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California State University, Long Beach
President's Scholars Program
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Alumni Highlights Fall 2007 / Winter 2008

Chris Coats (2000, B.M., music performance) moved to Manhattan, NY in 2000 and to Nassau County in 2001. He earned his Master of Music (Classical Piano) at Manhattan School of Music. He is currently the Associate Pastor, Creative Arts of Beacon Church in East Williston, NY.  He married in 2002 to Ania and they have a two year old son.

Alan Avakian (2001, B.S., information systems; 2006, MBA, business administration) and Carrie (Pennock) Avakian (2001, B.S., marketing) married in April 2002.  Alan has been working for Northrop Grumman in information technology since graduation.  Carrie has been working in marketing for the past six years and is currently a marketing manager overseeing three retail catalogs and websites.  Alan and Carrie moved to the Sacramento area at the end of 2006 to be closer to family.

Kara (Freeman) Costello (2002, B.S., KPE) is a physical therapist at California Children Services (CCS) in Orange County.

Sunny Stimson (2002, B.S., biophysiology) completed optometry school at State University of New York and will pursue her residency in ocular disease at the Sepulveda V.A. Hospital. She recently married fellow Scholar Paul Field (2004, B.S., biophysiology), who is pursuing his dentistry studies at UCLA.

Amy Wiedemann (2002, B.A., interpersonal communication) is an account supervisor at Deutsch (ranked among the top-20 marketing agencies in the U.S.), working on the Saturn account.

Joni Wuth (2002, B.A., history; 2003, credential) is returning to CSULB to work on her M.A. in social and multicultural foundations in fall 2007.

Teresa Phan (2003, B.S., biochemistry) graduated from the University of Cincinnati Medical School. She began her residency in family medicine at the University of California, San Diego in June 2007.

Lisa Pinley Covert (2003, B.A., history) is studying for her Ph.D. at Yale in Latin American history. Lisa was a recent recipient of a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship.

Princess Ventus (2003, B.S., nursing) graduated with an M.S. in nursing from UCLA, specializing in family practice. She plans to work as a registered nurse in medical-surgical and telemetry units in various hospitals. However, she is also in the midst of pursuing a career as a nurse practitioner in obstetrics and gynecology in Orange County. In addition, she will hopefully be obtaining certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a family nurse practitioner by year’s end.

Jennifer (Abella) Rodriguez (2004, B.S., management information systems) is a financial analyst/systems administrator at Northrop Grumman Corporation in El Segundo, Calif. Aside from working full time, Jennifer enjoys her “second job” as a new mom to baby Carmen Alyssa and wife to Jason Rodriguez, an engineering technician for the Port of Long Beach.

Heidi Ramer (2004, B.S., cell and molecular biology) will attend Western Seminary in San Jose, Calif., beginning in fall 2007.

Avianta Robertson (2004, B.A., broadcast journalism) is the director of two SCORE! Educational Centers located in Ladera and Crenshaw. As part of the Kaplan family, SCORE! works with children in grades pre-K through 10th grade to help them reach their academic potential.

Bettina Rohrer (2004, B.S., basic nursing) is completing her third year working as a critical care nurse in the neuro/surgical intensive care unit at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, Calif.

Tim Vanderbeek (2004, B.S., electrical engineering) and Scholar Jolene McCall (2006, B.A., human development) were recently married, and both are working for the Peace Corps. 

Lauren Haverlock (2005, B.S., accountancy) is currently working as a certified public accountant at Raimondo Pettit Group. She will be attending USC in the fall and earning her master’s degree.

Heather Kincaid (2005, B.A., journalism/public relations) completed her master’s degree in communications management at USC in May 2007. She is currently working on building a PR/creative services agency, called Pitchblend Media, with a friend.

John Kitahara (2005, B.A., speech communication) is working for a company called Baumvision, which designs eyewear for Paul Frank, Modern Amusement and Original Penguin. He plans to pursue his MBA.

Taylor Peyton (2005, B.A., psychology) ) is working on her M.S. degree in organizational/industrial psychology at San Diego State University.

Jason Archer (2006, B.S., finance/real estate law) is currently working in finance at Deutsche Bank in Santa Ana, Calif.

Kelsey Burkhardt (2006, B.S., political science) is a senior recruitment associate for Teach for America in New York.

Heather Gliniak (2006, B.S., marine biology) is working as a marine biologist for the California Department of Fish and Game out of their Los Alamitos office and is involved in the Fisheries Independent Research SCUBA Assessment Project.

Latoya Herring (2006, B.S., management; B.A., business economics) is working as an assistant director for SCORE! Educational Centers. She is in charge of the business side of the center as well as tutoring the kids.

Jessica Hodgdon (2006, B.A., English/creative writing) is working with Nova Group, an English language school in Japan.

Christine Livingston Strickler (2006, B.A., liberal studies) is teaching fifth grade and living in Texas with her husband, Chris, and her new baby girl, Shaylene.

Erika Maki (2006, B.A., English literature, English creative writing) is working full time for Princeton Review. She will pursue a law degree at Yale beginning in fall 2007.

Carolyn White (2006, B.A., Spanish) is currently working as a development assistant and volunteer coordinator at Adult Day Services of Orange County, a nonprofit organization providing comprehensive health care services to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia. Additionally, she has plans to start Escuela Popular, a nonprofit organization providing Spanish and English bilingual language classes to children and adults.

Rachel Wiedemann (2006, B.S., criminal justice) is working at American Funds, a mutual fund company.

Christopher Bowman (2007, B.S., biochemistry) will attend New York University and will be in a joint MD/Ph.D. program this fall.

Emily Cantrell (2007, B.S., biology) will attend Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., where she will begin the pharmacy program.

Jeanette Chapleau (2007, B.S., biology) is moving to Ithaca, NY to attend Cornell University, where she will begin the Ph.D. program in neuroscience.

Jeffrey Meier (2007, B.S., mathematics) will be working this fall towards his M.S. in mathematics and biology research at the University Reno, Nev.

Michael Sundberg (2007, B.S., cell and molecular biology and B.A., broadcast journalism) will attend medical school at Stanford University this fall.