CLASS NOTES / IN MEMORIAM
Have news or an accomplishment you would like to share? Submit your news for inclusion in the next issue.
STANFORD OKEN (’52), a former Fresno County supervisor, received the Fresno Chamber of Commerce’s Leon S. Peters Award for service to the community.
DICK BRUICH (’69) was inducted into the California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section Hall of Fame after 43 years in education and 32 years as head football coach. He led his teams to a combined 20 league championships and one national championship.
CARLOS MUÑOZ, JR. (’67), professor emeritus of Chicano/Latino Studies at UC Berkeley, received the University of California 2015-16 Edward A. Dickson Distinguished Emeriti Professorship.
JEANNETTE OAKES (’69 M.A.), senior fellow in residence at the Learning Policy Institute, was nominated by former President Barack Obama to the National Board for Education Sciences.
TOM RIVERA (’62, ’68 M.A.) was reappointed to the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board.
GILBERT VASQUEZ (’64), managing partner at Vasquez and Company LLP, was named Latino Business of the Year in the small private company category by the Los Angeles Business Journal.
DUANE M. CARTER (’79), owner of Centerpoint Music and director at Dinc Multimedia, has published his first novel, No Promises.
JAIME ESCALANTE (’73, ’90 Doctorate of Humane Letters) was posthumously honored by the United States Postal Service with a Forever Stamp. He was the subject of the critically acclaimed 1988 film Stand and Deliver.
STEVEN GELLATLY (’78) is the pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in West Milton, Ohio.
ALAN HELLER (’72) is president of Duarte’s Public Access Channel, DCTV.
GARY ROBERT JOHNSON (’76 M.A.), a wildlife artist, had several of his artworks on display at the 11th annual ArtWalk @ Liberty Station in San Diego.
ISAAC LARIAN (’78), chief executive officer of MGA Entertainment, has launched a line of STEM-focused dolls. Larian was featured in the Los Angeles Times and was honored as a keynote speaker at Cal State LA’s 68th Commencement Ceremonies.
JADEANE (JADY) VON DER LIETH (’78 M.A.) retired after 45 years with the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.
JANE LYON (’75) was inducted into the Chino Valley Unified School District’s Richard Gird Educational Hall of Fame for her exceptional service.
ANDREW MANLEY (’76) wrote his second book, Urban Bully. The novel explores the rationale for the bullying epidemic in inner-city schools and its effects on the larger society.
ARMANDO MUNIZ (’71), a retired professional boxer, owns Armando Muniz Bail Bonds. Muniz was a member of the 1968 U.S. Olympic boxing team and made his professional boxing debut at the historic Olympic Auditorium. After boxing, Muniz taught for more than 20 years at Riverside Rubidoux High, where he also ran a youth boxing program.
PAUL PITINO (’72) is the mayor of Arcata.
GEORGE PLA (’72), president and CEO of Cordoba Corporation, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Business Journal’s 2016 Latino Business Awards. He was also honored with the 2016 Joe Shapiro Humanitarian Award during the 19th Billie Jean King & Friends Gala.
MARTIN B. SAKLAD (’71) marked 20 years as president and CEO of HMC Inc., an electronic manufacturers’ representative firm that serves markets in California and Nevada.
MITCHELL THOMAS (’76, ’78 M.B.A.) is chief financial officer for Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital.
GLENN THURKOW (’73) is board chair of the South Coast Education Services District in Coos Bay, Ore.
DIEMLAN “LANNIE” TONNU (’79) is chief financial officer for Orthopaedic Institute for Children.
JEAN CARANDANG (’87) has been named chief financial officer at Suncrest Bank.
JULIAN GOMEZ (’88) received an Emmy nomination in the outstanding picture editing for reality programming category for his work on CBS’ The Amazing Race.
ONDINE GROSS (née GREER LITZ, ’81 M.S.) is a nationally certified school psychologist. Her book, Restore the Respect: How to Mediate School Conflict and Keep Students Learning, was released by Brookes Publishing Co.
EDWIN HORTON (’87), camera operator, won an Emmy Award for his camerawork on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. Horton has amassed a total of 11 Emmy nominations and four wins for various shows, including American Idol, The GRAMMY Awards, and The Oscars.
