August 31, 2012

Dispatches Spring 2012

Share this story

Michael E. Mulvihill [SciEng], professor emeritus of civil engineering, was honored as a recipient of the 2012 LMU Distinguished Alumni Award on March 15 in Los Angeles.

Thomas Lieb [BusAdm], son of Tom Lieb, former head coach of Loyola University football and founder of the university’s ice hockey team, opened the ice hockey home game against UCLA on Oct. 7, 2011, with a ceremonial dropping of the puck.

Andrew Smith [LibArts] published “Fast Food and Junk Food: An Encyclopedia of What We Love to Eat” in December 2011. It’s his 20th book.

Cirilo Flores [LibArts], auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Orange, California, was announced as coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of San Diego on Jan. 4, 2012. As coadjutor bishop, Bishop Flores will succeed Bishop Robert Brom when he retires.

Carmen Lim Velayo [BusAdm] graduated with a master’s degree in educational administration at Ateneo de Manila University, a Jesuit university in the Philippines, in March 2006. She was the dean of Student Affairs of Assumption College, in Makati City, and now is principal of the high school, grade school and pre-school of the same college.

Kathleen G. Desmond [LibArts], owner of Desmond Design in Phoenix, received the 2012 LMU Distinguished Alumni Award on March 15 in Los Angeles.

Mary Ann (Pruett) Laun [LibArts] received in February the 2012 Community and Junior College Libraries Section EBSCO Community College Learning Resources Leadership Award. She is the dean of library services and library director at the Shatford Library at Pasadena City College, in Pasadena, Calif.

Kathleen O’Leary [LibArts] won confirmation as presiding justice of the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division Three of California on Feb. 10.

Thomas Davis [SciEng], professor of pharmacology and director of the Laboratory of Blood Brain Barrier Research at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, in Tucson, Ariz., was selected to deliver the College of Medicine’s Faculty Science Forum Founders Day Lecture.

Martha de La Torre [BusAdm], CEO and co-founder of El Clasificado, a weekly Spanish-language newspaper in Los Angeles, was given the Latino Business Award by the Los Angeles Business Journal in February 2012 for her impact on the Spanish community. She is a member of the LMU Board of Regents and the university’s Latino Alumni Association. She serves on several boards and has won multiple awards from civic organizations.

Lisa See [LibArts], a bestselling novelist whose fiction draws from her Chinese American heritage, spoke at LMU March 7 as part of the Alumni Authors Series. Her novel “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” (2005) was the basis of a 2011 film of the same name.

Teresa Holden-Ilgunas [LibArts] teaches technology in the Exploratory Department at Lennox Middle School in Lennox, Calif. She taught “Integrating Technology Into Education” from 1988 to 2009 at LMU.

Lisa Kridos [GradCFA] was named executive producer for “The Ricki Lake Show” in February 2012. For the past 15 years, Kridos has been the executive producer of “Good Day LA,” and she has worked as a creator, consultant, writer and executive producer for 30 years.

Nancy Pineda-Madrid [BusAdm] is assistant professor of theology and U.S. Latino/Latina ministry at Boston College, in Boston. Her book “Suffering and Salvation in Ciudad Juarez” was published in May 2011.

Stephanie Suarez-Garner [LibArts, GradEd ’82] teaches at St. Pancratius Elementary School in Lakewood, Calif. She has three children, two at home and one away at college. She fondly remembers visiting LMU in 1973 as a Holy Redeemer student with her eighth-grade teacher. Because of that trip, her dream to attend LMU became a goal and, later, a reality. Today, she encourages children to reach for their dreams and work toward their goal to attend college and become what they want to be in life.

Christian M. de Virgilio, M.D., [SciEng], vice chair and education director of the General Surgery Residency Program at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, was honored as a recipient of the 2012 LMU Distinguished Alumni Award on March 15 in Los Angeles.

