Class Notes

Jeannie Light ’63

Jeannie has published a new book, Beautiful on the Mountain, which released on June 1 from Tyndale Momentum. The book is based on her experiences as a lay missioner in Graves Mill, Virginia, but the story starts further back than that. Jeannie was born into a storytelling family. Her grandmother passed down stories she had heard from her own mother and father, frontier missionaries in southern Michigan. Her grandfather told stories, too, and so did her mother and father. With that bloodline, Jeannie’s desire to be a writer seemed natural, and she pursued that goal by earning a bachelor’s in English literature (with an emphasis on creative writing) at K. During her senior year she was a student teacher for a college freshman English class and worked as a freelance journalist. She wrote an award-winning novel based on family stories about fur traders and American Indians in Michigan’s St. Joseph River valley in the early years of the nineteenth century.

Jeannie attended the University of Virginia on a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, receiving her M.A. in English literature. She worked as a journalist, taught English at the University of Maine and for the University of Virginia extension program, and ran a farm in Madison County, Virginia. In 1977 she decided to operate a sheep farm on her mountain land in Graves Mill, Virginia, adjoining Shenandoah National Park. To her surprise, the deacons of the inactive Baptist church in the hamlet asked her to help them re-open its doors and revive the congregation. She had never intended to be a preacher or missionary, but when she moved to the mountain community, she found herself living stories very similar to those she had heard as a child. Beautiful on the Mountain is the narrative of her first three years in this beautiful, austere setting. The Bishop of the Diocese of Virginia licensed Jeannie as a lay missioner in 1983. Graves Chapel eventually opened a thrift shop and ministered to those at or below the poverty level, 60 percent of the county’s residents at the time. Though Jeannie remained a laywoman, she was elected president of the county ministerial association, and the chapel offered silent retreats for the local clergy. After fifteen years in the mountains, she resigned and worked with artist and sculptor Walter Slaughter. She self-published two books of meditations, Are You Coming?: Meditations on the Passion and Gethsemane, both illustrated with Walter’s art.

In 1985 Jeannie became a member of Truro Anglican Church (Fairfax, Va.) and since her resignation from Graves Chapel, she has ministered at Truro in various capacities as a layperson, including leading bimonthly services at the Fairfax Nursing Center and teaching a Bible study. She lives in Louisa, Virginia. Jeannie’s work at Graves Chapel was featured in Kalamazoo College Quarterly in the summer of 1991.

Dennis Stover ’66

Dennis was named chief executive officer of enCore Energy Corporation. Dennis has more than 40 years of experience and leadership in the uranium industry. Until his retirement in 2011, he served as executive vice president of Americas for Uranium One, Inc. He earned his B.A. in chemistry at K and studied abroad in Bonn, Germany. He earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan. An author of numerous papers regarding in-situ uranium recovery, Dennis has co-authored three International Atomic Energy Agency guidebooks and manuals related to both acidic and alkaline uranium in-situ leach (ISL) technology. He is the author of six United States patents concerning various aspect of in-situ recovery of uranium and reservoir restoration.

Helen Tatro Rietz ’70

Helen is having her first solo exhibition of paintings at the Holter Museum of Art in Helena, Montana, during the month of October. This exhibition focuses on her scenics and still-life paintings of Montana, where she now lives. You can see her artwork on her website.

David Thoms ’70

David was selected for inclusion in the 21st edition of the Best Lawyers in America. His expertise in law pertaining to trusts, estates, charities, and taxes was cited. Best Lawyers also named him “Lawyer of the Year” (2014-15) for the Detroit area in the practice of charities law. Only a single lawyer in each practice area in each community is so honored. David majored in history at K and studied abroad in Caen, France.

John Twist ’70

John’s lifelong romance with MG automobiles (as well as his long career in the MG motor business) is chronicled in an article that appears in his company’s newsletter. John founded the University Motors in 1975, and the from-there-to-here tale (the “there” dates back to high school and his first ride in an MG) includes stops (a couple) at Kalamazoo College, the military, and a partnership with fellow K student, Thomas Lange ’71. And even though John’s business is located in Grand Rapids, there’s a great deal of Kalamazoo in the journey.

Doug Deer ’73

Doug retired on August 31 after a 21-year tenure as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Cooperstown, New York. He majored in religion at K and studied abroad in Clermont-Ferrand, France. His career service quarter with the Sioux tribe of South Dakota convinced him to enter the ministry. After graduating from K he attended Colgate Rochester Divinity School. He was ordained in 1976. Doug and his wife, Susan, plan to move to Cortland (N.Y.) to be close to their daughter and granddaughter. They also have a son and two grandchildren living in Seattle. One of Doug’s passions is model trains. He had train gardens set up in the yard of his Cooperstown home, where he would sometimes invite the public to watch train runs. Doug has more than one hundred model trains, and he expects to spend several years of his retirement setting up the train layout at his Cortland home. A retirement activity that he and Susan intend to share is visiting National Parks. And they also expect to babysit their granddaughter a lot.

Paul Guenette ’74

The Center for Strategic and International Studies recently featured Paul’s work in its column “Careers in Development.” Paul is executive vice president for communications at ACDI/VOCA, a private, nonprofit organization that promotes broad-based economic growth, higher living standards, and vibrant communities in low-income countries and emerging democracies. Paul’s career in agriculture, food security, and global development spans 40 years and has taken him to 70 countries, including long-term assignments in Senegal, Mauritania, Indonesia, Barbados, and Kenya. In those locations he headed agribusiness programs that incorporated activities in policy reform, business group strengthening, commercial marketing, equity financing, and investment promotion. Paul earned his B.A. at K in theatre arts and studied abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France. He earned a M.B.A. at Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Nancy Huntly ’77

Nancy is the Scientist in Residency Fellow for the month of September at the Sitka Sound Science Center. Nancy is a professor in the biology department and the director of the ecology center at Utah State University (Logan). She also chairs the committee that administers Science Unwrapped, the USU College of Science public engagement program. She earned her B.A. in biology at K and her Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Arizona. Since 2004 she has studied the human ecology of the northern Gulf of Alaska region. Her interests in Alaska are particularly in landscape legacies, food webs, and sustainable resource use.

Kathryn Lasley Brod ’78

Kathryn is the chief executive officer of LeadingAge Ohio, a trade group for nonprofit nursing homes and other services to seniors. Prior to taking the position at LeadingAge, Kathryn worked as an independent strategic consultant to national nonprofit groups. She has more than 25 years experience advising the senior living sector.

Robert MacCoun ’80

Robert holds a joint appointment as a professor of law at Stanford Law School and as a senior fellow with the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. Robert is a renowned psychologist and behavioral scientist who has studied illicit drug use, drug policy, alternative dispute resolution, judgment and decision making, social influence, and bias in the use and interpretation of research evidence. His analyses of military unit cohesion were cited during “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” debates about inclusion of gays and lesbians in the military. Prior to his faculty appointment at Stanford Law School, he was a member of the faculties of Berkeley Law School and the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley.

Sherri Stam ’82

Sherri recently e-published her novel, That Car, on Kindle.

Mary Sauer-Games ’83

Mary has been named vice president for product management at Online Computer Library Center (OCLC). She is responsible for OCLC products and services around the world. She comes to OCLC from the American Psychological Association, where she managed PsycINFO database products and led an organization of 70 staff. Mary is a board member of the National Federation of Advanced Information Services, a global organization that serves the information community. She also sits on the board of CrossRef, an association of publishers that develops shared infrastructure to support more effective scholarly communications. She earned her B.A. in economics and studied abroad in Clermont-Ferrand, France. She earned a M.B.A. from the University of Michigan.

Suzanne (Borsum) Kamata ’87

Suzanne published her third novel, Screaming Divas, about an all-girl band in 1980s South Carolina. The book was acquired and edited by New York Times bestselling author-turned-editor Jacquelyn Mitchard for Adams Media/Merit Press.

Sarah Colegrove ’89

Sarah fulfilled a lifelong dream when she completed a solo swim of 21 miles across Lake St. Clair. She did the swim on August 7, and it took nine hours and 27 minutes. Colegrove is a lifelong swimmer (including her tenure as a member of the Hornet swim team), and she has competed in several triathlons, including three Ironman competitions. Lake St. Clair’s 21-mile distance is the same as that of the English Channel. Sarah works as an attorney and lives in Grosse Pointe, Mich. She plans to swim the Straits of Mackinac next year.

Michelle (Swanson) Heimbuch ’90

Michelle was one member of a four-person trip to India and Nepal in 2014. She was joined by her husband, Bob (class of 1989) and their friends Matt Greff ’89 and Rene (Wotschak) Greff ’88. Pictured are (l-r): Michelle, Bob, Matt, and Rene.

 

Jeff Royce ’90

Jeff has been named president of the Grand Rapids (Mich.)-based company, Iserv, an integrated connectivity and managed services provider. He is responsible for leading new business initiatives, with a focus on new technologies, customer service, and customer value. Jeff previously directed GR Current, a Grand Rapids-based incubator for tech companies in West Michigan. Jeff earned his B.A. in physics at K. He studied abroad in Madrid, Spain. He holds advanced degrees in engineering (Lawrence Technology University) and business administration (Georgia State University).

John Lewis ’93

John is an attorney at Tucker Ellis LLP (Cleveland, Ohio). He was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2015. John specializes in commercial litigation. The Best Lawyers lists are based on peer review surveys. John earned his B.A. in political science at K and studied abroad in Hannover, Germany. He earned his law degree from Duquesne University.

Billee Lightvoet-Ward ’94

Billee has joined the Detroit-based law firm Dickinson Wright PLLC. She specializes in health care law, corporate law, and commercial transactions. Previously with the Miller Canfield law firm, Billee represents health care providers, medical device manufacturers and other health care-related entities in corporate and transactional matters. Billee earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and studied abroad in Caceres, Spain. She earned her law degree from DePaul University College of Law. A member of the American Health Lawyers Association, the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan and the Kalamazoo County Bar Association, she has been recognized by her peers as a Michigan Super Lawyers “Rising Star” in health care law.

Greg Raczniak ’96, M.D.

Greg is a physician for the Centers for Disease Control and part of the CDC’s Ebola Surveillance Team in Sierra Leone.

Whitney Waara ’97

Whitney is the new executive director of Land Information Access Association (LIAA), a Traverse City, Mich.-based nonprofit that works with communities across Michigan to improve civic engagement, with a focus on strengthening the cultural and natural resources that support resilient, sustainable communities. Whitney will oversee all LIAA’s programs, including community planning, development, and resource management; website and database development and IT support; geographic information system and mapping services; and LIAA’s UpNorth Media Center, which houses the public- and government-access television services for all of northwest Lower Michigan. Whitney joined LIAA after 10 years at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in Washington, D.C., most recently as vice president of operations. Her professional expertise includes strategic planning, grants, project management, operations, and organizational development. She earned her MBA degree from Kent State University. Whitney now lives in Traverse City with her husband and three sons.