VICKEN KASSARDJIAN (’86) is energy manager at the Imperial Irrigation District.
KATHERINE KLEINE (’89) was appointed president of the Tournament of Roses Foundation in 2015.
JOHN LYNCH (’81) is head of production and operations for Amazon Studios, which won a 2016 Golden Globe for its comedy series Mozart in the Jungle.
ARA MALOYAN (’84) is the new director for Pasadena’s Public Works Department.
SAMSON MENGISTU (’88, ’94 M.S.) is deputy executive director for administration at Los Angeles World Airports.
JEFFREY C. MYGATT (’87), director of photography at Entertainment Partners, received an Outstanding Alumni Award from Cal State LA’s Department of Television, Film, and Media Studies.
ADRIANA OCAMPO (’83) was named the National Hispanic Scientist of the Year by Tampa’s Museum of Science and Industry. She has worked 40 years as an engineer with NASA and is now the lead scientist exploring Venus.
JOSEPH PEILA (’88), a high school math teacher and water polo referee, was selected to referee in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
ROBERT J. PEREZ (’87), former CEO of Cubist, joined the board of directors for Flex Pharma and was appointed as a senior advisor to PureTech Health.
KAREN PRICE-GHARZEDDINE (’89 M.S.) is chief executive officer at San Gabriel Valley Medical Center.
DAVID QUAN (’89) is senior director of music publishing at Angry Mob Music.
MOHAMMMAD RASIAN (’83) has been appointed to senior vice president of underwriting at Bibby Financial Services.
SALVADOR RIVERA (’84), a professor of history at the State University of New York (SUNY), has published a book, Latin American Unification: A History of Political and Economic Integration Efforts.
NOELIA RODRIGUEZ (’86) is managing director of communications for the Port of Long Beach.
BARRY RONDINELLA (’87) is the director of Orange County’s John Wayne Airport.
ANITA ROSENFIELD (’83, ’87 M.A.) has published a book, Flame: A Cautionary Tale.
VICTOR THOMPSON (’88 M.A.) is director of student support services for the Los Angeles County Office of Education and president of the Association of Los Angeles County Office of School Administrators.
CHRIS UNGAR (’85 M.A.), a retired school speech pathologist and a trustee for the San Luis Coastal Unified School District, was elected to serve as president of the California School Boards Association for 2016.
FRANCES WEISSENBERGER (’84), principal of Hamilton Elementary School, has been named Elementary Administrator of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators Region XV.
A.C. WOOLNOUGH (’82 M.A.) is vice chair of the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation’s People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council.
CASSI ALTER (’95 M.A.), a certified speech language pathologist, is founder and owner of LA Speech Therapy Solutions.
HECTOR BECERRA received the Distinguished Journalist award from the Society of Professional Journalists. At the Los Angeles Times, Becerra is morning assignment editor for the California Section and was part of the team of reporters that covered the city of Bell corruption scandal and the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, both of which won a Pulitzer Prize. Becerra was editor of the University Times in the 1990s.
JAMES A. BELL (’97) has been elected to Apple’s board of directors. Bell is the former chief financial officer and corporate president of The Boeing Company.
CARMEN CUBA (’94) was casting director for The Martian, which won Golden Globe Awards for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Actor for the movie’s star, Matt Damon.
MICHAEL C. FLORES (’96 M.A.) was elected to the board of trustees of the Ontario-Montclair School District.
JULIO GALLUD (’91) is senior vice president, director of information technology and information security officer at Preferred Bank.
CHAD GHOSN (’95) is vice president of IT infrastructure and security for Wayfair, Inc.
FRANCES GIPSON (’98 M.A.), chief academic officer for the Los Angeles Unified School District, delivered the keynote address at Cal State LA’s 55th Honors Convocation.
RUBEN C. GONZALEZ (’91) performed in a one-man play, La Esquinita, USA, at the Alisal Center for the Fine Arts, where he depicts the former residents of a robust black and Latino town in decline after a big factory employer leaves for China.
DEBRA HAMMOND (’94 M.A.), executive director of the University Student Union at CSU Northridge, was recognized by the CSU Board of Trustees with the Wang Family Excellence Award.
RICARDO LEMVO (’94) and his band Makina Loca performed at UC Santa Barbara’s Multicultural Center.
SUJATHA LOWENTHAL (’96 M.B.A.) served as councilwoman for Long Beach’s 2nd District from 2006 to 2016.
GINA OROZCO-MEJIA (’91) , vice president of gas operations at Southern California Gas Co., was honored as a "Latina Corporate Pillar" by the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce for being one of the highest-ranking Latinas at a Fortune 500 company.
DAVID MONTOYA (’92), a composer and high school music teacher, brought his five-movement “Magdalene” to Sing Napa Valley for its California premiere.
ANN OUELLETTE (’96 M.B.A.) is vice president and general manager of WCCO, the CBS-owned station in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
GARY FRANCIS POWERS, JR. (’91), founder of The Cold War Museum, was appointed president of the Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce in Tysons, Va.
MARIO RUEDA (’91) is chief of the Verdugo Cities Fire Command, overseeing the three independent fire departments in San Gabriel, San Marino and South Pasadena. For the last 15 years, Rueda served as deputy chief with the Los Angeles Fire Department.
JOE SHAW (’94) is associate director of the LUX Center for the Arts in Lincoln, Neb.
EDWARD KEITH TOMES (’94 M.A.) is the superintendent of Trona Joint Unified School District.
ARADHNA TRIPATI (’96) appeared as a guest on CNBC to discuss climate change at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change. Tripati is an associate professor in UCLA’s Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences.
KIRK WELLS (’90) retired after 31 years of service as division chief for the Orange County Fire Authority.
LING-LING WU (’93) is executive director and chief financial officer of Asia Cement (China) Holdings Corporation.
DR. TIMOTHY YEH (’96) made partner at Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park in the Department of Family Medicine.
SULTAN AHMED AL JABER (’01 M.S.) is the United Arab Emirates minister of state and chairman of Masdar, a company that specializes in renewable energy. He was honored by USC Viterbi School of Engineering with the Global Leadership in Engineering Award.
DANIEL BAGBY (’03 M.A.) is principal of Eugene Field Elementary School.
ERIC G. BARBER (’01 M.A.) is an insurance partner in the litigation practice group at Michael Best & Friedrich LLP.
JONATHAN P. BELL (’02) is on the board of directors for the California Association of Professional Employees.
BRADY BLAIR (’09) is executive assistant to the president at the California Association of Community Managers. Blair also works as an operations management consultant for Advantis Law Group.
STEPHANIE L. CHAN (’08) is a post-production coordinator at Fox 21 Television Studios. Chan worked on the second season of TNT’s Legends.
RICSON CHUDE (’08) is an engineer at Southern California Edison.
CRISTIN EMBREE (’07), an archaeologist, is working with a team on a large prehistoric site in Elgin, Texas, that contains artifacts that date back 10,000 years.
SAYDA FINK (’07) is a second-year resident at the Yuma Regional Medical Center.
MARY FORNEY (’06) is executive director of the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC). She served as director of operations since 2004, and has worked in the California horse racing industry for more than 30 years.
WENDY KARSTEN (’06 M.A.) is chief executive officer of Care N’ Care Insurance.
JOSEPH LILLIO (’05) is the finance chief for the city of El Segundo.
DAVID LINNEVERS (’07 M.B.A.), director of admissions at Cal State Monterey Bay, was awarded the Joseph P. Allen Human Relations Award from the Western Association of College Admissions Counseling for his efforts to increase student diversity during recruitment and admission.
STEPHON LITWINCZUK (’05) is a senior video specialist at Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA).
JANET L. MITCHELL (’00 M.A.), an associate adjunct professor at Pasadena City College and an adjunct at Citrus College, was selected as Professional of the Year 2015 by Strathmore’s Who’s Who.
GERARDO (ROD) MUNOZ (’05) is a technical supervisor at Dish Nation.
ALYSIA ODIPO (’03 M.A.) is the assistant superintendent of instructional services for the Laguna Beach Unified School District.
MAURICIO ORTEGA (’01) is the principal of Goleta Valley Junior High School.
FELIZA ORTIZ-LICON (’09 Ed.D.), senior director of K-12 education for the National Council of La Raza, serves on the California State Board of Education.
LAMONICA PETERS (’02 M.A.) is a reporter and video journalist for Time Warner Cable News in Buffalo, N.Y.
ANGELICA RUBIO (’08 M.A.) represents the 35th District in New Mexico’s House of Representatives.
CARLOS SAMANIEGO (’02) is director and founder of Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles (Rainbow Mariachi), which bills itself as the world’s first LGBT mariachi band.
LUIS TRETO (’05), general assignment reporter at KVEA 52 (Telemundo), received an Outstanding Alumni Award from Cal State LA’s Department of Television, Film, and Media Studies.
ANHVINH WRIGHT (’04 M.S.) has launched Kraftlove, a charity that delivers crafting kits to hospitalized children.
YASH AHUJA (’14) is a software engineer at Google.
SOPHIE AVEDIKIAN (’14), ARIEL RICHARDSON (’14), CANDICE CLASBY (’15 M.F.A.), and KIRBIE PUESTOW (’15) were cast as supernumeraries in the LA Opera production of Pagliacci.
ARSINE BAGHDASARIAN (’15) is a cognizant system engineer at AECOM’s Hanford Nuclear Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant in Washington. She is the lead author of a 2015 American Society of Mechanical Engineers conference paper.
MELINE BAGHDASARIAN (’14, ’14 M.S.) is a cognizant system engineer at AECOM’s Hanford Nuclear Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant in Washington. She is an author of a 2014 article published in Physics of Fluids.
NADINE BEDROSSIAN (’14) is a human resources and production administrator at the LA Opera.
JOAQUIN BELTRAN (’10) is chief executive officer and co-founder of the Awemaze app.
JEREMY BLAIRE (’14) is a flight systems development engineer at Millennium Space Systems.
JULIA BUDNIAK (’13 M.S.), assistant track and field coach at Cal State LA, finished third in the 31st annual Los Angeles Marathon.
STEPHANIE COFFEY (’15 M.A.), a high school science teacher at Downtown Magnets High School, was chosen by the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation as a member of its 2016 cohort of teaching fellows.
ELVA CORTEZ-COVARRUBIAS (’15 Ed.D.) received the Outstanding Dissertation Award from the American Education Research Association Hispanic Research Issues Special Interest Group.
ALANNA DEDEK (’14) is pursuing graduate studies in sustainable design and construction at Stanford University.
GENNELLE DEDEK (’14) is pursuing graduate studies in structural engineering at Stanford University.
KEVIN DEEGAN (’11), co-founder of Hope4Hollywood, received a Master of Divinity from Fuller Seminary. He works as a chaplain for Providence TrinityCare Hospice.
FANSHEN COX DIGIOVANNI (’13 M.F.A.), writer, producer and actor, received an Outstanding Alumni Award from Cal State LA’s Department of Television, Film, and Media Studies.
RAHUL DOSOAR (’10) is senior associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
MARICELA GUZMAN (’12, ’14 M.S.), a Navy veteran who served overseas from 1998 to 2002, was honored in the state capital by Assemblyman Chris Holden (AD-41), as the 41st Assembly District’s “Veteran of the Year” for 2016.
CECILIA LARA (’11), a teacher with the Glendale Unified School District, received Sigma Delta Pi’s Gabriela Mistral Award for her academic achievements and for her leadership and initiative within her Sigma Delta Pi chapter.
SARNICA LIM (’10) was cast as Pilita Santos in the world premiere of the play, As Straw Before the Wind, at Ruby Theatre’s The Complex in Hollywood.
RICARDO MEJIA (’14) is a veteran specialist at Veterans Community Services.
MAYRA MOLINA (’15 M.S.) was selected as a California Sea Grant State Fellow.
SEAN MORAN (’12) is a noise abatement analyst at Hayward Executive Airport.
DAGOBERTO MORENO JR. (’12), a former U.S. Army staff sergeant who served in Afghanistan and as a squad leader in an infantry rifle platoon in the U.S. Army, was honored in September as the Military Hero of the Game at a Los Angeles Dodgers-Arizona Diamondbacks game at Dodger Stadium.
STELLA MURGA (’10 M.S.) received the 2015 Racial Justice Award from the YWCA of Pasadena-Foothill Valley.
AARON NAKAMURA (’14) is manager of business operations and vice president for finance at Milo Adventist Academy in Oregon.
CHINGASIYENI (SANDRA) NDUNA (’12, ’15 M.A.) is a contract administrator at Dick Clark Productions. Nduna founded Zimbabwean Child, which provides educational materials to underprivileged schools in Zimbabwe.
VIMAL PATEL (’11 M.S.) is scientific director for large molecule bioanalysis at Eurofins Bioanalytical Services.
JESS PELÁEZ (’10 M.S.), chief executive officer of the nonprofit Blueprint Earth and fellow at The Explorers Club, can be seen in the Discovery Channel’s survivalist science series Trailblazers.
BRADLEY PIERSON (’11 M.M.) is director of choral activities at the University of Toledo Department of Music.
CAITLIN REARDEN (’10) joined Arkansas’ KARK/KLRT news team as a reporter. She previously worked as a reporter and anchor in Spokane, Wash., and Bakersfield.
STEPHANIE RUIZ (’12) was selected as “Young Careerist for 2016” by East Los Angeles-Montebello Business and Professional Women. Ruiz is a program coordinator at MERCI, a nonprofit that assists people who are developmentally disabled.
MICHAEL SONKSEN (’14 M.A.), poet, author, and educator, hosted the “Three Generations on a Stage” poetry performance in Venice.
CHRISTOPHER SORENSEN (’13) released an anti-bullying music video, “Balloon.”
YESSENIA TOSCANO (’14) is a design engineer at General Motors.
TANYA TUNG (’13) is international recruiting coordinator at Internet Brands.
LEA M. URPA (’11) completed the International Master of Translational Medicine at the University of Helsinki. She has been accepted to the Institute for Molecular Medicine, Finland (FIMM), where she plans to get an International Ph.D. in molecular medicine and bioinformatics.
SALVADOR ZÁRATE (’10 M.A.) was awarded a Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship to fund a research project with Mexican and Central American domestic workers and gardeners in Orange County.
STAN ABBOT (’65) was an assistant professor at the Missouri School of Journalism at University of Missouri in Columbia. Abbot worked for the school’s Columbia Missourian as a city editor, where he mentored hundreds of young journalists. Abbot also served as executive editor of the Anchorage Daily News, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1976 in the public service category with Abbot at the helm. In 1999, Cal State LA honored Abbot with the Distinguished Alumni Award for his service as a journalism educator and newspaper editor.
FRANK R. BALLE, professor emeritus of civil engineering, proposed the first graduate level civil engineering course at Cal State LA. Balle also served as department chair and associate dean of engineering.
JIMMIE LEE (JB) BARNES (’73) was a multi-sport athlete, Army veteran, and law enforcement officer at the California Youth Authority.
DOROTHY BRIZENDINE (’60) was a primary grade teacher in the San Gabriel and Hemet Unified School Districts for more than 20 years.
ROBERT G. CATHCART, professor emeritus of speech, was recognized as Outstanding Professor in 1965-66 and in 1966-67 and was the campus nominee for the statewide award in 1965.
GARY DIMKICH was an athlete, restaurant owner, actor, and avid horseracing fan. Dimkich played football at Cal State LA and led the conference in punting for one season. He worked in the food service industry and eventually purchased the popular eatery, Delacy’s Club 41. Dimkich also pursued an acting career, appearing on LUCK, The Mentalist, Sons of Anarchy, and other television shows.
GARY ERNST (’82) worked as a mortgage broker and was city treasurer for Oceanside.
FRANK FENTON (’66) was former mayor of Beverly Hills and served as a city council member, the city treasurer and as a Beverly Hills Unified School District board member.
LOUIS GREEN (’65, ’68 M.A.) was an economics professor at San Diego State University.
ERNEST GUTIERREZ (’62) and OLGA GUTIERREZ (’81 M.A.). Ernest was former mayor of El Monte and served as one of El Monte’s first Latino councilmen. He was a teacher and school counselor at a number of schools in Los Angeles County. Olga was a teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District, El Monte City School District and taught for a year at UCLA. Together, the Gutierrezes founded La Historia Society Museum, which celebrates the rich cultural history of El Monte.
