Sarah lives in Chicago and is a research associate for Food Tank: The Food Think Tank. The Food Tank highlights solutions to problems in food systems. Sarah majored in biology and art at K. She went on to graduate from DePaul University with her M.S. in International Public Service. She has traveled to many parts of the world, working to set up medical clinics, filming documentaries, practicing yoga, developing her cross cultural understanding, and building community centers.
Congratulations to Danny, whose documentary film, “The Stories They Tell,” was a 2015 official selection of the Lake Erie Arts and Film Festival, which took place in September. For more than 15 years, Kalamazoo College Professor of Psychology Sui-Lan Tan (who is married to Danny) partnered every Kalamazoo College student in her Developmental Psychology class with a child at Woodward Elementary School to create a children’s book together. The “Co-Authorship Project” has expanded education beyond the four walls of the classroom–giving psychology students rich insights into the development of young children, who in turn learn about literacy, social interaction and perhaps even catch a glimpse of their potential futures.
Megan received the 2014 Henry D. Messer Youth Activist Award for her work in Michigan’s LGBT equality movement. The award is one of the annual Catalyst Awards from Equality Michigan. As Community Engagement Coordinator of the Kalamazoo Gay and Lesbian Resource Center since late 2012, Megan has had an impact not only in the Kalamazoo area, but across Michigan. During her K days, she worked with Habitat for Humanity as an AmeriCorps volunteer and with Queers for Economic Justice in New York. Megan will received her award at Equality Michigan’s annual dinner in February.
Ian is campaign manager for Robert Wittenberg, Democratic Party candidate for the 27th District, Michigan House of Representatives. Ian grew up in Pleasant Ridge, Mich., and has worked on numerous electoral races in the area.
Ron is currently in Micronesia, on assignment with the Peace Corps. “The Peace Corps has a relatively young program for former Peace Corps Volunteers called Peace Corps Response,” explained Ron. “The program is for older folks who have a specific skill set for a specific job in countries around the world. I will be working with the fledgling health-care computer based information system being implemented in the State of Yap,” one of the four states that compose the Federated States of Micronesia (the other three are Kosrae, Pohnpei and Chuuk). Ron’s volunteer position will last a year.
Lois died on December 4, 2013. She was 88. She was the loving mother of Martha Wright ’81 and mother-in-law of Tim Pobuda ’81. After leaving K to marry, she earned a B.S. in education from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Arts from Michigan State University. She was an assistant adjunct professor in the Department of Human Development, College of Human Medicine at MSU. She also served as a speech and language pathologist and early childhood specialist in the Flint Community Schools, and she was the first female department head of the Department of Education at the Mott Children’s Health Center in Flint. She served on numerous community boards including the Greater Flint/Thumb Area 4C Association and Easter Seals. Lois was an enthusiastic patron of the arts, a Friend of the Stratford Shakespearean Festival in her home town, and a member of the Smithsonian and the Flint Institute of Arts. She traveled the globe, visiting every continent, walked on the Great Wall of China twice, rode an elephant in India, saw the Serengeti from a hot air balloon, and the polar bears from a tundra buggy in Churchill, Manitoba. She loved theater, books, movies, dolls, miniatures, gardening, knitting, sewing, and spending time with her family.
In July of 2015 Melanie, an ordained United Methodist pastor since 1991, will begin serving as the clergy assistant to the Bishop of The Michigan Area of the United Methodist Church. In this new role Melanie will be based in Lansing and will be working with the Bishop to help serve the 900 United Methodist congregations of Michigan as well as the communities in which these congregations are located. The Spanish major she earned at K has served her well during her work through many church and community efforts with the growing U.S. Latino population. Melanie also is completing four years as the district superintendent of the Detroit Renaissance District, where in 2012 she started a now annual event called Hands 4 Detroit, a day of community service, which has involved more than 1,200 volunteers each year who roll up their sleeves and work. Volunteers have boarded up old houses, planted community gardens, painted, cleaned up trash, and even built a soccer field!
Danielle is working on her M.F.A. degree in poetry at George Mason University in Washington, D.C. She is the poetry editor of So To Speak literary journal. She recently published a chapbook of contrapuntal poetry, Dialogue with the Dead, through Finishing Line Press. In Spring 2015, she was a visiting writer at K where her chapbook was taught in intermediate and advanced poetry classes. She currently works as a T.A. at George Mason, teaching undergraduate English composition and an Arab-American literature course. Her working-thesis project involves creating conversation among marginalized communities through collaboration and de-centering authorship.
Margaret, who went by the name of Ranny, died on April 7, 2014 at the age of 80. She was granddaughter of the founder of the Dow Chemical Company. Ranny received an honorary degree from Kalamazoo College in 2009, and her family foundation was a major benefactor to the College. She earned a B.A. degree from Carleton College (Northfield, Minn.) and was awarded honorary doctorates from many institutions of higher education. For 51 years Ranny served as a trustee for the Herbert H. and Grace A. Down Foundation, and she led the foundation as its president since 2000. She also served as a trustee of the Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation since 1962. Ranny was active in many important local, state, and national causes and strong believer in philanthropic collaboration.
Phil was awarded the David R. Whitwam Outstanding Achievement Award, one of the highest honors bestowed by Cornerstone Alliance, a business retention and expansion organization serving Berrien County, Michigan. Phil is treasurer of the Southshore Companies, a real estate investment and development team in St. Joseph, Michigan. He has been with Southshore for 30 years. Prior to that he was senior manager for Price Waterhouse for nine years. The Whitwam award annually recognizes a community member who has achieved success through corporate leadership and involvement in community improvement. Phil is a long time member of the Cornerstone Alliance Board of Directors and its executive committee. He also serves on the City of St. Joseph Planning Commission and the board of directors of the St. Joseph Public Schools Foundation. Additionally, he is a trustee of the Berrien Community Foundation, and is the co-leader on the Michigan’s Great Southwest Leadership Council’s Best Practice Governance, Government Support and Economic Development committee.