Voice Magazine / Stories
Spring 2018

Vintage Leadership

Napa County is known for its lush vineyards and rolling hills. But when Minh Tran ’95 was appointed as its chief executive officer in October, the county looked quite different. Four major wildfires were raging through Wine Country, requiring the College of Law alumnus to work hard and maintain a calm demeanor to help residents survive.

Kenneth Mead

Strength in Community

Police know their jobs can be dangerous. But Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Detective Kenneth Mead ’97 likely had no idea how bad things would get after first hearing about the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival shooting. Community solidarity has helped Mead and his fellow officers stay focused as the investigation continues.

The Future of Adult Education

The University of La Verne’s commitment to lifelong learning and student-focused culture has contributed to a long, successful history in adult learner programs.

Pomona Valley Wildcats

Pitch Perfect

Members of the softball team step up to the plate annually to coach members of the Pomona Valley Wildcats Special Olympics teams.

Extended Davis family

Deep Roots

A sense of community, Church of the Brethren roots, and a reputation for producing top-notch teachers, superintendents, and other educators has drawn 65 members of C. Ernest Davis’s family to the University of La Verne since 1910. The Davis family tree — branching out across three generations — has more Leopard connections than most others.

Allison Farole '07

Managing Chaos

Allison Farole ’07 traded in a dream of becoming a television reporter for a career in emergency management. Though she had faced plenty of stressful situations in her job, a white nationalist rally that arrived on her doorstep in Charlottesville put her leadership skills to the test.

Annamarie Montañez

The Gift of Possibilities

Annamarie Montañez ’02, ’14 remembers the encouragement her parents showed her when she decided to go to college and become an educator. She draws inspiration from that support as principal of the Jurupa Valley Unified School District Adult Education and Community Day School.

Firas Arodaki '12

War and Peace

Firas Arodaki '12 lived through the Persian Gulf War and Iraq War while growing up in Kuwait. Those experiences now motivate the Master of Science in Leadership and Management student to assist others. He helps Syrian refugees settle in Southern California, raises money to support a Syrian orphanage, and stands up for the rights of Muslims.

Judge Winston Keh

Rags to Robes

A pivotal moment in Winston Keh's life came when a man handed him change on the streets of the Philippines. Now Keh ’99 hands down justice as a judge in San Bernardino County.

Tyler Davies ’07


A lifelong fascination with flying led Tyler Davies ’07 to become part of one of the world’s most elite fighter squadrons.

Seta Whitby

Hard Drive

Seta Whitby’s ambition to do something with her life after high school led her on a journey from Lebanon to La Verne, where she has become a respected and beloved computer science professor.

Track and Field

Starting Line

Coach Kevin Reid’s current hurdle is preparing the track and field team for its first meet in January.

Painting "Nevertheless... They Persisted"

The Colors of Culture

A woman with flowing blue tresses and Aztec earrings stands tall outside the Landis Academic Center, looking west. She is not a student, professor, or staff member. She is the University of La Verne’s new mural, titled “Nevertheless…They Persisted.”

Heshmat Mirsepassi

Fulfilling a Promise

Retired aerospace engineer Dr. Taghi Mirsepassi came to the University of La Verne in 2017 to fulfill the wishes of his late wife, Heshmat. Dr. Mirsepassi’s mission has yielded an endowed scholarship fund that will help students achieve their dreams.

Seann Nicols

The Business of Heavy Metal

Raw talent is not always enough to survive in rock and roll. That is why Seann Nicols ’16 is pursuing a Master of Business Administration while working as a touring musician, including a stint as Quiet Riot’s lead singer in early 2017. He is seeking an edge that will help his music career.

Beverly Foster

Foster’s Care

A family crisis turned into a life-changing opportunity for Beverly Foster ’04, ’06, who runs a training center for young adults with special needs in Kern County. It is a site that will give her students a chance at technology careers, a cause so noble it convinced the White House to provide financial support.

Police Chiefs Lisa Rosales, John Curley, and Nick Paz

Protect and Serve

It is a tumultuous time to be a police chief, but four University of La Verne alumni see opportunity in the challenge.