Class Notes Summer 2015


al wilson - moscow1960s

Al (Albert) Wilson ’65, Vista, Calif., is pictured holding an issue of The Bridge in front of St. Petersburg, while traveling to Moscow, Russia, in May 2015.

John Lundgren ’66 and wife Ruth (Lewis) Lundgren ’66, John Lundgren #2Castle Rock, Colo., traveled to the Netherlands, Belgium and France in May 2014.  They are holding a copy of The Bridge in front of the gates to the Palace of Versailles, southwest of Paris.

Rich Lawrence ’69, ’72,Commerce, Texas, joined his 1981 football team in being inducted into the Oklahoma Panhandle State University Hall of Fame in January 2015. Lawrence, head coach at the time, led the team to a 9-0 record in 1981. Oklahoma Panhandle State University closed out the regular season ranked fifth in the nation and for the first time in the university’s history earned a post-season appearance in the NAIA Division II Quarterfinal Playoffs. The team lost to the eventual co-champions. Rich and his wife, Joan, are enjoying retirement.

Dr. Stephen Regan ’69, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, former academic dean at Upper Iowa, had his research article, “Gilded Men and the Suicide Fleet,” published in Naval History, a journal of the U.S. Naval Institute. Dr. Regan, biographer of Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher, has written extensively on naval history. He also writes a monthly column on maritime and nautical affairs titled, “Over the Horizon.”

Steve Whyte ’69, Goldfield, Iowa, retired after 30 years running his home business. Whyte also retired from the Goldfield City Council as councilmember and chairman of the Wright County Landfill Authority.


Lowell Teidt ’71, Anamosa, Iowa, is pictured holding a copy of The Bridge at the Great Jones County Fair in Monticello, Iowa, in July 2014.Lowell tiedt - holding Bridge Lowell has been a member of the fair board for many years and currently serves as its president.

D. Stacy Lewis ’73, Muscatine, Iowa, was honored for 40 years of funeral service during the annual Iowa Funeral Directors Association Convention in May 2015.

Gregory Fruth ’74, La Porte, Ind., was inducted into LaPorte High School’s “Learn Today to Excel Tomorrow” initiative in the college and career education and training cluster. Fruth taught at La Porte Community School Corporation for 34 years.

Darla (Herman) Gaskill ’79, Manchester, Iowa, was recognized as a KWWL “Someone You Should Know.” Nominated by her students, Gaskill recently retired from West Delaware School District. During her 32 years in education, she taught English, theater and speech. She continues to volunteer at the school as a mentor to at-risk students.

Holding The Bridge is a reunion group of 1970 UIU football players and their wives (front) Bridge group photo #2Vicki Decker and Joel Decker ’70; (middle, l-r) Louis (Lou) Wiegand ’70, Janet Wiegand, Jan Forsman, Eliana Palmer, Tom Palmer ’70, Geri Becker and Andrea Frank; (back) Darrel Forsman ’82, Steve Becker ’70 and Steve Frank ’70. This reunion was inspired because one individual has been fighting pancreatic cancer, and to his credit and hard work, is on the road to recovery.  This same group met in Fayette for Homecoming 2014 and relished in a Peacock victory. This photo was taken in Scottsdale, Ariz., in February 2015.


Leslie Huck ’81, San Antonio, Texas, will retire after more than 30 years of military service in the U.S. Army. During his career, Col. Huck was awarded one of ROTC’s highest honors as Cadet of the Year. In addition, he was a Legion of Honor and Order of Military Medical Merit award recipient.

Tom Johnson ’81, Treynor, Iowa, was named vice president for finance and administration/treasurer at Central College in Pella, Iowa. Johnson previously worked for 20 years as the vice president for finance and operations/chief financial officer at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs.

Marvin Thomas ’82, Melbourne, Fla., is pictured holding The Bridge during Marvin Thomas #2his recent trip to Guam. Thomas and his wife, Felyce, have traveled to all seven continents.

Dan (Daniel) Kruse ’85, Inver Grove Heights, Minn., was appointed vice president and actuary of individual annuity products for Securian Financial Group. Kruse has been with the company since 1985 and had served as second vice president since 2008.


