Winter 2022 Class Notes

Class Notes include professional accomplishments, awards, retirements, weddings, obituaries and other news about Western Washington University alumni; they’re gathered from published reports and communication from alumni themselves.

If you have an update you’d like us to share in Class Notes, please email it to window@wwu.edu. Tell us what’s new with you, and we’ll publish it in the next edition and online.

These are the class notes for this issue. See all class notes here.

Class Notes (General)

Colin Kersey - 1969

Colin Kersey, B.A., English and ‘70, BAE, recently released his second novel, “Swimming with the Angels,” through Atmosphere Press. His first novel, “Soul Catcher,” was published by St. Martin’s Press in 1995.

Jeannie Darneille - 1971

Jeannie Darneille, B.A., art history, recently left the Washington State Senate after 21 years of service representing the 27th District (Tacoma) and serving as the chair for the Human Services, Rehabilitation, and Reentry Committee. She is now assistant secretary overseeing the Women’s Prison Division of the Department of Corrections. Prior to running for public office, she spent 30 years directing nonprofit social service agencies.

Suzi Harrod - 1972

Gary, B.A., English and Suzi Harrod, BAE, ’72, history-secondary, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Oct. 9, 2021.

Betty Cobbs - 1973

Betty Cobbs, certificate, and ’76, MAE, school administration, recently received the Trustee of the Year Leadership Award from the Washington State Association of College Trustees. Betty, a Distinguished Alumna of Woodring College of Education, is the chair of Everett Community College Board of Trustees and principal of Woodside Elementary in Bothell.

Gary Harrod - 1974

Gary, B.A., English and Suzi Harrod, BAE, ’72, history-secondary, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Oct. 9, 2021.

Thomas Moak - 1975

Thomas Moak, B.A., Spanish-special education, retired from Mid- Columbia Libraries after 41 years as a librarian and manager. He continues to serve as a Port of Kennewick commissioner and previously served on the Kennewick City Council and in the Washington state House of Representatives.

Duncan Wilson - 1979

Duncan Wilson, B.A., business administration, has served as town administrator for Friday Harbor since 2012 and recently announced his plan to retire in January.

Debora Juarez - 1983

Debora Juarez (Fairhaven Interdisciplinary Concentration) was elected to the Seattle City Council. Juarez is a former King County Superior Court Judge, former director of the Governor’s Office of Indian Affairs and a citizen of the Blackfeet Nation.

Kim Studeman - 1986

Kim Studeman, BAE, business education, is a business teacher at Clover Park High School, where she has taught for 35 years.

Susan Connelly Maury - 1988

Susan Connelly Maury, B.A., English, just finished her Ph.D. in music psychology at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Her husband, Matthew Maury, ’89, B.A. international business, is the CEO for Tearfund Australia, a faith-based international relief organization that works with local groups in 20 countries around the world to deliver community development projects in areas where poverty is most extreme. The Maurys settled in Australia after more than 15 years living and working in several African countries doing community development work with groups such as Habitat for Humanity.

Christine Hamp - 1989

Christine Hamp, B.A., public policy administration, a division chief and volunteer firefighter with Spokane County Fire District No. 9 in Nine Mile Falls, was recently elected vice president of the National Grange at the organization’s 2021 convention in Wichita.

Matthew Maury - 1989

Susan Connelly Maury, B.A., English, just finished her Ph.D. in music psychology at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Her husband, Matthew Maury, ’89, B.A. international business, is the CEO for Tearfund Australia, a faith-based international relief organization that works with local groups in 20 countries around the world to deliver community development projects in areas where poverty is most extreme. The Maurys settled in Australia after more than 15 years living and working in several African countries doing community development work with groups such as Habitat for Humanity.

W. Houston Dougharty - 1994

W. Houston Dougharty, M.Ed., student personnel administration, is vice president of Student Affairs at Hofstra University and recently received the 2022 Scott Goodnight Award for Outstanding Performance as a Dean from NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

Siobhán Ní Dhonacha, - 1995

Siobhán Ní Dhonacha, B.A., Fairhaven interdisciplinary concentration, is an assistant faculty specialist at University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, where she is an academic advisor for the Honors Program and a Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Fellow.

Elizabeth Hovde - 1996

Elizabeth Hovde, B.A., journalism, has left newspaper life and is now a policy analyst for Washington Policy Center, an independent, nonprofit think tank that promotes public policy based on free-market solutions.

Aaron Pritchard - 1997

Aaron Pritchard, B.A., Fairhaven interdisciplinary concentration, was recently named chief of staff for the Port of Seattle commission.

Candace C. Fleischer - 2005

Candace C. Fleischer, B.S., and ‘07, M.S., chemistry, is the director of the Biomedical Spectroscopy and Imaging Laboratory at Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University in Atlanta. She recently received a $1.5 million New Innovator Award from the National Institutes of Health. Her research includes the development of magnetic resonance-based methods for identifying inflammatory biomarkers in malignant brain tumors. She and her colleagues are also studying ways to noninvasively measure brain temperature, which is important for people who have suffered a brain injury.

Kristen Deptula - 2006

Kristen Deptula, B.A., general studies, owns Canalside Inn in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, which was named “Best Bed and Breakfast Inn” by Delaware Today magazine in 2020 and 2021.

Dan Erickson - 2007

Dan Erickson, ’07, B.A., creative writing, is the creator and an executive producer of “Severance,” a series that debuted Feb. 18 on Apple TV+. The workplace thriller is directed by Ben Stiller and stars Adam Scott, Patricia Arquette and John Turturro.

Eric Robison - 2010

Eric Robison, B.A., Fairhaven interdisciplinary concentration, became the city of Spokane Valley’s housing and homeless coordinator.

Ryan Shay - 2011

Ryan Shay, B.A., political science, recently became a director with Faegre Drinker Consulting in Washington, D.C. Previously, he worked as a legislative director for U.S. Rep Susie Lee of Nevada and has also worked on legislative issues for Sen. Maria Cantwell and U.S. Rep André Carson of Indiana.

Rashawn Nadine Scott - 2011

Rashawn Nadine Scott, theatre, is an actress and comedian who has appeared on “Empire” and “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.” After several years with Second City in Chicago, Scott recently moved to Los Angeles to perform in the 2019 CBS Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase and will be a part of the upcoming Comedy Central series, “South Side.”

Dario Ré - 2011

Dario Ré is an singer-songwriter whose new solo album, “Holy Moon,” will be released May 6. Later in May, Dario and his seven-piece band Heat Speak are starting their West Coast tour in Bellingham.

Brent Bode - 2013

Brent Bode, B.A., urban planning, completed his M.Ed. in adult and higher education in December 2020 at Western, where he’s the assistant director of Admissions.

Dan Langager - 2013

Dan Langager, B.A., creative writing, became the technical communications manager for the Northwest Horticultural Council. Previously, Dan was a broadcast reporter in the Wenatchee Valley and the media relations manager for Yakima Valley Tourism.

Brent Bode - 2013

Brent Bode, B.A., urban planning, completed his M.Ed. in adult and higher education in December 2020 at Western, where he’s the assistant director of Admissions.

Will Chen - 2013

Will Chen, MBA, was recently elected to the Edmonds City Council. He runs a CPA practice in the city.

Megan Dechaine - 2014

Megan Dechaine, B.A., theatre, recently became the production stage manager for the Bill T. Jones/ Arnie Zane Co. and New York Live Arts in New York City.

Dylan Gervais - 2015

Anna Wulfekuhle, B.A., theatre, and Dylan Gervais, ’15, B.A., theatre, performed in Tennessee Williams’ “Battle of Angels” with the physical theater ensemble Blessed Unrest in September 2021. The show ran for a weekend in New York City at The New Ohio Theater before traveling north to Provincetown, Massachusetts, to headline the Tennessee Williams Theater Festival. Anna and Dylan met Blessed Unrest’s Artistic Director (and director of this play) Jessica Burr through workshops at Western and at the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival, which WWU theatre students attend annually.

Kendall Uyeji - 2016

Kendall Uyeji, B.A., theatre, is a senior producer at Pork Filled Productions, which recently staged “Resilience! A 24-Hour AAPI Play Festival” featuring seven 10-minute plays all conceived, written, rehearsed and performed within 24 hours by teams of Asian American writers, directors and actors.

Anna Wulfekuhle - 2016

Anna Wulfekuhle, B.A., theatre, and Dylan Gervais, ’15, B.A., theatre, performed in Tennessee Williams’ “Battle of Angels” with the physical theater ensemble Blessed Unrest in September 2021. The show ran for a weekend in New York City at The New Ohio Theater before traveling north to Provincetown, Massachusetts, to headline the Tennessee Williams Theater Festival. Anna and Dylan met Blessed Unrest’s Artistic Director (and director of this play) Jessica Burr through workshops at Western and at the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival, which WWU theatre students attend annually.

