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Alumni Updates

Alumni Update


  • David Gurney (Political Science, ’80) — David H. Gurney, Colonel, USMC (Ret.), is Vice President of Tropic Oil Company in Miami. He serves Florida, Bermuda, the Caribbean, Central and South America. He sits on the board of the Deep Draft Lubricant Association and has an 11-year old, three-time spelling bee champion. He isn't poor anymore.
  • Paul Gonzales (Political Science, ’81) — After graduation I served a 25 year Army career, retiring as a Colonel. I went to work briefly in Corporate for KB Home as Bay Area Director of Purchasing. Preferring to work for the federal government, I returned to the Federal Government as Senior Director of Human Resources in San Francisco, GSA, General Services Administration. I took early retirement back in 2013 and have been enjoying life, traveling and shuttling back and forth to our vacation home in the Sierras. I did continue my education, with a Masters in Public Administration from Fresno State and another degree in Human Development from CSU East Bay. I also taught for the Army at Fresno State and at UC Berkeley.
  • RaeJean Shore (Political Science, ’83) — After graduating from Cal Poly, I obtained employment with a local law firm. Thereafter, I pursued a certificate in Paralegal Studies (and later taught family law in that program). I went on to law school at Santa Barbara College of Law, graduating in 1992 and passing the California Bar Exam in 1993. I have been a practicing family law attorney for 25 years in San Luis Obispo County. I have served as the President of the Family Law Section of the SLO County Bar Association. I have also volunteered as an attorney coach for the Atascadero High School Mock Trial Team for the past 3 years. In 2014, I established Liberty Legal, A Professional Family Law Corp. located in Atascadero, California (where I currently practice) in order to provide a variety of legal services in the area of family law, including representing minor children and assisting those that are self-represented, limited scope services and full representation services. I have been married for 23 years and have two sons, one of whom will be attending Cal Poly in the Fall 2018!
  • Leslie (McKeown) Philbrook (Political Science, ‘85) — Regional human resources leader for a “Big Four” accounting firm, with an MBA and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification. Married for 32 years to Richard Philbrook. Two grown children: Nick, 27, and Shannon, 23. Currently serving as west region onboarding and transitions leader for “Big Four” firm Ernst & Young (EY) in San Francisco and loving it. I’m responsible for everyone coming into, transferring within or exiting the firm. Feeling old, but blessed that our son is pursuing his Ph.D. in plant biology at UC Davis, and our daughter just graduated from Chico State and is planning to attend law school — a doctor and a lawyer ... not too shabby.
  • Lars Perner (Political Science, ’86) — Teaching at USC and serving on the board of the Autism Society of America.
  • Marcia Godwin (Political Science, ’86) — Greetings! It is nice to see Cal Poly represented at political science conferences. I've been doing a lot of media commentary for Southern California newspapers, but also have quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Governing. Learn by doing continues by doing research on congressional elections and participatory budgeting, directing the MPA program, and serving on the board of a property tax consulting firm. I'm way overdue to visit SLO, but have been exploring other areas and playing tennis at home.


  • Lori Vix-Grossgold (Political Science, ’91) — Married Jon Grossgold (ETEL 1990). Earned M.Ed. from CSUDH in 1995 then spent 15 years as a high school Assistant Principal. Both daughters attend Cal Poly: Mackenzie Grossgold (CPE 2019) and Kendal Grossgold (ARCE 2021).
  • Michelle Shoresman (Political Science, ’95) — I’m lucky to live and work in SLO and be a 17-year public servant to our county, where I work as a Division Manager of San Luis Obispo County Health Agency. I live here with my husband Jonathan Roberts (a Social Science graduate) who works as a wedding photographer and our 11-year-old son.
  • Lisa Travis (Political Science, ’92) — The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, at its June 18 meeting, appointed Lisa A. Travis as county counsel effective June 23, 2019. “Ms. Travis’ extensive experience with the county, as well as her expertise in most legal disciplines in the department, made it easy to identify her as the best candidate,” said District 2 Supervisor and Board Chair Patrick Kennedy. “We are fortunate to appoint her as county counsel.” Travis has more than 21 years of experience in the Sacramento County Counsel’s office. She currently serves as legal counsel to the Sacramento County Regional Sanitation District and the Sacramento Area Sewer District. Travis has a Juris Doctor Degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law, San Francisco. She has been married to Sacramento Assistant City Attorney Matthew Ruyak since 1998. They have two daughters, one of whom will be attending Cal Poly in the fall.
  • Tom Mobley (Political Science, ’95) — After graduating I've worn many hats, none of them directly political science related per se, but all of them successful with my Cal Poly education. Agriculture, surfing and music have always been influences in my life so, in turn, I've been in and around the three for most of my working experience. I have been involved with the food safety side of agriculture for most of the last decade, first with Nunes Vegetables, Inc in Oxnard, Ca and now for Progressive Land Management in Santa Paula, Ca. I still shape surfboards as a semi-professional hobby. And after 11 years, our band Big Tweed has finished up one last honky tonk gig as of last Summer 2018 at the Gravel Bar in Ennis, Montana. A new band is in the works. My time at Cal Poly will always be a fond memory and with so many of my friends and colleagues sending their kids to SLO, it won't be long until I get a chance to come back for a visit. Thanks again to John Culver for his help; he was always a kick to have as a professor.


  • Frough Jahid (Political Science, ’01) — Since graduating from Cal Poly SLO, I have been in law-enforcement and hold a current rank of sergeant. I supervise my agency’s Active Shooter Training Team, which trains the public on best practices should they find themselves in an Active Shooter situation. I have also continued my education by earning my Masters Degree in Organizational Leadership and work as a Senior Safety Consultant for, which provides active shooter response training to businesses, religious centers and schools. Please feel free to connect with me if I can help any current or former Mustangs in any way.
  • Tracee Duerson (Political Science, ’04) — Since graduating in 2004, I have been working in various positions throughout higher education. I earned my master's degree in Higher Education and Student Personnel Administration in 2008 from New York University. For the past 4 years I have been working as the Director of Admissions for The Theatre School at DePaul University.


  • Michael Melzer (Political Science, ’11) — Accepted a job at La Costa Canyon High School teaching history. Moved from Atascadero to Carlsbad, CA.
  • Nikki Lanshaw (Political Science, ’14) — I recently graduated from the Master of Public Health program at UC Berkeley, and am about to start working at the Kaiser Family Foundation as a Communications Associate for their women's health policy team.
  • Kennedy Poe (Political Science, ’16) — Graduated with my Juris Doctor from Pepperdine School of Law in May 2019. Presently, studying for the CA Bar Exam in July.
  • Lindsey Wallace (Political Science, '18) — I am starting my second and final year at University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy and Governance Masters of Public Administration program in the fall. I recently just started working full time as a graduate intern for Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s Innovation and Performance team, which is located in the City Budget Office.
  • Philip Goodwin (Master of Public Policy, ’18) — This past year, I've had the pleasure of recruiting students to come join the Saint Mary's family while working in the Office of Admissions! I am continuing my passion and love for food and baking by sharing homemade baked goods with our campus community every single Monday as part of my personal initiative to 'Make Mondays Better.' And to top it all off, I was recently appointed to serve as the Chair of our Staff Activities Committee, a subcommittee of our Staff Council at Saint Mary's. I remain extremely grateful to the Cal Poly Community for all of their constant love and support as I finally enter the 'real world'!
  • Irebid Gilbert (Master of Public Policy, ’18) — I am the data analyst for the registered nurse residency program at Marian Regional Medical Center, Arroyo Grande Community Hospital, French Hospital Medical Center, St. John’s Regional Medical Center and St. John’s Pleasant Valley Medical Center. In addition to this, the Central Coast service area hospitals are now offering a Mixtec cultural awareness class, which was derived from the thesis I wrote while attending the public policy master’s program. This class was created to advocate on a higher level for our indigenous population who reside throughout the Central Coast. I am beyond proud to advocate for my community, and to represent Santa Maria and Cal Poly.
  • Ellie Lupo (Political Science, ’18) — After graduation, I moved to DC for four months to serve as a press/legislative intern in Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA-24)'s congressional office. After that incredibly enriching experience, I backpacked through Southeast Asia for a little over a month, and then relocated to San Francisco to be a Recruiting Coordinator at Grammarly, a 200-person tech startup building an AI-powered English writing assistant. I'm currently deciding whether to start studying for grad school entrance exams (currently leaning towards law school.) During my time in SF, I've become involved with the local Young Democrats chapter, which is something I enjoy as an ex-Cal Poly Democrat Club board member/SLOCDP intern! I'm eternally grateful for the Cal Poly POLS department for providing such an outstanding education, and I truly miss being in class every day! I hope the department is doing well.
  • Colton Marino (Political Science, ’18)  — After graduating from Cal Poly, I began my law school career at Notre Dame Law School. I am currently interning at the California Farm Bureau Federation in their legal services division. I will be externing at the Whirlpool Corporation in their commercial litigation division this fall.

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