Alumni Class Notes


Evangeline Rimbach ’54 received the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award last spring. A musician from Leipzig, Germany, read her doctoral dissertation, “The Church Cantatas of Johann Kuhnau,” and was inspired to publish all the vocal works of Johann Kuhnau and make recordings of them; three CDs and several scores are now available in Leipzig. Upon the death of her brother in 2009, Evangeline and her sister set up a scholarship program for students from Myanmar to study at the Lutheran seminaries in Hong Kong where her brother was a professor. To date, they’ve sponsored three students. They also sponsor a Rimbach lecture each September at Concordia Seminary, Hong Kong, which features a guest theologian. All the Myanmar students are invited to attend and treated to a dinner afterward.

’60 David Zersen was elected a fellow of the British Royal Historical Society in May 2019.


David Zersen ’60, president emeritus of Concordia University Texas and founder of Concordia University Press, was elected May 10, 2019, as a fellow of the British Royal Historical Society. David has doctoral degrees from Bethany Theological Seminary and Teachers College-Columbia University in New York City. He has written prolifically on Sorbian/Wendish matters in the last decades. He and his wife live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


In May 2019, Gail Ramshaw ’68 received the honorary degree of doctor of divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary (Alexandria, Virginia) in recognition of her 50 years of studying and crafting liturgical language. Her work in this field began as a student aide writing prayers for Sunday worship at Valpo.


Alan “Al” Rider ’70 was recently recognized with the biennial Rabbi Zalman Leadership Award from Sage-ing International, an interfaith spiritual direction group for intentional active eldering, for service as founding director of SI’s global community webinar project. Al is a retired career counselor, spiritual director, and ELCA pastor, having served on both coasts, the Midwest, and abroad. He directed the Lutheran Field Service chaplaincy support program throughout Europe for the ELCA and LCMS at the time of German reunification and was instrumental in founding the International Church of Prague immediately after Russian withdrawal during the Czech Republic’s “Velvet Revolution” in 1990. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife, Karen.


This year, Rich ’73 and Harriet Mertz ’76 Redman celebrated the 40th anniversary of their marriage, which took place at the Chapel of the Resurrection Aug. 11, 1979. As part of this milestone celebration, they traveled to Germany in May for a two-week vacation with their daughter, Christiana Redman ’12 Yablonowski, and her husband, Jake ’13.

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) awarded the OARS – OSIS Augmentation & Relief Sewer project with an Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement (OCEA) Award of Merit. James Siebert ’73 and Robert “Bob” Rautenberg ’80 were part of the team that for the $370 million project, which provides wet weather relief to the existing OSIS sewer, the main combined sewer through downtown Columbus, Ohio.


Gary Marowske ’76 was named to the Board of Trustees of The Helm at the John A. and Marlene L. Boll Life Center in January 2019. Gary, of Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, is the president of Flame, a heating, cooling, plumbing, and electrical company in the Metro Detroit area. The Helm at the Boll Life Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, nonresidential senior community center dedicated to making the Grosse Pointe and Harper Woods areas a great place to grow older.

The Honorable Rebecca Pallmeyer ’76 was named the first female chief judge in Chicago’s 200-year-old federal court. Judge Pallmeyer served as a federal magistrate before her appointment as a federal judge in 1998. As an alumna, Judge Pallmeyer served on the Alumni Association board of directors 1992–1994 and as a member of the Christ College advisory board and then national council 2000–2007, and again 2010–2018. She received the VUAA Alumni Achievement Award in 2002.


After seven years in Minnesota and 20 years in Gurnee, Illinois, Roland Bellman ’80 and his wife, Jennifer, now live in Scotts, Michigan.


The law firm of Barrett McNagny LLP announced that George Pappas ’82, ’85 J.D. joined the firm as a partner. George will concentrate his practice in the area of intellectual property, including patents, trademarks, and copyrights. He is a member of the Allen County and Indiana State Bar Associations.


Robert Jamo ’84 J.D. has been appointed by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer to the 95-A District Court in Menominee County. He is the city attorney for Menominee and served as interim city manager twice during his tenure, which began in January 2000.

Judy Wise ’84 Schwab, Susan Pohlod ’84, Laurie Laning ’84, Linda McCarty ’84, Kim Montabon ’84 Kiernan, Arlene Jackson ’84 Glavas, and Susan Haeseler ’84 embarked on their third annual Betas trip this past summer. Year one was Nashville, year two was Tucson, and this year, Boulder. Members of their group also traveled to Guatemala in April. Linda is the executive director of Faith in Practice, a medical mission working throughout Guatemala, and the group went to see firsthand what she’s accomplished there.


Al Tamburrino ’86 retired from his position as principal of Kimball Middle School in Elgin, Illinois. His kids celebrated with him in a tunnel of cheers. Kimball is a National Demonstration School for the AVID curriculum.


Lisa Gann ’88 Campbell was recently elected vice president of the Homewood Area Chamber of Commerce. Lisa is a Google-certified digital advertising specialist and works at the HF Chronicle. She lives in Beecher, Illinois.


Lisa Bailey Singleton ’89 (Dallas, Texas) is now serving as senior advisor, corporate communications, for ExxonMobil. Lisa previously spent seven years as a director at the Brunswick Group; six years as vice president, corporate communications, of TXU Corp.; five years as director, corporate communications, for American Airlines; and nine years as director, corporate communications, for Midwest Express Airlines.


Andromana D. Behrens-Price ’91 received the Spirit of Public Health Award through the Wisconsin Public Health Association. Since graduating from Valpo with a bachelor of arts in psychology, she has received a BSN and become a public health nurse and registered sanitarian. She is currently pursuing a master of public health from Kent State University. It is through education and faith that she is able to pursue her passion.


Heather Monson ’92 Grooms received the Golden Apple Award, given to the top10 high school teachers in Illinois. She has been teaching for 14 years at United Township High School in East Moline, Illinois. Heather was selected out of 900 nominees, 550 of whom completed seven essays and a video of classroom teaching. Thirty-two were selected and eventually narrowed to 10.


Brock Lloyd ’93 of the financial services firm Edward Jones in Valparaiso recently won the firm’s Jim McKenzie Award for his exceptional achievement in building client relationships. Brock was one of 1,869 of the firm’s more than 18,000 financial advisors to receive the award. The award is named after Jim McKenzie, who, following in his father’s footsteps, joined Edward Jones in 1962 and opened a branch in Kearney, Nebraska.


In May 2019, CSI Leasing Inc. (CSI) promoted Jeff Rousseau ’94 to executive vice president of global business development. Previously senior vice president, Jeff will continue to spearhead CSI’s global efforts and oversee its merger and acquisition team. He joined CSI in 2000 as a corporate attorney and has served in a management role within CSI’s international group since 2007.


Pam Seeber ’95 Maher is celebrating 20 years as CEO of KMK Media Group, a marketing communications firm she co-founded in Rockford, Illinois. The company’s team provides PR, social media, website, video, and graphic design services for a variety of industries, including health care, government, education, nonprofit, and service sectors. Pam’s husband, Brendan Maher J.D. ’97, is approaching his 10th year as an Illinois 17th Judicial Circuit judge. Pam and Brendan have three children.


Douglas Samuels ’96 was promoted to senior vice president, corporate and institutional services manager at Lake City Bank. Douglas manages the treasury management, merchant and cardholder services, and retirement services sales teams. He also manages and develops treasury management products. He has been with the bank for 12 years.

Julie Tiede ’96 Winkler was named among Crain’s 2019 Notable Women in Finance. As chief commercial officer at CME Group, Julie leads sales, product marketing, research and product development, data analytics, and digitization functions. Julie was instrumental in developing CME Group’s Bitcoin futures contract, which launched in December 2017. She has also worked with her global team on a new client acquisition drive.


Dr. Glenn Jaffe ’99 was named 2019 president of the North Carolina Chiropractic Association (NCCA). Glenn has served the NCCA as an executive board officer since 2014, most recently as senior vice president. He also serves as the legislative chair and as a member of the NCCA-PAC board. In 2014, he received the NCCA Member of the Year award recognizing outstanding service and leadership.

Melissa Bledsoe ’99 Nietzel graduated in December 2018 with her MBA from Pepperdine University Graziadio Business School. In January 2019, she was promoted to Silicon Valley Office Partner for Technical Accounting and IPO Services at Connor Group, located in Santa Clara, California.

Jessica Myhr ’99 Reich and her husband, Seth, launched The Phoenix Theatre outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, this year. Their inaugural show, Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” opened in July 2019.

Tanya Smutka ’99 lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is a biology instructor at Inver Hills Community College, where she also serves as the faculty president and chair of the shared governance committee. She was named 2019 Instructor of the Year by LeadMN, which represents 180,000 twoyear college students in Minnesota.

’00 Ben Dickmann received an honorable mention by the Pro Football Hall of Fame in their annual photo contest.


Ben Dickmann ’00 made a photo for the Miami Dolphins, for whom he is a team photographer, and received an Honorable Mention by the Pro Football Hall of Fame in their 51st Annual Photo Contest. This annual contest is the highest recognition for a photographer in the NFL, with photographers from every team and press agency competing.

Mark Kerins ’00 was promoted to full professor at Southern Methodist University, where he teaches film/video production in the Division of Film & Media Arts. His recent sci-fi short, “Echoes,” had a successful festival run, playing in more than 40 festivals and winning awards at six of them. His feature thriller, “All the Wrong Friends,” has been acquired for distribution and will be out fall 2019.


Kristin Flora ’01, Ph.D., was the recipient of the 2019 Faculty Steering Committee Distinguished Service Award at Franklin College (Franklin, Indiana). Kristin is an associate professor of psychology and the Roscoe W. Payne Endowed Chair in Philosophy and Psychology at Franklin College, where she also serves as the division head for social sciences. She has taught psychology at Franklin College since 2007, serving as department chair 2009–2015. Before coming to Franklin, she was a clinical outcomes analyst and research coordinator at a regional hospital in Wisconsin. There, she was part of a team that performed extensive research on sports-related concussions, particularly in high school athletes. In 2013, the team’s manuscript was published in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society.


Maria Brown ’05 married William Gainsborough in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Oct. 13, 2019.

Heidi Nathan-Barry ’05 was honored to be named the 2018 New York State DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) Outstanding Junior. This award was given in recognition of her service to the NSDAR, her church, and to her community. The Suffolk County Legislature recognized her by proclamation and with a Certificate of Appreciation from the N.Y. Brookhaven Town Supervisor, Edward Romaine. Heidi and her husband, SFC Brian M. Barry, U.S. Army, have four children: Graham (11), Cordelia (4), Sebastian (2), and their latest addition, Boyd Arthur Nathan-Barry, born Saturday, April 6, 2019.

Rebecca L. Loeffler ’05 J.D. joined Littler’s Indianapolis office as counsel. She joins the firm after serving as the government litigation section chief in the Office of the Indiana Attorney General.


Kyle Lane ’06 joined the commercial practice group as an associate at the law firm of Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli P.C., one of the most experienced personal injury and business and commercial litigation firms in the St. Louis–Southern Illinois region. Prior to joining Goldenberg Heller, he was in private practice with St. Louis– based law firms. Earlier in his career, Kyle served as a summer law clerk for Illinois Third District Judge Barbara Crowder.

In February, Benjamin C. Wohlfeil ’06 was promoted to counsel by business law firm Klinedinst in San Diego, California. Prior to joining Klinedinst, Benjamin began his legal career as a criminal prosecutor, handling both trial and appellate matters.

’07 Benjamin Krause ’07 of Chicago, Illinois, was named 2019 Distinguished Composer of the Year by Music Teachers National Association.


Mary Caskey ’07 J.D. has earned her certificate as a Bankruptcy and DebtorCreditor Law Specialist. Mary is now one of approximately 50 attorneys in South Carolina with this certification.

Benjamin Krause ’07 of Chicago, Illinois, was named 2019 Distinguished Composer of the Year by Music Teachers National Association for his work, “Taxonomies of Pulse,” commissioned by the Indiana Music Teachers Association.


In April 2019, Shelbie J. Luna ’08 J.D. was promoted to general counsel and vice president of administration at Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation.


Sean Hatfield ’09 J.D. was appointed by former Kansas governor Jeff Colyer as a state district court judge in January 2019.

Kristopher Serra ’09 joined the Secret Service a few days after graduation, where he served until 2012. He was a member of the presidential advance team for the 2012 election, on which he handled security aspects of many of President Barack Obama’s campaign visits. He then joined the FBI, starting in the cyber division as an analyst. In 2015, he was appointed as a special agent and transferred to San Diego. He currently works in the New York field office, investigating violent crimes against children. He and his wife, Michaela, live in Westfield, New Jersey, and have two sons: Kristopher, born October 2017, and Vincent, born May 2019.


In April, Andrew Robinson ’10 took his students in the Munster High School Chorale (Munster, Indiana) to perform at Carnegie Hall under the direction of Eric Whitacre. They were also invited to perform at the Indiana Music Educators Association annual conference in January 2020 and the Windy City Choral Festival inMarch 2020. Andrew and his wife, Brooke ’10, reside in Crown Point, Indiana.

Gary Rom ’10 M.S., J.D. is the newest addition to Faegre Baker Daniels’ health and FDA practice. Gary’s expertise includes launching and marketing drugs and medical devices and their corresponding support programs, with an emphasis on staving off competitor complaints, consumer protection actions, and product liability. Previously, he served as a legal associate for Eli Lilly and Company, partnering with product brand teams and cross-functional support partners in the development and execution of marketing campaigns. During his time at Valpo, Gary served as the executive managing editor for the Valparaiso University Law Review and graduated magna cum laude. He also earned a master of science in sports administration from Valparaiso University Graduate School & Continuing Education and a bachelor of science in history from DePauw University.


Rachel Evans ’11 joined Monmouth College (Monmouth, Illinois) in March 2019 as associate director of alumni relations. As a Valpo student, Rachel worked in the alumni engagement office, which is where she became interested in eventually working in higher education. She also served in AmeriCorps and did development and communication work for several nonprofits in the Quad Cities.

Emily German ’11 wed James Lee July 19, 2019 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana. James teaches theology at Concordia University, and they will make their home together in Forest Park, Illinois.

Melissa Macchia ’11 J.D., an attorney at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, was selected for inclusion on the Indiana Rising Stars 2019 list. Rising Stars recognizes the top up-and-coming attorneys in the state—no more than 2.5% of lawyers in the state are selected. Melissa’s primary practice area is employment law, with a particular emphasis on prevention and defense of employmentbased litigation. Melissa was a member of the Valparaiso University Law Review.

John Yelkich ’11 currently works for State Farm Insurance in Hobart, Indiana, which was recognized by the Hobart Chamber of Commerce as its 2018 Business of the Year March 1, 2019.


Jake Odell ’12 graduated with an MBA specializing in brand and product management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the spring of 2018. He is currently an associate brand manager for Cottonelle at KimberlyClark in Appleton, Wisconsin.


Tyler Russell ’13 picked up a Boston/ New England regional Emmy award for his camerawork on Connecticut Public Television’s “At Wonder’s Peak: Discovering Science on Talcott Mountain.”


Emily Hardesty ’14 Moran married Mike Moran on June 22, 2019.

Aubri Rush ’14 graduated in May from Indiana University School of Medicine and will begin her residency in family medicine at AMITA Health Adventist Medical Center in Hinsdale, Illinois.

Jessica Richardson ’15 Frankel married Chris Frankel ’14 on October 28, 2017 in Columbus, Indiana. Liz Bloy ’17 Owen, Hannah Schilling ’16 Van Tiem, Nathan Albert ’14, Matthew Schaefer ’14, and Zach Sefcovic ’14 participated.


Edward ’15 and Lauren Johnson ’15 Wetzel were married in the Chapel May 26, 2018. The pastor that married them, Peter Speckhard ’92, is also a Valpo grad. Eddie and Lauren met at Valpo in 2013 and graduated in 2015, so it was only fitting to make the trip from their new home in Wisconsin. Zachary Gray ’15 and Kristin Klippert ’16 Gray were married June 2, 2018. Many Valpo alumni were in attendance, including Zachary’s mother, Barbara Johnson ’80 Gray.

Ellis Lichtfuss ’15 married Benjamin Tappmeyer Sept. 7, 2019.


Hannah Dorman ’16 married Arian Asgharifard Aug. 31, 2019, in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Praveen Narra ’16 M.S. married Supriya Karumanchi March 13, 2019.

Zachariah Hughes ’16 married Jessica Wozniak ’17 Hughes Aug. 31, 2019.

Alexandra Sumner ’16 was recently chosen to write a special piece for preLaw magazine titled “What’s Law School Really Like?” She recently graduated from Indiana University McKinney School of Law and is grateful to have had the opportunity to share her experience with others. preLaw is a national publication that distributes to colleges and universities across the country — including Valpo.


Jess Hunter-Bowman ’17 J.D. is one of 28 lawyers nationwide to receive a Skadden Fellowship, a two-year fellowship awarded to young lawyers to pursue the practice of public interest law on a full-time basis. He is the first Valparaiso University Law School graduate to receive this honor; the majority of applicants come from Harvard, Yale, NYU, Stanford, and Columbia. Jess was a 2019 recipient of the VUAA Alumni Community Service Award.


Alice Baker ’19 married Daniel Stevens July 26, 2019.