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News and features about and for the Dominican community


Then. Now. Always. page 6



Guzman Hall Photo by Jonathan Chapman


Winter 2020

In This Issue

1 News 6 Dominican: Then. Now. Always.

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 Women’s Basketball at Dominican: From “The Barn” to the NCAA

Editor-in-Chief Jessica Jordan

Art Direction/ Production Margaret Wylie


14 Athletics 15 Alumni News 18 Alumni Reading List 20 Class Notes

Sierra Alvis Robinson Marly Norris

Writers Dave Albee Mary Bussi Sophia De Quattro Sarah Gardner Victoria Grajeda Mark Jaime Jessica Jordan Jennifer Krengel Spencer Shamo Cyndi Weingard Holly Werly

Photographers Dave Albee Dominican Athletics Stuart Lirette Dia Rao Sr. Mary Soher Mimi Utley

Photo Archivist


In Sympathy

Maura Wilson

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

Dear Friends, This fall, Dominican University of California welcomed the undergraduate class of 2023 and a new contingent of graduate students to campus. Already, they have enhanced our community with their energy, curiosity, and creativity. We have yet to imagine all the ways their lives will be transformed by their time at Dominican, but we do know this: a Dominican education is one that builds both intellect and character. A Dominican education honors aspiration and aspires to equity in the midst of a diverse California, and an increasingly diverse nation. A Dominican education is for all. We also know that the Dominican approach to education is working. The Dominican Experience is our commitment to the flourishing of every student — while they are in college, and throughout their lives. The creation and implementation of the Dominican Experience, inspired by Dominican’s values and enduring community ties, has led to dramatic increases in student graduation rates, student satisfaction, and success beyond college. Increasingly, Dominican is being recognized as a national leader in equity-based approaches to student success (page 4). Just as Winnie, Pat, Donna, AJ, and Cameron recall how Dominican enriched their lives (page 7), today’s students will one day reflect on the meaning of their own Dominican journey. As I shared with new students at orientation in August, our histories are now intertwined. By joining this community of learners and leaders, these new students become part of Dominican history just as Dominican becomes part of their personal stories, as it has become part of your story as well. As always, the accomplishments we feature in The Torch would not be possible without your continuing support of our students. Thank you. I am deeply grateful for the privilege to lead this remarkable institution. Sincerely,

Mary B. Marcy President


Dominican, Make School Collaborate to Educate Coders with a Conscience


he trolley dilemma was developed more than 50 years ago by philosopher Philippa Foot as a thought experiment in ethics. Participants must think quickly when presented with a series of hypothetical scenarios about controlling the course of a runaway trolley and altering the potential outcomes. As the driverless car heads to market, today’s trolley dilemma is not about split-second decisions. It’s about what is programmed into the car long before it hits the road. Today’s ethical dilemma concerns the action, not the reaction. From driverless cars to behavioral biometrics and facial recognition, new technologies bring with them new concerns — and a heightened urgency to place ethics at the center of the solution, notes Richard Kalish, who teaches a philosophy course titled “Ethical Being, Being Ethical” through Dominican’s School of Liberal Arts and Education. Last semester he began teaching the course at Make School in San Francisco as part of the new bachelor’s degree in Applied Computer Science. Kalish has practiced law for more than 40 years and has taught ethics courses at Dominican for 10 years. Early in the course, he draws on psychology and philosophy to help his high-tech students recognize ethical issues that arise in the course of daily and business life and some of the situational and psychological processes that can obscure their discovery. They explore behavioral ethics, philosophical ethics — consequentialism and deontology — and virtue ethics, studying John Rawls and reading Joel Marks’ narrative “Confessions of an Ex-Moralist.” “Business ethics involves a lot of psychology,” Kalish says. “We all have a sense of whether something is right or wrong, but the challenge is to drill down and consider if an action is ethical.

In business, people are goal oriented, and they often don’t see the ethical aspect of a project or a problem. They just want to get their work done, but it does not cross their mind whether what they are doing is right or fair.” In an industry that moves at lightning speed, convincing people to take time to evaluate not only how a product will be used, but also how to prevent misuse before it goes to market remains a challenge. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, made this point in his commencement address at Stanford University this year. Kalish want his students to get used to asking “is this ethical?” as they advance in their careers.

Last fall, Dominican and Make School announced a new partnership that enables Dominican to offer a minor in Computer Science and Make School to offer an accelerated bachelor’s degree in Applied Computer Science under Dominican’s oversight. The B.S. in Applied Computer Science combines technology with the liberal arts. Courses, offered at Make School’s San Francisco headquarters, are taught by both Make School and Dominican faculty, with Dominican courses accounting for 36 of the degree’s 124 units.

“The challenge in business ethics is framing — framing is everything one considers when making a decision. The challenge is to get people in business to include in that frame some important questions such as is this the right thing to do? Who is hurt by me doing this? People tend not to ask these questions.” To reach his students, Kalish turns to the past and draws from the present. Students must read Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, written in 1882, and then select an individual involved with a contemporary business scandal and compare that person’s actions to those of a character from the Ibsen play. “Everyone in the play has some personal interest in the controversy that envelops their town and keeps changing position on things depending on how their particular interest is affected,” Kalish says. “The bottom line is simple — self-interest impairs judgement.” Comparing the play to contemporary scandals make concepts studied in class come alive and helps students recognize the personal and organizational dynamics that make unethical conduct more likely.




Penguin Pantry Provides Food Security


very Tuesday at 12:30 p.m., a line of students holding reusable bags stretches from behind Albertus Magnus down Acacia Avenue. These students are eagerly waiting for the weekly Penguin Pantry to open for business so they can stock their dorm rooms or kitchens with free fresh produce, canned goods and more. Thousands of college students across the country identify as “food insecure,” meaning they do not have the financial resources to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. As they stretch their budgets to pay for tuition, books, housing and other essentials, many students don’t have funds to spare for nutritious food. After a rich discussion was held in a Public Health class about this growing issue, Dominican’s campus leaders decided to take action and organized a partnership with the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank to bring the Penguin Pantry to life. Since Campus Ministry organized the first pop-up pantry in September 2018, Penguin Pantry has made a significant impact in alleviating food insecurity, hunger and poverty.

The grab-and-go service is an opportunity for students to fill their reusable bags with fresh fruit, vegetables, protein and non-perishable items at no cost. “We needed to have a minimum of 50 students utilize the pantry in order to start,” Sister Mary Soher, O.P., Director of Campus Ministry, said. “At the end of the year, I calculated more than 200 students were coming through each Tuesday. What’s even more incredible is that there were 164 unique volunteers who made this a reality.” Now that Sister Mary and her team know how much the pantry means to the community, they are thinking of ways to better serve the students. “We started providing recipes to those who utilize Penguin Pantry, even offering tips on how to cook certain items in the microwave,” Sister Mary said. “We’ve also had many of our own faculty and staff members offer their time to craft old T-shirts into reusable bags. It’s so neat to see the entire community come together to make a difference.”

Dr. Yung-Jae Lee Named Dean of Barowsky School of Business


ominican President Mary B. Marcy named Dr. Yung-Jae Lee as dean of the Barowsky School of Business. His appointment began August 1, 2019.

Business and Global Programs, director of the Professional MBA Program and chair of the Operations Management and Quantitative Methods Department.

Lee will guide BSB as it seeks accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and develops new degree and certificate programs in line with Dominican’s traditions and strengths.

Lee has broad experience in higher education, having taught at the University of California, Irvine; Chapman University; the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland; California State University, Fullerton; and California State University San Marcos. Courses taught include Global Operations and Supply Chain Management, Operations Management, Quantitative Methods, Data Analysis, and Business Statistics. He has also consulted with many global companies, including Roche, McKesson, OASIS International, Abbot Medical Optics, Lucky Stores, Varian, Transcept and Walt Disney.

“The Barowsky School of Business is a respected school with a long history of providing transformative management education and thought leadership for the San Francisco Bay Area business community,” Lee said. “I look forward to working with the faculty, staff, students, alumni and supporters to further the mission of the Barowsky School of Business and build upon its successes.” Lee comes to Dominican from Saint Mary’s College of California, where he spent the past year serving as interim dean of the School of Economics and Business Administration. Lee, who joined Saint Mary’s in 1998 as a professor of business analytics, also has served as associate dean of Graduate



Lee succeeds Dean Dr. Sam Beldona, recently named dean of the Kania School of Management at the University of Scranton. Lee holds his BA in English from Korea University and an MBA and Ph.D. in Operations Management from the University of California, Irvine.


School of Health and Natural Sciences Receives Grant Funding

Dr. Meredith Protas, Assistant Professor and Director of MS Biological Sciences Program, was awarded $332,000 over three years from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Eye Institute for her research focusing on the genetics and developmental biology of cave dwelling animals that have reduced eyes and pigmentation. She joined Dominican in 2014. This is her first federally awarded grant. Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R15EY029499. The content is solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Gina Tucker-Roghi, Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy, was awarded $300,000 over four years in the Geriatrics Academics Career Award Program of the Health Resources and Services Administration. She is the first occupational therapist to be awarded this grant and was chosen among 59 federal applications (there are 26 current grantees, mostly physicians). Before joining Dominican in 2016, Tucker-Roghi worked in geriatric practice throughout her career, specializing in the occupational needs of clients with neurocognitive impairment and their caregivers.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $300,000. The contents are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.”

Dr. Roland Cooper, Professor of Biology, continues to receive federal funding (partnering with UCSF and Portland VA Research Foundation) and most recently, private funding from Medicines for Malaria Venture, as well as the Brockman Foundation (partnering with Cornell Weill Medical School) for his research on the molecular mechanism of drug action and resistance in the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. His projects are based both in the laboratory and Uganda. Cooper teaches Advanced Genetics, Medical Parasitology and Research Methodology. He joined Dominican in 2011. “We are thrilled with the support and the opportunities these grants afford us to expand our research agenda and grow our programs, said Ruth Ramsey, dean of the School of Health and Natural Sciences. “Dr. Roghi’s award will enable us to continue the excellent work we already do training diverse health professionals to work effectively with older adults. I could not be more proud of our excellent faculty and am pleased their good work is being recognized.”




Dominican Ranked Among Top Regional Universities in the West The Wall Street Journal ranked Dominican in the top one-third of U.S. colleges and universities for delivering valuable outcomes and quality education to its students. Money magazine lists Dominican on its list of Best Colleges for Your Money 2019. The publication ranked schools using 26 factors in three categories: quality of education, affordability, and outcomes.

Dominican named a College of Distinction for 2019-2020 for its engaged students, outstanding teaching, and successful outcomes.

In the last decade, Dominican has moved from 45th to 23rd on the U.S. News & World Report Best Regional Universities in the West list. We are in the top 11 colleges and universities in California. We are tied at #1 in California and #2 in the West for ethnic diversity.

All In for Dominican: Community Supports School with $106K in a Day


he Dominican University of California community stepped up in a big way to go All In for Dominican for the University’s third annual 24-hour fundraising drive on March 19. In all, 590 donors came together to give $106,761 to Dominican causes they care about, unlocking more than $40,000 in challenge and matching gifts from members of the Board of Trustees, faculty members and other generous donors. Donors designated their gifts to everything from the Close the Gap scholarship, which helps juniors and seniors who are at risk of leaving Dominican due to financial hardship, to Athletics to travel stipends for students participating in Global Education programs to academic programs. Many of the gifts will support programs that relate to the Dominican Experience. Campus was livelier than ever with activities held throughout the day. Dean of Students Paul Raccanello ’96, MA ’01, got in on the action during the All In Palooza by being duct taped to a wall by anyone who made a gift while onlookers enjoyed loaded tater tots, took photos with a puppy, entered raffles, won prizes and made gifts of their own. Off campus, alumni and friends tuned in on social media for live updates and shared why they give back. Did you know that Dominican University of California is turning 130 next year? Join us in celebrating the fourth annual Day of Giving as we go All In on March 24, 2020! dominican.edu/allin



GIFT DESIGNATIONS 3% 5% Dominican Fund


Scholarships 39% 10%

Academic Programs/ Schools Athletics OLLI

8% 19%

Campus Ministry Other

All In for Dominican is all about participation, and each and every gift truly makes a difference on our campus. The excitement of the day may have ended at midnight, but the impact of the philanthropic support we received continues all year. — Marly A. Norris, Vice President for Advancement and Public Affairs


Whether we remember Dominican as a college or university, whether we were here years ago, or like the new freshmen, arrived only recently, Dominican remains a place where change and enduring values grow very well together. — Sister Marie Sagués, 2009

Reunion Classes Recognize Beloved Professor with Endowed Scholarship Gift


ister Marie Sagués ’51, MA ’74, O.P. was a beloved member of the Dominican community for more than 70 years. First as a student, then as a sister of the Dominican order, followed by many years in teaching and administrative roles, Sister Marie spent much of her life in service to our campus. To celebrate her legacy at Dominican, the Class of 1972, led by Stephanie Bulich and Jean (Smith) Nelson, established an endowed scholarship fund in her name in 2017 during their 45-year reunion. The Sister Marie Sagués, O.P. Endowed Scholarship benefits Dominican students pursuing a major in humanities. After Sister Marie passed away in November 2018, the Class of 1969 chose to direct their 50-year reunion fundraising campaign to benefit the Sister Marie Sagués, O.P. Endowed Scholarship, resulting in a class gift of $25,000 to the fund.

Sister Marie’s career at Dominican included positions as the Director of Admissions, Director of Campus Ministry and Professor of Music and English. She also served as a member of the University’s Board of Trustees and the Alumni Association Board of Directors. She retired from the classroom in May 2018, having taught hundreds of students at her alma mater. As a teacher and administrator, she believed in going above and beyond what was asked of her and, in turn, expected the same commitment from others. Former students recall her gentle leadership, sense of humor and the quiet ways in which she inspired—and pushed—them to achieve. “As we considered our 45th reunion class gift, we wanted it to be a lasting one that would connect Dominican students to the Dominican traditions we hold so dear,” Bulich and Nelson shared in an email to

The Torch. “Those traditions were personified in Sister Marie Sagués, O.P., who greeted most of us as our Meadowlands House Mother in August of 1968, who was an English teacher in our freshman year and who taught the music component in Sophomore Humanities. Upon graduation, the class of 1972 honored Sister Marie by planting a tree in gratitude for all that she meant to us.” The University is proud to welcome the Sister Marie Sagués, O.P. Endowed Scholarship as a permanently endowed scholarship fund that will forever honor her service to Dominican. The fund will award its first scholarship to a senior during the 20202021 academic year. If you would like to make a gift to the Sister Marie Sagués, O.P. Endowed Scholarship, please use the enclosed envelope, visit dominican.edu/makeagift or contact the Advancement Office at 415-257-1396 or giving@dominican.edu.




Winnie (Turner) Coleman ’57, early childhood education

Donna Borok-Moss ’77, political science

AJ Real ’01, liberal studies, MS ’06



Fiona So ’21, nursing

Patricia “Pat” (Donovan) Jelley ’68, history

Cameron Parker ’08, business, MBA ’10

Dominican: Then. Now. Always. Living in a world defined by rapid-fire change and exponentially faster rates of innovation, a curious group of staff in Dominican’s Alumni Relations office recently wondered, “What has changed about the collegiate experience at Dominican over the past half century? Is there anything that has remained relatively the same? And how do alumni feel about Dominican today compared to Dominican ‘back in the day’?” Wishing to uncover answers to this line of questions, on a classically sun-drenched and serene summer afternoon on campus, Alumni Relations staff gathered a group of alumni and one student in Meadowland’s iconic Hunt Room to hear their thoughts about Dominican throughout the years. Conversation participants — Winnie (Turner) Coleman ’57, early childhood education; Patricia “Pat” (Donovan) Jelley ’68, history; Donna Borok-Moss ’77, political science; AJ Real ’01, liberal studies, MS ’06; Cameron Parker ’08, business, MBA ’10; and Fiona So ’21, nursing — were invited with the intention of capturing representation across the decades. Unintentionally, though pleasing to discover, the group also represented academic majors spanning Dominican’s three schools, Liberal Arts and Education, Health and Natural Sciences, and Business. To kick off the conversation, Mark Jaime, longtime Office of Alumni Relations team member, had a list of questions at the ready. And thus, the backdrop was set for what turned out to be a sometimes animated, other times poignant, exchange of Dominican memories and musings.

I remember my dad driving all night long so that we could make it to the 9 a.m. tour for admitted students. As soon as I stepped foot on campus I pleaded with my parents to let me come here. — AJ Real ’01

Punctuated by moments of laughter and incredulity over coursework and campus life prior to the advent of smartphones, the internet and personal computers (“How on earth did anything get done before these devices became mainstream?” wondered the more recent alumni), the 90-minute exchange was an insightful and affirmational dialogue. It made clear that while changes have certainly occurred in the variety of academic programs offered and modalities through which students learn material and produce their work, Dominican steadfastly remains a place of deep connection, identity formation and support for the pursuit of excellence in scholarship.

Dominican: A Place of Connection To the Beauty of Campus AJ recalled that as a senior in high school he fell in love with the photos of campus in a brochure and begged his parents to bring him here from Southern California to visit. “I had heard it had a great education program, and I wanted to be a teacher, so it seemed like a good fit for me,” AJ said. “I remember my dad driving all night long so that we could make it to the 9 a.m. tour for admitted students. As soon as I stepped foot on campus I pleaded with my parents to let me come here.” In similar fashion, Cameron remembers feeling at home during his first visit to an admitted student open house. “When I saw the school, coming down Grand Avenue, all the little feelings inside said this place was home, even though I’m from an urban, inner-city environment where there are sounds and noises everywhere, and the only sound you hear here is the breeze outside,” Cameron remembered. “Then I saw a friend from high school in the gym when we were getting our nametags; we looked at each other and at the same time said out loud ‘This is it…where do I sign up?!’” Others recalled beautiful parts of campus that now live only in our memories. Winnie ’57 remembers “walking up the steps of that wonderful Victorian — the Mother House — and ringing the bell.” Pat recalled “the magical wisteria” on campus in the spring. “It had the most wonderful smell,” she said. Cameron’s love for, and pride in, the physical environment on campus even led to his favorite work-study position as a groundskeeper. “There was a picture of a Japanese tea garden on the wall in the facilities building,” Cameron said. We were told ‘Your goal is to make sure campus looks like this, every day.’ There’s a pride level and an energy across campus — by grounds crew, by students, by faculty and staff. It just makes you want to be here.”



