Dispatches Fall 2010


Baldo Kristovich [LibArts, Law ’38], 95 years old, attended the Golden Lions Luncheon at the 2010 Alumni Reunion Weekend in September for his 75-year class reunion. It was his fifth reunion weekend appearance in a row. His daughter Marlene says that one of the many reasons he looks forward to his reunions is the chocolate dessert.


Paul Picerni [LibArts] was president of the Del Rey Players in 1947–48. He went on to a television career that included a stint on “The Untouchables.” He wrote a book about his days in Hollywood called “Steps to Stardom: My Story.”


Charles “Duke” Russell Jr. [BusAdm] is organizing the 19th Annual Abe Lincoln Remembrance
in Los Angeles, which will take place on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011, at 12 noon, at Los Angeles National Cemetery.


Graciela Limon [LibArts] is the award-winning author of “The River Flows North.” An exponent of magical realism, She won the 1994 American Book Award for her novel “In Search of Bernabe.” She is a visiting professor at UC Santa Barbara and UCLA and the former chair of the Department of Chicano/a Studies at LMU.


Carlos Arauz [SciEng] received the Human Resources Professional of the Year Award from San Diego Business Journal and Manpower Inc., in 2008. In addition, the County of San Diego Human Resources Department, under Arauz’s leadership, received the 2009 International Public Management Association for Human Resources-HR Excellence Award for a Large Agency. It was the second time an agency led by Arauz received the award.

Donald Carrington [LibArts] retired as superintendent of the Hawthorne School District in July.


Dominic Biava [LibArts] launched Raw Source Organics with his daughter. The company, based in Gallup, N.M., produces a line of organic, raw whole-food supplements.


Thomas Patrick Beck [BusAdm, Law ’77] was named a 2010 Southern California Super Lawyer by Southern California Super Lawyers Magazine. He was also named to the Irish Legal 100, 2009 by Irish American Magazine, and a Top Attorney by Pasadena Magazine.

Susanne Ameche Lewis [CFA] started Make Be-Leaves, a successful artificial plant company that salvages and restores artificial trees and foliage. She credits her LMU studio arts degree for “jump-starting” her creativity and cultivating her eye for beauty.


Vincent O’Neill [LibArts] was elected in September by Ventura County judges to a two-year term as presiding judge of the Ventura County Superior Court. He has served as a judge for the past 18 years and was appointed to the Ventura Municipal Court by Gov. Pete Wilson in 1992. Three years later, Wilson named him a Superior Court judge.


Paul Hill [CFA] retired after 34 years in law enforcement and owns Get A Clue Investigations Inc., in Torrance, Calif. He frequently works with Herb Jewell [LibArts ’74]. His two daughters attend college at opposite ends of California.


Robert Visty [LibArts] has been a stay-at-home dad for the past five years and is seeking a move to a career in consulting or managerial work in entertainment or business. Bob was an executive producer and globetrotting documentary filmmaker in the television industry, visiting more than 65 countries.


Nicholas Daffern [LibArts] and his wife, Anne, celebrated their 25th anniversary in June with a trip to Maine. Kennebunkport might be a retirement location for them. Nick flies for Alaska Airlines. Anne left Starbucks after more than 10 years as a vice president for finance and is the CFO at a mid-level company in Seattle. They have no kids, but they do have two beagles.


Lisa See Kendall [LibArts] has written several best-selling novels and works of nonfiction, including “On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family” (1995), “Flower Net” (1997), “The Interior” (1999), “Dragon Bones” (2003), “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” (2005) and “Peony in Love” (2007). Her 2009 novel titled “Shanghai Girls” was on the 2010 New York Times bestseller list.


Elizabeth “Biz” Dailey [LibArts] was married to Scott Allen on Oct. 25, 2009.


Mark Dundee [BusAdm] was appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to the California Law Revision Commission in July 2010. He is the managing principal of global compliance for Buck Consultants, which has offices around the world.


