Natalie DeFord was recently hired at Premier Media Group as a staff writer for the company’s three publications and their prospective websites: South Sound Magazine, 425 Magazine and 425 Business.
Salina Ellison ’15 married Nick Kaylor ’14 on Sept. 10, 2016, at Lord Hill Farms in Snohomish, Washington. Many Lutes were in attendance. Lutes in the wedding party include Chris Ellison ’04, Mike Ellison ’05, Shaq Townsend ’13, Tayler Angevine ’14, Jonathan Zeglin ’15, Dalton Darmody ’14, Jordan Gonzales ’14, Allie Spangler ’16, Amy Isaksen ’15 and Jade Garcia ’16.
Michelle (Domini) DenAdel and Alan DenAdel were married on July 29, 2016, in Mount Vernon, Washington. Lutes in the wedding party included Desiree Domini, Kolter Grigsby, Kyle Smith and Stephen Kraakmo. Many other Lutes were also in attendance. The day after the wedding, the couple flew to Boston where Michelle started medical school on Aug. 1. Alan is a bioinformatics scientist at Illumina.
Amanda McCarty and her husband, Luis Leandro, welcomed Tiago Evan McCarty Leandro on April 18, 2015. Amanda, accompanied by Tiago and Luis, traveled to France to negotiate for the United States at the United Nations 21st Climate Conference of the Parties, which produced the Paris Agreement, an ambitious global effort to address climate change.
Jacob Deines ’13 and Molly (Swanson) Deines ’12 welcomed Milo William Deines on June 21, 2016.
Alonah (Loni Grinnell) Greninger received her master’s degree in public administration, with an emphasis in tribal governance from The Evergreen State College on June 10, 2016. She works as the tribal administrator within the Washington State Behavioral Health Administration, Department of Social and Health Services.
Tessa Heck-George graduated in May with a Master of Fine Arts in visual studies from Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon, and received her first grant in October 2016. She currently has a studio practice in painting. In August 2016, she and her partner were married at Holland Lake in Montana. Lutes in the wedding party included Tyler Russell, Courtney Karwal and Anna Milliren.
Annie Norling ’12 and Alex Schisel ’11 were married on June 25, 2016, at Cama Beach State Park on Camano Island. The ceremony was officiated by former PLU president Loren Anderson, Ph.D. Lutes in the wedding party included Kristin Lentz ’12 (matron of honor), Brian Kostol ’11 (best man), Savannah (Stevenson) Taylor ’11 (ceremony musician). Annie and Alex live in the Seattle area where Annie is a practicing veterinarian and Alex works in development for the YMCA.
Riley Youngren and Kylie (Lewinski) Youngren are living in Ephrata, Washington. Kylie just started a new position with the Kittitas School District as an elementary music teacher after three successful years as a middle school choir director at a performing arts school. Riley has been enjoying executive management at his family’s dairy farm in Quincy and has been instrumental in expanding the business. They both still love to make music together!
Cassie (Kelsey) Bieker ’12 and Tyler Bieker ’13, ’15 welcomed son, Daniel James Bieker, on Oct. 26, 2016.
Jennielee Szolomayer married Joshua Romero on Aug. 4, 2016, at San Francisco City Hall.
Alyssa (Zakrzewski) Kuwik ’11 married Jordan Kuwik on San Juan Island, Washington, on May 15, 2016. Lutes in the wedding party included Kari Plog ’11, Karyssa (Allbritton) Daigneault ’12 and TJ Hecker ’11.
Jonathan Kranich ’11 married Tessa Davis on May 13, 2016. Other Lutes in the wedding party included Tim Allen ’11 and Barrett Bollen ’12. The couple welcomed James Douglas Kranich on July 7, 2015.
Courtney (Hills) Moore and her husband, John, welcomed daughter, Aria Nicole, on Nov. 29, 2016. The couple got married in June 2015 in Greece and moved to North Carolina.
Amber Schlenker and her husband, Kyle Betts, welcomed a baby boy Oct. 14, 2016. The couple were married Feb. 21, 2015. After five years of working in the journalism world, Amber transitioned to communications coordinator for a health center organization. The family lives in Yakima, Washington.
Matt Palmquist was recently hired as a park ranger at Silver Falls State Park, the largest state park in Oregon, where he is responsible for running the interpretive program, which provides nature-based educational opportunities for more than a million visitors annually.
Steven Davis ’09 and Kimberly (Henry) Davis ’08 welcomed Marlowe Jean on April 18, 2016.
Tawnya (Curtis) Schwartzentrub and Arthur welcomed Leona Ivy on Oct. 28, 2016, joining older brothers Gavin, 7, and Ethan, 1.
Genell Patterson ’08, ’10 married Rachel Wheeler ’10 on July 9, 2016, in Des Moines, Washington. Lutes in the wedding party include Elise Friedrich-Nielsen ’09 and Kristen (Little) Pingel ’09.
Cory and Lauren (McNally) Cumming welcomed their first child, Brennan Kent Cumming, on Jan. 25, 2016.
