Alumni Connections

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

1960-69 |1970-79 | 1980-89 | 1990-99 | 2000-09 | 2010-2011

1960–69

Pete McHugh (G67) in December was inducted into the Scappoose (Ore.) High School Hall of Fame for his contributions as a school administrator and community leader. He retired from the school as principal in 1997 after 20 years with the school district. Awards from the community are not new. He was named Columbia County Educator of the Year in 1984, and in 2001 was honored as South County Citizen of the Year by the St. Helens-Scappoose Chamber of Commerce. He continues as a broker with Windermere-St. Helens Real Estate Inc.

1970–79

Bill Jackson (G71) was honored in December with a celebration marking his official retirement at Friendsview Retirement Community in Newberg. The former George Fox University food services head served as Friendsview’s director of dining services from 1999 to 2007, when he took an extended medical leave that included receiving a kidney transplant from his wife, Marilyn (May) Jackson (G72).

Peggy Fowler (G73) has been elected chair of the board of Umpqua Holdings Corporation, parent company of Umpqua Bank. She has served on the company’s board of directors since 2009, the year she retired as chief executive officer for Portland General Electric. She was with the power company for 35 years, the last eight as its top officer. She continues on several other boards, including Cambia Health Solutions, Regence BlueCross/BlueShield of Oregon and Hawaiian Electric Industries, and was on the George Fox University board from 1991 to 2004.

Barb (Grinalds) Tusant (G73) and John Tusant (G74, MA76) are beginning new careers in Mongolia. They left Spokane, Wash., at the end of February for five months of training in the capital, Ulaanbaatar, before teaching junior and senior high school English teachers. Working with the English Language Institute, they also will be assigned to assist at a church. He leaves a 15-year career as director of the Greater Spokane Association of Evangelicals, where he worked with pastors to strengthen their ministries. She has been teaching 27 years at Northwest Christian School in Spokane, most recently in the fourth grade.

Debbie (Le Shana) Rickey (G76), with lead author Richard Sagor of Washington State University, is the author of a new book to be released in April 2012 by Sage Publications: The Relentless Pursuit of Excellence: Lessons From a Transformational Leader. The book’s approach to leadership is drawn from the principles and philosophy of the Society of Friends, emphasizing the search for wisdom through personal reflection and community. In the new book, Dea Cox (n53), an honorary George Fox trustee and former board chair who joined the board in 1983, shares his own application of Quaker philosophy in his 30 years as a school superintendent in Oregon. Rickey is Office of Dissertations director for the College of Doctoral Studies at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix.

Jim Marshall (GFES76) has authored Code Billy: 75 Real Life Meditations, published by Dust Jacket. The former musician, pastor and missionary says it is “a collection of lessons I’ve learned from real-life situations,” and in each instance the Bible has had something helpful to say. The name originates with his daughter being released from a rehab hospital after having suffered a massive stroke. When she was leaving, “Code Billy” was announced over the PA system and all the doctors and nurses who had worked with her lined up, clapping and cheering her on.

1980–89

Brian Barkdull (G83), president and chief operating officer of American Southwest Credit Union of Sierra Vista, Ariz., reported “quite an emotional time in our community” following the shooting of Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords. His headquarters office is across the street from the congressional district’s Cochise County office. In the days after, he and his staff could see the display of flowers and other mementos placed on the doorstep. His firm joined other Arizona credit unions in making donations to funds designated to honor Giffords and the other victims. In November, American Southwest sponsored a bike run in support of the Wounded Warrior Project, raising $7,350. Barkdull personally raised $1,450 by completing the 42-mile El Tour de Tucson bike event on Nov. 29 in 2 hours, 27.28 minutes, earning pledges from his fellow credit union peers.

Howard Young (MA83) in October was one of nine inductees into the first Bismarck (Missouri) High School Hall of Fame. Its purpose is to recognize alumni who have made “exemplary accomplishments.” A 1967 graduate of the school, he started his ministry career as a senior there and has continued for the last 42 years. He has served churches in Missouri, Colorado, Alaska and Wisconsin, and currently is lead pastor at the Woodland Worship Center of the Assemblies of God in Oneida, Wis. Previously, he was a professor and president of Trinity Bible College in Ellendale, N.D. Already with two doctor of ministry degrees under his belt, he currently is studying for a PhD through the University of Minnesota.

Tim Morland (G84) is general manager with Engine Components Northwest in Troutdale, Ore. He has been with the aircraft servicing and maintenance firm for more than 27 years, commuting from Newberg where he and his family have recently purchased a 40-acre farm (moving up from a 17-acre property). But he has even longer commutes: overseeing 17 people (all in Texas), he travels 80,000 miles a year.

Julie Nolta (G84) decorated the kitchen of the historic Pittock Mansion in Portland for its annual “Christmas Around the World” exhibit. She also was the lead designer for the historic Farrell House for the 2011 Camas, Wash., Holiday Home Tour. She operates Apple Green Studio/Julie Nolta Design in Portland, providing services for homes, including work prior to construction, remodeling and makeovers. After George Fox she completed the advanced design program at Heritage School of Design.

Angie (Dunn) Rettmann (G86) is ministry partnership director for Africa New Life Ministries, based in Portland. In that role for nearly two years, she is one of 10 staff members, responsible for staff development in addition to maintaining and growing partnerships with supporting churches across the United States. She also leads two or three missions teams each year to Rwanda from partnering churches. Africa New Life Ministries, founded in 2001, has 2,300 sponsored children being helped in Rwanda, three churches, a mission center, a Christian academy, a program for women and university students, and operates six homes for orphans. Previously, Rettmann was children’s ministry director at Grace Chapel in Wilsonville, Ore., for 10 years.

Rick Anderson (MA87, MBA97) has been named to the new position of director of operations with K&E Excavating in Salem, Ore., overseeing daily operations and strategic planning. The 14-year-old family-owned business operates as a general contractor or subcontractor on public and private commercial projects. A recent job was the Matthew Knight Basketball Arena at the University of Oregon.

Toby Long (G88) operates an internal medicine practice in Wenatchee, Wash., where he is affiliated with Central Washington Hospital. His special interests are preventative health maintenance and geriatric care. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and member of the American College of Physicians.

Gregg Peters (ADP88, MBA04) has been named to the board of the Salem (Ore.) Multicultural Institute, a nonprofit organization that operates the annual World Beat Festival and World Beat Gallery in Salem, now in its 15th year. He is the owner of Oil Can Henry’s in Stayton, Ore., a business he purchased and expanded after he retired from a career with Hewlett-Packard.

1990–99

John Ricards (ADP90) is in his 18th year as a missionary to the Philippines, affiliated with MCN International and Village Health Ministry. His primary work is among tribal groups in the mountains of the island of Mindanao, where he and his wife have established more than 30 congregations. The most recent initiative, helping tribe members with health and wellness issues related to extreme poverty, includes the establishment of a new center for coordination and staff housing.

Jeff Richards (G90) is president and chief appraiser for his own firm, First Choice Northwest, a residential and commercial real estate appraisal management company in Beaverton, Ore. He started appraising in 1992 and opened his company as First Choice Appraisals in 2002. It now has a team of eight and serves 10 surrounding counties. He is also a licensed realtor.

Carlos Sequeira (n92) is the new principal of Sherwood (Ore.) High School. In July he moved from the position of assistant principal at Wilsonville (Ore.) High School, where he had been since 2007. Previously, he taught at Grant High in Portland for seven years, then at West Linn (Ore.) High for five years before a one-year dean of students position at Liberty High School in Hillsboro, Ore.

Carol Ann Riha (ADP93), as bureau chief in charge of the Iowa office of the Associated Press, has been one of the leaders in the national coverage of the Iowa presidential caucuses, not only this spring but also in 2000, 2004 and 2008. She has been with the AP since 1983, and was named to her current post in 2006 after serving as news editor at the bureau. In 2009, she was invited to AP corporate headquarters in New York for a special celebration of her professional work. Her latest recognition is being named an outstanding alumna and inducted to the LaSalle High School Alumni Hall of Fame on Feb. 3 in Cedar Rapids.

