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The Real Transformers

The Real Transformers
Spring 2010 | Volume 33, Number 1 | Footnotes



DAVID MOBERG received the Berton H. Kaplan Award for distinguished service from the Society for Spirituality, Theology, and Health, based at Duke University Medical Center. He was recognized in June 2009 for his “long and accomplished career in academics, research, as an author and editor, and for contributions to the field of religion and aging research.” David lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


LEON STRUNK has recovered from prostate cancer and has returned to producing pottery. The proceeds from the sale of his ceramic creations help support a mission project at Nova Almeida, Brazil. During the Christmas season, the sale of ornaments he made from recycled greeting cards also provided support for the mission project. Leon and his wife, Martha, spent 42 years as missionaries with the United Methodist Church (not the Free Methodist Church, as incorrectly reported in the Summer 2009 Response) in Brazil. They live in Asheville, North Carolina.


KARL KRIENKE, M.A. ’55, SPU professor emeritus of physics, mathematics, and computer science, visited Machu Picchu in Peru last year with his wife, REITA FLETCHER KRIENKE ’55. Karl remains active in astronomical research, and he teaches Sunday school at Seattle’s First Free Methodist Church, where one of the members of his class is Wesley walls, SPU professor emeritus of political science. Wesley is more than 90 years of age. Karl continues his daily swims, which are closing in on 8,000 miles of accumulated distance. The Krienkes live in Seattle.


GRAYSON CAPP, a visiting professor in biochemistry at the University of Namibia in southern Africa, secured the donation of 150 biochemistry textbooks for use by the university’s students. Grayson contacted two American publishers and asked them to help address the critical need for quality science books in the developing African nation. Grayson taught for many years at SPU in the Chemistry Department. His wife, MYRNA YOUNGREN CAPP ’59, currently teaches piano and piano pedagogy in SPU’s Music Department.


MYRTLE STANTON GRADIN is a realtor. Her husband, RODNEY GRADIN ’60, is a retired physics teacher. The Gradins reside in Boring, Oregon, and attend Good Shepherd Community Church. They have four children and 19 grandchildren.

GEORGE KUPFER, a consultant focusing on community consultation and facilitation related to social and environmental issues, is part of a three-member federal review panel for British Columbia’s Bute Inlet Hydroelectric Project. President of his own company, Fresh Start Limited, George has led multistakeholder consultations on drilling applications, gas pipeline developments, trans-mission line route selection, water management issues, and forest conservation. A significant part of his work has been among Canadian federal and provincial entities and First Nations and Metis people in Alberta, British Columbia, and the Northwest Territories. George resides in Sidney, B.C.


AL ZIMMERMAN is executive director for Northwest Christian Community Foundation, a public foundation that seeks to enable Christian philanthropists to enhance their support of ministries through strategic charitable initiatives. Al comes to the job after serving George Fox University, where he was their director of planned giving. He also has 12 years of experience as vice president of planned giving for the Oregon Health and Science University. Earlier in his career, he served in ministry with churches in Oregon and Seattle. Al is married to VIRGINIA HAWVER ZIMMERMAN and they live in Gladstone, Oregon.


ROSE GAIN BROWN has taught full-day kindergarten for the last five years at Dufur School in Dufur, Oregon. She uses drawing and painting as ways to develop her students’ reading and writing abilities. Rose and her husband, Richard, have two adult children and reside in The Dalles, Oregon.


JAMES “JIM” BOLIN, former mayor of Canton, South Dakota, is now a member of the South Dakota legislature. He writes, “It is a great thrill to be directly involved in the political process.” Jim plans to run for re-election in 2010. He and his wife, Ruth, live in Canton.


KEN BURR is an ordained minister in the American Baptist Churches USA and a licensed marriage and family therapist with a private practice in Seattle. He specializes in couples counseling and in helping gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender clients. His new book is Coming Out, Coming Home: Making Room for Gay Spirituality in Therapy (Routledge Mental Health, 2009). He and his wife, SHELLEY EGGERT BURR, have three grown children and reside in Seattle.

LARRY EIDE completed a doctor of ministry degree through Trinity Western University, ACTS (Associated Canadian Theological Schools) Seminaries. The father of four grown children, he lives with his wife, Diane, in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. Larry has pastored three churches, including two in British Columbia, and he spent several years setting up North American crusades for the Billy Graham Association. In the ’90s, Larry joined the Christian and Missionary Alliance District Lead Team as an assistant district superintendent. He now oversees areas such as church planting and church education for the district headquartered in Surrey.

GAYLORD STRAND has been inducted into the Washington State Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Before starting a nearly 36-year coaching career at Yelm (Washington) High School, he was a Falcon wrestler under Coach FRANK FURTADO JR. ’61 and was a four-time Division II national tournament participant. Gaylord has coached 49 athletes who have placed at the state level, including nine state champions. His Tornados have placed second in the state tournament twice (2008 and 2009) and finished fourth in 1994. Active beyond the state, Gaylord has coached cultural exchange teams to China and Mexico, was a coach at the Junior Olympics, and officiated at the National Freestyle Championships held at the University of Oregon. He and his wife, Sarah, have two children and reside in Olympia, Washington.

Five Generations Later, She Carries on a Family Farming Tradition

Hillary JensenWhen HILLARY JENSEN ’02 talks about her “family farm,” the phrase holds deep meaning. The farm in Woodland, Washington, where she lives with her grandmother, has been in the family since her Finnish great-great- grandparents raised chickens on acreage along the north fork of the Lewis River in the 1920s.

When her grandparents took over, they raised farm animals and crops. Hillary’s mother, MERRY JENSEN ’02, has kept her own green thumb, experimenting with grafting apple varieties on the farm. Hillary’s brother Tel is preparing the apple trees for a future cider business.

“My brother is a large reason I started farming,” says Hillary, who sells eggs locally as her great-great-grandparents did. “In 2006, I quit my office job and knew I needed to do something life-giving.” While working at another farm, she says, “I was hooked. I wanted to make it a part of my life.”

Within a year, she has helped start a farmer’s market in town, and she has worked to make her family farm as organic as possible. In place of machinery, her goat takes care of the blackberry vines, and her “chicken tractor,” a kind of portable coop, uses chicken power to practically rototill the garden. The animals’ manure, even their bedding mulch, add nutrients to the soil.

For friends and family, Hillary preserves food from the garden, doing her own canning, as her relatives have done in that spot for almost a century. “I’m ridiculously happy with what I’m doing,” she says. “I get to play in the dirt.”


SCOTT NOLTE and his wife, PAM BAILEY NOLTE, live in Seattle and are co- founders of Taproot Theatre Company, one of Seattle’s largest mid-size theatre and touring companies. The theatre reaches a combined audience of more than 150,000 people each year through its mainstage plays, touring shows, and acting studio.

ROBIN SHULER, a licensed certified public accountant and chief financial officer of Seattle-based Qualis Health, was named a 2009 Chief Financial Officer of the Year award finalist. The award is sponsored by The Puget Sound Business Journal. A private nonprofit health care organization, Qualis has regional offices in six states and works to improve the quality of health care delivery for individuals and groups across the country. Robin is married to mental health counselor ELLEN TARR SHULER ’77. They live in Kirkland, Washington.


DAVID HUSBY is the director of Covenant World Relief for the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC). He and his wife, RONNA BUSTAD HUSBY, have been missionaries with the ECC since 1983. They served as Covenant short-term missionaries in Japan from 1983 to 1985 and were commissioned as long-term missionaries for Japan in 1987. They began serving as Asia regional coordinators in 1999. Based in Chicago, the Husbys have three children, including JENNIFER HUSBY, a junior at SPU.


DEETTE PUCKETT BUNN has held principal harp positions with the Anchorage Symphony, the Anchorage Opera Company, and the Jacksonville (Florida) Symphony. For 10 seasons, she has been second harp with the Syracuse (New York) Symphony Orchestra. Deette has also served frequently as principal harp for the Colgate University Orchestra, Hamilton College Orchestra, Syracuse University Orchestra, Ithaca College Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, and the Cornell Symphony Orchestra. She and her physician husband, W. DOUGLAS BUNN JR., reside in Jamesville, New York.

JOHN NELSON, a photographer and credit union mortgage consultant, has published Going Back to Africa (Tate Publishing, 2009). The book is a memoir of his years spent as the child of missionaries on the Arusha Plains of Tanzania, Africa. A graduate of Kenya’s Rift Valley Academy, John relates the wonders he saw — from the wild savannah to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro — and the spiritual makeover he experienced in the bargain. Today, John lives and works in Palm City, Florida, with his family.

SONIA JORDETH SHAW and her husband, Bill, have spent nearly five terms of service as Assemblies of God missionaries in Africa, beginning in 1987. After two terms in Ghana, they moved in 1997 to their current home of Chad, following a year of French studies in France. In 2003, they were instrumental in getting the first Christian radio station in the history of Chad on the air in the capital city of N’Djamena. Today, Bill directs L’Institut Biblique des Assemblees de Dieu du Tchad and Sonia teaches English as a second language. She has had more than 120 students enrolled at one time. They are hard at work on a second radio station and should be on the air early in 2010. The Shaws live in Moundou, the second largest city in the country.

SCOTT WINSHIP is a member of the law firm of Vandeberg Johnson & Gandara in Tacoma, Washington, where he makes his home. Prior to VJ&G, Scott served as a deputy prosecuting attorney in both King and Pierce Counties in Washington, as president and CEO of North Pacific Bank, and as an attorney with a boutique business and corporate law firm based in Napa, California. In 2002, he helped to organize and open Northwest Commercial Bank in Lakewood, Washington.


KATHY SMITH LATHEN is a lab analyst at the Port of Sunnyside in Sunnyside, Washington. She and her husband, Tom, also make their home in Sunnyside. A former high school teacher, Kathy has worked in several labs across Washington state, including a winery lab. In her current position, she tests wastewater entering the wastewater treatment facility owned by the Port to make certain that it meets strict Department of Ecology standards.

STEVE SALISBURY, principal at Tukwila (Washington) Elementary School, was chosen as one of 18 regional Distinguished Principals in the state for the 2008–09 academic year. Recognized for his inspirational leadership, Steve was honored at the state conference of the Elementary School Principals Association of Washington and the Association of Washington School Principals. He resides in Sumner, Washington.

A Child’s Dance Reminds His Family of Christmas Blessings

Keegan DaleyFor most parents, watching your child dance in Pacific Northwest Ballet’s premier production of “The Nutcracker” would be a thrilling experience. But for JEFF DALEY, head gardener at Seattle Pacific University, and his wife, SUE RISS DALEY ’83, the experience was also a reminder of God’s goodness.

That’s because their son, 9-year-old Keegan, who danced the role of Fritz, wasn’t supposed to survive — let alone be able to dance. Born four months prematurely, Keegan weighed less than 2 pounds. “He was slightly bigger than a Barbie doll,” says Jeff.

Known as a “micropreemie,” Keegan’s chances of survival in 2000 were as low as 10 percent. It made for several very intense weeks. A few times the Daleys didn’t think Keegan would make it. All they could do, says Jeff, was trust God for each day, each hour.

In return, the family received an outpouring of support. “We ended up on various email prayer lists,” says Sue. “God’s people prayed all over the world.”

Closer to home, Jeff’s and Sue’s church community provided weekly meals for several months. The SPU community poured out its heart, Sue says, through prayer, visits, and ongoing help. SPU also gave Jeff complete flexibility with his work schedule.

At the end of a trying five months, they brought Keegan home a week before Christmas — another reason the 2009 Christmastime production of “The Nutcracker” was so meaningful for the Daleys.

Jeff says it was also special to look around the audience in McCaw Hall and see people from SPU who had prayed for Keegan all those years earlier. “God’s blessing spills out and affects other lives,” says Jeff. “Nine years later, all of the people who prayed — and many, many more — are now touched by Keegan’s life.”


