Alumni 955 Newsletter

Dear Fellow Alums, 

My name is Janay Ramos Marshall, and I’m thrilled to serve as director of alumni relations. What a gift to be a part of building Westmont’s relationship with alums around the globe. Life can be both joyous and brutal, and our office wants to celebrate your personal achievements, pray for you in the valleys, and share the unique ways God works through the lives of your fellow alums. We hold you in high regard, we value you, appreciate you, and are proud of the work you’re doing. You’ve contributed to the foundation and legacy that have helped Westmont become a nationally recognized institution. 

We all have different stories and experiences that have shaped us and are part of our journey. Our unique paths that led us to Westmont bear the fingerprints of God. My Westmont story started just before my 18th birthday when I arrived at volleyball training camp. The teammates I met that day later became my bridesmaids. One of them set me up with my husband, a George Fox graduate whose best friend is a Westmont alum. Coach Russell Smelley played an instrumental role in my success on the track and in molding and shaping my faith. My semester with the San Francisco Urban Program challenged my preconceived stereotypes and awakened my barometer for justice. Brad Berky guided and challenged me and helped me find an internship through an alum that set the trajectory of my future. My travels with Semester at Sea to Greece, Spain, Norway, Russia, Belgium, Portugal, Italy, Egypt and Israel opened my eyes to new cultures and expanded my heart to hurting people. I graduated in 2001 with a major in sociology. It’s hard to articulate all the ways Westmont taught me, grew me, challenged me, and shaped me into the person I am today. You might have similar stories and adventures from your time here and the impression Westmont has left on your life. 

I’m excited to connect with you, engage with you and inform you. The mission of the Alumni Office is to cultivate:
1.    Thoughtful scholars through life-long learning opportunities
2.    Grateful servants through opportunities to give of their time, talent, and treasure
3.   Faithful leaders through opportunities for professional career development

In addition, we aim to engage and connect our alums by updating them about:
1.    Innovation and research in the academy among our students and faculty publications.
2.    Alumni updates, prayer requests, and ways to connect.
3.    Learning and travel opportunities to explore, experience, serve and grow.

In the next few years, we hope to roll out programs, events and resources to help you engage with Westmont and your peers. I welcome your ideas, input and involvement as we develop plans and seek ways to serve you. Please feel free to contact me anytime at I’m excited about this new role at Westmont, and I would love for you to be a part of this journey. 

Janay has worked at Westmont for the last four years in Westmont’s COVE career center as the employer relations specialist hosting career fairs on campus for employers, conducting resume reviews, and assisting students to find internships and jobs. In addition, she has assisted with the Westmont Women’s Leadership Council’s luncheon and roundtable events. 

Warriors Return for Homecoming 

We enjoyed a lively Homecoming Weekend October 13-14. The women’s volleyball team defeated both Dominican and the Academy of Art. Men’s soccer beat Azusa Pacific University 3-1, and our women’s soccer team finished in 2-2 against Azusa. Nearly 400 alums returned to campus for the festivities and reunions for classes ending in 3 and 8. Dr. Greg Spencer spoke in chapel about coming home.

Jay Diallo 08’ Alumnus of the Year, works to provide access to capital and technical assistance to economically disadvantaged micro and rural businesses, especially those owned by people of color, including women, veterans, refugees, immigrants, and people impacted by the justice system.  

Jenise Steverding 97’, Alumna of the Year, has extensive experience working organizations addressing social needs worldwide. She paid special tribute to Rusty Springer from Westmont in San Francisco and described the impact Rusty has made in her life. 

Carl LaBarbara 76’, Global Service Award, is the founder and president of Kingdomworks SDG Foundation that serves non-profit organizations by “maximizing capacity to complete their mission” and has provided aid and assistance throughout the world.

Gabriella Avila 14’, Young Alumni Award, has completed a Master of Social Work and serves as a middle school counselor for Los Angeles Unified School District, helping find solutions for students struggling with chronic absenteeism, homelessness, food insecurity and other needs. 

Planning has begun for next year’s Homecoming. Please reach out to us if you graduated in a year ending in 4 or 9 and would like to help plan your class reunion. We’re devising lots of fun events and activities and will have something for everyone. We hope to see you there.

First Destination Survey Results for the Class of 2022:

Each year, Westmont conducts the First Destination Survey (FDS) within six months of graduation to capture how recent graduates have fared.  

The class of 2022 reports 94.27 percent are working, enrolled in graduate school, volunteering or serving in the military, the largest percentage in the last five years. The percentage of students employed increased this year by two points, and the percentage of students still looking for a job hit an all-time low. The class reported 14.5% are enrolled in a graduate program. Our overall outcome rate (also known as the landed rate) was more than 10 points higher than the 2021 national average of 84.1%. In our research, we found that students who visited Westmont’s C.O.V.E. Career Center at some point during their time at Westmont made roughly $4,000 more in their first year after graduation compared to their peers who never visited the Career Center. 

Read More

The top industries employing graduates include 18.2% in healthcare, 16% in education, 7.4% in non-profits, 6.3% in finance/banking, and 6.3% in internet and software. The top job functions are 13.5% in healthcare, 12.4% in sales and marketing, 11.8% in administration and human resources, 10.7% in education, and 7.3% in software and internet technology.

