June 08, 2020

Class Notes

Find out what Beloiters have been doing over the last few months.

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Jim Patterson'57 is shown delivering a poster session titled Man, a Course of Study: A School An... Jim Patterson’57 is shown delivering a poster session titled “Man, a Course of Study: A School Anthropology Program That Was So Good it Failed,” at the American Anthropological Association in Vancouver, B.C. in November 2019. Jim is a professor emeritus of anthropology at Eastern Oregon University. He and his wife, Joby, are the parents of Andrew Patterson’97.

  • Marie Irving Krag’54, Maidenhead Berks, U.K., has been facilitating meditation groups—one through University of the Third Age and one through the website Meetup. She is also still creating acrylic paintings with a local art group.
  • John Hunt’57 writes that he’s “still alive and kicking,” and presently serving as a volunteer tour guide at the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Fla. “Pleasant memories of Beloit, but don’t miss the snow!”
  • Ruth Koch Hall’58 has sold her condo and is happily living in an independent living apartment in a retirement home in Brookfield, Wis., near one of her daughters. Sadly, she lost her husband, Art, on March 30. She is able to continue on with her quilting—she even has a special room in the apartment that is perfect for it. Ruth loves her new friends and the activities that her new place offers. She even has a screened-in porch from which she can walk outdoors and admire all the flowers.


Beloiters gather at the wedding of Dean Knight'66 and Susan Veenstra in Kitchener, Ontario, on Ju... Beloiters gather at the wedding of Dean Knight’66 and Susan Veenstra in Kitchener, Ontario, on July 20, 2019. Shown from left are Brent Kilbourn’64, Barb Crooks Kilbourn’66, the bride and groom, Don Gruber’66, Rosemary Widmann Gruber’68, Eric Williams’66, and Elaine Williams.

  • In 2018, Nancy Bohac Flood’67 co-wrote a children’s book with Rose Ann Tahe. First Laugh Welcome, Baby! is about the Navajo tradition of a child’s First Laugh Ceremony, hosted by the special person who is first to hear the baby laugh. The book was published by Penguin Random House.
  • Paul Schumaker’68 has published a timely new book about the need to revamp the antiquated Electoral College. The Twenty-Eighth Amendment? Beyond Abolishing the Electoral College (Gatekeeper Press) draws on Paul’s expertise as a professor of political science who taught courses in American democracy for 45 years at the University of Kansas until he retired in 2017. Paul has several earlier political science books to his credit, but this is his first book intended for a broader public audience.
  • Christopher “Kit” Wilke’69, Wilmington, N.C., retired as a reverend from the United Church of Christ. In February, he performed at Sunnyhill Live Internationalite, a Unitarian Universalist Church of the South Hills event celebrating cultural and linguistic diversity.


First, David Eisenberg'77 is thrilled to announce the arrival of his first grandchild, Jacob Eise... First, David Eisenberg’77 is thrilled to announce the arrival of his first grandchild, Jacob Eisenberg. Second, he recently became a managing director and chief investment officer at Cambridge Associates. Finally, he continues to pedal-for-a-purpose, primarily in the Pan-Mass Challenge (children's cancer care and research) and The Israel Ride (supports environmental education and peace building work at the Arava Institute). The photo was taken on arrival at the Dead Sea, on the 2019 Israel Ride, from Jerusalem to Eilat.

  • Walter Allen’71, Los Angeles, Calif., is a 2020 recipient of the Dr. John Hope Franklin Award, given by the publication Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. The individuals and organizations chosen for the award are those whose contributions to higher education are consistent with the highest standards of excellence. Walter is the Allan Murray Cartter Professor of Higher Education in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA.
  • Geoffrey Kuter’73, Northampton, Mass., has retired from his position as CEO at Agresource, after more than 35 years of employment in the composting business. He writes: “Yes, it is possible to earn a living watching things rot.”
  • Michel Rittenberg’73 moved to Orlando, Fla., and is happily retired.
  • In May, Cerridwen Fallingstar’74 published her memoir Broth from the Cauldron: A Wisdom Journey Through Everyday Magic (She Writes Press, 2020). in what she calls “teaching stories,” Cerridwen’s essays trace her trajectory from a conservative post-war upbringing to shamanic witch.
  • Roy Freirich’74 has published a new novel titled Deprivation. Published by Meerkat Press (2020), it’s a story about a mysterious wave of insomnia that descends on a New England island community, denying its residents and vacationers the ability to dream and to rest.
  • In May, Jennifer Bern-Vogel’77, Los Angeles, Calif., received her honorary doctorate from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion / Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music after 25 years of serving congregations on the east and west coast as cantor. She was ordained in New York City in 1995. Jennifer is also a board certified chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains.
  • Tom Morsch’77, Chicago, Ill., was appointed to the board of directors of the Illinois Housing Development Authority by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker. Tom is founder and president of Morsch Expeditions, LLC.
  • Rebecca Steuer DuBey’79, Baraboo, Wis., writes, “I continue to love my life working in a county historical museum with a very active public outreach program and wonderful research facility. I find my work so rewarding and fascinating, with new discoveries every day. For 16 years I also volunteered for a wildlife rehabilitation hospital and raised orphaned wild animals from infancy until they could be released back into the wild, a calling I hope to return to whenever I decide to retire. A photographer all of my life, I married a loving husband who was a documentary filmmaker who also shares my deep interest and involvement with aviation history.”