Patrick Monroe [BusAdm] was appointed president and CEO of Rose Hills Co. in Whittier Calif., in February 2010. He is the eighth president in the company’s 96-year history.

Paul Villa [LibArts] was married to Kristen Molina [LibArts ’92] on March 13, 2010.


Sam Pearsall [SciEng] was appointed the first lay principal of Damien High School in La Verne, Calif.

Cynthia Rudolph [BusAdm] was selected to serve on the Women’s Executive Committee of the Illinois CPA Society.


Daniel Lambert [LibArts, GradLibArts ’93] has taught English at East Los Angeles College since 2000, and his essays have appeared in the Easy Reader and several other publications. Read his blog about tabletop gaming at http://www.examiner.com/x-55858-LA-Tabletop-Gaming-Examiner?showbio.


Peter Balaskas [SciEng, GradLibArts ’04] saw his unpublished collection of stories, “In Our House: Stories of Horror and the Fantastic,” chosen as the featured work for Halloween in The New Short Fiction Series, a program of the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery in Hollywood, Calif. The series showcases both established and emerging writers and previously has featured Aimee Bender, Ray Bradbury and others.

Kristin Kavanaugh [LibArts] received the Outstanding Dedication in Directing Students in Christian Service Award from the Department of Catholic Schools and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in March 2010. For the past 15 years, she had taught morality and Christian vocations at Mary Star of the Sea High School in San Pedro, Calif.

Christopher Louie [SciEng] is thankful to all alumni and friends who donated to the American Cancer Relay for Life that was held at Central Park in Valencia, Calif., in May 2010. More than 130 teams participated and more than $440,000 was raised for the American Cancer Society.


Alexandra Pelosi [LibArts] made a documentary about homeless children titled “Homeless: The Motel Kids of Orange County.” The film aired on the HBO network in July 2010. Pelosi is a six-time Emmy nominee.

Jim Toth [LibArts] is an agent at Creative Artists Agency motion picture talent department. He came to the talent division from CAA’s New Media division, where he was promoted from trainee to agent in 2000 after joining CAA in 1995. The company is based in Los Angeles.


Andy Bialk [CFA] received an Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation for “The Ricky Gervais Show” at the 62nd Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards in 2010. He is the lead character designer at Reel FX studios in Santa Monica and Dallas and is working on the animated feature “Time Turkeys.” He also is freelancing for Nickelodeon’s “The Penguins of Madagascar.”

Liam Douglas was born to Nancy Byrne [CFA] and Leo Byrne on Feb. 23, 2010.

Melina Castillo [BusAdm] is principal of Ambassador School of Global Leadership (K-12). ASGL is the first International Studies Schools Network pilot school in Los Angeles. ASGL’s partners include the Asia Society Partnership for Global Learning.

Mindy Cohn [LibArts] starred as Violet in the 2010 film “Violet Tendencies.” She also was in “Sex and Death 101” in 2007. She starred as Natalie Green on the 1980s sitcom “The Facts of Life” and later was the voice actor for a character in the “Scooby Doo” series.

Suzanne Cravens [CFA] and her sweet southern beau, Craig Harmon, were married on May 1, 2010, in Charlotte, N.C. Reem Baroody [LibArts],Anja Kluge Cerone [SciEng] and Melena Gergen [CFA, GradEd ’01] were present.


Tracey (Duke) Gould [LibArts] received a master’s degree in integrated marketing communications from West Virginia University in May.

Ronald Thomas [CFA] was promoted to national manager of member education and outreach for the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

Kelly Younger [LibArts] wrote “Tender,” a family drama that debuted in July at the Gloucester Stage Co., in Gloucester, Mass.


Jennifer Alcazar [SciEng] received the Walnut Valley Unified School District’s Teacher of the Year Award for 2010. She is a science teacher at Chaparral Middle School in Walnut Valley, Calif.

Jason Fitzpatrick [CFA] has worked in the entertainment industry for 10 years as a photographer, writer and filmmaker.

Joseph Benjamin was born to Sarah (Alvy) Gemperle [BusAdm] and Benjamin Gemperle [SciEng, GradBusAdm ’99, Law ’02] on Dec. 11, 2009.

Gabriella Gomez [LibArts] was awarded the 2010 Distinguished Alumnus Award by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute on Sept. 13, 2010, in Washington, D.C. She is assistant secretary for legislation and congressional affairs with the U.S. Department of Education. Nominated for the post by President Barack Obama, she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in May 2009.

Jacqueline Rodriguez-James [BusAdm] is partner with Levene, Neale, Bender, Rankin, Yoo and Brill in Los Angeles. She specializes in corporate and individual insolvency restructuring, and business and bankruptcy litigation. She and her husband, Gregory, had a son, Matthew, on Dec. 20, 2009.

Max was born to Yuri Uehara-Jabami [BusAdm] and Steven Jabami [GradEd ’03] on June 15, 2010.


Aaron Thorton was born to Elena (Prime) Piexoto [LibArts] and Peter Piexoto on June 23, 2010.

Gina Promessi [BusAdm] was married to Darryl Jenkins on July 23, 2010.

Joseph Paul Sabol [LibArts, GradBusAdm ’98] was married to Shelly Taniguchi on May 30, 2010.

Mardell Wrensch [CFA] was married to Sean Gully on March 23, 2010.

Adrianna Joyce was born to Anthony J. Napolitano [BusAdm, Law ’03] and Kimberly (Beach) Napolitano [BusAdm ’99, Law ’03] on May 10, 2010

Carter Henry was born to Christine and Patrick Tasto [BusAdm] on March 26, 2010.


Diego was born to Tom Arteaga [CFA] and Julia (Esqueda) Arteaga [LibArts ’99] on June 28, 2010.

David Grimaldi [LibArts] was named chief of staff and media legal adviser to Federal Communications Commissioner Mignon Clyburn Sept. 20, 2010. He had been senior counsel specializing in technology, telecommunications, foreign affairs and financial regulation for Clyburn’s father, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.).


Christopher Hanada [CFA] and Tanner Kling [CFA ’00] won the Producers Guild Award for Best Produced Studio Web Series for the NBC series “Heroes: Nowhere Man,” which they directed and produced.

Nora Suzanne was born to Andrea (Tazioli) Smith [LibArts] and Matt Smith on May 29, 2010.

Serena Steers [BusAdm, GradBusAdm ’10], Carolina Gutierrez [GradBusAdm ’10], Liz Aguirre [CFA ’98, GradBusAdm ’10] and Cari Nollner [CFA’ 98, GradBusAdm ’10] graduated from the LMU Executive M.B.A. program in May.


Wyatt Levi was born to Bonnie (Wiesinger) Hodge [CFA] and Lee Hodge on April 11, 2010.

Melissa Lowry [GradEd] co-authored a book titled “Answer Keys: Teachers’ Lesson Plans for Successful Parenting” that was published this past fall by Bright Sky Press (www.theanswerkeys.com). She is also the founder and director of SmartyPantz Education, a consulting firm that specializes in helping educators and parents build and maintain strong home-school relationships. She lives in San Marino, Calif., with her husband, Mac, and their two children.

LeRoy McClain [LibArts] appeared in “The Whipping Man” at the Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Mass. He also has played roles in regional and international productions and in several Broadway plays, including “Cymbeline” and “The History Boys,” and Off-Broadway productions, including “Measure for Measure,” “Othello,” “The Good Negro” and “In Search of Stanley Hammer.” After LMU, he earned a master’s degree in fine arts at the Yale School of Drama in New Haven, Conn.

Cesar Sanchez [BusAdm] is director of marketing with SFX Baseball, a baseball marketing and managing company headquartered in Northbrook, Ill.


