News and updates from Pacific University alumni
Lyman “Ray” West ’61, OD ’62 and his wife, Charlene, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Nov. 24, 2015. They also welcomed their first great-granddaughter, Avery Kathleen Schlitt, on July 20, 2015. She joins two great-grandsons.
Doug Weberling ’72, OD ’74 was named the sixth recipient of the Kamelia Massih Prize for a Distinguished Optometrist at Pacific University’s Commencement on May 21. Weberling is president of Weberling & Associates optometric practice in Bristol, Va., where he is a longtime resident and the city’s former mayor. He is a member of many professional organizations, including the American Optometric Association and Virginia Optometric Association, and is he is past president of the Lonesome Pine Optometric Society. He also is a member of the Pacific University Board of Trustees.
Bob H. Meisel OD received the Clintonville (Wisc.) School District’s Distinguished Alumnus Honoris award. In his fourth year of optometry school at Pacific, he was awarded a military scholarship and began his career in the Navy. After active duty, he joined the Naval Reserve and served with Marine Corps units, assigned to military hospitals. He later was an adviser to the Navy surgeon general and with Navy operations at the Pentagon. He retired after 31 years as a captain with many honors, including the Clarence Gibbs Award, the highest honor given to a Reserve Medical Service Corps member. He went on to own two private practices in San Diego and was one of the first recipients of the California OD of the Year award. He served on the board of the San Diego County Optometric Society and was named its Optometrist of the Year in 2014. He was awarded the 2015 Key Person of the Year award by the California Optometric Association. He donates his time at
a Lions Optometric Vision Clinic.
Tom Millbrooke was named 2015 National Coach of the Year for Boys Track and Field by the National Federation of State High School Associations. The award was based on his career coaching record, community service, involvement in other school activities, involvement in professional activities, and basic philosophy of athletics. Millbrooke said his coaching philosophy was shaped by his years at Pacific, where he participated in football, basketball, cross country, and track and field. He volunteered as an assistant track and field coach at Hillsboro High School as a Pacific senior, then taught and coached at Eddyville, Ore., for two years, at Ilwaco, Wash., for nine years and for the past 31 years at Canby, Ore.
Gail (Younis) Baltaxe reminds her friends to join the Class of 1976 at Homecoming 2016, Oct. 14-16. “Let’s all go back in time, even if just for a few moments, and reminisce of our young(er) days, all the fun we had, and the great friends and memories we made.”
Matthew Groshart OD has retired from his optometry business in Sheridan, Wyo., after 30 years in the profession. Groshart’s father was one of the first optometrists in the northern Wyoming town, and Groshart joined the practice after his graduation from Pacific. He took over Sheridan Optical and Groshart Eye Clinic in 1991.
Dan James was named deputy administrator for Bonneville Power Administration. He is responsible for leadership, strategic planning, financial management and regulatory affairs, as well as intergovernmental and public affairs oversight. Most recently, he was vice president of public affairs and marketing at PNGC Power. He previously worked as a federal affairs representative at Pacific Northwest Waterways Association and as a senior government relations specialist at Ball Janik in Portland and Washington, D.C. He also is a member of the Pacific University Board of Trustees.
Fred Kondziela MAT has been named principal of Jacksonville Elementary School in Medford, Ore. He earned his master’s at Pacific and went on to obtain an administrative license. In his 19 years as an educator, he has worked for the Tigard-Tualatin, Central Point, Eagle Point and Medford school districts. He most recently was assistant principal and athletic director at Medford’s Hedrick Middle School and previously was dean of students at McLoughlin Middle School.
Natalie (Beltram) Reed ’97, PT ’01 manages the Joint Replacement Institute at Willamette Valley Medical Center in McMinnville.
Richard Leebrick MAT has been a language arts and theatre teacher at the innovative Roosevelt High School in Eugene for the past 15 years, though he first came to the school as a junior high student in 1973. The school building is being demolished this summer as a new facility opens for the community. Leebrick led students in a musical ode to the 66-year-old building this spring.
Rachel (Menasche) Georgeson PT and her husband Lance are taking a year off to travel around the world with their 9- and 12-year-old sons.
Susan Jankelson PT is co-owner of Rainier Family Physical Therapy, an outpatient orthopedic clinic which also has raised more than $50,000 for Bridges: A Center for Grieving Children.
Jeremy Kern PT works at Providence Milwaukie Hospital, specializing in mechanical diagnosis and therapy, as well as wheelchair evaluations. He enjoys running and soccer, and he and his wife Angela have two sons.
Emilie (Brewster) Kundert PT works for Ergonomic Worksite Health Programs, offering wellness and injury prevention at Weyerhaeuser in Longview, Wash. She also recently started recruiting for The KOR Physical Therapy in Portland.
Melissa (Lathrop) Leak PT earned a master’s degree in global development and justice in May 2015. She and husband Brian are involved in anti-trafficking initiatives through local organizations.
Jonna (Gaustad) Leighton PT is an acute care therapist at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene, Ore., and the mother of three children.
