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

Fall/Winter 2016 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

Marilyn L. Redmond - 1961

Marilyn L. Redmond (Music Education) recently published “Paradigm Busters, Reveal the Real You,” which is available on Amazon.

Luana Graves - 1965

Luana Graves (Special Education – K-12 Elementary, History – Secondary Ed.) was recently honored for 50 years of service to the American Association of University Women.

Anne Courtney Gardner - 1967

Anne Courtney Gardner (Special Education – K-12 Elementary, Mathematics – Secondary) a retired professor at Wenatchee Valley College, was recently awarded Professor Emeritus status by the board of trustees. 

John Cole - 1969

John Kole (Economics) recently retired from 45 years in the vehicle repair business, closing his shop in Bellingham.

John Mattila - 1970

The Warrenton-Hammond School Board near Astoria, Oregon, recently voted to name Warrenton High School’s football field after John Mattila (Special Education – K-12, Physical Education – Secondary), a retired longtime teacher who coached many football and basketball teams.

Bill Wood - 1971

Bill Wood (Biology; ’73, Biology) is retired from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and recently received a Golden Trowel award from the Washington State University Clallam County Master Gardner Program. Wood, a Master Gardner since 2001, has been instrumental in the work to re-establish an oak habitat on the Sequim Prairie.

Vicki (Butchart) Tolan - 1971

Vicki (Butchart) Tolan (Physical Education – Elementary) retired in May after 45 years in education. She taught at the elementary, middle and high school levels, but spent the last 27 years at Alta Loma Junior High School in California. Next, she plans to travel, work at Disneyland and run a half-marathon, 5K or 10K every month.

Don Wick - 1972

Don Wick (Speech Communication) retired last year as executive director of the Economic Development Association of Skagit County. A member of Edmonds Community College’s first class, Wick recently served as master of ceremonies for the college’s 50th anniversary party.

John Drinkwater - 1973

John Drinkwater (M.Ed., Student Personnel Administration) retired in 2010 as senior director of Campus Life and the Student Union at Central Washington University.

Dean Kahn - 1973

Dean Kahn (Political Science) recently retired from the Bellingham Herald, where he had been a reporter, news editor, columnist and magazine editor. Before joining the Herald in 1986, Kahn also worked as a statehouse reporter for United Press International in Jefferson City, Missouri, and Olympia.

Kitty Banner - 1974

Kitty Banner (Fairhaven Interdisciplinary Concentration) was named an Alaska Aviation Legend by the Alaska Air Carriers Association for her many years as a bush pilot in the Talkeetna area.

James Hustad - 1975

James Hustad (Art) is a synthesizer artist and singer in Seattle and operates a synthesizer assembly company called Synthwerks.

Rich Benson - 1977

Rich Benson (Recreation) is the Cascade Foothills area manager for Washington State Parks.

Brian Scott - 1979

Brian Scott (M.Ed., Student/Faculty Designed) lives on Vancouver Island and has been an artist for more than 40 years and a teacher for more than 20. He has also served on the British Columbia Arts Council.

Mark Mitsui - 1980

Mark Mitsui (P.E.-Exercise and Sport Science, Psychology) became president of Portland Community College. Until recently, Mitsui was deputy assistant secretary for community colleges at the U.S. Department of Education.

Hoyt Gier - 1980

Hoyt Gier (Business Administration) was the 2016 recipient of Western’s Lynda Goodrich Legacy Award. Gier, a former president of the Western Foundation board of directors who chaired the planning committee for the $60 million Western Stands for Washington campaign, is a managing director and head of the Western Region-North for Citi Private Bank in San Francisco.

Jim Sterk - 1980

Jim Sterk (Physical Education – Secondary Ed.) was recently appointed to be athletic director for the University of Missouri and was named one of four AD’s of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. Sterk was also just appointed to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee.

Mark Fiege - 1981

Mark Fiege (History) was selected as the Wallace Stegner Endowed Chair in Western American Studies at Montana State University. Fiege, an environmental historian of the American West, was an award-winning professor at Colorado State University, where he co-founded the university’s Public Lands History Center.

Michael W. Stewart - 1981

Michael W. Stewart (Sociology) was appointed to the state of Hawaii’s Oahu Service Area Board on Mental Health and Substance Abuse.

Stephen Glueckert - 1982

Stephen Glueckert (M.Ed., Art) recently retired as senior curator for the Missoula Art Museum, which recently featured his art in an exhibit, “All Mixed Up.” The exhibit will also be shown at the Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings, the Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper, Wyoming, and the Pritchard Art Gallery at the University of Idaho-Moscow.

Roberta Riley - 1982

Roberta Riley (Environmental Science – Social Assessment and Policy) manages the Climate Adventures Program for CoolMom, a nonprofit in Seattle that encourages families to take action on climate change. She recently shared stories of people around the state who are feeling the effects of climate change – and coming up with solutions – for the Huxley College of the Environment Speaker Series.

