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fall 2013


Summer science

Initiatives in student-faculty research

Editor Ellen Modersohn Luther Magazine Volume 47, Number 1, Fall 2013

Managing Editor Kate Frentzel

Published by Luther College for alumni, parents, and friends

Designer Michael Bartels

Contributors David Blanchard Sue (Franzen) Drilling ’78 Alexandra Fitschen ’15 Allison Gieswein ’14 Kirk Johnson ’82 Paige Lobdell ’16 Aaron Lurth ’08 Karen Martin-Schramm Judy Riha 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, 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 e-mailed to the Alumni Office at alumni@ Questions and concerns about the magazine may be e-mailed to

Contents Features Grooming better teachers, scientists


Small groups of researchers at Luther this summer aimed to increase the connection between future educators and scientists, between those bound for graduate school and those bound for the classroom.

Commencement 21 Arne Sorenson ’80 urges graduates to be bold about what they believe in, be curious about what’s around them, and take risks.

Senior Profiles


Summer at Luther


Teaching Abroad


Using math to stop disease, exploring the relationship between body and soul, studying medical anthropology at Oxford—learn what new Luther graduates are doing next.

Here’s what happens on campus when most students leave in May.

Teachers educated at Luther are welcomed around the world. Six alumni share their experiences in Abu Dhabi, China, Norway, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Departments Campus 2 Development News............................................ 11 Athletics.............................................................. 14

Alumni 42 Class Notes.........................................................49 Marriages............................................................66 Births/Adoptions................................................66 In Memoriam.......................................................69

luther archives


Alumni Office (800) 225-8664; (800) 2 ALUMNI Admissions Office (800) 458-8437; (800) 4 LUTHER Web Copyright Luther College 2013

inside back

Cover: Nicole Powers ’14 displays one of her finds during a grantfunded butterfly survey in Allamakee County this summer. Opposite: Playing their long game. Chips reported on Sept. 20, 1884: “A match game of football is being played between seniors and juniors combined against freshmen and preps. The game has been going on for two days and is not yet done.” Read more about the history of football at the college in the timeline on pages 16–17, celebrating 100 years of intercollegiate football at Luther.


Campus News

Sharon (Zumdahl) Asp ’70 works on a self-portrait during the portrait workshop taught by Ben Moore ’02, Luther assistant professor of art, during Lutherlag. Hosted by Judee (Deyoung) ’79 and Roger Boyd and Josh and Abbi Anderson, the weeklong Lutherlag also offered classes on such topics as microscopy, sustainable living, and Islam and the West. The annual July gathering was one of the many events that drew alumni and friends to campus this summer for camps, classes, and reunions.

Editor’s Note

Learning all summer We’ve been wrapping up this issue’s stories the past couple of days to the steady rat-a-tat of a jackhammer. It’s all good, though: two levels beneath the Publications offices in the Union, the outside stairway to Carlson Stadium on the south end of the building is being rebuilt. That will make for a smoother, safer trip down to see a football game or to get a burger at Marty’s. On the north end of the Union, the cafeteria serving area also is being remodeled (page 72). In this issue we explode the myth that summer at Luther is a quiet, lazy time. In addition to construction, learning goes on here all season, and on a lot


Luther Alumni Magazine

of different levels. Campus has been humming with academic research groups, Dorian musicians, dance classes, wrestlers training “like a Norseman”— even a group that sews bunads, traditional Norwegian folk costumes. Read about the variety on pages 33–37. Students work on projects with faculty every summer, but this year research trios funded by a $1.5 million Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant also got under way. The aim is to increase the connection between future educators and scientists. We look at two teams, one researching rare butterfly species and another experimenting with a new way to remove pollutants from water (pages 18–20). In July, Luther welcomed David Tiede as interim president. Visual media coordinator

Aaron Lurth ’08 and I talked with him one morning, and on page 4 you can read Tiede’s thoughts on key topics, such as choosing Luther’s next president and assessing the college’s readiness to face the coming challenges in higher education.

Watch video excerpts from the interview at president. And, if you didn’t turn there first, don’t miss the bumper crop of Class Notes, starting on page 49. Luther alumni are busiest of all. —Ellen Modersohn, editor

Do you work with food? We are looking for alumni who have made a career in some aspect of the food industry for stories in a future issue of the Luther Alumni Magazine. From growers to restaurateurs to food writers to marketers and everything in between, if you fit this bill, or know someone who does, e-mail a few sentences about yourself and your venture to Thanks for your help!

Campus News

Ignite! Be fueled by the passion, energy, and virtuosity of this season’s series.

Center Stage Series 2013-14 Join us for amazing artists on the CFL stage! You can now pick out your tickets online at Learn more about this season’s performances at Sept. 14

Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash

Sept. 27

Weiss Kaplan Newman Trio

Oct. 15 Nov. 1

Masters of the Fiddle: Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy

Nov. 16

Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

Feb. 13

Simon Shaheen Ensemble

Feb. 21

Fahrenheit 451—Aquila Theatre

March 8 March 14 April 4

School Performances Sponsor

Tango Fire

Notes from the Balcony: Boston Brass and Enso String Quartet River North Dance Chicago Philip Glass

2013–14 Center Stage Sponsors Luther College Diversity Council

Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Campus News


he year ahead Talking with interim president David Tiede about how Luther can prepare for the future and a new leader

On accepting the appointment as Luther’s interim president:

David Tiede, Ph.D., became Luther’s interim president on July 1. Tiede is president emeritus and professor emeritus of New Testament at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. He served as the Bernhard M. Christensen Professor of Religion and Vocation at Augsburg College in Minneapolis from 2005 to 2010, and as interim president of Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, in 2010. He has served on numerous boards and commissions throughout his career, recently resigning from the regent boards of California Lutheran University and Augsburg College to accept the interim presidency at Luther. On a July morning, he shared his plans and views on what’s ahead for the college.

On the coming year:

I would hope that I could be of some help as an encouraging spirit and a challenging spirit.

Aaron Lurth ’08

I have two objectives this year. One is to keep the trains running, which work very well at Luther College. This is a welldisciplined administration, so that makes this job clear and evident. I’ll be mostly working with the team to accomplish the goals that were already established. And two, to help the college prepare to welcome leadership for what will be a new time of challenge and promise.


Luther Alumni Magazine

Campus News

On steps this fall toward finding a new president: The intention now is to build toward the Board of Regents meeting in October in such fashion that faculty and staff, working with the board, can articulate as proactively as possible to the search committee: This is the leadership that we hope to welcome in our 10th president.

On changes in higher education:

By 2020 the world of higher education will be disrupted: the digitization of everything; the cost spiral that’s not sustainable; the decline of communities in North America, especially faith communities; and the focus on measuring excellence by learning outcomes rather than quality of faculty degrees and books in the library. The ways in which we learn and teach will be affected.

On assessing Luther’s readiness to face change:

I am interested in how tuned in the faculty and the staff are to the level of change that’s coming in higher education. We’re going to be reading the book College (Un)bound (Jeffrey J. Selingo, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013) with the board and the faculty. I think it’ll help us. And then we’re going to ask people: Do you think this is real or do you think this is another fad? If people think we can ride this out, then they won’t engage with the energy that’s needed.… The board and the faculty will talk at this meeting in October. We hope to create an expectation we can communicate to the candidates Luther wants to recruit. And then say to them, This place is ready and eager, knows what it’s facing, and can welcome leadership from someone who can take us to that future.

On deciding what strengths of the college to prioritize:

Between now and the board meeting we are all going to do a lot of listening. What is it that has to be preserved? So far, it sounds like being centered on student learning and their vocations. The student-centered culture here is very powerful, very attractive. You hear this from all of the graduates, too. People love Luther College, with a sense that they were valued and their callings in the world are valued. It’s a wonderful thing. So that’s one. The second one is educational excellence. Not just academic, but a broader sense of excellent learning opportunities in and out of the classroom, networked with shadowing programs and internships. And the third

one has to do with the Lutheran-Christian identity of the place, being a community of learning and a community of faith.

On what makes Lutheran education distinctive:

Lutherans have expanded the realms of research and learning without being nervous about whether it was specifically Christian. They just said, this is our job as human beings to think, learn, figure it all out, but then concurrently to grasp that this is the world that God created, these are the neighbors that God has given to us. And so, it’s a very social understanding of education for the benefit of the neighbor and the world. Unafraid to find out what’s really happening, but then committed that we will make the world a more trustworthy place. It’s not that others don’t value that, but Lutherans have a certain way of going at it that both empowers the studies and research work and then orients them toward a sense of being of service in the world. And at Luther College, we put it all to music! Martin Luther would like that, too.

On innovating to meet the coming challenges:

Luther College, with its strength, has a moment that’s pretty rare, actually: to identify a preferred future and then figure out how to get to it.

On the fact that many colleges are looking for a new president: The length of presidential terms has been getting shorter and shorter and shorter. Luther College is off the chart with nine presidents in 150 years, but the average is now four or five years. The turbulence of change is also disrupting administrations.

On shared governance:

A lot of people think shared governance means that we all get to decide everything. No, that isn’t what it means. It means a real differentiation: who’s responsible for what, in which arena. There are hard lines between faculty responsibilities and presidential or administrative responsibilities and board responsibilities. The board has the ultimate fiduciary responsibilities and hiring and firing of presidents—nobody messes with the board on that. So that also means the board’s role in the search process gets privilege. The presidents and administrations have a variety of jobs that they have to do. There was a time in which schools kept on keeping on, sustaining their routines. Now it’s much more proac-

tive. We all listen for what is needed from us. Then, we talk with each other—faculty, staff, students, and regents—about how the college can make its impact effectively, efficiently, and faithfully. Then we go to work. And we need power in every office. Primarily guarding the power vested in teaching and learning because that’s the most important thing we do. So I call governance the stewardship of powers to accomplish the mission. And the double bottom line is always fulfilling the educational mission with economic viability. So everybody’s responsible for the double bottom line, but we all have different jobs.

On his interests outside of the office:

I’m a very blessed person. I’m chairing the board at Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center, in Carefree, Ariz. And their executive director, Paul Campbell, has done a really interesting job of thinking about who comes to the Phoenix area. Many are retired. Some of them are our graduates. So he’s focusing on a sense of calling in the third chapter of life. And that’s becoming a focus of my interest right now.

On his family:

I don’t brag much, but I married very well. Muffy and I have two wonderful kids. Our daughter’s a pastor and our son’s an attorney, so we say we have the law and the gospel covered. And we have four grandchildren on each side. The eldest is now a freshman at Concordia College, Moorhead, and the youngest is five. She was adopted from China and just went through a major cardiac surgery and is coming along very nicely. So my wife and I spend a lot of time tending grandchildren. We also have two step-grandchildren. And then we have our Jewish Mexican additional son, who has lived with us off and on for many years, and now is happily married and has three boys. When we sent out our Christmas card last year, we were all there.

On his e-mail tagline:

“David Tiede, in chapter three, blessed to be a husband, father, and grandfather; a student of the New Testament and Christian origins; a friend of the institutions of the church and their leaders.” Those are the sorts of things that turn my light on. Those are the sorts of things that register with a sense of calling, which was why I was open to accept the interim presidency. Video excerpts at Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Aaron Lurth ’08

Campus News

Bill Musser ’80, librarian at Seed Savers Exchange, talks with German 102 students about books in the Seed Savers collection.

Heirloom seeds become teaching tool for German class Students in Ruth Kath’s German 102 class learned about culture in German-speaking countries last spring in a special way: by growing seeds brought to Iowa by German immigrants,

Students entered class one day last winter to find their desks had been replaced by a large blue tarp, pots, and packets of seeds.


Luther Alumni Magazine

Ruth Kath

tasting the plants those seeds produced, and hearing about the lives of those immigrants. Kath, professor of German, developed the interdisciplinary approach, called the Heritage Garden Project in Beginning German, with the help of Luther’s Center for Sustainable Communities, Diane Ott Whealy, cofounder of Seed Savers Exchange, and Bill

Musser ’80, librarian at the exchange’s headquarters north of Decorah. Students entered class one day last winter to find their desks had been replaced by a large blue tarp, pots, and packets of seeds. Not just any seeds, though. These carried Whealy’s personal legacy. They were the descendants of seeds brought from Germany by Whealy’s great-grandfather when he emigrated from Bavaria to St. Lucas, Iowa. To ensure that he would have something familiar in his new surroundings, he brought with him seeds of the German pink tomato and a morning glory variety that Whealy later named Grandpa Ott’s. Whealy visited her grandfather when he became terminally ill in his old age, asked him for some of his seeds, and preserved his heritage by planting those seeds, then saving them after harvest time. Not long after, in

1975, she and her then husband Kent Whealy founded the Seed Savers Exchange, a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving and sharing heirloom seeds. Diane Ott Whealy and Musser spoke to Kath’s classes, and Whealy shared stories and photos about her grandfather and his experience as an immigrant farmer. The heirloom tomato and morning glory seeds were then grown in Luther’s greenhouse under the care of gardener Perry Halse. Students planted Austrian heirloom seeds of Forellenschluss lettuce in pots beside a large window in the Main Building tower. Through the semester, they tended their “little children,” as Kath puts it, finally harvesting and donating the lettuce to a Decorah food pantry. The class also toured Seed Savers Exchange, learning how the many seed varieties are propagated, preserved, and

Campus News


Regular seating Folding chairs Accessible seating Aisle number



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By planting species of seeds that are not native to the Decorah area, we are increasing and encouraging genetic diversity to flourish in our area.” Kath incorporated German lessons—such as on the past tense—by having students write responses and participate in class discussion about sustainability, immigration, and Grandpa Ott’s story. Happy with the results, Kath asks, “Who would have thought a German class would learn about this?”






















cataloged in the basement lab and getting a quick tour of the top-floor library, where Musser maintains historic books and periodicals that tell the story of gardening and agriculture. Kath says one of the most rewarding parts of the project was seeing how her students made connections with other areas of their learning such as biology, ethnobotany, and sustainability. Laura Post ’16 says, “I was initially exposed to the impact of genetic diversity on an ecosystem in Biology 151 at Luther.


—Paige Lobdell ’16

Ticketing process for campus events goes online in August

Bob Modersohn

Ticketing for all Luther campus programming, from the Center Stage Series to SAC concerts to Christmas at Luther, can now be done online at Ticket buyers can choose their own seats and accessible seating arrangements can be made online as well. All accessible seats are labeled on the online seating chart.

Sarah Nolte ’14 and Greg Olk ’15 tend to pots of heirloom Austrian Forellenschluss lettuce in the Main Building tower.

Translating the immigrant experience Over the summer, Kath added another immigrant’s experience to the German 102 materials, that of Heinrich “Henry” Fruechte, great-grandfather of Wilfred Bunge ’53, Luther professor emeritus of religion and classics. Six years ago, Kath transcribed letters Fruechte wrote about his life in America to family back in Germany. He had written them in the now-historical Sütterlin script, and Kath transcribed them into modern German. This summer, she chose a number of letters to edit and reference with vocabulary to make them accessible to beginning German students, developing supporting materials such as commentary on historical events, measurements, and monetary references. “These letters promise to give Luther students of German a deeper personal sense of environmental sustainability by showing them a second immigrant life in this area, especially the growing of food, a historical theme that is fast becoming a national focus again,” she wrote in her grant proposal for the project.

Christmas at Luther Christmas at Luther features performances by six choirs under the direction of Allen Hightower, Andrew Last ’97, Linda Martin, and Jennaya Robison ’96; Luther Ringers, led by college organist Gregory Peterson ’83; Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Daniel Baldwin; brass fanfares led by Joan deAlbuquerque; and audience singing. Concert dates and times this year are Dec. 5, 5:45 p.m.; Dec. 6, 6:30 and 9:15 p.m.; Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m.; and Dec. 8, 2:30 p.m. Those who received a mailing in September inviting them to purchase Christmas at Luther tickets must validate their account at before the ticket sales dates and before purchasing their tickets. Log in using the e-mail address and the unique password provided on the invitation and then follow the directions provided. Parents of Christmas at Luther participants may purchase up to four tickets starting at 9 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, Sept. 24. Everyone else who received the invitation may purchase up to 4 tickets beginning at 9 a.m. CDT, Thursday, Oct. 10. Tickets range from $25–$35. Children under age 6 are not admitted into the concert. Student performers do not need a ticket. There is a $2 transaction fee per ticket. The ticketing process will open to the general public on Nov. 1. Holiday Buffet tickets and Christmas at Luther merchandise may be purchased in the same transaction as concert tickets. Anyone who received the invitation but does not have Internet access may call the Luther College Box Office at (563) 387-1357 to order tickets beginning Oct. 10 at 9 a.m. Box office hours are Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–3 p.m., Thursday, 9 a.m.–7 p.m. You will need your credit card and the account number above your name on the front of the mailing.

Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Campus News

This past spring six professors retired from Luther: Richard Halverson, Kate Martinson, Mark Muggli, Peter Sholl, Marvin Slind, and Wendy Stevens ’69. Several of them shared what they learned, or will take with them, from their experiences at Luther. Luther makes high claims of providing a holistic, liberating education, and I marvel at how often we fulfill this mission. Such an education is most possible, and richest, when it is communal—when teachers and learners are indistinguishable in their curiosity, commitment, and vulnerability, equally focused on the subtle, varied, and disciplined methods we use to explore life’s deepest mysteries. . . . . I am deeply grateful for the education I’ve had at Luther over the last 35 years. But I’ve always told students not to expect to see immediate results from their Luther educations, and I’m hoping that I have enough years ahead of me that I will see more seeds turn to blossom and fruit. —Mark Muggli, professor emeritus of English Teaching Paideia I for most of my 36 years at Luther was the worst and best teaching experience of my life. In its first year, 1977—my own first year at Luther—Paideia met for two common lectures and two discussion sessions per week. It was and remains a required, interdisciplinary course. The diverse interests of the students, the different disciplines and


Luther Alumni Magazine

Maria Da Silva ’15

What the professors learned at Luther Professors emeriti had their photo taken with President Emeritus Rick Torgerson at a recognition dinner last spring. Left to right: Marvin Slind, Kate Martinson, Torgerson, Wendy Stevens ’69, Peter Scholl, Richard Halverson. orientations of the faculty, and the variety of texts and topical units made the course the most challenging of any I ever taught. As we read Herodotus’s history of the Persian Wars and Thucydides on the Peloponnesian Wars, it seemed that the weekly staff meetings might be called the Paideia Wars. But looking back, I think that most of the surviving, battle-weary veteran teachers of Paideia have learned a number of things: that using half of all classroom time for lectures is a mistake; that writing should be seen as a process, and essays should be assigned with stages; that teachers and students should ideally comment on drafts of student writing; that individual instructors and sections shouldn’t be utterly bound to a common course plan; and that almost all pedagogical aims and methods evolve, and teachers should always strive to be open to the new. —Peter Scholl, professor emeritus of English As a graduate of another liberal arts college of the Lutheran Church (Pacific Lutheran University), when I came to Luther, I was expecting students and faculty to be committed to the ideals of a liberal education and the active exchange of ideas within the academic community. I was not disappointed. But as

a student, I had relatively little direct contact with staff. After teaching for 23 years at a large university, I had learned how much an institution depends on a wide variety of staff to function effectively. But that did not prepare me for the dedication of the Luther staff with whom I had the privilege of working. My own research would not have been possible without support from the college Archives, Preus Library, and the Dean’s Office. But I also know that many students would never have graduated without the patient support and assistance of offices like Admissions, the Registrar, Student Academic Support Services, Dining Services, Financial Services, Residence Life, Student Affairs, and Counseling Services, to name just a few. (My apologies to the many offices I have failed to mention.) I know how frustrating it can be to deal with students and faculty, both of whom often have a tendency to recognize urgency, but not prior planning. I know that without the constant efforts of the staff at Luther, the experiences of both students and faculty would be much less successful. And for their assistance, I am very grateful. —Marvin Slind, professor emeritus of history In 1997 I taught the first human dissection course at Luther.

There were two rules: 1. Total respect for the cadavers (or donors, as we call them) and everyone else in the lab. 2. Learn as much as possible. After all, the donors had “given their bodies to science,” and this gave an additional level of responsibility to all that we did. It was apparent to me that I would do my best to guide our study of the human body. The donors would be the actual teachers. What was not apparent to me, at least in the beginning, was how students would grow in this environment. No one dissects everything during a semester or J-term of human dissection. By necessity students become class experts in the areas they have dissected. They must take the responsibility to learn their dissections thoroughly and to become good teachers, and they must depend upon other students to teach them accurately. As a result they find strengths in their classmates, make new friends, and above all establish a high level of professionalism and trust as the semester progresses. Watching students grow from the first day, when they are unsure, hesitant, and scared, to individuals who are confident, capable, and ready to take on challenges has to be one of the greatest satisfactions of teaching. —Wendy Stevens ’69, assistant professor emeritus of biology

Campus News

Phyllis Yes ’63, acrylic, 2012, three-by-four feet (from the series God’s Flowers)

Exhibits scheduled for Luther’s art galleries in 2013–14 include shows by students, alumni, and other professional artists. Phyllis Yes ’63 opened the gallery season with paintings of bouquets of flowers. Yes, who last exhibited at Luther about 25 years ago, gained national notoriety in 1984 when she covered a 1967 Porsche with hand-painted lace rosettes and drove the car across the country for a gallery show in New York. She will give a gallery talk during Homecoming weekend at 4 p.m. Oct. 5 in the Wigley-Fleming gallery. Kristin Wigley-Fleming Fine Arts Gallery, Center for the Arts • Sept. 5–Oct. 13: Phyllis Yes ’63 (paintings) • Oct. 28–Dec. 13: Wendell Arneson ’68 (paintings) • Jan. 15–March 7: Travis Head (paintings/drawings) • March 17–Apr 24: Patrick Luber (sculpture) • May 6–May 25: Senior art majors Preus Library • Sept. 6–Oct. 18: Aaron Lurth ’08 (photography) • Oct. 28–Dec. 13: Susan Coleman (pastels) • Feb. 5–March 21: Zane Vredenburg (graphic design) • April 7–May 25: Gerhard Marcks (exhibit curated from the Luther Fine Arts Collection by Luther students Aaron Zauner ’14 and Hans Becklin ’14) Center for Faith and Life • Sept. 4–Oct. 18: Sandra Steinbrecher (photography) • Oct. 25–Dec. 8: Kristen Malcolm Berry (calligraphic paintings of New Testament images) • Jan. 20–Feb. 20: Sports, Race and Media (exhibit curated by Luther student Ian Carstens ’14) • Feb. 24–March 21: Sarah Smelser (prints) • April 1–May 25: Mary Zeran (2-D mixed media) Exhibits and dates are subject to change.

Kraus to continue as dean of college Kevin Kraus will serve as vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college for an additional two academic years (2014–15 and 2015–16) beyond his current three-year

term concluding May 2014. This extension ensures continuity in the Dean’s Office as the 10th president is identified and assumes leadership on campus.

Aaron Lurth ’08

Phyllis Yes ’63 opens 2013–14 gallery schedule

Luther receives Iowa environmental award Luther was among 21 Iowa organizations and businesses to receive an Environmental Excellence Award from Gov. Terry Branstad in June. The college was awarded Special Recognition in Energy Efficiency/Renewable Energy for its work in solar energy. With a Department of Energy grant of $750,000, the college developed multiple energy-saving projects over the past several years, this spring installing a 20-kW PV array to power the Shirley Baker Commons building in Baker Village. The commons serves as a gathering space for students and college guests and includes a main lounge, bathrooms, a staging kitchen, and laundry facilities for students living in the adjacent Baker Village townhouses, which accommodate more than 100 students. The four townhouses are powered by a 280-kW array situated on the north end of campus.

Bradley Chamberlain, chemistry, receives Andersen Lecture Award Bradley Chamberlain, Luther associate professor of chemistry, received the 2013 Janet Andersen Lecture Award from the Midstates Consortium for Math and Science. The award was established in 2008 in memory of Hope College professor of mathematics Janet Andersen. The consortium seeks to improve undergraduate science and mathematics education by pro-

viding high-quality and flexible professional development opportunities for students and faculty at member institutions. Chamberlain’s research in polymer chemistry has led to numerous publications and presentations and has been funded by over a dozen grants for more than $600,000. His work has provided research opportunities for 40 Luther students.

Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Campus News

Fulbright Scholars named for 2013–14 Laura Harney ’13, Matthew Lind ’13, and Kimberly Horner ’11 were selected for Fulbright awards for the 2013–14 academic year. Kimberly Rooney ’13 was chosen as an alternate. A highly competitive award, the Fulbright foreign scholarship provides funds for a year’s educational experience abroad, including travel, health insurance, and a living stipend. Harney, from Rochester, Minn., majored in Spanish and biology. She will serve as an English teaching assistant in Ecuador. Harney chose to teach in order to connect with students through open dialogue and discovery. She believes mutual respect between teacher and student is essential and that it is the teacher’s duty to encourage students to think critically and question the world around them. Lind, from Wausau, Wis., majored in international studies and political science. He will serve as an English teaching assistant in Turkey. Read more about Lind in the Senior Candids feature on page 26. Horner, from Logansport, Ind., an anthropology major, has chosen to pursue another opportunity and has not accepted the Fulbright. Sponsored by the State Department, the Fulbright is the largest U.S. international exchange program, offering opportunities for students, scholars, and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, and teaching at elementary, secondary, and university schools worldwide.

Student group presents one of top proposals at Clinton Global Initiative Eight Luther students presented a proposal on the theme Bringing Ideas into Action and the topic A Better Future for Girls and Women at the Clinton Global Initiative University conference in April at St. Louis’s Washington University. Rudie Desravines ’15, Natalino Guterres ’13, Amelia Kundel ’13, Laura Mesadieu ’15, Elsie Muronzie ’15, Rahul Patle ’14, Claudia Velastegui Cobo ’15, and Nemanja Vuksanovic ’14 spent two days presenting, observing, and problem solving. The Luther students represented Paigaam, a student organization that offers peace and nonviolence training and works toward youth and women’s empowerment. Paigaam’s proposal was selected as one of 20 champions from among the 1,000 students at the conference, and Rahul Patle represented the team on stage. Paigaam’s proposal was called PadUcation. Many girls and young women in developing

countries do not have access to sanitary pads, causing them to miss school or drop out altogether. Because the teenage years are such a crucial time in education, Paigaam chose to focus on them. In addition to presenting at the conference, Luther students got involved in PadUcation by collecting supplies of sanitary pads from fellow Luther students. The group raised funds for shipping costs and sent them to their collaborator, Agness Igoye, at St. Jude Junior School and Chain of Hope in Uganda. Conference events included skill and work sessions. Participants also volunteered time working on a number of restorative projects and facility updates around Gateway STEM High School as part of a community service event hosted by the Clinton Global Initiative. Projects included painting, carpeting, grounds maintenance, storage clean out, and garden construction.

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Campus News

development news

President’s Council life members were honored on campus May 4. Pictured are, left to right, Roald ’54 and Ruth Nelson, President Richard Torgerson, and Linda and Leon Gregg. Preus Circle, Decorah Bank and Trust; and Ylvisaker Circle to Olson Circle, Paula (Hermeier) ’76 and Kurtis Meyer ’76, Pat and David Miller ’64, Dorie and Donald Olson ’48, Marilyn (Haugen) ’66 and Jeff Roverud ’66, and Associated Colleges of the Midwest. Membership in the President’s Council honors those who

have provided financial support to Luther of $1,000 or more in a calendar year. Starting Jan. 1, 2014, all gifts to Luther in a calendar year (January 1–December 31) of $1,500 or more will qualify for recognition in the Luther College President’s Council. Life membership honors those whose cumulative outright gifts total $100,000 or more, those who

Kirk Johnson ’82

New President’s Council life members Linda and Leon Gregg, Ruth and Roald Nelson ’54, and Meg and Brad Thompson ’81 were honored for their exemplary giving during the council’s annual recognition event May 4. Unable to attend the event but also achieving this level of support were new life members Patricia and O. Jay Tomson, Karen and Gregory Bruening ’78, Helene (Rowe) ’48 and +Edward Furst, Ingeborg (Bader) Goessl ’60, Jan (Engle) ’62 and John Gray, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Special acknowledgment was also given to the life members of President’s Council who advanced to the next cumulative recognition level—Preus Circle to Larsen Circle, Shirley (Klingsheim) ’59, and +E.E. “Ray” Bentdahl ’59; Olson Circle to

Chip Peterson ’80

President’s Council recognizes life members

Meg and Brad Thompson ’81

have established irrevocable planned gifts with remainder interest present values of $100,000 or more, those who have made irrevocable gifts of life insurance policies with cash values of $100,000 or more, or those who have contributed combinations thereof.

More than 50 student scholarship recipients gathered at the Legacy Trust scholarship luncheon held May 4 on campus. The Legacy Trust recognizes gifts to the Luther endowed scholarship program, with membership offered to donors who establish endowed scholarships of $25,000 or more. A list of scholarship donors can be found on the Luther website at legtr.

Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Campus News

Reiso ’54 receives Pioneer award At the Heritage Club dinner in May, Curtis Reiso ’54 was honored with the Pioneer Memorial Award. This award, established in 1988, recognizes individuals who characterize the spirit of the Heritage Club and whose generous support serves as an inspiration to others. Reiso worked at Luther for more than 40 years, retiring in 1995. He spent time in the Admissions and Development Offices, as well as the college’s Career Center and as coordinator of music activities, where he coordinated 86 concert tours

36% 30%

during his service. While serving as associate director of development, he oversaw all alumni activities, including Homecoming and Alumni Council, and

raised funds for projects such as the Field House, Valders Hall of Science, Preus Library, and the Center for Faith and Life. As executive director of development and later as associate vice

president, Reiso planted the seeds for many of the department’s current programs as he coordinated alumni development boards and initiated recognition programs for parents, class agents, and donors. His responsibilities also grew to include public relations, public information, corporate and foundation activity, and planned giving. He has remained involved with Luther activities and in his support of the college. In addition to his consistent gifts to the Annual Fund, various capital projects, and the Reiso Endowment Fund—established to support career development and professional growth of adminis-

trative and support staff at Luther—Reiso has made generous planned gifts. In 2008 he funded a gift annuity of $420,000 to enhance the staff development fund, and, in 2013, he gifted farmland valued at $1,193,900, with $500,000 committed toward Luther’s aquatic center and $693,900 designated for a second gift annuity that will fund an endowment supporting Jenson-Noble Hall of Music. He has also designated the college to receive his home and cabin properties. In recognition of his exceptional loyalty, the main hallway of Jenson-Noble will be named the Curtis Reiso Atrium.

Annual Fund support by percentage


Scholarships Enhanced teaching and learning


Student life experiences on campus

Sustaining the Mission: Support for Luther’s Annual Fund and more During this time of leadership transition, and building on the success and momentum of the Sesquicentennial Fund, Luther’s development efforts remain focused on the college’s student-centered mission. A two-year transitional funding initiative, Sustaining the Mission, will focus on growing the Annual Fund, completing funding for the aquatic center, and securing support for select program and scholarship endowments. In addition, as the development program establishes new reunion class initiatives for key reunion years, an enhanced planned-giving effort is being launched in tandem with the ongoing effort to increase alumni participation and support for the Annual Fund. All gifts given by alumni increase alumni participation rates, an important factor in positioning Luther in national college rankings and opening doors for foundation proposals in support of the college’s mission-based needs. Learn more about the many ways to support Luther College at


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Sandy Lee, vice chairperson of the Luther Board of Regents, displays a table created for Rick and Judy Torgerson, one of many gifts presented.

Generous giving honors Torgersons A Torgerson Tribute: 14 Years of Mojo from the Get-Go!, held on campus in May, celebrated president emeritus Rick and Judy Torgerson’s tenure at Luther. Development officers revealed support quietly given and pledged by more than 470 donors in honor of the Torgersons. This support, which establishes or advances the Richard and Judith Torgerson Scholarship, the Judy Torgerson Scholarship for Study Abroad, the Torgerson Student/Faculty Research Fellowship, and the Center for Nordic Studies, came as a complete surprise to the couple. Giving in their honor continues and is gratefully received by the college. Including generous support from O. Jay and Patricia Tomson, establishing the Torgerson Center for Nordic Studies, and from Sandy and Mick Lee ’57, establishing the Strengths Based Servant Leadership Program­­, giving to Luther in honor of the Torgersons totals over $2.5 million.

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Love for college and habit of giving grow through the years

Maria da Silva ’15

planning officer, and created In 1990, Luther had an opening the Ruby Andereck Fund for on the voice faculty in the music Music, an endowed fund in department. Ed Andereck was the his mother’s memory, which fourth candidate of four to intermay someday fund a music view on a rainy April day, during scholarship or other need in an especially soggy spring. the department. He remembers it vividly. “I was immediately drawn to the Inspired teaching. various faculty who would be my Andereck says that he long future colleagues and could see ago stopped trying to compete that, because of their dedication with his students in vocal to Luther, they all took a special ability because so many gifted interest in me as a possible future students already sang much colleague,” Andereck says. “I had better than he did at their been singing professionally for age. “This was difficult at first, six years, and was nearing the Ed Andereck, Luther professor of music, says he thought he might singers being quite concerned completion of my doctor of musispend only a year teaching at Luther, but he grew to love the school and about their own superiority,” cal arts degree at the University of Decorah. One year turned into more than 20. he says. “But this decision Cincinnati, College Conservatory has freed me to discover what of Music.” Andereck gave to what is now known as makes a fine voice work at an optimal level, The interview went well and the 75the Lucille Stansberry Rosholt Distinction and has helped me to be a better singer.” mile drive back to the Rochester airport in Accompanying and Collaborative KeyAndereck adds, “In addition to teaching gave Andereck time for serious thinking. board Performance Award. This competitalented and inquisitive students, I remained Would relocating to northeast Iowa—at tive award, given in the form of a scholarat Luther these many years because of the minimum an hour’s drive from a regional ship, recognizes the vital contributions and amazing colleagues with whom I am priviairport—bode well for his quest for operatic artistry of Luther student accompanists. leged to work and perform. The talent and success? Was this the right professional fit? “Many of my faculty colleagues have the community of spirit in the music departThe phone was ringing when he arrived contributed far more to various Luther ment has historically been of the first rank.” home, with an offer to join the Luther programs than I have,” Andereck adds, Luther thanks the many faculty and staff faculty. “I decided I could take the job for a “and this has indeed been an inspiration who so generously support life and learnyear and see how things went,” Andereck to me. Also, my former student and longing on this campus through their personal says. “At the time, I never thought I would time friend Eric Cutler ’99, as a result of giving—the college is pleased and honored come to love a state, a town, and a school his career success and the love he holds for to acknowledge that more than $2.6 millike I have Iowa, Decorah, and Luther.” He Luther, has been extremely generous.” lion in outright and deferred support was smiles and adds, “Twenty-three years later Others, too, have inspired Andereck’s given from our (nonalumni) faculty, staff, and I’m still learning interesting things giving. Generous donors include Sally and and emeriti to The Sesquicentennial Fund, about where I live, and I’m still enjoying Al Brudos ’55, who, Anderek says, “have which closed on December 31, 2012. my work in the music department.” helped incalculably to showcase opera at At Luther College we practice joyful This love for teaching was immediately Luther College by endowing the Brudos stewardship of the resources that surround apparent to others. In his fourth year, AnFamily Prize in Opera Performance, as well us, and we strive to be a community where dreck was asked to serve on a campus camas a newer endowed fund that makes it students, faculty, and staff are enlivened paign task force inviting faculty and staff to possible to invite a prominent professional and transformed by encounters with one support the Fund for Luther III campaign. singer or teacher to present an annual masanother, by the exchange of ideas, and by He heard the college’s message that particiter class.” He strongly believes that such this life of faith and learning. This college pation mattered and that any gift, regardgenerous commitments have inspired not community gives so much in time, talent, less of the size, was important to the success only him, but students. and treasure. We are deeply grateful. of the campus campaign. In May of 1994, Thank you, Ed Andereck, for your many he started giving through payroll deduction Inspired giving. gifts. Thank you all. in support of Fund for Luther III and has Years ago, after his father passed away, since supported the Leadership for a New Andereck’s mother, Ruby Andereck, made — Ann Sponberg Peterson Century campaign, A Higher Calling camit financially possible for him to pursue paign, and The Sesquicentennial Fund. his doctorate. More recently, when Ruby Learn more about giving to Luther at (800) “As my paychecks grew, so did my passed away in February 2010, Andereck 225.8664; or at monthly giving,” he says. For many years, visited with Doug Nelson ’82, senior gift

Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Campus News


Luther All-America softball outfielder Shari Huber ’13 has received a postgraduate scholarship from the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The NCAA awarded one-time, nonrenewable educational grants of $7,500 to 58 studentathletes—29 men and 29 women who competed in spring sports. Huber, a physical education major and biology minor, graduated summa cum laude with a 3.95 grade point average. She is working toward a doctorate in physical therapy at the University of Iowa.

Shari Huber ’13

During her four years in a Norse uniform, she was a 2012 National Fastpitch Coaches Association third-team AllAmerican and twice a firstteam all-Iowa Conference and all-Midwest Region selection. She helped lead Luther to four consecutive appearances at the NCAA III National Softball Championships, two Iowa Conference titles, and three Iowa Conference Tournament championships, while the Norse compiled a four-year record of 157–33. Her career batting average of .399 sits atop Luther’s all-time list. She also ranks first for career hits (206) and runs scored


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Maria da silva ’15

Shari Huber ’13 receives NCAA postgraduate scholarship

Luther College softball players, left to right, Kelsey Weindruch ’13, Elisa Smith ’13, Morgan Franklin ’13, and Shari Huber ’13 (shown with head coach Renae Hartl, center) qualified all four years at Luther for the NCAA III Softball Championships. (167), while her 35 doubles and 79 walks both rank third. She is also listed sixth all-time for stolen bases with 27. Defensively, she committed just three errors in 145 opportunities for a career field percentage of .979 that ranks 10th all-time. Her academic honors included four-time NFCA Scholar All-American; three-time Iowa Conference Spring all-Academic; twice named to the District 8 Capital One Division III Academic All-District Softball Team, selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America; and in 2012 she was named Capital One CoSIDA NCAA Division III Academic All-America. Huber, a 2009 graduate of North Scott High School, is the daughter of Barry and Lisa Huber of Eldridge, Iowa. She is the 36th Luther student-athlete and the 11th student athlete in the past seven years to receive this award.

Sports recaps Baseball

10–18 in IIAC, 14–22 overall After winning the final game of the season, the Norse fell just short of a conference-tournament bid. The Norse finished third in the league in hitting, fifth in the league in pitching, and sixth in the league in defense. Four Norse earned all-conference honors. Named to the firstteam was shortstop Eric Pittman ’14, while pitcher Alex Byom ’13, outfielder Andy Briggs ’13, and catcher Mitch Knippenberg ’16 were second-team selections. These are first-time honors for all four players. Men’s golf

Second in IIAC With two all-conference performers in Andrew Peter ’14 and Tobias Kohl ’14, the Norse finished the season with a second-place finish in the IIAC tournament. Peter captured the

individual title of the 2013 Iowa Conference Championship and was named the Iowa Conference Golfer of the Year. In postseason news, Peter was also named PING All-Central Region and PING All-American, becoming the third golfer in Luther history to do so. Joel Bruns ’14 and Kohl also were named Cleveland Golf/ Srixon All-America Scholars. The Norse also had firstplace finishes in the UW–Eau Claire Invitational and the Loras Invite. Softball

9–5 in IIAC, 33–11 overall For the fourth time in as many years, the Norse qualified for the NCAA III National Championships, also earning the team’s third Iowa Conference title in the past four years. The Norse earned several honors over the course of the 2013 campaign, including Shari Huber ’13 and Becca Girvan ’14 being named to the Capital

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One Academic All-District team; five Norse being named all-conference, with first-team honors going to Huber, Elisa Smith ’13, and Miranda McCay ’16, and second-team honors going to Morgan Franklin ’13 and Girvan; and five being named to National Fastpitch Coaches Association all-Midwest Region team, including Huber’s firstteam honor, Girvan’s secondteam honor, and third-team honorees Smith, Kelsey Weindruch ’13, and Carli Radil ’16. Huber was also named to the NCAA III Softball Championships all-tournament team, and she received an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and was the Iowa Conference nominee for 2013 NCAA Woman of the Year. In addition, the Luther coaching staff earned a fourth consecutive NFCA Midwest Region Coaching Staff of the Year award. The Norse are led by head coach Renae Hartl, pitching coach Tracy Hjelle, and assistant coaches Teri Olson and Erika Randall.

and doubles), Nick Mozena ’13, Quinn Foley ’15, James Ayer ’14, Matt Bellio ’14, and Torstein Jystad ’15. Women’s tennis

16–7 overall; runner-up in IIACNCAA Tournament Automatic Qualifier The women’s tennis team was named a 2013 Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-Academic Team for the 12th time in as many years. Individually, nine Norse were also recognized as ITA Scholar-Athletes including Elise Allen ’13, Katy Lindstrom ’13, Annie Whiteley ’13, Sarah Christopherson ’14, Adriana DePaolis ’15, Lola White-Baer ’15, Molly Brown ’16, Olivia Heitz ’16, and Hailey Johnson ’16. Men’s track and field

Fifth in IIAC The Norse advanced several runners to the IIAC Outdoor Championships, crowning one conference champion in Marty Mitchell ’13, 10,000 meters, with Mitchell earning allconference honors in the 5,000

meters as well. John Freude ’14 and Nick Clark ’13 also earned all-conference honors in the 1,500 and 400 respectively. Three Luther relays competed in the Drake Relays, the 4 x 1,600, 4 x 200, and the distance medley relay. Women’s track and field

Second in IIAC The women’s track and field team was named U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association 2013 AllAcademic Team. Luther was one of 148 NCAA III institutions to earn this award. Seven members of the team earned USTFCCAA All-Academic honors, including Annie Klepper ’13, Addy Rickels ’13, Christina Storlie ’13, Maggie Pierson ’14, Leah Broderick ’15, Jackie Hoyme ’16, and Tricia Serres ’16. The team finished the season on a high note, with three Norse qualifying for the NCAA III Outdoor Track Championships. Serres headlined the effort, breaking a school record and

earning All-American honors in the 1,500. Serres missed double All-American honors by just .02 seconds in the 800 finals. Former Decorah High School athletes Hoyme and Storlie also competed, with Hoyme placing 12th in the discus and Storlie placing 21st in the 3,000 steeplechase. Four Luther relays qualified for the Drake Relays this season, with competitors in the distance medley relay, the 4 x 200, the 4 x 400, and the 4 x 800. The Norse had 15 allconference performers: Jayne Cole ’14, 10,000 meters* and 5,000; Amanda Dunn ’14, hammer throw*; Broderick, heptathlon* and javelin; Pierson, Klepper, Kayla Uphoff ’14, and Serres, 4 x 800*; Serres, 800* and 1,500*; Pierson, 1,500 and 5,000; Gabrielle Murphy ’16, long jump and triple jump; Storlie, 10,000 and 3,000 steeplechase; Rickels, heptathlon; Marea Holkesvik ’16, Anna Hennessy ’13, Hannah Theisen ’16, and Kelsey Strand ’15, 4 x 400. *Denotes conference champion

Women’s swimming and diving

Aaron Lurth ’08

Luther’s women’s swimming and diving team has earned Scholar All-American honors for the spring semester from the College Swimming Coaches Association of America. With this honor, the women have been recognized for the 11th year in a row. Clare Slagel ’16 earned the CSCAA Scholar All-American first-team award. Earning Honorable Mention Scholar AllAmerican Award honors were Norse swimmers Lexi Scharmer ’16 and Katherine Blocker ’14 and diver Zoe Johnson ’16. Men’s tennis

6–1 in IIAC, 14–10 overall; runner-up in IIAC-NCAA Tournament Automatic Qualifier Six Norse were recognized as all-conference performers: Ramesh Karki ’14 (in singles

A day after the new aquatic center passed inspections, June 26, the Luther swim team was invited on campus for an afternoon dip. The $6.39 million center features a Myrtha pool, the latest in pool technology. Luther is the first collegiate venue in the Midwest to have a Myrtha pool. During Homecoming 2013, there will be a service of dedication at 5 p.m., Friday, Oct. 4. An alumni swim meet will begin at 11:30 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 5. Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Campus News

100 Seasons of Luther College Football


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This fall marks Luther’s 100th season of varsity football. The game became an intercollegiate sport in 1892, but was played only among Luther classes from 1897 to 1918, when football again became intercollegiate. Here are some of the highlights of the past 100 seasons.

Football squad of 1892

1920’s football field in front of Preus Gymnasium

1877 Football is introduced at Luther. Using rugby rules, games are played between classes and sometimes go on for days. 1892 Recognized as the first

year of intercollegiate football, club teams play games against neighboring colleges such as Iowa University, Coe College, Upper Iowa University, and Carleton College. 1896 On Oct. 3, the first regular game of football is played on the home grounds of Luther against Coe College. Luther players are from the Army Training Corps. According to the 1920 Pioneer, Coe defeated Luther 12–8. “The visiting team arrived on the 2:10 train in the afternoon and left again at 3:55, thus making the time to play in very limited. Buses were in waiting at the depot, and they were immediately driven to the grounds, where play was begun at 2:20, and a more stubbornly fought game has seldom been seen on these grounds. “The members of the Coe team are all gentlemanly players and no rough playing was indulged in on either side. On the contrary, a friendly feeling existed between the two teams during the entire game, and frequently the opposing players were seen to chat with one another, as if they were friends of old.” 1897–1918 Football is abol-

Freshmen football squad, 1916. This is a snapshot of the victorious Freshies, who defeated the Sophomores, 7–0, Oct. 14, 1916. The child, who acted as a mascot, is a son of Carlo Sperati, Luther class of 1888, professor of music and religion. Sixth from right is Hamlet Peterson ’22.


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ished. A College Chips issue from that year says: “The sentiment among the majority of the old friends and constituents of our school is strongly opposed to the game as being a sport the nature of which approaches the brutal.” During this time class games resume, and a freshman-sophomore game becomes an annual event. Games are sometimes played between the Means (sophomores and juniors) and the Extremes (seniors and freshman). 1918 Football again becomes an intercollegiate sport, and Luther plays games against Campion

(Prairie du Chien, Wis.; no longer in existence) and Upper Iowa. 1919 Walter Jewell (who played tackle on the Iowa University 11) is hired as Luther’s first football coach. Thirty-five players report, with most having no experience playing, and he leads them to a 2–4 record. Luther wins its first game with a head coach, 29–6 over Campion. 1920 Oscar M. Solem (who played end and tackle in 1911 and 1912 at the University of Minnesota) is hired because he has coached three championship football teams. Luther records its first winning season, 5–1–1. 1922 The Iowa Conference is formed. Luther is among 12 charter members. 1929 Claremont Gorder becomes Luther’s first Iowa Conference scoring leader, scoring eight touchdowns and adding five extra points for a total of 53 points. Luther finishes second to Iowa Wesleyan in the league race with a record of 6–2–0. 1932 Legendary head coach Hamlet Peterson ’22 (who coached 21 seasons and had a record of 80–27–9) leads the Norsemen to the school’s first Iowa Conference championship with a record of 4–1–0, 6–2–0 overall. 1934 On Oct. 13, during Homecoming, Augie Luther leads Luther to a 68–0 victory over Western Union. Playing less than 20 minutes, Luther sets the school record and Iowa Conference record for points in a single game with 41—six touchdowns and five extra points. His 41 points and six touchdowns remain a Luther College record today. Ironically, Augie’s Iowa Conference record was broken 54 years later in front of Luther fans in Carlson Stadium. On Nov. 14, 1998, Simpson’s Guy Leman

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rushed for 361 yards and seven touchdowns for an individual total of 42 points.

defeated 34–21 by Capital University in the Amos Alonzo Stag Bowl.

1938 Quarterback Anton “Butch” Stolfa ’39 leads Luther to its second Iowa Conference championship and is named Luther’s first All-American.

1971 Luther’s all-time leader for rushing yardage, All-American Bernie Peeters ’72 completes his career with 4,479 yards, an NCAA College division career record at the time. He still holds Luther’s career record for rushing, touchdowns (47), and total points (284).

1952 Luther’s all-time winningest coach, Edsel Schweizer, begins a 26-year career that includs six conference championships and a record of 150–78–6. 1954 Luther records its first undefeated season, posting a record of 9–0–0 and first conference title under coach Schweizer. The Norsemen score 312 points in conference play and no team comes within three touchdowns. 1953–56 From the final game

of the 1953 season to the first game of the 1956 season, Luther puts together a string of 21 games unbeaten. 1955 Luther defeats Western Illinois 24–20 to claim the Corn Bowl Championship. 1959 Brad Hustad ’60, who transferred from LSU, sets Luther career-rushing record with 3,943 points in just three years. 1963 Luther records its second undefeated season, posting a record of 9–0–0. The Norsemen outscore opponents 305–53. Luther leads the nation that year in rushing, averaging over 356 yards per game. 1966

The first game is played in Carlson Stadium, where Luther defeats Mankato State 21–14. Jim Jefferson ’69 runs 80 yards off tackle and scores the first touchdown in Carlson Stadium. 1970 and 1971

Luther records the school’s only back-to-back Iowa Conference championships, posting records of 8–2–0 in 1970 and 8–1–0 in 1971. In 1970, Luther was

1978 First-year head coach Bob Naslund leads Luther to a record of 6–3 and the Iowa Conference championship. Naslund concludes his 18-year career in 1995 as the school’s secondwinningest coach with a record of 88–83–0. 2003–5 Head Coach Paul Hefty leads Luther to three consecutive winning seasons. This marks the first time Luther has posted three winning seasons in a row since 1982–84.

Hamlet Peterson ’22, longtime Luther football, basketball, and track coach, talks to his players between halves, sometime in the 1920s.

Football captains Don Nesheim ’57 and Paul Duckstad ’57 with coach Edsel Schweizer, 1956

2007 In a 47–41 doubleovertime victory over Simpson College in Carlson Stadium, All-American running back Tyler Sherden ’07 sets the Luther single-game rushing record with 297 yards. He breaks the old mark of 263 yards set by Hustad versus Upper Iowa in 1957. 2010 Linebacker Kyle McGivney ’11 sets an NCAA Division III as well as an NCAA all-divisions record with 198 tackles. His average of 19.8 per game is also an NCAA III record. 2011 On Nov. 5, at Cornell College, McGivney is credited with nine tackles and sets the NCAA III career tackles record. He would complete his career with 546. This total also ranks second all-time for all divisions. 2013

One hundredth season of varsity Luther football

Linebacker Kyle McGivney ’11—shown here with his parents, Sue and Joe McGivney of Lena, Ill.—made a total of 546 tackles in his Luther career.

Sources • The Iowa Conference Story (1922-1961) by J. E. (Buck) Turnbull • The Noble Norsemen by Hamlet E. Peterson • Luther College through Sixty Years (1861-1921) by the Luther College faculty • Luther College Semi-Centennial (1861–1911) • Luther College Pioneer • Luther College Archives

—Dave Blanchard Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


FromPrairies Prairies PCBs From to to PCBs

by Kate Frentzel

Summer research trios match faculty advisers with science students and educators In May of 2012, Luther received a goliath of a grant: $1.5 million from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). The HHMI awarded the grant as part of its Preparing Future K–12 Teachers Program, which, says Luther professor of biology Scott Carlson, “increases the connection between future educators and scientists, between those bound for graduate school and those bound for the classroom.” After all, he says, “Educators who encounter research as an undergraduate prove to be more effective teachers.” And better teachers, of course, groom better future scientists.


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The lion’s share of the four-year grant, according to Carlson, has gone toward summer research trios that take advantage of Luther’s engaged faculty and their willingness to collaborate with students. Each of the seven trios receiving funding this summer comprises one faculty adviser, one science student, and one educator (either a pre-service undergraduate education student or an educator already working as a high school or middle school teacher). This summer, we took a closer look at two of the trios, one researching rare butterflies, and another hazardous molecules.

Photos by Aaron Lurth ’08, detail shots courtesy of Kirk Larsen

Stalking the ottoe skipper What would lead a well-adjusted middle school teacher to forsake an air-conditioned classroom for steep rocky slopes, surprise rattlesnakes, and fulsome chigger welts? The tawny emperor, Juvenal’s duskywing, and the great spangled fritillary—in other words, the chance to survey hillside prairie butterflies at 13 sites in Allamakee County. Sharon Heyer ’11, who teaches seventhand eighth-grade science in Forest Lake, Minn., says she jumped at the chance to be the third party in professor of biology Kirk Larsen’s summer research trio. “As a teacher, it was kind of like, what do I do over the summer? Last summer I nannied and took classes. This year I could have taught summer school, but this far, far outweighed teaching summer school.” In spite of Heyer’s enthusiasm, Larsen swears that it’s not some romantic daydream. “Running around chasing butterflies on a hill prairie isn’t really as easy as it looks.” Nicole Powers ’14 verifies this. “People hear ‘butterflies,’ and they think, ‘Oh, you’re just running through pretty daffodil meadows.’ It’s not quite like that.” Larsen explains about those hill prairies: “If you’re sideways, you’re kind of sliding out of your shoes, and you just can’t find a level spot to stand on. Some of these slopes are at least 45-degree angles, you’re trying to stay upright on this steep rocky slope with loose rock, and then there are rattlesnakes slithering around.” Powers and Heyer both have crosscountry training—in fact, they first met on Luther’s cross-country team—but Larsen promises that this didn’t have a bearing on his choosing them to work with him. “It just sort of worked out that I got really wellconditioned athletes,” he laughs. The project, with all its athleticism and daring, was spurred by the personal collection of a local butterfly enthusiast named John Nehnevaj. In the 1980s, Nehnevaj recognized that hillside prairies were endangered ecosystems that housed specialist butterflies not found in other habitats. So he set about doing an extensive butterfly survey of various sites in Allamakee County. Last fall, when Nehnevaj donated his 1980s butterfly collection to the college, Larsen noticed that it contained—in ample

numbers—a species called the ottoe skipper, which is thought to be going extinct in the state of Iowa. So Larsen’s trio is revisiting the areas that Nehnevaj surveyed and collecting not only presence or absence data on this and other butterflies, but also abundance data, which means they’re counting the butterflies and bringing back select voucher samples (essentially proof that a species was actually spotted). Not only did the group encounter the ottoe skipper, but they also found the Baltimore checkerspot, the wild indigo duskywing, the hickory hairstreak, and the (not-so-common) common roadside skipper, all of which are listed as threatened or of special concern in Iowa. Spotting a rare species is a reward in itself, but the trio’s work is underpinned by a higher purpose. Larsen explains, “The Iowa DNR is really interested in this because they’re going to have a focus on butterflies in northeast Iowa next year, so we’re providing them with some important preliminary data. And I know that the DNR has talked to the landowner of one of the sites we’re visiting about possibly purchasing it for preservation, so if we’re able to find some of those species at this site, it will provide a little more incentive to preserve it.” Heyer, the middle-school teacher, also thinks the research will enrich her classroom: “I’m seeing a lot of ways that I can incorporate this into my units, especially my seventh-grade life science ecology unit. We do a lot on interactions between various organisms and plants, and we can also talk about different species of butterflies and how they’ve had to evolve to survive.” Powers, who plans to pursue graduate study in biology, says that the research has really sharpened her analytical thinking and observational skills. “I never really noticed butterflies before, but they’re everywhere. On a run over the Fourth of July, I was like, ‘White admiral! Mourning cloak! Comma! Tiger swallowtail!’” In general, Larsen says, “I just want my students to realize there’s a huge part of the natural world that they’ve never really noticed before—the insects, which are well over two-thirds of all species of organisms, yet so few people realize they’re even out there.” Once you realize that, Larsen says, you can get down to the nitty-gritty. “You’re

trying to figure out, does it have dots here, does it have dots there, does it have a little bar here or a little bar there, what about the underside of the wings versus the topside of the wings? And you have to start noticing these details, so it really does force students to improve their observational skills significantly.” Larsen crosses his fingers “that we’ll find more of these threatened and endangered species, and that our results will help the state to move forward with the management and even acquisition of some of these habitats in northeast Iowa.” He pauses a moment, then adds, “Without this Howard Hughes grant support, we sure wouldn’t be doing this this summer.”

How does a sugar hound trap a pollutant? With a sugar bucket! Associate professor of chemistry Olga Rinco runs a sugar-fueled lab. “I bought them two bags of candy when I went away, and I was gone for seven days. One of them was a huge bag of candy. And it was all gone when I came back.” Her students readily admit to frequent trips to the candy dish, and in addition they’ve turned bringing in treats for the lab into a loser’s burden. “I owe everybody treats because I lost the laughing game that we play,” says Jenna Huju ’14, an affable education major. “We have to keep ourselves entertained sometimes,” explains dry-witted Grace Gast ’14, a chemistry and math double major. “We tried to see how long we could go without laughing, and it lasted about two minutes. Now, every once in a while, someone will decide the game has started, and whoever is the first one to laugh has to bring in treats.” But the lab runs on sugar in another way, too (bear with the non-beginner’s-level science for a moment). Rinco and her students look at how molecules react when excited with light. This summer, they studied molecules that are environmentally hazardous, specifically PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), PAHs (polyaromatic hydrocar-

Professor of biology Kirk Larsen, Sharon Heyer ’11, center left, and Nicole Powers ’14, center right, spent the summer surveying prairie hillsides for rare butterfly species. Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Grace Gast ’14, left, and Jenna Huju ’14 received HHMI funding to work in the lab of associate professor of chemistry Olga Rinco this summer. Rinco’s group used photochemistry (light) to explore the interactions berween pollutant molecules and larger molecular “traps.”

bons), and furans, another class of molecules. While there are now wide bans in place against them, industry has produced these molecules on a large scale, and because they don’t degrade easily, they’re everywhere, including in the water supply. Rinco and her students wanted to know what happens when you cage these molecules inside some other system and excite them with light. “It’s kind of like if you feed a child chocolate, you watch that chocolate burn off in the energy that the child gives off afterward”—naturally, she uses a sugar metaphor to explain it—“and that’s kind of what we do: we give the molecules energy by light, and then we watch them give that energy back off through fluorescence. So what we’re really looking for is if there are differences in that fluorescence and that chemical property between when they’re in water and when they’re caged in one of our cages.” And what exactly is this mysterious cage? Well, it’s a super molecular system, in this case a cyclodextrin that consists of five, six, or seven sugars—in essence, a sugar bucket. It has no bottom, however, so it’s open on both ends, and molecules under study can slide in and out (they don’t form chemical bonds with the bucket). The trio asked to what extent certain molecules go inside the bucket or not, and to what extent they stay there. While this project allowed students to gain lab experience, it also has some valuable real-world applications. Researchers are


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trying to find ways to make these molecules attach more soundly to cyclodextrins so that the cyclodextrins could be removed—with the pollutants attached—from the water. “If we could tell the people who do the bigger work which molecules have a chance of working, then they could do more with it,” Rinco says. “A lot of chemistry that’s done to detect these pollutants is either really expensive or can be fairly toxic,” she continues. “Our method of shining a light on it—fluorimeters—is actually fairly inexpensive. And cyclodextrin sugar buckets are not harmful— they’re completely inert. So, again, if we put out there the ideas of at what concentrations they can be detected and how that chemistry changes, maybe other people will develop ways of detection that are cheaper, less harmful, and use fewer chemicals.” The group has also begun experimenting with putting the hazardous molecules into a biological host, in this case micelles (tiny aggregates of molecules). Next summer, she speculates that they might put the molecules in DNA to determine whether they intercolate (stick between the rungs of the DNA ladder), eventually collaborating with other researchers to see whether they damage DNA. As a teacher, Rinco says, “I try to model a true research experience. In some labs”— during the school year, for instance—“it might be nine to 12 hours of research over

three to four weeks of labs. But if you think about it, my summer students are working eight hours a day, five days a week, for eight weeks. They see what real science is really like. At the start, I give them the experiments to do, but I have no idea what the results will be, whereas in class labs, we give the students something to do, and I know exactly what should happen. They might not know what should happen, and that’s how you model discovery for the students, but I know what should happen, I know what’s right and wrong. But here, the students will ask me questions like, ‘This is what happened—is that right?’ and I’m like, ‘There is no right or wrong—that’s just what happened.’ ” Huju, the education major in the trio, speculates that the experience will help her explain to future students what it’s actually like to work in a lab and better show them how to work in teams. For Gast, who plans to pursue graduate study in chemistry, it’s been a great precursor to grad school. “I really like that here, we’re working as a group,” she says, referring not only to Huju but also to the other three students in Rinco’s summer lab. “And when I have problems, I don’t necessarily go to Olga, but I work with someone else in the group. That’s what I’ll have to do when I go into a grad program.” At that very moment, however, she looks warily over her shoulder. “He’s playing with my data,” she says nervously, nodding at another student. “You can reanalyze it later, make sure he did it right,” Rinco reassures her. Gast makes a skeptical face, fine-tuned, no doubt, from a summer of practice, and everyone starts laughing. But, um, whoever started first? Yeah, it’s your turn to bring treats.

Commencement 2013 One of the storms that blew through Decorah with maddening frequency last spring had forced the event indoors. But by the end of the 2013 ceremony, early rain gave way to the sunshine that all graduates hope for on the day they begin life after Luther. Torgerson began by honoring 2013 Rhodes Scholar Annie Whiteley, as well as recently named class of 2013 Fulbright scholars Laura Harney and Matt Lind and alternate Kimberly Rooney. Celebrating longstanding family ties to Luther, Torgerson noted that two of the 2013 graduates, Kirsten Hash and Emily Jacobsen, were fifth-generation graduates. The class also had six fourth-generation graduates: Clara Bergan, Michael Crowe, Elizabeth Engebretson, Erika Pohlman, Hannah Ranum, and Christina Storlie. As his tenure at Luther was ending on June 30, Torgerson said he included himself and Judy among the day’s “graduates,” although, as Judy said, “It took us 14 years instead of four!” Arne Sorensen ’80 delivers commencement address

Nancy Barry, Luther professor of English, gave the citation for Arne Sorenson ’80, president and chief operating officer of Marriott and a member of Luther’s Board of Regents,

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Luther president emeritus Rick Torgerson opened his final Luther commencement in the Regents Center field house.

Arne Sorenson ’80, left, urged graduates to “be bold about what you believe in” during his commencement address. Nancy Barry, second from right, gave the citation for Sorenson. At far right is Corey Landstrom, dean and vice president for student life. to whom the college awarded an honorary degree. She summarized Sorenson’s journey through Luther and to the top of the business world, concluding with: “For the graduates of the class of 2013, what better signal could we send of what we at Luther imagine as your best future than to award this honorary degree to someone who not so many years ago was sitting exactly where you are now— wanting to make sense in the wider world of what you have learned; wanting to believe what you know can make a difference in both small and large ways. Sorenson’s suc-

cess is a signal to all of us that the liberal arts cultivates a mind for exploring any thing and any place in the world with curiosity, with passion, and with deep sensitivity to the lives of others.” In his address, Sorenson urged the graduates to take a definitive role in the world: “Leave Luther with boldness. Be bold about what you believe in, confident enough in what you believe that you can be curious about what is around you. Use that boldness and curiosity to take risks, at home, at work, and in your communities. Be so bold as to

Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


believe you can change the world. You can.” The Marriott CEO comes from a four-generation Luther family—Sorenson’s son Lars is in the class of 2017. Sorenson’s grandfathers, Otto Austin and Morris Sorenson, graduated in 1912 and 1920. He credits his father, “Bo,” a 1949 graduate, and his mother, Dorothy, with influencing his views about boldness because they traveled halfway around the world to serve as missionaries in Japan. Sorenson, who traveled to Washington, D.C., after leaving Luther, asked the graduates to be bold in their political and religious beliefs, but not to block out other points of view. He illustrated his point with recent issues involving the Lutheran church and Luther College itself: “At the risk of making us a tad bit uncomfortable, let me use some examples of the same trends at work in the world of Lutherans. Look at the years since the ELCA’s statement on sexuality. We have watched far too many congregations throw away generations of shared faith to leave the ELCA on this issue alone. More recently, we have been pulled into a debate about whether a member of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod is capable of being tolerant enough to be a leader at Luther.” (A candidate for the Luther presidency withdrew his candidacy earlier this year, citing his perception that his theological point of view was not acceptable at Luther. In no way did Luther College communicate to him that such a conclusion had been reached, Sorenson says.) “This is not how our community of faith should respond to issues like these,” Sorenson continued in his address. “We can and should discuss and debate, but ultimately we


must embrace, even with those who disagree with us. “The point here is not to suggest that you avoid having views about these issues. If they interest you, you should definitely have a point of view. And you should be willing boldly to explain that point of view. But use those beliefs not as a shield but as a foundation—a source of strength and personal identity that allows you to seek out and hear, without being threatened, the views of others. You don’t have to demonize those that disagree with you.” Switching to the subject of the work world, Sorenson told the graduates that to get the most joy, impact, and success in work, they must try to understand the role and challenges of the enterprise. And to every endeavor, he said, bring the passion of inquiry and learning gained at Luther. That questioning will help the graduates establish their beliefs, he continued, and become comfortable in taking risks in how they approach their work: “Use what you have learned through all that curiosity to decide what needs to be done and how it needs to be done. It is only through this willingness to stick your neck out and take risks that you will find that you have stepped into a leadership role.” As leaders, Sorenson said, the graduates can change the world. He used Marriott as an example, describing how the company is building a hotel in Port au Prince, Haiti, that will employ about 175 people when it is completed. “There is no doubt in my mind that the lives of those associates and their families will be changed profoundly for the

Chingwel Mutombu and her husband, Larry Jolivette, with Mutombu’s Young Alumni Award Kirk Johnson ’82

better. In that way, the hotel will change the world,” he said. “I know that I have a fancy job, and it might be tempting to think that you should start to worry about changing the world when you get your fancy job. Don’t. The credit for the hotel in Haiti does not belong to me. It belongs to the roughly 2,000 Haitian associates working in our hotels in the U.S. . . . Collectively, they raised their voice to encourage their company to build a hotel. They did not wait for a fancy job to change their country.” Read the full text of Nancy Barry’s and Arne Sorenson’s remarks online at

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Chingwel Mutombu ’00 receives Young Alumni Award

Learn more about Mutombu and First Step Initiative at and www.firststepinitiative. Read the full text of Kris Gregerson’s remarks at

Fifth-generation Luther graduate Kirsten Hash ’13 celebrated with a dozen relatives who are also alumni: left to right, Walter Rugland ’59, Robert Rosholt ’51, John Rosholt ’79, Joseph Rosholt ’11, Hannah (Brandvold) Rosholt ’11, Erik Rosholt ’00, Linda (Rosholt) Hash ’85, Kirsten, Lee Hash ’84, Donnis (Rosholt) Tolle ’73, Debra (Steinhorst) Rosholt ’74, Jacob Rosholt ’09, David Rosholt ’76. Photo courtesy Linda (Rosholt) Hash ’85

Charles Bruer ’13 awarded Jensen Medal

Corey Landstrom, dean and vice president for student life, read the citation naming Charles Bruer the 2013 recipient of the college’s Jensen Medal. The award is presented

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Chingwel Mutombu was honored for her leadership in establishing a charitable microfinance organization to help women in her parents’ native Democratic Republic of Congo, where she spent her childhood. She earned a bachelor’s degree in French and political science at Luther in 2000 and master’s degrees in public administration and international relations from Seton Hall University. Afterward, she moved to Minnesota, met and married her husband, Larry Jolivette, and began envisioning how to give back to her Congolese community as her parents had. Her father was a teacher and builder of schools, with financial help from Iowa Methodist friends. Her mother built networks among women who supported one another in Congo’s fragile economy. Kris Gregerson ’82, copresident of the Luther Alumni Association, delivered the encomium at commencement, describing Mutombu’s endeavors: “Money from Chingwel’s own pocket to a lending circle of 10 women her mother knew was the start of the First Step Initiative (FSI). By 2006, her charitable microlending organization was incorporated using a $25,000 grant through the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota and Diana Carter, co-owner of Summit Mortgage in Plymouth, Minn., who continues to be Chingwel’s adviser and mentor. FSI’s plan is simple: It takes three people to sign for a loan, encouraging mutual cooperation and support. There is a small interest charge to help fund more loans. Clients have 17 weeks to pay back the loan, then can reapply for another loan. FSI boasts a 96 percent payback rate. Some of the women entrepreneurs who receive loans are food vendors, others work in clothing manufacturing, and some work with livestock. With donations exceeding $300,000 annually, First Step Initiative is currently empowering nearly 900 of the world’s poorest women. “Last fall, the First Step Initiative won the 100 Women, 100 Shoes Challenge, sponsored by the makers of Crocs shoes and O, the Oprah Magazine, providing 100 pairs of Crocs to her clients in the Congo. “Chingwel Mutombu exemplifies the Luther mission statement ‘to serve with distinction for the common good.’ ”

each year to an outstanding senior, selected by the graduating class, who best demonstrates the ideals of the college through service to students and the college community. Landstrom praised Bruer for his ability to bring people together and for how he values community. “When I met with Charlie to talk about his Luther journey,” Landstrom said, “I asked him what stands out over these four years. It was a conversation less focused on Charlie’s contributions and experiences but rather those of the people with whom he has had the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships—countless peers, faculty, staff, alumni, and members of the local community. It was clear to me that for Charlie, community is paramount.” Bruer majored in biology and political science and was a member of the Student Activities Council, Student Senate, and Launching Luther Leaders. He was also a student representative to the college’s Board of Regents during his senior year, a member of the men’s track and field team for three years, was involved in an improv troupe, Residence Life, and choir, and served as an on-campus EMT and a peer mentor in the biology department.

Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Senior Candids Eight 2013 graduates who represent the depth of learning and breadth of talent at Luther

Photos by Bob Modersohn


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Annie Whiteley Headed to Oxford on Rhodes Scholarship Annie Whiteley ’13 could claim summa cum laude– level grades, a winning tennis record, a slew of cocurriculars, a fascinating research project in Tanzania, and an impressive range of knowledge gained, in part, from attending dozens of lectures at Luther. But this chemistry major and self-described “antiprocrastinator” from Wayzata, Minn., still felt like “a small fish in a big sea” when she met her nine fellow regional finalists for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship at a reception in Chicago last November. “A couple of finalists had flown in from abroad because they were in the midst of Fulbright experiences, and all the candidates were just very impressive in regard to what they had accomplished,” she recalls. “I went back to my hotel room after the reception and told my mom I didn’t think I stood a chance.” The members of the Rhodes committee, however, felt otherwise. After grilling Whiteley the next morning with questions that she describes as “tough but fair”—should the HPV vaccine be mandatory for young women in the United States, for example— they announced that she would receive one of just 32 Rhodes Scholarships awarded to Americans last fall. “I was shocked,” says Whiteley, the eighth Luther graduate awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, which funds up to three years of study at the University of Oxford in England. “I was fully prepared to hug whoever received the honor and glide out of the room.” Thanks to the scholarship, Whiteley planned to begin studies at Oxford this fall in medical anthropology, a field she describes as “investigating illness and healing in other cultures and how solutions to health issues in a specific culture can only arise when one understands that culture’s unique beliefs about illness.” Her interest in the field was piqued by a research project on traditional native medicine she conducted in Tanzania with Rachel Hodapp ’13 under the guidance of Lori (Van Gerpen) Stanley ’80, professor of anthropology, the summer of her sophomore year. “It was a life-changing experience—I left Tanzania that summer realizing that I wanted to be a physician who deals with global health issues and inequities,” she reflects of the time she spent in Africa. “I learned that the Maasai people suffer from many very treatable illnesses due to a lack of access to biomedicine and decided then and there that I wanted to do something to change that.” Whiteley plans to obtain a medical doctorate upon completing her studies at Oxford. Chemistry major Annie Whiteley branched out to a pottery class during her last semester at Luther.

—Sara Friedl-Putnam

Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Matt Lind One more trip to Turkey —on a Fulbright— before entering law school Matt Lind ’13 took full advantage of abundant study-away opportunities while at Luther. The political science and international studies major from Wausau, Wis., traveled to Turkey, Jordan, Austria, northern Europe, and Washington, D.C. “I’ve been completely overwhelmed by the study-away experiences that Luther has offered,” he says simply. It was music that first attracted Lind to Luther. He is a violinist and the son of Beth (Beutler) ’83 and Richard Lind. “I attended the Dorian camps for orchestra for three years while in high school, so Luther was always at the forefront when I was looking at colleges,” he says. Music also provided Lind his first collegiate opportunity to travel abroad—to Vienna, Austria, as a member of Symphony Orchestra his sophomore year. (His artistic inclinations include dancing an impressive tango, a talent he shared with the Luther community by offering lessons in the Argentinian art form with longtime dance partner Emily Voss ’13.) Upon returning from Vienna—his travel appetite whetted—Lind signed on for a January Term class in Turkey and Jordan. “That experience was both exciting and jarring because the area was so different culturally than any other place I had been,” he says. “I’ve always enjoyed learning about different cultures, and spending time in a culture so vastly different than the one I had grown up in broadened my perspective immeasurably.” Lind decided to expand his horizons even wider by spending the fall of 2012 interning at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars through the college’s Washington Semester program. While there he toured many of the capital’s most iconic sites, including the Pentagon, and worked closely with visiting Arab journalist Yassime ElSayed Hani to coauthor the forthcoming publication “New Determinants of the U.S Foreign Policies toward Egypt after the Arab Spring.” After returning to the Luther campus, Lind applied (and was admitted) to the University of Michigan School of Law—he hopes to ultimately advocate for the legal rights of refugees. But not surprisingly, he decided to put his graduate studies on hold to travel back to Turkey this fall to teach English at Gaziantep University on a Fulbright scholarship awarded last spring. “I found everything about Turkey fascinating, from its food to its politics,” he says. “Lying between Europe and the Middle East, Turkey has a truly unique cultural dynamic—my goal is to not only teach English but also foster greater international understanding of the country’s culture during my time there.” —Sara Friedl-Putnam


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Tyler Wedemeier Teaching middle-schoolers to handle both success and failure in life There’s good reason the Regents Center frequently felt like a second home to Tyler Wedemeier ’13, an elementary education major from Westgate, Iowa. When not in the classroom, the six-foot-nine-inch center spent countless hours in the college’s athletics center perfecting his post moves during (and outside of) rigorous two-hour daily practices of the Norse men’s basketball squad. “You have to be very dedicated to the sport of basketball to succeed in it,” he says. “There are such fine mechanics involved in dribbling, shooting, and passing the basketball that it takes a lot of practice to get it just right.” His drive and commitment paid off in spades, as Wedemeier helped lead Luther to an Iowa Conference title in 2011, claimed conference defensive MVP honors in 2012, and earned overall conference MVP honors and a spot on the all-region team in 2013. “When you work that hard at something, it’s a great feeling to have all that hard work pay off,” he says. “Playing a collegiate sport is a huge commitment, and those four years go by so fast. … I had a really good four years with the Norse, and thankfully Luther basketball did as well.” While admitting that suiting up for his final game with the Norse this past winter was “more than a bit bittersweet,” Wedemeier intends to take the lessons he learned on the court to Forest City (Iowa) Middle School, where he was to begin a job as a coach and sixth-grade science teacher (think Earth science) this fall. “Participating in athletics teaches kids so much more than just how to play a specific game,” he says. “It helps them learn how to handle both success and failure in a good way.” Teaching middle-schoolers appears to be a natural fit for Wedemeier, who settled on his major soon after arriving on campus. (Though he won’t volunteer the information, he maintained academic all-conference-level grades while also serving as president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, coordinating orientation activities for incoming first-year students, cocaptaining the Norse basketball team, and taking part in the Launching Luther Leaders program.) “I really enjoy kids that age because they are very capable and yet still receptive to learning new things,” he says. “There’s also a good bit of character guidance involved when you work with that age group—you’re helping your students figure out who they are and what’s important to them.” —Sara Friedl-Putnam

Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Calli Micale Triple major links body and soul Calli Micale ’13 graduated with an unlikely triple major—religion, classics, and dance—but the combination packed a triple punch. She was offered full tuition at Harvard Divinity School and Princeton Theological Seminary.

As to how she decided on such a distinctive academic blend, Micale, from Neenah, Wis., grew up in a Lutheran household and always felt very connected to the church. Her academic adviser at Luther suggested that she take Greek or Latin—both biblical languages—for the language requirement, and this led to a love of classics. As for the dance major, Micale, mother to three-year-old Lily, grew up involved in ballet and theatre, and she sensed that the performing arts departments at Luther would offer a home away from home. She explains, “Because I was coming in to Luther as a freshman, and I was pregnant, I think part of me maybe subconsciously was looking for a community that would embrace that kind of nontraditional lifestyle. So I auditioned for a play and was really graciously accepted into the community at the Center for the Arts. The people there were really uplifting and supportive.” Despite her heavy academic load and the demands of a cherubic toddler, Micale has been in eight faculty-directed performances. (The requirement for the major is six.) She has also developed a sophisticated and deeply spiritual field of academic inquiry for someone so young. “My sophomore year, I was introduced to this term ‘dualism’ and how it underlies Western culture and how we view reality. One dichotomy in particular that stood out to me was this relationship between body and soul. “In my religion courses, I was often learning that religion historically places the soul over the body, and the body is just this sinful, terrible thing that we have to deal with while we have this earthly life, but that the soul is redemptive. But in my experience, especially in the dance program at Luther, I said, ‘Wait a minute, that doesn’t make sense to me—they’re the same thing!’ And in pregnancy too the soul and the body are so intertwined. So we need to make a shift and start placing things on a lateral plane.” She continues, “That idea is really powerful to me, but it’s not that easy to make the shift, so that’s where the touch practices come in.” The touch practices, sometimes called “embodied theology,” involve gestures between a giver and a receiver, such as pressure along certain bones, or beholding the skull. “They’re something that the theatre and dance departments use quite heavily, but they use them primarily to gain a greater sense of awareness of the body in space. I suggest that not only do they give us a greater awareness of our body, but they give us a greater relationship to all of existence.” Micale focused on these touch practices in her compelling and wellreceived senior project, which was accepted for presentation at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research this spring. Micale’s deep spiritual inquiry and her natural inclination to synthesize multiple, disparate disciplines into a unified whole are part of the reason why she was accepted into top postgraduate programs. When asked how she’ll choose between the two, Micale throws up her hands. “Even just the availability of preschool is going to play a role! We’re on waiting lists at five preschools in Cambridge, and we already have a place where Lily can go to full-day preschool in Princeton. Those sorts of things end up being big factors!” —Kate Frentzel


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Victor Hernandez-Sang Already making an impact in ethnomusicology “I got to La Crosse Thursday morning. Friday I presented at 2 p.m., then went to the hotel to pick up my stuff, take a shower, and go to the airport. Then I flew from La Crosse to Chicago to Cincinnati, and I got to Cincinnati at 2 a.m. I presented later that day and came back to Decorah Sunday morning.” Victor Hernandez-Sang ’13 is describing the mini lecture tour that he embarked on a mere two days after his senior flute-performance recital in April. The first stop on his circuit was the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, where one might expect to find an ambitious college senior. Hernandez-Sang’s second stop, however, was the Midwest chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology’s annual meeting, which typically accepts only one undergraduate paper per year. Hernandez-Sang, an enterprising music major with a warm and ready laugh, entered Luther College with the idea of focusing on composition, but he quickly turned his attention to ethnomusicology. A native of the Dominican Republic, he was interested in Afro-Dominican music styles. In reviewing the literature, Hernandez-Sang noticed that there wasn’t much to be found on La Veintiuna Division (the Twenty-First Division), a minority Afro-Dominican religion that combines elements of Catholicism with lesser-known African cult religions and uses palo (long drum) music in its worship practices. He spent a summer doing fieldwork among palo musicians on the outskirts of his hometown of Santiago. His senior project detailed some of the changes in palo performance over the past couple of decades—which have not been captured in recent research—and earned him a spot in the Society for Ethnomusicology conference. While Hernandez-Sang focused on flute performance at Luther, he’s definitely caught the ethnomusicology bug. “I really, really enjoyed the fieldwork, going there and being in a place where you’re an outsider. In that religion and cultural context, even though we’re both Dominican, I’m an outsider. I really enjoyed going to those festivals and doing interviews and taking pictures and videos and all of it,” he says with bright eyes. And he intends to make it a career. “My plan for this coming year is to keep expanding my research, get ready to take the GRE, save as much money as I can to apply to as many schools as I can. I’m also going to be teaching at the music school that I attended in the Dominican Republic. And trying to read and build up my mental library.”

Down the road, he hopes to expand his research from the Caribbean to west and central Africa and, he says, “maybe in the future do research on both continents and make connections between them.” —Kate Frentzel

Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Nicole Woodson Violinist and future physician in tune with Luther from the start Nicole Woodson ’13, a biology major from Davenport, Iowa, still vividly recalls the conversation she had with Sheila Radford-Hill, executive director of the Luther Diversity Center, while taking part in the college’s Summer Science Symposium for high school students. “I remember Sheila telling me that I had to apply to Luther because I belonged here,” she says. Woodson would go on to prove Radford-Hill correct, capping off a noteworthy four years on campus by receiving the inaugural LECNA (Lutheran Educational Conference of North America) Richard and Judy Torgerson Prize for outstanding scholarship, leadership, and service at commencement last May. “I’ve never second-guessed my decision to enroll at Luther,” Woodson says. “I really enjoyed being part of this community.” She enriched it as well.

This past spring Woodson traveled to La Crosse, Wis., to present the results of research she conducted with Brad Chamberlain, associate professor of chemistry, on biodegradable polymers (plastics) at the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research. “It was very fun but also frustrating at times,” she says of that research, which focused on the ability of biodegradable plastics to withstand microwave heat. “We finally got the results we were hoping to achieve during the last two weeks of the eight weeks we spent on the project.” Like most biology majors, Woodson spent plenty of time studying and attending classes in the college’s Sampson Hoffland Laboratories—“It was fun to spend time there because I got to interact with and better know my professors,” she says. But she was also well-acclimated to Jenson-Noble Hall of Music, where she rehearsed violin as a member of Symphony Orchestra and STRANGZ, a student-led strings ensemble that plays more contemporary music. “We’ve become a somewhat hot commodity in the area,” she says of the latter group with a smile. Serving as president of the Black Student Union and as a resident assistant, and later, assistant hall director in the Towers residence halls allowed Woodson to stretch her people skills even further. She intends to put those skills to good use as an OB/ GYN physician, but for now is keeping busy volunteering at local hospitals, shadowing physicians at work, and creating a tutoring program at her church while she completes her medical school applications. “I’m looking forward to taking that next step,” she says. “Luther has taught me to not ever give up on what I want to do with my life and to keep my eye on the prize.” —Sara Friedl-Putnam


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Shane Wilson Using mathematics to control disease “In my first year, I cycled through almost every major at Luther,” begins Shane Wilson ’13, an articulate senior with a dry sense of humor from Owatonna, Minn. “I was infamous for knowing the course catalog by heart and the requirements for every single major. I took Calculus II on a whim my second semester because it was a requirement for the chemistry major.” Calculus II begat Linear Algebra, which begat Ordinary Differential Equations, and the rest, as they say, is dengue fever vector-control models. Okay, that’s not exactly what they say, and the course Wilson charted may not have been as, ahem, linear as that, but once he dipped a toe in the waters of applied mathematics—that is, using math to model realworld situations—“it really clicked with me and I said, ‘Okay, I can probably do this,’ ” he explains. A research experience for undergraduates (REU) at North Carolina State University the summer before his senior year allowed Wilson to work with dengue fever, one of the most widespread mosquito-borne diseases in the world, and with Wolbachia, a bacterium that infects mosquitoes and can control the spread of dengue fever by killing the insects earlier in their lifespan. Wilson remembers, “I got the idea to model dengue at the REU and then came back to Luther and worked with [assistant professor of mathematics] Kyle Fey, and we agreed that it would be interesting if we took the model I worked with over the summer and applied it to a model for dengue dynamics, which is basically how the disease spreads between humans and mosquitoes. We got the idea of introducing different control functions to see what is the most effective way to control outbreaks of dengue, whether it’s introducing more Wolbachia or quarantining humans who are infected with dengue, et cetera.”

In addition to truly enjoying his research, Wilson has won acclaim for his mathematicalmodeling work. He was selected as the keynote presenter at Luther’s Research Symposium in the spring, and his Wolbachia project won the Environmental Mathematics Award at MathFest, the summer meeting of the Mathematical Association of America. While choral singing is near and dear to Wilson’s heart—he was vice president of Nordic Choir and one of its bass section leaders—his dream job is to work for the NIH (National Institutes of Health) or CDC (Centers for Disease Control). “Disease has always been fascinating to me, and that would be a way to apply math, which I love and am good at, to something that already fascinates me and could be beneficial to humanity,” he says. ­—Kate Frentzel

Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Kiki Cavanagh Composition major prepares to teach by writing for high school musicians By the time she’d graduated from high school in Bloomington, Ill., Kiki Cavanagh ’13 had written, directed, and performed a one-act musical that included vocal parts for soprano, alto, tenor, and bass, as well as musical arrangements for cello, violin, trumpet, flute, and piano. About a month before graduating as a music composition major at Luther, Cavanaugh returned to that same high school to record a piece she’d composed for a combined high school orchestra and choir. That commission, Cavanaugh says, “was interesting because I was learning not to write and work with performers of the music but rather with directors.” Cavanaugh consulted with the orchestra and choir directors, gleaning which sections were strongest, which were smallest, where she should make sure not to go over a certain pitch level, and other idiosyncrasies. She explains, “It’s hard in high school because you never know for sure—numbers fluctuate and skill level changes from year to year. My job was to stay within the bounds of what they’re able to do.

“There’s a limit to what high school musicians can play,” she continues. “For example, the first movement of my piece is in the key of E-flat. And string instruments do not like flats when they’re in high school. That’s something that’s a challenge, so I made sure to keep it rhythmically pretty simple so that they could work on the intonation in that key.” Cavanaugh was very sensitive to the project, and perhaps that’s because she hopes to become a music educator herself. She’ll be starting graduate school in music composition and theory at the University of Northern Colorado this fall. “So many students going into composition want to be professional composers,” she says. “If that happens for me, that’s great, but I want to teach more than I want to be a famous composer. Ultimately someday, if I had the opportunity, I’d love to come back and teach at Luther.” While she’s been something of a composer since inventing little tunes that she’d hum to herself in elementary school, the musical education that she received in college seems to have rewired her aural aesthetic. She recalls, “I came to Luther and the first piece we listened to was John Cage’s Aria. And just the way that it’s notated and the way you hear it—I remember a friend, another composition major, and I saying, ‘This looks like a kindergarten painting, I don’t know what we’re listening to!’ And now that we looked at it again in my Contemporary Music History class, the two of us were arguing for it. Instead of saying, ‘What is this?’ we’ve now gotten to a point where we really appreciate it. We can say, ‘This is cool, and here’s why. Here’s why this is important to study.’ ” —Kate Frentzel


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Summer at Luther — Kate Frentzel

1. Summer Seminars

You might expect, in the dog days of summer, to see high school students at the public pool or the Whippy Dip, but in a Sampson-Hoffland lab, electrically stimulating the muscles of a frog’s leg? Unlikely—unless the kids in question are part of Luther’s Summer Seminars. Wintlett Taylor-Browne, director of student services for Luther’s Diversity Center, explains, “The Summer Seminars are designed to expose high school students to what college is like—first-generation, low-income students and students of color for whom experiences like this would be extremely valuable for their future.” The six-day program offers a science track, in which students participate in labs, classes, and research projects, and a business track, which includes company site visits and interactive presentations and seminars on campus, as well as learning how to make and edit videos and how to think creatively using the de Bono system. Sandra Cardenas ’16, from Coachella, Calif., attended Summer Seminars as a high school student and returned this


Maria da Silva ’15

When students haul their shower caddies and stacks of Caf plates out of residence halls each May, whole new sets of learners take the Luther campus by storm. Summer programs bring 4,500 to 6,000 people to campus each year. With gatherings that range from an international willowweaving workshop to a conference of archivist “rock stars” to a movement class that turns traditional dance training on its head, the spectrum is wide. Here is a sampling. You may have attended some of these programs yourself—and some of them may surprise you.

Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine



Aaron Lurth ’08

summer as a counselor. “I think one of the first things I did when I came here as an undergraduate was to go to the Diversity Center and say, ‘Can I sign up to be a counselor at Summer Seminars?’ ” “I remember,” Taylor-Browne says. “I said, ‘You are way too early!’ ” They laugh for a bit, and Cardenas continues, “The program helps a lot to get your feet wet in learning the college-life atmosphere. Though it’s condensed in these very few days, it really does give you a taste of how labs are and what you can do around campus. When I came back as a college student, I did a lot of the same things I did during Summer Seminars. So it really was like a year at Luther within six days.”

2. Bunad Camp

3 Luther Photo Bureau Maria da Silva ’15

During the second week of June, Baker Village was home to a dozen women at Bunad Camp, during which attendees construct traditional Norwegian folk costumes and accessories. Karen Mueser of Park Ridge, Ill., admitted that the ladies were “getting punchy after all these days of sewing.” She went on to say that she lucked out because the bunad for her family’s region of origin didn’t include any embroidery. Randi Karr of Tucson, Ariz., was at Bunad Camp specifically to learn an embroidery technique called tykksøm (a kind of crewelwork), which she hoped to bring back to the Tucson Norwegians Worldwide (formerly the Norse Federation), where she sits on the board. The campers, most of retirement age, chatted like a group of old friends, chiming in on everything from Norwegian pronunciation to family-name changes at Ellis Island. One joked that the first stitch the campers were taught at camp was the very useful frog stitch: “Rip it! Rip it! Rip it!”

3. Dorian Camps

What do you do when 17 alto saxophones show up for band camp? Put the saxes in back of the trumpets, of course—which is exactly what director Joan deAlbuquerque, Luther associate professor of music, did with one of this year’s Dorian camp bands. During the academic year, Luther holds Dorian music festivals that allow students to study voice or instruments for a few days on the recommendation of a teacher. But in June, more than 600 junior high and high


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school students converge on the Luther campus simply because they love music. Andrew Last ’97, associate camp director and Luther assistant professor of music, says, “This is a week when they can be in a choir or they can play the saxophone because they don’t have to audition for a group like they did in school. And kids who are super academically focused during the school year who can’t squeeze in a music class can come to Luther and sing in a choir or play in a band.” This open policy sometimes leads to an imbalance of instruments, as with the 17 saxes, but flexible directors know how to create balance out of unbalanced numbers. Dorian camps offer students the chance to explore not only music, but also other fine arts. Emeritus professor of music David Judisch, who retired this summer after 26 years of directing the camp, says, “I don’t care whether they do music or whether they dance or paint or draw or take a computer or poetry class—why would that matter to me? If we can give them a good experience on this campus, that’s really valuable.” Camp coordinator Jim Buzza concurs, “The teachers welcome everyone, from the student who’s had nine years of ballet to the person who is still figuring out which foot is their left. They meet them where they are and help them take one step forward over the course of a week. And that’s true in the music theory class, composition—anything here. You don’t have to be a superstar to participate.”

4. Decorah Rug School

In June, Luther hosted—for the 43rd year— the Decorah Rug School. During an open house, which included the display of more than 60 hand-hooked rugs, an elderly gentleman, obviously a friend, entered the exhibit area exclaiming, “Are these for sale?” Dorothy Huse, director of the Decorah Rug School, tsk-ed in response, “Oh, would you sell your children?” Huse estimates that it takes 18 hours to complete a square foot of hooked rug—but that doesn’t make them too precious to walk on: they get better with use, she and program assistant Joan Reckwerdt agree. Some say that the craft was brought over to America on a Viking ship, with the pile turned inside for warmth, but this hasn’t been substantiated. Regardless, this style of rug hails from Europe, where a family would keep a rug right side down for six days of the

week, then flip it over to the “good” side on Sundays. Huse and Reckwerdt describe the 65 camp attendees, some of whom have been attending the rug school for decades, as “a special sisterhood” and “a healthy fellowship.” “This is an uplifting program,” Huse says. “Especially when we haven’t seen each other in a year, we come together and share all our joys and sorrows.”

5. Willow Gathering

This was the second summer that Luther hosted an international gathering of willow weavers. Willow enthusiasts came from as far afield as Virginia, Canada, and Ireland to learn to weave everything from large European-style linen baskets to miniature Native American conical-shaped burden baskets. Jo Campbell-Amsler, a coplanner of the gathering (along with Lee Zieke Lee of Decorah’s Willowglen Nursery), explains, “People who love willow are few and far between, so we wanted to bring us all together to share and learn.” She estimates that three-quarters of the willow campers returned to Decorah for the event this year, in part because of the beautiful setting. “We’ve had such a good response,” she says. “One of our classes even filled within 24 hours.” While wrestling long branches into an elegant shape may seem like a challenge, instructor Margaret Mathewson of Alsea, Ore., believes that the most difficult thing about willow weaving is choosing the next project. “Of course,” she says, “it doesn’t matter what I make as long as I make it with a good mind. It’s all about the process.”


Breanne Pierce ’16

6. Wrestling Camps

Dave Mitchell, whom Luther coordinator of summer conferences Jud Barclay affectionately calls the “Pied Piper of Hamelin” for his ability to draw young sportsmen to campus, was responsible for about 70 percent of the sports campers at Luther this summer, by Barclay’s estimate. Mitchell is Luther’s head wrestling coach, a position he’s held since 1995. He started summer wrestling camps here in 1998, and this summer he held six of them. With names like “Train Like a Norseman” and “Big Man on Campus” (tailored to heavyweight wrestlers), these camps offer junior high and high school students the chance to improve technique and train during the off-season.


Breanne Pierce ’16

Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Maria da Silva ’15

“I say that you have to make a really conscientious choice to come here, and if you do, you will learn about your body and be able to do all of those steps better because you understand your mechanics—or you’ll invent new forms and new work.” —Jane Hawley ’87

7 According to Mitchell, Luther’s team camps are unique in that they offer lots of team-building activities. “It’s hard to come up with them every year,” he says. “You need great counselors”—current Luther wrestlers who live with the teams in residence halls— “to monitor and execute the activities. But they really help build team unity and help high school coaches identify strong team leaders going into the season.” Mitchell says that “anything involving water” is a favorite among campers, in particular a game of river football that’s played with a lard-covered watermelon. In addition to building better wrestlers, Mitchell’s camps introduce young people to the Luther campus, and many of them return as college students. Ten of the college’s 25 incoming 2012 wrestlers had attended at least one camp.

7. Archives Leadership Institute

From an Oregon wine historian to a geological archivist working to preserve 100,000 rolls of analog film to a folklife specialist at the Library of Congress, the Archives Leadership Institute at Luther this June gathered some of the most innovative, influential minds working in archives today. While the word “archives” summons


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images of physical (and dusty!) things, the reality could hardly be more different. So many materials worth saving these days have never even had a physical life (think audio and video files, digital photos, online-only publications), and the challenges of how best to curate, preserve, and make these materials accessible require the mind power of the best and brightest of the archival world. Last year, Luther college archivist Rachel Vagts and digital archivist Sasha Griffin won a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission that allowed them to host a conference that would bring together archiving rock stars once a summer for the next three years. This summer was the first. Classes addressed the fundamentals important to any organization—strategic planning, personnel management, and budgeting—but these information heavy-hitters also put their heads together on archival outreach and how best to collect and preserve artifacts that are born digital.

8. Movement Fundamentals Coalesce

With no instruction in ballet, jazz, tap, modern, or lyrical styles, the students of Luther professor Jane Hawley ’87 might wonder how they’re going to learn to dance.

“That is the biggest hurdle,” she admits. “I say that you have to make a really conscientious choice to come here, and if you do, you will learn about your body and be able to do all of those steps better because you understand your mechanics—or you’ll invent new forms and new work.” This summer’s Movement Fundamentals Coalesce workshop was a weeklong distillation of Hawley’s experimental curriculum, which moves away from formal dance styles and relies instead on body intelligence and better understanding the body as an instrument of expression. “Education doesn’t come through learning how to do steps, it comes through understanding how the body works and what the


Maria da Silva ’15

Maria da Silva ’15


body—and you as an artist—want to say,” she explains. “So in a way it’s not anything new—it’s how everybody teaches the arts. Dance has been different in its upbringing and education because it does it through a very specific form and mimicry of that form. But you can invent any step or image through the body in order to convey what it is you want to say, just like every other artist does in other mediums. We don’t teach painters to paint like Picasso; we teach them the elements of design and paint. And so we’re teaching the elements of the body and the mechanics of the body.” While Hawley teaches Movement Fundamentals to undergraduates year-round, the summer workshop started three years ago

as part of a student-faculty research grant in collaboration with Sophia Rog, who has trained with Hawley for 12 years and now studies with famed Action Theater instructor Ruth Zaporah in New Mexico. Rog reinforces the idea that Movement Fundamentals provides a complete dance toolkit: “If I have this training and want to create a piece that has the elements of Alvin Ailey or Paul Taylor or the Graham Company, or even something with balletic lines, though I don’t have that specific training, my body would still know how to do that.”

9. Prairie Conference

In July, Luther hosted the 14th Iowa Prairie Conference. This was the first time that the conference, which moves to different sites in Iowa, was held in the northeast part of the state, and it drew a broad mix of prairie enthusiasts, educators, students, researchers, and land managers. In addition to learning about Iowa’s native vegetation and prairie conservation and management, attendees visited some of the tallgrass and hill prairies found in the area, including the prairie restoration project undertaken by Mike Osterholm ’75, director of the Center for Infectious Disease at the University of Minnesota. Owing to the elimination of natural

processes such as fire and grazing, and also to the spread of invasive species such as red cedars, hill prairies in northeast Iowa are disappearing. They also face a new threat in the possibility of frac sand mining. But the presence of threatened species in northeast Iowa prairies, such as the ottoe skipper butterfly, which was spotted during the conference, may encourage the protection of these habitats.

Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Teaching abroad Luther prepares education majors for a career in American K–12 public and private schools, but what many students don’t immediately realize is that their degree also opens the door to working abroad. Luther offers a scholarship dedicated to this very thing: the John H. Monson Endowed Fund for International Education has funded many scholarships for education students to pursue international student-teaching placements. The endowment was established in honor of Monson’s educational efforts by his son Tom ’77 and Tom’s wife, Ann (Johnson) Monson ’78. When Jim Langholz, Luther associate professor of education, first raised the topic of teaching abroad with Lauren (Caruso) Walker ’02, she was skeptical that it would be possible for her and fiance Ryan Walker ’02: “I figured it wasn’t something that could actually happen, and I figured that we needed to get some teaching experience stateside before we could even consider moving abroad.” Some graduates do begin teaching in the United States before taking jobs abroad, but many launch their careers in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Japan, Norway, and Thailand. To find the positions, they may network through Luther professors such as Langholz, who is currently on leave from Luther and serving as principal for a school in Japan, or seek placement through overseas recruiting agencies. Luther’s education department lists agencies and international schools at A dozen years after Lauren’s talk with Langholz, the Walkers are teaching and raising their family in Stavanger, Norway. We asked them and several other alumni who teach in nations around the world what the experience has been like for them. Their e-mail responses are excerpted here. Lauren (Caruso) Walker ’02 at Sverd i Fjell, also known as Three Swords Monument, in Stavanger, Norway.


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International opportunities open the world to Luther’s alumni educators

LAUREN (CARUSO) Walker ’02 Family: Husband Ryan Walker ’02, children Meredith and Joel Lauren teaches kindergarten—ages five and six—and Ryan teaches fifth- through 12thgrade band—ages 10–18—at the International School of Stavanger (ISS) in Norway. How did you become interested in teaching abroad? Although it was 12 years ago, I still remember a conversation I had with Jim Langholz while at ISS (teaching and observing in a three-week program). Jim started telling me about teaching internationally, and really talked about it as something that Ryan and I could do someday. . . . Fast-forward nine months. Ryan and I were in the final stages of wedding planning. In addition, he was in the throes of student teaching in the Twin Cities, and I was finishing my final semester of classes at Luther. The phone rang, and it was Jim. By huge coincidence, he had bumped into Bob Gross, superintendent of the Singapore American School, who was in Iowa recruiting at an international job fair. Bob was having difficulty filling a general music and beginning orchestra position. In addition, he had a fourth-grade vacancy to fill. Jim asked us if we were at all interested. . . . I grabbed an atlas in Decorah, Ryan grabbed one in St. Paul, and after figuring out where Singapore was, we decided to go for it. . . . Thus began the adventure of a lifetime! Although we spent six years teaching in Sioux Falls, S.D., after our time in Singapore, here we are, about to start our second year in Stavanger, Norway. Describe your school. Teaching in Sioux Falls my first year, I taught 27 second graders. This past year, I taught 13 kindergartners. In our high school, there are a significant number of classrooms that are nearly paperless, due in large part to our school’s 1:1 iPad ratio for students in grades seven through 12. Our cafeteria is run by an extraordinary French chef who does an incredible job of bringing foods from all over the world to our children’s plates every day. Instead of eating typical school cafeteria fare, our kids eat chicken and couscous, baked

salmon, and moussaka on a regular basis. What are your students like? I had an extremely diverse group of kindergartners this year. Their home countries ranged from the United States to Canada to Germany to Norway to Egypt. They were primarily children of oil families, and while some of them have been in Stavanger for most of their lives, others have moved around quite a bit. They have many of the same learning strengths and needs that other kindergartners around the world have, but they have life experiences that most of the children I taught in South Dakota may never have. How is teaching in Norway different from in the United States? [In addition to smaller class size, varied background of the students, a diverse slate of teachers, and being encouraged to travel, Walker wrote about differences in accountabilty.] While our students are tested and receive regular report cards, our funding is not dependent upon test scores taken from one small sample of time during the school year, so—at least within the elementary school—we are protected from much of the stress and fear, if I’m honest, that comes with standardized testing. JIM HILDEBRAND ’06 Family: Wife Claire, sons Caden and Owain Taught physical education to ages 6–12 (more than 70 nationalities) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Taught ages 2½–6 in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. Will be teaching ages 6–12 in Saudi Arabia this year. How is teaching in Abu Dhabi different from in the United States? My class load is a lot smaller than it would be in the United States, and every class has an assistant who follows them to every class and helps when needed. What was your biggest challenge? The language barrier the last two years and having to figure out new ways to get the students to understand my instructions.

Jim Hildebrand ’06 and his family moved to Saudi Arabia over the summer.

What surprised you most? How westernized it is here and how everything can be delivered to you at almost any hour of the day. What do you do when you aren’t teaching? We like to go to the beach on the weekend, which is Friday and Saturday. We also do what everyone here does and seek comfort from the heat in the many different malls. We also enjoy traveling and have taken a few trips to Thailand, the Maldives, Oman, and Jordan, to name a few places.

Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


AMY ROWLAND ’09 Was a reading-support teacher for ages 6 and 7 at an American school in Mexico. Taught prekindergarten at an international primaryyears school in Shenzhen, China. What is your classroom like: My pre-K classroom has three adults. I am the classroom teacher and teach all subjects in English. I work with a teaching assistant who is fluent in English and Chinese. She supports learning and helps communicate with parents and Chinese-speaking staff. We also work with a nanny who aids the students in their learning and looks after their personal needs. Our classroom has 21 Chinese-firstlanguage students. The room is similar to many classrooms in the United States, with a teacher’s computer, SMART Board, five student computers, math and literacy manipulatives, and student work covering the walls. Amy Rowland ’09 at China’s Great Wall. She plans next to study for a master’s degree in second languages and cultures and licensure in ESL at the University of Minnesota.

How is teaching in China different from teaching in the United States? There are many cultural differences. One that has come up often throughout my teaching is how the two cultures approach learning. In my school’s educational philosophy, an emphasis is placed on learning though play and hands-on experiences. We do not use many worksheets. Instead we document learning through pictures, portfolios, and notes. What are your plans for the future? Next year I am going to attend graduate school at the University of Minnesota. I will be studying for a master’s degree in second languages and cultures and my licensure in English as a second language (ESL). MYA SCARLATO ’11 Teaches elementary music, kindergarten through second grade, and fifth-grade band in South Korea.

Mya Scarlato ’11 says she plans to stay in the international teaching circuit indefinitely.

Describe your school. My school, Korea International School (KIS), has about 1,200

students, PK–12, and is made up of four buildings that are connected by halls/bridges. Our curriculum is American-based, adapted for a more international student body (including material that is specific to South Korea). The student population at KIS is about 75 perent ethnic Koreans (although most of them have lived in an English-speaking country for at least three years) and 25 percent foreigners. All classes are in English (except classes that focus on the Korean language). What are your students like? Great. They are generally well behaved . . . and very academically motivated. Education is highly valued in Korean culture and is seen as the road to success in life. Facilitating creative thinking and independence of thought is one of the most important things I do as a teacher because many of my students do not know how to think in ways that are different from what they are told. Describe where you live. I live about 40 minutes south of Seoul, pretty close to Gangnam (as per the song “Gangnam Style”). The area where I live is technically a suburb of Seoul, although the area has a very urban feel (lots of high-rise apartments, everything within walking distance, lots of public buses, subway system, etc.). I don’t own a car and have no need for one. The Tancheon River is about 300 feet from my apartment and has biking/walking trails that extend all the way to Seoul. I also have easy access to hiking trails from my apartment. I love where I live. KRISTIN (SOLVERSON) SYMES ’06 Family: Husband Josh, children Lucy and a son due to be born right about press time Teaches middle school choir—ages 11–14— in Singapore. Why did you choose to teach in Singapore? I student taught at Singapore American School, and during my time there, I was

Luther alumni have a great reputation among the international school administrators who hire teachers

The International School of Stavanger has had a long and close relationship with Luther graduates. If my memory serves me correctly, the school hired its first Luther grads in 1976. Since then we have had many other wonderful educators make their way from Decorah to Stavanger. One could say these individuals have done a reversal of the journey that many Norwegians made in immigrating to Iowa. We currently have five Luther folks on staff—Katharine (Kaboord) ’04 and Tony Mudra ’04, Lauren (Caruso) ’02 and Ryan Walker ’02, and newly arrived Trent Williams ’04. My impression of Luther graduates is that they have received an outstanding undergraduate education, are remarkably innovative in their teaching, are very focused on the best interests of their students, are incredibly hard workers . . . and have no fear of the Norwegian winters!” — Linda M. Duevel, director, International School of Stavanger, Norway


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offered a two-year contract, kindergarten through fifth-grade general music position, and accepted. How do you spend time when you aren’t teaching? I sing professionally in Singapore, so I am busy rehearsing for a show or performance I may have coming up with the Singapore Lyric Opera or orchestras in the area. What are your students like? Our students are a multicultural mix from all over the world who must have a USA passport. They have a very worldly view and are very well traveled. Because Singapore is such a safe and efficient city, our students are a bit sheltered and do not have such exposure to crime and violence as some areas of the world would have. What are your plans for the future? My husband is originally from Australia, so perhaps “down under” might be the next step. Right now, Singapore is a great place to raise kids, and with one more on the way in September, we will probably stay put for a couple more years. RACHEL GABBERT ’11 Teaches fifth grade—ages 10 and 11—at Saigon South International School (SSIS) in Vietnam. Why Vietnam? When Jim Langholtz told our class there were opportunities to student teach in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Brussels, among other places, I had my heart set on Hong Kong or Brussels. It was my classmate Abigail Herman ’11 who nudged me and said, “Rachel, let’s go to Vietnam.” We ended up coming to Ho Chi Minh City. I loved the school, loved the Vietnamese culture, the international school culture, and the incredibly rich and vibrant culture that all the students brought to the school. When a position opened up in the same grade level I had student taught in, I jumped at the op-

portunity. I’ll be starting my third year at SSIS in the fall. What is teaching there like? Both the students and the parents value academic excellence, to the point where the students attend hours of extracurricular classes and tutoring sessions, and parents ask me to assign more homework. Often, though, the methods and pedagogy are different in the after-school schools that these students attend. They are able to solve multistep algebraic equations, but have trouble thinking flexibly when presented with a problem using those skills in a new way. In our classes especially, we try to refocus students on questions like “How did you get the answer?” and “Where can we go from here?” rather than “This is the right answer.” Along a similar vein, we are able to engage students in unique, meaningful experiences that promote dedicated service. In grade five, one such activity is taking students to the jungles of Cat Tien National Park to study ecosystems and endangered species, then coming back to the city to create campaigns to raise awareness about those animals.

Kristin (Solverson) Symes ’06 with her husband, Josh, and daughter, Lucy.

How are you coping with learning the language? Vietnamese is hard with all its tones! I’m getting a lot better. At first when I went out, I had my friends order and speak for me, but now I’ve picked up enough so that I can go to the market and successfully buy things while only being slightly overcharged. It’s always a joy when I can hold a small conversation with someone. . . . Not even joy. It’s elation. What are your plans for the future? I’m planning on staying a few more years at SSIS. It’s a really great fit for me. And when I decide it is time to move on, I have my sights on a few other cities within Southeast Asia. I’m nowhere near ready to leave yet.

Luther College students are consistently observed to bring a universal set of core values to their work as professional educators. These values are not limited to, but include; compassion, a commitment to excellence, integrity, respect, and responsibility. Luther students model these values in powerful ways to those they work with on a daily basis and thus serve to make the learning community a more positive and professional environment for everyone.”

Celebrating Tet (the lunar new year) 2013, Rachel Gabbert ’11 is wearing an ao dai, a Vietnamese national costume, and her student is dressed as the king of Tet.

There appears to be something unique about the Luther graduate. It’s the only school where I seriously consider hiring one of the graduates without any teaching experience. There is a level of maturity, commitment, and passion that the Luther graduates exhibit. I can easily imagine opening a school and staffing the entire operation with Luther graduates.” —Bob Gross, director, American International School of Vienna

—Brent Mutsch, superintendent, American School of Dubai

Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Nate Ersig ’98

Alumni News

The Luther class of 1998 gathers for its annual group photo in Phelps Park.

Class of 1998 alumni reunion is a family affair On the inaugural night of their yearly reunion, a group of friends from the class of 1998 gathered in the basement of Mabe’s. “I think we’re finally outnumbered,” says Abby (Ostby) Bracke ’98. “I think there are 22 adults and 26 kids or so.” “It happened the year that the Lulls came,” someone adds. “The Lulls pushed us over!” someone else jokes accusatorily. Bracke explains, “This whole


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thing started as a guy camping trip in the Dells, and then significant others started to come, and then people started having kids—” “And then reality set in!” a voice calls from across the room. “And camping in the dirt didn’t sound so good,” finishes Adam Fuller ’98. The group, which some years exceeds 40 adults and includes alumni traveling from as far away as India (that honor goes to Martin Reinsmoen ’98), stays at Luther’s Baker Village and revisits all the places they loved as students—Phelps Park, the

pool, the Whippy Dip, and, of course, Mabe’s. When asked how many people in attendance married fellow Luther graduates, someone quips, “It’s probably easier to count who did not!” (The answer is four.) “The bigger question,” says Stephanie (Rutz) Fuller ’98, “is how many of our kids will come here.” As if something just occurred to her, Bracke calls across the room to Nate Ersig ’98, a gift planning officer at Luther, “Hey, they have a staff tuition discount, don’t they? Is that why

you’re working for Luther?” “The dog doesn’t count!” Ersig rejoins. “It’s great being on campus again, but having your friends with you while you’re here definitely adds to it,” Bracke says. “My husband and I joke that we would love to retire to Decorah, but all of our friends would have to retire here, too.” A table over, someone gestures to Ersig and jokes, “Hey, we’re already making some inroads!” —Kate Frentzel

Alumni News

Class of ’13 graduates 61 children of alumni The following sons and daughters of Luther alumni participated in the commencement ceremonies on campus in May. ALASKA

Anchorage Leslie Rawson, daughter of Alison Cojocar and Timothy Rawson ’80, Anchorage IOWA

Lime Springs Denise Richter, daughter of Sue (Mathison) ’78 and Tim Richter

Edina Ingrid Cologne, daughter of Julie (Melin) ’85 and Duane Cologne

Winona Angela Haug, daughter of Sue and Myron Haug ’82

Mason City Erika Pohlman, daughter of Lissa (Aleckson) ’80 and Hal Pohlman

Falcon Heights Emily Streeper, daughter of Laura Dotseth ’86 and David Larsen and Monica and Dan Streeper ’85, Roseville, Minn.

Woodbury Benjamin Feldkamp, son of Juli and Joel Feldkamp ’84 Jana Sorensen, daughter of Peggy (Smith) ’73 and Steve Sorensen ’71

North Liberty Elisabeth Hottel, daughter of Rachel (Wichmann) ’84 and Paul Hottel Emily Jacobsen, daughter of Diane Jacobsen and Ted Jacobsen ’77, Coralville, Iowa

Algona Andrea Klepper, daughter of Kirsten (Tranvik) ’84 and Alan Klepper ’84

Sioux City Andrew Tjossem, son of Helen Harvey and Karen (Worden) ’72 and Greg Tjossem, Brookings, Ore.

Boone Austin Swenson, son of Kara (Hebrink) ’83 and Dave Swenson ’81

Waverly Kirk Lehmann, son of Karen (Shostrom) ’78 and Mark Lehmann Drew Mick, son of Lore and Jeff Mick ’80

Golden Valley Lisbet Finseth, daughter of Lynnae and Chris Finseth ’77 Luverne Matthew Christensen, son of Pamela (Eidahl) ’86 and Tim Christensen ’87

Zumbrota Kiah Solberg, daughter of Anne (Wedge) ’85 and Jeff Solberg

Medina Christopher Paulson, son of Barb and Bob Paulson ’78

Davenport Michael Crowe, son of Katie Hanson ’82 and Dave Crowe ’82

Chicago Perran Wetzel, son of Lori Dooley Wetzel ’80 and Perran Wetzel ’79

Northfield Andrew Nelson, son of Becky (Kammer) ’81 and Mark Nelson ’81 James Penning, son of Cathy (Eichmann) ’83 and Mark Penning ’82 Rose Weselmann, daughter of Mona and Lael Weselmann ’79

De Witt Abby Sandry, daughter of Mary (Welsh) ’86 and Robert Sandry

Kingston Richelle Johnson, daughter of Chris (Schweizer) ’87 and Eric A. Johnson ’87

Oakdale Kayli Bullard, daughter of Kari (Petersen) ’85 and Dwight Bullard ’84

Lombard Joel Anderson, son of Cynthia (Johnsrud) Anderson ’77 and Craig Anderson ’76, West Chicago, Ill.

Rochester Mariah Bigelow, daughter of Maureen (Hawes) ’86 and Paul Bigelow ’87 Anna DiCecco, daughter of Sara (Reek) ’80 and Joe DiCecco Laura Harney, daughter of Carrie (Phipps) ’82 and Ray Harney ’80 Trevor Ketterling, son of Judi and Rhett Ketterling ’87

Clarion Clare Nagel, daughter of Denise and Tim Nagel ’80

Decorah Jillian Jefferson, daughter of Carol (Holden) Jefferson ’97, St. Paul, Minn., and Marion and John Jefferson Quinn Meyer, daughter of Chelle (Sullivan) ’89 and Dan Meyer Evan Neubauer, son of Trish and Kirk Neubauer ’76 Hannah Ranum, daughter of Brenda and David Ranum ’83 Christina Storlie, daughter of Rhonda (Volden) ’85 and Chris Storlie ’83 Amanda Wiger, daughter of Liz Opat-Wiger ’80 and Clark Wiger


Naperville Chandralekha Bhuyan, daughter of Shelley (Benning) ’84 and Arup Bhuyan Woodridge Hannah Shatzer, daughter of Kari (Nottleson) ’82 and Bruce Shatzer ’82 Valparaiso Eric Schoer, son of Debbie Fedge ’85 and Jon Schoer ’85

Worthington Andrea Russell, daughter of Kari (Sellberg) ’85 and Dan Russell

St. Charles Alexandra Forbes, daughter of Lori (Cedarholm) ’83 and Craig Hilmer and Jeff Forbes, Austin, Minn.

Denver Kirsten Stevens, daughter of Michele (Mertens) ’83 and Carter Stevens ’83


Cottage Grove Thomas Reimann, son of Mary (Vaaler) ’87 and Tim Reimann

Dorchester Clara Bergan, daughter of Carol (Clauson) ’80 and Mike Bergan ’84

Waconia Melanie Grangaard, daughter of Karen (Bell) ’83 and Tim Grangaard ’83 Brit Indrelie, son of Judith and Jeff Indrelie ’79

Eden Prairie Nikolene Tryggestad, daughter of Cathy and Curt Tryggestad ’81

Willmar Hanna Pederson, daughter of Sheri and Brent Pederson ’77


Malta Elizabeth Engebretson, daughter of Jeanne and Erik Engebretson ’82 SOUTH DAKOTA

Brookings Heidi Darrington, daughter of Lois (Korsness) ’85 and Edward Darrington WISCONSIN

Appleton Kirsten Hash, daughter of Linda (Rosholt) ’85 and Lee Hash ’84 Hudson Stephen Dahle, son of Carol and Tom Dahle ’75 Katelyn Kluge, daughter of Linda (Larson) ’84 and Todd Kluge Janesville Jason Knutson, son of Jan (Bakker) ’78 and Brian Knutson ’78 Monona Alison Toal, daughter of Christine and Jack Toal ’80 New Berlin Micah Kust, son of Vickie and Jeep Kust ’84 Oregon Emily Temte, daughter of Jo and Jonathan Temte ’80 Wausau Matthew Lind, son of Beth (Beutler) ’83 and Richard Lind

Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Alumni News

Key question by Charles Beatty ’73 helps solve medical mystery “Can you hear your eyes move?” With this odd, simple question, Dr. Charles Beatty ’73 began to unravel the mystery presented by patient Wendy Tapper last year. Tapper had been referred to Beatty, an otologic surgeon at Mayo Clinic, after she sought help at Mayo because, yes, she could hear her eyes move—she

circular canal. That bone would have helped insulate the critical centers of hearing and balance from the brain. Blum reached out to Beatty, whose questioning led to the diagnosis of a rare disease called semicircular canal dehiscence syndrome, which means that there is an opening or no separation between the upper and inner ear canals and the brain.

“For three years prior to coming to Mayo Clinic in spring 2012, Wendy went from doctor to doctor and endured batteries of tests, scans, appointments, and

Mayo Clinic


Charles Beatty ’73 is a specialist in otorhinolaryngology at Mayo Clinic.


