December 2020 Alumni Update

Kristina Chamberlin (BA ’16) was selected as director of the City of Fairfield’s Parks and Recreation Department. She has over 25 years of experience in the public sector and previously worked for the City of Fresno as assistant director of the Parks, After School, Recreation and Community Services Department (PARCS). Kristina is committed to finding creative and meaningful ways to address community needs.

Aaron Chambers (BA ’18) earned his Master of Accountancy from National University in July 2020.

Marilyn Shepherd (MA ’84) was selected interim superintendent of Selma Unified School District

Aaron Bryan (TC ’04, BA ’03) was named Fresno County’s Administrator of the Year by the Office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools. Aaron is director of the visual and performing arts department in the superintendent’s office.,Fresno%20County%20Superintendent%20of%20Schools

Rici Skei (MA ’05, BA ‘02) opened her Lowell neighborhood church to help children learn during the pandemic. They offer mentorship, meals and socialization.

After graduating with his MPA with a certificate in city management from Villanova University, Nick Valla (BA ‘17) is now working as assistant township manager of Middletown Township in Bucks County, PA. He is pleased to enter the workforce as a faith-driven public servant.  

Sharyl Kay Lawson (MA ‘99) is a special education teacher in Adams 14 School District in Commerce City, CO.

Darren Duerksen (SEM ’02), Ph.D., associate professor of intercultural & religious studies, has been awarded a $1,000 Christian Leadership in a Multifaith World Grant. This grant is sponsored jointly by the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) and Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) to help pilot and evaluate a new curriculum  they are developing called the Christian Leadership in a Multifaith World curriculum

Judith L. Roth (BA ’81) will release Hiding Baby Moses in April 2021. The picture book is published by Flyaway Books and presents a poetic retelling of the story of baby Moses told from the perspective of his sister Miriam. The story captures the special bond shared between siblings, and conveys family intimacy and a sense of an ancient time and place through Roth’s text and Melanie Cataldo’s illustrations. The book includes lyrics and notation to an original song that can be used as a source of comfort during troubled times, along with an author’s note. More at

Taylor Poisall (BA ’16) received the Serve Award from FLYP (Fresno’s Leading Young Professionals) as part of their 2020 Annual Awards. FLYP is a local organization creating with the purpose of attracting and retaining young professionals in the Valley.

Ron (BA ’67, retired faculty) and Roxanne (MA ’04, BA ’89) Claassen have published a second edition of their Discipline That Restores: Strategies to Create Respect, Cooperation, and Responsibility in the Classroom. The book describes ways to replace the punitive discipline system in a classroom or school with discipline that restores, which improves the overall climate while reducing or eliminating office referrals, suspensions and expulsions. According to Ron and Roxanne: “While DTR is written entirely in secular language, we believe DTR puts Jesus’s teachings into language that is accessible to everyone.” The new edition includes updated information and references to research, articles, models, etc. available at

Jaime Ramirez (MA ’96, BA ’81) will oversee development of the new Fresno Fuego soccer team as sporting director. Jaime served as the inaugural coach of the previous Fresno Fuego team from 2003-2007. He will continue as head coach of the Sunbird Men’s Soccer Team.

Maribel Torres, MSN, FNP-C (MS ’19, BS ’17), has joined Adventists Health Medical Office – Hanford Specialty. She provides gastrointestinal, diabetes and hypertension consultation as well as treatments.

Tannisse Tuttrup (BA ‘18) is a special education teacher for the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools.



Wayne Steffen
Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations