CSUMB Magazine

Class Notes - Spring 2016


Tammy (Losik) Springer (B.A. Liberal Studies) has two children, a son Morgan, 16, and a daughter Kayleigh, 13. She has been married for 18 years this June. Springer started teaching in 1998, and has taught at the Monterey County Home Charter School since November 2000. She is a board member of the Central Coast branch of the Arthritis Foundation. All of her family members volunteer for the foundation and in the Monterey Bay community.


Cindy Engebresten (Multi-Subject Teaching Credential) graduated from CSUMB when her son was 8. She worked as a bilingual language tester until he finished high school, then began full-time work as a family advocate for at-risk youth in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District. In this role, Engebresten often traveled to Sacramento and met with legislators to advocate for homeless youth. She also learned how to write grants. Now Engebresten is a full-time first grade teacher. Her son is “out-educating” her by earning an MBA at Santa Clara University.

Bryan Murphy (B.S. Earth Systems Science & Policy) is a senior analyst for a pharmaceutical company. He is married, has two kids, and is learning to fly hang gliders in his free time.

Mayra Llamas


Mayra Llamas (B.S. Management and International Entrepreneurship) is currently finishing up a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership at UC Davis, a tremendous achievement due to being a full-time Student Affairs administrator. Research interests include college access and retention, student of color retention and educational equity.


Kate (Stockham) Pardo (B.A. Human Communication) got married in 2004 to Nick Pardo. They have two boys, Cooper and Nathan, ages 7 and 8. She is currently the office manager at Silver Rail Elementary school in Bend, Oregon.

Chris Horangic (B.A. Teledramatic Arts & Technology) has worked in the film/television industry since graduating. When Horangic first moved to Los Angeles, he worked as a second assistant director on indie feature films. After working in features for a few years, Horangic decided to make the move to reality TV and spent approximately six years working as the production manager for ABC’s “The Bachelor and Bachelorette,” which required him to travel the world looking for exotic filming locations. He left that show in 2012 and took the coordinating producer position on Discovery Channel’s, “Naked & Afraid,” where he oversaw production, scouted and set up all filming locations for the show. After traveling the world and being out of the United States for eight months a year, Horangic decided to find a job that kept him in town. In late 2014, he accepted the line producer position with Travel Channel’s “Expedition Unknown,” where he oversees production and budget.


Daniel Delacruz (B.S. Telecommunications Multimedia and Applied Computing) attended Monterey College of Law after graduating from CSUMB and obtained a Juris Doctor degree. He is currently a disability rights advocate.

Ryan Lockwood (B.S. Earth Systems Science & Policy) has held interesting jobs since graduating from CSUMB, including helping with research projects that required capturing deer with large nets and chasing down mountain lions with the use of hounds. Lockwood’s career in writing and outdoor science has allowed him to serve as a professional editor and biological science technician for such agencies as the National Park Service and Colorado Division of Wildlife. He currently serves as the public and media relations coordinator for the Colorado State Forest Service and was previously the agency’s fire information officer. Since graduating, Lockwood has authored two now- published novels. Both have marine science themes and a main character based out of a fictional Monterey Bay- area marine lab, and both highlight real-world ocean threats (in addition to threats imagined by the author).


Melinda Mazurek (B.A. Social and Behavioral Sciences) moved to Long Beach after graduating and want to work for the Disneyland Resort. Mazurek worked there for six years. In 2014, she left Disney to pursue a master’s degree in archival studies. She then moved to Richmond, Va., and was hired by Ancestry.com as a digitization specialist. From there, Mazurek was able to apply to another graduate school and sent her application to the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Mazurek is now living in Glasgow and is currently working on a master’s in information management and preservation. Her expected graduation date is in November.


Emily Oberheim (B.A. Integrated Studies) recently completed her master’s in counselor education from San Jose State.

Zachary Kasow (B.A. Psychology) went to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo for a master’s in psychology. After finishing at Cal Poly, Kasow moved to the Bay Area to work at a mental health non-profit. He started out as a case manager and has since been promoted twice. He now runs his own program. Since graduating from CSUMB, Kasow has presented three times at the Western Psychological Association annual convention. One of these studies was subsequently published and another is in progress.

Amanda (Farrah- McDonald) Brackett (B.S. Business Administration) married James Brackett in 2013. Together, they have a very active 2 year old named JP. In 2014, they bought a home in Killingworth, Connecticut, where Brackett is a part of the Killingworth Women’s Organization. Through the group, she started a local program called the Soldier Care Project. The program’s goal is to send care packages and goodies to service members who have ties to their local community. The programs also delivers care packages to the family, significant others or support systems of the service member. Brackett started this project because her husband is an Army veteran and when he deployed, she sent weekly care packages to him and his unit. The Soldier Care Project also focuses on the people who are left behind, because in Brackett’s words, “At least for me, it was a very lonely experience. Our town is small but supportive.”

Shae (Maher) Mitchell (B.S. Earth Systems Science & Policy) went on to earn her Master of Science in Coastal and Watershed Science & Policy at CSUMB. She has been an English teacher in South Korea for approximately two years. She married Adam Mitchell (B.A. Liberal Studies ‘10) and they have one son, who is almost 2 years old.

Aaron Gaulden (B.A. Human Communication) was just named academic dean and dean of student services at San Joaquin Valley College in Hanford.


Chris Ponce (B.A. Teledramatic Arts & Technology) is a member of Central Coast CERT and is also a student at the National Academy of Sports Medicine with the goal to become certified personal trainer.

Chrissy Lofgren (B.A. Psychology) began working in the CSUMB Academic Advising office after graduating and piloted the centralized model of advising for the Psychology Department. The department did not have an adviser since it was a new major (established 2007). Thanks to Lofgren’s work, the CSUMB Psychology Department now has moved toward a centralized model where each major has its own professional staff adviser. Graduation rates have risen every year since the department implemented this strategy. During this time, Lofgren also completed her master’s in academic advising from Kansas State University.

Jessica (Nicholas) Moon
Jessica (Nicholas) Moon


Jessica (Nicholas) Moon (B.A. Human Communication) Married her husband in 2013 after they met at CSUMB in a science class. Shortly after, Moon began serving as a psychiatric social worker at Monterey County Behavioral Health, where she works with juveniles in the justice system. She also serves as the Behavioral Health seat on the Juvenile Justice Commission in the Monterey area.

Lauren Scholz (B.A. Human Communication) completed graduate school at CSU Long Beach, earning a master’s degree in sport management. Upon graduating from CSULB, Scholz won the award for Most Outstanding Capstone Presentation. She now uses both degrees in her role as the content marketing coordinator for the national office of the American Youth Soccer Association.

Courtney Thomas (B.A. Global Studies) is currently working in Oakland for Sutter Health as an application analyst. In this position, Thomas trains providers and other medical staff on how to use an electronic health record. Her work supports multiple clinics in East Bay. Thomas plans to volunteer for an Oakland organization which provides financial literacy to children, grades K-12. As a hobby and side job, Thomas owns three residential properties in the East Bay and Sacramento and manages them as rentals. She enjoys real estate and plans to pursue a life-long career in it sometime in the future. Thomas loves to travel and has fallen in love with Guatemala.

Clover (Lee) Sellden
Clover (Lee) Sellden


Clover (Lee) Sellden (M.S. Coastal and Watershed Science & Policy) recently reunited with fellow alums Christina Depweg (Mathematics, ‘12) and Michael Diaz (Biology, ‘12) in Costa Mesa, who also recently engaged. Sellden works and lives in San Francisco and recently got married. She continues to engage with the CSUMB internship coordinator and makes sure that opportunities are sent to the CSUMB network.

Danielle Walker (B.S. Environmental Science Technology & Policy) has worked several jobs since graduating from CSUMB. Walker was a fish and wildlife scientific aide for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife where she worked on the California Recreational Fisheries Survey, Black Bear Reclamation Project, and Steelhead Rescue Project. Walker landed her first full-time job as an environmental scientist for a private firm in Santa Cruz, Kinnetic Laboratories Inc., before she started working as a water conservation specialist for Marina Coast Water District in August, 2015. “I absolutely love my job!! I’m thankful for all the wonderful professors I had at CSUMB and the ‘real world’ situations I was exposed to. I recently got engaged and hope to go back to school to get my masters. Thanks CSUMB!”

