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Milestones

1960s

Noralee Griswold Minucci, ’65. retired after 25 years teaching high school English and running the Shakespeare Festival at the American Overseas School of Rome. She has been living in Rome, Italy since 1967.

Steven N. Murray, ’;66, M.A. ’68. has been named acting vice president for academic affairs at CSU Fullerton. An international authority on coast marine ecosystems, Murray was named dean of the university's College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in 2005. A member of the campus faculty since 1971, he has served in numerous leadership positions, including chair, acting chair and vice chair of biological science, acting associate dean of the then-School of Mathematics, Science and Engineering and acting director of athletics.

Wayne N. Burton, ’69, is now the Global Corporate Medical Director for American Express Company in New York City. He was recently awarded the 2010 Meritorious Service Award, the Global Health Leadership Award and the President's Award by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.



1970s

Bill Darrow, ’70, retired after 25 years teaching high school English and running the Shakespeare Festival at the American Overseas School of Rome. She has been living in Rome, Italy since 1967.

Morgan Jones, ’70, has joined Hanson Bridgett law firm as a partner in the firm’s Real Estate and Construction Section. Jones was previously with McDonough Holland & Allen PC.

Lesley A Rex, ’70, M.A. '83, Ph.D. '97, has been named professor emerita at the University of Michigan, School of Education. While serving as co-chair of the U of M Joint Program in English and Education, Rex's service to the profession includes her role as editor of Language and Social Processes book series for the Hampton Press, elections to positions in National Council of Language and Literacy research and the Standing Committee on Research for the National Council of Teachers of English. Dr. Rex is retiring from active faculty and has moved to Eugene, Ore., with husband, Brian Taggart, '70.

Jack E. Dixon, Ph.D. ’71, was elected to the American Philosophical Society in April. Dixon is vice president and chief scientific officer at Howard Hughes Medical Institute; professor of pharmacology, cellular and molecular medicine, chemistry and biochemistry at UCSB; and adjunct professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

Bob Sternthall, ‘71, teaches geography and history at Lahainaluna High School, Lahaina, Maui.

Robert O’Conner, ’72, has joined the law firm of Hanson Bridgett LLC as a partner in the firm’s Real Estate and Construction Section. O’Connor was previously head of McDonough Holland & Allen PC’s construction practice.

Jo Anne Lee Perry, '72, Ph.D. ’82, developed with Justin Leader a secret panic button for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and BlackBerry cell phones called Silent Bodyguard. Silent Bodyguard sends SOS email, text message and Twitter/Facebook notifications with GPS location to pre-selected emergency contacts -- and updates the sender's location every 60 seconds -- without onlookers or an attacker knowing. Website: www.silentbodyguard.com.

Gregory Freeland, ’73, a California Lutheran University political science professor, is researching whether political staffs or citizens do a better job creating electoral districts with funding from a $12,000 fellowship. His year-long project, "Redistricting by Citizen Task Force: An Analysis of the Impact on Ventura County," which is slated for completion in August, so far indicates that redistricting by community members resulted in better representation than that done by political staffs and consultants.

1980s

Wilson Adam Schooley, '80, , appeared as Atticus Finch in an acclaimed 50th Anniversary run of the theatrical version of the classic story, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” from June 1 to July 4, 2010. Schooley has long maintained a parallel acting career (in theater, film, and TV) in addition to his law practice, adjunct law school teaching, and editing and writing. Schooley received his law degree from the Duke University School of Law in 1984.

Jess Le Vine, M.A. ‘85, of Avon, N.J., has been appointed to the Board of Trustees of the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Foundation in Holmdel. An associate professor of history at Brookdale Community College, Le Vine is a member of the Organization of American Historians, the World History Organization and the New Jersey Council for History Education.

Gayle M. Whittemore, ’85, has been elected president of the 10,100-member Los Angeles Chapter of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants (CalCPA) for 2010-11. Whittemore is president of Whittemore & Associates, in Studio City, Calif., which provides consulting services to government-funded nonprofit organizations.

Stephen Sciallo, '86, recently released his third CD entitled "I Dream of Eos". Stephen is a graduate of the College of Creative Studies and hold a BA in Music Composition. You can stream his music for free at www.stevesciallo.com.

Profile—Peng Wang, Ph.D. ’08

Wang is an assistant professor in environmental science and engineering at the new King Abdulla University of Science and Technology (KAUST), located in Thuwal, on the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia. The university opened in September 2009 with the goal of becoming a world center of research and technology development. Wang, who was advised during his doctoral studies by Bren professor Arturo Keller, teaches one course per semester. His research focus is environmental nanotechnology, which, he says, encompasses “the design, synthesis, and application of nanomaterials and nanodevices to environmental applications.” KAUST was planned and built as a unit, with construction financed entirely by Saudi ARAMCO, the state­owned national oil company, which is also funding the operating cost of the university for the first few years, “to get it jump­started,” says Wang. Construction is ongoing, and Wang expects his brand­new research laboratory to be operational this summer. One of the stated goals of KAUST is to become a center of environmental knowledge in areas such as coral reefs, desalination, clean combustion, and other subjects in which Saudi Arabia has a specific interest, which Wang sees as appropriate. “The strategic economic concerns in Saudi Arabia include water (desalination, wastewater treatment, and reuse), energy (maximizing petroleum fuel efficiency, solar cell development), and food supply (drought­tolerant crops),” he says. “These are the areas in which technological innovation can make a big difference.”

Profile—David Prichard

David Prichard, ’81, presented a check from the Bank of America Foundation in Santa Barbara County to Sudi Staub, development director for the UC Santa Barbara Summer Sessions Research Mentorship Program in June. The donation provided scholarships that enabled applicants from under-served communities to participate in the hands-on program that brings high school students to campus to work with UC Santa Barbara researchers.


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1990s

Richard Clucas, Ph.D. '90, is the new Executive Director of the Western Political Science Association. He is Professor of Political Science in the Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University, and has a long history of involvement with the Association. His research focuses on state politics and the power of Speakers in state legislatures.

Juan Sanchez Munoz, ‘90, has been named vice provost for undergraduate education. Munoz, who is also vice president of institutional diversity, equity and community engagement, will oversee the areas of academic advising and retention and community college and transfer relations. Munoz joined Texas Tech in 2004. He was appointed vice president of institutional diversity, equity and community engagement in February 2009. Previously he served as special assistant to the president for institutional diversity and associate vice provost for faculty affairs. As an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, he also served as director of the Center for Research in Leadership and Education and Program Coordinator for Bilingual Education and Diversity Studies in the College of Education.

Steve Boilard, Ph.D. '92, Director for Higher Education in the California Legislative Analyst's Office, is the author of a new policy brief discussing a proposed amendment to the California state constitution. The policy brief, entitled "Prisons vs. Universities Proposal Would Unwisely Lock Up Budget Flexibility," discusses Gov. Schwarzenegger's proposed state constitutional amendment that would require reductions in spending on state corrections, with corresponding increases in spending for public universities.

Clayton Frech, ’93, has been named division manager of Safelite AutoGlass’ Southern California region. As division manager, Frech will oversee all aspects of the Safelite AutoGlass operation in Southern California, including both the retail and wholesale businesses. He has been charged with developing a strategic growth plan for the division, which ranges from Fresno and Paso Robles in the North to San Diego in the South.

Wendy Behan, ’94, . was recently listed among San Diego's top legal professionals in the San Diego Daily Transcript's annual "Top Attorneys" round up. This special publication honors the "best and brightest" in the San Diego legal arena, with 14 categories -- ranging from criminal to labor/employment law -- as well as the "Transcript 10." Behan, who was recently named president of Lawyers Club San Diego, which for nearly 40 years has sought to advance the status of women in law and society, is a cum laude 1998 graduate of California Western School of Law.

Martin Puchner, M.A. ’94, has been named professor of English and comparative literature at Harvard University. Puchner comes to Harvard from Columbia University, where he has been the H. Gordon Garbedian Professor of English and Comparative Literature since 2006. Puchner has written extensively on drama, philosophy, and world literature for both scholarly and general audiences. He is an editor of the “Norton Anthology of Drama,” and serves as the new general editor of the Norton Anthology of World Literature and the Norton Anthology of Western Literature.

Andrew D. Moore, ‘98, has joined the law firm of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck as an associate in the gaming law group. He works in the firm’s Las Vegas office. With significant experience in gaming law, Moore assists clients with gaming regulatory and licensing matters before the Nevada Gaming Commission, Nevada Gaming Control Board and local jurisdictional bodies. Additionally, he works with clients on liquor licensing matters in many local jurisdictions and with real property tax appeals to the Clark County Board of Equalization. Prior to joining the firm, Moore was an associate at Greenberg Traurig, and before that, at Kummer Kaempfer Bonner Renshaw & Ferrario, both located in Las Vegas. He received his law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law.

Silva Karayan, Ph.D. ‘99, , professor of education and director of the Special Education Program, retired from California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. Karayan has played an active role in the recruitment, preparation and support of special education teacher candidates at CLU and has spearheaded a number of successful initiatives. She is founding director of the university's Center for Academic Service-Learning for Research and Development and was the first chair of the Center for Teaching and Learning for Faculty Development. She was also director of the Service-Learning Partnerships in Inclusive Education Project, a collaborative initiative between CLU and several school districts. A resident of Granada Hills, she is author of "Faculty Guide to Academic Service-Learning Pedagogy" and was a founding member of the California Department of Education's Service-Learning Advisory Committee. She serves on the editorial board of the Journal for National Association for Alternative Certification.

Douglas Varchol

Since graduating, environmental documentary filmmaker Douglas Varchol, MESM ’06, has served as managing editor for the fall 2007 “Wired Science” series on PBS, but he has spent most of his time making films for the BBC’s Earth Report documentary series. Among them are “Climate Fever” which investigates the spread of disease caused by factors resulting from climate change; “Blast,” the story of Filipino dynamite fishermen; “Perfectly Cool,” which looks at the phase­out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), the Montreal Protocol, and the air­conditioning boom in China; and “The New Ivory Wars,” an examination of DNA­based technology that allows ivory to be traced to a specific elephant herd in Africa. Varchol has just completed filming a new Earth Report about preserving biodiversity in Laos, which will be aired on BBC World News this spring.

2000s


In March, Amanda Cundiff, MESM ’06
, was promoted to partnership coordinator for the California region of the U.S. Forest Service. She looks forward to using her new position to start conversations about broad issues, such as water, recreation, and connecting with urban kids, between the Forest Service and new, non-traditional friends and partners of the agency. To become one of the agency’s new friends, contact Cundiff at acundiff@fs.fed.us. Cundiff’s new band, “The Extension Agents,” recently raised more than $4,200 at a benefit show for Haiti earthquake relief (extensionagents.com).

Maria Mircheva, MESM ’07, had her second child in August 2009, a baby boy named Max. The family, which includes husand John and daughter Sasha, lives in South Lake Tahoe, where Mircheva leads a small nonprofit called the Sugar Pine Foundation. It is organizing plantings in Tahoe and Butte County this spring. This summer, the Mirchevas will be building a passive solar house in the Angora Fire burn area.

Marion Wittmann, Ph.D. ’08, is a post­doctoral researcher with the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center. She conducts ecological research of an invasive bivalve, the Asian clam, which has recently invaded Lake Tahoe and is aggressively out­competing native species and altering sediment chemistry and water quality, which may open the door for other aquatic invasive species, such as the quagga mussel.

Max and Jennifer Miller DuBuisson, both MESM ’08, were married on Oct. 10, 2009, in a small ceremony at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Garden. Max and Jennifer met at the Bren School, and currently live in Redondo Beach, Calif. Max is working for the Climate Action Reserve, and Jennifer is employed at Mattel, Inc.

Shortly after graduation Matthew Kopjak, ‘09, joined FindTheBest.com (http://www.findthebest.com/).




In Memoriam

Lois Allmen, ’40, died March 28, 2010. She was 93. She was a resident of Ventura County for 83 years. Allmen graduated from Oxnard High School and Ventura College. Allmen married William Henry Allmen, Sr., in 1940. They had six children. She received her B.A. from UC Santa Barbara and a masters degree in Spanish from California Lutheran University. A teacher by profession, Allmen taught at Wilson and Fremont Junior High Schools in the Oxnard Elementary School District for 20 years. She retired in 1977. Allmen was a longtime member of St. John's Lutheran Church, serving in the Women's League and the choir. Survivors include children, Bill, Jr., Annette Birch, Elaine Campbell, John Allmen, Ilene Edgein and Alice Peterson; 13 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.

