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Class Notes


Barbara Cherney Ulmer (M.A., '52) and her husband Vic Ulmer (M.A., '57) co-direct Our Developing World, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing the realities of the third world and the richness of diverse cultures to North Americans.

Robert Keith Blaisdell's (attended '55-'56) films are included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art and Metropolitan Museum of New York

Al Sturges (B.A., '55), a member of the Sun City-Palm Desert USTA Men's 6.0 Super Senior Tennis Team, participated in the U.S. Tennis Association's League National Championship in Daytona Beach Florida.

Wise E. Allen (B.A., '58) is interim president of Berkeley City College.


James O. Clifford (B.A., '62) is the author of "Philip's Code: No News is Good News - to a Killer," a crime novel based on his 40-year career as a wire service reporter, first with UPI and then AP. The book by Parkhurst Press is available on

Yoshito Kawahara (B.A., '66), received the Distinguished Asian/Pacific American Alumni Award from Indiana University.

Carolyn Horan (B.S., '69; M.S., '71) is chair of both Epic Bancorp and its subsidiary Tamalpais Bank.

Diane Levine (B.A., '69) co-authored the textbook "A Concise Introduction to Linguistics" (Allyn and Bacon, '05).


George Rathmell (M.A., '70) published "The Pickle Girl" through Infinity Publishing. His work has appeared in The Californians, Coast Magazine, Travelers' Tales and The Nob Hill Gazette.

Lyn Allyn (B.A., '71) began her writing and editing career in corporate communications and technical documentation, working in aerospace, publishing and brokerage industries. She published "Love From Chezeaux: WWI Memoirs of Clarence Bush, her first book, through AuthorHouse.

Mohan Gyani (B.A.,'73; M.A., '78) serves on the board of directors of Mformation Technologies, Inc., Keynote Systems, Safeway, SiRF Technologies and several private and nonprofit organizations.

Michael Soon Lee (B.A., '73) is the owner of EthnoConnect, a company that provides seminars, training, consulting and coaching on how to sell more products and services to the multicultural market in America. His books include "Black Belt Negotiating" (AMACOM Books, '07) and "111 Ways to Justify Your Commission" (Kaplan Books, '07).

Joyce Bacoccina (B.A., '74) is the new principal of Vallejo Charter School.

Gary Gach (B.A., '74) received the 2007 Northern California Book Award for translating "Flowers of a Moment" by Ko Un.

Steve Zaillian (B.A., '75) wrote the screenplay for Universal Pictures' "American Gangster."

Shell Herman (B.A., '74; M.S., '81) is founder and chief executive officer of KidzArt, an art education franchise with locations in 27 states.

Peter Biella (M.A., '75), associate professor of anthropology at SF State, received the American Anthropological Association's 2007 Best Short Film Award for "Artes en Ayacucho," his film focused on textile production.

James Friedman (M.A., '75) is one of 18 Ohio artists whose work was featured in the Ohio Arts Council's "Celebration of Creativity."

Ron Nakamoto (B.A., '75) is chief executive officer of Savi Technology, Inc., a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin.

John Z. Pietrzyk (M.A., '75) heads Biomimetic Connections, LLC, a Bay Area firm bringing biomimetic and bio-inspired technologies to material scientists and product design engineers.

Professor Emerita Patricia Amlin (M.A., '77) exhibited a series of avian wildlife oil paintings this past summer at the Randall Davey Audubon Center Conference Room in Santa Fe, N.M.


Robin Nasatir (B.A., '80) is vice president of Cliff Consulting in Oakland.

Charles Austin (M.A., '81) is pursing an Ed.D. in organizational leadership in Pepperdine University's Graduate School of Education.

Denise R. Cascino (B.A., '81) co-produced "Shrek the Third" and was named a lifetime member of the Cambridge "Who's Who" for her work with Dreamworks Animation.

Sandra Cruze (B.A., '81) is vice president and lead of quality assurance for Risk Management Solutions, a catastrophe risk analysis company.

Joaquin Lim (B.A., '80; M.A., '81), a four-term mayor of Walnut, California, is featured in the book "Distinguished Asian American Political and Governmental Leaders."

Bill Corba (M.B.A., '83) is vice president of marketing, sales and business development for Kaiser Permanente's Hawaii region.

Dan Rothblatt (B.A., '83) is senior vice president of philanthropic services for The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles.

At the conclusion of her term as the National Lifetime Membership Chair for the National Association of Black Accountants, Genevia Gee Fulbright, CPA (B.S., '84) inducted 20 new lifetime members into the organization at its national convention in June.

Frederick Chiaventone (M.A., '85), a novelist, screenwriter, military historian, consultant, retired cavalry officer and Professor Emeritus for International Security Affairs at the U.S. Army's Command and General Staff College, has served as an historical consultant and advisor to film and television productions including Ken Burns' PBS documentary "The West" and TNT productions of "The Rough Riders" and "Two For Texas."

Clarice Turner (B.A., '85; M.B.A., '90) is president and chief operating officer of Papa Murphy's International, a take-and-bake pizza chain with nearly 1,000 locations in 30 states and Canada.

Greg Ward (M.S., '85) received the 2007 Computer Graphics Achievement Award from the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques for his contributions to image system algorithms, and for the development of the Radiance Synthetic Imaging System, which promotes computer graphics to analyze and visualize lighting in design.

In "Seeds of Sobriety: Practical Daily Readings for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Outskirts Press, '06), longtime sober alcoholic Liz Purcell (B.A., '87) gives helpful hints on how to stay sober.

Iliana Rodriguez (B.A., '88; M.P.A., '02) is the new director of San Mateo County's Department of Child Support Services.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Michelle Roland, M.D. (B.S., '88) chief of the State Office of AIDS for the Department of Public Health.

Kat Vaughan (B.A., '89) founded Globally Minded to support artisans in Guatemala through the promotion of fair trade and socially responsible jewelry, as well as Business Consulting and Globally Minded Works, Inc., a social enterprise committed to economic, educational and social development in Guatemala.


Kabir Arghandiwal (B.A., '90) is regional vice president of business development -- Afghanistan/Central Asia for ANHAM, LLC, an international contracting firm.

Liz Ellis (B.S., '90), founder and president of Green Valley Consulting Engineers in Santa Rosa, was named one of nine "Women in Business: Leaders, Innovators and Visionaries" by the North Bay Business Journal.

Martin F. Morales (B.A., '91; M.A., '92) was appointed chair of the History and Political Science Department at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento, CA this past summer after being awarded tenure.

David Plumb (M.A., '91) published "A Change in the Weather" through Day and Night Books. He has acted in several Hollywood films and worked as a cab driver, a paramedic and an associate director of development.

Bridget Goodman (B.A., '92), a member of the Soul Salon 10 artist collective, showed her artwork in "Black and Blue," an exhibit at Chicago's Steelelife Gallery that explored the theme "blues": the color, the mood and the music.

Rajeev Virani (B.A., '93; M.A., '95) directed "My Bollywood Bride," a "Best of Fest" winner at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Photographer and mixed media artist Keba Konte (B.A.,'94), a member of the Soul Salon 10 artist collective, showed his artwork in "Black and Blue," an exhibit at Chicago's Steelelife Gallery that explored the theme "blues": the color, the mood and the music.

John Meehan (B.A., '95), founder and executive director of Groceries for Seniors, a nonprofit emergency food program for low-income seniors in San Francisco, received the Jefferson Award from the American Institute for Public Service.

Craig Schmalz (B.A., '97) joined The Marcus Group as an account executive in the Public Relations Division.

Warren Teng (B.S., '97) was promoted to senior staffing consultant for the Lighthouse Management Group, Inc., a specialized professional staffing firm.


Parents as Teachers, one of the largest parent education programs in the nation, has named Jennifer Barshack (M.S., '00) program manager for its Minnesota regional office.

Ryan Barr (B.A.,'01) has been named a principal at Lee & Associates' Carlsbad Office.

"Viewmaster Documentaries," a series of 3-D stereoscopic slide shows photographed and hand-processed by Assistant Professor Greta Snider (M.F.A., '01) and Johunna Grayson (B.A., '06) screened throughout the Midwest over the summer.

Andrea Abrams (M.A. ‘02), an education coordinator at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, received the annual Industry Partner Award from the Los Angeles County Office of Education for her work with high school students.

Michael Meneses (B.A., '02), a physical education teacher at Presidio Middle School, received the FSN Bay Area All-Star Teacher Award and a check for $10,000 for his school in July.

Andrea Ali (B.A., '04), a member of the Soul Salon 10 artist collective, showed her sculpture in "Black and Blue," an exhibit at Chicago's Steelelife Gallery that explored the theme "blues": the color, the mood and the music.

Jesse Houlding's (M.F.A., '06) installation, Energy Field, was exhibited at San Jose's WORKS Gallery in August.

Denize Springer's (M.F.A., '07) play "Fragments" was selected for presentation in August at the Bay Area Playwrights Festival.

Let us know about your recent accomplishments. Please include your degree, year of graduation, address and phone number. We will feature Class Notes as space allows. E-mail: Mail: SF State Magazine University Communications 1600 Holloway Avenue San Francisco, CA 94132



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