Don Weller (’60 Fine Arts) won the Western Heritage Award for Literature for Don Weller Tracks: A Visual Memoir. The book includes paintings, short stories, and essays of Weller’s early career in illustration and design in Los Angeles as well as paintings of cutting-horse and ranch adventures in Texas and Utah.


John Thoresen (x’72 Busi.), CEO of the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center Foundation, was honored by CEO Today Magazine as one of the global healthcare leaders in its 2020 Healthcare Awards issue.

James R. “Jim” Anderson (’74 Env. Sci. , ’78 MS Env. Sci.) was recently appointed to the Washington State Fish and Wildlife Commission. He retired from the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission in 2010, where he served as executive director for 20 years. He lives in Buckley with his wife Dianne Meserve (’77 Env. Sci.).

Linda Adamson Barta (’76 Comm.) retired from the Wenatchee World after 42 years as an editorial assistant, local history columnist, and editor of the Douglas County Empire Press.

Jo Ann Wagstaff (’77 Phys. Ed.) received the Distinguished Service Award from the athletic Northwest Conference. Wagstaff started at Whitworth University in 1984 as the women’s tennis coach. She stepped down in 2015 after taking the Pirates to three national championships. She was National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics District 1 Coach of the Year in 1987, and, in 2013, she and her husband, Bill, also a longtime tennis coach, were jointly honored by the Inland Empire Sportswriters and Broadcasters with a 25-Year Award. Wagstaff recently retired as Whitworth’s associate director of athletics and senior women’s administrator.

Laurie Turner (’79 Kinesio., ’81 MS Phys. Ed.), a WSU Hall of Fame women’s basketball player who served as women’s basketball coach at the University of Idaho from 1986 to 1994, has been honored by the Northwest Conference with its Distinguished Service Award. Turner was athletic director at Pacific Lutheran University for 14 years before her recent retirement, leading the Lutes to 21 Northwest Conference championships in 11 different sports and one national title.


Governor Jay Inslee appointed Amazon executive John Schoettler (’80 Hosp. Busi. Mgmt., ’17 Soc. Sci.) to Washington State University’s Board of Regents.

Charles Kastner (’81 MA History) won the 2020 Peace Corps Writers Paul Cowan Award for best book of nonfiction for his book Race across America: Eddie Gardner and the Great Bunion Derbies. The book was noted in the Winter 2019 issue of Washington State Magazine.

The 93rd annual Western Veterinary Conference in 2021 is named in honor of Jon R. Pennell (’81 DVM), a second-generation veterinarian who has practiced small animal medicine and surgery in Las Vegas since 1981. He has a long history with Viticus Group, formerly WVC, where he served as a session moderator, was later elected to the board of directors, and served as president of the board and chairman of the expansion committee.

Mark Leid (’83 Pharm.) is the new dean of the WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Edward Chvatal (’84 Agri. Mech.) has joined the Walla Walla Catholic Schools board of directors.

Chris Eide (’84 Elec. Eng.) retired after 36 years at the Grays Harbor Public Utility District. During his career, Eide served in several roles, including district engineer, senior electronics engineer, substation engineer, and substation engineering supervisor.

Soka University of America’s founding president, Daniel Y. Habuki (’84 PhD Ag. Econ.), has retired after 27 years of leadership. He oversaw the opening of the school’s Aliso Viejo campus in 2001 and construction of a performing arts center, academic building, additional residence halls, and recent completion of a state-of-the-art life sciences building.

Anna Marie Dufault (’86 Ed.) is interim principal at Yakima’s Discovery Lab School.

Laura Hennum (’87 Comm.) is the chief executive officer of Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis, Oregon. Hennum had served as regional CEO for a string of microhospitals in southern Nevada, dividing her time between Nevada and Washington to develop and operate health facilities in the Puget Sound region for MultiCare.

Gary Ballew (’88 Busi., ’94 Civ. Eng., ’97 MS Env. Eng.) is vice president for economic development at Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI). GSI represents 925 businesses in the Spokane area. Ballew previously served as director of economic development and marketing at the Port of Pasco.

Shelley Redinger (’89 Ed. and Teach. Cert., ’92 MA Elem. and Sec. Ed.) spent eight years as superintendent of Spokane Public Schools and is now the new superintendent for the Richland School District.


Greg Lang (’90 MBA) has joined the board of directors at technology company Rambus.

Moeketsi Majoro (’90 PhD Ag. Econ.) is prime minister of Lesotho. He served as the minister of finance from 2017 to 2020 and minister of development planning from 2013 to 2015. Majoro joined the finance ministry as an analyst in 2000 and was promoted to principal secretary in 2004. From 1991 to 2000, he was a lecturer in economics at the National University of Lesotho.

