Alumni Spotlights feature outstanding UC Santa Barbara alumni succeeding in their careers, proud of their Gaucho heritage.

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During her time at UC Santa Barbara, Tawni Koutchesfahani ‘04 found her most rewarding academic experiences through engagement with tough professors who pushed her academically. Years later, Tawni has employed her learned patience and problem-solving skills in her leadership role as the Head of Cell Therapy Manufacturing and Supply Chain at Nkarta.
Brandon Johnson ‘13 spent most of his time at UCSB studying Computer Science, pivoting to Mathematics during his fourth year. To push himself academically, Brandon continued his education at USC for a Masters in Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs. It was an elective on career development that sparked his passion for career coaching.
Bridget Kyeremateng utilizes her double major degree of Black and Feminist Studies as the senior manager for inclusive marketing for Twitch, a popular live streaming social app. At the time, she could have never imagined such a role, let alone the way in which it has pushed her creativity and work ethic to be recognized on the Forbes 30 Under 30 2024 list.
Growing up in Sweden, moving to Isla Vista for undergrad brought forth a lot of life changes for Mahsa Afsharpour ’05. Embracing the social nature of UCSB, Mahsa appreciated her time both in and out of the classroom with friends and peers. After studying Forensic Psychology for her Master’s degree, Mahsa made a career change into her current line of work: interior design.
Paul Dimalanta was always passionate about visual arts, but didn’t begin his photography career until he graduated from UCSB in 2005. Initiated by an interest in magazine work, the artist found himself working his way up in the luxury photography industry. After over a decade, Paul boasts a rich portfolio featuring a diverse range of artwork.
Monte Schulz ‘83 attended UC Santa Barbara for a Master of Arts in American Studies. He honed his passion for writing by immersing himself in diverse literature and has since published a plethora of novels, including Crossing Eden and Metropolis.