News, by Graduating Year


William Ames Curtright (G71) received attention in the nation’s capital in December when he helped sponsor a 24-page section in the Washington Times newspaper. The section on the Bible’s impact on American history, society and culture carried more than a page of advertising by Salem, Ore.-based Ames Research Laboratories and its founder and owner. Curtright noted that America would not have survived its earliest days if not for the intervention of God, and he called for churches and pastors to stand for godly values in current times. A former teacher and research scientist, his company manufactures a new generation of high-quality elastomeric coatings. He is the inventor of Snow Roof, Elasto- Seal, Mobile Coat and Kote-A-Deck.

Eugene Kolding (G73), after 35 years at Mill Creek Middle School in Kent, Wash., where he is director of bands, is putting down his conductor’s baton. He is ending a 45-year teaching career that started in Elkton, Ore., and continued in Lakeview, Ore., where he taught for seven years before moving to Mill Creek to teach instrumental classes and computer courses. He plans to volunteer with his church and help with M-Power, a social services organization that uses the arts to help reduce gang violence.

Back to top


Rob Hunter (G80) is president of First Choice Health, Big Sky region, based in Billings, Mont. He assumed the position in 2012 when the Seattle-headquartered preferred provider organization acquired Billings-based Health InfoNet and its network of health providers, with Hunter as its CEO. He continues to lead Health InfoNet as well. First Choice provides administrative and clinical services to more than a million people in five western states. Hunter originally started as owner/CEO of Paradigm Group, a health care consulting company in Billings, in 1993. 

Paul Overland (MDiv80) has authored a two-volume textbook, Learning Biblical Hebrew Interactively, published in 2014 by Sheffield Phoenix Press. It employs a second language acquisition approach to help beginning Hebrew students accelerate learning and extend retention. He is professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages at Ashland University Theological Seminary in Ohio, and previously taught at Tokyo Biblical Seminary.

Bill Post (n83) has been elected to the Oregon House of Representatives, representing House District 25, which includes Newberg in addition to Keizer and St. Paul in Marion County. The Republican had his own show on a Salem radio station from 2008 until his run for office. His 30-year career in broadcasting included stations in eight Oregon cities and two stations in Hawaii, mostly in music before he found his calling in conservative talk radio. 

Mark Tuning (G86) is a conductor, singer, music educator and music director in Northern California, perhaps receiving the most attention for the latter as he begins his third season as music director of Diablo Choral Artists, based in Walnut Creek. In its 22nd season, the performance group presents significant works of sacred and secular choral music, from music of the oldest antiquity to the latest from living composers. He is in his 12th year as music director at Mount Diablo Unitarian-Universalist Church, responsible for two choirs, a house band and coordination of other musical ensembles for the 500-member church. Previously, he also was assistant director for the San Francisco City Chorus for seven years until 2012. He also sings tenor with Les Hommes, a men’s ensemble consisting of choral professionals, and is a frequent soloist.

Jeff VandenHoek (G86), after nearly eight years with George Fox University’s MBA and business programs, is now concentrating on his own firm, Intentionally, which he founded in 2006. As owner/consultant, he works with groups and teams through experiential learning and interactive workshops, focusing on trust building, organizational development, positive change process, communication skills and operational efficiencies. He most recently was director of business relations at George Fox, following three years as director of the full-time MBA program. 

Dan Ebert (ADP88) in January was named senior vice president and manager of a new commercial banking office of Bank of the Pacific, a subsidiary of Pacific Financial Corporation, in Salem, Ore. He heads a four-member team of commercial lending professionals that established the corporation’s third commercial center. Ebert moved from a 15-year career with Columbia Bank as senior vice president and commercial banking team leader.

Toby Long (G88) in January was inducted into the Walla Walla (Wash.) High School Athletic Hall of Fame. He played football (conference rushing champion his senior year and first-team all-conference selection) and basketball (Class 3A all-state tournament team as his team finished second in state). At George Fox he was a first-team NAIA Academic All- American and an All-Northwest honorable mention choice two years in basketball, finishing his career with the third-highest field goal percentage (.570) in George Fox history at that time. He received his MD from the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine in 1992 and is now in his 23rd year of practice as an internal medicine physician, affiliated with Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee, Wash.

