Class Notes | Obituaries
Showing class notes submitted in the last year
Cassandra (Thomassin) Staff MBA ’11 and her husband Adrian Staff welcomed their first child, Lucille Khoo Staff on March 9. They are happily raising Lucille in San Jose.
In mid-2014, Madeleine Sears ’11 and Sowmya Ayyar ’00 co-founded Prafull Oorja: Holistic Practices for All, a charitable trust in Bangalore, India, sharing yoga and other healing therapies with alternative populations, primarily special-needs children. The two look forward to welcoming SCU Global Fellows in 2015 and continuing the SCU-India connection.
On Nov. 15, Robbie McGowan ’11 married college sweetheart Caity Happ ’11. They had a wonderful reception at Willow Heights Mansion in Morgan Hill. Several of their college friends attended the blessed ceremony. They currently live in Campbell and are adjusting to married life quite well.
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.
Lisa Jocewicz M.A. ’11 was hired in November as director of Records and Operations, Graduate Programs, School of Engineering at SCU. Lisa has a degree in education administration with an emphasis on higher ed. Her role includes assisting students with registration, transfer credit, orientation, and graduation, creating quarterly class schedules, and processing adjunct faculty contracts, among much more.
Jennifer Hinds ’11 is a 2014 graduate of Loyola Law School Los Angeles. She graduated in the top 5 percent of her class and was awarded Order of the Coif Award, given to those who are at least in the top 10 percent of their graduating class. She passed the July 2014 California Bar Examination on her first attempt and is now a litigation associate with a Los Angeles law firm.
Hilary Hendershott ’99, MBA ’11 appeared in the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s 2014 40 Under 40 list. She is the founder and CEO of Hilary Hendershott Financial, one of Silicon Valley's only woman-owned and operated investment advisory firms. She has made it her mission to empower women to maximize their own resources, grow their wealth and live sustainable and healthy lives. She has created a financial training program, Your Rich Retirement Academy, which is delivered virtually and designed for Millennial and younger investors, and teaches both healthy money mindsets and technical skills such as calculation of net worth and retirement savings goals, to enable long-range financial success.
Murtuza Haryanawalla MBA ’11 writes, "Had a great immersion experience in India over the last four years working with Entrepreneurs. Now looking to move back to the bay area."
Becky Goll ’11 is the new co-president of the New York chapter of the SCU Alumni Association. Becky studied marketing and played women’s basketball while at SCU. Transported from the East Bay, she now lives in Manhattan and works as a production manager for Gap's marketing department. Becky enjoys long bike rides, painting, and exploring the city.
Angelica (Wright) Galli ’11, M.A. ’14 and Justin Galli on Aug. 9, 2014 at the Mission Santa Clara. They celebrated with family and friends, including bridesmaids Caitlin (Gambee) Sappington ’10, Sarah Mathes ’11, and Elizabeth Kiikvee ’11. The couple honeymooned in the Dominican Republic and are currently living in Las Vegas, Nev.
Brooke Boniface ’11 is Santa Clara's new class giving officer in University Relations. Brooke graduated magna cum laude from Santa Clara in just three years with a double major in Political Science and History. She was obviously an incredible student and has already supported our office’s efforts greatly through her student job in the call center, where she ranked No. 1 in credit card rates her first year and had an unbelievable 99 percent fulfillment rate during her second year. We also had the opportunity to feature her student story in an annual fund piece during her senior year, so several of you will recognize her face. In her “spare time”, she also served as Opinions Editor for The Santa Clara student newspaper. Following her undergraduate degree from Santa Clara, Brooke served in Teach for America for two years in Phoenix. Most recent, she was tremendously successful as an ad sales rep for Yelp. We are incredibly happy that she is coming back home to Santa Clara to join our Reunion Fundraising team.
Sarah Allbritten ’11 writes, "Recently relocated back to SF Bay Area from Los Angeles and I am currently looking for a job."
Christine Ahlstrom '11 graduated with her Master's in Marriage and Family Therapy in May 2013 from the University of Southern California. She is now a Student Services Advisor in the Department of Preventive Medicine in the USC Keck School of Medicine. She lives in the Greater Los Angeles Area.