The hard sciences saw a higher average of students going to graduate school and higher starting salaries than the humanities. Economics and business was our largest major with 42 graduates, followed by kinesiology (39), biology (35), communication studies (29), and psychology (22). Sixty-six percent of our graduates completed at least one internship or research experience for academic credit.

Our recent graduates attend a variety of graduate programs. The top graduate schools include Carnegie Melon, Loma Linda University, New York University, Penn State, Emory University, Tel Aviv University, Notre Dame, University of Southern California and Oxford.

Recent graduates have joined the workforce at various companies and organizations, including AppFolio, Hayashida Physical Therapy, Kate Farms, Montecito Bank & Trust, Orthopedic Institute of Santa Barbara, Raytheon, UBS, Zondervan and Westmont.
Upcoming Events

•    Let There Be Light , Thursday, November 29, 4:30-6:30 p.m., Kerrwood Hall Circle. Join this family-friendly Advent celebration for treats, festive entertainment and the ceremonial lighting of Kerrwood Hall. Children’s photos with Santa Claus begin at 4:30 p.m.; the line forms in the President’s Patio near the fountain. Feel free to wear your favorite ugly sweater as our students will hold an ugly sweater contest. 

•    The 19th annual Westmont Christmas Festival marks the beginning of the holiday season for many in Santa Barbara. The event combines orchestra and choirs at the Granada Theatre on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 3, at 3 p.m. Get tickets, which cost $22 each. 

Christmas Festival Tickets

•    Giving Tuesday Giving Tuesday is November 28. A donor has pledged $50,000 to match gifts to the Westmont Fund between November 21-28, until midnight. Your gift will have twice the impact in supporting students.

•    The 7th annual Westmont Women’s Leadership Council’s Luncheon will be held on Friday, January 19, at 12:00 p.m. in Westmont’s Global Leadership Center. The event features Natalie Taylor, a leading personal finance speaker, Certified Financial Planner™ and Behavioral Financial Advisor™ passionate about helping people cultivate a financial plan reflecting their values and goals. Christine Emmons will receive this year’s Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree Spirit of Santa Barbara Award.

•    Plan ahead to join us in April for a movie under the stars on Kerrwood Lawn. Bring your family and a blanket or chair for this fun event with popcorn and other goodies courtesy of the Alumni Office and Westmont Activities Council. More details to come. 

Recent Events and Links 
•    Chapel Archives: Watch and Listen to Westmont’s Chapels
•    Westmont Athletics: Watch and Cheer on your Warriors from home
•    Dr. Rebecca McNamara’s lecture on Care in Times of Crisis: Suicide and Emotions in Medieval 
Leave your Mark.
Support students and purchase a brick today

Participate in Westmont’s first engraved brick path running through the formal gardens. Each year, students begin their Westmont education with a First Walk from lower campus to Kerrwood Hall. On Commencement, they conclude their time with a symbolic walk following the bagpipers from Kerrwood to the graduation ceremony. As future generations walk the brick pathway, they’ll see your name or message and experience the overwhelming support of the Westmont community.  

Engrave Your Brick

Pickle Tree Ornaments 

Generations of Westmont students have passed beneath the towering tree on Kerrwood Lawn known affectionately as the Pickle Tree, named for its endearing shape. Its annual Christmas lighting became a community celebration. After years of drought devastated the tree, the college removed it for safety.  The redwood found a new life as an ornament. One of our own Westmont community members created the ornaments by hand, making each one unique! You can celebrate with this distinctive ornament as a thank you for your gift to the Westmont Fund of $50 or more (or a monthly gift of $10 or more). The Westmont Fund provides needed financial assistance to current students.

Help Admissions Recruit Students

Would you like to encourage prospective students to choose Westmont? The Admissions Office welcomes help from alums willing to write a postcard to a recently admitted student. If anyone you’re interested in volunteering in this way, please email

Alumni Connections: We want to hear from you…

•    Recently moved? Click HERE to update your address or email address
•    Expecting a baby? We’d love to send you a Westmont onesie. Please email
•    Send us your prayer requests. Interested in being on the weekly Westmont Alumni Prayer Chain? Please email
•    Do you have a high schooler? Send us their name. We’d love to connect them with our admissions office.
•    Do you know an alum who should be considered for an alumni award? We’ll accept nominations for fall 2024 until June 1, 2024. Submissions received after that date will be considered for the following year. Click HERE to nominate someone. 
•    Check out what your classmates have been up to in Class Notes. Click here to send us an update that we can share on the website with your classmates.
•    Classifieds. Are you interested in posting a job for an alum? Send it to us, and we’ll post it in a new Classifieds section of the alumni website. Please email
•    Are you interested in posting jobs or internships for our students or attending an upcoming career fair? Please email

Thank you for being Thoughtful Scholars, Grateful Servants, and Faithful leaders as you go out into the World.  
May the strength of God sustain you;
May the power of God preserve you;
May the hands of God protect you;
May the way of God direct you;
May the love of God go with you always
May the will of God give you a peace that transcends understanding as you trust in His providence.