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

Spring 2023 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 Note

Wes Peterson - 1951

Janis Olson Peterson, BAE, elementary education, and Wes Peterson, ‘51, technology education, and ’58, M.Ed., elementary education, celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on June 21, 2022.

Janis Olson Peterson - 1955

Janis Olson Peterson, BAE, elementary education, and Wes Peterson, ‘51, technology education, and ’58, M.Ed., elementary education, celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on June 21, 2022.

Terry Clayton - 1962

Terry Clayton, BAE, exercise and sport science, recently published “Facing the Moment: Lessons from A Global Odyssey,” a memoir from his travels around the world and witnessing humanity’s struggle to survive and manage change in an ever-evolving world.

John Kito - 1965

John Kito, BAE, physical education – elementary, retired in June 2022 after 55 years in education in Oregon, Washington and Alaska, including 22 years as principal of William Tyson Elementary School in Anchorage.

Steve May - 1966

Steve May, B.A., English, wrote "Dickinson on Cats" for the May-June 2023 edition of The Emily Dickinson Bulletin. He is also working on a chapbook, "Emily Dickinson on Books," and volunteers as the e-commerce manager for the Friends of the Salem Public Library. 

Vern Giesbrecht - 1967

Vern Giesbrecht, B.A., English, has published several articles in British Columbia History Magazine, including "Toil and Trivia: A Newspaper Editor's Life," about his time as editor of The Hope Standard from 1968 to 1970, and a profile of actor and director Antony Holland. 

Lon Orey - 1971

Lon Orey, M.S., psychology, worked for 41 years in the human resources field, most recently as vice president for Human Resources at PIH Health in Whittier, California. Since his retirement, he has authored two books, both of them satires about a team of U.S. Military Intelligence agents operating in Thailand during the height of the Vietnam War: “Apricot Marmalade and the Edmondson Transmittal,” and its sequel, “Apricot Marmalade and The Sangsuwan Equation.”

Frank James - 1973

Frank James, B.A., Fairhaven interdisciplinary concentration, and ’21, Distinguished Alumnus, has had an active medical career in teaching, research and medical practice both in the Pacific Northwest and globally, working in India, Thailand, Nepal, East Timor and other countries. He has been the health officer for San Juan County for over 30 years and for the Nooksack Tribe for more than 15. Most recently he was recognized by the Washington Academy of Family Physicians for providing the leadership to bring San Juan County, a very high-risk community with more than 35 percent of residents over 65, through the pandemic with only three deaths over the past three years. Frank holds teaching positions at UW School of Public Health and at Yang Ming University School of Medicine in Taipei, Taiwan.

Mike Dobb - 1973

Mike Dobb, B.A., recreation, retired after 32 years in parks and recreation. During his career, he served as president of the Washington Recreation and Park Association. He purchased a 320-acre tree farm in Minnesota in 1996, and he was named Minnesota Tree Farmer of the Year in 2017 by the American Tree Farm System and Minnesota Forestry Association.

Rick Hafele - 1973

Rick Hafele, B.S., biology, is an aquatic biologist and a founder and board member of the Deschutes River Alliance. Known as “the Bug Man” in fly fishing circles, Rick wrote the Aquatic Entomology column for American Angler magazine for more than three decades.

Charles Young - 1973

Charles Young, BAE, physical education, taught English in Las Vegas schools for 30 years. He’s also a Shakespeare scholar who theorizes that the Bard’s grave marker is actually an elaborate puzzle that points to the true author of Shakespeare’s works, Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford.

Mike Dobb - 1973

Mike Dobb, B.A., recreation, retired after 32 years in parks and recreation. During his career, he served as president of the Washington Recreation and Park Association. He purchased a 320-acre tree farm in Minnesota in 1996, and he was named Minnesota Tree Farmer of the Year in 2017 by the American Tree Farm System and Minnesota Forestry Association.

Jean Waight - 1973

Jean Waight, B.A., anthropology, and ’96, M.A., sociology, has a book out from Wipf and Stock Publishers, “The River Beyond the Dam: Shooting the Rapids of Progressive Christianity.” The memoir explores what a modern church can be, Jean says, inclusive, egalitarian, scholarship-infused, and vital—even fun.

Dixon Hamby - 1974

Dixon Hamby, B.S., visual communication, worked at Boeing for 18 years, where he was a graphic artist then became a web designer. He also worked at Trader Joe’s for several years. After living in Panama and Hawaii, Dixon is back in Seattle.

Greg Hall - 1974

Greg Hall, M.A., sociology, retired as a captain in the Los Angeles Police Department, where, he reports, he put his graduate sociology degree to good use.

Carol V. Davis - 1975

Carol V. Davis, B.A., Fairhaven interdisciplinary concentration, just had her fourth poetry book
published: "Below Zero," Stephen F. Austin State University Press. The book is centered on
poems about Siberia, where Carol taught at a university in January 2018. She was due to be back in
Siberia in 2020 as a Fulbright Specialist. She postponed twice because of COVID-19 and when the war
began, the State Department closed the Fulbright program in Russia. Carol teaches at Santa Monica College and Antioch University, Los Angeles.

Scott Cairns - 1977

Scott Cairns, B.A., English, will publish his 10th poetry collection, "Lacunae: New Poems," with Paraclete Press in November. Two previous collections, "Slow Pilgrim: The Collected Poems" and "Anaphora," were published in 2016 and 2019. His spiritual memoir, "Short Trip to the Edge" was recently translated into Greek and Romanian, and his book-length essay, "The End of Suffering," was just published in Greek. 

Dave Porter - 1978

Dave Porter, B.S., visual communication, retired after 38 years in information technology at Boeing, last serving in public cloud product management. 

Steve Valandra - 1980

Steve Valandra, B.A., journalism, retired in 2021 after 40 years of work, first as a reporter and editor at the Friday Harbor Journal, Bellingham Herald and the Salem Statesman‐Journal, then as a communications professional for several state agencies. He served as director of communications at the departments of General Administration and Enterprise Services and finished his career as deputy commissioner of Public Affairs for the Office of the Insurance Commissioner. Steve now splits his time between homes in Olympia and Porto, Portugal.

Paul J. Lindholdt - 1980

Paul Lindholdt, M.A., English, just published "Interrogating Travel: Guidance from a Reluctant Tourist," with Louisiana State University Press

Keri Worley VonMoos - 1980

Judy Irving, '82, BAE, elementary education and general science, and ’93, M.Ed., school administration, lives and teaches in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where she was recently visited by her basketball teammates Keri Worley VonMoos, BAE, physical education/secondary education, and Jo Metzger-Levin, ’81, BAE, physical education/secondary education, and ’85, M.Ed., physical education, who were on a three-week tour of five countries in Southeast Asia.

Camille VanDevanter - 1981

Camille VanDevanter, B.S., chemistry/biology, is an orthodontist in Federal Way.

Jo Metzger-Levin - 1981

Judy Irving, '82, BAE, elementary education and general science, and ’93, M.Ed., school administration, lives and teaches in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where she was recently visited by her basketball teammates Keri Worley VonMoos, ’80, BAE, physical education/secondary education, and Jo Metzger-Levin, ’81, BAE, physical education/secondary education, and ’85, M.Ed., physical education, who were on a three-week tour of five countries in Southeast Asia.

Judy Irving - 1982

Judy Irving, BAE, elementary education and general science, and ’93, M.Ed., school administration, lives and teaches in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where she was recently visited by her basketball teammates Keri Worley VonMoos, ’80, BAE, physical education/secondary education, and Jo Metzger-Levin, ’81, BAE, physical education/secondary education, and ’85, M.Ed., physical education, who were on a three-week tour of five countries in Southeast Asia.

Annie Davis - 1983

Annie Davis, B.A., human services, sold her business, Annie’s Nannies Inc., in 2021 at age 81. She was also president of the Association of Premier Nanny Agencies for 10 years. Now retired, she plans to continue traveling the world with her husband.

Becky Bruhn - 1983

Becky Bruhn, B.A., economics, started a video production business and joined the board of the Northwest Film Forum in Seattle.

Jon Pugh - 1983

After creating a variety of computer games at Western in the early 1980s, Jon Pugh, B.S., computer science, went into scientific computing on Cray supercomputers at the National Energy Research Supercomputer Center, and then moved into the desktop realm at Apple working on AppleScript, and Adobe developing Adobe InDesign and InCopy. After many years, he’s finally made it back into games, working for Maxis on The Sims at Electronic Arts.

Larry Orman - 1983

Larry Orman, ’83, B.A., business administration and computer science, is the vice president for marketing and communication at Alcorn State University, the nation’s oldest, historically Black landgrant university. Larry and his son recently climbed the 19,341-foot Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa and the tallest freestanding mountain in the world. “The eight-day Tanzanian climb to the top of Africa, through five climate zones, including an arctic zone at the equator, still feels surreal,” Larry writes.

Lisa McCarthy - 1983

Lisa McCarthy, B.Mus., performance, is the senior instructor of flute and Woodwind Area coordinator at Western. She plans to retire in June after 24 years on the faculty.

Cheryl Louie - 1983

Cheryl Louie, MBA, spent several years in finance as the vice president of Marketing at Westminster Savings in Vancouver, B.C. She has two grown children and has wonderful memories of her time at Western.

Chuck Lennox - 1983

Chuck Lennox, B.S., environmental education, has been working internationally with botanical gardens in Ukraine and, most recently, in the country of Georgia. In the fall of 2019, he trained garden education staff at three locations in Ukraine. Due to the pandemic, planned staff exchanges were postponed and then cancelled in 2022 with the Russian invasion. But support continued with virtual training sessions and fundraising for ten botanical gardens.

Gregory Hansen - 1983

Gregory Hansen, B.A., business administration, became the chief credit officer at Numerica Credit Union in Spokane.

Joyce Parry-Moore - 1983

The Rev. Joyce Parry-Moore, B.Mus. performance, recently became parish priest of the Anglican Parish of St. Aidan and St. Bartholomew in Gibsons, B.C. Previously, she was the rector at St. James Episcopal Church in Kent.

Megan Chance - 1983

Lake Union Publishing recently released “A Dangerous Education,” the latest by Megan Chance, B.A., broadcast communications. It’s a historical fiction novel set in 1950s Cold War Seattle, where a modern new teacher at a school for troubled girls challenges the narrow curriculum meant to tame restless young minds. Megan has written more than 20 novels, including “A Splendid Ruin,” “Bone River,” and “An Inconvenient Wife.”

Brian Lind - 1984

Brian Lind, B.A., journalism, recently became Supply Chain Manager - Americas for Corio Generation, part of Macquarie's Green Investment Group. Brian has been a procurement professional in the energy field since 2000 and ran his own consulting business focused on wind energy for several years. He completed his MBA in 2016 from Marylhurst University. 

Marty Schafer - 1984

Marty Schafer, B.A., urban and regional planning, is a consultant/ coach with FranklinCovey Education and the former president of the Clover Park School Board.

Cathy Lamet - 1985

Cathy Lamet, B.A., business administration, recently spoke at the Lakewood History Museum about her book, “Titanic Remembrance.”

David Lyon - 1986

David Lyon, B.S. chemistry, is a senior fellow for Global R & D at Lonza in Bend, Oregon.

