ranch in Nicaragua.
Robert “Bob” Reid ’79 successfully completed a Ph.D. in business at Oklahoma State University. After graduating from Redlands in 1979, he earned an MBA from Santa Clara University (1984) and the Owners, Presidents, and Managers certificate at the Harvard Business School (2006). For the past 21 years, he has served as the executive director of the J.F Maddox Foundation in New Mexico.
Louise Valente ’79 graduated with a communicative disorders degree and took the bullet train to Washington with just a car full of possessions and the dream of a master’s at UW. “After four years, I returned to Orange County with said degree: a life dream since age 11! My training at Redlands has paid off in running Pacific Coast Speech Services for nearly 30 years, where I interview and place Redlands grads in local schools very regularly. It was such a treasure to see our old professors at Maury Durall’s memorial service. Amazing to see the way that outstanding professors can affect decades of professionals, and can still tell the old jokes! Och Tamale/Com Dis majors, did anyone name their child Crista Galli?? Or Arytenoid? Maury would have wanted to know!”
Catherine Abbey Hodges’ ’82 full-length poetry collection, Instead of Sadness, won the Barry Spacks Poetry Prize at Gunpowder Press. Catherine teaches English at Porterville College and is married to Rob Hodges ’84. They have two children, Clara (B.A. SOAN 2011) and McNeil (currently pursuing a B.S. in Parks and Recreation Management at Northern Arizona University).
Julie Farren ’83 recently celebrated four years as a reporter for The Record Gazette newspaper in Banning, Calif. She covers the city of Beaumont and the Beaumont Unified School District as well as other community events and organizations in Beaumont. Julie still lives in San Bernardino and has been a reporter for 31 years, previously working at The San Bernardino Sun and The Press-Enterprise.
Nate Truman ’83 creator of Star Car Central made a record attempt at having the highest number of the most famous movie and TV vehicles in a single parade. He reached his goal with 42 vehicles in the 2015 Hollywood Christmas Parade! Nate created the Star Car Central organization in 2003 and now has chapters around the world and across the United States.
The new PHD movie stars Zachary Abbott ’86 in the role of Professor Smith. Piled Higher and Deeper: Still in Grad School is the sequel to the film adaptation of the popular comic strip “Piled Higher and Deeper” by Jorge Cham. Like the comics and the first movie, the film takes a look at the world of academia through the eyes of four grad students and features real academics in many of the roles.
Allison Hickey ’88 was recently named president and CEO of the Anchorage-based American Lung Association of the Mountain Pacific region. She previously served as an executive director of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) in California.
Stephen “Steve” Ostiguy ’88 married his high school sweetheart from 35 years ago, Stacy, in 2014 in a ceremony in front of family and friends at Thomas Point in Annapolis, Md. Just recently, they relocated from San Diego, Calif., to San Antonio, Texas, for Steve’s job as a director of human resources.
Joan Plantenberg-Albano’s ’90 sci-fi feature screenplay, Past Forward was named a Quarterfinalist in the Page International Screenwriting Awards and placed in the top 15 percent of the 2015 Nicholl Fellowship competition.
Jason Bennett ’93 just released a CD of 16 original songs in the folk genre. Jason spends his time these days performing his music in Colorado Springs and pursuing television and film placements for his songs.
Shawn Brazeau ’93 reports from Massachusetts that all is well. He works at Iron Mountain, where he is responsible for a compliance-related service for the investment industry. Aside from spending free time with family, he has gotten into OCR (obstacle course runs, such as Tough Mudder and Spartan) and officially completed his first Trifecta this year. He and his wife Christine will be celebrating 10 years of marriage this summer.
David Byerman ’93 served as secretary of the Senate in his home state of Nevada for five years and recently accepted an exciting new opportunity to serve as director of the Kentucky Legislature. Caroline Martin Byerman ’93 and the Byerman teens, Amanda, 16, and Will, 14, will be doing the long-distance thing with dad for the remainder of the school year, but they’ll be headed to Kentucky themselves in June of 2016.
Tony Bartolucci ’94 and Lori ’94 Bocok Bartolucci recently celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary. They currently reside in Ladera Ranch, Calif., in south Orange County. Tony is still working at Aerotek as a regional vice president and Lori is working to keep their three boys ages 14, 13 and 9 on track to be future Bulldogs.
Cody Gentzkow ’94 is still living in Jacksonville, Fla. He teaches 2nd grade but at a new school (Merrill Road Elementary). His daughter, Caley, is in 7th grade now and doing very well.
Laura Giblin ’94 reports that the Giblins live in Peoria, Ariz. Guy works as a manager at Trader Joe’s and Laura works as a stay-at-home mom of seven kids. They stay busy with church, softball, theater, choir, cheer, soccer, basketball and schoolwork!
Kathleen Collins Huntley ’94 is now a senior health educator for Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento. She specializes in weight management for adults and pediatrics. She has also been consulting for YouTube as a pediatric wellness consultant. She has a son in junior high and a daughter who is a senior in high school who may just follow in Kevin ’93 and her footsteps and go to the dear ol’ U of R.
Gabrielle “Gabby” Johnson Porkolab ’94, her husband of 11 years, Karoly, and their children Genevieve, 7, and Laszlo, 2, have spent two years in Lakeport, Calif., and are happy to announce they are moving back home to San Diego.
Catherine Purcell ’94 lives in Walden, Colo., enjoying the great outdoors with her family and two dogs, Trapper and Waylon. She works part time for the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office doing 911 dispatch and emergency management. She is also working on building her educational psychology business, training educators on classroom management techniques for low level behavior problems.
Shani Uggen Sandler ’94 reports: “The Sandlers have had a busy year with our son graduating from high school and making roots just outside Cleveland, Ohio, with buying a house.”
Heather Pescosolido Thomas ’94 writes, “I’m back doing our class notes again – a BIG thank you to Gloria Cheung Henderson ’94 for giving me a break! I still live in San Luis Obispo and heartily enjoy visiting with classmates when they find themselves vacationing in the place I’m lucky enough to call home! My business, Two Cooks Catering, is celebrating its 10th Anniversary. Our daughter is currently in the 4th grade and rides horses in her free time.”
Leslie Evans Whitmore ’94 is back to coaching swimming at the UR.
After five years at the school Liliana Narvaez Ayala ’95 opened, she was assigned to Bushnell Way Elementary School in Highland Park, the neighborhood where she grew up. Her husband, Andrew, and she are in the process of adopting a 7-year-old girl and her 4-year-old brother.
Joseph Guldera ’95 recently completed a massive restoration/renovation on a 1927 Mediterranean revival home in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles into his personal home/office/showroom for his company, Ron Wilson Interiors. The home was originally built by the Dominguez/Watson family which was given the first Spanish land grant from the King of Spain in California.
David “Jamey” Heiss ’95 has been president of the San Gorgonio Pass Historical Society in Beaumont, Calif. for the past four years and helped revitalize a flailing San Gorgonio Education Foundation in Banning, Calif. for the past two years. He is also a founding board member of the Beaumont Education Support Team and is finishing up his seventh term as a board member of the Redlands Educational Partnership Foundation.
Ashley Payne Laird ’95 is celebrating her 20th year of teaching middle school English at Chandler School, a private K-8 school in Pasadena. Besides teaching, she is the dean of girls, yearbook advisor, soccer coach, English department head and newly appointed director of the Summer Bridge Program.
Dave Tran ’95 is working at Counsyl as a medical content scientist and is excited to be an uncle to Eleanor and Sierra.
Curtis White ’98 writes, “I have recently retired from the Department of Corrections as a parole agent. I enjoyed a very challenging career and completed my master’s degree in criminology. I just published a book on Amazon titled Dysfunctional Christian. It’s a story of a boy who survived abuse and questioned God’s purpose through it all. As he got older and was able to help others going through the same thing, he found out it was easier to cope with God’s help.”
Laurie Carper ’99 reports: “Last fall I changed jobs, still keeping to marketing, but moving from the wine and spirits industry to alumni education. I also moved from San Francisco to Palo Alto in March to be closer to work. The warmer weather, trees and slower pace are all welcome after 15 years
in the city. And I now live near a friend from my semester abroad in France.”
Class Notes Reporter Sandy Flynn ’00 says: “After our 15-year reunion, my family and I drove to the Grand Canyon. We only were able to suffer through camping for one night as it was so cold, and then went to Sedona and Dewey, Ariz.”
