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Alumni Notes

The following Alumni Notes appeared in the Fall 2023 edition of The Tartan. 

  • The year 2022 was devoted to finishing a book, “The Evolution of the U.S. Healthcare System: A Legacy of Opportunism and Greed in High Places,” for Richard Douglass ‘68. The book is currently in the typesetting stage at Cambridge Scholars, in the United Kingdom. He expects it will be published in 2023. Douglass held two memorial services for his late wife, Marian Horowitz, which were postponed due to the pandemic. Video from the services is accessible on YouTube.

 

  • After 43 years in public education — 35 of which were spent with Bartholomew Consolidated Schools (BCSC) in Columbus, Indiana — Dale Nowlin ‘75 has been elected to serve on the BCSC Board of School Trustees. As a former teacher and administrator, Nowlin looks forward to serving his community, students and teachers in this new role.

 

  • Charles Gross ‘75 was honored by the Lenawee Community Foundation as the recipient of the Lenawee Leadership Award for 2023. The award recognizes an individual each year for their contributions to the county.

 

  • Hal D’Arpini ‘79 has been living in Munich, Germany, with wife Brigitte for the past five years, where she teaches at the European School. The couple enjoys traveling and occasionally dog-sitting for fellow Theta Chi David Shontz ’83 and his wife. D’Arpini is happily retired; trying his hand at book narration and voice acting.

 

  • Jeff Chamberlin ‘82 is living the quiet life in Detroit, watching plenty of Tigers games. Chamberlin ran Hostel Detroit for a while before returning to teaching. He suffered a head injury while teaching severely emotionally impaired students. He volunteers at the Heidelberg Project, where he has created and displayed art.

 

  • Dwight Pierson ‘92 retired July 1, 2022, after teaching math for 30 years at St. Johns High School. Early in his career, Pierson coached baseball and football. More recently, he served two terms as math department chair, six years as his local union’s chief negotiator, 26 years as the voice of St. Johns Redwing football on Friday nights. Pierson lives in DeWitt with his wife of 29 years, Anne. (3)

 

I think it’s a lot about the community of support we built up while we were here. These are our friends for life, as well as people who have helped us in our careers. We’re very grateful to have had experienced this place.

Gabby Blecke, `21

One of my big highlights from Alma was working with Dr. (Kristin) Olbertson on a research project that I ended up presenting at a Phi Alpha Theta regional conference. I ended up winning an award for legal history research, which helped me realize I was doing the right things with my career goals. Alma College also makes you work hard in your academics, which is excellent preparation for any grad school.

Neil Youngdahl, `15

I felt really prepared for the experience of graduate school, because as a communication major at Alma, we did mock interviews before graduation. That practice made me feel poised and ready when it was time for the real thing. As far as my coursework was concerned, I ended up doing really well, which I attribute to the rigors of an Alma education.

Calli Ackels, `20

I think it’s a lot about the community of support we built up while we were here. These are our friends for life, as well as people who have helped us in our careers. We’re very grateful to have had experienced this place.

Gabby Blecke, `21

One of my big highlights from Alma was working with Dr. (Kristin) Olbertson on a research project that I ended up presenting at a Phi Alpha Theta regional conference. I ended up winning an award for legal history research, which helped me realize I was doing the right things with my career goals. Alma College also makes you work hard in your academics, which is excellent preparation for any grad school.

Neil Youngdahl, `15

I felt really prepared for the experience of graduate school, because as a communication major at Alma, we did mock interviews before graduation. That practice made me feel poised and ready when it was time for the real thing. As far as my coursework was concerned, I ended up doing really well, which I attribute to the rigors of an Alma education.

Calli Ackels, `20
  • Kymberli (Barrette) Wregglesworth ‘97 is currently serving as president of the Michigan Council for the Social Studies and on the board of directors for the National Network of State Teachers of the Year. She is still in the classroom, teaching social studies at Onaway High School.

 

  • Andrew Pomerville ‘01 has been named president of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. Pomerville previously served as assistant vice president for community engagement, senior chaplain and founding director of the Center for College and Community Engagement (3CE) at Alma College.