Athena Phillips was a delegation leader for a trauma training in Rwanda in June. She is the owner and founder of Integrative Trauma Treatment Center, a progressive outpatient therapy group in Portland specializing in post-traumatic stress and related disorders. ITTC partnered with the Global Engagement Institute and the University of Rwanda to provide a multicultural trauma training.
Julie Worski-Gustafson PT is a certified lymphedema therapist, working part time in an outpatient facility and with home health in Las Cruces, N.M.
Martin J. Zakrzewski MS ’96, PsyD ’01 was named director of psychology at BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services in Vancouver, B.C. He previously worked with Vancouver Coastal Health, Forensic Psychiatric Hospital and Riverview Hospital.
Jeremie Murfin and his partners in Five Star Guitars in Hillsboro were awarded the 2016 Oregon Small Business Persons of the Year award by the Small Business Administration.
Rebecca (Tilman) Claussen and her husband, Christopher, welcomed twin sons, Ryan Monroe and Joel Matthew, on July 1, 2015. They join sisters Allison, 8, and Nicole, 5.
Arryl Kaneshiro is a member of the Kauai County Council. In his first term, he chaired the Budget and Finance Committee. He is a certified public accountant and works as a project manager at the Grove Farm Company.
Cisco Reyes recently advanced from associate professor to full professor in the Exercise and Sport Science Department at Concordia University in Portland. He also was appointed director of athletic performance within the university’s Athletic Department, where he oversees and administers the year-round training and conditioning for all Cavalier varsity teams. He and his wife, Kaui (Torres) Reyes ’05 also welcomed son Cullen Gabriel-Kainalu Reyes on May 20, 2016. He joins older sisters Kaila-Louise, 8, and Kenna-Rose, 6.
Kimberly (Hee) Aina ’05, PT ’08 and husband Nick welcomed daughter Sydney Leialoha Tsugumi Aina on March 19, 2016.
Ariel Salzman PT married Brendan Robinson in April 2016. She passed her CMPT in May and also has an orthopedic clinical specialist certification.
Brianne Grogan PT, Christopher Grogan MAT ’06 and family lives in Germany, where she is pursuing a women’s fitness business and has published a book, Lady Bits: Understand Your Body, Elevate Your Health, and Reclaim Your Spark Naturally.
Kirsten Hart made a special performance with the Vancouver USA Singers, performing the tragic role of Santuzza in selections from the opera Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni. She also soloed with the choir in the Moses Hogan spiritual Wade in the Water. She has sung with the Portland opera, Bel Canto Opera and Boston Lyric Opera companies and now lives in Boston, where she recently earned a graduate degree in voice from the New England Conservatory of Music. Hart’s mother is director of the Vancouver USA Singers, which is an all-volunteer, by-audition, mixed-voice community chorus.
Stephanie (Shideler) Maher and her husband, Maj. Benjamin Maher, welcomed daughter Erin on Feb. 24, 2016. Erin joins brothers Finlan, 5, and Ian, 3.
Jayme (Ing) and Jesse Wong ’07 welcomed Jaron Kahuamaikapilikiponaaloha Wong on Dec. 9, 2015.
Tasha MacIlveen PT is a member of the APTA House of Delegates. The Oregon delegation recently discussed policy and direction for the future of the physical therapy profession, specifically advocating for a motion on student debt.
Kara (Lang) Schuft PT and husband Peter welcomed daughter Maisie Lang Schuft on May 8, 2016.
Geoff Pursinger is the assistant editor of the Hillsboro Tribune, which is based in the Forest Grove News-Times office. At Pacific, he was editor of The Pacific Index from 2007 to 2009.
Liane (Nakamae) Truong ’10, PT ’13 and Daniel Truong ’10, OD ’13 traveled to Vietnam in 2015 to teach preventative healthcare to residents in the rural northern portion of the country. Daniel helped lead the team with eye health care, and Liane taught physical therapy for the back and neck. The team they worked with also covered dental care, women’s health and maternity care, clean water treatment, and hand hygiene.
Breanna Chandler is creative coordinator at Revolution Messaging, as well as deputy to videographer Arun Chaudhary, who served as videographer for President Barack Obama during his first campaign. The firm’s clients include Bernie Sanders, Melinda Gates, AOL founder Steve Case, MoveOn, and UltraViolet.
Jim Webster PT and wife Emily welcomed daughter Grace Marie Webster on April 12, 2016.
Ashleigh Walters PT is a pediatric physical therapist with the Multnomah Early Childhood Program, where she works in early intervention with children 3 and under.
Gavin Knittle directed the Theatre in the Grove presentation of On Golden Pond, which was performed in Forest Grove in June.
Liz Quimby is living in a small town in southern Albania, teaching comprehensive health education and life skills to elementary and middle school students with the Peace Corps. She also is starting a dance club and other community activities there during the summer.
Craig Bailey graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland this spring. Bailey is a U.S. Air Force Reserve Airman First Class. His training included an intensive eight-week program that involved training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness and basic warfare principles and skills.
Jessica Hawley-Gamer PT welcomed daughter Noelle Shiloh on Sept. 14, 2015. Jessica works at Women’s Physical Therapy in the LA area.