Journal Title George Fox Journal Online

Alumni Connections

Marriages, births, and deaths information


John Booth (G72) is chair of the music department at Hannibal-LaGrange College, Mo. An article describing his experience as a George Fox freshman music major, titled “From Probation to ‘Most Improved,’” was published in the recent issue of “College Faith III: 150 Christian Leaders and Educators Share Faith Stories from Their Student Days.”

Catherine Griffith (n74) is teaching religion courses in the first-year general education program and business ethics at Augustana College, Ill. In 2004 she received a PhD in applied religious ethics, specializing in Christian sexual ethics, from the University of Virginia.

Randy Thornburg (G74) and his wife, Divonna (Littlefield) Thornburg (G75), live in Wickliffe, Ohio, where they serve as music and worship pastor at the Willoughby Hills Friends Church.

Deborah (Goins) Johansen (G75) has been named to direct plays at McMinnville (Ore.) High School, expanding her current role directing the drama program at Patton Middle School, McMinnville. She has been with the school district since 1990 after 13 years teaching and directing the Children’s Educational Theater, Salem, Ore.

Cliff McCurdy (G77) is a mathematics, physics, and computer programming teacher at Argyle (Texas) High School where he has coached 19 math and science teams and 22 individuals to championship titles in state competition. This year his team won every event, achieving the state academic meet title for the second time in three years. Argyle had the state champion team in science for the fifth year in a row, both math and calculator applications for the third consecutive year, and number sense for the second consecutive year. He was named 2005-06 District Teacher of the Year and recipient of the Golden Eagle Teacher Excellence Award by the Argyle ISD Education Foundation.

Linda Byrd (G78) is interim administrator for Christian Camping International Jamaica. In May she attended the eight-day CCI Forum at de Betteld Conference Centre, The Netherlands.

Les Keele (G79), after nearly 30 years as a classroom teacher and coach, is the new principal of Vale (Ore.) High School. He moves from Bend, Ore., where he began teaching in 1963.


Jeff Loe (G80) has been named interim superintendent of schools for the Grand Coulee Dam (Wash.) School District. For the next year he will expand his duties for the district, where he has been business manager for the last two years. He moved there from Nespelem, Wash., where he was business manager for nine years.

Sandra (Archer) Young (G81) in August completed a PhD in English at the University of South Carolina with concentration in composition and rhetoric. Her research involved recovering freshman composition methods in historically black colleges in South Carolina prior to integration. She has started a full-time teaching position at Columbia College, a women’s college in Columbia, S.C., where she is teaching English and English education courses.

Dennis Sturdevant (n81) serves on the board of Missionary Aviation Fellowship and each year visits an MAF outpost. In April he was in Kabul, Afghanistan, reporting back the conditions in the war-torn city. He is founder/owner of Precision Helicopters Inc, Newberg.

Angie (Dunn) Rettmann (G86) is director of Children’s Community at Grace Chapel, Wilsonville, Ore.

Diana Crane (G87) is a chaplain at Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas.

Mark Duhrkoop (n88) is director of family services and community outreach with CityTeam Ministries, Portland.

Jerry Gillham (SPS88) is new assistant city manager for Prineville, Ore., in charge of community development. He previously served three years as city manager for Baker City, Ore., and also as city manager in Scappoose, Ore., Madras, Ore., and Nyssa, Idaho.

Tim Hyatt (G89) received a doctor of natural medicine degree from National College of Natural Medicine in Portland in June and is beginning practice in Sherwood, Ore.

John Marvin (G89) is teacher/administrator for the new McMinnville (Ore.) Christian High School, which opened in September with ninth and 10th graders enrolled. He teaches biblical studies, world history, and geography. He previously has been an Assembly of God missionary, conducting a series of missions to Jamaica (including administration at a Christian elementary school) and also helping start a college level Bible school in Antigua.


Kevin Lucke (G90) has been promoted to claims manager for Sublimity (Ore.) Insurance Company. He has been with the firm since 1997 and in the insurance claims field since 1994.

Chad Moore (G91) has been named Western U.S. manager for Church multimedia and has moved to Liberty Hill, Texas, near Austin. He manages a team of eight for the firm that works with small- to medium-sized churches to provide video projection and video recording/Internet solutions.

Kari (Ketterling) Goodman (G92) is associate director of Children’s Community at Grace Chapel, Wilsonville, Ore.

Leonard Maxson (G92) is band teacher/director at Rogue River (Ore.) High School, also teaching part time at the middle school. He has been with the school district since 2004, previously teaching in Waldport, Rainier, and Winston, Ore.

