Local University of Arizona Alumni Spotlight

Katie Peare

A coastal fashion maven with Yuma roots, Katie Peare earned a bachelor’s degree in retail and consumer sciences from the UA, and then built upon her love of mastering high-end fashion looks by working for celebrity stylist Monica Rose, where she is currently a wardrobe stylist. Distinguished as one of the most socially viable celebrity stylists in the world, their company creates looks for the industry’s A-listers. Katie credits her UA education for the foundation upon which she learned the business of curating style, tapping into brand management, and learning the ins and outs of running a successful business. As she reflects on her time at the UA, she beams about how “it’s constant sunshine and has a family-feel,” in addition to its incredibly diverse population and many opportunities to get involved. Katie was a Delta Gamma, frequently found cheering on the Wildcats at sporting events, and loved the opportunity to study abroad in Prague alongside her best friend. Now in Los Angeles, she proudly reps UA on the west coast. “As a Wildcat alumni, you’re always in great company with hundreds of networking opportunities, no matter where you are.”

Meghan Scott

Meghan is an Attorney at Noble Law Office and Assistant Coordinator of the Yuma County Agriculture Water Coalition.

Along with being a working mom, Meghan serves on the board of the AWC Foundation, United Way of Yuma County, is a member of Project Centrl – Class 28, and co-chair of International Boundary & Water Commission – Citizens Forum for the Colorado River. Did you catch all that!?

Meghan credits her time at the UA with preparing her for life after college. “The academics and opportunities for on-campus involvement and extra-curricular activities provided by the U of A produce well-rounded individuals. I feel I received an exceptional education, but also gained real life experiences and made lifelong connections. My experiences at the U of A helped shape and prepare me not only for continuing my education but also for entering the “real world.””

Meghan’s favorite UA memory was being an Ambassador. “I loved it! Giving campus tours, encouraging students of all ages to join us at the U of A and welcoming new students and athletes was a real joy and a great experience. Plus, I am really good at walking backwards now!” Meghan embodies what it is to be a U of Wildcat…hard working, determined and committed to her community! Next time you see her, ask her to walk backwards for ya! Go Cats!

Junior Evans

A graduate of Yuma Catholic High School, Junior long-aspired to attain a career in agriculture, noting the deep respect and gratitude he developed for agricultural leaders, growers and food suppliers. The UA provided him an opportunity to spend time in the field, to meet some of the brightest and most dedicated people in the industry, and to earn his bachelor’s in Agriculture Technology Management. His career hit the ground running after graduating, and Junior is now a Territory Manager for Corteva Agriscience–a seed, trait, and pesticide manufacturer.

A proud Wildcat, husband to Sierrah Evans, and father of two, Junior is passionate about connecting with people and continually learning more and more about the field of agriculture and beyond. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without the opportunities and knowledge the UA gave me,” Junior says about his time at the UA.

A new level of academic success came to Junior while studying at the agriculture center in Yuma. Dr. John Palumbo, a professor of integrated pest management “made classroom time fun and interesting, and when we went out in the field, you could feel the passion he has for work.” Junior makes it evident that he will never lose his love for working in agriculture with his dedication to the industry. His favorite take-away? “The people,” hands down. We’re grateful to have alumni like Junior Evans working in the field of agriculture to make Yuma what it is today, and to help feed the world some of the safest, healthiest foods.

Megan Kuechel

An Intensive Care Unit Charge Nurse at Yuma Regional Medical Center, Megan earned both her Bachelor’s in Nursing and her Master’s in Clinical Systems Leadership from the University of Arizona.

Megan strives for excellence in a fast-paced, critical healthcare environment by taking on leadership roles and participating in committees to make her community continuously better. “I love caring for patients and their families,” Megan said. “Even the smallest acts of kindness can make their hospital experience a better one.”

She credits the UA with providing her an excellent nursing education, a network of healthcare connections, an ever-evolving knowledge base, and the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in critical care units at one of Arizona’s top hospitals, Banner University Medical Center Tucson. “There are many opportunities for students to get involved in clubs and organizations that help develop individual’s skills and knowledge, while also involving them in the community.”

Megan’s best take-away from the UA? …Meeting her husband, Kyle Kuechel. The Kuechels live in Yuma and have a baby girl and a dog, Wilbur.