To Peers, Professors and Administrators

Through Enduring Traditions

Employment through work-study programs like Cameron’s is another deeply enriching, connectionbuilding opportunity that approximately 20 percent of current Dominican students engage in. Fiona expressed gratitude for her on-campus job, which connects her to others on campus.

One important, continuing tradition is Shield Day, where each year the senior class presents first year students a “shield” on which a design and motto are displayed, with the intention of helping guide new students during their time at Dominican. Though the formality in attire has shifted over the decades from, as Pat recalls, “students donning academic regalia and black suede heels” to students sporting more casual clothing, the solemnity of the ceremony and the symbolism of the shields remain.

“Working in Admissions, I have learned a lot of skills and developed professional relationships with my co-workers and my bosses,” she said. “I’m extremely grateful for that.” Whether working on campus, studying or socializing, all five alumni attested to having developed lifelong friendships while at Dominican. “Forty years later, I still have good friends from Dominican that I see regularly,” Donna said. Two of the five alumni met their spouse here, and one met people who would become godfathers to his son. All six participants quickly recalled their favorite professor — impressively, though perhaps not surprisingly, five of the six professors mentioned are still teaching here. During Winnie’s time at Dominican, Sister Patrick Harney was president of the school. Not only did she live on campus (as President Mary B. Marcy does today, in Barowsky House), Sister Patrick lived in Fanjeaux Hall, right alongside students. “She’d put together snacks and join us for a bite to eat after hours in the kitchen, which is where the bookstore is now. Her dog was always included,” Winnie said. “You could walk into her office [in Guzman] at any time, if something was going on, or you had an idea to share. She’d also walk with us around campus and ask us to name the flowers. We felt a real personal connection with Sister Patrick.” Pat concurred, though while she was in school, Sister Patrick lived in Pennafort Hall. “She loved opera — her dog was named Siegfried — and she would organize Sunday afternoon concerts for us,” Pat said. “It was always wonderful. There were cultural opportunities at Dominican that I didn’t expect but were added pleasures.”

A tradition that changed between Pat and Donna’s time at Dominican was the transition from a women’s college to a co-ed college in 1971. Donna was in the class with some of the first admitted male students. “It was a whole sea change in the early 1970s,” she said. “You had the guys living in one little wing of Pennafort and the girls were in Fanjeaux. It was interesting. Some of my classmates were a little leery of this change but they adjusted just fine.” Fiona shared her perspective on a new tradition, The Big Event, which takes place during Reunion Weekend. “It’s a big music festival event that ASDU [Associated Students of Dominican University] puts on for students and alumni,” she said. “You hang out with friends and listen to music. There’s art and food. It’s kind of like a mini-Coachella. It’s really fun.”

Students pile in cars to get late- night snacks at Jack in the Box, after studying until closing time at Alemany Library. Today Using smartphone apps, students order ride-shares, both within San Rafael and to farther destinations such as the San Francisco and East Bay.

When asked what they were most grateful for, Winnie was quick to point to the Dominican Sisters impact on her life. “They were a big part of my time here, and still are today,” she said. “I am still in touch with many of them.”

Fiona, who grew up surrounded by the natural beauty of Vancouver, British Columbia, said she immediately “felt at home among the smell of the trees on campus.” For her, and the others in the group from outside the Bay Area, Dominican quickly became her “home away from home, with its feeling of calm and peacefulness.”

Many in the group found acceptance for the first time while at Dominican. Campus life provided the safety and security to explore existential questions, a sentiment that resonated with AJ, who vividly recalled his feeling of being truly accepted by classmates and Father Bob Haberman, a sense of belonging, without judgement.



For several in the group, their experience at Dominican is part of their identity. “Dominican made me who I am,” Cameron asserted, and several in the group concurred by nodding their heads.

Donna, like a significant portion of current undergrads (more than two-thirds of whom are from the greater Bay Area), was drawn to Dominican because it was close to her parents’ home.


1950s Students walk across U.S. Route 101 (then a twolane road) to “cruise” up and down 4th Street, “American Graffiti” style.

Students Discover Their Identity

Donna said there is a special code for Dominican alumni. “When you meet someone for the first time and you say where you went to school, there’s an instant connection and an instant bond when you find out they went to Dominican,” she said. “You don’t find that at a big school like Cal or Stanford.”

To Home


When you meet someone for the first time and you say where you went to school, there’s an instant connection and an instant bond when you find out they went to Dominican. — Donna Borok-Moss ’77

“I wasn’t out yet to my family in Los Angeles,” he said. “I had a very religious upbringing, and I couldn’t tell them my true feelings. When I came to Dominican, I came out to one of my female friends. Soon the entire campus knew, and most people said, ‘We don’t care. You’re our friend and we care about you.’ When Father Bob told me the same thing, I almost broke down crying. I could be who I was without judgment and without criticism.” As a Jewish woman at a Catholic college, Donna also found complete acceptance. “It was kind of funny to be the only one, but it wasn’t a big deal at all,” she said. “It was just part of who I was, although, the Sisters and I had some interesting conversations!” Dominican provided the space to define one’s self amid the backdrop of national conversations around civil liberties, from the free speech movement in the ’60s to issues of immigration and human rights today.

Liberal Arts and Excellence in Scholarship Dominican’s liberal arts foundation facilitates learning and growth in topics outside of one’s major. “For me, I knew I either wanted to be a nurse or I wanted to be in business,” Fiona said. “At first, I had plans to go to a really big school so I could get the diversity of classes I knew I wanted. I came to Dominican for a campus visit day, and my first step out of the car, I immediately fell in love with the campus. I just felt something special. Dominican’s nursing program is absolutely amazing; in particular, the hands-on learning opportunities made possible through clinical fieldwork placements sets the program apart from others I researched. The fact that I could also take classes in business sealed the deal for me; I could explore classes in both areas so as not to limit my learning.”

Dominican was — and is — a place where students develop skills toward pursuing a greater good, beyond individual success. “Getting an A minus on an Art History midterm exam my freshman year set my confidence level for the remainder of my academic career,” Cameron said. “Discovering my capacity encouraged me to work hard all through undergrad and graduate school.” Academic rigor in chosen areas of study leads to purposedriven careers and pursuits. As Pat said, having recently come to campus to conduct research on Cézanne, “It’s nice to see how the core of the [library] collection is still there but has moved forward to meet the needs of students today.”

Excellence Stands the Test of Time These unifying threads — connection, identity formation, excellence in scholarship — have always woven together the fabric of a Dominican education. The Dominican Experience, the university’s comprehensive framework for student learning and success, simultaneously reflects Dominican’s rich heritage and embraces the needs of today’s diverse, globally-minded, technologically-savvy student body. “It’s amazing to see how Dominican has evolved with the times, and I’m grateful for this experience [to reflect upon and appreciate that],” Donna said. Pat said many things have evolved since the Dominican College of the 1950s, yet the core educational values are central to the mission and the spirit of today’s Dominican University of California. “The integration of past and present is an ongoing and vital aspect of the school,” Pat said. “I’m very proud to have attended Dominican, and I’m proud of the wonderful, wonderful education I received here.”






Eligible bachelors from USF, Saint Mary’s and Santa Clara traveled by bus to attend mixers held in Meadowlands and Fanjeaux.

Student groups charter buses to cheer on the Warriors and Giants at home games, and attend ASDU’s “The Big Event” Musical Festival.

Using typewriters, students gathered information from encyclopedias, academic journals, and books from the stacks at Alemany Library.

Using laptops, students remotely access online scholarly databases and supplement Alemany’s vast literary collection with interlibrary loan materials.

Swensen’s Ice Cream Parlor

Double Rainbow Café



Women’s Basketball at Dominican FROM “THE BARN” TO THE NCAA

THE JOURNEY OF DOMINICAN’S HISTORY-MAKING WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM DURING “MARCH MADNESS” EARLIER THIS YEAR TO PLAY IN AN NCAA COLLEGE TOURNAMENT FOR THE FIRST TIME DID NOT JUST BEGIN LAST SEASON. The women’s basketball program at Dominican University of California, which first ran from 1916-1919, was resurrected 47 years ago on campus in a gymnasium nicknamed “The Barn” with pick-up games organized by a determined freshman who eventually became the first female Hispanic general in the history of the United States Marine Corps.

Student Begins Dominican Basketball Out of Love for the Game Angela “Angie” Salinas ’76 arrived at Dominican in 1972 and set into motion the evolution of the Penguins’ women’s basketball program from spare time to small time to winning time. She simply recruited classmates by word of mouth to join her in Hanify Hall to play the game she loved.



