Alumni at Aquinas College

Class Notes - Fall 2018

Celebrating the personal and professional milestones of Aquinas College alumni. Send us news of your promotions, achievements, recognitions and other announcements by filling out the form.

‘50s

George Colburn ‘59, Ph.D., recently released a 70-minute feature documentary titled Navajo Code Talkers: A Journey of Remembrance, about the return of six United States Marine Corps Navajo Code Talkers to World War II battlefields in the distant islands of the Pacific Ocean. His production company, Starbright Media Corporation, is based in Petoskey, Michigan.

‘60s

Pat Williams ‘68 celebrated 45 years at Catholic Central in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and her 600 wins overall as a Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach at the High School.

‘70s

Linda Nemec Foster ‘72 has recently published two collections of poetry. The Elusive Heroine: My Daughter Lost in Magritte was published by Cervena Barva Press (of MA) and features a book cover design by Dana Freeman, AQ Professor of Art. The second book, The Lake Michigan Mermaid, was published by Wayne State University Press and was taught by Amy Dunham Strand, Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies, as part of her spring, 2018.

Cheryl Edwards-Cannon ‘75 published her first book Taking Care of Miss Bee Bee. It is a collection of humorous stories designed to help the reader cope with the challenges of caregiving.

Daryl Delabbio ‘75 retired after 40 years in local government management. In September 2017, he received the John M. Patriarche Distinguished Service Award from the Michigan Municipal Executives, the state association of professional local government managers.

Jenise Hunter ‘77 retired from a varied career of 39 years with Aetna, School Specialty Children‘s Publishing. She has been traveling ever since.

Jane Engstrom Gee ‘78 retired from Catholic education after teaching for 20 years and then serving as principal for 20 years at St. Therese Catholic School in Wayland.

‘80s

Dave Cluley ‘81 was named communications director of Emmet County in Michigan.

Greg Farrer ‘81 was promoted to senior associate at TMP Architecture, Inc. Farrer has been a registered member of the Construction Specification Institute since 2000, and has been involved in the construction administration of commercial, institutional and educational facility projects.  He lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Joe Dodge ‘84 is now serving as general counsel for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte in North Carolina. Joe and his wife, Sherry are empty nesters living in Waxhaw NC.

Dave Joppie ‘88 signed a contract extension with the Milwaukee Brewers for the 2018 season. He has been promoted to AAA hitting coach for the Colorado Spring Sky Box.

‘90s

Patrice (Popp) Korson ‘90 owns and operates Korson Creative in Lake Leelanau, Michigan, offering custom screen printed apparel, graphic design and promotional products.  Patrice lives in Lake Leelanau with her husband, Scott on his family farm, where they raise beef cattle.

Cheryl (Weise) Lambert ‘90 was honored as Catholic Central High School’s Outstanding Teacher at the 2018 Evening of Excellence.

Greg Newell ‘92 joined JAUST Consulting Partners, a boutique cloud software consulting and IT staffing firm with offices across the U.S., as operations manager.

Jodi Borowicz ‘93 and Jeanne Kortz ‘94, both AQ Softball graduates, have put together a fund for their friend and AQ Softball grad, Christy Jaklinski-Paganelli, who passed away of melanoma cancer at age 40. If you would like to help keep Christy’s memory alive, donations can be made to AQ Softball, memo: Christy’s Cause Scholarship Fund.

Chris LaMange ‘94 earned his 500th career win as East Grand Rapids’ head baseball coach in April 2018. LaMange has guided the Pioneers to five conference, seven district and six regional championships. He was inducted into the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2015.

David J. Berault ‘96 is the chief of the Civil Bureau for the DeKalb County State‘s Attorney‘s Office in DeKalb County, Illinois. Berault completed a J.D. in 2007 at Marshall Law School. He is married to Michelle Berault and has a seven-year-old son named Colin.

Mary Kay (McKenney) Murphy ‘97 is a founding member and program director for Leading Educators. Murphy leads the Greater Grand Rapids teacher fellowship program and is responsible for developing the leadership coaches and school partnerships, ensuring that the teacher fellowship teams receive the necessary support and training to be transformative leaders in five Greater Grand Rapids area school districts.

Dr. Roseanna M. David ‘98 is the newest physician to join the Grand Traverse Opthamology Clinic. Her clinical experience includes training in the diagnosis and treatment of ocular disease, the care of laser vision corrected patients and pre- and post-operative exams. David received her medical degree from the Michigan College of Optometry in Big Rapids.

‘00s

Lupita Garza-Grande ‘01 moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, after 20 years in Grand Rapids, and started a new position as an adult services librarian in the Broward County Library system.

Richard C. Mills ’01 has been named a shareholder of the Jackson-based law firm of Marcoux Allen. He serves on the Probate and Estate Planning Council of the State Bar of Michigan, writes and speaks frequently on estate planning and charitable giving topics, and was one of the drafters of recent Michigan trust legislation.

Anthony Squiers ‘01 published a book titled The Politics of Sacred America: The Role of Civil Religion in Political Practice. Squiers’ book served as his thesis for his post-doctoral degree from the University of Passau in Germany, where he is now a researcher and lecturer.

Sara Jakubiak ‘02 is an operatic soprano managed by Zemsky/Green Artists Management. She recently opened as the title role in Das Wunder der Heliane l at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. She studied music education and lives in New York City.  

