Class Notes

Rosemary (Luther) DeHoog ’60

Rosemary has been named to the Muskegon (Mich.) Area Sports Hall of Fame. She, along with other members of the 31st annual Muskegon area hall-of-fame class, will be inducted on June 3. Rosemary began playing tennis at a very early age, despite the fact that competitive opportunities for girls were few or none at all. She persisted and graduated from Muskegon High School. At K she won the MIAA singles championship four consecutive years and was a semifinalist in the NCAA championships in 1959. She remained a nationally-ranked player in her age group for many years and also became certified as a teaching professional and official. From 1979-2003, she was the head tennis professional at Drumlin’s Tennis Club, which is owned by Syracuse University. She managed the university’s recreational tennis and tennis instruction programs. A court at Drumlin’s is named in her honor. Rosemary has served on numerous boards for tennis organizations and was honored by the Big East Conference for advancing girl’s and women’s sports. She also is a member of the Hornet Athletic Hall of Fame.

Don Schneider ’63

DonSchneiderDon and his wife, Jean, took a trip to Europe this past fall. They spent a good portion of their adventure on foot or a bike seat. “We flew to Rome where we walked the city for two days,” wrote Don. “I call those ‘forced marches’ because Jean is the one who loves to walk. We saw the Vatican, the Colosseum (about 2000 years old, huge, and made of concrete) and the catacombs (graves in deep underground tunnels, miles of them). Next we bicycled Elba and Corsica, also Nice, France, and Monaco. Napoleon and Columbus were raised on Corsica–which is a beautiful place, especially for bicycling, with great views, tons of hills and climbing, and light car traffic. We had ideal weather–dry, temps in 60-70s.” Jean and Don are pictured climbing out of what was supposed to be a bypass of a village in Corsica called Cargese. “The climb out was worse than the village, where we nearly got lost,” explained Don. “The Garmins do not work well in complex webs of narrow streets and alleys.”

Robert Schrag ’71

RobertSchragRobert has published a coloring book for adults titled Color Me Chilled Out: Coloring Pages for Meditation and Relaxation. Robert has spent more than 40 years teaching about visual and verbal messages in the Department of Communication at North Carolina State University. But he has spent more than 60 years doodling and coloring and writing poetry. “Doodling and coloring are visual poetry,” he wrote. “I am thrilled that adults are finally reclaiming these visual delights that we usually leave in the hands of children. Their importance became even clearer to me while recovering from chemotherapy and my stem cell transplants. Coloring became an island of calm purpose in those otherwise trying times.” Color Me Chilled Out is Robert’s effort to share that “island of calm purpose.” And apparently it is working. With nothing but word-of-mouth publicity, Color Me Chilled Out sold more than 7,000 copies during the first month it was available.

Dale Norton ’73

DaleNortonDale was co-recipient of the 2016 Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award, presented at the 97th Michigan Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in December. Dale is a partner (with his brother Ken ’71) at Kendale Farms in Bronson, Michigan. He is a board member and past president of the Michigan Pork Producers Association and is chair of the Michigan Swine Health Committee. He was appointed by former Gov. Jennifer Granholm to the Michigan Ag Commission, and  served as a member from 2005-09. Dale has been involved in the pork industry at the state level for more than two decades. At K Dale majored in political science and studied abroad in Muenster, Germany.

Teresa Kline ’80

Teresa is the new president and CEO of Health Alliance Plan (HAP) of Michigan, and she is the executive vice president of Henry Ford Health System. She began her work with HAP in November after serving as a health care consultant for two years in Atlanta and, prior to that, working as a top executive for several for-profit health insurance companies. At K Teresa majored in biology and studied abroad in Strasbourg, France. She earned a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Michigan.

Bruce Maylath ’80

BruceMaylathBruce, a professor of English and upper-division writing coordinator at North Dakota State University, has been recognized with the IEEE Professional Communication Society’s top prize for teaching. He received the Ronald S. Blicq Award for Distinction in Technical Communication Education in October. Bruce is the co-founder and coordinator of the Trans-Atlantic and Pacific Project, known as TAPP. Started during the 1999-2000 academic year, the project links writing, usability testing and translation classes via collaborative documentation projects at 28 universities in 15 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. The award was conferred at IEEE’s annual ProComm conference at the University of Texas in Austin. As an award winner, Bruce delivered a plenary address titled  “Examining the Cult of Monolingualism.”

Jonathan Warshay ’82

Jonathan JonathanWarshaywas elected a trustee of West Bloomfield, Michigan. Jonathan works as a senior business systems analyst at Cengage Learning.

