Schmid Gate

Class Notes: Spring 2014

This story appeared in the spring 2014 issue of Chapman Magazine.


Melinda (Blake) Bolognese, B.A. communications ’89, and husband Rob created a series of children’s e-books, Roaming with the Romans. The first book in the series, When in Rome, was written from the perspective of their 8-year-old daughter (who also partially illustrated the book) about a trip to Rome to discover their family’s heritage.

Myron Feinstein, MBA ’84, lives in the Triangle area of North Carolina. After a 30-year career at Unilever, he is now a consultant and part-time lecturer in the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at North Carolina State University.

Alan McNabb, B.S. chemistry ’84, and Cheryl (Hisatomi) McNabb, B.S. chemistry ’84, have a daughter, Breanna, who is a junior at Chapman, following in her parents’ footsteps and studying chemistry.



Heather (Tuomala) Binns, B.A. communications ’99, was voted by the Los Angeles Hot List as one of the top five personal trainers in Los Angeles for the second consecutive year.

Julie Fletcher, M.S. human resource management ’93,was promoted toAMN Healthcare’s chief talent officer.

Pete Goslow, B.M. performance ’95, was named by The Knot as a 2014 winner in its Best of Weddings, an annual list of top wedding vendors, as voted by brides. Pete is a musician and DJ, specializing in high-end weddings and events.

Justin C. Massey, B.A. political science ’94, is a Realtor with Reality ONE Group, serving Orange County, Los Angeles and the surrounding areas.

Gabe Serrato, B.A. English ’97, and Kristen Henning, B.A. English ’07, attended New York Fashion Week in February. Gabe is the owner and publicist of Serrato+Co., and Kristen is the associate editor of Footwear News/Conde Nast.

Carla (Ogden) Waterfield, B.M. performance ’92, teaches the Musikgarten curriculum in New Orleans and recently brought on Erin Shaw, B.M. performance ’13, as an apprentice after Erin found Carla during an online search for work opportunities.


Molly Ainsworth, B.A. liberal studies ’09, teaches third grade at New Roads School in Los Angeles. Molly and one of her students were featured in an article in The Harlan Tribune (from Shelby County, Iowa) for their work on a class project about the 50 states.

Amber (Hannigan) Alford, B.A. communications and public relations ’00, is a program coordinator for the County of Orange. Her husband, Brett, and daughter, Ava Valentina, welcomed the newest addition to their family, Mia Isabella, on Jan. 3.

Jannah (Kociencki) Arnold, B.S. business administration ’09, married Brett Arnold, BFA creative writing ’10, on August 4, 2013 in Fullerton, Calif.

Fiona Beitdashtoo, B.A. public relations and advertising ’07, was named senior public relations and marketing manager for Adconion Direct, a cross-channel digital advertising company. Fiona is based out of the company’s San Diego office.

Kellen Blair, BFA film production ’06, was honored in December with the Lorenz Hart Award for musical theatre writing. His off-Broadway show, Murder for Two, opened at New World Stages in New York City in November and has been extended to run through July 6. The show premiered at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, where it ran for seven months and received the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Musical in Chicago.

Nancy Christiano, B.A. communication studies ’07, is a partner (specializing in philanthropy and foundation management) at Altitude 7 Trade. The company is licensed to take groups to Cuba to meet with government officials and artists as well as hold dinners in private homes.

Yvonne Cone, BFA theatre performance ’09, joined a group of actors in forming the Shrunken Shakespeare Company, which is preparing for its second season. Yvonne lives in New York City.

Jonathan Dyer, M.A. education ’02, released the first two volumes of his Nick Temple File series, Switchback and The Heraklion Gambit, spy thrillers set during the Cold War. Jonathan’s publisher, Carta Studios, plans to release at least two more volumes in the series this year. Jonathan served as a Russian linguist at Field Station Berlin in the early 1980s.

Ashley (Davisson) Drag, B.S. psychology ’07, and Devin Drag, B.S. business administration ’07, welcomed son Calvin Andrew Drag on Nov. 29, 2012.

Candice Fliedner, B.S. biokinesiology ’06, was featured in an article and radio interview on KCRW for the nonprofit organization she started, We Are the Movement, which offers music, dance, art, writing and physical activities to at-risk and disadvantaged children.

