Gael Glimpses, Winter 2012

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Chris Stevens ML retired as a lieutenant and division commander from the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office last July and has formed Summit Solutions Consulting LLC. Chris is combining his 23 years of law enforcement and management experience with the knowledge gained through the SMC graduate Leadership program to offer services in HR, strategic planning, organizational change and workplace violence mitigation and other areas.


[1] After graduating from the Teachers for Tomorrow program at Saint Mary’s, Cassidy Gunter joined the Peace Corps. She lived in a small Kriol village of about 150 people in Belize and worked as a primary school teacher trainer and English teacher. Gunter (shown with students) is now back in the States and living in Walnut Creek, continuing her work as an educator.

Kathryn Morgan EMBA.
Kathryn Morgan has been appointed sales and marketing manager at ASL Pharmacy. Kathryn’s most recent experience was at Clipper Windpower, Inc., where she was a communication specialist and project manager, and Medtronic, where she was in franchise marketing.


[2] Molly Bergeson met her husband, Patrick O’Bryant, in 2004 while attending Bradley University. Molly transferred to SMC in 2006 and graduated in 2008 with a degree in Kinesiology. The couple were married on July 29, 2011, on Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman Island. Megan Galloway ’08 was a bridesmaid in the wedding. Patrick and Molly currently call Las Vegas their home but continue to travel for Patrick’s job. Molly owns an eyelash extension company in Las Vegas.

[3] Nathan Garcia was married on Oct. 29, 2011, in historic San Antonio, Texas. It was a wonderful day for many blessed reasons, but especially so because his closest friends and fellow Gaels traveled from both ends of the country to witness him exchange vows and to take part in the ceremony. They shared love, laughter and tears of joy. It was a testament to the wonder of their alma mater! (Left to right: Robert Unzueta ’07, Michael Antonopoulos ’09, Theresa Garcia (beautiful bride), Laura Ayala ’08 (best friend), Francesca Parodi (graduating in 2012) and Scott Cullinane ’09.)

[4] Megan (McAlpin) Sanchez was married on Oct. 1, 2011, in a vineyard in Paso Robles, Calif. Numerous Gaels were in attendance, including maid of honor Melissa MacDonald, Jessica McDonald ME ’10, groomsman Jarod Handel ‘07 and Dan Anderson’07. Megan is already discussing Saint Mary’s with her 9-year-old stepdaughter as a top choice for college. They reside in Morro Bay, Calif.

[5] Katie (Wackowski) and Ryan Gummow were married on July 9, 2011. The party wouldn’t stop because along with them were their closest Gaels, including Alex Oetken ME ’09 ECR ’09, Christy Miric, Lindsay Short ECR ’09 ME ’10, Marc Kaiser, PJ Hainley ME ECR ’09 and Steve Wackowski ‘05!


[6] Jeff Karlton (shown with SF Giants player Barry Zito) has been a proud uncle for almost two years now. He received his commission as an Army Reserve second lieutenant on Nov. 29,2010, and is attending training in San Antonio, Texas.

[7] Jonathan Danzl were married on Sept. 24 to his longtime girlfriend, Sarah Noe. The couple lives in Boulder, Colo. Jon is a business intelligence analyst in Broomfield, Colo.


[8] Jessica (Fajardo) married Benjamin W. Griswold on Aug. 6, 2011, at Saint Mary’s Chapel. They were surrounded by family and friends. Shown are Jessica Fajardo, Fabiola Martinez ‘06, Kassie Zipay ‘06, Adriana Martinez ‘06, Jasmine Fajardo and Julia Fajardo (sisters of the bride).

Jake Murray joins HFS Consultants as a consultant in reimbursement practice. Murray joins the company from Toyon Associates, where he held a similar role. After receiving a B.S. in Business Administration from Saint Mary’s, he earned an MBA with a concentration in finance from California State University, East Bay.

Nicole Ward and Keith Nielsen were married on Dec. 3, 2011, in Sacramento. The ceremony took place at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, with a reception following at Serrano Country Club in El Dorado Hills. Nicole sells advertising for a travel magazine and Keith is an officer with the California Highway Patrol. The couple lives in Silicon Valley. Jessica Larson ’05 served as the maid of honor.


Denny Bulcao has worked in Austin, Texas, as a senior web writer for PayPal/eBay and now works for MetLife in Warwick, R.I. He anxiously awaits another season of SMC basketball. Shameless plug: He also freelances via his website, Snoopy says hi and Go Gaels!

