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Class of 2009

Considering how much extra text there is in all our lives from all facets of media, this column is brought to you quite straightforwardly full of updates. Enjoy, and may all of your Marches and Aprils be full of flowers, sunshine and happiness. 

Jeff Gilliland recently published his first book: Four Dollars and a Dream: The Life and Times of Cino Chegia. The biography of Jeff’s great-uncle Cino, the book follows its intrepid hero from his childhood in an Italian fishing village torn apart by World War II to his illegal immigration to Oakland and his eventual founding of the Rockridge Youth Soccer Club.

Janet Hwu took a new job in Osaka, Japan, last year with Universal Studios. Almost a year ago, she went on a trip with fellow Stanford Taiko alumni to Kauai, Hawaii, followed by a campus visit for Stanford Taiko’s 25th-anniversary concert. She shared that it was lovely to see old friends and to perform for the first time in Bing Concert Hall. She was also able to make additional trips home to attend the weddings of Victoria Ha and Colin Murfree, who got married last June in Baltimore, and Sun Yang. Sun Yang, who shared that her college friends have always jokingly told her she should marry someone with the last name Tan or Shine, was happily marrying someone with the last name “Moon.” Fantastic name and even more fantastic hashtag (#suntobeamoon)! 

Alex Fenner and Therin Jones Fenner, ’08, live in Seattle with their sons, 2-year-old Wesley and 10-month-old Sidney. Alex is a lawyer and Therin is a preacher. Wesley is a vacuum cleaner enthusiast and Sidney is just taking it all in. Drop them a line if you’re in the area.

In Seattle, Therin and Alex had regular dinners with Adriana Vazquez, MA ’10, while she finished her PhD in classics at the U. of Washington. Adriana graduated last year and was lured back to California, where she has been teaching at UCLA as an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Classics. Congratulations, Adriana! She shared that she is excited to teach a course on the classical reception in South America, and she has been dancing tango in her spare time. And she misses Therin, Alex, Wesley and Sidney terribly!

Emily Grubert, PhD ’17, finished her doctorate in environment and resources and is now a postdoc at Berkeley. 

Tenah Acquaye Hunt completed a PhD in social welfare at the U. of Wisconsin-Madison in May. A few weeks later, she and her husband, Jack Hunt, welcomed a sweet baby girl into the world. Tenah now works as a researcher and evaluator for the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, and Jack is currently working on the PhD portion of his MD/PhD training at UW-Madison. They miss their Stanford friends and are looking forward to attending our 10-year reunion next year.

Andrea Fuller is living the dream in Brooklyn, N.Y.: writing for the investigations team at the Wall Street Journal and doing data analysis to find stories. She’s proud of the fact that she’s been to 15 countries since graduating, considering that she hadn’t been on a plane before coming to Stanford. But she shared that “like everyone else, I’m mostly just playing with my cat and consuming an embarrassing amount of media.” Or, if you don’t have a cat, still consuming an embarrassing amount of media. 

In addition to playing pickup basketball and surfing at every opportunity, Eva Glasrud, MA ’10, has launched her own education consulting firm, Paved with Verbs. She has been traveling in Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. Hit her up if you’re in the area and want to have a Stanford minireunion! Also, since she’s still living near Stanford, she had the chance to attend reunion this past fall. The band was having a reunion, and she shared that “it was a blast! It was very bizarre to be standing in the fanciest, newest business school in probably the world and realize that when I was at Stanford, that spot was nothing but a trailer that served as the Band Shak.” 

Alex Gamble is currently working for an experience studio called Here Be Dragons, crafting VR, AR and MR-branded content. She enjoys teaching herself how to use Unity and edit cinematics in it, making cocktails and exploring bars. Her last crazy adventure involved outrunning some spooky people at a haunted maze in Los Angeles. One of her favorite memories from Stanford is wearing a Ninja Turtle costume to a “Cowabunga” beach-themed frat party. And of all the times jokes have been requested for the column, Alex is only the second person out of hundreds to at least acknowledge: “Jokes: They’re great.”

And last but not least, Ooshma Garg recently raised a series B round of financing for her start-up, Gobble, which helps busy professionals cook dinner for their family in just 15 minutes with one pan. Gobble has raised over $25 million from Silicon Valley veterans and expanded from seven states to 32 states, delivering tens of thousands of meals a day. Ooshma’s favorite and most meaningful professional achievement was when a woman stopped her at a conference recently simply to say, “I knew you would be here and I had to find you and tell you: Gobble saved my marriage. Thank you.” She’s also started an early-stage venture fund called XFactor Ventures with eight other female CEOs/CXOs to help build the pipeline for more successful female entrepreneurs. She started her first company from her dorm room in Castaño, where she hid the room key in her pink shower caddy of the girl’s bathroom so that classmates could get in and out of her room while she was in class to keep working on the start-up. 

Beyond work, Ooshma went hiking at Ireland’s Connemara National Park for her birthday last year. She shared that the pebbled paths, peaceful sheep-studded rolling hills and the lovely lakes all took her breath away, and she highly recommends a visit.

One of her favorite memories from Stanford was the boys rolling out the girls in her freshman dorm, Rinconada, for Valentine’s Day and feeling the love of her new family at Stanford. 

To wrap it all up, we hope you are having a good start to the Year of the Dog! Some media sources state that it is the year of the Earth Dog, which means even better things for those of us with earth signs. This is a good year for lifestyle changes, according to the internet. Good luck and dogspeed.

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