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Spring 2012 Footnotes: News

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CHERYL JENSEN WRANGLE has worked as an artist and art teacher in both sculpture and painting for more than 30 years. She is a founding member of both Northwest Fine Woodworking in Seattle and Confluence Gallery in Twisp, Washington. Cheryl resides in Carlton, Washington.


KATHLEEN EVANS HILLBRICK is retired from a 27-year career in teaching. She is married to  JAMES HILLBRICK ’68, a retired pastor. They have relocated to Columbia, Missouri, to be nearer children and grandchildren.


ALLAN PALM retired in June 2011 after 38 years of teaching, 36 of them as a special educator. The last 28 years were in the Vancouver (Washington) Public Schools, finishing with 22 years as learning support teacher at Fruit Valley Elementary. Retirement activities have included a church
missions trip to Mexico in October. He and his wife, Pam, celebrated their 35th anniversary in  December 2011, and reside in Brush Prairie, Washington.


DAVID BOXLEY is a master Native American artist of the Tsimshian people who was commissioned to carve a 22-foot totem pole from a 3,000-pound redcedar for the Smithsonian
Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian. In January, the pole, depicting a chain of
villagers and topped by an eagle, was raised and installed in the museum’s entrance lobby overlooking the National Mall. The creator of more than 70 totem poles, David’s creations also tower over onlookers at Disney World, the Memphis Zoo, and Microsoft’s main campus. David divides his time between Alaska and Kingston, Washington.

DOUGLAS LOVE and his wife, LESLIE CRAWFORD LOVE, now make their home in Boulder, Colorado. Doug is the executive pastor at Hope Boulder, a “re-start of a Foursquare church.” The couple served three years at Cabo Church in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, before moving to Boulder.


Coach of Character

Making an Impact on and off the Court

By February 2012, coach Mike Downs ’77 was just 12 wins shy of an impressive 500-win mark.

But that’s not what he’s most proud of in 31 years as head coach of the Bellevue Christian  School Vikings varsity basketball team.

Mike points to the Sportsmanship Award from the Pacific Northwest Basketball Officials
Association. “If you’re walking your talk with officials, you’re doing OK,” he says.

“Doing OK” is an understatement. Mike, named Coach of the Year several times, took his teams
to the Washington state high school basketball tournament in the last 11 of 12 years, leading
them to state championships in 2005 and 2006. In 2010, he was inducted into the Washington
Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Those accomplishments, says Mike, were a team effort. His wife and fellow recipient (posthumous) of the 2012 SPU Medallion Award, Jan Millard Downs ’79, played a huge role. “Jan got it,” says Mike. “She knew the important stuff about relationships. She made connections with my players, parents, and the community in general.”

Jan died in 2010, but she and Mike both saw three of their four children return to their alma
mater. Jeffrey Downs graduated in 2011; Daniel Downs is an assistant Falcons basketball coach; and David Downs is an SPU sophomore and Falcon point guard.

“Some people say sports develop character,” says Mike. “But I don’t think so. They reveal the character you already have.” Hope McPherson



MICHELLE WILLIAMS MERRIN and her husband, RON MERRIN ’79, a 737 airframe lean practitioner at Boeing, have two grown sons. Michelle is the author of A Faith of a Different Color: Honest Lessons on Trusting God in Real Life (CrossBooks Publishing, 2011). The Bible study is a project she worked on for nearly two years. The Merrins have been married nearly 32 years and live in Olympia, Washington.

WILLIAM “BILL” TAYLOR is a modern-day shellfish farming pioneer in a family that has farmed shellfish in the state of Washington for more than 100 years. He and his brother, PAUL TAYLOR ’81, have labored long to modernize, grow, and shape public policy for the Pacific Northwest shellfish industry. Their Taylor Shellfish Farms in Shelton, Washington, is the largest producer of farmed shellfish in North America. In 2010, as president of the company, Bill accepted a distinguished lifetime award for contributions to his industry from the National Aquaculture Association. Bill and Paul both live in Olympia, Washington.


VERNON “VERN” FOSKET has been inducted into the Washington Music Educators Hall of Fame. In nearly 30 years of teaching junior high school musicians and the student musicians at Sequim High School, the trombone and bass-playing teacher can blow jazz, classical, and funk. In the past 15 years, he has grown one class of 45 students at Sequim into five classes totaling 142 students. Athletic events, parades, concerts, jazz festivals, Disneyland — through his students’ performances, Vern’s stamp has been on them all. Director of bands at Sequim High School, he also teaches   advanced placement music theory. Vern and his wife, LYNN COCHRAN FOSKET ’81, live in  Sequim, Wash ington. Their daughter, NAOMI FOSKET ’11, teaches K–5 music in Longview, Washington.

MARY LARSEN WOHLERS, formerly a public health nurse and tuberculosis case manager for Fairfax County, Virginia, is married to Paul Wohlers, U.S. ambassador to Macedonia. They have
been in the Foreign Service for 27 years and also served in Romania, Russia, and Cyprus. The Wohlers have three grown daughters and one son-in-law.


People of Blessing

Medallion Honorees Find Many Ways to Serve

Enjoying his 17th year as senior pastor of Bethany Community Church, Richard Dahlstrom ’79 says that he and his wife, Donna, who completes her degree at SPU this June, “count it a deep privilege” to serve there.

Honored with SPU’s Medallion Award in 2012, the Dahlstroms continue to lead Bethany in ways both big (developing a new strategic plan for the church’s future) and small (delivering sermon downloads and event information through a new phone app). Richard finds joy in “mobilizing the people … equipping them to make the invisible God visible in Seattle and to the far corners of the world.”

Richard teaches at Bible conferences and Bible schools with Torchbearers Missionary Fellowship in Europe and North America, and he recently became an adjunct faculty member for Fuller Seminary Northwest. At the same time, his new book The Colors of Hope (see page 52) is earning high praise. He hopes it will find a large readership “so that people can be empowered to embrace their calling to be people of blessing in our world.”

Meanwhile, Donna serves as the accountant and business agent in SPU’s Center for Professional
Education — and they both keep tabs on a busy family.

The couple’s oldest daughter, Kristi Dahlstrom ’06, is using her SPU teaching certificate at Black Forest Academy in Germany, teaching high school English literature. Their son, Noah
Dahlstrom, plans to marry Lindsey Maples ’10, in July. And Donna will walk beside their youngest daughter, Holly Dahlstrom, a global development studies major, in SPU’s 2012 Commencement ceremony. Jeffrey Overstreet



DOUG ELLISEN, a former employee in enrollment services and financial aid at SPU, has published (as D. Robert Ellisen) the “provocative, fast-paced terrorist thriller” The Long Shadow. The book is available in Kindle and Nook formats. Doug lives in Issaquah, Washington.


SHARLOTTE “SHAR” STARR HENDRICKSON is the activity coordinator at Morton Manor and Heart of Gold adult family home in Morton, Washington. The former public school teacher says she “plays for a living” by planning parties, crafts, music, and art for the residents of the adult  family home. She is a past Lions Club president, chairs a local food drive, and recently produced “Hickory Dickory Dead,” a dinner theater murder mystery. Shar lives in Morton.


WILLIAM “WILL” ANDERSON JR. is an Alaska Business Hall of Fame Laureate for 2012. He is president and CEO of Koniag Inc., the very Alaska Native regional corporation that once awarded him a college scholarship. With his undergraduate degree from SPU and a master’s degree from Western Washington University, Will worked for Boeing, then joined Koniag and worked his way up in the company to vice president of finance. He became CEO five years ago with a business
philosophy of “always do what’s right.” In just over a decade, the Koniag Education Foundation has awarded more than $1.8 million in scholarships to its Alaska Native shareholders. Will resides in Kodiak, Alaska.

SCOTT BRYANT M.B.A. ’98, a former undergraduate admissions officer at SPU, is associate professor of management at Montana State University College of Business. He has conducted research at Microsoft, Nike, and Planar for integrating into his classes on personality, conflict, and decision-making in the workplace. Scott was a speaker for the “Bringing the U to You” lecture series earlier this year, a collaborative effort of the University of Montana and MSU alumni associations. He holds a doctorate from the University of Oregon in management, with an emphasis in strategy and entrepreneurship, and is married to KRISTIN BLAIR BRYANT ’90, M.A. ’98. The Bryants make their home in Bozeman, Montana.


