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The Argyros School builds on the entrepreneurial legacy of its namesake.


CU creative thinkers establish new paths to recovery from addiction.





Message from the President: Entrepreneurial leaders like George Argyros ’59 teach us to dream big and give back. 3

First Person: While other writers grumble, Richard Bausch finds joy seeing his stories translated to film.




Executive Vice President of University Advancement


Vice President of Strategic Marketing and Communications


Assistant Vice President of Communications



Dennis Arp

Dawn Bonker



Robyn Norwood

Ivy Montoya Viado


Director of Content Strategy


Director of Visual Content

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Brittany Hanson, Stephanie House, Bethanie Le, Aaron Singh

14 Chapman’s Brain Institute unites neuroscience with philosophy to pursue age-old questions.


State of the University: President Daniele Struppa highlights ambitious plans and projects.


Public transit and autonomous vehicles are not yet kings of the road, Chapman’s OC Survey shows.

8 Student actors hone unique theatrical skills by taking a racy turn down “Avenue Q.” 11 A School of Pharmacy research project uses nanoparticles to target hypertension.


Catie Kovelman ’19 Editorial Office: One University Drive, Orange, CA 92866-9911 Main: ( 714) 997- 6607 Delivery issues/change of address: (714) 744 - 2135

Chapman Magazine (USPS #007643) is published quarterly by Chapman University. © 2019 Chapman University. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Periodicals postage paid at Orange, Calif., and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Chapman Magazine One University Drive • Orange, Calif. 92866-9911

The mission of Chapman University is to provide personalized education of distinction that leads to inquiring, ethical and productive lives as global citizens.






Creative thinkers from the University are developing novel ways to help with recovery from addiction.

26 The Argyros School celebrates two decades of building on the legacy of its extraordinary namesake.


ALUMNI NEWS 54 The power of the Semester at Sea experience endures, as a recent voyage confirms for two alumnae. 58 Class Notes 64 Friends We Will Miss

13 In Memoriam: Coach Paul Deese is remembered for his inspiring leadership. 48 How Did You Get that Job? KonMari consultant Tricia Lanier Fidler ’79 tidies up lives. 49 Five Questions: Foods with a long shelf life have staying power with consumers.

AT RIGHT: The most recent Galápagos trip was led by faculty members Jeremy Hsu, Ph.D., and Shana Welles, Ph.D. Joining in the journey were, from left, Ben Glaser ’19, Vanessa Burns ’20, Professor Hsu, Sixtine Foucaut ’21, Rikke Holand ’21, Professor Welles, Galileo Pacioni ’20, Josephine Isore ’21, Tiffany Larian ’19, Nico Martinez ’20, Kaitlin McEntee ’20, Anna Bene ’20, Alee Rudis ’20, Walter Bandhauer ’19 and Bryn Christoffersen ’19. Not pictured is Lauren Dvonch ‘21.

For centuries, scientists and scholars have been drawn to the Galápagos to explore the biodiversity of the amazing archipelago. For Chapman students, the connection is at least decades old, thanks to an annual winter interterm environmental science course taught by Fred Caporaso, Ph.D. This year, the participants snorkeled with sea lions and eagle rays, jotted field notes on the ecological phenomena they encountered and conversed about evolution, genetics and a multitude of other topics. “It was immensely gratifying to see the students embrace the course and their adventures, and to see science students and non-majors alike connect so well with the natural world,” Professor Jeremy Hsu wrote in a blog post about the course. “I have never connected more to what Darwin wrote at the conclusion of his ‘Origin of Species,’ when he spoke of ‘endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful.’” Read more of Hsu’s reflections at

MAY 2019


My big dreams and ideas often come to me when I step out of my normal space and explore the wider world, as I did when I participated in a study-abroad experience in Nepal and Bhutan over interterm. My reflections on the extraordinary trip I shared with 30 Chapman students are in the story that appears on page 56 of this issue of Chapman Magazine. This is the season I think most about the students we send out to build on their own big dreams. In this issue, we offer our spectacular Class of 2019 our proudest examples of what can happen when you match your dreams to what you see needs doing in this world.



In this issue, we’re proud to present shining examples of entrepreneurial spirit at Chapman University. The Argyros School of Business and Economics celebrates the rise of a top business school, riding on the big dreams of one of my heroes, George Argyros ’59 – entrepreneur, educator, philanthropist, international ambassador and mentor (page 26). Over the past 20 years, enrollment at the Argyros School has tripled, and now more than 7,000 graduates carry on the legacy. In addition to being a visionary for higher education, George followed his dreams to government service as the U.S. Ambassador to Spain and Andorra for President George W. Bush. We’re honored to welcome



President Bush to our campus in the fall to help us celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Argyros School naming (page 31). Elsewhere, professors, students and alumni across disciplines are rising up using their own special skills to provide new paths to addiction recovery (page 18). And at Attallah College of Educational Studies, Professor Cathery Yeh and her coalition of students, classroom teachers and researchers reimagine the way math is taught to advance the dream of equity in education (page 44). Finally, success stories from our illustrious alumni and the Think Chapman First career network (page 7) show our students that the Chapman Family has their backs even beyond the walls of our University. We hope these stories inspire and drive you to be audacious, expansive, resilient and focused, knowing that what you see will become a reality.

To achieve anything imaginable, you must first dream it. So dream big!

Daniele Struppa President, Chapman University



The story so often goes that a writer’s book is adapted for a movie, and the writer balks, usually at the things the moviemaker left out. The complaint is couched normally in expressions of dismay as to how the film is less, how the moral or psychological or intellectual resonance is slighted, or not there. I have always found the complaint a little absurd. There have been, to date, seven films made from my work, and one more is pending: three full-length features and four short films already exist. A fourth fulllength feature has just been purchased. The full features are: “The Last Good Time,” made from my novel of the same name, by Bob Balaban in Author and Chapman Professor Richard Bausch, left, shares a laugh with French film director Gilles Bourdos, whose 1994; “Espèces Menacées, ” an adaptation from six of my short stories, by “Espèces Menacées” was adapted from six of Bausch’s short stories. (Photo courtesy of Richard Bausch.) French film director Gilles Bourdos last year; and “Peace,” an adaptation of my novel of the same name, by Robert David Port, releasing this year, probably in Two examples: October. The fourth feature, just purchased in November, is “The Man Who Knew Belle My story “Wedlock” is about a young woman Starr,” from my story of the same name. The on her honeymoon night who, in a game of short films are of my stories, “The Person inebriated charades with her new husband, When Bob Balaban was I Have Mostly Become,” “Wedlock,” “Two sees a brutal aspect of him that she hadn’t nervous about how I might Altercations” and “Tandolfo, the Great.” known was there; my story “Fatality” is about a man whose estranged daughter is being beaten react to his adaptation of I have and had no complaints about any of up by her husband, and what that brings him “The Last Good Time,” I told these films. Each of the filmmakers, as far as I to do in the face of it. Bourdos, in the film, him: “Man, I don’t care if am concerned, showed respect for the stories, made the daughter’s husband in “Wedlock” you make a musical out of long and short, by wanting to make a film in the same guy in “Fatality.” That’s just brilliant. the first place. When Bob Balaban was nervous And he ran the narrative thread of “Fatality” it starring the Muppets. The about how I might react to his adaptation of through the whole narrative line of the film. book’s the book, and the “The Last Good Time,” I told him: “Man, I don’t movie will be the movie.” care if you make a musical out of it starring the In the film of “Peace,” Robert David Port made Muppets. The book’s the book, and the movie a new character in my once trio of characters, will be the movie.” and he put in a couple of scenes involving that character and a long, wire-and-board bridge across a ravine. Those The two art forms are different, and they each have their own brilliant scenes are riveting, and they do exactly what Port is aiming to requirements. I’ll talk for the moment about the two most recent ones. do: they increase the power of the story. I loved it. I wouldn’t want it any different. The experience of both has been transporting, not because the films were made from things I created out of my head, and put into prose – So, the experience of having these two fine films made has been heady though that is pleasing on an intellectual level – but because both films and happy, and full of gladness. In the circumstances, it has also given me are beautifully shot, and beautifully acted. What I mean is, that I would four new and wonderful friends: Gilles and Lyne Bourdos, and Robert have been blown away by them in any case. Viewing “Espèces Menacées,” David and Lisa Port. Pals in the beautiful vineyard of expression. I was taken by Gilles Bourdos’s choices, melding six very different stories – some of them written years and thousands of miles apart; in Robert Richard Bausch is a professor of English and teaches creative writing at Chapman University. David Port’s “Peace,” I was excited by what he added. He won the 2013 Rea Award for short fiction. He is the author of 11 novels and eight story collections.

MAY 2019






Molly Mackris ’19,

@ ChapmanUniversity @ ChapmanUniversityAlumni

a double major in business and accounting,


travel course experience

gave us a look into the at Chapman.

@ChapmanU @chapmanualumni


LINKEDIN Chapman University Want to share your story directly with the Chapman Family on Instagram? Send us your info at

Academy Award nominee and alumnus Patrick Don Vito ’91, right, gave a glimpse into Oscars week, including celebrating the Best Picture win by “Green Book.”

Nieman Gatus ’17 shared his journey from Chapman student to successful singersongwriter.

Chapman Magazine Online Don’t forget to check out Chapman Magazine online, with Web-only stories, links to video, slideshows and more. Find it all at



The latest edition of Chapman Magazine made me proud to have studied at Chapman for my undergraduate education — and it made me long to do it again, with all the amazing changes and advantages given to the students these days. JULIE (JAGUSIAK) RADFORD ‘01

It was very sad seeing Playboy’s Cooper Hefner ’15 given a platform in the latest edition of Chapman Magazine, particularly at a time when women have endured sexual harassment and assault at the hands of men inspired by magazines such as Playboy. DAN JONES



My nephew and I met Nicole Provansal ’07, who was featured in the latest edition of Chapman Magazine, when we toured the campus in 2007. She served as a tour guide and was everything one would expect of a Chapman grad. I’m so pleased to see that she earned her MBA and is on a successful career path with the Los Angeles Angels. ROBERT WIENS ‘69

Wow! There were some really exceptional people and stories in the latest edition of Chapman Magazine. I’m totally impressed! Proud to be a Panther! DORIS LONGMEAD ’71

We welcome comments on Chapman Magazine or any aspect of the University experience. Send submissions to Please include your full name, class year (if alumna or alumnus) and the city in which you live. We reserve the right to edit submissions for style and length.

CORRECTION: The results from Town & Gown’s 50th anniversary fundraising campaign reported in the most recent issue of Chapman Magazine were incorrect. The amount raised was $100,000.



Struppa also provided an update on initiatives coming to fruition soon, including the Villa Park Orchards student housing project set to open this fall. Thanks to an anonymous European donor, the residence center will be named The K, he said.

A more robust endowment will not only provide protection during economic dips or shifting enrollments, but it will improve access and affordability through enhanced scholarships, he said.

A theme Struppa returned to several times in his speech was the University’s responsibility to deliver on its promise to students and families. To deliver on that vision in the future, he and the University Board of Trustees have developed a plan to grow the endowment, now at more than $390 million. The goal is to reach $1 billion by 2029. Among the strategies will be a comprehensive fundraising campaign.

Chapman has already made good strides on accessibility, he said. He announced that two new positions had been created to support programs that serve first-generation students, who now represent 20 percent of Chapman enrollment. Guests attending the talk, held in Musco Center for the Arts, included a group of high school seniors accepted to Chapman who will be among the first in their families to attend college.

“I want you to understand that this is not just for prestige, or to be able to proclaim that we have this large endowment. It’s the dramatic impact it will have on the people we all care so much about – our students,” Struppa said.

“I can promise you will love the environment here. This is a place where you will succeed and we will be working with you all along the way,” Struppa told the students, who were greeted with applause as they rose to be acknowledged.

Struppa also described plans to transform the Rinker Health Science Campus in Irvine, home to Chapman’s School of Pharmacy and several graduate health science programs in the Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences. With the purchase of additional property there, planners will relocate parking and create a campus environment that will include outdoor and recreational spaces as well as pedestrian paths connecting the various laboratory and classroom buildings. Struppa’s full State of the University address may be viewed at the Facebook page for Chapman University’s Office of the President.

MAY 2019



Car Still Drives Transportation Thinking

“Seventy percent said that even if a more efficient public transportation system were available, they would still drive their cars to work,” said Fred Smoller, Ph.D., associate professor of political science and co-director of the survey.   “Orange County people like their cars and use their cars every day.”

Public transit and autonomous vehicles trail the traditional king of the road, a Chapman conference and survey show.

Supported by a grant from Fieldstead and Company and hosted by Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, the Fifth Annual Public Policy Conference featured experts from the California High Speed Rail Authority, the Orange County Transportation Authority and the California Department of Transportation. Also joining in the conversation were public policy analysts, urban planners, journalists and engineers.


hile automakers expect to have selfdriving cars on the market within the next five years, the public may not be ready for them. That’s one of the many relevant findings in the latest Chapman University Orange County Annual Survey, released in March during the University’s Fifth Annual Public Policy Conference, this year titled “The Future of Transportation. ” In the survey, 55 percent of respondents said they would not ride in a fully autonomous, selfdriving car, and 45 percent objected to sharing the road with such vehicles. The survey also shows that, while Orange County remains carcentric, the door may be opening to mass transit, so long as it directly serves county residents.

Attallah Alumni Earn Counseling Honors


chool counselors support students in ways that extend far beyond the classroom, and when the Orange County Department of Education chose its most exemplary mentors this year, Chapman’s Attallah College of Educational Studies school counseling graduate program stood out. Four of the six recipients of the 2019 Counselor Recognition and Counselor Advocate Awards were Chapman alumni or current faculty. They are Katerina Sorrell (M.A. ’15), school counselor at Gates Elementary School and six other elementary schools in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District; Andrew Fredriksz (M.A. ’16), school counselor at Aliso Viejo Middle School in the Capistrano Unified School District; Beau Menchaca (M.A. ’02), school counselor at Century High School in the



Topics of discussion included traffic congestion, ride-sharing services, drones, scooters, the Hyperloop and high-speed rail. In its second year, the Orange County Annual Survey takes the pulse of county residents on critical policy issues. This year’s survey polled 704 county residents, with a focus on transit concerns.

The survey found that residents support mass transit, as long as new projects address local traffic issues. In addition, there’s majority support for the OC Streetcar light rail line and a rail connection between Orange County and Los Angeles International Airport. But most respondents don’t support California’s $77 billion high-speed rail project, known as the bullet train. For the second year in a row, the data suggest that Orange County is politically more moderate than its previous conservative reputation. Residents support gun control, environmental protection, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and a legal path to citizenship for those in the country without documentation. “Orange County is changing and is much different today compared to the county of 20 or 30 years ago,” said Mike Moodian, Ed.D., a Chapman integrated education studies faculty member and co-director of the survey. “We now see a county that is trending purple and is more balanced in terms of political views.”

Santa Ana Unified School District; Rebecca Pianta, Attallah College adjunct professor and coordinator for counseling and student support and foster youth liaison in the Capistrano Unified School District. “As school counselors, our highest honor is being told we’ve made a difference — not just in an individual — but in an entire family,” Sorrell said. “For a counselor, life success is about improving the world … one amazing person at a time.”

Joining in the celebration of school counseling excellence are, from left, Beau Menchaca (M.A. ’02), recipient of the Orange County Department of Education High School Counselor of the Year Award; Francis Dizon (Ph.D. ’13), director of student services at Saddleback Valley Unified School District; Katerina Sorrell (M.A. ’15), recipient of the Elementary School Counselor of the Year Award; Kelly Kennedy, Ph.D., Attallah College’s associate dean of graduate programs; Andrew Fredriksz (M.A. ’16, LPCC), recipient of the Middle School Counselor of the Year Award; Attallah College lecturer Rebecca Pianta, recipient of the Counselor Advocate of the Year Award; and Attallah College school counseling lecturer Kathleen Frazer. (Photo by Cheryl Baltes)

Pianta, who trains and supports counselors while working toward a doctorate in organizational leadership at Brandman University, was one of two recipients of the new Counselor Advocate of the Year Award. “Everywhere I go, when I do site visits or even when we interview students, Chapman alumni stand out,” Pianta said.

Kelly Kennedy, Ph.D., associate dean of graduate programs, said Attallah College is proud of the dedication of its alumni and faculty. “That so many of our Chapman Panthers were recognized this year with OCDE awards speaks volumes about our school counseling program,” Kennedy said.


$1 Million Gift to Aid Fowler Law Bar Prep


recent $1 million gift received by the Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law establishes a new endowed professorship that will help expand the institution’s innovative bar exam preparation program. Professor Mario Mainero, executive director of bar preparation and academic achievement, has been named as the inaugural Gray Family Professor of Law.

The Chapman Industry Partners Council includes representatives from some of the top employers in Southern California.

Council Connects CU to Industry Partners C hapman University has a long track record of sending its graduates to work at top companies and organizations throughout Southern California, from Lionsgate and Netflix to Bank of America and Edward Jones.

Now Chapman has launched an Industry Partners Council to expand those classroomto-career connections and create unique research collaborations between the University and regional industries. “We are excited about the opportunities the Industry Partners Council will create for our students,” said Galen Grillo (EMBA ’13), council chairman and vice president of planning and enterprise integration for the Automobile Club of Southern California. Grillo is also a member of Chapman’s board of governors. “These alliances will help shape mutually beneficial outcomes for our corporate partners by helping them tap into groundbreaking research in a broad range of disciplines.” The Industry Partners Council, part of the Think Chapman First initiative led by the Office of Career and Professional Development at the University, began meeting this winter. Shari Battle, senior vice president at Bank of America, serves as vice chair. A partial list of inaugural members includes representatives from Allergan, Amazon, Automobile Club of Southern California, Bank of America, Bay Alarm

Company, Boeing, ECOS/Earth Friendly Products, Experian, IdeaHall, Ingram Micro, Johnson & Johnson, KCOMM, Park West Landscape, Inc. and SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union. Some of the council’s first efforts will focus on matching unique industry research needs with expert faculty resources. Potential research projects range from data analytics to food science studies. “These research projects are great opportunities for students to be involved in innovative areas that give them experience with potential employers. New lines of research that are developed through these partnerships can enhance the economic development of the region and with specific industry partners,” said Tom Piechota, Ph.D., vice president for research at Chapman. In addition, plans for students include tapping industry experts for informational interviews, internships, corporate site visits and hiring pipelines. The council will also help hiring managers throughout the region see Chapman as a go-to resource as they build their workforces.

“Professor Mainero has built one of the best bar preparation programs in the country,” said Fowler School of Law Dean Matthew Parlow. That program includes two distinct for-credit courses that students take as part of the JD curriculum and an intensive supplemental program after graduation. The new endowment, made by a donor who was moved by a family member’s experience with the school’s bar preparation program, not only recognizes Mainero’s success, but also all of those who teach in the program. “This endowment reflects our unparalleled efforts in developing resources to support our students, as well as the dedication and hard work of the entire Fowler School of Law bar prep team,” said Mainero, JD. This is the fourth gift of at least $1 million received by the Fowler School of Law in the last several years. These generous contributions have helped fund scholarships, professorships, and various programs, as well as upgrades and renovations to the school’s home, Kennedy Hall.

“It’s going to be this great forum with industry and the University coming together and communicating better,” Grillo said. To learn more, contact Tami Thompson, Chapman’s director of external relations, at

Fowler School of Law Professor Mario Mainero, right, “has built one of the best bar preparation programs in the country,” says Dean Matthew Parlow.

MAY 2019



Student actors hone unique skills by taking a racy turn onto “Avenue Q.”





Don’t tell Cookie Monster. But some people frown on the prospect of cookie crumbs in monster fur. That was the message during rehearsals for Chapman University’s recent production of the triple-Tony-winning “Avenue Q,” a puppetpopulated musical that imagines a world similar to “Sesame Street” but with very adult humor, travails and after-dark frolics. “Everyone have a cookie,” director Luke Yankee shouts to the student cast during a break. “And wash your hands before you come back. We don’t want chocolate on the puppets.” After all, those furry friends needed to look their best for the show, which enjoyed a wellattended spring run at Musco Center for the Arts on campus. The show features a style of puppetry in which handlers are visible to the audience. So, after a month of rehearsals, those puppets became extensions – ahem – partners to the students who brought them to life with voice, music and motion. Just ask Chapman University theatre performance major Tyler Wincott ’19. He performed the role of Princeton in the Department of Theatre’s production of the sweet and snarky comedy where fuzzy felt characters and shaggy monsters share an apartment building with humans as they all struggle to find love and happiness in the big city. During a rehearsal break at Chapman’s Entertainment Technology Center, Wincott describes the experience. As he holds a puppet aloft on his right arm, the googly-eyed creature appears to join the conversation. His mouth moves as Wincott’s does. Likewise, his head nods along as the student explains how he polished his vocal skills before auditions. Both puppet and handler lean forward as Wincott recalls the excitement of landing the role. Princeton’s arms widen with joy for emphasis.

Force of habit, whimsy or method acting? Yes on all counts, says the puppeteer-in-training. “It really becomes natural. And you get more and more into your character until it becomes literally you,” he says with a laugh. Not that it was an easy transformation. It required training and the luxury of time. For coaching, the department enlisted Disneytrained puppeteer McKay Magnum, who spent five years at the Disneyland Resort honing his puppetry skills, performing with a variety of pole puppets and the human-arm varieties akin to the “Avenue Q” cast. Even Jeff Marx, “Avenue Q” co-creator and lyricist, visited campus and taught a master class with the cast and crew, and later attended one of the performances. Extra rehearsal time arrived thanks to winter interterm, Chapman’s compressed term between the fall and spring semesters when students can focus on a single class or project. For theatre students, the January pace mirrors the real world, Yankee says. “We have the advantage of eight-hour rehearsal days, just like in the professional theatre. Not only are the students able to get that concentrated experience, using Actors Equity rules in terms of breaks, etcetera, but we are able to get so much more accomplished,” Yankee says. “By the time the semester starts and we shift to evening rehearsals, we have already hit our stride.” Screen acting major Grace Eberle ’21 appreciated the extra time. She is the handler and voice for Lucy the Slut, a take-no-nonsense vixen with come-hither eyes and curves to match. The design and shape of the puppet’s eyes require Eberle to hold Lucy precisely, lest the puppet’s gaze appear to drift off stage. Lucy’s buxom challenges, too.



Katie Orr ’22, opposite page, gives voice to “Kate Monster” during a spring semester production of “Avenue Q.” At top, other cast members include Noah Fletcher ‘21, Tyler Wincott ’19, Jazmin Pollinger ‘19 and Kyla Stone ‘20. At center, Wincott brings the puppet character Princeton to life. Above, Dana Hicks ‘20 portrays Mrs. Thistletwat alongside the Bad Idea Bears, Conner Piers ‘22 and Kennedy Martin ‘20.

“It’s harder than it looks,” Eberle says. “It’s more about shaking her elbows and moving her arms so they don’t get caught in her, umm, bodice.” It’s definitely a good puppet rule, but another one we won’t share with Cookie Monster.

MAY 2019



“I would never say there’s this fundamental truth to storytelling except to try to reflect the human condition. And whether we do that with robots or video game characters or talking foxes, it’s ultimately looking at ourselves.” JIM REARDON, director of story on “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” speaking after a screening of the animated feature in Folino Theater

“Many researchers are most afraid of the criticism and opinions of their peers. So to get on my stage and tell a story about failing or about being weak, or being vulnerable or even just talking about emotions, essentially exposes those scientists to criticism, to censure, to claims of being subjective rather than objective. So we (science communicators) do a lot of work to gain their trust, to show that we understand why the stories sometimes are very complicated and sometimes there’s nuance that we can’t just skip.”

Photo: D. Albertacci

LIZ NEELEY, executive director of “The Story Collider,” a nonprofit podcast about science, speaking during the panel discussion Science & Storytelling held on campus in March

“Obviously we have a certain design when we sit down to write something – a certain idea we want people to get out of it. And if we’re really lucky, we won’t do that at all. We’ll do something that’s accidentally even better. That’s what I hope for.” TOBIAS WOLFF, author and teacher of creative writing, recipient of the National Medal of Arts, speaking during an evening of WordTheatre that included dramatic readings of his work in Fish Interfaith Center





A School of Pharmacy research project uses nanoparticles to target hypertension. The number of Americans at risk for heart attack and stroke is staggering. According to the American Heart Association, nearly half of all U.S. adults have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. That’s an estimated 103 million people. With cardiovascular diseases among the world’s leading causes of death, the research of Rajasekharreddy Pala, Ph.D., takes on added importance. Pala, a postdoctoral fellow at the Chapman University School of Pharmacy (CUSP), is leading a research project that “could be one superior approach to curing hypertension,” he says. Supported by more than $1 million in funding from the Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health, the project advances the use of nanoparticles to target specific organelles within cells. Included is a little known organelle called cilium. “Scientists have begun to link cilium to many disorders,” Pala says. “A ciliary dysfunction — commonly known as a ciliopathy — includes a long list of conditions like hypertension, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, blindness and other genetic disorders.” Pala and his group designed a delivery system to target drugs specifically to dysfunctional cilia, allowing the drugs to work without affecting other organelles within the cells. This approach offers the potential for more effective treatments with fewer side effects. “Due to our targeted delivery approach, there was no mortality or toxic symptoms,” Pala says. And that’s not all. Since traditional treatments need higher amounts of drugs to be effective, this targeted technology could reduce patients’ costs.

this complex area requires an interdisciplinary approach,” says Amir Ahsan, Ph.D., an assistant professor of physics at Chapman who is also involved in the research project. “Our studies provided scientific evidence that existing pharmacological agents could be personalized with advanced nanomaterials to treat ciliopathy without the need of generating new drugs.” adds Surya Nauli, Ph.D., project participant and professor in Chapman’s School of Pharmacy. In 2018, Pala and his group presented this research during the Research Day at CUSP, where the team received support from colleagues, including CUSP Dean Ronald P. Jordan, RPh, FAPhA. “Chapman University’s cutting-edge research facility definitely helped in our research,” Pala says.

Rajasekharreddy Pala, Ph.D.

Up next for Pala and his group: presenting at the world’s largest nanotechnology event, the Nanotech 2019 Conference and Expo in Boston in June. “There will be many industry people at the event,” Pala says. “We’re looking forward to commercialization of our technology, or even a possible industrial collaboration — to bring our technology into the clinical trial level.”

“This seminal study contributes to the dawn of a new age of nanomedicine, where progress in this complex area requires an interdisciplinary approach.” – Amir Ahsan, Ph.D.

“This seminal study contributes to the dawn of a new age of nanomedicine, where progress in

MAY 2019




In March, when California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) released its job growth numbers for the state, President Emeritus and Professor Jim Doti, Ph.D., learned that Chapman’s Economic Forecast team had been correct in its assessment of the number of new jobs in Orange County. The EDD had been wrong. As the founder of Chapman’s annual forecast, Doti was pleased that the Chapman calculations had proved to be the most accurate available regarding county job growth, but he wasn’t surprised. “This has happened for two years in a row,” he says. “We knew that jobs grew at double the rate we were being told. The EDD was reporting 1 percent average job growth for

Orange County, and we estimated 2.2 percent. That’s a difference of 16,000 jobs.” Last year, as the Chapman team prepared Chapman’s 41st Annual Economic Forecast for December, they stuck with the figures the Chapman Econometric Model predicted rather than adjusting calculations to reflect what Doti calls “the EDD’s bogus numbers.” On March 8, as the EDD released its revised numbers, Raymond Sfeir, Ph.D., director of the A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research, says, “Our numbers were nearly bullseye.” Since 1978, Chapman’s Economic Forecast has been using its econometric model to identify and forecast trends in the U.S., California and

President Emeritus and Professor Jim Doti, Ph.D. Southern California economies. What was initially established by Doti as a class project with the Argyros School of Business and Economics is recognized nationally for its statistical accuracy. Currently, Doti, Sfeir and the rest of the Chapman team are preparing for their next Economic Forecast Update, to be delivered June 19 in Musco Center for the Arts. Information and tickets are available at Chapman alumni receive special pricing.

“WHEN SOMEONE BELIEVES IN YOU, YOU CAN DO ANYTHING.” Those are the heartfelt words of Cristina Uribe ‘22, who received scholarship support as a freshman, allowing her to attend Chapman University. Cristina is a member of Chapman’s Honors Program, conducts research at the newly opened Brain Institute on Chapman’s Rinker campus and volunteers with youth to prevent gang violence in the City of Orange.


ANYTHING IMAGINABLE. | (714) 628-2834







aul Deese, the coach who guided Chapman to its first national championship in any sport, passed away Jan. 11. He was 79.

Deese’s passing came only months after the 50th anniversary of the 1968 NCAA College Division baseball title won by what was then known as Chapman College. Deese was selected the national coach of the year that season for what is now the equivalent of NCAA Division II. Inducted into Chapman’s Hall of Fame in 1981, Deese was enshrined again with the entire 1968 team in 2008. “Paul Deese was a great motivator,” said Bob Zamora ’68, a shortstop on the championship team who went on to win 746 games and seven CIF titles as coach at Capistrano Valley High School before retiring last year. “Through his aggressive personality, Paul inspired his players to perform beyond their abilities and achieve great success.” David Ristig ’73, an infielder on the ’68 title team who later served as Chapman’s coach for three seasons, remembered Deese’s role in his life off the field as well as on it. “Coach not only was responsible for instigating a successful courtship with his secretary, now my wife, but was able to push me as a player to be the best I could be. I will always be indebted to him and what he did for my family,” Ristig said. “Coach Deese was very good to my motherin-law, wife of Don Perkins, the Chapman athletic director, when he passed. Coach felt really close to Don and gave their family all his raise in pay for some time to help get them started on their own. I really admired that.” As baseball coach from 1964-70 and again from 1982-83, Deese guided Chapman to 248 victories. His teams made seven NCAA regional appearances and advanced to two national championship tournaments.

Coach Paul Deese, left, and shortstop Bob Zamora ’68 accept the national championship trophy in 1968. He coached seven All-Americans, and 12 of his players were selected in the Major League Baseball draft. Randy Jones ’72, who pitched on Deese’s teams in 1969 and 1970, went on to win the 1976 National League Cy Young Award. A 1961 graduate of Whittier College, Deese earned a master’s degree from the University of Illinois in 1962. After his tenure at Chapman, he went on to become coach and general manager of the Anchorage Glacier Pilots in the Alaska Summer League. In 1974, he became the president and CEO of the National Baseball Congress. From 1976-79, Deese was the president and general manager of the California Surf, a professional soccer team in Anaheim. His coaching career continued with an independent league team in the 1990s, and he came out of retirement to coach a high school team in 2009. In addition to his wife Shirley, Deese is survived by his daughter Dawn, son Brett and numerous grandchildren.


MAY 2019




hen your research project invites colleagues to think anew about questions that have been debated for centuries, you learn to welcome the unexpected. Like when you get a call out of the blue from a scholar who says he’s phoning from Chapman.

“In Canada, Chapman is a popular brand of ice cream. So at first I thought I might be asked for a corporate sponsorship to consider the neuro-coordinates of vanilla, chocolate and the human brain,” recalls a smiling Amir Raz, Ph.D., then a professor at McGill University in Montreal.

The Brain Institute faculty leadership team

Instead, the voice on the other end belonged to Chapman University President Daniele Struppa, who started a conversation that would eventually lead to Chapman becoming a world-leading hub of brain science inquiry: a place to bring the most challenging questions in psychology and neuroscience; to test theories on consciousness and free will; to expand a collaborative spirit by welcoming even more scholars and disciplines.

includes Amir Raz, center, director of the institute; Uri Maoz, right, Brain Institute project leader; and Aaron Schurger, left, assistant professor of psychology.



Vanilla or chocolate? No, the questions at the heart of this research have much more sustenance and nuance. How does the brain give rise to the conscious mind? Are humans endowed with conscious free will? Do we control our actions, or are we the ones being controlled?


“Sometimes it translates into decision-making, and sometimes into cognition, but when it comes to free will, a lot of it has to do with core human experience. It’s about trying to understand whether I own my actions,” says Raz, now director of the new Institute for Interdisciplinary Brain and Behavioral Sciences – the Brain Institute at Chapman.

As the Brain Institute research program ramps up, Chapman will be at the center of inquiry involving 17 universities spanning four continents. Included are Harvard, Yale, NYU, Duke, UCLA, University College London, Charité Berlin, Tel Aviv University and Monash University in Australia.

“Was I planning my actions, or was something happening to me against my will? Was I influenced, or did I influence the actions? These are not just philosophical questions, and they’re not just legal questions,” Raz adds. “They have an air of importance for our human identity.”

“The neuroscience and philosophy of free will – it all comes together at Chapman,” said Maoz, a psychologist and computational neuroscientist who came to Chapman from UCLA.

$7 MILLION IN SUPPORT The Brain Institute’s ambitious research program is validated by the more than $7 million in funding it has attracted, including $5.34 million from the John Templeton Foundation and $1.55 million from the Fetzer Institute. With an additional $150,000 coming from the Fetzer Memorial Trust, the funding total of $7.04 million represents Chapman’s largest non-federal research grant to date. “The grant aims to create a new field in the study of the brain – the neurophilosophy of free will,” says Uri Maoz, Ph.D., assistant professor of computational neuroscience at Chapman and the leader of the project. “We are not just a center of the study of the neuroscience of free will – we are the center.” Chapman’s leadership in the field was evident during a conference in March that served as the institute’s coming-out party. The International Conference on the Neuroscience of Free Will attracted 90 researchers from 40 universities to Chapman’s Rinker Health Science campus in Irvine, where the Brain Institute makes its home. The institute also has offices on the Orange campus.

“I don’t claim that no research has been done about this before, but what I’m trying to do is to bring people together more formally and try to think what a field requires,” Maoz notes in a recent interview in Science magazine. “It requires conferences, for example, where people come together from time to time to talk specifically about the topic, instead of meeting at the sidelines of another conference, on vision or decision-making or consciousness, to talk about free will. We try to think of ways to get students engaged, as equal partners. … We need to get younger people excited about this.”

UNDERGRAD RESEARCH Cristina Uribe ’22 is certainly excited. Last semester, as a first-year student at Chapman, she took a class in consciousness and was hooked by the study of brain science. Six months later, she is implementing a research project at the Brain Institute, and she has founded the student Brain Club at the University. None of this is a stretch for Uribe, a native of Colombia who grew up in Panama and who had her earliest thoughts about consciousness and the brain when she was just 6 years old.

MAY 2019


IN HER FIRST YEAR OF COLLEGE, URIBE IS SCHEDULING EXPERIMENTERS, RECRUITING PARTICIPANTS AND COLLECTING DATA. “I NEVER THOUGHT I COULD DO RESEARCH LIKE THIS AS A FRESHMAN,” SHE SAYS. “I FIND IT AMAZING.” “I remember it perfectly,” she says. “I was in the park, and I saw this red swing. I thought, ‘What is red? Do we all see it the same way, or do we just all call it red?’ That shaped me.” Later, Uribe saw a therapy based on research change the life of her sister, who had been diagnosed with a case of ADHD so severe it was expected to severely limit her opportunities throughout her life. “It turned out that she just experienced things differently,” Uribe says of her sister. “For her, being touched was like her skin was covered in painful blisters, and she reacted aggressively. Sensory integration therapy helped her adapt to the real world. She ended up graduating at the top or her class at Northeastern, and now she’s working at Amazon.” These days, Uribe is conducting a Brain Institute research experiment called the rubber-hand illusion. Participants watch a dummy hand being stroked by a paint brush while identical strokes are applied to their real hand, which is hidden from view. Sometimes the feeling of touch can come without any tactile stimulation, just by seeing the rubber hand receive brush strokes. “Even though the stimulus is the same, what you pay attention to will create the perception,” Uribe says. “This indicates it’s a top-down sensation, not a bottom-up one, which had previously been shown. That tells us more about consciousness. Even though the outside world is the same, if you are thinking differently, it shapes how you see the world.” In her first year of college, Uribe is scheduling experimenters, recruiting participants and collecting data. “I never thought I could do research like this as a freshman,” she says. “I find it amazing.” The research project could eventually inform treatments for amputees experiencing phantom limb syndrome. But for now Uribe’s focus is on collecting results, not applying them. Participants in Brain Institute research include Alice Wong, top photo, a Ph.D. student in computational and data science, and Cristina Uribe ‘22, a first-year undergraduate student conducting research involving perception and consciousness.



“We’re just beginning,” she says. “We have to see.”

WIDE-RANGING EXPERIMENTS Uribe’s experiment is just one of many underway at the Brain Institute. Other projects include human random sequence generation and neurofeedback. Still others incorporate a driving simulator and a sensory-deprivation tank. One experiment – metacognition in deliberate and arbitrary choices – explores how the timing of people’s judgment about their actions and intentions changes across the types of decisions being made. This experiment builds on the groundbreaking work done by physiologist Benjamin Libet in the 1980s. Libet found that the brain signaled a physical action before participants reported that they had even decided to move. It’s seen as the moment when neuroscience entered a realm that had been reserved for philosophy: Do humans have free will? “Libet’s study was the paper that spawned a thousand papers and launched the field,” Maoz says in the Science magazine piece. “But there was a lot of criticism against Libet’s findings. I think what individual scientists have done since was to try to chip away some of the criticism. They tried to answer questions such as does brain activity only predict when you are going to move a hand, or could it predict which hand you move? How early can you see the signal? Do these early predictive signals mean the decision has been made several seconds in advance? Or are they some kind of activity that biases the decision? So, I’d say two types of progress have been made. One is that we tried to elucidate which of the claims made in the original paper holds, what replicates and what doesn’t. Second, we now know the question is much more complex and nuanced. That’s one of the reasons we need our philosopher colleagues. They have been thinking about [free will] for many years.” Indeed, it’s time to make the consideration of consciousness and free will a team sport, says Aaron Schurger, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology and the third member of the Brain Institute faculty leadership team. “The only way we’re going to solve this is if our communities work together, including social scientists, biologists, mathematicians, engineers, computer scientists and statisticians,” says Schurger, who came to Chapman from the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research as well as the Neurospin Research Center in France. “In our mission to be the best in the world, we certainly aren’t playing it safe.”

Tools of Brain Institute investigation include a driving simulator, left. Among those conducting experiments are research assistant Allison Jarvis, top photo, and visiting researcher Rémi Thériault.

MAY 2019







When Paul Churchill ’05 sits down alone behind a microphone in Bozeman, Mont., a community starts to come alive.


“My name is Paul Churchill, and I have a confession to make. I’m 32 years old, I live in southwest Montana. I share my condo with a standard poodle named Ben. And here’s the confession. In reality, I’m terrified to say this. And I’ve known this for a fact, what I’m about to say, for 10 years, but every time I say it, I’m still getting used to it. It stings. It’s something I’ve held hidden, deep dark inside my realm of secrets. But here it is: I am an alcoholic. I have been sober for 156 days. Those are the words that launched the “Recovery Elevator” podcast when it first aired on Feb. 12, 2015. More than 2 million downloads and 200-plus weekly episodes later, Churchill is more than four years sober, and “Recovery Elevator” is an entrepreneurial success that embraces technology as a way to create communities that help people learn to live a life without alcohol. “I think I’m going to do ‘Recovery Elevator’ for the rest of my life,” he said. MAY 2019





What began as a way for Churchill to carry himself through the challenges of his first year of sobriety has evolved into a multifaceted business. The podcast has attracted multiple corporate sponsors, and “Recovery Elevator” offers listeners paid subscription-based access to private online communities known as Café RE, along with “sober travel” group tours, including a trip to Peru.

At Chapman, Churchill majored in business administration and knew he wanted to become an entrepreneur. Also a member of the football team, he was often the life of the party, but not in the way you might think.

As the audience grew, Churchill realized his mission had become to “shred the shame” caused by the stigma surrounding substance-use disorders, and to help people manage a life without drinking by creating connections with others.

Starting his own businesses was always in the cards — “That’s just how I’m wired. I was the kid who had lemonade stands,” he said.

Excessive alcohol use leads to about 88,000 U.S. deaths each year and is involved in almost a third of driving fatalities. An estimated 15 million American adults have an alcohol-use disorder, but fewer than 10 percent receive treatment in a given year. “Alcohol does not discriminate,” said Churchill, whose weekly podcasts now include a listener each week who wants to share their story. “I’ve interviewed doctors, lawyers, engineers, even the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.” What Churchill inadvertently discovered is how technology can ease the path to sobriety.

The listeners on Churchill’s warm, witty and bantering podcast — be prepared for occasional references to the band Third Eye Blind — are not who some people might expect them to be. They are mostly in their 20s, 30s and 40s. Many are in relationships or are the parents of young children. Most are doing well in their careers, though many have had personal or work setbacks at some point. But whether Churchill is talking to Elaine with 15 days sober, or Ronnie with 25 years, his refrain is the same: “We can’t do this alone.”


“I loved at Chapman that I could go talk to any one of my professors,” Churchill said. “I took advantage of the office hours, and it was a small school. That’s what they sold, and that’s what they delivered. They delivered a personalized education.”


Taking a first anxious step into an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting or committing to a rehab program can be frightening. But by listening privately at first, then signing up for a private Facebook group or going onto the podcast as a guest, people often find they become comfortable enough to be more open in their journeys and many times eventually find their way to AA or treatment if they need additional support, Churchill says.


“I was always DJ’ing at Chapman. I would be on the microphone and just felt comfortable,” he said. “It’s kind of a God-given talent.”

Churchill’s current roster of successful businesses includes a thriving wedding DJ company, adult sports leagues and an arcade business. But it was his first venture, buying and operating a bar in Spain, that set him on a harrowing path that ultimately led to sobriety, or what he calls “my most crowning achievement in life.” “When I graduated Chapman, becoming an alcoholic was not part of the plan, but you’ve got to roll with the punches,” Churchill said wryly. His story, which he has told at speaking engagements like TEDx Bozeman, has dark turns, like many stories of addiction.

“I was hoping to leave my drinking problem in Spain, that it would stay there, but guess what? It came with me when I moved back home to Colorado. From there, I actually tried another geographical cure, I went from Colorado to grad school at the University of Washington, hoping my drinking problem was going to stay in Colorado, but darn it, it came with me to Washington. In 2010, I started to realize alcohol might be the problem,” he said. “I had been a success as an entrepreneur, and pretty much everything I’ve done, but something was holding me back, and in 2010 I decided to quit drinking, and I made it 2½ years, and then I drank again,” he said.

Churchill moved to Bozeman after earning a master’s degree in intercollegiate leadership at the University of Washington, launched more businesses, and stopped drinking for what he intends to be the final time on Sept. 7, 2014. In those early, shaky months, “I kind of had a moment of The “Recovery Elevator” podcast produced and clarity, like oh my hosted by Paul Churchill ‘05 features well-researched gosh, if I don’t topics such as mindfulness, medication-assisted do something treatment and post-acute withdrawal syndrome. extremely different, I am going to drink again and all these businesses that I built, they’re all going to come tumbling down,” Churchill said. “The signs were there. It was already starting to happen.” The podcast started simply as a way to hold himself accountable, he said. “I didn’t really care who listened. I literally had no intentions of turning it into a business and turning it into what it is today. But I slowly started checking download numbers and people were listening. Then I got a first email and then a second email. Then about 100 episodes in, ZipRecruiter sponsored it, and now we’re getting more and more.” A CONTINUING QUEST Though Churchill attends AA meetings, his approach is that people should find whatever works for them. His exploration of recovery continues, with well-researched introductions on the podcast to topics such as medication-assisted treatment, the relationship between alcohol and anxiety, and post-acute withdrawal syndrome, which includes symptoms such as anxiety, depression or difficulty concentrating that can persist many months into abstinence. He discusses mindfulness, how to date in sobriety and how to stay sober during the holidays. He even talks about whether to “break up” with the word alcoholic. (The

current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual prepared by the American Psychiatric Association uses the term “alcohol use disorder.”) With no formal training, Churchill is quick to say he doesn’t give treatment advice and is not an addiction counselor. “It took me a while to figure this out, but the product I’m providing is community,” he said. “I bring a lot of like-minded people together in one place.” Every time he talks about recovery, whether on the podcast, in an interview or in day-to-day life, he knows there is a chance people will recognize themselves. “Even in college, there will be people at Chapman who say, ‘Oh my gosh, I need help,’” he said. “Somebody’s going to read this, and I want to get the point across that they’re not alone. If you’re struggling with alcohol, you’re not alone and feel free to reach out to myself or just tell yourself, ‘I’m not alone.’ There are a lot of people going through this, and we harbor this secret. I know for me, it was my deepest, darkest secret for about a decade. Just coming out about it was so empowering.”


MAY 2019






Vladimir Kozhemyakin (Pharm.D. ’20)

Rachana Poch (Pharm.D. ’20)

Narcan, Suboxone, Antabuse, Vivitrol, Campral. Those are just a handful of the array of medications pharmacists dispense for the urgent treatment or longer-term recovery of people addicted to drugs or alcohol. Yet a pharmacist’s role can be much broader. “We’re not just behind the counter,” said Mary Gutierrez, Pharm.D., a professor of pharmacy practice at Chapman University School of Pharmacy (CUSP). Clinical pharmacists work directly with physicians and patients in healthcare settings, and many pharmacists play a role in educating patients and the public. Driven by these education goals, CUSP students are using their creative talents to target prevention and intervention in the treatment of drug and alcohol abuse.


In one project, Vladimir Kozhemyakin (Pharm.D. ’20) and Rachana Poch (Pharm.D. ’20) have worked with a recovering addict and an illustrator on a graphic novel. The work tells the story of Clay Keena’s journey from three near-death overdoses to recovery and a full life as the father of a young child. The team plans to publish the graphic novel digitally so it can be easily shared on social media. “I wanted it to be a digital product and not print, because printing can only be sent to so many people,” said Gutierrez, adding that the project is aimed squarely at prevention of substance-use disorders because recovery can be difficult and relapses are common. “This is free, and I can send it to junior high schools and high schools, and the kids can share it,” she said. “We can have a wider distribution and save lives.” The students’ introduction to Keena, a man seeking to help others by telling his story of addiction and recovery, came in a class led by Gutierrez, who also teaches in the chemical dependency treatment program at Mission Hospital in Laguna Beach. She often meets patients during detox, when they are frequently prescribed antianxiety or antiseizure medications to treat withdrawal. With expertise in psychiatric pharmacy as well, Gutierrez knows patients being treated for addiction often have been selfmedicating for underlying mental health conditions or to escape feelings from past traumatic experiences, and she works to help her students understand that.


“Meeting Clay for the first time, it was really kind of an eyeopener,” Poch said. “I never had met someone who overdosed, and to hear all the stories he went through with his family and in the Army, it made me see that people go through a lot. It made me feel for him in a lot of ways. Just understanding how much drugs did to him and his life inspired me with this comic book and the project we’re taking on.”

Under the guidance of Gutierrez, Poch and Kozhemyakin made the graphic novel the centerpiece of an elective capstone project. “Basically, the only time we ever see drug abusers would be in a textbook definition, clinical cases, all written on paper,” Kozhemyakin said. “Now to The interdisciplinary student team led by, from left, see someone Vladimir Kozhemyakin (Pharm.D. ’20) and Rachana Poch live, giving the (Pharm.D. ’20) aims to make the graphic novel widely physical story and available to middle school and high school students. description. … It made us more aware of how important this issue really is.” Another group of CUSP student songwriters is seeking to make a music video of their composition focusing on the life-saving potential of naloxone, the opioid overdose rescue drug known by the brand name Narcan. Many people don’t know naloxone can be dispensed by pharmacists in California without a prescription – a policy developed to try to increase the odds the drug is on hand when someone overdoses. The project’s lead singer is Samantha “Sam” Isidro (Pharm.D. ’20), who, like Kozhemyakin, entered CUSP through Chapman’s Freshman Early Assurance Program, a degree pathway that allows academically exceptional high school graduates to complete undergraduate study and a Pharm.D. degree in five years. Isidro and fellow students Dustin Le, Jordan Stokes and Tiffany Chuang – all on track to earn Doctor of Pharmacy degrees in 2020 – are collaborating under the guidance of Jerika Lam, Pharm.D., an associate professor of pharmacy practice. The students have earned an educational grant from the California Society of Health-System Pharmacists to complete the video and hope to find students from Chaman’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts to collaborate. “We know that music and videos will connect with the youth of America,” Lam said. “We hope that our naloxone music video will have a far-reaching, significant impact and educate them on how to use it to save the lives of their friends and loved ones.”

MAY 2019




Dmitry Foox (DPT ’18) has always known he wanted to help people. After winning a battle with drug addiction eight years ago, Foox discovered a healthcare calling in physical therapy. Now he’s building his professional life around a mission – “to create a world in which recovery from addiction includes healing of the body.” Recently Foox launched a practice called PHYSrecovery with two of his classmates from the Chapman University Physical Therapy program – Noel Santayana (DPT ’18) and Darren Wong (DPT ’18). “The goal is big – to make physical recovery a standard practice of care at addiction recovery centers,” says Foox, president and CEO of PHYSrecovery (physrecovery. com). “I don’t see it as a lofty goal. I think it’s very practical.” Foox knows of only one other clinic – Empowered Therapy and Wellness in Florida – that uses physical therapy to treat addiction recovery. Consulting with that clinic has helped PHYSrecovery clear some early hurdles and acquire its first clients. Thanks to the mentorship, PHYSrecovery opened its doors years before Foox expected it would possible. Foox’s bushy beard and passionate advocacy give him an uncommon presence as he visits Southern California drug and alcohol treatment centers, making the case for physical therapy as critical tool of recovery. His story is just as distinctive.




“Before I got into PT school, before I was a physical therapy aide at Cedars Sinai, before I started taking PT prerequisite courses at community college, I realized that physical therapy was an important part of my own experience with recovery,” he says. Almost a decade ago, Foox fell into addiction as a pre-med student, which sabotaged his studies and derailed his plans to become a doctor. He entered a drug treatment center, where he received professional counseling and spiritual support that helped modify his behaviors, but no one on his recovery team was trained to help him heal from the physical repercussions of addiction. Foox says it wasn’t until he committed to improving his physical health and fitness that his life turned a corner. He still draws on the experience as he works on his own exercisereward formation model, for which he plans to seek a patent. “You have to take an interest in something, and for me it was that I wanted to get moving, to get fit,” he says. “I started to feel the rewards of purposeful movement.”

one else would, and accepted me because they saw evidence of my growth after my battle with addiction,” he says. Now he and his colleagues are pouring themselves into building their business model and growing their fledgling practice. All during his journey, Foox says he’s eager to tell his story. “I had a friend tell me I needed to impact a larger audience, and I’m OK telling the ugly parts of my life,” Foox says. “I humanize myself and other people by sharing my story.” “The goal is big  —  to make physical recovery a standard practice of care at addiction recovery centers,” says Dmitry Foox (DPT ‘18), president and CEO of PHYSrecovery. “I don’t see it as a lofty goal. I think it’s very practical.”

It took hard work and persistence for Foox to find a new academic path. That led him to Chapman, where his research passion took flight and he found a mentor in Jacklyn Brechter, Ph.D. “Dmitry has a unique perspective of bringing substance abuse into physical therapy,” says Brechter, associate professor of physical therapy in Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences. “No one out there had developed a systemized, standardized process, and it was interesting to see how he would walk through it – proving a need and seeing if physical therapy could be part of this process.” It doesn’t hurt that Foox “is unbelievably motivated,” Brechter adds. “When I assigned him something or asked him to do a literature review of the research, he’d always come back with more than was expected,” she says. For his part, Foox says he was simply following a singular vision. “Every opportunity to do a presentation for my peers in PT school, you better believe I did it on something addictionrelated,” he says. “I was establishing a foundation of, ‘This is going to be my specialty.’” As he transitions from student to practitioner and entrepreneur, Foox is grateful that “Chapman saw potential in me when no

MAY 2019








Argyros School celebrates 20 years of building upon the legacy of its extraordinary namesake by continuing to extend its reach and multiply its impact. The

MAY 2019


BIG DREAMS | BOLD VISION “Nonuple” isn’t an everyday word for most people. But it’s an illuminating one at Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business and Economics.

The term describes when something is nine times greater than it once was. At the Argyros School, it comes in handy to quantify the growth of academic publishing by faculty in the past two decades. It’s just one sign of the school’s progress in the 20 years since it took on the name and embraced the vision of The Honorable George L. Argyros ‘59. Among the remarkable indicators are increased student selectivity, a climb in the rankings and growing numbers of alumni rising up in every industry, from technology to international investment.

Underscoring it all is an unmatched student experience. With help from the school’s own career services office, students find meaningful internships. Undergraduates and graduates alike collaborate in small classes taught by faculty who are industry leaders as well as gifted teachers. Also in the classroom are business experts, thanks to a robust schedule of speakers who visit classes throughout the year. Many, including partners with the Big Four accounting firms, even return for mock interviews. None just talk and run.

Still, the dean of the school can’t resist some fun with the word that says so much about the unique brand of energy fueling the upward trajectory there.

“We have influential business leaders who interact with our students in a personal setting. At a bigger university, you’re never going to meet them. It’s not like you’re going to go for coffee with them and ask them questions,” Turk says. “Here, that’s fairly typical.”

“I had to learn this term,” Argyros Dean Tom Turk, Ph.D., says with a laugh. “Because we’ve nonupled our research publishing in the past 20 years. That’s pretty significant.”

advantage of the ability

Such a culture of achievement was precisely what alumnus Argyros envisioned for the school named in his honor. In his remarks during the naming dedication, Argyros called for greatness.

Dare to dream. Take to think big and reach high. Be willing to take risks. Fight courageously for the principles you believe in. - The Honorable George L. Argyros ‘59

” 28


“Dare to dream. Take advantage of the ability to think big and reach high. Be willing to take risks. Fight courageously for the principles you believe in,” Argyros said. As the school marks two decades since its naming, it’s clear that the leadership, faculty, students and alumni have more than delivered on that challenge. Today the Argyros School ranks among the world’s top 100 business schools in U.S. News & World Report rankings, offering eight areas of specialization for undergraduates and five graduate programs. The school graduates some 600 students every year, compared with about 180 two decades ago, and boasts a faculty of nearly 80, including Vernon Smith, Ph.D., Nobel laureate in economics.

Life beyond the traditional curriculum and classrooms whirrs with vigor, too. In the Janes Financial Center, students have access to 12 Bloomberg terminals, which they use to oversee the Student Managed Investment Fund. In addition, the students thrive in Research Challenge competitions sponsored by the Chartered Financial Institute (CFA). In fact, they hold a three-year winning streak. Another hallmark is the school’s Economic Science Institute, founded in 2008 and led by Professor Vernon Smith, who received the Nobel Prize in 2002. He is regarded as “the father of experimental economics,” having formulated and formalized the principles and much of the methodology of that now-thriving discipline. The institute’s widely recognized level of expertise has served to attract additional numbers of prestigious faculty. Moreover, it has made Chapman a hub of experimental economics, and supports its newest minor, humanomics, which explores economics (continued page 30)



Argyros School graduate programs

75 34

Ranking in Bloomberg Businessweek Best Undergraduate Business Schools, 2016 (most recent rankings)

Percentage of employment offers to Argyros School students that are accepted within 90 days of graduation (Class of 2016)

73 Ranking in Bloomberg Businessweek Best U.S. Full-Time MBA Programs, 2018

100+ On-campus recruiting visits by employers each year

MAY 2019


BIG DREAMS | BOLD VISION (continued from page 28)

through the lens of the humanities, and humanities through the lens of economics. Reflecting the entrepreneurial spirit and real estate career that was foundational to its namesake, the Argyros School will introduce an M.S. in real estate beginning in fall 2020. “We have a lot of faculty who do world-class research on real estate topics. A lot of our trustees are people who build Orange County. Our alumni provide great connections and intellectual expertise. We are pulling all that together to become the place that builds the next set of leaders in real estate,” Turk says. With the growth of the school has come leadership in industries. Data is paramount now, which is why the Argyros School continues to grow its computational programs. Through it all, the important principles that George Argyros himself established 20 years ago still endure. “Generally, a business degree isn’t to prepare you for a particular industry,” Turk says. “It prepares you to think strategically, to support your ideas, analyze them with all the data available and to build consensus, so you can get something done.” Which is exactly what the Argyros School itself has done in abundance over the past two decades. Maybe even nine times over.

Our alumni provide great connections and intellectual expertise.





Anniversary Celebration

BIG DREAMS | BOLD VISION The Chapman University School of Business was founded in 1974, but in 1999 it officially became the George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics, thanks to a transformational gift made by Julianne and The Honorable George L. Argyros ‘59. Their generosity set in motion a new era of growth and achievement in business education.

In the fall, Chapman will celebrate this milestone anniversary with a special visit by President George W. Bush, who will be guest of honor at the celebration. In addition to his visionary contributions to higher education, George Argyros was appointed by President Bush and served as U.S. ambassador to Spain and Andorra from 2001-2004. Over the past year, the Argyros School has welcomed a slate of other distinguished guest speakers whose areas of expertise highlight the interests, impact and contributions of George Argyros. A Conversation About International Economics with Nigel Farage

In partnership with the Center for the Study of War and Society in Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, the Argyros School welcomed British politician Nigel Farage to campus in October. The visit was made possible by Shannon and George Argyros Jr. ‘89 (JD ‘01). Farage discussed international economics with faculty, students, alumni and special guests. A Conversation About International Relations and Leadership with Andrew Card

Andrew Card, the man who was at President Bush’s side on Sept. 11, 2001, understands what it takes to be a leader in challenging times. In his talk at the Argyros School this spring, the former chief of staff for President Bush told students that leadership begins when other viewpoints are heard. “Make the ‘we’ as inclusive as it can be for our great country. In today’s world ‘we’ includes more individuals than when the Constitution was written, and it can still be improved and expanded,” said Card, who also served as deputy chief of staff for President George H. W. Bush.

A Conversation About Sports Leadership with Jeanie Buss

When you’re the chief executive officer of one of the most successful NBA teams of all time, you’re bound to have valuable insights into an industry that can turn on player injuries, management changes and fan loyalty. In the spring semester, a joint effort with the Fowler School of Law brought to campus Lakers controlling owner Jeanie Buss, who participated in a wide-ranging conversation. Buss offered advice to others aiming for sports management careers. “It’s a very competitive world out there,” said Buss. “Every skill set you can acquire is going to help you excel in the career you choose. When you’re young and have the energy, take all the opportunities that you can. Even if it’s something you don’t think you want to do, expose yourself to it so you understand how important it is.”

MAY 2019



ARGYROS FAMILY A Tradition of Leadership Take a stroll through the heart of Chapman University and you’ll see a campus that is transformed because a young couple met 60 years ago at the old Snack Shop on the corner of Chapman Avenue and Shaffer Street.

George L. Argyros ’59 was already a determined young man, putting himself through college by working long hours at a supermarket while earning a degree in business and economics. But he still had to eat, and it was when he stopped into a restaurant a few blocks from campus that he saw a dark-haired beauty on a date with someone else. They married three years later, in 1962, and today Julianne is president of both Arnel, the company founded by George after graduating college, and the Argyros Family Foundation. Today, Arnel is one of the largest privately owned, diversified real estate and investment companies in the world. The family’s generosity at Chapman is visible. Walk west from the Argyros Forum Student Union and you’ll pass the Julianne Argyros Fitness Center, the Ambassador George L. Argyros ’59 Global Citizens Plaza and Julianne Argyros Fountain, the Julianne Argyros Orchestra Hall in Musco Center for the Arts, and, of course, the Argyros School of Business and Economics. In the two decades since the business school was named for one of the most successful real estate entrepreneurs in Southern California history, the Argyros School’s reputation has continued to grow. Now Chapman is launching a “50 for 50” campaign. The goal is to propel the Argyros School into the top 50 in the U.S. News & World Report business school rankings by raising $50 million, thus increasing the school’s total endowment to $100 million. (Go to: “The meaning of success for me is giving back,” George Argyros has said. “Every individual can make a difference. Once you see these young people that we’re helping, and you see the difference you’re making in their lives, it energizes you to want to do more.”




The meaning of success for me is giving back. - George L. Argyros ‘59

The leadership of Julianne and George L. Argyros ’59, center photos, is felt throughout Chapman University and well beyond. At top left, George Argyros is shown at the Kingdome, which was the home of the Seattle Mariners when he owned the Major League Baseball team in the 1980s. Argyros’ impact at Chapman includes serving as Board of Trustees chairman from 1976-2001 – a transformational period in the University’s history. His counsel has also served national and international leaders such as Ronald Reagan and Colin Powell. At left, Julianne and George are shown in 2016 with their children, George Argyros Jr. ’89 (JD ’01), Lisa Argyros ’07 and Stephanie Argyros.

Argyros – whose business ventures included owning the airline AirCal and Major League Baseball’s Seattle Mariners – was instrumental in transforming the tiny Chapman College he attended into a bustling University. After becoming a member of Chapman’s Board of Trustees in 1973, he left an indelible impact as the longest-serving chairman of Chapman’s board, leading it from 1976-2001. He resigned to serve President George W. Bush as U.S. ambassador to Spain and Andorra from 2001-04 and remains an emeritus chair of the Chapman board. Carrying on the vision of Julianne and George, daughter Lisa Argyros ’07 is a current Chapman trustee. Son George Argyros Jr. ’89 (JD ’01) supports the Board of Counselors for the Argyros School and is a Chapman President’s Cabinet member. Another daughter, Stephanie Argyros, is a University of Southern California trustee.

peristyle end, where the flame was lit for the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games. The many Orange County institutions that have benefited from the Argyros family’s philanthropy include the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, CHOC Children’s Hospital, the Richard Nixon Foundation, Discovery Science Center, South Coast Repertory, the Orangewood Foundation, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and the Orange County School of the Arts. National efforts have included support of the George W. Bush Presidential Center and the Horatio Alger Association, of which George Argyros is chairman emeritus. A $15 million gift to the organization from the Argyros family helped launch a national college scholarship program for veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Other beneficiaries of the couple’s generosity are far too many to list.

The family has supported education, the arts and other philanthropic efforts not only throughout Southern California but across the nation with an extraordinary array of major gifts. For example, the Argyros Family is participating in the University of Southern California’s restoration of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and its iconic

As former President George H.W. Bush once said of Ambassador Argyros in a video tribute: “George, how proud you must be. Your example is the kind of volunteer spirit that truly epitomizes the concept of being one of a thousand points of light.”

MAY 2019




Academy Award nominee Patrick Don Vito ’91 sees his craft of film editing move out of the shadows and into the spotlight. The Governor’s Ball, Wolfgang Puck’s specially created menu and the delight of basking in the glow of “Green Book’s” Oscar for best picture added up to an unforgettable Academy Awards night for alumnus Patrick J. Don Vito ’91, film editor for the award-winning film. But Don Vito – also a nominee in the category of film editing for his work on “Green Book” – took a special delight in the outcome of the kerfuffle that erupted just days before the award ceremony. In an effort to trim the show’s running time, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that it was cutting several categories from the live program, including editing. Hollywood directors protested, the decision was reversed and you could say the award for unexpected silver lining went to film editors. “I think ultimately it helped us. It brought a light to our work and helped people have a little better idea of what we do,” Don Vito says. Don Vito was the sole editor of Peter Farrelly’s comedy-drama, which chronicles the journey of African-American musician Don Shirley and his bodyguard during a 1962 concert tour through the Deep South. Another Chapman connection to the film is Don Vito’s publicist, alumna Andrea Resnick ‘16. His nomination in the film editing category speaks to the hands-on experience students receive at Chapman’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, says Bob Bassett, dean of Dodge College.



“Patrick’s nomination illustrates exactly the importance of the role of editor as storyteller. Students often fall in love with the technology behind editing, but Patrick learned at Chapman on a system no longer in use – evidence that the technology doesn’t matter, while storytelling Patrick J. Don Vito ’91 and his wife, Stephanie, pose on the red carpet at the Academy Awards. does. Keeping a film that is basically a two-hander, with many key scenes taking place in a car, “(Editing is) kind of retelling the story. You’ll both visually interesting and paced so as to run into problems in the cutting room. You’ll hold the audience’s interest is the mark of get to a scene that seemed to work on the page an editor who truly understands how the but isn’t working on camera. So you’ll have to craft of editing is fundamental to the art of find a way to retell that,” he says. storytelling,” Bassett said. In his work, Don Vito aims for subtlety and restrained transitions.

“Patrick’s nomination illustrates exactly the importance of the role of editor as storyteller.” – Bob Bassett

At Chapman, Don Vito showed early signs of mastering such challenges. He won the University’s 1990 Videographer of the Year award and the 1991 Einstein Trophy. Many movie fans may not know that film editors work closely with screenwriters once the cameras roll, helping to shape the story – particularly in those moments when the script needs finessing to work on screen.

“This movie was all about performances, and anything I would do that would stand out would have been the wrong tone,” he says. “I worked very hard on transitions. Sometimes I cut audio from a previous scene to connect the dots to the next scene. Or I moved the best joke to the very end of the scene so it punches you out of a scene in the very best way.” Subtlety doesn’t always take the big awards, though. “Flashier editing usually wins. People think that’s what editing is,” he says. “Editing in its best moments is hidden.”


A Chapman student and her research partner seek insights amid the Asian-American stereotypes in film and on TV. Jacky Dang ’20 braces for the worst when she gets into an Uber or Lyft. Oftentimes drivers and other strangers she meets don’t believe her when she says she is from Huntington Beach. They ask where she is really from – as if she couldn’t be a native-born American. Stereotyping against Asian Americans is something Dang faces every day. “I sometimes feel isolated because I don’t know where I come from or about AsianAmerican history. I feel like if I saw more people like me in the media and could better understand my past, maybe I could understand who I am as a person,” said Dang, a screenwriting and peace studies major. After taking a women’s studies course with sociology instructor C.K. Magliola, Dang was inspired to conduct her own research into stereotyping. “Professor Magliola is one of the strongest humans I’ve ever seen, and she’s Asian American,” the student said. “So for me she became this role model, and I thought, ‘Wow, I don’t really see a lot of representation of strong Asians like her in media.’ And I didn’t understand why.” So Dang developed a project that was accepted by the Chapman Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program, during which students receive a stipend and faculty mentorship to conduct research. Because of her training as a filmmaker, Dang decided to create a short documentary to present the findings of her project. She partnered with Sophia Morrissette ’21, a psychology and peace studies major, and sought the mentorship

of Eric Young, assistant professor in Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. Dang and Morrissette began their project by watching as many representations of Asian women in media as they could find. They analyzed from a specific perspective, searching for examples of whitewashing – casting white actors in Asian roles – and stereotyping.

“Every person had a ‘lunchbox story’ – fearing that the traditional foods their mom had packed might provoke reactions in other kids.”

After analyzing about 50 films and other media representations, Dang and Morrissette concluded that when Asian female characters make it to the screen, they overwhelmingly fall into one of three categories: • The Tiger Mom – overly strict with children. • The Kickass – a quasi-ninja warrior, occasionally used for comedic relief. • The Exotic – an over-the-top character used to exploit Asian culture. Dang and Morrissette met with Young multiple times each week to discuss their findings. He often recommended movies or literature and introduced them to potential interview subjects. They talked with several female Asian-American actors and others in entertainment. The students found that each interview subject had a similar grade-school experience.

Top Photo: Jacky Dang ‘20 Bottom Photo: Sophia Morrisette ‘21

“Every person had a ‘lunchbox story’ – fearing that the traditional foods their mom had packed might provoke reactions in other kids. It was the first time I considered how being white gives a sense of sameness that makes other people automatically feel minimized,” Morrissette said. As part of their research, Dang and Morrissette read media diversity reports and followed the entertainment industry trade publications. From this secondary research, they found that only 1 percent of leading film roles are portrayed by Asian actors. For broadcast television, the figure is 3 to 4 percent. The goal for the students’ documentary is to raise awareness so there are more opportunities for Asian-American female actors and more richly developed characters for them to play, Young said. “I want to start a conversation,” Dang said. “I can’t be the only person who feels isolated because I don’t see myself represented or know a lot about my culture’s past.”

MAY 2019





It’s approaching 5 p.m. and raining – the kind of day when many kids might just rush home and hunker down over video games. But in a large dance studio in Santa Ana, nearly two dozen schoolgirls in black tights and leotards dance with all their might, their faces glowing with broad smiles and the sweat of hard work. A smile lights up the face of Chapman University alumna Alix Portillo, too, as she stands nearby and watches the scene through an observation window. Not so long ago she was a student of The Wooden Floor, a nonprofit creative youth development program that aims



to transform the lives of children and teens in low-income communities by preparing them for successful college careers.

supportive was a boost. It’s a place full of support. It felt like a second home,” says Portillo ’15.

Now Portillo is both testament to and advocate for the dance program. She earned acceptance to Chapman and graduated with a degree in business. Today she works at Commercial Bank of California and serves on The Wooden Floor’s Board of Directors as the organization’s first alumni representative.

She’s just one of many Chapman connections to The Wooden Floor. The instructor in that studio? It’s Jennifer Bassage Bonfil ‘02, dance education and curriculum specialist. Downstairs in the administrative offices, more alumni serve – Tianna Haradon ’01 as development manager, and Derek Bruner ’08 as director of strategic initiatives. Chapman undergraduates work in the tutoring center, and graduate students from Crean College’s

“When I was younger, I lacked a lot of confidence. Being around people who were

curriculum and programs inspire students to achievement through dance, college readiness workshops, tutoring, counseling, career nights and field trips. The program’s success is measurable. Since 2005, all seniors have graduated high school on time and immediately pursued higher education. Among them are several who have enrolled at Chapman. For Portillo, the attraction is obvious. Chapman clicked for her during a campus tour arranged by the nonprofit. “When we went on campus, I could just see myself being there. … Chapman has a very community-based feeling, like The Wooden Floor does,” she says. Such shared values are evident on a recent late afternoon as students arrive for the day’s classes. The door to a cheerful tutoring center stands

Dance is integral, but it’s the discipline

the class and methodically breaks down the choreography. Then she pops a surprise on the students. “Move like you’re pancake batter on the floor,” she says. Ponytails swish as the students glide and float across the floor, some easing onto the floor. Then Bonfil returns her students to the choreographed steps. She smiles and nods with approval. “Think back to about 120 seconds ago and the quality in your body. See what happens when you relax? The more relaxed you are, the better you’re going to be able to move. That’s something you can use in life, too. If you’re in school and taking a stressful test, it’s going to help you to know how to do that,” she says. Portillo can attest to the lasting value of such lessons. She loves dance, but did not study it at Chapman. On concert nights for The Wooden Floor, she’s happy to volunteer backstage braiding the dancers’ hair. She knows well how small acts of kindness and support add up, leading step by step to a promising future.

and structure of the total Wooden Floor experience that create a unique, life-changing alchemy. Marriage and Family Therapy program conduct a variety of workshops for the dancers and their families. All these relationships and collaborations are no coincidence, says Dawn Reese, the organization’s CEO. She believes The Wooden Floor and Chapman truly dance to the same tune. “There’s this thread that goes through all of the Chapman people we see here. It goes back to that global citizen idea that the University has about developing great citizens for the community. They really look at the purposedriven work we do,” Reese says. “They are an extension of our values here.” Since its founding in a church basement in 1983, the nonprofit has enhanced the lives of more than 90,000 low-income boys and girls and their families. Students generally begin around age 8 and continue through high school. The

open, ever ready to offer homework help and guidance through the maze of paperwork required for college planning and applications. The tidy wardrobe room hums with activity as dancers stop by for shoes and attire to fit their growing bodies. Chattering among themselves, the participants literally skip to class. Soon, the building’s studios are alive with music, motion and rigorous instruction. Dance is integral, but it’s the discipline and structure of the total Wooden Floor experience that create a unique, life-changing alchemy. “We believe that taking a very sophisticated approach to dance is a catalyst for children,” Reese says. “We are not a dance studio. We’re a youth development program using dance as a vehicle for change.” Small steps of progression are underway in the second-year modern dance class Bonfil teaches on Wednesday afternoons. She stops

Clockwise from opposite page, a group of dancers prepares to begin class at The Wooden Floor; alumna Alix Portillo ’15 serves as the first alumni representative on the organization’s Board of Directors; and alumna Jennifer Bassage Bonfil ’02 teaches and manages the dance curriculum.

MAY 2019




the N T of



M E M O R Y As the Holocaust Art & Writing Contest turns 20, young scholars embrace the critical role of bearing witness for the survivors. BY DAWN BONKER


he reception that follows the awards ceremony for Chapman University’s annual Holocaust Art & Writing Contest is full of contrasts.

Holocaust survivors with canes, walkers and the aches and pains of age tread slowly but diligently into a light-filled party tent set on a large swath of lawn. Hundreds of middle and high school students swirl around them, eager to meet the survivors they’ve encountered through their oral histories. Students lean in to hear the soft voices and accounts of survival, escape and loss. In the next moment, the elders smile for photos captured on cell phones. A traditional klezmer band plays nearby, and nearly everyone grabs a kosher hot dog or lemonade. The springtime scent of new grass perfumes the air. But everybody here also understands that what brought them to this pleasant afternoon in a big airy tent is one of history’s darkest chapters – the genocide of 6 million Jews during World War II. It’s a complicated mix of realities – particularly given the rise of anti-Semitic activity in the United States and around the world. But those complications offer a life lesson, too, says Marilyn Harran, Ph.D., professor of history and director of the Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education. “Probably more than most of us, the survivors know how to appreciate each day,” Harran says.



Still, it’s not easy.

This year’s Holocaust Art & Writing Contest included the insights of survivors Jack Pariser, top left, Engelina Billauer, bottom left, and Marie Kaufman, bottom right. In the middle photo at left, attorney Brittany Urig, second from right, enjoys a moment with first-place middle school film student Carly Nguyen, right, and classmates from James Irvine Intermediate School. Below, Grace Min reads her first-place middle school prose piece at the awards ceremony.

None of this is easy. MAY 2019


“For them to tell those stories and share those memories is very difficult. They do it because there is something at the very core of it that’s important for other people to know,” Harran says.

Law, received first prize for her prose in the contest’s fourth year and was a guest speaker during the recent anniversary award ceremony. She credits her participation in the contest for helping to shape her into who she is today.

That duality of spirit is at the heart of what the Rodgers Center has achieved with the contest, which marked its 20th anniversary in March. To understand the Holocaust, or any moment in history, one must attend to the human stories – the good, the bad, the why, the how and the somewhere in between that complete the picture. So through the years, survivors and witnesses have devoted time and energy to tell their stories on video, in media interviews and every spring at Chapman when they meet personally with the contest participants.

“It has been a huge theme in my life. It was the first time I met Holocaust survivors, obviously. It was the first time I shared my voice with hundreds of people. Both have had a lasting impact on me,” she says. “It gave me a perspective of what people are capable of and how important it is to be the best human you can be. That perspective has never been lost on me as I practice law.”

THE SHOES THAT HELD HER CAPTIVE Cate McMackin, Grade 8 St. Mary’s School, Aliso Viejo, CA Teacher: Maria Diaz Survivor Testimony: Fela Gipsman

PROFOUND IMPACT Today the contest attracts some 8,000 participants from 26 states and 12 countries. Several hundred travel to the Orange campus each year to attend the awards ceremony and reception. Reactions like that of middle school student Ezekiel Torres are typical. He and fellow classmates toured Chapman’s Sala and Aron Samueli Holocaust Memorial Library and later stood spellbound while an 89-year-old man described how his family escaped the Nazis and survived in hiding for more than two years until the end of World War II. “Just wow. Wow, wow, wow,” Torres said. “Most of the time I have words to say all of the time. I’m just left with nothing. I’m left in awe at the stories that the survivors have to tell.” Then he paused and said that of course he would tell others what he had learned, starting with his family “as soon as I get home.” That, in a nutshell, is what the contest has always been all about. Launched as an essay competition in collaboration with The 1939 Society, an organization of survivors, their descendants and friends, the contest invites students to watch videotaped firsthand testimonies from people who lived through the genocide and then respond to a specific memory through creative expression. Specifically, that means participating schools dedicate time for students to focus on a videotaped testimony of their choice and then create prose, poetry, art or film to share what they personally gained from the experience. The second part of that challenge is that the students go forward as “witnesses to the



THE CREATION OF CONNECTION Amanda Harris, Grade11 Trabuco Hills High School, Mission Viejo, CA Teacher: Jeb Berry Survivor Testimony: Ludmila Page

witnesses” – an increasingly poignant call to action as that generation passes on.

Because of the contest, Urig was inspired to become a law fellow with Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics in the summer following her graduation from law school. When she toured a museum, she was pleased and proud to see that the subject of her essay, a Jewish teacher and physician who refused to escape the Nazis and instead went with his students to the gas chambers, was remembered in the displays. (In the contest’s early years, students could opt to base their essays on biographical accounts of Holocaust victims.) “I often think back on him and the choice he made … and his belief that what was happening was wrong,” she says. MEETING SURVIVORS

None of this is easy. “We’re overwhelmed by the numbers and the horror of the Holocaust,” Harran says. BEYOND NUMBERS AND DATES For many students, that summary approach of numbers and dates is the extent of their understanding of this difficult history, says Jessica MyLymuk, assistant director of the Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education. MyLymuk manages much of the logistics of the contest and follows Holocaust educational trends in secondary schools. “What I see is that it’s not a well-rounded education. The focus is on the death and destruction and it’s not on the causes. It’s not about how any of it started. It’s focused on the big numbers. It puts up a barrier,” she says. By its very design, the contest counters that. Brittany H. Urig, a practicing attorney who has taught at Chapman’s Fowler School of

Friendships sometimes blossom as well. Hailey Shi, who won in multiple categories in middle and high school, still corresponds with Engelina Billauer, whose story she portrayed in an award-winning artwork recalling the day Nazis hauled away Billauer’s deaf parents, who signed their goodbyes through the back of a bus. Their meeting still resonates. “I happened to see both her and her late husband, Richard, arrive before the ceremony started, so I decided to walk over to introduce myself. Everything happened very quickly, but I will always remember how Engelina’s eyes lit up when I told her that I was the girl who chose to tell her story,” she says. Indeed, the lion’s share of the awards day is spent connecting all the students with the survivors, furthering the mission of education. The morning begins with students touring the Samueli Holocaust Memorial Library. Harran and a team of volunteers lead the students through the exhibits.

Although the contest is always relevant, this year it was particularly timely. The previous week a video of area high school students playing beer pong with plastic cups arranged into the shape of a swastika went viral online and drew national attention. “In a time of increased acts of bigotry and antiSemitism, including here in Orange County, and a decreasing knowledge of the Holocaust, you have learned that the Holocaust is not about numbers but about people,” Harran told the audience that packed Memorial Hall in March. “You know what the ideology of the swastika did to people and what it meant to someone your age to have to wear a yellow star. You will be the ones who will stand up and speak out because of what you’ve learned. …

The students who participated in this contest know that a swastika is never a joke.” There is no replacement for such an experience, says art teacher Maria Diaz from St. Mary’s School in Aliso Viejo, Calif. One of Diaz’s students was among the contest winners. “Listening to their experiences firsthand is amazing,” Diaz said as she watched her students hurry around the tent to speak with Holocaust survivors. “This is what teaching and learning is to me,” Diaz says. “Empowering our kids to be those who go out and tell the stories about what went on so we don’t make the same mistakes again.”

BOOKSHELF Chapman scholars have published widely on the topic of Holocaust history. Following is a partial list of those publications.

“Holocaust, Genocide, and the Law: A Quest for Justice in a Post-Holocaust World” (Oxford University Press, 2016) Michael Bazyler, professor, Fowler School of Law This work examines the background of the Holocaust and genocide through the prism of the law: the criminal and civil prosecution of the Nazis and their collaborators for Holocaust-era crimes. It won a National Jewish Book Award.

“The Boy on the Wooden Box: How the Impossible Became Possible on Schindler’s List” (Atheneum, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, 2013)

Leon Leyson with Marilyn Harran, Ph.D., professor and director of the Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education, and Elisabeth Leyson. It received the Christopher Award and was a New York Times best seller.


“Oskar Schindler: The Untold Account of His Life, Wartime Activities, and the True Story Behind the List”

Chapman University’s Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education, in partnership with Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, presents a special exhibition featuring 20 years of prize-winning entries from Chapman’s annual Holocaust Art & Writing Contest. The exhibition, titled “Messengers of Memory,” includes first-place entries in prose, poetry, art and film representing the more than 100,000 middle and high school students who have participated in the contest over the years.

(Basic Books, 2007)

David Crowe, Ph.D., Presidential Fellow associated with the Department of History and the Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education This biography tells the story of the Nazi who became a rescuer. Crowe’s collection of primary and secondary research material on Oskar and Emilie Schindler is now housed in the Oskar Schindler Archive in the Sala and Aron Samueli Holocaust Memorial Library.

Initially regional in its outreach, the contest this year includes students representing 26 states as well as 12 countries and five continents.

“The Vienna Paradox: A Memoir” (New Directions, 2003)

Marjorie Perloff, Ph.D., Presidential Fellow associated with the Department of History and the Department of English

The exhibition was unveiled at an April 7 reception. It remains on display through August 2019.

Perloff ’s memoir of growing up in pre-World War II Vienna and her escape to America in 1938 interweaves analysis of how culture, institutions and family history shaped Perloff, now one of the major American critics of 20th century modernist and late-modernist writing.

VIDEO TESTIMONIES To see the video testimonies by Holocaust survivors that contest participants study, please visit: • The 1939 Society website at • The Chapman University Holocaust Art & Writing Contest website, which features testimonies from the collection of the USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education, at

Among the contest participants attending the exhibition’s opening reception were, from left, Kenzington Martin, first-place high school film in 2016; Chase Martin, first-place high school film in 2019; and Monique Becker, firstplace middle school art in 2005. Photos by Jeanine Hill. Photos from top, Holocaust survivor and witness Isabelle Szneer with Professor Marilyn Harran. Middle: Engelina Billauer poses with an artwork reflecting her memory. The work was created by Hailey Shi in 2014. Bottom: Daanesh Jamal, first-place middle school prose in 2016, at the opening reception.

• USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education’s YouTube channel at (“Full-Length Testimonies” playlists only).

MAY 2019





abbi Corie Yutkin, Chapman University’s director of Jewish life and a chaplain at Fish Interfaith Center, knows that a journey of faith can take many turns.