Kendall Kracke - 2019

Kendall Kracke, B.A., Chinese language and culture, is a Ph.D. candidate in Chinese language education at Portland State University and teaches Chinese at a local secondary school. She’s also the global champion of the 20th “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students.

Obituaries

Meredith Runestrand - 1950

Meredith Runestrand, 94, a talented painter and homemaker in a large family that included 10 WWU alumni among her children and grandchildren, on Oct. 23, 2021.

Keith E. Stearns - 1955

Keith E. Stearns, 91, a Vancouver resident, on April 27, 2021.

Marion Norma Seelye - 1964

Marion Norma Seelye, 95, who went back to school after having five children and became a junior high school math teacher in South Kitsap, on Feb. 22, 2020, in Anacortes.

John Garber - 1972

John Garber, 75, a Marine Corps veteran who worked in the aviation insurance industry, on Aug. 24, 2021, in Spokane.

Theodore Bestor - 1973

Theodore Bestor, 69, Distinguished Alumnus and Reischauer Institute Professor of Social Anthropology and Japanese Studies at Harvard University, on July 1, 2021, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His research specialized in contemporary urban Japanese society and culture, particularly the Tsukiji fish market of Tokyo. The Japanese government awarded him the Order of the Rising Sun in 2017 for his contributions to the study of Japan and scholarly exchange between Japan and the U.S.

Jonathon Appels - 1974

Jonathon Appels, 67, a longtime adjunct professor who taught in a wide variety of areas at Fordham University, including English, anthropology, dance, history, African and African American studies, theology, comparative literature and urban studies, on Nov. 28, 2021, in Manhattan.

Ethel Lee Mitchell - 1976

Ethel Lee Mitchell, 89, retired area manager of the Juvenile Diversion Program of King County Superior Court and a tireless advocate for justice and equality for Black people, on Aug. 24, 2021.

Donald Gene Slone - 1981

Donald Gene Slone, 65, retired clinical psychologist for Western State Hospital, on Sept. 25, 2021, in Lakewood.

Linda Steitz - 1992

Linda Streitz, 69, a Seattle resident, on April 25, 2019.

State Sen. Doug Ericksen - 1995

State Sen. Doug Ericksen, ’95, M.A., political science, a Republican who represented Whatcom County’s 42nd Legislative District for 22 years, died Dec. 17, 2021, at age 52. Sen. Ericksen served six terms in the state House of Representatives before he was elected to the state Senate in 2010, where he served as a ranking member on the Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee and the Environment, Energy and Technology Committee. His support for Western included funding for the extensive renovation of the Carver building.

Michael Seal - FAC

Michael Seal, 84, founding director of Western’s Vehicle Research Institute, on Oct. 29, 2021. In his 35 years teaching at Western, Seal was the force behind the institute’s innovative research in car design and a series of experimental vehicles that students took to competitions around the country.

Larry Richardson - FAC

Larry Richardson, 86, a 1957 graduate and Western’s longtime debate coach and forensics director, beginning in 1970, on Nov. 22, 2021. The Larry and Marilyn Richardson Endowment at Western supports debate scholarships.

Lee Maracle - FAC

Lee Maracle, 71, former Distinguished Professor of Canadian Culture at Western and a celebrated writer, poet and advocate for Indigenous women and children, on Nov. 11, 2021, in Surrey, B.C. Maracle’s time at Canada House is chronicled in Professor Emeritus Don Alper’s “Bridging the Longest Border.”

Sean Stockburger - ST

Sean Stockburger, 51, the Help Desk manager for Academic Technology & User Services (ATUS), on Jan. 28.

Weddings

Beatrice A. Gilfilen - 1972

Beatrice A. Gilfilen, ’72, BAE, home economics, and Robert Jewell, on Oct. 3, 2021, in Bellingham. Mrs. Jewell writes that she and her new husband started first grade together, graduated high school together in 1946 and are now in their 90s.

Kimberly Connelly - 2000

Kimberly Connelly, ’00, BAE, anthropology- elementary, and Kevin Weeks on Sept. 11, 2021, in Long Branch, New Jersey.

Kellyn McCullough - 2011

Kellyn McCullough, ’11, B.A., psychology, and Louis Tibbs IV on July 9, 2021, in Seattle.

Chloë Cudaback, - 2016

Chloë Cudaback, ’16, B.A., anthropology, and Keaton Toscano, ‘17 B.A., creative writing, on Oct. 9, 2021, in Orting.

Keaton Toscano - 2017

Chloë Cudaback, ’16, B.A., anthropology, and Keaton Toscano, ‘17 B.A., creative writing, on Oct. 9, 2021, in Orting.