The latest news and successes of Toro alumni.
DAVE DUMAIS (BS ’83) was named chief of the Torrance Fire Department. Dumais started his career as a paramedic with the Los Angeles Fire Department in 1984, before taking the job in Torrance in 1987. His previous position with the department was deputy fire chief.
JAMES REEVES (BS ’77/MA ’88) was named vice president for business and finance at Napa Valley College. Reeves has more than 30 years of experience in education. Most recently, he was vice president for administrative services at Los Angeles City College.
ROBERT SUPPELSA (BS ’80/MBA ’81) was selected as the new vice president of administrative services for El Camino College. Suppelsa previously served in the same position at Los Angeles Harbor and West Colleges.
ANTHONY CULPEPPER (BS ’93) became Los Angeles Southwest College’s interim president. Culpepper has previously served in leadership positions at Trident University, DeVry University, Ashford University, and Glendale Community College.
KEITH KAUFFMAN (MA ’97) retired as chief of Redondo Beach Police. In his 30 years in law enforcement, Kauffman worked to change the culture of policing to allow citizens to feel that officers are part of the community. Kauffman hosted surf and skate contests in an effort to break down barriers and make police officers more approachable to citizens.
TAMMY ROBINSON (MA ’93) was selected as the new president of Mesa Community College. Robinson has 25 years of experience as a community college administrator and faculty member. Since 2018, Robinson has served as the vice president of instruction at Cañada College in Redwood City.
VONN G. SCHOPP (BS ’99) was hired as director of manufacturing for Haviland Products Company (HPC), a global manufacturer and distributor of specialty and commodity chemistry. Schopp will direct all HPC manufacturing operations in their three facilities.
KAREN BASS (BS ’90) was elected as the new mayor of Los Angeles, defeating real estate developer Rick Caruso. She becomes the city’s first woman mayor. Bass had previously served six terms as a U.S. Congressmember representing the 37th Congressional District. She was a California state assemblymember from 2004 until 2010, and became the first Black woman to serve as Speaker of any U.S. state legislature.
ROBERT FAIGIN (MPA ’08) was appointed by the Orange County Board of Supervisors as the new Executive Director of the Office of Independent Review (OIR). Faigin will lead the OIR in reviewing specific incidents that involve Orange County public agencies. Faigin previously served more than 21 years as the director of legal affairs for the San Diego County Sheriff.
DAWN GREEN (MA ’06) was sworn in as a member of the Cerritos College Board of Trustees. Green is the first Black woman to serve on the board in the college’s 67-year history. Green has more than 20 years of experience in education in a variety of roles. She currently serves as principal at Rosa Parks Elementary School in Lynwood.
SARAH HERSEY (BS ’05) joined Infinity BiologiX LLC d/b/a Sampled SMART Labs Board of Directors as its first independent director. Hersey also serves as vice president, head of translational sciences and diagnostics at Bristol Myers Squibb, where she leads a team that supported more than 20 drug approvals in a single year during the COVID-19 pandemic.
JOVAN JACOBS (MA ’05) was promoted to associate superintendent, specialized student support/SELPA for the Pasadena Unified School District. Jacobs is responsible for administering all programs and services for children with disabilities throughout the district.
MEISHA SHERMAN (MBA ’02) was appointed chief people officer at Mindbody, a leading experience technology platform for the wellness industry. Sherman previously served as vice president of global human resources for Envista Corporation, a family of more than 30 dental brands.
ITZEL MEDURI SOTO (BA ’09) was featured on OCDE Newsroom and participated in a virtual forum, “Know My Name, Face, and Story; Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.” After graduating from CSUDH, Soto pursued her MA and PhD at UC Irvine. She is currently an associate professor at Biola University.
NICOLE WESLEY (MA ’02) was elected superintendent of the Redondo Beach Unified School District (RBUSD). She previously served as the assistant superintendent of human resources at RBUSD. Wesley’s past experience includes stints as executive director of student services, principal, and assistant principal at Redondo Union High School.
ZANTINO BUSTOS (BA ’18) is living out his dream as a professional dancer. Amid rising social injustice in the country, he started Colors Only, a new venture focused on activism. Blending poetry, artwork, and erotic photography, it celebrates adult women of color of all ages, shapes, and sizes.
P’JAE COMPTON (BS ’18) was one of the stars of HBO Max’s Sweet Life: Los Angeles. The reality series focused on young Black adults who are LA natives. Compton also owns a clothing store called His & Hers, as well as runs the Lost Sound record label.
FAITH EGBUONU (BA ’14) joined Albuquerque, New Mexico’s KOAT Action 7 News team as a reporter. Prior to KOAT-TV, Egbuonu served as a news reporter and multimedia journalist in Southeast New Mexico. Egbuonu got her start in television as a camera operator, and was later promoted to floor director, where she helmed the morning and afternoon newscasts.
STEPHANIE GRANADO (BA ’12) joined The 3rd Eye, a female-led health and wellness advertising agency, as Creative Lead, Copy and Storytelling. Granado brings 10 years of professional copywriting experience, having worked with brands in industries including health care, tourism, sports, beverages, and packaged goods.
CHARDAE JENKINS (BA ’13) was named one of the 124 Black Women in Hollywood to Know by Essence magazine. Jenkins serves as the manager of multicultural publicity at Netflix. Jenkins has worked with many of Hollywood’s top film studios, including Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. Screen Gems, and Annapurna.
MARK LORENZEN (MPA ’10) was appointed as the fire chief of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District. Prior to his appointment, Lorenzen retired from the Ventura County Fire Department after a 30-year career.
ISAAC OSAE-BROWN (MA ’14) wrote the children’s book My Name Is Zuma: A Story About Autism. Osae-Brown is an education specialist teaching at Wilson High School in Long Beach, and wrote the book with the goal of helping people of all ages understand autism.
DIANNE SAUCO (BS ’12) wrote the children’s book My Name Is Zuma: A Story About Autism. Osae-Brown is an education specialist teaching at Wilson High School in Long Beach, Calif., and wrote the book with the goal of helping people of all ages understand autism.
LITA SHON-ROY (MBA ’18) is the President/CEO and Founder of TECHCET. Shon-Roy has worked throughout the semiconductor supply chain at various levels leading strategy, business development, marketing, and sales for chip designers, equipment OEMs, and electronics material suppliers for over 30 years.
KATHERINE CLEMENTS (BA ’21) was named editor for The Log, a news source for the California fishing and boating industry. She worked for the newspaper for over a year before becoming editor, providing entertaining features to readers.
ANDREW JOSEPH ZARAGOZA JR. (BA ’20) published XI: A Collection of Poetry on Being Human, a book filled with themes of love and relationships, hardship, perseverance, grit, wonder, and humanity. Born and raised in Southern California, Zaragoza is a mental health advocate.
KHALEAH BRADSHAW (BA ’10/MA ’12) won reelection to the office of city clerk for the City of Carson. In her previous role, she served as the director of local government and community relations at CSUDH. She is responsible for overseeing a number of responsibilities within her office, including conducting municipal elections, posting and publishing public notices, and managing official city records.
Brian Bates (MPA ’15) passed away in March 2022. Bates served San Jose State (SJSU) for 15 years in leadership roles in alumni relations, annual giving, and special events, ending his tenure as Associate Vice President for Alumni & Community Engagement. He was a member of the CSU Alumni Council board of directors for over ten years. He had recently concluded his tenure at SJSU and started a new position as System Director of Philanthropy Communications & Engagement at CommonSpirit Health.
Frederic Einar Bloomquist (BA ’07) died on August 19, 2020. A library clerk and bookbinder by trade, Bloomquist worked at both the Rand Corporation’s research and Loyola Law School libraries. A jazz aficionado and self-taught musician, Bloomquist enjoyed playing piano and was blessed with a silky singing voice. His taste in music was broad, ranging from jazz artists like Horace Silver and Charles Mingus to The English Beat.
