George Fox Journal Cover George Fox Journal - The Magazine of George Fox University | Fall 2008, Volume 4 Number 2

Alumni Connections

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

1970 – 79

Phil Thornburg (n73) is owner of Winter-bloom, Inc., a home-based landscaping business in Tigard, Ore., employing 11. He established it in 1983, using his degree in agriculture/horticulture from Oregon State and experience in nursery work. He teaches low-cost, four-week classes in do-it-yourself landscaping through colleges, schools and churches.

Gary Merritt (n75) has completed studies and been ordained as a pastor in the Church of the Nazarene. For the last six years he has served as executive pastor at New Hope Fellowship in Stuart, Fla., where he lives with his wife, Irene (Jaques) Merritt (n75).

Becky Ankeny (G77) is on a year-long sabbatical from her position as associate vice president for academic affairs at George Fox. She is completing work on an executive MBA at the University of Oregon and will work with Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends as a recorded minister and elder.

Kathleen (Norton) Carroll (G77) has taught preschool for the last 14 years, the last three at Andi Panda Child Enrichment Center in southeast Portland, where she teaches 2- and 3-year-olds.

Diane Dayton (G78) owns Dayton Communications and Class Act Entertainment, based in Lancaster, Pa. They focus on radio and TV production, advertising/public information, voice over and voice training, and event entertainment and coordination. She recently was inducted into Pi Kappa Delta, a national forensics honor society promoting excellence in spoken communication. 

1980 – 89

Judith (Karnes) Casey (MA80) has been promoted to associate professor of psychology at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Fla. She has completed seven years at the university after serving 15 years in various classroom and counseling positions within the Palm Beach County School District.

Connie (Pittman) Carlson (G81, MA84) and James Carlson (MDiv91, DMin student) are in Spokane, Wash., where she is early childhood education liaison in the professional/technical education division at Spokane Falls Community College, and he owns Bison Grazing, a consulting firm that helps established church fellowships find new life through joining with newly established fellowships.

Tammy (Stockman) Malgesini (G82), after two years as a general assignment news reporter at the East Oregonian newspaper in Pendleton, Ore., has transferred to the Hermiston Herald as arts and entertainment editor and reporter. The change follows the acquisition of the Hermiston, Ore., newspaper by East Oregonian Publishing Co. Her assignments include community, religion, Hermiston and Echo school districts, and breaking news.

Michelle Stecker (G84) is an ordained Presbyterian minister and has served Presbyterian and United Church of Christ congregations in Ohio and Michigan. Until June she was a contract mediator in Lucas County Juvenile Court in Toledo.

Kellie Carlsen (G85) is a stewardship forester with the Oregon Department of Forestry, administering state forest practices laws and assisting private landowners desiring to improve their timber stands. Living in Lakeview, Ore., she serves as a safety officer on a department incident management team and as incident commander, division supervisor, and fire investigator on local wildfire incidents.

Dixie (Schoonover) Downey (G85) has joined George Fox’s plant services staff as an administrative assistant. A stay-at-home mom for the past seven years, she previously worked for four years as a programmer/analyst with Rentrak Entertainment and for several years with computer companies in Boulder, Colo., Portland, and Hillsboro, Ore.

Robert Legg (G85, MDiv88) has been named executive director of the Lake Stevens, Wash., Chamber of Commerce. He has been a chamber member since 1991, serving recently as a board member. From 1990 through May 2007 he was senior leader of Lakeside Community Fellowship church. He has served in the U.S. Air Force since 1978. Commissioned as an officer in 1991, he is currently attached to the 446th Air Wing at McChord Air Force Base (Wash.) as a reserve officer with the rank of major. He is a member of the George Fox Evangelical Seminary Board of Regents.

Teresa (Black) Ketelsen (G86) is the new curriculum director for the Gresham-Barlow (Ore.) School District. She began July 1, moving from West Orient Middle School (Gresham) where she was principal for five years. Prior to that she was assistant principal at Athey Creek Middle School in West Linn, Ore., and previously taught middle school mathematics for 14 years.

Nancy Olson (G87) has been named acting director of the Volunteer Action Department, a new department at California Volunteers, a part of the governor’s office. It is responsible for statewide initiatives, including the California Volunteer Matching Network, the Governor’s Mentoring Partnership, Cesar Chavez Day of Service and Learning, and a statewide conference held in August in conjunction with the White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives.

Robyn Simpson (G88) in March received a master of arts degree in community counseling from Canyon College, Caldwell, Idaho.

Barbara (Salyer) Doran (n89) is the new “voice” of George Fox, since March serving as the university’s switchboard operator. She and her husband have co-owned Doran Automotive in Newberg since 1989, where she was office manager and bookkeeper.

Judy (Warner) Miller (G89, PsyD04) has a private practice in Tigard, Ore., as a licensed psychologist.

Joy (Headings) Wilson (G89) has been hired as marketing specialist at the accounting firm of Bryan P. Fitzsimmons, CPA, in Newport, Ore. She counsels and advises clients about their businesses, goals and plans. Previously she was director of communications and marketing for the Cascade Division of the Salvation Army, headquartered in Portland, and worked for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Oregon Food Bank.

1990 – 99

Pat Casey (G90), for the third year in a row, has won the Slats Gill sportsperson of the year award for the state of Oregon. The award was presented in January at the 56th annual Oregon Sports Awards ceremony at the Tiger Woods Center on the Nike campus in Beaverton, Ore. Casey in 2007 guided his Oregon State University baseball team to its second straight College World Series title. He is the first person to win the award three times in a row.

Angie (Milholland) Clarkson (n91) in July was hired as administrative assistant in the George Fox Murdock Learning Resource Center. Previously she was an academic secretary for science, math, computer science and athletics at Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Ore.

Scott Curtis (G91, MAT94) has been hired as principal of Beavercreek Elementary School in the Oregon City School District. He moves from St. Helens, Ore., where he was principal of St. Helens Middle School after being assistant principal at McBride Elementary. He previously taught science, math and physical education at several schools in Oregon and California and was youth pastor at Northside Community Church in Newberg.

Jennica (Hein) Jenkins (G91) is a psychologist with Teen Intervention, a private therapy practice in Sacramento, Calif., providing therapy and social skills support groups for preteens with autism.

Ken Stone (PsyD91) has joined the psychology department at MeritCare South University, Fargo, N.D. Previously he worked at Southeast Human Service Center in Fargo.

Kristin (Potts) Van Tassel (G91), after having been at Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kan., since 2005, has been promoted to associate professor of English. She has taught at Kansas Wesleyan University, Kansas State University at Salina, and the University of Kansas, from which she earned a PhD in English.

Ron Wolfe (G92) is the new manager for the Newberg branch of Columbia River Bank. He has had six years in commercial lending and previous experience in insurance, benefits administration, and small business administration.

Brian Stocker (G93) is owner of American Coin and Gold in Keizer, Ore., following in the footsteps of his father, who owns a coin shop in nearby Salem. In an article in the Aug. 15, 2008, Keizer Times he says the moment in life that most profoundly affected him was “in a business class at George Fox University my junior year with 50 students I respected and a professor we really respected. He singled me out and said, ‘This guy out of every student reminds me of myself when I was his age.’”

Kristi (Marquette) Brown (G94) and Stephen Brown (G96) live in Greeley, Colo., where he is a police officer and she teaches physical education in nearby Windsor, Colo.

Paul Horton (G94) is the morning news meteorologist at KPHO-TV (Channel 5) in Phoenix, Ariz. He joined the CBS affiliate in September, moving from WXIX-TV, the Fox affiliate in Cincinnati, where he was chief meteorologist. He received a certificate of meteorology from Mississippi State University and previously has worked at stations in Kennewick, Spokane, and Seattle, Wash.

Michael Pender (G94) and Michael Hampton (G00, MBA08) have purchased Jim Fisher Roofing and Construction and will retain that name for the Sherwood, Ore.,-based firm founded in Newberg in 1979. It has 50 employees and specializes in maintenance and repair of roofs and gutters in addition to design and construction services for dormers, skylights and patio covers. Hampton has been with the firm for eight years and Pender for four.