John Mansfield - 1982

John Mansfield (Political Science) was recently named vice president of Strategic Development for CTC Global, an Irvine, California, company that manufactures high-capacity ACCC overhead power-lines.

Clark Potter - 1983

Clark Potter (Music – Performance, History & Literature) is associate professor of viola at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, principal viola of the Lincoln Symphony and conductor of the Lincoln Youth Symphony.

Joan Penney - 1984

Joan Penney (Master of Music) is a retired community college administrator and a jazz vocalist who performs throughout the northwest with the Joan Penney Jazz Quartet.

Tara Kaiyala Weaver - 1985

Tara Kaiyala Weaver (Human Services) lives in Blaine and is a musician, conductor and music teacher. She teaches violin and viola and coaches chamber groups.

Michael Kugler - 1986

Michael Kugler (M.A., History) is a history professor at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, and recently published a chapter in the book “Discworld and Philosophy,” which explores themes in the late fantasy author Terry Pratchett’s 41-book Discworld series. Kugler’s chapter, “We Willna be Fooled Again! Wee Free Anarchists” draws inspiration from Pratchett’s novel “Wee Free Men” and re-imagines them as anarchists.

Paul Pitre - 1986

Paul Pitre (Broadcast Communication) was named chancellor of Washington State University North Puget Sound at Everett, where he had served as dean since 2014.

Doug Mah - 1987

Former Olympia mayor and city council member Doug Mah (Sociology - Criminology; '89, M.A., Sociology) owns Doug Mah & Associates, a management and public affairs consulting business in Olympia.

Becky Petersen - 1987

Becky Petersen (Communications) is acquisition project manager for King County’s Water and Land Resources Division. She recently spoke on campus for the Huxley College of the Environment Speaker Series.

Michael S. Hamilton - 1989

Michael S. Hamilton (MBA) is a senior vice president, portfolio manager for Nuveen Investments, an operating division of TIAA Global Asset Management.

Scott Hugill - 1989

Scott Hugill (Political Science) became city manager for Mountlake Terrace.

Dick Freier - 1990

Dick Freier (Political Science) was named the football coach for Anacortes High School.

Kerry Byford - 1991

Kerry Byford (Manufacturing Engineering Technology) is co-owner of Irongate Machine Inc. in Bellingham.

Ron Podmore - 1991

Ron Podmore (Geography) was named the 2016 Distinguished Alumnus of Centralia College and spoke at commencement in June. Podmore, a professor at Bellevue College and a teacher in Federal Way Public Schools, was the first deaf American to achieve National Board Professional Teacher Standards certification, in 2009.

Brian Wharton - 1992

Brian Wharton (M.Ed., Secondary Education) became the superintendent of the Yelm School District. Previously, he was principal of Yelm High School.

Kelly Portmann - 1992

Kelly Portmann (Human Development – Elementary Ed.), who has taught at Rainier Middle School for more than 20 years, was recently named a Teacher of the Year in the Auburn School District.

Paul Gregg - 1993

Paul Gregg (Art) is a mixed-media artist whose work was recently exhibited at Kolva-Sullivan Gallery in Spokane.

Rob Manahan - 1993

Rob Manahan (M.Ed., School Administration) recently became the superintendent of Peninsula School District in Gig Harbor. Previously, he was the superintendent of the Lake Chelan School District.

Todd Mera - 1994

Todd Mera (Biochemistry) owns AniChe Cellars winery in the Columbia River Gorge with his wife, Rachael Mera.

Tinnell L. Priddy - 1994

Tinnell L. Priddy (Mathematics – Elementary; ’99, M.Ed., Elementary; ’10, Administrator Certificate – Principal) recently became the principal of Academies of Loudoun, an advanced technology academy under construction in Leesburg, Virginia.

Bryce Kisker - 1994

Bryce Kisker (Finance) became a Client Engagement director for WunderLand Group, a staffing agency specializing in the digital, creative and marketing industries.

Rebecca Himschoot - 1994

Rebecca Himschoot (Student/Faculty Designed Major) teaches science at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School in Sitka, Alaska, but is spending the year at the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C. as a U.S. Department of Energy Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow. She also was recently appointed to the Alaska State Board of Education and Early Development.

Noel Franklin - 1994

Noel Franklin (Art) won a Grants for Artists Projects Award from the Artist Trust for her work on her graphic memoir, “Girl on the Road.”

Dave Benninck - 1994

Dave Bennink (Environmental Science), owner of Re-Use Consulting, which helps building owners find sustainable alternatives to demolition,  recently spoke about sustainable business practices at the Huxley College of the Environment Speaker Series.

