We prepare our alumni to do great things. They never disappoint.
Read where their paths have led and how York prepared them for the journey.
GRADUATE SCHOOL/DEGREE: M.B.A./Thunderbird School of Global Management
CURRENTLY: Chief Operating Officer and Head of Marketing for the EMEA region of AllianceBernstein
"York offers a world-class education and breadth of experience; the various alumni stories speak volumes about the world of opportunity the school created for us."
"When I think back on my time at York, my memories are punctuated by the great teachers we had and how they cultivated our intellectual curiosity preparing us for the brightest possible future. From Frau Vasvary and her whacky laugh, to Mme Oger's utterly French coolness, and Mr. Sturch's playful condescension (who else remembers being called a 'blockhead' in Latin?), each managed their classroom so uniquely while achieving a common goal - creating an environment where we were both challenged and energized.
It's probably not coincidence that my first thoughts gravitate toward three language teachers as I enjoyed those classes the most (and they have served me well in my current role managing the European distribution arm of an American asset management company, especially at our annual Oktoberfest gatherings in Munich!). But the magic of York is there was relevance in nearly every experience. In a work meeting recently, I drew upon something I learned while co-captain of our field hockey team, and I hope to be even half as influential in working with my team of direct reports as Sue Linder was in her understated coaching style. And did anyone else watch The Devil Wears Prada and think back on color study with Mrs. Manchester during the scene where Meryl Streep tells her assistant that the color blue she was wearing was chosen for her?
UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE/UNIVERSITY: B.S. History/U.S. Air Force Academy
GRADUATE DEGREE/UNIVERSITY: Educational Administration/Cal State Northridge
CURRENTLY: Math Teacher at Rosemont High School
"Had I gone to another school, I might not have excelled because of the pressure to fit in."
While at York, I felt safe and empowered to participate in lots of sports and activities. I also took a variety of fascinating classes, like Latin classes with Mr. Sturch, a Shakespeare class with Mr. Rainer, and a whole suite of classes from Mr. and Mrs. Arnold. York has an amazing culture of achievement and risk-taking; my classmates and I supported each other academically and socially. Had I gone to another school, I might not have excelled because of the pressure to fit in. As a teacher I can tell you that social pressures trump all others in many cases, so a positive school climate like York's is invaluable.
After graduating, I went to the Air Force Academy which has a similar culture of high achievement, but with more yelling and push-ups. My York experience prepared me for the academic overload at the Academy and also provided me with the social skills to deal with the variety of people I encountered. Remembering the emergency procedures for parachuting out of an airplane is nothing compared to listing the Roman emperors in order for Mr. Hall or the stages of mitosis for Mr. Arnold.
While at the Academy I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I was able to graduate, but I couldn't serve in the Air Force because of the rule stating all officers must be "worldwide-deployable," which is difficult for diabetics (it's challenging to keep insulin cool in the desert). I shifted my course and became a math teacher, which has been my career since 1997. I constantly use the math I learned from Mrs. Arnold and Sue Linder. In 1999 my classmate from York, Sharon Lu, introduced me to my wife. As you can see, York prepared me for life at the Air Force Academy, a career completely unrelated to my training at the academy, and also helped me personally to meet my wonderful wife with whom I have two beautiful kids.
UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE/UNIVERSITY: B.A. International Management, Franklin College Switzerland
GRADUATE DEGREE/UNIVERSITY: M.P.A., Monterey Institute of International Studies
CURRENTLY: U.S. Department of State
York had a fundamental impact on the trajectory of my life, personally and professionally. At York, I realized how much I enjoyed world languages, and this piqued my interest in traveling and in foreign cultures. I am grateful for the opportunity York gave me to study a number of languages, especially Latin and Classical Greek with Mr. Sturch. His passion for teaching those subjects was inspiring.
Thanks to York I decided to go overseas for college and ended up in Switzerland, where I was part of a very multicultural student body. I eventually came back home to Monterey for graduate school at the Institute and began to pursue a career in international affairs.
I joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 2009 and my current assignment is in Havana, Cuba with the U.S. Interests Section. I'm joined by my nine-month old daughter and my lovely wife, who I met while stationed in Indonesia. My career path allows me to immerse myself in new cultures, to travel, and to use a foreign language at work every day.
UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE/UNIVERSITY: B.S. Computer Engineering, Tufts University
GRADUATE DEGREE/UNIVERSITY: M.S. Electrical & Computer Engineering, Cornell University
CURRENTLY: CPU Design Engineer, NVIDIA
"One thing I learned at York was there is no 'right' path."
"My journey after high school took me for seven years through Boston, Ithaca, and London, where I spent a wonderful junior year abroad, seeing much of Europe and the UK. I started pursuing a PhD at Cornell, but quickly realized it wasn't for me. I left with a master's, decided heavy winter jackets should really only be used when careening down a mountain on a snowboard, and brought the man I would eventually marry out to the Bay area, where we've lived happily for five years now. We bought a condo in San Jose, adopted a black lab mix puppy, and lead fairly typical, though far from boring, lives as Silicon Valley engineers.
I never once regretted my decision to not pursue a doctorate. One thing I learned at York was there is no "right" path. We are all unique individuals who will gain happiness and meaning in our lives in vastly different ways. I discovered a lot about what inspires me while in high school, and every year I discover something new. So far, that list includes spending time with friends and family, traveling, reducing my footprint on the environment, taking online classes in the endless pursuit of knowledge, eating good food, playing music, playing soccer, wine tasting, hiking/backpacking, and above all, trying all the new things the world has to offer.
During my time at York I gained two important things that helped shape my career: 1) the solid foundation I needed to succeed in it, and 2) the perspective to not let my life be defined by it. I love designing computer hardware and I'm grateful to have found a career path that challenges me and allows me to contribute something useful to society... but I also hope that my true successes in life will come when the laptop is put away."
UNDERGRADUATE UNIVERSITY: San Francisco State University
GRADUATE DEGREE/UNIVERSITY: Ph.D. Psychology/University of Maryland
Director of Training and Staff Development, Bayless Health Care Group
Clinical Supervisor, Lighthouse Project for High Risk Youth
Vice President and Consulting Clinical Director, Youth Services International
“The York community very much influenced my view of the world and, not only what I subsequently chose as a career field, but more importantly, why and how.”
Jon has dedicated his career to improving the mental health and well-being of underserved and at-risk populations. Currently, Jon wears several hats for Bayless Health Care Group in Phoenix: As director of Training and Staff Development he provides lectures and directs training for behavioral health staff, master’s degree interns, and doctoral students in Social Work, Counseling, and Clinical Psychology. He is also clinical supervisor of the Lighthouse Project for high-risk youth in the Phoenix metro area, which addresses an array of behavioral and mood disorders, and substance-related dependency and addictions. Jon also serves as clinical director of the Maravilla Care Center, a long-term care and geriatric residential facility.
Earlier in his career, Jon worked with Youth Services International (YSI) in Sarasota, Florida where he developed and implemented their signature Strategic Model of interventions addressing youth with patterns of delinquent violence, sexual behavior, and substances abuse. He continues to serve as the vice president and consulting clinical director for YSI.
Jon has served in leadership roles on numerous committee and commissions including the Tucson Domestic Violence Commission, the State of Arizona’s Protocol Panel for the Assessment and Treatment of Sex Offenders, the Board of the Arizona Sexual Assault Network and on the advisory board of the federal government’s Human Resource Services Administration Domestic Violence Prevention and Education project.
Jon’s service to his community has not gone unnoticed. He is the recipient of the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award for his work in family violence prevention and education and he also received Arizona’s Martin Luther King Memorial Award for Community Service and Education.