“This started just because a bunch of us had played high school basketball, and we just missed it,” Salinas said. “We didn’t think it was going to take off.” The women’s team even inspired the men to start a team. Athletics Director Bob Garcia recruited Ron Wheatley, MS ’78, then a graduate student, to coach both the women’s and men’s teams. Garcia showed Wheatley the barn where they would practice. It was a small wooden building with a 60x90-foot court off Locust Avenue. Its rafters were low; lighting was awful; there were dead spots on the court, and there was barely enough room to fit one row of folding chairs on the sideline for fans to watch. “I remember Bob and I laughed because we said, `I wonder if John Wooden started out this way?’” Wheatley said.

Women’s Basketball Picks up Speed with Entry into NSCAA Dominican wasn’t UCLA, but the women’s program developed into a big-time experience. In the ’80s, the Penguins were building toward a winning program. By 1989, with Dave Ferraro as the new coach, they won 12 games, the first time in school history the women’s team officially recorded a winning season. Ferraro convinced new Athletic Director Bill Fusco that Dominican needed to join the National Small College Athletic Association (NSCAA). It was a great move as it helped Dominican solicit donors recruit players and bring awareness to its athletics program. Among them were three key newcomers; Erin Pope ’97 from Manteca, Jodi Jacobson ’95 from Glendora, and Jennifer (Rogers) Fernandez ’96 out of tiny Hayford High School and her graduating class of ’32. Fernandez joined Pope, Jacobson and three other teammates after deciding to try out for the Dominican team as a walk-on. Together their team took its lumps and losses at the beginning, but Ferraro said they were determined to get better, even during one game when they trailed 55-5 at halftime at College of Marin to Concordia University, which was probably 10 times larger in enrollment than Dominican. The Penguins refused to quit in the face of seemingly insurmountable deficits and odds. “That was a small turning point in our evolution. We should have never had scheduled those teams,” Ferraro said. “We slowly built up the program and we started playing our peers instead of big schools. And we were just ahead of the smaller schools. We recruited better than our peers and that propelled our program.”

“I love my teammates. They used to call me `Money’ because they said I made my shots, but I told them that I couldn’t make the shots if they didn’t get me the ball,” Fernandez said. “It is definitely a team sport and our success was built on teamwork and great coaching.” Eventually the reputation and record of the Dominican women’s basketball team changed for the better. “It got to a point the D2 schools wouldn’t play us anymore because we posed a threat,” Ferraro said. “We just got ahead in the recruiting game and ahead of our peers. That propelled the program.” From 1992-1996, the Penguins won 71 games, including a game against rival Mills College that ended with only three Dominican players on the floor after four of their Penguin teammates fouled out. In December 1993, the Penguins were the No. 1 ranked team in the nation in the NSCAA. For three consecutive seasons, they qualified for the NSCAA national tournament. In 1995, they won the consolation bracket. In 1997 — with Arizona recruits Lori Carver ’99, Kristy Hangartner ’01 and Anna Martinez ’98 of Salinas—the Penguins advanced to the NSCAA championship game in Salina, Kansas. before losing to Kansas Wesleyan, the host team.

Culture of Winning Demands New Gymnasium

Fernandez emerged as the first women’s basketball player to score more than 1,000 points in her career and Jacobson set school records for 3-point shooting, with the help of Ferraro, who would hoist and hold a broom above the basket in practice to force her to put more arc on her shots.

Practice in The Barn Built Character Along with Skills Unfortunately, the Penguins played all their games off campus. The dingy Barn, with a non-regulation size court, served only as a place to practice. It wasn’t perfect. “The Barn was a blessing and a curse at the same time,” Fernandez said. “During practice, we had to perform basketball drills while avoiding buckets on the floor that were positioned to catch rainwater from the leaking roof. I recall practices in the heat of summer and the cold of winter with no air conditioner or heater. But I believe the lack of having those luxuries made us stronger.” “We’d come back to practice after Christmas, and it was like running outside. You could see your breath,” Jacobson said “It definitely built character. We still made the best of it. We still got in there, and we went 110 percent.”

Penguins Improve Their Reputation, Advance to NSCAA Championship Their opponents took notice. The Penguins played with pride and improved to the point they could beat teams from larger schools, led by Fernandez, a 5-foot-9 center who became Dominican’s first All-American. Twice.

Ferraro left following that season. He was replaced by former Penguins men’s basketball star Ron Powell ’94. Caitlin Collier, now Associate Head Women’s Basketball Coach at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, was Assistant Coach and Assistant Athletic Director. Ferraro, however, left quite a case to fundraise for a new on-campus gymnasium. There was a philanthropic spirit building alongside school spirit. “In essence women’s basketball was establishing a culture of winning and success that Dominican hadn’t experienced before, and they were leading the way. That built the momentum when it came time to do a strategic plan for the entire institution,” Fusco, Dominican’s athletics director from 1991-97, said. “That’s when the rec center idea came up.” In 1998, Dominican broke ground on a new, state-of-the art gymnasium, the first new campus building in 37 years. It was built as part of the $20 million “Building Tomorrow Today” campaign and was named in honor of Sister Samuel Conlan, Dominican’s fifth president and retired Professor of English. The Conlan Recreation Center was dedicated on Feb. 18, 2000. It was nicknamed “The Igloo” with a bleacher seating capacity



of 1,285. In its first season, the Conlan Center hosted the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics California Pacific Conference Volleyball and Basketball Championships, and it paved the way for the women’s basketball program to keep progressing. Jacobson, promoted from assistant coach, was Dominican’s first head women’s basketball coach in Conlan Center. Former teammates Rachel Manning ’98 and Erin Weir Figueroa ’99 joined her on the bench as assistants. They had played in “The Barn” and felt fortunate to have coached in the inaugural women’s basketball game in Conlan Center. “We knew on that first night how special it was. As a player, it’s something I would have never imagined,” Jacobson said. “The three of us were trying to play it cool, but I know I was emotional. I knew how long it took for Dominican to get to that spot and I also knew the future of basketball programs were going to jump to the next level.” And they did.

Competition Rises as Penguins Join NCAA D2 “I believe the new gym changed the future of Dominican College women’s basketball,” Fernandez said. “There’s no question that Conlan Center changed everything,” Fusco said.

Beginning in 2002, the Penguins had a four-year record of 8120 under new coach Scott Davis, led by Catherine Gravelle ’05, Katie (Christensen) Young ’05, Destini Nowlin ’07 and Olivia Williams ’08. In 2003, the Penguins were 29-9 and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NAIA Division II tournament before losing to two-time defending national champion Hastings College of Nebraska. In 2004, the Penguins were ranked as high as No. 9 in the country and upset Holy Names University, ending the Hawks’ 54-game conference winning streak. During the 200405 season, the Penguins went undefeated in California Pacific Conference play (18-0), won the conference tournament and earned the No. 2 seed (highest in school history) in the NAIA Division II tournament in Sioux City, Iowa. They lost to Bethel College in the first round to finish the season with a 30-4 record, best ever in school history. In 2009 the Penguins had to raise their game again. Dominican was admitted into the Pacific West Conference and NCAA Division II. It didn’t go well at first. Though Alisha (Flaaten) Edgerson ’10 passed Fernandez to become the all-time leading scorer in Dominican women’s basketball history with 1,559 points, Tammy Brawner, MBA ’11, went on to play for the Harlem Globetrotters and 6-foot-4 Sarah Nelson ’15 led NCAA D2 in blocked shots one year, the Penguins struggled to compete in the PacWest. During a five-year stretch from 2010-14 they won only 33 of 134 games.







Then Tim LaKose arrived as head coach from San Jose State and turned the program around again, recruiting the likes of Sandra Ikeora ’18, Alanna Scott ’19 and Natalie Diaz ’19. Ikeora captained the Penguins to the PacWest women’s tournament for the first time, Scott led NCAA D2 in three-point shooting percentage and tied Jacobson’s school record for most made 3-point shots in a game (8) two years ago and Diaz passed both Fernandez and Flaaten Edgerson to become the all-time leading scorer in Dominican women’s basketball history with 1,924 points. Natalie led the nation in scoring most of the season, averaging 26 points a game. During LaKose’s five-year span at Dominican, the Penguins amassed a record of 73-40 before bowing to top-ranked, top-seeded and undefeated UC San Diego in the opening round of the NCAA Division II tournament on the Tritons’ home court. “We all wish we had played better, but it doesn’t take away from all the accomplishments of this season,” LaKose said after the game.

Dominican Women’s Basketball Reaches Historic Heights Nor does it take away from the accomplishments of Dominican’s women’s basketball program, which had an innocent and modest beginning that’s reached historic heights.

Shelly Stefanko Hendricks ’74, Salinas’s teammate, said the thought of building the foundation of a successful Dominican program was not possible to fully imagine at the time “Looking back, all of it was due to the tenacious work and love for the sport by a young woman, Angie Salinas, who marched into Hanify Hall to share a deep love for basketball,” Hendricks said. “She marched into Dominican and found a need and inaugurated women's basketball as a team that was noticed. That noticing impacted a change in a short amount of time for that basketball team and in the historical sense. All of this grew due to a love for the game and the drive of a future Marine Corps Major General whose path led her through Hanify Hall and into the forever of sports history at Dominican. Truly amazing.” Now retired from the Marine Corps and CEO of the Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas in west San Antonio, Texas, Salinas kept a close eye on the Penguins’ march to the NCAA tournament last March. She is proud of the Dominican’s women’s basketball program, a program she helped rekindle. “The bottom line is that looking back you want to make a mark on something — we all want to make a difference by the end of our lives,” Salinas said. “I really do feel like I can say I had a little bit of an impact on Dominican University having this great basketball program. It took a lot of great people to take it from where it was.”







