Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has appointed Brian to the Illinois State Museum Board. Brian has more than 35 years of experience in natural resources preservation and analysis. His résumé also includes oversight of the Illinois State Museum when he served in the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). Brian is the deputy executive director of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois, where he manages strategic planning and coordinates programs across the five Illinois scientific surveys. Previously, he was the director of institutional improvement at Lincoln Land Community College where he coordinated accreditation compliance, strategic planning and institutional research. Brian also worked for IDNR for nearly 20 years. At K Brian majored in biology. He holds a master’s degree from DePauw University and earned his Ph.D. in biology from the University of Louisville.
Professor Emerita of English Gail Griffin is a fan of Kate, a chemistry major who, Gail writes, “took on an English major very late in her career.” Kate’s putting both majors to work as a science writer, and Gail spotted one of Kate’s stories in a recent Atlantic Magazine online. “How Ancient Coral Revealed the changing Length of a Year” describes how coral layers (a byproduct of the organism’s daily living that marks a year’s growing seasons and days in a process somewhat akin to tree rings) show that the number of days that composed an earth year was much higher eons ago–420 days rather than today’s 365-6. She accounts for the difference in the dynamics of gravity, oceans and the moon’s distance from the earth, a gap growing incrementally and infinitesimally. Turns out Shakespeare’s Juliet had it right in more ways than she might have guessed when she implored Romeo to “swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon, / That monthly changes in her circled orb.” The circled orb grows imperceptibly more distant, a centimeter or so a year. (Eventually–in several million years–the moon will be too distant to cause a solar eclipse.) With her two majors, Kate is more likely to know the science in the literary reference. Kate’s K experience also included study abroad in Scotland.
Gordon is the author of Detroit Is: An Essay in Photographs. He will do a book signing as part of “Book Beat” on Sunday, February 28, from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The event is free; for more information contact “Book Beat” at 248.968.1190. Gordon is a longtime member of the Photographic Guild of Detroit. He is a frequent judge and photography critic for that organization as well as the Greater Detroit Camera Club Council and the Photographic Society of America. His photos have appeared in numerous publications. At K he was a standout basketball player, and he studied abroad in Bonn, Germany. The longtime Detroit resident (more than 40 years!) earned a M.B.A. from the University of Michigan.
John joined the law firm Rimon Law as a banking and financial services attorney. He works in the firm’s Chicago office. At K John majored in political science and studied abroad in Hannover, Germany. He earned his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. Prior to law school John worked for three years as a research assistant and legislative assistant for U.S. Senator Edward Zorinsky (D-Nebraska). John has received recognition from numerous legal publications and ranking agencies.
Lynne (Carlson) Sheaff ’69 has been named a member of the Lincoln Land Community College (Springfield, Ill.) Foundation Board. The retired nurse practitioner earned a B.A. in biology from K and an M.P.H. from the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC). At K she studied abroad in Erlangen, Germany. Her nursing career was spent primarily in public health working and volunteering at clinics in the Midwest and Haiti. She also taught at the UIC College of Nursing.
John has written, directed and executive-produced “Heroes on Deck: World War II on Lake Michigan,” a one-hour film documentary that had its world premiere at Kalamazoo College. Heroes tells the story of two makeshift U.S. aircraft carriers on Lake Michigan during WWII, more than 15,000 Navy pilots who practiced landings and takeoffs on their decks, and the pilots who lost their lives trying. The film also reveals recent efforts to recover and restore some of the more than 100 planes that crashed and sank to the bottom of the Lake, including two that are at the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo. “Heroes on Deck” will premiere nationally on public television during Memorial Day 2016 weekend.
Mason died on Thursday, January 28, 2016, on the ski slopes of Winter Park, Colorado. Mason matriculated to K from Hackett Catholic High School in Kalamazoo. He played football for the Hornets and earned his bachelor’s degree with majors in business and psychology. He and his family often spent winter vacations in Winter Park, where they participated with the Winter Park Competition Center. Mason was an avid skier and he died doing something he enjoyed. Above all, Mason loved his family. He is survived by his parents and sister, grandparents, and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Carol has been promoted to recordkeeping specialist at Greenleaf Trust Bank in Kalamazoo, responsible for Greenleaf Trust’s in-house participant recordkeeping system. Carol has more than 15 years of experience as a recordkeeping analyst and is a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist.
Gary has joined Amherst Partners in the firm’s Birmingham (Mich.) office as a new partner. Gary has more than 15 years of investment banking, private investing and operational experience, including involvement in transaction and advisory assignments. Most recently, Gary co-managed and served as a managing director with a regional investment banking and private investment firm. He began his career in investment banking with Banc of America Securities. He then worked as a private equity investor with Winona Capital Management, Bainbridge Ventures and Goense & Co. In addition, he previously held an operating position as a vice president for acquisitions and business development with a health care services organization. Gary earned his bachelor’s degree at K in economics, and he studied abroad in Clermont-Ferrand, France. He also holds a M.B.A. from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.
Leona continues to teach mathematics and statistics at North Park University in Chicago. Last September she was honored by the Armenian International Women’s Association, Chicago chapter, as one of two Women of the Year. Her sister was the other awardee. One month later the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics honored Leona with the Fred Flener Award for contributions to mathematics outside the classroom. In 1995 ICTM had awarded Leona the Max Beberman Award for College Mathematics Teacher of the Year.