Fall/Winter 2018: Alumni Updates



Laurel Mayer, ’58 Social Sciences, a U.S. Air Force and Vietnam War veteran awarded the Legion of Merit and a Bronze Star, teaches political science at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. During his 30-year career in education he has twice served as chair of Sinclair’s Department of Humanities, Government and Modern Languages.

Rose Crimi Muench, ’51 English/History, valedictorian of her 1947 San Jose High School graduating class, celebrated her 90th birthday in a valedictorian’s sash and cord at the Three Flames Restaurant. Organized by San Jose Parks Commissioner Chuck Dougherty, ’66 BA, ’70 MS, Recreation, ’73 MA Education, Muench’s one-time employee, the festivities honored Muench’s achievements and made sure she received “all the bling” she deserved 71 years ago. College of Health and Human Sciences Dean Mary Schutten also presented the SJSU grad with a summa cum laude medal.


John Maltbie, ’69 Political Science, ’70 MPA, announced plans to retire as San Mateo’s county manager in December of this year. He first retired as the county’s manager in 2008, after assuming the post in 1989, but returned to the job at the request of the Board of Supervisors in 2011. “I will always hold dear my time with the county, and the men and women who make it so special,” Maltbie said, adding: “This time, I plan on staying retired.”


John Buch, ’76 Geography, retired as a United Airlines captain in June, having flown as a commercial pilot for 43 years. “The chairman of the Aeronautics Department back then, Mr. Leonard, told me two days after I graduated that there was a gentleman in town looking for young, single pilots to go to Alaska to fly for an air taxi,” he reports. “Off I went and the rest is history!”

Christopher Darden, ’77 Criminal Justice, was keynote speaker at the First Chair Awards Conference, held August 29 in Chicago, honoring those who’ve made significant contributions to the legal community. A member of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s prosecution team in the 1995 O.J. Simpson murder trial, he is currently a criminal defense attorney at Darden Law Group, specializing in narcotics, homicide and public corruption cases. His autobiography, In Contempt (HarperCollins), was published in 1996.

Jim Hakel, ’76 Business Management, is vice president of construction at Christopherson Builders in Santa Rosa.

Sam Piraro, ’75 Physical Education, who served as SJSU’s head baseball coach from 1986 to 2012 and led the 2000 team to the College World Series, resigned as Willow Glen High School’s head baseball coach in August.


Terje Arnesen, ’88 Journalism, co-owns Norden Living, a contemporary Scandinavian furnishings store in San Francisco that sells furnishings that “fit perfectly with the design tastes and needs of today’s urban dwellers,” he reports. He previously owned New Deal, an antique furniture store, also in San Francisco.

Roy Chestnut, ’81 Business Administration, former executive vice president and chief strategy officer at Verizon, joined Digital Turbine’s Board of Directors in June as an independent director. He is a 30-year veteran of the telecom, media and technology industries.

Luke Connolly, ’87 Political Science, ’95 MUP, is the city of Ojai’s community development director. Previously he served as management specialist/planning division manager for Monterey County’s Resource Management Agency.

Toni Julian, ’84 Advertising, recognized by the Silicon Valley Business Journal as a 2017 Woman of Influence, is a nutrition coach and the owner of Toni’s Kitchen, a San Jose-based company that produces healthy, high-protein meals for specialty food markets. Earlier in her career, she founded Star Marketing Communications, Silicon Valley’s first trade show and special event management firm.

Holly Lane, ’88 MFA Painting, had a solo exhibition of her work, “Holly Lane: Indwelling Nature,” at the Fresno Art Museum this past spring. In May, she also gave a talk at the museum titled “Art in the Afternoon.”

Laura Clayton McDonnell, ’81 International Business Administration, vice president of Microsoft’s New York region, joined the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum’s Board of Trustees in January. In addition to its exhibition roster, the New York City-based museum provides STEAM-based education to more than 30,000 local students annually. “I’m tremendously excited to be part of an institution that engages visitors in humankind’s greatest technological achievements and inspires them to imagine what might be possible in the future,” McDonnell said.

