Coastlines Online, UC Santa Barbara Alumni Association


Summer 2015



Harvey Schechter ’47

Longtime UC Santa Barbara Foundation Trustee and Alumni Award winner Harvey Schechter died May 23, 2015 in Reseda, California.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Schechter attended the Riviera campus and regaled generations of alumni with his stories of riding a horse to school. He graduated in 1947 and went on to attain a master’s degree in sociology from UCLA in 1950. He worked in a number of jobs including building radios for fighter planes during World War II. In 1952 he joined the Anti Defamation League of Los Angeles and rose through the ranks to ultimately become the League’s Western States director.
Schechter became a leader in the Los Angeles Jewish community and was a fierce advocate for the state of Israel and human rights.
In 1996 he became a trustee of the UC Santa Barbara Foundation and served on numerous committees. In 1991 he received the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award for his humanitarian work and in 2009 he received the Graver Alumni Service Award for his service to  the University.

Eddy Francisco Alvarez Jr., M.A. ’09, Ph.D. ’14

Eddy Alvarez

NerdWallet’s 40 Under 40: Professors Who Inspire
NerdScholar's inaugural “40 Under 40” celebrates professors who are doing just that: cultivating passion in their students. Eddy Francisco Alvarez Jr. received his Ph.D and M.A. from UC Santa Barbara. He is now a professor at the State University of New York at Oneonta in the Africana & Latino Studies. Into his first year, he has already made a lasting impression. He organized the first celebration for Latino History Month. Alvarez says his career is most inspired “by the stories of survival that I gathered doing research for my book project and by the resiliency of my students, who teach me something new every day.” Read more at:


The San Diego Business Journal honored Emmett Lee Rice, ’67 for his pioneering work in wellness medicine. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Corporate Wellness, presented at San Diego’s Healthiest Companies 2015 event, sponsored by Hub International. Rice’s contributions span decades including integrating wellness medicine into one of the first sports medicine fellowship training programs in the country and serving as appointed Medical Chairman by Gov. Pete Wilson for the California State Governor’s Physical Fitness program. Rice opened a wellness clinic so that he could be the Chief Wellness Officer for individuals, families and corporations. Rice’s community activities include serving as Chairman for San Diego Senior Olympics, medical director of the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon, past board member of the San Diego and Point Loma YMCAs and serving as a facilitator for groups building homes for the poor in Mexico with Youth with a Mission.

Robert Gunnarson, ’68, retired as a Senior Vice President with Merrill Lynch after 42 years. He managed some of Merrill’s largest offices including Salt Lake,  Cleveland and Dallas. He has spent the last 25 years in San Antonio and will be moving to Flagstaff, Arizona to hike the mountains.


Sally Willson Weimer, ’71,  retired as a sociology and global & international studies librarian from UCSB Library after serving over 37 years, in Dec. 2014. She had also served as Sections Council Chair of the Association of the College & Research Libraries division (ACRL) of American Library Association(ALA). She also provided service to students and faculty as a women’s studies, education and psychology collections librarian. Both her Master of Library Science and California Standard Teaching Credential from San Jose State University provided excellent preparation for her professional library and instructional duties. She values the continuous learning opportunities and collaboration on campus.

Ann HaleyAnn Haley, ’76, wrapped up a 33-year stint as an editor at the Orange County Register in June 2014 and now is the web editor for the Los Angeles Times Community News South trio of websites.

Michael Mortensen, ’77, was named Caltrans “Resident Engineer of the Year” for the Central Coast. He is currently the resident engineer on a major drainage project in Goleta along Highway 101.


Jeffrey Prieto, ’83, has been nominated by President Barack Obama as the General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He has previously served in the Department of Justice. During his time at DOJ he received numerous awards, including the EPA Gold Medal for Exceptional Service and two DOJ Special Achievement awards. He received his law degree from UCLA.

David Raun ’85, was the CEO at PLX Technology, recently acquired by Avago Technology after nice growth and record profitability of PLX. He is now looking for his next CEO challenge and board in the High Tech Space in the Bay Area.  