Erin Gonzalez, B.M. vocal performance ’08,made her debut in the Florentine Opera in November as Flora Bervoix in Verdi’s La Traviata. She was also accepted into the Santa Fe Apprentice Singer Program for summer 2014.

Matthew Greco, B.S. business administration ’05, and Robert Beaton, B.S. business administration ’05 (MBA ’07), operate a payment-processing company, Serve First Inc., in Los Alamitos, Calif. It was recently recognized by the Orange County Business Journal as one of the fastest growing companies in 2013.

Keith Hancock, B.M. music education and performance ’02 (M.A. education ’04), was mentored by Matthew Morrison (Will Shuester on Fox’s Glee). He now works as a choral music director at Tesoro High School. In October, the Tesoro Madrigals finished in the top three in the CUSC Local Vocals High School Choir Sing-off. Tesoro was also one of only four schools invited to perform at the 2012 American Choral Directors Association Western Division conference.

Erin (DeSeure) Horst, BFA theatre performance ’08, married Kyle Horst, BFA creative writing ’06 (M.A. psychology ’10), on Oct. 28, 2012, in Weston, Mo. The wedding party included alumni David May, BFA film and television ’05 (M.A. film studies ’10); Adam Kalma, BFA theatre performance ’07; Megan Alvord, B.A. theatre ’08; Paula DeSeure, BFA film production ’10; Josiah Lewis, B.S. business administration ’06; and Bonnie (Coil) Lewis, B.A. religious studies ’06.

Ashley (Mayer) Levering, B.A. communications ’08, married Jeff Levering, B.A. broadcast journalism ’05, on Oct. 27, 2012, at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco.

David Lopez, B.A. screenwriting ’07, writes a column for the Orange County Register called “Life in the Golden City,” which sheds positive light on the culture, arts, businesses, people and happenings in Santa Ana.

William Lu, BFA dance ’02, had his dance film, Still, featured at the Asians on Film Festival in North Hollywood in February. It was nominated for Best Editing and Best Short Film. In addition, his film has been selected for six film festivals: Festival Internacional de Videodanza Experimental de la Rioja/FIVER in Spain, CINEDANS in Amsterdam, Mecal International Short Film and Animation Festival in Spain, and International Speechless Film Festival (where it won Best of Fest).

Chris Marshall, BFA television and broadcast journalism ’08, was interviewed by Lacrosse All Stars, an online publication, about his career as a broadcaster for The Lacrosse Network.

Sarah (Wahl) McCance, BFA film and television production ’03, Dustin McCance, B.S. business and accounting ’03, and their son, Darren, welcomed the newest addition to their family, Kellen, on Feb. 11, 2013.

Ramone Menon, BFA film production ’09,formed the production company Phenomenon Cinema and recently wrapped post-production on his first film as producer and director, The Black Tape. The film was screened in March at the Los Angeles Indie Film Festival and Gasparilla International Film Festival in Tampa, Fla.

Ashley (Sibley) Monaghan, BFA film production ’05, moved to Ireland after graduation and lived there for six years, earning a post-graduate degree in early childhood Montessori education. After getting married, she moved back to Los Angeles, had a baby and published a children’s book called A Little Goes a Long Way.

Lona Montgomery,B.A. organizational leadership’04, was named assistant vice president of centralized services at GEICO’s regional office in Macon, Ga. Lona previously served as director of sales and service in the company’s Coralville, Iowa, office.

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

Ben Rubin, JD ’06,was promoted to partner at the Irvine office of Nossman, LLP.

Katie (Irvine) Ulrich, B.A. psychology ’09 (MBA ’10), and Bryston Ulrich, B.A. psychology ’09, were married on September 7, 2013, in San Clemente, Calif.The wedding party included Taylor Wilson, B.A. public relations and advertising ’09; Andrew Quillin, B.S. business administration ’08; and Charles Vickery, B.A. leadership and organizational studies ’08 (MBA ’10).


Hiyam Abousaid, MFA film production and cinematography ’12, was promoted to manager of camera sales and store assistant manager at Filmtools Inc. in Burbank, Calif.

Andrew Bergamo, BFA film production ’13,is the executive assistant at The Donners’ Company, working for producer Lauren Shuler Donner and director Richard Donner.

Justin Bird, MBA ’11, is a cast member and matchmaker on Bravo’s Millionaire Matchmaker.

