Page 1





Stories of alumni growing, educating and giving back to their communities

Cassia Kite ’03 | p. 8

ACHIEVEMENTS National success I p. 7

HUGHES FIELDHOUSE Alumnus overseeing facility I p. 18


Men defend MIAA basketball titles I p. 26



It’s because of the volunteer support of countless alumni and friends – spirited people like Gretchen Mollenhour Curley and Martin Curley – that Northwest continues to thrive.

When you ask any graduate or student about Northwest, nine times out of 10 their answer will be about the family they have found there. For us, Northwest is where our family began. We met at Phillips Hall, dated all through college and got engaged on the football field in Florence, Alabama, after the Bearcats won the national championship in 2009. Northwest isn’t just part of our story – it is our story. When our alumni chapter was in need of new leadership, we didn’t hesitate to volunteer. Leading our local chapter has enabled us to raise funds for a local scholarship, give back to our community, extend our Northwest family and build friendships and connections that will last a lifetime. Once a Bearcat, always a Bearcat! Gretchen Mollenhour Curley ’08 and Martin Curley ’09, with Cooper and Jackson, St. Joseph Alumni and Friends Chapter

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







Editor Mark Hornickel ’01, ’13 Designer Kim Ziegler ’16 Design assistants Ashlee Hendrix ’08 Wes Rockwood ’14 Photographer Todd Weddle ’96 Photography assistant Brandon Bland ’15 Carly Hostetter Editorial assistants Hannah Brod Marshall Fey Teresa Darrah Gustafson ’97, ’05 Mike Johnson ’85 Laurie Drummond Long ’92 Bob Machovsky ’15 Katie Machovsky ’16 Mitzi Craft Marchant ’91, ’09 Sam Mason ’88 Taylor Middleton Scott Nielson ’01 Dr. Lonelle Rathje ’97, ’03 Brandon Stanley ’01, ’16 Lori McLemore Steiner ’85 Brenda Untiedt ’00, ’09



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.

Cassia Kite ’03

On this page, Kite paints a landscape of her family’s farmland in Auburn, Nebraska.

The Northwest Alumni Magazine is published three 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.

On the cover, Kite stands on a hilltop road that overlooks the farm. The overlaid texture is part of a stitching Kite created of the same vantage point.

contents 14




Dau, Houston support Northwest in multiple ways



Twaddle’s art reflective of past, future


Dear Friends


Northwest News

14 Advancing Northwest 18 Alumni Connections 26 Bearcat Sports 30 Class Notes 39 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.



One consistent concern through my teaching years at Northwest was our students’ and their parents’ unease about available “jobs to plug into” after graduation. This concern is legitimate when the stereotype of the starving bohemian artist still dominates in our popular culture. When I was an undergraduate art student, my own father was relieved to hear I had become interested in photography because he understood that medium has many economic applications outside the art world. But how do painting, sculpture or any of the so-called “minor arts” like printmaking and drawing apply to vocations? Where do conceptual art, performance art and expanded media fit into this quandary? Facing these pressures, how does a fine artist not give up one’s passion for personal expression? How does Cassia Kite find herself inventing a new expanded media she calls “sound stitching,” which involves stitching on fabric, musical scores inspired by color and line, and interpretive dance? How does Randy Twaddle’s ongoing interest in linguistic phrases and his abstract forms fit into an economic model? Clearly, the keys to artistic success both Cassia and Randy have achieved are derived from personal initiative, a desire to continually grow and learn; disciplined effort, curiosity and imagination; from experiences, a broad knowledge base and one’s professional marketing skills. Certainly, we teach traditional skills and techniques in art courses at Northwest, but addressing these artistic values is equally important and involves engaging a multitude of topics essential to a liberal education and the development of a student seeking a vocation in art. At Northwest, students explore these questions face to face with academic advisors, in classroom critiques, in casual conversations, while preparing for and during advanced standing and senior reviews, through reading and writing, but most importantly by making art. An acquaintance once told me I was lucky because, since I am an artist, my vocation is also my avocation. However, my intrinsic reward from teaching at Northwest has been helping students learn to intellectually wrestle with their unique questions and later to witness them successfully determine their artistic career.

Philip Laber ’72 Emeritus Professor of Art 4


NORTHWEST FOUNDATION INC. ’17–’18 BOARD OF DIRECTORS President Arnold Johnson ’77, Houston, Texas Vice President Jennifer Dawson Nicholson ’71, Kansas City, Missouri Immediate Past President Mark Doll ’80, West Des Moines, Iowa Board Members Leisha Beckemeyer Barry ’84, Liberty, Missouri Robert Barmann ’84, Platte City, Missouri Dr. Robert Burrell ’70, Denver, Colorado John Cline ’75, Overland Park, Kansas Karen Daniel ’80, Belton, Missouri Paula Rector Davis ’91, Lee’s Summit, Missouri Ken DeBaene ’81, Long Branch, New Jersey Myra Turner Evans ’77, Tarkio, Missouri Mike Faust ’74, Omaha, Nebraska Don Foley ’78, Ames, Iowa Bruce Gehrlein ’86, Wilton, Connecticut

Eric Geis ’01, Shawnee Mission, Kansas Roger Hendren ’75, Melissa, Texas Jacqueline Vincent Henningsen ’66, Arlington, Virginia David Holmes ’79, Prescott, Arizona Carl Hughes ’76, Kansas City, Missouri Gary Hultquist ’64, Sonoma, California Paul Jennings ’75, West Des Moines, Iowa John Moore ’78, Raymore, Missouri Angela Booth Moskow, Basking Ridge, New Jersey William Oellermann ’72, Mansfield, Texas Patricia Hagan Poulos ’75, Highland Village, Texas Mary Hamilton Purdy ’72, Davidsonville, Maryland Thomas Sanchez ’02, Washington, D.C. Jayma Elmore Sandquist ’90, Indianola, Iowa Dennis Sapp ’68, Gig Harbor, Washington Ken Scribner ’87, Kansas City, Missouri

Dr. Carol Blom Spradling ’88, Maryville, Missouri Brad Stephens ’98, Butler, Missouri Gary Thompson ’76, Princeton, Missouri John Teale ’73, Maryville Stan Zeamer ’70, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania Ex-Officio Directors Dr. Dean L. Hubbard, President Emeritus, Kansas City, Missouri Dr. John Jasinski, University President Mike Johnson ’85, Executive Director Dr. B. D. Owens ’59, President Emeritus, West Des Moines, Iowa University Advancement Mike Johnson ’85, Vice President Brooke Weldon Bowles ’02, Accounting Clerk and Scholarship Coordinator Teresa Darrah Gustafson ’97, ’05, Development Officer Carma Greene Kinman ’85, Executive Assistant

Laurie Drummond Long ’92, Development Officer Bob Machovsky ’15, Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving Mitzi Craft Marchant ’91, ’09, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations Sam Mason ’88, Development Officer Scott Nielson ’01, Associate Athletic Director/External Affairs and Development Dr. Lonelle Rathje ’97, ’03, Executive Director of Development and Campaign Coordinator Lori McLemore Steiner ’85, Finance Officer and Executive Director of Advancement Services Brenda Untiedt ’00, ’09, Alumni Relations and Advancement Communications Specialist


RENOVATIONS TO FRANKEN HALL, OTHER CAMPUS UPGRADES UNDERWAY Renovations to Franken Hall have begun after the Board of Regents, in January, unanimously approved a series of upgrades on the Northwest campus. The upgrades to Franken Hall, which opened in 1968, will include new paint, hallway carpet, main floor lounge upgrades, beds, wardrobes, desks, dressers, two private bathrooms on each student

floor, windows and HVAC piping. Additionally, two rooms on each floor will be converted to lounge space. “This project doesn’t give us everything we want, but it begins to move around campus with improving what we have,” Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Matt Baker said. “We’re making incremental improvements with the understanding and belief that it will be more appealing to our incoming students.” Additionally, Northwest is moving forward on improvements to restrooms in Perrin Hall, an upgrade of the electrical system in the Olive DeLuce Fine Arts Building and a window replacement project at Colden Hall, amoung other projects.

New high-performance computing system enabling research with large data A high computing cluster on the Northwest campus is giving faculty – and students – an opportunity to use and analyze large datasets. Northwest purchased the high-performance computing system – the first of its type in the region – after receiving a National Science Foundation grant worth $225,607. The computer provides an advantage, not only to faculty conducting research but to the students who will have opportunities to use the system, which Northwest is calling “Bartik,” in honor of the late Jean Jennings Bartik ’45, who helped program the world’s first electronic computer. “There’s no substitute for hands-on training,” Dr. James Campbell, an assistant professor of biology who helped secure

the grant, said. “It’s one thing to talk about how to log in to systems and how to analyze large datasets. It’s another thing to actually let a student drive and do remote work. In the workplace, data scientists will routinely perform analyses on systems like Bartik.” The successful grant allowed Northwest to purchase 21 nodes, or computing devices, equipped with a total of 576 processors and several terabytes of memory. Dr. Michael Steiner ’85, Northwest’s associate provost for undergraduate studies and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said, “The opportunity to integrate big data analysis into scholarship and learning experiences across multiple disciplines can be transformative for us.”

GRAPHIC DESIGN STUDENT ADDS TO COMMUNITY ART WITH MURAL A new mural on the wall of a downtown Maryville business is the creation of a Northwest student who was inspired by a summer internship that exposed her to public artwork. Emily Stark, who graduated in December with her bachelor’s degree in graphic design, painted the mural on the exterior wall of Northwest Audio Visual on Market Street near the downtown square. Stark painted the mural, “Nature and Grow,” for her senior show, a requirement of art majors to display a final piece of artwork before graduating. She created the mural after she interned last summer with InterUrban ArtHouse in Overland Park, Kansas, and saw a need in Maryville for more murals and public artwork. Upon returning to Maryville last fall, she worked with local business leaders and City Manager Greg McDanel ’02 to gain approval and a location for her artwork. “The process of gaining approval taught me a lot about being able to advocate for myself as an artist and the ability to demonstrate the confidence and pride that I have in my work,” she said. NORTHWEST ALUMNI MAGAZINE I SPRING 2018



STUDENTS, COMMUNITY TAKE ADVANTAGE OF TEMPLE GRANDIN VISIT Dr. Temple Grandin, a globally recognized authority on improving the welfare and handling of farm animals, visited Northwest in February as the featured guest of the annual James H. Lemon Lecture. Grandin’s day-long visit included a tour and interaction with agricultural sciences students at the R.T. Wright Farm. She also led discussions with ag advocacy students and local educators and toured Northwest’s Horace Mann Laboratory School before delivering the evening’s lecture to a capacity crowd at the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts.

FACULTY INTERNSHIP RESULTS IN HARLEY-DAVIDSON EXECUTIVE’S CAMPUS VISIT Students in Northwest’s School of Communication and Mass Media gained valuable insight into the world of corporate communication at one of the world’s most recognizable brands when Patricia Sweeney, director of corporate reputation for Harley-Davidson Inc., visited Northwest for two days in October. Sweeney’s visit was a reciprocal result of a faculty internship program that placed Dr. Joy Daggs, an assistant professor of communication, at HarleyDavidson headquarters in Milwaukee for two weeks under Sweeney’s supervision last July. The connection has allowed Daggs to incorporate multiple guest speakers from HarleyDavidson, via Skype, in her classroom. “I benefitted by getting in touch with a major corporation and seeing how corporate 6

communication plays out in a daily setting,” Daggs said. “I was there for an earnings release, and I got to see preparation for that release. It has been great to have those examples to show that even something that seems routine can require major planning and preparation.” In discussions with Northwest students, Sweeney shared insights related to social media strategies and crisis communication as well as Harley-Davidson’s communication and public relations approaches. “The information she shared really helped me think about all of the possibilities that the communication field has to offer,” Taylor Middleton, a junior public relations major from Kirksville, Missouri, said. “Having the opportunity to hear from a real-world professional really helps set students apart.”


Dr. Patrick Harr converses with the crowd gathered for a ceremony formally renaming the Student-Athlete Academic Center in honor of him and his father.

Student-athlete academic center honors Harrs’ commitment to education Friends and family of Dr. Patrick Harr and the late Dr. John Harr packed the lower level of the Lamkin Activity Center in January as Northwest renamed its Student-Athlete Academic Center in honor of their 79 years of collective service to the institution. Now known as the Harr Athletic Success Center, the facility’s renaming honors Patrick’s 40-plus years of service as a volunteer physician for Northwest athletic teams, setting lasting examples for the Maryville community and its student-athletes. His father, John, was a member of the Northwest faculty from 1944 until 1979 and made impacts as chair of the history department and as the Homecoming faculty chairman. “We talk about being forever green and there is no better personification than Dr. Harr,” Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski said. “His family’s impact on the University and our region is decades long, and Doc has helped so many people and supports our student-athletes in a matter-of-fact manner. His devotion to lifelong learning, scholarship and positive impacts is modeled by his wife, Teri, and his family – modeled after his mom and dad. The Board of Regents is thrilled to honor Doc in this way, and we are all so much better for having Doc and the Harr family as part of our heritage.” Northwest converted the space from a fitness center into academic space after the 2015 opening of the Robert and Virginia Foster Fitness Center. A lounge for student-athletes with couches, tables, chairs and TVs, the space is outfitted with Northwest branding and banners while providing an area for student-athletes to study and socialize. “The response from our student-athletes, having this resource closer, was overwhelming,” said Kelsey Lacy ’16 ’17, a former Northwest student-athlete who now works as a success coach for the University’s Student-Athlete Success Program. “This space provides athletes the same opportunity as the Student Success Center in the library, where they may or may not have had time to go back and forth between practice, weights, film, et cetera. They have all really enjoyed this space and our services closer to where they spend the majority of their time.”


ACHIEVEMENTS Bearcat Steppers win national title, sustainability draws recognition Northwest continues to raise its stature as a “culture of champions” by outperforming its peers and ranking among the best in the nation on multiple stages. Since 2009, Northwest has claimed more than 40 national titles in both

academics and athletics – including 14 since December 2016 – and appeared in numerous national rankings. Here’s a snapshot of Northwest achievements in recent months.


is ranked among the

Maryville rose to No. 22 on the latest list, up from 28 a year ago and 32 before that. Also for the third consecutive year, Maryville is the only Missouri college town to appear on the list.

top 30 “Safest College Towns” in the U.S.A. by SafeWise

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) honored Northwest in October with its Excellence and Innovation Award in the category of sustainability and sustainable development. AASCU highlighted the University’s comprehensive sustainability system, which includes programs and services related to energy management, recycling, education and partnerships, and the Missouri Arboretum. ranked Northwest at No. 36 on its list of most affordable public schools for out-of-state students. It also lists Northwest at No. 39 for most affordable online MBA programs and No. 40 for most affordable in-state public universities. The ranking recognized Northwest for prioritizing professionbased learning and career-oriented instruction that prepares students for the global marketplace as well as its metamajor program, which allows freshmen deciding on a major to study a broad range of topics.

Northwest named Military Friendly School for the sixth consecutive year. Northwest ranked No. 21 on U.S. News and World Report’s list of “Top Public Schools” among regional universities in the Midwest and No. 87 overall, in a tie with five other schools on the list of “Best Regional Universities” in the Midwest, which includes all public and private universities in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin as well as Missouri.

The Bearcat Steppers captured their first national championship in January, winning the Open Game Day competition at the Universal Cheerleaders Association and Universal Dance Association national championships in Orlando, Florida. The Steppers also took second place in the Open Pom finals and ninth overall in the Open Jazz competition while the Bearcat cheerleaders finished fifth in the Open Coed Game Day division. NORTHWEST ALUMNI MAGAZINE I SPRING 2018


THE (the Sound of ar SOUND OF ART The sun beams through Cassia Kite’s studio on a picture perfect February

afternoon at her Sarasota, Florida, house.

As an art teacher, her school day is finished, but her work day is not.

Art catalogs and history books fill a

shelving unit in the room where Kite

never feels too far away from home.

By Mark Hornickel

Artwork depicting the Auburn, Nebraska,

Design by Kim Ziegler

farm where she grew up hangs on the walls, and a quilt she hand-stitched from 4x4-inch scraps of her dad’s patterned work shirts lies over a chair. She salvaged the chair, with red upholstery that’s had better days, from the curb of a Maryville street where she once lived. A mug created by the late Russ Schmaljohn sits on a pedestal in a corner, next to a piano. These are the pieces that thread Kite’s personal narrative, which is central to her work, both as an artist and a teacher. 8


Photography by Todd Weddle




Kite sets her hand-stitched images to sound with a musical scale she creates based on the colors she uses in the tapestries.


I really love my family history) Kite's family history is rooted on the Auburn farm that spans five generations. She grew up showing cattle with 4-H and enjoyed working with animals. She wanted to become a veterinarian, but that notion faded quickly during her freshman year at Northwest. She became an artist instead and now is pioneering an interdisciplinary, multimedia project that translates the colors of her work into musical compositions. She calls it “soundstitching.” Kite was visiting her family’s farm several summers ago and stitching together those scraps of her dad’s shirts to pass time. Pregnant with her daughter, Nina, she had stopped painting out of fear that the prenatal cadmium exposure might affect the baby’s health. “I fell in love with the whole process of the textile and tactile,” she said of the stitching, which she hadn’t practiced since a middle school home economics class. Soon, she started looking back at some of her line drawings and created hand-stitched copies of them. “And I thought if I can do my drawings, I’ll just approach a painting.” Weeks later, a friend of Kite’s met her at the farm to capture portraits of her at the 36-week mark of her pregnancy. Kite wanted nothing more than to be photographed in front of the original Kite farmhouse her great-grandfather built. Kite’s father was born in the home, and her grandmother taught her to play the baby grand piano that once furnished it. The house was abandoned and dilapidated, but Kite wanted to capture


Kite specializes in painting but took up stitching in 2012 as something to pass the time while she was pregnant with her daughter. On the opposite page, a map shows the colors she used to stitch the Olive DeLuce Fine Arts Building on the Northwest campus.

those memories of a place where she and generations before her laughed and played so she could pass them on to her daughter. “I grew up a quarter of a mile down the road,” Kite said. “It was very much in my life. I have memories of playing in that house.” Kite had another idea as she stood in front of the home for the photos. “I’m looking at the house and I’m like, ‘I wonder what it was like for them to hear me play the piano?’” Kite said. “Sound travels forever in the country, so people that were working on the farm could probably hear the piano coming from the house, and I thought, ‘How cool would that be if I could associate the piano sound with this image?’” An aptitude for art and music runs in the Kite family. Cassia’s mother, Nancy Mikkelson Kite, attended Northwest as an art major and is retired from teaching in the Auburn Public School District. Cassia’s maternal grandmother is an avid quilter. Her greatgrandfather was a self-taught painter and talented woodworker, while her great-greatgrandmother worked in folk art, painting Iowa scenes on tins, pillow cases and mirrors. The paternal side of Kite’s family was more interested in music. Her grandmother was a pianist and taught all of the Kite children to play. Her father, Jim Kite, who also attended Northwest, played the bassoon. Cassia took up percussion in middle school – until she quit out of a frustration that her band teacher assigned her to play the bells rather than a snare drum because she could read a music scale. The idea Kite had outside the farmhouse ignited an odyssey to mix the artistry of her hand-stitched images depicting personal and historical landscapes with musical


compositions that evoke memories of the places they portray. Kite wasn’t interested in researching the scientific correlations between color and sound and set out to create something all her own while empowering other artists to interpret it.



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After hand-stitching an image of the farmhouse, Kite devised a musical scale based on the colors she used in her embroidering. Reading the stitches left to right and top to bottom, she looked for color changes and assigned the color to musical notes. She added octaves to represent different shades of the same color. From middle C, the musical notes moved up the scale as the colors lightened and down the scale as they darkened. Initially, Kite protected her work fiercely and shared her vision for it with only a few loyal friends. Back in Nebraska, a connection with George Neubert, the creator and art director of the Flatwater Folk Art Museum in Brownville, stuck with her. While visiting Auburn again in 2016, Kite took samples of her work to Neubert, who urged her to pitch an exhibition to Kaneko, a non-profit organization in

Omaha, Nebraska, that supports artists creating experimental art with interdisciplinary traits. “She talked about being an artist in Florida and she knew some people that I knew,” he said. “We kind of compared notes about the art world, and she talked about her work and I began to realize that she was interdisciplinary in her approach. Not just visual, but taking a tradition such as stitchery, which is a folk tradition.” After a successful pitch to the Kaneko board, Kite began connecting with composers who could help turn her vision into reality. From a childhood friend who is principal harpist in the San Diego Symphony Orchestra to an experimental composer and toy pianist, they were eager to collaborate with Kite and offer interpretations of her work. “Being an educator, I really wanted this to be a full-on collaboration, NORTHWEST ALUMNI MAGAZINE I SPRING 2018


and it has been so amazing,” she said. “I feel like a translator. I’ve already done the visual work. Now I’m giving another component to somebody to use as their inspiration.” Last summer proved to be something of a breakout for Kite and her soundstitching. She stitched the Schoolhouse Art Gallery, a former one-room school in Brownville, and saw her work displayed there with a performance by a violinist that moved its audience to tears. After she stitched the former warehouse now occupied by Kaneko, another composer arranged a 12-person ensemble with instruments and voices for a performance that included a dance element with an Omaha dance collective. Similarly, a composer and choreographer collaborated on a performance of Kite’s “Pot Luck Dinner at Longboat Key Center for the Arts” for an exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, Florida.

“YOU KIND OF IMMORTALIZE THE SPACE WHEN YOU PUT IT TO A MUSIC COMPOSITION. I THINK THAT’S youPROBABLY kind of immortalize the WHY I STARTED DOING THIS BECAUSE I’M SO DEEPLY ROOTED. IT’S space put it to a ONEwhen OF THESEyou THINGS WHERE I CAN PUT MY ENERGY INTO IT AND MAKE IT music composition) SOMETHING THAT IS FOREVER.” In March, Kite brought her soundstitching to Northwest as part of a visiting artist series that included master classes, discussions and performances. A saxophone quartet, jazz ensemble and pianist performed compositions that were created by Northwest students and faculty and inspired by Kite’s tapestries of the Olive DeLuce Fine Arts Building and Bearcat Stadium – two places where she spent her share of hours working on art projects and cheering on the Bearcat football team. “It’s complete and absolute full circle for me,” she said. After all, Northwest is where Kite found her calling, not just in art but in educating and collaborating. When Kite found herself bored with pre-vet classes during her freshman year at Northwest, her mother recalled how much she enjoyed Schmaljohn as an art instructor and suggested Kite try a ceramics class with him. Kite did well and enjoyed his teaching style so much that she followed it up with drawing and painting classes. She quickly moved her full attention to art. As a senior closing in on completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting and sculpture, Kite was intent on becoming a full-time artist, but her mom intervened. Reluctantly, Kite added a Bachelor of Science in art education and graduated from Northwest with two bachelor’s degrees in five years. “My mother said, ‘If you think I’m going to help you pay for your loans without getting an education degree, you’re crazy.’ I did the whole toddler tantrum and stomped my foot. I said, ‘Mom, I’m going to be an artist,’” Kite recalls before pausing and changing her tone. “I cannot tell you how fortunate I am that I got my education degree.” She left the Midwest and began her career in inner city Atlanta, teaching art to children in grades one through five. Fifty kids in a class was not uncommon as the school served high-risk, low-income 12


Kite chats with George Neubert at the Flatwater Folk Art Museum in Brownville, Nebraska. The pair developed a friendship and Neubert encouraged Kite to showcase her soundstitching work.

At each of her exhibits, pictured above and on the next page at Kaneko, Kite’s stitchings are displayed with a set of headphones that allow viewers to hear the accompanying compositions. She also incorporates Aurasma, an augmented reality platform, that – with the scan of a smartphone – triggers a musical track or video, creating an entirely different way to experience her work.

students. Kite’s care for the students earned her the nickname “Mama Kite,” but the work wore on her emotionally. In 2006, a vacation with a friend to St. Petersburg, Florida, led to an offer to work with the education departments at the city’s Museum of Fine Arts and the Salvador Dalí Museum. Consequently, Kite secured a teaching position at an elementary school in Clearwater where English was a secondary language for most families. That work led to Kite completing her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in school improvement, teacher leadership and technology at the University of Florida in 2010. Then, in 2011, wanting to work closer to husband Tim Jaeger, who also is an artist, Kite was hired as a studio art instructor in the fine art program at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, placing her in a realm she never imagined. Founded in 1978 as a boarding school for young tennis athletes, IMG has evolved into a multi-sport training mecca that emphasizes athletic development in alignment with academic enrichment. The campus sits on more than 500 acres with impeccably maintained multi-sport fields, an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts and a 5,000-seat stadium. The 1,200 teenagers who walk the campus and pass through Kite’s art classroom come from all over the world and speak more than 50 languages. “I’m like, ‘It’s a sports school, and I’m an art teacher. Not so sure about this,’” Kite said. “But when I visited, I realized it was a school that would provide opportunity for my curriculum to grow, and I was excited about the challenge of educating in such a unique environment.”

It’s a school that lays claim to graduates who have gone on to earn spots on professional all-star teams, Most Valuable Player awards and Olympic medals. The school uniforms are an assortment of Under Armour polos, hoodies and T-shirts emblazoned with “IMG.” Gatorade water bottles stand on the desks, thanks to the food and beverage company, which operates a satellite laboratory facility on campus. In many ways, though, IMG is no different than other schools. Pursuing degrees in education, Kite says, not only taught her the fundamentals of classroom management and lesson planning but also empathy. It enhances her engagement with students in the classroom, and she tries to be present for her students outside of the classroom as well, attending their games and volunteering to help with their service activities. “It doesn’t matter where they come from or who they are, whether you’re teaching private or public Atlanta, or rural America, the kids all need that same thing, which is love, and they are deserving of that attention and that understanding,” Kite said. She says she’s grown beyond the insecurities she experienced as a younger artist and takes pride in collaborating with others. Coinciding with her transition to IMG, she has watched her exhibitions steadily increase. She and her husband have graduated from pop-up shows and searching for places to exhibit their work to established galleries readily accepting their art for exhibitions. Kite’s work at IMG, meanwhile, fulfills her desire to mentor and share her interest in interdisciplinary approaches. She is aware of her students’ kinesthetic learning styles and incorporates technology into the curriculum while fostering communication and collaboration. During a course titled Art and Technology, Kite’s IMG students swipe their fingers on iPads and MacBooks to create brush strokes on

Kite teaches art at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, a training school for young athletes where she uses interdisciplinary approaches to help students learn and build confidence.

digital paintings. Later, in a more traditional course, Art Foundations, Kite paces around the classroom, chatting with the students and offering guidance as they paint colorful geometric shapes and patterns on canvas. “I teach how to make things,” she said. “I see kids come through my door, and they’re scared to death because they’ve never taken an art class before or they’re just intimidated of failing because they know nothing about it. I love it because I get to take them from the ground up. It’s about building confidence but also providing an outlet that they never knew existed within their own abilities.” It’s the same kind of confidence Kite built through growing up on a farm in Nebraska, through discovering her abilities in art and education at Northwest, and through embarking on a teaching career 1,000 miles away. Her lessons are part of her personal narrative, and it’s one she’s still stitching. To learn more about Cassia Kite and her work, visit NORTHWEST ALUMNI MAGAZINE I SPRING 2018





Dau, Houston support Northwest in multiple ways When Dennis Dau ’70 ’71 and Ron Houston met in 1967, it marked the start of a friendship that has quietly helped advance Northwest in enormous ways. “Over the years, I felt that I could give back a little bit more,” said Dau, who was a director of the Maryville High School band for 20 years. “I received a good education (at Northwest), and if I can give back, I’ll do so.” At the same time, Houston, a Hopkins, Missouri, businessman, knows the importance of developing trained, skilled workers to help the region thrive. He says giving to Northwest is a logical way to ensure its sustainability and ability to grow programs that support the region. Individually, Dau and Houston began giving a little at a time to initiatives such as Northwest’s NPR-affiliate KXCV, the Missouri Arboretum and various scholarships, including endowed academic scholarships in each of their names. As years passed their collective giving has supported programs both large and small. Both have been members of the 1905 Society, which recognizes donors who annually provide at least $1,000 in unrestricted monetary support, since its inception in 2005. Their combined history of giving amounts to seven figures. “They’ve always been really good about selecting funding opportunities that are going to benefit various groups and activities,” Teresa Darrah Gustafson ’97, a development officer for Northwest, said. Their passion lies in the fine and performing arts, but they look for opportunities that impact




Monetary gifts from Dennis Dau and Ron Houston in recent years have supported the Bearcat Marching Band, upgrades to the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts and instrumental music.

groups of people, not just individuals. They provided funding to replace an electric piano after Professor of Music Dr. Bill Richardson mentioned that need. After a conversation with Director of Bands Dr. Katy Strickland about a lack of funds to support the percussion ensemble, Dau and Houston offered assistance, and then they helped the flute choir and brass choir, too. In 2016, they pledged $125,000 over five years to support the Bearcat Marching Band’s continued growth, and the band immediately used part of the initial funds to purchase badly needed rain coats for members and additional flags for the color guard. “Their financial gifts have helped give our students multiple advantages that would not have been available without their generosity,” Strickland said. “They have changed the landscape at Northwest for the better, setting an example for our students, alumni and community members of what it means to support the arts with their presence at so many concerts, plays, recitals, gallery openings and more. We are so grateful to both of them.” Their generosity has provided new microphones and headsets for the theatre program, and LED lighting and a projector for the Mary Linn Auditorium. Last year, they directed their support to the Bearcat football program and joined the Founding 50 – a group of donors providing gifts of $50,000 or more to support the Carl and Cheryl Hughes Fieldhouse. They also have supported Bearcat athletics as suite holders since renovations to Bearcat Stadium were completed in 2003. Both have their individual points of pride

as well. Last year, they established the Dennis C. Dau Endowed Professorship in Instrumental Music with a $500,000 cash gift. The endowed professorship, a first in Northwest history, is a tribute to Dau’s interest in instrumental music and a legacy of teaching he modeled after his mentors at Northwest. “One thing I always told the kids, no matter what area that you go into, employers are going to look at how wellrounded you are and how well you work with others,” Dau said. “When you’re in a 100-plus student band, you have to work with others, and I think that’s important. Employers will look to see how trainable you are in their area, no matter what it is. I always told the kids to get a well-rounded education so you can fit into about any niche.” Dau, a native of Manning, Iowa, grew up with a love for band, playing clarinet and then percussion in high school. He bought a drum set and paid it off with money he earned by playing with bands at supper clubs. “As long as I can remember, I liked watching bands,” he said. “All the way through school, band was No. 1 as far as I was concerned.” After completing his degrees at Northwest, where he was a member of the Bearcat Marching Band and Wind Symphony, Dau secured his first job teaching band in Farragut, Iowa. He was there for eight years and then returned to Maryville, where he was a director of its band program from 1979 until his retirement in 1999. Houston’s signature gift of $1.3 million during the early 2000s enabled the University to construct the state-of-the-

art Studio Theatre, a 5,500-square-foot addition to what is now called the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts. Houston had performed in high school theatre productions and with the Nodaway Community Theatre Company. After graduating from North Nodaway High School in Hopkins, he attended Northwest for three years before transferring to the University of Missouri-Columbia to obtain a degree in industrial engineering. He holds fond memories of attending plays at the little theatre in the Administration Building and was saddened that Northwest could not construct a similar space after fire destroyed it in 1979. The seeds for Houston’s gift were planted during the late 1990s when Houston sat with Professor of Theatre Dr. Theo Ross on the bus as they accompanied Dau and the Maryville High School Marching Band on a trip. “We would sit beside each other on the bus, going from here to there, and so I asked, ‘What does the theater department need?’” Houston recalled. “He talked about the fact that what a big help it’d be if they could have a studio theater.” As Northwest looks toward future growth and its recruitment and retention of new Bearcats, Dau and Houston have eagerly supported the Hughes Fieldhouse project, knowing it, too, will have multiple impacts. At the groundbreaking ceremony for the facility last summer, Strickland participated in a panel discussion and emphasized the important role the Hughes Fieldhouse will play in recruiting students and providing the Bearcat Marching Band with a practice space during its fall season. That, you could say, was music to Dau’s and Houston’s ears.







Jim Nelson ’68 has, for decades, contributed to the Fred C. and Grace E. Nelson Scholarship to honor his parents’ legacy and assist students with fulfilling their dreams of earning a college degree. Nelson and his brothers set up the scholarship to honor their parents, Fred ’25 and Grace ’26. In addition to giving annually to supplement the scholarship award, Nelson recently added a bequest to his will to help build the scholarship endowment. “They had the greatest influence on our lives,” Nelson, the youngest of seven children born to Fred and Grace, said. “They were educated people, and they taught us to be respectful of others, to apply ourselves and live by the Golden Rule. They were faithful people. We have a lot to thank them for because they came from conservative roots. They told us to save our money and make informed decisions.” The scholarship, which is awarded annually to a junior or senior biology major with an emphasis in pre-med or pre-dentistry who carries a minimum of a 3.00 grade-point average, also is a tribute to Jim. He enjoyed a 28-year career as an endodontist built on a foundation laid by his parents and the rigorous education he received at Northwest. “Dentistry has been good to me so I would like to encourage other people to go into dentistry or medicine,” he said. “We weren’t rich by any means, and money is sometimes a problem when it comes to school, so I’d like to help out and lessen the financial burden.” In 1980, after completing his education and service in the U.S. Air Force, Nelson and his family settled in Waterloo, Iowa, making him one of just five endodontists in the state and the first in northeast Iowa. He retired in 2008.


“My education and experiences at Northwest gave me an excellent background and confidence to further pursue my career goals and personal life endeavors. I want to give back to Northwest so others can have a similar experience and realize that anything is attainable if you apply yourself and keep a steady course going ahead.” Jim Nelson ’68

When you donate securities to Northwest, you receive the same income tax savings that you do when you write a check but with the added benefit of eliminating capital gains taxes on the transfer, which can be as high as 20 percent. Making a gift of securities to support Northwest’s mission is as easy as instructing your broker to transfer shares or, if you have the physical securities, hand-delivering or mailing certificates along with a stock power to us in separate envelopes. Using separate envelopes safeguards your gift as the certificates will not be negotiable without the stock power.

Contact the Office of University Advancement at 660.562.1248 or to find out about the many advantages of donating appreciated securities.



What kind of

LEGACY Tim Melvin, manager of human resources at Kawasaki, is pictured with Northwest students Alexander Meyers and Ariel Kakolewski at the University’s Powering Dreams celebration of donors and scholars last fall. Both students received the Kawasaki Powering Dreams Scholarship.

will you leave


KAWASAKI LENDS CRITICAL SUPPORT TO NORTHWEST STUDENTS, PROGRAMS Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corporation and its Maryville facility have helped drive the region’s economy for nearly 30 years as Nodaway County’s largest employer. Now the company is lending its support to help power dreams and opportunities for Northwest students. “Kawasaki is a proud supporter of educational programs and is pleased to work with Northwest to enhance educational offerings and the facilities,” Tim Melvin ’84, manager of human resources at Kawasaki, said. “Exercising our determination as a corporate citizen, Kawasaki recognizes the priority of skilled workers in our robust manufacturing environment.” Through a gift of $10,000 from the company to Northwest in 2016, the Kawasaki Powering Dreams Scholarship was awarded to five students. The scholarship benefits students who are “caught in the middle,” defined as students who succeed just below the highest level of academic achievement and have financial need but have just enough family resources to be ineligible for federal need-based programs such as the Pell Grant. “Many merit-based scholarships are intended for the highestachieving students and many need-based grants are intended for students with the most significant financial need,” Charles Mayfield, Northwest’s director of financial assistance, said. “Assisting these students means Northwest is able to provide more assistance to students who are doing well in their coursework and have a family income that many would consider ‘middle class.’” Through additional support of Northwest athletics and the University’s Visiting Writers Series, Kawasaki’s support has totaled more than $75,000 since 2014. The company also has supported such efforts as a STEM workshop for area educators and scholarships for students studying abroad. “Kawasaki’s support is absolutely essential to Northwest and is an example of the type of private-public partnership that is critical to the success of the higher education mission and mandate,” Daniel Biegelson, a Northwest instructor of English and director of the Visiting Writers Series, said.

AS BEARCATS, WE HAVE A COMPELLING NEED TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. We desire lasting, positive influences on the people and causes most meaningful to us. The value placed on this leads to key questions …

“What kind of legacy will I leave?” “Am I Forever Green?” Effective estate planning makes a difference in the lives and causes you love. Some plans may even provide income and tax benefits during your lifetime. Visit our new planned giving website to learn what other Bearcats have established and to request a copy of the Northwest Estate Planning Guide

CORRECTION In the winter 2017 issue of The Bridge, these donors were omitted from the annual giving listings. THE 1905 SOCIETY Steven P. & Melissa J. (Koepnick) Wallach THE REGENT’S CIRCLE Mark J. & Julia C. (Scott) Doll Owen L. & Liz Straub THE NORTHWEST CIRCLE Jodie L. (Hamilton) Mackintosh Ken A. & Jeanette Scribner THE CORNERSTONE CIRCLE Steve J. & Lynn Sestak

THE PRESIDENT’S CIRCLE Brent E. & Tamara Johnson Robert & Angela (Booth) Moskow Susan F. Tobin Steven P. & Melissa J. (Koepnick) Wallach Irma Lee Wilson THE HECKMAN FAMILY SCHOLARSHIP was omitted from the scholarship listing section.





TAKING SHAPE Plans advance with alumnus’ return

As the Carl and Cheryl Hughes Fieldhouse rises on the west side of the Northwest campus, the facility’s programming and potential also are coming into view with the arrival of an alumnus charged with leading the University’s campus recreation. Greg Hansen ’88, ’91 joined the Northwest staff in January as assistant vice president of student affairs for campus recreation. He returns with more than 26 years of experience in managing recreation programs and facilities in campus and community settings. “His experience is perfect to uplift the campus recreation department at Northwest,” Northwest Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Matt Baker said. “The Hughes Fieldhouse is designed to support both our campus and the community, and Greg’s experience with campus and community recreation is ideal to create a partnership that supports both goals.” After nine years as the first intramural coordinator at Southeast Missouri State University, Hansen became director and public information officer at the North Kansas City Community Center in 2000 while that facility was under construction. In addition to overseeing the remaining construction work, Hansen established the facility’s staffing, policies and procedures. The role also helped Hansen, who spent 14 years at the center, reconnect with Northwest. He worked with student interns involved with the center’s programs and services. He collaborated with the Northwest Alumni Association on events. The Bearcat men’s basketball team also practiced in the building in preparation for the 18


MIAA conference tournament. “Anything I could do to help Northwest and give back has always been at my heart,” said Hansen, who most recently was superintendent of recreation for the city of West Des Moines, Iowa, during the last four years. Since his return to the campus, Hansen has integrated himself in the construction and planning for the Hughes Fieldhouse. He also joined the city of Maryville’s Tourism Committee, lending a critical voice to the planning, scheduling and recruiting of events for the region. “What drives me to come to work here every day is the excitement and the fulfillment of when those people will finally step in the building, to step back myself and see the smile on their faces and provide a quality of life to everyone,” he said. “It excites me that it was not just thought of as an athletic facility, that it is for the students, for the community, for the region.” Hansen oversees a suite of campus recreation programs and facilities that include not only the Hughes Fieldhouse but the Student Recreation Center, the Robert and Virginia Foster Fitness Center and Mozingo Outdoor Education Recreation Area. “It provides clear leadership, the ability to better use our resources, serve our students, offer quality programs and services,” Hansen said. “We will probably be in a unique position in that we will be working campus recreation with the community more now than ever before in the history of the University.”



Northwest broke ground last summer for the Carl and Cheryl Hughes Fieldhouse, a 137,250 square-foot, $20 million facility designed to serve a multitude of social, recreational and economic needs for the University and region. Donors already have committed $13.5 million to the project through donations and pledges secured by the Northwest Foundation. Leading support for the project is provided by the Founding 50 – a group of 70-plus donors contributing $50,000 or more to the project – with the Carl and Cheryl Hughes Family Foundation, the Mel and Valorie Booth Family, the city of Maryville and Nodaway Valley Bank working as “team captains” of the group. Additional sources, including the University and students, are contributing to the project, while hundreds of alumni and friends have made gifts of all sizes. The facility is expected to enhance student engagement and create more opportunities for intramurals and recreation on campus as

well as large University events such as commencement ceremonies, concerts or Career Day. Student organizations and performance groups, such as the Bearcat Marching Band, will use the facility for activities when inclement weather sets in. Bearcat athletics teams are expected to benefit from the facility’s indoor flooring system, 90-yard practice turf and 300-meter indoor competition track. In addition to its recreational features, the facility is being constructed according to modern sustainability standards. It will include recreation and exhibition space, spectator seating and tiered meeting rooms. While funding for the project is coming from multiple sources, including a significant percentage from donors, Maryville voters approved a transient guest tax to support the operation of the facility. The city has since formed a tourism committee charged with developing ways to use revenues from the tax and maximize the center for community events such as trade shows, conferences, school functions and recreational activities. When complete, the Hughes Fieldhouse is expected to provide an additional economic impact of $23.8 million, the equivalent of creating 946 new jobs, for the region. That comes as an addition to the $617.5 million Northwest generates in added regional income.


Dedication and ribbon-cutting FRIDAY, OCT. 12

FUN FACTS • 6,981,811,200 cubic inches equal to 2,792,724,480 golf balls or 769,600 square bales of hay • 1,754,000 lbs. of steel equal to 7,016,000 quarter pounder hamburgers or 439 cars

• 162,000 square feet of metal siding and roofing equal to nearly enough to cover the grass in Arrowhead Stadium, twice

• 160,000 linear feet of wire equal to 12 laps at Talladega Motor Speedway

• 66,000 linear feet of conduit equal to stacking the Empire State Building 53 times


THE WALK OF CHAMPIONS Be a permanent part of Northwest’s future by purchasing a personalized brick or paver lining the Walk of Champions to the entrance of the Hughes Fieldhouse. Honor a classmate, friend, family member, professor or campus organization who made a difference in your life. To be a part of this historic opportunity, order your brick or paver today and create your individual message by visiting or calling 660.562.1248. NORTHWEST ALUMNI MAGAZINE I SPRING 2018





Get involved today!

For more information about getting involved in a Northwest Alumni Association chapter, call 660.562.1248 or email Twenty-one alumni chapters comprise the Alumni Association, and more are being formed.





Bearcat alumni and friends gathered at Rookies in Clive, Iowa, for the Central Iowa Alumni and Friends Chapter First Thursday Social.


The Central Iowa Alumni and Friends Chapter continues to meet the first Thursday of every month at Rookies Sports Bar and Grill in Clive, Iowa, for social events. In addition to hosting monthly socials, the chapter organized several exciting events in 2017. The chapter hosted its annual outing to an Iowa Cubs game in June that included Bearcats gathering for a pre-game tailgate and a fireworks show after the game. Several members of the chapter volunteered at the Nor thwest booth at the Iowa State Fair in August. The chapter also hosted Bearcat watch par ties for the football game against Washburn and the first-round playoff football game against Ashland as well as for the men’s basketball exhibition game against Duke in October. The chapter continues to raise money to establish a scholarship fund. For more information, follow the chapter on Facebook at Northwest Missouri State University Central Iowa Alumni and Friends Chapter, or email

The Band Alumni Chapter gathered Sept. 23 on the campus for Band Alumni Day.



Cherine Heckman ’77, ’83 and Dave Teeter ’86 are planning meetings for all Nor thwest alumni and friends. If you are not receiving emails from the Nor thwest Alumni Association, contact a staff member with your name, mailing address, class year and email address to receive invitations to upcoming events in the mid-Missouri area. For more information about the chapter contact Cherine at


The Springfield (Missouri) Alumni and Friends Chapter is looking for interested alumni and friends to volunteer their time to assist with chapter events. To learn how you can help, contact the Alumni Association at or 660.562.1248.

Members of the Western Iowa/Eastern Nebraska Alumni and Friends Chapter met in November for their first Thursday social.


The Colorado Alumni and Friends Chapter hosted a watch party in September at the Brewability Lab, owned by Tiffany Fixter ’07 in Denver to watch the Fall Classic at Arrowhead. The Bearcat football team defeated the University of Central Missouri Mules, 24-20, on a touchdown pass with seven seconds left in the game. Members of the Black Alumni and Friends Chapter returned for the 2017 Homecoming weekend. Pictured are Paul Watson, Jarvis Redmond ’90, Paula Rector Davis ’91 and Charles Watson.

The Southern Iowa Alumni and Friends Chapter hosted a watch party last March at Mario’s in Creston to watch the Northwest men’s basketball team play for the national championship. The chapter is looking for interested alumni and friends to volunteer their time to assist with events.

Members of the St. Joseph Alumni and Friends Chapter enjoyed the 10th Annual Barn Party at Vic and Denise Kretzschmar’s home.


The St. Joseph Alumni and Friends Chapter has hosted a number of socials, including its annual Barn Party in October, which featured a silent and live auction to raise money for the chapter’s scholarship. Thanks to the generosity of chapter members and friends, the auction raised more than $2,200. The chapter is finalizing events for 2018-19. To stay updated on all events, contact or follow the chapter on Facebook at Northwest Missouri State University Alumni and Friends St. Joseph Chapter.

Top: Members of the Kansas City Alumni and Friends Chapter and the Black Alumni and Friends Chapter gathered in October at Jazzy B’s, owned by Brandon Simpson ’99, in Lee’s Summit to watch the Northwest men’s basketball team play the Duke Blue Devils in an exhibition game. Middle: The Kansas City Alumni and Friends Chapter hosted its annual holiday party Dec. 7. Pictured are Dr. Martin Kanne ’75, Carl Hughes ’76, Damian Valline Bridges ’84 and Cheryl Deweerdt Hughes ’78. Bottom: Santa Claus made an appearance at the Kansas City Alumni and Friends Chapter Annual Holiday Party. Pictured with Santa are Anthony Belcher ’09, Kristin Hilde Belcher ’09 and Nora Belcher.





The St. Louis Alumni and Friends Chapter hosted an event at the Clear Lake Cellars Winery. Pictured are (front row) Helen Terry, Kevin Terry ’73, Tim Parks ’82, (middle row) Aaron Bunch ’04, Michele Bunch, Pat Parks (back row) Debbie Spencer Lehman ’79, James Lehman, Sue Johnson Hockensmith ’72 and Dana Hockensmith.

The St. Louis Alumni and Friends Chapter has enjoyed a strong year with good attendance, celebrations and fun. The chapter hosted events in the fall and winter that included a gathering at the Cedar Lake Winery on Sept. 30. The chapter hosted a New Year’s dinner and cheered on the Northwest basketball teams against Lindenwood University in February. The chapter also plans to host a watch par ty during a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game this summer, a winery event and a tailgate par ty prior to the Nor thwest vs. Lindenwood football game on Oct. 20 in St. Charles.



Northwest Missouri State University and the Northwest Alumni Association will again partner to share our Bearcat pride at the Iowa State Fair and Missouri State Fair. The fairs are a great opportunity to connect with prospective students, current students, parents, alumni and friends.

AUGUST 9 – 19

Iowa State Fair (Des Moines) Missouri State Fair (Sedalia) See what is new at Northwest. Alumni may sign up for a chance to win a free weekend getaway to Maryville, complete with hotel room, Bearcat football tickets, tailgate tickets and Chamber Bucks. Are you an educator? Stop by our booth to register for a chance to win a scholarship to give to a student from your school who is attending Northwest. Want to help? The Northwest Alumni Association is looking for alumni and friends interested in volunteering to staff the booths. In appreciation for your time, volunteers receive free admission and a parking pass. For more information or to sign up to volunteer, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 660.562.1248 or



Members of the Washington, D.C., Alumni and Friends Chapter had lunch with Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski while he was visiting the capital. Left to right are Scott Meier ’84, Cretia Rowlette Meier ’84, Rasheedah Hasan ’15, Ashton Raffety ’15, Julie Treadman ’00, Marsha Alsbury Leopard ’71, ’76, Kayt Wahlert ’02, Mary Hamilton Purdy ’72, Lynn Leopard ’76, Dr. John Jasinski, Cody Uhing ’15, Thomas Sanchez ‘02, Jackie Henningsen ’66 and Carl Henningsen ’66, ’70.


The fall of 2017 was a busy one for the Washington, D.C., Alumni and Friends Chapter. It started with a watch par ty at a local spor ts pub that has become a go-to gathering spot for these events. Alumni and friends watched the Bearcats’ Sept. 30 win against the University of Central Missouri in the Fall Classic. The next week, Nor thwest President Dr. John Jasinski visited with alumni, spending time during lunch discussing University news and catching up with friends. On Oct. 12, the chapter gathered at the downtown offices of Social Driver, a digital agency founded by Thomas Sanchez ’02. Sam Mason ’88, a development officer in Northwest’s Office of University Advancement, also discussed progress on the Carl and Cheryl Hughes Fieldhouse. The proceeds of a raffle of Nor thwest items were put toward purchasing a paver for the Walk of Champions leading to the fieldhouse as a way for the chapter to leave its mark on campus. Northwest alumni and friends in the Washington, D.C., area gathered for a party Sept. 30 to watch the Fall Classic at Arrowhead featuring Northwest and the University of Central Missouri Mules.

Members of the Washington, D.C., Alumni and Friends Chapter hosted an event at Social Driver, where Northwest Development Officer Sam Mason ’88 gave a presentation about the Hughes Fieldhouse.


Join the Tourin’ Bearcats on their upcoming trip

Hawaiian Adventure April 25 through May 4, 2019 $5,799 per person* $500 deposit due at time of reservation. Deposit due Oct. 18. Insurance $290 per person

Highlights: • • • • •

Waikiki Beach Pearl Harbor Oahu’s North Shore Waimea Canyon Kauai Coffee Estate

• • • •

Fern Grotto Iao Valley Lahaina Polynesian Luau

Final payment due February 24, 2019.

Includes: • • • •

Round trip airfare from Kansas City, air taxes, hotel transfers Nine breakfasts Four dinners Transportation from Maryville to Kansas City International Airport

Make your reservation today. Limited availability. *Prices based on double occupancy and departure from Kansas City International Airport; taxes and fees/surcharges and hotel transfers; cancellation waiver and insurance available for purchase; all rates are per person and subject to change, based on air inclusive package from Kansas City International Airport.

For more information, contact the Northwest Alumni Association at or 660.562.1248.




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 and KXCV-KRNW, Northwest’s NPR affiliate.





Tourin’ Bearcats enjoy New England, Tuscany


The Tourin’ Bearcats travel program enjoyed two trips last fall that introduced Northwest alumni and friends to the sights of New England and Tuscany, Italy. Alumni and friends enjoyed a week-long scenic trip through Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Stops included Boston; Woodstock, Vermont; the Quechee Gorge in Stowe, Vermont; Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory; Rocks Estate; North Conway, New Hampshire; and a cruise on Lake Winnipeasaukee. The trip ended with a lobster dinner in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. In November, alumni and friends visited Florence, Lucca, Sienna, Pisa and San Gimigano. The trip also included stops at the historic Gothic line and the moving Florence American Cemetery and Memorial. Additionally, the trip included a winery tour, cheese factory tour and a cooking class about the art of making authentic Italian pasta. Travelers stayed in Montecatini Terme, a historic spa town.


GOLDEN YEARS SOCIETY REUNION Six Northwest alumni and friends enjoyed the colors of New England. Pictured, from left, are Brenda Untiedt ’00, ’09; JoAnne Giffin Lewis ’85, ’94; Carol Harkrider, Don Fore ’64; Joan Whiteaker Fore ’64 and Karie Untiedt.

OCT. 12-13

Homecoming Weekend

HONORING THE CLASS OF 1968 CONGRATULATIONS CLASS OF 1968! This year marks your 50-year anniversary and entry into the Golden Years Society. Save the date and join us for your 50year reunion celebration during Homecoming weekend. The Northwest Alumni Association will commemorate your milestone and welcome you into the Golden Years Society with a luncheon, class photo, campus tour and much more. Information regarding hotels and registration will be sent closer to the date.

Fifteen Northwest alumni and friends enjoyed a spotlight on Tuscany. Pictured, from left, are Katie Machovsky ’16, Jan Erickson Corley ’70, Bob Machovsky ’15, Damian Valline Bridges ’84, Jennifer Hewitt ’86, Karen Karg Woodard ’79, Michael Jackson ’94, Brian Stewart, Linda Raney Girard ’64, Billie Mackey, Andy Mackey ’02, Carl Henningsen ’66, and Jackie Henningsen ’66.

We are looking for volunteers to serve on the Class of 1968 Reunion Committee and help make phone calls to reach members of the class. If you are interested in volunteering or have any questions regarding the reunion, contact the Alumni Relations Office at 660.562.1512 or

DISCOVER THE MANY BENEFITS AND OPPORTUNITIES OF YOUR ALUMNI ASSOCIATION. • Attend an alumni event in your area. • Volunteer at an alumni event. • Get involved with an alumni chapter in your area. • Recruit a student. • Become a mentor. • Serve on the alumni board. Contact the Alumni Relations Office at Northwest Missouri State University for more information. 660.562.1248



Members of the Class of 1967 gathered on the Northwest campus for their 50-year reunion Oct. 20-21, 2017. Attending alumni included (front row, from left) Mary Jones Pierson, Mary Mast Pettegrew, Carol Crawford Curry, Lee Stroebele, Virginia Borkowski, Linda Brooner Hayden, (back row) Ed Roberts, Roger Schlegel, Karen Wilson Murray, Carol Gregory Schmidt, Bill O ‘Riley and Ed Robbins.



Alumni 2018


The Alumni Awards annually are awarded to outstanding individuals who personify the University’s tradition of excellence through their service and achievements. More information, including the 2018 recipients, will be included in the fall issue of the Northwest Alumni Magazine.


Pictured at the 2017 Alumni Award recipients are (front row, left to right) Paula Davis ’91, Alumni Association Board president; Bernie Mendenhall, Honorary Alumni Award; Rich Mendenhall, Honorary Alumni Award; Sherri Reeves ’57, Distinguished Faculty Emeritus Award; Leon Dixon, Public Service Award; Dr. John Jasinski, Northwest president; (back row, left to right) Tim Sullivan ’75, Turret Service Award; Dr. David McDaniel ’73, Distinguished Alumni Award; Sam Henson ’01, Young Alumni Award; and Dr. Matt Symonds ’90, ’94, Distinguished Faculty Award.



CHAPTERS For more information about how to get involved with your local chapter, contact the Northwest Alumni Association at or visit ARIZONA CHAPTER Chartered March 23, 2001 BAND ALUMNI CHAPTER Chartered Sept. 8, 2001 BLACK ALUMNI AND FRIENDS CHAPTER Chartered Feb. 25, 2017 CENTRAL IOWA CHAPTER Chartered Aug. 1, 2002 CHICAGO CHAPTER Chartered Jan. 12, 2008 COLORADO CHAPTER Chartered Jan. 12, 2004 DALLAS CHAPTER Chartered June 23, 2006 EASTERN IOWA CHAPTER Chartered May 6, 2010 GRIDIRON CHAPTER Chartered May 13, 2011 JAPAN CHAPTER Chartered July 21, 2005 KANSAS CITY CHAPTER Chartered Jan. 25, 2001

MARYVILLE CHAPTER Chartered Sept. 22, 2001 MID-MISSOURI CHAPTER Chartered April 12, 2007 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CHAPTER Chartered Feb. 29, 2004 SOUTHERN IOWA CHAPTER Chartered April 1, 2006 SPRINGFIELD CHAPTER Chartered April 9, 2009 ST. JOSEPH CHAPTER Chartered May 20, 2002 ST. LOUIS CHAPTER Chartered May 15, 2008 TWIN CITIES CHAPTER Chartered Sept. 16, 2010 WASHINGTON, D.C. CHAPTER Chartered June 11, 2011 WESTERN IOWA/EASTERN NEBRASKA CHAPTER Chartered June 5, 2003


The Northwest Alumni Association Board of Directors gathered on the campus for its fall meeting during Family Weekend in September. Board members attended the Alumni Awards Banquet, Family Weekend activities, visited the Bearcat Zone tailgate and cheered on the Bearcat football team. The 2017-2018 Northwest Alumni Association Board of Directors includes (front row, left to right) Abby Stephens Elliott ’06, ’08; Linda Nichols Place ’72, ’09; Paula Rector Davis ’91; Dustin Wasson ’03; (second row, left to right) Gabrielle Hawkins ’16; Marsha Alsbury Leopard ’71, ’76; Sue Johnson Hocksensmith ’72; Faith Spark; Allison Kahre Kreifels ’06, ’11; Michelle Mattson Drake ’98; Anitra Germer Svendsen ’05, ’07; Joyce Seals Roddy ’75; Brenda Untiedt ’00, ’09; (third row, left to right) Mark DeVore ’71, ’75; Sean Gundersen ’10, ’13; Randy Cody ’99; Bob Stalder ’88; Rich Tokheim ’82; Bob Machovsky ’15. Not pictured are Katie Brown, Jay Liebenguth ’80 and Terrance Logan ’07, ’10.




NORTHWEST REPEATS AS MIAA REGULAR SEASON, TOURNAMENT CHAMPS The Bearcat men’s basketball team claimed its fifth consecutive regular season conference title and third consecutive MIAA Postseason Tournament Championship this spring but stumbled in the opening round of the NCAA Division II national tournament, losing 50-60 against Minnesota State-Mankato March 10 at Bearcat Arena. The stunning loss ended a run of four consecutive Sweet Sixteen appearances by the Bearcats and put a cap on one of the most accomplished senior classes to play in the program. Northwest finished the season with a record of 27-4, while the team’s seniors earned a career record of 114-18, including the University’s first-ever national championship in men’s basketball last year. “Our senior class has done things that no one in the history of the MIAA has done and probably no one will ever do again,” Head Coach Ben McCollum ’03, ’05, who earned his 200th career win during the Bearcats’ regular season finale, said. “It says a lot about them. It says a lot about their character. It says a lot about the culture that they’ve built here. I’m glad and thankful that they allowed me the opportunity to coach them and be a part of their lives.” When Northwest beat Washburn, 80-74, 26

March 4 at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri, for its third consecutive conference tournament title, it tied the mark Southeast Missouri State University set from 1985 to 1987. The tournament title also was Northwest’s seventh in program history, breaking a tie with the University of Central Missouri for the most in MIAA history. Senior guard Justin Pitts was named the MIAA tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, and sophomore forward Ryan Welty joined him on the all-tournament team. Pitts was named the MIAA Player of the Year for the third time in his career. Senior forward Chris-Ebou Ndow earned second team honors while senior forward Brett Dougherty and junior guard Joey Witthus each garnered third-team all-conference honors. Dougherty also was named to the All-MIAA Defensive team. Pitts is the first player in Northwest history to earn first team honors four times and Player of the Year accolades three times to go with the Freshman of the Year honor he earned during his 2014-15 season. He scored in double figures 22 times this season and went over 20 points in 14 games. He holds school records in points (2,407), assists (561), field goals made (870) and field goals


attempted (1,645). “Our senior Ndow scored class has done more than 1,000 points in just things that under three no one in the full years at history of the Northwest. He averaged a careerMIAA has done high 14 points and probably no and 7.5 rebounds one will ever do in 25 regular season games. He again” scored in double Ben McCollum ’03, ’05 figures 19 times Head Coach this season, while leading the team with five double doubles. He connected on 47.2 percent of his three-point attempts. Dougherty started all 31 regular season games, shooting 62.2 percent and averaging 3.5 rebounds per game. He set career-highs with 282 points, 69 assists and 117 made field goals. In his first season at Northwest, Witthus averaged 12.4 points and three rebounds per game. He had 19 double-digit scoring performances and led the team in scoring four times.



SPORTS RECAP WOMEN’S BASKETBALL Freshman guard Jaelyn Haggard was named the MIAA co-Freshman of the Year, and senior forward Tanya Meyer joined her by garnering all-conference honorable mention accolades as the Bearcats finished 5-22 overall and 4-15 in MIAA play. Haggard, the first player in the history of the Northwest women’s program to earn Freshman of the Year honors, started all 27 Jaelyn Haggard games, averaging 13 points and 2.5 assists. She scored in double figures 18 times, setting a career-high with 30 in a 76-65 win at Lincoln for the season finale. For the season, she shot 36.6 percent from the field and hit 36.1 percent of her three-point attempts, while shooting 72.7 percent from the free-throw line. She led the team in scoring eight times during the season, scoring more than 20 points in six games. Meyer finished her career with 1,446 points and 694 rebounds. As a senior, she grabbed 240 rebounds (8.9 rpg) and scored 428 points (15.9 ppg). She reached double figures 21 times in 27 games for the Bearcats and had nine double-doubles. She set a career-high with 21 assists and 22 steals.

INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD Four members of the Northwest indoor track and field teams qualified for the NCAA Division II National Indoor Championships in March. Sophomore Audrey Wichmann qualified in both the high jump and the pentathlon, while sophomores Hiba Mahgoub and Jordan Hammond competed in the 400-meter dash for the Bearcat women. Junior Kevin Schultz competed in the high jump for the men. Records fell throughout the season as Schultz won the high jump and set the Northwest’s men’s record Feb. 16 in Lincoln, Nebraska, by clearing 6 feet, 11.5 inches. At the South Dakota State Indoor Classic on Feb. 10, Hammond won the 400-meter dash in a Northwest record time of 55.62. The track and field teams won six individual events and one relay at the Concordia Classic Jan. 27 in Seward, Nebraska, as Schultz broke his own school record, set earlier in the season, with a winning 5,248 point performance in the Heptathlon. Hammond also set a school record, running the 60-meter hurdles in a time of 8.78. Schultz (high jump and heptathlon), junior Dustin Ellis (60-meter hurdles), Hammond (400-meter dash), freshman Mercedes Isaacson-Cover (triple jump) and Wichmann (high jump) earned U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association AllCentral Region honors.

NORTHWEST HONORS 2017 M-CLUB HALL OF FAME CLASS Six individual student-athletes and one team took their places as members of Northwest’s M-Club Hall of Fame when the University hosted its annual induction banquet during Homecoming weekend in October.

Adam Bailey ’02 (baseball)

LaRon Council ’10 (football)

Julie Humphreys ’98 (track and field)

Ken Onuaguluchi ’91 (track and field)

Mike Peterson ’06, ’10 (football)

Abby Sunderman ’01 (volleyball)

2003 women’s tennis team. Pictured are (front row, left to right) Nicole Berger ’03, Adrianna Hernandez ’03, Rosa Tapia Herrera ’05, Danielle Cartier ’05, former Assistant Director of Athletics Sherri Heath Reeves ’57, (second row) current Director of Athletics Mel Tjeerdsma ’77, Jan Pendrak ’04, Raven Herner ’06, Sara Lipira ’04, Gena Lindsay French ’06, Head Coach Mark Rosewell and former Director of Athletics Dr. Jim Redd ’66.





SPORTS RECAP FOOTBALL The Bearcats earned a trip to the NCAA Division II playoffs for the 14th consecutive year and 22nd time in school history but fell short of their goals to defend their MIAA and national champion titles with a 9-3 overall record and a 21-18 loss at Ashland University in the first round of the playoffs. The Northwest defense, however, maintained its status as the top unit in the country throughout the season, allowing just 212.8 yards per game while giving up an average of only 9.3 points per game. They did not allow an individual runner to gain more than 100 yards, and they never allowed a rushing touchdown. Northwest also recorded five shutouts during the season, including 30-0 win at Missouri Western to finish the regular season. When Northwest fell at Pittsburg State, 10-20, it was the Bearcats’ first loss to an MIAA opponent since Oct. 18, 2014. The loss also snapped Northwest’s 38-game winning streak, which had gained national attention as the longest in college football at any level, and dropped the Bearcats, who were ranked No. 1 in the nation at the time, two victories shy of tying the all-time Division II record of 40 held by Grand Valley State. Northwest placed 17 student-athletes on the All-MIAA team, and five members earned All-MIAA Academic honors with freshman defensive end Will Obert receiving the conference’s Academic Excellence Award for maintaining a 4.00 grade-point average. Senior Marcus Jones was named First Team All-America by He became the 16th player in Northwest history to be named to the American Football Coaches Association AllAmerica First Team, and he was named a finalist for the Cliff Harris Award, presented to the nation’s top small college defensive player. Appearing in 12 games, he tied his career-high with 15 passes while recording 33 tackles and 5.5 tackles for loss to go with one forced fumble and an interception.

CROSS COUNTRY Senior Margaux Jacquet was the most consistent competitor for the women throughout the season, finishing as the top Bearcat runner in the first three meets and in the top three overall at each meet. Senior Sammy Laurenzo was the top Bearcat finisher in the final three events, including a top 25 finish at the MIAA championship meet. Laurenzo also earned the MIAA Academic Excellence Award for her 4.00 GPA. Junior Braden Clews-Proctor led the men’s team as the low scorer for the Bearcats in four of their six meets. He was the overall champion at the Bearcat Open in Maryville to begin the season and the top Bearcat finisher in the NCAA Regional, finishing 24th individually, pacing the men’s team to 15th in the final race of the year.



Shawn Bane Jr.

Olivia Nowakowski Maddy Bruder

VOLLEYBALL The Bearcats qualified for a third consecutive MIAA tournament and finished 17-15 overall and 11-7 for fifth plae in the MIAA. They knocked off the University of Central Missouri in Maryville for the first time in school history. In addition, the Bearcats snapped a 14-match losing streak to Washburn with a 3-1 victory at Bearcat Arena. Junior Maddy Bruder earned first-team All MIAA honors for the third straight time in her career, becoming the third volleyball student-athlete in school history to earn that distinction.

SOCCER The women’s soccer team narrowly missed qualifying for the MIAA postseason tournament on its way to a ninth-place league finish and an overall record of 7-10. A 6-0 victory against Southwest Baptist in September marked the largest margin of victory over an MIAA opponent in school history. Freshman forward Mollie Holtman netted two goals that day on her way to leading the team in goals for the season. Holtman and senior Annie Poelzl were named MIAA Scholar-Athletes.

TENNIS The refurbished and expanded Frank Grube Tennis Courts were the site for a fall event for the first time in seven years as the Bearcats welcomed student-athletes from Washburn and Southwest Baptist Sept. 15-16 for the Northwest Invitational. The fall season concluded with the ITA Regional tournament in Springfield, Missouri, where the doubles team of senior Youssef Sherif and sophomore Jorge Serrano advanced to the final of the men’s doubles draw.

WOMEN’S GOLF A mid-September trip to Minnesota featured a fifth-place team finish, with junior Nikki McCurdy leading the way and finishing sixth overall with a two-day individual total of 158. Northwest hosted the MIAA Fall Preview, and it was the largest collegiate women’s tournament at Mozingo Lake Golf Course in the program’s 11-year history. The Bearcats finished ninth overall and fell just four strokes short of their best mark in school history. Senior Gia Zupancic set a single round record at three under the par 69 on day one. She followed that performance with a 76 on day two to finish fifth overall and set the Northwest two-round record of 145.



Gordon takes helm of soccer program

Two coaching icons in Bearcat athletics history and Northwest’s first two national championship teams receive accolades with inductions into halls of fame


• Joined the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in January as part of its 2018 induction class. • Coached the men's basketball team for 21 seasons and compiled a school record 408 victories. • Tappmeyer’s teams captured the 1998, 2002 and 2007 MIAA regular season titles and MIAA tournament titles in 1989, 2002, 2004 and 2008. • 10 NCAA tournaments, leading the Bearcats to the program’s first NCAA Elite Eight in 2002 and returning in 2004. • 11 straight seasons with 19 or more victories. • MIAA Coach of the Year and the South Central Region Coach of the Year in 2001. • Retired from Northwest in 2009. • Inducted into the Northwest M-Club Hall of Fame in 2014 and part of the MIAA’s Hall of Fame class of 2017.


• One of three coaches selected in January for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame by The National Football Foundation (NFF). The 2018 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted in December at the 61st NFF Annual Awards Dinner. • Started coaching football at Northwest in 1994 and led the team to 183 victories in 17 seasons. • Four-time American Football Coaches Association Coach of the Year honoree, MIAA Coach of the Year 12 times, 2009 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year. • Inducted into Division II Football Hall of Fame, Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest M-Club Hall of Fame. In 2009, he was awarded the FCA Grant Teaff Lifetime Achievement Award. • In 2011, Tjeerdsma coached Team USA to a world championship at the International Federation of American Football World Cup in Austria.

Northwest in December announced Marc Gordon will take over the Bearcat soccer program as just the third head coach in its history, replacing Tracy Hoza, who led the program for the past 15 seasons.

1998 & 1999 FOOTBALL TEAMS

• The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in November inducted the football teams as members of its 2017 class. • The 1998 Bearcats went 15-0, capturing the University’s first NCAA Division II national title with a 24-6 victory over Carson-Newman in Florence, Alabama. Quarterback Chris Greisen ’99 earned his second-straight American Football Coaches Association First Team All-America honor, throwing for a then-program record 4,076 yards with 38 touchdown passes. Tjeerdsma was named the MIAA and AFCA Coach of the Year. • Northwest matched up with CarsonNewman again in the 1999 title game, defeating the Eagles, 58-52, in a four-overtime classic. The Bearcats went 14-1, capturing a fourth-straight MIAA title. Wide receiver Tony Miles ’00 was named a first team All-America performer by the AFCA and the Associated Press, catching 69 passes for 1,058 yards and eight touchdowns.

TJEERDSMA ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT AS DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS Mel Tjeerdsma ’77, who returned to Northwest in 2013 as its director of athletics, has announced his retirement, effective April 30. “Mel’s tremendous service to Northwest personifies a champion of Bearcats – champions in the classroom and in competition,” Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski said. “He is a tireless advocate of D-II student-athletes and of Bearcats – past, present and future. We are indebted to Mel and his wife, Carol, for their ongoing engagement and unabashed focus on always advancing Northwest.” During his time as athletics director, Northwest captured four NCAA Division II national championships, 11 MIAA regular season titles and seven MIAA tournament titles. In 2016-17, Northwest became the first institution in Division II history to win a football and men’s basketball national championship in the same academic year. Tjeerdsma also has also been instrumental in numerous facility upgrades, including the construction of a video board, resurfacing of the track and new field turf at Bearcat Stadium, and the creation of the Harr Athletic Success Center. In the fall, the Carl and Cheryl Hughes Fieldhouse will open, marking the completion of the largest publicprivate partnership in Northwest history.

Gordon had been the director of soccer and head women’s coach at Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kansas, since 2010 and guided the Braves to three Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) regular season titles and four conference tournament titles. In 2017, the Braves finished with an overall record of 17-4-1 and qualified for its sixth NAIA national tournament. Gordon also is a three-time KCAC Coach of the Year and was the 2016 Regional Coach of the Year. In eight seasons at Ottawa, he compiled a 113-3815 record and a 65-7-5 KCAC mark. His teams had at least 10 victories each season and tallied 19 victories in 2016, winning the KCAC regular season and tournament titles. Hoza finished her coaching tenure at Northwest with an overall record of 96-150-31 while coaching 60 All-MIAA performers.

Meyer hired as women's basketball head coach Austin Meyer ’06 ’08 is Northwest’s head women's basketball coach after Buck Scheel resigned in March from the head coaching role after two full seasons. Meyer served the last 10 seasons on Northwest’s men's basketball staff, including the last three seasons as its associate head coach. During that time, the men averaged 21 wins per season, captured six MIAA regular season titles, four MIAA Tournament titles and one NCAA Division II national championship. He also was the men’s program’s lead recruiter. Meyer was a four-year letter winner for the Bearcat men’s basketball team from 2002-06, scoring 1,294 career points and setting a thenNorthwest career record with 215 made threepointers. Scheel took over the women’s program midway through the 2015-16 season.





Dr. Nshan “Nick” Erganian, pictured at his St. Joseph, Missouri, home, is writing books in his retirement.

pride in centering the novel on the geography of northwest Missouri, basing circumstances in the story on some of his own life experiences. The characters include a pair of buddies, a retired Erganian authoring books after careers in school superintendent and the county sheriff, who join the search education, administration for Susan. Dr. Nshan “Nick” Erganian ’67, ’69 rarely shies from an idea “There has to be a sense of urgency,” Eganian said. “There’s got to or opportunity, and he has plenty of stories to tell from a career be something there that drives the reader to say, ‘I want to turn the spanning five decades. page because I want to find out.’ The book takes you through the four days.” Erganian has gone from school teacher and football coach to an administrator in a health care organization. He worked a stint as In 2016, Erganian and his wife, Marylin, wrote and published a college administrator, operated apple orchards and served as a “Desperate Reunion … The Promise,” a mystery novel inspired by superintendent of two rural school districts. Now, he’s a published their work on their high school class reunion. Erganian’s third and author. forthcoming book, “Prince of Armenia,” is a non-fiction work about his grandmother and father escaping the Armenian Genocide. The inspiration for the latest chapter in Erganian’s prosperous life Erganian, who retired in 2004 as superintendent of the Osborn, entered his mind while jogging several years ago. Missouri, School District, had not tried writing a book until “You kind of have to know the character behind the story,” he said. the story of Susan Clark came to him during that jog. But his “I’ve had a wonderful life, but I’m the kind of guy that doesn’t like to motivation to try it comes from a trait he says he developed at be bored.” Northwest and carried throughout his professional career. Erganian imagined a fictional mystery about a first-year teacher “I had a ball,” he says of his time at Northwest, where he was who graduated from Northwest, named Susan Clark. She helped actively involved in the physical education and theatre departments her parents at their dairy farm on the outskirts of Maryville. But and served as the Student Senate president during the 1966-67 she disappeared while driving to her first teaching assignment in school year. the made-up town of Auburn, Missouri, about 75 miles outside “When I think about any opportunity I wanted to have, I got it Maryville. The idea that Susan has Type I diabetes and started her at Northwest,” he said. “I had great faculty members who were drive with just four days worth of insulin raises the tension in the committed to their work and inspired me. They offered me any story. opportunity I wanted to take advantage of. Northwest was a Erganian who grew up in and resides in St. Joseph, Missouri, great fit for me. I could not have chosen a better university. Not published his story, “Keeper of the Mountain,” in 2014. He took everybody takes the opportunity.” 30




James Oliver was inducted Oct. 6 as a fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, an organization reserved for experienced appellate advocates who have demonstrated the highest skill level and integrity. He joined Foulston Siefkin LLP in 1977 and has since has served as a resident partner at each of the firm’s offices in Wichita and Topeka and Kansas City, Kansas. He has been counsel of record in more than 100 Kansas appeals and 35 appeals in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. In 2017, he was appointed by the Kansas Supreme Court to a second term as chair of the Court’s Admissions Review Committee, which reviews the character and fitness of applicants for admission to the bar, and he is past chairman of the Committee on Conduct of Attorneys of the Kansas United States District Court.

Lawrence Mink ’59 celebrated his 80th birthday in September. He spent his entire career teaching typing and business at Easton High School and then East Buchanan in Gower, Missouri, when the schools consolidated. He resides in Stewartsville, Missouri.

1960s Irene Alexander Hawley ’65 has published seven children’s books with Amazing Things Press. Her stories are based on her life experiences and her 40 years as a teacher. She resides in Barnard, Missouri. Dan McLaughlin ’67 was honored in September for his years of service to Lincoln (Illinois) Community High School with the naming of its stage in his honor. He taught English, speech and literature at the school from 1970 to 1997. He also oversaw the school’s speech team, which produced many individual state champions and won the 1981 Illinois State Tournament.

1970s Vinnie Vaccaro ’73 was honored with the Gladstone Area Chamber of Commerce 2016 Joe Wally Spirit Award, which is presented to individuals who embody a spirit of volunteerism and commitment to the Northland. Vaccaro sells real estate for RE/MAX 1st Choice. Garey Smith ’74, ’86 announced his retirement as head coach of the Grand View University women’s basketball program in Des Moines, Iowa. He compiled a record of 317-224 in 17 seasons with the Vikings and an overall record of 553-464 in 36 years of coaching collegiate basketball. He led Fairfax (Missouri) High School to the 1980 state championship and was inducted into the Missouri High School Coach’s Hall of Fame in 1989. He resides in Maxwell, Iowa, with his wife, Carole.


1980s Tamela Ruth Monroe ’81 joined Colorado Springs (Colorado) Utilities in January as its chief planning and finance officer. She previously was senior director of business analysis and pricing at the Omaha (Nebraska) Public Power District. Bob Glasgow ’83 became the first high school wrestling coach inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in November. Before retiring in 2009, he coached the Oak Grove High School wrestling program to 12 state championships, was a six-time National Wrestling Coaches State Coach of the Year and was head coach of USA Wrestling in 1997. Jeffrey Goltz ’83 has served as Jefferson County Attorney in Nebraska since 2014 and is legal advisor to the county. Previously, he was in defense work for three years in neighboring Gage County. He resides in Fairbury.

’74 Kathy Kahler Kirkpatrick has retired after a career in administration at IBM and the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Tiffany Grunert was named acting president and chief executive officer of Morris Animal Foundation, where she had served as vice president of marketing and brand strategy since joining the foundation last year. Previously, she was vice president of external relations for the Denver Zoological Foundation, where she began as public relations manager in 2004.

Todd Spencer ’87 began in November as the executive director of the Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments, an agency that links state and federal governments with counties and cities in a five-county area. He served as a U.S. Army officer with the 1st Infantry Division before spending 12 years in manufacturing and then 10 years as a district manager for Iowa Workforce Development.


Matt Lenguadoro ’87 was named athletic director at Our Lady of Mercy Academy, an all-girls school


in Newfield, New Jersey. Previously, he was the chair of the health and physical education department athletic site manager at Hammonton (New Jersey) High School. He has coached football, baseball, softball and wrestling at the high school and middle school levels.

Paula Rector Davis ’91 received the 2017 Jackson County COMBAT Prevention Change Maker Award. She is the organization operations manager at ArtsTech in Kansas City, Missouri, and serves as president of the Northwest Alumni Association Board of Directors. Brian Marriott ’95 was appointed senior director of communications and media relations for the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in July 2017. After working on the Trump presidential campaign, he transitioned to the Presidential Inaugural Committee and was later named a presidential appointee in the Office of Personnel Management, where he worked on the landing team until receiving his current appointment. He resides in Sterling, Virginia. Alphonso “Al” Atkins Jr. ’96 was named chief diversity officer and special assistant to the chancellor for equity and inclusion at the University of South Carolina Upstate. During more than 15 years higher education, he has worked as a faculty scholar, administrator, and member of executive leadership, most recently as director of institutional equity and Title IX coordinator at Community College of Rhode Island.




INSIDE THE LINES Twaddle’s art reflective of past, future The Houston apartment where Randy Twaddle ’80 resides is outfitted with art of all kinds, created by him as well as other artists. All of them have unique qualities, but the hutch he constructed from a collection of Topo Chico cartons stands out. Based on an Ethan Allen hutch his mother owned until her passing in 2016, the piece holds a collection of paper plates and cups with intricate line patterns. Line-based drawings are a specialty for Twaddle, who came up with the idea for the hutch when he needed a way to display the plates and cups for an exhibition. “There was this aspect of knowing I wanted to show these things at the gallery and then also the aspect of my mother being ill and dying not too long before my show opened,” Twaddle said. In the process of taking care of his mother’s affairs, Twaddle contemplated the idea of inheritance and what he might leave his teenage son. “So between kind of 32

thinking about that and the desire to figure out some way to show these cups, I realized I’ll make a hutch, out of an homage to my mother.” The cups feature patterns outlining varied leaf-like shapes. He creates the patterns with a basic ballpoint pen, often drawing at his dining table. He thinks of his process as a form of meditation. “The idea of meditation is to get rid of thought, so I’m trusting my hand, not my head, and the work comes from a different place,” he said. “When I’m making them, I slow myself down because if I’m in a place where I’m just trying to get it finished, then I’m in the wrong place. I’m trying to be present from the beginning of that line to the end of that line.” After earning his bachelor’s degree in art at Northwest, Twaddle, a native of Elmo, Missouri, took the advice of a painting instructor and left Maryville for Texas to


join the Dallas art scene. He took a job at a frame shop, which happened to be attached to one of the best contemporary art galleries in the southwest. “There’s a zillion art worlds and this happened to be one that I was really interested in,” Twaddle said. “I worked in the frame shop and I worked in the gallery, and I met a lot of people and it was kind of like graduate school for me. I got to see a lot of work. I was handling work. It was really great.” Twaddle moved to Houston in 1989, having established connections there through showing his artwork and attending exhibit openings. Betty Moody, a Houston gallery owner who began representing Twaddle’s work in 1984, continues to showcase his art today. In 2011, after more than a decade out of the art business when he co-founded and ran a marketing company, Twaddle


Dr. Whitney Bailey ’97 was appointed in December by President Trump to serve as deputy administrator for regional operations and partnership development for the Administration for Community Living. Her career has included work in behavioral health, education, community engagement and research. She has been a faculty member at Oklahoma State University since 2004.

2000s Stephen Ferrier ’02 was promoted in October to captain and designated commanding officer of the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Troop C, Weldon Spring, which covers Franklin County. He joined the patrol in 1990. Molly Driftmier Gilmore ’02, ’06 was named the Iowa Emerging Dietetic Leader of the Year by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Gilmore is the senior manager of Nutrition Services at Clarinda Regional Health Center, where she manages the facility’s dietitians, dietary department, serves as an inpatient and outpatient dietitian, conducts annual Medicare wellness visits and the One Step Garden Program. Randy Twaddle sits on a limestone block that is part of an art installation he designed for McGovern Centennial Gardens in Houston.

responded to a call for an art intervention at the top of a proposed 30-foot tall “Centennial Mount” to be included in the restoration of Houston’s Hermann Park. His design for benches incorporating three solid, 1,500-pound blocks of Texas limestone was accepted and now lies atop the mount overlooking Hermann Park’s McGovern Centennial Gardens. The sculpture installation, titled “Seed, Trees, People,” greets visitors who walk to the top of the hill with a quote by Confucius: “If you think of a

Line drawings Twaddle created on paper cups and plates were part of a recent exhibit he displayed on a dining hutch, pictured in the top photo, he made from cardboard cartons.

year, plant a seed. If in terms of ten years, plant a tree. If in terms of one hundred years, teach the people.” “This goes back a little bit to the inheritance thing,” Twaddle said. “This is going to be here a while. So in terms of my son, maybe someday he might bring the grandkids here. I’m pleased with that.”

Geoff Heckman ’03 was named one of six finalists by the American School Counselor Association for 2018 School Counselor of the Year. He has been a school counselor for 14 years and has been at Platte County (Missouri) High School since 2014. Joel Taylor ’04 has been promoted to associate head coach for the men’s basketball program at Texas A&M International University, where he began as an assistant in 2014. Previously, he was an assistant at Eastern Wyoming College and Grand Canyon University. Jared Verner ’08 was named associate athletic director for external relations in November at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. He has worked at the university since 2012.

For more of this story, visit nwmissouri. edu/alumni/magazine. To learn more about Randy Twaddle and his work, visit

’04 WHAT’S NEW WITH YOU? New job? New child? New spouse? New address? Send your latest 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

Cameo Hofpar Rogers was named the 2017 Dementia Care Practitioner of the Year by the National Council for Certified Dementia Practitioners. She has worked in the profession since 2004 and recently began work as corporate lifestyles manager at Home Office at Immanuel in Omaha, Nebraska.






Lauren Zeliff and Galen Lynch were married July 1, 2017. The couple met four years ago while attending the Fall Classic football game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, and walked for the first time as husband and wife to the Bearcat Fight Song.

’01 ’05 Four Northwest alumni were stationed in the Middle East last fall with the 35th Infantry Division, based at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in support of Operation Spartan Shield and Operation Inherent Resolve. Pictured, left to right, are Sgt. 1st Class Justin Coulter ’05, 1st Sgt. Lantz Tipton ’01, Maj. Jordan Clark ’05 and Capt. Jason Price ’00. Jeannette Ferguson Barker ’00 recently left her position of 17 years as a teacher for the Department of Defense at the Yokota Air Base in Tokyo Japan. She relocated to Gig Harbor, Washington, where her husband, Bryan, is a pilot for Delta Air Lines, and she stays at home to care for their 2-year-old daughter, Delen.

Tiffany Burnes Thompson ’02, ’07, ’12 and her husband, Matthew, welcomed Tristan Keith on July 31, 2017. Tiffany is a seventh grade social studies teacher in the St. Joseph School District and Matthew is a lawyer for TK Thompson & Associates Law Firm. They reside in Liberty, Missouri.

Brian Smith ’00 is a partner at Deloitte Digital, where he leads digital transformation initiatives for clients. Prior to joining Deloitte, he was chief digital officer for a retail real estate firm based in Park City, Utah, and operating in Omaha, Nebraska. He and his wife, Cheryl Soetaert Smith ’00 reside with their three children in Kansas City, Missouri.

Erin Loges ’08 married Chris Holland July 21, 2017, at Waimanalo Beach, Hawaii. Both are secondary school teachers at International College Hong Kong.

Abdul-Kaba Abdullah ’02 was named executive director of Park Central Development, a community development corporation that works to strengthen and attract investment in neighborhoods in St. Louis’ central corridor. He has more than 13 years of municipal and governmental affairs, executive administration and total quality management experience in the nonprofit sector. He resides in St. Louis with his wife, Andrea, and their three children.

Abby Freeman ’09 was appointed in December as director of admissions at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she has worked in a variety of roles since 2011. She earned a master’s degree in communication from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2011 and is pursuing a doctoral degree in human sciences at NebraskaLincoln.

Thomas Sanchez ’02 was accepted to participate in Inner City Capital Connections, a collaboration with Catholic University’s Busch School of Business that brings business students and small business owners together to develop enterprise solutions to poverty. He is chief executive officer and founder of Social Driver, an agency that connects clients with social media, websites, video and digital advertising. Kevin Schlomer ’02 graduated in May 2017 from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa with his Doctor of Education degree. He is coordinator of teacher leadership for the Indianola (Iowa) Community School District. He and his wife, Jennifer Boyer Schlomer ’02, reside in Indianola.



Ashley Heckman Myers ’09 and her husband, Ian, welcomed their second child, Beckett Reagan, on Aug. 2, 2017, joining sister Ainslee, 3. Ashley is employed as an elementary reading teacher in the South Page (Iowa) Community School District, and the family resides in Maryville.

2010s Kevin Rieger ’12 and his wife, Christa, welcomed Rebekah Diane on Aug. 16, 2017. Kevin is a middle school band teacher for Atchison (Kansas) Public Schools, and the family resides in Atchison. Valerie Neibling Palmer ’14 and her husband, Roman, welcomed their first child, Lily Irene, on July 27, 2017. Valerie is a program technician for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency. The family resides in Atchison, Kansas. Lexa Schmidt Young ’15 and Chase Young ’15 were married Sept. 23, 2017. The couple resides in Maryville where Lexa is employed at US Bank and Chase works at Midland GIS.







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


Have you seen these 1968 graduates?

The following alumni who graduated from Northwest in 1968 are considered “lost” because the University does not have a current physical mailing address for them. Their 50-year class reunion is this fall, and they won’t want to miss out on the fun of reuniting with fellow Bearcats. To view the entire list of missing Bearcats, please visit or call 660.562.1248. Patricia Autenrieth Wallace Baker Barbara Baker Fannie Buell Joan Burnside William Chalstrom Larry Claxton Judith Hopper Climie Dola Conn Michael Corbett Stephen Crouse Gary Derks Judith Hunt Druse Gregory Ellison

Barbara Heath Evans Joan Burnside Fleckal William Francis Ruth Frey Meredith Gjerstad Jayne Guthery Harold Haley Terrell Hall Ivana Griffin Hays Charles Hennesy Roberta Duffett Herod Linda Hopkins John Iwen John Jackson

Lavera Johnson Robert Kordick Gregory Lee Susan Maine Michael Marr Jo Fabro McMaster Peter Meindertsma Harlan Meints Lynda Menefee Carole Morenz Robert Nelson Charles O’Connor William Page James Palumbo

Elaine Parker Martha Clothier Parks James Quinn Ronnie Resler Roy Richter John Sanden Jerald Sarber Nancy Fuller Sayler Edward Seifert Beric Seinman Melvyn Shanin Errol Speer Roger Spiess Kathryn Spink

Georgia Starr Michael Stephens Polin Thummel William Underwood Richard Vaudt Karla Voltmer Robert Walker Ronald Wallace Janet Wallin Carl West

Northwest Alumni Association

Northwest Day at the K The Northwest Alumni Association is finalizing details for Northwest Night at the K in Kansas City.

Kansas City Royals vs. Oakland Athletics Saturday, June 2,, 2018 Tailgate at the Hall of Fame Pavilion | 11 a.m.-1 p.m.* (west side of stadium, tailgate ticket required to enter tent)

First pitch | 1:15 p.m.*

*All times are tentative and subject to change

Ticket Packages (includes tailgate ticket, game ticket and Northwest pennant): Field Plaza Sect. 211 | $76 View Box Sect. 409 | $63 • Tailgate ticket includes a meal of grilled hot dog, cheeseburger, pasta salad, baked beans, chips, lettuce salad, cookies, bottled water and soft drinks. • Ticket packages are limited and while supplies last. Deadline to reserve is Friday, May 18. Already have tickets to the game and want to attend the tailgate? Contact the Alumni House at 660.562.1248 for details. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit or call the Alumni House at 660.562.1248.





Northwest extends its condolences to the families and friends of these individuals. Shane Abel ’85, 60, of Kansas City, Missouri, died March 5, 2017. He served in the U.S. Navy, stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, and on the U.S.S. Iwo Jima in the Mediterranean Sea. Later, he worked as a paralegal for a small law firm in New Paltz, New York. He resided in the Kansas City metro area for most of the past 30 years. Phylliss Adams ’51, 85, died Sept. 11, 2017. She taught in Ames, Iowa, and Denver, Colorado, public schools before completing her Doctor of Education degree and beginning a long career in higher education, teaching reading and literacy at San Diego State University, University of Denver, Baylor University and California State University-San Bernardino. She authored more than 40 books for young readers and professional materials for teachers. She was active in professional organizations, including as president of the International Reading Association. Col. Herman Boswell ’51, 88, of Mexico, Missouri, died Oct. 27, 2017. He enlisted in the Missouri Army National Guard in Maryville in 1947 and was appointed a second lieutenant in 1952. He served in many positions during his military career and was deputy commander from 1974 to 1978 of the Army SIDPERS team stationed at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana, the first to put military records on computer. He taught school at Jefferson High School in Conception Junction, Missouri, for several years where he also served as principal, and he was Maryville High School principal from 1967 to 1974. Carol Greever Brown ’89, 49, of Liberty, Missouri, died Aug. 17, 2017. She was a freelance writer.

James Colville ’52, 84, of Pickering, died Aug. 14, 2017. He was a lifetime farmer. Cathie Tulloch Cooper ’89 (master’s), 71, died Aug. 23, 2017, in Garden City, Kansas. She taught in elementary schools in Zion, Illinois; Marceline, Missouri; and Shields, Kansas. She taught elementary special education in Garden City for 19 years and retired in 2009 after 38 years as a teacher. Betty Tiemann Corder ’51, 88, of Raymore, Missouri, died Dec. 25, 2017. She taught elementary school in the states of Iowa, Kansas, Oregon and Missouri as well as one year in Germany for children of U.S. Army troops. Betty and her husband, Thad, also owned a printing company for more than 25 years. Kathryn Coston ’42, 93, died Sept. 23, 2017, in Maryville. She taught in rural schools in Holt County, Missouri, and at Quitman Elementary School in Quitman, Missouri. She later taught lower grades in a two-room rural school in Las Animas, Colorado, but returned to Skidmore, Missouri, in 1952 and became a homemaker. Ty Cravens ’08, 32, of Clinton, Missouri, died Sept. 14, 2017. He worked for Premium Farms in Princeton, Missouri, and then Houk Excavation. He also worked with the Missouri Department of Conservation as a fisheries resource assistant. Robert Dakan, 68, of Barnard, Missouri, died Aug. 5, 2017. He retired from the Energizer Battery Plant in Maryville prior to being employed as a custodian at Northwest, where he retired in 2014.

