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Alumni Success

1980s

Robert Cooper ’80 is an award-winning writer, actor, comedian, musician, public speaker and doctor based in Houston. He has roles in three feature films set for release in 2018: The Boneyard (horror film), Special Delivery (drama) and Home Stay (comedy/thriller). He created and performs in a one-man show at colleges and universities nationwide billed as a unique blend of lecture, motivation and comedy. His latest book, F.R.E.A.K.O.U.T.—A Strategy for Powerful Learning, is available at Amazon.

Karen Stensgaard ’86 published her debut novel, Aquavit, the first book in the Aquamarine Sea series. Aquavit is available through Amazon as a trade paperback or e-book version, as well as from other e-book retailers.

Dr. Gail Gross ’89 is an author and parenting, relationships and human behavior expert. She recently wrote an article in Thrive Global titled, How to Talk With Your Children About School Violence. Dr. Gross is frequently called upon by national and regional media to offer her insight on topics involving family relationships, education, behavior and development issues.

1990s

Keith Hill ’90 was appointed by Eco Atlantic as non-executive director in Nov. 2017. He is currently president and CEO of AOC and spent over 20 years with the Lundin Group. Hill has been involved with international new venture management and holding senior exploration positions at Occidental Petroleum and Shell Oil Company. Magnus Fyhr ’91 joined Seaport Global Securities LLC as managing director and senior shipping analyst in its Houston office. Fyhr has 20 years of industry experience in energy and maritime industries, including but not limited to portfolio management and equity research.

James M. (Mike) Waters ’93 will serve as vice chairman at Measurement, Control & Automation Association Board of Directors this year. Waters joined SOR Controls Group Ltd. as president and chief executive officer in April 2012.

Kieth Strudler ’94, has been named the director of Montclair State University’s School of Communication and Media. Strudler is now leading a range of groundbreaking, crossdisciplinary communication, television and digital media programs—including production and sound, filmmaking, journalism, public and organizational relations and health communication.

2000s

Wafi Dinari ’02 partner and general manager of Ouisie’s Table, was mentioned as the Sommelier’s Pick in the Houston Chronicle. His first restaurant job was at Michelangelo’s, and in six years he became the assistant general manager. He gained his wine knowledge there and at several other restaurants before he took over as the general manager at Ouisie’s Table. Seven years later, chef/owner Elouise Adams Jones asked Dinari to become her partner in business.

David Joseph Rofrano ’02 is pleased to announce the release of his latest instrumental album, Peaceful Children (Instrumental Piano Music), available everywhere. This album is an extremely well crafted piano and instrumental CD, created with the goal of helping children of all ages find peace and balance as they listen to each track. Rofrano points to his education and musical experience at the University of St. Thomas as an important contributing factor to his creative success.

Laura A. Randeles ’05 RTC senior manager at Braithwaite Global, Inc. spoke at the Knowledge Congress’ webcast: R&D Tax Credit: Opportunities and Pitfalls in the 2018 Landscape Live Webcast. Randeles has conducted over 100 research tax credit studies in her R&D career.

Victor Howard ’05 was appointed as the new chief operating officer of LifeEnergy, LLC, a leading distributed energy company serving residential and commercial customers in deregulated energy markets across the United States. As LifeEnergy’s first COO, Howard has since managed LifeEnergy’s rapid customer growth trajectory as the company expands into new markets and introduces new products and services.

Jesse Espinosa ’06 collaborated with nine music educators on writing curriculum units for band and orchestra classrooms. Supported by a Teaching with Primary Sources grant from the Library of Congress, these teachers will write curriculum units based on primary archival materials from the Library connected to music.

Leandra Hernández ’08 was appointed vice chair for the National Communication Association’s Latino Communication Studies Division and La Raza Caucus. Dr. Hernández has served as an instructor for Cross-Cultural Health Perspectives and Health Communication and Social Advocacy at Trident University College of Health and Human Services since 2014. Her research interests include reproductive health, prenatal testing, shared decision making within health care contexts, cultural competence and multicultural health experiences.

2010s

Niku Kazori ’15 joined KENS-TV as the traffic anchor in San Antonio. Kazori has been highly visible to viewers as the newswoman on the scene of the scandal-rich Uresti fraud trial. Kazori began her morning traffic duties in March of 2018.

About the Author — UST Staff

AvatarThe UST staff strives to bring the most interesting, relevant and topical stories to our audience with each issue. These stories feature current UST students, alumni, professors, staff members and people we work with through our many partnerships. We hope you enjoy this glimpse of the UST community.

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