10x10 — The Class of 2007 Keeps Appreciation Alive

By:
Jeffrey Javier and Katy Smith,

Ten University of Arizona graduates, 10 stories of gratitude. Since completing University of Arizona degrees a decade ago, these alumni have remained connected. They donate time and money because they remember what advanced their success as students — scholarships, mentors, classmates and experiences they could only have at the UA.

Join this year’s 10 by 10 class in looking back at their college years and looking forward to bright futures as Wildcats for Life.

Carolyn Meyer
Marketing, B.S. | Analyst, DigitasLBi | Chicago

A campus tour guide: Being far from home I was eager to find my niche. After singing "Bear Down, Arizona" in front of a group of future Wildcats and seeing their enthusiasm for the UA, the distance didn’t feel so far as I started to grow my Wildcat connections. 

The trio trip: Me and two other girlfriends, all UA alumni, do a trip every year. It’s our way of staying connected. We’ve been friends for more than 10 years and we love reminiscing about the UA. 

Wildcat networking: Whether you graduated two years, 10 years or 20 years ago, we all have that one connection. We Bear Down. We love Arizona. Reach out to fellow alumni for career guidance! Don’t hesitate to get involved with your local chapter and bring your skills to the table by creating your initiatives to grow the chapter.

Wildcat for Life: As a member of the Wildcat for Life Council, I’ve connected with a fantastic group of people from all over the country. The council has kept me engaged with The University of Arizona, and I have grown my Wildcat connections. 

Tim Lake
Marketing, B.S. | Regional Manager, Cisco Systems | Phoenix

Volunteering: I started in college with Students Consulting for Nonprofit Organizations. Students and professionals have these unique skills that help nonprofits succeed. Being a tenacious businessperson is not mutually exclusive with building the community and improving where you live. 

Recruiting from the UA: Eller has been one of Cisco’s most successful suppliers of business talent in the country. Eller students are known in the company as being creative, energetic and talented.

Wanderlust: I took my first international trips with Eller to Hong Kong and China and have traveled ever since. Madrid is my favorite place to visit; it feels like the Phoenix of Europe.

Why Eller alumni stay engaged: People like me who had great college experiences and launched great careers after graduating want to give back. It’s that “pay it forward” mentality.

Gain Jue
Accounting, B.S., Linguistics, B.A., MBA | Senior Finance Manager, Microsoft | Seattle

Favorite teacher: Katy (Cordova) Maxwell. She decided teaching was her passion and left a job at Honeywell to teach accounting full time. I look up to someone who takes that leap of faith. 

Staying engaged: Other than work, I probably dedicate the most time to staying engaged with the UA. I received a full-ride scholarship, so I do my best to give back as much as I can through volunteering and donations.  

UA decor: Our entire house, as much as we can, has UA everywhere. UA coasters, UA pool table cover — just little UA memorabilia everywhere. 

Proud to be an alumna: It makes me proud to hear about all of the great things that UA students and faculty are working on to make the world a better place.  

Jennifer Sprung
Education, B.S., Master of Education, Educational Specialist | Curriculum Service Provider, Tucson Unified School District | Tucson

A third-generation Wildcat: I remember coming to campus starting when I was 4 or 5 and my mother was studying at the library.

Favorite campus view: Sitting on the porch of Old Main looking east down the UA Mall in early morning or westward during sunset.

Consistently on committees: I donate my time to anything for the UA. It grew from my involvement with Phi Lambda Phrateres as an undergraduate. We helped raise funds to build the first UA Cancer Center research building.  

A lasting tribute: I’d like to establish a scholarship in my mother’s name. She was a longtime elementary 
school educator.

Spreading the love: Thinking about the UA always brings joy and makes me smile. My hope is that we can bring that joy to others. Once you’ve been here, the memories last a lifetime.

Colin Malchow
Accounting, B.S., Master of Accounting | Senior Vice President of Finance and Corporate Operations, Synergis Education | Scottsdale

Favorite thing about coming back: Feeling the community’s excitement for the UA. At the grocery store, a bus stop, Beyond Bread, La Encantada — you see people from all walks of life supporting the UA.    

A UA memory: I worked with Leslie Eldenburg on a program that brought underprivileged high school students to the UA for a week. It was a great experience showing them the opportunities they would have as a UA student. 

From Fortune 500 to startup: I left a Fortune 500 company for a small, venture-backed startup. I wanted to be closer to decision-makers and help drive an organization forward. It was certainly a big risk, but it’s all been worth it. 

Without the UA: I wouldn’t have been recruited by a consulting firm for an internship right after college. That was my first foray in a working environment and the foundation for my career today.

Kindra Crocker Roads
Nursing, B.S. | Nurse Practitioner, Pima County Jail | Tucson

Solid preparation: Nursing instructor Angela Muzzy always gave us real-life examples and made learning interactive. She was great at keeping us engaged, and it made a huge difference.

Gaining soft skills through Blue Chip Leadership: We wrote resumes and practiced interviewing for jobs. It was super helpful to learn how to present myself in the real world. 

Dorm life: It was a really neat experience for me. My dorm, Navajo-Pinal, was a quiet one, but some of my friends told interesting stories about their dorms.

Why give? I had scholarships, and they helped me a lot. It’s my way of showing appreciation for what I received as a student.

10 years a graduate: It makes me feel old, but it also feels good. I’m glad I can still be a part of the UA by going to campus and supporting my team at games.

Bob Huber
Master of Accounting | Shareholder, Huber CPA, P.C. | Tucson

Family memories of campus: My kids were 1 and 3 when we moved to Tucson. We’ve always enjoyed visiting the turtle pond. You just don’t expect that in the middle of the desert.

Supporting Eller: I make discretionary gifts to the accounting department so they can use it for what is most important.

Advice for accounting students: Once you graduate, you will work a lot of hours. Find a firm where you like the people.

The affinity of excellence: UA basketball gives the community a strong sense of identity and excitement, and that’s fun to be a part of as a donor. Sean Miller has been instrumental in elevating the program.

Remembering Eller professor Dan Dhaliwal: He passed away last summer. Arizona was lucky to have him. He always emphasized that we could learn as much from our classmates as we could from him.

Nicholle Harris
Marketing, B.S., Juris Doctorate | Partner, Gust Rosenfeld, PLC | Glendale

A copy cat: I received my bachelor’s degree and returned to the UA to get my law degree. So I’m what you would call a copy cat because of my two UA degrees. 

On the cutting edge: When I heard the UA would accept scores from other standardized tests to get into law school, I thought it was a great move. I like that we’re a game changer. 

Phoenix is Wildcat country: At lunch one day I saw five of my law school classmates around downtown Phoenix. It was a nice surprise to see each other and spoke volumes about the UA’s presence here. 

Living next to greatness: I lived in the same dorm as the players of the Arizona football and basketball teams, and I actually became friends with a lot of the players, like Trung Canidate ’99.  

Tyler Deberry
Agribusiness Economics and Management, B.S. | Independent Health and Wellness Consultant | Tucson

Proudest moment as a UA swimmer: Winning the NCAA title in the 800 free relay as a senior. It had never been done before in the history of the program. Leading up to that year it was a huge motivator — when we were dead tired in practice we would say “do it for the relay.”

On Coach Frank Busch: He knew how to pull the absolute best out of me. And how to connect hard work with a particular finish line. 

Local heroes: The UA sports teams help young athletes set goals and have a picture of what they could be. Growing up in Tucson, I was in awe of the caliber of the swimmers and their hard work. 

Stepping up: If you want a great atmosphere and first-class equipment, you have to have resources. When I was a student, I always saw donors stepping up and making contributions. I would think to myself: I’m going to be able to do that someday for this school.

Cac Dao
Civil Engineering, B.S., Engineering Mechanics, M.S., Ph.D. | Adjunct Faculty, UA | Tucson
Pictured with sons Khoa, left, and Anh, UA freshmen.

Cac is staying put: Every time I come to campus I know I’m where I belong. I’ll probably stay the rest of my life.

Standout first-year experiences: Blue Chip Leadership for Khoa, Turkish language class for Anh.

Khoa on his dad’s influence: He’s a refugee of war, and he’s gone through a lot. Looking at my dad now, he’s a professor at the UA. That gives me encouragement to follow in his footsteps to success.

Cac on academic support: Anh is advised at the Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques Center and the Disability Resource Center. He will do well with their help.

Anh’s coach: SALT Center Strategic Learning Specialist Daniel Linden helps me prepare and tells me not to panic.

Four ways Cac gives: I donate my time, money and effort to the Alumni Association, engineering department and Honors College. Working at the UA is another way I contribute. I do all I can within my ability.

 

Spoon Photo & Design, Jacob Chinn and Ronald Wurzer photos