From the editor — Thank you for the abundance of class notes updates we received with the subscription surveys,

the most we’ve ever had! If you don’t see your note here, look for it in the next issue. If you’d like to submit a new update, send a message to aurora.magazine@alaska.edu. We love photos, too. You can change your subscription options any time at www.uaf.edu/aurora/survey/.


Dave Klein ’53 — “I took part in a UAF summer field course in June that focused on environmental change evident from vegetation plots and transects adjacent to the Dalton Highway on Alaska’s North Slope. My responsibility was to relate wildlife, from caribou to mountain sheep, to waterfowl and other birds, to voles and their predators, to vegetation changes in the 45 years since I did wildlife investigations there with several graduate students doing theses research.”

Bob Lear ’53 — “Enjoying our retirement in Sun City West, Arizona. Still doing some RV travel.”

Anne Kahle ’55, ’62 — “You should Google me to see my life story, including where U of A led me. I’m the first Anne Kahle you come to if you Google my name. The one in Solar System Exploration:People:archive:Anne Kahle.”

Pedro Denton ’56 and Maxine Vehlow Denton donated several original oil paintings depicting mining history in Alaska to the College of Engineering and Mines in September 2014 for eventual display throughout the Duckering Building.

Gladys Meacock ’59 — “I’ve lived in Anchorage since 1959 except for 10 years winter snowbirding and six years in Haines, Alaska. I retired from teaching, worked as a conference grant reviewer and coordinator, and JOM tutor counselor. I am caregiving my husband, George, stricken with Alzheimer’s, but keep busy playing duplicate bridge and writing.”


Gary Bowen ’64 — “Retired in 2011 from consulting engineering. Now live in Mill City, Oregon.”

Elizabeth Parent ’64 — “I am professor emerita, San Francisco State University. In the Marin County 2015 fair I won two third-place ribbons for adult floriculture.”

Vera Alexander ’65 received the first-ever achievement award from the Pollock Conservation Cooperative Research Center, a commercial-fishing consortium, in January 2015. Future awards will be called the Vera Alexander Award for Marine Science and Education. Read more at http://bit.ly/uaf050113.

Jan Petri (Harper) Haines ’65 — “My short story ‘Magical Athabascans’ will appear in the spring issue of First Alaskans Magazine. Another story, ‘Triumph to Tragedy,’ about my great uncle, Walter Harper, is scheduled for the spring issue of Last Frontier magazine. I also write for the site http://growingupanchorage.com. A softcover edition of my book, ‘Cold River Spirits,’ (first published in 2000) was released in 2011. I write under my mother’s family name, Jan Harper Haines.”

Arthur David Leon ’65 — “I am presently in a senior housing apartment house where I pay market rate.”

Stuart Watkins ’65, ’68 — “This year I published a picture story children’s book, ‘The House That Ran Away.’ I also published ‘Kona, Hawaii, Walking Alii Drive,’ a collection of pictures of unusual and beautiful sites most do not see as they walk Alii Drive: unusual mailboxes, beautiful gates, decorated homes and enjoyable places to eat.”

L. Keith Miller ’66 — “I am quite involved with conservation/stream restoration activities, serving as coordinator of cold-water stream restoration for the Middle Rogue Steelheaders and as the Upper Rogue representative for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program statewide advisory committee.”

Richard Radke ’66 — “Worked in satellite tracking for College Minitrack. Moved to Seattle, Washington, and worked as an operations engineer. Switched careers, became a minister for the Church of Christ. Started a congregation Oct. 5, 1969, and still preaching, counseling, helping people to draw closer to Christ almost 44 years later. Married to Charlene who attended UA 1964-1966. Have two children and six grandchildren.”

Rose Marie Van Enkevort ’66, ’81 — “Alive and kicking, more or less!”

Bob Crawford ’67, ’71 — “I’m a group moderator at https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/LiteStream/info.”

Richard Finnie ’67 — “I am currently working as a volunteer in a program called Partnership for Youth Justice where we counsel youth ages 10-17 who have committed a minor crime (shoplifting, etc.), and then we assign a punishment related to the crime such as community service, counseling, restitution or a fine. We can also order the youth to stay home, go to school or refrain from contacting certain individuals. This is part of the King County Superior Court juvenile system of Washington.”

Gordon Morris ’67 — “Have taken up permanent residence in Arizona. Have many family members living in Alaska — North Pole to be exact, daughter Dhana Jo Krause.”

Ron Skinner ’67 — “Retired but not having as much fun as I had getting used to sleeping ’neath the Midnight Sun, taking in the wonders of the greater Fairbanks area.”

