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Class Notes: Winter 2014

Class Notes from the winter 2014 Chapman Magazine.

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Mary Lou (Khantamour) Savage, B.A. theater arts ’49; Celia (Jelinek) Garrett, B.A. education ’48; Laura (Hackett) Carlson, B.A. liberal studies ’48; Betty (Logue) Wegener, B.A. philosophy ’46; and Laurel (Wilkerson) Huber, B.A. ’48; call themselves the “North Wing Angels” of Newlin Hall, their freshman dorm at Chapman 69 years ago. Their friendship was recently featured in the Orange County Register.


Mary (Blair) Immel, B.A. education ’52, is the editor of In Haste, Grace: Letters of a Victorian Schoolgirl, her eighth book.

Don McIntosh, B.A. education ’58 and M.A. education ’64, lives in Laguna Woods, Calif., with his wife of 58 years, Maxine (Todd) McIntosh, B.A. liberal studies and education ’57. Don served in the U.S. Army for six years and now enjoys his time serving as an officer with the American Legion and sending letters and care packages to troops overseas. Don recently participated in the California Senior Olympics and enjoys competitive swimming.


Emilie (Danielson) Britton, B.A. education ’64, and Terry Britton, Class of 1964, met at freshman orientation in 1960 and dated for two years. They reconnected in 2012 (after more than 50 years) and were married Nov. 11, 2012.

Karen (Phillips) Funk, B.A. home economics ’67; Martha Rairden Lannan, B.A. English ’68; and Karin (Olsen) Mather, B.A. home economics ’68; reunited after 35 years at the National Assistance League Conference in Chicago in September.  During their time at Chapman, they were members of Kappas, a social-service club.

Diane (Randell) Kelley, B.A. English ’63, sold her home in Beaumont, Calif., and moved to Primo Tapia, a small community south of Rosarito Beach in Baja California, Mexico.

Dennis Kelly, B.M. music ’67, performed in the national touring production of Anything Goes as Elisha Whitney, the tipsy, nearsighted Wall Street banker. He has also had leading roles on Broadway in Into the Woods, Annie Get Your Gun and Damn Yankees.


Ron Doiron, B.M. music ’75, recently completed his 11th season as conductor and artistic director of The Bach Ensemble in Naples, Fla.

Mark D. Hamilton, B.M. music education ’77, was elected to serve a three-year term for the National Education Association Resolutions Committee, representing California. Mark has been a public educator for 26 years.

Kim (Knighten) Russell, B.A. theatre and mass communications ’79, Ryan Corry, B.A. political science and English ’08, and Melanie Jupp, B.S. psychology and B.A. music ’11, all have applied the creative talents they honed at Chapman to their work at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas.


Mike Groff, MBA ’85, was appointed president and CEO of Toyota Financial Services after working for Toyota since 1983.


Rene Agredano, B.A. English ’92, is a columnist for RV Life Magazine. She leads a full-time RVing lifestyle with husband Jim Nelson and their three-legged German shepherd, Wyatt.

Akin Ceylan, B.S./B.A. management ’90, was recently appointed chief operating officer of Home Entertainment for Lionsgate Entertainment. His daughter, Paige, will attend Chapman starting this spring.

Patrick D. Flahive, B.M. vocal performance ’93, is president of the American branch of the International Federation of Pueri Cantores. The organization brings 40,000 children from different nations together to sing.

Matthew McCray, BFA theatre production ’98, was nominated for an L.A. Stage Alliance Ovation award in the category of Direction of Play for Our Class. The production was also nominated for Best Production of the Year (Intimate Venue).

Jason Subia, B.A. communications ’99, has launched an event-planning company, Jason Subia Events.

Moses Yneges, B.S. accounting ’98, owns the Accident Injury Law Center, a personal injury law office in Orange.


Scott Baker, B.A. political science ’02, married Nancy K. Brickner on July 26, 2013. The couple live in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.

Ben Bliss, BFA film production ’09, won The Don Plácido Domingo, Sr., Zarzuela Prize at Operalia, a world opera competition held in Verona in August. The award included a $10,000 prize.

Melissa (Meritt) Browder, B.S. business administration ’06, opened iKneadLove, a bakery in Brea, Calif., featuring Kean Coffee and specializing in breads, pastries and morning treats.

Douglas Weston Frey, B.A. legal studies ’02, is a rapper who goes by the stage name of Ditch. He has opened for major national acts such as Yelawolf, Kurupt, Shwayze, Bubba Sparxxx and more.

Angela Guajardo, B.A. public relations and advertising ’08, and Andy Armstrong, B.S. international business ’08, were married Aug. 24, 2013. Andy and Angela live in San Jose, where Andy works as a commercial real estate broker and Angela is the director of marketing at a technology firm.

Derek Helwig, BFA film production ’05, authored a chapter in The Places We’ve Been: Field Reports from Travelers Under 35, which was ranked No. 1 on Amazon for Hot New Releases in Travel Writing. Derek wrote about his experience hitchhiking in Rwanda while doing his graduate research with his wife, Deanna Pittman, B.A. public relations/advertising ’05. Derek is a TV producer who has produced in more than 30 countries, most notably for the Emmy Award-winning series The Amazing Race.

Richie Karaburun, MBA ’01, was appointed U.S. managing director of Roomer, an online marketplace that connects people stuck with non-refundable hotel rooms with those looking for last-minute discounted hotels.

Becky Kirsch, B.A. screenwriting ’05, served as executive story editor for the first season of NBC/Sky TV’s Dracula. She is also a co-producer on ABC’s Mind Games, which will air in early 2014

Meghan Manduke, BFA film and television production ’06, married Adam Romano on May 18, 2013. The couple live in New York City, where Meghan is a story producer for the comedy series, Impractical Jokers.

Saydee Pojas, B.S. business administration ’06, received an M.A. in organizational change from Hawaii Pacific University in December. She is also a member of the Delta Iota Chapter of the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society.

Thomas Pokladowski, J.D. ’06, was appointed to the National Association of Legal Assistants Certifying Board for Paralegals.

Jen Poyer, BFA theatre performance ’02, received the International Special Events Society’s (ISES) Spirit of Excellence Mettle Attitude Award in August. Jen is a past president of the Los Angeles chapter of ISES and is currently serving a second term as chair of the International Certification Committee.

Kathleen Remington, B.A. public relations/advertising ’05, was recognized by Fade In, an entertainment industry publication, as one of the Top 100 People in Hollywood.

Marcial Rios, BFA film and television ’03, received the Best Screenwriter Award at the Q Film Festival in Dallas and Long Beach.

Stephanie Robbins, B.A. communication studies ’07, completed an M.A. and Ph.D. in communication at UC Santa Barbara. She is in her first semester as a tenure-track assistant professor of communication studies at Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication.

Christopher Saunders, B.S. psychology ’05, is a re-entry programs supervisor at the Ada County Jail in Boise, Idaho. His department provides programming and re-entry assistance for offenders.

Anna Schmidt, B.A. communications ’04, joined HÔM Sotheby’s International Realty in Newport Beach, Calif.

Brianna (Peckham) Shaffer, B.A. music therapy ’08, opened Play Your Part Inc., a company designed to provide music therapy for children with autism.

Josephine “Joyce” Sioson, B.S. business administration ’02, married Patrick Meimnitz in May 2013. Sovy Phann, B.S. business administration ’03, and Kathy Kashfi, B.S. business administration ’03, were bridesmaids.

Roger Craig Smith, B.A. screenwriting ’04, is the lead voice acting role (as the voice of Batman) in the videogame Batman: Arkham Origins.

Jennifer Weinstein, M.S. human resources ’01, was selected by the editors of Employee Benefit News as the 2013 Benefits Professional of the Year. She is the benefits, compensation and human resources information systems director with Ensign Services in Mission Viejo, Calif.

Sarah Willett, B.A. communication studies and history ’07, married Chasen Marshall, B.A. English ’06, on June 29, 2013, at The Villa in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. The couple met while studying abroad in Florence in 2005. Sarah and Chasen reside in Dana Point, Calif., where Sarah is a social science teacher at Dana Hills High School and Chasen is an action sports journalist for Oakley Inc. and a freelance writer.