Traci Hill Barela - 1987

Traci Hill Barela, M.Ed., English - secondary, teaches English at West Springfield High School in Fairfax, Virginia. Traci has lived and taught all over the world, in Athens, Helsinki, India, Bulgaria and Germany. 

Terrence Osier - 1992

Terrence Osier, B.S., geology, is vice president of exploration for Strathmore Plus Uranium Corporation in Wyoming. He was recently named to the board of directors of F3 Uranium Corp.

John Boyd - 1993

John Boyd, M.Ed., secondary ed., became superintendent of Evergreen Public Schools in Vancouver, after serving for a year in the role as interim superintendent.

Cami Ostman - 1993

Cami Ostman, BAE, English/theatre, is the founder and director of The Narrative Project, which offers get-your-book-done courses. Cami is also the author of "Second Wind: One Woman’s Midlife Quest to Run Seven Marathons on Seven Continents," and the co-founder of Red Wheelbarrow Writers. 

Jayne Entwistle - 1995

Jayne Entwistle, B.A., English, narrates audiobooks for Penguin Random House, Scholastic, as well as local Bellingham authors. Jayne also has a recurring role on "Blockbuster," a Netflix seriesfilmed in Vancouver, B.C.

Jeffrey Meriwether - 1995

Jeffrey Meriwether, ’95, B.A., and ’97, M.A., history, was recently selected as the dean of the Feinstein School of Humanities, Arts and Education at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island. Jeffrey is a well-regarded professor of European, African and military history at RWU and has served in several administrative roles—most recently as the school’s associate dean.

Tim Kraft - 1997

Tim Kraft, B.S., electronics engineering technology, can be seen throughout Whatcom County as a Frank Sinatra tribute performer. He  performs at public events and assisted living communities, sometimes accompanied by a live orchestra. When he's not channeling one of the 20th century's most iconic singers, Tim works in Western's Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders as a biomedical electronics technician. 

Erin Sheckler - 1997

Erin Sheckler, B.A., journalism – public relations, became head of national commercial services for Stewart, a global real estate services company.

Kami Westhoff - 1998

Kami Westhoff, B.A., English - creative writing, and '02, M.A., English, published a short story collection, "The Criteria" in 2002 with Unsolicited Press and her poetry chapbook, "Cloudbound," is being published by Dancing Girl Press. Kami is a senior instructor of English at Western. 

Jennifer Jahner - 1998

Jennifer Jahner, B.A., English, was recently named dean of undergraduate students at the California Institute of Technology. Jen is an English professor at Caltech whose research interests include the histories of rhetoric, law, and natural philosophy, focusing on the European Middle Ages and its role in shaping contemporary understandings of rights, evidence, perception and proof. 

Patrick Green - 1998

Patrick Green, B.A., history, is an educational technology consultant and recently became the interim women’s basketball coach at Wenatchee Valley College.

Ryan Looper - 1998

Ryan Looper, B.S. and ’99, M.S. chemistry, is a professor and the Jon M. Huntsman Presidential Chair in organic and bioorganic chemistry at the University of Utah’s Huntsman Cancer Institute.

Alison Vega - 1999

Alison Vega, B.A., speech-language pathology and audiology, has a doctorate in audiology from Utah State University and recently opened her clinic, Complete Hearing and Balance, in Chehalis.

Jimmy Watts - 1999

Jimmy Watts, B.A., English, is a Seattle firefighter who hand-crafts fly rods through his Shuksan Rod Co. Jimmy is also a writer whose essay about novelist David James Duncan was recently published in The Flyfish Journal

Katherine Thomas - 2001

Katherine Thomas, B.A., English and linguistics, is a freelance food writer and part-time paralegal in Bozeman. She recently wrote about a community food bank for Edible Bozeman

Cathlina Bergman - 2002

Cathlina Bergman, M.A., English, recently became the librarian for Newton High School in Kansas and is working on a Master of Library and Information Science degree at Emporia State University

Cindy Hollenbeck - 2002

Cindy Hollenbeck, M.A., English, is the director of Public Relations and Communications for the Graduate School at Washington State University. 

Jill Nelson - 2002

Jill Nelson, B.A., English - creative writing, owns a design studio, Pinwheel Creative, and is developing a creative writing magazine.  

Abram Bergstrom - 2002

Abram Bergstrom, B.A., German and linguistics (interdisciplinary design), became an intellectual property specialist at Reed Smith, a global law firm based in Pittsburgh.

Brian Ogolsky - 2002

Brian Ogolsky, B.A. psychology, was promoted to full professor of Human Development and Family Studies at the
University of Illinois Urbana‐Champaign. He was also named University Scholar for distinguished contributions to
research, teaching, and service. Brian is the department's director of graduate programs and leads the H.E.A.R.T. Lab (Healthy Experiences Across Relationship Transitions), which explores how romantic relationships change over time. He was recently selected to co-chair the 2026 National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference. 

Aura Cuellar - 2002

Aura Cuellar, MBA, recently became executive vice president of Growth and Strategic Projects at LanzaTech Global, Inc., a carbon recycling technology company that plans to open three new plants before the end of 2023. 

Julia Rose - 2003

Julia Rose, B.S., computer science, has worked on games, open-source software, and more since graduating. “But what I'm most proud of is finally finding my true self and coming out as transgender,” Julia reports. “Justin is the mask I wore for 40 years. Julia is who I always was underneath and it feels so good to finally let her out!”

Marylynn Fiscus - 2003

Marylynn Fiscus, B.A., human services, works with children who have special needs and worked as a social worker for DSHS Children’s Administration. She has two adult children, a son who is a mechanic at Boeing, and a daughter who is a Western alum and a nurse at Skagit Valley Hospital.

