Freeze.com is Hot, Hot, Hot!
Success doubly sweet for Freeze.com founders 25-year-old alumni twins lead multi-million dollar online business.
If it’s what you know and who you know ...
An SCSU student was one of 175 young people who participated in an international business conference sponsored by Business Today, Princeton University. Johnathan Mercer was chosen from an applicant pool of more than 2,000 students from around the world.
During the conference Mercer discussed government and business issues with executives from 70 Fortune 500 companies and political leaders from around the world. Among them were the CEO of Continental Airlines, Inc.; a former chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; and the CEO of UPS. Past attendees have included Ralph Nader, the COO of the New York Stock Exchange, the founder and CEO of Def Jam Records, and Thomas “Mac” McClarty, chief of staff under President Clinton.
Mercer, who is majoring in business economics and computer science, is founder and CEO of Xumbrus (www.xumbrus.com), an educational software company that provides academic writing software (www.scholarword.com) to more than 20,000 students worldwide.
Fulbright Scholar also a reporter, lawyer, educator, historian
Associate Professor Marie Seong-Hak Kim, history, is lecturing and conducting research at Handong Global University, Pohang, Korea, this year as a Fulbright Scholar award winner.
Kim will compare American legal and constitutional history with laws and customs under the Yi Dynasty and colonial Korea. This is her fifth year at SCSU, where she teaches courses in early modern Europe, Renaissance, Reformation, French and legal history, and constitutional law. Her prior experience ranges from working as a reporter at The Korea Times to practicing law in Minnesota.
Fulbright Scholar award recipients are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement and because they have demonstrated extraordinary leadership potential in their fields. Prominent U.S. Fulbright Scholar alumni include Milton Friedman, Nobel Laureate in Economics; James Watson, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA and Nobel Laureate in Medicine; and Rita
Students take off with national aviation scholarships
Several SCSU students recently won scholarships from three of the largest aviation associations in the United States.
More than 300 students are in the SCSU aviation program, which offers the only four-year accredited bachelor of science aviation degree in Minnesota. Graduates become air traffic controllers, flight instructors, airport/airline managers, and aviation educators.
Students keeping more money in their pockets
Students who sign up for Criminal Justice Studies 111 normally expect to pay $105 for the required textbook and study guide. But, for the fifth year in a row, Professor Barry Schreiber has done the legwork and negotiation with national publishers to cut that cost in half.
His efforts mean students in his classes now save more than $58,000 a year.
There are several excellent textbooks he could use for the course, said the professor, so he can factor price into his choice. In addition, compared to other universities across the nation, SCSU has an unusually large number of students (approximately a thousand a year) in its introductory criminal justice course. Both facts, Schreiber said, give him enough clout to win wholesale pricing.
"I can only imagine how hard it is on students who are working to pay for college," Schreiber said of textbook costs. "I'm doing what I can."
Partnership brings SCSU engineering management master’s to Twin Cities
Twin Cities residents can now earn a master’s in engineering management (MEM) without traveling
The MEM prepares graduates to assume managerial roles in technical and scientific organizations. The course content is suitable for engineers in such disciplines as mechanical manufacturing and industrial, electrical, civil, computer, and software engineering. The MEM program emphasizes economics and finance, focusing on the competencies required for managing engineering and technical projects and personnel.
The SCSU College of Science and Engineering is collaborating with the
College of Management at Metropolitan State to offer the interdisciplinary
Student successfully synchronizes school, entrepreneurship, social service
An SCSU student has received the Global Student Entrepreneur “Social Impact” Award for 2004. The honor won by Molly Reiling included a $3,000 cash prize.
Reiling, an English major, is also co-owner and director of operations for Daylily Spa Salon in St. Cloud. The business has grown to 20 employees since its founding in 2000. It will double in size and add a spa in Albertville this year.
Reiling was recognized for her work with a local women’s shelter, for which she provides services, products, facilities and fundraising promotions. For example, the spa has offered complimentary services, music and refreshments in return for donations to the shelter.
"It's cool to be in college"
Thirteen young adults can say “I go to SCSU” despite the fact that they’re developmentally disabled. Every school day they attend classes in the College of Education building, and can have lunch at Garvey Commons, use the recreation center at the Atwood Memorial Center, enjoy sports at Hallenbeck Hall, and – importantly – mingle with other college students.
In the past, developmentally disabled students were “left behind” in high school when their classmates went on to college and jobs. Now, a partnership with District 742 brings special needs students ages 18-21 to the university campus, where they can learn and practice communication, daily living, vocational and recreational skills among other young adults.
This is good for us, too,” says John Hoover, chair of the university’s special education department. “We like to give our prospective special ed teachers contact with the developmentally disabled as soon and as often as possible.” And the special students “really feel good about being here – they think it’s cool to be in college.”
Students training for out-state work with children
Sixteen SCSU students have won the opportunity to participate, with stipend support, in a program designed to train them to work after graduation in child service agencies in non-metro areas of Minnesota. Recipients will receive $2,800 a year during their junior and senior years at the university.
The 16 students will take a designated child welfare services course and attend seminars designed for them, then complete 480 hours of supervised
The student support is possible because the SCSU Department of Social Work is participating in the newly-formed Bachelor of Social Work Child Welfare Consortium with sister departments at the University of Minnesota, the state universities at Moorhead, Mankato, Winona and Bemidji, and the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
Highly-regarded social justice award goes to SCSU alumna
SCSU social work graduate Cara Ruff has won the Paul and Sheila Wellstone Award for Social Justice given by the Minnesota chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.
Ruff successfully led a grassroots effort to restore state funding for Independent Lifestyles Inc., which she founded in 1997, after state budget cuts eliminated support. The organization offers the disabled living skills training and services in such areas of daily living as self esteem, housing, employment, cooking and nutrition. Last year Independent Lifestyles served more than 600 clients in Stearns, Benton, Sherburne, Meeker, Wright, Morrison, Mille Lacs, Kandiyohi and Isanti counties.
The activist also chairs the Community Action Committee of the Minnesota Brain Injury Association, volunteers with the Courage Center, is the governor-appointed representative for all independent living centers on the Statewide Independent Living Council of Minnesota, and is founder and chair of the Disability Awareness Task Force of Central Minnesota.
Ruff is the second recipient of the Wellstone award. Last year, the association recognized the work of state Sen. Linda Berglin, chairwoman of the Health, Human Services and Corrections Committee.
Picturing SCSU students
Geriatric nursing program national “model of excellence”
The new nursing program at SCSU has received the prestigious Clinical Settings in Geriatric Nursing Award bestowed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing in collaboration with the John A. Hartford Foundation Institute for Geriatric Nursing. The honor recognizes "exceptional, substantive, and innovative" curriculum, innovative use of clinical settings, inspiration of students to pursue careers caring for older adults, and strong partnerships with clinical and community agencies.
SCSU clinical sites are the Ne-Ia-Shing Health Clinic on the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe reservation, the Central Minnesota Nurse Managed Center, the Veterans Administration facility in St. Cloud, the St. Cloud Hospital orthopedic unit, and assisted living sites for the elderly within the community.
The Hartford Institute will share the SCSU program as a "proven model of excellence" with nursing programs nationwide.
Would that be 10,000 sick days?
In a typical year, half of all SCSU students visit Student Health Services. As a result, the clinic's doctors, nurse practitioners, licensed practical nurses, lab technicians and support staff handle more than 10,000 student visits a year.
Now those students have been reminded that they're receiving the highest quality care. The clinic recently achieved the honor of being accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, which means the SCSU program meets nationally recognized standards for provision of quality health care. Not all ambulatory health care programs submit their programs for AAAHC review, and not all of those that have the on-site survey are granted the certification.
The campus clinic provides general medical care, a pharmacy, alcohol and drug assessments and counseling, immunizations, and educational programs. Student Health Services also reaches nearly 5,000 students a year with presentations on topics like alcohol/drug education, stress management, relationships and risky behavior.
A written language of their own
In the Ivory Coast village where SCSU linguistics professor Ettien Koffi grew up, his native language, Anyi, was used for everyday conversation, and French was the language for all things read or written. But in this civil war-torn West African country, Koffi is leading a quiet revolution to give his native tribe a written language of its own.
“This is every linguist’s dream, to design a writing system for an oral-only language,” Koffi said of his ambitious project. Beginning with translations from the Bible, he is building the written Anyi language from the international phonetic alphabet, a family of symbols linguists all over the world use to describe language.
Koffi speaks passionately about the limitations of a verbal-only language. “You can communicate with words only orally, mostly face-to-face,” he said. More importantly, he said, without written language there’s no possibility of development as a society as we know it, no possibility of accumulation of knowledge about history and culture or scientific development.
“Take medicine,” Koffi said. “The older generation knows so much, but if they can’t write it down to be passed on to successive generations, it’s lost. I’ve seen so many doctors die without writing down their knowledge.”
When 40 percent of people are illiterate, access to basic health care, elections, legal processes, recording history and other important uses are limited, Koffi said. “It is mind-boggling when you sit down to realize all the different implications.”
The process of giving his people a written language is no less mind-boggling. He’s finished the first of what he hopes will be six levels of textbooks. Koffi calls it a grassroots project, with members of his family already teaching farmers and small business managers Sundays and evenings. Many of the students are women, Koffi said, since they often manage family matters. This summer he’s developing a text with practical chapters about pregnancy, health care, how to purify water, and other information most western societies take for granted being widely available in written form.
“It’s quite a major undertaking that can bring you praise and headaches,” he said of the task of building native-language literacy. In his home country, which is roughly one-third larger than the state of Minnesota, 60 native languages are in existence. One-third of the 6,000 languages spoken throughout the world are indigenous to Africa, and the tradition of European-only written language on the continent is entrenched. But making a dent in a literacy problem African governments have largely ignored is a challenge well worth pursuing for Koffi.
People have had to sign legal documents with an “x,” and now people in Anyi language classes begun because of his efforts can sign their name. “By the time people finish the sixth level they’ll be as educated as anybody else and literate in the modern sense of the word,” Koffi said.
“Providing the means to disseminate local knowledge and wisdom both orally and in written form puts Dr. Koffi’s people on the map of world cultures,” said Roland Specht-Jarvis, dean of the SCSU College of Fine Arts and Humanities and former professor of foreign languages. “And that allows us to study, understand and value their way of life.”
“The whole thing started with my Ph.D. in linguistics,” Koffi said. His dissertation covered analysis of a sound system, grammar, and terminology. “Ever wonder how it is we call something a noun, verb, adjective, who decided to call it a vowel? Language is not a useful tool unless you have the functions to use it for science and mathematics, too.”
Koffi’s goal is to have a literacy program in every Anyi village within 20 years. “There are very few things I am very sure about,” he said, “but this is one of them. I don’t want to be pretentious, but I am changing Anyi society one word at a time. It’s almost magical.”
Mentoring program comes full circle
When SCSU student Decontee Kofa heard the call for volunteers to help troubled local girls turn their lives in the right direction, her response was immediate. Three years later, her lasting “big sister” relationship with Chanel Lewis, now a 10th grader at Technical High School, has become the foundation for the award-winning Women and Girls Mentoring Project.
The cross-generational, cross-cultural group of 15 SCSU women students mentoring 25 local high school girls meets weekly at the SCSU Women’s Center to talk about issues and motivate each other through personal stories, encouragement, and activities to explore career fields and expand their expectations for the future.
The program started in fall of 2001, when Vice Principal Lanie Odette from St. Cloud’s South Junior High School appealed to members of the Council of African American Students (CAAS) at SCSU to reach out to some of her female students. She had an idea that spending some time with college-age women – fellow students of color – could help girls whose problems were affecting their behavior. It did. In a matter of months Odette was reporting noticeable differences in the girls’ attendance and schoolwork.
Kofa was moved to action because Odette’s plan touched a nerve. “I thought about myself at that age, and I knew if I’d had a mentor – someone else to talk to about issues that were serious to me instead of dealing with them myself – it would have made a huge difference,” Kofa said. “I came from a single parent household, as Chanel does, and sometimes I was lonely.” She and two fellow CAAS members, Tesha Alston and Tasha Taylor, were the initial volunteers. Alston and Taylor have since graduated from SCSU, but Kofa went on to organize a more structured mentoring organization the following year.
In the fall of 2003 Kofa worked to make the group a bona fide SCSU student organization eligible for funding from SCSU student activity fees. The process led her to the SCSU Women’s Center to find a formal adviser for the new group, Today’s Women. Staff member Lee LaDue was stunned to hear Kofa’s description of her active, already thriving student of color mentoring group, since she knew two faculty members had been working on a grant to initiate just such an organization. So the match between them and Today’s Women was made.
“It was just amazing,” said Kofa, a recipient of St. Cloud’s 2004 Mayor’s High Five Award for Diversity. “The work we’d been doing with the girls was a perfect fit with what these professors envisioned. It was a blessing finding out about each other.”
SCSU professors Niloufer Merchant, who teaches community psychology, and Lalita Subrahmanyan, whose field is teacher development, landed $26,000 in grant funding to take the mentoring program to the next step.
The program is expected to have a tremendous ripple effect on individuals, their families and their communities. SCSU participants are developing valuable personal and professional skills, as well as deriving great satisfaction from the impact they are having on their younger protégées, and their mentees are gaining the self-esteem and motivation to aspire to higher educational and career goals. The supportive environment that the young people are experiencing will have a lasting influence on their lives and the lives of those they touch in their future endeavors and relationships.
The program has come full circle with the group’s first graduate now a college student. With the help of a $5,000 scholarship, Bintou Jatta has gone from high school mentee to SCSU freshman. And true to the purpose and goals of the group, Jatta is mentoring another St.Cloud girl whose life will be enriched by the bonding, support, and inspiration found in the Women and Girls Mentoring Project.
The well-rounded student: service, leadership, balance
SCSU students are always encouraged to have a full, meaningful college experience that includes more than the classroom. For students planning to go to medical school, say biology and chemistry faculty members, the importance of being “well rounded” can’t be overemphasized.
Students who fit that description are more likely to be accepted when they apply for medical school. That’s because they can be expected to handle the stress of training in medicine, but also because they’re less likely to drop out once they’re practicing medicine on their own.
There’s a reason for that. “If your whole life is medicine,” says a member of the SCSU Pre-Med Advisory Committee, “then you burn out in four or five years.”
Medical schools also are looking for “the type of person who’s headed somewhere,” according to Biology Professor Janet Woodard, a member of the committee. And, more and more often, the schools will choose the students who are “different, who stand out in some new way.”
Woodard has found that SCSU students who’ve successfully applied for medical school had interesting portfolios: “One was a published poet, another a skydiver, another an accomplished violinist, another a basketball starter ... another a one-time captain of the Husky hockey team.”
This year, for example, nine members of the MPA joined a program similar to “Doctors Without Borders” for a trip to Honduras, where they assisted physicians, surgeons, dentists, optometrists and pharmacologists serving the poor. “This will be very hands-on,” said student and future public health researcher Morgan Binnie before the trip. “This will be a life-changing experience,” said another MPA member who participated in the mission of mercy. “If I can help just one person, then it’s all worth it.”
The two biomedical science majors immediately took what they’d learned and put it to use in the MPA. The young men led a recruiting effort that helped grow MPA membership from 10 to 75 in one year, organized five committees dedicated to volunteer work in the community, and initiated the College Relay for Life fundraising drive that raised $16,000 last year and is expected to raise $30,000 this year for the American Cancer Society.
When he applied for medical school in the late 90s, the SCSU student had in his portfolio leadership skills, academic excellence and a commitment to service. During his years with the Huskies, McLaughlin’s leadership, maturity and work ethic made him a role model for younger players. He complemented his interest
It was volunteer work that convinced
McLaughlin to apply to medical school.“I wasn’t 100 percent sure what I wanted
to do,” he said. So during his senior year
Today, despite some 100-hour weeks at the hospital, McLaughlin is at no risk of burnout. He’s an experienced mountain climber, ice climbs, snowshoes, hikes, skis, snowboards and competes in triathlons and other adventure races. Those interests provide ongoing benefits. “I’ll never forget the first time I had to tell someone they had cancer,” McLaughlin said. At times like that, it takes a “very long hike in the mountains” to deal with the stress.
It’s about more than medicine
“Everyone ends up looking the same,” said McLaughlin about the medical school
application process. “You’ve got to have something that makes you different.
“You know, these young people don’t have to be accepted to medical school to be considered successful,” said Woodard of the well-rounded pre-med students at SCSU. “They’d be outstanding in whatever they chose to do.”
Twin Powers : Young, high-energy twins lead family-oriented business, keep strong ties to SCSU
Across town from their alma mater, 25-year-old twins Ryan and Rob Weber have quietly built a leading online promotion company in the nation from an idea “hatched in our dorm room.”
In just five years – at a time when most dot-com companies were falling through the ice – the Webers’ Freeze.com has swelled to $45 million in total sales over the last 24 months. Last June Donald Trump’s Entrepreneur magazine ranked it the 31st fastest-growing new business in the U.S.
It’s a dizzying success story that starts with Rob and Ryan’s purchase of their first computer at age 15 with earnings from McDonald’s. They turned that investment into an online sports card business, a sports fan web site, a consulting business for web advertisers, and web advertising sales to direct marketers. Five years ago, joined by brother Aaron, 26, they morphed into the “free stuff” business, offering free screensavers and other enhancements in exchange for information they sell to direct marketers.
They’ve weathered a couple of bad breaks – like unscrupulous partners – in their online journey. But on their way up, the Webers also attracted the attention, support and respect of influential outsiders.
The twins were just 19 when they met and wowed Young Sohn, president of Agilent Technologies’ Semiconductor Products Group, San Jose, Calif., now chairman of the Freeze.com board of directors. “I deal with a lot of very successful scientists and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley,” said Sohn, who invested in the fledgling Freeze.com. “I saw that these young men were very mature. They understood the sacrifice and compromise that has to come with any success, and they weren’t afraid to ask for advice.”
“It was also clear to me they were a lot smarter than me in web-based marketing,” said Sohn, whose own foresight has taken him to the top of the mercurial international technology field.