“I came from a Conservative Jewish upbringing with Orthodox grandparents, and I’m a Reform rabbi, so I’ve run my own continuum in my life and I still dance along that tradition line,” says Yutkin. “I’ve always said, ‘Your Jewish journey, I don’t care where it’s taking you, just take one.’ So if it takes you to Hillel, and then it leads you to Chabad, fantastic. You’ve got two meals in one night, which is great. But you also have two different learning experiences and cultural and community experiences.” About 10 percent of Chapman students identify as Jewish, creating a sizeable community on a campus that last year was chosen one of the Forward College Guide’s three safest colleges for Jews. Chapman was the only college on the West Coast selected among the top 30. Yutkin, a Hillel advisor before joining Chapman in 2017, estimates that about 100 students are active in each of the two major Jewish student organizations. Chapman Hillel holds a weekly Shabbat service and kosher meal on Fridays at Fish Interfaith Center, the campus home for religious and spiritual life. Chabad at Chapman University, based in a house near campus and led by advisor Rabbi Eliezer Gurary, also holds weekly Shabbat dinners. Other student groups include Students Supporting Israel, J-Street, and a chapter of the national Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi. Yutkin seeks to draw in more of the many Jewish students as well as faculty and staff who are not yet involved in the campus faith community. She recognizes that many Jews may be especially yearning for connection in a troubling era when statistics show that hate crimes are on the rise. In October, the Chapman community gathered for a vigil at Fish Interfaith Center after the mass shooting that killed 11 people during a Shabbat service at a Pittsburgh synagogue. The shooter has been charged with federal hate crimes.

Rabbi Corie Yutkin is Chapman’s director of Jewish life.

“As an interfaith center, we said we wanted to show Jewish students that it’s the entire community that’s being supportive,” Yutkin says. “One of the things I’m so glad about is the organic way we worked together. It was a synagogue, so I was taking the lead. We were talking about the victims of violence and hate, and Jibreel [Shaykh Jibreel Speight, Chapman’s first director of Muslim life] had come in and said, ‘You know, can we also include the two African Americans who were killed in Kentucky?’” [In October, an attack killed two in a grocery store near Louisville, Ky. The shooter first pounded on the doors of a historically black church and has been charged with federal hate crimes.] “This is why we have an interfaith center, and this is why we want to find opportunities to reach a much broader community and make sure that every member of our community doesn’t feel marginalized but instead feels supported,” Yutkin says.

“This is why we want to find opportunities to reach a much broader community and make sure that every member of our community doesn’t feel marginalized but instead feels supported.”



“I think especially on a college campus when we’re so busy and involved with the busyness of our lives and schedules and exams and papers and trying to care for our families, sometimes we need to find those moments of Shabbat -- those moments of wholeness and completeness and peace, whether it actually happens on Shabbat or at another time during the week. That’s really my hope and my intention – to figure out where to plug in so that other people can unplug.”



haykh Jibreel Speight is the first director of Muslim life and a new chaplain at Chapman University’s Fish Interfaith Center. So he’s plenty busy as he plans programs and events to serve Muslim and other students and help the campus community better understand Islam. First, though, the Brooklyn native who attended college in North Carolina and spent the past several years teaching in Saudi Arabia has a very important question for his new Southern California friends and neighbors.


“Fish tacos? Come on now, what is that?” Speight says with a laugh. Not that he’s averse to finding out. Regional food favorites, along with the area’s cycling and walking trails, were on his to-do list as he settled in. These admittedly smaller, non-work journeys share a thread with his new role at Chapman - each is a part of a learning experience. Because in addition to conducting Friday Jummah prayer services, teaching and serving as a chaplain, Speight looks forward to building connections and helping dispel misconceptions about Islam and Muslims. That means bringing students of all faiths together, as well as encouraging Muslim students to communicate with other clubs and groups on campus. Speight believes that dialogue will foster understanding about Islam’s diversity. “If you look at Muslims, they range from being as pious as possible to the opposite end of the spectrum. That’s something that people have to understand. Islam isn’t some kind of regimented organism, if you will. It’s not ‘a person.’ It works with societies. It definitely works with democracy. It’s not here to go against American values,” he says. The addition of the new position is part of the Fish Interfaith Center’s strategic plan to grow its staff and expand diversity on campus, says the Rev. Gail Stearns, Ph.D., dean of the Wallace All Faiths Chapel at Chapman. “Jibreel’s position was a key one that we wanted because we knew the Muslim population was increasing at Chapman and we didn’t have any way to particularly serve their needs. Also, education on Islam is important today as we integrate faith understanding throughout the University,” Stearns says. Speight, who earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering at North Carolina A&T State University at Greensboro, accepted Islam as a student at a time when he was searching for more meaning in life. “Some people, when they’re 18 or 19, they have the thinking that they’re going to come to school, learn, get a degree, get married maybe, have a job and career and go from there. During that time period I thought the same way. But I started wondering: Is that what it’s really about?” He found his direction in Islam. Eventually, he moved to Saudi Arabia, where he studied and taught Islamic law at Umm Al-Qura University in Mecca. As societal conditions in the country changed, he felt ready for a new career direction and returned to the U.S. Now at 47, he hopes he can offer perspective to all students of any or no faith tradition who wrestle with deep questions about life or their place in the world. “It is my hope that students will take time out to do some real soul searching from time to time,” he says. “You’ve got to have those conversations with yourself, and they may make you uncomfortable, and that’s OK. Life is not always comfortable.”

Shaykh Jibreel Speight is director of Muslim life at Chapman.

“Islam isn’t some kind of regimented organism, if you will. It’s not ‘a person.’ It works with societies. It definitely works with democracy. It’s not here to go against American values.”

MAY 2019


+ Cathery Yeh’s growing coalition of researchers and educators builds equity by reimagining the mathematics classroom.








athery Yeh’s excitement is palpable as she addresses the room full of K-12 educators at the Better Together: California Teachers Summit. “We need to move away from fixing students to fixing the environment,” Yeh says. “We should be designing math classrooms with the idea that there is no norm. You’re going to have a diverse group. And what we know is that diversity is beautiful.” This keynote speech is just one of the many ways that Yeh, Ph.D. and Chapman University assistant professor in the Attallah College of Education, has advanced the movement to battle inequalities in education. Her primary vehicle for change: math. Why math? “Because mathematics holds power,” Yeh says. When we think back to our own school days, who do we remember as the smart kids? Most likely they’re the elite few who did the best in math. Yeh points out that high achievement in mathematics sets students on a course for success in academics and in life. “Math is power. Math carries status,” says Yeh. “We have to shift the way we teach it so every child can see how brilliant they are.” But Yeh noticed that powerful math experiences were not available to many students, disproportionately leaving out under-resourced communities, non-native English speakers and students with disabilities, for example.

x Chapman’s math methods course culminates in a Community Math Night, where smiling children and their parents eagerly “do math” through fun group activities and games grounded in problem solving, reasoning and realworld application.

“Schools are more segregated than ever,” says Yeh, who taught elementary, dual-language classrooms in the Los Angeles urban core for 10 years. During that period she made over 300 home visits to immerse herself in the community and engage parents and guardians. In classrooms, students are often assigned labels — high, low, smart, struggling. The labels teachers assign to students, Yeh explains, affect student achievement more than any other teacher-student interaction factors in education. To address this inequality, Yeh designed a new math methods course for graduate students in the Attallah College of Educational Studies Teacher Education Program. Thanks to the support of Chapman’s Pedagogical Innovations Grant, the program involves a hands-on, communitybased component taking Chapman students into local K-12 classrooms. Combined with scholarly research done in close collaboration with Yeh, the program is designed for maximum impact. “In traditional math methods courses in teacher education programs, students learn about the math content, children’s mathematics thinking and how to teach—all at the university,” explains Yeh. “Our Chapman graduate students have opportunities to learn how to teach mathematics in school classrooms, with teachers and with groups of students. This kind

MAY 2019


“Math is power. Math carries status.”


“We have to shift the way we teach it so every child can see how brilliant they are.”

of authentic learning will have a larger impact on our students and in our local schools.” The foundational element of the methods course is designing what Yeh describes as “rich mathematical experiences” that leverage the knowledge base of all students, regardless of background, English language proficiency or ability status. The instruction is grounded in problem solving, reasoning, play, and, what Yeh argues is most important, real-world application. The math methods course builds on Yeh’s research in special education. She and her coprincipal investigator, Trisha Sugita, Ph.D., received Chapman’s Faculty Opportunity Grant to pioneer and conduct a preliminary evaluation of a technology-facilitated model to improve special education math instruction. Often special education teachers are given the district math textbook and told to teach students with a wide range of ability.

At Salk Elementary School, graduate student Maribel Barrios, top, asks, “What’s your favorite place to visit in your local community?” She uses this real-world scenario to teach about gathering data and creating graphs to represent data. Graduate student Marissa Fierro, bottom, demonstrates a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) activity incorporating basic counting skills with explorations on density and mass. The question: How much weight can aluminum-foil boats float?

“The teachers tell me they can’t use the textbook because it doesn’t meet anyone’s needs,” says Yeh. The research team meets monthly with these teachers and co-teach in their classrooms, looking at the existing curriculum and building learning experiences based on the children’s current understanding. As an illustration, Yeh mentions Jason, 4, from one of these classrooms. One day, his teacher notices that Jason has neatly arranged the peas on his lunch plate in what look like 10 frames, a visual model for learning basic math facts. Jason points to the peas, beaming proudly, and says, “I made a group of 10 and a group of three. And it’s 13.” The teacher praises him for showing his math understanding. This could be chalked up to just another precocious shareworthy moment, but it’s noteworthy that Jason is diagnosed with autism and ADHD and is in a self-contained special education classroom. Yeh mentions another child who, for the first time in six years, is adding and subtracting



using the tools and methods from this program. “Some of these students classified with a disability are outperforming their mainstream counterparts in math,” Yeh reports. In 2017, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), the world’s largest math education organization, published Yeh’s book, “Reimagining the Mathematics Classroom.” In it, she conveys the need for changing the way math is taught, building knowledge on what students already know rather than disenfranchising large swaths of students with rote learning that’s disconnected from the real world. After the book held 18 months on its bestseller list, NCTM asked Yeh to join the writing team of mathematics education leaders to write a new book titled “Catalyzing Change.” For this book, Yeh is collaborating with colleagues across three different universities to share research outcomes and provide schools and districts with proven models and methods to put into practice. “Classroom instruction shouldn’t be designed to get students to only engage in rote calculations – there are calculators to do that,” says Yeh. “Rote memorization isn’t enough anymore.” Rather, the new generation of math students should be problem solvers, critical thinkers, and active participants in a diverse democracy – ready to use mathematics as a tool to make sense of our world’s pressing problems and create change, she says. “We need a paradigm shift. Every child can problem solve. How can we support teachers in changing their classroom environment to build on each student’s strengths?”

÷ And the movement lives on.

+ Student Ambassadors Cathery Yeh’s community-based teaching program will expand to include undergraduates starting in 2020, but graduate students are already thriving in the program.

+ Ansley Wong (M.A. ’19)

+ Lufei Lin

was recently awarded a Fulbright teaching fellowship and will be spreading the math movement internationally. Wong and Yeh soon will publish the journal article “Teaching for Excellence and Equity in Mathematics,” on language and learning in bilingual math classrooms. “Empowering students in mathematics is so important in today’s society,” says Wong. “My experiences at Chapman have allowed me to look at teaching through a different lens.”

an international student in the program, led a webinar on WeChat, the most popular social media platform in China. “My presentation started with this question: What does it mean to be good at math? The main part of the presentation was about the tools I used in the classroom. It is so fun to share what I learned, and it helps me reflect on my learning,” says Lin.

I reached out to Dr. Yeh because I was

engaging pedagogical practices when

interested in her work around mathematics

working with students of color.

curriculum and social justice, and I wanted to explore how curriculum could be used as a tool to maintain power and privilege.

+ Brande Otis (M.A. ’18)

Additionally, Dr. Yeh and I collaborated on a research study that systematically examined and reviewed word problems

I interned in local schools, where I worked

from 3rd and 5th grade math textbooks.

closely with teachers around supporting

Using critical theory, we examined the

students with IEPs, behavior plans and

ways in which word problems might

meeting the needs of young students. I


saw rather closely, the ways in which

about who students were “supposed”



to be, and who they were “presumed”

permeated into the Special Education

to be, particularly in mathematics.

system, and in curriculum.

Through my work in the program,



Working with Dr. Yeh, I was exposed to the

“At Chapman, my major focus was

ways we might challenge dominant power

equity in education and understanding

narratives in schools, and work towards

how power gets transmitted in various

incorporating student experience, voice

ways in schools. I am also interested in

and perspective in the ways we teach and

understanding the role of positive Black

understand mathematics. Working with

identity in the academic trajectories of

Dr. Yeh and the classroom teachers, I was

young Black people.

a witness to the power of inclusive and



I understood how to better perform ethical and responsive research.”

Their co-published article is titled “Mathematics for Whom: Reframing and Humanizing Mathematics.” Otis is continuing her studies in equity in education as a Ph.D. student at UCLA.

MAY 2019





“The joy for me is watching the transformation of a family or a person when they feel really balanced in their home,” says Tricia Lanier Fidler ’79, a certified consultant in the KonMari method of organizing. Even before she enrolled at Chapman four decades ago, Tricia Lanier Fidler ’79 was on a cycle of four-year experiences. She grew up in a military family that moved just about every four years, so Fidler got good at packing and unpacking. Without knowing it, she was organizing her life to become the tidying professional she is today. These days Fidler spreads the joy of household order as a Gold Level certified consultant in the KonMari method. That means she has conducted more than 200 closet-clearing sessions using the methodology rooted in the bestseller “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” by Marie Kondo.

Fidler says. “I help clients sort through their challenges and better understand where they are in their lives. That comes straight from my

“I help clients sort through their challenges and better understand where they are in their lives. That comes straight from my coursework at Chapman.” coursework at Chapman.”

Fidler is a KonMari high achiever and a key contributor to the Netflix series “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” “My approach is facilitative, transparent, genuine and joyful,” Fidler says on the website for her San Diego-based consulting business, Heywood Park Collective. “I love this work and truly enjoy guiding others through the steps to sparking more joy!” Though she has amassed decades worth of professional and personal life experiences since her Chapman years, Fidler says she still applies lessons she learned on the way to a degree in social work. “A major part of the KonMari method is active listening – having a nonjudgmental ear and reflecting back what is being shared,”



Even her minor in dance serves her today as she takes on tasks that test her anew, such as in her role of subject matter expert on the Netflix series. “The performance aspect wasn’t totally foreign to me,” she says. “It takes some finesse skills to provide support that helps everyone meet a production schedule.” Before she launched her consulting business, Fidler had been sorting through changes in her own life. In 2012, her parents passed away within six weeks of each other, and she joined her siblings in considering what to do with all her mom and dad had accumulated. It was an emotional time, and Fidler felt overwhelmed. Her parents lived in San Francisco, and Fidler

remembers finding Kondo’s book in a store on Filmore Street. Almost immediately, she started bringing order to the project as family members attached sticky notes to items that brought them joy. The stress eased, and Fidler felt like she had found a path forward. She and her husband had recently become empty-nesters, so they also used the KonMari method to downsize their household. “It was life-changing,” she says. “I have always liked to know where things are, and I do have an appreciation for a well-organized drawer, but my approach was more willy-nilly.” To identify the truly important things in her life did indeed provoke joy, Fidler says. At the same time, letting go of unimportant possessions brought “a great relief.” It was a turning point in a working life that has included stints in organizational development, as a human resources professional and as an entrepreneur. Fidler says she thinks some clients choose her as a consultant expressly because she has a deep professional background and has experienced loss. “The joy for me is watching the transformation of a family or a person when they feel really balanced in their home,” she says. “It’s like going from chaos to calm. Watching people really connect and say, ‘What do I want for myself now, and who do I want to be moving forward?’ It’s just a gift for me to watch that transformation.”




When Costco recently introduced a 27-pound tub of mac-and-cheese packets with a 20year shelf life, the stuff sold out in a day. It’s unclear whether the product was scooped up by doomsday planners or working parents too tired to even think about peeling a carrot for the next two decades. But the staying power of the cheesy concoction sparked our curiosity about the science behind food preservation. How do manufacturers make food products that last for 20 years or longer? Are they safe? Are they healthy? Fortunately, the director of Chapman University’s Food Science Program has answers. Anuradha Prakash, Ph.D., is an expert in food processing and preservation whose most recent research focuses on safety and shelf life of fresh-cut vegetables and ready-to-eat meals. Among the agencies that have funded her work are the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and Foreign Agriculture Service. Turns out, technology food scientist studies are vital to busy consumers as well as the military, NASA and relief agencies faced with the challenge of feeding people in extreme situations, from weather disasters to refugee crises. And—a happy note for many— it’s not all about mac-and-cheese.

as milk needs to be trucked in. But if the infrastructure for refrigerated transport does not exist, dry milk powder is an option. Another option is aseptic packaging, like Tetra Pak, that provides the necessary shelf life in places that do not have the luxury of refrigeration in stores or in homes. Emergency rations for disasters is another reason for extended-shelf-life foods. And in the U.S., convenience is an important feature to people with busy lives and limited time to shop and prepare food every day.”

Foods with an extended shelf life offer daily convenience to U.S. consumers but can also be lifesaving in an emergency, says Anuradha Prakash, Ph.D., director of Chapman’s Food Science Program and an expert in food processing and preservation.