Richard Macías - 2003

Richard Macías, B.A., art, lives in Frankfurt, Germany, with his wife and two children, where he works in the General Services Office of the U.S. Mission Germany's Frankfurt General Consulate. The largest U.S. consulate in the world, Frankfurt supports many other U.S. diplomatic posts in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. 

Eric Christensen - 2004

Eric Christensen, B.A., recreation, recently became a real estate broker for The Muljat Group in Bellingham. 

Arthur Lim - 2005

Arthur Lim, B.S., P.E., sport psychology, completed the 10k race in the Richland Runfest in February.

Pete Nelson - 2005

Pete Nelson, MBA, is the new executive director of the Blaine Senior Center, adding several new activities and clubs for the center’s 500 or so patrons.

Noah Wass - 2005

Noah Wass, B.S., plastics engineering technology, was recently named plant manager for Mack Molding in Cavendish, Vermont.

Will Taylor - 2005

"The Language of Seabirds" by Will Taylor, B.A. Fairhaven interdisciplinary concentration, a story for middle-grade readers for and about LGBTQ+ youth, was recently featured on the Today Show as one of the titles on Jenna Bush Hager's kids' summer reading list. Taylor and "Seabirds" were featured in Window magazine's "First Crush, Second Draft."

Rebecca Swanson - 2006

Rebecca Swanson, B.S., and ’08, M.S., chemistry, is a science teacher at Renton High School and was recently recognized by the Renton School District as an outstanding employee for 2023.

Ariel Wetzel - 2007

Ariel Wetzel, B.A., Fairhaven interdisciplinary concentration, and '09, M.A., English, recently received tenure at Green River College, where she teaches English and directs the Writing and Reading Center. 

Dane Kelley - 2007

Dane Kelley, B.A., business administration – operations management, was recently named vice president for the southern district with Total-Western, an engineering, construction, operations and maintenance industrial contractor.

Andrea Miele - 2007

Andrea Miele, ’07, B.A., history/social studies and ’09, MiT, is a social studies teacher and the ASB activities coordinator at Cougar Mountain Middle School in the Issaquah School District. She was recently named Adviser of the Year by the Association of Washington Student Leaders and the Association of Washington School Principals.

Marisa Lee - 2008

Marisa Lee, B.S., geology, lives in Minneapolis with her husband Kory, two dogs, two cats and three chickens. She reports that she’s still a geology nerd, works as a real estate agent and grows edible flowers on the side.

Brittany Rogers - 2008

Brittany Rogers, B.A., English literature, is a senior product manager at Microsoft, working on Microsoft 365.

Cheyenne Brown - 2009

Cheyenne Brown, B.A., general studies, works in the Office of Academic Engagement at Washington State University as a coordinator of the Cougs Rise program. Chey also has a graduate degree from the University of Minnesota in geography, environment and society.

Jaima Lindell - 2009

Jaima Lindell, B.A., English - creative writing, is a project manager for a digital marketing company in Bellingham and her fantasy novel is in the editing phase with the indie Earth and Fire Publishing in Seattle. 

Briana Martinez - 2010

Briana Martinez, BAE, environmental studies, is the founder and CEO of Wild Moon, a spiritual education and adventure business for women, offering retreats, backpacking trips, workshops and other events "for women seeking to connect with their most powerful selves."  

Gina Cole - 2012

Gina Cole, B.A., communication and journalism, was recently promoted to Corporate Communications manager at Zillow. 

Jordan Gage - 2012

Jordan Gage, M.Ed., educational administration, and '13, principal's residency certificate, became the Head of School at Kings Schools in Seattle. Previously, he was superintendent at Northshore Christian Academy in Everett. 

Tyler Rablin - 2012

Tyler Rablin, B.A., English literature, is a teacher whose book "Hacking Student Motivation through Assessment," is coming out through Times10 Publishing.

David Harris - 2012

David Harris, B.A., sociology, became the new head football coach at Lynnwood High School. Formerly, he was the assistant coach. David is also an education specialist at Treehouse, a nonprofit organization that supports foster youth. 

Samantha O'Brochta - 2013

Samantha O'Brochta, B.A., journalism - public relations, is the creative director for Apartment Therapy Media, where she recently won a 2023 Webby Award for Social Video - Culture & Lifestyle. 

Michelle Bender - 2013

Michelle Bender, ’13, B.S., biology - marine emphasis, is an attorney who specializes in Earth law and serves as legal counsel for Ocean Vision Legal. Previously, she was the ocean campaigns director for the Earth Law Center where she helped draft Rights of Nature laws and policies around the world. Michelle recently spoke in the College of the Environment’s Environmental Speaker Series on “Ocean Rights: An Emerging Environmental Ethic to Transform Ocean Governance.”

Jason Finkbonner - 2013

Jason Finkbonner, B.A., economics and politics/philosophy/economics, and '17, B.S., biology, just graduated from University of Washington Medical School, where he completed the Indian Health Pathway. Now, he'll begin specialist training in UW's Psychiatry Residency program in Seattle. Jason, the second member of the Lummi Nation to earn an M.D. degree, was also instrumental in a new partnership between the UW School of Medicine and Lummi Nation, allowing UW medical students to train at the Lummi Tribal Health Center. 

Nicolas Ponting - 2014

Nicholas Ponting, B.A., theatre, is a set and production designer and stained glass artist in San Diego. His work has been seen in productions at the La Jolla Playhouse, Detroit Public Theatre and more.

Frederick Livingston - 2014

Frederick Livingston, B.S., environmental science, is an ecologist and poet who was just awarded the Prism Prize for Climate Literature for his upcoming book, "Trees are Bridges to the Sky," due from Homebound Press in 2024. His first book of poetry, "The Moon and Other Fruits," was published by Legacy Book Press in April. 

Alexa Peters - 2014

Alexa Peters, B.A., English - creative writing, is a freelance writer whose work was recently published in Rolling Stone. Her article explored gender diversity in the music industry. 

Jordan Saravanja‐Recania - 2015

Jordan Saravanja‐Recania, B.A., communication studies, recently began volunteering as a judo instructor with Zenyu Dojo in Maple Valley. He’s also studying to become a certified USA judo coach and working toward his third-degree black belt. In February, Jordan became an elementary support paraeducator with Federal Way Public Schools, where he now works alongside some of his former elementary school teachers.

Jordyn Berg Reeves - 2016

Jordyn Berg Reeves, B.A., English - creative writing, is a web content writer for Rosemont Media in San Diego. 

Patrick Phelps - 2016

Patrick Phelps, B.S., physics, is the founder and CEO of WhyGrene Energy Exchange, a software platform that enables homes and businesses to sell electrical power -- from solar panels, electric vehicles, battery packs or other sources -- back to utilities during times of high demand. 

Jamie Clough - 2016

Jamie Clough, B.A., political science, is the government relations director for the Delaware Association of Realtors.

Christopher Beltran - 2017

Christopher Beltran, B.A., English - creative writing, is a public relations coordinator for Dark Horse Comics. 

Dayna Patterson - 2017

Dayna Patterson, MFA, creative writing, has her second poetry collection, "O Lady, Speak Again" coming out with Signature Books in 2025. Signature Books also published Dayna's MFA thesis in February. She's also an English instructor at Western and assistant head of the Research & Writing Studio. 

Alynn Sobolik - 2017

Alynn Sobolik, B.A., English - creative writing, is performing this summer with this psychedelic rock band, Of the Heavy Sun, which just released tis third full-length album, "Cosmic Television." 

Miriam Vance - 2017

Miriam Vance, B.A., English - creative writing, became the contracts and rights associate and awards coordinator at Catapult/Counterpoint/Soft Skull Press. 

Whitaker Jamieson - 2018

Jennifer Paolini, BAE, mathematics, lives in Portland with her husband, Whitaker Jamieson, B.S., student-faculty designed major. Jennifer reports they’re both working their dream jobs: She’s teaching math and Whitaker is working with electric vehicles.

Jennifer Paolini - 2018

Jennifer Paolini, BAE, mathematics, lives in Portland with her husband, Whitaker Jamieson, B.S., student-faculty designed major. Jennifer reports they’re both working their dream jobs: She’s teaching math and Whitaker is working with electric vehicles.

Alex Crape - 2018

Alex Crape, B.A., business administration, was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps shortly after graduation and went on to serve 3 ½ years in Okinawa, Japan. He served as a Combat Logistics Detachment Commander, a Motor Transport Platoon Commander, a Training Officer within a Combat Logistics Regiment S-3 Section, and various other duties abroad, including training the Royal South Korean military. He was recognized as Motor Transport Officer of the Year for the fiscal year 2022 and was hand-selected to attend a U.S Army Captain Career Course as a Marine; only 16 Marines annually get to attend, on average.

Natalie (Bankuti) Summers - 2018

Natalie (Bankuti) Summers, B.A., archeology, completed her master’s degree in archaeology from University College London and then worked in Belize with the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project. These days, Natalie is an archeologist for the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and will soon begin her doctorate studying ancient Mayan hieroglyphics.

Claire Carlson - 2018

Claire Carlson, B.A., political science, is a bilingual court advocate for domestic and sexual violence survivors in Oregon. Last fall the Oregon Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence gave her the PASSION Award (Perseverance, Advocacy, Sensitivity, Strength, Integrity, Optimism, Nurturance).

Eurydice Pentz - 2018

Eurydice Pentz, B.A., environmental policy, recently started a new role in the Sustainability Division of Pierce County’s Planning and Public Works Department, where she helps to implement the county’s Sustainability 2030 Plan.

Alyssa Quinn - 2018

Alyssa Quinn, MFA, creative writing, published her debut novel in 2022 with Dzanc Books. "Habilis" is an exploration into the origins of humans and human language: a historical reconstruction, psychological horror, mystery, ghost story and creation myth. 

Sheila Erfan - 2018

Sheila Erfan, B.A., biocultural anthropology, just completed a master's degree in biomedical sciences at Des Moines University in Iowa and has published two papers in the field of immune-mediated cancer therapy. Now, Sheila will begin work on her medical degree at Des Moines University's Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program. 

Emma Williams - 2019

Emma Williams, B.A., English - creative writing, just completed her MFA in creative writing at Eastern Washington University, continuing to work on her novel, and started as an adjunct instructor at North Idaho College. 

Nate Brown - 2019

Nate Brown, B.A., business administration – marketing, recently expanded the food truck business he co-owns, Sweet As Waffles, into a brick-and-mortar location in downtown Bellingham.

Natalie Reeder - 2020

Two 2020 alums were among the 17 teachers nationwide to receive the 2023 Maitland P. Simmons Memorial Award for New Teachers from the National Science Teaching Association. Hillary Hunsaker, BAE, general science – elementary, is a STEM teacher at Conway School in Mount Vernon, and Natalie Reeder, BAE, general science – elementary, is a third-grade teacher at Cascade View Elementary School in Tukwila.

Hillary Hunsaker - 2020

Two 2020 alums were among the 17 teachers nationwide to receive the 2023 Maitland P. Simmons Memorial Award for New Teachers from the National Science Teaching Association. Hillary Hunsaker, BAE, general science – elementary, is a STEM teacher at Conway School in Mount Vernon, and Natalie Reeder, BAE, general science – elementary, is a third-grade teacher at Cascade View Elementary School in Tukwila.

Peter Condyles - 2020

Peter Condyles, B.A., history, is a member of the Marysville City Council and president of the Marysville Historical Society.

