Dispatches Fall 2013

Leo McElroy [LibArts] saw his most recent play, “Echoes in the Heart,” which he co-wrote with Susanne Sommer, premiered at Sacramento’s Geery Theater on March 8. The play tells the story of the escape of Sommer’s parents from the Holocaust and long struggle to enter the United States. McElroy also directed the production.

Stephen Page [BusAdm, Law ’68] was appointed to the AeroVironment Inc. Board of Directors effective April 24, 2013. Page was also appointed to the board’s Audit Committee.

M. Colin Jordan [SciEng] wrote a memoir called “Briefings from a Doctor’s Foxhole” that was published in February 2013. He was chief of infectious diseases for 22 years at the University of Minnesota Hospitals and Clinics in Minneapolis and at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Ore. He lives with his wife, Pamela, in Portland and can be reached at jordanmc@comcast.net.

Brian Quinn [BusAdmin], former director of athletics at California State University, Fullerton, was named the recipient of the 2013 Gary Cunningham Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association on June 3, 2013.

Ricardo Romo [GradLibArts] moderated the president’s panel at the 2013 American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education conference. Romo is the author of “East Los Angeles: History of a Barrio.”

Steven Brunette [LibArts, Law ’76] was admitted to the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court, in Washington, D.C., on June 3, 2013. While there, he celebrated his 32nd anniversary with his wife, Janet. He continues to practice business/commercial law in Orange County, Calif., with a specialty in dietary supplements, ingredients and functional foods. Their two daughters, Meggan Brunette [LibArts ’06] and Janelle Brunette [BusAdm ’08], were members of the LMU women’s crew team. “We had a ball supporting the team and the university for six years throughout California,” Steven writes. “Our son, Collin Brunette, is currently attending Fullerton College and intends to obtain his degree in liberal arts.”

Peggy Hattendorf [LibArts, GradLibArts ’79] saw her debut novel, titled “Son of My Father: A Family Dynasty,” published this year. Learn more at her website, http://peggyhattendorf.com.

Gene Magallanes [SciEng] retired from a successful 35-year career in engineering and published his first book, “Confessions of a Middle-Aged Salsa Dancer.” He spent three years writing 40 short stories of his adventures and misadventures across the country in the salsa dance scene.

Stephen Randtke [SciEng], who is a professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering at the University of Kansas, was appointed this past March to the Hydraulic Fracturing Research Advisory Panel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board. He also is a member of the board’s Drinking Water Committee.

Michael Barber, S.J. [LibArts] was selected in May by Pope Francis to become the fifth Bishop of Oakland.

Kevin Coupe [CFA] was named to the adjunct faculty of Portland State University’s Center for Retail Leadership and teaches a class in CPG/retail marketing. He also writes a weekly blog/column for Forbes Media on the intersection of business and culture, among other things.

Nicholas Daffern [LibArts] traveled to Monaco in May to celebrate his birthday at the Monaco Grand Prix and Paris. He continues to fly for Alaska Airlines and is hoping to retire by 2018.

Vee Molinari [BusAdmin] was one of 40 administrative professionals to receive a scholarship from the Foundation of the International Association of Administrative Professionals to attend the 2013 Education Forum and Annual Meeting in Anaheim, Calif., in July.

Patrick Kennedy [CFA] co-wrote with his brother, John, a new musical adaptation of “Swiss Family Robinson.” He also directed the production, and another brother, Walter, choreographed the musical. The production had a five-week run starting in July as part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival at the new Pershing Square Signature Center on 42nd Street in New York.

Lori (Berberian) Pelentay [CFA] published her first book, “How to Sell Cruises Step-by-Step: A Beginner’s Guide to Becoming a Cruise-Selling Travel Agent,” after 29 years in the cruise industry.

Lisa (Tolman) von Biela [GradBusAdm] saw her debut novel, “The Genesis Code,” a technothriller, published in May 2013.

Gary Garcia [LibArts] has been the principal of Alexander Hamilton High School in Los Angeles since 2006, and this year he was named the Association of California School Administrators Principal of the Year, Los Angeles region.

Maria Nieto [SciEng], a professor at California State University, East Bay, published a novel called “Pig Behind the Bear” (pigbehindthebear.com) based on the killing of L.A. Times reporter Rubén Salazar in 1970. The novel won the 2013 Independent Publisher Silver Medal for the West-Pacific region and was a finalist for the 2013 International Latino Book Awards.

Nita (Brochtrup) Causey [LibArts] lives in Brea, Calif., with her husband, Paul, and two teenagers, Chris and Carina. “I earned a teaching credential in Special Education Moderate/Severe from Cal State Fullerton and will be starting a second career after staying home to raise my kids and, before that, working in sales. I earned a Registered Yoga Teacher certification in May 2011 and teach yoga. Also, I served as City of Brea Commissioner for the Cultural Arts since 2005.”

Judy Shields [CFA] received her license as a legal document assistant in May and is registered with Los Angeles County. She has worked as a paralegal since 1988. She is now licensed to provide assistance with probate, conservatorship, family law, bankruptcy, and civil litigation matters directly to the public, and for attorneys.