How nutritious are extended-shelf-life foods? “Some nutrients such as vitamins are heat sensitive and time sensitive, so over time these nutrients will decrease. Fresh foods, especially fruits and vegetables, are very important for health, so I would not suggest that people live on dehydrated or canned food. But as a small component of your diet, it’s fine.”

How are these products manufactured?

Why is there a demand for foods that can last and last?

“Dehydration and canning are conventional techniques we’ve been using for a long time, but there are newer modifications that help optimize quality, ensure safety and provide convenience. For example, technologies that include microwave and radiofrequency waves shorten processing time, and the result is that better quality is maintained.

“Many of the technologies for foods that have an extended shelf life were developed by the military and NASA because they need nutritionally complete and safe food that will maintain quality for extended missions. Some religious groups have a practice of storing food supplies. In some areas of the world, shelf life is a necessity; the climate is not suitable for growing food. In such places, fresh food such

Another process they’re using is extreme high pressure. They apply very high pressure to foods—as much pressure as three elephants standing on a dime—and that pressure kills microorganisms. Because the temperature of the food does not increase much, it doesn’t affect the nutritional quality of the food, and it has minimal effect on taste, texture

and aroma. This technology, known as highpressure processing, is becoming more popular. Evolution Fresh juices at Starbucks and nut milks are examples of foods treated with high pressure.

What promising technologies are being developed? “Some of the newer techniques under development involve application of highintensity electric pulses, or high-intensity light to foods. The process is quick, and you’re not using chemicals or heat. Cold plasma—also known as the fourth state of matter—can also kill microorganisms that make us sick or spoil our food, so food scientists are excited about their potential.”

Any lessons from the early days of food preservation that we still employ? “The advent of fire and cooking is said to have occurred about a million years ago, and it’s linked to larger brain sizes in humans. We still employ heat; the techniques are just more evolved.”

MAY 2019





Standing on the stage of the all-but-empty Musco Center for the Arts on a weekday afternoon, the musician known as Kishi Bashi showed a small group of students how to create artistry with their feet. Spiky-haired and effortlessly cool, Kishi Bashi – the stage name of the classically trained violinist Karou Ishibashi – needs only an instrument and his eerily beautiful falsetto to entertain. But the mind-blowing part of his music comes via his feet, as he demonstrated for an intimate master class of seven students from Chapman University’s Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music before his recent concert. Tapping his shoe on the toggle switches of an array of loop boxes and pedals small enough to pack into a suitcase that weighs less than 50 pounds – the standard airline limit – Kishi Bashi can go from one-man show to what sounds like a full indie pop band, by turns soaring and tender. He often starts by plucking the strings of his violin to create a repeating rhythmic foundation, adds a melody on top, maybe another, and finally his voice, layer upon layer as he accompanies himself in an ever-shifting, dizzyingly complex performance. “Basically, when I start recording, the loop begins as soon as I press,” he told the students as his words began to repeat. But Kishi Bashi was already on to the next sentence. “You have to depend on your own musicianship to keep in time,” as his voice began to echo, “keep in time, keep in time …” The students darted glances at each other, laughed and bounced along to the musical layers he added. “Yeah, so I think we should get your instruments out,” he finally told them. “Some of you want to plug into this and try this out?” STORY BY ROBYN NORWOOD PHOTOS BY CHALLENGE RODDIE 50



MAY 2019


MASTER CLASS A C O N N E C T I O N A C R O S S G E N E R AT I O N S The session with giddy students was just one of the highlights of a two-day visit to campus that included a Musco Center concert that ended with Kishi Bashi, banjo player Mike “Tall Tall Trees” Savino and a string quartet coming down off the stage for an encore among the concertgoers. “Incredibly sublime,” Kishi Bashi called it later on Instagram. For all that, the part of his visit that might reverberate the longest at Chapman was the public master class the night before in the Center for American War Letters in Leatherby Libraries. It was there that Doy Henley, emeritus chair of the University’s Board of Trustees, and Charlene Baldwin, dean of the Leatherby Libraries, publicly announced the work of an exploratory committee seeking to establish a center dedicated to understanding the role of Japanese Americans in World War II – both those who served in the war and the approximately 120,000 who were sent to internment camps by Executive Order 9066, forcing them to leave homes and businesses behind. If the group’s plan is successful – funding is still being figured out – it would establish a center on the Japanese-American experience as a companion to Chapman’s Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education. “We want to make sure we don’t ever forget what went wrong,” said Henley, a youngster during World War II who later had a close Japanese American friend who had lived through the era. “It’s always been in my mind, but now’s the time.”

MANZANAR AND BEYOND Kishi Bashi’s parents immigrated after the war and he was born in the U.S., but the story of Japanese Americans who were incarcerated has captivated him. Inspired by the past, he is making a film called “Omoiyari: A Song Film by Kishi Bashi,” documenting his visits to internment sites such as Manzanar, Wyoming’s Heart Mountain and a camp in Arkansas, where he stood playing his violin in a vast snowy field. He has made an album by the same name, chosen for a Japanese word that means to have sympathy and compassion toward another person. “With the executive order, this story is so important to tell again because there are new minority groups that are being oppressed by a government. That’s really the lesson here,” Kishi Bashi said. In the master class conversation with Chapman’s Stephanie Takaragawa, Ph.D. — an associate professor of sociology who recently wrote about her pilgrimage to the site of her father’s internment at Heart Mountain – Kishi Bashi talked about identity as well as the role of art. “With any kind of academic discussion, it’s great to add music because it kind of opens your heart. It softens the conversation,” he said.

Joining in the master class with Kishi Bashi are, from left, Adam Borecki ‘12, Lisa Yoshida ‘19, Bella Pepke ‘19, Christian Valencia ‘19, Devon Ryle ‘19, Hannah Viquesney ‘22 and Nicky Meindl ‘21. 52


In the audience that night was cellist Bella Pepke ’19, who discovered Kishi Bashi’s music as a first-year student. The day after the talk, she and violinist Lisa Yoshida ’19, who was born in Japan and grew up in the U.S., would be the quickest students to unpack their instruments to try Kishi Bashi’s loop boxes, laughing at their mistakes and amazed by the sound. “That was wild,” Pepke said afterward. “The fact that my cello was going through his setup was like, whoa! This is surreal. Master class with Kishi Bashi? I never thought that would happen in my life.”



During a master class in Musco Center for the Arts, singer-songwriter Kishi Bashi immerses Chapman music students in his unique creative process, then encourages them to get out their own instruments and join in the exploration.


MAY 2019



Shauna Fleming ‘11 met Matt Parisi when the two were Semester at Sea students eight years ago. They recently sailed as staff members on the 125th SAS voyage -- Shauna in a communications role and Matt as assistant executive dean.




OCEANS OF CONNECTION Around the globe and through the years, the power of the Semester at Sea experience endures, as a recent voyage confirms for two Chapman alumnae. BY KARYN PLANETT ’70

It’s been 50 years since I scrambled up a rickety gangway, a wide-eyed student with orange vinyl American Tourister luggage in tow, to step aboard Chapman College’s fledgling program World Campus Afloat, today known as Semester At Sea. My home for the next two semesters was Holland Karyn Planett ‘70, right, meets roommate America’s SS Ryndam, a Terri Christensen and begins her first Semester battleship-gray bucket of at Sea experience 50 years ago. bolts held together by the affection of the students who sailed aboard from 1965 to 1975. To commemorate that milestone event, my husband Geoff Thompson and I sailed aboard Semester at Sea’s fall 2018 voyage, enjoying a far more luxurious vessel along with 440 students whose life-altering journey mirrored mine. Geoff and I lectured on how to become effective storytellers by developing better writing and photography skills. We gave each student a copy of our book “How to Capture Your Travel Stories in Words & Pictures” along with an SAS flag and the mandate to photograph the flag ashore when writing about their adventures. We compiled their extraordinary work in a coffee-table book. We also sailed with SAS in summer 2011, pursuing the same task of giving students the tools to record their journey in vibrant ways. As Lifelong Learners, we sat in on classes and mentored students. There are immeasurable rewards for alumni who stay connected to the SAS program. Our voices can inspire current students to squeeze the life out of every day, to represent their country/school/family in a positive light, and to bring back important messages from new friends abroad about this vast and magical world. Many students stay in touch, and we continue to encourage them to knock on doors and knock down stereotypes for a better hands-across-the-seas camaraderie with people all around the world. Empowered by my SAS experience, I have spent five decades wandering the globe and feel, only now, that I’m beginning to scratch its powerful surface. Karyn Planett ’70 has traveled to more than 150 countries and authored hundreds of destination articles for the cruise industry during her career as a writer and photographer. In 2013, she and husband Geoff Thompson published “Voyages of The World,” recapping their 10 years aboard the industry’s only residential ship.


When I arrived at Chapman University in 2007, I had a go-to icebreaker for freshman orientation. I shared with the group that all of my schools – from preschool to college – are within a five-mile radius of each other in Orange. I love home. But during my junior year, I decided I A highlight of the recent sailing for Matt and really wanted to see the Shauna (Fleming) Parisi ‘11 was a visit to the world, so I signed up for Golden Temple in Amritsar, India. Semester at Sea. I came back a totally different person – I just couldn’t let it go. In fact, I was inspired to ask a question: How can I get more people to experience this life-changing journey? Since that first voyage, I’ve enjoyed two more Semester at Sea journeys, including in fall 2018, when I sailed on the 125th SAS voyage as a staff member with my husband Matt Parisi. The two of us met as students on that initial voyage, and eight years later we were thrilled to be back on board – me in a communications role and Matt as assistant executive dean. During this latest journey, we saw so many moments of growth, and when we finally returned to dock in San Diego, Matt and I gave hugs to every single student. There wasn’t a dry eye on board. That community of students had eaten meals with professors, walked to class together, bonded with the crew and felt the impact of countless cross-cultural experiences. There’s nothing like Semester at Sea – it’s the most unique community feeling I’ve ever encountered, and Chapman’s historic connection to the program makes it even more special. That’s why Matt and I stay involved. I feel like I have a home at Chapman. Semester at Sea extends that feeling until it encircles the globe. Shauna (Fleming) Parisi ’11 is an entrepreneur who has her own business with the health and wellness company Arbonne. In addition, she is the founder of A Million Thanks, a nonprofit she launched in 2004 to support U.S. military through sending letters of appreciation, granting wishes of injured veterans, and funding scholarships for children of fallen military.

MAY 2019




Nestled into a sheer precipice 10,000 feet up in the Himalayas, the Paro Taktsang monastery surrenders only to the heartiest of hikers. Legend has it that the first Buddhist monk to reach the site did so on the back of a jungle cat endowed with the power of flight – hence the popular name for the monastery: Tiger’s Nest. “I can tell you that when you see the monastery from the valley, you truly believe you will need a flying tiger – or at least a helicopter – to get there,” says Chapman President Daniele Struppa, no stranger to challenging climbs. “But I am very proud to say that all of our students – and, of course, our faculty – reached the temple in record time.” The journey to the stunning monastic complex culminated a winter interterm travel course to which Struppa provided insights. The president was one of four Chapman University faculty members on the trip, including his wife, Lisa Sparks, dean of the School of Communication. For Sparks, film professor Sally Rubin and communication studies instructor Michael Ross, it was the third iteration of the course, after previous travels in Cuba and Panama. Called Social Nonfiction Methodologies, the class immerses students in distinctive cultures and teaches them the art of presenting social issues through nonfiction storytelling, Rubin says. The students dive deeply into two storytelling modes: the social issue documentary film and the strategic communication plan. In this latest course, which took participants to Nepal and Bhutan, “We really wanted to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the students, leveraging my contacts on the ground and our material from the past three years,” says Ross, an entrepreneur who has worked internationally with a variety of partners, from leaders of nonprofits to corporate CEOs.



“We worked really hard to ensure that the students had access to business executives and other thought leaders,” Ross adds. “They get a chance to see what international opportunities look like.” Before the travel portion of the course, the 30 students spent a week on research papers that focused on various social issues. In the field, cross-disciplinary teams produced documentary films and strategic communication plans based on their research. They presented their projects after a week back on the Chapman campus. Countless rewards resulted as students “interacted with people who think differently, talk differently, act differently,” says Sparks, Ph.D. “The contrast between Bhutan and Nepal is vast. It’s really interesting to see what good government can do for the people and how a government that lacks resources affects people.” Throughout the trip, the scenery was spectacular and the hiking unforgettable, Struppa says. But they weren’t the best elements of the experience. “The most rewarding part of my trip was seeing our students in action,” the president says. “They were the best possible ambassadors for their country and for Chapman University – always courteous, always inquisitive, always enthusiastic. I’m incredibly proud of our students. I just wish I had more time to study abroad with them.” A link to the student-produced documentary “Son of Everest” is at The short film tells the story of Dhamey Norgay, son of Tenzing Norgay, one of the first two people to summit Mount Everest.

For 30 Chapman students, a study abroad journey to Nepal and Bhutan included cultural exchange, documentary filmmaking and outdoor adventure. In the middle photo above, faculty members Sally Rubin, Lisa Sparks, Daniele Struppa and Michael Ross meet Dhamey Norgay, second from right. The son of history-making climber Tenzing Norgay is the subject of the documentary “Son of Everest,” made by a team of students in the class.

During a Himalayan travel course, students rise to the challenge of social issue storytelling.

MAY 2019




Colleen Coleman O’Harra ’59 was inducted into the San Diego Women’s Hall of Fame on March 3, 2019, for her efforts in founding the Women’s Resource Center in Oceanside, for serving two terms on the Oceanside City Council and as Chamber of Commerce president, and for community work with numerous nonprofits.


Louise Rusher ’65 and her husband, David, celebrated their 50-year wedding anniversary in Costa Mesa. 1


William Kelly Hope ’74 is enjoying time with Carolyn in Oakland. They enjoy traveling to Dixieland music events. William wants to say hello to his Chapman friends.


Dr. Ronald Doiron ’75 was granted a five-year continuing contract by Florida SouthWestern State College, Fort Myers, where he is a professor of music, teaching theory, music history, voice and piano as well as conducting the FSW Symphony Orchestra and Choral Program. He also continues as director of music/organist at St. Monica’s Episcopal Church in Naples, Fla., where he oversees a choral and handbell program as well as a concert series.


John Alexander ’70 retired from teaching after 35 years of service at La Quinta High School. His wife of 48 years, Lyn, retired after 40 years of service at Santa Margarita Catholic High School as a high school counselor and IB/AP coordinator. They met at Chapman in 1969.


Gwen Blankenship ’70 retired last June after 31 fulfilling years as a teacher. She is now gratefully enjoying time with family and friends, Bible study, and volunteering at the OC Rescue Mission & MOPS. 2



Tim Lowe ’86 and his wife, Charmaine, are excited to announce that their son will be attending Carthage College, where he will be playing tennis.


Marc Messenger ‘86 has been signed to Woolf Lapin

literary agency.


Johnese Spisso ’87 was honored by the Los Angeles Ballet at its Season 13 Gala in April, when she received the Global Impact Award. Spisso was named president of UCLA Health, CEO of UCLA Hospital System and associate vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences in 2016 and is a nationally recognized academic healthcare leader with more than 30 years of experience.


Scott Hoover ’92 has joined Mechanics Bank in its Irvine office as vice president, senior relationship manager. Scott will be responsible for originating and managing business loans and lines of credit, commercial real estate loans and providing treasury management services to commercial clients, all areas in which he has extensive experience.


Echo Barker ’93 was selected to participate in the 108th California Art Club Annual Gold Medal Exhibit in Pasadena in March. 3


Lisa Watson, (M.A. ‘96) has been elected to Litchfield Park City Council in Arizona for a four-year term.

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Jessica Alabi ’99 is a peace studies and social justice graduate and one of Chapman’s distinguished Harry S. Truman Scholars. She is the chair of Orange Coast College’s sociology department and recently landed her first national contract through her educational and community development consulting firm, Alabi Community Consulting, LLC. Alabi serves as a faculty lead on the State Academic Senate Guided Pathways Task Force leading California’s Community College student completion movement.


April Abeyta ’00 recently accepted a new position with Seeker Media as vice president of business operations. Seeker Media is a science and technology video publisher. Additionally, Abeyta is producing and directing a new feature documentary called “After the Game.”


Scott Koller ’01 was recently promoted to partner at the national law firm BakerHostetler, where he practices in the firm’s Los Angeles office. His practice focuses on data breach response and security compliance issues. He has guided hundreds of clients through incident response and data breach investigations involving malware, network intrusion, inadvertent disclosure and ransomware.






Hallie Lambert ’01 is a writer/producer on the critically acclaimed television show “The Expanse,” which was recently acquired by Amazon Prime, and writer of the tie-in graphic novel series, “The Expanse: Origins.” Brent Smith ’01, (M.A. ’09) is retiring as Ceres, Calif., chief of police in June. Smith has been with the Ceres Police Department since 1993 and chief since June 2014.

