Spring/Summer 2016 Alumni Updates


Phyllis Karsten, ’48 Mathematics, is a national-level 5K race-walker who has placed in Senior Games held at Stanford, San Francisco, Milwaukee and elsewhere. She writes: “I never expected to set great times for half marathons for my age group. The challenges and camaraderie were prizes enough. But I can say that the way to get gold medals is to outlive your competition.”


’54 William Spengemann, ’54 Journalism, professor emeritus of English at Dartmouth, recently self-published Some Fugitives Recaptured: An Academic Memoir, a collection of essays on American literature that covers his scholarship on Hawthorne, Melville, Whitman and lesser-known Kentucky poet Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt.


Leonard Cooper, ’67 Music, retired as a music specialist in the Dublin Unified School District and now plays with the Pleasanton Ukulele Band. A guitar guy until he took his first free ukulele lesson in Hawaii, he’s now a ukulele aficionado. “There are very few ukulele soloists in the world,” he says. “Ninety-nine percent of us use the ukulele as an instrument to accompany the voice.” His band recently performed at Pleasanton’s Firehouse Arts Center.

John Montgomery, ’69 Broadcast Communications/Photography, based in San Francisco, was tapped by the National Park Service to conduct aerial photography in celebration of the NPS’s centennial. View his work at: montgomeryphotographic.com.

Dave Newhouse, ’64 Journalism, published two sports books in 2015: Founding 49ers: The Dark Days Before the Dynasty (Kent State University Press) and Dare to Dream: How James Madison University Became Coed and Shocked the Basketball World (George F. Thompson Publishing). A new book about the Olympics—his twelfth book publication—is forthcoming in 2017.

Dave Payne, ’65 Journalism, is sports editor and general-assignment reporter at Tracy Press.

Dan Petersen, ’62 MA Art, juried the Pleasanton Art League’s 2015 show, held in the Harrington Gallery. An award-winning watercolorist, Petersen’s own work has been collected by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. He taught watercolor and drawing at Modesto Junior College for 40 years. View his work at: petersenwatercolor.com.

Joe Townsend, ’66 Economics, board president of the Redmond (Wash.) Historical Society, gave a lecture titled “Redmond History 101: The First 50 Years” at the Woodinville Heritage Society’s January meeting. Based in Redmond, he owns a photography restoration business.


Scotty Anderson, ’72 Public Relations, a pipeline industry consultant, was sworn in as chair of the Hawaii State Elections Commission for a four-year term last December.

David Huboi, ’72 Art, owner of Huboi Architecture, works on green projects and the development of affordable housing in the Hollister area. He also hosts “Going Green,” broadcast on the Community Media Access Partnership channel.

Fred Keeley, ’74 Social Science, former California assemblyman and Santa Cruz County supervisor, is currently working as a consultant with the city of Santa Clara, helping to expand the city’s Community Outreach/Vote Ethics Program.

Terril Spitze, ’71 Biology, retired as an internist at Sierra Internal Medicine, now part of the Sonora Regional Medical Center network, after 37 years of practicing medicine in Tuolumne County. He lives in Twain Harte.

Bruce Wilke, ’78 Industrial Technology, is Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District’s director of maintenance, operations and facilities. He previously worked for the Contra Costa Community College District as capital projects manager.

Jim Zanardi, ’72 Kinesiology, who owns the Los Gatos Shopping Center, hosted a fundraiser at the shopping center for Hope Services, an organization that provides services and support for developmentally disabled individuals. It is the fourth benefit that Zanardi has hosted. The theme: “Cowboys and Cars.”


Peter Harper, ’83 Finance, president/CFO of Twin-Star International, a home furnishings company, was appointed independent director of the Legacy Education Alliance board. The company, whose U.S. offices are headquartered in Florida, provides educational training in personal finance, entrepreneurship and real estate.

Jon Iwata, ’84 Public Relations, a senior marketing executive at IBM, was inducted into the CMO Hall of Fame. The CMO Club is comprised of more than 850 senior marketing executives.

