Class Notes: Fall 2011

August 1, 2011

Currents Magazine


Dorothy Mehus Lovret ’43 (San Marino, Calif.) reports that she reached the 90 years old milestone with her birthday on August 22. The daughter of former WSU president Dr. O. Myking Mehus, Dorothy taught school for 35 years after graduating


Donald  Fosburgh59 (St. Peter, Minn.) was recently inducted into the Minnesota State High School League Hall of Fame. His speech and debate teams at St. Peter High School produced many state champions, and he remains a much sought-after judge for section and state speech tournaments.


George “Jeb”  Griffith65 (Caledonia, Minn.) is the new owner of the SkipperLiner/North Bay Marina complex in La Crosse. The entrepreneur and Winona State benefactor also own LOCKNET IT Solutions and Supernal Software LLC.


Susan Wychgram Babcock74 (Pardeeville, Wis.) has retired from her teaching career in the Randolph School District. The Winona native taught in Loyal before moving to Pardeeville, where she has taught third grade since 1980. Her husband, Wes, also retired this year and they plan trips to Colorado and North Dakota.

Sherri Hakes Bowers77 and Paul Bowers ’79 (Fort Mohave, Ariz.) recently married. The couple met while staffing the first crew at campus radio station KQAL in 1976. They crossed paths 33 years later on Facebook while Sherri was working at Williston State College in North Dakota. Paul was recently honored as he ended as the keynote speaker at Mohave Community College’s commencement, as he ended his 31-year teaching career.

Sacia  Andersen79 (Galesville, Wis.) has retired after a 30-year career in social work.


Gordon  Larson80 (Winner, S.D.) has been named chief executive officer for Sanford Health Network’s new Sanford Aberdeen Medical Center. Gordon has 20 years of hospital administration experience and was previously CEO of Winner Regional Healthcare Center.

Geri Droste Maki84 (Rochester, Minn.) is the new president of the southeastern Minnesota chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction. She helped launch the chapter in 1993. She works as a public health preparedness consultant with the Minnesota Department of Health.

Katy Smith84 (Winona) has been named Minnesota Teacher of the Year. Read the full story, “Hometown Hero,” in this issue of Currents.

Mike Leaf85 (Winona) coached the West team at the 2011 Reese’s Division II College All-Star Game during the NCAA Elite Eight in Springfield, Mass. He also conducted a clinic during tournament festivities. Mike coached his team to a 96-91 win over the East All-Stars at Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Mark  Strunk88 (San Antonio, Texas) has been deployed to South Korea.



Reed McPeak91 (Hugo, Minn.) was by BAE Systems, Inc. named assistant general manager of FNSS in Ankara, Turkey, a joint venture project to manufacture both tracked and wheeled vehicles for domestic and export markets. Reed holds bachelor’s degrees in physics and composite materials engineering and a master’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota. He and his family moved to Ankara in June.

Linda  Boyle92 (La Crosse, Wis.) was honored as an Irish Rose by the Shamrock Club. Linda works at Degen-Berglund and serves on the board of the Shamrock Club and is co-chair of the cultural tent for Irishfest.

Wayne  Wicka93 (Winona) and his wife, Tanya, welcomed their first child, Jayden David, on April 25.

Mark Anderson94 (Winona) has been appointed principal at Winona Middle School. A native of Walnut Grove, Mark has degrees from WSU and Southwest Minnesota State University and a certificate in educational leadership from Minnesota State University, Mankato. He has taught in North Carolina, Austin, Minn., and was assistant principal at Winona Senior High School.

Nate Gruber ’95 (Wausau, Wis.) was recently selected as a member of the NSIC Hall of Fame. A three-time all-conference and two-time All-America player, Nate was a defensive back, punt and kick returner, and long snapper. He ranks tenth all-time in NCAA Division II career interceptions. He excelled in the classroom, too. A composites material engineering major, Nate was an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship winner, a Woody Hayes National Scholar Athlete, and National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Postgraduate Award honoree. After graduating from WSU, Nate continued his engineering studies at Virginia Tech and earned his MBA at St. Thomas University. He is currently employed as a new product development engineering manager at Wilson-Hurd Manufacturing.

Gina Adler Johnson95 (Merced, Calif.) earned her PhD in educational psychology at the University of Minnesota this spring and has started a position as principal analyst in the Office of Institutional Planning and Analysis at the University of California, Merced. Her husband, Sean ‘96, will retain his position as senior software engineer at St. Jude Medical by working remotely from California.

Donna  Kamann95 (Winona) recently joined the Department of Internal Medicine at Franciscan Skemp Mayo Health Systems to coordinate care of patients in the palliative care program, which focuses on the control of symptoms, management of complications, and quality of life for those with advanced or incurable disease. A certified family nurse practitioner, Donna earned her master’s in nursing at WSU.
Lisa Gemza Skifton ’95 (Houston, Minn.) and husband Steve welcomed their daughter, Natalie Paige, on March 20.