Jan Vondrachek (SPS92, MBA00) is executive director of Hazelden Springbrook, an alcohol and drug addiction treatment facility in Newberg. Previously she was director of marketing, alumni, and volunteer relations for the center.

Matt (Kirkpatrick) Clemons (G93, MBA02) is director of admission and financial aid for the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, New York. He began in June, moving from a position as associate director of admission and financial aid at Manhattan School of Music.

Tory Johnson (G95) passed the Oregon Professional Engineers exam in April and is senior project designer with WRG Design, Inc., Portland.

Stephen Pharo (MBA95) has been named by Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski to head the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. He was named to the executive director position after serving several months as acting director. He has been with the state agency for 12 years and now will lead the 211-employee commission with headquarters in Portland and regional offices in Medford, Eugene, Salem, and Bend, Ore.

Janet Weber (G95) was named a city of Tigard, Ore., Employee of the Month for November. She is a youth services librarian for the Tigard Public Library.

Linda (Pullen) Simmons (PsyD96) is the author of Interactive Art Therapy Projects, a book published in July by Haworth Press. She is a staff psychologist with Hope Psychological Services in Lexington and Marlboro, Mass.

Peter Aare (SPS97) in July was named an assistant county attorney for Citrus County, Fla. He was a police office in Orlando, Fla., prior to enrolling at George Fox. He then received a law degree from Loyola University, Chicago, and returned to Florida in 2001 where he has served with several law firms. In his new position he focuses on legal issues with the county’s public safety department.

Jimmi Sommer (G97) is new regional director for U.S. Senator Mike Crapo, working in his Twin Falls, Idaho, office. Previously she worked in the Idaho attorney general’s office and formerly was with the Technology Law Group as director of public and legislative affairs.

Monte Wilber (G97) is in the second of four years of an anesthesia residency at the State University of New York – Buffalo. He received an MD from Loma Linda University (Calif.) in 2004 and in 2005 was commissioned as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy.

Matt Cross (G98) in August became program director for Camp Ocean Pines, Cambria, Calif. He heads the campus outdoor school and summer camp programs.

Arthur Macomber (SPS98) has opened a law practice in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, concentrating on real property, land use, water, and construction law in Kootenai County. He received a law degree from the University of California Hasting College of Law in 2003.

Josie Smith (G98) has started Josie Smith Marketing and Events, specializing in those areas for small- to medium-sized businesses in Portland and Seattle. She has seven years of experience as a marketing manager in the shopping center industry, most recently for Bridgeport Village, Tualatin, Ore.

Jack Hardy (MBA99) is the founder and owner of “The Public Eye,” a Web-based TV program based in Vancouver, Wash. It shares video news, commentary, humor, and feel-good stories, with updates posted weekday mornings. The “labor of love” is in addition to his full-time job as partner and public relations director with Ant Hill Marketing, Portland.


Jessica Adams (G00) is a dentist in Lake Oswego, Ore., becoming an associate with Dr. Sue Wendling. Jessica started there as a patient, then became a dental assistant during her George Fox years and for two years prior to attending Loma Linda University School of Dentistry.

Christopher Carbonell (G00) began in June as a configuration manager for T-Mobile in Bellevue, Wash.

Amber Hamilton (G00) owns Seychelles, a gift boutique opened in June in Manchester, Vt.

Jerry Hoffert (MBA00) has been appointed controller for Albertina Kerr Centers, Portland. He recently was assistant controller at Morrison Child and Family Services and previously worked for eight years in the Kerr finance department. The Kerr Centers, with 812 employees and a $28 million budget, work with children with emotional or mental health challenges, individuals with severe developmental disabilities and their families.

Jamie Johnson (G00) started Sept. 1 as director of housing/resident director at Gordon College, Wenham, Mass.

Wendy (Mueller) Knosp (G00) received a PhD from Oregon Health Sciences University in August and is continuing in postdoctoral work at University of California, San Francisco.

Elizabeth Carlson (G01, MBA04) is finance director for the city of Newberg. Hired Aug. 1, she moved from a similar position with the city of West Linn, Ore.

Michael Ward (SPS01) has been named executive director of network development at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, Boise, Idaho. For the previous 12 years he was a senior administrator at West Valley Medical Center, Caldwell, Idaho, most recently as associate administrator. In his new position he oversees the center’s regional relationships and operations with rural hospitals and physicians.

Rosalee Burrell (G02) has joined the San Diego office of the law firm Gates, O’Doherty, Gonter & Guy as an associate attorney. She graduated from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, in May 2005 and passed the California Bar in December.

