Class Notes

News and updates from Pacific University alumni.


Will Loveall ’58, OD ’66 is enjoying retirement, fishing and relaxing. For 37 years, he owned and ran an optometry practice in Columbia Falls, Mont., where he served on the city council and as a member of the Columbia Falls
Lion’s Club.


Judy Mason ’60 was recently involved in a serious car accident. After weeks of hospitalization and intensive care, she made a steady recovery. She is a retired teacher and moved to Vancouver, Wash., in July 2018.


Gary Hill ’63 is a U.S. Navy veteran and former naval aviator who served alongside the late Sen. John McCain. He stands beside a young Sen. McCain in the cover photo of McCain’s first memoir. Hill’s story was featured in The Bulletin (Bend, Ore.), in addition to the weekly video series, “War Stories,” broadcast by Central Oregon Daily. After his service, he was an engineer at NASA for 27 years, developing new technologies. He and his family moved back to Central Oregon after his retirement.

Richard LeBlond ’63 is a retired biologist who found his calling as a writer. His essays and photographs have appeared in U.S. and international journals and his work was once nominated for The Best American Travel Writing anthology series.

Bob Mahoney ’63 and Sherree (Wager) Mahoney ’65 were featured in Western Horseman magazine’s latest summer issue.


Jim Silkensen ’67 was chosen to be the Grand Marshall of the 2018 Memorial Day Parade and Memorial Day Ceremony held in Cranford, N.J. He spoke on his service in the U.S. Army, specifically during the Vietnam War, as his wife, Candy (Wilson) Silkensen ’69, stood beside him.


Elvis Kawahara ’69 helped producer Fauna Hodel publish her autobiography, One Day She’ll Darken. It was sold to the cable channel TNT as a six-part mini-series renamed I Am the Night. It is set to air in January 2019, starring Chris Pine and directed by Patty Jenkins, who also directed 2017’s Wonder Woman.

Wilma Nakamura ’69 is the founder and executive director of SharingAloha Maui, a nonprofit organization that champions sustainable practices. She is also the coordinator of Art of Trash, an annual exhibition of repurposed materials transformed into art by Maui County artists, including herself.


Edna (Doar) Gehring ’70, MSEd ’72 known affectionately as “Aunty Edna, was honored at Pacific’s 58th annual Lu‘ua in April 2018 just before her retirement.


Trisha Degman ’74 recently moved back to Forest Grove, Ore., where her adventures first began at Pacific. She was the first in her family to graduate college and has since enjoyed many things from being a swim instructor to conducting a women’s singing group. She spends her time writing poetry and current events for Providence Elderplace Beaverton (Ore.) and volunteers her time teaching English to international students.

Sue (Judson) Hamly ’74 retired after 27 years of pastoral ministry. She served the United Church of Christ, ministering to the congregations of Decorah, Iowa, as well as International Falls, Minn., where she and her husband, Rowland Hamly ’74, reside.


Florence (Holmes) Bracy ’76 published a memoir, Help Me Understand My Child, about her experiences of advocating for her autistic son. The book highlights her struggles and presents resources and strategies on how to navigate the complex system of securing services for people with special needs.

William Romley ’76 retired as a high school administrator and football coach in Bakersfield, Calif. He now spends his time playing golf, fishing and traveling with his wife, Gail. They visited the British Isles and Alaska this summer.


Jean Black-Groulx PT ’79 is happy to announce the birth of her sixth great-grandchild this past July.

Gail Dudley PT ’79 kicked off her retirement in May by spending her summer exploring and enjoying the state of Alaska.

Max Miura ’79 was presented with the Oahu Interscholastic Association Official Service Award for his longtime involvement with wrestling. A wrestler at Pacific, an injury led him to a coaching career. Holding a bachelor’s degree in music education, Miura has taught at many schools and recently retired after 33 years.


