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California State University, Long Beach
President's Scholars Program
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Alumni Highlights - Spring / Summer 2010

Haley Doty (2000, BFA, art-drawing and painting; 2002, credential, single subject-art) pursued her passion of working for museums and attended the University of Sydney, Australia, receiving her M.A. in museum studies in 2003. She has worked in galleries and museums, including the Long Beach Museum of Art. Recently, she relocated with her boyfriend to Charleston, S.C., and is pursuing a career as a museum consultant and contemporary arts writer. Haley also paints in her spare time and has done numerous pet portraits for friends, family and co-workers.

Laura Clark (2001, B.A., philosophy) obtained her law degree from UC Berkeley and is currently an attorney specializing in family law. She works at the Law Offices of Gary R. O’Dell in Roseville, Calif.

Casey Lewis (2003, B.S., civil engineering ) joined Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. in their San Diego office upon her graduation from CSULB. She became a licensed professional engineer and is now celebrating six years with the firm. With a career focused on interchange design, she has become a go-to consultant for Caltrans. Her current volunteer efforts include working with Engineers without Borders to supply a village named La Chiripa, El Salvador, with clean drinking water.

Audrey Mink Vartabedian (2004, B.A., political science; communication studies-rhetorical studies) attended UC Berkeley School of Law and graduated in May 2007, got married in August and started a federal clerkship in Texas in September. After a year of clerking, she began her dream job of working as an assistant district attorney specializing in prosecuting cases involving child victims. When not working, she loves hanging out with her husband Rob and their two very spoiled dogs. They are looking forward to welcoming their first baby (boy) in April.

Amanda Puckett Phillips (2005, B.A., theatre arts; 2006, credential, single subject-English) and her husband Jeff welcomed their son, Andrew James Phillips, on Jan. 3. Amanda is currently finishing up her prerequisites for the Pharm.D. program at Loma Linda University, which she starts this coming fall. She will also be working part-time as a pharmacy technician at Loma Linda University Medical Center. Before working as a pharmacy technician, Amanda taught high school English in Riverside.

Viktoria Gontcharova (2006, B.S., computer science) completed her M.S. degree and continued on to a Ph.D. in computer science at Texas Tech University. She expects to finish in May 2010. She is also currently working as the director of bioinformatics at a research firm in Lubbock, Texas.

Sally Ma (2006, B.A., sociology; business economics) received the Spectrum Scholarship from the American Library Association in 2006 and earned her M.S. degree in library and information science the following year from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Last October, she completed her sixth marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon, in Arlington, Va. Sally is currently living in Hampton, Va., and working as a librarian at a private school, where she also coaches girls’ volleyball.

Scott Abling (2007, B.A., economics-math economics and economic theory) is currently living in Long Beach and working in Irvine for the last two years as a shareholder account representative for a mutual fund company, Capital Group. He is also researching options for law school and graduate programs in economics. He enjoys taking the train to Los Angeles and Hollywood and writing poetry and short stories about the people and places he observes.

Chenin Simi Dow (2007, B.A., comparative literature; Spanish literature culture; 2008, M.A., Spanish) married her longtime boyfriend Evan Dow in September 2008. The two moved to Madrid, Spain, where Chenin taught English at a Spanish high school on a Fulbright grant. After traveling throughout Europe, they returned to Lancaster, Calif., where Chenin works for the municipal government in the communications division.

Michael Pepo (2007, B.S., biology-zoology; 2009, single subject credential-fifth year biological science) is currently teaching chemistry at Millikan High School in Long Beach, where he also did his student teaching. In addition, he is taking classes towards a master’s degree in kinesiology with an option in exercise physiology and nutrition.

Brandon Ulm (2007, B.S., chemical engineering) has been working at Jacobs Engineering in Cypress, Calif., since graduating from CSULB. He is a process engineer, providing economic and conceptual studies for projects catering mainly to the oil refineries in Southern California as well as some in northern Washington. Currently, he is working with a specific group at Jacobs that specializes in designing gasification power plants.

Lauren Brounley (2008, B.A., anthropology) is pursuing her master’s degree in applied anthropology at CSULB with an emphasis in using film and multimedia in cross-cultural education and development. She currently lives in Long Beach and works part-time at a medical aesthetics office in Seal Beach.

Kimberlee Spinnato Hooper (2008, B.S., nursing-basic) is working as a registered nurse at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital on the pediatric hematology/oncology/stem cell transplant unit. She and her husband Craig have a beautiful home in Beaumont, Calif. In the near future, Kimberlee looks forward to starting a family and pursuing her MSN, perhaps in teaching or advanced practice nursing.

Christopher Wostenberg (2006, B.A., chemistry; B.S., mathematics) taught college algebra at CSULB for a semester following graduation. In summer 2007, he moved to the East Coast to attend graduate school in chemistry at Pennsylvania State University. He currently works in a biophysical lab studying protein-RNA interactions and is on track to get his Ph.D. in 2012, which he plans on utilizing as a research professor.

Dominique Sanchez (2008, B.A., anthropology)has been attending UCLA for the past two years and is completing her Master’s of Public Health degree in epidemiology. Upon graduating this spring, she hopes to find a job with the CDC, a county department of public health or as a public health officer in the military.

Christine Hirschler (2009, B.S., nursing) began working at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center in February as a registered nurse. She is working there for two years then plans to return to school to receive her master’s degree in nursing and become a family nurse practitioner. As well, she plans to find a job in a pediatric hematology/oncology unit.

Patricia Aguinaldo (2007, B.A., human development; 2008, B.S., nursing) is living in Southern California and working towards her master’s degree in nursing. In August 2009, she began working at Cedars Sinai Medical Center as a registered nurse in their cardiac ICU. She loves her job!

Erin Swetland (2009, B.A., communication studies-interpersonal and organizational communication) jumped on a plane to Washington, D.C., upon graduation from CSULB, to work for Congressman Kevin McCarthy for an eight- week internship program. She also spent six weeks in Uganda, Africa, living with a family and teaching at a girls’ secondary school. Currently, Erin is in the Capitol Fellows Program in Sacramento, working at the California Emergency Management Agency.

Sutton Spalding (2007, B.S., chemical engineering) has recently started working for an engineering construction and procurement company in Long Beach by the name of Jacobs Engineering. He is an associate process engineer designing and improving the Exxon refinery in Torrance. Additionally he plans on going to graduate school and getting an MBA in about two years.

Heather Hopkins (2008, B.S., biology-physiology) attended Georgetown University and received her M.S. in physiology and biophysics. She recently matriculated at Georgetown University School of Medicine and expects to graduate with her M.D. in 2013.