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1973

UGRD Arts & Sciences '73
GRD Law '76
Pichon, Risë
On Jan. 1, Risë Jones Pichon '73, J.D. '76 became Santa Clara County’s first minority presiding Superior Court judge.
 
Pichon, 62, said she got to the top of her legal career by taking chances outside her comfort zone and learning how to deal with obstacles tied to her race. Today she brings to her new position a lifelong understanding of race relations.
 
“Having lived when I lived gives a person a great understanding of how people feel, how they feel when there’s only one of them in a group,” said Pichon.
“The fact that they can feel powerless and some can abuse their power. … It’s given me the courage at this point of my life to make sure people are treated fairly. I can’t say it’s best to treat everyone the same because that’s no longer true. Justice is not blind.”
 
As an undergraduate at Santa Clara University, she felt marginalized and dismissed by some of her professors who, she said, had low expectations of her as a math major. But that all changed when she went to law school at the same university. Out of 260 classmates, only eight were African-American. And, she says, they were treated equally.
 
Pichon will also manage the court’s budget and deal with state cuts that already have shut down courtrooms from Morgan Hill to Palo Alto. And there’s pressure to deal with the disproportionate number of African-American and Latino kids in juvenile hall.
 
 
Read more at KQED.org.
submitted Jan. 9, 2015 3:00P

1989

UGRD Leavey Business '89
GRD Leavey/MBA '94
Soriano, Marcelino

Maj. Marcelino "Butch" Soriano ’89, MBA ’94, broke the record for number of hours of straight bell-ringing for the Salvation Army in Southern California, ringing the bell for 150 hours. In the end, he raised almost $10K. He set his record at 150 hours in celebration of the Salvation Army’s 150 years in existence and its 124th annual Red Kettle Campaign, during which bell-ringers seek donations outside stores throughout the holiday season.

“The reality is that I was sure that I would not be able to accomplish this quest on my own strength,” said Soriano, moments after setting his record. “I needed God’s strength.”
 
According to the organization’s rules, Soriano earned five minutes of rest for every continuous hour he rang his bell. He had to stand the entire time and could only eat, sit, go to the bathroom, or nap during his five-minute breaks. He was allowed to drink something, as long as it didn’t get in the way of his ringing the bell.
 
His first real test came at about the 51st hour, when his feet began to ache and throb. By the 84th hour, his feet were severely swollen.
 
“I was like, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to keep going,” Soriano said.
An hour later, the Salvation Army said “a stranger who had no idea of the pain he was in offered a bit of powerful support.”
 
“In the 85th hour, there was a gentleman who came behind me, he put a hand on me and prayed for me,” Soriano recalled. “A lot of the discomfort came out of me.”
 
The bell-ringer was struck with another surge of endurance when a woman came up to donate and he noticed on her shirt was written Bible verse “Philippians 4:13″ — “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” — a phrase Soriano said has motivated him in the past.
 
“I was at a very low point, where it was very uncomfortable,” Soriano said. “God reminded me because that verse was on that person’s shirt.”
 
After Soriano broke the record, he said sleep would have to wait: “Actually, right now I’m going to change so I can go to church.”
submitted Jan. 9, 2015 2:22P

1998

'98
Henninger, Ragan

Ragan Henninger ’98 has been appointed senior policy advisor in the office of San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. Ragan joined Sam’s council office in 2007, first as a council assistant, then spent five years as chief of staff. Her policy expertise includes environment, housing, budget and economic development, including work on the citywide inclusionary housing policy, plastic bag ban, and downtown high-rise incentive. She later left service with the city to manage Sam’s successful mayoral campaign in 2014. She previously worked for HomeFirst (formerly EHC LifeBuilders) as the director of Development and Communications where she was responsible for raising over $12 million annually.

Ragan currently serves on the board of Legacy Alviso San José Youth Foundation and is responsible for the foundation’s charitable distributions. Ragan and her husband live in the Cambrian neighborhood of San José, where they are raising their daughter.

submitted Jan. 9, 2015 2:16P

1999

UGRD Arts & Sciences '99
Hendershott, Hilary

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.

Hendershott volunteers at the Financial Planning Association's Pro Bono Day, where professionals offer financial advice to individuals who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford those services. She also co-created and spearheaded an annual fundraising event for the Emergency Housing Consortium's youth shelter
The San Jose native has also volunteered as a leadership skills coach for Landmark Worldwide for more than six years. In this volunteer role, Hendershott provides coaching and guidance for individuals looking to improve their communication, effectiveness and leadership skills. She has been responsible for programs of up to 80 individual participants and 15 trained coaches and estimates that she has likely spent over 1000 hours in these volunteer efforts.
 
She has also been a foster mother.

 

submitted Jan. 9, 2015 8:31A
UGRD Leavey Business '99
Diaz, Alma (Parra)

Angel Diaz ’99 and Alma Diaz Parra ’01 welcomed their second child, Antonio Ernesto, on Oct. 27, 2014. He joins big brother Eduardo Angel who is three years old and the family resides in Los Angeles.

submitted Jan. 9, 2015 1:05P
UGRD Leavey Business '99
Betz, Jennifer
Jennifer Betz '99 appeared in the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s 2014 40 Under 40 list. She is the executive director, manufacturing finance, at Maxim Integrated, where, last year, Betz led the strategic planning process, which brings analyses of macroeconomic trends and internal data into a cohesive form for all decision makers and business groups in the company. Senior leadership relies on the revamped strategic planning process that Betz leads to make critical planning decisions that drive the success of the company.
 
Along with a team of 22, she manages all financial aspects of Maxim Integrated's manufacturing organization, a $2.4 billion business. Her responsibilities specifically impact three subgroups and 4,600 employees. The organization spans oceans, with sites in the Philippines, Thailand and several in the U.S.
 
Betz began her career as an associate analyst and was promoted to a director position in 2008. She was promoted to executive director in 2011. She has held the position of group controller for almost every organization at Maxim.
As group controller for Maxim's Consumer business group, Betz represented more than 39 percent of Maxim's total revenue in fiscal year 2014. When working with Maxim's product engineers, she focuses on bringing her knowledge of business, financial management and policies, rather than trying to learn the technical nuances her electrical engineering colleagues are familiar with. Her approach builds valued partnering within the group.
 
Since 2008, Betz has volunteered with the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford, helping to create a home-away-from-home and a supportive community for families of children with life-threatening illnesses who are receiving specialized treatment at local hospitals. Each week, Betz coordinates and plans a special activity for children in the Garden Immune Wing, an area of the house especially designed for the needs of children who are receiving bone-marrow transplants.

 

submitted Jan. 9, 2015 8:39A

2000

'00
Rocha, Stephanie

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.

A Santa Clara native, Rocha started her career at a semiconductor company in Santa Clara County. She quickly moved up the ranks in the human resources department and — unfortunately, as the recession began to hit — was involved in handling company layoffs, exposing her to legal employment claims and piquing her interest in law.
 
Her experience at this time also included working as employee relations manager for a biotech company, where she was able to cultivate her newfound interest by working closely with the company's outside labor and employment counsel.
 
Indulging her varied outside curiosities, Rocha earned her real estate license and began selling real estate at nights and on the weekends, while still maintaining her full-time job. Exposure to real estate law was the final push she needed to pursue law school.
submitted Jan. 9, 2015 8:53A
GRD Leavey/MBA '00
Nishita, Jeff

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.

submitted Jan. 9, 2015 2:48P

2001

UGRD Leavey Business '01
Diaz, Alma (Parra)
see year 1999

2007

UGRD Arts & Sciences '07
Cashman, Veronica (Zepeda)
Veronica (Zepeda) Cashman '07 was honored as a 2014 Santa Clara Sporting Coach of the Year. Cashman coaches two girls teams at Sporting: the Santa Clara Sporting 97 Girls White and the Sporting 01 Girls. After completing a very successful collegiate career at Santa Clara University and a stint with the US Under 20 Women's National team, she turned her energy into coaching and mentoring girls at Santa Clara Sporting. She took over the head coaching job of Sporting 97G White two years ago, building them into a premier powerhouse team, now ranked No. 1 in NorCal, No. 2 in Region IV and No. 3 in the GotSoccer.com rankings. Sporting 97 Girls White won the Cal-North State Cup, the Surf Cup and the Sporting Girls Invitational during the past two seasons.
submitted Jan. 9, 2015 2:42P

2009

GRD Law '09
Rocha, Stephanie
see year 2000
GRD Law '09
Koo, Tae-Woong

Tae-Woong Koo J.D. '09 appeared in the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s 2014 40 Under 40 list. He is a senior associate in Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP's Intellectual Property Practice and works behind the scenes in Silicon Valley's technology industry to safeguard the heart of its economic vitality and cultural values: innovation.

Koo's practice focuses on prosecuting patents and counseling inventors on strategies to protect their ideas. The holder of more than 30 patents himself, his years of work as a research scientist prior to becoming a lawyer help him guide Silicon Valley's largest technology companies.
 
Born in Seoul, Korea, he he earned the title Dr. Koo while completing his Master's and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at MIT, and eventually landing a position as a senior research scientist at Intel. There, he studied optics and helped advance methods for its use in analyzing chemical compounds and diagnosing disease. That research led to more than 30 patents and his work was published in a dozen articles in the fields of optics, nanotechnology, microfluidics, sensors, material science, analytical chemistry, clinical chemistry and biotechnology. The process of developing those patents with legal counsel first piqued his interest in the law.
 
He finished his Ph.D. by age 26, then decided to attend law school at night while working full-time for Intel. Since he joined Morgan Lewis as an associate in 2009, several of the largest technology companies in Silicon Valley have entrusted him with handling complex challenges that involve advanced technologies and require sophisticated strategic considerations.
submitted Jan. 9, 2015 8:46A

2011

GRD Leavey/MBA '11
Hendershott, Hilary
see year 1999

2014

UGRD Arts & Sciences '14
Allen, Marianna

Marianna Allen ’14 writes, "Just graduated December 2014! Looking at work options! Excited yet a bit apprehensive, too. So happy to be an SCU graduate!"

submitted Jan. 5, 2015 8:18A

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