[9] Kelli (Cook) and Ryan Mahoney ’06 were blessed with their second daughter, Emily Faye Mahoney, on May 29, 2011. Now her sister McKayla, who is 2 1/2 years old, has a playmate!

[10] Jennifer Merlo is engaged to Byran Schleicher. The two reside in Arizona, where Jennifer continues to pursue her insurance career with Travelers Insurance. Byran is a U.S. Border Patrol agent. Jen and Byran will be married in Southern California in August 2012.

[11] Jessica Porras married Katie Walrod of Richmond, Va., on May 15, 2011, in Washington, D.C. Her maid of honor was fellow SMC grad Jennifer Merlo. The couple honeymooned in Riviera Maya, Mexico. Jessica is working at Georgetown Law School in the Dean of Students office, and Katie works at George Washington University in Student Affairs. They happily reside in Arlington, Va.

[12] Stephanie Sandbergen MS, along with husband Mark, daughter Lulu and son Alek, spent half of July on a cruise to Alaska and Victoria, sailing from San Francisco. Highlights included learning about the Tlingit clan in Juneau, the lumberjack show in Ketchikan (the salmon capital of the world), riding on the White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad, and walking on the Mendelhall Glacier. Professionally, Stephanie ended an internship at Hope Hospice in Dublin but continues to volunteer at this wonderful nonprofit.

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[13] Katie (Bannister) MA ’08 and Neal McSherry ’02 welcomed Reece William McSherry on Oct. 26, 2011! Katie continues to teach first grade in Lafayette, and Neal began a new job at Stub Hub in San Francisco this summer.


[14] Joseph Morstad completed his first sprint triathlon on September 11 at TriRock San Diego. For 16 weeks, he trained and helped mentor with the San Diego chapter of Team Challenge, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s endurance training and fundraising program, which helps to find a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Joseph was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis 2008. Since then, he has started his own training business and website, Strength and Nutrition, providing fitness and nutritional coaching to fitness enthusiasts and those living with IBD. He enjoys living a healthy and happy lifestyle in San Diego and is looking forward to his next triathlon.

[15] Lesley (McPherson) Luppino and husband Nick Luppino ’02 announced the birth of their second child, Nickolas, in May 2011. Older sister Sophia, 2, is thrilled to have a baby brother.


[16] Clara (Hagemann) Elliott and her husband, Kevin, just adopted a son, Elijah. Clara is already reading him the classics, getting him ready for Seminar classes. Elijah is a Gael in the making!

Jason Murray announces that he has been promoted to sports editor at the Syracuse Post-Standard, where he has worked since 2003. He served previously as an assistant sports editor and copy editor. After SMC, he earned a master’s degree from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in 2003. He lives in Camillus, N.Y. with his wife, Candace, and their 8-year-old daughter.


[17] Christine (Lander) married Mark Ventrella on July 16, 2011 in at the George Key Ranch in Placentia, Calif. Gaels in attendance were Ravi Kolla, Josie (Trujillo) Elliott, and Jennifer (Portier) Wolf. The couple lives in Yorba Linda, Calif. and is expecting a son in April 2012.

[18] Lauren Lovett announces her engagement to Brendan Illingworth. She works at Berkeley High School as an inclusion specialist. Brendan graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 2002 with a major in mathematics and works as an electrical engineer at SCI in Livermore, Calif. The wedding will be in Monterey, Calif., on Aug. 10, 2012. The couple plans to reside in Livermore.


[19] Amy (Bell) Archer and husband, Ted, and big brother Nathan welcomed Eli Theodore on July 30, 2011. Eli was 8 pounds, 7 ounces and 20.5 inches long.


[20] Joe and Candace (O’Connell) Halsell have had an exciting year. Joe has been busy opening a new division of his construction company, Re+New Restoration, which specializes in fire and flood restoration service, while Candace is holding down the fort at home with their four kids: Nathan, 11: Rylie, 7; Logan, 6; and their newest addition, Eli, 18 months. They would love to hear from any Gaels who live near the Central Coast.

[21] Kate (Leary) and Drew Wheatley welcomed their second daughter, Alice Margaret Wheatley, on April 7, 2011. 

Julie (Schick) and Andrew Costantino welcomed their third son, Marco James, on May 27. He is adored by big brothers Anthony, 5, and Dominic, 2. Andrew

has been working at Lockheed Martin since graduating from SMC, and Julie will be taking this school year off from her teaching job to stay home with the boys. The Costantinos live in San Mateo, Calif.