Kendall Lujan - 2020

Kendall Lujan, B.A., anthropology, is a guitarist and singer-songwriter in Portland, where she recently released a self-titled, four-song EP.

Michael Nguyen - 2020

Michael Nguyen, B.A., journalism – public relations, is the head coach of the eSports team at South Puget Sound Community College.

Christopher Lovgreen - 2021

Christopher Lovgreen, M.A., English, has been accepted at Miami University's Ph.D. program in English, where he will also serve as a graduate teaching assistant in the university's first-year writing program. 

Ken Dalena - 2021

Ken Dalena, B.A., theatre, is a U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam War vet and has worked as an actor in television and film roles. He recently directed his first play, “You Can’t Take it With You” at The Claire Theater in Lynden.

Ethan Frank - 2021

Ethan Frank, B.A., Fairhaven interdisciplinary concentration, is a marketing associate with Marketing Choices, and he’s based in Maui, Hawaii.

Dexter Davis - 2021

Dexter Davis, B.S., environmental science, was recently awarded the 2023 Graduate Research Fellowships Program scholarship from the National Science Foundation. Since graduating, Dexter has worked in Associate Professor Shawn Arellano's Larval Lab as a research technologist and NSF geoscience research experience scholar. With the new fellowship, he'll soon begin a master's program at Oregon State University. 

Keegan Lawler - 2021

Keegan Lawler, MFA, creative writing, recently published an essay in the Offing about Bronski Beat's son "Smalltown Boy," covered by Orville Peck.

Hannah Raschke - 2022

Hannah Raschke, B.A., English literature, is the front office coordinator for Echo Theater Co., a circus and performing arts school in Portland, Oregon. 

Peter Dyer - 2022

After an internship at Archipelago Books, a small press devoted to publishing works in translation, Peter Dyer, B.A., English - creative writing, began work with the publisher Europa Editions.  

Obituary

Art Svidran - 1951

Art Svidran, 92, a retired P.E. teacher and track coach in Seattle, on Jan. 11, 2021, in Poulsbo.

Geraldine Furnia - 1951

Geraldine Furnia, 92, a retired elementary school teacher in Montesano, on Jan. 25, 2023.

Arlene Sprague Buchanan - 1952

Arlene Sprague Buchanan, 92, of Olympia, on April 20, 2023. 

Jean Marie Landahl Higginson - 1953

Jean Marie Landahl Higginson, 89, on Jan. 4, 2023, in Ferndale.

Gaylon Dacus - 1954

Gaylon Dacus, 90, a retired teacher who worked in Camas, Madera, Burien, Vancouver, and Oxnard, California, in March 2023.

Richard L. Harris - 1956

Richard L. Harris, 88, a retired college administrator who worked at Grays Harbor College, Rochester Institute of Technology, and WWU, on Jan. 14, 2023, in Olympia.

James D. Berg - 1957

James D. Berg, 85, a retired real estate appraiser in Bellingham and Everson, on Aug. 16, 2020.

Herbert Grose - 1958

Herbert Grose, 85, a retired teacher for Portland Public Schools, on Sept. 13, 2022.

Gordon Richard Anderson - 1958

Gordon Richard Anderson, 92, a custom home builder, on March 25, 2023.

Melvin Gottfred Kelln - 1959

Melvin Gottfred Kelln, 86, retired assistant principal of Marysville Pilchuck High school, on Nov. 20, 2022.

Robert Kohlwes - 1959

Robert Kohlwes, 91, a retired teacher and commercial fisher and a world-traveler, on Nov. 15, 2022.

Robert Studebaker - 1959

Robert Studebaker, 95, a U.S. Air Force veteran and retired teacher and golf coach in the Clover Park School District, on Nov. 24, 2022.

Roy Otness - 1960

Roy Otness, 93, a retired sixth-grade teacher in Petersburg and commercial fisher, on Feb. 14, 2023, in Petersburg, Alaska.

Richard Michael “Mike” Kisman - 1962

Richard Michael “Mike” Kisman, 71, a retired seventh- and eighth-grade science and life skills teacher in Lacey, as well as in Mission Viejo and Covina, California, on June 16, 2002.

Marvin V. Seelye - 1962

Marvin V. Seelye, 85, retired teacher, coach, assistant principal and administrator in the Oak Harbor School District and a life-long golfer who became known as the “Michelangelo of the Golf Course” as a part-time groundskeeper and landscaper at Whidbey Golf Course, on Feb. 10, 2023.

Jeanne Kelln - 1963

Jeanne Kelln, 82, on Nov. 9, 2022.

Ingeborg Johnson - 1963

Ingeborg Johnson, 81, a retired paralegal, on Feb. 5, 2023.

Patricia Ann Lanning - 1963

Patricia Ann Lanning, 81, a retired primary grade teacher and active community volunteer, on Feb. 1, 2023, in Hoquiam.

Ashley Stanhope Watson, - 1964

Ashley Stanhope Watson, 84, a retired district superintendent who worked in Washtucna, Pateros and Soap Lake school districts, on Jan. 13, 2023.

Edwin Andres - 1965

Edwin Andres, 89, a retired science teacher in Canada, on Jan. 21, 2023.

Linda Sue Nelson - 1965

Linda Sue Nelson, 80, a retired teacher who also had a career in real estate, on Dec. 26, 2022.

Allan Lamb - 1965

Allan Lamb, 81, a decorated lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force who in retirement pursued photography and ran a picture framing shop in Lynnwood, on Dec. 31, 2022.

Barbara Lou Forest - 1965

Barbara Lou Forest, 80, on Dec. 17, 2022.

Warren W. Levenhagen - 1966

Warren W. Levenhagen, 79, an artist and retired chemistry, physics and astronomy teacher and coach at Tyee High School, where he once built an observatory with his students, on Feb. 1, 2023, in Auburn.

