panther statue

Class Notes: Spring 2015

This story appeared in the spring 2015 issue of Chapman Magazine


Tina Costantino-Lane, B.A. multiple subjects ’77, graduated from the doctoral program in educational leadership at Azusa Pacific University and presented a paper at the American Educational Research Association’s annual conference.

David Hamel, B.A. physical education ’75, retired from a 38-year career as a high school teacher. He began teaching at Canyon High School in the Orange Unified School District three months after graduating from Chapman and went on to teach fine arts and coach tennis at Diamond Bar High School. David currently throws javelin in USA Track & Field Masters meets and was a pole-vaulter and javelin thrower on the Panther track and field team.

Dennis Lynch, B.A. English ’76, published Shooting Saddam with Crime Rant Books. The Book is a humorous look at Dennis’s experience directing the televised Saddam Hussein trial in Baghdad, Iraq. He has worked in television since graduating from Chapman, primarily as a director of photography.

Mohammed K. Salih, B.S. biology ’79, was nominated for inclusion in the prestigious The Leading Physicians of the World publication. Inclusion is limited to individuals who have demonstrated leadership and achievement in their particular specialty — in Salih’s case, dentistry. Mohammed was a 1979 Cheverton Trophy honoree.


Matt Clabaugh, MBA ’84, is the primary manager and a principal of Chapman Investment Company (CICo). In addition, he designed the Yucaipa Valley Golf Course Clubhouse in Yucaipa, Calif. The new clubhouse’s associated banquet and event hall is named The Pavilion at Chapman Heights, in recognition of Matt’s great-grandfather and University namesake C.C. Chapman. Matt is a licensed pilot, and in his free time he enjoys scuba diving, skiing and playing golf.

Paul Higgins, B.A. communications ’85, launched the OC All Stars Competitive Cheer Channel on The Youth Television Network (YTN), a network he started last year in his role as president of Athletes in Motion Sports Television, Inc. The new channel focuses on the skill, commitment and stories behind competitive cheerleading.

Sidika Kilic, MBA ’86, retired from engineering in 2013 and is enjoying a career in real estate.

Leone Patterson, B.S. accounting ’86, was appointed chief financial officer of diaDexus, a molecular diagnostics company based in San Francisco. Most recently, she was the chief financial officer at Transcept Pharmaceuticals.


Brian Buehler, B.A. communications ’97, joined United Realty, a New York-based commercial real estate syndicator, as executive vice president and president of distribution. Brian has worked in financial services, commercial real estate and capital markets for 20 years.

Ken Bunt, B.A. liberal studies ’93, is No. 64 on The 2015 Billboard Power 100 (up from No. 89 last year), which highlights the music industry’s most influential people. Ken is the president of Disney Music Group, overseeing all of The Walt Disney Company’s recorded music and music publishing operations, including Hollywood Records and Walt Disney Records.

Greg Janes, MBA ’96, joined Plaza Bank in 2014. As relationships manager, he specializes in managing complex credit, deposit and treasury services for the small-to-medium business sector.

Jonathan Talberg, B.M. conducting ’91, received the President’s Award for extraordinary teaching at the 2015 California Music Educators Association Conference. Talberg, who was honored as Chapman’s College of Performing Arts Alumnus of the Year in 2014, is in his 15th year as director of choral, vocal and opera studies at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach.

Erik Van Beuzekom, B.A. communications ’90, is performing at the Orson Welles Centenary celebration in Woodstock, Ill. in May.


Steve Baker, B.S. biology ’01, was promoted to fire captain by the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Chris Becerra, B.A. sociology ’05 (M.A. education ’08), and Gabe Perez, B.A. philosophy ’12, married in Laguna Beach, Calif. on Jan. 16. Chris is the director of child development programs for the Brea Olinda Unified School District and is an adjunct faculty member at several colleges, including Brandman University. Gabe is a transportation analyst for the largest private right-of-way firm in California. The couple honeymooned in Italy and reside in Fullerton.

Whitney Claire (Kaufman) Coss, BFA theatre performance ’06, performed Disney in Concert: Magical Music from the Movies with the Memphis Symphony under the baton of Maestro Ben Makino, B.M. performance ’00.

Dominic DeLay, MFA film and television production ’03, debuted his feature film Zola Jumped In at the San Diego Black Film Festival earlier this year, where it was nominated in the category of Best Drama. The story follows Zola, a deaf 15-year-old girl who turns to a gang for a sense of belonging after her brother is tragically killed.

Benjamin Frank, B.S. business administration ’06, became a partner in the new strategic alliance between Austin Financial Services, Inc. and Diamond Creek Capital, LLC. Ben is CEO at Austin and oversees its daily operations, while sourcing opportunities for both Austin and DCC.

Jennifer (Heide) Hall, B.S. business administration ’03, and Ryan Hall, BFA film and television ’02, moved to San Antonio, Texas, with their three daughters, Lillie (14), Lorelei (5) and Leanna (2). Both Ryan and Jennifer work at Concordia Lutheran School in San Antonio. Ryan is the director of school IT and Jennifer teaches pre-kindergarten.

Kanani Hoopai, B.A. art history ’07, is curator of education at the Mission Inn Foundation and Museum in Riverside, Calif.

Lori Johnson, B.A. social science and French ’02 (MBA ’11), is treasurer on the Board of Directors of Forever Footprints, a nonprofit founded by Kristyn (Leachman) Von Rotz, B.A. English ’01, that provides families who have suffered a pregnancy or infant loss with support, comfort and resources.

Scott Krog, MBA ’01, was promoted to finance director for Colgate Palmolive and will be based in Rome.

Ashley (Mayer) Levering, B.A. communications ’08, and Jeff Levering, BFA film and television ’05, welcomed their first son, Brock William, on Oct. 1, 2014. Jeff joined the radio broadcast team for the Milwaukee Brewers in January.

Jessica (Bradley) Lilja, B.A. English ’07, married Jacob Lilja in Sausalito, Calif. on Oct. 18, 2014.

Greg Montoya, B.S. business administration ’08, launched a local SEO service to business owners seeking Internet marketing in Newport Beach. The service is offered through his online marketing company,

Nicole Provansal, B.A. economics ’07 (MBA ’09), was promoted to senior account executive, corporate partnerships for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Blake Sartini, B.S. business administration ’09, is Golden Gaming’s vice president of route operations, overseeing Nevada’s largest gaming tavern operator. Blake started as a manager in training at the company’s Colorado casinos and returned to Nevada when Golden Gaming gained the slot route business formerly owned by Affinity Gaming.

Brent Smith, B.A. social science ’01 (M.A. organizational leadership ’09), was promoted to chief of Ceres Police Department in California after serving as the city’s acting police chief for seven months.

Kevin Staniec, BFA film and television production ’01, is a program specialist for the city of Irvine. His new project is Living Room Talks, an exhibition at the Great Park Gallery in Irvine featuring industry professionals talking about marketing, branding and other aspects of being a successful artist, in a one-hour interactive discussion once a month.

Chris Tornow, MFA film production ’07, is an adjunct faculty member at Chapman’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts and is the CEO of the largest private sound stage in Orange County. This year his company, Pfinix Creative Group, will work with clients such as Rockwell Tools.

Danielle (Medina) Walters, B.A. French and history ’05 (MFA creative writing ’11 and M.A. English ’11), and her husband, Kurt, welcomed their first child, Adèle Josette, on March 2.

Erin (Welden) Rosselli, M.A. special education ’03, was honored as a 2015 California Teacher of the Year. She was also named on the Orange County Register’s 2014 list of the 100 Most Influential People in Orange County.


Blake Allred, B.S. business administration ’11, and Kristi Brungardt, Class of ’12, married on Dec. 12, 2014, at the Chapman Chapel.

