Class Notes | Obituaries
Showing class notes submitted in last 6 months by graduates in the 2000s
Richard S. Smudin MBA ’00 recently took command of the 354th Civil Affairs Brigade. He has had 27 years of military service. Colonel Smudin's most recent assignments include Battalion Commander of the 3rd Battalion of the 304th Infantry Regiment (United States Military Academy), Chief of the Civil Information Management Cell at the 353d Civil Affairs Command, and Chief of the Functional Specialty Team at the 353d Civil Affairs Command. His operational deployments include service as the Mobilization Plans Officer at Fort Drum in 2003, Civil Affairs Team Leader in Baghdad, Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom II - III, and Division Engagements Officer for the Commander of Multi-National Division North at Contingency Operating Base Speicher Iraq during OIF 2007-2009.
Stephanie Rocha '00, J.D. '09 appeared in the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s 2014 40 Under 40 list. She is an associate attorney at Miller Morton Cailat & Nevis LLP, where Rocha represents developers, builders and prime contractors in construction litigation, including defect and payment disputes. She also represents real estate agents and brokers, homeowners, landlords, tenants and other individuals and entities in a variety of real estate- and business-related matters.
Jeff Nishita MBA ’00 has joined Novogradac & Company LLP, a San Francisco-based accounting and consulting firm that specializes in affordable housing, community development, historic preservation and renewable energy tax credits. Nishita performs numerous services in the real estate industry, including audit and tax services, consulting, forecasting and training. He works with for-profit and nonprofit developers, syndicators and direct investors.
Mr. Nishita speaks at various affordable housing conferences throughout the year and is in charge of maintaining the firm’s Financial Forecast Model. He is also the founder of the firm’s community service program and one of the founders of the firm’s LIHTC Working Group, a membership organization that addresses technical issues in the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program.
Before joining Novogradac & Company LLP, Mr. Nishita worked with several start-up companies and small businesses in executive positions.
Nilofer Merchant MBA '00 has been appointed to the Martin Prosperit Institute (MPI), which is a research center at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management. A leading thinker in innovation, business ethics, management, and public policy, Merchant will look at society's emerging power infrastructure for the Infrastructure for Democratic Capitalism project. She teaches innovation at Stanford and Santa Clara Universities. During a 20-year career, she has personally launched 100 products amounting to $18B in revenue. Her career includes stints at Apple, Autodesk, GoLive/Adobe as well as service on both public and private boards. She is the author two best-selling books: The New How (2010); and 11 Rules for Creating Value in the #SocialEra (2012). She won the 2013 Thinkers 50 Future Thinker Award. She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, written innovation columns for Businessweek and Forbes and is a contributor to Harvard Business Review, Wired, and Oprah.
Crystal Lequang-Gonzales ’00 is celebrating the 10th anniversary of her company, Amazae Events Inc. The company has recently relocated to Willow Glen with an expanded team, where Gonzales continues to provide exceptional event planning and design services for corporate functions, social gatherings, and wedding celebrations.
www.amazae.com www.facebook.com/AmazaeSpecialEvents www.yelp.com/biz/amazae-special-events-san-jose
Jane Duong Davaransky ’00 created a petition on www.change.org to ask Medela, a leading manufacturer of breast pumps, to create a program to recycle old breast pumps. After 2,002 signatures, Medela responded by creating a recycling program called Medela Recycles. Each pump received through Medela Recycles supports the donation of new hospital-grade, multiuse breastpumps and supplies to Ronald McDonald House Charities to support parents who have babies in the NICU. Medela expects to recycle 12,000 pumps with this program. As of mid-January 2015, the company has recycled 171 pumps.
Janelle (Pereira) Charles ’00, husband Ryan, and big brother Mason (3) welcomed identical twin baby boys, Tyler and Aiden, on Nov. 24, 2014. The family lives in Morgan Hill.
Katie (Pursley) Busch '00 and Dave Busch welcomed their second child, Anna Kathryn, on July 10, 2014. The family lives in Colorado.
Mark "Rusty" Johnson '01 is in his first year as head coach of De Anza College’s men’s soccer team and was named the Coast Conference Coach of the Year. Prior, he was an assistant coach at Santa Clara University for 10 years. Johnson decided he wanted to coach a team of his own. During his years playing at Santa Clara University, Johnson played in two College Cups and one National Championship game. His expertise has been recognized throughout the game, giving him a respectful reputation.
