Class Notes | Obituaries
Showing class notes submitted in the last year by graduates in 2000
Brian Thorsett ’00 is now an assistant professor at Virginia Tech University in the School for Performing Arts. Thorsett also recently performed at the prestigious Festival del Sole in Napa, Calif., in Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti.
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.
Kristen Lewis '00 married Brian Howards on May 10, 2014, in San Francisco.
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.
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.
Jane Duong Davaransky ’00 and husband Anthony announce the birth of Carson Thai Davaransky, born on April 27, 2014. Carson spent 5 weeks at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford for apnea, aspiration, and reflux. He is now home with mom, dad, and big sister Emerson. He is growing and improving every day.