Class Notes


’62 Sandy Stevens, BA, Glen Ellyn, IL, received the Bill Nelson Award for Contributions to Wrestling by the Iowa Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame on 10/21/2023.

’63 Carroll Engelhardt, BA, Moorhead, MN, published his fifth book “By the Sweat of His Brow: The R.M. Probstfield Family at Oakport Farm,” which recounts the story of a prominent German pioneer family living in the Red River Valley frontier of Minnesota.

’67 David Prescott, BA, Oklahoma City, OK, was awarded a 50 year certificate of appreciation from the Oklahoma Bar Association.


’70 Steve Speth, BA, MA ’79, Lebanon, OR, is a featured guest on a PBS series “America Outdoors.” The episode filmed in the Chaco Cultural National Park in New Mexico and aired in Sept. 2023.

’72 Dennis Wenthold, BA, Miami, FL, was a teacher for 14 years and school administrator for 24 years before retiring in Panama and running a bed and breakfast called Cabanas Potosi in El Valle de Anton.

’74 Bill Hesse, BA, MA ’78, Bella Vista, AR, retired from public school teaching in 2009 and moved to Bella Vista, AR. He conducted the Bella Vista Men’s Chorus for five years, currently conducts the choir at First Presbyterian Church in Rogers, AR, and has a private voice studio. Since 2020, he has had high school students compete successfully at Arkansas NATS and in 2023, his students won both High School Classical Treble and High School Music Theatre Treble.

’74 Cheryl Mullenbach, BA, Panora, published a book titled “Grit, Not Glamour,” which celebrates contributions by our foremothers to farming and ranching in the 19th and 20th centuries.

’76 Jamie Van Nostrand, BA, Cambridge, MA, was appointed chair of the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities on 5/1/2023.

’79 Mike McEniry, BM, Rockford, retired from teaching at Mason City High School after 37 years in public education and from teaching at Waldorf University for 4 years. He currently teaches brass students in his home studio. Since March 2022 he has been collecting, repairing and purchasing band instruments, music, teaching materials and financial donations for a mission project to start an instrumental music program in La Victoire, Haiti, with the help and assistance from First Covenant Church in Mason City. Materials arrived in La Victoire on 8/8/2023. A music camp was held the following week and the program is now underway. He teaches Zoom lessons to the children in La Victoire along with some of the Haitian musicians.


’81 Gail (Briddle) Bunz, BA, Hudson, retired 8/1/2022 after 25 years with the Rod Library at UNI.

’81 Ronald Langford, BA, Milwaukee, WI, was a Wisconsin state public defender from 1985 2003 and now is in criminal defense private practice. He is licensed in both Iowa and Wisconsin and has received numerous awards, including National Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyers of 2018 and Top Ranking Attorney Iowa 2020.

’82 Kyle Cornish, BA, Hernando, MS, was recognized by FedEx with the Purple Promise Chairman’s Award, which is granted to those who have delivered exceptional service under unusual circumstances. He serves as a supply and logistics analyst and was instrumental in the distribution of flu vaccine.

’82 Stacy (Roberts) Ingraham, BA, MA ’92, Carver, MN, published a memoir titled “The Untold Toll of a Wrongful Conviction” on 5/26/2023.

’83 Karen (Meddock) Farley, BA, Des Moines, retired as senior underwriter after 36 years with Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

’84 Keith Benjamin, MM, Kansas City, MO, toured the UK with organist Melody Strees in June and July 2023. He retired from UMKC Conservatory in Sept. 2023.

’86 Mark Kittrell, BA, Cedar Falls, received the 2023 Leader of the Year Award from Grow Cedar Valley.

’86 Deb Vangellow, BA, Sugar Land, TX, received the 2023 Nancy Lopez Golf Achievement Award from the Ladies Professional Golf Association.

’87 Anne (Gutknecht) Schreck, BA, MA ’95, Cedar Falls, received the 2023 Gold Star Award for Outstanding Teaching. She is a literacy strategist at Irving Elementary School in Waterloo.

’88 Mike Capesius, BA, Ball Ground, GA, was promoted to vice president corporate tax at Superior Essex Inc, an Atlanta based multinational magnet wire and communications wire company.

’88 Patrick Murphy, BA, Northport, AL, entered his 28th year with the University of Alabama softball program. He is the winningest coach in any sport in school history.

’89 Jane (Brandt) Lindaman, BA, MA ’95, ASC ’05, EdD ’05, Waterloo, received the 2023 Legacy Award from Grow Cedar Valley.


’92 Guang Jin, MA, DIT ’95, Cedar Falls, was named to the Marquis Who’s Who in America for 2022-2023. She is the CEO of Sunshine Global Services, LLC.