Chris Barry ’02 was recently promoted to acquisition and ingest manager for Disney/ ABC Television Group. He is co-president of the Employee Resource Group the Inclusion Network, with a goal to support and expand opportunities to increase representation and inclusion. He is also president of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) Rockland, N.Y. Pietro “Peter” Villani ’02, cinematographer, recently released the film “I’m Not Here,” with actors J.K. Simmons, Sebastian Stan, Mandy Moore, Max Greenfield and Ian Armitage. Tiauna Jackson ’03, owner of The Jackson Agency, was a contributing voice in a New York Times piece discussing the lack of representation of people of color in the field of entertainment and entertainment management.


A.J. Devlin ’00 wrote a crime novel, “Cobra Clutch,” that was released with high acclaim by Canadian publisher NeWest Press. 4


has accepted a position at NBC Universal as director of programming and development. She was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and 4

Sciences for “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors,” a series she co-created and executive-produced. Winners will be announced in May. She is also a governor on the Television Academy’s Board of Governors, and this year she will be co-chair of the Governors Ball for the Primetime Emmys.

MAY 2019




Michele Philo ’03 was installed as the 2019 president of the Orange County Women Lawyers Association. In addition, Sarah Nowels (JD, MBA ’10) was installed as vice president and Sheila-Marie Finkelstein (LL.M. ’18) was installed as treasurer. Michelle also serves as a director for the Chapman University Alumni Association. 5 Pictured, from left: Kelly Galligan, Sheila-Marie Finkelstein, Sarah Nowels, Michelle Philo, Jaimi Groothuis and Hon. Franz Miller


Kip Glazer CRED ’04, (M.A. ’06) was appointed San Marcos High School principal. The Santa Barbara Unified School District board voted 5-0 to hire Glazer, an assistant principal at La Cañada High School. Glazer will start July 1. Glazer was selected after a nationwide search and interview process with a panel that included teachers, school and district office staff, parents and community partners.


Crystal House ’04 achieved a childhood dream of working on a show with Joe Bob Briggs. Briggs’ show “Monstervision” was a large part of why Crystal wanted to be film editor. Recently, the show was brought back to the AMC-owned Shudder network. Starting as a special, the show was picked up as a series, with Crystal taking a role as an editor.


Justin Simien ‘05 started a podcast titled “Don’t @ Me” as part of KCRW. The podcast is available on Apple iTunes. He was also invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Directors Branch. His Netflix show “Dear White People” was renewed for a third season.




Jason Wise ‘05 finished production on his third installment of “SOMM.” He is currently in production with five other projects.


Mark Miller ‘06 will be an executive producer on “Nightbreed,” a TV series based on Clive Barker’s short-story collection “Cabal.” The series will be available on the SyFy network.


Kelsea Ballantyne ’07 and her husband, Zach, will be celebrating the first birthday of their baby, Winifred Evergreen, this year. “We love being her parents,” says Kelsea. Kelsea is head of manufacturing standardized work 777 at Boeing, and Zach is managing partner at Bloomantyne, LLC. 6


Bianca Halpern (MFA ’07) opened her own equipment rental business, BECiNE, in Culver City. BECiNE supports filmmakers by providing high-quality gear, competitive prices and child care.

Michael Frazier ’07 is working as a director of experience design for Amare Global, the mental wellness company. He leads design and user experience for Amare’s mental wellness app, which uses a holistic approach to mental wellness based on supplementation and learning. Danielle Beckman ’08 is the host of the hit new podcast “Funny People Talking.” She and co-host Marc Raco interview entertainers, influencers, icons and innovators. Episodes feature improv games, nerd tips, what’s wrong with the world, strange foods, possible “Star Trek” references and a whole universe of funny things.


Frank Heldman (M.A. ’08) was one of three directors appointed to the board of directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, representing the Central Basin Municipal Water District and the San Diego County Water Authority.


Lauren Johnson ‘09 won Best Picture at the Silicon Beach Film Festival for her film “The Longest Night.” The film was cowritten by Derek Wibben ’05 and edited by Michael Cox ’02.

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7 6





Prarthana Mohan (MFA ‘09) directed “The MisEducation of Bindu,” which is executive-produced by the Duplass Brothers and has finished production. Alumni Dani-Sanchez Lopez (MFA ’09), Ed Timpe (MFA ’08), Kay Tuxford (MFA ’08), Drew Moe (MFA ’10), Mike Villasuso (MFA ’09) and George Dickson (MFA ’09) all worked on the film.


Kathryn Rogers ’09 launched Chakra Chocolate Truffles. Kathryn’s truffles are handmade in San Diego. 7


Atticus Wegman (JD ‘10) and Ryan Drakulich (JD ‘18) secured a $429,000 jury verdict in the Orange County Superior Court. This is a major win for the two Chapman Fowler School of Law graduates who work for the law firm of Chapman Trustee Wylie Aitken — Aitken Aitken and Cohn. 8


Janice Chua ’11 is an associate producer on the popular film “Crazy Rich Asians.”


Tyler Hadzinsky ’11 graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in December 2018 with a master of arts in statistics, summa cum laude. 9


Burke Doeren ’12 was director of photography on season three of “Battlebots” on the Discovery Channel.

Kate Lilly ‘12, Joseph Carnegie ‘14, Matt and Ross Duffer ‘07, and Jackie Zhou ‘15 were nominated for a combined 15 Emmys.




Zimran Jacob ‘12 co-wrote the screenplay for the indie comedy “Swag,” which is being produced by co-writer Rickey Castleberry’s company, 19f Productions, and will be directed by Kevin Pollak.


Sarah Dawson ’14 is a marketing and acquisitions executive at Giant Interactive in New York City, a new digital distribution company, and she recently acquired the Sundance 2018 documentary “Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.” for U.S. digital distribution.


Nathan Flanagan-Frankl ‘14, along with Tyler Oakley, a top YouTube star and vocal LGBTQ supporter, created six documentarystyle episodes as part of the “Chosen Family ” series in which they interview people about their LGBTQ experiences.


Max Landwirth ‘14 was nominated by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to be a candidate in their “Man & Woman of the Year” campaign. Max is working on raising at least $100,000 to support critical needs for cancer research and patient services as he leads team #FromTheHeart. Several members of his fundraising team are also Chapman alumni.


Carlos Lopez-Estrada ‘14 made his directorial debut with the film “Blindspotting,” which was an official selection at Sundance and SXSW this year. Mason Hernandez ’15 is the founder of My Catering Concierge, a startup that he began at Chapman. The team is comprised of Chapman Alumni and current students. Mason has received support from Chapman’s Ralph W. Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics for the past year, allowing him to nearly quadruple his revenue. Furthermore, he plans to continue hiring more Chapman students and working with Chapman alumni clients.


Jinny Ryann Pollinger ’16 recently won Best Performance of Fest at the Actors Awards with “Melrose,” in which she portrayed a door-to-door marketer. 10


Gabby Shephard (MFA ’16) was selected as one of the Austin Film Festival’s 25 Screenwriters to Watch in 2018 by MovieMaker magazine. Ashton Avila (MFA ’17), Taylor Maxwell (MFA ’13) and Sarah Thacker (MFA ’13) directed three separate pilots for PlayStation’s Emerging Filmmakers Program. The films were shot in Atlanta over a five-week period and are available on the PlayStation Store and Vue.



MAY 2019







Taylor Braun (M.A. ‘17) started at Dodge College of Film and Media Arts as the film festival specialist. Makena Costlow ‘17 was hired as an assistant editor in the marketing department of The Third Floor, a previsualization company that works on all “Star Wars” and most Marvel movies.


Zelie Dember-Slack (MFA ‘17) has started principal photography on the feature film “Jessie the Golden Heart.” Dember-Slack is codirecting and producing with writer Peggy Rogers. The production is shooting in Redlands at the Kimberly-Crest Castle.


Amanda Renee Knox (MFA ‘17) is the director of “Night Call,” which was in contention for a Live Action Short Oscar nomination.


Christopher Matista ‘17 directed the film “Steamwrecked,” which has been shown at seven festivals and multiple cosplay conventions. The film has been picked up for worldwide distribution by 7 Palms Entertainment.

Chris Moore (MFA ‘17) landed a staff writing position on a new Netflix sitcom.


Lauren Nowicki ‘17 will be an associate producer on “LadyGang,” which was picked up by E! Network in May 2018.

Zachary Brown ’18 is running for the Virginia State Senate. Brown, a first-year student at the University of Richmond School of Law, is running against two other candidates in the June Democratic primary. His campaign is being managed by fellow University of Richmond law students, who represent diverse groups.



Sofia Seikaly ‘17 is a producer on a local ABC affiliate in San Diego.


Melissa Marino ’18, who double-majored in performance and Italian studies, has received a full-tuition scholarship from the National Italian American Foundation. The scholarship will support Melissa’s graduate work in performing arts management at two of the world’s most renowned institutions: the Accademia Teatro alla Scala and Politecnico di Milano Graduate School of Business in Milan, Italy.


Kameron Backstrom ‘18 has started a job with Elite Global Solutions as their product photographer and videographer. Elite Global Solutions is a leading manufacturer in melamine, which is used for dinnerware and serveware for businesses and restaurants.

Austenne Caproni ’18 has been promoted from the mailroom to an assistant for a production agent at William Morris Endeavor Agency.


Nicole Feste ‘18 is working on the “Charmed” reboot on the CW network as a writers production assistant.


Deborah Kendrick ‘18 won the Edward R. Murrow Award, which honors outstanding achievements in broadcast and digital journalism.


Ce Liang (MFA ’18) was one of 28 participants in this year’s B.I.G. NAFF 2018 Fantastic Film School, which coincides with the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival. Participants learn about the rapidly changing film production environment through lectures from five global film industry experts and team pitching sessions.

’08   C I N D Y D E R B Y Children’s book illustrator Cindy Derby ’08 has recently released a new book, “How to Walk an Ant,” which she has written and illustrated. This charming children’s tale takes the reader through a nine-step pet ant walking routine, as directed by a young girl named Amariyah, who is a self-described expert in this art. In addition to this story, Cindy has also illustrated Shannon Bramer’s “Climbing Shadows,” a collection of poetry inspired by and written for a class of kindergarten children. Each child in the class received their own poem, reflecting their unique personalities, thoughts and moods. Derby illustrated the personal poems in a dreamscape watercolor motif.





Brian Robau (MFA ’18), John Sayage (MFA ’18), (MBA ’18) and Daniel Klein (MFA ’18) won the Drama Series Award at the 39th College Television Awards for “Esta es tu Cuba.” The College Television Awards recognizes and rewards excellence in student-produced programs from colleges and universities nationwide. Robau (MFA ’18) also received a 2018 Student Academy Award medal in the narrative category for the series.


’17     N I E M A N G A T U S It took Nieman Gatus ’17 roughly 15 minutes to write the song “Knots” with his cousin Moira Dela Torre, recording it the same night. It was time well used: “Knots” has more than 3 million listens on Spotify, and the song shifted the creative producing major’s music career to the next level. Going by just Nieman professionally, the singer-songwriter spent this past fall touring the Philippines and Indonesia with Dela Torre. Upon his return, Nieman headlined a show at the Observatory in Santa Ana. He had worked at as a Chapman student.

Elena Dennis ’19 has worked with the Proctor Foundation for Research in Ophthalmology for two summers, researching trachoma prevention and the reduction of child mortality. Dennis is published as a co-author for a systematic review and meta-analysis focusing on antimicrobial resistance within recipients of antibiotics for trachoma prevention.

Photo by Nikki Manlapaz

’10     D A V I D N U N G A R A Y David Nungaray’s parents instilled in him the importance of education, leading him to excel as a first-generation college student. Now he’s flourishing as principal of James Bonham Academy, a K-8 school in San Antonio, Texas. In his new position, he helps students find their own path to academic success. “We get to shape their lives and give them a foundation for nine years,” Nungaray says. “It’s a huge responsibility.”

MAY 2019


DONNA DUNMORE ’02 of Atascadero passed away Jan. 28 at age 56 after a lengthy illness. Donna was born in Long Beach and grew up in Huntington Beach. She graduated from Westminster High School in 1980 and then attended Golden West College and Cal State Long Beach, majoring in psychology. She earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Chapman University in 2002. She was employed at Arroyo Instruments in San Luis Obispo as an executive assistant. She is survived by her husband, Jerry Ruch, a sister, Jean Dunmore, and a nephew, Shae.

MARILYN H. RASLER ’59 passed away Jan. 24 surrounded by her family and minister. She was born in 1928 and graduated from Chapman with a degree in education in 1959. She was part of the first generation in her family to go to college. Marilyn was a dedicated public school teacher in Fremont for 30 years. She was known for finding the best in every child – and every parent. She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Ken, daughters Lisa and Beth Rasler and her grandchildren.



passed away Jan. 17 at age 87 in Orange. Carol retired from Chapman after 27 years in the registrar’s office. She was born in 1931 in Huntington Beach. The youngest of three children, Carol was musically and artistically inclined from a young age, and was chosen by MGM as a semifinalist to be Shirley Temple’s double in 1936. She married Charles Warner in 1956, and the couple had one child, Jay.

HARRIET M. BARBERI ’81 passed away Feb. 21 at age 89. Harriet was born ELDON RICHARD WEEHLER ’79 passed away Nov. 25, 2018, in San Antonio, Texas. He was 98. Born in Sherman County, Nebraska, Eldon married Marjorie Rolf in 1946. He attended the University of Nebraska, Omaha, as well as Chapman. He earned a master’s in business administration in finance from Cal State San Bernardino. He served in the Army Air Corps and the Air Force, retiring in 1974 as a lieutenant colonel. He served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He is survived by daughters Karen Sue Weehler and Cynthia Rae Weehler and one grandson, Christian Rama Weehler.

HOLLY H. REESE ‘70 passed away Jan. 26 after a brief battle with a virus. Holly was born in Long Beach in 1942. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Chapman in 1970. She then went on to earn her teaching credential from Boise State University in 1979, and a master’s degree in education from the College of Idaho in 1994. From her first marriage she had three children, Chance, Rachel and Jason. In 1980, she married the love of her life, Rodney “Pepper” Reese, and together they became a family, including his two children, Kirk and Kelli. Holly worked as an elementary school teacher and counselor for more than 30 years in Idaho. Holly is remembered for her huge heart, beautiful smile, sound advice and dedication to her family and students.

FRED G. SPARKS ‘61 passed away Jan. 24 at age 81. Fred was born in 1937 in Pennsylvania and attended Chapman on a full scholarship. Fred so enjoyed his time at Chapman that he returned to the campus each year for the Economic Forecast Update. Fred and his Chapman roommate, Tom Wells, remained friends until Tom’s death. Fred founded his own property management company, FGS, Inc., and in 1995 became president of Jamboree Management, Inc, a position he held until 2018. Fred will be remembered for his intellect, integrity, sense of humor and for living life to the fullest. He and his wife, Joyce, were married for just shy of 40 years. Fred was preceded in death by a son, Fred Jr. He is survived by children Jeff and Laura, and stepchildren Danny, Cindy and Rian.



Christmas Day 1929 in North Carolina. She graduated from St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing in 1951 and earned a B.S. in science from Chapman in 1981. Harriet is survived by daughter JoAnn Hirsch and son John Olsen. She had nine grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and many other loving relatives and friends. Harriet is remembered for her love of music and her wonderful dinner parties.

BARBARA JAYNE CARR THRONEBERRY ’86 died Feb. 23 at age 82 in Pea Ridge, Arkansas. She was born in New Jersey in 1936 and completed a registered nursing program in 1957. In 1986, she earned a bachelor’s degree cum laude from Chapman. She found tremendous satisfaction in her work as a nurse, serving in surgical, obstetrical, labor and delivery, reproductive and operating room roles for more than 40 years. Her rapier wit was unrivaled.

MARK L. KING (M.A. ‘80), PH.D. passed away Feb. 26 at age 64 at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, following a yearlong battle with leukemia. Mark was born in Columbus, Ohio, and graduated from Cal State Fullerton and Alliant International as well as Chapman. In 1987, he was licensed as a clinical psychologist in California, and was in private practice in Gainesville, Fla., until his retirement in 2018. Mark was committed to the happiness and well-being of family, friends and patients.

Let’s Celebrate Like Family

& Distinguished Alumni Awards SAVE THE DATE OCTOBER 4 - 5, 2019 It’s a great time to be a Panther! Join us this fall for the Chapman Family Homecoming, Oct. 4-5. Help us kick off the weekend with the Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony on Friday, Oct. 4, at 7 p.m. There’s something for everyone at this community-wide event, so save the dates!


One University Drive Orange, California 92866

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