Alumni Board

Alumni Association Steering Committee Biographies

Dee Dee Barrett (BA 2007)
Board of Trustees Representative

Dee Dee Barrett is an International Buyer for a group of Caribbean hotels’ gift shops. By background, Ms. Barrett was a model in New York and a Flight Attendant for American Airlines. She has lived in London, Paris, the Caribbean, Florida and New York. A self-made businesswoman, she dropped out of high school to care for an ailing grandmother. Years later, she returned to college by taking classes first at the College of London, later at Santa Barbara City College and then at AUSB where she earned a BA in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Communication Studies. Her daughter, Nicole, also graduated from AUSB and inspired her to complete her degree.

Ms. Barrett is a philanthropist devoted to non-profit work including agencies such as Hospice and the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (CADA). In these roles she has been responsible for annual fundraising events such as The Amethyst Ball for CADA and the Go Red for Women and Heart Ball Gala events for the Heart Association. She has traveled to Antigua to distribute food to the poor. She has been recognized for her dedication and leadership by election to the above boards and served as President of the Heart Association Board and presently serves as Vice President of CADA.

Ms. Barrett received Antioch’s Horace Mann Award from AUSB in 2007 for her involvement in the student community and her outstanding community service.


Jill Frandsen (MACP 2012)

Jill Frandsen is the Student Coordinator for the Office of Institutional Advancement at AUSB. Ms. Frandsen earned her BA in Sociology with a Certificate in Global Peace & Security from UCSB. In pursuit of her Master’s in Clinical Psychology Degree and her Marriage & Family Therapist license, Jill is currently training as a counselor at Pacific Pride Foundation and at El Camino Elementary School.

A certified flower essence practitioner and trained clairvoyant, Jill does energy healing and produces herbal supplements as proprietor of FloraDeva. An intrepid activist, Jill recently joined the statewide ballot initiative campaign to Label GMO’s as a regional coordinator. She enjoys living in Santa Barbara with her husband and two teenage sons and looks forward to spending more time with them when she graduates this coming spring.


Yvette Ardds (BA 2011)

Yvette Ardds just recently graduated from the BA program at AUSB with an emphasis in Business Management. Originally from the Bay Area, she moved to Santa Barbara in 2003 and continues to call this community home. Ms. Ardds has worked in the Accounting and Payroll fields for the past 15 years and has served on the board of the American Payroll Association Santa Barbara Chapter as a Certified Payroll Professional trainer. She plans to pursue an MBA over the next three years.


Norma A. Bahena (BA 2005 & MAOM 2006)

After growing up in Mexico City, Norma Bahena moved to Santa Barbara where she attended Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) and earned an Associate Degree in Computer Information Systems. She graduated from AUSB with a BA in Liberal Studies, and went on to receive her Master’s in Organizational Management in 2006. Ms. Bahena began her career in education while she was attending SBCC. Her passion for education only grew as she interacted with students, faculty and administrators and she began teaching for Continuing Education in the area of technology.

Ms. Bahena’s administrative responsibilities in the Community College system include oversight of programs in Computer Instructional areas where she is actively involved in key initiatives critical to the college such as Program Review, Curriculum Development Student Learning Outcomes; and the Institutional Self Study for Reaffirmation of accreditation for SBCC. Currently Ms. Bahena is working on the development and approval of the first Bilingual Computer Certificate for Continuing Education.

Ms. Bahena serves on several committees including the Community Technology Policy Group, the Work Investment Board (Youth Council), and most recently Ms. Bahena is excited to be a part of the AUSB Alumni Association Steering Committee.


Steve Caputo (MAOM 1997)

In 1997 Steve Caputo graduated from the MAOM program at AUSB and immediately leveraged his education into a way of life in organizational development and training both as a consultant and an internal practitioner. Additionally he started his academic teaching by becoming an adjunct faculty member at Antioch. Mr. Caputo has provided training, instructional design, and facilitation to numerous groups in a variety of subjects including: project management, problem solving, group dynamics, facilitation skills, brainstorming, strategic planning, time management, systems theory, and team building.

Mr. Caputo’s style of training methodology is a combination of training and entertainment which he likes to call “entertrainment”. He has done projects for a variety of organizations including the University of California at Santa Barbara, Antioch University, University of Minnesota, The Towbes Group, The Junior League of Santa Barbara, Verizon, Mercer Global Advisors, Ericsson, Inamed, The Child Protective Services, and Cottage Health System. Most recently Mr. Caputo led a program on leadership and change with the US Army.


Ingrid Elken (BA 2010)

The most exciting and creative period of Ingrid Elken’s professional service working for young children was when she directed two distinctively different non-profit Early Childhood Programs, the Four Winds School in Ojai and Trinity Baptist Preschool in Santa Barbara. Ms. Elken is now the Lead Toddler Teacher with the Orfalea Family Children’s Center Early Childhood Care and Education Services at UCSB’s University Children’s Center. Her previous experience working with children’s resource organizations enabled her to oversee several aspects of the Children’s Center, including planning and implementation for the NAEYC accredited center, teaching and supervision of Student Teacher Assistants, and providing support for the parents.

Ms. Elken also currently volunteers for the Royal Family KIDS, a non-profit, all volunteer-based organization with a mission to confront abuse and change the lives of children who have been abused and/or neglected. Ms. Elken has been instrumental in organizing many local philanthropic endeavors, such as the Children’s Art in the Park during the Annual Ojai Music Festival; the Children’s Event Festival at Libbey Park; and the distribution of free books for children’s service groups in both English and Spanish.


Paul Kroekel (MACP 1998)

Paul Kroekel, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, earned his BS from Trinity College in Hartford, CT and after serving in the USAF, he earned his MBA from Arizona State University and his Master’s in Clinical Psychology from AUSB. He has worked as a product manager in the medical device and computer technology industries.

Mr. Kroekel served as a volunteer with Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and served on the CASA Board of Directors. Mr. Kroekel is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in Santa Barbara.


Jackie Kurta (MACP 2002)

Jacqueline Kurta, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, is the Acting Director of the UCSB Alcohol and Drug Program, and concurrently works as Assistant Coordinator of the UCSB Student Mental Health Program. Ms. Kurta received a B.A. in English from Tufts University, her Master’s in Clinical Psychology from AUSB, and most recently her Doctor of Psychology degree (PsyD) in Marriage and Family Therapy, and is in the midst of completing her dissertation. Originally from New York City, Ms. Kurta and her family relocated to Los Angeles in 1987 and they have made Santa Barbara their home since 2000.

In addition to her work at UCSB, Ms. Kurta currently serves as Clinical Supervisor for Casa Serena, a Women’s Residential Recovery Program and maintains a private practice in Santa Barbara. She serves as an adjunct faculty for AUSB and guest lecturer for Pacifica Graduate Institute. Ms. Kurta has served on the Board of the Santa Barbara Chapter of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists since 2005 in a variety of capacities, ranging from Co-President to her current position as Coordinator of Disaster Mental Health Services.

Over the years, Ms. Kurta has also offered her services to valuable Santa Barbara community organizations, including Domestic Violence Solutions of Santa Barbara County, Family Court Mediation Program of Santa Barbara County, the American Red Cross of SB County, Transition House, El Puente School and the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. Her additional interests include travel, skiing, cycling and joining her family and friends in enjoying all that Santa Barbara has to offer.


Sarah Macias (BA 2010)

For the past decade Sarah Macias has taught an array of children from various backgrounds between the ages of two and 18. She first began pursuing this career at an early age by volunteering at Ocean View Preschool located in a low-income housing neighborhood of Oxnard. This experience sparked her interest in early childhood social and cognitive development which led her to pursue a career in the field. Beginning with an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts, Ms. Macias found employment at a local Boys & Girls Club and later at a Ventura Preschool. She then moved to Goleta to pursue her Bachelor’s Degree at Antioch University.

Ms. Macias’ current employment is with the University of California Santa Barbara’s Early Child Care and Education Center where she finds delight in caring for and teaching the children of students, faculty and professors. Ms. Macias befriends many of the international students whom she has met through Chi Alpha at UCSB and enjoys enriching those who aspire to acquire knowledge regarding American culture and customs. She also volunteers time assisting with the children ministries at South Coast Church in Goleta in order to enlighten the young on biblical principles and values. In the 4 years that Ms. Macias has lived in the Santa Barbara area, she has found richness in the diversity of people who are employed, reside, and study there. This atmosphere has given her a genuine respect and appreciation for those in her community.