’93 Stephanie (Bell) Eckhardt, BA, Eldridge, was elected to the North Scott School Board on 11/07/2023. She is a realtor with Ruhl & Ruhl Realtors in the Quad Cities.

’93 Luke Miller, BM, Ottumwa, is the director of bands at the Cardinal Community School District and has been teaching music for 23 years. He serves on the Iowa High School Music Association’s adjudicator list and has been a judge at several events over the years. Miller performs as principal tubist for the Ottumwa Symphony Orchestra and recently became manager of the newly formed Ottumwa Symphony Youth Philharmonic and the Ottumwa Symphony Youth Orchestra.

’93 Amy Van Polen, BA, Wheaton, IL, was appointed CEO of Bridge Communities.

’93 Jennifer (Stephens) VanHaaften, BA, Fort Atkinson, WI, co authored a chapter on national and ethnic dress with UNI professor emeritus Annette Lynch that was published in “The Routledge History of Fashion and Dress, 1800 to the Present” on 9/30/2023. She is the assistant director at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum in Madison, WI, serves on the Wisconsin Federation of Museums’ board and was program chair for the 2021 and 2022 Association of Midwest Museums annual conferences.

’94 Karen Tupper, BA, Dubuque, was appointed senior vice president of internal communications strategy, planning and signature programs at Citi.

’95 Krista (Ficek) Castellanos, BA, Aliso Viejo, CA, was elected president of the Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees, which represents the 8th largest school district in California. She is also an elementary teacher for the Santa Ana Unified School District.

’96 Karen (Norby) Fannin, BM, Omaha, NE, was named director of the School of Music at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is a professor, director of bands, and conducts the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting, instructs courses in music education and provides leadership for all aspects of the UNO band program. She is an Edward Clark Diamond Professor of Music.

’96 John Sutter, BA, Dubuque, was named vice president of Field of Dreams Operations.

’97 Michael Gabrick, BA, BA ’98, Kansas City, MO, is a director of digital management with KPMG US.

’97 Scott Sernett, BA, Cedar Falls, earned Forbes 2023 Top Financial Security Professionals Best in State Recognition.

’97 Karla Williams, BA, Pflugerville, TX, launched Echelon Protection Group, a business specializing in high end executive protection.

’98 Tina (Kneisel) Bakehouse, BA, BA ’01, Hastings, published a book titled “Discovering Our Magnetic Speaker Within.”


’00 Matthew Nielsen, BA, Rumson, NJ, was promoted to vice president and head of enterprise digital and data with American Express.

’01 Valerie Jennings, BA, Overland Park, KS, is the founder of Jennings Social Media & MarTech. She has grown the business into a highly competitive growth marketing agency.

’02 Gregory Aker, BA, Columbia, MO, performs as lead tenor saxophonist in the Columbia Jazz Orchestra, and works remotely as vice president of engineering for a fleet management startup based out of Dallas called Vinli.

’02 Alan Greiner, MM, Jefferson, received special recognition for his contributions to the arts at the 2023 Governor’s Arts Awards. He has served as the executive director of the Iowa High School Music Association for 21 years.

’02 William Hagans, BA, Houston, TX, was board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in the area of personal injury trial law.

’02 Megan (Odell) Lantz, BA, Ankeny, is a partner in the immigration department with Dentons Davis Brown.

’02 Grant Menke, BA, Ankeny, was named deputy secretary of agriculture with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

’02 Amy Phillips, MA, Marshalltown, was a finalist for the 2023 Iowa Teacher of the Year Award. She is a kindergarten teacher in the Marshalltown Community School District.

’04 Sarah (Miller) Diesburg, BS, Cedar Falls, received the 2022 Computer Science Educator of the Year Award from the Technology Association of Iowa. She is an associate professor at UNI.

’04 Chad Lang, BA, Glenwood, was selected as the School Administrators of Iowa Central Office Administrator of the Year for 2023. He also has written a book with UNI assistant professor Dr. Matt Townsley, called “A Parents’ Guide to Grading and Reporting: Being Clear About What Matters.”

’04 Gabriel Smith, BA, Akron, OH, is the associate director for the Customer Experience (CX) Professionals Association. He recently led efforts to create the first “CX Book of Knowledge” with a team of authors around the world.

’04 Ashley (Atherton) Thompson, BA, Ames, was named to the United Way of Story County Board of Directors.

’05 Jed Ellerbroek, BA, Saint Louis, MO, was promoted to portfolio manager with Argent Capital Management.

