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Class Knox the Tennessee Innocence Project.

2005 Jeremiah Tuna Sodomka is currently a property claim field manager at American Family Mutual Insurance and was recently selected as a 2019 All 4 One AmFam employee for excellent performance. In October 2018, Amanda Smith Sodomka was appointed as director of legal s ervices of the Juvenile Office in Jefferson County, Missouri, which reviews and prosecutes legal cases involving child abuse or neglect and juvenile delinquency. “We otherwise remain busy with our two daughters and rambunctious puppies.” ❯ Jessica Van Dyke writes, “I still live in Nashville, Tennessee, where I worked at a small law firm practicing criminal defense for the past seven years. The new year has brought new changes, however, as I’ve left the firm to start the Tennessee Innocence Project. Like other Innocence Projects, we will investigate and litigate claims of actual innocence of inmates in Tennessee prisons. We’ve never had an organization like this in Tennessee, and I’m excited about pursuing a real passion of mine. We don’t have many Knox alums in Nashville, and I would love to see folks if they come visit Music City!” ❯ Jenny Logan writes, “Baby Oscar joined the ranks of the Logan/Riecker household in April 2018. Big brother Frank adores ‘his baby’ and likes petting him with his cheek.” ❯ Susannah Go reports

2019 Young Alumni Achievement Award Joel O. Christensen ’06 Part of the promise of a liberal arts education is that it has the potential to introduce students to entirely new fields of study they never even knew would interest them. This is not a story about that kind of student, though. When Joel Christensen first visited the Knox campus as a high school junior, he already knew that he wanted to pursue a career in law. He met with Professor Lane Sunderland to learn more about the College’s pre-law program, about the political science department, and about internship opportunities for students interested in going on to law school. He liked what he heard. By the time he graduated from Knox, with a double major in political science and philosophy, Christensen had completed three internships—one with a private law firm, one with a state public defender, and one with the Supreme Court of the United States, where he helped the Court prepare for the investiture of Chief Justice John Roberts. At Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, he distinguished himself with the quality of his writing, going on to serve as editor-in-chief of Washington University Journal of Law & Policy and receiving the Mary Collier Hitchcock Prize for outstanding writing from the law school faculty. (Perhaps the highest endorsement of all: Christensen now teaches legal writing as a member of the school’s adjunct faculty.) After graduating law school in 2010, he joined the firm of Devereux Murphy as an associate, then spent two years practicing with Armstrong Teasdale before joining his current firm, Behr, McCarter & Potter, P.C. In 2016, he was promoted to partner at what he describes as “the best law firm in St. Louis,” just six years into his legal career. Christensen is deeply committed to the community where he works and lives, serving as a member of the St. Louis County Bar Association’s executive committee and as a member of the Lupus Foundation of America’s board of directors. “The Knox experience—academically and socially—gave me the tools to attend and succeed in law school and in society,” he says. “I think back regularly to experiences and conversations at Knox, and maintain close relationships with my friends and faculty—those relationships are among the most important in my life.” BREA CUNNINGHAM

Alumni Achievement Award Winner

O’Malley on the University of Chicago’s Pi Beta Phi chapter alumni advisory council.” ❯ Kindall Nelson writes, “I currently have four children: Lauren (13), Gabriella (15), Isaac (17), and Alexandra (21 and a senior at Bradley University). I started Hire A Housewife (, a residential cleaning service, in May 2012. We offer fully customized cleaning, organizing, errands, laundry, etc. at a flat hourly rate. I now have seven employees, including an operations manager who takes care of the day-to-day business while I work on other pursuits. This is especially exciting to be able to share considering I started this company in desperation after we lost nearly everything and the four kids and I were living in a camper, homeless, for six months. One of my other business pursuits is Peoria Music Live ( Started in September 2017, we promote all of the live music within an hour of Peoria. Our overarching purpose is to boost the area economy, starting with the live music scene. We have just begun to partner with small businesses in the area that want to be known in the community as live local music supporters.” ❯ Susan Vitous Johnson writes, “Chad and I are the lucky parents of another wonderful little boy, Nikolas George Earl Johnson, born December 23, 2017. Big sister Imogen and big brother Hunter think that he’s the best toy they ever got.” Class Correspondent: Susan C. Vitous Johnson 1312 Iles Avenue, Belvidere, IL 61008-1407,

What would you say is your most noticeable achievement? My most notable achievement is personal: having a loving, supportive partner and best friend for my spouse and raising two amazing children with her. Any advice for current students? Enjoy every minute of life at Knox, but don’t be afraid to leave the Knox bubble when the time comes. Knox has prepared you well for whatever challenge comes next!



Profile for Knox College

Knox Magazine - Summer 2019  

Knox Magazine - Summer 2019