President Paula J. Carlson Remember our roots, live our mission, innovate to embrace our time
Editor Ellen Modersohn Luther Magazine Volume 48, Number 2, Winter 2015
Managing Editor Kate Frentzel
Published by Luther College
Designer Michael Bartels Contributors Sherry (Braun) Alcock ’82 Dave Blanchard
Sue (Franzen) Drilling ’78 Alexandra Fitschen ’15 Emily Gehlsen ’16 Sara Friedl-Putnam Kirk Johnson ’82 Paige Lobdell ’16 Aaron Lurth ’08 Karen Martin-Schramm Judy Riha Blaire Shaffer ’15 Julie Satre Shockey ’01 Ann Sponberg Peterson
Luther Alumni Magazine welcomes articles and signed letters to the editor; submissions may be edited for style, clarity, or length. Inquiries and submissions may be sent to the Editor, Luther Alumni Magazine, Luther College, 700 College Drive, Decorah, Iowa 52101-1045; firstname.lastname@example.org; phone (563) 387-1350. Class Notes submissions and changes of address may be sent to the Alumni Office at the address above. Alumni news may be emailed to the Alumni Office at alumni@ luther.edu. Questions and concerns about the magazine may be emailed to email@example.com.
Contents Features Luther welcomes 10th president
In recognition of extraordinary alumni
A lifelong ethos
More than a game
On Oct. 10, 2014, the Luther and Decorah community as well as invited guests packed the Center for Faith and Life to honor Paula J. Carlson during her investiture as president. During the ceremony she spoke of the college’s unique history and how “together we live Luther’s mission in our time.”
The college honored distinguished alumni and former Luther athletes during a Homecoming weekend attended by approximately 2,500 alumni and friends.
Federal judge Donovan Frank ’73 metes out justice the same way he saw his father exercise the concept, with respect for all parties, no matter their station in life or the challenges they face. He has confronted his own challenges and uses that experience.
The Luther College Football League, what’s now called a fantasy league, has been under way for 35 seasons, possibly making it the oldest such continuous operation. Along with lengthy win/lose stats has come a common bond in Luther lore.
Departments Campus 2 Development News............................................ 14 Athletics.............................................................. 16
Alumni 38 Class Notes.........................................................42 Marriages............................................................61 Births/Adoptions................................................61 In Memoriam.......................................................62
Cover: Paula J. Carlson was inaugurated as Luther’s 10th president on Oct. 10, 2014.
Alumni Office (800) 225-8664; (800) 2 ALUMNI Admissions Office (800) 458-8437; (800) 4 LUTHER Web www.luther.edu www.luther.edu/magazine
Left: Pictured here during Christmas at Luther are (left to right) Andrew Last ’97, assistant professor of music; Josh Olson ’16; and Caleb Sander ’15. In December, the 33rd annual festival, And on Earth, Peace, recalled the angels’ song: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace among people” (Luke 2:14). The theme was chosen to commemmorate the World War I Christmas Truce, held 100 years ago, in which nearly 100,000 British and German soldiers made a temporary peace and celebrated Christmas together on the war’s western front in Europe.
Copyright Luther College 2015 PHOTOS BY AARON LURTH ’08
Campus News EDITOR’S NOTE
Settle in for a good winter’s read One of my favorite things to do on a winter day is to settle into a comfortable spot with a stack of good reading. If you like that too, I can recommend you add this issue to your stack. The stories inside describe the groundbreaking and just plain cool things Luther folks are doing. Our cover story comprises excerpts from President Paula J. Carlson’s Oct. 10 inauguration speech (page 20), and it frames the entire issue. She encourages us to “remember our roots and to live our mission, building strength on strength as we innovate to embrace our particular time with our particular challenges and opportunities.” And as you read through this issue you’ll see how people connected with Luther are not only embracing
the challenges of our time, but are leaders in innovation. Federal judge Donovan Frank ’73 works to improve U.S. justice systems, to ensure that everyone receives respectful treatment, no matter their disability, lack of wealth, or other challenges. His work has helped forge new law and new ways of thinking about thorny issues. Currently he is presiding over a sex offender case that could make history. (Page 28) Epidemiologist Michelle (Williams) Dynes ’97 describes her work fighting Ebola in West Africa last year. As medical workers scramble to find new ways to fight this disease, Dynes has developed storytelling modules about Ebola transmission and stigma to help educate the local communities. (Page 38) At the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Chris Carron ’84 oversees a staff of paleontologists, archaeologists, historians, curators, conservators, archivists, and more, who want
Luther College Book Shop Phone (563) 387-1036 or (888) 521-5039 www.lutherbookshop.com Deanna Casterton ’91, Decorah Jonathan Kobs ’17, Chilton, IA
Your source for Norse apparel 2
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to show kids what museums can be in their lives. That means starting with something familiar to visitors, he says, and then taking them somewhere entirely new. (Page 46) With such distinct efforts as using blueberries to promote peace, creating a powerful new healthcare tool for an immigrant community, and heading up initiatives that helped repair Hurricane Katrina’s damage, this year’s Distinguished Service Award recipients have uniquely embraced the world’s challenges. Read more in our Homecoming coverage. (Page 24) Finally, did you know that Luther has one of the oldest continually operating fantasy football leagues? The Luther College Football League just turned 35 years old. It may also be the first automated league in the country. How’s that for innovation? (Page 33) —Ellen Modersohn firstname.lastname@example.org
Mellon grant of $100,000 to further understanding of liberal arts Luther has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to fund a series of academic offerings that will provide students and faculty with greater opportunities for collaborative research in the humanities and a deeper understanding of the liberal arts curriculum. “Receiving a grant from the Mellon Foundation is a significant honor for Luther College,” says President Paula Carlson. “This project will further enhance opportunities for Luther students to develop the close intellectual relationships with faculty central to a residential liberal arts college and gain deeper appreciation for the meaning and value of liberal arts study.” The proposed project focuses on preserving the liberal arts through collaborative research, multidisciplinary dialogue, and enhanced writing. Specifically, the grant will fund:
• Competitive summer research grants to support collaborative projects initiated by student/faculty teams • Development of new interdisciplinary January Term directed-studies courses • Faculty development workshops exploring models of collaborative research and multidisciplinary inquiry • Dissemination of the results from these collaborative research projects to demonstrate the importance of academic rigor and help the larger college community better understand the meaning, value, and possibilities of a liberal arts education Implementation of the grant will begin this year. “Liberal arts is central to the mission of Luther College, and we continue to strive for new ways to help students, faculty, and staff better understand and articulate the meaning and value of a liberal arts education,” says
Terry Sparkes, Luther associate dean and codirector of the Mellon grant. “At its best, the liberal arts brings disciplines together in dialogue, exploring the intersections among the humanities, social sciences, and sciences to develop new and deeper insights into the world around us.” According to Jeff Wilkerson, Luther associate dean and Mellon grant codirector, “Part of this work includes an effort to help both students and faculty envision something they might have seen as primarily disciplinary—collaborative research—as part of the fabric of the liberal arts.” Thanks to the Mellon grant, the college will increase summer research opportunities for students in the humanities, help current and incoming students better understand the importance of a liberal arts education, and assist students in developing the skills necessary to publish written work.
New tenure-track faculty in 2014
assistant in the Scandinavian Studies Department, teaching Norwegian language classes. Her academic research explores artists who contributed to the Scandinavian cultural identity, including Henrik Ibsen and Hans Christian Andersen. Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in Norwegian language and literature from Pacific Lutheran University and master’s and doctoral degrees in Scandinavian language and literature from the University of Washington.
given presentations related to this topic at the Institute of Business and Finance Research Global Conference and the International Symposium on Small Business Synergy. Mutsune holds a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and doctoral degree in business administration from Jackson State University.
Rachel Brummel, assistant professor of environmental studies Brummel was previously employed as an assistant professor in environmental studies at Lafayette College. She has also served as a postdoctoral research associate and an instructor at the University of Minnesota— Twin Cities in St. Paul. Brummel was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for the 2007–8 academic year, during which she traveled to Australia to conduct research with bushfire planning groups. Brummel is a member of the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences, the Society for Conservation Biology, and the International Association for Wildland Fire. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Grinnell College and a doctoral degree in conservation biology from the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities. Maren Johnson, assistant professor of Scandinavian studies Johnson comes to Luther from the University of Washington, where she was a teaching
Tony Mutsune, associate professor of economics Before joining Luther’s faculty, Mutsune was a professor of economics and business at Iowa Wesleyan College and also taught at Jackson State University. His teaching interests include business strategy, fundamentals of investments, and international economics. Mutsune’s current research focuses on how economic enterprises generate sustainable competitiveness in a global economy. He has
Jill Wilson, assistant professor of education and coordinator for music education Wilson brings wide experience in music education having previously taught at Morningside College and Boston University. She also served as choir director at First Presbyterian Church and Augustana Lutheran Church in Sioux City, Iowa. She serves as editor of the Sounding Board, as Society for Music Teachers Education chair for the Iowa Music Educators Association, as a participant in the K-16 Summit Committee, and as a board member of the South Dakota Chorale. Wilson earned a bachelor of music degree from St. Olaf College, a master of music education degree from the University of Northern Iowa, and a doctor of musical arts degree in music education from Boston University.
Winter 2015 Luther Alumni Magazine
Pastor Vásquez accepts presidency of Pacific School of Religion
PHOTO BY WILL HELLER ’16
David Vásquez, a campus pastor since 2001, left Luther at the end of the fall semester to become president of the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, Calif. Founded in 1866, PSR is a multidenominational Christian seminary and a member of the Graduate Theological Union, an interfaith consortium of seminaries and institutes in the Bay Area.
The Luther community honored David Vasquez at gatherings last fall. He is shown here with his children Meheret and Dawit at a Hispanic Heritage Month celebration in October.
Luther Alumni Magazine
As a member of the co-equal team of campus pastors who lead Luther’s Office for College Ministries, Vásquez aimed to connect the faith and learning conversation on campus with the church and broader community. He worked to cultivate student leadership, developed worship and study opportunities and small-group ministries, and led student trips to Guatemala, Mexico, Ghana, Israel, Palestine, and Jordan. A $15,000 Louisville Institute grant furthered his “People on the Move” project, which sought to connect migration narratives in the Bible and in people’s lives and to encourage faith communities to extend their leadership in ways that benefit the broader church and culture. Following the May 2008 immigration raid in Postville, Iowa, Vásquez supported those directly affected and helped figure out how the larger community could respond. As part of the Postville Relief Effort, he co-led a team that marshaled resources to meet food, housing, spiritual, and legal needs while advocating for more humane immigration policies. He subsequently served as a consultant on several documentaries about the raid, spoke at community and church-related events across the country, testified before a congressional briefing on immigration policy, and attended two White House meetings, adding a faith perspective to the national conversation on immigration. Student mission trips to Guatemala also grew out of the Postville event, providing a practical and immediate way for students to learn about the related cultural and governmental issues. (Read more about the mission trips on page 13.) Vásquez’s recent research focus has been on migration as a central image in sacred texts; he is the author of a number of resources including Out of the Waters: Resisting the Power of Fear, a Bible study on the book of Exodus published by Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, and 1 and 2 Samuel and Ruth from the Books of Faith Bible Study Series by Augsburg Fortress Publishers. Making connections between faith, the academy, and society is what energizes him
about the work of Colleges Ministries and the work he’ll be doing at PSR, Vásquez says. The seminary is reimagining theological education with that approach at its core, he says, and is training leaders to engage in this work for the long term. “As we think about the challenges in the world today around health, around migration, around environment, they’re not solved overnight. You need people who can burn with passion but that, like the burning bush at the center of Moses’s call story, are not consumed. To address the complex challenges of our day, we need people whose burning passion is paired with depth of understanding, of spirituality—in whatever form it takes, it doesn’t have to be prescriptive. They need to have something that helps them burn for a long time.” Vásquez and his wife, Karla Suomala, professor of religion, parents of Dawit and Meheret, say pulling up roots here will be tough. “There weren’t many things that we would leave Luther for,” Suomala told the Luther Chips newspaper. “It has really become home for us.” Vásquez says he’ll miss much about Luther and Decorah, among them chapel, Christmas at Luther, Ash Wednesday and Candlelight services, Global Concerns groups, and the Celebrate Community Dance. “Four hundred people doing a circle dance to a local contra dance—it’s just wild,” he told Chips. “And seeing it happen on a beautiful evening, overlooking the valley, it’s just a beautiful, beautiful sense of this place.” —Read the full Chips article by Katie Nelson ’16 at http://lutherchips.com/2014/09/10/ pastor-vásquez-says-farewell.html. —Find David Vásquez’s Bible studies at www. luther.edu/ministries/congregations/studies.
Modeled after the successful Undergraduate Research Symposium held each spring, the Faculty Research Symposium provides a forum for Luther faculty to share and discuss their research, projects, and passions with both the campus and broader Decorah communities. The symposium is intended for a general audience and to showcase the intellectual curiosity and cross-disciplinary dialogue that is at the heart of Luther’s liberal arts tradition. Last fall’s event was held on Nov. 1. The abstracts provided here are a sampling of the wide-ranging research presented. THOMAS JOHNSON, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF COMMUNICATION STUDIES in collaboration with JASON MOYER, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF COMMUNICATION ARTS AT MALONE UNIVERSITY
“College Football and Evangelical Christianity: The Consolidating of Two American Cultural Forces” The intersection of faith and sport, specifically college football and evangelical Christianity, presents a series of questions for coaches, players, and spectators. In this fictional case study of a sport communication dilemma at Southern State University, leaders of the school (including coaches, captains, and the team chaplain) explicitly connect the two forces, creating faith-related dilemmas for a number of individuals, among them a first-year Muslim player struggling with the use of the Lord’s Prayer at the end of each practice and before each game, and a first-year Southern Baptist player grappling with the lack of secularism at Southern State as well as how to be Christian and gay at the same time.
PHOTO BY MICHAEL HAGSTROM ’17
From plastics to pulsating stars: Luther faculty present research
Brad Chamberlain, professor of chemistry, presents his research on the consequences of the global use of plastics. JEFF WILKERSON, PROFESSOR OF PHYSICS
“Long-Term Monitoring of a Single Stellar Field” For more than a decade, we have been observing a single stellar field containing 1,600 stars, having acquired more than half a million images of this field during that time. The ongoing projects growing from this data set typically can be classified in three areas: (1) studies of flare-like events, (2) eclipsing binary star system timing, and (3) study of excitation modes in long-period pulsating variable stars. After a very brief introduction to the work as a whole, I examine the most important things we think we have learned about the stability of pulsation states in long-period pulsating variable stars and how the next decade of observing might improve our understanding of these stars. MEGAN STROM, VISITING ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF SPANISH
“Latin@s in Spanish-Language Media: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” There are now more than 54 million Latin@s living in the United States. As a result, particularly over the last decade, there has been an explosion of new media outlets in Spanish in order to meet the demands of the largest minoritized group in the country. These media have become so popular that during the summer of 2013, a Spanish-language television channel, Univisión, was home to the top-
viewed programs for the most coveted viewing age group, 18–49 years, in the United States, beating the ratings for other well-known English-language stations. In my work, I give an overview and comparison of how Spanish-language and English-language media in the United States represent Latin@s, and I ask what ideologies each promote. My results show that there is a good, bad, and ugly side of the representation of Latin@s in Spanish-language media in the United States. BRAD CHAMBERLAIN, PROFESSOR OF CHEMISTRY
“Satan’s Resin? Redeeming Plastic in a Disposal Age” Plastics are ubiquitous—lightweight, moldable, and durable, they find application in almost every segment of modern civilization. But what are the consequences of our global addiction to plastic? What are the environmental impacts of these materials, and what efforts are under way to manage them? What roles do communities, governments, and scientists play? Can plastic materials be redesigned or reengineered to meet societal needs in a sustainable manner? This presentation will address these questions, highlighting recent efforts at Luther College to develop sustainable plastic materials from renewable resources. Continued on next page
Winter 2015 Luther Alumni Magazine
AMY ENGELSDORFER, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF MUSIC
“When Words Create Music: The Deep Listening Pieces of Pauline Oliveros and Spontaneous Art Song” Pauline Oliveros’s Deep Listening Pieces create fertile ground for experimentation in improvisation and musicality, as they bring forth a heightened sense of musical fabric wherein participants become intensely aware of each other and the sound-worlds they create. At the Walden School Teacher Training Institute in Dublin, New Hampshire, faculty member Patricia Plude used the piece “Angels and Demons” as a preparatory work, encouraging singers and pianists to build and enhance each other’s sound-worlds, experimenting with tempo, dynamics, and character. Plude then introduced haiku into the improvisation. Combined with improvisation with sound, the result was a fully formed art song, with high and low points of drama and tension. Interestingly, singers noted that the
Nordic Choir releases CD Luther College Nordic Choir released the album Prayer in fall 2014. The album features musical selections that were performed during the tours of the 2013–14 academic year. The title track is an arrangement by acclaimed choral composer René Clausen. Other pieces featured on the new album include “I Have Called You by Name” by the late Stephen Paulus, “Entreat Me Not to Leave You” by Dan Forrest, “In the Bleak Midwinter” arranged by Abbie Betinis, and one of the Nordic Choir traditional closing pieces, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” arranged by Gilbert Martin. Prayer is the fourth album for Nordic Choir led by Allen Hightower. All recordings by Nordic and other ensembles at Luther may be purchased at www.lutherbookshop.com or by calling (888) 521-5039.
Luther Alumni Magazine
haiku text served more as a source for musical material and sounds rather than as a literal text that had to be articulated and reflected in the sound-world created by the pianist and other instrumentalists. As a result, musicians reported they were much more aware of deep musical meaning and were much more reliant on the musical sound-world to create meaning. In my work, I summarize this particular experience and compare it with a similar experiment carried out with music majors at Luther College, showing how it encouraged students to become more comfortable with improvisation and with teaching improvisation to others. MARTIN KLAMMER, PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH AND AFRICANA STUDIES
“Out, Out Brief Candle”: MacBeth Comes to Africa’s Children of Fire During my sabbatical in spring of 2014, I volunteered at Children of Fire, a nongovern-
mental organization in Johannesburg, South Africa, that provides education, rehabilitation, and a nurturing home environment for child survivors of serious burn injuries. I worked with children ages 10 to 17 on personal writing and performing parts of MacBeth at the request of the founder and director of Children of Fire, Bronwen Jones. My presentation includes both personal narrative of this experience and research into pediatric burn injury and rehabilitation for children in Africa. Upon my return to campus, I wrote a 45,000-word book (“Out, Out Brief Candle”: Africa’s Children of Fire) that I plan to sell to raise funds for Children of Fire, where Luther students will volunteer during our 2015 J-term course “Stories in South Africa.” This place and these children moved and inspired me, and I would like in some small way to tell their story.
Luther ensembles to revist Handel’s Messiah in two spring performances Performing Handel’s Messiah has been a tradition at Luther College for over one hundred years. It was last performed on campus during the Christmas at Luther weekend of 2004. Over the years, thousands of students, alumni, and community members have joined with student and alumni soloists to perform this sacred work describing the dramatic story of Jesus Christ. This spring, the Luther College Music Department revisits Handel’s Messiah with performances on the Luther campus and at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. The presentation will include Luther’s Cathedral Choir, Collegiate Chorale, Nordic Choir, and Symphony Orchestra.
LUTHER COLLEGE CENTER FOR FAITH AND LIFE, MAIN HALL
7:30 p.m., Friday, March 27, 2015 $20/adults, $10/students, free for Luther College faculty, staff, and students Tickets available at tickets.luther.edu or by calling (563) 387-1357. MINNEAPOLIS, ORCHESTRA HALL, 111 NICOLLET MALL
3 p.m., Sunday, March 29, 2015 $26/adults, $18/students Tickets available through minnesotaorchestra. org or by calling (612) 371-5656.
Music ensembles plan winter and spring tours, Vienna residency Nordic Choir PRE-TOUR CONCERTS
Sunday, February 8, 7 p.m. Zumbro Lutheran Church Rochester, Minnesota
Saturday, January 24, 7 p.m. Our Savior’s Lutheran Church Montevideo, Minnesota
Tuesday, February 10, 7:30 p.m. * Tour Homecoming Concert Center for Faith and Life, Luther
Sunday, January 25, 3 p.m. First Lutheran Church Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Monday, May 25—Friday, June 5 Tour to Italy: destinations include Rome, Florence, and Venice
Tuesday, March 24, 7:30 p.m. * Tour Homecoming Concert Center for Faith and Life, Luther
JAZZ APPRECIATION MONTH TOUR
MIDWEST TOUR 2015
Saturday, January 31, 7 p.m. First Baptist Church Columbia, Missouri Sunday, February 1, 2 p.m. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church Hiawatha, Iowa Monday, February 2, 7:30 p.m. Grace Lutheran Church River Forest, Illinois Tuesday, February 3, 7 p.m. St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Davenport, Iowa Wednesday, February 4, 7 p.m. Bethel Lutheran Church Madison, Wisconsin
The Luther College Symphony Orchestra will travel to Vienna, Austria, in January 2015 for a three-week residency of rehearsal, cultural exploration, and performance. Sunday, February 8, 7 p.m. * Vienna Residency Tour Homecoming Concert Center for Faith and Life, Luther
Concert Band MINNESOTA-CALIFORNIAARIZONA TOUR
Thursday, February 5, 7 p.m. First Lutheran Church Duluth, Minnesota
Saturday, March 14, 7:30 p.m. Bethel Lutheran Church Rochester, Minnesota
Friday, February 6, 7 p.m. Trinity Lutheran Church Moorhead, Minnesota
Sunday, March 15, 4 p.m. Wayzata Community Church Wayzata, Minnesota
Saturday, February 7, 7 p.m. Westwood Lutheran Church St. Louis Park, Minnesota
Tuesday, March 17, 7:30 p.m. Grace Lutheran Church Palo Alto, California
Sunday, February 8, 8:45 and 11 a.m. Church Services Gloria Dei Lutheran Church Rochester, Minnesota
Thursday, March 19, 7 p.m. Ascension Lutheran Church Thousand Oaks, California
Friday, March 20, 7 p.m. Palm Desert High School Palm Desert, California Saturday, March 21, 7:30 p.m. Community Performance & Art Center Green Valley, Arizona
Thursday, April 23, 7:30 p.m. Grace Lutheran Church River Forest, Illinois Friday, April 24, 7 p.m. Christus Victor Lutheran Church Apple Valley, Minnesota Saturday, April 25, 7 p.m. Guest artists for “Night of Jazz” (CCA and Luther bands performing) Clear Creek Amana High School Tiffin, Iowa Sunday, April 26, 4 p.m. Saydel High School Des Moines, Iowa 50313 Thursday, April 30, 7:30 p.m. International Jazz Day * Tour Homecoming Concert Center for Faith and Life, Luther For concert details and ticket information, visit ww.luther.edu/music/tours. * Live-streamed at stream.luther.edu/events
Winter 2015 Luther Alumni Magazine
Luther voices fill IMEA conference schedule Luther alumni and current and past faculty members led sessions and music ensembles this fall during the Iowa Music Educators Association Conference, Nov. 20–22, at the Iowa State Center in Ames. • Andrew Ellingsen ’03 led sessions on increasing student participation by adding singing games to the classroom and on a new model for practicum experiences being implemented at Luther. Ellingsen is an instructor in Luther’s Music Department and teaches music at John Cline Elementary in Decorah.
• Haley Gibbons ’11 led a session with members of the First Iowa Orff Chapter, which promotes the teachings of Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman. Gibbons is co-director of Valley High School choral program in West Des Moines, Iowa. • Ryan Person ’05 conducted the Opus Honor Choir in concert. Person is director of choral activities at West High School in Iowa City, Iowa. • Amanda Freese ’97 led an interactive session on how targeted goals enhance music education. Freese teaches general music in the Marion (Iowa) Independent School District. • Jill Wilson, assistant professor and
coordinator of music education at Luther, led two sessions. The first was on serving as a cooperating teacher and the time/work commitments and other requirements for mentor teachers. In a second session, Wilson led a dialogue on ways to recruit high school students to major in music education and on resources to help students be successful. • Larry Livingston, who began his career at Luther and who is founding director of the Illinois Chamber Orchestra, conducted the 2014 Iowa All-State Orchestra. Livingston has conducted at festivals and led orchestras around the world as well as throughout the United States.
International student Ali Yazdani presents gift he designed, created
Luther Alumni Magazine
“These carpets are part of the culture, especially in our province, and giving a carpet to express appreciation is part of our tradition.” —Ali Yazdani ’18
PHOTO BY BREANNE PIERCE ’16
Ali Yazdani’s mother made a great sacrifice this past summer. It was the last opportunity she had to be with her son for the next four years, and yet she urged him to leave his family a month early. She sent him to Kabul, where materials are abundant, to weave a rug for Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. He became a first-year student this fall. The result of that sacrifice is a thing of beauty, with an intricate floral border framing the college logo and motto, Soli Deo Gloria. Each of the rug’s 400 rows includes 260 knots, and it took a month to make. Ali finished it the day before his flight to the United States. The rug was presented to Luther College President Paula J. Carlson at a reception on Wednesday, Sept. 10. Ali and his family, who are from Afghanistan, had moved to Iran before the U.S. invasion of their home country. When they made the expensive move back, Ali and his brother learned to weave carpets to help meet costs. After two years, Ali started designing the rugs, marking out his patterns on graph paper. He showed his first design to a carpet company, and they liked it enough to produce it. Ali wove his second rug as a gift for his secondary school, a Turkish international school in Kabul. His third was for the
United World College in The Netherlands, which he attended for two years before coming to Luther. Ali explains, “The reason behind making these carpets is because I’m from Afghanistan, and most of the time if you talk about my country, the first image that comes to mind is war and the Taliban. But that’s not the right image. I wanted to show Afghanistan from a different angle. These carpets are part of the culture, especially in our province, and giving a carpet to express appreciation is part of our tradition.” Ali hopes that sharing this part of his culture will open up the dialogue a bit. Once he makes a gift of a carpet, he says, “Then you can come to me and start talking
about my country from a different angle, not just war and terrorists.” Ali, whose family has once again relocated to Iran, had a difficult time adjusting to life at his precollege program in The Netherlands, and he expected a similar culture shock in Decorah. “But so far,” he says, “I’m not shocked at all.” Part of the reason may be the warm reception he got when he arrived on campus with other international students on the bus that shuttled them from the airport. “We saw the football team on the field,” he recalls. “They were singing something: L-UT-H-E-R. I thought, Oh my gosh, the hospitality here is so cool.” Ali plans to study political science and economics at Luther, and it turns out he’s already learned a poignant life lesson from the latter. “In economics,” he says, “there is a principle of opportunity cost: when you want to achieve something, you have to sacrifice something else.” The principle applies to mothers, too. As for life after college, Ali says, “My goal is just to be a useful person for the community I’m living in.” —Kate Frentzel
Award-winning graphic novelist Marjane Satrapi spoke with students on campus on Oct. 15 in two question-and-answer-based sessions as part of Luther’s Distinguished Lecture Series. An evening session, titled “Graphic Freedom,” was facilitated by Andy Hageman, assistant professor of English. Todd Green, assistant professor of religion, led an afternoon session, “A Personal Conversation with Marjane Satrapi.” Satrapi’s best-known work, the graphic novel Persepolis, has been studied in Paideia courses for several years. It tells the story of 10-year-old Marji growing up amid a revolution in Iran. Throughout the course of reading and discussing Persepolis, students were asked to submit questions for Satrapi. Hageman used several of these student-submitted questions to direct the discussion, which Satrapi navigated with humor and bluntness.
PHOTO BY BREANNE PIERCE ’16
Graphic novelist Marjane Satrapi speaks on cultural understanding in Q&A sessions with students
Graphic novelist Marjane Satrapi speaks in the Center for Faith and Life as part of Luther’s Distinguished Lecture Series in October. One student submitted a question about Satrapi’s authorial choice to use experiences from her childhood in Persepolis. She responded, “For some narrative reasons, you have to cheat a little, but remaining true to your sensations and making sure feelings are the same are most important.” Satrapi defined her work not as a political
—Paige Lobdell ’16
PHOTO COURTESY EMILY GEHLSEN
ESL classes in Postville help both immigrant workers and Luther students who teach Every Tuesday and Thursday evening, Luther’s HOLA-Enlaces, an organization dedicated to helping and raising awareness of the Hispanic/Latino community, sends a group of students to Postville, Iowa, to tutor students in English as a second language classes. Postville, a town of 2,000 about 20 miles southeast of Decorah, is home to a number of immigrants from Somalia, Kenya, Guatemala, and Mexico, many of whom work at the Agri Star meatpacking and processing plant. After the immigration raid of 2008, in which 400 immigrant workers were arrested, Luther students were inspired to reach out. “I went to school in Postville and lived there for 10 years of my life,” says Marlon Henriquez ’15, a member of the HOLA-Enlaces leadership team. “So I knew the need for ESL classes a long time ago. I remember how effective they were for my family. Being an immigrant and knowing those struggles myself, I knew I wanted to help out in some way.” Luther students have been teaching ESL classes in Postville since 2012, starting with
Nursing major Jessica Mara ’15 spoke to an ESL class about health last November. William Marroquin-Haslett ’18 translated for her. just once a week. The classes were set up by Jennifer Olufson, Luther teacher certification officer. As interest grew among students and the Postville community, classes increased to twice a week. Classes are two hours long and consist of socializing, group lessons, and individual work with tutors. HOLA-Enlaces is also in the process of incorporating reading into class time. Lessons range from the basic, such
statement, but as an alternative perspective to Iranian culture. She expressed her frustrations that Iranians are typically portrayed as the “bad guys,” and criticized places where there is censorship and the banning of books about Iranian culture. Through the audience, Satrapi learned a few humorous bits about U.S. culture as well. After finding out which English words were considered “swear words” and that today’s MTV features reality shows instead of music videos, Satrapi sparked laughter throughout the audience when she replied, “What a mess!” The core of her message was the combination of education and cultural understanding as the two saving graces of our world. Satrapi emphasized that while it is natural to be hesitant of others, if we create communication, we can take this fear away. Satrapi left the audience with one final thought: “We all have the same basis. If we know the culture, we can talk.”
as colors and numbers, to more advanced language skills, such as indicating what to do in emergencies. For the Luther students, ESL classes in Postville go beyond just teaching experience. Anna Jeide ’16, also a member of the HOLAEnlaces leadership team, has been greatly affected by working with the Postville community. “It helps me to keep perspective and stay grounded. I am part of something bigger, and my responsibilities go beyond being a Luther student. It reminds me that I have so much to learn outside of the classroom.” Part of HOLA-Enlaces’ goal is to educate and raise awareness about the controversial issues surrounding immigration policy. HOLAEnlaces holds cultural events, raises money, shows documentaries, and sponsors lectures. The Postville classes are not only rewarding for the students who teach them—they also broaden their views on current events. Jeide says, “When I hear what’s going on with immigration policy, I think about those students in Postville. That makes it such a tangible issue, and that shapes my interest in a way that I never thought possible.” —Emily Gehlsen ’16
Winter 2015 Luther Alumni Magazine
Combining disciplines: Dancing to change how we think about water
Above: Jodi Enos-Berlage; below: Jane Hawley ’87
he teaching partnership between professor of dance Jane Hawley ’87 and professor of biology Jodi Enos-Berlage extends back to 2006, when they began visiting one another’s classes. After seeing how dance instruction could benefit biology students, Enos-Berlage, with Hawley’s help, began using movement to teach concepts, demonstrating the attachment of protein types to chromosomes using PVC pipes and students’ bodies, or demonstrating an immunology lesson based on the defense system, with molecules and cells interacting to generate and launch a defense. “It’s a very attractive set of things to embody,” Enos-Berlage says. “And learning it as a piece of choreography allowed students to access the subject in a new way and achieve a new angle and level of learning.” Hawley, a scientist at heart, adds, “When you open up new ways to access information, you can repattern the brain. When we watch— versus read—something, we form new neuromuscular connections.” The effect can be amplified by doing something, as in the case of the students who performed the lesson. “Students who performed it understood the material in a much deeper way,” she says. For her part, Hawley started using standard science research methods as a framework for her dance students’ research, and after attending a few microbiology lectures, thought, I could make dances out of all these concepts. WATER IS INTELLECTUAL
In April 2014, Hawley’s students—with the help of Enos-Berlage—took part in the Na-
Luther Alumni Magazine
At the heart of Luther’s education philosophy is the idea of crossing disciplines to learn richly, think perceptively, and work creatively. Paideia is the hallmark of this philosophy, but sometimes a class comes along that takes cross-disciplinary learning to an extraordinary level. Last fall, two dance and biology professors teamed up on a dance practicum that explores water, from its molecular interactions to its oceanic movements to threats that endanger its quality. The practicum will culminate in a new dance piece, Body of Water, which endeavors to connect people with a valuable and often overlooked resource. tional Water Dance, a nationwide “movement choir” in which about 75 groups participated by sharing a set of movements that each one incorporated into a dance. The 75 group dances were live streamed in a simultaneous performance on April 14 in a bid to bring awareness of water usage to the public. As its backdrop, Luther used Dunning’s Spring, lining it up and down with small groups of dancers. “The most powerful part of the performance for me,” Enos-Berlage says, “was that afterward, when everyone was leaving, a group of five or six students continued to dance for themselves. They felt interested and empowered to do that. And that is a symbol of Jane’s teaching philosophy: selfempowerment.” About the Luther dance program, Hawley says, “Instead of teaching steps, we teach concepts,” which is in its own way a scientific, or at least intellectual, approach to dancing. “Our dancers create procedures to convey ideas,” she adds. And so it was only natural that this academic year, when she decided to mount a more ambitious dance about water in her practicum class, she wanted her students to understand water in a profound way, down to its very molecular activity, which is where Enos-Berlage came in. The performance that Hawley had in mind would explore water on both a micro and macro scale, from the cellular to the oceanic, and it would have a strong conservation message. Hawley enlisted Enos-Berlage from the start. The biology professor began several of the dance professor’s classes with elements of a general bio lecture, explaining how a water
molecule interacts with other water molecules; that it’s the only molecule that exists naturally on earth’s surface in all three phases—liquid, solid, and gas; and that water is critical to the formation and structure of all cells. Hawley says, “For the dancers to understand that chemistry—that it’s holding our bodies together—connects them to water in a profound way.” When it came time to dance out the chemical phases of steam, water, and ice, she says, the dancers fell to it naturally, almost as if the processes were intuitive. THE WATER THREAT
To learn more about some of the challenges facing our water supply, which will be a big component of Body of Water, Hawley’s practicum class tagged along with Enos-Berlage’s microbiology class during a tour of the 20,000acre Dry Run Creek watershed, which EnosBerlage has been researching since 2010. The two class shuttles communicated via walkietalkie as Enos-Berlage challenged the students to think about how and where water flows and how the use of the surrounding land affects both the amount of water flowing and what’s in it. Along the tour, they talked about threats to water quality and tried to identify conservation practices that area farmers were engaged in. Hawley’s students have also been participating in the labs in which Enos-Berlage and her students work with water samples from the Dry Run Creek. And in October, student in the two classes again joined up on a field trip to the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in
PHOTO COURTESY CHELSEY O’CONNOR ’15
Biology and dance students are inspired to movement by a water feature during a trip to the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque, Iowa. Dubuque, Iowa. While there, the dance students were drawn to one exhibit feature like dolphins to fish: the “water wall,” an eightfoot-tall, translucent, undulating screen with a thin sheet of water cascading down the front. Without prompting, they stepped behind it and began an improv dance, calling to mind a chorus of sea anemones waving under the water. WATER IS EMOTIONAL
Both Hawley and Enos-Berlage want to get people thinking more carefully about water— what we put into it, where it goes after we’re done with it, and how much we use of it—and part of their strategy is to use dance to help people form an emotional connection with water. Enos-Berlage explains, “We want to create an affection for water, to remind people of the essentialness of water so that they care enough to know what’s going on with it—and act!” Hawley concurs, admitting the challenge: “This means I need to find a way to create affection for the water molecule!” In order to create an affinity in the viewer, Body of Water will incorporate lots of sensory experiences through mundane expressions of water—washing hands, taking a drink, floating in water, or crying. These mundane activities, Enos-Berlage says, “help a viewer make a connection. My first response to them was ‘I can see myself doing that.’” Senior management major Kajsa Jones, who is taking the practicum and will be per-
forming in Body of Water, reflects, “We have so much engagement with water that isn’t obvious. It’s so much a part of our daily lives, and it connects literally everything. So I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how water affects my daily life movements.” Senior dance major Jenn Schmidt adds, “We want to take ordinary movement and show how it evolves in an extraordinary, storytelling way. Then, the next time you do these daily movements, you’ll remember those imaginative moments, and the performance—and the message—will have more impact.” While Hawley and students were busy transforming water concepts into choreography during the fall semester, Ian Carstens ’14, who’s currently interning with the Pepperfield Project, was capturing video footage of local water, land, and people to integrate into the performance. Working together, Carsten and EnosBerlage have generated hours of interviews with Decorah-area farmers and community members, focusing on their concerns and connections with water. “We want to include community voices,” Enos-Berlage says, “so that it won’t just be us telling people things. Water quality is a community problem and will require community-based solutions, and we wanted the performance to reflect that.” Phase two of the project is also planned: using the video more extensively to create a documentary that can outlive the live performance and be broadly shared. As for the science lessons that don’t come standard with every dance class, junior dance
major James Mueller appreciates the expanded awareness that the science background brings to the choreography. “Initially we came at the project from the concept of mundane water use,” he says. “But when Professor EnosBerlage came and talked about chemistry and biology and the watershed and agricultural runoff, what started coming into our movement phrases work was the idea of how we use water and where it goes, and how agriculture uses it and where it goes from there.” It’s rewarding to Mueller to dance with a message: “Water is a communal resource, and it’s becoming finite, like oil,” he says. As a result of Hawley and Enos-Berlage’s teaching partnership, the students in both dance and biology classes learn more deeply; the audience that watches Body of Water will experience a more profound performance owing to Enos-Berlage’s input; and the message of water conservation will find a new mouthpiece in the performing arts. About collaborative teaching, Hawley says, “It isn’t new what we’re doing, but it’s so powerful. I always ask why aren’t we doing this more? Especially in the liberal arts.” —Kate Frentzel
Hawley’s dance practicum students will perform Body of Water in the Center for the Arts, Jewel Theatre, on March 5 (9:30 p.m.), 6 (7:30 p.m.), and 7 (1:30 and 7:30 p.m.).
Winter 2015 Luther Alumni Magazine
(Above) Mahadeva Illanco Kavindra (center) with some of the students at Sivabhoomi Arakkatalai. (Right) The completed pavilion.
Projects for Peace Sports pavilion intended as a step toward uniting a nation In summer 2014, Luther students Mahadeva Illanco Kavindra ’16 and Noorullah Zafari ’16 collaborated on a venture in Sri Lanka funded by the Davis Projects for Peace program. Using a $10,000 grant from the Davis program and more than $3,000 gained through fundraisers in Decorah, the two organized the building of a sports pavilion and two toilets at Sivabhoomi Arakkatalai, a school for disabled children. They also arranged painting of buildings at a school for orphans and engaged with the local children. The ceremony to celebrate the new pavilion culminated with a soccer match between two teams of children the two had coached. In a report about the project, Zafari wrote that at the beginning of their project, the students “defined peace as the right to aquire a proper education. And we believed that using education as a force to unite people, nations, and cultures would foster a more peaceful and sustainable future.” The two expect that “the newly built pavilion will unite not only the community in the north but it will also unite the northern Tamil community with the Sinhala community in Sri Lanka,” Zafari wrote.
(Above) Ervin Liz ’16 works to create a greenhouse in Togoima, Colombia. (Below) The completed greenhouse.
Luther Alumni Magazine
Greenhouse project builds future, preserves culture Luther junior Ervin Liz ’16, a native Colombian, carried out his Davis Projects for Peace endeavor, called Plant a Seed, Build a Brighter Future, in Togoima, Colombia, in summer 2014. He arranged for a greenhouse to be built so native agricultural species could be grown, enhancing the community’s food security and generating economic alternatives. Togoima is home to the second-largest Colombian native community, the Páez, who speak Nasa Yuwe. Because Liz is a native Nasa Yuwe speaker, he was able to smoothly communicate with members of the community, the program committee, and workers needed to construct the greenhouse. In his report about the project, Liz wrote that the project would “continue to contribute to peace in many different ways. In the short term, the project generated jobs and encouraged people to work together. . . . In the long term this project will recuperate and redistribute native agricultural and medicinal species of plants to the local farmers. . . . The recuperation of this species will contribute to peace because it will assure the protection of the cultural and bio-cultural memory of the Nasa people.”
PHOTOS COURTESY OF RYAN GOOS
A street in El Rosario near the site where Luther students assisted in construction of a shelter for a local family.
Ryan Goos ’16 and Brian in El Rosario, Guatemala.
Making connections in Guatemala inspires students in Decorah Although there will be no international spring mission trip this year through Luther College Ministries because of campus staffing changes, the impact of previous trips endures. Luther students continue to raise funds to educate children in the Guatemalan highland villages of El Rosario and San Jose Calderas. They brought in $500 last spring and in the fall held a “Culver’s night,” during which the Decorah restaurant donated a percentage of its proceeds, to raise another $500. Students also sold quesadillas in Dieseth Hall to add to the funds. Five hundred dollars is what it costs to send one child from these communities to public school each year, seventh through twelfth grade. The money goes toward uniforms, supplies, and transportation—local students have to travel quite a distance to get to the middle and high schools in other towns. Luther students have focused on helping children from these two villages because they are home to many of the families who were affected in the 2008 raid on the meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa, about 25 miles from Decorah. As part of the preparation for their mission trip, Luther students met some of the Postville residents who have family in El Rosario and Calderas. Sometimes, the enthusiasm to raise education money for the Guatemalan children is sparked by an even more personal connection. Ryan Goos ’16 went on the 2014 trip along with campus pastor David Vásquez and Rita Tejada, associate professor of Spanish, and 20 other Luther students. One day during their
trip, the group made the trip to remote El Rosario to assist in constructing a shelter to house a family of nine. The group split into two, and while some of the students stayed to help with construction, Goos and other students left to organize games with some of the local children.
“That’s what our trip was all about,” he says, “connecting with kids.” Goos connected especially with the oldest boy in the group, a sixth grader named Brian, playing catch and talking. Afterward, Goos says, “I went back to the house to help out with construction. After school, in walks this same boy (to the home being constructed). I had no idea he was one of the family’s seven kids; he had no idea I would be there.” Goos spent more time with the boy and formed a bond that has been a catalyst in the Luther students’ drive to raise funds. Vásquez says connections like this can make an abstract relationship—such as that between benefactors and the often unknown recipients of that help—more real.
Participants in the Guatemala mission trips over the years have partnered with the organization Open Windows, a library that also provides after-school programs. The mission of Open Windows is to help educate children. To be educated, children sometimes need a more stable home environment, and so Open Windows tries to assist its community with that, too, for instance building the shelter for the family in El Rosario. The organization will also administer the scholarship funds raised in Decorah. But the result of the mission trip is even broader than helping send students to school. A pipeline of communication and trust has been laid. “(Luther) students said during the trip how helpless they felt not to be able to change anything,” Goos says about poverty they saw in the Guatemalan villages. “But Pastor David kept saying that our mission for the week was to build connections with people, then afterward we can build on those connections, being able to help even after we leave,” he says. —Ellen Modersohn
Winter 2015 Luther Alumni Magazine
Meet the Parents Council Luther’s 2014–15 Parents Council held its fall meeting Sept. 20, 2014, during Family Weekend. Parents Council is the representative body of the Luther College Parents Association, to which all parents of Luther students belong. The council, a liaison between parents and the college, is a way for parents to express concerns and suggestions to the college and to raise money for the Luther College Annual Fund through the Roots and Wings campaign. Council representatives send parents fall and spring letters that provide college news, updates, and contact information for council members. For additional information, contact the Development Office at (800) 225-8664 or visit www.luther.edu/parents/parents-council.
Senior class representatives (top row, clockwise): Leofwin and JoBeth Clark, Tracey Hirst, Mike ’77 and Liv Norderhaug, Rich Steinberg ’74, Susan AndersonNelson, Mary Ann Kliethermes, President Paula J. Carlson, Mary (Edwards) Steinberg ’76, MaryEllen Palmquist Anderson ’84, Jeff Anderson ’84.
Sophomore class representatives (top row, clockwise): Terry Morrill, Roberta and William Curtis, Todd and Michelle Wildenauer, Todd and Maria (Spieker) Mickelson ’89, Lee ’84 and Linda (Rosholt) Hash ’85. (Absent: Robert ’86 and Peg [Ganske] Carr ’85, Jim Morrill.)
Junior class representatives (top row, clockwise): Todd and Linda (Larson) Kluge ’84, Kathy and Phil Pielage, Brad and Laura Nielsen, Alan Hecht ’80 and Kristin Swanson ’80, Sandee (Neitzel) ’87 and Jonathan Joppa ’85. (Absent: Jill [Voss] Wachholz ’89.)
First-year class representatives (top row, clockwise): Diane Gilman, Gayle Christmas and John Kleeman, Susanne and Mike Carney ’85, Thomas ’82 and Linda Floden, Mary and Jack Spear, Peggy and Greg Miller. (Absent: Charlie Gilman.)
PHOTOS BY JANA LUNDELL ’16
Making the calls
Two hundred and eighty student volunteers made nearly 20,000 calls during the fall 2014 Phonathon to raise $261,448.40 for Luther’s Annual Fund. That fund offsets tuition, adds to scholarships, and enhances programming across campus. Over the years, Phonathon collectively has raised millions of dollars.
Luther Alumni Magazine
Nottlesons give through warm words, scholarship fund, and much more
“Thanks for a first-class event and a great night,” the message read. It followed the terrifically well-attended Called to Lead and Serve event at which President Paula J. Carlson was introduced to Luther’s Milwaukee constituency. And so it is with Neal and Gerry—exceptionally kind, sincere, and devoted alumni, quick to compliment and share heartfelt thanks for all you do. Such warm words from the Nottlesons are always shared in writing, or in person, and many would say that is an example of a life of learned gratitude. Both Neal and Gerry came to Luther from homes where their mothers raised their families alone. Gerry’s father died when she was nine years old. Neal’s father died when he was three. Each learned early on the sacrifices made for their educations. “We have a soft spot in our hearts for bright students who might otherwise not be able to attend a private liberal arts college of Luther’s caliber,” Neal says. “Back in our day, you could scrimp and save and work your way through college, but this sure isn’t the case any longer.” Gerry had a benefactor, a favorite aunt, who sent her $25 a month for tuition and expenses, asking only for a letter in return. “And so I learned to write, every month, page upon page, about my life at Luther and what I was learning, my singing in Nordic Choir, what I valued, and how I was challenged.” In 1999, as part of the Leadership for a New Century Campaign, Neal and Gerry Nottleson established an endowed scholarship that aids outstanding student scholars with financial need. This scholarship has benefitted 103 deserving students, 10 senior students this 2014–15 academic year alone. Among the hundreds of endowed student scholarship funds at Luther, only a few permanently endowed funds have the substantial market value of the Nottleson Scholarship. Neal and Gerry Nottleson give every year
PHOTO COURTESY OF KIRK JOHNSON ’82
It was not even an hour after the Milwaukee reception. We had all retired to our homes or hotels, when, ping-ping, our cell phones chimed with a buoyant greeting from dear friends Neal ’59 and Geraldine “Gerry” (Mosby) Nottleson ’59.
to advance their scholarship and the Annual Fund, and they give to much more as well. A full listing of all the campaigns and funds the Nottlesons have supported would be lengthy. Their generosity is broad and deep. “Giving and serving are a privilege and a pleasure,” say Gerry and Neal. “Our spirits are lifted every time we set foot on campus.” Gerry majored in elementary education and was a four-year member of Nordic Choir. She counts Weston Noble and Helen Strand as her most memorable professors, and of her time in Nordic Choir, she smiles and reflects, “There is simply nothing like it.” Neal majored in business administration and then attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he received a master of science degree in economics and finance in 1960. He joined SC Johnson & Son, “Johnson Wax,” in Racine as a financial trainee in 1960 and retired 39 years later as vice chairman. We spoke a bit about such dedication in serving one company for so many years. Neal responded that he had said yes to so many
advancement opportunities within SC Johnson—zigzagging through the company—that he had gained a wealth of corporate experience, in finance, acquisitions, strategic planning, and information services. Neal was a class agent, earned a Distinguished Service Award in 1984, and together Neal and Gerry were awarded the Heritage Club’s Pioneer Memorial Award in 2010. From 1993 to 2005, Neal served as a member of Luther’s Board of Regents. At that time John Moeller, professor of political science, came to know the Nottlesons personally. John and Neal had been asked to serve on the 1998 presidential search committee. “Neal demonstrated a remarkable wisdom,” Moeller recalls. “There was nothing ideological or narrow about his thinking. He had this amazing ability to see the big picture, always asking the right questions when they needed to be asked, never dismissing ideas that were not his own.” Moeller says, “Neal’s love for Luther was apparent throughout. I don’t think this man has an ounce of arrogance but is filled with modesty and humility. Were he in the world of politics, I would probably call him a statesman in the way he approaches matters.” Over coffee in Oneota, on the Monday after Homecoming, I talked with Gerry and Neal further. Their love for Luther College radiates, and they smile with joy that two children, Kari (Nottleson) Shatzer ’82 and Andrew Nottleson ’90, both attended Luther and, like themselves, found their spouses here: Bruce Shatzer ’82 and Lizbeth “Betsy” Diekema ’90. They also delight in knowing the third generation is represented well: Aaron Shatzer ’10, Hannah Shatzer ’13, and Stephen Shatzer ’16. “Our parents are great role models for us in how they give back to Luther, to their community, and to the church. They also talk a lot about the importance of roots and wings,” Kari says. “All of us nurtured our roots at Luther, but Luther also enabled us to fly.” Thank you, Neal and Gerry Nottleson, for all you do, and for the countless measures of support you have shared with Luther. —Ann Sponberg Peterson Learn more about giving to Luther at (800) 225.8664; or online at www.luther.edu/ giving.
Winter 2015 Luther Alumni Magazine
Caroline Giles Banks, retired professor of anthropology, has published her sixth book of poetry, Picture a Poem: Ekphrastic and Other Poems. The book, published in 2014 by Wellington-Giles Press, features poems written in response to paintings, sculptures, and photographs. It is available on amazon.com.
PHOTO COURTESY OF KIRK LARSEN
Former professor publishes poetry volume
In June 2014, four Luther biology students competed in a college quiz-bowl-type of contest known as the Linnaean Games during the North Central Branch meetings of the Entomological Society of America. Students Austin Bauer ’14, Marissa Schuh ’14, Jedidiah Nixon ’17, and Dan Gibson ’15 were the first all-undergraduate team participating in a contest involving teams usually composed of graduate students. They represented Luther well, says Kirk Larsen, Luther professor of biology, and almost pulled off an upset, falling to the defending Linnaean Games national champions, University of Wisconsin. Uff da, better luck next time!
Defensive MVP. Along with Arend, Wilson was named first team all-conference. Arend becomes only the seventh player in Luther women’s soccer history to be named all-conference four times, while Wilson joined an elite group named all-conference a third time. Melisse Chasse’17 and Ellie Bunz ’17 were named to the second team for the second year in a row, and Erika Balk ’16 and Lauren Hughes ’17 earned honorable mention honors. MEN’S SOCCER
5-2, 16-3-1 overall Ranked in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) top-35 national
poll all year, the Luther men matched the best start in school history (12-1) dating back to 2002. Two of Luther’s three regular-season losses were to nationally ranked conference opponents Wartburg and Loras. The final Norse loss of the year was to Wartburg in the semifinals of the Iowa Conference Tournament. Three Norse were named first team all-conference: defender Martin Stalberger ’15, midfielder Lucas Beato ’16, and forward Jon Gednalske ’16; and earning second team honors were midfielders Hollie Gray ’15 and JW Slauson ’15. Stalberger and Beato made their first appearance on the first team after earning second team honors last year. This was
PHOTO BY ZACH STOTTLER ’15
4-5, 14-5 overall The Norse began the season 9-0 (the best start in school history), remained undefeated in nonconference play throughout the season, and lost only one match at home. The Norse also spent two weeks ranked in the top-35 of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) for the first time in school history. Erin Wilson ’15 made first team all-region, the only player from the Iowa conference. Elly Arend ’15 made third team all-region. Wilson was also named to the Capital One Academic All-District 8 women’s soccer team and was named Iowa Conference
The race begins for the Norse Men’s Cross Country All American meet on Sept. 13.
Luther Alumni Magazine
PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID BLANCHARD
Slauson’s second time earning second team honors and the first time Gednalske and Gray were recognized on the all-conference team. MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY
With only one senior in the top seven, the regionally ranked No. 6 Luther men wrapped up the season with a third-place finish at the Iowa Conference Championships and a sixthplace finish at the NCAA III Central Region Championships. Three athletes earned both all-conference (top-15) and all-region honors (top-35): Tyler Broadwell ’16, Isaac Jensen ’17, and Scott Mittman ’15. Mittman’s allconference performance was the second of his career, while Broadwell’s and Jensen’s was their first. All three runners earned all-region for the first time. Completing Luther’s top seven at the regional meet were Clare Brandt ’16, Trevor Schwichtenberg ’17, Parker Beard ’17, and Kurt Hellman ’16. WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY
Regionally ranked all year, the Luther women finished the regular season with a second-
place finish at the Iowa Conference Championships and a fifth-place finish at the NCAA III Central Region Championships. Two-time All-American Tricia Serres ’16 had another outstanding season. Serres became the second runner in Luther history to capture back-toback individual titles at the All-American Invitational, and for the second year in a row she captured the Iowa Conference Championships individual title and was named league MVP. Serres also made a third consecutive appearance at the NCAA III National Championships thanks to a second-place finish at the Central Regional. At the national finale, she placed 36th, one place shy of earning All-America honors by .05 seconds. Kaia Bierman ’18 and Lauren Mordini ’16 earned all-conference (top15) and all-region (top-35) honors for the first time, while McKenzie Carney ’18 was a first time all-conference performer. Completing the Luther seven running at the regional meet were Kara Maloney ’16, Hannah Wright ’18, and Sarah Owens ’17.
The Sept. 20 Luther football game against Grinnell College was themed in tribute to members of the U.S. military. All veterans and current military personnel and families were invited to attend the game free of charge and were recognized during the game. Honorary captains for the game were World War II U. S. Army Tank Commander Weston Noble ’43, who fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and current Luther student Blane Maher ’15, who served in the Air Force Special Operations Command (2008– 12) and was deployed four times, twice to Afghanistan and twice to classified locations. Above, Noble and Maher (right) watch the coin toss.
Erin Wilson ’15 (left) was named to the Capital One Academic All-District 8 women’s soccer team and first team all-region. Elly Arend ’15 (right) was named first team all-conference and third team all-region.
Save the date: Saturday, February 14, 2015 We are celebrating 50 years of women’s athletics at Luther College this year. As part of the celebration, we are organizing a day of tribute on Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015. A luncheon and recognition ceremony is being planned. More information is available online at luther.edu/sports/50years.
