Alumni Update December 2015

Alumni are earning doctorates, serving in churches and abroad. Share your news here and/or in Pacific magazine by checking out

Erica Cuellar (BA ’11) is special projects associate for the Office of the President at Esperanza Inc. in Philadelphia. She has lived in Philly for over two years now and loves it, although she still considers California to be one of her homes.

Melissa Bergen (SEM ’09, BA ’04) was hired part time by Shafter Mennonite Brethren Church for a dual role—pastor at Iglesia Compañerismo Cristiano and local missions outreach for Shafter Mennonite Brethren Church. This dual role builds bridges of relationships between the two Mennonite Brethren congregations that Melissa serves. The two churches and Melissa have been creating and building this position for the last four years.

Jessica Rybaczyk (TC ’09, BA ’08) served during the summer of 2015 with Students International in Costa Rica, and is currently raising support to return to Costa Rica and serve there long term with Students International.

Nori Jo Naylor (MA ’01) received a Doctorate in Education from the Graduate School of Education at University of California, Riverside, after successfully defending her dissertation, How Political Language Matters: Proposition 227 in the Political Spectacle. Nori Jo was awarded the Flora Ida Ortiz Endowed Scholarship while conducting her studies at UCR. She earned her M.A. in TESOL at FPU in and taught ESL at the community college level for several years. She plans to apply the knowledge she has gained through her education and her teaching experience to advocate for the improved academic achievement of English learners and immigrant students in California.


Wayne Steffen
Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations