2014 Spring Magazine

Page 1


The Magazine


| president’s message

The pace of change ear Friends, Dr. Joe Walt’s timeless history, Beneath the Whispering Maples, describes the curriculum of Simpson College in the 1860s. Students were required to demonstrate some proficiency in Latin and Greek, English grammar and composition, chemistry, zoology, botany, American history, theology, political economy, philosophy and other areas of study. Clearly, from its very earliest days, Simpson College ensured that students were broadly educated in the liberal arts and sciences. Although the specifics may have changed, Simpson has remained constant in its commitment to this mission. Today, students completing their bachelor’s degrees must demonstrate: an ability to write and speak well; an appreciation for the dynamics of intercultural communication; an understanding of the basic elements of scientific inquiry and quantitative reasoning; critical thinking; and collaborative leadership. One of Simpson’s earliest graduates could look back from 1890 or 1900 and point to remarkable technological, social and political change in the years since he or she graduated. The pace of that change has been breathtaking, and it’s showing no signs of slowing. National markets have become international; the telegraph has developed into computers and the Internet; and telephones are more versatile and powerful than the computers used on the Apollo missions. Despite these incredible changes, Simpson graduates have found success in innumerable ways, demonstrating an ability to develop and respond to new ideas, to employ new tools and technologies and to solve problems that would have been unimaginable to an earlier generation. The constant for all the College’s graduates has been Simpson’s commitment to a liberal arts and sciences education. Indeed, Simpson’s founders understood that the best preparation for the future is an education in the liberal arts and sciences. That educational experience has helped Simpson graduates to think critically; to synthesize concepts and ideas and apply them to rapidly evolving situations; to communicate across cultural differences in pursuit of solutions to common problems; and to possess the moral and ethical discernment necessary to improve the lives of the communities in which they live. As you enjoy seeing some of the changes that have taken place at Simpson over the years, please be assured that the College remains steadfast in its commitment to the value of an education in the liberal arts and sciences. Sincerely,




The Magazine Simpson College President Jay K. Simmons Produced by the Office of Marketing and Public Relations


Jill Ramthun Johnson ’85 Executive Director of Marketing and Public Relations Leslie Byars Diehl ’03 Art Director Ken Fuson Marketing Writer/Media Specialist


Danny Fast Digital Content Specialist Amanda Leichty ’10 Graphic Designer Bryan Geelan ’07 Athletics Communication Director


Oscar Preis Web Development Specialist Mary Fortune Administrative Assistant Jenifer Mertes Welch ’12 Copy Center Manager


Touring the Years Editor Sara Thompson Contributing Writers Ken Fuson Bryan Geelan ’07 Jill Ramthun Johnson ’85 Photography Luke Behaunek Leslie Byars Diehl ’03 Rochelle Green Dean Riggott Duane Tinkey Office of Alumni Relations Andy English ’05 Director 515-961-1547 Office of College Advancement Bob Lane ’81 Vice President 515-961-1549

4 THIS IS SIMPSON 6 Investing in Simpson


7 Faculty Pursuits - Deb Czarneski


- Where Are They Now? - Faculty Accomplishments

11 Continuing &

Graduate programs 12 A SIMPSON SPACE 14 Cover story


- Carver Lecture - Culver Center - Emerge at Simpson - Jim Thorius Retirement


Then & Now

26 INAUGURATION The Simpson magazine is published by the Office of Marketing and Public Relations. Letters to the Editor and story ideas are welcomed. Send correspondence to themagazine@simpson.edu

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| this is simpson



hen the Gilson family gathers in Prairie City and talk turns to who had the best Simpson Experience, Joe Gilson can make a compelling case. After all, Joe, who will graduate in December 2014, had the opportunity to study in Tahiti this winter while Iowa was enduring one of the coldest winters in state history. But Rick and Karen Carlson Gilson of the Class of ’84 can always counter with stories of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.

When the boys were younger, the Gilsons would attend a few Simpson football games every year, “so they certainly had a familiarity with the school,” Rick says.

The old Lambda Chi fraternity building across from Kresge Hall has been torn down and replaced by a much tamer version.

“I don’t remember my parents ever excessively bragging about Simpson and everything it had done for them, but I do remember how proud they were when someone asked them where they went to school and they said ‘Simpson,’” Joe says. “I also remember thinking it was cool that wherever we seemed to go, my parents would run into somebody from Simpson, and they would talk about their time together there.”

“You have to remember, the drinking age was 19 when we were at Simpson,” Rick says. “That made a big difference. And I think the College was much more relaxed about alcohol then, too.”

Rick and Karen Gilson say they are impressed by the number of opportunities today’s Simpson students enjoy, particularly in studying abroad.

Don’t misunderstand. Rick and Karen say students did plenty of studying in the 1980s. Enough, anyway, that Karen earned a math degree and now teaches at Southeast Polk High School, while Rick earned an accounting degree and now works as the corporate internal auditor for Wild Rose Entertainment.

“It’s amazing,” Karen says. “What a global perspective they get.”

“It was ‘Animal House,’ literally,” Karen says, laughing. “They would bring a dump truck and dump sand in the basement and they’d have a beach party.”

The Gilsons represent one of several families in which both parents graduated from Simpson and a child is currently attending. Another son, Gabe, graduated in 2011 from Simpson and is now pursuing an MBA at Wagner College in New York. For the Gilsons, the tie that binds the generations at Simpson is sports. Rick and Gabe played football for Simpson; Joe is returning this fall for his final season. Karen played softball for two years until a knee injury ended her career. Rick contends playing conditions were better for his sons. “The fields and the facilities that the team goes to and that they have in Indianola are just remarkable compared to what we


played on. I remember our junior year, we went to play William Penn in Oskaloosa. We were walking to the field before the game, and one of our offensive tackles says, ‘They’ll be glad when this game is over so they can let the cattle back in here.’”


Joe agrees. “Studying abroad is an experience that all students who go to college should have.” So we return to the family reunion question: Who had the best Simpson Experience? It appears to be a tie. “I wouldn’t have gone anywhere else,” Rick says. “I don’t think any of us have regretted it.” Then Karen offers her trump card. Whenever Joe or Gabe talks about how much harder the academic program is for today’s generation of Simpson students, she can respond with this: “I had Joe Walt for Western Civilization,” she says. “Two semesters. That was the toughest thing I ever did in my life.” Game, set and match to Mom. ■

I don’t remember my parents ever excessively bragging about Simpson and everything it had done for them, but I do remember how proud they were when someone asked them where they went to school and they said ‘Simpson.’” -Joe Gilson ’14

Karen, Joe and Rick Gilson.

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| investing faculty pursuits in simpson

A Big Payback hat was he going to do? Steven Johnson had just graduated from Exira High School in western Iowa in 1977. He was married with a baby son to support. He was 18 years old. His options appeared limited. Then he found Simpson College. Back then, Johnson was a high school wrestler, and Simpson could offer full-ride athletic scholarships. When he wasn’t attending class or practicing wrestling moves, he also could earn money through work-study programs. The College made that happen as well. “That was the only way I had enough money to get through school,” Johnson remembers.

It’s payback. The people at Simpson helped me get through College, and there were people there who had a big impact on me.”

Flash forward to Feb. 7, 2014. The Simpson community gathers to dedicate a brand-new, state-of-theart fitness center. The Steven Johnson Fitness Center. “It’s payback,” says Johnson, who contributed more than $2 million for the facility. “The people at Simpson helped me get through college, and there were people there who had a big impact on me. Part of the reason I made the big donation is that it represents payback.” Much has changed in the 33 years since Johnson graduated with the Simpson Class of ’81. He now has four children. He has remarried— his wife, Shannon, and other family members joined him at the dedication ceremony.

And Johnson now is president and chief executive officer of CareView, a Texas-based company that represents the next generation of patient care monitoring. The company has 48



Steven and Shannon Johnson.

employees and currently works with 100 hospitals in placing cameras in patient rooms that can help nurses monitor patients and prevent falls and determine if a patient is moving enough, among other things. The company is one of several that Johnson has launched from scratch since he left Simpson. He has developed various kinds of electronic telecommunications equipment, including downconverters, wireless cable set-top converters, antennas and transmitters. Without Simpson, Johnson says, none of it would have happened. “For me, the benefit of Simpson was absolutely the special treatment you get out of the small school environment that you couldn’t get out of a big school or a big university,” he says. “They helped get me through four years. When you’re going to school with no money and a wife and a child to support, it’s tough.” He specifically mentions the help he received from Frank Colella, retired professor of economics. “He was a big influence,” Johnson says. “The school was fantastic.” Johnson’s impact on campus won’t stop with the fitness center that bears his name. He joined the Simpson Board of Trustees two years ago, and believes the College is in a prime position to become a leader in medical administration. He says he’s encouraged by Simpson’s direction. “It’s a tough environment, and with all the online things that are going on, the traditional four-year liberal arts college is somewhat under siege from a lot of different angles,” Johnson says. “I think it’s important that we find a niche that can keep this campus growing and doing well.” ■

faculty pursuits |

PROMOTING Undergraduate research eb Czarneski has a proposition for Simpson students: How would you like to discover something new? Czarneski (pronounced Sure-nesky) is Simpson’s first director of undergraduate research, a position created about a year ago that reflects the increased importance of such research at Simpson and at other colleges. “We’re just getting ideas off the ground,” she says. “There was so much undergraduate research going on at this institution but it wasn’t centralized. We’re trying to make the program consistent across campus.” Faculty and staff have embraced the added emphasis, she says. The annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, now in its fifth year, attracts more participation and interest each year. “This is how I like to think of undergraduate research,” Czarneski says. “It gives students a chance to see what is not known in a particular field. We spend so much time in our classrooms talking about what other people have done, what problems people have solved, and what conclusions people have come to about different things. “But if you think about math, there are a lot of problems we don’t know the answer to. What are those problems and how can students start to go about investigating them?” One of Czarneski’s goals is to help faculty and students understand what undergraduate research looks like in their discipline. A theatre performance, for example, could represent the culmination of a research project. “I think students want it,” she says. “I hear more and more recruits coming in and asking what undergraduate research opportunities we have at Simpson.” Czarneski grew up on a dairy farm south of Green Bay (yes, she’s a die-hard Packers fan). Her interest in research was sparked as a graduate assistant for a summer research program at Louisiana State University. “I got to see these students see math in a different way, and that was really kind of exciting to me. So I looked for a school that had a strong undergraduate research program. Simpson was definitely that.” In the mathematics department, Czarneski works with the Dr. Albert H. & Greta A. Bryan Summer Research Program, which allows six Simpson students to spend the summer on campus conducting research.


Associate Professor of Mathematics, Director of Undergraduate Research Education: • B.S., Mount Mercy College, 2001 • M.S., Louisiana State University, 2003 • Ph.D., Louisiana State University, 2005 • Joined Simpson faculty, 2005 “That’s literally their job,” she says. “They spend a lot of time and energy doing research and we come up with some pretty interesting results.” Simpson students often present the results of their research at national conferences. Others have published their findings in undergraduate and professional journals. “It’s definitely a trend right now to get students to think outside of a textbook,” she says. “That’s what we want our students to do.” FOUR questions for Deb: What’s the most interesting thing in your office? Probably the pictures of my 4-year-old daughter, Claire, and her art collection, which keeps expanding. What do you do outside the classroom? I spend a lot of time with my family [her husband, William Schellhorn, is an associate professor of mathematics at Simpson]. I like to read, but right now I probably read more Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein than anything else. What is the biggest misconception about undergraduate research? That all students can’t do it. I believe all students have the potential, we just need to give them the opportunity. Favorite place you have visited? Probably my favorite memories are of going camping as a kid to northern Wisconsin. ■

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Dick Starr

where are they now? ick Starr taught and coached at Simpson for 30 years, from 1967 to 1997, but that doesn’t come close to covering all he did. He taught classes in everything from physical education to kinesiology. He was head men’s tennis coach for 17 seasons, head men’s basketball coach for 12 seasons, head women’s tennis coach for nine seasons, and assistant head football coach for many of those seasons. He helped start what’s now known as the athletic training program. He drove vans, taped ankles, washed uniforms and spent most Sundays compiling statistics. “If I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t have done it,” he says. He still lives in Indianola, and is often seen in the stands at Simpson athletic events and in the audience at various performances. What are you doing these days? I don’t know if we should tell. (Laughs.) We’re busy. They’re not kidding when they say you hardly have time to get everything you want done in retirement. We stay active. We like any kind of stage play or musical or athletic event. I used to play golf, but then I had some trouble with my hands. I do miss it. The year 2011 was a hard one for me. My wife, Nancy, and my daughter, Dana Starr Petersen ’84, both died of cancer within a month of one another, both after long illnesses. My son, David ’80, still lives in Sioux Falls, S.D. At a Newton High School reunion a few years ago, I ran into my first girlfriend, Donna. We went to senior prom together. Her spouse had died, so after Nancy died I called her. We got together and eventually got married. One of the things I told her I regretted is that I was always too busy to go dancing, so we took dance lessons and we enjoy that. I’m not very good at it, but I enjoy it.



You attended the dedication of the Steven Johnson Fitness Center. What were your impressions? It’s wonderful. I’m so happy for them; it’s really great. I helped design Cowles. It didn’t turn out the way it was designed. (Laughs.) I coached the last basketball game at Hopper and the first basketball game at Cowles. You must be proud of Simpson’s athletic training program. I actually got that one started. They didn’t have a training room when I started at Simpson. I bought the first training table. All the time I was there, I was pretty much the only trainer for football and basketball. I put the first aid kits together when we traveled and did virtually all the taping. On game days, I taped probably 60 football players. Your wife says you remember the name of almost every athlete who played for you, what years they were there and when they graduated. Do you hear from them? I enjoy that as much as anything concerning my memories of the College. When we went to the fitness center dedication, we ate lunch with two of my former basketball players and sat with a former tennis player. That’s just great. The young people that went to Simpson when I was there, they were really top-notch. Do you miss coaching? I miss the practices and I miss being around those kids all the time. But the travel gets to be a real drag after awhile. I never had a free weekend until I retired. I was in a Des Moines shopping mall that first weekend when it hit me like a rock—I’m supposed to be at a game somewhere. (Laughs.) Anything you’d like to say to all those athletes you coached and students you taught? I thought a lot of them then, and I still think a lot of them now. ■

faculty accomplishments Sal Meyers, professor of psychology, was selected to be part of the first cohort of STIRS (Scientific Thinking and Integrative Reasoning Skills) Scholars. STIRS is a new program through the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and provided Dr. Meyers the opportunity to attend its general education conference in Portland, Ore. where she will be developing a case study that can be used to teach evidence-based reasoning and decision-making in general education courses. As a follow up to her spring 2012 sabbatical, Jan Everhart, associate professor of religion, led a four-week Bible study sponsored by the Indianola Green Team on the topic of the “Bible and Ecology.” The Indianola Green Team is a grassroots organization working to promote sustainable living. Dr. Everhart also preached at Trinity United Presbyterian Church in Indianola on the topic “Covenant with Creation,” as part of a national interfaith preach-in on the environment. Dave Camwell, associate professor of saxophone and jazz studies, performed recitals, concertos, composer workshops, and master classes at Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Graceland University, and the University of Urbana Champaign. He also performed “White Christmas” at the Des Moines Civic Center and Humboldt High School. Dr. Camwell judged jazz festivals in Iowa and Missouri and his two new CDs are receiving rave reviews and airplay throughout North America and Europe. Nathaniel Boulton ’02, adjunct professor, received the 2013 Iowa Association for Justice Key Person Award for “advocacy for the rights of injured workers” and also became chair of the Justice for All Political Action Committee. Instructor of Music, James Poulsen, arranged his orchestral work, “Heartland Poem,” for the Hoover High School band in Des Moines. He is also arranging two

of his art songs to be performed by faculty members with orchestra at the music department’s Spring Gala Concert. Dr. Poulsen has also written two new art songs, one based on a personal note of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the other based on a poem by Jane Austen, and he is working on a new work for bass voice and piano, based on the “Suicide Soliloquy” attributed to Abraham Lincoln. Rick Goetz, theatre technical assistant, signed a deal with the Winterset Stage, Winterset, to design lighting for their summer productions of “Always, Patsy Cline,” “The 39 Steps,” “Noises Off,” and “Smoke on the Mountain.” Fred Jones, professor of sociology and criminal justice, is serving on the Community and Strategic Plan committee (CASP) for the State of Iowa. The committee is composed of criminal justice leaders from around the state, is charged with developing and implementing nontraditional programming for juveniles who have committed delinquent acts. Developing police diversion, detention alternatives, policy changes, and sustainability of a new approach to handling juvenile offenders are the primary tasks of the group. Rick L. Woten, adjunct professor of history, accepted an appointment from the State of Iowa to be historian to the National Register of Historic Places State Nominations Review Committee. John Benoit, professor of music, led the Ballyhoo Foxtrot Combo in a performance at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Des Moines. He was also interviewed about dance bands in the 1920s and 30s on Iowa Public Radio’s “Talk of Iowa” program. The Turner Center Jazz Orchestra at Drake University premiered Dr. Benoit’s arrangement of Burt Bacharach’s song, “Wives and Lovers,” and he offered a pre-concert lecture on the music of George Gershwin at the Des Moines Symphony

Orchestra. Finally, Dr. Benoit judged low brass at the Perry Band Olympics, jazz bands at the Hoover JazzFest, and student composition submissions for the Federated Music Teachers of Iowa. Professor of Education, Steve Rose, won honorable mention, adult general category, in the Iowa Poetry Association’s Lyrical Iowa contest for his poem “Veteran’s Day Breakfast 11/11/11.” Brian Steffen, professor of communication and media studies, was named editor of the journal Teaching Journalism & Mass Communication. This is a peer-reviewed, electronic journal focused on teaching journalism and mass communication in small departments and dedicated to the open exchange of information. Mark Bates, professor of Spanish, is anticipating the publication of his book, With Arms Wide Open: Stories of Nicaragua, which details his experiences there through a collection of short stories. Adjunct Professor of Art, Bob Kling, completed a series of paintings for the exhibit, “Up Close and Figurative,” an exhibit of mixed media figure paintings for a show in the Kent Campus Center gallery. Kling completed a second series of acrylic paintings of classic cars and motorcycles titled, “Your Body Could Look Like This!” for a show at the Indianola YMCA. Justin Brown, assistant professor of biology, attended the 17th Annual Iowa Physiological Society Meeting where he presented his research on the relationship between knowledge retention and repeated testing. Affiliate Guitar Instructor, Steven Kennedy, released a classical guitar CD titled “Pequeño vals para Florencia” that features works by J. S. Bach, Fernando Sor, Máximo Diego Pujol, and José Luis Merlin. continued >>>>>>

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faculty accomplishments


Peter Taggart, adjunct professor of history, gave a lecture on “The Crusades and The Knights Templar” at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center in Des Moines and also presented a four-part lecture series on the American Revolution and the Constitution for the Ray Society in Des Moines. Director of Opera, Bernard McDonald and guest stage director Mo Zhou received a grant from the Kurt Weill Foundation of New York City to produce the spring opera, Kurt Weill’s “Street Scene.” This was the first ever foundation grant to Simpson’s opera program, designed to engage the campus in conversations about how the opera intersects with the liberal arts and social sciences and in doing so to broaden the audience for the works of Kurt Weill and musical theater more generally. Chatt Pongpatipat, assistant professor of marketing, co-authored and published a paper titled, “The Impact of Salesperson Credibility-Building Statements on Later Stages of the Sales Encounter,” in the Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management. Dr. Pongpatipat also will present his paper titled, “Beyond Information: How Consumers Use Online Reviews to Manage Social Impressions,” at the 2014 Academy of Marketing Science Annual Conference.

Top: Taureg with camels in Timbuktu, Mali Right: Masai chieftan’s wife in Tanzania Bottom: Girl polishing marble Buddhas in Mandalay, Myanmar

Constance Kostelac, assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice, has been working on a project with a California police agency to make a series of recommendations to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their crime analysis function. She served as a session chair and presented a paper at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology. Dr. Kostelac was also featured in the fall 2013 newsletter for the Division on Women and Crime, which is part of the American Society of Criminology. Nicci Whalen, assistant professor of sport science and health education, and Emily Hansen, assistant professor of exercise science, are presenting a poster titled, “Regular Exercise has an Impact on Self-Reported Weight Related Eating Behaviors in College Females,” at the American College of Sports Medicine annual conference. ■

Former Simpson professor Alan Magruder and his wife, Helene, will exhibit photographs from their world travels in the Kent Campus Center gallery. The exhibit will be featured during May Term. Magruder taught at Simpson from 1970 to 1995, primarily education courses, statistics, and a May Term course on human sexuality. “That was a popular course,” he says. He and Helene have traveled extensively, and the 20 to 30 photographs in the exhibit will include scenes from France, India, Myanmar, and U.S. national parks. “I think if you appreciate scenes from around the world, you’d appreciate this,” he says.



continuing & graduate programs |


STUDENTS B y Ros e m a ry L ink Associ at e V ic e P r e sid e nt for Ac a d e mic Affa irs

eople often think that the concept of Continuing & Graduate Programs—offering college classes to “non-traditional” students—is a relatively recent development. The hallway connecting Cowles and the Kent Campus Center includes a wall devoted to Simpson’s history. On the south panel you will find a photograph of students with the caption, “Simpson College offers its first evening class in 1892.” Simpson’s long history of making sure that students of all ages and backgrounds are given the opportunity to benefit from the College’s mission is reflected in the Zenith as well. There are stories that touched on the harsh realities of the post-war years. The 1946 edition of the Zenith included an essay, “The Exhausted Senior” which shared, “The first taste of war’s manpower needs came in February 1942. A lot of our friends were called into active service. I don’t think we fully realized just then what was to happen…it was hard to take.” The 1947 edition included this dedication: “To the returned G.I., the 1947 Zenith is respectfully and thankfully dedicated. We watched you leave the classrooms back in ’43 and ’44; we followed your movements in training camps in the U.S., on the beachheads of the Pacific, in the African Campaign, on up through Sicily and Italy; we followed you as you left your bases in England and flew through flak and anti-aircraft to reach your objective. Some of you didn’t return. To you we cannot express our true feelings. To those who have returned, we say, ‘Hi, fellows. Glad to see you back.’ Our welcome is sincere; we are glad, though there may be tears in our eyes as we watch you walking again under the ‘Whispering Maples.’”

Simpson has adjusted for some time to the needs and challenges of “experienced students.” Today, Simpson’s Continuing & Graduate Programs is a state leader in offering a variety of flexible educational options to students of all ages, continuing a tradition established long ago. The Division of Continuing & Graduate Programs was officially founded in 1980, and we celebrate the more than 500 students each year who turn to Simpson to inspire, renew and build their careers and communities. We now offer a variety of programs for students seeking undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees in criminal justice and teaching, and many who return for post-baccalaureate certificates in business, accounting, computer science, healthcare administration, plus a variety of endorsements for teachers. This is a milestone year for Simpson. The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree and the Transition to Teaching program, our longest standing graduate programs, are celebrating their 10th anniversary. We are proud to have contributed more than 80 secondary teachers at the graduate level, as well as hundreds at the undergraduate level to K-12 schools. One of these teachers is Korey McKasson ’13, a Simpson graduate who started his MAT program in the 2013 Cohort. You can find his story at www.simpson.edu/2013/12/ student-spotlight-korey-mckasson/. It’s impossible to predict the future, of course, but we’re confident that Simpson will continue to adjust to the changing needs of students—all students, no matter their stage in life—in the years to come. ■

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| a simpson space

college complex Athletic hall B y Emily S c h e ttl e r ’ 1 0

he Steven Johnson Fitness Center opened in January 2014 and is the crown jewel of Simpson’s athletic facilities. The two-tiered workout facility includes numerous features and is one of the most impressive Division III facilities in the Midwest.