Jeff Grundon ’80 and P.K. Higa ’94 organized a free workshop, College Prep 101, that was held at King Kekaulike High School in Pukalani, Hawai’i. The workshop covered topics such as the college admissions process, athletic recruiting and scholarships. The Maui News featured their story.


Rick Snyder ’81 became the new principal for Winchester (Ore.) Elementary School, the school he attended as a child. He spent some years in California in teaching administration before returning to Winchester.


Frank Giardina ’83, OD ’86 is the optometric director of Community Health Centers of the Central Coast, Inc. The non-profit network was recently approved to be a residency site for optometry in conjunction with the Southern College of Optometry (Tenn.).


Katy (Bryans) Mount ’84 retired in July 2017 after 31 years teaching middle school at Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind. She also worked as a communication specialist with kindergarten through 12th-grade students with a speech and auditory training emphasis. She is looking forward to time off and traveling with her husband before jumping into another career.


Cathy (Leong) Doyle ’87, PT ’89 moved to Salmon Creek, Wash., after living in Beaverton, Ore., for 30 years and working at Providence Home Services for almost 20 years. She now splits her time working at 360 Physical Therapy and the Vancouver (Wash.) VA.


Kathy (Svane) Schreick-Latto OD ’90 has been practicing optometry for almost two decades since graduating from Pacific. She resides in Santa Clarita, Calif.

Jill White ’90 has been teaching at the Guam Department of Education for almost three decades. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Guam in Mangilao, Guam. She plans to retire in the next couple of years.


Chuck Currie ’91 is the director of Pacific’s center for peace and spirituality, the university chaplain and a professor. He wrote an opinion piece that was published by the political newspaper The Hill.


Tad Buckingham ’92, OD ’94 is an assistant professor and attending physician at Pacific as well as the division chief of Forest Grove (Ore.) Fire & Rescue. He recently appeared in the article, “Practical tips when disaster strikes,” published on The Financial, a London newspaper and website.

Tyler Cuddeford PT ’92 received the Mercedes Weiss Service Award from the Oregon Physical Therapy Association for his outstanding contribution to the profession. He is the director of the physical therapy program at George Fox University in Newberg, Ore.


Neil E. Conlon ’93 was promoted to division manager at DAS Companies, Inc. located in Palmyra, Pa. The company designs, imports and distributes automotive accessories, travel merchandise and mobile electronics.

John P. Lowery OD ’93, MED ’96 discussed the genetic components of nearsightedness and farsightedness in an article published by EyeCare 20/20.

Joseph Morelock MAT ’93 has been named interim superintendent of the Newberg (Ore.) School District for the 2018–19 year. In the last 25 years of his career in public education, he has worked as a teacher, coach and administrator.


Brooke Collins-Burke PT ’96 started the pelvic floor rehabilitation program at St. Charles Health System in Bend, Ore. Her program has grown to three other sites serving the patients of Central Oregon. She has presented to cancer survivors and the general public on the benefits of pelvic floor health. She enjoys traveling with her husband, spending time with her teenagers, hiking, gardening and playing with her dogs. She and her family currently live just outside of Bend, Ore.

Amber Fitzsimmons PT ’96 was appointed department chair of the University of California San Francisco’s Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science. She has been teaching at UCSF since 2013 and has received several awards including the UCSF Excellence in Teaching Award, the UCSF Teaching Scholars Fellow and the UCSF Interprofessional Humanistic Teaching Fellowship.


Dorota Haber-Lehigh ’97, MAT ’98 is a Seaside, Ore. resident, artist and illustrator who recently taught a bird drawing class at the Seaside Library. She has self-published two coloring books, ABC of Native Plants of the Coastal Pacific Northwest and Native Berries of the Pacific Northwest and teaches community art workshops.


Derek Brown ’98, MAT ’99 completed an apprenticeship in Granada, Spain, learning the art of Spanish classical guitar making. His love for the craft began at Pacific, when he built a classical guitar and used it to perform his undergraduate senior recital. He plans to bring back the knowledge and skills he acquired from Spain eventually to open his own shop.

Christine Pollard PT ’98 recently gave a presentation at Oregon State University’s Science Pub, an event hosted by some of OSU’s leading researchers. She is an associate professor of kinesiology at OSU-Cascades in Bend, Ore., as well as a biomechanist and physical therapist. She also serves as director of the FORCE Lab, a biomechanics lab where she oversees various research projects.


Sara (Hewitt) Lachman ’99 started Wannabe, a protein blend business. The supplements target primarily female athletes to boost energy and performance during workouts. Two products have been released with plans to expand and include additional items. An attorney at Miller Johnson in Grand Rapids, Mich., she continues to practice law as she grows her business.

Malorie (Fredde) McCaughan MS ’99, PsyD ’03 was welcomed into the International Association of HealthCare Professionals with her upcoming publication in the Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare. She is a licensed clinical psychologist serving patients at her private practice, Greater Things, LLC, in Boca Raton, Fla.


Jeremy Kern PT ’00 continues to enjoy working in the outpatient environment at Providence Milwaukie (Ore.) Hospital, supporting his wife who just finished nurse practitioner school and his boys, a high school senior and an eighth-grader.

Denise (Price) Giesbers ’00 and Carole Golart ’69, MST ’76 quickly became friends while performing together in the musical Oklahoma! at the Theatre In The Grove in Forest Grove, Ore., this past April.

Cris Gwilliam ’00, MAT ’01 became the new principal at St. Helens (Ore.) Middle School. Formerly the assistant principal for St. Helens High School, he has worked as a teacher, coach, athletic director, dean of students, administrator and advocate for students during the last 18 years. He also helped to develop the high school’s college and career readiness program, and implemented an approach to teaching and learning for staff through the school’s program Advanced Via Individual Determination (AVID).

Scott Wallace PT ’00 works in the outpatient orthopedic setting at Kaiser Permanente in Sacramento, Calif. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Theresa, and two boys, Reid and Neil, who will soon be entering high school and middle school.


Brandi Baker-Rudicel ’02 was featured in the Cottage Grove, Ore. newspaper for National Teacher Day. She began teaching in 2004 after receiving her bachelor’s degree from Pacific. She also works with the Parent Partnership and directs the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance program for the school district.

Joe Balash ’02 has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management. A former Alaska natural resources commissioner, he was nominated by President Trump. He now heads the Department of the Interior’s management of all federal lands and waters, including mineral and non-mineral resources, as well as the regulation of surface coal mining.

Jarrod Karnofski ’02, PT ’05 recently celebrated 10 years working at Columbia Memorial Hospital in Astoria, Ore. He is the vice president of the hospital’s ancillary and support services. When he isn’t working, he coaches basketball and baseball and has been working toward a master’s degree in healthcare administration. He volunteers as an athletic trainer for Ilwaco and Naselle high schools, where he recently implemented the ImPACT concussion assessment tool. He and his wife, Vinessa, live in Ilwaco, Wash., and celebrated four years of marriage this past July.

Katy Wagner ’02, MAT ’04 became the new St. Helens (Ore.) High School principal. A longtime resident of Oregon, she taught choir, physics and chemistry for 10 years in Beaverton and Portland before working in school administration.


Corrine (Dignam) Bologna ’03 accepted a new position as a pharmacy account manager with OptumRx for UnitedHealth Group in Tucson, Ariz. She has been with the company for more than five years.

Jose Reyna ’03, PT ’09 is an assistant professor at Pacific’s School of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training, and works at the Pacific Physical Therapy Clinic. He is also a lab assistant in human anatomy.

Joely Gutierrez ’03, MAT ’05 and Allan Felipe married on Jan. 18, 2018. She is currently a teacher at Waiakeawaena Elementary School in Hilo, Hawai’i.


Lydia Chapman ’05 and Jerry Shindelbower were married on April 21, 2018.

