Class Notes | Obituaries
Showing class notes submitted in the last year by graduates in the 2010s
Grace Wu '10 writes, "I have moved to Yangon Myanmar with my husband, Maung Aung Lwin Oo '11, and we are seeking investment opportunities in Myanmar. If anyone is interested in visiting or investing in Myanmar, feel free to contact us! It is an exciting and fast-growing country!"
Meghan (Madden) Woody '10 and Austin Woody '08 welcomed their son, James Hamilton Woody, on December 18, 2015 in Austin, TX.
Ryan Watkins J.D. '10 writes, "My wife, Sherry Watkins, and I welcomed our first child, Weston Watkins on October 23, 2015. After I graduated from law school my wife and I moved back home to Toronto, Canada."
Rochelle Stowe '10 works at EnviroIssues, an agency dedicated to developing and executing comprehensive public involvement, strategic communications, and outreach plans and programs by tackling some of the thorniest public policy and environmental issues of our day. Rochelle works to improve relationships with stakeholders, from elected officials to neighboring restaurant owners. Her projects are diverse and range from designing public meetings for wastewater infrastructure to building websites about regional mass transit expansion. She thrives on finding creative solutions to any public involvement challenge. Every weekend, she joins fellow Seattleites in pools around the city for some good old-fashioned water polo, reminiscent of the days she spent competing for the Broncos.
Benjamin Petersen '10 and Leah (Torres) Petersen '10, both of Bend, Oregon, were married Aug. 15, 2015, at the Mission Church of Santa Clara. A reception took place at Valencia Hotel, Santana Row, in San Jose.
The groom is the son of David and Colleen Petersen, of Bend. He works at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. The bride is the daughter of Victor and Iris Torres, of Tracy, California. She works as the director of operations at Red Jacket West. The couple honeymooned in Ixtapa, Mexico, in December. They will settle in Bend.
Paul La Londe '10 joined SV Angel as an associate in 2014 and will be attending The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, starting in Summer 2016.
Patrick "Pat" Glenn '10, son of John F. Glenn '91 MBA, graduated from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA with an MBA.
Michelle (Donecho) Duchesne '05, M.A. '10 and Chris Duchesne '06 welcomed their first child, Elizabeth "Betsy" Lee Duchesne on March 23, 2016.
Andrea Borgen '10 was named a 2016 Young Gun by Eater magazine for being a young talent and trailblazer in the food and restaurant industry. Barcito is a 100-seat Argentinian-style, small-plates restaurant in downtown Los Angeles with a no-tipping policy.
Borgen opened Barcito last year as a homage to her Argentinian heritage — her mother was born in the South American country and she visits both of her grandparents there regularly. "We're not trying to recreate traditional Argentine cuisine," she says, adding that a more authentically minded establishment would grill a short rib rather than braise it like her kitchen does. But, as Borgen says, "what always appealed to me about bars and cafes in Buenos Aires is the cultural meaning that they have. Those classic corner bars are pillars of their communities." That's what Barcito is all about.
Part of being a community pillar, of course, is being a responsible employer. Dishwashers at Barcito make at least $11 an hour while cooks make at least $14. All her employees also receive health care, even though the size of her staff (currently 12) means she isn't required to by law. Borgen says she's able to do this due to her no-tipping policy, and if you want to understand why this is such a big deal, you need to know a little bit about labor law in California.
The state minimum wage is rising to $15 per hour by 2022 —€” and at an even faster pace in LA. Making that burden more challenging is the fact that, unlike in most states, California doesn't have a separate, lower wage for service employees, which means owners must pay waiters the full minimum, even if they earn tips. Obviously that's super expensive for owners, who have to pay more money to more people (duh), but what's less obvious is that it exacerbates the income disparity between waiters, who often do well for themselves because they can collect tips, and cooks, who often earn less because they cannot.
So to combat that disparity, more restaurateurs in Los Angeles are levying "mandatory tips" in the form of service or admin charges, which can be distributed throughout the house as the restaurant sees fit. On top of those charges, Los Angeles and San Francisco restaurants sometimes issue separate surcharges to offset the cost of providing health care, as well as additional lines on the check for optional, additional gratuity. This all means that the price on the menu is often much lower than what the diner ends up paying, and Borgen doesn't think it's a fair deal for consumers.
"It feels ludicrous," Borgen says of the health care charge. So she's taken a more challenging course of action: She's raised wages throughout her restaurant by baking the full cost of doing business — including health care and service — into the price of her a la carte items, so that whatever the diner sees on the menu is what the diner pays. Tipping is not accepted. This Danny Meyer-style "hospitality included" policy is increasingly normal in New York, where supplementary fees are illegal, but in California, it's quite rare, because it lets restaurants keep their prices artificially low.
"At the core, what's most important to me is the idea that a restaurant is a pillar of the community."
BlueLight, a mobile 911 app created by Preet Anand '10, is contributing to the White House "Smart Cities" initiative. BlueLight addresses the deficiency in 911 response times from mobile devices. Emergency response systems are still based on landlines; with a standard call from a mobile phone, it can take up to six minutes for responders to receive location information, often only as specific as within three blocks.
In areas where the BlueLight app is supported, it will route your call based on your position and provide your location. Otherwise, if someone is outside of the BlueLight network, it will make a regular 911 call. BlueLight pinpoints the location and reaches the closest responder – local or campus police or other appropriate emergency services. The service is available on over 250 college campuses as well as at sites such as corporate campuses and ski resorts.
