Class of 2000
April 2008

Greetings Class of 2000!

Remember what it was like to be a senior in college at this time of year?  I talked to three students today—one was elated to have just received a job offer, one was in the dumps because he is waiting to hear about interviews, and one was thinking about just living in a van down by the river for awhile.  I wish I could tell them, “Don’t worry, by the time you turn 30 you will have your life figured out.”  However, I would be lying!  It seems like so long ago, yet just yesterday, that we were looking forward to returning to the Dive and hitting the flume at Valleyfair for senior week while anticipating the dreaded final move away from campus.

At this time each year, I find myself reflecting on what Gustavus gave me:  a great education, lifelong friends, travels overseas and around the country, a shower to share with 40 women (okay, so maybe that wasn’t one of the good things!), and, most recently, some flair for my Facebook profile!  Take a few moments to remember what Gustavus gave you as another school year comes to a close.  If you feel the urge, please give something back to Gustavus this year.  I read an article yesterday about how the elite Ivy League institutions have, on average, $450,000 to spend per student out of their endowment each year.  All other schools average just $15,000 per student each year which is only about 1/3 of the cost per student that Gustavus has to pay to provide the wonderful experiences it gives.  That means that the financial burden on Gustavus and current students grows each year.  The fiscal year at dear ol’ Gustavus ends on May 31 and our class has already given more financially this year than we ever have before!  Let’s continue that drive.

I hope you enjoy our class news listed within this letter.  Remember, if you have updates of your own, we want to know!  Go to to submit updates, find alumni events, find employment opportunities, make class connections, and more!


Bonnie Dahlke

2000 Co-class Agent

Class News

Careers & Education

  • Hari Balaraman is a student-at-law at Gowling Lafleur Henderson, LLP in Toronto, ON Canada.
  • Jennifer Berquam is a legislative assistant for the government relations firm Messerli and Kramer.
  • Josh Brix received a master of arts degree in organizational management from Concordia University and is a product support manager for Oracle Corporation.
  • Erica Coady is a neuropsychology intern at University of Kansas, Witchita, School of Medicine.
  • Travis Dahlke is a software engineer for Precise Software, LLC and is attending Bethel Seminary for a master of divinity degree.
  • Karrin Daniels is an office administrator at Nordstrom in Seattle, WA.
  • Steffan Freeman is a land steward for Jackson Hole Land Trust in Jackson Hole, WY.
  • Rachel Sheild Gustafson is lead for government affairs and legislative policy for Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.
  • Heidi Wegner Ha is a stay-at-home mom.
  • Janelle Roy Hatlevig is an occupational therapist at the Mayo Clinic.
  • Sarah Kleppe received a master’s degree in library and information science from College of St. Catherine/Dominican University.
  • Jennifer Jackson Krause is employed at Fluid Interiors.
  • Aaron Larimer is assistant vice president of accounting for Triumph Foods, LLC in Kansas City, MO.
  • Cecelia Lee is a school counselor for the Hmong Academy.
  • Jennifer Fischer McConn is a reading specialist for Columbia Heights Public Schools and is working on a master’s degree in elementary education at University of St. Thomas.
  • Daniel Hohenstein is a forecast analyst for BSN Medical in Huntersville, NC.
  • Jeff Johnson is assistant professor of organic chemistry at Hope College in Holland, MI.
  • Nils Landsberg is director of athletic bands at University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Stillwater, OK.
  • Jen Lelinski is complex coordinator for Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL.
  • Kimberly Jones Majewski is employed at Children’s Hospital of Milwaukee.
  • Amanda Miller is a Peace Corps volunteer in Namibia.
  • Sarah Mullins is a teacher in the Washington, D.C. Public Schools.
  • Stephanie Jensen Otto received a Ph.D. in human performance from Middle Tennessee State University.
  • Beth Peter is a family practice physician at Lakewood Medical Clinic in Holland, MI.
  • Craig Pladson is a senior interactive strategist for Colle & McVoy.
  • Matt Quam received an MBA degree from University of St. Thomas and is a tax associate for Olsen, Thielen & Co., Ltd.
  • Cory Ramel is high school ministry director at Faith Lutheran Church and is attending Luther Theological Seminary.
  • Megan Reich received a master’s degree in nurse anesthesia from Columbia University.
  • Kelly Fletcher Robertson is employed at Tandem Library Group.
  • Katie Sexe received a master’s degree in health care administration from University of Minnesota.
  • Sapna Shahani is head of human resources for Prime Focus, a film visual effects company in Mumbai, India.
  • Jason Stockwell is a Realtor for Re/Max Results.
  • Dani Thron is a financial educator for SECU Credit Union in Baltimore, MD.
  • Kellie Molin Thun graduated from University of Minnesota Dental School and is a dentist at Prairie Dental Group.
  • Matthew Torfin is branch manager at TruWest Credit Union in Phoenix, AZ.
  • Heather Trautman is an MBA student at Carlson School of Management.
  • Erika Clemens Vadis is an occupational therapist at Scripps Mercy Hospital in Sacramento, CA.
  • Brendan Victorson won the 2007 JETAA USA/Kintetsu Essay Contest and is a graduate student at College of St. Rose in Albany, NY.
  • Jeff Von De Linde is a missionary training staff member for YWAM Destination Paradise in Greenville, OH.
  • Richard Wong has a freelance photography business and is working part-time at the General Mills Commercial Photography Studio.

