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Winter 2019 News and features about and for the Dominican community

The Dominican Experience Four components for student success

Archbishop Alemany Library, East Wing Photo by Pirkle Jones, 1965. Courtesy of Architecture West Magazine.


Winter 2019

In This Issue

3 News 9 Athletics

The Torch The Torch is a publication presenting the news, people and progress of Dominican University of California. The symbol of the flaming torch, representing truth, is rooted in the history of St. Dominic. The University’s motto is “Truth, a flaming torch.” The torch is carried by one of the “hounds of the Lord,” or, in Latin, “Domini canes.”

President Mary B. Marcy, DPhil

10 The Dominican Experience 14 Dominican Realizes President’s Vision for Engaged Learning

Editor-in-Chief Jessica Jordan

Art Direction/ Production Margaret Wylie

Editors Vickie Alleman Marly Norris


16 On Campus 18 Alumni News 25 Class Notes 28 In Sympathy

Dave Albee Mary Bussi Sarah Gardner Victoria Grajeda Ryan Guasco Kathie Henderson Mark Jaime Jessica Jordan Spencer Shamo Laura Stivers Holly Werly

Photographers Dave Albee Jordan Lieser Stuart Lirette Gary Ottonello Dia Rao Ma rian L. Utley

Photo Archivist Anne Reid

Published By Dominican University of California 50 Acacia Ave. San Rafael, CA 94901 415-485-3239 dominican.edu

Dear Friends, I am honored to be writing my first letter to you as president of Dominican University of California’s Alumni Association board of directors. As you’ll see in the following pages of The Torch, this is an incredibly dynamic time to be involved with Dominican! Let me tell you a bit about our alumni board: We currently have 20 dedicated, fun and vastly talented board members from a wide variety of class years (ranging from 1967–2016) and degree programs. The board kicks off each year with a daylong retreat to plan out the many ways we will serve you, and we all meet in person four times after that. Our mission, in a nutshell, is to keep alumni engaged with the University. We work with and provide feedback to the Dominican alumni relations team on alumni-focused initiatives (like The Torch magazine!). Read more about us on page 23. The Torch is a vital tool to maintain the connection between Dominican and our community of alumni, parents and donors. We have heard from many of you over the past two years that you missed The Torch, so we are excited to bring it back this year and will do our best to continue providing this important resource.

There are many ways you can stay connected to Dominican: •

Update your contact information at dominican.edu/updateinfo to make sure you get the monthly Penguin Postcard, invitations to events and other communications.

Interact with us on social media: Search “Dominican Alumni” on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and “Dominican University of California” on LinkedIn.

Attend an alumni event to catch up with old friends and build your professional network. View the calendar at dominican.edu/alumnievents. Our events range from DU of C basketball games and our annual Bocce Ball Tournament to after-work happy hours or attending a play together. There’s something fun for everyone!

Submit a class note to be published online and in future issues of The Torch: dominican.edu/classnotes

Take advantage of your Alumni Benefits Card (order at dominican.edu/alumni), which gives you plenty of reasons to come to campus, including auditing one class per semester for free (with the consent of the instructor), working out at Conlan Center with a discounted membership, and enjoying borrowing privileges at Archbishop Alemany Library.

Enrich the experience of current and future students by making a gift: dominican.edu/giving

Thank you for the honor of serving as your president. I look forward to meeting as many of you as I can, hopefully at Reunion Weekend, April 26-27 (mark your calendars!) or sooner, at an upcoming event. In the meantime, email me at alumni@dominican.edu with your suggestions on how we can make our Alumni Association even stronger, or simply send me a quick note to let me know what you’ve been up to. Warmest regards,

Marcia Barahona ’10, MBA ’15 Go Penguins!



Dominican Exceeds Undergraduate Admissions Goals for Class of 2022 As Conlan Center filled with anxious and excited families on August 22, 2018, the Undergraduate Admissions team could finally relax. Recruitment for the Dominican University of California Class of 2022 had come to an end. All 290 firstyear students had their schedules and housing assignments in hand, and the group was ready to become part of the close-knit Dominican community. The devoted admissions counselors had good reason to be proud. They had exceeded the Fall 2018 recruitment goals and brought in a bright, passionate and diverse group of new students. With an average SAT score of 1121 and GPAs of 3.5 or higher for more than half of the class, this is one of highest-achieving entering classes in recent history. This accomplishment is significant in the face of a rapidlychanging higher education landscape with increasing tuition costs and competition for students. Thanks to efforts to implement a more targeted admissions strategy, grow our team of personable admissions professionals, implement a generous financial achievement award and adjust our admissions process to meet the needs of this digitally-advanced generation, we received a positive response from applicants. Dominican is thriving in an environment where searching for the perfect school is overwhelming and difficult. But even as we become more deliberate and purposeful in our recruitment technique, we continue to recognize the impact of our alumni. Your experience is valuable, and only you can do justice to your Dominican story. Help recruit the next generation of Penguins by volunteering to talk to high school students and parents at a college fair in your area, serve as a guest speaker at an open house, host an admissions reception or make it a point to be an everyday advocate for your alma mater. With your help, we can continue to make Dominican strong for the future.

Admitted Student Open Houses Join us Saturday, March 2, 2019 and Saturday, April 13, 2019. If you would like to volunteer, contact Maria Gentile, Director of Undergraduate Admissions at maria.gentile@dominican.edu

Barowsky School of Business Expands Alumni Reach Alumni of the Barowsky School of Business now have more resources to help them reconnect with Dominican and each other with the addition of two new staff members: Courtney Budesa, Director of Internships and Professional Development, and Daniel Cassidy, Student Services Administrator and Integrative Coach. Cassidy focuses on creating opportunities for alumni to grow their networks through facilitating connections between BSB alumni and their professional circles. Last fall, he organized an “Alumni and Colleague” event on campus where graduates were asked to bring one of their co-workers. “It was great to see so many alumni come back to campus and bring their colleagues,” Cassidy said. “The event generated a lot of excitement and was attended by over 40 alumni. Our goal is to broaden Dominican’s reach to help our students and alumni stay connected and encourage shared opportunities between one another.” Budesa works with employers to match them with current BSB undergraduates and MBAs for part-time job and internship opportunities and new graduates in their full-time job search. Thanks to her efforts, 96 percent of the 2018 BSB undergraduate class was placed in jobs by graduation, and the average starting salary was $58,000.

Get Involved! • Do you have an internship or employment opportunity at your company? • Do you want to share your professional experience with current students? • Do you have a project that a class can work on to get hands-on experience? Contact Courtney Budesa, Director, Internships and Professional Development, Barowsky School of Business at courtney.budesa@dominican.edu



School of Liberal Arts and Education Employs Innovations in Teaching Lieser engages his students through place-based learning, which entails leaving the classroom setting with in-depth study of a particular geographic place. In fall 2018 his Public History class — a Service-Learning course — focused on the Angel Island Immigration Station. Students visited the station and talked with leaders from the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation. They visited the National Archives-Pacific Region in San Bruno and studied the records of those who passed through or were detained at Angel Island. Students then delved into the digital humanities, using modern digital skills to present what they had learned. Some students created a website; some created — Dr. Jordan Lieser a mini-documentary; and another group created a simulation of what it was like for a person who landed on the dock at Angel Island Immigration Station.

“The sky’s the limit when departments work together to study a place.”

“The goal and responsibility of public historians is not to just understand our history and keep it for ourselves, but to share it with others,” Lieser said.


tudents will benefit from more innovative teaching styles as three School of Liberal Arts and Education (LAE) faculty worked to improve their pedagogy during the 2017-2018 school year, thanks to a

generous gift from a donor. Dr. Veronica Fruiht, Assistant Professor of Psychology; Dr. Perry Guevara, Assistant Professor of Literature and Languages; and Dr. Jordan Lieser, Assistant Professor of History, each focused on a particular pedagogy project, and now they are bringing what they learned back into the classroom, as well as leading workshops for fellow

Fruiht, Guevara and Lieser are leading workshops throughout the year to share their findings with other LAE faculty. Lieser’s goal is to find faculty collaborators who would like to institute place-based learning in their courses and collaborate with each other, so a variety of disciplines are studying the same geographic region. “It makes for interesting things if you have a geographic place that we all use our various academic toolkits to study,” Lieser said. “The sky’s the limit when departments work together to study a place.”

faculty members. “Pedagogy is the ’how’ of how you teach,” Lieser said. “We spend a lot of time in the School of Liberal Arts and Education talking about how to become more effective teachers. Our students change every year, so how we reach them and how we connect to the changing needs of the workforce changes every year. Pedagogical innovation is an endless process.”



Get Involved! • Do you want to share your expertise with current students? • Do you work in a community organization interested in partnering with one of our departments? Contact Laura Stivers, Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Education, at laura.stivers@dominican.edu


School of Health and Natural Sciences Goes Global Faculty in the School of Health and Natural Sciences are paving the way for students to travel the globe, allowing them to communicate and collaborate with people whose perspectives may differ from their own, and gain the skills to become global citizens. Last summer, in partnership with Dominican’s Global Education Office, Dr. Brett Bayles led global public health students on a four-week course, Planetary Health-Perspectives from Costa Rica, where topics ranged from climate change to the role of biodiversity in infectious disease. Undergraduate biology students participated in Dr. Roland Cooper’s ongoing research on malaria at clinics in Uganda, and Dr. Olivia Catolico and Dr. Leandra Wallace traveled to Bwindi, Uganda, with nursing students to teach Global Health Nursing and Healthcare. The occupational therapy (OT) program is embracing global learning for its students. The department partners with the Global Education Office on an annual monthlong trip to Mérida, Mexico, in conjunction with the Anahuac Mayab University, where students are immersed in the culture. They spend their mornings at health care clinics and take medical Spanish courses, as well as hear medical lectures in Spanish in the afternoons. Dr. Julia Wilbarger, Occupational Therapy Department Chair and Associate Professor, traveled to Denmark, Ireland, Poland and Australia in the past year to teach advanced practice

clinical continuing education courses for occupational therapy. In Poland, she spoke to the Polish Association of Sensory Integration, and in Denmark, she worked with the Danish Occupational Therapy Pediatric Association, helping to bolster Dominican’s reputation internationally and pave the way for OT students to gain valuable experience with international clinical placements. The department has placed students in internships in Australia, and last summer it sent students to the Philippines for their three-month internships. Dr. Karen McCarthy will lead a student trip to Ireland next summer, and future plans include student internships in Ireland and Ecuador. “Students really are getting a more global perspective,” Wilbarger said. They’re not limiting their concept of health and healthcare just to the United States. They’re able to look at it from different perspectives and learn about different healthcare systems. We want them to understand a broader view of occupational therapy and bring those lessons back.”

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Thriving at Dominican On a typical beautiful fall (or spring!) day on the Dominican campus, more than 100 members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) enjoy a pleasant, tree-lined stroll along Acacia Avenue on their way to Guzman Hall. Often, they’ll wave to their friends as they take a seat to participate in a dynamic, engaging lecture on topics such as Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” block printing, or the politics of law and order. We’re proud of the fact that in the 2017-18 academic year, 1,490 retired women and men of Marin County took at least one course in the OLLI program. Better yet, 300 premium members each took six to 12 liberal arts courses, with subjects ranging from writing and music to history and contemporary culture. Homework is not required, but most OLLI members are serious students who study the online notes provided by faculty and read the recommended books.

Many OLLI members are Dominican alumni, who receive a 10 percent discount on tuition. One example, Andrea Gale ’73, a former special education teacher in Marin County and a Class of 1975 graduate of the teaching credential program, has taken OLLI classes since 2000. As a premium member, she pays a one-time annual fee of $612, which entitles her to up to 12 courses a year. This fall, she is taking Cybersecurity and Search for the Holy Grail: Histories and Legends of the Middle Ages. In her eight years as an OLLI member, Gale has missed only one quarter. “I get a wonderful feeling when I am on campus.” The time to stop learning is never. Join OLLI and catch up on what you’ve been missing. Email olli@dominican.edu, call 415-458-3763 or visit dominican.edu/olli for class topics and information.




All In For Dominican Surpasses Goal


he campus was alive with activity on March 20, 2018, as the University celebrated its second annual "All in for Dominican" Day of Giving.

Volunteers staffed “donation stations” across campus, collecting gifts of all amounts from students, faculty and even neighbors walking their dogs. At Caleruega Hall, students made donations while posing in the puppy kissing booth and snacking on doughnut holes. Over at Conlan Center, student athletes and athletics staff cheered on donors and held a barbeque to raise money. Students competed to see which class could raise the most money, with the winning class gleefully tossing Dr. Paul Raccanello, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, into a cold Conlan pool. All day and into the next, campus activities were buoyed by a robust social media and email campaign for alumni and friends. The University surpassed its goals, raising $106,074 from 658 donations, up from $86,167 and 645 donations in 2017. More than 40 percent of the money raised was designated for the Dominican Fund, supporting the areas of greatest need across



the University. Nearly 20 percent of the contributions were earmarked for scholarships, and another 15 percent for athletics. The remaining donations supported a full spectrum of programs, ranging from Campus Ministry to Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. “All in for Dominican” is more than a fundraising challenge; it is a fun way to show support for the University and each other and to celebrate the impact of our collective contributions. Thanks to the generous support of donors and the hard work of many, this annual campaign is gaining momentum, raising money for the most important needs around campus, and instilling the values of philanthropy and community engagement in our students. Join us for the University’s third annual Day of Giving, as we go “All in for Dominican” on March 19, 2019. If you would like to participate or learn more about All in for Dominican, contact Sophia De Quattro at 415-257-1352 or sophia.dequattro@dominican.edu




f anyone would know what skills are in demand in the workplace, it would be Jeff Weiner, head of LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional networking site. Speaking recently in San Francisco at a forum sponsored by Wired on the future of work, Weiner noted that the skills most in demand but least in supply are the “soft skills” typically associated with the liberal arts — strong written and oral communication, team building and leadership. As businesses increasingly rely on cross-company collaboration, they are placing a heavier emphasis on those critical interpersonal communications. That’s not to say demand for tech skills is going away anytime soon. Weiner’s remarks came only days after The Financial Times noted JPMorgan Chase & Co. was expecting its new investment bankers and managers to learn and become proficient in using coding language.

Combination of Liberal Arts, Technical Skills in Demand According to a recent study conducted on behalf of the Association of American Colleges & Universities, what’s truly in demand are graduates who can combine a strong grounding in the liberal arts with the technical skills necessary for the increasingly digitized workplace. A timely new partnership between Dominican and Make School, a San Francisco-based computer coding college, is ready to meet this demand. The partnership, announced in an October 1 article in The Wall Street Journal, will allow Dominican to introduce a minor in computer science

and for Make School to offer an accredited major in applied computer science under Dominican’s oversight. This first-of-its-kind venture is reimagining the bachelor’s degree for today’s students and tomorrow’s workforce by pairing tech and the liberal arts.

“I believe that the students at Make School will be amazed how transformative their work in their Dominican courses will become.” — Karla Hernandez Navarro “Dominican and Make School are creating an academic partnership unlike any other in the nation,” Dominican President Mary B. Marcy said. “Both of our institutions are focused on designing academic programs that are relevant, rooted in real-world, active learning experiences and prepare students both academically and emotionally for career success.” The cross-disciplinary minor in computer science is open to Dominican students in any major, with courses taught at Dominican by both Make School and Dominican faculty. The Bachelor in Applied Computer Science will be taught by both Make School and Dominican faculty at Make School’s downtown San Francisco headquarters. “Some of these students will be graduates in the liberal arts and sciences. Some of these students will be computer scientists,” President Marcy said. “All of them will have the ability to think critically, communicate effectively and apply those skills to relevant work and graduate programs.” Karla Hernandez Navarro, a student in Dominican’s Business BA to MBA 4+1

program, is excited about access to CS courses, because she has witnessed workplace expectations for interns and employees with tech skills. However, she also believes the Make School students will benefit from exposure to the liberal arts. Hernandez Navarro said her own grounding in the liberal arts has provided unexpected experiences. “I’m totally focused on a career in accounting, but the two most transformative courses I’ve ever taken at Dominican were in the liberal arts,” Hernandez Navarro said. As a result of one Service-Learning course, she began working with San Rafael’s Canal Alliance to organize a high-profile event bringing community leaders together to push for an accurate count in the 2020 census. This work, she said, helped her find her voice and develop a passion for advocacy. “I believe that the students at Make School will be amazed how transformative their work in their Dominican courses will become,” Hernandez Navarro said. The CS minor will begin in fall 2019, with about 75 students expected to fill two or three sections. Eventually, President Marcy said she would not be surprised if half or more of Dominican undergraduates enroll in at least one computer science course offered through the minor. President Marcy said the partnership represents a dramatic new way for Dominican to present its curriculum to the community, and it provides opportunities for students and faculty to access Silicon Valley tech employers through Make School’s existing relationships. “Dominican will be able to tap the sort of practitioner expertise in emergent, high-growth fields that colleges — especially smaller colleges — often struggle to tap into,” she said.




Reimagining Citizenship Poon, a business major, along with Novato High School graduates Scherina Chi, Fernando Flores Rugerio and Cece Trifosa, and San Marin High School graduate Jennifer Cortez, were recognized on June 26 at a Reimagining Citizenship Scholars Award Ceremony at Novato City Hall. Dominican President Mary Marcy and Novato Mayor Josh Fryday presented the awards to the students. The Reimagining Citizenship scholarship program allows undergraduate students to work with the City of Novato, while earning a degree from Dominican. Dominican will provide each qualified Reimagining Citizenship Scholar with up to $100,000 in scholarship funding over four years. The City of Novato will provide a $10,000 stipend for internships to be completed over two sequential summers. The program is open to high school students who are residents of Novato. Students attending any public, private or home school program are eligible to apply. Students in any major can participate in the program. The internship component will begin this summer. The initial cohort entered Dominican University as first-year students in fall 2018.



efore Eric Poon joined the innovative Reimagining Citizenship program through Dominican and the City of Novato, he volunteered for a three-month service trip to Mexico, Peru, and Argentina, and he was inspired to help others. “Before I came back from my trip, Dominican was at the top of my list of universities I wanted to attend,” Poon said. “I had just started the process of applying to Dominican, when a friend of mine, — Scherina Chi a Dominican alumna, saw an article in the Marin Independent Journal about the Reimagining Citizenship Program. I knew this was what I was looking for. It involved my city, volunteering, and the school I wanted to attend.”

“It is an honor that we get to be the first students to pioneer the Reimagining Citizenship Program”



“It is an honor that we get to be the first students to pioneer the Reimagining Citizenship Program,” said Scherina Chi, who plans to major in biology at Dominican. “It’s a perfect opportunity to learn about local government and develop better and more professional communication skills, all within your hometown. It’s not common to find such a hands-on learning experience like this.” The students will choose from more than 30 majors. Each student also will receive credit toward Dominican’s minor in Community Action and Social Change. The minor provides students from all disciplines and interests a path toward deeper understanding of issues affecting communities and the nation. The program aligns with Dominican’s distinctive commitment to the Dominican Experience, a rich set of interconnected experiences designed to enhance student learning and success in college and beyond in today’s complex, changing and diverse world. “I’ve always been the type of person who wants to do more,” said Jennifer Cortez, who plans to major in biology. “Learning about how students were going to have the opportunity to become more engaged within the community really inspired me to be involved in this program, as well as to attend Dominican. And now being able to get involved within the City of Novato and attend Dominican this fall is something I am very grateful for.”


Dominican to Host PacWest Championships


ominican University of California will make history this spring as it becomes the first Northern California university to host the Pacific West Conference Basketball Championships.

“We’re very excited to be holding the tournament at Dominican,” PacWest Commissioner Bob Hogue said. “It’s a historic first for us, having the tournament in Northern California. We’re excited for the community and the fans, and looking forward to a successful tournament.” The PacWest Basketball Championships were first introduced during the 2012–13 season when the conference expanded to 14 schools. Azusa Pacific University was the first school to host the tournament, followed by Point Loma Nazarene University. Concordia University Irvine became the first school to host multiple championships, hosting the next three tournaments as they transitioned to NCAA Division II. Dominican athletic representatives began preparations more than a year ago when they attended the PacWest Basketball Championships hosted by California Baptist University this past season to learn more about the behind-the-scenes activities of the event. “We are looking forward to hosting the championships,” Dominican Director of Athletics, Amy Henkelman, said. “It’s a great opportunity for the University and our community to give the participating student-athletes, coaches and fans an energetic, competitive championship atmosphere. What a motivation for both of our basketball programs to finish in the top six of the conference to make the tournament and have home court advantage!”

While covering the basic needs of the tournament, Dominican will look to make this a unique event to highlight the University. The teams will use the poolside deck as a hospitality area to enjoy the beauty of campus. The event will be a live lab for many Dominican students working for athletics, as they will take important roles in the staffing and production of the event. Every championship event hosted by the PacWest also involves a form of service for all the student-athletes involved. Finally, Dominican is working to include our community by involving the other conference schools in the Bay Area who are not able to host, as well as involve several local businesses. “The Four Points Sheraton is our host hotel for all the teams traveling from outside the Bay Area,” Henkelman said. “The tournament will bring additional business to Terra Linda and downtown San Rafael. The department will reach out to the local elementary schools, middle schools and Catholic Youth Organization teams to get their participation throughout the tournament.” The Penguins have seen past successes at the tournament, including the women beating host Cal Baptist last season and the men competing for the title in 2014. The women are looking to make their fourth consecutive appearance in the championships, while the men hope for their first appearance since 2016. The PacWest Basketball Championships are scheduled to take place March 7-9. If you have any questions or would like to be involved, contact Amy Henkelman at amy.henkelman@dominican.edu



The Dominican Experience




hen you think about your college experience, can you point to that single, standout activity that set you on the course to becoming who you are today? Was it a thought-provoking course that inspired you to dig deeper into a compelling topic? Perhaps it was a connection with an inspirational professor who sparked your interest in a career path. Maybe it was the semester you spent as an intern or serving in the community, or the one you spent abroad, immersed in a new culture. Or, was it a combination of experiences and interactions, like those mentioned above, that formed the basis of your worldview and life trajectory? If the latter is reflective of your time as a student, you’re already acquainted with the concept of The Dominican Experience.

THE DOMINICAN EXPERIENCE: WHAT IS IT? Simultaneously reflecting our rich heritage, honoring our mission and the Dominican values [see mission statement below], and embracing the growing diversity of our talented student body [see sidebar], The Dominican Experience is our comprehensive educational framework for student learning and success — one that that effectively connects students with the resources, support, and opportunities they need

to flourish — in college and beyond. This framework is crafted from the tested and proven educational components shown to improve gains for college students of all backgrounds: • Integrative Coaching and Mentorship • Community Engagement • Student-Directed Signature Work • Digital Portfolios Together, these components link the knowledge students acquire in the classroom with the hands-on experiences they obtain outside the classroom. Within this framework, students gain, practice and fine-tune the skills hiring managers seek in future employees and the credentials sought by graduate program admissions counselors. Authentic to who we are as an institution, The Dominican Experience is the University’s promise that each student will have the support needed for success in college, the education necessary for a career, and the life skills and ethical foundation to create a meaningful life. If all of this sounds rather obvious and familiar, well, good! It should — and that’s the whole point. Think of The Dominican Experience as a greatest hits album — and the four intersecting components as the album’s number one tracks. Simply put, it’s an articulation of the best of what Dominican does.

Mission Statement: Dominican University of California educates and prepares students to be ethical leaders and socially responsible global citizens who incorporate the Dominican values of study, reflection, community and service into their lives.




are first in their family to attend college



graduated in the top 10th of their high school class



are from ethnically diverse backgrounds



had a high school GPA of 3.75 or higher



receive at least one form of financial assistance (whether scholarship, grant, work-study or loan) 11


A CLOSER LOOK AT THE COMPONENTS Integrative Coaching and Mentoring Dominican’s Integrative Coaches support students in developing their academic and life skills by helping students identify their individual values and goals, and by reinforcing students’ connections with other mentors throughout their time on campus. You might be wondering, “Who are these Integrative Coaches, and what qualifies them to mentor?” Excellent questions. They are our adjunct professors, our part-time staff members, and our sports coaches — in other words, they represent a full range of educators, who excel at working with Dominican students and are deeply familiar with the Dominican landscape. As such, they are uniquely qualified to support students’ personal growth and help transform their time at Dominican into a springboard toward future goals and opportunities. With guidance from these master mentors, every student develops an education plan and a career plan, sharpens their college and life skills, and crafts a digital portfolio to showcase their achievements. Integrative Coaches also facilitate connections between students and their Peer Mentor (a fellow student), their Career Mentor (often a Dominican alumnus/a) and Dominican’s academic advising staff.

The following real-life examples of students’ engagement with the community demonstrate the depth and diversity of these experiences: Jason worked with local youth and young mothers to mount a community art installation through a servicelearning course. Katherina and Haley collaborated with a community hospital in Uganda through a global-learning course. Lilly and Zhanna completed internships at San Rafael-based cosmetics company Juice Beauty, putting their marketing and public relations skills to work. Gina, Jessy, Crisha and Brad won top prize in a teamwork challenge to innovate solutions to real-world problems using a 3D printer. Sheridan and Luz performed community-based research on elephant seals at the Point Reyes National Seashore.

Signature Work Signature work is intended to integrate every student’s classroom learning with applied, real-world experiences. Types of signature work might be theses, capstones and senior projects. Student inquiry and personal interest drive every project, be it written, illustrated or performed. Students have the opportunity to present their work at Dominican’s annual Scholarly and Creative Works Conference and publish it in our digital repository, Dominican Scholar.