Winter 2015 Luther Alumni Magazine
1-6, 12-16 overall Leah Broderick ’15 had her best season in a Norse uniform. Broderick led the team with 326 kills and 89 total blocks. For her efforts she was named first team all-conference. Kelsey Sorensen ’15 and McKinzy Lohberger ’15 completed their careers producing 235 and 225 kills respectively. Natalee Johnson ’16 ranked third in total kills with 228. Setter Lindsey Ryan ’16 once again led the team with 947 assists and will enter her senior campaign ranked second all-time with 3,345. Katie Kuhlman ’04 holds the career mark with 3,609. Libero Taylor Gaide ’18 led the squad with 500 digs. WOMEN’S GOLF
A young women’s golf team with only two seniors on the squad, completed the fall schedule with a fourth-place finish at the 72-hole Iowa Conference Championships. Top finishers for the Norse were Madeline Petellin ’17, who finished 12th (357), five strokes from earning all-conference (top-10); Sam Kraft ’18, tied for 13th (358); Hannah Hagarty ’17, tied for 19th (364); and Lexi
Graf ’18 was 23rd (370). Earlier in the year, Luther placed fourth at the Sail Classic, ninth at both the Wartburg Invitational and the Division III Classic, and second at the Luther Invite. WOMEN’S TENNIS
6-1, 9-1 overall The women’s tennis team placed second in the Iowa Conference with their only loss a 6-3 decision to league champion Coe in Cedar Rapids. All-conference honors, as voted upon by the head coaches of the league, named Olivia Heitz ’16 and Maggie Helms ’16 in both singles and doubles, Adriana DePaolis ’15 in singles, and Jenna Myers ’16 in doubles. Hailey Johnson ’16, Lauren Welch ’17, and Jackie Cychosz ’18 each received honorable mention recognition. The Norse will play 13 matches during the spring season culminating with the four-team Iowa Conference NCAA Tournament qualifier April 24—25 in Cedar Rapids. The winner of the tournament will earn the league’s automatic berth to the national tournament.
2-5, 5-5 overall The football team posted three more wins than last year and finished .500, breaking a string of three losing seasons. Led by second team all-conference honorees fullback Josh Vos ’15 and quarterback JJ Sirios ’15, the Norse offensive unit set a single-season school record with 3,379 yards rushing. The old mark was 3,204, set in 1963. The Norse finished the 2014 campaign No. 2 in the NCAA III, averaging 340.9 rushing yards per game. In Luther’s 49-21 victory over Grinnell College, the Norse tallied 579 yards of total offense, all on the ground, tying a single-game school record also set in 1963. Vos became the first back since All-American Tyler Sherden in 2007 (1,575) to rush for more than 1,000 yards. He finished the season with 1,042 yards and 14 touchdowns. Sirios ran for 757 yards and four touchdowns. Also earning second team all-conference honors were offensive lineman James Ostlie ’17 and linebacker Aric Elton ’16. Honorable mention went to defensive lineman Sean Guena ’17, defensive back Luke Pulliam ’18, linebacker Matt Larson ’15, and offensive lineman Tyler Moon ’16.
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Luther Alumni Magazine
All Recipes Are Home is commissioned by: Hancher/The University of Iowa • Center Stage Series/Luther College • Grinnell College
Created by Working Group Theatre Written and directed by Sean Christopher Lewis Music by Awful Purdies
All Recipes Are Home
Saturday • April 11, 2015 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $27, $25, $15 tickets.luther.edu (563) 387-1357 Tickets available on March 12 Center for Faith and Life Luther College, Decorah, Iowa
ipe! Add Your Voice and Recded al, farm, or han Please send us your loc luther.edu/recipes/ down family recipes via online All Recipes our in on lusi inc for submit to explore! k bac e Com Are Home blog.
This Iowan odyssey draws upon interviews with local communities, food lovers, and farmers and marries them to the history of our land— telling the story of a wayward brother and the sister who searches across Iowa to find him, carrying a beloved recipe. Through food, we are reminded of the comfort of home. Generous support from:
Center Stage Series 2014-15 Be at the Center of It All Luther College • 700 College Drive • Decorah, Iowa
Winter 2015 Luther Alumni Magazine
LUTHER COLLEGE PHOTO BUREAU PHOTOS
Carlson inaugurated as Luther’s 10th president
Luther Board of Regents chairperson Paul Torgerson ’73 presents the college’s presidential medallion to Paula J. Carlson during her investiture.
Luther Alumni Magazine
The inauguration of Paula J. Carlson as Luther’s 10th president was celebrated on October 10, 2014, during a ceremony that filled the Center for Faith and Life. In attendance were members of the college’s student body, faculty, staff, regents past and present, the Decorah community, representatives of organizations and institutions of higher education from across the nation, the honorary consul general of Norway in Minneapolis, and bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Also present were past Luther presidents Richard Torgerson, H. George Anderson, and Elwin Farwell, and past interim presidents David Tiede, Richard Hemp ’64, and David Roslien ’58. After Luther Board of Regents chairperson Paul Torgerson ’73 placed the presidential medallion around Carlson’s neck as a symbol of her office, the gathered community enthusiastically welcomed her with prolonged applause. Carlson then delivered her inaugural speech, which is excerpted beginning on the next page. The text of her full remarks is posted at www.luther.edu/ inauguration/speech.
am honored and very happy to join the Luther community as the 10th president of Luther College. “Thanks to all of you for participating today in this inauguration ceremony. . . . “Since 1861, the Luther College mission has called this community to offer its students an engaging, rigorous liberal arts education in a vibrant residential community. Throughout these 153 years, the curriculum’s essential element and the community’s defining characteristic has been the college’s commitment to the life of faith and learning in the Lutheran theological tradition. . . . “The founders of Luther College chose a motto that proclaims the college’s mission: Soli Deo Gloria—to God alone the glory. From the college’s earliest years to this day, in ever-changing times with their new possibilities and opportunities, this motto has called the Luther college community to remember our roots and to live our mission, building strength on strength as we innovate to embrace our particular time with our particular challenges and opportunities. “In the Luther College mission statement, we affirm ‘the liberating power of faith and learning.’ We state that we are ‘rooted in an understanding of grace and freedom that emboldens us in worship, study, and service to seek truth, examine our faith, and care for all God’s people.’ “The distinctive ethos of the Luther College community is shaped by the ‘reforming spirit’ of Martin Luther, the 16th-century professor and Augustinian friar for whom the college is named. With his persistent, probing questions and his commitment to reexamining what were the intellectual and ecclesiastical ‘givens’of his day, Martin Luther sparked reform and renewal in the church, university, and society. “Tradition tells us that on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to a
church door in Wittenberg, the German city where he was a professor of theology at the university and gave lectures on interpreting the Bible. Luther’s 95 theses are a series of statements and questions about grace, faith, and salvation. They are statements and questions that Luther wanted to examine fully and to debate rigorously. Writing his theses on a piece of parchment and then posting them on the Castle Church door in Wittenberg was Luther’s invitation to other scholars at the university to have a public discussion and debate about what Luther saw to be essential, crucial matters regarding faith, salvation, and especially God’s grace—the undeserved love and favor of God that many of us learned about in confirmation classes. “Luther chose to post his theses on October 31st because he knew that on November 1st—All Saints Day—many citizens of Wittenberg would be coming to the church for worship services. Luther knew that these townspeople would see his statements and questions as they passed through the church door. Posting notices on the Castle Church door was 16th-century Wittenberg’s version of our Facebook postings, tweets and twitters, email blasts, bulk mailings, and television ads. In posting his 95 theses on the Castle Church door, Luther was using the most powerful social medium of his day. Luther’s posting was his invitation to all the citizens of Wittenberg to attend, witness, and so participate in the discussion and debate of his 95 theses that he was proposing to the scholars and professors at the university. Luther’s posting was an invitation for a wide, inclusive discussion and debate—a rigorous, engaged conversation and exchange of ideas about essential things—the things that matter most. “Like Martin Luther, the reformer for whom we are named, we at Luther College study, explore, investigate, question, examine, debate, and discuss ideas, questions, insights,
At Luther College, our pursuit of knowledge and wisdom is shaped by our deep dedication to this integrated life of faith and learning.”
Sylvester Mhlanga ’16, president of Luther’s International Student Association and Allies, gives the invocation. and possibilities about essential things, about the things that matter most. We do this in our studies in Martin Luther’s own field of theology, and we also do this across the whole curriculum. “In thinking deeply and exploring widely across all fields in the college’s curriculum, we are also following the example of Martin Luther. As the University of Wittenberg became more and more important in the fast-moving Reformation that Luther sparked on that October day in 1517, Luther along with his colleague and friend Philipp Melancthon encouraged this engaged, thorough, deep thinking at the university in the fields of theology and religion and also in history, literature, astronomy, geography, philology, and the new emerging fields of the natural sciences. “Our affirmation at Luther College of the ‘liberating power of faith and learning’ is rooted in Luther’s and Melancthon’s pursuit and encouragement of engaged learning in all fields of study. At Luther College, our pursuit of knowledge and wisdom is shaped by our deep dedication to this integrated life of faith and learning. “In our mission statement, we assert that this distinctive way of learning offers students ‘an education that disciplines minds and develops whole persons equipped to understand and confront a changing society.’ Our model of education offers students opportunities to acquire knowledge across many fields and to develop expertise in one. It offers them opportunities to become nimble thinkers, probing explorers of new ideas and experiences, adept
Winter 2015 Luther Alumni Magazine
“ In Luther’s early years, an immigrant artist named Linka Preus drew sketches of the first gatherings in celebration of the college’s founding and its mission. This sketch depicts Luther’s first president, Peter Laurentius Larsen, at the feast held at the dedication of the first Main Hall in 1865. A selection of Preus’s sketches was featured outside of the Kristin Wigley-Fleming Fine Arts Gallery during Homecoming.
We are called to be the stewards of this distinctive, extraordinary college. We are called to build strength on strength as together we live Luther’s mission in our time.”
LUTHER COLLEGE ARCHIVES
integrators of seemingly disparate things, and agile creators of innovative ways to approach problems new and old. And our model of education offers students opportunities to acquire knowledge and develop skills in a community that equally values the pursuit of wisdom and the life of faith. . . . “Several months ago, college pastor Mike Blair asked me what image I would use to describe this kind of education, this distinctive model of education. . . . I told Pastor Blair that the image that for me best conveys this model of education is the prophet Isaiah’s image of God calling and welcoming all peoples to a great feast that God hosts. In chapter 55 of his writings, Isaiah describes God calling people together at an abundant feast and then urging them, ‘Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live.’ “Joining the Luther College community—I told Pastor Blair—with its rich and nourishing life of faith and learning together is like being welcomed to this great feast, to an abundant, life-giving offering of knowledge and wisdom shared in a community of faith. . . . “Reading about the early history of the college, I was intrigued and delighted to learn about sketches of the first gatherings in celebration of the college’s founding and its mission. The sketches were done by Linka Preus, an immigrant artist married to the Reverend Hermann Amberg Preus, one of the college’s founders. A portion of one of Linka Preus’s sketches is included in the program today. . . .
Luther Alumni Magazine
“This sketch is of the feast held at the dedication of the first Main building at Luther. This large building was dedicated in 1865, just four years after the college’s founding. At the center of this sketch stands Luther’s first president—Peter Laurentius Larsen. He is surrounded by tables laden with many kinds of rich and nourishing food. Other people depicted in the sketch range from children playing among and under the tables to members of founding families circulating among the guests to community members helping to serve the feast to dignitaries sipping cups of coffee. In her sketch, Linka Preus carefully labeled the foods on the tables and named the people she included in the sketch. Above the people she sketched are words—some in English, some in Norwegian. These words are Linka Preus’s record of the words that the people she depicted were speaking at the moment she captured in her sketch. “When I first saw the sketch, the words of one person in particular caught my attention. Mr. Ole Birkem stands on the far right of the sketch. He remarks to Mrs. Koren—who is standing beside him—that he was pleased to have ‘100 healthy and diligent boys seeking admission’ to this very new college. And he states that he was pleased that so many people showed their interest in this new college. . . . “Curious, I looked for records that might tell me how many people were at this dedication feast. I was astonished when I saw the numbers. Somewhere between six and ten thousand people attended the dedication ceremony for the first Main building.
“Two thousand people shared the feast of celebration after the dedication ceremony. Luther College—this very new college, with its 100 students—clearly mattered a great deal to thousands of people. . . . “Their participation and witness testify to the value they saw both in the present and long into the future for this new residential, liberal arts college of the church. Their presence at the dedication and feast was a sign of their commitment to and support for this distinctive, extraordinary model of education. They saw in Luther College a place where—for many generations—students would learn in community, growing in knowledge and wisdom. They saw a place where—for many generations—students would pursue their callings and be prepared to serve with distinction for the common good. . . . “To mark the end of the celebration, candles were lit in the highest windows of Main—the imposing, impressive new threestory college building topped by a three-story tower. The glowing candles in these highest windows spelled out the motto the founders had chosen for Luther College: ‘Soli Deo Gloria.’ . . . “We are now the carriers of this light. We are called to be the stewards of this distinctive, extraordinary college. We are called to build strength on strength as together we live Luther’s mission in our time. I am honored and privileged as Luther’s 10th president to join with you in this calling. “Soli Deo Gloria”
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP:
Tree dedication: On Saturday, Oct. 11, a white oak tree given by the Carlson family was dedicated in honor of Paula Carlson’s inauguration during a morning prayer service along the south border of Farwell Clearing. Inauguration: Carlson delivers her remarks in the Main Hall of the Center for Faith and Life. Alumni in the family: Several members of Carlson’s extended family are Luther graduates; she’s shown with (left to right) James Schattauer ’79 (brother-in-law), Paul Schattauer ’77 (brother-in-law), John Mueller ’78 (cousin), Eric Kercheval ’75 (brother-in-law), and John Bailey ’75 (brother-in-law). Inaugural symposium: The first of what is planned to be an annual series, “Exploring Faith and Literature,” was held Oct. 10 in the Noble Recital Hall, in Jenson-Noble Hall of Music. Invited speakers, shown above, included (left to right) Yale Divinity School professor Peter Hawkins, a Dante scholar who with Carlson edited the four-volume series Listening for God; Robert D. Schultz ’74, John P. Fishwick Professor of English, Roanoke College; Carlson; Jacqueline Bussie, director, Forum on Faith and Life and associate professor of religion, Concordia College; and Rev. Jim Honig, senior pastor, Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Luther ring: Jostens, the company that makes Luther rings, gave one to Carlson in a surprise presentation on inauguration day. Inaugural reception: After the investiture, the Luther community and guests gathered to greet Carlson in Bentdahl Commons. Winter 2015 Luther Alumni Magazine
Homecoming 2014 Luther honors extraordinary service and achievement President Paula J. Carlson presented the Luther Distinguished Service Award to three alumni during Homecoming 2014. The award recognizes success and achievements in professional fields, service to society, contributions to community, and loyalty and service to Luther.
Recipients of the 2014 Luther Distinguished Service Award RICHARD DALE ’69
over 500 farmers, processors, educators, and government administrators—Serbs seated alongside Kosovars. Blueberries can even be inspirational as cultivars of peace—if the cultivator is a determined farmer-diplomat named Rick Dale!” —Linda Martin, instructor in music
Founder and president of Highland Valley Farm Inc. in Bayfield, Wis., since 1977
MARILYN PEITSO ’74
Pediatrician, CentraCare Clinic—Women and Children, St. Cloud, Minn., since 1991
• Established the first commercial planting of newly developed winterhardy blueberry varieties in northern Wisconsin • Crops have come to include pick-your-own blueberries and raspberries, orchard honey, and maple syrup • Founding member of the Bayfield Regional Food Producers Cooperative, board member of the Bayfield Economic Development Corporation, served on Bayfield City Board and on one of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank’s 12 regional advisory councils • Agricultural presenter and farmer-to-farmer consultant in East Africa and Eastern Europe • Lifelong learner, inspired by the works of Wendell Berry and agricultural researchers from around the U.S. as well as Luther emeriti John R. Christianson, Richard Simon Hanson ’53, Richard Ylvisaker ’50, and the late Dennis Jones, among others • Married to Janet (Heist) Dale ’70 FROM HIS AWARD CITATION:
“Not long ago Rick was invited to make separate consulting trips to Kosovo and Serbia. Despite knowing of the bloody conflict between the two in the 1990s and of Kosovo’s recently declared independence from Serbia, Rick boldly proposed a joint effort. In the end, nine sessions over three weeks involved
Luther Alumni Magazine
• Recent president of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and member of the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota Medical Association • 2011 recipient of the Spirit of Women National Health Care Hero Award • Proponent of Medical Home, which allows patients and their families to be involved in setting their health care goals and in becoming active participants in achieving those goals • Married to Peder Hegland ’72 FROM HER AWARD CITATION:
“The Somali population of St. Cloud serves to illustrate how the Medical Home works. First, Dr. Peitso became a video producer, writing scripts and producing Somali language videos to inform the Somali refugee population about health care basics such as vaccinations, car seat use, and how to keep children
well. A Somali community health worker was trained to work directly with families in overcoming barriers such as how to make an appointment with a physician or how to get transportation to the clinic. Follow-up was provided to assist physicians in working with their patients to set realistic goals that were a true collaboration of patient and doctor working together, because physician goals are not always the same as patient goals, especially when dealing with individuals of other cultures. Dr. Peitso has worked to implement this concept throughout the state of Minnesota.” —Wendy (Tessman) Stevens ’69, assistant professor emerita of biology
SHARI PRESTEMON ’89 HER WORK:
Conference minister, Minnesota Conference United Church of Christ, Minneapolis, since 2013 HER STORY:
• Executive director, Back Bay Mission, Biloxi, Miss., 2000–2013; senior pastor, United Church of Christ, Stevens Point, Wis., 1996— 2000; associated pastor, St. Matthew UCC, Wheaton, Ill., 1991–96; mission personnel, United Church Board for World Ministries, Dumaguete City, Philippines, 1990–91 • Master of divinity degree from Chicago Theological Seminary in 1993, later receiving the Distinguished Alumna Award • Honorary doctorate from Heidelberg University and Reinhold Niebuhr Servanthood Award from Eden Theological Seminary FROM HER AWARD CITATION:
“Her leadership at Back Bay Mission spanned the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the
intense recovery efforts that followed. Shari guided Back Bay Mission along the path of rebuilding and recovery. She launched affordable housing programs for community members in the area. Initiatives under her leadership at Back Bay include the Micah Day Center to provide services for the homeless and the Open Doors Homeless Coalition to address the causes of homelessness and advocate for solutions at a local and state level. In appreciation for her visionary and prophetic legacy, Back Bay Mission has honored her by creating the Shari Prestemon Social Justice Internship, a program for UCC members ages 19–23 to participate in a 10-week summer internship.”
FROM HIS CITATION:
“Throughout his collegiate career, Professor Johnson has taught subjects at the undergraduate and graduate levels as varied as aesthetic philosophy; classical and group guitar; applied voice; music history of the medieval, renaissance, baroque, rococo, classic, romantic, and modern periods; courses in choral conducting and methods; vocal pedagogy; choral literature; vocal jazz; and all manner of choral ensembles. His current seminars in worship and liturgy at the Sioux Falls Seminary are some of the most well attended at the institution.”
Presser Scholarship The Weston Noble Award is given to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the choral arts.
JAMES JOHNSON ’75 Professor emeritus of music at Augustana College, Sioux Falls, S.D. HIS STORY:
• Taught choral music at high schools in Iowa and Minnesota • Earned a master of music degree at the University of Tennessee and a doctor of philosophy degree at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign • Joined the faculty of Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D., as director of choirs, and then joined the faculty of Boston University • In 1992 became the fourth conductor in the history of the Augustana Choir • Has been a professional member of the American Choral Directors Association, National Collegiate Choral Organization, Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, International Federation for Choral Music, and Music Educators National Conference (now the National Association for Music Education) • Married to Mary Beth Bjerke ’80
In the spirit of Carlo A. Sperati, conductor of the Luther Concert Band from 1905 to 1943, Luther annually honors an alumnus who has had a distinguished career as a music educator.
—Allen Hightower, director of choral activities and professor of music
—Mike Blair, campus pastor
The Theodore Presser Foundation provides a generous scholarship for an extraordinary senior music major each year.sic major each year.
CALEB SANDER ’15 FROM HIS CITATION:
“Whether singing with Norsemen or Collegiate Chorale; playing in Philharmonia, Symphony Orchestra, or Concert Band; accompanying recitals; leading songs with Outreach or the Focus music team; or playing fiddle with the Western Home String Band, Caleb Sander is always seeking to sing a new song to the Lord. . . . Caleb’s leadership and service in music includes a range of collegiate, community, and congregational ensembles, as well as service at summer camp. His music mentors include his grandmother, Linda Rex, and his high school piano instructor, Carol Soderblom. Caleb notes that Grandma Linda offered support and encouragement for musical opportunities that inspired excellence. She also reinforced the deep connections of faith and music. Carol Soderblom was influential in connecting Caleb with post–high school opportunities and scholarship competitions that helped open the path to Luther!”
WILLARD LINNEVOLD ’37 HIS STORY:
• As a Luther student, he participated in the 1936 band tour led by Carlo Sperati. With Barbara Nasby ’74 he has made a documentary about the summer-long tour, which can be viewed through the Luther Archives. • Taught mathematics, choir, and band at Iowa public schools • Enlisted in the Marine Corps and became a radar officer in World War II • Was Luther’s insurance agent and worked to ensure that the college received total replacement value of everything lost when Preus Gym burned • President of the Decorah Community Concerts Association for many years • Directed choirs at First Lutheran Church • With his wife, Yvonne, presented more than 300 Linnevold scholarships to music students at Luther College • Father of sons Gordon and Gary and daughter Rebecca (Linnevold) Shaw ’71, past chairperson of Luther Board of Regents FROM HIS CITATION:
“Willard recalls that during a rehearsal under Maestro Sperati, the low brass were reprimanded and called, with much distain, “bench warmers.” The life of Willard Linnevold has not been that of a bench warmer, but rather that of one who caught the ball and ran with it.” —Frederick Nyline, professor emeritus of music
—Mike Blair, campus pastor
Winter 2015 Luther Alumni Magazine
Luther College Athletics Meritorious Service Award
Athletic Hall Of Fame
KAREN JORDAN VAN ZWEDEN ’84 HER STORY:
ELLIOTT CHRISTEN ’55 HIS STORY:
• Served in the U.S. armed forces after graduation from Luther, having majored in speech and social studies • Taught and coached at Norwood, Newton, and Decorah, Iowa, high schools. Retired in 1994 after 24 years of teaching, coaching, and school administration, continuing to coach 7th-grade football for 10 years • Became the “Golden Voice” of the Decorah Vikings, announcing nearly every football and basketball game for 44 years; also announced track meets and baseball games • Served as play-by-play announcer for KWLC radio station for 10 years • Since 1992, has served as public address announcer for Luther football, basketball, baseball, and softball games, track and field events, and swimming and diving meets • Member of Decorah Rotary Club, president of Decorah Retired School Personnel, 45year Nordic Fest volunteer, and Decorah Food Pantry and Meals on Wheels volunteer • He and his wife, Bev, have two grown children, Kyle Christen and Jana Christen Albers ’85. FROM HIS CITATION:
“The Luther College mission statement denotes the importance of serving with distinction for the common good. Elliott Christen epitomizes this statement. For the past 32 years, Elliott has volunteered countless hours, provided invaluable services, and made significant contributions to enhance the experience of our studentathletes, parents, and fans.” —Joe Thompson, director of intercollegiate athletics and associate professor of health and physical education
AMIE (SIEBENALER) LARKIN ’99 HER STORY:
• Among her athletic accomplishments: fouryear letter winner in track and field, 1996– 99; three-time Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) all-conference, 1996, 1997, 1999; IIAC high jump champion, 1999; IIAC team field events MVP, 1999; three-time NCAA Division III national qualifier in the high jump; NCAA AllAmerican (outdoor) in high jump, placed seventh in the nation, 1997; tied with Jen (Anderson) Wilson ’03 for outdoor school record in high jump (5 feet, 7 inches) • Taught third grade in Chicago and Janesville, Wis. • Earned master’s degree from National Louis University • Reading tutor and stay-at-home mother in Evanston, Ill., since 2008 FROM HER CITATION:
“She was a major contributor to the success of some of Luther’s outstanding track and field teams, including the 1997 group that finished in fourth place at the NCAA outdoor championships—the highest place ever achieved by our women at a national meet. That meet was quite special for Amie, who was a sophomore at the time. She had qualified for nationals at an earlier meet by high jumping 5 feet, 7 inches, a school record that still stands. She had also earned All-Conference honors by placing third at the conference meet two weeks prior to nationals. Siebs was at her best on the big stage, as she returned home from the NCAA championships with an All-American plaque in hand, placing seventh in the nation in the high jump, scoring two crucial team points for the Norse!” —Jeff Wettach ’79, assistant professor of health and physical education and head track and field coach
Luther Alumni Magazine
• Among her athletic accomplishments: three-year letter winner in swimming, 1981–83; set records in the 200 butterfly, 100 butterfly, 100 individual medley, and the 1,650 freestyle; Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women regional meet champion in 200 individual medley, 200 butterfly, and as a member of the 400 medley relay team, 1983 • Former computer programmer/business analyst/team leader for companies in Minneapolis and Colorado • Completed the Twin Cities Marathon three times and hiked the 486-mile Colorado Trail • Stay-at-home, homeschooling mother in Lakewood, Colo., since 1997 FROM HER CITATION:
“Karen’s skills went well beyond her swimming abilities. She was a true leader as well. As captain of the women’s swim team, she was instrumental in developing cohesiveness among the women athletes, keeping them motivated and engaged. Her sunny personality was a highlight of workouts, road trips, and competitions. A coach could not have asked for a better team captain and team player.” —Lynn (Mackenthun) Lindow, women’s swim coach, 1981–85 JAMES CARLSON ’74 HIS STORY:
• Among his athletic accomplishments: four-year letter winner in tennis, 1971–74; member of four IIAC conference championship teams, 1971–74; two-time National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national tournament qualifier in doubles; IIAC singles champion (no. 3), 1973; IIAC singles champion (no. 2), 1974; three-time IIAC doubles champion (no. 1) with teammate Robert Frost ’74, 1972–74 • Law degree from William Mitchell College of Law, 1980 • Founding partner, Collin W. Fritz Associates, Ltd., Brainerd Minn., since 1984 • Married to Else (Hanson) Carlson ’73
FROM HIS CITATION:
“Teammates described Jim as quiet and very studious, and a great tennis strategist—a player who took advantage of his own strengths while exploiting the opponent’s weakness. “Sparks,” as he was known, was described as a “tremendous competitor” by several. “A very heady player,” in the words of another player. “A classy guy and good teammate.” “An outstanding doubles player.” Practice in those days was with wooden rackets on a wood basketball floor. Conditioning consisted of transcendental meditation, yoga, and running the stairs in the gym. Jim’s quiet but competitive leadership on and off the court aided the whole team. “ —Richard Leake, professor emeritus of management
DON TRESEMER ’69 HIS STORY:
• Among his athletic accomplishments: fouryear letter winner in baseball, 1966–69; four-year starter at second base, 1966–69; member of three IIAC championship teams, 1966, 1968, 1969; team qualified for the NCAA National Collegiate Midwest Regional tournament, 1969; team cocaption, 1969; team co-MVP, 1969; school record for errorless games in a season (23), 1969; school record for most times on base in a season (39), 1969; led team in most career runs scored (49), 1966–69 • Mathematics teacher/baseball and basketball coach in Machesney Park, Ill., (1969–91) and Freeport, Ill. (1991–2011); basketball coach in Warren, Ill., (2003–8) • Two-time conference coach of the year in baseball, one-time conference coach of the year in basketball • Head baseball coach/part-time mathematics instructor at Highland Community College, Freeport, Ill., since 2005 FROM HIS CITATION:
“I’ve gotten to know Don pretty well in my roles as a baseball coach and as an admissions
counselor here at Luther. And Don has continued to rack up impressive statistics since graduation—admissions statistics! As a mathematics teacher and a coach, Don has been a valuable mentor to countless numbers of students from his region—at least 50 of his former students have attended Luther College mostly as a result of his recommending us to them and often accompanying them on campus visits. Twice in recent years there have been as many as FIVE students from one Freeport High School class attending Luther at the same time. Maybe not a big deal if Freeport were a closer local school, but it’s not—it’s three and a half hours away.” —Alex Smith ’03, admissions counselor
PHOTO COURTESY OF WILL HELLER ’16
Homecoming Snapshots Left: The class of 1964 announced its donation to the college during the Homecoming football game. Below: Beta Theta Omega, a women’s leadership and service group, and members of the former Iota Sigma Omicron fraternity participate in the Homecoming parade.
