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Class Notes

Class of 2001 Top image: book cover of "This Animal Body." The cover features a silhouette of a wolf against a purple and blue abstract background. Bottom image: Meredith smiles wearing sleeveless dress and stands outdoors with a scenic, blurred natural landscape in the background.

Meredith Walters ’01 just had her debut novel published by SparkPress. The story is based in part on Meredith’s experience at Cal and centers on UC Berkeley grad student Frankie Conner, who after multiple failures and several false starts, has finally found her calling: become a neuroscientist, discover the cause of her depression and anxiety, and hopefully find a cure for herself and everyone like her. But her first day of the program, Frankie meets a mysterious group of talking animals who know things she doesn’t, like scientific facts and what happened in the years before her adoption. This Animal Body follows Frankie as she risks her career, her goals, and her mental health to uncover the truth about these animals and the urgent, life-changing message they claim to have but refuse to share. Meredith’s writing can also be found in Eden Magazine, Tiny Buddha, elephant journal, and at

Class of 1989

Elaine Fitch ’89, managing partner of Kalijarvi, Chuzi, Newman & Fitch in Washington, D.C., was elected as a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Election as a Fellow is the highest recognition by one’s colleagues of sustained outstanding performance in the profession, exemplifying integrity, dedication, and excellence. The installation of new Fellows is scheduled for November 16, 2024, in New York City. With the current installation, the College is represented by more than 1,500 members in 46 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and eight Canadian Provinces

Class of 1987

Gary C. Williams ’72 (Curator of Invertebrate Zoology, California Academy of Sciences) and Michele M. Masuda ’87 co-authored A Guide to the Corals of Alaska, the most current and comprehensive guide to 161 cold-water corals in Alaska, including the extraordinarily rich Aleutian Islands. The 416-page guide provides a profile for each coral species, including photos, characteristics of the coral, taxonomic history, biology, ecology, habitat, and geographical and depth distributions. The guide also includes a newly described species, Flabellum (Flabellum) oclairi Cairns, 2023, a cup coral collected near Amchitka Island in the Aleutian Islands. This versatile guide will prove invaluable for species identification in the field and lab as well as appeal to the lay reader who may be curious of the rich and colorful communities in the depths of Alaska. A Guide to the Corals of Alaska by Robert P. Stone, Stephen D. Cairns, Dennis M. Opresko, Gary C. Williams, and Michele M. Masuda. 2023. NOAA Professional Paper NMFS. Available online

Class of 2013

Hu Ke ’13, LL.M, was included in Global Arbitration Review’s third issue of the “45 under 45” Guide, a list of the leading practitioners of international arbitration under the age of 45. Hu Ke is a partner in Chinese firm Jingtian & Gongcheng in Beijing. His practice focuses on cross-border litigation and international arbitration, in commercial and IP matters. He has represented domestic and international clients in more than 100 court proceedings in China and arbitration proceedings under CIETAC, BAC, HKIAC, ICC, SIAC, SCC, CAS and UNCITRAL rules. His experience covers disputes in relation to general commercial contracts, corporate and JV matters, PE/VC investment, energy, carbon finance, entertainment and culture, technology licensing, IP protection, and recognition and enforcement of oversea arbitral awards and court judgments.

Class of 2012


BERKELEY, CA, May 14, 2024 – Jeffrey Church ’12 will become President & CEO of Visit Berkeley on June 1, 2024. Selected following a national search, he will work alongside current Visit Berkeley President & CEO Barbara Hillman through her retirement effective July 1.

“Taking the lead role at Visit Berkeley, to promote a destination I’ve come to know and love, is truly a dream come true,” said Church. “Berkeley is a beacon of diversity and discovery, and I’m absolutely thrilled to work with our talented team as we market the city as a top meeting and leisure travel destination.”

“I am delighted that Jeffrey Church will lead Visit Berkeley. He has been an incredible leader for our business community and supporter of Berkeley,” said City of Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin. “Jeffrey has developed deep relationships with local leaders and will be able to advance the important work started by Barbara Hillman.”

“Jeffrey’s work ethic and knowledge of destination marketing are formidable. Throughout his tenure, he has forged strong relationships within the Berkeley community. He’s absolutely the right choice to take Visit Berkeley to the next level as CEO,” said Barbara Hillman, Visit Berkeley President & CEO.

Church becomes Visit Berkeley’s second chief executive, with Hillman serving in that role since the organization’s founding in 1992. He was previously Visit Berkeley’s Director of Partnership Development, rising to the position in 2023 during his seventh year with Visit Berkeley.

“Barbara Hillman’s decades of tourism and hospitality industry leadership have inspired all who have worked with her,” Church added. “Her passion for Berkeley is legendary, and carrying on Barbara’s legacy will be an honor.”

“I look forward to Jeff Church’s leadership at Visit Berkeley,” said Jack Hlavac, managing director of the DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton Berkeley Marina and Visit Berkeley’s board chair. “Visit Berkeley is a powerful destination marketing organization, and Jeff is the perfect candidate to continue building its influence and tourism’s positive impact for the city of Berkeley.”

A California native, Church was raised in San Jose and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley. There, he worked in the school’s Conference Services division while earning his undergraduate degree, leading to a full-time position as a conference sales coordinator before joining Visit Berkeley in 2016. In addition to leading Visit Berkeley, Church will serve as the city’s Film Commissioner. He is currently a board member for the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce. Visit Berkeley is the official Destination Marketing Organization for the city.

Class of 1969

Stephen Shames ’69 writes: “I have a photography exhibit at Centre de la photographie de Mougins 43 Rue de l’Église, 06250 Mougins, France. The opening is June 28, 2024, at 7 p.m. Any Cal Alumni in southern France are welcome. Exhibit runs until October. Title: Comrade Sisters: Women of the Black Panther Party

Class of 1956

Barbara Chinn writes: “As Class Secretary, I am proud to report our Class of 1956 Endowment for the Preservation Department for the Library is still helping this vital and important department by our donations. It allows the department to take part in Preservation Week, beginning on April 30 thru May 2, with a table on campus. The department also recently had 15 students from the chemistry class in the Arts and Humanities Academy at Berkeley High School visit. These students got to experience how preservation blends chemistry and craft work to prevent decay of materials. The head of the department and a conservator will soon be able to give another presentation to the students at Berkeley High to complement the chemistry project. We would like to hear from our fellow classmates. Send your information to Thanks!”

Class of 1990

Jonathan Schroeder, M.A. ’87, Ph.D. ’90, has published the third book in a trilogy on vinyl records and the stories they tell about cultural history. Designed for Success: Better Living with Midcentury Instructional Records, published by MIT Press with co-author Janet Borgerson, shows how instructional records tap into a distinctly U.S. belief in self-transformation, touted through transcendentalist notions of aspirational striving and human development. Alterations of the body, modification of behavior, transformation of the mind all are possible with the help of albums such as Keep Fit | Be Happy, On Wine: How to Select & Serve, and Better Golf through Hypnosis. The book marks the first comprehensive celebration of instructional records, with 125 full-color images of album covers from the 1950s and 1960s that will entertain, inform, and inspire. Many of the records featured in the book were sourced at legendary Berkeley record stores like Amoeba, Rasputin, and Asta’s. Makes a great gift!

Class of 1973

Having observed that much of the news about climate change is couched in technical and scientific terminology that might not spark an interest in the casual reader, this year William McIntyre ’73 wrote and published a full-length “cli-fi” novel, The Girl who Rode the Unihorn, meant to present the “future of the history foretold” in immediate terms as it will effect actual people. In his “spare time,” he has published a Gaelic-language translation of Mother Goose rhymes, an illustrated traditional Gaelic folktale, and is preparing for publication an illustrated children’s book, Goldi and the Sasquatch, an environmental fairy tale.

Class of 2005

Aleksandra Vasilyuk (Comp Lit, ’05) published her debut novel, Your Presence is Mandatory, with Bloomsbury under her author name, Sasha Vasilyuk. The novel spans from WWII until the Russia-Ukraine conflict and is based on real events. Sasha has written about Russia and Ukraine for the New York Times, CNN, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, NBC, KQED, and others. She looks forward to speaking about the book at Berkeley in Fall 2024.

Class of 2007

Nick Roth ’07 writes: “I have a movie coming out! Hanky Panky (written, co-directed, and co-starring, me from the class of double-0 seven) tells the story of a man and his talking napkin best friend who must save the world from a killer evil top-hat, and also learn to love. Somehow this is actually a real for-real movie and will be out on Amazon, Apple, Google, and all the ones with even funnier names on April 19th. Trailer, details, updates, and gifs (I made gifs!) at

Class of 2004

Kalamazoo College Assistant Professor of Spanish Ivett Lopez Malagamba ’04, Ph.D. ’15, has been awarded tenure along with promotion to associate professor. López Malagamba currently serves as a co-chair in the Department of Spanish Language and Literatures. In her time at K, she has taught beginning through intermediate language courses, and advanced courses on Latin American literature and visual culture topics including indigeneity, contemporary women writers, fiction and documentary film, visual culture practices, and representations of nature. In fall 2019, she took 27 students to the Dominican Republic as part of K’s first faculty-lead experiential study abroad program.

López Malagamba’s research centers on 20th- and 21st-century Latin American literature and visual culture. Her publications explore questions around exclusionary social and political practices and discourses in contexts of armed conflict, migration, and forced displacement. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Peninsular and Latin American literatures and Latin American Studies, and her Ph.D. in Hispanic language and literatures from the University of California, Berkeley. López Malagamba’s experience extends to the non-profit sector. Before earning her Ph.D., she worked with Latinx youth in Southern California facilitating educational programs to prepare them for college. López Malagamba sees her work at K as a continuation of her commitment to help youth access and successfully navigate higher education.