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José Armín Garza (1969, B.A., Spanish) retired in 2013 after 33 years of service as a prosecutor for the Los Angeles City Attorneys’ Office. After graduating from CSULB, Garza earned his J.D. from Loyola Law School in 1974. He worked for San Fernando Valley Legal Services from 1974-1980 before joining the Los Angeles Attorneys’ Office. With his wife, Janice, he currently enjoys spending time with his seven children and 10 grandchildren.


Portrait of Colleen Bentley

Colleen Bentley (1971, B.A., history) retired after 25 years in Public Affairs and Special Projects at the California State University Chancellor’s Office where she was chief spokesperson for the CSU Chancellor and Board of Trustees. She also worked with the 23 CSU campus presidents, wrote speeches for the Chancellor, and created award-winning videos for the CSU system office. She was recently appointed by Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia to the Long Beach Transit Board of Directors. She also serves on the CSULB Alumni Association Board of Directors as vice president; the Long Beach Community Improvement League as treasurer; the Leadership Long Beach Honorary Board of Governors; the Long Beach Public Library Foundation Advisory Board; and the Friends of Belmont Shore Board of Directors.

Photo of Ed Goldman

Ed Goldman (1972, B.A., journalism) has had a book-length collection of his daily columns published by the Sacramento Business Journal, for which he is a daily columnist and blogger. Titled “And Now, With Further Ado: More Gravitas-Defying Profiles and Punditry from the Sacramento Business Journal,” this is Goldman’s fourth book and his second to be published by the Journal.

Allan Martin (1971, B.A., history) was published in VietNow National Magazine. His poem “But He’s in Vietnam” appeared in the spring 2016 issue, and is based on an encounter he had with a girl in the CSULB college library when he was a student.

Thomas Miller’s headshot

Thomas E. Miller (1970, B.A., speech communication), magna cum laude and distinguished alumnus, was recognized by his peers as a California Super Lawyer in the field of construction litigation for the ninth consecutive year. Held by less than five percent of practicing attorneys, Miller carries this designation in both Northern and Southern California. Celebrating 35 years in practice, The Miller Law Firm was also awarded the prestigious National Litigator Award by the Trial Lawyers Board of Regents for the second consecutive year.

Portrait of Bill Ruzgis

William (Bill) Ruzgis (1971, B.S., criminology, security administration) has retired after 25 years in law enforcement with the Seal Beach Police Department and the Orange County Marshal’s Department. Ruzgis currently holds a California Real Estate Broker license, a private investigator license, a community college teaching credential and is a notary public. He is also the author of two books: children’s book “The Adventures of Trudy Trout in Yellowstone Park” and “The Pocket Guide to Small Claims Court.” Ruzgis actively participates in a variety of sports, including handball, racquetball, tennis, skiing and bicycling, and was former commissioner to the Public Safety Commission in Long Beach.

Dexter S. Umekubo (1977, B.A., sociology) was appointed to the Board of Directors of ACORD (Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development), a nonprofit organization serving the insurance and other related industries. Umekubo currently serves as senior managing partner of Producers XL, an independent insurance wholesale brokerage agency in Salina, Kansas. He has over thirty years of experience in the insurance industry and was formerly chairman of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Life Brokerage Agencies (NAILBA).


Millicent Borges Accardi (1988, B.A., English literature) recently published a full-length poetry collection titled “Only More So.” Accardi has written four poetry books. She’s received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, CantoMundo, Fulbright, and the California Arts Council. Her latest work is published by Salmon Poetry.

Cecilia with her 6-year-old grandson Luc.

Cecilia Ann Fidora (1989, M.S., counseling) recently retired after over 31 years working as assistant director of Education Abroad in the Center for International Education at CSULB. She assisted thousands of students in achieving their dreams of studying abroad through the many academic exchange programs CSULB offers. Fidora is a local environmental activist and teaches her 6-year-old grandson, Luc, practical ways to help protect planet Earth.

John F. Gravel (1989, B.S., business administration-finance) was hired as managing director of Construction Services for FTI Consulting. Gravel has over 20 years of mining and construction industry experience in project management, procurement and contract administration. FTI Consulting combines deep financial, forensic, economic, technology and communications experience with extensive industry expertise throughout the world.

Darlene Goodwin (1988, B.S., business administration-accountancy) was promoted to vice president of Application Services, Corporate Division at Pacific Life Insurance Company. She joined Pacific Life in 1989 and has held positions within the investment accounting and systems departments. She is accountable for application development and administration, database design and administration, production integration and support, and business and functional analysis.

Gincy Heins (1982, B.S., business administration-finance) co-authored “365 Caregiving Tips: Practical Tips from Everyday Caregivers,” which outlines practical tips for caregivers, including how to make the most of limited time, money and energy.

JoAnneh Nagler (1984, B.A., psychology) recently published a new book with W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. titled “How to Be an Artist without Losing Your Mind, Your Shirt or Your Creative Compass: A Practical Guide.” The book is about living creatively while still leading a decent and balanced life.


Christopher J. Freeland (1999, MPA) was appointed City Manager of West Covina. Freeland has worked for the city of West Covina for over 15 years, serving as the Community Services Director, Human Resources Director and Assistant City Manager/Community Development Director. He previously worked for the United States House of Representatives for Congressman David Dreier.

Kimberly Johnson (1994, B.S., business administration-accountancy) was promoted to assistant vice president of Strategic Initiatives, Corporate Division at Pacific Life Insurance Company. Johnson joined Pacific Life in 1994 and held leadership positions in Data Management, Investment Accounting, and most recently served as director of Strategic Initiatives.

Jenny L. Jones (1990, MSW) was appointed dean of Clark Atlanta University’s Whitney M. Young Jr. School of Social Work. Jones is a licensed social worker, an author and a widely published researcher. She is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, and has authored or edited more than 32 scholarly publications, reports, and monographs. Her new responsibilities as dean will include mobilizing the faculty and staff toward enriching the School’s academic offerings and broadening career and co-curricular opportunities.

Jon Lewis (1995, B.S., criminal justice-law enforcement) was named Chief of Police of Newport Beach. He joined the department 25 years ago, starting out as a part-time employee while still attending college. He became a full-time officer 20 years ago, and most recently served as deputy chief and commander of the patrol/traffic division.

Michael Lietzow (1995, B.S., business administration-accountancy) was promoted to assistant vice president of Financial Reporting, Planning & Analysis, Solutions Division at Pacific Life Insurance Company. Lietzow joined Pacific Life in 2007 as director of finance for the Retirement Solutions Division. In his new role, he will oversee and control all reporting, analysis and financial information for the division’s lines of business and strategic initiatives.

Portrait of Cecilia Novella

Cecilia R. Novella (1999, B.A., political science) was named policy advisor for the Orange County Auditor-Controller’s office. She has 34 years of county experience and most recently served as manager in the Auditor’s Information Technology Security Unit. Novella is a strong advocate of community service and is an active member of the National Hispanic Business Women Association (NHBWA) of Santa Ana, where she serves as vice president and scholarship chair. She’s been honored with awards from the U.S. Congress, California State Assembly, Orange County Board of Supervisors and the city of Santa Ana.

Portrait of Brian Victor

Brian Victor (1993, M.S., psychology) was selected to the Super Lawyers 2016 California Rising Stars list. This is the second year in a row that he has received this honor. This exclusive list recognizes no more than 2.5 percent of all lawyers in the state. He practices family law at the Law Offices of Brian A. Victor in San Diego.



Alma Catalan (2007, B.A., film and video production) spent this past summer as a fellow at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. She worked with the project director for Latino Initiatives at the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services (SITES) on an assessment of museums, exhibitions and Latino audiences. Currently, Catalan is an arts management candidate at the Center for Management in the Creative Industries (CMCI) at Claremont Graduate University’s Drucker School of Management.

Lana Haddad’s headshot

Lana J. Haddad (2001, B.A., women’s studies) was selected by Leadership California for its prestigious 2016 California Issues & Trends (CIT) Program. She is one of 60 women leaders chosen statewide to learn about complex issues facing California. Haddad currently serves as government affairs officer at Western Municipal Water District. She also plays a lead role in the Riverside County Water Task Force, and is project manager for the University of California Riverside, School of Public Policy Internship Partnership.

Sanford Horowitz (2000, B.S., business administration-accountancy) and his wife Christy Horowitz have opened Horowitz Law office in downtown Santa Barbara. The firm’s practice areas include family law, criminal defense, and civil and criminal tax litigation. Prior to opening Horowitz Law, Horowitz worked for the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office, the San Diego County Attorney’s Office, and was a special agent for the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service in San Diego. He also teaches at the University of San Diego’s School of Law as an adjunct professor.

