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The University of Minnesota Duluth

BRIDGE - Fall 2009, Volume 27, #1

Alumni Notes




2002 2003
2004 2005
The University of Minnesota Duluth Bridge publishes Alumni Notes. You can send us notes by e-mail:, by fax at 218-726-6186. If you are in the U.S., you can send your note in to: Alumni Director, University Relations, University of Minnesota Duluth, 315 DAdB, 1049 University Drive, Duluth, MN 55812. This issue of the Bridge reflects the notes we received before July 1, 2009.







PASSING --Remembering those who have left us.




Daniel Marron, was an elementary school teacher and junior high school teacher in Port Hueneme, Calif. He has retired to Idaho Falls, Idaho.

UMD 2009-2010
Alumni Association
Board of Directors

Susan Bathory ’75 – Duluth, MN
Mitchell Berg ’97 – St. Paul, MN
Bill Branum ’98 – Maple Grove, MN
Beth Brown ’79,
Director Emeritus – Sun Lakes, AZ
Michael Dean ’67,
Past President – Duluth, MN
Joy Degruccio ’67 – Costa Mesa, CA
Greg DeKuester ’05 – Roseville, MN
Patty DeLano, Alumni Director
Matt DeWerff ’05 – Minnetonka, MN
Bonnie Edwards ’83 – Eveleth, MN
Jeffrey Feldman ’88 – Eden Prairie, MN
Bridget Huberty ’98 – Minneapolis, MN
Amy Kaiser ’77 – Duluth, MN
Margaret “Peg” Haley Kepner ’68
– Tucson, AZ
Jake Konerza ’04 – Woodbury, MN
Rodney Landin ’99,
President – Shoreview, MN
Bea Levey ’68 – Duluth, MN
Mike Miller ’01 – St. Paul, MN
Tracey Muench ’99 – Duluth, MN
Julie Munger ’98 – Duluth, MN
Beth Niemi ’66 – Duluth, MN
Cory Otto ’04 – New Brighton, MN
Luanne Paquette ’69 – Duluth, MN
Alan Peterson ’73 - Duluth, MN
Janet Petersen ’36,
Director Emeritus – Duluth, MN
Lisa Pratt ’77, Associate Alumni Director
Nicholas Schmidt ’02 – Minneapolis, MN
Bill Shipley ’66 – Duluth, MN
Sharon Weber ’04 – Shoreview, MN
Catrina Whitehead ’04 – Duluth, MN
David Zollar ’91 – Lake Elmo, MN
Wayne Gatlin ’10 – Duluth, MN
2008 scholarship recipient
Tim Rahkola ’10 – Duluth, MN
2009 scholarship recipient

The UMD alumni office would like copies
of UMD year books. Please mail to
Alumni Association, 315 Darland, 1049
University Drive, Duluth, MN 55812.


Grant J. Merritt, '55, '57, a Duluth native who has been practicing in environmental law for over 40 years, has been honored with the MSBA Environmental Natural Resources and Energy Law Section's Distinguished Service Award for 2009 for his many contributions in law, government, and environmental issues in public and private sectors. He has represented a wide range of clients in high-profile environmental legal cases in Minnesota such as the re-routing of Highway 55 and the litigation to prevent VHS, a fish virus, from entering Lake Superior.


Marion Kyrola Hedenburg '61, '75 and Karen Skoglund Meyer were featured in the July 2008 issue of Lake Superior Magazine for their work on the passenger ship, SS South American, in the summer of 1959. Hedenberg and Meyer live in Duluth in the summers and were teachers for many years. Hedenberg taught in Duluth until she retired. Meyer taught in South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and in the Robbinsdale district in Minneapolis.


Robert "Bob" Harder, has written a new book, Flying from the Black Hole: The B-52 Navigator-bombardiers of Vietnam, published by the Naval Institute of Press Book in June 2009.


