1950s

Richard Kowles ’54 (Winona) has published a memoir looking back at his own education and his 58 years of experience as a teacher. Passion to Teach:  Fifty-Eight Years of Humorous, Weird, and Engaging Tales offers stories of his teaching career, first in high school, then graduate school, and finally as a professor of biology. A multi-sport start at Winona State, Dick followed a diverse path into teaching. He faced significant financial hurdles in attending college, and first taught high school, then as a graduate student, and finally as a professor of biology. He turned down a position on a St. Louis Cardinals farm team after college and later a push from an advisor to be a researcher. “I just loved teaching,” said Dick. “There were days I couldn’t wait to get into the classroom.” The Saint Mary’s University professor emeritus’ book is being sold at Paperbacks and Pieces and the Book Shelf in Winona, the SMU Bookstore, and Amazon.

Mary (Roberts) Rolfing ’56 (Winona) and husband, Roger, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on August 11, 2013.

Charles Grider ’57 (Minneapolis, Minn.) has retired after 33 years as a teacher, coordinator of after school activities, assistant principal, and intervention coordinator After graduating from Winona State, he went on to earn two master’s degrees at the University of Minnesota.

1960s

Judith (Bauch) Glazier-Stewart ’60 (Welch, Minn.) married Desmond Stewart on August 10, 2013.  She met Desmond in kindergarten and reconnected their friendship after each of their spouses passed.

Mary (Rohr) ’64 and Arley Ihrke ’63 (Houston, Minn.) celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They met while attending Winona State.

Richard Sather ’65 (Houston, Minn.) has returned to farming in retirement after selling the family farm to his daughter’s family. He also enjoys Studebaker cars, Harley Davidson motorcycles, and traveling with his wife.

Sue Ann (Kuchenmeister) Mullen ’67 (Winona) co-founded the Winona Area Ballroom Dance Club, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

1970s

Howard Bicker ’70 (St. Paul, Minn.) has retired from his post as executive director of the State Board of Investment for Minnesota after more than four decades. Bicker joined the agency in 1971 immediately after earning his accounting degree at Winona State. Under Bicker, the state’s portfolio has climbed from just under $6 billion to $65 billion, has fallen in annual value only six times and has grown by 20 percent or more several times.

Richard Starzecki ’70 (Colorado Springs, Colo.) was inducted into the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame in October as coach of the 1987 Rampart High School basketball team. The team went 24-0. Richard has won many coach of the year honors and was state coach of the year in 1987. He played football and basketball at WSU and was basketball MVP in 1969.

Dennis ’71 and Carolyn Goplen ’89 (Winona) celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in August 2013.

Adelia (McCray) Crispin ’72 (Woodstown, NJ) has retired to Hudson, Fla. after 20 years of teaching in New Jersey.  She graduated from Winona State with a teaching degree. Presently, Crispin is working part time for Home Instead.

Richard Frank ’75 (Caledonia, Minn.) has joined the professional sales team at Edina Realty. Employed by Houston County for more than 30 years, Rick is a member of the National Association of Realtors and is active in the Caledonia community.

Diane (Papenfuss) Holmay ’76 (Winona) and her husband, Steve, celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. They were married July 21, 1973, at St. Martin’s Church in Winona.

Kathleen (Hansen) Lueders ’76 (Wabasha, Minn.) was promoted from registered nurse to director of nursing at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.

Mary Bartley ’79 (Hastings, Minn.) retired last year. She worked as a math teacher and coach at Hastings High School since 1980. At WSU, Mary was a four-sport athlete in volleyball, softball, tennis, and basketball. She was leading scorer for the Warriors basketball team and led them to the 1978 MAIAW championship game. She was inducted into the WSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013.

1980s

Dean Nihart ’82 (Johnston, Iowa) celebrated 25 years as co-owner of The Planners, a west Des Moines based registered investment advisory firm.

Elizabeth (Colapietro) Vozzola ’84 (West Hartford, Conn.) was named North American book review editor for the Journal of Moral Education at the October 2013 meeting of the Association for Moral Education. She is professor of psychology and director of honors at the University of Saint Joseph.

Daniel Munson ’85 (Rushford, Minn.) presented his latest work, The Drowned Man, in October 2013. He has published four plays and written countless others. The theme of his new work is a historical drama narrative, using real characters and names that Daniel discovered while researching old Winona newspapers.

Kathleen Kaplan ’86 (Blacksburg, Va.) has been named director of development for the Division of Student Affairs at Virginia Tech. She will work with Virginia Tech’s Office of Development to develop strategies and implement a fundraising plan. Previously, she worked Old Dominion University, where she was major gifts officer, director of donor relations, and assistant director for special events. She earned her master’s degree from George Washington University.

Scott Rindahl ’89 (Stewartville, Minn.) is the new girl’s basketball coach at Stewartville High School. He had been coaching in various capacities for the past four years in Stewartville. Scott majored in business administration at WSU and played golf for four years and basketball his freshman year. He went on to a career as a golf professional and currently the general manager and head pro at Willow Creek Golf Course in Stewartville.

1990s

Steven Clift ’90 (Minneapolis, Minn.) was honored as a Champion of Change for his efforts in making government more transparent and accountable through technology. He is the co-founder of E-Democracy, which has connected more than a thousand of his neighbors to communicate with each other as well as elected officials, small business owners, civil servants, and community groups. Steven helped launch the world’s first election information website in 1994 with Minnesota E-Democracy, and led early e-government efforts in Minnesota.

Ann (Weber) Asprey-Erdmann ’93 (Mantorville, Minn.) has published the book, Rainbows in the Storms. She is currently employed in the Byron Public School System as a second grade teacher. The book relates the story of her young husband’s battle with colon cancer. It is published by Tate Publishing and available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

Rodney Olson ’94 (Westbrook, Minn.) was nominated for the Teacher of the Year award by the Encino Chamber of Commerce. He teaches physics and astronomy at Crespi Carmelite High School.

Kelli (Roepke) Palmquist ’97 (Warroad, Minn.) welcomed her second son, Jase Palmquist, on June 29, 2013. He joins big brother, Jack.

Sharveta Parker ’99 (Milwaukee, Wis.) is a graduate student at Cardinal Stritch University.

2000s

Dwight Keenan ’00 (Winona) has been promoted to senior vice president of operations at WinCraft, Inc.  Keenan joined WinCraft 21 years ago as a computer programmer and most recently was vice president of technology and distribution. An avid Chicago Bears fan, Dwight and his wife Tena have two daughters Taylor, 15, and Abigail, 12.

Amanda (Engler) Boerboom ’02 (Billings, Mont.) was added to the leadership team at the Rimrock Foundation in Montana. The Rimrock Foundation is an addiction treatment center. She will be responsible for coordinating and providing recreation therapy education and opportunities to all patients. She has been a recreation therapist for more than ten years in four states, which has given her experience with a variety of patient populations.  

Jackie Stevens ’02 (Rochester, Minn.) has joined Winona Health as a certified nurse practitioner. She will work with internal medicine physicians to provide healthcare services for residents of Winona area long-term and transitional care facilities. Jackie earned her BSN at Winona State and master’s in nursing at the University of Minnesota. She is certified as a gerontological nurse practitioner.

Anthony Furman ’03 (Dickinson, Texas) has been named principal at Levi Fry Intermediate School by the Texas City Independent School District. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Winona State and master’s at the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

Heidi Indahl ’03 (Saint Charles, Minn.) has earned a second degree black belt and husband, Tim Indahl ’04, took third place in the 2013 World Tae Kwon Do Tournament of Champions. Their daughter, Lucie, has been showing off her Warrior Pride at tournaments all over the country.

Justin Mills ’03 (Asbury, Iowa) and his wife welcomed twins, Brady David and Olivia Katherine, on July 23, 2013. Their older children Haley and Joey are adjusting well to their new big brother and big sister roles.  

Emily (Davis) Bedsted ’04 (St. Paul, Minn.) and husband, Chris, welcomed Elisabeth Rae on July 8, 2013. Bedsted continues to teach health science classes for the Anoka Hennepin School District.

Melissa Lonning-Richards ’04 (Rochester, Minn.) has joined the Winona Health Women’s Health Center as obstetrician/gynecologist. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology at WSU and earned her medical degree at the University of North Dakota. Melissa completed her residency at Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education. Prior to beginning medical school in 2005, she worked as a home health aide for Winona Health Home Care and Hospice.

Jennifer (Long) Timm ’04 (West Salem, Wis.) had twins on October 24, 2013. They join their two older sisters.

Shayna (Kolff) Walenga ’04 (Beloit, Wis.) welcomed baby girl, Xia, on September 28, 2013. She joined big brother Jaxon.

Amanda Sikora ’04 (Oconomowoc, Wis.) is engaged to marry Kurt Weissenburger. Amanda has a bachelor’s in English. She is a litigation manager at Rausch, Sturm, Israel, Enerson and Hornik, LLC.

Karin Ballstadt ’05 (Alabaster, Ala.) was a featured panel speaker at the Imed Sydney Writer’s Festival at Sydney, Australia in May. She graduated with a degree in history and has been a classical educator for six years. Karin is also a published fantasy writer who writes under the pen name K.B. Hoyle. Karin has been busy:  she and husband Adam Ballstadt ’04 welcomed their third son in May 2012.

Tracy Gunderson ’05 (South St. Paul, Minn.) was married to Jared Swanso in August. Tracy has a degree in business administration from Winona State and is a merchant at Northern Tool & Equipment.

Steven Opgenorth ’05 (Waterville, Maine) was named head football coach at St. Norbert College. He spent the past two seasons as the offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator at Colby College in Maine, and is third all-time in scoring at Winona State as well as career leader in field goals and extra points.

Mitchel Paulson ’05 (Prairie Farm, Wis.) is the new student counselor at Red Wing High School in Minnesota. Mitchell also performs under the name “Moxie” and has released four albums since 2008.

Melody Snyder ’05 (Lakeville, Minn.) has been selected as the WKBT-TV Topnotch Teacher for the Month of October 2013. Melody is a Winona Area Public Schools band teacher.

Al McDonald ’06 (Santa Monica, Calif.) and his wife, Jen Kruse McDonald, welcomed a baby boy on November 22. Al earned his BS in recreation and adventure tourism and is founder and owner of Thrive Adventures. He guides trips to Australia, New Zealand, Peru, and Costa Rica.

Susan (Soukaseume) Neeley ’06 (Madison, Wis.) was accepted into the Li Chiao-Ping Dance company. She has also been performing with Limanya Drum & Dance Ensemble for almost five years. She has kept in touch with her dance teachers at WSU, Gretchen Cohenour, Wynn Fricke, and Sharon Mansur, and credits their support and inspiration for her success.

Gregory Thomas ’06 (Woodstock, Ill.) recently published an e-book.

Erin (Myrum) Van Beek ’06 (Winona) and husband, Paul, welcomed daughter, Elliana Ruth, born July 19, 2013.

Angela (Schroering) Hazelton ’07 (Rochester, Minn.) welcomed a daughter, Stella Nadine, on July 14, 2013.

Kari (Winter) McMartin ’07 (Columbus, Minn.) married Justin McMartin on July 6, 2013.  They live in Columbus, Minn. She works at the Hamline University School of Law.

Kari Nelson ’07 (Albert Lea, Minn.) has joined the staff of Winona Health as a certified physician assistant. She graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in cellular and molecular biology and earned her masters at Augsburg College. Nelson also worked as an EMT with Winona Area Ambulance Service for nearly ten years.

Clint Evans ’08 (Saint Paul, Minn.) now owns MC’s Sports Bar in Winona with co-owner and fellow alum, Matthew Golden ’10.

Lindsey (Boigenzahn) Fremstad ’08 (Winona) and husband, Jason, welcomed Parker James, on August 9. Parker joins big brother, Connor.

Travis Whipple ’08 (Winona) and wife, Kim, had a baby girl, Mia McKell, on July 30, 2013.

Matt Bohling ’09 and Kelsey Lindberg ’10 (Bloomington, Minn.) are engaged to be married.

Kelly (Sullivan) ’09 and Mike Dougherty ’10 (Onalaska, Wis.) welcomed their first child, Kennedy Jocelyn, on August 14, 2013.

Christie (Hammel) Larson ’09 (Eden Prairie, Minn.) married Kyle Larson on October 5, 2013. Christie earned her degree in accounting and is a business analyst and CPA at the headquarters of Snap Fitness.

Jacob Runestad ’09 (Minneapolis, Minn.) completed a commission for a new composition for piano, chorus, and orchestra setting poems by Iraq War veteran Brian Turner. The 22-minute piece, “Dreams of the Fallen,” focuses on the impact war has on an individual, especially once he or she has returned home and struggles with PTSD and other psychological and physical problems. The work recieved its premiere performance in November at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and Symphony Chorus of New Orleans.

Ryan Sawyer ’09 (Plainview, Minn.) is an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and has been deployed to Afghanistan.

Brant Thornton ’09 and Elizabeth Peschges ’10 (Rochester, Minn.) were married September 7, 2013.  Brant is a project manager for Halcon Corp. Elizabeth works for the Professional Skaters Association in membership services.

2010s

Erica (Bengtson) ’10 and Mike Barnard ’11 (Chisago City, Minn.) were married on June 15, 2013.

Gabrielle Gatzke ’10 (Preston, Minn.) is engaged to marry John Francis Kinneberg. Gabrielle graduated with a degree in mass communications and is currently employed as a graphic designer at the Fillmore County Journal.

James Kongshaug ’10 (Faribault, Minn.) is a fifth grade teacher and will direct of an English language camp in Poland this summer.

Heather Van Pelt ’10 (Eleva, Wis.) and Garrett Nix were married September 14, 2013.  Heather has a bachelor’s degree in social work and is a care manager at ContinuUs in Eau Claire.

Sarah (Pasche) Gudmundson ’11 (Altura, Minn.) and husband, Shane, welcomed a son, Jaxson James, born July 21, 2013.

Brittany Young ’11 and Mark James Ingledew ’11 (Green Bay, Wis.) are engaged to be married. Brittany graduated from WSU with a bachelor’sin exercise and rehabilitative science. She is currently employed as a health and wellness coach at Prevea Health Network. Mark graduated from WSU with a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics. He is currently grocery operations manager at Pick N’ Save in Shawano.

Adrik Curtis ’12 (Rollingstone, Minn.) is employed as a women’s resource center system advocate.

Jordan Ebner ’12 (Madison, Wis.) was hired by the Madison Police Department last April and was sworn in on October 14, 2013. “I have succeeded and achieved my goal as becoming a police officer with a big city. Thank you Winona State.”

Kelsey Erwin ’12 (St. Louis Park, Minn.) is now an e-commerce operations analyst at Bluestem Brands.

Zachariah Rinn ’12 (Lewiston, Minn.) and Kayla Benson were married August 23, 2013. Zachariah is employed as a videographer and editor for Media Works Productions.

Sarah Mueller ’13 (Rewey, Wis.) was one of six named to the NCWA/NCWWA Academic All-America team. Sarah graduated magna cum laude in movement science with a minor in nutrition.

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