Lisa Berg Miller ’96 (Kalamazoo, Mich.) has been named one of Ten Outstanding Young Americans for 2011 by the U.S. Jaycees. The honor is one of the oldest awards programs in the United States. After graduating from WSU with a biology degree, Lisa earned her MD at the Sanford School of Medicine at the University of South Dakota. She completed her surgery residency and was chief resident at Borgess Medical Center and Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo. After working in South Dakota, Lisa recently returned to Michigan as assistant professor of surgery at Michigan State University. She is a member of the American College of Surgeons and Society of Surgical Oncology. Lisa and her family have been instrumental in raising support for the Women’s and Children’s Shelter in Yankton, S.D.

Mason 99 and Cara Gordon ’09 (Hong Kong, China) have embarked on their third international teaching assignment, this time in Hong Kong.

Shannon Steinfeldt99 (St. Paul, Minn.) had her artwork featured on the March 2011 cover of Minnesota Women’s Press. After graduating from Winona State, Shannon pursued her art career that took off when she painted a mural for Victoria’s Restaurant in Rochester. While she went on to paint murals and portraits for a variety of clients, the economy forced Shannon to reconsider her path. Four years ago, she returned to WSU to work on a nursing degree and now works at Winona Health in the infusion therapy department, working with chemotherapy patients and others needing intravenous treatment.


Megan ’02 and Erik  Bergman02 (Thornton, Colo.) welcomed daughter Carly on December 28, 2010. Megan works as a sales representative for Dell Computers and Erik is a marketing representative for State Auto Insurance.

Erin McDonald Carlson02 (San Antonio, Texas) was promoted to principal at Christian Evers Elementary School in San Antonio.

Natalie Zenefski Martin02 (Oconomowoc, Wis.) and her husband, Erik, welcomed their second child, Bryce Aubrey, on February 1. He joins big brother Brenden, aged 2.

Jeff Dobbertin03 (Woodstock, Ill.) and Margaret Czysz welcomed daughter Clara Joy Dobbertin on January 11. She and big sister Ava Czysz are eager to meet other baby Warrior fans!

Frederick Derocher ’03 (West Allis, Wis.) is one of 370 Country Financial representatives to be named to the company’s All-American Team. Winners of the award excel in identifying products and solutions that fit the needs of their clients. This is the fifth time that he has won the award.

Amanda  Rodewald03 (Omaha, Neb.) earned her master’s in language teaching at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and is teaching German in Bellvue. She married Joshua Messerschmitt on July 30. Josh is systems administrator at Werner Enterprises.

Mitchel  Schiltz03 (Eyota, Minn.) is the new principal at Lewiston-Altura High School. After earning his degree in health and physical education, he began his career as an eighth-grade teacher in the Dover-Eyota system before moving to the Rochester Public Schools.

Jody (Greenwell) Schneider ’03 (Crown Point, Ind.) was promoted to manager at Legacy Professionals LLP, a Chicago based accounting firm. She works with employee benefit plans, labor organizations, and other nonprofit organizations. Jody earned her accounting degree at Winona State.

Seth Wing ’03 | ’08 (Winona) has been named head baseball coach at Cornell College in Iowa. Seth served as assistant coach for eight years at WSU, his tenure culminating with a trip to the NCAA Division II World Series in June. He played baseball and football at WSU while earning his degree in elementary education and mathematics. He also earned his master’s in educational leadership at WSU.

Michael  Hofland04 (St. Paul, Minn.) married Andrea Scibbe on July 16. Michael earned a master’s at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and is pursuing a master’s in public administration at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul. He is head photo specialist at Walgreens.

Amanda04 and Anthony Rizzio ’05  (Carol Stream, Ill.) welcomed their daughter, Elliot Morgan, on March 15.

Elizabeth (Black) ’04 and Bill ’05 Sabel (Fridley, Minn.) welcomed their first child, son Isaac Paul, on October 12, 2010.

Christina (Toll) ’04 and Jesse Fladmark ’09 (Winona) welcomed their first daughter, Faith Allison, on April 22.

Scott Werfal ’04 (Milton, Wis.) has been named athletics and activities director for St. Mary Central High School. He plans to step down from his duties as assistant coach for the Zephyr football team.

Derek Bruflodt ’05 (Maple Grove, Minn.) has announced his engagement to Erin Stack. A business administration and finance graduate, Derek works for Mosaic in Plymouth. Erin works for Koala Dental Care in St. Cloud.

Sarah Knopp ’05 (Cottage Grove, Minn.) earned her doctorate of pharmacy degree on May 7 from the University of Minnesota. She has joined Franciscan Skemp in La Crosse, Wis. as a practicing pharmacist. In May, Sarah and Michael Molstre announced their engagement.