Alumni Bart McPhail and his son Ryan in a golf cart.

Ryan McPhail (2007, B.S., business administration-marketing) and his father Bart McPhail (1979, B.A., communication theory) participated in the Hospitality Management Charity Golf Tournament in Huntington Beach on April 16. Bart serves on the advisory board of the Hospitality Management Program at CSULB and serves as director of operations for Grill Concepts, Inc. Ryan works at Pinterest and is responsible for industry partnerships based in Los Angeles.

David D. Pew (2001, B.S., human resource management) was named Territory Service Manager for Zodiac Pool Systems, Inc. in March 2015. Prior to joining Zodiac, Pew served as production manager for Backyard Oasis Pools for 10 years building custom concrete residential and commercial pools in the Triangle area (Raleigh-Durham) of North Carolina. Pew lives in the Raleigh metro area with his wife Heather Schechner Pew (2004, B.A., recreation) and their 8-year-old daughter.

David Segura (2009, B.S., occupational studies with vocational arts option) was named the new Fire Chief of Huntington Beach. He spent the last 29 years with the Long Beach Fire Department as a firefighter, paramedic, captain, battalion chief, assistant chief, and deputy chief. In his new role, Segura will manage eight fire stations, 198 full-time positions, a regional training center and a marine safety headquarter

Todd Szallay (2001, B.S., computer engineering technology, manufacturing emphasis) was recently appointed director of Advanced Manufacturing and Technology for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems organization. Since joining Northrop Grumman in 2007, Szallay has held a number of roles with increasing levels of leadership. He most recently served as manager of Manufacturing Engineering and Technology.


Karl Kreutziger (2013, B.S. construction engineering management) was promoted to president of Driver SPG, an Anaheim, California-based construction affiliate of C.W. Driver. A 27-year industry veteran, Kreutziger has led various projects in the Southern California region including, the State Bar of California headquarters in Los Angeles; Chapman University’s Health Sciences Campus in Irvine; and the Discovery Science Center Discovery Pavilion in Santa Ana.


MARRIAGESCoryn Miller (2013, B.A., history) married Kevin Rosinsky on Sept. 10, 2015 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Miller is serving in the United States Coast Guard and Rosinsky is serving in the United States Air Force. They reside in Newport News, Virginia.

IN MEMORIAMPhilip Francis Barretta (1972, M.A., pupil personnel) died May 7, 2015 at the age of 86. For more than 20 years he was a teacher, counselor, and administrator for the Torrance Unified School District. After retirement, he and his wife, Dr. Norma Barretta, began to teach their own model of therapeutic intervention called Competency-Based Brief Hypnotic Therapy. In March 2014, the couple received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis and the Erickson Foundation. Barretta was known to bring laughter to every occasion with his stories and wordplay.

Donna J. Beeman (1963, B.A., home economics) died July 27, 2015 after her third battle with cancer. She taught home economics in the Los Angeles Unified School District before moving to Boulder, Colorado where she continued to teach in the Boulder Valley School District. She was a free spirit who enjoyed shopping, concerts, movies, figure skating and exotic cuisines. She was known for her dedication to helping people with disabilities.

Glen E. Fleming (1963, B.S., finance) died Sept. 18, 2014, in Sanford, Florida. He worked and retired twice from the U.S. Postal Service. After retirement, he worked for Seminole Community Church where he was also a respected member and a beloved father figure to many. He was a proud alumni of Long Beach State College.

Donald Parks (1959, B.A., social science) died March 3 at age 85. He was a jazz enthusiast and started collecting jazz records when he was 14 years old. Parks worked for the IRS and retired as personnel manager of the Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California. He was a loyal supporter of Long Beach State University and was a member of the Golden Alumni Club of LBSU.

Wilma J. Traber (1961, B.S., nursing) died Jan. 9 at age 88. She was an associate professor at CSULB before joining California State Fullerton in 1974 as director of nursing education and project director for the Orange County-Long Beach Nursing Education Consortium made up of the two CSU campuses, UC Irvine and three community colleges. She taught nursing at CSUF until 1981, when she was awarded emeritus status.

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