Patricia Brown (MA ’71) passed away on August 5, 2020, just days after celebrating her 86th birthday with her family. While raising four children, she received her master’s in English from CSUDH. She chose teaching as her career, and taught English and ESL throughout her life. She loved doing genealogy research and traveled a great deal to pursue it, spending hours combing through archives and cemeteries. She was able to trace her family’s roots back to the early 1700s abroad.
Phillip John Fernandez, lovingly nicknamed “Buzzy,” grew up in Bakersfield, Calif. While at CSUDH pursuing a degree in sociology, he worked at the Loker Student Union and was an active member of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity (TKE). He loved to cook and would often feed the homeless and help others in need. He worked at Rio Counseling Center in Bakersfield, where he helped people work through their traumas.
Lois Feuer, former CSUDH English professor, passed away on March 5, 2022. Lois began at CSUDH as a faculty member in 1972, later joining the English Department, where she taught Shakespeare and early British Literature. She officially retired in 2008. Feuer remained an active scholar throughout her career, publishing pieces on MacBeth, Hamlet, and The Tempest. She participated in archaeology research with her husband Bryan, and they spent many summers travelling to sites in Greece.
Clarence Gilyard Jr. (BA ’89) passed away after a long illness on Nov. 28, 2022. An actor, author, and professor, he was best known for long-running roles on the television series Matlock and Walker, Texas Ranger. Gilyard had small roles in a few iconic films of the 1980s, including Top Gun and Die Hard. At the time of his death, Gilyard was serving as an associate professor in the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ Department of Theatre.
Brenda Knepper (BA ’09), former CSUDH director of communications and public affairs, passed away on August 24, 2020. She was a Toro through and through: someone who didn’t give up easily and remained strong and determined until the end. In her time at CSUDH, she led the re-launch of the university’s alumni magazine, the establishment of the university’s social media presence, and the expansion of visual and content branding strategies. After her retirement in 2016, Knepper returned to CSUDH as an adjunct member in the Department of Art and Design.
Donald A. MacPhee passed away in December 2022. MacPhee joined CSUDH in 1964 as a member of the History Department faculty, and he was the founding dean of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences. From 1978 to 1985, MacPhee was CSUDH’s chief academic officer, serving as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. In 1985 MacPhee left CSUDH to be president at the State University of New York at Fredonia, a position he held until 1996.
Sally Friday Martz (BA ’90) passed away on June 22, 2020. After raising her four children, she volunteered at Trinity Care Hospice. In addition to hospice work, she led bereavement groups, was in charge of the bereavement ministry, and served as a eucharistic minister at St. Lawrence Martyr Catholic Church. She continually came to the aid of people suffering from homelessness, poverty, and mental or physical illness. Martz enjoyed travelling with her husband and her life-long friends.
Terri Louise Murray (BA ’80) passed away in February 2022. Murray began her career working in a children’s hospital, then operated a shelter for runaway teens, eventually becoming the director of a crisis pregnancy center—a position she loved with all her heart. Murray wed her husband of 30 years after a blind date and they had two daughters together.
Rudolph Vanterpool passed away on Feb. 6, 2022. Vanterpool began teaching at CSUDH in 1976 and stayed for the rest of his career. He was a vital member and chair of the Philosophy Department, and he received the Outstanding Professor Award in 1999. Vanterpool made an immense impact and contribution to the Department of Africana Studies, serving as Acting Chair from 2010-2012 and again from 2014-2017. Vanterpool worked tirelessly to advance the university mission and success of Toro students.
Josephine Zarro (Née DePasquale) (BA ‘71/MA ’74) passed away in February 2022. Zarro taught thousands of high school students during her lengthy teaching career, most notably at Banning, Compton, and Manual Arts high schools. She also mentored dozens of colleagues as a most distinguished educator in Southern California for 45 years. Zarro leaves behind a legacy of inspiration and hope.
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