Trey Doty (G95, MDiv00) is the new director of development for George Fox Evangelical Seminary. He began in July, moving from the Arthur Lutz Foundation, Portland, where he oversaw grant strategy, donor management and fund development from 2005 to 2007. Previously he was pastor of Christus Church in Portland. He is a recorded minister of Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends Church.

Gennie (Sluder) Harris (G96, MEd99) in June received a PhD in education from Oregon State University. Her dissertation was “White Racial Identity Development in Transitional Space: Discourse and Praxis Among Christian Teacher Educators.” A faculty member at George Fox since 2001, this fall she joined Linfield College as assistant professor of multicultural education.

Pat Sharp (MEd96) is superintendent of the Crane (Ore.) School District. She began in January, moving from her eight-year position as principal of Twality Middle School in the Tigard-Tualatin School District. She had been with the district for 22 years. In her new role in the Harney County system she guides one of the last public boarding schools in Oregon, with dormitories for students who live there during the week to avoid the long-distance travel to their homes.

Robert Allen (MAT97) teaches English at Hannam University in Deejeon, Korea. His thoughts on the teaching of English in Korea were carried in a Jan. 30, 2008, opinion column in the Korea Times.

Wendy Brown (SPS97) and her husband, Jason, are approved missionary candidates with American Missionary Fellowship. They live in Boise, Idaho, while raising funds for support, headed for full-time ministry at Shiloh Bible Camp, a 66-acre complex 25 miles southeast of Aberdeen, Wash. They will work with teens in discipleship and with maintaining the camp grounds.

Heather Adams (G98) is copy editor for the National, a recently launched newspaper in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. She recently completed a graduate certificate in Middle Eastern cultures and religions at Jerusalem University College.

Bob Larson (G98) received statewide attention in Oregon with media coverage in April of his public protest of the war in Iraq after learning of the monthly cost. He stood on a traffic island on busy Highway 99W in Newberg holding signs urging an end to the war. The retired banker and U.S. Air Force veteran and president of the Newberg City Council said he was not a peace activist but concerned by the estimated $15 billion that is spent each month for the wars in the Middle East. Some drivers honked and waved in agreement; others hollered their opposition. Now 77, Larson received three degrees (business economics, sociology and psychology, and political science) when he graduated from George Fox after four semesters, completing the two years of college he started decades before.

Hans Schneiter (G98), after four years at Newberg High School as boy’s soccer coach and biology teacher, has moved to South Albany (Ore.) High School, where he has the same duties and will be helping resurrect a horticulture program.

Michael Hampton (MA99) is director of Western Oregon University’s Career Services/Service Learning Department. At the Monmouth university since 2004, he heads an “alternative break” program in which students take part in relief projects in the spring and winter. In November in Las Vegas he received an award from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators for his efforts in complementing education with experiential learning opportunities.

Craig Woodworth (SPS99, MBA06) in June became claims manager for A&I Benefit Plan Administrators, Inc., Portland, a 70-employee firm serving 700 employers with 30,000 employees. Previously he worked 13 years for Liberty Mutual Insurance.

2000 – 07

Melody Abarca (G00, MAT04) teaches Spanish at St. Paul (Ore.) High School, just a few miles away from her hometown of Gervais.

Cindy Aggson (MBA00) in the last three years has started three businesses: Carpe Viam, a marketing and consulting firm; Character Tree, a specialized gift company; and Give ’n Gobble, a nonprofit organization. The Sherwood, Ore., mom of three previously worked in corporate marketing for three firms until deciding to shift her focus to people-driven ventures. Last fall she organized the Thanksgiving Day Give ’n Gobble Walk/Run, which as a first-year event drew 500 participants, raising $5,000 for a local charity, Helping Hands.

Wendy (Clark) Goodwin (G00), a professional musician in Portland, has created her own company, Effesenden. Through the company she produces CDs and performs as a violinist at occasions ranging from weddings and churches to corporate events. She has released three CDs, the most recent Road Less Traveled. She has a master’s degree in music performance from Portland State University (2002) and offers violin lessons to students at all levels.

