April-May 2019 Alumni Update

Alex Ontiveros (BA ’19) is a youth care specialist for the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools.  

Gregory Barragan (DSE ’17) won a 2019 Pillar Award from the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools. Greg is a Career Technical Education instructor at the Alice M. Worsley School at the Juvenile Justice Campus, training incarcerated youth to develop job-ready skills as certified welders. He has placed more than 50 students in jobs after being released from the facility. Greg also teaches important life skills necessary for success.

Brian Lawton (BA ’17) was accepted into UC Davis on scholarship with the Rural-PRIME program. Rural-PRIME is part of the University of California's PRograms In Medical Education (PRIME), designed to produce physician leaders trained in and committed to helping California's underserved communities. 

Jonathan Clark (MA ’16) has a talent as a teacher and dunker that was the subject of an April 4 FOX 26 broadcast kmph.com/sports/local-sports/valley-science-teacher-is-one-of-the-best-dunkers-on-the-planet 

Elyssia Lopez (BA ’16) is contracted with Teach for America to earn her credential and master’s degree as a science teacher. She gave a presentation Expanding Your Horizons Youth Conference in 2017.

Derek Kliewer (BA ’15) will pursue a Juris Doctorate as well as a Master of Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University in August. He was selected as a faculty scholar, which provides full tuition plus a stipend. 

Fotini Alfieris (BA ’11, MA ’14) Fotini Alfieris is director of donor relations at California State University, Fresno, where she is responsible for donor relations and stewardship efforts. Prior to joining Fresno State, Fotini was the Central California director for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society—a cause very near and dear to her heart as she has been living with MS since 2007.

Garth A. Corrigan (MBA ’11) was promoted to senior vice president and chief financial officer of Valley Republic Bank, Bakersfield, in May 2016 gurufocus.com/news/879636/valley-republic-bancorp-board-of-directors-appoints-new-senior-officers 

 Adrian Sanchez (BA ’11) became Merced High School boy’s basketball coach in April 2019. mercedsunstar.com/sports/article229392194.html 

Johnny Baltierra (MA ’97), a counselor in Armona Union Elementary School District, organized the Bridge2College program to help high-achieving students pursue higher education. The program was the subject of an article in the May 15, 2019, Hanford Sentinel hanfordsentinel.com/news/local/bridge-college-to-award-scholarships-to-local-students/article_23aac3ee-05ea-5a61-a4a5-c53241480115.html 

Eric Thiessen (MA ’96, BA ’89) is the principal at Tulare County Office of Education’s (TCOE) University Preparatory High School. Eric was presented with a proclamation recognizing University Prep for receiving the California Distinguished School Award from the state department of education—the only school in Tulare County to receive the commendation.

Julia Reimer, Ph.D., (BA ’90) former faculty, read the first chapter of Kathi Daley’s “Boxes in the Basement” April 22, 2019, for the Mysteryrat's Maze Podcast mysteryratsmaze.podbean.com/e/boxes-in-the-basement-by-kathi-daley/ 

Fred Morris (BA ’87) resigned as coach of the Neshoba Central High School Lady Rocket’s girl’s basketball team in March 2019. The school is located on Philadelphia, MS. He led the team for eight years, winning a class state championship in 2017  meridianstar.com/sports/neshoba-central-s-fred-morris-resigns/article_4205e1c0-6151-11e9-a948-bb8b07706253.html 

The human history of the FPU political science program came together April 23, 2019, when program founder John Redekop, Ph.D., gave a presentation to the Council of Senior Professionals titled “How Should a Faithful Church Relate to the State?” Redekop originated the political science program in 1964 with Richard Unruh (BA ’67), Ph.D., as his first student. Unruh would be Redekop’s successor in 1968 and served in that position until retiring in 2012. The faculty increased with the addition of Ken Martens-Friesen (BA ’84), Ph.D., in 2002, and Bret Kincaid (BA ’82), Ph.D., took over the program when Unruh retired. 


Wayne Steffen
Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations