Class Notes | Obituaries
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Melissa (Lomeli) Sesma ’08 is the new bilingual services program manager at the Monterey County Elections Department. Semsa, a Salinas native, will focus on voter education and will be a resource for the bilingual community and voters at large. She will help register voters, especially in underserved communities, and will assist with the recruitment of bilingual poll workers.
Semsa is an Alisal High School graduate and an alumna of Santa Clara University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and French.
Her goal is “to improve access to the ballot and election information in an effort to make Monterey County a region where people can be educated about the voting process and how they can participate,” according to an Elections Department newsletter.
To contact Sesma about what the Elections Department can do in your neighborhood or for a request of an educational presentation at your organization’s event call her at (831) 796-1478.
J.T. Service J.D. '08, founder of Soul Focus Sports, organized the San Jose 408K Race to the Row, an 8K run on March 11, 2012.
Service got the idea for the race after his company was hired to produce the Giant Race for the San Francisco Giants, which offers half-marathon, 10K and 5K courses, all ending on the Giants home field in AT&T Park.
"There was something about their connection with the people who felt it was their team and their city," Service said in an article published by the San Jose Mercury News. "About 85 percent of the people running were from San Francisco, and everyone would wear their Giants gear. I felt there needed to be something for San Jose replicating that feel."
The HP Pavilion was chosen for the start and Santana Row for the finish, he said, because they are two of the most prominent landmarks in San Jose.
The Pat Tillman Foundation is the charity partner; Service ran in the San Jose version of Pat's Run before it was discontinued locally and relocated to Arizona State University's Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, where it is now held each April.
The funds raised by The San Jose 408K will be used by the Pat Tillman Foundation for its programs, including the Tillman Military Scholars program, which provides financial support for active and veteran service members and their spouses to complete degree programs.
Amber Valdivia '08 and Sean Seggie were married on May 15, 2010 on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Peter Schmidt ’08 married Emily Brown, Loyola Marymount graduate, on Sept. 7, 2013, at the Plantation Farm Camp in Sonoma County. They live in Sausalito.
Liam Satre-Meloy ’08 is an executive producer of the documentary Red Army, which was released in 2014. The film is about the Soviet Union’s famous Red Army hockey team. Read more about the film in Sports Illustrated. While at Santa Clara, Satre-Meloy worked on the award-winning documentary A Christmas in Tent City—written, produced, and directed by Assistant Professor of Communication Mike Whalen ’89—about Francisco Jimenez.
Cristina Sanidad '08 and Emmanuel Gallardo are engaged to be married in Phoenix, Ariz. in May 2014.
This year, May 2014, Rochelle Rock ’08 graduated from medical school and will be entering a residency at the University of Connecticut in Emergency Medicine.
Marcella Reynolds ’08 writes, "For the last year I have worked at Table Mountain Rancheria as the environmental administrative assistant. I have now been promoted to environmental specialist within the Government Affairs and Environmental Department."
Griselda Ramirez '08 was recently hired by The Salinas Californian newspaper to report on news and feature stories from Salinas school districts and Hartnell College, and will also report on districts in north county and south county and California State University, Monterey Bay.
Niamh (Doherty) Radhakrishnan J.D. '08 is now a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Labor, based in the Los Angeles office.
Stuart Poulter '08 and Kristina Chiapella '09 were married June 30, 2012 at David Walley's Hot Springs Resort in Genoa, Nev. Stuart and Kristina celebrated their wedding with fellow SCU alums Ashley Gardner '09, Katelyn (Schlereth) Wood '08, Michael Wood, Michelle Pesce '09, Chad Dupic '09, Elizabeth Storelli '09, Stephen Smoker '09, Bethany Elias Jenner '08, Catherine Waite '08, Elizabeth Czapla '08, Lindsay Mohundro '10, Samantha Go '08, Lauren Roon '08, Kaitlin Thompson '09, Adam Boriotti '08, Deborah Thurtle '08, Krystal Wu '09 and Sam Baker '08.
Viktor Petersson ’08 is co-founder and CEO of YippieMove, a product from startup WireLoad that makes the email migration process as easy as possible. He was recently featured in an article on Tech Crunch, where he notes that YippieMove was designed to address his own needs as an SCU graduate who needed to move his mail from his student account before everything was deleted. Users of YippieMove enter their account details, and YippeeMove, which supports more than 100 email providers, handles the rest of the process without software installation.
