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Alumni Notes



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Editor’s Note: Alumni Notes items are submitted by alumni and are not verified by the editors. While we welcome alumni news, UNC Magazine is not responsible for the information contained in these submissions.

May 11, 2021

  • Extended Notes

    Jonathan Martin

    Alumnus Prepares to Release Film

    Filmmaker and founder of Black Sock Productions Jonathan Martin BA ’11 is preparing to release The Confrontation Project later this year. Martin, who founded Black Sock Productions in 2012, collaborated with author and scriptwriter Ahmad Pasley to engage and stimulate conversations among members of the law enforcement and African American communities. Martin and Pasley are currently working on raising additional funds to help make this film happen. “We believe that this is a project that can make a real difference in the world,” Martin says. “This is an opportunity to have all viewpoints shown for a better understanding. The film ends with a powerful call to action that can apply to everybody, regardless of what side of the confrontation you are on.” Martin says he has been blessed with many opportunities to shoot different projects all over the world, but this is the one he believes will have the most impact.

    Watch Interview

    UNC track and field student-athlete and new grad Armanni Portee '21 connects with alumnus and former football player Jonathan Martin '11 to discuss his experience as an alum, insight and current work on The Confrontation Project.

    Colorado Governor Appoints Alumna to 20th Judicial District Court

    Colorado Governor Jared Polis appointed UNC alumna Dea Marie Lindsey BA ’91 to the 20th Judicial District Court effective April 1, 2021. Lindsey previously serviced as a senior assistant county attorney in Boulder. According to the governor’s announcement, Lindsey’s practice consists of representation and advisement for the Sheriff’s Office, Community Justice Services, the Office of Emergency Management and the district attorney’s office. She previously held roles as an Assistant County Attorney in Boulder County and Weld County, and served as a partner at Coleman, Liu, Lyons, Wheller and Zweibel, as well as a public defender in Greeley.

  • 1960s

    Eileen Volpe Moore BA ’64, MA ’78, Greeley, is publishing a book of poetry titled Independent Thoughts: From California and Colorado. It contains approximately 350 poems in six categories: states, animals, politics, religion, holidays and wars of the U.S.

    Jane Johnson BA ’65, Amherst, MA, has published a book of poems, Maven Reaches Mars: Home Poems and Space Probes in Four Fascicles. Some of the book’s “home” poems feature her father Munro McPhetres BA ‘34 and her husband Keith “Kit” Johnson BA ‘66.

  • 1970s

    Edward Bingham BA ’71, Livermore, who retired from the Denver Police Department as a captain in 2005, went on to publish three fiction books in 2020. Snow Stalker, Broken Justice and Final Justice are available on Amazon.

    Roger Dudley BA ’71, Denver, retired from the Denver Public Library in 2019 and received the Rosenstock Lifetime Achievement Award from the Denver Posse of Westerners that same year.

    Ronald Nibbelink BA ’74, Augusta, KS, who graduated with a degree in English Education and a minor in Theatre Arts, published a historical novel this year. They Played for Keeps tells the story of the Nazi massacre of 642 people in the central France town, Oradour-sur-Glane, four days after D-Day occurred.

    Rick Jordan BS ’76, Monument, retired as a CPA from Lockheed Martin after 31 years.

    Vicky Daub Hayden BA ’78, Centennial, is now the Executive Director for the Veteran Servant Corps Project, a new ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Rocky Mountain Synod. Veteran Servant Corps Project’s partners with faith communities to recognize and support veterans.

    Allen Huth BA ’78, Parker, played a key role in getting a Gideon New Testament Bible on the UNC campus in 1973-74. He served as a volunteer for the Gideons International for over 40 years and is currently serving a second term as their elected international president for over 200 countries and 255,000 volunteers across the world. The Gideon New Testament is the largest Bible distribution network in the world.

    Steve Townsend BA ’78, MA ’80, Ludington, MI, retired after 42 years as a professional geologist.

    Jack Winburn BS ’78, Macon, MO, is retiring after serving 42 years with Missouri State Parks.

  • 1980s

    Sam Aldren BA ’81, Fort Collins, a retired teacher and principal, published a middle-years novel titled, Brad Bateman; Brat Ratman. The story is based on the challenges the main character faces as he transitions to middle school, and it includes a lot of humor as well as thought-provoking, real-life situations. His son, Jackson, illustrated the cover and chapter headings, and created a map.

    Dorna Schroeter MA ’81, Rhinebeck, NY, published “The Story of Velcro” which is the first in a children’s book series, How an Idea from Nature Changed Our World. “The Story of EcoMachines” will also be printed this summer. The stories support the Next Generation Science Standards.

    Jeff Kildow MS ’82, Parker, has published his second novel, a military thriller titled Red Menace in October 2020. A third novel titled SUEZ, also a military thriller, is to be published in the fall of 2021.

    Gary Molt BS ’82, Brno, Czech Republic, is celebrating his seventh year working for IBM in the Czech Republic. Molt had a long-held dream stemming from his time spent in Germany while serving in the U.S. Army to live and work in Europe.

    Bruce Nolan BS ’82, Girard, PA, recently began his 35th year working as a CTRS (Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist) and currently works as a recreational therapist on the mental health unit of the State Correctional Institution at Albion.

    Liz Palmer Peterson BS ’82, Las Vegas, NV, was recently named the executive director for the Nevada Senior Games Inc., an official state member of the National Senior Games Association.

    Danny Salerno MA ’82, New Britain, CT, taught sociology and political science for 33 years, with the past 14 years teaching at the University of Hartford. He retired from the state of Connecticut as a discrimination investigator with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, which is the oldest civil rights agency in the Unites States, established in 1947. Salerno served as an elected official, alderman at large, for the New Britain, Conn., Common Council, and was the majority leader for four of eight years. He was a Democrat who was endorsed by the New Britain Republican Town Committee four times between 2013-2021. He was also on the Board of Managers of the New Britain Institute.

    Linda Steele BA ’84, Norfolk, NE, has been elected to serve a four-year term on the Presbyterian Church USA Presbyterian Cooperative Committee for Candidate Examinations. Steele will be serving on the Bible Task Force creating and overseeing the grading of the Bible Exegesis Exams.

    Sonja Wendt MS ’84, Westminster, became a new children’s book author after publishing four books in the Cultivating Compassion in Children series.

    Kim McCord MME ’85, DME ’99, Shelton, CT, is an author, and is currently teaching post-secondary music students with disabilities. She is also an adjunct professor at New York University.

    Jennifer Taylor McHugh BA ’87, Monument, was recently hired as the first executive director of the Colorado Springs Leadership Institute. Since 1996, the organization has worked to increase the quality and quantity of leadership in the Pikes Peak region and beyond.

  • 1990s

    George Teal, BA ’92, Castle Rock, won the Republican Party nomination in the June 2020 primary election for Douglas County Commissioner District 2.

    Mark McCarthy BA ’93, Greeley, has authored his first book, a culinary memoir titled Untangling My Kite which is a raw look at the underworld of restaurant cooking and correctional food service.

    Rich Buzzell MA ’94, Kittery Point, ME, just finished his 25th year as a school district athletic administrator, having worked at Traip Academy, Kennebunk High School and Marshwood High School for the last 17 years.

    RJ Hurn BA ’94, Tallahassee, FL, is the new CEO for Georgia Pines Community Service Board. The C.S.B. provides mental health, substance abuse and IDD services to Southwest Georgia residents. Hurn has been named the Field Educator of the Year by Florida State University, and in 2019, he was awarded the System of Care Individual Merit Award for his work in helping to put school-based mental health services in place for 32 schools.

    Peter Marcell MA ’94, San Antonio, TX, has been hired as the director of learning and development of workforce technology at USAA. In his new role, he is creating a learning center of excellence to support the USAA mission of being the provider of choice to the military community.

    Beth Ruthmansdorfer Metcalf BA ’95, Oak Creek, WI, has established the law firm of Ruthmansdorfer Law Group, S.C. in South Milwaukee, WI. She also recently authored her first book, The Mommy Club: A Journey ofGod’s Will.

    Rhett Polka BA ’96, Windsor, owner of One80 Physical Therapy and founder of The One80 System, has been issued a United States patent for his proprietary medical evaluation and treatment system. He and his uniquely trained team have been using the One80 System in his clinics in Loveland, Windsor and Highlands Ranch for several years. Polka has been sought after by NFL players, Division I athletes, Division I strength coaches, CrossFit Open World Champions, Radio City Rockettes and Olympic athletes nationally, and has held courses and trained physical therapists from Hawaii to New York City in his patented system. Due to COVID-19, he has shifted continuing education classes to an online model for medical professionals from around the world.

    Lois Flagstad PhD ’97, Miami, NM, retired after 37 years in higher education. Flagstad served students most recently as vice president for student affairs in Minnesota, Colorado, Nebraska, Lithuania and South Dakota.

    Matt Means BM ’97, Reno, NV, was recently appointed inaugural dean of the University of Nevada-Reno Honors College. While a student at UNC, Means served on the university’s Board of Trustees.

    Jill Lliteras Miller MA ’97, Erie, has recently been given the honor of being selected as the Colorado National Distinguished Principal of the Year as an elementary principal. In her 32 years in education, she has held a variety of leadership positions.

    Carmen Polka Mudd BA ’97, MA ’02, Windsor, recently received the Thompson School District Award of Excellence.

  • 2000s

    Jenna Yentes BA ’00, Omaha, NE, was promoted to associate professor with tenure in the spring of 2020 at the University of Nebraska-Omaha in the Department of Biomechanics.

    Nick Sunday BS ’03, Avon, recently helped create and became the vice president of the Colorado Amusement and Music Operators (CAMO), in addition to being general manager of Alpine Vending & Video, Inc. and a contributor to the Stern Operators Council (SOC).

    Molly Burich BA ’05, returned to Otsuka Pharmaceutical Companies in Princeton, New Jersey as Senior Director, Reimbursement and Health Policy.

    Esthela Nunez Franco BS ’05, Atwood, authored the BreezyGirl children’s book series which include titles of BreezyGirl, A Day with Mom, Grandpa is Happy and My Uncle is Sick.

    Tyler Barnes BA ’06, Parker, was awarded the prestigious Apple Award for excellence in teaching by the Douglas County School District and was named the Teacher of the Year for 2018-2019. Mr. Barnes is a beloved teacher and coach, entering his sixth year of teaching at Cimarron Middle School in Parker.

    Adam Cordova BA ’06, Greeley, was recently awarded with Morgan Community College’s Alumni of the Decades award. 

    Andy Dennis BA ’07, Cheyenne, WY, earned a second Diamond Award with the National Speech and Debate Association and was named a Golden Apple recipient.

    Terry Crull DA ’08, Hays, KS, is director of choirs at Fort Hays State University. His chamber choir has been selected to perform at the 80th Anniversary Ceremony of the Pearl Harbor attack. They will sing at the USS Arizona ceremony on Dec 7, 2021.

  • 2010s

    Yvette Jackson BA ’11, Beziers, France, graduated from EDHEC Business School in Nice, France with an MBA.

    David Miller BA ’11, Aurora, is helping to implement a new design software and to oversee new mapping techniques at an engineering firm.

    Kaylyn Kingman BS ’12, Greeley, became the new Head Softball Coach for the Greeley West High School Spartans.

    Sam Fox-Kantor BA ’13, MA ’15, Highlands Ranch, won two Heartland Emmy Awards for team coverage for the 2019 Bomb Cyclone and I-70 inferno crash. Fox-Kantor also got married in September.

    Christopher Rex MS ’13, Albion, IN, just finished first place out of 24 other graduate students in the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) three minute thesis (3MT) competition, winning the $1,000 cash prize and earning the ability to represent UNCG at the regional 3MT competition in February. Rex hopes to use this as a springboard to become an international science educator like Bill Nye or Neil deGrasse Tyson. 

    Carolyn Shaw BS ’16, Boulder, joined the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) as a research associate in the cost analysis and research division of IDA’s Systems and Analyses Center. IDA is a nonprofit corporation that operates three federally funded research and development centers in the public interest.

    Elisabeth Boyce BA ’17, completed her Master of Fine Arts, Arts Administration from Southern Utah University and shortly after began a new professional role as a Development Administrative Coordinator with the Central City Opera.

    Cameron Smith BM ’17, Glasgow, United Kingdom, completed a Master of Music in cello performance through the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and is pursuing a second graduate course of study in chamber music with additional study in composition. While in the U.K., Smith has performed alongside the Scottish Ensemble, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and has had mentoring schemes with the RSNO, Scottish Ensemble and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

    Michael Hawkes BA ’18, MA ’20, Thornton, as the head coach, guided the Shining Mountain girls’ basketball team to the final four in the state prior to the cancellation of the tournament due to COVID-19.

    Chris Mullen PhD ’18, Fort Collins, was appointed as the executive director of The Workforce Institute, a think tank that helps organizations drive performance by addressing human capital management issues that affect both hourly and salaried employees.

    Kendall Ryan BS ’18, Dallas, TX, has achieved top 5% of BDRs in all of Salesforce in 2020 achieving 175+% quota attainment.

    Heather Geving BS ’19, Colorado Springs, graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Audiology and Speech-Language Sciences on December 14, 2019.

    Chloe LaMar BA ’19, Erie, graduated summa cum laude from Regis University with her master’s degree in Criminology.

  • 2020s

    Carina Brookover BS ’20, Denver, is working for Parsonex Enterprises as the executive assistant for the CEO.

    Molly Riggs BA ’20, Peyton, has been working with New Degree Press to publish her debut novel, Blue Ink. The story follows the relationship of two college boys, Charlie and Levi, as they navigate some of the challenges faced by college students today, including sexual identity and substance abuse. The book will officially be published in August 2021.

    Jasmine Sandoval-Gutiérrez ’20 was selected as a spring 2021 intern by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. Sandoval-Gutiérrez was named one of only 19 spring CHCI interns and is placed in the office of Colorado Senator Michael Bennet.

    Carly Wolf MA ’20, Lafayette, recently co-authored a book titled ADHD, Executive Function, & Behavioral Challenges in the Classroom: Managing the Impact on Learning, Motivation, and Stress.