Class of 2015 Spring 2018 Letter

Spring 2018

Dear Member of the Class of 2015,

Even though it may seem at times as though the Midwest is still in the middle of winter, we know spring is just around the corner. If this season has you daydreaming about taking a trip, you might get your fix by reading Luther students’ J-term blogs at This January, 286 students participated in one of Luther’s 17 programs around the globe, studying everything from choral singing in Namibia and South Africa, to religion and corporate culture in Japan, to entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley.

These experiences have profound impacts on students. As Izzy Michaud ’19, who studied environmental issues at Holden Village in the Pacific Northwest, writes, “My time at Holden has . . . renewed my faith in people and in God. It has allowed me to find parts of myself that I believed to be lost, and it has given me good courage for the journey ahead.” Experiences like Izzy’s are hallmarks in a Luther College student’s journey.

If a trip abroad or to Holden Village isn’t in your near future, remember, Decorah is also a great place to visit, especially in the spring/summer. Consider making plans to attend these upcoming events:  the Oneota Film Festival, April 19-22 ( and Nordic Fest, July 26-28 ( Also, did you know there are two breweries in Decorah? Toppling Goliath ( and Pulpit Rock Brewing Co. ( have made Decorah a beer tourism destination! If you haven’t been to Decorah recently, be sure to check out for area hotels, B&Bs, coffee shops, restaurants, and shopping. 

Also, as many of you know, Thursday, March 8, was Luther's third annual Giving Day! Thousands tuned in to an all-day livestream from Marty's and joined the fun through social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more). Overall, a whopping $478,193 was raised for the Luther Fund - WOW! If you'd like to relive the fun (and see the 12-hour livestream), visit THANK YOU to all who donated and made this day such a success!

Finally, Luther’s Board of Regents voted in February to approve a new strategic plan: “Inspired. Empowered. Engaged.” The new five-year plan is designed to make Luther more dynamic and innovative in its support of the 21st-century liberal arts student. Expect to hear more about the exciting changes ahead as we begin implementing the plan.

Thank you to all who supported Luther in 2017. Please consider supporting Luther students with a donation to the Luther Fund this year. Use the attached form and the reusable envelope or visit to give!

Best wishes for a happy, healthy spring season!

John Dahl
2015 Class Agent
[email protected]

Maggie (Steinberg) Hagen
2015 Class Agent
[email protected]

James Odegaard
2015 Class Agent
[email protected]


Caitlin Almer teaches fifth grade for the Littleton (Colo.) Public Schools. 

Emily Betts is a project manager at Anytime Fitness in Woodbury, Minn.

Brianna Blum teaches first grade at Archibald Alexander Elementary School in Iowa City, Iowa.

Jenny Bonnell is a long term substitute teacher in the Edina (Minn.) Public Schools.

Leah Broderick of Brighton, Mass., is a regional admissions recruiter for the University of Alabama.

Tyler Crowe of Davenport, Iowa, earned a master’s degree in biomedical sciences from Iowa State University.

Jenna Darsee teaches K-5 art for the Indianola (Iowa) Community School District.

Jessica Dobson teaches eighth grade physical science at Freeport (Ill.) Middle School.

Gabriel Dorn is a research assistant at Washington University in St. Louis.

Conner Goetz teaches eighth grade global studies at Minnetonka (Minn.) Middle School.

Alex Hain teaches English at Stewartville (Minn.) Middle School.

Madison (Norell) Jaeger is an academic interventionist at CAL Community Schools in Latimer, Iowa.

Amanda Johnson teaches K-2 special education for the Byron (Minn.) Public Schools.

Michael Kaiser is a financial analyst at HNI Corporation in Muscatine, Iowa.

Karly Karst is staffing coordinator for Park Nicollet Health Services at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, Minn., and is a nursing student at Herzing University. She received the Nurse Corps scholarship.

Krista (Konrad) Liveringhouse teaches fourth grade in Hillsborough County School District in Tampa, Florida.

Abby Lobdell teaches fifth grade at Merrill School in Rock Falls, Ill.

Ann (Okoneski) Lund is executive consultant at Rodan + Fields Dermatologists in Edina, Minn.

Ellie Magner teaches sixth grade at Robert J. Elkington Middle School in Grand Rapids, Minn.

Hayley (Pirsig) Maher earned a master’s degree in business administration from American Military University and is administrative assistant for Freeborn County in Albert Lea, Minn. She also owns a small business, The Hayley Anne.

Jessica Mara is a registered nurse at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Katharyn Marlow is a client service manager at Reising Radio Partners, Inc., in Columbus, Ind.

Sara Maronde is clinical assistant and medical scribe at Twin Cities Orthopedics in Burnsville, Minn.

Nicolle Martin is a communications assistant at CaptionCall in Scottsdale, Ariz. 

Katie Mathis teaches K-6 art for the West Branch (Iowa) Community School District.

Connor Mattison is a relocation specialist at Plus Relocation in Minneapolis.

Michaleen Melby is a substitute teacher for the Portage (Wis.) Community School District.

Morgan Melton is a telecommunicator at Williamson County Department of Emergency Communication in Franklin, Tenn.

Laura Mesadieu is agile scrum master at Fastenal Company in Winona, Minn.

Alise Miller is senior demand forecast analyst at Best Buy in Minneapolis.

Derek Mueller is an ecological restoration technician at Stantec Consulting Services, Inc., in Cottage Grove, Wis.

Bailey Mulholland is publications specialist at the Kent (Ohio) Historical Society.

Elsie Muronzie is assurance staff at Ernst and Young in Minneapolis.

Kayla Naber teaches first grade at Ekstrand Elementary in Dewitt, Iowa. 

Jessica O’Brien is a registered nurse at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Sam Olson is associate account executive of SPS Commerce in Minneapolis.

Hannah Parker is case manager at Easter Seals of Iowa in Des Moines.

Kara Pedersen is a registered nurse at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

Hiliary Pennington is a teacher assistant at Van Meter (Iowa) Elementary School.

Katie Peterson earned a master’s degree in addiction prevention and treatment from Hazelden Graduate School of Addiction Studies. She is a youth services master of social work intern at Alexandra House in Anoka, Minn.

Mavis Phiri is a financial services representative at University of Iowa Credit Union in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Hunter Pleschourt is planner at Sleep Number by Sleep Comfort in Plymouth, Minn.

Shelby Pofahl is a registered nurse at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Ellen Pritchard is executive manager at Butte Toyota in Butte, Mont. 

Maia Pugh is program coordinator at Blue Mountain Center in Blue Mountain Lake, New York.

Jake Putnam is a fine art consultant at Iowa Artisans Gallery in Iowa City. 

Megan Richason earned a master of science degree in athletic training from Ohio University. She is an athletic trainer for Gundersen Lutheran Clinic in Hillsboro, Wis.

Allison Richman is a neighborhood services coordinator at Iowa Heartland Habitat for Humanity in Waterloo, Iowa.

Annika Ring teaches English, literature, and writing at Hutchinson (Minn.) High School.

Kaia Sand is an oboe graduate teaching assistant at the University of Oklahoma School of Music in Edmond, Okla.

Mary Schmidt is a registered nurse at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn

Sarah Schutz is a registered nurse at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Greg Scott is project manager at UnitedHealth Group in Plymouth, Minn.

Emily Sena is a business and legal associate at Khalifeh and Partners Lawyers in Amman, Jordan.

Andrew Sharot is data analytics senior consultant at Deloitte in Minneapolis.

Joe Simonelli is an artist at Spectrum Screenprinting and Embroidery in Plymouth, Minn.

Aime (Karam) Smith is account executive of iHeartMedia in Minneapolis.

Martin Stalberger is sales associate at M & M Lawn and Leisure in Rushford, Minn.

Kasey Thorson teaches seventh and eighth grade social studies and language arts in the Austin (Minn.) Public School District.

Emily Tope is a world language production editor at EMC Publishing in St. Paul. Two of her short documentaries have been official selections in 11 film festivals since 2015. One documentary won the Best Student Film award at the World Arts Film Festival in May 2017.

Danielle Uhlenhake teaches first grade at St. John’s Elementary School in Independence, Iowa.

Ellie Van Der Griend teaches kindergarten at John F. Kennedy Community School in Berlin, Germany.

Blake Wragge teaches fourth grade at Bayview Elementary in Waconia, Minn.

Kari Ylvisaker teaches kindergarten for the Grundy Center (Iowa) Community Schools.




AIME KARAM and CeDric Smith, Sept. 1, 2017

STEPHANIE LAKE and Nicholas Eliason, Oct. 21, 2017

LIBBY MARCUS and Grant Bell, Jan. 7, 2017

MADDI NORELL and Tanner Jaeger, Sept. 10, 2016


HAYLEY PIRSIG and BLANE MAHER '14, July 29, 2016



HANNAH SELMON and Max Luetkemeier, July 18, 2015