Western's campus as viewed from the sky, with trees highlighted by golden morning light

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.

Search Class Notes

Class Notes (General)

Pat Piggee - 1966

Two WWU alums, Pat Piggee, ’66, BAE, elementary education, and Thelma Temple, ’72, B.A., psychology, are neighbors in Maryland at the Collington continuing care retirement community in Mitchellville. Pat is active with the community’s Residents Association and was delighted to meet a fellow alum in Thelma when she moved to the community recently.

 

Scott Meaker - 1991

Scott Meaker, B.S., biology, recently opened Squatchy's a gift shop in North Whidbey Island near the entrance to Deception Pass State Park. At the door to the shop is a 9-foot taxidermied Sasquatch sculpture, a replica of the Sasquatch Scott says he saw as a teenager in Yosemite National Park. 

Henry Jackson-Spieker - 2013

Henry Jackson-Spieker, BFA, art, became an assistant professor of art at the University of Washington School of Art History and Design. Jackson-Spieker, a multidisciplinary artist whose work combines glass, bronze, steel, wood, fiber and light, is the Dale Chihuly Endowed Chair of Glass. This spring he'll be an Amazon Artist in Residence then attend the Cité Internationale des Arts Residency in Paris this summer. 

Zoe Wise - 2013

Zoe Wise, B.A., English - creative writing, a law school student and an enrolled member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, just finished a 10-week law clerk internship with the Alaska Native Justice Center, where she researched family law issues and the Indian Child Welfare Act and worked with clients in Tribal court. Zoe has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and had once considered a career in academia until she worked as a paralegal. The clerkship confirmed her plan to pursue a career in Indian law. 

Shannon Britton - 2005

Shannon Britton, B.S., environmental science, is the assistant director for Grounds and Waste Management at Seattle University, where she supports the university's organic, pesticide-free approach to landscaping. 

Geoff Manning - 1987

Geoff Manning, B.A., geology, recently became the superintendent of the Campbell River School District on Vancouver Island. Before moving to Campbell River, Geoff spent 20 years in administration in the Comox Valley School District 

J. Edgar Boyd - 1979

The Rev.. J. Edgar Boyd, B.A., recently retired from the pastoral ministry; he most recently served First AME Church - Los Angeles, the oldest African American church in LA. While there, Rev. Boyd formed the South Los Angeles Community Development and Empowerment Corporation, which collaborates with other denominations to address social and economic issues in South Los Angeles. Previously, Rev. Boyd served as pastor of Bethel AME Church in San Francisco for 20 years, and led Bethel AME Church of Los Angeles from 1986-92. 

Adam Gillman - 2013

Adam Gillman, B.A., Fairhaven Interdisciplinary concentration, recently became the rabbi at Morristown Jewish Center Beit Yisrael in New Jersey. Previously, he served as a chaplain at NYU Langone Hospital, completed a fellowship at T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights and was a student teacher at Schechter Manhattan Day School. 

Peter Kedenburg - 2008

Peter Kedenburg, B.A., planning and environmental policy, was included in 425 Business's 40 Under 40 list. Paul works as the branch manager of Sprague Pest Solutions in Bellevue. 

Julio Cortes - 2010

State Rep. Julio Cortes, B.A., journalism - public relations, is one of two WWU alumni in 425 Business's 40 Under 40 list. Julio is the Economic Development and Marketing manager for the city of Everett and represents the 38th Legislative District in the State House. 

Jackelyn Garcia - 2023

Jackelyn Garcia, M.S., marine and estuary science, was awarded a Washington Sea Grant Keystone Fellowship to work with the Puget Sound Partnership and Washington Conservation Action on a wide range of work focused on environmental policy. 

Ron Podmore - 1991

Ron Podmore, BAE, geography - secondary education, is screening an hour-long documentary, "The Best of Honduras," at the Federal Way Performing Arts Center on Nov. 3. During Ron's 30-plus year career in education, he has extensively traveled in Central America, written two books and is working on a third about the region. About 10 years ago Ron began to see a growing number of students from Central America in his classroom. "It made sense to really start digging into stories from these courageous young migrants," Ron writes. "To date, with over 10 trips exploring Central America, mostly to Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, I recognize a growing need to change the narrative and share positive stories from this area of the world." Learn more about Ron's work

Randy Alanko - 1977

Randy Alanko, B.S., chemistry/biology, reports that he retired from his solo family medicine practice in Baker City, Oregon, after "36.98 years." He has six grown children and recently celebrated his 40th anniversary with his wife Janet. 

Paul Lindholdt - 1978

Paul Lindholdt, B.A., and '80, M.A., English, teaches literature and environmental studies at Eastern Washington University. LSU Press just published Paul's latest book, "Interrogating Travel: Guidance from a Reluctant Tourist," which combines first-hand narratives with research about the travel trade. Amid the escalating climate crisis, Paul asks, has the human cost of trekking the globe become too high? 

Meagan Bryson - 2005

Meagan Bryson, B.A., human services and '07, M.Ed., student affairs administration, became the director of Western's Academic Advising and Student Achievement Center, which brings together the former Academic Advising Center and Student Outreach Services. Meagan previously was assistant director of the Academic Advising Center. 

Abdullah Naimzadeh - 2019

After earning his master's degree in applied data science from Syracuse University in 2022, Abdullah Naimzadeh, B.S., physics, became a research associate with the Institute for Defense Analyses Information Technology and Systems Division. 

Marilyn Redmond - 1961

The latest book by Marilyn Redmond, BAE, music education, "A Spark of Truth," is now on Amazon, along with her other 10 spiritual/self‐help books.

Karen Fortuna - 2003

Karen Fortuna, B.A., human services, is an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine and recently joined the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine standing committee of experts in primary care delivery, research, and policy. 

David Schmidt - 1985

David Schmidt, B.A., business administration, recently became a vice president and Small Business Administration business development officer at North State Bank in North Carolina. David has worked in the financial services industry for three decades. 

Chris Rust - 1979

Chris Rust, B.A., political science, retired as superintendent of the Toledo School District in Washington state. Chris taught children with special needs and served as a school administrator in several Washington school districts.