IOWA Alumni Magazine | February 2013
Class Notes February 2013

* denotes membership in the UI Alumni Association.


Inara M. Verzemnieks, a UI M.F.A. candidate in creative nonfiction, received the 2012 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer's Award, given to young female writers who show promise in their careers.


Chelsea J. Behrens*, 11BA, is a website coordinator for ACT in Iowa City.

Annie M. Galus*, 10BA, is a second-grade teacher with Hawthorn School District 73 in Vernon Hills, Ill.

Lindsay M. Thul*, 11BA, is a sales manager for Hotel Blackhawk in Davenport, Iowa.

Tim Werges*, 10BBA, is a loan officer with Liberty National Bank in Sioux Falls, S.D.


Kevin L. Chlarson*, 00PhD, is director at Middleton Reutlinger law firm in Louisville, Ky.

Jacob A. Daniels*, 08BA, is a consumer loan underwriter for Wells Fargo in Des Moines.

Nicole Schaa Ehn, 04BS, 09MD, 09F, a family physician at Webster City Medical Clinic in Webster, Iowa, recently received a Farm Bureau Rural Family Medicine Scholarship during the Iowa Academy of Family Physicians' annual meeting in Des Moines.

Stephanie J. Ellett Greiner, 03BA, is director of development at Des Moines University in Des Moines.

Nathan S. Hoks, 03MFA, 05MA, a part-time teacher at Columbia College and an editor and letterpress printer for the Convulsive Editions micro-press in Chicago, recently won the National Poetry Series for his second collection, The Narrow Circle.

Charles C. "Chuck" Larson, 03BA, a company commander in the Selected Marine Corps Reserve and an instructor for the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, recently returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan to resume his law practice at Scheldrup Blades in Des Moines.

Laura E. Bieri Latham, 09BBA, 12JD, is a corporate associate with the Faegre Baker Daniels law firm in Des Moines.

Nikolas S. May*, 06BS, 11MD, is a resident physician at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colo.

Mark P. Simons, 05PhD, division head of the microbiology, immunology, and molecular diagnostics laboratory department at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, is a certified diplomate of the American Board of Medical Microbiology.

Gabriele Villarini, 08PhD, a UI IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering assistant research engineer in Iowa City, recently received the Italian Group of Hydraulics' Premio Evangelista Torricelli, a prestigious award for the best young Italian researcher working in hydraulics and hydrology.

Jamie M. Wallace, 09MD, a family physician at Mt. Vernon Family Medicine in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, recently was awarded a Farm Bureau Rural Family Medicine Scholarship at the Iowa Academy of Family Physicians' annual meeting in Des Moines.

Summer Zickefoose, 00BA, 00BFA, a visiting assistant art professor at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pa., had her artwork displayed recently in the Approach exhibition at the Lexington Art League in Lexington, Ky., and at the New Country: Ruralism in Contemporary Art exhibition at the Claypool-Young Art Gallery at Morehead State University in Morehead, Ky.


Tracey Truhlar Bianchi, 95BA, of Elmhurst, Ill., an author of two books about motherhood and a pastor of women's ministry at Christ Church of Oak Brook in Oak Brook, Ill., has been named one of the "50 Women You Should Know" in the October 2012 issue of Christianity Today for her environmental advocacy and support of women in developing countries.

Michelle M. Bruty, 94MA, a school counselor at Bettendorf Middle School in Bettendorf, Iowa, has been named the Iowa School Counselor Association's 2012 Iowa Middle School Counselor of the Year.

Christine E. Brock Carstens*, 95BA, director of employee benefits at Hughes Network Systems, a satellite broadband provider in Germantown, Md., has been named Employee Benefit News magazine's 2012 Professional of the Year.

Rickey L. Hall*, 92BA, 95MA, is the newly appointed founding vice chancellor of diversity and chief diversity officer at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and will assume this post in June.

Janice L. Wiitala, 90BSE, director of research and development for the Healthcare Financial Management Association in Westchester, Ill., has been inducted into the Theta Tau Alumni Hall of Fame Laureates for her service to the professional engineering fraternity.


Robert W. Ash, 80MA, the winningest football coach at Montana State University in Bozeman, Mont., recently received the 2012 FCS Region 5 Co-Coach of the Year Award from the American Football Coaches Association.

Suzanne Michele Chouteau, 85MA, 88MFA, professor and chair of the art department at Xavier University in Cincinnati, recently had her work included in the International Print Triennial, a worldwide printmaking exhibition at the Bunkier Sztuki Contemporary Art Gallery in Krakow, Poland.

Shelley A. Klaas, 84MA, a school counselor at Neil Armstrong Elementary School in Bettendorf, Iowa, was one of six national finalists for the American School Counselor Association's 2012 School Counselor of the Year Award.

Todd S. Peterson*, 81BBA, is president of North American Lubricants in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Kesho Y. Scott, 88PhD, chair of the sociology department at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, has launched the "Books for Beijing Campaign" to open an American Studies English library in Beijing, China.

Linda M. Grall Wessel*, 84BSPh, is a pharmacist at Trinity Retail Pharmacy in Moline, Ill.


Joan M. Backes*, 72BA, an artist, recently had her work featured in exhibitions at the Francine Seders Gallery in Seattle and at the New Bedford Art Museum in New Bedford, Mass.

Richard C. Coffin*, 73BA, an attorney with the Barg Coffin Lewis & Trapp law firm in San Francisco, has been named to the 2012 Northern California Super Lawyers and The Best Lawyers in America 2013 lists.

Ann M. Gibbs Lehan*, 76BSPh, and Timothy J. Lehan*, 76BSPh, pharmacists and owners of Lehan Drugs in DeKalb, Ill., are the Illinois Retail Merchants Association's 2012 Illinois Retailers of the Year.

Julia Cowan Novak*, 72BSN, 76MA, is executive director of the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio (UTHSCSA) Student Health Center, the Employee Health and Wellness Clinic, and the UT Nursing Clinical Enterprise, as well as professor and vice dean for practice and engagement for the School of Nursing.

Roger R. Throndson*, 79DDS, chief of service at University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, was a recent nominee of the 9th District Dental Society for the Texas Academy of General Dentistry's Dentist of the Year Award.


Sheridan Simons Cole*, 61BA, a retired school administrator, recently directed Rabbit Hole, a Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, at the Westchester Playhouse in Los Angeles.

Hualing Nieh Engle, 66MFA, co-founder of the UI International Writing Program in Iowa City, has received the university's 2012 International Impact Award for her contributions to promoting global understanding.

Lyle D. Nott*, 68BSPh, is a pharmacist at Hy-Vee in Iowa Falls, Iowa.

Marvin L. Swanson*, 68BS, 71MD, is a full-time faculty member in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Colorado in Denver, Colo.

John R. Wunder*, 67BA, 70MA, 70JD, an emeritus professor of history and journalism at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, recently received the Mari Sandoz Heritage Society's In the Spirit of Mari Sandoz Award for his dedication to understanding Nebraska history and the people who settled the High Plains, and Susan

Anderson Wunder*, 69BA, 71MA, is an associate education professor at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

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