Class Notes

College of Architecture & Environmental Design


Ron Van Pelt< Ron Van Pelt (Architecture, ’76) celebrated his 30th year with WATG Architects in December of 2014. He is currently in his fourth year at the company’s Singapore office, working on projects throughout Southeast Asia. “Work continues to be a challenge, adventure and a blessing,” he wrote.


Joseph Horwedel (City & Regional Planning, ’83) received the Planner Emeritus Network 2014 Honor Award from the California Chapter of the American Planning Association for his contributions to the profession. In 2014, after 31 years, Horwedel retired as the director of planning, building and code enforcement for the city of San Jose. After retiring from San Jose, he served as the interim public works director for San Benito County.

William Ramsey (M.S., City & Regional Planning, ’84), recently retired as assistant planning director for the city of San Juan Capistrano. During his 25-year tenure, he managed a number of high-profile planning projects and policy initiatives. He stays involved in land use planning as a consultant. He and his wife, Suzanne, live in Aliso Viejo, Calif., and have two grown daughters. Ramsey completed his 100th ultra-marathon in May 2013. During retirement, he plans to read the classics, travel and volunteer with nonprofit service organizations.

Steven Paul Johnson (Architecture, ’88) was appointed associate architect for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. He will manage renovation/remodel projects for the state’s correctional facilities. Johnson lives in the Sacramento area with his wife and two teenage sons.


Thomas Hong (Architecture, ’94) lived in Manhattan from 1995 until 1997, playing piano and performing in off-Broadway theater. He has appeared in nine films, including “Devil’s Advocate” starring Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves, and “XXL” with Gerard Depardieu. He has also appeared in music videos and on TV, including guest roles on “Cosby” and “Law & Order.” He moved back to California in 1997 to help his mother cope with terminal Parkinson’s Disease.

Palazzo< Anthony Palazzo (Architecture, ’97), along with his daughter, Genevieve, and his wife, Sasha, visited his mother’s family home in the U.K. this summer.


Cesar Sanchez (Landscape Architecture, ’07) received the 2014 National Accessibility Accomplishment Award from the U.S. Forest Service for his efforts to improve disability access in the Sierra National Forest. As a Sierra National Forest landscape architect, he established areas of 100 percent accessibility throughout various picnicking sites, while maintaining the integrity of the area’s natural surroundings.


^ Brad and Heather Chicoine (both Architecture, ’09) got married on October 10, 2014, 10 years after their first date at the Palm Theater their freshman year. The Chicoines are both working as architects in the Bay Area.
Ryan & Claire Swenson 1

^ Ryan Swenson (Architectural Engineering, ’10; M.B.A., 2010) and Claire (Kister) Swenson (Communication Studies, ’12) were married May 2014 in San Jose, Calif.

Michael Heater

^ Michael Heater (M.A., City and Regional Planning, ‘13) and his wife GraceAnne are currently serving in Murunda, a small village in western Rwanda, as English teachers with the Peace Corps. He is also working on other projects, including creating a Vision Plan for his school, adding hand-washing stations, and renovating the community’s sports field.

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