Andrea Duffield - 1995

Andrea Duffield (M.A., Speech Pathology/Audiology) is the president and CEO of MOSAIC Rehabilitation, Inc.., four children's therapy clinics in Seattle, Bellevue and Issaquah. She recently received the Nellie Cashman Award for Business Owner of the Year from Women Business Owners of Puget Sound.

Lance Fisher - 1995

Lance Fisher (English; ’99, M.A., English; ’09, Teaching Certificate) teaches English at Mount Vernon High School and was recently named Teacher of the Year by a nearby Rotary Club.

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.

Stephen Bell - 1996

Stephen Bell (M.A., History), the president and attending physician at Newport Internal Medicine and the executive director of the Wayne County Osteopathic Medical Association, was recently named to Michigan’s new Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Commission.

Christopher Morrison - 1996

Christopher Morrison (Fairhaven Interdisciplinary Concentration) was named athletic director of St. Pius X – St. Matthias Academy in Downey, California.

Jennifer Kutcher - 1997

Jennifer Kutcher (Finance) is the CEO of Whatcom Educational Credit Union and was recently a speaker for Western’s College of Business and Economics’ Strategic Management Executive Speaker Series.

Dean T. Peterson - 1997

Dean T. Peterson (Business Administration) was promoted to vice president, relationship manager, at Puget Sound Bank.

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.

Gabe Galanda - 1997

Attorney Gabe Galanda (English) was named by Indian Country Today Media Network as one of the 50 Faces of Indian Country.

Jennifer Louie Trainum - 1998

Jennifer Louie Trainum (Music – Performance) was a guest conductor for the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra in Alabama during the city’s annual Independence Day celebration.

Bryan Champ - 1998

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

Susan Darrington - 1998

Susan Darrington (Human Services) is the vice president and general manager of Rogers Place, the Edmonton Oilers’ brand-new hockey arena. Previously, she managed the Allianz Parque soccer stadium in São Paulo, Brazil, and was vice president of Facility Operation and Services at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.

Travis Smith - 1998

Travis Smith (English – Writing) was selected to be principal of Ramapo High School in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.

Mike Kruger - 1999

Mike Kruger (History – Secondary Education) became director of Communications for the Smart Electric Power Alliance. Previously, he was deputy director of Public Affairs for the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Chris Sullivan - 1999

Chris Sullivan (Accounting) became the managing partner at VSH Certified Public Accountants in Bellingham.

Vince Nappo - 1999

Vince Nappo (Theatre) is an actor who has appeared on television in “NCIS,” “Castle,” “Red Widow,” “Reign,” and “The Last Tycoon” and in the film “Friends with Kids.” He also played Sam Phillips in the national tour of the Tony award-winning musical “Million Dollar Quartet.”

Darren Orange - 1999

Darren Orange (Art) is a mixed-media artist in Astoria, Oregon, and uses nontraditional materials like tar, house paint and concrete in his work.

Caroline Brooks - 2000

Caroline Brooks (Art) was appointed executive director of the Roswell Museum ad Art Center in New Mexico. Previously, she was gallery director for the Salem Art Association in Oregon.

Donovan Grose - 2000

Donovan Grose (Linguistics, Psychology) is a professor of English at the Hang Seng Management College in Hong Kong, where he helped establish the English Department and major.

Brett Mitchell - 2001

Brett Mitchell (Music – Composition) was selected as the next music director of the Colorado Symphony.

Chris Griffin - 2001

Chris Griffin (Physical Education & Health K-12) is an assistant golf professional at Tacoma Country and Golf Club in Lakewood.

Matt Parker - 2001

Matt Parker (Economics/Environmental Studies) is a real estate broker in Seattle who has written a series of books about the real estate business, including “Real Estate Smart: The New Home Buying Guide.”

Bill Lierman - 2001

Bill Lierman (Economics) recently became co-chief investment officer for Alaska Permanent Capital Management Co. He also serves on the board of directors for the Chugiak-Eagle River Foundation.

Tony Luciano - 2002

Tony Luciano (Environmental Science) and Jack Pflueger (’05, Industrial Design) recently launched Stones Throw Brewery in Bellingham’s Fairhaven neighborhood.

Audrey Wooding - 2002

Audrey Wooding (M.S., Mathematics) is a market and economic research specialist for TechLink at Montana State University and recently became a director of the Bank of Bozeman.

Emily Pieracci - 2002

Emily Pieracci (History, Psychology) is a veterinary epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and has done a lot of work in Africa, including responding to the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone.

Jillian Boyle - 2003

Jillian Boyle (Business Administration – Finance) became a treasury management specialist at Washington Federal.

Jessie Anderson - 2003

Jessie Anderson (Accounting) recently opened the Kickin’ A Saloon and Dance Hall in Ferndale, which includes a bar, restaurant, live music, dancing and country dance lessons.

Adam Roselli - 2003

Adam Roselli (Business Administration – Management, Spanish) is a real estate broker in Vancouver, Washington, active with his local Rotary Club and the recipient of the 2016 Notable Alumni Award from Washington State University Vancouver, where he earned his MBA in 2010.

Adam Ü - 2003

Adam Ü (Geography) is a professional skier and marine biologist who often collaborates with photographer Grant Gunderson (’05, Plastics Engineering Technology) on legendary backcountry skiing photos, including 30 magazine covers worldwide.

Kristi Krieg - 2003

Kristi Krieg (Interdisciplinary Child Development) became principal of Tonasket Middle School in Eastern Washington.

Christopher Ross - 2004

Christopher Ross (Financial Economics) became a director at Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P., a commercial real estate firm.

Alanna Imbach - 2005

Alanna Imbach (Spanish, Political Science) is a media relations manager and “storyteller-in-chief” for WaterAid, a nonprofit based in New York City dedicated to international development of clean water and toilets.

Jack Pflueger - 2005

Tony Luciano (Environmental Science) and Jack Pflueger (’05, Industrial Design) recently launched Stones Throw Brewery in Bellingham’s Fairhaven neighborhood.

Grant Gunderson - 2005

Adam Ü (Geography) is a professional skier and marine biologist who often collaborates with photographer Grant Gunderson (’05, Plastics Engineering Technology) on legendary backcountry skiing photos, including 30 magazine covers worldwide.

Allyson Cundiff - 2006

Allyson Cundiff (General Science – Elementary; ’16, M.Ed., Educational Administration) was recently appointed assistant principal of Helen Haller Elementary School in Sequim.

Alisa Louie - 2006

Alisa Louie (Interdisciplinary Child Development – Elementary Ed.), an ELL teacher at Evergreen Heights Elementary School in Auburn and a member of the Washington State Teacher Leader cadre, was recently named Regional Teacher of the Year by the Puget Sound Educational Service District.

Jodi Minion - 2006

Jodi Minion (Environmental Policy) is in South Dakota teaching high school science in the Pine Ridge Reservation. One of five Western alumni in the 2016 Teach for America Corps, Minion previously worked as a wildlife biologist for PETA.

Elsa Hiltner - 2006

Elsa Hiltner (Theatre) is a costume designer based in Chicago who recently co-created “The Mars Assignment,” a play with the Collaboraction Theatre Co. that explores depression in a realistic, non-stigmatizing way.

Andrew Hunter - 2007

Andrew Hunter (Communication) became a corporate real estate adviser with SVN/Raven in the Puget Sound area.

Mike Miller - 2007

Mike Miller (Theatre) became the pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Lebanon, Oregon.

Ethan Kanning - 2007

Ethan Kanning (Business Administration – International Business) became a commercial real estate sales person with NAI Business Properties in Billings, Montana.

Leif Whittaker - 2007

Mountaineers Books recently published the memoir of Leif Whittaker (English – Creative Writing), “My Old Man and The Mountain,” with two generation’s worth of mountain-climbing stories. Whittaker’s father, Jim Whittaker, was the first American to summit Mount Everest.

Sarah Peterson - 2008

Sarah Peterson (M.S. Biology) recently completed her doctoral degree at the University of California, Santa Cruz and is now a wildlife biologist for the US Geological Survey.

Ryan Johns - 2008

Ryan Johns (Accounting; ’10, Master of Professional Accounting) became a tax manager at Altman, Rogers & Co. CPAs in Alaska.

Christine Hinojosa - 2008

Christine Hinojosa (History/Social Studies; '14, M.Ed., Educational Administration) became interim principal at Arlington High School.

Dan Merz - 2009

Dan Merz (Music) recently completed a Master of Divinity degree from Concordia Seminary St. Louis in Missouri. He and his wife, Deanna Merz (’11, Music Performance, Music Education), recently moved to Stanhope, New Jersey where Dan is the pastor of the Lutheran Church of Our Savior.

Tara Giddens - 2010

Tara Giddens (Creative Writing) recently completed her master’s degree in Irish Literature and Culture at Maynooth University in Ireland and was awarded a teaching fellowship at the University of Limerick where she is working toward her doctoral degree in English.

Samantha Cooper - 2010

Samantha Cooper (Theatre, English Literature) received her MFA in Playwrighting from Columbia University in May. And her short play, “The Woman American,” was a Final 30 finalist in the Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival over the summer.

Jon Atkins - 2010

Jon Atkins (Kinesiology) became the football coach at Coupeville High School.

Sasha Barcheski - 2010

Sasha Barcheski (Accounting; ’11, MBA) was promoted to audit manager at Altman, Rogers & Co. CPAs in Alaska.

