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California State University, Long Beach
President's Scholars Program
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Alumni Highlights - Spring / Summer 2011

David Bole (2000, B.S., biology) is an environmental consultant, working for banks that need environmental audits performed on properties for which they are financing loans. He also performs wetland investigations, wildlife surveys/studies and a host of other services. It is an interesting field, and no two days are the same. He recently got married and is living about a half-hour north of Sacramento, right along the Pacific Flyway.

Rachel Wales (2003, B.A., child development) is enjoying her third year of teaching preschoolers with special needs. After graduating from CSULB, she spent five years working with First 5 California, the state commission that develops and helps fund health and education programs for children from birth to age five and their families. She also returned to school and has since earned her master’s degree and teaching credential in early childhood special education.

Tiffany (Potter) Link (2004, B.S., biochemistry; B.S., chemistry) is in her seventh year of the M.D.-Ph.D. program at Johns Hopkins, recently returning to the clinical wards after completing her doctorate in cellular and molecular medicine. She recently won an award for best original graduate thesis. Currently, she is interested in the dermatology field and plans on completing a dermatology residency after she graduates in spring 2012.

Juan Quiroz (2005, B.S., mathematics) returned to CSULB this spring to pursue a master’s degree in applied physics. Since graduating, he has continued to work for Los Angeles County as a systems specialist. He, his wife, Monica, and daughter, Genesis, are expecting a new baby this coming summer and continue to be proud advocates for The Beach!

Jessica Hodgdon (2006, B.A., English: creative writing) is working on a master’s degree in arts and administration at the University of Oregon. She is concurrently finishing coursework to obtain an additional certificate in museum studies. Her expected graduation date is June 2012.

Emily Cantrell (2007, B.S., biology) will graduate this May with a doctor of pharmacy degree from Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. She will be happily returning home to California to work as a pharmacist for CVS in the San Luis Obispo area. Emily has enjoyed being very involved while attending pharmacy school, both by serving the local community through health fairs and by holding leadership positions in various pharmacy organizations.

Nathan Cooke (2007, B.A., film and electronic arts) recently acquired a contract as an English teacher at Leuzinger High School, which is in the same district as Hawthorne High. He is teaching two English 9 classes and three ELA Success classes, which are part of a CAHSEE prep course for 10th-grade students who write below basic. Since graduation, this is his fourth year teaching at the high school level, and he was delighted to win Teacher of the Year recognition in 2008-09 as a psychology instructor.

Nicholas Pasqua (2007, B.A., film and electronic arts) worked for two years in Spain after graduation, teaching English and serving as a contributing writer to a magazine. Recently, he was hired at Buck Consultants, a human resources consulting firm in Century City, Los Angeles.  Within the defined benefits field, he designs and implements databases that manage and track employee pension and defined contribution plans. He is elated to perform tasks that are both challenging and demand strict logical thinking.

Alyssa Mayfield Horn (2007, B.A., psychology) graduated from Azusa Pacific University in May 2010 with an M.A. in educational counseling. Currently, she is working as a behavioral therapist for an autism agency in Torrance. With her husband, Kevin, she owns a house in Long Beach, and they volunteer with the high school group at Bethany Church. Still loving the city!

Terri Iler (2008, B.A., English education; B.A., Italian) has been working at CSULB as a professional advisor and was recently appointed the advising coordinator of the University Honors Program. She loves mentoring Honors students, many of whom are current President’s Scholars. Living in Marina del Rey with her husband, Kristian, she plans to one day pursue a doctorate in education and continue working at the university level both as an administrator and a professor.

Christie Waken (2008, B.A., English literature) spent six months in Southeast Asia after graduation with Youth with a Mission, an international nonprofit Christian organization. Her team served in various capacities, including running summer camps for Filipino children living in the slums and teaching orphans in the hill tribes of Thailand. Currently, she is back at CSULB, pursuing her master’s degree in English literature and working as a graduate assistant for the Learning Alliance.

Kyle Fliflet (2009, B.S., microbiology)  spent the last year living in Australia while he completed his master’s degree in international public health. Along with the Australian Outback, he spent time this year in Vanuatu and has plans to explore Cambodia, Vietnam and 
Indonesia. Currently, he is finishing the application process for the Peace Corps, and he will likely be 
departing for Africa in June 2011. Upon returning from his Peace Corps assignment, Kyle plans to apply for 
medical school.

Tim Herman (2009, B.S., aerospace engineering) and Nichole (Pimentel) Herman (2009, B.S., biology: education) met during orientation as freshmen President’s Scholars. Upon graduation, they got married and are living in Long Beach, remaining active at CSULB. Tim is working for an aerospace company called SAIC and studying for his master’s degree in engineering at CSULB. Nichole just finished her last course for student teaching, after completing her credential, at CSULB and hopes to find a job teaching high school biology.

David Smeltzer (2009, B.A., human resources management) is working at CH Robinson, a leading third- party logistics company in the freight forwarding industry, and after a year of employment, was recently advanced to a business developer with exciting career opportunities in California. He is glad that putting in hard work and long hours doesn’t go unnoticed. He loves his job and the people he works with. He lives in Torrance (but misses Long Beach!) and keeps active spending time with his church friends, international 
students, and continues to enjoy the sport of Ultimate Frisbee.

Arjuna Ugarte (2009, B.S., physiology) recently returned to CSULB as a full-time, post-baccalaureate student in the Biotechnology Certificate Program, with an option in stem cell training. As part of this program, he is a CSULB Bridges Stem Cell intern, conducting research at City of Hope in Duarte, Calif. When his busy schedule allows, he also is in the process of applying to medical schools for fall 2011.

Katie Gaston (2010, B.A., communication studies) packed her bags one week after graduating from CSULB and boarded a plane destined for London. She experienced great adventures over the next three months abroad, including hiking 100 miles around Ireland; working in a remote, traditional Transylvanian village; and roaming the breathtaking mosques of Istanbul. After an unforgettable summer, Katie returned to Long Beach and was hired full time as a marketing assistant with Advance Storage Products in Garden Grove, Calif.

Paul M. Nguyen (2010, B.S., computer science)  is really enjoying his first year (of eight!) of preparation for priesthood in the Catholic Church. While studying philosophy, literature, Latin and the Catholic faith, he is also putting his CSULB experience in computer science, communication studies, and student organizations to good use. His life includes rigorous academic studies, much prayer and spiritual growth, and experience serving parish communities in various capacities. Living in Boston is a new experience, but he is very excited to be serving the church in this way.