College of Science & Engineering Alumni Newsletter

Spring 1997

Science and Engineering Alumni Gather in Company-Based Clubs

Beginning last fall, alumni groups met for informal lunch meetings at Hewlett Packard, Genentech, and Pacific Gas & Electric. In the coming months, we will be contacting alums interested in forming chapters at Chevron, Pac Bell, Roche Molecular, Chiron, Raychem and Hitachi.

The minimum commitment for each chapter varies with the level of involvement each member chooses. Leaders would probably commit 8-10 hours per year, other members, 4-5 hours per year. There are no dues or fees for membership, and members do not have to join the SFSU Alumni Association, although membership is certainly encouraged.

In July, Grace Gillies joined the College as Director of Publicity and Alumni Development. She will facilitate the activities of the company-based alumni chapters, as well as publicize faculty and alumni research. Contact her at (415) 338-7662, or, if you would like to start a new chapter or join an existing chapter.


Barb Niepelt (M.S., Microbiology, 1980), a senior manager at Genentech, arranged for a small brainstorming session at Genentech in October. Also in attendance were Joanne Buehler, a Specialist in Quality Control, and Macy Ciriaco. Subsequently, Barb arranged for a kick-off meeting of a larger group of alums, which met on February 4. Present were Mitra Youssefi, Stewart Hallett, Jane Andow, Nina Taggar, Mary Gross, Irene Figari, Michelle Frame, and Eleanor Canova-Davis.

The group moved quickly to establish a surplus equipment and supplies process. They also favored a campus visit, and set the date for May 8th. They will tour new biology facilities on campus, followed by a wine and cheese social hour to meet with current students and favorite faculty. Contact Mitra for more info on the donations program, and Barb for info on the campus tour or to join the chapter.

Hewlett Packard

Many Hewlett Packard alumni expressed an interest in forming an alumni group at HP. On October 11, they met at the Deer Creek Road site in Palo Alto. Leading the group was John Noble, now a product manager at Hewlett Packard, who earned his engineering degree from SFSU while working as an electronic technician in the 80s. Also in attendance were Deborah Baker, of Global Accounts, Rand Barbano, internal consulting in product generation, Phyllis Bourne, a Learning Products Architect, Mario Arias, of Systems Networking Solutions, Rosa Reinosa, an engineer with the Integrated Systems Division, and John Tinonga. In conjunction with Ed Karrer, member of the College Advisory Board and Director of the Measurement Research Center at the HP Lab in Palo Alto, the group will focus its attention on providing input to the College on preparing students for corporate work as well as equipment donations. Their next meeting is slated for April or May.

Pacific Gas and Electric

Jim Randolph, the company's representative on the College Advisory Board, and Vice President and General Manager of Power Generation at PG and E, sponsored the first meeting of the PG and E chapter on June 19, 1996. Frank Kwok (B.S., Electrical Engineering, 1969), a Design Unit Supervisor at PG and E, and Laura Douglass (B.S., Engineering, 1986), a Steam Generation Engineer, contacted the alums at PG and E. Attendees at the first meeting included Frank Kwok, Amalia Klinger, a Mechanical Engineer in Hydro Generation, Fariba Rafie, a Senior Project Manager in the Information Technology Program, Mike Sanchez, a Meter Systems Technician, and Gene Schlegel, Director of Grid Customer Services. Attendees at the second meeting on October 18 included Frank Kwok, Laura Douglass, Mike Sanchez, Charles Rickenbacher, Director of Fleet Services, Timothy Cormier, a Senior Design Drafter, and Jarnail Thiara, a Design Engineer. The chapter elected Frank Kwok as Chair and agreed to meet again in February. Contact Laura or Frank if you are interested in attending.


Jim Cheng (B.S., Mechanical Engineering, 1981), director of the College's new Project Center, will be contacting alumni in industry about collaborative projects. These corporate-academic partnerships will bring industry, faculty and students together to solve real-world problems, from wetland restoration to micro-chip design and fabrication. "We want to build a mutually beneficial relationship with our industry and community partners," Jim explained.

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Updated by Lannie Nguyen-Tang on August 3rd, 2000