Class Acts — Winter 2012

Alumni, Class Acts — By on February 6, 2012 2:41 pm

Donald Buttrey


Donald W. Buttrey, ‘56, has been elected to the Board of Visitors for the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. 

Ron Kuykendall, ‘56, GR ’60, has acquired a property in the Barrio Anita Neighborhood of Tucson, Ariz.  The neighborhood is a historic district, and Kuykendall intends to restore and live in the initial one-room house on the property that was likely constructed before 1900 and is made of mud walls.  His plans include document the later additions to the property, each of a different construction. 

Robert M. Keenan, ’58, retired in November 2002 after serving 22 years as a circuit judge.


John Daniel, ’60, GR ’65, who majored in social studies at Indiana State, spoke at the Wabash Valley Genealogical Society’s Mining Forum entitled “The Miner—Searches, History and Stories.” His talk focused on his immigrant ancestors from Wales and Italy who were miners and their hardships, skills, and stories.

Jack Steck, ‘64, was recently honored for his 44 years of coaching swimming at Missouri State University. 

Theodore Kowalski, ’65, GR ’68, Ph.D. ’71, professor and the Kuntz Family Endowed Chair in Educational Administration at the University of Dayton, received the 2011 Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of School Administrators in recognition of lifelong research and publishing on district and school administration. Kowalski is the author of 35 books and more than 125 professional journal articles, and his textbooks are used extensively across universities. Dr. Kowalski is a former teacher, principal, and superintendent, and he previously taught at Purdue University and Saint Louis University.  From 1982 to 2000, he was professor of school administration at Ball State University where he also served as Dean of the Teachers College.

John Stewart

John A. Stewart, ’66, a veteran educator, was named interim superintendent for Pinellas County schools. The 67-year-old Stewart, a Sullivan, Ind. native, holds a bachelor’s degree in social studies from ISU. He was named Florida School Board Association’s Superintendent of the Year in 1989 and has received many other honors throughout the years.

Jim Osbourne, ‘68, is the director and curator of the Indiana Military Museum which is located in Vincennes.

Marcia Jean Carter, ‘69, a professor at Western Illinois University, has been inducted into the Academy of Leisure Sciences. 

Jerry Zanandrea, ’69, GR ’73, former management consultant to the power industries and director of the Little Italy Festival Coal Town and the Railroad Museum, spoke about the Clinton area coal mines and the collections retained by the museum at the Wabash Valley Genealogical Society’s Mining Forum entitled “The Miner—Searches, History and Stories.”


Ron Culp, ’70, a public relations veteran, has been named director of the graduate public relations and advertising program ( PRAD ) at DePaul University.  Culp, who is the former director of global agency Ketchum’s North American practice, will work with graduate faculty to recruit adjunct instructors and create new academic programs to better prepare students for post-graduation career opportunities. He also will serve as primary career advisor to PRAD master’s students. Culp is currently teaching a graduate-level course on “Career Strategies for Public Relations and Advertising.”

Prior to launching his own consultancy, Culp was a partner at Ketchum and also ran the agency’s Midwest operations. Prior to Ketchum, Culp established and headed the Chicago office of Sard Verbinnen & Co., a New York-based financial communications firm. His corporate career included senior positions at four Fortune 500 corporations, including Sears, where he was senior vice president of public relations and government affairs. Previously, he was executive director of public relations at Sara Lee Corp., after serving as director of public relations at Pitney Bowes.  He started his corporate career at Eli Lilly and Company where he was manager of corporate communications.

Paul S. Siebenmorgen, ’71, GR ’72, has been appointed by Ohio Governor John Kasich to the Northwest State Community College Board of Trustees. Siebenmorgen, who lives in Archbold, Ohio, is director, president, and chief executive officer of Farmers & Merchants Bankcorp, Inc. Siebenmorgen was also recently appointed to the American Bankers Association Community Bankers Board. There is one member from each state appointed to this position.

Michael S. Wade, ’71, GR ’74, is entering his third year as choral conductor at Indiana University South Bend. He directs the Chorale, Chamber Choir and also teaches choral conducting. Wade was inducted into the Crown Point High School teacher Hall of Fame in the spring of 2011.