Amy Irani ’90, Roseville, Calif., is the new director of environmental health for Nevada County, Calif.

Tom Conley ’91, ’92, ’97, Urbandale, Iowa, is president/CEO of The Conley Group, Inc., which for the second consecutive year was named “The Best Security Company in Des Moines” by the readers of the Des Moines Business Record. Conley was also recently designated a diplomat of the American Board for Certification in Homeland Security.

Joe (Joseph) Stasi ’91, Johnston, Iowa, has returned to the Iowa Barnstormers of the Indoor Football League as the team’s play-by-play announcer for the 2015 season. Stasi will also host a weekly radio show to highlight the team.

Amy (Schares) Hetherton ’91, Cedar Falls, Iowa, has been named director of marketing and communications at Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, where she previously worked as manager of customer and community relations.

Leann (Graham) Forst ’92, Frisco, Texas, published “100 Ways to Lose Weight” as her way to help busy families deal with challenges of obesity. In addition, she published “How to Get your Kids to Beg for Veggies,” a cookbook focusing on hidden veggie recipes for picky eaters. A volunteer on her local school district’s School Health Advisory Committee, she has also developed nutrition program initiatives and programs that have benefited over 50 schools.

Michelle (Lettenberger) Voigts ’95, Marshall, Wis., was elected to the Marshall School Board. Voigts currently works as an accounting system analyst for an insurance company.

Trina (Winkey) Becker ’96, Waterloo, Iowa, has been promoted to manager of loss mitigation and Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) officer at Veridian Credit Union. Becker has been with the company for 25 years, most recently working as manager of account resolution.

Shanna (Anderlik) Hale ’97, Riceville, Iowa, was appointed to the Riceville Community School Board of Education.

Chad Kohagen ’97, Lake Mills, Iowa, is the new superintendent at Lake Mills Community School.

Matt (Matthew) May ’97, Williamsburg, Iowa, is the new industrial technology teacher for Keokuk Community School District.

Guy Kitchell ’98, Middleton, Wis., and his new business, Wisconsin Scaryland, was recognized by as one of the top two “Favorite SW Region Haunted Attractions” in 2014. Guy and his wife, Sara, turned a 15,000-square-foot building into several spooky-themed rooms, including a nursery, library, laboratory and kitchen. The haunted house attracted an average of 800 visitors each night.


Ryan (William) Birt ’00, Epworth, Iowa, was named the new head wrestling coach at Millikin University in Decatur, Ill. The 2010 UIU Athletic Hall of Fame inductee served as the associate head wrestling coach at Loras College, where he was named the 2014 Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year. A two-time NCAA All-American wrestler at UIU, Birt was the 1997 runner-up and 1999 NCAA Division III champion.

Kahla (Clapp) Dutcher ’00, Waterloo, Iowa, joined Homelink, VGM Group, Inc., as a patient care coordinator.

Dr. Jared Bartels ’01, Blue Springs, Mo., was a presenter at the inaugural International Convention of Psychological Science in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, March 12-14, 2015. Dr. Bartels is an assistant professor at Missouri Valley College (MVC). He and MVC undergraduate psychology student, Dusan Bekovic, presented their research titled, “Representation of the Stanford Prison experiment in social psychology textbooks: A content analysis.”

Dr. Jill (Northrop) Buchan ’02, Ankeny, IowaJill Buchan family #2, received her PhD from Capella University. She is a doctor of philosophy in education, with an emphasis on special education leadership. Dr. Buchan currently works as assistant professor of education at UIU-Des Moines Center. She and her husband, Ben Buchan ’99, have four children, Praze (10), Marlee (7), Jude (4) and Darian (2).

Shawn Harrington ’02, Cedar Falls, Iowa, was promoted to northeast regional manager at Veridian Credit Union. Harrington has been employed with the company for 19 years. Most recently, he served as branch manager.

Nick (Nicholas) Thumma ’03, Dubuque, Iowa, has been named the curriculum lead of fine arts in Monticello Community Schools. Thumma was also elected president of the Monticello Education Association.

