Class of 2015 Fall 2018 Letter

Fall 2018

Dear Classmate,

It’s the start of a new school year at Luther, one that promises to be as wonderfully action-packed as ever. In August, the college welcomed 575 new students to campus. Over the summer, they read a book that many Luther grads will remember from Paideia: The Odyssey. This year’s edition comes with a twist: it’s the first English translation by a woman, Emily Wilson, and by all accounts it’s a vivid, engaging, and sprightly retelling of the classic homecoming story. If you’re up for a return to your Paideia roots, you can join the fun through Luther’s reading guide to the book:

Speaking of homecomings, this year we’ll celebrate two important milestones during Luther’s Homecoming Weekend, October 26–28. First, the Black Student Union (BSU) commemorates its 50th anniversary this fall. There are several events planned during Homecoming and throughout the year to celebrate the founding of the organization—including forums, lectures, a brunch, and a BSU reunion—so mark your calendars. Luther’s Nursing Department also observes a birthday—its 40th—this fall. Homecoming Weekend, Kris Dreifuerst ’85 will lead a workshop for nursing educators and deliver the Ironside Distinguished (Alumni) Lecture in Nursing, which will be followed by an open house at Luther’s simulation lab.

In addition to Homecoming lecturers, Luther will welcome other notable speakers to campus this season. On October 23, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt will deliver the Farwell Distinguished Lecture, “The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure.” His book of the same name, published earlier this month, explores how the cultural climate of “safetyism” on college campuses across the U.S. interferes with the healthy development of students. He argues that recent social and cultural trends are setting children up to fail as healthy, autonomous, adaptable adults. If you don’t have time to read the book, you can get a snapshot through Haidt’s Atlantic article:

Finally, most have heard that President Paula Carlson will retire at the end of the 2018–19 academic year. During her time at Luther, President Carlson added several academic programs to the college, renewed outdoor facilities, expanded Luther’s Career Center services, developed and launched the “Next Steps for Sophomores” program, added a dean of institutional equity and inclusion to Luther’s staff, and achieved Luther’s goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 50 percent by the end of 2015, among other things. Luther’s Board of Regents is taking the necessary steps in the presidential search process with the hope of transitioning leadership over the course of next summer and having a new president in place for the 2019–20 academic year.

While changes are afoot at our alma mater, Luther also holds tight to its traditions, like keeping in touch with valued alumni. We hope you’ll let us know what’s new in your life too! Until then, best wishes for a fall that’s as beautiful as it is in the Oneota Valley.

John Dahl
2015 Class Agent
1539 Washington St. NE.
Minneapolis, MN 55413
[email protected]

Maggie (Steinberg) Hagen
2015 Class Agent
1150 4th Street SW, Apt.610
Washington DC 20024-4488
[email protected]

James Odegaard
2015 Class Agent
311 W Water St. Apt. 2
Decorah, IA 52101
[email protected]


Erik Anderson of Iowa City, Iowa, earned a master’s degree in medical sciences from Loyola University in Chicago.

Anna Avila earned a master’s degree in civil engineering from Marquette University in Milwaukee. 

Andrew Burgmeier is account manager at Proto Labs in Maple Plain, Minn.

Tyler Carpenter is a process technician at Plastipak Packaging in Medina, Ohio.

Paige Clark earned a master of social work degree from Loyola University in Chicago. She is a transplant social worker at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. 

Lucas Chase is ticket services supervisor at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul, Minn., and box office manager at Minnesota Beethoven Festival in Winona, Minn. He also serves on the member board of directors for Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts in Menomonie, Wis.

Nichole Clemens is a reading tutor with AmeriCorps in Duluth, Minn., and a site facilitator for Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin Lakes and Pines. 

Tyler Crowe is a research assistant in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City.

Samuel Cychosz is project and data coordinator at Century Link in Anoka, Minn.

Katherine Dick earned a juris doctorate from Drake University Law School in Des Moines, Iowa.

Melody Elele is a consulting analyst for UnitedHeath Group in Minneapolis.

Stephanie (Lake) Eliason is an administrative assistant for TRIO Student Support Services at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, S.D.

Carly Ellefsen is communication specialist at Self Esteem Brands, LLC in Woodbury, Minn.

Celia Garner-Prouty is orchestra director for the Storm Lake (Iowa) Community School District.

Laura Hayes is a reporter for the Press & Journal newspaper in Middletown, Pa.

Stephanie (Riles) Hyland is an accounts receivable specialist for Terex Corporation in Waverly, Iowa.

Timmah Kamoto is co-founder of SowTech in Zambia.

Sarah King is senior analyst at Rabbit Relevance in Minneapolis.

Matt Knutson is vocal music director at Scott Highlands Middle School in Apple Valley, Minn.