Mariah Ottersen - 2010

Mariah Ottersen (Geology) is a ground penetrating radar analyst with Penhall Technologies. She recently worked with the White River Valley Museum to survey and locate existing gravesites at a 156-year-old Japanese-American/Buddhist cemetery in Auburn.

Lindsey Evans - 2011

Lindsey Evans (Recreation) became a program manager for Trekkers, an outdoor-based youth mentoring organization on the midcoast of Maine. Evans previously worked with Trekkers as an AmeriCorps volunteer.

Deanna Merz - 2011

Dan Merz ('09, Music) recently completed a Master of Divinity degree from Concordia Seminary St. Louis in Missouri. He and his wife, Deanna Merz (Music Performance, Music Education), recently moved to Stanhope, New Jersey where Dan is the pastor of the Lutheran Church of Our Savior.

Monika Gruszecki - 2011

Monika Gruszecki (English Literature, German) came in 22nd in the javelin at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field trials.

Ty Minton-Small - 2011

Ty Minton-Small (English – Literature) was the cinematographer and lead assistant editor for “Gleason,” a documentary about former NFL player Steve Gleason coping with ALS with his family.

Colin Poff - 2012

Colin Poff (Political Science) recently completed his master’s in Urban Planning at the University of Washington and became a land use planner with AHBL in Seattle.

Ketturah Witter - 2012

Keturah Witter (Mathematics, Environmental Science) is a scientist with the global environmental and sustainability consultancy Environmental Resources Management. She recently spoke to students about environmental consulting for the Huxley College of the Environment Speaker Series.

Valeria Fisher - 2013

Valeria Fisher (German, Sociology) is a graduate student in Consumer Affairs at the Technical University of Munich in Germany where she received a DAAD Graduate Scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service.

Hillary Susz - 2013

Hillary Susz (Creative Writing) is a songwriter and guitarist in Boulder, Colorado, where she is in graduate school at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Kayla Edwards - 2013

Kayla Edwards (Anthropology – Biocultural) became a kindergarten teacher at Columbia Heights Elementary School in Longview.

Jesselyn Krolicki - 2014

Jesselyn Krolicki (Recreation) is a case manager working with homeless youth at Northwest Youth Services’ PAD house in Bellingham.

Paul Burke - 2014

Paul Burke (Marketing) is the CEO and co-founder of RentHoop, an app that helps users find roommates by “swiping” right or left.

Madeline Slettedahl - 2014

Pianist Madeline Slettedahl (Music Performance) was a 2016 winner of the Music Academy of the West’s 2016 Marilyn Horne Song Competition, winning a $4,000 prize and a recital tour.

Emma Burgson - 2014

Emma Burgson (Environmental Science) and friend Paige Norman came in fourth in the grueling 2016 Yukon 1,000 Canoe and Kayak Race in July. The canoeists, childhood friends, raced under the name “Minnesota Gneiss” through 1,000 miles of Alaska and Yukon wilderness.

Bethany Drake - 2015

Bethany Drake (Art) finished 14th in the women’s javelin at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials.

Stefanie Donahue - 2015

Stefanie Donahue(Journalism) became the editor of The Northern Light, a weekly newspaper in Blaine.

Taylor Capps - 2015

Taylor Capps (Fairhaven Interdisciplinary Concentration) recently opened the Capps Club music venue in Kenmore with his parents.

Danny Miller - 2015

Danny Miller (Visual Journalism) became a staff photographer for the Daily Astorian newspaper in Oregon.

Ruthie Jablonsky - 2015

Ruthie Jablonsky (Fairhaven Interdisciplinary Concentration, Spanish) is based in Spokane and plays old-time fiddle music in the band Dry and Dusty with her sister Sally.

Thayne Yazzie - 2015

Thayne Yazzie (Fairhaven Interdisciplinary Concentration) won a $10,000 scholarship from the crowd-funding site GoFundMe for his work toward flight certification at Eastern New Mexico University with plans to obtain Medivac certification to serve the Navajo Nation.

Heather Heffelmire - 2016

This year’s Teach for America recruits include five Western alumni, including Jessica Stein (Sociology) in Orlando, Florida, Heather Heffelmire (Political Science) in Baltimore, Benjamin Ratcliff (Behavioral Neuroscience) in Miami, and Kara Johnson (Human Services) in Alabama.

Jessica Stein - 2016

This year’s Teach for America recruits include five Western alumni, including Jessica Stein (Sociology) in Orlando, Florida, Heather Heffelmire (Political Science) in Baltimore, Benjamin Ratcliff (Behavioral Neuroscience) in Miami, and Kara Johnson (Human Services) in Alabama.

Kate Welch - 2016

Kate Welch (Geography) is an AmeriCorps VISTA member with MAPS Media Institute in Hamilton, Montana, developing an after-school service-learning program that incorporates technology and the arts.

Micah Stumme-Diers - 2016

Micah Stumme-Diers (Biochemistry) is a graduate research associate at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy in Omaha.

Katie Reichert - 2016

Katie Reichert (Design, Communication Studies) came in 16th in the javelin at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene.

Keely Hausken - 2016

Keely Hausken (Biology/Anthropology) is taking a year before attending graduate school in physical therapy and serving as the diving coach for West Valley High School in Yakima and working as an administrative assistant at Mountain View Home Health.

Ari Blatt - 2016

Ari Blatt (Environmental Science – Marine Ecology) became an AmericCorps member with the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association in Bellingham.

Sean Petersmark - 2016

Sean Petersmark (Business and Sustainability) spent the summer bicycling nearly 5,000 miles across the country, stopping to help build and raise awareness for affordable housing along the way, with Bike & Build.

Kara Johnson - 2016

This year’s Teach for America recruits include five Western alumni, including Jessica Stein (Sociology) in Orlando, Florida, Heather Heffelmire (Political Science) in Baltimore, Benjamin Ratcliff (Behavioral Neuroscience) in Miami, and Kara Johnson (Human Services) in Alabama.

Benjamin Ratcliff - 2016

This year’s Teach for America recruits include five Western alumni, including Jessica Stein (Sociology) in Orlando, Florida, Heather Heffelmire (Political Science) in Baltimore, Benjamin Ratcliff (Behavioral Neuroscience) in Miami, and Kara Johnson (Human Services) in Alabama.


Carol S. Radke - 1934

Carol S. Radke, 94, a longtime member of the Bellingham School Board, on Sept. 20, 2016, in Bellingham. Memorial donations: "Radke Family Faculty Award" at the Western Foundation.

Ruth Kleven - 1937

Ruth Kleven, 104, a retiredteacher and community volunteer, on Aug. 27, 2016.

Virginia Boal Hayden - 1941

Virginia Boal Hayden, 98, who with her husband owned several grocery stores in the Bellingham area, on Sept. 26, 2016, in Bellingham.

Helen M. Andersen - 1942

Helen M. Anderson, 92, a retired teacher and owner of an estate sale business, on May 28, 2016.

Myrtle Jean Woodcock Little - 1944

Myrtle Jean Woodcock Little, 93, a retired teacher in Eureka, California, on June 19, 2016.

Kenneth Husfloen - 1946

Kenneth Husfloen, 96, a longtime teacher, principal and administrator, on May 11, 2016, in Tacoma.

Betty R. Mayerbock - 1947

Betty R. Mayerbock, 90, of Chicago, on June 20, 2015.

Robert Hulbert - 1949

Robert Hulbert, 86, a retired insurance agent, on June 10, 2016.

Russell L. McClintick - 1950

Russell L. McClintick, 89, a retired teacher and community volunteer, on Aug. 13, 2016, in Kirkland.

Erwin Knapp - 1950

Erwin Knapp, 89, a retired teacher in Anacortes, on Sept. 30, 2016.

Charles Philip Houglum - 1950

Charles Philip Houglum, 89, a retired teacher, musician and church choir director, on Aug. 13, 2016, in Battle Ground.

Suzanne J. Stuehm - 1952

Suzanne J. Stuehm, 87, a retired teacher, on Sept. 11, 2016, in Tacoma.

Barbara Lee Post - 1952

Barbara Lee Post, 85, on May 25, 2016, in Anacortes.

Duane Anderson - 1952

Duane Anderson, 86, an audiologist, community volunteer and 2015 recipient of the Western Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award, on Sept. 23, 2016 in Oregon. Memorial Donations: WWU Alumni Memorial Scholarship Fund.

John Page Dickson - 1953

John Page Dickson, 97, a retired Christian school teacher, principal and board member, on June 27, 2016.

Larry Offutt - 1954

Larry Offutt, 86, a retired teacher, school sports referee and minor league baseball umpire, on Feb. 12, 2016.

Floyd Lunsford - 1954

Floyd Lunsford, 90, a retired elementary school teacher and principal on Fidalgo Island and former Anacortes City Council member, on Oct. 23, 2016.

Meech Houghton - 1954

Meech Houghton, 83, retired from The Boeing Co., on May 30, 2016.

Marilyn Ann Hash - 1955

Marilyn Ann Hash, 82, a retired teacher, on May 14, 2016, in Enumclaw.

Harry Bjarne Stakkestad - 1956

Harry Bjarne Stakkestad, 85, a retired teacher, on Sept. 25, 2016.

Rhoda Fickel - 1956

Rhoda Fickel, 83, a retired teacher, on Sept. 24, 2016, in Burlington.

Donald Odin Isaacson - 1957

Donald Odin Isaacson, 85, a retired high school science teacher and coach, on June 18, 2016.

E. Dean Dingerson - 1957

E. Dean Dingerson, 82, a retired teacher, on Sept. 19, 2016.

Clifford Michael "Mick" McLean - 1958

Clifford Michael “Mick” McLean, 82, a retired teacher and attorney, on June 6, 2016, in Longview.

Edward Mark Barcott - 1958

Edward Mark Barcott, 88, a retired teacher in Port Townsend, on June 26, 2016.

Don C. Marley - 1959

Don C. Marley, 86, a retired teacher and principal, on April 25, 2016, in Bellingham.

Leslie June Larson - 1959

Leslie June Larson, 79, a retired teacher and community volunteer, on Sept. 5, 2016.

Robert W. Saxvik - 1959

Robert W. Saxvik, 86, a former three-term Idaho State Senator who later served as chief of staff to Idaho Gov. John V. Evans, on Oct. 18, 2016, in Portland, Oregon.

Betty Ann Saterstrom - 1959

Betty Ann Saterstrom, 79, a retired teacher who worked in home building and inspection, on Sept. 3, 2016.

Boyd Ivan Kiel - 1960

Boyd Ivan Kiel, a retired teacher and part-time customs officer, on May 26, 2016, in Ferndale.

Richard Bert Hansen - 1960

Richard Bert Hansen, 85, a retired teacher, school administrator and coach in Alaska, on June 20, 2016, in Palm Springs, California.

Pauline B. Dudley - 1960

Pauline B. Dudley, 97, a retired teacher, on May 4, 2016.

Ned Arthur Olson - 1961

Ned Arthur Olson, 78, a retired teacher at the Washington State School for the Blind, on July 30, 2016, in Vancouver, Washington.

Nancy Lee Antak - 1961

Nancy Lee Antak, 77, a retired teacher, on April 4, 2016.

Clara Salzgaber Olsen - 1962

Clara Salzgaber Olsen, 90, a retired homemaker who lived in Bellingham, on Oct. 11, 2016.

Dianne H. Woody - 1962

Dianne H. Woody, a retired business owner, social worker, administrator for DSHS and Washington state senator for the 39th District of Snohomish and King counties from 1977 to 1985, on July 2016.

Wilhelma M. "Willie" Cowin - 1963

Wilhelma “Willie” M. Cowin, a retired teacher in Ferndale, on May 21, 2016, in Lynden.

David W. Corliss - 1963

David W. Corliss, 75, a retired teacher in Libya, Turkey, Sicily, England and Okinawa who was later an active volunteer in Shelton, on July 10, 2016.

Bruce Harold Cleasby - 1963

Bruce Harold Cleasby, 79, a retired shipyard worker, on May 22, 2016, in Bellingham.

Donald E. Wilson - 1964

Donald E. Wilson, 85, a retired high school math teacher, on July 8, 2016.

Helen Elizabeth Taylor - 1965

Helen Elizabeth Taylor, 100, a retired teacher, on June 29, 2016.

Connie Keil - 1965

Connie Keil, who owned and operated a grocery store in Stayton, Oregon, for 31 years with her husband, on April 30, 2016.

Marian Marie Burger - 1965

Marian Marie Burger, 91, a retired teacher, on Oct. 5, 2016.

Laura Zalesky - 1966

Laura Zalesky, 92, a longtime second-grade teacher at Silver Lake Elementary School in Everett who helped advocate for the creation of North Cascades National Park, on May 18, 2016.

Jerry Roger Shipman - 1966

Jerry Roger Shipman, 73, a mathematician and retired dean of the School of Arts and Sciences of Alabama A & M University, on July 16, 2016.

John E. Oliver - 1966

John E. Oliver, 75, a retired teacher, principal in North Thurston Public Schools, on June 23, 2016, in Olympia.

George A. "Finn" Nikula - 1966

George A. “Finn” Nikula, 73, a retired teacher and coach, on June 17, 2016, while on a Baltic cruise.

Larry Wayne DeKay - 1966

Larry Wayne DeKay, 72, who worked in engineering at Boeing and was active with the Samish Indian Nation, on May 7, 2016, in Bothell.

James Burns - 1966

James Burns, 91, a retired teacher at Lynden High School, on Sept. 7, 2016.

David Stanley Brecht - 1967

David Stanley Brecht, 72, who worked at the Boeing Co. for more than 20 years, on June 20, 2016, in Burien.

James H. Dumont - 1967

James H. Dumont, 73, a retired real estate agent, on May 19, 2016, in Prince George, B.C.

Susan Helen Jampsa - 1974

Susan Helen Jampsa, 67, a retired school counselor in Bellingham, on Aug. 28, 2016.

Jennifer Franza - 1974

Jennifer Franza, 64, a homemaker, on July 12, 2016, in Wenatchee.

