A Look at the Future of Health Care

Fall 2008

Destination 2010 an update

Presidents Message
Across Campus
Cool Course: Anthropology 13
Mastering Music
Destination 2010
Sac State Authors
Four to Watch
Mike Wiley: Alumni Profile
Ada Deferrari: Alumni Profile
Class Notes

Presidents Message

As with the start of the New Year, the beginning og the fall semester on a college campus insprires a feeling of renewal.

No Matter your age, or where you are in the academic spectrum, there is something special about the firsts of autumn: the first day of school, the first football game and the first sign of fall color. There is a noticeable burst of energy and anticipation as students and faculty return to campus looking forward to the opportunities that lie ahead. Incoming freshmen and transfer students make their first attempts to maneuver the campus, returning students greet classmates and professors and revisit familiar hangouts, alumni come back for Homecoming Week.

Fall Semester is also a chance to look back on the year fobne bt. The 2007-08 academic year saw some exciting changes at Sac State- we welcomed the first class in our doctorate in education program, the Eli and Edythe Broad Fieldhouse opened for use by our student athletes and ground was broken for new student housing.

Many more developments lie ahead as we make progress in our Destination 2010 initiative to transform Sac State into a premier metropolitan university and a destination campus for the West. The University is primed to provide even better academic programs to our students, increased partnership with our community and more opportunities for involvement to our alumni.

Challenges remain, such as the unpredicatable nature of the state budget, but there is much reason for optimism. A recent survey of the Sacramento Region, conducted by the Institute for Social Research and Sociology Professor Amy Liu, found a high level of support among area residents. In fact, a majority of residents say Sac State is a vibrant university that offers affordable, high-quality academic programs. And 88 percent would recommend Sac State to people who plan to attend college.

We are in an exciting phase at Sac State. I encourage you to come to campus to see for yourself. Fall is a wonderful time to visit.

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Across Campus

One Book, one community

When it comes to bringing a community together, Sac State is saying, “Book ‘em.”

This fall, freshman will have more in common with each other than simply being new to the campus: each received a copy of Firoozeh Dumas’ Funny in Farsi: Growing Up Iranian in America at freshman orientation over the summer.

The gift is the result of the University’s One Book Program, funded by Wells Fargo and administered through the University’s Community Engagement Center.

“The One Book Program has been implemented in hundreds of universities across the United States,” says English professor and chair Sheree Meyer, faculty coordinator of the One Book Program. “First-year students, as well as the entire campus community, are invited to read one the same book at the same time. The goal is to provide a common ground for discussion among diverse students, faculty, staff and other members of the University and its extended community.”

So why Funny in Farsi? The book met all the book selection criteria, set in consultation with California Lectures and campus faculty and staff, including accessibility and appeal to all community members, and its focus on contemporary issues. Dumas herself noted, “Most Americans do not know Iranians very well, so whichever Iranian they see on TV seals the image for the rest of us. And since only bad news is news, the image of Iranians is completely skewed. I hope this book presents another image.”

In order to encourage others to read Funny in Farsi, the Hornet Bookstore is offering a discounted price on the book for alumni, faculty, staff and the community.

The culminating event for the program will be a campus visit from Dumas on October 15, when she will offer a special program for freshmen that includes a brief reading of her book, a question and answer session and a book signing. That evening, Sac State will host a community-wide lecture by Dumas.

“I can’t think of a better way to welcome the newest members of our community—freshmen attending orientation—than with a gift of the One Book,” says Meyer. “It’s my hope that the One Book will provide the Sac State community with an opportunity to talk to each other about our shared interests and concerns.”

For a list of campus events surrounding this year’s One Book Program, or more information on the program, visit www.csus.edu/onebook.

Express mail

As anyone who’s tried to traverse it during the change of classes, traffic through campus is nothing new. But a many years ago, it wasn’t by car or on foot. It was by horse. And a fast one at that.

Well before it was a college campus, Sac State was a stop on the Pony Express.

At the bottom of the stairs by the Guy West Bridge, you can find a bronze plaque marking the trail used by the Pony Express riders in the early 1860s. The marker identifies the location of a stop-off station known as Five Mile House. According to Roy S. Bloss in his book, Pony Express—The Great Gamble, Five Mile House was “the last West-bound station on the early White Rock Road route between Fifteen Mile House and Pleasant Grove House.”

The marker was placed in 1960 by the California State Park Commission, the Sacramento Historic Landmarks Commission, the Sacramento County Historical Society and the Central Overland Pony Express Trails Association to celebrate the centennial of the Pony Express. Similar plaques were placed at significant points along the eight-state-long trail that year by enthusiasts and civic groups.

Sac State’s plaque reads: “Departing at 2:45 a.m. from the Alta Telegraph Co. in Sacramento, Pony Rider Sam (Bill) Hamilton carried the first mail eastward of the Central Overland Pony Express on April 4, 1860. Here, quickly changing ponies, he sped on to the next stop at Fifteen Mile Station.”

From 1860-1861, riders carried mail along the 1,800-mile Pony Express route from St. Joseph, Mo., to Sacramento. The trip took about 10 days, which was considered amazingly fast back then. The service ended with the extension of rail and telegraph lines to the West, according to the National Park Service.

Look! Up in the sky…

Sac State entered a new era of communication this summer when a state-of-the-art digital sign next to Highway 50 went live. Up to eight messages can be displayed on the sign every 64 seconds, and the University will have one of those eight-second messages in each lineup to promote the University and its events, at no cost to the campus.

And that’s no small potatoes. It would cost thousands of dollars to promote campus events and messages in a high-traffic location such as Highway 50.

The sign—the only one of its kind in northern California—stands 55 feet above the elevated portion of Highway 50. The message board is 48 feet wide, 14 feet high and features state-of-the-art LED technology that eliminates glare and light leakage, and continuously adjusts its brightness for varying ambient day, night and weather conditions.

The sign is owned, operated and maintained by Clear Channel Outdoor, which has a 25-year lease with University Enterprises, Sacramento State’s non-profit business operations foundation. In addition to the promotional opportunities, as part of the lease agreement University Enterprises received a one-time payment of $750,000 from Clear Channel and will get a portion of the revenue from advertisements over the course of the contract. University President Alexander Gonzalez has earmarked $300,000 of the initial payment for grants to be used by faculty to attend academic conferences and conduct research.

The sign also will serve as a community service outlet for agencies such as the California Highway Patrol, FBI and Caltrans to carry Amber Alert messages of missing children, and notify motorists about major accidents and other emergencies. The first Amber Alert posting appeared within days of the sign going into operation.

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Cool Course: Anthropology 13, Magic, Witchcraft and Religion

Course Description:  In Joyce Bishop’s Magic, Witchcraft and Religion class, students cover a wide range of concepts—from carrying lucky charms such as rabbits’ feet to daily rituals such as washing— related to belief in the supernatural and behaviors related to those beliefs. And it’s no coincidence the class is numbered “13.”

Class Work: Students learn about how people achieve religious or “out of body” experiences through dance, percussion, and the use of drugs and hallucinogens. They also look at witchcraft and accusations of witchcraft. “Although we don’t call them witches today, society tends to be threatened by those that challenge societal norms,” Bishop says. “We discuss how homosexuals and intellectuals are perceived as threats to our societal norms and are scapegoated as modern day witches.” Rituals such as knocking on wood and even bathing are compared to the magical practices of small-scale societies.

Assignments: In order to gain a better understanding of death and how it is handled ritualistically in other societies, students observe Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) altars in local Chicano cultural centers. They also analyze popular cultural references to magic and ritual, such as the movie “Star Wars” and its focus on the impersonal supernatural power of the “Force.” They also look at professional athletes’ dedication to superstitious practices such as eating the same meals and wearing the same socks before a big game.

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Mastering Music

For more than 30 years, Sac State’s annual Festival of New American Music has gained national attention for the quality of performers who converge on the campus every November. But a lesser known component of FeNAM, known by fans as FeNAM, seeks to ensure that the wisdom of the pros gets passed along to student musicians.

The 2008 Festival runs Nov. 6-16 and features musical artists such as the Seattle Chamber Players, Contrasts Quartet, Cygnus Ensemble, and bassist Robert Black in free concerts.

And as in years past, the Festival will offer a series of master classes, with selected performers from the world’s most renowned “new music” groups helping both Sac State and local high school students on their journey into the professional music world.

“I think they’re really valuable,” music major Russell Veirs says of the master classes.

A graduate student who began playing saxophone in the fourth grade, Veirs took part in a saxophone master class during the 2007 Festival conducted by Jan Faidley from the group newEar. “It’s always good to find out what other professionals have to say,” Veirs says. “They can offer new insights on ways to play piece you’ve performed in the past.”

Even if you have the best teacher in the world, it always helps to get a second opinion on your performance, Festival participants say. Getting advice from other players can only make you stronger, says Marlon Ramirez, another master class student.

That personalized attention is what makes the classes so beneficial.

One by one the dozen students in the room get up on the small stage in the rehearsal room and perform for Faidley, who offers criticism, praise, suggestions and encouragement.

Sometimes the advice covers the basics, as illustrated by Faidley’s comments at the beginning of her class. “This is a wind instrument. It takes wind,” she tells the students, noting that a player might focus too much on fingering or other techniques. “A lot of times you just need to add more air.”

Other times the guidance can be more abstract. Faidley had Veirs use visualization in approaching his music. If the music is light and bouncy, he suggested, envision children playing. If the piece is really dark, think of a dark movie character who fits the music. “That way you can portray the piece better to the listener,” Veirs says.

While Faidley was teaching saxophone, another newEar musician, Margaret Marco, was holding an oboe master class in the room next door. “It’s a little bit daunting for students at first,” she says. The young performers basically get picked apart in front of an audience, “with the understanding that everybody’s learning from the experience.”

But that’s also part of the learning process, says Ramirez, who’s been playing saxophone since seventh grade. Getting up in front of an audience can make you nervous, he says. But performing in a master class helps you relax “and that helps you play better.”

In addition to concerts and master classes, FeNAM performers take part in 15 to 20 outreach programs at community colleges and high schools in the area, giving in-class performances, says Sac State professor Stephen Blumberg, the Festival’s artistic director. “It’s a great way for students to meet visiting artists, have direct contact with them, and get inspiration from them and specific advice on how to be better performers.”

This outreach has been part of the Festival since it began 31 years ago, and each component of FeNAM helps support the others, Blumberg says. The students obviously benefit from the master classes, which in turn generates more interest in the concerts among the students. And the visiting artists get to share their ideas with other performers.

The guest instructors impart more than techniques and music philosophy, they also give the younger musicians insight into the life of a professional musician. “I tell them first and foremost it’s a very rough career,” Marco says. “You have to be ready to take all the hard knocks. But if you love it and you’re willing to pursue that, then you just need to focus on being the best player you can be.”

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Destination 2010

An update

A premier metropolitan university. A destination campus for the West.

When Sac State launched its Destination 2010 initiative four years ago, those looked like pretty lofty ambitions. But the campus-wide effort to make the university the campus of choice continues to gain traction.

The idea of a “destination university” is not a new one. Campus leaders describe it as a university that—because of its reputation—draws students and faculty, and maintains high levels of alumni support. The result is a stable enrollment and donor base that increases the University’s ability to provide enhanced programs and services.

But the path to becoming a “destination” takes a road map. And that’s where 2010 comes in.

What destination campuses have in common is strong academics, a focus on student success and an emphasis on a vibrant campus life where both students and visitors want to come. It also must have the respect and backing of the surrounding community. For that reason Destination 2010 is organized around four major pillars:

  • Fostering excellent academic and student programs
  • Building a welcoming campus
  • Creating a dynamic physical environment
  • Developing community support

The pillar topics are purposefully broad, allowing for all areas of the campus to take part, but within each is a set of more specific goals such as: recruiting the best faculty, recognizing diversity as vital to developing the “New California, becoming a regional event destination, and developing residential options for students.

The plan has proved to be an invaluable tool for setting priorities. Decisions to implement new programs and improve existing ones frequently reflect how they impact the core tenets of Destination 2010. For example, a number of developments have been put in place to further academic and student programs such as the general education honors program, the new doctorate in educational leadership, and improvements to the advising programs including mandatory orientation for incoming students. Efforts to increase opportunities for faculty research benefit the academic program by building the faculty knowledge base which then translates into the classroom.

Others impact more than one theme. The new Hornet Bookstore, the Broad Fieldhouse—a state-of-the-art facility for our student-athletes—and new on campus student housing are helping to both foster excellent student programs, and create a dynamic physical environment. The campus’ partnership with the city and Regional Transit to establish a tram linking the campus and the light rail station is both building a welcoming campus and developing community support.

And a number of developments that will help fulfill the principals of Destination 2010 are on still on the horizon such as the Science II building which will feature classrooms and labs with the most current equipment available, greatly increasing the educational experiences of students in the science, mathematics, engineering and technology fields which are so crucial to the state’s economy. A planned faculty-staff village will increase residential feel of the University District bordering the neighborhood, as students and campus employees live and learn in the same neighborhood. And the campus just broke ground on our new Recreation and Wellness Center, which will boost opportunities for students to stay healthy and stay on campus.

Destination 2010 is an acknowledgement that Sac State is into its seventh decade as an institution and needs to respond to the needs of a changing society while continuing to hold onto what makes it special— a high-quality, affordable education, great teaching and leadership opportunities in the State Capitol. Destination 2010 recognizes and builds on the knowledge that the University is a strong presence in the Sacramento Region, graduating the workforce that powers the Region’s economy and the leaders that keep it strong

And while it’s called Destination 2010, it’s actually a vision for not only 2010, but years to come. A successful Destination 2010 will be the jumping-off place for what a long-range plan for a major, metropolitan, comprehensive 21st Century university should be.

Q & A with President Gonzalez

Four years ago, the Sac State embarked on its ambitious Destination 2010 initiative to transform itself into a premier metropolitan university and a destination campus for the West. As we draw closer to 2010, Sac State Magazine sat down with University President Alexander Gonzalez to get his assessment of where we are and where we still have to go.

Sac State Magazine: Tell me about Destination 2010.

President Alexander Gonzalez: Destination 2010 is the initiative we developed to provide direction for the next several years of the university’s growth and development.

The first tenant of Destination 2010 is to have the best student and academic programs we can have and I think we are well on our way to doing that. There is a process underway to review our general education offerings. We’ve done many things to improve our student services: we are faster with financial aid and transcript evaluation, we have mandatory orientation, mandatory counseling, and academic advising for entering freshman and transfer students. And the faculty has embraced that.

SSM: What kinds of results are you seeing on the campus?

AG: Over the next couple of years as we finish up with the WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) review and accreditation, I think we will identify some areas where we can improve not only our academic offerings but how we deliver those offerings. We’ve instituted some new programs for students such as the doctorate in educational leadership as well as new opportunities for faculty development that will really benefit our academic offerings.

One of the other issues I found when I first arrived here is that the infrastructure needed some work. There was a call for major construction and new buildings. In the new projects we focused on meeting student needs, faculty needs and staff needs, and we are developing an environment that is attractive to our students and the community.

Destination 2010 is also looking at the role of the university within the community context. We’re part of the city of Sacramento and the Sacramento Region and that’s being recognized. We just signed a memorandum of understanding with the City of Sacramento to strengthen our ability to work together to improve the quality of life in the Sacramento Region.

SSM:  Are we meeting the goals of Destination 2010?

AG: I think we are right on target. 2010 is the initiative that is going to lead to the next one. We are well on our way to achieving our objectives. I think we’ve done very well in terms of what we have been able to accomplish in five years so far. We have a new bookstore, a new field house and new housing for students. Ground has been broken for the recreation and wellness center and we’ve built a new parking structure. All of those things make a tremendous difference and improvement on how we move around and how we operate.

SSM: What work still needs to be done?

AG: Destination 2010 is not an end result. It is a “destination” that is really a stopping point where we can get off and get a drink of water and get back on the bus. This is a work in progress. The CSU system and this campus are organic. They are living entities and change dramatically over time. Destination 2010 is just a first point. The next point is to develop a plan for the next 10 years, to ask “What kind of campus do we want here?”

SSM: And what kind of campus is that?

AG: We are working to obtain input from the campus and the community on how we should develop the plan for the next 10 years and ultimately where we want to go. There are many factors to consider, including the growth in the area, the economy, changing demographics, the fact that we have the State Capitol in our region. How do we take all of those factors and variables into account and develop a plan that will take advantage of the changing landscape while maximizing what we do and how we do it?

SSM: How has Destination 2010 changed the campus climate?

AG: Most people have bought into Destination 2010. They see the changes that are happening on campus. I think when people come onto campus there is a “wow” factor, especially if they haven’t been here in 20 years. They say, “I don’t remember the campus looking like this.”

That is all well and good but I think more importantly this represents that we are moving forward and providing the university community, our students, faculty and staff with state-of-the-art 21st Century technology and buildings and what they need to do their job. We still have a lot of work to do to improve our classrooms—we want them to be inviting and we want faculty to have a work environment that is superior.

SSM:  What is next? Destination 2020?

AG: Destination 2010 has been a good approach, but what are we going to call the next 10 years? Ten years in the life of a university is a blink of an eye. We have a spirit of hope, it is happening, it is moving. People are working together. The university has to be interdependent to be successful. I think to a large extent we are reaching that goal.

Marking a 2010 milestone

Sac State and the City of Sacramento have joined forces in an unprecedented agreement to strengthen our region and improve quality of life.

University President Alexander Gonzalez, Mayor Heather Fargo and City Manager Ray Kerridge signed a Memorandum of Understanding in August that will bolster cooperation between the university and city, fusing the visions of both entities for growth, prosperity and sustainability.

“This is an unprecedented, strategic collaboration that will transform the City and the University,” says Gonzalez. “In these challenging economic times, we’ve created a way to pull our resources together and utilize the University’s faculty expertise, student intellect and energy to serve the City.”

In 2004—the same year Sac State launched Destination 2010—the City of Sacramento began its 2030 General Plan with the goal of making Sacramento “The Most Livable City in America.” The partnership unites these complementary plans in a renewed spirit of teamwork.

“The vision here is that the City and the University are one,” Kerridge says.

The agreement also follows Sac State’s commitment to enhance its growing impact in the Capital Region. With more than 28,000 students and 180,000 alumni, Sac State leads the way in supplying talented workers for the area’s highly skilled workforce.

“A great city needs a great university and we are committed to working together to achieve our joint goals—making the City of Sacramento the ‘Most livable City’ and making Sacramento State a premiere metropolitan university,” says Fargo. “Our collective efforts benefit Sacramento residents and our students today and those benefits will multiply as we continue working together into the future.”

The Memorandum of Understanding includes commitments by the University and City to:

• Discuss opportunities for collaboration for seamless planning and smart growth

• Establish a process for facilitating service learning, internship and applied research opportunities in the City of Sacramento management, departments and programs for Sac State students and faculty

• Review the Economic and Workforce Development projections for the city and make recommendations to address emerging trends

“This historic document that will commemorate the beginning of the future and the next phase of development for our campus,” Gonzalez says.

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Sac State Authors

Writing Your Way Through College: A Student’s Guide

Cherryl Smith, Professor of English

(Heinemann, 2005, $19.50)

Despite the warnings to the contrary, the often slack syntax of today’s texting, blogging and online networking is not clouding the writing abilities of incoming freshmen. In fact it may be making them more prolific, says Cherryl Smith.

“I think incoming students write much more today because they’re always on the Internet,” she says. “They are more fluent because they are so used to being in constant communication with their friends.”

While acknowledging today’s students are productive, Smith says her new book is designed to help students channel their now customary free flow of information. “What they don’t know how to do is take an initial burst of writing and rework it, research it and provide evidence for a position,” she says.

To help new academic writers, Smith’s book (written with co-author Sheryl I. Fontaine, English professor at Cal State Fullerton), emphasizes the importance of organization, evidence, research and revision. The rhetoric for freshmen was intentionally designed to be short.

While geared to incoming students, Smith says the book works as a reference tool for advanced writing students as well as a guideline for new instructors.

“It’s meant to demystify writing essays for college,” she says. In doing so, she invites novice scribers to write about their own interests, and challenges them to find their own angle to pursue in assigned work.

Ultimately, she wants her handbook to offer academic writers practice and the tools to develop their own style, areas she underscored as the director of Sac State’s Writing Center for 10 years.

“In an English paper the expectation is to lay out your own ideas. And you can write you own ideas but there are some constraints on them in academic writing,” Smith says. “The book seeks to help students to write appropriate academic discourse but also be able to keep their own voices and say what they want to say.”

Once Upon a Time in War: The 99th Division in WW II

Robert Humphrey, Professor of Communication Studies

(University of Oklahoma Press, 2008, $24.95)

Numerous books have been written about the Battle of the Bulge and many pay tribute to notable units like the 82nd Airborne or Easy Company (The Band of Brothers), but Robert Humphrey chose to chronicle a less-recognized outfit—soldiers of the 99th Infantry Division—after meeting some of its members in 2001. 

“They were in their late 70s and were ready to talk,” says Humphrey. “Their lives were almost over, and they wanted to leave a record. They hadn’t told anybody, including their wives and children, about what they went through.”

Humphrey says the book is a collective memoir of the more than 350 members of the unit he interviewed. “On occasion, someone would break down and cry. That told me that after all these years, they still have that pain.”

For six horrific weeks, exhausted veterans and raw replacements engaged in some of the bloodiest fighting of World War II as Germany poured nearly all of its remaining forces into one final desperate stand. Troops fought in record-cold conditions and lacking winter gear, many suffered trench foot or frostbite. Conditions were so bad, Humphrey says, some soldiers broke down mentally and some shot themselves so they could be taken off the front.

“Unlike the pretty versions of war, I let it all out,” he says. “I tell all the bad stuff, like some members of the unit shooting or beating prisoners and stealing food and souvenirs.

Of the 14,000 members of the division, 1,130 were killed and 4,000 were wounded in combat.

“There wasn’t anything particularly extraordinary about this division. They were just part of this gigantic war machine,” Humphrey says. “They were just like all the other GI Joes, ordinary guys that went off to war. But, it was the most memorable experience of their lives.”

Author update

Two books by faculty authors that have been featured in previous issues of Sac State MagazineThe Populist Vision by History Professor Charles Postel (in the Fall 2207 issue) and Cancer and Death: A Love Story in Two Voices by Communications Studies Professors Nick Trujillo and the late Leah Vande Berg (previewed in the Spring 2006 issue)—have each achieved additional notice.

Postel’s book, which examines the original U.S. populist movement of the 1890s, received both the prestigious Bancroft Prize from Columbia University, and the Frederick Jackson Turner award, given by the Organization of American Historians.

The Bancroft Prize has been called one of the most coveted honors in the field of history. It is awarded annually to the author of a book of exceptional merit and includes a $10,000 prize. The Populist Vision also was selected to receive the Turner Award, which is given annually for an author’s first book dealing with some significant phase of American history.

Trujillo and Vande Berg’s book about Vande Berg’s ultimately unsuccessful battle with cancer, told from both of the authors’ perspectives, was released over the summer by Hampton Press. It immediately picked up the endorsement of actress, activist and uterine cancer survivor, Fran Drescher, who said, “I applaud Nick Trujillo for his courage to share the story of his love for his wife who sadly lost her battle with cancer. It is both touching and inspiring.”

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Four to watch

After a successful 2007-08 campaign in which Sac State won eight conference championships and was a landslide winner of the Big Sky Conference Women’s All-Sports Trophy, the University was selected as the 36th-best Div. I athletics program in the nation by Sports Illustrated’s website, SI.com.

Of Sac State’s 20 intercollegiate athletics programs, the Hornets accounted for eight conference championships this past academic year, marking the second straight year the athletics department has accomplished the feat.

In what looks to be another promising year, these four athletes are expected to stand out:

Jamie Schloredt, Softball

Senior catcher Jamie Schloredt will enter her fourth and final season with the softball team after leading the Hornets to an NCAA Regional appearance last year. The Woodland, Calif. native was named the 2008 Pacific Coast Softball Conference Player of the Year, second team all-West Region and first team all-PCSC after leading the league in batting average (.408), slugging percentage (.737), on-base percentage (.513) and home runs (12). Already the school career record-holder in home runs, RBIs, batting average and walks, Schloredt became just the second player in Sac State history to hit at least .400 in a season.

Katrina Zheltova, Women’s Tennis

Junior Katrina Zheltova will enter her third season with the Sac State women’s tennis team. A native of Minsk, Belarus, Zheltova reaching the Sweet 16 of the 2008 NCAA Singles Championships—only the second Hornets women’s tennis player to gain All-America status during the program’s Div. I era. In addition, Zheltova is now a two-time Big Sky Conference MVP and has received Big Sky Player of the Week honors seven times during her two-year career. She finished the 2008 season ranked as the 34th best collegiate player in the nation by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, and now has a 31-10 career dual-match singles record as the team’s top player.

Cyrus Mulitalo, Football

This summer, as Sac State’s player representative for the Big Sky Conference Football Kickoff event, Cyrus Mulitalo told the media the story of how he almost was never a Hornet. A star at Arroyo High School in San Leandro, Calif., Mulitalo received interest for Sac State but only as a non-scholarship walk-on. His future changed when a scholarship opened up with the Hornets and Mulitalo has made the most of his opportunity, earning All-America and first team all-Big Sky honors last season. He enters his senior season ranked fifth in school history in tackles and is a preseason candidate for the Buck Buchanan Award which is given to the top defensive player in the Football Championship Subdivision.

Tim Wheeler, Baseball

Junior outfielder Tim Wheeler enters his third season with the Green and Gold after earning first team all-Western Athletic Conference honors in 2008, leading the Hornet baseball team to its third straight conference tournament appearance. The Sacramento native and product of El Camino High School hit .330 with three home runs and 43 RBIs last season, while stealing 10 bases on 12 attempts. Wheeler represented the Hornets well in the prestigious Cape Cod League this summer, being named to the Cape Cod All-Star team while leading his Orleans Cardinal club in batting average and hits.

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Mike Wiley, ’75 Social Science 

The bus stops here

Forget the corporate ladder. Mike Wiley’s rise to the top came by way of bus and light rail, not surprising for the general manager/CEO of the Sacramento Regional Transit District (RT).

Wiley has been with RT for more than 30 years and was named to the top position in February after spending several months as the interim general manager/CEO. He manages a mass transportation system that has more than 240 buses, 37 miles of light rail track and an annual budget of about $147 million.

“Being in transportation is a passion, and you can’t do this job unless you like it,” Wiley says. “The real thrill is seeing a packed train or a bus, and knowing that we are providing a service for people, and they are responding and using our service.”

Mass transportation was not on Wiley’s mind when he was a student at Sac State. He was a social studies major who saw college as mostly a means to an end.

