Dispatches Fall 2022


Michael McColloch [LibArts, LLS ’75] was given the Sheila O’Malley Vision & Dedication Award by the Ignatian Volunteer Corps of San Diego in May 2022 for his 15 years of involvement with the organization. For six of those years, he also was a member of the National Board of Directors, two of which were served as board chair.


Jon Leonoudakis [CFA] has led a “Baseball Memories” program for the Society for American Baseball Research since 2018 that serves people with Alzheimer’s and dementia, as well as U.S. military veterans. He also produced award-winning projects for Walt Disney Imagineering and “The Wrecking Crew” music documentary with Denny Tedesco [CFA ’83]. His baseball documentary series, “The Sweet Spot,” was produced with Kelly Holtzclaw [CFA ’80].


Mike Smith [LibArts], editorial cartoonist for the Las Vegas Sun, received an EPPY award in November 2021 from Editor & Publisher for best editorial/political cartoon for websites with 1 million or more unique visitors. Other EPPY winners included the Boston Globe, ESPN and CNN.


Tad Kershner [CFA] has been promoted to partner, senior director of engineering for Nortal USA. He recently led a team on the cloud Identity Management Solution for the Disney Plus Streaming Service and previously drove the AWS Migration for Disney/ABC’s Content Management Service.


Dana Lopez [LibArts] was named vice president for Human Resources at the University of Portland in Portland, Oregon, in October 2021. She previously was the senior director for Human Resources at Mt. St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles. 

Margie Reveles [SciEng] was named a recipient of the Women of Color Technology All Star Award at the 2021 Women of Color STEM Conference this past October. She is an IT product manager with The Boeing Company.


Christine Giunta-Mayer [CFA] coached the Glenbard West High School boys’ volleyball team to the Illinois state championship in June 2022. The title was the fourth in seven years for the coach and the school. Her team was known as “Team No Stats” because of their focus on team accomplishments and disregard for individual statistics.


Gloria Medel Solomons [SFTV] was hired in January as CBS vice president for alternative and specials. She oversees portions of alternative and specials programming for the primetime lineup of CBS Entertainment.

Victor Vu [CFA], who studied film as an LMU undergraduate, is the director of “Red Flowers Farm,” a TV series centered around a murder mystery, that premiered in Vietnam in February 2022. His film “Dreamy Eyes” (2019) was selected as the Vietnamese entry in Best International Feature Film category at the 93rd Academy Awards in 2020.


Marcos Gonzales [LibArts, GradEd ’11] took a new post in June as program manager with Corporate Coalition of Chicago. He works with companies trying to reduce racial and economic injustice in Chicago. 

Jennifer Radics-Johnson [GradBusAdm] was named executive director of the YWCA Berkeley/Oakland, in Berkeley, California, in April 2022.


Rebecca Cantor [GradLibArts] was named provost of Spring Hill College, the Jesuit college in Mobile, Alabama, in April 2022. She took her post in July 2022.


Dale (Malani) Kotchka-Alanes [LibArts] was promoted to partner in the Las Vegas office of Lewis Roca in January. She represents clients in litigation, arbitration, negotiating settlements and other areas of
the law.


Brian Gooding [GradBusAdm], a UBS financial advisor, was named to the Forbes/SHOOK Research Top Next-Gen Wealth Advisors list for 2021 this past October. He is part of the Newport Legacy Wealth Management team at UBS. The 2021 Forbes/SHOOK Research Top Next-Gen list includes 500 rising advisors who help manage more than $1 trillion in client assets.


Rachel A. Nicholas [LibArts] was promoted to partner in the Phoenix office of Lewis Roca in January. She works with clients in trademark, copyright, publicity rights, and social media matters.

Andy Stevens [CFA] is director and country manager for VMware Norway and is based in the Oslo, Norway, region.


Chris Cikowski [SFTV] was promoted to vice president for animation at 20th Television Animation in October 2021. As an LMU undergraduate, he spent three semesters working in the Disney ABC internship program.

Will Kircher [CBA] took a new post in June as senior associate with JLL, a professional services firm specializing in real estate and investment management. He works with entertainment and media companies on their real estate needs.


Isabel Casso [LibArts] was named assistant curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in December 2021. She had previously worked at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and was the Marjorie Susman Curatorial Fellow at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

Mariele Courtois [SciEng] received her doctoral degree in moral theology/ethics with distinction this past May from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Her dissertation is titled “Biomedical Challenges to Identity and Parenthood: An Investigation into the Ethics of Genetic Technologies at the Beginning of Life.” She is now an assistant professor of theology at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.


Adam Akopyan [SFTV] was the director of photography on an extreme downhill skateboarding documentary, “Nick Broms: What’s the Rush?” The film had its world premiere in June 2022 at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California, as part of the “Dances With Films” festival.


Antonio De Loera-Brust [CFA] is special assistant to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. He began his work at the U.S. State Department in 2021.

Marina Alma Marmolejo [SciEng] received the 2022 Holy Child Spirit Award in March 2022 in Pasadena, California, at the 14th annual Holy Child Awards Dinner. The event was hosted by the Society of the Holy Child. She was honored for her work as an anti-poverty advocate who manages a rental assistance program for residents financially impacted by COVID-19.


Harry Troung [GradEd] received a Fulbright grant in May to serve as an English teaching assistant in Vietnam during the academic year 2022–23.


Veronica Backer-Peral [LibArts, CBA, SFTV] began a Ph.D. program in fall 2022 at Princeton University. 

Marianne Hayes [LibArts] received a Fulbright grant in May to serve as an English teaching assistant in Taiwan during the academic year 2022–23.

Anne Heckman [SciEng] received a Fulbright grant in May to serve as an English teaching assistant in Indonesia during the academic year 2022–23.