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Concordia University Irvine Alumni Class Notes


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Janelle (Hull) Holyoak ’89 works at the University of Arizona Campus Recreation Center as the Administrative Associate.  She supports the Campus Recreation Director, Senior Leadership Team and the Professional Staff.  Janelle lives in Tuscan with her husband Terry. They have been married for 16 years.  Terry is currently working for a national company doing tech support and customer service and is in the process of writing his dissertation for his PhD. (6/14)


Over the past year, Jennifer (Hoppenrath) Fetz ’91 has been studying and taking the CSET tests for Multiple Subject so that she can return to school and receive her California Clear Credential for teaching in the elementary schools.  She was accepted into the CalState Teach program their credentialing program in August.  She shares that, “It is the perfect time because Eric is still working as a firefighter for the city of Santa Clara, our son Bryan will be starting high school and daughter Megan will start middle school in July.  Bryan is now playing ice hockey and Megan is still competing in gymnastics. (7/14)

Pastor Matt Jennings '94 continues to serve as pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Yucca Valley, CA (since 2008). His wife, Jennifer Myers Jennings '93 is an Early Steps to School Success coordinator for the Save the Children organization in the Morongo Basin and Big Bear Valley. Their children Rebecca (Jennings) Taylor is married and has a 3 year old daughter June. Rebecca will graduate from Copper Mtn. College in Joshua Tree with an AA and will transfer to CU Irvine in the fall of 2014. Sarah (18) is graduating high school and will attend Copper Mtn. College in Joshua Tree. Joseph (14) is promoting from 8th grade and was just confirmed at Good Shepherd. Anna (9) and Samuel (7) are heading to 5th and 3rd grades next fall. *PHOTO* (6/14)


After graduating, Scott Robinson ’95 accepted a commission in the Army.  He was assigned to the California National Guard as a 2nd Lieutenant. He continued his "reserve" role until 9/11/2001. He then went on active duty to assist the California National Guard plan various wartime missions until 2005. In 2005, he deployed to Bosnia for a 9 month tour. He returned, injured from action, and was assigned to the US Army reserve (Active Guard & Reserve) in 2006. He spent two years in Irvine, recovering from two surgeries, before deploying for a yearlong tour to Iraq in 2008-2009. He spent the next three years in Gaithersburg, MD with the Legal Command.  After a few more operations, he was transferred to Fort Sam Houston. In 2013 an Army Medical board found he unfit for duty.  Scott shares, “After spending 28 years in the military, I have medically retired and we are returning to Orange. I hope to work with the wounded Warrior program after completing my master's in cyber security. My wife Marisela has been along my side throughout my eight surgeries, deployments, trials and tribulations.  It is because of her I am still on this earth.” (10/14)

Emily (Bernards) Beckman ’96, MAEd ’06 and Ryan Beckman  are proud to announce the birth of their beautiful baby girl, Adeline Susan Beckman, born in August. *PHOTO* (11/14)


Terilyn Colacino ’97 announces her marriage to Edward Jackson in May at Muldoon's Irish Pub in Newport Beach. Edward is a Fire Marshal for the State of California. *PHOTO* (9/14)


Scott Copeland ’98 and his wife Molly live in Orlando, Florida with their daughter Evangeline (Evie) who will be two years old in October.  Scott is an international reporting manager for The JESUS Film Project. *PHOTO* (9/14)

Kyle Duport ’98 and Rebecca Duport ’98 celebrated 15 years of marriage by moving across the country from Florida to California with their cat and four sons ages 12, 9, 4 and 1.  The 10-day trip included many sights and memories for the Duport family. They've served Lutheran congregations & schools together for fifteen years in Kentucky, Arkansas and Florida. Rebecca now joins the faculty of CUI as Assistant Professor/Director of the DCE program. Kyle accepted a teaching and coaching Call at Salem in Orange where three of their boys attend school. They are re-acclimating to the SoCal way of life. (10/14)


Rebecca (Hirsch) Duport ’98 and Kyle Duport ’98 enjoy living in Florida and welcomed the birth of their fourth son Steven who was born in January 2013.  He joins his older brothers Isaiah (12), Aaron (9) and Daniel (4).  Kyle coached his middle school girls’ basketball team to a national title in 2014 after finishing as runner ups in 2013. The LBAA national Lutheran basketball championships in Valparaiso became Kyle's 150th win in six years coaching at St. Michael Lutheran School. This was his fifth consecutive year taking the team to the tournament. The team was undefeated this season with a 29–0 record. *PHOTO*  *PHOTO* (6/14)


Laurie (Henkels) Fuller ’98 along with her husband Mike and two children are poised to begin serving as a foster care family. Their goal is to provide a welcoming and peaceful place to children, and support to the parents as they work through the system to be reunited as a family. Prayers appreciated! (6/14)

Leah (Long) Gerten ’98 recently relocated to Saline, Michigan for her husband's recent job promotion. They are the proud parents of 6 children: Owen 13, Jane 10, Lewis 8, Judy 5, Audrey 3, and Levi 1. She enjoys staying home with their children and has been homeschooling them since their oldest was in the 1st grade. *PHOTO* (7/14)


Rhonda Wood `98 recently became assistant principal for three elementary schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District.  She lives with her two sons, Weston (16) and Keegan (10) in San Marino, CA, where they attend excellent schools.  (11/14)


 Angela (Good) Borchert ’99 accepted the Communications Assistant position with Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region in January. She is in her third year as her daughter, Diana's, Girl Scout troop leader and her youngest daughter, Amy, will be joining the troop in the fall.  Just recently, Angela finished her third half marathon, completing the San Luis Obispo Half in 2:08.42. Her husband, Matt's, basketball team at Solano Community College won the Bay Valley Conference title with a perfect 16-0 record and advanced to the Northern California semifinals. (6/14)



Matt Fischer ’01 and Katie (Fincke) Fischer ’01 recently adopted two children: Alex (18 months) and Jacob (1 month).  Both boys share a biological mother with Matt and Katie's eldest son, CJ.  Matt is currently serving as a Principal at Faith Lutheran Academy in Las Vegas and Katie is a stay-at-home mom. (10/14)


Rachel Hayes ’02 and Rev. Michael Hayes MA ’03 welcomed their newborn daughter, Mary Celeste Hayes, in April. (6/14)


Bernadette M. Marcy `02 is practicing law at Seastrom & Seastrom, a Premier Family Law firm in Newport Beach in Orange County. She has been an Attorney at Law here since October 2013. (11/14)


Kelley G. Lawson, BA ’04, MAIS ’08 was presented with an Eagle Award at the U.S. Consulate General in Shanghai for his efforts in promoting American medical exports and healthcare services in East China from 2013-2014.  In addition to analyzing China's healthcare reforms and private hospital and elder care submarkets, Kelley authored a market research report used for trade counseling and presented his findings to the Healthcare Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. *PHOTO* (9/14)

Brent Peterson '04 and Natalie (Perkins) Peterson '05, MBA ’08 are proud to announce the birth of their son, Gabriel Bohdan, born in August. *PHOTO* (10/14)

Marcia (White) Pharris ’04 shared that she loves her job as an Admin Assistant at an energy management company. She has been married for almost 7 years and they have a 4 year old son. (6/14)


Ken Chitwood ’07, MA ’14 and Elizabeth (Steinbart) Chitwood ’07 are excited to announce, after four years in Katy/Houston, TX, Ken will begin his appointment as a Graduate Teaching Assistant & PhD student at University of Florida (Gainesville, FL) studying Religion in the Americas this fall. They have enjoyed their time in Houston where Elizabeth served Memorial Lutheran Church as a Director of Parish Music and Worship and Ken served his vicarage as part of his MA Theology & Culture with Concordia University Irvine's Cross-Cultural Ministry Center. Elizabeth recently launched a new non-profit, Elephantopia, an organization of elephant advocates seeking to save elephants and build community ( *PHOTO* (6/14)


Jennifer Fiebiger ’07, graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary in 2012 with her M.A. Intercultural Studies with emphasis in Children at Risk and is interested in pursuing further education in Marriage & Family Therapy by combining fine arts as a means for therapy with at-risk children. Currently, she is Stonegate CDI/CDC’s Long Term Substitute Teacher. In November 2013 she joined a faith adventure team of 20 “fearless” people from Mariners Church to Nairobi, Kenya---partnering with Mavuno Church in Kenya and their Frontline Ministries. She has been building an on-going relationship with the Maasaians, and Angels of Hope Kibera (AOHK). She felt the Lord nudging her heart especially when she had her first conversation with Rehyanna, founder of AOHK and feels the Lord has been expanding her connection there. Her next goal is working in Art Therapy through Mariners Church with children & youth at-risk (leading to become a non-profit). (6/14)

Micha Mayotte `07 and her husband, Jeremy, welcomed their first child, Charlotte Alina, born October 12. “We are filled with joy and savoring every moment with our precious daughter!” *PHOTO* (11/14)


Becca (Magee) Ragle ’07 is newly the proud business owner of Best Tutors Ever, LLC serving the Greater Sacramento Area. In July, Becca & Bryan will be travelling to Kenya with a small team for a short-term mission trip.  They will celebrate their 4th wedding anniversary while there and get the opportunity to spend a day with their sponsored child, Oliva.  Becca began sponsoring Oliva in her first years at CUI when he was only 5 years old, now he's 13! (6/14)


Ryan Funderburke ’08 and his wife Jessica celebrated their one year anniversary in September.  They live in San Juan Capistrano and Ryan is currently working as an Engineering Sales Manager- OEM Market at Westland Engineering. *PHOTO* (9/14)

Henry Alonzo MBA '09 and Jill Alonzo are proud to announce the birth of their second daughter Eliana born in April.  Henry is an emergent entrepreneur, CEO at Adarga Entertainment Group based in Los Angeles, and Jill is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a flourishing private practice in Monrovia. They also have Gracelyn, a lively 3 year old.*PHOTO* (9/14)

John Marchetta ’09 and Emily (Jones) Marchetta ’09 are proud to announce the birth of their daughter, Evelyn Marie, born in August. *PHOTO* (9/14)


Megan Wright ’09 recently completed her Master of Music Degree in Clarinet Performance from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at Cal State Long Beach. She was blessed to hold her graduate clarinet recital in the Good Shepherd Chapel at Concordia in April. She currently teaches beginning band and other instrumental music classes in Orange County. *PHOTO* (6/14)



The Concordia University Music Deparment wants to congratulate five graduates who have completed master’s degrees in music in the past year:  Jungeun Lee '10 - Master of Music in Organ Performance, Cal State Fullerton;

 Megan Wright '09 - Master of Music in Clarinet Performance, Cal State Long Beach; Matthew Busch '12 - Master of Music in Trumpet Performance, University of Redlands; Alex Guebert '10 - Master of Music in Composition, Cal State Long Beach; Christian Guebert '10 - Master of Music in Composition, Cal State Fullerton (6/14)


After graduation, Lisa (Pereboom) Krenz ’10 completed the education program with student teaching and accepted a call to Zion Lutheran School in Independence, KS. She teaches 5th/6th Religion and Social Studies and 5th-8th grade English. In May 2014, she married Andy Krenz and they live in South Coffeyville, OK.  *PHOTO* (7/14)


Justin Jorgenesen '11 completed his Master of Fine Arts in arts administration from Southern Utah University and is the Associate Artistic and Development Director at New Village Arts Theatre in Carlsbad, California. (11/14)


Nick Lago MA ’11 and Kim Lago are very proud to announce the birth of their first born son Anthony James Lago born in June. *PHOTO* *PHOTO* (7/14)


In May, Sara Brittany Wiese '11 completed her doctorate degree in Physical Therapy from Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, CA. During the ceremony, she received the Rebecca E. Pabst Memorial Scholarship award which was voted on by the faculty. Sara currently lives in Carlsbad, CA and is getting married to G.M. Ciallella ’11 in August. (7/14)

Eduardo Estrada ’12 is working at Hutto Middle School in Hutto, Texas, coaching the 7th grade football team. Later in the year he will be coaching the 7th grade basketball, and track & field teams. He is also the end zone camera man on Friday nights for the Varsity football team. He is glad to be reunited with my family members living in nearby Round Rock, Texas. (9/14)

Cassandra Morton MAEd ’12 lives in Rancho Cucamonga with her husband and three boys. She recently left the Val Verde Unified School District, after having taught there for several years, to take an administrative position with the Bonita Unified School District. She is now the Dean of Student Services at San Dimas High School and she is thrilled to start her administrative journey there. (9/14)

Lane Baima MAEd ’13 and Andrew Baima recently celebrated the first birthday of their daughter, Delaney Eileen Baima, born June 15, 2013. *PHOTO* (9/14)

Paige (Finley) Hilken ’13 and Christopher Hilken ’11 celebrated their one year anniversary this last summer and they currently live in Oceanside, CA.  They are expecting their first little one at the end of October. Christopher has pursued full time ministry and Paige is a Health and Nutrition Coach. They love helping people find their purpose through God and through finding the best versions of themselves. (10/14)


Lauren Mitchell MAEd ’13 and her husband Kevin Mitchell are proud to announce the birth of their son, Carter, born in July. *PHOTO* (9/14)

Malia Tata MAEd ’13 and Tony Tata are proud to announce the birth of their son, Manuele Tasi Tata (Manu), who was born in June. *PHOTO 1* *PHOTO 2* (9/14)


Chase Chandler ’14 hosted a benefit concert in Concordia’s CU Center on August 24. Donations from the concert help support L.A.C. (Love a Community) and building hospitals in Uganda. The group that performed (Cinque) is comprised of four alumni including Ben Hunter ’14, Chase Chandler ’14, Gretchen Sheetz ’14, Michael Miller ’14 and one current student Karissa Lystrup ’15.  Additionally, all five composers for the concert are also alumni: Christian Guebert ’10, Alex Guebert ’10, Chase Chandler ’14, Ben Hunter ’14, and Nicholas Scutti ’14. To learn more go to (7/14)


What's new in your life? Do you have a new job? A new volunteer role? Is there a new addition to your family? Have you recently moved? Let your classmates know what's happening in your life.  Click here to submit your Class Notes.

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