Lilliam Paetzold [LibArts, GradEd ’97] was named principal of Notre Dame Academy in April 2013. She became principal of Notre Dame Academy Elementary School in 2010 and continues to hold that post. For 15 years, she worked in the public school system as a teacher, resource specialist and staff development specialist. In 2005, she was named the first layperson to be principal of a school formerly staffed by the Sisters of Notre Dame.

Martin Virga [BusAdm] is the owner of Gunpowder Falls Brewing, located in New Freedom, Pa.

Katherine Thomson [GradBusAdm] is chief operating officer of Tribune Publishing and was the keynote speaker at the 15th Annual Manhattan Beach Women in Business Conference held in April.

Eva Liang, [SciEng], a board-certified ophthalmologist, opened a new clinic in Las Vegas for the treatment of ocular diseases. In 2001, she founded the Sight for Life Foundation, which offers reduced fees for people who cannot afford expensive eye surgeries. In 2012, she started Quality Care IPA, an independent physicians association that provides services for Medicare Complete, a Medicare Advantage plan.

Stephen Lepire [LibArts] was appointed school principal of Chaminade College Preparatory School in Canoga Park, Calif., in March 2013.

Rena Heinrich [CFA] received her master’s degree in theatre arts and dance at California State University, Los Angeles in 2012 and is pursuing a doctorate in theatre studies at University of California, Santa Barbara. This past May, she presented a paper on Anton Chekhov at the American Literature Association Conference in Boston. Also in May, she directed Nic Cha Kim’s play “Like Yesterday,” which premiered at Company of Angels, a repertory theater in Los Angeles.

Kelly Younger [LibArts], an award-winning playwright and professor in the LMU Department of English, won Firehouse Theater’s 11th Annual Festival of New American Plays, for his play “This World We Know.”

Ana Maradiaga [LibArts] has a chapter in the second volume of an anthology published in spring 2013 called “Dejame Que Te Cuente … .” The book is a collection of nonfiction stories by educators who have emigrated to the United States.

Elena Piexoto [LibArts] is a busy mom of three kids in Oregon, helping with their sports and music lessons, and volunteering at their school and church. In 2009, she became involved with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network after her father passed away from pancreatic cancer. She is the affiliate coordinator in Portland, overseeing all Oregon volunteers. Last year, she traveled to Washington, D.C., to speak with government officials about increasing national funding for pancreatic cancer research. She sends “a big shout out to the class of ’96!”

Alexa Grace was born to Elsy (Arevalo) [LibArts] and Daniel Chavira [SciEng] on June 27, 2013. She joins her two older brothers, Nathaniel Luke and Nicholas.

Matthew C. Clark [CFA] recently became a senior partner at Chain | Cohn | Stiles Law Firm and a recent graduate of the ABOTA National Trial College at Harvard Law School. He was also part of a team that helped secure a $10 million settlement on behalf of a client who suffered serious burn injuries in an oilfield accident.

James Tamborello [CFA] and his band, The Postal Service, headlined the July 2013 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival’s Main Stage.

Chad Zdenek [SciEng] was accepted into the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a worldwide networking group of executives from businesses with more than $1 million in sales. Chad is CEO of Mobile Illumination Inc., a holiday lighting and decor company in Los Angeles.

Brie Nicole was born to Janelle (Etchepare) Bieler [LibArts] and her husband, Drew, on May 25, 2013.

Hannah was born to Monica (Hayes) Pleasant [BusAdm] and her husband, Kevin, on March 15, 2013.

Aidan Jack was welcomed with love by Jeffrey Schroeder [BusAdm] and his wife, Lori, on May 10, 2013.

Andrew was born to Jennifer (Lynch) Stark [SciEng] and her husband, Wil, in January 2013.

Olivia Grace was born to Brandon Miles [LibArts] and Malia (Ramirez) [LibArts ’01] on June 26, 2013.

Robert Anderson [BusAdm, GradBusAdm ’04] married Megan Nelson [LibArts ’07] on June 29, 2013, at LMU’s Sacred Heart Chapel.

Brady Carl was born to Theresa (Tucker) [CFA] and Brian Kleinhofer [BusAdm] on May 2, 2013.

Douglas Pate [BusAdm] established his Isle Surf & SUP business in 2003. He attributes his success to Prof. Fred Kiesner, who, he says, had a huge impact on his career choice.

Logan Jarpe Ratner was born to James Ratner [LibArts] and his wife, Beth, on March 19, 2013.

Jack Lynch was born to Bill Toomey [BusAdmin] and his wife, Tricia, on Feb. 28, 2013, in San Francisco. Big sister Catherine is enjoying her new baby brother, Jack!

Quinn Niamh was born to Deirdre (Crampton) Perez [BusAdm] and her husband, Roger, on April 30, 2013.

Martha Monahan [GradEd] became principal for Center Street Elementary School for the El Segundo Unified School District in July.

