Archives

Barbara (Rasmussen) Engelhardt ’45

Barbara died on February 14, 2014. She was 90 years old.  Born and reared in Kalamazoo, she earned her B.A. degree from K with a major in French. After earning her Master’s Degree in French at Wellesley College, she was an instructor in Romance Languages at Ripon College (Ripon, Wisconsin), where she met her future husband Melvin. They moved to Bethesda, Md., in 1954. In Bethesda she was very active in the Suburban Women’s Club. She later worked as a program administrator and editorial assistant for the international headquarters of the General Federation of Women’s Club.

Dan Slattery ’79

Dan  is a painter who specializes in watercolors. The former president of the Northern Indiana Artists, Inc. , had an exhibit in his hometown (Mount Morris, Michigan), his first one there. Dan is a graduate of Mount Morris High School. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and earned a law degree from University of Michigan. He worked as an attorney for 18 years. Dan also teaches watercolor workshops with a focus on landscapes and seascapes. He also has worked in acrylic, oils, pen and ink, pastels, and ink washes.

Paul Mighion ’79, D.D.S.

Paul received the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) Mastership Award during the AGD 2015 annual meeting, which took place this past June in San Francisco. The Mastership Award is the AGD’s highest honor and one of the most respected designations within the profession. To earn this award, Paul completed more than 1,100 hours of dental continuing education. As a Mastership Award recipient, Paul joins more than 2,200 active AGD Masters who have gone above and beyond the basic requirements to care for their patients’ oral health. The AGD has more than 39,000 members.

June (Wilmsen) Severance ’45

June has published, at age 90, From the Inside: A Look at Nursing Homes and Their Patients in Today’s Elder Care System. The book provides her insider look at the day-to-day happenings of  nursing homes both as a resident and a friend to residents.  Central to those observations is her unique mix of humor, introspection, and occasional depression as she faced the work of getting well and coping with pain.

During the last decade June spent nine months in three different nursing homes in Montana and the Midwest. “People need to know what it’s like to be in a nursing home,” she said.

Though it occurred decades ago, her father’s nursing home stay in New York  remains seared into her memory, and was the impetus for the book.   “I was so furious,” she remembers.  “It was so negative.  To be in a nursing home is to truly be someone different.”  But, over the years, she says, she learned that “Nursing homes are NOT the worst thing in the world.  I came to scorn and stayed to praise,” she concludes.

June enrolled in Kalamazoo College at the age of 16.  She majored in English and theatre. The latter may not be surprising, given the fact that she had been a child performer at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. During her student days at K, a weekly campus segment she did on the local radio station eventually became a full-time job with CBS-WKZO in Kalamazoo. She worked on a feature called “News of Women Today,” which carried stories on women’s responses to World War II throughout the world and the effect the war had on women’s status and work.

June and her husband, Wayne, have lived near Whitehall, Montana for 20 years.  They spent most of their marriage in East Aurora, N.Y., where Wayne worked for Fisher-Price.  June earned her M.A.  at Syracuse University and taught there. She also directed plays at both the Buffalo and the East Aurora theaters. And she performed her own material in a series of one-woman shows. She and Wayne eventually moved west to be closer to their two sons and five grandchildren. She helped establish a theatre group in Whitehall. For four years, “Jefferson Valley Presents” staged an outdoor dinner theatre production on the Lewis and Clark expedition. June wrote the script, performed, and helped with the costuming.

Erick Smith ’67

Erick died on September 3, 2014. He came to K from Addison, Mich., majored in mathematics, and studied abroad in Erlangen, Germany. He later earned a Master’s degree in math from Michigan State University. He served as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War. His life pursuits alternated between his academic interests and farming. He purchased a farm in Brooktondale, N.Y., where he and his family grew strawberries for 17 years. He returned to academia at Cornell University, earning a Master’s degree in agricultural economics and a Ph.D. in mathematics education. He then moved to Chicago and taught math education at the University of Illinois-Chicago. But he missed the rural life and returned to his farm in Brooktondale and taught briefly at Cornell and Ithaca College. He began farming full time with Cayuga Pure Organics, a farm he developed and grew that was committed to locally produced, sustainable, organic food.

James Pollock ’04, Ph.D.

James accepted a position as a psychologist at Columbia University (New York City). His clinical competencies include individual psychotherapy for mood and anxiety disorders, identity issues, LGBTQ mental health, and behavioral health issues. He has extensive experience in addictions treatment, and he works with clients to develop individualized substance use treatment plans. At K he majored in psychology and studied abroad in Bonn, Germany. He earned his Ph.D. at New York University.

Michelle Gigowski ’11

Michelle is an instructor for Appraisal University, an online continuing education service for real estate appraisers. She also works with Value It Press, a publishing house in Portage, Michigan. Michelle, who majored at K in biology and business, writes and consults in health care administration, valuation practices, and entrepreneurship. Kalamazoo College Associate Professor of Economics and Business Timothy Moffit ’80, Ph.D., is also an Appraisal University instructor.

Jon Grier ’75

Jon was recently cited with two awards: an Artist Fellowship in Music Composition (bestowed by the South Carolina Arts Commission) and the Carl Blair Award for Commitment to Arts Education (given by the Greenville Metropolitan Arts Council). Jon has been teaching music theory and history at the Greenville Fine Arts Center, a magnet high school of the arts, since 1988. And he sends a hearty shout out to the class of ’75!