CONRAD HACKETT is a demographer at the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life in Washington, D.C. Earlier this year, he appeared on CNN International and The Wall Street Journal’s Opinion Journal Live to discuss the Pew report “Global Christianity: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World’s Christian Population.” Conrad lives on the campus of Georgetown University in Washington with his wife, Campbell, a chaplain-in-residence. The couple has two children.


MARI MAURER is senior director of clinical operations for Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc., a biotechnology company that develops treatments for rare and ultra-rare genetic disorders. She has more than 25 years of clinical research experience. She is a registered nurse who lives with her  family in Novato, California.


KEVIN BERG is founder of CompuPane, a computer repair business now six years old. Most of his customers are home or small offices, some as far away as Japan and Australia. Featured in The Seattle Times last November, Kevin, who lives with spastic and athetoid cerebral palsy, uses  touchscreen technology and a wand attached to his head to run his business. His business partner is
also his wife, MELINDA CONLEY BERG. They, their two children, and service dog Evris live in Auburn, Washington.

NATHAN HARTMAN and his wife, Katie, helped start Seattle Classical Christian School last year. The goal is “an academic, gospelsaturated, affordable, and city-savvy school” that provides students with the classic tools of learning (grammar, logic, rhetoric). With his accounting degree from SPU, Nathan has 14 years invested as a CPA and was promoted to partner at Seattle’s Peterson Sullivan LLP. The Hartmans have two daughters and live in Seattle.


GREG BRISBON is associate coach for the men’s and women’s soccer teams at Western
Washington University. A certified strength and conditioning specialist, the physical education  major lettered two years for the Falcons and went on to play professional soccer with the Tallahassee (Florida) Scorpions before being hired by WWU. Greg lives in Bellingham, Washington.

RYAN SMITH is senior marketing manager with SentrySafe in Rochester, New York. He and his
wife, Kimberly, and their two children are active in Browncroft Community Church, where the parents serve as small group leaders in a ministry to young families. Ryan is a member of the board of Spirit of Blue Foundation, a nonprofit organization that enhances law enforcement
officer safety and vitality by awarding safety grants for purchase of equipment and training. The Smiths live in Webster, New York, and report an environment that gets “way too much snow.”


HELEN ONO GENTZ earned a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 2007. She and her husband, Joel, senior pastor of Bethel Missionary Church, have two children and reside in Goshen, Indiana.

ERIC RHODA is associate pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Kerrville, Texas. He holds master’s degrees in divinity and Christian education from Princeton Theological Seminary. His wife, JULIE HOUSE-RHODA, is a registered nurse with an additional undergraduate degree in nursing from University of Texas Health Science Center. The couple lives in Kerrville.


One Life at a Time

President Sees Transformation at Small Alaska College

Recently, SPU 2012 Medallion Award recipient Keith Hamilton saw the college he helped found
11 years ago appear not only on the front page of the daily newspaper, Peninsula Clarion, but also in Christianity Today.

The college, Alaska Christian College, is located in Soldotna on the Kenai Peninsula and primarily serves Native Alaska students. It gained notice both for receiving accreditation from
the Association for Biblical Higher Education and for offering biblically based studies, discipleship, and life skills to one of the most at-risk populations in America.

“We’re a bridge and transition for students from bush villages to college,” he explains. “Up to 50 percent of our students continue on after completing ACC’s two-year course of studies.”

Raised in Lake Stevens, Washington, Keith felt God calling him to serve young people while still
a young person himself. Initially, he had planned to serve somewhere very different from Alaska.

Soon after graduating from Seattle Pacific, he went on a one-year mission to Mexico, following
it up with more short-term mission trips south of the border. Over the past 20 years, in fact,
he’s accompanied more than 700 students to Mexico.