Michael Morgan, ’84 Accounting, former CFO of Tegile Systems, is the new CFO of Cloudian, an enterprise object storage systems firm based in San Mateo.

Angelica Muro, ’88 Photography, the Monterey-based cofounder and curator of Space 47, is assistant professor of integrated media and photography at CSU Monterey Bay. She also chairs CSUMB’s Department of Visual and Public Art.

Pat Sangimino, ’85 Journalism, joined Nebraska’s Lincoln Journal Star as night editor in April. Previously he held posts at the Wichita Business Journal, the Olathe Daily News
and KMBC-TV in Kansas.

Randall Shiroma, ’82 MFA Sculpture, recently lectured about his public art works at the Volcanoes National Park Art Center in Hawaii. His work has been commissioned by the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, the Hilton Towers in San Jose and the Four Seasons Resort on Maui.

Mike Showalter, ’88 History, was appointed director of product at Continuing Education of the Bar, a UC nonprofit program that serves California’s legal community. He previously held senior product management roles at OCLC, EBSCO Information Services and ProQuest, companies that serve the library industry.


Arun Anantharaman, ’95 MBA, who spent 17 years at Adobe, most recently as senior vice president of Experience Cloud, is the new chief product officer at San Mateo’s Marketo, a marketing software company. He received his master’s degree in computer engineering from North Carolina State University.

Kristin Butler, ’95 MS Mass Communications, is a freelance journalist and the outreach/communications director of San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory.

Eric Carlson, ’91 Business Administration, a realtor for 13 years with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, currently manages Lyon Real Estate’s Placerville office.

Jay Clendenin, ’98 Journalism, a photojournalist for 20 years, is a staff photographer for the Los Angeles Times, specializing in portraiture.

Narbeh Derhacobian, ’98 MBA, is co-founder, president and CEO of Adesto Technologies, headquartered in Santa Clara. He has been granted more than 40 patents in the area of semiconductor memories.

Ben Escobar, ’98 Finance, heads EVOTEK’s San Francisco office, overseeing the digital business firm’s Bay Area operations. He previously worked for InterVision Systems.

Isleen Glatt, ’94 MPH, former outreach coordinator at the Resolve Center for Dispute Resolution and Restorative Justice in Medford, Ore., was appointed superintendent of the Ashland (Ore.) Senior Program in August, a newly created position overseen by the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission.

Lawrence Killoran, ’97 History, who has practiced law at Scott, Robinson and Killoran in Eureka for the past 14 years, was elected to Humboldt County’s Superior Court in June. He will serve as interim Commissioner of the Court until being sworn in as judge in January 2019.

Christopher LaManna, ’97 MS Civil Engineering, is an associate principal at Wendel, an architecture/engineering firm based in Williamsville, N.Y. A registered Professional Engineer in New York, Virginia and California, he is a member of the New York Water Environment Association and the American Water Works Association.

Daniel Lawless, ’97 Engineering, previously director of engineering at Broadcom, joined San Jose’s Energous Corporation as vice president of regulatory affairs. The company is the developer of WattUP, a wire-free charging system.

Talley Anne McDaniel, ’96 MA Education, previously a realtor at Allen Tate Realtors, recently joined the real estate team at Carolina One Real Estate in Charleston, S.C.

Karen Nealon, ’97 Interior Design, was promoted to associate at TEF Design, a San Francisco-based architecture and design firm.

John Presleigh, ’99 MS Civil Engineering, retired in April after a 26-year career with the Santa Cruz Public Works Department. Since 2009, he served as the department’s director.