Cassandra (Haynes) Kroondyk, ’73, recently, she began her 20th year at Grand Rapids Community College as a Suzuki Violin Instructor for the Arts Outreach program for children ages 4-17. In celebration of 50 years of playing the violin, she gave a recital in October 2011. Kroondyk began the violin at age 10 in the fall of 1961 at Indiana State’s Laboratory School. Ralph Miller was her first teacher, and the Ralph Miller Music Scholarship funded half of her tuition at ISU.

Loren Robertson, ‘73, has been named director of the Public Safety Academy of Northeast Indiana.  He previously served as a deputy state health commissioner.

Edward Krug, ‘74, was recently hired by Infogroup and will be based in the company’s Washington, D.C. office.  Krug, who studied market research at Indiana State, was previously with True List North Marketing.

Mary K. Sanders

Dr. Mary K. Sanders, ’74, retired July 1, 2011 from Georgia Perimeter College. Her baccaulaureate degree from ISU was in business education. Sanders presently lives in Stone Mountain, Georgia. The photograph is from her last day at work.

Dennis E. Welch, ’74, has been promoted to executive vice president and chief administrative officer at Ohio’s American Electric Power.

Melissa Felling, ’75, GR ’79, retired from Edwards County High School in May 2011. Felling won the Illinois VFW Voice of Democracy Teacher of the Year in February 2011.

Pam Griffin, ‘75, has announced her retirement.  She spent 40 years working in the field of special education.

Gary Morris

Gary Morris, ’75, of Terre Haute has served as treasurer of the Indiana State University Foundation’s Board of Directors since July 2011. Morris, president of Clabber Girl Corp., earned his undergraduate at ISU in recreation. 

Curt Brighton, ’76, transitioned to a new role as president of Templeton Coal Co. after serving as president and CEO of Terre Haute-based Hulman & Co.

Bill Favors, ’76, retired from Nationwide Insurance Company after 32 years of service on August 1, 2010.

Jack Hendrix, ‘76, GR ’82, has been promoted to director of classifications for the Indiana Department of Corrections. 

Jim Newberry, ‘77, has been inducted as the American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) Risk Management and Insurance Practice Specialty Administrator.  ASSE represents more than 34,000 occupational safety, health, and environmental professionals in the United States.  Newberry, a resident of Hawaii, is the assistant vice president and risk control manager of Island Insurance.  He studied environmental safety and safety management at Indiana State. 

Susan Bryant, GR ’78, who holds a degree in photography from Indiana State, recently presented a solo exhibit at the Cumberland Gallery in Nashville.  Bryant, who is a professort at Austin Peay State Unviersity in Clarksville, Tenn., also recently gave a lecture of the process used in photo imaging during the Civil War.  She has been with Austin Peay for the past 29 years.

Denise Callaway, ’78, a radio/TV/film graduate of ISU, currently serves as the director of communications for the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. Callaway chairs the univeristy’s African-American Alumni Council, and she will represent the council on the Indiana State University Foundation’s Board of Directors through a two-year term.

Dr. Randal J. DeMik, ‘79, GR ’02, was recently awarded the John K. Lauber Award for Aviation Safety.  DeMik is a professor at Lewis University in Ill. 

Sandy Perry, ’79, is a Senior Technical Consultant with Hunt Mining Corporation and has been retained to boost the Corporation’s exploration efforts in Santa Cruz, Argentina. Ms. Perry is a consulting geologist with 28 years of geological and remote sensing experience, specializing in satellite multispectral image analysis for mineral, hydrocarbon and geothermal exploration. She earned a baccaulaureate degree in geology from Indiana State University with an emphasis in photogeology, and a master’s degree in geology from the Colorado School of Mines with an emphasis on digital image analysis and structural geology. She is a member of the NASA Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) science team, which is researching and pioneering the use of multispectral and hyperspectral imaging systems for mineral mapping.  To read more, check out


Bruce Lowder, ‘80, who earned his undergraduate degree in accounting at ISU, has been named as Barona Resort & Casino’s new vice president of finance.  The resort is located in San Diego, Calif. Before joining Barona Resort & Casino, Lowder worked at a number of properties including President Riverboat Casino/Gateway Riverboat Cruises, Ameristar Casino Kansas City, and Bullwhackers Casino in Colorado.

Rick W. Parks, ‘80, is the president and chief executive officer of Society Insurance.  He was recently elected to the National Exchange Bank & Trust board of directors. 

Jeff Belskus, ’81, was named president and CEO of Terre Haute-based Hulman & Co. 