Text Box:    Picture 2    Picture 2


  • Kerry Carlson married Steven Bohnsack on October 20, 2007.
  • Lindsay Erickson married Jason Oberhamer on September 29, 2007.
  • Jennifer Fischer married Damian McConn on October 14, 2006.
  • Heather Kuttner married Zachary Coffelt on September 1, 2007.
  • Justine Eckert married Nils Landsberg on May 19, 2007.
  • Erica Lucast married Aaron Stonestreet on July 21, 2007.

Pictured (right) is a Gustie group taken at the wedding of Kevin Kuechenmeister and Laura Engstrom on August 9, 2003.  With a five-year anniversary coming up this is obviously late (due to editor problems).  Our apologies, however, the pictures are always fun to see.

  • Nissa Stolp married Brian Fell ’95 on August 17, 2007
  • Erica Stone married Eric Scott on September 2, 2007.
  • Brendan Victorson got engaged to Akiko Nokagaki in May 2007 while vacationing in Hawaii.

Little Gusties

  • Ella, to Beau ’02 and Sonia (Mascarenhas) Barker.
  • Hannah, to Adam and Rachel (Larson) Bebus.
  • Braden, to Bob ’02 and Crystal (Campbell) Burns.
  • Blake, to Jared ’99 and Holly (Peterson) Chester.
  • Cameron Oliver Roger, to Clayton and Tami (Nelson) Caudill.
  • Ana, to Seth and Kristen (Nelson) Detert.
  • Tyler Edward, to Nick ’99 and Tara (Anlauf) Hupton.
  • Walter, to Khoa and Heidi (Wegner) Ha
  • Ava, to Stacy and Brady Hahn.
  • Alexia, to Matthew and Kara (Jorgenson) Hubbard.
  • Kamdyn, to Bryan and Kari (Erdman) Karel.
  • Karina Nicole and Annika Nicole, to Aaron and Kristi (Huettl) Johnson.
  • Annika Jayne, to Beth Peter and Jeff Johnson.
  • Mirah, to Brian and Lisa (Roholt) Lukis.
  • Emma, to Eric and Kari (Hansen) Martin.
  • Owen, to Bryan and Leslie (Bachman ’01) McWhite.
  • Wilson, to Jacob and Laura (Berg) Menden.
  • Sylvia, to Andy and Jackie (Moen ’01) Miller.
  • Alexander, to Jason and Tiffany (Mack) Muscala.
  • Aiden Charles, to Steven and Kristi (Petersen) Murphy.
  • Seth Christopher, to Christopher and Linda (Cowan) Pack.
  • Ava Enderson, to Shane and Lindsey (Enderson) Placek.
  • Lauren Loken, to Angie and Travis Quast.
  • Isaac, to Cory and Sara (Oakes) Ramel.
  • Charlotte Rose Talbot, to Katie Sexe and Kevin Talbot.
  • Owen, to David and Laura (Schoessler) Van Riper.
  • Zoe, to Jason and Jessica (Munsell) Verhasselt.
  • Ellen, to David and Amy (Turbenson) Vogel.
  • Owen Michael, to Michael and Rebekah (Ostgarden) Weekly.
  • Athena Yang, to Cecelia Lee and Ying Yang.