Athletics Earns 9th PacWest Academic Achievement Award


ominican Athletics received its ninth Pacific West Conference Academic Achievement Award to conclude the 2018-19 season in its 10th season as a member of the conference. The Penguins athletic program has posted the top two GPAs in the conference’s history on its path to its dominance in balancing athletics with academics. This path begins with the first contact coaches have with student athletes. “When our coaches go out recruiting, they are looking for student-athletes who receive high-academic merit awards,” Athletic Director Amy Henkelman said. “We believe student-athletes are here for an experience that includes academics, athletics, internships, personal connections, community engagement and their social experience on campus. Our coaches do a great job of finding students who embrace this culture.” Two individuals at Dominican are essential to helping student-athletes achieve academic success along with enjoying success on the field of play: Dr. Christopher Leeds and Phil Billeci-Gard ’08, MBA ’18. Leeds has served as the Faculty Athletic Representative, or FAR, at Dominican for



the past 15 seasons and was one of the 14 finalists for the prestigious Dr. Dave Pariser Faculty Mentor Award this past season. The student-driven award honors a faculty member who has demonstrated dedication, support and guidance to student-athletes and the institution's athletics program. Billeci-Gard was promoted to Associate Director of Athletics for Internal Operations in August 2015. In this role, he provides mentorship and guidance to student-athletes, as well as partners with the campus community to help ensure their success. Together they have developed a program that sees over 80 percent of all student-athletes maintaining above a 3.0 cumulative GPA. “A big difference between what we do at Dominican compared to the rest of the NCAA is having dedicated faculty time to work with the athletes,” Leeds said. “Most FARs are volunteer positions or are paid a small stipend as opposed to having release time to actually work with the student-athletes. The school from President Mary Marcy down also does a great job in recognizing and celebrating the importance of academic success.” The Dominican Experience connects all students, including student-athletes,

with the resources, support, and opportunities they need to achieve their goals. All incoming student-athletes are required to attend a study hall in their first semester at Dominican. Leeds and Billeci-Gard continually monitor their academic progress, including midterm and semester grades to create action plans for each one. Emphasis is also put on the dialogue between student- athletes and a body of faculty and staff at Dominican that is dedicated to the success of all its students. “The process is all encompassing,” Billeci-Gard said. “Coaches, administrators, professors, peer mentors and many others play an active role in ensuring every student-athlete receives the support he or she needs from day one. With so many watchful eyes, it is really hard for someone to fall through the cracks.” Henkelman, Leeds and Billeci-Gard all agreed the biggest reward of all is seeing the student-athletes graduate and move on to great jobs and internships at the end of their Dominican careers. The door never closes at Dominican as they continue to help alumni in their job hunts on their way to further successes.


Alumna Leaps into Professional Dancing Career


nna Noble ’11 began her collegiate dancing career at Dominican in 2007, and she has been making big moves ever since. The moment Dominican reached out to Noble with an offer to join Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, it was a done deal. “I always knew I was going to dance. Period,” Noble said “No matter what anyone told me, that was going to happen. I came to Dominican to learn. I was full out in the moment of whatever I could soak up.” Since graduating, Noble has persevered in a professional career that led to her performance as the star dancer in the musical “After Midnight,” and the featured dancer for Ragtime at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine. Then came her big break: Through her agency, McDonald’s Selznick Associates, Noble was chosen to dance in Alicia Keys’ music video “One Love.” “As a dancer it was a great milestone for me to be attached to a famous name and be in a music video, because I want to be a performer who can be hired for anything in the arts,” Noble said. About two weeks after the video came out, Noble landed a call back for the Broadway Revival of Rodger & Hammerstein’s Carousel and ultimately became a member of the Chita Rivera Award-winning ensemble. The revival also won a Tony award for best choreography. Most recently, after finishing a six-month run on Broadway, Noble is now dancing from the stage to the small screen. The BFA graduate appeared in the third episode of FX’s new Fosse/Verdon drama series starring Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams. Noble played a dancing secretary in a dream sequence scene with Rockwell portraying legendary choreographer Bob Fosse. “You have to develop this frame of mind where it’s like anything can happen,” Noble said “You have to prepare yourself and do the best you can. This is not going to be the highlight of my career. This is a springboard. What’s next? That’s always how I feel.” THE TORCH | WINTER 2020



Dominican Education Lays Foundation for Alumnus’ Political Career


perpetual master’s program where I’m constantly learning something,” is how Tim Hysom ’02 describes his job as Chief of Staff to Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-California. “Every day the bills we’re voting on are different, the hearings we’re having are different, the constituents that are coming to us are different and the foreign policy challenges that the U.S. faces are different,” Hysom said. “No two days are the same.” Eighteen years ago, Tim was living in San Rafael working in corporate communications at Marin-based design software company Autodesk when he decided to complete his Bachelor’s degree. He was looking for schools that offered high quality English programs when he came across Dominican right in his own backyard. After he graduated with his BA in English with a writing emphasis through Dominican’s Adult Degree Completion program, Hysom packed up his car and drove across the country to Washington, D.C. “My first job on Capitol Hill was working for a new, one-term member of Congress named Adam Schiff,” Hysom said. “Now, he’s the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and I can’t turn on the television without seeing him.”

When he first arrived on the Hill, he said he questioned for the first month or so whether or not he was going to be able to do this. “The phones were ringing off the hook, constituents were coming in and out for tours, TVs monitored both news and floor activity and the boss was in and out for votes,” Hysom said. “The environment was just slightly ordered chaos. Eventually, I grew to really love that part of the job.” Hysom went on to complete a Master of Public Administration degree at American University in Washington, D.C., in 2010. Then after the 2012 election, Rep. Schiff introduced Hysom to Rep.-elect Alan Lowenthal, D-Calif. In 2013, Hysom helped open Rep. Lowenthal’s freshman office where he was given the opportunity to help lay a solid foundation for the congressman’s successful career in Congress. Hysom’s home life is currently jam-packed as well. He and his partner, Sean, are in the middle of a two-year home renovation project that occupies his time on evenings and weekends. As busy as his life has become in his post-grad years, Hysom feels prepared thanks to his time at Dominican. “The skills I learned there have served me well, and I credit Dominican and the campus community,” he said. “Sr. Aaron Winkelman, Professor Carlos Rodriguez and all of my Dominican professors helped prepare me for this moment in my life. I’m here today because of everything I learned from them.”

Professor Inspires Student to Pursue Dream Career in Journalism


manda Aguilar ’13 never knows what to expect in a typical day as a reporter for KSNW-TV in Wichita, Kansas. “My job entails covering a new story every day and always talking to new people,” she said. “That’s something I love.” Aguilar’s desire to follow this career path came from a TV class at Dominican. Her instructor Laurie Lattimore Volkmann commended her on a paper with the words “You have a knack for journalism.” That small comment is something she will never forget. “It was just that one sentence that made me think, maybe this is what I am meant to do,” Aguilar said “It can be a very stressful and discouraging industry. It’s hard not to compare yourself to other people. When I’m down in the dumps and thinking this might not be for me, I remember Laurie’s comment and it helps me believe in myself.



Volkmann’s praise combined with Aguilar’s experience shadowing several Washington, D.C., reporters taught her important lessons that have led to her success. “Shadowing reporters that had been in the industry for decades was intimidating but so helpful,” she said. “My biggest takeaway was that if you’re going to be successful in television, it’s all about repetition and allowing yourself to make mistakes. If you don’t make mistakes, you’ll never learn. As perfect as the experienced reporters look on TV now, I can’t forget that they used to be in my same position.” Today, Aguilar continues to dream of bigger jobs in larger markets. Inspired by the challenges she had and the progress she has made, she is focused on the big picture. “I am looking for other opportunities, but my main focus is making sure I’m happy and that I find a position that is a good fit for me,” she said. “I’m always looking for those experiences that will prepare me for my next goal; to be a morning anchor.”


Alumna Honored for Work Combating Domestic Violence


hile many of her classmates got married and had children right after graduation, Roz McGrath ’69 took a different path.

