Class Notes: Special April 1 Edition

Welcome to another edition of Class Notes. It’s April 1, and we’ve scoured the universe for updates from classmates only the most committed of Nerds will recognize. Their updates? Well, each sounds like it could have come straight out of a script.

Dana Scully, MD ’90, was recruited to the FBI after her Farm days. Unfortunately, she can’t reveal much about the files she worked on there, but she does lament missing some football games the year she was abducted by aliens. She left her top-secret position in 2002 to be a surgeon but returned to the FBI and her work partner, Fox Mulder, seven years later. Though their personal relationship has been somewhat on-again, off-again, Dana reports that she and Fox have a son together. He was placed for adoption due to the nature of his parents’ work. Dana says they were unable to guarantee the child’s safety and adds, “It all sounds pretty otherworldly if you don’t know the whole story.”  

Albuquerque, N.M., native Gabriella Montez, ’12, has come a long way since her days staging three elaborate high school musicals. After graduation, Gabriella was accepted to Stanford Law School but opted to move to New York for an opportunity with Teach for America (and, retrospectively, to be with then-boyfriend and former Cal basketball starter Troy Bolton, who was drafted by the Knicks in 2012). On a dare, Gabriella took a brief ensemble role in Hamilton. Who among us hasn’t made a major life decision in response to song lyrics? Gabriella is no different. To the tune of Hamilton’s “History Has Its Eyes on You,” she decided to move back home in search of opportunities to serve her hometown. Gabriella was volunteering in the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office during the 2016 presidential election when she was inspired to run for office. She’s now on Capitol Hill, representing the Land of Enchantment in the 1st Congressional District. “It’s the start of something new,” says the former Larkinite.  

We created a few temporal paradoxes when we caught up with Jonathan Archer from the great Class of 2134. For years, his space career trekking the galaxy kept him moving faster than light. Everyone knows him now as president of the United Federation of Planets, but Jonathan loves thinking about his days as a water polo athlete for the Card, and he still enjoys watching a great match. (He counts beating Cal as one of his top accomplishments in life, right alongside helping form the Federation.) During his days as a Starfleet captain, Jonathan and his crew on the Enterprise made first contact with dozens of alien races. He later served as an admiral and the chief of staff at Starfleet Command before becoming ambassador to Andoria. Though he played it down when we talked, it’s widely known that Jonathan is one of the most highly decorated Starfleet officers of his time. He hopes to make it back to campus for his upcoming reunion now that he’s traveling less.  

Neil Meléndez, ’01, MD ’05, got back to the Farm for a visit just last October. He’s a good doctor and works right down the road at San Jose’s St. Bonaventure Hospital. Neil is an attending surgeon and also oversees medical residents, including the hospital’s first surgeon with autism. He says that a recent viral outbreak and hospital quarantine was a dramatic episode in his career, but that usually his days are more typical of a surgeon’s—filled with groundbreaking surgeries, patient stories that hold parallel meaning in his or a colleague’s own life, and occasionally standing up to hospital administration. He always looks forward to seeing what will happen next.

Speaking of top operators, we checked in with cardiothoracic surgeon Cristina Yang, MD ’05, who has been living in Switzerland for the past several years. She has wanted to be a heart surgeon ever since she held her dying father in her arms as a child. After Stanford, Cristina did her residency in Seattle, and says it was an adventure, with something almost unbelievable happening every week. She then served as a cardiothoracic surgical fellow at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, where she was also a board member for a time. A few years ago, a former boyfriend offered her the opportunity to take over as head of the Klausman Institute for Medical Research in Zurich. Cristina says she is occasionally in contact with friends from the States. In fact, she recently worked with BFF Meredith Grey to find a place at the Klausman Institute for a Grey Sloan doctor who was at risk of deportation!  

Chuck Bartowski, ’03, was just a few credits shy of completing his degree in mechanical engineering when a plagiarism dispute led him to take a leave of absence from school. His five years away from the Farm gave him the opportunity to grow his technical skills as a Nerd Herd specialist at the Buy More in Burbank, Calif. (He still believes that turning your computer off and on can fix 95 percent of IT problems.) Former roommate Bryce Larkin, ’03, hooked Chuck up with a Central Intelligence Agency gig (Operation Bartowski—way to go, Chuck!), which in turn led him to his wife, Sarah. In 2008, Chuck finally earned his BS from Stanford. He says in the past few years he’s lost the feeling that there are cameras on him all the time. It’s helped him take a risk and launch his security company, Carmichael Industries. But he says he’s most excited by his new role as father to baby daughter Morgan.

That’s it for this time, friends. Let us know what you’re up to, and . . . April Fools’.


Summer Moore Batte, ’99, is the editor of Stanfordmag.org, and Heidi Sigua’12, is the digital media manager for Stanford.