Andres Godinez ’00 is celebrating 10 years in private practice at the Sherman Oaks Ear and Hearing Institute. He currently practices as a doctor of audiology. He received his M.S. in audiology from CSUN in 2002 and his Au.D. from AT Still Medical School in 2010.
David Rae ’00 and his husband Ryne Meadors were married in 2014 in Palm Springs. They live in
Los Angeles where David works as a financial planner and writes for the Huffington Post and Advocate Magazine.
Marcie Kowalski ’01 started working for SoundCloud in February of 2015 and is the head of U.S. facilities based out of New York City. She lives in Stamford, Conn., with her rescue mastiff, Bruno. She also recently celebrated her fourth anniversary in the U.S. Army Reserves.
Val Jensen ’03 now works for the U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security at the San Diego Resident Office. He works as an investigative assistant and hopes to soon become a federal special agent in Diplomatic Security.
Shantrice Burton ’04 was accepted into NOVA Southeastern University’s Master’s in Speech Pathology program and finished her first semester in December 2015!
Tara Smith Eisenhauer ’04 continues to teach voice classes and lessons at Ventura College. She has started directing a small choir, Pacific Chamber Singers, and is enjoying conducting choral music!
Ryan M. Miller ’04 has been appointed senior advisor for South and Central Asia at the U.S. Department of State. Ryan helps lead U.S. strategy and communications with the 13 countries that comprise the region. Along with his wife Jenn and young Bulldog, Nate Diego, aged 2½, Ryan lives in Washington, D.C.
Chas Phillips ’04 completed his Ph.D. and defended his dissertation at Johns Hopkins University in political science and began working as a professor of government and philosophy at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa.
Charli Shipman ’04 recently became the early childhood assessment team coordinator for Riverside Unified School District.
Scarlett Burgess Smith ’04 is now the choir teacher at Canyon Spring High School.
Priscilla Grijalva ’05 was the 2015 University of California Early Academic Outreach Program Counselor of the Year and the 2015 California State School Counselor of the Year finalist.
Jason Nam ’06, ’12 received his doctor of music degree in wind conducting from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He has also recently been appointed as visiting assistant professor of music and assistant director of bands at Indiana University. His wife, Melissa Kendrick Nam ’06, works at Indiana University Lifelong Learning. Melissa and Jason now live in Bloomington, Ind.
Cat Allen ’07 lives in Columbia, S.C., and is an archivist at the University of South Carolina. Recently, Cat and her colleagues in the archives offered free drop-in clinics for people affected by flooding in the area. Individuals with water-damaged family treasures came to learn what they could do to save their papers and photographs.
Former ASUR Student Body President Chris
Concepcion ’07 married his partner of seven years, Wes Reynolds ’00, on Oct. 16, 2015. Their wedding party included fellow U of R Alumni Sneha Subramanian ’06, Trey Kennedy ’06, Jake Rogers ’10 and Richard Daily ’11. Held in Pasadena, Calif., their celebration served as an unofficial reunion of family members and fellow Bulldogs, especially Alumni of Rangi Ya Giza (RYG) and Wadada Wa Rangi Wengi (WRW).
Barbara Woolsey Nordstrom ’73 retired nearly four years ago after 16 years with Vancouver Public Schools. Since retiring, Barbara has volunteered with WSU Master Gardeners. She is co-coordinator of the Hazel Dell School and Community Garden and recently started a children’s garden ed team with master gardeners interested in making classroom presentations to elementary school children. This coming summer will be the 12th annual summer garden program for the Boys and Girls Club. Barbara lives in Vancouver, Wash., with Gene, her husband of 42 years.
Kim Zeydel ’73 received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching for secondary mathematics in Idaho in 2009. She was named the Idaho Teacher of the Year in 2015. She credits Johnston College for providing her with the tools to succeed in her career of teaching mathematics to at-risk middle school and high school students.
Lynne Isbell ’76 has been elected a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences. Lynne is a professor of anthropology at UC Davis whose book, The Fruit, the Tree, and the Serpent: Why We See So Well (Harvard U. Press, 2009), won the 2014 W.W. Howells Book Prize for best book in biological anthropology, given by the Biological Anthropology Section of the American Anthropological Association.