  • Written by Mark Moffett’79, The Human Swarm: How our Societies Rise, Thrive, and Fall (2019) was recommended by the writer Amy Tan in a New York Times podcast on April 22, 2020. During the pandemic, Tan recommended a short list of books for “surviving confinement,” and cited Mark’s book “for thinking about how we got into this mess.” Mark is a biologist and research associate at the Smithsonian. He’s a visiting scholar in the department of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University.


A group of forever friends reunited in February 2020 in New York City. From left are Amanda Nelso... A group of forever friends reunited in February 2020 in New York City. From left are Amanda Nelson (not a Beloiter, but a member of the Shaffer/Nelson Beloit legacy family), Mary Nelson’83, Matthew Hoffmeyer’82, Rachael Mayer’84, Marnie Head-Rubinstein’86, and Eric Rubinstein.

Tamara Witzl'80, Oak Park, Ill., the principal at Telpochcalli Community Fine Arts School, was se... Tamara Witzl’80, Oak Park, Ill., the principal at Telpochcalli Community Fine Arts School, was selected as a finalist for the 2020 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Leadership. The Golden Apple's mission is to inspire, develop, and support teacher and school leader excellence in Illinois, especially in schools of need.

  • Joel Saeks’80, Wilmington, Ohio, spent 23 years as a professional actor, singer, and dancer based in New York. He then returned to school to become a chiropractor and now owns and operates his own practice, specializing in dancers and equestrians. In his free time, he is active in theatre, dance, community directing, and performing.
  • Bryan Oldenburg’86, Beloit, Wis., had his documentary series Swing State shown at the Beloit International Film Festival. The film investigates Wisconsin’s role in the 2016 presidential election while asking the simple question: Is friendship still possible in hyper-polarized America?
  • After 31 years of service, Doug Hoyt’87, East Dundee, Ill., retired as a battalion chief/shift commander from the Palatine (Ill.) Fire Department. He is staying active as an emergency management analyst with the Northwest Central Joint Emergency Management System in Arlington Heights, Ill., and teaching incident command classes. In his personal life, Doug and his wife Kelley celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary last fall.
  • Maggie Nygren’87, Silver Spring, Md., received national honors recognizing her significant contributions in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities in the United States between 2000 and 2020. Maggie was recognized for making an overall contribution through service and scholarship. Since 2010, she has served as the executive director and CEO of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
  • Jeff Kuster’88, Fort Worth, Texas, was appointed chief executive officer of Canyon Ranch, a wellness lifestyle brand that operates retreats and resorts in Arizona, Massachusetts, and California.
  • Timothy Fischer’89, New York, N.Y., joined Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group as managing director, head of U.S. leveraged finance sales.
  • John Mingus’89, Arlington, Va., was awarded the U.S. Soccer National Volunteer of the Year award for 2019 at the U.S. Youth Soccer Gala in January. The award was based on many years of service as a coach, administrator, and board member of the Arlington Soccer Association.
  • Scott Mohnkern’89, Germantown, Md., has been designated the special guest speaker for Hallowed Homecoming 2020 in Triangle, Va. The three-day camping retreat is a place for the pagan community to connect with the ancestors, the divine, and one another.
  • TESOL Press has published New Ways in Teaching with Creative Writing, a new book co-edited by English as a second language teacher Patrick T. Randolph’89. In 2014, Patrick also co-wrote a best-selling book called: Cat Got Your Tongue? Recent Research and Classroom Practices for Teaching Idioms, also published by TESOL, an international association advancing excellence in English language teaching.


Kerri Arsenault'90, Anne Pillars Swanson'90, and Heather Wichman Marx'92 gathered during a recent... Kerri Arsenault’90, Anne Pillars Swanson’90, and Heather Wichman Marx’92 gathered during a recent visit in Portland.