Michael Tauriainen ’67, ’72 — “We are well, living in Sterling, still enjoying running our civil engineering firm in Soldotna (since 1978). We have an excellent crew — 10 total. Only complaint is they keep me too busy and I don’t get enough time to fly, fish and goof off.”

BJ Vinson ’67 — “In March we had the good luck to go to an all-inclusive resort in Playa de Carmen. Had a week of great weather and good food and fun. I spent the next week in Paamul with my brother for more fun. The day before I returned, Oklahoma was hit with a couple of tornadoes. Kevin and our dog had to spend some time in our storm shelter!”

Laurence Dean ’68 — “Retired science teacher living in Lewiston, Idaho.”

Dennis Nielsen ’68 — “Earned an M.S.W. at the University of Utah 1970. Worked at LDS Family Services in Boise, Idaho, until retired and now work part time as counselor. Married 50 years with six children, 22 grandchildren and working on the greats.”

Gerald Pollock ’68 — “Retired from teaching in village and small schools and from owning and operating small tourist lodges. Retired to travel.”

Gregory Brown ’69 — “I lived in Northwest Ohio and worked for a large county library system. After 35 years it was time to do something different. Retirement was a workable option, so I left Ohio in 2006. The past nine years in Columbia, Missouri, have passed quickly. CoMO is home to the University of Missouri, a lively small city with plenty of cultural events. I have entertained myself watching movies at a local independent movie theater, going to art gallery openings and auditing classes at MU. So great to be on campus among young folks, being in class with them without having to do papers or take exams.”

Thomas Compton ’69 and Patricia Compton ’69 — “We currently are ‘semiretired,’ living on our beef cattle ranch near Durango, Colorado. Tom is chairman of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, and Penni is a full-time exceptionally ‘grand’ grandmother.”

Jimmie Kanaya ’69 — “UAF offered me the opportunity to complete my education as normally required for promotion in the commissioned ranks to colonel. I was fortunate to have qualified professors in my classes that were required for graduation and subsequent promotions. Thank you.”

Richard May ’69 — “Retired, divorced, six kids, eight grandkids.”


Rosa Foster ’70 received a VIP award from the Alaska Association of Elementary School Principals in 2014. She is a retired elementary school principal.

Lynndeen Knapp ’70 — “Retired from 30 years in education and now retired from being an Alaska tour director. Just enjoyed my 50th class reunion from Lathrop High School held this summer. Grandmother to two grandsons, Glenn Steer and Clayton Steer. Living in Mexico part time.”

Marion Erp ’71 — “Retired from the State of Montana, loving retirement in Big Sky country. Active in training, showing and playing with my dogs in agility and other performance areas, as well as hiking around my beautiful adopted state.”

Wess-John Murdough ’71 — “I completely retired from work at the end of 2013. I was a librarian (received an M.L.S. from the University of Hawaii in 1975) and I worked in several positions in San Francisco since 1976. I spend most of my time in San Francisco and four months of the year in Hawaii. I’m finally writing the book I have always wanted to write but never had the time.”

Gayann (Barnsley) White ’71, ’81 — “Still teaching at American River College and Sacramento State University, California. Daughter lives in Anchorage with three children and son lives in California with two daughters.”

Mike Rugani ’72 — “I continue to live in Tacoma, Washington, and work for the Army at Fort Lewis, Washington. My work brings me in contact with another 1972 alumni, Taylor Jones (also retired U.S. Army). We enjoy catching up with each other and share many stories of our great college experience.”

Jay Jackson ’73 — “I am the founder and executive director of an all-volunteer nonprofit — Helping Hand for Nepal (since 2001) — doing humanitarian projects in medicine, education, sanitation and water. We are heavily involved in earthquake disaster relief following the devastating earthquake in Nepal on April 25. Aftershocks continue, causing mudslides during this monsoon season. I will go to Nepal in November, assessing what we have done so far and vetting projects for continued work in disaster relief. We celebrated our fifth annual fundraising event in May: Painting A Day for Nepal. Local Alaska artists donate an original painting created just for our silent auction. We also have two endowments: the HHN Education Endowment (provides scholarships grades 1-12, 75 percent to girls, for children who would not otherwise be able to attend school), and the HHN Medical Emergency Endowment (when funded at minimum level of $1 million it will provide emergency lifesaving surgeries for those who cannot afford this care). I resigned my position in the [Anchorage] mayor’s office to do my Nepal work full-time as a volunteer. Nepal is one of the world’s poorest and least developed countries.”

John Wilt ’73, ’80 is the administration of justice program coordinator at Danville Community College. One of John’s first marathons was the Equinox Marathon. On Nov. 14 John will run his 70th marathon in Richmond, Virginia. John and his wife, Jean, make their home in Danville, Virginia.

Gordon Betts ’74, ’75 — “After retirement from my ‘real job’ of 38 years I started my own wildlife control business, Dragon Catchers. It keeps me as busy as I want to be and gives us some extra spending money.”

Gregory David Moore ’74 — “All three generations of our Alaska family are well and busy this season working, studying, fishing and playing music.”

Stephen Stringham ’74 — “See www.bear-viewing-in-alaska.info.”

Margie Van Cleve ’74 — “I moved to Arizona in 1997 after traveling for a year cross-country in my RV. I keep in touch with friends still in Fairbanks and saw several when I visited Alaska last July. Brought back many memories.”

Debbie Hurwicz ’75 — “Working for Thrivent Financial in Redondo Beach as a financial consultant. My mom, Carol Berg, worked at the UAF library 1970-1978 and died Jan. 13, 2015.”

Robert Livingston Jr. ’75 — “I served six years as a helicopter pilot in the Marine Corps. I am a U.S. Coast Guard-licensed captain, a Professional Association of Diving Instructors master scuba diver trainer, a Motorcycle Safety Foundation rider coach and off-road rider coach and a SUVIA ATV rider coach. [I’m] soon to retire to Missouri.”

Carl Sampson ’75 — “We left Juneau in 1992 and spent seven years on a small farm in Minnesota. Now we’re just outside Salem, Oregon. I’m still in journalism and enjoying it. I’m managing editor of the Capital Press, a regional website and newspaper covering agriculture in Oregon, Washington, California and Idaho. My wife, Patti, and I have four boys: one is finishing a master’s degree in history at Marquette, one is teaching in Spain, one’s a sophomore at Pepperdine, and the baby is a high school senior. This June is our 30th wedding anniversary.”

Valerie Dobbs ’76 — “In July 2015, Cathy Brown visited me in Great Falls, Montana. We met at UAF in 1978 and have been good friends ever since. Cathy currently lives in Kaneohe, Hawaii. We plan to get together and travel to Alaska in the future.”

Dan Dunaway ’76 — “Still retired in Dillingham, Alaska, and enjoying raising our two teen sons.”

Donald Kelly ’78 — “Currently professor, Center for Life and Health Science, Mohawk Valley Community College, Utica, New York. Chair of college senate, president emeritus, Human Anatomy and Physiology Society.”

Kaye Forrest ’79 — “Kaye (Herman) Forrest from Ninilchik, Alaska. Worked at Doyon, Fairbanks North Star Borough as land specialist, moved to Ephrata, Washington. Executive assistant for Brown and Brown until present. Married with two boys.”

Gordon Johnson ’79, ’84 — “I’m in my 29th year of teaching at Clymer Central School in Clymer, New York. I teach high school math and some college math. Reading the Aurora brings back many good memories of UAF. I worked many years at Wood Center.”

John Kelly ’79 — “Still at SRI International as director of the Center for Geospace Studies where the upper atmospheric facilities group manages the AMISR incoherent scatter radars including PFISR, located at the UAF Poker Flat Research Range.”

Kent Taylor ’79 — “Just came back from Fairbanks [in July] from my wife’s 40th Lathrop High School reunion. Had a blast visiting the old stomping grounds, which don’t look the same. Lots of construction and activity going on. Living now in Anchorage. Working for Xerox Corp. for 35 years and counting.”


Thomas Anthony Dinnocenzo ’80 — “I am retired and living on Kodiak Island, enjoying fishing, hunting and my summer vegetable garden.”

Susan Erickson ’81 — “Graduated with a Ph.D. in marine biology. Have been a veterinarian since 1986 practicing in Portland, Oregon, since 1993.”

Kurt Richter ’81 — “Named Innovative Employee of the Year for 2015!” [In the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.]

James Miller ’82 — “It’s been so many years … I’ve worked at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab, the World Wide Web Consortium, and now Google. I’ve moved from Fairbanks back to Boston and then to Seattle. I spent a number of years singing in the Seattle Opera Chorus. My photograph is from a production of Wagner’s ‘Ring Cycle,’ in which I appeared (in the fourth opera) as a German knight of the 12th-ish century.”

Paul Newbry ’83 — “Living in Corvallis, Oregon, working for the Oregon Judicial Department. Married to high school sweetheart. Three sons. The lineup is me, Kristin, Scott, Joe, Chad. My daughter Anne, my second child, passed away at age 7 ½. I think of her every time I list my family or am asked ‘How many children do you have?’”

