The Western campus viewed from the air looking out towards the islands and Bellingham bay

Summer 2018 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 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 Note

Corinne Cruver - 1953

Corinne Cruver, 88, of Gig Harbor, a retired teacher in the U.S. and abroad, on Nov. 5, 2017. 

Marilyn Redmond - 1961

Marilyn Redmond, BAE, music education, hosts an online call-in radio talk show, “Love Never Fails,” on

George Bowen - 1965

George Bowen, B.A., biology, is a retired U.S. park ranger who served in 10 national park areas and now lives in Hoodsport.

Don Burgess - 1967

Don Burgess (Physical Education – Secondary; ’71, M.Ed., Physical Education) retired from high school teaching in Victoria, British Columbia, in 1998 and is a longtime rugby player and coach. He’s a mem-ber of the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame. 

Donald F. Houck - 1970

Donald F. Houck, 92, a retired Navy pilot and high school math and physics teacher, on Dec. 16, 2017. 

Steven W. Morrison - 1974

Steven W. Morrison, B.S., ecology, retired in 2013 from the Thurston Regional Planning Council after a career in local government. He’s now the president of the Puget Sound Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists and speaks to genealogical societies throughout the Northwest. In 2016 he received a Scholar Award from the American Society of Genealogists.  

Kristina Bak - 1975

Kristina Bak, B.A., art, has published a new novel, “From Here to Argentina: A Tango Love Story,” about five people with deep secrets who meet in a tango class. 

Carolyn Price - 1977

Carolyn Price, B.A., journalism, is the founder and publisher of OutdoorsNW, a free outdoor recreation magazine with more than 100,000 readers. This year marks the 30th year of publication for the family-owned magazine. 

John McIntyre - 1977

 John McIntyre, BAE, music education, is a songwriter and professor of music at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in Indiana. 

Scarlett Kanistanaux - 1979

Scarlett Kanistanaux, BAE, art – elementary, is an artist in Erie, Colorado, who sculpts portraits of nuns and monks of the Buddhist tradition. Her work has been honored at the Colorado Clay Show and the National Sculpture Society and is now represented at Piece Art Gallery in Vail, Colorado. 

Martin J. Brown - 1979

Martin J. Brown, B.A., sociology, who teaches English and coaches track in Long Island, New York, just published “Chuckanut Dreams,” a coming of age novel. 

Paul Meehan - 1983

Paul Meehan, BAE, physical education, was recently named head men’s soccer coach at Gonzaga University. 

Tom Badger - 1983

Tom Badger, B.S., geology, retired chief engineering geologist for the Department of Transportation, recently gave a talk in Port Townsend about landslide hazards around the state of Washington. He also serves as a consultant on slope hazards and risk management. 

Jordan Rubin - 1990

Jordan Rubin, B.A., broadcast media studies, is the director of community engagement for Northwest Harvest, the largest hunger relief agency the state of Washington. 

Monya Mandich - 1991

Monya Mandich, B.A., political science, is a global senior director at Expedia Media Solutions, overseeing Expedia’s integrated marketing and communications.  

Todd Sproul - 1991

Todd Sproul, B.A., business administration – finance, became vice president of system operations at Alaska Airlines

John VanDyke - 1992

John VanDyke, B.A., PE - exercise and sport science, became the athletic director for Oregon Institute of Technology. 

Maggie Thorleifson - 1992

Jackson High School’s Jack in the Bot robotics team, advised by Maggie Thorleifson, M.Ed., school administration-instructional technology, recently placed second in the FIRST Robotics Competition in Houston, which drew more than 15,000 finalists from around the world

Christina Castorena - 1993

Christina Castorena, M.Ed., student personnel administration, served as interim president at Edmonds Community College, where she is vice president of student services. 

Mary Alida Brisk - 1994

Mary Alida Brisk, B.A., Fairhaven interdisciplinary concentration, became the director of client services for the Virginia Mason Institute. 

Susan Ruth - 1994

Susan Ruth, B.A., English, is the voice behind “Hey Human.” “The podcast is humanist in nature,” Ruth says, “and covers an unbiased view of people’s stories, histories, goals and belief systems.” 

Bridget Gorman - 1994

Bridget Gorman, B.A., sociology, is a sociology professor at Rice University in Houston and was recently named dean of undergraduates. 

Andrew “Durandy” Golub - 1995

Andrew “Durandy” Golub, BA, sociology, has a massive Duran Duran memorabilia collection, some of which he’s displayed in public exhibits and on loan to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. His second book, “The Music Between Us: Concert Ads of Duran Duran,” is available on Amazon and he’s working on a documentary. 

James Werle - 1995

James Werle, BAE, general science-secondary, recently became executive director of the United States Unified Community Anchor Network program for Internet2 a nonprofit computer networking consortium. 

Tedra Meyer - 1996

Tedra Meyer, B.A., journalism, became the East Coast Bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal. Previously, she led a team of WSJ editors focused on breaking news. 

Justin Neal - 1996

Justin Neal’s (Fairhaven Interdisciplinary Concentration) play, “So Damn Proud” received a staged reading at the Seattle Repertory Theater with Northwest Playwrights Alliance on Indigenous Peoples Day in October.

Sam Cushman - 1997

Sam Cushman (Environmental Science) is a research landscape ecologist with the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station and director of the Center for Landscape Science. He recently returned to Western to speak about landscape genetics for the Huxley College of the Environment Speaker Series.

Matt Kaeberlein - 1997

Matt Kaeberlein, B.A., mathematics, B.S., biochemistry, is a pathologist at the University of Washington, where he studies aging at the molecular level to find ways to slow the process of aging, along with chronic disease and disability. 

Kris McDaniel - 1998

Kris McDaniel, B.A., philosophy, is a philosophy professor at Syracuse University. This spring, he was a Pantinga Fellow at the Notre Dame Center for the Philosophy of Religion. Oxford University Press published his “The Fragmentation of Being” in 2017. 

Bryan Champ - 1998

Bryan Champ (Communication) is the research manager for The Oregonian/ in Portland, Oregon.

Julie Reiber - 1998

Julie Reiber, '98, B.Mus, performance, is performing on Broadway as an understudy in five of the six leading roles in “Come from Away.” As a standby, she knows all five roles and can be notified in as little as 30 minutes that she’ll go on stage. Reiber has also performed on Broadway in “Wicked,” as Elphaba, and in “Newsies,” “Bklyn,” “All Shook Up,” and “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.”

Amy Morgan - 1999

Amy Morgan, B.A., journalism – public relations, is senior engagement editor for National Public Radio. 

Jody Gehrman - 1999

Jody Gehrman’s psychological suspense thriller, “Watch Me,” was recently published by St. Martin’s Press. Gehrman, M.A., English, has written 11 published novels and several plays and is a professor of communications at Mendocino College in Northern California.

Jesse Salomon - 1999

Jesse Salomon, B.A., Fairhaven interdisciplinary concentration, is a public defender in Seattle Municipal Court and was recently selected to be deputy mayor of Shoreline.   

Sarah (Sanders) Harless - 2000

Sarah (Sanders) Harless, B.A., psychology, is an attorney in Wisconsin who was recently elected to be a judge in Eau Claire County. She was inspired to go to law school while volunteering as a WWU student at a domestic violence shelter in Bellingham.   

Kristin Ferrera - 2001

Kristin Ferrera, B.A., anthropology, was appointed by Gov. Inslee to the Chelan County Superior Court.   

Patricia Relay - 2001

Patricia Relay, B.A., art history, is the executive director of the Valdez Museum & Historical Archive. 

Mike Duncan - 2002

2002 – Mike Duncan, B.A., political science, produces the popular podcasts “The History of Rome” and “Revolutions.” His book “The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic” debuted at number eight on the New York Times nonfiction bestseller list.   

Sita Symonette - 2003

Sita Symonette, B.S., student-faculty designed major, owns an acupuncture practice and recently became the chair of the board of directors for Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette. 

Cassandra Torstenson - 2003

Cassandra Torstenson, B.S., environmental science, recently became the city administrator for Brainerd, Minnesota. Previously, she worked as a senior scientific policy adviser for North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum. 

Nick Hayes - 2004

Nick Hayes, MiT, was selected to be the new principal of Happy Valley Elementary School in Bellingham. Previously, he was the principal of Lucille Umbarger Elementary in Burlington. 

TJ Acena - 2005

TJ Acena, B.A., English – creative writing, is a writer in Portland who contributes to The Oregonian, Oregon ArtsWatch, American Theatre Magazine and PQ Monthly. He was named a 2017 Rising Leader of Color in arts journalism by Theatre Communications Group.   

Danielle Warner - 2006

Danielle Warner, M.Mus., is a choral conductor at George Fox University where she recently received the Faculty Achievement Award for Undergraduate Teaching.   

Sarah Myhre - 2006

Sarah Myhre, B.S., biology – marine emphasis, is a research associate at the University of Washington’s School of Oceanography. She is also a grassroots organizer, writer and member of the boards of directors of 500 Women Scientists and the Center for Women in Democracy. She recently spoke in the Huxley College of the Environment Speaker Series. 

Zach Guy - 2007

Zach Guy, B.S., geology – environmental geology, directs the Flathead Avalanche Center in Kalispell, Montana.  

Ijeoma Oluo - 2007

Ijeoma Oluo (B.A., political science) is editor at large of The Establishment, an online media platform run and funded by women. Her writing on social justice has appeared in The Guardian, The Stranger, the Washington Post, Time magazine and more, and her book, “So You Want to Talk About Race,” will be published by Seal Press in January. Oluo recently spoke on campus about race, gender and social change, as well as writing about politics.

Jeremy Mauck - 2008

Jeremy Mauck, MBA, is an adviser with the Small Business Development Center at Green River College, where he also teaches consumer behavior.

Ana Cecilia “Ceci” Lopez - 2008

Ana Cecilia “Ceci” Lopez, B.A., Fairhaven interdisciplinary concentration, is an assistant professor at Fairhaven and directs the Law, Diversity and Justice Center. Washington State Bar Association recently selected her as a Leadership Institute Fellow.

Courtney Olsen - 2010

Courtney Olsen, B.A., English – creative writing, qualified for the 2020 U.S. Olympic marathon trials with her performance at the California International Marathon in Sacramento in December.    

Sarah Pozzi - 2011

Sarah Pozzi, B.A., political science, an attorney and former law clerk for Lane County Circuit Court, recently joined the law firm of Bodyfelt Mount in Portland. 

Ater Malath - 2012

Ater Malath, B.A., business administration – management, just published his memoir on Amazon: “Tenacious: My Journey from War in Sudan to New Life in America,” which chronicles his survival of the conflict in Sudan, life in a massive refugee camp in Kenya, and moving to the U.S. He calls it “a gripping account of war and immigration, a real-life thriller.” 

Jim Stewart Allen - 2014

Jim Stewart Allen, B.A., history, is a substitute teacher and a standup comedian in Tacoma working on a documentary about the educational computer game “The Oregon Trail.”  

Danielle Segen - 2014

Mezzo-soprano Danielle Segen, B.Mus., music – performance concentration, sang at the Hammer Museum at the University of California, Los Angeles, in a concert commemorating the anniversary of the Armenian genocide in April. She has also travelled to Armenia to perform with the UCLA VEM Quartet. 

Katie Gray - 2015

Katie Gray, B.A., music, became executive director of Make.Shift Art Space in Bellingham.   

Annika Wolters - 2015

Annika Wolters (Communication, Visual Journalism) is an Americorps member at Ilwaco High School working on improving attendance rates. 

Trevor Bloom, - 2016

Trevor Bloom, M.S., biology, is a botanist for the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative and a wildlife guide in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He recently helped coordinate Wildflower Watch, a citizen science plant-monitoring effort to reveal how climate change was affecting plant life in the Blacktail Butte area.   

Louie Henson - 2017

 Louie Henson, B.A., business administration – operations management, plays on the Seattle Seawolves Major League Rugby team. 

José-Manuel Carrillo - 2017

José-Manuel Carrillo, B.S., behavioral neuroscience; B.A., philosophy, is a community organizer for Detention Watch Network and hopes to go to law school to study immigration law. 


Betty Mayrand Sather - 1947

Betty Mayrand Sather, 98, a bible teacher and musician, on April 23, 2018. 

Genevieve Alice Rowand Spivey - 1948

Genevieve Alice Rowand Spivey, 94, a retired teacher, on March 26, 2017, in Oak Harbor. 

John N. Terrey - 1949

John N. Terrey, 91, a 1986 Outstanding Alumnus of Western, one of the founders and the first dean of instruction at Tacoma Community College, former dean at Central Washington University, former director of the Washington State Board for Community Colleges and one of the founders of University of Washington’s Creative Retirement Institute, on Dec. 28, 2017.   

Edgar Morris King - 1949

Edgar Morris King, 92, a retired teacher and principal in Bainbridge Island schools and former president of the Kitsap Education Association, on March 19, 2018, on Bainbridge Island. 

Stanley Reynolds - 1951

Stanley Reynolds, 91, a retired, teacher, counselor and administrator, on Feb. 7, 2018, in Bellingham. 

Donald Dennis Cannard - 1951

Donald Dennis Cannard, 88, retired teacher and principal in the Vancouver School District and co-founder of the Vancouver Chapter of the Audubon Society and the Chinook Trail Association, on Feb. 2, 2018, in Vancouver, Washington. 