Margaret Kolk, ’85 Food Science and Nutrition, a food safety professional, is the director of training at SCS Global Services, a firm that provides third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing and standards development.

Brian Krzanich, ’82 Chemistry, CEO of Intel, was elected to the Deere & Company Board of Directors in January. Headquartered in Illinois, Deere & Company manufactures agricultural and construction machinery.

Eric Larson, ’82 Industrial Arts, is a fire engineer paramedic for the city of San José.

Charles Muench, ’88 BFA Art, who lives between the Sierra Nevada mountain range and Nevada’s high plains desert in Gardnerville, held an open studio, featuring new prints, postcards and a wall of “Big Little Paintings”: six-by-eight-inch paintings on “big concepts.” See more at: charlesmuench.com.

Iku Nagai, ’84 MFA Art, exhibited her paintings and prints in a solo show at the Peninsula Museum of Art that ran from October to December of last year. The Triton Museum presented a retrospective of her work in 1999. Born in Kyoto, Japan, she trained in traditional Japanese painting and was later influenced by Cubism and other Western abstract techniques.

Shelly Ress-Weinstein, ’80 Business Administration, is a resource paraprofessional at California High School in San Ramon.

Werner Walian, ’85 Radio/TV/Film, a 30-year veteran of the entertainment industry, currently produces the television series The Middle, now in its seventh season on ABC. Earlier in his career, he worked as producer/director of the comedies Family Ties and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Michael Wood, ’88 BS Industrial Technology, ’98 MS Electrical Engineering, is vice president of marketing at VeloCloud in Mountain View and an advisor for Plug and Play Tech Center, a startup incubator and accelerator in Sunnyvale. Previously he served as vice president of product management and marketing at Akamai Technologies.


Eric Carrasquilla, ’94 Marketing, recently joined Model N’s executive team as senior vice president, product management. The company, based in Redwood City, provides cloud-based revenue management solutions to the life science and technology industries.

Angelo DeBernardo Jr., ’97 Business Administration, was promoted to chief lending officer at Santa Cruz County Bank. Earlier in his career, he served as vice president of the Heritage Bank of Commerce in San José. He is emeritus director of the Dominican Hospital Foundation.

Larry Esquivel, ’93 Criminal Justice, who spent 31 years in the San José Police Department, his final three as chief, retired from the SJPD and accepted the position of chief of police in Tracy.

Gloria Fan, ’92 MBA, is new CFO of Corporate Visions, a marketing and sales messaging company with California offices in Pleasanton and Larkspur.

Michael Harper, ’90 MA Psychology, internist and pediatrician at Sellersburg Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, was appointed to the advisory board of Clark Memorial Hospital in Jeffersonville, Ind.

Gideon Intrater, ’96 MBA, CTO of Adesto Technologies in Sunnyvale, also serves on the advisory board of Centipede Semi, a semiconductor startup. Previously he served as CFO of ClearEdge Power and led the sale of that company to Doosan Global, headquartered in Korea.

John Lang, ’95 Economics, former chief economist for the city of San José, joined Morgan Hill’s economic development team in January.

Catherine McAuliffe, ’90 Entomology, is vice president of operations at Alexza Pharmaceuticals in Mountain View, overseeing site operations including facilities, environmental health and safety.

Una Mjurka, ’99 MFA Art, who earned her undergraduate degree from the Art Academy of Latvia, teaches ceramics at CSU Fresno. Her own ceramic art was exhibited at Merced College Gallery in a show titled “Homebound.”

Larry Owens, ’99 Environmental Studies, received the Northwest Public Power Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his commitment to the public power industry and his service of more than 20 years with Silicon Valley Power in the areas of customer communications and marketing. He received the award at the Northwest Communications and Energy Innovations Conference in Lake Tahoe.

Caroline Pineda, ’91 BS, ’95 MS, Civil Engineering, works in Caltrans’ Office of Design.

