Class Notes — Spring/Summer 2018

Towns are in Minnesota unless noted. Alumni names appear in bold. Send Class Notes information and photos to or call toll free: 1-877-BSU-ALUM.

Class of 2017

Sarah Anderson works for the city of Willmar as an urban planner after compleing a GIS internship with Cass County’s Environmental Services Department and a research project on political geography in Kenya. She lives in Kandiyohi.
Lynnea Iverson sings and plays with the Iverson Family, a multi-generational band that includes her sister Jenessa and their mother, Kathy. They perform traditional hymns and original songs at church functions and community events. Iverson lives in Grand Rapids, where she is a vocal music teacher at Robert J. Elkington Middle School.
Lynnea Iverson '17 (left) with her sister Jenessa (right) and her mother, Kathy.
Lynnea Iverson ’17 (left) with her sister Jenessa (right) and her mother, Kathy.
Taylor Sabol became an accounting associate with CliftonLarsonAllen in Brainerd. Sabol previously interned with the firm, where she provides tax and consulting services. She lives in Brainerd.
Tyler Smith was promoted from teller to credit analyst at Security Bank USA in Bemidji, where he has worked since April 2017. He lives in Bemidji.
Tyler Smith 2017
Danny Tuckett is an environmental technician for Big Stone County’s Environmental Service Department, where he oversees a committee tasked with public education about aquatic invasive species. He also works for the county as a feedlot officer and licensed boat inspector. Tuckett lives in Ortonville with his wife, Brenna, and their infant child.

Class of 2016

Emma Guthrie was accepted into the rhetoric and writing doctoral program at Bowling Green State University, where she will be responsible for teaching two writing courses as part of a teaching assistantship. Guthrie received her master’s degree in English from Bemidji State in 2018. She lives in Menahga.
Anna Rausch began working for Westberg Eischens PLLP in Willmar and earned her CPA designation from the Minnesota Board of Accountancy. Her primary duties are auditing, compilation and review services. Rausch lives in Willmar.

Class of 2015

Joe Stusynski was hired as a residence hall coordinator at Lake Superior State University. He oversees Brady Hall, a 196-student residence hall, and its 11 student staff members. Stusynski lives in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
Kelsey Sutton has published four young adult novels. Her works have received numerous awards, including the Best Teen Book of 2013 award from Kirkus Reviews for her story “Some Quiet Place.” She lives in Minneapolis.

Class of 2014

Tanner Emery opened Tonka Insurance Agency in Spring Park. He previously was an agent for State Farm. Emery lives in Watertown.
Kristie Harmon has been a victim’s advocate for Headwaters Intervention Center and Family Crisis Center in Bagley since 2015. She assists victims of domestic violence. She has three daughters and lives in Bagley.
Ashley Millner of Cottage Grove has been a registered nurse at DeVita Dialysis Center in St. Paul since 2016. She previously worked as a nurse at Sanford Health in Bemidji. Millner is engaged to Ryan Pierre (’12), a police officer with the Cottage Grove Police Department.
Ashley Millner & Ryan Pierre
Ashley Millner & Ryan Pierre
Heather Rogosheske is coordinator of the Working Together Coalition, a volunteer-based organization dedicated to drug and alcohol abuse prevention that places volunteer community members with teens in the with teens in Northland High School in Remer and the Pine River-Backus and Walker-Akeley Hackensack school districts. She lives near Hackensack with her husband, Dan, and their two children.

Class of 2013

Kari (Balduc) Kennepohl is a registered nurse at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska. Working in the Progressive Care Unit, she often works with patients needing close observation of heart rhythms following open heart surgery or treatment of other cardiac conditions. She and her husband, Richard, live in Anchorage and have one child.
Alexa Schillinger works as a physician’s assistant at Sanford Health in Bemidji in the orthopedics and sports medicine department. Prior to earning her physician’s assistant title, she worked at Sanford in various areas including orthopedics, emergency medicine and women’s health. She lives in Bemidji.

Class of 2012

Bryce Tesdahl is in his second year as head boys basketball coach at East Ridge High School in Woodbury. In his first year, Tesdahl led the Raptors to a 23-6 season — tied for the most single-season wins in school history, as well as a first-ever postseason appearance and their highest conference ranking in program history. Prior to accepting the position at East Ridge, Tesdahl coached boys basketball at New Prague High School and was the men’s basketball graduate assistant coach at the University of Minnesota Duluth. He and his wife, Becky, live in Woodbury.
Emily (Beito) Johnson is an accountant at Marvin Windows and Doors in Warroad. She is married to Brady Johnson (’11), who teaches middle and high school social studies in Badger. The couple have two children and live in Roseau.
Emily & Brady Johnson
Emily & Brady Johnson
Emily (Wendland) Krueger is a graphic artist whose illustrations and designs appear in a variety of children’s books, magazines, greeting cards and retail stores. One of her most recent projects, a children’s book titled “Goodnight Server Room,” helps children understand the inner workings of a computer server room. Krueger and her husband, Steven (’11), have one child and live in Esko.
Emily Krueger holds up a childrens book she created the illustrations for. Other projects are spread on the table, including cards, coloring books and an artist book with a short section about her. Jamie Lund/Pine Journal

Class of 2011

Mark Thode owns and manages Mark Thode Photography. Although his work consists of mostly weddings, family and graduation portraits and natural landscapes, he recently produced portraits of World War II and Korean War veterans in tribute to their service. Thode also works full-time as at graphic artist at Pipestone Publishing. He lives in Pipestone.
Carissa (Meech) Mitchell co-owns and operates AIM Chiropractic in Perham with her husband, Nick. After graduating from Bemidji State with a degree in biology and a minor in chemistry, Mitchell attended Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, where she earned her Doctor of Chiropractic degree. The couple lives in Perham.

Class of 2010

Marinda Balcer has taught fifth grade since 2011 at Clearbrook-Gonvick Elementary School, where she began as a substitute. She lives in Clearbook and has two children.
Chris McKelvie became head men’s hockey coach at Bethel University in St. Paul. McKelvie, who helped lead Bemidji State to the 2009 NCAA Frozen Four tournament, spent seven seasons playing professional hockey in the American Hockey League before joining Army West Point as an assistant coach in 2016. He and his wife, Courtney, live in New Brighton with their two children.
Brett Nelson is now a large lake specialist for Lake of the Woods with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. He will oversee annual lake assessments and research. For the past four years, Nelson was a fisheries specialist in the DNR’s Baudette office. He lives in Baudette.

Class of 2007

Amanda (Rezac) Allen is creative design manager at Compass Group, a food service company, where she has worked since 2011 in a variety of graphic design roles. She and her husband, Nathan, live in Huntersville, N.C. They have one child.

Class of 2006

Jesse Frost teaches automotive, manufacturing, computer science, and robotics courses and drivers education at Cass Lake-Bena High School. He lives in Bemidji.
Jeremy Nordick will begin working this fall as activities director for Park Rapids Area Schools. He also will coach football at Park Rapids High School. Nordick previously spent 12 years teaching physical education and health in addition to coaching football and basketball at Menahga High School. He and his wife, Andria, live in Menagha with their two children.
Mychal Stittsworth is one of three Bemidj-area entrepreneurs who participated in an April 3 panel discussion for Minnesota Public Radio’s “Conversations on the Creative Economy” series. He and his wife, Danielle (Dahle ’09), in 2010 bought the business that was established in 1993 by Stittsworth’s father and uncle. They live in Bemidji with their two children.

Class of 2005

Jaime Rowlette has been promoted to assistant vice president – mortgage lending at RiverWood Bank in Baxter. He joined RiverWood as a mortgage lender in 2011. Rowlette is a past Sertoma Club president and a member of Greater Lakes Area Realtors and the Mid-Minnesota Builders Association. He and his wife, Shana, live in Lake Shore. They have two children and are expecting a third in August.

Class of 2004

Nate Haskell has been promoted to bank market president of Bank Forward’s Bemidji office. He joined Bank Forward in 2012 as a commercial loan officer and has 13 years of banking and finance experience. His wife, Jamie (Johnson ’04), was a member of the 2006 U.S. Women’s Olympic Curling Team and works as a loan report processor at First National Bank – Bemidji. The couple lives in Bemidji.
Nate Haskell

Class of 2003

Willow (Goldsmith) Christen has worked as a kindergarten teacher at Clearbrook-Gonvick for the past nine years after a previous position in school readiness. She and her husband, Scott, live in Fosston with their two children.
Melanie (Hoheisel) DeBay is community education director for the Itasca area schools. She lives in Grand Rapids with her husband, Ryan (’04), who is assistant principal at Robert J. Elkington Middle School. They have three children.
Melanie & Ryan DeBay
Melanie & Ryan DeBay
Aaron Kallhoff is an assistant women’s basketball coach for the Louisiana State University Tigers. He previously coached at Texas Christian University, where he helped the Horned Frogs reach the postseason during the 2015-16 season, winning two postseason games for the first time since 2008. Kalhoff and his wife, Josie, live in Baton Rouge, La., with their three children.