Lucille Pierce - 1967

Lucille Pierce, 83, a retired teacher, on Jan. 3, 2023, in Longview.

Susan Lee Van Syckle - 1968

Susan Lee Van Syckle, 77, a retired teacher in Klamath Falls and Beaverton, Oregon, and Aberdeen, on Nov. 16, 2022, in Seattle.

Daniel Wallace Meins - 1968

Daniel Wallace Meins, 76, of Everett, on Dec. 23, 2022.

Elizabeth C. “Bette” Alexander - 1969

Elizabeth C. “Bette” Alexander, 96, a retired teacher in Bellingham and Mount Baker school districts and active community volunteer, on Jan. 10, 2023, in Bellingham.

David Rudell - 1969

David Rudell, 79, retired director of food service at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Walla Walla, on Jan. 6, 2023, in Liberty Lake.

Susan (Parish) Randall - 1969

Susan (Parish) Randall, 76, on Feb. 26, 2023.

Laura J. Lerwick - 1969

Laura J. Lerwick, 88, a retired public schoolteacher and avid genealogist who was active in coordinating international youth exchanges in her Minnesota community, on Feb. 9, 2023, in Osseo, Minnesota.

Richard Gardner Ferguson - 1969

Richard Gardner Ferguson, 87, on Dec. 16, 2022, on Camano Island.

Sally Anthony - 1971

Sally Anthony, 90, a retired bookkeeper and seating assistant for the Seattle Mariners, on Jan. 23, 2023.

James Frey - 1972

James Frey, 83, a former teacher and La Conner bedand- breakfast innkeeper and retired contractor, on Jan. 20, 2023, in Mount Vernon.

Barbara Louise Elsner - 1972

Barbara Louise Elsner, 91, in October 2022.

Michael Duffy - 1972

Michael Duffy, 73, a retired business owner in Everett, on Feb. 13, 2023.

Ronald Rutz - 1972

Ronald Rutz, 73, on Dec. 29, 2022.

Douglas Rogers - 1972

Douglas Rogers, 78, an Olympia resident, on Dec. 27, 2022.

James Rex Owenby - 1972

James Rex Owenby, 74, on Jan. 15, 2021, a U.S. Army veteran, in Vero Beach, Florida.

Marie Patricia Thompson - 1973

Marie Patricia Thompson, 101, who became an interior designer after raising her children and earning her WWU degree at age 50, on Jan. 11, 2023.

Ronald Paul Porterfield - 1973

Ronald Paul Porterfield, 73, a retired teacher, principal and administrator for Vancouver Public Schools, on March 3, 2023.

Larry Lee - 1973

Larry Lee, 71, a retired partner in an insurance agency in Stockton, California, on Jan. 23, 2023.

Patrick Thomas Jenkins - 1973

Patrick Thomas Jenkins, 74, on Jan. 24, 2023.

Peter Benecke - 1974

Peter Benecke, 70, an opera singer and voice coach, on Dec. 4, 2022, in Windsor, California.

William Thomas Wyckoff - 1974

William Thomas Wyckoff, 74, a retired sergeant for the Aberdeen Police Department, on March 5, 2023, in Cosmopolis.

Joan LeMieux - 1974

Joan LeMieux, 87, a former Cowlitz County commissioner and longtime Mark Morris High School English teacher, on Dec. 10, 2020, in Anacortes.

John C. Francis - 1975

John C. Francis, 72, an artist and floral business owner, on Dec. 28, 2022, in Nespelem.

Dwight Herron - 1976

Dwight Herron, 69, a retired project manager for Cowlitz County Department of Facilities Maintenance, on Feb. 15, 2023, in Longview.

Susan Sharer - 1976

Susan Sharer, 68, retired counselor for unemployment benefits and student grants at Pierce College and Clover Park Technical College, on March 18, 2023. 

Mary Roebuck - 1977

Mary Roebuck, 70, a retired 40-year teacher in the Lynden School District who also coached Odyssey of the Mind and Destination Imagination teams, on Jan. 19, 2023, in Bellingham.

Frank Knight Bryant - 1977

Frank Knight Bryant, 71, retired from Boeing, on Dec. 18, 2021. 

Dorothy Petersen - 1977

Dorothy Petersen, 94, a retired early childhood education teacher at Green River and Renton Technical colleges, on June 29, 2022.

Cheryl McLean - 1977

Cheryl McLean, 68, a retired writer and editor who worked for the Alaska Department of Education and Juneau libraries, on Jan. 12, 2023, in Seattle.

Norman Alan Fishwick - 1979

Norman Alan Fishwick, 79, a retired teacher in British Columbia, on Feb. 23, 2023.

Gordon Sjogren - 1979

Gordon Sjogren, 68, retired from Boeing, on Feb. 21, 2023.

Robert Bruce Palmer - 1979

Robert Bruce Palmer, 69, a retired critical incident review specialist for Child Protective Services, on March 6, 2023.

David Andrew Murray - 1981

David Andrew Murray, 65, a graphic designer, on April 7, 2023.

Arthur Mah - 1981

Arthur Mah, 70, a retired elementary school teacher in Abbotsford, B.C., on July 20, 2022.

Betty Kiner - 1981

Betty Kiner, 80, who helped pass a federal ban on supertankers in Puget Sound and later served on the Bellingham Planning Commission and the Bellingham City Council, on Dec. 18, 2022, in Bellingham.

Bobbi Jean Virta - 1985

Bobbi Jean Virta, 64, an ordained minister for the United Church of Christ, on Feb. 12, 2023.

Candace E. Brandt - 1986

Candace E. Brandt, 71, a retired paralegal who was very active in helping others achieve and maintain their sobriety, on March 19, 2023, in Bellingham.

