Northwest Missouri State University Fall Alumni Magazine

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Student Senate President Kirayle Jones represents students as Northwest responds to COVID-19 and diversity and inclusion issues | p. 8

ALUMNI AWARDS 7 to be honored | p. 26

2020 HOMECOMING Bearcats in Outer Space | p. 33


Lileses receive recognition | p. 36



It’s because of the volunteer support of countless alumni and friends – spirited people like Dustin Wasson – that Northwest continues to thrive.

From the first time I stepped on campus, I knew Northwest would become home. Now over 20 years later, I’m so thankful to be a part of the Bearcat family. Like many of you after graduation, I wanted to stay connected to Northwest. To do this, I started to attend my local Northwest Alumni Association chapter in Mid-Missouri. Being involved with the Alumni Association has given me opportunities to support current students through The 1905 Society and by creating lifelong friendships with Bearcat alumni and friends. With 22 chartered alumni chapters across the globe, there are many opportunities to stay connected with the Bearcat family. I invite you to attend a chapter event in your area or visit the Northwest Alumni Association at to see how you can stay engaged with Northwest and its 80,000-plus alumni and friends. Once a Bearcat, always a Bearcat! Dustin Wasson ʼ03 Northwest Alumni Association Board of Directors President

If you are interested in volunteer opportunities at Northwest, contact the Office of University Advancement at or 660.562.1248.





Northwest students arrived in the fall to a different campus where face coverings were required and other mitigations were in place to help the University combat COVID-19.

Vol. 54 | Issue 1

Editor Mark Hornickel ’01, ’13 Designer Kim Ziegler ’16 Design assistants Ashlee Mejia Hendrix ’08 Wes Rockwood ’14, ’19 Photographer Todd Weddle ’96 Photography assistants Brandon Bland ’15 Editorial assistants Jana White Hanson ’02 Edidiong Idong-Bassey Joel Kosch Laurie Drummond Long ’92 Dr. Bob Machovsky ’15 Katie Machovsky ’16 Mitzi Craft Marchant ’91, ’09 Sam Mason ’88 Colin McDonough ’98 Leah Newell Dr. Lonelle Rathje ’97, ’03 Brandon Stanley ’01, ’16 Lori McLemore Steiner ’85 Brenda Untiedt ’00, ’09



The Northwest Alumni Magazine is published two times a year by the Office of University Marketing and Communication, the Office of University Advancement, Northwest Missouri State University and the Northwest Foundation Inc., 800 University Dr., Maryville, MO 64468-6001. The mission of the Northwest Alumni Magazine is to foster connections between alumni, friends and Northwest Missouri State University. The University strives to inform readers of the accomplishments of Northwest’s alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students and to positively position the University in the hearts of its many constituents to increase public and private support.

contents TRADITIONS 4 Dear Friends




A $1 million gift from Karen Daniel ’80 will make a difference for Black students.




Farming lifestyle breeds opportunities for Blackford family, affinity for Northwest.


Northwest News

18 Advancing Northwest 25 Alumni Connections 28 Bearcat Sports 34 Class Notes 39 In Memoriam 43 Northwest Postcard

Northwest Missouri State University is an equal-opportunity, co-educational university and does not discriminate based on race, sex, disability, age, national origin or religion. Printed in the USA.


FRIENDS There is much to talk about – and so much change in play – as we reflect on 2020 at Northwest. On behalf of our Northwest Leadership Team, let me first express my gratitude for all our alumni and friends have done to support our students and University during these truly uncharted times. As we opened the campus for the fall semester, change was everywhere – from the masks covering our faces and changes in the ways we gathered to the new modes of teaching in our classrooms. One thing this pandemic could not change, though, was our mission of focusing on student success. Like other organizations and businesses in our country, we have confronted budget challenges, especially given state appropriation cuts – 13 percent at the end of last fiscal year and 13 percent to begin FY21. Yet, we stand with record enrollment, strong retention, protecting our workforce and advancing a variety of academic areas. You will read about some of our advancements in this edition. As cities throughout the country have grappled with dismantling systemic racism and bias, we have confronted our own issues of race at Northwest. We’ve spent this fall listening to so many groups and individuals, and we are acting on the inputs we’ve received. It’s been gratifying to see so many people want to step out and be part of the solution at our University. That, after all, is what we’re about at Northwest. As we say “Bearcats Together,” we will not just survive but be a stronger university when we come out of this pandemic. Dr. John Jasinski President



NORTHWEST FOUNDATION INC. 2020–21 BOARD OF DIRECTORS President Dr. Robert Burrell ’70, Denver, Colo. Vice President Leisha Beckemeyer Barry ’84, Liberty, Mo. Immediate Past President Jennifer Dawson Nicholson ’71, Kansas City, Mo. Board Members Robert Barmann ’84, Platte City, Mo. Rex Brod ’82, Maryville John Cline ’75, Overland Park, Kan. Dell Epperson ’75, Columbia, Mo. Kelly Ferguson ’98, Urbandale, Iowa Terry French ’75, Austin, Texas Eric Geis ’01, Prairie Village, Kan. Derrick Griffin ’01, St. Paul, Minn. Dr. Jacqueline Vincent Henningsen ’66, Omaha, Neb. Dr. David Holmes ’79, Prescott, Ariz. Carl Hughes ’76, Kansas City, Mo.

Gary Hultquist ’64, Rancho Mirage, Calif. Tondee Voortman Lutterman ’98, Kansas City, Mo. Lisa McDermott Miller ’93, Kansas City, Mo. Angela Booth Moskow, Basking Ridge, N.J. William Oellermann ’72, Mansfield, Texas Seann O’Riley ’93, St. Joseph, Mo. Daniel Peterson ’88, Neola, Iowa Brock Pfost, Maryville Dr. Joyce Wake Piveral ’70, ’74, ’82, Pickering, Mo. Ted Place ’99, Kansas City, Mo. Mary Hamilton Purdy ’72, Davidsonville, Md. Thomas Sanchez ’02, Washington, D.C. Dennis Sapp ’68, Gig Harbor, Wash. Ken Scribner ’87, Kansas City, Mo. Tyler Seals ’13, Omaha, Neb. Gina Smith, Maryville Dr. Carol Blom Spradling ’88, Maryville

Corey Strider ’96, Lathrop, Mo. Susan Gladstone Tucker ’76, Worth, Mo. Dr. Gary Tunell ’67, Dallas, Texas Dustin Wasson ’03, Perry, Mo.

Ex-Officio Directors Dr. Dean L. Hubbard, President Emeritus, Kansas City, Mo. Dr. John Jasinski, University President Dr. B.D. Owens ’59, President Emeritus, West Des Moines, Iowa Dr. Lonelle Rathje ’97, ’03, Vice President of External Relations and Executive Director of the Northwest Foundation Inc. University Advancement Lori McLemore Steiner ’85, Executive Director of University Advancement and Chief Finance Officer of the Northwest Foundation Inc. Brooke Weldon Bowles ’02, Accounting Clerk and Scholarship Coordinator

Kala Hughes Dixon ’19, Annual Giving and Alumni Relations Specialist Jana White Hanson ’02, Senior Major Gift Officer Carma Greene Kinman ’85, Constituent Relations Specialist Joel Kosch, Gift Officer Laurie Drummond Long ’92, Senior Gift Planning Officer Dr. Bob Machovsky ’15, Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving Mitzi Craft Marchant ’91, ’09, Director of Donor Engagement Sam Mason ’88, Major Gift Officer Brenda Untiedt ’00, ’09, Advancement Database, Research and Communications Specialist


Students moved into residence halls in August and set new highs for enrollment at the University.

FALL ENROLLMENT SETS RECORD, SECOND-HIGHEST RETENTION RATE Northwest’s total headcount this fall is 7,267 students, making it the highest enrollment in the institution’s 115-year history and a 2.3 percent increase from a year ago. It’s the third consecutive fall that Northwest recorded an increased headcount and the fifth time the University has surpassed the 7,000 mark since passing it for the first time in the fall of 2009. “It is all about our team,” Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski said. “Students, faculty, staff, alumni, partners, community members and all other Bearcats contribute to our expectations of learning, connecting, caring, practicing civility and showing

pride. We are thankful for Northwest’s brand ambassadors who help carry our mission and story, and we are humbled by this record as we continue serving our communities and stakeholders.” Additionally, the University maintains a high retention rate with 75.7 percent of last year’s freshman class choosing to return to Northwest this fall. That mark is the second-highest in the University’s history after Northwest logged a record 77.97 percent rate in 2018. The total headcount includes 1,785 graduate students, which is a 28 percent increase from last year, and the number of

students enrolled in online-only programs increased by 34 percent to 1,856 students. “The dedication of our faculty and staff is the backbone of our campus and one reason we continue to see record enrollment,” Jeremy Waldeier ʼ97, ʼ09, Northwest’s executive director of student recruiting, said. “The campus community focuses on our students and their success, and we truly want to ensure our students make the most of their investment in Northwest. Students continue to see the value of attending Northwest and understand the benefits of becoming a Bearcat.”


Enrollment by the numbers

1,182 (12%) underrepresented students 892 (12%) domestic minority students 290 (4%) international students 39 countries represented 44 states represented 22 average ACT 3.45 average high school grade-point average 42% of freshmen are first-generation college students

Northwest continues to set a standard for excellence among its regional and national peers. Here are a few of the things that set the University apart from others this fall. State-leading career placement Northwest’s placement rates indicate 96 percent of bachelor’s degree earners, compared to 81 percent of national peers, and 99 percent of master’s degree earners, compared to 83 percent of national peers, secure employment or continue their education within six months of graduation; 75 percent is the stateestablished benchmark. Zippia, a career website, has named Northwest the best college in Missouri for getting a job. Best-in-class student satisfaction Northwest achieved higher student satisfaction rates – on all scales and questions of the 2019-20 Ruffalo Noel Levitz Student Satisfaction Survey – than national and regional peer comparison groups for both freshmen and juniors. Further, 82 percent of all Northwest students reported they would repeat their Northwest experience, compared to 76 percent of students at regional peers and 75 percent of students surveyed nationally at their respective institutions.

Leader in affordability Northwest ranks below the state average of its top competitors in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas in net price and it is fourth-lowest among 17 peers. Ninety percent of Northwest undergraduates receive some form of financial aid, which has increased annually since 2007. Plus, students save an estimated $7,200 during their four years at Northwest via our long-standing textbook and laptop rental programs. Safest campus in the state Your Local Security, a provider of home security and safety tools, ranked Northwest as Missouri’s safest college campus in a national survey of 385 institutions with at least 5,000 students. More than 90 percent of students with whom University Police officers interact in a judicial manner rate their experience as a quality one, further illustrating successful efforts by Northwest to focus community policing practices on crime prevention. NORTHWEST ALUMNI MAGAZINE I FALL 2020




A new Bearcat Trail on the Northwest campus was created through partnerships initiated by students in grant writing and recreation operations management courses who assessed needs and identified wayfinding points.

BEARCAT TRAIL DEVELOPED BY STUDENTS OPENS FOR COMMUNITY, RECREATION Whether you walk, jog, run, bike or rollerblade, Northwest has a new way to explore the campus on its 3.1-mile Bearcat Trail. Finishing touches were put on the trail last summer with the addition of directional posts and maps. The trail was established with the leadership of students who authored a grant application that acquired funds to help make the project a reality. “It’s what we do; student success – every student, every day,” said Dr. Tyler Tapps ’04, ’06, an associate professor of recreation who teaches a course designed to help students understand the requirements for writing grant applications. Students in Tapps’ fall 2014 grant writing course authored the grant proposal for the Bearcat Trail. Subsequent recreation operations management students helped complete the project, identifying wayfinding points and assessing ADA needs. “Those two classes are 100 6

Students Shelby Theis and Sierra Scott spent their summer helping to enhance a Missouri town’s landscape and commemorate its fall fair history by painting a downtown mural. The 76-foot wide, 16-foot tall mural on an exterior wall of the South Holt Family Medical building in Oregon, Missouri, was commissioned in September. The mural is a compilation of meaningful scenes celebrating the town’s annual fall fair. Billie Banks, president of Oregon’s Community Activities Committee, said she was overwhelmed with the town’s generosity, noting community members raised $17,000 to support the mural project. “It was a great project because when COVID-19 shut down businesses and schools, people couldn’t go for this year’s fall fair,” Banks said. “They saw (the painting) happen and believed it was so cool to see our community survive and progress.” Theis, a senior art studio major from Nevada, Missouri, and Scott, a senior art education major from Parkville, Missouri, saw it as a perfect opportunity to work together. For three and a half months, they met in Oregon to plan and create the mural. While the experience provided a valuable addition to their résumés, the students said they are grateful Northwest prepares them to take on such projects through a variety of opportunities. “I wouldn’t have been able to sell myself as a muralist to the people hiring me without my teachers building confidence in me,” Theis said. “Being in a sorority and meeting different people, I learned a lot about speaking professionally, especially speaking one-on-one.” This fall, Scott is student teaching and owns an art studio in Sabetha, Kansas, where she teaches art in addition to creating and displaying her own work; after completing her bachelor’s degree, she intends to become a full-time art teacher. Theis, who graduates this fall, plans to pursue a master’s degree in painting and teach art in a university setting.

percent profession-based learning,” Tapps said. “Those students did something that is real. They did all the background work. They helped to create the partnerships and develop the trails. I’m extremely proud to see them do projects that will have a lasting impression or Bearcat legacy.” The Bearcat Trail features six trailheads connecting to city trails, and it is ADAaccessible. “It promotes wellness and health on campus for our faculty, staff and students,” Tapps said. “If you think about the COVID environment we are in, having a trail on campus where you can get out and get exercise is an extremely valuable Sierra Scott (left) and Shelby Theis completed a mural on a downtown building in Oregon, Missouri, asset.” that pays tribute to the community’s heritage.




Dr. Kurt Haberyan

The accepted species of Aulacoseira now numbers 117 because of the research of Dr. Kurt Haberyan. Haberyan, a professor of biology, and a team of researchers collected surface sediments from more than 90 Costa Rican lakes ranging from sea level to 3,570 meters in elevation. The research, which began in 1992 and reached a conclusion in July, led to the discovery of Aulacoseira umanai, a unique form of algae in a sample from mountaintop lakes. “In some ways it’s a biologist’s dream,”

Haberyan said. “Everybody wants to discover something new like this because the name of the species will persist long after I am gone.” With pollution and pressure on water resources threatening even remote places in Costa Rica, Haberyan says documenting species in such regions remains important. “The real goal here is to see how these lakes have changed over time,” Haberyan said. “Knowing what species are in the modern lakes, and why, will tell us a lot about what was in the lake in the past.”

SPEARS IS 2021 GOVERNOR’S AWARD WINNER Dr. Kathleen Spears, an associate professor of biology, is Northwest’s recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education, which is sponsored by the Missouri Council on Public Higher Education and presented annually to an outstanding faculty member of each of Missouri’s four-year public institutions. Spears, who joined the Northwest faculty in 2012, plays a key role in preparing students for future health care careers as doctors, nurses, dietitians, radiology technicians and clinical lab technicians. While her courses in physiology and medical terminology are foundational, her nominator wrote that Spears’ “classes are engaging Dr. Kathleen Spears and challenging, and her labs are the epitome of profession-based education. Katie in her scrubs, leading physiology labs on various body systems has Garrett-Strong looking like medical school.” Spears advances profession-based learning by earning her Emergency Medical Technician-Basic license and her Emergency Medical Services Instructor Certificate. Despite having a full teaching load, she is dedicated to EMS instruction as a team teacher for the emergency medical responder course and a clinical skills instructor for the emergency medical technician-basic course. In addition to participating in continuing education courses to stay current with Emergency Medical Technician training and licenses, she volunteers at Northwest’s Missouri Hope emergency disaster management exercises, as well as at New York Hope and Florida Hope, committing hundreds of hours to coaching, teaching, mentoring and training future health care, emergency management and public health workers.

A new esports room in the Student Union is home to the Northwest Esports Club and is open to all students, from beginning gamers to advanced players.

Esports engaging students in competition, teamwork Northwest ushered in a new level of student engagement Nov. 4 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of its esports room in the J.W. Jones Student Union. The room now serves as the home of the Northwest Esports Club and is outfitted with gaming centers and furnishings with a backlit sign illuminating a Bearcat paw. It took root two years ago when students approached University administrators with a vision to bring competitive video gaming to Northwest. “We pride ourselves on helping thousands of students get connected as Bearcats, and I am extremely impressed and thrilled … because this is a new way for students to get engaged and be connected and continue their journey,” Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Matt Baker said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Since beginning in 2018, the club now draws more than 100 students to compete in intramural gaming with varied levels of competitions throughout the country. Last year, the club competed in tournaments in Iowa and at The Ohio State University. Northwest also began offering an esports course this fall – similar to other activity courses like racquetball and badminton. NORTHWEST ALUMNI MAGAZINE I FALL 2020



TOGETHER Campus rallies to overcome pandemic, continue learning When the calendar flipped to 2020 and

the two weeks and get an extra week of

Northwest began its spring semester last

spring break,’” said Kirayle Jones, a senior

January, the University was riding another

education major from Omaha, Nebraska,

successful academic year with few barriers

elected Northwest’s 2020-21 Student

in sight.

Senate president in April. “Little did we

Then a mysterious virus began sweeping across the United States. “My initial thought was, ‘OK, maybe we can get this all figured out within

know that was going to be the last time that we were going to see each other face to face and that our semester as we knew it was abruptly ending.”

By Mark Hornickel | Design by Wes Rockwood | Photography by Todd Weddle 8


Even Northwest’s centennial sculpture outside the J.W. Jones Student Union was outfitted with a face covering this fall as the University community adhered to mitigation measures to keep the campus open with in-person classes.



Jan. 30

Feb. 28

With five cases of COVID-19 identified in the United States, Northwest notifies its campus community via an email alert that it is monitoring the virus and asks students and employees to take precautions.

Northwest reminds students and employees to take precautions against COVID-19 and announces its activation of a website with resources and answers to questions related to the institution’s response.



March 2 Northwest suspends its study abroad programs and advises its 13 students studying in Finland, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom to make arrangements to return to the United States.

March 13 As the federal government and state of Missouri declare states of emergency, Northwest announces all courses will move online, starting March 23, for a minimum of two weeks. Additionally, all student organization and external events are canceled through April 5.


On March 11, while Northwest students were away for their spring break, a team of Northwest leaders convened in the Ballroom of the J.W. Jones Student Union, devising strategies for confronting COVID-19 on the campus and maintaining a productive learning environment. Like dominoes falling against each other, the nation’s colleges and universities had begun announcing their plans as COVID-19 spread. By the end of that day Northwest would join them – first deciding to delay the resumption of classes, before announcing the next week that all classes would remain online for the remainder of the spring. By the end of March, most employees transitioned to remote work and campus facilities were closed to the public, leaving hallways from Colden Hall to the GarrettStrong Science Building eerily empty. Northwest entered the pandemic intent on maintaining its focus on student success and prioritized protecting its employees. Adopting the slogan “Bearcats Together,”

the University followed a guiding philosophy and framework consisting of four themes – learning and success, health and safety, agility, and viability. “We will deliver curricular and cocurricular learning in a flexible manner with a continued focus on profession-based principles and a keen eye on student success,” Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski wrote to employees in May as he outlined the University’s plan to resume in-person classes in the fall. “As an organization, Northwest will continue enacting an uninterrupted learning cycle as it continues to address health and safety, agility, and viability.” University teams worked overtime to address the needs of students, employees and the institution. Phrases like “incremental decision-making” and a “tolerance for ambiguity” became as common in Bearcats’ vernacular as “maintaining social distance.” “We all came together and said, ‘This is something that we want to do,’ ” said Jones, who was part of the University’s Recovery

Signs dotted the campus landscape and inside buildings this fall with reminders to wear face coverings and maintain social distance.


Campus Dining staff increased cleaning in March.


Phasing Team, a group of faculty, staff and students representing all areas of campus that spent the summer ensuring Northwest was ready to welcome back students in the fall. “Everybody wants to be on campus, to see their friends, to live in the houses. Everybody wants that feeling, and the only way that we can actually have that happen is by following the rules.” When a record number of students arrived on the campus for the fall semester, Northwest was different. Signs on doors and walls designated entrances and exits while signs in hallways and stairwells instructed building occupants to “stay to the right.” Face coverings were required. Hand sanitizer stations stood outside office doors. “Zoom Zones” were set up to help students participate in class sessions when they couldn’t be in their classrooms. Sheets of Plexiglas were mounted on service desks in high-traffic areas and offices. Facilities teams spent most of the summer shifting and removing furnishings to create socially distanced spaces where students and employees could study, work and gather safely. “Northwest’s response to the COVID-19 situation has been very proactive, engaged, broad-based and inclusive,” Dr. Dave Shadinger, an associate professor of communication who is president of the Faculty Senate, said. “While it is a whole new, mitigated, teaching experience with masks, face shields, split classes with Zoom sessions, hand sanitizer at every entrance and disinfectant classroom spray, everyone’s efforts have kept the spread of infection to a minimum and we have all worked hard to keep the institution open and fulfilling our educational mission.”

March 18

March 20

One day after gathering faculty and staff leaders from across the campus for a meeting to discuss the institution’s response and direction during the pandemic, Northwest announces it is moving courses online for the remainder of the semester to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 and limit academic disruptions.

As confirmed reports of COVID-19 spread across the United States, Northwest begins its transition to restricted operations – keeping a limited number of employees working on campus while all other employees begin transitioning to remote work – and campus facilities are closed to the public. All activities that are not critical to Northwest’s mission or operations are canceled, and students living on campus are directed to check out of their residence halls by March 25.

Students moved out of residence halls in March.


April 5

May 18


Northwest provided students and employees with face coverings.

Northwest enters the third and final phase of its recovery and returns to full operations with COVID-19 mitigation measures in place. The mitigation measures, which remain in place through the fall, urge all students, employees and visitors to wear face coverings on campus and maintain at least 6 feet of social distance, in addition to practicing good hygiene. As students and employees return to campus, they receive Northwestbranded face coverings and bottles of hand sanitizer.


July 15


Northwest begins transitioning out of its shelter-in-place and back to restricted operations, allowing select employees to return to campus from remote work modes as a part of the first phase of its “phased recovery strategy.”

Three days after the Nodaway County Health Department confirmed the first positive case locally, Northwest reports its first positive case affecting an employee.

June 8 Northwest transitions to phase two of its recovery, limited operations, which includes a limited number of employees returning to work on campus while keeping facilities closed to the public.

July 21 Northwest takes its first step toward bringing students back to campus by hosting first-year students and their parents for the first of eight mitigated annual Summer Orientation Advisement and Registration dates through Aug. 1.

Aug. 9 Graduates were spaced on the Bearcat Stadium turf in August.

Northwest hosts its rescheduled spring commencement ceremony as an outdoor evening program at Bearcat Stadium. Plexiglas shields podiums on the stage, and graduates are seated in chairs spaced apart on the field turf.



Aug. 19

President Jasinski greeted students as they walked to their first day of classes.

After four days of move-in and Advantage activities, the fall semester officially begins and Northwest resumes in-person classes on the campus.

Aug. 21 Three days into fall classes, like other universities throughout the country, Northwest reports a concerning increase in students with COVID-19 symptoms after attending off-campus gatherings during the previous weekend without social distancing or face coverings. In a message to students, President Jasinski urges them “to take seriously not only your health and safety but that of those around you” and that “Northwest will soon be sending our students home” if the campus community does not follow mitigation measures.

Aug. 31 The number of active cases involving Northwest students and employees peaks at 189.



Jeff Cook ’80

Holly Murphy-Barstow ’81

Kathleen Wilmes ’13

Cook ’80 and his fiancé, Jana Frye, raised about $9,000 for two Northwest funds through the creation of face masks that spread Bearcat pride. The project began after Frye created a green mask with a Northwest logo for Cook. He posted a photo of himself wearing the mask to a Bearcat fans Facebook group. As they received requests from people who wanted masks of their own, Cook, who resides in Gladstone, Missouri, and Frye partnered with the Northwest Foundation to collect donations for the Pay It Forward Fund, which assists Northwest students who are struggling financially. With their last shipment Oct. 29, they crafted a total of 837 masks and donated all their proceeds, providing about $4,000 to the Pay It Forward Fund and $5,000 to a project to update the Bearcat football locker room. In July, Cook’s employer, Schenck Process Group, where he is an information technology project manager, awarded him its monthly Global Social Hero award. “The passion was there to help students,” Cook said. “This is unprecedented times and it was a labor of love.”

Murphy-Barstow and her husband Bruce Barstow ’78, ’82, of Omaha, Nebraska, spearheaded an effort that started with an idea to assist health care workers and grew into something much more. After reading about the health care industry’s dwindling supply of N95 masks, Murphy-Barstow, who is the owner and president of Barstow and Company, a wealth management company, enlisted family and neighbors to assemble kits with instructions and materials to assemble face masks large enough to fit over N95 masks. A Facebook group she created attracted about 2,000 volunteers. “I am not a stranger to organization, nor to volunteering, but to me it seemed like the thing to do was to just get these volunteers,” she said. “You’re going to have the best success if you can provide everybody with the same stuff and a simple set of directions.” When they concluded the project in August, the group had made about 160,000 masks, 500 face shields and about 3,000 surgical caps. They were delivered to police and fire departments; hospitals, clinics and nursing homes; and even Omaha public schools.

Wilmes is applying the experiences she gained at Northwest as a planning coordinator with the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Wilmes, who earned bachelor’s degrees in political science and comprehensive crisis response, is involved with the state of Colorado’s day-to-day and long-term planning related to the pandemic. She monitors and identifies gaps in the supply of products needed to help communities. “Nationwide as well as globally, this has been all about supply chain,” Wilmes said. “Take, for example, the obvious one of PPE, but there’s also cascading impacts of supply chains. If your restaurant is closed or your school is closed, now you’ve got a supply chain issue with food.” More recently, Wilmes and her team have begun planning for vaccine distribution in coordination with other state agencies. “When people think of emergency management, they think of natural disasters, but really it’s all hazards,” she said. “It’s all types of incidents that emergency management has a role, and this has really solidified the overall coordination piece and how important that is.”


Sept. 8 The University comes out of the Labor Day weekend with 58 active cases and the number of students and employees testing positive trending downward. Family Weekend is canceled, sorority bid day is postponed, and other campus activities are altered to limit the spread.

Local newspapers reported the effects of the influenza outbreak in Maryville in 1918 and 1919. (Courtesy of Northwest Archives)

Some faculty hosted classes outdoors.


Oct. 4


The number of active COVID-19 cases at Northwest drops to nine, the lowest number of the fall semester.

Nursing faculty provided support to local health care workers.

Nov. 6 Northwest’s second wave peaks at 119 cases involving students and employees.

Nov. 24 As approved by the Board of Regents in June, Northwest ends in-person classes for the fall and dismisses students for the Thanksgiving break. Remaining courses, including final exams, are conducted online with the semester ending Dec. 11.


Oct. 30 Northwest ends the month with 92 active cases and rising. President Jasinski writes to students, “While we celebrate our ability to stay on ground this fall, we all must remain vigilant. We cannot assume everything is okay and need to continue to do what we’re supposed to be doing” as he again urges the campus community to make responsible choices and follow mitigation measures.

As Northwest navigates the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s easy to think the circumstances are like none the institution has seen during its history. But a look into the Northwest Archives shows the community endured another pandemic more than a century ago. With Americans focused on World War I efforts abroad in 1918, an influenza pandemic broke out, infecting an estimated 500 million people worldwide and killing about 675,000 people in the United States, according to the CDC. Maryville was mostly unaffected by that pandemic’s “first wave,” but northwest Missouri was not so lucky when a “second wave” arrived in August 1918. Northwest closed from Oct. 11 through Nov. 26, and the city of Maryville announced an “influenza ban” on Oct. 12. Schools, churches and theaters closed. Buildings in town were restricted to 20 people at once. Large funerals and other indoor gatherings were banned. By late October, Maryville mandated that homes with positive cases display identification cards so delivery drivers were aware of infections and could limit their exposure. When the Northwest campus

reopened, the returning students attended classes on Saturdays to make up for lost class time and finished the fall term on Christmas Eve of 1918. The Bearcat football team played just two games that fall. A Tower yearbook was not produced in 1918 or 1919. Teacher association and alumni meetings were rescheduled for 1919. Issues of the Green and White Courier student newspaper featured stories about the influenza outbreak with solemn notices of former students being ill and dying with the flu. The newspaper also reported a physician’s presence in the Administration Building to help with flu prevention and care for “indisposed” students. Another article reported alumni in El Reno, Oklahoma, had found that teaching outdoors for one hour each morning helped mitigate the flu. The anonymous Stroller column, which had begun appearing in the newspaper that year and lives on in The Northwest Missourian today, wrote in the Dec. 18, 1918, issue that he was “wobbly and fluey.” In the Jan. 22, 1919, edition, The Stroller called the face mask “the most efficient nose warmer possible.”




ALUMNA ESTABLISHES $1 MILLION EDUCATION FUND TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE, EASE BLACK STUDENTS’ JOURNEY TO A DEGREE Recalling her arrival as a freshman student at Northwest 44 years ago this fall, Karen Daniel ’80 remembers being excited about college and uncomfortably aware that being a minority had taken on new meaning. Her goal of achieving graduation would mean striving for excellence while overcoming adversity. Daniel pushed through the adversity and soon developed a sense of belonging. It occurred through gatherings at the Harambee House that existed at the time for Black students on campus; mentoring from her academic advisor, Johnie Imes; and new friends from a cross-section of classmates. She believes her ultimate graduation and professional accomplishments are a testament to her family, which now includes two nieces who earned Northwest degrees – Angela Guess ’85 and Dr. Leslie Doyle ’97 – and a great niece who is a sophomore at the University. Across our nation, efforts to address racial equality and social justice have reinforced Northwest’s objective of enhancing Black student academic and social experiences to earn a college degree. With that in mind, Daniel, through the Northwest Foundation, has established the Karen L. Daniel Legacy Fund with a $1 million cash gift. Through her gift, Daniel desires to assist Black students in accomplishing their dreams to graduate and make a difference. “I called it the Legacy Fund in honor of my parents, grandparents and ancestors who inspired me, gave me the strength and whose shoulders my generation stands on,” Daniel said. “I also hope the Legacy Fund will support new generations of leaders in 14


our family and Bearcat Nation.” For Daniel, who also has a master’s degree in accounting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, education is her North Star and part of her lineage. “This is especially meaningful to me as I think about my great-great grandmother who, as a slave, lost six fingers because every time she was caught learning how to read she lost one, and it will stay with me forever,” Daniel said. “It’s with her voice, I offer this gift to Northwest as being part of the solution to increase the rate of Black graduates from the University.” A portion of Daniel’s gift will be used to establish a cultural center primarily for Black students that Daniel has requested be named in honor of Doyle. After earning her bachelor’s degree from Northwest, Doyle furthered her education and last year was named the inaugural chief inclusion officer at Rockhurst University in Kansas City. Daniel says Doyle routinely inspires her and the entire family. Like Daniel, Doyle found a place as a Northwest student and established longlasting connections as a member of the Alliance of Black Collegians. Reflecting on her aunt’s generosity, as well as her own experiences, Doyle said she hopes the resources at the center will help students build similar bonds while creating opportunities for educating others. “I hope it creates an opportunity for students to share culture and have a gathering place but also invites others to learn more about our community and to build pride in being a Bearcat,” Doyle said. “I’m so excited about what it will do, and we hope it will help develop generations of African American families who are Bearcats.”

Additionally, Daniel’s gift will fund scholarships for Black students and assist Northwest with its renewed focus on diversity and inclusion initiatives. “Transformational and forward-thinking gifts like this remind us what we are doing truly does make a difference, and working with Karen to establish this gift has been a pleasure,” Mitzi Marchant ’91, ’09, Northwest’s director of donor engagement, said. “One thing she’s continued to express is her gift must make a difference, and I truly believe that’s just what this gift will do. Our ultimate goal for her gift is to recruit Black students to Northwest, keep them at Northwest and to graduate them from Northwest.” Daniel earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting and has remained connected to the institution through her service and funding support. She served on the University’s Board of Regents from 2003 to 2004. She served on the Northwest Foundation Board of Directors during the 1990s and rejoined it in 2014. A recipient of the Northwest Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1998, Daniel addressed graduates at that year’s spring commencement ceremony. She delivered the spring commencement address again in 2017 when the University also bestowed upon her an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree “for her enduring commitment to Northwest, stellar leadership and her unwavering dedication to improving communities.” More recently, Daniel joined other Northwest Foundation Board members, in collaboration with the University, to form an ad hoc committee to study and recommend ways Northwest can help eliminate barriers Black students confront in their desires to earn a college degree.


Karen Daniel, a 1980 alumna of Northwest, has established the Karen L. Daniel Legacy Fund, which will help Northwest establish a center primarily for Black students, fund scholarships for Black students, and assist Northwest with its renewed focus on diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Daniel said she is a grateful to have a part in elevating the conversation at Northwest, which will place an emphasis on recruiting, retaining and graduating more Black students.

“OUR COLLECTIVE EFFORTS ARE CENTERED ON CREATING A CULTURE THAT INSTINCTIVELY EMBRACES INCLUSION,” DANIEL SAID. In conversations with Northwest and its Black students and alumni, a University ad hoc committee heard of students’ desire for a center that could help them develop a stronger sense of belonging on the University campus. Additionally, Daniel recognizes the need

for scholarship money to help students persist to degree completion. “We want to, over time, attract more Black students, students of all underrepresented groups to our University,” she said. “But, ultimately, our goal is graduation because graduation is what becomes the game changer. It helps academically and prepares graduates for rewarding careers. Long-term, it gives students the opportunity to create their own legacies.” Interestingly, Northwest was not Daniel’s first choice when the time came for her to select a college to attend. Those who know and work with Daniel have heard the story before. Wearing a smile, she describes how her mother – “an incredible woman, trailblazer, pioneer” – and grandmother, who was a school teacher, took a drive to Maryville to explore the Northwest campus. When they NORTHWEST ALUMNI MAGAZINE I FALL 2020


returned, they informed Daniel she was going to Northwest in the fall. “And the ever-dutiful daughter said, ‘Yes, ma’am,’” Daniel recalls. “It was life-altering for me, and it really changed my life and put my life on a path that allows me to sit here today and talk about helping Black students reach their dreams.” Daniel also shares the challenges she confronted as a Black woman attending the University. Her first roommate changed rooms because she didn’t want a Black roommate.


Karen Daniel poses for a photo with faculty mentors Johnie Imes (left) and Edward Browning (right) at her Northwest graduation ceremony in 1980.

WAS NOT GOING TO STAY AT NORTHWEST,” SHE SAID. Instead, Daniel was reminded of the day Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and the advice her mother offered to Daniel and her four siblings. “Our mother sat us down and talked to us about what MLK gave for us – the opportunity we have going to school, all the kinds of things that now shape what our society looks like,” Daniel said. “She told us the night he was assassinated, ‘If you ever have a chance to be kind, if you ever have an opportunity to advance, not only yourself but others around you, then you must seize that opportunity and work in a way to honor Dr. Martin Luther King.’ So I took it on as a challenge to figure out how I could be part of his dream.” Daniel succeeded at Northwest, with the mentorship of faculty members like Johnie Imes, who remained a close friend of Daniel’s until her passing in 2011. Daniel retired in 2018 as the chief financial officer at Black & Veatch, a global engineering and construction company based in Overland Park, Kansas. She was named to the role in 1999, joined the 16


Karen Daniel receives a hood during Northwest’s 2017 spring commencement ceremony, acknowledging her as a recipient of the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

Karen Daniel brought Johnie Imes with her in 2010 as she received the Black Engineer of the Year Chairman’s Award. Daniel and Imes remained close friends until Imes’ passing in 2011.

company’s Board of Directors in 2006 and served as president of the company’s Global Finance and Technology Solutions Division. Additionally, she serves on numerous public and philanthropic boards in Kansas City, Missouri, and beyond. In 2016, she was unanimously elected the first AfricanAmerican chairwoman of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce by its

Board of Directors. She also is a member of the Board of Directors of Snap-on Tools, Livongo Health and Commerce Bancshares, and she was vice chair of former President Barack Obama’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa. For more information about supporting the Karen L. Daniel Legacy Fund, including scholarships to support Black students, visit

Northwest listening, aligning, acting on issues of race Northwest wasn’t insulated when racial unrest boiled over and forced a summer of national reckoning bracketed by George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis and protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin. In the wake of the upheaval, Northwest formulated plans to address systemic issues of bias and structural racism. Students launched Twitter hashtags #ICantBreatheAtNWMSU and #blackatNWMSU, offering painful, authentic and revealing insights to their experiences at Northwest. The University also found itself responding to inflammatory and

Northwest sponsors four historically Black Greek letter fraternities and sororities.

insensitive social media posts by members of its community. “I know that actions speak louder than words, and we have a lot of work ahead of us,” President Dr. John Jasinski wrote in a message to At Northwest, 12 percent of domestic students represent people of color. University stakeholders on June 15. “We must take the energy, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Team to the emotion and the anguish and turn it into advise him of diversity and inclusion issues. meaningful and sustainable change in our That team, comprised of representatives approach to racial issues and diversity on this from various underrepresented populations campus and in our community. at Northwest, provides a proactive platform “Good intentions are fine, but progress, to address cultural insensitivity as well as action and metrics are what matter. We — as structural and systemic issues of bias and a nation, a state and a campus — have been racism. talking about racial diversity and inclusion for “This is going to be a marathon, not a too long without sufficient progress. That sprint,” Mallett said. “We have put some needs to change, and it must be a priority.” actions in place to address issues of race, but Northwest teams, led by Jasinski and we must continue to move the needle in the Associate Provost of Diversity and Inclusion right direction. We have a process of listening, Dr. Justin Mallett, shared numerous aligning and acting in place, and we must conversations internally, with stakeholders and continue to strive toward inclusive excellence with external partners to address concerns and being proactive in eliminating systemic raised by Black students and alumni. The racism and institutional bias.” University assembled an Issues of Race Action Kirayle Jones, Northwest’s Student Senate Team, chaired by Mallett and comprised of president, says he’s excited by the actions faculty and staff, charged with pursuing actions the University is taking to bring stakeholders and ensuring alignment with a developing together to address issues of race and move diversity and inclusion strategic plan and equity the institution forward. scorecard as well as Northwest’s strategic “We can never do enough,” he said. “We plan. can always continue to grow, and I think we Additionally, Jasinski formed the President’s are making strides in the right direction.”

Step Afrika! – a professional dance company dedicated to the tradition of stepping – performed at Northwest last February to kick off the University’s annual celebration of Black History Month.

Northwest is examining systemic and institutional barriers that hinder graduation rates of underrepresented students, including affordability and their sense of belonging.




NORTHWEST FOUNDATION REPORTS SUCCESSFUL FY20, AWARDS RECORD NUMBER OF SCHOLARSHIPS The Northwest Foundation Inc., the fundraising arm of the University, again achieved a high level of scholarship distributions and secured $5.08 million in donor funding during Fiscal Year 2020, which ended June 30. Scholarship support remains a central mission of the Foundation, which awarded $1.11 million in financial assistance through 1,383 scholarships during FY20. With increases for the second consecutive year, those numbers represent the highest dollar amount awarded in the history of the Foundation as well as the highest number of donor-funded scholarships awarded. Additionally, the Foundation’s success parallels with its Forever Green campaign, which launched publicly in October 2019 with a goal of raising $45 million for University initiatives centered on academic excellence, scholarships, student life and other donordirected gifts. The campaign, which will close next spring, has raised more than $49 million to date. Dr. Lonelle Rathje ’97, ’03, the vice president of external relations at Northwest and executive director of the Northwest Foundation, expressed her thanks to the thousands of donors and volunteers who have supported the Forever Green campaign and bolstered opportunities for the University’s students. “The value of a Northwest education resonates with our donors and volunteers, and they have remained steadfast with Northwest even throughout a global pandemic,” Rathje said. “To each of you,

accept our gratitude for ensuring that Northwest shines bright in its mission of student success.” Eighty-five percent of the total funds raised by the Foundation during FY20 were cash gifts, and 3,914 donors contributed. The Foundation’s total assets under management increased 2.22 percent to $39.07 million, while its endowment stands at more than $27 million. In FY20, the Foundation provided more than $4 million to the University to support various needs while the Foundation’s University support during the last four years totals nearly $20 million. “The Foundation is so grateful for the generosity of our alumni and friends,” Dr. Bob Burrell ’70, the president of the Foundation Board of Directors, said. “Earning the trust and confidence of our donors is our highest priority. We recognize and appreciate the passion our donors have for Northwest, and we manage the donations received with equal passion and care. The Foundation is dedicated to making certain our funds are secure and managed in a manner that reflects the will of our generous donors.” Further illustrating the Foundation’s growth in FY20, The 1905 Society, which recognizes supporters who make an annual unrestricted gift of $1,000 or more, counted 154 members. Meanwhile, the Foundation’s annual giving program raised $356,000 in FY20.



$5 million


$12M $9M






FY 19

FY 20


$3M $0M

FY 16

FY 17

FY 18


Annual Scholarship support for Northwest Students

$1.11 million






FY 16



FY 17



FY 18



FY 19



FY 20





5-Year Total 18


# Students

As you turn the pages of this edition of the Northwest Alumni Magazine, you’re likely noticing some changes. First, we packed a lot into this issue after the effects of COVID-19 caused us to forego a spring issue, and 2020 has been anything but insignificant. Second, this is the time of year when the Northwest Alumni Magazine traditionally publishes its donor listings, known as The Bridge. We’ve moved all of the content you’re used to seeing in a printed version of The Bridge to an enhanced Northwest Foundation website at foundation/. Finally, beginning with this issue, you’ll now see the Northwest Alumni Magazine in your mailboxes twice a year – in late fall and late spring – to more closely align with the conclusion of Northwest’s fall and spring semesters. Between issues, we invite you to visit www.nwmissouri. edu for Northwest activities and advancement throughout the year.


INAUGURAL BEARCAT DAY OF GREEN RAISES AWARENESS OF UNIVERSITY NEEDS, PROMOTES GIVING Northwest students, employees, alumni and friends dedicated 1,905 minutes to raising support for the institution during its inaugural Bearcat Day of Green, Sept. 23-24, and set a new bar for donor engagement. The campaign raised nearly $50,000, setting a new mark for the highest dollar amount a Northwest giving program has experienced in a one-day period. Additional challenge and matching gifts leading up to the campaign raised the total to more than $240,000. While paying tribute to Northwest’s founding in 1905, the Office of University Advancement, the Northwest Foundation and the Northwest Alumni Association planned the virtual event to continue the momentum of the Forever Green fundraising campaign. “Northwest wanted to start a new tradition that embraces the energy and pride that more than 80,000 alumni and friends share for Northwest,” Dr. Bob Machovsky ’15, the University’s director

of alumni relations and annual giving, said. “The inaugural Bearcat Day of Green allowed the Bearcat community to come together to celebrate Northwest by supporting the areas that mean the most to them. Bearcat Day of Green is about Northwest and how Bearcats can unite to lift up this special place to new levels of success.” During the Bearcat Day of Green, donors had the option to make a one-time gift to Northwest or create a donor challenge by defining a gift based on the donations or giving amounts of others. Donors also could help “unlock” additional gifts to University initiatives through their individual contributions. Throughout the event, Northwest Alumni Association social media accounts provided updates about the giving campaign’s progress. When it was over, more than 600 donors had added their support to University initiatives, exceeding the campaign’s goal of 500 donors, and 174 of those donors had not given to Northwest previously.



$60,000 $40,000


$42,000 $30,000

$20,000 $0




Invest in Northwest






Agricultural Learning Center

Diversity & Inclusion


FOREVER GREEN CAMPAIGN EXCEEDING GOALS WITH SIGHTS ON CONCLUSION Northwest publicly launched its Forever Green fundraising campaign – just the second in the University’s history – in October 2019 with a goal of raising $45 million. Now, with the campaign set to conclude in 2021, the University is closing in on $50 million raised as it prepares to celebrate the Northwest Foundation’s 50th anniversary next year. Forever Green embodies Northwest’s pursuit of re-envisioning higher education with initiatives centered on academic excellence, scholarships, student life and other donor-directed gifts. The $10.5 million goal for academic excellence includes the Agricultural Learning Center, which is now being constructed, and academic initiatives such as program enhancements, professorships, profession-based learning and fellowships. Similarly, a campaign goal to raise $14 million to enhance student life resulted in the construction of the $20 million Carl and Cheryl Hughes Fieldhouse, which opened in the fall of 2018 and represents the single largest public-private partnership in Northwest’s history. A $10.5 million goal for scholarships is aimed at reducing the financial burden for students who are willing to work hard to achieve their

academic and career goals – an initiative to increase funds for scholarships that support critical needs such as talented students from low- to middle-income families; students studying science, technology and math; and student athletes. Further, other donordirected gifts – a campaign area with its own $10 million goal – invites donors to give to the Northwest Fund, providing the University with flexible, undesignated support to fulfill its most important needs. Plans for a 2021 celebration to mark the conclusion of the Forever Green campaign and the Northwest Foundation’s anniversary are being developed. For more information about the Forever Green campaign and to learn about making a gift to support Northwest, contact the Office of University Advancement at 660.562.1248 or visit NORTHWEST ALUMNI MAGAZINE I FALL 2020



EXCITEMENT BUILDING FOR SPRING 2021 OPENING OF AGRICULTURAL LEARNING CENTER Construction on Northwest’s $11.4 million Agricultural Learning Center, a linchpin addition to the University’s R.T. Wright Farm, is on pace for completion in spring 2021. Decades in the making, the new 29,000-square-foot multipurpose facility will enhance the School of Agricultural Sciences and its curriculum by providing laboratory, kitchen and exposition space as well as classrooms and offices while helping the School meet the needs of enrollment and program growth. It also will allow for research and scholarly activities centered on crop, soil and livestock resources as well as space for processing agricultural products. It will include space for public and private functions such as producer and agricultural industry meetings,

July 1

workshops, shows and career development events. It will provide facilities that enable innovation and partnerships and address best practices for the Northwest campus and agricultural sciences. “The Agricultural Learning Center is not only going to be a tremendous resource for the students in the School of Agricultural Sciences, but it will be a great resource for other students at Northwest, the community and the industry as a whole,” Dr. Rod Barr ’85, ’95, ’09, the director of the School, said. More than $6 million has been raised for the Agricultural Learning Center with leading support provided by more than 50 public and private donors who have joined the University’s Homesteaders society by providing gifts toward the project of

Aug. 20

Sept. 22

$25,000 or greater. Northwest also received $2.5 million from the state of Missouri as well as an equipment grant award of $343,000. Although the Northwest Foundation’s fundraising goal for the project is fulfilled, support is still being sought. The University has committed more than $2 million to the project, and any additional funds raised will allow the University to direct those funds to other campus needs. Additional funds raised will assist with outfitting the facility’s laboratories and classrooms with the most up-to-date equipment and technology. For more information about the Agricultural Learning Center or to make a gift to support the project, visit ForeverGreen/AgCenter/support.htm, call 660.562.1248 or email

Oct. 12

Nov. 6




John Blackford, second from left with his wife, Jill Wolken Blackford, and Jim Blackford with his wife, Beverly, are paying tribute to the education experiences they gained at Northwest and their farming heritage with a gift supporting the University’s Agricultural Learning Center.


Farming lifestyle breeds opportunities for Blackford family, affinity for Northwest The foundational education John ’68 and Jim ’72 Blackford received at Northwest laid a path for their successful careers in farming and finance. Now, with the Agricultural Learning Center nearing completion, the brothers believe the new facility will further enhance the opportunities available not just to Northwest students but to the farming industry as an economic driver in the region. For those reasons – and as a tribute to their family’s farming heritage – the brothers are giving $100,000 in support of the Agricultural Learning Center. Their gift, they say, is a meaningful and memorializing one that recognizes their affinity to Northwest. “Agriculture lies at the base and foundation of nearly everything that occurs, particularly in this area,” Jim said. “As agriculture goes, the rest of our economy goes in a broad sense. This is an opportunity to support this major industry and its impact on the region served by Northwest.” Connections to Northwest span three

generations of the Blackford family, beginning with their mother, Grace Walker Blackford ’44, who studied home economics at Northwest and earned a teacher certification. She worked as a housekeeper while their father, Ercille, served in the Army Air Forces during World War II. When he returned home from the war, his first purchase was the Burlington Junction, Missouri, farmland where the Blackford homestead remains today. John, after completing his bachelor’s degree in agribusiness, returned to the farm, where his education yielded additional opportunities and experiences in the ag industry, including involvement and investment in commodity organizations. He assisted his father in accumulating additional farmland while expanding the cattle and hog operations, although he has since ceased the livestock operation and those acres, along with additional farmland, are now used for crop production.

Jim earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and started his career in business administration at Northwest, where he worked for a few years before becoming co-owner and chief financial officer for LMP Steel and Wire Company in Maryville. Since 1992, he has served as senior vice president at Citizens Bank and Trust in Maryville. In addition to John and Jim earning degrees at Northwest, their wives have strong connections to Northwest also. John’s wife, Jill Wolken Blackford ’83, ’93, ’00, earned degrees in elementary education, elementary and middle school administration and supervision, and secondary guidance and counseling; she retired in 2011 from the West Nodaway R-I School District, where she served as a fifth and sixth grade teacher and then as a secondary counselor until her retirement. Jim’s wife, Beverly, was employed as an executive secretary in Northwest’s admissions office from 1977 to 2006. They also are proud their children chose to attend Northwest. John’s children are Ben ’99, ’01, who is an associate professor at Northwest and the director of its Melvin D. and Valorie G. Booth School of Business, and Brooke ’02. Jim’s children are Nate ’97, ’99, and Tanner, who attended Northwest from 2001 to 2004. Through their own experiences and knowledge of the impacts agriculture has on quality of life, the Blackfords believe Northwest’s Agricultural Learning Center will help students as well as consumers build awareness of food processes and increase their agriculture literacy. As the agriculture industry grows and becomes more sophisticated, the Blackfords also understand the need to prepare Northwest students for such changes. “Production agriculture is so highly technical and scientific that a training facility such as this (Agricultural Learning Center) and preparing our young people to take on professional opportunities within that complicated and technical industry is so meaningful to support,” Jim said. “The techniques and the technologies that are in play today will be replaced, so we have to be ahead of the curve. We have to have our Northwest graduates be ready to step in and take on those new opportunities and challenges.” To read more of this story, visit alumni/magazine. NORTHWEST ALUMNI MAGAZINE I FALL 2020


Join the Tourin’ Bearcats on their upcoming trip

Iceland ’s Magical N thern Lighʦ Nov. 8-14, 2021 $3,349 per person* Reservation deadline is May 9, 2021 (limited space available) $500 deposit due at time of reservation Insurance $329 per person

Highlights • Visit the Blue Lagoon, Vik seafront village and Reykjavík, the capital and largest city of Iceland • Take a Northern Lights Cruise and search for the Northern Lights • Travel the Golden Circle • Learn about Iceland’s history at the Thingvellir historic site and national park and Skógar Museum • Take in the beauty of the Gullfoss, Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls as well as the Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon, Skaftafell wilderness area and the Vatnajökull Glacier

Final payment due 60 days prior to departure


Make your reservation today. Limited availability.

• Roundtrip airfare from Kansas City, taxes, hotel transfers

*Prices based on double occupancy and departure from Kansas City International Airport and include taxes, fees and hotel transfers. Cancelation waiver and insurance available for purchase. All rates are per person and subject to change.

• 10 meals • Attractions






For more information about this trip, visit or to book, call the Tourin’ Bearcats Help Desk at 800.869.6806. Sponsored by the Northwest Alumni Association.



Ardel Brink ’61 attended Northwest because it was one of the few colleges he could afford, and now he’s giving back to the University as a tribute to the quality education he received in Maryville. A native of Castana, located in western Iowa about 65 miles north of Council Bluffs, Brink arrived at Northwest in the fall of 1957 and was a student on campus when most classes were still in the Administration Building as Colden Hall didn’t open until 1959. Northwest’s enrollment was less than 2,000 students. “I’m sure if I were on campus now, I’d be totally lost,” he said. He came to the University with hopes of pursuing engineering but soon discovered he wasn’t as strong in science as he needed to be and instead pursued degrees in math and biology. That decision led him to a 27-year career of teaching math and science in Denver Public Schools. After retiring from the classroom in 1988, Brink found a second career as a tax accountant and worked in that capacity for 25 years. Today, Brink’s pride for Northwest endures, and he plans to provide $100,000 to the University by gifting a percentage of the annual required minimum distribution from his individual retirement account. As an unrestricted gift, Brink’s donation helps the University meet unforeseen needs as they arise and capitalize on opportunities as they emerge. “I have always been proud of having Northwest Missouri State University as my alma mater,” Brink said.

“I would not be where I am today without my experiences at Northwest. I feel that what I received is a value much greater than what I paid for. My out-of-pocket expenses in a full year there was a fraction of what most students pay for maybe even a single semester at a lot of schools now.” Ardel Brink

Making a gift through an IRA rollover can provide significant and immediate tax advantages.


Avoid taxes on transfers of up to $100,000 from your IRA to Northwest. n Satisfy your required minimum distribution (RMD) for the year. n Reduce your taxable income, even if you do not itemize deductions.


Make a gift that is not subject to the deduction limits on charitable gifts. n It provides for a cause you deem worthy at Northwest. n It leaves a lasting legacy at Northwest.

Contact the Office of University Advancement at 660.562.1248 or to learn about the many advantages of IRA charitable rollover gifts and other ways to give.




NORTHWEST FOUNDATION WELCOMES 6 NEW MEMBERS The Northwest Foundation Inc. has appointed six new members this year to its Board of Directors to help guide the University’s advancement and grow private support. The Northwest Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, develops and stewards philanthropic resources for the


is director of alternative investments at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and resides in nearby Woodbury. His career in the investment field spans 20 years and includes work as an investment officer with the Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System. A native of Cameron, Missouri, Griffin earned his bachelor’s degree in finance at Northwest and is pursuing a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

GINA SMITH is the office

manager in Northwest’s School of Health Science and Wellness. She has worked at the University since 2007, including seven years as an admissions representative in the St. Louis region. Previously, she worked in sports information at the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University before working in various roles during an 18-year career with the NCAA. Born to military parents, she has lived throughout the United States and Germany, and she is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

benefit of Northwest Missouri State University and its students. It is governed by a 35-member volunteer board and staffed by members of Northwest’s Office of University Advancement. Board members may serve up to two three-year terms.



26-year career with Cerner Corporation, in Kansas City, Missouri, retiring last year as vice president of population health management strategy. At Cerner, she received the company’s Cathy Mueller Client Experience Recognition in 2012 and its Top Gun Award three times. A native of Bernard, Iowa, she received her bachelor’s degree in management information systems and was a member of the Bearcat cross country and track and field teams as well as Phi Mu sorority.

president of White Cloud Engineering and Construction in Maryville, where he has lived most of his life. In addition to leading White Cloud since 1986, he has served as president of Middle Fork Water Company since 1991. Pfost, who earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, also has served as a member of the boards of Maryville Industrial Development, Nodaway County Economic Development and the St. Francis Hospital Foundation.



been employed by Goppert Financial Bank in Lathrop, Missouri, since 1998 and has served as its president since 2018. A native of Hardin, Missouri, he earned his bachelor’s degree in agriculture business at Northwest and has helped operate Strider Family Farms in Hardin since 1987. A recipient of the Lathrop Rotary Club’s Citizen of the Year award, his community service includes tenures as president of the Caldwell County Mutual Insurance Company, the Clinton Convalescent Center, the Lathrop Community Center and Foundation, and the Lathrop Chamber of Commerce.

recently retired after a 39-year career as a physician and president of Texas Neurology in Dallas. Simultaneously, he spent 21 years as chief of neurology at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. Born in Maryville, he attended Horace Mann Laboratory School and earned his bachelor’s degree in biology at Northwest before furthering his education at Kansas State University, the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of Texas Southwestern. He has served as president of the Dallas Epilepsy Board and president of the Texas Neurological Society.


YOUR NORTHWEST ALUMNI ASSOCIATION CONNECT • Join one our 22 Alumni and Friends Chapters • Read the Northwest Alumni Magazine and join our Facebook and LinkedIn groups • Attend one of our many scheduled events like Homecoming or the Alumni Awards Banquet


MENTOR • Serve on one of our many University academic advisory boards

PROMOTE • Show your spirit by wearing Northwest gear everywhere you go

• Hire or provide internships for recent graduates and current students

• Nominate a Bearcat for one of our seven Alumni Awards

• Visit campus and interact with students who are interested in a similar career path


• Help recruit future Northwest students by telling your Northwest story

Interested in getting involved with the Northwest Alumni Association? Contact us at 660.562.1248 or email for more information.


UNIVERSITY ADVANCEMENT ADDS DIXON TO TEAM Kala Hughes Dixon ’19 has joined the staff in Northwest’s Office of University Advancement as an annual giving and alumni relations specialist. In her role, Dixon Kayla Hughes Dixon ʼ19 is responsible for helping to build and grow Northwest’s annual giving program by administering communication pieces as well as the University Advancement call center, which makes connections with prospective donors about giving opportunities and activities happening at Northwest. She works with the University Advancement team as well as Northwest’s numerous volunteers to develop, plan and execute alumni engagement opportunities, including special events, regional chapter events, campaign events for major donors and prospects, dedications and stewardship events. Dixon assumed the role last January after completing her bachelor’s degree in communication with an emphasis on interpersonal and organizational communication. As an undergraduate student at Northwest she was a member of the Bearcat Marching Band. She currently is pursuing a Master of Business Administration at Northwest.

ALUMNI ASSOCIATION BOARD WELCOMES 3 NEW MEMBERS The Northwest Alumni Association has appointed three members to its Board of Directors, which works to foster lifelong relationships through initiatives and opportunities that advance the University and its alumni, future alumni and friends.

KIMBERLY MASSEY HESLOP ’93 is director of

professional and institutional marketing alliance programs at Ameriprise Financial, where she has worked in various roles during the last 13 years. She is a native of Elwood, Kansas, and received her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Northwest. She also has a Master of Business Administration from Webster University.

The Alumni Association comprises 22 alumni chapters throughout the United States and Japan; it includes chapters representing alumni of the Northwest football, band and theatre programs as well as a Black Alumni and Friends Chapter.


is a retirement lifestyle planner at KJ Financial, where he has been employed for the last 10 years. He is a native of Chadron, Nebraska, and received his bachelor’s degree in human resource management at Northwest, where he also was a member of Sigma Tau Gamma.


is a financial advisor with Edward Jones. A native of Kansas City, Missouri, he received his bachelor’s degree in biology and psychology at Northwest, where he also was a member of the men’s basketball and football teams.

MISSION: The Northwest Alumni Association fosters lifelong relationships through initiatives and opportunities that advance the University and its alumni, future alumni and friends. 2020-2021 ALUMNI ASSOCIATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Follow Northwest! /nwmissouri






For a complete listing of all Northwest social media networks, visit

PRESIDENT Dustin Wasson ’03, Perry, Mo. VICE PRESIDENT Allison Kahre Kreifels ’06, ’11, ’19, St. Joseph, Mo. PAST PRESIDENT Paula Rector Davis ’91, Lee’s Summit, Mo. MEMBERS Damian Valline Bridges ’84, Kansas City, Mo. Randy Cody ’99, Carson, Iowa Janice Erickson Corley ’70, Maryville Martin Curley ’09, St. Joseph, Mo. Michelle Mattson Drake ’98, Maryville Matt Gaarder ’97, Maryville Zerryn Gines, Kansas City, Mo. Sean Gundersen ’10, ’13, Glenwood, Iowa Kimberly Massey Heslop ’93, Overland Park, Kan. Sue Johnson Hockensmith ’72, Manchester, Mo.

Kurt Jackson ’88, Maryville Terrance Logan ’07, ’10, Blue Springs, Mo. Melissa Moody Mincy ’06, West Des Moines, Iowa D’Vante Mosby ’18, Kansas City, Mo. Dave Teeter ’86, Montgomery City, Mo. EX-OFFICIO BOARD MEMBERS Dr. Bob Burrell ’70, President, Northwest Foundation, Denver, Colo. Kala Hughes Dixon ’19, Annual Giving and Alumni Relations Specialist Carma Greene Kinman ’85, Constituent Relations Specialist Dr. Bob Machovsky ’15, Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving Dr. Lonelle Rathje ’97, ’03, Vice President of External Relations and Executive Director of the Northwest Foundation Inc. Lori McLemore Steiner ’85, Executive Director of Advancement and Chief Finance Officer of the Northwest Foundation Inc.







Jerry Moyer

Dr. Tyler Tapps

Moyer ’76, ’78, after three years as a lead project engineer with Planning Research Corporation at Kennedy Space Center, joined Bionetics in 1982 and retired last January as its director for space and engineering. Under his leadership, Bionetics provided ground support for more than 2,000 flight experiments covering 130 space shuttle missions while providing medical and laboratory services for space shuttle launch and landing operations; provided engineering and services for more than 50 Kennedy Space Center-managed life sciences payloads; and conducted research for longer space travel and potential bases on the lunar surface and Mars.

Tapps ’04, ’06 joined the Northwest faculty in 2014 and teaches in the School of Health Science and Wellness. He has served as assistant director of the School for the last two years. He has served in a variety of leadership roles, including as chair of the graduate council, chair of the Faculty Senate Research Committee and as an internal evaluator for the Hope 4 All suicide prevention grant that Northwest Wellness Services received in 2019.


Gary Thompson (posthumously) PUBLIC SERVICE AWARD

Jason McDowell McDowell ’03, ’10, ’18 has served on the Maryville City Council since 2015 and was mayor from 2016 to 2018. He also has served on numerous volunteer boards and committees in both Maryville and Nodaway County. McDowell’s public service carries through his work as an educator in Nodaway County. Prior to becoming an administrator, he taught sixth grade science at Maryville Middle School and served as the assistant director of what was then the ACES Alternative School, working within a 21-school district cooperative to provide alternative education programming to students with behavioral needs. He currently is the elementary principal for the Northeast Nodaway R-V School District, where he previously was assistant principal, PK-12 principal and interim superintendent. 26


Thompson ’76 served on the Northwest Foundation Board of Directors from 2007 until his death in 2019. He served on several Board committees, including the chair of the Governance Committee for two years. At the time of his passing, he was the Board’s vice president and was president-elect for 2020-2021. Thompson was an instrumental leader and advocate for the Forever Green fundraising campaign. He and his wife, Kathy, contributed to the Carl and Cheryl Hughes Fieldhouse project, and their gift funded the facility’s electronic scoreboard that is named in their honor. He was hired by The Hartford as a commercial underwriter and underwriting trainee. In 2005, he was appointed executive vice president and served in that capacity until his retirement in 2013. Thompson was especially proud to be the only top-level executive at The Hartford who did not graduate from an Ivy League university.


Dr. Thomas Carneal Carneal, a native of Plattsmouth, Nebraska, came to Northwest in 1967 as a faculty member in history and served as chair of the Department of History, Humanities and Social Sciences from 1993 until his retirement in 2002. He taught and developed courses and programs in history and guided the department through multiple changes to its name, purpose and physical location. He also was instrumental in the development of the public history program, stemming from his work with the Nodaway Historical Society, creating an ongoing collaboration involving Northwest, the city of Maryville and Nodaway County. YOUNG ALUMNI AWARD


Clarence ’05, a native of Copenhagen, Denmark, played professional basketball for European teams from 2005 to 2009 as well as for the Danish national team from 1999 to 2008. During off-seasons, he furthered his expertise in technology as a freelancer, developing multiple technology platforms and websites for several companies worldwide. From 2012 to 2019, he worked for Apple Inc. in a variety of positions, including software engineer, senior software engineer and software engineering manager. He led presentations on new and emerging technologies; designed, implemented and maintained Core Product Services for Apple’s online store and led a team responsible for the service tier powering the online store. He currently serves as the senior director of data engineering at Capital One in the San Francisco area.



John Richmond John Richmond served on the Northwest Board of Regents from 2013 to 2019. He continuously fought to maintain tuition costs at the most affordable level, helping Northwest balance its budget with a strategic eye on ensuring access, affordability and quality while preserving the University’s long-term viability. Richmond served 29 years as president and chief executive officer of Northwest Medical Center in Albany, Missouri. He has a passion for supporting individuals and organizations dealing with mental health issues, special needs, poverty and related challenges. In addition to providing support to the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, his generosity and kindness extends to South Africa, where he and his wife, Aileen, have raised money to help build an orphanage.


2021 ALUMNI AWARDS CALL FOR NOMINATIONS The Northwest Alumni Association is now collecting nominations for its 2021 Alumni Association Awards. The Alumni Association annually recognizes alumni, faculty, faculty emeriti and friends who have brought distinction upon themselves, their professions and Northwest Missouri State University. Your nominations are essential to the process. Individuals nominated should personify the University’s tradition of excellence through their service and achievements. The Alumni Association Board of Directors will make the selections at its 2021 spring meeting. Nominations must be submitted on the forms provided by the Alumni Association and will not be considered unless the entire nomination form is complete. Contact the Northwest Alumni Association for a nomination form at 660.562.1248, email or complete the appropriate form located on the alumni website at DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARD Recognizes Northwest alumni for their exceptional professional and personal achievement and extraordinary distinction in their chosen field. DISTINGUISHED EMERITUS FACULTY AWARD Recognizes a former faculty member for their outstanding teaching, service or research contributions at Northwest. DISTINGUISHED FACULTY AWARD Recognizes a present faculty member for their outstanding teaching, service or research contributions at Northwest. HONORARY ALUMNI AWARD Honors friends of Northwest who have served, promoted and loved the University in the tradition of a loyal graduate.

PUBLIC SERVICE AWARD Recognizes outstanding service-minded alumni or friends of Northwest who have devoted their time and energy to public service or the advancement of higher education. NORTHWEST TURRET SERVICE AWARD Acknowledges a graduate, former student, current or retired staff member for their significant contributions of time and talents on behalf of the University and the Alumni Association. YOUNG ALUMNI AWARD Honors a graduate, age 40 or younger, for Award their exceptional achievements in career, nomination public service or deadline: volunteerism that bring March 1, 2021 honor to the University.

Northwest Online is an extension of Northwest Missouri State University and offers master-level degrees, bachelorlevel degrees and certificate programs. • 100% online • 100% of classes taught by professionals, not graduate assistants • More than 20 years of experience in online learning and teaching • Variety of start dates depending on degree • Standard or expedited course plans available


• B.S. in Business Management • B.S. in Business Technology • B.S. in Communication - Public Relations • B.S. in General Studies • B.S. in Marketing • B.S. in Nursing (RN to BSN) • B.S. in Psychology • M.B.A. (General, Business Analytics, Human Resource Management, Marketing, Management, Data Analytics) • M.S. Recreation (Recreation Management, Therapeutic Recreation, Sports Management • M.S. Geographic Information Science • Geographic Information Science (Graduate Certificate) • M.S. Nursing • M.S.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction (General, Teaching Technology) • M.S.Ed. Educational Leadership • M.S.Ed. Educational Leadership K-12 • M.S.Ed. Health and Physical Education • M.S.Ed. Reading • M.S.Ed. Special Education • Ed.S. (Superintendent, Generalist) • Instructional Technology (Graduate Certificate)

For more information, visit NORTHWEST ALUMNI MAGAZINE I FALL 2020



“We are ready to get after it. I’m having the time of my life being a part of the Bearcat basketball team. We will be ready for anything this season has to offer.” ­— RYAN HAWKINS, SENIOR FORWARD



DESIRE CONTINUES THROUGH AN UNCHARTED PATH By Colin McDonough The 2019-2020 Bearcat men’s basketball season had everything you draw up to end a season. … Win the final game. … Cut down the nets. … And hoist a championship trophy. No one envisioned last spring that March 8 would be the last time the Bearcats took the floor in the MIAA Tournament championship game at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, leaving with their 78-76 triumph over Missouri Southern State University. Northwest was gathering steam and looked very much like a squad on a mission to capture its second consecutive NCAA Division II national title and third crown in four years. “It was a very special season,” head coach Ben McCollum ’03, ’05 said. “Coming back off a year when we went 38-0, being able to maintain that level of hunger while still taking everyone’s best shot, is so much more difficult. Handling success is a lot more difficult than handling adversity. I give credit to our players that we could keep that hunger up and drive going when we’ve had the success we have had at Northwest.” Northwest was 31-1 overall and had been tabbed to host the NCAA Central Region tournament for the fourth straight year. The Bearcats were six wins away from basketball immortality. No single program in NCAA history had claimed more than 136 victories over four consecutive seasons. Yet, the Bearcats stood at 131-6 through the previous four seasons. Instead, the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and on March 12 the NCAA put an end to all winter and spring championship events. The news hit the Bearcats in the middle of a practice two days before the regional tournament was set to begin at Bearcat Arena. “We really had it going and it felt like we had a great chance to repeat,” senior forward Ryan Hawkins said. “You hate to see it end the way it did without having the opportunity to

play it out. It was shocking to see the whole tournament canceled.” The 2019-20 season began with eight straight victories, pairing that with the 38-0 mark the year before, to give the Bearcats a school and MIAA record 46 consecutive victories. After its lone loss in two seasons at the University of Central Missouri last December, the men’s basketball team won its final 23 matchups on the schedule and captured a seventh straight MIAA regular season crown with an 18-1 mark through the league ledger. “I would have loved to have laid it on the line and see where we could have gone in the NCAA Tournament,” McCollum said. “We had started to really play at a high level and we really hit our stride toward the end – especially offensively where we were phenomenal. I was excited to see where that went, but I understand the circumstances of why that didn’t happen.” Fast forward to this fall and the Bearcats entered the upcoming season as the team to beat in Division II. The MIAA organized a 22-game schedule for basketball with the Bearcat men winning their first game Nov. 21 at Rogers State University in Claremore, Oklahoma. The Bearcat women’s basketball team began with a loss Nov. 19 at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, before winning at Rogers State. The women are looking for continued improvement after going 12-18 a year ago, the second campaign with Austin Meyer ’06, ’08 at the helm. “The target is still there for our opponents so I think this season will be as difficult as any season we have faced,” McCollum said. “When you factor in all the distractions we have faced since last March, the question becomes who can mentally deal with the adversity and stay focused on the process?” A pair of Bearcat men enter the year as preseason All-America selections in Hawkins and junior guard Trevor Hudgins. Hawkins is the squad’s returning leading scorer at 22.7 points per game. He averaged a team-best 7.4 rebounds per game. He also led the Bearcats in steals (68) and blocked shots (25). He has posted 1,420 career points and 684 career rebounds. Hudgins is the reigning MIAA Player of the Year after averaging 19.6 points per game and 6.0 assists per contest. He led the nation in three-point field goal percentage (53.3 percent, 105-of-197) and shot 53.3 percent from the field overall. Hudgins has scored 1,338 points in 70 career games. “We are ready to get after it,” Hawkins said. “I’m having the time of my life being a part of the Bearcat basketball team. We will be ready for anything this season has to offer.” NORTHWEST ALUMNI MAGAZINE I FALL 2020




FALL SPORTS TEAMS TAKE DIFFERENT PATHS TO COMPETITION It has been anything but normal for Bearcat athletics since all sports were paused March 12 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The NCAA canceled the 2020 fall championships Aug. 5 and the MIAA followed suit by halting all fall sports on Aug. 14. By mid-September the league changed its course and allowed teams to compete but indicated a conference champion would not be crowned in a fall sport. Bearcat coaches and administrative staff, meanwhile, explored different ways to keep those competitive fires going. For the first time since 1945 and World War II, Northwest did not have a football season. The Bearcats were scheduled to take the field for a pair of scrimmages against MIAA foes, with plans to travel to Washburn University Nov. 7 and host Central Missouri Nov. 21. In early November, however, both of those contests were canceled as the teams navigated positive COVID-19 cases and quarantine protocols. “It’s hard to describe the disappointment of not being able to compete this fall,” head football coach Rich Wright ’96 said. “We really wanted a chance for our group of seniors to get the opportunity to run out of the tunnel to Bearcat Stadium. Our guys

The Bearcat women’s cross country team took third place at the D2 XC National Invitational in November. Pictured left to right, in the front row are Delanie Dykes, Caroline Cunningham, Emily Saalfeld and Amber Owens, and in the back row are Tori Castle, Alyna Thibault, Kaylee Harp, Corrina Dittmer and head coach Nick Gibson.

put in the time and effort on the practice field with the intention that it would culminate with some competition. Having to tell them it won’t happen is tough. We will put our focus on recruiting and begin preparations for our spring drills.” The Northwest cross country teams were the first Bearcats to take the competition field this fall when they took part in the Newman Team Invitational Oct. 30 in Wichita, Kansas. The meet had the look and feel of an MIAA meet with only league schools competing. Sophomore Delanie Dykes took first place for the Bearcat

women and senior Jhordan Ccope took first place in the men’s race, and the Bearcat women claimed the team title, edging out runner-up Central Missouri. Then on Nov. 14, the Northwest women’s cross country team took third place at the D2 XC National Invitational in Lubbock, Texas, as three women finished in the top 10 individually. Junior Caroline Cunningham led the Bearcats with a time of 22:40.2 for a fourth-place finish; junior Amber Owens (22:59.0) and Dykes (22:59.7) finished seventh and eighth, respectively. For their part, the Bearcat soccer program raised nearly $1,500 for breast cancer awareness by playing an intrasquad pink game Oct. 31. Looking ahead, the Northwest volleyball and soccer teams are preparing for spring schedules that will help make up for a fall without games. Volleyball begins MIAA play during the week of Feb. 22, while women’s soccer begins during the week of March 29. “It’s going to have a different feel playing in February and March,” Bearcat head volleyball coach Amy Phelps Woerth ’05 said. “We understand that it’s different, but it’s awesome that our league is supporting us and putting forth the effort to give us the chance to put together MIAA matches.”

Whether you’re in Omaha, Dallas, Kansas City, Phoenix or beyond...

Tune in to the Bearcat Radio Network Don’t miss a single play! KXCV 90.5 FM, the 100,000-watt FM public radio station that broadcasts from the Northwest campus, is entering its 22nd season as the flagship station for Bearcat sports broadcasts. An anchor of Bearcat athletics broadcasts since 1985, John Coffey ’82 returns as the “Voice of the Bearcats” with Matt Tritten ’11, who is in his fifth year with the broadcast.



Listen on the web n n

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KXCV, 90.5 FM Maryville KRNW, 88.9 FM Chillicothe KKWK, 100.1 FM Cameron KCWJ 1030 AM Independence KMA, 960 AM Shenandoah

Listen on your phone or tablet Go to, click on listen live. Now available on all browsers and all mobile devices.


NEW SURFACE FOR BEARCAT SOCCER, LIGHTS FOR TENNIS The homes of the Bearcat soccer and tennis teams have a new look and feel with the summer installation of a turf surface at Bearcat Pitch and lights at the Frank W. Grube Courts at the Mark Rosewell Tennis Center. Northwest had played on a natural grass surface at Bearcat Pitch since the inception of the women’s soccer program in 1999. In recent years, even minimal amounts of rainfall created unplayable conditions that forced Northwest to move home games as well as adjust practice and conditioning sessions. The new surface provides additional green space for student recreation, club

sports, intramurals and other outdoor intercollegiate programs. It also offers opportunities to host youth games and tournaments and camps or clinic opportunities. Further enhancing the site is a new Daktronics scoreboard. “This is obviously a big improvement for our soccer program,” Northwest Director of Athletics Andy Peterson ’07, ’08, ’10 said. “This is also a win for our department and University. Soccer is a growing sport across the nation and especially in our region, and we hope that this pitch can drive involvement, engagement and performance from a variety of stakeholders. The University-wide impact of having

CRUZ RECEIVES DIVISION II DEGREE COMPLETION AWARD Volleyball player Genny Cruz is the first Bearcat to take advantage of the NCAA’s Division II Degree Completion Award. Cruz, a native of Morrison, Colorado, exhausted her intercollegiate athletics eligibility last fall and was awarded $7,000 in tuition for her remaining credits toward her bachelor’s degree in biology. She was nominated for the award by Northwest Genny Cruz Faculty Athletics Representative Dr. Rhonda Beemer. “This is a great honor for Genny and Bearcat athletics,” Beemer said. “With Genny earning this award, hopefully it paves the way for other Bearcat student-athletes to see there is an opportunity to continue on their degree path if they exhaust their eligibility.” Cruz said the tuition grant is beneficial because she worried about how she was going to complete her degree on her own. “This program has been extremely helpful in finishing my

this artificial turf surface for our spring sports, intramurals, club sports and general recreation will be significant.” Similarly, the lights projecting on the six tennis courts provide additional opportunities, including a way for community members to enjoy the game after dark. “The addition of the lights to our tennis courts is a game-changer,” Bearcat head tennis coach Mark Rosewell said. “For Northwest to provide the opportunity for folks to play at night gives them another outlet to get outside and enjoy exercise. It’s tremendous to see all six courts being used after sunset.”

degree at Northwest,” Cruz said. “When I was still on the team, financially I was very reliant on my athletic scholarship. When I knew I would not be graduating on time, I was worried about how I was going to afford school. Fortunately, this scholarship covers the majority of my tuition after removing my academic scholarships.” Applicants must be within 36 semester hours of completion of an undergraduate degree and meet the institution’s standard for good academic standing. Applicants cannot concurrently receive any athletic aid from the institution. Cruz transferred to Northwest from the University of North Alabama and competed for the Bearcats in 2018 and 2019. “She is an extremely hard worker, she is very competitive, and she had high expectations of herself and of her teammates,” Bearcat volleyball head coach Amy Phelps Woerth ’05 said. “As she grew in our program, she became one of the most selfless players on the court. Although we only had Genny in our program for two years, she made a big impact and helped Bearcat volleyball continue to make strides toward our goals.” After completing her bachelor’s degree, Cruz plans to pursue a master’s degree in biological anthropology. NORTHWEST ALUMNI MAGAZINE I FALL 2020



Bearcats honored with MIAA, Missouri hall of fame inductions The MIAA has announced former football student-athlete Seth Wand ’03 as part of its Hall of Fame class for 2020, and Northwest’s 2015 national championship-winning football team will be inducted with the 2021 class. Additionally, Debbie Cone Fay ’82 and Tim Jermain ’90 have joined the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in recognition of their high school coaching success. Seth Wand, who played for the Bearcats from 1998 to 2002, started three seasons at left tackle, allowing just one sack in his collegiate career. He was named a first-team All-American by four different publications in 2001 and 2002 and was a CCA, CoSIDA and Daktronics second-team All-American in those seasons. He earned first-team All-MIAA honors in 2000, 2001 and 2002 with three MIAA championships and was a member of the Bearcats’ 1999 NCAA Division II national championship team. Taken by the Houston Texans in the third round as the 75th overall pick – the highest in Bearcat history – of the 2003 NFL draft, Wand appeared in 53 games through six seasons, playing with the Texans, Tennessee Titans and Oakland Raiders. The 2015 Bearcat football team went undefeated and claimed the program’s fifth NCAA Division II national championship with a 34-7 win over Shepherd University in Kansas City. Northwest outscored its playoff opponents, 164-55, that year and ranked No. 1 in the nation in scoring defense (12.3 ppg), total defense (224.0 ypg), rushing defense (59.3 ypg) and passing efficiency defense (87.81 rating). Collin Bevins ’18 was named



the MIAA’s Co-Defensive Player of the Year while Brandon Yost ’16, Brock Sherman ’16, ’18, Jacob Vollstedt ’17, ’20, Kevin Berg ’16 and Bryce Enyard ’19 all earned first-team All-MIAA defensive honors. The Bearcat offense was represented on the MIAA first team by Brady Bolles ’15, Jordan Grove ’17, ’19 and Shane Smith ’15. The Bearcat special teams saw Simon Mathiesen ’15, ’16, who was the MIAA Freshman of the Year, and Shawn Bane Jr. earn first-team All-MIAA accolades. Head coach Adam Dorrel ’98, ’00 earned MIAA Coach of the Year. Debbie Fay spent 31 seasons, from 1983 to 2013, coaching high school volleyball in Missouri, earning a 789-211-48 record. She coached 15 years at Park Hill High School in Kansas City and then 16 more at Park Hill South High School. She guided teams to 14 Class 4 state tournament appearances and won state championships in 1988, 1989 and 1997. Her 2005 Park Hill South team was a state runner-up, and her 2013 team placed third in Class 4. She is currently coaching volleyball at Mill Valley High School in Shawnee, Kansas. Tim Jermain, who is in his 31st year of coaching high school boys’ basketball, has established a record of 662-192 through 20 seasons as a boys coach at Jefferson High School in Conception Junction and 10 seasons before that at Albany. That record includes 494 wins at Jefferson, which has made seven trips to the Final Four since 2001 with Class 1 state championships in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2019 to go with 18 conference championships and 13 district titles. In girls basketball at Jefferson and Albany, he was 140-29, with Albany’s 2003 team reaching the Final Four. Already a member of the Missouri High School Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, he was 275-94 as a softball coach with state championships in 2001 and 2008.

Beemer appointed faculty athletics representative Dr. Rhonda Beemer, an assistant professor of health and physical education in Northwest’s School of Health Science and Wellness, has been named the University’s next faculty athletics representative, succeeding Dr. Matt Walker, an assistant professor of communication. Dr. Rhonda Beemer The faculty athletics representative (FAR), in alignment with duties and functions outlined in the NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative Handbook, helps ensure academic integrity and compliance in Northwest’s intercollegiate athletics program, serves as an advocate for studentathletes’ well-being and helps maintain institutional control of the athletics department. The FAR represents Northwest and its faculty in the University’s relationship with the NCAA. “Northwest is all about student-athlete success and Dr. Beemer, serving as our faculty athletics representative, adds depth, knowledge and empathy to our student-athlete experience,” Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski said. “We are proud of our student athlete success metrics and address compliance issues systematically – and our FARs have been a big part of this. We have had sterling FARs previously, and Dr. Beemer will carry on this tradition quite well as she brings new approaches to the table.” Beemer joined the Northwest faculty in the fall of 2015 and came to the institution from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where she served on Drake’s Intercollegiate Athletic Council as a faculty representative of Drake’s School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. She has experience in collegiate athletics at multiple levels during two decades of work in higher education.

Meti Terfassa waited her turn to raise the flag of Ethiopia during the International Flag-Raising Ceremony.

The Bearcat Marching Band played for a crowd gathered around the Memorial Bell Tower during the Homecoming Showcase.

Carmen Miller and Kirayle Jones, both senior education majors from Omaha, Nebraska, were crowned the 2020 Homecoming queen and king during the Homecoming Showcase at the Memorial Bell Tower.

The Bearcat Steppers walked a shortened Homecoming parade route on the Northwest campus.


2020 RECAP

The COVID-19 pandemic forced modifications to Northwest’s Homecoming week, Oct. 4-10, and kept alumni and friends away from the University, but the fall tradition continued during an otherwise unconventional semester. With “Bearcats in Outer Space!” as its theme, Northwest maintained its Walkout Day without classes and organized a slate of activities that included the 23rd annual International

“BEARCATS IN OUTER SPACE!” Flag-Raising Ceremony and a shortened parade on the campus – though there were no colorful floats, jalopies, dancing clowns or marching bands. The day culminated with a Homecoming Showcase featuring performances by the Bearcat Marching Band and the Bearcat Steppers as well as the announcement of the Homecoming king and queen. The annual Variety Show, football game and M-Club Hall of Fame induction ceremony were canceled. NORTHWEST ALUMNI MAGAZINE I FALL 2020



Anne-Marie Clarke converses with a guest at Northwest’s annual Martin Luther King Day Peace Brunch last January. Clarke retired last year after a 33-year career with the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court of St. Louis.

CLASS NOTES RAISING THE BAR Successful legal career fulfills Clarke Anne-Marie Clarke ’70 knew at age 9 that she wanted to be a lawyer and has spent a lifetime fighting for justice for children, families and marginalized people. Beginning with her appointment in 1986 as a hearing officer of the family court, Clarke served the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court of St. Louis for 33 years, including as commissioner from 1998 until her 2019 retirement, making her one of the longestserving judicial officers on the city bench. She was assigned to both the Juvenile Division, where she presided over cases involving children in foster care for more 30 years, and the Domestic Relations Division, where she instituted the Pro Se Dissolution Docket for individuals who were proceeding without legal representation in divorce cases. “My dockets consisted of children and family who were often with little hope and little vision for their future,” said Clarke, 34


who gave the keynote address at the University’s ninth annual Martin Luther King Day Peace Brunch last January. “It was my job to encourage children who saw little ahead of themselves to see that making goals would be beneficial. It was my job to get parents to focus on what could be ahead for them and to see that getting there was a good thing.” In addition to her work as a judge, she was the first Black member of the Board of Governors for The Missouri Bar in 1986 and was appointed in 1993 by then-Gov. Mel Carnahan as a member of the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners, making her the first Black woman to serve on that board. She went on to serve four years as the first female president of the fivemember Board of Police Commissioners. Clarke was sworn in Aug. 1, 2017, for a one-year term as the 47th chair of the Judicial Council Division of the

National Bar Association. As chair, she led a delegation of nearly 200 judges, lawyers, friends and family members to the Dominican Republic for a service project working with children from Haiti and the Dominican Republic. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Missouri Supreme Court Judicial Excellence Award, and she was named a Legal Legend by the Mound City Bar Association. In 2019, she was inducted into the St. Louis University School of Law Order of the Fleur de Lis Hall of Fame, the highest honor bestowed upon law school alumni. “I was blessed that I had a job that I loved,” Clarke said. “There was never a day or a time when I didn’t want to go to work. And it was never work, it was an opportunity for me to be of service to my community. I served through my work at the court, through my public service, through my community service. I served and I did so gladly.” To read more of this story, visit


1950s Jerry ’59, ’70 and Beverly Myers ’59 Wetzel recently relocated from Iowa to Kansas City, Missouri. Jerry is retired from high school teaching and coaching, and Beverly is a retired home economics teacher, all in Iowa schools.


Dr. Richard Fleming ’60 last year published a historical fiction novel, titled “Spartanburg.” He spent 42 years as a professor of mathematics at the University of Missouri-Columbia, the University of Memphis and Central Michigan University. Now retired, he previously published a historical novel, titled “Wetzel,” and lives in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, with his wife, Diane. Dr. Larry ’61 and Mary Ellen James ’62 Kimble celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary Jan. 24. The Kimbles dedicated their careers to the education field, teaching for a combined 100 years at the elementary, secondary and university levels in Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and North Dakota as well as at the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Montana. Upon retirement, they returned to their farm home near Grant City, Missouri.


James Oliver ’71 was named in “The Best Lawyers in America,” a peer-reviewed ranking recognizing lawyers for their professional excellence. He is lead partner of the appellate practice team and a member of the business practice team at Foulston Siefkin LLP’s Kansas City office. Dr. Gene Fite ’72, ’88 retired last spring from a career in education that began in 1972 and included roles as a science teacher in the St. Joseph School District, principal in Savannah and superintendent at Union Star, all in Missouri, as well as various positions in Kansas City, Kansas, and principal at Sumner Academy of Arts and Sciences. Paul Mills ’77 retired in 2016 after 19 years as a school administrator in the Bondurant-Farrar (Iowa) Community School District. Previously, he was a middle school principal for six years in Newton and taught middle school in the Boone, Saydel and Urbandale school districts, all in Iowa. In retirement, he worked until December as student teacher supervisor for the University of Northern Iowa. He and his wife reside in Madrid, Iowa.


Mary Anne Phillips retired in January after 22 years as the recycling coordinator and stormwater education manager with the city of Joplin, Missouri. In 2019, she was honored by the Missouri Recycling Association. She resides in Joplin with her husband, Jim Scott.

Bill Rouse ’77 recently joined Forum Communications Co. in Fargo, North Dakota, as its chief operating officer. He has more than 30 years of management experience in the agriculture, manufacturing and publishing fields. Linda Chaney Shoemaker ’77 and her husband, Larry, celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary June 25, 2019. The couple resides in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Dr. Allen Reavis ’79 was inducted in April as the 2020-21 president of the Kansas Dental Association. He has worked for 36 years in private practice at Atchison Dental Associates in Atchison, Kansas, where he also serves as vice mayor, having served five terms as mayor.


John Neumann ’81 recently published a collection of poetry, “Thoughts Simply in Poetry.” He is retired after 27 years of teaching history and social studies, as well as coaching, in Iowa schools. Dan Runde ’81 was appointed senior vice president and manager of Exchange Bank & Trust’s new location in Platte City, Missouri. He has worked in the banking industry since 1982. Martin Amen ’83 was appointed vice president and general manager for Nuvotronics in Durham, North Carolina, where he is responsible for profit and loss, developing business and growth strategy, managing internal performance and maintaining close customer relationships. His career includes 30 years in global defense and commercial markets. Rob Bolin ’83 was one of four outdoorsmen honored in November 2019 by the Waterfowlers Hall of Fame in Mound City, Missouri, for his support of duck hunting in the region. He is the owner of Bolin Auto and Truck Parts in St. Joseph, Missouri. Bob Glasgow ’83 joined St. Michael the Archangel Catholic High School in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, as assistant activities director. He previously served 31 years in the Oak Grove and Raytown school districts, and won 12 state wrestling titles in 25 seasons as a coach at Oak Grove. He is a member of the Missouri State Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. Erle Bennett ’85 was among the 2019 inductees into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. His 27 years of coaching included 22 seasons from 1994 to 2016 as head football coach at Centralia High School, where he earned 206 wins, including 70 consecutive regular-season victories, and a state championship in 2003.


Susan Johnson Hockensmith recently was among 10 volunteers from the St. Louis metropolitan region honored as 2020 Women of Achievement. She is a cofounder and board member of Pony Bird Inc., a nonprofit organization in Jefferson County, providing homes and services for developmentally disabled and medically fragile individuals. Additionally, she serves on the Northwest Alumni Association Board of Directors and is active with the Alumni Association’s St. Louis Chapter. She has served on the boards of education for De Soto Public Schools and the Parkway School District. She is an owner of Lakeside Children’s Academy in St. Louis County and a member of P.E.O. Shelly Miller ’86 in January received the STEM Education Award for Inspired Teaching for the southwest Iowa region. She teaches business in the CAM Community School District in Anita, Iowa. Brian Hetland ’87 was inducted into the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame. He has coached for 32 years, leading the Clarksville High School baseball program for 11 seasons and coaching previously at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville. Edward Hymes ’89 was named president of Jiffy Lube International in July and oversees the franchise’s more than 2,000 independently owned service centers in the U.S. and Canada. He previously held numerous leadership roles in strategy and business development during 19 years with Shell. He began his career with Kmart Corporation where he held multiple store operations leadership positions, corporate operations and brand management roles. Dr. Kent Poterfield ’89, ’92 was named vice provost of student affairs at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, in July. He had served as vice president for student development at Saint Louis University since 2006 and was vice president of student affairs at Northwest from 1997 to 2006.


Dr. Sunil Ahuja ’90 began work in July as provost and vice president for academic and student affairs at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio, where he also holds the academic rank of tenured professor of political science in the Department of Social Sciences. He has served previously as associate provost for academic affairs at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania; vice president for accreditation relations, institutional change and research at the Higher Learning Commission in Chicago; and in academic leadership positions at Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio, and at Youngstown State University in Ohio.


Patricia Herbert Raynor recently received the Marquis Albert Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award for career longevity and unwavering excellence in her field. She is retired from full-time teaching but continues to substitute in Bedford, Clarinda and Essex, Iowa, schools.




Dr. Kelly Collins Circle ’90 was named executive director of the American Legion Auxiliary National Headquarters in Indianapolis. She previously served as dean of instruction at Red Rocks Community College in Lakewood, Colorado. Dr. Larry Wilson ’90 was named the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command’s Educator of the Year for 2020. He has been an instructor at Army Management Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and previously taught at the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College and at civilian universities. Pamela Westbrooks-Hodge ’91 was appointed last January by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson to the Missouri Board of Education. She serves as information systems audit director at Edward Jones Investment in St. Louis. Kari Mosser Kirchhoefer ’92 was named vice president of Loup Logistics, a Union Pacific Railroad company, last year. She has been employed with Union Pacific for more than 27 years and held leadership positions in chemicals, streamline, the market development and sales center, autos, and ag products. Gabriele Heymann Lingenfelter ’92 was named one of four vice chairs by the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants in May. She is an accounting instructor at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia, with an interest in auditing research and accounting case studies. Chris Turpin ’93, ’98, ’04 is superintendent of schools for the North Nodaway R-VI School District. He previously had been K-12 principal of the Union Star R-II School District since 2009. His other educational experience includes work as an elementary principal at

St. Patrick School in the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese and a thirdgrade teacher at Northeast Nodaway R-V School District. Thomas Cole ’95, ’97 launched Devcore Strategic Advisors, LLC, a private consulting firm serving clients’ economic development needs, last January. He resides in Liberty, Missouri, with his wife, Katherine Mason Cole ’96, who is assistant children’s pastor at Liberty Christian Fellowship. Dr. Michael Cleveland ’96 was named in December as chair of the Department of Human Development at Washington State University. He joined Washington State in 2016 and is an associate professor. Previously, he served in various positions at Pennsylvania State University and University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Dr. Theresa Cullen ’96, ’99 began in July as head of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Arkansas Tech University. Previously, she was an associate professor and the John and Jane Kenney Endowed STEM Fellow in the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education at the University of Oklahoma, where she had served since 2006. Dr. Bryan Dorrel ’96 was named last year as athletic director at Highland Community College in Highland, Kansas. Previously, he was a visiting assistant professor of health sciences at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. He also has worked in athletic training and teaching at Tarleton State University, Baker University, William Jewel College and Washburn University as well as at Northwest.


Alyssa Schnack Zabloudil has been named assistant vice president and actuary at Standard Insurance Company, which she joined with 25 years of product development, pricing and risk management experience. She previously had roles at Mutual of Omaha and Lincoln Financial Group.

Amy Sheffield Farmer ’97, ’00, ’06 joined the American Association of Veterinary State Boards in May as director of verification services. She had served as member service coordinator for the Missouri State Teacher’s Association since 2017. She previously consulted for and managed performance horse businesses in Texas from 2010 to 2017, and prior to that she worked as an elementary school principal and assistant high school principal in Missouri.



Marc Vasquez is assistant vice president and security awareness program manager at UMB Financial Corporation and was honored in April with the KnowBe4 Sharky Award for Most Improved Phishing Program. The Sharky Awards recognize organizations and cybersecurity professionals in the area of security awareness training and simulated phishing.


The Liles family of Maryville was recognized as Northwest’s Family of the Year during a Homecoming Showcase at the Memorial Bell Tower in October. Left to right are Caleb Liles, Kristi Rodeman Liles ʼ92, Jacob Liles ʼ19, McKenna Liles and Marty Liles ʼ91, with Cody Kreifels ʼ06 and Allison Kahre Kreifels ʼ06, ʼ11, ʼ19 and their son, Carter Kreifels.

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Denise Bartz Henggeler was a 2020 finalist for Missouri Teacher of the Year. She has served as a fourth grade teacher in the Northeast Nodaway R-V School District in Ravenwood, Missouri, for 23 years.


Dr. Eve Mechanic Hoover ’97 completed a Doctorate of Medical Science and teaches physician assistant students at Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona. Her husband, Mick Hoover ’97, leads the destination medicine and international patient program at St. Joseph Medical Center in Glendale and is senior director of strategic planning and business development at Dignity Health Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center. They reside in Glendale with their two children. Chera Prideaux Sheets ’97 was awarded a scholarship and fellowship through the National Board of Certified Counselors Foundation. She is a graduate student at the University of ColoradoColorado Springs and plans to work with transitionage youth minorities in recovery, particularly women and others struggling with poverty. Brad Anderson ’98 became superintendent of the South Central Calhoun Community School District in Rockwell City, Iowa, in July. He previously served as superintendent at Woodward-Granger Community School District for eight years. He also spent five years as elementary principal at Woodward-Granger and was an elementary principal and teacher at United Community School District in Boone. Dr. Cheryl Dunham Dobson ’98 graduated from residency at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita Family Medicine Residency Program at Ascension Via Christi Hospitals. Dr. Brian Shindorf ’98, ’01 retired in June as chief of learning for the Jefferson City (Missouri) School District, having served in the role since 2017 after one year as the district’s director of elementary education. He also taught elementary school in the St. Joseph (Missouri) School District. Dr. Larry Nelson ’99 was named principal of Cedar Ridge Elementary School in Columbia, Missouri. He had been the assistant superintendent for Mexico (Missouri) Public Schools since 2017. Previously, he was an administrator in the Excelsior Springs (Missouri) School District and a teacher in Denver Public Schools.


Robert Rice ’00 was appointed in June by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson to serve as associate circuit judge for the 4th Judicial Circuit. He had served as Nodaway County’s prosecuting attorney since 2011. Dr. Nancy Scott ’00 retired as assistant superintendent for the Sedalia (Missouri) School District, having served in the role since 2008. Previously, she was special services director for the district in addition to working in Adair County, Westran, Columbia Public Schools and Lincoln County schools. Debra Young ’01 was named the 2019-20 Trenton (Missouri) R-9 Teacher of the Year. A kindergarten instructor, she has been a teacher at S.M. Rissler Elementary School for the past 18 years.

Skeeter Beery ’02 has joined the branch of Exchange Bank and Trust in Rushville, Missouri, as assistant vice president and loan officer. He lives on his multi-generational family farm, which raises crops and cattle. Roger Johnson ’02 was named high school and middle school principal for North Nodaway R-VI schools. He has worked in the education field for 27 years, including five years as an assistant principal, athletic director and principal at West Nodaway R-I. Dr. Corinne Moszczynski Arens ’02 co-authored a book for Heinemann Publishing Company, titled “A Teacher’s Guide to Writing Workshop Essentials: Time, Choice, Response.” She is an elementary instructional coach for the Blue Springs (Missouri) School District. Tiffany Burnes Thompson ’02, ’07, ’12 and her husband, Matthew, welcomed their second son, Theodore Ray, Aug. 2, 2019. They reside in Liberty, Missouri. Dr. Jill Croy Watkins ’02, ’10 was named principal at Chillicothe (Missouri) Elementary School. She has served in a variety of roles since beginning her career in education in 1996, including as a middle school and high school language arts teacher and as an assistant principal. Dr. Zach Templeton ’02 retired in July after three years as superintendent of the Mexico (Missouri) School District. He had worked in education for 24 years as an administrator, high school math teacher and coach. He served as the district’s assistant superintendent for five years before becoming superintendent. Bethany Long Clark ’03, ’19 was named director of elementary education for the St. Joseph (Missouri) School District in April. She previously served as director of student services for the Lathrop R-II School District and held various leadership and teaching roles in Excelsior Springs, Cameron and Columbia public schools in Missouri. Christine Ahrens Grimm ’03 is library director at Montezuma (Iowa) Public Library and a school bus driver. She resides with her husband, Jeff, and two sons in North English, Iowa, where they farm and raise feeder cows. Shelby Schultes Herrick ’03, ’05 co-authored a lifestyle book with her family, titled “The Gathering Table,” which was published in October by Baker House. The book features the farm family, which includes Shelby’s husband, Bill Herrick ’01, and Joe Herrick ’03, through a year of gatherings focused on growing strong relationships through food, faith and hospitality. Starlith Adams McAdams ‘05 has joined the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Criminal Justice Information System Division as a trainer for Troop A Region in Lee’s Summit. She previously worked 16 years as a 911 dispatcher. Jason Anderson ’05 began last year as midday host at Sports Radio 810 WHB in Kansas City, Missouri. Previously, he was program director for ESPN

Louisville and hosted an afternoon drive show for nine years for 680 WHBE in Louisville, Kentucky. Tyler Crawford ’05 received the Robert M. Taylor Award for service to the Missouri Society of Health and Physical Educators last year. He is a physical education teacher at Siegrist Elementary in the Platte County School District. Jesse Shaw ’05 was named head men’s basketball coach in April at Maryville University in St. Louis. He spent the previous four seasons as an assistant coach at University of Missouri-St. Louis and was head coach at Pratt Community College in Kansas from 2011 to 2016. Dr. Sarah Barmann-Smith ’05, ’12 was named principal at Bode Middle School in the St. Joseph (Missouri) School District. She previously had served as a high school, middle school principal and elementary principal in the Albany R-III School District. Laura Voss Lester ’08 and her husband, Joshua, were married Aug. 30, 2019, and welcomed a daughter, Jocelyn Jean, on Oct. 6, 2019. They reside in Raytown, Missouri.


Dr. Scott Ingwerson was named 2020 Middle School Principal of the Year by the Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals. He has been principal at Millard North Middle School in Omaha since 2012 after serving as assistant principal there for five years. He has worked in education since 2000.

Wendy Rachelle Terry Reeve completed a master’s degree in special education in August 2019 and is a special education teacher at Westview Elementary School in the Lee’s Summit (Missouri) R7 School District.



Doug Mezger was named to the Hy-Vee Hall of Fame. He is store director at the Waukee, Iowa, Hy-Vee and was inducted as the 2019 Store Director of the Year. Mezger began his career with Hy-Vee in 1995 and has worked varied role at stores in Bethany, Maryville, Lee’s Summit, Columbia and Springfield in Missouri and in West Des Moines, Ankeny and Denison in Iowa.





Lee ʼ14 and Janessa Reeves ʼ03 Butterfield welcomed a son, Rylan, Aug. 7. He joins older brother Braedin. Janessa performs small animal medicine and surgery as head veterinarian with the Animal Protection and Education Charity, and Lee is employed by Fareway in Boone, Iowa.


Nick Triche ’08 recently graduated from the University of Texas-El Paso with a master’s degree in leadership studies and assumed the role of executive officer of the 1st Armor Division Sustainment Brigade of the U.S. Army in Fort Bliss, Texas. He and his wife, Brittany, were married July 12, 2019, and reside in El Paso, Texas. Jeff Kanger ’08 was appointed by Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts to the Nebraska Environmental Trust Board, a group of 14 individuals who work to preserve, protect and restore the state’s natural resources. Megan Gray ’09, ’11 joined the Lee’s Summit (Missouri) Chamber as director of special events. She has 10 years of event planning experience at Cass Regional Medical Center, Webster University and Park University. Jason Lacy ’09 became a co-owner last year of Jowler Creek Winery in Platte City, Missouri. Previously, he spent a decade in the financial and investment industry. Kate Lydon ’09, ’15 was named 2020-21 Assistant Principal of the Year for the Missouri Association

’07 ’08 Katie Ward was named by Consulting Magazine as one of its 2020 Rising Stars of the Profession for supply chain expertise and success in delivering millions of dollars in growth to clients. Based in Kansas City, Missouri, she is analysis director at Maine Pointe, a global supply chain and operations consulting firm.

of Secondary School Principals’ Northwest District. She is assistant principal at Maryville Middle School and previously was a teacher in the St. Joseph School District.


Matt Barrows ’10, ’12 was honored by the Missouri Society of Health & Physical Educators as the Kansas City District Elementary Physical Educator of the Year, which is presented for high level of professional performance. He teaches at Ravenwood Elementary School in the North Kansas City School District. Dr. Joseph Saffold ’10 is in his first year of residency at the University of Kansas School of MedicineWichita Family Medicine Residency Program at Wesley Medical Center. Andrew Perry ’11 recently was awarded the Master Pork Producers and Pork Partners Award for his pork production contributions at Perry Livestock LLC in Aurelia, Iowa. He is the third generation to work on the independent family farm started by his grandfather. He also farms corn and soybeans and sells seed with Perry Seeds. Destinee Biesemeyer ’12 is coordinator for student advocacy and wellness at Wright State University in Ohio. She joined the university in 2015 as a coordinator for health promotion. Previously, she worked as a private contractor for a disaster management group that responded to disasters throughout the country. Mitchell Masker ’13, ’15 was named principal at Kearney (Missouri) Elementary. He previously was an elementary assistant principal in the Savannah School District. Ben Nuelle ’15 was one of 17 individuals from throughout the United States awarded a yearlong public policy fellowship with The Fund for American Studies. The fellowship allows young professionals to foster connections with peers working in public policy while building an understanding of the principles of government through deliberation and debate. He is an agricultural journalist on Capitol Hill for Agri-Pulse Communications, covering legislative and federal


Dr. Rachelle Beattie joined ProBiora Health, a provider of oral care probiotics, as its technical and resupply lead in July. She has worked extensively in microbiology research and as a teacher.



Mallory Daughterty married Jaxson Armstrong Sept. 21, 2019, in Cumberland, Iowa. She is a project coordinator at Blue Frog Marketing in Waukee, Iowa, and the couple resides in West Des Moines. policy affecting rural communities and the agriculture industry. Brock Behrndt ’17 was hired as director of performance at South Dakota School of Mines. He spent the previous year as assistant director of strength and conditioning at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. Krystal Brier ’18 was honored in May by the Missouri College Advising Corps with the Ann Korscghen Pioneer Award, in recognition of a college adviser who demonstrates initiative and makes a difference. She is a college adviser at Fort Osage High School in Independence. KelLeigh Bryant ’18 ’19 married Mason Taylor July 13, 2019. She is a special education teacher in Greenville (South Carolina) County Schools. Devin Tally ’19 was named a staff accountant for the city of Fort Scott, Kansas. He previously was employed at Wise Tax and Accounting in Fort Scott.


Anthony Ealy Jr. graduated in May from the University of Missouri School of Law in Columbia. He also served as a board member and convention coordinator for the National Black Law Students Association.

WHAT’S NEW WITH YOU? New job? New child? New spouse? New address? Send your news to the Northwest Alumni Association at, use the enclosed envelope or complete the online class notes form at You may also submit a photograph. Please include a self-addressed envelope for the photo to be returned, or email it, in high resolution, to





Northwest extends its condolences to the families and friends of these individuals. David Akins ’07, age 35, of Kansas City, Missouri, died Aug. 12, 2019. He worked for DST Systems in Kansas City for 10 years before joining TEK Systems to work with Kansas City Southern Railway. Arnold “Andy” Anderson ’64, age 82, of St. Charles, Missouri, died Oct. 31, 2019, in Murphy, Texas. He worked as a regional sales manager for Time Insurance Company and Fortis Insurance Company for 30 years. Dr. Walter Arms ’57, age 84, of Dalton, Georgia, died June 29. He was an associate professor at the University of Akron in Ohio from 1968 to 1989 and at West Georgia College at Dalton State College from 1989 to 1993 before serving as director of the elementary school at Berry College in Georgia from 1993 to 2001. He retired from the U.S. Army Reserve in 1995 as a lieutenant colonel. Billy Aten ’76, age 66, of St. Joseph, Illinois, died Oct. 20, 2019. He worked in the auto industry for more than 30 years. Lana Babcock ’65, age 75, of St. Joseph, Missouri, died Aug. 5, 2019. Her 43-year education career included teaching history, vocal music and psychology in Weston, Albany and Dearborn in Missouri as well as Houston. Virginia Snyder Baker ’84, age 85, of Hamilton, Missouri, died Nov. 27, 2019. She enrolled at Northwest at age 46 and, after completing her degree in elementary education, taught kindergarten until her retirement in 1998. Dian Banks ’92, age 70, of Oregon, Missouri, died April 14. She was employed as a social worker for the state of Missouri. She also worked for Catholic Charities and Preferred Family Healthcare. Virginia Jennings Barger ’54, age 86, of Joplin, Missouri, died Sept. 4. She taught high school in Duenweg and Neosho in Missouri. She also taught business administration at Crowder College in Neosho and was an assistant professor for the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and Little Rock. Robert Barnard ’61, age 85, died Oct. 27, 2019. He served in the U.S. Army and worked for American Family Insurance Company for 40 years, before retiring to raise Charolais cattle. Cecil Lee Barton ’64, age 80, of Platte City, Missouri, died May 4. He was a teacher before starting a 37-year career at TWA, later American Airlines, retiring in 2003.

Richard Bateman ’70, ’78, age 78, died Dec. 11, 2019, in Kansas City, Missouri. He was a music teacher in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Wyoming. Larry Beasing ’64, age 77, of Fremont, Nebraska, died Sept. 8, 2019. He taught English in Fremont Public Schools from 1965 to 1999 and coached ninth grade football and basketball. Donald Beaulieu ’73, age 69, of St. Joseph, Missouri, died Dec. 14, 2019. He was an accomplished artist, playing piano and harmonica. Cody Bengford ’11, age 33, of Bellevue, Nebraska, died Oct. 19, 2019. He managed multiple H&R Block offices. Frederick Boland ’93, age 79, of Columbia, Missouri, died Aug. 7. He was a diesel mechanic in the U.S. Navy from 1958 to 1961. He worked for the Farm Credit Bureau for several years and operated a farm, raising livestock and row crops. He later taught in Unionville and Trenton, served as high school principal in Hamilton from 1998 to 2000, and returned to Trenton as high school principal from 2000 to 2005. Agnes Kowitz Boulger ’41, age 99, died April 7, in Kankakee, Illinois. She taught in Graham, Missouri, and later home economics at Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School in Illinois until her retirement in 1981. Tina Bowling ’79, age 61, of Pleasant Hill, Missouri, died July 1. She was a teacher in the Blue Springs, Platte City and Lee’s Summit in Missouri as well as in Greeley, Colorado, and Dallas. Elizabeth “Sue” Henry Bredahl ’63, age 82, of Skidmore, Missouri, died Aug. 7, 2019. She taught vocational economics in high schools in Nashua and Mt. Ayr in Iowa, and Rock Falls, Illinois. Later, she was principal operator for 19 years of a Skidmore farm with her husband. Linda Graves Briner ’98, age 68, of Rosendale, Missouri, died Dec. 7, 2019. She spent 31 years teaching in the Missouri public schools. Ray Briscoe ’66, age 79 of Centennial, Colorado, died Sept. 16. He had a long career in industrial sales, first with Gates Rubber Company as a sales representative and later as the Mountain States Zone manager for Osborn International. In 2014, he concluded his career as a manufacturer’s representative with Blackwell and Associates.

Frances Brown-Siler ’50, age 93, of St. Joseph, Missouri, died July 28. She taught in the West Platte and Weston school districts in Missouri as well as in Atchison, Kansas. Darlene Jones Buglovsky ’73, age 67, of Aurora, Colorado, died Aug. 18, 2019. She worked as a registered nurse, teacher and piano teacher. Karen Bush ’68, age 74, of Sealy, Texas, died May 9. She worked as an accountant for Florida Gas and Transmission and Enron. She also was a professional darts thrower. Pamela Carlson ’77, age 66, of Stanberry, Missouri, died Feb. 27. She was the business manager and owner of Jones Boys Farms and Construction. Judy Chaney Colhour ’84, age 76, of Maysville, Missouri, died Oct. 17, 2019. She taught biology and chemistry courses for more than 30 years, spending the majority of her teaching career in Maysville. Margaret Christensen ’50, age 93, of Ottumwa, Iowa, died May 24. She was a teacher in Ladora, Bedford and Sibley in Iowa. Vernon “Dale” Collinsworth ’66, age 75, of Henderson, Nevada, died Sept. 29, 2019. He taught accounting and business law at Postville (Iowa) High School before becoming chief executive officer for chambers of commerce in Grinnell, Iowa; Marshall, Minnesota; Columbus, Nebraska; and Waterloo, Iowa. Later, he worked in franchise support for PostNet and in customer service for CarMax in Henderson. Bill Crawford ’58, age 83, of Asbury, Missouri, died Jan. 6. After working in the insurance industry for 11 years, he relocated with his family to Savannah where he built a country store, liquor store and Snax-N-Stuff Restaurant. Later, he served as a city manager and grant writer for several small cities in Kansas. Daryl Creason ’73, age 73, of Raymore, Missouri, died Sept. 8, 2019. He taught industrial arts at Hickman Mills High School for four years. He then worked for Honeywell as a safety engineer, retiring after 23 years. Margaret “Lorraine” Driver Crews ’46, age 96, of Columbia, Missouri, died Jan. 20. She began her career teaching in the Andrew County and St. Joseph school districts. She served as a Welcome Wagon hostess and then was a volunteer at the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center at the University of Missouri Hospital for 33 years.




Robert Crockett ’57, ’63, age 88, of Albany, Missouri, died, Sept. 19, 2019. He taught for 31 years and received the Missouri State Teacher’s Association Outstanding Leadership Award in 1977. In 1996, Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan appointed him Gentry County emergency management director, and he received the State Emergency Management Agency Distinguished Service Award in 2000. Virginia Rodenburg Crouse ’73, ’79, age 71, of St. Joseph, Missouri, died Oct. 13, 2019. She began her teaching career in the Maryville R-II School District and later worked in the Platte Valley Education Cooperative and the St. Joseph School District. She and her husband also were principal owners of Breit & Hawkins Funeral Home in Savannah, Missouri. Philip Denver Sr. ’49, age 91, of St. Joseph, Missouri, died Nov. 25, 2019. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War and developed psychological tests. He later was recruited to develop a human resource department for Seitz Foods and became regional vice president of human resources and labor relations for Seitz Foods/Sara Lee Corporation, retiring after 36 years. In retirement, he was appointed to the panel of federal arbitrators by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and served as federal arbitrator in charge of the U.S. Midwest Region for 15 years. For three decades, he also managed Kauffman Farms in Princeton, Missouri. Bryan Dobbins ’96, age 46, of Muscatine, Iowa, died April 4. He was a shipping coordinator at Pioneer Hybrids/Corteva in Durant, Iowa, for more than 20 years. James Dougan, age 96, of Ravenwood, Missouri, died June 11. He retired from Northwest’s environmental services department, and then was a handy man at McDonald’s in Maryville. Bruce Dunbar ’66, ’73, age 73, of Independence, Missouri, died Sept. 14, 2019. He began his career as a teacher in the St. Joseph Missouri School District before transitioning to a career in hospital administration and psychological therapy. He spent the last 30 years of his career in nursing. Sergia “Pedie” Fries Dunlap ’51, age 91, of Spring, Texas, died Aug. 10, 2019. She taught in Lordsburg, New Mexico, and in Nebraska City, Nebraska. She lived in Australia, Florida and Colorado, where she worked as a food preparation and preservation agent for the Colorado State University Extension. Helen Echterling ’60, age 84, of King City, Missouri, died Feb. 9. She taught third and fourth grades for more than 30 years before retiring and continued as a substitute teacher. Phyllis Bender Watson Edwards ’55, age 89, of Hannibal, Missouri, died May 14. She taught elementary school in Mound City, Missouri, at Kodiak Naval Base in Kodiak, Arkansas, and in Columbia, Missouri, before retiring in 1990 in Hannibal after 30 years of teaching. Harry Elder ’49, age 95, of Des Moines, Iowa, died June 17. He enjoyed a 34-year career in education,



serving as a classroom teacher, vice principal and principal, retiring in 1988 from the Des Moines Public School District. During retirement, he led a community band, “Hawkeye Travelers.” Dr. George English, age 90, of Maryville, died Aug. 14, 2019. A veteran of the U.S. Army, he was vice president of academic affairs and a professor of political science at Northwest from 1977 until his retirement in 1995. He also was active in Maryville, serving for many years on the Maryville City Council. Dr. MaryBeth Evans ’44, age 102, of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, died Oct. 15, 2019. She began her career as a K-8 teacher in a tworoom schoolhouse in Maryville. She continued as an elementary teacher and principal in Lamoni and Cedar Rapids in Iowa. She transitioned to higher education in 1953 and taught until 1988 at Graceland University in Lamoni, where its Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning is named in her honor. She spent the next 28 years teaching at the University of Southern Mississippi. Paul Falcone, age 77, of Maryville, died July 18. He joined the Northwest faculty in 1987, teaching graphic design and art history, and retired as associate professor in 2007. Mary Lee Farris ’38, age 102, of Faucett, Missouri, died April 23. She taught in Laclede, Missouri, before moving to Faucett, where she taught at MidBuchanan High School for most of her career, with a stint at North Platte High School. Joan Hansen Fisher ’52, age 89, died Feb. 17 in Encinitas, California. She taught home economics among other subjects during her career. Gene Foster ’75, age 70, of Plattsburg, Missouri, died Aug. 27, 2019. In addition to three decades of teaching at Plattsburg High School, he taught at the University of Missouri-Columbia and at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He retired as the computer-aided tomography trainer for the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security.

Barbara Curnutt Frankum ’71, age 71, of St. Joseph, Missouri, died May 3. She worked as a social worker for 27 years for the Missouri Division of Family Services. Marion Freeman ’50, age 91, of St. Louis, died Dec. 27, 2019. He taught industrial arts, architecture and drafting and was a track, cross country and basketball coach. Robert Garten ’63, age 79 of Laurie, Missouri, died Sept. 11, 2019. He was a teacher, coach and administrator in the Excelsior Springs, Maryville, Fort Osage, Trenton and Chillicothe school districts in Missouri, retiring in 1994. Diane Gibson ’74, age 68, of New Hampton, Missouri, died Aug. 6. She taught in the St. Joseph area before beginning a career with the U.S. Postal Service. She retired as postmaster in Bethany. Lois Gossard ’69, age 97, of Pickering, Missouri, died May 21. She worked in various school districts, completing her teaching career in the Hamburg (Iowa) School District. Lutie Hineline Graham ’62, age 97, of Shenandoah, Iowa, died June 29. She taught nearly every grade level and subject area during a 33-year-career in Bartlett, Percival and Prairie Township, and as a kindergarten teacher from 1958-1982 in Sidney. Dr. Michael Graham, age 76, of Maryville, died May 20. He served in the U.S. Army Military Police in Vietnam for two years. He joined the Northwest faculty in the Department of Educational Leadership in 1985 and retired in 2008 as professor and chair of the department. Max Hamilton ’74, age 85, of Trenton, Missouri, died Oct. 25, 2019. He served in the U.S. Army and taught mathematics for 28 years in Osborn and Trenton public schools. Kylan Harrell, age 22, of St. Louis, died May 26. A junior organizational communication major, he was president of Northwest’s Alpha Phi Alpha chapter, was active in the Men’s Minority Organization and was a student representative for the Black Alumni Chapter of the Northwest Alumni Association. He also worked in campus recreation. Sybil Sims Higginbotham ’59, age 82, of Maryville, died Jan. 22. She worked in Maryville at the Social Security Administration and then the Farmers Home Administration, retiring in 1999 after 35 years. Clyde Hulet ’55, age 94, of McFall, Missouri, died April 23. He served in the 50th Armored Infantry Division, 3rd Army, in Germany before teaching for 33 years in the South Harrison School District, where he taught industrial arts, drafting and carpentry. He then was athletic director for two years at the Word of Life Christian School in Cameron.


Dr. Joyce Hulett, age 79, of Columbia, Missouri, died Nov. 10, 2019. She taught early childhood education classes at Northwest as well as Fort Hays State University, Columbia College, William Woods University and the University of Missouri-Columbia. Eric Humar ’76, age 66, of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, died March 18. He was employed with Allstate Insurance Company for more than 35 years. Roger Johnson ’70, age 71, of Independence, Iowa, died April 5. He worked for many years at BankIowa. Denise Runyan Johnson ’76, age 63, of Merriam, Kansas, died Jan. 31, 2019. She taught English at the junior high level and later taught English as a Second Language at Donnelly College in Kansas City, Kansas, and the University of Kansas Medical Center. Larry Jones ’77, age 71, of St. Joseph, Missouri, died Jan. 29. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam era and then in the U.S. Naval Reserves. He began his teaching and coaching career in Jameson before moving to King City and retiring as principal of South Holt R-1 in Oregon, Missouri. James Joy ’57, age 84, of Rogers, Arkansas, died Aug. 4. Commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1957, he advanced to the rank of brigadier general in the U.S. Marine Corps. Upon military retirement in 1988, he became director of the Marine Corps morale, welfare and recreation programs, serving in that capacity until 1996. His numerous medals and decorations included the Defense Superior Service Medal, Purple Heart, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal and the Navy Commendation Medal. Dale King, age 72, of Maryville, died Aug. 19. He served in the U.S. Army in the 9th Artillery Unit and saw action in the Vietnam War. He was an electrician at Northwest and was later self-employed for many years. Anita Fink Kurtz ’53, age 88, of Oregon, Missouri, died Oct. 3, 2019. She taught in Kansas City, Missouri, and retired from the South Holt School District in Oregon, where she taught music and third grade.

Dr. Richard Landes, age 79, of Maryville, died Dec. 12, 2019. He was an assistant professor of chemistry at Northwest for more than 30 years. Margaret Letsche ’90, age 52, of Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, died July 17. She began her career at Ernst & Young in St. Louis and later worked at public accounting firms in Milwaukee; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and most recently in South Sioux City, Nebraska. Bill Lippincott ’60, age 82, of Atlantic, Iowa, died May 18. He worked at Gruver Community Schools and Saydel Community Schools. In 1971, his family moved to Atlantic to manage and later purchase Claremar Fabrics, a drapery manufacturing business. He returned to teaching at Sioux Rapids Community Schools and then taught psychology at Iowa Western Community College. Mary Asbell Mackenzie ’69, age 71, of Lubbock, Texas, died Aug. 28, 2019. She taught English in the St. Joseph (Missouri) School District for three years before transitioning to a career in library science. From 1991 until her retirement in 2002, she was senior associate director for extramural services for the School of Medicine Preston Smith Library at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Grady Maharry ’73, age 70, of Lenox, Iowa, died April 21. He taught in Bethany, Missouri. Dr. Emmett E. Mason ’58, age 85, of Oberlin, Ohio, died June 16, 2017. After serving in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War, he taught industrial education for teachers and industrial engineering technology at Central Michigan University from 1969 until he retired in 1995. Taylor McCartney ’16, age 27, of Trenton, Missouri, died July 5. She taught second and third grades in Trenton. Larry McCarty ’71, age 70, of Stanberry, Missouri, died Jan. 25. He was a Stanberry alderman from 1991 to 2001 and then served as mayor until 2004. He also coached girls track and refereed. Leah Renee McGinley ’78, age 64, of St. Joseph, Missouri, died April 25. She retired in 2016 after 20 years in the St. Joseph School District and 10 years in the Kansas School District as a learning disability elementary school teacher. Nellie McGinley ’77, age 76, of Darlington, Missouri, died Jan. 8. She was a teacher at Stanberry Elementary School until retiring in 1988. Bernard McLaughlin ’68, ’76, age 77, of Decatur, Illinois, died April 23. He taught at taught high school American history and coached football and wrestling. He also served as an assistant football coach at Millikin University.

Kathryn McKee ’46, age 98, of Maryville, died Feb. 20. She taught public school in Craig, Missouri, and then taught education courses at Northwest and its Horace Mann Laboratory School from 1946 to 1982. Daryl Mercer ’67, age 74, of Ravenwood, Missouri, died Aug. 11. An Army veteran, he spent most of his career with the Department of Energy. Ronnie Mercer ’68, age 74, of Springfield, Missouri, died Aug. 9, 2019. He served as county clerk for Gentry County and worked in banking in Ravenwood and Pattonsburg. Louise O’Dell Merkle ’55, age 86, of Oakland, Iowa, died Aug. 6, 2019. She was a teacher at Oakland Elementary School for 24 years. Joe Mewhirter ’60, age 88, of Atlantic, Iowa, died Feb. 9. He served as a Marine Corps sergeant in the Korean War. He then formed Joe B. Mewhirter Contracting and Building, which he operated for 45 years. Debra Wheatcraft Misenhelter ’78, ’82, age 62, of Four Seasons, Missouri, died Sept. 24, 2019. She retired after a 30-year teaching career in the Excelsior Springs School District. Richard Mowry ’64, age 84, of Maitland, Missouri, died Jan. 24. He served in the U.S. Army and spent his career teaching and coaching in Iowa. Norma “Jeanne” Bahl Moyer ’49, age 91, of Maryville, died Sept. 20, 2019. She was a homemaker and teacher. Ruth Palmer ’50, age 91, of Tavares, Florida, died May 10. She was an accomplished violinist and homemaker. Judith Clark Partlow ’69, age 69, of Primghar, Iowa, died Oct. 30, 2016. She was a teacher in the Primghar and South O’Brien school districts. Richard Duane Partlow ’68, age 72, of Primghar, Iowa, died March 5, 2019. He was a principal and superintendent in the Primghar, Sutherland, South O’Brien and Farragut school districts. He later served as a drug and alcohol treatment counselor. James Perry ’70, age 78, of St. Joseph, Missouri, died Nov. 10, 2019. He was a business teacher for 41 years at Central High School in St. Joseph, where he also coached golf teams to three state championships, football, and boys and girls basketball. He finished his career as men’s golf coach at Missouri Western State University for 12 years and was MIAA Coach of the Year in 2006.




Geraldine Pierson, age 85, of Maryville, died Oct. 17, 2019. She retired as a staff member in food service at Northwest. Bob Pile ’70, age 72, of Savannah, Missouri, died Sept. 13, 2019. He was a lifelong farmer of Holt County, raising corn and soybeans. Harold Poynter, age 99, of Maryville, died Aug. 17, 2019. In addition to operating an optometry practice, he was a member of Northwest’s Board of Regents from 1981 to 1985. Loren Putney ’57, age 86, of Pipe Creek, Texas, died Nov. 19, 2019. He retired in 1991 from Eastman Kodak after a 25-year career. David Ranum ’65, age 78, of Macon, Missouri, died March 30. He was an insurance adjuster. Jenna Rhodes ’01, age 39, of Little Rock, Arkansas, died July 31, 2019. She taught science and coached at Grandview (Missouri) High School. She also worked as a program manager for University of Arkansas medical sciences. Phyllis Gardner Robertson ’73, ’86, age 88, of Maryville, died April 26. She taught fifth grade at St. Gregory Catholic School and finished her career as an art teacher at Eugene Field Elementary School in Maryville. Ron Robinson ’56, age 88, of St. Joseph, Missouri, died Feb. 9. He served in the Missouri Air National Guard and worked for the Missouri highway department for 34 years, retiring in 1992. Sharon Roeder ’88, age 71, of St. Joseph, Missouri, died Aug. 30, 2019. She taught kindergarten in the St. Joseph School District for 32 years. Norma Rogers ’75, age 92, of Wellsville, Kansas, died July 25. She worked for the Division of Family Services and retired as the Head Start coordinator, having covered five counties. Dr. Robert Rowlette ’52, age 89, of Maryville, died March 15. He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. He taught at the University of Cincinnati; Butler University in Indianapolis; Kansas University; Pace University in Pleasantville, New York; and at Northwest. Andrea McNeil Ryan ’03, age 39, of Overland Park, Kansas, died Oct. 30, 2019. She was a business analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City. Louise Schaaf ’39, age 104, of St. Joseph, Missouri, died July 27. She began her teaching career in Desloge, Missouri, during World War II and later became a math teacher at Central High School in Larry Schulenberg ’64, age 78, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, died Dec. 18, 2018. He was a high school English teacher, English curriculum specialist and principal. In retirement, he published multiple books and returned to the classroom as an English instructor at Iowa Western Community College.



St. Joseph, where she also was chair of the math department until her retirement in 1979. Vincent Schieber ’88, age 62, of Maryville, died March 14. He was employed with Energizer for more than 35 years and then worked at Michael Foods in Iowa and Federal-Mogul Corp. in Maryville. Curtis Seabolt ’11, ’14, age 32, of Mason City, Iowa, died Dec. 31, 2019. He taught agriculture in Macon, Missouri, and then began working for Omnium, moving up to production supervisor. Mary Lou Miller Searcy ’66, age 92 of Gallatin, Missouri, died Aug. 23, 2019. She taught remedial reading and fifth grade in Gallatin. Robert Severson ’59, age 82, of Maryville, died Aug. 20, 2019. He owned and operated the Maryville Shoe Store until 1985 and was the owner and operator of S&S Properties in Maryville. Ronald Severson ’62, age 81, of Panama, Nebraska, died Jan. 31. He was a teacher for more than 35 years and coached football, baseball and wrestling, earning induction into the Nebraska Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame. After his retirement in 2000, he worked as a crop adjuster. Sally Chitwood Sims ’81, age 60, of North Bend, Nebraska, died Oct. 8, 2019. She began her career as a nurse at Norfolk Veterans Home and worked at numerous retirement care centers in the region. At the time of her death, she was working as a nursing home evaluator for the state of Nebraska. Bessie Mae Smith, age 85, of Pickering, Missouri, died Feb. 13. She was a housemother at Perrin Hall at Northwest for 17 years. Michael Sorensen ’68, age 73, of Cincinnati, died April 24. He served in the U.S. Army and earned the rank of E5 in Military Intelligence while serving in Munich, Germany, and Long Bien, Vietnam. He later worked for J.C. Penney, StarKist, Heinz and Nestle. Linda Sherer Starks ’70, age 71, of St. Joseph, Missouri, died July 15. She taught kindergarten, first and second grades in the St. Joseph School District. She also started the volunteer office for the St. Joseph Chapter of the American Red Cross and was volunteer coordinator for three years. Allen Stevens ’88, age 57, of Marshalltown, Iowa, died Aug. 30, 2019. He was a volunteer teacher in Japan for a year and volunteered for various community activities. Bob Stites, age 83, of Montreal, Missouri, died Nov. 28, 2019. After serving nine years in the Air Force, he worked construction and was a carpenter at Northwest for 20 years.

Diana Taylor ’67, age 75, of St. Joseph, Missouri, died Dec. 11, 2019. She was in social work for 35 years, including service as director of the Shelter for Abused Women in St. Joseph. Sherecia Taylor ’76, age 71, of Palm Harbor, Florida, died Aug. 5. She served as a teacher for children with learning and orthopedic impairments for 30 years in the North Kansas City School District. William Taylor ’86, age 55, of Creston, Iowa, died Nov. 7, 2019. He was an instructor in office occupations, men’s basketball coach, dean of students and, most recently, vice president of instruction at Southwestern Iowa Community College. Gary Tolen ’59, age 83, died Feb. 25, in Cameron, Missouri. He served with the U.S. Army band in Germany, and then taught band and music in public schools. Roberta Robertson Thomas ’49, age 91, of St. Joseph, Missouri, died Aug. 25, 2019. She taught for 33 years in Missouri and Kansas and for the last 22 years of her career in Deer River, Minnesota. She also coached volleyball and track in Minnesota. Sharon Thorpe ’92, age 66, of St. Joseph, Missouri, died Oct. 27, 2019. She worked as a dental hygienist before becoming an educator with the St. Joseph School District and was recognized as Walmart Teacher of the Year in 2005. James Vawter ’69, age 71, of Mount Vernon, Washington, died Oct. 21, 2019. He was a business consultant for EOC. Russell Webb ’95, age 48, of Corydon, Iowa, died Sept. 10. He started a trucking company and later opened a seed dealership, growing it into a seed warehouse and distribution company as well as a cow/calf operation in northern Missouri and southern Iowa. Linda Campbell White ’70, age 71, of Bolckow, Missouri, died Dec. 19, 2019. She enjoyed gardening, canning and the farm where she lived with her husband. Peggy Wickstrom ’80, age 66, of McPherson, Kansas, died June 17. She was retired from Pfizer. Jack Wiechmann ’55, age 88, died June 7, 2019, in Omaha, Nebraska. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War and was an educator for 36 years. He retired from Omaha Central High School and Omaha Burke High School as a guidance counselor in 1993. C. Janice Grooms Wiederholt ’52, age 92, of Maryville, died July 13, 2019. She taught science in Eagleville and later was a stay-at-home mother in addition to assisting with a gas station her husband owned in Stanberry. Mary Ellen Watkins Wright ’59, age 82, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, died June 23. She taught for 35 years at elementary schools in Anita and Council Bluffs, Iowa, and in the Lee’s Summit (Missouri) School District.

LET US KNOW If you learn of the death of a Northwest graduate, please submit in writing or via news clipping the name of the deceased (and maiden name, if appropriate), year(s) of graduation from Northwest, date of death, age, city of death, city of residence and a brief listing of career accomplishments. In addition, submit your relationship to the deceased and your daytime telephone number to the Office of University Advancement, 800 University Dr., Maryville, MO 644686001, or email Submissions may be edited for length and clarity.


POSTCARD Fireworks lit up the sky over the Northwest campus Aug. 18 to celebrate the start of the academic year. An annual tradition that is now 11 years old, the Student Activities Council sponsors the dramatic display, which is set to music and takes place on the eve of the first day of fall classes.


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