Class Notes

Class Notes

Compiled and edited by Margie Meyer

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Gerald Grunska (MA-59), Evergreen, served as chair of the English department at Highland Park (Illinois) High School for 18 years and was a high school and college sports official for 45 years. Since retiring in 1988, Jerry has written and published 326 magazine articles, contributed five chapters in a teaching text, and has authored, co-authored, edited or contributed to 24 books. He won a contest in November for a historical article published in the Historically Jeffco magazine.


DavenportGoldman “Glenn” Davenport (MA-60), pictured left, Calimesa, Calif., worked in college relations and taught Educational Statistics and Philosophy of Education at Union College in Lincoln, Neb. He has a doctorate from the University of Nebraska.

Garland “Gar” Wiggs (MA-60), Wytheville, Va., retired in June after serving 41 years as a university professor in the fields of business and adult education while concurrently conducting a consulting practice in organizational development, technical training and executive outplacement. He volunteers at the Wytheville Outpatient VA Clinic.

Richard Shively (BA-61, MA-66) and Rosemary (Austin) Shively (BA-61, MA-90), Moscow, Idaho, taught English in the Czech Republic from January through mid-April and September through mid-December.

Ann (Struble) Birkle (MA-62), Ann Arbor, Mich., taught elementary physical education until her retirement. She was the president of the University of Michigan Club of Ann Arbor and worked with the coaches at the university. Ann enjoys gardening, golfing and spending time with her grandchildren.


Donald (Don-Paul) Benjamin (BA-70, MA-78), Phoenix, serves as e-advisor for Phoenix College, helping with the college chat line and working with students by email. Don-Paul also works as a freelance author, cartoonist and arts educator.

CareyDan Carey (MA-72, PhD-75), pictured right, Madison, Wis., was elected chair of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. Dan has been president of Edgewood College since 2005 and previously served for nine years as president of Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.

James “Mac” Light (BM-73), Las Vegas, teaches music at Whitney Elementary School in Las Vegas. He wrote a Hanukkah song for two-part treble voices called “Light a Little Candle,” which was published by Shawnee Press. Mac has also placed two songs on Internet radio — “When Stars Collide” and “I Need the Moonlight.”

Ron Morris (BS-75), Johnstown, owns Ranch Marketing Associates LLC and has more than 35 years of real estate experience, specializing in large ranch properties throughout the western United States.

Susan Wardlow (BA-75, MA-77), Coarsegold, Calif., is a substitute teacher in Madera County. She actively volunteers with organizations that restore California’s historic sites and with a local child development center. Susan is a member of Cambridge Who’s Who.

Johannas Jordan (EdD-76), Bemidji, Minn., was ordained to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church in October and serves the parish of St. Bartholomew’s in Bemidji. She splits her time between Bemidji and Scottsdale, Arizona, and is married to David “Doc” Jordan.

Christina Smith (MA-76), Tulsa, Okla., is retired after 41 years of teaching university health and physical education courses and coaching high school and collegiate volleyball, basketball, tennis, softball and field hockey. She served 23 years with the United States Army Reserves and is currently a volunteer for Disaster Services in Tulsa.

Gene Owens (MA-78), San Antonio, retired from the Air Force in 1983. He was wounded during the Vietnam Conflict and earned the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Presidential Unit Citation, Meritorious Service Medal and Vietnam Gallantry Cross.

Margie Soran (BME-78), Edina, Minn., was elected to the board of directors of The Family Partnership, one of the oldest nonprofit organizations in the Twin Cities. Margie has 30 years of teaching experience and is the founder of Social Venture Partners Teen Program and is affiliated with Twin Cities RISE and Genysis Works.

Michael Bierwiler (MA-79), Bedford, Texas, was a finalist in the North Texas Book Festival in April 2011. Michael’s two decades of law enforcement experience in one of the largest police departments in Texas brings the characters in The Color of Darkness to life. He graduated from the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas at Sam Houston University and holds master’s certification from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and
Education. He has authored three other novels, Mist on the River, Living in Quiet Rage and Hiding in the Shadow of Heaven.


Bergin Michels (BA-81), New York City, portrayed Robert Croweder on an episode of Fatal Encounters, an NBC Peacock Production that aired on Investigation Discovery Channel in March.

M. Katharine “Katie” Collins (BA-82), Aurora, was named a Five Star Wealth Manager by Five Star Professional, in partnership with 5280 Magazine and ColoradoBiz Magazine. The research methodology of nine criteria resulted in a finalist list representing less than four percent of licensed wealth managers in the greater Denver-metro area.

Virginia (Boone) Martin (BS-82), Vancouver, Wash., teaches language arts and history in Battle Ground, Wash. She earned her master’s degree from Concordia University in Portland, Ore. Ginger and her husband Bradley Martin (BS-81), who works at Westmark Industries in Lake
Oswego, Ore., have four sons and two granddaughters.

Bruce Nolan (BS-82), Girard, Pa., is the head recreational therapist within the Behavioral Medicine Unit at Ashtobula County Medical Center.

ParkerLinda Parker (MA-83), Bellevue, Wash., Teresa (Sparks) Throssell (BA-79), Bellevue, Wash. and Susan (Nielson) Malan (BA-78), pictured right, Issaquah, Wash., didn’t know each other until they began working together as the special education team at Chinook Middle School in Bellevue. They enjoyed posing in their Bear-gear at Christmas.


Chris Caesar (BA-93), Houston, is the Director of Dropout Prevention for the Houston Independent School District. He previously worked for five years as a manager of dropout prevention programs at the Texas Education Agency in Austin.