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in art (renowned artist Russell Chatham was one of her art instructors at Dominican), McGrath taught for four years in Catholic schools before pursuing her master’s degree in Early Childhood Education at San Francisco State University. She then moved back home to Ventura County, where she became involved with a local chapter of the National Organization of Women (NOW) in the 1970s. “None of my friends were feminists at the time, and I needed to meet some women who thought like I did,” she said. In 1976, Roz was approached by a member of NOW and asked to head up an important project: the Coalition Against Household Violence, now called the Coalition for Family Harmony. With purpose and a vision, McGrath and her team set out to find a shelter that would provide refuge and safety to survivors of abuse. However, because domestic violence was an entirely new concept at this time, she was met with many challenges before ultimately securing the property. “People did not want to recognize the problem of domestic violence,” McGrath said. “It was like talking about child abuse, nobody wanted to hear about it in the ’70s and then to ask for money, for a house? This was such a revolutionary concept that women and children could get out of the [violent] household.” Despite the formidable challenges they faced, McGrath was persistent in lobbying cities and counties for Housing and Urban Development funds, and the Coalition received three grants totaling $100,000 that were used to purchase the shelter — the same one they have used now for almost 40 years. In 2018, the Coalition for Family Harmony honored McGrath with its first Founder's Award, an honor that celebrates those who helped the Coalition build the foundations that helped thousands of survivors find safety and healing from their abuser. McGrath is an inspiration, continuing each day to fight for gender equality through politics, advocacy and the Women of Jewelia women’s empowerment project. She would like to share with recent graduates that, in the words of the prolific poet, Robert Frost, it is okay to take “the road less traveled.” And, that it is best to be on the right side of history, even if you are going against the grain. THE TORCH | WINTER 2020



Alumni Reading List Looking for your next great book? Add these alumni-authored books to your reading list!

Gender Queer

Mulan’s Lunar New Year

My Lovely Wife

Maia Kobabe ’11 | Started as a way to explain to eir family what it means to be non-binary and asexual, this book is more than a personal story: it is a useful and touching guide on gender identity—what it means and how to think about it—for advocates, friends, and humans everywhere.

Natasha Yim ’83 | It’s the Lunar New Year, and it happens to be Mulan’s favorite festival! There is a lot to do to prepare for this important celebration, and for the first time, Mulan is old enough to help out. But everything Mulan does seems to turn out wrong. Follow along with Mulan in this special Lunar New Year story that captures the unique sense of magic that surrounds the holiday.

Samantha Downing ’91 | Dexter meets Mr. and Mrs. Smith in this wildly compulsive debut thriller about a couple whose fifteen-year marriage has finally gotten too interesting.




Mage Against the Machine

From the Shore to the Sea

Redemption: How Ronald Reagan Nearly Ruined My Life

Shaun Barger ’07 | Harry Potter meets The Terminator in this action-packed adventure about a young man who discovers that everything he believed about his world is a lie.

Diane (Semans) Willcutts ’58 has been writing memoirs for several years for her children and grandchildren to help them take and keep their mother and grandmother in their hearts, as they journey through life.

Barbara McVeigh ’17 | “My father is a federal criminal. My father is a hero,” McVeigh writes in her memoir. Reagan fired her father for a union strike in 1981, leading him and 11,500 other families into years of strife.

Empowering English Language Learners

Writing for the Design Mind

When Stars Align

Jeanne DeFazio ’72, showcases strategies of those who teach English as a second language in preschools, graduate schools, secular public schools, and private Christian schools. What makes this book unique is the way each teacher evaluates teaching strategy through personal experience.

Natalia Ilyin ’82, author, designer and educator, offers clear, concise, and humorous writing tips, techniques and strategies to people who have spent their lives mastering design rather than learning to write.

Bruce Genaro ’04 writes about the serendipitous nature of life and love. It is a tale that is both tragic and comic. And all the more so because it is inspired by the true story of the last prince of Italy.




Laverne (Schlemmer) Barrett ’50

1950s Laverne (Schlemmer) Barrett ’50 organized a Mass and celebration of life for Jacquie Camille ’50 (dec. 06/05/19) on campus in August 2019. Many friends of Jacquie attended, including Peggy (O’Connor) Brennan ’50, Frances Strachwitz ’51, Bev (Teves) Sweeney ’50 and Cecile (Osborne) Cutter ’50. Diane (Willcutts) Semans ’58 celebrated her 60th wedding anniversary to Bill Semans in June 2018, and she recently published her memoirs, From the Shore to the Sea. She held a book signing at Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino in January 2019 for the book of short stories, poems and recollections. The title is available on Amazon. Mary (Spalding) Garrison ’59 moved to Villa Marin in San Rafael after 50 years living in San Francisco. When her husband, Maynard, passed away in January, she felt it was time to downsize and enjoy the warm weather of Marin.

1960s Peggy (Glockner) Hartshorn ’69 and her husband Mike celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with family and dear friends in Columbus, Ohio. Special guests included Kathie (Kirkovics) Toland ’69 and her husband, Tim. Hartshorn and Toland were roommates at Dominican



Peggy (Glockner) Hartshorn ’69

and served as President and Vice President of the Associated Students of Dominican College from 1968-69. Toland, from San Mateo, was Hartshorn’s bridesmaid in Columbus on June 7, 1969.

1970s Judy (Waters) Allen ’70 recently returned from a 10-day medical mission trip to Abuja, Nigeria. The West Africa Community Mission team of 27 medical professionals and non-medical volunteers saw 2,600 patients at two Internally Displaced Persons camps, for refugees who have escaped Boko Haram terrorists in the northern part of their country. The Rev. Kristi Lynn (Martin) Denham ’71 retired from ordained ministry as Pastor of the Congregational Church of Belmont on June 30, 2019, after 20 years of service, and 22 years of ordained ministry in the United Church of Christ. Denham said it has been an amazing and humbling journey filled with so much joy and learning, and she is deeply grateful. She also taught a few classes at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont in the spring and may teach religion in the fall. Mary (Gonyea) Lund ’77 and husband, Lars, recently celebrated 33 years of marriage. They have three children all thriving in their careers in tech, nursing and finance. Lund just

Judy (Waters) Allen ’70

Reverend Kristi Lynn (Martin) Denham ’71

completed her 36th year as the Director of Advancement at Mercy High School in Burlingame and also works as a Partner with Partners in Mission, a consulting firm for Catholic schools across the country. In June, Lund, Sandra (Pollano) Berry ’77 and Barbara (Johnson) Ganter ’77 spent a fun weekend at Ganter’s home in Ukiah with their husbands. Mary Scanlon ’79 retired from the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District after 40 years in K-12 education. Her most recent position was Curriculum Specialist TK-Adult. She and her husband will move to Alabama to start a new adventure.

1980s David Dale Jr. ’82 recently married Julia Elizabeth Bell in London at Farm Street Church with the reception following at The Cavalry & Guards Club. Nicolaj Caiezza, whom he met at Dominican, and Greg Mohr, whom he met while participating in the 1980 Dominican Oxford Summer program, were his best men. A few months after his marriage, he graduated from Heythop College, University of London with a master’s degree. Previously he worked for three years in Romeat the Pontifical Gregorian University. Natasha Yim ’83, MS ’86, has utilized both of her degrees in the field of social work and counseling, as well as a freelance writer and


Mary (Gonyea) Lund ’77

Cassandra (Hine) Ferrannini ’89

children’s author. She published six picture books, including two nonfiction biographies. Her popular book Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas (Charlesbridge Publishing, 2014) sold out its first printing in the first week of publication and is currently in its second printing as a Junior Library Guild and Scholastic Book Club selection. Her most recent publications include The Rock Maiden (Wisdom Tales Press, 2017) and Mulan’s Lunar New Year (Disney Press, 2018). Luna’s Yum Yum, Dim Sum will be released in Spring 2021 by Charlesbridge Publishing. Nicki (Petruzzella) Kerns ’86 graduated with her master’s degree in music education from Boston University in May 2019. She is the music director and organist at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Santa Cruz and teaches piano in her studio Up Scale Music. She resides in Boulder Creek with her husband Donald and 16-year-old son Joey. Her 20-year-old daughter Charlie is a music education major at Pacific University in Oregon. Brigid Richards, MS ’87, retired after 35 years as a public high school teacher. She said she received the best training from Dominican where she earned a master’s degree in special education, and then went on to University of San Francisco for a doctorate.

Alexandra “Sandie” Wilkins ’96

Dayna (Querin) Clark ’96

Cassandra (Hine) Ferrannini ’89, Downey Brand partner and former Dominican English with a Writing Emphasis major, was recently recognized by Sacramento Magazine as a 2019 Top Lawyer.

1990s Paulette Sears ’88, MS ’96, opened Paulette Sears Counseling, LLC, in 2013. Douglas “Doug” Hartley ’91, MBA ’94 lived and worked in Asia for many years after graduating from Dominican. He is currently in Calgary, Canada, heading Focus Asia Market Entry, helping small to midsized businesses enter and succeed in Asia Pacific markets. He is married and has two teenage children. Alexandra "Sandie" Wilkins ’96 graduated with Dean’s List honorable mention with her Master of Science in Nursing from University of Southern California. She will practice as a primary care family nurse practitioner after passing the national certification exam. Dayna (Querin) Clark ’96 celebrated 20 years of marriage in 2018 and continues to travel the world. She and her husband celebrated their anniversary with a river cruise to Hungary, Austria and Germany. They also traveled to Kauai in 2019. Clark is looking forward to many more years of fun adventures.