Dennis Firebaugh - 1974

Dennis Firebaugh, 71, a retired history and political science teacher, on June 12, 2016.

Philip Lee Konkel - 1974

Philip Lee Konkel, 71, a retired French and Spanish teacher at Franklin High School in Seattle, church organist and community volunteer who drove cancer patients to treatment, on May 31, 2016.

William "Charlie" Sutton - 1975

William “Charlie” Sutton, 66, on April 9, 2016, in Bellingham.

Carole A. "Brownie" Brown - 1975

Carole A. “Brownie” Brown, 65, who worked for the Bureau of Reclamation in the Southwest, on Aug. 26, 2016, in Yuma, Arizona.

Bruce Lolen Hayes - 1976

Bruce Lolen Hayes, 62, who managed bookstores and worked in medical billing, on Sept. 25, 2016.

Steve Claude Aubert - 1976

Steve Claude Aubert, 67, a retired pharmacist in Bellingham, on June 16, 2016.

Annabel Rose (Oversby) Rondeau - 1977

Annabel Rose (Oversby) Rondeau, a teacher in Wisconsin and Alaska, 62, on Oct. 7, 2016.

Rosalie Van Deman Hansen - 1977

Rosalie Van Deman Hansen, 90, a retired nurse, on June 27, 2016.

Barbara Keller - 1977

Barbara Keller, 60, a photographer, on April 2, 2016.

David Joel Van Meer - 1978

David Joel Van Meer, 65, a former museum curator, librarian, writer and voice actor in the Mount Vernon area, on April 15, 2016.

James Richard McCracken - 1978

James Richard McCracken, 64, founder and CEO of the Design Knowledge Co. in Dayton, Ohio, on July 9, 2016.

Donald Edward Mathews - 1978

Donald Edward Mathews, 68, a retired history teacher, on April 9, 2016, in Grangeville, Idaho.

Rolland William Holterman - 1978

Rolland William Holterman, 73, a longtime teacher and wrestling coach at Mount Baker High School in Deming, on July 15, 2016, in Lynden.

Colleen Brummitt Riggs - 1979

Colleen Brummitt Riggs, 61, on July 5, 2016, in Pacific Beach.

Terry Belcoe - 1979

Terry Belcoe, 60, president and CEO of North Coast Credit Union and active community volunteer, on Sept. 23, 2016.

William C. Meyer - 1979

William C. Meyer, 79, a retired math teacher and longtime Bellingham resident, on Sept. 22, 2016.

Shelley Muzzy - 1981

Shelley Muzzy, 68, on Oct. 23, 2016.

Jane Helen Fleischbein - 1981

Jane Helen Fleischbein, 62, a retired oceanographer and faculty research assistant at the School of Oceanography at Oregon State University who also worked as a second-grade teacher, public health nurse, commercial fisher and Benton County Planning Commissioner, on April 5, 2016.

Kimberly Ann Williams - 1982

Kimberly Ann Williams, 56, a social worker in Washington and Alaska, on May 26, 2016, in Juneau, Alaska.

Frank Nickerson - 1983

Frank Nickerson, 56, a longtime teacher and coach at Kamiak High School in Mukilteo, on July 7, 2016, in Lake Stevens.

Nancy Brown Toland - 1986

Nancy Brown Toland, 53, on May 21, 2016.

Steve Peschek - 1988

Steve Peschek, 55, a reimbursement manager for PeaceHealth, on Oct. 19, 2016, in Bellingham.

Tim Sawyer - 1992

Tim Sawyer, 67, a teacher overseas who retired in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, on June 24, 2016.

Theriece Jean "Teri" Sawyer - 1992

Theriece Jean “Teri” Sawyer, 69, a longtime instructional assistant and teacher in Mount Vernon schools, on June 19, 2016 in Mount Vernon.

Ethel L. Clarke - 1992

Ethel L. Clarke, 75, a retired teacher, high school administrator and professor at University of Washington and Western, on June 13, 2016.

Margaret Kathleen Freeman - 1995

Margaret Kathleen Freeman, 51, an English teacher at Bellingham High School, on June 26, 2016.

Cary Landers - 1998

Cory Landers, 40, who worked for 15 years in the banking industry, on May 21, 2016, in Seattle.

Charles Rhett Richards - 2013

Charles Rhett Richards, 28, on July 30, 2016.

Nicholas Henry Vitulli - 2014

Nicholas Henry Vitulli, 24, who worked at Expedia, on Oct. 23, 2016.


Matthew Tynan - 2008

Matthew Tynan (’08, History, Political Science) and Kelsey Williams (’12, Political Science/Social Studies) on Sept. 4, 2016, in Bellingham.

Kelsey Williams - 2012

Matthew Tynan (’08, History, Political Science) and Kelsey Williams (’12, Political Science/Social Studies) on Sept. 4, 2016, in Bellingham.