Cuesta College will celebrate its 2012 Honored Alumni, Jay Asher, Marin A. Pilloud, Michael Jean Thibodeaux and Dee Torres, during Cuesta College’s Opening Day Friday, Jan. 13 in the Associated Students Auditorium, Room 5401, in the Student Center.

Jay Asher of San Luis Obispo graduated from Cuesta College in 1996 and went on to work in bookstores and San Luis Obispo Library while writing fiction in the evenings. His novel for young adults “Thirteen Reasons Why” was released in 2007 and has been published in more than 30 languages. “The Future of Us,” co-written with Carolyn Mackler, was released in November. Both are scheduled to be made into movies.

Marin A. Pilloud of Honolulu, Hawaii, graduated from Cuesta College in 1998 and earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from University of California, Berkeley and a master’s degree and doctorate in biological anthropology from Ohio State University. She works as a forensic anthropologist for the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and has performed field missions to recover the remains of U.S. military personnel in Laos and Vietnam.

Michael Jean Thibodeaux of Morro Bay graduated from Cuesta College in 1985 and earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from San Diego State University and a master’s degree in education specializing in counseling and guidance from Cal Poly. He is an adjunct faculty member at Cal Poly and teaches courses in the education and forestry and natural resources departments. He left the Central Coast from 2001-2006, and worked for the USDA Forest Service in Kamas, Utah, and Fairplay, Colo. Before that he was dean of students at Flamson Middle School in Paso Robles and campus supervisor at Paso Robles High School.

Dee Torres of San Luis Obispo is the director of homeless services for Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County. She moved to the area in 1994 and began her studies at Cuesta College before transferring to Cal Poly. She is leading the effort to build and staff the first 24-hour homeless service center in San Luis Obispo. She oversees the Prado Day Center, Maxine Lewis Memorial Shelter and case management programs around the county.

The Honored Alumni Awards were established in 1989 to recognize the achievements of former students who have made outstanding professional achievements, served the community, and, or served Cuesta College.


Released Jan. 6, 2012