JOHN BUECHNER and LORI IVESTER BUECHNER head a Christian ministry alled The Mercy Project, which engages church congregations in effectively meeting the needs of child survivors of sex trafficking. John completed his master’s degree in divinity from Denver Seminary in December 2008. The Buechners and their three children live in Westminster, Colorado.

WESLEY SIEG and KELLY O’SHEA SIEG farm Victory Acres, the family spread in Hartline, Washington. They have four children, including REBEKAH SIEG ’04 and KENT SIEG, an SPU sophomore.


DOUG BACKOUS is a physician at the Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle. He is also the Boy Scout master for the 44 scouts in Troop 600 of Bellevue, Washington, where he lives with his wife, JULIE LINDBERG BACKOUS ’86. In June 2009, Troop 600 claimed the state record for the most scouts achieving Eagle Scout status in one ceremony. Doug pinned badges on 11 of his scouts in one evening.

GALE WIEBE RILEY lives in Lynnwood, Washington, and is a visual arts teacher at Seattle’s King’s Schools. She was named the 2008 Washington Arts Education Association’s Art Educator of the Year out of 230 art educators from public and private schools across the state.

DAVID WELLS is chief administrative officer at SIONIX Corporation in Anaheim, California. SIONIX designs and manufactures water purification systems for commercial, industrial, and public water treatment applications. Some of those applications include the defense industry, food and meat processing, and emergency water supply during times of disaster. David has more than 20 years of experience in finance, operations, and administration across industries ranging from software and technology to supply-chain management to manufacturing. He holds an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University and lives in Santa Monica, California.


BRIAN MORSE is general manager of the Rogue Valley Swim and Tennis Club, vice president of sales and marketing for Sterling Business Forms, and head coach of the Cascade Christian High School (CCHS) boys’ basketball team in Medford, Oregon. In 2009, the Challengers captured their second state title in three years. In the 21 years since graduating from SPU, Brian has amassed a 372–158 record and seven state tournament appearances. He and his wife, JENNIFER JACKSON MORSE, a science teacher and former volleyball coach at CCHS, have four boys and three girls and live in Central Point, Oregon.


ROBERT ENLOW is president and CEO of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. The Friedman Foundation, based in Indianapolis, Indiana — where Robert resides — advocates for the school-choice initiative through research, education, and communications.


ANNE GAGERMAN WILCOX, M.A.T. ’02, directs the English as a New Language program of Wendell School District in Wendell, Idaho, where she makes her home. The Idaho State Department of Education has recognized the program as the 2010 Limited English Proficient Elementary Program of Excellence, praising it for its collaborative approach to language-learning.


JONATHAN MITCHELL became the new pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Maryville, Missouri, in June 2009. After graduation from SPU, he worked as a substitute teacher in Seattle before taking a job at a small private school in Lewiston, Idaho. He then worked for the local housing authority in Walla Walla, Washington, while his wife, JANA BURRIS MITCHELL ’92, worked in a state group foster care home for children with disabilities. Active in the local Presbyterian church, Jonathan decided to enroll at Princeton Theological Seminary and earn a master’s degree in divinity. He served as an associate pastor in Idaho before moving with Jana and their two daughters to Maryville to accept the senior pastor position.

GEORGE SILVA is the chief professional officer of the Boys and Girls Club of the island of Hawaii. He is also a CPA. With extensive experience working with youth and youth programs in Hawaii, George is also the co-founder and president of Hawaii Warriors Athletics. The nonprofit organization assists young athletes in skill development, positive values, leadership skills, and the development of a strong work ethic. George lives in Hilo, Hawaii.

SUZANNE STAPELY, a registered nurse who resides in Seattle, has made five missions trips to Guatemala with the Agros Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps the poor through land ownership and economic stability. Suzanne earned a master’s degree from Regent College in 2000 and started her own nursing consultant business in 2009. Suzanne, who is a breast-cancer survivor, says, “My life is more and more interesting!”


