Serra Is Getting Heavy

One of the world’s most acclaimed living sculptors, Richard Serra ’61, will open three exhibitions simultaneously in New York this fall. In a lengthy profile in the Aug. 28 New York Times, Serra said this would be his “heaviest show ever.”  In addition to his triple openings the Museum of Modern Art in New York will feature his “Equal,” made up of eight 40-ton forged-steel blocks that weigh more than a Boeing 777.

The Times profile piece notes that Serra received his bachelor of arts from UCSB in English literature and went on to graduate school at Yale and quickly joined the “Minimalist” movement in sculpture. His huge pieces can now be found in more than 100 sites around the world.

Some of his works are so huge that art galleries have purchased special buildings to hold them. His piece “Forged Rounds,” which will open at the Gargosian Studio in New York consists of four massive sculptures of 21 forged steel drums which weigh precisely 50 tons. According to the Times, that is the exact limit on weight that can be hauled over the George Washington Bridge, which is the route Serra’s work will take to the art gallery.

For all the interest in his massive sculptures, Serra is also known for his work on paper. One of his shows in New York will feature his drawings which the Times described as “fierce objects, large and tarry, all-black on white.”

Richard Serra ’61 was featured on the front page of the New York Times Arts & Leisure section on Sept. 1, 2019. His sculptures are making a huge impact in the New York art world.


Barbara Rush, ’48, who has received a number of awards for her work in Hollywood, received the Cinema Legacy Award at Cinecon 55 on August 31, 2019. Rush is known for her early works in sci-fi “It Came From Outer Space,” as well as her dramas “Magnificent Obsession,” and “Bigger Than Life.” At this year’s Cinecon 55, which is a classic film festival held in Hollywood, Rush’s 1957 work “Oh Men, Oh Women,” will be featured. Rush worked with some of Hollywood’s greatest performers, including Montgomery Clift, Dean Martin and Marlon Brando in the 1958 film “The Young Lions.” She co-starred with Rock Hudson in three different movies in the 1950s. In 1976 Rush received the UC Santa Barbara Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus Award.


Marilyn Hagar ’67 an expressive arts therapist is publishing her first book
”Finding the Wild Inside: Exploring Our Inner Landscape Through the Arts, Dreams and Intuition.”

Robert Curry ‘67 has a new book
“Reclaiming Common Sense: Finding Truth in a Post-Truth World” challenging the idea that truth and common sense are outdated.



Explorer Bob Ballard ‘67 most famous for his discovery of the Titanic, has embarked on a quest to solve the mystery of aviator Amelia Earhart’s 1937 disappearance. Ballard will lead his research vessel, the EV/Nautilus to the Nikumaroro, the uninhabited Pacific Island where some historians believe Earhart crashed. Just off the island the ocean plunges to a depth of 4,000 feet where some believe Earhart’s plane was swept. The founder of the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, Ric Gillespie, has produced much of the evidence pointing to Nikumaroro. His group will comb the island for clues while the Nautilus searches for aircraft debris in the ocean.  The expedition is funded by the National Geographic Society, which will produce a documentary on the expedition.


Lorin Letendre ’68, ’70 M.A. has reassumed his role as President and chair of the board of the Carmel Valley Watershed Conservancy. He had previously acted as their interim executive director. He is a former member of the UC Santa Barbara Alumni Association and generously donated to establish the Mosher Alumni House art gallery.


David T. Kirkpatrick ’71 has received the Bryon Cummings Award for outstanding research and contributions to knowledge in anthropology, history, or a related field of study or research pertaining to the southwestern United States or northwest Mexico. Kirkpatrick is an Associate Director of Research and Public Education and Principal Investigator for Human Systems Research, Inc. in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Reg Spittle ’74 has backpacked nearly 1,000 miles on four European trails since retiring as a political science instructor at the State Center Community College district. He is the author of “Camino Sunrise: Walking With My Shadows”.


Lisa Barnhouse ’80 has started a consulting business helping non-profits and foundations with fund development. Her degree was in Communications.

Teri Lawton ’83 Ph.D. is in clinical trials to develop remedies for cognitive deficits in children and adults. She is the CEO, Founder and Director of Research for Perception Dynamics Institute in Encinitas, CA.

Anna Willis ’86 retired from the Teradata Corp. in 2018 and was recently married. Her degree was in Computer Science.


Robert Burris ‘90, the president and chief executive officer for the Solano Economic Development Corporation, has been elected to the California Association of Local Economic Development (CALED) board of directors. CALED is a professional economic development organization founded in 1980. It provides information, technical assistance, training, education and research to its members. Burris will serve a two-year term starting July 1, 2019. He will continue as chairman of the CALED legislative action committee.