Winter 2015 Luther Alumni Magazine
Homecoming 2014 reunions Alumni celebrated and caught up with each other throughout Homecoming weekend. The college photographed class reunion gatherings, the most senior of which are shown here. You can find photos from each alumni reunion reception at www.luther.edu/homecoming/photos.
Class of 1939: Gene Norby and Hazel (Milbrath) Amundson
Class of 1944. Left to right: Sally (Olson) Naeseth, Naomi (Flugstad) Bekkum, and Elaine (Anderson) DeBuhr
Class of 1949. Left to right, front to back: Lorene (Knutson) Geiselhart, Lorraine (Gerbland) Wangsness, J. Gordon Christianson, Leona (Nordeng) Amdahl, Vern Hillesland, Marian Anderlik, Alice (Ranum) Drake, Luther Forde, John Fritz, and Francis Peterson
Class of 1954. Front row, left to right: Eleanor (Scheevel) Junga, Trudy (Kolstad) Olson, Neva (Bjonerud) Viise, Helen (Bidne) Hendrickson, Frieda (Mindrum) Nowland, Paul Ofstedal Back row, left to right: Ron Nowland, Kent Finanger, Jim Field, Dick Hoff, Maynard Anderson, SĂ¸ren Urberg, George Feuerhelm, Truman Jordahl, Curtis Reiso, Ham Peterson
Luther Alumni Magazine
Looking out for those in need
by Kate Frentzel Photography by Aaron Lurth
When you see the dozens of mugs scattered through the chambers of Judge Donovan Frank ’73 and learn that he averages 18 to 22 cups of coffee a day, certain things begin to click into place. How else could one man manage to initiate a reentry program for released criminal offenders, support countless people with drug and alcohol addictions, promote racial and gender diversity, host hundreds of students at a district courthouse each year, advocate tirelessly for disability justice, earn a lifetime appointment to the federal bench, and handle more than 300 cases at any given time? Sure, the coffee’s an aid, but Frank’s unique ethos is what keeps him motivated to improve our justice systems, and that ethos took shape early.
Judge Donovan Frank ’73 in his courtroom in the U.S. District Courthouse in Minneapolis.
EDUCATION AT THE FAMILY STORE
Judge Frank had a colorful upbringing, the kind that would start off an Oscar-winning movie. His parents, born into farming in Spring Valley, Minn., ran a TV and appliance store when Frank was a child. His father, a Golden Gloves boxer, kept a pair of gloves behind the counter. When anyone wanted to dicker on price, he told them to put on the gloves and try to knock him down; if they could, he lowered the price. Antics aside, Frank got an early education in parity through that family business. During the store’s annual turkey draw, Frank’s father would dump the entries on the table and have Frank draw one stub after another until he came up with the name of a family in need. For the schoolboy, it was an object lesson in giving a leg up to people who needed one. Another lesson that Frank learned as a boy came through his dad’s cousin, Dutch, who was developmentally disabled. Frank’s parent’s made sure to include Dutch in everything, from working on the farm and then in the family store to going to church on Sunday. Frank recalls, “I’ll never forget. My dad said, ‘He has the same hopes and dreams as you do.’” Frank’s dad also said,
“In the end, that’s how we’ll be judged: How do we treat the most vulnerable people among us?” It’s a question that Frank seems to assess himself by on a daily basis. Frank grew up baling hay on family farms or helping install antennas and deliver appliances for his parents’ store. He spent one summer on a crew in Iowa that deconstructed old granaries, and he spent three of his four years at Luther working food service. During his junior year he studied abroad in Durham, England, where he took a law course that required him to wear robes to class. He must have had judicial aspirations before then, however, because he remembers returning to Spring Valley on breaks to take a light ribbing from the neighbors: “People would call my house and say, ‘Is the prelaw man there? You know, Perry? Perry Mason?’ I didn’t know any lawyers,” he reminisces, “but I must have talked about it quite a bit.” As a Luther student, Frank was involved in anti-Vietnam War demonstrations as well as the famed 1973 protest in Main, during which Luther students occupied the building in objection to campus administration. While their counterparts across the country were rioting and bombing buildings, the Luther protestors were polite by any standards, with newspaper coverage focusing on how thoroughly they tidied up after themselves. “I always say we were probably an insult to the Berkeley and Madison people because we didn’t burn anything down or ruin any property—we even cleaned up after ourselves,” Frank says. But the revolutionary fervor of the times made an impression on the political science major. He says, “That’s why a lot of us wanted to go to law school—we weren’t thinking about making money, we wanted to save the world.” HOME ON THE IRON RANGE
Frank’s vast collection of coffee mugs includes one with a quotation that also serves as his computer’s screen saver.
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Frank graduated law school from Hamline University in 1977 and was promptly hired as an assistant prosecutor for the St. Louis County Attorney’s Office in Virginia, Minn. There, in the state’s northeast quadrant, he received an education in real life. He jokes, “They looked for ignorant young prosecutors like me and hoped we had an open mind. I was being trained the whole time and didn’t even realize it.” On the Iron Range, as Minnesota’s northeastern mining region is known, Frank was
quickly recruited for a number of boards that would have a major bearing on his later service and judicial work. Between his roles on the board of directors of the Range Mental Health Center and the East Range Developmental Achievement Center, Frank learned a lot about mental health, developmental disabilities, and advocating for people who need a little extra help. “When you live with parents and friends and children of people with developmental disabilities, you get educated by them, and the stereotypes fall away,” he says. Frank was also a member of the St. Louis County Child Abuse Team, and in his early years on the Iron Range, he worked on a lot of child abuse, neglect, and commitment cases, including the first case in Minnesota that allowed expert testimony to explain why young children often do not report abuse and why mothers often side with abusers. In the appeal, State v. Myers, which Frank also handled, the Minnesota State Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the legitimacy of using the testimony. Frank is now presiding over another case involving sex offenders that promises to make history. This time the case is a class action suit brought against the state by so-called clients of the Minnesota Sex Offender Treatment Program (MSOP). The clients have completed prison sentences for sex offenses but are committed to a high-security facility in Moose Lake because they’re considered likely to reoffend. They are held indefinitely, with only two of the 700 offenders having been granted even provisional release from the 19-year-old program. While Frank cannot comment on a current case, in March he urged the Minnesota legislature to fix what he called a “clearly broken” system. But the legislature convened its 2014 session without having acted on MSOP, and now Frank is expected to rule on the constitutionality of the program by February 16. WORKING ON A SERIOUS PROBLEM
When Frank joined the St. Louis County Attorney’s Office in 1977, no one in his new community knew that he was recovering from a major alcohol addiction. “I went up there as a new lawyer with less than one year of sobriety under my belt, working a 12-step program,” he says. (The judge marked 38 years of sobriety in the fall of 2014.) Coincidentally, one of Frank’s responsibilities when he went up to the Iron Range was to do mental health and chemical dependency competency and commitment hearings. Frank believes that his personal history gave him some sensitivity without judgment. “And because I was working a program,” he
Frank works in his chambers, which are adorned with photographs, mementos, and awards from his 37-year legal career. says, “I soon started seeing how we weren’t properly screening individuals in jails for mental health and addiction issues. If you don’t address some of those problems, you’re just going to get a revolving door.” In recognition of his work to help people struggling with addiction, in 2000, the Range Mental Health Center named a detox and treatment center after him. “My kids say, ‘Why did they name this building after you? Usually they only do that for dead people or people who give a lot of money, and you didn’t do either one,’” he jokes. “I said to the guy who called me, ‘I don’t deserve that.’ He said, ‘Well, you might be a judge, but you don’t get to decide this— we do.’” To address the systemic “revolving door” problem and to help ease the transition of released prisoners back into the community, Frank is currently working to initiate a reentry program in the Twin Cities area that will require released offenders to come to the courthouse once a week to meet with him or a colleague, the Honorable Susan Richard Nelson. The program will include more careful screening for mental health and chemical addiction, and it will require offenders who have gone through addiction treatment to have a sponsor and attend an addiction program, as well as to come to the courthouse within 36 hours if they test positive during a drug screening. Frank has also been on the board of directors of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, a free, confidential assistance program for legal pro-
fessionals, since 2005, earning its Fred Allen Outstanding Service Award in 2014. His best friend and chief district judge of Minnesota Michael Davis says, “Donovan is nationally known throughout the judiciary and is called upon by the highest officials in the judiciary to help other federal judges who have problems with alcohol or drugs. He meets with them and counsels them to make sure that they understand what they have to go through and are going through and will have to do afterward. That’s a testament to his image of sobriety and to making sure that other people in similar situations get the appropriate treatment.” DISABILITY JUSTICE
No aspect of Frank’s career is more recognized than his work on behalf of the developmentally disabled. Because of his experiences in Spring Valley and the Iron Range, when Frank was appointed a state judge in 1985, he brought with him an awareness of and sensitivity to the plight of individuals with disabilities. He invited groups of students, including groups of students with developmental disabilities, to visit the courthouse. Soon, other groups of individuals with developmental disabilities started visiting too. During one such visit, after Frank explained the idea of equal justice under the law, a developmentally disabled woman asked, “Does that mean that I get the same rights as the wife of the president?” Toward the end of the
visit, three women asked to speak to the judge privately and told him they’d been victims of abuse that had been shrugged off by law enforcement. The experience opened his eyes to the vulnerability of this “forgotten minority,” as he calls the developmentally disabled. So when 22 developmentally disabled maintenance workers at the federal courthouse where Frank serves were going to be displaced—perhaps permanently—during a three-year remodel, the judge lobbied to ensure that they could keep their employment during the renovation and afterward. He now works doggedly to defend the rights of the developmentally disabled, recruiting pro bono attorneys for developmentally disabled litigants and, along with Becky Thorson, a partner at a Minneapolis law firm, training legal professionals about how best to represent clients with disabilities. Importantly, Frank and Thorson make sure to include a person with a disability, Karen Loven, on the continuing-education faculty. Frank says that the result has been profound: “You can’t even believe the reaction that we’ve had. People— prominent lawyers and judges—will come up to us and say, ‘Thank you, you’ve opened our eyes. We didn’t realize that we were carrying around these stereotypes.’” For his efforts toward disability justice, Frank has received the American Bar Association’s Paul G. Hearne Award and Arc Minnesota’s Luther Granquist Systems Change Award, among other recognitions. In addition to his disability-justice work,
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Frank has worked extensively to promote racial and gender diversity, receiving the Federal Bar Association’s Elaine R. “Boots” Fisher Award in recognition of outstanding public service and dedication to diversity in the legal community in 2006. AS A JUDGE
After serving as a state judge in the Sixth Judicial District for 13 years, five of them as chief judge, Frank was recommended for the federal bench by the late Senator Paul Wellstone, nominated by President Bill Clinton, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 1998. “When you get nominated for federal judgeship,” Frank says, “the FBI talks to everyone everywhere you’ve ever lived and asks questions like, How does he live in the community? Does he set an example for others? So one day I get a call from the former head of the political science department at Luther, Louis Loeb. I say, ‘Oh hi—I haven’t talked to you for years!’ And he says, ‘Donovan, I thought you cleaned up in the 1970s! Can you tell me why the FBI is at my door wanting to talk about you?’” As a federal judge, when Frank hears about a young person with an interest in law (or an interest in Luther), he doesn’t hesitate to invite them to the courthouse for a visit, as he recently did a top graduate from St. Paul Central High School about whom he had read in the newspaper. “Sometimes people think federal judges are aloof, and I don’t think we are, but that’s the perception because we’re a much smaller group,” he says, noting that there are 330-some state judges and only seven federal judges in Minnesota. Frank also has a more formal visiting program for high schoolers called Open Doors to Federal Courts. Through the program, Frank invites students from one rural and one urban school each year to observe the ins and outs of the court system. Volunteer lawyers visit the students’ classrooms a week in advance of the one-day fieldtrip to the courthouse. The program, which celebrates its 16th year this April, was awarded the American Bar Association’s Law Day Activity Award in 2010. As a federal judge, Frank has about 300 civil cases and 60 criminal defendants assigned to him at any given time, and he also presides over a handful of national multidistrict litigation cases. He has been described by
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When circumstances require it, Frank performs individual naturalization ceremonies, as he did in October for oncologist Purvi Gada (center), who planned to travel to her native India last fall. the media as both a “maverick” and “tough but fair.” Davis, who knows him well both as a friend and a judge, says, “There’s no doubt that he has the capacity to see the full human condition and be a judge that can render the appropriate compassion in a case, but that doesn’t mean that he’s a bleeding heart. He’s been able to see the situation surrounding litigants and serve the appropriate justice.” Says Thorson, “He is so down to earth and real, and I love to see how that plays out in the formal setting of federal court proceedings. People walk away after their time in court knowing that they’ve been heard. They may disagree with the decision, but I think all parties feel heard.” THE LIGHTER SIDE
The judge and his wife, Kathy (Jacobsen) Frank ’74, have five daughters, including two sets of twins. All five are, in some capacity, involved in the medical profession, with one in an obstetrics residency, one in medical school, one in dental school, one in physician’s assistant school, and one working in marketing at a blood center. Three of Frank’s daughters are naturalized citizens, having been adopted from Korea, and perhaps that’s why he’s taken the lead among his courthouse colleagues for conducting naturalization ceremonies. Frank typically swears in new citizens through mass ceremonies involving upward of a thousand people, but occasionally circumstances require a fast-tracked naturalization.
Through these individual, under-the-wire ceremonies, Frank has made citizens of military members, missionaries, individuals with health concerns, and two Olympians. One such ceremony was for a man from Somalia serving in the U.S. Army, about to go off to boot camp. Prompted by some anti-Somali sentiments and protests that had recently been reported in the news, Judge Frank asked the serviceman why he was willing to put his life on the line for a country where some individuals would rather send him back to his country of birth. There was not a dry eye in the room when this young man responded, “It’s the least I can do for a country that saved my life. This is the country that gave me my first taste of freedom.” Frank tells a story that sums up a lot about him. “When I was sworn in as a state judge on February 1 of 1985—I still get emotional thinking about it—my father said to me, ‘Have I raised you right, son?’ “I said, ‘I think you have, but I think you’re about to tell me something.’” His father replied, “I read the oath you’re about to take as a judge, and I think what it means, and how we’ve tried to raise you, is this: no matter how poor, how unimportant someone is, how rich or influential, everybody gets the same respectful treatment.” “I said, ‘You understand exactly what my oath is. That’s what it is, that’s how I was raised.’”
IN A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN By Brian Winters
Luther College Football League trophy PHOTO BY AARON LURTH ’08
It’s nearly a statistical impossibility that you don’t either play fantasy football or know someone who does. Fantasy sports have become that ubiquitous: a $3.3-billion industry with nearly 42 million Americans participating annually. These are not just sports fanatics— fantasy players include business leaders, politicians, celebrities, and professional athletes. Given its rise in popularity, the industry has even established its own advocacy group, the Fantasy Sports Trade Association. You might not be aware, however, that one of the oldest and longest continuously running fantasy leagues has Luther roots that run deep—real deep. The Luther College Football League (LCFL) is completing its 35th season. That’s right. Thirty-five consecutive years of fantasy football. Based on numbers provided by the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA), the LCFL is an extremely rare entity. It’s literally in a league of its own. One in a million? “I’d go so far as to say that the LCFL is one in a hundred million,” says Paul Charchian, president of the FSTA. “It’s that unusual.” Charchian based his assessment on FSTA research that estimates 41.5 million people are actively involved in fantasy sports, and each player participates in an average of 4.4 leagues. Charchian, who is considered the godfather of fantasy football, went on to say that “a 35-year, continuously running league as well documented as the LCFL is so unique that we’d be hard-pressed to find another league like it anywhere.” When the LCFL was founded, George Lucas’s original Star Wars movies were the number one box office hits, and Luther profs were still using mimeograph machines and overhead projectors. It was pre-laptop, pre–cell phone, pre-Internet. By today’s standards, it sounds prehistoric. But when six members of the Luther admissions staff assembled on the second floor of the Centennial Union in August of 1980, they had no inkling they were creating an entity that would still be running nearly four decades later.
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The LCFL’s “founding fathers,” as they are affectionately known, include Randy Balk ’79, Keith Ellingson ’79, Mike Kust ’78, Kirk Neubauer ’76, Todd Ruedisili ’68, and Dave Snow ’71. While none of the founding fathers can recollect precisely how they learned about the concept of “fantasy” football, all of them point to Kust as the one who brought the original idea forward. “We’re all sports nuts,” Kust remarks, “and I recall reading an article about Rotisserie League Baseball (a predecessor of today’s fantasy baseball) and thinking that the same principles could be applied to football. After one of our weekly Admissions Committee meetings, I pitched the idea to some of the guys on the staff.” They decided to test the concept with a sixteam league and spent several evenings devising language for rules and bylaws, defining a scoring system, and establishing franchises. One of the most important elements of the original charter was to model their league as closely as possible after the National Football League (NFL). As a result, they quickly elected to name it the Luther College Football League, or LCFL. “We’ve been asked why it isn’t called the Luther College Fantasy League, but using the word ‘fantasy’ as part of the league name never crossed our minds,” Kust explains, “because that term wasn’t even on anyone’s radar at the time.” When developing league rules and scoring systems, Balk notes that “we didn’t have any other model to use, so we all sat down in the Union, looked at box scores, and brainstormed on how many players it would take to field a team and what statistics were available to us. We also had to determine the best process to communicate starting lineups, scores, and roster changes from week to week.”
Weekly reports advanced over the years from handwritten rosters reproduced using ditto masters to today’s slick-looking web pages.
Ellingson says, “We also wanted to be sure that we kept the scoring somewhat realistic and that we used both offensive and defensive players, so that we incorporated all aspects of a pro football game.” Kust was elected commissioner of the LCFL that first year, and he’s held that title throughout the league’s existence. “I think the commissioner’s passion and commitment has been a big factor in keeping the league going,” says Greg Carrier ’79. “That was especially important in the early years, when guys had families to raise and free time was at a premium. When we left Luther for different cities and jobs, with little or no technology to connect us, it became even harder. Without his energy, the whole thing could have easily fallen apart.” Neubauer adds, “Now, with all of the technology that’s available to us, he’s really good about writing articles, digging out league trivia, and keeping everybody connected.”
Speaking of technology or lack thereof, the inaugural LCFL draft was held just days before the opening kickoff of the 1980 NFL season. The six franchise “owners” met in the living room of Todd Ruedisili ’68, on Center Street in Decorah, armed with nothing more than pens, pads of paper, and magazines such as Sporting News and Pro Football Weekly. They proceeded to select or “draft” nearly 200 NFL players. Round by round, each franchise owner announced the player he selected, along with his NFL team and position. The picks were recorded on oversized sheets of paper and displayed on an easel. “That initial draft was a blast at first,” Balk recalls, “but after a while it felt like it would last forever.” That was because each franchise needed to populate an entire roster, which included 33 players at the time. It also meant
that the draft was not completed until 2 a.m. the next morning. That first round of the inaugural draft certainly dates the league, as one of the early picks, Ottis Anderson, played for the NFL’s St. Louis Cardinals. This was long before the Cardinals’ franchise left for Phoenix (1988) and 15 years before St. Louis welcomed the Rams from L.A.
1st Round—LCFL Inaugural Draft— August 27, 1980 1. Earl Campbell, Houston Oilers RB Neubauer’s Force 2. Walter Payton, Chicago Bears RB Balk’s River Rats 3. Ottis Anderson, St. Louis Cardinals RB Kust’s Phantoms 4. Ken Stabler, Oakland Raiders QB Elrod’s Jedi 5. Joe Theismann, Washington QB Dave’s Droids 6. Terry Bradshaw, Pittsburgh Steelers QB Rued’s Racketeers Neubauer and his team, The Force, won the 1980 championship by defeating Ruedisili’s Racketeers 83-39 in Super Bowl I. The league MVP was John “JJ” Jefferson, an AllPro wide receiver for the San Diego Chargers. Jefferson was drafted by Ellingson (Elrod’s Jedi) and, despite leading the LCFL in scoring, his team finished 6-10, underscoring the importance of building an all-around team—a characteristic that still holds true today. Neubauer was rewarded with a $25 check and a trophy, subsequently named the BRENKS Trophy (each letter representing the founding fathers’ last names). The coveted BRENKS is a traveling trophy that the reigning LCFL champion displays prominently. Despite the lack of technology available at the time, the initial season went surprisingly
PHOTOS COURTESY OF MIKE KUST ’78
1994 Draft at Dante’s in Decorah. (Front row) Dave Kust ’80, Mike Kust ’78, Andy Kust ’10, Walt Will, Kirk Neubauer ’76. (Middle row) Greg Carrier ’79, Daryl Walsh, Scott Ellingson ’84, John Balk ’83, Randy Balk ’79. (Top row) Jeep Kust ’84, Keith Ellingson ’79.
well. “It certainly helped that we all worked together in the same office,” Ellingson explains. “Even though we traveled extensively on behalf of Luther, we kept in touch by phone and returned to campus most weekends to commiserate.” The head-to-head competition each week, coupled with the on-field performances of the NFL players, increased the leaguers’ interest in every game and provided each owner plenty of trash-talking material. More importantly, it turned out to be a lot of fun. The LCFL expanded to 10 teams and, mimicking the NFL, held its own expansion draft for four new franchises in 1981. The group looks for Luther connections each time it searches for a potential owner. Daryl Walsh, Luther’s director of campus recreation from 1976 to 1980, remembers receiving his invitation to join the league. “I was aware that something was going on, but I had no idea of what it meant to own a fantasy team,” Walsh chuckles. “I’m such a big football fan that once they walked me through the concept, I was in.” Thirty-four years later, he’s still involved, and his 25-year-old son, Tyler, now serves as the team’s general manager and helps Walsh analyze players and select starting lineups. People take email, text messages, and web access for granted today. In the early 1980s, however, a corded telephone, typewriter, and mimeograph machine were the primary tools used to communicate starting lineups and weekly results. Even the commissioner’s wife got involved. Amy (Kiesler) Kust ’78 remembers recording many starting lineups, as calls would come in weekly from each of
the 10 team owners. “I got a quick education in pro football, because Mike was usually on the road and I was left to enter each team’s starting players onto lineup sheets. I learned a lot about the NFL and started watching the games, too. But I’m not as much a diehard as these guys are,” she quips. Pro Football Weekly was the league’s first official source for statistics, because no daily newspaper published detailed player stats and box scores on a regular basis. When the USA Today newspaper began publishing nationally in 1983, it was adopted as the league’s bible. As commissioner, it was Kust’s responsibility to purchase the publications each week and pore over the agate type in box scores to record every starting player’s individual statistics from the previous week’s games. He then converted them into points using the league’s scoring system. Finally, he produced a handwritten or typed report with the final scores and standings. Then, using ditto masters, he produced weekly copies for the 10 owners.
busy your life was, we really believed it was important to conduct our annual LCFL draft in person,” Ellingson says. “And we didn’t need to twist anybody’s arm to attend, because we had so much fun when we got together each year.” Storylines and league lore began to build from year to year, and the LCFL draft became an even bigger draw. An initial fouror five-hour draft has become a day-long or weekend-long series of events, which include golf outings, other sporting events, and plenty of storytelling. The vast majority of drafts are held in Decorah, given its status as the birthplace of the LCFL. However, the league has been known to take its show on the road with draft sites ranging from Minneapolis to Milwaukee. In addition to the annual draft parties, a key contributor to the league’s success is the way it embraced technology early on. The manual process for scoring and record keeping continued through much of the league’s first decade. In the late ’80s, however, a Luther faculty member delivered a breakthrough: automated, computer-driven scoring software. Walt Will, Kust’s next-door neighbor and a professor of math and computer science, joined the league in 1982. He brought a unique skill set to the LCFL’s membership ranks: the ability to program in PASCAL. A 33-year LCFL member and holder of a league-record 10 titles, Will, now retired, recalls his efforts fondly: “The commish had been bugging me for a few years to find a way
The league has yearbooks dating back to its earliest years.
Despite its labor-intensive processes, the LCFL prospered during its early years— largely because everyone lived in Decorah and worked at Luther. Within five years, however, a majority of league members had moved beyond “the Luther bubble” to expand their families and careers in new locales. With league franchises relocating to Indianapolis, Iowa City, Minneapolis, Des Moines, Baraboo, Wisconsin, and beyond, it presented a new set of challenges to maintain continuity. The primary factor in the league’s ongoing success proved to be the power of the draft. “Regardless of where you lived or how
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“Based on the documentation provided to me, I believe that Luther College and the LCFL can lay claim to being the first automated fantasy football league in the country.” — FSTA president Paul Charchian
to automate the process. I went to work in my office on an old Columbia PC, and I treated it as a challenge—just for fun, really. The fact that it turned out to be modestly useful was all gravy.” Ultimately, Will was able to design a software program that enabled Kust to enter statistical data for each player, then generate a PC-driven weekly results sheet. The LCFL implemented the program during its 1987 season with the use of floppy disks. Will continued to refine the software, and he added customized team rosters, league standings, and waiver wire reports that saved hundreds of hours of manual labor. FSTA president Paul Charchian weighs in again: “Based on the documentation provided to me, I believe that Luther College and the LCFL can lay claim to being the first automated fantasy football league in the country.” The LCFL used Will’s custom-written software until the onset of more sophisticated
fantasy league management tools became available to the general public in the mid-1990s. The rise of the Internet during this same period helped fantasy football reach its tipping point. Industry experts like Charchian regard the Internet as the biggest boon to fantasy sports for two reasons: (1) it automated the cumbersome process of creating teams, tracking players, and tabulating results; and (2) it enabled players to find other people with similar interests. The average league size is 10 teams, and prior to the Internet it was difficult to find, much less convince, nine other people to join a league.
Given the array of tools that technology has since provided, the LCFL continued to find new ways to enhance its league. All modifications to league scoring and bylaws are designed to mirror the NFL. For example, when the NFL eliminated games ending in
ties with an overtime session, the LCFL added overtime as well. When a collective-bargaining agreement led to free agency and an NFL salary cap, the LCFL incorporated a free-agent auction and salary cap. Charchian is impressed by the LCFL’s sophisticated scoring system and rules structure. “It’s fair to say that these guys were well ahead of their time in the way they created—and continue to evolve—this fantasy league.” One reason that LCFL owners remain committed and involved is related to its status as a “dynasty league.” Simply put, a dynasty league allows team owners to keep all players on his or her team every year, unless they are traded or released. Each year, the draft is held for rookies and free agents only, so team owners track upcoming college talent as well. “We created a dynasty league before we knew the term even existed,” Kust says. “But it keeps everyone interested, whether you’re in the playoff hunt or not, because you’re always tweaking your roster and planning ahead for next season.” This type of league provides owners a more realistic experience managing a franchise, as they take into consideration how each transaction affects the future of their franchise. Walt Will reinforces this idea. “We labor over our roster cuts each year. And, as silly as it sounds, we become attached to players we drafted, because we believe strongly in their potential. So we’ll often claim players we previously waived.” Neubauer agrees. “Being a dynasty league makes it special. You really track and follow your players. As an Iowa native, I wasn’t loyal to any pro team, so my fantasy team drove my loyalties.” He continues, “My son, Evan ’13, is a San Francisco 49er fan, because during his formative years, my quarterbacks were Joe Montana and Steve Young. Owen ’15, on the other hand, is a Broncos fan with a Terrell Davis jersey, because I drafted Davis and Rod Smith. To this day, my kids ask me how my LCFL team is doing.”
