Class Notes | Obituaries
Showing class notes submitted in last 6 months by graduates in the 2010s
Lindsay Bruce ’10 made appearances on this season's NBC reality show The Voice.
Her early accomplishments helped set her on a path that led to an appearance on “The Voice,” but it was a long, sometimes difficult journey. At 13, the Santa Rosa native wrote a book and a song about having lost her uncle on 9/11. In high school, she became an international model and local celebrity. All along, though, she wanted to write and sing her own songs, so after graduating from Santa Clara University, Bruce headed to Nashville to pursue the one dream that still eluded her.
Thomas Akins Jr. ’10 came up with the idea for the mobile app called podStatus, a music player that takes a stab at music discovery for frequent Instagram users (and other social networks) who have songs on their iPhone to share music for friends to listen and discover. He writes that no other app brings this level of music discovery to Instagram where users can actually listen to the music. It also has an algorithm that only makes music suggestions based on what users already have in their music library and are listening to right in that moment.
Jeffrey Adams '10 is back in the Bay Area after receiving his masters of fine arts from the New School for Drama in New York City. He's starring as the Prince in San Francisco Playhouse's production of Into the Woods, the Stephen Sondheim musical which has a big-screen, Disney version in the works. It runs through Sept. 6.
Lauren Silk '11 was accepted to all eight graduate schools that she applied to. She has chosen to attend the University of Colorado--Boulder for her degree in Speech-Language Pathology.
Sarah Allbritten ’11 writes, "Recently relocated back to SF Bay Area from Los Angeles and I am currently looking for a job."
Maria Valle ’12 facilitated San Jose's second annual leadership conference for young women in the spring. The theme was "Strong Girls, Strong Women."
Both Dana Knudsen ’12 and Tanya Schmidt ’12 who played volleyball for the Broncos are now playing professionally in Europe. Dana in Murcia, Spain and Tanya in Germany. Thanks to SCU for giving both girls the opportunities and growth to reach to a higher level. Go Broncos!
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.
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."
Jaime Saavedra J.D. '13 joined the San Francisco office of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton. Saavedra joins the firm as an associate with the Patent Team in the internationally recognized Intellectual Property Department.
Dr. Saavedra focuses his practice on patent prosecution and counseling, due diligence, licensing, and other intellectual property issues related to matters in the health and life sciences.
Former LEAD scholar at SCU Roberto Ramos ’13 has received a full-ride, merit-based scholarship to attend the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA—a very rare honor. Called the Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship, it pays full tuition for four years for at least 16 students. Recipients also receive special access to faculty and a research stipend of $5,000, among other benefits. LOT scholars are selected for one of two tracks—Research or Service to Underserved Communities.
Julianne Parayo '13 has won a Fulbright U.S. Student Award to teach English in Poland for 2014–15. She plans to use her English and Music training to explore her capacity for teaching English in a new environment and to participate in a powerful and artistic cross-cultural exchange. She chose Poland to explore its deep regard for both tradition and progress and to investigate how cross-generational dynamics transform a nation's culture.
Saayeli Mukherji '13, received a Fulbright fellowship to study at the Duisenberg School of Finance in The Netherlands to integrate ethics and business. She will dive deeply into international legal and financial regulations that help prevent global ethics catastrophes such as the 2008 Financial Crisis. Additionally, she plans to start an open forum on business ethics with contributions from Silicon Valley and Dutch professionals that will serve as a resource for future business leaders.
Alyson Maureen McNamara J.D. '13 and Alexander Edward Cunny J.D. '13 are thrilled to announce their engagement to be married on Aug. 30, 2014, at the Dove Canyon Country Club in Dove Canyon, Calif.
Alyson is the daughter of James and Beverly McNamara of Coto de Caza, Calif. She graduated from Santa Margarita Catholic High School in 2004. Alyson attended Chapman University in Southern California earning her bachelor’s degree in economics in 2009, and she graduated from Santa Clara University in 2013 earning her law degree. She is employed as an attorney at the law firm of Gauntlett and Associates in Irvine, Calif.
Former SCU goalkeeper Larry Jackson '13 signed to work as a goalkeeper for the MLS's New England Revolution. Jackson, a native of East Palo Alto, was named the 2012 West Coast Conference Goalie of the Year at Santa Clara and to the 2012 Continental Tires NSCAA All-Far West Region Third Team.
Rachel Wilmoth ’14 has been selected as a Fulbright fellowship alternate. If funded, Rachel’s project will be research into the mechanical and structural properties of sea urchin teeth on the nano-scale to understand their self-sharpening technique. Tests available at the Nanomechanical Research Lab at the University of Auckland in New Zealand will allow Rachel to investigate ways to replicate self-sharpening on the macro-scale to improve the sharpness of tools such as knives or drill bits.
Stepanus Widjaja ’14 writes, "Got a job offer at Lumenous Device Technologies in Sunnyvale, providing high-precision medical device fabrication services."