Luther Alumni Magazine

could also hear the thump of her own heartbeat and the blood pulsing through her veins. A Feb. 15, 2013, article by Mayo Clinic describes Tapper’s case: “For three years prior to coming to Mayo Clinic in spring 2012, Wendy went from doctor to doctor and endured batteries of tests, scans, appointments, and misdiagnoses. Her rare condition ultimately revealed by Mayo physicians was masked in part by two distinct illnesses— breast cancer and a stroke. “While those illnesses and the treatments Wendy was receiving are life-altering, they were compounded with the escalation of an underlying third and separate issue. It was the escalation of her symptoms of dizziness, hearing loss and a drastically diminishing quality of life that brought Wendy to Mayo Clinic.” She met with Dr. Daniel Blum, an otolaryngologist, who issued a series of scans and balance tests that revealed a lack of bone near her ear superior semi-

Tapper’s brain was receiving faulty messages regarding balance and hearing. How did Beatty know to ask that question? “The question about whether or not Mrs. Tapper could hear her eyes move came after hearing several other patients with superior semicircular canal dehiscence mention this rather reticently because other providers didn’t always believe them,” he says. “I also remember very well disbelieving or being very suspicious of a psychiatric component the first time I had a patient offer that they were experiencing some unusual sensations of disequilibrium and could hear their eyes moving! That was before the syndrome had been defined and the cause identified. Now it is one of the first things I ask if I suspect SSCD.” Beatty also offered new insight when it came to treatment. The News Center article explains that “while there are two standard invasive surgical procedures used to treat the disorder, both carried risks of

hearing loss or further balance problems. Beatty presented a third option—round window occlusion—a less-invasive surgical procedure that involves going through the external ear canal instead of the skull. Beatty was aware of it being performed only once before, and it had never been done at Mayo Clinic.… Beatty’s minimally invasive surgery was performed as an outpatient procedure,” although the medical team monitored Tapper in the hospital for 24 hours as a precautionary method. She has since been able to resume her active life. Beatty earned his medical degree at the University of Iowa and did his residency at Mayo Graduate School of Medicine. He is an otorhinolaryngologist by training and says it was demand for services and personal interest in the subspecialty of otology/neurotology that led him to that area. “Over the years I became one of the ENT staff who developed expertise in this area and saw more and more patients with problems limited to hearing loss, balance problems, and ear-related disorders,” he says. “The sheer volume and breadth of experience has been very rewarding. Some of the great things about otorhinolaryngology are that one gets to see all ages, both sexes, usually make the diagnosis based on the history and physical findings, and take care of the problem without involving several other specialists. We also get to use many advanced technology devices and instruments such as lasers, microscopes, and cochlear implants. Cool stuff! And most of our patients enjoy a better quality of life as a result of our skills and interventions.” —Ellen Modersohn

Alumni News

Dr. Rachel Reitan, ob-gyn and TV personality on New Orleans’s WGNO, may have to start eating her fast food in secret. “On Tuesdays, I work in Slidell, where I see the VA patients. It’s an hour outside of New Orleans, and I always get an ice cream cone from McDonald’s on my way home—always. So I’m there at the little window, and the cashier says, ‘Oh, you’re Dr. Rachel from the TV! Good thing you didn’t get a hamburger and French fries!’ And I thought, oh god, that’s so true!” It’s little wonder that the diminutive woman with a big personality is becoming a recognizable figure in Louisiana. Reitan’s no-nonsense, highenergy persona translates easily to television, and the twominute segments that she tapes for WGNO dispense broadly applicable but oft-overlooked medical advice. Reitan focuses on trending topics—sunscreen tips, probiotics, gluten allergies—and says that her highest-hitting story was in June, when she highlighted men’s health. “It was great,” she enthuses, “because I got to say, ‘I love you, Dad!’ ” “Dad” is Phillip Reitan, Luther professor emeritus of biology. Of her upbringing, the younger Reitan recalls, “I think I always did want to be a doctor. Dad taught all the premed people, and I loved going over there to dissect and everything. Just because girls become nurses—that was my belief—I did the nursing thing.” After graduating from Luther, however, Reitan earned

her medical degree at UW– Madison and started a residency in dermatology. But Reitan, having cut her chops in her father’s dissection lab, had little patience for what she saw as squeamishness in the field. So, with an acute interest in the health of women, she turned to obstetrics and gynecology. In addition to attending to women’s health at the Slidell VA, Reitan teaches at Tulane University, where she is also in charge of women’s services at the student health clinic. She also works in the Rape Division of the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office. In spite of her deep involvement in her field, she talks about nursing wistfully. “Because I have a nursing background, patient education is very, very important to me.... As a physician, you really don’t have enough time for it, unfortunately. That’s another thing I love about the segments: teaching people.” While most of Reitan’s WGNO segments are energetic and infused with humor, sometimes teaching people is a solemn endeavor. Future plans include a segment on the dangers of leaving kids in the car and another on rape. Reitan isn’t interested in helping only people; she’s also passionate about animal health and safety. She works with the Humane Society and the SPCA and estimates that she’s rescued about 26 feral cats, kittens, and puppies (her goal is to reach 100). By her own account, she’s “not a cat person,” so she’s kept only one of her rescues. In a funny twist, when Reitan took what she thought was her tumor-afflicted pet kitten into the vet’s office, it turned out that the cat was pregnant, and Reitan found

Courtesy Rachel Reitan ’87

“Watch two minutes and call me in the morning”: Rachel Reitan ’87 dispenses medical advice to the masses

“I think I always did want to be a doctor. Dad taught all the premed people, and I loved going over there to dissect and everything.” herself on the other end of the ultrasound—which, because it’s so time-consuming, can be the bane of a busy doctor’s existence. “The vet and I were just boohoo crying, because you see these little kittens on there, on the ultrasound, in their little bags,” she recalls. “We were bawling. So ever since then, I understand why women are so excited seeing that little baby on the ultrasound. That cat kind of changed my whole outlook on doing ultrasounds.” —Kate Frentzel Watch Reitan’s WGNO segments at:

Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Alumni News

Waiting game

Julie Staub

Adventures of a conservation officer

Erika (Andersen) Billerbeck with Sierra

Erika (Andersen) Billerbeck ’97 writes about putting an injured deer out of its misery, the mystery behind a spate of eagle deaths, and a teenager learning to hunt. These stories and more have appeared in her Warden’s Diary column in the Iowa Outdoors magazine of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. A conservation officer for the Iowa DNR, working in fish and game law enforcement since July 2000, Billerbeck was a biology major at Luther. She taught environmental education for a county conservation board for about five years before connecting with Julie (James) Modjeski ’97, who was working as a deputy conservation warden in Wisconsin at the time. Billerbeck got a similar job, attended the law enforcement academy in Wisconsin, and was then hired in Webster County, Iowa. After about five years, she transferred to Johnson County, Iowa. When the previous Warden’s Diary columnist retired, Billerbeck was recommended to write

the column. “I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough to talk about because, certainly, other officers get into bigger cases than I do, but it seems that some of the day-to-day stuff is just as interesting as the big cases,” she says. Being female and a mother, she says, also gives her a different perspective than some of the other officers might have. Billerbeck and her husband, Tom Billerbeck, have a daughter, Andi, age 6, and a son, Silas, age 4. This summer they moved to an acreage in Johnson County. The following column appeared in the January/February 2012 issue of Iowa Outdoors.

A watched pot never boils, or so the saying goes.

Sometimes I wonder if the person who came up with this adage ever experienced sitting in a field in the middle of the night waiting for a spotlighter. Scenes from television shows usually depict surveillance as a riveting activity. At any moment a criminal could come around the corner causing the vigilant cop to leap from a squad car and give chase. The scene ends with the cop performing a

heroic face-planting tackle to the pavement. What TV shows don’t bother illustrating are the numbingly boring hours the cop had to sit before the criminal decided to show up. And I assure you, there are plenty of those. Usually it is sometime in November when I start receiving spotlighting complaints. In Iowa, many people enjoy driving around at night shining fields with spotlights, headlights or even flashlights, looking to catch deer in the beam of their artificial light. Spotlighting is legal unless the person has in his or her possession a gun, bow, or other device capable of killing an animal. So, when I receive calls about late-night gunshots and spotlighting, I know it is time to start some surveillance. I’ll be quite honest with you—surveillance is a challenge for me. My patience has vastly improved since starting this job, but like fishing, if something doesn’t happen within the first hour or so, my mind tends to stray a bit. Nevertheless, my expectations were high this fall after receiving a very detailed complaint from a landowner. Not only did the informant have a description of the suspect’s vehicle, but he also told me exactly where to park in his

Nominate alumni for service, achievement, Athletic Hall of Fame awards 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


Luther Alumni Magazine

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 2014, for example, Luther is seeking nominees from classes ending in a 9 or 4. 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 2014, for example, Luther is seeking nominees from classes ending in a 9 or 4.

Alumni News

field for the best view. He all but promised that a spotlighter would shine the field sometime between midnight and 2 a.m. Just to be on the safe side, I decided to arrive at 11 p.m. and stay until 3 a.m. I parked my truck in the field and began my watch. I watched. And watched. And watched. But eventually, my mind began to the temperature. Frigid air was beginning to creep into my truck causing goose bumps on my legs. November is cold. In the middle of the night it is very cold. I know what you are thinking... why didn’t I just turn on the heat? The answer is that it’s best to keep the motor off and the windows open to better hear gunshots or vehicles approaching. Therefore, I tried my best to ignore my discomfort while I stared out the window and listened. And stared and listened. And stared and listened. I spent the next hour trying to discern the source of a light that kept moving back and forth across the horizon. My initial thought was, “Aha! I’ve got you now... just come a little closer!” Eventually it dawned on me. I was watching the headlights of a distant combine picking its way through a field. That disappointing revelation was accompanied

Instead, I opened my

inopportune moment I heard “surveillance survival kit” and the tell-tale popping of tires pulled out a distraction in the form rolling over of a king size bag of M&Ms. I ate gravel. I scrambled back to the them one by one as slowly as cab of the truck, humanly possible.” strapped my gun belt back on, and jumped in by the unfortunate realizajust in time to watch a Schwan’s tion that I needed a bathroom truck drive past. I have no idea break. I say unfortunate because what it was doing out at 1 a.m., cornfields don’t usually come but the important thing was equipped with heated women’s there were no spotlight beams rooms stocked with Charmin. coming from its windows. As I It is also unfortunate because I settled back into position, I ponknew from experience that the dered whether there would be moment I gave into the urge room for a deer alongside the ice would be the precise moment cream in the truck’s freezer. when a vehicle would pass by. With my adrenaline still Instead, I opened my “surveilpumping from the whole bathlance survival kit” and pulled room break fiasco, I vowed to out a distraction in the form of myself that I’d remain alert. I a king size bag of M&Ms. I ate kept my promise for an impresthem one by one as slowly as sive amount of time. But then I humanly possible. made the mistake of glimpsing Though my candy was gone, at a photo of my young children my need for the bathroom posted on my dashboard. This wasn’t. I knew that it couldn’t slight interruption derailed be put off any longer. This my focus. Suddenly I became simple bathroom task isn’t quite obsessed with worry that my so simple when wearing a heavy husband had forgotten to do coat and gun-belt, but I finally something very obvious—like wrestled everything off and feed the baby. Although I knew made my way to the back of the it was irrational, I couldn’t risk truck. It was cold. Very cold. it and I made a quick call home. And, sure enough, at the most

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-atlarge. 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,

After waking both my husband and the baby, and somewhat angering my husband (okay, angering him a lot), I returned to the task of watching and listening. And watching and listening. And watching and listening. By this time I was tired and needed to find something to keep myself awake. Since my emergency supply of M&Ms was gone I decided, as a last resort, to sing. Be thankful you weren’t riding with me that night because I couldn’t get the tune “I’m a Little Teapot” out of my head. I sang it over and over, substituting words I couldn’t remember with “la la la.” Finally, after about 200 verses, the clock struck 3 a.m. I wished myself better luck tomorrow night and began heading for home. Just as I pulled into my driveway, the phone rang. It was the informant. He was so excited it was a little hard to decipher what he was telling me. “Did you see them?! They just shined your field!” “The spotlighters?” I asked wearily. I already knew the answer. I took my eyes off the pot. It boiled.

IA 52101; e-mail, 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; e-mail 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; e-mail johnsonk@, phone (563) 387-1659.

Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Alumni News

Wedding bells Don Stein ’11 wrote to us recently with a moving story about love, family, an alma mater, and . . . recycling:

Don ’11 and Emily (Rasmann) Stein ’11


Luther Alumni Magazine

“The story starts with the bells that ring from the top of the Main building. I’m not sure what year the college replaced the old Schulmeric Bell set for a newer system that required less space, energy, and maintenance. But I know that the old machine was placed up for auction in 2010. “My father’s congregation (Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Onalaska, Wis.) was building a new church at the time, and I had this pipe dream that I could buy the bell set, fix it up, and donate it to the new church. I checked the remains of my meager bank account—which had been slowly drained from a semester as an unpaid intern in Washington, D.C.— and prepared myself for what would certainly be a highstakes bidding war. I placed my first bid on the auction website and followed the bidding religiously (pardon the pun) for the next week. My contribution to the new church was at stake, after all. It must’ve been highly coveted,” he jokes, “no bid exceeded my minimum bid of $11. I informed my parents that

they needed to make room for a surprise. “As it turned out, the Schulmeric Bell Company no longer manufactured the unit, nor any of its components. Furthermore, none of the mechanics on the company payroll were familiar enough with the old system to even passably repair it. So I set about fixing it myself—for one horrible, miserable, frustrating afternoon, anyway. Then life happened. I received a job offer to work full time on Capitol Hill. I moved to D.C., and the massive unit moved to my parents’ garage. When it became apparent that I wasn’t going to tinker with it anytime soon, my parents began selling the parts for scrap. I visited their home that Christmas to see an empty garage. All that remained of the set was the keyboard and bench. Or so I was led to believe. . . .” “It took four men to move it,” Margie Stein, Don’s mother, says. “It was a large carillon in several parts that probably weighed four or five hundred pounds,” Don Stein Sr. elaborates. “There was a console, a three-foot monitoring speaker box, a 32-key keyboard piano bench, then the main component parts, which were metal cabinets filled with

electronic components, about six feet high by two feet wide, and there were three of those.” The Steins held the bell set for about a year, but didn’t find any interested buyers nor any way to fix the thing. “But the timepiece,” Don Sr. says, “the clock that activated the carillon, I thought I could perhaps take it out—it’s beautiful. And I did. I removed it, I rewired it, and it worked just fine.” “At that point we hadn’t thought about Donnie yet,” Margie interjects. “But when Don and Emmie [Emily (Rasmann) Stein ’11] announced that they were getting married, we started wondering whether we could do anything with it as a wedding gift.” They took the timepiece to an Amish craftsman in Cashton and asked him to enclose it in a case, making it a tabletop clock. And when they presented it to the couple at their wedding? “Tears from Emily, and Donnie was speechless,” Margie recalls. Don Sr. adds, “They will have their time from Luther with them forever.” The younger Don Stein shares this sentiment, noting that the clock is “forever keeping time with the place where we met.” —Kate Frentzel

Alumni News

Class Notes

1950 ROBERT LEE recently

spirit, The Way of the SAGE: A Workbook for Authentic and Joyous Living.

had an article published in the Iowa Bandmasters Magazine titled “The Importance of Musicality in Public School Music.”


Vineland, N.J., retired from teaching as an adjunct professor of math and computer science at Cumberland County College. He is an online mentor for Thomas Edison State College.

1967 JOHN BENSON is a

consultant for the Center for Mathematics and Science Research at the University of Chicago.

1960 KEN MELBY presented

the program “Woodcarvings from Many Countries” with his wife, Ruth, at the meeting of Valdres 503 Sons of Norway at Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum. The collection began as a way for the couple to celebrate their wedding anniversary, and it includes 65 woodcarvings from around the world.


San Antonio, Texas, recently published three books, Southern Black Women in the Modern Civil Rights Movement, African American History in New Mexico, and Texas Labor History, bringing his published book total to 24.


BLOCK is director of music at Delafield (Wis.) Presbyterian Church.

WARREN WOGEN retired from teaching mathematics at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.


JORGENSEN is a life coach in Decorah. She recently published an interactive workbook on the interplay between body, mind, and

Elsie Muronzie ’15, Claudia Calderon ’15, Ami Gilbert ’15, Shelby Nelson ’15, and Esmeralda Flores ’14 tour Washington, D.C.

Luther’s alumnae mentors network is alive and well in Washington, D.C.


professor emeritus at Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg, Va., was named the Distinguished Global Scholar of 2012 by the International Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies. Tlou has worked with UNICEF and Zimbabwe schools to create a modern and practical curriculum. His connection with UNICEF allowed him to provide every student in Zimbabwe with a book.


Franklin, Wis., retired as CFO from Wisconsin Masonic Home Inc.

1970 CARIN

(MALMANGER) ALLHISER of Appleton, Wis., retired from teaching biology and zoology at the University of Wisconsin–Fox Valley. SUSAN M. (ANDERSON) NELSON’s novel, Zoo Girl, was published posthumously in December 2012 and was awarded top honors in the romance fiction category at the 23rd annual Midwest Book Awards (MBA) gala in May 2013. The award was presented to Susan’s surviving husband, Steven R. Nelson, of RocketDog Books (, which they founded together. Steven plans to

This spring, five Luther students attended the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders at the University of Maryland–College Park and met with Luther alumnae mentors while in the Washington, D.C., area. One of these mentors, Ellie (Stack) Shaw ’94, director of federal government affairs for American Express Company, hosted a breakfast meeting with the students and a small group of alumnae at her office. Shaw is responsible for the company’s political education and involvement programs, including its political action committee and grassroots efforts. Ellie (Stack) Shaw ’94 Shaw moved to D.C. as a fresh-faced Luther graduate without a job or a place to live. She summarizes it simply: “I had always lived in the Midwest and thought it would be great to have an adventure outside of the Midwest.” She landed some temp work addressing government affairs for a trade association, then for a utility company, and eventually for American Express. The advice that Shaw dispenses to college women runs contrary to her own experience: “It is important to build a network early, while you are still in college, so that no matter where you move or what career path you choose, you can reach out and begin your job search.” Shaw is comfortable dispensing advice to undergraduates—she volunteers extensively with the Public Leadership Education Network, which works with college-aged women to increase the number of women leaders in all aspects of public policy—and it’s clear that her advice and that of the other alumnae hit home. Says Shelby Nelson ’15, “I left our get-togethers feeling motivated and really ready to conquer the world—too bad I didn’t have a job interview right then! I think I would have nailed it!”

Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Alumni News

publish at least three additional novels that Susan authored prior to her passing in 2011. Copies of

KAREN (ATKINSON) and KURT LEICHTLE ’70 live in River Falls, Wis. She is a special education paraprofessional for the River Falls School District. He is a professor of history at University of Wisconsin– River Falls. He also published the book Crusade against Slavery: Edward Coles, Pioneer of Freedom, with Bruce Carveth.

1972 JOYCE (SPONHEIM) her three published novels can be borrowed from Preus Library or purchased from the Luther College Book Shop. JIM ROLLEFSON of Naples, Fla., played in the United States Senior Amateur Golf Championship at Mountain Ridge Country Club in West Caldwell, N.J.

1971 MARY (XAVIER) and

STEVE LABELLE live in Fort Myers Beach, Fla. She is retired from teaching at Hopkins High School. He is retired from consulting for Hudson International.

and DUANE BAUN ’71 live in Madison, Minn. She volunteers as church librarian at Christ Lutheran Church. He is pastor at St. John Lutheran and St. Paul Lutheran churches. PHILIP HOLTAN received the Distinguished Service Award from Waldorf College in 2012. He is pastor at Calvary Lutheran Church in Perham, Minn.

1973 CELESTE AUSTIN is program coordinator of women’s programs for The Living Room Program in Santa Rosa, Calif.

KATHLEEN (FRASER) and BILL AYER live in Seattle. She is a substitute teacher, and he is a building engineer for Macy’s. CANDACE BERGE teaches in the Redlands (Calif.) Unified School District. DANIEL BOATMAN is CEO of Philipsburg (Mont.) Hospital. PAT (HOLTORF) BRANSTAD is visiting instructor of German at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. DIANE (BUTTERFIELD) and RONALD CAUCUTT ’72 live in Apple Valley, Minn. He is a business analyst for Johnson Plastics.

Michael Roland ’95, Amy (Schroeder) Fisher ’89, and Tom White ’68 gathered at the 2013 Nevada High School Athletic Directors Conference in Las Vegas. Roland is assistant principal for Desert Pines High School. Fisher is a volleyball coach for Faith Lutheran High School. White is founder and director of Concordia University in California.


Luther Alumni Magazine

BARB (DONALDSON) and ROCKY CHAPIN live in Blaine, Minn. He is senior vice president at Benedictine Health System. STEVE ERICKSON is pastor at St. James Lutheran Church in Forreston, Ill. CHRISTINA (SORENSON) FINET is associate director of marketing and communication for University of Wisconsin–Madison Continuing Studies. DAN FLAGE is professor of philosophy at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va.

BEVERLY HALE-HALLECKSON is the processing department administrative assistant for Mackin Educational Resources in Burnsville, Minn. MARY HALVORSON NAALSUND teaches at Nordberg Ungdomskole (Junior High School) in Oslo, Norway. CASSIE (BENTSON) HANSEN is administrative services manager for MCO Properties in Fountain Hills, Ariz. PAUL HANSEN is a materials handler for Blackhawk Engineering Inc. in Cedar Falls, Iowa. BARB (REIHER) HOFFMAN is client program manager for Pearson VUE in Bloomington, Minn. CATHERINE HOILIEN teaches at Cherry Creek Schools in Greenwood Village, Colo. CYNDY KLINKSIEK is a digital media consultant for ARAnet in Hopkins, Minn. BONNIE MATHSEN HETLAND is an elementary teacher for Independent School District 196 in Rosemount, Minn. VICKI (DAHLY) and RANDY MILLER live in Davenport, Iowa. He is chief financial officer and senior vice president at the National Bank. MARTHA (STROHM) MOREY is an administrative assistant at Strom and Associates P.C. in Billings, Mont. JOHN NASSEN is a shareholder and managing shareholder for Ford Nassen and Baldwin P.C. in Dallas, Texas. BILL NORDMARK is pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Eagle River, Wis. JERRY ROPPE is wildlife operations compliance manager for Iberdrola Renewables in Portland, Ore. He recently resigned from the board of directors for the North Marion School District after 22 years of service. CAROL (LEIDING) SADDORIS is a field interviewer for Abt SRBI in Prescott Valley, Ariz. JUAN SCHMIDT is a school counselor for Little Elm (Texas) High School.

BONNIE (RICHARDSON) SEEM is a geriatric psychiatric social worker for Alegent Creighton Health in Omaha, Neb. BIL SUTLIEF is pastor at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in New London, Wis. RON THRONDSEN is a portfolio manager for 3M in Indianapolis. LINDA WANGSNESS teaches art at Kingsland High School in Spring Valley, Minn. ROD WIEMERI of Barron, Wis., is a level 1, 2, 2.5, and 3 trainer for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. He is part of the Wisconsin Comprehensive School Counseling Model, as well as a member of the WSCA Education and Professional Development Committee.


LARSON and KEITH LARSON ’73 live in Monmouth, Iowa. She is pastor at St. John Lutheran Church. He is pastor at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. CINDEE (ENGQUIST) BECK is a customer sales executive for Hershey Chocolate in Seattle.

KATHY (JACOBSON) and DONOVAN FRANK ’73 live in Mahtomedi, Minn. She is a school nurse for the Mahtomedi School District. He is a federal judge and was a 2012 inductee to the Kingsland High School Wall of Honor in Spring Valley, Minn. ADA (PALAS) KERNDT is the secretary for the Allamakee County Historical Society. She assisted Fourth Wall Films with their work on the critically acclaimed documentary film, Country Schools: One Room—One Nation, which featured footage of the Little Red Schoolhouse at the Allamakee County Fairgrounds. The film was nominated for a 2012 Mid-America Emmy Award. LESLIE (SMITH) and KEVIN SAND ’72 made a challenge gift to the Decorah Fish Hatchery Education Center to be used to match future gifts for a new timber-frame pavilion at the hatchery. ALAN ULRICH is chief financial officer for Guam Memorial Hospital Authority, which is the only public hospital in Guam. When he heard that a local group, Cantate, would

Alumni News

Judy and Rick Torgerson, Luther president emeritus, far left, hosted the Concert Band Companion Tour to Iceland and Norway, May 20–31. The group is shown here on its last evening in Oslo.

Phil Svanoe ’69 hiked the Grand Canyon rim to rim in 10.5 hours (22 miles total, with two miles of elevation) for his 68th birthday. He stated, “God in nature is at its best there; it was an awesome experience.”

In April, Fay Henning-Bryant ’64, left, visited with Roxann (Bonde) Berg ’64, center, and Clarice (Clare) (Van Dusen) Nobbs ’64 in the greater Phoenix area. Henning-Bryant lives in Buckeye, Ariz. Berg lives in Red Wing, Minn. And Nobbs lives near London, England, in Camberley, Surrey. The women were good friends while living in Brandt Hall at Luther from 1960 to 1964 and have remained in close contact since. While in Phoenix, they visited the Desert Botanical Garden.

Eight women from the class of ’64, all whom of lived in the Vanaheim House their senior year at Luther, met at the rural Ontario, Wis., home of Karen (Wardell) Austad in June. Those attending this year’s reunion were: (back row, left to right) Joan (Gunther) Niemiec, Dianne (Lenth) Marston, Dorothy (Gentner) Becher, Maggie (Agena) Horn; (front row, left to right) Merilee (Schultz) Leonard, Jane (Pfister) Ellickson, Nordis Heyerdahl, Karen (Wardell) Austad. The women celebrated the news that the Vanaheim Scholarship, which they established and endowed, had reached its goal, and this fall an upperclass female will be the first recipient. The group on the 12-day Mediterranean cruise, Sailing the Wine-Dark Seas, pauses for a photo at the Acropolis in Athens. Luther classics professor Philip Freeman and Alison Dwyer hosted the cruise, May 26–June 8.

Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Alumni News

be singing The Messiah in January, he attended practices, where he encountered LISA LUTTER ’77, who conducted the concert. She started the group and returns annually to conduct the concert. Ulrich sang two Messiah concerts under her leadership.

and trust services manager for Community National Bank in Waterloo, Iowa.


the leader of a program for adults with disabilities at St. Coletta of Wisconsin. She is also a karate instructor in Whitewater, Wis. TERRI (GOETTSCH) BOUSSELOT is a technical writer for Trinity Supply Chain Systems in Davenport, Iowa.


KRISTINE CLEARY is executive vice president and counsel for Cleary Management in La Crosse, Wis.

JENNY (BURDICK) HOLBERT is owner and innkeeper of Lavender Heights Bed and Breakfast in Fredericksburg, Va.

KAREN (KURTH) DUNN teaches music and is orchestra and choral director for the Stevens Point (Wis.) Public Schools.

MARIE (CHRISTENSEN) and DAVID KLYM live in Keller, Texas. She is a secretary for the Keller Independent School District. He is the director of planning for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad. NANCY (SHAKESPEARE) KNIGHT works in sales for Whirlpool Corporation in St. Joseph, Mich.

PAT (CHAMBERLAIN) ELLIS is a psychotherapist for Pauquette Center in Reedsburg, Wis.

coauthored the book Earth Perfect? Nature, Utopia, and the Garden. She is professor of English at the University of Maine in Orono.

TOM WEIGHNER is owner of WW Homestead Dairy in Waukon, Iowa. The dairy was named the new business of the year by the Waukon Chamber of Commerce.

BILL HIGGINS is a nurse anesthetist at Palmetto Health Richland in Columbia, S.C.

BARB EBERT is a dermatologist at the University of Missouri in Jefferson City, Mo.


MARY TOWNSWICK earned a master’s degree in strategic studies from the Army War College. She is the chief of political military affairs in Herat, Afghanistan.

PAUL HANGARTNER is a cook for Main Street Grill and Pub in Melrose, Wis.

became the first director of Norway’s Climate and Forest Initiative. He has been director general and special envoy for climate change at the Ministry of Environment since September 2011.

MARILYN (WANGBERG) and HANS BRATTSKAR ’79 live in Nesbru, Norway. She is the music director and cantor for Holmen Church. He is the Norwegian ambassador to Kenya. His last appointment as ambassador was to Sri Lanka from 2003 to 2007. He served as special advisor for peacekeeping operations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Oslo until 2008. He then

JANET (OSTLIE) LEIFELD works in the Assessment Center for Western Technical College in La Crosse, Wis.

RUTH (GRANT) ENGE is an auditor for Fraternity Purchasing Association in Minneapolis. LISA (ECKLUND) FAWKES is a registered nurse consultant for Advocate Health Care in Chicago.

DENISE (WILDE) MILLER is a design consultant for International Design Center in Edina, Minn.

ROGER HALL works for RPC Partners in Jacksonville, Fla.

CANDANCE (ANGERER) MORALES is an imagine representative 2 for Aviva Life and Annuity in West Des Moines, Iowa.

SONJA (KNUTSON) HALLWORTH is a decorator consultant for JCPenny in Rochester, Minn.

SETH MYERS is president and CEO of Air Eva EMS Inc. in O’Fallon, Mo.

of Decorah is a member of the Winneshiek County Board of Supervisors.

TERRIE (NOECKER) MYERS is vice president of clinical services for Kansas City (Mo.) Hospice and Palliative Care.

BERT (KRUG) LEDDER is president of Cabin 9 Design in Minneapolis.

1977 JULIE (PILCHER) and

NANCY KEISER is professor of education and coordinator of teacher education at North Central College in Naperville, Ill. BETSY (WHISNANT) and PETER WAHLGREN ’78 live in Wheaton, Ill. She is senior software engineer for LexisNexis. He is a manager for RR Donnelly and Sons. MITCH WEST is senior vice president and investment management


Luther Alumni Magazine

Bailey Mulholland ’15

JERRY GILMERE ’78 live in North Liberty, Iowa. She is a self-employed attorney. He is educational media coordinator in the Department of Continuing Education at the University of Iowa.

Luther alumni, faculty, and staff filled the cast of the New Minowa Players of Decorah production of Guys and Dolls this spring. Front row, left to right: Lauren Kientz-Anderson, visiting assistant professor of Africana studies and history; Jordan Buchholtz ’13; Olga Rinco, associate professor of chemistry; Sarah Brandt ’15; Sheryl (Stephenson) Scheffert ’77; and Crystal Harrell ’14.Second row: Dean Beckman ’85; Aaron Kvale (student), Eric (Hopkins) Ellingsen ’99, coordinator for music organizations and marketing; Gabriel Twedt ’10; Rick Scheffert ’78; Robyn Ovans, instructor in chemistry; and Doug Hamilton ’11. Back row: Chuck Humphrey-Klimesh, custodian; Jordan Humpal ’12; Phil Iversen ’87; and Ben Anderson ’14.

NANCY NORTH and her husband, John Gaddo, are building a net-zero home near Lanesboro, MInn. Their blog is Her business, NewGround, received a 2013 ClearMark award at the National Press Club, for the ability to clearly present complex issues. CINDY (MCLESTER) NYQUIST is a certified athletic trainer and licensed physical therapy assistant at the Rockford (Ill.) Spine Center . MARCIA (BERKELAND) and MARK OLTROGGE live in Calmar, Iowa. She is executive director for Northeast Iowa Behavioral Health Inc. He is a corrections officer for the State of Iowa Department of Corrections.

Alumni News

Paul McMahon / Focal Flame Photography

GREG VANNEY is director of marketing and communications at Valley City (N.D.) State University.

Tim Olsen ’79 and Kevin Bailey ’80 got together for the Horribly Hilly Hundreds bicycling event in Blue Mounds, Wis., in June. They rode the 200-km course (126 miles) with 11,381 feet of climbing. Dan Olsen ’80, not pictured, was directeur sportif.


and LAIRD EDMAN live in Orange City, Iowa. Both work for Northwestern College. She is director of counseling services, and he was awarded an endowed chair in psychology. TONDA (CHRISTEN) KIRTON was named ’Hood magazine’s teacher of the year. LAURIE PROBST is library director for Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn. LYNN SCHMIDT DOLAN is a medical doctor in internal medicine for Wheaton Franciscan Medical Group in Brookfield, Wis.

DIANE (BANDEL) PADRUTT teaches music for the Marshall (Wis.) Public Schools.

Valley Hospital. She is a PRN staff registered nurse and he is a staff physical therapist.

MARY SUNDET JONES is a consultant and strategist for TPG Companies in West Des Moines, Iowa.

BRUCE PERRY is worship and music coordinator for Grace Lutheran Church in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

BECKY (ALDRIDGE) YOCKEY is assistant store manager for Barnes and Noble Booksellers in Kansas City, Mo.

1982 JIM WHITESELL is an

JIM POTTER of Apple Valley, Minn., is a self-employed consultant. LIZ (NERSTAD) and NEIL ROWLEY live in Northfield, Minn. She is an administrative assistant for student financial services at Carleton College. He works in marketing for Aging Services for Communities. SHARON (EHREDT) STUESSY is senior accountant for the Wisconsin Department of Administration in Madison, Wis. MARK THOGERSON is a senior adjunct professor in the biology department at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich. RANDEEN TORVIK RAGAN is a self-employed personal trainer. LEE VALENTA is president of Life Sciences at Optum Inc. in Eden Prairie, Minn. ELAINE (POESCH) WALKER is office manager for the Buchanan County Conservation Board in Hazleton, Iowa. SUSAN (LAYTON) and TIM WILLIAMSON live in Plains, Mont. Both work for Gunnison

assistant men’s basketball coach at St. John’s University in Queens, N.Y.

1979 DEBORAH (BERGH) ARCILLA is the office manager at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Aurora, Ill.

LAURA (DAHL) POPKES of Grand Marais, Minn., is manager of clinical services for McKesson Medical-Surgical.


and MIKE BERGAN ’84 live in Dorchester, Iowa. She teaches in the South Winneshiek elementary and middle schools. He serves on the Iowa Task Force on Early Childhood Assessment. He is also the director of HAWC Partnership for Children.

DEANN POSSEHL is associate vice chancellor for enrollment management at the University of Wisconsin–Parkside.

1985 JON HARKNESS is a

patent attorney at Geiser Law PLLC in New Hope, Minn. SALLY (ROLLOFF) ORR is the product manager for Core 4 Technologies in Bloomington, Minn.

CHRIS CUDWORTH is senior copywriter for Straight North in Downers Grove, Ill. DAVE JENSEN and his wife, Jane, opened the Decorah Trolley Company, which provides transportation for special events. They are also owners of the De Novo Barn, an Amish-built post-and-beam barn rental venue. He is a radiologist for Radiology Consultants of Iowa.

Luther alumnae Erin Makela ’09 and Jean Patrick ’83 met each other at Vermont College of Fine Arts’ MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults in July. Patrick was beginning her final semester while Makela was starting her first.

1983 JIM ANGSTMAN is a

commercial realtor for Gibbs Lamb Drown Commercial Real Estate Advisors in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. CHRISTIE ROSHEIM earned a master’s degree in nursing from Graceland University.

1984 ERIC BUNGE is

managing director of Northern Stage, a professional theatre company in White River Junction, Vt. JOHN FLAHERTY is a level-one instructor and head football coach for Burlington Community School District in Iowa.

DUANE HOVICK is director of finance for Fulfillnet Inc. in Green Bay, Wis.

Kristi (Tollefson) Wolf ’84, and sisters Jodi (Tollefson) Bjerke ’94 and Kari (Tollefson) Espinosa ’84, published Deane and Daughters: Calling Us Home. It includes their treasured collection of recipes along with family traditions.

Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Alumni News

JERRY WILDE was featured on NBC’s TODAY show on June 4, 2013. The story was about his kidney transplant from Becky Melton, which inspired the creation of the Find a Kidney Central Facebook page by Leah Hostalet. Wilde has written a book, Washed in Blood, which tells the story of how he came to need a kidney transplant. He is a professor of educational psychology at Indiana University East in Richmond, Ind. CINDY ZAUTCKE is a policy analyst for Marquette University in Milwaukee.


BROWN earned a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Iowa. She is a family psychiatric nurse practitioner at Orchard Place in Des Moines, Iowa. MARK HOLMQUIST is the director of investment services and financial adviser at State Bank and Trust Company in Waverly, Iowa. DAVE REPPE is a business development manager for Graybar Electric in Denver. STEPHAN SANDNESS is pastor at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Spearfish, S.D.

1987 SUE (ERICSON) and

TODD BRANSKY ’88 live in Solon, Iowa. She owns Advanced Physical Therapy and Massage,

where she is a physical therapist. He is systems integration specialist II for Gazette Communications.

for Keystone Area Education Agency in Decorah. THERESA (HAMMAN) BEST is a student services specialist at Waukee (Iowa) Community High School. NATE BRAMMER is vice president and financial adviser for Vision Wealth Management in Ames, Iowa. JOHN EVENSTAD is business development executive at Genesis 10 in St. Paul, Minn.

KRIS FADNESS is the head boys’ basketball coach at Austin High School. Fadness’s Austin Packers went 30–1 for the 2012–13 season, losing only the Minnesota Class AAA State Championship game. BOB FOSBURGH works in corporate real estate and facility management for Farmers Insurance in North Mankato, Minn. RICH “LUNCH” SMITH is producer at Kerndt Brothers Insurance Agency in Lansing, Iowa.


(WELLMAN) and GENE ALBERTS live in Onalaska, Wis. She is a paraprofessional for the Onalaska School District. He is the assistant vice president of finance at Viterbo University. MARILYN (ROSENDAHL) ANDERSON teaches English as a second language and is a consultant

ALLISON FACHES and BRIAN HAWES live in Hillsborough, N.J. She is a physician for Edison Medical Group. He is a director for Merck. SARA GILLESPIE is interim pastor at Perry Lutheran Church in Mount Horeb, Wis. KRISTIN (SANDQUIST) and JEFF GUTHRIE ’89 live in Decatur, Ga. She teaches first grade at Mary Lin Elementary. He is a teacher and assistant dean for Ben Franklin Academy. BRENDA HAUSAUER is a United States Research Liaison at Regulatory Assistance Project in Montpelier, Vt. RANDALL HINDERS is the vice president of regional marketing at NAU Country Insurance Company in Johnston, Iowa. PAM (HUMPAL) HOLIEN is president of Strategic Business Ventures Inc. in Minneapolis. KARI (BERG) HUCKELS is a registered nurse manager in hospice for Allina Health in St. Paul, Minn. MICHELE (ALLEN) KLOSTER is master scheduler for United Technologies Aerospace Systems in Rockford, Ill. MICHELLE LEGAULT is the managing attorney at LeGault Legal LLC in Decatur, Ga.

Brett Epperson ’11, Lynne Rothrock ’85, Jason Levenhagen ’95, and Amanda Haker ’94 are public music educators, and all were part of a Cedar Rapids, Iowa, community production of Baby: The Musical as a fundraiser for the Young Parents Network, a nonprofit group dedicated to the prevention of adolescent pregnancy and building successful families.


Luther Alumni Magazine

CONNIE (FOXWORTHY) and LARRY LOGEMAN ’87 live in St. Cloud, Minn. She is an instructor and department chair at St. Cloud Technical College. He is owner and CEO of Executive Express, an airport shuttle service. He was featured in the St. Cloud Times for his role in expanding the business from six to 27 vehicles.

CHRISTINE LONG is a district court judge for Minnesota Judicial Branch in Faribault, Minn. MICHELLE MASTERSON is a nurse practitioner at the Iowa Clinic in West Des Moines, Iowa. ANGIE (STEFFEN) MITCHELL is a consultant for the Bureau of Nutrition and Health Services under the Iowa Department of Education in Des Moines, Iowa. HEIDI STAEBLER-WISEMAN is an adjunct instructor of mathematics at the University of Alaska Anchorage. KATHRYN STEEN is an associate professor of history at Drexel University in Philadelphia. JANE (HAMMOND) STEFFEN works for Cardinal Canvas Products Inc. in Sioux Falls, S.D. JIM STOVER of Grand Island, Neb., is a lieutenant in the Nebraska State Patrol. TODD STRIEN teaches social studies and is the eighth-grade assistant football coach at Holmes Junior High in Cedar Falls, Iowa. CLARE (MORTVEDT) SWENSON is lead teller for Wells Fargo in Buffalo, Minn. TERRY TIMP is an emergency medical services helicopter pilot for Air Methods Corp in Iowa City, Iowa. JENNIFER (BRUNNER) WEEDING is a nurse investigator for Medica in Minnetonka, Minn. JON WEE and Owen Morse of the Passing Zone added another appearance to their comedy juggling résumé while demonstrating teamwork by passing torches and knives around chef Gordon Ramsay on FOX’s Hell’s Kitchen. DAVE WRIGHTSMAN is pastor at St. Philip’s Lutheran Church in Hastings, Minn. ERIC WULFSBERG is senior product manager in product development for Calix Inc. in Minneapolis. JIM YANCEY is a choral and guitar teacher at Phoenix (Ariz.) Union High School District. He is also the assistant music director at Velda Rose United Methodist Church.

Alumni News


Luther professor of dance JANE HAWLEY ’87, GRACIE COLETTA ’14, and GRACE SWANSON ’14 planned a daylong schedule of events to coincide with the national “One Billion Rising” movement on Valentine’s Day. The global activist movement to end violence against women and girls is the largest day of action in the history of Valentine’s Day. NATALIE (SCHRAUT) and DANIEL GROSSMANN ’90 live in Cordova, Tenn. She is an accompanist and piano teacher. He is the resins technical services manager at Lucite International. STACI (DULLUM) HEIMSOTH is director of the Stoughton (Wis.) High School Norwegian Dancers. TANYA (ELSBURY) LUSIC is vice president of technology finance for Thomson Reuters in Eagan, Minn. LEISA (MECHLING) WYMAN is a regulatory specialist registered nurse for Adventist Health Central Valley Network in Hanford, Calif.

1990 TAMMY (ZENK) and

ROB FAUX live in Tripoli, Iowa. She was named the Thompson Family Distinguished Chair in Social Work at Wartburg College. They own Genuine Faux Farm, which produces organically grown produce.

1994 LAURIE (SCHUT) and

COLIN BETTS live in Decorah. He was featured in the film Lost Nation: The Ioway 2 and 3, a documentary sequel project about the Ioway people, and is professor of anthropology at Luther.


WALTERS is the regional fiduciary manager for Wells Fargo in Minneapolis.


CRANE earned a master’s degree in instructional technology from Regis University. JANEEN (FOWLER) and JON CHRISTY ’84 live in Decorah. She is the controller for NEIT (Northeast Iowa Telephone Company). He was elected chair of the board of directors of the Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium and is the director of assessment and institutional research for Luther College. SARA (VIK) and NATE MEYER live in Eau Claire, Wis. She is a physical therapist for Marshfield Clinic. He owns Westgate Animal Hospital, where he is a veterinarian. KEVIN PRATT is pastor of groups at Eagle Brook Church in White Bear Lake, Minn.

TIM STILES is finance director for the city of West Des Moines (Iowa).

1991 ANNE (SKOW) ADIX is senior physical therapist for the Acute Rehabilitation Unit at Centracare Health in Monticello, Minn. She also works part of the year as a clinical instructor for the College of St. Catherine’s physical therapy program.

DAWN (BRATRUD) KORTUEM is project manager for Essentia Health in Duluth, Minn. ROD MANSON owns Tri-County Enterprises, which was named to the 2013 Fastest Growing Companies list by the Corridor Business Journal in Coralville, Iowa, for the second consecutive year.

VANCE PRIGGE of Rochester, Minn., is president elect of the Minnesota Independent Insurance Agents Brokers Association, which has over 500 members.

reelected to the Iowa House for District 51. He is Agriculture and Industrial Technology Division Chair at North Iowa Area Community College in Mason City.

CARA KENNEDY-ODE and JACKSON ODE ’93 live in Des Moines, Iowa. She is a Gear Up college adviser at East High School. He is the president of Ode Marketing Group LLC. TIM KNUTSON is a financial associate for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans in Waukesha, Wis. CRAIG MURPHY was promoted to major in the United States Army Reserves Medical Specialty Corp. He is a physical therapist at Physical Therapy Works in Burlington, Iowa. SARA (DEIST) and GIDEON STANLEY ’95 founded Grace Apostolic Church in Stafford, Texas. DANIEL STOUT is senior drupal developer for the University of Wisconsin-Extension. FLORA VAN WORMER teaches Suzuki cello and bass lessons at her home studio in Madison, Wis.

1995 CYNTHIA KNUTSON is human resource director for Crystal Care Home Health Care in Richfield, Minn.

JOANNA (NELSON) MEEHAN of Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, was inducted into the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in September 2012.

ANDREW NIMROD is director of parks and recreation for the city of Decorah.

1996 JOSH BYRNES was

ERIC MELEAR has been appointed Associate Music Director of the Houston Grand Opera. Melear returns to Houston after a year on the music staff of the Wiener Staatsoper (Vienna State Opera), where he assisted on 14 productions and conducted two children’s operas.

HEATHER (HARLAN) REMLEY is a substitute teacher for Chillicothe (Ohio) High School.

JENN (CHRISTENSEN) MILLSPAUGH is hotel manager at Hampton Inn and Suites in Tulsa Hills, Okla.

SUSAN (HALVORSON) ZELLER achieved the title of instructor in surgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. She is an associate professor in nursing at Winona State University.

CLINT SCHNEKLOTH earned a doctor of ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is lead pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Fayetteville, Ark.

NIKKI (FLITTER) FOSTER is a program officer for the Northwest Area Foundation in St. Paul, Minn. JILL OSIER was named the winner of the 2013 Frost Place Chapbook Fellowship for her manuscript Should Our Undoing Come Down Upon Us White. She is the author of a letterpress chapbook, Bedful of Nebraskas (Sunnyoutside Press). Her work has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellowship from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and the Campbell Corner Poetry Prize. She lives in Fairbanks, Alaska. BRITT (HELLGREN) RHODES is associate professor of social work at Luther. Her article “Rural Domestic Violence: An Interdisciplinary Model for Rural Practice” was published in the fall 2012 issue of the Contemporary Rural Social Work. CHRIS RUPP is a hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgeon with Prevea Health in Green Bay, Wis. ANDREW SASSAMAN is an optometrist for Gundersen Eye Clinic in Decorah. NATE SKAAR was named new assistant wrestling coach by HEATH GRIMM ’94, Upper Iowa University head wrestling coach in Fayette. OZGUR UNAL OZTUNA is assistant vice president at Citibank in Istanbul, Turkey. AMY ZALK LARSON presented the Journey Conversations Project during a discussion panel called Don’t Just Say Something, Sit There. She also coauthored the Journey Conversations Facilitator Guide.

Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Alumni News


earned a master’s degree in business administration from Augsburg College in Minneapolis. AMANDA (ALCOCK) FREESE was selected to participate in the 2013 National Association for Music Education In-Service Conference for her proposal “ ‘I can . . .’: How targeted goals can enhance music education.” She is a general and vocal music specialist at Francis Marion Intermediate School in Marion, Iowa.

NORI (GREENLEE) and ROSS HADLEY ’95 recently opened the Good Foot family shoe store in Decorah. They have owned Amundson’s Clothing since 2007. ERIC NELSON is operations executive at HealthEast Care System in Woodbury, Minn. WAYNE REAMES was elected by the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel to its fellowship organization. He is an attorney at Belin McCormick in Des Moines, Iowa. NICOLE (EICHHORST) SWANSON is the client relation manager for Infinity Real Estate in Rochester, Minn. LAURIE (KOLLARS) WALTER teaches dance for young people at ArtHaus in Decorah.

Luther faculty, alumni, and friends from Decorah gathered in Nosara, Costa Rica, earlier this year. Here, they were preparing for a howling monkey ATV trip. Left to right: Mark Lovelace ’96; Ross Hadley ’95; Lea Donhowe Lovelace ’97; Nori (Greenlee) Hadley ’97; Matt Tills ’98; Laura (Hart) Tills ’97; Amanda Hamp ’01; Matt Simpson, Luther associate professor of philosophy; Sarah Magner; Dave Magner.

1998 JON ANDERSON is an

assistant professor of music at Wayne State University in Detroit. BETH BJORLO is channel marketing manager for Ingersoll Rand in Tyler, Texas.

SUSAN (DOORENBOS) and MATT BUTZ live in Minnetonka, Minn. She is a physician’s assistant at Allina Health Care. He earned a master’s degree in business administration from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota and is a project consultant at UnitedHealth Group.

master classes, and taught flute students and chamber music ensembles.

AMY LARKIN is a customer service specialist at West Music Company in Coralville, Iowa. SAQIB NADEEM was featured in a Chicago Tribune article in July about his business, Paradise 4 Paws. His business provides luxury pet accommodations near airports. In June, the U.S. Small Business Administration named Nadeem its Illinois Small Business Person of the year. CARL REFSAL is the human resource manager at Factory Direct Appliance in Lawrence, Kan.

Luther may be the site of a dance marathon next spring as part of the Children’s Miracle Network, which raises money for children being cared for by University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. Last April, members of the Luther College Marathon Executive Board visited Loras College in Dubuque to observe a dance marathon being held there. At the event, the group met Dr. Erin VanLaningham ’96, who was taking part. Pictured are, left to right, Chloe Gumpert ’14, Sam Weinberg ’15, Laningham, Libby Logsden ’15, and Clay Walker ’15.


Luther Alumni Magazine

GABRIEL SCHEER earned a master’s degree in international studies from the University of Washington. He is the principal partner for ReVision Labs in Seattle. LORIE SCOTT received a Fulbright grant to teach and perform at several universities in Taiwan during spring 2013. She performed chamber music concerts with host faculty, gave lectures on American music, taught

Primarily hosted by National Taiwan Normal Unviersity (Taipei), the project also included events at four other universities in Taiwan and Hong Kong. One highlight of the trip was a visit to Taichung, Taiwan, where she met with MARK DANNENBRING ’73, professor of flute and head of the woodwind department at Tunghai University. STEPHANIE (BEY) and BEN STEINES ’97 live in Decorah. She teaches mathematics at Decorah High School. He is the auditor for the Winneshiek County Treasurer’s Office. NICKY WINKE is an attorney at Jacobson, Bristol, Garrett, and Swartz in Waukon, Iowa. She also owns Winke Law Office in Lansing, Iowa.

Alumni News


She is a physician. He is an in-house attorney for Werner Enterprises.

ALBERT is chief financial officer for Olson Explosives in Decorah.

2000 DEREK FINHOLT is an

CARRYN (ENSRUDE) and MIKE ANDERSON live in North Liberty, Iowa. Both work for University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. She is residency program director and assistant professor of radiation oncology, and he is a certified registered nurse anesthetist.

optometric assistant and manager for My Optic in Portland, Ore. NATE GILKERSON is assistant professor of strategic communication at Marquette University in Milwaukee. JOSHUA HERRELL is a teacher and coach at East Troy (Wis.) High School. He was named the 2012 coach of the year for District 6 by the Wisconsin Track and Field Coaches Association. LUKAS HOFFLAND was named morning show host for WDRK-FM (Bob FM 99.9) and continues to serve as director of listener engagement and intern coordinator at Mid-West Family Broadcasting in Altoona, Wis.

CJ BOERGER of Spring Valley, Minn., published his book, Chasing a Dream, the story of Charlie Becker, a minor league baseball player chasing his dream to play in the majors.

KELLY HOLST is assistant professor of voice at the Wanda L. Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University.

Cory Weaver/Metropolitan Opera

J.D. BURTON is an attorney in government relations in the office of St. Paul mayor Christopher B. Coleman, representing the city at the Minnesota Legislature and before Congress.

ERIC CUTLER of Niederhadamar, Germany, performed as Iopas in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Berlioz’s Les Troyens. The opera premiered on Great Performances at the Met on June 30, 2013, on PBS. Les Troyens was originally seen live in movie theaters on Jan. 5 as part of the The Met: Live in HD series, which transmits live performances to more than 1,900 movie theaters and performing arts centers in 64 countries around the world. JEN (SOLOMONSON) DOTY is a business analyst for Digital Cinema Implantation Partners in Minneapolis. KELLI (PAULING) and BRAD SHIDLER ’94 live in Omaha, Neb.

ELLEN (BARKSDALE) JACKS earned a master’s degree in library sciences from the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Library and Information Studies. She works as the grants and reference librarian at Memorial Library at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Gathered for a girl’s weekend in Napa, Calif., in May were, left to right, Jorie (Pietscher) Shire, Kris Kahle-Wrobleski, Karen (Erceg) Schock, Alycia Ashburn, Erin Grimm—all from the class of 1999. LINDSEY (ANDERSON) and RYAN THOMPSON live in Woodbury, Minn. Lindsey is a senior team manager for Tastefully Simple. Ryan is product engineer in the renewable energy division of 3M.

2001 LYNN

(CHRISTIANSON) BUSKE is an office associate at the Eau Claire (Wis.) County Extension Office.

KERI (JOHNSON) OSTBY is head of technical services for the Rochester (Minn.) Public Library. KARA (SCHWARZE) and DAN TAYLOR live in Everly, Iowa. She earned an advanced graphic design professional certificate, with concentrations in web design and brand identity, from Sessions College for Professional Design. She is the assistant director of Arts on Grand in Spencer, Iowa, and also does freelance graphic design. He is pastor at Hope Lutheran Church.

ADAM STARRETT earned a master of divinity degree from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. He is pastor at Bergen Lutheran in Roland, Iowa. JENNIFER (BOYD) STEPHENS teaches choir at Columbia Falls (Mont.) High School. KATIE STODD teaches theatre at Dreamyard Preparatory School in New York City.

CHARLES LEONARD is the founder and executive director of Blue Water Theatre Company in Wayzata, Minn. BRENT OLSON is a senior configuration management engineer for Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in Rockville, Md.

KATIE SOPOCI DRAKE is a company member at Mordine and Company Dance Theater in Chicago.


ALLISON CHURILLA is a research scientist at the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation in St. Paul, Minn. HEATHER (PROPER) FORTUINE earned a doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse. She is a physical therapist for Mayo Clinic Health Systems–Franciscan Health Care in La Crosse, Wis.

ALYSSA ERICKSON and KWAME OWUSUACHEAMPONG ’03 live in Minneapolis. She is a program analyst for Minneapolis Public Housing. He is a program analyst for Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota. NIKKI (WHITAKER) GARMES is a nurse recruiter and works in human resources at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. KARA (JOHNSON) KOHN is a lead chart review nurse at Healthgrades in Denver.

KARIN (BERKEDAL) JOHNSON is a partner at Faegre Baker Daniels in Des Moines, Iowa.

JULIE LUTZ is a growth and innovation advanced process leader at Actuant Corporation.

MARIA JONES and her husband, Drew, own the Decorah Hatchery.

BILL MABUCE earned a master’s degree in business administration from the Henry B. Tippie School of Management at the University of Iowa and is a licensed professional engineer in Iowa and Minnesota.

MEREDITH MILLER is the registrar and collections manager for Artech in Renton, Wash.

Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Alumni News

He is a project civil engineer for MSA Professional Services in Ankeny, Iowa. LISA (MOE) MEIERKORT is an adult reference clerk for Prairie Trails Public Library District in Burbank, Ill. PETER OYLOE was awarded an Excellence in Theatre Award by the League of Cincinnati Theatres for his leading performance in the musical Hank Williams: Lost Highway at the Cincinnati (Ohio) Playhouse in the Park. ANGELA (WHITE) SWOLFS is an inside sales consultant at Globus Family of Brands in Tulsa, Okla. GREG THORNTON is academic program manager for Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

HEIDI (MONTGOMERY) GANSHERT owns and operates Whiteside Farms in Argyle, Wis.

NICOLE ZEIMIS is manager of an advising center for IES Abroad in Chicago.

LAURA GRAHAM is assistant to the city manager of Des Moines, Iowa.


JUSTIN GRITZMACHER works for ACTIVE Network in Avon, Colo.

TANYA (LEAKE) and MARK ANDERSON live in Madison, Wis. He is a software development engineer for Microsoft. She is a graphic designer for the city of Madison. KRISTIN and MIKE BABINEDINNEN live in Minneapolis. She is a registered nurse and works in the cardiac catheterization lab of North Memorial Hospital. He is implementation project manager for U.S. Bank. AARON BARNES of St. Paul, Minn., is an independent contractor and content specialist for Michigan’s Integrated Behavior and Learning Support Initiative. JESSICA BARRETT is director of operations for Aria at the Jeune Lune in Minneapolis.

Josi Severson ’02 created a line of organic fabric designs and opened a storefront in downtown Minneapolis called Home Fashion Fabrics. Her work is printed on eco-friendly material with water-based ink free of bleach and pesticides. She creates finished textiles as well as artwork and designs for other companies. Many of Severson’s clients are on the West Coast. They use her designs for a variety of home-furnishing accessories and clothing. Her textiles are featured in a variety of different businesses, including Crate and Barrel and Ava Rose Designs, a women’s wear line based out of Arizona. She also designed a shirt for Joseph Abboud in New York City.


Luther Alumni Magazine

LINDSAY ESSEX SAUVAGE earned a master’s degree in counseling from Regis University in Denver.

JULIE (DUHME) VANDE HOEF of Des Moines, Iowa, is a policy advisor to Iowa governor Terry Branstad and lieutenant governor Kim Reynolds. She advises them in areas of agriculture, natural resources, commerce, trade, and cultural affairs.

BJORN BERG is branch manager for U.S. Bank in Des Moines, Iowa, and is a graduate student at Drake University. He serves on the board of directors for Goodwill Industries of Central Iowa and on the education committee for the NAACP, and he is a volunteer in Junior Achievement’s BizTown and Drake’s adult literacy program. JODIE (JANSEN) CAMPBELL of Upper Moutere, New Zealand, is a fisheries consultant for MRAG Americas Inc. AMY CHRISTENSEN is the owner of Sims TV and Electronics in Decorah. COLLEEN (SMITH) CHRISTENSEN is project manager for Gage Marketing Group in Plymouth, Minn.

ANDREW HAEMKER is a teacher at Fairfax (Va.) High School. MELINDA (KEZERLE) and GREG HANSON ’04 live in Vadnais Heights, Minn. She is a consultant in organizational effectiveness for Target. He is a senior consultant for Object Partners. KAJSA (SABATKE) HARLEY is education and curatorial initiatives manager for Hanford Mills Museum in East Meredith, N.Y. KARI (BLACK) HIRVELA is a clinical assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Nursing in Madison. RYAN HOLLENBECK is an interventional cardiologist for Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. He completed his general cardiology training at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and is in his final year of interventional cardiology training at the medical center. JESSI (CROTSER) HOSPER is a human resource administrator for Pinnacle Foods Group LLC. SEAN HOULIHAN earned a master’s degree from Minnesota State University–Mankato. ALLISON (SMITH) JONES is a registered nurse, AHA course director, and clinical nursing instructor for STAT Medical Training and the University of Phoenix in Highlands Ranch, Colo. STEVE KEENAN is principal planner for Sangamon County in Springfield, Ill.

ABBY (STRUCK) DAVISON is an attorney at the Iowa State Public Defender Office in Council Bluffs.

JANA (CHMELAR) KLAUKE is director of MBA Career Services at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

KRISTIN DOROW earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Bellin College in Green Bay, Wis.

SARA KLOSTERBOER is a special education teacher at West High

School in the Iowa City (Iowa) Community School District. JIM KOWITZ and his high school classmate, Nick Banovetz, worked with the White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation to establish the Mary Dahle Leadership Scholarship in honor of their former Spanish teacher and student council adviser. The pair hope to raise $25,000 for the endowed scholarship for graduates of White Bear Lake High School. Kowitz is a meeting and event planner for Ernst and Young in Minneapolis. KIM (HUFF) and ELIOTT KRANZ live in Cedar Falls, Iowa. She teaches choir for kindergarten through grade six. He earned a master’s degree in music education from the University of St. Thomas and is the vocal director at Cedar Falls High School. WENDY (UHLENHAKE) KUENNEN teaches second grade at St. Patrick School in Waukon, Iowa. LISA (HIGHUM) KUSH is an account manager for MotivAction LLC in Minneapolis. HANNAH LEUTHNER is a chef and director of Guest House Kitchen for St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minn. KRISTINE (HOLLEQUE) and DAVID LOWER live in Minneapolis. She is a modeling analyst for U.S. Bancorp. CAMI (CONOVER) MISEKOW is the owner and operator of Prairie Wind Creations in Sioux Falls, S.D. ANNA (RAUK) MITCHELL is an associate veterinarian at Ely (Minn.) Veterinary Clinic in Ely, Minn. KARIAN (LEE) MULFORD is an adjunct biology instructor at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. KARI (TWEDT) NELSON teaches kindergarten at Lincoln Elementary School in the Richland (Wis.) School District. KRISTIE (LUND) PALOVCSIK is project manager for Beacon Technologies in Madison, Wis. KRISTIN (THOMPSON) and BRYAN PHELPS live in Shakopee, Minn. She is a senior behavior therapist at Partners in Excellence. He is a continuous improvement facilitator at Ryt-Way Industries.

Alumni News

REBECCA (LARSEN) WALKER is a residential director for Austin Special Chicago in Chicago. JON WEST is national account manager for King Technology in Hopkins, Minn. TIFFANY (ALLEN) WEST is a critical care educator in corporate education for Great River Medical Center in West Burlington, Iowa.


ANDRUS of Janesville, Wis., is curriculum coordinator for Big Foot Area Schools.

The Ames Chamber Artists and the Des Moines Choral Society recently collaborated on two concerts, providing the opportunity for several Luther alumni to perform together. Left to right are Deborah Svec-Carstens ’92, Jodi Evans ’84, Leah Kinnaird ’07, Jonathan Bunge ’04, Sarah (Spaete) Bunge ’04, Chad Lindblom ’04, Kaitlin O’Connor ’08, and Steven Genheimer ’06. KERSTEN (COOK) REICH is an annual giving officer for Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota in Roseville. JEN RUST ANDERSON and MATT ANDERSON ’05 live in Eau Claire, Wis. She is a compliance officer for Group Health Cooperative. He is a physical therapist with Marshfield Clinic. SHANNON SCHULTE is an application specialist for SPS Commerce in Minneapolis. KELLY SHOMPER teaches for the Sioux Falls (S.D.) School District. ERIK SILL earned a master’s degree in education from Valley City State University and teaches business education at Minnetonka (Minn.) High School. He was DECA marketing teacher of the year in 2013.

JUSTIN SOLSVIG is assistant superintendent at Horseshoe Bend Country Club in Roswell, Ga. SARAH SPRAU-MCKAY is a children’s mental health case manager for South Central Human Relations Center in Owatonna, Minn. TIFFANY (CURTIS) STRANDE is a clinical assistant at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. She plays violin in the bluegrass band Root River Jam. She also is a member of the Rochester Symphony Orchestra. KATIE (HENDRICKSON) THOMPSON is a Title I teacher for Holy Rosary Catholic School in Idaho Falls, Idaho. RICHARD URIO is a biomedical equipment specialist for the United States Army Reserve in Harrisonville, Mo.

LINDSAY SKIBBA is a behavioral health professional for Providence Service Corporation in Bangor, Maine.

MONICA (ROMMELFANGER) VAN DEN HEUVEL is a reimbursement analyst for Dean Health Systems Inc. in Madison, Wis.

LAURA (AMUNDSON) and ALEX SMITH live in Mabel, Minn. She is a special needs facilitator for Decorah Community Schools. He is head baseball coach and facilities director at Luther.

NATE VELDMAN is a business development manager for Wolters Kluwer Financial Services in Saint Cloud, Minn.

AARON SNYDER is a sweeteners logistics manager for Cargill Inc. in Wayzata, Minn.

ARVID VON TAUBE is an attorney for Masterman, Culbert and Tully LLP in Boston.

DEREK BLECHINGER of Seattle is a fourth-year medical student at the University of Washington. He earned a graduate certificate in HIV/ STD Research from the Center for AIDS Research at the university and was awarded U.S. Public Health Service’s Excellence in Public Health Award for his work in HIV. JON BUTLER is a broker associate for Teles Properties in Beverly Hills, Calif. MELANIE GROTH is an intervention coach and reading recovery teacher for the Roseville (Minn.) Area Schools. KELLY HICKEY is a registered nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit at the St. Cloud (Minn.) Hospital.

EMILY (LUKASEK) STRONG is a senior housing development officer for the state of Minnesota in St. Paul. JEAN (MANS) and PETE TASS live in Forest Lake, Minn. She is an optometrist at Park Nicollet. He is billing coordinator for Fabyanske, Westra, Hart, and Thomson law firm. AMANDA (RECK) THOENDEL is a family medicine physician at Olmsted Medical Center in Rochester, Minn. CARISSA THOMAS earned a medical doctorate with high honor from Baylor College of Medicine. She is an otorhinolaryngology resident at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver and Aurora. HOLLY (JOHNSON) VOIGT is a family practice physician’s assistant for the Mitchell County Regional Health Center in Osage, Iowa. CLINT WILLUWEIT of Gregory, S.D., earned a doctor of chiropractic degree from Life University in Atlanta.


works in student accounts for Mills College in Oakland, Calif.

RYAN LUHRS is a doctoral student in choral music education at Florida State University and choir director and organist at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Thomasville, Ga.

ANNI BOWERS earned a master’s degree in comparative international development education from the University of Minnesota. She is homestay program administrator at St. Paul (Minn.) Preparatory School.

TREVOR MILLBERG is RM in investment partner relations for Allianz Life in Minneapolis.

GREG DAVIS is practice operations director for Mayo Clinic in La Crosse, Wis.

MATT RICHARDSON is a group manager in healthcare operations for Target Corporation in Minneapolis.

ERIN (RADKE) FLAHERTY is a public affairs specialist for Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

KRISTEN (CORR) ROD is pastor at Calvary Lutheran Church in Buffalo, Iowa.

SARAH FRYDENLUND is a studio manager and instructor for the Clay Studio in Decorah. She is also an instructor at ArtHaus and a selfemployed artist.

TARA (WILKINS) and ERIK SHERIDAN ’03 live in Minnetonka, Minn. She is senior financial analyst with General Mills. He is digital operations manager for Best Buy. ALISON SHIRK is an accounts payable specialist for Entellus Medical Inc. in Plymouth, Minn.

SHANNON (JOHNSON) GRAVELLE earned a master’s degree in choral conducting from California University–Long Beach and is a doctoral student in music at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Alumni News

GARRET GREV is a group manager and backroom operator for Target Corporation in Minneapolis.

JEFF WILLIAMS is senior systems administrator for the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

BRANDON GRIMM is a portfolio manager at Gilbert and Cook Inc. in Des Moines, Iowa.


JOHN JAEGER works in behavioral support and work experience for the Ottumwa (Iowa) School District. He is also head varsity baseball coach and head junior high wrestling coach. ASHLEY (SAUKE) KINCAID is youth director at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Red Wing, Minn. ROSS KURTH is a financial representative for Northwestern Mutual in Decorah. ASHLEY LADLIE is a property manager for Serendip Vacation Condos in St. John, Virgin Islands. MAUREEN LARSON is assistant activities manager for Verenna at Fountain Grove in Santa Rosa, Calif. KATIE (MINDRUP) MCKEAN earned a master’s degree in education from Western Illinois University and is a special education aid for the North Scott Community School District in Eldridge, Iowa. KRISTIN RICE is pastor at Northern Lights Lutheran Parish in Mass City, Mich. JULIE (KNAPP) SALONUS is an early childhood special education teacher for Northland Community Schools in Remer, Minn. SARAH STEFFENSMEIER is a staff physical therapist for Accelerated Rehab in Skokie and Morton Grove, Ill. DAIN TEPOEL earned a master’s degree in sport humanities from Ohio State University and is a doctoral student and teaching assistant at the University of Iowa. JAKE TORGERSON of St. Paul, Minn., is manager in public partnerships for Target Corporation. MICHELLE WEBER earned a master’s degree in nursing from Marquette University. She is an acute care nurse practitioner in general surgery for the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.


Luther Alumni Magazine

and CHRIS BELLINDER live in Columbia, S.C. She is director of the Bridges Program at the Therapy Place. He is practice manager for Banfield Pet Hospital. MICHELLE (KOHLMANN) and NICHOLAS BONIFAZI ’05 live in Hiawatha, Iowa. She is a stayat-home mom. He is a deputy in the United States Marshal Service, Department of Justice in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. JILL (DINKLA) BORRALL is a patient access revenue cycle manager for OSF Healthcare in Bloomington, Ill. KRYSTAL BROICH is a registered nurse at the John Stoddard Cancer Center-Radiation Oncology in Des Moines, Iowa. KATIE (HOPP) CATERINO is an agricultural biologist for the Santa Barbara County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office in Santa Maria, Calif. BRIE CORFMAN is director of the Essentia Health Cancer Center in Fargo, N.D. JON CURRY is a program assistant to the vice president at the Minnesota Humanities Center in St. Paul, Minn. DANIEL DAHL earned a doctor of dental surgery degree from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. He is a captain and dentist for the U.S. Air Force. ABBEY DIBBLE is mine clerk for Holden Village in Chelan, Wash. JANICE (SUMMERFIELD) and JEREMY DUNCAN live in Reisterstown, Md. She earned a master’s degree in healthcare administration from the University of Iowa. He earned a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Iowa. TYLER FORSYTHE and NICHOLAS SCHMIDT live in Minneapolis. Forsythe teaches music at St. Paul (Minn.) Preparatory School. Schmidt teaches at Olson Elementary in the Bloomington (Minn.) Public Schools.

SOLOMON GOULD is an optometrist for Eye Care Associates P.C. in Middlebury, Vt. ANGELA (REICHERT) GRIFFIN earned an associate’s degree in nursing from Truman College. She is a nurse at Grand Rapids (Mich.) Fertility and IVF in Grand Rapids. ANGELA (BUNK) GUSTAFSON earned a master’s degree in library and information science from Saint Catherine University. She is the assistant director and children’s librarian at Zumbrota (Minn.) Public Library. SARAH (THIMJON) HAUGE is a manager of operations at OptumInsight in Eden Prairie, Minn. ALYSON (NIENHAUS) HAUGEN is an instructor in health sciences and health care management at Globe University in Onalaska, Wis. CRYSTAL (SCHMIERER) HEDMAN earned a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of WisconsinMadison. She is associate librarian for the Hennepin County Library System in Minnesota. ERILYNN (RUSSO) HEINRICHSEN earned a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from the University of California–San Diego (UCSD). She was awarded a National Institutes of Health Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award postdoctoral fellowship to begin research in a new lab at the UCSD School of Medicine. AMANDA (OELRICH) and NEIL HELLER ’05 live in San Diego. She is branch manager of the Lemon Grove Library. He is a law enforcement park ranger at Cabrillo National Monument. KATHRYN HOBSON earned a Ph.D. in communication studies from the University of Denver. She is an adjunct faculty member at Metropolitan State University of Denver. EMMA (HATCHER) HOEGH is a registered nurse at LewisGale Hospital Montgomery in Blacksburg, Va. She is currently a doctorate of nursing practice student at Radford University.

CHELSEY (DEMPSTER) and TIM HOLCOMB live in West Des Moines, Iowa. She is a physician’s assistant with Iowa Radiology. He is a foot and ankle surgeon with Iowa Clinic. LACEY (CURTIS) IVERSON and ERIK IVERSON ’08 live in Annapolis, Md. She is a lower school and middle school Orff Schulwerk instructor at the Key School. He also instructs at Key School and is the middle school after-school program director. DAVID KELLER earned a juris doctorate from Western New England College School of Law. He competed in the Moot Court Competition at Harvard University and led his graduation class at commencement at Symphony Hall with the singing of the national anthem. He is an attorney in the law office of David A. Keller in Springfield, Mass. ELIZABETH (BROKISH) KRESSIN of Las Vegas, Nev., earned a master’s degree in literacy and technology from Walden University. HANNAH (SEARLE) KUHARY graduated from Paul Mitchell Academy Esthetics Program in Sacramento, Calif. She is a licensed esthetician. KATIE (YOUNG) and NICK LANE live in Minneapolis. Katie is student support and disability services coordinator for the Art Institutes International Minnesota. Nick is the manager of Sea Change Restaurant. LAURA (NICKLAY) LEMKE of Eden Prairie, Minn., is a registered nurse for Park Nicollet Health System. AMY (LEIN) LOKER is children, youth, and family minister at Our Savior’s Lutheran in Menomonie, Wis. MICHELLE (OSTERHAUS) MCDONALD is a school programs coordinator for the Civic Center for Greater Des Moines, Iowa. SARA (BARNES) MEISTERLING is human resources generalist with AEGON/Transamerica in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. KELLY MILLER of Wheaton, Ill., earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from William Jewell College.

Alumni News

MEGAN MURPHY teaches K–5 music at Epiphany Catholic School in Coon Rapids, Minn.

DEREK BROMAN is an urban wildlife biologist for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in Cedar Hill.

LONNIE NORWOOD JR. received the Conductor’s Excellence Award at the Orlando Fest Music Competition. He was also awarded first place as conductor by the Seven Hills Academy Concert Singers and was teacher of the year as the head of music at Seven Hills Academy in Tallahassee, Fla. Norwood is the lead music instructor at Options Laboratory School in Chicago.

MICHELLE BURNS is a forensic scientist and senior DNA analyst for the Wisconsin Department of Justice at the State Crime Laboratory in Milwaukee.

JUSTIN PAPKA is sponsored research projects administrator in the Office of the Vice President for Research at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. TIFFANY SCHULTE is an inside sales account manager with Arrow S3 in Bloomington, Minn.

MEG CRAFT teaches first grade at John Cline Elementary School in Decorah. MARA ERICKSON is communications director for Operation Grassland Community, a nonprofit habitat conservation program in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. LAUREN (MUSOLF) GIULIANI of Brookfield, Wis., is business manager in patient care services at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

EMILY (NELSON) SMITH earned a master’s degree from Metropolitan State University. She is a nurse practitioner in endocrinology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

EMILY (KNICKREHM) HERMES graduated from Des Moines University with a doctorate in podiatric medicine and surgery. She is a resident at the Podiatry Institute in Decatur, Ga.

ERIN STERN is a registered nurse at Minneapolis Veteran Affairs Medical Center.

ALEX KINDRED is pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Muscatine in Mason City, Iowa.

RACHEL SWENSON works in organizational development at Gundersen Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse, Wis.

AMY (SCHMEIDEL) KLEIN is a resident physician in internal medicine in Des Moines, Iowa.

JOE TIMMER is assistant band director for the Conroe (Texas) Independent School District. BRAD WHITE earned a master’s degree in education leadership and policy studies from California State University, Northridge. He is founding school director for Denver School of Science and Technology: Byers Middle School. KIRSTEN (PLAHN) and GAVIN WHITE ’07 live in Clive, Iowa. She earned a doctorate in osteopathic medicine from Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine and is a second-year internal medicine resident at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines.


ANDERSON is account manager at Johnson Health Tech North America in Cottage Grove, Wis. JENNY (SILSETH) BINVERSIE is an assurance manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Milwaukee.

RYAN KLEIN earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from Viterbo University. He is dean of students for the Knoxville (Iowa) Community School District. KRYSTAL (CREES) LANGHOLZ is executive director at Hunkpati Investments in Fort Thompson, S.D. AARON LEE is a graduate research assistant at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. JESSIE LYONS earned a master’s degree in music from Roosevelt University in Chicago. She works at the Taos Opera Institute in Taos Ski Valley, N.M. KATIE MERRIFIELD is programmer analyst II for EMC Insurance Companies in Des Moines, Iowa. ANNA (AMUNDSON) OKSNEVAD is a sales and marketing analyst at Lindt and Sprungli in Minneapolis. SARAH (QUICK) OLEJNICZAK is assistant director of alumnae and

parent engagement for Mount Mary University in Milwaukee.

of Law and is an attorney at Vogel Law Firm in Fargo, N.D.

STACY (HORNING) OLSON is a workforce planning analyst at Prudential Financial in St. Paul, Minn.

RYAN TORKELSON is senior internal auditor at CHS Inc. in Inver Grove Heights, Minn.

JAN-MARIE PETERSON is a web content producer in Doha, Qatar, for Northwestern University in Qatar.

AMANDO VALO is a business analyst at Deere and Company in Moline, Ill.

SCOTT POVOLNY is an international expeditor for Merrill Corporation in St. Paul, Minn. He is also owner and founder of Territory Train, which provides premium bus transportation, game tickets, hotel lodging, and pregame parties for non-home Minnesota Twins games. AMANDA SCHMALL is an attorney at Fredrikson and Byron P.A. in Minneapolis. KRAIG SCHROTH is an IT systems administrator and Apple systems architect at LifeTime Fitness in Chanhassen, Minn. DARA SCHULLER-HANSON and BJORN HANSON live in Lake Mills, Wis. She is associate pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. He is a doctoral student at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. MOLLY SHEPPARD BURK earned a master’s degree of social work from Augsburg College. She works as a fourth-day home visitor for Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery in Golden Valley, Minn. BRITT (LINDQUIST) SIMONSON, as part of Boston University’s Marsh Chapel Choir, performed with the Rolling Stones at TD Garden in Boston, June 12 and 14, 2013. AMANDA SMITH is a trainer at NCS Pearson in Minneapolis. TYLER STRAND is a sports writer for the Marshalltown (Iowa) TimesRepublican. STACI SUDENGA earned a Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. KENDRA SWANSON is an outdoor educator at Lorado Taft Field Campus in Oregon, Ill. DANA THEILER is senior copywriter at NxStage Medical Inc. in Lawrence, Mass. MATTHEW THOMPSON graduated from Hamline University School

MEGAN (SHEPPARD) VOLK earned a juris doctorate from Hamline University and is a staff attorney with the Minnesota Justice Foundation. ALYSSA WEHR earned a master’s degree in social work from Boston College Graduate School of Social Work. MORGAN (WATERSTRAAT) WOODS opened a chiropractic practice called Medicine Hands Wellness in Bozeman, Mont. DANNY YOUNG, percussionist, is performing in the first national tour of the rock band Queen’s show We Will Rock You.

2008 JANELLE ACKERMAN is intermodal logistics team lead for in Forest Lake, Minn.

RACHAEL (MOORE) AHART earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. JESSE ANGELO and ANDREW BODDICKER live in London, England. She is a graduate student in acting at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He earned a master’s degree in music education from the University of Illinois and teaches primary music in London. STEVE BAILEY is senior associate for Exponent PR in Minneapolis. ALISON BLENKA is a human resources assistant at the Opus Group in Minnetonka, Minn.

Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Alumni News

nesota and is program manager for St. Paul (Minn.) Public Schools Foundation.

LAURA (TITUSDAHL) and KARL BOLEEN live in Minneapolis. Karl is a business analyst for Target.

ALLISON (BOUSLOG) SELLEY earned a juris doctorate from William Mitchell College of Law and is an associate attorney at Tressler Law in Minneapolis.

KATHERINE (GRADO) BOOTH is resident care manager at Life Care Center of Kennewick in Kennewick, Wash.

JENNIFER (LAMBRECHT) SILVERMAN earned a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She is a postdoctoral research assistant at Washington University in St. Louis.

SARAH CARNES is chief operating officer for 9 Clouds in Sioux Falls, S.D. JENNY (HARRISON) CASWELL is a speech-language pathologist for the Grant Wood Area Education Agency in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. JOEY CORBIN is international summer program coordinator for the international office of the Norwegian Business School BI in Oslo, Norway.

Anne (Karlin)’08 and Ryan Gibbs ’08 journeyed from their home in St. Louis to Philadelphia with Ryan’s youth group for a weeklong mission trip with YouthWorks, where current student Phil Johnson ’15 was on staff.

KATE DANIELSON is a clinical resource nurse manager for Olathe (Kan.) Medical Center.

graduating with distinction in family medicine, as well as in the top 10 percent of his class and as a member

KATY FIEDLER is a teacher for the Edina (Minn.) Public Schools. DYLAN FLUNKER earned a master’s degree in public policy from the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. He is policy and community organizer coordinator for Rainbow Health Initiative in Minneapolis. RYAN FORDICE is archives and manuscripts accessions assistant at Regenstein Library Special Collections Research Center in Chicago.

Brown eyes Photography

WINONA (BRUEGGEMANN) DUREN earned a master’s degree in science education from Western Governors University. She teaches high school science at St. Paul (Minn.) Conservatory for Performing Arts.

of Sigma Sigma Phi. He is a family medicine resident for Genesis Quad Cities Family Medicine Residency in Davenport, Iowa. BETH GOSKESEN is a youth career counselor for Workforce Development Inc. in Austin, Minn. AMELIA (LARSON) HARLESS is assistant manager and sales director for Viking Mountain Tool Works in Decorah.

ANDREA FUNKE is internal auditor for Hormel Foods Corporation in Austin, Minn.

TYLER HENDRICKSON is a Suzuki piano teacher for Talent Education Suzuki School in Norwalk, Conn.

AMBER GALLAHER teaches eighth-grade geography at Rochester (Minn.) Public Schools.

JORDAN JENSEN is account manager for Proto Labs Inc. in Maple Plain, Minn.

MELISSA (MUNKS) ’09 and ANDY GISLESON married in June. She graduated from veterinary school in May from the University of Illinois and is an associate veterinarian at Kimberly Pines Veterinary Hospital in Davenport, Iowa. He earned a doctor of osteopathy degree from Des Moines University,

MICAH JOHNSON is director of school outreach for Time Out Youth in Charlotte, N.C.


Luther Alumni Magazine

ANNA KNAEBLE teaches fourth grade at Seven Hills Classical Academy in Wayzata, Minn.

KEVIN KOOIENGA earned a master’s degree in counseling and student personnel psychology from the University of Minnesota and is a counselor at the American Community School of Athens in Athens, Greece. STACY (MALECHA) KOWITZ is an account support associate with Ernst and Young in Minneapolis. DANNY LEE is a philanthropic associate for Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. KATHERINE MAYNE is a legislative correspondent in health policy for the office of Iowa senator Charles Grassley in Washington, D.C. KYLE NELSON is full-time staff coach for Johnston Urbandale Soccer Club in Johnston, Iowa.

KAITLYN (MYERS) SMITH is content designer for Capsule in Minneapolis. ASHLEY SOLSRUD-BECKMAN is program manager for CCP Works! in St. Paul, Minn. NIKKI SUNDIN is an evaluation research associate for the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. SARAH VAIL earned a master’s degree in organizational management from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. AMANDA WEBER earned a master’s degree in choral conducting from Yale University in New Haven, Conn. KELLY WOOD teaches second grade at Lisbon (Iowa) Elementary School. ANDREW WRIGHT is manager in media insights for Target Corporation in Minneapolis.

2009 KATE (NESS) and

ERIN ODLAND works in internal audit for St. Jude Medical Inc. in St. Paul, Minn.

JOHN AMAKYE ’08 live in Minneapolis. She is a registered nurse in labor and delivery for Hennepin County Medical Center and University of Minnesota Medical Center. He earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and political science and is a personal banker for Wells Fargo.

TIM PETERSON is a paramedic for North Memorial Ambulance Service in Brooklyn Center, Minn.

MELISSA BERG is a school counselor for Park Spanish Immersion Elementary in St. Louis Park, Minn.

JEANETTE (MUSKE) PIDDE is an attorney at Muske, Muske and Suhrhoff Ltd. in Springfield, Minn.

MACALLISTER CARVER earned a master’s degree in public administration from Argosy University and is an executive assistant for Heartfelt Alternatives Inc. in Raleigh, N.C.

ANDREW ODEAN earned a doctorate of pharmacy degree from Creighton University. He is a pharmacist for Walgreens in St. Cloud, Minn.

NORA (HAUPT) ROBINSON earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Min-

Alumni News

MEG (BERVEN) and CULYNN CURTIS ’10 live in Plymouth, Minn. She is a marketing coordinator for Archiver’s. He is a pastoral intern at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Maple Lake. LAURA DELIKOWSKI is student services specialist for the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay. LIZA DEMMER is in advisory services for Ernst and Young in Minneapolis. AMY EKLAND is an inside sales representative for Seltec Sales Corporation in Hiawatha, Iowa. MEGAN ELMORE of Colony, Texas, is a mortgage bankruptcy administrator with National Bankruptcy Services. KYLE GRUNDMEYER earned a doctor of chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic. He is a chiropractor for the Health Clinic in Ankeny, Iowa. SARAH GUSTAFSON is a reading interventions teacher for the Mankato (Minn.) Public Schools. KIRSTEN HANSEN is an elementary music teacher for the Clear Lake (Wis.) School District. LIZ HANSEN is annual fund manager at Easter Seals UCP in Charlotte, N.C. CAROLINE (ROSEN) HEUER is a dialysis registered nurse at DaVita Dialysis in Chicago.

LINDSEY JOHNSON teaches music for Amabile School of Music in San Francisco. LIESL KOEHNEN is an assistant project manager for Periscope Advertising in Minneapolis. LAURA KRUMM earned a master’s degree in vocal performance from the University of North Texas, where she also was the winner of the Winspear Scholarship. She has been an Adler Fellow at the San Francisco Opera since January 2012. ERIK LEHMANN is a project manager and GIS data engineer for Trapeze ITS in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. COLTON LONG earned a juris doctorate from the University of Iowa College of Law. He is a business litigation associate attorney for Faegre Baker Daniels LLP in Minneapolis. MEGAN LYON earned a doctor of physical therapy degree from Des Moines University. She is a physical therapist for Winneshiek Medical Center in Decorah. AMANDA (DAHLSENG) and DARIN MONROE live in Cherry Valley, Ill. She is youth pastor at Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Algonquin, Ill. He is head softball coach and sports coordinator for Rock Valley College. ERIK ROCKWELL is a K–6 teacher for K12 Inc. SHANNON (BROCKSHUS) and STEVE ROSAS live in New Brigh-

ton, Minn. She earned a master’s degree in sacred music from Luther Seminary and is director of music for Atonement Lutheran Church. He is a K–5 music teacher for Columbia Heights School District.

DIANE BALFANY earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

KATIE SACKETT is a corporate recruiter for CRST International Inc. in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. MEGAN SELVIG is an environmental conservation volunteer for the Peace Corps in Paraguay. KRISTIN (JOHNSON) SJOBERG is a music therapist for Metro Music Therapy in Denver. JULIAN STANKE is the IB/PLC leader for specialists at Lincoln Center Elementary School in South St. Paul, Minn.

RACHEL BARKEL released her debut EP album, Heartland. She is composing, performing, and recording in Nashville, Tenn., as Rachel Rhodes.

LAURA THOMPSON is a library assistant for the Cedar Falls (Iowa) Library.

MARY (ERICKSON) and NICK BRANDVOLD live in Oakdale, Minn. She is a Spanish teacher for South Washington County Schools. He is a field marketing coordinator for Stanley Black and Decker.

CAMERON WEBB is mobile engineering lead for Fullscreen Inc. in Atlanta.

SUSIE CLARK is a communications consultant for Coloplast Corporation in Minneapolis.

JEFF WESTON was a selected composer for the Young Composer’s Meeting 2013 in the Netherlands. He is a doctoral student in music composition and theory and graduate assistant at the University of Pittsburgh.

RYAN DEIGNAN is director of vocal music for Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa.

KELSEY WETTACH of Cudahy, Wis., is a neurophysiologist for Specialty Care. KATHIE (PALMERSHEIM) WHITT is a foot and ankle surgical resident at Grant Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. MANDY WUBBEN is Crawford Hall director C and D for Minnesota State University, Mankato. JILL (SUNDBY) YORDY works in customer service and is an inside sales representative for Analytica in Fairbanks, Alaska.

2010 MARGI

ABRAHAMSON is a sales representative for Larson Companies in Eau Claire, Wis. She is also an Apple specialist for MacMan Inc.

JOE AMERMAN is a VISTA volunteer for AmeriCorps in Northfield, Minn.

JOHN DELANEY and Eric Baack, assistant professor of biology at Luther, published “Intraspecific Chromosome Number Variation and Prairie Restoration: A Case Study in NE Iowa” in the September 2012 issue of the journal Restoration Ecology. LAURA (DIETMEYER) FERREE is a member of the box office staff for Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts in Brookfield, Wis. LINNEA and CHRIS GRAFFUNDER-BARTELS ’11 live in Minneapolis. She earned a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Iowa. She is an administrative assistant for the city of Brooklyn Center. He works for Cenneidigh KCQ. HEATHER (ROTHFUSS) GRICE of Decatur, Ga., earned a certificate of advanced study from Emory University’s Paralegal Certification Program. She is an intern for a personal injury law firm.

Derrik Hartman ’09, Kirsten Hoyme ’09, and Nick Berge ’05 earned doctor of dental surgery degrees from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Alumni News

KELSEY HAKE earned a doctor of physical therapy degree from the University of Iowa and is a physical therapist for Accelerated Rehabilitation Centers in Marshalltown, Iowa. SARA HANSSEN is interpreting and translating coordinator for Intercultural Mutual Assistance Association in Rochester, Minn. AYA HOZUMI earned a master’s degree in conservation biology from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. MARK KNOWLES JR. is a paralegal for Entitle Inc. in Bloomington, Minn. SKY MACKLAY earned a master’s degree in music from the University of Memphis and is a doctoral student at Columbia University in New York City. JASON MOTT is high school band director for Shanghai Community International School in China. JENNA NANKE and ANDERS LARSON ’11 live in Sioux Falls, S.D. She is a substitute teacher and works with refugees and immigrants as a volunteer at Lutheran Social Services. She was in Baeza, Spain, last year as a language and culture assistant. He earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Sioux Falls. SARAH PALM is a group retiree services project manager in Minnetonka, Minn. KRISTIN (PORTER) PETERSEN is an administrative assistant for New Directions Counseling Services in Waterloo, Iowa. JACOB REITZ earned a juris doctorate from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minn. BEN SCHORI is an intern pastor at Sierra Lutheran Church in Sierra Vista, Ariz. AUDREY SEITZ of Racine, Wis., is community health navigator for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. ERIC SIEVERS is a graduate teaching assistant for Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo. AARON STENHAUG is senior audit associate for Eide Bailly LLP in Minneapolis.


Luther Alumni Magazine

Luther alumni form an LC on the shore of Storm Lake in Storm Lake, Iowa, the day after the wedding of Melissa Conibear ’09 and Ross Schultz ’10. Front to back, those pictured are, L: Tyler Powell ’10, Kristin Skaar ’09, Ryan Niles ’09, Ally Czechowicz ’09, Mark Knowles Jr. ’10, Dan DeWeert, and Kate Wolff ’09; C: Ross Schultz ’10, Melissa (Conibear) Schultz ’09, Katie Herring ’09, Kristin Youngmeyer ’09, Julia Kieckhaefer ’09, Bailey Miller ’09, Kristin Swedlund ’09, Taylor Hammrich ’10, and Landon Jacobsen ’10. VICTORIA (BLANCO) TAPIA is a Horizons counselor and case manager for Minnesota Mental Health Clinic in Eagan, Minn. KRISTOPHER ULRICH is project coordinator for Affinity Health Systems in Neenah, Wis. PIETER VER STEEG is a cartographer and GIS research assistant for the Nature Conservancy in Minneapolis. ELI WALLACE is assistant research specialist at the University of Wisconsin–Madison MEGAN (WEIRATHER) WARNEKE is a registered nurse at Solon (Iowa) Retirement Village. BEN ZAMORA-WEISS is a frozen and bread buyer for Mississippi Market in St. Paul, Minn.


executive director for I-Impact Now in Minneapolis. ALYSE CARLSON is a medical student at University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City.

KATIE (ALTHOUSE) DRINKALL is a supervisor for Cabela’s in Sydney, Neb. JAMES FEINSTEIN is an intern at the White House in Washington, D.C. SAM GAYLORD is program assistant for Mapletree Group Home in Maplewood, Minn. HALEY GIBBONS is associate choral director for Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa. LARA GRAVES is a Title 1 reading and math instructor for Fillmore Central School in Harmony, Minn. REBEKKA (WILLIS) HARKINS is an AmeriCorps leadership and conservation corps member for Mile High Youth Corps in Colorado Springs, Colo. J. SCOTT HARRISON is a financial representative for Northwestern Mutual in Edina, Minn. KIMBERLY HORNER is a college access volunteer in service for America at Northfield (Minn.) High School.

MADELINE JUNGBAUER is training and development coordinator for Hollstadt and Associates Inc. in Mendota Heights, Minn. ADAM KOBLER is owner and president of Kataku Technology LLC in Eden Prairie, Minn. EMILY KITTLESON is events and membership coordinator for the Grand Avenue Business Association in St. Paul, Minn. ADAM KRUSE made a presentation about his recent work with nonprofit organizations that aid the blind in Nepal and Bangladesh at the Northeast Iowa Peace and Justice Center in Decorah. JONATHAN LUECK is director of vocal music for the Altoona (Wis.) School District. AAIDHA MAJDHY is a hostess for the Four Season Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa. BEN MARPLE is youth program specialist for the American Red Cross in Seattle.

Alumni News

KARI STALOCH is a registered nurse for Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, N.D.

TYLER MCCUBBIN works in collections for De Lang Landen in Johnston, Iowa.

EMILY (RASMANN) and DON STEIN live in Roscoe, Ill. He is a customer service representative for Custom Gear and Machine. She is a preschool teacher.

KATE MCDONALD earned a master’s degree in health promotion from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. AUNG NAING is accounting manager for Fi-Med Management Inc. in Milwaukee. JENNA NESS is assistant volleyball coach and intramural director for St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minn. TRACY OSTLIE is a law student at University of Denver Sturm College of Law. RYAN RUGGIERO earned a master’s degree in accountancy from the University of St. Thomas. He is corporate auditor for Best Buy Co. Inc. in Richfield, Minn. CAITLIN (STEINBERG) SCHLABACH of Kailua, Hawaii, is assistant historian at the USS Arizona Memorial for the National Park Service. ALYNIA SHILTS of Chippewa Falls, Wis., is respite care coordinator and fiscal agent for United Cerebral Palsy of West Central Wisconsin Inc.

CAMILLE STENHAUG is a treasury analyst for Target Corporation in Minneapolis. ALEX ULFERS of Kirksville, Mo., became a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force after receiving a Health Professions Scholarship Program seat. KELSEY WAUTERS is audit senior assistant for Deloitte and Touche LLP in Minneapolis.

MAGIE DARLING is a research and evaluation specialist for Nueva Vida in Washington, D.C. TASHI DELDAN is a loan servicing specialist for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in Eagan, Minn. CARLY ERICKSON is a registered nurse at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

JORDAN (MEYER) ZAHRTE is a hall director for the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn.

MALLORY HEINZEROTH is project manager for EPIC Systems in Verona, Wis.

2012 JACOB BARKER teaches

KELLY HYLAND is an English as a foreign language teacher for James Cook Languages in Prague, Czech Republic.