Grace Ellen Louise was born to Mora (Ebie) Nichols [LibArts] and her husband, Chris Nichols, in Los Angeles. She is their first child. Mora teaches second grade in Los Angeles and publishes children’s books in Hawaii.

Juliana Kamila was born to Dane Gambill [LibArts] and Francesca (Montalvo) Gambill [LibArts ’02] on Aug. 10, 2010.

Colin Hanks [CFA] stars with Bradley Whitford in “The Good Guys,” a Fox Broadcasting Co. television show.
Wade was born to Dana (Danielson) Hopkins [SciEng] and Jeff Hopkins on April 14, 2010.

Michael Lee [SciEng] completed his residency in family medicine and practices near downtown Los Angeles.

Amber Smith [CFA] is working on her master’s degree in drama therapy at New York University. She was one of 20 admitted into this year’s class.


Intissar Durham [GradBusAdm] was honored with the Public Servant of the Year Award from California State University, Los Angeles. She is the chief airports engineer/deputy program manager of the Airport Development Program of Los Angeles World Airports.

Andrew Shawn to Marilyn (Naanos) Geraldez [SciEng] and Marc Geraldez [SciEng] on April 14, 2010.

Isabelle was born to Anna-Liza Reyes [BusAdm] and David Anderson [BusAdmin ’03] on Feb. 18, 2008.

Charles was born to Michael Steinmann [CFA] and Teresa (Armen) Steinmann [LibArts ’04] on June 29, 2010.

Chris Sullivan [CFA] stars in “Lombardi,” which opened on Broadway in October. He is cast in the role of Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame running back Jim Taylor.

Aleks Trifunovic [CFA] was married to Jelena Stankovic [SciEng ’05] on Aug. 2, 2009, in Belgrade, Serbia. On Jan. 16, 2010, they had a reception in Los Angeles. Alumni who attended the Los Angeles event included Andrew Dilfer [BusAdm ’04], Steve Jackson [BusAdm ’01], Phil Johnson [CFA ’01], Hayley Nenadal [SFTV ’05], Mala Trifunovic [BusAdm ’00] and Jamie Val [LibArts ’05].


Will was born to Jonathan Broomfield [SciEng] and Mary Broomfield on Feb. 9, 2010. Jonathan is a project estimator at Rudolph and Sletten Inc., a general contracting firm with headquarters in Redwood City, Calif.

Kathleen Garcia [GradEd] was named the new principal of Our Lady of Mercy School in Daly City, Calif., in the Bay Area. She worked as a teacher and administrator for more than three decades in schools in the Archdiocese of
Los Angeles.

Ximena Sarai was born to Lorena (Yepez) Hernandez [LibArts] and Sebastian Hernandez [LibArts ’04] on June 18, 2009.

Cassandra Larkins [SFTV]** was married to Brian Niehaus [LibArts] on April 4, 2009.

Melissa (Moran) Pedersen [LibArts] received a master’s degree in psychology in 2005 and became a licensed marriage and family therapist in 2009. She opened a private psychotherapy practice in the South Bay.

Erika Von Tiehl [CFA] began working in August in Philadelphia as co-anchor of “Eyewitness News This Morning” on CBS 3 and “The CW Philly.”


Shannon Cozzo [LibArts] and Kerry Mahon were married on May 29, 2010, in Saratoga, Calif. LMU alumni who attended included Nick Braun [LibArts], Brian Custer [BusAdm ’03], JoAnne (Garza) Custer [BusAdm ’05], Shannon Hanley [BusAdm ’03, GradBusAdm ’07],Spencer Johnston [BusAdm ’05, LibArts ’05, Law ’09], Andrew Magrisso Sr. [Law ’09] and Carol Quinlivan [GradLibArts ’94].

