Class of 2000
May 2009

Dear Gusties,

Gustavus is about to graduate the largest class in the history of the college—over 600 students!  Can you believe it was nine years ago that we were getting ready for senior week, graduation, and the “real world” beyond college?  That means we are just over one year away from our 10-year reunion.  I don’t know about you but I don’t feel much more like an “adult” now than I did then.  However, the ever increasing wrinkles on my forehead and the trading in of pitchers at Patrick’s for 10:00 p.m. bedtimes tell a different story!

Our reunion dates for 2010 have not yet been announced.  Expect that information to come in September.  In the meantime, get yourself on Facebook and/or Twitter if you have not already done so in order to keep up with what is going on in our fellow Gusties’ lives and on the Hill in St. Peter.

Thank you to any of you who phoned, admitted students for the admission office last month. It has been a tough year economically at most colleges and universities, as with all of our places of business.  The additional effort on the part of alumni helped Gustavus Admission secure a strong class for 2009!  Of course, if you know any exceptional high school seniors who still need a college home, Gustavus’ doors are always open.  A full freshmen class does not necessarily mean that the Gustavus budget is in the black for 2009-10.  There is a final push from the Advancement Office for Annual Fund donations to reach their yearly goal, with under $500,000 to raise by May 31.  From now until May 31, a challenge fund of $50,000 will match any new and second gifts to the Gustavus Annual Fund.  If you are so inclined, please consider giving a gift to Gustavus before May 31 at

Last but not least, our classmates have been busy this year with school, work, weddings, and children!  Check out the class news below for more detailed information.  If you have an update to share, submit it anytime at

Have a great summer!

Bonnie Dahlke

2000 Co-class Agent

Career Updates

  • Abby Nelson Andrusko is cultural liason in the South St. Paul School District.
  • Hari Balaraman is a lawyer at Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP in Toronto, Ontario.
  • Michelle Kneeland Barbeau is an associate marketing manager at General Mills in the Twin Cities.
  • Rebecca Shelly Benson is a physician assistant in family medicine at Park Nicollet in the Twin Cities.
  • Sara Benzkofer works with the Minnesota House of Representatives in St. Paul.
  • Chad Bigalke is an advanced marketing attorney for Securian Financial Services in the Twin Cities.
  • Laura Birkeland is a genetic counselor at Meriter Hospital in Madison, WI.
  • Andrew Carlson is a medical resident at University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.
  • Tami Nelson Caudill is a registered nurse at New Ulm Medical Center.
  • Joshua Christensen is an associate attorney at Anastasi & Associates, P.A. in the Twin Cities.
  • Daisy Schmidt Christopherson is a physical therapist at Center for Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation in Northfield, MN.
  • Erica Coady is a post-doctoral fellow in neuropsychology at the University of California, Los Angeles.
  • Christopher Cook is public relations specialist at Lucas Arts Entertainment in San Francisco, CA.
  • Karrin Daniels is an office administrator for Nordstrom in Seattle, WA.
  • Larry Engelhardt is assistant professor of physics at Francis Marion University in South Carolina.
  • Nissa Stolp Fell is a nurse practitioner at Gustavus.
  • Mary Finch is a geologist for Barr Engineering Company in the Twin Cities.
  • Michael Fogal is an audit manager at Ernst and Young in Minneapolis.
  • Brian Haukoos is business development manager for Salo in the Twin Cities.
  • Tom Hawley is a portfolio manager for Wells Fargo in the Twin Cities.
  • Saara Jalonen Hipp received a master’s degree in education from the University of St. Mary; and teaches 3rd grade in Esko.
  • Sandi Petrich Hollerich is accounting manager at Kato Engineering.
  • Brent Johnson is assistant principal in the Anoka-Hennepin School District.
  • Chelsa Johnson is a restoration specialist/environmental planner for the Environmental Planning Group in Phoenix, AZ.
  • Jeff Johnson is assistant professor of organic chemistry at Hope College in Michigan.
  • Kristi Huettl Johnson is a self-employed dentist at Serenity Dental Arts.
  • Matthew Johnson is employed by Hidden Path Entertainment in Bothell, WA.
  • Kory Kath is serving in the Minnesota House of Representatives as the representative for Waseca County.
  • Sarah Lange Kerkman is a human resources development adviser at Oklahoma University Medical Center.
  • Sarah Lampi Kidwell graduated with a master’s degree in non-profit management from Hamline University.
  • Geoff Knobloch is a partner at Eide Bailly LLP, CPAs and business advisors in Sioux Falls, SD.
  • Meghan Krause is senior account executive for GreenMark in the Twin Cities.
  • Kevin Kuechenmeister teaches in the Hastings School District.
  • Laura Smith Lesinski is a financial analyst supervisor at the National Marrow Donor Program in the Twin Cities.
  • Stacey Lindell appeared in the Twin Cities production of Hormel Girls.
  • Kate Linden is an interior designer at Arthur Shuster, Inc. in the Twin Cities.
  • Erik Lindstrom is swim coach at New Trier High School in Winnetka, IL.
  • Michael Lippold is director of strategic development for Calavo Growers in the Twin Cities.
  • Aaron Mackie is a service sales manager for Beaupre Equipment Services in the Twin Cities
  • Jennifer Wendt Mackie is a school psychologist for Inver Grove Heights school district.
  • Joseph Majewski is a sales associate at Zimmer Thomson Associates in Milwaukee, WI.
  • Kimberly Jones Majewski is a nurse at Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee, WI.
  • Amanda Marotz is community benefit coordinator for Alegant Health in Elkhorn, NE.
  • David McMillan teaches 4th grade at Kohlberg Elementary in El Paso, TX.
  • Kira Theimer Morrissey is choir director at Pacelli High School in Stevens Point, WI.
  • Julie Luttinen Miller was elected to the ELCA Youth Ministry Network Board of Directors.
  • Gina Mitteco works at Houston Area Council in Houston, TX.
  • Tiffany Mack Muscala received an MBA from the University of St. Thomas.
  • Heather Nelson is a resident in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at the University of Minnesota.
  • Kathryn Nelson is an optometrist with Kaiser in Los Angeles, CA.
  • Brent Olson is a dentist in Mankato.
  • Stephanie Jensen Otto is associate professor of health and exercise science at Gustavus.
  • Adam Patterson is a sales manager at Lansing Building Projects in Crystal Lake, IL.
  • Kati Olson Pownell is a nurse anesthetist for Marshfield Clinic-Chippewa Center in Wisconsin.
  • Travis Prunty is a dentist in Mankato.
  • Matt Quam is a project accountant at Mortenson Construction in the Twin Cities.
  • Dave Razidlo and Gina Kime Razidlo are both post doctoral fellows at Mayo Medical Center in Rochester.
  • Bryan and Anna-Marie (Bergstrom) Rieffer live in Eagan, MN.  Bryan is IT director for Xata Corporation and Anna-Marie is owner/operator of Panda Bear Child Care in the Twin Cities.
  • Shazi Tate Ryan is a risk manager for ESIS/ACE USA in La Crescenta, CA.
  • Melanie Larsen Sinouthasy is diversity specialist in the human resources division of the Minnesota Judicial Branch.
  • Brian and Kelly (Colvin) Smith live in Oxford England.  Brian is a post-doctoral researcher in quantum optics in the physics department at Oxford University.  Kelly is an international alumni relations officer at Oxford University.
  • Erica Lucast Stonestreet is assistant professor of philosophy at the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University.
  • Cory Chirhart Tao is a graduate student at the University of St. Thomas.
  • Carrie Banaszewski Tate is a planning manager at ConAgra Foods in the Twin Cities.
  • Joshua Turnbull is director/strategist for Fidelity National Information Services in Minneapolis.
  • Jonathan Trexler is a candidate for an LL.M. in taxation at New York University School of Law.
  • Matt Tuccitto is vice president and financial adviser for Morgan Stanley in the Twin Cities area.
  • Jessica Munsell Verhasselt is a licensed office representative at Excelsior Home in the Twin Cities area.
  • Brendan Victorson won the 2007 Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Alumni Association USA Kintetsu Essay Contest.
  • Brent Voight is a stay-at-home dad in Stillwater, MN.
  • Tom Walker is employed at Alliant Life Insurance in the Twin Cities.
  • Jeremy Weaver is a visiting lecturer at University of Illinois in Champaign, IL.
  • Paul Whitney is a senior systems engineer for Target in the Twin Cities.
  • Nick Windschitl recently traveled to Honduras to work with the Hogar Tierra Santa Orphanage.


