Class Notes: Fall 2017

Class Notes

Rev. Milt and Rachel (Morrison) Jones celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary in August. They have relocated to an assisted living facility in Lafayette, Colo.

Rev. Dr. John K. Bontrager, National City, Calif., is a retired chaplain and captain of the U.S. Navy, having served in World War II and Vietnam.

Jane Magers, Des Moines, Iowa, received the Social Action Award from the Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church and was recognized for her humanitarian efforts to assist children and youth and support the environment.

Jean (Lahr) Henriott Trawick, Akron, recently published her children’s book, Spooklin, after it sat on the shelf for 61 years. Jean wrote the story as an assignment in Professor Rose Moore’s Children’s Literature class and dedicated the book to her beloved professor. It’s available on Amazon, and

Rev. Dr. Ralph Quellhorst, Canal Fulton, Ohio, celebrated the 55th anniversary of his ordination with a special ceremony June 18 at St. Paul’s UCC in New Bremen. The celebrant was Rev. Dr. Rebecca (Scheifler) Erb-Strang, ’61, the senior pastor at St. Paul’s.

Marilyn (Stanford) Slaby
, Copley, Ohio, is serving as state representative of the 38th House District.

The Rev. Canon Mort Ward, Santa Barbara, Calif, is the national disaster spiritual care advisor for the American Red Cross Central California Region.

An article in the May 2017 edition of Anesthesiology recognizes the important contributions of Dr. Keith Ellis, Summerfield, Fla., in the discovery of the treatment for malignant hyperthermia (MH).

Mary Lee (Russell) Minor
, Bucyrus, Ohio, received the 2017 Helen Picking Neff Women in Leadership Award from the American Red Cross in April. Mary Lee has written a gardening column for her local newspaper for 22 years and a grant to develop an outdoor learning lab for the Wynford Local Schools. She created adult and youth gardening clubs, a landscaping contest for the local county fair and “Wilkommen, Wilkommen,” a program whereby hanging flower baskets are placed in downtown Bucyrus.

Gary Duncan
, Joplin, Mo., has been appointed chairman of the governing board of the Midwest Transplant Network. A member of Heidelberg’s Board of Trustees, Gary previously served as vice chair and has been a board member since 2005. He retired as president and CEO of Freeman Health System in Joplin in 2011.

Nationally Certified Teacher of Music Christine (Geiser) Hawk Steiner serves on the Music Teachers National Association Board of Directors, representing the five-state East Central Division. An MTNA Fellow, she also is on the organization’s nominating committee and is chair of the Arts Awareness and Advocacy Forum. She teaches piano and theory in Wooster, Ohio, where she resides.

Ron Johnston
, Marietta, Ohio, was named Best Sports Columnist at the Ohio Associated Press Media Editors competition in May. He is a sports reporter for The Marietta Times. Dr. W. Olaf Rankis, Chelsea, Maine, is enjoying retirement as a tenured full professor of behavioral sciences and communication at the University of Maine. He also taught business at Northeastern University in Qinguandao, China, and the University of Miami.

Ed Ayers
, Columbus, Ohio, has been named chair of the Judging Administration Committee for the Cadillac & LaSalle Club. Ed has also been recently elected as the chair of Berg Bravo! in support of the School of Music & Theatre at Heidelberg.

Mandy Garver
and her husband, Allen, Bloomfield Hills, Mich., continue their volunteer work with Hadassah, Congregation Beth Shalom, Everytown for Gun Safety and the Democratic Party.

Robert Hille, Port Clinton, Ohio, is serving as president of the County Treasurers Association for 2017.

Dr. James Jauchem, San Antonio, Texas, retired after 27 years with the U.S. Air Force as a civilian research physiologist. He has formed an expert-witness consulting firm, Forensic Pathophysiology, LLC, and has worked on recent cases including a petition for postconviction relief in a capital murder case.

Wayne McCoy, Virginia Beach, Va., was named volunteer of the year for the city of Virginia Beach, Va., by the Rotary Club of Virginia Beach. He has volunteered more than 3,500 hours as a tactical flight officer in the Virginia Beach Police Helicopter Unit. He is president of Mid Atlantic Environmental, LLC. He also has volunteered with the Virginia Special Olympics for 32 years.

KJ Montgomery
, Shaker Heights, Ohio, received the ALPHA Woman Award at the Elite Women Around the World® Women’s International Day event in March. As a municipal court judge, she works through the court, her community and the schools on issues of violence against women and has been an advocate, organizer, recruiter and participant for Cleveland Rape Crisis Center’s signature event, “Sing-Out,” since its inception.

Capt. William Deuring
, Newport, R.I., retired after 34 years as a dental officer in the U.S. Navy. He served for two years on the staff at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center Dental School in Memphis, Tenn.

Brian Hammond
, Troy, Ohio, is the director of the Small Business Development Center at Rochester Community and Technical College in Rochester, Minn. Brian oversees the center, which has a long history of working with entrepreneurs and existing small businesses in the development of business plans, sustaining growth and securing capital.

Debralee Divers
, Milan, Ohio, retired after 38- 1/2 years in higher education. Dr. Matthew Garoufalis, Naperville, Ill., has been named residency director of the Podiatric Medicine and Surgery residency at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago. He is past president of both the Illinois and American Podiatric Medical Associations and the current president of the International Federation of Podiatrists. He is currently involved in the establishment of a common training framework in podiatric medicine for the European Union.

Dr. Don Jaworske
, Columbia Station, Ohio, was inducted into the Berea School District Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame in April. Don retired as an electrical engineer with NASA’s Glenn Research Center.

Jim Kudrin, Parma, Ohio, is the wrestling coach at Normandy High School.

Elizabeth Smith
, Gahanna, Ohio, has been appointed by U.S. Sens. Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown to chair the Bipartisan Judiciary Advisory Commission to identify candidates for vacancies on the U.S. District Courts for Ohio’s Northern and Southern districts. Liz is a Heidelberg trustee and a partner at the Columbus law firm of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP.

Lee Lerussi
, East Liverpool, Ohio, is  asubject matter expert for the U.S. State Department, Bureau of Diplomatic Security of Anti-terrorism. He travels internationally, instructing law enforcement, military, judicial members and prosecutors of partner nations in Southeast Asia, Central America and the Caribbean Basin for investigating incidents involving computers, networks, cybercrime and resulting prosecution for terrorism.

Loren “Chip” Schwiebert
was recently appointed chair of the Department of Computer Science at Wayne State University, where he has been a faculty member since 1995. He lives in Canton, Mich.

Todd Vetter, Madison, Conn., is the senior minister of the First Congregational Church, UCC, in Madison.

Dr. Michael Boehm
, Lincoln, Neb., has joinedthe University of Nebraska in the dual role of Harlan Vice Chancellor for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and vice president for Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska system. Previously, he was professor of plant pathology and vice provost for academic and strategic planning at The Ohio State University.

James Robson Jr.
, Union City, Ind., is the junior/ senior high school principal at Ansonia Local Schools. He has taught math for the past 20 years at Ansonia.

Anita Newman
married Bradley Craig on Nov. 4, 2016. They live in Urbana, Ohio.

Shannon Starkey-Taylor
, Loveland, Ohio, has been named the chief operating officer of Children Inc., which provides accessible child care, preschool and school-aged education programs.

Dr. Nate Long
, Dublin, Ohio, has joined the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons organization. He is director of shoulder reconstruction at Grant Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio.

Dr. Erich Merkle
, Stow, Ohio, was recognized as the Public Sector Psychologist of the Year by the Ohio Psychological Association. A school psychologist in the Pupil Adjustment Program of the Akron Public Schools, he is past president of the Ohio School Psychologists Association and remains on the Board of Directors for the OPA.

Melissa Harrison
, Alexandria, Va., recently joined Ogilvy Washington as vice president of corporate and Public Affairs.

Brett and Annie (Dietz) Kanode, ’03, Lewisville, N.C. are the parents of a son, Paul Roy, born July 7, 2016.

Erin (Doran) Salzer, Columbus, was elected to a three-year term of the Board of Directors for the Ohio Education Assembly. She is an intervention specialist at Pickering Local Schools.

Jennifer (Ewell) Blakeman and her husband, Nate, Bowling Green, Ohio, are the parents of a son, Alistair, born in June 2016.

Rebecca (Denton) Shope, has been elected parter in the law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP, where she is a member of the labor and employment and litigation practice groups. She also represents clients in divorce and child custody matters. In June, Rebecca was named woman of the year by her local Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Charles Buchanan
, Westerville, Ohio, is a senior lecturer with the Fisher College of Busines, where he teaches leadership, teamwork and organizational behavior. He also is the CEO of Positive Leadership Solutions.

Ben and Sarah (Alden) DeLong, Titusville, Pa., are the parents of a son, Alexander Clark, born Nov. 24, 2016.

Dana Carnes
married Andrew Pursley on April 2, 2017. They reside in Elon, N.C. Sarah (Ling) Gordon, MBA ’08, and her husband, Aaron, relocated to the Scottsdale, Ariz., area in June to continue their careers. She is the director of Strategy and Business Development for Pentair.

Maria Hejnal, Westlake, Ohio, received the Greater Cleveland Council Teachers of Mathematics Teacher of the Year award in May. She currently works at Westpark Community Middle School, which is part of the Constellation Schools network in Cleveland.

Chris and Megan (Gifford) Scholtz, Avon, Ohio, are the parents of a son, Grayson Christopher, born March 8, 2017.

Abbey McCoy
, Huron, Ohio, received her master’s degree in early childhood education from the University of Toledo in December. Max Norris is the head women’s tennis coach at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. Last spring, the team won the Mid-American Conference championship for the first time in school history. Max also received his master’s degree in communication from Ball State in 2010.

Nic and Ashley (Foust) Rossiter, Aurora, Ohio, are the parents of a son, Wyatt Vance, born June 28, 2016.

Corey Frazer
and Lauren Puzzitiello were married March 4, 2017. They live in Lima, Ohio.

Dennis LoConti Jr., Springfield, Ohio, received the Ohio College Personnel Association 2017 President’s Discretionary Award for contributions to the growth of the organization.

Beau Thompson is the assistant prosecuting attorney in the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office in Springfield, Ohio.

Jenna Bollinger
, Bucyrus, Ohio, graduated from Eastern Michigan University in April with dual master’s degrees in Spanish and TESOL. She is pursuing her teacher certification in Spanish with a TESOL/ESL endorsement.

Despina Papadorotheou and Nicholas Sclimenti, ’14, were married on Oct. 22, 2016. They reside in Lakewood, Ohio.

Dana Yankie married Mark Renner June 18, 2016. They reside in Delaware, Ohio.

Mr. and Mrs. Ben Kieffer
, St. Louis, Mo., are the parents of a son, Judah Wolfgang, born March 16, 2017.

Josh Olewiler and Leah Rogers were married in October 2016. Leah graduated from Case Western Reserve University in May 2016 with her master’s degree in genetic counseling and works as a pediatric genetic counselor at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. Josh graduated from Lincoln Memorial Debusk College of Osteopathic Medicine in May. He has accepted a family medicine residence position at Fairfield Medical Center in Lancaster, Ohio. The couple lives in Pickerington, Ohio.

T.J. Wasserman married Marina Richley, ’16, on July 7, 2017. They reside in Brookville, Ind.

Brianne Cook
, MAC ’16 and Drew Avsec were married Dec. 10. 2016. Brianne is a long-term school counselor sub for the Geneva (Ohio) Area City School District and Drew is a mechanical design engineer for Trucast Inc. They live in Geneva, Ohio.

Hannah Long-Higgins
received her master's degree at the Columbia School of Journalism in the spring and is working in the Zatari refugee camp in Jordan. Hannah and a friend received the Davis Peace Prize grant to work with Syrian refugee journalists in the camp to take their journalism to digital platforms and build a global audience.

Turn yourself in! Help us keep you in touch with your classmates. Submit your class note for the next Bulletin.

Published in Fall 17

Upcoming Events

Recent News at Heidelberg

More Campus News