Amy J. Thomas OD ’05 is a board-certified optometrist, vision therapist and owner of Arizona Vision Therapy Center. After Pacific, she joined the Army and worked with soldiers and airmen suffering from vision problems caused by brain injuries. Following her rotations, she moved to Tucson, Ariz., where she established her practice.


Justin Arnold ’06 became senior manager of communications at the Urban Land Institute in Washington D.C. He oversees the company’s external media relations effort, along with creating and distributing its press releases.

Shelley (Rietmann) ’06, PT ’09 and Adam McCabe welcomed their second son, Alonzo Jack (AJ), on April 9, 2018. Shelley is the director of Pioneer Medical Physical Therapy in Heppner, Ore.

Jennifer McCallum MAT ’06 was chosen to be the Kalama School District’s new middle school principal. She has previously worked as an athletic director, special education director and testing coordinator.

Mark Saito ’06 released his debut album, Live What You Love, through his own independent label, Mark Saito Music. His album was nominated for the 2018 Na Hoku Hanohano Award for reggae album of the year. He is currently working on his second album collaborating with different artists. He performs a mix of various musical genres that include acoustic, soft rock, reggae, Hawaiian and easy listening. In the past, he has performed with many well-known artists, including John Legend, Richie Sambora and Keith Urban.

Justin Schweitzer OD ’06 was recently interviewed by and featured on KELOLAND News. He is an optometrist at Vance Thompson Vision in Sioux Falls, S.D., providing special care to patients undergoing vision surgeries. He is also an adjunct clinical professor at the Illinois College of Optometry.

Jennifer Wilhelm PT ’06 presented at the Pacific University College of Health Professions’ Faculty Seminar Series. She discussed her research on assessing and treating patients with concussions. She is the lead neurology physical therapist in the outpatient rehabilitation department at the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) and works in its gait and balance lab.


Aaron Cottam ’07 is the new band director at Holyoke (Colo.) Schools, teaching fifth through 12th grade, as well as directing the school’s pep band and jazz band. He graduated from Pacific with a bachelor’s degree in music education and moved on to pursue his master’s at the University of Northern Colorado. He was previously an assistant band director in Florence, Ore.

Lisa Galloway MFA ’07 is a published poet and director of the Litquake Elder Project, a community initiative that offers opportunities for seniors to engage with one another and with their own creativity. The program began with Litquake, a literary festival held in the San Francisco Bay Area every fall. The program brings the energy and festivities of Litquake to elders who cannot attend the festival.


MaryBeth (Shoemaker) ’08 and Marcel Bailey ’09 welcomed their daughter, Kiara Drew, on Dec. 7, 2017.

Amber Belaustegui OD ’08 recently merged her practice, Central Nevada Vision, with another practice, EyeZone Nevada. She is the optometrist in residence at the combined firm’s new office in Fallon, Nev.

Crystal Bridges PT ’08 works at Neurotherapeutic Pediatric Therapies in Hillsboro, Ore. She is a lab assistant in Pediatric Neuromuscular System: Examination & Interventions, and is the program coordinator for Go Baby Go Portland.

Billy Gates ’08 and Jessie Litteaur were married on June 9, 2018, in Kyle, Texas. Sean Butler ’07 was part of the wedding party.

Matt Hendryx ’08 and Britnee welcomed their daughter, Harlow, in November 2017.

Adam Reinecker PT ’08 is a physical therapist at Westside Physical Therapy in Beaverton, Ore., and a lab assistant in clinical biomechanics.

Trennda Rittenbach OD ’08 and Brian Le were married on Sept. 30, 2017, in Carmel, Calif.


Nick Engelfried ’09 published an article on Waging Nonviolence, a blog site that focuses on the struggles for justice and peace around the globe. His work sheds light on youth activism and the rise of student-led movements in the last two decades.

Ashley Henscheid ’09 and Jason welcomed their daughter, Lainie Snow, on Jan. 9, 2018.

