George Fox Journal Cover George Fox Journal - The Magazine of George Fox University | Fall 2009, Volume 5 Number 2

Alumni Connections

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


Margaret (Nothiger) Morse (n35) celebrated her 100th birthday Aug. 22, 2009, with a reception in her honor at Friendsview Retirement Community, Newberg, where she has resided since 1991. She and her husband, Curtis Morse (G33), were recognized by the university with the naming of the university’s baseball and softball field complex in their honor after a gift in 1998. He passed away in 2002. She is a retired elementary school teacher. The Morse children are all George Fox graduates: Sam in 1957, Paul in 1959, Howard in 1961 and Barbara in 1962.

Derrol Hockett (G50) was named Kiwanian of the Year at the annual Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce banquet in April. The award is for “helping to change the world one child and one community at a time.” A former Friends pastor, Hockett moved to Friendsview Retirement Community, Newberg, in 1997 and now is sexton for Newberg Friends Cemetery. Previously, he was emergency manager for Canyon County Idaho for 20 years and was the first city council president, then mayor, of Greenleaf, Idaho.

Wally Russell (G50) received Volunteer of the Year honors from Newberg’s Faith in Action ministry. He has assisted the agency for more than six years, donating more than 640 hours in 12 months to receive the award in May. At 87, he’s the oldest active volunteer, coaching the Strong for Life program, designed to improve strength, function and balance in older adults.


Doug Flaming (G74) is superintendent of Nezperce School District, Idaho. It has 161 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.


Chris Nordquist (G80) is founder and owner of The Write Stuff, an editing business in Dundee, Ore. The former George Fox writing and literature professor created the business five years ago. She describes herself as “a pen for hire,” doing writing of any sort, serving as a ghost writer, helping people write their own personal stories, helping as a writing tutor, and as a consultant.

Ken Carter (n83), who gained nationwide attention when he was profiled in the 2005 Hollywood movie Coach Carter, is using some of the proceeds received from royalties and speaking tours to establish an unconventional boarding school, Coach Carter Impact Academy, in Marlin, Texas. A former middle school he purchased is being refurbished to accommodate the 150 boys in grades eight to 12, with 64 living on campus. It was scheduled to open this fall with a demanding academic and athletic program. He is applying to make the academy a state-funded charter school and hopes to receive accreditation. Carter says he will challenge troublemakers and underachievers who are ready to make a change. “This is my dream,” he said. “I’ve always wanted a school.”

Dennis Littlefield (G84, MBA95) has returned to George Fox as executive director of Tilikum Center for Retreats and Outdoor Ministries. He began in May. He was program director at Tilikum for 12 years before leaving in 1998 to become associate director of Twin Rocks Friends Camp in Rockaway Beach, Ore.

Lynette (Tycksen) Cortez (G85) is an education assistant for Silver Falls School District, Silverton, Ore., and currently is enrolled in George Fox University’s Master of Arts in Teaching program, seeking a teaching license.

Jeff VandenHoek (G86) is now on George Fox’s Newberg campus as director of the full-time MBA program. Previously he oversaw the MBA executive track.

Gregg Peters (SPS88, MBA04) is owner of Oil Can Henry’s in Stayton, Ore., using his marketing and customer service skills honed in 12 years with Hewlett-Packard as marketing manager. With his business now servicing up to 650 vehicles a month, he is planning expansion to add another service bay, increasing capacity to 1,000 vehicles monthly.

Tim Hyatt (G89), a naturopathic physician, has expanded his practice to include Wilsonville, Ore., one day a week. His base practice is in Newberg with Northwest Integrative Health Center. He is a 2002 graduate of National College of Natural Medicine in Portland.


Jan Vondrachek (SPS92, MBA00) is executive director of Hazelden Springbrook, a residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation and treatment center in Newberg. She was appointed in 2006 after five years as director of marketing. In a profile feature in the Oregon Business Journal, she said her best business decision was to earn her business degree. “Earning my advanced degree helped me forge lifelong relationships with priceless friends and mentors in the local community and gain insights into other industries.”

Fritz Liedtke (n93) spent four months traveling in 10 countries creating a documentary about the life of a young survivor of sex slavery in Cambodia. He also filmed the Olympic torch relay in London in association with a project written by Rich Swingle (G91), highlighted in the last issue of the George Fox Journal.

John Smith (G96), in his third year as George Fox track coach, was named 2009 NCAA Div. III West Region Women’s Coach of the Year by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. The award was presented at the D-III national championships in Marietta, Ohio. Smith was assistant coach for eight years before being named head coach.

Glenn Woods (MA96) this spring received a Doctor of Ministry degree from Western Seminary, Portland. His dissertation, “Praxis of Nurture in Small Churches,” explores how the local church can better help parents become more intentional in nurturing their children in faith. He is a part-time children’s pastor with Portland Open Bible Church and is ordained by Open Bible Standard Churches. He works full time as a warehouseman and truck driver in the floor covering industry.

Kyle Chowning (G97) is president and founder of Motiveight Marketing Group, Inc., in Nashville, Tenn. It provides branding and identity, design, editorial and copy writing, hosting, marketing services, promotional products and strategic consulting. Previously, he was sales and marketing director for four years until 2006 with Relevant Media Group, which he helped launch in Orlando, Fla.

Achsah Clark (MDiv97) is pastor of the Cottage Grove, Ore., United Methodist Church. Ordained originally as an American Baptist minister, she first accepted an interim part-time position with the Lincoln City, Ore., Baptist Church, serving for two years. Drawn to the Wesleyan tradition, she contacted the United Methodist Church, becoming pastor in Lyons, Ore., for four years, then splitting a full-time position between churches in Harrisburg, Ore., and Eugene, before being appointed to the Cottage Grove position in June 2008.

Rachel (Barrong) Aazzerah (n99) is the nation’s best early career biology teacher and will receive that designation formally from the National Association of Biology Teachers Nov. 11-14 in Denver. Aazzerah is going into her second year as science teacher at Monument School District in Grant County, Ore. The Outstanding New Biology Teacher Achievement Award is given to a biology/life science instructor (grades 7-12) who has developed an original and outstanding program or technique and made a contribution to the profession within his or her first three years of teaching. Monument School Superintendent Michael Reule says the award “brings well-deserved recognition to Eastern Oregon and education in small schools.” Aazzerah, who previously taught in Clackamas County, also teaches personal finance and is a girls’ volleyball coach. “I was thrilled to even be nominated, but when I found out that I had won the award, I was in total shock,” she said. “Who would have thought a teacher from rural Eastern Oregon would win a national award?”

Perry Gruber (SPS99, MBA08) is in Portland, where he operates Perry Gruber Ltd., a venture that delivers keynotes, presentations and events on his approach to leadership and organizational development. “I advocate for human-centered workplaces and organizations,” he said in a Portland Business Journal profile in February.

Tyler Johnson (G99) in May received a PhD from Purdue University. His dissertation in U.S. history examined immigrant volunteer soldiers in the U.S.-Mexican War. He is seeking a university faculty position.

Josh Reid (G99), after seven years as youth pastor at Newberg Friends Church, has resigned to become one of three Bible teachers at Westside Christian High School, Lake Oswego, Ore. Founded in 1981, the school has 275 students in grades nine through 12.


Kelley (Carmichael) Casey (PsyD00) is the new executive director for SCRAP, a nonprofit organization in Portland founded in 1999 to “inspire creative reuse and environmentally sustainable behavior by providing educational programs and affordable materials to the community.” One of the first organizations of its kind in the nation, the group diverts more than 65,000 pounds of reusable creative and craft supplies from landfills. Materials are sold at affordable prices for kids’ crafts, school projects, artists’ creations and household projects. Casey previously was director of development and operations and a volunteer coordinator, involved since 2005.

Erin (Hatch) Macy (G00) has returned to George Fox, beginning in July as assistant director of international recruitment. From 2005 to 2008, she was as assistant director of undergraduate admissions. Prior to that, she was a health professions admissions specialist at Portland Community College for two years.

Carrie (Richmond) Martinet (n00) is a librarian with York Elementary School in Vancouver, Wash.

Rachel (Kremiller) Austin (G01) is a full-time artist in Portland, showing her work across the country. Her work features oil, watercolor and paintings on maps.

Elizabeth (Carlson) Comfort (SPS01, MBA04) in May was named chief financial officer for Friendsview Retirement Community, Newberg, moving from her position as finance director for the city of Newberg.

Nigel Hunter (G01) is a social studies teacher at Wenatchee (Wash.) High School.

Ryan Dearinger (G02) is assistant professor of history at Eastern Oregon University, La Grande, Ore.

Will Robertson (n02) is creator and author of the comic strip “Casey and Kyle,” currently appearing in four newspapers as well as on the Web. It has grown to a readership of nearly 40,000 in its first year. His strip depicts adventures of 4-year-old Casey, his toddler brother Kyle, and their long-suffering mom – based in part on his own family. His original drawings were shown and copies of his first printed collection were available at a First Friday Art Walk in Newberg in March.

Suzanne Santos (G03), a performer with the Pickle Family Circus, San Francisco, is a resident artist in San Francisco public schools and is a clown therapist, working with children with special needs. This summer she traveled to Haiti with Clowns Without Borders.

Sarah (Boehr) Davis (G04) and John Davis (G05) live in Vancouver, Wash., with both working in Portland. She graduated in 2008 with a 4.0 GPA from Oregon Health and Science University School of Nursing’s accelerated nursing program and is a pediatric intensive care nurse with Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. In May, he received a law degree from Willamette University College of Law, first in his class each year and maintaining a 4.0 GPA while serving as editor of Willamette Law Online’s Ninth Circuit News Service (with 10,000 subscribers nationwide) and working as a law clerk for the University Counsel. After taking the Washington State bar exam in July, he now is an attorney with the law firm Schwabe, Williamson and Wyatt. Both are senior leaders with Young Life and serve in several capacities at Rolling Hills Community Church.

David Fears (MEd04) has compiled the first fully annotated day-by-day chronology of the life of Samuel L. Clemens, better known by his pen name, Mark Twain. The first two of three planned volumes of Mark Twain Day By Day are now available, at 1,200 and 1,300 pages each. “Here at last is a detailed and indexed account, a monumental work taken from a wide range of published and unpublished sources, of his life, the first 50 years,” said the publisher, Horizon Micro Publishing.

Catrina (Miller) Higgins (G04) received an MBA from Marylhurst University in March and is a legal investigator for the State of Montana, living in Cascade, Ore.

Rebecca Kromer (G04) received a DMD degree in 2008 from Oregon Health and Science University and is now a dentist with the U.S. Navy. She is one of four dentists assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, which is deployed throughout the South Pacific – most recently to the Arabian Gulf.

Gabriel Pinski (MDiv04) is associate director of foundation and corporate relations with Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, headquartered in Washington, D.C. It works throughout the world to protect children from smoking, help smokers quit, and protect all from secondhand smoke.

Jaclyn (Yeo) Aschim (G05) graduated from the Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine in June and has joined the staff at Newberg Veterinary Hospital. She specializes in equine medicine.

Heidi Janosek (n05) has opened her own chiropractic clinic in her hometown of Newberg, after practicing the last two years in Prineville, Ore. She received her professional degree from Western States Chiropractic College, Portland, in 2007.

Dan Predoehl (G05) is an enrollment counselor at George Fox University’s Portland Center. For the last two years he was a resident director at Western State College of Colorado in Gunnison, after one year as student life coordinator at Occidental College in Los Angeles. He received a master’s of education degree in college student affairs from Azusa Pacific University in 2007.

Zachery Smith (G05) is national purchasing administrator with CorVel Corporation, a workers’ compensation managed care organization in Portland that serves employers, insurance companies, third party administrators and government entities.

Linh Au (MBA06) has been named quality management trainer at Catholic Charities of Chemung County, New York. She will manage implementation, delivery and monitoring of training to support all agency-required training. She also will coordinate training for all departments and staff development.

Kelly (McKenzie) Fudge (MEd06), who usually works with students in low-income schools in Los Angeles, spent part of her summer following her passion for social justice and serving orphans, especially in Africa. She was a member of a team from the Mosaic Church, Los Angeles, that went to Zambia to train native Zambian teachers. The college-level courses were recognized by the Zambian government and will allow the more than 200 teachers to be credentialed and earn a salary from the government. The goal is to bring long-term sustainability to Zambia by training a new generation of teachers rather than relying upon foreign teachers.

Christy (Williams) Rimrodt (G06), a portrait photographer, has opened Studio Christy in the Willamette neighborhood of West Linn, Ore. The new showroom follows three years of running her business on location and on the go, specializing in maternity, newborns and children.

Rachel Borgman (G07) in June received a Master of Science degree in educational leadership and policy from Portland State University. She is seeking a position as a student life administrator in higher education.

Mylee (Hylton) Card (MAT07) is a first-grade schoolteacher at Crooked River Elementary School, Prineville, Ore.

Laurel Emory (MBA07) is an administrator with Coram Specialty Infusion Services, a health care company with headquarters in downtown Denver. She also is a student in Regent University’s PhD program in organizational leadership, with sessions in Virginia Beach, Va., and online.

Robin Gill (MA07) is in residential training at Great Vow Zen Monastery, a Buddhist center in Clatskanie, Ore.

Isaac Moffett (SPS07) is founder of Nampa Classical Academy, which opens this fall in Nampa, Idaho, with an expected 550 students in kindergarten through ninth grade. That would make it Idaho’s third-largest public charter school. It will have portable classrooms on a 17-acre site for the first year. Although students will not receive religious instruction, the Bible will be taught for literary and historic qualities as part of a secular education program.

Marcus Karaffa (G08) and Elisabeth (Krochina) Karaffa (G09) are shepherding the young people at GodSong Community Church, Newberg, with Marcus named full-time youth pastor and Elisabeth helping part time. They began attending the church while in college and started helping with youth as volunteers.

Jenna Parisi (G08) is an enrollment specialist II in George Fox’s registrar’s office, beginning on a temporary basis in February and moving to a permanent basis in July.

Stephanie (DeGraff) Sticka (G08) is a registered nurse with Willamette Valley Medical Center, McMinnville, Ore.

Dustin Junkert, a writing/literature major, was quick to be published. His story, “What My Faith in God Looks Like,” was published in the Education Life section of the July 20, 2009, issue of the New York Times. His piece, which appeared in the Life’s Big Questions category, was one of 29 selected from 800 contributions.

Eric Mortinson (G09), after majoring in cinema and media communication, is a video producer in George Fox’s Office of Marketing Communications, with his videos primarily focused on student recruitment and

Vladimir Tkach (G09) is staff accountant with Delap, an accounting firm in Lake Oswego, Ore., with 90 employees.

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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

It’s a sign: Nordyke named top volunteer

Quentin Nordyke in the Stevens Center

Visitors to George Fox can’t miss Quentin Nordyke’s contribution to the institution. Nordyke (G58) spends two to three days year-round creating directional and identification signs on the 85-acre campus — work that earned him the university’s 2009 Volunteer of the Year award.

“The amount of hours and money that Quentin saves the university is astronomical,” said Clyde Thomas, director of George Fox’s plant services department.

Nordyke’s duties include fulfilling work requests for identifying buildings and creating interior signs, traffic signs, and parking and directional signage. The work is both technical and physical. He creates the signs using computerized software before installing them in their proper locations, complying with campus and city codes.

"It’s work that needs to be done and work that I enjoy,” he said. “If I wasn’t doing it, it would fall to someone else, so I’m happy to relieve them from the job and free them up to do other things.”

Haiti’s ‘hope-filled’ future

Tom DurantThe EcoCafé Haiti program Tom Durant (GFES06) launched five years ago just yielded its first harvest of cherry coffee. Its production into export-quality coffee will help the impoverished community of Ranquitte, Haiti, attain economic self-sufficiency by the end of the harvest season.

Durant set this goal while studying for a master of arts in theological studies at the seminary. Upon graduating, he resigned his chief operating officer position at an Oregon software company and decided to spend the second half of his career creating economic opportunities in the developing world, specifically Haiti.

The EcoCafé Haiti program also helped restore 60 acres of deforested land for agricultural use — acreage now planted with food crops and Haitian Arabica coffee. The coffee will be processed locally and sold to export markets in the U.S. and Europe as a fair-trade, eco-friendly specialty coffee. Exportation of the coffee is expected to begin around January 2010. In an experts’ blind taste test, its quality exceeded two of the finest coffees from around the world, one from Colombia and the other from Kona, Hawaii.

“Economic self-sufficiency in Ranquitte will provide a hope-filled future for more than 350 Haitians who would have remained destitute, hungry and dispirited,” Durant said. “The coffee exportation enterprise will enable them to control their own economic livelihood.”
Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with 80 percent of the population living in abject poverty amid little or no infrastructure. More than 95 percent of the land is deforested, and more than 80 percent of the watershed is barren.

Hatians working 

EcoCafé Haiti is owned and managed entirely by the workers and landowners. Like other enterprises blending commerce with missions, earnings will be turned back into the community for reforestation, food cultivation, medical clinics, schools and other development projects. Each landowner has agreed to donate a portion of their food crop to the local church to benefit the “poorest of the poor” in the community.
Durant, who has an MBA and 35-plus years of experience in business development, said he had longed to work in missions for many years. He credits the seminary with giving him the boost he needed to get started.

“I don’t know if I’d be doing what I’m doing if I hadn’t gone to seminary,” said Durant, who works as a volunteer missionary for Christian Flights International from Eugene, Ore. “I walked away with a far greater understanding of Christ in me that I hadn’t anticipated, and that’s been the key factor in our success for the missions program.”