Michael Kelly (BA-95), San Ramon, Calif., earned Professional Certified Investigator (PCI) Board Certification from ASIS International. Michael is board-certified as a Physical Security and Certified Protection Professional as well, and is one of just 56 ASIS members to earn all three board certifications. (ASIS has a total membership of 37,000.) He earned an MBA in 2008 and is an account manager for AlliedBarton Security Services. Michael and his wife Angela have three children.

Stephanie (Mitchell) Torrez (BA-95, MA-04), Greeley, was appointed Assistant Dean for Academic Support at UNC’s University College. Stephanie will continue to oversee the Office of Academic Advising, but will be involved in strategic planning and student advocacy university-wide.

Andrea (Eatherton) Hardy (BA-96, MA-98), Tucson, earned a Doctor of Audiology degree from Arizona School of Health Sciences. For the past 12 years she has provided hearing healthcare to adults in Tucson and Green Valley, Arizona. She and her husband have one son.

David Brumley (BA-98), Pittsburgh, Pa., won the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of independent research careers. He was one of 20 nominated for the award for his research on malicious software analysis and for his educational and outreach activities. David is an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University, where he is faculty adviser for CMU’s “Capture the Flag” team, which has won three international competitions. He earned a master’s degree in computer science in 2003 from Stanford University and a PhD in 2008 from Carnegie Mellon.


Tracy (Dirkes) Blevins (BA-00), La Junta, teaches at La Junta High School and Otero Junior College. In May 2011, Tracy became the first and only graduate from Adams State College to receive a master’s degree in Humanities with an emphasis in American History. She and her husband Brian have two children, Kaden and Abigail.

Sarah Tallman (BA-00), Lakewood, is a dancer and lead choreographer with the Ballet Nouveau Colorado in Broomfield.

McGrathJennifer McGrath (BA-01), pictured left, Denver, is an employing broker and owner of Tradewinds Property Management, LLC. She has 10 years experience in the real estate industry.

Nicole Kunze (MS-04, PhD-06), Bismarck, N.D., is an assistant professor and chair of the chemistry department at the University of Mary in Bismarck. She is the recipient of the 2011-2012 University of Mary Regents’ Award for Teaching Faculty, the highest award presented to faculty for demonstrating outstanding service; fostering a positive learning environment; showing respect and concern for students, colleagues and guests; and for advancing the Christian Catholic and Benedictine mission of the university.

Chad Chisholm (BA-05, BA-08), Denver, photographed a seven-page spread for Denver Life Magazine, which included the cover for the holiday edition. A professional photographer and travel writer in the commercial and fine art fields, Chad has explored more than 25 countries and 25 states. He continues to work around the globe photographing and writing about his international experiences.

Michael Schwartz (MA-05) Canon City, teaches at Canon City High School. Gisele (Shea) Berzins (MA-09), Berthoud, is a licensed professional counselor with a private psychotherapy practice specializing in grief and loss.

Linsi Kohlhepp (BM-09), Palmer Lake, studied in England and taught music history and geography at a private school in Indiana before marrying in 2011 and moving to Germany to be with her husband.

Michael Mullen (BS-09), Castle Rock, is a licensed financial advisor for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in the Denver Tech Center.


John Morgan (BA-10), Littleton, enlisted in the United States Navy under the Delayed Entry Program at Navy Recruiting District, Raleigh, N.C.

Kelly Artz (BA-11), Los Angeles, is studying at UCLA in the film directing graduate program.

View additional Class Notes and Alumni News

Legend: B.A. - Bachelor of Arts; B.S. - Bachelor of Science; B.M. - Bachelor of Music; B.M.E. - Bachelor of Music Education; M.A. - Master of Arts; M.S. - Master of Science; M.M. - Master of Music; M.P.H. - Master of Public Health; Ph.D. - Doctor of Philosophy; Psy.D. - Doctor of Psychology; Ed.D. - Doctor of Education; D.A. - Doctor of Arts; Ed.S. - Educational Specialist


Scholarships Motivate Student to Succeed and Give Back

First-generation student Laurenda Weber ‘12 understands the value of scholarships firsthand.

“Scholarships have helped me tremendously. Without them, I would not be where I am today,” Laurenda said. “Scholarships motivate me to keep doing good work.”

A double major in Exercise Science and Nutrition, she has served as a student ambassador and student councilor. As an intern at UNC’s Rocky Mountain Cancer Rehabilitation Institute, Laurenda logged 400 hours developing personal exercise programs for cancer patients.

“I can honestly say that UNC has changed my life.”

Many students’ lives have been transformed by their experiences at UNC. In turn, these students will make a difference in the lives of countless others. Last fiscal year, 5,146 donors gave more than $5.3 million to support scholarships, faculty and programs, providing life-changing opportunities for students like Laurenda.


Honor Roll of Donors
UNC is grateful for all gifts, no matter the size. The impact of these gifts can be felt across campus and in our communities. With this Honor Roll, UNC gratefully recognizes donors who contributed to the university between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2011.


UNC President's Circle

President’s Circle Societies are named in honor of early UNC presidents who guided the institution during some of its most pivotal points in history. These societies represent our most generous levels of giving.
President's Circle: Corporations and Foundations
President's Circle: Individuals and Estates

Other Giving
Alumni Giving by Class Year
Faculty and Staff

Thank you for your generous support of UNC students, faculty and programs. It is changing lives at UNC. Please contact Geneve Monnes at 970-351-2034 or geneve.monnes
with any questions.