Bridgett Pride ’09 earned a master’s degree in library and information science and a master’s degree of arts in history from Simmons College in Boston, Mass. She has served as the college’s president of the Library and Information Science Student Association; the project manager of the 2018 Diversity, Equity, Race, Accessibility and Identity in LIS conference; and the co-organizer of the inaugural Massachusetts Feminist Zine Fest. She was awarded the 2018 Kenneth R. Shaffer Outstanding Student Award for leadership. She plans to remain in Boston while serving as the professional co-chair of the New England Archivists Roundtable for Early Professionals.


Brett Bousquet ’10, PT ’13 published “Post-operative criterion based rehabilitation of ACL repairs: a clinical commentary” in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy this past April.

Kaila Osmotherly OD ’10 is the associate dean of clinical affairs at Midwestern University’s Arizona College of Optometry. She was listed in the “40 Under 40” section of the local newspaper that honors Phoenix’s young leaders.


Amanda Fink OT ’11 co-founded Infinity Kids, a new pediatric therapy group in Lake Forest, Calif., that treats infants and children with special needs. She has worked as a pediatric occupational therapist for a number of years, helping kids who have swallowing disorders.

Chad Schobert ’11, OD ’14 became the pediatric eye care specialist for Eye Care for You in Sandpoint, Idaho. He is passionate about pediatric optometry and hopes to work with local schools. His wife also joined the practice as the office manager.


Tabitha Blankenbiller MFA ’12 was invited to discuss her debut novel, Eats of Eden, at Lunch in the Loft, a monthly lunch and book signing event hosted by Beach Books in Seaside, Ore.

Shannon Brown ’12 and Taylor Kane ’12 welcomed their daughter, Juniper Jade Kane, on Jan. 1, 2018.

Sebastian Bannister Lawler ’12 has been promoted to contract review specialist at TTM Technologies. He was also elected vice chair of the Oregon Citizen Involvement Advisory Committee, which works with the state of Oregon to promote community involvement in land use policy.

Talina Corvus PT ’12 is the outpatient service coordinator for Brookdale Hillside (Ore.) Therapy Services, lead instructor for Principles of Therapeutic Exercise and Motor Learning and a lab assistant in Physical Agents and Mechanical Modalities. She recently earned the Certified Exercise Expert for Aging Adults credential from the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy.

Evan Liu ’12, PT ’15 traveled to Granada, Nicaragua, for a service trip with the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he recently finished his orthopedic physical therapy residency. In Nicaragua, he mentored graduate students and provided patient care in the local community. He is a staff physical therapist at Tuality Community Hospital in Hillsboro, Ore., per diem physical therapist at Pacific Physical Therapy Clinic, and lab assistant in human anatomy and principles of therapeutic exercise and motor learning. He also plays a central role in Pacific’s student success program as the tutor for clinical biomechanics.

Joseph Oelfke ’12, PT ’15 is a staff physical therapist at Advance Sports & Spine Therapy in Portland, Ore., and is a lab assistant in human anatomy. He also recently completed the McKenzie Institute Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency program and earned his certification in mechanical diagnosis and therapy.

Deborah Reed MFA ’12 held a book reading and signing event for her sixth published novel, The Days When Birds Come Back, at the Northwest Authors Presentation in Cannon Beach, Ore. Reed has presented in several writing workshops throughout the U.S. and Europe and lives in Manzanita, Ore.

Leslie Schwartz MFA ’12 is the author of two novels, Jumping the Green and Angels Crest. She published a best-selling memoir, The Lost Chapters, about incarceration and redemption. She has won several awards and fellowships throughout her writing career. She has been a past president of the board of directors for PEN USA and has published short stories, articles, essays and book reviews for The Los Angeles Times, Poets & Writers, Teachers & Writers and Sonora Review. She currently teaches private workshops and is a freelance editor.

Dewey Tucker MHA ’12 was promoted to senior implementation manager at Austin (Texas) VA data center. He was also accepted to the OI&T Future Senior Leaders Academy.