“They’re positioned as the most talented young entrepreneurs in Minnesota,” said Brian Schoenborn, an SCSU graduate, former Alumni Association president, and the Webers’ attorney.
The Weber brothers embody the key elements of entrepreneurial success: incredible passion and talent, willingness to take risks, superior networking skills, and tremendous vision. “They have the agility, drive and maturity it takes,” said Sohn.
Their expansive Waite Park office building, filled with gray cubicles, is a free and friendly place. It’s a flexible, fun atmosphere devoid of time clocks and top-down management. “We’re the exact opposite of micromanagers,” said Rob. “We hire people with self-motivated, entrepreneurial personalities, and we expect them to develop.”
The businessmen also prefer to work where the action is – out in the cubicles. “We tried working in separate offices at first,” said Rob, “but we work better trading creative ideas and brainstorming. It’s almost like a hobby for us.”
Their no-boundaries work style fits their reputation. “They’re very easy to work with and very down to earth,” said mentor Sohn.
The three brothers are a study in distinct personalities: Robert, president and co-founder, still working on his SCSU degree in entrepreneurship, exudes enthusiasm. His words spill out quickly as he talks about his focus on marketing and sales. Ryan, who earned his SCSU degree in computer science, is technology-oriented and more of a still-waters-run-deep kind of guy.
Aaron is the serious older brother who lured the twins to SCSU while he was there studying computers. He’s the detail guy they call focused and reliable. The Webers’ mother, Deb Childers, is Freeze.com’s marketing director, and many of the images among the vast array of screensavers offered on their web site were shot by their dad, a career safety engineer and hobby photographer.
The twins are married to SCSU graduates, Rob to Jessica LaChance, ‘02; and Ryan to Melissa Anderson, ’02.
Just as others have reached out to them, the Webers are mentoring enthusiastic new talent, especially promising SCSU techies. They’ve set up a venture company to provide seed money for the next generation and beyond, Schoenborn said.
The Webers have incredibly strong ties to SCSU and credit the mentoring and education they got for their success. Fifteen of their current employees are SCSU graduates, fellow computer enthusiasts who represent a variety of disciplines. Not surprisingly, 64 percent of the company’s SCSU graduates are computer science or business computer information systems (BCIS) graduates. But the rest majored in anthropology, English, finance, foreign languages, management, marketing, mass communications, network modeling and simulation, and photo engineering.
Patrick Carlson, an SCSU grad with a double major in anthropology and political science, said he didn’t have a plan of action as a student, but he was always proficient with a computer. Freeze.com was just taking off when he “fell into” the business. He hasn’t regretted it. His anthropology studies have been good training for the constantly evolving culture of Freeze.com, Carlson also pointed out.
2003 MBA graduate Akash Sen chose to join the Webers as their human resources manager. “Here there’s never an end to creating opportunity, seeing that each person has a chance to excel,” he said.
“A lot of people at St. Cloud State have helped us,” said Rob. Now they’re giving back, sharing their entrepreneurial spirit and so much more with students through ongoing projects and jobs.
The Weber brothers take immense pride in seeing others share in their success. “We’re grateful for where we’re at,” Ryan said. It’s especially sweet for them to have sponsored the winner of this year’s Harold Anderson Entrepreneur of the Year Award. In 2000, the Weber twins were the Minnesota Entrepreneurs of the Year, and were runners-up for the 2000 North American Collegiate Entrepreneur Award.
Through their continuing involvement with students, Freeze.com has helped develop a tremendous talent pool for their growing business. Students who share that spark of creativity and passion in turn have been given opportunities to explore career paths. Freeze.com has hired 32 SCSU students or graduates since 2000.
“SCSU was a launching pad for their business,” Schoenborn said. “That’s what St. Cloud State is all about – to give students an opportunity to succeed.”
“When we started out,” said Rob, “it was how can we make enough money to pay for our tuition, to do something that could be a building block for a career.”
They’re still building. “We’re always looking at the next goal out there,” said Aaron. “It’s really just the first chapter.”
“They’re developing business relationships all over the world – and quietly building a leading technology sector right here in St. Cloud,” Schoenborn said. “And the exciting thing is, they’re just getting started.”
Freeze.com, LLC, is an Internet promotions company providing direct marketing customers with computer screensavers and other online promotional products. Much of the company’s success is due to the free animated and 3D screensavers available through its web sites, Freeze.com, ScreenSaver.com and Wallpapers.com, as well as advertising on thousands of sites throughout the Internet.
Going their own way
To the rest of the world, Jade and Erin Buckles are adorable survivors of a medical miracle – the successful surgical separation of twins born conjoined from chest to abdomen. Their middle names, Hope and Faith, are fitting symbols of their triumph over incredible odds. But to ’96 SCSU graduate Melissa (Ellens) Buckles and her husband Kevin, “they’re just our children.”
From the Buckles’ Washington, D.C., area townhome, Melissa talked about the emotional roller coaster her family has been on the past year, since the day the ultrasound technician looked up from the screen and soberly told them the image on the screen showed twins – conjoined twins.
“It was instant fear,” Melissa said of the news she and Kevin received Nov. 6, 2003, 18 weeks into the pregnancy, which was followed by a challenging birth and the rarest of rare procedures – separation surgery that allowed the girls to function on their own. “When I saw the girls separated for the first time it was absolutely a miracle,” Melissa said. “I never felt more blessed in my life.”
The complex procedure was largely successful, with both girls able to face the future functioning on their own. Erin’s future, however, is more uncertain than her sister’s. Lack of blood flow to a section of her spinal cord during the separation left her paralyzed from the chest down, Melissa said. “It was a total shock. Right after the surgery my husband and I noticed her legs weren’t moving like Jade’s were. We don’t want this to overshadow the miracle of the surgery, and we’re so thankful to Children’s Hospital, but this is something we’ll have to deal with, and Erin will have more to overcome.”
Dr. Gary Hartman, who led the surgical team at Children’s National Medical Center, hadn’t performed a separation in 10 years. After all, only one in 200,000 live births involve conjoined twins, so it’s a medical anomaly for any doctor. Fewer than one-fourth of separated twins who are born alive make it past the second day. Factoring in the complication that the umbilical cord Jade and Erin shared in the womb was wrapped around one of their necks, the fact that they celebrated their first birthday Feb. 26 strong and healthy is truly marvelous.
Featured on a one-hour ABC network “Prime Time” special and “Good Morning America” in January, a Discovery Health Channel special in February, a March Good Housekeeping article, and in several Washington Post newspaper stories, the family has been through trials even they can’t comprehend. “When I watched the “Prime Time” show, it was just amazing to see everything we’d been through,” Melissa said. “It’s hard for us to fathom they were once conjoined. Sometimes that seems like a lifetime ago.”
During the first four months before the separation, there were little problems for which they had to find their own solutions – creating ways to diaper, clothe and transport the twins. And there were agonizing moments. “My heart was bursting,” Melissa said of the rush of feelings when she first saw her newborn daughters. And there was the terrifying moment she handed them over to the surgical team for the separation surgery, a decision that was never a question for Melissa and Kevin, a couple who may have been as prepared as any for the string of highs and lows they’ve weathered.
As a student at SCSU, Melissa worked as a summer counselor with people with disabilities at Camp Courage. She was a nanny for a family with four little girls for a year after graduation, and she taught high school English and coached swimming in Arizona, Minnesota and Washington, D.C. She was a mother to a toddler and stepmother to an 11-year-old, Kevin Jr., who lives with them on weekends.
Kevin is a 16-year Marine, a gunnery sergeant whose job is assistant drum major with The Commandant’s Own U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, a position that involves traveling a month and a half every winter. Melissa’s parents, Dave and Joan Ellens of Cold Spring, both 1959 graduates of SCSU, flew out to Washington to help Melissa with the children during Kevin’s heavy February and March travel schedule.
The Ellens, whose last years at SCSU were spent as a star basketball player and a cheerleader, are proud of the way their youngest daughter Melissa has coped with the awesome responsibilities that have come her way in the past two years. “I’m telling you I was pretty panicky,” Dave said of the emergency trip to Washington when they got the news of the impending birth of conjoined twins.
“They’ve handled it all very calmly; they find out what they have to do to go on to the next step,” Dave said.
“Melissa and Kevin didn’t want to turn their circumstances into a circus,” said Joan of her daughter and son-in-law’s reticence to have national media attention turned on their family. “ABC had an exclusive, and they’ve been really good. (“Prime Time” host) Charles Gibson just adores these little girls, and the “Good Morning America” crew was playing with the kids during every break when they were on.”
“She’s a great mother,” Dave said of his daughter. “Her girls just adore her.” “The girls” include big sister Taylor, who also has taken the events that have surrounded the twins she refers to as “her babies” in stride, said Melissa. But the transition from conjoined to separated sisters was a bit confusing for a then-2-year-old to comprehend.
Taylor was at the hospital the day of the separation surgery, Melissa said. “To her having conjoined sisters was normal. When we took her first to Erin the next day, she was upset. She said ‘Where’s Jade?’ She was having a hard time putting it all together.” But now, nearly a year later, she’s the consummate big sister who loves to make her little sisters laugh.
For all the Buckles, the future has been greatly altered by the exceptional circumstances of the twins’ birth. The challenges of physical therapy sessions and high child care costs in the Washington, D.C., area will make it difficult for Melissa to return to the teaching she loved. Their medical bills are exorbitant, and until Kevin is eligible for retirement in four years, he’ll be away from home several weeks a year.
Still, their home is filled with the laughter and love of a family that has graciously emerged from a string of indescribable challenges, grateful for the medical procedures that gave Erin Faith and Jade Hope – whose hearts once literally beat as one – the freedom to grow and develop as individuals.
Alumni Award Winners
2004 Alumni Award Winners
Social Sciences Leadership Award
College of Science & Engineering Leadership Award
G.R. Herberger College of Business Leadership Award
College of Education Leadership Award
College of Fine Arts & Humanities Leadership Award
Graduate of the
Last Decade (GOLD)
A half century of change
When members of the class of ‘54 celebrated their 50-year reunion last fall, they came back to a very different campus. In the mid-50s they came to learn teaching, liberal arts or business at St. Cloud State Teachers College. Some of the obvious changes that have taken place on campus over the years:
Alumni were also reminded that some things about the college experience here haven’t changed. Our students still come here – just as they did – to grow and develop into adults ready to go out on their own. They come to experiment and explore, to discover new ways of thinking, learning, and studying, and to make lifelong friendships.
Remembering alumni who remembered us
In this issue you will read about a legendary faculty member, a spirited community supporter, and the family of a student who came into his own at SCSU. Crumpton Farrell, Arlene Helgeson, Sean Gonia and Jesse Lhotka remained involved with SCSU, and we feel privileged to have been associated with them throughout their lifetimes. All of them have been taken from us in the past few months, but
There are many ways to support students and programs at SCSU. Each year, our students call alumni to ask for a gift supporting initiatives such as scholarships. There also are options for including the university in your long-term plans. You can make a commitment to a gift now that the university will receive sometime in the future. Even a person with modest means can make a great difference in the quality of our programs by planning ahead.
The most common “planned gifts” are bequests, charitable gift annuities, and charitable remainder trusts. A bequest designates a gift to the SCSU Foundation in your will. A charitable gift annuity allows you to make a gift of $10,000 or more, receive a tax deduction, and receive a guaranteed annual payment each year for the rest of your life. A charitable remainder unitrust is similar to an annuity but usually involves a more substantial sum, and you receive a percentage of the trust’s value, rather than a fixed payment, each year. With both annuities and unitrusts, the SCSU Foundation invests the funds conservatively and then receives the remainder of the invested funds upon the death of the annuitant.
These giving options carry certain tax advantages. Most important, they provide a way for you to leave a legacy at your university. Think about how you would like to help SCSU provide a better education, or make our programs more accessible and affordable to students. That is the first step. Once you know what kind of difference you would like to make, call us. Our staff at the SCSU Foundation can help you determine how to make it happen through a planned gift.
Not everyone will stay involved with SCSU throughout their lifetimes. It can be hard to find time to make college a part of the fabric of our lives long after graduation. Even if it has been many years since you have been involved with SCSU, I encourage you to consider reconnecting. If time simply does not permit day-to-day involvement, please consider one of these options for remembering us in your long-term plans.
SCSU Athletic Hall of Fame 2004 inductees
Membership in the SCSU Hall of Fame, with the following induction, has reached 140 individuals and three teams. This year's winners are:
Hitting a MaGICal note
SCSU alumnus Duane Paulson literally grew up on the campus of SCSU. His childhood home stood at the spot that is now Brown Hall, he attended the campus lab school, and his mother was the executive assistant to former SCSU president Dr. George Budd.
SCSU seemed a natural fit for Paulson when it was time to pursue higher education. He graduated with a degree focused on mass communication in 1981, but has spent his career attaining success in the technology field.
Paulson’s most recent accomplishment is being named the president of Gibson Audio, a division of Gibson Guitar Corp., where he leads Gibson’s MaGIC
The legendary company, coined a “great American story” by Paulson, is one that he’s excited to work for. His children share his enthusiasm. “This is the first time in my professional career my kids are excited to tell people where I work,” Paulson says as he laughs.
Based in the Twin Cities area while having coworkers scattered across the nation from the east to west coasts, Paulson’s “office” is oftentimes a telephone, internet connection, and an airplane seat. When he’s not traveling, he spends his time at home documenting project progress and brainstorming.
One recent brainstorm the company has completed is the new Wurlitzer Digital Jukebox, which earned a Best of Innovations Award at the 2004 Consumer Electronics Show. Others are coming down the pike as well, meaning that Paulson’s days will continue to be busy.
His experiences at SCSU helped him learn the “get up and do it” mentality, he says, an outlook that has helped him turn out some successful hits.
Donor takes climbing wall to the Xtreme
One especially popular feature of the SCSU Student Recreation Center that opened spring semester is the rock climbing wall.
At 30 feet the wall is one of the largest in the state; it is also the only one in Minnesota with two climbing surfaces. One is a typical molded rock surface; the other is textured, has many more holds, bouldering, a tap rope, a sport lead, an overhang, and an archway, making it a challenge for experienced climbers.
“This wall has been a wonderful feature of the center,” said Ron Seibring, director of Sports Facilities and Campus Recreation, as he watched climbers on their way to the top. “Our students love it, and it brings to campus people we don’t see that often.” The wall attracts high school students, experienced climbers, hobbyists and adults from across the community – an average of 25 a night within just two weeks of its opening. One of the first climbing competitions at the Student Recreation Center attracted 60 entrants: “We had to turn people away,” said Seibring.
Longtime friends of the university, the Bernick family helped complete the wall. A spokesman for their company said they decided to help because of students. “They invested a lot in this center,” he said of the multi-million dollar bond issue students will repay with increased student activity fees. On behalf of Bernick’s Pepsi, the Bernick family made a gift of $100,000 to complete the recreation center feature, now named the Mountain Dew Xtreme Climbing Wall.
Legacies of caring, making a difference
Former students, colleagues say goodbye to Dr. Farrell
Former students, colleagues, and friends of SCSU Professor Emeritus and philanthropist Crumpton Farrell gathered to honor his memory at a reception and program Dec. 2 in Ritsche Auditorium.
A number of alumni responded to the news of Dr. Farrell’s death with tributes recounting the indelible impact he had on their lives. With his unusual teaching style and personality, the professor of finance earned a mixed reputation as a demanding taskmaster and tenacious teacher determined to help his students succeed.
Jay and Erika Vora, longtime friends, neighbors and colleagues on the SCSU faculty, echoed Myres’ sentiments with praise for the friendship and interest he showed to those who got to know him. “He influenced many students to excel in the business community,” said Jay Vora, professor of management who came to SCSU the same year as Dr. Farrell. “He took a personal interest in them, their families, and was proud of their accomplishments.”
Professor Farrell had come to teaching late in life, after a 26-year career as a U.S. Naval aviator from World War II to Vietnam. He was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, studied engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He worked as a stock analyst before turning to education. He joined the SCSU business faculty in 1978.
Besides endowing several scholarships in his name and in the names of others to benefit SCSU students, Dr. Farrell was a generous benefactor to MIT and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.
A sampling of alumni remembrances:
“It is often said we don’t appreciate what our parents did for us until we get much older. In Dr. Farrell’s case, that adage carries over to teachers.”
“If there is one professor at SCSU that I will always remember it is Dr. Farrell. Although I thought his teaching style was a bit zany, I have held onto the things I learned from him most. Many a time in the last 20 years I have heard his advice in my head.”
During the program, 1983 graduate Brian Myres delivered an eloquent tribute to his mentor. “When I think of all my professors, no one has had a more lasting impression on me,” he said. “He wasn’t easy … he’d throw books or a Wall Street Journal at students and tell them to write a report. If you didn’t perform you got sent to Ma Perkins in the writing lab.”
“It was a unique way to run a classroom,” said Myres, currently head of Midwest operations for ING DIRECT USA. “But he was interested in seeing students succeed, and writing skills were very important to him. He could be gruff, but inside he was a wonderful person. That $168 I spent on his class was the best investment I ever made. ”
She brightened community with her passion for arts, education
Arlene Helgeson was one of five outstanding alumni honored for lifetime achievements during President Roy Saigo’s welcome-back convocation address to the campus community last fall. His tribute, printed right, focused on her enthusiasm for life and her support for campus and community projects. While celebrating her 75th birthday on a cruise this past January, Arlene died as the result of a snorkeling accident off the coast of Costa Rica.
“I’m pleased to introduce someone many of you know from our own community, artist and arts advocate Arlene Helgeson. A 1951 graduate, Arlene’s majors in English and speech helped the once-shy student develop the confidence to become a major force for the arts in Minnesota. During her student years, Arlene served as staff photographer for the Talahi yearbook and Chronicle, and reigned as Miss St. Cloud.
“This photo (left) was taken during the time she was competing for Queen of the Lakes at the Aquatennial. While the other contestants stayed dry on the sidelines, the always-enthusiastic Arlene took advantage of an opportunity to do some powerwater skiing.
