Find out what your Beloit friends have been doing over the past several months.
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- Doug Baily’59, Homer, Alaska, shares that he is “keeping busy” by serving on the Library Advisory Board for the Homer Library. In recent months, the board has addressed a debate about whether to keep 55 titles in the public library’s children’s section that address LGBTQ themes. In February, the Advisory Board unanimously voted to uphold the decision to keep the books on the shelves.
- Rosalind Proell Clark’62 has moved with her husband of 56 years, Ronald Clark, to Newman, Calif.
- Stephen Gould’64, Sacramento, Calif., is enjoying his three grandchildren and looking forward to upcoming travel to Canada and Italy.
- Joan Hadley Cabreza’65, Redmond, Wash., writes, “Doctor Welty and the New Beloit Plan sent me on a pilot program to Costa Rica during the 1964-65 school year. It was life-changing, and it began a journey of biological work that continued for almost two decades in Hawaii, Bangkok, the Philippines, and Guam, before I returned and settled in the Pacific Northwest. My new memoir, Searching: A Biologist’s Journey, about those often dangerous, unexpected, and sometimes funny experiences, became available December 19, 2022.”
- In 2018, Libby Herbert’66 relocated to Corvallis, Ore. She’s now retired and living outside the city limits with her two dogs on two acres of forest land, where she’s been restoring native oak woodland. Libby also enjoyed a small boat cruise on the Prince William Sound in Alaska last September.
Chuck and Nancy Appel Boothby’68 of Sedgwick, Maine write that nearly 60 years ago, “our ’68 classmates became the first class of Beloit’s New Plan with its three-term Underclass Common Course (UCC), where we all read the same important books. Thus, as Peace Corps volunteers teaching in Ethiopia afterwards, we could visit a classmate in Gulu, Uganda, where his bookcase displayed the same books we’d read and discussed.
“The Heart of Darkness being a UCC staple, I was drawn last week to a 2017 New Yorker book review, including Reading Conrad by our former neighbor, Hillis Miller. I’m now holding that book borrowed from Bates College Library. Wow. I’m glad we began that quest at Beloit and that it continues and that I can share this adventure with classmates from across more than half a century. Hopefully Beloit’s new leadership will continue to urge the liberal notion of lifelong learning across a broad spectrum of human scholarship.” Chuck and Nancy suggest that other alumni might enjoy reading this book to extend what they remember from UCC.
- David Knottnerus’69, Stillwater, Okla., is an emeritus regents professor of sociology at Oklahoma State University. Routledge has published his most recent book Polar Expeditions: Discovering Rituals of Success within Hazardous Ventures (2023). His study examines how ritual practices contribute to the social relations among crewmembers and their morale on 19 polar expeditions over a 100-year period. A range of crews are examined, for example, those who failed to engage in rituals and crews who successfully participated to varying degrees in ritual behaviors. David has authored (and co-authored) numerous scholarly articles and books. His interests include ritual dynamics, social psychology, social theory, social inequality, and the sociology of knowledge.
- Photographer and artist Lewis Koch’71, Madison, Wis., gave a presentation at the Wright Museum of Art in February about his image and text projects. Using photography, sculpture, assemblage, and text, Lewis calls attention to the often unremarked-upon elements of everyday life. His work is in permanent collections in the United States, Canada, and Europe. In the early 2000s, he created the web project Touchless Automatic Wonder: Found Text Photographs from the Real World, which became the basis for his 2009 book of the same name, published by Borderland Books.
- Pam Bumsted’72, who recently retired as Heritage program manager and forest archaeologist for Modoc National Forest, has relocated to Reno, Nev., from California.
- Vid Johnson’73, Ocheyedan, Iowa, says that he continues to live a liberal arts life: “Now I’m in line to join the staff at our public library. I’ve been a metal fabricator, teacher, journalist, manager of research expeditions to Antarctica and Greenland, newspaper owner, dairy farm worker, and 20-year state lawmaker. Friends keep asking what I want to be when I grow up.”
- Joseph Maino’73, San Ramon, Calif., had three of his photo-illustrations published in the fall 2022 issue of The Write Bridge, a literary and art zine. The issue explored the topics of fortitude and pusillanimity.
- Michael Rosen’74, Skokie, Ill., was appointed associate board member to Hospital Alemão Oswaldo Cruz (German Hospital) in São Paulo, Brazil. He also serves as a board member for the American Society of the University of Haifa in Haifa, Israel.