Cliff Samodurov (G88), in the insurance industry for 25 years, is now president of Innovative Benefit Solutions, expanding from his Washington state base to the Washington, D.C., metro area, opening an office in Chantilly, Va. The firm develops comprehensive benefit packages for individuals and employers and has an existing office in Camas, Wash. Previously, he was principal and owner with Elite Futures International, owner of Big River Distributors, and director of coaching for the Ashburn (Virginia) Soccer Club. He continues as head coach for the U13 Girls Washington Timbers FC Red soccer team.

Back to top


Erika (Robeck) Baham (n92) and her husband, Thomas, are new owners of the Rio Theater in Sweet Home, Ore., built in 1950. They purchased the 273-seat theater in December and have the help of their four children in running the operation Friday through Sunday. Last year the Rio switched the projection system from film to digital, a $40,000 expense that generated donations by local residents to help fund the cost of the upgrade. Erika has been a stay-at-home mom, homeschooling their children, and Thomas is a computer engineer.

Jeff Larson (G92) this spring was named the new track and field coach at Sisters (Ore.) High School, stepping up from assistant last year. He gained news attention when he reunited this spring with former George Fox University track and field coach Wes Cook (1987-2006), who served as Larson’s assistant after moving to the area. Larson also coached at George Fox for several years, returning to his alma mater in 2008 to serve as assistant track coach and co-coach for cross country. Larson has 15 years coaching and teaching experience at several Oregon high schools from the 1A to 6A levels and was named 2A Coach of the Year in 2005 after his Nyssa High team won the state title. He is a substitute teacher with the Sisters School District.

Marta Goertzen (G94) is now owner and WordPress consultant for her own firm, Trail Guide WebWorks, based in Coos Bay, Ore. She works with “solopreneurs” and home-based businesses to create an online foundation using the WordPress platform. She started the business in March 2014 after more than seven years as owner and creative director of The Blue Jeans VA, a virtual assistance company dedicated to simplifying lives of creative coaches and entrepreneurs. She is a frequent blogger, contributing to the Trail Guide WebWorks Blog and Selah Reflections.

Adina Briggs McConaughey (G94), after four and a half years with Medical Teams International in Portland, the last two as executive assistant to the CEO, has returned to George Fox. She is executive assistant in the College of Engineering, returning to the campus where she spent more than a dozen years in a variety of roles in admissions.

Ed Meyer (G94) has been promoted to captain with the fire department in Eugene/ Springfield, Ore. He began in the new position in January, advancing from the rank of firefighter/paramedic. He has been with the department for nine years, previously working as a programmer for the family business, FW Murphy, for eight years.

Donald Olson (MBA96), a clinical professor of neurosurgery at OHSU, in March began part time in outpatient therapy services with Tillamook (Ore.) Regional Medical Center, offering pain modulation consultations and treatment. He uses a variety of treatments and interventions, including epidural steroid injections, electrical stimulation and transcranial electromagnetic stimulation. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Neurosurgery and also owner of Torii Mor Winery in Dundee, Ore., a business he started more than 20 years ago. 

Cari (Hogan) Arias (G98), after working with The Salvation Army for the last 14 years, has a new role since last fall as curriculum writer/editor, a full-time writing position with the organization’s national headquarters in Alexandria, Va. However, she continues to work from her home near Denver, writing the English and editing the Spanish translation of the teen discipleship curriculum used by nearly 1,000 churches nationally. The previous eight years she was the Christian education director for Salvation Army churches in the western United States.

Sean Heyworth (G98) is principal and resident of Heyworth Development & Remodeling, based in Portland. Established in 2004, the company is a property developer and general contractor for small developments, commercial new construction, residential remodel projects and new units, and also handles construction management. In December, his company will start a new project in Newberg with plans to divide three existing lots into 10 spaces for detached single-family homes, replacing the former Newberg Marquis Post- Acute Rehab Center.

