Career Seminars

exploring career opportunities

An important component of a complete education is helping students develop a clear vision of service to humanity through their chosen profession. Andrews Academy is committed to providing opportunities for career exploration. The strongest motivation for career development is for students to see professionals who have graduated from their school return and talk about their journey.

Edwin Vitrano EDWIN VITRANO, '69
Occupation/Title: Country Club Management
Where: Trilogy in Rio Vista, California

Ed Vitrano’s selection as the recipient of the 1969 Umek Acumen Award indicates his love for all sports, and that love has continued into his career and his flex-time activities. His profession involves the management of large-scale associations such as golf courses, lakes, food & beverage, gated security and recreation programs. Currently he manages Trilogy, a country club in Rio Vista, Calif. His special interests involve sailing (big boat and windsurfing), snow skiing and camping. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education and has extensive on-the-job training with several organizations. Ed and his wife, Dora (Schmidt), '72 , have twin sons, David and Douglas (13). Other activities Ed was engaged in during his academy years were the National Honors Society, class president, camps, Sanjo and Silhouette, and music organizations.

Elizabeth Oakley


Occupation/Title: Physical Therapist Professor
Where: Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan

While a student at Andrews Academy, Betty Oakley was known for her beautiful solo voice and her participation in a ladies trio and the Silhouettes. She was also active in the intramural program and participated in educational tours.

Following academy graduation she attended Andrews University where she received a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Physical Therapy. Her Doctor of Health Science is from the University of St. Augustine, Fla. After practicing outpatient orthopedic physical therapy in Michigan and Washington, she joined the faculty of the Andrews University Department of Physical Therapy. She and her husband, David, have two children—a sophomore daughter at Andrews Academy and a son in fourth grade.
Ernie Medina ERNIE MEDINA JR., '83
Occupation/Title: Preventive Care Specialist
Where: Beaver Medical Group & XRtainment Zone in Redlands, California

Medina has merged three of his major interests—health, exercise and technology—into a unique, cutting-edge concept, the creation of a facility "where working out is all play." It is built on the belief that people will exercise if they are having fun, and that fun comes through the medium of exergames in the health and fitness center called the XRtainment Zone. But all this is his avocation. He is employed as a preventive care specialist at Beaver Medical Group in Redlands, Calif.. At Andrews Academy, Ernie was deeply involved in all aspects of the school program, both curricular and co-curricular. He participated in music organizations, drama, photography and as president of the National Honor Society. After graduation he attended Andrews University and Loma Linda University obtaining a bachelor's degree (AU) and master's and doctorate in Public Health (LLU).

Ernie and his wife, Dr. Keri Medina, have one daughter, Summer (10). His special interests and hobbies include kid’s ministries, exergames, photography, computers, triathlons, racquet sports, mountain biking and ultimate Frisbee.



Occupation/Title: Accountant
Where: Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tennessee

Currently, Douglas Frood has the major responsibility for oversight of the multimillion dollar budget of Southern Adventist University. Even in academy he was known for his attention to detail, promptness and dependability. These character qualities have influenced his success in the profession of accounting.

He completed the requirements for a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting at Andrews University in 1987. His Master of Science in Accounting is from Western Michigan University. He has taught accounting in the Andrews University School of Business Administration, Atlantic Union College and Southern Adventist University.

In academy Doug was a valued member of the Kaleidoscope staff, a member of the National Honor Society, and participated in intramurals. His special interests include reading, model trains, volleyball and golf. Doug and his wife, Lori, have three children—Joshua (15), Meagan (12) and James (7).
Givanni Leonor GIOVANNI LEONOR, '88
Occupation/Title: Counselor and Executive Director of SECURE
Where: South Bend, Indiana and various SECURE Centers throughout Michigan

Giovanni graduated from Andrews Academy in 1988. He completed a BS in Sociology at Andrews University in 1995. His MSW graduate studies were completed at Indiana University in May 2000. In September 2000, Gio founded SECURE (Strategies for Effective Cultural Understanding and Relationship Empowerment) Counseling and Psychological Centers. SECURE provides a wide range of mental health services with emphasis on individuals and family psychotherapy. Seventy percent of the SECURE clients are referred to them from the Department of Human Services, Criminal Court and Friend of the Court.

Giovanni's five years of experience as a probation pfficer has proven paramount in providing services to this clientele, by showing him the inner-workings of "the system." There are SECURE Centers in South Bend, Ind.; and Benton Harbor, Niles, Cassopolis, Kalamazoo and Hastings, Mich.

Gio enjoys traveling, spending time with his wife, Kim, and their three sons. They visit Panama every year, where they camp and fish for shark. In high school, Giovanni was active in choir, basketball and "avoiding Dr. O's office."

Greg Metzger


Occupation/Title: Captain, Fire Co#3, C-Shift
Where: South Bend, Indiana

After Greg graduated from AA in 1986, he joined the United States Marine Corp. After completing his basic training, he returned to the area and worked in the home construction business. He decided to take an Emergency Medical Training course at LMC and was hooked. After he completed paramedic training, he worked for a private ambulance company in South Bend, Ind. In 1990, he was called to duty in the first Gulf War.

Greg married shortly after his return home and was hired to be a firefighter/ paramedic for the City of South Bend Fire Department in 1992. He received his firefighting training and then was assigned to a paramedic unit for eight years, and then transferred to a fire engine full-time. Greg has worked in many areas of the fire/rescue field.

He is trained in hazardous material response, tactical rescue, confined rescue, river rescue, anti-terrorism and biochemical weapons training. For 2½ years, beginning August 2004, he was in the front office of the City Department overlooking all these different specialties and coordinating their training. However, he came to discover that he still preferred working in the field with the other men, and in January 2007 he returned to an engine company where he remains today. He is married to Krista, '88, and has two children, Gerred and Kassaundra.
Hector Mastrapa HECTOR A. MASTRAPA, CPCU, ARM, AAI, '83
Occupation/Title: Vice President, Insurance
Where: Marriott International, Inc. in Bethesda, Maryland

Hector Mastrapa is vice president of Marriott International, Inc. located in Bethesda, Md. His specific responsibilities include managing the insurance program for Marriott's 3000 global properties in 63 countries ranging from its economy Fairfield Inn hotels to its luxury Ritz-Carlson brand. He is active with the Risk and Insurance Management Society, serving as local chapter president in 1998.

Mastrapa holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Andrews University and has professional designations as a chartered property casualty underwriter, an associate in risk management, and an accredited advisor in insurance.

Hector married his high school sweetheart, Carol Davidson, and they have two high school-age daughters—Chelsea (17) and Emily (15). During his academy years, in addition to Carol, his interests included all sports and he was the Umek Acumen Award Recipient in 1983. His interest in sports continues. In addition he enjoys camping and traveling with his family.



Occupation/Title: Physician (Family Practice)
Where: William Hefner Veterans Medical Center in Salisbury, North Carolina

Though he graduated from medical school just 14 years ago, Ken Holness has established a distinguished career as a missionary doctor, a medical educator and practicing physician. Currently, he is associated with the William Hefner Veterans Administration Medical Center in Salisbury, N.C., practicing outpatient primary care and family medicine. Following graduation from Andrews Academy he completed a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry. His medical degree is from Loyola Stritch School of Medicine (Ill.). He completed an obstetric fellowship at the Rockford (Ill.) Memorial Hospital.

As an AA student, Ken was highly regarded as a gracious, courteous young man and was known for his scholarship which qualified him as salutatorian of the Class of 1983. He was also pastor of the class and an active member of the orchestra. Dr. Holness and his wife, Dr. Kara Holness, have three daughters—Moriah, Micah and Emory. His non-professional interests include reading, sports, model-building, golf, tennis and violin.
Krystian Zygowiec KRYSTIAN ZYGOWIEC, '98
Occupation/Title: EMS Helicopter Pilot
Where: Omniflight Helicopters at the St. Mary's of Michigan FlightCare program in Saginaw, Michigan

Krystian Zygowiec has the reputation of an intrepid adventurer because of ventures such as kayaking across Lake Michigan from Chicago to New Buffalo and skydiving into a pool party to propose to his fiancé. This spirit is a natural lead into his career as a helicopter pilot. After completing a Bachelor of Technology in Aviation at Andrews University, Krystian attended Helicopter Adventures, Inc. in Florida to obtain his helicopter rating.

After completing that program he was invited to join the school staff as an instructor. Subsequently, he was employed by a firm that supported the oil industry by flying personnel and supplies to off-shore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. This gave him the experience and flying hours to qualify for his dream position as an emergency medical service pilot.

