Alumni in the News -- August 2007
Engineering Alum Receives Silver Star,
Purple Hearts for Bravery Under Fire in Iraq
Ambushed by Iraqi insurgents in the streets of Samarra, Brennan Shea Goltry (B.S., Civil Engineering, 2004) was shot twice in the left leg. Then he got out of his Humvee and led his soldiers into the battle on foot. Goltry, known to friends and family as Shea, went to Cal State Bakersfield before transferring to Cal Poly, where he also joined the Army ROTC. Even at the very beginning of his career, he stood out as a good soldier. "He's one of the best cadets that we had," retired Maj. Paul Buechner, one of Goltry's instructors at Cal Poly, told the Bakersfield Californian. Goltry's official title is Capt. Brennan Goltry, 2nd Platoon leader, Company C, 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division. He was awarded the Silver Star, two Purple Hearts, and the Combat Infantryman Badge during a ceremony July 31 at Patrol Base Olson in Samarra, Iraq.
Photo Courtesy Staff Sgt. Michael J. Carden, 82nd Airborne Division
Read the Bakersfield Californian story on Goltry
Read the full press release on Goltry from the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division
Work Really is a Daily Grind for Ag Alumna
Erin McGowan (B.A., AgBusiness, 1999) is a middle school teacher by day and a corn mill owner and operator by night. In her day job, she teaches seventh and eighth grade at in the town of Colusa. In her spare time, she's opened an old-school mill -- grinding out cornmeal and specialty flours to sell in her shop in Arbuckle. Ridgecut Gristmills is the name of her stone burr gristmill in Arbuckle. Ridgecut Gristmills products include cornbread mix, Southern cornbread mix, buckwheat buttermilk pancake mix and Jimmy's Cracked Corn (polenta/grits). All mixes are just add water, stir and bake. Ridgecut also produces specialty stone ground gluten-free flours.
Read the Daily Democrat story on McGowan and her mill
Cal Poly Grad is U.S.A.'s Top Boy Scout
Robert J. Mazzuca, former Scout executive of the Greater Pittsburgh Council, has been selected to become the next chief Scout executive of the Boy Scouts of America, effective Sept. 1. Mazzuca (History, 1970), 59, succeeds Roy Williams as the nation's top Scout.
Read the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review story about Mazzuca's appointment as top Scout
Alumna Now a Published Poet
and Columbia Grad Student
Kecia Brown is a proud alumna of Cal Poly (B.S. Psychology, 1997). She was recently featured in University of San Diego Magazine, where she recently earned a master's degree in leadership studies. Right now, she's in New York at Columbia University, where she's working on her doctorate in education.
She's also just had her first first book of poetry published.
Read the USD Magazine Story on Brown
Photo courtesy University of San Diego
'Weird Al' Wows Canada on Tour
So what's on 'Weird Al' Yankovic's (B.S., Architecture, 1980) latest CD? "There is the requisite polka medley, and other than that, the parody material is obviously following whatever kind of musical and pop culture trends that have come along in the last few years," he told the Edmonton Journal of Canada in a pre-concert interview. "That's part of my job description. I get to shamelessly follow whatever's popular in culture."
Read the Edmonton Journal interview | Details on his October concert at Cal Poly
Alum Running 63 Marathons in 63 Days to Raise Money for Ataxia Cure
Tim Borland (B.S., Kinesiology, 2004) is aiming to run 63 marathons in 63 days -- all for children with an incurable disease known as ataxia-telangiectasia. And he'll run each marathon pushing a stroller. A couple who are Borland's close friends have a daughter suffering from the disease, which sparked him into action.
Read the full KSBY story and see the news video | Read the SLO Tribune story
Alum Takes Seat on Livermore City Council
Doug Horner (B.Arch., Architecture, 1983) was sworn in recently to his seat on the Livermore City Council. Horner, 49, has spent almost five years on the city planning commission. Horner was selected and sworn in by the City Council on July 10 to take over the unexpired term of retiring City Councilman Tom Reitter. Horner is an architect who works as a project manager for the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District. He describes his job as overseeing other architects.
