Class Notes | Obituaries
Showing class notes submitted in the last year by graduates in 2012
Maria Valle ’12 facilitated San Jose's second annual leadership conference for young women in the spring. The theme was "Strong Girls, Strong Women."
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.
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).
Chris Chang ’07 and Quyen (Le) Chang ’07, MBA ’12 married on Aug 30., 2014, in Maui, HI. The wedding party included Neha Sharma ’07, Gillian Rimicci ’07, Jenna O'Connor ’07, Jessica Kremer MBA ’12, Joanne Wang ’09, Martin Lewis ’09, Greg Moore ’08, Raymond Chiu ’08, and Mimi Pham ’16. The couple currently live in San Francisco.
W. Martin Behn J.D. ’12 has joined Sinsheimer Juhnke McIvor & Stroh, LLP. Behn worked as an associate at a small boutique law firm in Palo Alto specializing in estate planning, estate and trust administration and probate, and charitable planning, according to a news release. He will work in the trusts and estates practice of the San Luis Obispo firm.
Behn grew up in San Luis Obispo. Between undergrad and law school, Behn was a law clerk at Société Générale Finance Equipment in Wuppertal, Germany, as well as a summer law clerk at Boehmert & Boehmert in Munich, Germany.