Alaa Alshaibani campaign manager for 29th Legislative District candidate Melanie Morgan, visited a Writing 101 class to answer student questions about local government, running for office and more.
Genny Boots was hired full-time as an assistant adviser at the end of her summer internship with JayRay, a creative and strategic communications agency in Tacoma. She works on projects for health care, travel and tourism, writing blogs, organizing photo shoots and preparing website content.
Jenna (Little) Lawrence and husband Derek welcomed Derek Lawrence on July 4, 2018, just weeks after she graduated. Go Class of 2040!
Tess (Sawatzki) Clapp married Meljay Clapp on Sept. 15, 2018 in her hometown of Greenbank, WA. Lutes in attendance included maid of honor Julia Glassy ’15, Arden Leete ’15, Ashlee Gallardo ’17, Wiki Srebro ’16, Joe Basler ’15, and Zakk & Alina Cain ’16.
Sarah (MacDonald) Trushinsky married Clay Trushinsky ’15 on June 30, 2018. Lutes in the wedding party included Jordan Zepernick ’15, Collin Nilson ’15, Tyler Peterson ’15, Claire (Wilson) Peterson ’15, and Siri (Olsen) Rennie ’15.
Leah Butters completed a 70.3 Ironman competition.
Christney Kpodo ’14 welcomed Eli Uriah Kpodo on December 15, 2018.
Sarah (Gumpert) Lynam and her husband Robert Lynam ’12 welcomed their first child, David Robert Lynam, on March 27, 2018.
Sarah (Kintner) Thorpe married the love of her life, Brett, on Aug. 10, 2018. Taylor Cameron ’14 and Chelsea Neubauer ’14 were in the wedding party and there were plenty of other Lutes in attendance as well.
Erin (White) Whitfield received her Master of Music in vocal performance from the San Francisco Conservatory in 2015. There, she met her now-husband, Collin Whitfield, and they were married June 16, 2017. Lutes in attendance included Stephanie Bivins ’13, Emily White ’17, Kelvin Adams ’12, Lauren James ’12, Megan Leibold ’13, and Dr. Richard Nance and his wife Patti. In June of 2018, Erin and Collin moved from Tacoma, WA to Midland, MI.
Gurman Jaswal earned a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from Midwestern University – College of Dental Medicine in Illinois. He is now working at West Hill Dental Clinic in Kent, WA as an associate dentist.
Erica (Buege) Peterson married Marcus Peterson on Sept. 15, 2018 in Crystal Mountain, WA. Kevin Simison ’11 was in the wedding party and the officiant was Dr. Robert M. Wells, director of the Center for Media Studies at PLU.
Jonathan Jackson , Act Six Scholar and MBA graduate, was recently named executive director of Palmer Scholars. He was also newly elected to the PLU Alumni Board.
Erin Mumper has been named vice president at Azzur Labs.
Philip Munson and Kari (Stout) Munson ’11 welcomed their new daughter Bethany Nicole Munson on Jan. 29, 2018.
Lars Tanaka ’09, Michele Ganiko, Shayna Doi ’09, Scott Matsumura ’07, Sheila (Nakayama) Manuel ‘08, Jackie-Lynn (Sasaki) Andrade ’07 and Troy Andrade ’07 ran with the inaugural #AlohaLutes team in the 2018 Komen Hawaii Race for the Cure.
Erin (Fry) Fort and Bradley Fort welcomed Lochlan Allen Fort on July 7, 2017.
Rose (Stanek) Norbe was newly elected to the PLU Alumni Board.
Trevor Oetgen married Clara Johnson on July 21, 2018 in Bow, WA. Lutes in the wedding party included: Calvin Moore ’08, Ryan Ceresola ’09, Michael Plotke ’08, and Steve Beckenhauer ’08. Many more PLU alumni were in attendance as guests.
Christy Olsen Field and Carl Field ’08 welcomed their second child, Bjorn Richard Olsen Field, on Oct. 5, 2017. He joins older brother, Carl V.
Amy (Greenwood) Swanson received her Master’s of Public Health with an emphasis in health promotion from the University of Arizona. She received tenured professor status at Bellevue College in health and physical education. She teaches kinesiology, wellness coaching and fitness assessments in the college’s personal fitness trainer program.
Blake Thiess , PHR, SHRM-CP was recently promoted to director of talent acquisition at Prestige Care Inc., a provider of senior living and skilled nursing and rehabilitation care with more than 80 long-term care centers and communities.
Jackie-Lynn (Sasaki) Andrade was newly elected to the PLU Alumni Board.
Ben Monte Calvo recently joined the visitor services crew at Point Defiance Park as a park ranger.
Carla (Miller) Judah married Corey Judah at Milo Mclver State Park on Sept. 15, 2018.
Mariesa Bus and Tyson Griffin welcomed their daughter Decca Ione Elise Griffin on Feb. 14, 2016.
Don and Lori Neptun ’05 welcomed Kenneth Enzo Neptun into the family on July 11, 2018. Kenzo has made Penelope a proud big sister.
Patrick Domres has joined Dewberry, a privately held professional services firm, as a senior environmental scientist in Long Beach, CA. His job includes auditing, gap assessments, and project management. He will also provide environmental compliance auditing, specializing in hazardous waste management.
Kellie (Schacher) McCarty is in her 23rd year as the drama director and a business teacher at Centennial High School in Gresham, OR.
Mike Lee was recently promoted to public affairs supervisor for the San Diego County Water Authority. He lives with his wife, Kristen (Buckley) Lee ’96 in Fallbrook, CA., where she teaches at a homeschool support network that she founded. They have two teen boys, one in high school and one in college.