Class of 2002

Eric Austin has been appointed as a labor representative for the Southwest Minnesota Workforce Development Board, where he serves bargaining units in both the public and private sectors. He formerly taught middle and high school at Becker High School for 14 years before serving as a labor representative for AFCSME Council 65, a position he still holds. Austin and his wife, Amanda, live in Becker with their four children.

Class of 2001

Yoong Shan (Shaniz) Chan is corporate communications manager at Sunway Medical Center in southwest Malaysia. She supervises public relations, advertising, digital marketing, graphic design and event planning efforts for the hospital. Chan lives with her husband and two children in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Class of 2000

Miranda (Clausen) Anderson has joined RiverWood Bank as vice president/marketing manager. Based in Baxter, she is responsible for overseeing marketing strategies for RiverWood’s 10 northern and central Minnesota branches. Anderson most recently worked as director of communications for Essentia Health. Her husband, Chuck (2001), teaches fourth grade at Baxter Elementary School. They live in Merrifield and have three children.

Class of 1999

Jeremy Rychlock was inducted into the Northland Athletic Hall of Fame in February. He earned all-conference and all-region honors in football at Northland Community College in Thief River Falls before transferring to Bemidji State. He is a parole officer for the Minnesota Department of Corrections. Rychlock and his wife, Elaine, live in Grygla with their two children.

Class of 1998

Joey Anderson owns and operates Moon Maker Designs, a provider of rings, necklaces, pendants and other custom jewelry. He also works as an aquatic invasive species inspector for the Minneapolis Parks Board. Anderson lives in St. Paul.

Class of 1997

Christine Anderson is a small business specialist and consultant for the Small Business Development Center at University of Minnesota Crookston. She provides assistance and training for business strategy development. Previously, Anderson was economic development director for Pennington County. She lives in Thief River Falls.
Nicole (Olson) Beitz was hired by Moore Engineering, Inc. as an accounting assistant in the company’s West Fargo office after a career as an accounting specialist for the city of Fosston. She lives in West Fargo with her husband, Jim.
Linda Brown has joined Clearbrook-Gonvick High School as an art teacher. For 11 previous years, she was an assistant professor of visual arts Bemidji State and also taught at Trek North High School in Bemidji and Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis. She lives in Bagley.

Class of 1995

Mindi (Steinbrink) Brill was nominated for Teacher of the Year in the Pequot Lakes school district by Education Minnesota Pequot Lakes. She has taught first grade in the Pequot Lakes school district for 21 years and was girls head tennis coach from 1997-2003. Brill and her husband, Wade, live in Breezy Point. They have three children.

Class of 1994

Lisa (Kavanaugh) Barnett is chief operating officer for software developer GrowthZone. The company sells its products to chambers of commerce and other member-based organizations. Barnett and her husband, Ryan, have one daughter, who will be attending BSU in the fall. The couple lives in East Gull Lake.

Class of 1992

Jeremy Bauer was hired as chief information officer of Code42, a Minneapolis-based information technology and data security company with additional offices in Denver, London and Munich. He has more than 15 years of industry experience, including executive roles with several information technology companies. Bauer and his wife, Jennifer, have two daughters and live in Apple Valley.
Steve Erickson retired after 23 years as the building and zoning official for the city of Chisholm. He lives in Side Lake with his wife, Joette. They have two grown children.

Class of 1991

Brenda Beckwith received the Maine Association of Basketball Coaches’ Bob Brown Contributor Award for her prior service as executive secretary of the organization. She also will be inducted into the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame in August. An accomplished high school and college basketball player, Beckwith coaches boys basketball and teaches physical education at Winslow High School. She and her partner, Terry, live in Winslow, Maine. They have four children.
Karen Busch owns Paws Hoofs Claws, providing on-site care for pets and livestock. She taught English at Lake Superior College for 25 years before moving to Fertile in 2016 to start her business and be closer to family.
Cindy (Smith) Swenson trains and mentors teachers as an education consultant for the National Joint Powers Alliance. She worked 24 years as an elementary and middle school teacher with the Staples-Motley School District. Her husband, Greg (’92), teaches social studies at Forestview Middle School in Brainerd. They live in Baxter and have two children.

Class of 1987

Art “Lee” Nash is an associate professor of energy at the University of Alaska – Fairbanks School of Natural Resources and Extension. He also has served the past four years as service area commissioner for a local public works organization, a position he plans to retire from this summer. Nash and his wife, Carrie, live in Fairbanks. They have three children.

Class of 1986

Todd Waletzki was promoted to president of the payroll division at BenefitMall, a provider of employee benefits and payroll services. He joined the company in 2015 as chief operating officer after executive roles with CapitalOne, CompuPay and AOL. Waletzki and his wife, Michelle, live in Plano, Texas. They have two children and one grandchild.
Tammy (Radtke) Phelps retired from the Cass Lake-Bena school district after 31 years teaching kindergarten, first grade, third grade and, most recently, working as an instructional coach. She lives in Bemidji with her husband, Richard (’80), who is a realtor. They have three children.

Class of 1983

Jane Latimer showcased her watercolor paintings as a featured artist at the MacRostie Art Center gallery in Grand Rapids during the month of May as part of the Little Big Show exhibit. She lives in Grand Rapids.
Dave Looby of Maple Grove is the president/CEO of Minneapolis Northwest Tourism, a nonprofit organization that promotes the cities of Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park and Maple Grove. He and his wife, JoAnn, have one daughter.

Class of 1982

Fred Bach is a regional sales manager at Stanley Healthcare, where he leads a team that develops safety and efficiency solutions for the health care industry. He has worked in health care sales for more than 25 years. Bach and his wife, Kathy (Wilson ’82), live in Naperville, Ill. They have two grown children.

Class of 1981

John Madsen ’81 will be inducted into the Minnesota High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame this fall. The Lake Crystal-Wellcome-Memorial baseball coach and middle school teacher ranks 25th on the state’s all-time wins list with a record of 389-228. He and his wife, Jeanne, live in Lake Crystal. They have two grown children.

Class of 1977

Sue McElmury is a sales development leader for Honeywell International Inc., a position she has held for 15 of her 37 years with the company. She prepares teams to sell building technology solutions. McElmury lives in Stillwater and has one child.

Class of 1974

Army Lt. Col. Lee Norman, MD, returned in March from the Middle East, where he oversaw the medical care and health of 11,000 soldiers spread over 11 countries as the 35th Infantry Division Surgeon. He is senior vice president and chief medical officer at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Norman lives in Kansas City, Mo.

Class of 1971

Scott Carlson returned from a two-week exploration of Antarctica in March. No stranger to the cold, he has explored both the Arctic Circle and Antarctica. Carlson is retired after a long career with Genuine Parts Company (parent company of NAPA). He and his wife, Marilyn, live in Thornton, Colo., and have one child.

Class of 1970

Alice (Gummert) Hofstad was one of three women named Women of Honor by Thief River Falls’ American Association of University Women. She retired in 2006 after a 35-year career as an educator and librarian, primarily in northwest Minnesota. Hofstad and her husband, Les (’70), live in Plummer and have two children.

Class of 1967

Bill Stimac is a play-by-play radio announcer for high school athletics in the Mille Lacs area. After retiring from a 35-year career teaching language arts at Northland High School near Remer and 10 years as a corrections officer for the Aitken County Sheriff’s Office, he has covered volleyball, football, basketball, softball and baseball games for KKIN FM in Aitken since 2005. Stimac, who lives in Garrison, has two children.
Roger Wilson was inducted into the 2018 Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association’s David Bartelma Wrestling Hall of Fame. A four-year starter on the Bemidji State wrestling team, Wilson went on to spend 35 years teaching business and physical education at schools in Holdingford, Granite Falls and St. Cloud. He spent 11 years as a high school wrestling coach and 52 years as a wrestling official. Wilson lives in Sauk Rapids with his wife, Dorothy. They have four children.

Class of 1966

Richard Weis presented an exhibit of his contemporary art, titled “Of Time and Place,” at the Slate Valley Museum in Grantville, N.Y. From 1989 to 2010, Weis was member of the art faculty at Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vt., and he also served in the Vietnam War as an Army illustrator. He and his wife, Nancy, live in Castleton, Vt.