Alumni Guestbook

2010s 2000s 1990s 1980s 1970s 1960s 1950s

Alumni, please consider sharing your post Sac State life here. Not only will it give you a chance to catch up with classmates but it will also give our current (and prospective) students some ideas about the wide range of opportunities that their physics degree will give them. Use the Alumni Update Form to submit your own profile.

Name Class Further Studies News
Garrett Thompson 2015 Northern Arizona University, MS in Applied Physics Recently graduated with an M.S in Applied Physics from Northern Arizona University. Now living in the Seattle area pursuing a job.
Robby Beard
2015 Sac State, BS in Mechanical Engineering Currently working as an electrical engineer at Polarity Inc, where I get to develop and prototype high voltage power supplies for high power microwave vacuum tubes such as traveling wave tubes and klystrons. 

Check out my Linkedin page:
James Kennedy 2015 Sac State, BS in Geology
Cal State Northridge, Geophysics
Currently pursuing Master's degree in Geophysics with an emphasis on Seismology at CSU Northridge.
Ryan Voss 2014 Florida State University Currently pursuing a PhD in Experimental Condensed Matter Physics at Florida State University. Also currently doing research in ultrafast electron diffraction and femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
Jamison Blanchard 2014 Sac State, BA in Mathematics I'm happy to announce that I have joined Accenture as a Technical Architect and am thoroughly enjoying the position thus far!
Andrew Lozano 2013 Currently working at Las Positas College as the Physics and Engineering Laboratory Technician. Over the summer I am on Special Assignment to create a Makerspace for the college as a Professional Consultant. Specializing in additive manufacturing (i.e. 3D printing), machine tooling, and laser cutting and engraving. I also build things. I regret not taking Phys116 for the certificate; however, I did take Phys 115 and Shop. Both classes have been invaluable. Phys145, Optics, was the best course I ever had.
Joshua Frye 2013 University of Oregon, MSc Physics I am currently working for Pipeworks Studio in Eugene, OR as a video game software engineer. I am on a team that is porting Terraria to console and mobile platforms. It turns out that even in 2D games, physics is used quite a lot! It has been immensely helpful knowing vector math, geometry, and kinematics. I am still learning the basics of game development, but my long term goal is to become an expert in video game physics simulation.
Alexandra (Sasha) Asghari 
2012 UC Berkeley, PhD Candidate in Nuclear Engineering Currently pursuing a PhD in Nuclear Engineering with an emphasis on radiation detection and nuclear nonproliferation policy.
A.J. Sisneros 2011 Sac State, Single Subject Teaching Credential  I teach regular and IB physics at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento.
Charles Dresser 2011 Sac State, MS in Electrical Engineering. Currently working as a Junior Specialist at the McClellan Nuclear Research Center.
Bret Polopolus 2010 University of Hawai'i, MS Physics I am pursuing a PhD in Mathematics at Kansas State University.  I am considering mathematical problems that arise from physics.  Topology and quantum field theory, in particular.  I have taught college physics and math courses both during and after my master degree.  Teaching is incredibly fun and fulfilling.  I plan to teach after finishing my studies.
Darren Steele 2010 Sac State, BS Chemistry
Texas A&M, Chemistry PhD Program
I am currently in College Station, TX at Texas A&M University pursuing a PhD in chemistry. I am working in Dr. Tadhg Begley's group conducting research in mechanistic enzymology with emphasis on vitamin and natural product biosynthesis.
Lisa (Heldreth) Winters 2009 Sac State, Single Subject Teaching Credential  Teaching middle school science at Boulder Creek Elementary (K-8) in Redding.
Mark Graybill 2008 University of Alaska, MS Physics I'm currently looking for work as my spring TA contract at UAF is coming to an end. I have no idea where in the country or even the world I may end up; there's a certain excitement to be derived in looking towards an unknown future.
Mark Kerfoot 2008 UC Merced, PhD in Physics
UC Davis, B.A. in Int'l Relations
I graduated with my PhD from UC Merced (2015) and I am thrilled to begin my job teaching physics at Fresno City College in Fall 2015.
Rob Custodio 2008   I am currently working as a Health Physicist for the State of California Department of Public Health Radiologic Health Branch. After graduation, I completed a temporary appointment as a Research Assistant for the Cosmology group in UCD's Physics Department helping with computer simulations of deep optical and IR surveys of massive galaxy clusters. I also had the honor of instructing Physics 11C lab for a semester as well as helping to develop the Introductory Astronomy lab before joining the State.
Alex Clontz 2008 I am currently employed with Princess Cruises as a Product Administration Analyst.
Philip Jackson 2008   Pursing Ph.D in Electrical Engineering at UC Santa Cruz with Dr. Ali Shakouri. Researching renewable energy, thermoelectric characterization of new materials, and beginning research on concentrated solar power project (CSP).
Victoria Brandt 2007   I am currently working for the California Department of Public Health, in the Radiologic Assessment Unit of the Radiologic Health Branch. This unit is responsible for making radiological assessments in the environment, around nuclear power plants and in decommissioned radiologic sites around the state.
Josh Kline 2007 UC Davis, MS in Applied Science Conducting independent research and looking for permanent employment.
David Stafford 2006 UC Davis, MS in Applied Science
Sac State, Single Subject Credential
I teach physics (3 levels) and robotics. I am the lead teacher for the Energy, Science, and Engineering Academy at Rosemont HS. I also am the mentor two clubs.
Curtis Castrapel 2006 CSU Fullerton, MS in Software Engineering Curtis graduated with a BS in Physics from Sac State in 2006, and an MS in Software Engineering from CSU Fullerton. He worked at Blizzard Entertainment for 8 years, most of that time as an IT Security Engineer. After a stint as an IT Security Engineer at Facebook, Curtis has recently moved into a similar position at Uber. 
Benjamin Topham 2006 Princeton, PhD in Physical Chemistry Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Longwood University, Farmville, VA
Amy Jones 2005 Texas A&M Currently in a PhD program at Texas A&M University.
Steve Nixon 2005 Sac State, Single Subject Credential Currently teaching Physics at Carmel High on the Monterey Peninsula. I worked in industry for a while doing a variety of jobs in engineering, finance and coding.

Came back to Sac State in 2010 to get my credential in math and physics.
Eliza Morris 2005 Harvard, Ph.D in Applied Physics Graduated with a PhD from the lab of David Weitz at Harvard University in 2014.  After a 1-year postdoc with Dave, I moved to California and joined the lab of Dr. Cheemeng Tan at UC Davis as a postdoctoral fellow.
Christopher Ray 2005 I spent my first 18 months in the Air Force as a Tactical Data Links Test Engineer. I then went on to sit back seat in F-15s for two years testing upgrades. Now I am about to graduate from the Electronic Warfare School and fly B-52s.
Henry Garcia 2005 Berkeley, MS in Physics After a terrific four years at Sac State, I earned a Masters in Physics in the Zettl Group. I currently work as an animator at Pixar Studios.
Jason E. Ybarra 2004 San Francisco State, MS in Physics
University of Florida, PhD in Astronomy
Current position: Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics at Bridgewater College.Previous position: Post-doctoral Fellow at Instituto de Astronomia, UNAM.
Adam Garland 2004 San Francisco State Working towards MS in Astrophysics at San Francisco State.
John Schreiner
2002 Sac State, MS in Computer Science I'm now an Adjunct Professor in the Computer Information Science department at Cosumnes River College
Danny Stratton 2001 MS in Management Information Systems I am currently a lead computer programmer for the State of California. I sometimes miss physics but have managed to fit it in periodically by reading physics books and viewing the stars (and planets) through my 8" reflector. Maybe some day I will return to the field for my Ph.D. in computational physics - who knows!!
Andy Kotko 2000 Multiple Subject Credential I've moved to the other end of the spectrum - I teach kindergarten and 1st grade and absolutely love it. You can bet my class is the only one where kids race each other while spelling "thermodynamics" (and they can give a pretty good explanation for what it means.) I'll always have fond memories of the "physics lounge!"
Peter Frinchaboy
2000 Virginia, Ph.D. in Astronomy Assistant Professor of Physics & Astronomy at Texas Christian University (TCU)
Mike Farnham 1998 Worked as an Optical Technician at Sacramento State after earning his degree. He tutored scores of students in his spare time over the years. Mike passed away in the spring of 2016.
Mike Strong 1997 MS in Security and Safety Engineering  
Chris Jackson 
1996 UC Davis, MBA Attended UC Davis Department of Applied Science, but left before completing degree to take an engineering job at Intel Corp. in 1997. Held positions in design, quality, product and fabrication engineering. Returned to graduate school at UC Davis Graduate School of Business. Went on to hold positions at Intel Corp in wireless, mobile and corporate computing in marketing and in strategy.I left Intel in 2007 to found Rowy networks to fulfill an unmet strategic objective of Intel. Rowy currently partners with Intel in this endeavor.
Sylvia Stork 1994   Currently, I am the Water-Quality data manager for the U.S. Geological Survey, California Water Science Center.
Michael Wickett 1994 UC Davis, Ph.D. in Applied Science Since 1999, I've been a computational physicist with the Center for Applied Scientific Computing at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Linda Muzzey 1992   Had a brief stint teaching physics at the Navy's Nuclear Power School.  Currently a high school physics teacher.
Mary Ellen Niedzielski 1992 Sac State, BA in Liberal Studies Technical Trainer at Agilent Technologies, developing curricula for and teaching a proprietary programming language, system administration, and configuration/performance/fault management software for the telecom industry.
Michael Ocasio 1991 M.Sc Chief Physicist
HIMA San Pablo Caguas Center for Cancer & Robotic Radiosurgery
100 Avenida Luis Munoz Marin
Caguas, Puerto Rico  00727
Ray Wogec 1990 Currently working for Navy at NAVSEA Crane Indiana.
Nathan Phillips 
1989 Duke, Ph.D. Geography Although I now study and teach about the biophysics of plants and ecosystems at Boston University, I continue to draw heavily off the excellent training I received in physics from Sacramento State. I would enjoy catching up with fellow students from Sac State Physics in the mid-late 1980s.
Kathy (Pori) Keehan 1987 MS in Environmental Health Sciences These days I've strayed quite a ways from the world of physics - I'm the executive director of the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition. It's a non-profit advocacy group dedicated to making bicycling better in San Diego. But not to worry - I still use the information I learned in the Sacramento State physics department! I have nothing but fond memories of my time at Sac State and I hope everyone there now gets as thorough an education and has as wonderful a time as I did.
Irene Petrasek 1984 After graduating, worked at the Jet Propulsion Lab. Died in 1990 due to injuries sustained from a hit and run. Still missed dearly by those that were close to her. May she rest peacefully in the arms of the beloved.
Grace (Giachetti) Miazza  1983 BSEE, MSEd Currently working at the Department of State doing Commodity Jurisdiction Determinations.  Excellent physics program, more lab and hands-on experience than other BS programs I have seen.
D. L. Robinson 1979 Have enjoyed working on several DOD projects over the years. Currently working for The Boeing Company, Operations Analysis, Modeling and Simulation group in Seattle. Also busy studying Mandarin, and watching my four daughters and two grandchildren grow and learn while prepare for "retirement" and try to keep up with the world around me.
James Mc Granahan 1978 Sac State, MA in Education Been teaching as a Lecturer with the Sac State Physics Dept since 1981. Concurrently I taught with the San Juan School district for 13 years in their independent study program. Member of Sigma Pi Sigma.
John Pleines 1978   After Sac State, spent 20+ years with TRW tending to computer systems- operating systems, drivers and hardware. I cut my eye teeth on the PDP-11 the department acquired in 77/78. The last 7 years at a company building airborne computer systems. I credit the problem solving and analytical skills I picked up in the physics department with my successes. Lots of great memories. Thanks.
Patrick Briggs 1975 University of Kansas, Ph.D. in Space Physics Still Associate Professor of Physics at The Citadel in Charleston, SC.  Taught College Physics from a textbook by some Urone fella...  I was not particularly surprised to find out that Joe Dewitt is in a band.
Joe DeWitt 1975 MBA Currently with Raytheon Vision Systems, Goleta CA as Program Engineering Supervisor. Participate as, and Lead group of, engineering managers on DOD and Space Focal Plane Programs. Prior career adventures: Electro-Optical IR,/Visible/Laser test equipment, environmental monitoring satellites, novel water treatment technologies, medical and automotive sensors development, space deployed antenna development. Most fascinating career physics problem: lasing with water molecules. Avocation: 50s & 60's rock 'n roll band
Kenneth Kitlas 
1975 BA, Chemistry I went on to grad school at the University of Nevada Reno, transferred back to CSUS in electrical engineering MS program. I then moved to Silicon Valley. I have worked for a number of companies on a wide range of engineering jobs. These included military, space, commercial, and medical. I am currently involved in designing medical electronics and devices.
Pauline Chan 1975
Robin Evans 1972 UC Davis, MA, Ph.D. I work with the Natural Space Environments group at the Jet Propulsion Lab. This is part of the Reliability Engineering office. We get to use existing spacecraft data to produce models of the environments (radiation belts, solar storms, meteor flux, etc.) for mission design. We also produce space weather reports for missions in critical phases such as orbit insertion, planetary landings, and whacking comets.
Michael R. Smith 1970   I'm retired and loving it.  Life is a seven day weekend.  The youngest instructor I had was Michael Shea.  Is he still with the Department?  I imagine he is retired as well (Note: Michael Shea retired a couple of years ago but is still active in our Teacher Preparation Program).
Michael Richardson 1969 UC Davis, MA in Physics I am currently chair of the Physics/Astronomy/Geology department at Sacramento City College.
Thomas Daniel Christensen 1968 Retired 2011, Broadband Telecommunications Engineer, Telalaska, Inc.
Robert Steel 1953   Course of study:  Physical Science Career profession: Reg Civil Engineer State of California Current Status: Retired 1991