Notes from Covelianos August 2008

From Julio Hallack

Just to let you know, My daughter Rosa Angelica (28)  just had a baby girl, Naomi Elvira, Her sister Jeuda Elizabeth, 2 1/2 years old is enjoying Her as much as All of us. Her husband Joshua works for my company.
Our Son Khalil (24) is a mechanical engineer, single and good looking works and lives in Monterrey, Ca.
Our Daughter Elizabeth Marie (18) will be attending UC Santa Cruz next month, and last our youngest son Kaleb Alberto (12) is having the best time of His life, being the only one left at home.
All of our family just came back from visiting Spain.
Looking forward seeing all of you, and having a good glass of tequila


From Bob Black

El mismo dilema de siempre en lo que ataña a las comunicaciones con los Covelianos—español o ingles? Or both?

Super job on the website, dude. In reading your brief biographical sketch, I was struck by the number of disparate things you’ve gotten good at over the course of your several careers. And you are not alone--several of our classmates from the early ‘70s have succeeded in serial careers. So that set me to pondering these semi-philosophical questions: Did Covell attract people who are particularly quick and adaptable learners? Or did the learning environment and the challenge of mastering a second (or third) language and culture equip us in some special way as life-long learners? Estoy seguro que no faltaran opiniones entre los miembros de la comunidad.



From Janet Stewart (Beckwith)

After graduating from Covell, I worked as an English and social studies teacher for a year in Medellin, Colombia, before beginning graduate studies at the University of Texas, Austin.  I completed a Ph.D. in Hispanic Literature at UT, and taught at the university level there, at Baylor University, and at the Ohio State University.  In 1979, we returned to Texas and within the year, I began a new career with the international exploration and production division of Amoco.  From 1995 to 2003, when I took early retirement, I worked for Amoco and BP in the post-Soviet countries of Azerbaijan and Georgia, in the southern Caucasus, specializing in contracts and purchasing.  I currently live in The Woodlands, a planned community north of Houston, with my husband of 39 years.  Within this past year, we were privileged to tour Peru and Ecuador.  A highlight was an afternoon spent with Jaime Pardo and his wife in their home in Lima; Carol Milk and her husband Pedro Reyes joined us there for lunch.  In Cuenca, Ecuador, we spent an afternoon with Juan Gonzalez Harris and his wife.  Over the New Year holiday, we were "padrinos de boda" for the son of Frank Monsanto, ECC 1965.  Frank's twin son and daughter, Israel and Josefina, lived with us in Houston in 1994-95.  We are also Godparents to Josefina's son Nicolas.


From Pablo and Jane Velasco (Blewett)

Hi Everyone,


I want to thank Craig for the fantastic job he has done with the Covelianos Web Page and also take the opportunity to say hello to everyone, especially the graduating class of 72/73. As some of you know, Jane Blewett and I were married in 1973. We just celebrated our 35 th wedding anniversary and have two beautiful daughters Ana (27) and Katherine (25). Jane is semi-retired after spending several years working at Georgia State University as a professor of Translation and Interpretation in the Modern Languages Department. I worked for 30 years for Electronic Data Systems (the old Ross Perot Company) and retired from there in 2004. I currently work as an Outsourcing Consultant for Technology Partners International, from Houston, Texas. My main focus is Latin America and I spend a lot of time in Mexico. I have included some before and after pictures so you can recognize us. We currently reside in Atlanta.

Saludos a todos,

Pablo & Jane Velasco


From Fausto Rohr

On July 22/08, I went to Stockton for a short visit to UOP, and of course "The ex-Covell Centro". I took my wife Patty and our 10 years old son Scotty with me for a tour where the covelianos used to hang around 37 years ago. Belive me! It was so exciting to be there and at that moment I felt magically transported to those unforgettable days that marked our lives. The same day went to Sacramento to visit my other "alma mater" Cal State University. While in California I contacted Suzette Johnston who's traveling to Alaska for vacation. On January 2008 I was in Guayaquil ( Ecuador) and I had breakfast with Vicente Bermudez and last year (2007) Bernardo Gomez and his wife, Maria Elvira, were in Miami for a short visit.

I reside in Miami and I work for the U.S.Citizenship and Immigration Services, Miami Asylum Office, as an IIO.

Congratulations Craig for the new website. FANTASTICO!!!

Best regards to all the Covelianos.