“Emergency response is the most vital function of any community, and it is far behind the rest of the world technologically,” Anand said. “This service can make people safer.”
To earn a place in the $160 million Smart Cities Initiative, BlueLight was one of two winners of the Multi-City Innovation Campaign. As part of the Smart Cities program, BlueLight will test a pilot program in four cities beginning in 2016. Mountain View has agreed to be part of the program, and discussions are under way with Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Green Bay.
Anand was part of SCU’s 2009 Solar Decathlon team, which won third place in the U.S. Department of Energy contest to build a solar-powered home. Anand left SCU when he received a lucrative offer to become Zynga’s youngest lead product manager. However, the University’s Jesuit teachings and emphasis on the public good have always resonated with him, and BlueLight was a way to pair his skills with those ideals.
A self-described “renegade” whose heroes include Margaret Thatcher and the underdogs described in Malcom Gladwell’s David and Goliath, Amy Yao MBA '11 is a data science supply chain strategist for Seagate Technology. This role is partly due to the challenging courses and inspiring faculty at the Leavey School of Business. She says her coursework, including one exploring neuroscience and sales and one called “Spirits of the New Workplace,” continues to open doors to new fields. “Learning regression analysis in John Heineke’s class has paved the way to my involvement in data science today,” she notes.
As supply chain strategist at Seagate, she is deploying big data methods to ensure the hard drive leader is the first to utilize advance planning systems, and was recently a speaker for the Gartner Supply Chain Forum.
She also sees the supply chain management function becoming central to profitability, especially in the global technology capital of the world. “Supply chain management is so much more than the traditional notion of warehousing and physical distribution. It’s an exciting discipline that has matured over the last few decades, and is about to be even more complex and interesting with the emergence of IoT (“Internet of Things”) and data science application for operations.”
Yao thinks SCU is perfectly positioned to create an emerging generation of supply chain managers, offering the only graduate degree in the discipline in northern California. “Silicon Valley is teeming with companies that are competing in the high tech industry, which has characteristically fast product life cycle and thrives on innovation. Supply chain management is a great skillset to have to be an operational caretaker as well as a growth partner,” she says.
In February, Clare Wylie '11 participated in a STEM panel at the School of Engineering's "Imagining the Future State of STEM" conference. Clare currently works at Lyra Health, a digital health company in the Bay Area, as Service Operations Manager. Lyra Health’s mission is to transform mental health care through technology with a human touch — to get more patients the care they need when they need it. She works for a fellow Santa Clara graduate, Steve Blake '86.
Megan Wirth '11 writes, "I cannot believe it's been five years. Just yesterday, we were 'running' the streets of Bellomy and roaming the beautiful Santa Clara campus. Today, I am inspired by all of the people I was lucky to graduate with. Through social media, I feel a continued closeness with my classmates and a sense of pride as I follow their accomplishments day by day and year after year. Cannot wait to see all of my fellow Broncos again in the near future!"
For achieving a high level of responsibility in his career and contributing to the betterment of our region through community involvement, Britten Sessions J.D. '11 was listed in the Top 40 Under 40 in the Silicon Valley by the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Sessions is the director of the only IP pro-bono clinic in the Valley, manages the IP department at Lincoln Law School, and is a patent attorney with the Zilka-Kotab law firm in San Jose. This past year, Sessions was recognized as a leading Intellectual Property attorney by Northern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars and received the IAM 300 as one of the top 300 IP strategists in the world. He has published 8 books on intellectual property, 6 in the last year alone. Additionally, he has assisted companies in monetizing patent assets yielding over $80 million in returns. Sessions currently serves as the chair of the High Technology Section of the Santa Clara Bar Association.
Daniel A. Reyes '11 has published his first novel, The Essences, the first of a trilogy series. The Essences is a riveting story that follows the lowly angel Uriel as he gradually finds himself wedged in the early stages of a rebellion in Heaven. Tasked with a special duty from God, himself, he embarks on a journey of special importance all while trying to avoid the dark prophecy from being fulfilled. All while, Satan, God's most beautiful Archangel, embarks on a journey of his own, wishing to kickstart the dark angelic prophecy by stealing the archangels' weapons, the essences, including his own, the trident of persuasion. Now available on Amazon.com/1514491877. Daniel resides in Morgan Hill, CA.
Liz (Courter) Oseguera '06, MBA '11 recently married the love of her life (whom she met at SCU while working there), Michael Oseguera, on Sept. 10, 2015, in San Diego, California, with three of her best SCU friends by her side: Kate (Goethals) Barbero '06, Micaela Esquivel '06, and Dan Erwin '06! After working in the SCU Athletic Department for 5.5 years while getting her MBA at SCU, she left to pursue a marketing position at Marketo. She recently moved to San Diego with her husband from the North Bay and now works remotely for Marketo.
Christopher Mosier '11, J.D. '14 is an associate attorney specializing in complex business litigation and insurance coverage at Willoughby, Stuart, Bening & Cook in downtown San Jose. Chris is a board member for the Institute of Sports Law and Ethics at Santa Clara University and co-chairs the 2011 Grand Reunion Committee.
Allison Kopf '11 recently won the $50,000 grand prize at TechCrunch Disrupt's Startup Battlefield. As a sophomore computer science and engineering major, Allison co-led the 2009 SCU Solar Decathlon Team to its third-place victory. Allison is CEO of Agrilyst, a company that helps “greenhouse operators run their operations more efficiently by pulling in data from sensors in the greenhouse and information about crop yields and other metrics.”
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.