Cuesta honors 4 accomplished alums

Michael Thibodeaux
Michael Thibodeaux

Cuesta College will focus special attention Friday on its 2012 honored alumni at the spring semester’s opening day ceremony.

The alumni awards, established in 1989, are meant to recognize former Cuesta students who have significant professional achievements or contributions to the community.

Here’s a look at this year’s recipients:

Jay Asher of San Luis Obispo, a local author, graduated from Cuesta in 1996. His young adult novel “Thirteen Reasons Why” was released in 2007 and has been published in more than 30 languages. His second novel, “The Future of Us,” co-written with Carolyn Mackler, was released in November.

Marin Pilloud of Honolulu, a forensic anthropologist, graduated from Cuesta in 1998. She holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from UC 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 helped recover the remains of military personnel in Laos and Vietnam.

Michael Thibodeaux of Morro Bay, an adjunct faculty member at Cal Poly, graduated from Cuesta in 1985. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from San Diego State University and a master’s in education from Cal Poly. He teaches courses in the education and forestry and natural resources departments.

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