Dispatches Summer 2021


Trish (Johnson) Evans [LibArts] published her first novel this past October. “Katy’s Ghost” is about a former teacher, haunted by a phantom, who learns to move beyond fear and toward acceptance.


Amata C. Radewagen [LibArts], delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives representing American Samoa, was named to the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in January 2020.


Debra B. Davenport [CFA, GradCFA ’81] was elected to the board of directors of the Phoenix Conservatory of Music in Phoenix. She is currently the CEO of Brand Urbanity and the Davenport Institute LLC, with offices in Scottsdale. Arizona, and Los Angeles.


Annette (Radaich) Walker [SciEng] is president of City of Hope Orange County, a cancer research and treatment center in Newport Beach, California. 


Chemin Bernard [SFTV] was awarded Emeritus Member Status by the Casting Society of America in September 2020 for her “remarkable contributions to the organization, the profession, and the art of casting.” She gave Jada Pinkett Smith her first lead role on “Moe’s World” and casted Terrence Howard in “Tall Hopes.”

Al Quattrocchi [CFA], principal and creative director of Tornado Creative, wrote “The Corbina Diaries,” a book about sight fishing for corbina in Southern California’s shallow surf waters. In 2017, he was awarded the Ross Allen Marigold Complete Angler Award by the Pasadena Fly Casting Club. 


Scott Stanley [SciEng, GradSciEng ’84] was named to the National Science Board, the governing body of the National Science Foundation. He was appointed by President Donald Trump. Stanley is vice president of technology of Techno Planet, an aerospace company.


Roger Memos [GradSFTV] directed and co-produced his first documentary, “Marsha Hunt’s Sweet Adversity,” a 10-year project. An actor who was blacklisted in the 1950s, Hunt went on to work for humanitarian causes during the next five decades.


Lynell George [LibArts], author of “A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky: The World of Octavia E. Butler,” received the Distinguished Journalist Award from the Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists on Dec. 2, 2020.


Sam Lagana [LibArts], who has been the “Voice of the Rams” as the public address announcer for the Los Angeles Rams professional football team, will take the post of president of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame High School in July 2021. Lagana has been associate vice chancellor at Pepperdine University since 1992. LMU Magazine published a story about Sam Lagana in the winter 2017 issue (Vol. 8, No. 1).

Kim O’Neill [SciEng] took the post of assistant dean of Kutztown University’s College of Business in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, in August 2019.


Angela Clarke-Louque [GradEd], who is a professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Technology at California State University, San Bernardino, gave a speech at the May 2020 Riverside County Office of Education’s Parent Engagement Virtual Summit.


Denise Contis [LibArts] was named EVP and Head of Content for Primetime at CNBC in September 2019.


Lorcan Barnes [LibArts] purchased Lester Consulting Group, which provides management and fundraising counsel to nonprofits, after working for 24 years as president of Catholic high schools in Dayton, Ohio, and Sacramento. He and his wife, Patti, who have lived in Sacramento since 2004, have three grown sons: Jimmy, 26, Jack, 23 and Pat, 21.

Thomas Delaney [LibArts, LLS ’92] was elected president of the California Judge Association, effective September 2020. Delaney is currently the association’s vice president and chair of the judicial outreach committee.


Don Hagedorn [LibArts] self-published his first novel through Amazon in August. “Ellie Says It’s Safe! A Guide Dog’s Journey Through Life” follows a guide dog puppy from birth to a match with a recent college graduate. Their continuing life story illustrates how lives of visually impaired people are improved through the love and courage of guide dogs.


Matthew Airey [GradBusAdm], who has worked in technology, finance and consulting, published a book in August titled “Steadfast Awareness: Reflections and Life’s Takeaways.”


Christiana Daisy [SciEng, GradBusAdm ’03] was appointed as Executive Manager of Engineering/Assistant General Manager at Inland Empire Utilities Agency, which is headquartered in Chino, California, in October 2019.


Maria Lourdes (Lou) Calanche [LibArts] was named to the five-member L.A. Police Commission by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in August 2020.


Louis Bronstein [LibArts] is assistant director of Federal Government Relations for the University of California, Irvine. Before joining UCI, he was a policy advisor to former Orange County Supervisor Bill Campbell [SciEng ’64] and the manager of Government Relations for John Wayne Airport. 

Shonda Buchanan [LibArts, GradLibArts ’03], literary editor for the Harriet Tubman Press, wrote “Black Indian,” a memoir of her family’s African American heritage and American Indian roots. The book was published in 2019 by Wayne State University Press.

Heather Buchta [CFA] has written a young adult novel called “Beyond the Break,” which was published by Penguin Teen, imprint of Penguin Random House.

Christian Ehlers [LibArts, LLS ’01] was named a Red Cross Neil Allgood Award winner by the Los Angeles Region American Red Cross in June 2020.


Caroline McBride [LibArts] published her debut romantic comedy novel, “Four Seasons at Angelino’s” in July 2020 (Post Hill Press). The book is influenced by her career as a publicist and her personal escapades around the world.


Tamara LaSeon Bass [CFA] is writer, star and co-director of a new film released in January 2021 called “If Not Now, When?” Among other projects, she was writer, director and executive producer in 2015 for several episodes of “All That Matters.”

D.J. Mitchell [LibArts] published his first nonfiction book, “The Soul of an Addict: Unlocking the Complex Nature of Addiction.” The book is written for nonaddicts who want to better understand addiction. Mitchell’s LMU degree was in theological studies, and he analyzes addiction in terms of its similarity to religion in the life of the addict.


Father Roland Berngeh [GradEd], who was born in Cameroon, was named parochial vicar in January 2021 of 10 churches in the Diocese of Portland, in Maine.


Candice Kelsey [GradLibArts] is a writer whose first book of poetry, “Still I Am Pushing,” was published in March 2020 by Finishing Line Press. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three children.


Lisa Donohue [GradBusAdm], chief marketing officer of CycleBar, an indoor cyclying franchise fitness company, was interviewed in Authority Magazine in August 2020 about her ideas about leadership and her career path in the fitness industry.


Jacob Padrón [CFA] was named to the advisory council of the New England Foundation for the Arts in December 2019. He is the founder and artistic director of The Sol Project, which produces the work of Latinx playwrights.


W. Jameson McFadden [LibArts], president of Wellington Shields & Co., was elected to the Flowers Foods Inc. board of directors, a post that took effect Jan. 4, 2021.

Sami Strinz-Ward [LibArts], who led the LMU softball program as head coach for five successful seasons, was named head softball coach at Texas Tech University in October 2020.


Bishop Moses Chikwe [GradEd], auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Owerri in southeastern Nigeria, was released unharmed, along with his driver, five days after he was kidnapped on Dec. 27, 2020. Chikwe spent 15 years in Southern California while studying for a master’s degree at LMU and a doctorate in education, working at parishes in San Diego and Los Angeles.

Maximilien Fetaz [BusAdm] was named a shareholder in the Las Vegas office of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. He practices in the firm’s litigation department and represents clients in state and federal courts.

Annalisa (Gross) Schwartz [LibArts, GradEd ’09] took the post of principal of Paularino Elementary School in Costa Mesa, California, in July 2020. 


Allison (Nassour) Leanos [BusAdm, GradBusAdm ’09] began a new job in November 2020 as manager of social media for the City of Hope, in Duarte, California.

Suzanne Zurfluh [GradBusAdm] was hired in October 2020 as director of design and trend at Emser Tile, a company headquartered in Los Angeles that produces products in the tile and natural stone industry.


Tanya Ortiz Franklin [GradEd] was elected in November 2020 to the Board of Education of the Los Angeles Unified School District. She represents District 7, which includes South L.A. neighborhoods east of the 110 freeway as well as much of the South Bay.


Megan (Cardwell) Godfrey [GradEd] won re-election to the Arkansas House of Representatives in November 2020. She was first elected in 2018. She is an educator who has taught English as a second language to students.

Daniel Takeshi Krause [GradLibArts] published his first novel, “Remembering Dismembrance: A Critical Compendium,” with What Books Press, located in Topanga, California. He is a senior lecturer in the LMU Department of English.


Jason Johnson [GradEd] was named superintendent of the Hermosa Beach City School District this past May. His term began on July 1, 2020. 

Zach LaGuardia [CFA] founded Kits With Kindness, which is based in Riverside, California, and donates goods, including masks, in bags to homeless people throughout the Inland Empire area of California.

Nick Malvoin [GradEd], currently vice-president of the Board of Education of the Los Angeles Unified School District, was reelected as the member for District 4, representing West Los Angeles and the West San Fernando Valley.


Sara Vlasach [GradBusAdm] has been hired by Emetry, a software company based in Napa, California, as senior director of product marketing.


Kelly (Fitzpatrick) Gonez [GradEd] was selected as president of the L.A. Unified School District in December 2020. She represents District 6, which encompasses most of the East San Fernando Valley.


Hallie Spoor [CFA], now a singer/songwriter based in Brooklyn, New York, released a video for her song “City Angels.” 

Nate Townsend [SFTV] directed a documentary about suicide and suicide prevention titled “Wake Up,” which made its premiere at the St. Louis International Film Festival in July 2020.


Kaila Patrick [LibArts] has been hired by Howard & Howard, a law firm based in Royal Oak, Michigan. Patrick began working with the firm as a summer associate in 2019 and will work in the firm’s Las Vegas office on business and corporate law.

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