MICHAEL S. HARPER (’61, ’63 M.A.) was a poet and English professor. Two of his poetry collections were nominated for the National Book Award.
WILLIAM (BILL) THOMAS HOLLINGER (’66) was a ship coordinator for the U.S. Oceanographic Research and Development Branch in San Diego.
JOHN IACONO (’53) was founder of the Boys and Girls Club of the Mountain Communities. After serving in the Army from 1945-47, he was director of physical activities at the Los Angeles Times Boys’ Club.
JOAN JOHNSON devoted her career to developing women’s intercollegiate tennis as a professor, administrator and coach at Cal State LA. Johnson joined the Cal State faculty in 1955 and soon helped to pioneer the Southern California Women’s Intercollegiate Tennis League. As coach of the women’s tennis team from 1959 until 1975, Johnson played a key role in the development of tennis legend Billie Jean King, who won her first Wimbledon title while she was attending Cal State LA. Working closely with longtime men’s coach Cameron “Scotty” Deeds, Johnson and Deeds saw the value in practicing the men’s and women’s teams together, which greatly influenced King’s thinking about her career and various social issues. Johnson was the chair of the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women’s tennis committee from 1977 until 1980 and director of the AIAW Division II national tennis championships that Cal State LA hosted in 1980. She was also a professor emeritus in the Department of Physical Education, and served as the chair of the Women’s and Co-Ed Intercollegiate Athletic Board. Johnson, Deeds and King were charter members in the inaugural Cal State LA Hall of Fame class in 1985. In 2013, Johnson and Deeds were honored with the Joe Shapiro Humanitarian Award at the Billie Jean King & Friends Gala.
BILL JONES was a celebrity photographer who documented the rise of Black Hollywood. One of few African American photographers on the red carpet, Jones charmed celebrities with his Midwestern manners. He documented the careers of many African American actors, actresses and musicians including Halle Berry, Denzel Washington, Quincy Jones, Whitney Houston and Eddie Murphy. His work appeared in Ebony, Jet and Sister 2 Sister magazines, the L.A. Watts Times, the Los Angeles Wave and L.A. Focus. Jones captured some key moments in history on film, including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s visit to Los Angeles in 1964, Nelson Mandela’s release from a South African prison in 1990, and Berry and Washington winning Oscars in 2002.
LARRY E. KITCHEN (’61) was a lifelong learner, entrepreneur, and traveler.
JONATHAN J.J. LEWIS (’82 M.B.A.) was director of university dining at Ball State University.
BILL LOVELADY (’49) fought in the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. At Cal State LA, Lovelady met his wife of 65 years, Betty McCann. In 2012, he published a book of poetry, Half-Blind Mirror.
WILLIAM (BILL) MATTINGLY (’74, ’76 M.A.) was an optician and low vision specialist.
LAJOYA MCCOY (’06, ’10 M.S.) was an accountant with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and owner of a clothing boutique in Monterey Park.
ROBERT JOAQUIN MIMIAGA (’62, ’73 M.S.) was a civil engineer, endowed donor, and active volunteer. Mimiaga was a partner at Harris & Associates engineering firm for over 37 years, until his retirement in 2003. At Cal State LA, Mimiaga created a self-funded endowment: the Engineering Family Support Scholarship.
ROY MOORE (’63 M.S.) was a Brea City councilman for 16 years, including time as mayor. Moore also held financial management positions at Rockwell International and was chief financial executive at Reuland Electric Company for five years.
ROBERT MORNEAU, JR. (’72 M.A.) was professor emeritus of criminal justice, and also taught courses in computers.
DAVID MUNIZ-HARRYMAN (’86) was an actor and singer. He performed the title role in Cal State LA’s production of Finian’s Rainbow.
STUART NISBET (’59 B.A.) was an actor and co-founder of the casting agency Baker-Nisbet, Inc. He guest starred in such shows as Happy Days, Route 66, and Hogan’s Heroes. He also appeared in several films, including In the Heat of the Night and Casino.
KRISTAPOR PAKRADOUNI (’68 M.A.) was editor of Asbarez Newspaper for nearly 10 years. After leaving the paper he taught high school French and English until his retirement in 1999.