In 2013, Ana Paz-Rangel '08 began her graduate studies at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. She is currently pursuing an M.A. in Latin American Studies.
Broncos Clayton Hoefer ’07 and Katrina Ostertag ’08 celebrated their wedding July 13, 2013.
Christina Ogburn-Chow MBA ’08 and her husband Daniel Chow - A son, Zayden Sui Yuen Chow, on April 4, 2013. The family lives in Foster City.
Patrick Welty ’08 and Laura Meuleman ’08 married in beautiful Park City, Utah on October 12. Alumni in attendence were Tara Almassy ’08, Mark Almassy ’08, Jesse Hailey ’08, Caitlin Bliss ’08, Natalie Cummins ’08, Pete Spisiak ’08, Jacob Jessick ’08, and Christ Proctor ’07. The couple lives in San Diego.
Stephanie Marquez ’08 writes, "After working in the California Central Valley in the Alumni Relations Office at the University of California, Merced for over four years now where I manage the Student A, I recently accepted a new job opportunity in San Diego, CA. I am so thrilled to relocate and start working in the Alumni Relations Office as the Development and Alumni Relations Coordinator at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in January 2013. Following my experience working in higher education I realized that working with undergraduate students is my true passion and calling. I am in the process of applying to graduate school for next fall, now that my aspiration is to begin studying Higher Education Leadership at the University of San Diego."
Becky Ahrens '07 and Zack Mariscal '08 were married December 21, 2008. They have been happily married for over a year and a half and are looking forward to many more years to come.
Brittany Klein ’08 and Kiki Bosio ’09 are champions on the turf. They're teammates on the Orange County Waves Women's Soccer Team, which won the 2011 Women's Premier Soccer League National Championship on July 31 after defeating the Chicago Red Stars in a dramatic overtime finish. Bosio put the team ahead 1-0 just before halftime, and Klein assisted the game-winning goal 11 minutes into overtime.
Lisa M. Kinslow ’08 is serving as business manager for TDC Medical, a Vention Medical Company, a product design and development house of implantable and disposable medical devices in Sunnyvale.
Samir Kaji MBA ’08 joined First Republic Bank in Menlo Park, Calif. Kaji, who has 13 years of banking experience, works with venture capital and private equity clients in Silicon Valley. Prior to joining First Republic, Kaji worked for Silicon Valley Bank.
Ashkon Jafari ’08 was recently invited to the White House to meet President Barack Obama and talk to White House officials about the critical issue of college completion and career readiness. “We are thrilled by our recent White House invitation! This step by the Obama Administration clearly reflects the urgency our country faces in improving college completion and making sure our workforce and economy stay competitive,” said Ashkon Jafari, co-founder and executive director of StudentMentor.org.
With nearly 50 percent of students not graduating from college, the national focus has moved from college access to college completion. This has been emphasized by the President over the course of several State of the Union addresses. The president underscored his pledge to make the United States the world leader in college attainment by 2020, promising to increase the percentage of people ages 25 to 34 that hold an associate’s degree or a bachelor degree from 40 percent to 60 percent. President Obama has even stated, “I want us to produce eight million more college graduates by 2020.”
StudentMentor.org seeks to achieve this goal by leveraging innovative technology at the core of its national mentoring program. Through this online platform, college students can conveniently search for, select and work with mentors to achieve their academic and career goals. StudentMentor.org’s mission is to increase college completion and enhance student career readiness thereby enabling a robust 21st century workforce and community.
Mentoring plays a huge role in reversing the trend of poor college completion rates, “According to a U.S. Department of Education study, students who met with advisors regularly during their freshmen year had 170% greater chance of completing their bachelor’s degree than those that did not.”
StudentMentor.org currently has over 2,000 mentors and provides its program to students from more than 600 universities nationwide. "We think this is just the beginning and can’t wait to scale our program to help tens of thousands of students every year complete college and prepare for the workforce,” said Stephanie Bravo, co-founder and president of StudentMentor.org.
StudentMentor.org is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase college completion and enhance student career readiness thereby enabling a robust 21st century workforce and community. StudentMentor.org seeks to achieve this goal by leveraging innovative technology at the core of its national mentoring program. Through this online platform, college students can conveniently find and work with mentors to achieve their academic and career goals.