2022 Distinguished Alumni Awards

2022 Distinguished Alumni Awards 2022 Distinguished Alumni Awards

Melissa Stafford Jones '93

Alumna of the Year

Melissa Stafford Jones is Director of the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative in the California Department of Health and Human Services, appointed to the position by Governor Gavin Newsom in Fall 2021.  As Director of the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative, Melissa is working within state government and with partners and stakeholders throughout the state to reimagine California’s children and youth behavioral health system into an innovative, up-stream and prevention focused, ecosystem that supports the social and emotional wellness of ALL children and youth ages 0-25 and ensures that all young people are routinely screened, supported, and served to address emerging and existing behavioral health needs.  

Prior to her appointment with the State of California, Melissa was Executive Director of the First 5 Association of California. She served as Regional Director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Region IX from 2014-2017 under the Obama administration.  Melissa previously was President & CEO of the California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems leading the organization’s strategy to advance public policies that support the essential role of the safety net and improve health status and access to care for low-income and uninsured individuals and communities. In addition to extensive experience in public and health policy, she also worked in philanthropy, serving as Executive Director of the Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation.  

Melissa holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of California at Berkeley and a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Saint Mary’s College of California.  She is married to husband Chris, a high school science teacher (and SMC alum!) and she and Chris have two children, Douglas and Juliet.


Marilyn Galiothe, MBA '11

Meritorious Service Award

Ms. Marilyn Galiothe is the Founder and Executive Director of Strive Survive Succeed, a community driven, non-profit organization dedicated to assisting East Bay underserved youth through scholarships, college preparatory workshops and college campus tours. Raised in East Oakland, Marilyn attended elementary and high school in the area and participated in community programs throughout the city. 

Marilyn was brought up in a Haitian household where education was very important and taught to be powerful; after graduating from high school, Marilyn obtained her Bachelor's degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz and completed her Masters of Business Administration from St. Mary’s College of California. In addition to operating Strive Survive Succeed, she is a finance professional at a fortune 500 company, active participant in multiple community service projects, a member of professional organizations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and an active component at her father’s church in Oakland.

After years of contemplation and having the goal of launching a non-profit organization benefiting her community, Strive Survive Succeed was founded in 2013. In September of 2014, the organization became a fully formed 501(C)(3) with great support from her community, family and friends.


Carla Bossard, PhD

Saint John Baptist De La Salle Award

Carla earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Botany at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Masters of Science in Ecology at University of Illinois, and Ph.D. in Ecology at University of California, Davis. She has been at Saint Mary’s since 1991 as a professor in Biology. She has served on almost all faculty committees at one time or another and was also the Chair of Academic Senate.  She teaches various Environmental Biology courses, such California Flora and Communities and Conservation Biology.  She has also taught multiple courses in the Environmental and Earth Science Program ,which she helped create and directed in its early years. She also has taught courses in Collegiate Seminar and has successfully led 30 travel JanTerms in 26 countries and two alumni travel courses.  Her research on invasive plant species and the ecophysiology of high elevation forests has been supported by a variety of grants, including some from Saint Mary’s. Her current research regards the effects of earthquakes on high elevation forests. 

In 1992-93 she was one of four people who founded the California Invasive Plant Council (Cal-IPC) and served as its President from 1995-96. In 1997-1998, she was a Fulbright Scholar in Sri Lanka for a year as both a teacher and researcher.  From 1999 to 2002, she served on the selection Committee for Asia, and the Middle-East, for the Fulbright Program. In 2015, she was selected as Professor of the Year at Saint Mary’s.


Marc Dominguez '96, MA '04

Signum Fidei Award

Marc Dominguez graduated from Saint Mary’s College with an undergraduate degree in psychology in 1996. He was the first in his family to graduate with a four-year degree. Marc returned to the College in 2001 for a Master’s degree in School Counseling with a Pupil Personnel Credential and finished that degree in 2004.

Marc served in the Office of Residence Life for five years at the College, living in residence with both upper class students and first year students where he served as a Resident Director and Residence Community Coordinator.

Marc has been a school counselor for a total of 21 years, first serving at his alma mater, the Christian Brothers’ Cathedral High School in Los Angeles for five years and currently serves at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland, where he is completing his 16th year. While at O’Dowd, Marc helped establish the Core Program, which was modeled on SMC’s High Potential Program.

He is a board member for Vision of Hope, an organization that provides robust tuition assistance for students attending schools sponsored by the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose.

Carson Sprott '97

Global Gael Award

A Bay Area native, Carson was born in Berkeley and raised in San Jose, California.  Sprott entered SMC in 1993 and was a proud resident of De La Salle hall as a first-year student.  In 1997, Sprott earned a B.S. degree in industrial/organizational psychology, with a minor in communications from SMC.  

Sprott received a degree in Human Resources Management from Cornell University in 2004.  He received his law degree in 2010 from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where he graduated cum laude.  While in law school, Sprott worked as a clerk for the Honorable Judge Clare Maier. Sprott was an active duty military judge advocate (JAG) officer in the U.S. Air Force from 2010 to 2020. 

As a JAG, Sprott served mainly as both a federal prosecutor and public defender, where he took over 70 courts-martial to verdict, including litigated trials in Guam, Japan, Korea, and England.  Sprott also represented the interests of the Air Force in hearings in Iraq, Italy, and Germany. For these accomplishments, Sprott was awarded an Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, an Air Force Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters, and an Air Force Achievement Medal.

Sprott is currently an attorney in the Office of the President, University of California and resides in Pleasant Hill, CA with his wife and two sons. s