For Immediate Release

Contact: Andrea E. Garcia, Touro University California
Associate Vice President, University Advancement

W: (707) 638-5272
C: (707) 280-8771

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 19, 2019

Touro University California Honors Nine Community Members as part of its 3rd Annual Lamplighter Gala & Awards

Community members awarded as “Lamplighters” for their efforts in Solano County and abroad to be a leading light unto others.

(Vallejo, CA, November 19, 2019) – The historic Farragut Inn Ballroom was filled with dignitaries and company/community leaders on the evening of November 17 in celebration of Touro University California’s (Touro’s) third annual Lamplighter Gala and Awards ceremony. The university honored nine community members and/or organizations that have devoted their time, talent and expertise to serving the public good and making significant, demonstrable and direct contributions to society’s well-being. 

“The Lamplighter provides scholarships to diverse students who are dedicated to fulfilling Touro’s mission of social justice and service to the community,” explained 2018 recipient, Jeremy “Teekz” Yenpasook, an immigrant and cancer survivor. He came to TUC in 2017 to fulfill his dream of becoming a doctor. 

This year, CEO and Senior Provost Shelley Berkley and Provost and CAO Dr. Sarah Sweitzer recognized the following awardees: 

  • Lamplighter in Community Mobilization: Liz Gibboney, CEO, Partnership HealthPlan of California
  • Lamplighters in Education: NapaLearns and PG&E
  • Lamplighter in Health: Dignity Health & St. Joseph’s Medical Center
  • Lamplighter in Social Justice Advocacy: Tessa Stecker, MD, Kaiser Permanente
  • Bernard Lander Lamplighter Alumni Awards:
    • Ari Ramos, MPH, College of Education and Health Sciences
    • Saad Sultan, Pharm.D, College of Pharmacy
    • James M. Wilson, DO, LT, MC (FS/FMF), USNR, College of Osteopathic Medicine 

Touro began the Lamplighter Awards last year to honor leaders who set an example for others in the areas of health, education, community mobilization and social justice. “In the Jewish tradition, lamplighters are pillars of the community,” said CEO Shelley Berkley. “We are honored to have them with us here this evening.

The Touro Bull Award was also presented to Tom Phillips, General Manager of Recology Vallejo for displaying the noble, unbeatable spirit of the Touro Bull and being a champion of bringing the Solano County community together. 

Keynote Speaker of the evening, California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis congratulated the awardees and expressed her gratitude to TUC for being the state’s leader in producing health care providers who enter into primary care positions.  Lt. Governor Kounalakis is the first female Lieutenant Governor of California and was previously Ambassador to Hungary. 

Attendees enjoyed a live auction, cocktail reception and full dinner as part of the Lamplighters Award celebration thanks to generous donations from the university’s sponsors. Proceeds from the evening support Touro’s diversity student scholarships, which ensure that future healthcare and education professionals reflect the increasing diversity of the community. 

About the Touro College and University System:

Touro is a system of non-profit institutions of higher and professional education. Touro College was chartered in 1970 primarily to enrich the Jewish heritage, and to serve the larger American and global community. Approximately 18,000 students are currently enrolled in its various schools and divisions. Touro has 35 campuses and locations in New York, California, Nevada, Illinois, Berlin, Jerusalem and Moscow. New York Medical College; Touro University California and Touro University Nevada; Touro University Worldwide and its Touro College Los Angeles division; as well as Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Ill. are separately accredited institutions within the Touro College and University System. For further information on Touro College, please go to: