In November 2019, Dan Kozera was inducted into the Whitehall Sports Hall of Fame in Whitehall, Michigan. Known as “Big Dan” in his time at Whitehall for his 6’ 4” height, he graduated in 1958 after a standout career in football, basketball and baseball. Kozera also played baseball at Kalamazoo College for four years, as well as football for one year.
Vincent Liff was one of Kalamazoo College’s most illustrious alumni with a lifelong career in the NYC theatre. Vincent’s company, Johnson-Liff Casting, assembled the talent for many celebrated Broadway shows, including The Wiz, Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Equus, Dreamgirls and Miss Saigon, and was responsible for giving many of today’s talented actors their first roles in professional theatre. Sadly, Vincent passed away from a brain tumor in 2003. Several of his fellow classmates have established the Vincent Liff Memorial Theatre Fund to assist current K students majoring in theatre with some of their expenses related to educational experiences, such as internships, SIPs, regional and national theatre conferences and competitions, and so on. Funding will be considered on an individual basis based on need and merit, and is open to all theatre disciplines including directing, performance, stage management and backstage technical areas of interest. In addition, all donations to the fund will be matched up to $10,000 by a longtime friend and generous supporter of the Kalamazoo College theatre program. We invite you to join us in honoring Vinnie Liff’s memory by donating to this fund. Use this link, kzoo.edu/onlinegiving, to send your tax-deductible donation online (be sure to indicate that this donation is for the “Vincent Liff Memorial Theatre Fund”) or contact Elizabeth Lindau, Assistant Director of Development at Kalamazoo College at Elizabeth.Lindau@kzoo.edu.
Jeff Palmer ’76 recently fulfilled two longtime goals by visiting Vietnam and reconnecting with five young K Vietnamese alumni. Jeff retired from the College in 2016 after serving as associate director of communication in the Office of Marketing and Communication. While on the job, he and his wife, Susan Andress, volunteered to be “host parents” to one or two international students each year. “We took them shopping, picked them up and dropped them off at the train station or airport, had them over for dinner, and sometimes gave them a bed during holiday breaks when they couldn’t go home,” he says. Through the years, Jeff estimates they signed up to host 20 to 25 students, “but we were adopted by many more,” he says. “If you agreed to take one student to the grocery store, three or four often got into the car. We also hosted some of their families when they came for graduation.” Jeff says he and Susan grew especially close to the steady trickle of students from Vietnam who came to K to earn degrees. He’s stayed in touch with several via social media, so when he and a friend decided to take a two-week Vietnam trip, he knew whom to contact. “Vietnam is a beautiful country,” he says. “It’s rich in culture, easy to navigate and very welcoming to visitors, especially Americans. But by far, the highlight of the trip was catching up with some of ‘my K kids’ in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.” In the former, he visited Nguyễn Thúy Hằng ’15 (pictured with her fiancé, Anh, whom she married on Christmas Eve). In Hanoi, he met up with four K alumni. Pictured are (l-r) Minh Duong ’12, Trung Hoang ’12, Phượng “Faye” Lê ’18, Jeff, and Ly Nguyen ’14. “All five took us out for meals, helped us shop for souvenirs and gifts, and took us to fun places we never would have found on our own.” And, in a major payback, Jeff says Faye and her father provided pick-up and drop-off at the Hanoi airport. “I plan to visit other former host students in Africa, Europe and elsewhere. I love them all, but our Vietnamese kids will be a tough act to follow.”
Danny Agustin Flores ’80 presented an updated version of his Senior Individualized Project (SIP) to the Community Global Health program and its staff. The subject matter involved developing Vitamin D as a method for treating the chronic inflammation involved with Type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, cancer and multiple sclerosis through “plant pharming,” a technique that involves hydroponics and his proprietary work. “Plant pharming” will involve mutating microbial cultures and introducing their DNA for “adapted” enzymes to the plant hosts to process transformation along 30 or so steps to the desired drug agent of Vitamin D, recovered “downstream” for purification. This research is ideal for medical research scholars who desire to achieve innovation in the biotech or pharma industry.
Suzanne Kleinsmith Saganich has been named to The Best Lawyers in America ® for Real Estate Law, Banking and Finance Law and Financial Services Regulation Law for 2020 and has been named “Lawyer of the Year” for Financial Services Regulation Law. Additionally, Suzanne has been named a 2020 Super Lawyer by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine. She is a partner at FisherBroyles, LLP.
The Golden Triangle in Hang Dong, Chiang Mai, Thailand, owned by Doug VanTress, was named a finalist in the Surface Travel Awards for Best Retail Space. Surface magazine covers the worlds of architecture, art, design, fashion and travel, with a focus on how these fields shape and are shaped by contemporary culture.
Dean Kuipers’ book, Deer Camp: A Memoir of a Father, A Family, and the Land That Healed Them, was named a 2020 Michigan Notable Book by the Library of Michigan. Each year the Library, which is part of the Michigan Department of Education, features 20 books of various genres published the previous calendar year, which either are about or set in Michigan or written by a Michigan author.
Dr. Manish Garg was appointed program director for the New York Presbyterian Emergency Medicine Residency Program on September 1, 2019. Manish was previously a professor of emergency medicine and the senior associate residency program director for the Emergency Medicine Residency at Temple University. An esteemed teacher and educator, Manish has been recognized with many teaching awards and honors, including the faculty teacher of the year and induction into the Alpha Omega Alpha honor society. He has held several important national education leadership roles in the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors (CORD) and has served as an assistant dean and director of global medicine at Temple University School of Medicine. Manish also serves as the president of the American College of Academic International Medicine. After graduating from K, Manish completed his medical education at Wayne State University School of Medicine in 2001. He completed his residency in emergency medicine at Detroit Receiving Hospital and joined the emergency medicine faculty at Temple University School of Medicine in 2004.
Alysia (Robertson) Kemp was inducted into the Battle Creek Central Hall of Fame in 2020. Alysia graduated from K with a degree in chemistry and attended medical school at Morehouse School of Medicine. She completed her residency training at Baylor College of Medicine in Orthopedic Surgery and specialized in oncology at The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. She is an orthopedic oncologist in Detroit, Michigan, and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Karmanos Cancer Center and McLaren Macomb Hospital.
Esperanza F. Cantú has been reappointed to the Hispanic/Latino Commission of Michigan by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Esperanza is the director of community engagement and inclusion for the United Way of Southeastern Michigan. She is a member of the Hispanic Data Advisory Committee and the Professional Development of Latina Women (PODER). She earned a bachelor’s in biology at K before earning her master’s in public health from the University of Michigan in 2015. Her term on the commission will run through December 10, 2022.
In December, Royal Oak, Michigan-based Howard & Howard announced it expanded its corporate practice with the addition of Carter A. Goetz. He will practice out of the firm’s Chicago office. Carter concentrates his practice in corporate and business law. Carter began his career with Howard & Howard as a summer associate in 2018. In 2018, Carter received both his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law and his M.B.A. from DePaul’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business.