Luther to award 10 alumni with Distinguished Service Awards

Luther College President Richard L. Torgerson will present the Luther Distinguished Service Award to 10 alumni Friday, Oct. 5 at the Celebration of Distinguished Service beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Center for Faith and Life Main Hall on the Luther campus.

The Distinguished Service Award, one of the highest honors bestowed by the college, is given in recognition of success and achievements in professional fields, service to society, contributions to community and loyalty and service to Luther.

Recipients of the 2012 Luther Distinguished Service Awards are:

Anna Hill Duin, Hastings, Minn., professor of writing studies, director of graduate studies in the Scientific and Technical Communications Program at the University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts, Luther class of 1977

David "Chip" Norris, Champlin, Minn., Alerus Financial president-Twin Cities Region, Luther class of 1982

Miriam (Strum) Odden, Fox Point, Wis., retired owner and consultant for Odden Consulting, Luther class of 1962 and Fran Odden, Fox Point, Wis., retired pastor and interim assistant to the bishop, Luther class of 1959

James K. Oppermann, Brookfield, Wis., senior vice president of Finance and Management Services at Alverno College, Luther class of 1977

Marjorie Opuni-Akuamoa, Lausanne, Switzerland, Evidence Strategy and Results senior advisor for the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, Luther class of 1992

Kevin L. Sand, Decorah, Iowa, retired family medicine physician and former medical director at Decorah Clinic Physicians-Mayo Health System, Winneshiek Medical Center, Luther class of 1972

Harlan Satrom, Decorah, Iowa, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network financial advisor and president of Retirement Benefits Corporation, Luther class of 1982

Terry A. Sorom, Wenatchee, Wash., retired ophthalmologist at the Eye and Ear Clinic in Wenatchee, Luther class of 1962

Jennifer L. Weuve, Chicago, assistant professor at the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging, Luther class of 1992

Ann Hill Duin

Ann Hill Duin, who grew up on a farm in Ellsworth, Iowa, graduated from Luther College in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in music. She later earned the doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Minnesota in 1986.

Duin is now a professor of writing studies in the UMN College of Liberal Arts as well as director of graduate studies for the Scientific and Technical Communications Program of the CLA and senior fellow at the Jandris Center for Innovative Higher Education in the College of Education and Human Development at UMN.

She was a short-term missionary to Japan from 1979-81, with her husband, the Rev. Douglas Duin, who also graduated from Luther College in 1977, as part of the then American Lutheran Church program in Japan.

She served many roles at UMN, overseeing information technology for UMN as an associate vice president, 2007-11, and then interim vice president, 2011. She led the development of the new College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences at UMN, 2001-07, and served as vice provost for instructional technology and university partnerships and taught rhetoric as a full professor at UMN, 1997-2000.

She also taught English as a full professor at ISU, and English, music and English as a second language at elementary and secondary levels in Goldfield, Iowa, and in Japan.

Duin has also authored or co-authored numerous grant proposals for technology and research and been keynote speaker at numerous national and international conferences.

Throughout her career, Duin has stayed true to her love of music. She has always been part of the music ministry in her family's congregations, most often directing children's choirs.

Duin served two terms as a regent at Waldorf College and was a Strategic Planning Participant at Luther in 2003. She and her husband are members of President's Council at Luther and the parents of Seth Duin '12 and Erica Hill McDougall.       

David "Chip" Norris

Chip Norris graduated from Luther College in 1982 with the Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and business management.

Norris has a distinguished career in the financial sector. He currently serves as Twin Cities region president of Alerus Financial, a full-service community banking and diversified financial services company. Norris has successfully navigated three acquisitions during his time as regional president, and he has overseen the growth of the Twin Cities company from a four-person startup in 2007 to a thriving multichannel business employing 235 people today.

Norris is heavily involved in his community. In addition to serving three terms on the President's Advisory Board of North Hennepin Community College, he is also president and board member of that college's foundation.

Norris is a former president of the Brooklyn Center Rotary Club of Brooklyn, Minn., and both he and his wife, Jari, are designated Paul Harris Fellows of Rotary International. In addition, Norris was named the Brooklyn Center Citizen of the Year in 2001.

For seven years, Norris served as the president of the Northwest Minneapolis Business Association, and for five years he served as the president of the Fourth Precinct Advisory Council to the Minneapolis Police Department.

Norris volunteers for the Special Olympics and Habitat for Humanity, and he is a fundraising team leader for the Minnesota Multiple Sclerosis Society.

In 2006, the Chip and Jari Norris Endowed Leadership Scholarship was established at Luther College to attract and support students who have balanced achievement in the classroom with community leadership. 

Miriam Odden

Miriam Odden, a 1962 graduate of Luther College, holds the bachelor's degree in sociology and elementary education. After teaching elementary school for five years in Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin, Odden served as the Career Services Associate Director at Luther College.  She went on to earn the master's degree in educational leadership from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, Wis.  

