Class of 2003

June 2011

Class of 2003

June 2011

Hello Class of 2003!

Greetings and warm wishes from Fort Worth, TX…the temperature at the bank read 100° F at 6:00 p.m. today, a true sign that summer has officially arrived!  However, a major upside to the triple-digit-temperatures is year-round outdoor activities.  Since moving to Texas last summer with my husband Cal, my golf game is the best it has ever been!  And the week of snow and ice before the Super Bowl was a nice taste of “home” for us…made even better by a green and gold win, Go Packers!

As Gustavus prepares to kick off its sesquicentennial celebration at homecoming this fall, I find myself thinking often of the community I found there, and how much it shaped my life.  Can you believe it’s been almost 12 years since we were welcomed to campus by those crazy Gustie Greeters on the Hill?  I hope to visit campus soon to check out the newest academic building and have a frost-your-own-cookie from the caf!

Emily Johnson Mamun has discovered a new community this year, one that we never could have imagined while living in 4A our freshman year.  Just days following her 2nd birthday in late January, Emily and Masud’s daughter, Lyla, was diagnosed with juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma, a tumor on her brain stem.  Two intensive surgeries and over 100 days in the hospital later, Lyla is proving to be a rock-star fighter full of sass and spunk.  She’s already had 10 chemo treatments (just the beginning) and works hard each day to relearn all of the basic functions we take for granted.  You can follow Lyla’s progress (and Emily’s ever-present humor!) at  Lyla has been chosen as the recipient of the Castle Rock & Roll Bar & Grill’s 6th Annual Fundraiser Motorcycle Run on August 27 in Northfield, MN.  For more info on how to help with silent auction donations or participate (either as a rider or cheerer) you can contact me (Elizabeth) at

Last weekend Becca Smith Darrow and Britta (Johnson) Bergland ’04 did a two-wheeled fundraiser ride, with leg power only!  Becca and Britta participated in the MS 150 bike ride from Duluth to the Twin Cities.  Way to go ladies, next year I hope to join you!  I know many others in our class have participated in marathons, 3-day walks, golf-a-thons and more, raising money for great causes.  It’s fun to “catch up” on some of these activities through Facebook and know that the Gustie spirit of service and community is strong!

Those of you who have “future Gusties” should check out Itsy Bitsy Bums, a cloth diapering business started by our classmate (and Section 4A’er!) Abby Roen Flores, with the partnership of her husband Mark Flores ’02 and their toddler Avalee (chief diaper inspector).  I am not well versed in the ins and outs of the diapering world, but IBB carries some super stylish dipes…and you can order gift certificates for friends−a fun and unique baby shower gift!  Abby offers trial/rental packages for those new to the cloth world, and provides her tips on technique and best-fit-options…she has you covered at!

Do you know other Gustie alumni in your community?  Keep your eye out for a Gusties Gather! near you−dates listed at the end of this letter.  Or contact the Alumni Office to host an event in your neighborhood.  It doesn’t have to be fancy, you can choose to meet in a local coffee shop or restaurant if you would like−no prep work and no clean-up after…sounds like a good deal to me!


Elizabeth Danks Johnson

2003 Guest Letter Writer


Now for the fun news about classmates.  If you’re not listed and/or have updates on what you’ve been doing lately, please email each of the class agents and the Alumni Office by emailing to:!

Cool Jobs

  • Nathan Brase is living in Hong Kong and working at JP Morgan Chase.
  • Aaron and Berit (Aune) Allar are living in Chicago.  Aaron works at Lloyd’s Bank.
  • Joe and Meghan (Severson) Johnson reside in Shakopee.  Joe works at Willis Re, and Meghan is at ShopNBC.
  • Allison Hawley March is managing editor for Rainbow Rumpus children’s magazine (, and works in communications for the Minnesota Department of Health’s Office of Performance Improvement.
  • Beth Worley Huizinga joined the Cargill Law Department in August 2009 as a real estate paralegal.
  • Chris Stavenger is a PA-C at Sanford Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Fargo, ND.
  • Kendall Baumgartner completed a master’s in nursing degree from the University of Pennsylvania in August of 2010 and then moved to Dallas, TX with her husband to start a new job and career as a pediatric critical care nurse practitioner with Children’s Medical Center Dallas.
  • Troy Anderson completed his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University and accepted a job as director of research informatics at Theranostics Health, Inc. (a biotech start-up).

Future Gusties

  • Zackary Thomas was born to Matthew Wallace and Kara (Wachlarowicz) Wallace ’01 on March 16, 2010.
  • Sean Alan was born December 25, 2010, to Beth (Worley) and Chris ʼ02 Huizinga.
  • Eleanor Rose was born on September 3, 2010 to Jody (Anderson) Gabler and Philip Gabler.
  • Weston Charles was born on October 15, 2010 to Tanner ʼ04 and Anne (Potts) Grimmius.
  • Ethan Carl was born to Gina (Sehnert) Burmeister and Brandon Burmeister ’02 on December 26, 2010.
  • Cade Kenneth was born on February 1, 2011 to Dan and Kara (Haroldson) Pryde.  Big sister and brothers Macy, Boston and Gavin were excited to welcome him home.
  • Brynn was born to Troy and Katie (Josephson) Ploog on April 27, 2011.
  • Crosby Charles was welcomed by big brother, Blake and big sister, MaKenna on June 30, 2010.  Proud parents are Mike and Nicole (Guimond) Van Patten.
  • Elliette Joy was born to Sarah (Holm) Pospisil and husband, Jared, on April 11, 2011.  Sarah teaches 4th grade in La Porte City, IA.
  • Amana Deborah was born on October 4, 2010, to Justin and Kathleen (Batalden) Smith.
  • Bennett Thomas was born on February 27, 2011 to Tom and Kira (Rice) Hilden.
  • Logan Henry was born on April 16, 2011 to Tricia and Mike Ryan.