Naomi “Nona” Louise Blaising - 1951

Naomi “Nona” Louise Blaising, 88, who worked with several groups in Indiana and Florida supporting people who are disabled, homeless or disadvantaged, on April 2, 2018.

John Andrew Shulene - 1953

John Andrew Shulene, 90, a retired science teacher and coach, science consultant, and volunteer with the U.S. Geological Survey, on Dec. 2, 2017.   

Leon Chase Golden - 1957

Leon Chase Golden, 83, former director of Western’s Academy of Lifelong Learning and a retired teacher, coach and counselor in Sedro-Woolley, Forks and Lynden high schools, on Dec. 24, 2017. 

Harold Odegaard - 1958

Harold Odegaard, 84, retired teacher in the Nooksack Valley School District and manager of several Whatcom County senior centers, on Feb. 13, 2017. 

Thomas Sawyer - 1959

Thomas Sawyer, 84, a retired teacher and track coach in Port Townsend and the Franklin Pierce School District who later spent 25 years in the water quality field, on Dec. 5, 2017. 

Dennis Johnson - 1959

Dennis Johnson, 81, a retired teacher, coach and student activities coordinator in at Kent Meridian High School, on Jan. 4, 2018, in Buckley. 

Fred Emerson - 1959

Fred Emerson, 82, a retired educator, coach and member of the WWU Athletics Hall of Fame, on April 8, 2018. 

John Riseland - 1961

John Riseland, 78, a retired school counselor and basketball coach in Edmonds and Bellingham who served as the scoreboard operator in WWU’s Carver Gymnasium for 35 years, on Feb. 1, 2018, in Bellingham. 

William Van Ness - 1962

William Van Ness, 79, a retired attorney who worked with Sen. “Scoop” Jackson on the National Environmental Policy Act and the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, on Nov. 21. 2017, in Port Townsend. 

Graham Carl Quick - 1964

Graham Carl Quick, 82, who once owned a furniture store and worked in real estate development, on Jan. 28, 2018. 

Judy Hursh Ash - 1965

Judy Hursh Ash, 73, a retired elementary school teacher, on Jan. 24, 2017 in Centralia.

Darrell Bruce Perkins - 1965

Darrell Bruce Perkins, 79, retired high school science teacher, on Feb. 16, 2018, in Enterprise, Oregon. 

Char Hunt - 1971

Char Hunt, 68, who was very active in Thurston County Democratic politics, on Oct. 31, 2017. 

James Leroy Corkill - 1974

James Leroy Corkill, 88, a retired lieutenant commander of the U.S. Navy, and a former teacher and rehab counselor who raised Appaloosa horses, on Nov. 20, 2017, in Port Orchard. 

Ronald R. Corbell - 1974

Ronald R. Corbell, 69, a longtime teacher and principal in the Newport, Oregon, area who retired as assistant superintendent of the Corvallis School District, on Nov. 30, 2017.

Dan Di Guilio - 1975

Dan Di Guilio, 68, former mayor of Port Angeles and retired general manager of the Clallam County Transit System, on Jan. 30, 2018, in Sebastian, Florida. 

Louis John Phillips - 1976

Louis John Phillips, 62, who worked for King County for 20 years, on Oct. 9, 2016. 

Claire Lemberg - 1979

Claire Lemberg, 73, a retired elementary teacher and reading specialist, on Dec. 19, 2017. 

John E. Bainter - 1979

 John E. Bainter, 62, an electrician, on Dec. 3, 2017. 

Joan Loueen (Burbank) Johnson - 1980

Joan Loueen (Burbank) Johnson, 80, a retired special education teacher and May Kay cosmetics consultant, on Feb. 2, 2018. 

Carole Lee (Adams) Carlsen - 1980

Carole Lee (Adams) Carlsen, 75, a retired teacher, administrator and university instructor, on Jan. 18, 2018, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

Morris Ray Pullig - 1982

Morris Ray Pullig, 74, who owned a highway construction company then worked for Boeing, on Jan. 7, 2018.   

Carl Douglas Swanson - 1984

Carl Douglas Swanson, 60, a former personnel analyst for the city of Seattle and a former member of the WWU Alumni Association Board of Directors, in April 7, 2017.   

Marilyn Diane Mihelich - 1984

Marilyn Diane Mihelich, 67, a former administrative counselor at Whatcom Community College, on Feb. 15, 2018, in Clear Lake. 

Donald Craig Graham - 1988

Donald Craig Graham, 63, a geologist and community volunteer, on April 4, 2017, in Gunnison, Colorado.

Darren Edward Smith - 1988

Darren Edward Smith, 54, on Aug. 13, 2017, in Stockton, California.   