KARL KRISPIN recently partnered with JAMES FORSLUND ’95 to start Belvedere Builders, a residential and light commercial construction company based in Seattle. Karl lives in Seattle.

PETER SHAFER, M.C.M., the founding pastor of Heart & Soul Community Free Methodist Church in Rochester, New York, is completing a doctoral degree in education from the State University of New York in Buffalo. His dissertation research is a sociological study of graduate-level theology students. His article “The Heart, Not the Face: A Civil-War-Era Tale and the Persistent Challenge of Race in Religious Education” was published in the July–September 2009 issue of the journal Religious Education. Peter was previously on staff at Seattle’s First Free Methodist Church and, from 1977 to 1980, served as editor of Response and as a publications writer in the Office of University Relations at SPU. He and his wife, Shirley, have two children. Son THADDEUS “TAD” SHAFER ’05 works in Los Angeles.


KONGKWAN “KATE” KOSAKA, M.S.-I.S.M., left after seven years with The Boeing Company to become a homemaker and to teach her two sons at home. She also gives private music lessons to as many as 30 students. Her husband, MARK KOSAKA, B.A. ’85, M.B.A. ’95, is a project manager at Boeing. The Kosakas reside in Auburn, Washington.


AIMEE MALAN MINER, M.ED., is the new principal of Lake Forest Park (Washington) Elementary School. In the past, she has taught third and fourth grade in the Highly Capable program at Meridian Park School in Shoreline, Washington, and served as a K–8 computer specialist at the American International School in Vienna, Austria. Aimee and her husband, PAUL MINER, M.A. ’04, live with their children in Seattle.

PETER VENABLE, former senior application developer at Oracle software company, applies his passion for languages at Logos Bible Software in Bellingham, Washington. Logos is a leading publisher of multilingual Bible software for both the Macintosh and Windows platforms. By the time he attended high school, Peter had made several computer games, a database system for a library, and music software. With a bachelor’s degree in computer science from SPU, he went on to Carnegie Mellon University and earned a doctorate while devising software to parse various languages and translate them automatically into English. The Venable family lives in Bellingham.


MIKE BIRNBAUM is a sales representative for Pyron Technologies, an information technologies and web design firm, in Missoula, Montana, where he lives.


AMANDA “MANDY” OLNEY received the Charles McAdams Scholarship from the Tarkio College Alumni Association in Tarkio, Missouri. The scholarship aids her studies at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, where she is in her third and final year of the physical therapy doctoral program.

TOM WARTON recently received an M.B.A. degree from Portland State University in Oregon. His wife, JENNIFER “J.B.” HIGNELL WARTON, attended medical school in Chicago and is now in her third year of a pediatric residency at Oregon Health and Sciences University. Their first child, a son, was born in July 2009. J.B. has accepted a general pediatric position in Bend, Oregon, and the family plans to move from Portland to Bend this summer.


RICHARD “RICK” LEENSVAART is studying dentistry at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine. He volunteers for school-related projects around the community of Denver and has served on a church mission team to the Dominican Republic. His wife, Mandy, is the assistant principal at an elementary school near their home in Castle Pines, Colorado.


MEEKA NEFF KULLBERG is public information coordinator for Evergreen Public Schools in Vancouver, Washington. She was chosen one of 17 members of the Vancouver Business Journal’s Accomplished and Under 40 Class of 2009 in part for her volunteer work on behalf of the Clark County (Washington) Court-Appointed Special Advocate program of the YWCA. She and her husband, Ryan, reside in Portland, Oregon.


LINDA BLAKE, a doctoral student in medicinal chemistry at the University of Kansas, placed third in the 2009 Graduate Student Research Competition for her presentation, “Lung Cancer Chemoprevention: Selective Inhibition of Cytochrome P450 2A13.” Linda was one of only 15 students to receive an award out of a record 116 who entered the competition. Her hometown is Kennewick, Washington.

REBEKAH HIEMSTRA graduated in 2008 with a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Creighton University. She passed the registered nursing board exams in Washington and began her nursing career at Seattle Children’s Hospital in December 2008. She lives in Seattle.

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