Lounge Area: Sitting at the center of campus, the lounge area provides access to the Kent Campus Center, Cowles Fieldhouse and the Steven Johnson Fitness Center. It is the primary thoroughfare connecting the east and west sides of campus. Brand new trophy cases line the north wall, providing a visual testament to our Tradition of Success. SwimEx: Aquatic therapy is a great way for the athletic training staff to get student-athletes back in the game, and there is no better tool than the SwimEx. The adjustable current provides water resistant rehabilitation and the fully-integrated video system provides underwater viewing, enhancing the staff’s ability to identify and correct imbalances. Exercise Science Lab: Students pursuing a degree in exercise science are provided the opportunity to utilize a handson approach to learning in the lab, which is dedicated to evaluating various aspects of human performance.



Strength and Conditioning: Students now enjoy plenty of space—5,500-square-feet, to be exact—in the lower level of the Steven Johnson Fitness Center, where a majority of the free weights are housed. The space features 11 power lifting platforms, a 40-yard stretch of artificial turf, two full dumbbell racks and universal cable machines.

Travis Mickle works in his lab at KemPharm, Inc., in Iowa City.

Athletic Staff Offices: The Hap Miller Suite houses a majority of staff and coaches’ offices. The area features two conference rooms, several flatscreen TVs and a work room. Hall of Fame: The new Athletic Hall of Fame provides a sleek, new way to showcase the finest Simpson student-athletes of all-time. The south side of the Hall leads into the Sirianni Suite, a high-end conference room that overlooks beautiful Bill Buxton Stadium.

Luther L. Hill Wrestling Room: The new wrestling room fits two full mats and features space dedicated to off-the-mat alternative training. The coaches’ offices are just outside of the room for easy accessibility. ■ THE THE THE MAGAZ M AG M AGAZIN AZIN IN EE | |ESPR SPR | FA IN IN LGLG 220011244


| cover stor y




t Simpson, we hear some version of this all the time:

“Wow! I can’t believe how different this looks!” Alumni who return after a few years often are struck by the physical changes on campus. As you can see elsewhere in this issue, the recently opened Steven Johnson Fitness Center offers students a first-class facility in which to stay in shape. The academic side has changed as well. Students now take classes under the Engaged Citizenship Curriculum, which was designed to meet the changing needs of today’s students, as well as employers and graduate schools. Don’t fear. You’ll still find College Hall, Hillman Hall (the Administration Building) and Smith Chapel where you would expect them. We thought it would be fun to match alumni from different generations who pursued similar careers. We think you’ll find that many aspects of the Simpson Experience have endured throughout the decades. See if you agree. On pages 18 and 25, you’ll find examples from our popular ad campaign in the Des Moines Business Record, illustrating how Simpson graduates from different generations are making a huge impact in central Iowa.

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Collins tradition.

hen Simpson promises prospective students that they will receive personal attention from faculty members, Craig Collins ’80 can confirm that this is a College

“We had an English professor, and if we didn’t come to class, she would call our dorm room to make sure we were OK,” he says. He laughs. “I believe she caught us playing hooky a couple of times at Lake Ahquabi south of town.” But it was that same personal attention that changed the direction of Collins’ life. He grew up in Dallas Center and arrived at Simpson planning to major in music. When that didn’t work out, he met with his advisor, Dr. Joseph Walt, professor of history. “Joe sat down with me and said, ‘I think we ought to look at something in business.’ We both agreed, and I was going to go for business administration, but he said, ‘Let’s specialize in accounting. You can always do business administration, but let’s get you specialized.’ That’s how it got started.” Today, Collins is the chair of the Mayo Clinic’s Revenue Cycle, a division of the finance department for the medical giant, which serves more than one million people a year from all 50 states and nearly 150 countries. Walt also influenced Collins by encouraging him to help revive a chapter of the Kappa Theta Psi fraternity on campus. “He kept pushing me out of my comfort zone a little bit,” Collins says. “I was co-chair of Homecoming my senior year, and that gave me a little more exposure to the upper leadership and some of the alums. I ended up a student trustee when I graduated. It was a great opportunity.” Collins says he applies the lessons he learned at Simpson on the job every day. “I think it’s problem-solving and serving others, as well as being able to step back and think through the situation,” he says. “I know the leadership opportunities at Simpson have brought me into some leadership roles here at Mayo.”





ELBERT amie Elbert ’13 didn’t need to adjust to the workforce after graduating from Simpson. She had been a part of it for two years. Elbert is a tax associate/accountant at KPMG in Des Moines. She hopes to become a Certified Public Accountant this summer. Landing the job, she believes, was a direct result of two internships she obtained as a Simpson student. She worked four months for Shull & Co. in Indianola, then worked full-time for 14 months at Aviva Investors.


“It wasn’t the kind of internship where you get coffee and make copies,” she says. “I was really doing beneficial work. They counted on me.” Elbert grew up in Indianola and was attracted to Simpson because of the success of the women’s basketball team. The first internship came after a basketball practice when she struck up a conversation with Doug Shull, a supporter of the program. “It’s so easy to network at Simpson,” Elbert says. “We have a really good reputation in the Des Moines area. I didn’t realize how good the College’s reputation is until I got out into the business world.” Elbert says her professors worked with her to make sure she could hold the full-time Aviva internship and still get her classwork done. She quickly noticed a connection between her schoolwork and her professional work. “Everything is reviewed by a manager and the partner at the firm. You’re going to be held accountable. You’re also held accountable for your work at Simpson. Professors know who you are. You can’t slide through the cracks. You have to get it done well, not just get it done.” And how’s the job going? “Ask me after April 15,” Elbert says, laughing. “I’ll love it then.”

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(HICKS)-DIXON ow did a young woman from Hackensack, N.J., find herself surrounded by the cornfields of Iowa in the early 1970s? It’s a question Dr. Linda Jones (Hicks)-Dixon ’76 must have asked herself quite often in her first days on the Simpson campus. “I arrived to flat land needing a winter coat right away,” she says, laughing. “It’s true that I didn’t know anyone or have any family there, but one thing about Simpson College, they become your family.” Simpson discovered her during an effort to recruit minority students from the East Coast. Jones (Hicks)-Dixon found herself among several minority students who had been recruited to Simpson.

“I don’t think the people in town were really familiar with blacks or African-Americans, other than from magazines or TV,” she says. “And here we were, walking around the town square.” The positive side: “I got a strong academic foundation. I was in a place that had very few distractions. People were lovely to us.” She credits Margaret Watson, then the chair of the biology department, with helping get her into medical school while she was still a Simpson senior. “The private interaction I had with my teachers was phenomenal.” After graduating in 1979 from medical school, Jones (Hicks)-Dixon returned to New Jersey and has worked as a pediatrician for more than 30 years. “It’s a passion for me,” she says. She returned to Simpson about a year and a half ago and was given a campus tour. “It’s really beautiful,” she says. “Everyone should come back to visit their alma mater sometime.”

Creating Leaders Tod ay an d Tomor r ow A degree from Simpson College gives students the best preparation for medical school and success as leaders in their fields. Our graduates excel in all walks of life and are making a positive difference throughout central Iowa.

Engaged citizens, ready to lead. Emily Van Roekel Wagner ’12 Physician Assistant Student Des Moines University 18


Joel E. Hade, MD, ’79 Gastroenterologist The Iowa Clinic


ELWOOD young woman arrives at Simpson College from the town of Jesup, Iowa. She is interested in science but isn’t certain what career path to take. She finds herself in a class taught by Patricia Singer, professor of biology and the division head of natural science. Singer’s passion for research, especially the study of cancer molecular biology, influences the student. I THINK So does a May Term trip to Namibia, where the Simpson student works in a government hospital and decides, right then, that she will become “a caring, compassionate, globally-focused physician.” Today, Dr. Kendra Frush Elwood ’09 is a pediatric resident at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and she says it’s no exaggeration to claim that her ability to help children heal is directly related to the encouragement and direction she received at Simpson.

ready for all of my classes. But I also was prepared in that I had strong study habits, and I was trained to do welldetailed evaluations and thoroughly investigate things. I had good problem-solving skills.”


Simpson is respected among the professionals at the Mayo Clinic, she says, because so many of them came from small colleges as well. “A liberal arts education is certainly appreciated by everyone that I’ve met so far,” she says. Simpson’s size, Elwood says, encourages the sort of one-on-one mentoring experience she enjoyed with Singer and other professors. “I think that was vitally important, both in getting me interested in medicine and getting through medical school as well,” she says. Elwood has been back to see the changes at her alma mater.

“I think Simpson was great in building for me a solid foundation for medical school and for propelling me into pediatrics, too,” she says.

“I was sad to see the pool was gone,” she says. “I had a lot of great memories there from swim team. But it looks to me like the College continues to grow and invest in the students and what the students are looking for.”

After earning degrees in biochemistry and math from Simpson, Elwood was accepted by the University of Iowa Medical School. She graduated in 2013.

As a pediatric resident, Elwood doesn’t get much sleep these days, but she has no regrets about her career choice.

“I felt very well prepared,” she says. “Academically, I was

“It’s going fantastic,” she says. “I love it.”

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McGowan an McGowan ’71 served in the Army Reserves and the Iowa Army National Guard a total of 34 years—as an enlisted solider for 14 years and as a commissioned officer for 20. He was a member of Special Forces for 15 of those years. When he retired, he had reached the lofty rank of brigadier general, and he still serves as the Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army for the State of Iowa. SIMPSON WAS


Were he to visit Simpson’s campus today, the chances are good that someone would thank McGowan for his service. It wasn’t like that in the early ’70s, the end of the Vietnam War era.

“It was ugly,” he remembers. “The antiwar movement was on campus. They were burning draft cards and they were having protests and marches. A handful of us had formed a veteran’s club and wore our field jackets as a protest.” Despite that, “I had a tremendous experience at Simpson,” he says.

A self-described “Army brat,” McGowan landed at Simpson after spending several semesters at the University of Kentucky. He had to put his education on hold to work. When his father retired from the Army and launched a new career in Iowa, his parents offered him a place to stay. 20


“Simpson was kind enough to give me an opportunity, so I took advantage of it and finished at Simpson,” he says. He earned a degree in economics, but not before becoming the oldest Sigma Alpha Epsilon pledge in the nation at that time. McGowan’s previous military experience—he enlisted in the Army Reserves in high school—earned him a nickname among his fraternity brothers: “The General.” Little did they know how prescient they were. McGowan says Simpson contributed to his future success in a number of ways. “I got a good education there,” he says. “You could take about anything you wanted to. I took a lot of literature courses that really expanded my horizons. I think I got more of a liberal arts education than someone who graduated 10 years earlier, because I took everything.” His career, in and out of the military, has featured several start-ups. He started an international banking department for a 13-bank holding company. He started a mail-order business. He started a bank—Waukee State Bank—from scratch in 1996 and sold it 10 years later. He also started the first paratrooper unit for the Iowa National Guard. McGowan has 125 military jumps to his credit, 1,160 in all. You won’t see him without a parachute wings icon in his lapel. “It was an honor to serve, a challenge and a pleasure, and I’ve never regretted it,” he says.


HILDRETH he first time Ryan Hildreth ’05 visited the Simpson campus, it was to visit his girlfriend at the time.

“The girl and I didn’t work out, but the College and I did,” he says. Hildreth says this by telephone from Qatar, his fifth overseas deployment. He is assigned to the 185th Air Refueling Wing, a unit of the Iowa Air National Guard that is based in Sioux City. He has risen to the rank of captain and he flies jets—the dream he had since childhood. Were it not for Simpson, he says, that dream likely would not have happened. Hildreth acknowledges that he was less than a model student his first year. “They gave me an opportunity to come back after posting a horrible GPA my first year,” he says. He took full advantage of that second chance, graduating in three years. He remained a member of the Air National Guard’s 133rd Test Squadron in Fort Dodge during his years at Simpson. “Simpson was very cooperative,” Hildreth says. “I took multiple absences from school. The attitude was always, ‘What can we do to help?’ not, ‘When are you going to be back?’ “I was very happy with how I was treated as a military member at Simpson,” he adds. “I wouldn’t expect anything less for a non-military member. They’re just supportive of their students.”