Gene Ceglenski, ’50, 88, of Savannah, Missouri, died May 21, 2017. He served as a Navy Seabee during the Korean War before becoming an educator for 36 years. He was a business teacher and coach at Craig, Parnell and Union Star schools. He later served as principal and then superintendent at Union Star. In 1967, he became superintendent of schools at Holt County R-II in Mound City, Missouri, where he served until he retired in 1986. He was elected as Northwest District representative and later president of the Missouri State High School Athletic Association Board of Directors. In 1984, he was selected by the Missouri Association of School Administrators as Outstanding Administrator for the Northwest District.



Margaret Dowis ’64, 89, died Sept. 19, 2017, in Kirksville, Missouri. A stay-at-home mother and farmer’s wife until her husband died, she returned to Northwest to complete her bachelor’s degree in elementary education and took a sixth grade teaching position in Blue Springs, Missouri. She taught in Blue Springs for 30 years and retired in 1994. Daniel Evans Jr. ’77, 62, passed away July 6, 2017. A science teacher, he began his career in Manning, Iowa, and retired in 2012 from Raytown South Schools in Missouri. William Freese Jr. ’61, 77, died May 11, 2017 at his home in Council Bluffs, Iowa. He taught in Lamoni, Iowa, and at Emporia (Kansas) State University before entering the business field. He worked as a realtor in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he was president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Board of Realtors. He later retired to Rolling Prairie, Indiana, where he built cement houses and coached high school tennis. Julieann Freeman, 20, of Liberty, Missouri, died Feb. 22. A sophomore computer science major, she was active in Northwest’s School of Computer Science and Information Systems, as a member of the Association for Computer Machinery-Women and the cybersecurity club. Dr. George Gayler, 95, of Maryville, died June 14, 2017. He was a faculty member at Northwest from 1949 to 1987, teaching courses in history and humanities. Tony Giannini ’73, 70, of Manchester, Iowa, died Nov. 24, 2017. He attended Northwest after serving


in the Vietnam War as a member of the U.S. Air Force. He taught special education for 20 years. Jo Ella Gill ’58, 81, of Maryville, passed away Oct. 8, 2017. She worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and taught English as a Second Language at the University of New Mexico and worked as a child development specialist at the University of Colorado. In 1975, she became the city clerk for the city of Maryville and retired in 2006. Allyn Scott Graham ’61, 81, of Maryville, died Oct. 29, 2017. He earned his degree at Northwest after serving in the U.S. Air Force and taught American history and coached basketball. Later, he worked as a youth specialist for the University of Missouri Extension Service.

Ivalah “Jean” Castor Jones ’46, 89, Savannah, Missouri, died Sept. 29, 2017. She retired in 1992 as a bookkeeper for Burns Farm Supply Inc. in Savannah. She previously worked at GTE in Savannah and Maysville, Missouri, and Mercantile Bank in Kansas City. Marcia Stafford Jorgensen ’71, 68, of Overland Park, Kansas, died Oct. 26, 2017. She taught English for two years near Maryville before becoming a real estate appraiser and a partner in Peachtree Appraisal in Conyers, Georgia. Kevin Kobett ’99 (master’s), 60, of Savannah, Missouri, died Nov. 5, 2017. An avid hunter, he patented a training target system to help hunters improve in their sport.

Linda Grissom Harkness ’97, 69, of Oak Grove, Missouri, died Jan. 1. She worked as a Quality Inspector at Hollister’s in Kirksville for about 10 years.

Lucille Fink Kunkel ’62, 103, died Oct. 11, 2017, in Mound City, Missouri. She taught in several rural schools in Holt County and retired from South Holt after 29 years as an educator.

Carol Bowlend Jackson ’78, 87, of St. Joseph, Missouri, died June 21, 2017. She taught school in St. Joseph for three years, worked at Katz Drug Store and Mannschreck Store, and at the Veterans Office. After earning her teaching degree, she taught for the Buchanan R-IV School District, retiring in 1978.

Geary Labuary ’74, 65, of California, Missouri, died Oct. 2, 2017. He served as head football coach at Windsor High School in Imperial and at high schools in Clinton, Illinois; Albany, Missouri; and Beloit, Kansas; before settling in California. He coached his teams to three state championship games, winning the title in 1997 and finishing second in 1998 and 1999. He was one of six Missouri coaches with 307 wins.

Neva Adams Jenson ’49, 87, of Maryville, died July 19, 2017. She was a 1947 graduate of Horace Mann High School and acquired a teaching certificate from Northwest. She taught two years, worked at 71 Cafe, and was a homemaker and farmer. Bonnie McFall Johnson ’38, 99, of Maryville, Missouri died on June 30, 2017. She taught in the Maryville R-II School District for 26 years. Andrew Jones ’65, 75, of Parkville, Missouri, died Oct. 1, 2017. He worked 41 years at Kansas City Southern Railway in database administration.

Rhonda Crouse Mannasmith, 62, of Maryville, died Sept. 19, 2017. She worked as an administrative assistant in the Office of Marketing and Communication and the Office of the President at Northwest from 2012 until retiring in May 2017. Edward Mason ’74, 71, of St. Joseph, Missouri, died Nov. 3, 2017. He served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam and then as a sergeant at Fort Leonard Wood. He retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture as community regional director in Butler, Missouri. He also had careers in banking, insurance and teaching. Elizabeth Brubaker Matthews ’43 (master’s), age 101, of Sedalia, Missouri, died Nov. 14, 2017. She worked for the Sedalia School District for 35 years.

Barbara “Jane” Elmore Lager ’80, 58, of Maryville, died Sept. 11, 2017. She had a 35-year career as a banking professional with Citizen State Bank. Shelly Rasmussen Lawler ’76, 62, of McLeansboro, Illinois, died June 11, 2017. She worked for Southern Illinois Case Coordination Services as an advocate for people with disabilities and their families.




Morgan McCoy, 19, of Liberty, Missouri, died Jan. 7. She was a sophomore elementary education major, member of the Sigma Kappa sorority, and a student employee with the School of Education.

Dr. Beth Richards, 58, of Maryville, died, May 28, 2017. She retired from Northwest last year as an associate professor in the Department of Language, Literature and Writing, having taught at the University since 1992.

Doris Bashor Millen ’60 ’71, 98, of St. Joseph, Missouri, died Oct. 1, 2017. She taught school for 30 years, including 26 years as a fifth grade teacher in Savannah, Missouri, retiring in 1983. Jeane Humphrey Miller ’62, 96, of St. Joseph, Missouri, died Nov. 1, 2017, at her home. She worked for 30 years as a special education teacher at Wathena, Kansas. Marilyn Mathers Mutti ’73 ’75, 84, of Pella, Iowa, died June 10, 2017. She taught at West Nodaway High School in Burlington Junction, Missouri; Bedford (Iowa) Community High School; Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri; and Central Methodist College in Fayette, Missouri. She worked for both The Hopkins Journal and The Bedford Times-Press and later at Conception Abbey in public relations. Betty Jean Van Meter Myers ’81, 82, of St. Joseph, Missouri, died Nov. 11, 2017. She was a nurse for Heartland Hospital in St. Joseph for over 35 years. David Nkenchor, 18, of Maryland Heights, Missouri, died Oct. 1, 2017. He was a freshman geology major. Lester Henry Parman ’52, 91, of Allen, Texas, died Aug. 26, 2017. In the U.S. Navy during World War II, he served in Corpus Christi, Texas, and Hawaii and continued in military service with the Naval Reserves. He went on to teach high school math in Coburg and Avoca, Iowa. He worked at Western Electric in Omaha, Nebraska, before relocating with his family to Texas. Phyllis Phoenix ’65, 76, of Des Moines, Iowa, died Nov. 11, 2017. She taught business education and computer apps at North and East high schools and the American Institute of Business in Des Moines before retiring in 2014. Dr. Jay Rash ’66, 75, of Willow Street, Pennsylvania, died Oct. 31, 2017. While pursuing his doctorate at the University of Missouri-Columbia, he became part of a research group assigned by NASA to study the first lunar samples returned to earth by Apollo 11. In 1972, he began working for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Central Research Lab in Groton, Connecticut. In 1981, he moved to Pfizer’s Animal Health Division and retired in 1999 as the director of regulatory affairs for North America.

Estelle Bressler Rigdon ’51, 88, of Smithville, died Dec. 23, 2017. She worked in retail sales. Barbara Roberston, ’50, 87, of St. Joseph, Missouri, died March 20, 2016. She taught school for 33 years at Edison and Eugene Field schools in St. Joseph. Edwin Rodasky ’74, 65, of Omaha, Nebraska, died Oct. 24, 2016. He taught speech, theater and interpersonal communications courses at Bellevue University in Omaha and Iowa Western Community College. He started his teaching career in St. Joseph, Missouri. Matthew Rouch, 61, of Maryville, died March 5. He was an instructor of mass communication at Northwest from 1992 to 2013. Imogene Shepard-Schenk ’66, ’69, ’72, 92, of King City, Missouri, died Oct. 16, 2017. She taught in the St. Joseph area. Georgia Schilling ’76, 73, of Trenton, Missouri, died July 18, 2017. She worked as a nurse for more than 40 years and was a captain in the Army Reserves. ZoAnn Holt Severson ’60, 78, of Maryville and North Redington Beach, Florida, died Feb. 24, 2017. She taught English at Lafayette High School in St. Joseph, Missouri, and Maryville Middle School and later became secretary and treasurer for the Maryville Shoe Corporation. Jeanette Shipps ’56, 83, of Maryville, died Nov. 22, 2017. She taught kindergarten briefly in Kansas City, Missouri, and spent time as a waitress in Colorado before returning to Maryville to teach kindergarten. She retired in 1964, becoming a homemaker and farmed with her husband.


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 64468-6001, fax to 660.562.1990 or email Submissions may be edited for length and clarity.



Harold Smith ’56, 88, of Bethany, Missouri, died Aug. 5, 2017. He began his career teaching in a one-room schoolhouse near what is now Harrison County Lake while attending Northwest during the summer and winter breaks. After serving in the Army and reaching the rank of staff sergeant, he finished his undergraduate degree with the help of the G.I. Bill. He continued his career, serving schools in north Missouri and central Iowa including Stanberry, Albany, Westboro, NodawayHolt, and United Community School in Jordan, Iowa. He finished his career by serving 19 years as superintendent of the North Harrison School District in Eagleville. Laura Kaderavek Smith ’82, 58, of Kansas City, Missouri, died Dec. 16, 2017. She spent the majority of her working career as a teacher. Robert August Stelter ’43, 93, of Hopkins, Missouri, died Sept. 8, 2017. He served in the Pacific on a Landing Craft Infantry ship during World War II. He was a lifetime farmer. Sherry Taylor ’87, 74, of West Des Moines, Iowa, died Aug. 7, 2017. She taught first and second grades in Clearfield and Diagonal, Iowa, and later taught in Red Oak, Osceola and at St. Malachy in Iowa. Dwight Tompkins ’76, 63, of Sacramento, California, died Aug. 14, 2017. He spent the majority of his career with Walsworth Publishing Co. Reginald Turnbull ’72, 71, of Jefferson City, Missouri, died Nov. 9, 2017. After earning his law degree, he moved to Jefferson City and began his professional career as assistant attorney general for the state of Missouri and later became a deputy director for the Missouri Department of Mental Health. He went into private practice in 1991 and founded the Turnbull Law Firm in October 1999, specializing in elder law, until his retirement in 2016. Dorothy Vest ’48, 90, of Maryville, died Sept. 29, 2017. She taught school for six years in Iowa and 10 years in Burlington Junction, Missouri. Helen Elliott Weisner ’61, 78, of Maryville, died July 7, 2017. She taught in Omaha, Nebraska, and later in Fairfax, Virginia. Beth Wheeler, 61, of Jameson, Missouri, died Nov. 13, 2017. She served as Northwest’s vice president for community relations from 1996 to 1998 after earlier work with the University of Missouri Extension 4-H, two terms in the Missouri House of Representatives and as a staff member for Gov. Mel Carnahan. She retired in 2012 as director of external relations at Missouri Western State University. George Irvin Williams ’51, 92, of Maryville, died Dec. 9, 2017. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was honorably discharged in 1943. He taught physics, chemistry, biology and advanced math for 20 years at the Maryville High School. He also was a bookkeeper and prepared income taxed for many area businesses.


POSTCARD The Northwest Wind Symphony performed March 5 for a metropolitan audience at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri. The Wind Symphony’s appearance at the venue, made possible in part by an Academic Initiative Grant through the College of Arts and Sciences and its dean, Dr. Michael Steiner ’85, was the first by a Northwest ensemble. The performing arts center, a major notfor-profit hub for music, opera, theater and dance, opened in 2011 and serves as a cultural cornerstone for Kansas City and the region. In partnership with Northwest, the concert also featured the Park Hill High School Symphonic Band, conducted by Ky Hascall ’91, and the Blue Springs South High School Wind Symphony. “The Kauffman Center is truly a worldclass venue, attracting performing ensembles and tour companies from around the globe,” John Bell, the conductor of the Wind Symphony, said. “Acoustically, the Kauffman Center’s Helzberg Hall ranks among the top performance venues in the world.”


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Northwest Alumni and Friends Magazine Spring 2018  

Spring 2018 Northwest Alumni and Friends Magazine

Northwest Alumni and Friends Magazine Spring 2018  

Spring 2018 Northwest Alumni and Friends Magazine