Richard Camacho (’94), an assistant hospitalist at Dameron Hospital in Stockton, Calif., said his friends would’ve never expected he’d make it through medical school. But now in his 10th year of working as a physician, Camacho said he’s been able to exceed the average lifespan of a hospitalist’s career. After emigrating from the Philippines with his family in 1987, Camacho attended Biola, where he changed majors a few times before settling on biological sciences. He said he still remembers working multiple jobs in order to finance his college education. “I put myself through college,” Camacho said. “I remember very clearly one summer, I was working as a janitor and I was cleaning toilets while reviewing for the MCAT.” Camacho was accepted into the De La Salle Health Sciences Institute in the Philippines, and following medical school returned to the United States to do his residency in Baltimore, Md. Before starting his career in hospitals, he was able to engage in medical missions in the Philippines and in Africa. He has since worked as a hospitalist in Oregon, Michigan and California as a member of Sound Physicians, an organization dedicated to improving the quality and cost of health care. Camacho cares for the sick and values the relationships he builds with his patients. Camacho also started Senshuken Karate, a nonprofit karate ministry where he is able to teach kids karate with biblical principles. Camacho said he desires to keep caring for the ill as a physician, and to keep investing in youth through his karate outreach program.
Karin Magaldi (’72), director of theatre and film at Portland State University in Oregon, has been writing plays since she was 12 years old. While studying communications at Biola, Magaldi got her first break when she was asked to adapt a Tolstoy short story into a full production. This opportunity catapulted her into the playwright industry at a time when she said female playwrights were rare. “It was very hard for women to get into playwriting, so I thought, ‘Let’s just do it and see what happens,’” Magaldi said. Now Magaldi works as a full-time professor and professional playwright. She has had three of her plays produced in Portland since 2009, and she is in the process of getting a new play produced in New York. Magaldi was also commissioned to help with two local high school productions last year. Prior to teaching in Portland, Magaldi was an associate professor at the University of California Santa Cruz for 11 years. There, she was involved in Shakespeare Santa Cruz, a professional theater company located on the university’s campus. At PSU, she enjoys being involved in the creative process that occurs when writers, directors, actors and dramaturgs collaborate to develop plays, she said. Magaldi is also a member of Playwrights West, a society of playwrights based in Portland. When she is not busy producing a play or teaching a Renaissance theatre class, she enjoys being a cantor and percussionist for her church’s choir.
Twenty-five years before Pasadena Weekly named her Pasadena’s “best public employee,” Ruth Martinez (’86), started her career in public service as the first-ever intern for the La Mirada city manager’s office while still a senior at Biola. “When I started college, I did not see myself in local government … but then I changed my major to public administration and thank God,” Martinez said. “I’ve been really blessed with some great work experiences, and I’ve enjoyed my career the whole time.” Immediately after graduation, Martinez went to work for several cities in Southern California, eventually accepting a job offer to work in economic development for Pasadena. She is now the city’s project manager for business outreach and support. “My client is the business community,” she said. “We’re here to serve the business community, and to help them succeed. We tell them, ‘We’re thankful you’re here. We’re thankful for your jobs.’” Working as a “business concierge” is a perfect fit for Martinez, who describes herself as a people person who enjoys solving problems and helping to develop her community. In her role, she has been influential in organizing monthly business seminars for small businesses in Pasadena, and has helped organize a women’s business summit to focus on female entrepreneurs. In addition to working for the city, Martinez and her family also live in Pasadena, where she is an active volunteer for her church and the National Charity League. She is also an active member of the Tournament of Roses board; this year she is in charge of membership and membership development. Martinez said she desires to continue working in her current role until she retires, then she desires to keep investing in her community by volunteering.