Digital Portfolios Community Engagement Through Service-Learning, global learning, internships, clinicals, fieldwork or community-based research, students tackle real-world problems in collaboration with Dominican’s community partners. These hands-on experiences deepen students’ learning while helping them hone communication and critical thinking skills, collaborate across disciplines, and work as part of a team.



Every student crafts and curates a digital portfolio — much like a personal website — to showcase reflections on their learning, milestone work products that represent progress through the curriculum, signature work, an education plan and a career plan. Integrative Coaches and Peer Mentors provide technical and content support from day one. Students and alumni own their digital portfolios

to share with prospective employers, graduate programs and family members. Sayra included reflections and photos from her Panetta Institute Congressional internship. Amelia posted videos of her dancing and a professional resume. Gareth set personal goals to accomplish on his way to becoming a nurse. Patricia published original lesson plans for the elementary school classroom.

A DISTINCTIVE APPROACH, A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE Dominican is committed to providing the totality of The Dominican Experience to every student. In this way, students who are navigating college on their own are not deprived of opportunities simply because they didn’t know the opportunities existed. It’s this unwavering commitment to equity of access — across the board — that sets Dominican apart. And we’re energized by the evidence The Dominican Experience is working. Dominican’s retention and graduation rates are on the rise, as is new student enrollment. It’s not a lucky coincidence. Student outcomes are improving because Dominican is investing in what we do best and what works best for students. Nicola Pitchford, Dominican’s Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty, summarizes the results: “Articulating the University’s timehonored core values for today’s diverse, technologically-savvy, globally-minded students, The Dominican Experience sets the standard for engaged learning and mentorship. It reflects our quest to achieve equity of outcomes and to nurture success across our student body.”

For Carmela Dizon, working with her Integrative Coach “has been great in helping to explore what I can do both within the Occupational Therapy program, as well as with getting involved on campus. My Coach helped me get the information that led to me becoming the freshman class senator, and she helped me get hired as a Resident Assistant in the dorms on campus.”

For first-year student athlete, Zachery Lentz, “meeting regularly with my Peer Mentor has been incredibly helpful in developing strategies for staying on top of all my work.”

For Taylin Ashley-White, serving as a tutor in a local high school’s college readiness program was transformative. “It showed me all the little things I take for granted on a daily basis. Over time, I was able to form connections with the students in the program, which helped me develop a new perspective on student learning and success.”

Psychology major Samantha Easley had the opportunity to present her signature work, a research study, at the Western Psychological Association in Portland, Oregon. “Conducting my research was immensely rewarding, especially since I was able to learn beyond what I was required to study.”

Examples of signature work reflect the diversity of Dominican’s academic offerings. Avni studied the effects of decreased pH on intertidal shore crabs. Jack analyzed the use of social media in a presidential election. Megan examined teaching strategies for including special needs students in the elementary school classroom.

The strength of Mariana Hernandez’s digital portfolio helped her land a coveted internship with the Junior Giants Ambassador Program. “Through my digital portfolio, I was able to show the accomplishments I had achieved in my first two years at Dominican. I was able to showcase my skills, strengths, and campus involvement.”



Dominican Realizes President’s Vision for Engaged Learning


hen President Mary B. Marcy delivered her inaugural address in September 2011, she shared with her audience what drew her to Dominican.

“At Dominican I saw an agenda for engaged student learning that rejects the false dichotomy between the liberal arts and practical education,” President Marcy told her Angelico Hall audience. “It is the most ambitious agenda for engaged learning that I have ever seen.” Recognized for her research focused on higher education reform, President Marcy was becoming increasingly concerned that a national shift in focus from college as a public good to a private service was leading to a devaluing of the liberal arts. For the U.S. economy, 2011 was a year of slow growth and fears of a doubledip recession. People were questioning the ROI — even the necessity — of a liberal arts degree.



A Student-Centered Approach President Marcy contended the question should not be “why” but “how.” How best to integrate the liberal arts into business, the sciences and professional studies? For small colleges, the time was right to advance their student-centered approach to teaching and campus life. For Dominican, the time was right to lead the way. President Marcy’s inaugural vision was to develop an educational model that would prepare an increasingly diverse student body to succeed in an increasingly complex world. This model would give students the type of skills that had staying power — skills that are developed by the liberal arts: the ability to think clearly, to analyze thoroughly, to reason, to assess, to communicate and to communicate across difference.

President Marcy’s confidence in Dominican’s ability to innovate was rooted in its history. In conversations with alumni, students, faculty, board members and staff, she recognized a common theme: Dominican was an institution dedicated to students — to their education, to their transformation, and to their success. It was, she noted in 2011, “a campus not only with a rich history, but also with a dynamic present and a profoundly exciting future.”

Dominican’s innovative work is being noticed by others, including institutions grappling with their own futures, professional associations looking to guide the way and foundations investing in solutions.

A Leader in Academic Innovation President Marcy has become a thought leader for academic innovation, and invitations to share her vision are being extended at a growing clip. Feature articles about Dominican’s work have appeared in several national publications,

“At Dominican I saw an agenda for engaged student learning that rejects the false dichotomy between the liberal arts and practical education. It is the most ambitious agenda for engaged learning that I have ever seen.” — President Mary B. Marcy

including The Wall Street Journal, The Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Education. And, The Dominican Experience has attracted funding from some of the country’s leading foundations, including The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Teagle Foundation, and the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations. Last fall, President Marcy was invited to serve as a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. At Harvard, President Marcy shared Dominican’s transforma-

Dominican’s Transformation

tion with both faculty and students, expanded her research

Today, Dominican is no longer envisioning. Dominican is thriving — gaining national attention for a transformation that is rooted in creative programs, innovative partnerships and a commitment to supporting students every step of the way.

on the future of small colleges and further developed a book

The crux of Dominican’s transformation is The Dominican Experience, a distinctive educational model that is accessible, effective and transformative for students of all backgrounds. The Dominican Experience offers a structure in which professors, peers, community partners and alumni mentors help each student grow as a person, discover strengths, and expand interests.

manuscript based on her 2017 Change magazine article. “President Marcy’s work is focused on how small colleges are evolving to respond to current student needs,” Judith Block McLaughlin, HGSE professor and Chair of the Harvard Seminar for New Presidents, said at the time of President Marcy’s appointment. “I am thrilled that she is joining us as a Visiting Scholar in order to highlight and share the innovation underway at Dominican University of California.” As demographic, financial and policy shifts make the future especially unpredictable for small colleges across the

(For more about the Dominican Experience, see pages 10-13)

country, Dominican has established itself as a leader in not

Dominican’s institutional transformation has led to a dramatic improvement in both retention and graduation rates, the creation of innovative partnerships such as Make School and Reimagining Citizenship (read more on pages 7 and 8), and a dramatic increase in gifts and grants in support of innovation. This fall, Dominican saw its highest freshman enrollment in five years.

dramatic improvements in student outcomes over the past

These outcomes are all the more remarkable considering today’s reality. The national landscape for small private colleges and universities remains challenging. A combination of changing demographics and shifting expectations are putting immense pressure on colleges to adapt to meet the demands of an increasingly dynamic economy.

just adapting to, but shaping that future. The University’s seven years are just the beginning of its institutional transformation. The years to come will bear out Dominican’s forward-thinking, ambitious new partnerships and its commitment to citizenship and community engagement. Innovation, however, will remain rooted in history. Each new initiative draws inspiration from Dominican’s past: its foundational set of principles and programs designed to address the challenges — and realize the potential — of a new generation of students based on the enduring Dominican values of study, reflection, community and service.




Catch Up With Familiar Faces on Campus The Torch asked some longtime faculty and staff to weigh in on the biggest changes they have seen at Dominican over the years.

Sr. Pat Dougherty, O.P.

Dr. Luanne Linnard-Palmer, RN, MSN, CPN

Professor Emerita, History 34 years at Dominican

Professor, Department of Nursing 24 years at Dominican

“About 20 years ago, when LeAnn Bartolini was Honors Director, she started a travel program with honors students. She and I have done at least 15 trips with students, which helps them realize that their way of life isn’t the only way. To see something we started now formalized (through the Global Education Office) and available to all students is very rewarding.” Fr. Bob Haberman Assistant Professor and University Chaplain 30 years at Dominican “The growth of the campus. When I came to Dominican, there were no sidewalks, it was all gravel. The science building was a big bog and Conlan Center was a grove of tall trees. There were only 650 students; now we’re close to 1,800.” Mark Jaime Associate Director, Alumni Relations 15 years at Dominican “The evolution of the focus of our academic program from Big History to the overarching Dominican Experience and the modernization of our curricular approach. Even with all of these changes, I am amazed at how much things stay the same. At its core, Dominican is the same place it was many years ago. The people share the same values, have the same dreams and aspirations, and approach life with the same zeal.” Christopher Leeds, PhD, MBA Professor, Barowsky School of Business, Faculty Athletic Representative 17 years at Dominican “The students themselves, both in the business school and in my work with Athletics. They are much more career focused. Their main reason for pursuing their education is to build a career and the foundational building blocks to make that happen. I see that becoming more intense each year.”