Lindy Murdock

Lindy earned her bachelor’s degree in Retailing and Consumer Sciences at the UA, and is currently part of the innovative company Limelight Creative Group in Yuma. A professional wiz at marketing, public relations and digital branding—Lindy credits the UA with teaching her to treat each marketing client with utmost consideration, to research heavily when creating a business plan, and that each client’s brand has unique goals. She tells us the UA experience is more than a great education: it gives you “a life-long team to help you pursue your dreams,” continuing well after graduation. When asked to share some of her most memorable times at the UA—Lindy said rushing the field when we beat the Oregon Ducks is at her top! “I remember looking over the edge of the stadium and being like ‘yikes that looks like a far drop,’ then everyone was doing it so I just leaped and started running. So scary but so fun!” We have to say we agree with Lindy… Aren’t the best UA game memories like that?

Lindy beams UA pride, and says the community cultured by the UA is the biggest treasure of the entire experience—and what she loves most about being a UA alumni in Yuma. 

Bailee Ott

A perfect example of how hard work and taking full opportunity of The University of Arizona’s agriculture program’s first-hand academic experience available right here in Yuma; Bailee is a certified Pest Control Advisor (PCA) and graduate of the UA. “Being a full-time student at the UA Yuma branch allowed me the opportunity to learn from leading professionals in the agriculture industry, and to be directly involved in the industry through internship programs,” Bailee said.

A natural go-getter and a YumaCats’ Scholarship Recipient (a local merit-based scholarship awarded to the best and brightest students in the Yuma area), Bailee is a Yuma County 4-H Market Holstein Leader and a Yuma County Fair Junior Livestock Committee Member.

Aside from her active involvement in multiple community organizations, Bailee’s love for the UA runs deep… She enthusiastically supports alumni activities and encourages all to get involved. “Seeing multiple generations of UA alum and fans turn out for game day watch parties serves as a true testament for the U of A pride that runs deep in the families of our local community. Win or lose, that generational pride alone, is what makes U of A so great.” 

Regina Twomey

Regina initially gave back to the University of Arizona by serving on the local chapter’s’ scholarship committee, where she continues to actively determine how scholarship funds will be allocated to the support Yuma students looking to attain an education at the UA. “I love what the UA alumni group gives back to the Yuma community in regards to scholarships,” she explains. “Our scholarship committee spends hours upon hours reading applications, conducting interviews and debating over which students should earn a scholarship to the UA. It is truly inspiring to read stories about the first-generation college students who have chosen U of A as their path to success.”

Regina is the Community Affairs Manager with Arizona Public Service (APS), serves on multiple boards in the area, and looks back to the UA as a key to her professional success. “My time at U of A and my education in general helped me become successful by exposing me to a diverse group of personalities and backgrounds… Attending a school with such a diverse student population really helped me to hone those skills and utilize them to propel me into a successful career.”

She beams about the sense of pride UA instills in both its current students and alumni. “Being part of a group with such strong alumni engagement is as rewarding as it is fun!” If you want to join our chapter, or take a lead in any particular effort, you can email Regina at reginac76@gmail.com. 

Dr. Tanya Hodges

Dr. Hodges is the Regional Academic Programs Coordinator at UA Yuma, with a history of championing for agriculture education in the Yuma area. She holds two degrees from the UA: A Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Education and a Masters in Education in Agriculture Education. Tanya spent 18 years in the agriculture industry managing a vegetable transplant nursery and working for an agriculture startup company. Once her children began attending college, the College of Agriculture at UA asked if she would be interested in teaching, managing, and growing the UA Yuma campus, where she’s successfully been at the helm for 12 years. “I love my job! I love students and watching them blossom from young adults into active successful leaders,” she says.

In regards to boosting the UA’s local presence in the Yuma community and providing more opportunities for students, she says: “UA provides an excellent education with high-quality degrees that prepare graduates for work. UA has not only amazing professors but academic advisors that support students through their educational journey. This help and direction empower students so they have the highest opportunity to complete their degree.” Tanya met her husband of nearly 32 years, Pat, at the UA and says meeting him is one of her favorite memories. “The University of Arizona has played a huge role in my life both personally and professionally. I am so proud to be a Wildcat! Bear Down!” 

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