Karen (Wardell) Austad ’64
Austad, of Ontario, Wis., is a retired teacher and library media specialist who has served children throughout her career through innovative teaching and library methods. Crestwood Elementary School, where she worked from 1964 to 2000, was named a School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education in 1993. She continues to volunteer and implement programs at her local library and elementary school. She created an endowment at the Norwalk-Ontario-Wilton Elementary School to permanently provide funds to help feed kids in need.
Richard Staff ’69
Staff, of Pigeon Falls, Wis., is a retired client services coordinator and registered nurse/social worker. He works as a music department teaching assistant for Whitehall Memorial High School. He has been a great support to students at his school and has provided scholarships for students from his area to attend Dorian Summer Music Camps at Luther. Staff won the Wisconsin Music Education Conference Community Service Award in 1981 and the Humanitarian Award from Ashley for the Arts in 2018.
Steven Berry ’74
Berry, of Des Moines, Iowa, owned a private practice for chest and infectious diseases for 35 years until his retirement in 2018. From 1993 to 2005, he served on the Luther College Board of Regents. He was also a contributing author for the book Outside In: African American History in Iowa, 1838–2000, published in 2001.
Carl Stecker ’79
Stecker, of Colorado Springs, Colo., serves as the senior technical advisor for HIV and interim program director for the Faith-Based Organization Capacity Strengthening for Universal HIV Services (FOCUS), Global Health and Catholic Relief Services (CRS). Stecker researches HIV screening for children in Zambia and Uganda and previously worked to educate people in Cameroon to improve health care. During Homecoming, he gave the Ironside Distinguished Alumni Lecture in Nursing, titled “Oh the Places You'll Go! The Mission and Life of a Global Migrant.”
Carol Tomer ’79
Tomer serves as the lead pastor for Pilgrim Lutheran Church in St. Paul, Minn. She co-created and has led evening contemplative services (Celtic and Nordic) at Pilgrim Lutheran Church since 2002 to help reach out to those who have felt exiled from the Christian community. She has served in leadership in the wider church and community through campus ministry, care of creation, building an inclusive church, and worship innovation.
Jennifer (Clark) Nelson ’94
Nelson, of Woodinville, Wash., is the director and senior investigator of biostatistics at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute. Her research on the safety and effectiveness of vaccines and drugs earned her the 2009 VSD Margarette Kolczak Award for outstanding biostatistical contributions in the field of vaccine safety. In 2013, Nelson wrote a paper that was selected among the Articles of the Year by the American Journal of Epidemiology and the Society for Epidemiologic Research.
Kojo Amoo-Gottfried ’98
Amoo-Gottfried, of Shorewood, Minn., is vice president and commercial leader of Cargill's North American agriculture supply chain. As a Borlaug Dialogue Speaker at the 2017 World Food Prize conference, he spoke of the ongoing need for many partners, including government institutions and universities and colleges, to engage in the vital work of access to and maintenance of the global food chain. He was recently appointed to the board of directors of Partners in Food Solution, a nonprofit committed to improving nutrition and expanding economic development across Africa. Amoo-Gottfried received the DSA in spring 2019.
Michael Anderson ’99
Anderson, of North Liberty, Iowa, is the clinical coordinator and clinical assistant professor at the University of Iowa College of Nursing. He has worked to raise awareness and funds for research and treatment of leukemia and lymphoma. In 2015, he won Man of the Year from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Eastern Iowa by raising just under $140,000 in 10 weeks for the society. In 2018, he was recognized by the University of Iowa College of Nursing for the second time as the recipient of the Daisy Faculty Award and the 100 Great Iowa Nurses designation.
Criteria considered for Distinguished Service Award (DSA) candidates include meritorious service to society in areas such as education, government, the arts, business, church, labor, industry, agriculture, research, medicine, and community affairs; loyalty and service to Luther; fidelity to the ideals of Luther; and timeliness of the award. Though individuals nominated for DSAs typically have a strong Luther connection, they do not have to be alumni. Nominations may be made at luther.edu/alumni/services/awards.
Weston H. Noble Award
John M. Broman ’69 serves as director of choral activities at the University of North Georgia (UNG), where he teaches classes in conducting, choral methods, music appreciation, music history, diction, and applied voice. Prior to his appointment there in 1992, he taught at Dakota Wesleyan University and Loras College He has received two Presidential Awards for Service, two service awards from the UNG’s Student Government Association, and other recognitions.
Carlo A. Sperati Award
Timothy Arnold ’04 teaches at Orono High School in Orono, Minn., where he is director of the wind ensemble, concert band, jazz ensemble, chamber winds, music listening team, and band leadership team, and codirector of the marching and pep bands. Under his direction, the Orono Wind Ensemble performed at the Chicago Symphony Center and the Minnesota Music Educators state conference, and debuted at Carnegie Hall in April 2019.
Richard C. and Joann M. Hemp Family Prize for Orchestral Performance
Luke Berkley ’20, of Owatonna, Minn., is a music major and management minor who plans to pursue a master of music degree to further his music performance career. He has been a member of the Chamber Orchestra, Norskkor (Norsemen), Transcendent Brass Quintet, QTC Horn Quartet, Concert Band, and Symphony Orchestra. He has been a section leader in Concert Band for three years and principal horn in Symphony Orchestra for three years.
Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award
Jackson Churchill ’20, of Duluth, Minn., is a music major and music education minor who plans to pursue a master’s degree in trombone performance. A member of the Pi Kappa Lambda honor society, he has been a music theory tutor, Music Department student representative, and Dorian Summer Music Camp counselor. He has served as principal trombonist and section leader in the Concert Band, Jazz Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, and Trombone Choir. He was also a Luther College Concerto Competition winner.
Inductees into Luther's Athletic Hall of Fame during Homecoming 2019 were (left to right): Jeff Wettach '79, head coach of track and field and cross country, assistant football coach, and athlete; Zac Bartlett '09, wrestling; Dale Jensen '69, baseball; Alycia Ashburn '99, track and field; Jami Severson '99, swimming; Jane (Greene) Hildebrand '74, head women's basketball coach and athlete; Susan (Satre) Michael '94, volleyball; and Steve Corson '79, cross country and track.