RUTH GREENE BEECHICK is one of the most recognized voices of the modern homeschool movement. Her most recent book, A Biblical Home Education (B&H Publishing Group, 2007), is an example of what has been described as her biblical, common sense approach to education. Soon after the book’s release, she was interviewed by the national Southwest Radio Church. Ruth’s experience includes being a public school teacher, college dean of education, and editor of educational materials. She lives in the Rocky Mountains west of Denver, Colorado.
NORMAN “BUD” BYLSMA, founder of the Northwest Leadership Foundation (NLF), continues to travel the world helping the less advantaged, and, through NLF, facilitating the work of Christian agencies such as Habitat for Humanity, World Vision, Promise Keepers, and Operation Blessing. Previously, Bud was a regional director for Young Life for 30 years. He also participated in ministries in Albania, Bangladesh, and Turkey; taught seminary in Cuba; and helped with community development projects in the inner-cities of Seattle and Portland. Bud and his son even hired on one year as firefighters for the Indianapolis 500. An SPU Medallion Award winner for his service to God and community, Bud was a member of the legendary “Big Guns of ’51” Falcon basketball team. That year he scored 160 points. He and his wife, Patti, reside in Beaverton, Oregon.
Business Is His Ministry — and, at 96, He’s Still Enjoying the Challenge
GEORGE JOHNSON ’38 remembers a time when the best house in Ballard cost around $3,500.
That was in 1947, when he started his real estate company, George Johnson Realtors. Sixty-one years later, George continues to help people with their housing needs — and still from his original Ballard location.
“I’m easing off a bit,” says the 96-year-old businessman. “I come into the office at 10 a.m. now.”
A student at Seattle Pacific College during the Great Depression, George says he worked seven days a week doing everything from milk delivery to loading freight trains, just to support his family and pay for school. The experience honed his strong work ethic, which helped when he decided to go into real estate.
“It was a bit of a gamble,” he recalls. “Real estate had the same reputation as used-car sales. I had to work all the time.”
George’s perseverance paid off. So did his Christian commitment. “In those days, the emphasis was on serving God as a missionary or a minister,” says George. “But I always felt that to be a dedicated Christian in the nitty-gritty world of business was a necessary calling. I just wanted to do something that treated people with integrity.”
A reputation for honesty is something the family-run business still enjoys today as George and his son, two grandsons, and great-granddaughter all work to serve the next generations of homeowners.
And the secret to George’s long life? “Genetics,” he says. “Other than that, keep working and enjoy what you’re doing. And take some time for golf.”
RICHARD TAYLOR and DELORES PREUSSLER TAYLOR ’56 celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on June 30, 2007, in Rocklin, California, where they make their home. During most of their married life, the couple worked in the Mt. Diablo (California) Unified School District, where he was an elementary teacher/administrator and she was a senior instructional assistant in the continuation high school. Several Seattle Pacific alumni were in their 1957 wedding party and present for the 2007 festivities. These included JAMES BELLMORE ’53, BETTY PREUSSLER BELLMORE ’53, JEANETTE PRIVOTT ’56, DAVID TAYLOR ’56, USHER CASEBOLT ’59, and JANE TAYLOR CASEBOLT ’59. Other alumni in attendance included LENORE IBSEN PETERSON ’56; DANIEL TAYLOR ’59; CLARA BOSON TAYLOR ’59; Richard’s and Delores’ daughter, DEENA TAYLOR WILLIAMS ’83; and JANICE CASEBOLT MUNCER ’86.
MARY SCHADE TIPPETTS, a retired teacher, and her husband, Mark, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on August 24, 2007. They were married in the Evangelical United Brethren Church of Ashton, Illinois. The couple resides in Mountain Home, Arkansas.
TOM SINE CC is the author of The New Conspirators (Intervarsity Press, 2008), which explores “the ever-shifting relationship between the broader culture and the church.” Tom is an adjunct professor at Fuller Theological Seminary in Seattle and cofounder of Mustard Seed Associates, which is located in Seattle and has members throughout the world.
DENNIS YULE is a Benton-Franklin County (Washington) Superior Court judge and recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Spirit Award for emulating the spirit of the civil rights leader and making a positive social change in the community. The Vietnam War veteran was instrumental in creating local drug courts in an effort to cure drug addiction and prevent the crimes resulting from drug abuse. Dennis presides over the adult drug court in his jurisdiction and chairs the Youth and Justice Forum held annually at Columbia Basin College. In 2006, he was named Superior Court Trial Judge of the Year by the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association. He and his wife, LYNDA RANDALL YULE, have four children and live in Prosser, Washington.
KENT MEADS is the interim pastor at Dinuba (California) Presbyterian Church, the sixth church for which he has served as interim pastor. He and his wife, Jane, have two adult children, three grandchildren, and five horses. A transplant from Chicago, where he grew up, Kent enjoys in-line skating and has a background in speed skating and hockey. The couple lives in Auburn, California.
ROBERT DICK is known for his analytical mind, which aided him during the 10 years he spent as a member of the Gig Harbor (Washington) City Council. He is a lawyer who has served both the U.S. Coast Guard and Pierce County (Washington) as legal counsel. He and his wife, CAROL OLSON DICK ’68, live in Gig Harbor.
BERYL BRYDGES CARPENTER has filled her passport in the last 10 years, taking three mission trips to China, two to India, and numerous trips to Spain and Chile. She has put her M.A.-TESOL degree training from SPU to good use teaching in a variety of settings. Beryl and her husband, Robert, reside in Poulsbo, Washington.
ROBERT MILLER of the Ascellon Corporation in Landover, Maryland, is project manager of the Psychiatric Hospital Monitoring and Oversight Project funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. The project is responsible for surveying all free-standing psychiatric hospitals in the United States and Puerto Rico every three years to ensure that patients receive proper care and active psychiatric treatment.
HENRY CHURCH and his wife, BONNIE BLEWS CHURCH ’66, spent 30 years with Free Methodist World Missions in Africa. Henry was the Africa and Middle East area director and, since their return, has taken the pastorate of the Winona Lake (Indiana) Free Methodist Church. The Churches reside in Warsaw, Indiana.
WESLEY WILLMER, M.ED. ’73, is special advisor to the president of Biola University. In his 20th year of employment at Biola, he is also the author of the new Revolution in Generosity: Transforming Stewards to Be Rich Toward God (Moody Press, 2008). Wes and his wife, SHARON WIGGINS WILLMER ’71, M.ED. ’73, a university professor and psychotherapist, reside in Fullerton, California.
TOM CARTER has served as the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dinuba, California, for more than 25 years. He and his son, Tommy, earned the No. 1 ranking in their tennis doubles category for the Northern California district from the United States Tennis Association (USTA). USTA gave the Carters the “2007 Team of the Year Award” in father-son doubles. The Carters reside in Dinuba.
RON BOYDSTON is the circulation manager at Flyer Media Inc., publisher of journals for the small-airplane industry. His duties include in-house fulfillment and list maintenance. He and his wife, JENNIFER WRIGHT BOYDSTON, reside in University Place, Washington.
RICHARD LANDON is a certified master kitchen and bath designer. In 2007, he was the “Best Overall Kitchen Winner” in the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s (NKBA) Design Competition. In 2008, for the second time, he won the NKBA/Puget Sound’s “President’s Award,” the highest award given for this region. Annually, two of his top-to-bottom remodels are part of the Seattle area’s Great Kitchen & Bath Tour, which benefit Seattle Children’s Hospital. Richard and his wife, Cynthia Cole, who is a Boeing engineer and president of Boeing’s technical workers’ union, live in Bellevue, Washington. Richard says they enjoy frequent time with their 7-year-old grandson.
GREG ASIMAKOUPOULOS, senior
pastor of Mercer Island (Washington) Covenant Church, has published his 10th book, Rhymes and Reasons (CreateSpace, 2008). The book is a collection of poems from his column by the same name. The book has been favorably reviewed by radio talk show host Michael Medved and Seattle Seahawks Head Coach Mike Holmgren. Greg lives in Mercer Island with his wife, Wendy, and their three daughters.
