Alumni updates

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Everett Welby turns 100!

In April, Everett Welby celebrated his 100th birthday at The Meadows of Napa Valley, a senior living facility. Welby still sports a Spartans letterman jacket from the 1930s, which is what made Ruth Heintze Richmond, ’47, who also lives at The Meadows, strike up a conversation with him. Welby attended the police school from 1933 to 1935, and married fellow Spartan Winifred Wilkinson. He remembers his days at San Jose State fondly.

Spartan tapped to head California’s State Parks Department

Congratulations to Maj. Gen. Ret. Anthony L. Jackson, ’71 BA, ’73 MA, History, appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown in November to direct the state parks system.

“He’s a tough man for a tough job,” Brown said.

Jackson retired in 2011 from a 36-year career in the U.S. Marine Corps and has been a long-time advocate for renewable energy and other environmental issues. In his final military assignment, he supervised Marine Corps bases across California and the Southwest, overseeing more than 13,000 employees and 60,000 Marines and sailors.

“This guy’s record shows that he is a leader who can take command of a large department and rebuild the state parks system for the 21st century,” said a senior advocate for Sierra Club California.

The university awarded Jackson an honorary doctorate in 2011.

Alumni updates by year


Rod Diridon Sr., BS Accounting, ’64 MBA, head of SJSU’s Mineta Transportation Institute, also chairs the advisory board of the U.S. High Speed Rail Association, based in Washington, D.C. He delivered the keynote address at December’s High Speed Rail Conference in Los Angeles.

Stephen Fujii, Accounting, who retired in 1994 as chief accountant for the Santa Clara Valley Water District, reports that he’s keeping busy in his new home in Kauai, giving back to the community through the East Kauai Lions Club and enjoying himself playing golf and “maintaining” his bonsai plants.


Diane Borgman, Elementary Education, was reappointed to the Alaska State Council on the Arts. She also serves as president of the Homer Council on the Arts and is a member of the Homer Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Doug Carson, Industrial Arts, a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel, retired from a second career in aviation in 2002. The former US Airways captain, now based in Florida, spends his time volunteering with the Experimental Aircraft Association and taking photographs, a skill he developed at SJSU.

Dave Newhouse, Journalism, published two ebooks in 2012: Before Boxing Lost its Punch and White Lightning, a novel, both from Amazon Digital Services. He retired from the Oakland Tribune in 2011 and is currently working on his tenth book.


Urmas Kaldveer, Zoology, published The Others: The Whale People, A Personal Journey of Discovery, Transformation and Healing (Balboa Press). For the past eight years, he has studied humpback and blue whales in Baja California Sur, Mexico, where he lives. He retired from teaching in 2009.


Alan Kazdin, Psychology, a leading authority on parenting and director of Yale University’s Parenting Center, spoke to ABC News and other news outlets following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, offering advice to parents on how to help their children cope with the tragedy. He was recently on campus to give the inaugural Alan E. Kazdin Endowed Lecture in Psychology, an annual lecture series he established that will feature distinguished psychologists from across the nation.

Paul Kemp, Public Administration, practices law in San Jose, specializing in personal injury cases, and also owns Loma Prieta Winery, located in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Ed Whalen, Sociology, a retired Salinas parole agent, moved with his wife to Idaho in 2011. President of the Hispanic Seniors of Idaho, he is also a volunteer, fundraiser and spokesperson for the Idaho Youth Ranch. Everyone, he says, “can make a difference. Take the time to volunteer.”


Ron Leach, Accounting, owner of Rafael Floors, joined the board of directors of San Rafael’s First Federal Savings and Loan.

Richard Pattenaude, Economics, was appointed president-elect of Ashford University in Clinton, Iowa. He served as chancellor of the University of Maine System from 2007 to 2012 and chairs the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.


William Moniz, Business/Industrial Management, retired after a 41-year career in corporate and operational management. He’s now “focusing on a continuation of his world travel adventures, perfecting his tennis serve and managing his vast real estate network,” he reports.


Timothy K. Fitzgerald, Economics, published the third and final volume of his memoirs, covering 50 years of living in the Bay Area: The Quest: Revolution, Revelation, Redemption (Strategic Book Publishing).


Brian “Spike” Connor, Speech Pathology, is a jazz and rock bassist. You’ll find him performing on Wednesday nights at the Los Altos Grill. For more information:


Tom Shreve, Zoology, is senior locomotive engineer and mechanical lead for Roaring Camp Railroads in Felton. As a student at SJSU, he worked for the company on weekends and during the summer. Forty years later, he still has the same employer. “It’s one of those jobs you fall into,” he says. “You can’t plan to become a steam engineer operator.”