Lynn Lorrain Schuler ’83 — “As an advisor for my middle school’s Math, Engineering, Science Achievement club, the largest in New Mexico, I completed the Space Academy for Teachers at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, this summer.”

Rezvan Ramezani ’84 — “I have been working at South Coast Air Quality Management District for 26 years now. I also teach environmental engineering classes at USC [University of Southern California] and general engineering classes at [California State University, Long Beach]. I haven’t been to Alaska for a long time, busy with kids, but Alaska is where my heart is.”

Lynn Hardman ’85 — “Please check my LinkedIn profile and blog — UAF may enjoy it! At www.linkedin.com/pulse/survival-fittest-lynn-hardman.”

Toni McFadden ’85, ’93 — “Retired from the Fairbanks school district after 28 years and now work for UA as the Alaska Teacher Placement manager. I enjoy working with all the school districts in the state helping with their teacher recruitment needs.”

Terry Vrabec ’85, ’05 — “Serving as the deputy commissioner for the Alaska Department of Public Safety in Juneau. I love working with the UAF Justice Department on law enforcement education opportunities as well as your Fairbanks-based police academy. Miss being at the campus!”

Richard Backer ’86 — “Living in Vermont since 2013; hazardous waste program management in northwest Vermont; commercial honey production and beekeeping.”

Stephen Mack ’86 — “General manager of Sweetwater Springs Water District, Guerneville, California.”

Michael Nelson ’86 — “Team leader at new NATO headquarters, Brussels, Belgium.”

Charissa Niedzwiecki ’86 — “Taught at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse for past 21 years. Wrote chapter with Pamela Morris called ‘Odd or Ordinary: Social Comparisons between Real and Reality TV Families’ in ‘Reality TV Anthology’ (2014), and defined ‘reality television’ for SAGE Encyclopedia of Communication Research Methods. Currently working in gerontology interdisciplinary program.”

John Smelcer ’86, ’87 is continuing postdoctoral studies in the anthropology of religion at Harvard University. He has six books forthcoming in 2015 and 2016, including a novel about the Aleut internment experience during WWII.

Eric Taylor ’86 and Frances Mann ’91 — “I am the migratory bird chief for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [in Eagle River, Alaska]. Fran is a supervisory environmental analyst with the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.”

Steve Laroe ’87 — “I’m retired, attended 50th high school reunion, have five grandchildren. Going to Benin, West Africa, in September. Hello to all of my former classmates and students.”

Jeff Roach ’87 — “Completed my second year as commander of the 38th Troop Command, a brigade-size unit of the Alaska Army National Guard. I lead nearly 1,000 soldiers serving in various units around Alaska. Soldiers under my command recently participated in international exercises in Cambodia, Mongolia and Australia. [I was] selected to attend the U.S. Army 2016 chief of staff of the Army Senior Leader Seminar in January.”

Moses Villalobos ’87 — “Just completed 30 years with the State of Alaska airport police and fire department, the last six as chief of the Fairbanks International Airport Police and Fire Department.”

Bobette Bush ’88 — “I retired from Kuspuk School District after 27 years and now living in Wenatchee, Washington. Gardening, cooking, horse handling at Alatheia, a therapeutic riding school, and dog walking at the local animal shelter with my 6-year-old grandson keep me busy.”

Barbara Greene ’88 — “I returned to Tallahassee, home of my original alma mater (Florida State University). I shall always miss Alaska, but it is good to be closer to my remaining relatives at this point.”

Anne Harris ’88 — “I am self-employed as a proofreader and editor specializing in documents which have been translated from German to English. Finally using my English degree!”

George Mueller ’88 — “Retired and loving it. Living on Caddo Lake [Texas] — no other in the world has the wonders and beauty. Lots of bird and fish varieties.”

Karl Schleich ’88 retired from the Mat-Su Borough School District in 2011 after serving as a principal and director since 1990. He served in Metlakatla from 1986-1990. Since 2011 he has worked as an educational consultant supporting schools and districts in Alaska and the Lower 48 in their improvement efforts with a focus on school climate and classroom management. This past spring he and his wife, Ley, participated in both of their daughters’ graduations from college. Valerie graduated with honors from UAF with a double major in foreign languages and linguistics. Cori graduated from Western Washington University, also with honors, with a degree in environmental education. The photo is from Valerie’s graduation in Fairbanks on Mother’s Day.

Jordan Clouse ’89 — “Commissioned through the UAF ROTC program, Nanook Battalion. Graduated law school in 1996 (Ohio) and currently a U.S. Army JAG Officer with the rank of lieutenant colonel serving as the staff judge advocate for Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico.”

James Nelson ’89 — “Three years ago, I completed an M.S. in counseling and human resource development at South Dakota State University (3.84 GPA). My two sons, who were born in Kodiak, Alaska, are married and are enriching their lives with education and careers in nutrition (Shiraz) and metal fabrications (Bahji).”


Neal Kutchins ’90 — “I have retired from the State of Alaska, but I continue to do income taxes. I also try to ride my Harley every chance I get.”

Robin (Wickham) Near ’90 — “Al [Al Near ’74] and I retired near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and are enjoying life. We still have the two Icelandic ponies we purchased in Fairbanks in 1999. Here I am on Drago just before going on a trail ride.”

Lance Nutter ’90 — “High school teacher at Canyonville Christian Academy, Canyonville, Oregon. Married 30 years to Sheri and have successfully raised two boys, Robert and Cameron.”

Linda Watson ’90 — “I am a senior staff member for the Madison Street Veterans Association in Phoenix, Arizona, a peer-run organization of homeless and formerly homeless veterans offering personal, individualized resources and advocacy for all veterans.”

Judy Ann Cabe ’91, ’05 — “Now that my husband is retired, we are traveling more and seeing our seven grandchildren as much as possible. We celebrated 47 years of marriage this year.”

Elizabeth Congdon-McGee ’91, ’92 — “Just elected as the Alaska School Counselor Association president. Working at Whaley School in Anchorage as a school counselor.”

Todd Jack ’91 — “Presently, we are busy working toward peace and prosperity in Eastern Europe and the U.S. My family’s nonprofit, Building Technology Center for Learning (Building People Up, Not Breaking Them Down), is presently sponsoring a Mission to Moldova/Romania (www.earthchildrensmission.org). Through music and crafts, we seek to build Christian bridges founded in economic growth. Fundraising is sluggish, but we persevere.”

James Schauer ’91 — “Starting 21st year of teaching at Wilsonville High School in Wilsonville, Oregon (34th overall year of teaching). My studies at UAF (M.S. zoology) are integral to the marine biology, oceanography and AP statistics classes I teach.”

Jim Hibbert ’92 — “After graduating from UAF with a B.A. in geography, I earned a B.L.A. in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon in 1998. Since 1999, I have worked for Caltrans (California Department of Transportation) at District 3 in Marysville and District 1 in Eureka. In 2005, I became a registered landscape architect in California. In 2013, I transferred to Bishop and became the district landscape architect for District 9. I live in Mammoth Lakes. Our office is responsible for all the state highways east of the Sierra Nevada mountains from Topaz Lake to Mojave and Tehachapi, including CA-190 in Death Valley National Park. I am mostly involved with visual impact studies, erosion control design and environmental restoration. As a Caltrans landscape architect our goal is to help design highway projects so they blend into the urban, natural and scenic environments. We are also responsible for designated scenic highways, vista points, roadside rest areas, urban highway planting and transportation art.”

James Alexander ’93 — “I retired from a 22-year career as a U.S. Air Force officer, and for the past seven years have been working NASA aircraft operations at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. As a senior project manager I have conducted payload integration, mission management, and flight operations on a variety of NASA aircraft and unmanned aerial systems performing scientific research at locations around the world. Research instruments and missions are sponsored by government, academia or industry. I am also a Gulfstream III flight engineer and mission equipment operator, and have been a safety crew member on the ‘zero-g’ microgravity research aircraft, which flies parabolic arcs to achieve brief periods of weightlessness.”

Mark Tacheny ’93, ’96 — “Recently retired from a 31-year career with the U.S. Forest Service. Started a second career as a security officer at a tacorite mine in northern Minnesota’s Iron Range.”

Robin Thye ’93 — “I currently live in western Colorado with my husband. Bob is enjoying retirement while I continue to teach second grade in the public school system. We have four grandchildren.”

David Vachitis ’93 — “I was admitted to the master of physician assistant studies program at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and begin studies in two weeks [August]!”

Mary Whalen ’93 — “I am with the U.S. Geological Survey Alaska Science Center as a fish and wildlife biologist, information specialist. I have been involved in numerous projects with USGS: salmon research projects, oil spill research projects and, currently, web design and graphics development.”

Joel Akers ’94 — “This is now my 11th year teaching for the Anchorage School District. For the past seven years I’ve been teaching third- and fourth-grade language arts and social studies in the Bowman Open Optional Program, and I love the families, students and teachers I get to work with. In my spare time I enjoy flying out to our family’s cabin at Whiskey Lake in our Cessna 180 (floats in summer and skis in winter), and spending time with my wife, Julie, and my son, Hayden.”

Sheryl Clough ’94 — “I was awarded the San Gabriel Valley Lit Festival chapbook prize for the book ‘Ring of Fire, Sea of Stone.’”

Samuel Atta-Darkwah ’95 — “Now a licensed petroleum engineer in Alaska. I am currently working with Eni Petroleum (Italian oil giant) in their Anchorage office as senior reservoir engineer. I can be contacted via email at kwakugywawu@gmail.com or samuel.atta-darkwah@enipetroleum.com. I will be glad to hear from all of you from the Class of 1995.”

Michael Hajdukovich ’96 and Michelle Hajdukovich ’96 opened TRAX Outdoor Center in Fairbanks in November 2014.

Curtis McNeill ’96, ’08 and Doreen McNeill ’96 — “Curtis is an elementary school teacher in Fairbanks and enjoys integrating science into the learning environment. Doreen is the supervisor of the management biologists at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Fairbanks.”

Mark Teel ’96 — “Technician with St. Charles Health Systems.”

Maryann Durocher ’97 — “I’m heading into my seventh year of living in Texas and my fourth year of working at Texas State University.”

Matthew Weaver ’98 — “My family and I moved away from Texas to Beverly, Ohio, in June 2013, where I am the pastor of the Beverly United Methodist Church and the fire chaplain for the volunteer fire department.”

Roger Topp ’99 — “Big day Aug. 28 — I have officially lived in Alaska half my life. Started at UAF studying oceans, then fiction writing. Now I’ve made my home at the UA Museum of the North for a decade and a half where I study something new every week. Three cheers for universities and university museums.”


Michael Glore ’00 — “I, my wife Angela and daughter Darcy Jo live in beautiful Crescent City, California, where I work as the district resource interpreter at Redwood National and State Parks. I look forward to returning with my family to Fairbanks and UAF later this summer — it’s been 16 years since my last visit!”

Norma Pfeiffer Kirshberger ’00, ’06 — “My husband, Lang, and I are dazed and confused new parents — we adopted three brothers all at once: Mathu, 13; James, our smiley second-grader; and Weston, who turned 4 in April. I am completing my second year of law school at the University of Arkansas Bowen School of Law in Little Rock.

My employer, Life and Specialty Ventures, supports higher education and rewards initiative; they are funding my four-year, part-time endeavor. I work full time as a paralegal supervisor, and upon graduation I will transition to an in-house attorney position. I am very excited about that future career change, but the looming bar exam tempers my excitement.

My husband is a registered forester and a livestock handler in Arkansas. Together, we (but really he) manage our rural family farm: timber, 60 head of cattle, horses, llamas, a donkey named Geoffrey, laying hens, bee hives, and large quantities of asparagus and eggplants. This fall we plan to begin raising pigs and sheep as well. Working in Little Rock provides a big market for our farm products.

Please email me at normaknit@gmail.com if you want to reconnect with a long-lost pal!”

Kathryn Sechrist ’00 — “I am currently working on my master’s degree in fisheries at UAF.”

Ken Richter ’01 — “I’m involved with several new volunteer projects and community programs here in the Seattle area. I’m also an invited pro panelist in various sci-fi conventions such as Crypicon and Norwescon.”

David Fischer ’02 — “In January I was promoted to engineering manager in the Northern Region Highway Design Section at the [Alaska] Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.”

Mark Hanson ’02, ’03 — “Dove in Truk Lagoon [Micronesia], checked out the remains of Operation Hailstone of WWII.”

Amy Woodruff LaBrie ’02 — “Married Keith LaBrie on Oct. 11, 2014. I work in athletic communications for the University of Miami men’s basketball team.”

Leslie Yvonne O’Connor ’02, ’03 — “I am currently in Afghanistan working as a civilian auditor for the military. In my spare time I work with a volunteer group establishing a TNR (trap, neuter, release) colony of stray cats to stay in place around the base. Cats are territorial and help keep the unvaccinated strays out that may bring diseases on base. I also just became a grandmother in March!”

Matt Emmons ’03 won the national title in men’s prone and three-position rifle at the USA Shooting National Championships in June.

Joshua Gussak ’03 — “Captain flying the DC-6 around the state of Alaska for Everts Air Cargo.”

Grace Reed ’03 — “Have an M.A. in conflict resolution and restorative justice. My book ‘Negotiating Shadows’ was published by George Ronald Publisher in Oxford, England. Am a broadcaster for KBOO FM with my show, ‘Disability Awareness.’ Writing my next book. Also working on artwork for spirit books, found at my website www.negotiatingshadows.com.”