Kari Wergeland MFA ’12 is an author and breast cancer survivor who has self-published two books of poetry, Voice Break and The Ballad of the New Carissa and Other Poems. Finishing Line Press published her third book, Breast Cancer: A Poem in Five Acts this year.


Alex Bell ’13 led a team tasked with redesigning the Pacific University website. The team’s goal was to make it more user-friendly for prospective students without detracting from the needs of current students, faculty and staff. Adobe featured her on its blog.

Cynthia Neely MFA ’13 had her poem, “Me Too – The Fall of Man,” published on Women’s Voices for Change, a news and opinion website that celebrates women’s health, beauty and wisdom.


Bri Castellini ’14 is the director of a startup company called Stareable, a community of web series creators. She has released award-winning series and short films and is launching her fourth web series soon, with another short film currently in post-production. She is the host of a new podcast series, Forget The Box, about making, marketing and monetizing web series. New episodes are posted every Tuesday at

Jordan Siu ’14 graduated from Western University College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific in Pomona, Calif., in June 2018. He is currently the resident physician of internal medicine at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital in Clinton Township, Mich.


Bre Hall ’15 kayaked the entire length of the longest river in Ireland, the River Shannon, to raise funds for the Childhood Cancer Foundation.

Anne Jeffery PT ’15 is on staff as a physical therapist at Therapeutic Associates in Salem, Ore., and a lab assistant in Musculoskeletal Examination an Intervention for the Spine and for the Extremities.

Chrystian Johnson ’15 is serving in the Peace Corps in Malawi, Africa, as an environmental resource volunteer. He works alongside village members, helping with permaculture gardening, beehive construction, deforestation prevention, and malaria and HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness. He is also a diversity and peer support ambassador. He will stay in Malawi until September 2019.

Celeste Rizzo PharmD ’15 and her husband Mark welcomed their first son, Simeon Baldwin Rizzo, in May 2018. Their daughter, Bianca, loves helping mom and dad with her baby brother.

Tommy Yates ’15 and Ariana Emde ’16 were married on March 24, 2018, in Makena, Hawai’i. Pacific alumni in the wedding party included Samantha Burns ’16, Brianna Johnson ’16, Noah Maningo ’15 and Joey Nagler ’15.


Natalie (Stewart) Kiefer PT ’16 received the Early Professional Scholarship from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Currently, she is employed at Warm Springs (Ore.) Holistic Health.

Janae Rasmussen ’16 was accepted into A.T. Still University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Mesa, Ariz. She is a first-year medical student pursuing her doctor of osteopathic medicine.


Nick Blight OD ’17 has been welcomed to the Advanced EyeCare of Blackfoot team in Blackfoot, Idaho, where he was born and raised. He earned his optometry degree at Pacific and gained a wide-set variety of skills and experiences during his clinical rotations before moving back to his hometown.

Jillian Ross ’17 was inducted into the St. Helens (Ore.) Sports Booster Club’s Hall of Fame. She played volleyball and basketball at Pacific.


Teo Mungaray MFA ’18 recently published a poem on Glass Poetry Press. More of his poetry can be found in Assaracus: A Journal of Gay Poetry, Prelude, and The Bellevue Literary Review. He is the co-founder and co-editor-in-chief of literary journal, Cotton Xenomorph.

Luke Olson ’18 is the new and first-ever sports editor for South King Media, a network of six popular local blogs in the Southwest King County near Seattle, Wash. He was previously the sports editor for The Pacific Index and has written several articles for its sports section.

Emily Sernaker MFA ’18 has published many of her writings in notable magazines such as Ms. and The Rumpus, including interviews with acclaimed poets and Pacific MFA faculty members, Vievee Francis, Marvin Bell and Kwame Dawes. She is a freelance writer whose works have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Los Angeles Times, The Sun, The Huffington Post, New Ohio Review and others.

Elona Wilson ’18 was recently published in The Oregonian. Her letter to the editor, “Students Need Support to Thrive,” addressed the need for better support and opportunities for students’ academic and overall success as America’s future leaders.

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