’05 Stacey (Conaway) Mahajan, BA, BA ’10, Austin, TX, was awarded by the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants as one of the 2023 Rising Stars in the accounting profession. She is senior finance manager at Wilsonart International.

’05 JoEllen (Schwab) Pruis, MA, Waterloo, received the 2023 Gold Star Award for Outstanding Teaching. She is a 6th grade teacher at Hoover Middle School.

’06 Brandon Clark, BA, Des Moines, was recognized in the 30th Edition of “The Best Lawyers in America.” He is an attorney with McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC.

’06 Laura (Rutt) Jordan, BA, Johnston, was promoted to brand manager of the State of Iowa Department of Health and Human Services. She has done graphic design with the State of Iowa since 2019.

’06 Jim Miller, BA, Waterloo, was named one of the Cedar Valley’s 20 under 40 by the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier for 2023. He is the Cedar Valley market president for First Interstate Bank.

’07 Samuel Kreassig, BM, Waterloo, was named associate director of human resources at Waterloo Community Schools. He previously served as assistant principal at Hoover Middle School.

’07 Tony Pollastrini, BA, Waverly, was named one of the Cedar Valley’s 20 under 40 by the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier for 2023. He is a partner with The Accel Group.

’07 Jaymes Sime, BA, Omaha, NE, received the 2023 JCI (Jaycees) USA Ten Oustanding Young Americans Award. He is the president and CEO of Child Saving Institute.

’07 Andrew St John, BA, Polk City, was named CEO and executive vice president of Central Iowa Power Cooperative.

’08 Natalie (Moon) Dlouhy, BA, Hudson, was named one of the Cedar Valley’s 20 under 40 by the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier for 2023. She is a commercial relationship manager with Lincoln Savings Bank.

’09 Bryan Conaway, BA, Verona, WI, is a retail sales leader at AAA Madison West (WI), AAA Rockford (IL), and AAA Vernon Hills Car Care Plus (IL) for the Auto Club Group.

’09 Amanda (Carpenter) Huisman, BA, Waterloo, was named one of the Cedar Valley’s 20 under 40 by the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier for 2023. She is a communication specialist with the city of Cedar Falls.

’09 Drew Van Woert, BA, Clive, was promoted to director of underwriting for property and casualty insurance at Farm Bureau Financial Services.


’10 Christina (Vignovich) Cortez, BA, Cedar Falls, received the 2023 Gold Star Award for Outstanding Teaching. She is a Spanish teacher at Hudson High School.

’10 Alexa Hach, BA, MA ’14, Grundy Center, was named one of the Cedar Valley’s 20 under 40 by the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier for 2023. She is a public health professional with the Iowa Department of Health & Human Services.

’10 Darius Robinson, MA, Waverly, is the attorney for Bremer County.

’10 Julia Ruetten, BA, Albuquerque, NM, earned a master’s of studies in law from the University of New Mexico School of Law.

’11 Katie Berge, BS, Washington, DC, is senior director of health policy with Waxman Strategies.

’11 Amber (Illum) Danielson, BA, Marshalltown, received the 2023 Governor’s Arts Award for Emerging Arts Leader. She is the executive director of the Marshall County Arts & Culture Alliance.

’11 Adam Haselhuhn, BA, Des Moines, was named one of the 2023 40 Under 40 winners by the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy. He is the director of development with John Stoddard Cancer Center at UnityPoint Health Des Moines Foundation.

’12 Nick Krob, BA, Des Moines, is the 2023 chair of the Licensing Executives Society Iowa Chapter. He is an attorney with McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC.

’12 Reilly (Zlab) Martin, BA, Portland, OR, is the executive director of Technologists for the Public Good.

’12 Maria (Schreiber) Sulentic, MA, Algona, was elected K-12 vice president for the Iowa School Counselor Association. She is a school counselor with the West Bend Mallard Community School District.

’12 Katelyn (Pedersen) Tungland, BA, Cedar Falls, was named one of the Cedar Valley’s 20 under 40 by the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier for 2023. She is a regional director with Junior Achievement.

’12 Spencer Walrath, BA, Glenview, IL, is the system director for corporate reputation for NorthShore University HealthSystem in Chicagoland.

’13 Tyler Avis, BA, Grinnell, celebrated 10 years working in local government utilizing GIS skills obtained at UNI and 7 years as the building official for the City of Grinnell.

’13 Janae (Holtkamp) Guay, BA, Cedar Falls, was named one of the Cedar Valley’s 20 under 40 by the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier for 2023. She is an assistant corporate controller with CPM Acquisitions.

’13 Bryce Lobdell, BA, Des Moines, was promoted to buyer and planner for LeMar Industries.

’13 Kyle Maley, BA, Burnsville, MN, is a senior managed service provider sales engineer with Arctic Wolf. He has also re-entered the competitive running scene and will be running professionally for Run Minnesota in the USATF Minnesota championship circuit.

’13 Jamie Perry, BA, Waverly, was named one of the Cedar Valley’s 20 under 40 by the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier for 2023. He is the chief financial officer for Exceptional Persons, Inc.

’13 Andrew Quandt, BA, Le Mars, was promoted to vice president of lending at North Star Community Credit Union.

’13 Alicia Rogers, BA, Waterloo, was named one of the Cedar Valley’s 20 under 40 by the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier for 2023. She is the director of training and development at Goodwill Industries of Northeast Iowa.

’14 Brady Bednar, BA, Olathe, KS, is a systems engineer for O’Reilly Auto Parts.

’14 Nathan Dobbels, MA, Bondurant, received the 2023 Professional and Scientific Learning Community Coordinator Award from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University. He is an academic advisor in agricultural education and studies.

’14 Katie (Beale) James, BA, Davenport, after nine years as a teacher interventionist, she is now a school counselor at a junior high, published writer appearing on NPR and has a young son, Hunter.

’14 Andrew Rubenbauer, BA, Brooklyn, NY, received a Climate Corps fellowship with the Environmental Defense Fund to work with the Dairy Farmers of America in Kansas City, KS.

’14 Riley Schreder, BA, MA ’16, Des Moines, was named a finalist for the 2023 Courage Award at the Inspiring Women of Iowa Event.

’15 Sarah (Turner) Helleso, BA, Waterloo, was named one of the Cedar Valley’s 20 under 40 by the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier for 2023. She is the director of Try Pie Bakery.

’15 Makayla McDonald, BM, MM ’17, Brooklyn, NY, was the keynote speaker at the Cedar Valley Arts Summit in Apr. 2023. McDonald sang the lead role of Harriet Tubman in the New York premiere of Thea Musgrave’s “The Story of Harriet Tubman” with Utopia Opera and has performed with Dell Arte Opera Ensemble, Light Opera of New York, Beth Morrison Projects at Harlem Stage, New Muses Project at the Kaufman Music Center, American Opera Project + New York University/Tish and Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre.

’15 Ben Owen, BM, Cincinnati, OH, won the 2023 John Ness Beck Foundation Award for composers of sacred choral music.

’15 Jessica Petersen, BA, Phoenix, AZ, was promoted to associate director of strategy with Highnoon.

’15 Alex Rebling, BA, MA ’21, Fairfield, is the activities director and dean of students for the Pekin Community School District and serves as second lieutenant for the 109th HHC Medical Battalion for the Iowa Army National Guard.

’15 Tirzah Roussell, BA, Delhi, is an attorney with Dentons Davis Brown.

’16 Colin Wilson, BA, Iowa City, received his doctor of musical arts degree in voice in Aug. 2023 from the University of Iowa. His submitted thesis/recording project was titled: “Beyond Ev’ry Valley: A Tenor’s Guide to Oratorio Arias and Recitatives Beyond the Standards.”

’17 Tanner Bernhard, BA, West Des Moines, was named vice president of marketing and communication for Mueller Yurgae Associates.

’17 Meghan (Runyan) Bruns, BA, Waterloo, received the 2023 Gold Star Award for Outstanding Teaching. She is a 2nd grade teacher at Cedar Heights Elementary in Cedar Falls.

’17 Shantel Kahrs, BA, Hudson, received the 2023 Gold Star Award for Outstanding Teaching. She is a 7th grade social studies teacher at Peet Junior High in Cedar Falls.

’17 Kerra Kruse, BA, Muscatine, is a sales coordinator for Musco Sports Lighting and is pursing a master’s degree in business administration.

’17 Charles Mhoon, BA, MA ’23, Evansdale, was named one of the Cedar Valley’s 20 under 40 by the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier for 2023. He is an educational counselor with the UNI Center for Urban Education.

’18 Adam Bolts, BA, Cedar Falls, received the 2023 Gold Star Award for Outstanding Teaching. He is an English teacher at Dunkerton High School.

’18 Naima Burrs, MM, Richmond, VA, was featured as a recitalist on the Longwood University Chamber Music Series in Jan. 2023. Burrs is a violinist and conductor and is a doctoral candidate in conducting at the Catholic University of America. She recently appeared as a guest on the NPR program “With Good Reason,” where she discussed her upbringing and career, and performed works celebrating the contributions of African American composers and musicians.

’18 Kaylee Clemens, BA, Des Moines, has been a medical social worker with Iowa Home Care for five years. She also teaches dance for Devine Dancers in Des Moines and will be starting her fifth year as coach of the Des Moines Roosevelt Color Guard.

’18 Jack Higgins, BA, Kansas City, MO, is senior vice president of industrial brokerage for Colliers.

’18 Ashlyn (Kullen) Jungwirth, BA, Waterloo, was named one of the Cedar Valley’s 20 under 40 by the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier for 2023. She is a business development and marketing specialist with Cardinal Construction.

’18 Jade Pint, BA, Readlyn, is a human resources generalist for Masterbrand Cabinets.

’18 Alexis (Hawley) Rogers, BA, San Marcos, TX, earned a Master of Science in criminal justice from Texas State University and works for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Victim Services Division. She will also be working on a Master of Arts in professional counseling and concentration in clinical mental health.

’19 Alan Malone, BA, Waterloo, is the associate artistic director of the Waterloo Community Playhouse/Black Hawk Children’s Theatre.

’19 Kirstin Samuels, BA, Schofield, WI, is a human resource generalist and business partner for an air movement manufacturing company.


’20 Stef Graser, BA, Menomonee Falls, WI, is a senior data analyst with Northwestern Mutual Corporate.

’20 Marissa Miller, BA, Waukee, graduated from Drake Law School in 2023 and is an associate attorney at Dutton Law Firm.

’21 Jake Cash, BA, Cedar Falls, teaches 6-8th grade project lead the way at Bunger Middle School in Evansdale. Courses include medical detectives, human services and business/career exploration.

’21 Kaitlyn Evers, BA, Clinton, is the assistant director of the Sawmill Museum.

’21 Hannah Luce, BA, Waterloo, was named one of the Cedar Valley’s 20 under 40 by the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier for 2023. She is the executive director of the Waterloo Schools Foundation.

’21 David Thom, BM, Dubuque, is in his second year teaching 5th grade band in Dubuque and second year teaching overall and loves every moment of it.

’22 Brendan Gould, BA, Waterloo, works at BowStern Marketing.


’06 Jesse Hach, BS, and Lindsay (Guenther) Hach, BA ’11, Cedar Falls, daughter Collins Margaret born 10/31/2022.

’11 Jordan Brunsma, BA, BA ’17, and Larry Guadagnoli, BA ’12, Mason City, son Maxwell Steven born Nov. 2022.

’11 Caroline (Beall) Monnig, BA, and Tim Monnig, Harrisonville, MO, son Henry Alexander born 10/12/2023.

’15 Kelli (Strohbehn) Gartman, BA, MA ’21, and Kevin Gartman, BA ’15, MA ’20, ASC ’20, Montezuma, son Coy Neal born Apr. 2022.

’15 John Gogola, BA, and Alex Gogola, Pittsburgh, PA, son Brady Andrew born 7/21/2023.

’16 Erin (Mulder) Hodge, BA, and Ayden Hodge, Lincoln, NE, daughter Clarke Brené born 2/7/2023.


’20 Noah Arrowood, BA, married Kara (Hawker) Arrowood, BA ’21, 6/24/2023.

’21 AJ Reding, BS, married McKenna (Meinhard) Reding, BA ’22, 6/18/2022.

’21 Gabi (Cummings) Smith, BA, married Sam Smith, BA ’22, 6/4/2022.


’50 Joan (De Rycke) DeRycke Lambka, 2 yr Cert., died 11/19/2023 in LaGrange, IL. 

’55 Laurens Blankers, BA, died 10/25/2022 in Owatonna, MN.

’55 Howard Pigg, BA, died 1/31/2023 in Portland, OR.

’57 Patricia (Hansen) Braynard, BA, died 3/27/2023 in GA.

’69 Judy (Bartelt) Gantenbein, BA, MA ’80, died 6/3/2023 in Mooresville, NC.

’70 Mireya Bernal Greco, BA, died 10/18/2021 in Frederick, CO.

’71 James Dewitt, BA, died 9/5/2023 in Eaton, OH.

’75 Raygena (Klaaren) Garringer, BA, died 8/17/2023 in Williamsburg.

’75 Michael Rokes, BA, died 4/25/2023 in Cedar Falls.

’81 Anne (Gallagher) Nass, BA, MA ’83, died 2/19/2023 in Waterloo.

’85 Jeffrey Heffelfinger, BA, died 12/30/2021 in Altoona.

’93 Todd Swift, BS, died 12/26/2022 in Weaverville, NC.

’00 Meridie (Williams) Burger, BA, died 5/28/2023 in Des Moines.

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