Adrienne Dorsey (G02) has established her own business, Magnolia Public Relations, in Burbank, Calif. It focuses on beauty, fashion, and lifestyle firms, providing public relations, brand/image consulting, marketing, writing, and event planning.

Paul Gramenz (G02) received a medical degree in May from the University of Colorado. He and his wife, Jane (Seale) Gramenz (G99, MAT01), have moved to Minneapolis where he is a resident emergency medicine doctor at Hennepin County Medical Center.

Jennifer Overstreet (G02) has begun work at the Office of the Registrar at George Fox as a records specialist, moving from a position as a broker’s assistant for a Portland realty equity group.

Rosie (Ofstie) Crisostomo (G03) is a bilingual kindergarten teacher in a dual immersion program in Corvallis, Ore.

Bradley Wallace (MEd03) is the new middle school principal for Salem (Ore.) Academy. Recently he had been administrator of Cornerstone Christian School in Keizer, Ore.

Crystal Wulff (G03) is teaching high school biology to English-speaking students at the American Overseas School in Rome.

Liz Hughes (G04) is a direct-care counselor for teenagers with emotional and behavioral issues at Castle School, a residential high school in Cambridge, Mass. She also is studying for a master’s degree in art therapy and mental health counseling at Lesley University in Cambridge.

Gabriel Pinski (MDiv04) is director of grants and outreach for L’Arche Greater Washington, a faith-based organization in the nation’s capital that creates home and family-like community with people who have developmental disabilities and those who assist them.

Shannon Tocchini (MBA04) has been hired as sustainable business manager for HDR Inc., an architectural, engineering, and consulting firm, Portland. She is responsible for promoting implementation of a company-wide sustainability program. Previously she was with Louisiana- Pacific Corp, as manager of environmental management systems, sustainability, and regulatory innovation.

Lisa Trefts (G04), as a master of international management student at Whitworth College, Spokane, Wash., was one of 100 graduate students from 40 nations selected for academic internships at the United Nations’ graduatestudy program in Geneva, Switzerland, in July. They evaluated and made recommendations on global issues, including human rights, the environment, and economic development.

Pauline Tseng (MA04) has completed Oregon State Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists requirements to receive an LPC license and has been promoted to a clinical supervisor position at LifeWorks Northwest, Portland.

Sandra Rustam (MAG05) this summer joined Youth Contact as a youth and family therapist, working in two Beaverton, Ore., middle schools. Previously she was with LifeWorks Northwest. This summer she passed the licensing exam for counselors and mental health professionals.

Melissa Chapman (G05) is student teaching at West Salem High School as she studies for a master of arts in teaching degree at Willamette University, seeking a license to teach high school social studies and junior high English.

Brian Cottrell (G05) is with (formerly Educational Services International), teaching conversational English to professors at Nanchang University in the city of Nanchang, southwest of Shanghai, China.

Wendy Patton (MA05) has joined the counseling staff of Friends of Family Ministries, involved in individual, couples, and family counseling in Albany and Corvallis, Ore., offices.

John Moore (G06) is an electrical engineer for the Puget Sound Naval Shipyards, Bremerton, Wash.

Mark Richeson (G06) is living in Pasadena, Calif., studying for a master of arts in theology degree at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Ann (Dorn) Seregow (G06) is marketing director with the Media Operations Center of Hebrew Roots International, Portland office.

Brandon Wagner (G06), following two years as youth director for Newberg First Presbyterian Church, has been named interim high school youth director for Beaverton (Ore.) Christian Church.

Tyler Wallace (G05, MAT06) is teaching mathematics at Newberg High School.

G Traditional graduate
n Traditional nongraduate
SPS School of Professional Studies graduate
GFES Seminary graduate
PsyD Doctor of psychology graduate
MAT Master of arts in teaching graduate
MBA Master of business administration graduate
MA Master of arts graduate
MEd Master of education graduate


A source of hope

Gayathri Ramprasad

Gayathri Ramprasad is determined to be “a candle of hope” for those suffering from mental illness. Ramprasad (SPS01, MBA03) was one of five mental health advocates awarded the Voice Award for Consumer Leadership presented by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Center for Mental Health Services. The award is “for raising awareness of mental health and expanding understanding that mental health problems exist in every community and affect almost every family in the United States.”

Ramprasad, a mental health consultant and speaker, says when she sought medical help for her depression nearly 20 years ago, she was shocked to find herself in solitude in a hospital room dealing with her darkest moments alone. She remembers thinking, “It’s not me who is mad; it’s the system.” Since then, she has devoted her life to raising awareness of depression and educating patients and professionals on the benefits of treating the whole person, not just the illness.

She also was winner of the 2006 Eli Lilly Welcome Back Award for Lifetime Achievement for making a difference in the lives of people affected by depression. Born in India, she aims to remove the stigma of mental illness around the world.

Spiritual leader

Rear Admiral Burt

Rear Admiral Robert F. Burt (MDiv 81) became the 24th chief of chaplains of the U.S. Navy in a ceremony held in June in Washington, D.C. Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England and Admiral Michael Mullen, chief of naval operations, officiated at the ceremony.

As chief of chaplains, RADM Burt is responsible for the recruiting, training, and equipping of those chaplains who serve with the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Marine Corps, and the U.S. Coast Guard. “I chose to follow the plan that God has for me and my passion for ministry. Our mission as chaplains is to guide marines and sailors to do the same,” he said.

RADM Burt brings 25 years of Navy chaplain experience to the job. His most recent assignment was deputy chief of navy chaplains/chaplain of the Marine Corps.

Cancer Rx

Todd Miller

Todd Miller (G84), a senior research scientist with Ligand Pharmaceuticals in San Diego, was among a team of oncologists who oversaw the development of the drug Sutent in 2003. Two years later, the experimental medicine was so successful in treating a deadly form of stomach cancer — gastrointestinal stromal tumors — that drug-giant Pfizer stopped its clinical trial early to make it available to patients in the study.

Pfizer, the world’s largest pharmaceutical company, also markets the drug for treatment of a form of kidney cancer — advanced renal cell carcinoma.

'You make my dreams come true'

Geoff Byrd

In the late ’90s, he was a 4.0 student in the MAT program, and later a high school teacher. But Geoff Byrd (MAT98) always had a passion for music. He quit his teaching job shortly after a student asked him a pointed question: “Are you going to follow your dream?”

Byrd now is living that dream. He spent the summer touring with pop legends Hall and Oates. His songs — influenced by the likes of Maroon 5, Gavin DeGraw, Elton John, and The Beatles — have received airplay on radio stations nationwide. And he is considered to be the first pop star to break big via the Internet after four songs from his Candy Shell CD reached the top 10 simultaneously on, one of the nation’s largest online communities of independent musicians and fans. Byrd’s popularity on the Internet also helped land him an appearance on the nationally syndicated Mark and Brian radio show and numerous magazine articles, including a photo on the cover of Billboard magazine.

Alumni in the fast lane

Jason Derting (left) and Rob Oliver (right)

Jason Derting (n90, left) compares his company’s growth to his first car — a 1974 Mercury Capri. “The old beater would cruise along at 60 mph, but when I turned it up to 85, stuff started falling off,” the CEO says.

Named the third fastest growing company in Oregon in 2006 by the Portland Business Journal, Derting’s Discover-e Legal saw revenue climb from $1.45 million to $12.5 million between 2003 and 2005. This rapid growth made it hard to keep together the pieces of the Portland-based company that processes electronic data for law firms, corporate legal departments, and litigation professionals worldwide. The immediate success resulted in some challenges with production management and visibility. President Rob Oliver (’92) says glitches are being addressed. “We’re starting to be more aggressive, spending a lot more marketing money and getting a bigger footprint,” Oliver says.

Baltic Bruins

Chad Clark (top left), Pisey Sok (top right), Rebecca Sok (bottom left), Andrew and Kim Stave (bottom right)

Student life at Lithuania Christian College bears some striking resemblances to student life at George Fox, thanks to four alumni and one former staff member who serve on the college’s 14-member student life staff. Chad Clark (’06, top left) arrived two months ago; Rebecca (Dorsey) Sok (’05, bottom left) and Pisey Sok (’04, top right) are starting their second year there; and Andrew Stave (’98) and Kim (Cliff) Stave (bottom right) are beginning their fifth year.

“We’ve kind of become an extension of the George Fox student life department,” says Kim Stave. She is now director of community life at the international college, located in Klaipeda, Lithuania. She has modeled many of its programs after the university. Andrew Stave, married to Kim, is the orientation and sports and recreation coordinator.

Clark serves as a resident director. Rebecca Sok is the leadership development coordinator.

Pisey Sok, married to Rebecca, is spiritual formation coordinator.

This year the college initiated the first of what the staff hopes will be an annual tradition — a community serve day.

The college brings together 600 students from 18 countries, and faculty and staff from 15 countries.