  • St. Martin’s Press has published Mill Town, the debut work of non-fiction by book critic Kerri Arsenault’90. The memoir examines the devastating environmental and human costs of a paper mill that operated in Kerri’s rural working class hometown of Mexico, Maine. Publisher’s Weekly writes: “This moving and insightful memoir reminds readers that returning home—‘the heart of human identity’—is capable of causing great joy and profound disappointment.”
  • Erin Riley’95, San Diego, Calif., has published her first sole-authored book, titled The Promise of Contemporary Primatology (Routledge). The book makes a case for reinforcing and expanding the longstanding links between primatology and anthropology. Erin writes that her interest and passion in anthropology, and primatology specifically, developed during her time at Beloit under the mentorship of Professor of Anthropology Nancy Krusko. Erin is a professor of anthropology at San Diego State University.


  • The second collection of poetry by Bridget Lowe’03, My Second Work, was published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in February 2020. Poems from this collection have been published in the New Yorker, Poetry, and have been honored by the Poetry Society of America with the Emily Dickinson Award. Bridget notes that she and poet Virginia Konchan’02 had their poetry published at the same time and by the same press, totally independent of one another. Both writers have published their poetry in the New Yorker magazine.
  • Anna Farbotko’04, Grenoble, France, was profiled in the Rockford (Ill.) Register Star about her experience being quarantined in France due to COVID-19. She serves as an English coach for professionals who want to maintain their fluency or learn the language for business.
  • Erin Carney’05, Riffa, Bahrain, has been transforming used shirts into rugs to raise money for Teachers Across Borders and promote conservation while teaching second grade at Riffa Views International School. As of 2020, she joined the board of Teachers Across Borders and participated in their Uganda program last summer.
  • In March, Lindsay Sproul’07 published her first young adult novel titled We Were Promised Spotlights. The small town coming out story is set in Massachusetts in 1999 and published by Putnam. Lindsay teaches creative writing at Loyola University-New Orleans.
  • In July 2019, Dan Murphy’08, Madison, Wis., was promoted to senior lab and outreach coordinator for Discovery Outreach at the Morgridge Institute for Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dan is charged with managing the teaching lab facilities, leading and coordinating live public science events (including the Wisconsin Science Festival, summer science camps, field trips, afterschool programs, and Saturday Science) and working with scientists to share their work to spark curiosity in science for tens of thousands of children, families, adults, and educators across Wisconsin. In 2020, Dan will have enjoyed more than seven years with Discovery Outreach.
  • Jessie Pechmann’09, Erbil, Iraq, has been working as a geographic information systems manager at IMPACT Initiatives, a “think-and-do tank which aims to improve the impact of humanitarian, stabilization, and development action through data, partnerships, and capacity building programs.”
  • Molly Wasgatt Perrin’09, Minneapolis, Minn., and Ben Perrin welcomed a daughter, Charlotte Rose Perrin, in October of 2019.


Adam Eckert'10 traveled by motorcycle from the American South to the southern tip of South Americ... Adam Eckert’10 traveled by motorcycle from the American South to the southern tip of South America. Starting in July 2019 from Nashville, Tenn., he covered 10,000 miles and 12 countries before ending in Santiago, Chile.

Janie Geis Shovein'12 and Patrick Shovein were married on Oct. 19, 2019, at the Minnesota History... Janie Geis Shovein’12 and Patrick Shovein were married on Oct. 19, 2019, at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul, Minn. Pictured are Madeline Kramer’12, Dana Bye’12, the groom and bride, Dominique Clayton’12, and Eric Hetland’12.

  • Megan Armstrong Scheffer’10, Denver, Colo., had her solo exhibition “On the Basis of Patterns” displayed in the Beloit College Wright Museum of Art, with an opening on Nov. 19, 2019. The exhibit included sculptures and intricate line drawings that visually abstract clinical and subjective language within the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
  • In April, the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani appointed Javid Ahmad’11 as Afghanistan’s ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.
  • Mira Treatman’12, Philadelphia, Pa., was named managing editor of ThinkingDance.net, Philadelphia’s online home for dance and performing arts journalism.
  • Shujie “Medy” Xu’15, Chicago, Ill., started as a data analyst for IFC in May.
  • Abigail Gessell’19, Beloit, Wis., joined Gräńde Cheese in Juda, Wis., as a quality resource analyst in June after her graduation.

Also In This Issue

  • Michael Jordan arrives at Strong Stadium in 1985 as an honorary official in charge of the coin toss for a Buccaneers football game.

    When the Chicago Bulls played at Beloit

  • Layna Thompson’22 was one of many to share her outdoor activity on social media with the hashtag “togetherbeloit.”

    Pet Photo Contests and Zoom Dance Parties

  • Debra Majeed

    Professors Majeed and Ortel retire from full-time teaching

  • Round Table staffers on front porch of the Pumpkin House in 1973.

    Campus memories: the Elmos and the Pumpkin House


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