Russell Riggs (ADP98, MBA00) is a new member of the Molalla, Ore., City Council, elected in November and taking office in January. He was one of two new members elected to guide the city of just over 8,000. He is retired from positions as a service manager for U.S. Equipment Co. and, prior to that, with Simpson Paper Co.

Mike Arzie (n99) is in his 17th year as pastor of student ministries at Southwest Bible Church in Beaverton, Ore. He began at the church in 1999 on a 16-month internship and has never left. He returned to his alma mater in March to speak in chapel. 

Tyler Johnson (G99) is now assistant professor of history at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in Richmond, Va., after four years as associate professor of history at Philadelphia Biblical University.

Miriam Mendez (MDiv99) is founding and lead pastor of Esperanza Church in Portland and associate executive minister of American Baptist Churches of the Central Pacific Coast. She helped establish the church in January 2011 and started with the 72-church denominational organization in 2012 after previously serving as associate pastor of the First Baptist Church in Portland for nearly three years. She has been a George Fox Evangelical Seminary adjunct faculty member for nearly 14 years. 

Peter Smart (G99) works in the Office of Academic Advising and Retention at Azusa Pacific University, in the role of academic success coach for the last three years. He earned an MEd in college student affairs from the university in 2007, then became a residence hall director at Baylor University for four and a half years.

Back to top


Valerie Crafard (ADP00) in March was named Clatsop County (Ore.) clerk after serving as interim clerk since October. She has been with the county since 2006, previously serving as clerk of the board of commissioners and as a human resources assistant. In her new position she oversees elections and voter registration and is the record keeper for the county, administering public records, archives, legal recordings, passports and marriage licenses. 

Jonathon Morell (G01), after serving George Fox University for 10 years as student residence area coordinator and Walkabout coordinator, left in September to join Point Loma Nazarene University as director of outdoor leadership programs. He is putting to work his 2014 master of arts degree in adventure education from Prescott College in Arizona.

Ben Gallo (MBA02) in November was named vice president of sales and general manager for Easy Street, Inc. in Portland, leading global sales, sales engineering and client management. The company is an IT services provider that helps customers integrate cloud, colocation and managed services. He has 15 years experience selling Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and cloud services, most recently for two years as North American sales director leading the Enterprise Cloud sales team for SunGard Availability Services in Portland. 

Jake Medlock (G02) in October was named an agent for New York Life Insurance Company, working from Spokane, Wash., while continuing to live in Post Falls, Idaho. He is president and co-founder of Sophie’s Sluggers Foundation, created in 2011 to help families who have children with cancer, assisting in raising funds to help offset mounting medical costs. The foundation is named for his daughter, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2001 and underwent two and a half years of treatment. 

Crystal Wulff (G02) was one of 50 teachers in the United States who in January presented a poster at the Partners in Science national conference in San Diego. The poster, “Developing tools to test a patterning role for extracellular microvesicles in embryonic development of Xenopus laevis,” illustrated her summer research with Dr. Michael Danikhik at OHSU in Portland. They received a competitive Partners in Science grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust and will continue research this summer. The goal of the program is to provide high school science teachers with opportunities for cutting-edge research to revitalize their teaching and encourage students to pursue science careers. Wulff is a National Board Certified science teacher at Mountain View High School, part of the Evergreen School District in Vancouver, Wash.

Flora Richards-Gustafson (G03) is a freelance writer in Newberg. She began writing professionally in 2003 and started her copywriting business, Freelance Flora, in 2007. Richards-Gustafson specializes in writing articles, personal and business letters, Web copy, blog posts, social media content and marketing materials. Her copy has appeared in publications such as Student Paths, All You and Pura Vida. Other outlets include local and small businesses, national organizations and international corporations. Richards-Gustafson’s areas of expertise include small-business strategies, health, education, teen issues, home maintenance and emergency preparedness.

Christy (Miller) Rummel (G04) and Tobin Rummel (G04) are living in Corvallis, Ore., where he is now an osteopathic physician and surgeon with Crossroads Premier Healthcare and she works one day a week as a nurse practitioner specializing in functional medicine. To provide a holistic approach to patient care he plans to complete additional sub-specialty training in neuromusculoskeletal medicine and osteopathic manipulative treatment. He completed his family medicine residency in 2012 with Western University of Health Sciences’ College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific in Pomona, Calif. She earned a master’s degree in nursing from Vanderbilt University, specializing as a family nurse practitioner.

Randy Sauer (MBA04) in January joined DLR Group to lead its retail studio in Portland. He also became a member of the architectural design firm’s national retail team. The company is in 11 U.S. cities and focuses on corporate, higher education, entertainment and sports facilities design. Sauer’s experience is in the retail/mixed use market with a background in environmental design and business management, including leading projects in Dubai and New Zealand. He previously was with MulvannyG2 Architecture in Portland for nearly 11 years, starting as senior associate then becoming managing principal and director of business development. 

Kevin Parker (MBA05) in November was reelected to a fourth two-year term in the Washington House of Representatives. The Republican represents the sixth legislative district, located in the Spokane area. He owns several Dutch Brothers coffee shops in the area and has been an adjunct business instructor at Whitworth University for six years and an adjunct professor at Gonzaga University for two years. 

Holly Hanson (G06, MBA11) has moved from a five-and-a-half-year position with the U.S. Forest Service as a procurement technician in Corvallis, Ore., to become a purchasing agent with the organization in its Portland office, starting in December. 

Ben Melvin (G06) is workers’ compensation producer for KPD, one of the Northwest’s largest independent insurance agencies. He started last November in its Springfield, Ore., office but ultimately plans to move to the firm’s Portland office. Previously, he was in sales and business development for three years with Blue Earth Energy Power Solutions, after five years as a senior mortgage consultant with Financial Center Mortgage.

Troy Kunas (ADP07) in December joined Northwest Engineering Service, Inc. as director of commissioning services, working in its Tigard, Ore., headquarters. Previously, for nearly seven years, he was west regional commissioning operations manager with Heery International, headquartered in Portland. NWESI tests, troubleshoots, balances and commissions both new and existing construction, working with owners, architects, engineers and contractors to test that facilities function according to design objectives and specifications. Kunas retired from the U.S. Coast Guard in 2003 after nearly 24 years of service.

Sean McKay (MEd07) in August became chief information security officer at Portland State University, adding to his former title and duties as associate director of computing infrastructure services. He took that position in April 2013 after leaving George Fox University, where he served 15 years in computer technology services, the last two years as director of administrative computing and chief information security officer.

Jessica Cardwell (G08) in February was announced as the new women’s soccer coach for Northwest Christian University in Eugene, Ore. She moves from coaching girl’s varsity soccer at Thurston High School in Eugene, her alma mater, for six years, where she coached the Colts to five league titles and the Oregon Class 6A state championship in 2012. She resigned after the 2013 season to become a volunteer with Forward Edge International. She served as team facilitator with Villa Esperanza, a program in Managua, Nicaragua, working to rescue children from human trafficking. She also helped found Fall Creek Academy in 2011 and continues to teach third grade for the charter school, now called Mountain View Academy. At George Fox, Cardwell was a goalkeeper, earning All- Northwest Conference honors all four years, and still holds the Bruin career record with 18 shutouts.

Kayin (Mathae) Griffith (G08) has returned to George Fox to be director of housing in the Office of Student Life. After graduating she stayed on campus as assistant director of spiritual life, serving until early 2014, then spending a year as director of advocacy and development at the international headquarters of Word Made Fresh, a nonprofit missional community based in Portland.

Shannon Lilja (MA08) in May of 2014 received a doctoral degree in behavioral health from Arizona State University. She is in her fifth year with Lifeworks NW in Portland, serving as program director, responsible for program development for the adult outpatient substance abuse division, including tri-county Portland with seven sites. In addition she is clinical director and owner of Sandalwood Counseling in Astoria in a part-time private practice. She is also a part-time instructor, teaching an ethics course in the drug and alcohol program at Portland Community College.