Jocel Alcedo [BusAdm], creator of the Santa Clarita Valley Tennis Aces, hosted a one-day USTA 10-and-under workshop for 40 parents and coaches. USPTA instructor Tom Fey instructed the class.

Timothy Sanders [LibArts] published “Today We Are Rich: Harnessing the Power of Total Confidence,” his fourth book, in March 2011.

Helen Singleton [Grad-LibArts] and all women who were Freedom Riders during the civil rights movement were honored in November 2011 by the National Women’s Law Center in Washington, D.C. President Barack Obama was keynote speaker at the event.

Eric Erlandson [LibArts] published in April “Letters to Kurt,” a book of letters to Kurt Cobain written after the suicide of Cobain, who was the founder of the Seattle-based grunge band Nirvana. Erlandson was the guitarist and co-founder of Hole, a now-defunct band that formed with Cobain’s wife, Courtney Love.

Carol Pirsztuk [BusAdm] was named interim executive director of the El Segundo Educational Foundation, in El Segundo, Calif., in December 2011.

Kimberle Jackson-Butler [GradEd] is the assistant co-director of the Lower School of the Bush School, a K-12 private independent school in Seattle where she has worked for 12 years. She participates on boards of several Seattle-area organizations, including Family Las CASA, Northwest Dollars for Scholars, the Eastside Domestic Violence Program and Holy Names Academy.

Frances (Calfo) Jones [CFA] received the Outstanding Achievement in Television Award at LMU’s 2011 “Film Outside the Frame” student film festival in April 2011.

Rob Schlegel [SciEng], a colonel in the U.S. Air Force with more than 21 years of service, returned home to San Antonio, this past February following a yearlong deployment in Afghanistan.

Evan Brenner [GradCFA] premiered “Buddha — A Fantastic Journey” in Boston in 2009. The show ran in Feb. 10–March 4 at the Bootleg Theatre, in Los Angeles, and was directed by actor John C. Reilly.

Francis Lawrence [CFA] received the Distinguished Alumni Award at LMU’s 2011 “Film Outside the Frame” student film festival in April 2011.

Sharlene Ginoza-Lee [BusAdm] is vice president and human resources manager for Bank of Hawaii’s Human Resources Compensation Department in Honolulu.

Kenneth Rubeli [BusAdm] is the CEO for the Boys & Girls Club in Henderson, Nev.

Jeff Lampe [LibArts], who has been the radio voice of LMU’s men’s basketball since 2001, gave up the microphone at the end of the 2011–12 season after announcing that he and his family were moving to Denver. Alumni and other listeners who miss Jeff’s calls can listen to archived games at Lions All-Access ( Director of Athletics Bill Husak says Lampe is so talented that some fans may have stayed home sometimes to hear him call the game over the airwaves instead of watching games at Gersten. “He’s one of the best,” says Husak. Lampe will continue to do work for the WCC and help out with LMU broadcasts whenever possible.

Jason Cohon [BusAdm] was named executive producer for West Coast operations by Brand New School, an international production company and design studio with offices in Santa Monica, Calif., New York and London.

Lisa Cole [CFA] filmed the documentary “Lioness” in Kenya. The film, which premiered at the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival in Hot Springs, Ark., in October 2011, follows Lee Sinclair, who is the head of No Means No Worldwide, a nonprofit organization that teaches self-defense techniques to women and children.

Esther Hugo [GradLibArts] received the Gayle C. Wilson Service to Education Award from the National Association for College Admission Counseling at the group’s annual conference in New Orleans in September 2011.

Brandy Mychals Ruch [CFA] created the Character Code System, which teaches entrepreneurs how to effectively communicate as speakers. Her book “Savvy Speaker Secrets” is due out in 2012.

Cathy Trent-Vilim [LibArts] is a partner with Lamson, Dugan and Murray, a law firm in Omaha, Neb. She has a general litigation practice with emphases in appellate practice and legal malpractice. She and her husband live in Omaha and have two children: Gabriel, 2, and Lucas, 1.

