Alumni Spotlights

Justice Castañeda, Marshall ’10 (Urban Studies and Planning)

Justice Castañeda recently earned his master’s degree from Stanford University and is currently studying at MIT where he is a Master of City Planning (MCP) candidate. He plans to work in applied research and practice around the areas of urban education and community-centered economic development strategies. He believes education is as much about the external environment as it is the institutional mechanics of schools.  Read more…

Jeremy Cogan, Muir '05 (Urban Studies and Planning, Political Science)

Since graduating from UCSD in 2005, Jeremy Cogan has acquired planning and policy advocacy experience with organizations at the local, national, and international level.  He has volunteered and traveled extensively throughout South America and his academic work on sustainability planning in developing regions included placements at the WRI Center for Sustainable Transport in Mumbai, India and the Chinese Academy of Urban Planning and Design in Beijing, China. 


Scott Webb, Muir ’95 (Political Science)

Scott Webb has worked in the international humanitarian relief field since his graduation from UC San Diego.  After leaving campus he joined the Peace Corps and served in Niger, West Africa for 3 years after which he attended graduate school at SFSU and the Monterey Institute of International Studies.  He is currently a program officer for the Food Security unit at International Relief and Development an international non-governmental organization that assists the most vulnerable people all over the world. Read more...

Paulina Montañez-Montes, Roosevelt '11 (Political Science)

Montañez-Montes recently accepted a position at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Washington DC as the assistant to the chief operating officer. While at UCSD, Montañez-Montes was a participant in the UCDC program and served as a discovery ambassador interviewing alumni for UCSD Alumni.

Thuy Vo Dang, M.A. '03, Ph.D. '08 (Ethnic Studies)

Vo Dang is leading an effort to collect oral histories of Vietnamese Americans in Southern California at UC Irvine’s School of Humanities. The project will capture the diverse life narratives of the region’s first-generation refugees and immigrants. As part of the effort, Vo Dang will teach a course on the Vietnamese American experience and will train students on how to conduct oral history interviews. Read more...

Emelyn A. dela Peña, Revelle '95, Ed.D. '09 (Ethnic Studies and Education Studies)

dela Peña is the assistant dean of student life at Harvard University, primarily responsible for gender and sexuality initiatives of the campus.  She was previously the director of UCSD’s Women’s Center. She advises students and alumni to find ways you can be true to yourself and your values in a variety of careers. Read more...

Jasper Kim, Marshall '94 (Economics and Third World Studies)

Currently a professor of International Studies in Seoul Korea at the world’s largest women’s university, Kim is also a columnist, author, lawyer and former investment banker.  He contributes to various media, such as CNBC TV, BBC TV, and Bloomberg TV. Kim has also written op-eds for the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).  Prior to joining academia, he was a lawyer for Lehman Brothers and an investment banker for Barclays Capital.  His favorite UCSD memory was the time he spent at the Roma Cafe.  It's still one of his favorite spots in the world, mostly due to all the great memories there spending time studying and meeting friends. Read more...

Mike Lewis, Marshall '89 (Communication and Sociology)

A sports management professional, Lewis recently started a new company called Open Water Source, a culmination of his professional experiences over the past 15 years. While at UC San Diego, Mike enjoyed the early Sun God festivals and the old TG's. In retrospect, he appreicates how the rigorous academic programs pushed him to think and discover. Read more...

Julietta (Julie) Hua, M.A. '02, Ph.D. '06 (Ethnic Studies)

Julie Hua recently published a book, Trafficking Women’s Human Rights. In the book, Hua maps the ways in which government, media, and scholarship have described sex trafficking for U.S. con­sumption.  She is currently an assistant professor of women and gender studies at San Francisco State University.  For more information about the book visit here.

Pamela Coker, Revelle ’70 (Psychology)

Coker and her brother founded Acucorp, formerly Acucobol, in 1998. The company makes software that allows customers to use data based on the COBOL programming language on today’s computer systems. The San Diego Company grew into a $20 million-a-year business, with offices in five countries employing 136 people worldwide.

Ed Hutchins, Revelle ’71, M.A. ’73, Ph.D. ’78 (Anthropology)

Hutchins was the recipient of the MacArthur Fellow “Genius Grant” and one of the main developers of distributed cognition. He is considered the father of modern cognitive ethnography and author of “Cognition in the Wild”, a classic in Cognitive Science. He is a member of the UC San Diego faculty.

Kim Jones, Muir ’77 (Sociology)

Jones is president and managing director, Sun Microsystems UK & Ireland, delivering innovative and sustainable technologies that meet the ever changing demands of global business.  Outside of SUN, Jones is a member of the Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change.  She is also a representative on the CBI’s Climate Change taskforce along with 17 other chairmen and CEOs from some of the world’s largest companies.  She is the recipient of the Sun Leadership Award; the prestigious YWCA Award for Women in Business, and in 2006 was inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame.

Len Lauer, Warren ’79 (Economics)

Lauer is former Qualcomm Executive Vice President and Group President where he focused on mobile content and services and emerging display technologies. In 2008 Qualcomm appointed Lauer to the additional position of COO. He is the former President and COO of Sprint Corporation and Chief Operating Officer of Sprint Nextel.  In January 2010, Lauer accepted the position of CEO of Memjet, a local color-printing technology company where he will lead the company into a new phase of commercialization and growth.

Abby Leibman, Revelle ’78 (Political Science)

Leibman is a principal at Leibman & Associates and co-founder and former executive director of the California Women’s Law Center. She was named one of California’s 100 Most Influential Attorneys by the Daily Journal Corporation. For over twenty years Leibman has worked on policy and advocacy to advance and address women’s issues in America. She is recognized as an expert in issues affecting women and girls, particularly in the area of child care policy, sex discrimination in employment and education, including sexual harassment.

Jerrilyn Malana, Marshall ’86 (Psychology)

Malana was the first Asian-American woman to be elected president of the 10,500 member San Diego County Bar Association in its 108-year history. As a partner and shareholder in a national labor and employment law firm, she has represented national Fortune 500 clients in all types of employment-related litigation.

Bart Meltzer, Muir ’90 (Communication)

Meltzer was the lead inventor and patent holder for Web-based marketplaces, XML/E-Commerce Servers, and the Commerce One Global Trading Web ™, which are collectively known as the Web Services Patents currently held by the Open Invention Network. The Web Services Patents and XML serve as the foundation of Web 2.0 and a standard for distributed computing on the web. He was the former CTO of Veo Systems prior to its 1999 acquisition by Commerce One. Meltzer pioneered web shopping in 1994 as a co-founder of Virtual Vineyards where he designed and implemented the first ever full featured shopping website.

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