Class Notes | Obituaries
Showing class notes submitted in last 6 months
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.
Lauren Silk '11 has chosen to attend the University of Colorado--Boulder for her degree in Speech-Language Pathology.
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."
Maria Valle ’12 facilitated San Jose's second annual leadership conference for young women in the spring. The theme was "Strong Girls, Strong Women."
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.
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.
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."
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.
Josh Ronen ’13 is currently completing his second year of medical school at the Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) on the island of Dominica in the eastern Caribbean. By next summer he is on pace to start his third year as a physician-in-training, composed of clinical rotations at a RUSM-affiliate hospital location in California.
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.
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.
Gina Stroud ’14, of Los Alamos, graduated magnum cum laude and completed the University’s Honors Program. She was also inducted into Phi Beta Kappa Society. Stroud will begin her first year at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.
Meghan Shoven ’14 is Santa Clara's new assistant director, Donor Relations. In this role, Meghan will be responsible for enhancing our donor recognition programs at SCU, from creating a new program this fiscal year to recognize loyal donors to developing the structure and benefits of the President's Club, assisting the Planned Giving Team with the Bergin Society, and, longer-term, revitalizing our Founders and Nobili Societies. Meghan will also coordinate donor recognition for capital construction projects, working collaboratively with University Operations.
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.