Theresa de Vera [LibArts], commissioner on the Commission on Disabilities in Los Angeles, was honored by Girls Today Women Tomorrow (GTWT), a leadership-mentoring program in Boyle Heights. As a junior at Loyola Marymount University, she suffered a severe asthma attack and went into a coma. Though declared “brain dead,” she began to make a recovery three months later.

Michael Kaye [BusAdm] was married to Jennifer Masten [CFA ’05] on May 22, 2010. Also present were Megan Anderson [SFTV ’05], Mari Asano [CFA ’05], Salvador Barragan [LibArts ’03], Yee Chan [BusAdm ’03, GradBusAdm ’07], Alexandra (Vlahiotis) Delis [BusAdm ’05], Roger Fisk [LibArts ’02], Stephanie (Hybki) Gonzales [BusAdm ’05], Rick Rivera [CFA ’03], Dorian (Miller) Yongmaneeratana [LibArts ’05, GradEd ’08] and Lauren Zegel [CFA ’05].

Erik Paulsen [BusAdm], a clothing maker for Tavik Industries, has a new line of clothing, the John Wayne Collaboration line.

Ryan Pope [BusAdm] joined Benefits Resource, an employee benefits consulting firm in Orange, Calif., in 2009 as a broker consultant after working for five years as an import sales representative in the international container shipping industry.

Brad Scoular [BusAdm] began working in June as a relationship manager in the Los Angeles office of Lenox Advisors, a wealth management firm based in New York.


Nathan Crocker [BusAdm] was married to Stacy Burningham [BusAdm ’07] on July 17, 2010.

Sara Hoffman [SciEng] this fall began a master of science program in genetic counseling at the UC Irvine School of Medicine. The two-year program is based in the Division of Human Genetics at the UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, Calif.

Meghan Duffy [CFA] and J.P. Voisinet [BusAdm]were married in Santa Barbara, Calif., on July 31, 2010. The Voisinets now live in downtown Long Beach, Calif. Meghan is a senior marketing consultant for Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach. J.P. is a full-time graduate student pursuing an M.B.A. at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Gianna Adalyn was born to Erika (Kainz) Wahl [SciEng] and Jason Wahl on March 11, 2010.


Pablo Pappano [SFTV] made “Clickin’ for Love,” a documentary about finding love on the Internet. The film premiered at the 16th Annual Temecula Valley International Film and Music Festival in September. It is his first feature-length film to be accepted to a film festival.

Christine Valenzuela [LibArts] in 2006 launched Kiss the Camera, a photography business that focuses on weddings, babies and engagements. She and her college sweetheart, Brian Coughlin [SFTV], were married June 12, 2010, on the island of Maui, Hawaii.


Mackenzie Atwell [SciEng] is a design project leader at APS, an Arizona utility company, in Phoenix.


Cornelious Burke [LibArts] was chosen as one of 18 California Senate Fellows for 2010–11. He began the 11-month post in November and will work as a full-time staff person in the California Senate in Sacramento. In August, he completed a master’s degree in urban planning as well as a master’s degree in public administration at USC.

Shannon Gomez [GradEd] was named principal at La Reina High School in Thousand Oaks, Calif., in September 2010. For the past six years, she had been principal at St. Lawrence the Martyr School in Redondo Beach, Calif. She is an adjunct professor at LMU and Mount St. Mary’s College, in
Los Angeles.

Arturo Perez [CFA] recently graduated from USC with a master’s degree in education in postsecondary administration. He works at Loyola Law School as an admissions and financial aid counselor.


Thomas Ousterhout [LibArts] is the author of “The Matrix Has You.” He speaks frequently about cognition and brain computer interfaces, the psychology of virtual worlds, and artificial intelligence.


Stefan Bean [GradEd] received a master’s degree in education in May 2010 and is principal of an elementary school in South Gate, Calif.

Matthew Majcher [CFA] started a 230-day trip around the world to raise awareness of fibromyalgia, a chronic syndrome characterized by widespread pain in muscles, ligaments and tendons, as well as fatigue and multiple tender points in the body.