Read the Contra Costa Times story
Ag Alumna is Top Weather Anchor in Denver
Kathy Sabine (B.S., Ag Business, 1988) is the weather anchor at 9News, the NBC affiliate in Denver. Sabine was given the 2006 Regional Emmy for Best Weather Anchor. She was also voted Best Weather Forecaster for 2005 by the Colorado Broadcasters Association. After college she began her television career at KSBY-TV in San Luis Obispo then went on to work for ABC in Santa Barbara, Fox in Salinas/Monterey and ABC in San Jose California. Kathy is also a regular fill-in on the Today Show in New York for Al Roker during the week.
Visit Sabine's page on the 9News Web
Photo courtesy 9News
Education Masters Alum
Works for Justice as Montana State Senator
Montana State Senator Dan Weinberg (M.A., Education, 1977) was the driving force behind the creation of The Wave fitness center in Whitefish. During the 2007 legislative session, Weinberg (D-Whitefish), has focused on bills that made improvements in public and mental health systems. Weinberg's internship while at Cal Poly included working with inmates in counseling and therapy sessions at the California Men’s Colony.
Read the story about Weinberg on the Daily Interlake
Alum's 'Virtual Bar' Web Draws Millions -- of Visitors
Cal Poly alum Ryan Riccitelli (B.A., Political Science, 1997) is now in Corpus Christi, Texas, publishing Kiteboarder magazine. That's his day job -- but the web site he started just for fun has attracted more than 1 million people and sparked Texas' latest Internet craze: www.fubar.com. It's
a "virtual bar" for people older than 18 complete with virtual VIP status, lounges, free (virtual) drinks and roses sent from random people and the opportunity to meet new friends or to get shot down. People pop in and out, leave messages or strike up conversations (via instant message). Riccitelli started the site with friends Mike Hedlund and Bill Lee about two years ago as a way to keep in touch after leaving San Luis Obispo.
Read the Corpus Christi Caller Times column about Riccitelli and his site
Alums Ben Londo, Josh Verburg Chase Rodeo Titles in Salinas
Two Cal Poly Rodeo alumni were scoring high and chasing the top prizes in July at 97th Annual California Rodeo Salinas. Recent Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo Rodeo star Ben Londo (B.S., Construction Management, 2007) posted an 82 during the rodeo's first-go in saddle bronc riding. On the second day of competition, Londo was still in the chase for the saddle bronc crown at 82.
Read the Monterey Herald story on the first day of competition
Read the Herald story on the second day of competition
Alumna Making Fine Wines
in Santa Barbara County
In 2006, Lucas & Lewellen hired Megan McGrath (B.S., Soil Science, 2001) as assistant winemaker. McGrath has returned to her roots in the Santa Ynez Valley with the company. Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards has grown into one of Santa Barbara County's top wineries, with more than 60 employees, two Solvang tasting rooms, more than 10 varietals of wine and multiple awards - both for its wines and the grapes it sells to other winemakers and wineries up and down California.
Read the Santa Maria Times story on Lucas & Lewellen
Happy Cal Poly Cows Make Swiss Mountain Cheese -- SLO-style
After taking an artisan cheese-making short course at Cal Poly's Dairy Products Technology Center,
Joyce and Christoph Rimmele launched SLO-town Creamery in 2004. The milk comes from a herd of Cal Poly cows, the Rimmeles use the Cal Poly Creamery facilities to make their cheese, and — in the spirit of “learn by doing”—sometimes hire students to help. They're producing the kind of hand-made artisinal cheeses Christoph Rimmele grew up with in Switzerland.
Read the SLO Tribune story
Alumna at the Helm of Salisbury Vineyards in SLO
Jennifer Salisbury Rucks (B.A., Speech Communication, 1996) is the chief executive officer, tasting room manager and marketing manager at Salisbury Vineyards in San Luis Obispo, where her father is the winemaker. Rucks and her husband, Kevin, moved back to San Luis Obispo from the Hollywood Hills in time to open the tasting room in May 2005. Salisbury Vineyards made about 4,000 cases last year, with plans to expand to 8,000 soon. An impressive 80 percent of their wine is sold through their historic tasting room -- a restored schoolhouse visible from Highway 101 in Avila Beach.