Family is a theme that echoes through any discussion about the LCFL. Dave ’80 and Jeep Kust ’84 co-own a franchise they purchased in 1988, and Ellingson’s brother, Scott ’84, joined the ownership ranks in 1991. Several spouses are also Luther grads, and the league has celebrated new babies, weddings, anniversaries, and graduations. As families grew, Draft Day became an opportune time to introduce new additions to the LCFL clan. Fifteen alumni children are now a part of the league’s legacy as well. With two boys ages 6 and 8, Scott Ellingson says, Draft days require time and concentration, a steady stream of cold beverages, and a good sense of humor.
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“It’s kinda cool. The LCFL’s really become an extended family.” In addition to that family feel, several common themes emerge when LCFL members are asked why they’ve been able to sustain an uninterrupted 35-year run: commitment, camaraderie, and a common bond in Luther lore. “Everybody is really committed to attending league functions,” Kust says. “They’re good at meeting deadlines for lineups, roster moves, and dues. We don’t get caught up in just following popular trends; we’re committed to keeping the league as realistic as possible and doing things our own way. Any proposed changes are given thoughtful consideration and debated as a group.” A great sense of camaraderie has been achieved by creating the right mix of competition and fun. “We’ve been careful not to push the monetary stakes too high,” Balk notes. “Don’t get me wrong, everybody wants to win, but it’s not a win-at-all-costs mentality. And, trust me, we’re not in it for the money.” “I really think there’s a unique chemistry with the group of guys who’ve been a part of the LCFL,” Carrier says. “I don’t think you can overestimate how important that is. Whenever we’ve had to find a new owner to purchase an existing franchise, we’ve done a good job of finding someone who’s a good fit. The friendships are genuine.” “You have to be able to laugh at yourself,” Ellingson chimes in. “We definitely keep our sense of humor about the league, and that’s what makes it work.” “In the end, I believe that our Luther connections keep us strong,” Carrier concludes. “It’s one important factor that makes us different from other leagues. So many references are made to former profs or events that the links to Luther are interspersed throughout the history of the league.” The future looks bright for the LCFL. Commissioner Kust points to the BRENKS trophy and smiles. “We had no idea when we designed this thing that we’d still be going strong. But, with its four-sided base, we have the ability to engrave 80 years of league champions on it, so we’ve got plenty of runway ahead.” He continues, “My daughter, Maddie, is a big Green Bay Packers fan, and she often helps us out on draft day. She’s got the potential to make a great commissioner. In fact, we’re probably gonna have to start working on a succession plan soon.” Visit the LCFL website at www6.myfantasy league.com/2014/home/43916.
Draft Day became a time to introduce additions to the LCFL clan. (Below) Mike Kust ’78 with son, Andy ’10. (Below right) Keith Ellingson ’79 introduces daughter Jessica.
2014 Draft at T-Bock’s in Decorah. (Left to right) Walt Will, Randy Balk, Jeep Kust, Kirk Neubauer, Dave Kust, Daryl Walsh, Mike Kust, Scott Ellingson, Keith Ellingson, Greg Carrier (not pictured Robin Fondow)
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PHOTOS COURTESY OF MICHELLE DYNES
Michelle (Williams) Dynes ’97 (right) trains local nurses how to put on and take off personal protective equipment near Kenema District, Sierra Leone.
Epidemiologist Michelle (Williams) Dynes ’97 joins battle against Ebola in West Africa
I was stationed at one of only two Ebola treatment centers in the country at the time, and you could see directly into the center from our office. You’d see body bags being stacked into the back of trucks every day. Every day.
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The idea of a virulent disease like Ebola may strike fear and feelings of helplessness into most people’s hearts, but last August Michelle (Williams) Dynes ’97 flew to a hotbed of the virus—the Kenema District of Sierra Leone—to confront it head-on. It was all in a day’s work for Dynes—but that doesn’t mean it was easy. “I was stationed at one of only two Ebola treatment centers in the country at the time, and you could see directly into the center from our office. You’d see body bags being stacked into the back of trucks every day. Every day. And when other health care workers died, the hospital staff would line the road and watch as they drove the bodies away. Being right in the middle of all of that was so much worse than what I expected.” That’s saying a lot, since Dynes is no stranger to disaster. As an epidemic intelligence officer and epidemiologist with the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Emergency Response and Recovery Branch, she has traveled widely to help communities displaced by conflict or natural disaster. “My branch is solely focused on emergency response,” she explains. “But we consider all phases of disaster, not just the initial acute phase after something has just happened.” Dynes came to the CDC after working for nine years as a midwife at Yale–New Haven Hospital in Connecticut and Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Her work at the CDC focuses on global reproductive, maternal, and newborn health. At a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan she evaluated the reproductive health component of a health information system that the United Nations was using to collect health data. She has also worked in Tanzania, where she conducted a neonatal mortality study at a decades-old refugee camp. In Haiti,
where the 2010 earthquake continues to have a negative effect on the country, she conducted an intervention and evaluation of sex-based violence in two camps for people displaced from their homes. In Sierra Leona, misconceptions about Ebola virus transmission and fear of healthcare workers helped spread the disease early on. Dynes worked at the community and district levels as part of a training and socialmobilization team. She provided counseling and social support to families who were quarantined or recently reunited. She trained health workers with the Red Cross how to work in Ebola treatment centers. She ran focus-group discussions with pregnant women and new mothers, strategizing ways to get women to return to clinics for prenatal and neonatal care. And in an effort to educate the community and ease the lives of Ebola patients and survivors a little, she developed two storytelling modules, one about Ebola transmission and one about stigma and discrimination, for community health workers to use. While Dynes admits that it’s hard to think of her work as anything but “a single drop in the bucket,” the materials she developed as part of the CDC response are still being used to educate and train people in Sierra Leone, “so hopefully the work that I did didn’t stop the moment I got on the airplane,” she says. Dynes has been interviewed widely about her five and a half weeks in Sierra Leone, and one of the most affecting stories she’s told is about a baby who was orphaned when its mother died of Ebola shortly after arriving at the clinic. Although the baby tested negative
Dynes works with the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to train nurses and other workers on proper use of personal protective equipment.
for the disease, the likelihood that it would develop the disease was quite high. The nurses kept the baby in a box in their presence, and they would quite naturally pick the baby up to comfort and care for it. Unfortunately, the baby eventually contracted Ebola and died, as did 12 of the nurses who cared for it. Only one nurse survived.
In fact, by the time Dynes arrived in the Kenema District, 20 nurses and all of the phlebotomists at the Kenema clinic—one of only two Ebola treatment centers in Sierra Leone at the time—had died.
Yet the healthcare staff continued to show up every day. “There are nurses who have been working in the center every day since the epidemic started,” Dynes recalls. “They’ve watched colleagues die, and yet they still come. Seeing that level of commitment and compassion was really inspiring. They’ve been there since the beginning and will continue to be there until the end.” Asked whether she had any anxiety about coming home and being in close quarters with her family, Dynes, who has three children with her husband, Travis Dynes ’98, admits, “It would be true to say that it crossed my mind, but when I got home, I hugged my husband and children right away. I understand the science behind it too well to be worried; the only way you can get someone sick with Ebola is if you’re symptomatic yourself.” About her return, Dynes says, “It’s really hard to watch the news these days. . . . It’s tough to see so much sensationalizing of what’s happening in the U.S. when the reality—not just the fears but the reality—of what’s happening in West Africa is so much worse.” She continues, “I think the main message I’m trying to share is for us not to forget that this is an ongoing outbreak in West Africa. While we have had these few cases in the U.S., the biggest issues are in West Africa, and we can’t completely turn our attention away from that. There are people on the ground there every day continuing to put their lives at risk.” —Kate Frentzel
Dynes uses a storytelling approach to train community health workers in Sierra Leone about Ebola transmission, stigma, and discrimination. Winter 2015 Luther Alumni Magazine
New students in 2014 include 62 children of alumni CONNECTICUT
Ellington Kathryn Roets, daughter of Jane (Vaaler) ’90 and Jeff Roets ’90 GEORGIA
Richmond Hill Sydney Scooler, daughter of Kiersten (Rovang) ’89 and Jim Scooler IOWA
Altoona Abigail Suhr, daughter of Jennifer (Lutz) ’92 and Matt Suhr ’90 Ames Zachary Withers, son of Jenifer and Jim Withers ’84 Bellevue Brook Anderson, son of Donna (Reinke) ’90 and Rick Anderson ’89 Bettendorf Brady Letney, son of Robin and Todd Letney ’87 Cedar Falls Savannah Hartman, daughter of Jennifer and Jeff Hartman ’90 Anna Strien, daughter of † Heidi (Larson) ’90 and Todd Strien ’88 Cresco Andrea Wilson, daughter of Julie (Schulz) ’88 and Bart Wilson Decorah Jenna Iverson, daughter of Kari (Waarvik) ’90 and Randy Iverson Annalise Johnson, daughter of Kerry (Kramer) ’83 and Kirk Johnson ’82 Moran Lonning, daughter of Kealy Connor Lonning and Greg Lonning ’83 Lukas Phillips, son of Lori (Butikofer) ’90 and Bradley Phillips
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Bryce Pierce, son of Lori (Phipps) ’87 and Scott Pierce ’88 Aidan Spencer, daughter of Randi Spencer-Berg ’87 and Matt Spencer ’95 Sean Trewin, son of Karen (Titus) ’92 and Pat Trewin ’92 Nicholas Vande Krol, son of Kris (Finholt) ’92 and Scott Vande Krol ’91 Faith Vilardo, daughter of Heather (Hurd) ’99 and Mark Vilardo Steffenee Voigt, daughter of Rebecca (Steffen) ’81 and Randy Voigt Des Moines McKenzie Carney, daughter of Susanne and Mike Carney ’85 Madeline Williams, daughter of Jo (Heims) ’85 and Mike Williams Dubuque Hannah Schatz, daughter of Lynette (Scheffert) ’90 and Brian Schatz ’90 Dysart Lexa Krug, daughter of Janene and Rick Krug ’77 Iowa City Devin Hedlund, daughter of Diane (Gruenhaupt) ’87 and Shawn Hedlund Nikhil Viraj Thacker, son of Tracy (Peterson) ’89 and Viraj Thacker ’92 Jefferson Kathryn Larson, daughter of Julie and Robert Larson ’85 Mason City Erik Floden, son of Linda and Thomas Floden ’82 Milo Hillary Gardner, daughter of Leslie (Hart) ’83 and Alan Gardner ’82 Newton Peder Hopkins, son of Sara (Andreasen) ’84 and Steve Hopkins ’84
West Des Moines Benjamin Grotnes, son of Julie (Gangstad) ’85 and Matt Grotnes ’86
Dodge Center Kate Blaisdell, daughter of Sue (Ellingson) ’88 and Paul Blaisdell ’86
Eden Prairie Mark Gasner, son of Kris (Ellingson) ’87 and Dan Gasner
Grayslake Jillian Hazlett, daughter of Kim (Bruce) ’86 and Jay Hazlett ’85 Port Byron Daniel Melaas-Swanson, son of † Barbara Melaas-Swanson ’82 and Wayne Melaas-Swanson Savanna Kathleen Woods, daughter of Suzanne (Roels) ’93 and Daniel Woods Tampico Mikaela Kovarik, daughter of Vicki Wright and Karl Kovarik ’87 MARYLAND
Sykesville Christian Schneider, son of Stephanie (Knutson) ’83 and Mark Schneider MINNESOTA
Andover Karl Nycklemoe, son of Kathie (Johnson) ’83 and Peter Nycklemoe Anoka Laura Christensen, daughter of Lisa and Scott Christensen ’78 Chaska Hannah Potter, daughter of Jodi (Brekke) ’81 and Peter Potter ’81 Dayton Laura Kalsow, daughter of Kari (Sherwood) ’86 and Walter Kalsow ’86 Delano Amanda Gielau, daughter of Cheryl (Christopher) ’86 and Bob Gielau ’86
Falcon Heights Anna Streeper, daughter of Laura Dotseth ’86 and Dave Larsen and Monica and Dan Streeper ’85, Roseville, Minn. Hutchinson Gannon Jordahl, son of Michelle (Marquardt) ’89 and Jim Jordahl Paxton Jordahl, son of Michelle (Marquardt) ’89 and Jim Jordahl Prior Lake Kalie Kampa, daughter of Heather (Schori) ’83 and Daryl Kampa St. Louis Park Kennedy Helberg, daughter of Kris (Stenson) ’91 and John Helberg ’93 Stewartville Jessica Rosenblad, daughter of Michele (Oulman) ’88 and Jerry Rosenblad Watertown Ethan Thonn, son of Emma (Oebser) ’90 and Vic Thonn ’88 TEXAS
Fort Worth Jared Barnes, son of Kathi (Sundet) ’83 and Raymond Daniel and David Barnes, Arlington, Texas WISCONSIN
Eau Claire Anna Holey, daughter of Karin Cooke and Roxanne Litchfield Holey and Eric Holey ’78, Eau Claire, Wis.
Hortonville Evangeline Hoff, daughter of Lisa (Schulz-Fincke) ’83 and Barry Hoff ’83 Janesville Hannah Haenel, daughter of Sarah (Quamme) ’94 and Lon Haenel Marshfield Matthew Brown, son of Jonel (Saracoff) ’87 and Todd Brown ’87 Mondovi Eli Bowe, son of Julie (Henriksen) Bowe ’84 and Aaron Bowe, Eau Claire, Wis. Monroe Madeline Knutson, daughter of Holly (Greedy) ’86 and Brian Knutson ’86 Onalaska Clara Knutson, daughter of Janette Hanson and Jim Knutson ’81, Onalaska, Wis. River Falls Hannah Tulgren, daughter of Heidi and Bob Tulgren ’90 Rothschild Anna Balk, daughter of Kari (Stoa) ’82 and Randy Balk ’79 Slinger Jacqueline Simays, daughter of Valerie (Peno) ’86 and Alan Simays Wauwatosa Averie Manke, daughter of Donna Gardner-Manke and Chris Manke ’89 WYOMING
Laramie John Crecca, son of Anne (Dilley) ’87 and Dave Crecca † deceased
Fortress Hohensalzburg, an 11th-century fortress complex in Salzburg, Austria, looms over the travelers who participated in the Austria Bike Adventure tour last summer led by Luisa and Peter Forsgren ’82.
Cycling tour provides authentic experiences of Austria On June 12, 2014, 19 Luther alumni and friends, ages 21 to 84, gathered in Vienna for an adventure of a lifetime. Many thanks to our hosts Peter Forsgren ’82, his lovely wife, Luisa, and their sons, Jonathan and Phillip, for putting together a wonderful tour and managing the logistics involved with such an undertaking. Upon gathering in Vienna, we headed out on an epic walking tour of the old city guided by Luther alumnus and resident historian Bruce Murray ’76. Our tour culminated with another epic of a sort: the Austrian delicacy of pig knuckle, dumplings, and sauerkraut in an underground keller. It was a unique meal for a unique group, but it signaled the start of an adventure for a group of people who arrived as strangers but who quickly bonded with one another with Luther College as their connection. After exploring Vienna the next morning, we took the train to Salzburg, where our bicycles awaited us. It was a “Visa priceless moment” to be riding our bikes through medieval Salzburg under a full moon after eating a wonderful meal in a 1,000-year-old monastery built into the base of the mountainside. While in Salzburg we also had time to explore via The Sound of Music Tour or by visiting Berchtesgaden (Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest). The next morning began our six days of bicycling back toward Vienna. Peter Forsgren was always up early scouting the route and leading the way. We rode primarily on the paved trails that are part of Austria’s extensive trail system. We rode through mountain valleys, farms, vineyards, and towns dating from medieval times and took our bikes on ferries, trains, elevators, and escalators. Wholly unplanned, we happened upon small village festivals, baptisms, quaint inns, and local market gatherings at which we were welcomed with open arms by the
Austrian people. Peter didn’t want the trip to be a “sightseeing tour” but rather an authentic Austrian experience, and our bicycling days proved to be just that. Throughout our trip we were blessed with near-perfect bicycling weather. Each evening as we gathered together for an incredible three-course dinner, we went around the table and shared the highlights of our day: blessings we will never forget. In the Salzkammergut region we overnighted in the towns of Unterach and Gmunden. It was easy to see how the beautiful, peaceful scenery of lakes and mountains inspired composers such as Johannes Brahms and artists such as Gustav Klimt. Beginning in Linz, we biked along the serene Danube River, where highlights included experiencing the Festival of Corpus Christi in Grein and touring an aweinspiring Benedictine monastery in Melk. The bicycling portion of the journey ended in Krems, where we caught the train back to Vienna. Back in Vienna (City of Music), we were able to spend a few more hours with our new friends, take in a few more sights, and reflect on the previous several days. It was evident for everyone that through our shared experiences, we grew not only as a group but also as individuals. On our last Sunday morning together, we soared with the angels as we experienced the music of a Schubert Mass in a majestic Jesuit church. Truly, it was the icing on the Sacher torte (Austrian cake). Tour participants included Sarah (Forsgren) Klein ’86, David Klein, Eva Forsgren, Bob Forsgren, Jim Herman ’70, Linda (Peterson) Herman ’75, Julie Stephens-Watson ’88, Michael Watson, Trudy A. Dahl ’90, Karen (Wilken) Braun ’85, Rick Roehrkasse ’69, Sylvia Ann-Caroline Davis, Lynn Black, Dave Hanson ’75, Charlotte Hanson, Nathan Straffon, and Fred Miller. —Trudy Dahl ’90 and Karen (Wilken) Braun ’85
Winter 2015 Luther Alumni Magazine
CLASS NOTES Class Notes as of Novmber 3. The deadline for Class Notes for the spring 2015 issue is March 13, 2015; alumni@ luther.edu.
book Big Bend’s Ancient and Modern Past. He is retired dean, School of Arts and Sciences, at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas, and professor emeritus of history at California State University–East Bay in Hayward, Calif.
RICHARD LIND of Green Valley, Ariz., was honored by Luther Seminary for 50 years of ministry.
1957 MARLYS (WILKENS)
LIEN received the 2014 Iowa Reading Association Celebrate Literacy Award. She is a retired teacher and owner of Once Upon a Time bookstore in Decorah.
1960 FRED ARNOLD recently
San Antonio, Texas, received the Liz Carpenter Award for Best Book in Women’s History, given by the Texas State Historical Association. His book, with Merline Pitre, is titled Southern Black Women in the Modern Civil Rights Movement. He, along with Robert Mallouf, also earned the Rupert Richardson Award for Best Book on West Texas History, for the
1961 TOM HAUGEN of
Decorah received the National Federation of State High School Association’s Outstanding Music Educator Award for the State of Iowa at the Iowa All-State Concert in Ames in November 2014.
PHOTO COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF INDIANA
retired in Caledonia, Iowa. After buying a golf membership, he shot a 51 at Ma Cal Grove Country Club.
1962 BRUCE GLASRUD of
Indiana University honors George Kuh ’68 George Kuh ’68 (above left) received the President’s Medal for Excellence from Indiana University president Michael A. McRobbie at the 2014 Academic Excellence Reception and Dinner at Alumni Hall in the Indiana Memorial Union. The annual event honors Indiana University faculty members who have received prestigious awards or been named to academic honor organizations. Kuh is Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus in the School of Education and director of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment. He
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is widely known as a scholar of student engagement and institutional quality in higher education. The President’s Medal for Excellence is the highest honor an IU president can bestow. First presented in 1985, it is awarded to those who have distinguished themselves in academia or public service. Kuh joined the Indiana University faculty in 1976 and created and taught many courses in the Higher Education and Student Affairs Program in the School of Education. He directed 55 doctoral dissertations
and served as a mentor to many more graduate students. His former students are now among the leading higher education and student affairs professionals and researchers in the nation. “Professor Kuh is widely known as one of the world’s leading scholars of high-impact educational practices and student engagement,” McRobbie said. “For nearly 40 years, he has played a major role in helping to shape research and scholarship in the field of higher education and student affairs. He has rightly been called a towering figure who launched the field of assessment in institutional quality.” Kuh is the author of highly influential texts used in higher education and student affairs programs around the world. As founding director of the National Survey of Student Engagement, he established a system for measuring students’ participation in activities that encourage academic and personal development, providing students, parents, and others with important information about college quality. He also directed and continues to advise the Strategic National Arts Alumni
1965 JOHN ENGEBRETSON is facilities manager for Home State Bank in Crystal Lake, Ill.
1966 LOIS V.T. BISHOP is the
principal of Bahrain Bayan School in Isa Town, Bahrain.
WARREN LUCKNER is a retired actuary and emeritus professor at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.
Project, the first in-depth survey to investigate the educational experiences and career paths of arts graduates. Kuh also founded IU’s Center for Postsecondary Research, which conducts research spanning a wide variety of areas, and his leadership helped make the center one of the major research operations in higher education. His contributions have been recognized by several national organizations, and he received IU’s Tracy M. Sonneborn Award for distinguished teaching and research in 2001. The annual Academic Excellence Reception and Dinner celebrates IU faculty who have reached the pinnacle of academic achievement by being named fellows of one of the major national or international scholarly academies, or who have received Pulitzer or Nobel prizes, Guggenheim Awards, MacArthur Awards, or major awards in the performing arts, such as Grammy or Emmy awards. The President’s Medal for Excellence is a reproduction in silver of the symbolic jewel of office worn by IU’s president at ceremonial occasions.
1969 DAVID ELLINGSON
has published the book Biblical Wisdom for a Digital Age. For the book, he selected 50 biblical “sound bites” (passages) with key Christian themes, wrote short reflections, and developed learning activities for families, teens, and adults. He says the book is useful for personal/family devotions, classes, small groups, and retreats.
Md. As the college’s first tenured African American professor, he was an expert in political theory, American political behavior, and the judicial process. He advised students who participated in the Model UN program held at Harvard and served as the pre-law adviser. Neal was an officer on the board of the National Pre-Law Association, and his close work with students enabled alumni acceptance into the top law schools in the country. He intends to move to Jacksonville, Fla., and develop a Constitution law textbook with friends who are also retired professors. STAN NELSON of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, retired from Royal Bank of Canada.
CHARLES NEAL received emeritus status after retiring from his 35-year position as political science and international studies professor for McDaniel College in Westminster,
MARIE (HAGENE) QUANBECK retired from Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Newton, Iowa.
Lee ’87 and Hubbard ’68 publishing new computer science texts Kent Lee ’87, Luther professor of computer science, recently completed a textbook, Foundations of Programming Languages, which will be published by Springer early this year. The textbook employs a newly created framework for teaching programming languages (an area of computer science). Lee will also present a paper at the 2015 meeting of the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education on this same framework. The paper is titled “A Framework for Teaching Programming Languages.” Lee also recently published a second edition of his textbook Python Programming Fundamentals, published by Springer. The second edition will be available early this year. Steve Hubbard ’68, Luther professor of mathematics, and Lee recently completed a text, Data Structures and Algorithms with Python, which will be also published early this year. The textbook includes material taught in both the introductory level and advanced data structures and algorithms courses and is the culmination of a three-year collaboration between Hubbard and Lee.
Jeanie Lovell with Bob and Becky (Linnevold) Shaw ’71.
EVAN SOWDER ’15
Shaws, Lovell recognized for volunteerism and their work with charitable giving Becky (Linnevold) ’71 and Bob Shaw received the 2014 Outstanding Volunteer Fundraisers Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Central Iowa Chapter, in November. Jeanie Lovell, Luther director of corporate and foundation relations and campaign codirector, received the Outstanding Professional Fundraiser Award from AFP’s Upper Mississippi Valley Chapter. The Shaws were recognized for their work with Children and Families of Iowa, Des Moines Area Religious Council, Des Moines Symphony, Family Promise of Greater Des Moines, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, and Luther College. At Luther, the couple has served in volunteer leadership roles such as Becky’s tenure on the Board of Regents and her service on the Outreach and Gifts Committee, their work on the Higher Calling Campaign and the Sesquicentennial Fund Campaign, and their participation in Presidentsråd. The couple also led the Des Moines Symphony’s 75th` Anniversary Campaign cabinet—for which Becky also helped recruit members—and have each served on the Symphony Association Board of Trustees. Currently, they are on the Campaign Steering Committee for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Always Being Made New, a $188 million five-year campaign to celebrate the ELCA’s 25-year anniversary. Serving in Luther’s Development Office for 22 years, Lovell has worked on more than 500 grant proposals generating more than $23 million. She was instrumental in helping secure some of the largest grants in Luther history, including awards from Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Lilly Endowment, and the F.W. Olin Foundation. As campaign codirector, Lovell helps to lead Luther’s comprehensive campaign efforts, from planning and strategy through implementation and evaluation. In 2004, she founded the Women, Faith, and Finance initiative at Luther, a collaborative women’s philanthropy program.
Winter 2015 Luther Alumni Magazine
1971 ROBERTA (ROLLAND)
ROSHEIM of Maquoketa, Iowa, was inducted into the Jackson County Democrats Hall of Fame for 35 years of hard work for the party.
A group of Luther alumni and friends got together in Joliet, Ill., last summer for a weekend of golfing and relaxing. From left: BARBARA (ERICKSON) DODD ’67, RON DODD ’64, Jim Silverhaus, Marilyn Larson, Lois Finanger, and KENT FINANGER ’54.
1973 CARL HOMSTAD was
the grand marshal for Decorah’s 48th annual Nordic Fest Parade.
that will help enable indigenous peoples living in the three rainforest basins of the world to better protect and promote their interests. He also serves as governor of the Asian Development Bank, the African Development Bank, and the Inter American Development Bank and as deputy governor of the World Bank.
1974 DEBORA (HILL)
ALDRICH earned a doctorate from the Language, Literature, and Culture Program at the University of Iowa. Her dissertation detailed a qualitative multiyear study of three high school writers and their teachers, contextualizing their writing and teaching in contemporary professional discourse. She began her 40th year in education and teaches ninth grade and AP literature at Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She is also an adjunct instructor at the University of Iowa, where she teaches secondary reading methods.
Luther alumni enjoyed a chance reunion at Groveland Gallery in Minneapolis last summer. As part of its summer program, the gallery offers artist demonstrations on its front porch. On July 12 two of the gallery’s most popular and prominent artists spent the afternoon on the porch: LARRY WELO ’74 shared his etching techniques, and TOM MAAKESTAD’ 80 worked on a landscape painting. Gallery staff intern JAYNE COLE ’14 was on hand to assist the artists and the visitors to the gallery.
LARRY WELO of Mount Horeb, Wis., displayed some of his etchings and drawings at Luther in the upper level of the Center for Faith and Life last fall.
1976 GERI (GRIMM) DIRTH
PHOTO COURTESY OF OZ TWEDT
was recognized by the Minnesota High School Coaches Association for her tireless devotion to the Apple Valley School District.
OZ TWEDT ’67, MARK REINSMOEN ’67, and Mark’s son, MATT REINSMOEN ’88 completed a 12-day cycling trip last year covering 1,200 miles from Tromso to Oslo, Norway, sporting Luther blue and white.
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CHARLES PIETSCHER of Keokuk, Iowa, was awarded the Iowa Governor’s Volunteer Award in June. He was nominated by the Iowa Child Advocacy Board for his work on the Lee County Foster Care Review Board.
1979 HANS BRATTSKAR is
state secretary (deputy minister) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway. Last fall, at the annual Equator Prize in New York’s Lincoln Center, he presented a new Norwegian program of $100 million
CHRIS CUDWORTH of Batavia, Ill., published The Right Kind of Pride: A Chronicle of Character, Caregiving, and Community. The book chronicles his and his wife’s journey through her cancer and how family, friends, and faith made miracles happen along the way. SCOTT JOHNSON is general manager of Skype Enterprise Engineering for Microsoft Corporation in Redmond, Wash. ROBYN SAND ANDERSON was a featured artist in the event “Can These Bones Live?”: Visual and Poetic Meditations on Life, Death, and Resurrection on Oct. 25, 2014, at Luther Seminary’s Olson Campus Center in St. Paul, Minn. DIANE (BROWN) SOLIE teaches fourth grade at Wilson Elementary School in Owatonna, Minn. CAROL TOMER was a contributor of the prayers, reflections, and photos contained in the commemorative booklet and CD Tenth Anniversary of Nordic Contemplative Evening Prayer, produced for Pilgrim Lutheran Church in St. Paul, Minn., where she is lead pastor.
