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Pacific Alumni Association 60th Annual Distinguished Alumni Awards

The Pacific Alumni Association celebrated its 60th annual Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony and dinner on January 26, 2019, at the River Mill in French Camp, California. Five Pacific alumni were honored for their professional endeavors, public service and dedication to the university. The 2019 award recipients represent a wide range of interests and achievements and exhibit Pacific's proud history of innovation and diversity. They truly demonstrate what it means to lead with purpose. Meet these outstanding alumni:
2019 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients with President Pamela A. Eibeck

President Pamela A. Eibeck (center) with award recipients (l. to r.) Benjamin J. Reddish Jr. '71, Mary Ann Gomez Orta '89, José Moreno Hernández '84, Julia (Engel) Berolzheimer '12, and Steven J. Goulart '80 at the 60th Annual Distinguished Alumni Awards.

Mar 11, 2019
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Outstanding Young Alumni Award

Honoring young alumni of distinction who graduated in the previous 15 years.

Julia BerolzheimerJulia (Engel) Berolzheimer '12 BUS
If you don't recognize her name, there's a good chance you'll recognize Julia Engel's face. Engel is a style influencer who has built up a loyal fanbase thanks to her fashion, travel, lifestyle and home blog, "Gal Meets Glam." When she started her fashion blog out of her University of the Pacific dorm room in 2011, she didn't imagine how it would catapult her career. She started sharing her personal style her junior year with her boyfriend (now husband) Thomas Berolzheimer '11 behind the camera. After graduation, Engel worked a full-time job while continuing to work on Gal Meets Glam with Berolzheimer late at night and on weekends. Fast forward and Engel has more than a million followers on Instagram alone, has been named one of Forbes' Top Influencers in 2017 and has worked on campaigns with brands including Tory Burch, Tiffany & Co. and Nordstrom. Berolzheimer has also joined the Gal Meets Glam full-time and they've hired a team that works out of their Charleston office. In 2018 Engel achieved her long-time goal of launching her own clothing line, Gal Meets Glam Collection, a line of modern feminine dresses sold at their site and at Nordstrom. 


Distinguished Volunteer Service

Honoring alumni who have made exceptional contributions to society through volunteer, civic or community service.

Benjamin Benjamin ReddishJ. Reddish, Jr. '71 EDU
Benjamin Reddish, a native of South Carolina, was assured of achieving success, having come from a family and a community that placed a very high priority on education. He received his master's degree from the Gladys L. Benerd School of Education in 1971. During his long career as a teacher and counselor in Stockton, he consistently focused his skills on being a role model for youth and providing students with the skills needed to reach their full potential and become productive citizens. In addition to his calling to counsel, Reddish has helped transform lives as a volunteer for Pacific's Community Involvement Program and serving on many boards, including The Kiwanis Club of Stockton, the Stockton Symphony Association, The San Joaquin County Historical Society, Phi Delta Kappa International, Stockton Sister Cities Organization, Association of Filipino American Educators, The Esquire Club, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, People to People International, and Black Employees Association. He continues to provide service and be an inspiring role model, reflecting and supporting excellence through leadership for Stockton and surrounding communities. 


Distinguished Public Service

Honoring alumni who have made exceptional professional contributions to society through civic or other public service while employed by a nonprofit organization or governmental agency.

Marian Gomez Orta

Mary Ann Gómez Orta '89 COP
Mary Ann Gómez Orta and her five siblings were raised in the fields of California's Central Valley. After earning a bachelor's degree in Communication at Pacific, Orta went on to pursue an MBA at St. Mary's College. Her career started as a corporate marketing manager with Coors Brewing Company and McDonald's Corporation. She currently serves as the president and CEO of the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute, which largely prepares young Hispanic and Latino students to be more competitive in a global economy. Orta has taught public relations, business, marketing and public speaking at the university level, and is a board member and co-chair of the Public Relations Society of America Miami Chapter, College Relations Committee. Her previous community involvement includes serving on the boards of the University of the Pacific Alumni Association, Chicano Latino Youth Leadership Project, Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse and the Astronaut José M. Hernández Reaching for the Stars Foundation. 


Distinguished Professional Service

Honoring alumni who have achieved notable success in their professional field.

Steven J. Goulart

Steven J. Goulart '80 BUS
Steven J. Goulart is the executive vice president and chief investment officer of MetLife Inc. Named to this position in May 2011, Goulart oversees MetLife's $587 billion combined managed asset portfolio and more than 900 investment and support professionals around the world. He received a bachelor of science in business administration from University of Pacific, where he was elected to the Pacific Athletic Hall of Fame and served as a member of the board of regents for nine years. He earned his MBA from Harvard Business School. Goulart joined MetLife in 2006 to head the company's mergers and acquisitions unit and in 2009, was also named treasurer. Over the course of his career, he has led or participated in many transactions in the financial services industry, including insurance company demutualizations, mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt offerings and initial public offerings. 


Medallion of Excellence

Honoring alumni who are faculty, staff or regents who have exhibited outstanding and exceptional service to the university, their profession and the community.

Jose M. Hernandez

José Moreno Hernández '84 ENG
One of four children in a migrant farming family from Mexico, José Hernández — who didn't learn English until he was 12 years old — spent much of his childhood on what he calls "the California circuit." After graduating high school in Stockton, Hernández enrolled at University of the Pacific, where he earned a degree in electrical engineering.  From there, he pursued graduate studies in engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara, eventually landing a job with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. There he engaged in work with a commercial partner that resulted in the creation of the first full-field digital mammography imaging system, used to spot breast cancer in its first stages. After being turned down 11 times for astronaut training by NASA, Hernández was selected in May 2004. He journeyed on the STS-128 space shuttle mission where he oversaw the transfer of more than 18,000 pounds of equipment between the shuttle and International Space Station and helped with robotics operations. The STS-128 mission traveled more than 5.7 million miles in just under two weeks. He is now CEO of Tierra Luna Engineering LLC, dedicated to providing innovative services, unique skills and recommendations on policy, strategy, and technical issues related to aerospace and advanced technologies. Hernández was continued to support his alma mater in a variety of capacities, including serving on the university's Board of Regents and School of Engineering and Computer Science Dean's Council.

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