Jenny M. Hwa ’01

Apolo Rios ’97, ’98, continues to work as a school teacher in San Marcos. He enjoys working with students and adults, both in the classroom and as an AVID Staff Developer. He continues to enjoy reading, traveling and experiencing new places with his family. He loves reminiscing about his days at Dominican (with his students and family) and looks forward to visiting the campus soon.

2000s Jenny M. Hwa ’01 moved back to the

Bay Area in September 2017 after 15+ years in New York City and North Carolina. Inspired by the farm to table atmosphere in the region, in June 2019 she pivoted her eco-fashion company to focus on ethical kitchen essentials. Loyale’s aprons, oven gloves and linens are responsibly sourced and ethically made in San Francisco. Three percent of sales are donated to La Cocina (see loyalestudio.com). Hwa is excited about where the company is going and loves calling San Francisco her home again. Dr. Chase Clow ’02, MA ’04, alumna of the graduate humanities program, recently published an article in the International Journal of Arts Theory and History titled, “The ‘Negro Book’ of Ansel Adams and Nancy Newhall: Photography, Race, and Civil Rights in Early Cold War-Era America.” T ​ he article can be accessed online.




Heather Steil ’03

Bryan Rooney ’03

Heather Steil ’03 has been a Foreign Service Officer since 2005. She recently completed an assignment as a Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Lithuania and began a new assignment as a Foreign Policy Advisor with the Defense Department’s Central Command this summer. Bryan Rooney ’03, MS ’05, was selected by his peers as the California Collegiate Athletic Association Coach of the Year, and a program record four Pioneers were named to the AllCCAA team. Arian Ahmadi ’03, MBA ’07, Gigi Gillard ’06, MBA ’07, Matthew Gaulding, MBA ’12, Valerie Jane Chua ’08 and Brian Moore ’05 met up in Southern California for a mini reunion. They explored a variety of locations including Scotchman’s Cove, Crystal Cove Trail and Newport Beach. Rebecca (Merjil) Hyatt ’04 just celebrated her 10 year wedding anniversary to Perry Hyatt with their two children, Jaina and Victor. They renewed their vows with family and shared the Sacrament of Marriage with the Edge Group they serve at church. She said it was a beautiful and happy day. Bruce Genaro ’04 completed his first novel, When Stars Align, which is about the serendipitous nature of life and love. Bruce received his bachelor’s degree in humanities from



Arian Ahmadi ’03

Dominican in 2004, and he spent several years fine tuning his writing skills to do justice to the story. The project was completed in 2018 and published soon after in April 2019. Stephanie (Steese) Hannant ’04 lives in Southern California with her husband, Michael, and son Jacob. Stephanie is a Licensed Social Worker and currently an Assistant Dean at Pitzer College. Lianni Castro ’04 is currently in her second year working as a Campus Minister for Marin Catholic High School and living in the Sunset District of San Francisco. She previously worked nine years in Campus Ministry at Dominican. Castro is putting her Dominican education and experience to work by continuing to lead students in ministry, service and faith. Kelly Bonbright ’05 recently relocated to Los Angeles and bought a condo on the beach after a 15-year career at Pixar Animation Studios. She is currently at Netflix as Assistant Director of Post Production Animation for Features and Series. Dominic Foppoli ’05 was re-elected as Mayor of Windsor, California. His term will run until December 2022. James Sheets ’06 graduated from Loyola Law School in 2010 and is now an attorney at Tribler Orpett & Meyer, PC, in Chicago, Illinois.

Dominic Foppoli ’05

Cameron Parker ’08, Michaelia (Baskerville) Parker ’10

Elena (Romero) ’07 and Francesco De Giacomo ’07 are thrilled to announce the arrival of their first daughter, Isabel Francesca De Giacomo, who was born on June 30, 2019. Cameron Parker ’08, MBA ’10 and his wife Michaelia (Baskerville) Parker ’10, MBA ’11 welcomed a baby girl into their family in July 2019. Zoey Joelle Parker will be sure to join the Dominican Class of 2041! Deena (Westrope) Pereda ’08 and her husband Enio welcomed twin boys Enzo and Elijah on March 29, 2019. They are now a happy family of five. Deena was also promoted to Staff Services Manager, assisting the Chief Financial Officer at the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, where she has worked since 2015. Claire (Munzer) Yu ‘08 continues her work as a manager for the Custom Animation Production team at Pixar Animation Studios and recently celebrated her 10 year work anniversary on May 10, 2019. Her husband, Marc Yu ‘07, and family were in attendance to cheer her on. Mark Orcholski ’08, MS ’10, married his wife Mariana on Feb. 17, 2018 in a small civil ceremony. In November, they moved to Québec City, Canada, where Mark began a new job as a research professional, studying the molecular mechanisms involved in the disease pulmonary arterial


Claire (Munzer) Yu ’08

Jewel (Gonzalez) Kennedy ’09

hypertension. Now, Mark and Mariana are learning French, discovering Québécois culture, making new friends, hanging out with their cat Lunita, and finding out what a real winter feels like. Claire (Neenan) Schwartz ’08, MA ’17, gave birth to a healthy baby girl on July 4, 2019. Audrey Belle Genevieve Schwartz weighed 7 lbs., 12 oz., and the family couldn’t be more smitten with their little firecracker. Vicky Rohrer ’08, a graduate of Dominican’s undergraduate psychology program, opened her own private practice in Sonoma Valley. After leaving Dominican, Rohrer went on to obtain a counseling master’s degree from California State University, Sacramento, and now offers individual therapy and group/family therapy for teens and young adults who suffer from depression, anxiety and codependency. Nathaniel Ancheta ’09 has started an open-air alternative exhibition space for site-specific art installations in Antelope Valley, California. A.I.R. showcases work that explores what it means to be "in residence." The website is artinresidence.gallery. Jewel (Gonzalez) Kennedy ’09 welcomed her second child Jareth Kennedy on October 18, 2018.

Casey Lee Thorne ’10

Nancy Dyer ’10

2010s Casey Lee Thorne ’10 has accepted a full-time, tenure-track position as Assistant Professor of Dance at Southern Utah University beginning Fall 2019. Casey will launch a new project, the Casey Lee Thorne Dance Alliance, in the coming months, which will provide a larger framework to dream expansively, connect globally and organize collaborations across aesthetic and conceptual lines. Liz Powers ’10 welcomed her baby boy Conner James into the world on February 3, 2019. Nancy Dyer ’10 has been living in Tuscany since 2014 with her spouse Lorenzo Bartolini and two cats Miyo and Minnie. They are situated on the seaside in Versilia in the small town of Lido di Camaiore. Part of their family home is a seasonal rental, and they have an agency that keeps it full of return guests. Nancy’s work is teaching English as a second language, and she continues her coursework online to keep education a priority. For Nancy, learning Italian is a huge challenge, one that takes a lot more patience than she ever imagined.

Gabriel Guevara ’11

Maia Kobabe ’11 published eir first book “Gender Queer: A Memoir” on May 28, 2019. The book includes stories about Maia’s life related to non-binary gender identity and sexuality. The book, which will be published in January 2020, has been nominated for the Great Graphic Novels for Teens List from Young Adult Library Services Association. Gabriel Guevara ’11 and his wife, Juliana, welcomed their first born named Shoshana Ofelia Guevara into the world in May 2019. She is the first grandchild and great grandchild in her family. She was born in Vallejo, Solano County and enjoys playing her baby piano and drinking milk. Alejandro Moreno Saldarriaga ’11 is co-founder at VenturePad, a multiple award-winning co-working space, meeting center and events venue in Downtown San Rafael. He is also cofounder and Conference Organizer for Marin Sustainable Enterprise Conference and the Co-chair for CleanTech Summit and Finance Your Business Summit. He helped develop the business plan and is Treasurer of the Board for Cafe Puente, a social impact cafe in Petaluma that offers a bridge between Spanish language learners and their local Latino community.




Aminata Diagne ’13

Devan (Weber) Rourk ’13

Emmeline Academia ’12 graduated from University of California, San Francisco in 2018 with her doctorate in pharmacy. She went on to complete a PGY1 general pharmacy residency at University of Colorado Hospital. She is currently completing a PGY2 residency in Oncology pharmacy through University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and University of Colorado Cancer Center. Aminata Diagne ’13 continued her education graduating with a master’s of public policy administration from California State University, Long Beach in 2017. After working in the private sector and the local and federal levels of government for several years, she came to work in nonprofit agencies. Currently, Aminata works as a Project Manager with a nonprofit homeless shelter for troubled youth in Los Angeles, and she is expecting her first child in September 2019. Devan (Weber) Rourk ’13 welcomed her second child Caleb in December of 2018. She still resides in San Rafael with her husband Paden and daughter, Finley Daniela Leyva ’14 and David Muegge ’15 celebrated their one-year wedding anniversary on July 28, 2019. They met at Dominican when Professor Alison Howard in the political science department put them in a group together. They have been inseparable



Daniela Leyva ’14, David Muegge ’15

ever since. Muegge graduated from Santa Clara University’s Law School, Class of 2019, and Leyva is 18 months away from receiving her Master of Library and Information Science degree from San José State University. Nayeli Zamudio-Hurtado ’14 has been working at Community Child Care Council of Sonoma County (4Cs) since 2016. Zamudio-Hurtado started with 4Cs as a case manager and was recently hired as the new Assistant Client Services Director. Zamudio-Hurtado is excited to continue to serve the same community in which she was born and raised. She has been happily married since 2016 and has a 3-year-old daughter named Valerie. Valerie Cohen-Pitsenbarger ’15 is getting ready to teach at Dominican in the Department of Math and Natural Sciences for a second year. She has taken on the labs for Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, and Anatomy and Kinesiology for Dance. She is loving her new role as instructor. Forbes Collins II ’15 recently qualified for the USGA Mid Amateur Championship—a prestigious national golf tournament for players over 25 years old. If he wins the mid amateur championship in Colorado, he will play in The Masters in Augusta, April 2020.