Barbara Savage (MAOM 2008)

Over the past fifteen years, Barbara Savage has served as President of the Tribal Trust Foundation, dedicating her time, energy, expertise, and resources to further its mission to help preserve the living arts of indigenous people. She has personally witnessed the struggle for survival of indigenous peoples throughout the world and identified the sustainable cultural preservation projects supported by the foundation. She has produced two documentary films for the Tribal Trust Foundation and most recently organized, Mbuti: Children of the Forest, a traveling photographic exhibition. As an educator, Ms. Savage has been invited to share her experiences implementing the mission of the Tribal Trust Foundation with students of all ages, including at the university level.

In her capacity as Buyer for the Santa Barbara Museum of Art Store, Ms. Savage has drawn upon her experience as a craft gallery owner and owner of a company that created and sold sacred jewelry, art, and artifacts to successfully introduce and foster a market for handmade Fair Trade products that support indigenous communities throughout the world. Ms. Savage applied her MAOM studies at AUSB to the museum store. Her business plan for the store facilitated the creation of an online store and transformed the museum store into a popular destination for unique affordable gifts and a profit center for the museum.


Kristine J. Schwarz (MACP 2002)

Kristine Schwarz is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice and the owner of Santa Barbara Psychotherapy®. Ms. Schwarz is also Associate Director for Institutional Advancement at AUSB, where she oversees alumni and community outreach activities. She was previously AUSB Core Faculty and Clinical Director of the MACP Program and served as Founding Chair of the MFT Consortium of the Central Coast Region and Central Coast Chair of MFT Leadership Collaborative. Her earlier clinical experience includes posts at Domestic Violence Solutions of Santa Barbara County, Goleta Valley Union School District, Working Alternatives Federal Prisoner Reentry Program, Full Spectrum Recovery and the COPE Program at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. As well, Ms. Schwarz is certified in School and Community-Based Post Traumatic Stress Management and Psychological First Aid.

Ms. Schwarz conducts workshops on a variety of topics and has presented at conferences nationally including Northwestern University’s CANS Conference; Child Welfare League of America’s Finding Better Ways Conference; Terrorism and Psychosocial Preparedness: Impact on Children and Families Consortium Meeting; The California Wellness Foundation’s Conference on Increasing Diversity in the Health Professions; and the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children’s 12th Annual Colloquium.

Prior to pursuing a career in education and psychotherapy, Ms. Schwarz worked for 15 years as a producer and executive in the entertainment industry at the Walt Disney Studios, Paramount Studios, and Warner Bros. Studios, among others. She continues her work in the creative arts as a psychotherapist and mentor to young writers.


Debra Stanfield (MACP 2005)

Debra Stanfield is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Santa Barbara who has specialized training in working with people who have chronic pain, chronic disease, anxiety, depression, and chemical dependency. For the past five years Ms. Stanfield has been facilitating groups at Recovery Road Medical Center Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program assisting patients and their families with the challenges of living with a medical diagnosis and a mental health diagnosis. Ms. Stanfield encourages patients to respect their diagnoses, create meaningful lives, and live in fulfillment and hope with their physical or emotional disabilities.

Ms. Stanfield maintains a private practice in Santa Barbara where she enjoys working with individual, couples, and families. She has a B.A. from the University of California Santa Barbara in Psychology and a Master’s in Clinical Psychology from AUSB and has been actively serving on the Santa Barbara County Drug and Alcohol Advisory Board for the past 4 years.

Ms. Stanfield is a California native, the fortunate mother of three wonderful adult children and two beautiful grandchildren. She has lived in Santa Barbara for eight years and loves to garden as much as possible.


Lorrie Thomas Ross (BA 2003 & MAOM 2008)

Lorrie Thomas Ross is a speaker, trainer, marketing expert and CEO of Web Marketing Therapy, a marketing agency and training company that diagnoses, prescribes and guides healthy marketing solutions. Her expertise empowers organizations to create scalable web solutions that brand, build and boost business. She teaches workshops directly for corporations and also through UC Berkeley Extension.

Ms. Thomas Ross was on the founding team at ValueClick Media. She speaks nationally on a number of marketing-related topics and writes for several online publications. She is the author of The 36 Hour Course to Online Marketing (McGraw-Hill). She has been featured in the media as a web marketing expert by INC, Forbes, SUCCESS Magazine, the Associated Press, eCommerce Times, Entrepreneur, DM News and Tech News World.