Michele Allred, B.S. business administration ’11, and husband Benny Feilhaber welcomed daughter Sophia on June 23, 2014.

Ashley Aliprandi, BFA art ‘14, has been published in five top San Diego newspapers. Her book Smiling Through Life sold more than 600 copies.

Katie Gardiner, MBA ’12, is a marketing manager at Taco Bell and starred alongside Conan O’Brien on his TBS talk show in an improvised tour at Taco Bell Headquarters in Irvine, Calif.

Tyler Hadzinsky, B.S. business administration ’11, left his role as a financial services senior consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York City to take a position in baseball operations in the St. Louis Cardinals’ front office. Hadzinsky was a star player in baseball and soccer at Chapman.

Neda Lahidji, B.M. performance ’13, was accepted to New York University’s music theatre performance and vocal pedagogy dual-degree graduate program at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development and will start classes this fall. She will also be an adjust professor at the university.

Monica Martinez, B.A. English ’10 (M.A. leadership development ’14), married Ivan Chen on Dec. 20, 2014. Chapman alumni in the wedding party included Jenna Keiper, B.A. dance ’10; Brittany Vickers, B.A. English ’10; Leah Fontenette, B.A. leadership studies ’10; Priscilla Henson, B.A. communication ’10; Nicole Michel, B.A. music ’12; and Zac Henson, B.S. business administration ’10.

Elizabeth Paffenbarger, B.A. public relations and advertising, was honored by the Medical Advertising Hall of Fame with the Future Famers Award, which recognizes next-generation talent in the medical advertising field.

Shimon Starfury, MFA film production ’11, released The Trilemma Paradox – Race War, the first novel in his Trilemma Paradox trilogy.

Trisha Vo, BFA television and broadcast journalism ’11, is working at DreamWorks Animation as a production coordinator. Among other projects, she worked on the feature film Home, which was released in March.

Jaime (Kuntz) Yacko, B.S. business administration ’10, and Kurt Yacko, B.S. business administration ’10, married on Oct. 25, 2014 in Whitefish, Mont.

Panthers on the Prowl

Jimmy Blalock, JD ’09, and Akin Ceylan, B.S./B.A. ’90, met at the Holiday Bowl in December at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego to watch the University of Nebraska take on the University of Southern California. Jimmy is president of the Chapman University Alumni Association, and Akin is a member of the Chapman Board of Trustees and vice president of communications for the Chapman Alumni Association.

Friends We Will Miss

Andrew G. Coldiron, B.A. English ’04, passed away Jan. 25. He was a teacher at Holy Rosary Academy in Anchorage, Alaska. Andy is remembered by the Chapman Family for his cheerful nature and spirit of volunteerism. He is survived by his wife, Erica, their infant daughter, his father and two brothers.

Clarice Friedline, B.A. physical education ’52, passed away Oct. 5, 2014 at age 84. The daughter of Wilder ’28 and Mary Immel, Clarice is one of six family members to attend Chapman. A woman of deep faith, she built a career as an educator and then at age 51 was ordained by the Disciples of Christ. She served in many ministerial roles, including using her acting skills to bring to life stories of women of the Bible and of American history. Clarice is remembered as a mother, grandmother, educator, minister, author, artist, Disney aficionado and avid Chapman supporter. She is survived by four daughters, two stepsons and 10 grandchildren.

Marjorie Reeves, B.A. English literature and history ’55, passed away Jan. 22. She was the daughter of the late George N. Reeves, who served as Chapman president from 1942 to 1956. She lived a rich life filled with learning, reading, work and travel. Marj’s quick wit and sarcasm is legendary and she will be greatly missed by the Chapman Family.

Submit class notes online, email your news and photos to or mail to: Alumni Engagement, One University Drive, Orange, Calif. 92866. Any pictures received by mail will be scanned and returned. Class notes are subject to editing due to space.

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