Lisa Kron ’83

Lisa was awarded the 2017 Kleban Prize for most promising musical theater librettist. Lisa won two Tony Awards (2015) for writing the book and lyrics of Fun Home, a play about a lesbian cartoonist coping with her father’s suicide. She also has written and performed the plays Well and 2.5 Minute Ride. At K Lisa majored in theatre arts and studied abroad in the United Kingdom. In other news about Lisa, she is featured in the third volume of The Legacy Project, a series of interviews that focus on prominent contemporary American playwrights. Lisa interviews writer and director James Lapine, who wrote the book for the musical Sunday in the Park With George, one of Lisa’s favorites. Stephen Sondheim did the lyrics and music. It’s a fascinating interview you can see on YouTube. The Legacy Project is produced by The Dramatists Guild.

Suzanne Kleinsmith Saganich ’83

Suzanne is a partner in the Cleveland (Ohio) office of the law firm FisherBroyles, and she was selected by Super Lawyers Magazine as a 2017 Ohio Super Lawyer. It is the seventh time Suzanne has been so recognized. She also was honored with the designation in 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Suzanne practices in real estate, commercial loan transactions, finance and business and corporate law.

Maureen Groppe ’88

MaureenGroppeMaureen is a reporter for Gannett News, and she covered the Vice Presidential candidates debate last October. She wrote a cover story for USA Today and was interviewed on the PBS News Hour, C-Span and other programs.

Nicolette Hahn Niman ’89

Nicolette was an invited speaker and panelist during “Nobel Week Dialogue,” an event that occurred in Stockholm during the awarding of Nobel Prizes in early December. Some 20 panelists participated. Nicolette is a writer and environmental activist. She is the author of Defending Beef: The Case for Sustainable Meat Production (2014) and Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms (2009), as well as numerous essays for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Los Angeles Times.

Ben Hale ’94

BenHaleBen has published a book titled The Wild and the Wicked (MIT University Press). He combines anecdote and philosophy to argue that an impulse toward environmental activism is a matter of humanity and moral action, quite apart from the question of whether nature is good or bad and our response to it, whether love or indifference. Ben is an associate professor in the philosophy department and environmental studies program at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His primary area of research focus is environmental ethics. He’s worked at the University of Colorado-Boulder since 2005. At K he majored in philosophy and did his study abroad in Russia.

Emily Gear ’00

Ten years ago Emily was featured in’s “Staten Island’s original 30 under 30,” published under the following teaser: “You might not recognize them yet, but these S.I. pop culture provocateurs are worth keeping an eye on.”

Where are they now? asked with a decennial update on its original group. Back then Emily was noted for her leadership of New York City’s Garibald Meucci Museum, which under her aegis grew significantly from an operation of one employee (Emily) and one permanent exhibit. In four years Emily increased the institution’s budget by 70 percent and added festivals, school programs and language classes. She left that position to found Louie’s Legacy, which saves hundreds of homeless dogs and cats every year on Staten Island. Emily is an accomplished painter who won a medal from the Florence Bieniele of International Art in 2005. At K she majored in art and studied abroad in Russia.

William R.C. Giles ’02

WilliamGilesBLWilliam and Lanese Giles were married on November 19, 2016. Several classmates attended, including David Porada and Thomas Coke.

Nick Carlin-Voigt ’04

Nick enjoyed an outstanding first year as head coach of the men’s soccer team at the University of Portland. The Pilots won the 2016 West Coast Conference championship and returned to the NCAA playoffs for the first time since 2009. Nick won conference honors as Co-Coach of the Year, and he coached three individual conference honorees–the WCC’s player of the year, freshman of the year, and goalkeeper of the year. Congratulations,  Nick.

Rebecca Frost ’07

Rebecca, who just started her new position of instructor of English at Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College, has also signed her first book contract. She will be writing about the rhetorical representations of five canonical Jack the Ripper victims. Her book will be published through McFarland & Company, Inc.

Sam Groppi ’10

Sam works for the national real estate firm Draper and Kramer, Inc., which won two annual Chicagoland Apartment Marketing and Management Excellence (CAMME) awards in November. Both awards recognized the firm’s Wheaton Center community, a six-building, 758-unit rental development in downtown Wheaton, Ill. Sam won one of the awards, in the category of Assistant to Property Manager, for his excellence in managing the day-to-day operations at Wheaton Center. Sam has held various positions at Draper and Kramer since joining the firm in 2012. He was the operations manager at Wheaton Center for the past two and a half years, and last month became a pricing manager at Draper and Kramer’s corporate headquarters. Prior to his role at Wheaton Center, Sam was an assistant property manager for Draper and Kramer’s Prairie Shores Apartments and a leasing consultant for 1350 N. Lake Shore Drive. At K Sam earned his B.A. in economics and played intercollegiate soccer for the Hornets.

Jessica Hoffman ’13

Last October Jessica was accepted into Western Michigan University’s graduate program for counseling psychology. Jessica is a first generation college student who now is the first in her family to attend graduate school. “Her time at K was a  key chapter in this story,” wrote her friend and mentor, John Fink, professor emeritus of mathematics and computer science. At K Jessica majored in French and studied abroad in Claremont-Ferrand, France.

Darrin Camilleri ’14

In November Darrin, running as a Democrat, was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives, representing District 23. He defeated the Republican nominee Bob Howey by 320 votes. Michigan’s 23rd House District–known as the Downriver District, includes the communities of Brownstown Township, Gibraltar, Grosse Ile Township, Huron Township, Trenton, and Woodhaven. At K Darrin majored in political science and studied abroad in Quito, Ecuador. Included among his mentors is alumna Gail Raiman ’73.

AsiaLiza Morales ’15

AsiaLiza is a co-author of the scientific paper, “Effects of Road Dust on the Pollination and Reproduction of Wildflowers,” which appeared in the February 1, 2017, issue of International Journal of Plant Sciences. She and her research team studied whether roadside traffic dust affects the amounts of pollen received and seeds produced in wildflowers. Preliminary results suggest that dust exposure does reduce pollen received by plants closest to unpaved roads but that seeds per flower vary inconsistently as a function of road proximity. More study is necessary. AsiaLiza’s Senior Individualized Project work at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory was part of the data that went into this paper. At K AsiaLiza majored in biology and studed abroad in Caceres, Spain. She currently works with Deb (Tokarski) Yourick ’80 in a mentoring program in Washington, D.C.

Sarah Smith ’17

Sarah at work in Hamburg, Germany.

Sarah at work in Hamburg, Germany.

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) announced in October 2015 that Sarah had been accepted into the Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE Germany) for the summer of 2016. RISE Germany offers summer research internships in Germany (about 300 a year) for undergraduate students from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Students are matched with doctoral students, whom they assist and who serve as their mentors. Interns receive a monthly stipend. Sarah returned to Europe this past summer (she had studied abroad in Spain during the fall and winter terms of her junior year) to spend 12 weeks in Hamburg working on her Senior Individualized Project, the scientific focus of which is Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes malaria. In Hamburg, the senior biology major maintained her own malaria cell cultures, no small feat given the difficulty of working with the parasites, which require about an hour or more of daily care and monitoring. Much of the time Sarah spent imaging the parasites, which is the basis of her project.

“I learned how to use two different types of microscopes, fluorescence and confocal, and the software to edit the images from them,” she wrote in her wonderful blog, “Sarah Goes to Hamburg.” “Typically, I could only image the parasites for about an hour before they become too unhealthy. I also had to wait for the parasites to be at the right stage to image them, which made collecting data a tricky and lengthy process.” However, the summer experience was not all work. Sarah learned to played Bubble Soccer and participated in a wattwanderung (mud walk), a fascinating three-hour trek across North Sea mud flats exposed at low tide. These adventures, including visits to Heidelberg and Copenhagen and other northern European sites of interest, are memorably described in her blog.

Sarah continued work on her SIP during her senior fall term. Its working title is “Myosin II localization in Plasmodium falciparum trophozoites suggests role in hemoglobin uptake,” and she will present her research at spring term’s Diebold Symposium. Sarah noted that she received two fellowships from Kalamazoo College–the Beeler Fellowship (through the Center for International Programs) and the Crittenden Fellowship (through the biology department). “They were very important in funding my experience, especially the flight to Germany,” said Sarah.

Peter Erdi, the Luce Professor of Complex Systems Studies

In September Peter delivered the 2016 lecture at the Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science. The title of his talk was “Complex Systems Perspective in Neuroscience–historical and current approaches.” It provided a general perspective of various approaches of neuroscience systems to an understanding of the complexity of the brain. Peter also is the head of the Theoretical Neuroscience and Complex Systems Group at the Wigner Research Centre for Physics, a research institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. And he is the founding co-director of the Budapest Semester in Cognitive Science study abroad program. Peter is a highly regarding computational neuroscientist with a background in chemical cybernetics.

Gail Griffin, Professor Emerita of English

Retirement, or “retirement,” can be as alive and crackling as the mind is curious and courageous. So it is with Gail. Her recent writing is incandescent. Her poem, “Devastated,” appeared in the Southern Review last spring. Her essay “Gloria,” was published in PHOEBE. “That essay,” Gail wrote, “is about a ‘colored’ baby doll I was given as a little girl, about the suburban relationship to Detroit, and about white racial confusion and anxiety.” Gail is a trenchant and powerful essayist. Her essay, “A Creature, Stirring,” won the New Ohio Review’s nonfiction contest, judged by Elena Passarello. The essay is part of Gail’s just finished memoir, Widow’s Walk.

Gail keeps busy in other ways besides writing. Last month she became chair of the YWCA-Kalamazoo Board of Directors. She has offered several writing workshops locally, on generating memoir (at Kazoo Books and two branches of the Kalamazoo Public Library) and on writing from life’s thresholds (at the Great Lakes Commonwealth of Letters in Grand Rapids). She also co-facilitated three workshops on building white anti-racist allies for the local organization SHARE–headed by alumna Donna (Coleman) Odom ’67. Last November Gail co-facilitated a fourth workshop, with local poet/activist Denise Miller, at the Summit on Racism.

Christine Hahn, Associate Professor of Art History

22July2010 Evergood Mural, Kalamazoo CollegeChristine published an article, “Maintaining Problematic Art: A Case Study of Philip Evergood’s The Bridge of Life (1942) at Kalamazoo College.” The article appeared in Public Art Dialogue (6:1, 116-130) on May 27, 2016.

The piece is particularly interesting for any alumni familiar with the mural (see above) in Old Welles Hall. It covers the history of controversy inspired by the work since it’s unveiling (1942), including specific calls (in 1966 and in 2010) for some redress for iconography deemed offensive to and by some individuals and groups. Detailing the call-and-response to the criticism voiced in 2010, Christina ultimately suggests “that problematic public art has the unique potential to produce positive social change by staying in place.”

The article reveals much about K’s history, including Evergood’s time on campus as an artist and a teacher as well as his bona fides as an ardent social radical. Christina also introduces (from Lewis Hyde, author of Common as Air) a concept of “freedom of listening.” In his book Hyde cites Benjamin Franklin’s creation of a lecture hall where “people were free to give lectures on whatever they wanted.” In that space (Christina quotes Hyde): “Individual speakers present singular views; individual listeners entertain plurality…. The hall was thus built to serve the eighteenth-century idea of replacing the partial self with a plural or public self, one who is host to many voices, even those otherwise at odds with the singular being you thought you were when you first walked in the door….If we take free listening to be the true end of free speech, then freedom itself takes on a different aspect…intelligence arises in the common world, where many voices can be heard; it belongs to collectivity, not privacy, and is available especially to those who can master the difficult art of plural listening.”

Christina invokes Hyde’s notion of “agonistic listening amongst equals in conflict” (a notion that is at the heart of the academy and a direct contrast to “antagonism, where opponents try to silence or destroy the other”) to describe College and student responses to the controversy implicit and explicit in the work, particularly the responses that took place or were considered between 2010 and 2015. She writes: “The building Benjamin Franklin built that embraced such agonistic pluralism eventually became the Philadelphia Academy, which in turn became the University of Pennsylvania. This transformation of space, built to house agonistic conflict among equals, is a particularly fitting symbol of how physical space can potentially create a space for inquiry, conflict and debate. This type of site is necessary and important. Indeed, as Lewis Hyde argues, it is agonistic spaces such as these that are the foundations of democracy.”

The presence of the mural, Christina continues, has provided the intellectual and emotive space for agonistic listening, “has allowed these twenty-first-century conversations on race, class dynamics and elite educations to take place….[M]aintaining problematic public art in an agonistic space helps keep our understanding of the past and our vision of the future firmly in view.” A fascinating article, well worth the time to read it.

Keshia Dickason, Office Coordinator for the Center for Civic Engagement

KeshiaDickasonKeshia wrote and published her first children’s book, titled  Arianna’s First 5K. The story describes Keshia’s daughter Arianna’s first five-kilometer run, and how that experience made an impact on her life and on the lives of others. Said Dickason: “My goal for the  book is to inspire youth of all ages to live a healthy lifestyle that will follow them into adulthood.”