Our Alumni

Our alumni get a free email account. Sign up in the top left hand corner at the alumni page. Gmail would also work.

This page is for our alumni and other friends who would like to keep in touch with the department. Use it to let us and others know of:

  • what you are doing
  • how you can be contacted
  • your memories of school and/or teachers
  • anything else you would like to contribute

Send anything you may have to contribute to Prof. Jackson at jackson@sonoma.edu.

On 8.30.14, the local Press Democrat ran an article entitled, "Treasure Trove." It's about an old store in Pope Valley that was closed down 43 years ago and which is now selling the large number of artifacts and antiques that are there. To help inventory and sell the contents, the owner called former SSU criminal justice major Brian Witherell, class of 1989, who owns Withrell's Antiques and Fine Arts in Sacramento. The article reports that Brian calls his current job "detective work" and for seventeen years has been an appraiser who has appeared on PBS's, "Antique Roadshow," which is very popular these days. You never know where you'll find a former major.

On 4.21.08, Mari Tejera writes that she is working as a patent prosecution paralegal for Townsend and Townsend and Crew LLP. Mari went to Shanghai last year to visit a client, which she found to be a very rewarding experience. "I am very proud of SSU; thanks to SSU I am where I am today."

Marlon Cobar sends us an update of his work in Iraq. Read this article about his efforts there. As of mid-April 2008 he has returned to the states safely. More recently, there is an article published about him and others at U C Davis.

Charlie La Sala and Chris O'Neill are working with Santa Rosa PD, Andrew Barrington is working with Novato PD, while Scott Jensen is working with the Marin County Sheriff's Department. Congratulations to all!

The last we heard, Charles Herron was working as a federal police officer for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Since graduating from SSU in 1992 with a degree in CJA, under the hopeful yet suspicious gaze of Docs Jackson, Yearwood, and Marcus, I have continued on, graduating from law school in 1995 and working in Napa as a private attorney with an emphasis on criminal defense work for nearly a decade. The experience was rewarding on many levels dealing with DAs, police, probation, parole, judges, defendants, witnesses, and a plethora of people involved. I then spent 15 months in Afghanistan as an activated reservist, helping to construct the fledgling criminal justice system and teaching junior college level criminal justice courses held by the Central Texas College to service men and women stationed there. Both of which I could not have done but for my education and experiences at SSU. Since my return, I have worked for the State of California as a staff attorney. SSU was perfect for a student like me: a private college atmosphere and on a public college budget! I have strong and happy memories of Homero, Ken and Pat, and the classes I attended. Honing my skills to think critically of a given situation has helped me and my clients in many ways. Warmest regards, Patrick Burke Staff Counsel Department of Health Care Services Sacramento

We just heard from Matthew Hollman, who switched jobs and is now working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Arizona. He reports being very busy.

Marlon Cobor had a rich experience as a Coro Fellow and subsequently went on to law school at U C Davis. He worked in the prosecutor's office for the City and County of San Francisco for a period and is now a federal prosecutor. As a Federal prosecutor, Marlon is traveling to Iraq as one of eight "Resident Legal Advisors," people who provide legal guidance to the U.S. Embassy in Iraq along with the Iraqi provincial and central courts. He has signed up for a year but has an option to sign up for a second year. He will be assigned to an undisclosed location far from Baghdad. An article about him appeared in the Fresno Bee on Oct. 31, 2006 ("Fresno prosecutor heads for Iraq duty"). That article notes that the federal program dates to 2003, when an initial assessment team looked at criminal justice reform, judicial training and court policy in Iraq. In late 2004, the Justice Department sought volunteers for a second wave as it increased the program. Cobar, a Bay Area native who has been a federal prosecutor for less than four years - including 2 1/2 years in Fresno - applied, but was told, basically, that he was too young. But Cobar was left with a tempting tidbit: Stay in touch. He was skeptical. Around that time, Cobar, who is fluent in Spanish, began doing temporary stints in Colombia, where he trained prosecutors and agents in basic criminal trial advocacy. He has been there four times, including time in Medellin and Cali, which were at one time the power centers in the Latin American drug trade. With that training in hand, this past January it was the Department of Justice that sought out Cobar.

SSU's Alumni of the Year in 2002, Jeanne Woodford, worked her way up the ranks at San Quentin Prison and became Warden. She went on to head California's prison system and is now using her energies in more productive ways. She gave a fantastic SSU Commencement speech in 2006! Way to go Jeanne!

Brian Kelly & Erica Lillund graduated from law School. Congratulations!

Mandy Young is now a code compliance investigator in Tuolumne County. An Aug. 30, 2005 article in the The Union Democrat featured her work there.

Aaron Damm, a Spring of 2005 graduate, finished his degree while doing an internship with the Crime Scene Investigation Unit of the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department. Sonoma Insight wrote an article about Aaron and CSI Internships that you may find of interest.

Brian Young (at denverdogg@hotmail.com) writes: Greetings to all at SSU. This year, southern California has been as wet as I remember NorCal being. This is Brian Young, CJA Class of 2000. I finally got the internet at home and found the alumni site. I hope to hear from some of my old friends, and maybe faculty...

I am living in Simi Valley (Yes, home of the ultra right, conservative Ronald Regan,) and have been a police officer here for four years now. During this time, I have worked mostly patrol, but have done eight months in our Special Problems Section (gang crimes, and quality of life issues..) and have been on the SWAT team for about six months.

I have often wondered what Homero Yearwood, who retired with my class, Pat Jackson, Jeff McIllwain, and Jeff Taft are up to. If you get a chance, I would love to hear from you.

Doug Sorell, Lori Fieri, Abby...Where the heck are all of you and what are you doing???

I look forward to an update soon. Brian Young

I was surfing the net this evening, and came across SSU's web page. My name is Erin M. Dervin. I graduated from SSU as a CJA major in the Spring of 1994. Since then, I went on to law school at California Western School of Law (CWSL) in San Diego, CA. I graduated from CWSL in December of 1996. I took and passed the bar exam in February of 1997. Since August of 1997, I have been working as a Deputy District Attorney in Shasta County, CA. I am so thrilled with the education I received at SSU. Not only was the faculty top notch, but the classes I took gave me an excellent background which well-prepared me for law school.

I wanted to drop you a line to say hi and let you know what was going on. I am attending UMASS Lowell and working as a teaching assistant. It's kind'of bizarre being on the "other side" as far as reaching goes, but I'm having a lot of fun. Most of my studies are in the areas of punishment and corrections. I guess that class I took (in punishments and corrections) really had an impact! I just finished working on a project that tested the efficacy of juvenile probation officers in Maine. Lotsa' data entry. I should be attending the ASC conference in November. Of course, I'm working on getting funding from the department. I will also be traveling to Odessa (Ukraine) in May with a contingent of Law Enforcement officals. Most of what will be happening deals with policing, but they are going to set aside some time to travel to some prisons and local jails.

I hope everyone at SSU is well and having a good semester.  Cheers, Erik Dietz

Geoffrey Reynolds is now working as an investigator in the Sonoma County Public Defender's Office.

Angela Nocera is an investigator for the Public Defender's Office in Contra Costa County in Martinez. We were delighted to have Angela and a colleague at our Lecture Series in April 2005. Keep up the good work, Angela!

Suzanne Stagnitto, aka Suzanne McCall, graduated in 1984 with a BA in CJA. She writes that "my teachers gave me inspiration and my CJA degree gave me my career, for which I will always be grateful."