Class Notes | Obituaries
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Samir Kaji MBA ’08 joined First Republic Bank in Menlo Park, Calif. Kaji, who has 13 years of banking experience, works with venture capital and private equity clients in Silicon Valley. Prior to joining First Republic, Kaji worked for Silicon Valley Bank.
Ashkon Jafari ’08 was recently invited to the White House to meet President Barack Obama and talk to White House officials about the critical issue of college completion and career readiness. “We are thrilled by our recent White House invitation! This step by the Obama Administration clearly reflects the urgency our country faces in improving college completion and making sure our workforce and economy stay competitive,” said Ashkon Jafari, co-founder and executive director of StudentMentor.org.
With nearly 50 percent of students not graduating from college, the national focus has moved from college access to college completion. This has been emphasized by the President over the course of several State of the Union addresses. The president underscored his pledge to make the United States the world leader in college attainment by 2020, promising to increase the percentage of people ages 25 to 34 that hold an associate’s degree or a bachelor degree from 40 percent to 60 percent. President Obama has even stated, “I want us to produce eight million more college graduates by 2020.”
StudentMentor.org seeks to achieve this goal by leveraging innovative technology at the core of its national mentoring program. Through this online platform, college students can conveniently search for, select and work with mentors to achieve their academic and career goals. StudentMentor.org’s mission is to increase college completion and enhance student career readiness thereby enabling a robust 21st century workforce and community.
Mentoring plays a huge role in reversing the trend of poor college completion rates, “According to a U.S. Department of Education study, students who met with advisors regularly during their freshmen year had 170% greater chance of completing their bachelor’s degree than those that did not.”
StudentMentor.org currently has over 2,000 mentors and provides its program to students from more than 600 universities nationwide. "We think this is just the beginning and can’t wait to scale our program to help tens of thousands of students every year complete college and prepare for the workforce,” said Stephanie Bravo, co-founder and president of StudentMentor.org.
StudentMentor.org is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase college completion and enhance student career readiness thereby enabling a robust 21st century workforce and community. StudentMentor.org seeks to achieve this goal by leveraging innovative technology at the core of its national mentoring program. Through this online platform, college students can conveniently find and work with mentors to achieve their academic and career goals.
Josh Higgins '08 is a police officer with the City of Santa Clara.
Moira Groh ’08 graduated from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry in May with a Doctorate of Dental Surgery degree. She has accepted a dental residency position at Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Steve Grey M.A. '08 is heading to Nairobi, Kenya as a Kiva Fellow to work with Small and Micro Enterprise Programme (SMEP). He spent 20 years as a Silicon Valley high tech before getting his master's in counseling psychology at Santa Clara, and then traveling and volunteering in 26 countries between July 2008 and August 2009.
Keith Gillette LL.M. 08 is a partner with Archer Norris in Walnut Creek. His practice encompasses trial work in the areas of admiralty, intellectual property, and large-exposure tort litigation.
Christopher Foster '08 and Renee Lucas '08 were married on January 1, 2011 in the Gonzaga University Chapel in Spokane, Washington, by Father Steve Kieta, S.J. '90. Also in attendance were the best man Christoffer Lee '08, grooms man Omid Faghiri '08, Grace Nixon '09, Jessica Inwood '07, Steven Mielsch '08, Lindsey Dunn '09, Roey Rahmil '07 and Ashton Easterday '08. Christopher and Renee currently live in Berkeley, California.
Chad Eschman ’08, Lauren Baines ’08, Matthew Johns ’09, Devin Bertsch ’09, and Scotty Arnold ’08 have been selected to participate in The Araca Project's fall productions in New York City. They are self-producing Eschman's new play, The Memory Tax, which runs off-Broadway September 2013 at The American Theatre of Actors. Find out more at www.thememorytax.com.
thememorytax.com indiegogo.com/projects/the-memory-tax/x/4236614 twitter.com/TheMemoryTax#
Andrew Engel '08 writes: "After two incredible years in the Peace Corps in Tanzania (2008-2010) where I taught secondary level biology, I settled in Portland, Ore., and found a job as a pre-school teacher for a year. Though I loved the energy of that age, I have come back to secondary education, currently studying for an MA in Science Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University and will be teaching in a New York City public high school come September as a Peace Corps Fellow."
Freshman Dorm: Graham 200
Dean Paul Dominguez '08 was awarded an MA in Philosophy from San Jose State University in 2012. He currently works as a Real Estate Broker for Re/Max Active Realty in Fremont, selling residential and commercial real estate. He is also a volunteer coach for the Collegiate Ethics Bowl Team and a volunteer teacher for the Philosophy for Children Program, both affiliated with San Jose State University.
Dr. Sharvari Dixit M.A. ’08 has been appointed as the director of the Global Research of Indian Diaspora at San Jose State University. She is also a teaching faculty at SJSU.
James Alexander DeMuth ’08, son of Dennis Alden and Jodie Lynn DeMuth, of Friday Harbor and Bellevue, and Leah Christinne Reid of New Hampshire plan to marry in Pleasanton, Calif., in August. DeMuth, a 2004 graduate of Seattle's The Northwest School, attended Santa Clara University as an undergraduate, where he earned a bachelors of science in mechanical engineering, and then earned a masters of science in mechanical engineering at Stanford University (2010). He is a mechanical engineer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif.
Freshman Dorm: Walsh
After graduating with her bachelor's degree, Jen Darling '06, M.A. '08 taught 4th grade in East Side San Jose for a year and realized that teaching was not her true calling. She went on to receive her Teaching Credential and Masters in Education with an emphasis in Correctional Psychology & Alternative Education from Santa Clara University and now works happily back at SCU as a fundraiser.
Sara Dabkowski J.D. '08 was recently appointed to the position of deputy district attorney for Mendocino County. She interned at the San Francisco and Santa Cruz District Attorney's Offices and is currently assigned to the traffic court in Ukiah.
Michelle E. Curtis '04 J.D. '08 and Joseph Harris, Jr. were married on July 28, 2012 in Tiburon, Calif. Bronco attendees included Betsy Conway '04, Jenny DeVoto '03, Leila (Khalil) Lewis '02, Hayley (Fullerton) Servatius '02 and Matt Servatius '02, MBA '11. The couple resides in San Francisco and St. Helena.
Chandice Cronk '08 announced in July that she will be in Spain this year after signing a professional contract to play basketball in Huelva, Spain for CB Conquero. The club is located on the southwest coast of Spain.
Craig Corica '04 and Melissa (Meek) Corica '04, J.D. '08 welcomed their first child, Logan Michael Corica. He was born on April 17, 2011 and weighed 7 pounds, 12 ounces. The family resides in Alameda, Calif.
Jessica Coblentz '08 begins a Master of Theological Studies degree at Harvard Divinity School in Septemeber 2009. There, she will pursue a conentration in "Women, Gender, Sexuality, and Religion" from a Roman Catholic theological perspective. Also, Theta Alpha Kappa recently awarded Coblentz the 2009 Albert Clark Award for the best undergraduate essay in religious studies or theology.
Sara Sorto ’08, M.A. ’10 married Dave Carvalho in Los Gatos, Ca on October 7, 2012. They live in Santa Clara where Sara teaches at Santa Clara High.