“Arlene has poured that same gusto into a long line of accomplishments to benefit our campus, community, and region. She has been involved in statewide initiatives in the arts. In the 1960s she chaired the planning committee for Atwood Center and served as director the first year the student union was open. In 1974 she was honored with the SCSU Alumni Service Award. In the community, Arlene helped start the YMCA in St. Cloud and the St. Cloud Community Arts Council. She commissioned The Granite Trio, the large granite sculptures in downtown St. Cloud.
“Keeping the arts vital in St. Cloud and encouraging others to participate in and enjoy every aspect of the arts has been Arlene’s main goal as a patron and member of the arts community. Thank you, Arlene.”
Scholarship fitting tribute to aviation graduate
During his too-brief lifetime, SCSU aviation graduate Sean Gonia seemed to fly in perfect formation with family, teammates, mentors and friends. When the traditional “Missing Man Formation” aerial maneuver was carried out for the aviator upon his death, it was a fitting symbol of the empty spaces he left behind.
On Sept. 11, 2004, the young man whose flight through life was fueled by enthusiasm, curiosity and love of learning was killed in a motorcycle accident, a stunning tragedy for father Laur, mother Sylvia and sister Tara, an SCSU senior.
Sean’s parents knew immediately how they would honor the memory of their son, whose life had been a string of distinguished accomplishments: honors student, award-winning writer, championship swimmer, and outstanding aviation student and instructor.
The Gonias, whose home is in Fond du lac, Wis., had established a trust a year before the tragedy. According to their plan, upon their death some of the funds would go to SCSU, the school that had become such an integral part of their family’s lives. They didn’t hesitate to put the scholarship in motion within hours of their unexpected loss. The Sean Paul Gonia Aviation Scholarship will go to junior and senior aviation majors who display the qualities of leadership and involvement in activities that characterized Sean, qualities that earned him an Excellence in Leadership Award.
Before deciding to enter SCSU as an honors student, Sean had looked at large universities and military academies, but SCSU was his clear choice – big enough to offer what he wanted but small enough to have personal attention, his father said. “It embodies what a university should be.”
Sean arrived on campus with a well-developed fervor for the two things that topped his long list of interests – aviation and swimming. An ardent flight enthusiast since age 12, he excelled in both. He still holds several Husky records in swimming and became captain of the team his senior year. He earned a bachelor’s degree in aviation and was nearly finished with his master’s thesis in technology education.
The Gonias speak with great affection for SCSU’s effect on the lives of Sean and Tara, a special education major. “Sean loved this university and he loved the opportunities it provided,” Laur said. “That’s why the scholarship is here. We feel more kinship with SCSU than with our own universities where we earned degrees and taught,” said Laur.
On Nov. 29 the university hosted a private ceremony to present Sean’s family with his posthumous master’s degree, attended by 10 of Sean’s aviation and environmental and technological studies instructors who characterized him as “a professor’s dream,” responsible and hard-working. “He would have finished in December, and he’d just been hired as adjunct faculty in aviation,” his dad said. “(The ceremony) provided closure in a sense, but it was more to recognize the work that Sean had done. Each professor had a very personal kind of thing they remembered about Sean and expressed it.”
“Sean was unique and this was a unique ceremony,” Laur said. “He went out on the ultimate high; he had accomplished so much. He was just on the tip of the iceberg; he was going to be giving back what he had received.” And so, in tribute to their son’s memory, the Gonias are giving back, to help other students discover the satisfaction of opportunity and achievement Sean experienced.
Remembering Jesse Lhotka
Family, friends, and professors of Sgt. Jesse Lhotka, ’04, whose courage under fire in Iraq had tragic consequences, remembered a man whose honor and character permeated roles of husband, son, and student as well as comrade and soldier.
Jesse died taking care of an injured soldier Feb. 21 in Baghdad along with two other members of the Minnesota National Guard’s 151st Field Artillery. He was a true hero, admired and respected by his comrades. But he also was a bright, energetic young man who’d been married shortly before his Montevideo unit was deployed. He and wife Stacey were a young couple in love, with big dreams of home, family and careers.
Lhotka’s SCSU advisor Bill Hudson remembered Jesse as a motivated, conscientious student with a promising future in the finance field. “He had a positive attitude and a positive outlook,” Hudson told the University Chronicle.
“Those of us who were fortunate enough to know him on our campus were touched by his humor and dedication,” said finance professor David Christopherson. “May his widow and family know that many of us at his alma mater feel deeply honored to have experienced his wonderful expressions of mirth, maturity, courage, and love.”
The SCSU Finance Department has commissioned a plaque in honor of Jesse to be hung in the G.R. Herberger College of Business building.
Ask Alumni: Focus on Wen Sze Foo
What has your life been like since graduation?
How did you find out about SCSU and why did you choose to come here? I heard about SCSU through a friend who was studying there in the mass comm department. The fact that SCSU’s mass comm department was nationally accredited also played a part in my decision-making. The clincher was definitely how affordable the fees were and also international students’ benefits.
What are some of your best memories of campus life?
What were some of the biggest challenges with studying so far from home?
What campus activities were you most involved in?
Who was your favorite/most memorable professor?
Do you plan to come back to campus to visit?
We’ve got baby gifts for all new additions to the Huskies roster! If you recently welcomed a new addition to the family, the Alumni Association at your alma mater would like to send you a “Husky Pup” t-shirt. It’s a cheerful “Congratulations!” gift from the SCSU Alumni Association. Just let the alumni office staff know of your new arrival so a t-shirt can be sent to our future SCSU Husky. Call the alumni office at (320) 308-3177 or toll free 1-866-GoHusky (464-8759).
Julie K Peters ’74 (middle) visits Malaysia and former international students Lee Kah Sean '95, Chua Siew Yin '95 and their daughters Rachel Lee Yue Mei and Abby Lee Yue Yu, and Tan Siew Min '99, Lee Chai Chin '98 and their toddler Lee Jenn-Shin.
Two-month old Sequoia Diné Fuller, daughter of Craig Fuller ‘01 and Ella Fuller ’02, relaxes in her Husky Pup t-shirt and wonders when she’ll be big enough to fit into it.
Emily Virginia Roa happily wears her Husky Pup t-shirt while she plays. Emily is the daughter of Melissa (Golisch) Roa ’96 and Milton Roa.
Erika Kellen ’99 and Derrick Kellen’s son Hadyn Jon enthusiastically displays his Husky pride as he romps around. His mom works in the SCSU Office of Admissions.
Alumni we remember
'32 Irene (Sawyer) Rykken, 93, Willmar, MN
'33 Howard Wittmayer, 94, Phoenix, AZ
'51 Arlene Helgeson, 73, St. Cloud, MN
'51 Edith (Gaedke) Radig, 73, Cavalier, ND
'71 Dean Peterson, Long Prairie, MN
'88 Frank Marty, 38, Fergus Falls, MN
'03 '04 Sean Gonia, 23, Fond du Lac, WI
'04 Jesse Lhotka, 24, Appleton, MN
Faculty and staff we remember
Crumpton Farrell, 82, St. Cloud, MN
Wayland Ezell, Copperopolis, CA
Students we remember
Jacob Pfingsten, 22, Brainerd, MN
'85 Larry Godel and Ann Carlson, Lino Lakes, MN, married on 12/20/2003.
'95 David Berger and '97 Brandi Richards-Berger, St. Cloud, MN, married on 7/25/2003.
'96 Kate (Hieggelke) Haines and Christopher Haines, Little Rock, AR, married on 2/12/2005.
'98 Kari (Anfenson) Bristol and Kenneth Bristol, Columbia Heights, MN, married on 10/19/2001.
'98 Kevin Flewell and '01 Keli Larson Flewell, Ault, CO, married on 7/11/1998.
'98 Jessica (Lee) Miller and Jason Miller, Coon Rapids, MN, married on 6/18/2004.
'98 '01 Stephanie (Wellman) Marsh and Jason Marsh, Carlton, MN, married on 10/2/2004.
'99 Mary (Sandven) Blom and Jason Blom, Savage, MN, married on 8/13/2004.
'99 Heidi (Scherer) Schilawski and '00 Keith Schilawski, Moore, OK, married on 4/20/2002.
'00 Wendy (Brenny) Forsythe and Jerry Forsythe, Peyton, CO, married on 12/18/2004.
'00 Julie (Ingmire) Seminitis and Matthew Seminitis, Sartell, MN, married on 8/10/2002.
'00 Shane Swanke and '03 Maria (Schoeck) Swanke, Rosemount, MN, married on 6/26/2004.
'00 John Vette and '01 Marisa Adler Vette, Sauk Rapids, MN, married on 9/25/2004.
'00 Deanna (Nelson) Wilson and '03 Richard Wilson, Stanchfield, MN, married on 1/16/2004.
'01 Kathryn (Hudspeth) Bohn and '01 David Bohn, Lakeville, MN, married on 6/19/2004.
'02 Samantha (Kleinfehn) Zander and Eric Zander, St. Cloud, MN, married on 9/25/2004.
'03 Amanda (Culp) Larson and Brian Larson, Elk River, MN, married on 10/10/2004.