Sarah Faulkner, B.A. English ’12,was accepted into the Ph.D. program at the University of Washington.

Jessica Fernandez, B.A. political science ’13, joined Townsend Public Affairs in Washington, D.C. Previously, Jessica was the senior legislative assistant for Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, B.S. business administration ’82.

Hillary Foss, B.S. business administration ’13, works at FindTheBest, a Santa Barbara-based online research engine that has made national headlines for fighting against patent trolls. In November, Hillary shared her experience in a guest post on Venture Beat.

Meghan Grace, B.A. communication studies ’12, was hired as the full-time coordinator for leadership programs at the University of Arizona. In her new role, Meghan serves as the director of one of the school’s undergraduate leadership programs and teaches leadership courses at the undergraduate level.

Joey Halegua, BFA film production ’10, created Gutter Films, a B-movie/cult film series in Miami. Gutter Films has shown more than 40 films and has plans to team up with a local drive-in theatre.

Nathalie Keeler, B.S. athletic training ’13, was accepted into the physiotherapy doctoral program at the University of Melbourne.

Eliana (Moreno) Laabs, BFA television and broadcast journalism ’10 and B.S. political science ’10, married Jeffery Laabs at Chapman University on Jan. 11.

Michael Lee, B.A. theatre ’13, accepted an automation position with Princess Cruise Lines.

Jessica Pauletto, B.A. public relations and advertising ’11 (and 2011 Cheverton Award recipient), has been granted dual citizenship in Italy and is teaching English in Carpi, Italy. She is also a columnist for a local newspaper, writing about her experiences as an American in an Italian town. In July, Jessica is taking a group of Italian high school students on a two-week immersion trip to Southern California.

Alex Popescu, B.A. communication studies ’10, is the assistant director of annual giving at Whittier College.

Tori Rose, BFA television and broadcast journalism ’11, works as a script supervisor on the upcoming season of NBC’s Last Comic Standing.

Efrain Solis, B.M. performance ’11, won second place in the 30th Annual Palm Springs Opera Guild Vocal Competition in December.

Megan Souder, B.S. biology ’10, is an Air Force officer stationed in Oklahoma City. After graduating from Chapman, Megan earned a Master’s of Public Health degree from The University of Texas, specializing in epidemiology. She is board certified and was top of her class at the Air Force Public Health Officer School. She and her husband, Travis, welcomed their first child, daughter Hadley, on March 9.

Spencer Sturken, B.S. accounting and business administration ’12, recently published his first mystery/thriller novella, The Intermediary. Spencer works as an analyst for a prominent real estate capital advisory firm in Irvine.

Beth (Vogel) Fitzgerald, B.A. communication studies ’10, married Eric Fitzgerald in November in Long Beach. Beth works for Trinity Law School. She also volunteers as an adviser for the Chapman chapter of Delta Gamma Fraternity.

Sarah Van Zanten, B.A. public relations and advertising ’11, was hired as the Chapman University men’s crew coach and program director.

Friends We Will Miss: 3

Elouise Walborn Brinegar, B.A. English ’39, passed away Jan. 17 at age 96. Elouise was a lifelong educator and enjoyed playing bridge and golf in her retirement. She was a member of the Charles C. Chapman Heritage Society, so her legacy and commitment to education will be sustained at her alma mater.

Louise (Ely) Johnson, B.A. liberal studies ’38, passed away Nov. 21, 2013, at age 104. Louise was an active member of her church and community and a dedicated philanthropist. She was also a generous supporter of her alma mater and left her mark at Chapman as a member of the Charles C. Chapman Heritage Society.

Charles (Chuck) E. Maier, B.A. philosophy ’58, passed away Dec. 3, 2013, in Laguna Beach. Maier was an ordained Old Catholic priest. He also served in the Marine Corps and was a veteran of the Korean War. Chuck’s legacy will be sustained at Chapman University through his generosity in including Chapman in his estate as a member of the Charles C. Chapman Heritage Society.

Panthers on the Prowl: 1

Dawn (Smera) Billings, B.A. communications ’90, and Bruce Billings, B.A. communications ’87, recently traveled to the Great Wall of China. Bruce coordinates incentive trips for State Farm sales agents, and Dawn is a consultant with Mary and Martha and volunteers as a children’s supervisor at a Bible study fellowship. They have two sons: Brandon, 16, and Cameron, 12.


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