Nayeli Zamudio-Hurtado ’14

Jennifer Krengel MA ’15, Stuart Krengel MBA ’10

Jennifer Krengel, MA ’15, Stuart Krengel, MBA ’10 and big sister Elke (3) were thrilled to welcome home baby Oliver last summer. Born on June 12, 2019, his sweet smiles and mild temperament have been a delightful addition to the rhythm of family life in San Rafael, California. Melinda Shutler ’15 studied traditional ecological knowledge of the Makushi and the potential of local wisdom to guide conservation initiatives in Guyana during summer 2019. Melinda, an education program coordinator at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, lives in Tacoma, Washington and is a graduate student in Miami University's Global Field Program. Irene Wilson ’16 was offered a job at BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. shortly after earning her BS from Dominican. Less than a year later, the company sponsored Wilson with a full-ride scholarship plus stipends to earn her MS in biological sciences from Dominican in May 2019. Her thesis was titled “Investigating Neuroinflammation and Demyelination in the Nervous System of Twitcher Mice by the Use of Immunohistochemistry.” Before Wilson could apply for jobs, she was hired as a Research Associate at BioMarin, where she contributes to finding cures for orphan diseases.


Irene Wilson ’16

Barbara McVeigh ’17

Adam Ashton Kinion ’16 recently had his dog Leo certified as a service dog. He will also be joining the Dominican Alumni Board of Directors this season. Vanessa Vega ’17 took on the new role of Human Resources Coordinator at Dominican University of California. Barbara McVeigh ’17 completed the feature documentary “The Man Behind the White Guitar,” high-lighting the life and music of Brazilian guitarist Jose Neto, who had been with Harry Belafonte, kingpin of social justice, for 30 years. McVeigh is in her third year launching grassroots-level celebrations for President Jimmy Carter’s 95th birthday on October 1. Barbara is also a delegate for the Democratic Socialists of America Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, and her book ​ Redemption, How Ronald Reagan Nearly Ruined My Life ​has been receiving great reviews.

Taylor Speed ’17

Megan Walsh ’18

Taylor Speed ’17 is the first Penguin to be accepted into the competitive Japanese Exchange and Teaching Program thanks to Dominican’s Global Education Office and Dr. Fran Lepage’s guidance. The JET Program is a Japanese government initiative that brings college graduates to Japan to teach English and act as a cultural ambassador. Speed moved to the Chiba prefecture in April. While at Dominican, she became a Global Ambassador after studying abroad in Karlstad, Sweden. She’s looking forward to building a career in international education. Megan Walsh ’18 recently earned her master’s degree in education, as well as an Education Specialist Credential. This past summer she worked at the Bay Area Discovery Museum as a Lead Camp Teacher. This fall, Walsh will have her own classroom at a school in Novato. She said she is excited for this opportunity and grateful for her stellar education from Dominican.

Delainey Boyd ’19

Kathleen Morrison ’18 accepted a special education teaching position for 2019-20 at Venetia Valley School in San Rafael. She’s glad to be back in the Dominican neighborhood. Germaine Semien ’19 will start graduate school on Aug. 26, 2019 at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont. Her major is Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Delainey Boyd ’19 has moved to Washington D.C. and accepted a position at an American Law 100 firm. She is currently working toward her Master's in Education Policy at George Washington University.



In Sympathy ALUMNI

Sr. Lois Silva O.P. ’59

Linda Milbourn ’02

Mary Lydon Guheen ’35

Susan Nevin Sjordal ’60

Nancy Kraus ’08

Marie Cerles Boss ’44

Sr. M. Ramona Krisha O.P. ’61

Brigitte Neeffs ’08

Ann Pollock Murray ’45

Mary Hennessy Keenan ’62

Ashley Praplan ’09

June Lukes Messer ’46

Maureen Hartmann ’63

Jennifer D’Ambrosio ’11

Angelina Angelini Barbagelata ’46

Anna-Lea Reynolds Caudwell ’63

Jodine Alexander ’19

Eileen King Murray Behling ’46

Sister M. Donna McPhee O.P. ’65

Maya Thone ’19

Patricia Rawles Bertrand ’46, MA ’57

Cynthia Brigandi Amerine ’69

Madelyn Meagher Trepp ’48

Mary Lou Bordoni Dennis-Strathmeyer ’69

Bonnie Roberts Peter ’48 Jeanne Perrin Phillips ’48 Sr. M. Jeremy Carmody, OP ’49 Patricia Jordan Iles ’49 Dolores Ghiringhelli Forni ’49 Jacqueline Camille ’50 Barbara Elkins Leaf-Jatho ’50 Eleanor Miller Sidenfaden ’51 Joan Wright Forssell ’51 Virginia Garcia Randall ’51 Sr. Billie Olin O.P. ’51 Patricia Conroy Ruiz ’52 Janet Sinclair Banks ’54 Janet Parker ’54 Barbara Parish Corrigan ’55 Norma Cappello ’56 Sheila Maloney Carmassi ’57 Kathleen Meagher Scott ’57



FACULTY Faith France-Rinaldi

Barbara Appleby ’70


Joseph Edwards ’71

Amanda Metcalf, former trustee

Lynn Theilacker Carew ’71 Marie Martin Fox ’72 Cynthia Weston Mobraaten ’73 Leslie Balestreri ’74 Jean Rhodes ’76 Victoria Thomson Rubini ’76 Patricia Berry ’77 Barbara Perine O’Neill ’77 Alberta Lesko ’79 Ethel Bean ’80 Mary Manca ’80 Carolyn Shultz ’88 Paul Hood ’92 Judith Eagle-Cain ’93 Kristin Rohrbach Westra ’00 Michelle Ducousso ’01

SYMPATHY TO Donna Bertuccelli Matthews 1964 for the passing of her husband Richard Matthews Donna Kelleher 1958 for the passing of her granddaughter Annie Williams Ona Trimmer Castaneda 1963 and Beatriz Castaneda 1993 for the passing of Ramon Castaneda, husband and father Joan Guess Latno 1952, Michele Latno 1977, and Patrice Latno Howell 1992 for the passing of Arthur Latno, husband and father Mary Colleen Needham 1997 and Nicole Needham 2013 for the passing of Dorothy Dempsey, mother and grandmother

Your Gift to Dominican Changes Lives My scholarship allows me to realize my goal of earning a B.S. in Biological Sciences and pursuing a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies. Thanks to the skills and expertise I’ve gained as a Dominican student, I have confidence in my leadership abilities and know that I can triumph beyond what I could have imagined before coming here. I am so grateful for The Lillian L.Y. Wang Yin, Ph.D. Scholarship. It has made it possible for me to fully focus on my studies without the need to work during the academic year. After receiving this scholarship, my mind is more at ease and I am more determined than ever to succeed! — Rafael Vilches Junior, Biological Sciences

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

Rafael Vilches is a junior Biological Sciences major from Pittsburg, California. He is a member of the Associated Students of Dominican University and the 2019-20 Vice President of Latinos Unidos. The Dominican Experience, involvement in student organizations, and campus life have helped Rafael develop a heightened sense of belonging and purpose.




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

Event Calendar November



Thurs., November 7 | 5:30 p.m. San Francisco Alumni Gathering Celia’s by the Beach

Sun., January 26 | 11:30 a.m. Sacramento Alumni Lunch Zocalo Midtown

Sun., November 17 | 3 p.m. 2LOW (Cello-Double Bass duo) Angelico Concert Hall


Fri., April 17 | 5 p.m. Golden Circle Dinner (celebrating the class of 1970) Edgehill Mansion

December Sat., December 7 | 4 p.m. Christmas Mass and Reception Edgehill Mansion

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

Sat., February 29 | Noon East Bay Alumni Gathering St. George Spirits


Sat., April 18 | All Day 2019 Reunion Dominican Campus Sat., April 18 The Big Event Forest Meadows Field

Sun., March 1 | 3 p.m. Alon Goldstein Piano Recital Angelico Concert Hall

Sun., April 19 | 3 p.m. Tilden Trio Angelico Concert Hall

Tues., March 24 | All Day All In for Dominican Dominican Campus (and beyond)

June Sat., June 20 | 9:30 a.m. Bocce Tournament Marin Bocce Federation

Profile for Dominican University of California

The Torch | Winter 2020  

News and features about and for the Dominican community. Winter 2020

The Torch | Winter 2020  

News and features about and for the Dominican community. Winter 2020