Hildreth’s missions overseas last about six weeks. He lives in Rockwell City with his wife—“a recovering Wartburger”—and two daughters, ages 3 and 1. When he returns to Simpson, “I cannot get over the stuff that’s being done there right now. That new student center just blew my socks off. The buildings are nice, the renovations are nice, but the continual effort to modernize the curriculum and provide more opportunities to students make it one of the best places to go to school.”

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impson admissions counselors often recruit students by describing the virtues of a small class size. But most aren’t as small as the one Wanda Brownlee Paige ’78 experienced one day.

Simpson Connects he first Simpson Connects event was held Feb. 27 at the World Food Prize headquarters in Des Moines. More than 130 people attended what was billed as “a casual evening where Simpson alumni and friends can explore and strengthen their connections.”

Sponsored by the Simpson College Alumni Association and Bankers Trust, the gathering also provided a reminder of the vital role Simpson continues to play in producing leaders for the Des Moines metro area. Speakers included: Simpson President Jay Simmons; Suku Radia, president and CEO of Bankers Trust; Jay Byers ’93, CEO of the Des Moines Partnership; and Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation. “It was a wonderful evening,” said Andy English ’05, director of alumni relations. “The venue was filled with people who are making a huge difference in the metro area and beyond. The Simpson Experience obviously doesn’t end with graduation, and Simpson’s impact on the community around us continues to grow.”

“I remember coming to class once, and nobody was there except for me and Dr. Walt,” she says.


That would be Dr. Joseph Walt, the legendary Simpson history professor. Paige figured Walt would let her leave. No chance.

“He said, ‘You paid for an education, and that’s what you’re going to get,’” she remembers. “He lectured for 50 minutes. The good thing was, I had read my stuff, and so we went back and forth.

“I thought, ‘Now where else could I get this kind of one-onone attention?’” It paid off. Paige earned her history degree and taught social studies for 30 years in the Kansas City, Kan., school system, retiring two years ago. “I love retirement,” she says. “It’s the next best thing to cotton candy.” Paige says Simpson students in her era were still responding to the ’60s cultural upheaval. “It was truly a learning experience,” she says. “There was a quote from George Washington Carver that he became a human at Simpson. I think we, too, went through that and learned a lot. If I could, I’d do it again.” “We learned there may be a lot of ways we’re different, but there are also a lot of ways we share a commonality. It made me grow up and to appreciate differences and people.” Paige says she tried to pass on to her students something she learned at Simpson: “I may not agree with you on some things, but I can agree to disagree and respect you.”




DAHLHAUSER ly Bowers Dahlhauser ’10 wants her students in the Eagle Grove School District to feel as comfortable with their teacher as she felt with her Simpson professors. “I was always struck by how personal my professors were in class,” she says. “They always told us to come see them. They really wanted to make sure we understood.” Dahlhauser, for example, invites members of the girls basketball team she coaches to her home during the season. “It’s not to talk about basketball,” she says. “I want them to have bonding time as people, to talk about life and how school’s going.” It was the personal connections that attracted Dahlhauser to Simpson. “After I visited, I basically fell in love with it,” she says. “I never turned back and never wished I had not gone there.” For one thing, she met her husband Bruce ’11 on campus. In Eagle Grove, she teaches kindergarten and is the head girls basketball coach and assistant track coach. Bruce also teaches and coaches. “We don’t see each other a lot,” Aly says, laughing. “But we try. That’s the life of coaches, I guess.” She views coaching as another opportunity to teach. “You get to touch the lives of kids on a deeper level,” she says. “You get to become closer to them and help them become better people. Teaching life’s lessons is very important to me in the classroom, too.” Simpson’s education program is distinctive, she says, for how quickly students are placed in a classroom setting, both to observe and to teach. “The location of Simpson is fabulous, because you’re close to so many school districts.” For now, Eagle Grove, like Simpson, is small enough to make a big difference. “With a small community, it’s easier to get closer to the families of my kids. I see my high school players working at the grocery store. They can tell that I’m human and we can talk about things other than basketball.”




LAUFER oel Laufer ’73 can describe precisely how much Simpson has changed since he was in college. Basketball players no longer have to adjust their shots.

I GIVE A LOT OF CREDIT TO SIMPSON … They represented an enormous turning point in my life.”

“We played in the old Hopper Gym,” he remembers. “To put it into perspective, my high school gym was bigger, and I grew up in Gladbrook, Iowa with a population of around 900. “If you shot deep in the corner at Hopper, you could hit the underside of the track that was above the basketball floor. I don’t even know how much seating there could have been. When you pulled out the bleachers, they only came down six or seven rows. There also was seating above the court on the track. It was an experience.”

Laufer arrived at Simpson for the basketball, but stayed for the education. That led him to the University of Iowa College of Law and a legal career in Englewood, Colo., where he specializes in corporate bankruptcy reorganizations. “Simpson got me to law school,” he says. And that brings him to note some of the attributes that haven’t changed about a Simpson education. He hears them



every year when alumni are asked to meet with prospective and current students and their parents in the Denver area. “When you talk to the current students, they mention the same things that have always attracted people to Simpson,” he says. “It’s the quality of the education, but equally important is the size, the attention to detail, and the personal one-on-one relationships with the professors.” Why does that matter? Laufer describes how a history professor encouraged him to take an honors course. The same professor later wrote a letter of recommendation for him to law school. “It really comes down to this,” he says. “Do you want 45,000 students in your undergraduate college? Do you want the size of a town or city that comes with that? Do you want classes so large that you are watching on television screens because the professor is stationed two rooms over? Or do you want a more personalized education in a smaller environment where professors hold doctorate degrees and make you feel like you’re part of a community?” A community, we should note, where you now can launch a three-point shot from deep in the corner without worrying about the building’s architecture. “I give a lot of credit to Simpson,” Laufer says. “That’s why I provide financial support to Simpson as often as I can. And it’s why Simpson is in my will. Simpson represented an enormous turning point in my life.”


LISKE hat can the rough-and-tumble world of Washington, D.C., possibly throw at Kyle Liske ’09 that he didn’t deal with as Student Government Association president at Simpson in 2009? Well, plenty. But he did learn how to be a leader during his time at Simpson. After all, 2009 was a productive year for SGA. Students worked with the administration on the revised academic curriculum, fundraising for the Kent Campus Center and several other projects. “One of the things I enjoyed most at Simpson was that they really encouraged you to take what you find interesting and run with it,” Liske says. “They give you the latitude to learn on your own. I think it

encourages students to think in a different way, to think more creatively and take ownership of projects. That translates into the outside world. Those are the kind of people society looks to for leadership.” Liske now works for the North American Export Grain Association in Washington, D.C., representing grain companies. He grew up in Donahue, a town of 350 people in eastern Iowa. At Simpson, he studied economics, political science and philosophy, and he said he was well prepared for Drake University Law School. “I know a lot of professors at Drake that said, ‘Oh, yeah, Simpson students are always well-prepared. They’re some of our best students.’” After law school, Liske worked on an unsuccessful political campaign. “I don’t do anything directly involved with politics now, but certainly my day-to-day job is influenced by the politics out here,” he says. Liske says he believes the Simpson education he received was probably not that much different from the education future lawyers received in previous generations. “I’m sure it was really similar in a lot of ways,” he says. “I think one of the neat things Simpson has is the number of traditions that have basically lasted over the entire span of its history.” ■

Creating Leaders Tod ay an d Tomor r ow Attorneys with a Simpson College degree have an advantage—a wellrounded, liberal arts perspective that fully prepares them for law school and for success in their careers. Add to that one of the nation’s most successful debate teams, and it’s easy to make the case for a Simpson education. PAIGE RIGGS FIEDLER ’87 Attorney Fiedler & Timmer

Engaged citizens, ready to lead.


Prosecutor Polk County Attorney’s Office THE M AG AZIN E | SPR I N G 2 0 1 4










Inauguration N COL L SO


Jay K. Simmons, Ph.D.

Today is a unique and unrepeatable moment in time, a gift from god.� -The Rev. Dr. Julius C. Trimble 26


was a daya today celebrateto all things Simpson. all ItItwas celebrate unny skies and the promise of spring renewal greeted members of the Simpson family who gathered March 20 at the First United Methodist Church in Indianola for the inauguration of Jay Simmons as the College’s 23rd president. The audience included three past presidents—Stephen G. Jennings, Bruce Haddox and John Byrd. On one side of church sat several current college presidents and many representatives of other colleges, all in full regalia. On the other side sat Simpson’s faculty members, also in caps and gowns.

It was the pomp and circumstance befitting a 154-year-old institution. “Today is a unique and unrepeatable moment in time, a gift from God,” said the Rev. Dr. Julius C. Trimble, resident bishop of the Iowa Area of the United Methodist Church. The formal inauguration ceremony came almost nine months after Simmons took office. Tradition calls for giving the new president time to get settled and to produce his own vision for the College. Several speakers, including Nate Boulton ’02, president of the Simpson Alumni Association, officially welcomed Simmons to campus and offered their help. Representing the Simpson faculty, John Epperson, professor of political science, reminded Simmons that all new leaders are accorded a honeymoon period. “Enjoy it while you can,” Epperson said, as the audience laughed, “because now the real work begins.”

In his speech, Simmons offered a spirited defense of the value of and need for the kind of liberal arts education Simpson provides. He said a strategic plan, the result of work by several task forces and a committee, would soon be unveiled to guide Simpson’s future.

The challenges, he said, include a pool of Iowa high school graduates that has shrunk by 20 to 25 percent in the past decade, as well as questions that are being raised about the cost and value of a college education. A faculty member recently asked him if a comprehensive liberal arts institution remains relevant in today’s world.

“In my mind, the answer to that question is most emphatically, ‘Yes!’” Simmons said. Today’s college students are more career-minded than ever, he said, at the same time that employers are looking for those skills that Simpson has always taught. “Who else is better situated to pursue that work than us, and to provide those individuals who are so needed by society and our communities today?” he asked. At the same time, recent studies have shown the career earnings of liberal arts graduates are greater over the course of their careers because they possess the skills that eventually put them in leadership positions. But Simmons said the primary reason he remains optimistic was driven home during a recent dinner with Simpson students, who described how the College had changed their lives.

Sunnie Richer, chair of the Board of Trustees, told Simmons the board determined “you were the best choice to lead Simpson, and we have not been disappointed. We have come to know you as knowledgeable and results-driven, but with a deep respect for the mission of a comprehensive liberal arts college.”

Those students, he said, “demonstrated extraordinary capacity for self-reflection, an ability to think of the welfare of their community, an understanding that the worth of a society is measured by how well that society cares for those in need… That’s what our College does for our students.”

But Richer also noted, “These are challenging times in higher education, and business as usual no longer exists.”

He asked again: Is Simpson still relevant? “Not only relevant, but vital.” ■ THE M AG AZIN E | SPR I N G 2 0 1 4


| athletics

Fitness Center Dedication Another Great Day for Simpson

t was a Simpson family reunion. Every aspect of the Simpson community—past and present—gathered Feb. 7 to celebrate the dedication of the Simpson Athletic Complex, featuring the brand-new Steven Johnson Fitness Center. For some, it was the first time they had seen the $6 million renovation. For others, like Russ Fairfield ’14, a Simpson athlete from Atlantic, it was a chance to reflect on the many changes he has seen during his four years on campus. “Simpson is on the move,” he said. “It’s going to be the place to be.”

“I believe this renovation truly represents what Simpson is,” said Sirianni, the former athletic director who was integral in the fundraising and planning that made the project possible.

“Simpson is on the Move. It’s going to be the place to be.”

Brian Niemuth, the current athletic director and head women’s basketball coach, echoed those sentiments and pointed out that the renovation benefits the entire campus. “Anymore, the idea of building a strong body and mind is very attractive to promising students,” he said. “It’s not just for athletes, it’s for the whole student body. I think this is a tool the school can use to build its recruitment base.”