DAVID BOXLEY of Metlakatla, Alaska, is a Tsimshian carver and preserver of the Tsimshian tribal culture. His Northwest Coast native art includes bentwood boxes, rattles, masks, prints, and panels. He has shaped pieces found in numerous collections such as those of the king and queen of Sweden, the emperor of Japan, Microsoft, and Walt Disney World. As leader of the Git-hoan (People of the Salmon) Native Dance Group, he has incorporated his masks into their dance and storytelling. With his degree from Seattle Pacific, David became a teacher and basketball coach in Alaska and Washington. He learned the Tsimshian traditions and language from his grandparents and now resides in Kingston, Washington.
STEPHEN GEORGE is news director for KGY Radio in Olympia, Washington. During his freshman year at Seattle Pacific, he answered the call for volunteer help at the student radio station and continued to volunteer there until graduation. His first paying radio job was with KIRO-FM in Seattle. At another small radio station — KMAS in Shelton, Washington — he held several jobs over a period of six years, including program director, host of a daily music show, and manager of the news department. Stephen lives in Rochester, Washington.
JIM PALM is Washington-based Peoples Bank’s vice president and real estate loan manager for King and Snohomish counties. Jim, who manages real estate lending operations, has experience in banking and mortgage lending in the Puget Sound region going back 30 years. He is an active member of the Seattle Mortgage Bankers and a lifetime resident of the Seattle area.
VALERIE JONES MCKAY moved to Auburn, Washington, in 1999 to teach at the Muckleshoot Tribal School. Since 2002, she has worked as a substitute teacher in the Auburn and White River school districts. She also maintains her own massage therapy and reflexology practice. Valerie and her husband, George, have two adopted boys from Russia. The McKays reside in Auburn.
LIZ RADFORD ASPEN is dean of students at Kenmore (Washington) Junior High School in the Northshore School District, and she is a member of the Woodinville (Washington) City Council. Liz, a former parks and recreation commissioner, lives with her husband, Gib, and their two sons in Woodinville.
GREGG KINGMA and GAIL VOLK KINGMA met at SPU when they were named freshman “Students of the Year” during Homecoming. Gregg was a 6-foot-2-inch basketball star and Gail a cross country and track standout. They married the summer after graduation. Gail went on to become one of the nation’s top 10 female marathoners and mother of five, all athletes. “We don’t need a nanny,” she jokes, “we need a referee.” Gregg went on to work in banking and today manages a home-loan center in Seattle. The Kingmas live in Mill Creek, Washington.
ALISON PORTER TALBOT is senior vice president of human resources and administration for Physicians Insurance. Previously, she was vice president of human resources at Safeco Insurance for 20 years. She and her husband, Jeffrey, live in Hansville, Washington. They have two sons.
RICHARD RICE has been active as a Catholic Church musician in the Washington, D.C., area for more than 20 years, specifically as a composer, conductor, and singer. He serves as editor of Gregorian chant publications for the Church Music Association of America. His setting of the traditional Latin text, Salve Regina, for mixed choir a cappella received its premiere performance by the New York Virtuoso Singers in 2006, and has since been published by G. Schirmer Inc., the nation’s leading music publisher. Richard lives in Alexandria, Virginia.
LYNN WIKSTROM VAN VACTOR is executive director of Washington Vocational Services (WVS) and recognized by the Snohomish County (Washington) Business Journal as a “Woman of Achievement.” Her nonprofit agency helps people with disabilities succeed in the workplace by providing assistance with employment training and job placement. WVS serves nearly 400 clients, up from 234 in 2005, the year Lynn was named executive director. She and her husband, Norman, live in Seattle.
PAUL BODNAR, M.ED., was one of 18 regional “Distinguished Principals” for the 2007–08 school year as recognized by Washington’s East King (County) region elementary school principals. Cited for many qualities including his caring, experience, knowledge, and ethics, Paul has been a principal for 19 years and was a nominee for the Washington State Distinguished Principal Award. He and his wife, Kimberly, live with their son in Duvall, Washington.
ERIC ENGLISH is a firefighter in Sammamish, Washington, and a vintage muscle car enthusiast. His articles and photos of collector cars have appeared in numerous auto magazines, including issues of Car Craft and Hemmings Muscle Machines. He and his wife, ANNETTE BAXTER ENGLISH ’88, a registered nurse at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, live with their family in Seattle.
RITCHIE MCKAY is head coach of the men’s basketball program at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. A stellar player for the Falcons, he left the program as the school’s single-season and career record holder for steals, and he was third in career assists. He still holds the SPU record for 10 steals in a 1987 game against Pacific Lutheran University. Liberty is Ritchie’s fifth college head coaching position and his first east of the Mississippi. He went to Liberty after five seasons at the helm for the University of New Mexico. Ritchie and his wife, Julie, have two sons and a daughter, and reside in Lynchburg.
DAVID BIANCHINI was named the 2008 Assistant Principal of the Year for Washington state by the Association of Washington School Principals. Affectionately known to his students at Granite Falls (Washington) Middle School as “Mr. B,” he is now the principal of the middle school and was honored at a special luncheon for his natural leadership and development of young people. David, who earned his principal’s certification from SPU in 2001, traveled to Washington, D.C., in April for a black-tie event in honor of the winners from all 50 states. His wife, TRACI BAKER BIANCHINI ’89, ran track and cross country for SPU, finishing fourth in the nation in the 800 meters during her senior year. Today, she coaches track and cross country at the middle-school level and at Monroe (Washington) High School. The Bianchinis live with their daughter and son in Snohomish, Washington.
TOM CHURCHILL is the assistant superintendent for the Hood Canal School District and principal at Hood Canal School in Shelton, Washington. He has been an elementary school teacher and school administrator in other schools around the state and says he particularly enjoys the smaller district experience. He is married to Patty, a retired kindergarten and preschool teacher. They live in Union, Washington.
RICHARD RYAN is an elementary school teacher, owns a music store called Rock-IT-Music, gives percussion music lessons, and serves as a member of the Mountlake Terrace (Washington) City Council. His wife, Judy, chairs the city’s arts commission. The Ryans have two children and live in Mountlake Terrace.
WILL ANDERSON is the president of Koniag, a regional Native Alaskan corporation headquartered in Kodiak, Alaska. With a background in bookkeeping, accounting, and office management, plus three years preparing financial statements for The Boeing Company, Will had the breadth of skills to become first the vice president of finance, then president of Koniag, a corporation with several thriving business interests in Alaska, the Puget Sound, the Midwest, and Washington, D.C. Also a carver, he has traveled to St. Petersburg, Russia, to study ancient Kodiak Island arts, crafts, tools, and weaponry removed from the island in the 18th and 19th centuries.
PAULINE HILL, retired teacher, principal, and education director, lives in Renton, Washington. She volunteers many hours in the community, the First African Methodist Church in Seattle, and African-American and Kenyan Women Interconnect. Pauline has published Too Young to Be Old: The Story of Bertha Pitts Campbell (AuthorHouse, 2008), the biography of a woman who lived more than a century; was a charter member of Seattle’s Christian Friends for Racial Equality; provided national leadership of the YWCA; and co-founded the public service organization Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., boasting more than 250,000 predominantly African-American women members.
ALLISA SMITH HAWKS transitioned in 2007 from full-time work for a national nonprofit organization into full-time work as a homeschooling mother of two. In 2008, she and her husband, Jeffrey, welcomed their third child, a baby boy. The family lives in Tacoma, Washington.
IAN CLERIHEW is the new assistant men’s soccer coach for Villanova University. Villanova’s head coach Tom Carlin, quoted on a CBS Sports website, said, “Ian’s recruiting skills, ability to effectively coordinate top-level training sessions, and his eagerness to develop Villanova into a national contender will blend perfectly with what we are trying to accomplish as a staff.” Ian served as the assistant coach for Duke University’s soccer team in 2007, and as the assistant coach for St. John’s University in 2006. When he was a student playing on SPU’s soccer team in 1993, Ian contributed to the team’s victory in the 1993 NCAA Division II national championship.
WERNER MAUS is the managing director of the Akademie für praxisnahe Zahnheilkunde, the academy of practical-oriented dentistry in Starnberg, Germany, near Munich. The academy organizes advanced training courses for dentists across Germany. Werner is also the owner of a real estate agency near Munich with clients such as the German Parcel Service and Deutsche Telekom. Werner lives in Greifenberg.