Olga Keegan

Olga Keegan, ’81, is the 2011 – 2012 president of the Association of International Women.  She recently formed The Keegan Group at the F. C. Tucker Company.  Keegan is also a Jazzercise franchisee and has been an instructor at Carmel Jazzercise since 1998.  She is a volunteer for the International Center in Indianapolis.

Liz Tedder, ’81, has accepted a position as an accounts payable manager at Tulox Plastics Corporation.

Dottie King, ‘82, GR ’85, Ph.D. ’05, was inaugurated as the new president of St. Mary-of-the-Woods College in October 2011.

Amy Perry

Amy D. Perry, ’83, GR ’90, has been named principal of Carolyn Wenz Elementary in Paris, Ill.

Neil Garrison, ‘84, ’85, along with Samantha McGranahan, had several pieces of their art featured at the Gopalan Contemporary Art in Terre Haute during the fall of 2011.

John Hayes, ‘84, ’95, is the new general manager at Duke Energy’s Gibson Generating Station, which is located in Gibson County, Ind.

Steve Jones

Steve Jones, ‘84, has been named as a new construction manager for CSM Group.  Jones is based out of Seelyville, Ind. and has more than 25 years of experience in the construction management industry.

Jon Greenlee

Jon Greenlee, ‘85, currently managing director of KPMG’s financial services regulatory practice in McLean, Va., spoke to nearly 100 students and community members at Hulman Memorial Student Union. His visit, the first “Leader In Action” event of the 2011 – 2012 academic year, was sponsored by the Scott College of Business.

In his presentation, “After the Crisis: The Transformation of Financial Services,” Greenlee discussed a number of reasons for the financial crisis in the U.S. as well as possible ways in which the financial services industry will see changes.

Brig. Gen. Jeff Hauser

Brig. Gen. Jeff Hauser, ’85, the former commander of the Indiana Air National Guard’s 181st Intelligence Wing in Terre Haute, stands atop several new command posts – including one at Indiana State University. He has been named assistant professor of aviation technology and director of unmanned systems, an initiative currently being developed in the College of Technology at Indiana State. Hauser will help develop the program, in addition to teaching two courses in unmanned systems, which are vehicles and other technology that is remotely operated, and an aviation law course. He began his new position in August 2011.

Dean Rebhorn, ’85, of the Christian rock band, FOLLOWER, recently released a debut album entitled “Cold World Disturbance,” after already completing a four song EP release. He is recently left Lilly after 22 years of service. The band is booking many local performers and is looking to soon be added to national lineups. Visit FOLLOWER’S websites to learn more:,, and

Peter A. Takes, Ph.D. ’85, who earned his doctorate in life sciences at ISU, has been selected as a Fellow of the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS).  RAPS is the leading international organization for regulatory professionals, working to ensure the safety, effectiveness, and availability of healthcare products, including medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology.  With a worldwide membership of 12,000+, less than 100 RAPS members currently hold designations as Fellows of the organization.  “The RAPS Fellows program recognizes senior regulatory professionals, with a minimum of 15 years of regulatory experience, for their continued significant contributions and leadership in the advancement of the profession”, and in this prestigious status provide an important “resource for strategic dialogue, mentoring, implementation of special initiatives, and international development” in Regulatory Affairs.

Dr. Takes has been board certified in regulatory affairs since 1996.  He is Senior Director for Clinical and Regulatory Affairs and Clinical Compliance Officer at Stereotaxis, Inc.  He lives in St. Louis with his wife Alexandra Kavourinos, and son Michael, who is an academic scholar and varsity soccer athlete at Case Western Reserve University.

Melanie Martin Boesen, ‘86, GR ’94, was recently named dean of academic programs at Ivy Tech Community College – Greencastle. 

Kelly Taylor, ‘86, is the new executive director of the Montgomery County Community Foundation.  Taylor, who began with the foundation as a program coordinator in 2001, took over the executive director’s post in August 2011.

Virgil Franklin, ‘87, a freelance music arranger, composer, and educator, recently signed a contract to complete the musical score and soundtrack for the upcoming film “Piranhaconda.”

Kenneth Coopwood

Kenneth Coopwood, ’88, GR ’92, Ph.D. ’00, has been named Missouri State University’s first permanent vice president for diversity and inclusion.

Melissa Markle Webster, ’88, GR ’93, was recently promoted to director of programs in Residential Services for One Hope United, a social service agency headquartered in Ill. Webster is responsible for supervision of four residential homes serving 32 youth with mental health issues and/or behavior problems. She works with a team of more than 60 professionals who provide 24 hour care and treatment to the youth, who age from 12 to 19. Webster has been an employee of One Hope United since 1999, starting her career as a mental health therapist.

Webster’s daughter, Madeline Anne Webster, recently enrolled at Indiana State (Class of 2015).  Madeline is a President’s Scholar and has joined Chi Omega.


Beth Roberts, ‘90, was recently promoted to vice president and marketing director of First Savings Bank which is based in southern Indiana.  She was previously a branch manager with the bank at its Sellersburg location.

Jill Bolte Taylor

Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D. ’91, served as the keynote speaker for the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting. Taylor is a neuroanatomist who experienced brain trauma of her own and wrote “My Stroke of Insight – A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey,” about her life through recovery. 

Paul Thrift, ‘91, has been named chair of the Sycamore Athletic Foundation.  He is president of Thompson Thrift in Terre Haute. 

Curtis Bond, ‘92, GR ’94, was this past fall’s Veteran’s Day speaker at Linton-Stockton High School. 

Bryan Emmert, ‘93, GR ’00, was named the 2011 District 3 Assistant Principal of the Year by the Indiana Association of School Principals.  He is the assistant principal and athletic director at East Noble Middle School.

Chris Moss

Chris Moss, ’93, graduated with his doctorate from Nova Southeastern University in July 2011.

Dr. Lance S. Weinhardt, ’93, recently joined the faculty University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Public Health as professor of community and behavioral health promotion: health disparities. Weinhardt earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology at Indiana State.

Craig Williams, ’93, an ISU graduate in aerospace administration, is the director of finance and administration for the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority. Williams serves as the president of the Indiana State University Alumni Association, and he also serves as the alumni board representative on the Indiana State University Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

Leigh Lawson, ’94, GR ’03, was hired as a teaching assistant at Riverton Parke Jr.-Sr. High School, from where she graduated.  She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in geology from Indiana State, and she continues to work as an adjunct professor at ISU.

Baycan Fideli, GR ’95, and Amy Johnson Fideli, ’95, were recently interviewed in the Tribune Star about Hurricane Irene’s effect on Long Island where they now live. The article may be found at

Tony Javorka

Tony Javorka, ’95, recently took on the role of chief operating officer for the Community Health Network. Javorka serves as the senior operations leader for physician practice locations across central Indiana that are part of Community’s integrated physician group. He previously held the position of chief operating officer for practice and hospital operations at Community Heart and Vascular (CHV), where he was responsible for all aspects of operational leadership across The Indiana Heart Hospital and the CHV physician practices and testing centers.

Prior to joining Community, Javorka served as CEO for Indiana Heart Associates, as well as senior manager of the Health Care Group at Somerset. He has earned his undergraduate degree in accounting from ISU and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Indiana CPA Society, and Medical Group Management Association.

Chris Knuckles, ’95, received his MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University in May 2011.

Jack Jaeger, ’96, ’10, was named director of the Rural Health Innovation Collaborative’s Simulation Center.  The center, which is located on Union Hospital’s campus, is a high-tech learning lab in which students from Indiana State and Ivy Tech Community College can work in real-life scenarios with life-like electronic “patients.”

Jim Cody, ‘97, has been appointed crime scene investigator for the Putnamville and Lafayette state police districts.  He is a detective with the Indiana State Police. 

Aaric Correll, ‘97, a senior trooper with the Indiana State Police, has been promoted to sergeant. 

Ryan Lebo, ‘97, a senior trooper with the Indiana State Police, has been promoted to sergeant and named squad leader for the officers in Marshall County. 

Brandon Small, ‘97, ’01, was awarded a Program of Excellence Award for his work in Sullivan High School’s engineering and technology education program. 

Alex Quiroz, ‘98, ’01, who studied business at ISU, is a co-owner of Los Portales restaurant in Evansville. 

Clint Barmes, ‘99, who most recently played for the Colorado Rockies, was signed this past November by the Pittsburgh Pirates to play shortstop for the upcoming baseball season. 

Gretl Plessinger, ‘99, is the new communications director at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.



Mike W. Lee, ’01, GR ’05, has accepted a position with Jackson Systems in Indianapolis. Lee had previously been with Ivy Tech for working in admissions and assisting veterans. He previously served ISU as an area director for the Office of Residential Life. 

Lee, and his wife Heather Lee-Ann (Holaday) Lee, ’05, have four children, including the latest addition of Cooper Jameson Lee on Nov. 12, 2011.  He volunteers a great deal of time with his fraternity, Kappa Alpha Order, and with the ISU Alumni Association when time permits.

Lauren Morris, ‘01, has joined the Georgia Shakespeare (Oglethorpe University) theater company to lead business operations. 

Eric W. Hewitt, ‘02, a Navy lieutenant, recently participated in detainee handling training off the coast of southern California. 

Kyle Lutes, ‘02, joined the adjunct music faculty at Lincoln Trail College in Robinson, Ill.

Susan Snider, ’02, is the new marketing director for the Vermillion Rise Mega Park by the Newport Reuse Authority. 

Blaine Gillan

Blaine Gillan, ’03, an Indiana conservation officer, who graduated from Indiana State University’s criminology program, has been named one of five North American Wildlife Enforcement Officers Association Torch Award winners.

Dr. Christopher Ritzi, Ph.D. ’04, received the Sul Rossi Outstanding Teaching Award. He is currently the chair of the Department of Biology and is an associate professor at Sul Ross State University.

Susan Williamson, ‘04, is a probation officer in Edgar County, Ill.

Ahmed Afifi, ‘05, who is an Egyptian national, achieved a childhood dream when he was sworn in as one of Vanderburgh County’s new deputy sheriffs. 

Michael Foote and his wife, Gayla.

Michael Foote, ’05, and his wife Gayla, own and operate the Dairy Queen in Paris, Ill. The couple and their son, Christan, have been operating the ice cream parlor since 1997.

Nate Green

Nate Green, ‘05, has been named as the executive director of the Sycamore Athletic Foundation at Indiana State.  The foundation has been created to significantly bolster the financial capacity of Sycamore Athletics. 

Kara Kish, ‘05, is the assistant superintendent of the Vigo County Parks and Recreation Department. 

Charlene Gyurko

Charlene C. Gyurko, Ph.D. ’06, has been named as a new assistant professor of Nursing at Purdue University – North Central. She received her bachelor’s degree at Purdue University – Calumet, her master’s degrees at Indiana University Northwest and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, and her doctorate at Indiana State. Gyurko previously served as an assistant professor of Nursing at Purdue University – Calumet.

Maureen Wheeler, GR ’06, has been selected as a member of the Walden University chapter of Pi Alpha Alpha National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration.  Pi Alpha Alpha is the national honor society formed to recognize and promote excellence in the study and practice of public affairs and administration.

Diana Lund Weatherly, ’06, and Jocelyn Gohman Pollard, ’07, both recently earned the Group Benefits Associate (GBA) designation from the Intenrational Foundation of Employee Benefit plans.

Carrie Cunningham, ’08, GR ’10, has joined the staff at Clay Community Health Center as a family nurse practitioner.

Elonda Ervin

Elonda Ervin, Ph.D. ‘08, has been named as Indiana State’s new diversity officer.  Ervin has spent several years as an active member of the university’s Diversity Council and was formerly the head of career services at ISU.

Matthew Collins, ’11, a senior trooper Investigator with the Indiana State Police has been promoted to the rank of sergeant and is now with the Laboratory Division where he will serve as a polygraph examiner.

Caitlin Spaulding, ‘11, was back on campus this fall to talk about her experience working as a post-production assistant at Country Music Television and how her education at Indiana State helped prepare her for this position.

Holly Zehr, ‘11, recently joined Martin County Health Center as a family nurse practitioner.


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  1. Barbara Hess Harding says:

    In Memoriam: Floyd Shelby Harding Died August 6, 2009

  2. AZHAR Abdul Aziz says:

    Azhar Abdul Aziz, ’84, now a freelance, has a year until retirement after working for 29 years. He is retired at the end of May 2013 from working with Nestlé Malaysia Berhad. Looking for a part time jobs.

    He initiated the Indiana State University – Alumni Malaysia via Group Facebook. Use social media sites like e-mail address and Facebook. Reports that he would enjoy hearing from old alumni and classmates totaling 250 Facebook Malaysian friend.

    Their Sycamore pride…very passionate about ISU, centered on food and fellowship.

    Azhar’s son, Azri Azhar, recently graduated at Pennsylvania University in Economic (Class of 2012).

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