Jamie Colburn ’04 — “After receiving my associate of arts degree from UAF in 2004 I moved to Arizona. I work at Arizona State University as an academic financial specialist in the School of International Letters and Cultures. I received a bachelor’s of liberal studies in 2010 at Arizona State University and will receive a master’s in education from Northern Arizona State University in May 2016.”

Eric Frederic ’04 — “In May I was promoted to sergeant at the Colorado Springs Police Department.”

Carolyn Rosner ’04 — “Since 2013, I’ve been working remotely from California’s Eastern Sierra region as a designer and web developer for UAF’s Scenarios Network for Alaska and Arctic Planning (www.snap.uaf.edu), a climate research, data-visualization and planning group. We are part of IARC, under the direction of Scott Rupp. In my spare time, I run, climb and explore the deserts and mountains around Bishop, California, with my husband, Mike.”

Sarah Dzieweczynski ’06 — “Got cold after teaching high school in rural Alaska. Found the sun, and my husband, in Taos, New Mexico. Married for four years, we now have two baby girls: Zia born in early 2013 and Rowan in fall 2014. The hubby and I left our respective professional jobs (architecture for him, teaching for me) to take over a clothing and outdoor equipment resale shop. This allows us to be with our kiddos, focus on the homestead and dress really fashionably.”

Johan Kugelmann ’06 and Susan Kugelmann ’06 — “Johan is a sixth-grade math teacher in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Susan owns Studio Thirty-One Thirty, a portrait photography studio.”

Elisabeth Dabney ’07 is the executive director of the Northern Alaska Environmental Center in Fairbanks.

Adam Kelley ’07 — “I now live in Sydney, Australia, and am pursuing a master’s in library and information science from San Jose State University. I wish UAF had an accredited library program.”

Carlise Giles ’08 and Spencer Giles ’09, ’12 welcomed their second daughter, Addison Harper Giles, in January 2015. Carlise is a full-time mother and Spencer is a chemist at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C.

Eric Hill ’08 received the 2015 Outstanding Alumnus Award from the College of Engineering and Mines. He is vice president and general manager for Kinross’ Fort Knox Gold Mine.

Talia (Ewig) Ahlquist ’09 — “Got married to my sweetheart in August 2009. Gave birth to a beautiful baby boy in July 2013. Getting ready to give birth to another beautiful baby boy in September 2015.”


Eleanor K. Wirts ’10 — “I am the owner of a new sled dog tour business in Fairbanks, Just Short of Magic, that opened in February 2013, and more recently a new yurt B&B, opened in October 2014. Both have been a huge success, but most importantly I LOVE what I do! There are 30 dogs here so please visit us at www.justshortofmagic.com. The dogs love having guests visit, so come for a sled dog ride — it’s super fun! Or stay the night and watch the fabulous auroras right from the deck of the yurt! Alaska at its finest!”

William Baker ’11 — “All I can say it that I’m working 40 hours a week and am able to pay all of my bills as they are due. It’s not much, but I know that many from my class and the last few years are not able to say the same thing. For now I’m content to have a roof over my head, food in my belly and not be behind on any of my student loans. I’ve got dreams for my life, but for now just living on my own is OK.”

Emerson Eads ’11, ’13 — “My opera, ‘Color of Gold,’ was reviewed by the British periodical, Opera magazine. The Alaska Dispatch News has called it among the most significant events this year. Also, having a piano piece premiered in Denver by Mallory Bernstein ’11.”

Andrea Kimmel ’11 — “Exploring Acadia National Park in my free time, and teaching preschool in Downeast Maine.”

Löki Gale Tobin ’11 — “I got married! And I started a new position as the annual giving manager at the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center.”

Patrik Sartz ’12 was featured in the Becoming Alaskan section of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in April 2015. Read the article at http://bit.ly/AuroraSartz.

Katharine Adams ’13 — “I am currently working as a marine inspector with the U.S. Coast Guard in Morgan City, Louisana.”

Mark Shulman ’13 — “We visited Tonga in July 2014 to visit with my wife’s extended family from Tonga. The photo was taken July 4 during King Tupou VI’s coronation in front of the king’s palace. Currently, my family and I live and work in Anchorage, Alaska (I work for a large oil company). I have three boys: Eddie and Bradley (in the photo, Bradley in the stroller) and Mark III. Funny background story of my in-laws (which shows how small the world is getting): My mother-in-law, Debra Steger, was born and raised in Fairbanks (her and her family’s names are on the founders’ monument downtown). Moved to Anchorage and went to UAA and met my father-in-law, Ron Vea, at APU (attending through a foreign exchange program). So now 40 years later you have a picture of an alumnus from New Jersey holding a UAF flag in the middle of the South Pacific.”

