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Honored Alumni Awards

The Honored Alumni Awards were established in 1989 to recognize outstanding professional achievements and service of former Cuesta College students. The recipients each year are recognized at the Foundation Awards Program.

Call for nominations… The annual Honored Alumni Award recognizes the achievements of former students who have made outstanding professional contributions, served the community, and/or served Cuesta College.
Submit your nomination by completing this form.

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Robert Holley

Robert L. Holley, 2014
Robert Holley graduated from Cuesta College in 1975, but not before he was student body president and a quadruple Dean’s Honor List recipient. Today he is a successful restaurateur in Oregon.

Inga Swearingen

Inga Swearingen, 2014
A 2001 Cuesta College graduate, Inga Swearingen holds a master’s degree in choral conducting. Today she is a successful jazz singer/songwriter and an adjunct Cuesta College faculty member.

Michael Thibodeaux

Jacob Thomas-Franklin Wall, 2014
Graduating from Cuesta College in 2000, Jacob Wall today holds an MBA in Global Business & Marketing. Wall is now the co-founder of Artful Gentleman, a fine clothing company based in San Francisco.

Elonye Wilkins

Elonye Wilkins, 2014
Federally employed for 40 years, Elonye Wilkins graduated from Cuesta College in 1972. Soon after, she became the first female correctional officer in the U.S. to work in a Federal all-male maximum-security prison.

Robert Holley

Jason Snell, 2013
A 1992 graduate of Cuesta College, Jason Snell now works behind the scenes on movies requiring complex special effect, including “Men in Black” and “The Lone Ranger.”

Inga Swearingen

George Galvin, 2013
After 24 years with the U.S. Marine Corps, George Galvan enrolled at Cuesta College in 1973 and earned his associates degree. He also spent more than 15 years with the SLO County Sheriff’s Department.

Michael Thibodeaux

Abdulla Saeed Al Thani, 2013
Abdulla Saeed Al Thani earned his associate degree in liberal arts from Cuesta College in 1980 and earned a bachelor’s in anthropology at UC San Diego. Today, he is a successful property developer in Dubai.




Jay Asher

Jay Asher, 2012
A 1996 Cuesta College graduate, is an accomplished author and guest speaker. “Thirteen Reasons Why” has been translated to 31 languages with over one million copies in print.

Marin Pilloud

Marin Pilloud, 2012
Marin Pilloud graduate from Cuesta College in 1998 and went on to earn a doctorate. She is a forensic anthropologist specializing in skeletal analysis for the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in Hawaii.

Michael Thibodeaux

Michael Thibodeaux, 2012 Michael Thibodeaux earned two associate degrees from Cuesta College in 1985 for general studies and administration of justice. His career path has included education and forestry.

Dee Torres

Dee Torres, 2012

Dee Torres attended Cuesta College from 1994 to 1995 and transferred to Cal Poly. She is the director of Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County and has worked for the organization since 1997.

Michael J. Aubuchon

Michael J. Aubuchon, 2011
Michael J. Aubuchon graduated with honors from Cuesta College in 1976 and went on to earn his bachelor’s degree and lifetime teaching credential. He has been an educator for more than 30 years.

Margaret Ikeda

Margaret Ikeda, 2011
Margaret Ikeda graduated from Cuesta College with an associate’s degree in 1978 and went on to study architecture at university. She is the founder and principal of Assembly, an architecture practice in Berkeley.

Peter Kardel

Peter Kardel, 2011
Peter Kardel attended Cuesta College from 1989 to 1995 and is the founder of Clever Ducks, a computer network services business in San Luis Obispo. He is passionate about his business, family and preserving the environment.

Rolfe Nelson

Rolfe Nelson, 2011
Rolfe Nelson graduated from Cuesta College in 1968 and served as the student body president. Nelson earned his bachelor’s degree and teaching credential from Cal Poly and went on to a 32-year career in education with the Atascadero Unified School District.