Michael Woods, Anthropology, has worked for the Arizona state parks system at Kartchner Caverns for 11 years. He trains cave tour guides in the areas of geology, paleontology and prehistoric archeology.


Ken Burns, Accounting, is president and CEO of Patelco Credit Union, headquartered in Pleasanton. He was previously CEO of Technology Credit Union. His first job? “Cutting apricots and laying them out to dry in Los Altos,” he says. “I made 50 cents a box.”


Russ Jackson, Management, senior vice president of human resources at Safeway, made Human Resource Executive magazine’s 2012 HR Honor Roll. He joined Safeway in 2007 after a 27-year career with Pacific Gas & Electric, where he also served as senior vice president of human resources.

Alan Kessler, Business, is the new president/CEO of Vormetric, Inc., a San Jose-based firm. He moves to Vormetric from Hewlett-Packard, where he was vice president of worldwide sales and service for enterprise security products.


David Crouse, Geology, based in San Jose, is global manager for geology and exploration at Imerys Performance & Filtration Minerals.


Jeff Carter, Advertising, is a mentor and strategic development coach for’s Northern California and Nevada sales teams.

Mary Herendeen, MSW, retired after 41 years of working in public child welfare for Monterey County. She is currently Title IV-E coordinator for CSUMB’s MSW program.


Jeff LoCastro, Management, is CEO and managing member of California Secured Investments, a company he founded in Los Gatos in 1985. Now based in China, he recently founded the North Central China Real Estate Association, a professional association with more than 350,000 members. His articles about conducting business with China have appeared in the San Jose Business Journal, the China Business Review, the Los Angeles Business Journal and elsewhere.

Linda Lubeck Speicher, Accounting, who began her career with Shilling and Kenyon, started her own CPA firm in 1997. She recently relocated her business from Los Gatos to Almaden Valley.

Sue Kelly Watkins, Business Administration, former director of marketing at Trimble Navigation/Meridian Systems, joined VMware, Inc. in Palo Alto as a senior manager in the Partner and Alliances Marketing Division.


Vivienne Esrig, Management, former director of administration and operations at Harvard Medical School’s New England Primate Research Center (NEPRC), is the new deputy director of Balboa Park’s Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego. She spent 25 years at Harvard and worked at the San Jose Museum of Art earlier in her career. “Going back to a museum is really a dream come true,” she says.

Tony Wong, MBA, who spent 27 years in Fortune 125 companies in operational roles, published an ebook, Mooove Ahead of the Corporate Herd (Amazon Digital Services), to “help young people and mid-career people get ahead by providing the corporate and career insight they don’t have access to,” he says.


Andrea Faiss, Theatre Arts, is COO of American Leadership Forum—Silicon Valley. Her previous positions include performing arts program officer at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Ballet San Jose development director, TheatreWorks annual fund director, producing director at City Lights Theatre Company, and individual and corporate giving manager at San Jose Repertory Theatre. In her spare time, she coaches her daughter’s volleyball team.

Mark Foyer, Journalism, a sportswriter at Half Moon Bay Review, received a first-place award from the California Newspaper Publishers Association in 2012. He also received the Distinguished Service Award from the CIF/Central Coast Section (CCS), the governing body of high school sports from San Francisco County to King City.

Holly Lane, MFA Pictorial Art, a San-Jose based artist, was awarded a 2012-2013 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, a prestigious, highly competitive grant that recognizes artistic merit and provides funding for individuals who have worked as professional artists over a significant period of time. View her work at:

Brad Mangin, Photojournalism, who has worked for the Contra Costa Times, the Associated Press and Upper Deck Company, spent the last year shooting baseball photos using Instagram. What makes the app so much fun for Mangin? “It’s instant,” he says. “It almost feels like I’m on deadline.”


Brian Kohne, Radio/TV/Film, played four years of soccer at SJSU and reports that he’s still playing on Maui. Other projects: his musical group, Barefoot Natives, completed a full-length feature film. Take a look at:

Martin Kropelnicki, BA Economics, ’95 MA Economics, is president and COO of California Water Service Group in San Jose. He has also held executive and management positions at PowerLight Corporation and Pacific Gas & Electric.

Sean Morreale, Management, a banker for 23 years, was recently appointed senior vice president/senior banker at Rabobank N.A. and works out of the company’s administrative offices in Thousand Oaks. He is a board member of Ventura County’s Economic Development Collaborative and treasurer of the Camarillo Cosmos Youth Track Club.


Jeffrey Kuch, Broadcast Journalism, ’98 Social Science, teaches U.S. history and psychology at Evergreen Valley High School in San Jose.


Stephen Bonifice, Piano Performance, current organist and pianist at Stone Church of Willow Glen, played at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in San Jose from 1992 to 2004 and simultaneously served as music director of First Christian Church of San Jose.


Conroy Smith, Health Science, is a case manager at Primary Health Care in Des Moines, Iowa.


Kacie Ricker, Public Relations, former senior marketing manager at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, was promoted to regional vice president of marketing. In her new role, she will oversee the company’s marketing operations in Northern California, Colorado and Utah.


Amber Setter, Accounting, people development manager at Frank, Rimerman & Co., was featured on the cover of the September 2012 issue of California CPA, published by the California Society of CPAs. She also serves on the organization’s Accounting Education Committee.

Lynette Stoudt, MLIS, is director of the Library and Archives Division of the Georgia Historical Society. A former archivist at the Savannah Jewish Archives, she has also worked in Special Collections at UC Irvine and UC San Diego.


Marcus Araiza, Radio/TV/Film, who publishes as Marcus St. Marcus, has two new children books out from Tate Publishing: The Tiger and the Turtle and Bella Umbrella. For more information:

Stacy Martin, MBA, former assistant athletic director for business at Kansas State University, is the new senior associate athletic director for finance and business operations at the University of Memphis. She served as president of the College Athletic Business Manager Association (CABMA) in 2011 and is a member of the National Association of College Directors of Athletics (NACDA).


Jennifer De Carlo, Kinesiology, ’12 MA Kinesiology, is service manager of corporate partnerships at Sharks Sports and Entertainment.

Andres Quintero, Political Science, ’11 MPA, serves as vice chair of the San Jose International Airport Commission.


Erica Goss, MFA/Creative Writing, author of Wild Place (Finishing Line Press), is the new Poet Laureate of Los Gatos. She will serve a two-year term.


Joseph Ontiveros Jr., Art, based in San Jose, works at Drobo, a data storage products start-up, as a web marketing specialist.

George Retelas, MS Mass Communications, wrote and produced a short film set in and around Tower Hall. Watch The Girl and the Graduate at:


Rose Bright, MLIS, is vice principal of Martinez Junior High School. She previously worked as a middle school teacher, instruction specialist and district librarian in the West Contra Costa Unified School District.

Bridget Lott, MS Criminal Justice Administration, is the new commander for the California Highway Patrol’s Northern Division, which encompasses 13 Northern California counties and 36,000 miles of interstate, state and county highways. She also serves on the board of the Assistance League of Amador Valley.

McKenzie Taylor, Political Science, left for the Ukraine last September to train as a secondary education TEFL teacher/Peace Corps volunteer. “I believe that the Peace Corps is the ideal program to begin my career in international affairs,” she says. More than 200,000 Americans have served as Peace Corps volunteers in 139 countries since President John F. Kennedy established the agency in 1961.


Helen Du, Criminal Justice, is interning in the forensic laboratory of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office as a latent print processing technician.

Mindy Gipson, MLS, is a librarian based in Williamsburg, Va.

Mathurin Kasten, History, graduated from basic combat training, U.S. Army National Guard, at Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C.

Carmen Morales, Nursing, is an ER nurse at UC Irvine Medical Center.

Todd Mortensen, Finance, works as a contracts negotiator at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company in Sunnyvale.

Natalie Stull, Kinesiology, is the office manager at Restor Physical Therapy in Mountain View.


Larissa Andersen, MLIS, of San Francisco, is office manager at Gilman’s Kitchens and Baths.

Ana Angel, Mexican American Studies, is a service coordinator at Palo Alto Housing Corporation.

Pitou Assisi, Finance, is a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, stationed at Fort Polk in Louisiana.

Feraydoon Farsi, MS Civil Engineering, is a staff engineer at Pakpour Consulting Group in Pleasanton.

Michele Hatfield, MA Education, is a program specialist for Berryessa Union School District’s Department of Special Education.

Kyle Huffstutler, Mechanical Engineering, is a manufacturing supervisor at Fox Racing Shox in Watsonville.

Meisam Movassat, MS Chemistry, based in Atherton, is a research scientist at Samsung’s Cheil Industries.

Sonya Sankaran, MS Marine Sciences, works as a senior bilingual education specialist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Craig Whyte, Hospitality Management, is a game attendant at Casino M8trix in San Jose.

Jody Ulate

Jody Ulate, '05 MA English, is editor of the Washington Square blog and printed alumni magazine.

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2 Responses

  1. Mauro A. Valcazar says:

    1958 Music
    Thank you very much for publishing this magazine. I read it cover to cover and find it very refreshing and informative. I especially read the alumni obituary to keep track of my past friends and profs. You are doing an outstanding job.

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