- Ric Silber’75, Topeka, Kan., is one of several subjects in the 2022 Robert Hurst short film, From Crashpad to 988. The film chronicles the history of Headquarters, which is purported to be the oldest continually operating personal crisis center in the United States and is now a part of the new 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Ric served as the first full-time director of Headquarters and subsequently as a member of its board of directors and a volunteer. The film premiered Nov. 7, 2022.
- After 35 years, nine months, and 12 days of public service at Santa Cruz County Behavioral Health, Steve Ruzicka’76, Aptos, Calif, retired on June 3, 2022. Steve is now on to the next adventure, which has included a two-month RV trip to the east coast with his wife, Molly, celebrating his retirement. Along the journey they were able to visit Gerard Rittenberg’76 in South Carolina, Dave Heckman’76 in North Carolina, Phil Erickson’77 and Andy Persily’76 in Virginia, Margaret Manos’77 and Don Kent’77 in New York City, and Bill Murray’76 in Vermont. Steve shares, “It was great seeing everyone and looking forward to our 50th reunion!”
- In conjunction with fellow artist Dawna Rose, Betsy Rosenwald’77, Saskatoon, Canada, exhibited their art installation, Journal of the Plague Year, in 2021. It was a response to the pandemic and toxic politics of 2020, crafted with paint on post-consumer waste cardboard. The continuation of their exhibition takes the form of Journal of the Plague Years, where Betsy focuses on the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. This second exhibition was on display from November 2022 through March 2023. They are also looking forward to a book being published on the project this year.
- Steven Bloom’78 has retired after a 44-year career in education. The recipient of the Beloit College department of education’s Von Eschen-Steele Award in 1979, Steven served in several roles as teacher, principal, assistant professor, and district superintendent during his career. During the 2018-2019 school year, he served as president of the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators. His retirement has taken him to The Villages, Fla., as a permanent resident.
- Haris Orkin’78, Ashland, Ore., worked as a writer and narrative director on four video games that were recently released: Resident Evil: Shadows of Rose, As Dusk Falls, Shadow Warrior 3, and Evil West. Goldhammer, the third book in his comedy thriller series, the James Flynn Escapades, was published in June. The series was recently optioned by Avalon Entertainment.
- A feature story by science journalist Dan Hurley’79 was on the October 12 cover of Newsweek: “Forget Weed, Wine and Xanax: Science Has Better Ways to Treat Anxiety,” covers the growth of anxiety and depression in the United States and explores the latest scientific knowledge about treating anxiety. Next up, Dan is writing about what science can teach us about lying.
- Paul Yamauchi’79, Skokie, Ill., showcased his human rights research and advocacy experiences in his book, With Many, Alone (Con Muchos, Solo in Spanish), published in 2022. His work in human rights and development — in Guatemala and elsewhere — is directly and strongly linked to his life-changing experience in Beloit’s Ethnological Field School in Guatemala. He hopes his book will inspire Beloit students to “get their hands dirty” and engage face-to-face with different people around the world and the realities they confront.
- John Dolan’82, Chatham, N.Y., was one of two official wedding photographers to document the wedding of Naomi Biden, the President and First Lady’s granddaughter, and Peter Neal at the White House in November. “It was the honor of a lifetime to photograph a White House wedding, especially this one,” John says. With a portfolio of advertising, editorial, and fine art photography, John has shot more than 340 weddings, including of celebrity brides and grooms. His work has appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, Martha Stewart Weddings, and Vogue. The Perfect Imperfect, published in 2021 by Damiani Books, is a collection of his pioneering documentary style that captures the drama and intimacy of wedding ceremonies.
- Amy Ollendorf’83, Arcadia, Calif, was pleased to have been promoted to vice president of Applied EarthWorks, Inc., a California-based small business enterprise specializing in cultural and paleontological resource management. Since 2018, she has been managing principal of the company’s Pasadena office and their statewide paleontology program.
- Susan Turner-Vogt’83, Loveland, Ohio, says, “Beloit gave me the skills to start my own business 22 years ago.” That business, Expo Experts, LLC, is still a leader in the technical job fair works today. In April 2022, Susan also started the Red Riding Hood Rescue Project, a nonprofit wolfdog rescue and sanctuary. They currently have 12 animals and are building to take more. The new sanctuary works with county dog wardens and private owners that realize the cute pup they got grew into a high-maintenance animal needing special considerations. Susan explains, “These are truly misunderstood animals, and most don’t make it to their second birthday. We are working on USDA licensing now and will open to the public soon. We are also a certified forest, and our land management plan includes removing invasive plants. The entire project is one of love for animals and nature. Consider helping us, volunteering, visiting, or donating!”