Caleb Harris (G00) is the new principal at Oakdale Heights Elementary School in Dallas, Ore. He moved from the Beaverton (Ore.) School District where he began as an elementary teacher. In 2004 he became an administrator in that district with positions including state testing coordinator, classroom assessment supervisor, staff supervisor and student supervisor.

Katie (Scorza) Simpson (G00) is a financial advisor for Country Financial in Redmond, Ore.

Rick Brumble (SPS01, MBA05) in February 2008 accepted a position as project manager with Kaiser Permanente in Portland. He earned certification as a project management professional in June. He also is an adjunct professor in George Fox’s School of Professional Studies.

Nathan Goff (G01) this spring started a new job as senior business analyst for Pop Art, Inc., a Portland interactive agency helping clients engage in online dialogue with their customers using web-based technology.

Kelly (McCabe) Hansen (G01) is project manager for Keystone Land and Development in Bellevue, Wash.

Youqing Ma (SPS01) is international trade specialist with the office of international trade under Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in Los Angeles.

Renee Mitchell (MBA01), a columnist with The Oregonian until September, was named the top columnist in five states (Ore., Wash., Idaho, Mont., Alaska) by the Society of Professional Journalists. She has written Tangoing with Tornadoes, a 300-page novel available as an e-book, which she is now crafting into a one-woman show. This year she spoke in New Orleans for the Boston-based Victims Rights Law Center, and was scheduled to speak in Guam and other islands in October as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Debra Schwarze (MA01) is a licensed clinical professional counselor in private practice in Rockford, Ill. A counselor since 1992, she has been in private practice for more than two years, following work in community mental heath and at a public school system as a behavioral specialist. She participates as one of the experts offering advice and help through

Lauri Bolton (MBA02), with 13 years of human resources experience, six in health care, has joined Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital in Lincoln City, Ore., as human resources director. Previously she worked with Providence Health and Services in Portland, and Sutter Health in Crescent City, Calif.

Linda Kidder (SPS02) is the new health information director for Mountain View Hospital in Madras, Ore. She moved this spring from the position of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and information technology coordinator at Deschutes County Health Department in Bend, Ore. Her expertise is in oversight of hospital medical records functions and enforcement of national standards to protect the privacy of personal health information.

David Killian (G02, MAT03) has been named coach of the track and field team at Barlow High School, Gresham, Ore., from which he graduated in 1998. He also has a math teaching assignment. For the last five years he has been an assistant track coach and math teacher at Reynolds High in Troutdale, Ore.

Jonathon Melot (G02) and Pamela (Mattson) Melot (G02) live in Avon, Colo., where he is in sales at Ritz-Carlton and she is a childcare center director.

David Ranz (SPS02) has passed the Washington State Bar exam and has opened a law office in Federal Way, Wash. His practice focuses on personal injury, traffic infractions, and foreclosures.

Kris Thompson (SPS02) this summer opened a new restaurant, The Orchard House, in Caldwell, Idaho. She and a business partner purchased a former restaurant location and renovated it. Previously she owned a coffee shop near the Karcher Ranch Market in Nampa, Idaho, for eight years.

Lindsay Walker (G02) works for PlanetWisdom Student Conferences as a representative for a 13-stop national tour. Its goal is preparing teens for the future with “events that take teens from a student point of view and get them looking at their world from God’s perspective.” She lives in Dallas, Texas, after receiving a master’s degree in parachurch ministries from Dallas Seminary.

Cori Clausen (G03), as work force development director, coordinates between the Salem-Keizer (Ore.) School District and local businesses to better prepare students to enter the work force. She is community outreach coordinator for the school district, involved with the Chamber of Commerce.

Julie Dempsey (SPS03) has been named manager of the Fairview branch of Home Federal Bank, Boise, Idaho. She has 10 years of experience in branch management, most recently as section manager at Key Bank’s Western Loan Center in Boise.