1980 PRISCILLA (MONSON) and MITCH ABRAHAM ’81 live in Mooresville, N.C. She earned North
Carolina certification for Teacher of Visually Impaired and teaches the visually impaired for the Mooresville Graded School District. He is construction manager for RL West. CAROLE (ENGELHART) SAND teaches middle school talented and gifted for the Decorah School District.
KRIS OHM teaches at Katy (Texas) ISD’s Alexander Elementary School. DAVID PAPRITZ is chief financial officer and senior vice president of corporate development for First Business Financial Services Inc. in Madison, Wis.
1981 JIM DUNN is commercial business manager for ADM Alliance Nutrition in New Hampton, Iowa.
JEFF NESTA is a physician at Ripon (Wis.) Medical Center and is performing for his second season with Milwaukee’s prestigious Bel Canto Chorus.
1982 JOHN BERKELAND is
reader’s advisory librarian for Texas Talking Book Program in Austin. SCOTT HIBBARD is an emergency room physician’s assistant for Eastside Emergency Physicians in Redmond, Wash.
1983 JON NOWLAND is
editor for SAP America in La Crosse, Wis. JIM NUSSLE was named president and chief operating officer of the Credit Union National Association in Washington, D.C. KATE (NELSON) RATTENBORG was noted by Publishers Weekly for her promotion of the book My Family and Other Hazards by June Melby of Decorah. The article on publishersweekly.com stated, “about 25 percent of the sales of a Holt memoir by a debut author have been in Iowa’s bookstores, due to the heroic efforts of Decorah bookseller, Kate Rattenborg.”
Harder family members make service trips to Honduras This summer, the Harder family of Spring Valley, Minn., embarked on a service trip to the Honduras—approximately the 10th for Steve Harder ’84 and the eighth for Denae (Erdman) Harder ’87 to that country over the past decade and a half. Steve, a physician, made the first trip with a volunteer medical/dental team in 1999, a year after Hurricane Mitch devastated the country, killing thousands and leaving more than a million people homeless. Denae joined him in 2001, and last summer their children Trent ’15, Jacob, and Rachel joined their parents. A frequent participant of the trips is Andrew Terry ’04, an emergency physician whose wife’s parents live in the Honduras.
KNUTE ROTTO is CEO for ValueOptions Inc. in Rocky Hill, Conn. He is also a senior associate with Open Minds and a national consultant with Rotto Consulting. AMY (TANK) SMITH is executive director of the Mason G. Smoak Foundation in Lake Placid, Fla.
1985 RONDA ANDERSON
SAND is director of the State Theatre for the Zumbrota Area Arts Council. She and others are working to renovate and revitalize the historic Zumbrota State Theatre, which dates back to 1921. CRAIG DAIKEN NELSON received Dharma Transmission in the Soto and Zen Peacemaker Orders and is now Sensei and authorized teacher in New York, N.Y.
STEVE HARDER ’84 treats patients in a makeshift Honduran clinic; his interpreter is 17-year-old Keren Guevara (right). DENAE (ERDMAN) HARDER ’87 says, “Chairs are placed in a circle to make an ‘exam room’ even though all the doctors are in the same room with all the people waiting, as well as the pharmacy. It can get to be rather chaotic!”
BURTON DAVIS is sales coordinator for Hutchison Lumber in Manchester, Iowa.
1984 STEVE BERG is a
KURT GOMER is director of food and beverage for the Coeur d’ Alene Casino and Resort and Hotel in Worley, Idaho. DAN KUESTER of Urbandale, Iowa, is a marketing consultant for Atlantabased Cumulus Media.
SHERRY (SEEGER) RUSSELL earned a nurse practitioner doctorate degree in psychiatric mental health nursing from University of Michigan School of Nursing. She is clinical director and nurse practitioner at NorServ Group in St. Clair, Mich.
SAM JONES ’14
freelance writer in Philadelphia. Two of his articles were published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, one about funerals and green burials, the other about his son’s adoption.
Three generations of Luther class rings gathered around one table when father and WALDEMAR SUNDET ’58, daughters MARY (SUNDET) JONES ’81 and HEIDI SUNDET ’85, and grandson SAM JONES ’14 took this photo.
Winter 2015 Luther Alumni Magazine
At the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Chris Carron ’84 and staff are showing kids how important museums can be Chris Carron ’84 oversees the object collection of the largest children’s museum in the world. But if you think he plays with toy trains all day, think again. MANAGING A WIDELY SKILLED STAFF
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis has 120,000 specimens and artifacts in its collection. As director of collections, Carron and his staff of 20, which includes paleontologists, archaeologists, historians, curators, conservators, archivists, and collection managers, are the people who manage it. They decide which objects to use in which exhibits and how visitors might use them in meaningful ways. They determine how to make an exhibit safe for an object, which includes accounting for temperature, humidity, light levels, and whether the object can be touched or not. If the museum doesn’t have the objects it needs, Carron’s
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staff makes a plan to acquire or borrow something, which means putting together a loan contract, calculating loan fees, arranging for transport, and ensuring that they have proper records. This is all in addition to maintaining careful storage of the vast collection itself. The collection includes such diverse items as dinosaur bones, cat mummies, Barbie dolls, and original Hollywood props, like the Bumblebee character from the Transformers movie. “We use things that are exciting, engaging, and really inspire family learning,” Carron says. “Since we’re a children’s museum, we realize that for a lot of visitors, this is their first-ever experience in a museum, so we’re setting a standard for them for what museums can be in their lives for the rest of their lives. And we do a lot of that through the things we collect and borrow to use in our exhibits.” It’s not typical for a children’s museum to use real artifacts in their exhibits, Carron says. Only a few in the country do, and of these,
the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is the largest. In fact, it’s the largest children’s museum in the world and consistently one of the top 20 most visited museums in the country, with more than one million visitors per year. COLLECTING THE RIGHT STUFF
Growing and refining the collection is a constant process. When the museum decides to launch a new exhibit, Carron’s department assesses whether they have what they need to do it justice. If not, they acquire things. Sometimes this means extensive travel, such as for an exhibit called “Take Me There: China,” which explores what life is like for a family in contemporary China. Carron traveled throughout China with a group of museum staff and board members—and a long shopping list. He had to acquire everything from the foldout safety brochure in the back of the airplane seat to traditional Chinese opera costumes. He went there with an empty
PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF INDIANAPOLIS
suitcase but ended up shipping dozens of boxes back from his hotels in Xi’an, Chengdu, and Shanghai. Occasionally, shipping can be a challenge— for instance, when transporting a giant 65-million-year-old skeleton. The children’s museum has a contract with a South Dakota ranch where the staff paleontologists dig for dinosaur bones (families and teachers also go on the digs). When they find a bone in the side of a bluff, they dig around it, then pour plaster over it so that when they remove it, the plaster will keep it intact. The fossils recovered in this way are then transported (with their plaster jackets on) back to the paleontology lab in Indianapolis, where the jacket is removed and the bones are cleaned and consolidated before being displayed. Sometimes, when acquiring or purchasing isn’t an option, the museum borrows things from other institutions. This was the case, on a mammoth scale, with an ambitious borrowing that allowed the museum to exhibit 2,200-yearold terra-cotta warrior statues and other artifacts from 13 different institutions in China. It was the first time since they were discovered 40 years ago that the statues, each of which weighs hundreds of pounds and is extremely fragile, had been displayed at a children’s museum, and it required extensive international cooperation. (Opposite) Carron conducts a behind-the-scenes tour of natural science and paleontology collections storage. (Above) The blockbuster exhibition “Terra Cotta Warriors: The Emperor’s Painted Army” was presented by the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis in 2014.
The collection at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis includes an operational 1917 full-size carousel, the cape worn by Christopher Reeves as Superman, the drum carried by the youngest drummer in the Civil War, a geologic specimen that’s four billion years old, a new species of dinosaur that museum audiences helped to name Dracorex hogwartsia in honor of a certain popular book series, an antique suit of Samurai armor, and at least 119,994 other objects.
Winter 2015 Luther Alumni Magazine
(Below) The natural science and paleontology collections storage at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. (Right) Carron engages with visitors and staff at the window of the museum’s working paleontology prep lab.
Understanding how to view the world through different disciplines but then make them enjoyable and fascinating and accessible to a general audience . . . that has really been key in my career.” To pull off the loan, Carron sent several staff to China, where they worked with their counterparts from Chinese museums to gather all the artifacts at a central location, condition-report each one, oversee their packing, and literally travel with them from Xian to Shanghai to Chicago to Indianapolis. Then the Chinese curators and conservators came to Indianapolis and went through the process in reverse, unpacking, condition-reporting, and participating in the installation. “When we’re talking about the movement of some of the world’s greatest treasures,” Carron says, “it’s a long and careful project.” HARNESSING SUPERHEROS
“We always try to start with something that is familiar to our audiences and then move beyond that to teach them something they don’t know,” Carron says. So when he was acting as project manager for an exhibit last year on superheroes, he wanted to transcend the characters of 20th- and 21st-century pop culture to include figures from ancient Egypt and mythology and world cultures. “The message we wanted to tell was that in virtually every culture through time, people have made up amazing stories of heroes and villains who have superpowers,” Carron says. “People came in thinking they knew what they were going to see, but then we provided more than they expected.”
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One component of the exhibit was a digital engagement project that could be experienced anywhere via the Internet. The exhibit opened during college basketball’s March Madness, so in a fun parallel, Carron’s team devised a superhero bracket. They focused on 32 characters and created matchups. People could vote online or onsite at the exhibit for who they thought would win each “epic battle of powers,” according to Carron. Through the period of the exhibit, the museum received more than half a million votes (surprisingly, Batman—who, let’s be honest, has no inherent superhuman powers—won). In preparation for a future exhibit on space, Carron is working with former astronaut David Wolf to get a sense of what the exhibit should include. What evolves from going straight to the source, Carron says, is a real sense of narrative. “If you’re going to be up in the space station and half of you speak English and half of you speak Russian, you probably need a Russian dictionary. And if you’re in a weightless environment, you probably need a Russian dictionary that has some Velcro on it to stick to the wall. Suddenly that becomes an object that really tells a story. It’s not just a dictionary—it’s a way to communicate with these people you’re living with for months in a weightless environment. We always look for opportunities to learn from the source about how to use objects that tell a story.”
USING THE LIBERAL ARTS
Carron—who grew up visiting museums frequently and knew from an early age that he wanted to work in one—chose to attend Luther in large part because of its program in museum studies, a rarity at the undergraduate level, especially in the 1980s. And while a job like Carron’s requires specialized training— Carron holds a master’s in historical administration—he swears that he uses his Luther education constantly. “In a museum,” he says, “we tend to just take for granted that everyone sees the world in a very multidisciplinary way. In every exhibit we do, we’re combining skills in art and accounting and spatial design and history and communication, and they’re all rolled into these learning experiences. And for some people, that’s not what they do intuitively, but at a place like Luther, from day one when you start out in a class like Paideia, it’s very natural to view the world that way.” He continues, “That kind of learning made it easy to step into a position where one project I’m doing might be on telling stories about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, while at the same time I’m working with a panel of theologians who are helping us do an exhibition about religions of the world. And understanding how to view the world through different disciplines but then make them enjoyable and fascinating and accessible to a general audience . . . that has really been key in my career.” —Kate Frentzel
He is production manager for ACH Foods. KRIS FERKIN is senior pastor at Shepherd of the Lakes Lutheran Church in Grayslake, Ill.
1988 CALLISTA (BISEK)
JOY SCHROEDER published Deborah’s Daughters: Gender Politics and Biblical Interpretation through Oxford University Press. The book deals with how Christians and Jews have interpreted the story of the biblical prophet Deborah. Schroeder is Bergener Professor of Theology and Religion at Trinity Lutheran Seminary and Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.
GINGRICH released From Sea to Shining Sea, the fourth volume in her New York Times best-selling children’s series. MARCO RANIOLO is managing director CMA CGM Greece for Athens Port Offices.
JULIA WHARFF PIERMONT is senior pastor for Worthington (Ohio) Presbyterian Church, one of the state’s largest Presbyterian churches.
SCOTT LIEN developed grandPad, a table computer targeted toward seniors. He and his son developed it after seeing their older relatives struggling with video calls. The device includes Internet, music, and telephone/video calls and is easily operable.
1989 TOD BOWMAN of
1986 CRAIG ROBLEY is
MARK VASSALLO is senior business analyst for Kane in Zebbug, Malta.
BETH (KRUEGER) CARPENTER is director of Kimberly–Little Chute (Wis.) Public Library.
district sales manager for Dex One in Maple Grove, Minn.
LORI (FRETHEIM) YUNKER is a realtor for Roger Fazendin Realtors in Wayzata, Minn.
1987 LAURIE (NELSON)
and JIM BIEDERMANN ’85 live in Ankeny, Iowa. She is director of music for St. Paul Lutheran Church.
Maquoketa, Iowa, was reelected to serve as a state senator for the 29th District of Iowa.
ANDREA DOEDEN was ordained by Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and is pastor at Zion’s Lutheran Church in Trinidad, Colo. She is also a gynecologist for Mount San Rafael Hospital.
LIZ (LEE) HEINECKE published a book, Kitchen Science Lab for Kids, that suggests dozens of family-friendly science experiments that kids and parents can do together using everyday ingredients. She also has a blog, Kitchenpantryscientist.com, with additional ideas. TOM KRAABEL is vice president of human resources–Asia Pacific for Pall Corporation in Singapore. MICHELLE (WEBER) SCHMITT is human resources manager for Wells Fargo in West Des Moines, Iowa.
1990 JEN (BIRGERSON)
BOETTGER of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is a member of the board of directors for Theatre Cedar Rapids and associate producer for the Cedar Rapids Follies. CURT HANSEN is senior business analyst at CliftonLarsonAllen in Minneapolis.
1991 JOHN HOLZL is Illinois division sales representative for Ozinga Bros. in Chicago.
PHOTO COURTESY OF JILL OSIER
Jill Osier ’96 receives poetry honors
Jill Osier ’96 reads at McNally Jackson Books in Manhattan.
Jill Osier is the 2014–15 George Bennett Fellow and writer-inresidence at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, N.H. The fellowship is intended to provide an individual the time and support to pursue his or her writing projects. As the Bennett Fellow, Osier will also give two readings of her work and be available to students interested in writing. In May 2014, Osier was named a recipient of a 2014 Individual Artist Award from Alaska’s Rasmuson Foundation. The foundation “honors the merit and significance of a life dedicated to serious artistic exploration and growth” by funding an artist’s work at an important time in his or her career. Osier was also honored as a poet with Poets & Writers’ 2013 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award. She traveled to New York to meet with members of the NYC literary community and give a reading at McNally Jackson. She also received an honorarium and a writing residency at the Jentel Artist Residency Center in Wyoming. Osier’s work appears widely in journals and in two poetry chapbooks: Bedful of Nebraskas (2012) and Should Our Undoing Come Down Upon Us White (2013), winner of the Frost Place Chapbook Award. She holds an M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
1992 KARA (SKATRUD)
BAYLOR was formally installed as Carthage College campus pastor in the Siebert Chapel in Kenosha, Wis. STEVE DIXEN teaches eighth-grade pre-algebra and was named Teacher of the Week at Knox Junior High in The Woodlands, Texas. KEITH KNAUTZ is director of parks, recreation, and facilities for the Village of Glendale Heights, Ill. AMY MITCHELL earned a master’s degree in addiction counseling from Hazelden Graduate School of Addictions and a master life coach certification from Learning Journeys International Center of Coaching. She owns Amy Mitchell Coaching LLC in St. Louis Park, Minn., which helps families and individuals cope during times when change may feel overwhelming.
Winter 2015 Luther Alumni Magazine
SHARI (JULSON) SEIDL is operations manager for the Nielsen Company in Green Bay, Wis.
1993 ERIK BEGUIN is founder, president, and CEO of Austin Capital Bank SSB in Austin, Texas. STEVEN OLSON is IT network manager for Highland Bank in St. Michael, Minn. ANJIE SHUTTS was selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2015 and Great Plains Super Lawyers 2014. She is an attorney and partner at Whitfield and Eddy PLC in Des Moines, Iowa.
1994 NATHAN BOERSMA is communications leader for Alcoa in Pittsburgh.
HEATHER CLEFISCH is division general counsel–global batteries and appliances, division vice president, and assistant general counsel for Spectrum Brands in Madison, Wis.
ALISA (PRANTNER) PONTARELLI earned an associate’s degree in nursing from Harper College. She is an inpatient registered nurse for Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care in Des Plaines, Ill.
SARAH (RUBLE) SLADEK provides advice on how to engage Generation Y in her book Knowing Y: Engage the Next Generation Now. The book offers insight on how this generation will wield tremendous influence on society and why they need to be incorporated into organizations. She is a writer for ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership in Minneapolis. SARAH TOBIASON is assistant elementary principal for EddyvilleBlakesburg–Fremont (Iowa) Community School District.
1996 JOSH BYRNES of Osage, Iowa, was reelected to serve as a state representative for Iowa House District 51.
1997 BRETT BOSTRACK
earned an M.B.A. degree from Concordia University–Wisconsin and is regional vice president for DentaQuest in Milwaukee.
OVER THE TOP PHOTOGRAPHY
AMY (GRAHAM) NEWELL is interim executive director at The Arc of Winnebago, Boone, and Ogle (Ill.) Counties.
SEAN TARPENNING ’96, a dentist in Eau Claire, Wis., participated in the sixth annual Dancing with the Eau Claire Stars event on Sept. 12, 2014, to raise money for the Eau Claire Children’s Theatre. The event raised more than $34,000 this year. Other Luther alumni who participated were JONATHAN LUECK ’11, director of vocal music for the Altoona (Wis.) school district, and LUKAS ANTHONY ENGRAV HOFFLAND ’00, director of listener engagement for Mid-West Family Broadcasting. Tarpenning says he put in six weeks of training with his professional dance partner, Rachel McIlquham, to learn two routines. He has served as an adjunct fixed prosthodontics instructor at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry and has twice been the president of the Chippewa Valley Dental Society. He is shown with dance partner McIlquham.
1998 MEGAN (SHELSTAD)
DAHL is account executive for Caliber Home Loans in Maple Grove, Minn. PETER KOWITZ earned a master of divinity degree from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. He is pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church and Immanuel Lutheran Church in Proctor, Minn. SCOTT KUNCE graduated from University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and is a third-year psychiatry resident at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. KATIE SNOW is a behavioral health provider for Women’s Health Associates/Lifeworks Northwest in Hillsboro, Ore.
HEIDI (FROSTESTAD) KUEHL is director of the law library and associate professor for Northern Illinois University.
Kai, daughter of MATT REBRO ’94, shows some Norse love with a Luther foam hand given to the family by DOUG NELSON ’82, Luther senior gift planning officer.
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MARK SCHMID is executive pastor for St. Philip the Deacon Lutheran Church in Plymouth, Minn.
1999 KATE (STARZ) and
NATHAN BOONSTRA live in Urbandale, Iowa. She is parenteducator connection at Heartland Area Education Agency. He is a pediatrician at Blank Children’s Hospital and was awarded the CDC Childhood Immunization Award 2014 for Iowa.
JAKE EASTMAN is an ESL instructor for Academy of Art University in San Francisco. DANIELLE (ASKELSON) LAYBOURN is an administrative assistant for the Decorah Community Schools. ERIN (KRUGER) STEWART is a real estate agent for Iowa Realty in West Des Moines. MATT WILLIAMS is an associate pastor at Calvary Lutheran Church in Willmar, Minn., specializing in children, youth, and family ministries.
2000 NORAH BRINGER and DAVE WAKE live in Washington, D.C. She serves as the clearance counsel in the White House Counsel’s Office on temporary assignment from her permanent job at the Department of Justice. He is a senior associate at WilmerHale. BETH BROGAARD-ALLEN is country director in Burundi for Population Services International in Washington, D.C.
Alumni News Nominate alumni for honors Luther is seeking nominations for Distinguished Service Awards, Athletic Hall of Fame induction, Young Alumni Awards, and Spirit of Luther Awards. Please consider the following criteria when nominating individuals for these honors. Distinguished Service Award
Criteria to consider for DSA candidates include meritorious service to society in areas such as education, government, the arts, business, church, labor, industry, agriculture, research, medicine, and community affairs; loyalty and service to Luther; fidelity to the ideals of Luther; and timeliness of the award. Though individuals nominated for DSAs typically have a strong Luther connection, they do not have to be alumni. Alumni recipients should have graduated at least 20 years ago; they typically receive the award at Homecoming during an anniversary year of their graduation. For the fall of 2015, for example, Luther is seeking nominees from classes ending in a 0 or 5. Athletic Hall of Fame
Individuals nominated for the Athletic Hall of Fame must have been outstanding athletes or
coaches at Luther; have demonstrated strong contributions to family, community, and career; and have graduated from college at least 10 years prior to the induction year. Nominees may be living or dead. Luther also considers additional factors, such as the nominee’s service to Luther and service to athletics after graduation. Inductees are typically honored at Homecoming during an anniversary year of their graduation. For the fall of 2015, for example, Luther is seeking nominees from classes ending in a 0 or 5. Young Alumni Award
The Young Alumni Award recognizes Luther alumni who have graduated in the last 15 years for outstanding achievement in their vocation or avocation. Criteria considered for award candidates include early significant professional achievement, demonstrated leadership abilities, and distinctive service to Luther or society-at-large. Nominees’ lives should exemplify the college mission statement. Award nominations are received by the Luther Alumni Office; recipients are selected by the Alumni Council. The award is given at commencement each spring.
Spirit of Luther Award
The Spirit of Luther Award recognizes individuals who have provided significant, sustained service to the college. Nominees should be persons who have demonstrated a personal commitment to Luther’s mission, quality, and character. Current faculty and staff are not eligible. A maximum of three awards are given each year. To submit nominations
Send DSA and Spirit of Luther Award nominations with as much supporting documentation as possible to the Office of the President, Luther College, 700 College Drive, Decorah, IA 52101; email email@example.com, phone (563) 387-1001. Please submit your Athletic Hall of Fame nominations with supporting documentation to Dave Blanchard, sports information director, Luther College, 700 College Drive, Decorah, IA 52101; email blanchda@luther. edu, phone (563) 387-1586. Please submit your Young Alumni Award nominations with supporting documentation to Kirk Johnson ’82, associate director of alumni relations, Luther College, 700 College Drive, Decorah, IA 52101; email johnsonk@ luther.edu, phone (563) 387-1659.
Your Gift. Every Year. Put to work right away, where it is needed most. givenow.luther.edu
Winter 2015 Luther Alumni Magazine
Architect Sarika Bajoria ’99 builds successful company and career “I’ve always been adventurous,” says award-winning architect Sarika Bajoria ’99 of her decision to leave her closeknit family in Calcutta, India, and fly halfway around the world to enroll at Luther in 1995. “Decorah was a big culture shock,” she says, “but living there allowed me to grow immensely by pushing me way beyond my comfort zone.” Bajoria flourished during her four years on campus, so successfully completing a triple major in art, mathematics, and physics that she earned admission to the master’s degree program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design upon graduation in 1999. “My studies at Luther helped me approach my graduate studies in architecture from a very multidisciplinary approach,” she says. “Most architects don’t take that route, but it has worked out very well for me.” Today Bajoria is principal of Per-forma Studio (soon to be renamed as Sarika Bajoria Studio), an architecture and design firm she launched in 2005 while also logging long hours as a senior architectural designer at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill in New York and director of Architecture for Humanity NY Chapter (AFHNY). “I spent nights and weekends on Per-forma projects, entering various design competitions, and on AFHNY pro bono projects,” she recalls. Winning a competition for a large project in her native India gave Bajoria the confidence she needed to “take a leap of faith” and make Per-forma Studio her sole professional endeavor in 2010. In the four years since, Bajoria has continued to make a name for herself in the world of architecture and design. In 2013 she was featured on the cover of Engineering News Record, which also honored her as one of its “Top 20 under 40” winners that same year. In 2014 she graced the cover of Building Design+Construction’s April issue as one of its “Top 40 under 40” honorees. While the accolades are nice, Bajoria doesn’t measure success by the number of projects she lands or the number of honors she accrues. Instead, she says, “Success for me is loving what I do and not wanting to do anything else—I’m always profoundly optimistic and look at the possibilities in a situation rather than the setbacks and limitations.” Stress, of course, comes with the territory of overseeing projects around the world, but Bajoria long ago found an effective way to manage that stress and continually find the positive. “I practice meditation every day, even if only for five to 10 minutes,” she says. “The power of the mind is huge in maintaining a healthy outlook on life.”
Luther Alumni Magazine
PHILIP BUBB is an attorney and litigator at Fredrickson & Byron in Des Moines, Iowa. SARA (DONHOWE) GOLDBERG is development officer-major gifts for Handicap International in Takoma Park, Md.
JENNIFER (LINDEMANN) HOEFER is a learning specialist in organization development and learning at Children’s Hospitals & Clinics of Minnesota in St. Paul.
JEN (SHAW) and JASON STEWARD live in Davenport, Iowa. She works in admissions at Palmer College of Chiropractic. He is vice president of finance for HNI Corporation.
2001 BEN BARCLAY earned a
master’s degree in English literature from Winona State University. He teaches English at St. Charles (Minn.) High School.
LES HOLLINGSWORTH was named assistant dean for the University of Wisconsin–Platteville College of Business, Industry, Life Science, and Agriculture.
ERICA BREWSTER is director of the Edward U. Demmer Memorial Library in Three Lakes, Wis.
CHRIS KNUTSON is staff development scientist for Beckman Coulter in Chaska, Minn. YULIYA MAKSIMOVAMARCUSON earned a Certified Business Analysis Professional designation from the International Institute of Business Analysis. She is business analysis practice lead at Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa in West Des Moines.
NICK BURDICK is music director at Ernest Righetti High School in Santa Maria, Fla.
MEGHANN OVRE-KRIESEL is office manager for Nanocopoeia in St. Paul, Minn.
The first Leave No Veteran Behind Investment Forum celebrating the five-year anniversary was attended by over 140 guests, including sponsors, donors, board members, government officials, LNVB program participants, and LNVB staff. Director of operations and cofounder ROY SARTIN ’02 (center) introduced two program participants who received scholarships. The title sponsor for the event, Chive Charities, gave $50,000 to the organization. Above: Ray and ELI WILLIAMSON ’02 (right) presented MAYNARD ANDERSON ’54 the first Community Builder Award for LNVB.
