Archive for the ‘California’ Category

Marla-Tiye Vieira (M.Ed. ’03)

Celebrated Author’s Bittersweet Pilgrimage To South Africa
When celebrated American author Marla-Tiye Vieira recently made a pilgrimage to Cape Town to celebrate her mother’s life, she reached out to White Shark Projects to rekindle a friendship that began 13 years ago.

A Mother And Daughter’s Adventure With White Shark Projects Remembered
Marla had travelled to South Africa with her late mum way back then, and after her death six years ago vowed to return to the place where they had shared wonderful adventures, which included shark cage diving in Kleinbaai with White Shark Projects.

Rekindling Friendships After 13 Years
When White Shark Projects’ Jessica Smit received the call, she was so blown away by the story that she invited Marla to Kleinbaai as a special guest of the company. It was a bittersweet reunion, one where an emotional farewell took place out at sea when Marla released her mum’s ashes into the ocean.

The White Shark Projects team wishes Marla safe travels wherever life may lead her and look forward to seeing her again one day.

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Jasmine Breeze (a story by Marla-Tiye Viera)
Marla-Tiye Vieira’s inspirational book Jasmine Breeze deals with oppression caused by gender and race inequality in modern-day society. The work has been described by critics as a great international love story and has received five-star reviews.

“This is a story about Jasmine from Southern Louisiana, her mother a third-generation Irish American, her father an African American, his grandmother a Chippewa Native American, and his grandfather who was the first African American in Louisiana to start his own law firm. Jasmine is studying in Spain where she meets Jose all the while holding secrets about her life and who she really is inside, afraid to share her true self with her family. She learns there are people close to her in her family holding their own secrets as well, this is a story about racism, secrets, love, and the struggles of finding your true self with twists along the way. I enjoyed this read along with appreciating the writing style, was an easy read and I would recommend it to anyone. I definitely will be looking forward to other books from this author.” Phyllis Watson (Rated Five-Stars)

“This author really encapsulates human suffering and guides us on how to make authentic connections. I enjoyed reading every page and I did not want the story to end. Vieira writes with inspiration and excitement. Her travel descriptions make you feel that you are actually a part of the setting. I highly recommend this text to one and all.” Carol (Rated Five-Stars)

Recommended Reading
The White Shark team highly recommend Marla’s book, which is available in paperback and Kindle and can be ordered via Amazon here.

Jaroslav Rysavy (M.B.A. ’98)

In February 2022, Jay celebrated his 15-year anniversary with United Airlines and was upgraded to Captain on Airbus 320.

Jay began private pilot flying lessons in 1998 a few months after Commencement in May 1998 for his MBA in International Business with Honors. He completed the degree and flight training, all while working full time at M W Kellogg Company as an electrical engineer in sales for downstream projects (where he was known as Jarek). He joined a regional airline in 2003 and was hired by Continental Airlines in 2007. Jay previously worked for Ralph M Parsons in Pasadena, California after immigrating from the Czech Republic in 1990 where he graduated with a EE degree in 1988 from ČVUT in Prague.

Jay is type-rated on all United aircraft (Boeing 737, 747, 757-767, 777, 787 and Airbus 320. He was naturalized in 2000. He and his wife, Era N Ford, were married in 1995 and reside in Houston.

April Goldman (MFA ’11)

UH Alum April Goldman to be Published in Ploughshares

Ploughshares, an award-winning journal of new writing,  has announced that “[ into the mountain ]” by April Goldman will be
published in the Spring 2021 issue.

April is a poet living in Truckee, Calif. She earned her MFA in creative writing from the University of
Houston, and her recent work appears in Narrative Magazine, The Kenyon Review Online,
The Journal, and elsewhere.

You can find more information about Ploughshares on their website: pshares.org

Michael L. Preddy (M.A. ’82)

After graduating with a Master of Music Degree from U.H. in 1982, alum Michael Preddy made appearances on Saturday Night Live with The Smothers Brothers, and continued to work for them as their pianist/conductor and one of their managers for the next twenty-five years.

Michael did approximately three seasons of The New Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour on CBS from 1987 through 1989, and  was heavily involved as pianist and music coordinator, for which he received an Emmy Nomination for Best Musical Direction. Preddy’s  final engagement with The Smothers Brothers was in 2007 with The Austin Symphony in Austin, TX.  Together they has preformed between 100-200 shows a year for tens of thousands of people. At every show during these 25 years, Dick Smothers introduced Preddy to the audience and always made a point of telling the audience that he received his Master of Music Degree from The University of Houston, a fact Preddy is very proud of.

Notable live performances  include The Tonight Show (multiple appearances), the White House Press Photographers, Jones Hall in Houston with the Houston Symphony Pops, The Kennedy Center in D.C. with the National Symphony, and The Hollywood Bowl with the L.A. Philharmonic in 2003.

For his achievements, Preddy received the the Honorable Alumni Award at Pine Tree High School in Longview, TX  in 2001.

Further information can be found on Preddy’s website at

http://www.michaelpreddypiano.com.

Geoffrey Bergman (’67)

Dr. Geoffrey Bergman passed away on July 21, 2020 in San Diego, CA, at the age of 76.

Geoff was born in New York, NY on May 7, 1944, grew up in Houston, TX, and was a longtime resident of Alexandria, LA. He was raised in the Orthodox Jewish tradition and sang in the choir during the High Holidays. He graduated from Lamar High School, where he lettered in Cross Country track. He attended the University of Texas and the University of Houston, graduating in 1967 with a BS in Psychology. He also received a degree of Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M) from the California College of Podiatric Medicine in San Francisco. He practiced as a podiatrist in Alexandria, LA for 41 years. He was a caring physician and was loved by his patients. In Alexandria, he was a member of Congregations Gemiluth Chassodim and B’Nai Israel, where he led services for several years.

Geoff is survived by his wife of 53 years, Vicky, his daughter, Audra Rosenberg, her husband Jonathan, and two adoring grandsons, Parker and Brenner Rosenberg, his brother-and sister-in law, Larry Feldman, Jr. and Susie Morgan of New Orleans, three nieces and two great-nieces, and four first cousins.

Geoff was a SciFi aficionado, a history buff, a scholar of Torah, and an avid fan of Bob Dylan and classic rock. A wonderful husband, father, grandfather, and friend, he will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to the charity of your choice.

Interment was at Greenwood Cemetery in San Diego on July 24, 2020, with Rabbi Ian Adler officiating.

Richard Kent Marks (O.D. ’70)

Richard Kent Marks, OD, 77, born to Lucille and Leslie Marks on November 6, 1942, in Sheldon, Iowa, passed away of natural causes on April 15, 2020.

Due to the current health situation in the world, there will not be an open ceremony.

Richard is survived by his older sister Judy Lutzi, his three younger brothers Steve, Wesley, Russell, and Richard’s former wife Susan. Richard has three children: Kelby, Marla and Staci, as well as three granddaughters: Natalia, Gabriela, and Tayler. He was proud of the family that he and Susan loved and supported together.

Richard spent most of his early life growing up between Nebraska and Kansas before graduating from the Kansas State Teacher’s College in Emporia in 1966. Later on, he finished his Optometry Doctorate at the University of Houston in 1970 and moved to Derby, Kan., where he established a widely respected and successful 45-year optometry practice.

He was a dedicated and active member in the United Methodist Church, the Kansas Optometric Association, The Optimist Club, and a founder of the Derby Running Club. In all of these organizations he served in leadership and presidential roles over the years. He often talked about his time working on the railroad through college and maintained a fascination with trains all his life. He had a great admiration for his Nebraska roots and his family’s Nebraska/German genealogy. He loved to go on road trips through Kansas and Nebraska looking for remnants of the Santa Fe Trail or to locate small Marks family cemeteries and homesteads. He was a marathon runner. He was an accomplished photographer. He was a fervent Jayhawk basketball fan. He LOVED pie – he would frequently drive 50 miles just to get his favorite rhubarb pie.

He was diagnosed with Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD) in 2016, and his cognitive and physical health began to fade. At that point, he finally retired and spent more time with his closest friends and family. He eventually moved to Bogota, Colombia, where he spent the better part of a year living with his son, Kelby and two of his granddaughters, Gabriela and Natalia. When his health required more constant and professional care, he moved to San Diego, Calif., where he was able to have more visits and time with his two daughters and granddaughter, Tayler, until he passed away.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD): https://www.theaftd.org/support-aftds-mission/

Christopher S. Ponder (J.D.’08)

UHLC alumnus Chris Ponder ’08 has joined Sheppard Mullin’s Intellectual Property practice group in the Palo Alto office.

Joginder S. Dhillon (L.L.M.’99)

Brown Appoints 13 to Benches Across California

December 7, 2018 NATHAN SOLIS

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) – Outgoing California Governor Jerry Brown filed 13 Superior Court judgeships Friday.
Appointees include the first Korean-American judge in Alameda County Superior Court, the first Sikh judge ever named to the Sacramento County Superior Court and the first Filipino-American woman to serve as a superior court judge in the Bay Area.
Joginder Dhillon, 57, of Sacramento, and Peter K. Southworth, 53, of Latrobe, were appointed to judgeships in Sacramento County Superior Court.
Dhillon has served as a senior adviser to Gov. Brown since 2013 and is the first Sikh judge ever appointed in Sacramento County. He earned his B.S. from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1982 and served in the Air Force for 20 years and was the legal adviser to U.S. Space Command/North American Aerospace Defense Command. Dhillon served as chief counsel for the California Gambling Control Commission from 2009 to 2013 and as general counsel for the California Emergency Management Agency from 2007 to 2009. Dhillon earned his law degree from Harvard Law School and a Master of Laws degree in intellectual property law from the University of Houston Law Center. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Raymond M. Cadei.

Brown Appoints 13 to Benches Across California