Matt Noonan (SPS03) has taken a George Fox class project and turned it into a full-time business,, selling toy military vehicles, aircraft, figures, play sets, and action figures. He developed the database and much of the website in class. With his Portland business growing, he left his position as a Costco manager.

Uriel Plascencia (G03) has completed his first year as a graduate student at the University of Oregon. One of 1,300 graduate teaching fellows, he taught Spanish 101 while enrolled in courses in which he focused his research on Spanish-speaking people in the Northwest — those who couldn’t go to college in their native country.

Jessica (Moore) Bates (G04) in November became economic development officer for Gilliam County, Ore., overseeing economic and business development, marketing and promotion, economic strategic planning, and tourism development. Previously she was with Painted Hills Natural Beef in marketing, advertising and development.

Matthew Burg (G04, MAT05) teaches physics at Sunset High School, Beaverton, Ore., where he also coaches cross country and track.

Derek Dougherty (G04) has been hired as the boy’s soccer coach at Eagle Point (Ore.) High School. He was a volunteer junior varsity coach last season and has been a math teacher for two years at Eagle Point.

Doug Felder (SPS04) has joined Plexus Corp., an electronics manufacturing firm in Boise, Idaho, as purchasing leader. Previously he was with Micron Semiconductor, West Valley Medical Center, Toshiba, Point 4 Data Corp, and Printronix.

David Panther (G04) has been accepted into the Loma Linda University (Calif.) School of Medicine, leaving his position in research at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, one of the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s 10 national labs, in Richland, Wash. He was co-author of a scientific paper, “Submicrometer and Nanoscale Inorganic Particles Exploit the Actin Machinery to Be Propelled Along Microvilli-like Structures into Alveolar Cells,” in the December issue of the American Chemical Society’s journal ACS Nano.

Jessica (Tessen) Baker (G05) started in September as a third-grade teacher at Open Bible School in Newberg.

Sally Bartlett (MA05) is the new economic development coordinator for Grant County, Ore. She began last fall, moving to Canyon City, Ore., from Boise, Idaho, where for the last seven years she was a child nutrition programs coordinator for the Idaho Department of Education. In her position she is charged with encouraging and coordinating economic development efforts and strategies, with business retention efforts, and with expansion and recruitment of businesses.

Bryna (Finch) Closson (G05) is the resident trainer and show jumping specialist for her family’s Larkspur Farm, five miles north of Kalispell, Mont. It is a new hunter-jumper equestrian boarding and training facility featuring an 80-by-204-foot indoor arena, two turnout yards, sand ring, and 24 boarding stalls.

Brian Cottrell (G05) and Andrew Riese (G07) returned this year to Shanghai, China, to teach English at Sanda University under the auspices of Educational Services International. Also teaching in Shanghai last year was Matthew Stratton (G06), who was an independent contractor at a private education center.

Steve Delaney (SPS05) in January became chief executive officer for Orange County (Calif.) Employees Retirement System. He heads a staff of 57 in the administration of the $8 billion public pension fund. He moved from a position as deputy director of the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System, which he held for three years.

Alice Long (G05) is a real estate agent with Windermere in Walla Walla, Wash.

Jesse Merz (MAT05) in June received an MFA in acting from the University of California, Davis. He now has a position as assistant professor of acting at Wayne State University/Hilberry Repertory Theatre in Detroit. This summer he again was director of the Columbia Gorge School of Theatre, which he founded 12 years ago for students ages 8–18.

Brittany Moseley (G05) in June returned from a five-month deployment in Iraq, finishing her second year in the U.S. Air Force. Stationed at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, she now works as a sensor operator for the MQ-1B Predator, a medium-altitude, long-distance, remotely piloted aircraft.

Marc Buffington (n06) has been hired as the head baseball coach for Poudre High School in Fort Collins, Colo., where he teaches business and social studies. A 2000 graduate of the school, he was assistant coach the last two seasons.

Jon Hanson (G06) lives in Tualatin, Ore., where he is a real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty in Oregon and Northwest Properties Brokers Network in Washington.

