Class of 2007 Fall 2017 Letter

Fall 2017

Dear Class of 2007 Classmate,

Happy fall! I cannot believe that our 10-year reunion has already come and gone – it was wonderful to catch up with so many of you back in Decorah. For anyone who wasn’t able to join, it was a rainy – but beautiful – weekend of activities. For those who did come, thank you for making the journey home to celebrate with us!

Thanks also to all who have already donated to our 10-year reunion giving campaign! Luther gave so much to each of us, and we ask that you help to continue this legacy by visiting This is a great way to help participate in our Homecoming reunion celebration even if you were not able to join us in person. Your gifts to the Luther Fund – an unrestricted giving fund – allow for Luther to allocate funding to support whatever student and campus needs exist. Thank you for your ongoing generosity and support of our alma mater!

Here are a few additional updates on Luther College happenings:

·         Luther recently started a new Alumni referral program, where we are able to refer prospective high school students to Luther for a $1000 renewable scholarship. Visit for additional information or to refer a student!

·         In recognition of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Luther celebrated the Reformation of Everything – a full listing of these creative events can be found online at

·         Luther faculty recently approved the addition of new academic programs, including interdisciplinary majors in neuroscience and data science. These programs will allow for students to become responsive and agile within their fields while also fulfilling market needs, and are wonderful new opportunities!

·         The new (BLUE) Legacy Field and Norse outdoor tennis courts were dedicated in September; these new athletic facilities are absolutely stunning against the background of the bluffs. Definitely take a look at these the next time you are in Decorah!

If you want to update your alumni information or get in touch with other alumni, be sure to check out the online Alumni Directory at If you don’t have an account, you can create one by calling the Luther Technology Help Desk at (563) 387-1000.  We ask that you keep Luther updated on your life happenings, too—new jobs, the additions of children to your families, marriages, and other special accomplishments are all important to share!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Sarah (Quick) Olejniczak

2007 Class Agents:


Daniel Le Guen-Schmidt
[email protected]

Megan (St. Clair) Nelson

[email protected]

Sarah (Quick) Olejniczak
[email protected]



Christopher Angelica is the lead management consultant at Allstate Insurance Company in Northbrook, Ill.

Jessica (Schwab) and Derek Balsley ’05 live in Osage, Iowa. She is founder and president, while he is founder and CEO, of The Art of Education, an online school promoting professional development and lifelong learning for members in the field of art education.

Rachel (Morley) Barnes is a veterinarian in Burnsville, Minn.

Amanda (Valo) Berndt is a unit financial counselor at John Deere Des Moines Works in Ankeny, Iowa.

Scott Boyken of Seattle is a biochemist and researcher at the University of Washington. He is the first author of the science paper, “De Novo Design of Protein Homo-oligomers With Modular Hydrogen-Bond Network Mediated Specificity.”

Matthew Busche retired from the bicycle racing peloton, ending his professional cycling career. During his seven-year career, Busche was the US Pro Road Race Champion in 2011 and 2015 and rode for UCI Pro Tour teams Trek Factory Racing, Radioshack-Leopard-Trek, Radioshack-Nissan-Trek, and Team Radioshack; as well as Pro-Continental and Continental teams UnitedHealthcare and Kelly Benefits Strategies. He has joined the staff at Carmichael Training Systems (CTS) as a professional cycling coach in Brevard, N.C.

Hemie Collier is interim director of intercultural life at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa.

Mike Eckberg was named head women’s soccer coach for the State University of New York at New Paltz.

Eric Fitzgerald of Sudbury, Mass., is account manager for 84 Lumber and CEO of i2Imagine, Inc.

Sarah Chwaszczewski of Green Bay, Wis., is a self-employed musician.

Corey Hlavacek of Richardson, Texas, is information security administrator at Texas Instruments, Inc.

Emily Holley of Des Moines, Iowa, was presented the C. Kenneth Meyer Rising Star Award at Drake University, recognizing a recent master of public administration degree recipient who has made a significant impact in his or her community or profession. Emily received the award as recognition for her work with the Iowa Environmental Council, the Alzheimer’s Association, and as an advocate for those living with chronic pain.

Katie (Merrifield) Jones is software development supervisor for EMC Insurance Companies in Des Moines, Iowa.

Jenna (Swan) Jones is an account manager at Novus Media, Inc. in Plymouth, Minn.

Tom Lindsley is senior interaction designer at Workiva in Ames, Iowa.

Carmen (Cline) Rangel is director of operations at Galliard Capital Management, Inc. in Minneapolis.

Brittany (Gregoire) Rosas is a cytotechnologist for Olmsted Medical Center in Rochester, Minn.

Kendra Swanson is scientist in residence for the Cedarburg School District at the Riveredge Nature Center in Saukville, Wis.

Susan Valo is a financial analyst, worldwide parts, for Deere & Company in Milan, Ill.

Leah (Kinnaird) Vejzovic is employed at Iowa State University’s Child Welfare Research and Training Project as the domestic violence response coordinator for the Iowa Department of Human Services in Des Moines, Iowa.

Katie Woodzick is a graduate student in the MFA program in theatre at Naropa University in Boulder, Colo. Katie's graduate thesis focuses on depictions of gender non-conforming characters in modern plays as well as how to make the theatre industry more inclusive for gender non-conforming artists.


KELSEY COCHRANE and Matthew Martinez, March 21, 2015

KIM HESS '09 and PAUL MEIRICK, Sept. 4, 2016

LEAH KINNAIRD and Adnan Vejzovic, July 7, 2016

STEPHANIE KIRSTEIN and Arjun Lakshmanan, Dec. 28, 2015

SARAH KNELLER and James Krantz, May 20, 2017

CHELSEA KOENIGS and John Lane,  July 19,2014

SARAH PUTNAM and Sean Windt, Oct. 8, 2016

TYLER STRAND and Kayla Allen, Oct. 8, 2016

JENNA SWAN and Bryant Jones, Oct. 17, 2015

MAREN WACHOLZ and Derrek Matson, Dec. 30, 2016

BRIANNA WASSINK and John Butler, July 1, 2017

EMILY WILSON and Derek Geiser, Nov. 5, 2016


CAROLYN STARZ and NATHANIEL ANDERSON welcomed a daughter, Inga Margaret, in February 2017.

JESSICA (SCHWAB) and DEREK BALSLEY '05 welcomed a daughter, Cosette, in March 2016.

RACHEL (MORLEY) and Sam Barnes welcomed a son, James Hubert, in September 2016.

ERIN (SMOCK) and Juan del Cid welcomed a daughter, Avery Elizabeth, in May 2017.

GRETCHEN (GUSTAF) and Christopher Engledowl welcomed a daughter, Leela Ruth, in February 2016.

PAM (BERG) and Brandon Hamann welcomed a son, Stanley Ray, in November 2016.

KIM (REICHERT) and MATT HOEGH welcomed a son, Hudson Matthew, in June 2016.

AMANDA (HANNEMANN) and Benjamin Maxwell welcomed a son, Charles Benjamin, in August 2016.

SARAH (QUICK) and Matt Olejniczak welcomed a son, Wilfred John, in April 2017.

BRITTANY (GREGOIRE) and Daniel Rosas welcomed a daughter, Eva Brielle, in March 2016.

HANNAH (BOWMAN) SHIBESHI and Abenet Shibeshi welcomed a son, Ezra, in 2012, and a daughter, Leah, in 2014.

SARAH (MURRELL) and KARL SWENSON '06 welcomed a daughter, Sydney Grace, in March 2017.

ANNA (WINTER) and ADAM TLOUGAN '06 welcomed a daughter, Reese Everly, in January 2017.

SARAH (NESHEIM) and LUCAS WESTBY welcomed a son, Otto, in August 2015.