-Russ Fairfield ’14 That is clearly the hope of College administrators, who believe the fitness Work began on the fitness center in center will join the Kent Campus March 2013. The renovation features Center and the pedestrian mall as the Steven Johnson Fitness Center, a campus features that will attract the two-tier workout facility consisting attention of prospective students and meet the needs of of a 5,500 square foot strength and conditioning center current students. and a 4,500 square foot exercise and fitness center. The picturesque facility overlooks Bill Buxton Stadium. The fitness center improvements help Simpson on three fronts—enhancing educational opportunities, campus The renovation also includes additional classroom and recreation and the athletic programs, explained John meeting space, administrative and academic suites, an Sirianni, special assistant to the president. expanded wrestling room, a cheer, dance and multipurpose



room, a new Hall of Fame display, an exercise science and athletic training lab and a Swim Ex rehabilitation and therapy pool. Steven Johnson ’81, an entrepreneur now living in Texas, contributed more than $2 million toward the $6 million renovation. Simpson’s Board of Trustees granted approval to move forward with the project a year ago. “Every project like this needs a champion,” said Simpson President Jay Simmons. “Steven and Shannon Johnson very much were the champions for this project.” “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” Johnson said after touring the facility. A former wrestler, Johnson was particularly proud of the new Luther L. Hill Wrestling Room. He remembered the facility he wrestled in, which left something to be desired. Located in the basement of Hopper Gymnasium, he recalled that the old practice facility “resembled a dungeon more than a wrestling room.” The new facility also honors those people who helped make Simpson what it is today. Those in attendance at the ceremony included legendary coaches Jim Williams and Dick Starr and representatives for the late Larry Johnson, Hap Miller, Shelley Scott O’Meara and John Sullivan. Former President John Byrd, who approved the building plan during his administration, also was present, along with his wife, Nancy. While Simpson’s past was acknowledged and celebrated during the ceremony, most of the attention focused on the future and how the new fitness center will improve campus life. As speakers talked, Simpson students lifted weights and ran on treadmills. The new fitness center has proven to be a popular destination for students, faculty and staff since the moment it opened. Fairfield is one of the students who greatly appreciate the new venue. “Our past weight room was just a box and so we weren’t able to utilize it as well,” he said. “The equipment offers a lot of different facets for people to train in different ways. It’s high quality, state of the art equipment. I think we have the best weight room in the conference now.” ■

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Hansen to coach on European Tour impson head wrestling coach Nate Hansen’s career has taken him many places. Through wrestling, he’s been able to travel to Massachusetts, Louisiana, Florida, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Ohio and New Jersey. Soon, he will be able to add France, Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania to the list. Hansen has been selected to serve as a coach for the annual D3 Cultural Exchange trip to Europe from May 28-June 8. Along with Buena Vista University assistant coach Zach Mizer, Hansen will lead a group of roughly 20 Division III wrestlers on a 13-day trip, which will include stops in Paris, Istanbul, Varna and Bucharest. The four-country tour offers many sightseeing opportunities, competition against local teams and clinic work. Hansen is particularly eager to learn more about European coaching methods not widely used in the United States. “It’s going to be a big coaching development trip,” Hansen said. “There is a drastic difference in coaching and training styles. It’s a much a larger scale than what you see in the United States.” 30


Hansen will be joined by one of his own wrestlers, as Storm 174-pounder Brett Roberts plans to make the trip as well. Like his coach, the sophomore wants to experience the wrestling different countries have to offer. “I’m looking forward to being able to wrestle people from different countries who have a completely different style than here in Iowa,” Roberts said. “It will be a cool experience.” Originally from Ottumwa, Roberts will travel outside of the United States for the first time. In fact, his first trip on a plane wasn’t until his freshman year when the team traveled to Louisiana for a tournament. It won’t be all work and no play for Roberts and his fellow wrestlers. The tour begins in Paris and will include stops at several popular tourist destinations. “My girlfriend is pretty jealous that I’ll get to see the Eiffel Tower,” he said. The program is made possible by George Kaltchev, a former European wrestling champion and president of George Sport Tours LTD. ■

LARRY JOHNSON SCHOLARSHIP The athletes who played for Coach Larry Johnson want to make sure his legacy endures for future Simpson students. A fundraising effort has been launched to establish the Larry Johnson Endowed Scholarship Fund. Johnson died last year at the age of 81. He coached baseball at Simpson for 19 years. He also coached football, track and wrestling, and was the first coach of the women’s basketball program. He was named to the Simpson College Coaches Hall of Fame in 2011.

Taylor Nelson represents Simpson in Division II All-Star Game o, there isn’t a typo in the headline. Quarterback Taylor Nelson of the NCAA Division III Storm was selected to play for the Division II team in the D2 vs. NAIA Challenge in Myrtle Beach, S.C., on Saturday, Dec. 21. Nelson, the 2013 Iowa Intercollegiate Conference (IIAC) Offensive Most Valuable Player who led Simpson to a 7-3 mark, was one of just two Division III players selected to play in the game. A senior from West Des Moines (Valley HS), Nelson led the IIAC with 319.4 yards of offense per game in 2013, accounting for a school-record 34 touchdowns (10 rushing). The game was never in doubt when Nelson had the ball, as he led Simpson to five wins when tied or trailing in the fourth quarter or overtime. Nelson completed a school-record 65.5 percent of his passes during the season, throwing for 2,608 yards and 24 touchdowns against just seven interceptions. He led the team with 586 yards rushing and was asked to run or throw the ball in nearly 67 percent of Simpson’s 775 offensive plays. He surpassed 300 yards passing four times, earned IIAC Offensive Player of the Week four times, and accounted for six total touchdowns in back-to-back weeks, throwing for three and running for three in wins over Coe and Dubuque. Nelson becomes the first football player to represent Simpson in an all-star game since 2011, when Colton Calvert ’13, Ben Coy ’12, Braden Everding ’12, Ty Larsen ’12 and Brian Tjossem ’12 played in the Tazon de Estrellas (Bowl of the Stars). Three other players played in the Aztec Bowl, the forerunner of Tazon de Estrellas: running back Guy Leman ’99 in 1998, quarterback Mike Donnenwerth ’05 in 2003 and wide receiver Dusty Kain ’06 in 2005. ■

The fundraising drive was organized by Jim Hamer ’68, Richard Meszar ’68 and Joe Blake ’71. “If you were new on campus, Coach Johnson would have found something out about you that was personal, whether you were from Dubuque or whether you played ball or whatever,” said Meszar, who now lives in Mesa, Ariz. “He made you feel special. He was always approachable, and he was a mentor to a lot of people.” “Coach Johnson was one of those people that you never want life to forget,” said Hamer, who lives in San Antonio, Tex. “He was just incredible. He recognized that none of us were going to make the major leagues, so he put a lot of fun in baseball and everything we did. He had this sense of humor that would crack you up. He made Simpson very special.” The names of donors will be forwarded to Coach Johnson’s wife, Pat, and their children, Kimberly Johnson Hays ’79 and Ed ’88. Please send your tax-deductible contribution to Simpson College (Coach Johnson Endowment Fund), C/O Mr. Bob Lane, Office of College Advancement, 701 North C Street, Indianola, IA 50125. ■

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| chaplain’s corner


rench novelist Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr penned a now well-known saying that translates (more or less) to say, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Some may read this as a commentary on the seemingly monotonous feeling of life, but I find it to mean much more. There is certainly a cyclical nature to our living—seasons come and go, and do so without much thought. We expect the spring to follow the winter (even though this year it’s been hard to envision springs coming!) and trust that each day will continue to start with a sunrise. It is in the midst of the predictable that the rest of our lives happen. In the midst of the predictable, we keep up with the things that are important to us, to ensure that they will continue. I have certainly experienced this at Simpson College as well. As an undergraduate student at Simpson, it was my experiences with the Religious Life Community—which included opportunities for leadership and service—that helped to form my understanding of a call beyond my graduation. Whether it was serving as a chapel intern or participating in the preministry program, each experience continued to challenge my assumptions about the person I had expected to become. During my time here, I was encouraged to reflect on these experiences by mentors who helped to guide me and answer my questions about the path I was on. Since returning to Simpson as an employee, I have been pleased to see that while things on campus have changed, so many of the important things are still here. While many of the physical spaces where I spent my days as a student have changed, the college’s commitment to helping students discover who they are and who God is calling them to be through acts of service and mentoring relationships is as strong as ever. Daily, I feel truly blessed to be back in this place, participating in a new way as I now serve as one of those guides. Yet, I am assured by the consistency, because what has proven to help students along their chosen paths has continued to be a strong part of what happens at Simpson College. May we continue to recognize fruitfulness when we see it, and be encouraged to push ourselves forward to serve generations to come. ■



ABOVE: 1889–Chapel was frequently held on the second floor of College Hall, called Old Chapel.


? n e b ha


ß a Sp Sie N U T R O P




n e l l o W

That’s German for:

“Do you want to have a good time?” nd that’s the offer Carl Pullen ’65 and his wife, Norma ’66, are proposing for Simpson alumni. The Pullens are leading a tour to Germany for Simpson alumni and friends during late May and early June in 2015.

Here are the main details: • The trip is from May 29-June 14, 2015. • The cost for the ground portion is $2,200. Airfare and travel insurance can be arranged through Dean Burtch ’71 at Allied Travel. He can be reached at 515-270-7070 or 800-3927635 or dean@alliedtravel.com. • The trip is limited to 30 people.


This is a unique opportunity for Simpson alumni. Carl is an adjunct professor in German in Simpson’s World Language and Culture Department. He and Norma have led tours to Germany, Austria, Switzerland, England, Italy, France and the Czech Republic. It is said, and we believe without exaggeration, that the Pullens know the location of every good sausage stand in Germany. Norma and Carl know the bus driver and many of the hotel keepers personally. They know the best places to go visit and where to eat. This will not, we feel safe to say, be just another tour group. How could it be if Simpson is involved? For a trip itinerary, visit http://simpson2015. cnnpullen.com/ or contact Carl at carl.pullen@ simpson.edu. Registration information can be found at www.simpson.edu/alumni/simpsoncollege-alumni-friends-travel-programregistration. ■

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On Our Calendar MAY 3

Commencement, Cowles Gymnasium, 10 a.m.

JULY 6-11

Public Forum Debate Camp


Heartland AEA Special Needs Track Meet,


Basketball Youth Co-Ed Camp

Bill Buxton Stadium, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


Track and Field Lisa Uhl’s Camp

Ankeny Alumni and Friends Reception, Albaugh, Inc., 5 – 7 p.m.


Orpheus Summer Music Camp


Football Junior Visit Day, Kent Campus Center, 9 a.m.


Football Team Camp


Simpson Cup Golf Tournament, Indianola Country Club, 12 noon shotgun start, 5 p.m. dinner


Immersion Retreat for K-12 Language Teachers


Football Team Camp


Football Team Camp


Wrestling League

30-31 Volleyball Team Camp

8-11 Wrestling Camp 8-13

Jazz Combo Camp

AUGUST 1 Volleyball Stormfest Team Camp


Wrestling League



Soccer Co-Ed Camp

16-19 Volleyball/Basketball Netfest 18

Wrestling League

20 Volleyball Specialist Camp 25

Wrestling League


Soccer Elite Prospect Camp

All-College Convocation

SEPTEMBER 5 Wayne Carse Athletic Benefit, Indianola Country Club OCTOBER 1 McBride Lecture, Hubbell Hall I, 1 p.m. 16

Matthew Simpson Lecture, Hubbell Hall, 7 p.m.


Family Weekend/Homecoming

REUNIONS: • 1964 • 1989

• 2009 • 2014

EVENTS: • Alumni Awards Recognition Reception • The Red & Gold Athletic Awards Celebration • Tailgate Party • Storm football vs. Coe College • Theatre and opera departments present Carousel • And much more…

October 17, 18, and 19 34


I chose Simpson because of the vast opportunities it offers students. Many of these opportunities would not be possible without the college’s supporters, so thank you to those who give generously to Simpson. You truly help students like me who are working to achieve their goals. With your help, I have been able to come closer to my dream of becoming a physician.”


EMILYBiology MAGERS ’15 Major

from Colorado Springs, Colo.

Support students like Emily and help us finish our academic year strong by making your gift online at


GOAL: 1,000,000



Last fiscal year’s total: $

Last fiscal year’s total:

Dollars raised to date: $

Donors to date:


By the Numbers




Simpson’s fiscal year is June 1-May 31

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| extra!

