Class of '98
November 1998

Hello fellow alumni!

Can you believe it has been almost eight months since we graduated?! Just think this time last year we were at the end of our last J-term and approaching our last term as undergraduates! I think I can safely say that we, in no way, could foresee everything that was in our future! In some ways time has flown and in others it has dragged kicking and screaming!!

But overall the Real World ain’t too bad. I hope you have all adjusted: found jobs, found new living arrangements, found life mates, traveled to new places, etc. From what I’ve heard the class of 1998 is doing very well! So let’s cut to the chase, shall we?! I’m sure you are all curious to how everyone is doing, so let me fill you in!

First off I’ll get myself out of the way. Christine Nelson has been acting with Hey City Theatre in Tony ‘n’ Tina’s Wedding since the beginning of December. She is also directing Brooklyn Center High School’s one-act play, and is teaching acting with StageCoach Theatre Arts.

Now for my best friend: Nicole Kromminga is singing, dancing, and acting in Chanhassen Dinner Theatre’s musical Good News. The show opened in September so some of you may have already seen it. However, Nickie now has a new part, so it is definitely worth seeing again!

Next is my roommate: Terra Kay Thompson is working as a staff accountant with Ritchie, Luukkonen, Campbell, & Co. Ltd. She is enjoying working in downtown Minneapolis, but her true joy is in coming home from a long day’s work and hanging out with her roommate! Terra is contemplating going to law school to eventually pursue a career in…"whatever."

  • Carolyn Christensen is having the time of her life residing in New York City! She is employed with Bates USA Advertising Agency in Strategic Planning. She is too busy to think straight, but loves it none the less!
  • Kristina Johnson is working for an AmeriCorps non-profit group called The Eye in California. She works primarily with Mexican-American children between the ages of 13 and 18, mentoring and tutoring.
  • Jeffrey Mauk is working as a house manager for a small fringe theatre in Seattle called Book-It Repertory Theatre.
  • Kari Lipke is working with VISTA at Gustavus, but is spending the month of January in Germany.
  • Joe Wahlberg and Carl Lockrem have spent the fall and winter in England and plan to return to Minnesota in April. They are anxiously awaiting a friendly, fellow alum visitor who will spend a week with them in February.
  • Bradley Peterson works at Anderson Consulting.
  • Erik S. Eckman’s official job is a lab technician with the Diabetes Institute at the University of Minnesota, although he insists he is also paid by the government to kill rats and take out their pancreases.
  • Robert J. Fossum is attending graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, studying geography. Rumor has it he is still haunted by nightmares of a classmate vomiting in front of him in the Gustavus theatre building.
  • David M. Johnson is attending graduate school for physical therapy at the University of Minnesota.
  • Jessica J. Hansen is working in Minneapolis public schools as a fourth and fifth grade teacher.
  • Rob Castille is working as a tennis pro at Flagship Athletic Club in Eden Prarie.
  • Deena Krohn is a middle school band and choir director at Monticello Middle School.
  • Jenel Anderson was married to Brent Wavra on August 15, 1998.
  • Jessica Hansen Wood is working as a third grade teacher at Tesseract School in Eagan and was married to Erik Wood ‘97 on August 15, 1998.
  • Paul S. Tarnowski is working as a residential counselor for Volunteers of America/Bar-None.
  • Ty J. Totzke manages 401K plans for corporate companies for Merrill-Lynch Company in Denver.
  • Kevin Conrad is a health and wellness specialist at the Mayo Clinic.
  • Alicia Sutphen is a programmer analyst for Minnesota Mutual.
  • Ivy Borgstrom is a stipended volunteer for LVC youth ministry.
  • Rachel Whitcomb is a consultant/engineer for Control Data Systems Inc.
  • Sarah Young is an event planner for Suzanne’s Cuisine.
  • April Smith is a life benefits specialist/claims examiner for Lutheran Brotherhood.
  • Stephanie A. Johs is a student of physical therapy at the University of Osteopathic Medicine and Helath Sciences.
  • Molly Bohn is a physical therapy student at Northwestern University.
  • Heather Knoebel is a physical therapy student at the University of Minnesota.
  • Mary Ann Dodd is a communication arts teacher in the Appleton Area School District.
  • Andrew Heintz is an internal auditor for TCF Financial Corporation.
  • Jennifer Koehnen is an associate marketing analyst for Fingerhut in Minnetonka.
  • Jenny Smith is a fifth grade teacher at Park Elementary School in Hutchinson, MN.
  • Ted Rice is student teaching at Nicollet Public School in Nicollet, MN.
  • Molly Schroder is a fifth grade teacher at Tesseract School in Eagan, MN.
  • Rebecca Tyrpa is a financial analyst for Andersen Consulting.
  • Jennifer Stange works as a line cook at Palomino Evro Bistro.
  • Melissa Flemming was married to Bryan Hand on June 27, 1998.
  • Jennifer M. Robe is attending the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago.
  • Christine St. Hilaire is a third grade teacher with Chisago Schools.
  • Angie Henrickson works as a sales representative for Virtual Technology Corporation.
  • Stacy Gans works as a first grade teacher and coach for the Waconia School District.
  • Molly Milinkovich is a children’s minister at St. Andrew Lutheran Church.
  • Ben Knaus is a full-time youth counselor at the Leo A. Hoffman Center in St. Peter.
  • Jodi M. Metz is a supervisor at Community Bio Resources in Mankato.
  • Thomas Kelsey is an academic services associate for Walden University in Minneapolis.
  • Karrie Erickson is a preschool teacher at Playworks in Prior Lake and recently became engaged to Jay Rasmusson ‘96.
  • Denielle Denise Salmonson married Antonio E. Velasquez ‘96 on August 29, 1998 and they are living in Florida.
  • Karin Hogberg is working as a music teacher and minister of children’s music at Redeemer Lutheran School in Austin, Texas.
  • Jessica Iverson is studying to be a paralegal at the University of San Diego.
  • Amanda K. Peterson is employed with the United States Compliance Corporation.
  • Laura Merrill is the AmeriCorps VISTA literacy coordinator at Carleton College.
  • Jesse Christianson is a specialist for businesses and farmers with Norwest Bank in Mankato.
  • Amy Black got engaged to Paul Monskey ’99 on July 3, 1998.
  • Elizabeth Boline is employed at Abbott Northwestern as a registered nurse.
  • Raphaela E. Dohm is a graduate student in international business management at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA.
  • Sarah Meyer is an assistant international marketing manager for Neil Enterprises.
  • Megan Mullins married Robert James Babcock on August 22, 1998.
  • Erin E. Hansen is teaching 3rd grade in South St. Paul.
  • Christine Anderson is working at Dynamark Inc. as a project coordinator. She will marry Adrian Anderson, who is attending graduate school for his Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Minnesota, on June 19, 1999.
  • Jill Biesanz is a 3rd grade bilingual teacher for Denver Public Schools.
  • Dan Kuhns is an agriculture lender with Roundbank.
  • Joe Gold is working in human relations with Vail Associates for the 1998-99 ski season.
  • Brian Carlson is a youth counselor at St. Joseph’s Home for Children.
  • Sara Olson is teaching sixth grade at Jordan Elementary School.
  • Ginger Makela is a graduate student at the University of Iowa in the English department.
  • Matt Santala is teaching English at the Jilin University of Technology in Chagchun, China.
  • Scott Ziegler is a staff accountant with Pichl, Hanson, Beckman, PA.
  • Sheila Schonrock is an elementary physical education teacher with the Bloomington School District.
  • Katherine Liggett is a kindergarten teacher with Milwaukee Public Schools.
  • Kristie S. Kiehne is a farmer with Kiehne Farms.
  • Siri J. Lommen is a children’s choir director and piano teacher with Christ Lutheran Church and Highlands Ranch.
  • Gina M. Doeden is a graduate student at the Illinois College of Optometry.
  • Rachel Doppelhammer Yetzer is an elementary substitute teacher.
  • Nathan Slinde is a 3rd grade teacher with Chaska Schools.
  • Michael R. Johnson is a personal trainer at Gold’s Gym.
  • Sarah A. Krohn is a computer helpdesk analyst with Express Scripts/Value Rx.
  • Shane Thilke is teaching 3rd grade in Ely and helping coach varsity football.
  • Matt Kusilek is working with MSP Communications.
  • Kristin R. Coady is a registered nurse at Tanana Valley Clinic in Fairbanks, AK.
  • Amanda E. Ludeman is a naturalist intern at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center.
  • Nicole Miller is a fifth grade teacher.
  • Rebecca Pyle is a graduate student in the division of biology and biomedical sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.
  • Amie Prouix is a second lieutenant with the US Army Engineer Corp. in Seoul, Korea.
  • Jason Klipsic is attending Northwestern College of Chiropractic.
  • Mark Fierst is teaching 5th grade at Excelsior Elementary in the Minnetonka School District.
  • Gigi Wait Dobosenski married Matt Dobosenski ‘99 on December 19, 1998. Gigi is currently working as a lab technician in LeSeuer.
  • Sara Emily Volek Addler is employed at Washburn Child Guidance Center and is married to Maxwell Steven Addler who is employed at the LeSueur Country Club.
  • Jen Hennen is teaching sixth grade communication skills and social studies in the Watertown-Mayer School District.
  • Stacy Gans is teaching first grade with School District 110.
  • Angela Luukkonen married John Nolde ‘95 in July, 1998.
  • Stacy Bauer is teaching algebra and geometry at New Richmond-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva High School.
  • Justin Barbeau is a full-time tennis professional with Peter Burwash International.

