1950s


Glennice (Welcher) Morgenson ’53 (Baytown, Texas) retired last year after 22 years serving as director of the West Chambers County Food Pantry.

1960s

Lawrence Marchionda ’66 (Fond Du Lac, Wis.), former Winona State wrestler and WSU Hall of Fame member, has successfully built a new company to provide better head impact protection for wrestlers and other athletes. LDR Headgear is in its fourth year of production, with great success across the US and Europe.

1970s

Rodney Hoesley ’78 (Fountain City, Wis.) was inducted into Winona High Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Kathryn Burnett Martin ’79 (Staples, Minn.) retired from teaching art in the Staples Motley Schools after 28 years.

1980s

Alumni in the News George Howe ‘82 (La Crescent, Minn.) has been adding to his collection of awards for “Decoding the Driftless,” a nature documentary he served as a producer on. The film has won over a dozen awards around the world, the most recent being Best Documentary Film at the Los Angeles Cinematography Awards and the Humanitarian Award of Distinction at the IndieFEST Film Awards.

Peggy (Exworthy) Schatz ’82 (Eden Prairie, Minn.) was promoted by healthcare real estate firm Davis to vice president of property management at its Minneapolis office. She holds over 25 years of property management experience in the Twin Cities. Prior to joining Davis in 2013, she served as a commercial property manager with CBRE, managing two office towers in the West End development in St. Louis Park.

Pamela (Howard Stelter) Pipkin ’89 (Sparta, Wis.) celebrated 30 years of service in child support with Monroe County in July 2019. Shortly after, in September 2019, she was elected president of the Wisconsin Child Support Enforcement Association (WCSEA) and received the organization’s Member of the Year Award.

1990s

Steven Barton ’92 (Saint Paul, Minn.) joined New York City-based Brightwood Capital Advisors as a director, investments and open an office in Minneapolis. Prior to joining Brightwood Capital, he worked in finance at Piper Jaffray, UBS, BNP Paribas, Wells Fargo, Bank of Montreal, and the Waterford Group, a consulting firm he founded in 2011.

Jodee (Halama) McCallum ’97 (Minneapolis, Minn.) has been named as vice president of human resources and equity by Normandale Community College of Bloomington. Prior, McCallum served as VP of HR at Morrissey Hospitality, chief executive of HR at Three Sons Signature Cuisine, and an employment defense attorney with Thompson Coe, Cousins & Irons. McCallum earned a juris doctorate from the William Mitchell College of Law after attending WSU.

Mike Welch ’98 (Blaine, Minn.) is now leading Minnesota’s PGA Tour stop, the 3M Open, as its tournament director. He spent the 13+ years prior working with the Timberwolves and Lynx, most recently leading the Corporate Partnerships team.

Touayim Thoj ’99 (Saint Paul, Minn.) published his memoir “The Long Journey: A Refugee Boy’s Story,” chronicling his escape from war and horrific life in Thailand’s Ban Vinai Refugee Camp that ended when he came to the U.S. as part of the Minor Refugee Program. After graduating from high school in Saint Paul, MN, he served in the Iraqi War with the U.S. Navy and then earned his bachelor’s degree from Winona State University.

2000s

Chad Dull ’00 (La Crosse, Wis.) was named VP of academics at Minnesota State College Southeast. Dull has almost 20 years of experience in the field of education, beginning as an elementary school teacher in West Salem and Trempealeau, followed by serving at Western Technical College in La Crosse as a literacy services specialist, associate dean of adult education, and finally dean of learner support and transition division.

Tracy (Ferber) Rahim ’00 (Winona, Minn.) was nominated for the 2019 Minnesota State Professional Excellence in Service Award for her work at Winona State.

Alumni in the News Karla Bigham ’01 (Cottage Grove, Minn.) was elected to the Minnesota State Senate in February of 2018 in a special election. She currently serves on the Environment Finance, Human Service Policy and Finance Reform, and the Veterans Affairs Committees. Prior, Bigham served on the Washington County Board of Commissioners, in the Minnesota House of Representatives, Cottage Grove City Council, the Public Safety, Health, and Welfare Commission, the Charter Commission, and the Environmental Commission. Karla obtained a Master of Public Affairs Degree from the University of Minnesota following WSU; she and her husband, John, live in Cottage Grove, Minnesota.

Michelle (Fuhrman) Smith ’01 (Park Falls, Wis.) was recently promoted to treasurer/deputy clerk at the City of Park Falls. In addition, Michelle received the 2019 Park Falls Area Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year award.

Shawn Williams ’01 (Saint Michael, Minn.) – has been named the professional peace officer education coordinator at St. Cloud State University. Prior, Williams served as police officer in two major midwestern cities for 15 years.

Jeremy ‘02 and Stefanie (Steimann) Schussler ’02 (Prior Lake, Minn.) welcomed their first daughter, Isla Rose, on Valentine’s Day 2019. Sharing a birthday with her dad, she joins her three big brothers: Miles (7), Charlie (5), and Christian (3).

Jacob Tietje ’03 (Sherburn, Minn.) has been named co-principal at Fairmont High School. Prior to this position, Tietje worked in Fairmont Schools as an elementary physical education teacher, dean of students, and assistant activities director. He also served in Windom as 7-12 principal of schools. Tietje, his wife, and their three children live just outside of Sherburn.

Melissa (Zyduck) Herold ’04 (Winona, Minn.) is now a published fantasy author, professional e-learning developer, and runs her own herbs and oils business, NightBlooming. Her first novel, “Heaven’s Silhouette: Iyarri Chronicles Book 1,” is a contemporary fantasy focused on the Winona area rivers and bluffs in fall and winter. She has previously published two non-fiction books, “Rehabilitating Damaged Hair Naturally” and “Coloring Hair Naturally with Henna & Other Herbs.” She currently collaborates with the WSU English department and resides in Winona with her husband, also an alum.

Alumni in the News Molly Wiste ’05 (Hackensack, Minn.) was selected in November 2019 as the Minnesota Middle School Art Teacher of The Year. She presented at the National Arts Educators Convention on the 26th-28th of March in Minneapolis. Wiste also continues to compete in chainsaw events around the world.

Andrea (Gertz) Stratton ’06 (Palatine, Ill.) married Nate Stratton on March 30, 2019 in Wheeling, IL.

Alumni in the News Kate (Weber) Carlson ‘07 (Winona, Minn.) received a “Rising Star” distinction from the River Valley Media Group and the 7 Rivers Alliance as a young community leader that is making a positive different in the region.

Samuel ’07 & Shelby (Frost) Plitzuweit ’08 (Spring, Texas) welcomed their second son, Hudson Joseph Plitzuweit, on June 11, 2019. He joins his big brother Owen.

Michael Mook ’07 (Canyon, Texas) has been named head coach for the West Texas A&M University Lady Buffs softball team. He previously served as the head coach at Valley City State University, as well as other coaching positions with Augustana College, the University of Chicago-Illinois, the Minnesota Blizzard, Hastings High School and the South Dakota Renegades.

Calandra (Lambert) ’08 and Eric Haugen ’10 (Savage, Minn.) were married along the North Shore of Lake Superior on August 21, 2015 and welcomed their baby girl, Hazlie Cathlene, on September 8, 2019. Eric works for the City of Winona and Callie works as a teacher at Winona Middle School.

Alumni in the News Travis Kobs ’08 (Onalaska, Wis.) has earned two Upper Midwest Regional Emmys® as Creative Producer at KARE 11. Travis was also served as an adjunct instructor for the Mass Communication Department in 2012.

Beth Krage ’08 (Caledonia, Minn.) has been named the Gundersen Tweeten Care Center Director in Spring Grove, MN. Krage previously worked at Gundersen Healthcare System in La Crosse for 10.5 years as a registered nurse and clinical nurse leader. Krage holds a Master of Nursing degree from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh after attending WSU. She currently lives near Caledonia with her husband and two children.