Joy Schneider (G08) is participating in The World Race, an 11-month, 11-country missions trip sponsored by Adventures in Missions. She started the race in January. Trips are to serve “the least of these” and are for young adults “to abandon worldly possessions and a traditional lifestyle.” She had to raise more than $16,000 to participate. In each country her group volunteers with different missions and social service organizations. For example, in April they helped at a foster home for disabled children in China, after a month in Vietnam volunteering at a bakery that employees disabled adults, following a month in Cambodia working with a local church and teaching English to village children.

Noah Shields (MA08) in November was named by Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell as a member of the Alaska Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee. He is founder and director of Foundations Family Resource Center in Soldotna, Alaska, started in 2008. In addition he is a child and family therapist with Frontier Community Services, a nonprofit that provides services to people of all ages with disabilities, serving in that position for three years. He is also a volunteer with South Central Parenting, providing parenting classes on the Kenai Peninsula.

Brian Snider (G08) in March joined his alma mater as a software engineer with the analytics team as a part of the marketing communications office. He continues as a PhD candidate in computer science at OHSU, where he has worked the last four years as a graduate research assistant. He also has worked the last two and a half years as a scientist and senior research programmer for BioSpeech in Portland, a company specializing in creating biomedical applications for those with communication challenges.

Katelyn Wythe (G08, G13) is using her two degrees in two different roles in Homer, Alaska. She is completing her first year as insurance coordinator and office assistant at Kenai Physical Therapy (relating to her second degree in healthcare administration). In the fall, using her first degree in music with an emphasis on vocal performance, she was on stage with a singing role in Les Miserables, produced by Pier One Productions at the Mariner Theatre. She was in the same production there in high school in 2003 with several of the same directors and performers. She had been living in Oregon the previous 10 years completing her degrees while working as a dentistry office coordinator in Tigard, Ore., for five and a half years.

Bethany (Brown) Barnett (G09) is a kindergarten teacher at Liberty Christian School in Walla Walla, Wash., a nondenominational private school of about 100 students. She began last fall after three years with Walla Walla Public Schools, the final year as a third-grade teacher at Blue Ridge Elementary. 

Rochelle (Miller) Deans (G09) is using her writing/literature degree as a self-employed freelance editor in the Portland area. She began her writing career as editor for technical resources for an environmental agency before establishing her own service in 2011 and now editing academic dissertations, non-fiction books and novels. Among her clients: Apex companies, an environmental services company in Portland, where for five years she has edited reports, letters and memoranda; and George Fox Evangelical Seminary, where for nearly three years she has edited Doctor of Ministry dissertations.

Emily (Peterson) Denton (MBA09) has moved from Boise, Idaho, to West Palm Beach, Fla., where in February she joined Sotillo & Company, a certified public accountant/tax preparers firm. Previously, for six years, she was a CPA with Severn Winkle in Boise. 

Emily (Hodgin) Forbes (G09) is using her college degrees in nutrition and business marketing in her newly opened business, Love & Plants, in Newberg. It is focused on education and gaining practice in plant-based nutrition. She instructs her clients, ranging from Newberg to Portland, in basic cooking skills and preparing their own food, including grocery store tours on how to shop, and, once supplies are chosen, how and where to store them. Previously she was with Whole Foods in the Portland area, where she was a healthy eating specialist in the company’s “Health Starts Here” program. 

Shannon Gildea (G09) is the new director of the Wahkiakum County Chamber of Commerce in Cathlamet, Wash. Chamber work is not new to Gildea, who in high school was a volunteer in Gig Harbor, Wash., and at George Fox was an intern at the Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce in Newberg.

Roland Hoskins (ADP09, MBA14) in August established his own firm, Leadership Engagement Strategies, based in Eugene, Ore., with the purpose of facilitating learning and employee engagement that produces improved business results. Most recently, he worked with IBM in organizational development after two years with Lane County (Ore.) as director of youth services. 

Jeff Syverson (GFES09) in January became academic dean at Horizon Institute in Los Angeles, established in 2006 to serve the growing Korean immigrant church. He also continues as program director, a position held since 2012, and serves as adjunct professor of New Testament. He is founder and ministry director of Joy in the House of Prayer Ministries, which provides prayer seminars, retreats, preaching, teaching and writing services. He also is the author of Open Up Your Heart, a daily devotional book.

Erik Bay (G10) has returned to George Fox as an electrician apprentice after working in the same capacity for more than four years with three firms, most recently with Compass Electric in Vancouver, Wash., for nearly three years. 

Todd Bloomquist (EdD10) is director of secondary education for the 13,250-student Medford (Ore.) School District, in that position since 2012 after four years as the district’s director of human resources and three years as director of curriculum and assessment. He has served on the Oregon Assessment Advisory Committee since 2004 and is a frequent keynote speaker at state conferences.

Sophie (Duralia) Cowger (MBA10) is an accounting specialist, beginning her third year with Durham & Bates, a Portland-based 100-year-old employee-owned insurance brokerage firm. Previously she was an accounting/ finance specialist with Ohler Management Services, Inc. in Forest Grove, Ore. 

Elizabeth (Wallace) Hudec (G10) and her husband, Justin (G07), have opened Little Elephant Crafts, an Etsy store, out of their home in Wilsonville, Ore. It specializes in handmade interactive invitations and announcements. She also operates Elizabeth Hudec Photography and is coordinator of outreach services with Family Business Advisers, based in Aurora, Ore., helping family-owned and started businesses with their success and succession. He is also a field agent with Knights of Columbus Insurance.

Robert Hunter (DMin10) is an adjunct professor teaching online courses in the College of Theology at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix. He began teaching in 2010 and specializes in classes on spiritual formation, leadership and mentoring. He is also a volunteer youth leader at Mesa (Ariz.) First Church of the Nazarene.

Back to top


Timothy Gillespie (DMin11) in October became lead pastor of Crosswalk Seventh Day Adventist Church in Redlands, Calif. He also serves as chaplain for Azusa Pacific University’s regional center in San Bernardino, Calif., and in its High Desert Regional Center. In addition, he is an adjunct professor at both Azusa Pacific and La Sierra University and an associate professor at Loma Linda University School of Public Health. 

Brady Mordhorst (G11) in July became wellness coordinator within the Center for Student Action at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, Calif., where he is also enrolled in its master’s degree program in college counseling and student development. He spent the previous three years in Jakarta, Indonesia, where he was a house, chapel and discipline coordinator and high school English and PE teacher with IPEKA International Christian School. 

Sarah Cadd (G12) after a year as a preschool teacher at St. Paul Lutheran School in Sherwood, Ore., last fall returned to Newberg as a first-grade teacher at Antonia Crater Elementary School. She also is owner of Freckled Sweets Catering, started two years ago, and has spent the last seven summers as a teacher in a Forest Grove, Ore., community-based activity program for special education children. 

Amie Davenport (MAT12) is a fifth-grade teacher at Errol Hassell Elementary School in Beaverton, Ore., completing her second year after one year of substitute teaching in the district and following a career change after 15 years as a community manager with Sunriver (Ore.) Resort.

Sarah King (MBA12) has joined Nike as a senior planning business analyst with the company’s emerging markets team. She left George Fox University after seven years in enrollment and marketing, the last two as financial analyst. 

John Sawyer (GFES12) received recognition in December for his work in helping found Bridging RVA, a new concept “connecting individuals, groups and causes for matters related to the common good of the Richmond [Virginia] area.” He initiated the idea, then served as first chair of the group that began last fall. For that effort he was named 2014 “Person of the Year” by Robious Corridor Magazine, a bimonthly, 16,000-circulation publication distributed in the Midlothian area of Virginia. Sawyer has been with the Bon Air Baptist Church in Richmond since 2006, serving as campus pastor for the James River campus and as associate pastor for the church’s four sites.

