Milestones  Summer 2011

Marc Liebman, Ph.D., former superintendent of Berryessa Union School District and principal education consultant for IBM, will join Imagine Learning as chief academic officer. In his new role, Liebman will serve as a curriculum expert, overseeing instructional design and product strategy for the award-winning Imagine Learning English software. He will also represent the company as an ambassador to education leaders around the world.


Mary Jo (Guia) Homes, ’73, was named the 2010 Redlands Woman of the Year at the annual Chamber of Commerce dinner. She was recognized for her broad community involvement with local organizations and activities that include, President of the Redlands Area Panhellenic, scholarship committee member of the Redlands Community Foundation and a thirty-five year involvement with the Assistance League. Mary Jo had also been previously honored as one of the Women of Distinction 63rd California Assembly District in 2009.


David Gomez, ’86, has been elected Vice President of the Association of California School Administrators. ACSA is the largest umbrella organization for school leaders in the nation, serving more than 16,000 school leaders. Dr. Gomez has been a public school educator for more than 30 years and currently serves as the superintendent of the Santa Paula Union High School District. Dr. Gomez earned his BA, MA and Ph.D. in Educational Administration from UC Santa Barbara.

Kimberly A. DeBra, ’88, has been named Executive Vice President/Corporate Communications, Sales and Marketing for First Northern Bank. She joined the bank in 1990. Kimberly earned her BA in geography with an emphasis in satellite remote sensing and mathematics from UC Santa Barbara, and is a graduate of the American Bankers Association’s Bank Marketing and Management School at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Jeanette Morgan, ’89, , has been hired as the Executive Director of the Oregon Wine Board and the Oregon Winegrowers Association. She will be responsible for strategic planning and administration of the board of directors and its committees and constituencies. Jeanette was most recently the Vice President of Global Government Affairs of National Semiconductor Corporation in Santa Clara, CA, where she developed and directed global, federal, state and local public policy strategy in support of semiconductors, green technology, and renewable energy and efficiency.


Michelle Bloomer, ’94, was appointed by Governor Rick Perry to the Texas Public Transportation Advisory Committee for a term to expire at the pleasure of the Governor. The committee advises the Texas Transportation Commission on the needs of the state’s public transportation provider, the allocation of public transportation funds and commenting on rules involving public transportation. Michelle is a program manager of the North Central Texas Council of Governments, the metropolitan planning organization for the Dallas-Fort Worth area


Stacy Clinesmith, ’00, , has been named interim head coach of the Central Washington Women’s basketball program. Stacy was a standout student-athlete at UC Santa Barbara from 1996-2000. She was a three-time all-Big West Conference first-team selection, helping the Lady Gauchos to four consecutive NCAA Division I Tournament appearances. UC Santa Barbara also won Big West Conference Tournament titles in each of her four seasons of play. She went on to compete in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the National Women’s Basketball League (NWBL.)

Army National Guard Spc Chad R. Foster, ’02, has graduated from nine weeks of basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C. He earned distinction as an honor graduate.

Oskar Garcia, ’04, has been named Associated Press’ “Nevada Staffer of the Year for 2010.” His journalism career began as a sports reporter for KCSB-FM while attending UC Santa Barbara. He received his MA in Journalism at UC Berkeley in 2006. That same year he started at the Associated Press as an intern for the Los Angeles bureau. He moved to Omaha, NE as the full-time general assignment reporter before joining the Las Vegas bureau in 2008.

Rahuldeep Singh Gill, M.A. ’05, Ph.D. ’09, ais in his second year as an assistant professor of religion at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, Calif. He is responsible for teaching Global Religions and will be teaching Sikhism as part of a broader course on South Asian religions. He will also teach a regular Religion class on Sikh Tradition next year, presenting it as a case study in global religions.

Kelly Rinehart, ’05, is a third-generation pilot who started building up her flying hours commuting to soccer games with her father. After graduating from UC Santa Barbara, she began flying as a contract pilot. She currently is employed by TWC Aviation where she is based out of Santa Barbara.

Chris Arreguin, ’06, is the founder and CEO of RCG Media. The company has created several user generated content entertainment websites, such as BaconIsBomb.com and RandomCreepyGuy.com, which averages over one million views a month. RCG recently partnered with Q ITUP Studios and Dailymotion to produce an on-demand original comedy online series based on RandomCreepyGuy.com.

Gregory DeAngelo, M.S. ’06, Ph.D. ’09, is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. He joined the faculty last fall after spending a year as a visiting professor at the University of Colorado, Denver. His innovative research combines economics with cognitive science and psychology and focuses in the areas of Law and Economics and Behavioral/Experimental Economics.

Brandon Laws, ’06, and his brother Richard, comprise the current make up the much heralded Indie-pop group, Hosannas. The Portland-based duo has been gaining attention nationally with their energetic touring schedule, including the influential SXSW® Music Festival 2011. Originally named Church, the band formerly included Lane Barrington and UC Santa Barbara alum, Christof Hendrickson (‘06).

Sean Meier, ’06, ifounder and CEO of Sean Robert Entertainment, LLC, is also the executive producer on the upcoming film, “Green Guys,” a crime thriller revolving around four young con artists who are torn apart slowly by greed and their money laundering scheme.

Chelsea Sutton, ’07, is the writer/director of “99 Impossible Things”, a comedy-drama recently premiered by the Eclectic Company Theatre in North Hollywood. has been busy writing or directing stage productions for several years. The play grew from ideas and characters originally brought to life from of her senior project at UC Santa Barbara.

Raad Mobrem, ’09, Chase McElroy, and and Frank Jones, ’08 are behind the successful dog product company, Dura Doggie. Started as the result of a class assignment in the Entrepreneurship course offered through the Technology Management Program at UC Santa Barbara, the company has won acclaim for their uniquely designed products for canines. They recently created “Chews Your Cause,” an indefinite campaign allowing customers to donate to various causes based on the color product they purchased.

In Memoriam

Bruce Donald Eugene O’Neal, ’48 , died on Oct. 26, 2010, after a lengthy illness. He was 91. O’Neal was born on Dec. 6, 1919, in Alexandria, Va., and spent his early years in Oregon. In 1932, he moved to Santa Barbara and attended Santa Barbara Junior High and Santa Barbara High School, graduating in 1937. He met his future wife, Georgia during their high school years. They attended USC together and married in 1941. He was a World War II Veteran serving in the Navy from 1944 to 1945. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in Economics and worked at various odd jobs before opening the longstanding local staple The Barn Furniture Store in 1948. He also owned The Place Furniture Store in Oxnard for many years. He earned several distinguished service awards over the years including Santa Barbara Man of the Year, News-Press Lifetime Achievement and the Channel Islands YMCA Distinguished Service Award. His wife Georgia preceeded him in death in 1987. He is survived by children Sharone, Kaaron, Don and Brian. He is also survived by Dr. Mary Scopatz, his partner of over 20 years.

Sadorus Lower, ’49, died Dec. 23, 2010. She was 83. Lower was born March 12, 1927, in Seal Beach, Calif. She graduated from Huntington Beach High School, attended Principia College and graduated from UC Santa Barbara. She taught for many years at both Naples Elementary in Long Beach and Seal Beach School District, finally retiring in 1983. She is survived by her husband of 58 years, Bill; and daughters Melissa and Andrea and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Margaret Lee Feliz Sherlock, ’54, died Oct. 11, 2010. She was 78. Margaret was born on Jan. 5, 1931, to Richard Anthony Feliz and Alda Lee Goodrich. She was a direct descendant of Jose’ Antonio Feliz, the original resident of the Spanish Land Grant Rancho Feliz, now called Griffith Park. She was very proud of her ancestry and was an active member of both Los Californianos and Los Descendientes, and the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation. She loved to fly and was both a stewardess and a travel agent, enabling her to travel the world. She also was an award-winning artist in the South Bay for more than 30 years. Her husband of 56 years, Warren Sherlock and their children, Brian, Scott and Mary Lee and eight grandchildren survive her.

Robert (Bob) Henry Swansbrough, M.A. ’67 and Ph.D. ’72, died Feb. 1, 2011 following a heart attack. He was 72. Swansbrough received a bachelor’s degree in history from California State University at Long Beach and both his master’s and doctoral degrees in political science from UC Santa Barbara. He served in the United States Navy as a commissioned line officer with management responsibilities on the USS Braine and USNS Daniel I. Sultan from 1961 to 1965. He attended naval Justice School and served as Legal Officer on both vessels. He was selected nationally as one of 12 Congressional Fellows of the American Political Science Association in 1969-70. Before he joined the staff at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1971, he worked in the Washington offices of Oklahoma Sen. Fred Harris and California Sen. John Tunney and served as Legislative Assistant to California State Sen. Alvin C. Weingand in Santa Barbara. At UT, he chaired the political science department from 1981-1991, served as Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1990-1992, and as Associate Dean since 1992. Swansbrough was selected as a 2009-2010 Fulbright Scholar to China, where he taught courses on American Government and U.S. Foreign Policy at Sichuan University in Chengdu. He is survived by his wife, Mary; children, James and Christina and two siblings, Allen and Bonnie.

Thomas R. Kadesch, Ph.D. ’75, died Jan. 12, 2011, of complications following pancreatic surgery. He was 58. Born in Madison, Wis., Kadesch grew up in Salt Lake City, where he graduated in 1971 from Skyline High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry at UC Santa Barbara, and a doctorate in biochemistry in 1980 at UC Berkeley, where he was a research associate from 1980-81. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in biochemistry at the Stanford University School of Medicine, where he was an American Cancer Society fellow. In 1984, he joined the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine as an assistant professor of human genetics and an assistant investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He was promoted to associate professor and associate investigator in 1990, becoming a full professor in 1996. He was also editor of the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology from 1992 to 1996 and a member of its editorial board from 1991 to 1993. At the time of his death, he was interim chair of the department of genetics. He is survived by his wife, Abigail; his son, Alex and daughter, Hanna; a stepson, Nikko Mueller; a stepdaughter, Rebecca Mueller; two sisters; and his former wife, Nancy Spinner.

Paul Stewart Hickman, M.A. ’72, died on Oct. 21, 2010 from injuries received in a vehicle accident. He was 66. Born in Reno, Nev., on April 23, 1944 he graduated from Reno High School in 1966. He spent two years in the Army, which included a tour of duty in Vietnam. After obtaining his master’s degree from UC Santa Barbara, he moved to Topeka, KS and taught piano at Washington University for four years. In 1979, he was paralyzed in a car accident that left him confined to a wheelchair. In 1981, he went back to school, attending McGeorge School of Law and upon graduation, he clerked for Nevada Supreme Court Justice Charles Springer. In 1986, he joined the Reno City Attorney’s staff. He was appointed to the Reno Municipal Court bench in 1991 and was re-elected four times without opposition. He was the recipient of the Distinguished Jurist Award from the Nevada Supreme Court and National Judicial College for exceptional study and accomplishment in the field of continuing legal education. He is survived by his daughters Melissa Eriksen and Elaine Wiseman, and his siblings, Elaine, Jacqueline and Felton.

Andrew August Erickson, ’92, , died Nov. 14, 2010. He was 30. Erickson was born on March 27, 1970, in Memphis, Tenn., but grew up in Nevada City, Calif., where he graduated from Nevada Union High in 1988. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish from UC Santa Barbara in 1992. For the past ten years, he had been working as an interpreter, translator and transcriber in the legal, medical and business fields. At the time of his death, he was a third year law student at Lincoln Law School in Sacramento. He is survived by his son, Nathan, his former wife, Silvia and his parents, Alfred and Beverly Erickson and his sister, Jenny.

Bernadine (Bernie) Albin Kautz, died February 9, 2011. She was 75. Bernie was born on Jan. 10, 1936. She matriculated at Bakersfield Junior College and UC Santa Barbara. She was the President of Arroyo Grande’s Clark Center Foundation and was described as “the Mother Theresa of fundraising,” for her tireless community involvement. Kautz is survived by her husband of 54 years, Ron, and daughters Karin Berndt, Kelley Wandelear, Kimberly Banks, and seven grandchildren.

Andre Marwan Ramadan, sophomore, died Nov. 6, 2010, from unknown causes on the MV Explorer while docked in Vietnam. He was attending the University of Virginia’s Semester-at-Sea program. He was 20 years old.


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