Sasha Anderson, B.A. political science, sociology and French ’10, was elected to the youth seat on the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board.

Justin Bird, MBA ’11, is a cast member on the current season of Bravo’s Millionaire Matchmaker.

Jesi Chavez, B.A. sociology ’12, was accepted to the Master’s in Social Work program at Cal State Long Beach.

Brian Ducoffe, B.A. screenwriting ’13, was hired to write for Fox Sports. He covered all of the San Diego Chargers’ preseason, with his articles being co-published by the network.

Brian Drummy, BFA theatre performance ’10, was cast in the New York-based production of My Fair Lady, scheduled to tour Southeast Asia in spring 2014.  The show opens a four-week run in Singapore on Feb. 11.

Brittany (Cuozzo) Freeman, B.S. accounting ’10, opened a Barre Fitness studio in Orange, Calif., which won Best Gym in Orange County on the O.C. Hotlist.

Pace Gardner, M.A. English literature and MFA creative writing ’11, and his wife, Kathryn, welcomed their first child, Benjamin Pace Gardner, on June 16, 2013. Pace’s lectureship was renewed at Utah Valley University in the Department of Basic Composition and ESL.

Michele Gottlieb, BFA film production ’10, is the beauty and lifestyle contributor for Glam Today Magazine, a digital women’s magazine. She founded the Orange County-based creative marketing group Gott Creative, which specializes in photography, videography and design. Michele also works for (formerly as the marketing and promotions coordinator.

Courtney Hamlin, B.S. business administration ’11, launched a specialty pastry catering company and traveling food blog, Flavor Pursuit.

Turner Jacobs, B.A. history and BFA television and broadcast journalism ’12, is studying at the University of Oslo in Norway and working toward a master’s degree in peace and conflict studies. He was elected president of his program for the 2013-2014 academic year.

Gina Jue, B.S. business administration ’13, got engaged to Richard Torvik and was hired as a management trainee for Broadview Mortgage.

Gus Leano, MBA ’11, works as a technology finance analyst for the SoCalGas AdvanceMeter project.

Liz Lewis, B.A. liberal studies ’11 and M.A. teaching ’13, is engaged to Mark Symington. The couple plan to wed in August.

Anna Lisa (Biason) Lukes, MBA ’13, was promoted to vice president of organizational advancement at NeighborWorks Orange County.

Alex Munson, B.A. communication studies ’12, is a consumer and entertainment publicist with Rogers & Cowan in West Hollywood, Calif.

Alyssa (Rivera) Dykes, B.A. English literature ’10, married Kyle Dykes, BFA film production ’10, on June 22, 2013. Former Chapman Resident Assistants, the two included many Residence Life friends and alumni from Chapman in their bridal party, including Audrey Abramo, B.A. English literature ’10, Alicia Davis, B.A. communication studies ’08, and James Campbell, BFA film production ’10. The couple live in San Jose, where Alyssa is a high school English teacher and Kyle pursues photography.

Spencer Rowe, B.A. communication studies ’11, is a sales representative at URT Clothing and also has worked as an underwater photographer, specializing in capturing the curl and break of waves early in the morning.

Tyler Russell, B.A. multimedia journalism ’11, started the generational alternative rock station KX-FM 93.5, which is the only local radio station in Laguna Beach. Russell has been featured in Locale Magazine, Coastline Pilot, and the Orange County Register, among other publications and sites.

Craig Shields, B.A. percussion performance/music education ’12,  went through training in New York City for the Blue Man Group. Read about his experience online at his “Blue Blog” at

Efrain Solis, B.A. music ’11, was named a 2014 Alder Fellow at the San Francisco Opera.

Brianna (Clark) Vandre, B.S. business administration ’11, married Mark Vandre on Aug. 17, 2013, at the Ranch House Chapel on Camp Pendleton, where Mark serves as a Marine.

Warren Wallace, BFA graphic design ’10, started ODYSSEY Open Water Swimming, a company that organizes and oversees open water swims in San Francisco Bay.


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