'87 Mark Kowalke and '97 Carrieann (Pierzinski) Kowalke, St. Michael, MN, daughter, Kathryn Lee, 7/29/2004. Other children: Claire, 2, Mitchell, 4, Megan, 6.
'87 Tami (Verch) Verch-Haugtvedt and Kevin Haugtvedt, Glenvale, AZ, son, Chase, 4/1/2004. Other children: Ariel Monet, 11.
'88 Michael Hart and '92 Connie (Wester) Hart, Lonsdale, MN, daughter, Maryn Elise, 6/4/2004. Other children: Kallan, Kaden.
'89 William Korfhage and Dawn Korfhage, Eagan, MN, son, William, 3/9/2004. Other children: Stacy.
'90 Linda Escher and Scott Escher, Russell, MN, son, Deston, 9/30/2004. Other children: Andrea, 4, Adrian, 6.
'91 John Colotti and '91 Roberta (Anderson) Colotti, Maple Grove, MN, son, Vincent, 11/23/2004.
'91 Emmett O'Meara and Cory O'Meara, Brookfield, WI, son, Seamus Michael, 7/22/2003. Other children: Scarlett Sue, 3.
'91 Patrick Raum and '92 Jill (Oian) Raum, Champlin, MN, son, Del, 7/20/2004. Other children: Van.
'91 Valerie (Smoluch) Sholes and '94 Bill Sholes, Blaine, MN, son, Thomas, 9/11/2002.
'92 Wade Dorcas and Krista Dorcas, Scandia, MN, son, Cullen, 8/5/2004. Other children: Hope, 3.
'92 Ann (Buck) Hoen and '94 Thomas Hoen, Maple Grove, MN, Emma, 6/15/2004. Other children: Dylan, 4.
'92 Stephani (James) Mcdonald and Matthew Mcdonald, Fountain Hills, AZ, son, Lucas, 3/18/2004.
'92 Chad Mortenson and Tracy Mortenson, Brooklyn Park, MN, daughter, Lily Kay, 4/8/2004. Other children: Jonah, 2, Tanner, 5.
'92 Peggy (Olson) Pereda and James Pereda, Rogers, MN, son, Albert James, 8/16/2004. Other children: Amanda Elizabeth, 1, Charlie, 3.
'92 Tina (DeJong) Tessman and Randy Tessman, Dassel, MN, daughter, Emma Jo, 4/2/2004. Other children: Leo, 8, Daniel, 16.
'93 William Baxter and '94 Ann (Harney) Baxter, Woodbury, MN, son, Aidan, 10/16/2002.
'93 Rachel (Howe) Cooper and Derek Cooper, St. Paul, MN, daughter, Doran, 11/3/2003.
'93 James Holthaus and Sarah (Kredsbath) Holthaus, Galesville, WI, son, Zachary James, 9/1/2004.
'93 Patrick Michaelson and Kristin Michaelson, West Bend, WI, twin daughter, Julia, twin son, James, 7/28/2002.
'93 Loren Pribyl and '93 '95 Amee Johnson, Maple Lake, MN, son, Matthew Philip, 10/30/2004.
'93 William Puddicombe and Jessica (Streed) Puddicombe, Litchfield, MN, daughter, Kada Ann, 2/3/2004. Other children: Hale Mae, 4.
'93 Wesley Schiffler and '94 Shanna (Thostenson) Schiffler, Waconia, MN, son, Eli, 11/22/2004. Other children: Isaac Benjamin, 2, Nathanial Elliot, 4, Gabrielle, 5.
'93 Janel (Baechler) Schliemann and Mark Schliemann, Minneapolis, MN, daughter, Josephine Rose, 10/30/2004. Other children: Ben James, 2.
'93 Sue (Peine) Stenberg and Gary Stenberg, Richfield, MN, son, Noah Connor, 9/21/2003.
'94 Andrew Dwyer and '94 Darcy (Bjorkman) Dwyer, Coon Rapids, MN, daughter, Alexandria, 8/15/2004. Other children: Jackson, 2.
'94 Lori (Kampa) Kearney and Edward Kearney, Rosemount, MN, daughter, Shannon Elizabeth, 9/20/2004. Other children: Brook, 1.
'94 Kelly Knapper and '94 Lori (Anderson) Knapper, Cedar Park, TX, son, Lukas Kelly, 1/21/2004. Other children: Nicolas, 4.
'94 Tara Palubicki, Buffalo, MN, son, Ian, 2/4/2004.
'94 Jon Pearson and '94 Tanya (Cooper) Pearson, Sartell, MN, daughter, Makayla, 8/6/2004.
'94 Carrie Riley-Paul and Joshua Paul, Los Angeles, CA, son, Avery Jerry, 6/14/2004.
'94 Brian Schilla and '95 '96 Kimberley (Pier) Schilla, Cambridge, MN, son, Alexander William David, 1/13/2004.
'94 Audra (Hacker) Timm and '96 Jeffrey Timm, Richfield, MN, daughter, Christina, 3/26/2004.
'95 David Berger and '97 Brandi Richards-Berger, St. Cloud, MN, daughter, Lilli Lauren, 6/16/2004. Other children: Sydni, 5, Michael, 12.
'95 Richard Elsenpeter and Lisa (Deutsch) Elsenpeter, Jordan, MN, son, Justin Riley, 9/20/2004. Other children: Ashley, 3.
'95 Jennifer (Stevens) Grimm and Bryan Grimm, Chanhassen, MN, son, Riley, 10/28/2004.
'95 Tina (Goerdt) Gschlecht and David Gschlecht, Eden Prairie, MN, son, Tyler Kenneth, 9/9/2004.
'95 Patricia (Meyer) Harris and Scott Harris, Valparaiso, IN, son, Owen Edward, 4/10/2004.
'95 Jill (Baumgartner) Lien and Kenneth Lien, Otsego, MN, daughter, Greta Susan, 1/17/2005. Other children: Gwyneth, 2, Gavin Andrew, 4, Gabrielle, 6.
'95 Robert Luikens and Tabitha (Sadowski) Luikens, Savage, MN, son, Kyran Scott, 5/26/2004. Other children: Jayden Earle, 7.
'95 Susan (Thienes) Moore and Paul Moore, Richfield, MN, son, Brady Scott, 4/27/2004. Other children: Brandon Charles.
'95 Amy (Svenson) Orris and Jason Orris, Minneapolis, MN, daughter, Ava Jaim, 10/4/2003.
'95 Alana Siebenaler-Ransom and Tony Siebenaler-Ransom, Minneapolis, MN, daughter, Grae Sophia, 7/16/2004.
'96 Melissa (Ellens) Buckles and Kevin Buckles, Woodbridge, VA, twin daughters, Jade Hope and Erin Faith, 2/26/2004. Other children: Taylor, 3, Kevin Jr., 12.
'96 Charissa (Machula) Colon and Jose Colon, St. Paul, MN, daughter, Mariana, 6/7/2004. Other children: Miguel.
'96 Grant LaRock, Red Wing, MN, daughter, Brooklynn Rose, 10/10/2004.
'96 Marjorie (Bednar) Riley and '97 Ryan Riley, Rosemount, MN, twin son, Matthew William, twin daughter, Rebecca Grace, 11/17/2003.
'96 Cheryl Sobiech and Maroof Rauf, Burnsville, MN, daughter, Sarah, 12/31/2003.
'96 '97 Jeffrey Hugg and Tresa (Campbell) Hugg, St. Cloud, MN, son, Tucker Layton, 07/23/2004. Other children: Taylor Leland, 2, Tyler Louis, 5.
'96 '98 Michelle (Schmitz) Jensen and Ryan Jensen, Olivia, MN, daughter, Maddison, 6/7/2003.
'97 Chad Bartels and '97 Susan (Holmgren) Bartels, Plymouth, MN, son, Jack, 3/31/2003. Other children: Anna, 3.
'97 Aaron Frederickson and Dawn Frederickson, Lino Lakes, MN, son, Frederick Trevor, 12/2/2004.
'97 Lisa (Schultz) Greninger and '99 Corey Greninger, Milaca, MN, son, Dylan, 12/13/2004.
'97 Heidi (Brogan) Neubert and '99 Jeremiah Neubert, Madison, WI, daughter, Narriah Irene, 7/21/2004.
'97 Melinda (Lease) Schroeder and Scott Schroeder, Waite Park, MN, son, Donald, 11/15/2004. Other children: Trevor, 2, Hannah, 4.
'97 '03 Tricia (Laase) Anderson and Nathan Anderson, Harris, MN, daughter, Taylor, 8/23/2004.
'98 Donald Albertson and Julie (Geer) Albertson, Maple Grove, MN, daughter, Rebecca Anne, 10/8/2004.
'98 Dawn (Wallerman) Barone and Jacob Barone, Cadott, WI, daughter, Makenna Sophia, 5/19/2004. Other children: Meadow Annabella, 2.
'98 Jeffrey Blackmore and '99 Jennifer (Braun) Blackmore, St. Cloud, MN, son, Jacob William, 12/22/2003.
'98 Kari (Anfenson) Bristol and Kenneth Bristol, Columbia Heights, MN, son, Josiah David, 4/2/2004.
