Alumni Updates

What are you up to?

Share your updates through our submissions form or by sending us an email.

Get connected to the Spartan network by joining the Alumni Association! You can also stay in touch with more than 24,000 other Spartans on SJSU’s official LinkedIn group.

Gerry Severson, ’57 Art, exhibited his coastal California landscape paintings at Valley Art Gallery in Walnut Creek.

Michael Bronner, ’58 Business, professor emeritus of business education, New York University, reports that he recently inherited the stamp collection of his mentor at SJSU, Professor Emeritus Alvin Beckett, now 97 years old and living in a university retirement community in Davis. Bronner worked as Beckett’s undergraduate assistant from 1954 to 1958. How many stamps had Beckett accumulated in a lifetime of collecting? Enough to fill 41 boxes, which Bronner shipped to his home in New York.

Rod Diridon Sr., ’62 Accounting/Finance, ’64 MBA, executive director of the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI), received a 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of University Transportation Centers on January 11 in Washington, D.C. Established in 1991, the Mineta Transportation Institute conducts research on transportation policy and management issues.

John Barg, ’68 Political Science, a partner specializing in environmental law at Barg Coffin Lewis & Trapp in San Francisco, was included in the 2013 edition of Northern California Super Lawyers and the 2014 edition of Best Lawyers in America.

Bob Foster, ’69 Public Administration, received SJSU College of Social Sciences’ 2013 Outstanding Alumnus award. A former CSU trustee, he is currently the mayor of Long Beach.

Dwight McBride, ’70 Theatre Arts, reports that he’s still “in the business,” working as a theatre stagehand through the I.A.T.S.E Local 134 union.

Edward Soriano, ’70 Business, the first Filipino American to become a general officer in the U.S. Army, retired at the rank of lieutenant general in 2005. Since then he has directed Northrop Grumman’s International Programs and currently serves as president of the Mountain Post Historical Association in Fort Carson, Colo.

Leanna Goodwater, ’72 English, ’74 MLS, is the humanities librarian at Santa Clara University’s university library.

Mark Silberstein, ’73 Zoology, executive director of the Elkhorn Slough Foundation, received the 2013 National Wetlands Award from the Environmental Law Institute and was honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. He has guided conservation efforts in the Elkhorn Slough of Monterey Bay for 30 years.

Ray Albin, ’74 History, ’79 MA History, published Wealth, Land and Slaveholding in Mississippi—A Planter Family’s Life of Privilege, 1818-1913 (Heritage Books, 2013). He taught history for more than 30 years in the Oak Grove School District and at Mission Community College. 

Deb Figone, ’75 French, ’82 MPA, retired as San Jose’s city manager in December. She began a 45-year career of serving the communities of San Jose and Los Gatos at age 16, working as a part-time recreation aide for Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services. She became San Jose’s city manager in 2007, after serving seven years as town manager of Los Gatos.

Patrick Taylor, ’75 Criminal Justice Administration, is celebrating his 40th year as an educator and counselor at Bellarmine College Preparatory in San José.

Andy Ludlum, ’76 Journalism, is director of new programming at KNX 1070 News Radio and KFWB News Talk 980 in Los Angeles. In 2013, he was honored as a distinguished radio journalist by the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Robert DeBarr, ’78 Accounting, is the new CFO and vice president of finance and human resources of Micrel, Inc. in San José. Previously he worked as a financial executive at Texas Instruments and for more than six years served as treasurer of National Semiconductor.

Mary Boyer Taylor, ’78 Liberal Studies, works as a teacher and program specialist for Santa Clara Unified School District’s adult education program. She is based at Wilson High School in Santa Clara.

Dale Wolford, ’78 Music Performance, who teaches in SJSU’s School of Music and Dance and performs with the San Francisco Symphony, Opera and Ballet, released his third CD, Aria—Lyrical Music for Saxophone and Piano, with the Wolford Rosenblum Duo on the Gliddon Productions label.

Jerry Soriano, ’79 English, received the Thomas P. Ryan Hall of Fame Award from East Side Union High School’s Education Foundation and was also honored with a Santa Clara County Certificate of Commendation in recognition of his volunteer work with East Side San Jose youths.

Bruce Eddy, ’80 Radio/TV, completed his fifteenth year as the public address announcer for Scotts Valley High School football and scorekeeper/announcer for recreation league softball in Paso Robles. He was also honored for his more than 25 years of service to Kiwanis International.

Ronald Cortez, ’82 Finance, vice chancellor for administrative services at UC Santa Barbara since 2008, accepted the position of chief financial officer at San Francisco State University last July. Earlier in his career, he served as deputy county executive officer for Santa Barbara County.

Alex Guarachi, ’82 Physical Education, a native of Santiago, Chile, is a vintner specializing in Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon and Sonoma Coast pinot noir. Last year he purchased Sun Chase Vineyard, a 248-acre vineyard located in the Petaluma Wind Gap area.

Norberto Dueñas, ’83 Political Science, ’85 MPA, previously deputy executive director of the city of San José’s Redevelopment Agency, was appointed interim city manager last December. He began his career as a council assistant and chief of staff for Jim Beall when the current state senator was a city councilman.

Keith Gehrig, ’83 Theater Arts, manager of the Driftwood Players in Edmonds, Wash., was appointed treasurer of the Washington State Community Theater Association (WSCTA) and also serves on the board.

Dave Meltzer, ’83 Journalism, has published The Wrestling Observer for 26 years, working out of his home office in San José. Described by the New York Times as a “no-frills weekly journal that pulls back the curtain on a notoriously secretive business,” Meltzer’s newsletter contains about 25,000 words per issue, single-spaced. The Times estimates Meltzer’s career output at “33 million words…nearly all of which have been in the service of analyzing an often maligned athletic event.”

Brian Kehoe, ’84 Business, is senior vice president of Heritage Bank in Pleasanton. Earlier in his career, he served as senior vice president/regional manager at Tri-Valley Bank in Livermore.

Lynne Strom-Berg, ’84 Creative Arts, ’86 MA Arts Education, works out of her Alameda ArtWorks studio in San Jose’s Rose Garden neighborhood to create art mosaics, incorporating smashed pottery and discarded objects, such as old shoes. She also teaches music. Learn more at

Barbara Day Turner, ’84 MA Music, founder and conductor of the San José Chamber Orchestra, accepted a 2012-13 ASCAP award for Adventurous Programming at the League of American Orchestras’ 68th National Conference in St. Louis. The award recognizes orchestras that challenge the audience and promote interest in contemporary music.

Bradley Lynch, ’85 Administration of Justice, retired senior foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State, currently serves as the Director General’s representative to Egypt for the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO). Based in Cairo, he coordinates political, military and administrative affairs for the MFO’s 2,200 military and civilian peacekeepers located in the Sinai.

K. L. (Dan) Wong, ’85 Urban Planning, recently received his doctorate from Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, and currently teaches in the Department of Aviation at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg.

Greg Butler, ’87 Public Policy, is president of ICAT Insurance Company in Boulder, Colo.

Glenn Shephard, ’87 Civil Engineering, U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps captain, is headquarters operations officer for Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Marianas. He previously served as executive officer for NAVFAC Northwest.

Brian Thomas, ’87 History, was promoted to case manager at Elahan Place, Columbia River Mental Health’s residential facility in Vancouver, Wash.

Kevin Wing, ’87 Journalism, whose 27 years in Bay Area television has netted him two Emmy awards, added another accolade to his resumé last October when he was inducted into the Silver Circle, San Francisco/Northern California chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He is currently the Bay Area producer for ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Brent Ainsworth, ’88 Journalism, is Marin County’s public information officer. He has previously worked as a reporter for the Santa Cruz Sentinel and the San Jose Mercury News and as an editor for the Novato Patch website.

Supriya Jayadev, ’88 Molecular Biology, is executive director of Mosaic, a nonprofit organization that serves the adult developmentally disabled population of Clallam County, Washington. She began her professional career at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and worked in pharmaceutical research and development before moving to the Olympic Peninsula in 2011.

Anthony Rovai, ’89 Marketing, based in Capitola, is a financial planner at Money Concepts.

Jill Meyers, ’91 Journalism, ’98 MA History, is the executive director of the Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara.

Kurt Carrasquilla, ’92 Finance, vice president of wealth management at Morgan Stanley in San José, is the first “repeat winner” of the Tim Kochis Teaching Excellence Award from UC Berkeley Extension’s financial planning program.

Janet Dunbar, ’93 MA Music, a composer of folk classical music, collaborated with Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester on her latest project, Episodes for Orchestra. She has been working with Eastern Europe orchestras for several years, recording melodic classical music.

William White, ’95 Aviation, a US Airways pilot, recently received a law degree from Concord Law School in Los Angeles.

Louise Shields, ’96 Childhood Development, works at Community Solutions in Gilroy. Previously a social worker in San José’s Family and Children Services Department, she is also a member of the Gilroy Arts Alliance Board of Directors and Gilroy’s Public Art Committee. Her shadow boxes and African-themed art were recently displayed at Gilroy City Hall Gallery.

María Velázquez Ammerman, ’97 Radio/TV Journalism, is a casualty claims manager at Nationwide Insurance in San Antonio, Texas, and recently earned her senior claim law associate designation.

William Faus, ’97 MPA, retired from a 26-year career with the city of Gilroy in 2009 and has since served on the board of Gilroy Compassion Center and volunteered at community food pantries and soup kitchens.

Steven Guerrero Jr., ’97 Business Management, executive vice president of EPC IT Solutions in Belmont, was honored as a “Community Gem” by the Alum Rock Counseling Center for his commitment to public service.

Janikke Klem, ’97 Health Science, former director of alumni engagement and director of development at SJSU, is the new vice president of community relations at Silicon Valley’s Technology Credit Union. She is a member of the Rotary Club of San José and serves on the boards of the San José Leadership Council and City Lights Theater Company.

Geri Kennedy, ’97 Business, is vice president/relationship manager of Focus Business Bank’s HOA Specialty Banking Group. She was previously a principal of her own community management company and a vice president in First Bank’s HOA Banking Division.

Andrew Nordin, ’98 MFA Art, recently exhibited work in a show titled “Holus Bolus: A Rural Aesthetic Initiative” at the Edward J. and Helen Jane Morrison Gallery, University of Minnesota, Morris.

Darren Phillips, ’98 Photojournalism, chief photographer at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, exhibited his photographs in a show titled “Faces of NMSU” at the William Conroy Honors Center Gallery. He began working at NMSU in 2001.

Erik Burmeister, ’00 MA Education, principal of Hillview Middle School in the Menlo Park City School District, was selected 2014 California MetLife/NASSP National Middle Level Principal of the Year. In 2012, he was recognized as Middle Grades Principal of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators.

Christine Peek, ’00 English, partner at McManis Faulkner law firm in San José, was included in the 2013 edition of Northern California Super Lawyers. An active member of the Santa Clara Bar Association, she currently serves on the association’s Appellate Courts Committee.

Jennifer Vivo Voight, ’00 Recreation and Leisure Studies, is events manager at the College of Letters & Science, UC Davis.

Lisa Levine Whelan, ’00 MSW, works part time as a psychiatric social worker for Santa Clara County.

Robert Whelan, ’00 MSW, is a HUD-VASH case manager. A partnership between the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the HUD-VASH program provides subsidized housing vouchers and supportive case management to eligible homeless veterans.

Nicholas Voight, ’01 Kinesiology, teaches physical education and serves as head baseball coach and assistant junior varsity football coach at Will C. Wood High School in Vacaville.

Shawn Phipps, ’02 Occupational Therapy, gave the keynote address when SJSU’s Department of Occupational Therapy celebrated its 70th anniversary last year. He was also the department’s 2012 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year.

Tyson Aye, ’03 MA Kinesiology, former head basketball coach at Imperial Valley College, is the men’s basketball coach at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria. At Imperial Valley College, he led the team to two Pacific Coast Conference championships and was named conference Coach of the Year in 2007 and 2008.

Christopher Gobok, ’03 Electrical Engineering, ’06 MS Engineering, is a product marketing engineer for mixed signal products at Linear Technology in Milpitas.

Jonathan Souza, ’03 MA Choral Music, is the choir director/marching band director at Gilroy High School. He also directs afterschool choirs at South Valley Middle School and Ascencion Solorsano Middle School. “Music and arts are essential to the human experience and how we relate to the world,” he said. “As educatiors we need to give kids experiences as both participants and observers and hope that they take a little of these experiences with them into adulthood.”

Adam Eilers, ’04 Education, was promoted from assistant to head wrestling coach at Enumclaw High School in Enumclaw, Wash. He joined the school’s coaching staff in 2005.

