Emory Glover welcomed family friend Nathan Hodgin ’13 home to Houston, Texas, in January after Nathan’s semester teaching English as a Second Language to children at Princesa de España in Villarcayo, Spain. Emory arranged a job interview at the Berlitz Language Center (where Emory has taught since 2003) and a trial rehearsal with the Chancel Choir of First Presbyterian Church, where both men now sing second bass.
Members of the Class of 1965 returned to campus during Commencement 2015 in celebration of the 50-year anniversary of their graduation. They were inducted into the Golden ’Roo Society, those alumni who graduated at least 50 years ago. A good time certainly was had by all. See the photo in ‘Roo News.
Laurie Coker has written That Little Coker Boy, a new collection of autobiographical story-poems told from the viewpoint of a child growing up in a small town and rural community in Texas during the 1940s through 1960s.
Anna Grønne Bruun hadn’t been on campus for 50 years; she remedied that this spring, coming all the way from Denmark. She attended Austin College in a one-year exchange program in 1964-1965 from Copenhagen. Though she knew she would stay only one year, saying good was hard and she was pleased to visit in March. Things had changed quite a lot since she last saw campus, but she found friends nonetheless. A member of Kappa Gamma Chi sorority, she met a few current Kappas on her visit. Anna and her husband were in Texas to visit Nancy Woodward John ’66, Anna’s Austin College roommate, in Dallas. After graduation, Nancy studied French at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland and spent Christmas vacation with Anna and her family; but the friends hadn’t seen each other since. Nancy said the emphasis on international culture at Austin College nourished them. “The gateways to the world were marked for us, and we took every opportunity to happily walk through,” she said. Ironically, a Texas snowstorm welcomed Anna.
Kay Layton Sisk (MA ’74) continues to write and publish contemporary romantic fiction. Her six-novel Bone Cold-Alive book series is set mainly at Lake Texoma. Kay lives in Bonham, Texas, with her husband, Dana Sisk ’72.
Carmen Tafolla was named the 2015 Poet Laureate of Texas in May by the Texas Legislature. Author of more than 20 books, she also is an educator and accomplished performer who has shared dramatic glimpses into her life and her culture around the world. She earned her Austin College degree, then a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from The University of Texas. She has held faculty and administrative positions at universities throughout the Southwest and has been honored widely for her work, which includes five books of poetry, eight children’s picture books, seven television screenplays, several nonfiction volumes, and a collection of short stories, The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans. In addition, she co-authored, with filmmaker Sylvia Morales, a feature-length comedy entitled REAL MEN … and other miracles. She is an associate professor for Transformative Children’s Literature at The University of Texas at San Antonio and is at work on the biography of noted 1930s civil rights organizer Emma Tenayuca. “Many, many people, places, and events go into making any honor,” Carmen said. “I am grateful to so many … but I owe a special debt to Austin College and the incredible faculty there, like Virginia Love and Myron Lowe and others too numerous to mention who helped me dare to reach for my dreams and who modeled understanding, wisdom, and service to others. The two years I spent there were filled with a special kind of education. Those memories will never leave me.”
Charles Templeton has been named a board member at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow, a residency program for writers and artists in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Charles is a retired school administrator from Texas who served in the Marine Corps from 1967 until 1971. After a tour in Vietnam and service in the presidential helicopter squadron, he received his B.A. in history and psychology from Austin College and his M. Ed. in public school administration from North Texas State University.
Pamela Harnest Pierson was named an alumna inductee of Phi Beta Kappa and the Iota of Texas chapter at Austin College this spring. She also served as the speaker for Austin College’s induction ceremony for 25 members of the Class of 2015. (Alumni of the College who graduated at least 10 years ago may be elected to membership based upon distinction in their professional or scholarly attainments and contributions to community life.) The Bainbridge Mims Professor of Law at University of Alabama School of Law, Pam is a respected educator (selected seven times as Outstanding Faculty Member by her students) as well as a soughtafter legal expert. She was named to the Distinguished Alumni of Austin College in 1998.
