Gretchen Koehler ’65 (St. Peter, Minn.) has been named he 2014 Women Celebrating Women award recipient. The award recognizes the contributions of women in the St. Peter community. A beloved physical education professor and coach at Gustavus Adolphus College, she is a member of the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Gretchen created meditation and peace gardens at several educational institutions is also a potter, weaver, photographer, and writer. She retired in 2004 after nearly 30 years of service.
Bruce Ause ’66 (Red Wing, Minn.) was awarded the 2013 Neighbor of the Year award. He was chosen from a handful of nominees and stands out for getting the Environmental Learning Center off the ground, work at the Minnesota State Capitol, and locally for Red Wing PFLAG.
Ann (Voight) Soderstrom ’69 (Mayer, Minn.) retired in July 2013 after 35 years with the Hennepin County Library System. Previously she was a librarian in St. Charles and Putnam & West in Connecticut. Part of her spare time is spent keeping in touch with the “Lucas girls.”
Diane (Papenfuss) Holmay ’76 (Winona) was selected by the Wisconsin Organization of Nurse Executives selected for its Nurse Leader of the Year Award. Diane is chief nursing officer for Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Skemp Heathcare in La Crosse, Wis. She is widely recognized as an innovator and for putting patients first, implementing a shared decision-making nursing structure and adopting a relationship-based care model. Diane was on the cover of the Spring 2011 issue of Currents magazine.
Palmer Schneider ’76 (Webster City, Iowa) retired as CEO after 33 years with Van Diest Medical Center.Prior the CEO position, Palmer was the CFO of the medical center for 24 years. He majored in business administration at WSU and earned a master’s degree in hospital administration from the University of Minnesota.
Daniel Mortensen ’79 (Richmond, Va.) is the new executive director of the Virginia Council on Economic Education. The organization trains K-12 educators to bring economic skills to the state’s students. Dan served for 17 years as senior vice president with Capital One in Richmond. He is also past president of the WSU Foundation Board.
Joe Bissen ’80 (White Bear Lake, Minn.)recently wrote a book about Minnesota golf courses, which have disappeared from the landscape. Fore! Gone: Minnesota’s Lost Golf Courses 1897-1999 covers over a century of history in 240 pages and more than 100 photographs. Joe is a former golf letter-winner at Winona State University and now works as a sports copy editor at the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Joe’s writing has appeared in Minnesota Golfer and Minneapolis St. Paul magazines. You can find Fore! Gone on Amazon or through Joe’s website, foregonegolf.com.
Jeanine McShea ’80 (Chicago, Ill.) has joined Related Realty as vice president-managing broker. She has held top leadership positions at several of the largest residential brokerage firms in Chicago and will be involved in multiple initiatives leading to the expansion goals of Related. She will also handle day-to-day managing broker duties. In 2008, Jeanine was honored as with a Distinguished Alumna award at Winona State.
Jeff Bartholomew ’89 (Garfield, Minn.) has been named executive director of the Winona United Way. He was previously the CEO of the Alexandria Area YMCA.
Jeff Friedman ’89 (Bainbridge Island, Wash.) has taken a new position as sales engineer for Fusion-io, Inc. Wife Amy is a special education teacher, son Jack is a freshman in high school, and daughter Jennifer is in the seventh grade.
Beth (Luehmann) Postier ’89 (Kasson, Minn.), an elementary and kindergarten teacher with the Kasson-Mantorville schools, was named one of 33 semifinalists for Minnesota Teacher of the Year.
Eric Mueller ’90 (Fountain City, Wis.) is the new community liaison officer for the Winona Police Department. He will function as the prime outreach contact for the Winona community. Eric has more than 20 years of experience as a police officer.
Tina Strelau ’92 (Newport, Minn.) won two Excellence in Marketing Awards for her individual and team contributions in managing digital content for the Healthcare Division of Ecolab, Inc.
Marc Spieler ’95 (Houston, Texas) has accepted a new position with Halliburton as director of mergers and acquisitions.
Michelle (Paulson) Lissick ’96 (Farmington, Minn.) has been named a partner with The Bellmont Partners. Her agency won three Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards, the gold standard for public relations work in Minnesota.
Terry Oliphant ’96 (Forest City, Iowa) and Kristi Leonard were married on October 12, 2013. They reside in Forest City where Terry works for Frito Lay as a route sales representative.
Randi (McLaughlin) ’98 and Mark Russert ’98 (Chicago, Ill.) welcomed son Reeve McLaughlin on November 22, 2013. Mark was recently promoted to vice president at Motorola Solutions, Inc. Randi is assistant professor at Kendall College.
Todd Batta ’01 (Washington, D.C.) has been nominated by President Barack Obama as assistant secretary for Congressional Relations in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Todd, who was featured in the Winter 2011 issue of Currents, received his BA from WSU in history and political science. He has been senior advisor to Tom Vilsack, USDA secretary, since 2012 and has also worked on the staffs of U.S. Senators Tom Harkin and Herb Kohl.
Noelle (Olson) Cosgrove ’02 (Coon Rapids, Minn.) and husband Dan welcomed their first child, Mya Marie, on February 21.
Stephanie (Steimann) ’02 and Jeremy Schussler ’02 (Town) welcomed their second child, Charlie Croy, on December 4, 2013.