Ben Tissell (n12) was keynote speaker for the fourth annual Creation Care Summit in April at Eastridge Covenant Church in Clackamas, Ore. He drew from his 10 years of experience in professional camp ministry to make the presentation. Sponsored by Wilderness International, a Christian environmental conservation organization, the conference had the purpose of helping participants learn more about God’s creation and how to better care for it. He is youth ministries leader as well as occasional worship leader at the church, founded by his father. 

Kelsey Bennett (G13), named George Fox’s outstanding accounting and finance student when she graduated, is using her degree as staff accountant with American Metals Corp. in Canby, Ore., a supplier and processor of metal products. She started in the position in February 2014 after eight months as an accounting specialist at George Fox. 

Heather Cordie (EdD13) in October was named to a governor-appointed position as a member of the Oregon Educators Benefit Board, a collaborative program that reviews and evaluates benefit programs to ensure value, choice and quality for school districts, members, carriers and providers. She is in her fifth year as superintendent of the 5,000-student Sherwood School District after previously serving as assistant superintendent of the Redmond (Ore.) School District for three years. 

Jeanette Edel (G13) is a registered nurse, part of the float pool with Salem Health, composed of three hospitals and other clinics serving five counties in the Mid-Willamette Valley of Oregon. She accepted the position shortly after her graduation. 

Cheryl Flaim (MDiv13) is in a dual role as pastor of the Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Atlanta, Mo., and as school office administrator, marketing and education advisor for Faith Lutheran School, in Kirksville, Mo., a school of 130 preschool through seventh-graders. She became church pastor in July 2013, a year after starting the school position. Previously she was minister of youth and family with Hamilton Street Baptist Church in Kirksville. 

Kristoffer Garcia (G13) is using his degree in finance as a student accounts specialist for the 1,200 students at Corban University in Salem, Ore. He started in the position in July.

Glori Gray (PsyD13) in October opened her own practice, Portland Pediatric Psychology. She has worked as a licensed clinician for almost eight years, and most recently, for a year, was a pediatric psychology postdoctoral fellow with Nemours/A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., after one year there as a pediatric psychology resident/intern. Previously she was a licensed clinical social worker, running her own practice for five years in Charlotte, N.C. 

Rebecca (Brickley) Gurney (G13) is completing her first year as director of social media with the Portland office of Salem Communications, which operates three Portland radio stations. She also continues as executive assistant/ special projects coordinator with The Harry Potter Alliance, a nonprofit begun in 2005 and run by Harry Potter fans with a focus on civic engagement, including social causes and direct assistance in disasters, stocking libraries, registering voters, improving literacy and encouraging economic justice. 

Melanie Hamilton (MBA13) is marketing development manager at Financial Freedom Wealth Management Group in Salem, Ore. In that position since December 2013, she plans and directs client events and educational seminars while also overseeing the company’s website and social media presence.

Jennie (Hampton) Harkema (G13) is the new office manager at St. Luke Catholic School in Woodburn, Ore., promoted from administrative assistant. She previously worked for St. James School in McMinnville, Ore., and as administrative assistant at North Valley Friends Church in Newberg.

Estle Harlan (DBA13) has turned her doctoral dissertation into a 240-page book published in July by Scholars Press. The book, Later Life Career Transitions: Exploration of Factors and Turning Points that Influence Career Transition in Later Life, is a study based on 10 individuals aged 55 and over with stories of engagement in later-life career transitions. Harlan, a Lincoln City, Ore., resident, has owned and operated Harlan Business Consultants since 1982.

Jeremiah Winston (MA13) in January joined Wise Counsel and Comfort, a Portland-area cooperative practice for mental health professionals with offices in Portland, Lake Oswego, Beaverton, Gresham and Milwaukie. He is with its Burnside location as a counseling therapist after completing an additional year of couples and family systemic therapy coursework. He was a therapeutic behavioral specialist for eight years before beginning at George Fox. 

George Bailey (MBA14) is using his degree as director of technical marketing with Synopsys, managing the marketing team for all mask synthesis products for the Hillsboro, Ore., location of the international software and program company, considered the leading firm (by sales) in the electronic design automation industry. He has been in the position since 2007 after nearly five years as Resolution Enhancement Technology Program manager with Mentor Graphics in Wilsonville, Ore. He has 11 United States patents for methods, systems and procedures.