Anya Aardahl - 1987

Anya Aardahl, 59, on March 7, 2023, in San Clemente, California.

Marie Campbell - 1987

Marie Campbell, 80, a Port Angeles resident, on Dec. 3, 2022.

Maria Gloria Smith - 1988

Maria Gloria Smith, 81, on Jan. 1, 2023, in Bellingham.

Renwick Congdon - 1988

Renwick Congdon, 60, a longtime entrepreneur and the former CEO and founder of Imprev, a real estate marketing automation company, on Dec. 27, 2022.

Traci Lynn Lange - 1989

Traci Lynn Lange, 57, a retired teacher in the Federal Way School District, on Dec. 31, 2022.

Laurel Felber - 1989

Laurel Felber, 66, an artist, environmental activist, and teacher in the toddler center at Whatcom Community College, on Feb. 7, 2023.

Daniel David Taylor - 1991

Daniel David Taylor, 76, in November 2022.

Donald Herald Knutzen - 1991

Donald Herald Knutzen, 86, who worked for the U.S. Geological Survey for 29 years, then became a substance abuse counselor after earning his WWU degree, on Feb. 17, 2023.

Vonita Jerette McGee - 1993

Vonita Jerette McGee, 63, a social worker, musician, and activist for civil rights and racial equity, on Dec. 18, 2021.

Carolyn Sue Urban - 1994

Carolyn Sue Urban, 85, on Feb. 1, 2023, in Borrego Springs, California.

James Henry Sikkema - 1994

James Henry Sikkema, 75, a retired teacher at Cap Sante High School, on Jan. 23, 2023, in Anacortes.

Andy Eide - 1994

Andy Eide, 53, who covered Seattle hockey for NHL.com, wrote for the Seattle Kraken, and podcasted on Sound of Hockey, on April 14, 2023.

Lesli Marie Higginson - 1996

Lesli Marie Higginson, 62, a retired environmental engineer at BP Cherry Point Refinery, on Jan. 6, 2023, in Bellingham.

Cynthia Ruth (Erickson) Muña - 1999

Cynthia Ruth (Erickson) Muña, 55, who worked at Oregon State University and at North Hennepin Community College in Minnesota, on Jan. 6, 2023, in Lakeside, Texas.

Elizabeth Mary Herron - 1999

Elizabeth Mary Herron, 46, a Seabeck resident, on Aug. 17, 2022.

Rosaleen Paulina Gould - 1999

Rosaleen Paulina Gould, 44, a first-grade teacher at Skyline Elementary School in Ferndale, on Nov. 5, 2020.

Mary Jo Harvey - 2002

Mary Jo Harvey, 48, a former teacher and school district director, on Jan. 12, 2023.

Sarah Jean Trott - 2005

Sarah Jean Trott, 38, who worked in sales, on July 7, 2020.

Robert Timothy Wunschel - 2006

Robert Timothy Wunschel, 70, a U.S. Navy veteran who earned his two WWU degrees in anthropology after retiring, on Feb. 8, 2023, in Bellingham.

Mitchell Lewis - 2022

Mitchell Lewis, 23, a musician who had just completed their degree in Japanese language, on Nov. 23, 2022, in Olympia.

Ingeborg Paulus - FAC

Ingeborg Paulus, 93, a retired sociology professor who taught at Western from 1971 to 1989 and whose work on opioid addiction recovery is still relevant today. She also founded the Ingeborg Paulus Sociology Department Scholarship, which has helped dozens of students.

Robert Meier - FAC

Robert Meier, 92, professor emeritus of finance, marketing and decision sciences, in January 2023.

Paul Streubel - STF

Paul Streubel, 69, a retired sheet metal worker for 30 years at Western, on March 28, 2023.

Kay Rich - STF

Kay Rich, 84, retired director of University Residences and a 1976 master's graduate of Western, on April 6, 2023. Her 25-year career at Western also included work in Admissions, Student Affairs and Academic Advising.

Pattie Dawn Moon - STF

Pattie Dawn Moon, 70, a retired resource access specialist in Western Libraries and a 1974 graduate of Western, on Jan. 30, 2023. A dog lover, she and her dog Rufus had a cameo in “Best in Show.”

Janai Symons - STF

Janai Symons, 59, who worked at Western for more than 20 years and recently retired as a research compliance officer in Research and Sponsored Programs, on April 21, 2023.

Linda Godsey Strock - STF

Linda Godsey Strock, 80, who retired from working in the president’s office, the Department of Theatre and Dance, and ATUS, and helped found the WWU Employee Art Show, on Jan. 23, 2023.

Wedding

Haley Huston - 2008

Haley Huston, ’08, B.S., biology, and Cameron McCracken,’09, B.A., general studies, on Aug. 17, 2019. They now have twin boys.

Cameron McCracken - 2009

Haley Huston, ’08, B.S., biology, and Cameron McCracken,’09, B.A., general studies, on Aug. 17, 2019. They now have twin boys.

Nicholas Boone - 2009

Nicholas Boone, ’09, B.A., design, and Emma Rose Wayand, ’13, B.A., communication, on Sept. 10, 2022, in Tacoma.

Samantha O'Brochta - 2013

Samantha O'Brochta, '13, B.A., journalism - public relations, and Levi Friedman, '14, B.A., English - creative writing, on March 25, 2023, in Las Vegas. 

Emma Rose Wayand - 2013

Nicholas Boone, ’09, B.A., design, and Emma Rose Wayand, ’13, B.A., communication, on Sept. 10, 2022, in Tacoma.

Levi Friedman - 2014

Levi Friedman, '14, B.A., English - creative writing, and Samantha O'Brochta, '13, B.A., journalism - public relations, on March 25, 2023, in Las Vegas.