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Orange County UCLA Fund Chancellor’s Society Regional Event
May 11, 2016 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Passing the Torch: Insights from Bruin Olympians
UCLA has one of the richest Olympic traditions of any university. Hear from notable Bruin Olympians about what it’s like to compete on the world stage. Discover how they’ve taken their competitive athletic drive and successfully incorporated that energy into their lives and careers
About the Panelists:
Jan Palchikoff ’75 was one of the pioneers of women’s rowing. As a member of the UCLA rowing program, she helped the club sport earn formal recognition when UCLA awarded varsity letters in 1974 and 1975. Additionally, she competed on the UCLA swim team. Palchikoff was a 1976 U.S. Olympian, member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic team, and a five-time member (1975-77; 1979-1980) of the U.S. National Rowing Team, representing the U.S. 13 times in international competition.
After completing her competitive elite rowing career, and receiving her Master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, Palchikoff has remained heavily involved in sports. She was the head women’s rowing coach at Syracuse from 1980-82 and at UC Santa Barbara from 1985-87. She also worked with the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee, the LA Sports Festival Committee and World Cup USA. Since 2004, Palchikoff has worked with Special Olympics Southern California, where she is currently Senior Vice President and Chief Program Officer.
Samantha Peszek ’15 experienced great successes on the biggest international and collegiate stages for gymnastics. She is an accomplished 2015 NCAA all-around & balance beam champion, 2012 NCAA team bronze medalist, 2011 NCAA balance beam champion and team silver medalist. She lists her biggest athletic thrill as winning a silver medal at the 2008 Olympic Games. She was also a member of the 2007 U.S. squads that won gold medals at the World Championships and Pan American Games. Samantha graduated with honors with a degree in Communications Studies.
Nick Theodorou ’98 is the Senior Director of Alumni Career Programs at the UCLA Alumni Association. Theodorou played in the Los Angeles Dodgers minor league system from 1998 to 2005. He participated in the 2004 Olympics, as a member of Greece’s baseball team. A veteran to alumni outreach, Theodorou served as Associate Director of Major Gifts for the UCLA Athletic Department, is a life member of the UCLA Alumni Association, member of the Bruin Varsity Club and a voting member of the College Baseball Hall of Fame.
About the Moderator:
Matt Stevens ’87 is the color analyst and pre & post-game host of UCLA football coverage on IMG Radio. Stevens is in his 16th season as a color analyst, and prior was the sideline reporter for four seasons. In 2000, Stevens was presented the “Best Radio Color Commentary of the Year Award” voted by the Southern California Broadcasting Association. He has been nominated ten times.
During his collegiate career, Stevens amassed nearly 3000 yards, leading the Bruins to a Rose Bowl with a 45-28 win over Iowa in 1986. In his five years as a Bruin, Stevens participated in three Rose Bowls, a Fiesta Bowl and a Freedom Bowl – all victories.
As of 2005, Stevens became a Heisman Trophy Voter. From 2000-06, Stevens was an analyst, field reporter and studio host on Fox Sports Net. In 2005, Stevens was the color analyst and pre-game host on Channel 4 San Diego covering the San Diego Riptide. In 2003, Stevens was a sideline reporter for Sports USA Radio Network covering the NFL. In 2002, Stevens was the lead columnist for Wally & Wimpy’s College Football Magazine published in Ohio.
Born in Louisiana, Stevens moved to Southern California where he attended Fountain Valley High School. His professional football career consisted of one-year stints with the Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Cobras (Arena Football), and Legnano Frogs (Italian League).
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Invitees can RSVP at: https://eventsrsvp.ucla.edu/OC/