George Bullen [GradBusAdm] wrote a book called “Automated/Mechanized Drilling and Countersinking of Airframes” that was published this past May by the Society of Automotive Engineers. He is the president and CEO of Smart Blades Inc., which is based in Suwanee, Ga., and a fellow in the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.

Serge Esteve [LibArts] and Lily Milkovic-Jakal [LibArts] were married on the beach in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on Nov. 3, 2012, surrounded by their most cherished loved ones. Alumni attending their wedding included Garrett Davis [LibArts] Katie Hoffman [SFTV] Alan Leard [BusAdm] and Jana (Pulcini) Leard [SFTV].

Robyn Mattison [GradSciEng] began working as director of the Department of Public Works and Engineering for the city of Ketchum, Idaho, in May. As a consultant, she worked on public works projects in California, Idaho and Nevada, as well as on the wastewater system of Ketchum.

Eric Wesley was born to Sonya and Rene Rodriguez [CFA] on June 5, 2013.

Steven Gonzalez [LibArts, GradEd ’12] married Dina Ramirez [LibArts ’08] on June 22, 2013, in La Mirada, Calif., at Beatitudes of Our Lord Catholic Church. Presiding was Fr. Anthony Page, brother of John Page [SciEng ’60], LMU professor of electric engineering; Stephen Page [SciEng ’62, Law ’68], LMU Trustee; and Joseph Page [SciEng ’75, GradBusAdm ’79], LMU Regent. In the wedding party were Aimee Abad [BusAdm ’09], Helen Alexander [LibArts, GradEd ’09, ’11], Christopher Grisafe [LibArts ’05], Patrick Kennedy [BusAdm ’03, GradBusAdm ’04], Jesse Maddex[LibArts ’05], P.J. Mallari [BusAdm ’02] and John Montevideo [BusAdm]. Among the LMU alumni present was Steven’s best friend from college,Christine (Carley) Felkel [LibArts].

Laura Crow [CFA] received the 2013 Volunteer of the Year Award from The Laurel Foundation, which provides education and support programs for children, youth and families affected by HIV/AIDS, in Pasadena, Calif. She has volunteered with the organization since 2009.

Georgina Miranda [GradBusAdm] summited Mt. Everest on May 21. The ascent and descent took 20 hours, including one spent enjoying the peak itself before descending. She founded Climb Take Action — 7 Summits Challenge to climb the seven highest peaks in the world to raise funds that will help women in the Democratic Republic of Congo who suffer from the effects of sexual violence.

Madelyn Piper was born to Erika (Kainz) Wahl [SciEng] and her husband, Jason, on Dec. 6, 2012. Madelyn joins her big sister, Gianna Adalyn.

Karen B. Alderfer [SciEng] is a chief resident in radiology at Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center in Los Angeles. She is a 2010 graduate of the University of Nevada School of Medicine.

Joshua Johnson [LibArts] was sworn in to the California Bar in December 2012 and was named the Tyron Garner Memorial Fellow for African American LGBT Civil Rights at Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, located in Los Angeles.

Carly Mounts [LibArts] married Bryan Smith on June 8, 2013, on Oahu. Her maid of honor was Chelsea “Mele” Kalama-Kingma [SciEng].

Alysha Thompson [LibArts] graduated with a Ph.D. in clinical psychology with a concentration in child clinical psychology from Suffolk University in May 2013.

Kelly Watson [GradBusAdm] is co-author of “The Orange Line: A Woman’s Guide to Integrating Career, Family and Life,” a book that explores beliefs and cultural rules that can block women from achieving career and life goals.

Timothy Lambert [SciEng] and his brother, Chris, founded Ono Island Crepes (www.OnoIslandCrepes.com), a Hawaiian fusion cuisine catering business, this past April. Their food is now available in three Los Angeles-area farmers markets, including the Westchester Farmers Market, held on Wednesdays.

William Allen was born on May 2, 2013, to Kevin [BusAdm] and Kate (Jarrin) Kohorst [LibArts ’08].

Hyacinth Gomez [CFA] is a radio host on the popular Spanish radio station Super Estrella 107.1 FM with “Carlos Alvarez en la Mañana,” which airs Monday–Friday, from 6 to 10 a.m.

Shannon LeBrun [CFA] married Matt LeBlanc on May 25, 2013.

Deidre Behar [CFA] is an on-camera entertainment news host, writer and producer on a premium entertainment YouTube channel called Clevver-News.

Elaine McNeil-Girmai [GradEd] was chosen from among 51 applicants to be the new principal of Tucker Elementary School in Milton, Mass.

Mandela Schumacher-Hodge [GradEd] is co-founder of Tioki, an online professional network that empowers teachers to showcase their real-world teaching skills on camera.

Taylour Paige [CFA] has a starring role in the new VH1 series, “Hit the Floor.” In 2010, she became a Laker Girl for three months on the squad before concentrating on her acting career. She has done commercial spots for Transamerica, Best Buy and McDonald’s, and an Adidas print ad. She also was featured as Cheerio on the “Glee” Christmas special.

Domenico G. Decaro [LibArts] works in music promotion for The Planetary Group as music director.