Bryn Meyer Lottig05 (Minocqua, Wis.) married his wife, Noah on October 16, 2010. Bryn spends winters working as assistant manager for a non-profit Nordic ski facility and the remainder of the year as leadership facilitator and wilderness guide for a number of organizations.

Aaron Bellin ’07 (Franklin, Wis.) recently completed basic training at the U.S. Navy Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Ill. Aaron earned his BS degree at Winona State.

Kailyn Zilliox Conway07 (Mora, Minn.) married Chris Conway on June 25. Kailyn works as insurance services account manager in Minneapolis. Chris teaches special education at Bren Road Educational Center.

Bradley  Eckola07 (Corvallis, Ore.) was named regional director for the Beaver Athletic Student Fund for the Oregon State University Foundation. He previously was a ticket and donor account manager with Oregon State Athletics. He earned a bachelor’s in business administration from WSU and a master’s in sports management from Northern Illinois University.

Nathan Fuller ’08 and Jillian Georgieff ’10 (Marengo, Ill.) were married in June. Jillian is a library clerk at Ida Public Library in Marengo. Nathan is a rural carrier for the U.S. Post Office in Antioch.

Danette  Gunther08 and Jameson Childs ‘08 (West Salem, Wis.) are engaged to be married in September 2011.

Bjorn  Kadlec08 (Maiden Rock, Wis.) was hired as digital marketing statistician at Biggs/Gilmore. The statistics and mathematics graduate served as an intern in the agency’s strategy department before being hired full-time.

Laura (Servaty) ‘08 and John Smith ’10 (Winona) married on July 30. Laura works at Winona State in University Advancement. John is a professional basketball player.

Robin Wera08 (Winona) married Jerad Tuxen on June 11 in Winona. Robin and Jerad both work at Fastenal.

Travis Whipple08 (Plano, Texas) has been named assistant commissioner for marketing and broadcasting for the Lone Star Conference. After a standout basketball career at Winona State, Travis served for three years as assistant athletics director for his alma mater.

Teresa Wiebusch Atkinson09 (Lake City, Minn.) and husband Jake welcomed their first child, son Parker James on Aug. 25, 2010. Teresa, a mass communications major, is now a communications and foundation manager at the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine in Rochester.

Kriss Their ’09 and Philip  Butenhoff09 (Worthington, Minn.) were married on June 18 in Adrian. Kriss is community health organizer for Nobles-Rock Community Health Services. Phil is employed by Worthington Excavating.

Ashley Tukua Hotzler09 (Fremont, Neb.) and Christopher Hotzler were married on October 9, 2010. Ashley is an associate cost accountant for Hormel Foods while Christopher is a production supervisor at Hormel.

Carrie Meiners09 (Caledonia, Minn.) was appointed as coordinator for Matty’s Place, the Winona child advocacy center. Meiners will oversee day-to-day operations, supervise staff, work directly with child abuse victims and their families and coordinate the multidisciplinary team. She holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a minor in child advocacy from Winona State University, where she trained with the National Child Protection Training Center.

Timothy Raymond09 (Edgar, Wis.) assumed duties as administrator of the Washington Island School District on July 1. He earned his educational specialist degree at Winona State.

Jeffrey Veglahn ’09 (Shorewood, Wis.) joined the Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee as assistant land steward. He was hired as part of a team overseeing the three-year restoration along the Milwaukee River in celebration of Milwaukee Rotary Club’s Centennial.

Amanda Waller09 and Rob Bergmann ’09 (Minneapolis, Minn.) plan an October wedding in Galena, Ill. Amanda works as a human resources specialist for the Hilton Corporation in Bloomington. Rob is co-owner of Big Rock Exploration, a rare minerals company.

Danny Hanson10 (Sturgeon Bay, Wis.) and Danielle Rubens were married on June 25. Danny is a credit analyst with Baylake Bank while Danielle is completing her master’s in communication sciences and disorders at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Heidi Pearson10 (Red Wing, Minn.) and Matthew Mitchell wed on June 18. Heidi is a special education teacher in the Red Wing School District. Matthew has accepted a position with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Derek Schneider10 (Winona) is a Minnesota State Patrol trooper based in southern Minnesota.

Deanna Whitleff10 (Grand Meadow, Minn.) joined the Shawn Vogt Sween law practice in Grand Meadow in February as a paralegal.

Shawn Pfeil11 (Austin, Minn.) married Laura Madson on June 11. Shawn earned his degree in psychology and school counseling and is a service associate at Riverfront, Inc. Laura is member services director at the La Crosse YMCA.

Sara Welch11 (Winona) married Nathan Hale on June 25. Sara is a graphic designer while Nathan works at Midtown Foods.

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About Winona State University

Founded in 1858, Winona State University is a comprehensive public university with more than 8,500 students. The oldest member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System, Winona State offers 80 undergraduate, pre-professional, licensure, graduate, and doctorate programs on its three campuses: the original Main Campus in Winona, the West Campus in Winona, and Winona State University-Rochester.

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