Class of 2003
January 2008

5-Year Reunion ― October 3 & 4, 2008

Dear Class of ’03,

Of all the decisions I’ve made over my academic career, I’m beginning to think re-applying for grad school was one of the best and yet least thought-out decisions I’ve made.  Higher degree?  Check!  Passionate discussions about health care, politics, and social justice?  Check!  Thirty-page papers?  …Wait, what?!

That being said, like many of you, I’m back in grad school.  I’m enrolled in the public health administration and policy masters program at the University of Minnesota.  And for those of you who said it couldn’t be done, I am using my women’s studies degree from Gustavus!  The women’s studies department, for those of you who didn’t get a chance to fit it into your schedules, was the perfect place to have those “Aha!” moments regarding everything from political science to philosophy to cultural studies, all of which in turn feed directly into public health issues like cultural sensitivity in health care and providing increased health care access to the uninsured.  I’m sure each of you can remember such discoveries in your own programs at Gustavus, whether in the poli sci, religion, education, or any number of other departments.

Aside from feeding a passion for social justice issues, Gustavus has certainly laid a foundation for my studies in public health.  I feel prepared for the rigorous grad school academic setting (even after four years off), I feel as though my writing ability is still at a pretty high level, and I guess I have a reputation for bringing the pain when it comes to health care debates.  You can bet that’s a direct result of late-night discussions on all things political over at Nate Kennedy, Drew Hasty, and Eric Parrish’s Arborview apartment during senior year!

In the end, though, my best memories of Gustavus don’t come solely from my academic experience—they come from my heart:  Late-night Taizé services in Christ Chapel, locking arm in arm with fellow choir members to sing the Circle Song, midnight Mankato runs with Paulie Biederman and Dan Roeder, all-night Halo marathons with housemates Brian Collins, his [now] wife Debbie, Josh Whitver, Justin Caldwell, Ben Kooiker, and Annie Johnson Selander.  Each of you has these funny, quirky, perfect memories, and I encourage you to foster them in future Gusties by contributing to the Gustavus Fund, or becoming a member of the Cec Eckhoff Society like I did.  Yep, giving to Gustavus means so much to us that my fiancé and I have pledged to give every year for the rest of our lives.

Best wishes for a peaceful, inspiring, and safe spring.  Watch out for those snow emergencies.  Me, I’m off to pack for a short Florida vacation with Lyle White before spring semester and the VocalEssence concert season starts back up.  See you in October!

Allie Hawley

2003 Guest Letter Writer

Before we leap into the classmate info, here is a very important announcement about Erika Royer.  Erika has had some fairly serious health issues throughout the past year, and some fellow Gusties are hosting a benefit for her in Minneapolis on January 26th.  You can find out more information at Erika’s Caring Bridge site:  http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/erikaroyer.

Also, we have one correction from last month’s letter.  Becca Anderson, not Becca Bosen Anderson, graduated from the University of Minnesota medical school in May 2007 and started a combined medicine/pediatrics residency in June 2007.  She is living in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Classmate Updates (in alphabetical order)

  • Morgan Barkus is attending grad school at Argosy University for marriage and family therapy.
  • Nicholas Brase is living in New York and working as a business analyst for UBS Investment Bank.
  • Britt Brown is now married and living in Sweden.
  • Katie Pelleymounter married Andrew Carlson on August 8, 2007.  They live in St. Louis Park.
  • Anndi Daleske is attending grad school at Tulane University for a theatrical design MFA.  She is also working at Olney Theatre Center as the properties artisan manager.
  • Cindy Miller Erkel is working as a bookkeeper for Soderlund Village Drug.
  • Joe Erickson is a senior accountant for Health Partners.
  • Jack Evans is working for Weld Riley Prenn Ricci.
  • Jody Anderson was married to Philip Gabler on August 20, 2007.  She also completed her master’s in teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from American University.
  • Gina Johnson was married to Casey Garven in October 2007.
  • Kyle Hall is living in St. Paul and working for Stork Twin Cities Testing.
  • Diana Hamilton works for the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis as a youth law project attorney.
  • Elizabeth Jensen is working for Land Title, Inc.
  • Nathan Kennedy is a graduate student at the University of Minnesota.
  • Julie Langenfeld is a health and physical education teacher for Medford Public Schools.
  • Emily Johnson Mamun is a product marketing specialist for United Healthcare.
  • John and Katie Mueller had a son, Noah James Mueller, on July 29, 2007.
  • Kallie Lundmark married Benjamin Norton on September 29, 2007.
  • Andrew Odden is a medical student in the University of Minnesota, Department of Internal Medicine.
  • Alicia Jacobs married Thomas Osthus ’04 on September 16, 2006.  Thomas is the vice president of operations for R.C. Thomas Company, LLC, and Alicia is a CPA with Myslajek, Ltd.
  • Katie Josephson Ploog works for Taylor Strategic Accounts and lives in Mankato.
  • Anna Pouliot is a teacher at the Middle School in North Branch, MN, and is now a JV cross country coach there as well.
  • Jake Sand recently completed coursework for membership in the PGA.  He is currently working at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale, AZ as a first assistant golf professional.
  • Tom Scott with Edina Realty was nominated for the third year in a row for the “Super Real Estate Agent” award by Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine.
  • Sarah Splinter is a police officer with the New Ulm Police Department.  She is the School Resource Officer/Patrol Officer.
  • Jennifer Thingvold is living in Belgium and works as a counterterrorism analyst.
  • Jenny Thomas is a teacher in Shakopee Public Schools, and completed her master’s in education from St. Mary’s University in June 2006.
  • Amy Tillges is a project manager for Martin Williams.
  • Erin Tousley is an administrator and care supervisor with MillBrook Homes in Greenwood Village, CO.  She lives in Denver.
  • Andrew and Michelle (Welshons) Traetow had their first child, Norah Ann, on March 19, 2007.  Andrew also completed his master’s in education from St. Mary’s University in October.
  • Jen Hill Trundle owns a day care/preschool, and lives in Queen Creek, AZ.
  • Matthew and Kara (Wachlarowicz ’01) Wallace had a baby boy, Benjamin James, on October 30, 2007.
  • Anne Wenstrom is living and working in Singapore.
  • Jennifer Wood is a special education paraprofessional in the Hopkins school district.
  • Brandon Wright graduated from law school and is now a judicial law clerk in the 8th Judicial District, Minnesota Trial Courts.

Campus News

Alumni Insurance Programs

The Alumni Association sponsors insurance products for alumni, spouses, children, and parents.  Products include life insurance, auto, home and renters insurance, and short-term medical insurance to fill temporary needs of new alumni without insurance after graduation and others who may have gaps due to unemployment.  For information about life and short-term medical insurance, call 800-635-7801.  For information about auto, home, and renters insurance, call:  800-524-9400, (800-328-0705, ext. 552 in the Greater Twin Cities area).

Gustavus Music Showcase

The three international touring music ensembles at Gustavus Adolphus College — The Gustavus Choir, the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, and the Gustavus Wind Orchestra —  will perform at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 9 at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.  Tickets for the concert are on sale through the Orchestra Hall box office and may be purchased in-person, online at:  www.minnesotaorchestra.org/boxoffice/, and via fax or phone at 612-371-5656.  Tickets are $22 for adults and $12 for children ages 6-18 and current Gustavus students with a valid I.D.

College Relations blog

Gustavus College Relations staff has introduced a new blog that will offer commentary and news on a variety of topics pertinent to the campus community as well as some photography, video, and audio content.  During the month of January the blog will feature the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra’s China tour and observations on several January Interim classes.  The new blog can be read at:  www.collegerelations.blog.gustavus.edu.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast  - Jan. 16
  • Gustavus Gathering in Phoenix/Sun City, AZ - Jan. 21
  • Gustavus Gathering in Tucson, AZ - Jan 22.
  • Winter Reunion Committee Retreat, Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church, 8:30 a.m. – Feb. 23
  • For more information on alumni events, go to:  gustavus.edu/alumni/events