  • Amy (Tillges) married Justin Hejny in Biwabik, MN, last October.  They currently live in Charlotte, NC.
  • Jared Phillips married Heidi Solheim on May 28, 2010.
  • Becca Smith married Tom Darrow on September 18, 2010.  She’s working as a project manager for Open Systems International in Plymouth.
  • Dawn Carlson married Cully Huestis and they reside in Maple Grove.  She’s working as the logistics business manager of InStore Design Concepts and completed her MBA from St. Thomas in December of 2009.
  • Sarah Keiser and Robert Teich were married September 18, 2010, in Clear Lake, MN.


587 Graduates Receive Degrees

On Sunday, May 29, 2011, 587 seniors received their bachelor of arts degrees from Gustavus Adolphus College.  Senior Phil Helt of Gladstone, MO, delivered this year’s commencement address and Associate Professor of Nursing; Barbara Zust received the 2011 Edgar M. Carlson Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Alumni Association Awards Announced

The Greater Gustavus Award is the highest award given to those, who by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College.  Walter Youngquist ’42, Eugene, OR, chair emeritus, Department of Geology, University of Oregon, and consulting geologist, was selected as the 2011 recipient of the Greater Gustavus Award.  Youngquist has established five different endowed funds at the College and is the recipient of a Gustavus Distinguished Alumni Citation in the field of geology in 2002.  Walter’s father, Walter Youngquist ’16, received the Greater Gustavus Award in 1953.

Distinguished Alumni Citations recognize outstanding and exceptional professional achievement, such as unusual honor accorded to the individual in his or her field of endeavor.  Named as 2011 recipients are John “Jack” Bergman ’69, St. Francisville, LA, lieutenant general, retired, United States Marine Corp., in the field of military service; Robert Brown ’83, Rochester, MN, John T. and Lillian Matthews Professor of Neuroscience, Chair of Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, in the field of medicine; and Mark Thomsen ’78, Henderson, NV, professional operatic tenor, in the field of music.

The First Decade Award recognizes early professional achievement to one female and one male in the 10th Anniversary Class.  Selected were Kirsten Cullen Sharma ’01, New York, NY, clinical assistant professor, New York University Child Study Center, New York University Langone Medical Center, and Jonathan Poole ’01, Washington, DC, special agent, violent crime branch, Diplomatic Security Service, U.S. Department of State.  The Awards will be presented at the Alumni Banquet on Saturday, May 28.

Sesquicentennial Award

In 2011–2012, Gustavus will celebrate its 150th academic year.  The Board of Trustees has established an award in honor of this Sesquicentennial anniversary to recognize individuals who have made a significant difference in the life of the College.  The award, called “The Sesquicentennial Award,” will acknowledge and pay tribute to living alumni, parents, friends, and retired faculty and staff who:

  • Through actions in their personal or professional lives, have advanced the status of Gustavus as a premier liberal arts college;
  • Have set a new precedent in the ways they supported and advanced the mission of the College as an institution dedicated to preparing students “for fulfilling lives of leadership and service in society”; and/or
  • Have brought particular dignity or honor to the College.

Please submit nominations online at .  For more information about the Sesquicentennial Awards, visit .

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfasts

Engage with other alumni and learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Gustie breakfasts.  The speakers for July will be Steve Waldhauser ʼ70 and Dean Wahlund ʼ72, from the marketing/communications office.  The Minneapolis breakfast is Wednesday, July 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 e-mailing the Office of Alumni Relations at or by calling 800-487-8437.

The St. Peter breakfast will be Wednesday, July 13, 7:30–9 a.m. in a campus banquet room in the C. Charles Jackson Campus Center.  Cost is $8 per person, or $15 for two, payable at the door.  Reserve your spot by e-mailing or by calling 507-933-7512.

Summer Picnics

Summer is a good time to reconnect with some Gusties in your area.  Please join President Jack and Kris Ohle as they travel to the following locations:

Apple Valley, MN – July 12

Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN – July 13

Long Lake, MN – July 14

Duluth, MN – July 26

Grand Rapids, MN – July 27

Brainerd, MN - July 28

Nobel Conference 47 - The Brain and Being Human Oct. 4 & 5, 2011

In recent years, novel collaborations between neuroscientists and researchers in seemingly disparate fields have forged new ideas and new questions about the working of the brain.  Aspects of daily human life are now incorporated into the scientific arena in a new synthesis to understand the human experience and what it means to be human.  The braiding of neuroscience with the humanities, arts, social sciences, theology, and engineering has empowered explanations of the motivations and operations of our daily activities.  This insight engenders uncertainty in terms of how to best apply this knowledge responsibly and ethically, and perhaps is even challenging the distinctiveness of our own species.