Archives

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!

Jim Brown ’87

Jim has been promoted from associate professor to full professor of physics at Wabash College. He earned his B.A. in physics at K and studied abroad in Hannover, Germany. He earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Michigan. Jim has taught at Wabash since 2003. And he won Wabash’s highest teaching honor in 2012. He has served in important leadership roles in the physics department, across the college, and in the scientific community, including as a science policy fellow at the National Science Foundation and as the director of MoNA (the Modular Neutron Array) project. He is the author or co-author of 80 peer-reviewed publications. Jim is currently on sabbatical at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory. He is doing research on the nuclear structure of the most neutron-rich nuclei achievable in order to understand the limits of stability of nuclei with vastly more neutrons than protons.

Amber (Terry) Hupp ’03

Amber was recently promoted to the rank of associate professor of chemistry, with tenure, at the College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, Mass.). At K Amber earned her B.A. in chemistry and studied abroad in Bonn Germany. She earned her Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Michigan State University. Her research mainly focuses  on analyzing biodiesel fuels and biodiesel-diesel blended fuels using gas chromatography and chemometrics. Her work has been published in a variety of places, including the Journal of Chemometrics, the Journal of the American Oil Chemists Society, and Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry. She has been a member of the Holy Cross faculty since 2009. The College of the Holy Cross is a liberal arts undergraduate college with 2,900 students.

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.

Susan Fletcher Lyle ’73

Susan joined her sister, Kristine Fletcher Joubert, for a special recital of music for voice and viola at Calvary Baptist Church in Alexandria, Louisiana. Susan is an associate professor of voice at the Petrie School of Music at Converse College in South Carolina. Susan earned her B.A. in music from K and received her Master of Music degree in vocal performance and opera from the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Maryland. She earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in vocal performance and conducting at the University of Oregon. She has many performances to her credit throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe, with such organizations as the Baltimore Opera, the Handel Choir of Baltimore, the Vancouver Island Music Festival, the Calgary Canada Bach Festival Society, the Long Bay Symphony, Hilton Head Choral Society, South Carolina Opera, and the Bach Consortium in Germany. She is also a master teacher of the functional voice building method and has presented papers on the topic at numerous conferences. She also works with individuals who have injured voices to restore their vocal health. In 1999, Susan had the distinction as the first ever female conductor for the Hungarian Radio Chorus, as part of a live radio broadcast concert.