John DiScala [LibArts], aka “Johnny Jet,” had his show “Hot Spots 2012” air on the Travel Channel in January 2012.

Beatriz Flores [CFA] produces the traffic reports for KTLA Morning News in Los Angeles and has worked in TV production as an assistant producer and researcher for several years.

Asher James Alexander was born to Alison and Collin Hinds [LibArts] on Dec. 14, 2011. Asher immediately became Preston Hinds’ younger brother.

Tarla Makaeff [LibArts] is a managing partner at FUSURA Creative, a communications agency headquartered in Los Angeles.

Gabe Petek [LibArts] is senior director and analyst at Standard & Poor’s Corp. in San Francisco. He was cited in numerous media accounts this past February about California’s credit rating as determined by Standard & Poor’s.

Seaton Curran [SciEng] joined Howard & Howard Attorneys, based in Las Vegas. His practice is concentrated on intellectual property. He has experience preparing and prosecuting U.S. and foreign patent applications in mechanical, electrical and computer technologies.

Neal Nishihira [BusAdm] started a new job with Deloitte Consulting in Los Angeles and obtained a senior professional certification in the field of human resources.

Emily Spivey [GradCFA] is the creator of NBC’s sitcom “Up All Night,” which stars Christina Applegate, Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph.

John Zietzke [BusAdm] and his wife, Stephanie, bought a house in 2011 in the Westchester neighborhood, just blocks from the LMU campus. Their daughter, Khloe Kristine, was born on July 18, 2011.

Jackson Robert was born to Robert Campbell [BusAdm] and Jenna Campbell on Aug. 14, 2011. Robert and Jenna hope Jackson will follow in the family’s footsteps and become a fourth-generation Lion!

Courtney Cole [CFA] started Notary By Court, a mobile notary public business in the Los Angeles area in October 2010. She is a notary public and a National Notary Association Certified Notary Signing Agent.

Christine Morla [CFA] is an artist who draws on her Filipino American heritage. Her work was displayed for four weeks in January and February at California State University, Channel Islands, in Camarillo, Calif., in an exhibition titled “The Space Between: A Retrospective Project.”

Xavier Radcliffe was born to Sara (Radcliffe) Pierre [LibArts] and Guillaume Pierre on Oct. 12, 2011.

Michael Marylander [BusAdm] recently opened The Massage Place on Sunset Blvd., in Los Angeles. This is Michael’s seventh store in the westside area.

Olivia Josephine was born to Analia (Piccollo) Hibbert [BusAdm] and Simon Hibbert on Aug. 2, 2011.

Zuri Walls was born to Namasha Baker-Walls [CFA] on July 2, 2011.

Leia was born to Mujde (Sivrican) Yildirim [SciEng] and Aytug Yildirim on Oct. 5, 2011.

Jasmine (Marshall) Armstrong [LibArts] published poetry in several national and international journals and publications. She was also one of two graduate scholars to be recognized by the Society for the Study of Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States, at a meeting in Spokane, Wash., for her research into poetry created by Chinese and Japanese Americans during immigrant detainment and the forced relocation into interment camps during World War II.

Keanu Jackson was born to Bridget and Derrick Kranke [BusAdm, GradEd ’05] on March 9, 2011.

David Maurer [SFTV] was nominated with the editing team of “Whale Wars: Season 3” for a 2011 American Cinema Editors Eddie Award in the Best Reality Editing category for an episode titled “Vendetta.” Maurer is also a member of the Avid Technology Independent Professionals Customer Advisory Board and the Peer Group Executive Committee for Motion Picture Editors at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Alexander Tsao [LibArts, Law ’03] was selected by Gov. Jerry Brown for a position on the California Veterans Board. Tsao, 33, has served as a partner with Venerable Counselors at Law after working for three years as a senior associate with Alston & Bird.

