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UC Davis Magazine

Class Notes: Fall 2013

1999Arlene Arsitio was recently certified by the National Registry of Certified Microbiologists as a specialist microbiologist in pharmaceutical and medical device microbiology. She works as a manager at WuXi AppTec in Marietta, Ga.
2000Brooke Humphrey, M.S., Ph.D. ’04, has been named global technology director for pork at Cargill’s innovation campus in Elk River, Minn. Humphrey joined the Minneapolis-based agribusiness in 2010, after seven years teaching and researching animal science at the University of Maryland and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
2001A second story collection by Jodi Angel, M.A. ’03, You Only Get Letters from Jail (Tin House Books) was released this summer to widespread critical praise. Her work has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes and appeared in Esquire magazine and literary journals. She teaches writing at Sacramento City College.   Eric Brocales and Rodelia Busalpa were married in July at a St. Helena winery. They had met as students in Professor Michael Denison’s “Environmental Toxicology 101” class, but went their separate ways after graduating. They reconnected in 2006 and were engaged in 2011. Eric works as an industrial hygenist for CalEPA’s Department of Toxic Substances Control in Berkeley. Rodelia is an emergency room nurse practitioner at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center in San Francisco.   Brandon Takahashi, an employment attorney in the Los Angeles office of Jackson Lewis law firm, was recently named to the Lawyers of Color’s inaugural Hot List of rising young attorneys. A story on his selection appeared on the front page of the Rafu Shimpo Los Angeles Japanese newspaper in August.   Larkin Patrick O’Sullivan was born in May, joining big brother Jack and proud parents J.T. O’Sullivan and Laura Galdorisi O’Sullivan. J.T. has retired from professional football and is pursuing a Ph.D. in leadership studies at the University of San Diego. The family lives in Coronado, and hopes to introduce Larkin to UC Davis and Aggie football this fall.
2002Mark Palmerston, Cred. ’03, has been named executive director of Santa Ynez Valley Charter School. He previously served as assistant director of Family Partnership Charter School in Santa Maria. He also is a doctoral candidate in educational leadership at California Lutheran University.
2003Gregory Thurston, after working three years as an electrical engineer at Boeing Satellite Systems, enrolled in UCLA’s School of Dentistry. He graduated in 2012, practices in Los Angeles and teaches part time at the UCLA dental school.   A new novel by Molly Winter, M.A., Persephone’s Orchard, written under her pen name Molly Ringle, was released in paperback and ebook by Central Avenue Publishing in June. A reworking of the Greek myth of Persephone and Hades, it is her fifth full-length novel. A Seattle resident, she won the grand prize in the 2010 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for an intentionally bad opening sentence. Read more about her books at and follow her blog at
2004Emilie Cameron joined Sacramento-based 3fold Communications as a senior public relations manager this summer. She previously worked for Lucas Public Affairs and the Northern California Division of Safeway.   Michael Kurland recently completed his Doctor of Education degree in educational psychology and leadership at the University of Southern California. This summer, he launched a Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $10,000 for publishing his new children’s book, The Peach Twins, an updated version of the Japanese Momotaro, or Peach Boy, folktale.
2005Becca Fielding-Miller, a public health doctoral student at Emory University, has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarship to study in Swaziland this academic year. She will be doing research for her dissertation on transactional sex and HIV risk. She previously lived in Swaziland while earning her master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University. As a Peace Corps volunteer during 2006–08, she lived in a South African village.   Eva Gillham, of Sioux Falls, S.D., was recently certified as a consultant by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. She is the assistant director of research and analytics at Educational Services of America, where she researches best practices in alternative and special education for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. She received her master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Idaho.   Bobeck Modjtahedi, M.D. ’09, finished an ophthalmology residency at UC Davis in June and received a $10,000 fellowship from the Heed Ophthalmic Foundation to continue his postgraduate training in retina surgery at Massachusetts Eye and Ear, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital in Boston. 
2006Peter Vu recently joined the Sacramento firm Ellis Law Group as an associate attorney. His focus is business, commercial and creditors’ rights litigation. He previously practiced at the Stone Law Firm in Santa Ana and The Law Offices of Nick Alden in Beverly Hills.
2007Antony Hayes received his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee in May, then began a residency at Milwaukee’s Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare–St. Joseph Hospital. He will begin a radiology residency in July 2014 at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa.   After completing postdoctoral research positions in The Netherlands and South Korea, Edward Kim, M.A., Ph.D. ’10, joined the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse this fall as an assistant professor in mathematics. 
2009Andrew Barkett, MBA, received widespread media coverage after his selection this past June as the Republican National Committee’s first-ever chief technology officer. A former Facebook engineer, he was named by the multimedia Politico journalism organization as one of “50 politicos to watch.” His hiring was also reported in Huffington Post and The Washington Post. The UC Davis Graduate School of Management also posted an interview with Barkett this spring ( after he pledged $50,000 over five years to strengthen its Big Bang! business plan competition.   Baja California shark research and preservation efforts of Taylor Chapple, Ph.D., James Ketchum, Ph.D. ’11, and UC Davis’ “Dr. Hammerhead” marine biologist Peter Klimley were featured in the cover story of Discover magazine’s June issue. The article, “Desperately Seeking Sharks,” described Chapple as “one of the shark world’s rising stars.” He is a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station. Ketchum co-directs a nonprofit research organization, Pelagios Kakunjá, that is tracking sharks and other migrating marine species in the Mexican Pacific. Ketchum, Klimley and former colleague Alex Hearn also appeared in a number of episodes of National Geographic’s 2010–12 documentary TV series Shark Men.   Eight days after June commencement, Loreto Godoy, M.P.V.M, Ph.D. ’13, died in a car crash that also killed her mother- and father-in-law, and injured her husband, Fernando Mardones, M.P.V.M ’09, Ph.D. ’13, and their two children. She was 32.