Robert Lewis (aka Stikmanz) shared a photo at Homecoming 2014 that he had unearthed, showing the founding editors of Suspension. He was involved with the third edition, so the publication founding appears to have been circa 1976. Pictured are Lewis, Michael Ditmore ’79, Ken Pardue ’80, Neill Morgan ’81, and Gale Woliver ’82.
Danny Anderson became the 19th president of Trinity University in May. See the ACCOLADE.
Judy Ratcliff Fullylove received the 2014 Clare Rothmeyer Distinguished Service Award from the Texas Alliance of Information and Referral Systems in December 2014. Judy is program manager for 2-1-1 Texas at Texoma Council of Governments in Sherman, Texas.
Jeffrey Vrielink has had many experiences since leaving Austin College. He graduated from medical school then served in the U.S. Navy as a General Medical Officer and as a Flight Surgeon in Japan and Florida. In 2002, he completed his training in Biblical counseling and spiritual warfare. He worked for seven years at a Christian psychiatric hospital in Michigan prior to a 14-month sabbatical in which he traveled to New Zealand and Fiji to work with UN refugees, Maoris, Kiwis, and Pacific Islanders. Two years after returning to Michigan, Jeff started Veritas Integrated Psychiatric Care and enjoys the freedoms of private practice. Using his seven years of primary care experience in the Navy, along with his training in psychiatry and Biblical counseling, he addresses mind, body, and spirit in his work and enjoys ministering to military veterans and to his Mennonite and Amish clientele. He also enjoys making maple syrup with his family, teaching medical students, and preaching in jail and at the local mission. He has a vision to use tele-psychiatry to reach people at home and to someday bring spiritual issues to the forefront of mental health.
Michael Kingan became vice president for development and alumni relations at The University of Texas at Arlington in February. A former senior vice president and chief development officer for The University of New Mexico Foundation, he has more than two decades of success in advancement positions, including work at The University of Iowa, the University of Washington School of Law, The University of Michigan Law School, and Singapore American School. In his new position, he leads the university’s fundraising and alumni relations efforts.
Felipe Martinez became the transitional general presbyter and stated clerk at the Presbytery of Great Rivers, based in Peoria, Illinois, in November 2014. He had spent nine years as associate executive presbyter in Whitewater Valley Presbytery (Central and East Central Indiana). From 1992 to 2003, he was pastor of First Presbyterian Church in St. Anna, Illinois. After earning his Austin College degree with majors in economics and French, Felipe earned a master’s degree in ministry in 1992 and a Doctor of Ministry degree in 2005, both from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. He and his wife, Tracy Heaton, are pictured with their sons: Michael, 12, and Montez, 14, on a recent vacation.
Jenny King has been named chief development officer for VolunteerNOW (VOLY.org), formerly Volunteer Center of North Texas, where she works with corporations, nonprofits, and volunteers to assist communities and strengthen nonprofits through volunteerism. An active volunteer herself for Austin College and other nonprofits, including The Dallas Summit Greater Dallas Business Ethics Award and her local PTA, Jenny just completed a two-year term as board president for Head Start of Greater Dallas and continues to be a passionate advocate for early childhood education.
Elon Werner, who directs publicity and communications for drag-racing star John Force and Force’s championship team, won the 2014 Jim Chapman Award for excellence in motorsports public relations. The Chapman Award is considered by many as the highest honor in racing public relations. Werner works directly with the 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion and with Force’s rising-star driver daughters. Elon worked for the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks before joining the Texas Motorplex in 1993 as PR manger. He eventually became that track’s general manager. After positions with several Dallas-based sports agencies and coordinating media for a number of motorsports clients, he became John Force Racing’s PR director in 2007.
Kathryn Nordick has been promoted to partner with Reed Smith International law firm in its Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, office. Kathryn is a member of the firm’s financial industry group. She has represented publicly traded corporations and other entities as borrowers, and private equity funds as sponsors in a variety of financing, acquisition, and restructuring transactions. She earned her J.D. from University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 2005.