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[22] Mechelle (McCarthy) Zorio and her husband, Andrew, welcomed their second child, Ethan James Zorio, on June 20, 2011. Ethan was 10 pounds, 6 ounces and 21 inches long. Big brother Nicholas is very excited and enjoying getting to help in the care of his brother.

[23] Michael Scammon married Susan Dituri in front of family and friends on Sept. 11, 2011 in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. The couple, shown with son Dallas, recently purchased and moved into a new home in Lincoln, Calif. Michael is the collections manager at JPMorgan Chase in Roseville, Calif., where he has been since 2004.


[24] Kathryne (Maffey) Gillett and her husband, Troy, had their sixth child in December 2010. They keep busy with family, their construction business and community activities. Their 15th reunion last summer was fun but they missed seeing a lot of classmates! Las Vegas treats them well and they get to see fellow classmates quite often!

Aaron Nelson’s original graphic novel, “Marlow,” is set to be published in February through Arcana Studio and will be available through and comic book shops everywhere.


[25] Kara (Sevey) Burrell celebrated her parents’ 50th wedding anniversary with siblings Jim Sevey ’91, Jeff Sevey ’87, Jack Sevey ’84 and Kristin Sevey ’89.

John Coleman ML ’08 just graduated from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business with a Global Executive MBA. His studies took him to England, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, India, China and Singapore. John is director of sales operations for a publicly held healthcare company and lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Chaun, and three kids, Jailyn, Joshua and Jakob.


[26] On Aug. 30, 2011, Joshua Martin and his wife, Christy, introduced their second daughter, Sloane Harper, to the world. Four-year-old big sister Cricket (Morgan) is very excited to have a real sister instead of a doll to play with!


[27] Lisa DeBartolo and her husband, Don, had another baby boy. Jasper George DeBartolo Miggs was born on May 5, 2011. He was 5 pounds, 1 ounce and 18 inches long.


After receiving his MBA, Kevin Boldt spent the next 15 years building a successful career in real estate investment and development. During this time he facilitated the sale of over $125 million in properties, built over 400 homes and developed a number of commercial sites. In 2005 Kevin became a widowed father of his 2- and 5-year-old children. He has focused his attention since then as primary caregiver to Isabella and Christian and is in the preliminary stages of career resurgence.


[28] Allen Hamilton EE has settled down with his perfect lady, Peggy Jane, in Palm Desert, Calif. She is his dream and guess how they met? On the Internet. He works as an energy consultant, saving businesses from 11 to 47 percent off current usage and costs. He has traveled all over the U.S. and some countries abroad. He now conducts his business from Indian Palms Country Club and Community in Indio, Calif. From this location he can do business all over the U.S. and even in a few Countries overseas. He has so many friends in Northern and Southern California and Kansas City and maintains contact with them all by Internet, telephone and an occasional visit. He will never forget his experiences at Saint Mary’s and has always appreciated his relationships and schooling received at this fine institution.


[29] Catherine (Esnard) Owens and her husband, Mark, with five of their six children, have moved from Austin, Texas, to Whitefish, Montana, on a temporary job assignment with Mark’s employer, Applied Materials. They enjoy living on the lake in Whitefish with all the lake activities. The winter holds lots of fun for the family, like snowboarding and skiing, as they live eight minutes from the Big Mountain Ski Resort. Their oldest, Paul, is a proud member of the fighting Texas A&M Corps of Cadets, class of 2015.

[30] Gene Smith announces that he just released a CD entitled “You Were Born To Shine.” It combines spiritual lyrics with country music. All the songs were written by Gene, and the project was recorded in Nashville, Tenn. Go to to check it out.

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Colleen (Condon) Marquez found her dream job in January 2011 at Bethany Christian Services as director of Outreach & Development for the Bay Area. (, Bethany offers personalized pregnancy counseling, help with parenting plans, a maternal home and, if desired, help to develop an adoption plan. Colleen recently helped to open Bethany’s new SF Bay Area satellite office in Pleasant Hill and is involved in raising awareness and capital to serve the Bay Area, from Santa Rosa to Monterey. As a grateful mom of two beautiful children that she and her husband adopted from birth, 16 and 8 years ago, Colleen passionately believes every child should have the chance for life and a loving family. Prior to Bethany, Colleen ran her own successful executive search services company, Marquez TeleSearch, for more than 20 years, She and Mickey Marquez ’79 also serve as property managers and fourth-generation family partners for The Ranch House at Garzas Creek — Carmel Valley’s “Little Ahwahnee” — offering rustic luxury vacation rental. (www. They have been married for 22 years.

Margaret (Dempsey) Nelson taught for the last 14 years at Title 1 (inner-city) schools in Fresno, Calif. Once, a colleague asked her about her teaching techniques, and she was able to reply that SMC Seminar-style education definitely had some impact. Now living in Boise, she enjoys riding her bike on the Oregon Trail with her family and other outdoor activities in Idaho.


[31] Geordie Hawkins, Dennis Tiernan, Tom Calloway, Mike Scully and Mark Murray took the trip of a lifetime, spending three weeks in New Zealand, celebrating their 50th birthdays, attending the Rugby World Cup and enjoying the sights of the homeland of their beloved rugby coach at Saint Mary’s, the late Pat Vincent. In the photo (left to right) are, Dennis Tiernan, Geordie Hawkins, Tom Calloway, Mike Scully and Mark Murray, all class of 1983, in front of the newly opened Otago Stadium in Dunedin prior to the England vs. Argentina Rugby World Cup game.


[32] Stephen Drisdale (shown with Jim Plunkett, who won two Super Bowl championships) is living in the Hayward hills, Bay Area. Lauren Drisdale recently graduated from LSU with a B.S. in Business and Mass Communications, and is working for Wells Fargo as a business analysis in our middlemarket business lending department.


[33] Michael Faltermeier CPA retired July 1 after a 35-year career with the Federal Aviation Administration. Mike served in several managerial capacities during his career, including manager of the Midwest Accounting Division and more recently manager of Central Regions Airport Planning and Development. Mike and Cindy have been married for 29 years and have two children, Alex, 23, and Molly, 20. Mike and Cindy live in Overland Park, Kan.


[34] James Murphy, a founding member of Murphy, Pearson, Bradley & Feeney PC, has been recognized by the California State Bar of Legal Specialization as a certified specialist in legal malpractice law. Murphy’s practice emphasizes professional liability, including representation of lawyers in malpractice cases nationwide and judges in disciplinary proceedings before the California Commission on Judicial Performance, as well as general products liability litigation. He is a certified specialist in legal malpractice by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys and chair of the State Bar of California Board of Specialization Legal Malpractice Consulting Group. Murphy is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, American Board of Trial Advocates and National Board of Trial Advocates. He earned his J.D. from the University of California, Davis (1974), and his B.S. from Saint Mary’s. 


George Watters writes: It would be great to fill you in on much of what has happened with me in the last 44 years. Suffice it to say that I have a wonderful wife, great children throughout the world and many long-standing friends. I have been an inventor for over 40 years. I have a few inventions used internationally and a few U.S. patents and another one pending. I learned part of the skills for that while at SMC. Now I occasionally speak at schools about innovation and the ability to think outside the box. I encourage children to learn the basics but innovate and defend. It is fulfilling to me to remember and cherish my liberal arts education at SMC.


[35] George Clark received the Salesian Award at graduation ceremonies in June at Saint Mary’s High School in Stockton, Calif. The award, named after Saint Francis de Sales, is given annually to an individual in Stockton who has been of service to the Church and the local community. Clark has also been awarded the Bronze Star in Vietnam and the Signum Fidei Award by Saint Mary’s College in 2006.

Vincent De Vargas was recently elected vice chairman of the Orange County Human Relations Commission. Vince was appointed to the commission by Chairman of the County Board of Supervisors Bill Campbell in 2008. The commission is charged with creating safe and inclusive communities, developing diverse leaders, mediating conflict and building understanding and respect in Orange County. Vince is a retired insurance broker.


Dr. Don Puppione has discovered a gene thought to have been inactive for 40 million years. Interested scientists among the alumni may want to go online to check his recent seminar entitled “How comparative proteogenomic studies resulted in the discovery of a gene.” Public/Show.aspx?ChannelID=1&ShowID=771 (The lecture begins at the five-minute mark 31 in this video.)

Degree Key

ECR Education Credential 
EdD Doctor of Education
EE Extended Education
EMBA Executive MBA
HON Honorary
MBA Graduate Business
MC Counseling
ME Graduate Education
MFA Fine Arts
ML Leadership
MLS Liberal Studies
MS Science
N Nursing
P Paralegal Certificate