PHILIPP SCHMIDT-PATHMANN is promoting construction of a waste-to-energy plant in Washington’s King County. Describing the waste incineration system, which is similar to systems used in many European locations, Philipp told The Newcastle (Washington) News, “This is the only proven environmental and economical solution dealing with waste that’s not recycling, that ultimately uses the energy as a sustainable resource.” He lives in Newcastle, where he is president of Waste Recovery Seattle International, a consulting company he founded in 1998.
JOHN “JOHNNY” ANDREU is director of contemporary worship at the Presbyterian Church of the Master in Mission Viejo, California, and continues to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. His wife, Angie, is director of high school ministries at Forest Home Christian Conference Center. The Andreus reside in Mission Viejo.
TONY SCHERRER is senior vice president and portfolio manager for Seattle-based Smead Capital Management. He is experienced in stock portfolio management for both institutions and high-net-worth individuals. Tony and his wife, AMY GRANT SCHERRER ’95, raise their family in Seattle.
CHAD FORCIER is an assistant basketball coach for the San Antonio Spurs, the 2007 NBA Champions. While at SPU, he interned with the Seattle SuperSonics, then spent five seasons assistant coaching for the Sonics under head coach George Karl. He was assistant coach at the high school and college level for the next seven years. In 2001, he joined the Detroit Pistons; in 2003, the Indiana Pacers; and then, in 2007, the Spurs. Chad lives in San Antonio, Texas.
JENNIFER PORTER, a medical doctor, became board certified in obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) in November 2007. She lives in Bothell, Washington, and currently practices at Evergreen Hospital, where she performs emergency care and surgery in OB/GYN.
Mountain Climbing and Accounting: Alum’s Two Passions Require Similar Determination
As a young girl growing up in Bothell, Washington, HOLLY BECK ’96 took mountains for granted. “My mom would excitedly point to Mount Rainier, and I’d just roll my eyes,” says Holly with a laugh.
These days, however, she lives for granite mountains. In October 2006, Holly moved to Yosemite National Park to be close to her favorite rock formation: the world’s tallest granite monolith, known as El Capitan. “I just love to climb El Cap!” she exclaims. “I feel like I have a real relationship with ‘the Captain.’”
While El Capitan’s 3,595 feet draws many avid climbers each year to its sheer golden surface, Holly’s connection to it is truly unique. After successfully completing her 20th different route on the monolith this past June, Holly climbed into new territory: the record for the number of distinct routes ascended by a woman.
“Still, that’s not why I do this,” she explains. “To look down, up, left, right and all you see is a beautiful, rolling sea of granite — it’s awe-inspiring. And, it simplifies life: eat, sleep, work.”
In between climbs, when she’s not clinging to a rock wall for up to nine days straight, Holly practices a different kind of discipline. She helps clients surmount financial obstacles with her own accounting business.
“My clients say I’m unlike any accountant they’ve ever met,” says Holly. “But for me, climbing El Cap and accounting are similar. They both require creative problem-solving to achieve success. And some
CYNTHIA MANSFIELD THOMAS has moved to Orlando, Florida, after nine years working in Kiev, Ukraine, with Great Commission Ministries. She and her husband, Eric, have three sons.
RYAN LUTHER is in software sales and his wife, STACEY ROSS LUTHER ’98, is a stay-at-home mom. The couple and their two children reside in Pleasanton, California.
STACY PATTERSON CLEVELAND is the director of the Union Gospel Mission’s Women and Children’s Shelter, the same shelter in Seattle’s International District that was once home to her and two of her children. The shelter houses 70–80 residents, and Stacy says she has found that they listen more closely when she speaks because she was once in their position. Rebellion and drugs played a role in her early life. After a divorce, she enrolled at SPU and earned a degree in biology, but her life unraveled when she returned to drugs and an emotionally abusive relationship. She spiraled downward until she landed in the shelter, where she rededicated her life to Christ and kicked drugs. Stacy worked her way up through the administrative ranks of the shelter and now oversees 24 staff members, 100 volunteers, and an annual operating budget of more than $1 million. She is now married to Scott Cleveland and has four daughters.
DONOVAN VISSER graduated cum laude from Michigan State University College of Law and passed the Michigan State Bar exam in 2007. He practices business and real estate law at Visser and Associates, PLLC, in Grand Rapids. Donovan also owns, manages, and brokers commercial real estate. He and his wife, HEATHER MITTELSTAEDT, M.S. ’05, live with their dog, Jacks, in Grand Rapids.
ANNA LOPEZ works part time in the features department of The Wenatchee World newspaper in Wenatchee, Washington, where she resides. She has also worked in child care and for a church in Seattle.
ERINA WEIBLE is owner of Charisma Design and Organization in Poulsbo, Washington. The interior design major specializes both in bringing beauty and balance to small offices and living spaces, and in real estate staging for empty and occupied homes. “I can organize anything from a garage to a drawer,” she says. A reporter for the North Kitsap Herald likened her to Mary Poppins. Erina lives in Poulsbo.
JOEL DEJONG, who is studying for his M.B.A. at Seattle University (SU), is a member of the team that won the 2007 Seattle University Business Plan Competition sponsored by SU’s Albers School of Business. Their winning project, Vera Fitness, opened its first location in the Greenlake neighborhood of Seattle in March 2008. Vera Fitness is a group personal training studio for women that attracted an initial $400,000 from investors. Joel and his wife, MARY PLATE DEJONG ’99, live in Seattle.
Relief Work Continues as Alum Cares for Sichuan Earthquake Survivors
Christian pastors in China’s Sichuan province were a strategic link to assessing the needs of victims from May 2008’s devastating earthquake. Food for the Hungry (FH) and JARED UTTERBACK ’99, community development manager for the world relief organization, continue to work with those pastors from the registered church, local government leaders, and relief supply centers to get doctors, nurses, food, medicine, and other necessities to people affected by the quake.
“The most traumatizing sight came the day after the quake in the city of Dujiangyan,” says Jared, an educational ministry major who has been with FH since 2005. “One side of the main street was lined with makeshift body bags, about a hundred in all. It was a tragic and typical scene throughout many cities for the first two weeks after the quake.” However, hope was renewed in a neonatal tent in HouBa where mothers lay next to newborns.
Jared’s two years of immersion study in Mandarin came in handy when making his rounds. He was able to communicate with schoolchildren, police, refugees, village leaders, and farmers.
Where was he when the temblor hit? In his apartment five stories up. Toddler Grace Utterback was in her high chair, and Jared’s wife, Allison, was feeding her a snack. “It’s like we were on a ferry boat in the midst of turbulent seas with 10-foot swells,” says Jared. When the shaking took on renewed force, the family fled down the stairs into the courtyard and waited the earthquake out. The entire FH team was OK, as were their neighbors.
STEPHEN NYAKAIRU is the pastor of the United Church of Shirley, Massachusetts. Born in Uganda, he was orphaned during the brutal reign of dictator Idi Amin, traveled as a member of the African Children’s Choir, and was adopted by a Washington state couple. With a degree in religious studies from SPU, Stephen entered Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary to complete his theological studies. “I love the people (in the church),” he says. “I love to hear their God stories.” The pastor resides in East Arlington, Massachusetts.
BOB DANIELLE, major and national accounts sales manager for The News Tribune of Tacoma, Washington, was named the newspaper’s 2007 Manager of the Year. He has taught college courses throughout the Puget Sound area at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He lives in Federal Way, Washington.
MANDY OLNEY left the U.S. Army in 2007, having served in Hawaii, Iraq, and South Korea with the Signal Corps. She is in the second year of a three-year doctoral program in physical therapy at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, where she lives.
MATTHEW PELTZER graduated from Officer Candidate School Phase III training at North Fort Lewis in Tacoma, Washington, and is now commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army National Guard.
MATTHEW YOUNG successfully defended his doctoral dissertation in chemistry at Northwestern University. He and his wife, JOANNA BOSTICK YOUNG ’03, live in Hillsdale, Michigan, where Matthew is an assistant professor of chemistry at Hillsdale College.