Muhammad Tahir (’90 PhD Agro.) is the director of research and regulatory affairs at Okanagan Specialty Fruits.

Amazon recently promoted Todd H. Van Voast (’91 Arch.) to senior regional construction manager. The new fulfillment center in Spokane is among his projects.

Aimee Mell (’92 Music, ’93 Teach. Cert) was named a board trustee for Seattle Opera. A choral director in Seattle Public Schools since 2013, Mell has founded three choral programs in the district, most recently at Lincoln High School. In 2019, she was one of five choral directors selected nationwide to participate in the International Conductors Exchange Program through the American Choral Directors Association. The exchange allowed fellows to travel to South Africa for an interchange of music, culture, and pedagogy.

Jeff Moses (’92 Elem. & Sec. Ed.) is a paraeducator at Spokane’s Ridgeview Elementary in Spokane.

Kathy Russell (’92 Arch. and Arch. Studies) is an architect and project manager at Architects West and 2020 AIA Spokane president.

Stephanie Fuhrman (’93 Busi. Admin. and Finance) is head of innovation at Catalyst Housing Group in California.

Vincent June (’93 MBA, ’96 PhD Higher Ed. Admin.) is interim chancellor at South Louisiana Community College.

Davidson Hotels and Resorts has appointed Laura West Presnol (’93 Hotel & Rest. Admin.) as vice president of talent and culture. Presnol oversees all talent acquisition, training, and development across branded hotels, Pivot Hotels & Resorts, and the Davidson Restaurant Group.

Ashley Walyuchow (’94 Comm.) is the 2019-20 Red River Athletic Conference Athletic Director of the Year. Walyuchow has served as athletic director since the inception of University of Houston-Victoria (Texas) athletics in 2006. He has expanded the Jaguar program from two to six sports and 50 to 140 student-athletes. At WSU, he founded, played for, and coached the hockey club.

Darryl Wolfe (’94 Soc. St.) is the chief executive officer at Olympic Medical Center (OMC). Wolfe oversees a $221 million operations budget and nearly 1,600 employees. He joined OMC in 2006 as a financial analyst and progressed into leadership roles, including treasurer, director of administration, and chief financial officer.

Columbus City Schools in Ohio has hired Dionne A. Blue (’95 MA Elem. & Sec. Ed.) as its first-ever chief equity officer. Blue had been serving as chief diversity officer for the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation, where she was responsible for creating and implementing a comprehensive plan for diversity, equity, and inclusion at the third-largest school district in Indiana.

Miller Nash Graham & Dunn attorney Amy Robinson (’95 Poli. Sci.) recently was appointed to serve on the Washington State University Vancouver Advisory Board for WSU’s Carson College of Business. Robinson represents public and private employers throughout Washington and Oregon in a broad range of workplace-related issues.

Brian G. Bell (’97 Civ. Eng.) has joined Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions as a principal engineer after a 21-year career at Washington State Department of Transportation. He recently served WSDOT’s south central region, managing the office that prepares bid-build design packages and design-build procurement packages. Before that, Bell served the same region in construction administration, project controls and reporting, preparation of environmental impact statements, and general transportation design. At Wood, he’s managing the I-405 expansion design from Renton to Bellevue, among other infrastructure projects in Washington. He and his wife, Theresa (West) Bell (’98 Ani. Sci.) reside in Zillah.

Carrie Beebe (’98 Kinesio.) is the athletic director for Chimacum High School.

Lis PankI (’99 English) is the new dean of library and information services at Southern Illinois University.


Tammy H. Moore (’00, ’04 MN Nursing) is the new chief operating officer at Catalina Island Medical Center on Santa Catalina Island, California. She comes to the role from Summit Pacific Medical Center in Elma, where she served as chief clinical officer.

As part of his recent “In Plain Sight” exhibit, San Francisco-based artist John Osgood (’00 Lib. Arts.) participated in a virtual tour with the Voss Gallery. Osgood characterizes his style as a mix between Picasso-esque cubism and punchy, graffiti-themed visuals.

EveryMatrix appointed Stian Enger Pettersen (’01 Int. Busi.) as CEO of its dedicated casino business segment. Petterson has been working in the department of product development and BonusEngine solutions.

Mike Berentson (’02 Comm.), a foreign service officer for the Department of State, has arrived at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, to work on environment, science, technology, and health issues. His prior post was Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where he worked in consular affairs.

Natalie Masin (’02 Acc., ’12 Ag. Busi. & Tech. Systems) is the vice president of finance at A&R Logistics, a chemical-industry, supply-chain-services company in Louisville, Kentucky.

Merryman Barnes has promoted Amy Palmer (’02 Arch. ) to associate principal. Since rejoining the firm two years ago, she’s participated in the PDX Next suite of improvements at Portland International Airport and has been managing work with TriMet on the Southwest Corridor light-rail expansion effort.

Angela Taylor (’02 MS Civ. Eng.) has joined the Lewiston/Clarkston office of Keller Associates as a project manager. Taylor has 20 years of experience in water systems and environmental permitting.

ALSC Architects of Spokane has promoted Jodi Kittel (’03 Arch. ) to associate. Her recent projects include Creekside Elementary School and Amistad Elementary School.

Mitch Freeman (’04 Kinesio., ’05 Teach. Cert.) is the athletic director at Skagit Valley College.

ALSC Architects of Spokane has promoted Robin Pecka (’04, ’05 MA Int. Des.) to associate. Her current projects include the Walla Walla Community College Science and Technology Building and Highland Middle School.

Derek Tonn (’05 Busi., ’11 MBA) is the president and chief executive officer at the Tri-Cities-based Roasters Coffee chain.

Connie Dixon (’06 Acc.) has been promoted to senior accountant at Opsahl Dawson.

Erinn Quinn (’06, ’11 MS Nursing) is the director of public health for Klickitat County. As a member of the Army Reserves, she was recently deployed to San Antonio, Texas, to assist with operations command and control for medical providers treating COVID-19 patients across the country.

Melissa C. Gassett (’07 Nursing) is a clinical manager with American Mobile Healthcare in Spokane.

Colorado State University professor Kelly D. Martin (’07 PhD Busi. Admin.) is coeditor-in-chief of the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, an academic and professional publication that examines the impact of marketing and governmental policies and actions on economic performance, consumer welfare, and business decisions.

Stephanie Schisler (’08 Kinesio.) illustrated the 2020 children’s book What Would I Be If I Couldn’t Be Me? The book was written by her dad, Jim Jameson, who founded the backyard nanobrewery Foggy Noggin Brewing in Bothell.


Kendra Widger (’10 Acc.) has been promoted to senior accountant at Opsahl Dawson.

Mindi Eleazer (’11 MA Acc.) has joined Opsahl Dawson.

Ryan D. Jahn (’11 Fin.) is a partner at Baumgartner, Wagner & Jahn in Vancouver.

The Fraser Valley Bandits have signed former Washington State University guard Marcus Capers (’12 Gen. St., Soc. Sci.). He’d been with the National Basketball League of Canada’s (NBLC)London Lightning for five seasons and was a member of the 2016-17 team that won the NBLC title. He won the NBLC Defensive Player of the Year award for 2019-2020. Capers has also played pro basketball in Finland and China.

Shaun Carey (’12 PhD Ed. Leadership) is the superintendent of the Enumclaw School District.

Mark Mulder (’12 PhD Busi. Admin.) is the dean of the Pacific Lutheran University School of Business. Mulder, who has taught at PLU for eight years, is a graduate of the institution’s undergraduate business and MBA programs and former Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce board member.

Francesca (White) Williamson (’13 Biol.) earned a doctorate in curriculum and instruction (science education) and inquiry methodology from Indiana University, Bloomington. Her dissertation examined discourse in a key strategy for fostering diversity, equity, and inclusivity in STEM learning environments. At WSU, Williamson participated in TRiO Student Support Services, the McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, Coalition for Women Students, Black Women’s Caucus, and the Xi Psi Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

Jim Crawford (’15 Comm.) is the communications director at the Denver-based CoPeace diversified holding company.

Justin Jenks (’16 Acc.) has been promoted to senior accountant at Opsahl Dawson.

John Lilley (’17 MBA), who served in the U.S. Air Force as a firefighter and paramedic, is vice president of organ operations at Donor Network West, the federally designated organ procurement organization for Northern California and Northern Nevada.

Cody Rathbun (’17 Arch.) has joined Bernardo Wills Architects as a computer-aided design and building information modeling technician.

Justin Schauer (’17 Acc.) has joined Opsahl Dawson.

Derek Bayley (’18 Ed.) won the Reno Open, earning an exemption into the PGA Tour’s Barracuda Championship. It was Bayley’s first win as a pro, but he twice captured the Rosauers Open as an amateur. Both times, he declined the first-place prize monies in order to maintain his amateur status.

Kerbie Barrantes (’19 PhD Nursing Practice) is a doctor of nursing practice at Grays Harbor Community Hospital’s Montesano Clinic.

Alexa Hollingsworth (’19 DVM) is a veterinarian at the Humane Society of Weld County in Evans, Colorado.


John Polen (’20 Acc.) has joined Opsahl Dawson as an associate after interning with the firm last tax season.

Oakpointe Communities has hired Jack Sparks (’20 Chem. Eng.) as project engineer to help develop Ten Trails, a master planned community located in Black Diamond.

Connor Stanton (’20 Acc.) has joined Railsback Johnson as an accountant.