- Bill Melendy’84 has returned to Silver City, N.M., where he enjoys gardening.
- After years working in literacy nonprofits and bookstores, Elliott batTzedek’85, Philadelphia, Pa., has moved into regional and national bookselling as the new member manager for the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association (NAIBA) and the administrator for the Professional Booksellers School, where she is also dean of the event management course. Helping people sell more books and be better at supporting authors is exactly the job her B.A. in English/creative writing, M.S. in women’s studies, and M.F.A. in poetry/poetry in translation prepared her for. Also, those years writing pre-K curriculum have proven surprisingly useful in keeping the attention of distracted adult learners. Elliot would love to connect with other Beloit booksellers at https://www.professionalbooksellers.com/.
- In January, Clayton “Chance” Heberling’85, Killeen, Texas, joined the adjunct faculty at Central Texas College.
- Paul Manus’85 finished his 23-year teaching career at Beye School in Oak Park, Ill., having taught third, fourth, and fifth grades. He and his wife, Debbie, have moved to Durham, N.C., where she continues to practice medicine, and he is a math interventionist teacher for grades 3, 4, and 5 in the Durham Public School System. Their son, Justin, got married in June, and their daughter, Melissa, received her Ph.D. in biological anthropology in September from Northwestern University.
- In March, Roberta “Bobbi” Cordano’86 was named one of USA Today’s 2023 Women of the Year, alongside 11 other distinguished women chosen for the national honor, including Michelle Obama, Sandra Day O’Connor, and Goldie Hawn. Bobbi is the president of Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., the first deaf woman and openly LGBTQ leader of the bilingual institution for the advancement of deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind individuals through American Sign Language and English. She is both a national honoree and the sole woman to represent Washington, D.C. Women were selected for the honor based on their leadership, accomplishments, and significant impact on their communities and the nation. More about Women of the Year is on a special USA Today webpage.
- Doug Van Beek’86, Minneapolis, Minn., has been accepted into the New Institute for Ceramic Education. Doug describes the program as “a year-long push” that culminates with a group exhibition at the Northern Clay Center and a portfolio submission.
- Michael Newman’88 has done a redux of his first novel, based on his year as a student at Université Sorbonne in Paris, France. Solomon and Shakespeare Walk into a Paris Bar focuses on six foreign exchange students and their interactions over the course of a single day. Michael lives with his wife, Julie, their two teens, Emmannuela and Mikey, and adopted dog in Falls Church, Va.
- Christopher Fleming’89, Pingree Grove, Ill., works as a TV presenter and paranormal investigator. He recently traveled to Scotland and Ireland to present a new series for Discovery+ and Travel Channel titled Haunted Scotland and Haunted Ireland. Haunted Scotland is airing in several countries and on Travel Channel USA. The entire series is available on Discovery+ right now. Haunted Ireland is set to air and stream in mid-to-late 2023.
- Carolyn Sullivan Heinrich’89, Nashville, Tenn., is serving as the George Eastman Professor at the University of Oxford in 2022-23. She is on sabbatical from Vanderbilt University where she is a University Distinguished Professor of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations (Peabody College), and a professor of political science in the College of Arts and Sciences. At Vanderbilt, she is also the Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Public Policy, Education and Economics.
- Ken Romig’89, Albuquerque, N.M., has been designing a Covid memorial that was recently featured in the Albuquerque Journal. Ken says, “I’m honored to have the opportunity to design an environment to remember those we have lost to Covid that respects our collective grief.”
- Sheila De Forest’90 has been living in Portland, Ore., since March 2022 and serving as the empowerment programs manager for Self Enhancement, Inc., a culturally specific Black organization. She oversees housing and rental assistance, family stability, community health work, and workforce development programming.
- Edward Fergus’92, Yonkers, N.Y., was promoted to full professor of urban education at Rutgers University in July. He is also looking forward to publishing his fifth and sixth books in the summer of 2023.
- Eric McHenry’92, Topeka, Kan., has been publishing essays about music and folklore in The American Scholar. His discovery of Langston Hughes’s true birth year, 1901, was covered by the New York Times in an article titled “Langston Hughes Just Got a Year Older.”
- Paul Haider’96 has been living in Weybridge, UK, since 2019 with his wife, Francesca Domenella.
- Since August of 1997, George Valev’98, Torrance, Calif., has been working at McLaren Industries, Inc. in the role of chief financial officer. The company is a vertically integrated manufacturer and distributor of supplies for the rubber and steel industries.