Jennie Romer ‘00 has been added to the staff of the Surfrider Foundation as a Legal Associate with the organizations Plastic Pollution Initiative. Romer has received national attention for her website which has led the campaign to ban plastic bags from retail outlets. She received her law degree from Golden Gate University and is a member of the state bars in New York and California.

Shaun Pennington ’03 was featured prominently in the Los Angeles Times business section Aug. 18. The article described his turnaround of his family’s 80-year-old mattress business, Diamond Mattress. He described his experience as a religious studies major and his trip to Taiwan to study Buddhism. The company operates two factories in Compton, CA and one in Texas.

Katy Tur ’05 has launched a new documentary series on MSNBC called “American Swamp.” She and fellow journalist Jacob Soboroff traveled across the U.S. to document issues around political dysfunction. Their first show featured a report on how big money influences local elections in Arizona and Montana. A subsequent show features a report on who has influence at President Trump’s private resort Mar-A-Lago.

Michael Wootress ’09 has started his second master’s degree. He is currently the Academic Services Coordinator at National University.



Steve Aoki, ’01, the noted DJ and music producer, has published a new book on the power of music titled “Blue: The Color of Noise.” The book is now available in bookstores and online and was co-written with Daniel Paisner. Aoki was a guest on “Live Talks Los Angeles” on September 4, 2019 at the Aratani Theatre in Los Angeles. He was interviewed by Howie Mandel, the Canadian comedian who was the host of “Deal or No Deal.”

Natasha Sandor ’10, M.Ed. ’15 received the 2019 VC Innovates Pathfinder Award for Health Science and Medical Technology. Drawing upon her career experience in the biomedical implantable device field in medical safety and risk management, Natasha developed a hybrid Medical Terminology course for teachers county-wide. Natasha was also recognized for her exceptional teaching in Medical Terminology and Biology and for her role as advisor for HOSA - Future Health Professionals.


Chris Escalante,’10 graduated from the University of San Diego with an MBA.

On August 10 and 11, 2019, Jonathan Morgan ‘14 (D.M.A.) performed a viola solo and accompanied his Isaura String Quartet at the annual UCSB Summer Music Festival. Established by Federico Llach ‘17 in 2016, the festival also featured alumni Temmo Korisheli ‘87 (B.A.) ‘99 (Ph.D.) Nicholas Ragheb ‘19 (Ph.D.) of The Sahala Band, and Eric Ederer ‘96 (B.A.) ‘07 (M.A.) ‘11 (Ph.D.) of Kalinka.

Hannah Aguirre ‘13, Carl Haislett ‘13, and Isabella Marill MSESM ‘16, MEd ‘18 were chosen by the Knowles Teacher Initiative as members of its 2019 Cohort of Teaching Fellows. The Knowles Teaching Fellowship is a five-year program that supports early-career, high school mathematics and science teachers in their efforts to develop teaching expertise.

Chanel Miller ’14 published a memoir “Know My Name” that reveals she was the victim of the sexual assault by Stanford swimmer Brock Turner that led to a public outcry when the perpetrator received a light sentence. Miller will be appearing in an upcoming segment of 60 Minutes to discuss her book and her experience. Miller was known as Emily Doe in all the court proceedings until the publication of her book. She received her degree in literature from the College of Creative Studies at UCSB.

Taylor Raleigh ’15 was the No. 1 sales rep at Tandem Diabetes in the second quarter of 2019, setting an all time company sales record.

Robert Johnson ‘19 has been named a member of the 2018-19 All-Academic Saling Team by the Inter-Collegiate Saling Association. He served as regatta captain for several years before becoming team captain. The All-Academic Sailing Team recognizes collegiate sailors who have achieved excellence in national and inter-conference competition as well as excelling at the highest academic level for the 2018-19 academic year.

Talia Chalhoub ’20 will be launching fall of 2019 a personal podcast in partnership with UCSB Mosher Alumni House, exploring topics that propel self-discovery and self-improvement.

In Memoriam


Mary Strench Rosenquist ’49 died Feb. 22, 2019 in Redlands, Calif. She received her bachelor’s degree in home economics and was a member of the Delta Sigma Epsilon/Delta Zeta sorority. She taught home economics in schools in Shafter, Santa Ana and Southern California.

Mark Hamilton ’50 died May 1, 2019 in San Francisco. He served as a U.S. Marine in World War II in Peleliu. After receiving his bachelor’s degree at UCSB he went on to graduate from Stanford Law School. He was the first attorney for the San Francisco Maritime Museum. He practiced maritime law. He was a board member of Pets Unlimited and the chair of Animal Control in San Francisco.


Dallas Eugene Hazleton ’51 died June 5 in Fullerton, CA. He received his bachelor’s degree in Industrial Arts and his masters at Long Beach State. He taught Industrial Arts in Santa Barbara schools until 1956 when he started the Automobile Technology program at Fullerton Junior College. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was stationed in occupied Japan.

