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Showing class notes submitted in the last year by graduates in the 2000s


GRD Leavey/MBA '00
Smudin, Richard

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.

submitted Apr. 10, 2015 5:54P
Rocha, Stephanie

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.

A Santa Clara native, Rocha started her career at a semiconductor company in Santa Clara County. She quickly moved up the ranks in the human resources department and — unfortunately, as the recession began to hit — was involved in handling company layoffs, exposing her to legal employment claims and piquing her interest in law.
Her experience at this time also included working as employee relations manager for a biotech company, where she was able to cultivate her newfound interest by working closely with the company's outside labor and employment counsel.
Indulging her varied outside curiosities, Rocha earned her real estate license and began selling real estate at nights and on the weekends, while still maintaining her full-time job. Exposure to real estate law was the final push she needed to pursue law school.
submitted Jan. 9, 2015 8:53A
GRD Leavey/MBA '00
O'Malley, Dennis

Freshman Dorm: Graham 400

Dennis O'Malley '95 +1 = SCU Grad Wife Tanya (Montano) '96, JD '99, 3 Daughters (Selma 11, Mila 9, Isla 6). Live in San Carlos.

Contact Dennis @dennis_omalley
submitted Aug. 11, 2015 3:01P
GRD Leavey/MBA '00
Nishita, Jeff

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.

submitted Jan. 9, 2015 2:48P
GRD Leavey/MBA '00
Marcu, Magda

Magda Marcu '00 is the a cofounder of Sailo, a peer to peer boat rental platform.

Contact Magda
submitted Aug. 4, 2015 2:36P
Lewis, Kristen

 Kristen Lewis '00 married Brian Howards on May 10, 2014, in San Francisco.

submitted Jun. 14, 2015 6:44P
UGRD Leavey Business '00
Lequang-Gonzales, Crystal

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.

Contact Crystal
submitted Feb. 13, 2015 11:18A
UGRD Arts & Sciences '00
Huerta-Bapat, Carmen (Huerta)

Carmen Huerta-Bapat '00 and husband Navin Bapat welcomed their third baby, Neela Valentina, on February 9, 2015. Neela joins her two sisters, Catarina Ines (6) and Naima Isabel (3). The family lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

submitted Jul. 20, 2015 4:32P
UGRD Leavey Business '00
Davaransky, Jane (Duong)

Jane Duong Davaransky ’00 created a petition on 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.

submitted Jan. 21, 2015 12:27P
Colvin, Suzanne (Lyons)

Freshman Dorm: Campisi

Suzanne (Lyons) Colvin '00, M.A. '15 loved her time at SCU so much that she decided to go back for more! Suzanne completed her master's in educational administration in June 2015. She is currently the Leadership Academy director and AP biology teacher at Presentation High School, in San Jose. Suzanne lives with her husband, Brent, and their cats in San Jose.

submitted Aug. 31, 2015 9:36P
UGRD Leavey Business '00
Charles, Janelle (Pereira)

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.

submitted Feb. 28, 2015 3:24P
Ayyar, Saroja

Sowmya Ayyar '00 lives in Bangalore, India, and is the founder and executive director of Prafull Oorja Charitable Foundation, an organization co-founded with Madeleine Sears '11. Prafull Oorja brings yoga and other holistic practices to populations in need, such as special needs children and rural women.


Contact Saroja
submitted May. 27, 2015 10:46P
UGRD Arts & Sciences '00
Armstrong, Hilary

Pascal Stang '98 and Hilary Armstrong '00 welcomed baby Alexa Marguerite Carina on March 22, 2015. They live in San Jose.

submitted Jul. 23, 2015 2:14P


GRD Law '01
Shamilov, Saina

Saina Shamilov J.D. '01 was named to 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. By day, Saina Shamilov is a star in intellectual property litigation. As a partner at Mountain View’s Fenwick & West LLP, she has helped successfully defend and Zillow in patent cases. Last year, she led a pro bono team that won a preliminary injunction on behalf of an ill inmate, in which the U.S. District Court directed the prison to provide the inmate with a medically appropriate diet. By night, Shamilov is a competitive ballroom dancer. She competes all over the country and won a national title in Latin dance in 2010.

submitted Apr. 10, 2015 5:11P
GRD Leavey/MBA '01
Murphy, Natalie (Eblacas)

Natalie (Eblacas) Murphy '80, MBA '01 writes, "I have recently relocated to Bremerton, Washington, and am looking to connect with SCU Alumni in the area."

submitted Oct. 20, 2015 7:31A
Lopez, Gladys (Garcia)

Gladys (Garcia) Lopez '01 and her husband, Ivan Lopez, are proprieters of Ultimate Performance & Fitness, which was selected for the 2015 Best of Westlake Village Award. Their business, which was recognized in the Gym category for the third year in a row, was selected for enhancing the positive image of small businesses through service to their customers and the community.

Ultimate Performance & Fitness is one of the largest private personal training facilities in the Conejo Valley, with nearly 5,000 square feet of new top-of-the-line cardio and strength equipment. All personal trainers that train clients at UPF must meet strict qualifications in terms of professionalism, training, education and level of certification. These gifted certified personal trainers must also continue to educate themselves in the latest fitness and healthy trends and innovations to better serve the clients of the Conejo Valley. 

Gladys has more than 11 years of experience and is a certified personal trainer. Gladys' main concern is that her clients feel comfortable and that they are challenged during their customized workouts. Gladys' technique can be described as dynamic training; ensuring that her clients get great results within a minimum amount of time.
submitted May. 7, 2015 1:14P
Johnson, Mark

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.

submitted Dec. 8, 2014 5:30P
Ireland, Courtney (Dittenbir)

Courtney Ireland '01 married Josh Ireland on November 12, 2011, at the Mission Church. She writes, "Had our beautiful baby girl Kennedy James on November 21, 2014. Moved to Fresno in July of this year to be closer to family. Would love to connect with any alumni in the area!"

submitted Jul. 24, 2015 6:46P
UGRD Leavey Business '01
Diaz, Alma (Parra)

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.

submitted Jan. 9, 2015 1:05P
Buccola, Nicholas

Nicholas Buccola '01, associate professor of political science at Linfield College, received the Samuel H. Graf Faculty Achievement Award, which recognizes a faculty member who has made an outstanding contribution to the life of the college that extends beyond his or her regular duties. Buccola earned an Enduring Questions grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, recognizing the innovative design for his course, What is Freedom? This past year, Buccola has published or had accepted for publication nine separate works, and he currently has two book contracts. He coordinates the successful Frederick Douglass Forum on Law, Rights, and Justice, which has brought a wide range of world-class scholars to Linfield and provided a forum for discussion for faculty, students and the McMinnville community.

submitted Jun. 28, 2015 5:01P


UGRD Arts & Sciences '02
Zavala, Rafael

Rafael Zavala '02 writes, "After eight years away from our native land, Pearl Barros '05, Violet Barros-Zavala (18 months), and I have finally returned from Boston, Massachusetts."

submitted Sep. 27, 2015 2:15P
UGRD Arts & Sciences '02
Williams, Jimmy

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."

submitted Apr. 6, 2015 10:27A
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