Sinqua Walls ’07 (above left), a former USF basketball player, starred in this year’s remake of White Men Can’t Jump. Walls plays Kamal Allen, one of the film’s leads, along with Jack Harlow (right). Walls has also appeared in the Teen Wolf series and in The Blackening, a 2022 horror film.
’56 John Fry, a USF Hall of Fame golfer who was a golf pro at TPC Harding Park from 1967 to 1978 and who later ran Fry’s Warehouse Golf & Tennis shop, was inducted last year into the Northern California Section PGA Hall of Fame.
Kibibi Shaw ’13 Getting this @usfca University of San Francisco “Thank You” report commemorating the first cohort of Black students graduating from USF since the inception of the Black Achievement Success and Engagement (BASE) initiative gave me pause … I sat down and read this in full. Y’all know one thing I will ALWAYS DO is REP my alma mater. But this excellent report deeply moved me for obvious REASONS. So, on behalf of the board, its members, and as co-chair of USF’s Black Alumni Society, I would like to publicly say: Well done USF!
’65 Ollie Johnson, who led the USF men’s basketball team to three NCAA tournaments from 1962–65, was inducted into the Washington, D.C., Metro Basketball Hall of Fame on Oct. 1. Johnson, a 1961 graduate of D.C.’s Spingarn High School, was a three-time all-inter-high school champion (1959–61), two-time first team all-metropolitan (1960–61), and a member of the 1961 city championship team.
’66 Ralph Louis Feliciello authored the novella Florentia and the Pazzi Boy, a Renaissance fable about coming of age in a time of corruption.
’67 Mary Jo (Courtney) Buerger, Mary Jo (Thomas) Buettner, and Diane (Wynkoop) Burye, all retired nurses, enjoyed a Mexico cruise together earlier this year.
’67 Francis Anthony Doherty published a memoir, Only the Light Moves, about Vietnam. He has published essays in War, Literature, and the Arts, the journal of the English and fine arts departments of the U.S. Air Force Academy, and in the Journal of Creative Nonfiction.
’67 Henry David Rome retired as a partner in the Redwood City law firm of Howard Rome Martin & Ridley in 2015 and moved to Long Island, New York. In September 2022, he moved to Naples, Florida.
’68 Anita Teresa Stangl MA ’69 writes, “I just received the Service Above Self award from Rotary International. This award is given to 150 Rotarians worldwide out of 1.3 million members. I received this honor in recognition of 37 years of volunteer services. I was in the first class of USF coeds and one of the first women accepted to Rotary. I am honored to be a USF graduate and breaking barriers.”
’69 Edward Olds Walsh writes, “Retired and camping in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my wife, Linda, also retired, after 44 years as a registered nurse.” He served in the Army for 30 years after graduating from USF ROTC and saw combat in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division. He later worked for 11 years as a stockbroker and financial adviser.
’70 Michael James Kissinger is self-employed as a business development consultant and coach in San Francisco.
’72 Kelly Dicker, owner of Wine Country Motors in Napa, retired in the spring after more than 41 years in the automotive service industry.
’75 Michael H. Campbell has written a nonfiction book titled The 3 Foot Pipe. It is a plan to put a three-foot diameter pipe carrying water on the 164,000 miles of railroad right of ways in North America, taking water from where it is to where it’s needed.
’78 Patricia Murphy is cofounder of Josie’s Place for bereaved youth and families in the Bay Area, which celebrated its 16th anniversary this year. The organization provides grief support to children and young adults who have lost a parent or caregiver.
’81 Barbara Elaine (Beal) Small practices trust and estate law and is the owner of Cal Trust and Estate Law with locations in Los Altos and Santa Cruz. She lives in Palo Alto.
’82 Michael M. Mendoza writes, “I am enjoying semi-retirement right now since 2019 with Lourdes Mendoza, BSN ’82. We visit our grandchildren, Raynen and Zoe Matawaran, often and they live in the Roseville, California, area. To keep ourselves busy and active, we run and manage our family-owned real estate investing corporation, MiLo Real Estate Investments, Inc.”
’89 Johnese Spisso MPA, president of UCLA Health, was honored by the Partners in Care Foundation with the Vision & Excellence in Healthcare Leadership award, presented annually to a leader in California’s health care community who has made a significant impact.
’93 Jonathan Rachman, who has an interior design firm in San Francisco, has published two books, a memoir called The Garlic Peanut Story about growing up queer in a large dysfunctional family, and a coffee table book, Currently Classic, about his 20 years in design.
’94 Frances Gauer Miller is executive director of Full Circle Farm Corporation, a nonprofit horse rescue in Nicholasville, Kentucky. She writes, “My time at USF was formative and honed my devotion to serving the community. The nonprofit work with horses is a lifelong dream as it pairs my love for horses with my dedication to community service and engagement.”
’96 Cyrus Jacob Johnson JD ’02 expanded his California corporate practice, relocating to Dallas (with wife, REBECCA BSN ’97, and family) where he joined the Texas Bar in January 2023 to assist business clients who also have moved to new states.
’98 Eugene Gogerman JD ’02 is a presiding judge on the California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board. He was appointed to the San Francisco board in December 2022.
’00 Allison J. Barnett is an associate broker with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate in Arizona.
’00 Dorothy Resplandor Santos writes, “I successfully defended my dissertation at UC Santa Cruz on May 19, 2023, and my doctoral degree was conferred on June 17, 2023. My PhD is in film and digital media with a designated emphasis in computational media. My academic research is on voice recognition and assistive technologies.”
’02 Michael Serazio, a journalist and associate professor of communication at Boston College, announces the publication of his book The Authenticity Industries: Keeping it “Real” in Media, Culture, and Politics.
’04 Joy L. Smith writes, “After years of volunteering at Havasu Regional Medical Center in Lake Havasu, Arizona, as a board-certified chaplain, in 2021 I became director of pastoral care.” She is also a columnist for Today’s News Herald there.
’07 Attiila Miszti is the new chief operating officer of the Orlando Utilities Commission. He joined OUC in January and is a former executive with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.
’08 Steven Matthew Stetson writes, “Since graduating USF I have had much success in my insurance career and now co-own two Leavitt United Insurance agencies with my brother in Napa and Santa Rosa, California.”
’09 Marie Alvarado-Gil MA ’11 was elected in November 2022 to a six-year term in the California senate, and she was sworn into office a month later. She represents the counties of Placer, El Dorado, Amador, Alpine, Calaveras, Tuolumne, Mariposa, Stanislaus, Madera, Merced, Mono, Nevada, and Inyo. She is also a state commissioner for special education.
’09 Erin-Kate Escobar, Chel Mandell ’13, and MJ Abrams ’22 are running a new graduate-level certificate program at USF called Justice Equity, Diversity, Inclusion + Jewish Studies and Social Justice (JEDI + JSSJ). All three graduated from USF with minors in Jewish studies and social justice.
Matt Nazario-Miller ’15 Over the weekend, I gathered with fellow Dons on the Hilltop for our inaugural USF Pride Alumni Brunch So wonderful to be in community together as we make plans for the group’s future! #usfca #GoDons #usfcaalumni #Jesuiteducated #alumniengagmeent
’11 Annie Tull completed an art residency in May at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, New Mexico. She also showed her artwork, along with Professor Eric Hongisto, at Ember Stomp, Fire Safe Marin’s exhibition.
’12 Priyesha Sanjeev Dani writes, “I graduated from USF in December 2012 with a BS in Business Administration. I went on to work with Deloitte India in Mumbai for three years before pursuing my MBA (concentrating in finance) from New York Institute of Technology in 2016. I gained experience working with a startup in New York City as a business analyst and also worked for a pharmaceutical company in New Jersey as a financial analyst.”
’12 Sebastian Henrik Gaetani writes, “I recently was promoted to sales manager for the San Francisco and the Oakland offices of Marcus & Millichap, a commercial real estate firm.” After graduating from USF, he started in real estate with his family’s firm.
’12 Ted Lemasters, who played baseball at USF for two years, was inducted into the Napa High School Athletic Hall of Fame in September 2023. As a Don, he won the Con Dempsey Award for most improved player.