Dalene McDonald, ’04 MLIS, is Southwestern College’s new library director. A private institution affiliated with the United Methodist Church, the college’s main campus is located in Winfield, Kan. She previously served as library director of the Arkansas City (Kan.) Public Library.

Christian Wellisch, ’04 Philosophy, ’12 MA Philosophy, a native of Hungary and former professional marital arts competitor, is a judge advocate general officer for the California National Guard’s 49th Military Police Brigade. He holds a law degree from Pacific McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento.

James Pardue, ’05 MS Software Engineering, is a senior software engineer at BilltoMobile in San Jose.

Blanca Arteaga, ’06 MA Counseling, is a counselor at Gavilan College in Gilroy, working with students experiencing social, economic and educational challenges.

Dacia Fernandez, ’06 MS Accounting, was promoted to corporate controller of Alliance Title & Escrow in Boise, Idaho. She has worked for the company as staff accountant since 2007.

Billy Gear, ’06 MA Philosophy, teaches in Yuba College’s Department of Philosophy. He previously taught at Santa Rosa Junior College.

Joseph Sanchez, ’06 MLIS, former director of the Red Rocks Community College Library in Lakewood, Colo., is the current library director for Mesa County libraries. An e-book, e-content, technology and intellectual property in public libraries specialist, he confessed to being “very excited” about making the move from Denver to Grand Junction. “I’ve always liked this side of the mountains. My grandfather was Yaqui Indian and I was raised very culturally aware of the West.”

Tony Pham, ’08 Accounting, launched, a social e-commerce marketplace, last September. The impetus for starting the company? Ordering a laptop from a Craigslist seller and receiving a box of bricks, Pham said. His goal is to bring “more credibility to e-commerce.”

Katie Dukes, ’09 Music, and Mike Walker, ’09 Music, are co-founders of Studio Forza in Bloomington, Ind., which offers clients an interdisciplinary arts education with a special focus on music.

Mark Powell, ’09 Journalism, is associate editorial page editor at The Bakersfield Californian. He previously worked at the Tehachapi News and the Gilroy Dispatch.

Ashlee Alberdi, ’10 Hospitality, Tourism & Event Management, event manager for Feld Motor Sports, plans and oversees Monster Jam truck events across the country, including a recent event in “chilly Illinois,” she reported.

Justin Allegri, ’10 Radio/TV/Film, is the lead radio play-by-play broadcaster for the Spartans in both football and men’s basketball. He served as KSJS program director for three years and was the radio and online broadcaster for the Bellingham Bells’ collegiate summer baseball team. “We are thrilled to have Justin Allegri as our broadcaster,” said Director of Athletics Gene Bleymaier. “His dedication to San José State University and Spartan athletics truly demonstrates Spartan pride.”

Peter Handy, ’10 Aerospace Engineering, received a law degree from McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific. While earning his degree, he served as managing editor of the McGeorge Law Review and was a member of the Moot Court Honors Board.

Ali Guarneros Luna, ’10 Aerospace Engineering, a NASA Ames systems engineer, was named a Luminary Honoree at the 2013 Hispanic Engineering National Achievement Awards Conference (HENAAC).

McKenzie Taylor, ’10 Political Science, has passed the year mark of her 27-month commitment as a United States Peace Corps ambassador and volunteer.  Stationed in the Ukraine, she teaches English and educates her students on human rights.

Martin Arnold, ’11 MLIS, is public services librarian and webmaster at the Orcas Island Public Library in Eastsound, Wash.

Ryan Carrington, ’11 MFA Art, received an Emerging Artist/Artist Laureate Award from Silicon Valley Creates. His art explores the theme of labor through gallery installations, performances and site-specific work. He teaches sculpture, foundry work and mold making in SJSU’s Department of Art and Art History.

Alex Gibson, ’11 MFA Photography, who lives and maintains a studio in Washington state, recently exhibited his work at the Community Fine Arts Center in Rock Springs, Wyo. He has previously exhibited at the San José Institute of Contemporary Art and the Anno Domini Gallery.

Mallorie Hodge, ’11 MUP, is a development associate at the Women’s Center/ Youth and Family Services, in Stockton. Previously she worked at the Carnegie Arts Center in Turlock and Goleta Valley Beautiful in Goleta.

Ganesh Iyer, ’11 MS Biomedical Devices Engineering, is a project manager at Cisco Systems and a cartoonist. See his work at

Amy Pryle, MS Occupational Therapy, works as an occupational therapist at Children’s Hospital in Oakland.

Melanie Tubera, ’11 Health Science, assistant director of rehabilitation services at Carmel Hills Care Center, was honored for donating 100 hours of volunteer services to Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department.

Laura von Rothstein, ’11 Health Science, is client services representative in employee benefits at ABD Insurance in San Mateo.

Selyia Yoo, ’11 Child Development, received a degree in computer information systems at San José City College and currently designs custom website templates for auto dealerships across the U.S.

Julie Berkovatz, ’12 Speech Communication, based in San José, is foster youth development coordinator at TeenForce, a nonprofit.

Christine Capsuto, ’12 Music Performance, recently performed in a Los Angeles production of Mozart’s Magic Flute, in Hansel & Gretel at Opera San Jose, in La Boheme at Townsend Opera in Modesto and with the Utah Festival Opera Company.

Georgia Cartner, ’12 MLIS, is director of the Life-Long Learning Library at Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Base.

Janelle Flores, ’12 Graphic Design, is a content designer at Adobe Systems in San Jose.

Amanda Flynn, ’12 Anthropology, is pursuing a master’s degree in museum and artifact studies at Durham University, United Kingdom.

Anish Hazari, ’12 Political Science, is a marketing and business development specialist at Tesla Motors, a California-based designer and manufacturer of electric cars.

Sarvineh Hemmati, ’12 MS Computer Engineering, based in Riverside, is a firmware engineer at Emviex.

Phillip Hunter, ’12 Civil Engineering, is an engineering tech for the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

Mariana Jimenez, ’12 Health Care Administration, based in San Jose, is an executive assistant at Community Health Partnership.

Roger Johnson, ’12 MLIS, is a periodicals/acquisitions associate at the Norman B. Mears Library at the University of Sioux Falls, Idaho.

Patrisha Krinke, ’12 MS Transport Management, is a design and construction contracts specialist at Sound Transit (Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority) in Seattle, Wash.

Michael Mastrangelo, ’12 Library and Information Science, spent two years working at the Library of Congress, helping to catalog legacy collections and launch NDSR (National Digital Stewardship Residency).

Joseph Peera, ’12 Economics, is a police officer in the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office.

Zeke Staples, ’12 MA Kinesiology, personal trainer and founder of zFit in San José, organized the first annual zFit football camp at SJSU for fourth to eighth graders.

Laura Bagnell, ’13 Marketing, based in San Jose, is a pharmaceutical sales representative for Mission Pharmacal.

William Chen, ’13 Environmental Studies, is the farm manager of Full Circle Farm in Sunnyvale.

Leslie Ciraulo, ’13 Nursing, works as a Clinical II nurse in the Pediatric ICU Department of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto.

Renee Crosley, ’13 MA Speech Language Pathology, works at Achieve Kids in Palo Alto.

Christopher Cruda, ’13 Chemical Engineering, based in San Jose, is a validation engineer at Commissioning Agents, Inc. (CAI).

Karen Delgado, ’13 Marketing, is the executive administrator for the CEO of Liquid Robotics in Sunnyvale.

Teagan Lazzarotti, ’13 MA Elementary Education, teaches first grade in the Menlo Park City School District.

Elizabeth Magana, ’13 Civil Engineering, is a project engineer at Swinerton Builders in Santa Clara.

Teresita McCarthy, ’13 MLIS, based in San Francisco, is archivist-in-residence at the Center for Sex and Culture Library. She also served as a panelist at the 2013 San Francisco Zine Fest.

Caroline Murray, ’13 Spanish, teaches Spanish at Presentation High School in San Jose.

Nicole Prokop, ’13 MLIS, is head of Access Services at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass.

Tiffany Turner, ’13 MLIS, is head librarian at the West Dennis Library in Massachusetts. She and her family moved to Cape Cod from Seville, Spain, last year. “I’m attracted to the small-town, small-village feel,” she said. “This is a wonderful little library…a place where you know your regulars.”

Bianca Wahlstrom, ’13 MSW, based in Palo Alto, is a medical social worker at Pathways.

Jody Ulate

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

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

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