Chuck Stumpf and Kenda-Ruth Stumpf ’95 adopted Peyton Elise and Elijah James Stumpf on National Adoption Day, November 18, 2018. Peyton is two-and-a-half and Elijah is one-and-a-half and they have been with Chuck and Kenda-Ruth since birth. They join Blayze, 5, adopted in 2014 and Serenity, 6, and Jeremiah, 5, who were adopted in 2015.
Youlander (Morning) Hilton was appointed to the local board of Paul D. Camp Community College in Virginia. Hilton was also the recipient of the Joint Forces Staff College Commandant’s Appreciation letter.
Guy Kovacs received his PhD from Northwest Nazarene University in June 2018. He is a school administrator in the Puyallup School District.
David Mays recently joined Amazon.com as a senior public relations manager supporting new initiatives within the company’s Amazon Web Services cloud computing unit.
Sandra Krause-Ayers, in her 28th year teaching sixth grade in Spokane Public Schools, is proud to be a Lute.
Capt. Stacy Waterworth retired from the Tacoma Fire Department in June 2018. Her career spanned 29 years. In retirement, she volunteers with Olympia High school as assistant girls soccer coach.
Christine Sund recently got her bunad for her municipality, Røyken in Buskerud county. Apart from the two semesters she studied at PLU, she has lived in Norway her whole life. Her bunad was designed by two local women in 1992 and is embroidered with blue, purple, and pink anemones.
Mike Nelson, an Enumclaw High School graduate who has guided the Enumclaw School District for more than a decade, has been named the 2019 Washington State Superintendent of the Year.
Mark Grambo died Aug. 4, 2018. He will be remembered for his care for others, his deep Christian faith, strong intellect, unwavering commitment to his family and friendship that offered encouragement, challenge, and nurture.
Patty (Falk) Nielsen is in her 36th year of teaching PE. She wears her Lute colors once a week because she wants her students to know about PLU.
Eilieen (Brandenburg) Rieke is a special education math teacher in College Station, TX.
Clark E. McLean, retired from the University of New Mexico after more than 30 years of service on Oct. 31, 2018.
David Carson retired in July 2018 after 38 years at the Hanford Site. He was a nuclear safety engineer and hazard analyst for the last 20 years.
Scott Ballou died Aug. 9, 2018. Scott met his wife, Janine, during his college years. They had two children, Renee Ballou and Maddie Ballou ’15. He spent his professional life in sales and marketing for the tech industry and was a lifelong Seahawks and Mariners fan.
Dr. Nancy Van Vessem was tragically killed in a shooting in a Tallahassee, FL yoga studio. She attended high school in Longview, WA and graduated from PLU summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. She earned her medical degree from Saint Louis University School of Medicine, and was a faculty member at Florida State University and an internal medicine specialist at Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare.
Bradley Graham died Oct. 19, 2018. He received both his Bachelor of Art and Master of Art degrees from PLU in education. He participated in PLU’s pilot Alumni Travel Seminar to Northern Ireland in April 2018.
Jonathan Nesvig ’67 and Philip Nesvig ’70 wanted to enjoy the mountains as they reprised a hike across the North Cascades they’d first made a half-century ago. “We are no longer young, both septuagenarians—I’m 73 and he’s 70—so we preferred to saunter, as naturalist John Muir recommended, rather than hike.” Read Jonathan’s full story.
Mark Nesse died Oct. 14, 2018. He was the Everett Public Library’s longest-serving director, retiring in 2007 after 30 years. He served on the Everett School Board and was active in community organizations.
Jim Johnson and Valarie Johnson ’89 went on a bicycle adventure in Perth Australia in April 2018.
Jacquie Snyder is one of 10 surviving 1958 nursing cohort students. The cohort of 20 worked at Emanuel Hospital in Portland for two years doing clinical training — the last class affiliated with the hospital. They were at what was then PLC for a year. After clinical training, 18 of them returned to finish their degrees and what was by then PLU. Surviving members of the cohort got together in August for a reunion to commemorate 60 years since beginning their studies. Front row/left to right: Alice Anderson Cornelius; Arlene Arnesen Gaviola; Karen Kliewer Meyers; Fernita Albrecht Bass-Thompson. Back row/left to right: Karen Hendrickson Bender; Marilyn Collett Erickson; Kay Johnson Koudele; Jacquie Haverberg Snyder; Marge Morris Froiland; Ardath Sheggeby Solsrud
Phillip Wigen was presented with an honorary award for contributions to the field of high-frequency and microwave magnetics by The International Society of Microwave Magnetics at its meeting in Exeter, England. A family wedding kept him from receiving the award in person, but one of his former students, PLU graduate Robert McMichael ’85, accepted it in his absence and handed it off when the two met this summer.
Gerald “Jerry” Schimke died Sept. 29, 2018 in Aptos, CA, at the age of 85. He had recently moved from the Pacific Northwest to be with family. He grew up in Eastern Washington, majored in economics and business administration at PLU and later received his MBA from Harvard. He played basketball at PLU and continued to shoot hoops for many years after college. He served on PLU’s Board of Regents from 1968 to 1977. In 1962, he married Grace Rieke. She died in 2012. He is survived by children Carol and Brent, and siblings Dale and Janet.
Samuel Hewston died Sept. 10, 2018. After serving over two years in the U.S. Army during World War II, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree and teaching certificate at PLU. He worked as a therapist at American Lake Veterans Hospital.