Susan Lute (ADP95), after years of working as a nurse, now has a new career: writer. Her fourth and latest book, The London Affair, came out last June. Her first, Oops . . . We’re Married?, was published in 2003 by Harlequin and has sold 117,000 copies. She followed it with Jane’s Long March Home, the story of a female Marine, then followed that with a prequel set 10 years earlier, A Girl Named Jane. Her latest book, a contemporary romance novel, is being followed by a book in a new direction in her career: a post-apocalyptic, paranormal fantasy book, or in other terms, a “dragon book.” Her works are now independently published and available as e-books through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Scott Wade (G97) is the new director of university advancement for Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wash.. He began in January and supervises the areas of development, alumni relations and the university’s foundation. He moves from a position at Houghton College in New York, where he was executive director for development. Previously, he was at Baylor University as director of the student union and activities.

Heidi (Haley) Ankeny (G98) and Luke Ankeny (n98) are back in the Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends after leaving in 2010 for a church-planting team effort in Cicero, N.Y. He is the new pastor of Homedale (Idaho) Friends Community Church. Previously they served at Entiat (Wash.) Friends Church.

Stacey (Parker) Bailey (G98) in August became a dietitian at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, Calif., relocating with her husband from Phoenix where she also was employed as a dietitian.

Trey Doty (G98, MDiv00) is the new executive vice president and chief operating officer of Responder Life in Portland, part of a national ministry to first responders (police, firefighters and federal agents). He was with the organization as interim operations director and consultant from January to June 2008, and has been vice chair of the local board for four years. For the last three and a half years, he served as director of seminary development at George Fox.

Arthur Macomber (ADP98) this spring will become adjunct professor of law at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash. He is teaching Transactional Skills and Professionalism Law, a required two-credit course for first-year law students. A licensed attorney in both Washington and Idaho, he has taught at North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene since 2007. His law practice is also in Coeur d’Alene, where he specializes in providing legal counsel on real property, land use, construction and water law issues.

Chris Skaggs (G99) was speaker for George Fox University’s midyear commencement ceremonies Dec. 17. His topic was “Keys to Your Calling.” He is founder of Soma Games, a video gaming company with a Christian worldview. Soma and its sister company, Code-Monkeys, both located in Newberg, have delivered software applications to some of the nation’s most known companies, including Intel, Comcast, Four Season and Aruba Networks. With a team of about a dozen programmers and artists, Soma Games moved into the mobile sector in 2009 and has delivered more than 60 apps since.

Scott Edinger (G99, MEd03) and Natasha (Jabusch) Edinger (G00, MEd03) left Jan. 6, 2012, for two years in Kigali, Rwanda, as VISA missionaries with Free Methodist World Missions. He is working with pastors, providing theological training in the form of Bible and seminary-style classes and instructing in how to lead congregations. She is working with Child Care Ministries, a child-sponsoring program, teaching English and helping with logistics at an area hospital. He left a position as family life pastor at Northside Community Church in Newberg, and she left a fifth-grade teaching position in Sherwood, Ore.

2000–09

Tyler Johnson (G00) has authored a new book, Devotion to the Adopted Country: U.S. Immigrant Volunteers in the Mexican War. It will be released this spring by the University of Missouri Press. The 192-page book is the product of his research using letters and personal papers of soldiers, the diaries and correspondence of Catholic leaders, Catholic and Democratic newspapers, and military records. Johnson has a PhD from Purdue University and has been teaching since 2010. He is currently associate professor of history at Philadelphia Biblical University.

Naomi (Zimmerman) Abdilla (G02) is in her fourth year in Denver, where she is with Denver Public Schools for her third year as a first-grade teacher, teaching in Spanish.

Trinity Kay (G02) has coauthored a Kindle edition book, Single Minded, with stories of four single Christian 30-something women living their lives on four continents, discovering through blogging what ties them together in their singleness and what sets them apart as unique individuals.

Shelly (Schultens) Anslinger (G03) is with Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles, Ore., in her fifth year as a physical therapist.

Sam Baker (EdD03) is associate professor of student and family ministries at Corban University in Salem, Ore. He also serves as a teacher trainer, camp speaker, conference workshop and seminar leader, and church leadership consultant. Previously he was in church ministry, serving in Southern California and Southwest Washington.

