Archives

Sue Coon ’74

Sue retired on June 30, 2017, after a 41-year career in higher education. She served as manager of Stewart Theatre at North Carolina State University for eight years, then spent 33 years at Duke University as director of cultural affairs, dean of university life, and most recently as senior assistant director of undergraduate admissions. Among the guests at the retirement party were Carolyn Scott ’74. Carolyn, Sue and John Whisler ’74 lived at the same home in Caen during study abroad. In her retirement, Sue will enjoy seeing more of husband Conrad Weiser, her children and their spouses, and her adorable grandson.   “If you are ever visiting the Triangle area of North Carolina, please stop by!” She can be reached at susancoon2@gmail.com.

Jessica Halonen ’94

Jessica juried the University of North Dakota Department of Art & Design annual Student Art Collective competition in the University’s Hughes Fine Arts Center. Jessica is assistant professor in the Department of Art and Art History at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. She received her M.F.A. degree in painting from Washington University in Saint Louis. She has been an artist-in-residence at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire and a Core Fellow at the Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, in Houston, Texas.

David Chapman ’69

David is on Fulbright Fellowship this spring during which time he is affiliated with the Malaysia National Higher Education Research Institute in Penang. During this fellowship he gave an invited presentation–“Widely Recognized Problems, Controversial Solutions: Issues and Strategies for Higher Education Development in East Asia”–to faculty and students at the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) in Kuala Lumpur. David is a professor in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development. During his fellowship in Malaysia he represented the university in signing a memorandum of understanding with IIUM that may eventually lead to faculty exchanges, joint internship programs, and other collaborative educational projects.

Donald Stowe ’56

Don died on September 11, 2014. He was a lifelong resident of Kalamazoo and earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from K. He was a member of the men’s Hornet tennis team and part of the 1956 undefeated squad. He also helped his father, Allen Stowe (a professor of chemistry at K from 1928 to 1957), run the National Junior Tennis Championships for many years. Don earned a master’s degree from Western Michigan University and was a chemistry teacher at Portage Central High School for 37 years. He also was a longtime tennis coach at the school.  Don’s extraordinary ability in the classroom was recognized by the American Chemical Society (Kalamazoo Section) with a Science Teacher of the Year Award. Don combined his military service with his love of tennis. He served in the United States Army during the Korean War and led his team to the First Infantry Division Tennis Championships in 1954. Don was involved in Boy Scouts and an active member of the Kalamazoo Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families. He had an avid love of photography and computers and designed the first web page for his church. Don is survived by his wife, Jan, their three children, nine grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Katina Bitsicas ’11

Katina lives in Columbia, Missouri, where she is an assistant teaching professor of digital storytelling at the University of Missouri. At K Katina earned her B.A. in art and participated in the GLCA Arts Program (New York City). She earned a post-baccalaureate degree from from SACI in Florence, Italy, and a M.F.A. from the University of South Florida. Katina’s work has been shown both nationally and internationally, and she has exhibited in multiple venues and festivals such as The Ringling in Sarasota, Florida; Project Space Kleiner Salon in Berlin, Germany; Index Art Center in Newark, New Jersey; Tractionarts in Los Angeles, California; and AIVA Video Art Festival in Finspång, Sweden.

David Chapman ’69

David is the Distinguished International Professor and Birkmaier Professor of Education Leadership at the University of Minnesota.  He teaches in the graduate program in international and comparative education and co-directs a multi-year, multi-country project assessing the impact of entrepreneurship training on the livelihoods of economically disadvantaged youth in East Africa.  He is a frequent consultant to the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, USAID and other organizations engaged in international development of education systems.  He credits his foreign study experience (Sierra Leone) at K as an important factor in choosing a career in international development.

Bethany Johnson ’07

Bethany Johnson joins Texas State UniversityBethany, an alumna of the Kalamazoo College art department, has joined Texas State University this fall as assistant professor in the School of Art & Design. After graduating from K, Bethany earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where she also served as a lecturer after completing her MFA. In her tenure-track position at Texas State, Bethany will continue to develop her own creative work alongside her coursework in drawing and two-dimensional design. The piece pictured above is titled “We Live on a Planet.” You can see more of Bethany’s work at bethanyjo.com.