Lia Vosti ’14 was recently profiled in the St. Helena Star. Vosti plans to move to Minneapolis, Minnesota, a hub for biomedical device companies, and work in the biotech industry. She says that one of her most cherished memories at SCU was being part of the swim team. "While my degree in bioengineering can summarize, to some extent, what I have learned in the classroom," she says, "there is no way to quantify what I have learned from my relationships, travels, independence, and so much more these past four years."
Derek Vo, S.J., M.Div. '14 has been ordained a Jesuit priest. Vo, one of 10 siblings, grew up in Vietnam. At 21, seeking to flee the hopelessness of his war-ravaged homeland, he left Vietnam in search of economic opportunity. His quest for a new life took a detour when the boat he was on broke down and he wound up in a refugee camp in Thailand, where he spent the next three years. Arriving in America in 1988, Vo joined family in Oklahoma and enrolled in college, earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Oklahoma in 1994. After several years working in computer science, he took a new job just outside Dallas, where he joined a Christian Life Community and was exposed for the first time to Ignatian spirituality. Although Vo had considered a vocation to the priesthood when he was young, the events of September 11, 2001, had a profound effect on him. As he watched the Twin Towers fall and feared a similar attack against his hometown, Vo resolved to live a more meaningful life by serving God. After several years of spiritual direction, he joined the Jesuits in 2003. Following the novitiate, Vo was missioned to Saint Louis University for philosophy studies. For his three-year regency assignment, he taught math and computer science at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colorado, while also supervising the school’s photography club. His formation has included three trips back to Vietnam to teach English and philosophy, work with the poor and offer retreats. For the last three years, Vo has been studying at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, California, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree while also serving as a chaplain at San Quentin State Prison. The work at San Quentin was particularly gratifying because it allowed him to encounter “Christ the prisoner” in the men who help him strip away judgment, prejudice and fear to discover gentle forgiveness. Following ordination, he hopes to work in pastoral ministries.
Christopher J. Schroeder, S.J., M.Div. '14, 32, has been ordained a Jesuit priest. This summer, he will serve at St. Martin de Porres Parish in Belize before returning in the fall to Berkeley to finish his Licentiate in Sacred Theology.
He is the nephew of a Jesuit brother and two diocesan priests, and was born and raised in St. Louis. A product of Catholic education, he attended his local parish grammar school and De Smet Jesuit High School, where he came to know and appreciate Jesuits as teachers, mentors and friends. The Jesuits at De Smet were some of the happiest, most successful people he knew, so after graduating from high school in 2000, Schroeder headed to Saint Louis University, where he started actively discerning his call to the priesthood. Recognizing very early that his call to the Society of Jesus was so strong that he didn’t want to wait a moment longer, Schroeder left college after finishing his sophomore year and entered the Jesuits in 2002. After two years at the Jesuit novitiate in St. Paul, Minnesota, he returned to Saint Louis University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and humanities and, later, a master’s degree in philosophy. During this time, he also spent five months in El Salvador for intensive Spanish language study and to work for Fe y Alegría, a Jesuit network offering education, training programs and development services primarily in Latin America. It was an unforgettable and soul-nourishing experience. For his three-year regency assignment, Schroeder taught theology at Arrupe Jesuit High School in Denver, where he also directed the school’s Kairos retreat program. Missioned next to the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, California, Schroeder earned a Master of Divinity degree while serving as a deacon at San Quentin State Prison. The experience of providing spiritual direction to incarcerated men has been transformative, he says, and has helped fortify his own spiritual life.
Nathan W. O’Halloran, S.J., M.Div. '14, 32, has been ordained a Jesuit priest. He grew up on The Lord’s Ranch, a Catholic lay community founded in 1975 in a small, rural southern New Mexico border town. The son of Catholic missionaries who met and married at The Lord’s Ranch, O’Halloran and his seven siblings were home-schooled, which provided the opportunity for the children to help milk the cows, feed the livestock and cultivate the vegetables on the working ranch. Frequently, O’Halloran would cross the border into Mexico for prison ministry and to distribute produce from the ranch to the poor of Juarez. Profoundly influenced by the work of Jesuit Father Richard Thomas, founder of The Lord’s Ranch, O’Halloran began considering a vocation to the priesthood at an early age, although his vocation to the Society of Jesus remained unclear until later on. After graduating from Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio, where O’Halloran earned bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and theology, he entered the Jesuits in 2003 at the Jesuit novitiate in Grand Coteau, Louisiana. Missioned next to Fordham University in the Bronx, New York, O’Halloran earned a master’s degree in philosophy in 2008. For his three-year regency assignment, O’Halloran taught Greek and theology at Jesuit High School of New Orleans while also coaching the school’s Ultimate Frisbee team to the state finals. O’Halloran was then missioned to the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, California, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology while also working as a chaplain at an AIDS hospice and serving as a deacon at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Oakland, California. O’Halloran credits the pro-life work of The Lord’s Ranch with saving the lives of many babies, including his two adopted siblings, Caleb and Rebekah. He hopes to continue this work in his future ministries.