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Class of 2008

>Happy end of 2014, Class of 2008! This issue, we're featuring more of our varsity athlete classmates.

From the softball team, we heard from Erin Howe Haugen, who married Austin Haugen, MS '09, last year. Erin and Austin first met at the end of our freshman year. In August, they quit their jobs and left San Francisco to travel around the world for a year. So far they've visited Japan, China, Greece, Israel, Jordan, Turkey and the Sochi Winter Olympics! Erin writes, "We love travel companions, so send us a [Facebook] message if you're ever nearby!"

We also heard from swimmer Egan Gans, MS '09, who has been working at Skybox Imaging since graduation. His work there has contributed to the design, building, testing and launch of a sub-meter resolution earth-imaging satellite. Egan says that swimming at Stanford has made the experience at Skybox easier, specifically "the focused team effort, the periods of intense stress and hard work to achieve long-term goals." Of course, he adds, "The only thing that sucks is not being fit and tan." Hmm, welcome to my life, Egan.

Former synchronized swimmer Melissa Knight is in her third year of medical school at the U. of Michigan. She spent the summer of 2013 in Uganda training caregivers of HIV-infected children and contributing to research on the cognitive development of these children. Melissa traveled to the Rose Bowl in January to cheer on our Cardinal—and since then has been missing the California weather "while trying to survive the freezing cold Michigan winter!"

Melissa's former teammate Poppy Carlig, MA '09, finished dental school at the U. of Pacific in San Francisco, where she also coached a local synchronized swimming club when not studying full mouth reconstructions. Poppy plans to practice for a year in Connecticut and then apply to specialty dental programs in endodontics, which involves performing surgeries to preserve natural tooth structure rather than extracting and implanting teeth.

Jess Zutz Hilbert, who played both field hockey and softball on the Farm, just finished her concurrent JD and MBA degrees at the U. of Oregon. She also recently co-authored a sports marketing textbook with John Davis, '82, and is developing an artisan ketchup company called Red Duck Ketchup, which grew out of a class project. Jess explains, "Through our travels, we'd had curry ketchup in Belgium and cherry coke ketchup in Hong Kong, so we thought there was a real opportunity here in the States." When not cooking up crazy ketchup flavors, Jess loves spending time with her daughter, Kayla, "Stanford field hockey/softball Class of 2035, perhaps?!"

From the golf team, we heard from Teddy Collins, who changed careers after five years in investment banking. He is now on the two-person strategic finance team at Pocket Gems, a mobile gaming company, where his job responsibilities include financial forecasting, staffing game teams and evaluating new businesses/projects. He has also continued to play in competitive golf tournaments, and it sounds like his form is still Stanford golf quality. Teddy finished in the top 20 in both the stroke play and the match play portions of the San Francisco City Golf Championship earlier this year.

Stanford rower Araceli Ortiz, MA '08, MA '12, MBA '12, writes, "I just accepted a position as assistant athletic director, marketing (head of marketing) for Stanford Athletics. . . . I am very excited to highlight the successes of Stanford Athletics and Stanford athletes moving forward in addition to continuing to build the Stanford Athletics brand." Araceli's recent travels have included a Yankees-Red Sox game in Boston, a Duke home basketball game, a Marquette home basketball game and trips to 11 of the 12 Pac-12 schools as part of her former job at Pac-12 Networks. Sounds like a sports lover's fantasy!

Finally, Card football alum Thaddeus Chase has had a whirlwind of updates. He studied in Milan in fall 2012 as part of his third year of law school at the U. of Texas. While in Italy, he had the opportunity to travel to Greece, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, U.K. and Ireland. He even proposed to his now-wife, Alexandra Koran, '10, while skiing in the Dolomites! Thaddeus works as an attorney with Thompson & Knight in San Francisco, where he and Alex live with their puppy, Phoenix.

Let us know what you've been up to this past year, and send us your predictions or resolutions for the coming one! We would love to hear from you. And we promise to keep you accountable on your resolutions. Maybe.

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