Surajit Sengupta, ’92 MS Electrical Engineering, is senior product manager at FalconStor Software, headquartered in Melville, N.Y. Previously he was senior product manager at EMC in Santa Clara.

Omarr Smith, ’99 Social Work, is new head coach of LA KISS, a “fusion of entertainment and sports” that is the brainchild of KISS musicians Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. Previously head coach of the San José SaberCats, Smith has been associated with the Arena Football League (AFL) for 15 years.

Ryan Spradlin, ’95 Criminal Justice Administration, who has worked for Homeland Security Investigations since 2009, is the new special agent in charge of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s HSI San Francisco office. In his previous post in Atlanta, he oversaw Operation Dark Night, a sex trafficking operation, and led efforts to establish border enforcement security taskforces at ports across the South.


Donoghue Clark, ’05 Accounting/Information Systems, previously a senior manager at Ernst & Young’s San José office, was promoted to principal and specializes in risk assurance in the technology industry. Earlier in his career, he worked for the Jamaican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, serving as financial attaché and vice counsel in London and Miami.

Matthew Falkenthal, ’09 Radio/TV/Film, previously co-owner of Marmalade Sky Films and Bird & Branch Studios, a digital media company, joined MeringCarson ad agency as digital producer/editor in the company’s Sacramento office.

Mary Gloner, ’00 MPH, former COO of RotaCare Bay Area, now heads Project Safety Net (PSN), a Palo Alto community coalition formed in the wake of a series of youth suicides that occurred in 2009, 2010 and 2011. “I’m dedicated to changing the narrative on mental health … and improving our culture for Palo Alto youths,” she told the press.

Alessandra Harris, ’05 Religious Studies, is the author of a new novel, Blaming the Wind, published by Red Adept Publishing. Find out more at: alessandraharris.net.

Curtis Jacobson, ’08 Political Science, a 23-year firefighting veteran and the former interim fire chief, was appointed permanent fire chief of San José in September. The city’s fire department was recently awarded a $3.3 million federal grant to fund 14 firefighter positions and reduce station brownouts.

Michael Khan, ’01 Biological Sciences, is vice president and relationship manager at Lafayette’s California Bank of Commerce. He held the same position previously at Focus Business Bank in San José.

Wayne Madsen, ’09 MFA Digital Arts, is an assistant professor at Indiana University – Kokomo. He was previously an assistant professor in digital arts and design at Dakota State University in Madison, S.D.

Natalie Morrella, ’06 Public Relations, was promoted to associate advisor/financial planning specialist at Stanford Investment Group. She has been with the firm for 10 years.

Paula Pereira, ’09 MLIS, Cerritos College faculty librarian, published How I Learned English: The Story of a Brave Mexican Girl (CreateSpace, 2015). Like the character she created, Pereira, a Rio de Janeiro native, had difficulties learning English despite taking ESL courses in Brazil. She started writing her book while instructing English learners at El Centro College in Dallas, Texas, in 2010.

Carl Schmitz, ’06 MLS, who spent 10 years researching the art history of the World War II generation as art research librarian at Berkeley’s Richard Diebenkorn Foundation, presented a lecture on “Weldon Kees: Nebraska’s Abstract Expressionist” at the Beatrice (Neb.) Public Library last fall.

Cole Tutino, ’09 Music, visiting instructor in music at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, teaches applied cello, string methods and music theory. He is also pursuing a doctorate in cello performance from Indiana University.

Jorge Rogelio Velasquez, ’09 Biological Science, is a line firefighter and paramedic for the city of San José.

Leticia Villegas, ’00 Spanish, teaches Spanish at San Benito High School. She has previously taught at Gilroy High School and Emerson Junior/Senior High School in New Jersey.


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

Kelsey Baxter, ’15 Business, based in San José, works as a compensation specialist at Juniper Networks.

Deré Biddle, ’14 Accounting, works at Novogradac & Co., a CPA firm in San Francisco.

Stefan Bringuier, ’10 Materials Engineering, completed his doctorate in materials science and engineering at the University of Arizona last year and joined OptiMetrics as a research scientist.

Javier Cervantes, ’11 MBA, is currently attending UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.

Carl Chan, ’10 Business Administration, joined the San José office of The Siegfried Group, a CPA firm, as associate manager. Previously he worked as a senior financial analyst at McKesson Corporation.

Carolyn Henley Ciesla, ’10 MLIS, received tenure at Prairie State College in Chicago Heights, Ill. An instructional services librarian, she joined the faculty in 2013. She previously served as assistant director of Stanford’s Technology Ventures Program.

Amy Thien Doan, ’14 Health Care Administration, is enrolled in the aging services master’s program at USC.

Jesus Espinoza, ’12 English, received a graduate assistantship to complete a master’s degree in library and information science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Aaron Clark Foster, ’15 Finance, is a stockbroker employed by the Denver, Colo., office of Charles Schwab.

Sylvia Galvan, ’12 Liberal Studies, received a teaching credential from CSU Fullerton and teaches at the Advanced Learning Academy in the Santa Ana Unified School District.

Xia Headrick, ’14 MLIS, joined the Patterson (Calif.) Branch Library in December as head librarian. She has previously worked in the Stanislaus County Library system and at the Mary Preston Encher Branch Library in Norfolk, Va.

Karen Horder, ’14 MLIS, former branch librarian in Fort Bragg, was appointed acting director of the Mendocino County Library system in December.

Hammad Javed, ’15 Information Systems Management, is a test manager at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Hopewell, N.J.

Robin Kansara, ’10 MS Software Engineering/Computer Networks, is co-founder/COO of PaniPuri Soft, an iPhone development studio, in Jodhpur, India.

Jenna Lynne Lemberg, ’15 Health Science, is a content associate at Zomato San Francisco, an online and mobile restaurant search and discovery service.

Gabriel Mata, ’15 Dance, based in San Francisco, recently founded his own dance company, Gabriel Mata/Movements. Read more at: gabrielmatamovements.com.

Justine Monroe, ’14 Marketing, based in Auburn, is billing supervisor at Central Lighting and Electric.

Lindsay Montgomery, ’15 Photography, teaches art at Frank L. Huff Elementary School in Mountain View.

Rachel Noecker, ’15 Religious Studies, is fabrications coordinator at EMJ Metals in Hayward.

David Owens, ’15 MLIS, is a librarian at East Central College in Union, Mo. He was previously public services manager at A.T. Still Memorial Library in Kirksville.

Laura Perry, ’11 MA Sociology, is international student program coordinator at Sacred Heart School in Kingston, Mass. She previously worked as EduBoston’s program manager.

Kyle Schmidt, ’14 Mechanical Engineering, designs and builds industrial coffee roasters for Loring Smart Roast, headquartered in Santa Rosa. Previously he worked at Play-Well TEKnology, using LEGOs to teach children engineering concepts.

Spencer Sussman, ’15 MS Music, on tour in Australia and New Zealand with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, won the University of North Carolina’s 360° Jazz Initiative, a program that promotes new jazz compositions that reflect an awareness of jazz history. As part of the prize, Sussman’s composition was performed at a fall concert at UNC in Chapel Hill.

Deniz Tlabar, ’15 MBA, is a laboratory technician at Santa Cruz Biotechnology.

Jinyu Xu, ’15 Civil Engineering, currently works as an assistant civil engineer in Santa Clara Valley Water District’s water quality unit.

Katie Zeisl, ’11 Theatre Arts, is director of the School of Theatre Arts at San José’s College of Adaptive Arts, which offers collegiate education for adults who are autistic or face other physical and cognitive challenges. Also working at the college are: Leann Carrillo, ’13 Kinesiology, director of the School of Health & Wellness; Pamela Lindsay Dean, ’85 BA, ’08 MA, Theatre Arts, co-founder and dean of instruction; and Danielle Weaver, ’10 English, director of the School of Communications. 


Jody Ulate

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

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