 

  • Kat (Lanphear) Hsia ‘02 and husband Richard welcomed their son, Rhys, on Feb. 18, 2022. Shortly after, Hsia began a new role as a project manager at the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), where she helps support WHEDA’s mission to make housing more affordable.

 

  • Nikole L. Canute ‘02 was recently selected for inclusion in Crain’s “Notable West Michigan Lawyers.” She was selected as a notable attorney for her impact in the types of cases and clients assisted, serving as a role model and mentor to other attorneys and assuming leadership roles in professional organizations and community service initiatives.

 

  • Nicole Stachura ‘06 and Jordan Olive welcomed their second child, Noa Margot Olive, Dec. 11, 2022. Big brother, Everett is thrilled to have a sister! The family lives in Chicago, Ill., where Nicole works as vice president, group account director at TBWAWorldHealth.

 

  • Mel “Sonny” Koch ‘08 and wife Jacki welcomed their second child, Lincoln James Koch, on Sept. 6, 2022.

 

  • Devon Anthony ‘09 married Rob Ferone on Oct. 30, 2022, in Detroit. They celebrated in an intimate ceremony with friends, family and their dog, Tonka, by their side.

 

  • Rachel (Assendelft) Ahlgren ‘11 and husband Matt welcomed a son, Elliot Russell, on Jan. 6, 2023.

 

  • Matthew (Yettaw) Yuill ‘15 is excited to share that he will be stepping into the new role of chief of staff at Planned Parenthood of Michigan while also continuing to serve in his current role as PPMI’s director of diversity, equity and inclusion. From political science to diversity, equity and inclusion, he is continually reminded about the power and enduring value of a liberal arts education from Alma College.

 

  • Jared Dennis ‘16 and Nicole (Green) ‘17 celebrated their wedding with several alumni in attendance, including Jack Anderson ’26, Austin Bryan ‘16, Maxx Jolls ‘16, Brenda Jolls ‘87, Jared Dennis, Nicole Dennis, Emily Hinsman ‘17, Kelsey Dennis ‘18, Tristan Fox ‘18 and Hunter Sharrard ‘17. (2)

 

  • Chelsey Cobb ‘17 and William Alvord were married on April 22, 2023, in their home parish of St. Francis Xavier, surrounded by friends and family.

 

  • Alec Gibson ‘17 along with mentor, Scott Waldroop have started their own graphic design studio, Crosshook Creative. The duo has already worked with fellow Alma alumni and departments on various projects, ranging from rebrands to websites to campaigns like the Kiltie Marching Band’s 100th anniversary.

 

  • Morgan (Stratton) McPhail ‘17 and Taylor McPhail ‘18 were married Sept. 17, 2022. They celebrated their marriage on campus, where they first met, with their beloved fellow Scots.

 

  • Sam Swem ‘18 and Paige (Bartkowiak) ‘18 were married Aug. 13, 2022. The wedding was officiated by former Alma College faculty member Joanne Gilbert and was attended by many other Scots. Sam and Paige live in Lansing with their dog, Lucie, and kitten, Chicha.

 

  • Tyler Mrock ‘19 has completed his studies, culminating in his Doctor of Chiropractic degree. He was hooded as a cum laude graduate on April 22, 2023, and will begin his practice in Tampa, Fla.

 

  • Caden Wilson ‘21 is a park ranger for the U.S. National Park Service. In the wintertime, he serves as an education technician for Rocky Mountain National Park and in the summer, he works as a ranger at Glacier Bay, in Alaska. He and his staff are co-stewards of the land with the Huna Tlingit, and he passes by their totem poles every day while working. A history major during his time at Alma, Wilson works a lot with history and tribal education with NPS, but is also studying emergency medicine.

 

  • Sara Lesnesky ‘22 has been promoted to an executive director of Devonshire Retirement Village, an adult foster care community. She has enjoyed every minute of getting her dream job at such an early age and is appreciative for her Alma education.

The work that I put into getting my degrees at Alma prepared me for the rigors of going into a graduate level program — I was ready to put in the work, and that is half of the challenge.

Abigail Scharboneau, `18

The work that I put into getting my degrees at Alma prepared me for the rigors of going into a graduate level program — I was ready to put in the work, and that is half of the challenge.

Abigail Scharboneau, `18