Heather C. Allen, Alumna of the Year 2017
Professor Heather C. Allen, a native of Southern California, attended Saddleback College from 1989-1992, completing much of her undergraduate science and general education coursework before transferring to the University of California, Irvine in 1992. After her second year at Saddleback, she focused on the science, targeting chemistry as her major, winning a Saddleback College Science Scholarship Award to continue advancement toward her chemistry degree. She credits her professors, and the time she spent at Saddleback, as the foundation for her success as a scientist.
She received her B.S. degree in Chemistry in 1993, and Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry in 1997 at the University of California Irvine working with Nobel Laureate F. S. Rowland, and Professors D. Blake, J. Hemminger, and B. Finlayson-Pitts. She continued her postdoctoral studies in 1997 at the University of Oregon advised by Professor G. L. Richmond. Following the Saddleback Science Scholarship, as a student and postdoctoral researcher, she was also recognized with other scholarships and fellowships: Fannie and John Hertz Fellowship, EPA, NSF Traineeship, and a NOAA Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Climate and Global Change.
She began her Professorial career at Ohio State in 2000, and has since been recognized for many research accomplishments: Research Innovation Award from Research Corp., NSF CAREER Award, Beckman Young Investigator Award, Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow Award, Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Ohio State Distinguished Scholar Award, and the Alexander von Humboldt Research Award from Germany.
In addition, Dr. Allen has been recognized for several mentoring awards over the years including the Ohio State Office of Minority Affairs Mentor Award, an Empowered Woman Award from the City of Columbus, and the American Chemical Society National Award for Encouraging Women into Careers in the Chemical Sciences. She is a Full Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and in the Department of Pathology. Her research specialization is in molecular organization, ion pairing, and hydration at aqueous interfaces.
Michelle Desilets, Alumna of the Year 2016
Jason Schmid, Alumnus of the Year 2015
Anthony Ferry, Alumnus of the Year 2014
Anthony Ferry grew up in Mission Viejo, graduated from Capistrano Valley High School and, like so many young adults in south Orange County, headed straight to Saddleback College to map out his next move. It didn’t take him very long. On his first day in C++ Computer Programming, the freshman discovered a passion for technology that would guide his life’s journey. Anthony couldn’t get enough of computers during his two years at Saddleback. And he took as many programming classes as his schedule would allow. With a full complement of general education courses on his transcript, Anthony transferred to California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) well prepared for the demands of a four-year school.
Passion for Technology..
After graduating from CSUF with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, Anthony applied his passion for technology at Macro Educational Systems, Taco Bell, QuickStart Technologies and Global Resource Corp., where he attained the title of vice president of consulting services. During his tenure at Taco Bell, Anthony worked in close partnership with Microsoft, where he met future business partners Parsa Rohani and Tim Marshall. Seeing opportunity in the advent of the Microsoft.NET platform, the three got together to form Neudesic in 2001. One of Neudesic’s first significant contracts was with South Orange County Community College District (SOCCCD), with Anthony instrumental to the initiative. Neudesic partnered with SOCCCD to develop a Student Information System that earned the district a Student Systems and Services Innovators Award from Campus Technology Magazine. The success of that project increased momentum to the already thriving business; Anthony and his partners will be forever grateful to SOCCCD for this boost to company growth.
In 2012, the growing partnership between Neudesic and SOCCCD again bore award-winning fruit, when the district’s Sherpa project was named the winner of Campus Technology Magazine’s Model of Technology Innovation on Campus Award. At the time, Dr. Robert Bramucci, vice chancellor of technology and learning services at SOCCCD, said, “Our goal is to develop real-time technology tools to guide students on an efficient, successful path toward completion. This award is an honor and a validation of our team’s efforts.” In addition to his key role at Neudesic, Anthony recently took the reins of PriceSpider, a company incubated at Neudesic. PriceSpider’s development team initially launched the online property as a shopping engine. They soon realized that its real value was in helping electronics manufacturers deliver timely and accurate information to consumers. PriceSpider now powers the Where-to-Buy engines for 10 of the world’s top consumer electronics brands.
Giving back to Saddleback..
Throughout the years, Anthony has given back to the school that ignited his passion for technology. Not only does he strive to improve his alma mater through generous donations of both his time and money, this committed gadget geek also has served on the board of Saddleback College Foundation since 2009, enacting a number of internship and scholarship programs to help technology students gain real world experience.
Hands on Support..
Anthony and his business partners also extended the spirit of giving to Neudesic employees through the sponsorship of charitable donations. From natural disaster relief to hands-on support of organizations including the U.S. Marines Toys for Tots program, St. Jude’s Hospital, American Red Cross, Mayo Clinic, and American Cancer Society, Neudesic sets an example for making the world a better place. Near and dear to Anthony’s own heart is the Make-A-Wish Foundation for which he serves on the Orange and Inland Empire chapter’s advisory council, working diligently to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.