Class Notes

Breaking news of those breaking new ground. This is where we celebrate noteworthy achievements and life changes of fellow Bruins. Here you can stay in touch, keep up and announce your own Class Note by submitting your story.

Ardem Patapoutian ’90

Ardem Patapoutian ’90 is one of two winners of the 2021 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine, honored with UC San Francisco professor David Julius for their discoveries of receptors in the body that respond to temperature and touch. Specifically, their research explains how temperature and pressure are converted into electrical impulses in the nervous […]

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Juri Watanabe ’18

Juri Watanabe ’18 has been selected as one of the semi-finalists for Miss Universe Japan 2021. “I’m incredibly excited,” wrote Watanabe on her Instagram post. “As a semi-finalist, I will be training and competing alongside 40 beautiful, intelligent and talented women for the title of Miss Universe Japan and for a seat at the international […]

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Haile Gerima ’72, M.F.A. ’76

Sankofa, a 1993 film by Haile Gerima ’72, M.F.A. ’76, has been re-released by Netflix in a digitally restored edition, an effort initiated by another illustrious Bruin filmmaker, Ava DuVernay. In addition, on Sept. 25, at the opening gala of the $250 million Academy Museum in Los Angeles, Gerima received the museum’s first Vantage Award, […]

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Sandra Cano ’99, Ed.D. ’18

Sandra Cano ’99, Ed.D. ’18 was recently featured on Spectrum News 1’s “LA Stories,” which highlights people who shape lives and create an impact throughout the community. Cano is executive director of City Year L.A., the first Latina to lead the organization. Cano is a life-long educator who grew up in many of the communities […]

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Susie Anau ’11

Susie Anau ’11, an Asia American studies major, passed away Nov. 7, at age 37, in Sacramento, California, due to COVID-19. She leaves behind a young husband, a son who has just started kindergarten and a younger daughter. Keith L. Camacho, professor and vice-chair of the Asian American studies department, wrote, “Susie… enjoyed conducting research […]

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Josh Escovedo, J.D. ’12

Josh Escovedo has been named a 2021 40 Under 40 honoree by the Sacramento Business Journal. Each year the publication recognizes young Sacramento professionals with a high level of career achievement and contributions to the community. Escovedo is a shareholder and a member of the Litigation, Intellectual Property, and Real Estate practice groups at Weintraub Tobin, a leading […]

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Janie Thompson ’08, J.D. ’13

Janie Thompson ’08, J.D. ’13, has joined the Los Angeles office of Tucker Ellis LLP. Thompson has a comprehensive trademark practice ranging from counseling, clearance, domestic and foreign prosecution, and portfolio management through the enforcement and litigation of trademark disputes. She works closely with clients to develop effective brand protection strategies, including through informal dispute […]

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Dr. John Brooks Slaughter, M.S. ’61

Dr. John Brooks Slaughter, M.S. ’61, was inducted into The Kansas African American Museum (TKAAM) 2021 Trailblazers Hall of Fame this month. The engineering/sciences trailblazer is one of five leaders with Kansas connections The Museum recognized for their determination and triumphs. Dr. Slaughter is a native of Topeka, Kansas, and graduated from Kansas State University […]

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Charles R. Mortensen ’49, M.Ed. ’58

Charles R. Mortensen ’49, M.Eng. ’58, will receive the Legion of Honor, France’s highest award, in the rank of Chevalier, at a ceremony at the Residence of France in Beverly Hills, California, on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. Mortensen, 97, a Technical Sergeant in the U.S. Army, served in Europe during World War II, engaging in […]

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Mary Lou (Williams) Paullin ’46

Mary Lou (Williams) Paullin ’46 passed away Sept. 29 at the age of 96. M’Lou Williams was born in May 1925 in Oklahoma. Her family later relocated to Los Angeles and she attended Beverly Hills High School, where she met her husband, Leslie Paullin. They both attended UCLA and remained devout Bruins for their entire […]

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Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga, M.A. ’91

Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga, M.A. ’91, has received the prestigious Charles Wollaston Award from the Royal Academy of Arts, United Kingdom. Wanjiku won the £25,000 prize for Wetereire – Waiting in the Royal Academy’s 253rd Summer Exhibition (open until Jan. 2, 2022). Established in 1978 and presented to the “most distinguished work” in the exhibition, it […]

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