September and October 2021 Alumni Update

Karla Contreras (BA ’20) has been hired as Fresno Community Manager at JPMorgan Chase & Co. As the first-generation college graduate of her family, Karla started out as a teller and overcame obstacles to eventually work her way up to a local community leader.

Parker Forrest Lewis (BA ’20) was featured in Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast, reading “The last Customer,” a mystery short story by John Gaspard. Hear the reading at Mysteryrat’s Maze is hosted by King’s River Life, a Valley online magazine.

Robert Griswold (FS ’19) won two gold medals in swimming at the Tokyo Paralympics

Taylor Moore (MBA ’19, BA ’16) is a staff accountant at Fresno Pacific University.

Three former members of the FPU men’s basketball program recently signed contracts to play professionally in various countries. Sam Burt (BA ’18), Rafail Eleftheriou (BS ’20) and Toby Christensen (BS ’19). Sam will play in Italy, Rafail in Cyprus and Toby in Denmark.

Carl Weigley (BA ’17) has been appointed as UC Davis head women’s swimming and diving coach’s primary assistant. Carl was a member of FPU’s original swim program and competed in the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Dexter Young (MA ’16) was a guest on the Clyde Travis and Company talk show October 25, 2021, on radio station WVON Chicago. Young is a businessman and head coach at Premier Academy.

The work of Shantay Davies-Balch (BA ’15) with Black mothers was profiled in the September 8 Business Journal

Kevin Rule (MA ’12) was hired as assistant softball coach at Cloud County Community College in Concordia, KS, effective September 15.

Andrew Douglas (BA ’11) passed all of the requirements to be a Certified Financial Planner.

Dinorah Olmos (MA ’06), is the founder and executive director of the Latino Education Advancement Fund. She was profiled October 29 by the Maryland Daily Record Dinorah Olmos – Maryland Daily Record (

Suzana Dobric Veiss (MA ’02, BA ’99), Ph.D., assistant professor of business and director of the LEAD program, co-presented two workshops at the 23rd International Leadership Association's Annual Global Conference held in person in Geneva, Switzerland, and live online on October 20-25, 2021. Over 1,200 attendees participated in over 400 presentations and workshops. Suzana co-presented with MaryJo Burchard (MA ’09, BA ’02), Ph.D., founder, chief consultant-researcher, Concord Solutions, LLC, and Elizabeth K. Hunt, Ph.D., associate professor & director of character in leadership, communication, University of Jamestown. Burchard is also a former FPU staff member. The workshops were: “Finding Your Feet: 10 Readiness Exercises in Overwhelming Change” and “Sensegiving During Change: A Guided Process.” Suzana was also the keynote speaker at the Character in Leadership Fall Conference October 7, 2021, at the University of Jamestown, Jamestown, N.D. See and hear the speech at Character In Leadership Conference Keynote Speech by Dr. Suzana Dobrić Veiss - YouTube (22:27)

Karen Balske-Tobin (MA ’80) was selected for the Continental Who’s Who Registry. She is a retired teacher, having taught for 30 years in Clovis Unified School District, who is now the historian for American Legion District 14 and Post 147. She also co-authored a remedial reading book with fellow alum Nancy Beinhorn (MA ’81) in 1980.

Bob Weathers, Ph.D. (BA ’79) was selected for Who's Who in America for his career-long contributions in psychology and addiction treatment. He also recently published a book of original poetry, art and music in collaboration with his daughter, Amanda Tate, MSW. The new book, Reflections for Three, includes a series of journaling exercises to actively engage the reader and is available in both paperback and Kindle formats. He presented at the California Consortium of Addictions Programs and Professionals (CCAPP) Eighth Annual California Addiction Conference in October 2021.






Wayne Steffen
Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations