Class of 2011 Fall 2019 Letter

Fall 2019

Dear Class of 2011 Alumni,

It promises to be an exciting year for Luther. In November, the college inaugurated its eleventh president, Dr. Jenifer K. Ward. President Ward joins the Luther community with more than three decades of experience as an educator, scholar, and academic leader after serving, most recently, as provost and dean of the college at Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana. Prior to joining Centenary, President Ward served in several leadership roles at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington, including dean of the college, interim provost, and associate provost. She was also a faculty member at Gustavus Adolphus College, where she taught German.     

In a message to the Luther community, President Ward said, “Our work together must be strategic, collaborative, creative, and—most importantly—must articulate what it means to be both grounded in Decorah, Iowa with a face to the world, and set goals for how we can adapt Luther’s past and present for a sustainable future.”

A self-described extrovert and lover of art, film, and literature, President Ward started her duties at Luther July 1, and her official inauguration took place November 1–3.

Learn more about President Ward—including her thoughts on food, art, Twitter, Decorah, and higher ed—on Luther’s YouTube channel (, then search “Luther College President Ward”) or in the fall issue of the Luther Magazine:

Also, while you’re at it, use this checklist to up your Luther social media game:

❏     Follow Luther College on Twitter: @LutherCollege
     Follow Luther College on Instagram: @LutherCollege
     Follow the Luther College Alumni Facebook page:

And, finally, keep in mind that Christmas at Luther takes place December 5–8. This year’s theme is Whom Angels Greet with Anthems Sweet. Luther would be happy to see you there!

Kelsey (Leppert) Sjoblom
2011 Class Agent
2732 8th Avenue SE
Altoona, IA 50009
[email protected]

Alex Ulfers
2011 Class Agent
501 W. 47th Street, Apt. 3E
New York, NY 10036
[email protected]

Kelsey (Wauters) Swanson
2011 Class Agent
2840 Mayflower Avenue
Minnetonka MN 55305
[email protected]


Molly Andersen is store manager at Sota Clothing Co. in St. Louis Park, Minn.

Steven Andrukaitis is social service coordinator at Minnesota Adult and Team Challenge in Minneapolis.

Rachel Barclay works in fundraising at the Salzburg Global Seminar in Washington, D.C.

Kate (Trigger) Duffert is program assistant for general assembly business at Presbyterian Church USA in Louisville, Ky.

Jordan Grimm of Iowa City, Iowa, was named one of the Corridor Business Journal’s 2018 Forty Under 40. Honorees are selected for the meaningful contributions they’ve made to their business and communities in their still-young careers. Jordan earned the MBA degree from the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business and is continuous improvement specialist with Van Meter, Inc.

Nicole (Wilson) Goetzl is risk portfolio manager, west division at Comcast Cable in Englewood, Colo.

Ross Hardie is program director at Luther Park Bible Camp in Chetek, Wis.

Jocelyn Hare of Rockford, Ill., is chief operations officer for ServPro of Rockford. She is also president of the board of the Heritage Museum Park and vice president of the Rockford Network of Professional Women. In addition to her fundraising work with Family Counseling Services, she also serves on the board of directors for the Music Academy of Rockford and is active in many other networking groups for young professionals. She received the Business Woman Leader of Tomorrow Award at last year’s Women in Business Expo.

Cody Kirkpatrick is owner and chiropractor at K Chiropractic in Adams, Minn.

Jeff Lee is training and marketing manager at Zenith Information System, Inc. in Tarzana, Calif.

Ufra Mir is founding executive director and Peace-psychologist at her own NGO, Paigam: A Message for Peace in the United States and Kashmir. She gave a TEDx Talk called “The Conflict of War & Peace.” Stemming from her focus on the field of peace-psychology, the talk focused on how to better solve conflict with peace. A video recording can be found on YouTube. 

Christopher Nevala-Plagemann of Salt Lake City is a medical doctor and resident in internal medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine. He won the 2018 American College of Physicians (ACP) Utah Chapter Poster Competition presenting the case, “IgG kappa Multiple Myeloma presenting as Hyper viscosity Syndrome,” and will join other leaders to present at the 2019 ACP National Meeting in Philadelphia.

Alex Redding is property asset manager at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Anna Rick is a legal assistant at Johnson Becker, PLCC in St. Paul, Minn.

Caitlin (Steinberg) Schlabach of Kailua, Hawaii, is executive director and chief historian at Operation Green Faces. 

Kate (McDonald) Sutherland is executive assistant at RISE Prep Mayoral Academy in Woonsocket, R.I.

Steven Thai earned a master’s degree in business administration from Hamline University. He is external corporate communications manager at Uponor North America in Apple Valley, Minn.

Andrew White is visitor use management specialist at the National Park Service Denver Service Center.

Alana (Humpal) Whiteley is senior technical recruiter at Robert Half Technology in Minneapolis.

Rachel (Albert) Yim is a research project manager at the University of Illinois at Chicago.



RACHEL BARCLAY and Paul Jones, Sept. 2, 2018

TRACY HEETLAND and Steven Szul, October 6, 2018




ALLISON (MOEN) and WES GREGG '10 welcomed a son, William Luther, in October 2018.

KELSEY (BALK) and JORDAN GRIMM welcomed a son, Odin, in April 2017.

LINDSEY (GETCHELL) '12 and ANDREW KRAABEL welcomed a son, Anders Marshall, in August 2018.

CAMILLE (STENHAUG) and Sean McVenes welcomed a son, Evan Raymond, in September 2018.

LEAH (JENSEN) and MIKE SWITZER '10 welcomed a daughter, Caroline Rose, in January 2018.