Alumni Connections

Alumni News and Life Events  |  Marriages, births, and deaths information

1960-69 | 1970-79 | 1980-89 | 1990-99 | 2000-09

1960–69

Lon Fendall (G64) retired in January as director of the George Fox University Center for Peace and Justice and the Center for Global Studies. He and his wife, Raelene (Barnes) (G64), will be raising three of their grandchildren in Newberg. (See related story in Bruin Notes.)

Ron (G65, MDiv75) and Carolyn (G66) Stansell in December retired from their duties at George Fox. He served as professor of religion with a missions emphasis for 25 years, and she worked in Student Financial Services for seven years. She and Ron led students in GFU’s South American Studies program for the last five years. Before joining George Fox in 1985, they had been missionaries in Bolivia with the Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends Church.

Dee (Reeves) Bright (G67) will be featured in an interview on the nationally televised “Lifestyle Magazine” program on the Trinity Broadcasting Network this year. She discusses her book The Divine Romance — Going to God with the Longings Only He Can Fulfill, published by Revell. A resident of Granite Bay, Calif., Bright has had her own consulting company for more than 20 years and speaks nationally at conferences, retreats and special functions, primarily women’s groups.

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1970–79

Gary Macy (G70, MA81) is an instructor at the ROK Air Force Academy in South Korea. The retired United States Air Force chaplain is a member of the department of foreign languages at the academy in Cheongwon-Gun, Chungbuk.

Paul Koch (G79), professor of economics at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill., presented a paper, “Animal Spirits in the 21st Century: The Role of Global Asset Bubbles in the Current Financial Crisis,” at the 25th anniversary conference of the Association of Christian Economists, held at Baylor University in April.

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1980–89

Brett Barbre (G85), principal of Barbre & Associates, a Yorba Linda, Calif., public affairs company specializing in lobbying, campaigns, media and public relations, has been named to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California Board of Directors. He was appointed by the Municipal Water District of Orange County, the management and planning agency ensuring water to nearly 2.3 million Orange County residents through 28 city and water agencies. Barbre, a resident of Yorba Linda since 1969, has been active in efforts to build an ocean desalination plant in Dana Point, Calif.

Matt Simonis (G85) in October received a master’s degree in administration, marketing and strategy from Western Governors University. He lives on Camano Island, Wash., and is production manager for DeLaval Manufacturing in Mount Vernon, Wash.

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1990–99

Eric Hlad (G90) has been promoted to commander, leading the enforcement division of the Marion County, Oregon, Sheriff’s Department. He joined the department in 1996, most recently working in the judicial security unit after being hired initially as a patrol deputy. He also has worked with the SWAT team and as a survival-skills instructor.

Robert Bonner (MAT93, EdD06) has joined the George Fox faculty as assistant professor of education. He had been an adjunct instructor in the graduate programs of the university’s School of Education and School of Business since 2002. He has 16 years of public school teaching, the last 10 in Forest Grove, Ore.

Rolf Potts (G93) is receiving national and international awards for his newest book, Marco Polo Didn’t Go There. In November in Genoa, Italy, he received the 2009 Chatwin Prize for travel literature at the Premio Chatwin Festival. He was the first American author to receive the prize. In the United States, the book won a Lowell Thomas Award from the Society of American Travel Writers. It was his first Lowell Thomas award for a book but his fifth award from the society. “Rolf Potts’ style is personal and the narrative quality high,” judges wrote. “It’s not for the typical tourist, but rather, for readers seeking adventurous experiences.” Potts, whose home base is in Kansas, donated his prize winnings to the George Fox Alumni Association.

Dina (Kauffman) DeYoung (G95) has established an online tutoring business, Apples of Gold Online Tutoring. Living in Portland, she works with students in first through eighth grades and ESL students of all ages.

Nathan Sundgren (G96) is a physician with the Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas.

Jeffery Atkisson (G98) in December did the theatrical lighting at one of the premier venues in the world: Royal Albert Hall in London. He completely pre-programmed before arriving, his first attempt to virtually program on a monitor. The experience was with the group Sing Live, and he also toured with Kari Jobe and Al Denson on their Christmas tour. He also serves as lighting designer over three venues of the First Baptist Church in Orlando, Fla.

Barbara (Smith) Holmes (G98, MAT05) and Michael Holmes (MAT05) have established a business, Paul & Sabrina’s EV Stuff!, where they design high-powered motor controllers for electric vehicles. He also is adjunct math instructor at South Puget Sound Community College. They live in Olympia, Wash., and are members of Evangelical Environmental Network, a branch of Evangelicals for Social Action.

Joanie Schmidt (G99) is in a clinical pastoral education chaplain residency at Johnson City Medical Center in Tennessee. This follows receipt of a master of divinity degree in Christian care and counseling from Emmanuel School of Religion in Johnson City, Tenn.

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2000–09

Norma (Krettler) Alley (G00) was installed as Region Two director for the Oregon Association of Municipal Recorders at its convention in Eugene, Ore., in September. She represents Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington and Yamhill counties. She is Newberg’s city recorder.

Marcia Mattoso (MA00) is executive director of Hope Station in Salem, Ore., a nonprofit organization helping 35 families with food, clothing, eye exams, haircuts, counseling and other services. It was founded last year by Salem First Church of the Nazarene and now has other churches and 10 area businesses involved.

John O’Connor (SPS00) is instructional systems specialist with the U.S. Air Force, at Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas. This is part of the air education and training command with the main mission of cryptologic and intelligence training. He teaches airmen, soldiers, sailors, Marines and civilians how to be instructors and also edits and creates new curriculum. Last August, he received a master’s degree in instructional and performance technology from Boise State University.

Nicholas Willis (G00) has returned to his alma mater as associate professor of mathematics. He was named Outstanding Mathematics Student the year he graduated. For the last four years, he was assistant professor of mathematics at Whitworth University, Spokane, Wash. After attending George Fox, he earned both a master’s degree (2003) and doctorate (2005) in mathematics from Texas Tech University.

Shelley Yonemura (G00) has been named director of multicultural student programs at George Fox following 12 months in an interim position.

Eleasah Gerdes (G01) is editor of Travel on a Shoestring, a monthly Newberg-based publication. Previously she worked with North Willamette Valley Habitat for Humanity publishing its newsletter, and for the last year was with Kroll Government Services as an investigative analyst.

Carson Kutsch (G01) is a dentist in private practice in Albany, Ore. He received his dental degree in 2005 from Marquette Dental School, Milwaukee, Wis.

Paul Gramenz (G02) is an emergency physician with Salem Emergency Physician Services at Salem Hospital. He and his wife, Jane (Seale) Gramenz (G99, MAT01), moved from Minnesota where he finished his final year of emergency medicine residency at Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis.

Trinity Kay (G02) has been commissioned by ReachGlobal, the missionary arm of the Evangelical Free Church of America, to serve as a long-term missionary/church planter in Rome. She has completed pre-field training and is living in Mount Hermon, Calif., while raising support funds to begin the mission.

Matt McKenzie (G02, MBA07) is president of CUI Inc., a company that designs, manufactures and markets electro-mechanical components for manufacturers. He was profiled in the Jan. 1, 2010 issue of Portland Business Journal, sharing insights on what constitutes a successful business venture. The company has 50 employees in Tualatin, Ore., and sites also in China, Japan and Sweden.

Demetri Tsohantaridis (G02) has opened his own law office in Newberg, covering areas such as family law, estate planning and business. Previously, for two years, he was with the law firm Gunn Cain & Kinney LLP in Newberg.

Gayle Denham (SPS03, MEd07), and her husband Matt Denham (G06) after six years of planning, left Jan. 20 for Rwanda for two years as missionaries with Evangelical Friends Mission. The Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends representatives will be teaching English to schoolteachers.

Olga Ceballos (G04) had a collection of 16 paintings on display in October at the Canby, Ore., Public Library. She paints with oils and acrylics and describes her paintings as “a celebration of life.”

Brenda Morton (MA03), who completed George Fox’s initial administrative licensure program in 2007, is now an assistant professor of education at George Fox. For the previous two years she was an English teacher and publications advisor at Sherwood High School.

Demetria (Medina) Edwards (G04) received a master of arts in organizational leadership from Regent University in August, and joined the staff of AOET-USA (AIDS Orphan Education Trust) as operations manager in November. Based in Portland, the nonprofit organization is dedicated to supporting AIDS orphans and widows in Uganda.

Jeremey Fleischer (G05) has joined Rockfish Interactive in Rogers, Ark., as an interactive designer, conceptualizing and designing websites and motion graphics for national clients such as Walmart, Listerine and Tyson Foods. The digital marketing agency, which has 70 employees, won Advertising Age magazine’s 2009 national small agency of the year award. He moved from Jacksonville, Ore., where he was with Snapshot Group as art director after freelance work with his own business, JeremeyDesign.

Dwight Friesen (DMin05) authored Thy Kingdom Connected: What the Church Can Learn from Facebook, the Internet and Other Networks, published by Baker Books. He teaches practical theology at Mars Hill Graduate School in Seattle.

Elisabeth (Mehl) Greene (G05) had her composition “Tango” for string quartet performed by the Kronos Quartet in November at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she is pursuing a doctor of music degree.

Patrick McLaughlin (MBA05) has been hired as a sales producer for Wells Fargo Insurance Services NW, Spokane, Wash., in the company’s commercial department. Previously he worked for Pfizer.

Amanda Potter (G05) graduated in January from Dominican University (River Forest, Ill.) with a master’s degree in social work and is studying to be a therapeutic doula (professional birth support) in Seattle.

Gracie (Morell) Safford (G05) is event facilitator for Rock Creek Gardens, in Puyallup, Wash. Her parents created the business, which opened in 2008 as a venue for weddings and other events.

Jeff Barram (G06, MBA08) and Aaron Schmick (G06) have co-founded Spirelike Interactive, a Web, print and marketing strategy agency in Vancouver, Wash. Barram’s specialty is Web development and design, backend coding and marketing management. Schmick concentrates in Web and print design and layout, Web/flash design and marketing strategy.

Mark Campbell (MAT06) is assistant men’s basketball coach at St. Mary’s College, Moraga, Calif. He joined the West Coast Conference Gaels in 2008 as director of operations and then was promoted to assistant this season. He instructs players (particularly guards), recruits and scouts. Previously, he spent one year as an assistant at Pepperdine University after two years as an assistant at Clackamas Community College.

Rick Chromey (DMin07) has released his fourth book, Thriving Youth Ministry in the Smaller Church, through Group/Simply Youth Ministry. He has contracted with Living Word Literary Agency for further releases in the next two years. He is an online/adjunct professor in youth and family ministry for about a dozen colleges and universities and is a motivational speaker, trainer and consultant for churches, schools and businesses.

Sam Craven (G07) has joined the Sandy, Ore., Police Department as a police officer.

Zoriana (Camp) Edwards (SPS07) is women’s community coordinator for the Home For Good Program in Marion County, Ore., through the Oregon Department of Corrections. The program focuses on faith-based reentry. She advocates for women and connects them to various organizations and resources in the county.

Robin Taylor (G07) and her brother, Simon, in October opened Urban Hero, a used-clothing store geared toward teenagers and college students, in Bend, Ore.

Matt Nofziger (G08) is in Suriname, South America with the U.S. Peace Corps. He has a 27-month commitment that began in May 2009. He lives in a village of about 100 on the Suriname River, about 71/2 hours from the capital of Paramaribo. He works with villagers setting up agribusiness, helping establish a food market, a chicken project, and supporting water and latrine projects. He also is teaching English and is working to build a school in the village.

Brian Rurik (G08) received a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Oregon State University in December 2009 and in January began as a design engineer with ESCO Corporation, Portland.

Katelyn Wythe (G08) is a member of the first class of the new daytime program of the Portland Actors Conservatory, which last year earned accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Theatre. The two-year theater training program accepts about half those who apply.

Abby Burgess (G09) is an administrative assistant in the Office of Student Life at George Fox, where she was resident assistant and area coordinator as a student.

Jaclyn Cascio (G09) has enlisted in the U.S. Army and began basic combat training in November at Fort Jackson, S.C. From there, she will be in training to be a combat medic.

Aaron (G09) and Kathryn (Hite) (G09) Dort live in Newberg, where he is a groundskeeper at George Fox and she is a nanny in Newberg.

Shanna (Lesire) Rogness (G09) is a registered nurse at Silverton, Ore., Hospital Family Birth Center.

Kelsey Schmidt (G09) is a certified nursing assistant in the Charles Beals Health Center at Friendsview Retirement Community, Newberg. She interned while completing college and until November interned under the director of clinical services while working toward a nursing home administrator’s license.

Corina Warner (G09) is admission coordinator for North Clackamas Christian School in Oregon City, Ore.

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