’14 Conor Malcolm Crockford, a freelance writer and editor, is a Pushcart Prize nominee for “Spam Love Poem,” published in Vast Chasm Magazine.
’16 Kristen Farrell married Sixto Christopher Porras ’15 in August 2022. Her parents, John Farrell ’81 and Claudette Hansson Farrell ’83, celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary this year.
’16 Audrey Elizabeth White writes, “After studying English, film, and philosophy at USF, I have gone on to become a full-time stop motion animator. First, working for an independent marketing company and then for myself. I officially launched my own animation studio, Audrey White Animation, in 2022 and am now an LLC. I currently specialize in advertising for social media and am working with clients nationwide.”
’17 Winsor Kinkade, a communications studies and fine arts major, hosted a three-month solo exhibition of their artwork this year at Madrone Art Bar in San Francisco.
’19 Madeline Burleson, a philosophy major, is a principal at Western Technology Investment, a venture fund company.
’22 Spencer Tsang’s film production company, Lucky Rabbit Pictures, was artist in residence at the San Francisco Chinese Cultural Center earlier this year.
’23 Emily Marie Daza is the spring 2023 recipient of the A.A. Berti Award for outstanding scholarship in the School of Management. She graduated with a double major in finance and management and a minor in economics.
’71 Joseph N. Shahpar MBA writes, “In retrospect, my USF days were a momentous plateau in my life.” He started his MBA before serving in Vietnam and learned while he was in Saigon that time was running out on finishing the degree. Shahpar writes that he worked with a professor at Saigon University and with USF to finish the MBA.
’75 Jeanne Powell JD now pursues a writing career, with four collections of poetry in print and a book of essays. In June 2023 she had a featured reading at the Kimpton Alton Hotel on Fisherman’s Wharf. In July she was featured at the Museum of the African Diaspora. In September she was one of the poets at the Petaluma Poetry Walk.
’82 Judy Miner EDD retired in September as chancellor of Foothill-De Anza Community College District, after eight years as chancellor and 35 years in administrative positions with the district. She credits her USF education for instilling her dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion in education.
’89 Mark Hurtubise EDD had three of his photos chosen for exhibition in an international juried art exhibition earlier this year curated by Art Impact International in Washington, D.C.
’99 Dory Benami LLM married Laura Quiceno Gomez on March 28, 2023.
’99 Suzette Shui-Chin Lin JD is managing principal of Substantia Law Group in San Francisco, which provides legal services to small and medium tech companies.
Jennifer Herrera BSN ’23 I have been planning this medical internship in San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala. We provided health care to 566 patients with the surrounding communities during our mobile clinics and got to hang out with the local elementary school kiddos and teach them a few tips and tricks about stress and mental health. I am so blessed that I got the opportunity to be a part of this amazing organization and I am grateful for all of the knowledge and skills I have gained. #healthcare #mentalhealth #internship #medical #team
’03 Jennifer Merschdorf EMBA uses her USF degree to strengthen nonprofits focused on the environment. She writes, “At age 36, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and transferred my professional talents to young adult oncology, becoming the third CEO of the largest nonprofit solely supporting young adults affected by breast cancer (Young Survival Coalition). Thirteen years later, at age 48, I added a passion for fiction writing to my career and published my first novel, Wild Rose. The story explores life after death in a magical old Connecticut hotel… I hope to inspire others to follow their passions and live as full of a life as they can.”
’03 Iraida Lopez Oliva JD joined the Public Law Center in Santa Ana, California, in 2020.
’04 Satyavani Gayatri EDD is a female empowerment coach in Boise, Idaho, who has published a book, From Pain to Power: Becoming a Woman Warrior Through Your Biggest Struggles and Most Challenging Times.
’05 Dan Bender EDD retired in March from University of the Pacific (San Francisco campus) after nearly 30 years in academic and student affairs. He writes, “I was honored to receive the university’s highest award, Order of the Pacific, at the May commencement ceremony.”
’05 Charlie Costello MA has published a book, Hanging Out in Burma: Laundry Lines and Democracy Hanging in the Balance, which pays homage to the strength and beauty of the Burmese and their country, despite a Feb. 1, 2021 military coup d’état. The Asia Pacific studies grad lives in Rockport, Maine, where he had a monthlong “Hanging Out in Burma” photo exhibit at the Rockport Public Library.
Jennifer Camota Luebke MBA, EDD ’13 is senior vice president and chief workforce inclusion officer for PRIDE Industries Inc. in Roseville, California.
’06 Blaire Helsing MNA is vice president of North Beach Neighbors, a San Francisco nonprofit that helped stage a September music festival, All Day Music in North Beach, to raise money for the community.
’08 Alfonso Rey MBA joined Outside VC as an operator partner. Outside VC is a venture capital firm investing in founders who want to build a more equitable and just financial system.
’10 Hamaseh Kianfar Edd, MA ’19 works as a licensed behavioral health specialist at the County of Marin’s Behavioral Health and Recovery Services and is an adjunct professor in the MFT program at USF.
’11 Maryam Sharifzadeh MA is founder and CEO of Office Yoga and has founded a new company, ZaaS, which offers corporate wellness workshops.
Herschel L. Lelaind MPA ’17 Expressing gratitude to University of San Francisco, the USF Gellert Family Business Center, the Women in Leadership & Philanthropy initiative, and the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good for blessing me with the opportunity to moderate such a beautiful, heartwarming, and intimate conversation with Keena Turner and his daughter Ella! Also thanks to Yasmine Lelaind for attending your first #usfcaalumni event with me and your little sister!
’12 Hassan El Kamah, MA, a sport management grad, is the commercial director of the Confederation Africaine de Football in Egypt (CAF is the largest region within FIFA, the biggest sport organization in the world).
’12 Laurent Andre Martin Masotti MS writes, “As a proud USF alumnus with a decade of asset management experience after completing my MSFA, I’m thrilled to announce the launch of NTUITIV,” a school that offers courses to enhance intuitive abilities.
’13 Philip J. Laird JD is general counsel for California’s new Privacy Protection Agency
’13 Mi’jan Celie Tho-Biaz EDD has been honored with the Fulbright Specialist Award and will pursue a project in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The title of their research work is “Kindred: BIPOC Culture Bearers and World Builders Look to The Archives of Octavia E. Butler.”
’14 Corey F. Steady JD has been promoted to partner at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP in the firm’s Orange County office. He is part of the tax, employee benefits, and trusts and estates practice group.
’16 Kristel E. Roper MA writes, “I have officially transitioned to working full-time as the owner of my own business, Dauntless Counseling! Taking the leap to being fully self-employed was both terrifying and exciting, but I am so glad that I did. The work that I am doing now as a therapist helping individuals with their anxiety is fulfilling, and I am able to create the work/life balance that I have always wanted.”
’16 Casey Miller U’ren MA is vice president of external relations at Positive Coaching Alliance in San Francisco, an organization that wants to change the culture of youth sports so that every child has access to a positive youth sports experience. She was recently interviewed by CBS/KPIX about youth mental health.
’17 Jonathan Reed Kathrein JD joined RH (formerly Restoration Hardware) as senior counsel for real estate. He focused on real estate at USF and was a board member of the Real Estate Law Society. After working for prominent Bay Area law firms, he is excited to now pursue his passion in-house. Jonathan encourages current law students to reach out and connect with alumni, including himself.
’18 Didi Anofienem MFA is a middle school English teacher in Los Angeles and author of a Black sci-fi/fantasy series, Essien of Alkebulan, which spans several centuries in a reimagined Africa that was never subjugated by foreign powers and in which a young woman enlists in the military with neither her parents’ permission nor her village’s approval.
’21 Star Plaxton-Moore EDD, director of community engaged learning in the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good at USF, has been awarded Campus Compact’s Nadine Cruz Community Engagement Professional Award. The award celebrates ethical leadership and advocacy demonstrated by community engagement professionals.
’23 Zsa Zsa Aranas MA writes, “As a University of San Francisco student, I was fortunate enough to engage in a transformative learning experience. The community of scholars there was unmatched, fostering an environment of intellectual curiosity, creativity, and collaboration that constantly pushed me to achieve my academic and personal goals.”
’23 Teminiro E-Nunu MBA writes, “I am working for J.P. Morgan in San Francisco within the private bank.”