Odden managed her own consulting business, Odden Consulting, from 1999-2005.  She specialized in providing career services to various higher education institutions in the Wisconsin area including Marquette University, Carroll College, Cathage College and Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.  During her time as a consultant Odden developed a series of publications for colleges and universities. 

Alongside her consulting business, Odden initiated a counseling service program for alumni and students enrolled in distance learning.  She has also developed an alumni networking program and managed career fairs for the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. Odden was presented with a staff recognition award from Cardinal Stritch University.

Aside from her work in higher education, Odden has been involved in countless community volunteer programs.  An active member of Lake Park Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, Odden has led high school youth retreats on "Discovering Your God-Given Gifts." Odden developed and taught a nine-hour course on self-esteem for members of her community.  She has been involved with Lutheran Volunteer Corps, providing career and job search counseling for former volunteers and created a Career Library for Albert Lea Technical College. 

She and her spouse Fran Odden reside in Fox Point, Wis.

Rev. Francis Odden           

The Rev. Francis Odden, a Decorah native and 1959 graduate of Luther College, has spent a lifetime serving as a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. Following his time at Luther, Odden attended Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. where he earned the Master of Divinity degree.

His first call out of seminary brought him to Sandusky, Ohio, where he served as assistant and lead pastor to St. Paul Lutheran Church from 1964-70. While serving at St. Paul Lutheran, Odden became involved as a member of a street and drug-counseling ministry and established a multiracial after school and weekend ministry program. Because of Odden's commitment to working on social issues in his community he was honored with the Man of the Year award from the YMCA in Sandusky. 

Rev. Odden was described by former Greater Milwaukee Synod Bishop Paul Stumme-Diers as someone who demonstrated a heart for the poor over the course of his ministry and brought leadership, wisdom and passion to walking with people in poverty through his volunteer work and service to the church. Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan recognized his work by presenting Odden with an Achievement Award for his work on the Milwaukee Council on Alcoholism. 

Odden's dedication to service in his community has also played out in his involvement with Luther College throughout the years. From 1985-98 he served on the Luther College Board of Regents and as the chair of the Student Life Committee for three years.

Odden and his wife Miriam reside in Fox Point, Wis.

James Oppermann

James Oppermann graduated from Luther College in 1977 with the bachelor's degree in accounting. He earned the Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1978, and spent the next two decades working in the for-profit financial world, holding accountant and management positions with accounting, mortgage and data systems companies.

In 1997, Oppermann joined the nonprofit world as senior vice president for finance and management services at Milwaukee's Alverno College, a position he still holds. The school's enrollment, market share and endowment have all increased during Oppermann's tenure. He is also the college's voting member at the NCAA annual convention, having established Alverno's NCAA Division III athletic program in 2002; he oversaw an $11 million campus beautification project and $16 million Teaching, Learning and Technology Center at Alverno; and he helped form a consortium to provide health, dental and vision benefits for nine colleges in Wisconsin. Oppermann was named a CFO of the Year winner in the education category by "The (Milwaukee) Business Journal" in 2011.     

In addition to leading Alverno's financial and management services, Oppermann is the college's assistant women's basketball coach. He also assists in the operation of the Stoneman Family Farm, famous for its sweet corn and owned by the family of his wife, Mary Sue (Stoneman) Opperman, Luther College class of 1977.

Oppermann was a founding member of the Luther College Audit Committee. He and Mary Sue established the William and Muriel Stoneman Family Endowed Scholarship in honor of Mary Sue's parents' passion for education and Luther College. All three of the Oppermann children attended Luther: Kevin Oppermann, class of 2006; Peter Oppermann, class of 2008; and Kayla Opperman, class of 2011.

Marjorie Opuni-Akuamoa           

Marjorie Opuni-Akuamoa moved from Switzerland to Decorah, Iowa, to attend college in 1988.  After spending summers back in Geneva, Switzerland, interning at the United Nations, Opuni graduated from Luther in 1992 with a double major in political science and French.  During her time as a Luther student she was selected as an International Fellow for the Iowa Peace Initiative. 

Opuni earned the master's degree in political science from the John Hopkins University-Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences in 1994, a second master's degree in international economics and African studies from John Hopkins Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in 1996 and a Ph.D. in health economics from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2008.  She was the 2006 winner of a Hewlett Population Reference Bureau Fellowship for individuals whose research was expected to improve significantly our understanding of the impact of reproductive health on poverty reduction. 

Current senior advisor for evidence, strategy and results at the joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, Opuni is widely published in health policy and economics circles regarding effective methods of combating HIV/AIDS on a global scale. 

She has previously served as a research scientist in health economics and international health policy for the Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore and at the Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica in Mexico City.

Kevin L. Sand

Kevin L. Sand graduated from Luther College in 1972 with the Bachelor of Arts degree in biology. He holds the Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Iowa College of Medicine in Iowa City. Born and raised in Decorah, Sand returned to his hometown, after a medical residency at the University of Illinois in Rockford, to become a family medicine physician.

            During his medical career, Sand was a volunteer physician with the Decorah Free Clinic, served six years on the Winneshiek County Board of Health and practiced for 31 years as a member of the Decorah Clinic Physicians–Mayo Health System, Winneshiek Medical Center (previously Medical Associates) before retiring in 2010. He had also led the Decorah Clinic as medical director.

An avid planter of trees since his college days, Sand owns timber tracts and is active in forest conservation as a member of the Northeast Iowa Forestry Advisory committee and is a founding member and president of the Prairie’s Edge Sustainable Woods Cooperative. In 2009, he was named Iowa Woodland Owner of the Year by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

Also in 2009, Sand received the City of Decorah Historic Preservation Recognition Award for his part in restoring homes in town, and in 2010 he was a nominee for the Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce’s Business Professional of the Year award.

Sand's parents were Luther graduates—Verna (Amdahl) '48 and Robert Sand '45—as is his wife, Leslie (Smith) Sand '74; his brother, Daniel Sand '77; and his sister, Robyn (Sand) Anderson '79. Kevin and Leslie are members of the President's Council at Luther and are the parents of Jennifer Sand and Robert Sand.

Harlan Satrom

Harlan Satrom is a 1982 graduate of Luther College with the bachelor's degree in accounting. He holds the Certified Financial Planner degree from the College for Financial Planning. 

Upon graduation from Page High School in Mayville, N.D., Satrom served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1974-76 earning the rank of corporal.

Satrom currently serves as the managing director and financial advisor for Northwestern Mutual Financial Network in Decorah, Iowa. In addition, he has served as president of Retirement Benefits Corporation in Decorah since 1987. He is certified as a long-term care consultant and is a member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors.   

He has served as a participant of the Strategic Planning group at Luther College as well as a member of the Luther College Heritage Club since 2003.

Satrom has a long list of volunteer groups he provides advising for in the Decorah area including Decorah Rotary, First Lutheran Church, Winneshiek County Community Foundation, the Trout Run Trail committee, Decorah Open Streets committee, the Blue Zones steering committee and the Live Healthy Iowa community coalition. 

Through his work with the Trout Run Trail committee and as a Trout Run Trail fundraising volunteer, Satrom received the first annual Iowa Great Places volunteer of the year award for Decorah in 2009. 

Satrom and his wife Sonja reside in Decorah.

Terry A. Sorom

Terry A. Sorom earned the Bachelor of Arts degree from Luther College in 1962, having majored in biology and chemistry. He earned the Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and interned at the University of Oregon Medical School and Hospitals.

After serving two years in the U.S. Air Force, Sorom returned to the University of Oregon to complete a residency in ophthalmology from 1969 to 1973. Later that year, he joined the Eye and Ear Clinic of Wenatchee, Wash., from which he retired in 2000.

Sorom has maintained vigorous involvement with his profession throughout his career. He has served on the board of directors both for Blue Cross of Washington and Alaska from 1983 to 1991 as well as for the Chelan County Medical Service Bureau (acting as president from 1983 to 1984).

He was also president of the Oregon Ophthalmology Alumni Association in 1988 and of the Washington Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons from 1996 to 1997.

Sorom is a member of the Wenatchee Rotary Club, for which he served as president from 1993 to 1994. He is a Paul Harris Fellow and a Paul Scea Fellow of that organization.

Sorom was president for the Wenatchee Valley College Foundation from 1986 to 1988. He is a charter trustee of the Wenatchee Visitor and Convention Bureau and has served as vice chair and trustee for the Community Foundation for North Central Washington.           

Sorom and his wife, Suzanne, give widely to philanthropic causes, and in 2002 they received the Good Scout award, which recognizes longtime service to the north central Washington community.

Jennifer L. Weuve

Epidemiologist Jennifer L. Weuve graduated from Luther College in 1992 with the Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry and mathematics. Having earned the master's degree in public health from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in 1999 and the Doctor of Science degree from the Harvard School of Public Health, she is now a professor and researcher in the medical field.

Weuve is an assistant professor with the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging, and visiting scientist with the Department of Environmental Health, at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. She is also a visiting scientist with the school's Department of Environmental Health, a consulting epidemiologist for the Alzheimer's Association in Chicago, and co-director of AlzRisk, a project that gathers data from a variety of published studies. 

As the author or co-author of numerous published papers, book chapters and abstracts, Weuve has focused on the cognitive effects of smoking, exposure to pesticides, pollution, and heavy metals (among other things) on aging adults. She has been a reviewer for many professional journals and for funding agencies, including the National Institutes of Health and the Alzheimer's Association International Grant Program.

Weuve and her husband, Jeffrey Gitelle, live in Chicago, where they are supporters of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.