“I was not focused on the college experience per se. I was focused on getting a degree and getting on with life,” Wiley says. “I was married and working, and my goal was to graduate, teach high school and coach athletics.”

His path towards transportation came during his senior year when an instructor encouraged him to apply for an internship as a transportation planner with the Sacramento Regional Area Planning Commission, now known as the Sacramento Area Council of Governments.

“Although I didn’t have any previous experience in transportation, I was good at problem solving, and that’s really what transportation planners do. They analyze problems and look at ways to solve them,” he says.

Wiley worked through his internship and moved to RT after graduation. Thirty years later, he’s still enjoying the ride. He is a familiar face throughout the system and can occasionally be found answering calls in customer service. He has even driven a bus.

“One of the things I learned and adopted years ago is ‘management by wandering around,’” he says. “I think it’s important for a person at the top to have a good understanding of what’s happening throughout the system and to meet with the staff. It’s more than just a ‘Hello.’ It’s ‘How are we doing?’”

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Ada Deferrari, ’06

Passion for pocketbooks

Ada Komorniczak-Deferrari’s (’06, M.B.A., International Business) knack for designer handbags is as much about her business sense as her fashion sense. Her “Ada” bags are a purse-lover’s dream come true—they’re lightweight, practical, and, thanks to her Sac State degree, all the rage.

Her handbags are designed for looks as well as practicality, and Deferrari makes several trips a year to Argentina to personally select the leather. “Argentina is renowned for their leather. Most people think Italy has the best leather, but it’s actually number two in the world,” says Deferrari.

Her design inspirations come from a practical theory. “I focus on making a bag that’s functional as well as beautiful,” Deferrari says. “I try to create every piece that way.” Her bags are sold more than 200 boutiques across California, including seven local shops, and online at www.adahandbags.com.

Deferrari, who parlayed her love of handbags and shoes into a career, wasn’t planning to design full-time. “I come from a family of professors and engineers,” Deferrari says, “And designing wasn’t a natural profession for me to go into.

“I got my MBA in order to have a business background,” Deferrari says, adding that she had her handbag designing business “semi-established” when she began working on her degree in international business. “At that point it was more practical to acquire the business background in order for my design business to thrive.”

Deferrari says ensuring her operation would be a success was what motivated her to excel in her classes. “My thesis was a training manual for business, so I not only learned from it but it was a practical project as well,” she says.

Since her graduation in 2006, Deferrari has been back to campus to speak to business fashion classes. “Eventually, I would like to become a professor, so speaking to the classes was a step in that direction for me,” she says. “I felt like I knew what they were thinking, since I was in their shoes not too long ago.

“It was important for me to speak to design students as well. I feel a lot of students with design aspirations here in Sacramento think they need to go to New York or Paris, but they can make it here.”

And education is important for these design students, Deferrari stresses. “Designers need to know how to sell themselves and sell their work. They create these beautiful pieces and need to know how to market them.”

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Class Notes

XYZ= Alumni Association Member


Gloria W. Glyer, ’52, XYZ B.A., English, is a writer, newspaper columnist, racing fan, and “food passionista” among many other things. She was the women’s editor at the Sacramento Union for years and then began a feature column for the Sacramento Bee when the Union stopped publishing. Her restaurant/food articles have appeared in Sacramento magazine for a decade and a half. Glyer is the founder of the Dining Divas, a group of six local “foodies” who each month visit a different restaurant and critique the experience. They raise thousands of dollars charities in town by auctioning off—to the highest bidder—the opportunity to dine with them. Two of her other passions were satisfied when she and husband, Gordon, attended the Formula One U. S. Gran Prix for eight years and also the Gran Prix in Montreal. When Glyer’s granddaughters each turned nine, she first took Emily Culver on a month-long trip to Europe, visiting Germany, France and Austria. Granddaughter Celena’s trip to New York City for a week that included seeing six Broadway shows. The Glyers make their home in Chicago Park.

Mary Nosler Buehler, ’58, XYZ B.A.,’82, M.A., Education, is the volunteer director of the Sacramento Literacy Program. The program has served more than 2,500 adult students, who are both native-speakers and refugees/immigrants. In June, Buehler was awarded a resolution by the California State Assembly, honoring her 32 years of service to the program. She is retired from the Sacramento City Unified School District after a long career as an educator. She and her husband Paul Beuhler ,’58, XYZ B.S., Business Administration, live in Gold River.


James Downton, Jr., ’61, XYZ, B.A., Government, ’63, M.A., Social Science, was student body president at Sac State from 1960-61 and a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon. After graduation, Downton attended UC Berkeley where he earned his doctorate. He taught at San Francisco State University for four years before settling into a faculty position at the University of Colorado in Boulder. After 35 years, he retired as a full professor in 2004. He has published articles and books in the areas of collective dynamics and social movements. Now Downton has another career, a project to help people improve the quality of their lives. It’s called The Life Gardening Project. He has published four self-help books with a new one coming out this year called Why Am I So DAMN Unhappy? and is a playful self-help book with the goal of helping people lead happier lives. He invites you to visit his website to learn about his Life Gardening Project. He and his wife, Mary, live in Boulder.

William (Bill) Enos, ’64, B.S., Business Administration, ’78, M.A., Education, is the president of the Siskiyou County Board of Education and has been the Area 2 Trustee, which includes Mount Shasta Elementary School District, since 1999. On that board, he served as president for seven years. As a lifelong educator, first as a Sacramento-area teacher, principal and superintendent, Enos moved to Siskiyou County where he later retired after serving as the superintendent of Siskiyou Union High School District. He is also the Region 2 Director of the California School Boards Association, representing Modoc, Siskiyou, Trinity, Shasta, Plumas, and Lassen counties. He and his wife, Lillian, live in Mount Shasta.

Frank (Chris) Lemus, ’67, XYZ B.A., Life Science/Chemistry, ’73, M.A., Social Sciences (Child Development), a native Californian, earned a doctorate in 2007 in preventive medicine and community health in clinical science at the University Of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. Currently at the University of Texas, Lemus was a Jeane B. Kempner Post-Doctoral Scholar and was recently selected as a 2008-10 Sealy Center on Aging post-doctoral fellow on the health of older minorities. Lemus recently completed his third marathon in Nashville, Tenn., and is training for one in October and another in January. He and his wife, Liz, travel between their Galveston home and Sacramento where their four children and two grandsons live.

Terry Battenberg,’68, XYZ B.A., Physical Education, after retiring a year ago after 38 years of full-time teaching and coaching at the high school and college levels, was recently hired to be an assistant men’s basketball coach at Sac State under new coach Brian Katz, the new Head Coach for the Hornets. Battenberg and his wife, alumna Barbara Battenberg, ’84, XYZ M.A., English, live in Fair Oaks.