“The gorgeous renovation of Meadowlands Hall. Each morning when I arrive, I get to see Mount Tamalpais, green trees and a big sky. Inside, I get to have ’state-of-the-science’ classrooms, simulation rooms and a beautiful new office. At the end of the day, I get to walk out on the front porch of Meadowlands and see the sunsets and a multitude of happy dogs playing on the green. The new white Adirondack chairs on the porch are heavenly to sit in and look at nature’s beauty and contemplate life.” Marianne Stickel, M.A. Assistant Vice President for Academic Services, University Registrar 16 years at Dominican “The physical expansion of the campus and the enhancement/revisioning of the curriculum that we are engaged in now. Both types of change have required quite the broad involvement of all constituents and some serious financial commitment. They reflect confidence in what we have to offer and a future vision for higher education, both at Dominican and beyond our campus.” Cassandra Urroz ’09, MBA ’15 Associate Athletic Director for Compliance Senior Woman Administrator 13 years at Dominican “The athletics facilities. We’ve added a soccer field and a softball field; we redid the weight room, the gym floor, the branding — none of that was here when I was a student. One thing that hasn’t changed is how much everyone comes together at Dominican, especially in times of need.” Brad Van Alstyne Assistant Professor of Communications 14 years at Dominican “The Dominican Experience and having that as part of our Institutional Learning Outcomes. These initiatives are student-centered and things we’ve been trying to do in our department already. We have been developing internship sites and encouraging our students to do portfolios since I became chair seven years ago.”


Meet New Members of the Dominican Family Learn what our newest faculty and staff are most excited about in their new positions.

Sierra Alvis Robinson

Stacy L. Davidson

Senior Director of Marketing Started October 2018

Director of Career Services and Integrative Coach Started September 2018

“I am thrilled to lead a wonderfully creative team devoted to amplifying the Dominican story and look forward to diving into the many opportunities we have to strengthen and elevate the Dominican brand.” Brett R. Bayles, PhD, MPH Co-Director, Global Public Health Program Assistant Professor of Global Public Health Started August 2016 “To be a part of a new and vibrant program in global public health, as well as the opportunity to teach in a discipline I’m passionate about. After spending my academic career at larger research universities, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the close interactions I’ve been able to have with students in relatively small classes.” Gaby Bermudez Ramirez Assistant Director of Student Engagement Started in her current position January 2018 “DU of C has amazing, dedicated and selfless student leaders — they are the reason why I love what I do! I am most excited to further support and develop the growth of our department and expand the engagement opportunities available for students. I also look forward to mentoring and supporting students as they become leaders among their peers, campus and communities.” Courtney Budesa Director, Internships and Professional Development, Barowsky School of Business Started December 2017 “Working with students, learning about their career goals and helping them achieve those goals. I like helping them take baby steps toward realizing their objectives — like matching them with companies for internships and learning job search tips — and then helping them find that first job after graduation. I really love helping them get to where they want to be.”

“The opportunity to grow a program in career services and find out what are the needs of our students and our alumni. I am also very much looking forward to getting in the classroom and connecting with students one-on-one. I really enjoy the opportunity to work closely with students to help them achieve their goals and develop as young people.” David Frank Men’s Soccer Head Coach Started March 2018 “The journey of building a successful soccer program that our student-athletes absolutely love being a part of — one that drives them to represent themselves and Dominican University with pride — and creating an environment where they learn how to be great human beings with character, mental strength and love for others.” John Hashizume, CEFP Executive Director of Facilities Services Started August 2018 “The opportunity to contribute to Dominican’s evolution and growth in the coming years. Virtually every aspect of life on campus touches facilities in some respect, so I have the opportunity to affect and influence the quality of so many things that happen here. I take that responsibility very seriously.” Deepa Raghupathy Graduate Admissions Counselor Started August 2018 “The opportunity to work with current and aspiring students and make a difference in their lives. Working at Dominican is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I feel supported, yet able to work independently and make a meaningful contribution.”




Class of 1968 Breaks Reunion Giving Record Some milestones deserve extra celebration. Last April, more than 45 alumni from the Class of 1968 returned to campus to mark their induction into Dominican’s Golden Circle, which honors all alumni who graduated 50 or more years ago. To commemorate their anniversary, the Class of 1968 raised more than $33,000 to support the renovation of the Archbishop Alemany Library. The Library structure is being updated to include the new Center for the Dominican Experience, and this gift is the largest amount raised for a reunion class gift in the University’s history.

Dominican is many things — buildings, history, and beloved professors and staff — but the alumni make it what it is today. The contributions of all alumni who supported their reunion class giving campaign last year are appreciated, and Dominican is especially proud to acknowledge the Class of 1968 for their tremendous generosity. Save the date for Reunion 2019 on April 26-27! We look forward to seeing many of you back on campus and welcoming the Class of 1969 as our newest members of the Golden Circle.

Alumni Office Connects with Graduates in New Ways Dominican remains a place of connection, security and infinite possibility. The convent bell still provides its welcoming ring every day at noon. Caleruega Dining Hall is still a place to bond over a delicious, locally-grown meal. Though life may have taken you far from the charming, Instagram-worthy, and woodsy campus that comforted you during the most challenging parts of your personal growth, you don’t have to feel far from home. Just pick up your laptop, tablet or mobile phone, do a little bit of tapping and typing, and start browsing our unique social platforms. It’s that simple. Learn more about Dominican’s storied history on #TraditionTuesday. Relive Dominican’s past every #FirebrandFriday. Or keep up on the latest Dominican news by following #ThisisDUC.

Let’s face it: those who knew us as Dominican College feel differently about their experience than those who graduated from Dominican University of California. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Perspectives on Dominican will always vary in the hearts and minds of the people who experience it. For some, the chapel was the center of college life. For others, a greater sense of self blossomed from participation in student-centered activities. One constant, however, is the unanimous feeling of home. Throughout the many changes we’ve endured,



Engage with us on social media! Search “Dominican Alumni” on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and “Dominican University of California” on LinkedIn. “Like” and share our posts, tag us in your mini-reunions, and check in on Facebook when you’re on campus.


Alumna Recalls Her Journey to Dominican


he journey of Marta (Battha) Beres ’56 to Dominican began during the Christmas of 1944 in war-torn Europe. Her father was warned by one of his farm workers that the family should leave Hungary because of an impending regime change. Beres and three sisters each packed a suitcase, enjoyed a final Christmas dinner in their family home and fled to Austria, eventually making their way to the Sacred Heart Convent in Austria. The Pope’s Children War Relief organization caught wind of their story and offered to take Beres and her sisters to America, but there was one catch — the Batthas had to sign over legal guardianship of their children to the organization, which they reluctantly did. Fortuitously, The Pope’s Children War Relief gave a lecture in Dominican College’s Angelico Hall soon afterward and shared the Battha family’s story. Mother Margaret Thompson, Mother Justin Barry and Sister Bertrand Maher were so moved that they offered all four girls free tuition, room and board to attend Dominican High School and College. Beres hadn’t had the opportunity to complete fifth grade and had only spent a year learning English, so support from Sister Maher, Sister Maurice Powers and Sister Aquinas Nimitz was essential to her success.

“The sisters and students of Dominican were very kind and worked hard to help me grasp the language,” she said. Thanks to the support of the nuns, she graduated from Dominican High School (located in what is now Bertrand Hall) in 1952 and went on to earn her bachelor’s degree from Dominican College in 1956. One of Beres’ favorite Dominican memories is her assignment as Head of Costumes for the Drama Department by Sister Thomasine Best. “Sister Thomasine always had fun with me,” Beres said. “One day she told us to get into groups and learn a scene from a Shakespearean play. It was myself and two other girls, and I was to be Madame Macbeth. While I performed, Sister Thomasine covered her mouth to hide her laugher and later said, ’This is the first time I’ve ever heard Lady Macbeth in a Hungarian accent.’” Beres’ daughter, Teresa Upson, graduated from Dominican with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1995 and Master of Science in Nursing Geriatrics, Clinical Nurse Specialist in 2008. Upson works in Dominican’s School of Health and Natural Sciences as a Clinical Nursing Instructor. Beres is grateful for her experience at Dominican, and she is proud of Teresa for continuing her legacy. “I always felt as a student I was just scraping by, but Dominican gave me the strength to complete my education,” she said. “I will always be grateful.”




“When I was looking at colleges, I wanted the best of both. I wanted athletics. I wanted academics. I needed both.”

Gibson’s ultimate goal is to become an athletics director. “I never thought in a million years, growing up in Flagstaff, Arizona, that I would wind up in such diverse places,” he said.

The turning point came at Dominican. Gibson arrived from a small K-12 school of about 300 students in Arizona, where his parents were law enforcement rangers at Grand Canyon National Park. As a communication and media studies major and studentathlete, Gibson benefited from internships with Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and the San Jose Earthquakes before beginning an internship in the Dominican Athletics Department that evolved into a full-time job upon graduation. What was the best thing about his Dominican experience? “Where do I start? Everything. It comes from the minute you step on campus,” Gibson said. “When I was looking at colleges, I wanted the best of both. I wanted athletics. I wanted academics. I needed both.” Gibson received attention and support from coaches, athletics administration and faculty members, such as communications professor Brad Van Alstyne. They all encouraged him to pursue his master’s degree in sports leadership and Gibson went off to Boston. “Dominican provided me opportunity and flexibility,” Gibson said. “I was a communications major with an emphasis on sports broadcasting, but Brad allowed me to tailor my curriculum toward the administrative side of sports.”

Dominican Connections Support Student-Athlete’s Career Pursuits


he journey of Casey Gibson ’13 has taken him from Dominican to Northeastern University, to Harvard, to Wake Forest University, and now to the University of Colorado in Boulder. In September 2018 he began his new job in the athletics department as Assistant Director of Development in the Buff Club. “This is the next step for my career, as I am a full-time calling officer,” said Gibson, who will be a front-line fundraiser for the CU athletics department, focusing on annual fund donations. “I will have a hand in directly impacting student-athletes’ lives and experiences at Colorado.”



Gibson’s sojourn to Boston also reunited him with Jon Delano ’06, the coach who recruited him to play soccer at Dominican. Delano, then Harvard’s Associate Head Coach of Men’s Soccer and now Assistant Men’s Soccer Coach at the University of Pennsylvania, helped Gibson land a part-time job as soccer operations coordinator at Harvard, while he attended graduate school at Northeastern. It was also at Harvard that Gibson learned about a job opening at Wake Forest, where he hoped to pursue his dream of being a college athletics director in a Power 5 conference in NCAA Division I. That dream took another step toward reality in 2018, when Casey was endorsed at the University of Colorado by Buff Club director Brandon Leimbach, who was Director of Athletics at Dominican from 2013-15. “One of the things I loved about Wake Forest and I loved about Harvard and Dominican, is this: At all places the goal is to educate and support the student-athlete,” Gibson said.


Communications and Media Studies Student Parlays Internship into NBCUniversal Job


s a marketing producer for the TODAY Show, NBC Nightly News, The Tonight Show, Saturday Night Live, Olympics coverage and more, Mariah Chinchilla ’14 has parlayed a summer internship her junior year at Dominican into a dream job at NBCUniversal in New York City. “I’ve been on the NBC Affiliate Marketing team for the past five years, and this opportunity presented itself at the crossroads of luck, hard work and persistence,” said Chinchilla, whose clients are NBC local news stations across the country. “My best piece of advice is to always put your best foot forward and treat everyone with respect, from the interns to the CEOs — you never know who you’ll meet.”

“I was working at 30 Rock the first day and didn’t even take a tour. It was a whole new world that I had no idea about.”

Chinchilla’s road to an NBC internship started her first year at Dominican, after graduating from Freedom High School in Oakley. She connected with Anne Nicholas, then Vice President of Affiliate Marketing, who flew to San Francisco for business and took a chance on Chinchilla. After a two-hour interview, she eventually hired her.

Chinchilla spent the first seven months at the start of her junior year at Dominican working for NBC in New York. She was an intern for NBC Affiliate Marketing and worked on 2012 Election coverage. “I was working at 30 Rock the first day and didn’t even take a tour,” Chinchilla said. “It was a whole new world that I had no idea about.” Fortunately, her experience in the Department of Communication and Media Studies in the School of Liberal Arts and Education helped prepare her for the big time, and she was promoted to Associate Producer for Affiliate Marketing last January. Chinchilla also helped recruit another Dominican student, Samantha Simmons ’17, as an intern for a semester at NBC Universal in NYC. Samantha is now a recruiting coordinator on Amazon’s Alexa team in Boston. “Dominican exposed me to a diverse set of ideas and opened my mind to look beyond and dig deeper; I don’t think I would have received that depth anywhere else,” Chinchilla said. “Dominican has been such an integral part of my life, and it’s going to be with me for a very long time. I’m still close with friends who studied different disciplines, and we all have a resounding opinion of what a great place it is. We didn’t realize then how hands-on and passionate all the professors are.” Chinchilla remains a full-time student while continuing a full-time job. Thanks to letters of recommendation from Mairi Pileggi and Brad Van Alstyne, associate and assistant professors in Dominican’s Department of Communications and Media Studies, Chinchilla is now attending graduate school at Pratt Institute for City and Regional Planning in the School of Architecture.




Former Board Member Reflects on Attending Dominican in ’60s


r. Gloria Sun Hom, ’62 has fond memories of her time at Dominican as a student. When she arrived on campus in 1958, the dining hall was in Fanjeaux Hall, which is now one of the freshman dormitories. Her sophomore year, Caleruega Dining Hall opened, and she leapt at the opportunity to become a waitress.

“We all left Dominican thinking we could do anything. It was empowering.”


“I was so excited, because I didn’t have to wear my nylons to dinner anymore,” Hom recalled with a laugh. She said Sr. Patrick Harney had to sign a permission slip whenever she wanted to go on a date.

Patrick Pichi Sun, who was a Chinese diplomat and a member of the Chinese delegation at the San Francisco Conference of the United Nations in 1945. Sun later held assignments in the Philippines, Thailand and Taiwan. His family moved with him to each post, and Gloria attended high school in Bangkok and Taichung before returning to the U.S. for college. Dominican not only helped her integrate into an unfamiliar community but fostered a sense of self-reliance. “In 1962, my graduating class was 61 people. We knew everyone. When I look back now, I think what a luxury that was — being so close to that incredible group of people. We all left Dominican thinking we could do anything,” she said. “It was empowering.”

“Sr. Patrick really liked my soon-to-be husband, Peter,” Hom said. “He would bring chrysanthemums to church, and she thought he was very respectful and charming. Once, a large group of girls going to see a movie put Peter’s name on all of their permission slips because they knew it would be approved.”

In the years after graduation, Hom’s love of travel took her to Mongolia, Scotland, and China. She also continued her close relationship with Dominican, serving on the board of trustees from 1987 to 1997 and continues to support Dominican through her generous volunteer and philanthropic efforts today.

Hom was one of three Asian-American women who attended Dominican from 1958 to 1962. She studied economics with a minor in political science, and she proudly represented the Chinese government at the Model United Nations her sophomore year, following in the footsteps of her father,

Hom’s grandson now carries on her legacy at Dominican; he started as a freshman in Fall 2018. Hom gives him the kind of advice that only an alumna and grandmother can: “I told him to sign up for everything he possibly could, be kind and wellbehaved, make eye contact and have great manners.”



Meet Your Alumni Association Board of Directors Once a quarter, 20 dedicated alumni meet on campus, bringing with them their energy, initiative, expertise and creativity. Their mission? To represent the interests of the 17,000+ graduates of Dominican and serve as ambassadors for the Alumni Association, spreading Dominican news to their networks. They are the “eyes and ears” for alumni, actively gathering a broad base of alumni perspectives. They also work to connect alumni with current students and uphold Dominican traditions for future generations. Below, members describe how Dominican helped transform their lives.