Drew Elizarde-Miller (G14) and Trisha Elizarde- Miller (G14) are in Portland, where he began in August as youth ministry coordinator with Reedwood Friends Church after serving as a youth intern with Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends Church for four months. She began in November as a skills trainer with Trillium Family Services, which provides behavioral health services to children in an academic setting. Previously she also was a residential treatment counselor with the Salvation Army White Shield Center in Portland. He is also caregiver with Adeo In Home Care in Portland, which helps elderly and disabled people who need assistance to live at home.

Carilyn Ellis (PsyD14) in March joined Providence Health & Services Portland as a behavioral health consultant after completing eight months of clinical rotations in oncology and primary care as a postdoctoral fellow at Boise (Idaho) Veterans Administration Medical Center and also serving as a guest instructor at Boise State University. 

Elise Fajen (G14) joined her alma mater in December as admissions event coordinator after previously serving as a resident assistant and student gift development officer while a student. In June she’ll move from her temporary position in admissions to another temporary position in residence life as she fills in for those on maternity leave in both departments. She also continues as operations manager of Wind-Blox, which she cofounded in 2012 as the result of creating and developing a bike safety product that allows cyclists to hear the world around them by drastically reducing wind noise.

Sarah Gilmore (G14) began in August as billing, licensing and sales assistant at HawkSoft, Inc. in Canby, Ore., a firm that provides user-friendly software and management solutions for insurance agencies.

Greg Glatz (DMin14), with Westminster United Church in Winnipeg, Canada, as his base, also is a radio host, lead guitarist, writer, professor and now founding director of a community café food bank. He has been with the church for nearly three years, working primarily in outreach, community building and small-group development. As part of that ministry, in the fall of 2013 he founded Bell Tower Community Café, which every other Friday night serves more than 150 people who gather for music and fellowship, then pick up food supplied by Winnipeg Food Harvest, a local food bank. He also hosts Sunday Night with Greg Glatz, a two-hour program on radio station CJOB. In addition, he is a theology instructor, teaching courses from a missional and emerging church perspective at the University of Winnipeg. Currently he is writing and editing a book, The Great Co-Mission: How Communities Can Transform Churches, Mission and Discipleship, and he plays lead guitar with B-Side Apostles, a band that plays western swing, rock ’n’ roll, bluegrass and gospel.

Jessica Sokoloff (G14) is a music educator, serving as assistant high school choir teacher at Veritas School in Newberg, and through private instruction in the Salem/Keizer, Ore., area. She also is a freelance graphic designer, something she has done for more than three years. 

Luke Sumner (GFES14) and his wife have moved to Everett, Wash., to be co-pastors of a new church community-in-formation, tentatively called Everett Christian Church, under sponsorship of the Northwest Regional Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). They officially started in January, moving from Portland, where, for just over two years, he was founder and pastor of HomePDX, a mission dedicated to those living outside in hard times. HomePDX provided meals, served coffee and ministered to the homeless without a church building.

Bryce Withers (MAT14), in his first year of teaching at Ridgeview High School in Redmond, Ore., was awarded an educational fellowship by Ecology Project International and in March participated in a week-long, on-site project in Baja, Mexico. Since 2005 the field science and conservation organization has connected scientists and teachers in ecologically critical environments in Costa Rica, the Galapagos Islands, Belize and Baja. Withers spent his time on Espiritu Santo Island, a UNESCO-protected biosphere reserve, participating in underwater data collection and lessons in incorporating field studies into the classroom.

Douglas Witherup (DMin14) is executive director of church and youth ministries for the North Carolina Assemblies of God church organization, helping guide more than 300 churches in the state. He also contributes as a teaching pastor at Concord (N.C.) First Assembly of God, where he is the former lead associate pastor and youth pastor. In addition, he serves as an adjunct professor at Trinity Bible College, an Assemblies of God-affiliated school in North Dakota. In November he released a new book: Interrobang Preaching: (re)Discovering the Communication Secrets of Jesus.

Back to top