So that’s all the information I have on our former classmates. If you didn’t see your name in here, that means you are slacking and not keeping the alumni office informed of all the fun and exciting things going on in your lives!!! Let them know ASAP so that we can read about you in the next class letter. Now, for more current events concerning our alma mater:

Students and staff are in the midst of January Term and the campus landscape is covered with a beautiful blanket of snow. Once again, many students are taking advantage of J-Term opportunities with 127 on internships, 308 on study abroad programs, and 86 students studying at other domestic institutions. Despite the cold weather, progress is being made on construction of the new Campus Center due to be open in the fall of 1999. After a week and a half of classroom preparation covering the history and culture of South Africa, the Gustavus Choir will participate in a concert tour of the country January 14-February 2. The Gustavus Band will travel to South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, and Iowa for their concert tour during touring week, January 30-February 6. Athletic teams are in full swing with all teams looking to be competitive in MIAC play. Over Christmas break many teams traveled for non-conference games including men’s basketball winning a tournament in California, men’s hockey playing in Italy, and the swim teams competing in Bermuda.

Gustavus is once again in the news, making some national rankings. Gustavus ranked 12th among the top 22 leading small colleges in the nation providing active Peace Corps volunteers. Gustavus is ranked 15th in the listing of top 20 bachelor’s institutions that sent the most students overseas for international study during the 1996-97 academic year. Gustavus is ranked 18th of national liberal arts colleges in the number of National Merits with 17 students. Mark Anderson ’66, Dean of Admission, reports that applications for admission for the fall of 1999 are running 20 percent ahead of last year. The Admission Office instituted several new campus visit days in the summer and fall to account for the fact that few students could visit last spring. Alumni are reminded of the Alumni Scholarship Program ($10,000 over four years for children and grandchildren of alumni) available to qualified applicants. Call the Admission Office at 1-800-GUSTAVU(S) for applications.

A special note for alumni currently enrolled in a student loan program. Until January 30, 1999, the Department of Education is consolidating student loans – allowing borrowers to combine all of their loans into one loan – at a reduced interest rate of 7.46 percent. This rate is close to a full percentage point lower than recent loan rates and even more of a savings for older loans of more than five years. Call 1-800-557-7392 to get an application, or download at

I hope that the "real world" is treating you well and continues to do so. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the spring of 1999 doesn’t "blow" as much as 1998’s! (Ok, it wouldn’t be a 1998 class letter without some mention of the tornado!!) Take-care everyone!


Christine M. Nelson