'98 Angela Goodnature-Kath and Mike Kath, Owatonna, MN, son, Dakota Matthew, 5/25/2004.
'98 Andrew Jurek and Angela Jurek, Falcon Heights, MN, son, Eric, 12/15/2004. Other children: Andrew (Drew), 2.
'98 Trisha (Hoff) Kraemer and Jason Kraemer, Melrose, MN, son, Avery, 9/21/2004.
'98 Gretchen (Lustig) Ray and '98 Matthew Ray, Eveleth, MN, daughter, Azalea, 2/16/2004.
'98 Kristin (Steen) Ruiter and Brandon Ruiter, Buffalo, MN, twin daughters, Makayla and Kathryn, 5/18/2004. Other children: Tyler, 2, Alexander, 4.
'98 Andrea (Lawrence) Wheeler and John Wheeler, St. Cloud, MN, daughter, Keily, 7/3/2004.
'99 Erica Kellen and Derrick Kellen, St. Cloud, MN, son, Hadyn Jon, 6/30/03
'99 Jacqueline (Osowski) Pauly and Christopher Pauly, Chaska, MN, son, Cameron John, 1/11/2005.
'99 Kristine (Nelson) Renner and Thomas Renner, Bloomington, MN, twin daughters, Ella Patricia and Nora Helana, 4/28/2004.
'99 '01 Nelaina (Strache) Daggett and William Daggett, Colorado Springs, CO, son, Brett, 4/14/2004. Other children: Will.
'00 Renee (Crossfield) Beardsley and Jonathan Beardsley, Faribault, MN, daughter, Ella, 2/1/2004.
'00 Duane Corrigan and Jessica Corrigan, Sauk Rapids, MN, daughter, Kamryn, 7/27/2004.
'00 Angela (Byers) Greene and '01 Kelly Greene, Moorhead, MN, son, Spencer Andrew, 11/3/2004.
'00 James Haider and Shelley Haider, Chanhassen, MN, son, Samuel Douglas, 6/12/2004.
'00 Jamie (Nelson) Lawrence and '00 Jeffrey Lawrence, Eagan, MN, daughter, Emily Paige, 11/5/2003.
'00 Julie (Ingmire) Seminitis and Matthew Seminitis, Sartell, MN, son, Lukas Matthew, 6/2/2004.
'01 Katherine (Wedel) Dusing and Kyle Dusing, Sauk Rapids, MN, son, Daniel John, 12/1/2004.
'01 Craig Fuller and '02 Ella (Paul) Fuller, Las Vegas, NV, daughter, Sequoia Diné, 12/15/2004.
'02 Meghan Palubicki, Fosston, MN, son, Thatcher Jack, 12/16/2004.
'03 Richard Jensen and Lana (Supalla) Jensen, Brainerd, MN, daughter, Ellie, 9/6/2004.
'03 Jessica (Loerzel) Miller and Chad Miller, Clearwater, MN, daughter, Madison, 8/17/2004. Other children: Mason, 1.
'03 Emily (Reinking) Zoellner and Robert Zoelnner, Otsego, MN, son, Carson, 6/21/2004.
'04 Darren Larson and Sarah Larson, Baxter, MN, son, Drew, 2/19/2005.
'48 Gloria (Jaunich) Fobbe, Princeton, MN, taught full-time for ten years, and substitute taught while raising four children. She still occasionally substitute teaches.
'50 '54 Lambert Wenner, Salem, OR, enjoyed a long teaching career and is now retired from his most recent employment with the U.S. Forest Service, where he was the agency's first branch chief for the analysis of social impacts from agency programs and projects.
'54 '64 Burton Lundberg, New London, MN, is in his 70th year in dance music. He currently is a member of the Ancient Age Band.
'55 William Dunton, Apple Valley, CA, recently was reelected for another four year term on the Fullerton Joint Union High School District Board of Trustees after finishing his twelfth year on the Board.
'57 Andy Melrose, Charles City, IA, retired as owner of Melrose Insurance Center in 2000 after selling the company to his son. Melrose owned the company for 40 years. He taught and coached for three years before getting into the business.
'57 '63 David Christiansen, Haymarket, VA, is a living history volunteer at the Manassas National Battlefield in Virginia.
'58 Diane (Christensen) Melrose, Charles City, IA, taught from 1971 until she retired in 1999.
'58 '62 Vernal Lind, Battle Lake, MN, retired after teaching English for 36 years. He published his first novel, "Beyond Those Hills," in the spring of 2004. The novel received the Writer of the Year award from ACW Press at the Write to Publish Conference.
'65 James Dickhausen, North St. Paul, MN, taught English and social studies in St. Paul Public Schools for 34 years, retiring in 1999. He celebrated 40 years of marriage in August, 2004 and toured Austria and Germany.
'72 '98 Wendie (Moore) Anderson, Mora, MN, was selected "2004 Minnesota's National Distinguished Principal" by MESPA (Minnesota Elementary School Principal Association). She taught elementary school for 27 years for the Dassel Cokato School District before becoming a principal at Trailview School in Mora.
'73 William Durbin, Tower, MN, recently authored "The Darkest Evening," a fast-paced adventure story. He also has written several books of historical fiction, including "The Broken Blade," which won the Great Lakes Booksellers Association Award and the Minnesota Book Award.
'73 William Sieben, Hastings, MN, has been selected for inclusion in the 2005-2006 "Best Lawyers in America" publication. Nationwide, less than 2% of all attorneys were selected for this honor. He is an attorney with Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben, P.A.
'75 Nancy Latini, Portland, OR, is an assistant superintendent for the Office of Student Learning and Partnerships at the Oregon Department of Education.
'77 Robert Evans, Shoreview, MN, is an electronics program director and instructor at Anoka Technical College. He biked the 52-mile jaunt from SCSU to Anoka Technical College with former Minnesota State Colleges and Universities trustee Robert Erickson last summer to raise awareness and funds for part-time student scholarships.
'77 '82 Debra Allyn, River Falls, WI, was promoted from associate professor to professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance at UW- River Falls, where she teaches biomechanics and other theory courses, in June of 2004. She has given numerous national presentations and recently became an international speaker with topics related to integrating technology across the physical education teacher preparation curriculum.
'78 David Jensch, Esko, MN, is a member of the Professional/Alumni Advisory Committee established by the SCSU Department of Mass Communications.
'79 Anne Theis, Coppell, TX, Senior Director of Product Development at VHA,
'80 Margaret (Hauck) Hart, Maple Grove, MN, is a member of the Professional/Alumni Advisory Committee established by the SCSU Department of Mass Communications.
'80 Frances Nosbisch, Dubuque, IA, has been appointed assistant professor of theology at Quincy University in Quincy, Illinois.
'81 Victor Klimoski, St. Paul, MN, director of lifelong learning at St. John's University - Seminary, is the recipient of the 2005 Bishop Loras T. Lane Award presented by the seminary department of the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA). The award recognizes distinguished service to the Catholic seminaries of the United States.
'81 Duane Paulson, Stillwater, MN, has joined Gibson Guitar Corp. as President of Technology Strategy for Gibson Audio. Most recently he worked for GE Security (formerly Interlogix and ITI), where he was Vice President of Global Residential Marketing.
'82 Michael Skillrud, St. Paul, MN, is a member of the Professional/Alumni Advisory Committee established by the SCSU Department of Mass Communications.
'82 Kirk Zimmer, Sioux Falls, SD, has been employed by DAKOTACARE, South Dakota's largest health maintenance organization, since 1988. He recently was promoted to Chief Executive Officer.
'83 Brian Hart, Long Beach, CA, is the sales and marketing manager for Southern California and the Central Coast at Amtrak.
'83 Lori Long, St. Cloud, MN, is a member of the Professional/Alumni Advisory Committee established by the SCSU Department of Mass Communications.
'83 Perry Nouis, Colorado Springs, CO, retired from the United States Air Force as lieutenant colonel in a ceremony on Oct. 15. He completed a 22-year military career that featured overseas broadcasting and public affairs assignments in Germany and South Korea and deployment twice to the Middle East, most recently in 2003 where he was the first commander of American Forces Radio & Television Network-Iraq.
'84 Earl Kilian, Boise, ID, is the new general manager of Idaho IceWorld. He oversees facility operations and works closely with the 20-member IceWorld community advisory committee.
'84 Dennis Warner, Clearwater, MN, recently released a CD titled "Journey of the Soul" and published a children's book titled "Beads on One String." He performed a concert at SCSU in November, 2004.
'84 Robert Ziegler, Rockford, MN, was elected chairman of the Resource Training and Solutions Board of Directors. Ziegler, a retired elementary school principal, has served on the board of the educational service cooperative since 1999.
'85 Julie Miller-Hays, Andover, MN, was given a grant by the United Nations and the CRCA organization to train teachers, principals, medical staff and politicians on the Island of Cyprus on Best Practice Educational Strategies to include students with disabilities in regular school settings. She was asked back to train more Turkish and Greek professionals at the Fulbright Center in Cyprus. She was also invited to be on the board for the United Nations for the State of Minnesota, but declined to raise her two sons with husband Joe Hays. Julie continues to be a teacher in Minneapolis.
'85 David Stein, Green Bay, WI, is president of BankOne in Green Bay.
'86 John Drysdale, Minneapolis, MN, has been a loan officer since 1993 and has been at Summit Mortgage since 1996.
'86 Lynne (Cook) Osterman, New Hope, MN, joined Gray Plant Mooty's Minneapolis office as a lobbyist in the Governmental Relations Group focusing on bioscience, commerce, transportation, and health and human services. She also serves on the Northwest YMCA Board of Directors and the Good Samaritan Ambassador Advisory Board in New Hope.
'87 '92 Blair (Nelson) Sanford, Oregon, WI, is the director of MBA Career Services at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business.
'88 Debra (Athey) Calvano, Williamstown, NJ, invented a door stopper called SoftStoppers™ that is available in select stores across the nation.
'88 '93 Stephen Ernest, St. Paul, MN, became Director of Financial Management (CFO) at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture in October, 2004.
'88 Nancy (Carroll) Larson, Dassel, MN, is a member of the Professional/Alumni Advisory Committee established by the SCSU Department of Mass Communications.
'89 Shannon (Pearson) Headley, Clear Lake, MN, has published an elementary school education book titled "Writing Organizers," which focuses on developing student paragraph writing in grades 3 - 6 through a variety of writing exercises.
'89 Lisa (Kubinski) Saline, Minneapolis, MN, is founder and president of United Performing Association, Inc. (UPA). She coordinates cheer & dance events around the USA and world-wide, including UPA AmeriCup, one of the country's largest national championships that brings more than 10,000 people to Minneapolis annually.
'89 '98 Lisa (Nuehring) Beckenbaugh, Fairfax, VA, graduated with a Ph.D from University of Arkansas in 2002 and was awarded a fellowship with the Department of Defense, POW/MIA Personnel Office doing historical research on WWII POW/MIAs.
'91 Terry (Herman) Hauptman, St. Cloud, MN, has written a new book published by North Star Press titled "On Hearing Thunder," a collection of poems with full color, songline scroll paintings and a CD. Painter/poet Hauptman also is an adjunct professor in art history and the honors program at SCSU. She has a master's degree in poetry from the University of New Mexico and a doctorate from Ohio University.
'91 Steven Larson, Ellicott City, MD, retired from the Navy after 30 years of active duty and has accepted a position as an associate with Booz Allen Hamilton.
'92 David Anderson, Minneapolis, MN, is business development director for Anderson Builders in St. Louis Park. He previously held a similar position with Kraus-Anderson in Minneapolis.
'93 Chad Carlson, St. Cloud, MN, formerly with DSU Consultants in St. Cloud, is the land development coordinator with Lumber One Construction in Avon.
'93 Kristine Kosloske, Chicago, IL, started her own company, Hot Off the Presses PR, Inc. and owns investment real estate.
'94 Joel Burklund, Milaca, MN, is an aviation program instructor at Anoka Technical College. He biked the 52 mile jaunt from St. Cloud State University to Anoka Technical College with former Minnesota State Colleges and Universities trustee Robert Erickson last summer to raise awareness and funds for part-time student scholarships.
'94 John Zanmiller, West St. Paul, MN, was sworn in as mayor of West St. Paul, MN in January. He was formerly vice president of the St. Paul Regional Water Services Board of Commissioners, and a career probation/parole officer with Hennepin County.
'96 Christine Dufour, St. Paul, MN, was recently hired as the Bloomington School District communications coordinator.
'96 Beth Lewandowski, Waite Park, MN, has been promoted to lead forecaster at Meteorlogix in Burnsville. She has forecasted around the world, including written forecasts for TV stations in Poland and Spain.
'96 Michelle (Thelen) Margraf, Chaska, MN, transferred to the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Chanhassen in January 2004 and serves as a meteorologist-forecaster.
'96 Michael Schreiner, Garfield, MN, served as a conference organizer for the Minnesota Planning Annual Conference held in Alexandria in September.
'96 Vangie (Thompson) Schueller, Sauk Rapids, MN, is the new fundraising coordinator for the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation in Owatonna.
'97 Anita Montag, Foley, MN, designed a new granite sculpture on display outside of Atwood Memorial Center on the SCSU campus.
'98 Kari (Anfenson) Bristol, Columbia Heights, MN, is teaching biology at Columbia Heights High School and will complete her master's degree in 2005.
'98 Wayne Hurley, Fergus Falls, MN, served as a conference organizer for the Minnesota Planning Annual Conference held in Alexandria in September.
'98 Kyle Ward, Terre Haute, IN, is an assistant professor of history/political science at Vincennes University in Vincennes, IN. He has published two books: "In the Shadow of Glory: The Thirteenth Minnesota in the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars, 1898-1899" and "History Lessons: How Textbooks from Around the World Portray US History." He is working on his next book and completing work on his dissertation for a doctorate in social studies curriculum and instruction at Indiana State University.
'98 '01 Stephanie (Wellman) Marsh, Carlton, MN, earned a master's of education through St. Mary's University of Minnesota in May, 2004. She currently is a secondary science teacher at Moose Lake High School.
'99 Heidi (Scherer) Schilawski, Moore, OK, is in graduate school at the University of Oklahoma and is a graduate teaching assistant.
'00 Sheila O'Bryan, Eagan, MN, is now a planner for the Twin Cities suburb of Eagan.
'00 Carol Russell, Brainerd, MN, is a member of the Professional/Alumni Advisory Committee established by the SCSU Department of Mass Communications.
'00 Sarah Schield, Hopkins, MN, is now a planner II with Landform, a planning consulting firm in Minneapolis. She had been a city planner for the city of Osseo.
'00 Shane Swanke, Rosemount, MN, is co-founder of Swanke Financial Group, which offers a wide range of investment products.
'00 Gregory Wagner, Fergus Falls, MN, is now city planner for the city of Baxter after serving in the military in Bosnia.
'01 Holly Brisk, Little Falls, MN, is an environmental assistant with Bauerly Brothers Construction in Sauk Rapids.
'01 Keli Larson Flewell, Ault, CO, was recently accepted into the speech communication master's program at Colorado State.
'01 Nicole Peterson, Ely, MN, formerly with the city of Shakopee, is now planner II with the city of Brooklyn Park.
'02 Leslie Andres, Selangor, Malaysia, a New Straits Times defence and crime reporter, was named Best Newspaper Journalist at Malaysia's inaugural Defence Media Awards 2003.
'02 Angela Bennett, Slinger, WI, took top honors in the Thomas Tang Moot Court Regional Competition at the Hamline University School of Law, where she is a student. She advanced to the national competition.
'02 Krista Novack, Minneapolis, MN, was promoted to community planning manager for Town & Country Homes in Eden Prairie.
'02 Nancy Rohlik, Sauk Rapids, MN, works with Tri-CAP (Tri County Action Program) as an administrative assistant. The program serves Benton, Sherburne and Stearns counties.
'02 Jill Spiczka, Maple Grove, MN, is a staff auditor at Boulay, Heutmaker, Zibell & Co. P.L.L.P. (BHZ).
'03 Nathan Bouvet, La Quinta, CA, is assistant planner for the city of Desert Hot Springs, California, located 120 miles south of Los Angeles. Previously he held a similar position for the city of Chanhassen.
'03 Scott Bushee, Fairbanks, AK, manages a Wal-Mart in Alaska.
'03 Amanda (Culp) Larson, Elk River, MN, was promoted to Youth Development Director at the Ridgedale YMCA.
'03 Steven Malvig, St. Cloud, MN, recently completed the Basic Surface Warfare Officers Course at the Surface Warfare Officers School Command in Newport, R.I.
'03 Kristi Michelson, Madison, WI, recently became a city ambassador for the Middleton Chamber of Commerce.
'03 Ali Shireh, St. Cloud, MN, is working as a career planner for the Sherburne-Benton Counties Employment & Training Council in St. Cloud.
'03 Maria (Schoeck) Swanke, Rosemount, MN, is a kindergarten teacher at St. Paul's Lutheran in Prior Lake.
'03 Julie (Haney) Williams, Sioux Falls, SD, is building a financial planning practice for Waddell and Reed in Sioux Falls.
'03 Emily (Reinking) Zoellner, Otsego, MN, is the general manager for a 61- room Timm Hotel Group in Rogers, MN. She previously worked as an office manager for Midas for seven years.
'04 Carissa Koll, Cherry Hill, NJ, is the planning & zoning administrator for the city of Cherry Hill, N.J., located in suburban Philadelphia.
'04 Ryan Lunderby, Eden Prairie, MN, is a development associate for Dominium Development & Acquisition, LLC at the company offices in Plymouth.
'04 Jonathan Noerenberg, Winsted, MN, is working on his master's degree in urban planning at Minnesota State University - Mankato.
'04 Jeffrey Winter, Mound, MN, works for State Farm Insurance Lloyd Griep Agency in Delano and sells all of State Farm's products.
'04 Jill Wolf, Adrian, MN, is the new Director of Economic Development for the city of Luverne, where one of her first duties is to organize a Luverne Downtown Association.