KELSEY BAUSCH is director of youth and young adult ministry for St. James Lutheran Church in Johnston, Iowa.

COURTNEY BERGEY is assistant director for Lanesboro (Minn.) Arts Center. EMILY BERKELAND is a web content writer for Yellowbook in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. AARON BURK is a software engineer for Thompson Reuters in Eagan, Minn. KRISTA CANOY is a customer service representative for CUNA Mutual Life Insurance in Waverly, Iowa. CARAH (CLAFLIN) HART is director of children’s choirs for St. Mark Lutheran Church in Des Moines, Iowa. ALEX CLARK is a volunteer for Young Adults in Global Mission

TERESA PROCTER is a graduate student in music at Rice University and spent the month of May with the Shepherd School’s Italian immersion program. She is also on the music staff for Palmer Episcopal Church of Houston.

SPENCER GREEN is a staff accountant for Wolter and Raak Ltd. in Rochester, Minn. HANNAH GRUNDHOEFER is a teller for Wells Fargo in Jamestown, N.D. She also coaches dance classes with Just For Kix.

elementary general music for Anson Elementary and Hoglan Elementary Schools in Marshalltown, Iowa.

JENNA POLLOCK is a naturalist for Emmet County Conservation in Wallingford, Iowa.

ANDREW FINANGER is an installer for Custom Solar in Boulder, Colo.

SAMANTHA YOUNG is an assistant family teacher for Boys Town in Trabuco Canyon, Calif.

AMY BEHRMAN is an AmeriCorps Volunteer at the Harvest Initiative in Des Moines, Iowa.

Erin Daubert ’11 and Steven Thai ’11 traveled to Brazil to celebrate their two years since graduation. Here they are pictured at the Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) statue in Rio de Janeiro.

of the ELCA in Sovenga, South Africa.

BEN JORDAN is a multimedia photojournalist for KWWL-TV, the NBC affiliate in Waterloo, Iowa. ANDREW LINDERMAN teaches chemistry at Chariton (Iowa) High School. KATIE MALEK teaches first grade at Lime Springs (Iowa) Elementary School. KELSEY (KITTLESON) MILLONIG is an EMT-basic at Regional Health Services of Howard County in Cresco, Iowa. She was honored by the Red Cross as an Adult Good Samaritan at the 10th Annual Everyday Heroes of the Tri-States. PRAMOD NIKALJE is a serviceoriented architecture administrator for CenterPoint Energy in Houston. MICHAEL NOLTNER works in technical services for EPIC Systems in Verona, Wis. PAIGE OFSTEDAHL is an AmeriCorps Member at Community Corrections Improvement Association in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Julie Berg Raymond/Decorah newspapers

KATE (PATTERSON) MASON is account executive for Rise Interactive in Chicago.

Seth Duin ’12 and Bailey Cahlander ’12 were awarded in the student film category at the Oneota Film Festival for their 22-minute film, Saving Creativity. It included interviews with art, dance, and music professors from Luther College, as well as radio hosts from 89.3 The Current, members of the band Trampled by Turtles, and the president of the McNally School of Music in St. Paul, Minn. JOHN RAINEY III is a research technologist for Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. INGA ROHDE is a farm and garden assistant for L’Arche Tahoma Hope in Takoma, Wash. ALISON SANCKEN is a Labo intern at Labo International Exchange Foundation in Tokyo, Japan. CHAD SONKA is a graduate student at Manhattan School of Music in New York City. MARCUS TURNS is assistant customer service manager for Bank of the West in Chaska, Minn.

Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Alumni News

ERIK WADMAN is a volunteer facilitator with Habitat for Humanity through AmeriCorps in St. Paul, Minn. He is also a drummer in the band General B and the Wiz. JAKE WATSON is a music tour planner for Gateway Music Festivals and Tours in Monticello, Minn. KRISTI WIETECHA teaches English at Lakes Area Charter School in Osakis, Minn. DANNY WILCOX is an intern at the Minnesota House of Representatives. He is also a cook at Southview Country Club in West St. Paul, Minn. DREW WOJCIEHOWSKI played the part of Shrek in Port Washington’s (Wis.) production of Shrek: The Musical.

1990 CATHY BEGALSKE and Jon Koebrick, March 2, 2013

NONA HEDGES and Michael Moore, May 5, 2012



David Gallegos, Oct. 20, 2012

1998 TRICIA BERG and Dan Fisher, Oct. 29, 2011

RUTH ANN HJELLE and Erik Olson, Sept. 3, 2011

1978 KEITH

KINDELSPERGER and LaNita Foltz, July 2, 2011 LORI KNUTSON and Randy Hermundson, Sept. 16, 2011

1986 MICHAEL MUSGRAVE and Lars Lane, Sept. 22, 2012

1988 JEFF SPICER and Eric Mann, Aug. 19, 2012

JIM YANCEY and Rafael Ramirez, July 9, 2011


Luther Alumni Magazine

2010 ANDREA HATLELI and Andrew Halvorson, May 25, 2013 JOHANNA NORBY and GREG SMALLEY ’02, June 22, 2013

2011 SALLY AHLQUIST and Thomas Maxwell, Jan. 5, 2013

and Shawn Doty, March 14, 2013

LON WELSH and Nickie Dix, Jan. 7, 2012

LEAH JENSEN and MIKE SWITZER ’10, July 7, 2012




2001 KIMBERLY EVERSMAN and Jason Cotter, Feb. 15, 2013

RANDI TIMMER and Aaron Heisler, April 29, 2012

2002 NIKKI WHITAKER and Jennifer Meiners, Sept. 29, 2012


Wendell Nickell, July 22, 2012

LAURA NICKLAY and Kevin Lemke, Jan. 19, 2013

KATHIE PALMERSHEIM and John Whitt, March 9, 2013


BEN GANZKOW-WOLD and Hilary Otey, July 3, 2012


Ryan McCabe, Oct. 20, 2012

EMILY OLSON and Andrew Speropulos, July 5, 2013

EMILY POWERS and Chase Feldmann, June 16, 2012



MARIE MYSLIWIEC and Greg Conklin, June 16, 2012 WENDY PETRINA and Quincey Luedeman, March 11, 2013

Nicole Thurman, May 4, 2013

CARRIE (GAUL) KOSTOHRYZ is a teacher at Spring Ahead Learning Center in Lime Springs, Iowa.

and Marcella Gutierrez, April 27, 2013

Louisa Muller, July 9, 2011

JENNA YEAKLE is a program specialist focusing on mentoring for the Minneapolis Public Schools through AmeriCorps. MICHAEL CROWE is a multimedia journalist with KWWLTV, the NBC affiliate in Waterloo, Iowa.


Tamara Leonard, Aug. 18, 2012

BECKY JOHNSTON and Richard Bole, April 30, 2011 JACQUE RUEN and JASON HARTFIELD, May 26, 2013 COLLEEN SMITH and Brett Christensen, Sept. 4, 2011

2004 SARA BOWMAN and Shawn Andrus, April 20, 2013

MANDY HENDERSON and DAVE ROWLEY ’05, Oct. 20, 2012 KELLY HICKEY and Karl Erbach, May 4, 2013 PHIL LAAVEG and Nadia Abdelrhman, March 4, 2013 JAN SAXHAUG and Kristen Bankers, June 1, 2013

John Eide, Oct. 20, 2012

MOLLY SHEPPARD and ADAM BURK ’06, April 27, 2013 JENNY SILSETH and KYLE BINVERSIE, Sept. 29, 2012 ERIN SMOCK and Juan del Cid, June 8, 2013 MORGAN WATERSTRAAT and Devon Woods, Jan. 28, 2013


BRUEGGEMANN and Brian Duren, Dec. 8, 2012 KRISTIN COREY and Evan Woerlen, Sept. 22, 2012 CHRISTINA DOUGLAS and John Torres, Aug. 31, 2012 KATY FIEDLER and Beau Hammel, June 29, 2013 JANA SMITH and NICK LARSON, Aug. 27, 2011 SARAH VAIL and Dustin Antonello, May 11, 2013

2009 DANA HARNEY and Brent Teske, Aug. 11, 2012


KATE TRIGGER and McClain Duffert, July 13, 2013 HANNAH WRIGHT and ALLYN PLATTNER ’09, Aug. 4, 2012

2012 JOANNA NYSETVOLD and Blaine Green, Aug. 11, 2012



1986 Melanie Antuma-

Anderson and MARK ANDERSON, a daughter, Danielle Lanie, December 2012

1988 Gesine Gerhard and GREG ROHLF, a daughter, Charlotte, January 2012


Braulio De La Torre, a daughter, Everdeen Josefina, December 2012


and Christopher Arndt, a daughter, Anna Jane Elizabeth, November 2012 TRACEY (VOIGT) and Luis Baez, a daughter, Danielle Bethany, October 2012 Rose Santiago Benny and BENOY BENNY, a son, Joshua, December 2012

Luther College

Annual Fund 2010

2011 2012

Your Gift. Every Year. Put to work right away, where it is needed most.


Alumni News

JULIA (WANGBERG) and JIM JESPERSEN, a daughter, Daphne, October 2011

EMILY (DAHL) and Lane Seaholm, a son, Liam Arminius, June 2013

1994 Melissa and MATT

Jen and DUSTY JOHNSON, a daughter, Lily Susan, March 2013

REBRO, a son, Vaughn Brandt, July 2013

Mary Ann and STEVE KEENAN, a daughter, Helen, January 2012

KIM (ZIRBEL) and Tim Victora, a son, Benjamin James, born January 2013, adopted August 2013

MELINDA (PHILIPSEN) and Chaitanya Kotagiri, a daughter, Mira Faye, June 2012


Amanda and CHAD KRAUS, a daughter, Paige Elizabeth, November 2011

Nick Downey, a son, Alexander James, January 2013


and Dave Koehnen, a son, Aaron, November 2011

1998 Ana and TREVOR LOES, a daughter, Hadley, December 2012

Marcy (Howerter) ’99 and Will Swain had a daughter, Ellie Renee, March 2012, shown with older sister Molly and big brother Samuel. VAL (RECKER) and Trevor Radner, a daughter, Kate Josephine, November 2012

Amy and STACY SUNDET, a son, Colin, March 2013


KATIE (MILOS) and Jim Vetter, a daughter, Britta Kay, April 2013

ELIZABETH (BRAMMER) and Kevin Reiter, a son, Ryan Paul, March 2013

1999 SARI (ZIMMERMAN) and Jeremy Anderson, a daughter, Molly Mae, April 2013

HEIDI (REBISCHKE) and COREY SCHNEIDER, a son, Blayne Francis, December 2012

Sara Pearson and NATHAN WINTERHOF, a son, Gabriel Marr, April 2013

JAIME LEIMER DECKER and BRIAN DECKER ’97, a daughter, Elise Gracelyn, April 2012

HEIDI TORGERSON-MARTINEZ and Marcelo Martinez, a daughter, Kate Laia, September 2012

2003 STACY (EGTS) and

JULIE VANO and Brian Gruber, a daughter, Abigail Vano, February 2013


and Andy Bonnet, a son, McCoy Alexander, June 2013

Luke Abar, a son, Eli Thomas, March 2012

and Benjamin Baggett, a daughter, Johannah Joy, April 2012

LAURA (REIER) and ADAM ANDERSON ’04, a son, Monroe, August 2012

ELIZABETH PLEUSS and David Bylsma, a son, Jonathan David, February 2013

KRISTI and MIKE BABINEDINNEN, a son, Henry James, January 2013


and Bill Bunn, a son, Otter George, March 2013

KIMBERLY EVERSMAN and Jason Cotter, a daughter, Moira Mary Catherine, April 2013

MEG (SCHMOLKE) and Chad Halsten, a daughter, Josephine, September 2012

SARAH (NORQUIST) and David Irwin, a son, Luke Martin, December 2012

NATALIE (VAN VUREN) and Ryan Jackson, a son, Nathan Robert, August 2011

KARI (BLACK) and Andy Hirvela, a son, Cameron, March 2012

JILL (COOPER) and ELI LARSON, a son, Colin John, March 2013

JESSICA (YOUNG) and Daniel Le Mon, a daughter, Julianna, April 2013

JOAN (GUNDERSON) and Brian Stoikes, a daughter, Claire, November 2012

SARAH BORGE and Cristian Orrego, a daughter, Emilia Isabel, February 2013 AMANDA (HOFFMANN) and Clay Peterson, a daughter, Elizabeth Rose, December 2012 BECKY (HAYWARD) and CLAY PETERSON ’99, a son, Trygve Lucas, March 2013


Luther Alumni Magazine

Amanda and RYAN HOLLENBECK, a daughter, Adalyn Saylor, May 2013

ANNA ROEDER, a son, Rónán David Murphy, June 2012

JESSI (CROTSER) and Nathan Hosper, a daughter, Rose, September 2012

Stacy and RYAN SABBY, a son, Kellen Roger, November 2012

RILEY (MCNURLIN) and Bill Huebsch, a son, Ezra, February 2013

JENNIFER (BOYD) and Dow Stephens, a daughter, Ada Everild, November 2012

Jen Keller Jensen and NATE JENSEN, a daughter, Coraline, November 2011

MEGAN (LARSEN) and Mike Lovinguth, a son, Quinn Marshall, March 2013 AMBER (KOBLER) and Ryan Lynch, a daughter, Nora, October 2012 LEAH (THOMSEN) and Lee Malmstrom, a daughter, Jenna Marie, February 2013 SHERYL (GERBER) and CHRIS MCCAMMON ’00, a daughter, Allison, January 2013 SARAH SPRAU-MCKAY and Lonny McKay, a daughter, Adeline Claire, Nov. 2012 KARIN (HANSON) and JEFF NINNEMANN, a son, Zander, July 2012 KRISTIE (LUND) and Michael Palovcsik, a son, Christian, June 2012 KRISTIN (THOMPSON) and BRYAN PHELPS, a daughter, Kailey Ann, October 2011 JESSICA AGUILAR and ANTHONY PIZER, a son, James Richard, August 2012 Lisa and BILL REECE, a daughter, McKinley, October 2012 ANGIE (WILSON) and Robert Richards, a daughter, Kacey Ann, February 2012 TERRA (SCHWERIN) and JIM ROWE, a daughter, Mica Joy, October 2011 LAURA (AMUNDSON) and ALEX SMITH, a son, Barrett Amund, April 2013 AMY (MODRELL) and Chad Stensland, a daughter, Zoe Jean, July 2012

Alumni News


GWEN (LYKKEN) and ADAM STRAND ’04, a daughter, Keira Joy, April 2013

HOLLY (KREPS) and Sean McGuire, a daughter, Linnea Jean, February 2013

DARA (ISAACSON) and Kent Swanson, a daughter, Brynn, November 2012

RACHAEL (CAHILL) and BRAD WHITE ’06, a son, Riley Cahill, December 2011

Elizabeth and RYAN THOMPSON, a daughter, Adalyn, March 2013


TIFFANY (ALLEN) and Jim West, a daughter, Odessa Kincade, February 2013

(SUMMERFIELD) and JEREMY DUNCAN, a son, Malcolm Kent, December 2012

Stacey and RYAN BEEMAN WIELAND, a daughter, Lydia, January 2012

AUTUMN (FAHNING) and Stan Fast, a son, Theodore William, January 2013


RACHEL (JOHNSON) and MARK HANSON ’04, a son, Luke Alan, June 2013

and Charlie Rod, a son, Erick Charles, July 2012

ANNA HANSEN BONARO and Adrian Bonaro, a son, Beckett Ole, November 2012

AMANDA (OELRICH) and NEIL HELLER ’05, a daughter, Arya Joyce, January 2012

KELLI (KERR) and Jarrod Olson, a son, Jase Milton, Feb. 2013 SARAH (FAHRENKRUG) and NATHAN WICKS, a son, Karl Robert, May 2013



Read full obituaries online at

1934 EDWARD BOYKEN of Titonka, Iowa, died March 15, 2013, age 97.

and Aaron Ahart, a daughter, Alani Nicole, February 2013 AMELIA (LARSON) and Zachary Harless, a son, Hayden James, January 2013 KELLY (MOELLER) and Ross Hauschild, a daughter, Madeline Jo, November 2012


KATIE (BILLINGS) and NICK HEDEMAN, a daughter, Annika Rae, April 2013

ADOLPH BERNHARD HELTNE of Scandia, Kan., died June, 3, 2013, age 99.

KAYLA (MALEK) and Craig Meirick, a daughter, Grace Kathleen, April 2013

Sarah and RYAN LUHRS, a son, David, February 2013

1937 ZOLA (ERICKSON) RUNNING of Decorah died June 7, 2013, age 98.

Nikowah and MATT OKLAND, a daughter, Priya Ryan, October 2012 KRISTEN (BAILEY) and Trevor Olson, a son, Asher, August 2012 CASSIE (FRIEDERICH) and Kristopher Peterson, a son, Lawson Lee, April 2013 HOLLY (HARRIS) and Mark St. Germain, a son, William Michael, March 2013

CHELSEY (DEMPSTER) and TIM HOLCOMB ’05, a daughter, Rilyn, December 2012 MEGAN (THOMPSON) and Adam Johnson, a daughter, Baya Marie, May 2013 KRISTEN (STRANDELL) and James Kesslar, a daughter, Annika Cathryn, February 2013 ELIZABETH (BROKISH) and Bret Kressin, a daughter, Ryleigh Anne, April 2013

BERGEN (PAPKA) and JAKE TORGERSON ’05, a son, Joseph Edward, April 2013 HOLLY (JOHNSON) and Beau Voigt, a daughter, Andie Lynn, November 2011 REBECCA (SCHARPE) and CHRIS WENTHOLD ’02, a son, Atticus James, March 2013

KATIE (YOUNG) and NICK LANE, a daughter, Natalie Marlys, April 2013 Annah and JORDAN SMITH, a daughter, Addison Cecelia, July 2013 JESSICA (STINOCHER) and Dan Wallace, a daughter, Roslyn Jane, January 2013


RACHEL (PRIJATEL) and ADAM STANGE ’07, a daughter, Augustine Jade, February 2013

1938 OSCAR LAVERNE “STIG” HOLLEQUE of Arlington, Texas, died Jan. 7, 2013, age 95.

LAURA (MONSON) and TONY VANDEN HEUVEL ’06, a daughter, Ida Monson, June 2013

2009 Emma and JOSH

JORSTAD, a son, Axel Warren, February 2013 GABBY MCNALLY and SAM WHITE ’11, a son, Wolfrik Lewis, June 2013 KATHERINE (MILLER) and Brad Thomas, a son, Ethan, July 2012

JILL (SUNDBY) and Casey Yordy, a daughter, Raven Harper, February 2013

2011 JULIA SCHIEFELBEINEGAN and RYAN EGAN ’10, a daughter, Rosalie, July 2013

HELEN A. (SKOGSMARK) JELLUM of Osage, Iowa, died Feb. 21, 2012, age 95.

1939 PHYLLIS HELENE (JOHNSON) LESETH of Decorah, Iowa, died March 27, 2013, age 95.

(HANNEMANN) and Benjamin Maxwell, a daughter, Brianna Grace, December 2012

Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Alumni News


1950 KENNETH T. THOMPSON of Willmar, Minn., died Nov. 7, 2012, age 93.

PAUL EDWARD ANDERSON of San Diego died Dec. 22, 2012, age 89.

DOROTHY (MISSAL) KLOOCK of West Des Moines, Iowa, formerly of Ames, Iowa, died April 7, 2013, age 88.


1955 TOM M. THEIGE of Iola, Wis., died April 1, 2013, age 83.

HOLLIS S. HUNT of Fort Myers, Fla., died May 26, 2013, age 85.

OSWALD “OZZIE” EARL SWENSON of Lake Mills, Iowa, died March 10, 2013, age 91.

LOIS EDEL BRANDT DREWS of Sandy, Utah, died June 4, 2013, age 85.

1971 ROGER DENNIS FOLVEN of Lake Mills, Iowa, died May 10, 2013, age 72.

1963 MELBA E. (FOX) BORCHARDT of Forest City, Iowa, died April 18, 2013, age 79.

LOWELL C. PETERSON of Hot Springs Village, Ark., died April 22, 2013, age 84.


Luther Alumni Magazine

PAUL E. BUNGUM of Modesto, Calif., died Jan. 15, 2013, age 85.

1953 ALICE B. SKAAR of Primghar, Iowa, died Aug. 26, 2012, age 89.

JIM HOCKINGS of London, Ontario, Canada, died Feb. 26, 2013, age 66.

RONNALD WILLIAM FARLAND of Moorpark, Calif., died April 15, 2013, age 73.

1952 HARVEY GROTE of Clinton, Iowa, died May 7, 2013, age 93.

THOMAS C. THOMPSON of Allouez, Wis., died March 13, 2013, age 70.



MARGARETE E. “CHRISTIE” (CHRISTIANSON) KILDAHL of Houston, Minn., died May 23, 2013, age 83.


JAN (STRUBE) FLEMING of Northbrook, Ill., died May 1, 2013, age 67.

LUETTA MARGARET (ELLEFSON) HOSTAGER of Hackensack, Minn., died June 11, 2013, age 77.

CHARLES “CURT” HEADINGTON of La Crosse, Wis., died Aug. 16, 2012, age 84.

ELSIE (ERENTSEN) TELLEFSEN of Mount Holly, N.J., died March 27, 2013, age 89.



JEAN C. (MICKELBERG) GULLICKSON of Wausau, Wis., died April 2, 2011, age 82.

DONALD ROSHOLT of Cyrus, Minn., died May 15, 2013, age 87.

JAMES “JIM” HERBERT ZASKE of Glencoe, Minn., died Jan. 24, 2013, age 69.

JOAN (KEDROW) HEADINGTON of La Crosse, Wis., died May 26, 2013, age 78.

RUTH E. (ANDERSON) ROHM of Cedar Falls, Iowa, died Aug. 13, 2012, age 89.

1948 WILLIAM BEIERSDORF of Minneapolis died Feb. 7, 2013, age 90.


1965 ARLA (ERICKSON) LYON of Decorah died April 20, 2013, age 92.

CAROL DIANNE KYLETWYMAN of Burke, Va., died April 6, 2013, age 65. KRISTINE M. (BJERVA) LEIX of Roscoe, Ill., died Feb. 19, 2013, age 64.

JULETTA MAE (RAMLO) TRYGSTAD of Mabel, Minn., died April 16, 2013, age 92.

Alumni News

1972 GREGORY J. ELLINGSON of Mountain Home, Ark., died April 23, 2013, age 63.

BRUCE M. HOBERT of Mount Dora, Fla., died May 8, 2013, age 63.

1975 MAUREEN JILL “MJ” (SULLIVAN) HARVEL of Tombstone, Ariz., died March 19, 2013, age 59.

1976 VIRGIL G. HEITZ of Lee’s Summit, Mo., died April 15, 2013, age 59.

DOLLY (DOOCY) KIRCHNER of Decorah died March 23, 2013, age 77.

1977 JOHN ERNEST OSBORN of Eden Prairie, Minn., died April 3, 2013, age 58.

A fond farewell to musical icon and trumpeter Bud Herseth ’43 high praise with great modesty. He told the Inter“He was by general consent the most respected national Trumpet Guild that “if you hang around and influential orchestral trumpeter of the last long enough you become notorious” and the half-century, and very probably the greatest,” Chicago Tribune that he’d like to be remembered began the Chicago Tribune’s tribute to world“as a fairly decent guy who gave it his best every renowned trumpeter Adolph “Bud” Herseth ’43. time he had the Herseth passed chance.” away at age 91 Herseth’s long on April 14, after and successful our press date, but music career parwe celebrate his alleled his long, rich, full musical stable, and loving life along with the marriage. He met rest of the nationhis wife, Avis, in al press. Herseth’s a fourth-grade legacy and the school trumpet news of his death section in the were noted far town of Bertha, and wide, includMinn., population ing in the New 500. She is, he has York Times, the Trumpeter extraordinaire Bud Herseth ’43, center, with daughter said, “the only gal Chicago Tribune, Christine (Herseth) Hoefer ’66 and grandson Erik Hoefer ’90 I ever dated.” In the Chicago Sunaddition to Avis, Times, and on he is survived by son Stephen, daughter Christine NPR, along with copious music publications. (Herseth) Hoefer ’66, and several grandchildren After graduating from Luther, Herseth served in the Navy during World War II, playing in mili- and great-grandchildren. During an April 19 chapel service on campus, tary bands. He then studied at the New England Luther trumpet professor Brent Dodson rememConservatory of Music in Boston. While there, bered Herseth as “a strong supporter of our music he received a telegram asking him to audition for program and of the trumpet studio in particular. the position of third trumpet with the Chicago He more than anyone else created the modern Symphony Orchestra (CSO). American trumpet sound, and we are all products After playing for an hour, at 26 years old and of his profound musical influence.” despite a lack of professional experience, Herseth Dodson shared the words of Chris Martin, was offered the position not of third trumpet but current principal trumpeter at the CSO: “Bud’s of principal trumpet, a position he maintained influence on the music world was so monumenfor 53 years, from 1948 until 2001, continuing tal that every brass player alive surely has heard as principal emeritus until 2004, when he retired his brilliant, clear, inimitable tone and has been fully. (In an interview with NPR, Herseth joked changed by its clarion beauty. . . . His standard that his friends teased him: “All those years and was not limited by merely equaling what he had you never got promoted?”) The position of first trumpet at the CSO retains his name: the Adolph done before but spurred on by the ideal of the excellence he could imagine.” Herseth Principal Trumpet Chair. A first-rate brass player who preferred symphonies to solos, Herseth lived and played amid

1980 RICHARD LEE EHLERS of Park City, Utah, died Jan. 3, 2012, age 53.

Former regent RICHARD I. PREIS of Kansas City, Mo., died April 9, 2013, age 82.

Fall 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine




Caf gets new look, additional features Luther’s cafeteria, in the lower level of Dahl Centennial Union, underwent a $1.5 million remodeling project this summer, funded by Sodexo. The remodel aimed to improve the flow through the serving area and make the dining area compliant with the Americans with Disability Act (for instance, by getting rid of the exit turnstile). Other changes include extended hours (from breakfast through the end of dinner) and the addition of a to-go station near the exit.

Stories behind the snow sculptures

Many alumni wrote in to tell us about the snow sculptures that were pictured here in the spring Luther Alumni Magazine. Three of the sculptures were created by various brotherhoods during the 1963 Winter Carnival. Paul Bunyon and Babe the Blue Ox, sculpted by the Wisillminowas (Wimis), took first prize; the dragon, sculpted by Sigma Chi Theta, took second prize; and the Native American totem, sculpted by Pi Sigma Omicron, was also a prizewinner. Eileen Muths Kraabel ’59 recalls that five Brandt Hall residents created the Sphinx in the center of campus for fun on a Sunday afternoon after a snowfall of more than three feet.


Luther Alumni Magazine

Calendar Luther College Lunch Connection in Des Moines

Friday, September 13 Windsor Heights (Iowa) Community Center

Friday, February 7, 2014 Windsor Heights (Iowa) Community Center

Photo courtesy of Bethany (Bierman) Krepela ’95

Luther College Lunch Connection in Des Moines

Fall Community Day Saturday, September 14 Luther vs. St. Olaf, 1 p.m. Luther

Family Weekend Friday, September 20– Sunday, September 22 Luther

Parents Council Meeting Saturday, September 21 Luther

Pre-Game Reception Saturday, September 21 Luther at Wheaton football game Muldoon’s Wheaton, Illinois

Luther College Lunch Connection Friday, September 27 Center for Changing Lives Minneapolis

Alumni Council Meeting Friday, October 4 Luther

Aquatic Center Dedication Friday, October 4 Luther

Homecoming Friday, October 4– Sunday, October 6 Luther

Barb and Bob Boyd ’57, Jo and Dean Tollefson ’57, and Coletta (Hahn) ’57 and Wallace Wierson ’57 were among the more than 40 people who attended the Luther Alumni and Friends Picnic at Heartland Park in Park Rapids, Minn., on July 21. Mary (Kittelsland) ’56 and Carlyle Haaland ’55 initiated the gathering. Donald “Mac” McDowell ’48 was the eldest among the alumni in attendance.

Black Alumni Reunion Friday, October 4– Sunday, October 6

Luther Phonathon Monday, October 7– Thursday, November 14 Luther

Luther College Lunch Connection Friday, October 18 Center for Changing Lives Minneapolis

Luther College Lunch Connection in Des Moines Friday, November 8 Windsor Heights (Iowa) Community Center

Luther College Lunch Connection

Luther Symphony Orchestra Reception Sunday, November 17 St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church Mahtomedi, Minnesota

Get Down, Give Back Scholarship Benefit Friday, November 22 A’BULAE St. Paul, Minnesota

Christmas at Luther Performances Thursday, December 5– Sunday, December 8 Luther

Nordic Choir Performance and Dinner Thursday, February 6 Dallas

Luther College Lunch Connection Friday, February 28, 2014 Center for Changing Lives Minneapolis

Norse Athletic Association Golf Outing Ninth Annual Kent Finanger ’54 Golf Classic Saturday, March 22, 2014 Tuscany Falls Golf Club at Pebble Creek Goodyear, Arizona

Reception and Dinner Sunday, March 23, 2014 Phoenix

Reception and Dinner Monday, March 24, 2014 Tucson

Luther College Lunch Connection Friday, March 28, 2014 Center for Changing Lives Minneapolis

Luther College Lunch Connection in Des Moines Friday, April 11, 2014 Windsor Heights (Iowa) Community Center

Luther College Lunch Connection Friday, April 25, 2014 Center for Changing Lives Minneapolis

Friday, November 15 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 e-mailed 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!

Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID La Crosse, WI Permit No. 25

Jamie rasmussen ’14

Luther College, 700 College Drive, Decorah, Iowa 52101-1045

Orpheus in the Underworld David Geist ’15 and Jenny LeDoux ’15, above, performed in Luther’s spring 2013 opera, Orpheus in the Underworld, a parody of the classic Greek myth of music, love, and loss. LeDoux sang the role of Eurydice for one performance of the two-night run, and Erin Persick ’13 sang the other night. Geist sang the role

of Jupiter for one performance, and Evan Mitchell ’14, the 2013–14 winner of the Brudos Prize for Opera Performance, sang the role the other night. First performed in 1858, Orpheus in the Underworld is said to be the first full-length operetta, an opera that is light both in terms of music and subject matter. It was

also the origin of the “Infernal Galop,” the tune most frequently associated with the cancan dance. Luther’s production was codirected by Karen Kanakis, associate professor of music and stage director, and Andrew Whitfield, associate professor of music and music director.

Luther Alumni Magazine Fall 2013  
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