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UC Davis Magazine

Class Notes: Fall 2011

1988Leslie McCauley, M.F.A., is chair/artistic director of the theater arts department at Santa Rosa Junior College. Among her recent honors are a 2010 Excellence in Education award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development, a 2009 Elizabeth Carlson Award for contributions to the awareness of women’s history and selection in 2008 as Santa Rosa Junior College’s Tauzer Lecturer. In 2004, she taught in London for the school’s study abroad program. In January, she will begin sabbatical studies of classical Indian dance theater in Kerala, India. The Hispanic Neuropsychological Society featured Yvette Tazeau as its August Member of the Month, posting a Q&A on its website She runs a psychotherapy practice in San José. Her research interests include brain development and cultural differences, and she is currently writing a textbook about dementia in the Hispanic population.
1989Trudy Milburn is co-author of a new book, Citizen Discourse on Contaminated Water, Superfund Cleanups, and Landscape Restoration: (Re) Making Milltown, Montana (Cambria Press, 2011). She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.
1990Tom Stohlgren, Ph.D., recently wrote Off Switch (CreateSpace 2011), a novel about a man who attempts to overcome binge drinking to save his family. Stohlgren is a research ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey and at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo. He lives in Windsor, Colo., with his wife and daughter.
1992Scott Carney was recently appointed director of administration for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. He previously served as the associate secretary for the Office of Legislative Affairs at the California Health and Human Services Agency. He and his wife, Laurie (Dunn) , live in Davis with their two daughters.    Laura Engelken was ordained in May as a reverend in the United Church of Christ. She is the current director of spiritual and religious life at Mills College, and previously worked in student affairs at the University of Vermont and UC Santa Cruz. In 2008, she received a Master of Divinity at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. During 2005–06, her field study internship was spent working with UC Davis undergraduates involved with the Cal Aggie Christian Association’s CA House.    Brian Ebbert has been certified as a registered parliamentarian by the National Association of Parliamentarians. He received a near-perfect score, missing only one question on a 1,200-question exam. A legislative staffer for more than 20 years, Ebbert is the assistant chief clerk/assistant parliamentarian of the California Assembly.    Matthew Kennedy, M.A., was named Honors Faculty of the Year by the Bay Consortium of Honors Program Coordinators for “outstanding contributions to honors students education and program development.” He received the award at the Northern California Community College Honors Symposium held at Stanford University in May. He has taught anthropology at City College of San Francisco since 1994. In May, David Miramontes was appointed medical director for the Washington, D.C., Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department. He previously worked as an emergency physician, faculty member and emergency department director at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, a Level 1 trauma/burn center in Toledo, Ohio.    Debora Varon, M.S., Ph.D. ’94, founded Izzy’s Chocolate in Baltimore, Md., where she makes chocolate-dipped fruit clusters inspired by her Peruvian roots and her experience as a scientist. Her preservative-free and gluten-free products are currently selling at Whole Foods Market, The Fresh Market and other stores in the Baltimore-Washington metro area, as well as online at
1993Kristie Callahan Gill, Jennifer Miller ’04 and Marie Masson ’05 are attending the Boston School of Fashion Design. Miller was awarded a scholarship for her dedication to the school, and Masson received a scholarship for her efforts in this year’s fashion show.    Jody Gookin, D.V.M., received a 2011 Excellence in Feline Research Award this summer from the American Veterinary Medical Foundation and the Winn Feline Foundation for her studies of intestinal infections in cats. She is an associate professor at North Carolina College of Veterinary Medicine.    Curt Yagi is a featured musical artist on San Francisco radio station KFOG Local Scene 8 CD. His second album, Close My Eyes, has received praise from rock journalist Ben Fong-Torres and the San Francisco Chronicle. Yagi’s day job is working as executive director of the San Francisco-based nonprofit Real Options for City Kids, a position he has held for eight years. His website is
1995Dan Brook, M.A., Ph.D. ’97, has two new e-books—Che Forever, a poetic sketch, and An Alef-Bet Kabalah, on Jewish mysticism. More information is at He also authored the hardcopy Modern Revolution (University Press of America, 2005), focusing on the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, and co-authored Understanding Sociology (Horizon Textbook Publishing, 2007).    Anne Goodchild was recently featured on the blog Bicycle Club Cascade,, for her bike commute with kids. She is an assistant professor of civil engineering at the University of Washington. She and her husband, Bill Cahill ’88, have two children.
1997Tirza True Latimer, M.A., co-authored Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories (University of California Press, 2011), a companion book to an exhibition at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. Latimer is an associate professor for the California College of Arts Departments of Fine Arts and Visual and Critical Studies. She also wrote Women Together/Women Apart: Portraits of Lesbian Paris (Rutgers University Press, 2005).    Michelle McCliman, J.D., founded the McCliman Law Firm, an intellectual property, employment and business law practice in Orange County.
1998Eileen Herrmann-Miller, Ph.D., co-edited a collection of essays, Eugene O’Neill and His Early Contemporaries: Bohemians, Radicals, Progressives and the Avant Garde (McFarland Press, 2011). She teaches courses at Dominican University of California in Oakland.
1999Crystal Martin received the 2011 Rookie of the Year Award from the American Association of Political Consultants at a conference in Washington, D.C., in March. In 2010, she launched her company, mailPOW, which produces cards with sound modules for political and nonprofit clients. Her company has been featured in the New York Times, and the Boston Herald. In April, Inc. Magazine featured mailPOW as a “Big Idea.”
2001Miriam Nuñez earned an associate degree in advanced health and fitness training from Bryan College, Sacramento, in June. She is now working as a personal trainer.    Ardie Zahedani and his wife, Lauren, welcomed their second child in April. Ryan was born in Folsom and joins big brother, Kian Matthieu.
2002Craig Wheelock, Ph.D., was selected by the UC Davis Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry Graduate Group to present its 2010–11 alumni lecture. An associate professor at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, he spoke in May on “Agrochemicals to Atherosclerosis.”