Curtis (Hans) Goettsch ’03, Cresco, Iowa, will serve as interim director for Winneshiek County FSA (Farm Service Agency). In addition, Goettsch will continue his duties as director of Howard County FSA.

Vanessa Castano ’05, Lansing, N.Y., is the new executive director for YWCA Bradford. Castano has 15 years’ experience in social justice programs and social services. YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

Melissa (Everhart) Oleson ’05, Waterloo, Iowa, was promoted to software development analyst at Veridian Credit Union.

Lucas Halverson ’06, Boca Raton, Fla., was promoted to state vocational rehabilitation counselor analyst for the State of Florida-Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Steven Fellhauer ’08, Novi, Mich., and his wife, Nikki, welcomed baby girl,Baby pic - Steve F. Kensie Anne, on March 1.

Angela (Everhart) Baish ’09, Waterloo, Iowa, has been promoted to account resolution team lead at Veridian Credit Union. Baish has been with the company for eight years and previously worked as senior credit consultant.

Edward Hamilton ’09, Ankeny, Iowa, joined the State of Iowa Insurance Division as a special investigator for the Insurance Fraud Bureau. Previously, Hamilton worked for the Ankeny Police Department.


Keith Cook ’10, San Antonio, Texas, graduated from St. Mary’s University, School of Law on May 16, 2015.

Ean Freels ’10, Montrose, Iowa, has been named director of financial aid at Des Moines Area Community College.

Ben Gray ’10, Ankeny, Iowa, and wife, Dianna, gave birth to their first son, Mason John Gray, on June 19, 2014. Ben is manager at Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping.

Jimmy Holford ’10, Janesville, Wis., was appointed new deputy chief for Janesville Police Department. A 28-year veteran of the department, Holford will lead the patrol division.

Amy (Boehmer) Johnson ’10, Kalona, Iowa, and husband Traimain, welcomed a baby boy, Tevin Christopher, on May 12, 2015.

Melissa (Kipp) Schwan ’10 , ’14, Vinton, Iowa, has been named director of Vinton Unlimited, a Chamber of Commerce and economic development organization.

Roberta (Simmons)Wahl ’10, ’11, Des Moines, Iowa, received the 2015 Governor’s Volunteer Award by Iowa Department of Human Services. Wahl received this award during a recognition ceremony held June 8, 2015, for her commitment and service.

Marsha (Thompson) Wenthold ’10, Decorah, Iowa, was promoted to human resources director at Luther College. Wenthold has served the university in several capacities for the past 25 years.

Nathan Borne ’11, Winston Salem, N.C., recently completed his MBA at Brenau University in Gainesville, Ga.

Josslynn Jackson ’11, Charles City, Iowa, is an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher for both Immaculate Conception School in Charles City and St. Joseph Community School in New Hampton. Jackson is pursuing her master’s degree at Upper Iowa.

Sarah Knief ’11, Waterloo, Iowa, joined VGM Group Inc., as an HES patient care coordinator.

JJ (John) Larson ’11, Madison, Wis., was appointed director of public works and utilities in Cottage Grove, Wis. Larson has 17 year of experience in public works-related positions, most recently serving as a water utility maintenance supervisor for
the city of Madison.

Jason Specht ’11, Ankeny, Iowa, accepted a third-grade teaching position at Eisenhower Elementary in Davenport, Iowa.

Kari (Tschudi) Voss, ’11, Dubuque, Iowa, is the new director of prepress production for Woodword Communications. The publishing company is responsible for five weekly newspapers and five shopper publications throughout northeast Iowa and southwest Wisconsin.

Bruce Davis ’12, Lansing, Kan., retired from Fort Leavenworth Fire Department as assistant fire chief of operations. Davis’ fire service included three years with the U.S. Navy and 30 years with the fire department.

Justin Marchant ’12 and Leslie (Wilson) Marchant ’12, Fayette, Iowa, Baby Marchantannounce the birth of their daughter, Lilliana Jane, born Feb. 19, 2015. She was 7 lbs. 3.4 oz. and 20 in.

Seth Zak ’12, Brainerd, Minn., is the new operations manager at Patterson Dental.