  • Chad Bigalke married Rhiannon Tokarz in Apple Valley, MN.
  • Laura Birkeland married Scott Reed in Madison, WI.
  • Brie Gauthier married Aaron Kidd in Farmington, MN.
  • Kelly Harms married Josh Wimmer in New York, NY.
  • Kristofer Kooiman married Hayley Kooiman in Longmont, CO.
  • Brooke Lundquist married Adam Beebe in Alexandria, VA.
  • Julie Mattson married Edward Zamora in Minneapolis, MN.
  • Elizabeth Nelson married Ken Boyum ’97 in Richfield, MN.
  • Stefanie Olson married Stephen Menning in St. Peter, MN.
  • Megan Reich married Brendan Tateishi in New York, NY.
  • Laura Shives married Brian Smith in Golden Valley, MN.
  • Erica Stone married Eric Scott in Bloomington, MN.
  • Jennifer Thomsen married Patrick Watson ’99 in Minnetonka, MN.

Future Gusties

  • Ezra to Ahna Bersagel-Briese and husband, Oren.
  • Benjamin to Thomas and Jess (Stewart) Madsen.
  • Nora to Nate ’99 and Stephanie (Jensen) Otto.
  • Chase to Melanie Larsen Sinouthasy and husband, Bouangeun.
  • Jacob to Geoff and Elise (Kahl ’01) Knobloch.
  • Emmett to Roy and Amy (Benson’99) Heilman.
  • Kiersten to Brandon ’01 and Cathy (Edlund) Bussler.
  • Evan to Scott ’02 and Stephanie (Huble) Morris.
  • Sarah to Lisa Davis Young and husband, Timothy.
  • Lydia to Rebecca Shelly Benson and husband, Peter.
    Clara to Kevin and Sonya (Gee) Calgren.
  • Charlotte to Katie Balfanz Harvieux and husband, Christopher.
  • Kacie to Chris and Laura (Smith) Lesinski.
  • Sean to David McMillan.
  • Casper to Laura Shives Smith and husband, Brian.
  • Nathaniel to Corrie Lundeen Walden and Todd Walden ’99
  • Zoe to Erica Slusser Haas and Eric Haas ’99
  • Tyler to Tara Anlauf Hupton and Nick Hupton ’99
  • Annika to Beth Peter and Jeff Johnson
  • Karina and Annika to Kristi Huettl Johnson and husband Aaron.
  • Zaara to Naveed Kidwai.
  • Connor to Kira Theimer Morrissey and husband, Kevin.
  • Aiden to Kristi Petersen Murphy and husband, Steven.
  • Seth to Linda Cowan Pack and husband, Christopher.
  • Ava to Shane and Lindsey (Enderson) Placek.
  • Lillian to Laura Frey Polikowsky and husband, Christopher.
  • Lauren to Travis Quast and wife, Angela.
  • Noella to Laura Carlson Ross and husband, Jeffrey.
  • Carter to Caroline Rettmann Stutsman and husband, Michael.
  • Ella to and Danelle Sweeney and Matthew Dammeyer ’99.
  • Bryce to Melissa Hummel Thomas and husband, Jason.
  • Owen to Rebekah Ostgarden Weekly and husband, Michael.
  • Sawyer to Brent and Amanda (Newlin ’99) Johnson.
  • Bella to Michael ’99 and Daisy (Schmidt) Christopherson.
  • Grant to Jamie Pautz Janni and husband, Scott.
  • Easton to Erica Stone Scott and husband, Eric.
  • Maxwell to Patrick ’99 and Jennifer (Thomsen) Watson.
  • Megan to Michael and Amy (Iverson ’01) Horn.

Campus News

Update on Commission Gustavus 150

Recently posted to the Commission website is a summary of the common issues and “big ideas” discussed at the first nine National Summit meetings regarding the College’s five core values (Excellence, Faith, Justice, Service, and Community).  The participants were asked how the College might ensure that the core values would be lived out in the lives of alumni, faculty, staff, and students.  The summary is being shared with all members of the eight task forces of Commission Gustavus 150.  The common issues and big ideas will help shape the recommendations made by the Task Forces to the Gustavus Board of Trustees and ultimately form the basis for the College’s long-range strategic plan.

Congratulations to the Gustavus Adolphus College Forensics Team, which won its second straight Minnesota Collegiate Forensics Association State Championship on Sunday, Feb. 22.  Gustavus finished with 446 points to beat out Minnesota State University, Mankato (408 points) and Concordia College, Moorhead (213 points).  Gustavus placed first in 6 of 13 events and placed four individuals in the top seven of the individual sweepstakes standings.  First-year student, Chloe Radcliffe, placed first in the individual sweepstakes and senior, Tasha Carlson, will represent Minnesota at the 2009 Interstate Oratorical Association National Contest―the oldest speaking competition in the country―on April 25 in Oxford, Mississippi.

“Come on you Gusties” Breakfast

Join us for a cup of coffee, breakfast, and great conversation.  All Gusties are welcome and invited to the breakfasts which are held the third Wednesday of each month.  This month our featured presenter is Katherine Tunheim, professor of economics and management.  Tunheim will bring news about the department and speak about business ethics and how it is incorporated in the department today.  The date will be Wednesday, May 20, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Blvd.  Cost is $10 at the door.  Reserve your spot by calling Don Swanson ‘55 at 763-533-9083.  Upcoming summer breakfasts include Tom Emmert, professor of history, on June 17; Byron Nordstrom, retiring professor of history and Scandinavian Studies, on July 15; and Megan Ruble, director of student activities, and Mim Kagol, Gustavus Library Associates, on the Reading In Common program, on August 19.

Faculty/Administrator Service Dinner

Gustavus will honor John Bungum, professor of economics and management; Dennis Henry, professor of physics; Steve Hogberg, gift planner; Byron Nordstrom, professor of history and Scandinavian studies; Tom Thorkelson; men’s and women’s track coach, strength coach, and Lund Center special events coordinator, Edi Thorstensson; visiting instructor and academic librarian, and Steve Wilkinson; men’s tennis coach, upon their retirement and other faculty and administrators for their years of service at a May 21 banquet on campus.

Women’s Softball

The Gustavus softball team defeated Webster University of Missouri 14-6 in five innings on Saturday and advanced to the NCAA Indianola Regional Championship game for the first time in the program’s history.  The Gusties are now one win away from advancing to the NCAA Championship Finals, which will be held May 15-19 in Montclair, New Jersey.  The Gusties exploded for 14 runs on 13 hits.  Rachael Click led the hit parade with three hits in four at-bats including two home runs.

Gustavus Tennis

Gustavus Adolphus men’s tennis earned its 10th consecutive trip to the NCAA Team Championship Finals after defeating Luther College 5-0 on May 10, 2009 in St. Peter.  The Gusties, who are now 27-8 overall, will compete at the NCAA Team Championships hosted by Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges on May 19-21 in Claremont, California.  And the Gustavus women’s tennis team advanced to the NCAA Championship Finals with a 5-0 win over Wheaton College at the Swanson Tennis Center on May 9, 200