Then this spring he took a group from Alaska Christian College to Haiti to serve. “From an Alaska village to Haiti is a stretch, but that’s where we went,” he says, laughing. Hope McPherson



MARK FRAME is pastor jointly of Olive Presbyterian Church and Academy United Church of Christ in Platte, South Dakota. A graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, Mark is married
to STEPHANY TAYLOR FRAME ’11. The couple and their three children live in Platte.

NEAL FRYETT, an adjunct professor of art at University of Washington, Bothell, and Central Washington University, had a solo show at the Kirkland Arts Center in January. The tangram, a
dissection puzzle comprised of seven parts, served as the point of departure for Fryett’s studio compositions which were represented in the exhibition space via analog photographs, geometric forms crafted from walnut, spray-paint diagrams, and video. Neal lives in Seattle.

NICOLE WEBB SEADERS received a doctorate in mathematics from Oregon State University in 2011. She and her husband, Graham, live in Corvallis, Oregon.


REBEKAH THOMAS GINDA is the owner of Rebekah Ginda Design, a provider of textile and  surface design services to apparel, fabric, and home furnishing companies worldwide. A graduate of Family and Consumer Sciences with an emphasis in apparel design, she married internationally
acclaimed vaudeville clown Moeppi Ginda in 2006. They have a son, Diemo, 5, who performs with his father. The Gindas live in Muenster, Germany.

ANGIE LITTLE is co-founder of The Compass Project at the University of California, Berkeley. Compass supports undergraduates in the physical sciences, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds, by “building an engaging community and designing innovative
instruction.” Compass is the recipient of the 2012 American Physical Society Award for Improving
Undergraduate Physics Education. Herself a doctoral student at UC Berkeley, Angie and two other
graduate students lobbied the Physics Department, procured funding, brought other graduate students on board, and together ran the program, all while pursuing their own studies. Now, six
years later, more than 50 people, undergraduates and graduate students alike, volunteer for the project.


ANNA KNUTZEN and her husband, STEPHEN ALLEN ’05, witnessed the revolution in Libya
firsthand as aid workers for the disaster response agency Mercy Corps. They organized the distribution of needed items such as blankets, diapers, hygiene kits, and kitchen utensils, and were there when Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi was toppled. Today, they are relocated in Kampala,
Uganda, where they plan to spend the next several years. Stephen now works for the United  Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and says they are grateful for their time in Libya. “It was
an amazing experience … to support Libyans affected by conflict as they sought to create a new country. We were inspired by the way they came together in a time of need.”


ERICA COADY M.A.’05, PH.D., specializes in neuropsychology with the Providence Behavioral Medicine Group in Anchorage, Alaska. She is skilled in neuropsychological evaluations of patients with traumatic brain injuries, brain tumors, strokes, epilepsy, movement disorders, and dementia. Raised in Fairbanks and Nome, Alaska, Erica now resides in Anchorage.


BRIANNA DONAHUE ROBERSON works with Carpenters Trusts of Western Washington, the nonprofit benefits administration organization for union carpenters. She also volunteers with local classes by Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. Brianna  and Court, her husband of nearly two years, live in Seattle.


BENJAMIN PINNEO, a summa cum laude graduate of SPU, is in his fourth year teaching regular, honors, and AP English at South Kitsap High School in Port Orchard, Washington.
He is also an associated student body advisor. Benjamin lives in Port Orchard.


ELIZABETH “BETH” MYHR M.F.A., a freelance editor and business manager, holds various positions with Marick Press, Web Del Sol Review of Books, and Raven Chronicles. Beth lives with
her family in Seattle.


ELIZABETH CALLAGHAN is on the city council for Stanwood, Washington, and has served on the Stanwood planning commission for more than two years. She teaches high school history and English at Grace Academy, the private school from which she graduated, in nearby Marysville. Elizabeth lives in Stanwood.


DANIEL BOWMAN JR. M.F.A. is an assistant professor of English at Taylor University whose poems and essays have appeared in a variety of periodicals, including The Adirondack Review, American Poetry Journal, and Books and Culture. Daniel lives in Hartford City, Indiana.

SHANNON TUOHY was first runner-up in the Miss Pierce County Pageant. A pianist, she plans to study for her doctoral degree in osteopathic medicine. Shannon lives in Lakewood, Washington.