Carver MEDAL CEREMONY he spirit of George Washington Carver was alive and well Feb. 26 on the Simpson campus. Brigadier General (Ret.) Clara AdamsEnder received the 2014 Carver Medal and delivered the Carver Legacy Address. This year marks the 150th anniversary of Carver’s birth, and Adams-Ender used the occasion to remind the Simpson community why his legacy remains important today. “Our world has been greatly enriched because he lived and chose to be productive and to help others and because he had the desire to make a difference,” she said. In fact, Adams-Ender talked far more about Carver than she did herself. It fell to Simpson President Jay Simmons to describe why she was such a deserving recipient of the Carver Medal. Adams-Ender rose from the position of staff nurse in the

Army to serve as vice president for nursing at Walter Reed Medical Center. She was the first woman to be awarded the Army’s Expert Field Medical Badge and the first to receive her master’s degree in military arts and sciences from the U.S. Army Command General Staff College. She is the first African-American nurse corps officer to graduate from the U.S. Army War College. Instead of describing the obstacles she had overcome, AdamsEnder chose instead to remind the audience how Carver was initially rejected by a Midwest college because of his race, then walked 25 miles to Simpson, where he was admitted. “Think about that, students, when you don’t want to walk across the street,” she said, as the crowd laughed. “Ladies and gentlemen, that is an example of persistence. He understood that he could be denied, delayed and obstructed, but he could never be stopped short of his goals.” Adams-Ender urged Simpson students to follow Carver’s lead. “Dr. Carver had a vision early on of being of service to the human race, and he used his intellect, spirit and communion with nature to be persistent in accomplishing his goals.” ■

Busy times for Culver center t has been a busy semester for the John C. Culver Public Policy Center. Ray Walton ’72, the former director of the Iowa Department of Administrative Services, stepped in as interim director of the Center in January. “Ray has brought tremendous energy and creativity to the Center, along with significant management experience,” said former Senator Culver. “We are grateful to have him at the helm.” During a one-week period, the Center hosted Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and Kevin Concannon, the undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services (which includes SNAP, the food stamp program) for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. All three met with Simpson students. In addition, former U.S. Senator Alan Simpson (R-Wyoming) delivered the fourth annual Culver Lecture on March 27. That event featured the Center’s first Service Award, given to Randy Wallace, a custodian at the Iowa State Capitol, and the first Inspiration to Service Award, given to historian William D. Russell. Ray Walton



The Culver Center is one of the many ways that Simpson offers “extra value” to its students, placing them in the front row in America’s premier state for politics. ■

stories created by Charles Dickens nearly a century ago. The text is made up of individual chapters written and submitted each month by aspiring writers across Iowa. The team of English majors reviews the submissions, chooses the winning work and edits the copy into a cohesive story. That piece is then published online for prospective writers to review. One month later, submissions are due for the next chapter. The current book project has a goal of eight chapters.

EMERGE - at -

impson College is leading the way again by offering its students a chance to participate in EMERGE— an academic offering that operates like a business incubator. In EMERGE, students are given opportunities to apply what they have learned in the classroom to real-life situations, in a variety of different stages of the business process. One of the nearly 30 business ideas presently inside EMERGE is the Modern Dickens Project, currently under development by two Simpson teams: the Senior Management Seminar and a team of English majors. The basis of the project is a serial novel, much like the serial

Sophomore English major Maureen Snook explains that for her, the ability to get first-hand experience with editing and publishing has helped her define her career path. “It gave me great professional on-campus experience with something that I could get college credit for as well.” While the English team reviews and edits, students in the Senior Management Seminar are establishing Simpson College Press, a publishing venture run by Simpson students. They are creating a marketing plan, developing long-term goals, performing analysis of objectives and other start-up-businessrelated functions. “The program provides students with genuine experiential learning,” said David Wolf, professor of English. “At the end of the academic year, students will emerge as editors, writers, and marketers of a published, collaborative novel.” ■

JIM THORIUS RETIREMENT im Thorius, vice president for student development and dean of students, will retire from these roles on May 31. But that doesn’t mean he’s ending his work for Simpson. President Jay Simmons said Thorius will begin part-time work on Sept. 1, focusing on the College’s recruitment of international students. Thorius began work at Simpson in 1984. He was asked to share his thoughts on all the changes he has witnessed:

in three residence halls and seven Greek chapters. This past year we had 1,362 full-time students, with around 1,200 living on campus in 13 residence halls/apartment facilities and seven Greek chapters.

“Student engagement in the larger community has grown tremendously.” -Jim Thorius

“When I arrived the big student annual event was ‘Back Forty Bash,’ an event that started as a ‘miniWoodstock’ happening. Now there are multiple events, but the big winter formal this year was called the ‘Black-Tie Ball,’ a little different ambience. “Clearly student enrollment is different. In 1984 there were 812 full-time students, with just over 600 living on campus

“Student engagement in the larger community has grown tremendously. In the mid-1980s, when former Chaplain Jim Noseworthy started tallying community service hours, we would total somewhere around 7,0008,000 hours of service per year. For the past few years campus community service hours have approached 50,000 hours annually, and the impact that these hours have both on the students involved and the community at large is amazing.

“And, of course, back when I arrived, there was Brenton Student Center with the ‘Owl’s Nest’ café that could seat about 20 people. Now there is the Kent Campus Center with four separate food venues, as well as space for student programs, the entire campus community and the larger community. Wow!” ■ THE M AG AZIN E | SPR I N G 2 0 1 4


| touring the years CLASS NOTES Margaret Hall Ott ’39 recently turned 96. She taught 3rd grade, 5th grade and high school English and finished her career as a school media specialist in Nebraska City, Neb. She co-authored 2 biographies, “Man with a Million Ideas” and “Dr. Anne,” and authored a biography, “Sterling’s Carrie,” by herself. She used to sing “Simpson College is where we get knowledge to make us all wealthy someday” to her five children. Mary Krabiel Cook ’61 retired from the Shawnee Mission School District as choral accompanist for the SM Northwest High School and as organist for 30 years at Leawood Baptist Church. She and her husband, Larry, reside in Shawnee, Kan. Patricia Ward Faludi ’63 is a retired teacher/costumer and resides in Shreveport, La. Giho Kim ’63 is retired and resides in Flushing, N.Y. Krey Bixby ’65 is president of Bixby Eye Center in Peoria, Ill., and resides in Edwards, Ill., with his wife, V. The couple has three grandchildren. Richard Gould ’65 is retired after a two-year stint as a U.S. Air Force Dental Officer in Southern California and 35 years as a dentist in Minneapolis. His current hobbies include wolf (canus lupus) education at the International Wolf Center, travel, coin collecting and a restored 1968 Mercury Montego MX convertible. Richard and his wife, Cathryn, reside in Richfield, Minn. Frank Potter ’65 gave a lecture at Unitarian Universalist History Conference in Washington, D.C., in November on “The Radical Adams Couple of the West (Dubuque, Iowa) and their Transcendental and Suffragist Friends.”



William McClymond ’66 is a greeter at a Wal-Mart in Yuma, Ariz., where he resides with his wife, Karen. Thomas Awtry ’68 retired as president of the South Ottumwa Savings Bank and resides in Ottumwa with his wife, Sue Morton Awtry ’68. Robert Ferrell ’68 is retired from self-employment. He and his wife, Janice Jackson Ferrell ’70, reside in Mechanicsburg, Pa. Ellyn Mosebach Hountz ’68 is retired and resides in Monroe, Ga., with her husband, Jim. Vicki Pickerell Donovan ’69 is retired and resides in Plano, Texas, with her husband, Michael. Carol Johnson ’69 is retired and lives in Denver, Colo., with her husband, Terence Krone. Keith Kossow ’69 is currently in his 42nd year of teaching at the high school and college levels. He retired from two different teaching positions and is now in his seventh year at West Kentucky Community and Technical College in Paducah, Ky. Keith and his wife, Donna, have been married almost 25 years and are both involved in music. He collects (primarily jazz and blues) music and writes about it and Donna is a composer of contemporary Christian music. Randy Patterson ’69 is retired and resides in Laguna Niguel, Calif., with his wife, Gloria. Justina Moorhead Serlin ’69 is retired and resides in New York. Charles Brobst ’70 is the golf coach at Green County Schools in Jefferson. He and his wife, Denise, reside in Lohrville. Barb Moul ’70 is retired and resides in Indianola. Margaret “Peg” Murphy ’71 is coordinator for corporate partnerships for the Fort Worth Independent School District. Peg and her husband, Larry Laux, reside in Arlington, Texas.

Linda Slocum ’72 is a state representative for the State of Minnesota. W. Bruce Crow ’73 is retired and resides in Prole. Elizabeth Smaha ’73 resides in Anchorage, Alaska. Major James P. Thomas USAF [Ret.] ’73 retired as a special educator with the Clark County School District and resides in Henderson, Nev. Sharon Rittgers Van Meter Perrotti ’74 is the payroll and benefits coordinator at Women’s Resource Center, Inc. She and her husband, August, reside in South Abington Township, Pa. Stan Weeber ’74 is MurphyLeaton Professor of Sociology at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, La. Lynne Nuber Clark ’75 is an attorney and resides in Lorton, Va., with her husband, Daniel. Jane Joyce Willard ’75 is a retired school teacher and resides in Norwalk with her husband, John Willard ’75. Debra Giglio Drake ’77 is employed at MetLife as an annuity operations and services representative. She and her husband, Todd, reside in Indianola. Kim Tierney-Keller ’78 is a realtor for Iowa Realty. David Keller ’79 is the owner of Keller Designs and Screenprinting. Kim and David reside in Indianola. Duane Lookingbill ’79 is an ordained minister and resides in Annandale, Minn., with his wife, Ruth Hograbe. Melanie Henderson ’81 works for British Petroleum as the SAP global design lead and resides in London. Teddi Fagen Karthan ’85 resides in Ankeny with her spouse, Elias. Amy Usher Gregston ’87 teaches elementary physical education in the Jefferson County Public Schools and resides in Arvada, Colo., with her husband, Greg Gregston

’87, and their two children, Parker and Tatum. Lisa Brueklander Pulis ’87 works for South Hamilton Community School District as a high school English instructor and at Iowa Central Community College as a composition professor. She and her husband, Ed, reside in Webster City. Tom Muhlenbruck ’88 is the elementary principal at Crocker Elementary in the Ankeny Community School District. He and his wife, Tami, reside in Ankeny. Renee Govig ’89 is the director of human resources for Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, P.A. in West Palm Beach, Fla. Nancy Lehner Vaughan ’89 retired after 23 years with the Olathe Police Department. She resides in Kansas City, Mo., with her husband, Alex, and her daughter, Sara Moore. Becky Heifner Hastie ’91 is an administrative assistant for the Theatre Department at Simpson College. She and her husband, Mike Hastie ’92, reside in Indianola. Rodney Liston ’91 is lieutenant/criminal investigations division for the City of El Paso, where he resides with his wife, Nora. Rodney is a recent graduate of a 10-week FBI National Academy held in Quantico, Va. Carey Strawman Boysen ’94 is employed at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines as senior human resources business partner. She and her husband, Chris, reside in Johnston. William Morton ’94, psychologist, ran in his 100th marathon on Oct. 13, 2013. He is the 85th individual in the world to have completed two marathons in each state. Marcy Welch Ostrander ’94 is a piano accompanist for South Middle School in Waukee, where she and her husband, Doug, reside.

Heidi Smith ’94 is the director of NGLs Origination for Phillips 66 in Houston, Texas, where she resides.

Jed Gammell ’97 is employed at TrueNorth Companies in West Des Moines as a risk management consultant.

Justin Aten ’95 is the vice president of operational excellence for MedAssets. He and his wife, Monica, and their children, Samuel and Hannah, reside in Flower Mound, Texas.

Cory Lark ’97 is a specialist in information technology application development for Nationwide Insurance in Des Moines. He resides in Clive with his wife, Courtney Hiaring ’98.

Tom Vodraska ’95 is a senior OS analyst for EMC Insurance Companies. CDR David Burmeister ’96 is the commanding officer of the Airborne Command Control and Logistics Weapons School for the U.S. Navy and is stationed at the Naval Station in Norfolk, Va. The Weapons School’s mission is to increase the combat readiness of E-2C, E-2D and C-2A aviation fleet squadrons to ensure they deploy ready to accomplish any tactical mission through in-depth and standardized training, instruction and evaluation. David and his wife, Janelle, reside in Virginia Beach, Va.