Julianne Polanco, ’86, has been appointed state historic preservation officer for the California Department of parks and Recreation. The appointment was made June 12 by Gov. Jerry Brown. Polanco had been director of cultural resources at Lend Lease since 2006 and served as a member of the California State Historical Resrouce Commission since 2005. She previously worked at the Presidio Trust, the World Monuments Fund, and Townscape Institute. She is a trustee emeritus of the California Preservation Foundation and a member of the San Francisco Architectural Heritage Board of Directors. She received her masters of science degree in historic preservation from Columbia University.

Melinda Roper, ’89, has been promoted from director of student life to vice president for student affairs and dean of students at California Lutheran University.


Salud Carbajal, ’90, announced he will be a candidate for the South Coast Congressional seat being vacated by Lois Capps, MA ’90. Carbajal currently is a county supervisor in Santa Barbara County.

Alexa Claybon, ’92, has joined Ernst & Young LLP. Previously, Claybon worked for the U.S. Treasury Office of Tax Policy where she was an Attorney-Advisor and a lead reviewer on recent guidance.

Khaled ShahboEnterprise Holdings has appointed Khaled Shahbo, ’92, as managing director for the UK and Ireland. He was one of the first pioneers for Enterprise in Europe, coming over to the UK in 1994 to help open and develop the car rental company. In 1996, Shahbo was appointed vice president for Scotland. A few years later, his responsibility was expanded to include Northern Ireland. In 2008, he was appointed to his current role as vice president for South East England.

Martin Boer ‘94, Martin has joined the Institute of International Finance (IIF) in Washington DC as the new Director of the Regulatory Affairs department. He previously was Secretary General of the European Financial Services Round Table (EFR) in Brussels and also worked for ING Group in Amsterdam and Brussels.


Mia AriasMia M. Arias, ’02, daughter of Phyllis Ortega Arias ‘71, gave birth to a son, Diego Mitchell Miller, on February 25, 2015.  Mia, her son and her husband, David S. Miller, reside in southern California.

Kristen Nesbit, ’02, has been named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers, a Los Angeles rating service that tracks 70 different practice areas. The selection of a Rising Star is based on peer nominations, third party research and an evaluation of each candidate. Nesbit is a partner in the Los Angeles law office of Fisher & Phillips and is a member of the UC Santa Barbara Alumni Association Board of Directors. She was recognized in 2013 as a member of the “Hot List” of minority attorneys under 40 in the Western United States. She specializes in employment law.

Steve Ortiz, ’04, has been named vice president of the United Way of Santa Barbara County. He holds an MBA from Cal Lutheran University.

Mia Fisher, ’05, has been named an assistant coach on the UC Santa Barbara women’s basketball team. She previously had been an assistant coach for the San Jose State women’s basketball team and worked as a recruiting assistant at Stanford. During her career as a Gaucho Fisher she was a leader on the team that made it to the Sweet Sixteen and ultimately fell to the University of Connecticut. She finished her career at the 11th leading scorer in school history. She is in the top ten in field goal percentage, assists and free throws made. She played professionally in Belgium, Bosnia, France and Turkey.

William London and Josh KimuraWilliam London ‘05 and Josh Kimura ‘05, opened the law firm of Kimura London LLP in Irvine, CA. They focus on business litigation, trusts & estates, and personal injury.

Barlon Melendez ‘06, has completed the prerequisites for Communications Disorders and Sciences in four years, and has been admitted Master program at CSUN for Speech Language Pathology.

Briget Arndell ‘11, is graduating from New York University with a Master's degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs on May 18, 2015.


Briget Arndell, ’11, graduated from New York University with a Master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs on May 18, 2015.

Cody Walker, ’11, is being considered for a major role in “Furious 8” after stepping in for his late brother, Paul Walker, in “Furious 7.” Walker, who graduated with a degree in anthropology, had been a practicing EMT. He joined his brother’s non-profit Reach Out World Wide, an organization that helps first responders get into disaster areas around the world. Hollywood sources say “Furious 8” would be released in early 2017.

Lisa Murphy, ’11, has received the 2015 Public Safety Civilian Employee of the Year from the UC Santa Barbara police department. Murphy works as a civilian analyst for the department.