Lyndon Arbogast ’14 — “I am the parts department manager at Stanley Nissan in Fairbanks.”

Ryan Anderson ’15 won second place in men’s air rifle and third place in men’s three-position rifle at the 2015 USA Shooting National Championships in June.


Alan Chaddon — “First retirement from U.S. Navy at age 39 in 1981. Second retirement from Lockheed Martin here in Orlando in September 2006. Enjoying the life here in the great sunshine state. Active in church. Taking it easy most of the rest of the time.”

Dave Ebling — “I still have relatives in Talkeetna who have been in Alaska since 1964. After I left UAF I started government work at Elmendorf AFB in 1974. When I came back to New York I continued to work for the federal government at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Buffalo, which at present gives me 41 years in federal service. Time sure does fly! I have visited Alaska many times since my first departure and am still awe inspired. Many, many fine memories.”

Duane Eisenbeiss — “Enrolled in mining engineering at UA around 1956. Lived in the basement of main dorm. Finished college at the University of California, Berkeley. Worked with the BLM in Fairbanks during each summer until out of college. After college I worked at North American Aviation and Lockheed Aviation as a research engineer until 1968. In 1996 I retired from being a pilot for United Airlines. Currently living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. About five years ago I returned for a visit to the Fairbanks campus. WOW, what a change. None of the old buildings remained except Constitution Hall that opened the year that I was there. Not much remained of the old Fairbanks that I remembered either. The museum is terrific. It was a fun visit. On July 30, 2015, my wife and I will be departing Illinois for a motor home drive back to Alaska for a second visit.”

Sue Ellen Lyons — “At the time of reunion last year my husband, Vincent, had seemed to recover from lung cancer, his second time, but, sad to say, he has a new form of it again this summer so he and I are ‘grounded’ from travel and working on his support. He has made amazing contributions in archaeology and urban planning in his career — a really great man!”

Janet Parsons — “I’m 77 years of age. Had a great science teaching career for 27 years (1966-1993). Traveled to Australia twice, Sweden twice (spending time with cousins that took me five years to locate), [and took] a wonderful cruise down the east coast of South America. Presently very happy at home in west Seattle. Puget Sound country is the best place to live. P.S. My dad, T. Hugh Wilson, civil engineer, drew the original plat for the town of North Pole!”

Frank Stelwagon — “Retired from Lockheed Martin, worked at the Air Force Satellite Tracking Station in Kodiak for six and a half years. My wife, Patricia ’72, taught school in Kodiak and received her master’s from U of A.” [Patricia died in 2010.]

Robinson Walker — “I attended U of A 1956-1957 — great professors, good teachers. I played on the basketball team when there were no other U of A campuses; played [against] Army, Air Force and games with local town teams. Professionally, I taught grades 3-8 and was an elementary school principal. I retired after 30 years in education. Our son, Steven H. Walker ’85, attended U of A and was elected president of the engineering society.”

David Walstad — “I am now retired, living in Las Cruces, New Mexico, caring for my 99-year-old parents.”

Allura Weimer — “I have recently been sworn in as the district governor for the Lions of Multiple District 49B; this includes 25 clubs in Alaska and six clubs in Canada.”


Carol Gold, professor of history — “The Western Association of Women Historians has named an award after me — the Carol Gold Graduate Student Award — for the best graduate paper presented at their annual conference.”

Laura Milner, professor of business administration — “Effective Aug. 1 I am a dean at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.”


Jim McDermott — “I am the new Alaska chair for SCORE (Service Corp of Retired Executives), and I will also continue on as small-business mentor with SCORE.”

Randy Scott Owsley — “Still studying theoretical physics in Salcha. Excited about the Large Hadron Collider’s discovery of a pentaquark.”

Daniel Seiser — “I have had the privilege to provide consulting architectural and planning services to UAF for over 30 years and have been very impressed with the faculty and staff and the campus community I have interacted with and have become a donor to the UA Foundation because of my experiences.”

Mary Taylor — “Today I have just renewed my driver’s license — I will be 98 on Sunday. I am very happy and thankful for what I can do but still miss being able to go to the villages. Am terribly upset about what Russia is doing in the Arctic. I worked part time for Muktuk Marston during the Cold War, and it hurts.”

Read the In memoriam section

Show more