- The Great North Innocence Project has named Mark Bradford’99, Minneapolis, Minn., one of its two Pro Bono Champions of the Year. Mark has done pro bono work for the organization for years, focusing on freeing those wrongfully convicted and preventing future wrongful convictions in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Mark’s recognition in 2022 also included being named a “Top Lawyer” by Minnesota Monthly in commercial litigation and appellate law.
- The 2023 Austin Peay State University’s Inclusion Champion is Marcus Hayes’99, Clarksville, Tenn. The remarkable leadership shown by Marcus, particularly in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion, is just one of the many ways he brings the values of a liberal arts education to a public university in Tennessee, where he chairs the department of theater and dance and coordinates the African American Studies program.
- Entrepreneur Genia Stevens’00 served as keynote speaker for Beloit College’s virtual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January. Genia is founder and CEO of Rock County Jumpstart, which provides technical assistance, coaching, and other tools to help Black and Latino entrepreneurs start, grow, and sustain successful businesses. She was recently featured in a story in Beloit College Magazine.
- Christina Gorczynski’02 and her wife, Brett Merfish, announce the birth of their daughter, Micah Ivy Gorczynski-Merfish. Born December 21, Micah joins “big” 2-year-old brother, Mateo. The family lives in Austin, Texas.
- Avery Walker’02 is one of the newest colon and rectal surgeons at the Hospitals of Providence in El Paso, Texas, after he started the position in May 2022.
- Melissa Grevsmuehl Stoltz’04, Orfordville, Wis., graduated with her master’s degree in social work in May 2022 and is now a hospice social worker. Along with her professional endeavors, Melissa raises three spirited children with her spouse, Carl Stoltz’07.
- Katherine Flynn’11, Washington, D.C., contributed to the book The Women Who Changed Architecture, published in 2022 by Princeton Architectural Press. The book profiles more than 100 female architects, from early practitioners to contemporary leaders. Kate is the senior manager of strategic communications for the American Institute of Architects.
- Bryant Conkling’12, Washington, D.C., is associate director of public policy at Gilead Sciences, a biopharmaceutical manufacturer headquartered in Foster City, Calif. He leads Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement strategy for the company’s oncology and Covid-19 product lines.
- Mira Treatman’12, Philadelphia, Pa., and husband, David Fishkin, welcomed their son, Jerome “Romey” Tekiah Fishkin, in December 2022.
- The year 2021 was a big one for Joe Skurski’13, San Francisco, Calif. He completed his Ph.D. and started working as a scientist at Nkarta Therapeutics, a company that seeks to harness natural killer cells in the treatment of cancer.
- Danny Hodorowski’14, Aurora, Ill., is happy to announce the arrival of his first novel Those Who Are Invited In: 11/17/2022. 9.8 ounces. 9 in. by 6 in. A second, Internal Exile is due in early 2023.
- Andrew Epps’15, Ithaca, N.Y., was on Cape Cod over the summer assisting with research on the Herring River Restoration Project. He reminisces: “Over the course of a few days, we had many people stop to ask us about our work, so I didn’t think much of it when a man stopped to chat one early morning. However, I quickly realized he was wearing a Beloit hat. It was E. Drexel Godfrey’68. The next day, I visited with him, his wife, Bette, and their friends over some wonderful smoked bluefish. We reminisced about Beloit and its impact on our lives. Even though our experiences took place decades apart, it was striking to compare the similar values we gained from our time at Beloit. It is true that Beloiters really are everywhere.”
- Hannah Richter’15, San Francisco, Calif., successfully defended her Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania in May 2022. She is now pursuing postdoctoral research at the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco and aims to continue mentoring the next generation of scientists while studying the fundamentals of genome organization.
- In August 2022, Laura Logan’16, Chicago, Ill., started a new job as a social and career coach with Edge Learning and Wellness.
- Elizabeth Hitchcock Fitzpatrick’17 relocated to Seattle, Wash., from Reno, Nev., in 2022.
- Hannah Epstein’18, Seaside, Calif, is pursuing her master’s degree at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, with an anticipated graduation date of May 2024.
- Jason Lansing’19, St. Paul, Minn., graduated with his master’s degree in religious studies from the University of Colorado-Boulder in 2021.
- Grand Prairie, Texas, is the new home of Naomi Nyeme’20 while she is studying at the University of Texas-Arlington.
- Kelsey Hames’22, Atlanta, Ga., will be representing Beloit College as a Disney College Program participant this spring semester (from January to June). Kelsey will be working in attractions at Magic Kingdom.