In Memoriam

Edythe Yvonne (Whipple) Micko, ’47, died May 17, 2015 in San Jose, California. She taught elementary school for 20 years. She supported animal rights and wildlife conservation organizations.

Virginia Nash Houtz, ’51, died on December 12, 2014 in Ventura, California. She majored in Home Economics at the Riviera Campus and was an active member of Kappa Omicron Nu and Alpha Delta Pi. She married Walter Houtz (UCSB 1951) and the couple raised a family in Orange County. Virginia worked at the Rehabilitation Institute of Orange and was involved in leadership development with 4-H Clubs of America.

John D. Ehrenborg, ’53, died Feb. 27, 2015 in Nipomo, California. He served in the U.S. Army from 1945-47 and received his doctorate in education from UCLA. He taught in Santa Barbara elementary schools for many years and was the inaugural principal at Monte Vista elementary school. In retirement he devoted many hours to building computers for underprivileged families.

Warren Paul “Doc” Berry, ’57 MA ’59, died March 15, 2015 in Kaneohe, Hawaii. In 1962 Berry began an illustrious career as a teacher at Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawaii. He also coached at the school. In 2013 his work in civic, environmental and sustainability causes was honored by Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie who proclaimed January 10, 2013 as Paul “Doc” Berry Day in the state of Hawaii.

Dr. Robert E. Steele, MS ’74, Ph.D. ’77, passed away. He received his Masters and Ph.D. in Physics from UCSB and had a professional career for 40 years. He worked for LASP in Colorado on NASA funded projects, at General Research in Santa Barbara on projects ranging from robotic wafer handling systems to linear accelerator controls.

Bernard Joseph MacElhenny Jr., ’63, died April 27, 2015 in Santa Barbara. Macelhenny began in the real estate business before graduating and eventually built one of Santa Barbara largest real estate firms, MacElhenny and Levy. In 1981, with 30 offices and 1,000 salespeople the firm was sold to Merrill Lynch. MacElhenny continued to work on development projects throughout the United States.

W. Newell Hendricks, MA ’69, died in his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on April 3, 2015, after a long struggle with cancer. He received a Master’s degree from UCSB where he studied composition under Peter Fricker. He stayed on as faculty at UCSB’s College of Creative Studies in a position he had designed for himself.

Robert H. Carr, Sr. ’75, of Pioneer, Calif. died at his home on Monday, September 1, 2014. He worked on the Third Stage of the Saturn 5 Rocket, which eventually led to the landing of a man on the moon.In 1967, he was offered a job with Stellar-Metrics Corp. developing advanced missile telemetry and moved his family to Santa Barbara, CA. In June, 1975 he was awarded a Degree in Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 1977, he moved to Jackson, CA., where based on his background in electronics, he opened a Radio Shack Dealership (Sierra Pacific Sound, Inc.) which he ran with his wife Blanche for 37 years.

Kathryn Faye Blaine, ’98, died May 14, 2015 in Santa Barbara. Since 2001 she was an book seller at Chaucer’s Books in Santa Barbara.

Charyl Diana Benton died March 31, 2015 in Santa Barbara. She was a human resources professional at UCSB her entire career.

Longtime environmental studies professor John J. Chambers Crowell died May 13, 2015 in Montecito. Crowell came to UC Santa Barbara in 1967 and helped found the Environmental Studies program. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and received both Fulbright and Guggenheim scholarships. In 2013 he received a lifetime achievement award from the Society for Sedimentary Geology.

Robert Lee Puddicombe, died in Santa Barbara on May 18, 2014. He majored in “surfing” and would periodically return to UCSB working towards a biology degree but ended up getting an associate degree in Diving from the Santa Barbara City College. He surfed the entire CA coast and parts of Mexico. Puddicombe made a living as an abalone diver in Santa Barbara with his own boat and as a deep sea diver in the North Sea and the Caribbean. He also drove SB city buses and the SB Air Bus. He is remembered for starting the Channel Island Preservation Society and his desire to save the indigenous animals, including rats and mice from a poisoning program by the Park Service.