Alex Kokkinen is a data analyst at Banner Engineering in Minneapolis.

Adrienne Kulzer is an assistant and medical scribe at Foot and Ankle Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Libby Logsden is a senior accountant at UnitedHealth Group in Minneapolis.

Thomas Lundberg is project coordinator at The HCI Group in Jacksonville, Fla.

Jennifer (Schmidt) Lundell is a registered nurse at Olmsted Medical Center in Rochester, Minn.

Chloe Meyer is health unit coordinator at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Allison (Vollinger) Mortens is customer success manager at Akita Box in Madison, Wis.

Andrew Nelson is database administrator for Temple Israel in Minneapolis.

Joshua Nelson is HPAI animal health technician for the USDA: APHIS Veterinary Services in Des Plaines, Ill.

Lauren Nelson is a care team assistant at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Shelby Nelson is executive assistant to the CEO at COCO Coworking and Collaborative Space in Minneapolis.

Owen Neubauer is committee legislative assistant for the Minnesota Senate in St. Paul, Minn.

Linh Nguyen is communications consultant for the World Wildlife Fund in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Travis Nietert is a licensed massage therapist and sole proprietor at Thixo Therapeutics in Woodbury, Minn.

Kirsten Norderhaug is customer success manager at SPS Commerce in Minneapolis.

Benjamin Nordquist is lead retreat facilitator at Youth Frontiers in Minneapolis.

Caity Nowosatka-Sander and Caleb Sander live in Sioux City, Iowa. Caity is work study/student financial coordinator at Morningside College. Caleb is a tuner, servicer, and builder with Darrow Pipe Organ.

Britta Nyberg is department sales manager at Anthropologie in Bloomington, Minn.

Evan Obert is a police officer for the City of Davenport, Iowa.

Braun Oldenkamp earned a master’s degree in music, voice performance, from the University of North Texas. He is adjunct professor of voice at Adrian College in Adrian, Mich.

Jessica Olson is a neurosurgery nurse at St. Mary’s Hospital-Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Nathaniel Plass teaches English language and literature at the American College of Sophia in Sophia, Bulgaria.

Hailey Prohaska is a third-year veterinary medicine student studying mixed small animal and large animal medicine, and a Ko Lab Reproductive Biology research student at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine.

Jordan (Kuchera) Pugleasa is a service member with the Minnesota Reading Corps in St. Paul, Minn.

Sam Raiche is praise team director for First Presbyterian Church in Marion, Iowa.

Lauren Rauch is a laboratory technician at Red Star Yeast Company in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Colton Rasmussen is chief financial officer and director of marketing and advertising at Zimprovements in Rochester, Minn.

Ryan Readinger is assurance associate at RSM US LLP in Des Moines, Iowa.

Cole Reedy is health plan accountant at Centene Corporation in St. Louis.

Tara Rehovsky is a mental health practitioner for the Associated Clinic of Psychology in Minneapolis.

Collin Richman is senior application developer at US Foods in Chicago.

Kat Richman is a phlebotomist at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Arturo Rico is assistant director of admissions and coordinator of multicultural recruitment at The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio.

Kalyn Roisum of Stoughton, Wis., is a site horticulture technician with American Family Insurance.

Cadence Sawyer of Madison, Wis., is a technical services analyst at Epic Systems.

Nick Scheffert is a personal trainer at Anytime Fitness in Rochester, Minn.

Kayla (Gregg) and Matthew Scheidle live in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Kayla teaches second grade at Edison Elementary School, and Matthew is a behavior specialist for the Council Bluffs Community School District.

Nicole Schmidt is a financial aid advisor at Capella University in Minneapolis.

Aldon Severson is senior project coordinator at Korn Ferry Hay Group in Minneapolis.

J.J. Sirios is a technology consultant at Arthrex and account manager at Aflac in Denver.

Luke Stennes is senior editor and team leader at Hudson Legal Group, PC in Chicago.

Imsouchivy Suos is a government official of the ASEAN office at the Ministry of Commerce, General Department of International Trade, Department of Asia and Pacific, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Joshua Swanson is psychiatric associate at Fairview Health Services in St. Paul, Minn.

Justin Velzke is food and beverage manager for the Aparium Hotel Group in Chicago.

Benjamin Warner was selected to receive a Fulbright award to study in Laos.

Anna Burke Weckwerth collaborated on a paper, “Herbaceous vascular flora of forested seep wetlands in Winneshiek County, Iowa,” published in the Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science.

David Zalk is a senior consultant for cyber risk strategy and governance at Deloitte in Minneapolis.

Rachel (Ruonan) Zheng earned a master’s degree in marketing from Baruch College, City University of New York, and is a contributing writer at Jing Daily in New York City.



JORDAN KUCHERA and Dan Pugleasa, Oct. 29, 2016