Justin Miller recently was named city administrator for the City of Lakeville in Minnesota. A suburb of Minneapolis, Lakeville has a population of 58,000 and is the fastest-growing city in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Justin and his wife, Dianne, live in the Twin Cities with their four daughters.
Christina Welch Marshall has been promoted to partner in the Haynes and Boone law firm. She is a member of the firm’s Mergers and Acquisitions Practice Group in Richardson, Texas. She focuses on the representation of technology based companies in a broad range of transactional matters. She is also a member of the advisory board to the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at The University of Texas at Dallas and a member of the board of directors of Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of TeXchange, which promotes the entrepreneurial environment in Texas. She earned her juris doctorate at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. She and her husband, Christopher, have three children, Lincoln, 5; Kensi, 2; and Jacob, 1.
Jennifer Randles, a member of the sociology faculty at California State University–Fresno, received two national awards from the American Sociology Association (ASA). The Community Action Research Initiative Grant Award from the Sydney S. Spivack Program in Applied Social Research and Social Policy will support her research on engaged and positive paternal involvement among low income fathers in Fresno. She also received the Article of the Year Award for 2014 from the ASA Sociology of the Family section for her article “Repackaging the ‘Package Deal’: Promoting Marriage for Low-Income Families by Targeting Paternal Identity and Reframing Marital Masculinity,” published in Gender & Society. Jennifer, who earned a doctorate in 2011 from the University of California, Berkeley, taught at Austin College prior to joining the Fresno State faculty in 2013.
Katherine Roberto earned a Ph.D. in business management (organizational behavior) from The University of Texas at Arlington, and will start a new job as assistant professor at Texas A&M University –Corpus Christi this fall.
Sarah Beatty Snyder shared a photo from the Dallas ½ Marathon in December 2014. Pictured are Stephanie “Stevie” Demarest ’08, Tracy Orwif ’04, and Sarah.
Frank Chisholm became vice president for sales strategy and operations in January at a San Francisco startup called Fuze, that looks to change the collaboration and video-conferencing software industry. After graduating from Austin College, Frank worked for American Airlines for five years in a variety of roles ranging from sales/marketing strategy to airport operations, securing his first job there as a result of networking with Mary McKee ’84. After earning his MBA from Harvard Business School, Frank moved to New York City to work in management consulting. In January 2014, he moved to San Francisco to work for Salesforce.com in sales strategy and operations. He welcomes alumni networking discussion; contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gregory Wohead is a U.K.-based American artist whose one-on-one theatre piece, Hurtling, was included in the article “10 Shows We Loved at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.” This spring, he toured The Ted Bundy Project, a solo performance that he wrote, in Athens, Greece, as well as nine sites in the U.K.
James Kowalewski (MAT ’07) was named the head football coach and campus athletic coordinator at Aldine High School in Houston, Texas, in February. He previously served as the defensive coordinator at Fort Bend Ridge Point and brings seven years of coaching experience into his first head-coaching job. He was part of a staff that earned three straight playoff berths at Ridge Point in its first three years as a varsity program.
Thomas Rhodes became director of institutional giving at Opera Philadelphia in January 2015. He had secured several national grants in his previous position of development manager of advancement at Fort Worth Opera. When he is not hard at work raising money, he spends his spare hours publishing research with Carnegie Mellon University’s Arts Management and Technology Laboratory on wearable technology’s potential impact on the performing arts. He has presented on this topic at national and international conferences and continues to explore new intersections of technology and art. After graduating from Austin College, he studied as a countertenor at the Prayner Conservatory for Music in Vienna. He then was a double-degree student at both Carnegie Mellon University’s Master of Arts Management program and the University of Bologna’s Graduate Degree in Innovation and Organization of Culture and the Arts program. In addition to his studies, Thomas has held internships at The Santa Fe Opera, Vienna State Opera, and Pittsburgh Opera. He has worked at Opera Maurtius and has held seasonal contracts with the Heigetz International Music Institute and the Greenwich Music Festival.
