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Girdner, Robert

Robert "Bert" Girdner '11 and his wife, Cicily, proudly welcomed a baby girl, Abigail Grace Girdner, on Feb. 8, 2016. The Girdner Family hopes Abby will be a fourth-generation Bronco, following in the footsteps of her father, her grandfather (Gregory Girdner '83), and her great-grandmother (June Girdner, who attended from '57-'59 as a nursing student). Godparents are Gregory Semenza '11 and Sara Jones M.A. '16.

submitted Feb. 29, 2016 1:44P
GRD Ed./Couns Psych./Pastoral Min. '11
Gagnon, Jessica

Jessica Gagnon M.A. '11 just completed her PhD in education at the University of Sussex. Her doctoral thesis was titled: "Born to fight: The university experiences of the daughters of single mothers who are first-generation students in the United Kingdom." She earned an uncommon unconditional pass/no corrections following her viva voca/defense. Her research was recently featured in The Times Higher.

Contact Jessica
submitted Apr. 25, 2016 9:29A
UGRD Arts & Sciences '11
Fitts, Diana

Diana Fitts '11 has published two books,  Your Focus Formula and What Next? She has launched a business helping others achieve their goals and live with no limits at

Contact Diana
Website: Facebook: Twitter:
submitted Feb. 15, 2016 11:22A
UGRD Leavey Business '11
De Leener, Adrien

Adrien De Leener '11 signed a pro contract with WRT Audi for the Blancpain Endurance Series (european endurance racing). He completed his MBA at Pepperdine University's Graziadio Business School this past April.

submitted Mar. 7, 2016 3:27P
UGRD Arts & Sciences '11
Arthur, Amanda

Upon graduation, Amanda Arthur '11 co-founded a mobile application with her father. Aimed at helping local businesses communicate to their customers, OptTown got a first round of venture capital funding in 2012. The app was launched at Santa Clara, much as Mark Zuckerberg tested out Facebook at Harvard. Twenty-five of Santa Clara's favorite businesses participated, from Blinky's, to Blondie's Frozen Yogurt, to Wicked Chicken (formerly known as Cluck You). After Santa Clara, the company targeted U.C. Davis, where the college atmosphere and demographic provided an even more receptive audience. By June 2013, Arthur and her team of sales reps signed up an additional 350 businesses and 25,000 unique users to downloaded the app. The OptTown technology was acquired in early 2014, and Arthur transitioned to work for a pre-IPO startup in San Francisco, named MuleSoft. She now runs global training and enablement for their inside sales department. She lives in San Francisco.

Contact Amanda
LinkedIn URL:
submitted Dec. 16, 2015 11:02P


UGRD Engineering '12
Sizemore, Michael
Michael Sizemore '12, M.S. '14 is a business analyst for Sunrun, a San Francisco–based residential solar electricity provider. He was introduced to solar energy in his first year at SCU through the 2009 Solar Decathlon House. Mike and his team worked on the 800-square-foot solar-powered Refract House (located between Malley Fitness Center and Campus Safety), which went on to win third place in the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2009 Solar Decathlon. Recently Mike worked in Pune, India, to design an off-grid solar panel refrigeration system for low-income local farmers through Villgro Innovations Foundation.
Creative solutions (like the off-grid refrigeration system Mike and his team designed) are needed to succeed in the renewable energy industry. For the future of renewable energy, Mike envisions a “free and distributed system where everyone can choose the best way to support themselves and more specifically, being able to produce the type of energy you want to produce where you want to produce it.”
submitted Feb. 19, 2016 12:00P
Dawson, Abram
Abram Dawson ’12 (economics major and international business minor) was listed on Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30 list for venture capital in 2016. Dawson was building mobile apps as an aspiring entrepreneur when he met SV Angel and they asked him to join on as an intern in 2012. By the following year, he was investing full time. He's sourced Product Hunt, Taptalk, Clearbit, Outlier, LaunchKit and Readme, while also working with Vidme and Mindie.
submitted May. 2, 2016 9:44A
GRD Ed./Couns Psych./Pastoral Min. '12
Barnes, Kelly (Schaller)

Kelly (Schaller) Barnes '86, M.A. '12 is the director of Christian Service at Jesuit High School in Sacramento. She and husband, Mike Barnes '85, will celebrate their 30th anniversary in July.

Contact Kelly
submitted Dec. 14, 2015 7:24P


Shearer, Alexandria

Alexandria Shearer '13 has received an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to further her work on applications in heterogeneous computing. During her time at SCU, she was a member of Upsilon Pi Epsilon, Tau Beta Pi, and the University Honors Program. She was also a SWE ViaSat Scholar, a Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholar, and she won an NSF Grace Hopper Celebration Scholarship. Alexandria expects to complete her Ph.D. at U.C. San Diego in 2018.

submitted Jan. 25, 2016 8:06A
UGRD Leavey Business '13
Schneeman, Jack (Schneeman)

Morgan Stinson '13 and Jack Schneeman '13 were married on April 23, 2016, at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Jack and Morgan first met while at SCU but later found out they grew up down the street from each other in the Twin Cities. Morgan is currently in Physician Assistant graduate school at St. Catherine University and Jack works in private equity in Minneapolis but will be getting deployed to Egypt this summer with the Minnesota National Guard. Wishing all you Broncos the best and greetings from the North!

Contact Jack
submitted May. 3, 2016 2:54P
UGRD Arts & Sciences '13
Ronen, Joshua

Joshua Ronen '13 is currently completing his studies at the Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) in pursuit of the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree. He is in his third year clinical clerkships in Los Angeles, CA. During his time at RUSM he has served as the president of the Student Government Association, representing a student body of 1,500 at the school's island campus in the Commonwealth of Dominica.

Contact Joshua
submitted May. 12, 2016 3:29P
Rogers, Shane

Shane Rogers '13 and Brian Holm ’00 are founders of Hive Design, which offers consultation and design services to other companies. Hive has also created and launched three of its own products: Eligo—a “smart hydration” unit offering athletes hands-free selection of water and/or electrolytes from a single reservoir; RPM Speed Rope—sophisticated mechanics paired with cool design that does for jump ropes what Nike did for sneakers; and their latest brainchild, Edwin—"a modern minimal wallet inspired by the binder clip." Edwin was designed with the help of Bryan Herrera '14.

Rogers and Holm previously spent years working together at a medical device company where they gathered lots of experience designing products. Holm also managed the fabrication shop and designed the mechanical aspects of exhibits for San Jose's Tech Museum, tested the viability of fuel cell vehicles in Germany, and before graduating from SCU, led the team that pioneered the School of Engineering's Roverwerx Rover program.

"When we were doing our undergraduate work, we weren’t really thinking about being entrepreneurs, but that’s changing," said Rogers. "I applaud SCU for their forward thinking. SCU is doing a great job of getting students motivated to think about design and how to come up with an idea, and then giving them the tools to follow through." Rogers teaches an entrepreneurship course as an adjunct professor for the School of Engineering and shares his experience with other universities in the KEEN network of engineering educators.
For his part, Herrera is grateful for both his experience at SCU and the opportunity to work at Hive. "Everything I have now is due to SCU. My parents never went to college; I had zero engineering background. I discovered it on my own by playing with Legos; I liked building things. SCU gave me the foundation for a really great achievement. I never thought I’d be launching a new product a year and a half after graduation! I’m blessed with these opportunities."
submitted Feb. 28, 2016 9:28A
Cook, Karl

Karl Cook '13 continues to ride horses professionally. He has been riding since age 8 and has won numerous competitions. He considered quitting the sport after some poor performances in 2012, but he realized he could not imagine life without horses. After spending two months training in France, he changed his sitting style and hand positioning, and is having success on the track.

submitted Apr. 4, 2016 1:13P


UGRD Engineering '14
Tran, Timothy

Timothy T. Tran '14 is now a design engineer for BKF Engineers at its Redwood City office.

Contact Timothy
submitted Feb. 12, 2016 11:29P
GRD Engineering '14
Sizemore, Michael
see year 2012
UGRD Engineering '14
Porter, Dylan

Dylan Porter '14 is director of engineering at Byington Steel, a Santa Clara–based heat-treating company. He has been working for the company for two years. The Byingtons allowed him to use their furnaces for his Capstone Project -- an independent study project required for graduation -- when he was at Santa Clara University. That simple exchange opened doors for him, he said.