While a student at Andrews Academy, Krystian participated in the Silhouettes, outdoor education trips and intramurals. His special interests include flying, skydiving, SCUBA diving, and other activities that involve the outdoors and adventure. In 2003, he married Julie Dalson, an academy classmate.

Linda Wallack


Occupation/Title: Interior Design, Branding
Where: CleverSpin in Chicago, Illinois

It is abundantly clear that Linda Wallack’s academy interests have carried over into her life today. While in school she worked for the physical education teacher and was very involved in sports. She was a member of the first girls' Shydepoke team. She was also involved in music and participated in all the tours and trips. Now, she spends time almost every day at a hockey rink where her sons are active players. She married her academy sweetheart, Kurt, and their boys are 14 and 16 and named for the streets that intersect at Wrigley Field.

Wallack has established her own firm that specializes in interior architecture and branding. Her design strategy merges space, graphics and technology. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design but the scope of her present business is much broader—including efficiency, construction, management, human resources, marketing and technology.
Lisa Knudsen LISA (TRUBEY) KNUDSEN, '88
Occupation/Title: ER Nurse
Where: Mt Vernon, Washington

As an emergency room nurse, Lisa Knudsen has gained a wealth of experience including certification in ACLS, PALS, TNCC and ENPC, and specialized training in Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD). Lisa attended Andrews University and Southwestern Adventist University where she received her associate degree in nursing. In 1996, she completed the requirements for a Bachelor of Science in nursing. In addition, she has received specialized training in pediatrics and emergency medicine.  

After three years as a nursing administrator, Lisa realized that her first love is working directly with patients. Currently, she is employed at Skagit Valley Hospital in Mt. Vernon, Wash. Lisa and her husband, Ken, are the very proud parents of Kate (3).

Michael Lawson


Occupation/Title: Field VP Ameriprise–Financial Planning
Where: Ada, Michigan
While a student at Andrews Academy, Michael Lawson was known for his cordial smile and congenial personality. He was very active in the school’s athletic and social activities. These qualities have followed him into his professional life in the financial services industry. As might be expected, his non-professional special interests continue to be in the area of sports, especially scuba diving and basketball.

As a field vice president for Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., Lawson's responsibilities include the oversight of financial planners in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. Though his office is based in East Lansing, Mich., he travels extensively to these states and for other corporate activities throughout the country. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Andrews University and has obtained extensive job-related training though his company’s education program.

Michael and his wife, Marie, have three children–Justin, Sean and Wendy. They live in Ada, Mich.
Phillip Brantley PHILLIP BRANTLEY, '83
Occupation/Title: Attorney
Where: Phillip Brantley and Associates, PC, in Houston, Texas

Members of the Class of 1983 are not surprised that Phillip Brantley became an attorney, for they were well acquainted with his inquiring mind, his analytical insights and his tendency to consider all alternatives when dealing with issues. He was known for urging excellence in conducting programs and activities.

After completing a Bachelor of Science in Political Economy at Andrews University, Phillip attended the School of Law at the University of Texas (Austin), receiving a degree in law in 1989. In 1991, Brantley established his own law firm—Phillip Brantley and Associates, PC, located in Houston, Texas.

As an AA student, Phillip often performed quality violin music. He was active in the National Honor Society and participated in the college enrichment program. Phillip and his wife, Lynne, have been very active in the advancement of Adventist Christian education, emphasizing the importance of excellence in teaching and learning. Their daughter, Rachel, is a freshman at Andrews Academy.

Reakha Gurubatham-Janus


Occupation/Title: Small Business Owner, Entrepreneur
Where: Janus Consulting in Rockville, Maryland

Reakha says that she was not as active in academy as she might have been because she was very shy but that she has more than made up for it. And has she ever! She is now an entrepreneur, small business owner, chief executive officer, innovator, visionary and race team member! While at AA she was a member of the band and a member of the cast for the school play. Because she was too timid for a stage role, Mr. Baker let her be the prompter. Following graduation from Andrews Academy, Gurubatham-Janus completed a degree at Columbia Union College with dual majors in business administration and communication with a graphic design emphasis. Her Master of Finance is from Johns Hopkins University.

In 1995, she founded the Janus Consulting Firm, Inc., a high-end provider of high-quality proposal services that produces remarkable results by supporting its clients in over $50B of proposed new business. Reakha and her husband, Michael, have two children, Thara (7) and Luke (6). Her special interest is the not-for-profit organization she recently founded—The Science of Racing—an innovative education program that focuses on addressing the waning interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It capitalizes on young peoples’ natural enthusiasm for automobile racing.
Rob Orrison ROB ORRISON, '88
Occupation/Title: Building Construction Project Management
Where: BE&K Building Group, Inc. in Washington, D.C.

As a building construction project manager in the Washington, D.C. area, Rob Orrison has directed the construction or renovation of many significant buildings, some of which are government structures. Among these are the communications center at Walter Reed Hospital, a historical building at the United States Navel Academy, and the reconstruction of a heritage YMCA building. Among the more unique projects he has managed is the hardening of the security systems for all the U.S. Navy installations in the Washington area, including the Naval Observatory where the Vice President’s mansion is located.

While a student at Andrews Academy, Rob participated in the educational tours, was a member of the Silhouettes and was active in all intramurals. His interests away from work include golf, architecture, and traveling and camping with family and friends. He and his wife, Carri, have two children, Christine (4) and Nick (2). He holds a Bachelor of Industrial Technology, Building Construction Management from Andrews University. He is employed at the BE&K Building Group, Inc.

Samir Serrano


Occupation/Title: Chemist
Where: Roche Pharmaceuticals in Nutley, New Jersey

Samir Serrano graduated from Andrews Academy with the honor class of 1988—the year of the Penguin. In 1994 he graduated from Andrews University with two degrees—a Bachelor of Science in chemistry and a Bachelor of Arts in German (Vielen Dank! Herr Baker). His educational experience was enriched by a year of study at Bogenhofen and summer internships with Dow Chemical Corp. Following graduation he was employed by Roche Pharmaceutical Company (N.J.) where he been engaged in automation and analytical and organic chemistry.

Away from work he enjoys power hikes along the Appalachian Trail with family and church members. Other interests include Pathfinder and youth group leadership, astronomy, soccer and airplane piloting. He is committed to Adventist Christian education and believes that his experience at Andrews Academy gave him a firm foundation on which to build positive relationships with God, his family, friends and colleagues.
Sheryl Aka SHERYL (PULIDO) AKA, '78
Occupation/Title: Clinical Laboratory Science
Where: Hematopathology Research at Loma Linda University, California

Mrs. Aka and her surgeon husband, Paul, have three children—Allison (university junior), Chelsea (academy junior), and Michael (eighth grade). In academy she was very active in leadership roles serving as an officer of her class. Her Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science degree was taken at Andrews University. Following her clinical training at Florida Adventist Hospital (Orlando), she began teaching and research in the Department of Clinical Laboratory Science at Loma Linda University. Her current responsibilities are in Hematopathology Research at LLU. Most of her spare time is invested in children’s sports activities serving as cook for their road trips and in fund raising events for cancer research.

Steven Hansen


Occupation/Title: Professor & Ceramic Artist
Where: Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan

Steve graduated from Andrews Academy in 1981. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Andrews University, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Notre Dame. He has been a professor in the Andrews University Department of Art & Design for 21 years. Steve’s ceramic artwork has appeared in numerous books and magazines, such as Ceramics Monthly, American Craft, American Style and Niche. He has participated in over 50 exhibitions, both nationally and internationally. He is married to Sandy Chobotar, '78, and they have one daughter, Taryn, who is 12 years old, but very quick to point out that she is almost 13.
Valerie Ang VALERIE (STANDEN) ANG, '78
Occupation/Title: Aerospace Engineer
Where: The Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, California

From editor of the 1978 Silhouette to aerospace engineer has been a fascinating journey for Valerie Ang. She is presently senior scientist at The Aerospace Corporation in El Segundo, Calif. In her present position she provides independent technical advice on battery design and performance to the U.S. government and numerous commercial space satellites and launch vehicle programs. Her responsibilities include all aspects of the space acquisition process from proposal to spacecraft design, manufacturing, launch and on-orbit support.

Valerie has specialized in a variety of battery chemistries including lead acid, nickel cadmium, nickel hydrogen, lithium thionyl chloride and lithium ion. The key programs she has supported are: Peacekeeper and Minuteman Ballistic Missiles; Multiple Military Communication Satellite; Global Positioning Satellite (GPS); and the Missile Defense Satellite System.

Ang holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Andrews University and has worked for 25 years in the aerospace industry. Valerie and her husband have two children—Stephanie, a high school freshman, and Hans, a university freshman.