Mike Carlson ’02

Mike is a distinguished alumnus (political science major) and a great intramural softball teammate (he played on a championship team when he was a staff member at K). Mike recently shared a professional and personal connection that started with a LuxEsto class note.

“Years ago (2007, I believe),” wrote Mike, “LuxEsto published an update on my life at a new Denver-area I.B. elementary school where I was teaching.  Mike Galvin ’70, an accomplished educator and fellow K grad living in Colorado, read the blurb and e-mailed me. Shortly thereafter we talked on the phone and agreed to meet in person.  Our connection was instantly a strong one.

“Over the last several years, Mike and I have become even closer, partly because my career path seems to be mimicking his.  We both fell into teaching seemingly by accident (while substitute teaching–he in Chicago, me in Denver) and fell in love with it.  We both started as elementary teachers.  He became a principal and eventually a consultant to school principals and superintendents through his work with McRel, an organization that specializes in mentoring school leaders and leading educator evaluations.  Eventually, Mike started up his own consulting business.  Somehow, he has also found the time to mentor me!

“I recently completed my master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Denver.  When I was looking for a position that would help me grow as a school leader, Mike steered me toward the Sheridan School District, which has been my home this year. I work as the district’s middle school instructional coach.  I am back on the market, looking for school principal/director positions, and  Mike is again an invaluable resource to me as I search.

“Mike and I have also enjoyed meeting up and discovering more similarities between our lives–including the fact that both of our wives have taught French! He also met with me the day my father died. Having him in my life has meant a great deal, personally and professionally, and it all resulted from a serendipitous connection through LuxEsto.”

Vic Braden ’51

Vic died on October 6, 2014. He was 85 years old and arguably the most well-known graduate of Kalamazoo College. He matriculated to K from Monroe (Mich.) High School, where he had been a multi-sport athlete (football, basketball, baseball, and tennis). He was the first high school tennis player to win the state singles championship three times. At K he earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology and played on the Hornet men’s tennis team. He served as team captain his senior year, the same year he took the MIAA singles championship. He also was MIAA doubles champion in 1949 and 1951. After graduation he was the assistant basketball coach at the University of Toledo, and he played on the professional tennis circuit. Vic moved to California and earned his master’s degree in educational psychology (California State University). He began study for his doctorate in psychology (USC) but discontinued that work in order to become the chief tennis professional at a tennis club. It was in the teaching of tennis that Vic achieved his international renown. In 1971 he started the Vic Braden Tennis College in Coto de Caza, Calif. That effort later expanded to include campuses in Florida and Utah and traveled throughout the United States, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, and China. He taught thousands of players and lectured in all 50 states. His players included champions like Tracy Austin, and yet he seemed to have a special spot in his heart for the average weekend hacker. He combined humor and psychology to make every student as proficient as she or he could be. Vic hosted a tennis instructional show on public television in the early 1980s that was carried by 238 stations. He appeared on NBC, made instructional videos, and authored eight books. The New York Times obituary (“Vic Braden, Tennis’s Pied Piper, Dies at 85,” Douglas Martin) noted that “Mr. Braden’s forte was psychology, which he thought could nearly work miracles. He told Sports Illustrated that if he were given eight good 13-year-old players–‘I don’t mean great athletes,’ he specified–he could have all of them in the Wimbledon quarterfinals at 18. Such improbable success, he said, would involve learning to think differently. ‘The moment of enlightenment,’ he said, ‘is when a person’s dreams of possibilities become images of probabilities.’” In recognition of his lifetime achievements, Vic was presented an honorary degree from his alma mater in April of 2008. He is pictured (center, in the photo at left) at that event, held in Stetson Chapel, with the late Professor and Coach Emeritus George Acker (left) and Professor of Physical Education and Volleyball Coach Jeanne Hess.