“It has given me so many opportunities to develop myself in different fields,” he said of coming to work for the the Byingtons. “Materials science was always one of my weakest areas in college. Now it is one of my strongest. I always like to learn and challenge myself.”
submitted Mar. 14, 2016 11:10A
Minnick, Marissa

Marissa L. Minnick '14 began her job as governance coordinator at SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) in Los Angeles in March 2016. Marissa was an English and Women's and Gender Studies double major during her time at Santa Clara.

submitted Mar. 22, 2016 1:31P
Lamp, Marilena

Marilena Lamp B.S. '08, MBA '14 has joined the Donor Relations team at SCU as assistant director, responsible for University recognition societies and programs (President's Club, Loyal Bronco, etc.) and capital recognition (plaques, signage, and other naming opportunities). While an undergraduate at Santa Clara, Marilena led and facilitated training for student Orientation leaders. Since then, she has worked in marketing and sales for the San Jose Giants, Le Boulanger, and Testarossa Winery.

submitted Mar. 21, 2016 8:53A
Cate, Christine

Christine Cate ’14 is serving in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps with San Diego Youth Services as a residential counselor and is also volunteering as a crisis counselor with Crisis Text Line.

submitted Dec. 15, 2015 9:39A
Caemmerer, Jesse

Jesse Caemmerer '14 has been chosen for the inaugural class of Schwarzman Scholars for the master’s degree program at Tsinghua University in Beijing starting in August 2016.

“I’m honored to be selected as part of the Schwarzman Scholars’ first cohort of students. It is an exciting opportunity to advance my focus on U.S.-China relations through an immersion experience that combines academics and leadership training, and brings together Chinese and Western approaches to understand the most pressing political issues,” said Caemmerer. “I am especially looking forward to learning from such an accomplished and diverse peer group.”

The 111 Schwarzman Scholars were selected from more than 3,000 applicants, with an acceptance rate of 3.7%. The first class of Schwarzman Scholars is composed of students from 32 countries and 71 universities, with 44 percent from the United States, 21 percent from China, and 35 percent from the rest of the world. Expenses for each scholar are fully funded by the program.

Caemmerer, who hails from Bellingham, Washington, was a first-generation student at SCU and graduated with a B.S. in politics and international relations. In 2013, while still at SCU, Caemmerer was awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for undergraduate study abroad where he spent the fall of 2013 in Beijing. In 2014, Caemmerer won a Rotary Global Scholarship to complete his M.S. in Strategic Studies from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Singapore and graduated first in his class. He currently works as a research analyst at RSIS, where he focuses on Asia-Pacific security issues. 

“I'm so proud of Jesse for being chosen for this prestigious program. They are calling these awards the ‘China Rhodes’ because they are modeled after the Rhodes competition,” said Leilani Miller, director of the Office of Student Fellowships, University Honors Program, and LEAD Scholars Program at Santa Clara. “He is an awesome student and individual and really deserves this opportunity.”

The selection process involved a rigorous application process designed to evaluate proven intellectual and academic ability, as well as leadership potential, strength of character, ability to anticipate emerging trends, and desire to understand other cultures, perspectives, and positions. 

About Schwarzman Scholars

Schwarzman Scholars was inspired by the Rhodes Scholarship, which was founded in 1902 to promote international understanding and peace, and is designed to meet the challenges of the 21st century and beyond. Blackstone Co-Founder Stephen A. Schwarzman personally contributed $100 million to the program and is leading a fundraising campaign to raise an additional $350 million from private sources to endow the program in perpetuity. The $450 million endowment will support up to 200 scholars annually from the U.S., China and around the world for a one-year Master’s Degree program at Tsinghua University in Beijing, one of China’s most prestigious universities and an indispensable base for the country’s scientific and technological research. Scholars chosen for this highly selective program will live in Beijing for a year of study and cultural immersion, attending lectures, traveling, and developing a better understanding of China. Admissions opened in the fall of 2015, with the first class of students in residence in 2016.

submitted Jan. 15, 2016 11:44A
Bica, Melissa

Melissa Bica '14 has created a data mining tool called RendezView. Using Twitter data, the program helps data analysts by displaying relationships, patterns, and new insights that are often lost or missed when looking through a database or an Excel spreadsheet. 

As a Computer Science PhD student at University of Colorado Boulder, Bica studies crisis informatics—a type of human-centered computing with real-world applications for social benefit. Bica got her first taste of using computer science for social benefit in a class at Santa Clara taught by Silvia Figueira, an associate professor of computer engineering and director of the on-campus Frugal Innovation Lab. Under the direction of Figueria, Bica and her classmates created computer applications for social benefit and the first of now many applications that aid the homeless.

Another experience, which was one of the most significant parts of her undergraduate career, was the fellowship she did through the Global Social Benefit Institute–which is housed under the newly renamed Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship. In the summer of 2013, Bica traveled to rural India where she worked with two social enterprises, Anudip and iMerit, to provide technology training to women.

According to Bica, RendezView is still in the prototype phase, but ideally she would like to see it developed into a website that would allow users to upload their own data and run the program on it.

submitted Jan. 15, 2016 12:02P
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