Danjel and Rachael (McWilliams) Lessard welcomed their first child, Margaret Evelyn Lessard, on Aug. 7, 2016. The Lessards live in Golden, Colorado, where Danjel is a records coordinator and Rachael is a choreographer and event coordinator.
Kristen LaBate married Andrew Wheeler on Sept. 25, 2015, in Buena Vista, Colorado. Lutes in attendance were Kareen Kanjo ’08, Michelle DeBeauchamp Olafsen ’08, and Rory Stillson ’08. Kristen was promoted to partner in the Colorado General Office of New York Life in July 2015.
Laura (Benage) Sawyer married Bryan Sawyer in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, on July 29, 2016. Nissa Iversen officiated.
Robert Grolbert ’06 and Beth (Zimmerman) Grolbert ’07 welcomed their second son, Quinten John, on Aug. 10, 2016, joining older brother Owen Robert. The family lives in Fircrest, Washington.
Erin McLaughlin was recently promoted to mental health therapist with Providence Health and Services Alaska. Her emphasis is working with families and individuals across the lifespan with developmental and intellectual differences, as well as general mental health concerns and wellness.
Kerry (Weathers) O’Flaherty and her husband, Ryan, announce the birth of their second daughter, Rylee Marleen O’Flaherty, born Nov. 28, 2016.
Aaron Lunday welcomed his son, Odin Beech Lunday, on July 20, 2016.
Paige Calhoun ’02 and Charles Gardner were married on Oct. 24, 2015, in Meridian, Idaho. Jenna Calhoun ’08 and Allison Calhoun ’10 were the bride’s matron and maid of honor. Lutes in attendance included Kari (Keller) Rallo ’02, Annalee (Nelson) Tobey ’01, Amanda (Miller) Stanelle ’01, Anne (Grimm) Cooper ’01 ’03, Melissa Proctor ’02, Sara (Poole) Holland ’02, Michelle Smith ’03, Chris Rallo ’05 and Jack Rubenkonig ’13. Paige and Charlie currently live and work in San Jose, California.
Julie Wade won the Southern Indiana Review’s Thomas A. Wilhelmus Creative Nonfiction Prize for her essay “Meditation 36.”
Robyn Rost moved to Minneapolis in July 2016 and began work as an associate development officer in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota.
Matt Bliss was awarded a trademark for the Modern Christmas Tree to go along with the two patents he has recently received, inspired by his grandfather’s original Modern Christmas Tree design. In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of his grandfather’s tree, he recently released the Jubilee, a tabletop version of his grandfather’s original design.
In 2010, Andrew Wilson and his wife, Sarah, walked in the footsteps of Martin Luther, recreating his famous pre-Reformation pilgrimage from Erfurt, Germany, to Rome. Their trek has now become a book, published in November 2016. Find out more at hereiwalk.org.
Eric Cultum was selected as a commissioner to the Planning & Zoning Commission of the City of Surprise, Arizona. In addition to this role, he has also served commissioner roles with the Revitalization & Quality of Life and Arts & Culture Boards from 2009-15. Son, Andrew, was selected in 2015 to Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s Youth Commission and also serves on the National Distracted Driving Commission in Washington, D.C.
Barb (Benevento) Eisner ran the 2016 New York City Marathon on Nov. 6 with two friends. She also qualified for the Boston Marathon and hopes to run it in 2018.
David Chun ’84 met up with Kevin Aoki ’84 for a Los Angeles Dodgers game this past summer and ran into old Lute baseball and football teammate, Greg Perlot ’85.
Lisa Creasey ’84 and Dan Gailey ’85 performed together in a Jazz at Joe’s concert in Bend, Oregon, accompanied by three world-class musicians from Portland.
Dr. Michael Haglund received his master’s in academic medicine from the University of Southern California and was named vice chair of education for the Department of Neurosurgery at Duke University. He completed his 14th trip to Uganda, performing 25 complex brain surgeries in October 2016. He continues as the distinguished professor of neurosurgery and global health at Duke University.
John Swanson moved to Alameda, California, where he is serving as the United States Coast Guard Pacific-area chaplain. Navy chaplains serve the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. He is responsible for the religious ministry program throughout the Pacific area, which includes the West Coast, Alaska, Hawai’i, Guam and Japan.
In July 2016, Rich Slatta retired after 36 years of service as professor of history at North Carolina State University. In recent years, he also directed the university’s First Year Inquiry program and taught study abroad courses in London and Prague. He also published his 11th book, Latin America: An Interactive History Lab, an online learning environment including text, primary sources, hundreds of illustrations, quizzes and other learning modules. He looks forward to travel and dabbling in photography.
On Jan. 15, 2016, Cynthia (Weaver) Bennett and her husband, Walter Bennett, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They were married in the Tower Chapel at Pacific Lutheran University. Walter died April 25, 2016.
Six PLU alumni recently returned from a tour of “Luther Land” in Germany. Pictured in front of Castle Church in Wittenberg are: Karen (Seeley) Halvorson ’70; Kathy (McCosh) Brodniak ’70; Philip Petrasek ’69 and Linda (Simundson) Petrasek ’70; and Don (’58) and JoAnn (Hanson) Cornell (’59). Behind the group, listed on the door, Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses.