1100 Campus Drive South
Valparaiso, IN 46383
Stephen Buente ’72 is senior vice president and group executive for Eaton Corp.’s automotive business, a position he has held since 2000. Since joining the corporation in 1976, Buente has held a number of positions, including several worldwide assignments. His work has earned Eaton Corp. eight patents. Buente has served on the board of directors of several international conglomerates and is a member of both the President's Council of the Motor and Equipment Manufacturer's Association and the Society of Automotive Engineers. He also serves as a member of the board of trustees for the YMCA of Greater Cleveland and was Eaton's Northeast Ohio 2002 campaign chairman for the United Way. Because of his extensive achievements, he was selected to Leadership Cleveland, class of 2002-2003. Buente earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Valparaiso University and later received a master of business administration degree from Western Michigan University. He also is a graduate of the Williams College Executive Program.
Randy Carson ’72 is senior vice president and group executive for Eaton Corp.’s electrical business, with responsibility for marketing and innovation company-wide. Carson assumed his current position in January 2000, after serving as Eaton's corporate vice president in growth initiatives, working with senior operating managers on new product programs and strategic marketing initiatives. After receiving his bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Valparaiso University, Carson began his career in 1972 at Allen-Bradley, where he rose to the position of vice president for Allen-Bradley's intelligent sensing business in 1988, and later went on to serve Allen-Bradley's Automation Group as executive vice president for Reliance Electrical Group. Before joining Eaton in 1999, Carson was executive vice president for Rockwell Automation. He is vice chairman of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association and serves on the advisory board of Questra Corp.
Ruth (Beall ’59) Heinig earned her bachelor’s degree from Valparaiso University in speech and theatre with a second major in English. She went on to receive a master's degree in speech and theatre arts and a Ph.D. in speech communication from the University of Pittsburgh. Heinig devoted her career to the teaching of children's dramatic arts and is the author of numerous books used in classrooms around the world. Since her retirement as a professor of communication from Western Michigan University in 1992, after 28 years of service, Heinig has served on more than a dozen boards and committees, including the board of directors for the American Theatre Association and a term as president of the Children's Theatre Association of America. Widely recognized as a pioneer in the field of children’s theatre, Heinig has been awarded such honors as the Governor’s Award for Teaching in the state of Michigan and the Creative Drama Award from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education. In 2004, Heinig and her husband, Edward, served as co-chairs of the Western Michigan University Centennial Celebration Committee.
Heidi Michelsen ’85 resides in Costa Rica where she has served since 1999 as Central America field director for International Service Learning, working to organize volunteer opportunities for college students in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama. A graduate of Christ College with a bachelor of arts degree in theology, Michelsen also is a consecrated deaconess and pastor, having earned her M.Div. degree from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in 1991. Michelsen has spent the majority of her adult life serving the Central America region in a variety of positions. In 1989, while working as an unarmed bodyguard to Salvadoran leaders in danger of assassination, she was arrested, held, and interrogated for two days. Following her release, Michelsen shared her story with members of Congress and church congregations in the United States. She then returned to Central America to continue serving. In addition to her current position, she and her husband, Marco Ruíz Gómez, pastor two congregations of Nicaraguan immigrants in Costa Rica.
Richard Paul ’70 earned a bachelor of arts degree in history from Valparaiso University, then went on to Stanford Law School. He became one of Southern California’s leading management employment lawyers. Named annually since 1985 as among “The Best Lawyers in America,” Paul has represented high profile corporate, civic, and education clients throughout California and the West. Paul is a frequent presenter on employment law panels across the United States and has been an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego Law School since 1995. He also lectures regularly at the University of California, San Diego. For 15 years, Paul worked for the law firm of Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich, where he was a partner and the chair of the firm’s Employment Law Group. In 1998, Paul branched out to form the 17-attorney firm of Paul, Plevin, Sullivan & Connaughton. Among the many boards and committees he has served on are the Editorial Review Board for the California Employment Law Letter and the San Diego Blood Bank, of which he was president.
Larry Zimmerman ’70 is a registered professional civil engineer in nine states and the District of Columbia. During his 34 years in the field, he has overseen the development of major facilities and programs throughout the United States and the United Kingdom, focused primarily in the areas of water/wastewater, buildings, and transportation. Zimmerman is the founder of three firms and serves as business practice director for program and construction management for ARCADIS. In 1982, Zimmerman won the Society of American Value Engineers award for distinguished service in the construction industry and later served as the organization’s president. A holder of a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Valparaiso University, Zimmerman also completed a program in executive management at Harvard University in 1993. He is a member of Valparaiso University’s Engineering National Council and has been an active volunteer in the Valpo Club of Washington, D.C. He and his wife, Susan, were recipients of the Valparaiso University Alumni Association’s Partners in Service Award in 2001.
Loren Rullman ’87 earned a bachelor of arts degree from Valparaiso University in advertising and public relations with a second major in Spanish before going on to receive a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs from Indiana University and a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Missouri. Rullman is the executive director of the Indiana University Memorial Union and Auditorium, a position he attained in 2004, after gaining extensive experience in student affairs and union management at a variety of institutions. Prior to returning to IU, Rullman was the director of university unions at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, making IU the second Big Ten school that he has served. By earning the directorship of the union at IU, a building that accommodates more than 14,000 visitors a day, Rullman is considered by many to hold the pinnacle job of the profession, managing one of the premiere student unions in the country and one of the largest in the world. He is a member of the Association of College Unions International and has served on that board of trustees. He also is an active volunteer in the Valpo Admission Network.
Julia (O’Malley ’96) Stepenske was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 15, an experience that prompted her to dedicate her life to helping as many families and children with cancer as possible. After receiving her bachelor of science degree in nursing from Valparaiso University, Stepenske began her career as an oncology nurse at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital before moving on to Children’s Memorial Hospital where she has risen to the position of expert nurse in the ambulatory stem cell unit. In 2004, Stepenske was chosen as Certified Pediatric Oncology Nurse of the Year by the Oncology Nursing Certification Corp. She is the co-founder, with patient Mark Staehely, of the Staehely-O’Malley Cancer Survivor Foundation. Having raised more than $40,000 to date, the foundation endeavors to educate and empower pediatric cancer survivors and promote research. Stepenske has written for or has been featured in numerous major publications. She regularly presents educational sessions to other nurses and conducts research on the impact of cancer survivorship on children and teens.
Julie (Tiede ’96) Winkler is the vice president of product development for the Chicago Board of Trade, an organization known worldwide as a benchmark for global pricing of commodities and financial products. She was promoted to her current position in 2004, after serving the CBOT for eight years in various other positions. After receiving her bachelor of science degree in business administration from Valparaiso University, Winkler completed her M.B.A. in finance and derivative markets at Loyola University, while working her way up through her first four positions with the CBOT. Recognized as an exceptional manager and leader, Winkler supervises a staff of 25 employees in the areas of financial product research and development, market data services, market training and education, corporate strategy, and business development administration. She is the president of the Alpha Xi Epsilon Alumnae Association, and is an active volunteer in the Valpo Admission Network and the Valpo Club of Chicago.
Joel Jenkins ’73 received his bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Valparaiso University and has been an insurance broker and consultant in the Minneapolis area for 30 years. He has been active in the Valpo Club of Minnesota, organizing an annual golf tournament to benefit Valpo athletics and instituting a dinner theatre event for alumni. Jenkins also has helped organize such events as a Valpo vs. Duke men’s basketball viewing party, a brunch for the Valpo women’s basketball team during their 2004 NCAA appearance, and the annual Summer Send-off for local Valpo students. From 1997 through 2004, Jenkins was a member of the Valparaiso University Alumni Association Board of Directors and, in 2004, served as the organization’s secretary. He also is active in the Valpo Admission Network. A member of the South Metro Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, Jenkins is in his third term as their national committeeman. He also has served as the president of the Chanhassen, Minn., Chamber of Commerce.
R. Razz Jenkins ’77 is an accomplished actor, having completed the Professional Actors Training program at Ohio University, after earning his bachelor of arts degree in political science and speech and drama from Valparaiso University. He has appeared on some of Chicago’s most prestigious stages as well as in television shows, commercials, and films. In his professional life, Jenkins is senior recruiter for Chicago’s Tribune Company, with responsibility for corporate staffing and human resource functions. Lauded for his vocal and enthusiastic support of Valpo, Jenkins has been an active volunteer in the Valpo Club of Chicago, and, during a temporary re-location, was instrumental in reviving the Valpo Club of Indianapolis. During his nine years on the Valparaiso University Alumni Association Board of Directors, Jenkins held every executive committee position, including two years as president. At the request of the executive committee, Jenkins continued to serve on the board after his second term expired.
Thomas Marshall ’72 is a member of the Valpo Club of Chicago, the Valpo Admission Network, and a former member of the Valparaiso University Alumni Association Board of Directors, an organization on which he served for eight years. While on the board of directors, Marshall served two terms as treasurer and one as second vice president. As one of the first members of the VAN, he has made contact with more than 25 students and families to promote Valpo. Marshall has helped organize numerous successful events as a member of the Valpo Club of Chicago, including the annual Summer Send-off and Schaumburg Flyers game. Marshall is an active and vocal supporter of Valpo, and is respected by his alumni peers for his readiness to help in any endeavor. A recipient of a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Valparaiso University, Marshall has been employed by Sears-Roebuck in a variety of human resource administration positions for the past 22 years. He also has served as a committee member and treasurer for Troop 398 of the Boy Scouts of America.
Stephen Jenny ’88 holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Valparaiso University and an M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas. In his professional role at Lockheed Martin Maritime & Mission Systems, Jenny is responsible for the Capture Support Organization with five divisions reporting to him. An avid volunteer in his Eagan, Minn., community, Jenny was instrumental in forming a Habitat for Humanity effort in the congregation of St. Thomas Becket Catholic Church. Annually, he uses personal vacation time to coordinate and oversee the chapter’s week of construction. In 2003, Jenny and his wife, Marisa, chaired a silent auction for Friends of the Orphans that raised $63,000 for orphanages in Central America. He also has hosted a fundraiser at his home for neighbors who were devastated by a flood. Within his congregation, Jenny serves on the Youth Faith Formation Committee, the Just Faith program, and is a representative of his church to the Congregations Concerned for Children organization. Jenny also is the driving force behind his family’s Jenny Scholarship Fund at Valpo, and he is a member of the Valpo Admission Network.
Ronald Millies ’60 received his bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Valparaiso University. He is the president and founder of R. L. Millies & Associates, a consulting engineering firm in the Munster, Ind., community for the past 30 years. A lifelong member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Munster, Millies is a past deacon and has been an instrumental member of every planning and building committee since 1960, serving as chairperson numerous times. He also was president of the congregation. Respected as a visionary leader, Millies has been the secretary, vice president, and president of the Munster Rotary Club, and has been honored as the club’s “man of the year.” In 1998, Millies helped found Parents as Teachers in Lake County, Ind., an early childhood education and support program for parents with young children, which empowers them to become their child’s first and most important teacher in life. The effort earned Millies the Outstanding Advocate of Children Award from the mayor of Hammond, Ind., in 2004.
Lois (Koerner) Niemier ’78 earned a bachelor of science degree in elementary education from Valparaiso University and a master of education degree from Indiana University. Known as an exceptionally compassionate and dedicated teacher, Niemier has been committed to educating students with special needs for more than 20 years. Responsible for the founding of a comprehensive educational clinic in the Warsaw, Ind., community, she has secured more than $300,000 in private funding for the clinic, which operates in three facilities to help students to overcome reading, speaking, and comprehension learning disabilities. The efforts of Niemier and her staff have earned them the Heart of Gold Award from the Kosciusko County Foundation. Niemier also assists the Kosciusko County Literacy Society in teaching adults how to read and teaches Sunday school and confirmation classes. She oversees the special needs requirements for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, has assisted in the creation of the Kosciusko County Cancer Care Fund, and has helped raise funds for cancer research. She is a member of Valpo’s Arts and Sciences National Council and the Valpo Admission Network.
Lou Jeanne (Bray ’60) Walton retired from Valparaiso University’s department of social work in 2005, after 31 years as a teacher and administrator. She earned the department chair position in 1975 and held it until her retirement. During her tenure at Valpo, Walton sat on numerous committees, advised the Black Student Organization and the Student Social Work Organization, and is one of the founders of the Black Alumni Association. She also spent time teaching in South Africa. An active member of the social work profession, Walton has served as the board president for the Indiana Association of Social Work Education and is a frequent presenter and keynote speaker at conferences and on panels. She also is a dedicated resident of the Northwest Indiana community, having acted as a board development director for Jobs for the Disabled and as Thrivent youth coordinator for St. John’s Lutheran Church in Gary. In 1995, Walton was the first recipient of the M.L.K. Day medallion from Valparaiso University and, in 2001, she received a Distinguished Service Award from Region 1 of the National Association of Social Workers.