Campus News

Since 1989 Gustavus students have organized Spring Break Work Trips, where students travel to other cities to help with service projects, including helping build homes and working in shelters.  More than 100 students went on this year’s trips, to help in the ongoing Hurricane Katrina clean-up efforts.  During the week-long relief effort, the volunteers worked eight hours a day on as many as 30 houses at two different sites.

A Gustavus dance “Vigorous Incubation” was one of three performances chosen from entries from more than 30 colleges and universities to be performed at a biennial national college dance festival in New York City in June.  The entire Gustavus ensemble was also nominated for a national outstanding student performance award, usually reserved for an individual performer.  Extraordinary dance has been happening at Gustavus for many years.  The first professor of dance was hired in 1979 and in 1989 the Department of Theatre and Dance was created.

MAYDAY! Conference Focuses on Water

“Troubled Water” is the topic of Gustavus Adolphus College’s 28th annual MAYDAY!  Peace Conference to be held Wednesday, April 30 on campus.  Dr. Aaron Wolf, department of geosciences at Oregon State University and a leading expert on international water politics, opens the daylong conference and the afternoon keynote speaker is Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food and Water Watch, a consumer advocacy organization in Washington, D.C.  The conference, an annual event designed to educate the campus community and beyond about issues related to peace, human rights, and social justice, is open to the public at no charge.

Gustie Breakfasts

Join other Minneapolis/St. Paul area Gusties for a once-a-month morning cup of coffee and breakfast while getting an update on Gustavus.  The group meets the third Wednesday of each month 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100) $10 per person.  Reserve a spot by calling Don Swanson ’55 at 763-533-9083.  Next date:  May 21 - featuring Sports Information Director, Tim Kennedy ’82

Gustavus Library Associates proudly presents Minnesota political activist Arvonne Fraser as this spring’s Author Day speaker at 10 a.m. on Wednesday May, 14 at the Edina County Club.  She will discuss her recently published, spirited memoir, She's No Lady:  Politics, Family, and International Feminism.  Fraser was heavily involved in the growing movement of American women to gain political influence and secure rights for themselves.  She turned her skills to the international arena, as well, capping her dynamic career as U.S. ambassador to the UN Commission on the Status of Women.  Her story will inspire and encourage anyone―male or female―who seeks a full personal and professional life.  Reservations for the brunch and presentation at a cost of $20 can be made by calling the Gustavus Office of College Relations at 507-933-7520.

Alumni Awards Announced

The Alumni Association announces the following 2008 awards selected by the Alumni Board of Directors.

Greater Gustavus Award - Given to those who by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College:

  • Jim and Susan (Pepin) Peterson ’64 ’65 

Distinguished Alumni Citations - Recognizing outstanding and exceptional professional achievement:

  • Craig Johnson ’69, bishop, Minneapolis Area Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
  • Talmadge King ’70, chair, Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine.
  • Barbara Berry Leonard ’63, nursing professor, University of Minnesota.

First Decade Awards - Recognizing early professional achievement:

  • Miho Ihara, senior consultant, CPCS Transcom Limited.
  • Jason Smerdon, Barnard Environmental Science/Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Environmental Science, Barnard College.

The Greater Gustavus Award and Distinguished Alumni Citations will be presented at the Alumni Banquet on Saturday, May 31 and the First Decade Awards will be presented during Homecoming Weekend, Oct. 4.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • MAYDAY! Peace Conference focused on water - April 30
  • Author Day with Arvonne Fraser - May 14
  • Gustie Breakfast - May 21, featuring Sports Information Director, Tim Kennedy
  • Class Reunions - for 50-Year Club, 1958, and 1963 - May 30 and 31