Bonnie Neff, ’69, B.S., Business Administration, has just completed her 27th year teaching at Hiram Johnson High School in Sacramento and was recently honored at Drexel University in Philadelphia, receiving an award for distinguished teaching during spring commencement. She was among four teachers from across the nation to win the honor in this year’s “Behind Every Graduate Award” program, presented to teachers who had steered them toward college and academic success. At Sac State, Neff’s original career choice was to either be a stenographer/court reporter or an information officer for the United States government. Years ago, a chance fill-in as an economics teacher at a local high school put her on the path of becoming an educator. She lives in Sacramento.


James Tong Wong, Jr., ’70, B.S., Biological Sciences, is the principal at Will C. Wood Middle School and was recently honored by Sac State President Alexander Gonzalez for his reading program at the school. His students read more than 15,000 books this past school year. The program is part of the 65th Street Corridor Community Collaborative Project that places University student0tutors in Will C. Wood classrooms and sponsors student and parent field trips. Wong lives in the River Park area of Sacramento.

Margaret Fortune, ’73, M.A., Education, has been appointed to the California State University Board of Trustees. In March, she was named CEO of Project Pipeline, a Sacramento-based non-profit with a 20-year track record of credentialing public school teachers. Prior to that, Fortune was a senior advisor in the Office of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for two years. She also served as an education advisor and director of public affairs for the Governor. Her experience also includes two years as assistant secretary in the Office of the Secretary for Education, chair of the commission on Teacher Credentialing and service on the California Children and Families Commission. She lives in Granite Bay.

Diane Susan Taggart, ’74, XYZ B.A., Education (Child Development), has been teaching for 32 years and for the last 21 years, she has been a mathematics instructor at Loretto High School in Sacramento. In her family she is considered the “favorite Auntie” and her adventurous spirit gives her the title of “traveler extraordinaire.” Taggart and husband, John Dollar, live in South Sacramento.

Catherine “Cay” Drachnik, ’75, B.A., Art, just finished a monthlong showing of her original paintings of Africa at the Barton Gallery in Sacramento. Drachnik spent last March in Africa visiting her daughter, going on safari, exploring the wine country and visiting local art galleries. Two other local artists joined her for the painting trip. All are professionals who have won numerous awards for their work. Drachnik is also an art therapist and lives in Sacramento.

Robert “Bob” Cooper, ’76, B.A., Journalism and English, has been awarded the 2008 “Outstanding Service Article Award” by the American Society of Journalists & Authors, the largest membership organization of freelance magazine writers. The winning article compared different marathon training programs. In college, Cooper ran on the Sac State cross country team and later ran 45 marathons, including an ultra-marathon to the entrance of Yosemite in 1979. He and his buddies set out to make the 185-mile Tahoe-Yosemite Trail in four days, but he got separated and was running after dark without a flashlight as he got close to Yosemite. Luckily, he made it but wonders “if some of the others, well, they might still be out there.” He lives in San Anselmo, Calif. (Marin County).

Carol A. Garcia, ’76, B.A., Liberal Studies, has been selected as one of the recipients of the Nabisco 100 Calorie Packs “Celebrating 100 Extraordinary Women” contest. A fifth-generation Roseville resident, Garcia was nominated for her work in the South Placer area and was among thousands of women who were nominated. A breast cancer survivor and activist, she founded the South Placer UC Davis Breast Cancer endowment to raise $1.5 million by 2010 to endow the Breast Cancer Research Chair. The program has $500,000 raised in just two years. She is a senior vice president with Granite Community Bank, N.A., and she and her husband, Orlando, have two grown daughters.

Marian Gaston, ’79 XYZ B.S., Business Administration, is the supervisor and project manager of information technology for the City of Sacramento. As IT project manager of electronic content management, she is one of four in a newly formed team that will take the city into the age of paperless processing. She makes her home in Sacramento.


Patrick Halleran, ’80, XYZ M.S., Criminal Justice, works for the Belmont Police Department in California and has been promoted to Police Lieutenant. Pat will celebrate his 28th year with the department this September. He has held many different assignments and ranks in the department which include: police corporal, police sergeant, canine handler, detective and evidence technician. Patrick and his wife, Deborah, are residents of San Carlos.

Camille Chamberlin, ’81, XYZ B.A., Liberal Studies, is a personal shopper-fashion consultant in the Bay Area. In her presentations to clients, she is passionate about color, texture and light while teaching others how to present themselves. Whether it’s the business world, a social event, or a casual outing, she feels that helping a person to make a difference elevates their confidence level while having fun with clothes. She writes that she is pleased to have read in the last Sac State Magazine about the apparel marketing and design course that is being offered at Sac State. Chamberlin is eager to visit the campus, find out more about the classes, and see the many changes that have occurred. She invites you to visit her website, CamilleChamberlin.com to view the services she offers. She resides in Berkeley.

Kathleen Cusick Mackey, ’81 XYZ B.A., Education, ’88, Credential (Art), has been teaching art for the past 23 years in the Elk Grove Unified School District. She writes that “daughter, Julia, graduated from UC Santa Barbara this past June and I keep busy with art book clubs, travel, and knitting.” Mackey and her family live in Davis.

Jan A. Nolta, ’84, B.S., Biological Science, is the director of the stem cell program at UC Davis School of Medicine. She joined UC Davis in 2006 after serving for four years as scientific director of the cell processing and gene therapy Good Manufacturing Practice facility at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. For the past six years, her laboratory has focused on research to develop improved stem cell therapies for treating patients with traumatic injuries and debilitating disease. Nolta has served on more than 40 National Institutes of Health review panels and has been editor and editorial board member on six scientific journals, in addition to being active in numerous scientific organizations. In addition to her basic research into the biology of human stem cells, she is overseeing the expansion of UC Davis’ exploration of regenerative medicine. Happy to be back in California, Jan and her husband, Richard Plumb, are living in Sacramento.

Julia Couzens, ’86, M.A., Art, was one of 20 local artists chosen to show their works at the Richard L. Nelson Gallery & Fine Art Collection at UC Davis. The show, FLATLANDERS 2, was a regional biennial exhibition of art. Artists from the Davis, Woodland, Winters and Sacramento areas were represented in the catalogue and show. Couzen makes her home in Clarksburg.

Reneé Sandell Craig, ’86, XYZ B.S., Business Administration (Marketing), has been promoted to captain with Southwest Airlines. Her routes are throughout the United States and she recently relocated to San Rafael, Calif. from Vancouver, Was.

John C. Wells, ’87, B.S., Business Administration (Marketing), a banker with a diverse and comprehensive real estate background, has joined Mechanics Bank as senior vice president and interim head of the Real Estates Industries Group. He will be the bank’s lead contact for participations and syndications activities. Most recently, Wells was with City National Bank where he was senior vice president and senior relationship manager. He is a member of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, and a board member of the Rehabilitation Loan Program Committee for the City of Pleasant Hill Redevelopment Agency. John and his wife, Virginia, reside in Martinez, Calif. with their son John.

Guy Gillen, ’89, XYZ B.A., Criminal Justice, and Tina Pineiro Gillen, ’87, XYZ B.A., Criminal Justice, ’95, Multiple Subjects Credential, are new parents of a baby boy, Lance Patrick, born March 30. Guy is with the Department of Corrections. The family lives in Sacramento.

Thomas D. Gillons, ’89, B.S., Business Administration (Finance), has joined The Zimmerman Group, a financial advisor team in the firm’s Global Wealth Management Group office in Napa. With 16 years of experience in financial services, Gillons had been with Morgan Stanley for one year. He is active in several community organizations in his native Napa where he lives with his wife, Sarah, and children Troy, Emily, Brandon and Tommy.


Erica Olson Jeffrey, ’90, B.A.,’06, M.A., English (Creative Writing), translates comic books into English for a United Kingdom-based publisher. These series have sold many millions of copies in Europe and elsewhere, and Cinebook Ltd. is introducing them to a North American audience. Jeffrey, who credits Sac State French teacher Laurence Lambert for helping make French fun and accessible, translates Yakari (about a Sioux boy in the 1800s) and The Bluecoats (based on real places and people of the Civil War). She also edits series, including Lucky Luke (about an American cowboy), Queen Margot (a historical series about the French queen) and Iznogoud (about a wicked grand vizier). The books are available online at Amazon and at numerous retail stores. Jeffrey’s freelance writing and editing credits include Random House Children’s Books, Silver Moon Press, ArtNetwork Publishng, Tower Records’ Pulse magazine, Listin! magazine, and numerous newspapers and websites. She lives in Marysville, Calif.

Larry Edgar, ’94, B.S., Accountancy, has opened a family owned business in Sacramento that provides tax, accounting and consulting services to individuals and small to medium-sized companies. After graduation, Edgar worked four years for Gilbert Associates, Inc. and then joined The McClatchy Company in the finance department for 10 years. This past spring, Edgar formed Edgar & Associates LLP, a partnership with his parents, and wife and Sac State alum, Stacey. Larry and Stacey live in Elk Grove.

Charles “Chuck” Hahn, ’95, B.A., Government, is chief of staff for Senate Minority Leader Dave Cogdill. Hahn began his government career as an intern in then-Gov. Pete Wilson’s office during his freshman year at Sac State, and then joined the Governor’s staff part time a year later. He followed that with service as chief of staff for Rod Pacheco and then Dave Cogdill when they were both Assemblymen. Secretary of State Bruce McPherson appointed Hahn as his chief deputy during his tenure. Hahn has also served as staff director for the bi-partisan joint Assembly and Senate Rural Caucus. Hahn lives in Healdsburg.

Eva Molina, ’95, B.A., Special Major (Italian), is a Spanish-English interpreter and translator. She is also a Spanish instructor and an interpreter trainer. In April, she received the California Healthcare Interpreting Association 2008 Interpreter of the Year award for dedicated service to patients, providers, and her profession. She was also featured in the article “What People Earn” in the April 13 Parade magazine. She lives in Lincoln.

Jason Jones, ’96, B.A., English, has earned his doctorate in educational leadership from St. Mary’s College while conducting a study in Long Beach about effective math teachers. He plans include speaking at conferences and conducting large-scale policy research in education. Jones and his family have created the Dwight Jones Memorial With Kids in Mind scholarship fund in memory of his late father and they are raising money to give to deserving students from Siskiyou County. He currently manages a children’s enrichment program in the tri-cities area of Union City, Fremont, and Newark. He says the program “gives back to the community opportunities for summer enrichment for children entering grades 4-9.” Jones has taught English at the secondary level for three years and worked in a program that serves disadvantaged students and provides retention opportunities for eligible students to succeed in college. Among other career positions, he spent three years with the University of Phoenix as the department chair for the graduate education program. Jones and his wife, Brooke, live in Pleasanton, Calif.

Ruben S. Lerma, ’96, B.A., Art, ’97, Credential, (Education Art), has graduated from Officer Candidate School Phase III training at North Fort Lewis in Tacoma, Wash., and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army National Guard. Lerma was formerly a security forces supervisor with the California Army National Guard in San Luis Obispo. He has served in the military for six years. He lives in Sacramento.

Stephanie Parsons, ’96, B.S., Biological Science, has been hired as project manager for the biological resources and land management group in the Central Valley/Sierra region at Environmental Science Associates, an environmental consulting firm in Sacramento. Parsons has more than 12 years of experience and was a biologist and project manager at Quad Knopf. She lives in Cool, Calif.

Debbie Chan, ’97, B.S., Accountancy, has been promoted from manager to senior manager at Macias Gini & O’Connell LLP, a statewide certified public accounting and management consulting firm. Chan has 10 years of experience and has been with Macias Gini & O’Connell for seven years. She brings expertise in working on financial and compliance audits for governmental entities and retirement systems. She is a Sacramento resident.

George D. Singewald, ’97, B. S., ’03, M.S., Criminal Justice, was recently awarded the Distinguished Service Award and a Life Saving Award from the Sacramento Police Foundation. Singewald has been a member of the Sacramento Police Department SWAT team member for the last 10 years. He was recognized for his dedicated and valuable service to the department and for heroics in providing emergency aid to an injured child. Singewald, his wife and six-year-old son live in Sacramento.

Shelia Townsend Grigsby, ’98, B.S., Physical Education, ’99 and ’04, Education Credential, was named Teacher of the Year at Rio Linda Junior High School this year. She has taught physical education at the school since 2003. Before that, she spent five years teaching the same subject at Martin Luther King Jr. Junior High. Excelling in several sports, Grigsby played on varsity teams in high school even though she was a freshman and was later given a five-year scholarship sponsored by both Sac State and the Grant Union High School District (now Twin Rivers Unified School District). While in college, she was also a point guard for the Hornets until a knee injury ended her collegiate career. Grigsby and husband Frank live in Rio Linda with their children Riley, 6, and Tyler, 2.

Danielle Newton, ’98, B.A., ’00, M.A., English (Creative Writing), moved from Sacramento to Seattle in 2004 and then last year relocated to Auburn, Wash. to work at Green River Community College where she works in the Foundation Office.

Rebecca Gardner, ’99, XYZ B.A., Government and Humanities, has joined McDonough Holland & Allen PC, a leading California law firm representing both private and public sector clients. Gardner is an estate planning and probate associate in its Business Services Practice Group. She is a director of the Sacramento Estate Planning Council, a founding member of Professionals in Estate Planning and a member of the Sacramento Area Special Needs Trust Study Group. He is also a member of the Sacramento County Bar Association and the State Bar of California, Trust and Estate Section. Gardner earned her juris doctorate from the UC Davis School of Law in 2003 after graduating summa cum laude from Sac State. She is a board member of the Sacramento State Alumni Association and lives in Citrus Heights.

Danielle Roberts, ’99, B.S., Biological Sciences, has worked for the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff’s Criminalistics Laboratory for the last seven years. Currently, she is a forensic toxicologist who is assigned to the Forensic Alcohol Unit. Roberts is responsible for the blood and breath alcohol programs for both Contra Costa and Solano Counties. She maintains more than 30 breath alcohol instruments in both counties as well as analyzing alcohol and the effects of alcohol on the human body. Currently, she owns a home in Brentwood.


Timothy D. Rains, ’00, XYZ B.A., Communication Studies, has completed the season as a park ranger at Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska. He also spent the last year working for the City of South Lake Tahoe at the Explore Tahoe Visitor Center and, along with four others, helped design, set up and open the facility. Since his employment is “managed” by seasonal and weather conditions, Rains has worked in a temporary position at the U.S. Forest Service in South Lake Tahoe for the last three years. His hobbies include photography, hiking, reading and working with a cactus and succulent collection. He has had his photography of the Lake Tahoe Angora Fire published on the front cover of one of the U.S. Forest Service magazines.

Michelle Matias, ’01, B.A., Liberal Studies, ’06, M.A., Early Childhood Education, has had a career path focused on children, but has also surrounded herself with her own by giving birth to five little ones: boys ages 7, 5 and 2 ½, and one-year-old twin girls. Matias is an early childhood consultant and has been employed as a preschool teacher, director, manager and owner. She has taught in elementary schools and was a federal non-profit preschool manager. You can learn more about Michelle at her website www.nurturing-early-childhood.com. Michelle and her family live in Meridian, Idaho.

Samuel Ellison, ’02, B.S., Business Administration (MIS), is the IT anager at Macias Gini & O’Connell LLP in Sacramento. He was the IT supervisor at the company for more than five years and excels in network management, Citrix, and database administration. He makes his home in Sacramento.

Prudence Pugeda, ’02, M.S., Accountancy (Taxation), has been promoted from senior manager to director at Macias Gini & O’Connell LLP in Sacramento. Pugeda has more than 16 years of accounting and tax experience. Her expertise includes tax planning and compliance for multi-faceted businesses such as consolidated corporations and multi-state companies. She assists businesses in the preparation and review of complex tax provisions and provides sophisticated tax and financial solutions to high net worth individuals. She lives in Elk Grove.

Alberto “Al” Aldrete, ’03, B.A. Social Science, is an insurance and financial advisor and has opened his own insurance company and is an insurance and financial advisor working with individuals and businesses. In the last three years, Aldrete has put in place over $50 million worth of protection to help families and businesses continue on, even in the face of some of the most financial trying times. Aldrete was honored in 2007 when he was named best Insurance Agent/Company by the community of Citrus Heights. He and his college sweetheart, Christine, have been married for four years and have a one- year-old son. They live in Woodland.

Andrea E. Garcia, ’04, B.A., Communication Studies (Public Relations), is a health and social services reporter for Solano County’s Daily Republic. At the California Newspaper Publishers Association awards this past year, she garnered first place for feature writing for “Cancer as Creator,” a cancer survivor’s story; second place under the best writing category for “A Mustard Seed,” a story of a developmentally disabled man and his struggle in life, and second place for arts and entertainment coverage. Garcia’s other past accomplishments include additional California Newspaper Publishers awards and Associated Press awards. Garcia graduated magna cum laude and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Lambda Pi Eta. She lives in Fairfield.

Sarah Keesling, ’04, B.A., Communication Studies, is the business development manager at Brower Mechanical Inc., a commercial air conditioning contractor in Rocklin. She is responsible for commercial account management, commercial maintenance projects and assisting in the growth of the company. Keesling was formerly a business development officer at Granite Community Bank in Granite Bay and has eight years of sales experience.

Nancy Van Leuven, ’04, M.A., English, received her bachelor’s degree from CSU Fullerton and began her first career in journalism, publishing a well-respected book. Twenty-five years later, at the age of 49, she returned to the classroom to earn a master’s degree at Sac State. With the encouragement of many of the University’s English faculty, Van Leuven applied and was accepted to the Communications Department at the University of Washington, where she began her doctoral studies in the fall of 2004, graduating in 2007. She was offered a tenure-track faculty position in communications at Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts where she is now living with her two golden retrievers in Quincy, Mass.

Asha Davis, ’05, B.V.E., Vocational Education, has been awarded a Workforce Development Award by the Yuba-Sutter Chamber of Commerce and local businesses. Asha attended Yuba City schools before entering Sacramento State and returned to live in Yuba City where she is a deputy public guardian in the Yuba County Public Guardian’s Office. Asha is studying for a master’s degree in business and wants to use her degree to further her career in social work.

Tyler Oaks, ’05, M.A., Spanish, has her debut mystery novel Ruby Rest released by Sterling House Publisher under their Pemberton Mysteries imprint and is available at area book stores. A synopsis of her first novel can be found at www.tyleroaks.com. Tyler finished her novel while living in Modesto where she was teaching Spanish at Modesto Junior College. She now lives in Napa. 

Jamie Adelman, ’06, B.S., Accountancy, has been promoted to semi-senior accountant at Macias Gini & O’Connell. He lives in Granite Bay.

Mark Aspesi ,’06, B.S., Accountancy, has been promoted to semi-senior accountant at Macias Gini & O’Connell. He lives in Roseville.

Abel Escobar, ’06, XYZ B.S., Accountancy, has been promoted to semi-senior accountant at Macias Gini & O’Connell. He lives in Sacramento.

Nicol Jernigan, ’04, B.S., Accountancy, has been promoted from semi-senior accountant to senior accountant at Macias Gini & O’Connell. She lives in West Sacramento.

Lo N. Saeteurn, ’06, B.S., Criminal Justice, has completed U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Ill. Navy Seaman Lo completed a variety of training during the eight-week program that included classroom study and practical instruction on naval customs, first aid, firefighting, water safety and survival, and shipboard and aircraft safety. The final exercise is “Battle Stations.” This gives recruits the skills and confidence they need to succeed in the fleet.. Home base for Lo is Sacramento.

Sean W. Vassar, ’06 XYZ, B.S., Criminal Justice, is with the U.S. Department of Justice as a victim witness program contractor. He lives in Discovery Bay, Calif.

Linda Park, ’07, B.A., Journalism, is the Elk Grove Citizen’s new lifestyle editor. Park is a Vietnamese immigrant who moved to Marysville when she was an infant. Her family relocated to south Sacramento after the 1986 flood when they were ordered to evacuate. After graduating from Hiram Johnson High School, she went on to study at Sacramento City College and then enrolled at Sac State. She continued to attend college while pregnant with two children, who are now 8 and 1. Until she graduated in the summer of 2007, Park was a writer and the feature editor for the State Hornet. The Park family live in Elk Grove.

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