Leo was born to Courtney Cassinelli [LibArts] and Dan McGarry on Oct. 9, 2011. His sister, Nina, is thrilled.

Chase Allen was born to Courtney (Allen) Kilroy [LibArts] and Doug Kilroy on July 16, 2011. He joins big sister Keeley, age 2.

Karen Rosen [GradEd], an education specialist, implemented a new year-round after-school program called “Endless Summer” in Hollygrove, in Los Angeles, in October 2011, to meet the needs of special education students in the community.

Amanda (Castaneda) Shelley [LibArts] was named as the 2011 Teacher of the Year by the Los Alamitos Unified School District.

Wyatt Vahe was born on Nov. 14, 2011, to Sabrina Azirian [LibArts] and Vatche Azirian. He joins big brother Charlie and big sister Grace.

Charlie Chanaratsopon [BusAdm] is CEO of Charming Charlie, a jewelry shop that he opened in 2003. The business employs 6,000 people and operates 180 stores in 33 states.

Owen Joseph was born to Lauren (Antonioli) Cymerys [LibArts] and her husband, Jeff Cymerys, on July 1, 2011. Owen is their first child. The family lives in San Jose, Calif.

Jessica Gonzalez [CFA], vice president of policy and legal affairs at the National Hispanic Media Coalition, with headquarters in Pasadena, Calif., and offices in Washington, D.C., was appointed to the Federal Communications Commission’s Diversity Committee.

Xavier Sebastian was born to Lorena (Yepez) Hernandez [LibArts] and Sebastian Hernandez [LibArts ’04] on June 18, 2011. He is their second child and was born the same date as his big sister, Ximena Sarai — only 2 years and 17 minutes later!

Krystle Hicks [SciEng] is a brand owner and vice president of Sales and Marketing for Topa Spirits, which has offices in California, Washington and Lima, Peru, and produces Piscologia Pisco, a Peruvian white brandy.

Kristine Ellis [BusAdm, GradBusAdm ’04] married Stephen J. Lendino on April 9, 2011, at Auberge Du Soleil in Rutherford, Calif. Also present were Kelly Ellis Hamilton [SciEng ’05. LibArts ’05], William Hamilton [BusAdm], Jolie Randall Delja [LibArts] and Christopher Delja [SciEng ’02, GradBusAdm ’06].

Gabriel Mazzone [BusAdm] was promoted to regional director of Glacier Energy, an electric service provider that operates nationwide.

Jacob G. Padrón [CFA] was named associate producer of the Steppenwolf Theatre Co. in Chicago. He will work on productions in Steppenwolf’s Garage Series, including First Look Repertory of New Work, Garage Rep and NEXT UP.

Matthew Felt [BusAdm] started his own full-service print and marketing company, called

Yolanda Brown [Grad-LibArts] was one of five Los Angeles Catholics honored for their service to the Church and the community at the 23rd annual Cardinal’s Awards dinner on Feb. 4, 2012.

Angelo Dalmacio [SFTV] is an advisor on communications and education policy for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. He received a master’s degree in political management from The George Washington University in May 2011.

Catherine (Serr) Donahue [SciEng] works at Raytheon, where she supervises operators that build radar subassemblies. She also is pursuing an M.B.A. at Boston College.

John Lux [BusAdm] and Danielle Morreale [CFA ’08] were married in Chicago on Oct. 15, 2011, surrounded by many of their LMU friends. John works as director of business development at Agentis Energy, a software startup. Danielle is an event planner at Legacy Marketing Partners. They live in Chicago with their adorable dog, Cooper Lux.

Jacqueline Lola, weighing 7 lbs., 9 oz., was born on Sept. 10, 2011, to Jason Valle [LibArts] and Natalie (Perdomo) Valle [LibArts ’06].

Lynn Gallo [LibArts, GradEd ’11] married Danny Rodriguez in Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic, on June 3, 2011. Also present were: Melissa Alvarenga [CFA, LibArts], Daisy Beltran [LibArts], Tanya Benavides [CFA], Aldo Chuc [BusAdm], Erika P. Cortez [BusAdm], Nicholas Flores [SciEng ’04], Jennifer Garcia [BusAdm, LibArts], Karina Garcia [SciEng], Paola Garcia [BusAdm ’07], Yvonne Garcia [LibArts ’07], Jessica Gutierrez [CFA], Joshua Johnson [LibArts], Joaquin Medrano [LibArts ’05], India Meshack [CFA], Pamela Mock [LibArts] and Roscelia Pineda [LibArts].

Falon Inez Mollica was born to Ashley Tullgren [CFA] on June 28, 2011.

Matthew Delja [LibArts] and Ana Paula Martinez [BusAdm] were married on June 4, 2011, in Mexico City, with Jose Badenes, S.J., celebrating. In the bridal party were Christopher Delja [SciEng ’02, GradBusAdm ’06], Denis Delja Jr. [LibArts ’00], Nicholas Delja [SciEng ’03], Brian Gzowski [SFTV], Fernanda Martinez [CFA ’06], Stephen A. Murphy [LibArts] and Nicole Zabala [CFA]. Matthew attends New York University School of Law, and Ana Paula is in the master’s program in urban policy at The New School in Manhattan.

Lauren Chapman [LibArts] received a master’s degree in design from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh in May 2011.

Jose Rimon [BusAdm] is the general manager of I.aM.mE Crew, MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew,” Season 6 Champions, which performed in New York City for MTV’s “NYE in NYC Countdown Special 2012.”

Kerry Medina [CFA] and Luke Castro were married on Aug. 20, 2011, at the Proud Bird Restaurant in Los Angeles. The bridal party included Cybele Zavala [LibArts] as maid of honor and Kelli Endsley [LibArts] as bridesmaid.

Amanda Mester [CFA] teaches media criticism at Adelphi University in Long Island, N.Y. She says she loves her job and credits Professors Darrin Murray, Amber Johnson, Nina Lozano-Reich, Kyra Pearson and Abhik Roy with inspiring her.

Julio Tellez [GradEd] was named Teacher of the Month in November 2011 by the Camarillo, Calif., Chamber of Commerce for his work teaching fifth grade at St. Mary Magdalen School in Camarillo. He also is pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership for social justice in the School of Education.

Kelly Bradford [LibArts] married Shane Johnson on Nov. 5, 2011.

Ellen Hou [LibArts] was selected to be a 2011–12 Capital Fellow in the Jesse M. Unruh Assembly Fellowship Program, a yearlong public policy fellowship program in California state government for college graduates.

Peter Jeensalute [CFA] directed the Crespi Carmelite High School’s fall drama production “Moon Over Buffalo” in October 2011.

Jesse Kass [CFA] will take over the radio announcer’s duties next season for the LMU men’s basketball team as he attempts to fill the shoes of LMU’s longtime announcer Jeff Lampe [LibArts ’93]. Kass is well known to LMU fans, because he has been working the microphone with Lampe since 2008, and by broadcasting women’s basketball, volleyball, and men and women’s soccer matches.

Laura Robinson [SFTV] played the female lead in the new play “On the Spectrum,” a love story about two young people with autism that premiered in Minneapolis in November 2011.

Bryana Haus [LibArts] wrote a play titled “My Daughter, A Lawyer” that was featured in the Tehachapi Community Theater’s 10-Minute Playwrights Festival.

José Martinez [LibArts] was hired by 89.3 KPCC, NPR’s Pasadena-based affiliate, as a full-time beat reporter for OnCentral, the station’s news blog about South Los Angeles that focuses on issues of health and quality of life in the area. The blog can be read at

Paul Nguyen [GradBusAdm] received his M.B.A. degree from LMU in May 2011 and married his fiancée, Aiko, in August.