Dawn Jamison ‘02, Author and veteran Journalist, continues the international #MeToo dialogue with her newly released book “Reckoning Day.” And after years of coaching women, she is releasing a second book that identifies the most common mistakes that hold women back from achieving goals. Both books were released in May 2018.

Brian Milliron ‘02  was awarded the James Madison Fellowship for the state of Michigan in 2018. This $24,000 scholarship will allow him to earn a second MA, this degree in US History and Government, as well as attend Georgetown University next summer.

Katie (Yenglin) Greer ‘03 was granted tenure at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, becoming an associate professor on the library faculty.

Juston Miller ‘03 was promoted to head football coach at Lowell High School in Lowell, Michigan.

Michael Six ‘03 has accepted the position of Executive Director, Patient Experience and Physician Development for SCL Health Medical Group in Colorado.

Jennifer Welles ‘03 Jennifer Welles has been appointed general manager of the new Ada Village General Store, in the historic Ada School House in Ada, MI. Jen previously worked in Kalamazoo at Housing Resources, Inc. a local non-profit that strives to stabilize families and prevent homelessness, where she oversaw programs on housing, prevention and emergency shelter.

Shane K. Clark ‘06 founded Odyssey Wealth, a financial technology company and registered investment advisor offering custom investment portfolios all through a transparent online portal.   

Dr. Jake Miller ‘07 recently opened his own dental practice in Grand Rapids. He graduated in 2007 with a degree in biology. Miller received his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree from the University of Detroit Mercy.

Thora Wease ‘07 is now retired and serving as librarian for Church of the Resurrection in Lansing, Michigan, and has recently published a book titled, From Trauma...to JOY.

Father Timothy Weed, C.S.C. ‘07 was ordained as a priest by the Congregation of Holy Cross at the Basilica of Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame. He entered Holy Cross in August 2011 as a postulant and made his first profession of vows on August 3, 2013. Father Weed celebrated his first Mass as a priest at the basilica at Notre Dame and celebrated his first Oregon Mass at the Chapel of Christ the Teacher at the University of Portland.

Dr. Stacey Dearing ‘09 received her Ph.D. in American Literature from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Her first article, "Remember Me: Discursive Needlework and the Sewing Sampler of Patty Bartlett Sessions," appeared in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought in vol. 51, num. 1 Spring 2018, 101-128.

Stephen Kokx ‘09, M.A., was hired as the assistant director of Catholic marketing for LifeSiteNews.com.

Alex Wilson ‘09 recently published his first breakthrough novel, Populace. Populace is an intense sci-fi and political thriller set in the future that illuminates the United States as a dystopian society destroyed by nuclear blasts.

‘10s

Timothy Hileman ‘10 was named President and CEO of Special Olympics Michigan. Hileman has spent his life and career focusing on increasing recreational and athletic opportunities for individuals of all abilities. He and his wife Kristin have three children.

Alexander Kemp ‘10 published his short story entitled “Three Lessons on Love” in the e-journal Literary Yard.

Angela Peavey ‘10 won an Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts for Commercial Single Spot. Angela produced, filmed, directed and edited the piece.

Katie Fahey ‘11 is Executive Director of Voters Not Politicians (VNP), a nonpartisan ballot committee.

Jaclyn (Jackie) Reedy ‘13 recently received a promotion to assistant inventory control manager for the Retail Department at the Kentucky Derby Museum located in Louisville, Kentucky.

Jane Henry (Dibble) ‘13 achieved a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from Eastern Michigan University in December 2017.

Michael Gagnon ‘14 completed an MBA at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business in April 2018, and was recently promoted to account manager for Stryker Medical in Pittsburgh.

Valerie Gee ‘15 completed her Master’s degree in Clinical Counseling at Ohio State University. She currently lives in Dayton, Ohio and works as a licensed mental health counselor.

Rachael Steil ‘15 recently published her first book, Running in Silence. Running in Silence opens the door on the secret world of eating disorders. It provides vital insights for those who don‘t suffer from this disease and an honest and harrowing personal story for those who do.

Future Saints

Marian (Testori) Willing ‘09 and her husband Andrew welcomed the birth of their first child, Eloise Therese, born on July 12, 2017, in Detroit, Michigan.

Elizabeth Ostrowski ‘05 and her husband Christopher along with their daughter Samantha (‘12) welcomed Nathan Robert Ostrowski into this world on August 3, 2017, in Casa Grande, Arizona.

David Barrett (‘12) and Nadina Williams-Barett (‘09) welcomed Oliver Moore Barrett, born September 20, 2017.

Mark Neumann ‘08 and Nancy (Hurt) ‘07 welcomed their first child, Isaac John Neumann, into the world on December 12, 2017.

Erica Clites Peterson ‘10 and her husband welcomed their first son, Nolan Robert Peterson, on February 4, 2018.

Ruth Arlene was born to Matt ‘08 and Martha ‘08 VanHaren on February 27, 2018.

Marriages and Anniversaries

Michael Gleason ‘66 married Denise Ruskowski ‘69.

Dan Gerrity ‘68 and Susan (Kelly) Gerrity ‘68 celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on April 19, 2018.

Michelle (Hornak) Pohlman ‘11 married Ben Pohlman on October 7, 2017.

Kaitlin Barth ‘12 married Kristopher VanOcker on August 11, 2018.

John (Jack) Pillard ‘17 and Kailie West ‘17 married in Saugatuck, Michigan on May 25th, 2018.