William London - 1990

William London, 79, a retired teacher in British Columbia, on Feb. 1, 2017.   

Karen Elizabeth Wolf - 1991

Karen Elizabeth Wolf, 60, a Skagit Valley resident, on Jan. 15, 2018.   

Christie Kamena - 1991

Christie Kamena, 49, a longtime teacher at Evergreen Christian School in Bellingham, on Dec. 22. 2017. 

G. Valmont Thomas - 1993

G. Valmont Thomas, ’93, was a beloved, award-winning actor in the Pacific Northwest who completed the actors’ “hat trick” at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, playing Falstaff in “The Merry Wives of Windsor” as well as both parts of “Henry IV.” He passed away at age 58, on Dec. 18, 2017, in Ashland, Oregon. 

Elizabeth Manke Dalton - 1994

Elizabeth Manke Dalton, 46, a former elementary school teacher and expert crafter and jewelry maker, on Feb. 16, 2018, in Oahu, Hawaii.   

Kathryn Severina Grinde - 1996

Kathryn Severina Grinde, 66, a retired electrical engineer at Boeing, on March 21, 2018, in Polson, Montana.   

Norval Lee “Pete” Pielstick - FAC

Norval Lee “Pete” Pielstick, 91, a former faculty member in the Psychology Department, on Feb. 7, 2017, in Mesa, Arizona.   

Paul Chalmers “Chal” Beisenherz - FAC

Paul Chalmers “Chal” Beisenherz, 78, who taught science education for Western in Everett for 10 years, on Oct. 16, 2017, in Seattle. Previously, Dr. Beisenherz had taught at the University of New Orleans for 28 years.   

Jeanne Armstrong - FAC

Jeanne Armstrong, 71, a member of the Western Libraries faculty for 20 years, on Nov. 17, 2018, in Bellingham. Dr. Armstrong was also an accomplished editor, writer and researcher whose most recent work was in genocide theory.   

Jim Johnson - FAC

Jim Johnson, 75, a 35-year faculty member and former chair of Western’s Computer Science Department, on Feb. 14, 2018, in Bellingham. Dr. Johnson, who had been with the department since it began, published two books on computer science and consulted for the National Security Agency.   

Peter J. Elich - FAC

Peter J. Elich, 85, retired dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and former chair of the Psychology Department, on April 10, 2018. The Peter J. Elich Excellence in Teaching Award was named in his honor. 

Mark Wicholas - FAC

Mark Wicholas, 77, former chair of the Chemistry Department, on Nov. 20, 2017, in Bellingham. During his time as chair, Dr. Wicholas brought more emphasis on engaging students in travel, research and professional development. The Wicholas Endowment helps remove financial barriers for chemistry students to engage in research or travel to conferences. 

Joan C. Stevenson - FAC

Joan C. Stevenson, 66, a faculty member of Western’s Anthropology Department since December 1979, on Dec. 4, 2017. Dr. Stevenson specialized in physical anthropology and was a prolific researcher in a wide variety of topics like Mennonite demography, the evolution and human biology of ADHD and statistical tools for sexing skulls. 

Nita Clothier - FAC

Nita Clothier, 91, a 1951 graduate of Western and assistant professor emeritus of liberal studies, on Oct. 20, 2017. During her time at Western, she took many students to Greece to learn about its history, art and culture. 

Theodore Robert Perry - STF

Theodore Robert Perry, 91, a World War II veteran who worked in WWU Central Stores from 1971 to 1988, on Dec. 18, 2017, in Bellingham.

William Joseph Perigo - STF

William Joseph Perigo, 67, a retired custodian, on Feb. 1, 2018. 

Gloria Anne McDonald - STF

Gloria Anne McDonald, 80, a former administrative assistant at Western, on Feb. 1, 2018, in Ferndale.   

Kevin T. Dargan - STF

Kevin T. Dargan, 57, who worked as a custodian at WWU, had degrees in criminal justice and psychology from Northern Illinois University, and served as a youth soccer and wrestling coach, on April 2, 2018. 


Samuel Hartwell Johnson - 2010

Samuel Hartwell Johnson, ’10, B.A., English literature; ’13, M.A., English, married Jessica D. Lynch, ’11, B.A., English literature, on Sept. 16, 2017, at Lake Valhalla in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. 

Jessica D. Lynch - 2011

Samuel Hartwell Johnson, ’10, B.A., English literature; ’13, M.A., English, married Jessica D. Lynch, ’11, B.A., English literature, on Sept. 16, 2017, at Lake Valhalla in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.