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Alumni Notes – Spring 2024



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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 23, 2024

  • 70s

    Claude d’Estrée, B.A. ‘70, Denver, was named to the International Advisory Board of the International Commission for Human Rights and Religious Freedom. 

    Amos Wipf, D.A. ’70, Cleveland, Georgia, celebrated his 100th birthday and was honored by The White County Board of Commissioners who proclaimed March 7, 2024, as Dr. Amos Samuel Wipf Day in White County. 

    Steve Antonopulos, B.A. ’72, M.A. ’73, Limon, longtime Denver Broncos athletic trainer and director of Sports Medicine, honored as Pro Football Hall of Fame Awards of Excellence recipient. Antonopulos retired from the Denver Broncos after more than four decades with 
    the organization. 

    Michelle Brown, B.A. ’74, Buffalo, New York, received the Howard Levine award from the New York State Bar, the Attorney of the Year Award from the Bar Association of Erie County and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Appellate Division, 4th Department. 

    Dave Carter, B.A. ’76, Westminster, served as executive director of the National Bison Association from 2001 to 2022, where they helped lead the campaign to win Congressional authorization to designate bison as the National Mammal of the United States. 

    Welcome Home Class of 1974  

    Congratulations to the Class of 1974 for reaching their 50th Class Year Anniversary. We are excited to welcome you home to UNC September 27-28, 2024. If you are a member of the Class of 1974 and have an interest in helping plan this year’s reunion, please reach out to the Alumni Association alumni@unco.edu or 970-351-2551.

  • 80s

    Kendall Fay, B.S. ’82, Littleton, celebrated her 10-year anniversary as a solution architect for Datavail, a Colorado-based IT services company. 

    Leanne Alarid, B.A. ’89, Santa Teresa, New Mexico, was awarded the Peter Lejins Research Award by the American Correctional Association for research contributions in prisons, jails and probation and parole in 2023. 

  • 90s

    Alana Johnson, B.A. ’97, Columbia, Maryland, celebrated her fifth year at NASA, her “NASAversary,” and currently serves as a Senior Communications Specialist. 

    Joe Palmer, B.S. ’97, Aurora, completed his doctorate in November 2023 and was promoted to assistant professor and director of Clinical Education for the University of Colorado’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program within the CU School of Medicine. 

    Nelson Henry, M.P.H. ’98, Denver, retired from the Denver Police Department after 31 years of service.

  • 00s

    Jase Wagner, B.S. ’01, Edina, Minnesota, was recently appointed president and CEO of a farm credit cooperative serving and supporting agriculture and rural communities. 

    Lori Lopez, B.A. ’06, Longmont, received St. Vrain Valley Schools 2023 Teacher of the Year Award. 

    Aaron Lucero, B.S. ’09, Pueblo, celebrated eight years of employment with Pueblo Community College and was awarded Employee of the Year for APT Employees. 

  • 10s

    Eric Palmer, M.A. ’13, Alamosa, published their first book, Static Lines: Letters from a Kansas City Paratrooper, the true story of a World War II paratrooper. 

    Scott Schmaltz, B.A. ’14, B.S. ’14, Chicago, Illinois, started a new role as manager of Market Intel and Customer Experience at Cintas. 

    Mason Walter, B.S. ’14, Starkville, Miss., was hired as Mississippi State football’s new director of football sports science. This is the next step in Walter’s impressive career which includes working with 29 combat and acrobat Team USA Olympic and Paralympic teams. 

    Amanda Andrews, B.A. ’18, Atlanta, Georgia, after working in public radio for several years, had stories published and shared nationally on NPR. 

    Kevo Ellis, B.A. ’18, Minneapolis, Minnesota, began a new role as program manager for Grid Catalyst, a clean energy accelerator focused on northern climate solutions. 

    Bears Heart Bears 

    Trevor Anderson, B.S. ’18, and Aubrey Wells, B.A. ’20, were married on May 10 in Monument. The pair met in 2016 while Anderson studied Recreation, Tourism, Hospitality and Wells studied Criminology and Criminal Justice, and Psychology at UNC. Anderson and Wells lead amazing careers since graduating and will go on to share an amazing life together. Congratulations to the couple who sent along a wedding invitation to the UNC Alumni Association!

    Wedding invitation and letter from Aubrey Wells and Trevor Anderson.

  • 20s

    Zachery Laki, B.S. ’20, Bozeman, Montana, gave a presentation on Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) LiDAR and FMCW digital holography for long-range, three-dimensional, coherent imaging at Photonics West 2024, a globally recognized event held in San Francisco attracting over 24,000 optics and photonics professionals from more than 70 countries. He will publish a paper on that topic and graduate with his master’s of Optics and Photonics from Montana State University. 

    Oscar Whitney, B.A. ’21, New York City, New York, is making their Broadway debut this spring in Alicia Keys’ new musical, Hell’s Kitchen, at the Shubert Theater. 

    Lauren Derrick, M.A. ’21, Villa Rica, Georgia, passed the exam necessary to become a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst. 

    Mary Claxton, M.M. ’21, Greeley, was recently promoted to director of Teaching and Learning for Music Will, a nonprofit that serves music educators and their students. 
    Jim Oberlander, Ph.D. ’23, Bowling Green, Ohio, after completing their doctoral degree, moved into an administrative director role at the University of Toledo.