LEIF BOSTROM teaches sixth grade English and history at Charlotte Wood Middle School in Danville, California. He qualified in the spring for the 2009 Boston Marathon. His wife, CARYN NOWAK BOSTROM ’01, runs her own photography business. The couple has two sons and lives in Danville.
TARA LEMM is the education and sports reporter at Washington’s North Kitsap Herald. A former sports writer for The Falcon student newspaper at SPU, she has also been a general assignment reporter at another state newspaper, The Leavenworth Echo. The one-time competitive gymnast and coach resides in Poulsbo, Washington.
DUSTIN ROBINSON is regional director of global strategy for The Boeing Company. In addition to company-related travel in India and Russia, he leads a service team at Church on the Ridge in Snoqualmie, Washington. His wife, Kimberley, leads the international recruiting/staffing efforts for Microsoft. The couple resides in Snoqualmie.
ELSIE “ELLIE” SHAW YEYKAL graduated from the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and is an OB/GYN resident at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital in Taylor, Michigan. Her husband, Joshua, is a third-year medical student. A third-generation SPU graduate, Ellie followed in the academic footsteps of her mother, CHRISTINE ATKINSON SHAW ’76, and her grandfather, DONALD ATKINSON ’49. The couple lives in Taylor.
MARY ALICE HEUSCHEL, ED.D., is the superintendent of the Renton (Washington) School District and its 13,000 students. Her experience includes six years as deputy superintendent of learning and teaching at the Washington state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. She has been a school principal, an educational assessment specialist, an instructor at U.S. Department of Defense schools in Europe, and a teacher at West Point Military Academy. She and her husband, Gene, live in Renton.
ALISON OLNEY ROCKAFIELD is a registered nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit of Seattle Children’s Hospital. Her husband, Mat, is employed at The Boeing Company in Everett, Washington. The couple resides in Mukilteo, Washington.
MELISSA VETTERLING has been promoted to grassroots organizer in the Government Affairs Department of the Credit Union Association of Colorado and Credit Union Association of Wyoming. She manages a database of 2,000 grassroots advocates and puts on events to help recruit them in support of political initiatives involving credit unions. She has volunteered as a teacher of English as a Second Language with Orphanage Outreach in the Dominican Republic, and as a tutor to students at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Seattle. Melissa lives in Superior, Colorado.
JEN MONTZINGO is one of 52 contributors to Student to Student: A Guide to College Life (Regal Books, 2008). A collection of weekly inspirational readings, the book examines the most common pitfalls and opportunities of campus life. Jen lives in Seattle.
KRYSTEL PORTER graduated in 2007 from Fuller Theological Seminary with a master’s degree in cross-cultural studies and an emphasis in international development and children at risk. She spent a summer in Nairobi, Kenya, advocating for children, and time in Washington, D.C., and New York City consulting with the United Nations. Krystel works for World Vision in Washington, D.C., as an executive assistant to the director of peace-building and reconciliation.
IAN BIRK completed basic combat training with the U.S. Army at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. His hometown is Bow, Washington.
KELLY HINZ is the secretary for Baja Bible College in Tijuana, Mexico. The college offers a one-year program devoted to helping students become biblically literate for cross-cultural missions work. She sends thanks for her SPU education “and the desire it gave me to engage the culture wherever it is that God takes me.” She says she appreciates all prayer for her work in Tijuana. This is the farthest she has lived from home, and the area in which she serves is becoming increasingly dangerous.
MICHELLE BENNETT, PH.D., is a sergeant in the King County (Washington) Sheriff’s Office. Her doctoral dissertation in SPU’s School of Education was titled, “Take a Stand Against Bullying: Evaluation of the Efficacy of a School-Wide Program for Middle School Students.” She lives in Maple Valley, Washington.
CARA RUDD was third runner-up in the 2008 Miss Washington beauty pageant. An honors student, she graduated from SPU with a dual degree in marketing and communication and hopes to own an event planning and management firm. She says she learned time- management skills completing her degree requirements while working an average of 20 hours per week in platform-related activities. Cara, who enjoys performing in musical theatre and is a licensed open-water diver, resides in Federal Way, Washington.
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