Class Notes

Fall-Winter 2014


DONALD GRANT, PsyD, was a guest on Access Hollywood as part of an ongoing parenting series to talk about the challenges today’s fathers face.

JUDY HO, PhD, provided parents insight into some of the warning signs of potentially unstable teens, after an alleged plan to kill staff and students at South Pasadena High School was discovered and foiled.

DARYL ROWE, PhD, spoke at the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi) International Convention in July. Rowe serves as the organization’s president.

JUNE SCHMIEDER-RAMIREZ, PhD, along with EdD in Organizational Leadership student Latrissa Neiworth, virtually presented their study on EdD students and their ability to find employment at the sixth annual International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, EDULEARN14, which took place in Barcelona, Spain. The study was also accepted for publication.

PAUL SPARKS, PhD, presented at the International Society for Technology in Education (ITSE) annual conference in Atlanta, Georgia, in June. His session was titled “Think Different: Computational Thinking and the Maker Revolution.”

STEVEN SULTANOFF, PhD, discussed the links between humor, depression, and psychology on KCBS in light of the death of Robin Williams.



SHAWN ANDREWS (MBA ’96, EdD ’13) launched her website, which includes updates on her leadership, emotional intelligence and gender research, blogs, newsletters, and published articles.

DEREK PELLAND (MA ’13) works in Geneva, Switzerland, as a leadership consultant at an international school, while also consulting for several education-based NGOs. He helped launch a global social media platform called


LISA FEARS HACKETT (EdD ’12) presented at the California Council of Adult Educators (CCAE) conference on April 25 about the barriers that still exist for African American and Latino students in 2014 and on transitioning pathways from adult school to higher education.

ANTHONY M. BERTRAM (MA ’12) booked a role in the ABC-TV pilot The Winklers, a family comedy from Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal. Bertram has also been featured in the MTV pilot for Faking It as Frank, and in a Las Vegas Convention Center commercial.

ZACHARY ULRICH (MA ’12, JD ’13, MDR ’13) completed his JD at the Pepperdine University School of Law, where he also earned his master of dispute resolution.


CHARLES MICHAEL “CHAZ” AUSTIN (EdD ’11) presented his paper “Transforming How Career Training Is Delivered in Higher Education,” at the Global Conference on Education in Riverside, California.

OSCAR MENJIVAR (MA ’11) and his company URBAN TxT received the Google RISE Award. The RISE Award is given to organizations around the world whose mission is to cultivate a new generation of computer scientists. URBAN TxT was chosen because of its work molding inner Los Angeles teenage males into technology entrepreneurs.

LEAH WEINER (EdD ’11) and JAYA BHUMITRA (MA ’10) were named as 2014-2015 New Leaders Council (NLC) Los Angeles Governing Board Members. NLC Los Angeles, provides emerging leaders with training, mentoring, networking, and job placement opportunities that equip them to be civic leaders, not only for elective office, but also in their communities and workplaces.


MICHAEL MORTENSEN (MA ’10) was ranked number 16 on the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Top Security Brokers list.


PAUL REYNOLDS’ (MA ’06) company, FableVision, created an online resource for teachers called to help celebrate courage, creativity, and collaboration with millions around the world and celebrated International Dot Day on September 15.

JANET ROBINSON (EdD ’06) was listed in the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Top MBA Programs list as a top administrator for her work at Mount St. Mary’s College.


CHRISTIAN GREER (MA ’05) was named the chief education and programs officer at the St. Louis Science Center (SLSC). He is currently pursuing his doctorate in learning technologies at GSEP.

LISA BAHAR (MA ’05) has been approved as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. She will participate in examination development for the MFT and LPCC licensing exams.

LOLA GERSHFELD (MA ’05) was named number 23 on the Orange County Business Journal’s Top Management Consultants list.


RYAN JORDAN (MA ’04) was featured in a Huffington Post article discussing her Los Angeles-based nanny agency, Educated Nannies. Jordan’s agency provides families with college-educated nannies with a passion for child care. It was awarded the Red Tricycle Award by Zulily and voted “Most Awesome” by their community.

JASON KURTENBACH (MA ’00, MS ’05) was promoted to principal at Huntington Middle School in San Marino, California.


DEBBY KURTI (MA ’03) coauthored an article in the June 2014 issue of Teacher Librarian: The Journal for School Library Professionals. Her article is the first of a three-part series examining the philosophy and pedagogical foundation of the maker movement.

ADINA MC GARR-KNABKE (MA ’03) opened a practice in Santa Barbara, California.

MARA LEIGH TAYLOR (MA ’03, MA ’06) is now the educational development administrator for the Education Based Incarceration Bureau (EBI) with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

ANNE YENSEN (MA ‘03) was recognized by ALL Pro Media Group for her innovative work in health care delivery at MemorialCare Medical Group, which focuses on evidence-based, best-practice medicine.


KIMBERLY HUDSON (EdD ’02) spoke at the International Conference on Education and New Developments in Madrid, Spain on her dissertation, Student Perception of NCATE Teaching Dispositions.


CHRIS AGUIRRE (MA ’01) was named principal of Kodiak High School in Alaska.


NICOLE ROMASANTA (MA ’00) was named director of volunteers at Hospice of Santa Barbara.


JAMES READ (MA ’98) joined the cast of Day of Our Lives. This will be Read’s first appearance on a daytime soap during his 32-year acting career.


MICHAEL WHITE (MS ’97, EdD ’04) is the comanaging director of Gensler, a design firm in downtown Los Angeles. He leads a team of 475 people.


SUSAN SWANN (MA ’96) is a regular contributor to, a community site with the mission of strengthening and inspiring families.


SATINDER DHIMAN (EdD ’95) was listed as Top Administrator by the Los Angeles Business Journal for his work with the number 10-ranked MBA program at Woodbury University.

CARMEN ESTRADA-SCHAYE (EdD ’95) launched a perfume line last year called Bellegance Perfumes.

ALBERTO HANANEL (MS ’95, EdD ’10), is the new principal at Marquez Charter School.


JERI (GERALDINE) CHASE FERRIS (MA ’75) was invited to Qatar UAR in December 2013 to sign Noah Webster and His Words for their first annual children’s book festival. Noah, published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, is her 12th award-winning biography.


GEORGE HYND (‘70, MA ‘71) was appointed president of Oakland University.

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