John DeSanto, Duluth, along with co-authors Gary Waller '72 amd Gail Feichtinger have released the fourth edition of Will to Murder: The True Story Behind the Crimes & Trials Surrounding the Glensheen Killings. This edition contains new photos, new facts, and a diagram missing in previous editions. The book is published by Tony Dierckins '88, '91, X-communication Press.


Richard J. Maturi won first place in the nationwide Will Rogers Writing Contest in 2008 with his essay "Dateline: Point Barrow," a commentary on the current political season. He has written some 1,300 articles for various publications. Richard and his wife, Mary, reside in Cheyenne, Wyo.


Mary Jo Jepson retired in June 2006 after 34 years of teaching. She taught in Minnesota high schools including Park in Cottage Grove, Little Falls, and Monticello.


Diane Rauschenfels, superintendent, Proctor Schools, was selected to receive the first Richard Green Scholarship Award for her paper titled, "Promoting Ethical Educational Leadership." Diane received the $1,000 award at the Minnesota Association of School Administrators conference for superintendents.

Richard Sheff recently retired from the Army and Air Forces Exchange Service (AAFES), a non-appropriated branch of the Department of Defense. During the time employed, Richard held numerous management positions in 14 locations in the United States and Europe. AAFES provides goods and services for the military, their dependents, and other authorized customers worldwide.


Dukes Knutson, former UMD sports information director and coordinator of men's athletics, and a volunteer in the UMD Athletic Department for 37 years, worked as the press box attendent for the American League Champion Tampa Bay Rays during the 2008 major league baseball season. He is also working on statistics for the University of South Florida football and men's and women's basketball games.


Jeanette (Gould) McDonald, Duluth, an elementary schoolteacher at Nettleton Magnet School, is the recipient of the 2009 Goldfine Gold Star Teacher Award. The award, which includes a trophy and a check for $5,000, was established by Manley and Lillian Goldfine to honor inspirational teachers for their dedication, skills, and hard work. Jeanette has been with the school district nearly 34 years.

Jeff Spindler has joined Mid American Financial Group as a Financial Services Representative. Jeff offers securities, mutual funds, annuities, and life insurance products, as well as general information and advice regarding these products.


Rennette (Paaso) Grace '76, '92, worked as an extra with Academy Award winners, Joel and Ethan Coen, on A Serious Man filmed in Minnesota.This is the third time she worked as a movie extra. She also was filmed in a national commercial. Most of her acting experience has been on stage at the Duluth Playhouse where she was last seen as Mrs. Pringle in Scrooge - The Musical during the 2007 holiday season.

Steven C. Korby was hired as a senior human resources advisor in 2008 by Enbridge Energy located in Superior, Wis. Steven has over 30 years of labor relations and human resource experience with the City of Duluth, Lake Superior Area Labor Management Association, Clyde Iron, and American Hoist and Derrick.


Larry Frank coauthored a research paper published in the April 2009 Journal of Financial Planning. Larry's paper evaluates the sustainability of retirement withdrawals.

Mark Munger, Duluth, has recently published, Mr. Environment: The Willard Munger Story (Cloquet River Press 2009). The book is the biography of State Representative Willard Munger, the longest serving member of the Minnesota House of Representatives and the author of every major environmental or conservation law adopted by the state. Mark is a district court judge serving a four county district in Northeast Minnesota. He is the nephew of Willard Munger.

Bob Pratt, became the first inductee into the UMD Rugby Club Hall of Fame at a ceremony on the UMD fields preceding the annual alumni game on May 9, 2009. Bob was recognized as a founder of the club and for his continued dedication to the game.


Timothy Larson, Chisholm, Minn., recently returned from China. He and seven others represented the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, professional delegate program. As a delegate, he visited programs serving individuals with disabilities and exchanged information as to 'best practices'. For 30 years, Tim and his business partners at Northstar Specialized Services has been providing programs and support to Iron Range residents.


Michael J. Cuzzo, Duluth, was named one of the Top 40 workers’ compensation lawyers by Minnesota Law & Politics magazine. Michael is an attorney and partner of the firm Cuzzo & Envall, PA. He graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1983

Elaine S. Hansen, MBA ’03, Duluth, has been named the Women in Business Champion of the Year for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Minnesota District Office. Elaine is the director of UMD’s Center for Economic Development, the Small Business Development Center in Northeastern Minnesota serving six counties. She has extensive experience working with businesses of various sizes, and has continually worked to promote women in business and women in non-traditional careers.

William Hinderks has been recognized by the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters and the CPCU Society as qualifying for the continuing professional development program. Bill is a prevention specialist with Risk & Insurance Management Company of Bloomington, Ill. He and his wife, Kris, live in Bloomington with their two children, James and Jackie.

Rebecca (Gullion) Lindquist received First Place Design awards for two projects entered in the annual design contest jointly sponsored by the Minnesota Chapter of the National Kitchen and Bath Association and Midwest Home magazine in 2008. Rebecca is a Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer and a 28 year veteran of the kitchen and bath industry.

Jay Pearsall and Debra (Rasmussen) Pearsall ’81, moved in June 2008 to Shell Lake, Wis. Jay retired as a Colonel Wing Commander and F-22 pilot after 27 years of service in both the USAF and Virginia Air National Guard.

Lyle Shannon (MS) has been named the UMD Department of Biology’s first Inspirational Teacher of the Life Sciences (ITLS). The ITLS awardee is an innovative teacher who offers students guidance and inspires current and future teachers to pursue excellence in the classroom.


Dave Grimwood is retired, living in Las Vegas, Nev. and flying a jet for a private company. He and his wife, Kathy, have two children, Jordan and Blake.


Juli Kellner, Duluth, was promoted to director of programming and production at WDSE-TV. She has produced a number of successful long-running programs including “Album,” “Iron Country,” “Opportunities for Growth,” and “WDSE Cooks.” Her series “Native Report” is now in its fourth season and airing on 25 public television stations in 15 states.

Ellie Schoenfeld, Duluth, has recently published a new book of poetry, The Dark Honey: New & Used Poems (Clover Valley Press, 2009).


Dwight Dorau, is stationed with the British Royal Air Force in Mildenhall, England.

Brian Pelletier has opened Kakoa Chocolate, an artisan chocolate shop, in St. Louis, Mo.


Andy Burda, St. Paul, Minn., is an instructor pilot and chief of safety with the Air National Guard in Minnesota. He completed his sixth desert deployment and has been in Afghanistan, Germany, and Kosovo. He and his wife, Kate, have two children, Hugh and Amelia.

Marshall Spencer is now employed with Johnson Controls in Pulaski, Tenn. He was recently promoted to continuous improvement manager.


Richard Gonzalez has risen into the officers’ ranks in the Coast Guard. He received a Master of Public Administration degree and then a J.D. from the University of Miami.

Sandi (Engblom) Larson, Duluth, recently completed the 2008-09 Leadership Duluth Program. Larson is the workshop coordinator for the UMD Center for Economic Development.

Scott Leach is a buyer for the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

Phillip Opela, Woodbridge, VA, is a branch chief at the Pentagon.


Jon Dauplaise, Duluth, has been appointed vice president of domestic sales for Cirrus Aircraft. Jon is responsible for the strategy and performance of the Cirrus Aircraft North American direct sales team and the expansion of Cirrus sales in the United States and Canada. Prior to joining Cirrus in 2001, Jon served 20 years in the Army and Army Reserve as an Apache helicopter instructor pilot and aviation officer. Jon is a commercial/instrument rated pilot, helicopter pilot, and certified flight instructor.

Alison Kenda ’92, MA ’95, and husband Dan, have twin daughters Grace Katherine and Hannah Irene born on July 3, 2008. In Alison’s role as an application analyst, she was part of the team that designed and built the electronic medical record system installed at The Children’s Hospital in Denver, Colo., and led to the hospital being recognized by KLAS as the first pediatric hospital in the country to have completely integrated electronic medical records.

Amy (Freeman) Krohn, Oakdale, Minn., is working as a product engineering specialist at 3M. She and her husband, Jim, have one child, Alissa.

Nick Ladin, Mississauga, ON, moved to Toronto last winter to work on an acquisition for Cargill. He and his wife, Kathleen, have four children, Adair, Joseph, Zachary, and Faith.

Al Thilmany is director of operations at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.


Paul Radeke and Katie (Monahan) Radeke ’94, reside in Sartell, Minn. with their daughters Grace and Ava. Katie is an early childhood special education teacher in Avon, Minn. working for the Albany Area School District. Paul is a financial advisor for Laraway Financial in Saint Cloud and is a director for Business Network Intelligence.

David Wallin is with the Air Force Intelligence Analysis Agency at the Pentagon. He recently returned from six months in Fallujah, Iraq, working with the Marines. He and his wife, Terri, have a new daughter, Sarah.

Brian Whipps, St. Paul, Minn., is a founding partner of Campbell, Nelson, Whipps, LLC., a patent law firm. He has two children, Tristan and Tanner.

Michael C. Wilson has made a big difference in the life of many college students in the Northland. He meets with medical students and physical therapy students to discuss what life is like with multiple sclerosis. He gives presentations at UMD, Saint Scholastica, and at Lake Superior College. Recently, Michael accepted the position of consumer representative on the Physical Therapy Assistant Program Advisory Board at Lake Superior College.


Kevin Wold, Farmington, Minn., recently earned certification as a senior professional in human resources. Kevin is a human resource manager for WSB & Assoc.


Brett Corrigan, Cottage Grove, Minn., was honored and received the Community Accounts Large Group New Sales Leader award from his employer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.

Chad Haglin, Richmond, TX, is a facilities engineer at Marathon Oil Company. He and his wife, Lee, had a baby girl, Sarah Grace, in September 2008.

Scott Monroe is at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. with his wife, Sue Yi.

Mark Tupa is a systems engineer at Applied Signal Technology in Maryland. He and his wife, Vicki, have a son, James.


Michael Smith, Santa Fe, N.M., (MS) launched, an online resource center for empaths in 2008.
Empaths have a high degree of sensitivity to the emotional state of other people. His book, The Complete Empath Toolkit, contains information and techniques for empaths culled from Michael’s 15-year counseling career and workshop presentations in 20 United States cities. “I am seeing women and men who have lived their entire lives wondering what was wrong with them, being called hypersensitive — who can now breathe a sigh of relief,” Michael said. Michael earned his Ph.D. in counseling at the University of Nevada-Reno in 2002, taught at the University of Wyoming, and studied with two Native American healers.


Deborah (Zomak) Collins is at Fort Bragg, N.C. with her husband, Todd, and her two children, Caleb and Noah.

Angela (Determan) Wilson and Andrew Wilson were married on May 31, 2008. The couple resides in Richfield, Minn. Angela is a program manager for
Accenture Navitaire.


Jennifer Duda and Jeff Butwinick ’96, were married on June 10, 2006, in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Nev. Jeff returned to Minnesota in November 2008 after five years in San Francisco and is a commercial litigation attorney in Edina. Jennifer is a human resources manager at PGI Companies in Minnetonka and MarcomNordic in New Hope. The couple resides in Highland Park.

Sue (Setniker) Jorstad and her husband James Jorstad have a son, Evan James Jorstad, born on April 25, 2006.

Scott Mattson is overseeing nuclear surety inspections with the Inspector General’s Office at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.

Trent Pemble, St. Bonifacius, Minn., has transferred back to Minnesota to do research for Cargill. He and his wife, Jessica, have two children, Colton and Lily.

Susalyne (Sowada) Truckenbrod, Fridley, Minn., is a product engineer at Medtronic. She and her husband, Jason, had their first child, Calen, in May 2008.

Kristin (Gallian) Yapel and David Yapel were married on September 5, 2008 in Duluth. The couple resides in Duluth where Kristin is a resident director’s assistant at Merrill Lynch.


Annika (Alcorn) Curren and husband Shawn Curren, Charlotte, NC, have a baby girl, Emma Rose Curren, born on November 12, 2008. Annika is a Title I specialist for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools.

Linda LeGarde Grover, Duluth, (EdD) has a new collection of fictional prose, which is expected in print in 2010. It is the winner of the 2008 First Book Awards competition from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas and was awarded the Flannery O’Connor Short Fiction Award from the University of Georgia Press. Linda, an assistant professor in the American Indian Studies department at UMD, is a member of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa. She also writes a monthly column for the Duluth Budgeteer newspaper.

Brian Ott, Houghton, Mich., successfully defended his dissertation and received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Michigan Technological University, in May 2009.

Andy “Dobbr” Wistrcill is at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada flying F-15C jets. He and wife, Andrea, have two daughters, Alyssa and Alexa.


Chris Hansen, Fountain, Minn., is working as a plant manager, at Poet Biorefining. He and his wife, Jessica, have a daughter named Lillian.

Melanie Lamprecht, Davis, Calif., was awarded the 2008 Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents, Student Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine of the Year Award at Touro University in Vallejo. The award acknowledges medical students’ commitment to school, community, and the osteopathic profession.

Lynn (Meyer) Olson was promoted in 2008 to vice president of commercial banking at Great Northern Bank in Saint Michael, Minn. She has been with Great Northern Bank since 2004 and is actively involved in many community organizations. Lynn and her family reside in Buffalo, Minn.

Paul Zwilling and his wife, Jana, have two daughters, Abby and Madelyn. They reside in Grand Forks, N.D.


Lisa (Mitchell) Baker and Jason Baker, Mounds View, Minn., have a daughter, Heidi Gudrun Baker, born January 5, 2008.

Amy (Kitchell) Degerstrom teaches Art History at UMD and is the tour manager and volunteer coordinator at Glensheen. She received an MA in Art History from Ohio State University in 2006.

Jeffrey Johnson, Tampa, Fla., is working in maintenance in the Phosphoric Acid Department at Mosaic Fertilizer. He married his wife, Carrie, in September 2008.

Lindsey (Covey) Kennedy is a financial analyst for Lockheed Martin in Eagan, Minn. She and her husband, Mike, who she met in England, have a son, Connor.

Nathan Kowalsky, Minneapolis, Minn., is a senior air quality engineer at Barr Engineering Company. He and his wife, Jen, have two children, Will and Lauren.

Nicole (Gilles) Mantopoulos and Thomas Mantopoulos, Falmouth, Mass., were married in May 2008.

Geoff Zahn and his wife, Brooke, live in Dayton, Ohio. Geoff is working for a contractor at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.


Bryan Freyberg and Meryl (Lucchesi) Freyberg ’06, Carlton, Minn., were married August 16, 2008 on the Munger Trail. Bryan is pursuing a master’s degree in mathematics at UMD, while Meryl is a literature and communications arts teacher at Lincoln High School in Esko.

Kelly (Gackenheimer) Lane is with the Air Force Reserves in Minneapolis. She works in human resources in the civilian world. She and her husband, Jesse, have a daughter, Olivia.

Zoë Treuer, Washington, D.C., is working with the defense meteorological satellite program, at the Integrated Program Office in Silver Spring, Md.


Brian Daniels, Hutchinson, Minn., is working as an engineer at 3M. He and his wife, Tanya, have recently purchased a home.

Dzung (Truong) Farell, St. Paul, Minn., is an engineer at Flint Hills Resources, LP. She and her husband, Michael, have a child, named Thomas.

Shanna (Hauge) Lancour and Bobby Lancour were married on June 25, 2008 in Las Vegas. Shanna is an art teacher at Duluth Edison Charter School-Raleigh and Bobby works in the sales department at Cloquet Ford-Chrysler.


Kyle Kalmi and Susie (Johnson) Kalmi were married on June 14, 2008 at Patrick’s Point State Park in northern California. The couple resides in Minneapolis where Kyle is a software engineer for Open Systems International.

Sara (Olson) Olsen and Joseph Olsen ’05, were married on August 18, 2007. Sara is a teacher at VandenBerge Middle School in Elk River, and Joe is a chemist for Galaxy Associates in Shakopee, Minn.

Kevin Podominick is working for the Department of Energy in Colorado.

Suzanne (Dobbe) Vanderweyst, St. Cloud, Minn., is overseas in Southwest Asia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Africa.


Heather (Sall) Carey and Ryan Carey, both of Brainerd, Minn., were married on September 20, 2008 in Duluth, where the couple resides.

Mason Hughes, St. Paul, Minn., is working at the St. Paul Koch Refinery.

Kelsey Kapsner, Green River, Wyo., is working as a process engineer at FMC Corp.

Senja Lopac, Champlin, Minn., finished her master’s degree in chemical engineering in January 2008, and is a development scientist at Beckman Coulter.

Crystal Pelkey, Duluth, was named managing director of the Teatro Zuccone which is part of Zeitgeist Arts building in downtown Duluth. The complex has Duluth’s only independent movie house (with two theatres), the Teatro Zuccone, and the Zeitgeist Arts Cafe.

Tim Zbaracki is an intelligence officer at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota. He ran in his second Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth in June 2009.


Rachel Breckenbridge (MS) of Anoka and Andy Breckenridge (PhD ’05) of Indianpolis, Ind. are living in Eire, Pa., and their new daughter, Stina Marie, was born on May 4, 2009. Rachel is teaching mathematics at Edinboro College, and Andy is teaching
geology at Mercyhurst College.

Nathan Laughton is at Minot Air Force Base, N.D.

Evan Williamson and Melissa (Snow) Williamson ’07, were married on August 7, 2008 at Gooseberry Falls State Park in Two Harbors. Evan is pursuing a master’s degree in classical studies at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.


Christopher Beasley and Evyson Lamiao have been partnered since 2005 and are now living in Chicago. Christopher has completed all coursework for a master’s degree in clinical psychology at Roosevelt University and is working on his thesis for that degree. He has also just begun a community psychology Ph.D. program at DePaul University. Evyson is a paralegal at a large multi-state law firm.

Laura (Wallace) Breidall, Excelsior, Minn., is a manufacturing engineer at American Medical Systems. She was married to Ben Breidall in June 2008.

Rachel Gilbertson, Duluth, is the UMD wellness coach. She and her husband, Ben, were married in June 2005, and their daughter, Taylor Marie, was born September 2008.


Elizabeth Kokesh, Joliet, Ill., is working as a production supervisor at Ecolab.


Donald F. Lundstrom
, BS
November 7, 2008

Allan W. Naslund
, BA
December 24, 2008

Ellis N. Livingston
, BA
December 26, 2008

Richard K. Dumas

October, 2009

Bernice E. Jam
, BA
December 28, 2008

Todd A. Mathison
, BS
December 7, 2008

Curtis A. Singpiel
, BA
December 13, 2008

Daniel M. Rosenthal
, BS
October 28, 2008

UMD Faculty

Edward Baxter
Department of Aerospace Studies
February 28, 2009

Robert Hart
Department of English
November 26, 2008

Donald Haynes
Department of Health, Physical
Education, and Recreation
July 16, 2008

Dennis L. Nelson
Department of Economics
January 25, 2009



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BRIDGE, the UMD Magazine, 1049 University Drive, Duluth, MN 55812

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