From Professor Robinson


I am so pleased that Craig Carothers has opened up this internet dialogue among our Coveliano community. I especially like looking at "now and then" pictures of our people. Don't you all think Jane Velasco still looks like a spring chicken? (Don't worry, Pablo: this 85-year-old turkey is not flirting with your wife. Well, maybe I am, but it's nothing to worry about! I flirt with all the covelianas.)) By the way, congratulations to our recién papás--Luis Ehrlich, Fausto Rhor and Patricio Duk.

I certainly enjoyed our brief reunion in April, organized by Alberto Yánez to celebrate the 60th birthday of Rafael Flores and to discuss plans for bringing an Inter-American program back to UOP. This event was climaxed with a delightful barbecue at Julio Hallack's family farm in Turlock, and I look forward to another get-together later this month to mark the opening of Casa Covell.

Perhaps you would like a report on the aging Covell faculty and staff. You may recall that I have six married daugters and ten grandchildren--and now a great-grandson (biznieto) as well. Three of the grandchildren are in college now. One of these is planning a career in computer science and is now among ten finalists in an auto safety video contest; the winner will be announced soon. We just visited one of our daughters in Zillah, Washington, where she starred as Cinderella in a musical comedy, "The Truth About Cinderella." She was fabulous. This was a switch on the usual Cinderella story: The stepmother was not the mean one--the Queen was mean. When Cinderella married the prince, the Queen gave her a bucket for a wedding present and made her keep the palace floors clean from then on.

Dr. Caldwell and his wife now live in a retirement home in Fairfield, Calif. Larry Pippin, Jean Longmire and I & wife still live in Stockton, as well as Rebeca Bey and Stella Alonzo, I believe. Ezequiel Ramírez & wife live in nearby Lodi. Clark Shimeall & wife live in Borrego Springs in southern California and Donald Decker & wife in Laguna Niguel, also in southern California. Evelyn Pedro is still in Redlands, Calif., I think. You all know, of course, that Rufo López Fresquet died some years ago and his wife also more recently. Ruth Faurot, Margaret Payne and Ed Grant have also passed away.

Come as many as you can to the opening of Casa Covell. I want to see you again while I'm still around!


From Carlos Mazal

Dear Professor Robinson,

It is such a pleasure to hear from you and learn about your life and activities, about your wonderful family ( the Cinderella story was great ) and the whereabouts and tribulations of many people so dear to us. You can not ( or maybe you do...) imagine how important you have all been to us Covell alumni. You were always more than our teachers. You were our family away from home. So not only we learned Geography but we had in you as well as in so many others special faculty and administrative staff role models and friends. Blanca and I will never forget and both our children, who have attended UOP, still feel the Covell warmth and spirit that has permeated through the years and that the new generations, with the help of SIS, refuse to let it die.

I am on my way to Stockton via a participation on a Panel in the Americas Competitiveness Forum in Atlanta ( Agenda Attached ) and a stop at the Inter-American Bank for some negotiations to jointly design and implement sustainable technology policies for LAC countries with an intellectual property component. My sense is that growth in GDP from the commodity-led export bonanza have to be, partly, reinvested in technology and not given away in a demagogic and irresponsible way as it is happening in many places..

Any way, it was wonderful to hear from you and we look forward seeing you soon.

Un abrazo,


From Kay Scaramelli (Tarbel)

Dear Craig and covelianos queridos,
First off...what a great way to hear about all the old friends at Covell after so many years. Many thanks to Craig for setting up the page. I am so sorry I will not be in town for the gathering. I hope you all have a great time! It was so wonderful to hear from Dr. Robinson. I have such great memories of his classes and those of so many of our professors at Covell. Carinos a todos!!! Especialmente a la Dra. Bey. It is undeniable that our multicultural multi-national experience at Covell paved the way for many diverse lives. I have spent the major part of my life in Venezuela, where I am still teaching Archaeology at the Universidad Central de Venezuela. My husband and I specialize in archaeology of the Middle Orinoco, and that has given us the opportunity explore a fascinating and little known region of the country. Rock art, ceramics, lithic artefacts and post-colonial settlements have all occupied our time through the years.
On a personal note, I had two children, one daughter with Orlando (el Gato) and another daughter with my second husband. I have 2 wonderful grandchildren, who are living in New Zealand with Shasta (my daughter with Orlando) and her husband Jonathan. My youngest daughter just moved tio San Francisco to attend San Francisco State as a junior. My stepdaughter Yone is studiying medicine in Caracas. So we are all spread out and Skype and e-mail keep us in touch. Technology does have its good side!!

Have a great time at the reunion.
Kay (Tarble de Scaramelli)


From Mike Steffen


My family in California finally found and sent my University of the Pacific Yearbooks with pictures of all my friends at Covell College. I was right, I had the correct people with names.... confirmed by yearbook pictures.

Sorry we will miss the August 30th event. Having just returned from vacation in Spain, it would be hard to travel again.

My father who lives in the Fresno area is having his 90th birthday in December and the family is having a large party for him. Maybe during our trip to California for Dad’s birthday party, my wife and I can run up to Stockton and see what is going on at UOP, and especially in the old Covell area?

Trust that you will have a successful get together


Mike Steffen


From Maxine Bigler

Saludos Coveliano Friends!

It's been wonderful to receive correspondence via the great website, thanks to Craig. Life has been very busy here in Chico, CA - You would think that after I retired from 34 years in Education in 2001 (I worked for most of those years as the Area Director for a Migrant Education, with a territory from Chico to the Oregon Border). It was a wonderful career, and I know I helped many migrant students become the incredible professionals they are today. Some of you may know that in 1996, I was diagnosed with cancer, which truly changed the way I view and "do" life. After almost 12 years, although I still walk with a cane because of bone damage from radiation treatment, I am completely well and VERY active - I actually don't know how I ever had time to work with all I do now! I am a distributor with a nutrition company with incredible products that helped me recover from cancer, and am using my teaching skills to help people gain and maintain their health. The business is a great part of my social and community life, and I am very active in our Chamber of Commerce and with other community organizations. I have done much volunteer work with the American Cancer Society, and two years ago, spent some time in Honduras with the International Division interpreting for the English speaking trainer for their Relevo por la Vida - a fabulous experience, because at the end of their Relay for Life, I had the opportunity to take a trip to Copan - a dream I'd had when Covell had its 10 year reunion in Guatemala City in the 70's. I loved Honduras, and would like to go back someday soon - Not only do I know there are Covelianos there, and I also have many new friends too, associated with the Cancer Center in Tegucigalpa. I have also done a considerable amount of travel throughout the world - England, Scotland, Wales, Germany, Estonia and St. Petersburg, Russia (Seeing the Hermitage was another life-long dream), the Scandinavian countries, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela and, this year, Australia and New Zealand (I spent a month there, and could visualize living in several places there - Tazmania, Dunedin, New Zealand, etc.) I also own a timeshare in Maui, Hawaii, and have spent many
summers there, and love it too. These last few years, I've been doing
some work with my "old" job in Migrant Education - My "history" with the Program is extensive, and I've helped with many of the jobs I had wished were "outsourced" when I was in the position of Area Director. Recently, I worked full-time for the Program, organizing summer school, etc., and administered a program for students in grades 6-8 at the Community College here (In spite of the smoke, the bad fires, and evacuations which resulted from them, I enjoyed that opportunity to once again work more directly with students). However, I'm ready for a rest, and in several weeks, I'll be taking myself on a "spa" vacation to Puerto Vallarta. Here in Chico, in addition to everything else, I have a little "farm" - pet goats, turkeys, chickens, all raised by me from babies, a dog, 4 cats, 2 parrots, 3
cockatiels and fish - a menagerie! I also have fruit trees (I make
delicious jams) and a huge garden. Although Rich Bigler and I are no longer married (it's been a long time since we were), I've kept his name, because it was easier than going back to Korn - I actually thought I'd marry again, but so far, that hasn't happened, although I've had wonderful men come into my life for short and long periods of time - Maybe someday! My parents have been gone now for over 10 years, but my sisters (My twin, Marian, my youngest sister, Barbara and Janet - both went to Raymond) are all doing fine, and scattered all over the country - Washington State, San Diego area and Memphis, TN. Unfortunately, I will not be able to come to the "party"
on the 30th, but will try to come in October. However, I will soon be posting some pictures on the site (I don't have any "before" pictures, but will do some "after" pictures). I do send all of you I knew at Covell (some of you may have "suffered" in the US History class I taught during my graduate year - 1966-1967 at Covell), and those I didn't know, because you came after I'd left, my very best. Covell was an incredible experience for me - where else could I have received such a superb education in the United States where courses were taught in Spanish, and English was truly the "second language"? I loved my time there, and my memories are rich. I send all of you love and blessings, with the hope to see many of you soon.
Fondly, Maxine Korn Bigler

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