Jessica Shell Ervin ’98 is selfemployed as a personal trainer and health coach. She and her husband, Chad, reside in Graylake, Ill. Jennifer Reichert Ott ’98 works at the University of Iowa in the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center as the director of training and engagement. Lisa Biggs Ceballos ’99 received her master’s degree in education from Arizona State University. She is currently a sales and marketing specialist for Isagenix International and resides in Queen Creek, Ariz., with her husband, Juan. Marcia Hilger ’99 is owner and Reiki master practitioner at Wellspring of Light in San Diego, Calif. Guy Leman ’99 is an advisor for Compass Financial Services in West Des Moines.

Kimberly Berg Cronk ’96 with future Simpson students Will and Avonlea. Lori Schafer Prier ’96 works at Wells Fargo in West Des Moines as a quality assurance analyst. She and her husband, Rob, reside in Norwalk with their two children, Ellie and Eli. Rebecca Wells Thompson ’96 teaches first grade at the Pleasant Valley School District in Le Claire, Wis., where she resides with her husband, Justin Thompson ’95. Jason Askelson ’97 is senior account executive at salesforce. com in Johnston, where he resides with his wife, Jacki Harrison Askelson ’97.

James Myers ’99 received his law degree from the University of Florida in 2013. James is an attorney for Bowen Radson Schroth, P.A. in Eustis, Fla., and resides with his wife, Lori Snakenberg Myers ’99, in Sorrento, Fla. Eric Short ’99 is a detective for the Burlington Police Department. He and his wife, JoAnn, reside in Burlington. Jennifer Williams ’01 is a consumer loan underwriter at Wells Fargo in West Des Moines. Tiffany Berkenes ’02 graduated from the 2013 Emerging Leaders Institute, a training and professional development program within the Mid-America Association of Educational Opportunity

Program Personnel (MAEOPP), and is a member of the Iowa TRIO Board of Directors. Meagan Hoxmeier Lineberger ’02 is a critical care registered nurse at Duke Regional Hospital. She and her husband, Dr. Robert Lineberger, reside in Chapel Hill, N.C. Josh Mann ’02 received his master’s degree in nonprofit management from DePaul University in 2013. He is the human resources and office manager for Make-A-Wish Illinois and resides in Chicago. Bryant Sheriff ’02 is a professional landscaper for Iowa Outdoor Products. Beth Headley ’03 is assistant director of public programs at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, Calif. Bryan Maher ’03 is a 3d space operations squadron officer in the U.S. Air Force and resides with his wife, Rebecca, in Colorado Springs, Colo. Brian Mann ’03 works for West Corporation in Omaha, Neb., as a manager of operations research and analytics. Erin Reed Standley ’03 is director, graduate business admission at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Mo. She received her MBA from Rockhurst University in 2011. Erin and her husband, Chris, reside in Kansas City. Amy Brown Vickery ’03 is a customer service representative for American Water. She and her husband, Blake, reside in Pensacola, Fla., with their children, Connor and Erin. Jennifer Leveck ’04 received her master’s degree in library science from the University of Iowa. Jennifer works for the Des Moines Public Library as a youth services librarian. Tessa Murphy Cantonwine ’05 is a legal assistant at Belin McCormick, P.C. in Des Moines. She and her husband, Michael, reside in Urbandale. Lindsey Ingles Guetter ’05 is a quality assurance analyst for

Endeavor Air and resides in Burnsville, Minn. Tracy Loynachan ’05 presented a paper at the American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting held November 2013. The paper, “Fourth Judicial District Juvenile Courtroom Risk Assessment Instrument Validation,” was written in the course of her work with the Hennepin County courts. Tracy and her husband, Jason Funke, reside in Minneapolis, Minn., with their daughter, Alexandria. Jeremy Scott ’05 is a buyer for LDJ Manufacturing in Pella and resides in Otley with his wife, Maegon Johnson Scott ’04, and their two children, Quintin and Stella. Mindy Marks Stieber ’05 received her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Denver in 2011. Tia Barnard ’06 is a loan processor for Wells Fargo in West Des Moines. Mike Fisher ’06 is the principal at Hoover Middle School in Waterloo and is pursuing his doctorate in educational leadership at the University of Northern Iowa. He and his wife, Sarah, reside in Waterloo. Jennifer Wendt Harman ’06 is the director of donor marketing and communications for the YMCA of Greater Charlotte. She and her husband, Michael, reside in Charlotte, N.C. Natalie Lansman Stevens ’06 is a recruiting analyst for Novotus and resides in Houston, Texas, with her husband, Brett, and daughter, Georgia. Emmalee Bowlin ’07 works for Warren County as general assistance director and lives in Indianola with her son, Waylon. Ryan O’Lear ’07 is a commercial surety and fidelity underwriter for Nationwide Agribusiness. Christina Woldt O’Lear ’10 is a preschool teacher at Altoona Elementary School. The couple resides in Altoona.

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Amanda VanFosson Rauch ’07 teaches kindergarten in the Clear Creek Independent School District and resides in Dickinson, Texas, with her husband, Matt Rauch ’06, and their son, Keaton. Andrea Kruse Rideout ’07 resides in Salina, Kan., with her husband, Ronald. Brooke Dey Von Stein ’07 received her Master of Arts in Teaching, instructional strategist I, from Morningside College in 2011. She teaches 2nd grade for West Des Moines Community Schools and resides in Waukee with her husband, Zachary. Laura Miller Bjork ’08 just completed her first year as a physician assistant at a family practice clinic in Mount Pleasant. Curt Bjork ’09 is in his first year of teaching 8th grade math in Mount Pleasant, where the couple resides. Michelle Boyd ’08 is social worker for the Department of Human Services. Brian Damman ’08 received his law degree from Drake University Law School in 2011. He is currently an attorney for Dorsey & Whitney LLP. Casie Schmitt Glassman ’08 is a quality specialist I at St. Jude Medical in Saint Paul, Minn. She received her master’s degree in mathematics from Northern Illinois University in 2013 and resides in Saint Paul with her husband, Adam. Carla Riherd Llewellyn ’08 is employed as a systems analyst in the sales force for Holmes Murphy & Associates in West Des Moines. Calie Hohneke Lukenbill ’08 received her master’s degree in accounting from the University of Phoenix in 2013. She is an accountant at Wells Fargo and resides in Indianola with her husband, Jesse, and their son, Grady. Blake Freml ’09 is a research associate for DuPont Pioneer and resides in Des Moines with his wife, Cassie.



Paul Peppmeier ’09 is a Pre-K and 5-12 principal for West Bend Mallard Community School District. Paul received his master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Northern Iowa in 2013 and resides with his wife, Cassidy, in West Bend. Meridith Sayler Swoyer ’09 is a pharmaceutical compounding technician for Hy-Vee in Windsor Heights. She and her husband, Zachary, reside in Indianola. Justin Mark ’10 and Miranda Haakinson Mark ’11 reside in Urbandale. Justin is a billback analyst at Wells Fargo and recently published his first book, Adjust, which can be found on Amazon. He anticipates the release of his second book, Dutch, later this year. Ryan Napoli ’10 is the assistant strength and conditioning coach at North Dakota State University. He started at NDSU in May 2011 as an intern, was promoted to graduate assistant that September and was a part of the staff for the 2011 and 2012 National Championship football teams. Ryan is currently working towards his master’s degree in exercise science at North Dakota State University with an anticipated graduation year of 2015. Jenny Feldman Schipull ’10 is a substitute teacher for the Marshalltown Community School District. She and her husband, Benjamin, reside in Marshalltown. Joanne Halbur Schoessler ’10 is a certified public accountant for Olsen, Muhlbauer & Co., LLP. She and her husband, Patrick, reside in Manning. Amanda Yanchury ’10 is a marketing consultant for Cox eLearning Consultants and resides in San Diego, Calif. She anticipates completing her Master of Arts in strategic communication management at Concordia University in Saint Paul this year.

Bryn Johnson ’11 is a dental assistant for Olson-Bieri & Christensen, D.D.S. She is pursuing her Doctor of Dental Surgery at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry. Macy Koch ’11 works for Brand Driven Digital as director of digital strategy. Amanda Ita Stoner ’11 is working on her Doctor of Physical Therapy at Des Moines University. She and her husband, Tad Stoner ’08, reside in Carlisle. Amanda Ambrose ’12 is a business analyst for Principal Financial Group. Tayler Buresh ’12 received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Iowa State University in 2013. Tayler is employed at Kiewit Mining Group in Soda Springs, Idaho, as a maintenance engineer. Amalia Burkemper ’12 and her husband, Jeremy Dubois ’12, reside in Lake St. Louis, Mo. Derek Haugland ’12 teaches history at Fort Dodge High School. Lekeisha King Haugland ’12 is working for a bank in Fort Dodge, where the couple resides. Abigail Loudon ’12 works for Syngenta Seeds, Inc. as a research associate and is pursuing her master’s degree in entomology at the University of Nebraska. Megan Hein McDonald ’12 is employed by Transamerica as a new business representative. She and her husband, Nicholas, reside in North Liberty.

The Simpson College Archives has extra copies of the Zenith yearbook from 1910-2009. Yearbooks are at no charge; not all years available. Please contact the archivist at cyd.dyer@simpson.edu if interested.

Natalie McCormick ’13 is a marketing specialist at Marsh in Urbandale. Katy Philby ’13 is a library clerk at the Des Moines Public Library. She is pursuing her master’s degree in library and information science at San Jose State University. Rachel Beadle Sietstra ’13 works at Target in Ankeny as guest service team lead and resides in Johnston with her spouse, Devin Sietstra ’12. Heather Smith ’13 is a preschool teacher at Waukon Nursery School. Tyler Smith ’13 is working on his law degree at Drake University Law School. He and his wife, Grace Christensen Smith ’14, reside in West Des Moines. Hannah VanEvera ’13 works at Wells Fargo as an analytics consultant. Erin Weber ’13 resides in Ames and works for the Ames Community School District.


Allison Meyer ’12 is an English teaching assistant with Fulbright in Turkey. Evan Haack ’13 is an operations clerk II at Wells Fargo in Des Moines. Zachariah Huebener ’13 works for ITS, Inc. as an entry-level software engineer. Stacy Johnson ’13 is a human resources generalist for Andersen Corp. in Des Moines.

Thomas Vodraska ’95 and Lori Vodraska, Dec. 12, 2012, Playa Mujeres, Mexico. Pictured in the photo at the wedding reception on Feb. 23, 2013, at Zart1312 in Des Moines are, left to right, Brad Bridgewater ’95, Jason Merk ’96, Jake Espenmiller ’96, Tom Vodraska ’95, Dan Stephens ’96, Jon Fenner ’96 and Cory Paysen ’96.

Erin Reed ’03 and Dr. Christopher Standley, Nov. 2, 2013, Kansas City, Mo.

Jennifer Wendt ’06 and Michael Harman, Oct. 19, 2013, Charlotte, N.C.

Jessica Capper ’04 and Brian Watson, Oct. 12, 2013, West Des Moines.

Brooke Dey ’07 and Zachary Von Stein, Aug. 9, 2013, West Des Moines. Ryan O’Lear ’07 and Christina Woldt ’10, Sept. 7, 2013, Altoona. Laura Miller ’08 and Curtis Bjork ’09, June 8, 2013, Mount Pleasant. Casie Schmitt ’08 and Adam Glassman, Sept. 7, 2013, Saint Paul, Minn.

Samuel Skalland-Mills ’04 and Melinda Skalland-Mills, Sept. 1, 2013, Lake City, Colo. Crystal Lee ’05 and Tony Andrews, March 5, 2011, Perry.

Tad Stoner ’08 and Amanda Ita ’11, July 2, 2011, Carlisle. Jodi Arthur ’09 and Randy Eubank, Indianola. Jenny Feldman ’10 and Benjamin Schipull, April 6, 2013, Marshalltown.

Tyler Smith ’13 and Grace Christensen ’14, Aug. 2, 2013, Milford. The photo was taken on the roller coaster walkway at Arnold’s Park Amusement Park. Included the wedding party were three other Simpson graduates: Maid of Honor and Cousin of the Bride Audrey Myers ’13 (standing next to Grace), Groomsman Ryan Stumbo ’13 (red head standing in the middle of groomsmen), and Groomsman John Cord ’13 (red head standing on the far right). Simpson was represented well in our party, and we cherish the memories made with these fellow alumni during our time at Simpson and had a blast celebrating with them on our special day!

Kayla Kristin Salge, Oct. 1, 2013, to Kristin Hjelle Salge ’99 and Matt Salge, Waukee.

Noah Alexander Schifman, Jan. 1, 2014, born in Redlands, Calif. Noah and his family reside in Columbia, Mo., where both of his fathers, Dr. Aaron Waggie ’00 and Dr. Gabriel Schifman, are pediatricians at the University of Missouri.

BIRTHS/ADOPTIONS Tessa Murphy ’05 and Michael Cantonwine, Oct. 19, 2013, Des Moines. Mark Phillips ’05 and Autumn Ewoldt, Aug. 24, 2013, Des Moines.

Derek Haugland ’12 and Lakeisha King ’12, Aug. 31, 2013, Fort Dodge.

Kyle Doyle ’05 and Brittany Hilgenberg ’08, Oct. 20, 2012, West Des Moines.

Ryder Thomas Vodraska, Sept. 4, 2013, to Thomas Vodraska ’95 and Lori Vodraska, Saint Charles.

Elin Marie and Ensley Elizabeth Smith, July 23, 2013, to Joshua Smith ’01 and Debra Melcher Smith ’01, Urbandale, joined big sisters, Ellison (7) and Emery (4).

Brantley Carter Brown, July 25, 2013, to Stephanie Tuinstra Brown ’99 and Christopher Brown, Saint Charles.

Natalie Lansman ’06 and Brett Stevens, April 28, 2012, Georgetown, Texas.

Devin Sietstra ’12 and Rachel Beadle ’13, Aug. 24, 2013, Johnston.

Canaan Blaise Cook, Sept. 25, 2013, to Tonya Hegland Cook ’02 and Joshua Cook ’02, Pleasantville, joined Caleb and Hannah.

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At 103, she says Simpson Is still ‘my school’

River Aeryn James, Oct. 16, 2013, to Jenny Overgaard James ’02 and Morgan James, McKinney, Texas.

his issue of The Simpson Magazine features several alums who can describe what the College was like back in the day. But few can go back as many days as Helen Abarr Posten ‘32, who celebrated her 103rd birthday on St. Patrick’s Day in Georgetown, Texas. “Oh, I liked it,” she says of Simpson. “It was just where I was supposed to be and I liked it.” Helen says she grew up in Clearfield, Iowa, and chose Simpson because she was a member of the Methodist Church and because the College was close, but not too close, to home. “I wanted to teach music, and I liked the music department,” she says. “I don’t know why, I just liked it.” Helen taught music in Iowa for 30 years, the last 23 in Creston. She said she made great friends at Simpson. She said she remembers “working hard” in her classes, “but that’s just what I was used to doing. I liked it. It was my school.” ■

Alexandria Mae LoynachanFunke, Jan. 31, 2014, to Tracy Loynachan ’05 and Jason Funke, Minneapolis, Minn.

Sarai Kora Rhoulac, Aug. 24, 2013, to Gregory Rhoulhac ’11 and Allison Stevens Rhoulhac ’11, Indianola.

Warner Benjamin Darrah, July 25, 2013, to Bradi Smith Darrah ’06 and Grant Darrah, Indianola.


Keaton James Rauch, Nov. 21, 2013, to Matthew Rauch ’06 and Amanda VanFosson Rauch ’07, Dickinson, Texas.

Beulah Kopp Lucas ’35, Feb. 1, 2014, Des Moines. Kathryn Hoyman Schooler ’36, Feb. 16, 2014, Indianola.

Erin Riley Vickery, Nov. 29, 2013, to Amy Brown Vickery ’03 and Blake Vickery, Pensacola, Fla., joined big brother, Connor. Baya Irelan Whitson, Nov. 20, 2013, to Jill Toombs Whitson ’04 and Stephen Whitson, Indianola, joined Eden and Stella.

Ruth Tucker ’31, Jan. 2, 2014, Winterset.

Ruth Bower Sellers ’36, Dec. 1, 2013, Mount Shasta, Calif. Helen McDonough Stoline ’36, Nov. 6, 2013, Norwalk. Mary Jane Monroe Pray ’38, Oct. 10, 2013, Johnston. Georgia Kay Stevens, Nov. 30, 2013, to Natalie Lansman Stevens ’06 and Brett Stevens, Houston, Texas. Grady Eugene Charles Lukenbill, July 12, 2013, to Calie Hohneke Lukenbill ’08 and Jesse Lukenbill, Indianola.

Dr. Helen Bliss Halpern ’39, Sept. 30, 2013, Evansville, Ind. Nancy Pyle Finch ’40, Feb. 17, 2014, West Des Moines. Maxine Keyes Kimer ’40, Dec. 2, 2013, Indianola. The Rev. Lloyd A. Latta ’40, Dec. 9, 2013, Mount Pleasant. Judson F. Lee ’40, Jan. 16, 2014, Norwalk.

Knox Mathias Brosamle, July 09, 2013, to Dr. Jacob Brosamle ’05 and Tyse Brosamle, Eagle Grove.

Ceabern H. Squires ’40, Nov. 5, 2013, New Hope, Minn. Ella Wilson Peer ’41, Dec. 31, 2013, Merced, Calif. Ivory Ann Stoffa, Dec. 03, 2012, to Justin Stoffa ’09 and Brenna Abel Stoffa ’09, Norwalk.

Eleanor Nordstrom Raddon ’42, Sept. 20, 2013, Denison. Stephen A. Hays ’43, May 14, 2013, Carson City, Nev. Dwight W. King ’43, May 20, 2013, Hancock.



Helen McFadden Kassen ’44, Aug. 4, 2013, Georgetown, Texas.

IN MEMORI UM Duncan B. Shanklin ’44, Feb. 9, 2014, Houston, Texas.

Helen Gilbert Thorne ’63, Jan. 20, 2013, Washington.

Howard Tipton ’44, Oct. 18, 2013, Indianola.

Ruth Loomer Gutknecht ’65, Sept. 11, 2013, Pleasantville.

Muriel Jackson Spong ’46, Feb. 27, 2013, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Joseph M. Kinney ’66, April 16, 2013, Trafalgar, Ind.

Curtis L. Chisman ’47, May 28, 2013, Cherokee.

Jerry M. Mathews ’67, Aug. 21, 2013, Des Moines.

Charles Morris Hester ’48, Jan. 23, 2014, Upper St. Clair, Pa.

Barbara Van Winkle Thornton ’67, Oct. 9, 2013, Mason City.

Keith E. Hughes ’49, Nov. 10, 2011, Casper, Wyo. Glenn Mason ’49, Jan. 11, 2014, Bella Vista, Ark. Arlo F. Murken ’50, Dec. 9, 2012, Albuquerque, N.M. Herschel L. Thornton ’50, Dec. 25, 2013, Lees Summit, Mo.

William R. Moffitt ’68, April 22, 2012, Emmetsburg. James A. Hunolt ’69, Oct. 25, 2013, Springfield, Va. John H. Jones ’71, Jan. 2, 2014, Osceola. David A. Gudgel ’72, Sept. 14, 2013, Keokuk.

Melvin D. Wilson ’50, Dec. 14, 2013, Indianola.

Andrew A. Hoskinson ’73, June 23, 2011, Bellingham, Wash.

Garland James Buxton ’51, Feb. 10, 2014, Lenox.

Phyllis Anderson ’74, Jan. 18, 2014, Lucas.

Marjorie Vaughan Ferris ’51, Dec. 15, 2013, Cedar Rapids.

Roger A. Walker ’75, Nov. 30, 2012, Heber Springs, Ark.

Herbert E. Smith ’51, Oct. 17, 2013, O Fallon, Mo.

Corinne Hart ’77, Dec. 6, 2013, Indianola.

Glenn R. Stevenson ’51, Dec. 5, 2013, Malcom.

Albert L. Garrison ’78, June 26, 2013, Des Moines.

Thomas R. Goff ’56, Nov. 7, 2013, Knoxville.

Nicholas J. Sialmas ’78, Sept. 27, 2013, Beacon, N.Y.

Helen Jensen Kuhl ’56, Feb. 18, 2014, Williamsburg.

David M. Price ’82, Sept. 2, 2013, Clay, Ky.

Jerry Crosser ’58, Dec. 14, 2013, Green Valley, Ariz.

Kevin D. Wall ’86, Dec. 10, 2013, Homewood, Ill.

Averell Karstens ’58, Feb. 1, 2014, Des Moines.

Phyllis Mason Conley ’92, Sept. 16, 2013, Jackson, Mo.

Dr. B. Leora Davis Schuelka ’58, Oct. 3, 2013, Cedar.

Jo Bailey ’93, Dec. 18, 2013, Des Moines.

Phyllis Chrisman Yaw ’58, Feb. 25, 2013, Altoona.

Larry L. Wayman ’94, Jan. 5, 2014, Indianola.

Robert D. Krauth ’60, Feb. 27, 2013, Massena.

Patricia Soine Nelson ’97, Dec. 23, 2013, Ankeny.

Vernon W. Sanders ’61, Oct. 23, 2013, Mingo.

Greg R. Sibbel ’10, Dec. 3, 2013, Saint Louis, Mo.

Wendell A. Stout ’61, Dec. 24, 2013, Bartlesville, Okla.

Deborah Kain Cory ’12, Dec. 3, 2013, Des Moines.

Dr. Richard M. Grimes ’63, Sept. 27, 2013, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Christa Davis ’13, Nov. 13, 2013, Waukee.

James Weinman ’49 James Weinman ’49, a longtime member of the Simpson College Board of Trustees and a lifelong supporter of the College, died Feb. 6. He was 88. A lifelong resident of Indianola, Weinman was an Army veteran of World War II. At Simpson, he was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and remained active in that organization for many years. In 1966 Jim received the Simpson College Community Service Award and he and Maxine received the first alumni award for Simpson Loyalty. They were also honored to be selected as “Names That Live” at Simpson. Weinman was an independent insurance agent with Browne, Risinger & Weinman Inc. in Indianola for more than 40 years. He was involved in numerous civic organizations, including the Indianola Noon Lions Club and the National Balloon Museum, for which he served more than 25 years. He was a lifelong member of Trinity United Presbyterian Church. He is survived by his wife, Maxine, three children, eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Services were held March 1 in Indianola.

The Rev. Robert Crandall ’67 The Rev. Robert Crandall ’67 of Des Moines, the 2012 recipient of the Excellence in Adult Education Award from Simpson College, died Dec. 9 at Fairview Hospital in Minneapolis. He was 68. The student who nominated Crandall for the award, which is presented by Simpson’s Continuing & Graduate Programs, said that he “cared about how you were doing; not just in his class but in all of our classes and in general. He cared about how we did, because we are people.” Crandall was an adjunct instructor of religious studies at Simpson. As a Simpson student, Crandall was president of Lambda Chi Alpha. He continued his formal education at Duke Divinity School, where he received his Master of Divinity degree and graduated magna cum laude in 1970. A third-generation pastor, Crandall served at several United Methodist parishes. He was also executive director of Bidwell Riverside Center for 17 years, where he helped those in need with childcare, clothing and food. He is survived by his wife, Carol Kirk Crandall ‘67, two children, three grandchildren and one greatgranddaughter.

THE M AG AZIN E | SPR I N G 2 0 1 4


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PEDESTRIAN PLAZA Construction has begun on the Simpson Pedestrian Plaza! The project will transform the former street that ran through campus into a safer, beautiful and more unified campus space for social and academic activities. Work will take place through the summer months with the bulk of the project completed by late August. To see more drawings of the plaza, please visit simpson.edu/news-center/a-transformational-space and watch for new photos in the next issue of The Simpson Magazine.