Adam Alexander ’13, Winterset, Iowa, is first-grade teacher at Howe Elementary in the Des Moines Public Schools district.

Jeremy Craft ’13, Lehi, Utah, was named Lehi fire chief. Craft has 20 years of experience in fire service, serving the past six years as battalion chief for Provo Fire and Rescue Department. He also has six years of experience as an EMS (Emergency Medical Services) team member.

Sara (Mau) Freese ’13, Amarillo, Texas, was named one of the “Top 40 Under 40” by Airport Business Magazine. The feature was created in 2012 to recognize aviation’s young leaders. Freese serves as director of aviation at the Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport.

Jennifer Herrick ’13, Allendale, Mich., joined River Valley Orthopedics as an athletic trainer/physician extender.

Jake (Jacob) Hughes ’13, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, recently became a business partner with his mother, Julie, and opened Synergy HomeCare of Cedar Rapids, in-home care family services agency.

Nick (Nicholas) Richert ’13, Hampton, Iowa, joined First Citizens National Bank in Mason City as an
IT technician.

Lisa (Goessl) White ’13, Beloit, Wis., was promoted to senior accountant for the city of Beloit in September 2014.

Benjamin Carrier ’14, Janesville, Wis., landed the job he aspired to have after 23 years of pursing his degree. Carrier graduated cum laude and now works as branch manager of a durable medical equipment supplier.

Gina (Regina) Hoffman ’14, Maynard, Iowa, is an agronomy account Regina Hoffman 2relationship manager at Viafield. Hoffman helped submit a petition on behalf of the cooperative to the Federal Aviation Administration in order to fly an unmanned aircraft system or drone for agricultural purposes. The cooperative’s request was granted, and Viafield is now one of a few agricultural companies in the United States, and the first in Iowa, with legal permission to offer this service to its customers. Hoffman’s team will use an eBee, a 1.5-pound, fixed-wing UAS made of EPP foam, for aerial crop scouting.

Briel Kohl ’14, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., joined River Cities Bank as the new retail banking/marketing coordinator.

Nick (Nicholas) Linde ’14, Madison Lake, Minn., published “The Upside of Turnover” in a recent issue of CASE Currents Magazine.

Ricky (Richard) Nolan ’14, Jesup, Iowa, was hired as a fifth-grade teacher at Independence Community School District.

Julia O’Malley ’14, Des Moines, Iowa, is the reading interventionist at Findley Elementary within the Des Moines Public Schools. O’Malley will teach grades 3-5.

Jim (James) Schwiebert ’14, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, accepted the combination fourth-/fifth grade teaching position at All Saints Elementary in Cedar Rapids.

Kelsey Taldone ’14, Austin, Texas, will teach in the science department at Stony Point High School in Round Rock, Texas. Taldone was also named head varsity soccer coach for the 2015-16 season.

Steven Wilson ’14, Auburn, Calif., was named sports editor for Meet the Press Tribune.

Bret Bell ’15, Pella, Iowa, was hired as a special education teacher at Brubaker Elementary within the Des Moines Public Schools.

Lauren Buck ’15, Fayette, Iowa, has been hired as a special ed teacher at North Fayette Valley.

Lindsay Carroll ’15, Mason City, Iowa, accepted a third-grade teaching position at Hoover Elementary School in Mason City.

Katie Courtney ’15, Decorah, Iowa, is the new first-grade teacher at John Kline Elementary School.

Alice Hartzler ’15, Ames, Iowa, is the new K-5 Level 3 special education teacher at Meeker Elementary in Ames, Iowa.

Chris Paulus ’15, Iowa City, Iowa, accepted a second-grade teaching position and head wrestling coach position at West Branch Community School District.

Laura TerHark ’15, Clarion, Iowa, accepted a second-grade teaching position at Clarion-Goldfield School District.

Montana Van Sickle ’15, Waukee, Iowa, has been hired to teach ESL (English Montana Bas a Second Language) during summer school at Lovejoy Elementary in Des Moines. She will begin teaching ESL this fall at Howe and South Union elementary schools in Des Moines.

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