“One of the many amazing experiences Dominican brought to me was the possibility of studying at ESCEM, a top business school in Poitiers, France, for a full semester and earning a Certificate in Sustainable Business Management and Development there. One faculty member in particular, Dr. Chris Leeds, played a crucial role in making this possibility a reality. From studying eight courses weekly to traveling all over France, this is one beautiful experience for which I’ll always thank Dominican.” — Marcia Barahona ’10, MBA ’15, Alumni Board President

“During my time in graduate school, the small class size and the depth of experience of my teachers is what helped to set me apart in my internship and gain a full-time role, created specifically for me. Dominican taught me to utilize my potential and accomplish what I set my mind to." — Lorel Geidt ’10, MS ’14, Alumni Board Secretary

“I learned resiliency and discovered perseverance while under the tutelage of the MBA faculty in the Barowsky School of Business. There was a time when I felt I needed to take a break from school. I was overwhelmed by the time demands of being a full-time student, caring for my family and holding down a full-time job. Dominican teachers and staff compassionately listened to me, and in different ways, they told me ’You can and you will persevere!’ I followed their advice and did not give up.” — Cynthia Roldán-Frias, MBA ’14 “The completion of my MBA and working for the Venture Greenhouse business accelerator was my most transformative experience. I worked with over 50 startup companies in the clean tech or ’green’ space, worked with over 80 Dominican interns to help them get placed with startup projects and networked all across the Bay Area. This experience helped me move forward with confidence with all changes that have impacted my life.” — Matt Gaulding, MBA ’12 “The Thanksgiving Dinner put on by Campus Ministry is one of my best memories. I initially had reservations about being at such a small campus yet learned the strong sense of community that embodies the Dominican ethos by attending this fun and delicious event. I interacted with fellow students I normally would not have met and got to know faculty, staff and neighbors. Thanksgiving traditionally serves the purpose of forging stronger bonds of family and friendship, and this event exemplified this.” — Christian Lorentz ’02, MBA ’12 “Dominican changed my life, because it showed me a different part of the world and a different part of myself. For the first time in my life, I was surrounded by people who not only allowed me to be who I truly am but pushed me to find deeper and more powerful versions of myself. The relationships I began at Dominican are thriving to this day, and I still consider the college my second home.” — Cameron Parker ’08, MBA ’10




“I am reminded of the Dominican Experience every day when I walk into my office at Morgan Stanley. As an MBA student with the Barowsky School of Business, I met with the career counselors at least once a week, refining my resume and cover letter and looking for prospective employers. Within the first two months, I was hired at a local investment advisory firm, allowing me to still attend night classes for the next two years. Twelve years later, I am working with individuals and families to manage their finances.” — Samantha Hobart, MBA ’09

“My internship through Dominican at Juice Beauty in 2006 was transformative. I worked at Juice Beauty for over five years after graduation. I was able to get my hands in every area before I decided on marketing. I started their social media when Facebook launched business pages, and the rest is history. The experience I gained launched my career.” — Cady Marsh ’07, MBA ’09, Alumni Board President-Elect

“While earning my MBA at Dominican, I started the Southern Sonoma County Rotaract, a nonprofit aimed at helping young adults be more involved with the local and international community, learn leadership skills and networking skills; after a decade, I am proud to stay the organization is still going strong.” — Phie Tuft, MBA ’09

“Our OT class supported each other during our years at Dominican and we had grown to be like family. Memories of studying for exams, practicing skills and having deep conversations that continue to be impactful are all part of my Dominican experience. The struggle of growing as a student into a professional was shared among us, and the faculty created an environment where we felt safe to take the leaps forward.” — Anne Torok ’04 “I was unable to attend day classes due to work obligations, so the Dominican Pathways Program provided me with the perfect opportunity to continue and complete my bachelor’s degree, while also continuing my work career. The classes I attended not only had the same content and requirements as the day classes but also allowed me to partner with other students who were in professional positions.” — Charles Torok ’04

“A young man in my Latin American History class challenged the ’older’ students in the class to consider serving in the Peace Corps. Following graduation, I pursued his challenge and taught business skills and typing in a government high school in Belize, Central America, for two years. This experience enriched my life immensely; I now have a second family in Belize, which includes two of my godsons and one of my former students, who is now a Dominican graduate.” — Lorraine Barry ’86

“After teaching history at Dominican for 34 years, working with students and watching the light bulb turn on for them while they are here has been transformative for me.” — Sister Pat Dougherty, O.P. ’67




Class Notes 1940s Genevieve Barnhart’s ’49 art exhibit “A Pilgrimage: The Sculpture and Photography of Genevieve Wilson Barnhart,” was featured at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts in fall 2018.


Members of the Class of 1950 gathered for a reunion at Il Forniao in Corte Madera, including Laverne (Schlemmer) Barrett, Peggy (O’Connor) Brennan, Jacquie Camille, Cecile (Osborne) Cutter, Kapiolani Kawananakoa Marignoli, and Frances Strachwitz (Class of 1951). Patricia (Flitner) Novak ’57 was named Wyoming’s Mother of the Year 2018. Novak majored in English at Dominican with a minor in Elementary Education. This path led her to become a teacher in Cheyenne for three years and to devote her life to many volunteer activities and programs. She is a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was nominated for the honor by her daughter Catherine, and she is very proud to represent Wyoming.

Bonnie (Burns) Chatfield, Cindy (Schween) Fabian, Lynn (Barry) Forrest, Mary Bradley Horwitz, Pat (Petracek) Hummel, Roberta (Fanoe) Huntington, Joan (Garaventa) Jaffe, Cecelia (Walcom) Johnson, Debbie McCann, Cindy (Nunes) Motsinger, Dianne (de Lorimier) Mouisset, Mary (Purcell) Murphy, Kathy (Alfredo) O’Leary, Anne (Leahy) Page, Peggie Frasier Parrot, Ann (Williams) Regan, Julie (Lyons) Sanderson, Sidney (Smith) Sandstrom, Mary (Burritt) Shaw, Midge (Locher) Siegfried, Pam (Cesaretti) Shelchuk, Barbara Walcom, Judy (Antongiovanni) Walsh, and Ruthann (Hoey) Walsh. Roz McGrath ’69 is a member of the Thirteen Women of Jewelia, a group who bought a diamond necklace together that they dubbed “Jewelia,” with the idea of using it as a tool to improve their lives and to get together to share stories. Roz plans to wear Jewelia to her 50th reunion at Dominican in April. Kathleen (Harpole) Solmssen ’65 hosted four of her classmates and 150 guests at the St. Francis Yacht Club to celebrate her book, Transfer Your Confidence: Unlock Inner Strengths That Conquer Insecurities. All of the profits from the book benefit citizens in Puerto Rico.



More than 20 members of the Class of 1963 gathered for a reunion at Asilomar Hotel and Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove in September 2017, including:

Museum of Modern Art September 2018January 2019. Longing to be back in the Bay Area, Adnan told Apollo Magazine, “Deep down, I am a Californian. And so I sit, and I work, and sometimes I am there.” Jeanne DeFazio’s ’72 latest book, Empowering English Language Learners: Successful Strategies of Christian Educators, was featured on the Harvard Authors’ Bookshelf on harvardmagazine.com Dr. Virginia Green Edwards ’77 was inducted into the Marin County Women’s Hall of Fame in 2017, along with four other prominent Marin County women. A dedicated educator for over 40 years, Dr. Green Edwards was recognized for bringing to her profession a strong belief in education and community service. She has worked tirelessly over the decades to provide children with the best education possible regardless of their economic circumstances. Barbara Byrnes McDonald’s ’73 book, Slipsliding by the Bay: A Novel, a spoof of a small San Francisco college in the ’70s struggling for survival, was published in July 2017. After graduating from Dominican, she held various positions at Lone Mountain College and later worked at Dominican as Director of Facilities in the ’80s. She was a stringer for local papers and managed a magazine. Her poetry has been published in anthologies and literary magazines. She recently retired from teaching Critical Thinking Through Film at the Marin County Jail. Angie Salinas ’76 was recognized by the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce with a Tribute to Women Business Leaders Award in June 2018. The award was accompanied by a $1,000 scholarship contribution designated to Dominican in her honor. Salinas is a retired Marine Corps Major General and the CEO of Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas. She was Dominican’s Commencement Speaker and the recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University in 2015.

Etel Adnan was a professor of French and Humanities at Dominican until 1972. Now living in Paris, Adnan has made a name for herself as a poet, essayist and visual artist. Her solo exhibit titled “New Work: Etel Adnan” was on display at San Francisco



CLASS NOTES Paul Smith ’77 is the founder and artistic director of the Music from Marin Summer Festival. He is a prize winner in both national and international piano competitions, as well as a participant in the U.S. State Department’s Artistic Ambassador program. Here in Marin, Smith has devoted himself to the cultural life of the county through his performances as a piano soloist and chamber player, director of several new music ensembles and as the Mountain Play Music Director for 27 years.

1980s Cassandra M. Ferrannini ’89 was named 2018 Top Lawyer by Sacramento Magazine. Attorneys throughout the region participated in the voting, recommending colleagues in over 50 legal disciplines. Ferrannini is a partner at Downey Brand LLP.

2000s Umma Amina ’02 gave a talk at TEDx Oakland in November 2018 on Radical Compassion: A Nurse’s Journey.

Cameron “Cash Campain” Parker ’08, MBA ’10, took the Forest Meadows stage at Reunion 2018 with a performance that awed the crowd of students and alumni at The Big Event. Brandon Davis ’06 and Melissa Lovelin were married on July 28, 2018, at the Outdoor Art Club in Mill Valley. Several Penguin alumni and current and former Dominican employees were in attendance. Jonathan Delano ’03 was introduced as University of Pennsylvania’s Assistant Coach of Men’s Soccer after serving as Harvard’s Associate Head Coach for five years.

1990s Skip Kniesche ’91 retired as principal of Kent Middle School in June. During his time as principal, Kent received the designation of California Distinguished School and the 2015-16 California Gold Ribbon Schools Award. Kniesche and his wife plan to travel and enjoy their seven grandchildren. Dr. Leslie Ross of the Art History Department attended the 106th Annual Conference of the College Art Association in Los Angeles in late February. A special highlight was meeting with Humanities alumnae Keri Sussman-Shurtliff ’93, MA ’97, and Tashina Garcia-Garza ’08, MA ’14. Mark Weston ’93 RN, BSN, CEN, NHDP-BC, was appointed by the State of California to the position of team commander for the California Medical Assistance Team San Francisco Unit as of June 2018.



Chris DeMarco ’09, MBA ’11, has combined his love of basketball and business in his new role as the Player Development Coach for the Golden State Warriors. DeMarco was an assistant coach last season.

Bright Petampai ’05 began working as a lecturer in mathematics and finance at Silpakorn University International College in Bangkok. He received his MBA and passed his PhD defense in Architectural Heritage Management and Tourism. His research on interpreting cultural heritage toward sustainable tourism was published in Thailand. Petampai also started a business with a friend from Dominican selling skin care products, and he advertises the products through Soul and other online platforms. The products are now being sold in Hong Kong.

Teresa (Rabenberg) Grobecker ’03 and ’05 recently joined US Capital Global as Senior Vice President. Grobecker brings a wealth of financial and real estate expertise to the full-service private financial group since founding Grobecker Holland International, the first escrow company in California to utilize blockchain technology in real estate. Or Haviv ’04 is the CEO of Eilat Hub, an organization in Israel that assists others in building focused, high value, stress-free global companies. Eilat Hub offers support and guidance, and a modern environment to develop revolutionary ideas.

Cameron Sawyer ’08 has spent the last few years coaching the girls golf team at Cornelia Connelly High School in Anaheim, California, while also working for an insurance company, and as a wellness coach and trainer. He and his wife, Gina, married on September 2, 2018.


Tina (Vaughn) von Nachtigal ’08 graduated from Dominican’s BFA Studio Art program and was selected as the recipient of the 2018-19 Max Thelen Studio Residency. The residency aims to support emerging artists by providing free studio space, exhibition opportunity and exposure to the public for one year.


Brock Beall ’14 made the 2018 Australian men’s team for the FIL Men’s Lacrosse World Championship.

Forbes Collins II ’15 advanced to the semi-finals of the California Amateur Championship, one of the oldest amateur golf events in the nation, dating back to 1912. This year, the 107th championship consisted of 156 golfers who played over 36 holes at the Omni La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, California.

Alex Herrera ’16 is playing soccer for the Eastern Suburbs in Auckland, New Zealand. The team is a few weeks into its winter season, after a commendable run in the ISPS Handa Premiership league, where they finished as semi-finalists. “Playing the sport I love in a beautiful country is an experience I will enjoy to the fullest,” he said.

Lizzy Rice ’15 and Serafina Tulioc ’15 graduated from Dominican’s pre-med program as close friends and are entering the next chapter of their professional careers at Ross University School of Medicine together. Both Rice and Tulioc attribute their academic success to the faculty and staff at Dominican, where they gained a wealth of knowledge, resources and support to ultimately achieve their goal of attending medical school in Tennessee. Monica Rizzo ’11 and ’13 was selected by the U.S. Department of Education for a Fulbright-Hayes award. She currently works with fellow alumna Joann Powers ’18 at Willow Creek Academy in Sausalito.

Dr. Tracy Krinard ’11 graduated from Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine with her D.O./MPH. After marrying Zachary Anderson, M.S., Krinard joined the inaugural class of the Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency.

Annabelle Maginnis ’16 and Kofi Asare-Aboagye ’16 performed at Reunion 2018’s The Big Event. Their band MetronOhm’s genre is neo-soul, which filled the lawn with fun, cheerful vibes.

Brandi (Breshears) Sinner ’13 married Steven Sinner on April 13, 2018, in Tamarack, Idaho.

Kevin So ’14 volunteered this past year with Mercy Ships aboard the world’s largest private hospital ship, the Africa Mercy. He used his skills as a nurse to care for patients with conditions not seen in the USA. After living on the ship for three months, So returned to California to work at Stanford Health Care in the emergency department.



In Sympathy ALUMNI


Virginia Blabon Grady 1941

Frances Novaglia Freel 1957

Sister M. Marguerite Stanka, O.P.

Teresa Dalessi 1944

Jane Nunn Laird 1957

John Joseph Savant

Noelle Higgins Newland 1946

Honoruth Finn Corbett 1959


Mary Garchar Hopping 1948

Sister Claire Graham, S.S.S. 1959

James Deitz, former trustee

Frances Smith Hardgrove 1949

Maureen Milling Cox 1961

William Olds Jr., former trustee

Margaret Leonard Snarr 1949

Carole Hetherton Ludwick 1966

Ray Taliaferro, former trustee

Joan McNulty Millar 1951

Irene Antongiovanni Stevens 1970


Sister Marie SaguĂŠs, O.P. 1951

Anne Clarke Bernhard 1973

Sister Maria Foraboschi, O.P. 1953

Michael Mustacchi 1983

Marion Maguire Lepow 1953

Hart Smith 1990

Catherine von Warton Morshead 1953

Rory Ingalls 1994

Karin Sundeleaf Wright 1953

Shelley Davis 1997

Anita Burke Creveling 1954

Donna Christian 1999

Joan Tieman 1954

Richard McLaughlin 2009

Mary Abrahamsen Ruder Cahalan 1955

Timothy Grossman 2011

Mary Lavin 1955

Kerry Hetherton Ammann 1976 and Maria Hetherton 1981 for the death of their sister. The Bannan family for the passing of Mary Abrahamsen Ruder Cahalan. Patricia Garbarino 1977 for the death of her husband. Robin Keating 1980 for the death of her mother. Amanda Wagner Munoz 2009 for the death of her father. Katy McGovern, former trustee, for the death of her son.



Your Gift to Dominican Changes Lives

Karla Hernandez Navarro is a first-generation college student who immigrated to the United States in 2011 from a small ranching community in Guanajuato, Mexico, with limited opportunities for education.

My scholarship means someone believes in me. They believe in my potential and want to see me be successful. The donors that give to the Close the Gap Scholarship are not only changing my life but are also changing the lives of future generations. After I graduate I want to open a nonprofit that helps women in rural areas strive for higher education. Scholarships give me the opportunity to see beyond just a degree; they give me the opportunity to make a change. — Karla Hernandez Navarro Junior, Business Administration

There are many ways to support Dominican Return the envelope dominican.edu/makeagift 415-257-1396

Include Dominican in your estate plan. Get started today: contact Marly Norris at 415-257-1396 or marly.norris@dominican.edu



50 Acacia Avenue San Rafael, California 94901 dominican.edu Address service requested

Event Calendar January



Sun., January 27 | 11:30 a.m. Sacramento Alumni Lunch Zocalo Midtown

Sun., March 3 | 3:00 p.m. Tilden Trio Angelico Concert Hall



Thurs., May 2 | 6:00 p.m. Leadership Lecture Series: David Brooks, The Second Mountain Angelico Hall

Sat., February 2 | 1:30 p.m. East Bay Alumni Gathering Buon Vino, Walnut Creek

Thurs., April 11 | 7:00 p.m. Leadership Lecture Series: Valerie Jarrett, Finding My Voice Angelico Hall

Sat., February 9 | 2:00 p.m. Southern California Alumni Gathering Towne Park Brewery & Taproom, Anaheim Sun., February 10 | 3:00 p.m. Del Sol String Quartet Angelico Concert Hall

Alumni Events Information and RSVP: 415-485-3240 dominican.edu/alumnievents

Fri., April 26 | 5:00 p.m. Golden Circle Dinner Edgehill Mansion Sat., April 27 | All Day 2018 Reunion Campus

Mon., May 6 | 7:00 p.m. Leadership Lecture Series: Melinda Gates, The Moment of Lift Angelico Hall

June Sat., June 22 | 9:30 a.m. Bocce Tournament Marin Bocce Federation

Profile for Dominican University of California

The Torch | Alumni Magazine of Dominican University of California  

News and features about and for the Dominican community. This issue highlights The Dominican Experience: Four components for student success...

The Torch | Alumni Magazine of Dominican University of California  

News and features about and for the Dominican community. This issue highlights The Dominican Experience: Four components for student success...

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