Alumni in the News Jacob Runestad ’09 (Minneapolis, Minn.) had his original music nominated for a 2020 GRAMMY® Award. “The Hope of Loving,” an album recorded by the GRAMMY-winning professional choir Conspirare, was nominated for the Best Choral Performance Award, and was the first full-album dedicated to the music of Runestad.

Lauren Schmitz ’09 (Malone, Wis.), a kindergarten teacher, wrote and published her first children’s book, “Wish Me A Rainbow.” The book was released in November 2019.
Bo Ties ’09 (Iowa City, Iowa) released a two-disc album featuring the complete piano music of French composer, Gabriel Dupont.

2010s

Andrew ’10 and Candace (Ewers) Lien ’12 (Rochester, Minn.) were married on September 14, 2019 in Rochester, MN.

Mary Palin ’10 (Chicago, Ill.) was named assistant director of recruitment events in the Office of Graduate Admission for the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences and College of Science & Health at DePaul University in Chicago, IL.

Katlyn (Bourget) Nesvold ’11 (Minneapolis, Minn.) married Ryan Nesvold on August 31, 2019 in Chippewa Falls, WI. Three days later, she began work as a marketing manager at Spok, a healthcare software company, where she oversees public relations and online media.

Jake ’12 and Jackie (Edman) Schwarzinger ’11 (Saint Paul, Minn.) were married on June 28, 2019 in Saint Paul, MN. Jackie and Jake met at WSU in 2010 when their two mass communication classes combined for a group project.

Siera (Swedeen-Kellogg) Graham ’13 (Monticello, Minn.) married Ryan Graham on August 2, 2019. Siera currently works at Dominium Management Services as a Yardi Specialist.

Alumni in the News Thomas Platek ’13 (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) received the Upper Midwest Regional Emmy® for News Photographer on October 5, 2019. His award entry included samples of his videography work on the local news magazine: Insight 7. Platek has worked for the news magazine for five years and owned his own production company since 2017.

Mary (Schulberg) Stenberg ’15 (Cottonwood Heights, Utah) married Jacob Stenberg on June 30, 2019.

Benjamin ’16 and Kristin (Wohlrabe) Steukens ’15 (Maple Lake, Minn.) were married on August 17, 2019 in Maple Lake, MN.

Garrett ’16 and Chelsea (Lundsten) Stadsvold ’15 (Rochester, Minn.) welcomed son Oliver Jonas Stadsvold on July 6th.

Allison White ’16 (Arvada, Col.) moved to Colorado as a marketer and manages a weekly travel blog, “Look About Ally,” and a monthly newsletter containing suggestions for budget conscious, fun weekend trips across the state in hopes of encouraging her audience to explore “hidden gems.”

Mackenzie Johnson ’17 (Menomonie, Wis.) was honored December 2, 2019 at a flag ceremony held in the Rochester Community and Technical College atrium for her service as a flight nurse with the United States Air Force Reserves and an adult gerontology acute care nursing practitioner at Mayo Clinic-Eau Claire. In return, Johnson presented faculty with a flag that was flown on a Boeing C-17 Globemaster rescue mission. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Nursing Practice at WSU-Rochester, where she also completed an MSN in AGACNP. An 11-year service member, Johnson has served in 30 combat missions as a flight nurse, ferrying wounded service members out of war zones in Afghanistan and Iraq. She currently serves as a member of the 934th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron at Minneapolis Air Reserve Base and also works as a nurse practitioner at Mayo Clinic-Eau Claire in the critical care unit.

Cybil Kallevig ’18 (Winona, Minn.) celebrated one-year in her a position as an ecclesiastical notary for the Diocese of Winona-Rochester in Winona, MN in November 2019.

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Winona State University Communications Office manages media relations for the university as well as external and internal communications, connecting with local and regional media outlets in Winona, Rochester, La Crosse and the Twin Cities

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