Carla died on August 17, 2014. She was born in Bay City, Mich., and attended Kalamazoo College. She worked as a social worker in Saginaw before moving to Washington, D.C., where she worked for the United States Senate Office of the Sergeant at Arms. She was a longtime advocate for women and children.
Stephen was selected to a three-year term on the Ann Arbor Parks Advisory Commission. He is a senior attorney in the commercial litigation practice group at the Ann Arbor office of the law firm, Dykema. Stephen also volunteers in various other community roles. He has been a board member for the Ann Arbor YMCA, the Community Action Network Southeast, and the Old West Side Association. Stephen earned his bachelor’s degree in political science at K and studied abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico. He earned his J.D. from the University of Wisconsin.
Katharine joined the Associated Petroleum Industries of Michigan as a legislative assistant. Prior to taking that position she was the natural resources, tourism, and environmental policy adviser and associate legal counsel in the Michigan’s House Republican Policy Office. Katharine earned her B.A. in psychology at K and studied abroad in Madrid, Spain. She earned her law degree from Vermont Law School.
Many Michiganders (and more) have walked the five-mile Mackinac Bridge on Labor Day, an annual event. The bridge spans the Straits of Mackinac. On Labor Day 2015 the 65,000 bridge walkers might have looked down to see 84 swimmers crossing the Straits. Yes, swimmers! And one of them was Sarah. Sarah’s swim was part of a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity. The swimmers raised more than $325,000 for Habitat’s neighborhood revitalization program. Twelve teams, each with seven swimmers, attempted the crossing. “The water was not as cold as expected,” said Sarah, “but the wind, strong current and rough water conditions made the swim very challenging.” Sarah swam in tandem with the 65,000 walkers and finished on the shores of the Straits at Fort Michilimackinac in the Lower Peninsula. “Not all swimmers finished,” added Sarah, “and one group required more than eight hours to complete the swim.” Sarah’s group swam the distance in just under three hours. “It was an epic swim for a great cause!”
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has appointed Brian to the Illinois State Museum Board. Brian has more than 35 years of experience in natural resources preservation and analysis. His résumé also includes oversight of the Illinois State Museum when he served in the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). Brian is the deputy executive director of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois, where he manages strategic planning and coordinates programs across the five Illinois scientific surveys. Previously, he was the director of institutional improvement at Lincoln Land Community College where he coordinated accreditation compliance, strategic planning and institutional research. Brian also worked for IDNR for nearly 20 years. At K Brian majored in biology. He holds a master’s degree from DePauw University and earned his Ph.D. in biology from the University of Louisville.
Retirement, or “retirement,” can be as alive and crackling as the mind is curious and courageous. So it is with Gail. Her recent writing is incandescent. Her poem, “Devastated,” appeared in the Southern Review last spring. Her essay “Gloria,” was published in PHOEBE. “That essay,” Gail wrote, “is about a ‘colored’ baby doll I was given as a little girl, about the suburban relationship to Detroit, and about white racial confusion and anxiety.” Gail is a trenchant and powerful essayist. Her essay, “A Creature, Stirring,” won the New Ohio Review’s nonfiction contest, judged by Elena Passarello. The essay is part of Gail’s just finished memoir, Widow’s Walk.
Gail keeps busy in other ways besides writing. Last month she became chair of the YWCA-Kalamazoo Board of Directors. She has offered several writing workshops locally, on generating memoir (at Kazoo Books and two branches of the Kalamazoo Public Library) and on writing from life’s thresholds (at the Great Lakes Commonwealth of Letters in Grand Rapids). She also co-facilitated three workshops on building white anti-racist allies for the local organization SHARE–headed by alumna Donna (Coleman) Odom ’67. Last November Gail co-facilitated a fourth workshop, with local poet/activist Denise Miller, at the Summit on Racism.
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.
Will is working on his master’s degree in public administration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also works as a graduate research assistant at the university.
Scott was named assistant vice president of investments at Wells Fargo Advisors (Aspen, Colo.). Scott earned his B.A. in economics and business at K and studied abroad in Madrid, Spain. Scott also is a lieutenant and 11-year member of the Basalt (Colo.) and Rural Fire Protection District. He and his wife and their three children live in Basalt.
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.