Dhriti Pandya Stocks is working with a new project in Dallas. See more in ’Roo News.
Jacquie Welsh was named to the Library Journal list of 2015 Movers and Shakers, “the people shaping the future of libraries.” One of 50 individuals around the country to make the list, Jacquie is a librarian at Los Angeles Public Library. From the Library Journal’s website: “She spent most of 2014 as an embedded librarian connecting probationers and parolees with resources from the Los Angeles Public Library. ‘They call them offenders; we call them participants,’ said Welsh, who until February 2015 served as a librarian-in-residence with the Innovation Leadership Program. Inspired by the Freedom Ticket program in Hennepin County, Minnesota, she worked with courts, probation officers, and drug rehabilitation programs to create the Pathways program, which helps former prisoners reenter society.”
Stefanie Faith became the head softball coach at the 6-A Sachse High School in August 2014. She graduated from the high school in 2007 and was on its first varsity softball team. She teaches physical education and also is the freshman volleyball coach.
Alexander Clark fulfilled a longtime goal when he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in May 2014. He was in a delayed entry program, Development and Training Flight, until beginning Basic Military Training at Lackland Air Force Base in December 2014. He was selected as the War Skills Military Studies Monitor for his flight and earned “Honor Graduate” distinction in February for performing in the top 10 percent of trainees. He completed the “Fundamentals in Operations Intelligence” and will complete “Operations Intelligence Apprenticeship” in July. He is in the Airman Leader program, having been selected by his peers and supervisors to gain additional leadership skills within the squadron. Since graduation, Alex and his wife spent two years in San Antonio, Texas, working with Teach For America. He then worked for Battleground Texas and the Wendy Davis for Governor Campaign as the campus organizer for UT-San Antonio, where he trained and managed a team of 12 full-time fellows and their interns to register thousands of students (the most of any single campus organizer in Texas history from either party).He stayed in that position until beginning Basic Military Training. After his regular service, Alexander plans to stay in the Air Force Reserve and work in intelligence, public affairs, or education. He plans later to attend the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas. His wife plans to attend law school.
Benjamin Wallace Elberson was awarded Best Poster and Best Presentation among all Ph.D. candidates at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center 2015 Graduate Poster Competition this spring. He also presented the research at a competition at Purdue University in May. Ben is in the M.D./Ph.D. program at Texas Tech and has completed two years of medical school and his first year of research in molecular biophysics. He will complete his final years of medical school after he completes the Ph.D. He and his wife, Jill (Murphy) ’13, live in Lubbock, Texas.
Jill Murphy Elberson begins studies this fall at Texas Tech University Graduate School toward a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and poetry. She was awarded an assistantship with partial tuition, waived fees, a stipend, and the direction of a Texas Tech professor. This past year, she was a full-time lead teacher at Covenant Child Development Center in Lubbock. She wrote that the Austin College English major with creative writing emphasis didn’t exist when she enrolled, but she changed her major when it was added. She had known for only a few years that she would teach, she said, but had always known she must write. She believes that no greater joy exists than to create and inspire creation. She hopes to encourage others to seek out new and unknown art as she grows in her ability to create art worth sharing. “To study the evolution of poetry is to study the evolution of humanity,” she said. “Creating or inspiring enduring creations of poetic art could change a person. And changing people changes the world.”
Nathan Hodgin returned to Houston, Texas, in January after spending a semester teaching English as a Second Language to children at Princesa de España in Villarcayo, Spain. Thanks to Emory Glover ’62, a former colleague of Nathan’s dad, Nathan was welcomed home with a job interview at the Berlitz Language Center and a trial rehearsal with the Chancel Choir of First Presbyterian Church of Houston. Emory teaches at Berlitz and is a member of the Chancel Choir, where Nathan now joins him in the second bass section.