CoryAnn (Crooks) Imhof (G06) is in her second year of chiropractic medical school at Western State Chiropractic College, Portland.

Dan Johnson (MEd06) has helped Philomath (Ore.) High School become one of just three schools in the nation to garner a Grammy Foundation award recognizing outstanding commitment to music education by underfunded music programs. The Enterprise Award, which had 350 applicants, includes a $5,000 grant. Johnson is director of performing arts at the school, leading the band and choir and heading the drama program. He moved to the Philomath school in 2004 after directing middle school and high school bands for many years at Corvallis, Ore.

Brittany Quinn (G06) has been selected by the Krista Foundation, Spokane, Wash., as a Krista Colleague, one of about 20 young adults in the Pacific Northwest recognized for commitment to service. She receives a $1,000 grant for global citizenship. After graduating from George Fox she moved to Thailand to serve at the Garden of Hope, a nonprofit organization that provides counseling and vocational training to women and youth exploited in the sex industry. In May she and Kelly Riechers (G07) hosted 18 George Fox students volunteering at Garden of Hope during a month-long serve trip. (See related story in Bruin Notes)

Janine Allen (EdD07) has been named dean of education at Corban College and Graduate School, Salem, Ore. For the last five years she has been dean of the School of Education and Counseling at Northwest Christian College, Eugene, Ore.

Christopher Cadwell (MBA07) has been hired as a commercial banker at the Boise (Idaho) office of Sterling Savings Bank. He moves from Wells Fargo Bank where he worked for 11 years in retail and commercial banking.

Justin Hudec (G07) has joined the George Fox admissions office as undergraduate admissions counselor. He was an intern in the office from 2004 to 2006 and the last two summers has been on-site director of the day camp program at George Fox’s Tilikum Center for Retreats and Outdoor Ministries.

Lisa Baumann Hunt (MBA07) lives in Beaverton, Ore., where she operates A Plus Gatherings, an event planning business she founded in January to serve the Portland area.

Megan Weiss (G07) is account coordinator with Vital Technical Marketing, Inc. Beaverton, Ore. The company does communications management for technology companies worldwide, including public relations and events, initiatives and engineering management.

Cary Griffith (G08) and his wife, Kayin Griffith (G08), have both joined the George Fox staff. He is web development specialist in the marketing communications office, where he worked as a student for two years. She is the new administrative assistant in the spiritual life office. She was the university’s Serve Day coordinator in 2007 and served in that capacity this year.

Sara (Whelan) Logue (G08) has been hired to teach a fifth-grade class of talented and gifted students at Tom McCall Upper Elementary School, Forest Grove, Ore.

Mellissa (Marek-Farris) Martin (G08) is employed by Proactive Sports Orthopedic and Physical Therapy, Vancouver, Wash., while her husband, Andrew, is a student in George Fox’s nursing program.

Dot Tobey (G08) began in July as an undergraduate admissions counselor at George Fox. She was an admissions office intern her senior year.

Ben Quintana (MA08) has been named director of business development for the Boise (Idaho) Valley Economic Partnership. He has worked for the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce for the last four years and will continue to manage its Boise Young Professionals work. Last year he was honored as one of the Idaho Business Review’s “Accomplished Under 40” recipients and received the community service award from the Idaho Lions Club.

More Stories

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
MS Master of Science
MDiv Master of Divinity
EdD Doctor of education


Peace hostages

188 Days book cover
Tricia Gates Brown (G96, MA97) continues to promote peace by sharing the stories of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT). Her new book, 118 Days: Christian Peacemaker Teams Held Hostage in Iraq (Cascadia Press), recounts the hostage crisis endured by the organization and its team members in Iraq in 2005. The three released hostages — Harmeet Singh Sooden, Jim Loney and Norman Kember — contributed chapters to the book as did CPT members and sympathizers involved with securing their release and others affected by the crisis.
118 Days examines the daily lives of CPT delegations and sheds light on the life and death of hostage Tom Fox. The chapters weave a story of hope, friendship, fear, courage and forgiveness.
Brown, who resides in Nehalem, Ore., holds a PhD in New Testament studies from University of St. Andrews. She has published several other books and serves as a CPT reservist. Her play, Whatever Kindles, premiered at George Fox in 2007.

Ring leader

Perla Rodriguez
By day, Perla Rodriguez is principal of the 400-student Cornelius (Ore.) Elementary School, championing Latino education.
By night she determines champions of a different sort.
Most evenings, after her 12-hour school days, she’s a mother at home with her husband and three children. But, on occasion, she becomes one of just a few in the nation with her third job — a professional boxing judge.
She’s Oregon’s only female boxing judge. Outside of a few women in Florida and California, there are few others in the nation. In Oregon, the Oregon State Athletic Commission sanctions six professional judges — five men and Rodriguez.
Rodriguez, who received a doctorate in education from George Fox in 2006, grew up regularly watching pro boxing on her Uncle Mundo’s television. She became a boxing judge in 2005, two years after being named principal in the Forest Grove School District. Previously she taught for five years as a Spanish immersion teacher at the Echo Shaw Elementary School in Cornelius.
Of her busy life (told in a feature story June 30 in The Oregonian), Rodriguez says: “I care so much about so many things, how can I slow down?”

Blindness no barrier for naturopath

Chris Cooke
Chris Cooke (G87) thought she’d found her niche in life when she became a music teacher following graduation. Totally blind, as an accomplished pianist she began sharing her talent with young people. That seemed remarkable enough.
Now Cooke has a new career that is even more distinctive. She is believed to be the only totally blind naturopathic physician in the United States.
Opening her practice this spring in the Sherwood (Ore.) Naturopathic Medicine office, Cooke offers a full range of services. Naturopathic medicine is a complementary and alternative medicine that emphasizes the body’s innate ability to heal and maintain itself, with a holistic approach to care.
Making a career switch and pursuing four years of medical study (National College of Natural Medicine, Portland) was “a daunting road,” Cooke says. “I’ve always been excited about doing things that have never been done before.” Inspiration for the career change came about 10 years ago when she fell and broke cartilage in the right side of her face. She says prayer and natural medicine healed her — and inspired her.
Cooke uses a computer program that reads her e-mails, a gadget attached to her computer that scans reference books and then reads them aloud, a talking blood pressure cuff and blood glucose reader, and a Braille labeling machine that allows her to mark her remedies.
Living in southwest Portland, Cook also operates a sliding-scale clinic for people on low or fixed incomes two Saturdays a month out of a church in southeast Portland.

Chehalem Valley awards

Eight alumni earned recognition at the Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce awards ceremony in the spring. Brothers Marc (G85), Mike (G90) and Matt (G94) Willcuts were named Newberg’s Citizens of the Year and also won an award for a new building project, sharing city beautification honors with fellow grads Dan (G89) and Andy (G91) LaVeine and Roger (G47) and Mildred (G46) Minthorne. The chamber’s Edward Stevens Distinguished Service Person of the Year award went to Frank Engle (G82).

You may kiss the bride

Steve and Marilyn FultonMany more people attended Steve Fulton’s renewal of marriage vows last June than were present at his wedding 21 years ago. Several hundred thousand more observed the occasion on national television.

Fulton (MAT07) and his wife, Marilyn, renewed their vows atop a float in the annual Portland Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade. They were one of three couples chosen in an “I Do Redo” contest to ride on the Portland General Electric parade entry.

The couple lives in Sherwood, where he is a substitute teacher, teaching math and history in Sherwood, Tigard and Newberg, seeking to become a full-time history teacher. He retired four years ago from the U.S. Navy.

The couple met during the 1986 Rose Festival when he was an officer aboard a visiting ship and she had volunteered for the Host a Sailor program. They made their home in San Diego until his naval retirement.

In his application for the contest, Fulton wrote that he and Marilyn “share ideas, successes, defeats, triumphs and tragedies ... share their thoughts and often find themselves thinking the same things as if by telepathy.”

The Fultons won in the 10-to-24-year-marriage category. They received a package of gifts in addition to the opportunity to ride in the parade.