Roscoe Morris, ’56, was raised in Ventura, Calif., graduated from Ventura High in 1947 as a distinguished athlete. He graduated from Ventura College in 1949, and, in 1952, joined the U.S. Armed Forces as an MP at the Presidio in San Francisco while playing for the U.S. Army football team. Morris sailed the Caribbean in 1960 as a crewman on the brigantine Albatross with owner and novelist Ernest K. Gann. He returned to San Diego, married Sigrid Jan Larson of Topeka, Kan., and had two sons, Evan and Alec. In 1965, he earned a master's degree from California Western University and teacher accreditation at San Diego State College. He taught in the San Diego schools for 8 years. He moved to Afghanistan after being appointed associate director of the Peace Corps in Kabul and supervised Peace Corps volunteers in agricultural projects in Mazar-i-Sharif. He moved to Ukiah, Calif., in 1970, developed the TreeHouse Nursery to showcase his bonsai trees. Survivors include two sons, Evan Morris and wife Melissa of Ukiah, and Alec Morris of Kansas City, Mo.; grandchildren, Taylor and Jack Morris of Ukiah; and sisters Katherine L. Jones, Glenda F. Morris, Imogene R. O'Hara, and MaryLu Kornder.

Ronald Adams, M.A. ’70, died March 16, 2010. He was 69. Adams was born in Arkansas and was raised in Ventura County, Calif. Adams attended Oxnard High School where he was selected as that school's first exchange student to Germany. In 1960 Adams married his high school sweetheart, Jeanne Ponticello. Adams served honorably with the U.S. Marine Corps, stationed in Camp LeJeune, Camp Pendleton and, in 1967 and 1968, Vietnam. After earning an M.A. in German linguistics with a specialty in Old High German at UC Santa Barbara, Adams taught German at UCSB for a year until he took a position with the Oxnard School District where he spent 32 year at Fremont Intermediate School. Survivors include wife Jeanne, and sisters Pat McClain and Judy Adams.

John Near, ’76, died Sept. 26, 2009. He was 56. Minnesota-born, John moved to the Bay Area when he was three, and graduated from Del Mar High School and the University of California at Santa Barbara. John began teaching world history and geography at The Harker School in 1978 in San Jose, Calif. Near’s career at Harker spanned 31 years as a middle and upper school teacher, coach and department chair. Survivors include wife Pam Dickinson, daughter Casey Near, parents Jim and Pat Near of Hawaii, and siblings Bob, Randy, Nancy Lawton, and Rob Vanderhoof.

Rollin Polonitza, ’76, died April 2, 2010. He was 57. Polonitza grew up in LaCanada, CA, and attended St. Francis High School. While at UC Santa Barbara he was a leader of the ski team. Polonitza began his career in trading, working for HCP Co. with his father, at the Los Angeles Stock Exchange. He moved to San Francisco in October 1976 and traded on the Pacific Stock Exchange as an independent market maker. Polonitza moved to Chicago in 1981 and worked at the Chicago Board of Options Exchange as an independent market maker. Polonitza and wife Ruthmarie lived in Evanston for 25 years and raised their two children. They moved to Boulder, Colo., in 2007. Survivors include wife Ruthmarie Conner, children Beri Lynn and Chet Polonitza, and brothers Barry Polonitza and Jard Polonitza.

Paul Griffith, ’80, died April 29, 2010. He was 52. Griffith graduated from San Marcos High School in 1975 and from UCSB in 1980 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He worked for General Dynamics and Pacific Armatechnica before joining the Santa Barbara Electric Bus Project in 1993. He helped the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District (MTD) prepare plans for expanding its uniquely successful electric shuttle buses to other routes. Survivors include sons Brandon Paul and Taylor Sohns Griffith, fiancé Cecily Daniel, and parents Dr. Jerome and Barbara Griffith.

Theresa Ann Coughlon-Patel, ’84, died March 11, 2010. She was 48. She was born in Oakland in 1961 and moved to Camarillo in 1966. Tracy graduated from Camarillo High School and went to UCSB to complete a degree in Sociology. She met her husband, Prakash Patel, and married in 1988. She is survived by her husband, Prakash Patel; children, Darian and Drake; her mother, June Coughlon; brother, Kevin Coughlon, and the Patel extended family.

Marcus Murdock, ’93, died July 17, 2010. He was 44. Murdock graduated in 1984 from Hayfield High School in Alexandria, Va. He received degrees in aquatic biology and environmental studies at UC Santa Barbara. He also received an associate’s degree in commercial and recreational diving from Santa Barbara City College. He was a litigation paralegal at Townsend, Townsend & Crew in Palo Alto, Calif. Survivors include mother Helga Murdock-Niles of Alexandria, Va.; father Don Murdock and his wife, Marilyn, of Bozeman, Mont.; and sister Dunja Conrad of Manassas, Va.

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