Making progress in social justice: Sarah Tofte ’99 fights to trim backlog of untested rape kits “Over the years I’ve been doing this,” says Sarah Tofte ’99, “there have been many more moments of being moved and inspired than moments of disappointment and despair.” The Iowa native turned New Yorker is referring to her work as vice president of policy and advocacy at the Joyful Heart Foundation, dedicated to ending sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse. Her focus there is ending the rape kit backlog in the United States. She works to learn how many cities and states have untested kits, and helps enact reform. “We’re so used to thinking of the U.S. as tough on crime, so you’d think that we’d be tough on sex violence. But in this country, arrest rates for sexual violence are where they were at in the 1970s,” she says. “We want to use the rape kit as a very tangible measure of the fact that we have a long way to go.” Tofte sees as the system as disjointed. “We strongly encourage survivors to have a rape kit exam done in the immediate aftermath of an assault,” she explains. “It’s four to six hours long, it’s invasive, the nurses that do it need to have special training, it’s painstaking, but victims are told it’s important. So there’s a huge disconnect when that’s the policy on the front end—endorsed by people who are part of the system—but then we book all those kits in evidence and don’t do anything with them. It’s pretty strange: we love DNA testing in this country, so it seems crazy that after such a serious crime we would just toss it into police storage and wouldn’t look at it again.” Tofte learned of the rape kit backlog in something of a fluke. Her first job out of law school in 2002 was with the Innocence Project, trying to exonerate people using DNA evidence. “That was my first exposure to the power of DNA testing to convict or to exonerate,” she says. While following up on cases with DNA evidence that wasn’t tested, Tofte would track down that evidence, and a lot of the cases she worked with dealt with rape and sexual assault. “In the course of tracking down these rape kits,” she says, “I got the sense from property managers of these jurisdictions that there were a lot of kits in these facilities that
PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE JOYFUL HEART FOUNDATION
were not tested. I just filed that information away; it wasn’t part of our mission at Innocence Project.” But after a year or two as a senior researcher with Human Rights Watch, where she started working in 2006, she had a chance to propose a project, and she wanted to work on the rape kit backlog. Tofte meets with members of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department before a In March of 2009, committee vote to approve money for the county’s rape kit backlog. Tofte published a report that detailed her finding proves the crime didn’t occur. We spend a lot of more than 12,000 untested rape kits in Los of attention examining victims and so little Angeles alone. The report drew major attenattention trying to examine suspects in these tion to the nationwide problem of backlogged cases. Part of solving that imbalance involves kits, and Tofte now works with cities, such as rape kit testing.” Milwaukee, Detroit, and Memphis, to address Since Tofte has brought the backlog to their backlog problem. light, several cities have seen the value of testTofte hears a lot of stories from rape suring all kits. In one instance, after testing only vivors, some of whom were able to learn the 2,000 kits of their backlog of over 11,000, identity of their rapists or see their case moved Detroit found 88 potential serial rapists forward because a backlog was uncovered and through uploading their data to CODIS. But rape kit reform took place. In these cases, many jurisdictions don’t know exactly how Tofte says, “There is the pain of realizing their many untested kits they have because few state case had been left behind and also the opporgovernments and no federal agencies require tunity to see some resolution; it’s very moving kits to be tracked. This lack of data led to the to be a part of, and it’s very powerful when creation of the Accountability Project, which you see an offender held accountable and the seeks to uncover the extent of the backlog impact it can have on survivors. In studies through requesting public records. that examine the way survivors heal, the big“I’ve worked on social justice issues since gest factor is community response, and that law school,” Tofte says—and that’s an underincludes law enforcement.” statement. In addition to her work with the Unfortunately, Tofte says, “We still do a Innocence Project and Human Rights Watch, lot of victim blaming when it comes to sexual she has worked in the University of Minneassault. Society takes rape seriously when we sota’s Institute for Race and Poverty, as a legal believe the victim or when the victim has consultant for the Minnesota AIDS project, value, but what’s so frustrating and heartand as a fellow with the Minnesota Advocates breaking about this work is that the more for Human Rights. “And I focus a lot on roadvulnerable you are in society—whether because blocks,” she continues. “But sometimes you of socioeconomic status, or undocumentedget to be part of something and you get to see immigrant status, or sex working, or drug the progress happening while you’re a part of addiction, or mental illness, or being disabled, it—it happens once in a lifetime. The odds are or being a certain ethnicity—with those vulnerhuge against you, and you chip away at it, and abilities, there is a corresponding likelihood sometimes you succeed and sometimes you you might be sexually assaulted. And the don’t. I feel so lucky that I get to see movesame status that makes you vulnerable is often ment as I’m working on this. It’s a wonderful used against you in a case. So many cases are thing.” dismissed because of the circumstances of the victim’s life, not because of evidence that —Kate Frentzel Winter 2015 Luther Alumni Magazine
KELLY (ARNESON) EGAN teaches social studies at Waverly—Shell Rock (Iowa) High School.
ANDREA PRESTON is assistant women’s basketball coach, SAAC adviser, and assistant director of compliance for Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.
HEIDI (BERG) GRIMM teaches Spanish and high school physical education for the Nevada (Iowa) Community School District.
LOGAN RUNYAN of Minneapolis is account manager for Teradata in Dayton, Ohio.
LINDSEY GRUENHAGEN is a sales consultant for Mintahoe Catering & Events in Minneapolis.
LANE SCHWARTZ is assistant professor of linguistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.
LEAH KNOEPFEL teaches second grade at Brasilia International School in Asa Sul, Brazil.
SHARRAN SRIVATSAA is president and chief operating officer of the Teles Group of Companies in Beverly Hills, Calif. JENNIFER (BOYD) STEPHENS is director of choirs at Flathead High School in Kalispell, Mont. TRICIA (LANE) STOLZ is co-owner and manager of Golden Eagle Travel and Tours in Excelsior, Minn. REBEKAH (RUSCH) VOGELSBERG teaches high school instrumental music at Lancaster (Wis.) Senior High School.
2002 JAKE HILDEBRAND
is operations assistant for Hawkeye Stages in Decorah.
Luther alumni chemistry professors from various colleges across the Midwest were at Alverno College in October 2014 for the annual meeting of the Midwestern Association of Chemistry Teachings in Liberal Arts Colleges. They gathered for a photograph with Luther associate professor of chemistry Claude Mertzenich. KELLY GIERLUS ’05 (St. Ambrose University), BETH JENSEN ’96 (Aquinas College), CHRISTINE (ERICKSON) DEVRIES ’00 (Wartburg College), and Mertzenich. JON PETERSON teaches upper-level American history for St. Paul (Minn.) Academy and Summit School. ANDY WAGNER is vice president– compliance consultant for Wells Fargo in Minneapolis.
2003 NATE JENSEN earned
a Ph.D. from the Dyson School of Applied Economics at Cornell University. His dissertation was titled “Basis Risk, Uptake, and Impacts of Index-Based Livestock Insurance in Northern Kenya.” JESSICA (STOCKMYER) POPPLEWELL is financial analyst for Republic Financial Corporation in Greenwood Village, Colo.
MAAME AFON YELBERT-OBENG has released a new album, Ekome (One), which, she says, “is a result of my work in social justice, international development, women’s leadership, and philanthropy.” The story behind the music can be found at http:// maameafon.com/album/ekome-2.
2004 TESSA BENSON-
WEILAND received the Emerson Award for Excellence in Teaching, which is given to one teacher in each school district in the St. Louis area. Tessa teaches seventh-grade mathematics in the Northwest R-I School District in High Ridge, Mo. SARA (GOUDSCHAAL) BLESSING is director of choral and vocal activities at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa.
RACHEL MILLER-BLEICH is board of directors and committee administrator for the American Nurses Association in Silver Spring, Md. ANDREA (AMIDON) NODOLF of New Auburn, Wis., was appointed Dunn County District Attorney by Wisconsin governor Scott Walker. KAIA (NORDAL) SHERBURNE earned a master’s degree in leadership in student affairs from the University of St. Thomas. She is assistant director of admission at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn. JEN (MASON) SWOBODA is project manager for UnityPoint Health in Des Moines, Iowa.
2005 LINDY BUCK is an
obstetrician and gynecologist for Associates in Women’s Health in Minneapolis. ANDREA CHRISTENSEN ZDENEK is an IB English guide for Great River School in St. Paul, Minn. GREG DAVIS is operations administrator for Albert Lea (Minn.) Medical Center–Mayo Health System.
BARRY BOSACKER is assistant principal for Clark County School District in Las Vegas.
JODI (ANDREWS) COLEMAN ’01 and her husband, Jeremy, of Salt Lake City were part of a six-person team to summit Mount Whitney (including their fathers, ages 65 and 74) at 14,508 feet, despite some inclement weather, on Aug. 12, 2014. Jodi writes: “We were proud to have our Luther mugs along for the journey!”
Luther Alumni Magazine
LINDSAY BUCK is landscape studio director for Los Angeles–based Marmol Radziner + Associates in Switzerland. JOSHUA SHANK is a music composer and assistant instructor and doctoral student at the University of Texas at Austin. KIM STIETZ is a law clerk for the U.S. District Court in St. Paul, Minn.
STEF DICKENS is managing director of Capital City Theatre in Madison, Wis. ERIN (BRIDGES) DOW teaches vocal music for Linden McKinley STEM Academy in Columbus, Ohio.
ANDREA DEAN earned her medical doctorate from the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. While in South Africa for a yearlong Doris Duke Fellowship, she investigated the use of text messaging to establish a support group for HIVpositive mothers. She is a pediatrician
Change your skin, change your life
Last fall, L’Oreal flew Elizabeth Grice ’01 to Paris to speak with the company about her research. While most of the dermatology researcher’s previous speaking engagements had been at universities and conferences, the L’Oreal invitation wasn’t all that unexpected—just as gut microbes have enjoyed the limelight over the past decade, so skin microbes, Grice’s area of expertise, are finally starting to get some attention. Now that the field has heated up, Grice, an assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania, is in demand by cosmetics companies, pharmaceutical interests, medical clinicians, and even the U.S. Army, for which she drew up a proposal about the volatile organic compounds produced by the skin microbiome and how these compounds may attract mosquitoes. Everyone wants to know how to influence bacteria populations on the skin in order to speed healing, cure illness, vanquish acne, or evade mosquitoes—and everything in between. One reason why Grice is so sought after and why she earns the title of “pioneer” is her innovative lab work, which relies on DNA sequencing rather than traditional culturing in a petri dish. She says, “Rather than growing the microbes and characterizing them based on their phenotypes, their colonies, and the types of things they metabolize, what we do instead is take a swab from the skin and sequence all the DNA in that swab, and that can tell you what kinds of organisms are in the swab. So you can eliminate the biases that are associated with culturing, because not all microbes grow well under lab conditions. This bypasses that problem and is a more direct and quantified approach.” About being a vanguard in the field, Grice says, “In some ways it’s nice because the field is wide open for me to pursue what I think is interesting, but on the other hand, there still are these fundamental questions that haven’t been answered yet,” which can impede swift progress. Grice undertook one of those fundamental questions as a postdoctoral fellow at
PHOTOS COURTESY OF ELIZABETH GRICE
Elizabeth Grice ’01 aims to speed healing and more through skin bacteria research
In their work to speed wound healing through skin bacteria, Elizabeth Grice ’01 and a graduate student, Geoffrey Hannigan, collect biofilm from orthopedic hardware that was removed from patients. the National Institutes of Health, where she catalogued the skin microbiome and was able to identify more than 1,000 different species of bacteria on human skin (prior to 2009, researchers had identified only 10). Now, in her own lab at Penn, Grice seeks to answer another of those fundamental early questions by defining the skin virome—all of the viruses that live on the skin. Her lab is currently taking inventory of the viruses and recording their “lifestyles” (whether they are living temperate or predatory lifestyles, for example) as well as how they interact with skin bacteria. Grice says, “We’re trying to set a baseline and define what’s there so that we can look in the future at skin conditions where the viral population may be affecting some sort of skin disorder.” The Grice Laboratory has grown quickly from its inception two and a half years ago, and the onetime Luther bio major currently oversees about nine people, including four graduate students for whom she acts as dissertation adviser. About half of the lab is focused on wound healing and how microbes affect wound healing. “In that work,” she says, “we’re looking at chronic ulcers, for example in people with diabetes, who get diabetic ulcers that don’t heal and eventually require amputation. We look at how microbes are affecting that healing and whether certain populations of microbes can predict the outcome of an ulcer or suggest the best treatment approach.” Grice’s lab has lots of collaborations under way, for instance with a pharmaceutical company for whom her staff is looking at how the microbes associated with psoriasis change dur-
ing the course of the condition. One of Grice’s most exciting collaborations is with a group of orthopedic clinicians who treat traumatic wounds—think gunshots or broken bones that puncture the skin. Grice and her researchers look at changes in the microbiome surrounding these wounds and at how different microbes may affect healing. Her orthopedic counterparts would love to be able to use rapid-DNAsequencing technology in the operating room to determine personalized treatment based on a patient’s particular skin microbes. Grice and her researchers have also dabbled in studying drug-resistant bacteria, an increasing concern amid liberal antibiotic prescriptions and the craze of antibacterial products. When it comes to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Grice says, “There are many people who are asymptomatically colonized by MRSA and don’t have any symptoms— a lot of hospital workers, for example. But certain people go from being asymptomatically colonized to having these recurrent skin and soft-tissue infections. One hypothesis is that it’s the greater microbial community on the skin that may modulate that, and by having a healthier set of microbes, you could prevent the overgrowth or opportunistic qualities of things such as MRSA.” Whether it will be through a prescription for a skin condition, a procedure in an operating room, a wound ointment, a body lotion, or a skin cream, it’s likely that many of us will have a direct encounter with Grice’s work in our lifetimes—and our skin will be changed for the better for it. —Kate Frentzel Winter 2015 Luther Alumni Magazine
resident at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
medicine resident at the University of California San Diego Health System.
CLARISSA (RINK) EINCK teaches early childhood special education for the Decorah Community Schools.
CHANTEL OLUFSEN-LEPA is director of the annual fund and alumni relations at the AWTY International School in Houston.
BETH (GROSS) LIPKA teaches special education for the Omaha (Neb.) Public School District.
TREVOR ROCKWELL is county youth coordinator at Winneshiek County Extension in Decorah.
T. C. MACK earned a Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr College and is a staff psychologist for Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pa. MARK MCCLURG earned a bachelor of education degree from York University. He is founder and principal of Translation on the Mark in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ANNA (OSTERBUR) PETERSEN earned a master’s degree in teaching from the Urban Teacher Education Program at the University of Chicago. She teaches middle school math for the Chicago Public Schools.
NATHANIEL ANDERSON ’07 is pastor of Christ the King Lutheran Church in Wilbraham, Mass. TYLER SCHWALLER ’07, a doctoral candidate in New Testament and early Christianity at Harvard Divinity School, served as guest preacher at Christ the King’s worship service celebrating the church’s new status as a Reconciled in Christ Congregation on Oct. 26, 2014. Left to right: Nathaniel’s wife, CAROLYN STARZ ’07, TYLER SCHWALLER ’07, and NATHANIEL ANDERSON ’07.
2007 RACHEL BARNESS is a
KIRSTEN RUSSELL is head women’s soccer coach for Grinnell (Iowa) College. MIKHAL (HAGSTROM) SZABO is a certified public accountant in Lancaster, Pa. MISCHA TURSICH is a licensed psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology at Mankato (Minn.) Clinic.
2006 CHRIS BELLINDER
serves as the chair of marketing/ development committee for the board of directors at the Therapy Place Inc. in Columbia, S.C. ELISABETH (ZANT) DANIELS is campus pastor for St. John’s Lutheran Ministries in Billings, Mont. KARA (DONAHUE) FIRSTBROOK earned a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction (STEM) from Adams State University. She teaches for the Department of Defense Education Activity in Iwakuni, Japan. SOLOMON GOULD is an optometrist and owns Gould Eye Care in Waterloo, Iowa. MARITA HERKERT-OAKLAND is program manager of Scribe for Program TruScribe in Fitchburg, Wis.
Luther Alumni Magazine
MELISSA (SCHNEIDER) STUEVE is assistant athletic trainer for the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. JONATHAN THOMPSON is a podiatrist for Luther-Midelfort-Mayo Health System in Eau Claire, Wis.
2008 STEVE BAILEY is
account supervisor for Exponent PR/ Colle+McVoy in Minneapolis.
board-certified orthotist for Prosthetic Laboratories in Baxter, Minn.
RYAN FORDICE is program director for the Center for Interfaith Engagement at the Niagara Foundation in Chicago.
RACHEL (MORLEY) BARNES earned a bachelor of veterinary science degree from the Royal Veterinary College in London, England.
HEATHER (ELWOOD) GIERUT is comanager of ULTA in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
AMY MOREY received the 2014 Monsanto Research Grant Award. The research grant provides funding to outstanding Entomological Society of America student members undertaking research projects. She is a Ph.D. candidate in entomology at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
MEGAN (ANDERSON) and JOE BEATTY live in Rochester, Minn. She earned a master’s degree in ESL from Hamline University and was a finalist for the Capstone Award. She is an ESL teacher for Rochester Public Schools. He earned a DDS degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is a dentist at Apollo Dental.
ERIKA KAMBS is head of school at Northeast Iowa Montessori in Decorah.
RACHEL (MILLER) PALERMO is a neonatal intensive care unit nurse for Essentia Health in Duluth, Minn.
CODY DANNEN is field event manager/event operations for Flash Results Inc. in Mooresville, N.C.
MIKE TANGEN teaches high school physical education for the Decorah Community Schools.
LAURA SCHNACK is associate dean of students at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill.
CHRIS GRAVERSON teaches high school science and is a football coach for the Pecatonica School District in Blanchardville, Wis.
JOHN SILL is business/systems analyst and academic support resources for the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
ADAM LOY is assistant professor of statistics at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis.
MATT STENSRUD earned a master’s degree in education from Hamline University. He teaches language arts, and is the head speech coach and NHS advisor for New Prague (Minn.) School District.
KARIN MAXEY earned a Ph.D. in German and applied linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the German Studies Department of Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
HEATHER (BUCKNER) WILENSKY is executive director of alumni relations for McDaniel College in Westminster, Md.
PAUL MEIRICK earned a medical doctorate from the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa. He is an internal
SPENCER KNAPP is select accounts program manager at Hewlett-Packard Company in Dallas. AARON NYQUIST is assistant corporate counsel for Minneapolis Grain Exchange Inc.
2009 EMILY EWING is pastor and mission developer for Christ the King Lutheran Church in South Jordan, Utah.
JESSICA HAZELTON is catering sales manager at McCormick & Schmick’s in Minneapolis.
MAGGIE HIBBS is an associate attorney for the BrownWinick Law Firm in Des Moines, Iowa. KIRSTEN HOYME is a general dentist for HealthPartners in Sartell, Minn. EMILY IRONSIDE is a judicial law clerk to Hon. Lisa Curcio in the Chancery Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County in Chicago. GABBY MCNALLY earned an M.F.A. degree in film and video production from the University of Iowa. She also completed certification in gender, women’s, and sexuality studies. She is an assistant professor of digital cinema at the School of Art and Design at Northern Michigan University in Marquette. STEPHANIE (BORGEN) MEYER is an IT consultant for Solution Design Group in Golden Valley, Minn. JOHN NELSON is general manager for Trinity Logistics in St. Paul, Minn. STEVE ROSAS earned a master’s degree in literacy from St. Mary’s University. He is a reading interventionist for Columbia Heights (Minn.) Schools and was a Teacher of the Year nominee for 2014. CARRIE (HARRIS) SCHMITZ teaches English for the Albany (Minn.) Area Secondary School. BRITTANY SCHWEFEL earned a Ph.D. in statistics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She is senior research statistician for AbbVie in Abbott Park, Ill. ANTHONY SNITKER is operations manager for the Los Angeles Organ Company of Pasadena, Calif. EMILY (STINSON) STONEKING is a clinical registered nurse for Family Healthcare of Siouxland in Sioux City, Iowa. KRISTIN SWEDLUND is program assistant for Gathering Waters Conservancy in Madison, Wis. DANA (HARNEY) TESKE teaches high school Spanish for the Evansville (Wis.) School District. JAKE WADDLE is assistant baseball coach at Concordia University in Seward, Neb. CAMERON WEBB is iOS magician for Sqwiggle in Des Moines, Iowa.
BRENNAN (HARVEY) WILDER is executive director of BEAT: Bloomington (Minn.) Expressive Arts Training. She is also the choreographer for Syncopation show choir, which was invited to perform at Walt Disney World. KRISTIN YOUNGMEYER is sponsorship coordinator at Ohio Roller Girls and wellness coordinator at Children’s Hunger Alliance in Columbus, Ohio.
2010 TOM BLATTNER is
finance manager for International Rescue Committee in Wichita, Kan. ELIN ERICKSON works in technical services at Epic in Verona, Wis. MAKARA FAIRMAN is care senior associate at CIGNA Behavioral Health in Eden Prairie, Minn.
Four Luther friends sporting Norse Nation attire completed the Gary Bjorklund Half Marathon in Duluth, Minn., this summer. Left to right: KARI HOUGHTALING ’11, ALEX OLSON ’11, LIZ SMITH ’11, and ABBY HERMAN ’11. Their shirts were designed by RYAN KITCHEN ’11.
DOUG JUNIUS teaches for the Berwyn (Ill.) South District 100. ANDY KUST is an instructor in the Music Department at the University of Minnesota at Duluth. KIM LAMBERT earned a doctor of physical therapy degree from the Mayo School of Health Sciences. She is a physical therapist at University of Minnesota Medical Center in Minneapolis. JON LOBECK is catering manager for Crowne Plaza Hotel & Suites Minneapolis Airport. LISA (TORGERSON) PERTZ is sales and product planner for ShopHQ in Eden Prairie, Minn. LAUREN RAUCHWARTER is human resources service advisor for UnitedHealth Group in Minnetonka, Minn. TIFFANY (KRUSE) RAVE is sports and marketing director for Eastern Iowa Sports Facility and head softball coach for Monticello (Iowa) High School. BEN SCHORI earned a master of divinity degree from Luther Seminary. He is pastor at First Lutheran Church in Hibbing, Minn. BECKY (ECKERMAN) SUMMERFIELD is academic programs manager at the Cleveland (Ohio) Botanical Garden. ALYSSA TELANDER received a fullride scholarship to Northeastern Law School in Boston.
KRISTOPHER ULRICH is choral director at Oshkosh (Wis.) North High School and executive director of the Fox Valley choir newVoices. AARON ZANDER teaches fifth grade for the Verona (Wis.) Area School District.
2011 BRYAN CAYABYAB of
San Francisco earned a master’s degree in industrial organization psychology from Springfield College. EMILY ELLSON teaches first grade at Gage Elementary School in Rochester, Minn. JAMES FEINSTEIN is a research assistant for the U.S Senate in Washington, D.C. KARL GILBERTSON is associate scientist-chemical production at SurModics Inc. in Eden Prairie, Minn. ANDERS HANSON is a naturalist at Westwood Hills Nature Center in St. Louis Park, Minn. AMIE HELLER is outdoor and education reporter for the Charles City (Iowa) Press.
JENNA BERGESON ’10 recently traveled to New Zealand with her father and took along a copy of the Luther Alumni Magazine. This photo was taken from the premier astronomical Mount John University Observatory with Mount Cook, the tallest peak in New Zealand, and the Southern Alps in the background. Bergeson made the trip following a year of volunteer service with Young Adults in Global Mission through the ELCA. She says, “It made me think of Steve and Yarrow Pasche, my former cross country coaches, who used to make a trip to New Zealand for a J-term course. I certainly get these little reminders of Luther everywhere I go!”
Winter 2015 Luther Alumni Magazine
MARI HENDERSON is a marketer for Thomson Reuters in Eagan, Minn.
KATIE TERHUNE teaches second grade at Prairie Seeds Academy in Brooklyn Park, Minn.
ELOISE HOEGH is recruiting coordinator for RealFoundation in New York, N.Y.
KIFLU TESFAYE is assistant director of finance and accounting at Marriott International in Coronado Island, Calif.
KATE (PATTERSON) MASON is digital marketing associate for HealthPartners in Bloomington, Minn. ALLISON MOEN works in administration for Northern Arizona Healthcare in Flagstaff. JOSH PATTERSON is business attraction coordinator for the Rockford (Ill.) Area Economic Development Council. RACHEL RUDEEN is telecounseling coordinator and senior admissions counselor at Iowa State University in Ames. SARAH STADIE is administrative assistant/communications at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. LEAH (JENSEN) and MIKE SWITZER ’10 live in Nairobi, Kenya. She is a year-one teacher at Braeburn School. He is general manager of Karibu Loo.
COLLIN THOMPSON is farm manager and program instructor for Michigan State University’s Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center in Chatham. WHITNEY (KELTNER) WESSELS earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of St. Thomas and St. Catherine University. She is pediatric hematology/ oncology social worker for the University of Minnesota Medical Center in Minneapolis.
2012 STEPHANIE ADIX
earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of St. Thomas and St. Catherine University. She is a mental health practitioner for the ISD 197 TEA Program in Apple Valley, Minn. BRANDON BOLES is a sports reporter for the Fort Morgan (Colo.) Times. He is also sports blogger/ MMA correspondent for Full Scale Sports.
Unit School District. JASPER KANGE is a graphic designer for Greenspring Media in Minneapolis. MOLLY KLINE is scholarships program assistant for Think Small in St. Paul, Minn. DAVID KORT is building materials sales representative for Menards Inc. in Eau Claire, Wis. KRISTA (CANOY) KRUEGER is office support specialist for Fox River Mills in Osage, Iowa. ANDREW LINDERMAN teaches high school chemistry at Carmen Middle/High School of Science in Milwaukee. MICHELLE MCCOY earned a master’s degree in school counseling from Winona State University. She is a school counselor at Faribault (Minn.) Senior High School.
TYLER MCCUBBIN ’11 competed at the Gay Games 9 in Cleveland, Ohio, winning the gold medal for the 3,000-meter steeplechase and finishing 16th overall in the 10K road race. The games are held every four years to give LGBT athletes and allies a chance to compete at the international level and meet athletes from around the world. While there, he connected with BECKY (ECKERMAN) SUMMERFIELD ’10.
Luther Alumni Magazine
NICK FISHER is agriculture extensionist for the Peace Corps in Asuncion, Paraguay. BEN GARDNER is director for the Oneota Film Festival in Decorah. CARAH (CLAFLIN) and MICHAEL HART ’11 live in Edina, Minn. She teaches elementary music for Hopkins School District. He is vice president of Northland Securities Inc. MEREDITH (MACDONALD) HIGHMARK teaches fourth grade for the Geneva (Ill.) Community
ALICIA VERMEER earned a master’s degree in religious studies from the University of Iowa. She is office manager for Heartland Community Church in North Liberty, Iowa. BENELL WEATHERSPOON is a registered nurse at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C. KRISTI WIETECHA teaches eighthgrade English for the Pine Island (Minn.) Public Schools. DALLAS WULF earned a master’s degree in physics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he is a graduate research assistant.
MELISSA SCHLARMANN is a teacher associate for the Decorah School District.
2013 NICK ANDRESEN
DALEN DIRTH teaches health and physical education at Apple Valley (Minn.) High School.
JEFF EMERSON is laboratory technician for Eurofins Scientific in Des Moines, Iowa.
ALICIA (WOOCK) STEELE is service coordinator for the Kohler Company in Kohler, Wis.
MIKE MORAN owns Jolly Woofers in Boulder, Colo.
NICK DEVINE is billing analyst for SPS Commerce in Minneapolis.
SETH DUIN is external relations associate for College Possible in St. Paul, Minn.
EMMA SPOON is a Winona State University teacher preparation collaborative intern at Century High School in Rochester, Minn.
INGRID SCOTT is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda (music honor society) as well as Golden Key International Honour Society. She received a master of music degree in flute performance from Florida State University, where she performed in the University Symphony Orchestra. In the spring of 2013, the orchestra recorded Dohnanyi’s Symphony no.2 in E Major, op. 40, for Naxos Music Library. Scott has been invited to play a recital and teach a masterclass in her hometown of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, this year. In November 2014 she performed Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto in D Major RV 428 for Flute and Orchestra with the Camerata Washington Heights Chamber Orchestra in the Aaron Davis Hall-Theater B at City College of New York in New York.
received an award for first place at the University of Iowa and third place in the National 2014 Lasker Foundation Essay Contest: Supporting Medical Research for his essay “Crowdsourcing a Medical Research Donation Database.” The contest was open to medical school students and fellows; doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows in biomedical research; graduate students in public health programs; and graduate students in other health professions programs. The foundation received 167 essays. Nick is a second-year medical student at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City. SAMI BECHTEL is a registered nurse in colorectal and general surgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
U.S. ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION GRAPHIC
Left to right: project leader Andy Nelson, ERIC EITRHEIM ’12, and ANDREW KNIGHT ’12
Research by Andrew Knight ’12 and Eric Eitrheim ’12 digs into results of hydraulic fracturing Proponents of hydraulic fracturing tout the economic benefits of a readily accessible domestic energy source. Its opponents just as strongly voice concerns about its harmful environmental impacts. “Our role as scientists isn’t to sway public opinion subjectively,” says Andrew Knight ’12 of the groundbreaking research he and fellow University of Iowa graduate student Eric Eitrheim ’12 are conducting on the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” “It’s to ensure that our research is objectively understood by the public and that the findings get into the hands of the right people so that they can make the right decisions.” Hydraulic fracturing may have only recently captured the media spotlight, but the practice has been around since the late 1940s. Dramatic recent changes in hydraulic fracturing technology—which calls for miners to pump pressurized liquid into the earth to liberate natural gas—have driven widespread media coverage and accompanying public debate on current fracking practice. “Instead of having to go straight down hundreds of feet vertically to extract natural gas, drillers now have the technology to extract that gas horizontally,” Knight says. “This unconventional drilling, or ‘fracking,’ allows for the extraction of more natural gas but also requires that more liquids be pumped down at extremely high pressures.” The problem? When
that fracking fluid, also known as flowback water, surfaces, it often brings along naturally occurring radioactivity. Knight and Eitrheim, along with project leader Andy Nelson and principal investigator Michael Shultz, are working hard to expand the body of research on the potential impacts of that radioactivity. The team’s research has aired on MSNBC, been published in Environmental Science and Technology Letters, and will soon appear in Environmental Health Perspectives. It also recently led them to Mannington, W.Va., home to some very active shale-gas fracking sites. “We found radium, which is water-soluble, in the flowback water,” Eitrheim says. “Radium decays naturally into polonium and lead radioisotopes, and it’s these so-called radioactive daughters we are trying to detect.” Wastewater treatment plants have, in fact, begun to treat for radium, but those actions may not be enough to ensure the safety of the water supply. “The problem is that even if they get all the radium, they are not necessarily going to remove the decay daughters,” Knight says.
“Ultimately we’re simply trying to characterize the waste that is being produced by hydraulic fracking so that wastewater treatment facilities know how best to treat it.”
It’s an area of research neither Knight nor Eitrheim saw themselves pursuing upon graduation from Luther. In fact, both say they had barely even heard of hydraulic fracturing when they enrolled in the chemistry graduate program at the University of Iowa in 2012. “I wasn’t really exposed to it at Luther, but that was before the big media boom on fracking,” Eitrheim says. “It’s just something that we both ended up studying because that’s where our paths took us.” Whether a proponent or opponent of fracking, don’t expect the technology to go away anytime soon—the demand for domestic energy production is just too great. And that’s why research like that being conducted by Knight and Eitrheim is so important. “The practice of hydraulic fracturing has increased at essentially the same rate as other energy industries, but the way in which it’s being done has changed dramatically,” Eitrheim says. “Because there’s so little known about the environmental implications of this new technology, continued research on the topic is needed.” —Sara Friedl-Putnam
Winter 2015 Luther Alumni Magazine
SAM DEPAGTER is sourcing specialist for Target Corporation in Minneapolis.
BECCA GIRVAN is an actuarial analyst for Securian Retirement in St. Paul, Minn.
KATIE DRINKALL is a staff nurse and charge nurse in the rehab unit at Bethany St. Joseph in La Crosse, Wis. She also works on the colorectal/ general surgical floor at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
KELSEY GUNDERSON is interactive account coordinator for cj Advertising in Nashville, Tenn.
KIRSTEN HASH was selected by the Austrian-American Educational Commission to serve as a U.S. teaching assistant for the 2014–15 academic year. Hash, daughter of LEE ’84 and LINDA (ROSHOLT) HASH ’85 of Appleton, Wis., was inducted into Delta Phi Alpha, the national German honorary society, as a senior at Luther. She majored in English with a minor in German. Hash will serve as an English teaching assistant in Austrian secondary schools. Her duties in the classroom setting include teaching lessons, leading small-group book discussions, and engaging in one-on-one conversations with students. As part of the program’s goals, it will be her duty to make learning English a lively, cross-cultural experience. ALLISON KANE teaches English language at Wall Street English in Lima, Peru. MARIA KEMPF is a registered nurse on the short stay unit at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. HEIDI KISTENMACHER is a health care assistant at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.
BETH (MARTENS) and KIRK HANSEN ’12 live in Norwalk, Iowa. She teaches general music at Emerson Elementary in Indianola. He is a computer developer for ColorFx. LIZ HAWKINS is a neurosurgery registered nurse at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
Minnesota Reading Corps has four Luther alumni serving as MRC tutors: MARIN NYCKLEMOE ’14, SAM MOLZAHN ’14, RACHEL MIESSLER ’13, and TYLER SIMPSON ’13. TARA LAUGHLIN is shift supervisor for Starbucks in Duluth, Minn. TREVOR MALONEY is music director for Youth for Christ in Willmar, Minn. MARIO MARTINUCCI is human resources generalist for Cargill Inc. in Fresno, Calif. RACHEL MIESSLER is a literacy tutor for Minnesota Reading Corps at Roosevelt Elementary School in Faribault. HANNA (PEDERSON) MOLINARI is an ER registered nurse at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo. GINNY MORRELL is a registered nurse at Mayo Clinic in Rochester,
Minn. NICK MOZENA is ERS consultant at Deloitte & Touche LLP in Minneapolis. TRINDA PHELON is a research associate for Biothera in Eagan, Minn. ZACH RAZO is a lumberyard assistant for Menards in Golden Valley, Minn. AMANDA RUDNICKAS teaches elementary music for the Wagoner (Okla.) Public Schools. KATIE SCHWARTZ is a financial counselor for Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota in Minneapolis. NICOLE SHATECK is a registered nurse in the bone marrow transplant unit at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. CODY TUCKER is head band director for West High School in Sioux City, Iowa.
2014 CLAIRE ANDERSON
is a registered nurse for the adult leukemia and bone marrow transplant floor at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. ALEX BANDY is a registered nurse in vascular PCU at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
AIDAN SPENCER ’18 wanted a senior photo that captured her interest in music, her rural background, and leaving home, says her mom, RANDI SPENCERBERG ’87. So Randi took this photo near their Decorah-area home, and Aidan added the caption and posted the photo on her Facebook page. Aidan’s dad is also a Luther grad, MATT SPENCER ’95.
Luther Alumni Magazine
ALE CASTELLANOS is human service technician for ProAct Inc. in Eagan, Minn. AMY FREITAG is a registered nurse at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
MATT HOFFMAN is a registered nurse on the short stay unit at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse, Wis. BROOKE JOHNSON is a registered nurse in the colorectal/GI unit at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. TORI LaCROIX teaches high school vocal music at St. Edmond Catholic School in Fort Dodge, Iowa. CLARA LIND of Kansas City, Mo., is assistant campaign director for Grassroots Campaigns in Boston. LAUREN MEINTSMA is communications specialist at the Goodman Group in Chaska, Minn. MARIAH MIERAU is a registered nurse in the colorectal and general surgery floor at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. KATHERINE MOHR works in implementation services for Epic in Verona, Wis. JO MUELLER is a nurse in surgical specialty services at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. SARAH NICLA is project manager for Epic in Verona, Wis. SARA NIKOLAI is a registered nurse in cardiac ICU/PCU at Ministry St. Clare’s Hospital in Weston, Wis. JACQUELINE OTT is a software developer for Epic in Verona, Wis. KEATON PALO is a registered nurse on the general medical floor of the St. Mary’s campus of Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. GRETCHEN PETERSON is a registered nurse at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
LILLIANNA PETSCH-HORVATH works in fundraising and media for South African Education and Environment Project in Western Cape, South Africa.
JESSICA STOCKMYER and Sean Popplewell, June 15, 2014
KELLY THORSEN and Jeremy Arrington, Sept. 20, 2014
KRISTA CANOY and David Krueger, June 21, 2014
2004 KATIE CZECHOWICZ
MARISSA TORGERSON and Antonio Jurado, Nov. 14, 2013
KATHERINE JOHNSTON and Darren Vick, June 8, 2013
TRISTAN PETSCH-HORVATH is marketing/field assistant for Roofing Consultants in Waukesha, Wis.
MEGAN MILLS and MARK SPURLIN, Jan. 10, 2013
2008 HEATHER ELWOOD
JESSICA MALLAMS and SETH STREETER ’13, July 26, 2014
JAIMIE RASMUSSEN is studio manager for Studio J Inc. in Stillwater, Minn. ANDREA SHAFFER is a registered nurse in the ortho/neuro unit at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo, Iowa. BEN STOFFERAHN is accounting specialist for Gray Plant Mooty in Minneapolis. AMANDA TAKE teaches sixth-grade science at Forest City (Iowa) Middle School.
1981 BRYAN CARLSON and Ron Andrews, June 10, 2014
1985 BURTON DAVIS and
and Nathan Gerlach, Aug. 23, 2014
TINA WELZIEN and Nicholas Hauer, Aug. 9, 2014
2005 GRETA BERNATZ and
ASHLEY GEESAMAN and ALEX ROSS, July 26, 2013
ANDREA CHRISTENSEN and Dave Zdenek, Aug. 16, 2014
MARIE PALMQUIST and PAUL SCHOLTZ ’10, Aug. 16, 2014
RACHEL MANDSAGER and Ryan Cooper, March 15, 2014
PAIGE RICHARDS and ERIC ALBJERG ’07, May 25, 2014
JOSH MOE and Chris Schuster, June 14, 2014
LEAH SIKORA and JUSTIN PATNODE ’05, May 17, 2014
NATE PORATH and Binu Paul, Oct. 4, 2014
2009 STEPHANIE BORGEN
EMILY WEISS and David McCrindle, April 11, 2014
2006 RACHEL BAILS and
ADAM JEFFREY ’05, June 15, 2014 KARA DONAHUE and Clinton Firstbrook, Aug. 8, 2013 BETH ELLINGSON and Jesse Waldron, Sept. 14, 2013
1986 DALE KRUSE and
JANE FERRELL and Matthew Robey, Sept. 6, 2014
1994 WADE COPLIN and
RACHEL MILLER and Michael Palermo, July 19, 2014
Kara Tonolli, July 4, 2013
JAMIE SUE SCHULTZ and Jef Knight, Oct. 26, 2013
1998 KARI RABE and
JOHN SILL and Allison Helland, July 12, 2014
Christopher Chaffee, Aug. 29, 2014
2000 MARK BAILEY and Julia Olson, Sept. 8, 2012
HEATHER LANDE and Charles Josephson, Aug. 24, 2013
2001 CHRIS KNUTSON and Crystal Duke, May 26, 2013
2003 ALICIA MOHN and Eric Boudreau, May 18, 2013
SAMUEL PETERSEN and Randi Shimota, Sept. 22, 2012
BRITA GALL and Colin Strub, Aug. 10, 2013
Jason Poser, June 28, 2014
Teri Crossman, June 14, 2014
Timothy Sneer, Oct. 19, 2013
and Christopher Gierut, Oct. 12, 2013
CHRISTINA SORENSON and Adam Horvath, Aug. 21, 2014 ELISABETH ZANT and Wesley Daniels, June 7, 2014
2007 NICOLE BROWN and
2013 MANDY BRILL and Mitch Kruse, Oct. 5, 2013
ELSBETH EDRINGTON and IAN NAATZ, June 28, 2014 JORDAN MORTENSEN and JEFF THOMPSON, Aug. 2, 2014 HANNA PEDERSON and PAXTON MOLINARI, June 28, 2014 ABBY SANDRY and DEREK MOE, Aug. 17, 2013
LIZ HANSEN and STEVE COX ’08, June 7, 2013
CAITLIN STENSRUD and Alexander Smith, Oct. 25, 2014
JULIA MANN and BEN GUNDERSON ’08, Feb. 22, 2014
SARAH WEBB and CHARLIE SIGGELKOW, Oct. 18, 2014
KATIE SACKETT and Tony Stadheim, Sept. 6, 2014
RACHEL ZIMMERMAN and ANDREW LINDERMAN ’12, June 14, 2014
SARA WALTERS and CHRIS GRAVERSON ’07, July 26, 2014 KATE WOLFF and Dan DeWeert, Aug. 3, 2013
2014 BETH MARTENS and
KIRK HANSEN ’12, July 12, 2014
2010 BLAIR HERCULES and DEREK LEIGH, July 5, 2014
LISA TORGERSON and Samuel Pertz, April 12, 2014
2011 ERIN GILBERTSON and WILLIAM MONTOYA, June 29, 2013
1991 BRETT (WEST) and
Matt Cloninger-West, a daughter, Charlotte Elizabeth, born Dec. 2013, adopted Sept. 2014
RACHEL JOHNSON and AZAEL SALGADO, June 14, 2014 CODY KIRKPATRICK and Kathy Hamilton, April 20, 2013
CODY DANNEN and Christina LaRocca, Sept. 6, 2014
KELSEY OLSON and SAM HOLMBERG ’12, Oct. 18, 2014
DANA THEILER and Paul Van Buskirk, Sept. 14, 2014
ALICIA WOOCK and NATHAN STEELE ’13, July 11, 2014
and KEAGAN MEYER ’11, Oct. 26, 2013
Gerry Miller, Aug. 16, 2014
CHRISTINA GAARD and Jamie Baumgart, Aug. 16, 2014
KELSEY REGER and MICHAEL JOHNSON ’13, June 14, 2014
2012 MIKAELA BELLAND
and NICK DEVINE, Aug. 9, 2014
1997 AMANDA (ALCOCK)
and Eric Freese, a son, Owen, April 2014
KATELYN BOTTEM and JUSTIN MARSCHALL, Aug. 16, 2014
Winter 2015 Luther Alumni Magazine
KRISTIN (BAILEY) and Tim Urness, a daughter, Ella Mary, July 2014
1998 ERIN JORDAHL
2005 JOY (STUBER) and JAKE ALSOP ’06, a son, Silas Donald, May 2014
REDLIN and Brad Jordahl Redlin, a daughter, Asa, June 2014
HELENE (TORVOLD) and Espen Guldbrandsen, a son, Erik, Sept. 2014
Stephanie Kaphings and PATRICK LENSING, a daughter, Violet, Nov. 2013
ERIN (BELCHER) and Michael Larson, a son, Mayer Deane, Sept. 2012
1999 AMIE (SIEBENALER)
and Daniel Larkin, a son, Samuel, June 2013
2000 Julia Olson and MARK BAILEY, a daughter, Mia Leanna, June 2014
2001 JENNIFER (WELTON) and Derek Doebel, a son, Colton, Sept. 2012
LANE (STAEHLE) and ADAM GODDARD ’02, a daughter, Greta Lane, Jan. 2014 DANA SANDSTROM and Robert Keating, a son, Emmett Otto Eugene, April 2013 ANN (MARTENS) and J. D. Miller, a daughter, Hannah Grace, July 2014
2002 MARTHA (CARROLL) and BRAD ALBERS, a daughter, Elisabeth Barstow, July 2014 AMY (PETERSEN) and Wesley Burrell, a son, Grant, Aug. 2014
MEGAN (MINNIHAN) and RYAN TORKELSON ’07, a son, Brendan John, Oct. 2014
2006 JILL (DINKLA) and
Bryan Borrall, a son, Henry Dennis, Oct. 2013 KATIE (HOPP) and Michael Caterino, a son, Peter Roderick, May 2014
JENNA MOCKLER-GJERDE and RYAN GJERDE ’99, twin sons, Harrison Gilbert and Theodore Richard, Aug. 2014
2008 BRITA (GALL) and Colin
2009 TARA (MEYER) and Matt Zuercher, a son, Braxton Charles, July 2014
MATT BIRKENHOLZ, a daughter, Sage Woods, May 2014
Luther Alumni Magazine
MEGAN (ARNESON) and Munch Sherman, a daughter, Lizabeth Mae, Nov. 2013
MELVIN SUCHER of Perham, Minn., died June 8, 2014, age 93.
MARGARET (BARTH) WOLD of Anaheim, Calif., died Aug. 13, 2014, age 95.
MARVIN WITTE of Rochester, Minn., died July 29, 2014, age 93.
RAY VIKESLAND of Seattle died March 7, 2014, age 91.
CARROLL JACOBSON of Decorah died Sept. 13, 2014, age 90.
MARY JANICE “JAN” (REID) BERG of Decorah died Sept. 18, 2014, age 87.
LYLE INGLEBRET of Sioux Falls, S.D., died April 11, 2014, age 85.
STERLING E. THOMPSON of Austin, Minn., died Aug.1, 2014, age 92.
AMANDA (BENEDICT) and JUSTIN OBENAUER ’01, a son, Finnegan Reid, Nov. 2013
Read full obituaries at www.luther. edu/in-memoriam.
ROLAND “ROLLIE” L. DAIN of Rochester, Minn., died Aug. 20, 2014, age 92. NORMA (HAGEN) ONSAGER of Manitowoc, Wis., formerly of Valders, Wis., died June 30, 2014, age 85.
Strub, a son, Sebastian Iverson, Sept. 2014
AMY (BLEM) and Vlad von Barnes, a daughter, Elliana Clara, Aug. 2014
KELLY (HICKEY) and Karl Erbach, a son, Wyatt Zane, April 2014
Seth Beisker, a son, Griffin James, July 2014
and Devin Curley, a daughter, Makenah, Aug. 2014
ANNA KATE (BESTLANDRAINES) and Rob Morris, a son, Matthew Charles, Sept. 2013
2015 MULLEN WACKER and
2007 ANNE (STENSVOLD)
ANDREA (HOEKSEMA) and Benjamin Tigges, a son, Noah James, July 2014
(CHRISTIANSEN) and Peter Binnie, a son, Nathan Charlie, July 2014
DEREK MOE, a son, Nico Robert, March 2014
KIRSTEN (MADSEN) and BRANDON FIELDS ’04, a daughter, Skylar Elizabeth, Oct. 2014
KATIE (ZERGER) and JASON RICHARD ’00, a son, Samuel Adam, June 2014
2003 KELLY (WOODS) and
2013 ABBY (SANDRY) and
IVAN EARL TORKELSON of Elgin, Iowa, died Sept. 13, 2014, age 84.
JOHN ROBERT JORE of Houston, Minn., died March 16, 2014, age 83.
ANNETTE (HARDIE) JUNGCK of Big Rapids, Mich., died Oct. 9, 2012, age 78.
DARWIN G. REITER of Cedar Falls, Iowa, died Sept. 6, 2014, age 80.
BARBARA L. BAKER of Decorah, Iowa, died Oct. 16, 2014, age 75.
HELEN M. LARSON of Wausau, Wis., and Decorah died Aug. 31, 2014, age 74.
JOHN WHITE, JR., of Postville, Iowa, died July 7, 2014, age 81.
DONALD B. BANKS of Stillwater, Minn., died Nov. 8, 2013, age 67.
DONALD “DON” JULIAN NESHEIM of St. Peter, Minn., died Sept. 17, 2014, age 83.
STEVEN H. PETERSON of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., died Sept. 13, 2014, age 75.
IRMA (ORTH) HOPKINS of Cedar Falls, Iowa, died Aug. 12, 2014, age 87.
CARLA JEAN (MORTON) SCHILL of Dodgeville, Wis., died Oct. 16, 2014, age 76. ALLAN STROM of Oronoco, Minn., died June 30, 2014, age 75.
KAREN KAY (STUEVEN) SELKEN of Alexandria, Minn., died Sept. 11, 2014, age 73. GARY D. TATE of Champlin, Minn., died Sept. 7, 2014, age 75.
1971 VIRGINIA “GINNY” ANN (LANDSGAARD) LUSTER of Harpers Ferry, Iowa, formerly of St. Olaf, Iowa, died Oct. 12, 2014, age 73.
LARRY KENT LEE of Dunwoody, Ga., died March 30, 2014, age 73.
MICHAEL HARLAN FOSS of Northwood, Iowa, died Dec. 21, 2013, age 65.
WILDA LORRAINE (JACOBSON) MIDDLEBROOK of Cresco, Iowa, died Aug. 6, 2014, age 91.
PAUL E. HELLER of Mason City, Iowa, died Sept. 17, 2014, age 62.
DAVID ERNEST LACK of Golden, Colo., died Oct. 20, 2012, age 59.
1980 OWEN J. GAMON of
St. Paul, Minn., died Sept. 19, 2014, age 55.
MARY JOANNE (PETERSON) MANKE of Wauwatosa, Wis., died Sept. 01, 2014, age 73.
Professor emeritus John Sieber ’58 dies
HAROLD DUANE THOMPSON of Caledonia, Minn., died Aug. 13, 2014, age 82.
ROGER J. WIEBE of Madison, Wis., died Aug. 13, 2014, age 74.
PAUL LINDEN MYCKLEBUST of St. Louis Park, Minn., died Oct. 13, 2014, age 31.
John H. Sieber ’58 died Monday, Sept. 15, 2014, after battling cancer. John was born in Janesville, Wis., Sept 19, 1935, to Harold and Irene Sieber. He grew up in Madison, Wis., and graduated from East High School. A graduate of Luther and Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., he became an ordained minister in Pomona, Calif. He earned a Ph.D. in religion from Claremont College, Claremont, Calif. In 1960, John wed Katrinka. He served as professor of religion and classics at Luther for 35 years and was a proud member of the team of scholars who worked on the Nag Hammadi Codexes in Cairo in the 1970s. He translated and edited the gnostic text Zostrianos, from the ancient Coptic Church. He also served as part-time pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran in Decorah and at countless small country churches. During the early years, he worked summers with disadvantaged youth in Upward Bound, and later in his career took college students to work on the Navajo Indian Reservation at Rock Point, Ariz. In 2000, John and Katrinka moved to Imperial Beach, Calif., to retire by the ocean. He took great pride in being a visitation pastor at St. Marks Lutheran in Chula Vista, Calif. He is survived by his wife, Katrinka; their daughter, Anne, and her fiancé, Paul Tjostem; son, Hans, and his wife, Julie; son-in-law, Brett Collingwood; brother-inlaw, Ted Spence; five grandsons: Sean, Logan, Joseph, Theodore, and Nicholas. His mother Irene, father Harold, and sister Nancy preceded him in death.
Winter 2015 Luther Alumni Magazine
AARON LURTH ’08
The extensive reading list for the Freshman Core program of the 1960s included these classic titles, among others.
50 years of core education at Luther This academic year marks what would have been the 50th anniversary of the Freshman Core program, the predecessor of Luther’s current Paideia. According to emeriti professors Martin Mohr and Jon Bale, in 1961 Luther’s English Department envisioned a way of improving upon “the routine service approach to meeting the English writing requirement.” In 1962–63, Mohr explains, the department moved to change its required course to a world literature with writing course. The program evolved as department heads got involved, and eventually the Freshman Core shaped up as a shared first-year program in the humanities that would intertwine the teaching of English with other humanities disciplines, such as history, religion, philosophy, and the arts. The Core program was inaugurated in 1964–65. In terms of sheer time, it demanded a lot from students, who dedicated eight credit hours each semester—half the normal first-year course load—to Core classes. In an article in fall 1964 issue of the Luther Alumni Magazine, Bale and Robert Jenson ’51, head of the Philosophy Department, wrote: It may appear that we are attempting to serve up to the student a packaged briefing in Western culture—with all the answers neatly built in. Such an impression is far from the truth. The program is . . . an opening and complicating—and liberating—process. Through acquiring historical perspective the student will increase the scope and clarity of his vision, will see through the answers that he has merely accepted and will come to understand the tentativeness of all forms of human knowledge. By confronting the . . . courses so juxtaposed he will see the intellectual disciplines not only in parallel but in tension; if it makes a new kind of sense to him, the confrontation will also inevitably create new problems that he will be a lifetime solving. The Core eventually stepped aside for the Freshman Studies program of the early 1970s. That paved the way for Luther’s signature Paideia program, introduced in 1977, which includes three interdisciplinary courses. Paideia also incorporates performances and events, including an annual lecture series; library acquisitions; student writing services; a faculty development program that includes sabbatical grants and summer workshops; and a faculty journal, Agora: Luther College in Conversation.
Luther Alumni Magazine
Calendar Naples Area Gathering with President Carlson
Commencement Sunday, May 24 Luther College
Tuesday, January 20 Home of Rick ’61 and Cynthia (Aal) Carlson ’63 Marco Island, Florida
Nordic Choir Companion Tour to Italy
COURTESY OF SHERRY ALCOCK ’82
Midwinter Community Day Saturday, January 24 Regents Center Luther College
Rochester Area Gathering with President Carlson Monday, January 26 Rochester Golf and Country Club Rochester, Minnesota
Young alumni gathered at Mason’s Restaurant Barre in Minneapolis on Nov. 8 to meet President Paula Carlson. Pictured here (left to right) are Julian Stanke ’09, Hannah Armstrong Stanke ’09, Julia (Mann) Gunderson ’09, Paul Armstrong ’12, Liesl Koehnen ’09, Bill Dokken, and Alexander Sievers ’14.
Washington, D.C., Area Gathering with President Carlson
Evening Prayer Service and Dinner
Thursday, January 29 Location to be announced Washington, D.C.
Performance of Handel’s Messiah
Friday, March 13 Tuscany Falls Golf Club Goodyear, Arizona
Friday, March 27 Luther College
Des Moines Area Lunch Connection
10th Annual Kent Finanger ’54 Golf Classic
Friday, February 6 Windsor Heights (Iowa) Community Center
Blessed to Be a Blessing! Retreat Wednesday, February 11– Thursday, February 12 Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center Carefree, Arizona
Celebrating 50 Years of Women’s Sports Luncheon Saturday, February 14 Luther College
Twin Cities Lunch Connection
Saturday, March 14 Tuscany Falls Golf Club at Pebble Creek Goodyear, Arizona
Phoenix Area Dinner Sunday, March 15 Phoenix, Arizona
Tucson Area Dinner Monday, March 16 Tucson, Arizona
Twin Cities Lunch Connection Friday, March 27 The Center for Changing Lives Minneapolis
Brunch and Performance of Handel’s Messiah
Monday, May 25– Friday, June 5 Hosted by Paula J. Carlson and Thomas Shattauer Italy
Decorah NAA Benefit Golf Tournament Monday, June 8 Oneota Golf and Country Club Decorah
Bach and Bonhoeffer Tour to Germany and Czech Republic Sunday, June 14– Saturday, June 27 Hosted by Jim and Karen MartinSchramm and Gregory Peterson ’83 and Ann Sponberg Peterson
Luther Booth at Iowa State Fair
Sunday, March 29 Hilton Hotel and Orchestra Hall Minneapolis
Thursday, August 13– Sunday, August 23 Des Moines, Iowa
Alumni Council Meeting
Saturday, April 11 Loyalty Hall Luther College
Friday, September 25— Sunday, September 27 Luther College
Des Moines Area Lunch Connection
Friday, April 17 Windsor Heights (Iowa) Community Center
Twin Cities Lunch Connection Friday, April 24 The Center for Changing Lives Minneapolis
Friday, October 16— Sunday, October 18 Luther College For updates on gatherings with President Carlson in your area, visit www.luther.edu/alumni/ events/calendar.
Friday, February 27 The Center for Changing Lives Minneapolis Luther alumni events are open to all alumni and friends of the college, including parents and other family members of graduates and students. Please note that some dates listed are tentative; specific information about upcoming events will be mailed or emailed to alumni, friends, and parents who live near the event sites. If you need more information or if you’re interested in planning an event in your area, call the Alumni Office at (800) 225-8664. We’d love to hear from you!
Luther College, 700 College Drive, Decorah, Iowa 52101-1045
President Paula J. Carlson gathered with past Luther presidents H. George Anderson (1982–95), Richard L. Torgerson (1999–2013), and Elwin D. Farwell (1963–81) while all were on campus for her inauguration on Oct. 10, 2014, as the college’s 10th president.
EVAN SOWDER ’15