October 01, 2021

Class Notes

Find out what your Beloit friends have been doing over the past several months.

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Submit your news and photos to classnotes@beloit.edu. Submissions will appear in Beloit College Magazine’s printed and online editions. The deadline for our fall issue is Dec. 1.

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  1950-1959

  • Jane Blumenthal Gilman’54, Beverly Hills, Calif., has written Inside Hancock Park, a book about a well-to-do Los Angeles community, which she had been covering as publisher of the Larchmont Chronicle newspaper until her retirement five years ago.

  1960-1969

In May, after almost 50 years, Valerie Parsons Gibson?64 and Christopher Albright?60 got together... In May, after almost 50 years, Valerie Parsons Gibson’64 and Christopher Albright’60 got together for dinner and a long chat in Baton Rouge, La. Christopher was close friends with the late Peter Gibson’63, Val's husband. Christopher and Peter were Phi Psi brothers, fellow Beloit College soccer club members, and best man at each other's weddings. Valerie was en route to San Antonio, Texas, with a friend, Noel Bookman, to attend her grandchildren's graduation. They stopped overnight to visit with Christopher at Drago's Seafood, a famous Louisiana emporium. From left is Noel, Valerie, and Christopher.
Did the voice of Christopher Albright?60 wake you up on campus in the late ?50s? He helped to bui... Did the voice of Christopher Albright’60 wake you up on campus in the late ’50s? He helped to build WBCR when it was still a wired cable service out of Scoville Hall and still hosts a weekly contemplative music radio show in Louisiana. Christopher produces “The Clearing” on WHYR Community Radio, Baton Rouge. You can listen to him on WHYR.org on Saturdays from 9-11p.m. Central Time.
Ginny Holmes Stiles?61 and her husband, Greg, moved to University Woods independent living campus... Ginny Holmes Stiles’61 and her husband, Greg, moved to University Woods independent living campus on the west side of Madison in January 2021. They love it there and are closer to their kids and grandkids. Ginny has a blog: ginnystiles.blogspot.com
  • William Heidrich’60 and his wife, Vicki, are retired and reside in Fort Pierce, Fla.
  • Stan Riggs’60, distinguished research professor in East Carolina University’s department of geological sciences, has received the 2021 Francis Parker Shepard Medal for Excellence in Marine Geology from the Society for Sedimentary Geology. Shepard is known as the founder of American marine geology. Stan notes that he used Shepard’s textbooks extensively in his own teaching career, and that Shepard has a connection to Beloit, having received an honorary doctorate from the college in the 1960s. Riggs has been on the East Carolina University faculty for 54 years. From 1967 to 1999, he was distinguished professor of the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences. Since 2000, he has served as an East Carolina University distinguished research professor. Beloit College Magazine published a feature story about Stan and his work in 2017.
  • After his second, two-year term, Rich Olcott’61, Denver, Colo., has retired as vice chair for American Mensa’s Heartland Region (Mountain and Great Plains states). He remains active in the organization’s Denver chapter and as a volunteer at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.
  • Thomas McGonigle’66, New York, N.Y., was a Fulbright Specialist in Bulgaria during the summer of 2019. That same year, Ciela, a national leader in publishing works that connect with Bulgarian readers, published Thomas’s book, The Corpse Dream of N. Petkov, in Bulgarian. The book was originally published in English in 1987 by Dalkey Archive Press. Recently, Suvremennik, one of the oldest journals published in Bulgarian, published his novel, Diptych Before Dying.
  • Alvin Button’68, Marietta, Ga., practices law, owns his own law firm, and writes that he has no immediate intent to retire. He’s participated in more than 175 jury trials, including criminal defense and personal injury cases. He writes that his “outside interests include the French universe, geopolitics, and biography.”
  • The New York Times published a Quotation of the Day on May 26 by John Thorn’68, Major League Baseball’s official historian. The quote appeared as the sport approached its 2,000,000-run milestone: “What does it mean, two million runs? Absolutely nothing. But that’s what makes it fun.”
  • Mary Buckles Sousa’69, Budapest, Hungary, works as a freelance business English teacher.

  1970-1979

Jon DeVore?76 recently toured the Prince William Sound near Whittier, Alaska, where he saw the Be... Jon DeVore’76 recently toured the Prince William Sound near Whittier, Alaska, where he saw the Beloit Glacier, which was named after the college by scientists who explored there in the early 1900s. As a result of the Covid reality, Jon now co-locates and practices law in Anchorage and Washington, D.C.
  • Don Carson’71, Asheville, N.C., was elected to the board of directors of Rollins, Inc., a global consumer and commercial services company focused on pest control and protection across the globe. Don is also a member of Beloit’s Board of Trustees.
  • Claudia Deaton Glover’71, Chicago, Ill., has been retired since 2009 and welcomed her first grandson in 2011. She is expecting her second grandchild this fall.
  • Lynne Goldstein’71, Scottsdale, Ariz., was a professor of anthropology at Michigan State University until her recent retirement.
  • Leah Burns’72 has relocated from Knoxville, Tenn., to Oak Ridge, Tenn.
  • John Lafferty’72, Frederick, Md., presented a trauma-informed biblical study of the speech from the whirlwind in the Book of Job at the Western Region conference of the American Academy of Religion. The presentation was part of a panel about Jewish responses to collective trauma.
  • Tom Dickinson’73 found himself in a Zoom meeting about affordable housing in Arlington, Va., with Cheryl Ramp’82, but neither knew the other was a Beloiter. Cheryl is with the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing. Tom, who lives in Arlington, has documented changes in the city’s housing with a photography project called “Windows to the Past: Arlington Then and Now” and fought for historic preservation. When Cheryl asked Tom about his background, Beloit College came up right way and Cheryl said, “You went to Beloit? So did I!” Tom says, “It’s always a pleasure to meet another Beloiter, especially when it’s not expected!”
  • Sandy Weil Rushworth’76, Katy, Texas, received the American Association of Petroleum Geologists’ Public Service Award in September 2021 for her work in bringing “Transition from Fossil Fuels to Renewable Energy” into the Houston Museum of Natural Science’s Energy Hall. As part of her master docent project, Sandy designed presentations and tours teaching about the transition for docents, students, and museum visitors.
  • Pam Miller Withers’78 has won a second silver Nautilus Award, an international book award for young-adult fiction, for her young-adult novel, The Parkour Club. Pam is also founder of the young-adult book review site www.YAdudebooks.ca.

  1980-1989

Scottsdale, Ariz.-based alumni Phyllis Wolff Banucci?65, Gene Banucci?65, and Chris Cole?81 (cent... Scottsdale, Ariz.-based alumni Phyllis Wolff Banucci’65, Gene Banucci’65, and Chris Cole’81 (center) bumped into each other this spring when Chris was featured at a local book club to discuss his new book Millenium Strike. In this adventure mystery, Chris takes readers into the thrilling world of international espionage. Phyllis serves on the Beloit College Board of Trustees.
  • Jed Rhoads’81, New York, N.Y., was elected chairman of the board of directors of the Reinsurance Association of America. He had previously served as vice-chair and secretary-treasurer of the trade association for property and casualty reinsurers. Jed is president and chief underwriting officer at Markel Global Reinsurance Co.
  • Randi Kreger’82, Milwaukee, Wis., has finished the third edition of her 1998 best seller Stop Walking on Eggshells, a book about borderline personality disorder. She’s also written her fourth book for New Harbinger publications, Stop Walking on Eggshells for Parents.
  • Christopher Momenee’83, New York, N.Y., co-wrote the script for Senior Moment, a comedy starring William Shatner and Christopher Lloyd. The movie premiered March 26 in select theaters and on video on demand.
  • Daniel Nardini’83 published two books in 2021: My South Korea Photograph Memoir and My Taiwan Photograph Memoir, both color-print photo memoirs of his time in the countries. Daniel lived in Taiwan from 1990-94 and traveled back there in 1996 and 2000. He lived in South Korea from 1996-97, returned there many times, and met and married his wife Jade Nardini in South Korea. In the United States, Daniel worked for local community newspapers as a correspondent for 22 years, writing for Lawndale News in Cicero, Ill., and for The Fulton Journal in Fulton, Ill., before retiring. Both books are available through Xlibris.
  • Filmmaker Bryan Oldenburg’86, Beloit, Wis., is releasing a sequel to his documentary film Swing State, which released in 2019 and featured citizens reflecting on the 2016 U.S. presidential election across red and blue Wisconsin counties. Bryan writes that “the polarized times have only grown worse, and this film looks into the attempts by some people to bring Americans back together.”
  • Doug Vukson-Van Beek’86, Minneapolis, Minn., has made the leap back into a telehealth start-up. He has joined CLG Health as vice president of user experience. Doug’s responsibility this year is to find and work with four academic medical centers as beta sites. Their goals include finding ways to have telemedicine work as an anti-oppression tool.
  • In April, Dr. Ann Freeland Fisher’88, Guilford, Conn., gave a presentation to Beloit’s Health and Healing Career Channel participants over Zoom. Ann is an associate professor of clinical internal medicine and the associate program director of the Infectious Disease Fellowship at Yale University. She also directs the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program and is the associate hospital epidemiologist for the VA Connecticut Healthcare System.
  • Tim Leslie’89 is serving as Beloit’s second Executive in Residence this fall, teaching a course called “The Art of Leading: Vision, Voice, and Influence.” Tim spent two decades in top leadership roles with Amazon, then served as CEO of Leafly, a company focused on the safe and legal use of cannabis. Last year, he co-founded Loving Roots, a nonprofit that collaborates with organic farms to feed and educate residents of Washington State.

  1990-1999

As part of her work, Robyn Nisi?99 (left) oversees a CDC/Chicago Department of Public Health gran... As part of her work, Robyn Nisi’99 (left) oversees a CDC/Chicago Department of Public Health grant that funds a group of graduate nursing students and faculty who perform daily Covid testing and vaccination services to long-term care facilities and homeless shelters/encampments across the city. This group does extraordinary work, and Robyn was absolutely delighted when fellow Beloit grad Danielle Hildreth’09 joined the team!
Dr. Joshua Murphy?92, right, was appointed chief of pediatric and congenital cardiology at Rush U... Dr. Joshua Murphy’92, right, was appointed chief of pediatric and congenital cardiology at Rush University in Chicago, Ill. He is one of a handful of interventional cardiologists authorized to close holes in the heart using a new and innovative catheterization-based suture closure system called the NobleStitch.
Brian Long?90 and Scott Walter?90 helped celebrate the high school graduation of Scott's daug... Brian Long’90 and Scott Walter’90 helped celebrate the high school graduation of Scott's daughter, Connie, who joined the Beloit College class of 2025 this fall. Connie is shown fourth from the right, and her mom, Erica, is third from right. Proud father Scott is fifth from left and Brian is next to him among other family members at a party held in May in Rockton, Wis.
  • Bill Aslanides’90, Park Ridge, Ill., has been appointed chief flavor chemist for Synergy Flavors, a major producer of flavors to the food and beverage industry. Bill has also been named to the board of directors of the Society of Flavor Chemists and the Chemical Sources Association.
  • Michelle Kaput Benedicta’90, Chicago, Ill., writes that at age 52, during a global pandemic and while working full-time, she finally completed her Ph.D. in Library and Information Science from Dominican University in River Forest, Ill. “My 5-plus-year journey and final dissertation could not have been done without all my friends and classmates from Bel-Wah!” she writes. “The seeds of my dissertation topic on games came from an ethnography on a bingo parlor I researched and wrote in Kathleen Adams’ class in 1989. My dissertation research and presentation at a national conference were partially crowdfunded. Beloiters pitched in, shared my journey, and got their friends—and at least one Beloit prof I never even knew—to pitch in, too. Beloiters found several research participants for my study on Generation X women, video games, and new literacies, came to my [virtual] dissertation defense, and cheered me on all the way.”
  • Sheila De Forest’90, Alajuela, Costa Rica, teaches English in her new Costa Rican home while also assisting with environmental conservation efforts.
  • At the end of 2020, Daniel Eck’90 and his wife Christine moved to Austin, Texas, where his new role is CEO of Hill Country Conservancy. The nonprofit preserves Texas Hill Country water and land resources and is also building a 30-mile biking/hiking trail that will run southwest from downtown Austin into rural Hays County.
  • Wife and husband duo, Amanda Lundgren Urish’92 and Jon Urish’96, Beloit, Wis., were profiled in the Beloit Daily News, where they were recognized for their volunteerism in the local community. Jon told the BDN that they “grew up in families where [volunteerism and giving back] was modeled. We are doing the same, and we hope our kids will do the same and commit themselves to activities important to them and their communities.”
  • Shandra Forrest-Bank’93 and her husband Daniel Forrest-Bank’92 lived in Denver, Colo., for 19 years before coming to Knoxville, Tenn., for Shandra’s faculty position at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. They have three young adult children.
  • In August 2020, James Wedding’94, Roscoe, Ill., became manager of program and project management at Verizon Wireless.
  • Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Missoula (Mont.) Heather Harp’95 is dedicated to affordable housing. Her organization has a “30 by 30” goal that aims to build 30 new homes by 2030. Heather also serves as on the city council for Missoula and earned her M.B.A. from Western Governors University in 2020.
  • Jimmy Grant’96, Fallston, Md., was named a 2021 James Madison Fellow by the James Madison Foundation. This major financial award will allow him to pursue an additional master’s degree with a special concentration in American history and the Constitution.
  • Amanda Pearson’99 has relocated to Gorham, Maine.

  2000-2009

Carrie Russell?02 had a long overdue visit with friends filled with chatting, food, and toys. Lef... Carrie Russell’02 had a long overdue visit with friends filled with chatting, food, and toys. Left to right are Claudia Nese Vecchi’02 and Emilia, Domenic Vecchi’01 with Luca, Carrie Russell’02 with Peter and Svea, and Claire Schroeder’02 with Jupiter.
Liz Majka?03 and husband Yash Attanayake?03 visited campus this summer with their children, daugh... Liz Majka’03 and husband Yash Attanayake’03 visited campus this summer with their children, daughter Samanthi, 4, and son Ajith, 6, for the first time as a family. The kids loved scootering around the campus and seeing where their mama and papa had their first kiss (in front of Commons)!
  • Cris Mendoza’00, Weslaco, Texas, has owned Mendoza Auto Sales since 2019.
  • Joee Patterson’03, Lincolnville, Maine, has been named to the Stewardship Education Alliance (S.E.A.) board of directors. The Maine nonprofit works to increase community awareness of the importance of stewardship in protecting the state’s Mid-Coast water resources and fragile watersheds.
  • Daron Williams’05, Indianapolis, Ind., was promoted to director of digital communications and media insights for the Indianapolis Colts.
  • In May, Stefanie Fleck’06, Beloit, Wis., graduated with a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Library and Information Science.
  • The exhibit “Locating” at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University by Cayla Skillin-Brauchle’06 incorporates drawings, photographs, sculptures, repurposed materials, and textiles into a dynamic installation enhanced by two live performances. The exhibit draws inspiration from data, geography, and an urgency to combat feelings of estrangement born out of our current social and political environment. Cayla is an assistant professor of art at Willamette and lives in Salem, Ore.
  • After serving as executive director of the East Side Business Improvement District in Milwaukee, Liz Brodek’08, Wausau, Wis., became the city of Wausau’s new community development director. In this role, Liz aims to improve environmental sustainability.
  • Caitlin Lill’08, Denham Springs, La., is a senior program manager focused on coastal stewardship with the National Audubon Society.

  2010-2019

Lori Rhoades Eatherton?11 and husband, Brian Eatherton, welcomed a beautiful baby boy, Miles Denn... Lori Rhoades Eatherton’11 and husband, Brian Eatherton, welcomed a beautiful baby boy, Miles Dennis Eatherton, on May 5, 2021. They are thrilled to have this little one join their family!
In April, Bevin Kenney Gormley?10, Cincinnati, Ohio, participated in the grand opening of Hamilto... In April, Bevin Kenney Gormley’10, Cincinnati, Ohio, participated in the grand opening of Hamilton County Ohio's new Coroner's Office and Crime Laboratory facility. Bevin is a second-year forensic autopsy tech.
  • Canberk Dayan’12, Istanbul, Turkey, is a senior associate at Strategy &, the global strategy consulting business unit of PricewaterhouseCoopers.
  • After earning her Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in May, Jessica Rardin’13 relocated to Laramie, Wyo., to become a learning and engagement librarian at the University of Wyoming.
  • Minyu Yang’13 has moved to Surrey, British Columbia, Canada.
  • In June, Duncan Gillis’14 joined Caltech as head coach of men’s soccer at the private research institute in Pasadena, Calif. For the past six years, he had served as assistant coach, then head coach of Beloit’s men’s soccer team. For his coaching at Beloit, he was named to the 2019-20 United Soccer Coaches 30 under 30 Class. He holds both a National and Advanced National Diploma from the United Soccer Coaches organization.
  • The research of geoarchaeologist Caitlin Rankin’14 on the ancient city of Cahokia in Southern Illinois attracted national media attention after it was featured in National Geographic Magazine in April. Her research reconsiders one of the great archaeological mysteries: What led to the decline of this once-bustling city near present-day St. Louis? She debunks a long-held theory that ancient residents overharvested wood and were driven away by the floods that followed. Caitlin’s analysis of the soil shows no sign of recurrent flooding at the time the city was abandoned. A research scientist at the University of Illinois, she double-majored in environmental geology and anthropology at Beloit before earning her Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis.
  • After interning for the Office of International Education at Beloit College, Samantha Abrams’17 moved to Boston to work as a Spanish customer support specialist for HubSpot, a tech company that sells customer relationship management software. After a year, she was transferred to the company’s new Latin American headquarters in Bogotá, Colombia, where she trained and worked with their very first support representatives. She has worked her way up to team lead of the support department for the entire Latin American region. She has been living as a digital nomad throughout Colombia, which has been exciting but very difficult. Samantha went through some mental and physical health challenges, including a bout with Covid, and lived through the epicenter of the civil unrest in Colombia this year. She says she is staying optimistic and looking forward to what comes next!
  • With four years of coaching under her belt at the high school and collegiate levels, Ellie Waddle’17, Beloit, Wis., was promoted to head cross country coach at Beloit College following the retirement of Dave Eckburg. In addition to that role, Ellie is an assistant coach for track and field and a co-coordinator for the college’s Health and Healing Career Channel.
  • Jenn Putman’18, Victoria, Texas, is a development and communications coordinator for Meals on Wheels Victoria.
  • Courtney Ceurvorst’19 graduated in May from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing’s Masters Entry into Nursing Practice program. She received the Eleanor Wade Custer Award, given in recognition of “initiative and creativity in improving the health of a community with sensitivity to one’s fellow man.” In her final semester, Courtney also completed an independent research project on minimizing parental distress upon admission to a neonatal intensive care unit and presented her findings to the school and hospital at large. After passing her board exam in August, she was selected for the New Graduate Nurse Residency Program at UC-Health, the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, Colo., where she has joined the neonatal intensive care unit.
  • In April, Dianne Lugo’19 joined the Statesman Journal in Salem, Ore., as a reporter covering equity and social justice issues. The major daily newspaper is owned by Gannett. At Beloit, Dianne majored in biology, minored in journalism, and served as Round Table editor for two years. Shortly after graduating, she landed an internship to work on National Public Radio’s Code Switch, the network’s acclaimed radio program and podcast.

  2020-2029

  • Jenae Ajjarapu’20 has relocated to Vernon Hills, Ill.
  • Katelynn Sinclair’20 moved to Indianapolis, Ind., to pursue her master’s degree in museum studies at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis.
  • In October 2020, Lydia Travers’20, Chicago, Ill., started working as a housing assistant for the Housing Authority of Cook County, where she has been busy helping tenants apply for rental assistance.
  • Zachary Miller’21, Simi Valley, Calif., is pursuing an M.B.A. degree at the University of La Verne, in La Verne, Calif.

Also In This Issue

  • A Clark Super 100 gas station on the corner of a busy street.

    Freshman at the Pumps

    more
  • President Bierman shared this photo with his granddaughter as a reason to get vaccinated in the #WorthAShot campaign.

    Community spirit best Covid weapon

    more
  • First-year students walk through a chorus of cheers and applause from fellow students, faculty, and staff.

    Welcoming new students and the class of 2025

    more
  • Marvin Weissberg and Hanan Ashrawi

    In Remembrance: Marvin Weissberg, visionary friend and supporter

    more

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