Ben Imdieke ’99

Ben received one of three Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer Fellowships presented by the Ohio State Bar Association this year. The annual fellowships are awarded to exceptional first- or second-year students from Ohio law schools and are designed to honor Moyer’s commitment to improving access to courts, advancing civility and ethics, working with national and international organizations to promote the rule of law, and promoting civic education. Fellowship recipients receive $3,000 from the Moyer Legacy Fund and $1,000 from their law schools to fund a summer opportunity advancing these principles. Ben is a student at the University of Toledo College of Law who will graduate in 2016. He will apply the fellowship to a two-phase research project. In the first phase he plans to survey the state of urban and metropolitan land-use law and conduct a holistic inquiry into land-use plans in Toledo, Detroit, and Cleveland. He will conduct interviews with local stakeholders to gather first-person accounts of land-use law that strengthen the community. He hopes to reduce his findings to a report outlining the state of the law, both demonstrating its application and highlighting best practices. In phase two, he will explore the feasibility of an advanced land-use practicum at the UT College of Law, in which students would partner with local organizations to learn about how land-use decisions happen on the ground and how redevelopment policy can shape the trajectory of the Glass City over the next decades. Ben has a master’s degree from the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy, where he was a Jane Addams-Andrew Carnegie Fellow. His former positions include vice president of development at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center and senior consultant at the national fundraising-consulting firm Campbell & Co.

Matt Lund ’99

Matt performed a free concert in Hinton Music Hall at Middle Tennessee State University (Murfreesboro). He performed originals and covers on vocals and electric guitar with members of his bands. Yes, that’s plural. Matt is a member of three: Rescued Souls, Axe of God, and The Time Raiders. Matt majored in music at K. He earned a Master of Arts in Jazz Studies from MTSU. Since then he has been a highly sought after sideman for performances and recording sessions, and is also active in The Lund McVey Group. He directs the MTSU Commercial Music Ensembles and teaches jazz guitar private instruction and the MTSU course “Introduction to Music.” He also serves as an instructor of guitar lessons and camps at the Middle Tennessee Arts Academy in Smyrna and Gene Ford Music in Brentwood.

Carol Flanigan ’04

Carol has been named director of annual giving at Olivet College. She is responsible for the management and coordination of all giving efforts for the College’s annual giving program. Before taking the position at Olivet College Carol served as the executive assistant to Boston University’s assistant vice president for development. She earned her B.A. at K in English and studied abroad in Bonn, Germany.

Brett Blaauw ’05

Brett co-authored a paper that appeared in the Journal of Applied Ecology. According to paper’s other co-author, Rufus Isaacs, theirs is the first paper that demonstrates an economic advantage for farmers when they create wild bee habitat next to cultivated fields. The two entomologists planted marginal land surrounding blueberry fields with a mix of native perennial wildflowers. Even though the fields were pollinated by honey bees trucked in for the purpose, Brett discovered that, after a period of two years, the rising population of wild bees increased blueberry yields by 10 to 20 percent. That increase more than offset the costs of making the marginal land attractive to wild bee populations. Brett was the lead author on the paper. The K biology major completed his Ph.D. at Michigan State University under Isaacs and is now working at Rutgers University.

Jeremy Reed ’07

Jeremy is a business analyst with Memphis-based digital and web solution company Vanick Digital, where he assists in streamlining the company’s internal requirements gathering and analysis processes. Prior to joining Vanick, Jeremy served as a technical writer at Franklin American Mortgage Company and later as an IT business analyst.

Phoebe Solomon ’13

Phoebe is the deck manager at Indiana Repertory Theater in Indianapolis. IRT is the state’s largest equity theater.

 

Zari Haggenmiller ’13

Zari is an assistant teacher at the Spartan Child Development Center at Michigan State University in East Lansing.

Lor Vang ’14

Lor is one of some 550 U.S. undergraduate and graduate students who received a Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) from the U.S. Department of State. CLS participants spend seven to 10 weeks in intensive language institutes in one of 13 countries. Lor spent the summer in China focusing on the study of Chinese language. CLS Program participants are among the more than 40,000 academic and professional exchange program participants supported annually by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to promote mutual understanding and respect between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

Tendai Mudyiwa ’14

Tendai is a technology analyst at Morgan Stanley.

Ibrahima Thioub

Professor Thioub has been appointed rector of Université Cheikh Anta Diop, a university that serves 80,000 students in Dakar, Senegal. Professor Thioub has been the resident director of Kalamazoo College’s study abroad program in Senegal.