CHARLES H. PALMER JR. (’53, ’60 M.A.) was a committed educator in the Los Angeles Unified School District for more than 40 years in roles ranging from teacher to regional administrator. He served as president of the California League of Middle Schools, and was honored with the National Urban League’s Educator of the Year award, as well as the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce Principal of the Year award.
VICTOR PROPES (’70) was a civil rights strategist, advocate, and educator. Propes was the executive director of Minnesota’s Council on Black Minnesotans.
DONALD LYNN RANS, professor emeritus of accounting, taught advanced accounting classes and served as acting chair of his department.
LEWIS (LOU) RIGGS (’76) taught sports broadcasting, mass communications, and speech at Santa Monica College.
PAUL H. ROSENTHAL, professor emeritus of information systems, taught a variety of courses in several departments, including accounting and management. Rosenthal is credited as the initiator and incubator of the information systems master’s degree program.
SR. HELEN SCHEEL was an educator and social justice worker. Sister Helen taught at San Juan Capistrano elementary school and later became the school’s principal. She later served as local superior at Monrovia and regional superior of the United States Western Region.
CAROLYN SEE-SPUARK (’57) was an author, book critic, and professor at UCLA and Loyola Marymount University. See wrote more than a dozen books and is best known for her novel Golden Days, a dark comedy set in Topanga Canyon. She was the recipient of several honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Getty Center fellowship. See’s sense of humor permeated through to her work, both fiction and nonfiction. In her 1995 memoir Dreaming, Hard Luck and Good Times in America, she detailed her upbringing and her own wild streak with humor and understanding. As a leading literary figure in Southern California, See shared her knowledge of the literary world with others who were just getting started.
MARK SINGER (’71) was a contemporary architect in Laguna Beach.
BENJAMIN W. SMITH, professor emeritus of political science, taught American government, political psychology, and political philosophy. Smith was heavily involved in committee service on campus and is credited with negotiating Cal State LA’s first faculty exchange.
LARRY STAMMER was a journalist for the Los Angeles Times. In 1991, Stammer was honored with a Sierra Club Award for his environmental coverage.
YOLANDA TORRES (’57) was an educator, mentor, and activist. Torres served as director of Pacific Oaks Children’s School, founding director of the employer-sponsored childcare center for Huntington Hospital, and commissioner on the Los Angeles County Commission for Children and Families. She co-directed the Family Day Care Project at Pacific Oaks College and co-authored the book, I’m Not Just a Sitter.
ROBERT VAUGHN (’56, ’64 M.A.) became an international TV star for his role as Napoleon Solo in the 1960s series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Vaughn’s acting career spanned 60 years. He appeared in more than 70 films, including The Magnificent Seven, and The Young Philadelphians, which earned him an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor. He won a supporting actor Emmy for his role in the 1977 mini-series Washington: Behind Closed Doors, and was nominated for best supporting actor for his portrayal of President Woodrow Wilson in the 1979 mini-series Backstairs at the White House. Vaughn also gained notoriety in the 1960s as an antiwar spokesman. In his 2008 autobiography, A Fortunate Life, Vaughn attributed his career achievements to “a modest amount of looks and talent and more than a modicum of serendipity.”
GEORGE R. VICK, emeritus professor of philosophy, was an expert in multiple philosophical disciplines, such as metaphysics, phenomenology, existentialism, philosophy of religion and medieval philosophy.
GARY LEE WALKER (’69) was a Navy veteran, educator, and ordinance worker in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
MAL WHITFIELD (’58) was a three-time Olympic gold medalist and an American goodwill ambassador promoting sports and physical education abroad. During World War II, Whitfield was a member of the acclaimed Tuskegee Airmen. Nicknamed “Marvelous Mal,” he was the Olympic champion of the 800-meter event and a member of the gold medal team in the 4 x 400 meters relay at the 1948 London Games. At the 1952 Helsinki Games, Whitfield repeated his 800-meter victory. In 1954, Whitfield became the first African American athlete to receive the James E. Sullivan Award as the nation’s outstanding amateur athlete. Following his Olympic career, Whitfield spent almost 50 years as a goodwill ambassador, coach, and athletic mentor in Africa on behalf of the United States Information Agency and through his own foundation.