Read the SLO Tribune story on Salisbury Vineyards
Architecture Alum Renovates Redlands Victorian -- with Green Updates
Shan McNaughton's 1886 single-story Victorian home may well be far ahead of its time. It boasts everything an antique home would have: a parlor, 11-foot-high ceilings, original trim and molding, transom windows, a carriage house, soon-to-be reclaimed wood floors, a water reclamation storage tank and -- solar panels on the metal roof. McNaughton (B.Arch. 1993) has been incorporating environmentally friendly, sustainable elements to his old house. McNaughton, 39, owner of recently established McNaughton Architect and Partners on State Street, has been remodeling his historic home, just yards away from the Redlands Bowl on Grant Street, since early spring.
Read the story in the Redlands Daily Facts
Alum Finishes Documentary on Mongolia -- Searches for Outlet
Two longtime friends from Sacramento -- Chris Rufo and Keith Ochwat (B.S., AgBusiness, 2006), spent months "Roughing It" across Mongolia. The two 22-year-olds are now marketing their resulting 48-minute documentary, but they haven't got a deal. Yet. With a single video camera and microphone, they interviewed the Mongolian president, hung out with locals, fended off hypothermia alongside mountain reindeer herders, and risked injury at the hands of burly wrestlers. And that's just part of the documentary.
Read the Sacramento Bee feature story
Moving Up: Alumni Promotions in the News
Alum Moves Up in Marketing at Financial Management Firm
Martin Curiel (B.S., Civil Engineering, 1998) has been hired as the new Vice President of Marketing for Denali Advisors, LLC. Curiel will be responsible for all marketing activities at Denali, including developing the sales & marketing strategy, raising assets and positioning the firm with new clients. Curiel is a native of California and was previously employed by Deloitte Consulting in San Francisco, where he managed strategy consulting projects for a wide variety of clients, including money managers. In addition to his Cal Poly degree, Curiel earned an MBA from Harvard Business School (2004). Curiel is also founder of the Rising Farmworker Dream Fund (RFDF), a non-profit organization focused on improving the lives of farm workers in the U.S. (http://www.risingfarmworkers.org). Denali will be supporting RFDF by making financial and in-kind contributions.
Read the BusinessWire story
Engineering Alum is President of Israeli Tech Company
Tevet Process Control Technologies Ltd., a leading supplier of high throughput semiconductor integrated metrology, promoted Peter Gillespie (B.S. Engineering 1986) to the position of President. The company said Tevet’s management changes are aligned with the company's goal of adding additional product lines now that its Trajectory T3 has been successfully established in the market.
Read the Business Wire story
Biz Alum Moves Up at McAfee Tech Firm in Santa Clara
Todd Gebhart (B.S., OCOB, 1976) was promoted to Senior Vice President and Business Unit General Manager, Consumer, Mobile and Small Business at McAfee, Inc. In his expanded role, Gebhart will direct overall strategy, sales, marketing, product, services delivery, support and finance for the business unit and will report to Dave DeWalt, president and chief executive officer.
Read the Business Wire story
Alum Promoted at Electronic Discovery Law Firm
Gregory J. Spicer (B.S., Economics, 1990) has been named Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Encore Legal Solutions, which specializes in electronic discovery. Spicer was previously Vice President, National Accounts. He will continue to be based in Newport Beach. Spicer will serve as Encore's sales and marketing leader. At Cal Poly, Spicer also minored in international trade and development.
Read the story on Spicer
Alumna Named Field Rep for Western United Dairymen
Western United Dairymen has hired Tessa Curti (B.S., Dairy Science, 2006) as a new field representative in Fresno, Madera, Tulare and Kings counties. Curti, daughter of dairy producers Ben and Sally Curti of Tulare, comes to WUD from Immvac Inc, where she was regional sales manager. She grew up in Tulare, where she earned her American Farmer degree and served as FFA chapter president while in high school.
Read the full Capitol Press Story (subscription required)
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