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Class Notes


(May 2003)

'70 Judith Valles (M.A.) was awarded the Ohtli Medal by the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Ohtli Award is granted to those distinguished members of the Mexican-American community who have proven their excellence and are role models for society.

'71 George Musacchio (Ph.D.) will teach a one-week seminar, "Doing Good: C. S. Lewis on Moral Values," at Lewis's home, The Kilns, outside Oxford, England, this July (6-12 and 13-19). The C. S. Lewis Foundation of Redlands, California, owns the home and has refurbished it in 1930s-40s style. This will be the third summer the Foundation has offered seminars during which, for a week, eight people plus the instructor actually live in the house, having a daily two-hour class on Lewis, touring the area (including Blenheim Palace), and hearing guest speakers. Interested individuals may visit the Web site at to learn more about the program.

'72 Gail (Biberstein) Melom and her husband have two children and can hardly believe that their son, Hal, will be starting college this year at UC San Diego. Gail states that she would love to have a reunion with other 1970s UC Riverside grads Michael J. Viera (M.A., '77 Ph.D.) will be the president of Citrus College, starting June 1, 2003. Michael has served as president of Fullerton College since 1999 and was Fullerton's first executive vice president, a position he held from 1995-1998.

'73 Mary Hornsby is a human factors engineer who works on aircraft cockpit designs for Boeing, where she has been employed for 24 years. She is currently working on command and control planes for the military ... Sam Racadio (M.B.A.) has been the city manager for the City of Highland for the past 15 years Byron Pollitt is the executive vice president and chief financial officer of Gap Inc., a leading international specialty retailer. Byron is responsible for corporate finance and strategy functions, as well as information technology. He will be a member of the company's executive leadership team. Byron joined Gap Inc. from The Walt Disney Company, where he had worked since 1990 in various senior-level business planning and financial executive roles.

'74 David Mirkin is a graduate of the University of Washington Medical School. He was a family doctor in Jerome, Indiana, for 11 years and now works in Manhattan as a healthcare consultant with Milliman USA. David is married with five children and has lived in Manhattan and Avon, Connecticut.

'75 Lisa Conyers ('89 Ph.D.) is in Thailand as the recipient of a Fulbright Administrator grant. Lisa is the dean of instruction of Riverside Community College (RCC) Moreno Valley. She is one of only 250 U.S. grantees who will travel abroad for the 2002-2003 academic year through the Fulbright Teach and Administrator Exchange. Lisa will participate in two six-week non-simultaneous exchange programs, first traveling to Thailand and then welcoming Dean Chuchai Ratanpinyonpong of Ehulalongkorn University to America and RCC. During her time in Thailand, Lisa will participate in leadership sessions, gaining new perspectives while sharing her professional expertise. She has worked many years in intercultural education and language preparation, including English as a foreign language and Spanish. In addition to her work at RCC, Lisa is very involved in local community outreach. In 2001, she was selected as a Woman of Distinction by the YWCA of Riverside County Alfredo Figueroa was recently installed at the 2003 president of the Riverside Latino Network.

'76 Rick Taulli was appointed the corporate secretary for Casavant Mining Kimberlite International Inc. He has 28 years in the hydraulic engineering, mechanical engineering and research and development fields, and has been involved in the corporate environment, both professionally and personally for over 20 years. He is a director of MultiSoft Internet International, Inc., Future Communications Group, Inc., Special Services, Inc. and Excelsior Management, LLC (managing general partner).

'77 Elaine Freeman is a member of the board of directors of the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District and CEO of her own land-use consulting firm. Upon graduation, she was a civil engineer with Woodyard Association of Ventura and then was the vice president of land development with Griffin Homes. She has been a long-time Simi Valley resident Joseph Sheppherd has traveled in more than 50 countries and has lived overseas for more than half his life. He spent three years in Germany with his family when he was younger and then began his own global journal. He spent six years in Central and South America, seven years in West Africa, 12 years in England and a year traveling in Central Asia. Joseph and his wife moved to Oregon about six years ago to be closer to his father. They live in Bend, and he serves as the tribal archaeologist for The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. He has shared stories from those travels and talked about how his Baha'i faith motivates him.

'79 Geoffrey Hopper and Lauralea (Goade) Hopper ('78) have been married for 23 years and live in Lake Arrowhead with their three children. Geoffrey is an attorney and owns the Law Firm of Geoffrey H. Hopper and Associates in Riverside. The firm specializes in employment and labor law for employers. Lauralea is principal of Lake Gregory Elementary School for Rim of the World Unified School District.

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