Amy Eriksen ’95, along with her wife, Griselda Suarez, has been named the Jean Harris Persons of the Year by the Long Beach Lambda Democratic Club. Amy is recognized for her efforts toward furthering human rights and the visibility of the LGBTQ community. “I learned about being an engaged citizen through my education. It all began with going to school board meetings with my mother at a very young age. Later in life, Johnston gave me the greatest foundation to be an agent of change,” said Amy. She is coordinator of Tres Hermanas Community Garden, owner of Peppered Up Foods and a volunteer with various organizations like Leadership Long Beach. She collaborates with The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach on various events and is the executive director of Angels Gate Cultural Center.
Elan Carson ’11 recently presented her TEDx talk on mental health in America at TEDx Crenshaw. Elan shares that one out of four Americans will struggle with a mental illness like depression, anxiety, bulimia, anorexia, PTSD and other disorders in any given year. She encourages everyone to take steps to support those experiencing difficulty.
Devin Wright ’15 did an internship with the County of Ventura Planning Division this summer. During that time, she was the youngest speaker at the Ecology of Community: Process, Transformation and Identity conference at the Claremont School of Theology. Devin presented her Johnston thesis, Understanding the Redlands Local Small Business Network Using Social Network Analysis.
Schools of Business and Education
Captain Ronald L. Ravelo ’95 was commissioned as the commander of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln in 2014. Captain Ravelo is the first Filipino-American commander of an aircraft carrier in the U.S. Navy’s history.
Brigadier General John W. Lathrop ’98 assumed duties as the assistant division commander, 40th ID (S), California Army National Guard in October 2014.
Vernon Rosado ’15, MBA completed his MBA with an emphasis in global business in October 2015. He was also selected to the Whitehead Leadership Society by his cohort members the same year. The Journal of Political Science and Public Affairs published his paper “Obama Administration Leadership” on Nov. 27, 2015. He has joined West Los Angeles College as an adjunct business instructor for the winter 2016 semester.
Engagements, Marriages and Partnerships
Sue Freed Rainey ’68 married John Collins, Oct. 18, 2015, in Idyllwild, Calif.
Carissa Krizo ’95 married Simon Ghosh on March 28, 2015, in Cambria, Calif.
Andrew Agress ’98 married Monique Reavis on Aug. 1, 2015, in Herradura, Costa Rica.
David Rae ’00 married Ryne Meadors in 2014, in Palm Springs, Calif.
Chris Concepción ’07 married Wes Reynolds ’00 on Oct. 6, 2015, in Pasadena, Calif.
Allison “Al” Frost ’06 married Christopher Chalupa on July 13, 2015.
Marshall Chaffee ’10 married Caitlin Oshida on May 24, 2015, in Richmond, Va.
John Floersch ’10 married Courtney Rood ’10 on Aug. 15, 2015.
Katie Ostrinski ’11 married Brandon Owashi ’11 on Oct. 10, 2015.
Eitan Hagler ’94 and his wife, Amy, welcomed a son, Elliott, on April 4, 2015.
Sandy Fuentes Flynn ’00 welcomed a son, Rory Alexander, on Sept. 19, 2015.
Dane ’00 and Erica ’00 Reeves welcomed a son, Aric Joseph, on Oct. 7, 2015.
Coco Haupt McKown ’04 and Lysander McKown ’05 welcomed a daughter, Caroline (Callie) Lilly, on July 18, 2015.
Sarah Breyer Minor ’04 and Andy Minor ’03 welcomed a daughter, Alice Elizabeth, on Sept. 23, 2014.
Charli Shipman ’04 welcomed a son, Oliver Charles, on May 16, 2015.
Daniel Aipa ’07, ’09 and Mari Kam Aipa ’07 welcomed a son, Jonah Daniel Kazuo Kuali’ikaimanahila, on Sept. 8, 2015.
Alycia Stiles Grandt ’08 and her husband, John, welcomed a daughter, Kaitlyn Elizabeth, on July 24, 2015.
Capt. Greg Perkins ’09 and Christine Bauer Perkins ’11 welcomed a daughter, Camellia Ann, on Oct. 9, 2015.