Meghan (Stafford) Bergman ’03 (Aurora, Colo.) has been chosen as Summit Elementary School’s Teacher of the Year in the 2014 Colorado Teacher Awards Program.
Ted ’04 and Sarah (Givot) Benson ’03 (Peoria, Ill.) welcomed son Lucas Jacob Benson on December 1, 2013. He joins brother Carter and sisters Abby and Hailey. Lucas was named for Luke Calvert who would have graduated with the WSU Class of 2003.
Bruce Carpenter ’03 (Dillon, Mont.) has been hired as the offensive coordinator for the University of Montana Western football team. He coached for seven years at Winona State, where he helped the Warriors win four NSIC titles. As a player, he led the Warriors to their first NCAA playoff appearance in 2001.
Lora Hill ’03 (Winona) is a finalist for the 2014 Minnesota Teacher of the Year. The high school teacher formed and advises a student social justice club, FORTITUDE. Her work has been featured in several anti-bullying ads sponsored by Education Minnesota. In April, Lora won the Minnesota Human Rights Award at the Education Minnesota Representatives Convention.
Christina (Olson) Wood ’03 (Eagan, Minn.) welcomed a son, Owen Thomas, on September 28, 2013.
Heather (Antonsen) ’03 and Nathan Winblad ’05 (Rosemount, Minn.) welcomed their second child, Cynthia Elaine, on May 2, 2013.
Liz (Black) ’04 and Bill Sabel ’05 (Andover, Minn.) welcomed their second child, Alexander Robert, on February 16. Xander joins big brother, Isaac.
Sarah (McFarlen) Czar ’06 (Boerne, Texas) has been named 2014 Teacher of the Year at Boerne Middle School North, where she is in her fourth year of teaching reading and English. During her time at BMSN, Sarah has served as a sponsor for National Junior Honor Society, pep squad, and Destination Imagination. She is an officer with the local chapter of the Association of Texas Professional Educators and serves on the board of the Cibolo Nature Center.
Andrew Ross ’06 (Minneapolis, Minn.) has been promoted to associate account director at Olson, the marketing and advertising agency.
Heather (Lindner) Roth ’06 (Town) and husband Brad recently welcomed baby girl Anna Marie on February 21.
David Krystowiak ’07 (Mosinee, Wis.) will lead the Pacelli High School (Stevens Point, Wis.) football program. He previously coached at Crean Lutheran in Irvine, Calif., and has experience coaching at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Concordia University Wisconsin, and Winona State.
Jenna (Manship) Arnold ’08 (Rosemount, Minn.) and husband Sid welcomed Kayla Virginia on April 5.
Jacob Pellowski ’08 (Dodge, Wis.) graduated from the U.S. Navy Enlisted Nuclear Power School in Goose Creek, S.C. He will undergo additional instruction at a prototype training unit before serving aboard a nuclear-powered submarine or surface warship.
Travis Whipple ’08 (Winona) has been hired as activities director at Cotter High School in Winona. He was formerly associate athletics director at the University of Illinois at Springfield has also served in athletics administration roles with the Lone Star Conference and at WSU. Travis was point guard on two Warriors national championship basketball teams.
Lara Winter ’08 (St. Paul, Minn.) married Eric Hoffman on October 18, 2013. Lara is an RN at St. Joseph’s Hospital.
Kelly (Sullivan) ’09 and Mike Dougherty ’10 (Sparta, Wis.) welcomed their first child, Kennedy Jocelyn, on August 14, 2013.
Eric Hart ’09 and Ashley Kyne ’10 (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) married on May 31. The two met while playing Ultimate Frisbee at WSU. Ashley, a social work major, is working in child welfare in Iowa. Eric is a director for KGAN-CBS in Cedar Rapids.
Brianna Carlson ’10 (Austin, Minn.) will marry Jason Bresser this spring. Brianna, who earned a degree in exercise science, works for Mayo Clinic Health System. Jason works for the Mower County Sherriff’s Office.
Alysa (Klund) Wittmer ’10 and Anthony Wittmer ’11 (Winona) married on October 26, 2013. Alysa is a registered nurse with Mayo Clinic; Anthony is an admissions representative at the University of Minnesota-Rochester.
Andrew Wood ’10 (Winona) married Katie Jensen on September 20, 2013. Andy is studying for a master’s in school and community counseling.
Derek LaRock ’11 and Kirsten Cole ’12 (Eau Claire, Wis.) plan to marry in August. Kirsten is a staff accountant at Clifton Larson Allen. Derek is a product development engineer at RTP Company in Winona.
Elizabeth Miller ’11 (San Antonio, Texas) was selected as first-year Educator of the Year at Powell Elementary School.
Jacy (Bullerman) ’11 and Brandon Stanek ’11 (Rochester, Minn.) married on August 30, 2013. Jacy is an RN at Mayo Clinic; Brandon teaches and coaches in the Rochester Public Schools.
Hannah Luedtke ’12 and Peter Degallier ’12 (Andover, Minn.) were married on May 25, 2013 in Winona.
Jenna Harrison ’12 (Rochester, Minn.) and Matthew Wolfe plan to marry on June 14.Jenna works at Mayo Clinic as a registered nurse. Matthew is a software engineer at HGST.
Jennifer Reit ’13 (Eau Claire, Wis.) and Mitchell Hanson will marry in August. She works at the Eau Claire Heart Institute. He is a journeyman lineman for Local Union 953.