Laura (Mansfield) Smith (G03, PsyD10) is a licensed psychologist and director of Adult Clinical Services at Evergreen Behavioral Health in Vancouver, Wash.

Valerie Brooks (MAT04), a kindergarten teacher at Harrisburg (Ore.) Elementary School, has been named Teacher of the Year by the Linn (County) Soil and Water Conservation District. Brooks completed a summer agricultural institute sponsored by the Oregon Women for Agriculture and uses information and projects from an Ag in the Classroom workbook. A stay-at-home mom before earning her George Fox degree, Brooks taught kindergarten in Scio, Ore., and fifth grade in Central Linn, Ore., before taking her current position five years ago.

Fairlight Ankeny (G05) is a teacher at Newby Elementary School in McMinnville, Ore. This year she is teaching the bilingual fourth-grade class. She has been at the school since 2005.

Robert Bletscher (G05) is a senior case manager with Liberty Mutual Insurance in Beaverton, Ore.

Shara Swindler (G06) is division manager of shared services with the Wyman-Gordon Company in Houston. She began in August, moving from a position of corporate accounting and reporting analyst with Precision Castparts Corp. in Portland. She was in that position for 15 months before being named to her new position with a company that is a Precision Castparts subsidiary. It produces forgings and castings used in aerospace turbine engines as well as land-based gas turbines and power plants.

Kristen Leichty (G08) is senior recruiter of study abroad at LCC International University in Klaipeda, Lithuania. Established in 1991, it is a joint venture of Lithuanian, Canadian and American foundations, and formerly was named Lithuania Christian Fund College. It has 650 students, 40 percent of whom are international students from 21 different countries.

Tyrel Rawlins (G08) is analyst/due diligence manager with ScanlonKemperBard Co., a Portland-based real estate private equity firm. He started with the firm in December 2010 after working with National Loan Acquisition Co. He also is principal for his own Rawhide Equities firm, started in August 2009.

Kyle Johnson (G09) is a tax accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, an international accounting and professional services company. He is based in Portland.

Seia Milin (MBA09) is employment programs lead for WorkSource Redmond, part of the Seattle-King County, Wash., partnership of government, education and community organizations providing employment services to both businesses and jobseekers. Milin is cited frequently in the Seattle Times Company’s Northwest Jobs Career Makeover online publication, explaining how job seekers benefit from suggested improvements in their job searches.

Josiah Philipsen (G09) in December returned to his alma mater to become a computer support specialist at George Fox University’s Portland Center. With a degree in elementary education, he previously taught at Bethel Christian School in McMinnville, Ore., and most recently at the Mentor Graphics Child Development Center in Wilsonville, Ore. For the past six years he also has served as a lead cook on a part-time basis at the Tilikum Center for Retreats and Outdoor Ministries in Newberg.

2010–11

Jamie Crandall (MA10) is the children and families director at Foothills Community Church in Santa Rosa, Calif. Attending the church since 1994, she joined the staff in 2007 and guides the KidZone program.

Rob Maslen (G10) has partnered with another longtime Newberg resident to establish Ridgeline Property Management, a company that works with real estate agents and rental property owners. The company specializes in residential property management with an emphasis on yard service, maintaining curb appeal, scheduling maintenance and repairs, and handling rental finances.

Joel Thomas (G10) has a two-part role at Twin Rocks Friends Camp and Conference Center on the Oregon Coast near Rockaway. He is landscape coordinator as well as coordinator of outdoor education programming. In addition to supervising the 120-acre campgrounds, Thomas serves as naturalist for summer camps and provides outdoor education assistance for schools in the surrounding four counties, traveling to schools for assemblies and in-class instruction.

Melissa Clarkson (G11) is spending this year in service in Atlanta with Mission Year, a Christian community development organization. She works four days a week at an after-school program for at-risk children, and two days a week she does community outreach in a lower socioeconomic neighborhood in Atlanta.

Barb Dewald (DMin11) is associate dean of spiritual formation at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. At the college since 1995, she previously served at the University of Sioux Falls as director of residence life and assistant campus pastor. Her doctoral dissertation was titled “A Contemplative Vocational Discernment Model for Christian College Students.”