Joshua portrait
Joshua portrait


Joshua Opatowsky

Joshua Opatowsky (B.A. Social and Behavioral Sciences) was accepted at CSU Bakersfield and began his master’s degree in social work in 2012, graduating in 2014. In graduate school, Opatowsky received the Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities award. In addition, Opatowsky started participating in RunDisney races in 2014 and has collected a total of 47 running medals over the past two years. He got married in November 2014. Opatowsky and his wife run the races together, traveling back and forth from California to Florida to complete races at Walt Disney World between running the races in Anaheim.


Karen H. Moseley (Master of Business Administration) started teaching at Fresno City College in 2014 before teaching at CSU Fresno in spring 2015. Her primary areas of teaching include women’s studies, sociology, and business. Her focus is on women’s history, women in management, and the understanding of historical women’s positions within American culture and society, politically and economically.

Steven Patrick Thiele (B.S. Business Administration) works as the manager of sales and marketing of North Bay Trading Company (NBTC), an international trading firm based in Monterey. However, Thiele is fortunate enough to be able to work remotely from his home in Las Vegas. NBTC exports a large variety of primarily American products including dry and frozen food, building materials, hardware, vehicles, and other specialty products.

Elika Parivar (B.S. Kinesiology) moved to Ogden, Utah, and completed a graduate degree in athletic training. She became certified and licensed, and got a job with the largest hospital system in Utah as an athletic trainer. Parivar does outreach by providing orthopedic medical services to the athletes at high schools in the area. “Education and injury prevention is very important to all athletes but starting at an early age is key!”

Natalie Rojas (B.A. Teledramatic Arts & Technology) continues to live in Monterey and works for the Inns of Monterey, which operates four boutique hotels in the area. She loves writing short poems and taking pictures during her free time. Rojas and her partner enjoy frequent hikes in Pacific Grove, Carmel, and Big Sur. They both love traveling and visiting Santa Cruz any chance they get, especially for the food and music.

Corinne Hanna (B.A. Psychology) moved to Kunming, China, after graduating and has been teaching English there for the last three years. Hanna teaches ages 3-16. “The city here is amazing and I have met some wonderful people from here and all over the world. When I have a chance to get out of the city, the area and countryside is quite beautiful and the culture is very unique to each village.” She plans to move back home soon and go back to school to earn her teaching credential.

Maricela Aboytes
Maricela Aboytes


Maricela Aboytes (B.A. Human Communication) is completing a master’s program at the University of San Francisco. The Santa Clara County Homelessness Task Force implemented her recommendations from her Capstone project on homelessness.

Michelle Jones (B.S. Environmental Science Technology & Policy) started working full time for the Science Learning and Exploration with the Help of Sea Lions (SLEWTHS) project after volunteering there for four years. The SLEWTHS project is a small non-profit organization affiliated with the Cal State University system. The organization works with rescued and non- releasable California sea lions. It provides training and other programs to educate the public. Jones got promoted to the role of supervisor trainer in January 2016.

Claudia (Pacheco) Vasquez (B.A. Collaborative Health and Human Services) has been employed since graduation with the Monterey County Health Department in the division of In Home Care Services. Vasquez “loves her job,” allowing her to manage her own hours and work around a growing family. Vasquez gets great satisfaction out of being able to help the senior community. “I have been able to apply many learning experiences from the social work concentration! Thank you for the proper education and training through Capstone.” Vazquez and her husband have two children, a girl and boy.

Stephanie Samantha Sumler (B.A. Visual and Public Art) was an assistant of Amalia Mesa-Bains after graduating CSUMB. “She was so wonderful to work with and helped me further my education in gallery installation, as a curator, and as an artist.” Sumler then got a job as a community liaison with the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District. She now serves as the assistant art director for the city of Seaside.

Carmine Lepiane (B.S. Business Administration) is currently employed at Vanderbilt CPA PC as a staff accountant. Through the work at Vanderbilt, Lepaine has grown in the field of accounting. Additionally, he passed all four parts of the uniform CPA exam and has been accepted to Golden Gate University’s masters in accounting program, which he will start this summer. In addition to accounting work, Lepaine has recently been accepted to join the Ambassador Committee for the Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. “I hope to further grow as a member of Monterey Peninsula business community and I am grateful for all the skills that I have gained from being an Otter!”

Andreina Aguilera (B.A. Psychology) is working on her master’s in social work at CSUMB. She bought her first home this year, and is trying to make a difference in the community through counseling and youth groups.

Christy Welk (B.A. Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Spanish) went on to UC Santa Cruz and San Jose State, where she received a single subject teaching credential in social studies. Welk got her first job teaching middle school this year and met her fiancé at UCSC in the credential program. He teaches sixth and seventh grade social studies at a middle school in Mountain View. They are getting married this June.

Henry Houston (B.A. Human Communication) worked for a year after graduating as a contributing writer for the Santa Maria Sun, Northern Santa Barbara County’s weekly newspaper. He served in this position while applying to graduate schools. Houston then accepted an offer to the master’s program in International Studies at the University of Oregon. His research focus is exploring sustainable energy development issues, water policy, and climate change in Pakistan, specifically examining how water and energy professionals in Pakistan perceive dams as solutions for renewable energy generation and infrastructure to manage climate change-related natural disasters – such as floods and droughts. To gather data, Houston conducted field research in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Courtney (Hoyland) Gamez (B.A. Spanish) applied to law school during her last year at CSUMB. She was accepted and after graduating, Gamez started at Pacific McGeorge School of Law in Fall of 2013. Gamez’s focus is immigration law and she continues to use and build her Spanish skills through work experience and a study abroad program in Guatemala. She is currently working as a law clerk/paralegal for an immigration law firm in Sacramento and will graduate from McGeorge School of Law this year.

Emma Ramirez (B.A. Liberal Studies) is the coordinator of the Guardian Scholars Program at Hartnell College. Guardian Scholars works with former foster youth, helping them transition out of the foster care system and provide support they need to succeed in college.

Nancee Trombley (Master of Business Administration) has been appointed chief deputy executive director at the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank, where she has served as deputy director of compliance and chief compliance officer since 2014. She served in several positions at the California State Treasurer’s Office from 2009 to 2014, including treasury program manager at the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority.

Sintia Solis
Sintia Solis


Sintia Solis (B.A. Collaborative Health and Human Services) currently works for Monarch Services in Santa Cruz County. As an on-call advocate, Solis responds to the crisis hot line 24/7 as needed for any domestic violence or sexual assault cases. As an administrative coordinator, she helps assist survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. Solis volunteers for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and plans to pursue a master’s in social work with a focus on children and families. She married in October 2015.

Mariah Tanner (B.A. Collaborative Health and Human Services) works as the marketing coordinator for the United Way of Santa Cruz County

Ruby Liborio (B.A. Human Communication) currently works as a paralegal and is getting ready to apply to law school after working with attorneys for a year, post-graduation.

Patterson Emesible
Patterson Emesible

Patterson Emesible (B.A. Psychology) started a non-profit called the Epicenter with seven other people. The organization serves youth ages 16-24 in Monterey County. During his time at the Epicenter, Emesible was a part of another youth-led organization, California Youth Connection, where he traveled throughout California to discuss issues regarding foster youth and participate in policy/practice development meetings that affect foster youth. Currently, he works as a youth mentor coordinator at a non-profit called Door To Hope, a comprehensive behavioral health organization. Emesible’s responsibilities there consist of program development, outreach, and supervision/operations of the peer mentor program. Future plans include grad school to pursue a dual master’s in public health and urban planning, furthering the work he does in disadvantaged/voiceless communities.


Rebecca (Ortega) Garcia (B.A. Human Communication) recently married and loves her job as a behavior therapist, which she landed right after graduation. Garcia plans to have her teaching credentials in about a year.

Kayla Bueltel (B.A. Psychology) is currently in her second semester at Humboldt State University’s School Psychology Master’s Program. She will graduate in two years, with a paid internship for the third year.

Sam Foster (B.S. Business Administration) works for Fox Manufacturing in Watsonville.