Brandon Gojenola ’13, MBA ’15 proposed to fellow Bronco Jaclyn Sunzeri ’12 in front of the Santa Clara Mission. Father Art will marry the two in the Mission on July 2, 2016. Brandon earned his MBA in 2015 and now works as a Marketing Operations Specialist at Juniper Networks. Jaclyn will earn her M.A. in Counseling Psychology in 2017. The two met in Walsh Hall in 2009.
Ana Maria Valdes ’12 and Mark Spain ’13 were married on June 7, 2014, at the Mission Santa Clara de Asís. The couple met at SCU freshmen orientation and began dating their senior year. Other Broncos in attendance included bridesmaids Jessica Campbell ’11 and Marlynn Spain ’10, and groomsmen Anthony Sagariballa ’12, Dong Seon Min ’14, and David Sippel ’13. The couple resides in Seattle, Wash.
Tanya Schmidt ’12 is the new New York chapter co-president of the SCU Alumni Association. An English major with minors in religious studies and classics, Tanya moved to New York after two seasons of professional volleyball in Europe for a Master of Arts program at NYU in English and American literature. She enjoys pick-up volleyball and volunteering with an after-school cooking program at a school in Brooklyn.
In May, Daniel Peng ’12 received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant. He’s one of about 1,800 recipients nationwide who will have the chance to travel abroad for a unique hands-on learning opportunity in their chosen field.
Starting in September, he will be stationed at a clinic in Hangzhou a city of about 6 million in the eastern portion of China.
His research grant proposal targets Type 2 diabetes, which is far more prevalent, but less understood than Type 1 diabetes. Together, the two forms of the disease affect about 29 million Americans. During his time in Hangzhou, he’ll be interacting with patients and clinicians to affect change.
“In terms of the research I’m conducting, this is not hard science,” he said. “It’s more of a public health project.”
Simple changes, Peng noted, can reduce the rates of diabetes. People can often create and maintain better health by eating more fruits and vegetables, and fewer high-fat foods and simple carbohydrates like white rice and potatoes. Another important factor, Peng said, is getting patients to understand and care about dietary restrictions.
Educating others comprises about half of his duties in China. He’s also going to be working to create a patient database that will help doctors understand the long-term affects of treatment.
Prior to his current job, Peng spent time working with diabetics of all ages at the Stanford University School of Medicine and at the Pacific Free Clinic in San Jose.
Alumni Gustavo Magaña ’12, J.D. ’15 and Melanie Reyes ’12 were wed on Nov. 1, 2014. Alumni in attendance: Melissa Minato ’12, Albenis Curiel ’12, Iman Latif ’12, and Farhan Choudhury ’13. Current Law students in attendance: Diego Aviles J.D. ’15, Joseph Nave J.D. ’15, and Andrew Goetz J.D. ’15. The mass was presided by Father Michael Engh.
Kristi Hockenson ’12, a Stryker endoscopy supplier quality engineer, was nominated for Employee of the Month within weeks of being hired, for her leadership in discovering and handling a potential health and safety concern for customers. She placed parts on shiphold, quarantined product, and implemented a course of action allowing Stryker to meet sales goals and clear back orders. Stryker is one of the world’s leading medical technology companies.
Brienne Ghafourifar ’12, the youngest college graduate at age 17 to raise $1 million in venture funding for her business, Entefy, is among four women chronicled in the upcoming documentary film She Started It, about women entrepreneurs.
Brienne Ghafourifar '12 made MOGUL's 35 Under 35 list of women for her work in tech and for being the youngest college grad to have raised $1 million in venture funding. The award recognizes women who have shown outstanding leadership and innovation. She is the co-founder of Entefy Inc., a Palo Alto tech startup focused on reinventing digital interactions and rewriting the code of communication.
Bianca Frediani ’12 is co-owner of Bed Bandits, a company that makes and sells fire-retardant, hypoallergenic mattress toppers. For every three sold, a fourth is donated to a local shelter. It's a business model driven by compassion. "My dad was an Oakland firefighter for over 30 years," she told the Contra Costa Times, "running into fires to literally save people." She wants to make a difference. "I hope someday -- if this (company) becomes a big thing, that we can go to Third World countries and donate these mattress toppers to people who don't have beds."
Claudia Flores '12 joined Congressman Mike Honda (D-Santa Clara) at the State of the Union Address in January. Flores is an immigration rights activist and Congressional fellow who was allowed to stay in the United States thanks to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).