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UC Davis Magazine

Class Notes: Fall 2013

1973Jeanne DeFazio co-edited the book, Creative Ways to Build Christian Community, released this past spring by Wipf and Stock Publishers. A former actress and teacher, she holds a master’s degree in religion from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and currently is an Athanasian Teaching Scholar at the seminary’s Center for Urban Ministerial Education in Boston. She divides her time between Davis and Beverly, Mass.
    Reed Maxson recently released the music suite Evolutions in CD and MP3 formats. The suite is based on flute and guitar duets that he composed in 1975 at UC Davis’ Solano Park student apartments. His website is  Kathleen (Varner) Donnelly, M.A. ’75, died in her San Diego home in January of multiple system atrophy, a degenerative neurological disease. She worked at the UCLA and UC San Diego medical centers. 
1976Carlyn Christianson was elected to the San Luis Obispo City Council in June. She previously spent 10 years on the city and county planning commissions. She works as practice administrator for a 23-physician anesthesiology group.    Sue Schleifer authored The Key to the Castle: Zen and Travel Stories of Trust (Journeys Press, 2013), available on Amazon and Smashwords.
1978Richard Moreno wrote Myths and Mysteries of Illinois: True Stories of the Unsolved and Unexplained (Globe Pequot Publishing). It is his third book about Illinois. The former Nevada Magazine publisher has written 10 books covering the history and curiosities of Nevada. He is director of student publications and teaches journalism courses at Western Illinois University.    Sister Nancy Teskey, Ph.D., a science faculty member at Holy Names University in Oakland for 34 years, died at an Oakland care center in July. She was 70. A 49-year member of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, she received the university’s 1999 Outstanding Faculty Award.
1979Alan Busacca, M.S., Ph.D. ’82, is the new director of the Center for Enology and Viticulture at Walla Walla Community College in Walla Walla, Wash. Nicknamed “Dr. Dirt,” he spent nearly 25 years as a professor of soil science and geology at Washington State University in Pullman, Wash., before leaving in 2005 to become a winemaker and industry consultant.   Solano County Superior Court Judge Bradley Nelson, J.D., was selected by his colleagues on the bench to serve as the court’s presiding officer, beginning in January. Judge Robert Fracchia, J.D., will be assistant presiding judge.    Jack Wallace, Cred., died in his Roseville home in February. He was 82. He spent 27 years as a military police officer and Russian linguist before attending UC Davis. He taught languages in Roseville high schools for 16 years. 
1980Darrell Haynes, M.S., Ph.D. ’85, died of cancer at his Rochester, N.Y., home in July. He was 58. He worked for 22 years for Johnson & Johnson Ortho Clinical Diagnostics. 
1981Ron Lewis, a professor of animal and poultry sciences at Virginia Tech, received a university award for excellence in technology-assisted teaching. He and two colleagues developed CyberSheep, a Web-based game where players apply principles in quantitative genetics to a virtual sheep breeding cooperative. Undergraduate and graduate students from 25 universities have played the game.   John J. “JJ” Maloney, M.S., of Essex Junction, Vt., died at home in May after a lengthy illness. He was 55. He worked as an IBM engineer for 29 years.
1982Brett Stompro was featured in an article in ALIVE East Bay Magazine last December for juggling his work as a plastic surgeon with serving as an assistant varsity football coach at California High School in San Ramon. Read the story at
1985Helen (Smith) Jones won an Orlando Award from the A Room of Her Own Foundation for her flash-fiction piece, “Boardwalk 1969.” The 453-word story will be published in the fall issue of The Los Angeles Review. Jones also has an essay forthcoming in EQUUS magazine, and is working on a memoir. A resource planner, she lives in Port Orchard, Wash., with her husband, two donkeys, three cats and five hens.    Cheryl “Cheri” (O’Brien) Jones, D.V.M. ’89, of Leawood, Kan., died in June of complications of duodenal cancer. She was 50. She practiced at State Line Animal Hospital.
1986Brig. Gen. Bradley Becker is the new commanding general of the U.S. Army Training Center and Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C. He assumed command in late August. He previously served as assistant deputy director for joint training, J-7, Joint Staff, in Suffolk, Va. In addition to his bachelor’s degree from UC Davis, he holds two master’s degrees—one in political science from Auburn University in Montgomery, Ala., and the other in strategic studies from the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa. His military awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Valorous Unit Award, Combat Action Badge, Airborne Badge, Air Assault Badge, and Ranger Tab. He was deployed to Iraq three times and also served overseas in Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Storm, in Germany and in Korea. Becker and his wife, Sherri, have two sons.   Corrie Brown, Ph.D., a veterinary pathology professor at the University of Georgia, received an International Veterinary Congress Prize from the American Veterinary Medical Association in July for her work helping to improve the lives of animals and people around the world. An authority on infectious diseases of food-producing animals and emerging diseases, she has helped train veterinarians in basic field necropsy and diagnostic techniques in 30 countries. In 2003, she received the University of Georgia’s highest teaching award.
1987Jeanette Van Emon, Ph.D., a research chemist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, was recently named a fellow of the American Chemical Society for her work in immunoassay methods for environmental contaminants.   Edna Aldinger, Cred. ’89, died in July following complications of a stroke. She was 76. Born in England, she worked as a secretary for property and insurance companies for several years before going back to college. She taught in Benicia and Vallejo and was named Benicia’s 1997 Woman of the Year.