Angel Diaz ’99 and Alma Diaz Parra ’01 welcomed their second child, Antonio Ernesto, on Oct. 27, 2014. He joins big brother Eduardo Angel who is three years old and the family resides in Los Angeles.
Jimmy Williams ’02 is an assistant professor at the University of Maryland. He writes on the Santa Clara University blog, "I have been working on an approach to identify concrete signatures of the Majorana particle. In some sense, the work I participated in with Professor Betty Young doing research for the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) looking for exotic particles has come full circle. It’s a great job! I have a big lab and a bunch of money to do whatever physics I want. It doesn’t get any better than that."
Lisa (Mrkvicka) Mudgett ’02 and husband Dan welcomed their fourth son, Isaac Maxwell, on Feb. 21, 2015. The busy family lives in Seattle.
Dori L. Yob J.D. '03 made the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s 2015 Women of Influence annual list. This list comprises “100 women rocking Silicon Valley business” who have made a big impact across all professions. Yob, 36, has been with Hopkins & Carley since she graduated from law school. She handles complex real estate cases in state and federal courts. SHe also routinely appears on behalf of her land use clients at planning commission and city council hearings. As the co-chair of her firm's litigation department, she oversees the firm's largest department. This January, she was elected chair of the San Jose Planning Commission.
Kalie (Bass) Ward ’03 and Matthew Ward ’03, M.S ’14 welcomed their first child, Brendan Charles Ward, on Jan. 6, 2015 at 11:01 pm. He was 7 lbs 2 oz, 19 3/4" long.
Roselyn (Rosie) Siino ’03 and her husband, Steve, welcomed a baby boy, Lucca John on September 25, 2014. He is their first child.
Margaret Pinard ’03 has recently released Dulci's Legacy, a young adult fantasy-thriller set in Nova Scotia. This is Margaret's second novel, following her debut historical fiction Memory's Hostage in 2013. Both books can be found on Amazon.com. She is thrilled to be writing real stories instead of memoranda, and is currently at work on her third novel. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
www.margaretpinard.com www.taste-life-twice.com @tastelifetwice
Noelani Sallings '04 has been elected to the board of the Santa Clara Unified School District. Sallings helped organize “Walk for Education” to raise awareness of budget cuts and was a key contributor to the reorganization and redirection of the Santa Clara Schools Foundation, for it to focus on working more directly with the children they fund and improve their fundraising results.
Carol Reiley ’04 has written a children's book, Making a Splash. Combining her engineering problem-solving skills with a desire to help kids unlock their potential, Reiley tested drafts of her book in classrooms and homes across the country before crowdsourcing its publication. For now, Reiley hopes Making a Splash will help young readers understand that “it’s not about how smart you are; it’s about how smart you can become,” and to view failure as a stepping stone to greater things, not a stumbling block. Read more in fyi.
Sara (Pfaff) Lee ’04 and Matt Lee ’04 welcomed their second child, daughter Brooke Emerson, on Aug. 12, 2014. Brooke joins big brother Parker, 3.
Norman Gunther ’59, Ph.D. ’04, continues to be part of SCU's Department of Electrical Engineering’s Electron Devices Laboratory, which has advanced world-class research and scholarship in the areas of electronic devices, materials, and their manufacturing technologies. Gunther collaborates with fellow graduates of the program, advancing the methodologies used to characterize surface nanostructures of thin films used in semiconductors, and advising current graduate students as an applied mathematician.
Stephen Chesterton ’04, Emily Sargent Chesterton ’04, and big brother Peter (age 3) welcomed Grace Elizabeth into the world on Sept. 22, 2014. The family lives in Rockville, Maryland.
Thai-Huy "Peter" Nguyen ’05, upon graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a Ph.D. in education in May, will be joining the faculty of Seattle University's College of Education as an assistant professor of Student Development Administration in fall 2015. He and his partner will be moving to Seattle this summer.
Stephanie Lam ’05, MBA ’11 received top honors for her oil painting African Child III at Salon at the Triton: A 2D Art Competition and Exhibition. This distinction also won her a solo show at the museum in 2016.
Chris DeMartini ’05 and Megan (Koppes) DeMartini ’05 and big sister Abby (3) welcomed another future bronco Madelyn Grace on Aug. 1, 2014.