Robert (Bob) Johnston ’52 died May 9, 2019 in Rialto, CA. He set a school record at the Santa Barbara State College (later UCSB) for most wins in a season as a pitcher on the baseball team. He served in the U.S. Air Force during the last phase of World War II. He spent 35 years as an agent of the State Farm Insurance Co.

Doris Sonnie Flint ’62 died August 15, 2019 in Carmichael, CA. She served on the UCSB Alumni Association Board of Directors from 1984-90. 


John Wheeler Hunt ‘64 died August 2, 2019 in Ashland, Ore. He had received his master’s in education from Stanford University and started his career in teaching in Las Vegas. He went on to work for the National Education Association and in 1973 began a second career in banking. He worked at Montecito Bank & Trust and American Riviera Bank until his retirement in 2009.

Bill Duval ’67, died August 11, 2019 in Santa Barbara. A well-known Santa Barbara civic leader and attorney, Duval handled numerous death penalty appeal cases. He started his career in the public defenders’ offices in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara until 1978 when he founded the firm of Duval & Lentz. He graduated from UCLA Law School. He is the past president of the Santa Barbara County Bar Association and the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization.


Philip Montesano ’75 Ph.D. died June 4, 2019 in San Francisco. He received his BA and MA from San Francisco State and after graduating from UCSB held many Bay Area teaching positions. He finally settled as the librarian at Westmoor High School in Daly City while teaching at City College of San Francisco. 

Paula Lynn Thompson ’76 died July 11, 2019 at Stanford Hospital. She received her teaching credential and spent 32 years in public education as a special education teacher. She also wrote and illustrated children’s books.


Farhad Mirbod ’93, M.S. ’95 died June 25, 2019. After studying thermal dynamics he worked as an engineer at Raytheon, Flir and Sonos. He immigrated with his family from Iran during the Revolution in 1979. 


Christopher Ryder Fiske ’02 died July 2, 2019 in Paso Robles. He received his degree in business economics and for the past 12 years had been a firefighter with the city of Monterey.

Steven Pacatte ’06 died Dec. 10 in San Francisco. He was a history major who went on to a career as a firefighter in San Francisco, assigned to Station 14.


Umihiko Hoshijima ’18 Ph.D. died in a diving accident Aug. 7, 2019 off Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska. At the time he was surveying underwater plots on a research dive for the U.S. Geological Survey. He was a postdoctoral researcher at UC Santa Cruz and had earned his PhD from UCSB in ecology, evolution and marine biology. His research at UCSC focused on ocean acidification and the warming impact on kelp forest species in Alaska.


In Remembrance

UCSB Staff, Students, and Community Friends


Dr. Thomas Francis Dixon, the former medical director of the Isla Vista Medical Clinic and staff physician at the UCSB Health Center, died May 19, 2019. He attended UCSB to finish his pre-med courses and then attended medical school at USC and received his MD in 1978. He served on the board of Let Isla Vista Eat as well as the predecessor of the Isla Vista Redevelopment Agency. 

Adrian Joseph Tan Torreflores, a sophomore at UCSB, died June 18, 2019 at his home in Riverside. He was a pre economics and accounting major. 

Emeritus Professor Bob Schrieffer, a Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics, died July 27, 2019 in Santa Barbara. Schrieffer joined the physics faculty in 1980 and was director for the Institute for Theoretical Physics from 1984-89. He received the Nobel Prize in 1972 for research into superconductivity. He was named a Chancellor Professor in 1984. He retired from UCSB in 1992 and went to Florida. 

Ambassador Joseph Wilson ’71, died September 27, 2019 in New Mexico. He came to national prominence when he questioned the factual basis for President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq. As a consequence of his action then Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff Scooter Libby revealed the identity of Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame. She was working for the CIA as a deep cover operative. Libby eventually was prosecuted for perjury and obstruction of justice and was later pardoned by President Donald Trump. 

Wilson served for 22 years in the foreign service, mostly in Africa. While ambassador to Iraq he was the last person to meet with Saddam Hussein before Hussein invaded Kuwait. Hussein warned Wilson he would hang any embassy official that sheltered Americans during the invasion of Kuwait.

Wilson challenged Hussein the next day wearing a noose to a press conference and saying he would shelter Americans and if that meant being hanged, “I will bring the f…. rope.” He sheltered as many as 100 Americans in the American embassy in Iraq. 

His dispute with Bush came after he was sent to Niger to investigate claims that Hussein was building nuclear weapons with cake uranium from Niger. He came back to say there was no truth to the allegations. 

Plame told the New York Times the day after his death, “He had the heart of a lion. He’s an American hero.”