Debbie Reese, ’90 Humanities, ’14 MLIS, received the American Library Association’s May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award, an annual award recognizing an author, critic, librarian, historian or teacher of children’s literature. An advocate for Native representation tribally enrolled at Nambe Owingeh Pueblo in New Mexico, she helped establish the Native American House and American Indian Studies Program at the University of Illinois, where she earned a doctorate in education.

Lisa Rosenblum, ’94 MLIS, is director of the King County Library System in Washington state, one of the busiest library systems in the country with more than 700,000 cardholders. She previously served as director/chief librarian of the Brooklyn Public Library in New York, overseeing BPL operations and a $120-million budget. She began her career as a librarian and, later, training manager, at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library.

David Swing, ’94 Public Relations, ’08 MPA, a 23-year law enforcement veteran and Morgan Hill’s current chief of police, was sworn in as president of the California Police Chiefs Association in March.


Renee Billingslea, ’03 MFA Photography, a senior lecturer in the Department of Art and Art History at Santa Clara University, will have a solo show at the Triton Museum in January. Photographs in the exhibit will depict recent and historic photographs of 10 Japanese-American internment camps across the country.

Rachel Boulds, ’01 Accounting, is CFO of Starco Brands, a direct response marketing firm based in Santa Monica.

Ruth Boyer, ’09 MLIS, is community library manager for two Antioch (Calif.) branch libraries at 18th Street and Prewett. Her motto: “A library card is the best deal in town.”

Nick Calubaquib, ’07 MS Recreation, directs the city of Watsonville’s Parks and Community Services Department, overseeing 26 parks, 30 full-time employees and nearly 50 part-time employees. He previously worked in Morgan Hill’s Department of Recreation.

Jeremy Dirks, ’02 Social Science, previously vice principal of South Valley Middle School in Gilroy, is the new principal of Christopher High School, also in Gilroy.

Joel Falcone, ’00 MBA, executive vice president and COO of Fremont’s Excelitas Technologies, delivered the keynote address at the California Network for Manufacturing Innovation Summit in June.

Areana Flores, ’06 Meteorology, is an air quality instrument specialist at Bay Area Air Quality Management in San Francisco.

Emily Garcia, ’02 Communications Studies, joined San Francisco’s Trucker Huss, the largest law firm specializing in employee benefits on the West Coast.

Jocelyn DeGance Graham, ’01 MA Psychology, recognized by the Silicon Valley Business Journal as a 2017 Woman of Influence, is the founder of CloudNOW.org, a nonprofit consortium of women leaders in cloud computing.

Fernanda Perdomo-Arciniegas, ’01 BA Statistics, ’08 MPA, is deputy diversity officer in SJSU’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Previously she worked as campus and community relations director in the university’s Division of Student Affairs.

Dennis Kidd, ’07 Business Management, ’11 MPA, developer of Santa Cruz County’s first Reverse 9-1-1 system, joined the board of directors of Janus of Santa Cruz, the county’s leading provider of addiction treatment services. He is also a member of the board of trustees of United Way Santa Cruz.

Ryan Matthews, ’09 International Business, appeared with his wife, Megan, on HGTV’s “House Hunters International” in an episode featuring the couple’s search for an apartment in Valencia, Spain.

Pelma Morrice, ’02 BA, ’03 MA, Organizational Psychology, was appointed president of Great Bay Community College by the board of trustees of the Community College System of New Hampshire. She assumed her new post in August. Previously she served as the University of Missouri’s vice provost.

Sebastian Nelson, ’06 MLIS, an archivist at the California State Archives, gave a presentation titled “The Art and Science of Heraldry: Coats of Arms for Genealogists” in June, hosted by the Davis (Calif.) Genealogy Club.

Mila Olson, ’07 MA Music, a Rescue Union School District band teacher, is also a flutist and piccolo player with the Folsom Lake Symphony and a founding member of the Sacramento Flute Club.

Lorenzo Rodriguez, ’00 Kinesiology, a fitness trainer, co-owns Iron Works Cycling in Big Stone Gap, Va.

Mary-Jo Romaniuk, ’08 MLIS, is vice provost/libraries and cultural resources at the University of Calgary. She previously served as University of Manitoba’s university librarian.

Joseph Sanchez, ’06 MLIS, was appointed director of the Edwin H. Mookini Library at the University of Hawaii – Hilo in June. The former director of Mesa County Public Libraries in Grand Junction, Colo., his areas of expertise include technology and intellectual property in public libraries.

Jim Sherman, ’06 MA Educational Administration, former principal of George V. LeyVa Middle School in the Evergreen Elementary School District, is the new principal of Hoover Elementary School in Palo Alto.


Aziza Amiri, ’12 Civil Engineering, a city of San Jose associate engineer and project manager for The Alameda—A Plan for the Beautiful Way, was named one of ten “New Faces of Civil Engineering” by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Jonathan Pacheco Bell, ’16 MLIS, a Los Angeles County urban planner/urban librarian, was appointed to the American Planning Association’s National Social Equity Task Force. He holds a master’s degree in urban planning from UCLA.

Matthew Cano, ’11 MPA, who began his career with the city of San Jose in 1999, was appointed the city’s Department of Public Works director in April. In his new post he will oversee a $159-million budget and more than 500 employees.

Courtney Cosgriff, ’17 MLIS, is a librarian at Waunakee (Wis.) Public Library.

Elisa Cruz, ’16 MLIS, circulation manager/adult services librarian at Keene Memorial Library in Fremont, Neb., received a 2018 Spectrum Scholarship from the American Library Association.

Rachael Fitz, ’11 MLIS, is assistant to the director of the Eureka Public Library District in Humboldt County.

Lindsay Fuchs, ’14 MLIS, is a librarian at the Plumas County Library in Quincy. She worked previously as a rotating administrative clerk in the Los Angeles Public Library system.

Emily Goehring, ’16 MLIS, recently joined Butte County’s Paradise Branch Library as branch librarian. She previously worked in Reno, Nevada’s Washoe County Library system.

Staci Gunner, ’14 MA Communications Studies, previously an assistant dean of Residential Education at Stanford, is the current experience and branded content manager at 1440 Multiversity in Scotts Valley.

Jason Kapoor, ’12 Theatre Arts, who received his master’s from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, recently starred in the Southern California premiere of A Thousand Splendid Suns. Adapted from Khaled Hosseini’s bestselling novel, the play ran May 12 through June 17 at San Diego’s The Old Globe theatre.

Ana Kieu, ’15 Communication Studies, based in San Francisco, is an assistant editor at Sports Radio Service and reported on the 2018 Mountain West Tournament in Las Vegas in March.

Jordan Kyu, ’10 Electrical Engineering, a Comcast capacity and management engineer, also owns and operates two restaurants: Experience Burma in Pleasanton and Holy Grill Burger Joint in San Francisco.

Tim Lamascus, ’15 Advertising, joined the sales force of Keenan Farms, a pistachio processing company, headquartered in Avenal.

Kate Lambdin, ’12 Radio-Television-Film, ran a marathon in Antarctica in March, finishing the race in 4 hours and 12 minutes and winning the 40-and-under age category for females.

Jessica Nguyen, ’15 Music Education, teaches music at Yerba Buena High School in San Jose’s East Side Union High School District.

Rho Henry Olaisen, ’10 MPH, received his doctorate in epidemiology and biostatistics at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and is currently enrolled in the Centers for Disease Control’s Epidemic Intelligence Service, a post-doctoral training program for health professionals interested in the practice of applied epidemiology. He is the former managing director of Betty Wright Aquatic Center in Palo Alto.

Connie Raya, ’16 MS Transportation Management, is director of maintenance at Omnitrans, a public transportation agency in San Bernardino County, where she oversees 108 employees and a fleet of 188 buses and 25 support vehicles. Earlier in her career, she held several managerial positions at the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA).


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